Five Stars of Heaven: Chapter Eighteen

Kameo’s True Form

 

The Four Deva Kings sat deep within the Gorma palace. They surrounded a strange white mask and whispered incantations. The mask’s eyes started to glow with deep crimson light that illuminated the dark chambers.

 

***

 

Kameo ducked into an alley as he fled from the floating crystal. He ran forward, nearly tripping over his own chubby legs, but the gem still pursued.

 

The older teen took another sharp turn into an adjacent alleyway and smashed his way through a wooden door. He slumped down in a corner and tried to catch his breath. He could not remember ever running so hard in his entire life.

 

He saw no sign of pursuit.

 

“Finally,” he said between breaths.

 

The gem dropped into his lap. “Ah!” he shouted as the chase continued.

 

Kameo eventually made it back to his apartment complex, although the gem was still at his heels. Panting, he turned a corner to enter his hallway and crashed against Billy. The two teens fell to the floor.

 

“Kameo,” Billy said, surprised to have bumped into his friend. Billy had been searching for Kameo for more than two days.

 

“Billy!” Kameo said as he grabbed Billy’s arm and dragged the ranger into the apartment room. “Help me, help me.”

 

“Kameo calm down,” Billy said. “That crystal. We need…”

 

Kameo was far past panicked as he started closing his windows. Billy tried to calm his friend down, but it was no use.

 

“Kameo!” Billy shouted.

 

The gem crashed through a window, shattering glass before hovering above Kameo and Billy. The gem pulsed with jade-tinted energy. Light from the crystal enveloped Kameo and shrank him into a small turtle.

 

Billy knitted his brow with curiosity and leaned down towards the turtle. “And I thought I had seen everything.”

 

The crystal flashed with energy again. A pulse of light slammed against the turtle and skid the reptile across the floor. The turtle crashed against a wall and expanded as Kameo assumed his human form again.

 

Kameo immediately sprang to his feet and fled from his apartment, running as fast a possible.

 

Billy wrinkled his brow and followed. “What is going on…?”

 

***

 

Kameo ran across a strip of parkland that cut between various apartment complexes. He kept looking over his shoulder, spotting the gem as it gave pursuit.

 

A wooden staff suddenly dropped to the ground in front of him. Kameo tripped over the staff and fell onto his belly. He looked up as the four Gorma ancients surrounded him. One of the ancients lifted Kameo by the collar of his shirt.

 

“Kameo!” Billy yelled as he ran towards the scene. What he saw was not promising. The four ancients were supposed to be dead. The MegaTigerzord had used its Phoenix blade weapon to destroy the ancients when they were in their combined, four-headed monster form.

 

One of the ancients turned and glared at Billy. The villain opened his mouth and blew a stream of white smog that shot against Billy, sending him flying off his feet.

 

Billy twisted in midair, slammed his heel against a tree to gain footing, and bounced back towards the four Gorma as he armed his braces. “Chakra ignite!” Energy shimmered around him as he morphed into his yellow-armored Ranger form.

 

“Thunder Sword!” Kirin Ranger shouted as he unsheathed his blade and angled his descent towards the ancient who was holding Kameo.

 

A second ancient stepped forward and used his staff to parry the Ranger’s sword. That ancient spun forward and bashed his staff across the Yellow Ranger’s head.

 

image002Kirin Ranger was knocked backward but stayed on his feet while spinning back into a fighting stance. “Let him go!” Kirin Ranger shouted. “He doesn’t have what you want.”

 

The Yellow Ranger heard a voice from behind him. It was Shadam. “Drop your weapon, Kirin Ranger.”

 

Kirin Ranger turned to face the villain. “Shadam,” he said as he snapped into another fighting stance.

 

“Do it,” Shadam said firmly. “Or he dies.”

 

Kirin Ranger narrowed his eyes beneath his helmet. He slowly lowered his arm and tossed his sword aside.

 

Yellow Ranger suddenly snapped around to face the ancient holding Kameo. “Star Cutter!” He unsheathed his dagger and snapped it forward like a dart. The dagger speared the villain in the chest, sparking on impact, and knocking the Gorma backward.

 

Kameo crashed to the ground.

 

Kirin Ranger charged towards his friends. The four ancients stood in front of his path with their staffs ready, but the Yellow Ranger did not slow his advance.

 

Two ancients swung their staffs towards the Yellow Ranger. Kirin Ranger dove over their blows and landed against the ground, somersaulting forward and springing back to his feet while kicking the other two ancients aside.

 

An ancient spun backward while swinging the end of its staff towards Kirin Ranger. The Yellow Ranger blocked the blow and slapped the staff away. Kirin Ranger snapped a roundkick that the Gorma blocked.

