The Dragon’s Rise: Chapter Five

Brothers and Sisters

 

An enticing melody played throughout the chambers of Bandora’s palace. The sound came from a girl playing a harpsichord with strings of energy. She was dressed in white and red robes covered with a light suit of golden armor. Her long dark hair was pulled back and held together by an intricate golden hairpiece. A black cloth covered the lower part of her face so that only her dark brown eyes were visible.

 

Gurail walked up behind her and placed a hand on her shoulder as a sign of affection. “I’m glad you’re doing well.”

 

She placed her hand on his and slowly ran her fingers along the indents of his gauntlet. Kyra felt awkward within Bandora’s palace, and she didn’t know why. Only Gurail and her music gave her comfort. “This is still all so strange…I feel like…”

 

“Give it time, Kyra, my love,” Gurail said.

 

Dragon Ranger watched Kyra from the shadows. He felt a deep aching inside of him that seemed both strange and somehow familiar.

 

Dragon Ranger shook his head and stumbled through the hallway. He braced himself against a wall and placed his hand on his helmet. “What…why does she make me feel this way?”

 

He approached his chambers to find the three other dark warlords chatting with each other, each with their helmet off. The three warlords appeared human, except for their odd-colored hair. Venom’s hair was as green as Dragon Ranger’s armor. Kayl’s hair was deep crimson, and Dayus’ hair was dark purple.

 

“He’s weak and pathetic,” Kayl said. “If he was a real warlord, he would have the head of the Red Ranger by now.”

 

“He’s not even one of us,” Venom said. “He’s a Ranger.”

 

“Dragon’s Fang!” Dragon Ranger fired a sphere of green arcane energy that exploded against the three villains and knocked them down. “I’m more fit to be a warlord than you three will ever be!”

 

Hmph,” one of the warlords said mockingly.

 

“Prove it,” Venom said.

 

“I don’t need to prove anything to you dogs,” Dragon Ranger said as he turned and walked away. His body trembled with rage as he moved down the dark hallways. “They want proof…” He rolled his hands into fists. “They’ll get their proof…”

 

***

 

Kimberly walked down the steep stairs outside of Angel Grove South Community High School. She sighed with frustration and adjusted her backpack. “School sucks…”

 

Kimberly’s gymnastics coach had given her a hard time again, berating her every move and stance. Her teammates always laughed at the exchanges. They enjoyed seeing the school’s star gymnast repeatedly put down.

 

Jason caught up with Kimberly after wading through a crowd of departing students. He walked over to her, his own book bag draped over his shoulder. “Hey Kimberly.”

 

“Jason…” Kimberly said, surprised to see him. “What are you doing down here?”

 

He shrugged. “I was in the neighborhood, so I thought I’d drop by and say hi.”

 

Kimberly arced an eyebrow and smiled, not believing what she was hearing. “Jason, you go to school on the other side of the city.”

 

Jason grinned sheepishly. “I know.”

 

Jason and Kimberly walked away from the school towards Kimberly’s apartment, which was several blocks away within walking distance.

 

“So,” Jason said. “I hear Zack asked you out again for this weekend?”

 

“How’d you hear that?” Kimberly asked, starting to get a little defensive.

 

“Simon has a big mouth,” Jason said.

 

“Ah. So what’s a matter? Jealous?” Kimberly grinned jokingly.

 

Jason shook his head. “It’s not that at all…it’s just that…I’m not sure I like him. He doesn’t take anything seriously, he has no respect for anyone, and I swear he’s on something.”

 

“Oh please,” Kimberly said. She started walking faster. She hated it when people tried to control her life. She was independent. She had to be.

 

“Kimberly…” Jason tried to catch up with her.

 

“Look Jason,” she snapped and turned around. “I’ve appreciated the way you’ve looked out for me since we’ve met but…I don’t need that. You’re like the over-protective big brother I never asked for.”

