Shadows of Evil: Chapter Eight
The Onyx Threat
“Rocky, I’m just not into social gatherings,” Tommy said. “Especially dances.”
“Come on, Tommy,” Rocky said as the two friends walked along the street. “I want to go to the dance at the Pool Hall with Karen…but I’d just be more comfortable with the rest of you there. Besides, I want you guys to meet her. She’s great!”
“I thought you two hated each other?” Tommy said.
“Oh, we’ve grown past that,” Rocky said
Tommy sighed. “All right…Kim and I will meet you and the guys there.”
“Excellent,” Rocky said. “It’ll be fun, you’ll see…and you guys are going to love Karen.”
“Yeah…I just thought of something,” Tommy said.
“What?” Rocky asked.
“We need to find dates for Billy and Adam.”
“Oh yeah, they can’t so much go together, can they,” Rocky said.
Tommy breathed a short laugh. “No.”
“Well who else do we know?” Rocky asked.
Tommy shook his head. “I’ve been fighting monsters since sophomore year…haven’t had time to make friends.”
“Yeah…” Rocky said. “We could hook Billy up with Trini? They were on the original team with you, right?”
Tommy nodded. “Yes, but she’s with Jonathan.”
“Oh yeah. I have trouble keeping track of those five,” Rocky said. “There’s always…god, do you realize how pathetically small our social circles are?”
Tommy patted Rocky on the back. “All comes with saving the world, Rocko.”
Trakeena paced back and forth within her cave. “Is it done now, Finster?”
"In just a moment, Trakeena,” Finster said.
“Oo,” Trakeena said impatiently. “Hurry up…I can’t wait to defeat those Rangers. This plan is perfect.”
“It’s ready, Trakeena…may I present, the Onyx Monster.” A bulky monster made of black jagged stone stepped forward.
“Perfect,” Trakeena said. “Crafted with Onyx Stone. The Rangers will be powerless!”
Her evil laughter echoed off the walls of the cave.
The teens gathered at the pool hall dance. Kimberly had invited the Ninja Ranger team too so Adam and Billy wouldn’t be the only single people in their group.
“Relax,” Kimberly said as she elbowed Tommy in the ribs.
“There are just so many people,” Tommy said.
After an introduction to Karen, the teens split up. Tommy, Kimberly, Rocky, Karen, Jonathan, and Trini hit the dance floor during a slow dance. Jason, Billy, Zack, Adam, and Richie were talking over at the juice bar.
Rocky and Karen swayed to the music.
“Your friends seem nice,” Karen said.
Rocky nodded. “They’re the best, and so are you.”
She grinned. “Is that your idea of sweet talk?”
Rocky smiled. “No, but we’re in public.”
Rocky’s communicator went off.
“Oh man,” he said.
She sighed. “It didn’t take very long for that to get in the way.”
He shrugged. “At least I don’t have to make up a lame excuse.”
She nodded. “Be careful.”
“Hey,” he said with a grin, “it’s me.”
She smiled. “That’s why I’m worried.”
Rocky and the others left, leaving Jason and his team at the dance.
Trakeena was leaning against a pillar at the government center while filing her nails when the Rangers appeared on the scene.
“Trakeena, what are you up to?” Dragon Ranger shouted.
“Oh the usual,” she said nonchalantly. “Golems!”
A group of Fire Golems appeared and shot streams of flame from their palms. The Rangers dove aside and rolled for cover as the blasts exploded around them. The Rangers rolled forward across the ground and rose to their feet while slamming against the grunts.
Back at the dance, someone called everyone’s attention to the TV. The news was catching a close glimpse of the Rangers’ battle with the Fire Golems. Karen shuddered as she watched a newscast of the battle.
“He’ll be okay,” Jason said.
Karen nodded. But she was far from convinced.
“Now it’s your turn, Trakeena!” Dragon Ranger shouted as he and the others leapt towards the villain. They landed near her and snapped into fighting stances.
“Spare me,” Trakeena said. “Onyx!”