 

The other three ancients extended their hands and fired pulses of energy that exploded against the Yellow Ranger’s armor with a burst of spark that sent him crashing backward. The ancients used their staffs to lift Kirin Ranger from the ground and press him back-first against a tree.

 

Shadam stalked towards the Ranger while carrying the white mask the ancients had enchanted.

 

Kirin Ranger struggled to break free, but the ancients’ hold was too strong. Their staffs nearly snapped his neck with pressure.

 

image005Shadam reached forward and slowly fit the mask over Kirin Ranger’s faceplate. The Ranger’s armor powered down with a flash of yellow energy as the mask clung onto Billy’s face. Billy screamed as the mask’s eyes started to glow red and radiate with energy.

 

The mask’s power felt like grinding drills and hot needles boring into his brain.

 

The ancients released their grasp as Billy collapsed to the ground. His screams muffled by the mask, he tried to rip it off as he tossed and turned.

 

The other four teens arrived at the scene after receiving a call from Kaku through their communicators. “Billy!” Tommy shouted as they ran towards their friend.

 

“You’re too late,” Shadam said as he stood in front of the ancients. “That mask is driving your friend to madness…and there is no way for you to stop it.”

 

Billy charged towards the teens and started to attack with wild, frantic movements. The teens tried to hold him down without hurting him.

 

Shadam laughed at the sight as he and the four ancients blinked away.

 

***

 

Billy was tied up to a pole in the lair as Kaku watched the teen struggle. The other rangers stood behind their sensei. “I thought this mask to be destroyed,” Kaku said.

 

“What is it?” Tommy asked.

 

“It was once worn by an ancient Gorma warrior. Its power drove him to madness. They say his spirit still resides inside the mask,” Kaku said.

 

“We’ve got to get it off,” Rocky said. He and Adam stepped closer to Billy to try and pry the mask off their friend’s face.

 

“Stop,” Kaku said, but it was too late.

 

Adam and Rocky touched the mask. A bolt of energy surged forth and slammed against the two teens, sending them flying backward and crashing against the wall before crumbling to the floor.

 

The two teens slowly pulled themselves back to their feet.

 

Kaku explained to them the power they would need to get the mask off Billy. They would need the power of all seven Thunder Gems.

 

***

 

The Gorma Emperor laughed, his voice cackling with insanity, as he continued to reel in his catch from the pits of hell. The fishing line was slowly pulling up from the gate. Akomaru’s hand was wrapped around the line.

 

“Faster!” Faster!” the boy shouted as slender black arms clawed and grabbed at his legs to try and pull him back down.

 

The boy was finally pulled above the claws’ reach.

 

***

 

Kameo leaned forward on his knees. Kimberly and Gohun stood over him. In the meantime, Kou kept jumping up and trying to grab the hovering gem. They were on a concrete boardwalk where the bustling city met the ocean.

 

“What’s going on?” Kameo asked as he struggled to catch his breath.

 

Gohun leaned down next Kameo. “I am not surprised you have forgotten. You are the super Kidenjuu…Daimugen.”

 

“Kidenjuu?” Kameo asked. He did not understand a word. “Daimugen?”

 

Gohun nodded. “After the war ended between the Gorma and the Dai 6,000 years ago, you assumed a human form. Since then…your memory of that war has been lost.”

 

Kameo whimpered and shook his head. “It can’t be true…I’m only 20!” Kameo rose to the ground and frantically grabbed Kimberly by the shoulders. “It can’t be true!”

 

Kimberly’s communicator toned. Tommy’s voice came through. “Kim, Billy’s gotten away…we need your help.”

 

“I’m on my way,” Kimberly said as she ran off.

 

“Billy…” Kameo said as he wondered what the fate of his friend would be. Kameo felt responsible for Billy’s getting masked by the Gorma in the first place.

 

Kameo stood, jumped up, and grabbed the gem.

 

***

 

image006Billy ran up the fire escape along the side of a building as the other teens followed. Tommy, Kimberly, Adam, and Rocky chased him all the way to the roof and stopped in their tracks at what they saw.

 

The Four Deva Kings were standing on top of the roof’s concrete entrance with a group of Kyonshi standing on the roof below. The grunts had their staffs aimed forward. The ancients slowly whispered an incantation.

 

“Not you freaks again!” Rocky shouted.

 

The teens armed their morphers. “Chakra ignite, Aura Power!” They connected their braces as energy shimmered around them and they morphed into their Ranger forms.

 

The Kyonshi charged forward to attack.

 

The four Rangers wasted no time slamming through the group of soldiers. Tenma Ranger rolled into a crouched position and snapped his leg up against a soldier’s gut. Blue Ranger used his footing to flip the soldier backward.

 

Lion Ranger used his forearm to block a grunt’s staff strike and stepped forward while slamming a backfist blow across that grunt’s head.

