Galaxy Rangers: Chapter Five
Secret of the Kiba Daggers
PART ONE: THE THEFT
Bukarates shuffled through old boxes in his cabin while Sanbashu and Sherinda stood by watching, visibly impatient.
“Hurry up, you keg,” Sanbashu said.
“I know it’s here somewhere,” Bukarates said as he cleared a disarrayed pile of papers from a table, revealing a long wooden box. “Aha!”
Bukarates opened the box and pulled out a slender black sword, similar to the Seijuukin, except that the blade was tipped with the face of a skull.
“What is it?” Sherinda asked.
“Our key to reviving the Daitanix,” Bukarates said as he held the sword and gazed upon its blade in awe.
“You said that already, keg!” Sanbashu shouted. “Now how is a rusty old sword going to revive the ship?”
“This sword is modeled after the Seijuukin. It is linked to the Daitanix, much as the blades of Gingaman are linked to their Seijuu.”
Bukarates avoided any further questioning and left his cabin. He entered the main deck and kneeled before Capt. Zaihabu, presenting him with the sword.
“Your saber, Capt. Zaihabu,” Bukarates said as he held his head down low.
A crooked grin spread across Zaihabu’s face as he reached out and grabbed the saber. As he lifted it from Bukarates hand, the blade crumbled and clanked onto the ground.
“What?!” Zaihabu exclaimed as Bukarates took a step back in fear.
Sanbashu laughed. “Nice try…but I can think of five swords to replace your broken little toy.” He aimed his gun at the door to his chamber and fired as he shouted for one of his warriors to step forth. “Kennobata!”
Kennobata stepped out from behind the door; most of his slender, insectoid-type body was covered in a dark trench coat, and two antenna-like claws extended from his back.
“Someone call for a thief?” Kennobata asked.
“A thief?” Sherinda asked with skepticism. “You mean you actually think this…creature...can steal the Seijuukin from Gingaman?”
“Of course, Sherinda,” Sanbashu said as he walked up to his monster and put a hand on the villain’s shoulder. “It’s not like he’s a novice.”
Sanbashu opened the villain’s trench coat and showed Sherinda five multi-colored blades. “Check them out, Sherinda. They’re the Kiba Daggers.”
Kennobata closed his jacket. “Open my jacket again and you’ll lose a hand, sir.”
Sanbashu laughed and patted the monster on the back. “Ah, Kennobata. That’s why I like you.”
Ryouma and the guys sparred at the ranch, dueling with their Seijuukin as Boku hovered nearby and watched.
Ryouma returned his sword to its holster as he finished his match. “Saya, you’re up.”
“Thanks,” she said as she ran past him and joined the rest of the teens in their duel.
Ryouma sat down and patted his face with a towel as Boku flew over to him. “Looking good out there, Boku. Hyuuga would be proud of you.”
Ryouma nodded. “Thanks, Boku…I’d like to think so.”
“Know so, Boku. "You’ve really improved.”
Ryouma smiled and nodded. “Thanks.” But it’s still not enough. I’m not half the Ranger Hyuuga would have been…should have been.
Kennobata stepped onto the streets of Stone Canyon and flexed his fingers. “Time to get to work…” He spotted a policeman on a motorcycle across the street, several meters away. The villain's elastic arms let him extend his hands across the road, grab the cop's gun, and reel the weapon in.
Yattatoo broke into several shops that lined the streets and caused panic, stealing knives and anything sharp, and bringing them to Kennobata.
The villain smiled as he looked at his catch. “I’m developing quite the arsenal, here.” He picked up a knife and tossed it into a tree.
Moku’s eyes snapped open. “Balban!”
The teens rushed into the chamber.
“Where?” Ryouma asked.
“He’s moved to the construction yard on the east side of town.”
Kennobata pulled a submachine gun from his trench coat and fired at a few construction workers. Most managed to flee from the villain, but a few were shot down. “Nothing like a little target practice,” Kennobata said.
A wall of fire suddenly blasted into existence and tossed the monster backwards. Kennobata rose to his feet and saw the Galaxy Rangers running towards him.
The Rangers snapped into defensive poses and surveyed the area, taking note of the casualties.
“Balban,” Galaxy Red growled. “You bastard…”
“What’s the little lion cub going to do about it?” Kennobata taunted. “Yattatoo!” The orange foot soldiers attacked.
Galaxy Red leapt through the air and flying tackled a soldier to the ground. While still crouched on the pavement, he twirled his right leg around, sweeping a soldier’s feet out. Galaxy Red then rose, blocked a blow, and backfisted a soldier across the face.
Galaxy Yellow low blocked a soldier’s attack, then knife handed the villain at an angle so the Yattatoo was pushed to the ground. Galaxy Yellow sidestepped underneath a suspended pile of iron pipes while on all fours, and he emerged from underneath the pile in time to knifehand another soldier to the ground.
Galaxy Blue leapt towards a soldier and snapped its neck.
Galaxy Pink leapt onto a soldier, straddling her legs across its chest while she clawed the villain across the face.
Galaxy Green soared on top of a soldier and struck the villain in the neck with two claw pinches. He then rolled off of the soldier and regrouped with the others as they ran towards Kennobata.
“Seijuukin!” Galaxy Red shouted as the five warriors readied their swords.
“Those must be my catch,” Kennobata said as he aimed his machine gun and fired. Sparks flashed across the Rangers’ armor as the bullets hit them and tossed them to the ground.
Kennobata stretched his arm like a rope and reeled in all the Seijuukin except for Galaxy Red’s.
The monster grasped firmly onto Galaxy Red’s weapon, but the Ranger would not let the blade be pried from his grasp. Kennobata tried to reel in the weapon, but Galaxy Red continued to resist.
“You’ll never get my saber, Balban,” Galaxy Red said as he tried to pull his sword free.
“So, you don’t want to part with your weapon? Fine by me!” Galaxy Red was reeled in off the ground along with his Seijuukin and wrapped within the confines of the small pocket dimension inside Kennobata’s jacket.
“Ryouma!” the Rangers shouted as the monster laughed tauntingly at them.
“Your little red friend’s with me now,” Kennobata said.