“Onyx?” Phoenix Ranger asked.
“That stone…” Lion Ranger said.
“This can’t be…” Kirin Ranger said.
The monster of black, jagged stone dropped to the streets from the rooftops above. The Rangers immediately crippled over as intense pain ripped through their bodies. The material that made Onyx was tearing apart the Rangers’ connection with The Power.
Onyx stalked towards the Rangers. The villain kicked Dragon Ranger upside the head, slammed his fist down on Kirin Ranger’s back, and slammed the back of his fist against Lion Ranger’s helmet.
“Guys…” Dragon Ranger said weakly. “Use your…Thunder Blasters…”
The Rangers assembled their blasters and opened fire at the monster. Their shots faded away before they could connect.
“It’s no use…” Kirin Ranger said. “Our blasters fire morphin' energy. His body must be made completely of Onyx Stone, which repels that energy.”
Back at the dance, Jason looked to his friends. “Chamber,” he said. They started to walk out.
“I’m coming with you,” Karen said.
Jason shook his head. “I don’t think-”
“I’m coming with you…I’m not going to just stand here clueless as to what’s going on. That’s my boyfriend out there.”
Jason sighed. “Fine.”
“Thunder Cycles,” Dragon Ranger spoke into his communicator. The bikes streaked onto the streets. “Let’s fall back…”
The Rangers slowly climbed onto their bikes as Onyx watched with amusement. The Rangers started to throttle off. Onyx extended his hand and fired a jagged burst of black lightning that exploded through the bikes, hurling the Rangers through the air. The Rangers crashed against the ground and skid backward.
The monster stalked towards the fallen Rangers. He grabbed the Red Ranger by the throat and lifted him off the ground. “You five will crumble at my feet.”
“I don’t think so, stoner,” Dragon Ranger said as he poked the villain in the eyes. Onyx growled with pain and dropped the Red Ranger.
The villain thrust his fist forward and fired a jagged burst of black energy that exploded across the Rangers’ armor with a massive burst of spark and flame, snapping their bodies backward.
The villain discharged another blast of energy that snaked around the Rangers’ armor, thrashing with bursts of spark. The Rangers’ armor shattered as the morphers on their wrists burst with spark.
“Our morphers!” Kimberly shouted.
The teens were teleported back to the Command Chamber by Zordon with a flash of white light.
The rangers were on bio beds within the Command Chamber as Alpha scanned their bodies and morphers. Jason and his team were there as well, along with Karen, who was at Rocky’s side.
Tommy rose from his bed impatiently while clutching his injured shoulder.
Jason placed a hand on Tommy’s shoulder to push him back down. “Take it easy man,” Jason said.
“No,” Tommy said as he pushed Jason’s arm away and rose to his feet. “Zordon...how can we fight that thing without our powers?”
“There may be a way, Tommy,” Zordon said. “During the original battle with the Gorma, the Dairanger team was confronted by a powerful empire from a shadow dimension known as the Dynasty. During their battle with the Dynasty, the Rangers used suits of mystical armor that augmented their strength and protected them against the empire’s evil forces.”
“Where’s this armor now?” Billy asked.
“Following the defeat of the Dynasty,” Zordon continued, “the five suits of armor were sent to the planet Shineru for protection by a guardian known as the Ancient One.”
“Another planet?” Adam asked. “Why didn’t they just keep the armor?”
“The five armors possess too much destructive power to be used for extended periods of time,” Zordon said. “The powers threatened to consume the souls of the armors’ bearers with evil.”
Tommy sighed. Not what I needed, he thought to himself. “Well then,” he said. “I guess we’re going to Shineru.”
“We can take the Thunderzords,” Billy said.
“We’re coming too,” Trini said.
“I am afraid not, Trini,” Zordon said. “You and the other Ninja Rangers must remain here in case Zedd or Levina try to take advantage of the Rangers’ absence.”
“What about the Onyx monster?” Richie asked.
“Yeah,” Zack said. “We can’t let that rock head tear up the city.”
