The Dragon’s Rise: Chapter Twenty-one

Only Helpless

 

Billy sat on Maya’s bedroom floor with her grandfather’s laptop computer open on his lap. He sifted through dozens of data files and journal entries. He reviewed countless streams of data. Maya sat by his side and leaned closer towards the computer screen.

 

“Billy,” Maya asked, “do you really think my grandfather’s data will have a way to bring Tommy’s powers back?”

 

Billy nodded. He never took his eyes of the screen. “There has to be something…”

 

Maya nodded. “I’ll keep looking…” she went to a computer at her desk and started her own data search. Her grandfather had left so much behind. Maya wondered if she would ever know how her grandfather had learned so much about Bandora and the Rangers.

 

A certain file caught her eye. She opened it. “This is interesting…”

 

“What?” Billy asked and glanced in her direction.

 

“I found a file that talks about the first Ranger battle,” Maya said as she scrolled through the file.

 

Billy set the laptop aside and stood. He walked over to Maya’s computer. “Against Bandora?”

 

“No,” she said as she shook her head. “Eons before that. At the beginning of recorded time. Apparently…the galaxy was ruled by an evil tyrant named Sauron. Then the first Ranger team appeared on Eltar and defeated him. They were led by a man named Jestin.”

 

“Huh…” Billy said. “That doesn’t help us with Tommy…but still…” he leaned down and looked over Maya’s shoulder to see the file. “Apparently after that battle, an order of Masters and Rangers was established across the galaxy…fascinating.”

 

Maya looked back at him. “So there are other Ranger teams out there?”

 

Billy shrugged. “Who knows if they’re still out there.

 

***

 

Someone knocked on Kimberly’s door. She nearly jumped off the couch to answer. She straightened her blouse and reached for the door knob. Her heart was pounding in her chest. She had played this moment over and over again in her mind. Now it was about to happen.

 

She opened the door. It was Trini. Kimberly’s body sank with disappointment. “Oh…hi.”

 

Trini smiled. “I’m glad to see you too,” she said sarcastically as she walked into the apartment.

 

Kimberly shook her head and shut the door. “I’m sorry, come in…I thought you may have been Tommy.”

 

“Oh?” Trini asked as she perked an eyebrow.

 

Kimberly nodded. “I haven’t seen him since…” her voice trailed off.

 

Trini nodded and placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder. “I know. He probably feels bad.”

 

“I want to help him,” Kimberly said. “It’s not fair for him to have to go through this alone.”

 

“Maybe he needs to,” Trini said.

 

***

 

Tommy sat alone in Sycamore Woods park in Angel Grove North. A walking trail wrapped around the hill above him. Various pieces of wood-crafted playground equipment dotted the landscape. Towering skyscrapers of white concrete and steel were visible beyond the trees.

 

“Tommy!” a voice called for him. It was Simon. The young boy ran down the hill towards the former ranger.

 

Tommy rose to his feet and turned to face his student. “What are you doing out here?”

 

“I’ve been trying to find you.“ Simon shrugged. “I haven’t seen you in a while. Are we going to practice?”

 

Tommy sighed and shook his head. “I’m not in the mood, pal.”

 

Simon nodded. “You’re sad, huh?”

 

“That’s one way of putting it,” Tommy said with a shrug.

 

Bandora was still waging her war. Tommy could do nothing to stop her. He could not fight to bring Bandora to justice. He could no longer keep her from hurting others like she had hurt him. He was weak. And he felt weak, a side effect of being separated from The Power.

 

Suddenly, Kyra and Gurail shimmered into the park. Gurail snapped his chain as Kyra twirled her sai blades.

 

“You two…” Tommy stood in front of Simon and snapped into a fighting stance. “I’m not a Ranger anymore, so you’re wasting your time.”

 

Gurail smiled and used his gauntlet to sharpen his blade. “I don’t think so…” he tossed his chain forward. “Quake with Fear!”

 

The chain drilled into the ground. More than a dozen chains sprang from the earth like a web and wrapped around Tommy, lifting him from his feet and suspending him in the air.

 

“Simon, run!” Tommy shouted as he struggled against his chains. He saw Simon hesitate below. The chains tightened around Tommy, nearly ripping through his body and crushing his lungs.

 

“Tommy!” Simon shouted.