“If you hurt him you’ll pay!” Galaxy Yellow shouted defiantly at the monster.
Kennobata aimed his machine gun at the remaining four Rangers and fired. They braced themselves as small explosions sparked across their armor. The next thing they knew, Kennobata was gone.
The four teens ran to Moku as the wise tree opened his eyes to greet them. Hayate spoke before Moku had a chance.
“That Balban took Ryouma,” Hayate said. “He has our Seijuukin too.”
“He should have let go,” Hikaru said as he slammed his fist against the wall. “Why couldn’t he have just let the sword go?”
“Hyuuga gave it to him,” Saya said quietly, still hurt by the loss of the friend she wished could have been more. “That’s much more than a sword to him. It’s all he has left of his brother.”
Moku broke the minute of silence that followed Saya’s mention of Hyuuga. “We may be able to trace Ryouma by using his Ginga Brace. It is imperative that we find him and the Seijuukin at once. And also, there is something else.”
“What is it?” Gouki asked.
“I sensed something else in Kennobata’s possession: the Kiba Daggers. Created by Zordon, they’ve been missing for centuries,” Moku said. “They possess great powers the Balban cannot be allowed to have.”
“What kind of power?” Saya said.
“You will know in time,” Moku said.
Gouki slammed his right fist against his left palm. “We’ll just have to get the daggers back too.”
Hayate nodded. “Let’s go…”
Ryouma slowly awoke to find himself chained to steel girders at a construction area deep within Stone Canyon City. Below him was a furnace of some kind filled with melted, liquid steel that radiated heat across the dimly-lit room he was suspended in.
Groups of Yattatoo were throwing various metal and steel objects into the open top of the furnace as Kennobata watched. The creature looked at Ryouma and smiled once he saw the Ranger was awake.
“Glad to see you finished your nap,” Kennobata said as he cackled.
Ryouma struggled against his chains. “You better let me go,” he shouted.
“No,” Kennobata said as he paced back and forth across the furnace and watched the Yattatoo at work. “I want you to stay put and watch my handy work.”
Kennobata pulled the five Seijuukin from his jacket. They were all bound together by a chain. “That idiot Sanbashu thought he could use me to get these fancy swords to him. He would then, of course, present the swords to Zaihabu. The Captain would reward Sanbashu handsomely for delivering the means to revive Daitanix.”
A sly grin spread across the creature’s face. “I have a better plan. I will destroy these little blades and then go to Zaihabu myself with an alternative…”
He opened his jacket and showed Ryouma the five multi-colored Kiba Daggers. “The Kiba Daggers will revive Daitanix. Zaihabu will be grateful to me, and Sanbashu will be thrown overboard.”
A bullet whizzed through the air and shot the Seijuukin from Kennobata’s grasp. “What the…”
Sanbashu stepped out from the shadows with his pistol in hand.
“Overboard, huh?!” he shouted as he walked towards Kennobata while aiming his gun forward. He leaned down, keeping his weapon pointed at the thief as he picked up the Seijuukin.
“How’s this for a plan…” Sanbashu said. “I take the sabers back to Zaihabu, but not before I throw you into that furnace!”
Ryouma saw that the two villains were distracted and wrapped his hands around the chains that were binding him as he summoned his Aasu power of flame. His fire burnt through the chains as he snapped free and leapt downward, kicking Sanbashu away and grabbing the sabers.
Ryouma ran out of the main building as fast as he could as Sanbashu fired in his direction. “Stop him!”
Ryouma ran through the construction area and ducked behind a tall pile of girders to catch his breath once he made it far enough away. Memories of his brother flashed before his minds' eye. Time and time again, Hyuuga had beaten Ryouma in battle.
“Use your head, Ryouma,” Hyuuga had used to say.
He heard a footstep to his right and looked to see Kennobata aiming a large weapon barrel at him. He rolled out of the way just as the villain fired, but the shockwave from the explosion threw him off his feet.
Ryouma rose to his knees as he clutched onto the Seijuukin.
“You might as well hand them over,” Kennobata said.
“You want ‘em? You’ll have to come and take them,” Ryouma said.
“Fine,” Kennobata said as he extended his arm like a long tendril and wrapped his hand around Ryouma’s throat.
Ryouma extended his hand. “Ha!” he shouted as he launched a fire stream that blasted Kennobata backward. The creature’s grip slackened as he fell to the ground, and Ryouma sprinted away.
Ryouma hid beneath a pile of crates as he saw Kennobata and a group of Yattatoo on patrol nearby. Ryouma ducked to his left to sprint away, but dropped the sabers when he bumped them against a crate.
He quickly leaned down to pick them up, but Kennobata had already spotted the ranger once hearing the noise.
“Nice try,” Kennobata said as he grabbed onto Ryouma and tossed him aside like a rag doll. The creature picked up the sabers and headed back towards the furnace room.
Sanbashu turned to Kennobata the second he stepped near the furnace. “Burning the sabers will release their energy…”
“What?” Kennobata said as he cradled the Seijuukin.
“Your plan wouldn’t have worked anyway,” Sanbashu said as he aimed his weapon at the monster. “Toss the Seijuukin into the furnace. The energy released will revive Daitanix!”
Kennobata shook his head, doubting the plan would work, but he tossed the sabers into the molten pit one by one.
“Yes!” Sanbashu shouted as he held his hands up in victory. “Now, Daitanix, revive!”
He waited for some sort of expulsion of energy, but nothing happened. Sanbashu turned to Kennobata. “The Daggers. Throw them in too.”
“No,” Kennobata said as he stepped backward. “You’re crazy…I won’t destroy these…”
“Do it!” Sanbashu shouted as he opened the monster’s jacket and grabbed the Daggers. He tossed them through the air as they arced towards the fiery pit.
Before the Daggers dropped into the pit, the five Galaxy Rangers leapt through the air as if from nowhere and grabbed the weapons.
The Rangers landed behind the villains and assumed fighting stances. Galaxy Red held his Kiba Dagger out towards the Balban. “Thanks for the gift.”
“What?!” Sanbashu yelled. “How!”
Galaxy Green placed his hand on the Seijuukin strapped securely to his belt. “We switched the sabers. The ones you tossed in were fakes.”