“I am afraid the five of you would fall just as the Power Rangers did,” Zordon said. “The Onyx monster can wait for the Rangers to return.”
“Then he’ll be sorry,” Tommy said. “Let’s go guys.”
The teens stood on the same cliff they had departed from on their way to Eltar months ago. The rangers grasped onto their Thunder Gems and raised their hands towards the air. “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 above.
The rangers energized and leapt into their cockpits, embedded within the zords’ armor. Tommy 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 Megazord.
The rangers joined in the cockpit. “MegaThunderzord! ChoiDairenou!”
The Megazord snapped its wings and shot towards space in a streak of white light.
The MegaThunderzord landed on a barren, rocky surface. The teens left the Megazord and stepped onto the surface. Two moons and countless stars illuminated the night sky. Not a single person or structure was in sight.
“So where are the natives?” Rocky asked.
Tommy shook his head. “I don’t think there are any.”
“Zordon said only a few small tribes live underground,” Billy said.
“I can see why,” Tommy said. “Thunder Gems.”
They pulled out their gems and held them against each other as Zordon had instructed. Five steaks of light shot from the gems and into the sky. Nothing happened.
“Did it work?” Rocky asked. “Maybe the batteries are low on these things.”
A ringing noise came from behind them like change being shuffled in a pocket. The teens turned towards the noise. A man dressed in a white-and-blue kimono walked towards them. He wore a round straw hat that angled downward, covering his eyes from sight. He carried a wooden staff with a golden U-shaped prong at the tip. Golden rings were around the prong. The rings clanged together with every step. He was dressed like a Chinese monk.
A white tiger walked at the man’s side. Kimberly’s heart sank at the sight of the tiger.
“I welcome you, Rangers of Earth,” the man said.
“You must be the Ancient One,” Tommy said.
“I am the Ancient,” he said.
“We were sent here by Zordon,” Tommy said. “Our powers were destroyed…we need that armor.”
“The power is still inside of you, Rangers,” the Ancient said.
Tommy sighed impatiently. “We know, but we can’t morph. We don’t have any armor or weapons, and this witch named Trakeena is trashing our city.”
“Hm,” The Ancient said. “Cold devices worn on a Ranger’s wrist aren’t what allows him to transform, young one…this way.”
The Ancient turned and started walking off towards the distance. The rangers followed. They walked up a rocky incline and stopped at the edge of a cliff. The cliff looked out onto a wide valley below. A jungle was nestled within the valley. A stone temple rose from the center of the jungle.
“That is where the armor is hidden,” the Ancient said.
“Can you take us there?” Tommy asked.
“No,” the Ancient said. “This is a journey you must make on your own…but as Rangers…not as mages.”
“What do you mean?” Billy asked.
“Transform,” the ancient said.
“Look,” Tommy said as he sighed with frustration. “I know, back in the day, Rangers could morph without any devices, but we don’t know how.”
“We always had our morphers,” Adam said.
“You know that the key to your transformation was merely a series of spells embedded in your transformation devices. Recreate those spells,” the Ancient said. “You have all become powerful enough to do so.”
“How?” Tommy asked.
The Ancient slammed his staff to the ground, and an army of armored samurai-type warriors attacked them.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing!” Rocky shouted.
“Transform,” the Ancient said. “Ignite the Ki inside of you…form your armor and weapons…you have cast the spell hundreds of times with a thought…do so again.”
Tommy looked to his friends as they were all surrounded. “Let’s try it guys,” Tommy said.
“Look within yourselves,” the Ancient said.
“It’s morphing time!” Tommy shouted.
They mimicked the moves, even without their morphers. “Chakra ignite, Aura Power!” Energy swirled around the teens as they morphed into different forms of their armor. They wore no helmets, and their uniforms were made of a baggy and wrinkly material of the same design as their normal armor. The white chest pieces were still smooth, wrapped tightly against their bodies.
“We did it!” Kimberly said.
“We look a little…uh…different,” Rocky said.
The enemies disappeared.
