Galaxy Rangers: Chapter Seven

Quaking Hearts

 

Capt. Zaihabu aimed his curved blade forward towards General Sanbashu. The general failed again, and Zaihabu was not feeling very forgiving. “Your chances are up,” Zaihabu said as he walked forward.

 

Sanbashu frantically shook his head while taking a step back. His mind searched for the right excuse. The right plan. Anything that would prolong his life.

 

“No, wait!” Sanbashu shouted.

 

Sherinda rolled her eyes. She was standing at her captain’s side with her arms crossed over her chest. “We’ve waited long enough, Sanbashu.”

 

Sanbashu was about to make an excuse when an idea hit him. One he kicked himself for not having considered before. “The Lights of Orion!”

 

Zaihabu tilted his head and laughed, an old and chilling sound. “Reminding me of your past failures will certainly not-”

 

“No!” Sanbashu said. “They’re still hidden here. From when they were released 3,000 years ago!”

 

Sherinda looked amused and unimpressed by the general’s idea. “And where do you suppose we find the lost Lights?”

 

Sanbashu spoke to Zaihabu, keeping his hands in between his body and the captain’s sword. “They went into hiding. Below ground…they can be stirred.”

 

Zaihabu swung his sword down, arcing the weapon towards Sanbashu’s neck. The captain stopped his blade a centimeter away from the general’s leather-armored neck.

 

ginga-vi-sanbash11“Stirred how?” Zaihabu said. “Your life depends on you speaking fast.”

 

Sanbashu looked to his crew door and aimed his weapon towards the door.

 

QuakeMaker!” Sanbashu shouted while blasting the door open. A dark brown, muscular figure walked from the door. He had two small dormant wings on his back. “He can cause the earth to shake. Shake the Lights loose!”

 

Zaihabu looked to QuakeMaker, and Sanbashu wished he could read the captain’s facial expressions.

 

Zaihabu lowered his sword. “I am intrigued…intrigued as to how this plan too will fail. Go.”

 

***

 

Ryuuta sat at his desk, anxiously tapping a pencil and trying not to pay attention to the people that filled his school classroom- a group of parents, older siblings, and miscellaneous guardians. Today was the day Ryuuta and his classmates were to give their annual speeches. It doubled as a sort of family day. Ryuuta’s father wasn’t going to be able to attend, but he was supposedly sending Ryouma or one of the others to tape it.

 

Ryuuta jumped in his chair when he heard the classroom’s sliding door try to open and then rip off its hinges. It was Gouki, a digital camera in hand. The ranger had the door in both hands as well, trying frantically to place the door back as the class erupted into laughter.

 

Ryuuta lowered his head and placed a hand on his forward, shaking his head in embarrassment. “Oh, Gouki…”

 

Gouki was grumbling to himself and trying to shove the door back into place when Ryuuta’s student teacher approached the room, gasping at the site of the large teen struggling to jam the door back into place. Gouki opened his eyes wide, stunned at her sudden presence.

 

Ryuuta’s student teacher was 21, with short dark hair and sparkling blue eyes. Gouki tried to apologize, but he was too awestruck by her to speak.

 

“I’m- uh- well-” Gouki muttered as the teacher stepped in and turned to face him.

 

She arced an eyebrow. “And what is it exactly you’re doing?”

 

“Uh, teacher,” Ryuuta called as he ran over to his older friend’s side. “This is my friend Gouki. He’s coming instead of my father.” He leaned towards his teacher and shrugged, speaking quietly. “He’s a little slow, see…”

 

“Hey,” Gouki said defensively, nearly dropping the door on top of himself.

 

Ryuuta smiled and held up his hands. “Just kidding, just kidding…”

 

Ryuuta’s teacher laughed and looked at Gouki, causing the ranger to blush.

 

“It’s okay,” the teacher, Miss Julia said. She took the door and slid it alongside the frame. “This happens all the time…you just have to be gentle with it…” She swiftly kicked the door, snapping it back into place. She looked to Gouki and smiled. “There.”

 

Gouki blushed again as Miss Julia placed her hand on Ryuuta’s shoulder. “Get back to your seat, Ryuuta…”

 

***

 

The students gave their presentations one-by-one as Gouki zeroed in on his digital camera. Zeroed in on Miss Julia. Her every word captivated him. Her every movement a wonderful dance.

 

Gouki’s communicator suddenly chimed, catching everyone’s attention as Moku’s voice came through.

 

“Gouki! Balban!” Moku shouted.

 

Gouki narrowed his brow and answered the call. “I’m on my way.”

