Five Stars of Heaven: Chapter Twenty-Seven
A week-and-a-half passed. Rocky ran through the streets in his blue jogging outfit. He pushed himself to the limit, trying to escape his problems. Trying to flee from the unanswered questions his former sensei had left him. Unanswered fears.
He jogged past the Center Grove Promenade in Angel Grove Central. Billy’s INET shop was nearby.
Billy was working in his newly opened shop and waiting on a customer. “I can’t get my VCR to stop blinking 12,” an elderly lady told him.
Billy sighed. “That’s really not what we do here…but I can take care of it.”
Billy noticed Rocky outside. The former Blue Ranger was pacing back and forth, debating if he actually wanted to come inside. Billy left his shop and walked out.
“Hey Billy,” Rocky said. They both tried their best to hide the awkwardness. “I see you have your shop up and running.”
“Yeah…business is booming. How have you been?” Billy asked.
“Oh just exercising. I have to keep it up if I’m going to go professional someday,” Rocky said.
“Cool,” Billy said. Their smiles faded as they sighed.
“Well,” Rocky said. “I better get going. Later.”
“Later,” Billy said as Rocky ran off.
In her apartment, Kimberly passed Kou a plate as they ate dinner. They were sitting at a small table in her living room.
“Thanks,” Kou said. “So…When are we going to get our morphers back?”
“We can’t,” Kimberly said.
“We have to,” Kou said.
“Kou…we’re not Rangers anymore.”
“We have to be,” Kou said. “My mother told me…” he slammed the ring on the table. “She told me it was my responsibility!”
Kou bolted from the table and ran from the apartment. He left the ring behind.
“Kou!” Kimberly called after him.
She looked down to the ring on the table. She picked the ring up and placed it in her palm. She knew Kou was right. They could not continued to sit around and pretend like their lives were normal. But what could they do?
Billy was fiddling with a small digital invention when he noticed something scurry beneath his desk. He looked below. It was a turtle, of all things.
Billy’s thoughts drifted to his friend Kameo. Even when Kameo thought he was powerless, he had tried to help Billy and the others. Kameo was far from courageous, and yet he was brave enough to accept his destiny despite his fear.
Billy picked up the turtle.
A motorcyclist nearly ran Rocky off the sidewalk. “Hey!” he shouted as the motorist passed him by. Then a public telephone along a nearby building started to ring. Rocky walked over and answered, putting the receiver to his ear.
“Hiiiiiii!” a squeaky voice on the other end of the phone said. “Did you miss us?”
Rocky snapped his head around when he heard the same voice coming from a nearby ledge. He turned to see the Three-Stupid Gorma standing on the ledge. Rocky had met the Gorma three times. The first time the group kidnapped Tommy’s sister, the second time they tricked Rocky into believing they wanted to defect from the Gorma, the third time they managed to convince Rocky of their desire to change by sacrificing their lives to save him.
Which brought up the question of how they appeared alive and speaking to him. And why no passersby seemed to notice.
They vanished as quickly as they appeared. Rocky shook his head, convincing himself he was just daydreaming.
He pulled a small bandana from his pocket. It reminded him of the Three Stupid Gorma’s sacrifice. It had belonged to their leader.
Tommy was practicing a kata by a waterfall. He was trying to clear his mind but could not stop thinking about Kaku and the Gorma.
A blur of motion suddenly leapt from the air. It was Jinn. Jinn attacked Tommy with a flurry of kicks and punches as Tommy blocked while stepping away.
“Jinn…what the…” Tommy said as he blocked a combination of kicks.
Jinn stepped back. “You give up on your Master too easily. Have you learned nothing from me?”
Jinn faded away just as quickly as he had appeared. His voice echoed through the wind. “Tommy!” Jinn’s voice said from nowhere. “Keep fighting!”
Tommy checked his pocket, where he still had one of Jinn’s coins from their first meeting. He held the coin in his palm and ran his fingers along its edges.
