The Dragon’s Rise: Chapter Eleven

Secrets Revealed

 

Tyranno Ranger high blocked a rock soldier’s blow and slammed an uppercut against the soldier’s chest. He followed with an outer crescent kick that slammed across the grunt’s head.

 

The Rangers were battling a group of the soldiers at the exquisite Bridgewater Resort in Angel Grove South. The building’s main plaza was paved with white concrete and had a pool, surrounded by landscaping and trees. The resort faced an artificial lake just on the outskirts of downtown.

 

Tyranno Ranger, Tiger Ranger, and Ptera Ranger battled the rock soldiers with a flurry of kicks and punches. Mammoth Ranger and Tricera Ranger were nearby, finishing off one of Bandora’s creatures.

 

The monster had a body made completely out of grotesque eye balls. Mammoth Ranger had joking referred to him as Eye Guy.

 

Mammoth Ranger leapt through the air and swung his axe towards the creature. The axe chopped against Eye Guy’s head, sparking on impact.

 

Tricera Ranger moved in next. He spun forward and slammed the edge of his lance against the creature’s center eye. The eye shattered, causing explosions to rip across the monster’s eye-covered body.

 

Mammoth Ranger energized his axe and moved forward to deliver the finishing blow. “Mammoth Breaker!”

 

The axe energized with dark purple-and-black energy and chopped through the monster. The creature fell backward, its energy overloading and exploding with a violent sphere of flame.

 

***

 

Tilson Auditorium was near the bustling center of Angel Grove North. The dome building was surrounded by a network of streets that spread out across the giant city. The dome was home to the annual martial arts tournament involving all the major cities in the region.

 

Zack, Kimberly, Billy, and Trini gathered in the auditorium and moved through rows of chairs to take their seats. The seats stretched out in sections of red and sections of gold, matching the color scheme of the circular mats below. A large circular mat dominated the center of the floor, and smaller mats surrounded it.

 

Zack browsed through his program while they took their seats. “So when’s Jason up?”

 

“Next, I think,” Trini said. The teens had missed the first round of novice fighters due to Bandora’s attack. Luckily, Jason made it back in time to compete in his division.

 

“There he is,” Kimberly said. She spotted her friend below and waved. “Jason!”

 

Jason smiled and waved from below as he approached the large circular sparring mat. He was dressed in a white uniform with black trimming along the legs, arms, and chest. The patch on his left chest was the Korean symbol for bravery.

 

The PA system crackled over head to announce the next fight. “Our next match...Jason Scott from Angel Grove East versus Tommy Oliver from Angel Grove North.”

 

The two opponents approached each other on the sparring mat. Tommy was dressed in a solid black uniform with red trimming down the legs and chest. The circular patch on the left side of his chest had a red symbol that looked like an H-shaped throwing star. The symbol represented the Hayate Way martial arts school in Angel Grove‘s Little Tokyo, in the northwestern part of the city.

 

Tommy glared at Jason and flashed a wicked smile that made the ranger feel uncomfortable. A chill crept down his spine at the sight of it.

 

Jason shook his head to clear his mind. He assumed he was just being paranoid, a byproduct of his life as a ranger.

 

The two opponents snapped into fighting stances. When the judge signaled them to begin, Tommy launched at Jason with a fierce volley of kicks and punches. Jason was taken aback by the strength and speed of his opponent.

 

Jason regained his focus and counter attacked with a few kicking combo’s that Tommy easily blocked, just before he reverse side kicked Jason in the chest, causing the teen to fall backward onto the mat.

 

Jason flipped back to his feet. The two opponents snapped into fighting stances and circled around each other. They dashed forward at the same time. Tommy went high with a jump spinning heel kick, and Jason dashed low with a leg sweep. The two opponents passed by each other.

 

Tommy landed and immediately snapped out with a hook kick that smashed against Jason’s head. Tommy followed with a round kick to Jason’s side.

 

Time ended. The judge declared Tommy as winner.

 

Tommy’s victory was nearly flawless. Jason wrinkled his brow as he watched Tommy leave the floor. Tommy had a smug grin on his face. The two opponents didn’t take their eyes off each other until the last minute.

 

Who was that guy? Jason was rarely beaten, and never that easily.

 

***

 

“It was just…weird,” Jason said to his friends. They were all standing in the locker room as Jason packed up his towel and uniform. “He was so…vicious.”

 

Zack shrugged. “Some people are like that.”

