Land of the Rising Sun: Chapter Five
Coming of a Prince
The five rangers drove Nekomaru through the winding streets of Tokyo. Jonathan was at the wheel. His forehead unusually sweaty, he keeled over in pain, causing the vehicle to slightly swerve.
“Jonathan!” Trini shouted as she reached from behind the driver’s seat to steady the wheel.
“Yeah,” Jonathan said nonchalantly, despite the pain in his voice.
“What’s wrong?” Trini asked, knitting her brow with concern.
“Oh, my stomach feels like it’s going to rip open,” he said. “No big deal.”
The doctor’s office was white and stale, in direct contrast to the sickness that hung in the lobby. Patients coughed or sneezed as others held onto their sore stomachs. The nurse led each patient one-by-one out of the lobby and into the doctor’s office.
Jonathan and the other rangers had been waiting in the office for 30 minutes. Jonathan seemed more uncomfortable from the room itself than the pain in his gut. “You don’t understand…” he said as he paced back and forth. “I hate doctors.”
“We can’t afford to have you sick,” Trini said as the nurse walked in for Jonathan. Trini looked to Jonathan. “Go.”
Jonathan walked into a small, sterile room in the back of the doctor’s office space. He hated doctors and hospitals. When he was a kid, his mother had to have critical surgery. Jonathan couldn’t remember what the surgery was, only that his mother had almost died.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Jonathan had gotten lost while wandering the halls of the hospital at the time. The boy had opened a door he should not have entered. He saw a young girl his age on a surgery table, blood everywhere. Her eyes were glazed over, staring directly at Jonathan when her heart monitor flat-lined.
Jonathan shook his head to clear the memory from his mind as he waited for the doctor.
A doctor with shaggy white hair entered the room while mumbling to himself in Japanese. He placed his hand on Jonathan’s chest and forced him to sit on the bed. The doctor started poking and prodding at Jonathan in random places.
The teen noticed a look of insanity in the doctor’s eyes. It was a look Jonathan was becoming more and more familiar with.
<Wait> Jonathan said in Japanese as he struggled to back away from the doctor. <What do you think you’re doing? Stop poking me, you bastard.>
The room’s doors opened, and two nurses brought in trays of knives and other bladed instruments.
Jonathan bolted past the doctor and nurses while slapping the trays aside. He turned down a narrow hallway and burst back into the lobby, running past his friends as he shouted to them. “Let’s get out of here.”
Richie was at the wheel of the van, driving away from the doctor’s office. The doctor actually chased on foot after the van and picked up speed with every stride.
“Looks like a Youkai,” Jason said as he looked back towards the doctor.
The doctor pumped his legs faster. He past the van and sprang through the air. The Youkai landed on top of a 12-story building while transforming into his monster form. Brown fur covered his body. Several spikes and claws protruded from the fur.
The van skid to a halt as the teens piled out and looked up to the roof.
The monster started shedding. His fur descended on people below. The fur choked many, causing people to collapse to their knees and hack for air.
The teens ran to the roof and stood in fighting stances behind the Youkai. “Hold it right there, fuzz ball!” Jason shouted.
The monster turned and fired an energy blast that exploded around the teens as they rolled for cover and pulled out their morphers.
“Shogun transform, Ninja Power!” the teens yelled as energy whirled around them and they morphed into their armor. They each snapped into a fighting stance.
Together they shouted. “Shogun Task Force, Ninja Rangers!”
The Youkai, Keukegen, fired a volley of fur darts that exploded around the Rangers with a massive burst of sparks. The Rangers vanished as their limp uniforms fell and wrinkled on the ground.
The Rangers reappeared in a pyramid formation behind the monster. Ninjablue and Ninjablack stood on the shoulders of their teammates.
“You’ll have to do better than that!” Ninjared shouted to the monster.
Ninjablack and Ninjablue leapt forward and unsheathed their swords. They swung the blades downward while landing, their swords sparking across the monster’s body upon impact.
The other three Rangers somersaulted forward through the air and slashed their swords down across the Youkai, knocking him backward.
Keukegen recovered from the blows and pounced forward to attack. Ninjared tossed small black floor spikes onto the roof. The monster stepped on the spikes and yelped in pain before crashing onto his tailbone.
The Rangers had spent some time practicing fighting techniques in between class projects, which they never seemed to get done on time.
The monster called upon bolts of lightning from dark clouds that formed above. Keukegen absorbed the lightning power and used it to grow giant.
