The Dragon’s Rise: Chapter Fifteen

Making Friends

 

Billy found Tommy moving through a kata at Bear Lake. Billy tilted his head and paid close attention to the newest ranger’s moves. “What style is that?”

 

Tommy looked through the corner of his eyes at Billy. Then he continued with his kata. “Hakkyokuseiken.”

 

Billy shook his head. “I’ve never heard of it.”

 

Tommy moved through a series of kicks and punches. The style was a mix of Dragon-Fist kung-fu, karate, Tae Kwan-do, and ninjutsu. “There aren’t a lot of people around any more that know it.” 

 

Billy nodded and took a few steps closer to Tommy. “Master Kosugi taught me the Jinenkan style. It’s a blend of Zui Quan Kung Fu, koppojutsu, ninjutsu, bojutsu and judo.” 

 

“Who’s master Kosugi?” Tommy asked. He was very familiar with the Jinenkan style, one of two styles taught at the Ikkazuchi Way, a rival school to Tommy’s Hayate Way.  

 

Billy smiled sheepishly and rubbed the back of his head. “As weird as it sounds, he’s a janitor at my school.”

 

Tommy grinned. “Everybody’s gotta make a living.”

 

Billy smiled and nodded. “He was the only friend I had until all this…Ranger business happened.”

 

“Why’s that?” Tommy asked after snapping a round house kick.

 

“I just kind of…secluded myself after my mother died,” Billy said.

 

Tommy stopped for a moment and turned to face Billy. “I’m sorry.”

 

“It’s okay,” Billy said.

 

“So what brings you up here?” Tommy asked.

 

Billy shrugged. “Well, Kimberly says you come here a lot and…well...I can tell you’re holding a lot in like I used to…still do sometimes…so I just wanted to let you know that if you ever want someone to talk to, I’ll be here.”

 

Tommy nodded. “Thanks.”

 

“Well, I’ll let you get back to practice,” Billy said as he started to walk off.

 

Tommy paused for a moment. “Hey, Billy…You want to hang around and practice with me?”

 

Billy smiled. “Sure.”

 

***

 

Bandora paced back and forth in front of her armored warrior Gurail and his mistress Kyra. They were standing near the balcony on Bandora’s palace. “It’s time for you two to take action,” Bandora said. “Goldar and Scorpina have failed me, the Dark Warlords have been killed…I’m hoping that you two will develop a better track record.”

 

“Yes mistress.” Gurail bowed his head low.

 

Bandora nodded, pleased by the soldier’s obedience. “Good. Now…The Dragon Ranger remains a thorn in my side. I want him killed.”

 

“It will be done,” Gurail said.

 

***

 

Tommy and Billy sparred at Bear Lake. They exchanged fluid strikes and blows in a harmony of motion and strength. Passersby occasionally stopped to watch the fight, which looked more like a dance.

 

The two rangers finished their match. Tommy patted his face with a nearby towel. “Not bad. Your style seems different than what I’m used to.”

 

“It’s because my powers aren’t active,” Billy said.

 

Tommy raised an eyebrow. “Huh?”

 

“I’ve been doing a lot of research on our powers,” Billy explained. “When we morph, the Life Energy of our Dinozord is channeled through our Body. That changes our fighting spirit and therefore our fighting style.”

 

Tommy grinned and nodded. “I’m sorry I asked.”

 

A thundering noise suddenly boomed through the skies as a voice shouted: “Star Light Scream!” Pink lightning exploded against the ground around Tommy and Billy. The rangers barely managed to roll out of the way. They looked up to see Kyra and Gurail.

 

“Kyra…” Tommy said. Half her face was covered in a light-colored cloth, and she wore a large medallion over her chest. Seeing her flooded Tommy with mixed feelings, feelings he still did not understand.

 

“Old friends of yours?” Billy asked.

 

Tommy nodded. His mind was torn. He never thought he would have to fight her. He never thought she would attack him.

 

“Don’t make this any harder than it has to be,” Kyra said as she aimed one of her sai blades forward.

 

“Kyra…don’t do this...you’re…different from them,” Tommy pleaded.

 

“I’m not,” she said. “Star Light Scream!” The two sabers she carried radiated with energy that blasted around the two teens. Tommy and Billy rolled out of the way as explosions sparked across the ground. They rose back to their feet and pulled out their morphers.

 

“Dino Buckler!” they shouted as they snapped their bucklers open. Energy shimmered around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms.

 

“Dragon Ranger, Green!”

 

“Tricera Ranger, Blue!”

 

The two Rangers charged towards their opponents. The Green Ranger armed his Dragon Dagger, and Tricera Ranger armed his Blade Blaster in its short-sword mode.

 

“Quake with Fear!” Gurail shouted. He sent his chain piercing through the ground near the two Rangers. Dozens of chains sprouted from the earth and formed a web of metal that trapped the two Rangers in midair.

 

Kyra leapt towards the trapped Rangers and spun her blades, ready to deliver a final blow to incinerate them. But Tyranno Ranger suddenly appeared and chopped Kyra out of the air with his sword.

 

The other three Rangers used their Blade Blasters to chop Dragon Ranger and Tricera Ranger free from the binding chains.

 

Dragon Ranger landed in a crouched fighting position and held tightly onto his dagger. He leapt forward and pounced through the air, swinging his blade downward towards Gurail.

