The Dragon’s Rise: Chapter Four
Jason, Zack, Billy, Trini and Kimberly gathered in the Command Chamber as Zordon appeared. The hologram looked down at his rangers, taking notice of their stunned expressions. Zordon was not surprised by their reaction. He had the same effect on people when he had a body.
“Rangers,” Zordon said. “I fear Bandora is determined to finish the task she started millions of years ago: the extinction of the dinosaurs.”
“Uh, Zordon,” Zack said. “I think that asteroid pretty much finished the job. Unless she wants to destroy all the fossils…”
“That is not her plan.” Zordon ignored the sarcasm. “When the asteroid Bandora summoned struck the Earth, a group of wizards gathered two dinosaur eggs and locked them into a treasure chest laced with magick. They sent the case out to sea, not wanting the species they worshiped to vanish from existence.”
“Zordon,” Kimberly said, “I don’t understand…it’s just a couple of dead eggs. What can Bandora possibly do with them?”
“It’s not the eggs themselves I am concerned with,” Zordon said. “It is the method in which Bandora will try to retrieve them. Only those with your five Power Coins can open the treasure chest. I fear Bandora may lure you into a trap, or take hostages, to manipulate you into retrieving the eggs.”
Zack shook his head. “They’re just eggs.”
Jason shot his teammate a glare. “Knock it off, Zack. You heard what Zordon said. People could get hurt.”
“Yeah…” Zack said, “for eggs. Am I the only one that finds this ridiculous?”
The Command Chamber’s alarms started to blare. Red lights flashed from within the pillars of stone, and an image of a monster appeared on the Viewing Globe. The creature had the head of a cobra with dirt-gold scales across its body and snakes wrapped around its arms. The red-eyed creature carried a bow and arrow, and its jaws were lined with saliva-dripping fangs.
The creature stalked through Maple Grove Commons, an upscale, outdoor shopping center in Angel Grove East, heavily landscaped with ornate fountains, decorative street lights, brick walking paths, and trees.
“This is Bandora’s latest creation, the DoraLadoon,” Zordon informed the rangers. “Bandora is able to summon these creatures, and her rock soldiers, through a deck of mystical cards she possesses. Each card is laced with shadow magick that can summon these creatures from other realms and dimensions.”
Jason narrowed his eyes at the image of DoraLadoon. “Let’s get to work.”
SWAT teams fanned out across Maple Grove Commons. They armed their shields and rifles, surrounded DoraLadoon, and opened fire. Their bullets merely ricocheted off the demonic monster. Conventional weapons were no match for Bandora’s forces.
DoraLadoon fired a trio of arrows that punctured through officers’ shields and exploded, ripping apart half the police force. The remaining SWAT members fell back and retreated. Another volley of arrows turned their orderly retreat into a panicked run for their lives.
The five rangers ran onto the scene as the SWAT team retreated. The creature turned and hissed at the rangers. The snakes along its arms were squirming and slithering.
Zack cringed at the sight of the monster. “I hate snakes…”
The rangers armed their morphers. “Dino Buckler!”
Dragon Ranger stood on the roof of a nearby retail shop and watched the Rangers’ battle below. He placed his right leg on the edge of the building and leaned forward on his knee. His sword was in hand but not needed.
Bandora’s plan was to lure the Rangers out with her DoraLadoon, a creature she foolishly boasted of as one of her finest, and kidnap a few humans in the process. The humans would be hostages of the Dragon Ranger. He would demand that the Rangers give Bandora the eggs she wanted, or the hostages would die.
Dragon Ranger knew Bandora’s desire for the eggs was stupid, but he did not question her lust for the dinosaurs’ destruction. If her plan could weaken the Rangers, he could kill them. That was all that mattered.
DoraLadoon opened its jaws and spat a volley of leather-skinned snakes. The snakes wrapped around the Rangers’ bodies despite their best efforts to fight back. The snakes tightened around the Rangers’ arms, chests, and necks, and dug fangs against their armor, teeth sparking on impact with each bite.
DoraLadoon fired crimson optic blasts that exploded against the Rangers with a massive burst of sparks that knocked them off their feet.
The snakes, immune to the blast, kept squeezing and biting. DoraLadoon cocked an arrow and let it fly. The arrow stopped above the Rangers while in midair and started spinning, spreading a shower of sparks that exploded against the Rangers with a violent series of sparks.
A scream sounded nearby. The Rangers, still struggling on the ground against the snakes, turned to see Dragon Ranger standing near a fountain. The evil Ranger was grabbing hold of a young girl and holding his sword to her neck.
Dragon Ranger looked to DoraLadoon. “Call your little snakes off. I need to have a word with my good friends here.”
The snakes released their hold. The Rangers slowly rose to their feet, their bodies weak and battered.
“Bandora has a little job for you fools,” Dragon Ranger said. “I’m sure you’ve already heard all about it from that bloated head who calls himself your mentor.”
Tyranno Ranger raised his sword, despite his trembling weakness. Every joint and muscle in his body ached with pain, but he was not going to let that stop him. “You have five seconds to let that girl go, warlord.”
“Fine,” Dragon Ranger said. “In two seconds you’ll be in too much pain to count.” He extended his hand and fired a jade energy pulse that exploded against the Rangers’ armor.
“Now…” Dragon Ranger said. “About that job. You will bring the dinosaur eggs to me. At the top of the eTech skyscraper. You have thirty minutes. Not a second more.”
Tyranno Ranger rose to his feet, his body still trembling from snake bites. “Fine. But if you hurt even one hair on her head-”
Dragon Ranger plucked a hair from the girl’s head. “Spare me the false threats. Get the dinosaur eggs. Now.”
