Galaxy Rangers: Chapter Eleven

Lights of Orion

 

Ryouma, Hikaru, Saya, and Hayate practiced along the western coast of Stone Canyon in a secluded area near the ocean. Ryuuta was with them, practicing his swordsmanship with a wooden saber Ryouma had crafted. Ryouma had his Seijuukin extended outward, while Ryuuta repeatedly held his sword high and chopped down on the blade, a simple move he had almost mastered.

 

Meanwhile Hikaru and Saya sparred through a kata with their swords. Their sabers clashed together as sunlight reflected off the blades. They circled around each other while exchanging blows.

 

"No, no, no," Hikaru said with frustration as he lowered his guard. "You’ve got it all wrong…you have to put your hip into it." Hikaru swung upward diagonally, twisted his hand, and chopped downward diagonally. "Like that."

 

“I was doing fine,” Saya said. “I’ve known this kata for ten years.”

 

Hikaru scoffed and turned from her. “Well it sure doesn’t seem like it.”

 

“I heard that,” Saya said as she tightened her grip on her sword.

 

Hikaru turned back towards her. “I said it loud.”

 

“Come on,” Saya said as she raised her blade.

 

Hikaru swung downward. Saya blocked the blow, her saber clanging against Hikaru’s sword as they pressed their blades against each other. They each pushed forward, glaring at each other, trying to gain the upper hand.

 

“You’re still not putting your hip into it,” Hikaru said through his clenched jaw. “Which is surprising considering how big your hips actually are.

 

Saya opened her eyes wide. She sidestepped and kicked Hikaru’s legs out from under him, causing him to topple forward.

 

“That’s enough, you two,” Hayate said as he walked over to them. “I don’t want a repeat of last time.”

 

Hikaru’s last argument with Saya had ended after Saya threw Boku at Hikaru and missed, causing the acorn to slam against Hayate’s forehead. Saya had become infuriated when Hikaru ate some of the ingredients she intended to use to bake a cake.

 

“Go into the city and get our supplies for the week,” Hayate said. “Talk. Cool off.”

 

Hikaru and Saya both rolled their eyes.

 

***

 

dotomuA Balban samurai, with dark crimson armor traced in gold, stalked across the rooftops of Stone Canyon. A group of Yattatoo was behind him. The villain’s name was Dotorumon.

 

He carried an intricate lancer over his shoulder.

 

The villain stopped at a rooftop ledge and looked out upon the city. 

 

Budo had dispatched the villain to find the Lights of Orion. Having failed all other attempts to capture the Lights, the Balban chose a new strategy. They believed the Lights could move from object to object, place to place, but always seemed to hide within the city.

 

Dotorumon split the lancer in two. He hurled one of the lancers downward, and it struck into the street. The lancer pulsed with golden energy and projected a dome-shaped force field of invisible energy around the city.

 

“Excellent,” he said to the Yattatoo, even though he knew the barely-sentient grunts did not understand a word. “When this second lance lures the Lights of Orion out, they will be trapped with nowhere to go. They will stay confined within the city until captured…”

 

***

 

The Egyptian-like Balban general Iresia sat within her private chambers on the Balban ship. A curtain was wrapped around her mattress so those outside could only see shadow.

 

Bukarates walked up to his niece’s curtains. “One of Budo’s men has a plan to find the Lights. Only this time…it sounds like the plan may actually work.”

 

“We will prepare our plan now, then,” Iresia said. “I cannot wait to see the look on Budo’s face when he fails.”

 

***

 

Saya and Hikaru stood on opposite sides of the sidewalk while walking through the shopping district. They did not say a word to each other and avoided making eye contact at all costs.

 

They suddenly slammed against the invisible barrier and crashed against the ground. They dropped their grocery bags, spilling fruits and vegetables onto the streets.

 

Cars and trucks slammed against the field in both directions, causing massive pile ups.

 

Saya and Hikaru slowly rose to their feet. They reached forward, and their hands touched the barrier. It seemed to extend in every direction.

 

***

 

Ryouma, Gouki, and Hayate were outside the field. They ran towards the invisible barrier, where police and ambulances were tending to various accident victims.

 

Ryouma narrowed his eyes. “It’s the Balban. It has to be.”

 

“Maybe we can get through it somehow,” Hayate said.

 

Moku had informed them that the field was absorbing oxygen from the inside at an alarming rate. The thousands inside would suffocate.

 

Gouki stepped forward and swung his fist. His knuckles smacked against the field, and he winced in pain.