“It was a trick,” Galaxy Pink said, “to get you to give up the Kiba Daggers.”
“We’re much obliged,” Galaxy Yellow said as he aimed his hand towards the furnace. “Ha!”
Yellow lightning shot from the Ranger’s hand and blasted open the side of the furnace, spilling molten metal across the ground that the Balban had to retreat from the building to avoid.
The Balban regrouped outside as smoke blew through the air around them. Sanbashu was not happy. “You idiot!” he shouted at Kennobata as he roundkicked the creature in the side. “You’re on your own.”
Sanbashu summoned his motorcycle and rode off as the five Galaxy Rangers ran up to face Kennobata and assumed animal-like fighting stances.
“You’ll pay for this, Gingaman!” Kennobata shouted.
The Rangers struck their fighting poses.
“Galaxy Red, Ryouma!”
“Galaxy Green, Hayate!”
“Galaxy Blue, Gouki!”
“Galaxy Yellow, Hikaru!”
“Galaxy Pink, Saya!”
“The sword of legend cuts through the galaxy!” Galaxy Red shouted. “Star Beast Task Force…”
“Galaxy Rangers!” they shouted together.
“Get them!” Kennobata shouted as the Yattatoo charged forward.
The Rangers transformed their Daggers into small individual weapons.
“Kiba Cutter!” Galaxy Red shouted.
“Kiba Shot!” Galaxy Green shouted.
“Kiba Claw!” Galaxy Blue called.
“Kiba Knives!” Galaxy Yellow shouted.
“Kiba Arrow!” Galaxy Pink called.
The Rangers dashed forward towards the line of enemy soldiers.
Galaxy Green leapt through the air while firing blasts of energy with his Kiba Shot. The blasts tore through a group of Yattatoo.
Galaxy Blue energized his claw and swung diagonally while spinning through the air and striking down a soldier.
Galaxy Yellow lunged forward and energized his blades, swinging them in an ‘x’ pattern and tearing through an enemy soldier.
Galaxy Pink leapt through the air and fired an energy arrow that pierced a soldier’s chest.
Galaxy Red pounced forward and energized his Kiba Cutter, swinging the weapon horizontally through two Yattatoo.
The Rangers turned to face Kennobata as the villain fired a machine gun at the team.
The Rangers rolled out of the way as Galaxy Green fired off several shots with his weapon. The blasts struck Kennobata, distracting him while Galaxy Red leapt forward and slammed his elbow against the villain’s chest.
Kennobata extended his arm like a tentacle and wrapped his hand around Galaxy Red’s neck while pumping electric energy against him. Galaxy Red rolled across the ground to try to shake free, then he used his dagger to cut across the villain’s arm. Kennobata released his grasp and screamed in pain as he retracted his arm.
The villain charged towards Galaxy Red as the Ranger unsheathed his Seijuukin and energized the blade with fiery power.
“Mane of Flame!” Galaxy Red shouted as he swung the energized blade down vertically across Kennobata’s chest.
The Rangers regrouped and held their Daggers forward in a star formation aimed at the villain.
“Kiba Daggers, Star Formation…fire!” they shouted as an energy pulse slammed against Kennobata and exploded.
The Balban pulled out a vile of growth formula and drank as he grew to giant size.
“GingaLion!” Galaxy Red shouted as he summoned his Seijuu. He leapt on top of the beast and combined his Aasu with the fire power of the lion.
“Fire!” Galaxy Red shouted as the lion opened its jaws, and a massive torrent of flame shot out that vaporized the monster.
PART TWO: FEARING TRANSFORMATION
The rangers stood before Moku, each holding their newly obtained Kiba Daggers.
“So what exactly are these?” Ryouma asked.
Saya traced her fingers along her dagger’s curves. “You said they have great power?”
“Yes,” Moku said. “The Kiba Daggers have the power to transform your Star Beasts into zords.”
Hikaru arced an eyebrow, looking at Moku with disbelief. “Zors?”
“Zords,” Moku said. “Armored beasts.”
“So…” Hayate said, “these are morphers in a way, only for the Star Beasts?”
“An accurate analogy,” Moku said.
Small footsteps approached from the corridor leading into the main chamber. Ryuuta ran into view, his book bag from school still slung over his shoulder. The young boy had a bright smile on his face as he looked to the rangers.
“Ryouma,” he said, greeting his new mentor.
“Ryuuta?” Ryouma asked. “How did you get down here?”
The young boy shrugged, a youthful grin on his face. “It wasn’t hard to find…”
Ryuuta’s gaze fell on Moku while he walked forward towards the tree.
“You must be Moku,” Ryuuta said, his eyes wide with amazement.
“I am,” Moku said. “It is nice to meet you, Ryuuta.”
Ryuuta took a step back in shock at the talking tree. Boku laughed quietly with amusement as he hovered nearby and noticed Ryuuta’s surprise.
“So,” Ryouma said as he looked to Ryuuta. “What brings you here?”
Ryuuta turned to Ryouma and ran over to him, placing a hand on the teen's arm. “Ryouma…can you take me to see the Star Beasts? Please? I want a close look…”
Ryouma thought for a moment. After not thinking of any concern, Ryouma shrugged. “It’s okay with me…just ask your dad first.”
“Yes!” Ryuuta said with excitement as he sprinted towards the chamber’s exit.
The rangers took Ryuuta across the lake to a large island where the Star Beasts were hiding. Ryuuta sat in a canoe with Ryouma, while Hayate and Gouki shared a separate canoe, and Saya rode with Hikaru.
Ryuuta hopped out of his canoe the second it hit shore, running forward towards the site of the five colossal Star Beasts not too far in the distance. He craned his neck up to look at the creatures, his eyes wide with wonder.
“Hey!” he shouted to the Star Beasts. He set his book bag down on the ground and opened it, grabbing one of the apples inside. He set the bag aside and reached back with his arm to throw the apple.
“Catch!” Ryuuta shouted as he threw the apple towards the giant Star Beasts. GingaLion opened his massive jaw and swallowed the fruit.
