The Dragon’s Rise: Chapter Twenty-four

Betrayal

 

Tommy sat at the shore of Bear Lake. He picked up nearby pebbles and tossed them at the pond. Kimberly walked up and sat besides him. They stared at the lake silently for a few moments. Life had been strange for them recently.

 

Kimberly leaned her head against Tommy’s shoulder. Tommy placed an arm around her.

 

“He said it’s my fault,” Tommy said, his eyes fixed on the water. “My fault.”

 

Kimberly placed a hand on his leg. “He’s just trying to get at you.”

 

“And it’s working,” Tommy said. “I lost her twice, Kim. I couldn’t save her either time…” he shook his head. “I should have known it was her. Something was trying to tell me all along…It was the music she played in the palace. It was the only thing keeping me from going crazy at times. That’s why Gurail…‘loved’ her. And apparently she loved him.”

 

“She was under a spell like you, Tommy,” Kimberly said.

 

He nodded and sniffed back a tear. “Bandora’s going to pay for all this.”

 

***

 

Scorpina was in her private chambers within Bandora’s palace. She watched a bird’s-eye view of Angel Grove span across her viewing crystal. She smiled wickedly to herself. “The time has come…Bandora is weak. Every attempt she’s made at taking this planet has failed. I’m through with her.”

 

She turned to her private collection that lined the walls: dozens of various scorpion creatures, all created by her magick. She pointed her boomerang blade at the creatures. “You will all go to Earth, and in the meantime, I’ll deal with Bandora.”

 

The scorpion creatures shrieked, clamped their jaws, and scraped their claws.

 

***

 

Angel Grove East’s Party City earned its name. Clubs and bars lined streets that never seemed empty. Scorpina’s pets chose those streets as their targets. The creatures shimmered down and spread havoc.

 

Citizens ran in panic as stingers slashed across the crowd. Some of the monsters favored lifting people from the ground and tossing them through nearby buildings and walls. Other monsters spat lines of flame, burning everything in their path.

 

***

 

Bandora wrinkled her brow as she stood on her palace balcony and stared down at the Earth. She watched the scorpions tear through the streets of Angel Grove. “Scorpina’s pets…” she hissed. She had authorized no attack. What was Scorpina up to?

 

Bandora knew she had her answer when footsteps approached her from behind. The witch turned to see Scorpina standing with her blade. The golden-armored warrior raised her blade in a fighting stance. “Bandora…”

 

Bandora laughed at the site of Scorpina. “I see….you really think this will work?”

 

Scorpina aimed her blade at Bandora. The warrior stepped forward in a challenging posture. Bandora smiled and used her right hand to raise her staff in a defensive position. “My foolish child…I made you what you are today.”

 

Scorpina narrowed her eyes. “And yet you never let me fight. You resort to sending half-string warriors to the slaughter.”

 

Scorpina hurled her blade forward. The weapon spun towards Bandora with a high-pitched buzzing sound. The witch lifted her staff and formed an energy shield that deflected the spinning blade.

 

Bandora extended her other hand. She fired strands of dark-purple energy that wrapped tightly around Scorpina. Scorpina screamed as the energy tentacles crackled with electricity that coursed through her veins.

 

Goldar stepped from the shadows and stood in shock at the sight of his empress killing his mate. “Scorpina…”

 

“Stand your ground, Goldar…or die,” Bandora said. “As for you Scorpina…join the fate of the underlings you have sent to Earth.”

 

Bandora teleported Scorpina to the Earth’s surface.

 

***

 

The six teens arrived at Party City. Most of the innocents had cleared the area. Scorpion creatures caused as much property damage as they could, crushing buildings, shattering glass, and knocking down light poles.

 

“It’s like Scorpina opened up her whole zoo,” Tommy said.

 

“Rangers!” a voice called from behind. They turned to see Scorpina standing with her blade boomerang in hand.

 

The Rangers pulled out their morphers and snapped the devices open. “Dino Buckler!” Energy washed across their bodies and they morphed into their Ranger forms.

 

Scorpina raised her blade and stalked towards the Rangers. Her army of scorpion creatures gathered behind her. “This will be our final battle.”

 

“We wouldn’t have it any other way,” Tyranno Ranger said as he armed his Blade Blaster in short-sword mode.

