Shaded Relics: Chapter 27

The Genki Awakens

 

PART ONE: Seventh Circle

 

Simon tore the City of Dis into rubble. He hurled bolts of telekinetic energy through buildings, burned the streets with shadow fire, and slaughtered every Fallen Angel who tried to stop him.

 

The ranger stood on the rubble and breathed heavily. His spiritual body ached with pain, but the pain fueled him. The pain gave him power.

 

He smirked — a wicked grin — and gripped tightly onto his sword.

 

“Where did you run to, Brajira? Still want to tell me that story? That little tale about your pointless existence? That little manipulation? Hmm?”

 

Simon lowered his sword and laughed. “Please tell me more…” he said mockingly. “You ant…”

 

“Are you quite done?” Moridyn asked as his astral form walked onto the rubble.

 

“In a hurry?” Simon asked.

 

Moridyn lunged, grabbed Simon by the throat, and lifted him off his feet.

 

“Get a hold of yourself,” Moridyn said. “If you keep expending this much energy, you won’t be able to break through Hell and return to the mortal world.”

 

Simon grinned, his red irises burning like fire. “What if I don’t want to go back?”

 

“Think of Owen. Your brother. Your family…Focus on that piece of your humanity that still exists.”

 

Simon narrowed his eyes. He still remembered the boy’s pain, agony and sorrow. He felt the emotions as strong as he would his own.

 

“Put me down,” Simon said. “Or I’ll rip off your arm.”

 

“It’s not really my arm,” Moridyn said. “But as you wish.”

 

Moridyn set Simon onto his feet.

 

“We must move forward,” Moridyn said.

 

Simon wiped blood from his mouth. “Don’t tell me what to do,” he whispered, his voice hollow. “I’m done listening to anyone. You think you can use me for your schemes?”

 

“My only scheme is to see you live again,” Moridyn said. “Now, shall we-”

 

Simon grasped Moridyn’s forehead. The ranger’s palm ignited with black light that incinerated the Forsaken’s astral form.

 

***

 

Moridyn snapped open his eyes. The Forsaken breathed deeply and scowled.

 

“Clever child…” he whispered.

 

“He’s no child,” a voice said from the shadows. The Dark Man stepped into view, his hands in his trench coat’s pockets. “And he’s not yours to toy with.”

 

Moridyn arced an eyebrow. “And you are?”

 

The Dark Man smirked. “I’m not surprised you don’t recognize me, Moridyn. You Forsaken were always blinded by your narrow vision.”

 

Moridyn lifted his hand with a burst of invisible power. But the power splashed harmlessly across the Dark Man.

 

The Dark Man ignored the attack and walked to the nearest window. He opened the blinds and stared outside, into the night-lit streets of Angel Grove.

 

“Listen well, Moridyn,” the Dark Man said. “This little plan of yours to break the Seven Seals? I will not allow it to succeed. You will leave Simon Kaden alone. His soul…is mine.”

 

***

 

PART TWO: The Genki Awakens

 

Gajah’s attack devastated countless city blocks, near the site of the now-destroyed Precious Bank.

 

Long chose that moment of vulnerability to strike. He sent his GenJuken generals to attack Angel Grove, which set off alarms in the Black Sash Dojo.

 

Adam alerted the rangers, who ran to the scene.

 

But when Casey, Theo, Lilly, R.J., and Dom arrived, they saw no one.

 

Theo knitted his brow. “Are we too late?”

 

R.J. shook his head. “No. Can’t you feel that? That spiritual pressure…”

 

Dom arced an eyebrow. “I don’t even know what that means.”

 

“That’s because you’re an idiot,” R.J. said.

 

Above, Jarrod stepped onto a rooftop and looked down at the teens.

 

“Rangers!” he shouted. “I’m so glad you could come. Tonight…our war will come to an end.”

 

Casey narrowed his eyes and glared at the villain. “We keep hearing that, and we keep kicking your ass.”

 

“Not today…” he said. “Today, you fight me not as a puppet of the Kenma, not as a puppet of DaiShi…but as a warrior of my own power and will.”

 

“I doubt that,” Casey said.

 

Jarrod flared with golden energy and whipped off his cloak.

 

Genki Gaisou!” His aura flashed with power as he morphed into his new suit of armor. The armor appeared gold with black highlights and resembled a griffon.

 

In this form, he called himself GenJyuOu.

 

geki-vg-rio

 

A white-and-golden chimera landed next to GenJyuOu and kneeled.

 

In his monster form, Long landed on the other side of the villain.

 

The Forsaken tilted his head. “Let us fight to protect the GenJyuOu.”