 

“Go!” Tommy yelled. He watched Simon run off.

 

Gurail stalked forward with a blood-thirsty grin on his face. “This will be too easy…I want to at least make it last.”

 

“You’re a coward, Gurail,” Tommy said, “attacking me when I can’t fight back.”

 

“I’m not very picky when it comes to getting revenge against traitors,” Gurail said.

 

***

 

Maya and Billy continued their search through computer files. Maya was at her desk while Billy sat on the floor with the laptop. Simon suddenly burst into the room. He ran over to his sister.

 

“It’s Tommy!” he shouted and grabbed his sister’s arm. “He needs help! He’s being attacked and he can’t fight back!”

 

“Where?” Billy set the laptop aside and rose to his feet.

 

“In Sycamore Woods!” Simon said.

 

Billy ran off.

 

***

 

Gurail leapt through the air. The villain launched a flying sidekick that slammed against Tommy’s chest. Tommy was ripped from the chains and tumbled towards the ground. His back crashed hard onto the earth.

 

Tommy coughed as he struggled to sit up and regain his breath. “Nice kick…”

 

“Flattery will get you nowhere.” Gurail prepared to strike again.

 

***

 

Goldar and Scorpina were in their private chambers. They watched through their crystal ball as Gurail taunted the helpless former Green Ranger. Goldar snarled and had to restrain himself from swatting the crystal ball off its pedestal. “This isn’t fair! I should be the one to destroy the boy!”

 

Scorpina nodded. How could Bandora let those two lesser creatures kill Tommy? Scorpina knew she and Goldar had more than deserved that right. “My patience is wearing thin with Bandora.”

 

***

 

Gurail kicked Tommy upside the head. Tommy went flying backward and slammed against a tree. He slid to the ground, his body bruised and battered. But he found the strength to rise back to his feet. “That all you got?”

 

Gurail narrowed his eyes. “Foolish boy!” he shouted as he ran towards his opponent.

 

The five rangers dashed to the scene and stood between Tommy and Gurail, facing off with the villain while snapping into fighting stances. Kimberly glanced back at the former Green Ranger. “Tommy…”

 

Jason reached for his morpher, and the others followed his lead. They snapped the devices open. “Dino Buckler!” Energy flashed across the five young teens as they transformed into their armor.

 

The Red Ranger armed his Tyranno Sword and dashed towards Gurail. The two opponents clashed blades, pressing against each other’s weapons with a fierce display of strength. Tyranno Ranger sidestepped, using Gurail’s force against him as the villain toppled forward. Tyranno Ranger spun and slashed his sword across the villain’s armor as he dropped.

 

Kyra hovered in the air and spun her twin sai blades. The weapons vibrated with light-tinted crimson. “Star Light Scream!”

 

Jagged bursts of crimson lightning lashed out and exploded against Ptera Ranger and Tricera Ranger’s armor. The two Rangers went crashing backward through tree branches.

 

Tiger Ranger leapt through the air and tossed her daggers towards Kyra. The daggers slashed against Kyra’s armor and knocked her from the air. She landed on the ground as Mammoth Ranger dashed forward and swung his Blade Blaster at her. She parried the blow and slashed across Mammoth Ranger’s chest with a shower of sparks.

 

Tommy stood by and watched. The Rangers were doing fine without him…what did that mean? Did they really ever need him at all? Was this how he was going to spend the rest of his life, standing by and watching as others had to protect him? He didn’t want protection. Tommy walked away.

 

The five Rangers combined their weapons to form a single cannon. They aimed the cannon at the two villains. “Power Blaster…fire!”

 

Five streams of energy lashed out from the cannon, combined into one, and exploded against the two villains with a massive burst of fiery energy. Gurail and Kyra were blasted backward, secondary explosions ripping across their armor.

 

The two villains slowly climbed back to their feet. Gurail narrowed his eyes at the Rangers. “You’ve won this round, but don’t get too accustomed to victory.”

 

Kyra and Gurail shimmered away.

 

Ptera Ranger turned to where she last saw Tommy, but he was gone. She shook her head. “Where’d Tommy go?”

 

Tyranno Ranger shook his head. “I don’t know.”

 

***

 

Tommy sat alone at Bear Lake. He tossed small rocks into the water. I’m useless like this…useless…

 

To be continued…Chapter 22