Shadows of Evil: Chapter Twenty-one
On an uninhabited island in the pacific, Zedd extended his staff towards a lake. The staff vibrated with energy as the waters split in half and the ruins of a large temple arose. The temple was Greco-roman in design, with strange writing on the columns foreign to any land on Earth.
The temple was the last remnant of an ancient society on Earth that had worshiped the Phoenix Force as their god. The ruins settled as the waters around the temple calmed.
Zedd walked towards the ruins as the Emcron Crystal pulsed with energy in his other hand.
The dark warlord ascended the steps and approached the center of the temple. A large stone Phoenix stood nearly 50 meters tall with a giant wingspan.
Four columns surrounded the statue, and a stone discus with an intricate design rested at its base.
“It’s time…” he said as he extended his staff, firing a teleportation burst as Kimberly appeared over the stone discus. She was unconscious and tied up to a metal pole that extended from the ground.
“Make yourself comfortable, my dear,” Zedd said as his mad laugher echoed throughout the temple.
The Rangers powered down their armor as they ran to Tommy’s side.
“He’s not breathing,” Billy said as he leaned over his leader and put his hand to his chest.
“Help him!” Teddy said frantically.
Billy started to give Tommy CPR as the others stood by. Tommy wasn’t responding.
Tommy was floating towards the white light at the dark tunnel ahead of him. The light was warm…comforting…peaceful…
“Not yet you don’t…” a voice said from behind him. It was the Dark Man.
Tommy gasped for air as his eyes opened and the world whirled around him. The other teens breathed a sigh of relief.
“What…” Tommy tried to say between raspy breaths. “What happened?”
“You took care of Daijinnryu,” Adam said.
Billy nodded. “Our power armor was destroyed in the process.”
Tommy nodded as he slowly sat up and tried to catch his breath.
“Don’t ever do that again,” Teddy said as he wrapped his arms around Tommy.
“Don’t plan on it, little brother,” Tommy said. “Don’t plan on it…”
Zedd extended his staff within the temple after placing the Emcron Crystal within the Phoenix statue. The crystal started to pulse as the four pillars around the statue started to grow.
“Yes…” he said as the pillars started to reverberate with energy. “Arise guardians of the Phoenix!”
Four streaks of energy streamed from the pillars as four figures took shape.
One of the figures was dressed in a heavy suit of silver and blue armor with gold trimming. Five pairs of golden wings extended from his back. His blue, winged helmet completely covered his face and had a star emblem etched on the faceplate. His name was Seriphai.
The second figure was dressed in a suit of silver armor, with two golden bands wrapped around his chest in an x-shaped pattern and a tall helmet of violet with a cross engraved across the faceplate. He had two white wings extending from his back and two folded in front of his chest. An ornate pair of golden wings extended from the lower part of his back. His name was Magna’angai.
The third figure had a misshapen body. The top portion of his body was dark purple and segmented. He had a pale face with a red edged mask, and a pair of bat-like wings extended from his back. The mid portion of his body appeared spider-like, and he had large legs covered with dark fur and beast-like feet. He had long slender hands with pointed red claws. His name was Venom’myotai.
The fourth had a body covered in black muscular armor. He had the head of a horned dragon covered in a featureless light-gray helmet. He had two pairs of dark red wings growing from his back and two slender, silver blades growing from his forearms. His name was Cydromai.
Zedd laughed as the four guardians stood, each more powerful than any monster he could ever create. Each born of the Power Cosmic.
“It’s time for the real fun to begin…” Zedd said as he turned towards Kimberly.
The five rangers teleported to the Command Chamber as soon as they returned to Earth. Zordon wasted no time in informing them about the situation.
“Alpha,” Zordon said, “activate the Viewing Globe.”
“Right way, Zordon,” Alpha said. “Zeroing in on their location now…”
The teens looked to the Globe to see an image of the Phoenix temple ruins, crackling with red energy.
“What’s going on?” Billy asked.
“Is Kimberly there?” Tommy added.
“What’s that energy surge coming from?” Adam asked.
“Has he used the Emcron?” Rocky added.
“Where is this place anyway?” Teddy asked.
