Author’s Note: The following story takes place in 2002. It begins a few months after the end of Book One: Dragon Rising.  

 

Five Stars of Heaven: Chapter One

The Power Within

 

Darkness fell over the Angel Grove docks. Thunder boomed through the skies, and purple lightning crashed to the ground as workers ran for their lives. An artificial wind blew to the shore and howled like the wailing of death.

 

A slick-black limo pulled up to the docks and slowly came to a stop. Several young men in dark suits left the car and walked towards the pier while fighting against the powerful wind.

 

A heavy fog rolled in from the waters. An old galleon rolled in from the fog and pulled up to the docks. The galleon was made of dark, rotting wood and had the bust of a skeleton on its bow. The ship lowered its boarding ramp.

 

Three black-leather clad figures walked down from the ramp.

 

The tallest of the trio was a man with metal studs and leather straps that held his clothes down tight against his muscular body. He wore a black mask that appeared similar to an old pilot’s cap, only without the goggles. His eyes were wide and mad. His name was Zydos.

 

The woman of the group wore a leather bodysuit held together with what appeared to be zippers. Her suit gaped open at the chest to reveal a dark purple, leather body suit she wore beneath her outfit. She wore a black, leather cap over her head that wrapped down beneath her chin. Her name was Gara.

 

The man who walked in between Gara and Zydos was clearly in charge. Even though he was shorter than Zydos, he walked tall and strong. Buckles wrapped around his leather uniform and black leather cap. One buckle held a medal ring that surrounded his left eye. He wore white gloves tipped with blue nails. His name was Shadam.

 

The suited men lined up and kneeled at the Gorma’s feet. One of them trembled with fear as he spoke. “The…Technomancer Organization welcomes the Gorma Empire to America.”

 

Shadam looked at Gara and gave her a wicked smile before turning back to the man in the suit. Shadam reached out and placed his hand over the man's face as his palm began to glow bright white. Shadam superheated the man's head off.

 

Gara snapped her fingers, and a dozen dark-clad figures leapt from the galleon while carrying fencing-type sabers.

 

The men in suits ran in horror, retreating towards their limo.

 

The soldiers, Kyonshi, hacked into the men and cut them to pieces with deadly precision. The grunts wore skin-tight, solid-black bodysuits with white gloves. Each soldier had a V-shaped black mask over a white mask, which had slim, red-painted lips. The masks had no eye slits. Each soldier had a white, V-shaped collar with a red, demonic symbol.    

 

Some of the men made it into the limo, but a group of Kyonshi landed on the hood and stabbed through the windshield, killing the driver.

 

Shadam and the others laughed.

 

***

 

Tommy Oliver and Jason Scott, both 16, circled around each other as they sparred at Bear Lake. The lake was surrounded by stone paths, trees, and bushes, nestled in between two bustling city blocks of gleaming white skyscrapers. Jason and Tommy’s practice sessions at Bear Lake were frequent during the weeks after Bandora’s defeat. This was their last match before Jason’s trip to Japan to study abroad for a year.

 

Tommy leapt forward with a flying jump kick that Jason blocked. Tommy came at Jason with a flurry of knifehand strikes and backfist blows, each blocked by Jason. Jason countered with a knee blow that Tommy blocked and a punch that Tommy blocked, ducked under, and jumped up while slamming an uppercut against Jason’s chest. Jason stumbled backward.

 

The two teens circled around each other while switching fighting stances. Jason smirked as he charged towards Tommy. Jason executed a flying crescent kick that Tommy ducked under. Tommy rose and kicked Jason in the chest with his left leg, using that as leverage to spin around and slam his other heel across Jason’s head.

 

Jason fell to the ground, but immediately flipped back up. The two teens charged at each other and exchanged a fierce volley of kicks and punches. Tommy gained the upper hand. He tornado kicked Jason across the face, and while still in midair, brought his other leg around for a sidekick that slammed against Jason’s chest.

 

Jason crashed to the ground.