 

Jason shook his head. “I don‘t know. Something just wasn’t right about him.” Jason slammed his locker door shut, and the five rangers left the locker room.

 

***

 

In Bandora’s palace, the evil witch gave her Dragon Ranger a green-and-golden colored box. Dragon Ranger slowly opened the box. He sensed the power inside.

 

“What is it?” he asked.

 

Your Dragon Dagger,” Bandora said. “Your last chance to stop the Rangers. If you fail this time…their fate will be yours.”

 

“What does it do?”

 

“It will allow you to summon Dragon Caesar. Your Dragonzord.”

 

Dragon Ranger gripped his dagger. Jade energy flashed along the blade’s edges. The Green Ranger tilted his head back and laughed. His revenge was finally at hand.

 

***

 

Dragon Ranger appeared on the rooftops near Angel Grove’s coast and looked down at the city streets below. “Look at them,” he said to himself. “They’re like ants…they deserve their fate.”

 

Dragon Ranger held his dagger to his mouthpiece and played an enchanting battle tune. The tune echoed across the rooftops as it moved across the ocean. The ocean started to bubble as a giant beast rose from the water. It was a dragon covered with metallic green and gold armor.

 

The Dragonzord stomped onto the shore and entered the city. The zord armed it drill tail and smashed through buildings left and right, spraying debris and rubble across the streets. The zord stomped on cars and fired swarms of missiles from its fingertips. The missiles exploded through nearby buildings with bursts of flame. 

 

The Rangers arrived just in time to see the Dragonzord destroy a multinational corporation building.

 

“Now since when does he have a zord?” Mammoth Ranger asked.

 

“Zordon called it the Dragonzord,” Tricera Ranger said. “Maya’s data concurred.”

 

“Whatever it is,” Tyranno Ranger said, “we’re taking it out!”

 

The five Rangers raised their hands into the air and shouted “Dinozords arise!”

 

Five armored dinosaur creatures stomped through the streets. The Rangers hopped into their cockpits. Each beast moved as if alive, covered with shining armor. The cockpits were wedged inside that armor.

 

“Dinozord fusion!” Tyranno Ranger shouted.

 

The five zords stomped through the streets and started to reshape. The Tyrannosaurus streaked forward, gliding off the ground as the Triceratops and Saber-toothed Tiger slammed into position as legs. The Mammoth came up from behind and wrapped around the back of Tyranno to form arms. The Pterodactyl moved in and formed a shield of chest armor as the zord stood upright.

 

The Megadinozord snapped into a fighting stance as energy crackled across its armor.

 

“Power Rangers!” Dragon Ranger shouted from the rooftops. “Prepare to meet your end!”

 

Dragon Ranger played another melody with his flute. The deep sound roared with power. The melody commanded the Dragonzord to fire a volley of missiles from its fingertips. The missiles exploded against the Megadinozord’s armor with bursts of spark.

 

Megadinozord recovered from the blasts and stomped forward to attack. But the evil Dragonzord armed its drill-tail whip and swung the weapon forward. The whip smashed the Megadinozord across the face.

 

Dragon Ranger laughed as his zord slammed a head blow against the Megazord’s chest. “Your zord is nothing compared to mine!”

 

“We’ll see about that,” Tyranno Ranger shouted back. “Megadinozord Saber!”

 

The Megadinozord armed its double-edged blade. The zord moved forward and slashed across the Dragonzord with an ‘x’ formation, explosions sparking on impact. The attack forced Dragonzord back.

 

“Megadinozord Saber, Battle Crash!” The Rangers shouted from the cockpit. The Megazord raised its sword into the air, and the blade crackling with crimson power.

 

Megadinozord swung its saber through a fierce horizontal arc. The slash exploded against the Dragonzord, knocking the evil zord backward. Dragonzord smashed against the building Dragon Ranger was standing on, causing the building to crumble.

 

Dragon Ranger fell off the building and stumbled down through the air, landing back-first in the small Valley Creek Park. A single bridge-covered creek ran through the grassy park, which was dotted with few trees.

 

The Rangers leapt from the Megazord and flipped down to Valley Creek Park to face the Dragon Ranger.

 

Dragon Ranger used his sword to steady himself and rise to his feet. He snapped into a fighting stance and readied his sword and dagger, squeezing both weapons tightly. “You’ll pay!”

 

Dragon Ranger and the Power Rangers charged towards each other. Tiger Ranger somersaulted through the air with her daggers in hand. “Power Flares!”

