Five Stars of Heaven: Chapter Sixteen
Enter the United Four
The Gorma’s palace hung in the air like an inverted pyramid. The structure was surrounded by floating metal spheres, naked to the human eye.
Inside, the Gorma Triumvirate stood on a high column that rose next to the emperor’s floating platform. They watched as the emperor rolled three dice, getting sixes each time. “Things do not look good for you three,” the emperor said as he threw dice into a bowl. “The dice say so.”
“Has he gone crazy?” Zydos quietly asked Gara.
The Emperor threw a dice into Zydos’s mouth. “Crazy maybe, but not deaf. I will be giving you help…I sense a strange energy emerging. Shitenno!”
Four warriors dressed like ancient Japanese monks stepped out from the shadows onto a floating pedestal. They clanked their staffs against the pedestal surface. They were the Shitenno, the Four Deva Kings.
The emperor laughed and tossed his dice again.
Kameo sat in his small, second-story apartment in Angel Grove Central. He drew various sketches as his turtles sat by in tanks and on the ground. He heard a horn honk outside and gasped happily.
Kameo gathered turtles into his pockets and went outside. Kameo moved onto the parking lot to where Billy was parked. The teen had his trunk open.
“Billy!” Kameo said as he walked towards the teen.
“Hey,” Billy said as he started to unload a package from his car. “This is all you should need to get hooked up to the internet…”
“Ah…” Kameo said. “Business is going well then?”
Billy shrugged. “Our little INET company’s expanding a little further off campus every day.”
Only a high school student, Billy had worked with Angel Grove University’s research and technology departments to start a student organized and operated digital company called INET.
“Ah,” Kameo said as he nodded. He gasped as a turtle struggled within his pocket. “Water! He needs water!”
“Hey,” Billy said as Kameo grabbed dishes from Billy’s trunk.
Kameo moved over to a nearby fountain and started scooping up water for his turtle.
Billy sighed and shook his head. Kameo was by far Billy’s strangest customer.
Kameo tilted his head when he noticed a large clear jewel in the water. “Huh?” he reached in and wrapped his chubby hand around the jewel, pulling it out from the water. “What’s this…cool!”
Explosions suddenly sparked around them as Kameo crashed onto his tailbone. Shadam stepped forward from the distance.
“Gorma!” Billy shouted. He stepped in front of Kameo and snapped into a fighting stance to protect the older teenager.
Shadam snapped his fingers, summoning a group of Kyonshi that charged forward to attack.
Billy twisted a soldier’s arm and flipped the grunt to the ground. He slammed his forearm against a soldier’s wrist to block a saber strike and slammed a punch against the grunt’s chest.
A third Kyonshi chopped a sword towards Billy’s head. Billy grabbed the grunt by the wrist and twisted his arm downward. He looked over to Kameo. “Run!”
Kameo scrambled to his feet and ran, his eyes wide with fear.
Billy jump kicked a soldier in the chest and flipped a second grunt over his shoulder. The soldiers kept coming as quickly as Billy disposed of them.
“The energy is coming from him,” Shadam said as he pointed to Kameo. “Find out what he has!”
Billy continued to fight and activated his communicator. “Sensei…I need help.”
Across the streets, the Four Deva Kings chanted as they walked single file. Their presence drew stares from the crowd. Some were mystified, others thought it was a street production, while some hardly noticed. It was Angel Grove, after all. They were used to such things.
The other four teens and Kou stepped out of a movie theater on a nearby street corner. Tommy had his arm around Kimberly’s shoulder. “Well that was…interesting,” Tommy said.
“It sucked,” Kou said.
“You’re a subtle kid, you know that?” Rocky said as Kou grinned with pride.
Kou felt a wave of light-headedness overcome him. Then a whistle noise cut through the streets. He looked to see Akomaru, who was supposed to be dead, riding his chariot across the street. The Gorma boy waved Kou forward.
Kou’s mind flashed back.