“Very good,” the Ancient said. “Now…listen carefully to what you must learn. As I told you...the armor you seek is evil. It is necessary for you to use certain traits I embedded in the armor to keep your souls from being corrupted.”
“What traits?” Adam asked.
“You Adam, must use Justice. Tommy, you must use Virtue. Kimberly, you must use Trust. Billy, you must use Wisdom. Rocky, you must use Life. As long as you keep these traits in your hearts, and use them to call on the power of the armor, your souls will be safe from corruption.”
The Ancient extended his staff, and a bridge of light extended from the cliff down into the valley below.
“May The Power protect you on this journey,” the Ancient said. The five rangers waited until daylight to start their trek.
The rangers walked through the lush jungle as the sounds of strange insects and animals echoed from branch to branch. The air was thick and humid, so the rangers felt they were drinking rather than breathing. The heat caused beads of sweat to drip down their foreheads.
“Lovely weather we’re having,” Rocky said sarcastically as he wiped his brow.
Tommy nodded. “Let’s keep up the pace, though…it can’t be too far…”
A high-pitched, jagged voice screeched from the trees behind the rangers. “That’s what they all say…”
They turned and assumed fighting stances as a wrangley figure dropped from the treetops and landed on the ground. The five-foot tall creature had troll-like features and large bubbly eyes. “That’s what they all say before they die,” he said as he looked scornfully at the rangers.
“Is that so?” Adam asked as he and the others boldly stepped forward.
The small creature breathed out a sigh of annoyance. “Dumbwits. I am not threatening you. I am warning you. Great danger is ahead. No one has passed through these jungles alive.”
“You seem to be doing okay,” Kimberly said.
“I stay away,” the creature said. “I go no farther.”
“Well we don’t have much choice,” Tommy said. “So unless you have any helpful advice…we’ll be going.”
“Wait!” the troll called out as he extended his hand. “You want advice…?”
The small creature’s body twisted and mutated before the rangers’ eyes as he grew twice the size of the teens. His muscles bulged out as he transformed into a towering gray-skinned ogre creature.
“Go back!” the ogre shouted in a rumbling voice that shook the ground.
“Break!” Tommy shouted as the ogre slammed his hand against the ground seconds after the rangers jumped clear. The impact created a small crater as the teens regrouped to launch their counter attack.
“He’s slow,” Tommy said, “so hit him hard and fast…Fire Stream!”
Tommy extended his hands and blasted the creature with a stream of fire. The hulking ogre covered his head with his arms as the flames spread harmlessly over his skin.
Adam and Rocky moved up behind the creature.
“Hand of Fate!” Adam shouted as he extended his right fist and fired a beam of pale-green light.
“Gravity Pulse!” Rocky shouted, extending his hands to fire a jagged blast of blue seismic energy.
The Ogre reached backward and swung a backfist blow across the two rangers’ chests, sending them crashing into the trees as Billy moved forward along with Kimberly and Tommy.
“We have to go for his legs,” Billy said. “We need to get him off the ground.”
“Kim…” Tommy said.
“On it,” Kimberly said as she extended her hands, and the air started to whirl around her. “Tempest Winds!”
Kimberly’s powerful wind blasts slammed against the ogre as he struggled to stand his ground.
Tommy moved in alongside Billy as they combined their attacks towards them ground beneath the Ogre.
“Star Fire!” Tommy shouted as he extended his hands and launched a comet of fiery energy.
“Time Flares!” Billy shouted as he extended his hands and fired explosive flashes of chroniton particles.
The ground beneath the ogre exploded, and the creature was blown off his feet. He slammed to the ground and screamed out in a frustrated roar. His body started to shrink as the ogre mutated back into his troll form.
Tommy walked over to the small creature and picked him up by the neck. “Don’t do that again…”
The creature shook his head as he tried to claw free from Tommy’s grasp.
“Just…a warning…” the troll managed to say. “Worse things…to come…”
Tommy released the troll, and the creature scurried backward a safe distance before turning around and facing the rangers while standing on all fours.