 

Dragon Ranger slapped a grunt’s staff away and slammed a spin kick across the soldier’s head, knocking the grunt backward while crushing its skull.

 

Phoenix Ranger backflipped while kicking a soldier upside the head, snapping the grunt’s neck.

 

Billy suddenly pounced forward, his maddening cries muffled by the mask as he reached for Dragon Ranger’s throat. The Red Ranger grabbed his friend’s arms as Billy continued to spasm, his every movement frantic.

 

Nearby, Kameo, Gohun, and Kou ran onto the roof. Kameo opened his eyes wide with shock as he saw Billy try to claw at the Red Ranger’s throat. “Billy!”

 

Billy snapped his head towards Kameo. The ranger twisted his arms free and leapt forward, slamming a flying sidekick against Kameo that knocked the older teen onto his tailbone.

 

Billy sprang forward to attack Kameo again, but Dragon Ranger grabbed the masked ranger by the arms and held him back. “Come on, pal…fight it…” Dragon Ranger said. “You never let me go off the deep end, I’ll be damned if I let the same thing happen to you…”

 

Billy’s screams became more frantic. The ranger tried to rip his mask off.

 

“Billy…” Dragon Ranger said, keeping his voice calm. “Give me your Thunder Gem…”

 

For just a second, Billy managed to reach his trembling hand forward and extend his yellow Thunder Gem. Dragon Ranger took the gem. Billy immediately started flailing about again, his maddening cries growing louder.

 

Nearby, Phoenix Ranger flipped a soldier over her shoulder before she looked back to Kou. “Kou,” she said. “It’s morphin time.”

 

“Right,” Kou said as he stood proudly. It was the first time he was morphing in front of the other Rangers. “Chakra ignite…Kiba Power!”

 

Kou inserted his key into his wrist brace as energy shimmered around him. White armor wrapped around his body as his muscles matured. The tiger coin symbol stamped onto his chest as he morphed into his Ranger form.

 

Kiba Ranger pounced forward like a tiger to attack. The White Ranger slammed a jumpkick upside a soldier’s head and clawed the grunt across the face. Another soldier swung his staff towards the White Ranger. Kiba Ranger unsheathed Byakko and parried the blow before slashing upward with a strike that sparked across the grunt’s chest.

 

Tenma Ranger and Lion Ranger rolled into crouched positions on the other end of the roof and armed their blasters. “Thunder Blasters!” they shouted as they fired lances of blue and green energy that exploded against the grunts with burst of sparks.

 

The five Rangers regrouped near Kameo and Gohun. “Dairanger,” Gohun said. “Ready your Thunder Gems.”

 

The five Rangers extended their hands. Dragon Ranger held his crystal along with Billy’s gem.

 

“Now, the Kiryoku Bazooka,” Gohun said.

 

The bazooka materialized above the Rangers as they stood in formation. The bazooka slowly lowered. Lion Ranger, Tenma Ranger, Kiba Ranger and Phoenix Ranger stood on the sides of the weapon. They inserted their Star Cutters into the bazooka’s casing to hold the weapon.

 

Dragon Ranger kneeled and held the large barrel over his shoulder. He aimed the weapon towards Billy. “Thunder Gems,” Dragon Ranger said.

 

“Right,” Phoenix Ranger said as she loaded each of the Rangers’ gems.

 

The bazooka whined with energy as the Rangers aimed forward.

 

Gohun looked to Kameo. “Now…use the power of your gem along with the weapon…and form the Super Kiryoku Bazooka.”

 

Kameo extended the gem. Lines of energy snaked from the gem and wrapped around the weapon, highlighting its outlines with deep green energy.

 

“Kiryoku Bazooka,” Dragon Ranger said. “Fire!” The bazooka nearly blasted itself out of the Rangers’ hands as it fired a massive discharge of energy. The energy blast streaked forward, a comet of power as it exploded against Billy’s mask.

 

The mask absorbed the energy from the explosion and shattered from Billy’s face as the teen collapsed to the ground.

 

“Billy!” Kameo shouted as he ran towards his friend.

 

Billy slowly rose back to his feet as his vision blurred back into focus and his mind calmed. “Kameo…guys…”

 

The four ancients slammed the ends of their staffs against the rooftop, 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 Gattai Shitenno absorbed the energy and grew giant.

 

“Billy,” Dragon Ranger said. “It’s morphin time.”

 

Billy nodded as he glared up at the villain. “I have a score to settle with that four-headed monstrosity.”

 

Billy armed his morphers. “Chakra ignite, Aura Power!” Energy shimmered around him as he morphed into his Ranger form.

 

The six Rangers held their blades into the air while grasping their Thunder Gems. “Thunderzords, arise!”

