Galaxy Rangers: Chapter Twelve
Dotorumon twirled his blade while hacking across the Rangers’ armor, his sword sparking on impact while slashing across their bodies. The Rangers tried to strike back with their Seijuukin, but the Balban parried and blocked their blows with near masterful precision.
Galaxy Red held his Kiba Cutter in his left hand and his Seijuukin in his right hand, and he swung both blades towards Dotorumon. But the villain lifted his sword and blocked the blow. The Balban knocked the Ranger’s arms away and slashed Galaxy Red across the chest, blade sparking on impact and whipping the Red Ranger backward.
Galaxy Red landed on his feet, crouched down, and sprang back towards the villain while somersaulting through the air.
“Mane of Flame!” The Ranger’s blades swung downward through streaks of fiery energy in an x-shaped pattern.
Dotorumon blocked the blow and knocked Galaxy Red backward. The Red Ranger crashed against the ground and tumbled over to his teammates.
Galaxy Blue and Galaxy Green stepped forward with their Kiba Shot weapons, and Galaxy Yellow and Galaxy Pink armed their Kib-arrow weapons. They opened fire with power blasts and energy arrows that streaked towards the Balban.
Dotorumon twirled his blade to deflect the blasts as they exploded around him with bursts of spark, and he charged through the blasts to attack.
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.
Secondary explosions erupted in strands of crimson energy that exploded against the Rangers while they crashed against the ground.
Dotorumon turned and ran towards where the Lights hovered above. He pulled out an ornate jar and twisted off its lid. The mystic jar created a vortex that sucked the Lights inside, and Dotorumon placed the lid back on the jar to seal the power source.
“No!” Galaxy Red shouted.
Dotorumon hissed laughter as he ran from the scene. “Too slow, Rangers. Too slow...”
Iresia sat on a floor mat 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 and pulled them aside, only slightly, so he could step inside. "My niece, Budo's minion has the Lights."
Iresia appeared unconcerned, and continued laying down sparkling gems in a pattern in front of her. "Does he now? The fool became lucky, it seems."
"The captain was elated..." Bukarates said cautiously.
"Well..." Iresia pulled out another pouch of gems to continue her pattern. "He won't be for long, will he, Medusai."
A figure stepped out from the shadows. The monster wore a golden mask over a pale face and had long, snake-like hair. Her body was covered in a strange, lumpy organic armor, purple over the body and chest and etched with golden lines and symbols, and dark green over her arms and legs. Bony spikes extended downward from her pauldrons.
"Yes, mistress," Medusai said as she lowered her head.
"You know what to do," Iresia said without looking at her minion. "Carry out my plans, without failure."
"Yes, mistress," Medusai said.
The monster started a spin, and as she turned around, she shape shifted into a duplicate of Budo. Medusai-- as a doppelganger of Budo-- finished her spin and bowed to her mistress. She spoke in Budo's voice: "It will be done."
Dotorumon ran along a rocky shoreline several meters above the ocean. The villain clutched the urn beneath his arm and hurried to deliver the Lights to his master.
Without warning, an explosion sparked against Dotorumon with a burst of spark, stopping him in his tracks. The villain looked to his right to see KuroKishi charging forward.
The Black Knight ran towards Dotorumon while holding his double-edged sword forward to attack. “Give me the Lights!”
KuroKishi leapt through the air and chopped his blade towards Dotorumon, but the villain caught the blade and knocked the Black Knight away. KuroKishi whirled back and stepped into a defensive stance.
Dotorumon armed his sword while holding the urn beneath his arm.
The Black Knight and Balban dashed along the shore while facing each other and holding their blades towards one another. At the same time, they leapt through the air and passed by each other while clashing swords.
The Balban and Black Knight landed back-to-back.
The opponents turned to face each other and swung their swords. Their blades clashed together and locked into position while they turned in a circle, each trying to gain the upper hand.
Suddenly, an unseen attacker hacked away at the Black Knight's back with bursts of spark that forced the warrior aside. KuroKishi was too close to the edge of a cliff, and he stumbled over the edge and plummeted towards the ocean below.
Dotorumon looked to see who had saved him-- it was Budo.
Budo looked over the cliff where the Black Knight had fallen. "That won't stall him for long." He looked to Dotorumon. "Come with me, quickly."
Budo led Dotorumon into a cave, with an entrance concealed by a waterfall. The two villains sat across from each other as Dotorumon pulled the urn from underneath his arm and extended it towards Budo. "The Lights of Orion..."
Budo held out his hand and gently pushed the urn back towards Dotorumon. "No...keep them. You've earned that right. The right to use the Lights against the Galaxy Rangers."
Dotorumon's eyes widened with shock. "Are you certain?"