 

Tiger Ranger fired yellow-tinted energy flares from her daggers. Dragon Ranger leapt to the side to avoid the flares. He held his own dagger and charged it with jade-colored energy.

 

“Dragon’s Claw!” Dragon Ranger swung his dagger and fired a green energy blade that exploded against the ground, creating a shockwave. The shockwave blasted and scattered the Rangers.

 

Dragon Ranger flipped forward before landing back on his feet. Mammoth Ranger tried to sneak attack from behind the villain, but Dragon Ranger snapped his foot around and hook kicked the Black Ranger across the helmet.

 

“Power Torrent!” The Blue Ranger spun his Tricera Lance like a helicopter blade and fired a cyclone of blue energy. Dragon Ranger braced himself as the energy spread around him and exploded against his golden chest shield with bursts of spark.

 

Slightly off balance, Dragon Ranger was ill prepared as Tyranno Ranger charged forward and slashed the Green Ranger across the chest with a series of strikes. The blade sparked against the villain’s armor on impact.

 

Dragon Ranger spun with the last strike and snapped a roundhouse kick that slammed Tyranno Ranger out of the way. Dragon Ranger leapt high into the air and prepared to swing both his blades down against Ptera Ranger.

 

“Arrow Shockwave!” Ptera Ranger fired an energy-laced arrow that streaked towards Dragon Ranger.

 

The arrow struck Dragon Ranger in the center of his helmet and exploded, splitting a crack along its center. The helmet cracked open to reveal his true face as he fell back-first onto the ground.

 

Dragon Ranger’s armor dissipated, revealing his true form. He was unconscious, face up. The Rangers slowly gathered around him, not sure if it was a trick.

 

“It’s him!” Tyranno Ranger practically shouted as the team gathered around Dragon Ranger. It was Tommy Oliver.

 

“He’s…just like us…” Tricera Ranger said. He had expected Dragon Ranger to be either a demon or at least an adult.

 

“Oh man...” Mammoth Ranger said.

 

***

 

Bandora wrinkled her brow as she watched Tommy from her balcony.

 

“Goldar!” she shouted.

 

She was not about to lose her prize.

 

***

 

An hour later, Maya leaned on the ground next to Tommy. She wiped blood from the unconscious ranger’s forehead as Simon sat by her side.

 

“I really don’t think that’s a good idea, Maya,” Jason said. Dragon Ranger was a killer. Human or not.

 

“Jason, he’s hurt,” Maya protested as she continued to wipe his wounds.

 

“He’s one of them,” Zack said.

 

“No,” Maya said sternly. “He’s a human being, not some monster.”

 

Tommy groaned as his body stirred. Maya and Simon inched backward, while Jason stepped forward, ready to attack if he had to. Tommy slowly sat up and rubbed the back of his head, and the five rangers snapped into fighting stances.

 

Maya tilted her head and leaned forward towards Tommy, keeping her voice as calm as possible. “Are you alright?”

 

Tommy wrinkled his brow with confusion. He turned his head towards Maya and narrowed his eyes. “Why…? Why did you help me?”

 

“You were hurt,” Maya said.

 

Tommy shook his head and rose to his feet. He slowly started to walk away, his balance slightly off.

 

“Hey pal,” Zack said. “Where do you think you’re going?”

 

Tommy looked back and glared at Zack while continuing to walk.

 

Tommy stopped when he noticed his reflection in the stream. He kneeled down and looked at himself through the water. “That face…my face…” He groaned and grabbed his head.

 

“Tommy,” Simon shouted as he ran over to him. “Are you going to be okay? You’re good now right?”

 

“Good?” Tommy asked, as if the word confused him. He shook his head and rose.

 

“So what now, Tommy?” Jason asked. “Will you go back to Bandora?”

 

“No!” Tommy shouted. “I will never go back there, Rangers!”

 

“Tommy,” Kimberly said, “maybe you should sit down. You’ve been through a lot.”

 

“I don’t need to sit,” Tommy said. “I need…I…“ Tommy groaned, felt his head, and nearly stumbled forward. “I need to get away from you.”

 

“So, Dragon Ranger,” Goldar said as he appeared with Scorpina and the three Dark Warlords. “I knew you were a coward, but I never thought you’d turn into a runaway.”

 

“Go back to your hole Goldar!” Tommy shouted as he and the others snapped into fighting stances.

 

“I will, and I’m taking you with me!” Goldar yelled as he extended his sword.

