The Dragon’s Rise: Chapter Twenty-two

Regaining Strength

 

Zordon looked down at Billy. The rangers’ mentor tried to absorb what Billy had suggested. It was frightening how fast Billy was learning about the One Power. “It’s a risky plan, Billy…I’m not even certain it will work.”

 

“I think we should try, Zordon,” Billy said while standing alongside Alpha-5.

 

“We will leave that up to Tommy,” Zordon answered.

 

Billy’s ambition reminded Zordon of his own days as a youth. Only his methods were based less on science, and tempered with experience...

 

***

 

Earth: The dinosaur era

 

Zordon sat on the stone floor. His white cloak covered his body. His hood covered his face with shadow. He had followed DaiSatan to Earth. But the evil spirit was too strong for the mage to face alone.

 

DaiSatan commanded a vast army. An army he seemed to be able to turn giant at whim. How could any warrior fight a monster taller than the tallest building on Eltar? Not even a Ranger could battle a creature so large.

 

Zordon silently cursed himself for thinking he could handle DaiSatan alone. He wished a Ranger team could have helped him. But the Rangers were gone, thanks to Lord Zedd and his empire of evil. The entire order had been wiped out.

 

Zordon searched within himself for answers. He sat in a deep cavern that the natives, the Ryujinn, considered their holy temple. The shrine behind Zordon had five statues modeled after the dinosaurs. The Ryujinn worshiped the dinosaurs as their gods. Zordon could understand why, having witnesses the primal power of the beasts.

 

An image struck Zordon. Flashes of time danced across his mind’s eye. He felt like he had been thrown into a rapid stream. He did not fight the current. He moved with it and allowed its ripples to take shape.

 

It wasn’t until that moment that Zordon knew the true power of Earth. The planet was ripe with energy. Energy so pure, that The Power itself seemed to be able to communicate with Zordon.

 

He saw through his mind’s eye: Five dinosaurs, modeled after the five idols behind him. Modeled after the great beasts of the Earth. The creatures were even larger than the dinosaurs. Their skin was thick and covered with armor unlike anything Zordon had witnessed. Armor forged by The Power. No, it was more than that. Creatures born from the One Power itself.

 

There was more. Zordon was washed further down the stream of images. Dinosaurs, wolves, dragons, apes, the phoenix, wildcats, bulls, sharks…

 

Days passed. Then weeks. Months. All in the blink of an eye. Zordon sat in the stream of mind for five years. During that time, massive armored dinosaurs appeared on the island of the Ryujinn. When the creatures of DaiSatan grew too giant for the warriors to handle alone, the mythological beasts appeared and destroyed the giants.

 

The tribes called the beasts ‘zords,’ suspecting Zordon himself had summoned the armored dinosaurs.

 

Zordon was immersed in the river for another five years. He shared such a pure connection with The Power. A connection necessary to summon the zords.

 

Another five years passed. Zordon discovered a new way to harness the power of the armored dinosaurs. Images of six golden coins flashed before his mind’s eye.

 

***

 

An octopus monster covered with pines and spikes lashed out with its tentacles. The tentacles whipped across the Rangers’ chests, sparking against their armor. The Rangers were thrown backward onto the plaza concrete.

 

Mammoth Ranger rolled into a crouched position and aimed his Blade Blaster forward. He fired lances of red energy that exploded against DoraEndos, distracting it while Tyranno Ranger and Tiger Ranger moved in to counter attack.

 

Tiger Ranger somersaulted forward through the air and swung her two daggers downward across the creature, sparking on impact, as Tyranno Ranger moved in. The Red Ranger spun forward while slicing his blade horizontally through DoraEndos.

 

The monster was knocked backward as the five Rangers regrouped. They combined their weapons into a single, powerful cannon they aimed at the creature. “Power Blaster! Fire!”

 

Five streams of energy burst forth from the cannon. The streams combined into a single energy beam that drilled through the monster. The creature’s energy overloaded and exploded, its body incinerating in a sphere of flame.

 

“Alright guys,” Tyranno Ranger said. “Let’s go.”

 

The Rangers ran from the battle scene. From behind a nearby pillar, Tommy stepped out from the shadows. He sighed and walked away.

 

***

 

The rangers stood in front of Zordon. Their mentor told them about Billy’s plan. There was only one problem. “I don’t know where to find him,” Kimberly said of Tommy. “I haven’t seen him in weeks.”

 

“I know,” Billy said. “Do you think Simon would know where he is?”

 

Kimberly shrugged. “It’s worth a shot.”

 

***

 

Tommy led Simon through a kata at Bear Lake. He was surprised at how quickly the boy was learning. Simon seemed to have a knack for martial arts. His skinny frame hid a well of power.

 

Billy and Kimberly approached Tommy and Simon. Tommy stopped and turned to face them. They stared at each other silently for a moment.

 

“Hey…” Tommy said.

 

“Tommy,” Billy said. He took a deep breath. “We may have good news.”

 

***

 

Tommy stood in the Command Chamber, a room he never thought he would set foot in again. The other rangers were around him. He held his old Power Coin in his hand. It felt surreal.

 

Billy was explaining his plan. “So what we do is re-establish your bond with your coin, but not the coin’s link to the Grid.”

 

“The Grid?” Tommy asked.

 

“The Morphing Grid,” Billy said. “It’s what I call The Power.”

 

“This way,” Zordon said. “Bandora will not be able to steal any energy from you, and you will still have access to your Ranger powers.”