The Rangers pulled out their coins. “Battlezords, power up!” they shouted and tossed the coins into the air with streaks of golden energy. The coins flashed as the five slender Battlezords appeared.
The zords struck one-by-one. Battle Crane extended its arms in an ‘x’ pattern and crashed against the Youkai. Battle Frog and Battle Bear slammed flying sidekicks against the monster. Battle Wolf and Battle Ape dropkicked the monster. The Youkai tumbled backward across the ground.
The skies above suddenly turned black. The Rangers looked up from the roof as a ghostly image appeared above. It appeared like the head of a skeleton wearing an army-type helmet. Half the creature’s face was gray, and the other half looked camouflaged.
“What the…?” Ninjared started to say.
Jagged optic blasts of crimson energy lashed from the ghostly image and exploded against the five zords with a massive burst of sparks and flame.
The skeleton fired another blast that exploded around the Rangers, sending them falling towards the ground below. The Rangers crashed against the streets as rubble from the building slammed around them.
The monster disappeared with a flash of dark light. The skeleton image vanished as the clouds and skies returned to normal.
“Who was that?” Ninjablack asked.
Ninjayellow keeled over in pain as he grasped his stomach. “Okay, I’m out,” he said as he passed out from the pain.
A broken down, eerie mansion was hidden in the wilderness. The Youkai named Juniya was on the upper level of the mansion. The room was lit only by candles that sat across a wide banquet table. Dorodoro and other Youkai sat around the table as Juniya went mad on his electric guitar.
Juniya resembled a punk rocker. His dark hair was spiked up. He wore a dark outfit with leather armor and chains.
Keukegen slowly entered the room in his human form. His eyes darted nervously around the other Youkai as he moved to Juniya. Keukegen knitted his brow at Juniya. “Who are you?”
Juniya slammed his guitar against the doctor’s gut. “You dare to ask me questions after being beaten by children?” Juniya slammed his guitar on the back of the doctor’s neck.
Juniya used his guitar to lead Keukegen down a dark, winding stairwell. The Youkai scientist named Yugami was in the mansion‘s basement. A small lab was set up across the stone floor. Juniya knocked Keukegen down onto the basement floor. “Yugami! Make this whelp stronger.”
Juniya turned and left the basement, leaving the doctor and scientist alone. Keukegen looked over at the Youkai scientist. “Who is that?”
“That is Juniya…prince of all the Youkai,” Yugami said.
“Absurd,” the doctor said as he shook his head.
“Don’t tell him that…now…” he watched a television display of the Battlezords killing three monsters. “These Battlezords are quite a problem….but I think given a few upgrades…” He looked over the Youkai doctor. “Yes…you’ll do quite nicely.”
“Maybe it was something he ate?” Richie asked.
Jonathan was wincing in pain while lying in the back of the van. They were driving down the busy city streets during a rush hour.
“It could be,” Jason said.
The rangers skid the van to a halt as a group of screaming people ran across the road. The streets shook as a giant Youkai stomped nearby. It was Keukegen.
“Let’s go,” Jason said as he and the others started to leave the van. He looked to Jonathan. “You stay here.”
The rangers ran onto the narrow street as a group of Dorodoro charged towards them. Jason launched forward with a flying sidekick that slammed against a soldier’s chest. He and the others readied their morphers as more of the grunts appeared.
“Shogun transform!” they shouted as energy whirled around them and they morphed into their armor.
Ninjared unsheathed his sword and slashed through a soldier while spinning forward, slamming the handle of his weapon across another soldier’s head.
A Dorodoro charged at the Red Ranger from behind and swung a jagged blade towards his collar bone. Ninjared held his blade high and blocked the blow. The Red Ranger twisted the grunt’s sword downward and held it at bay as the ground started to shake.
Ninjared looked up to see the giant monster stomping in the distance. “We have to call on our zords,” he said as he knocked the soldier’s blade away and swung a backhand strike that slashed across the soldier’s chest with a burst of spark.
The Rangers regrouped and readied their Power Coins. “Battlezords, power up!” they shouted as they tossed the coins forward in streaks of golden energy. The coins shimmered as four slim Battlezords appeared.
The giant Youkai activated a mechanical enhancement around his right arm. The bladed enhancement aimed forward and launched a stream of energy that exploded against the zords with a massive burst of sparks.
The furred monster stomped forward for another attack. Battle Ape rolled to its feet and leapt forward, slamming a flying kick against the Youkai that knocked him backward. The monster regained his balance and slashed his bladed weapon across the red-armored zord’s body, sparking on impact.