Shadam was sharpening a double-edged blade in his private chambers in the Gorma palace. He was preparing for his fight against Kaku as Gara and Zydos walked inside.
“It’s almost time for the battle,” Gara told Shadam as she stepped inside.
“Did you see the power Kaku had?” Zydos asked.
“Of course I did,” Shadam said. “I want you to take care of that, Zydos. Now that the Rangers are gone, it should be easy enough even for you.”
Adam sat on the rooftop near the first golden spear that Zilong had placed. He sat in a meditative pose with his eyes closed. He had one of Kujaku’s feathers in his hand.
Kujaku’s spirit appeared behind Adam as the feather started to glow. She was wearing white robes etched with sparkling diamonds.
“Kujaku,” Adam said softly, his eyes fixed on the feather. He could not see her, only feel her presence.
“Adam…” she answered.
“It’s over,” Adam said. “The Rangers are gone…I don’t know…” he shook his head.
“Adam,” Kujaku said. “Your heart is strong…that is all you need to be a Ranger.”
“Adam!” Rocky yelled as he and the others joined him on the roof. “Guys…Something weird’s going on…”
Tommy nodded. “I know what it is…”
“What?” Kimberly asked.
Tommy stared at the spear. “We’re still Rangers, guys…we have to keep on fighting…together.”
Explosions sparked around the teens and knocked them backward. They rolled to their knees and looked up to see Zydos standing on the roof along with a group of Kyonshi.
“Zydos,” Tommy cursed as he and the other rangers rose to their feet and snapped into fighting stances.
“He must be trying to destroy the spear,” Kimberly said.
“That would mean sensei would lose power,” Billy said.
“We’re not letting you touch that thing, Zydos!” Adam yelled.
Zydos laughed. “How are you going to stop me? You’re powerless now.”
“We’ll see,” Tommy said. “Let’s go!” They charged at Zydos.
The Gorma emitted a red energy whip that he snapped across the rangers, knocking them backward and sending them skidding across the roof. Energy from the whip acted like a stun gun, practically overloaded every nerve in their bodies.
Zydos stalked towards them. “Once I destroy that spear…Shadam will rule…and your precious planet will be dust!”
Kaku and Shadam stood facing each other within the main chamber of the Gorma palace. It was their official introduction ceremony. The battle itself was to begin shortly afterwards on a battleground beneath the palace.
Shadam took a drink of wine from a gauntlet. He passed the glass to Kaku. Kaku took a drink and dropped the gauntlet, causing it to shatter.
Zydos paced back and forth in front of the rangers. “If you surrender, I will make your deaths quick and painless,” Zydos said.
The teens remained silent as they slowly rose to their feet, gathering strength from force of will alone. They had come too far, and fought too hard, to go down without a fight. Powers or no powers. They were Rangers.
“Nothing to say? Well than let me tell you this…Shadam will kill your master…and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
“Bastard,” Adam growled.
“I’m getting sick of this windbag,” Rocky said.
“Let’s do it guys!” Tommy yelled. “It’s time to take care of business!”
The rangers snapped into their signature fighting stances and shouted their calls.
“Dragon Ranger, Heaven Fire Star, Red!”
“Lion Ranger, Heaven Illusion Star, Green!”
“Tenma Ranger, Heaven Gravity Star, Blue!”
“Kirin Ranger, Heaven Time Star, Yellow!”
“Phoenix Ranger, Heaven Wind Star, Pink!”
Tommy stepped forward. “Power of the stars, brought down…”
Together they shouted: “Heaven Star Task Force…Power Rangers!”
“Fools,” Zydos spat. “Without your morphers, you’re nothing! Kyonshi!”
The soldiers charged forward to attack.
Tommy leapt forward with a flying kick that slammed both his heels against a soldier’s chest. He landed and spun forward with a reverse hook kick that smashed a second soldier across the head. Another soldier swung a saber down towards Tommy’s head, but he grabbed the soldier by the arm and flipped the grunt off its feet while moving forward and slamming a reverse sidekick against another soldier’s chest.