 

“The curse she placed on the candle was dependent on your ability to channel power from the Morphing Grid,” Billy said. “Without that ability, her candle is useless.”

 

Tommy’s gaze fixed on his Power Coin. “How can I have any power if I’m cut off from the Grid?”

 

“The Grid uses what I call morphing energy,” Billy explained. “There’s still some residual morphing energy in the coin and in you.”

 

Alpha raised a small metallic cube in the palm of his robotic hand. The device was no larger than Tommy’s coin. “Using this device, we can stabilize that power enough for you to use it.”

 

“But the effects will not be permanent,” Zordon warned. “Your powers could give out at any point during any battle.”

 

Billy nodded in agreement. “Each time the stabilization field fluxes, you’ll lose more power. Eventually your powers will wear down to nothing.”

 

Tommy sighed and stared at the coin. The coin would always be a reminder of his loss. Of his evil deeds. But it was his only source for redemption. “Well…” he said. “Let’s give it a try.”

 

“Tommy…” Kimberly had a look of caution in her eyes.

 

“Kimberly,” Tommy said, lifting his gaze to meet hers. “I’m not about to just sit on the sidelines knowing that my friends are out there risking their lives. I may not have wanted this, but it’s something I have to do…someone I have to be…”

 

She nodded, reluctantly agreeing.

 

“Well…” Billy said. “Let’s go.”

 

Alpha placed the device onto Tommy’s Power Coin. He activated it. A jade burst of energy flashed over the coin and Tommy. He nearly collapsed from the strength of the pulse, but he managed to steady himself.

 

Tommy took in a deep breath. He felt rejuvenated. “I feel it…it’s different, but it’s there.”

 

The Command Chamber’s alarms blared. The rangers turned to the Viewing Globe. A four-armed bull creature was stomping through the city streets. The creature had massive tusks and spines running down its back.

 

“Just in time, too,” Zack said.

 

“Let’s go,” Jason said.

 

***

 

The six teens ran on to the city streets. DoraMinotaur had just used a volley of bone darts to destroy a group of sculptures and statues. The rangers pulled out their morphers.

 

“Dino Buckler!” the six rangers shouted. Energy wrapped around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms.

 

Dragon Ranger stared through his visor at his gloved hands. “It worked…” he felt energy swirl inside of him. But at the same time, he felt smaller than before. He could tell he was not at full strength. He could tell he was cut off from The Power.

 

Tricera Ranger smiled beneath his helmet. His plan had worked. “I knew it…”

 

The monster armed a double edge-axe that he pulled from his thigh. He swung the weapon forward, emitting a whirling energy blade. The Rangers scattered, and the energy blade smashed a nearby statue to powder.

 

Dragon Ranger rolled to his knees and leapt forward, unsheathing his Dragon Dagger and swinging the blade downward. “Dragon’s Claw!” A jade-tinted energy blade cut through the air and exploded against the monster with a ripping shower of sparks.

 

Dragon Ranger landed while chopping his weapon across the monster’s chest, slashing the creature while forcing it backward. Dragon Ranger swung his blade upward, slashing across the monster, blade sparking on impact.

 

Dragon Ranger slammed a sidekick against the creature’s chest. The monster went crashing backward and tumbling across the ground. It rose to its knees just as Tyranno Ranger slashed his sword across the creature’s neck,  decapitating the monster.

 

A streak of dark light shot from the sky and stabbed into the monster’s remains. Bandora’s card made the monster grow to giant size with a burst of power.

 

Dragonzord!” Dragon Ranger played a battle melody on his dagger. The sound summoned the Dragonzord from the ocean.

 

The monster armed his axe and swung forward, sending a twirling energy blade towards the zord. The blade exploded against Dragonzord, but the green-armored beast continued to stomp through the explosions.

 

The other five Rangers raised their hands into the sky. “Dinozords arise!”

 

The five armored beasts stomped through the streets towards their opponent. The Rangers leapt into their cockpits, embedded in the zords’ armor.

 

Dragonzord fusion,” Tyranno Ranger commanded.

 

The Mammoth, Tiger, and Triceratops combined with the Dragonzord to form the MegaDragonzord. The five Rangers joined in its cockpit.

 

MegaDragonzord’s chest shield energized with jade power. The shield fired a massive green energy wave that slammed against the monster and knocked it backward. The energy blast ate away at the creature and dissolved it into nothing.

 

***

 

Kimberly was lying on her couch later that night. Her mother was out late again. She couldn’t remember the last time she saw her. It was well over a week at least.

 

Someone knocked on her door. She slowly moved towards the door and opened it. She stood in shock at who she saw. It was Tommy.

 

“Tommy…hi.” She shook away her surprise and tried to recover. “Come in…”

 

Tommy stepped in, and Kimberly shut the door behind him. He looked nervous. “Hey, Kimberly…I just wanted to apologize for just…disappearing. I-”

 

She reached forward and wrapped her arms around him, holding him in a tight embrace. Tommy hesitated, taken aback like never before. He slowly put his hands around her lower back. “What’s this for…?”

 

She pulled away slightly, keeping her arms around him as she looked into his eyes. A single tear had rolled down her cheek. She smiled at him. “Because if you ever do that again, I’ll hurt you…”

 

Tommy smiled back. “Oh really?”

 

She nodded. “I’ve come to care about you a lot…”

 

“Same here…” Tommy said. Their eyes lingered on each other for a moment. They leaned forward and kissed while pulling each other into a tight embrace.

 

To be continued…Chapter 23