 

“Hikaru and Saya…” Hayate said as he looked over the invisible barrier. “They’re in there…”

 

***

 

Dotorumon walked through the city streets with the lancer over his shoulder. He moved to a plaza area in front of a high-rise skyscraper. Concrete paths cut across well-kept patches of grass and bushes. The path branched off into separate trails, which formed steps leading down to the second level of the plaza, less than a foot below.

 

The villain was looking for the city’s highest concentration of Ley Lines, lines of magick that wrapped around the Earth.

 

“Here…” he said to himself as he thrust the lancer into the grass. “This is the perfect place…”

 

“Balban!” Hikaru shouted as he and Saya ran to the scene. They skid to a stop and snapped into fighting stances. “Let me guess…trying to free the Lights of Orion? Why not get an original plan for once.”

 

The two rangers armed their braces.

 

“Galaxy Transform!” they shouted as they turned the dials on their morphers. They slapped their braces’ activation panels and shouted. “Ha!” Columns of elemental energy circled around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms and snapped into animal-like fighting stances.

 

The Yattatoo and Rangers charged at one another, slamming against each other with flurries of kicks and punches.

 

Galaxy Yellow moved in low and kicked the legs out from a soldier. He somersaulted across the ground and slammed a kick against a soldier’s gut after finishing the roll. He used his foot to flip the soldier onto the ground. Galaxy Yellow slammed his elbow against the fallen soldier’s chest.

 

Galaxy Pink moved forward with the speed of a cat, clawing her way past soldiers with blows that sparked through their bodies.

 

The Rangers finished the last of the soldiers and dashed towards their opponent.

 

Seijuukin!” Galaxy Yellow shouted. They unsheathed their swords and held the blades in fighting stances while dashing towards Dotorumon. The blades started to glow with energy.

 

“Crescent Slash!” Galaxy Yellow shouted as he swung the blade downward in a streak of yellow energy.

 

“Nature Slash!” Galaxy Pink shouted while swinging her weapon downward through a diagonal streak of pink energy.

 

Dotorumon caught the weapons in his gauntlets. “If that’s all the power you have, I’m not sure why we even need the Lights of Orion.”

 

Dotorumon twisted the blades downward while pushing the Rangers back. The two Rangers tumbled across the ground before rising back to their feet. They stepped back into fighting stances, holding their blades in defensive positions.

 

Dotorumon unsheathed his slender sword and stalked towards the Rangers.

 

Galaxy Yellow narrowed his eyes beneath his helmet and clenched his jaw. He shouted a war cry and charged forward. The Yellow Ranger swung his blade down towards the villain’s collar bone. Dotorumon slapped the Ranger’s blade aside before slashing him twice across the chest, sword sparking on impact.

 

Galaxy Pink swung her saber upward towards the villain’s body. Dotorumon parried the blow and slashed his sword across her armor. Explosions sparked across her body and tossed her backward. 

 

Dotorumon energized his sword with dark crimson and amethyst energy. He swung his sword downward in an ‘x’ pattern, the blade streaking with energy as it cut across the Rangers’ chests, slashing across their armor with bursts of spark that knocked them backward.

 

***

 

Ryouma, Gouki, and Hayate stood outside the barrier and called upon their Aasu. They thrust their hands forward. “Ha!”

 

Bursts of flame, water, and wind energy exploded against the barrier. But the force field was not weakened.

 

Moku spoke to them over their braces. “Rangers, you cannot destroy the barrier from the outside. If the energy shield overloads, the shockwave will destroy the city. The field can only be safely destroyed at its source. Inside.”

 

***

 

Galaxy Yellow and Galaxy Pink slowly rose back to their feet. They were winded, more so than they should have been.

 

Dotorumon laughed when he noticed their discomfort. “The energy barrier is absorbing the oxygen inside faster than it can be replenished by plant life. Soon you will all be dead. An added bonus to finding the lights."

 

“Hikaru,” Galaxy Pink said, “we have to fall back.”

 

“No way,” Galaxy Yellow said. “Not until we beat this bastard.”

 

Galaxy Yellow held his blade high and charged towards the villain. He chopped downward, but Dotorumon parried the blow, twisted his wrist back around, and slashed across the Yellow Ranger’s chest. Explosions sparked across the Yellow Ranger’s armor and knocked him backward.

 

Galaxy Pink hopped in front of him, armed her Kiba weapon and aimed it downward in front of herself. Kib-arrow!” She fired pink energy arrows that exploded against the ground around them with a massive curtain of sparks that concealed their escape.

