Shadows of Evil: Chapter Two

Getting Stronger

 

Levina stood before Lord Zedd in the moon fortress. “It’s been two days, Zedd…you should crush the Rangers while their last defeat still weighs heavily on their minds.”

 

“Silence, old hag,” Zedd said. “Attacking them head on again would be foolish…I know their strengths and weaknesses. Tommy is the true strength of the Rangers. If I destroy him, the others will follow.”

 

“And how will you defeat him, Zedd?”

 

“He is only a boy,” Zedd said as he faced the Earth.

 

“A boy that nearly killed you.” Levina said in a cackling voice.

 

“I know how to handle him.”

 

“Then how?”

 

“His heart…” Zedd said. “I will attack his heart. Then I will crush him.”

 

***

 

The teens stood before Zordon in the Command Chamber. “So what are we supposed to do?” Adam asked.

 

“Yeah,” Rocky said. “It’s not like hitting weights in the gym will help any.”

 

“You are correct, Rocky,” Zordon said. “The five of you have never faced any villain the likes of Zedd before. His henchmen and monsters are all skilled in the arts of magick. Too defeat him, you must hone your own skills.”

 

“Magick?” Kimberly said. “Zordon, that’s ridiculous.”

 

“Our Ki,” Billy said. “It’s the same thing.”

 

“Billy is correct,” Zordon said. “Your Kiryoku fighting techniques are equivalent to combat spells. You must learn new techniques to defeat Zedd’s army.”

 

“But it’s not something we learn,” Tommy said. “Most of our techniques just come naturally.”

 

“The five of you must search within your souls,” Zordon said. “Hone your inner spirits, your Kiryoku, and you will be unstoppable.”

 

“But how?” Tommy said.

 

“We meditate,” Adam said.

 

“On what?” Rocky asked.

 

“Simply search for The Power within yourselves and you will be guided,” Zordon said.

 

The teens nodded. They slowly sat on the floor of the Command Chamber and assumed meditative poses. They closed their eyes and slowed their breathing.

 

***

 

Tommy’s astral form was at a volcano. “How did I get here?”

 

“This is your astral form,” Kaku said as he stepped out from a cloud of mist.

 

Tommy’s eyes lit up. “Sensei! Is it really you?”

 

Kaku nodded. “Yes and no…our Ki is connected through The Power.”

 

Tommy nodded. “Sensei…things are bad.”

 

Kaku nodded. “Zedd is a powerful enemy…but you and the others grow more powerful with each fight.”

 

“What can we do?” Tommy asked.

 

“Look into that volcano,” Kaku said.

 

“What about it?”

 

“Do you see how the lava flows about…it is in turmoil…a fiery chaos.”

 

Tommy nodded.

 

“Thus is your spirit.”

 

“What?” Tommy asked.

 

“When a volcano erupts, it is unpredictable, yet powerful. Do you remember when you used your Hell Fire attack?”

 

Tommy nodded.

 

“Such is the eruption of the volcano.”

 

Tommy shook his head. “I understand the analogy but I’m not sure what you mean.”

 

“You have more power at your disposal than this volcano, but you don’t know how to harness it. Your eruptions of power are chaotic. When you fought DaiSatan, when you fought Dae’mon, when you fought Zedd…your anger caused your power to explode.”

 

Tommy nodded.

 

“Just as the sudden eruption of a volcano can be dangerous, so can your sudden eruptions of power,” Kaku said.

 

“I have control. I can use my Star Fire or Fire Stream and a few other things whenever I need to.”

 

“But those are not enough. Do not fight with your emotions…fight with your spirit.”

 

“I’m not sure I understand.”

 

“Brace yourself,” Kaku said.

 

“Wh-”

 

Kaku pushed Tommy‘s astral form into the volcano. Tommy panicked within the lava.

 

Kaku looked down at his student. “Feel the power around you. Notice how it controls your movements as you float in the lava, you allow its chaos to control your actions, you allow your fear to spasm your body about. Now bury your feelings…don’t let your fear guide you.”