 

“Not bad,” Jason said as Tommy took his arm and helped him up.

 

“Thanks,” Tommy said. The two teens grabbed their towels and started patting away the sweat on their faces. “So when are you leaving?”

 

“Later this afternoon,” Jason said in disbelief. “I never thought I’d get to do the whole study-abroad thing,”

 

“Who else from the city was picked?” Tommy asked. “Besides Zack and Trini?”

 

Jason shrugged. “Only two other people. I can’t remember their names.”

 

“Well…” Tommy tried to cover up the sadness he felt because three of his closest friends were leaving for a year. They hardly saw each other anymore. Now that Jason, Zack and Trini were going off to study abroad in Japan for a year…they’d be missed. “I’m sure you’ll all get along fine.”

 

Nearby, a young Asian boy walked across a concrete path and played with his yo-yo while singing a Japanese folk song.

 

***

 

“Don’t forget this,” Kimberly said as she tossed Zack his toothbrush.

 

“Thanks,” he said. His suitcase was open on his bed. Various pieces of clothing and utensils were strewn about. “I appreciate you helping me pack.”

 

“No problem,” Kimberly said. “It’s not often one of your friends leaves for Japan for a year.”

 

“Good point…“ Zack said. He stopped packing for a moment and looked to Kimberly. “Tommy better take care of you while I’m gone.”

 

Kimberly smiled. “He will.”

 

The two hugged. “I’m glad we’re still friends,” Zack said.

 

“Me too,” Kimberly said.

 

***

 

The next day, Tommy taught 10-year-old Simon Kaden a kata at Deer Creek. The wooded area was in a densely populated part of Angel Grove North near Simon’s home. Simon and his older foster sister Maya had stumbled upon the Power Rangers during Bandora’s first monster attack on Angel Grove the previous year. Maya and Simon had befriended the team.

 

Simon fell to the ground when he tried a spinning heel kick. He sat up and rubbed the back of his head with embarrassment. “Oh, man…”

 

Tommy reached down his hand to help Simon up. “Focus, focus, focus.”

 

“Easier said than done,” Simon said. “I have a lot on my mind for a kid my age.”

 

Tommy grinned. “Don’t we all, but everything’s going to be okay from now on.”

 

A dark-gold tentacle suddenly sprang from the nearby bushes and wrapped around Simon’s legs. The boy screamed as the tentacle whipped him off his feet and dragged him away.

 

“Simon!” Tommy shouted as he ran towards Simon.

 

“Tommy!” Simon shouted.

 

Tommy ran as fast as he could, but he could not make it in time to save his young friend. The tentacle dragged Simon across the grass for several meters before pulling him underneath the ground.

 

“No!” Tommy shouted.

 

The tentacle shot back up from the surface, opened a gaping maw, and sprang towards Tommy. The former ranger sprinted away from the tentacle and ran as fast as he could while it followed. He had to fall back and find a way to rescue Simon.

 

Tommy fled from the park and ran across a busy street. The tentacle practically stayed at his heels. He ducked into an alley and ran through the back streets. He made it to the rear of a used-car lot and stood with his back to a wall. He listened, but could not hear the tentacle slithering after him. “Well that was something you don’t see everyday,” he said. “…at least not anymore.”

 

A voice started singing what sounded like a Japanese folksong. Tommy turned to see a young Japanese boy standing on a car while playing with a yo-yo. Tommy wrinkled his brow at the boy. Two dark tentacles suddenly sprang from beneath the car. A tentacle wrapped around Tommy and lifted him in the air, squeezing his chest and making it hard for him to breath.

 

A large shadow cast over them from above. Tommy looked up, and his breath caught in his throat. A large red-armored Chinese dragon swooped down from the sky and opened its jaws. A stream of fire poured out and exploded around the boy with massive bursts of flame.

 

Tommy dropped to the ground, bashed his head against the pavement, and lost consciousness. The dragon scooped Tommy up with its claws and flew back into the sky.