Ryouma smiled at the sight and stepped forward, looking up at the Star Beasts while holding his red-trimmed Kiba Dagger up in the air.
“GingaLion!” he shouted. “We found the Kiba Daggers…You can morph using them…the Balban won’t stand a chance now…”
GingaLion rumbled a low growl while lowering and tilting his head away. GingaCondor shrieked at the top of its lungs while taking a step backward.
Hayate wrinkled his brow with concern while looking up at the Star Beasts. “What is it?”
The Star Beasts growled again, obviously not pleased with the news of the Kiba Daggers.
Gouki walked up to Ryouma. “They’re afraid…afraid to transform…”
Ryouma shook his head. “Why? That doesn’t make sense.”
GingaLion roared again, the sound piercing through the air.
Waves splashed against Daitanix, the stone beast acting as an island for the Balban’s castle.
Sanbashu was kneeling on the deck with his head lowered in front of Capt. Zaihabu. The general was cowering with fear, his body visibly tense beneath his strange armor of leather and zippers.
“Sanbashu…” Zaihabu said. “Explain to me why Daitanix still sleeps?”
“Captain…” Sanbashu started to say. “I am-”
“Incompetent,” Zaihabu said as he unsheathed his sword and pointed the blade down at the general. “You are incompetent and will die for your failures.”
“NO!” Sanbashu said as he stood and backed away. “I’m too close to the answers…too close to victory!”
Zaihabu laughed. “And how is that?”
“The Star Beasts,” Sanbashu asked, his voice frantic and panicky. “They give the Rangers an upper hand…”
“And?” Zaihabu asked while taking a step forward, his sword pointed at the general.
“And…” Sanbashu said while taking a step back. “And they are ripe with power. We can take the Star Beasts out, use their energy to revive Daitanix, and be met with no opposition…”
Scarcely-clad Sherinda smiled from behind her captain. “And how exactly do you propose we do that?”
Sanbashu pulled his sidearm and aimed at the door to his crew deck.
“Torubadoo! Taguredoo!” Sanbashu shouted while blasting at the door.
The door swung open, and two bulky, beetle-type creatures stepped out. Torubadoo had deep crimson skin with a single horn. Taguredoo had blue skin with pincer-shaped horns sticking from his head. The two monsters were brothers.
Capt. Zaihabu shook his head with disappointment and placed his saber back in its holster. “Something tells me I’d be better off killing you…”
Sherinda eyed the creatures with curiosity while circling around them. “What do they do?”
Sanbashu looked to his minions. “A demonstration…”
Red-skinned Torubadoo turned to a group of Yattatoo and sprayed a cloud of crimson gas at the soldiers. Keg-like Bukarates took a step backwards away from the gas, tripping over his feet and stumbling backwards in the process. The Yattatoo were encased with stone and fell backward.
Zaihabu looked down at fallen Bukarates. “Will this work?”
Bukarates rolled back and forth on his back, trying to get up. “It’s possible…”
“They’ll get the job done,” Sanbashu told his captain. “I guarantee it!”
Night fell over Stone Canyon as the rangers and Ryuuta camped out at the island. They lit a small fire near the shore and set up three tents. Hayate stood near the fire, playing a wooden-flute type instrument. His melody was carried across the wind, soothing the Star Beasts as they slowly drifted to sleep.
Ryuuta was laying on his back, leaning up on his elbows while watching the Star Beasts. “Where do they come from, Ryouma?”
Ryouma pointed up to the night-lit sky above. “We don’t know where exactly…legend says they were born from the stars themselves.”
Ryuuta smiled and looked back to Ryouma. “Fitting name then, huh? And you can understand them…?”
Ryouma nodded. “Not by words though. It’s…complicated.”
The purring lion lifted his head towards Ryuuta. The creature tilted its head with curiosity.
Ryouma smiled. “He wants to talk to you, Ryuuta.”
“Me?” Ryuuta asked with surprise as he looked towards the beast.
GingaLion extended his paw, which started to glow with bright crimson energy. A streak of red light extended from the lion’s paw and arced towards Ryuuta. The light landed in the boy’s palm, forming a round clear crystal. The lion softly roared, and Ryuuta understood.
The young one closed his eyes, a wide smile across his face, as the lion spoke to him.
The next morning, an elderly lady walked towards a mailbox along the outskirts of Stone Canyon. She placed a small package into the red mail box and smiled, happy that her task was complete. Her happiness, however, was short lived.
The beetle creature Torubadoo leapt out from a tall row of nearby bushes and screamed at the lady. She shrieked with fear before turning and running off.
Torubadoo set his sights on the metal mailbox and pounced onto it, ripping through its metal with a small jaw full of fangs. He swallowed bits and pieces of the metal. The iron coursed through his digestive tracks, allowing him to produce the gas he’d need to complete his task.
Moku’s eyes snapped open, sensing the monster’s presence through the city’s network of trees and plants.
“Balban!” he shouted through the rangers’ communicators.
Yattatoo brought Torubadoo various scraps of metal and iron. The beetle creature sat in the middle of a city plaza while wolfing down the scrap. The Yattatoo kept the supply coming, bringing everything from bikes and mailboxes to car doors.
“Balban!” Galaxy Red shouted as he and the other Rangers ran onto the scene.
“Gingaman…” the creature growled as he rose to his feet. “Yattatoo…keep them away…”
“Yattatoo!” the soldiers shouted while readying their curved blades and charging towards the Rangers.
Ryuuta hid behind a nearby tree, watching the battle unfold.
One of the soldiers swung his blade down towards Galaxy Red’s head. The Ranger ducked under the blow and turned, holding his hand in a claw position while slamming his palm across the soldier’s head.
Galaxy Yellow ran towards an oncoming Yattatoo. Before the soldier could strike, Galaxy Yellow somersaulted backwards through the air while kicking the villain upside the head.
Galaxy Blue low blocked a soldier’s saber, and slammed a backfist across that villain’s face. The Ranger turned to parry a blow, sending the soldier toppling forward as Galaxy Blue slammed his elbow against the villain’s back.
Galaxy Green flipped forward, slamming his feet against a soldier’s arms and pinning the villain’s weapon to the ground. He stabbed forward with double knife-hand strikes against that soldier’s neck before rolling to the side to face his next opponent.
