The Dragon’s Rise: Chapter Eighteen

Struggling with Revenge

 

Jason kneeled at his sister Janet’s grave. He laid a bouquet of flowers down near the stone. “I know I haven’t been here in a while…I’m sorry. I’ve been busy. I think you’d be proud of me though. We’ve done a lot of good.”

 

The Rangers had destroyed half a dozen monsters during the last week, saving hundreds of lives.

 

Jason sighed and shook his head. His sister’s death weighed down his shoulders. “I’m feeling a little better. My friends helped a lot. Even Zack, who apparently is over his drug problem.” A tear made its way down Jason’s cheek as the wind started to blow. “I miss you.”

 

***

 

Jason and Tommy slowly walked through the night-lit city. The two rangers were quickly becoming friends, a startling development since they were mortal enemies no more than two months earlier.

 

“It’s been kind of quiet tonight,” Jason said. His gaze drifted up towards the moon.

 

Tommy nodded. “Trust me though…they’re always up to something.”

 

Jason nodded. Before he could answer, he saw something that made him stop dead in his tracks. He stared down a dark alley, noticing a mark of graffiti against the brick. The symbol was a dark-purple dragon. “That sign…”

 

Jason sprinted down the alley and moved into the darkness. He stopped beneath the gang sign and looked up.

 

Tommy ran to Jason’s side. “What is it, Jase?”

 

“That gang sign…” Jason rolled his hands into fists and narrowed his eyes. “It’s the same one we saw that night…when Janet…”

 

“This must be their turf too,” Tommy said. “We’d probably better move on.”

 

“Good idea,” a voice said from the shadows. A punk dressed in a black leather jacket stepped forward. The punk’s fellow gangsters stepped out and surrounded the two rangers.

 

The lead punk tilted his head while looking to Jason. “I remember you, blondie. Didn’t you learn your lesson last time?”

 

“Bastard!” Jason lunged towards the lead punk.

 

A group of gangsters stepped forward to protect their leader. They were hungry for action, although they’d soon regret it. Jason spun forward and slammed an elbow blow across a gangster’s head while snapping a hook kick across a second fighter’s head.

 

Three of the gang members pulled out knives and tried to sneak up behind Jason’s back. Tommy intercepted them. He grabbed a punk’s weapon arm and twisted the fighter’s wrist. The knife dropped to the ground, and Tommy slammed a palm-heel blow against the fighter’s chest.

 

Tommy grabbed the next fighter by the arm and hurled the teen off his feet. Tommy flipped the fighter and slammed him to the ground. Tommy turned to the right and slammed a sidekick against a third fighter’s face.

 

One of the gangsters pulled out a gun and aimed towards Jason.

 

“Jason, duck!” Tommy shouted as he dashed forward and pushed Jason to the ground. A pair of bullets whizzed by them. Tommy grabbed a trash can lid and hurled it forward like a throwing disk, knocking the gun from the gang member’s hand.

 

Some of the fighters ran away, fleeing from the alley. The gang leader hesitated and glared at Jason. “You want to fight, blondie? Meet me here tomorrow night. Alone.”

 

The leader turned and ran away from the alley. Jason’s frustration exploded inside him. He turned and slammed his fist against a brick wall.

 

***

 

Jason was outside his sensei’s dojo the next day. It was almost night. He was punching and kicking a tree wrapped in tight rope. Roundkick. Knifehand. Reverse punch. Low roundkick. High roundkick. Each blow shook the branches and splintered bark beneath the rope.

 

Tommy slowly walked onto the dojo grounds and quietly approached Jason.

 

“What?” Jason asked as he slammed another pair of kicks against the tree.

 

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Tommy said, his arms crossed over his chest. “Let the police handle it.”

 

“Screw the police,” Jason said as he slammed another kick and punch combo against the tree. “They didn’t help then, they won’t help now. I’m putting those guys out of business.”

 

“This isn’t like fighting Bandora,” Tommy said. “We’re bound by the law in things like this.”

 

“Screw the law,” Jason said. He slammed another kick against the tree and rattled its branches.

 

“If you need me…” Tommy pointed to his communicator. “You call. I’ll bring in my Dragonzord if I have to.”

 

Jason stopped and turned to face Tommy. The ranger relaxed for a moment and nodded. “I will.”

 

***

 

Jason walked back through the dark alley. No one was in sight. A light cloud of fog hovered above the streets. He stopped in the center of the alley and rolled his hands up into fists. “I’m here!”

 

The gang leader stepped forward. The rest of his punks surrounded Jason and formed a circle. The leader had a smug grin on his face. “I didn’t think you’d actually show, blondie.”

 

“My name is Jason.” He stepped into a fighting stance.

 

The leader laughed and raised his fists. “Mine’s Logan.”