 

The ranger turned to the open window of the third-story room and darted forward. He jumped outside and somersaulted down towards the ground, twisting and flipping before landing in a crouched position.

 

Those gathered in the classroom stared down at him with awe and amazement. Ryuuta proudly smiled.

 

***

 

QuakeMaker stomped through a forest area within the city as people ran and screamed in panic. He smiled to himself while they ran, revealing a mouth of razor-sharp fangs.

 

The creature opened his jaws, spitting a volley of slender foot-long drills that slammed against the ground. The drills started to spin and bore deeper into the earth.

 

“Yes, dig deeper,” the creature said as the drills continued to spin.

 

“Balban!” Galaxy Red shouted as he and the other four Rangers ran to the scene in attack postures similar to their animal namesakes.

 

Gingaman…” the creature growled, tilting his head while staring at the approaching Rangers. “Come by for a visit, did we?”

 

A group of Yattatoo leapt down from the branches above and charged towards the Rangers, ready to strike.

 

Galaxy Red charged forward, hopping and slamming a sidekick against a soldier’s chest. He landed and turned to his left, slamming a claw blow against a soldier’s gut and a knife-hand strike against the soldier’s back. The Yattatoo fell to the ground as Galaxy Red snapped into his lion-like fighting stance.

 

“Galaxy Red! Ryouma!”

 

Galaxy Green flipped forward and faced a pair of Yattatoo. He formed bird-like claws with his hands and struck them down with a simple cross combination. He snapped into a fighting stance.

 

“Galaxy Green! Hayate!”

 

Galaxy Blue grabbed two soldiers and bashed their heads together before tossing them aside like rag dolls. A duo of soldiers came charging towards him, and he smashed into them with a jab, cross punch combination. Galaxy Blue snapped into a guerilla-like fighting stance.

 

“Galaxy Blue! Gouki!”

 

Galaxy Yellow grabbed a Yattatoo in a headlock and roundkicked a second soldier across the head. He released the Yattatoo from his arm and knifehand struck the soldier away. He snapped into a wolf-type fighting stance.

 

“Galaxy Yellow! Hikaru!”

 

A Yattatoo tried to sneak up behind Galaxy Pink. She elbowed the soldier in the gut and turned back to face another Yattatoo, slashing the creature across the face. She snapped into a cat-like fighting pose.

 

“Galaxy Pink! Saya!”

 

The Rangers ran past the fallen Yattatoo and charged towards QuakeMaker. The monster opened his jaws and spat a volley of drills towards the Rangers.

 

“Back!” Galaxy Red shouted as the Rangers flipped backwards, the drills slamming into the ground before them. The screws started spinning, driving down into the earth.

 

Galaxy Yellow stepped forward and prepared to deliver a lightning blast, but Galaxy Blue stepped forward, screaming a war cry.

 

“He’s mine!” Galaxy Blue shouted as he nearly shoved Galaxy Yellow aside, arming his Kiba Claw.

 

“Kiba Claw!” Galaxy Blue shouted as he landed and swung his blade down in a strong diagonal strike. He followed through with a flurry of blows that slashed against the creature. Vertical. Horizontal. Diagonal. He stepped forward and punched the creature, the Kiba Claw extended like small spears and crashing against the monster.

 

The monster fell backward, smoke rising from his chest. He narrowed his brow at the Rangers. “Damn you, Gingaman…this isn’t over.”

 

The creature leapt up towards the rooftops and jumped away.

 

Galaxy Red was about to speak, but Galaxy Blue nearly knocked him over while turning and sprinting away.

 

“Hey Gouki!” Galaxy Red shouted. “What’s the rush?”

 

Galaxy Blue looked over his shoulder while sprinting away. “School, guys! I have to get back to school!”

 

Galaxy Yellow shook his head. “Guys…I think he’s officially lost it.”

 

***

 

Gouki ran as fast he could to Ryuuta’s school. He poured on the speed, pushing himself to the limit. Trying desperately not to be late.Gotta hurry,” he said quietly to himself.

 

Gouki made it to the school’s front courtyard, and his heart immediately sank at the sight of the kids being let out from school. “Ah, I’m too late…”

 

The ranger sprinted towards the school anyway, wading his way past the children. Gouki looked in every direction on his way into the building, hoping to catch Miss Julia on her way out. He noticed Ryuuta by his locker, stuffing folders into a red book bag.

 

Ryuuta!” Gouki called while hurrying over to him.

 

“Gouki,” Ryuuta said with a smile while looking up to his older friend. “Everyone at school is talking about you.”