Budo nodded as he pulled a string of white beads from beneath his robes. "You have proven yourself to be my finest warrior." He held the beads, tipped with a small, carved snake head, towards Dotorumon. "Take this, and wear it as you would a medal of honor."
Dotorumon reached out and took the beads. "I am grateful..." He wrapped the beads around his wrist so that the snake-head carving dangled slightly. "I will not fail you."
"See that you don't."
Ryouma and his teammates ran through the forest to find Dotorumon and the Lights of Orion. They had followed the villain's trail across mountainous, hilly terrain, which led them to a waterfall. They stopped and looked around the area for any sign of the Balban.
"I don't get it," Ryouma said as he looked over the area. "The trail stops here, but I'm not seeing anything."
"Look closer, Rangers!" a voice shouted from behind the waterfall.
Dotorumon stepped through the rushing water while carrying the urn beneath his arm and his curved sword in his free hand.
"Dotorumon!" Ryouma shouted as the teens snapped into fighting stances. "Hand over the Lights! Or we'll just have to take them!"
The monster tilted his head back and laughed. "An empty, although amusing, threat," Dotorumon said. "But tell me, rangers, how will you take the Lights from me after the Lights and I become one!"
Dotorumon pulled the lid free from the urn, and the Lights of Orion shot forth and splashed across his body, covering him in a shell of golden light. He tossed the urn to the ground as his armor glowed and transformed. Curved spikes extended from his shoulder armor, and his left hand turned into a curved, crab-like claw etched with dull gold. His upper left arm contorted into dull-gold armor with an emerald gem. And a curved, V-shaped, bladed emblem extended from his forehead.
The light faded, and the Rangers noticed that even the monster's sword had changed. The villain's blade was thicker, with jagged, golden ridges along the edge.
Dotorumon held his arms wide and leaned his head back as he howled with laughter. "The power!" He lowered his head and glared at the rangers with eyes that burned bright crimson. "Try challenging me now!"
Dotorumon traced the edge of his claw along his curved saber, and a crimson glow followed his touch along the blade until the entire sword pulsed with red-tinted energy. The villain swung the sword, which fired a twirling blade of crimson energy that exploded around the rangers with massive bursts of flame.
The shockwave slammed against the rangers and sent them flying off their feet. They hit the ground hard and tumbled down a nearby hill, kicking up dirt and slamming past trees, before landing in a clearing.
Dotorumon laughed with delight and started following the rangers down the hill. He didn't notice Budo step out from behind the waterfall-- nor did he notice Budo's body transform into Medusai.
Medusai waited until Dotorumon was out of sight before reaching down and lifting the urn that had carried the Lights of Orion. "That fool was even easier to trick than I imagined."
The monster cackled with pride at her own brilliance, not noticing that KuroKishi was watching.
Ryouma tried to ignore the splitting pain in his side as he climbed to his feet. The first thing he noticed was the sight of his teammates, sprawled across the ground, barely conscious.
"Guys!" he shouted. He went to each of them, leaning down to make sure they were okay, and imploring them to move. "Come on, we've got to fall back. We can't fight him when we're in this kind of shape."
"You mean beaten inches from death?" Hikaru said as he rose to his feet. "That the kind of shape you're talking about?"
"Ryouma's right," Hayate said as he and the others climbed to their feet. "We need to regroup, gather our strength, and come up with a plan."
"Come on," Ryouma said as he led his team deeper into the woods to gain distance away from the super-charged Dotorumon.
They didn't make it far.
Yattatoo sprang from the bushes and ambushed the rangers, who were immediately surrounded and left with little room to maneuver. The grunts hacked their swords towards the teens, but the rangers fought back, blocking the grunts' blows, flipping them to the ground, and bashing kicks and punches against their frail bodies.
They didn't have time to get clear before Dotorumon started firing random bursts of energy from somewhere on the wooded hills above, to scatter the rangers from cover. Comets of golden-tinted, crimson energy exploded around the rangers and tore through grunts with bursts of spark that kicked up dirt, grass and smoke. The shockwaves knocked the rangers from their feet and hurled the bodies of Yattatoo through the air.
Budo-- the real Budo-- kneeled on the deck of the Balban ship while awaiting word from his minion Dotorumon. Zaihabu impatiently paced back and forth, while Sherinda tapped the blade or her slender sword against her palm. She eyed Budo with great interest, waiting for him to break his calm.
But it was Zaihabu who snapped first. "Where are the Lights?" he snarled. "That crab-brained monster captured them; where is he?"
"He will come," Budo said, as calmly as ever.
"Capt. Zaihabu!" the doors to the main deck swung open, and Bukarates waddled in as quickly as his short, stubby legs made possible. "Word from the mainland, captain...Dotorumon has captured the Lights...but he has used them on himself!"