 

Tommy tried not to be afraid. He buried his fear and stopped struggling, but the lava was still moving him about.

 

“Good,” Kaku said. “Now focus, feel the lava around you…turn the chaos into order…”

 

Tommy searched inside of himself, and suddenly, the lava burst from the volcano and Tommy flew free. He landed next to Kaku and breathed heavily.

 

“What have you learned?” Kaku asked.

 

“You’re trying to tell me that the lava is like The Power within me. Chaotic…it controls me, but I can control it too. When I try to control it with my emotions…fear and anger…it just makes things more chaotic. But if I try with my spirit…my Ki…I can control it fully…right?”

 

Kaku nodded. “It will take time to master. The longer you use The Power, the more techniques it will show you.”

 

Tommy nodded. “Thank you, sensei.”

 

***

 

Kaku’s spirit guided the other Rangers with similar analogies. Kimberly with wind, Rocky with Earth, Adam with light, and Billy with space/time. Then their astral forms joined in China. The Rangers were in their armor.

 

“What are we doing here?” Phoenix Ranger asked.

 

“This is where we summoned the White Tiger,” Lion Ranger said.

 

Kaku nodded. “This is where we can use your Thunder Gems to birth new Kidenjuu.”

 

“Is that possible?” Kirin Ranger asked.

 

“It is the same as you did with Won Tiger,” Kaku explained.

 

The Rangers looked to each other with a moment of doubt. They joined Kaku and sat in meditative poses. They closed their eyes beneath their helmets. Energy crackled around them like lightning. They started hovering in midair as crimson lightning tore through the ground around them.

 

A torrent of energy burst onto the Astral Plane and poured through the Rangers while streaming towards the distance. The Rangers held new Thunder Gems in their hands when the energy wave cleared.

 

Roaring split through the Astral Plane in the distance. The five new Kidenjuu appeared and streaked down from the skies. Each zord looked similar to the previous Thunderzords, but different at the same time. The new Thunderzords appeared more alive and organic.

 

The Red Dragon flew through the air like a serpent. Patches of its thick, red-scaled skin were visible beneath red armor plating. Golden spikes protruded along the zord’s spine. The Phoenix flew besides the Red Dragon. The wings of Star Phoenix were more feather like, but covered in light-red armor.

 

The Kirin and Pegasus ran side-by-side on their armored legs. The Tenma was a sleek, armored Pegasus with navy-blue colored skin beneath plates of black armor. A golden horn extended from the beast’s head, and its wings were folded around its side, each covered with blue and gold armor. The Kirin was similar in design, only its skin was deep yellow and it had no wings. A golden stump protruded from its armored head. The Kirin moved more like a cat than a horse.

 

The Lion roared as it ran forward. Its dark-green skin glistened in the sunlight. Plates of green-and-gold trimmed armored wrapped around the mighty zord.

 

The Rangers rose to their feet and looked up to the majestic zords. Their eyes opened wide beneath their helmets.

 

“Amazing,” Dragon Ranger said.

 

Kaku nodded. The sensei stepped backward as mist surrounded the area. “Farewell, my students…may The Power protect you.”

 

***

 

The teens snapped open their eyes back in the Command Chamber. They gasped for air, startled by the experience. Their gasps startled Alpha.

 

“Ay-yi-yi!” Alpha said. “You’re back!”

 

The teens stood and looked up to Zordon. “It was sensei…” Tommy said.

 

Zordon smiled and nodded. “His spirit will be with you always.”

 

The alarms started blaring. The rangers looked at the Viewing Globe. Blak’wergremon, the dragon monster that had attacked them and destroyed their zords, was attacking a plaza in the heart of the city.

 

“It’s him again,” Rocky said.

 

Tommy nodded. “It’s time to take care of business.”

 

***

 

The five teens stood behind the monster at the plaza.

 

“Hey ugly,” Tommy yelled. “Playtime’s over.”

 

The monster growled.