 

The five main Thunderzords appeared, charging over the landscape. 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.

 

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!” he shouted, 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.

 

Gattai Shitenno extended his staff and fired tendrils of energy that exploded against Red Dragon and White Tiger, sparks ripping across the zords’ armor upon impact.

 

“Kou,” Dragon Ranger said. “Combine with the others!”

 

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!”

 

Red Dragon dashed forward and swung his staff across the villain’s chest, the golden tip of the staff sparking upon impact.

 

“MegaTigerzord!” the other Rangers shouted. “Grand-Phoenix Crash!”

 

The Phoenix extended its wings and shot towards the monster. Fiery energy twisted around the Phoenix as it streaked towards the villain.

 

But Gattai Shitenno used his staff to bat the energized Phoenix away, sending the zord blade back towards the MegaTigerzord and Red Dragon. The Phoenix blade exploded against the two zords with a massive explosion, sending them crashing backward and skidding across the city streets.

 

The shockwave tore part of the streets up below. Kameo was knocked onto his tailbone as his gem fell from his pocket. He slowly lifted the crystal as he remembered what Gohun had told him.

 

Kameo stood and glared up at the monster. “Super Kidenjuu!” he shouted. “Daimugen!”

 

He clasped his hands over the crystal. Green light bled from the crystal and enveloped him as he shrunk into a turtle. But this time his body immediately started to expand and form a massive zord. Bulky green armor wrapped around Daimugen, the carrier zord.

 

“Leave them alone!” Daimugen shouted in a deep, booming voice filled with the power and authority that Kameo had always lacked. After living as a human for so long, Daimugen had gained a level of sentience beyond the other zords.

 

Daimugen opened fire with mystical blasters mounted on the sides of his armored shell. Pulses of green energy shot forth and exploded against the Gorma with a massive burst of sparks.

 

Gattai Shitenno ran through the sparks and charged towards Daimugen. The Gorma kicked the zord upside the head, and Daimugen flipped onto its back.

 

“Not again!” the carrier zord shouted as he struggled to get back to his four feet.

 

Red Dragon stepped over and helped the zord turn upright.

 

The monster suddenly leapt through the air and slashed Red Dragon twice across the chest, explosions sparking as the staff tore across armor. The Gorma launched an energy pulse from the staff at near point-blank range that exploded against Red Dragon and sent the zord flying backward.

 

Red Dragon crashed through a building and landed in the rubble.

 

“Tommy!” Daimugen shouted.

 

“Could you say my name louder? I don’t think they heard you in Crossworld City!” Dragon Ranger said as he willed his zord to stand.

 

The monster stalked towards Daimugen.

 

“Rise up!” Daimugen shouted. The zord tilted upward into warrior formation.

 

His front legs extended forward like hands. Barrels extended from the zord’s hands like fingers. The zord opened fire with rapid volleys of green energy lances that exploded against the Gorma monster, keeping the villain back.

 

“Dragon Ranger!” Daimugen shouted as the top part of his shell opened, revealing an empty chamber. “Inside!”

 

Red Dragon leapt into the chamber. The shell sealed the zord inside. Daimugen funneled energy into Red Dragon to help the zord heal.

 

The Gorma fired swirling pulses of energy at Daimugen. The energy blasts exploded harmlessly against the zord’s shell with bursts of spark. “Not so easy now, is it?” Daimugen asked.

 

Inside the shell, Red Dragon’s energy reached full. “Alright!” Dragon Ranger yelled. “Let’s go, Red Dragon!”

 

Red Dragon energized and leapt from the shell. Dragon Ranger placed his hand over his control sphere. “Ultra Thunder! Star Fusion!”

 

The Lion, Tenma, Kirin, and Phoenix formed a chariot that hovered through the skies. Red Dragon twirled his staff like a helicopter propeller to fly upward and land on the chariot.

 

White Tiger assumed his beast form and slid into the shell of Daimugen. The carrier zord returned to his four-legged form as the Thunder Chariot landed on top of the shell.

 

“UltraThunderzord!” the Rangers shouted as they joined in Dragon Ranger’s cockpit.

 

Red Dragon spun its staff like a propeller as the Ultrazord hovered in midair. Red Dragon then swung his staff downward, but kept the staff spinning.

 

“UltraThunderzord! Lightning Wave!” the Rangers shouted.

 

A torrent of rushing white energy blasted from the staff as the carrier zord fired massive pulse blasts from its side-mounted cannons and jaw. The wave of energy splashed around the monster, ripping off its skin and vaporizing the villain. Not a single ash remained.

 

***

 

Back at the sealed hell gate, Akomaru climbed from the rubble. The emperor smiled down at the boy. “Welcome back to the land of the living, Akomaru.”

 

To be continued…Chapter 19