Budo snapped to his feet. "What?!"
Sherinda glared at the general. "Budo..."
Budo shook his head. "I knew nothing of this. He was to return the Lights to me so that their radiance could revive Daitanix. I made this clear."
Zaihabu stared at his general but said nothing. The quieter he was, the angrier he was-- a lesson his subordinates had learned quickly.
Bukarates waddled closer to the captain. "Unlikely. Budo's warriors all follow a code of honor that is twisted, but still strict. Dotorumon would have never disobeyed a direct order, nor would he have chosen to use the Lights for himself. He must have been ordered to use the Lights."
"Foolishness," Budo spat. "For what reason would I-"
Sherinda's sword was at the general's neck in an instant. She glared at Budo, and her face betrayed a brief moment of amusement. "Hand me your sword, general."
Another wave of Dotorumon's energy bursts exploded around the rangers with shockwaves that hurled them through the air. They slammed against the dirt and tumbled down another hill before crashing to a stop. Slowly, they pulled themselves to their feet. Their clothes were torn and tattered, and their faces were covered with bruises and trickles of blood.
"Okay," Hikaru said. "We're not moving nearly fast enough."
"Just keep moving," Ryouma said.
From above, Dotorumon shouted. "What's the matter Rangers? Too scared to face me and my newfound power? I guess if I can't blast you out, I'll have to burn you out!"
Dotorumon swung his blade, which pulsed with a stream of flame that swept across the woods and burned through trees and bushes with the full force of a wild fire. Flames washed down and surrounded the teens as they dove for cover.
"No!" Saya shouted. "What's he doing!"
Gouki noticed a rabbit try to hop free, but flames and smoke surrounded the creature. He placed his hands together, palms out, and thrust his arms forward. "Ha!"
A wave of hydro energy sprayed from his hands and doused the nearby flames, but the rabbit was nowhere in sight.
Nearby, Saya leaned down and lifted a fallen bird, too weak to fly away or keep its eyes open. "No...we've got to stop him. Look what he's doing!"
Ryouma nodded and armed his bracer. "Running's not an option anymore."
The teens regrouped. "Galaxy transform!" They twisted the dials on their morphers and slapped their activation panels. "Ha!" Columns of elemental energy circled around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms.
The Rangers leaned down in animal-like postures and ran through the flames to face Dotorumon. They dashed through the fire and reached a small clearing where Dotorumon stood, waiting.
"Predictable," Dotorumon said. "Literally, like moths to a flame."
"You've ruined this place!" Galaxy Red shouted.
"And I'll ruin you too!" Dotorumon traced the edge of his claw along his curved saber, and a crimson glow followed his touch along the blade until the entire sword pulsed with red-tinted energy. The villain swung the sword, which fired a beam of red, fiery energy that sparked against the Rangers and whipped their bodies backward. They crashed against the grass as smoke sizzled from their armor.
Galaxy Red placed his hands against the dirt and pushed himself up, rising into a crouched position before climbing back to his feet. "Quasar Launchers!" The other Rangers rose to their feet, and they armed their launchers. They grasped the handles of their weapons and held the barrels over their shoulders while aiming towards the Balban monster. "Fire!"
Each launcher fired a burst of colored light, but the energy blasts bounced harmlessly off Dotorumon as he stalked towards the Rangers with his blade held outward in a fighting stance.
"The Lights make me invincible," Dotorumon said. "I am more than just a warrior, I am an unstoppable force of nature!"
"You're a cancer to nature!" Galaxy Pink shouted.
"Ha!" Dotorumon laughed. "That works too."
"One more time, guys," Galaxy Red said. "Channel as much of your Aasu as you can!" Each Ranger pulsed with their color, and the energy flowed from around their bodies and into the barrels of their Quasar Launchers. They swung the weapons back over their shoulders and aimed at Dotorumon. "Fire!"
Five bolts of colored light shot from the launchers, and each blast sparked against Dotorumon and knocked him back a step. But he stood his ground.
The Rangers, however, were fatigued from having used so much of their energy. Their legs became weak, and they collapsed to their knees while using their launchers as support to keep from falling completely.
Dotorumon laughed as he walked closer to the fallen Rangers. "Goodbye, Gingaman...the end of your precious 3,000-year legacy is now..."
He raised his sword high to chop down on the Rangers, but before he could, the snake head on his beaded bracelet blew a puff of black smoke that clouded his mask, blurred his vision and seeped into his lungs. He stumbled and nearly collapsed.
A hideous, female laughter came from the treetops above, and Dotorumon looked up to see Medusai sitting on a tree branch, staring down at him. She held the urn in her hands. "Is something the matter, great warrior?" She laughed mockingly. "You are truly an idiot."