 

Gouki smiled and opened his eyes wide. “Everybody? What about your teacher?”

 

Ryuuta shook his head, smiling as he rolled his eyes. “You’re crazy, Gouki.”

 

Ryuuta started to ask Gouki about the tape the ranger recorded in class. It didn’t take Ryuuta long to notice Gouki’s mind was elsewhere. The ranger’s eyes were fixated on a classroom down the hall. Miss Julia walked out of the door and headed towards the exit.

 

Gouki and Julia’s eyes lingered at each other, and she smiled at the ranger. Gouki blushed.

 

“Gouki…” Ryuuta said as he waved his hand in front of Gouki’s eyes. “Gouki!”

 

Ryuuta sighed and dropped his hand. “Crazy…”

 

***

 

Sanbashu stood on one of the side decks of the Balban ship. He walked across the wooden deck with his head held high, confident his latest scheme would succeed. Confident the Lights of Orion would be his and that the Gingaman would finally be killed.

 

Sherinda was leaning against a pillar with her arms crossed, staring mockingly at the general. “QuakeMaker didn’t do much more than give Gingaman a work out.”

 

Sanbashu turned to her. “Shut up, whore. He’ll get the job done!”

 

***

 

Ryouma, Hayate, Hikaru, and Saya were gathered around a table at the ranch's front yard along with Boku as they waited for dinner. Gouki recently picked up a habit of cooking for them. And he was surprisingly good at it.

 

Hikaru leaned back and tapped his hand against the table. “What is taking so long?”

 

Gouki slowly walked outside, a plate of steaming food in his hand and a boyish grin across his face.

 

“Gouki…” Boku said impatiently, sitting on top of the table with a small apron tied around his neck. “Hurry, hurry, Boku!”

 

Gouki walked towards the table; his mind was clearly elsewhere. He barely paid attention while dumping a stack of burnt pancakes onto the table, missing each of the rangers’ plates.

 

Hikaru wrinkled his nose at the sight of the burnt breakfast food. “Is this supposed to be edible…?”

 

Saya lifted a burnt pancake and tapped it against the table. It sounded like rock hitting concrete. “I think you’re losing your touch, Gouki.”

 

Gouki wasn’t even aware the other rangers were talking. He pulled out a bottle of ketchup and poured the tomato paste over the pancakes, drawing gasps of disgust from the other rangers.

 

Hikaru covered his mouth and turned from the ruined food. “You are so not getting a tip.”

 

“Come on, Hikaru,” Ryouma said. “It’s probably not as bad as it looks…at least the ones without the ketchup.”

 

“Oh yeah?” Hikaru said. “Then try one…”

 

Ryuuta’s father, Mr. Aoyama, walked out towards the table. He was looking down at the small digital display on his cam-recorder. “I’m pretty sure I know what his problem is…”

 

Hikaru tilted his head with curiosity and left his chair, moving over to Aoyama’s side. He looked at the display and opened his eyes wide with surprise. “Who’s the girl?”

 

Ryuuta’s teacher,” Aoyama said. “Miss Julia…”

 

“Huh?” Ryouma and Saya said together as they moved over towards the camera.

 

Gouki breathed a love-sick sigh and started walking away, his mind in the clouds.

 

***

 

Gouki walked through a park area in the woods and stopped by a water fountain for a drink. The drinking fountain was near a bridge and a few meters behind a bench.

 

He saw a young woman sitting on the bench. The woman was crying, and Gouki recognized her as Miss Julia.

 

Gouki gasped in surprise as his jaw dropped. Julia heard and turned to look at Gouki while wiping a tear from her face.

 

Gouki blushed and took a step back, embarrassed at being caught staring. He fumbled back towards the drinking fountain and bent over for a sip of water. The fountain sprayed across his face, drenching him as he gasped and stepped back.

 

Miss Julia laughed at the sight. Gouki smiled sheepishly at her and wiped the water from his face.

 

***

 

Saya and Hikaru were brushing a horse at the ranch.

 

Ryuuta’s teacher…” Saya said with disbelief. “I can’t believe it.”

 

Hikaru smiled and shrugged. “I hope the big lug goes for it. He hasn’t had a crush since his seventh summer.”

 

“Well I hope he works this out soon,” Saya said.

 

“Yeah,” Hikaru agreed. “Otherwise we might starve.”

 

***

 

Gouki and Miss Julia sat on the bench talking. He was a little more calm around her.

 

“So how do you know Ryuuta?” she asked.

 

“Friend of the family,” Gouki said.