 

***

 

Tommy slowly awoke and stood up as he rubbed the back of his head. He found himself in a strange room filled with boxes, a small TV screen, and floating green orbs. A small stage sat in the center of the room. The walls and ceiling were made of brick.

 

The door behind Tommy slammed shut. Tommy moved to the door and tried to open it, but the door would not budge. He slammed his shoulder against the door and bashed it open. He moved into a small corridor with stairs nearby.

 

Five multi-colored cycles lined the wall. Each cycle was modeled after a different animal. The red-dragon cycle revved up, and its eyes pulsed red. Tommy narrowed his eyes and stared at the cycle. What the hell was going on?

 

Tommy dashed up the stairs and found a door, which led to an area beneath the city’s subway system.

 

***

 

Tommy entered the main, massive lobby of the subway station called Nexus, Angel Grove’s version of Grand Central Station. Tommy looked around the station with confusion. “This is the southside…How the hell did I get down here?”

 

He saw a teen around his age walking towards him. Tommy only noticed because the teen was staring right at him with cold brown eyes.

 

Tommy shook his head and turned. He tried to lose himself in the large crowd, but another teen was walking towards him. The teen had medium length brown hair and hazel eyes. Tommy stood still. He was tired of moving. He wanted answers.

 

***

 

The teens led Tommy back into the room beneath the subway system. They did not exchange a single word during the trip. They walked towards a man in a brown kimono who sat on the small stage in the center of the room. The Asian man wore a brown headband that covered his forehead, and he had a dark goatee.

 

“Who the hell are you people?” Tommy asked, his eyes fixed on the man. “What’s going on?”

 

“My name is Master Kaku,” the man said as he stood. “You, Tommy, have a destiny other than the one you were expecting. You have been chosen to fight against the Gorma.”

 

“The Gorma? Who are the Gorma?” Tommy asked as the other teens sat around on crates.

 

“8,000 years ago, in 6000 BC,” Kaku said. “An ancient civilization known as the Daos reached its pinnacle in southern China. The Gorma was the military arm of the Daos civilization. Around 4000 BC, the Gorma were corrupted by their dark Ki powers, which they used to transform themselves into monsters. They attacked the civilization without mercy. They were a cancer that devoured nature. Slaughtered thousands during the 500 Year War.

 

“Now they have returned, and you must fight against them. Your Kiryoku is strong. You have the power, and with that comes a responsibility to use it against the Gorma.”

 

“I know more about power and responsibility than you’ll ever know,” Tommy said.

 

“I know all about you, Tommy,” Kaku said. “Dragon Ranger.”

 

Tommy wrinkled his brow and took a step back. “How?”

 

Kaku ignored the question and continued with his story. “When the Gorma attacked the civilization, five brave warriors with extraordinary levels of Ki rose to oppose them. They were the Gosei Sentai Dairanger.

 

“The Gorma were eventually wiped out, but I knew they would someday be reborn. As did Zordon.”

 

“Zordon? What did he have to do with that war?” Tommy asked.

 

“He helped me prepare for the return of the Gorma,” Kaku said. “He chose you, Kimberly and Billy to take on the fight against the Gorma…along with Rocky and Adam.”

 

“Here, pal,” Rocky DeSantos said. The hazel-eyed teen handed Tommy two wrist bracers.

 

“What are these?” Tommy asked.

 

“Your Aura Changers,” Kaku said. “The Spirit, Soul, Body, and Mind work in conjunction to create Life Energy called Chi, also called Ki. Chi flows through the body in its own circulatory system, connected by 64 Chakra points.

 

“Your Dino Power Coin infused your Body with the Life Energy of your Dragonzord. The Dragonzord’s Life Energy was mixed with your own Chi. Your Body, infused with the Dragonzord’s Life Energy, used the Power Coin as a conduit to channel energy from the One Power.

 

“These Aura Changers work differently,” Kaku explained. “They will spark your inner Chi and allow you to channel The Power directly, through your Chakra Points, to transform. You channeled The Power this very way when you fought DaiSatan. That was your Kiryoku. Your Chi Power.”