 

The opponents circled around each other. Jason’s glare was cold as ice and hot as fire. Logan had a smug grin on his face. Jason was anxious to wipe the grin off.

 

Logan launched forward and swung a flurry of punches towards Jason. Each punch was sloppy, and Jason dodged the blows with ease. Logan threw a right hook punch. Jason grabbed Logan’s arm and punched the punk to the ground.

 

Logan started to rise back onto his feet, but Jason slammed a swift kick upside the punk’s head. Logan fell back, crashing against his spine.

 

Jason leaned down, lifted Logan slightly by the shirt, and started punching Logan repeatedly in the face. The punk’s nose cracked beneath Jason’s knuckles. Jason hesitated for a moment, noticing the punk’s blood-soaked face.

 

Jason had almost killed the teen. He had lost control.

 

“Do it…” Logan said.

Jason shook his head and tossed Logan to the ground. “No…I’m better than that…better than you…”

 

Logan spat blood from his mouth. “Pussy.”

 

“I just let you live,” Jason said. He turned and started to walk away. The gang members stepped aside out of fear and allowed Jason to pass.

 

A group of rock soldiers appeared out of nowhere, dropped from the shadows, and split up while slamming blows against the gang members.

 

“Not here!” Jason shouted.

 

A rock soldier swung an arm blade towards his head. Jason sidestepped and slammed a knifehand blow against the back of the grunt’s neck. The other grunts split up, slamming kicks and punches against the gang members.

 

A grunt leapt forward, aiming its arm blade down towards Logan’s head. Jason instinctively pushed Logan out of the way, getting slashed across the back in the process. Jason slumped against the ground.

 

Logan rose to his knees nearby. “What the…Why…”

 

“Like I said…” Jason said. A bat monster shimmered onto the street further down the alley. “I’m better than you…”

 

Jason rose back to his feet, despite his injured back, and moved towards the monster while arming his morpher. “Dino Buckler!”

 

Tyranno Ranger snapped into a fighting stance and faced off with the monster. “Tyranno Ranger, Red!”

 

Logan’s eyes opened wide with shock. His fellow gang members ran off with fear, except for the ones who were frozen with terror.

 

Tyranno Ranger charged towards the monster with his sword held high. He swung the weapon hard through a horizontal arc. The blade slashed across the villain’s chest with a shower of sparks.

 

Tyranno Ranger brought his blade back down towards the bat’s neck. DoraBat parried the blow and grabbed the Ranger by the neck. The bat pulled Tyranno Ranger closer and tried to bite down on his neck.

 

Tyranno Ranger screamed as the monster’s fangs bit down. The teeth tried to push through the armor around the Red Ranger’s neck. Tyranno Ranger struggled, but he could not break free from the monster’s grasp.

 

Dragon Ranger suddenly appeared and slammed a flying sidekick against DoraBat. The creature was knocked backward and went crashing against the alley’s brick wall.

 

Dragon Ranger moved over and stood next to his teammate. He reached down and helped Tyranno Ranger back to his feet. “I told you to call.”

 

“I was a bit preoccupied,” Tyranno Ranger said as he rubbed his injured neck.

 

The monster shrieked as it charged towards the two Rangers. Tyranno Ranger and Dragon Ranger leapt to the side as the monster lunged between them.

 

“Dragon’s Claw!” Dragon Ranger swung his emerald blade, which fired a green energy wave.

 

“Power Blade!” Tyranno Ranger swung his weapon downward. The blade emitted a crimson energy wave.

 

The two energy waves combined with a brilliant flash of power that exploded through the creature, incinerating him completely.

 

Tyranno Ranger and Dragon Ranger turned to face the fallen gang leader, Logan. The teen’s face was pale, and his breathing quick and shallow. He was afraid. The two Rangers slowly walked towards him.

 

Tyranno Ranger glared down at the punk. “You killed my sister. And you’ve probably killed others…I suggest you turn yourself in.”

 

“Or…or…” Logan swallowed and rose to his knees, struggling to regain his confidence. “Or what? You won’t kill me…”

 

Dragon Ranger moved forward in a blur of motion and lifted Logan from the ground. The Ranger slammed the punk back-first against a brick wall and held his dagger to Logan’s throat. “I will.”

 

Logan nodded. Dragon Ranger released the punk. Logan scurried away as fast as his legs could carry him.

 

***

 

A week later, Jason kneeled at his sister’s grave. He laid a flower on the ground and put a newspaper next to it. “Well…I hope this makes you rest easier, Janet. He’ll be spending his life in prison.”

 

He shook his head. “Maybe I should have…no…you hated violence. I’d like to think this is what you would have wanted.” He smiled as tears streamed down his cheek. “It is…”

 

To be continued…Chapter 19