 

***

 

Hikaru and Saya crouched out of sight on a second-floor balcony that stretched across a city building. Yattatoo were combing the streets below while trying to find the two rangers.

 

Hikaru struggled to keep his breath as he watched the orange-clad soldiers through the corner of his eyes. He had a cut on the side of his face that was bleeding.

 

Saya took a small piece of cloth from her pocket. “Hikaru, you’re bleeding…” she said as she went to wipe his face.

 

Hikaru narrowed his eyes and flinched away from the cloth. “It’s fine.”

 

Saya scoffed. “I’m trying to be nice.”

 

“Stop trying,” Hikaru said as he started moving across the balcony, staying as low as he could while Saya followed me. “We should have stayed back there. There was no reason for us to retreat. We have to stop him and get our city back.”

 

“Hikaru, wait…” Saya said.

 

“No,” Hikaru said. “If you want to stay behind and hide? Then fine. You stay.”

 

Hikaru leapt over the balcony and jumped down to ground level.

 

***

 

Ryouma, Hayate, and Gouki walked through the sewers underneath Stone Canyon’s street. Gouki wrinkled his nose in disgust. “Now I have a whole new reason for missing home.”

 

“Relax, Gouki,” Ryouma said as they moved forward. “We’re almost there.”

 

The three rangers were checking to see if the invisible force shield extended below the streets. They got their answer when Hayate slammed against an invisible wall and crashed backward.

 

***

 

Hikaru crouched down and kicked the legs out from under a soldier. He slammed a knife-hand chop against the fallen grunt’s body, smashing its chest.

 

The ranger turned to his right and slammed the back of his fist across a soldier’s knee. The grunt collapsed, and Hikaru slammed his elbow against the fallen soldier’s chest.

 

Hikaru dashed to a rail and leapt over it, jumping down to a lower level of the streets. He somersaulted forward the second his feet slammed the pavement to absorb the impact of the jump.

 

He rose to his feet and looked to his right. A bakery window had several cakes on display. One of the cake’s was a birthday cake. The image jarred a recollection: Hyuuga’s birthday was soon. 

 

“That cake she was making…” Hikaru whispered as guilt welled in his throat. “It was for Hyuuga.”

 

Saya had loved him, which was a fact obvious to everyone except for Hyuuga. They never had a chance to get together before Hyuuga died. She had never even told Hyuuga how she felt.

 

***

 

Golden light started to spark from the lancer sticking in the city streets. The Lights of Orion were about to emerge.

 

***

 

Saya ran across the streets, and a soldier stuck its orange leg out and tripped her to the ground. The soldier stood over her and chopped its blade towards her head. She reached up and grabbed the grunt by the wrist.

 

Saya struggled to push the soldier off of her, but she could not.

 

Hikaru suddenly lunged forward and slammed a kick against the grunt. The soldier crashed back and tumbled across the street.

 

Hikaru moved over to the grunt and lifted it by the neck. “Start talking. Where’s the emitter?”

 

The cowering Yattatoo shook and pointed towards the west.

 

“Thanks.” Hikaru smashed his forehead against the grunt’s face, knocking the soldier out cold.

 

Hikaru slowly walked towards Saya, and neither one of them made eye contact with each other. Hikaru ripped off a piece of cloth from his shirt and extended it towards Saya.

 

“Here,” he said awkwardly. “For your leg.”

 

Saya smiled and took the cloth before wrapping it around the cut on her leg.

 

***

 

Light flickered from the lancer with greater intensity. Elated, Dotorumon circled around the golden staff. “It’s finally going to happen…”

 

***

 

Hikaru and Saya ran underneath a building’s cement overhang that straddled a corner. They noticed the shield generator in the center of a nearby plaza.

 

“There it is!” Hikaru shouted.

 

The two rangers sprinted towards the generator, but skid to a halt when they heard the massive roar of a bull echo through the air. They looked up to see the four-legged Taurozord, named GoTaurus, standing outside the field.

 

***

 

Ryouma, Gouki, and Hayate ran to KuroKishi, who was standing at the feet of his zord near the forcefield 

 

KuroKishi!” Ryouma shouted. “Whatever you’re planning…don’t.”

 

The Black Knight did not bother looking back at the three rangers. “Don’t presume you can stand in my way…I won’t be responsible for my actions if you do.”

 

KuroKishi snapped around with his back towards the zord. “Now, GoTaurus.”

 

The zord’s eyebeams shot down and enveloped KuroKishi. The Black Knight’s body started to expand and grow giant, and heavy plates of armor wrapped around his body.