 

Tommy nodded. “So where are Billy and Kimberly?”

 

“They will rendezvous with you three at the main Angel Grove North subway station,” Kaku said. “They have already been informed of the situation.”

 

Tommy nodded and looked to Rocky and Adam Park. “Let’s go.” He led them from the lair.

 

Kaku sighed. Knowing Tommy’s history, and the teen’s family’s history, Kaku had hesitated before selecting him as the Dragon Ranger. However, Zordon had assured him it was the boy’s destiny.

 

***

 

Billy leaned over the railing at the subway station as Kimberly stood next to him. They stood on the upper street level and looked down, to where two rows of steps led upward from both sides of the subway station’s main entrance.

 

Billy anxiously checked his watch. “Do you think they’ve gotten a hold of Tommy yet?”

 

Kimberly nodded. She couldn’t help wondering how Tommy would react. “Probably.”

 

“It’s just our luck that these Gorma show up right after Jason, Trini, and Zack leave,” Billy said.

 

“I wish Zordon would come back,” Kimberly said. Their former mentor Zordon had left for his homeworld of Eltar shortly after the defeat of Bandora.

 

“Me too…“ Billy sighed. “Let’s look around and see if the others are here yet.”

 

***

 

Three giant metallic spheres hovered less than a mile away from the subway station. Each sphere had a strip of black along its equator. The spheres were not visible to the human eye. Below the spheres, Gara carried a briefcase over a bridge towards an empty factory warehouse. Shadam and Zydos waited for her inside the building.

 

She walked over to Shadam and Zydos and opened the briefcase. Inside were several metallic spheres that looked like bloated grenades. A small monitor embedded in the briefcase showed an image of Billy and Kimberly.

 

A wicked smile crossed Shadam’s face. “That’s them.”

 

***

 

Kimberly and Billy walked silently across a sidewalk that wrapped around the upper level of the station. A group of bicyclists rode past them and continued for several feet before skidding to a halt and flipping their bikes around to face the teens’ backs.

 

The bikes’ horns honked to get the teens’ attention. Billy and Kimberly looked over their shoulders towards the riders. The bicyclists started peddling towards the two teens as their eyes glared forward like daggers.

 

“Come on,” Billy said as they moved towards a steep flight of stairs that led down to the lower level outside the station. They started sprinting down the stairs, but the bikes rode down a stairwell that ran parallel to theirs.

 

Billy and Kimberly reached the bottom of the stairs as the bikes started to circle around them. Billy and Kimberly, reflexes honed after a year’s worth of fighting for their lives, leapt over a group of riders while kicking them on their bikes. The riders toppled over as Billy and Kimberly landed outside their circle.

 

A pair of riders whipped the rear tires of their bikes around, slamming the tires against the teens and sending them flying backward. They went stumbling across the ground as Tommy, Rocky, and Adam arrived from a secondary below-ground entrance.

 

“Kim,” Tommy said as he helped Kimberly to her feet.

 

“Tommy.” She hugged him. They both knew their lives were about to turn upside down once again.

 

“I know I’m new at this,” Rocky said, “but now doesn’t seem like the appropriate time for a cheerful reunion.”

 

The riders started pedaling towards the five teens. The bicyclists dropped their disguises, transforming into the black-clad Kyonshi.

 

“Here comes the welcoming committee,” Rocky said.

 

“Let’s go,” Tommy said as he and the other teens ran towards the Kyonshi. Each teen leapt forward, knocking a soldier from a bike. The teens each picked up a bike and rode off, with the Kyonshi following close behind.

 

The teens rode back to street level as a group of waiters carrying serving trays stood in front of their path. The waiters turned, dropping their disguises and transforming into the black-clad Kyonshi warriors.

 

“You gotta be kidding,” Rocky said as the Kyonshi hurled razor-sharp trays at the teens.