Akomaru stepped from the chariot. “I have a present for you,” he said to Kou as he stepped back to the second chariot. He pulled the black cloth away. Kou’s mother was inside, bound and gagged. “Perhaps you know her.”
Kou’s eyes opened wide as his breath caught in his throat. “Mother…” he whispered. “Mother!”
“Kou!” she called in a muffled voice.
Kou ran towards the chariot.
“Back!” Akomaru extended his hand and fired an invisible Kiryoku burst that slammed against Kou and knocked the boy backward. Kou crashed onto his tailbone.
Akomaru stalked towards the fallen boy. “I’ll give her back to you if you join me. The two of us can kill Shadam and the emperor…Then we will rule.”
“Go to hell!” Kou shouted as he sprang forward and pushed Akomaru aside.
Kou moved towards the chariot and grabbed it, quickly turning it around and running towards the distance. Kyonshi leapt towards Kou and grabbed him, lifting him off his feet and tossing him back onto the ground.
“Be that way,” Akomaru said. He extended his hand towards the chariot. An invisible strand of energy lifted Kou’s mother and dragged her away through the air.
“No!” Kou shouted as he ran after her. “Mother!”
Kou made it to a clearing near the mountains, but he was too late. His mother was gone. Kou turned and clenched his jaw when he heard Akomaru’s laughter come from behind. “Bring her back!”
Kou pounced forward and grabbed Akomaru by the collar. “Bring her back!” Kou slammed a hook punch across the Gorma’s face.
Kou narrowed his eyes and ran after the boy.
“Kou!” Kimberly yelled as she followed. The others followed too. They moved around a street corner and into a less dense part of the bustling city.
Adam lost track of the others when a wave of light-headedness struck him.
“Adam!” a voice called to him. Adam looked up to a higher level of the streets to see Kujaku standing on a patch of grass.
His mind flashed back.
Adam collapsed with fatigue. The heat was making it too hard to breathe. He felt dehydrated. He could not will his aching muscles to move.
Kujaku moved over to him and placed her hand across the side of his face. “Adam…” she whispered. “Feel my strength…” Kujaku closed her eyes and summoned her power. Rainbow-tinted energy flowed from her body and into Adam’s.
She slowly ran her finger across his cheek. Adam reached up and placed his hand over hers as her energy flowed over him in an intimate way. He tilted his head and kissed her palm.
Energy surged through Adam as he slowly rose to his feet and turned back towards the wall. He launched a flurry of punches that bashed away at the opening he had already created. Each blow demolished part of the wall upon impact.
She stepped back out of sight. “Kujaku!” Adam called as he ran after her.
Rocky was also running alone nearby. “Man…where’d everyone go?”
A wave of light headedness washed over him.
“Hey!” three voices shouted.
Rocky turned to see the Three Gorma Stooges staring down at him. They were on a concrete entryway on the second story of a building.
“You guys!” Rocky shouted. “I thought you three were mulch now?”
The siblings had approached Rocky and told him they didn’t wish to fight anymore. Rocky had trusted them, but they betrayed him.
Rocky ran after them.
Tommy was walking through a plaza when a wave of dizziness overcame him. Jinn suddenly leapt out of the air as if from nowhere and slammed a flying sidekick against the teen.
Jinn parked in an ocean-shore parking lot and stepped out from his car. Tommy stood by the shore, his eyes glaring at the assassin. He was dressed in a black karate uniform.
Jinn walked towards his opponent. “How are you doing, Tommy?” Jinn asked.
Tommy rolled his hands into fists. “I’m ready…face me again…”
Jinn shook his head. “If I fight you again…I will have to kill you this time…even though I respect your spirit…and pity you…”
“I’m not asking for pity…” Tommy said.
Jinn wrinkled his brow.
Tommy and Jinn leapt towards each other. Their fists slammed together in midair, knuckle against knuckle, as they spun forward and slammed kicks against each other. They landed back-to-back.