“Ay-yi-yi!” Alpha said. “One at a time…”
“This is an ancient temple of the Phoenix,” Zordon said. “Zedd has used the Emcron Crystal to summon the four guardians of the Phoenix, as well as place an energy barrier around the temple that prevents direct teleportation. He plans to use Kimberly’s body as a host for the Phoenix Force entity. In order to stop him, you will have to defeat the guardians.”
“Sounds easy enough,” Rocky said.
“Be careful, Rangers,” Zordon warned. “These guardians are extremely powerful deities, born of cosmic power.”
“We will, Zordon,” Tommy said. He looked to his team. “Let’s take care of business, guys…”
The Rangers morphed and ran towards the steps of the temple ruins before coming to a stop.
“This is it guys,” Dragon Ranger said. “Keep your guard up…”
Golden bolts of energy reigned out from the temple and exploded across the ground around the Rangers as they flipped backwards and landed in defensive stances. The four guardians appeared overhead.
“The ceremony must not be disturbed,” the golden-winged angel said as he readied a long double-edged sword.
Tenma Ranger readied his Thunder Staff. “It’s about to be!”
Dragon Ranger armed his Twin Dragon Swords. “Let’s take ‘em out, guys!”
Dragon Ranger leapt towards the golden winged warrior and swung towards its armored head. Seriphai extended his hands as his gauntlets pulsed with golden light. Similar light shimmered across Dragon Ranger’s armor and suspended him in midair.
Seriphai dashed forward while slashing his sword horizontally across Dragon Ranger’s chest. Small explosions danced across the Ranger’s armor as he was knocked out of the air.
Dragon Ranger quickly rose to his knees and turned towards Seriphai while holding his sword in an ‘x’ pattern in front of him, pointing the blades towards the warrior and shouting “Star Fire!”
The Ranger channeled a comet of fiery energy through his blades that splashed harmlessly across the angel’s armor.
The warrior retaliated by swinging his sword in a cross pattern as he created an energy wave that slammed against Dragon Ranger. He was taken off guard by the raw power of the blast and hurled backward across the island.
Lion Ranger readied his Lion Staff and leapt towards the second angelic warrior. Magna’angai readied a broad energy dagger from his right gauntlet.
“You are no ordinary human,” Magna’angai said.
Lion Ranger ignored the angel and swung his staff towards the warrior’s head. The angel blocked the blow before slicing Lion Ranger across the chest and causing several small explosions to dance across his armor.
Lion Ranger landed on the ground as he quickly rolled back to his knees and assumed a defensive stance with his weapon.
“You are an angel of light,” Magna’angai said.
“Why do you lunatics keep saying that?” Lion Ranger asked as he lunged forward.
Magna’angai snapped off several of the energy daggers like boomerangs, and they exploded across Lion Ranger’s chest despite his efforts to bat them away.
“You are descendant from an angel of light,” Magna’angai said. “Most likely one of the Fallen from the dawning of time…”
Tenma Ranger and Kiba Ranger circled around Venom’myotai.
“Not nearly as pretty as your friends, are ya?” Tenma Ranger asked as he armed his Thunder Staff.
“I am a warrior of darkness,” Venom’myotai said. “The angels are warriors of light. The Phoenix holds…”
“More than I wanted to know,” Tenma Ranger said as he and Kiba Ranger charged in.
Venom’myotai held his hand towards Tenma Ranger as hundreds of bat-shaped dark energy blades shot out and flew towards him while exploding across his armor. The monster looked as Kiba Ranger flipped towards him with Byakko held out to strike, and villain fired a crimson lightning bolt with his other hand that electrified the White Ranger before knocking him to the ground.
Kirin Ranger ran towards Cydromai and fired several rounds with his Thunder Blaster, all were deflected off the creature’s dark armor.
Cydromai flipped forward while smashing his heel across the Ranger’s collar bone. Kirin Ranger rolled across the ground to recover from the blow and rose to his knees, turning towards the creature while extending his hands.
“Kirin Flares!” he shouted as he launched massive distortion bolts towards the creature. The dragon knocked each of the blasts aside.
“Fascinating form of attack,” Cydromai said as he shot forward and spun around like a tornado while striking Kirin Ranger across the chest with his arm blades.