 

The teens swerved out of the way. The serving trays struck the faces of several Kyonshi, knocking them from their bikes.

 

The rangers sped past the entrance to a pay parking lot and knocked down the stop strips, despite the security guards’ yells of protest. The strips clotheslined a group of Kyonshi off their bikes.

 

The teens kept riding, but the Kyonshi gained on them. Rocky and Adam skid their bikes to a halt while turning sideways. A pair of Gorma soldiers crashed against their bikes and went flipping over.

 

Adam and Rocky caught up with the others near the Falls Pointe factory area that was bordered by the bustling city on one end and woodland on the other end. A truck full of boxes suddenly pulled out in front of the teens. They crashed against the truck and went tumbling off their bikes, through the boxes, and onto the ground.

 

Rocky shook his head as he and the other teens rose to their feet. “That would make a hell of a ride at Disney.”

 

They heard a boy singing a Japanese folk song from behind. They turned to see the young boy walk forward while playing with a yo-yo. The boy’s body slowly contorted into a Gorma monster. Its body was made of twisting dark-gold tentacles. It had a single eye, the trademark of the Gorma soldiers.

 

“I am Himo Danshaku,” the monster said. His name translated into Baron String.

 

“Gorma…” Tommy cursed.

 

“Tentacle Strike!” the Gorma thrust out his hand and launched five tentacles at the teens. The tentacles wrapped around them and pulled them off their feet. The villain whipped them across the air while slamming them against walls, skidding them across the ground, and bashing them through stacks of crates.

 

The Gorma lifted the teens high into the air and tightened his tentacles. Kyonshi gathered around the monster to watch. The Baron laughed at their struggles. “Having trouble breathing?” The villain fired a spear-shaped tentacle towards Tommy’s head. “Tentacle Blade!”

 

Tommy narrowed his eyes. He had faced Bandora. DaiSatan. Goldar. Countless monsters. Baron String was about to join the ranks of the Rangers’ defeated enemies.

 

Tommy caught the spear and kicked the tentacle aside. He readied his Aura Morphers. He extended both hands forward to roll his sleeves off the braces. “Chakra…” He brought his arms back and used his left hand to flip out the lever on his right brace. “…Ignite…” The others did the same with their braces.

 

PDVD_466“Aura Power!” Tommy shouted as he and the others connected their bracers. Their morphers pulsed with energy, igniting their inner Chi power as shells of radiant energy wrapped around their bodies.

 

The energy ripped the Gorma’s tentacles, causing the monster to stumble backward to the ground. Kyonshi gathered around the Baron and helped him to his feet. They looked up as the teens landed on top of a broad stairwell nearby, energy still shimmering around their bodies.

 

The Rangers turned and snapped out their arms. The energy shells around them shattered. The teens were in their Ranger forms, intricate armor wrapped skin-tight around their bodies, and helmets with the golden symbols of their totem animals engraved around their visors. The Rangers snapped into fighting stances and shouted their names towards the villains below.

 

“Dragon Ranger! Heaven Fire Star, Red!” Tommy shouted.

 

“Tenma Ranger! Heaven Gravity Star, Blue!” Rocky called.

 

“Lion Ranger! Heaven Illusion Star, Green!” Adam yelled.

 

“Kirin Ranger! Heaven Time Star, Yellow!” Billy shouted.

 

“Phoenix Ranger! Heaven Wind Star, Pink!” Kimberly called.

 

Dragon Ranger lifted his hand towards the air. “Power of the Stars, brought down…Heaven Star Task Force…“ Together, they shouted: “Power Rangers!”

 

“Gorma,” Dragon Ranger shouted as he pointed down to the villains below. “Let the kids you kidnapped go before things get ugly.”

 

“Bring it on!” Baron String yelled.

 

“Let’s go!” Dragon Ranger shouted as the five Rangers energized and jumped through the air.