“Dumbwits,” the troll said. “I would have been doing you a favor…worse things than me lie ahead.”
The creature entered the woods and disappeared from sight.
“Can’t say I’ll miss the little guy,” Rocky said.
“We better get moving,” Billy said to Tommy.
Tommy nodded as he stared off in the direction the troll ran off. “All right…let’s go. Stay alert…and hope that little creep doesn’t have any older brothers around.”
The rangers worked their way past man-eating vines, sand traps, a herd of small flesh-eating mammals, and a field covered with organic mines. Needless to say, they were quite exhausted. The sun was setting in the distance, casting a light orange hue through the treetops.
Rocky sat down on a boulder and breathed a sigh of fatigue. “This is getting ridiculous…anyone else think those things looked like killer bunnies?”
“They were strange,” Billy said in agreement.
“Come on, Rocky,” Adam said as he patted his friend on the back. “We need to keep up the pace.”
Tommy nodded as he stared off into the distance. “Adam’s right. Looks like it’s getting dark soon.”
Kimberly shook her head as she stared at the setting sun. “I don’t wanna know what comes out here after dark.”
“Me either,” Tommy said as he looked to Rocky. “Break time’s over, Rocko. Let’s move.”
The pale glow of the moon crept through the branches above the teens as they made their way into a field littered with the bones of the dead and decapitated heads on stakes.
“Not a good sign,” Rocky said.
Kimberly covered her nose with her sleeve to hide the stench. “This is horrible.”
As the moonlight danced across the bones, they started to move and come to life. The rangers grouped together and stood back-to-back in a circle formation. The bones formed a small army of humanoid skeletal warriors with dinosaur-type heads, ranging from the triceratops to the tyrannosaurus.
Adam shook his head. “Suddenly I don’t feel nearly as sorry for these guys.”
“Let’s hit ‘em,” Tommy said as he flying sidekicked a soldier in the rib cage, snapping the bones in half. The skeletal warrior was barely phased by the blow and kneed Tommy in the gut before backfisting him backward.
The other rangers were having similar troubles. They snapped bones in half and crushed skulls, but whatever remained kept on attacking with relentless brutality and strength.
“This is getting us nowhere,” Adam called out as he slammed his elbow through the skull of a soldier.
“Tenma Flash Kick!” Rocky shouted as his tornado kick energized and shattered the head of a skeleton.
“They need to be completely demolished to be destroyed,” Billy shouted as he jumpkicked a soldier in the head.
“Gather ‘em together and regroup,” Tommy said as he roundhoused a skeleton.
The rangers fell back, and the skeleton army stalked towards them in one group.
“Let’s bomb ‘em,” Tommy said.
They reached up and gathered spheres of cyan energy. “Bomber, set. Kiryoku…bomber!” they shouted as they hurled their spheres towards their opponents. The Ki blasts collected into one sphere that smashed against the enemy lines and vaporized the soldiers.
“Good times,” Rocky said as the rangers continued on their way.
The rangers walked through the end of the brush and stood in awe at the base of the towering stone temple. The temple was highly ornate and decorated with carvings and statues of various sizes and shapes.
The doors to the temple swung open, and a golden light poured out as the Ancient descended the steps of the temple and faced the rangers.
Five suits of samurai-style armor appeared behind the Ancient as he spoke. “The armor is yours now. Tommy, the armor of Wildfire; Rocky, the armor of Hardrock; Kimberly, the armor of Strata; Adam, the armor of Halo; and Billy, the armor of Chronos.”
The rangers looked upon their respective armors. Each suit of armor began to convert into energy and take on a new shape. The armor transformed into enhanced versions of the Ranger suits. The slender suits of armor had more of an edge and were segmented into plates, as opposed to skin-tight.
Tommy eyed his suit with awe.