 

“I…” Jason stopped. He looked like someone just punched him in the gut. “I’m sorry.”

 

He turned and practically ran away.

 

Kimberly sighed and shook her head while she watched Jason run off. What was that all about?

 

***

 

Jason walked alone across the rainy streets at night. He passed through the Oak Gate neighborhood, an area overlapping Angel Grove North and Angel Grove Central, which was quickly becoming a bad part of the city. A few rival gangs had moved to the area, and drugs and weapon sales were becoming more common. The streets and alleys were narrow, and run-down buildings were crammed close together. 

 

He stopped by an alley and looked down between the two buildings. “This is where it happened,” he said quietly as he walked down the alley. “Why couldn’t I save you…

 

A gust of wind howled down the alley from behind Jason. Dragon Ranger shimmered into appearance. “Because you’re worthless.”

 

Jason turned and snapped into a fighting stance. “What do you want?”

 

“Take a wild guess,” Dragon Ranger said.

 

Jason armed his morpher. “Dino Buckler!” Energy shimmered around him as he changed into his Ranger form.

 

The two Rangers charged at each other. Tyranno Ranger moved low with a leg sweep while Dragon Ranger spun forward with a jump-spinning heal kick. He passed over the Red Ranger.

 

The two opponents turned and snapped roundkicks at each other that they each blocked.  They exchanged a fierce volley of kicks and punches.

 

***

 

Kimberly creaked open the doors to Master Ohm’s dojo. The dojo was surrounded by a grove of trees and flower gardens in Little Tokyo, in northwestern Angel Grove.

 

Kimberly peaked her head inside. “Is Jason here?”

 

Master Ohm sat in a meditative pose on his dojo mat. The balding, Asian man dressed in a brown kimono, and his hair was pure white. He looked up, met Kimberly in the eyes, and shook his head. “No…may I help you with something?”

 

Kimberly took a step inside the dojo. “You’re Master Ohm, right? Jason’s teacher?”

 

Master Ohm nodded and smiled. He waved his hand down towards the mat. “Yes. Please…have a seat and tell me what troubles you.”

 

Kimberly hesitated for a moment before sitting down. “Well…I snapped at him today and I wanted to apologize…sort of.”

 

“But there’s more,” Ohm stated more than asked. “More you want to know.”

 

Kimberly shrugged. “Well...yeah…it’s just that…he kind of acts weird around me sometimes.”

 

Ohm smiled and nodded. “You look much like Janet. It’s to be expected.”

 

“Who’s Janet?” Kimberly asked.

 

Ohm sighed, and a look of sorrow fell across his face. “Janet was Jason’s twin sister. The two were very close. They shared the same zest for life, as well as the same talent in the martial arts.

 

“Not too long ago, they were out on the town at night, and while taking a short cut down an alley, they were mugged.

 

“Jason and Janet both fought back, but during the struggle, a gun went off, and Janet lost her life. The attackers fled, leaving Jason alone with his dying sister in his arms. He hasn’t been the same since then. He was always protective of his sister, and the one time he couldn’t help her, she died.”

 

Ohm sighed again. The memory was still clearly vivid and freshly painful. “I suggest you talk to him. He needs a friend.”

 

Kimberly nodded. Her communicator went off before she could reply. Zordon and Alpha had provided the rangers with wrist communicators for them to keep in touch and access special teleportation powers.

 

Kimberly thanked Master Ohm and went outside. She hid behind a tree before activating her communicator. “This is Kimberly.”

 

“Kimberly,” Alpha said, “Dragon Ranger is attacking Jason in the city! You and the others must help him.”

 

She nodded, determined to help her friend. God, I can’t believe I snapped at him… “I’m on my way.”

 

***

 

Dragon Ranger slammed a sidekick against Tyranno Ranger’s chest. The Red Ranger sprung back and swung his Blade Blaster towards the Green Ranger’s head. But the evil Ranger grabbed Tyranno Ranger’s arm and lifted him off his feet. Dragon Ranger tossed Tyranno Ranger against a wall.