Adam used his left arm to block a soldier’s blow and slammed the back of his right fist across a soldier’s face. The teen hopped forward with a jump kick that knocked a grunt upside the head, and a jump roundkick that smashed the head of another soldier.
Rocky slammed a tornado kick across a grunt’s head. A Kyonshi moved in swinging a short staff weapon. Rocky blocked the blow and slammed his elbow against the soldier’s face before sidekicking the grunt backward.
Billy roundkicked a soldier in the gut and spun forward, moving in low with a palm-heel strike that slammed against a grunt’s chest.
Kimberly slammed a knifehand against a soldier’s neck and snapped an outer crescent kick across another soldier’s head.
Tommy jumpkicked a soldier aside and sprang forward through the air, leaping towards Zydos.
The Gorma extended his hand towards Tommy and fired a red energy pulse. The pulse slammed against Tommy’s chest, burning through his shirt and knocking him backward, sending waves of pain throughout his entire body. He slammed against the roof and skid backward, tearing up his skin.
Kaku slowly strapped on his armor while in his chambers within the Gorma palace. He thought of his students. Tommy, Adam, Billy, Rocky, Kimberly…I must win…so they can live their lives…
Meanwhile on the other end of the palace, Shadam transformed into his own armor. His armor was dark crimson and dull silver, almost like an iron shell that wrapped around his body as an exoskeleton would. Dull silver armor covered the right side of his face, and he had a dark red eyepiece over his left eye.
Shadam took his double-edged sword. “Kaku…I’ve been waiting 6,000 years for this.”
Tommy ignored the pain and sprang back to his feet while moving through a dense group of Kyonshi. The ranger kicked and punched his way through, blocking various staffs and sabers along the way.
Zydos pounced forward and grabbed Tommy by the neck. The Gorma hurled Tommy off his feet and sent the ranger crashing hard against the roof.
The Gorma prepared a battle ground on the barren surface beneath their floating palace. Lines of Kyonshi blared trumpets as Shadam and Kaku walked onto the battle field, marked off by columns of white marble and stone.
Kyonshi carried the Gorma emperor to the scene on a small platform.
The trumpets stopped.
Shadam and Kaku unsheathed their swords.
A Kyonshi rang a gong.
Kaku and Shadam charged at one another.
The rangers slowly regrouped, limping after finishing off every Kyonshi. Their bodies were battered and broken. Their every limb ached.
Zydos faced off with the rangers and readied a large crimson energy pulse between his palms. The energy sphere crackled between his palms, thrashing violently. “This is the end!”
The teens stepped back into defensive stances. “Keep it together guys…get ready.” Tommy said.
Zydos launched the blast forward. The rangers stood, placed their palms against their fists, and thrust their hands forward. “Ki!” They used their Kiryoku to emit an invisible energy shield that the Gorma’s pulse slammed against.
The pulse tried to push forward through the shield. The rangers struggled to hold their ground and keep the energy barrier raised.
Kaku crashed his blade against Shadam’s sword. Their weapons sparked against each other on impact. Shadam pushed Kaku back. The Gorma swung his blade downward towards Kaku’s head.
Kaku parried the blow and slammed a roundkick against the villain’s side. Kaku pressed forward and swung his blade upward in a diagonal blow that slashed across the Gorma’s armor with a burst of spark.
Shadam kept his balance and thrust his blade forward like a spear. Kaku used his blade to slap the Gorma’s sword away, then twisted his wrist and swung his blade horizontally, slashing across Shadam’s armor with a burst of spark.
Kaku grabbed Shadam by the throat and lifted him off his feet, tossing him through the air. The villain crashed to the ground and slid across the dirt.