 

“He’s not much for words,” Rocky said.

 

“It’s morphin time!” Tommy shouted as he and the others armed their braces.

 

“Chakra ignite, Aura Power!” Energy shimmered around them as they connected their braces and morphed into their Ranger forms.

 

The monster shot towards the Rangers with its claws extended like spears. The Rangers dove aside and rolled across the ground for cover. The team rose into crouched fighting positions.

 

“Stay Focused,” Dragon Ranger shouted as he ran towards the monster.

 

The monster zoomed towards him like a spear. Dragon Ranger leapt over the monster, and while he was upside down in midair facing the creature’s back, he shouted “Star Fire!”

 

The Red Ranger launched a comet of fiery energy from between his hands. The comet exploded against the creature, slamming the monster against the ground.

 

Dragon Ranger landed on his feet as the other Rangers regrouped around him. They charged forward to attack as the monster rose back to its feet.

 

The creature gathered a massive sphere of crimson energy between its hands. The villain tossed the sphere forward. Energy danced across the sphere like lightning as it exploded against the Rangers’ armor with massive bursts of spark that knocked them off their feet.

 

The monster sprang forward like a spear aimed at the Rangers.

 

Phoenix Ranger rose to her feet and extended her hands forward. “Tempest Wind!” She summoned a gale-force energy wind that tore across the ground and slammed head-on against the monster.

 

The creature armed his repaired shield and braced himself as the wind blast forced him backward, his clawed feet skidding across pavement as he stood, stiff as a board.

 

Lion Ranger and Kirin Ranger dashed forward on opposite sides of the villain.

 

“Shining Fury!” Lion Ranger shouted. He fired a pulsing sphere of pale-green light.

 

“Time Flare!” Kirin Ranger shouted as he launched bursts of yellow energy.

 

The energy blasts from the two Rangers combined and slammed against the monster’s shield, shattering its metal. Phoenix Ranger’s wind blast knocked the villain off his feet and sent him skidding backward while tearing up the plaza.

 

“Keep it up guys, we almost have ‘im,” Dragon Ranger shouted as he lead his team to charge the monster.

 

The monster zigged and zagged between the Rangers and struck them with powerful swipes from his claws.

 

The Rangers rose to their knees as the monster flew back towards them.

 

Tenma Ranger thrust his hands forward. “Gravity Well!” a spinning well of blue energy shot forth and slammed against the monster, pushing the creature backward as explosions sparked across its body.

 

The creature stood its ground. Dragon Ranger leapt forward with a flying sidekick that slammed against the creature’s chest, knocking the villain further backward. Dragon Ranger gathered a deep crimson sphere of power between his palms. The energy swirled like a miniature sun.

 

“Nova force!” Dragon Ranger shot the blast forward. The energy blast exploded against the dragon monster and sent him flying off his feet. The monster crashed through a nearby walkway before slamming on the ground and skidding backward.

 

“Thunder Staffs!” the Rangers shouted as they armed their red staff weapons. They energized and leapt through the air before landing around the monster. The villain slowly rose to his feet.

 

Tenma Ranger and Lion Ranger leapt forward and speared their staffs against the creature’s chest. Kirin Ranger and Phoenix Ranger used their staffs to pole vault forward and slam their kicks against the monster. Dragon Ranger moved in next. The Red Ranger swung his staff horizontally, bashing the weapon across the monster’s head.

 

The Rangers regrouped as a group of Golems appeared.

 

“Not these rock heads again,” Tenma Ranger said.

 

The Rangers charged forward and attacked.

 

Tenma Ranger spinning-heel kicked a soldier aside and smashed his staff against a second Golem’s chest.

 

Dragon Ranger whacked a soldier across the face with the right end of his staff. He whipped his right leg around in a reverse crescent kick that sent the soldier tumbling away.

 

Lion Ranger chopped the end of his staff down against the back of a soldier’s head. The Green Ranger snapped the other end of the staff upward, bashing the soldier upside the face.