Galaxy Pink clawed a soldier against the chest, forcing the villain to the ground and thrashing the Yattatoo across the face.
The five Rangers regrouped after bashing through the Yattatoo. The team snapped into animal-like fighting stances as the monster snarled at them.
“Is that the best you can do?” Torubadoo said.
“That was just a warm up,” Galaxy Red said while arming his Seijuukin.
Torubadoo coughed, but his gas holes emitted nothing. He coughed again with the same results. Frustrated, Torubadoo slammed his fist against his gut and spat out a thick cloud of crimson gas from his jaws. The gas quickly covered the plaza, enveloping the Rangers…as well as Ryuuta.
The young boy screamed at the first intake of the crimson gas. He collapsed to the ground while rasping for air. The Rangers were mostly protected through their helmets.
“Ryuuta!” Galaxy Red shouted as he and the others ran to the boy’s side.
Ryuuta was on his back, struggling to breath. The cloud of gas began to dissipate as the insect monster leapt to the rooftops to escape.
Ryouma and the others rushed Ryuuta into Moku’s chamber and laid him down on a small bed grown from a tree stump. The young boy was squirming while grasping onto his throat.
Saya shook her head. “Why…? Why did he have to follow us?”
Gouki brought a pillow to support Ryuuta’s head.
“Hang in there, Ryuuta,” Ryouma said as he grabbed the boy’s hand.
Hayate looked to Moku. “Moku…what’s happening to him?”
Moku closed his eyes and reached his senses over Ryuuta, sensing the young boy’s struggle. “I am not sure.”
“There has to be something we can do,” Ryouma said as he looked to Moku.
Moku opened his eyes. “There is not.”
Torubadoo sat in the forest just outside the city as Yattatoo tended to his gas holes, doing their best to unclog them. “That was so embarrassing…” the crimson beetle monster mumbled to himself.
The sound of tires burning across pavement cut through the air as Sanbashu pulled up near the monster. The Balban general screeched his cycle to a halt. Sanbashu dismounted, and walked up towards the creature, his back rigid and hands rolled into fists.
“What do you think you’re doing?!” Sanbashu asked.
“My pores need cleaning,” Torubadoo said as the soldiers continued to tend to the gas holes near his pinchers.
“What?!” Sanbashu asked.
“General…” the monster started. "We were frozen for thousands of years. I am not exactly in my prime."
“No excuses!” Sanbashu shouted as he drew his sidearm and aimed the weapon forward, blasting through the Yattatoo around Torubadoo. “Results! Give me the Seijuu!”
Ryuuta’s breath was still short. The boy clutched onto the crystal of GingaLion while shivering beneath his blanket.
Torubadoo dropped onto the streets on the outskirts of the city, causing citizens to run and scream in panic. The monster opened his gas pores, spraying clouds of poison gas across the streets and a nearby plaza.
Moku’s eyes snapped open. “Balban!”
Hikaru narrowed his brow. “Perfect timing, as always…”
Ryouma grabbed hold of Ryuuta’s hand. “We’ll be back, Ryuuta…hang in there…”
Ryuuta grasped onto the crystal as an image of GingaLion flashed before his mind’s eye.
Torubadoo’s hideous laughter echoed across the rooftops as he continued to spray his gas.
“Stop!” Galaxy Red shouted as he and the other Rangers ran to the scene. “You’re not hurting anyone else, Balban.”
“Except for you,” Torubadoo said as he sprayed a cloud of gas towards the Rangers.
Galaxy Red and the others quickly rolled for cover. The Rangers rose to their knees and unsheathed their sabers while snapping into animal-like fighting stances.
“Tell me…” Torubadoo taunted. “How is your little friend?”
Galaxy Red shouted a war cry while leaping forward through the air, angling his descent to bring his saber down through the creature’s head.
Torubadoo belched a cloud of gas that enveloped the Ranger. Galaxy Red gagged before falling to the ground.
The Ranger rose to his knees, using his sword to steady himself as the others ran to his side.
Torubadoo was quick to spray another cloud of gas that enveloped the Rangers. They struggled to breath as the gas slowly bled through their helmets, entering their lungs.
The Rangers’ armor fluctuated and powered down seconds before the teens collapsed to the pavement.
Torubadoo retreated to a rock quarry just outside the city. With the Galaxy Rangers out of the way, Yattatoo brought piles and piles of scrap metal and wood.
The monster ingested everything he could get his hands on. The Yattatoo could barely keep up as the creature’s jaws tore through pipes, steel, doors, mailboxes, and silverware.
By the time Torubadoo finished his meal, thick clouds of gas were escaping from every pore in his body. The wind carried the gas through the city, and the crimson cloud covered Stone Canyon like a shroud.
The rangers laid face-first on the ground, struggling to get back onto their feet as the crimson gas spread.
A deafening roar suddenly split through the air. Ryouma lifted his head to see GingaLion and the other Seijuu appear. The other rangers noticed the Star Beasts’ arrival as well.
“What are they doing?” Saya weakly asked.
The rangers slowly rose to their knees, mustering what strength they could.
“Get out of here!” Ryouma shouted to the Star Beasts.
The crimson cloud covered the Seijuu as well. The beasts roared as they tried to quell the smoke.
Ryouma managed to rise to his feet, his knees wobbling as he held a Kiba Dagger up into the air. “You have to transform! You need its power…you’ll be protected!”
GingaLion roared his refusal.
Ryouma’s legs collapsed and he fell back to the ground.
“Ryouma…” Gouki said as he crawled to Ryouma’s side and helped the ranger up
The Star Beasts roared again, their call spreading over the city skyline. They radiated with cyan power, and sent an energy pulse rippling through the cloud of gas. Their pulse had no effect.
Boku hovered in the air, his leaf collar propelling around his throat as he looked at the Seijuu through a mystical mirror. “What’s happening to them, Boku?”
Moku narrowed his eyes. “They’re trying to dilute the gas…”
Boku shook his small acorn-like head. “How, Boku?”