 

The scorpion creatures shrieked and leapt to attack. Tyranno Ranger swung upward, ripped through a creature while spinning forward, and slammed a roundkick against another Scorpion’s head.

 

Mammoth Ranger swung his Blade Blaster downward, slashing across the creature, then slammed an elbow strike against the monster’s chest.

 

Ptera Ranger leapt forward and fired a volley of arrows that speared into a scorpion monster. She landed while smashing her bow against the scorpion’s head. She snapped an outer crescent kick that knocked the scorpion aside.

 

Tiger Ranger stabbed a dagger in the chest of an approaching scorpion. She swung her other dagger down and chopped off the creature’s mandibles.

 

Tricera Ranger spun forward while slashing the throat of a creature. He turned to his left and slammed a jump kick upside a second monster’s head.

 

Dragon Ranger cut past three of the creature with his dagger and pounced towards Scorpina. Dragon Ranger swung his blade at the villain, but she parried the blow and swung her own weapon towards Dragon Ranger’s helmet. Dragon Ranger used his dagger to slap the boomerang blade aside and slash across Scorpina’s chest with a burst of spark.

 

Scorpina spun with the blow and brought her blade swinging towards Dragon Ranger’s neck. Dragon Ranger blocked the blow and slammed a sidekick against Scorpina’s face. Dragon Ranger snapped a hook kick that smashed across the villain’s head.

 

Goldar suddenly shimmered to the area nearby. “No!” Goldar shouted as he ran towards the two combatants.

 

Dragon Ranger reverse hook kicked Scorpina, sending her crashing backward against a building. She crumbled onto the ground. Scorpina slowly rose back to her feet and charged towards the Green Ranger. Dragon Ranger sprinted towards the villain.

 

“Dragon’s Fang!” Dragon Ranger fired a crackling sphere of jade energy from his hand.

 

The energy blast exploded against Scorpina, buckling through her armor and ripping through her chest while punching through her back. Scorpina’s body went flying backward and landed at Goldar’s feet in a lifeless heap.

 

“Scorpina!” Goldar shouted as he leaned over her body. The simian growled at the sight of his lifeless companion. Goldar aimed his sword towards Dragon Ranger and straightened his back to full height. “I hate you with a passion that knows no bounds!”

 

“Shut up and fight,” Dragon Ranger said.

 

Dragon Ranger and Goldar held their blades high as they charged forward, each shouting a war cry. Dragon Ranger launched a flying-double sidekick that slammed against Goldar’s armor. Dragon Ranger landed and swung his blade upward, sparking across Goldar’s blade on impact.

 

Goldar wrapped his left hand around Dragon Ranger’s neck and slashed the Ranger repeatedly across the chest, slashes sparking with each strike. Dragon Ranger grabbed Goldar’s wrist and flipped backward, kicking both feet upside the villain’s head.

 

Dragon Ranger reverse sidekicked Goldar in the chest and spinning hook kicked him across the head. Goldar snarled and tackled against Dragon Ranger. The Ranger was forced backward and went smashing through a nearby wall, debris scattering everywhere as they landed on the floor of a bar. Goldar was on top of the Ranger.

 

They had both dropped their blades. Dragon Ranger rolled backward, placing his feet on Goldar’s chest and hands on the simian’s collar. The Ranger pushed against the villain’s chest as he rolled backward. Goldar went arcing through the air and smashed through a table.

 

Dragon Ranger rolled to his knees and charged jade energy in between his hands. “Dragon’s Fang!”

 

A crackling sphere of jade-tinted energy streaked towards Goldar and exploded. The shockwave tore through the bar, splintering tables and chairs as Goldar smashed through the wall, went crashing through an adjacent building, and went sliding across the pavement outside, his armor ripping up concrete as he slid.

 

Dragon Ranger stalked towards his fallen opponent. The Green Ranger tried to ignore his vertigo and weariness. His powers were growing unstable. Subtle tendrils of jade-tinted energy scattered across his armor like threads starting to unwind.

 

Dragon Ranger extended his right fist and summoned his Dragon Dagger back with a burst of green energy. Goldar climbed back to his feet and summoned his blade back with a burst of golden flame.