Battle Frog and Battle Wolf leapt forward to attack from opposite sides of the Youkai. The monster swung his weapon in a wide arc, firing an energy stream that lashed against the zords, exploding against their armor and knocking them from the air.
The Youkai readjusted his mechanical appendage and fired a wide energy stream that exploded against the zords, sending massive bursts of sparks ripping across their armor, as they tumbled backward and crashed on top of buildings. The concrete and steel buildings buckled beneath the zords and crumbled to the ground with a thundering boom.
Back on street level, Ninjared spin kicked a soldier out of his way. “They need help…”
The Red Ranger and his three teammates regrouped and held their scrolls forward to summon their other zords. “Shogunzords awaken!”
The massive Shogunzords rose from the earth as the Rangers levitated backward, merging with their zords. The Shogunzords stood in attack formation and charged forward.
From afar, Yugami activated his trap. Massive chains and bindings sprang from the pavement and wrapped around the four Shogunzords. Electric power traveled along the chains and exploded against the zords’ armor repeatedly. The power intensified every time the zords tried to snap free.
On the streets below, Jonathan stumbled from the van and looked up to see his friends get fried. He winced in pain as he pulled out his morpher. “Shogun transform!” he shouted as energy swirled around him and he morphed into his Ranger form. The influx of energy made him feel better and relieved his pain, but like before, the pain relief was only temporary.
Ninjayellow pulled out his Power Coin and tossed it forward with a streak of golden energy. “Battlezord, power up!” The slim, yellow Battle Bear appeared with a burst of energy and landed on the streets.
Battle Bear leapt forward and tore the chains from the Shogunzords. The electric barrage stopped as the Shogunzords regrouped.
Keukegen growled with annoyance and aimed his appendage forward. The Youkai fired a jagged burst of energy that exploded against the zords, knocking them backward.
“Enough is enough…” Red Ape said with frustration as he rose back to his feet. The Red Ranger felt a calling from his Battlezord. “Guys…transfer into your Battlezords.”
The Rangers leapt out of their zords and hovered to their Battlezords. The Rangers merged with the Battlezords and willed the zords to snap into fighting stances.
Keukegen fired another energy blast that the zords dove away from as explosions tore through the streets.
Battle Ape rolled back to his knees and sprang forward, flipping through the air as red energy ignited around his armor. The zord became a streak of energy and shot through the monster, piercing through its chest and destroying the creature.
The Youkai fell backward and exploded, its body bursting into flames and disintegrating.
Juniya didn’t notice the destruction of the monster. He just assumed it was going to happen and went on to his plan. Unlike other freaks that had tried to take over Earth, Juniya knew his plan would work.
Juniya stood on a wide stairwell of concrete while outside at night. Pillars lined each side of the stairwell, and supernatural fog slowly spread across the area. Juniya played his guitar, a heavy-metal sound that helped the Youkai focus his power.
He stopped playing and snapped his fingers. Five young women ran to the base of the stairs. Each woman was dressed in gray-colored ninja garb and skirts. They had multi-colored scarves around their necks. Their faces were refined and quite stunning. They kneeled and lowered their heads. Juniya said each of their names.
“Yuri…” The girl with the orange scarf raised her head.
“Sakura…” The young woman with a dark-pink scarf raised her head.
“Ayame…” The girl with purplish-blue looked up.
“Suiren…” She wore an olive-green scarf. She looked up.
“Ran…” The ninja in dark violet glanced up.
“I have given you five life to become my Hana Ninja team. You will kill Ninjaranger. That is your only purpose and your only pleasure.”
The ninja snapped to their feet and placed their hands in front of their chests. Sparks of energy twirled around them as they transformed into ranger-style armor. The armor appeared almost feline.
Their body armor was white around their breasts and stomach, and trimmed with black along the edges with a black V-shaped cut over their chests. Scarves with their signature colors wrapped around their collarbones. Slender black swords were attached to their backs. They wore black gauntlets and black boots, with their signature colors running down their arms and legs. Their feline helmets were all black except for the mouthpiece.
The images of flowers were painted along the fronts of their helmets. Ran’s was a purple orchid, Ayame’s was a purplish-blue Iris, Suiren’s was a green lotus, Yuri’s was a orange lily, and Sakura’s was a pink Cherry Blossom.
The Hana Rangers turned and ran off to complete their mission. Juniya turned to watch them run off, admiring how their agile bodies and forms moved. Maybe killing the Ninja Rangers would not be their only pleasure, he thought with a smile.
To be continued…Chapter 06