Jinn turned and dashed towards Tommy. The assassin snapped a high and low roundkick combo that Tommy blocked. The teen knocked Jinn’s leg away and spun forward with a reverse sidekick that slammed against Jinn’s chest.
Jinn was visibly impressed by the ranger’s increased speed.
Tommy removed the top of his uniform to reveal the set of tight springs.
“Fool!” Jinn called. “You’ll kill yourself.”
Tommy stretched his muscles until the wiring broke. The teen snapped into a fighting stance and waved Jinn forward.
Jinn narrowed his eyes. “Spider Fist!” Jinn shouted. The assassin launched forward with a flurry of turbo-speed punches. Tommy blocked each blow, his arms and fists a blur of motion as the sound of fist and arms slamming against each other sounded almost as rapid as machine-gun fire.
Tommy caught the last punch with his hand and lunged forward, slamming a cross punch against Jinn’s face. Tommy spun a reverse heel kick that slammed across Jinn’s head, forcing the assassin backward.
“How…” Jinn said. “Is this your magick?”
“No,” Tommy said. “It’s all me…”
Kameo ran as fast as he could across an asphalt path that cut through a wooded park. Kyonshi suddenly dropped to the ground and surrounded him. Zydos stepped forward and grabbed Kameo by the face. “Are you afraid to die?”
Tears streamed down his cheeks. “Don’t hurt me…please don’t hurt me…”
The crystal in Kameo’s pocket pulsed with jade energy that flashed outward, exploding against Zydos and the Kyonshi. Kameo fell backward.
Kirin Ranger leapt onto the scene and helped Kameo to his feet. “Are you alright?”
Kameo nodded. The Yellow Ranger led Kameo away as they ran through the park.
Zydos rose from the ground and pointed in their direction. “After them!”
Billy and Kameo sat at a plaza. Billy picked up the crystal from Kameo and looked over its surface. “Where did this come from?”
“Give it back!” Kameo said as he grabbed the crystal. “It helped me.” Kameo reached into his pockets for his turtles. “Now…my friends must be antsy after all that excitement…”
Kameo laid nearly a dozen turtles down on the grass.
“Were all those in your pockets?” Billy asked.
“Well yeah,” Kameo said. “Where else would I put them?”
Billy sighed and shook his head.
Kameo opened his eyes wide with shock. “Oh no, I’m missing one…he must have fallen…I have to find him!” Kameo ran off.
“Wait!” Billy shouted as he ran after his new friend.
The other four teens and Kou appeared in a black pocket dimension with fog drifting across the ground and a handful of twisted, dead trees scattered about.
“Guys!” Tommy said as they regrouped.
“Hey,” Rocky called as they joined together.
“What’s going on?” Adam said.
“I don’t know,” Tommy said. “Jinn attacked me and then…”
Kujaku, Jinn, Akomaru, and the three-stupid Gorma appeared in the blink of an eye. They started laughing at the gathered rangers. The teens snapped into fighting stances. Kimberly stood protectively in front of Kou.
“They can’t be real,” Tommy said. “Let’s go!”
The rangers charged forward, but the illusions vanished just as the four ancients appeared behind the teens. The rangers turned and assumed fighting stances.
Tommy narrowed his eyes at the villains. “Gorma…what are you up to this time?”
The Gorma removed their hats. A ring of horns wrapped around each of their bald heads. The Gorma third eye was on each of their foreheads.
“I’m not impressed,” Rocky said.
“Kou,” Kimberly said. “Go hide.”
Kou ran off.
Tommy armed his morphers. “Guys…it’s morphin time!”
“Chakra ignite, Aura Power!” they shouted as they connected their braces. Energy shimmered around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms.
“Thunder Swords!” they shouted as they unsheathed their blades. They charged forward to attack.
Nearby, Kou leapt over a boulder and ducked for cover. “I have to help them,” Kou said as Byakko peaked his head out.
“Not here,” Byakko said. “They can’t learn that you’re the Kiba Ranger!”
Kameo continued to run and practically fell to the ground when he spotted his lost turtle. “Oh…please be alive,” he said as he picked the lost turtle up.