Goldar watched through his viewing crystal as Dragon Ranger taunted the Rangers. He hated the Green one. Dragon Ranger did not deserve to defeat the Rangers.
Goldar snarled just thinking about it. He was not about to stand by and watch the plan unfold. Either Dragon Ranger would win, or an opportunity to eliminate the Power Rangers would pass. Neither was acceptable.
The Rangers met Dragon Ranger on the rooftop 28 minutes later. He held the girl in his arm and pressed his blade against her throat. He wondered if the Rangers knew that the girl’s fate was sealed. Her death would enrage the Rangers, make them act on emotion and not think. Her death would throw the team off guard. That’s what Dragon Ranger wanted.
The Rangers stepped forward and tossed down the chest containing the eggs. Zordon had teleported them to the chest and brought them back to the exchange point.
“There,” Tyranno Ranger said. “Now let the girl go.”
“But of course,” Dragon Ranger said in an icy tone. He slit the girl’s neck and tossed her aside.
“NO!” Tyranno Ranger shouted. The Rangers pounced forward to attack.
A group of rock soldiers suddenly appeared and blocked the Rangers from Dragon Ranger. Even the warlord was taken aback by the grunts. “What the hell?”
Goldar glided through the air and dropped onto the roof while retracting his wings. He armed his runed double-edged blade, the Golken, and aimed it towards the Rangers. “Your doom is here, Rangers!”
“Goldar!” Dragon Ranger shouted. “What are you doing here, monkey brain!?” A telepathic spell suddenly cut through his mind, causing him to drop to his knees in pain. It was Bandora. She wanted the eggs.
“Damn her,” Dragon Ranger muttered beneath his breath as he retrieved the chest. He shimmered away back to the palace.
Goldar led the rock soldiers in a charge, and they slammed against the Rangers. Mammoth Ranger, Tricera Ranger, Tiger Ranger, and Ptera Ranger split up and attacked the soldiers, slamming against them with a flurry of kicks and punches.
Tyranno Ranger snapped his Blade Blaster into short-sword mode and squared off with Goldar. The two opponents started circling around each other, switching fighting stances, and preparing to strike.
“Bandora’s gone too far this time,” Tyranno Ranger said.
Goldar ignored the Ranger’s comments. The simian had been inactive for too long while the warlords did battle. He did not want to waste time with banter. This was his time to strike. His turn to win.
Goldar swung his sword and launched fiery pulses of energy that exploded against Tyranno Ranger’s armor. Tyranno Ranger was blasted backward, and when the sparks cleared, Goldar was standing in front of him and swinging his sword.
Goldar’s blade slashed diagonally across Tyranno Ranger’s armor. Tyranno Ranger spun with the blow and slashed his blade horizontally across Goldar’s chest. The Ranger snapped a sidekick that smashed against the simian’s armor and knocked the villain backward.
Dragon Ranger kneeled before Bandora and slid the box to her feet. Bandora glared down at the box with a hatred that even Dragon Ranger could not understand. She was being irrational. “I have brought you your prize, my empress.”
Bandora extended her staff towards the box. Her magick lifted the lid to reveal two preserved dinosaur eggs. Her staff pulsed with dark-purple energy that consumed the eggs. An evil glimmer sparkled in Bandora’s eye. “Kai…” she said softly. “You can rest easy now.”
Dragon Ranger tilted his head with confusion. Who the hell is Kai…?
Goldar slashed his sword across Tyranno Ranger’s armor. The Red Ranger went stumbling across the roof as Goldar stalked forward. “It’s finally over, little red weakling! The DoraLadoon has taken the fight out of you!”
Tyranno Ranger rose to his feet and looked up to see DoraLadoon step alongside Goldar. The other Rangers, having finished off the rock soldiers, regrouped around their leader.
“Kimberly,” Zordon’s voice said over the teams’ communicators. “Use your Ptera Bow to strike DoraLadoon before he can launch his snakes.”
DoraLadoon hissed and spat a volley of snakes at the five Rangers.
“Get back!” Tyranno Ranger pushed Ptera Ranger out of the way just in time for her to get clear of the snakes. But the other Rangers were whipped with the creatures, which slithered around their bodies.
Ptera Ranger rolled across the roof, rolled into a crouched fighting stance, and immediately armed her Ptera Bow. She armed an arrow and aimed. DoraLadoon spat another volley of snakes at the Pink Ranger. Ptera Ranger leapt aside, out of the snakes’ path, and fired a trio of arrows. The arrows cut through the monster’s throat and exploded, blasting off the creature’s head.
The monster’s body fell backward and exploded with a shockwave that knocked Goldar off the roof. With the monster gone, the individual snakes shriveled up and died.
Goldar limped back to his chambers in Bandora’s palace. Dragon Ranger waited for him in the shadows. “You messed up again. Did you actually think you stood a chance against the Rangers? You’re barely a match for one of them, let alone the entire team.”
Goldar snarled and pounced towards Dragon Ranger. Dragon Ranger grabbed the simian by the arm and slammed him against the ground. “Never again. You will never again interfere with my fight against the Rangers. Never again.”
Goldar snarled. “I will kill you…”
“I’m shaking in my boots, dog breath.” Dragon Ranger stood and walked away.
Goldar glared at the Ranger‘s back. “I will kill you…”
Kimberly sat outside the Command Chamber, leaning against her knees as she looked out at the rock formations surrounding her. She could not get the image of the murdered girl out of her mind. It was the most terrifying thing she had ever seen.
Zack sat down beside her and draped an arm around her. She laid her against his shoulder and said nothing.
To be continued…Chapter Five