Kaku stood over Shadam. His back flat on the ground, Shadam swung his blade upward. Kaku slapped the sword from Shadam’s hand. The sword went flying through the air and landed on the ground nearby.
Kaku aimed his sword towards Shadam’s throat. The Rangers’ former mentor hesitated. Kaku tossed his sword aside. He couldn’t slay Shadam while he was on the ground and defenseless.
Shadam opened his jaw and spat spheres of blue flame that exploded against Kaku’s armor with a burst of spark and knocked him off his feet.
“Fool,” Shadam said as he rose to his feet.
Kaku climbed back onto his feet. He looked upward and raised his hand towards the air. He shouted an incantation in Japanese. The two spears in the city shot streams of energy that shot towards each other and combined. The combined energy stream streaked towards Kaku and struck his hand.
Energy surged through Kaku’s body. Kaku gathered a sphere of golden energy between his hands. The energy sphere lashed out with lightning strands while pulsing between Kaku’s palms.
Kaku thrust his arms forward and shot the sphere at Shadam.
The blast exploded against Shadam with a massive burst of spark and flame. The Gorma went flying backward, smashing through a trio of columns, pulverizing the structures.
Shadam slowly rose back to his feet, steam still rising from his armor because of the blast. “Zydos you fool,” Shadam said. “You must have failed.”
Kaku narrowed his brow. “What?
Nearby, Gara moved away from the crowd of spectators. Maybe Zydos needed backup.
The rangers were still using their Kiryoku to hold the energy blast back. But they were losing. Their energy shield shattered, the force of which knocked them backward and sent them crashing against the roof.
Zydos’s energy blast exploded against the lance and shattered it.
“No!” Tommy shouted.
Kaku started to gather another energy sphere between his palms. But the energy sphere flicked away before forming. His link with the spears was gone.
Shadam smiled as he lifted his blade from the ground. “Or maybe he didn’t fail…”
Shadam sprang forward and slashed downward across Kaku’s chest, blade sparking on impact. Shadam stepped forward and slammed the back of his fist against Kaku’s head.
Zydos laughed at the rangers. “Your master is as good as dead!”
“We have to do something,” Kimberly said as they rose back to their feet.
Zydos fired another crimson pulse at the teens. The blast exploded around them with a burst of spark and knocked them backward.
The teens tried to rise back to their feet, but could not. The pain from the blast was too great. Their muscles and bones were worn and tired.
Jinn’s coin fell from Tommy’s pocket and landed on the roof’s surface. Kujaku’s feather was beneath Adam’s hand. The turtle crawled from Billy’s pocket. The ring fell next to Kimberly’s hand. The banner was hanging from Rocky’s pocket.
Images flashed before the rangers’ minds. They appeared: Jinn, Kujaku, Kameo, Kou’s mother, the Gorma trio…their images instilled a sense of determination in the rangers.
“It’s not over yet!” the Gorma trio yelled.
“Fight on, Tommy,” Jinn said.
“Billy, you can do it,” Kameo said.
“Adam, fight with your heart,” Kujaku said.
“The power is in you,” Kou’s mother said.
Tommy rolled his hands into fists, Jinn‘s coin held firmly in his right hand. The rangers fought against their pain. They fought against fatigue. They slowly rose to their feet while grasping their various objects.
They stood boldly and glared at Zydos. Their objects glowed with their signature colors. The rangers started to radiate with energy. They filled with strength. Pulses shot from the five teens, spanning across the city in less than a blink of an eye.
The pulses struck the Aura Morphers and Heaven-Star Thunder Gems within the Gorma palace. The morphers and gems shot forth in streaks of light, spanning miles in a fraction of a second.
The streaks of light struck the rangers. Their braces wrapped around their wrists. Their Thunder Gems appeared in their hands.
“How…” Tommy said. Tommy looked into the Thunder Gem. He tightened his grip on it and looked up, narrowing his eyes at Zydos. “Guys…” Tommy said. “It’s morphin time!”