Billy ran over to Kameo. “Don’t just run off like that when the Gorma-”
“Kirin Ranger!” Shadam shouted.
Billy stood in front of Kameo and snapped into a fighting stance as the Gorma stalked forward. Shadam extended his hand. “Hand him over,” Shadam said. “He has something we need.”
“No!” Billy shouted as he leapt through the air. “Chakra ignite!” Energy shimmered around him as he morphed into his Ranger form.
“Thunder Sword!” Kirin Ranger shouted as he unsheathed his blade.
Gara lifted her hand and blasted Kirin Ranger out of the air with a violet-tinted energy pulse that exploded against the Ranger’s armor with a burst of spark. The Yellow Ranger crashed to the ground.
“Billy!” Kameo shouted.
Zydos reached down and lifted the Ranger by the throat. The Gorma slammed the back of his fist across the Ranger’s helmet while tossing him aside.
Zydos walked over to Kameo and lifted the older teen up by the shirt collar. Zydos searched Kameo’s pockets but found nothing. He could no longer sense the energy source either. “It’s not here!”
Dragon Ranger rolled into a crouched position and snapped into a fighting stance while holding his sword high.
An ancient spun his staff and knocked the Red Ranger’s sword aside. The Gorma slashed the Ranger diagonally across the chest. The ancient dashed past the Red Ranger while slashing him across the chest horizontally.
Dragon Ranger spun around and swung his blade towards the ancient’s head. The Gorma used his staff to block the sword.
The Red Ranger pulled back and swung upward towards the Gorma’s body. The ancient caught the blade with his bare hands and opened his jaw wide. Crimson energy tentacles lashed out from the Gorma’s mouth and wrapped around Dragon Ranger. The tentacles lifted him into the air and exploded against his armor with a shower of sparks.
Nearby, Phoenix Ranger swung her sword towards an ancient. The Gorma disappeared and reappeared behind the Pink Ranger. Phoenix Ranger turned and swung her blade back towards the Gorma. The villain disappeared and reappeared behind her again.
The villain opened his jaw and spat a torrent of energy wind that exploded against Phoenix Ranger while blowing her off her feet.
Meanwhile Tenma Ranger leapt towards an ancient.
“Tenma Screw Kick!” Tenma Ranger slammed a screw kick against the Gorma’s chest, knocking the villain backward.
The villain extended his staff. The Blue Ranger’s kick slammed against the weapon, and the Gorma pushed him away. Tenma Ranger crashed to the ground. The Gorma slammed the end of his staff down, summoning pillars of flame that exploded against the Blue Ranger and knocked him backward.
Another ancient grabbed Lion Ranger by the throat. The Gorma slammed a series of roundkicks against the Ranger’s side.
The villain released the Ranger and slammed a staff across Lion Ranger’s helmet.
Lion Ranger tumbled across the ground and rose to his feet. The other Rangers regrouped around him.
“We have to get out of here,” Tenma Ranger said.
“How?” Phoenix Ranger asked.
Dragon Ranger noticed flashing gems around the Four Deva Kings’ necks. “Those gems…” Dragon Ranger said as he armed his weapon. “Thunder Blaster!”
Dragon Ranger fired lances of red energy that exploded against the gems, causing the pocket dimension to rupture as blinding white light filled the darkness.
“Thunder Blaster!” Kirin Ranger shouted. He fired lances of yellow energy that exploded against the Gorma Triumvirate and Kyonshi.
Shadam extended his hand and fired a pulse of blue energy from his palm that exploded against the Yellow Ranger and knocked him off his feet. Kirin Ranger crashed to the ground.
A bright light suddenly flashed as the other four Rangers, Kou, and the four ancients fell to the ground.
“Billy?” Dragon Ranger said when he noticed his friend. The Rangers regrouped.
“You guys came at a good time,” Kirin Ranger said
The four ancients stood in front of the Triumvirate and faced the Rangers.