Inside the temple, Zedd extended his staff over Kimberly’s head as it began to pulse with blood-red energy. The Emcron Crystal began to vibrate with power as bright orange lines began to trace over the Phoenix Statue and columns.
Dragon Ranger rose to his feet as the skies above him turned black and thundered with orange fiery lightning.
“Dammit,” he said as he armed his Twin Dragon Swords and looked back towards the temple. “Not much time left…”
Through his visor, he saw the golden winged angel streaking towards him with its sword held out like a spear. Seriphai was powerful…one of the most powerful villains Dragon Ranger had ever faced.
At the same time, Dragon Ranger knew he was capable of so much more. He had always feared taking his powers to the next level, but when it came to Kimberly’s life, he had no choice. He had to destroy the Phoenix Guardians, and he had to do it quickly.
He felt the raging power inside of him and grabbed hold of his blades as his visor flashed with fiery energy. He focused his anger towards those who captured Kimberly, not letting the rage control him. He channeled his fear and used it as motive to initiate action.
“Out of my way,” he said as he dashed forward towards the angel and combined the ends of his two blades.
“Hell Flare!” he shouted as he swung his sword horizontally, emitting a massive energy pulse that vaporized the trees and ground as it slammed against the angel.
The angel’s armor began to crack as Dragon Ranger dashed forward through his own energy wave and stabbed his sword through the warrior’s chest.
Seriphai’s golden wings shattered as his body fell to the ground.
Lion Ranger rose to his feet as his Thunder Gem started to glow with a pale green light. He looked down at the Gem as he felt his own power levels heighten. He wasn’t sure how, but he didn’t question it.
His opponent swooped down towards him while extending an energy dagger forward.
Lion Ranger held his staff behind him with his right hand while he extended his left hand forward. “Heaven’s storm!”
His light pulsed with pale green energy as a massive white light shined across the area. The light tore through the ground and trees as Magna’angai’s armor began to rip apart. Lion Ranger ran through his own energy blast and slammed his staff through the Magna’angai’s chest.
Tenma Ranger looked down to his Thunder Gem, and Kiba Ranger to his.
The bat/spider creature launched another volley of energy bats towards the two Rangers.
Tenma Ranger extended his hand towards the ground as he shouted “Terra destroyer!” He emitted a cyan energy pulse that caused a massive explosion of gravimetric energy, ripping apart and demolishing the ground and smashing through trees as the blast enveloped Venom’myotai.
Kiba Ranger’s fists radiated with white energy as he crossed them in front of his chest while shouting, “Sonic Boom!”
He produced an energy wave of sonic force that cut Venom’myotai in half.
Kirin Ranger rose to his feet as his Thunder Gem started to glow in his right hand. Cydromai shot forward with its arm blades held outward to strike the Ranger down.
The air around Kirin Ranger distorted as he extended his fists and shouted “Chaos Wave!”
A massive distortion wave ripped across the ground and through the air. The wave severely damaged Cydromai, and he exploded in midair.
The Rangers regrouped at the foot of the steps before sprinting inside the temple ruins to save Kimberly.
“Hurry!” Dragon Ranger shouted.
Flickers of fiery orange energy were falling towards Kimberly’s head and dancing across her skin as Zedd extended his staff over her. The Emcron Crystal was vibrating as power surged inside.
The five Rangers burst into the main chamber and snapped into fighting stances.
“Get your hands off her, Zedd!” Dragon Ranger shouted.
“Tommy,” Zedd said with amusement as he looked back at the Rangers. “So glad you could join us…but I’m afraid you’re too late.”
Zedd took the end of staff, charged it with energy, and pierced it through Kimberly’s chest.
“NO!” Dragon Ranger shouted as he dashed forward and charged his fists with fiery energy, but before he could attack, a bright golden light blinded them all, creating a high-pitched noise that pierced through the air. The noise sounded like the deafening cry of a mighty bird.
From the sky above, a brilliant stream of fire smashed into the Emcron Crystal on the Phoenix Statute, and then violently poured into Kimberly as her body convulsed.
Her eyes turned bright orange, and her hair red, as a living flame surrounded her, and she shot into the sky.