 

KuroKishi turned towards his zord. GoTaurus! Armor merge!”

 

The Taurozord crackled with energy and rose onto its two hind legs. The zord shifted shape and formed a bulky suit of armor. The Black Knight leapt through the air and slid into the zord. The zord clamped shut around KuroKishi and formed a new zord.

 

“Armored Black Knight!” KuroKishi shouted. BullTaurus!”

 

BullTaurus leapt through the air and landed closer to the forcefield. The zord armed its double-bladed golden staff and started striking against the field.

 

The field crackled with energy upon each blow. Strands of electric energy shot downward inside the bubble and exploded against the city streets with massive bursts of spark and flame.

 

Shockwaves knocked Saya and Hikaru off their feet, and they slammed against their tailbones.

 

Hikaru narrowed his eyes. “What’s that psycho doing?”

 

BullTaurus slashed its staff across the force bubble with another series of blows and strikes, each blow causing the forcefield to flash with light.

 

Ryouma, Gouki, and Hayate ran near the feet of the zord.

 

“We have to stop him!” Gouki shouted.

 

Ryouma looked towards the distance. “Star Beasts, arise!”

 

GingaLion roared in the distance and charged towards the scene. Gingarilla and GingaCondor moved in alongside the crimson lion.

 

Ryouma and his two teammates stepped forward and armed their braces. “Galaxy Transform!” They slapped their braces' activation panels. “Ha!” Columns of their elemental energy circled around them and activated their armor.

 

Galaxy Red, Galaxy Blue, and Galaxy Green leapt onto their Star Beasts, which surrounded BullTaurus. 

 

BullTaurus stepped back into a fighting stance and tightened its grip on its double-bladed golden staff. The zord lifted its staff into an attack posture. 

 

***

 

Saya and Hikaru continued their sprint towards the shield generator, but Dotorumon stepped onto the plaza and blocked their path.

 

“So you two little rangers found my toy,” the villain said mockingly. “That’s almost clever.”

 

“You’ll excuse us if we don’t take time to banter,” Hikaru said as he and Saya charged forward to attack.

 

“Galaxy Transform!” they shouted while dashing forward. Columns of elemental energy circled around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms. The two Rangers pounced through the air and attacked.

 

“Kiba Knives!” The two Rangers swung their daggers down towards the villain’s head.

 

Dotorumon used his sword to block the blow and push the Rangers back. They tumbled backward across the ground.

 

Galaxy Pink rolled back onto her feet and switched her Kiba Dagger to its bow formation. Galaxy Yellow did the same.

 

Kib-arrow!” they shouted, firing volleys of energy arrows that shot towards the villain. Dotorumon used his saber to deflect each blast, and the energy arrows exploding with sparks as the pirate’s blade cut through. 

 

***

 

Gingarilla charged forward and tackled against BullTaurus. The zord knocked the beast’s arms away and slashed Gingarilla across the chest, blade sparking against the beast’s flesh.

 

BullTaurus stepped past Gingarilla while slashing the beast across the chest, turned, and slashed against the beast again. The blade sparked on impact and knocked Gingarilla backward, sending the beast crashing against the ground.

 

GingaCondor suddenly swooped through the air and slashed its wings across BullTaurus, taking the zord by surprise. BullTaurus was forced a step back as GingaLion stepped forward to attack.

 

Galaxy Red stood on his zord’s head, and fiery energy flashed around both of them. “Mane of Flame!”

 

The lion opened its mouth and launched a torrent of flame that shot through the air towards BullTaurus.

 

BullTaurus twirled his staff in a butterfly pattern to deflect most of the fiery blast, which splashed against the zord’s armor with massive bursts of spark. The flames died down, and BullTaurus stomped towards the lion.

 

Galaxy Red lowered his hands in shock. “Impossible…he stood against the Mane of Flame!”

 

BullTaurus held his staff forward and stomped towards the lion. Suddenly, BullTaurus stopped in his tracks and clutched onto his chest. Strands of energy crackled around BullTaurus as pain shot through the zord and its pilot.

 

GoTaurus flashed with energy and separated from KuroKishi. The Black Knight landed on the ground below.

 

Galaxy Red, Galaxy Green, and Galaxy Blue landed nearby KuroKishi and watched as the Black Knight limped off while clutching his chest.

 

Without speaking a word, KuroKishi leapt off into the distance while his zord stomped away from the scene, giving a worried moan.

 

Galaxy Blue laid a hand on Galaxy Red’s shoulder. “Maybe you hit him harder than you thought…”

 

Galaxy Red shook his head. “No…something is wrong with him.”