“Stop them!” Gara shouted.
The four ancients slammed the ends of their staffs against the ground, sparking energy within their weapons and their bodies. The villains stood with their backs towards each other. Energy flashed around them as they merged into one Gorma monster.
The monster was a tall creature with four identical heads, each looking in a different compass direction. The monster’s skin was pale, and his eyes beady red. The villain’s name was Gattai Shitenno.
The villain lifted an enlarging bomb and dropped it. The bomb exploded, and Shitenno absorbed the energy and grew giant.
The Rangers unsheathed their Thunder Swords and readied their Thunder Gems. “Thunderzords arise!”
The five Thunderzords charged over the landscape after appearing from the sky. Red Dragon and Phoenix flew through the air as the Kirin, Tenma, and Lion charged forward from the ground.
The Rangers used their Thunder Blasters like grappling guns and reeled themselves into their zords’ cockpits.
On the ground, Kou ducked behind a tree. Byakko peaked his head out from Kou’s jacket. “Kou…” Byakko said. “Now would be a good time.”
Kou nodded and armed his morphers. “Chakra ignite, Kiba Power!” he inserted his key into his brace. Energy flashed around him as he matured and morphed into his Ranger armor.
Kiba Ranger lifted his saber and held his Thunder Gem. “Thunderzord arise! White Tiger!”
The White Tiger Thunderzord stomped forward as Kiba Ranger leapt into his zord’s cockpit.
Dragon Ranger placed his hand over the crystal control sphere in front of him. “Red Dragon, rise up!”
Tendrils of crimson energy danced across the zord’s armor as the Red Dragon changed shape. The massive zord reconfigured into its warrior mode and landed on the ground to face off with the Gorma.
“White Tiger! Rise up!” Kiba Ranger shouted while inserting his saber into his console. The White Tiger crackled with energy and started to change shape. The zord transformed into a humanoid-shaped warrior. The head of the tiger was on the zord’s chest, and the golden tail formed a curved blade.
The White Ranger thrust his hands forward. “Kiba! Fusion!”
The Lion, Tenma, Kirin, and Phoenix crackled with energy and shot towards the White Tiger. The Lion formed shoulder armor while wrapping around the zord’s back. The Tenma and Kirin formed the Megazord’s legs as the Phoenix became an arm-mounted weapon.
Lion Ranger, Phoenix Ranger, Tenma Ranger, and Kirin Ranger joined Kiba Ranger in the zord’s cockpit. “MegaTigerzord… Kiba Daiou!”
The Red Dragon and MegaTigerzord surrounded the monster. Red Dragon moved in to attack.
Red Dragon swung his staff towards the Gorma. The monster used its staff to parry the blow and slash the zord across the chest with a burst of spark.
MegaTigerzord moved in and swung his arm-mounted Phoenix blade towards the Gorma. The villain parried the blow and speared his staff against the zord. Shitenno extended his staff and fired tendrils of blue energy that exploded against the two zords with a massive burst of spark and flame.
Red Dragon slammed a roundkick against the villain’s side and swung his staff towards the villain’s head. The Gorma used his staff to parry the blow and strike the zord across the chest.
The red-armored zord maneuvered behind the Gorma and used his staff to hold the monster steady.
“Do it, guys,” Dragon Ranger said.
“MegaTigerzord!” the Rangers shouted. “Grand-Phoenix Crash!”
The Phoenix extended its wings and shot towards the monster. Fiery energy twisted around the Phoenix as it streaked through the monster, piercing through its body. Explosions tore apart the Gorma as he collapsed to the ground, his own energy overloading and exploding.
Kameo and Billy walked back towards the apartment district. Billy kept trying to walk faster. “Come on!” Kameo yelled. “Tell me all about it!”
“No,” Billy said.
“Come on…how long have you been a Ranger?”
Billy sighed and rolled his eyes as he continued walking.
On the streets of Angel Grove, the four ancients reappeared in their human forms.
To be continued…Chapter 17