“I do not know,” Moku said. “But they won’t survive if they continue…”
Ryuuta looked through the corner of his eyes to Moku. The young boy tightened his grasp on GingaLion’s crystal, shaking his head in refusal. The Star Beasts couldn’t die…they couldn’t. Ryuuta’s breathing had cleared due to his removal from the gas. He still was light headed and weak, but not so much that he couldn’t pull himself off his small wooden bed.
Ryuuta was gone before Moku or Boku could notice.
The rangers slowly rose to their feet, despite the burning gas filling their lungs. The Star Beasts continued to pulse with cyan energy and send rippling wave through the gas cloud.
“Stop!” Ryouma shouted again.
“No!” Hikaru yelled, holding onto Gouki’s shoulder to keep from falling.
Ryuuta slowly ran to the scene. The young boy collapsed onto all fours and craned his head up towards the Star Beasts. “GingaLion!”
GingaLion looked down at Ryuuta. The beast’s green eyes flashed, as did the gem in Ryuuta’s hand.
The pulsing waves of cyan energy suddenly increased in volume. Light began to bleed from the Seijuu themselves as their bodies suddenly started to turn to stone. The gas cloud was dissipated by a shower of light and energy.
The wave of light reached to the junk yard where Torubadoo was enjoying another snack. The pulse sent him toppling off his feet and rolling across the ground.
The villain grumbled while rising to his feet and noticing that the sky was clear. “What…what happened to my gas?!”
Torubadoo narrowed his eyes and rolled his hands into fists. “Gingaman…”
People throughout the city slowly rose to their feet, the light cleansing their bodies of poison and purifying their lungs.
Torubadoo stomped through the city crowds, grumbling at the sight of his handiwork wiped away. “Damn Seijuu…”
Ryouma and the rangers ran in front of Torubadoo, snapping into fighting stances and blocking the creature’s path.
“What have you done?” Ryouma shouted.
Torubadoo tilted his head back and laughed. “I didn’t think you’d survive my gas cloud.”
“Well,” Hikaru said, “you’re not exactly bright.”
Ryouma readied his brace. “Ginga Tensei…” he commanded his team.
“Galaxy Transform! Ha!” they shouted as energy shimmered around them and they morphed into their armor.
They snapped into their individual animal-like fighting stances and prepared for battle.
“Galaxy Red! Ryouma!”
“Galaxy Green! Hayate!”
“Galaxy Blue! Gouki!”
“Galaxy Yellow! Hikaru!”
“Galaxy Pink! Saya!”
“The sword of legend cuts through the galaxy!” Galaxy Red shouted. “Star Beast Task Force…”
“Galaxy Rangers!” the team shouted together.
Torubadoo raised his hand into the air and called for his soldiers. “Yattatoo!”
The orange creatures leapt through the air with their curved blades in hand.
“Ginga break!” Galaxy Red shouted as the Rangers split up and pounced forward to attack.
Galaxy Red held his Seijuukin in his left hand and his Kiba Dagger in his right.
“Kiba Cutter!” he shouted as he transformed the Kiba Dagger into a small-handled blade.
A Yattatoo leapt towards his left. Galaxy Red blocked high with his Seijuukin and slashed his Kiba Cutter across the soldier’s chest. The Ranger hopped and turned to his right while swinging both weapons down and cutting diagonally through a Yattatoo. Another soldier closed in on Galaxy Red, and the Ranger turned to parry the blow before swinging his weapons downward in an ‘x’ formation and slashing through the soldiers.
Galaxy Green rolled across the ground and rose to his knees while arming his Kiba Dagger’s blaster mode.
“Kiba Shot!” Galaxy Green shouted while firing pulses of jade-colored energy that exploded through a group of Yattatoo.
Galaxy Blue readied his Kiba Dagger and activated its two-pronged mode. “Kiba Claw!”
The Ranger leapt forward and slashed his claw diagonally, ripping through a soldier. He hopped to his right and parried a soldier’s blow before slamming his claw across that soldier’s head.
A Yattatoo came at Galaxy Blue from behind. He turned and used his claw in an uppercut blow that stabbed through a soldier’s chest. He lifted the Yattatoo off the ground and tossed the soldier aside like a rag doll.
Galaxy Pink stood her ground as a group of Yattatoo rushed towards her.
“Kiba Arrow!” she shouted as she changed her Kiba Dagger to bow and arrow mode.
Galaxy Pink extended the bow forward and shot off several pink energy arrows that ripped through the oncoming soldiers.
Galaxy Yellow separated his Kiba Dagger into its two components. “Kiba Knifes!”
He dove forward through a group of Yattatoo, ripping through them with his blades. He twisted while in midair and flipped towards a Yattatoo, slamming his feet against the soldier’s chest before landing. A Yattatoo came at Galaxy Yellow, but the Ranger scissored his blades horizontally across the soldier’s chest.
The Galaxy Rangers regrouped and surrounded the beetle monster after dispatching the Yattatoo. The team pounced forward and tackled against Torubadoo from all sides, slamming against the monster. The creature quickly gathered his strength and tossed the Rangers backward with a single swipe by his arms.
The monster charged towards the Rangers, and the team moved in to counter. Torubadoo started thrashing them across their chest armor one-by-one with surprising strength and speed. Red, Blue, Yellow, Pink…
Torubadoo clawed Galaxy Green and grabbed the Ranger by the throat before tossing him backwards.
Galaxy Green rose to his feet, and the Rangers regrouped around him, just as Torubadoo charged forward to attack again. The creature plowed through the Rangers. Green, Blue, Yellow, Pink…
Galaxy Red stood his ground as the monster slammed his shoulder’s against the Ranger’s chest. Galaxy Red struggled with all his might and lifted the creature off the ground. Torubadoo was spun around before being released and thrown through a nearby pile of crates.
Galaxy Red extended his hands towards Torubadoo as the creature slowly rose to his feet.
“Mane of Flame!” Galaxy Red shouted, summoning a fire stream that exploded around the beetle creature and sent him stumbling backward.
The Rangers regrouped and placed their Kiba Daggers together in a star formation, aiming forward at the monster.
“Kiba Daggers, Star Formation…fire!” the Rangers shouted as their blades emitted an energy pulse that exploded against Torubadoo.