 

“I won’t go back!” Tommy shouted.

 

“You don’t have a choice!” Secmet yelled as he and the other two warlords charged at the ranger.

 

“Dino Buckler!” Tommy thrust out his morpher and flipped it open. He transformed into his Ranger form and charged towards the warlords.

 

Goldar and Scorpina circled around the other five rangers.

 

“Let’s do it,” Jason shouted as he and the others thrust their bucklers forward.

 

“Dino buckler!” they shouted as energy shimmered around them and they transformed into their armor.

 

Goldar and Scorpina dashed forward and slashed their weapons across the Rangers’ armor with a flurry of strikes. Goldar struck Mammoth Ranger across the chest with an upward slash, and in the same arc, brought his blade around to horizontally slash Tyranno Ranger across the chest.

 

Scorpina blocked a kick by Tricera Ranger and slammed a kick of her own against the Blue Ranger’s faceplate. Scorpina followed with a powerful swing that cut across Tiger Ranger’s chest.

 

Ptera Ranger led Maya and Simon to safety.

 

“Stay here,” she told them before turning and joining the fight.

 

“Web of Deception!” the Dark Warlord Dayus shouted as his six-pronged blade extended and slammed into the ground, producing an energy web that caught Dragon Ranger in midair.

 

“You’ve always been the weakest of us,” Dayus taunted. “You’re no true warlord.”

 

“We’ll see about that, Dayus!” Dragon Ranger snapped loose from the webs and drop kicked the Warlord of Illusion.

 

Dayus was forced back, but counterattacked by using his blades as spears aimed towards the Green Ranger’s head. Dragon Ranger grabbed the spears and used them to flip Dayus backward, sending the villain sprawling into the creek.

 

Secmet of Venom rushed in behind Dragon Ranger and stabbed him in the back repeatedly at hyper speeds. Each strike exploded with a shower of sparks upon impact.

 

“Black Lightning Flash!” Kayl shouted as his blade fired a storm of dark energy that enveloped the Green Ranger and forced him to the ground.

 

Tyranno Ranger held Goldar’s sword at bay as he watched Dragon Ranger. “We can’t let them take Tommy,” he said as he kicked Goldar out of the way and ran towards the warlords.

 

“I don’t think so,” Secmet said as he looked at Tyranno Ranger. “Snake Bite Strike!”

 

Secmet fired a venom blast that knocked Tyranno Ranger onto his back. Tyranno Ranger used his sword for balance and rose back to his feet. The other four Rangers battled Goldar and Scorpina around him.

 

“Man, these guys are tough,” Tyranno Ranger said as he moved to help his teammates. He swung his sword towards Goldar’s head. Goldar held his blade high and blocked the blow before slamming the end of his handle against the Ranger’s helmet.

 

Nearby, Kayl slashed Dragon Ranger across the chest. Explosions sparked against the Ranger’s armor as he fell backward onto the ground.

 

Kayl stood over the fallen Dragon Ranger and raised his blade over the Green Ranger’s body. A crooked smile spread across Kayl’s face as he prepared to finish the Ranger off.

 

Dragon Ranger suddenly sprang to his knees and shouted “Dragon’s Fang!” hitting Kayl with a load of jade-colored energy at point-blank range. Kayl’s armor was singed as he went flying backward through the air.

 

Kayl grasped onto his wound and rose to his knees. The other two Dark Warlords joined with him to overpower the Dragon Ranger.

 

“Snake bite strike!” Venom shouted as he whipped a jagged blast of crimson energy forward.

 

“Black Lightning Flash!” Kayl shouted as he swung his blade, showering a storm of black lightning towards the Ranger.

 

“Web of Deception!” the Warlord of Illusion shouted. He fired a web with his pronged blades.

 

Crimson and black blasts exploded against Dragon Ranger and tossed him backward as webbing encased him, hindering his movements.

 

“No!” Dragon Ranger shouted as the Warlords held him up in victory.

 

Goldar slashed Mammoth Ranger out of the way with a strike from his blade. “Don’t worry, Rangers,” the simian said as he and Scorpina joined the warlords. “You’ll see the Dragon Ranger again soon enough!”

 

The villains shimmered away.

 

“Maya…” Simon grabbed hold of his older sister‘s shirt sleeve. “What’s going to happen to Tommy?”

 

She shook her head. “I don’t know Simon.”

 

The Rangers stood quietly, not knowing what the future held for the Dragon Ranger.

 

To be continued…Chapter 12