 

“It’s more than that,” Julia said. “You looked proud of him.”

 

Gouki blushed. “He’s like a little brother…it’s always been like that with me and kids.”

 

“He seems to like you,” Miss Julia said. “You must be good with kids.”

 

Gouki blushed, but a sudden whining noise split through the air before he could answer. Gouki wrinkled his brow with concern and stood, ready for danger.

 

Julia stood beside him. “What is that noise?”

 

“I don’t know,” Gouki said.

 

The two young people started to move towards a clearing in the woods, where a bridge and overpass walkway were set up.

 

***

 

Boku floated through the air, passing across the wise tree Moku. His propeller collar hovered him back and forth as he covered his ear holes.

 

“What is that noise, Boku?” the little acorn asked.

 

Moku knitted his brow with concern. “The quake stakes are activating…”

 

***

 

Stone Canyon shook from the ground up. The earthquake rocked every foundation and structure as citizens ran in panic.

 

***

 

Julia grabbed onto Gouki’s arm to keep her balance as the ground shook violently below her.

 

Gouki pushed Miss Julia aside to protect her from the crumbling overpass above them. He landed on top of her, his face inches from hers as the ground continued to shake.

 

“So- sorry…” he stammered.

 

She smiled.

 

Gouki’s brace chimed as Moku spoke. “Gouki! You must go and help the others!”

 

***

 

QuakeMaker stalked through a tree-filled park within the city along with a group of Yattatoo. The ground was shaking, and QuakeMaker was smiling with pleasure.

 

“Balban!” Ryouma shouted as he, Hayate, Saya, and Hikaru leapt to the scene. “You shouldn’t have come back.”

 

“What?” QuakeMaker said. “And miss all this fun?”

 

The monster stomped against the ground, stirring the quake stakes buried underground. The earth started to shake again as QuakeMaker extended his fencing-type sword towards the rangers, signaling the Yattatoo to move in.

 

The rangers readied their Galaxy Braces.

 

“Galaxy transform! Ha!” they shouted as energy shimmered around them and they morphed into their armor.

 

Seijuukin!” Galaxy Red shouted, commanding the Rangers to unsheathe their swords and rush forward into battle.

 

***

 

Sanbashu was unusually quiet. The general stood at a viewport on the Balban ship, staring across the sea. His arms were crossed in front of his chest and his head was hung low.

 

If QuakeMaker failed, Sanbashu knew he would not have another chance. Zaihabu would have his head.

 

Sanbashu looked down towards a small golden key he held in his hand.

 

***

 

The ground was still shaking as Galaxy Red parried a soldier’s blow and sidekicked the villain in the face. “We have to stop him. Now!”

 

Galaxy Green held his sword blade down as he slashed through a trio of soldiers and jump kicked a fourth Yattatoo in the face.

 

The ground around the Rangers continued to violently shake.

 

***

 

Gouki helped Miss Julia through the city streets as the ground shook and debris fell down around them. Other citizens were running and screaming in panic.

 

“This way,” Gouki said as they headed towards the nearest shelter.

 

Julia spotted a Buick crashed off the side of the road. She spotted the driver, a young man knocked unconscious and slumped over the steering wheel. She recognized him immediately.

 

“Johnny!” Julia shouted as she started to run towards the car.

 

Gouki noticed a tall electric tower that was slowly tipping over, about to snap and crush the car along with everything below. He reached out and grabbed Julia’s arm to keep her from getting hurt.

 

“You can’t…” Gouki said. “The tower will crush you.”

 

“But the wedding’s tomorrow!” she pleaded. “He must have been out picking up my dress.”

 

Gouki’s heart sank. “Wedding…” Gouki sighed and shook his head. “You stay here.”

 

Gouki ran to the car’s driver side door. He spotted Johnny inside, as well as a box with the wedding dress. Johnny was still breathing, but blood was trickling down his head. Gouki ripped the door free and slung Johnny over his shoulder with one hand and grabbed the dress box with the other.

 

Gouki ran clear seconds before the tower collapsed and crushed the car.

 

Miss Julia cried while reaching down and hugging Johnny.

 

Gouki wrinkled his brow and ran off before Julia could thank him.

 

“Galaxy transform!” he shouted as he morphed into his armor and ran to help his friends.

 

***

 

QuakeMaker parried Galaxy Red’s blow and slashed the Ranger across the chest. Galaxy Red fell to his back as the monster continued his advance. The Ranger held his saber high, but QuakeMaker knocked the blade away and stepped down on the Ranger’s wrist. QuakeMaker pointed the tip of his fencing foil to Galaxy Red’s throat.