Torubadoo managed to slowly rise to his feet, every inch of his exoskeleton cracked as smoke rose from his wounds.
“This is not over…” Torubadoo said as he leapt away.
PART THREE: GINGAIOU
Ryuuta screamed as he awoke from a nightmare within his bed. He took deep breaths and tried to calm himself as his bedroom door opened and his father walked in.
“Ryuuta…” Aoyama said as he kneeled down to his son’s bed. “It’s okay…it was just a dream…lay down.” Aoyama laid a wet cloth on his son’s head after setting him down. “You’re still not well…you need your rest…”
“The Seijuu?” Ryuuta asked his father.
Aoyama sighed and shook his head. “No change. They’re still frozen in stone.”
Ryuuta wrinkled his brow as he reached for the crystal that GingaLion had given him. “They have to be okay…they have to…”
The five rangers stood within the city at the foot of their stone-encased Star Beasts. They stood in a circle and joined their hands at the center, calling on all their Aasu.
“Ha!” the rangers shouted as they emitted a volley of golden energy pulses that slashed against the Seijuu with no effect.
The rangers tried again, combining their power for a sparkling burst of energy that splashed over the Star Beasts. The rangers shook their heads with frustration while lowering their hands.
Hikaru punched his palm. “We have to try again.”
Hayate shook his head. “It’s not working…we need another way.”
Ryouma pulled out his Kiba Dagger and held the weapon in hand while running his eyes along the edges. “Maybe the key is in our Kiba Daggers.”
“Ryouma,” Hikaru said, “something tells me we shouldn’t play with something that actually makes the Seijuu afraid.”
Explosions suddenly sparked around the rangers as they ducked for cover. The team snapped into fighting stances as the crimson beetle Torubadoo and blue beetle Taguredoo appeared.
“Two of them?” Hikaru said.
“Rangers…” Torubadoo growled. “Meet my kid brother.”
The blue-shelled Taguredoo looked up towards the stone-encased Star Beasts and fired rapid-blast pulses that exploded around the Seijuu.
Ryouma and the others readied their Galaxy Braces.
“Galaxy Transform! Ha!” they shouted as energy circled around them and they morphed into their Ranger forms.
The two beetles and a group of Yattatoo rushed forward towards the Rangers.
“Seijuukin!” Galaxy Red shouted as the Rangers unsheathed their swords and charged into battle.
The Rangers slammed against the enemy lines. Galaxy Blue, Galaxy Yellow, and Galaxy Pink carved their way through the Yattatoo, parrying and thrusting past the soldiers while twirling their legendary weapons.
Galaxy Red clashed against Torubadoo, and the two opponents slammed against each other.
Galaxy Green swung his blade down towards the blue beetle Taguredoo.
Ryuuta was walking nearby with the GingaLion gem held in his right hand. He was hoping to help the Rangers fix the Star Beasts somehow. He moved closer to the plaza area when he heard the sound of steel against steel and the war cries of battle.
Ryuuta ran across a walkway and stared over the railing at the sight of the Rangers smashing against the Balban. The boy watched as Torubadoo knocked Galaxy Red’s weapon aside and struck the Ranger across the helmet.
The red insect pushed off with his powerful legs and leapt into the air, landing on top of the stone GingaLion. Torubadoo pulled out his hammer and started slamming the weapon against the Star Beast’s head.
“Stop!” Galaxy Red shouted up to the monster while arming his Kiba Cutter and leaping up into the air.
Galaxy Red landed on top of the stone Star Beast and snapped into a fighting stance.
“Back away,” Galaxy Red shouted while channeling his Aasu into his Kiba Cutter. The blade started to flash with crimson energy.
Below, Ryuuta’s gem started to glow with red light as well.
“What’s going-” Ryuuta’s gem suddenly emitted a gold glow that streaked towards the top of GingaLion.
The golden energy exploded on top of the Star Beast, sparking around and against Galaxy Red and the monster. A vision flashed before Galaxy Red’s mind’s eye seconds before he was blasted off of the Star Beast. The image was of a gigantic animal warrior. The Kiba Dagger had tried to channel power from the stars into the Seijuu to transform them, the Red Ranger realized.
Galaxy Red and the beetle monster slammed against the ground, cracking pavement upon impact.
The Rangers regrouped around Galaxy Red and helped him to his feet. The blue beetle monster ran to the side of his brother and helped the red bug to his feet. The two monsters walked back towards the Star Beasts.
Galaxy Red shook his head. “We have to keep them away…”
Taguredoo fired his horn blaster, scattering explosions across the stone-encased Star Beasts. Torubadoo leapt back up to the top of GingaLion and began swinging with his hammer, slamming it against the Seijuu.
“Enough is enough!” Galaxy Red shouted as he sprang back into the air.
Galaxy Red somersaulted forward through the air and slammed a double kick against Torubadoo, knocking the red-skinned creature from the Star Beast. Torubadoo crashed to the ground back first as Galaxy Red landed and regrouped with the other Rangers.
The Rangers snapped into fighting stances.
“We’re finishing this,” Galaxy Red said.
Taguredoo laughed. “Feel free to try…”
Yattatoo and the two beetle monsters charged forward to attack.
Galaxy Red pounced forward in a lion-like stance and tackled a Yattatoo to the ground. Galaxy Red clawed his hands and slammed them against the soldier’s face before rolling to the side, passing underneath a swing from Torubadoo’s hammer.
Galaxy Red rose to his feet as Torubadoo swung the weapon back towards the Ranger’s head. Galaxy Red grabbed the hammer and twisted it, spinning closer to the monster and slamming a reverse side kick against the creature’s chest. Torubadoo was taken aback, and Galaxy Red pressed on with a series double-palm strikes that sparked against the monster’s face.
Galaxy Pink armed her Kiba Arrow and fired several arrows of pink energy that pierced through a group of Yattatoo. A Yattatoo tried to sneak up behind her, but she snapped around and slashed her weapon across the soldier’s face.
Galaxy Blue lifted two Yattatoo and slammed them against each other before tossing them aside. A soldier closed in on the Ranger from behind. Galaxy Blue low blocked that villain’s blow and brought the same hand up in a backfist strike/elbow combination that forced the Yattatoo to the ground.