Each suit had the same basic body design and was made of an alloy that appeared plastic or ceramic. The chest plate was solid white with gold trimmings around the collar and shoulders, and each suit of armor had long golden shoulder blades. A gold line ran down the center of the chest plate, then split and ran across the bottom of the plate. The left side of the chest plate had a discus installed on it. The discus was split in two by a black line. The right side of the disk was white, and the left side was broken into five horizontal bars. Each bar was shaded a different color: red, green, blue, yellow and pink. A golden star was sketched on each bar, lining up against the side of the disk.
The symbol of the Chinese dragon was drawn across the chest plate of Tommy‘s suit. Subtle drawings of Chinese dragons flowed across the entire suit of armor, wrapping around the arms and legs like serpents.
The abdominal armor plating on the suit Tommy eyed was a deep red. A golden belt cut across the waist with a small, maze-like pattern at the buckle. The armor segments that protected the arm and leg areas were also red. A golden ring ran across both upper arms. The gauntlets and boots were also deep crimson.
White cuffs ran across the suit’s forearms and ankles. Each cuff was outlined in gold. The cuff on the left arm of the suit had a devise in the center of it. The golden device was rectangular and topped off with a circular object that seemed to be plated with glass.
The helmet was red, but the golden outline of a dragon’s face protruded from it. The image wrapped around the helmet’s black visor and extended down towards the gray mouthpiece. The mouthpiece was a solid strip, from the visor to the bottom of the helmet, made up of smaller horizontal segments.
“Extend your gems,” the Ancient said. “I will contain the armor in there.”
The rangers held out their Thunder Gems. The suits of armor energized and entered the gems’ crystal structures. Once containing the armor, the small orbs flashed. The rangers’ Aura Morphers appeared fully repaired on their wrists.
“Thank you,” Tommy said to the Ancient.
The Ancient nodded. “Now go and protect your planet, Rangers…may The Power protect you.”
The Ancient slammed his staff to the ground, and the Rangers vanished in a flash of white light.
The teens stood on top of a stairwell and looked down towards Trakeena and the Onyx monster. Tommy pointed down at the villain. “Hey Trakeena. Your party’s over!”
“You again?” Trakeena asked, She scoffed and rolled her eyes.
“Let’s do it guys,” Tommy said as he and the others pulled out their Thunder Gems.
“Virtue!” Tommy shouted, activating his Wildfire armor.
“Justice!” Rocky shouted, powering up his Hardrock armor.
“Life!” Kimberly shouted, activating her armor Strata.
“Wisdom!” Adam shouted, activating his Halo armor.
“Trust!” Billy shouted as his Chronos armor activated.
“To arms!” they shouted together. Strands of energy lashed out from the gems and wrapped around them as their armor materialized.
“What!?” Zedd shouted from his balcony. “That armor?! No!”
“Stop them!” Trakeena said as she slapped the Onyx monster on its shoulder.
“Let’s take care of business!” Wildfire yelled as he leapt down towards the Onyx monster. He unsheathed two swords from his back and slashed the monster across the chest, blades sparking across the villain on impact.
Halo moved in and swiped his sword horizontally. But the monster slid backward out of the blade’s way before it could connect.
Strata fired several arrows that struck the creature and pierced its stone flesh with bursts of spark, cracking the creature‘s body.
Hardrock moved in and bashed the monster with a whirling staff, causing debris to fly everywhere.
Chronos grabbed the monster with a triton and tossed the villain over to the ground.
The Rangers regrouped. Wildfire tightened his grip on his blades. “It’s time to finish this!”
Wildfire connected the ends of his sword’s handles, forming a single weapon. “Armor of Wildfire!” He shouted as fiery energy circled around his armor and ignited his blades. “Flare up now!”
Wildfire swung the weapon downward, creating a massive wave of fiery energy that tore across the ground and exploded through Onyx with a massive shockwave that shook the streets and vaporized the villain into nothingness.
“I know that didn’t go exactly the way we planned,” Rocky said to Karen as the two teens walked side-by-side through the park.
She shrugged. “I guess I better get used to it.”
Rocky sighed. “Yeah.”
She kissed him. “No more almost getting killed by walking piles of rock.”
Rocky smiled sheepishly. “Yes dear.”
To be continued…Chapter 09