 

Phoenix Ranger landed on the ground, executed a front flip, and swept the legs out from under one of the soldiers. She turned to her left and slammed a knifehand strike against a grunt’s neck. Phoenix Ranger snapped to her right while driving her elbow into another soldier’s gut. Then she looked forward to see a Kyonshi rush towards her.

 

Phoenix Ranger blocked two of the soldier’s punches. She spun counterclockwise, slamming a left knifehand strike that the soldier blocked. She spun back around while swinging her right leg in an outer crescent kick that the soldier ducked under. The soldier rose back to full height as Phoenix Ranger slammed a roundhouse kick across the villain’s head.

 

Another soldier moved in from her side and swung a short staff, but Phoenix Ranger rolled underneath the blow.

 

Nearby, Lion Ranger rolled across the ground, rose to a crouched position, and twirled a red staff around while assuming a defensive stance. “Thunder Staff!”

 

A group of Kyonshi armed with fencing-type sabers charged towards him. Lion Ranger low blocked a blow and whacked the end of his staff across the soldier’s head.

 

He turned to his left and speared the left end of his staff against a soldier’s gut. He moved to his right, spinning his staff, and swinging downward to knock the weapon from a soldier’s hand. He snapped the staff upside the soldier’s head. He twirled the staff and swung 180 degrees, bashing the weapon across three soldiers and knocking them to the ground.

 

Lion Ranger moved to his left and charged at a soldier while knocking the weapon out of its hand. The Green Ranger thrust his staff between the soldier’s legs and used the leverage to hurl the grunt through the air.

 

Meanwhile, Tenma Ranger bashed a soldier’s head with two fluid tornado kicks. Then he used his right leg to sweep the feet out from that soldier.

 

Tenma Ranger stomped off the Gorma while jumping, extending his legs and kicking two soldiers in the face. He landed on his hands and kicked his legs backward, smashing his heels against two soldiers’ faces.

 

Close by, Kirin Ranger twirled his staff into a fighting position. “Thunder Staff!”

 

He held his staff vertically to block two soldiers’ sabers. He twirled around with his staff to knock the two swords away. He speared the right end of his staff against one of the soldier’s chests, and the other end of his staff against the second soldier’s gut.

 

Kirin Ranger spun to his right while swinging the left end of his staff against a soldier’s gut. He brought the right end of his staff crashing down on the back of the soldier’s neck. He moved forward while spinning his staff, smashing across another soldier’s head.

 

Kirin Ranger moved in low towards his next target, smashing the legs out from under a soldier and bashing the edge of his staff against the fallen grunt’s chest.

 

Meanwhile, a tentacle wrapped around Dragon Ranger’s neck. Baron String pulled the Ranger into an open field and released his grasp, sending the Ranger tumbling across the ground. Dragon Ranger rolled to his feet and snapped into a fighting stance. The two opponents started to circle around each other.

 

“You are no where near as strong as your ancestors,” the Baron said. “You are not fit to wage this war.”

 

“I’ve beaten much better than you in my time!” Dragon Ranger shouted.

 

The two opponents charged at each other. Dragon Ranger executed a flying crescent kick that Baron String ducked under. Dragon Ranger swung the back of his fist towards the Gorma. Baron String blocked the blow and slapped Dragon Ranger’s arm away.

 

The villain used it tentacle arm as a club and slammed it against Dragon Ranger’s side. Dragon Ranger wrapped his hands around the arm and tried to flip the villain over. But Baron String slammed his other hand across the Ranger’s head, knocking the Red Ranger backward.

 

“Tentacle Strike!” Baron String fired a tentacle that slammed against Dragon Ranger and sent him flying backward. The Ranger smashed against a wall, webbed cracks splitting the concrete on impact before he crumbled to the ground.

 

Dragon Ranger rose to his feet and unsheathed his sidearms: a slender Thunder Sword and a short saber called a Star Cutter, only slightly larger than a dagger. Dragon Ranger leapt through the air and angled his decent towards Baron String.