Galaxy Yellow armed his Kiba Knifes and struck through a Yattatoo with an x-shaped strike.
Galaxy Green flipped and twisted through the air while firing blasts with his Kiba Shot.
Taguredoo walked a few feet away from the battle and looked up towards the Seijuu. The beetle fired several horn blasts that exploded against the stone Star Beasts.
Galaxy Red knocked the red beetle aside, and turned to face Taguredoo.
“Mane of Flame!” Galaxy Red shouted while launching a fire stream that exploded against the blue beetle.
Galaxy Red held his Kiba Dagger in hand while running towards the feet of GingaLion and jumping straight upwards, flipping, and landing on the stone Star Beast’s head.
“Dai Tensei! Kin Seijuu!” Galaxy Red shouted, calling for a great reincarnation and raising his Kiba Dagger into the air. A pulse of Power shot down from the air and slammed against the Kiba Dagger. The Power started to channel through the dagger, through Galaxy Red, and to the Star Beasts…but the Ranger couldn’t control the energy flow, and explosions sparked around him.
Galaxy Red was blasted backward and crashed on the ground below.
Ryuuta ran over to his side. “Ryouma…”
“Ryuuta…” Galaxy Red said as he slowly rose to his knees. “Get out of here…things aren’t going too well.”
“Ryouma,” Ryuuta said, practically pleading. “You have to hang in there…you can do this…”
Galaxy Red shook his head. “The Kiba Daggers didn’t work…”
“Ryouma,” Ryuuta pleaded, grabbing onto the teen’s shoulders and lowering his head. “You can’t let them die…”
“Ryuuta…” Galaxy Red said softly. The Ranger’s eyes gazed down to the gem that Ryuuta held in his hand. It symbolized a bond. A bond similar to what Galaxy Red had to his Star Beast. A bond that produced strength.
“Ryuuta,” Galaxy Red said as he stood, and the others gathered around him. “You’re right…guys, we have to try together. We have to surrender to our bond with the Seijuu…we can’t fight the energy transfer.”
The Rangers turned and looked up at the Star Beasts. Each holding their Kiba Daggers, the Rangers sprang upward into the air and landed on top of their beasts. They raised the daggers into the air.
“Dai Tensei! Kin Seijuu!” Galaxy Red shouted again.
Beams of multi-colored light stabbed down from the sky and struck their daggers. Explosions sparked around the Rangers, but they stood their ground despite the pain.
Ryuuta looked over his left shoulder to see Sanbashu walk forward with his arms across his chest, leading the two beetle monsters forward along with a group of Yattatoo. The soldiers were carrying a large device that looked like a satellite.
“Set it up here!” Sanbashu shouted to the Yattatoo.
The Balban general looked up to the Rangers as energy poured down on them and splashed across the skies. “This energy will wake Daitanix…Then I’ll finally get some respect.”
The device whirred to life as Ryuuta watched, wrinkling his brow with concern. He had to do something…
Ryuuta tightened his grip on the gem and closed his eyes while taking a deep breath. The boy snapped open his eyes and ran towards the device while shouting a war cry. He pulled back his arm and threw the gem forward as hard as he could.
The gem glowed with crimson energy before crashing through the device and exploding.
“NO!” Sanbashu shouted as the device went up in flames. The general turned and glared at Ryuuta while raising his gun at the boy. “You little shit!”
Before Sanbashu could shoot, a bright light lashed across the city. Everyone nearby turned and looked up to see the Star Beasts ablaze with glowing energy. When the light faded, the Star Beasts were standing, alive and well.
“NO!” Sanbashu said as he pushed the two beetle monsters forward. “Get up there!”
The two villains opened up their canisters of Balban essence and drank. The liquid triggered a chain reaction in the monsters’ bodies, causing them to expand and grow to giant size. Taguredoo was quick to take aim and fired a volley of blasts that exploded around the Star Beasts.
The Seijuu stood firm and roared in defiance.
Galaxy Red readied his Kiba Dagger.
“Zord transform!” Galaxy Red shouted while holding his Kiba Dagger to the air.
The Star Beasts morphed into powerful suits of armor. Galaxy Red slid down into his zord’s small control room, as the other Rangers did in their Galactazords. Small twirling pedestals appeared before them, and their Kiba Daggers flashed into existence on the center of the pedestals. The Rangers placed their hands over the twirling daggers, letting them link with their zords.
The Galactazords charged forward to attack, roaring at the top of their lungs, as Galaxy Red remembered his vision of the giant-armored warrior.
“Seijuu fusion!” he commanded. “Gingaiou!”
The zords rushed forward, their bodies shifting and changing as the five zords combined into one armored warrior. A golden hilted, double-edged sword appeared in the warrior’s hand.
“GalaxyMegazord!” Galaxy Red shouted once the fusion was complete. “Gingaiou!”
Torubadoo swung his hammer while charging towards the GalaxyMegazord.
“GalaxyMegazord Saber…” Galaxy Red commanded. “Blazing slash!”
The saber radiated with white energy as the monster continued its advance. Gingaiou swung its energized saber downward diagonally, upward diagonally, downward vertically, and horizontally…the blows slashing through Torubadoo.
Torubadoo was ripped apart as he fell backward and exploded.
“NO!” Taguredoo shouted while charging forward, firing horn pulse blasts.
GalaxyMegazord slowly walked through the explosions, ready to strike down the creature.
“Gingalcon!” Galaxy Red shouted as the GalaxyMegazord armed its blaster, which was part of the Condor Galactazord. “Howling blast!”
The condor shrieked and fired a pulse blast that exploded through the beetle’s chest, ripping the monster apart as he fell backwards and exploded.
Ryouma and the others demorphed and landed on the ground beneath their Seijuu, and the Star Beasts turned back to their regular forms.
“Ryouma!” Ryuuta shouted as he ran over to his mentor. Ryouma smiled and lifted Ryuuta in the air, hugging the boy.
“Good work, kid,” Ryouma said as he shuffled Ryuuta’s hair.
The Star Beasts roared in agreement.
To be continued…Chapter Six