 

Goldar charged forward, howling at the top of his lungs. Dragon Ranger stood his ground, watching Goldar come closer. Dragon Ranger waited until the last possible moment and moved down low, jamming his dagger beneath Goldar’s breast plate and twisting the wound open. Goldar howled in pain as Dragon Ranger slammed a kick against the villain’s back.

 

Goldar stumbled to his feet, blood seeping from his wounds as he took a step backward. “We will meet again, Dragon Ranger! Mark my words, next time, I’ll be leaving with your head.”

 

Goldar spread his wings and flew off like an injured animal.

 

“Goldar…” Dragon Ranger said, a wave of dizziness overwhelming him. “I’ll be…”

 

He collapsed to his knees and keeled over in pain as his powers started to flux. The fluctuations looked like small spotlights dancing across his armor, each light casting a jade-colored grid. Tendrils of energy started to unweave.

 

He was unaware of the battle on the other side of the building. The scorpion creatures combined into a single beast that grew giant.

 

“Dinozords arise!” the five Rangers shouted. They leapt into their cockpits.

 

“Dinozord fusion!” Tyranno Ranger commanded. The five zords shifted shape and pulsed with power before combining into the Megadinozord.

 

The scorpion lashed out with its stinger. The stinger slammed against the Megadinozord, denting its armor and sending the Megazord toppling onto a building, bringing the whole structure down.

 

Dragon Ranger looked up to see his friends in trouble. The scorpion creature was firing massive blasts of golden energy that exploded against the Megazord with thundering booms.

 

Dragon Ranger rolled his hands into fists. By sheer force of will, he managed to keep his powers from shattering into nothingness as he rose to his feet. “Got to…hold it together…”

 

He lifted his Dragon Dagger and summoned the Dragonzord with a powerful battle melody that echoed across the rooftops. Dragonzord rose from the sea and stomped through the city streets. Dragon Ranger played his dagger, commanding his zord to attack.

 

Dragonzord armed a volley of hand missiles and opened fire. The missiles exploded against the monster, but the scorpion barely seemed to feel the blow.

 

Dragon Ranger keeled over in pain again. Above, the Megadinozord moved back in to attack.

 

“That Scorpion thing is ten times stronger than us,” Mammoth Ranger said.

 

The scorpion lifted its stinger and fired a volley of energy darts that exploded against the Megazord’s armor with a massive shower of sparks.

 

Help for the Rangers came as if from nowhere. A brachiosaurus-type zord rolled through the streets and opened its jaws, firing bursts of fiery energy that exploded against the scorpion, cracking its insectoid armor and knocking the monster backward.

 

“What is that thing?” Tiger Ranger asked.

 

Zordon spoke to them through their communicators. “That is the Gingabrachion, Titanus. Join your zords together with him to form the Ultradinozord.”

 

“Alright,” Tyranno Ranger said. “Ultrazord fusion!”

 

The Megadinozord and Dragonzord crackled with energy and merged into one. Dragonzord fit over the top of the Megazord like an outcropping of armor. The combined zord merged with Titanus to form the tank-like Ultradinozord.

 

The Ultrazord rolled towards the scorpion monster. The monster fired golden energy blasts that splashed harmlessly across the Ultrazord’s armor.

 

“Ultradinozord,” Tyranno Ranger and the others commanded. “Grand Fire!”

 

The Ultrazord fired a massive volley of white-hot energy blasts and power lances that tore through the scorpion monster and ripped the creature to shreds. The monster exploded with a final wave of white-hot energy.

 

***

 

Tommy sat in a bio bed in the Command Chamber. It was almost becoming second nature for him. His powers were growing weaker by the day.

 

“There you go, Tommy,” Alpha said as he finished a scan of Tommy‘s body. “Your powers should be stable again…for now…”

 

“Thanks,” Tommy said.

 

“That Titanus was awesome,” Jason said to Zordon, eager to change the subject from Tommy‘s powers. Jason did not want to make the power drain any harder than it had to be.

 

Zordon nodded. “He will be a great addition to your team. But I fear his reawakening signals an evil turn of events about to transpire. Rangers, your final battle with Bandora is soon approaching. ”

 

Kimberly sat down next to Tommy on the bio bed as the others talked to Zordon. “Are you okay?”

 

He nodded. “My powers almost faded.”

 

She placed a hand on his leg. “They’ll find a way to get you to full strength.”

 

Tommy nodded. I hope so…

 

To be continued…Chapter 25