 

“Thunderbolt Cut!” His blades energized with cyan-tined power. He landed while slashing his Thunder Sword diagonally across the Gorma’s chest, his blade sparking on impact. Dragon Ranger dashed forward and swung his Star Cutter across the Gorma’s chest while passing the villain.

 

Dragon Ranger jumped and turned while chopping both blades down towards Baron String. The Baron grabbed the Thunder Sword and smashed his tentacle hand across Dragon Ranger’s head twice. Dragon Ranger stumbled backward, dropping his weapons.

 

Baron String wrapped a tentacle around Dragon Ranger and whipped him off his feet. Dragon Ranger went flailing over the Gorma and crashing to the ground. Dragon Ranger rose to his feet while struggling to break free from the tentacle.

 

He saw his sabers on the ground behind Baron String. Dragon Ranger clasped his left hand over his right fist and focused his energy while concentrating on the sabers. “Ki!” he shouted as the dragon eyes on his helmet flashed with power. 

 

Invisible strands of energy slid the sabers back into the Red Ranger’s hands. He chopped his Thunder Sword through the tentacle, sparking on impact, as Dragon Ranger broke free. Baron String stumbled backward.

 

Dragon Ranger snapped into a fighting stance and held his blades together as Baron String rose to his feet. The eyes of the dragon on the Red Ranger’s helmet flashed. Lightning started to crackle around the Ranger as his swords vibrated with fiery power. “Heaven Fire Star! Lightning Flames of Destruction!”

 

He extended the blades forward in an X-shaped pattern. A torrent of flame shot forth from the weapons and crashed against Baron String with a wave of destruction. The Baron went flying backwards, explosions sparking across his entire body as he went crashing inside a warehouse.

 

Dragon Ranger lowered his blades as the other Rangers gathered around him. Baron String, his body torn and ripped beyond recognition, weakly rose from the rubble. His maw opened, and a group of captured children were released in streams of light. The kids materialized on the ground close by.

 

“Simon!” Dragon Ranger called as he ran over to the kids. He leaned down towards Simon and helped him to his feet.

 

Simon wrinkled his brow with confusion at the sight of the red-armored Ranger. “What the hell?”

 

“Watch your mouth,” Dragon Ranger said.

 

Simon’s eyes opened wide with recognition. “Tommy!”

 

“Run,” Dragon Ranger said. The other kids rose to their feet and ran off as Baron String stumbled towards the Rangers.

 

“You think this is over?” the Baron said as he pulled a sphere grenade from behind his back. He pulled off the top of the grenade and slammed it to the ground. Baron String absorbed the energy of the mystic explosion and used that power to repair his body and grow to giant size.

 

Baron String kicked up loads of dirt from the ground, knocking the Rangers backward. The Rangers rose to their feet as Baron String slammed his tentacle against the ground. The impact shook the Rangers from their feet.

 

“We have to do something,” Lion Ranger said.

 

***

 

Kaku sat in a meditative pose within the subway lair. He focused his power to the Rangers and their battle. Green hovering spheres started to flash with energy as the lair started to shake, and lights began to flicker.

 

Kaku’s astral form jetted down the Astral Plane while sitting on a mystic cube-shaped object. “Kiden Shorai!”

 

The cube shot forward and exploded with a burst of energy that reached out along the planes of existence. The image of the red-armored Chinese dragon appeared, summoned again by Kaku’s power.

 

***

 

Dragon Ranger unsheathed his Thunder Sword and ran his hand along the blade, which started to glow with red energy. He held the saber towards the sky. “Thunderzord arise! Red Dragon!”

 

The Red Dragon named Ryuseiou swooped down from the skies. The Rangers stared up with amazement at its grace and beauty.

 

Dragon Ranger combined his Thunder Sword and Star Cutter into a blaster. “Thunder Blaster!” he shot a white-energy grappling beam that wrapped around the dragon and reeled him in towards his zord.

 

Dragon Ranger landed on the zord’s head and leaned forward as the beast streaked towards his opponent. “It’s time to take care of business…”

 

To be continued…Chapter Two