"You..." Dotorumon hacked as he rose to his feet. "You did this to me!"
"Yes..." she pulled out the urn. "And now to take the Lights which you stole."
A green-tinted blaster bolt suddenly cut through the air and shattered the urn in her hands. "What?!"
She looked to see KuroKishi slowly walk onto the scene with his rifle in hand.
"The Lights," the Black Knight said. "Will never belong to the Balban, shape-shifter."
KuroKishi aimed his rifle and fired another volley of pulse blasts that sparked against Medusai and knocked her from the tree. The monster crashed against the ground and stumbled to her feet, backing away from the Black Knight and Dotorumon.
She glared at the Black Knight. "This is not over," she said, as she vanished out of sight.
KuroKishi unsheathed his sword and pointed the blade towards Dotorumon. "You're weakened. Spare yourself unneeded pain and let me strike you down quickly."
"Argh!" Dotorumon chopped his blade towards KuroKishi, but the Black Knight swung his sword and blocked the blow, twisted the villain's weapon downward, and slashed against the monster with an x-shaped pattern that sparked on impact.
The monster stumbled backward, and KuroKishi pushed forward with a flying somersault through the air. The Black Knight landed while chopping his blade against the monster's arm gem, which shattered with a pulse of golden light.
Golden light shimmered around Dotorumon as he powered down to his normal form. The Lights of Orion stretched from the villain's body, pulled free, and formed a glowing, sparkling orb that shot away from the monster.
The orb of brilliant light hovered near the tree tops and sparkled with radiance, along with enough power to kick up a small wind storm. The winds rustled the trees and grass, and the light pulsed with life.
KuroKishi spotted the Lights and ran towards the sparkling orb, but the Rangers blocked his path.
"No way," Galaxy Red said. "No way someone like you is getting the Lights. You'd wipe out half the planet trying to destroy the Balban."
"Only if necessary," he said. "Now stand aside."
"No!" Galaxy Red shouted. "We'd rather destroy the Lights than hand them over to you!"
"I don't have time for this." KuroKishi aimed his rifle and fired bursts of emerald-green energy that sparked against the Rangers and knocked them backward.
The Black Knight dashed past the Rangers and stood beneath the Lights of Orion while extending his hand upward towards the energy orb. "Lights of Orion, come to me! Be the instrument of my revenge!"
"No!" Galaxy Red shouted. "Quasar Launchers!"
The Rangers armed their launchers and aimed towards the sparkling Lights of Orion. But before the Rangers could fire, the Black Knight aimed his rifle and triggered a volley of energy bursts that sparked across their armor and knocked them back.
KuroKishi again held his hand out towards the Lights of Orion. But the Lights hovered away from him and towards the Rangers, who were climbing back to their feet.
The Lights pulsed and chimed while hovering over the Rangers and casting its brilliance upon them.
"What are they doing?" Galaxy Green asked.
"The Lights..." Galaxy Red said. "I think they're choosing us."
"Choosing us?" Galaxy Yellow asked. "What do you-"
The Lights of Orion pulsed with a blinding, golden brilliance that enveloped the Rangers and swept across their armor. Bands of gold, each with an emerald gem, formed over their upper left arms, and clawed fist weapons covered their left forearms and hands. Thick golden bands wrapped around the ends of their gauntlets and boots, and golden bucklers, each engraved with a black V, formed on their belts.
"Ha!" The Lights shimmered away, and the Rangers stood in their new, powered-up armor.
"No!" KuroKishi shouted. "You stole the Lights!"
From the distance, Dotorumon snarled at the Rangers and gripped tightly onto his sword. "You! No! I won't allow myself to become a failure!"
Dotorumon charged at the Rangers with his sword held high, and the Rangers leaned forward in animal-like postures as they dashed towards the monster. They held their swords forward, blades pointed upward.
"Power up mode!" Galaxy Red shouted.
The Rangers flashed and transformed into five globes of energy that combined into a single comet of golden power that shot towards Dotorumon. The comet punctured through the monster with a burst of spark, blasted behind the villain, and flashed as the five Rangers rematerialized in mid-air. They twisted to face the villain as they dropped to the ground and landed in animal-like fighting stances.
Secondary explosions tore across Dotorumon's body, and he was about to drink a growth elixir, when KuroKishi blasted the vial from his hand. The villain clutched his chest and toppled to the ground as his energy overloaded and exploded.
The Rangers lowered their weapons and powered down their armor, releasing the Lights of Orion. Once released, the Lights split into five smaller orbs of golden energy that shot down and splashed across the Rangers' morphers, bonding with the bracers.
To be continued...Chapter 13