They armed their morphers. “Chakra ignite, Aura Power!” Energy shimmered around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms. They snapped into fighting stances and faced off with Zydos.
“Now…” Dragon Ranger said. “Where were we?”
Zydos screamed with frustration.
Kou suddenly leapt onto the roof from the fire escape ladder. The boy ran over to the Rangers with his morphing key and Byakko in hand. “Guys! Don’t have all the fun without me.”
“Get into gear,” Tenma Ranger said.
Kou wrinkled his nose. “What?”
“…just morph,” Tenma Ranger said.
Kou armed his morpher. “Chakra ignite, Kiba Power!” Energy shimmered around him as he morphed into his Ranger form. The White Ranger stepped back into a fighting stance to join the others in facing off against Zydos.
Zydos pulled an enlargement bomb and tossed it to the ground. The Gorma absorbed the energy of the explosion and used it to grow giant.
The Rangers extended their blades towards the air while grasping their Thunder Gems. “Thunderzords, arise!”
The main five 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.
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.
The White Tigerzord dashed onto the scene, its four legs pumping with might. Kiba Ranger leapt into his zord’s cockpit and inserted Byakko in the forward control console. “White Tiger! Rise up!”
The Tigerzord pulsed with energy as it transformed and assumed a warrior shape. The zord armed a curved golden blade.
Dragon Ranger’s Thunder Gem began to glow with deep red power. The Red Ranger called upon that power as he called out. “Thunder Star Fusion!”
Lightning struck each of the zords as they radiated with energy. The zords started to change shape and reconfigure as they merged with Red Dragon. Tenma and Kirin formed armor around the Dragon’s legs as the Phoenix wrapped around its waist. The Lion formed a chest plate and wrapped around the zord’s upper arms as a gold and black helmet slid into place.
The Rangers joined in the central cockpit. “MegaThunderzord!” they shouted together. “Dairenou!”
Kiba Ranger extended his hand over his zord’s control sphere. “Lets take him down, Byakko!”
“Let’s go!” Byakko shouted.
White Tiger led the charge as the two zords moved forward to attack. The White Tiger swung its golden saber towards the Gorma. Zydos dodged and moved past the Tigerzord. MegaThunderzord stepped forward and swung a punch towards Zydos.
The Gorma grabbed the zord by the arm and twisted downward. He looked down on the streets below, where Gara was approaching the second lance. “Gara!” he shouted down to her. “Do it!”
Gara stalked towards the lance. She extended her hand and fired a crimson burst of energy that shattered the spear.
“No!” the Rangers shouted.
Shadam chopped his blade downward, the sword slashing across Kaku’s armor with a burst of spark. Shadam stepped past Kaku while swinging horizontally, his sword sparking across armor on impact.
Shadam extended his hand and fired a crimson energy pulse that exploded against Kaku’s chest, sending the general flying backward and crashing against the ground.
Kaku slowly rose to his feet. He thrust his hands and tried to draw energy again. But the spears were destroyed.
Shadam spat spheres of blue fire that exploded across Kaku with bursts of sparks and flame.
“Good work Gara!” Zydos shouted down to his companion.
Zydos then faced the Rangers’ zords. “Now that your master is finished…allow me to take care of you!”
Zydos removed his leather mask, revealing his third eye and bulges across his hairless head. Zydos leaned forward and launched bursts of fiery energy from his head. Each magma blast exploded against the two zords, sending flames and explosions sparking across the zords’ armor.
“Talk about a hot head,” Tenma Ranger said.
“Rocky,” Dragon Ranger said. He was not in the mood.
“Sorry,” Tenma Ranger said.
Zydos launched another volley of magma blasts. The explosions knocked the zords off their feet. The two zords went crashing backward, toppling through buildings and ripping across the streets.
A flash of green pulsed through the streets in the distance. Daimugen the carrier zord rose and stomped forward through the streets.