 

Tyranno Ranger smashed against the brick wall, making a web-like crater on impact before slipping down and crashing against the ground.

 

“You’re worthless,” Dragon Ranger said. He stalked towards his fallen foe and armed his sword. “Barely worthy to be finished off by my blade. It’s a wonder you got your powers in the first place.”

 

Tyranno Ranger rose to his feet and armed his Tyranno Sword. He tightened his grip on the weapon. “We’ll see who’s worthless.”

 

The Rangers charged at each other and clashed swords. Tyranno Ranger parried Dragon Ranger’s blow, arced his sword around, and chopped towards the Green Ranger’s head. Dragon Ranger high blocked the blow, pushed Tyranno Ranger back, and slammed a front kick against the Red Ranger’s chest.

 

Dragon Ranger followed with a spinning heel kick that slammed against Tyranno Ranger’s helmet and sent the Red Ranger crashing through a wooden wall. Tyranno Ranger rolled out of control across a concrete floor in an abandoned building. He rose to his knees and looked up to see Dragon Ranger step out of the rain and into the building.

 

Tyranno Ranger placed a hand on his injured left shoulder. It felt dislocated, but he could not be sure. All he knew was that he was in pain, and his left arm was nearly useless.

 

Dragon Ranger stalked towards his foe and extended his sword. “And now it’s time to end our little game….It’s been fun…”

 

Tyranno Ranger glared at the approaching evil Ranger. He tightened his grip on his saber, ready to pounce forward as soon as Dragon Ranger moved close enough. The Red Ranger would not let himself go down without a fight.

 

Red energy lances suddenly exploded against Dragon Ranger. The blasts took him by surprise and knocked him backward. Dragon Ranger looked up to see the other four Power Rangers dash to Tyranno Ranger’s side.

 

Tiger Ranger draped Tyranno Ranger’s arm over her shoulder. “You should have called for help, Jason.”

 

“I was a bit busy,” Tyranno Ranger said as he stood on his own.

 

Zordon spoke through the Rangers’ communicators. “Bring your weapons together to form the Power Blaster: a mystical cannon that combines your energy into a powerful blast.”

 

“Alright, Zordon,” Tyranno Ranger said. “Let’s bring our weapons together guys…form the Power Blaster!”

 

The Rangers combined their weapons. The Mammoth Breaker formed the main cannon of the weapon. The Ptera Bow rested perpendicular across the barrel. Tricera Ranger’s lance split in two and joined Tiger Ranger’s daggers across the bow.

 

“Power Blaster!” the Rangers shouted. “Fire!”

 

Four energy streams burst from the cannon and combined into one. The blast exploded against Dragon Ranger, knocking him off his feet and sending him crashing back into the alley. He slammed through a brick wall, kicking up debris and dust.

 

Dragon Ranger slowly crawled from the rubble, his chest shield having protected him from most of the blast. Tyranno Ranger stepped forward and aimed his sword at the fallen Green Ranger. “Go crawling back to Bandora, you wanna-be Ranger.”

 

Dragon Ranger rose to his feet. “You won’t be so lucky next time, Ranger.”

 

The villain shimmered away.

 

***

 

Jason and Kimberly kneeled down at Janet’s grave. Kimberly had asked to come, and Jason accepted her offer. He was not used to letting people share his pain, but decided to make an exception.

 

“I wish you would have told me sooner,” Kimberly said.

 

Jason nodded, his eyes fixed on the tombstone. “I wanted to…I just wasn’t sure how.”

 

Kimberly placed a hand on his shoulder. “It’s not your fault…”

 

“It is,” Jason said without hesitation. “”I couldn’t save her, Kim. But it’s different now. No one’s going to lose anyone else because of me. Not while I have this power.”

 

To be continued…Chapter Six