 

Kirin Ranger used his staff to block kicks from two Golems. The Yellow Ranger spun forward, smashing his staff across both soldiers’ heads.

 

Phoenix Ranger swung her staff downward, snapping across a soldier’s arm. She snapped her leg around in an outer crescent kick that smashed a second Golem across the head.

 

Back in Zedd’s palace, Levina stared at the creature through her crystal ball. She whispered an incantation with her hackled voice. Back on the Earth, the spell caused the monster to expand and grow giant.

 

Dragon Ranger blocked a blow and slammed the back of his fist across the soldier‘s head.

 

“Ready guys?” Dragon Ranger said as he unsheathed his Thunder Sword.

 

The Rangers raised their Thunder Swords towards the skies while grasping their Thunder Gems. “Thunderzords arise!”

 

The five armored beasts streaked down from the skies in beams of light. They took shape, resembling giant animals covered in armor. The Kirin and Lion landed on the ground and charged forward. Red Dragon, the Phoenix and winged Tenma flew through the air.

 

The Rangers energized and leapt into their cockpits, embedded within the zords’ armor.

 

Dragon Ranger placed his hand over his zord’s control sphere. “Thunder-star fusion!”

 

The five zords pulsed with energy and combined. The Kirin and Tenma formed the arms, the dragon formed the body, with the Red Dragon head on the Megazord’s chest. The Lion formed the lower body and legs, and the Phoenix attached to the back of the Megazord as its wings extended outward and grew razor sharp. Red armor flashed and covered most of the zord. The Megazord’s head had a red-armored helmet with a golden “V” on the forehead.

 

The winged Megazord faced off with the monster as the Rangers joined in the cockpit. “MegaThunderzord! ChoiDairenou!”

 

The MegaThunderzord spread its wings and hovered above the ground.

 

The dragon monster extended its claws and charged forward to attack. The creature created a massive energy cyclone between his claws and hurled the cyclone forward.

 

MegaThunderzord snapped its wings and flew forward while curving around the cyclone and flying back towards the monster.

 

“Thunder Whip!” the Rangers shouted. The MegaThunderzord armed a segmented, razor whip that formed from the Red Dragon’s tail. MegaThunderzord swung the whip horizontally. The whip slashed across the monster, sparking on impact and sending the villain crashing backward through several buildings.

 

The monster rose back to its feet.

 

MegaThunderzord hovered sideways while extending its Kirin arm. “Kirin Flares!” the Rangers shouted. The Kirin arm fired spheres of distorted energy that exploded against the monster with bursts of spark.

 

The monster stood its ground and hurled an energy sphere towards the MegaThunderzord. The Megazord dashed to the side as the energy sphere blasted by and exploded through a building behind the Megazord.

 

MegaThunderzord extended its Tenma arm. “Tenma Pulse!” The right hand fired a jagged blue energy pulse that exploded against the monster.

 

“Let’s finish this guy…” Dragon Ranger shouted. “Thunder Whip! Lightning Slash!”

 

The Megazord snapped its wings and shot through the air towards the monster. The Thunder Whip flashed with yellow energy. MegaThunderzord swung the whip downward diagonally. The energized whip slashed through the monster, cutting the creature in half.

 

The monster tumbled backward, its energy overloading and exploding. The villain’s body was vaporized from the explosion.

 

***

 

Levina laughed at her master. “I told you, Zedd…the Rangers have already adapted to your tactics.”

 

“Watch your tongue, witch,” Zedd said. “My plan has only just begun.”

 

***

 

The Rangers leapt from their zords and landed on the city streets below. “Good work, guys,” Dragon Ranger said to the others.

 

An energy vortex suddenly twirled around Dragon Ranger. The Red Ranger vanished with a flash of crimson light.

 

“Tommy!” Phoenix Ranger shouted. “No!”

 

***

 

It was Zedd’s turn to laugh. “And now, Levina, let me show you how to break a Ranger…”

 

To be continued…Chapter 03