 

Gurail parried the blow and slashed his blade upward, sparking across the Green Ranger’s armor.

 

Tyranno Ranger and Mammoth Ranger moved in towards Kyra. She slammed a spinning heel kick across Mammoth Ranger’s helmet, knocking the Black Ranger backward.

 

Tyranno Ranger spun forward and slashed his blade across Kyra’s chest with a burst of spark that knocked her backward. She stumbled across the ground.

 

“Kyra!” Gurail shouted as he ran to his lover and knelt by her side. He scooped Kyra up into his arms.

 

“I’m alright,” Kyra said as she placed a hand against his chest.

 

Gurail shook his head. Kyra was injured. He would take his own life and sacrifice victory to save her. “I’m getting you back to the palace.”

 

The two villains shimmered away.

 

Mammoth Ranger tilted his head, watching with confusion as the two villains vanished. “What was that about?”

 

“They’re in love,” Dragon Ranger said, staring ahead at where the two lovers had been standing.

 

“Huh,” Mammoth Ranger said. “Weird…”

 

***

 

“I am surrounded by incompetents!” Bandora shouted. She pulled out a card, whispered an incantation, and threw the card towards the Earth. The card pulsed with dark light as it cut into the planet’s atmosphere. The card materialized as a three-headed dragon on the planet’s surface.

 

***

 

DoraHydra grew giant and roared. It snapped its three jaws in a fierce display of power and strength. The Rangers lifted their heads and stared at the giant beast.

 

“Our problems just got bigger,” Tyranno Ranger said.

 

“Dinozords arise!” the five Rangers shouted as they lifted their hands towards the skies. The five zords appeared and stomped forward, charging in to face the three-headed dragon. The Rangers leapt into their cockpits.

 

“Dragonzord!” Dragon Ranger shouted as he lifted his Dragon Dagger to his mouthpiece. He played a battle tune that summoned his zord from the sea. Dragonzord joined the Dinozords and rushed towards the three-headed monster.

 

“Dragonzord fusion!” Tyranno Ranger commanded. Dragonzord combined with the Mammoth, Triceratops, and Sabertooth Tiger. The MegaDragonzord snapped into a fighting stance as the five Rangers joined in its cockpit.

 

The Tyrannosaurus moved in, spun, and slammed its armored tail across one of the dragon’s heads. The creature retaliated by firing an ice blast that encased Tyranno in a frozen shell.

 

The left head fired a blast of molten rock that shattered the ice shell, exploded against the zord’s armor, and knocked Tyranno to the streets below.

 

“This dude is tough,” Tyranno Ranger said. He moved the MegaDragonzord forward to attack.

 

Before the MegaDragonzord could strike, the dragon’s right head fired an electric blast that exploded against the zord’s armor, nearly overwhelming the MegaDragonzord.

 

“Guys!” Dragon Ranger shouted from below. “Aim for the center head! That’s its weak spot!”

 

“Right,” Tyranno Ranger answered back.

 

“Mega Spear Crash!” the Rangers shouted. The drill spear started to spin and crackle with energy. The spear thrust forward and punctured through DoraHydra’s center head with a massive burst of spark. The monster fell backward, its energy overloading and exploding.

 

***

 

Young Simon walked home from school through a park area within Angel Grove North. Two other kids from school were with him.

 

“My dad said the Rangers are fake,” one of the kids, Brad said.

 

“Yeah,” another boy, Keagan said. “Mine said they’re really a bunch of terrorists. “

 

“No,” Simon said. He wrinkled his brow at his classmates. “They’re heroes.”

 

Brad and Keagan exchanged looks and laughed at Simon.

 

“What do you know, preacher’s boy?” Brad said.

 

“Yeah,” Keagan said. “Get lost, twirp.”

Brad shoved Simon aside. Simon stumbled over his feet and collapsed onto the ground. Brad and Keagan laughed as they walked off.

 

“Hey!” Simon shouted after them. His eyes narrowed. He pulled himself to his feet,  turned, and slammed his fist against a tree. “I hate them!”

 

“Hate is a pretty strong word.” Tommy stepped out from nearby and walked over to Simon while staring in the direction where Brad and Keagan left. “Those guys give you trouble?”

 

Simon nodded. His brow was still wrinkled with anger. “They’re bullies.”

 

“You’re better than them, you know,” Tommy said. “For not pushing back.”

 

“I don’t push them back because I’m a wimp.” He sat down on the ground and hung his head low. Tommy sat next to him.

 

“I used to be like you,” Tommy said.

 

“A wimp?” Simon asked.

 

Tommy shrugged. “That’s what I thought at least.”

 

“So you went from being a wimp to being the strongest Ranger?”

 

Tommy blushed. “I’m not the strongest.”

 

“Sure you are,” Simon said.

 

“Well…it’s not about how strong you are anyway. It’s all about your inner spirit. And martial arts helped me to hone my inner spirit, my chi. It gave me a lot of confidence. I can teach you if you want.”

 

“Really?” Simon asked as his face lit up.

 

Tommy nodded. “Yeah.”

 

“Cool!”

 

Kimberly watched the two from a distance and smiled at the sight of Tommy and Simon. “Welcome back, Tommy…”

 

To be continued…Chapter 16