 

In her new form, Camille stepped onto the scene alongside another monster. They lined up and faced the rangers.

 

Long stepped forward. “I am ShiGenShouGenJuken Dragon-Fist, Long.”

 

Camille stepped forward. Her armor looked gold with green highlights. ShiGenShouGenJuken Phoenix-Fist, Camille.”

 

 

A bulky monster stepped alongside Camille. “ShiGenShouGenJuken Basilisk-Fist, Sanyo.”

 

220px-Sanyo

 

The chimera creature stepped alongside Long. “ShiGenShouGenJuken Chimera-Fist, Suguu.”

 

 

Jarrod, the GenJyuOu, rolled his hands into fists. “GenJuken Griffin-Fist, GenJyuOu. Pure strength. Pure fierceness. Leaving the world behind. A peerless being.”

 

Long waved his arm towards GenJyuOu. “From now on, this whole world belongs to the GenJyuOu.”

 

R.J. glared at the villains. “We don’t give a damn about your GenJuken.” He charged towards the building. “Spirit, unleash!”

 

He morphed into his armor and leapt towards GenJyuOu.

 

Suguu pounced and swatted the Violet Wolf Ranger from the air. Violet Wolf crashed to the street, and Suguu landed nearby.

 

The other rangers morphed and charged. Blue Jaguar and Yellow Cheetah shifted into Jungle Master mode.

 

Camille lunged and slashed Yellow Cheetah aside with a burst of spark.

 

Blue Jaguar and White Rhino pounced and swung their fists weapons at Sanyo. But the villain blocked with bursts of spark and bashed the Rangers backward.

 

The White Ranger and Blue Ranger regrouped and charged. Sanyo blocked their blows and upper-cut punched their guts. They staggered backward; Sanyo lifted them with strands of invisible energy. He twirled them through the air and bashed them against one another.

 

Sanyo tightened his fists; their armor erupted into bursts of spark that hurled them backward.

 

Nearby, Suguu launched a volley of punches that sparked against Violet Wolf’s chest. The final punch knocked him off his feet, and he tumbled across the ground.

 

Slowly, the Ranger rolled into a crouched position.

 

Suguu thrust his fist and fired an energy wave shaped like a chimera. The blast splashed against Violet Wolf with massive bursts of spark that hurled him through the air.

  

Meanwhile, Red Tiger leapt towards GenJyuOu. The villain pounced, and the opponents clashed in midair with a fierce volley of punches.

 

They twisted and landed back-to-back. Quickly, they turned and charged at one another. GenJyuOu launched volleys of punches that sparked on impact and hurled the Red Tiger Ranger off his feet.

 

GenJyuOu stood tall and proud as he lowered his guard.

 

“Your GekiJuken is meaningless before GenJuken,” GenJyuOu said. “It would be easy to finish you. But right now…you aren’t worthy of being my opponent. I will give you time. When you’ve prepared, when you’ve said your prayers…then you may appear before me. When that happens…our fatal battle will end.”

 

The villain lifted his hand. “My Fist is the King’s Fist. The Griffon’s fist. Abandon all hope when you approach.”

 

He clawed through a streak of golden energy that slashed the Rangers with massive bursts of spark and flame, hurling them backward.

 

The GenJuken regrouped and left the scene of the battle.

 

***

 

Dr. William “Billy” Cranston sat back in his chairs and laced his fingers. He looked at several holographic viewscreens that hovered above his desk.

 

One image showed the Titan Rangers regroup to track the Ryujinn Mind. The other showed Jet Force search the skies for any sign of the Hurricane Rangers or Samurai Rangers. And the smallest monitor showed the Jungle Fury Rangers’ battle with the GenJuken.

 

A signal on his communications console beeped, and he answered the call.

 

“This is Cranston,” he said.

 

The comm-screen showed an image of the aging U.S. Senator who represented Angel Grove. The senator looked fatigued and panicked.

 

“Are you watching the news?” he asked.

 

“I don’t need the news, senator,” Cranston said, his voice ice-cold. “What can I help you with?”

 

“You know god-damn well what you can help me with,” Senator Raul said. “Exploding buildings. These…attacks. It was bad enough when it was just in Angel Grove, now the same god-damn thing is happening all over the country. The whole south is in a panic about werewolves that came from New Orleans. God-damn werewolves!”

 

“What would you have me do?” Cranston asked. “I’ve explained before. My resources are limited…”

 

The senator grimaced. “Damn you. Fine. Put out the fires in your own backyard. Shut that shit down, do you understand me? Then…you’ll get your funding. But we’ll need something more…appealing than these Rangers and Riders you have now. Something people can rally behind. Families.”