 

***

 

Galaxy Yellow swung his blade towards Dotorumon. The Balban parried the blow and slashed the Ranger aside.

 

Galaxy Pink swung her blade low, but Dotorumon parried the blow and slashed the Pink Ranger across the chest with a pair of strikes, which whipped the Ranger off her feet.

 

Galaxy Pink and Galaxy Yellow tumbled across the ground and landed by each others’ side. The two Rangers rolled back to their feet and stepped back into defensive stances.

 

Dotorumon energized his sword with dark crimson and amethyst energy. He swung his sword downward in an ‘x’ pattern, the blade streaking with energy as it cut across the Rangers’ chests, slashing across their armor with bursts of spark that knocked them backward.

 

The Rangers crashed against the invisible barrier and slumped back to the ground.

 

"You two are obviously the weakest of your quaint little Ranger clan," the Balban taunted.

 

Galaxy Yellow tightened his grip on his weapons. "You do not want to tick us off, Balban!"

 

Galaxy Yellow and Galaxy Pink charged towards the Balban warrior. The Pink Ranger fell into formation behind the Yellow Ranger.

 

Dotorumon extended his hand and fired invisible energy blasts that exploded around the Rangers. Sparks ignited across the Rangers' armor while they continued their advance.

 

The Rangers leapt forward.

 

Galaxy Yellow swung his Kiba Cutter and Seijuukin in an x-shaped pattern towards the villain’s midsection. The villain blocked the blow, but Galaxy Yellow used his blades to catch the warrior’s weapon and hold it down.

 

Galaxy Pink landed while slashing her sword across the villain, blade sparking on impact and knocking Dotorumon backward.

 

"Don't bother getting up." Galaxy Yellow continued his advance and charged towards the shield-emitter. "Crescent Slash!" The Ranger's weapon energized with crackling, lightning power and swung downward. Galaxy Yellow slashed through the emitter, which exploded and shattered on impact.

 

The forcefield around Stone Canyon shattered, and a gust of air rushed over the streets with the sound of a thunderclap. Galaxy Red, Galaxy Blue, and Galaxy Green changed deeper into the city towards their friends, and the five Rangers regrouped at the plaza as Dotorumon slowly rose to his feet.

 

Dotorumon narrowed his brow. "You may have destroyed the field...but the Lights will still belong to me."

 

Galaxy Red pointed forward. "Never, Balban!"

 

The Rangers armed small acorns and threw them to the ground. Explosions of light, and bright, golden columns of energy extended up from the ground from where the acorns had struck. The columns of light materialized and formed five cylinder-shaped weapons of steel. Each had a handle that the Rangers grabbed.

 

“Quasar Launchers!” Galaxy Red shouted as they swung the weapons over their shoulders and aimed forward. “Fire!”

 

Five energy spheres shot forward, combined, and exploded against Dotorumon with an explosive force that shook the plaza area. But the Balban managed to stay on his feet. 

 

Dotorumon actually laughed while he covered his wound, still smoking across his armor. “It’s a wonder you five have survived this long.”

 

The wind suddenly howled across the streets. Nearby, Dotorumon's spire started to vibrate. Golden power pulsed through the spire as sparks shot from its top.

 

A sparkling globe of golden energy suddenly erupted from the spire and hovered over the streets. The sphere radiated with power that cast a warm glow across the surrounding plaza.

 

"The Lights!" Galaxy Pink shouted as the Lights of Orion hovered away towards the woods.

 

Dotorumon charged into the woods to follow the Lights. The Rangers were at his heels. Their communicators chimed a signal from Moku.

 

“Rangers,” their mentor said. “You cannot allow the Balban to have the Lights. They will become unstoppable. Keep Dotorumon away.”

 

“What does it look like we’re doing,” Galaxy Yellow smarted off.

 

The Rangers crouched in animal-like stances while running and closing in on Dotorumon.

 

“Ha!” Galaxy Red leapt through the air and twisted his body while passing over Dotorumon.

 

The Red Ranger landed in front of the villain and pounced forward while swinging his Kiba Cutter. The Balban lifted his blade to block the blow, and the two opponents pressed their weapons against each other.

 

***

 

KuroKishi limped through the wilderness and clutched his chest. He was still in pain. His chest ached with fire. He knew his time was running out. He was dying.

 

The Black Knight looked into the distance where the Lights hovered in the woods.

 

“The Lights of Orion...” he said in a weak voice as he limped down towards the trees.

 

To be continued...Chapter 12