 

Galaxy Red grabbed onto the blade with his free hand, keeping the point from driving through his neck.

 

Galaxy Blue suddenly leapt forward and flying tackled the monster, knocking QuakeMaker off his feet. The Ranger slammed QuakeMaker against a tree and tossed the creature backwards.

 

Galaxy Blue landed in a crouched position and grabbed the creature by both ankles. The Ranger lifted QuakeMaker by the legs and started spinning the monster. Galaxy Blue slammed the creature against a tree and released his grip.

 

QuakeMaker tumbled out of control.

 

Seijuukin!” Galaxy Blue shouted as he unsheathed his sword and charged towards QuakeMaker.

 

Galaxy Blue speared his sword through the creature’s chest. QuakeMaker screamed as explosions tore across his body. Galaxy Blue used his sword to lift the creature off the ground and toss him through the air.

 

QuakeMaker tumbled out of control before slowly rising to his feet.

 

Galaxy Blue slowly moved his saber through an arc as tendrils of blue energy streamed into his blade, energizing the saber.

 

“Stream slash!” he shouted while swinging the energized blade through QuakeMaker.

 

The monster fell backward as his energy overloaded, sending waves of sparks ripping through his flesh. QuakeMaker fell backward with a final large explosion as Galaxy Blue snapped into a victory pose.

 

QuakeMaker used the last of his strength to pull out a small vile of liquid.

 

“Balban Essence…” he said as he sipped the liquid.

 

Balban Essence energized and expanded every cell in QuakeMaker’s body, causing the creature to grow giant sized.

 

Gingarilla!” Galaxy Blue shouted, summoning his Star Beast.

 

The giant ape leapt through the air and slammed a flying elbow blow against the giant monster. QuakeMaker fell to the ground, and Gingarilla followed with a drop elbow that exploded against the creature’s chest on impact.

 

Gingarilla rose to his feet and looked down at Galaxy Blue while rumbling a soft growl. He was telling the Ranger to hop on so they could fight together.

 

Galaxy Blue leapt onto the shoulder of his Star Beast.

 

“Come!” Galaxy Blue shouted to the creature.

 

QuakeMaker charged forward, but Gingarilla slammed a backfist across the monster’s head. Gingarilla stepped forward and lifted QuakeMaker off the ground, spinning the creature around before letting go. QuakeMaker went tumbling out of control.

 

On the ground below, the other Rangers prepared to join the fight.

 

“Star Beasts, arise!” Galaxy Red shouted as the five Seijuu stomped forward through the streets to face the giant.

 

The Rangers leapt onto their Star Beasts.

 

“Zord transform!” Galaxy Red shouted while holding his Kiba Dagger into the air.

 

The Star Beasts transformed into mystical suits of armor as the Rangers dropped down into their cockpits.

 

Seijuu fusion!” Galaxy Red commanded. “Gingaiou!”

 

The zords rushed forward, their bodies shifting and changing as the five 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!”

 

QuakeMaker opened fire with a volley of stakes that exploded against the Megazord’s armor. GalaxyMegazord walked forward through the sparking explosions and closed in on the monster.

 

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 creature’s chest, ripping the monster apart as he fell backward and exploded.

 

***

 

Ryouma, Hayate, Hikaru, and Saya crowded at a window, looking outside at the ranch as Gouki sat on the ground against a post. His head was slumped down low.

 

“Is he going to sit out there all day?” Hayate asked.

 

“I know,” Saya said. “I’m getting worried.”

 

“Me too,” Hikaru said. “We haven’t eaten yet.”

 

“Hikaru,” Ryouma said, playfully slapping his friend upside the head.

 

Ryuuta walked over to Gouki, carrying a small pink box in his hands.

 

“Gouki!” Ryuuta called, with the same smile on his face as always. “I have something for you.”

 

Gouki barely lifted his eyes to look at Ryuuta. “What is it?”

 

“It’s from Miss Julia,” Ryuuta said.

 

Gouki stood and reached out to take the box from Ryuuta’s hand. The box was just another reminder for Gouki of what he couldn’t have.

 

He opened the box. Inside was a small “thank you” cake an note.

 

“Gouki,” he read out loud. “Thank you for saving my life, and Johnny’s, my future brother in law…” Gouki stopped reading, his eyes opened wide with excitement. “Sister! It was her sister's wedding! Yes!”

 

Gouki leapt up and down with excitement, accidentally dropping the cake onto the ground.

 

To be continued…Chapter 08