 

Cranston nodded. “Very well,” he said. “Get me the resources, and you’ll have two new, mobile assets within three months.”

 

“You know what to do first,” Raul said. “Clean up the mess in your own back yard, dammit.”

 

The senator cut off the comm-line. Cranston narrowed his eyes. He didn’t care for people who hung up on him. Not at all.

 

He opened a comm-line. “Miss. Fairweather, projects RPM and Kamen Rider Drive have the green light. They’ll need a few…design modifications first.”

 

He didn’t wait for her to answer. He closed the connection and opened another comm-line.

 

“Marx, what’s the Worm situation?” he asked Marx, an INET agent with the power of Kamen Rider TheBee.

 

“Quiet,” Marx said. “They haven’t moved outside Demon City in three weeks.”

 

“Good,” he said. “Kaixa and Delta are hunting a trio of Shaded in Michigan. I need you and ZECT to handle an outbreak here at home.”

 

“Where?” Marx asked. “Those RinJuken?”

 

“No, they’re inconsequential,” Cranston said. “Target the Black Sash Dojo.”

 

***

 

Rick and his Shaded students gathered in the Black Sash Dojo and finished watching the battle between the Jungle Fury Rangers and GenJuken.

 

“Come on!” Kyle shouted. “The Rangers just got their butts kicked. We could have helped!”

 

Rick adjusted his glasses. “Don’t get too overconfident. You still have a lot to learn about controlling your powers.”

 

“We took down a Hellfire Knight-”

 

“That was weeks ago,” Rick said. “Since then, you’ve almost gotten yourselves killed by at least three minor demons and one witch.”  

 

“Hey, that’s racist,” Enzo said. “They prefer the term ‘wiccan.’”

 

Rika scoffed. “You idiot. ‘Witch’ isn’t a racist word.”

 

“Hey, you didn’t see the look on her face when we called her one,” Enzo said. “I’m just saying, show some sensitivity.”

 

“Don’t kid yourself,” Rika said. “You just thought she was hot. That’s why we almost got killed. You let yourself get distracted!”

 

“Who wouldn’t have been distracted by those boobs!” He smiled at the memory, and his face turned blush. “They looked so soft and perky. I could have just-”

 

Kyle smacked him upside the head. “She glammered you, you idiot. That witch was an old hag.”

 

“A what?” Enzo asked. “How could you say such a thing about such a gorgeous, gorgeous girl…?” He sighed. “I think I’m still swooning.”

 

Rika rolled her eyes. “You’re such a loon.”

 

You’re just jealous because your breasts are teeny little-”

 

Rika punched him to the floor.

 

Rick sighed. “That’s enough. Kyle’s right, Enzo. You let that witch glammer you. Some witches can make themselves appear attractive to lure you into their trap.”

 

“So they weren’t…” Enzo started to ask. “Those voluptuous, twin mounds of heaven weren’t…”

 

Kyle kicked him upside the head. “Seriously, shut up.”

 

Suddenly, the ground shook from an explosion outside the dojo. The doors burst in, and ZECT Troopers rushed inside.

 

Marx led the Troopers, along with two Silver Guardians. The soldier smiled at Rick.

 

“Hi,” he said. “I hear you’re hiding some kids who like to stir up trouble.”

 

Rick pulled out his handguns. “We don’t recognize your authority here,” he said. “So I’ll only ask you this once. Leave peacefully before this escalates.”

 

Marx shook his head. “I’d rather things escalate.”

 

He armed his zector. “Awaken.”

 

He snapped his zector onto his bracer, which spoke the command: “AWAKEN.”

 

Bulky armor clamped around his body as he assumed his Masked Form.

 

“Cast off.” He flipped the stinger on his bracer, which echoed the command: “CAST OFF.”

 

His bulky armor snapped free and shot off, revealing his slender Rider Form.

 

“CHANGE WASP.”

 

Two Silver Guardians armed their own bracers. “Awaken.”

 

Armor snapped around their bodies as they transformed into Riders.

 

“CHANG KICK-HOPPER.”

 

 

“CHANGE PUNCH-HOPPER.”

 

 

Rick stood protectively in front of his students. “Run.”

 

“No way,” Kyle said. “We can-”

 

Kick-Hopper lunged with a jump-kick, and Punch-Hopper pounced with a flying punch.

 

Rick dove aside, rolled onto his back, and opened fire. His bullets sparked harmlessly against the Riders’ armor.