“Ultra Thunder! Star Fusion!” Dragon Ranger shouted.
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.
Zydos used his power to erect a force field around himself as the massive energy wave splashed across him with a blinding flash of light. Even through the shield, the blast scorched Zydos’s skin and caused explosions to spark across his body. The villain returned to his normal size with a final burst of energy. Zydos crawled across the ground below as Gara watched.
The teens powered down their armor and ran towards the streets in front of Zydos, watching as he crawled forward.
“Bastards!” Zydos shouted. Zydos tried to run towards the rangers, but his legs suddenly turned to clay and crumbled. Zydos opened his eyes wide in horror. What was happening to him?
Gara took a step back nearby. She had seen many Gorma die. But not like this.
Zydos extended his hands, but they turned to clay as well and crumbled to the ground. “What’s happening to me?!”
His waist crumbled, and he crashed onto the bottom of his rib cage. His body slowly turned to clay and crumbled. His head was frozen in a scream before it turned to powder and blew away in the wind.
Horrified, Gara ran off.
“And now I’ve seen everything,” Rocky said.
“Guys,” Tommy said. “We have to go help sensei.”
Billy nodded. “Now that those spears are destroyed, he’s vulnerable.”
“Everyone,” Daimugen shouted from above. “He’s this way.”
Shadam lifted Kaku by strands of energy that sent bolts of power coursing through the general’s veins, electrocuting the sensei. Shadam released his grasp, and Kaku crashed onto the ground.
“And now to finish it,” Shadam said.
Kaku slowly climbed to his feet.
Shadam pounced forward with his sword held high.
Kaku lifted his hands into a defensive stance.
Shadam knocked the sensei’s arms away.
The Gorma thrust his blade forward and stabbed through Kaku’s stomach.
The teens tore through the mountains on their Thunder Cycles. They twisted the handles backward and opened the throttle to full. They swerved onto the battleground and found it deserted. The Gorma’s inverted pyramid hung in the air above.
The rangers hopped off their bikes.
“That must be their palace,” Tommy said.
Kimberly noticed Kaku up ahead. He was sitting on the ground, leaning against a pillar for support. “Look…”
“No,” Tommy whispered. He and the other teens ran over to the column and turned to face their sensei.
Kaku was leaning against the pillar and breathing weakly. His left hand was over a gaping, bleeding wound in his abdomen. His eyelids seemed heavy. The headband he wore was covered in sweat.
“Sensei…” Tommy said as he placed a hand on Kaku’s shoulder.
Kaku‘s eyes fluttered. “Shadam has won,” he said in a hoarse voice.
“You’re going to be okay, right?” Rocky asked.
Kaku tried to shake his head, but did not have the strength. He was about to die. “Shadam… will control the Gorma…he’s even more mad then the current emperor.” He looked at Tommy. “You must stop him…Now.”
Tommy nodded, his hands rolled into fists as anger and sadness welled up inside of him.
“But,” Kimberly said. “What about you.”
“If we get you back to the lair,” Billy said. “I may be able to help.”
“It’s too late for me…it’s up to you now,” Kaku said.
The teens were silent. Kaku’s eyes looked over each of them individually. “I am very proud of you all,” he said.
Kaku lifted his right hand. Tommy reached out and grasped it. The others followed and held firmly. Kaku nodded and looked at each of his students one more time.
Kaku’s body went limp as he breathed his last breath.
“No…” Tommy said. “No!”
Rocky shook with anger. He turned away from Kaku and screamed, tears streaming down his cheeks. Adam wiped tears from his own eyes as Kimberly held onto Kaku’s head, keeping her head low. Billy collapsed to his knees.
“We’ll stop them, master,” Tommy said quietly. “We’ll stop them.”
Tommy looked up to the Gorma palace above. His eyes narrowed.
Shadam swaggered through the halls of the Gorma palace as his laughter filled the halls. The Gorma Empire was his.
To be continued…Chapter 28