 

Kyle shifted into his Shaded form and cracked his knuckles.

 

“You call that a punch?” he asked as he charged at Punch-Hopper. “This is a punch!”

 

Kyle punched Punch-Hopper with enough force to knock him several steps backward.

 

From the side, Kick-Hopper jump-kicked Kyle upside the head and whipped him off his feet.

 

Rika shifted into her Shaded form and thrust her palms. Kitsune!”

 

She fired fox-shaped blasts of electricity that bashed the Riders with bursts of spark and hurled them backward. They crashed through the wall and skid across the street outside.

 

Kamen Rider TheBee charged at Rika. “Not bad for a little-”

 

Jade light bashed the Rider and hurled him outside.

 

Adam stepped into his dojo and narrowed his eyes. “Get out of my school.”

 

Kamen Rider TheBee climbed to his feet as Kick-Hopper and Punch-Hopper regrouped around him.

 

“Adam Park,” TheBee said. “You should really keep better company.”

 

“Tell Billy the same thing I told Tommy,” Adam said. “I don’t want anything to do with the fight between them.”

 

Kamen Rider TheBee rolled his hands into fists. “You really should have thought of that before you started harboring rogue Rangers and Shaded.”

 

ZECT Troopers surrounded Adam and lifted their weapons.

 

The former ranger narrowed his eyes. “You’re making a big mistake.”

 

TheBee smirked beneath his helmet. “Those are the best kind.”

 

Enzo grasped his amulet and ran to Adam’s side. “‘Grant us a symbol to protect us from harm, Spiritual Armor!’”

 

Four magick circles flared with golden light and snapped around them like a box. The Troopers opened fire, but their bullets sparked harmlessly against the barriers.

 

Kyle tackled through the Troopers and tossed them aside.

 

Nearby, Rika turned her attention back to the Riders. She thrust her palms. “Kitsu-”

 

A bullet blasted her arm and knocked her backward.

 

“Rika!” Rick shouted as he blasted the legs of the Trooper who shot her. He ran to her side and opened fire, aiming at the Troopers’ weapons; he didn’t want to kill them, despite their carelessness.

 

Kamen Rider TheBee charged at Rick, grabbed him by the neck, and bashed him to the ground.

 

“You should have just surrendered, priest.”

 

“Rick!” a voice shouted from above.

 

The Violet Wolf Ranger leapt to the scene with an elbow drop that bashed Kamen Rider TheBee to the ground. The other four Rangers followed and attacked quickly.

 

White Rhino armed his fist weapon, blocked a punch from Punch-Hopper, and chopped the Rider with a burst of spark. The White Rhino Ranger pressed forward with a side-kicked that bashed the Rider off his feet.

 

Yellow Cheetah and Blue Jaguar attacked Kick-Hopper with a flurry of palm-heel strikes, punches and kicks. The blows bashed the Rider several steps backward.

 

Nearby, Enzo lowered his barrier when he noticed the other Rangers arrive. The teen smirked.

 

“Now this is more like it…” he said a she grasped his amulet. “‘Homage to the all-pervading Vajras, Destroy!’”

 

He summoned a bolt of golden lightning that struck the ground with a shockwave, hurling the ZECT Troopers through the air.

 

Red Tiger moved past the fallen Troopers and ran to Adam’s side.

 

“What happened?” the Red Tiger Ranger asked.

 

“ZECT…” Adam said. “I’ll get Rick and the kids out of here. You guys hold off those Riders.”

 

“Right,” Red Tiger said as he charged towards Kamen Rider TheBee.

 

Kick-Hopper pounced to intercept the Red Ranger. The Rider snapped a jump-kick. But Red Tiger easily blocked and kicked the Rider to the ground.

 

Bullets sparked against the Red Ranger’s armor and knocked him back several steps.

 

The ZECT Troopers regrouped and fired again; their bullets blasted Red Tiger with massive bursts of spark.

 

White Rhino leapt towards the Troopers. He landed and chopped the ground, creating a shockwave that tore through the streets and exploded beneath the Troopers, hurling them through the air.

 

Meanwhile, Adam ran to Rick and placed a hand on the priest’s shoulder. “Come on… Fall back and let the Rangers handle this.”

 

Rick nodded. “Agreed.”

 

Suddenly, explosions tore through the streets and hurled Rick and Adam off their feet. They crashed and skid across the ground.

 

Adam rolled into a crouched stance and looked up to see another wave of ZECT Troopers. He rolled his hands into fists, and pale-green light ebbed from his palms.

 

The former ranger pounced to attack.

 

“Enough!” a voice shouted from above.

 

A figure landed in the center of the battle with a shockwave of Holy energy. The man grinned, revealing rows of pearly white teeth. His name: Arthur Angel, Paladin of the Knights of the True Cross.

 

Arthur armed his Cross Knuckle: “READY.”

 

“I!” he shouted. “Arthur Angel! Paladin of the Knights of the True Cross! Guardian of goodness and justice! Do, with all of my power, command you to stop! Or…face my might! Awaken!”

 

He snapped his Cross Knuckle onto his Cross Belt: “AWAKEN.”

 

Energy flashed around him as he transformed into Kamen Rider Cross.

 

“Cross-Calibur!” he shouted as he unsheathed his sword. He aimed the weapon at Kamen Rider TheBee. “Your organization claims the path of righteousness…This is your chance to prove it.”

 

TheBee tilted his head. “…What?”

 

“I have no quarrel with you,” Cross said. “I simply want our lost priest, and his exorcists in training.”

 

Rick knitted his brow. “You think I’ll surrender to you?”

 

“Surrender?” Kamen Rider Cross asked. “No. To surrender is not necessary. The Knights of the True Cross are under new leadership. We’ve weeded out our demonic influences, and now, we are in a position to help you.”

 

“Help me how?” Rick asked.

 

“We can cure your brother,” Cross said. “And destroy Hell in the process.”

 

“That’s impossible…” Rick said.

 

“Don’t take my word for it,” Cross said. “Come with me…and listen to our new leader. Your father.”

 

Rick’s eyes opened wide. “Father Amantini?”

 

“No, Rick,” Cross said. “Your birth father.”

 

Adam glared at Kamen Rider Cross. “You can’t trust him…”

 

R.J. powered down his armor and looked to his brother. “He’s telling the truth. I can feel it…”

 

Kamen Rider TheBee sighed. “This is getting boring,” he said to Rick. “Take your kiddies and leave.”

 

Rick looked to Adam, and Adam nodded.

 

“Go,” he told the priest.

 

Rick, R.J. and the Shaded left the scene along with Kamen Rider Cross.

 

The other four Rangers started to power down their armor, but TheBee lifted his hand.

 

“Wait, wait,” he said. “I didn’t say anything about you colorful pricks being off the hook, did I?”

 

Kick-Hopper and Punch-Hopper pounced.

 

***

 

PART THREE: Violence

 

Simon waded through the boiling blood pools of the Seventh Circle. Countless souls screamed from within the pools as they drowned in the blood of their victims.

 

The ranger didn’t let their screams slow him. He moved forward, his black katana in hand, and black eyes narrowed.

 

Suddenly, torrents of blood erupted around him. A dozen souls leapt from the eruptions and surrounded the ranger. Their skin looked pale and torn, and they wore tattered jumpsuits that looked like torn Silver Guardian uniforms.

 

The lead guardian tightened his bony hands into fists and glared at the ranger. “You…You did this!”

 

His voice slammed Simon with guilt so intense, it clutched his throat and forced him to his knees.

 

Laughter surrounded Simon. Slowly, a pale-skin demon roe from the blood pools. He looked insane, with black robes and black paint down the center of his face.

 

“I’ve waited for this since I heard the news A Ranger. Here in Hell. How splendid,” the demon said. “Oh, what fun we will have. Do you feel it, ranger? The death of those you killed? The innocent? Does the guilt overwhelm you?”

 

“Guilt?” Simon asked as he climbed slowly to his feet. “Guilt?! I’m not the one who allowed a world with suffering like this!”

 

He slashed his blade through a wide arc that ignited with shadow fire. The flames scorched the blood pools for as far as the eye could see, as countless souls screamed with intense agony.

 

The pale-skinned demon opened his eyes wide with horror. “It…It can’t be…”

 

The ranger’s spiritual pressure intensified. His mere presence overwhelmed the demon and pressed him to his knees. The creature collapsed to all fours and coughed back ichor.

 

“But…I had…such grand plans…And I barely even…I didn’t even introduce myself…” the demon whispered as his throat ruptured.

 

Simon lifted his blade and walked towards the demon. “You think I care about your identity? Your plans?!”

 

The demon looked up and narrowed his eyes at the ranger. Then, despite the pain, he grinned wickedly. “I see…This place has flayed your soul. To come this far through Hell…Where others would-”

 

Simon stabbed his blade through the demon’s head with a burst of shadow fire.

 

“You had plans for me?” Simon asked mockingly. “Get in line.”

 

He pulled his sword free and hacked the demon in half.

 

To be continued…Chapter 28