The light faded as the Rangers looked up to see the giant flame spread its wings like a Phoenix across the air.
“Yes!” Zedd shouted as he extended his staff into the air. “The Phoenix Force is mine!”
The Phoenix flames retracted as Kimberly descended back to the temple grounds. Her body was wrapped in red and gold fabric.
The Phoenix turned and glared at Zedd as she extended her hand. “I belong to no one…”
Phoenix emitted a fiery claw that reached out and grabbed hold of Zedd. She flung her arm backwards while tossing Zedd towards the sea.
Phoenix turned and looked the Rangers up and down with eyes of fire.
“Kimberly,” Dragon Ranger said. “You have to…”
“The mortal Kimberly is no more,” she said. “There is only the Phoenix.”
Dragon Ranger shook his head. “ No…I refuse to believe…”
“Silence!” she shouted in a voice that echoed with power. “You slayed my guardians…bow before me and take their place or your fate will be theirs.”
“Come on, Kimberly…” Dragon Ranger said. “You have to fight it.”
“Very well,” Phoenix said as she raised her hand. A pulse of fiery golden energy slammed against the Rangers and sent them flying backwards for miles as they crashed through trees and landed on the edge of the island. Their armor shimmered and forcibly powered down as they rose to their feet.
“This can’t be happening,” Tommy said.
They looked up towards the sky as the Phoenix spread its wings of fire and flew across the sky, leaving behind a tail of residual fiery energy.
Billy walked over to Tommy’s side. “We should get back to the Command Chamber…”
“Kimberly still has to be in there,” Tommy said as he and the others stood before Zordon. “I won’t lose her too…I won’t…”
“Tommy…” Billy said quietly. “We saw Zedd…he ran his staff right through her…”
“No!” Tommy shouted as he pushed Billy to the ground.
Alarms blared throughout the Command Chamber as the rangers turned to face the Viewing Globe.
The Phoenix was spreading its wings of flame across the skies of Angel Grove, emitting a bright-golden light that illuminated the city like never before.
“What is she doing?” Adam asked.
“The Phoenix Force is weakened from her imprisonment,” Zordon said. “She is attempting to consume Earth to regain her strength.”
“How do we stop her?” Adam asked.
“I am uncertain, but the key lies within the Emcron Crystal,” Zordon said. “We may be able to use the Crystal to imprison the Phoenix entity once again.”
“How much time do we have?” Rocky asked.
“Very little,” Zordon answered.
“Billy…” Tommy said quietly. “You and Alpha stay here and do what you can with the Crystal. We’ll…try to hold off the Phoenix as long as we can.”
Billy solemnly nodded.
Tommy connected his Aura Morphers, shouting no morphing call as his armor shimmered around him. Kimberly…
Dragon Ranger, Lion Ranger, Tenma Ranger, and Kiba Ranger ran to the city streets below as they looked up, their visors protecting their eyes from the sheer radiance of the Phoenix Force above.
They extended their blades towards the air while grasping their Thunder Gems and shouting “Thunderzords, arise!”
The Rangers entered their zords’ cockpits.
“White Tiger, rise up!” Kiba Ranger shouted as he inserted Byakko into the panel in front of him, and his zord assumed warrior formation.
“Shadow Dragon, rise up…” Dragon Ranger commanded as the Shadow Dragon assumed its warrior mode.
“Thunder-Star Fusion…” the core five zords combined into one to form the MegaThunderzord.
Phoenix turned her attention to the zords in the distance as they flew towards her.
“You dare challenge a goddess?” she extended her hand, and the zords halted in midair as golden energy crackled across their armor, causing a small series of explosions.
From within their cockpits, the Rangers felt the energy blasts as they bled through the zords.
“MegaThunderzord…” Dragon Ranger said through a clenched jaw as the Phoenix continued to pour forth her attack. “Armor up!”
The MegaThunderzord broke free from the Phoenix’s energy strands in a flash of cyan energy as blue-trimmed silver armor covered the zord and a long silver sword appeared.
“MegaThunderzord…Paladin mode!” the Rangers shouted from within their cockpit.
“Tommy!” Kiba Ranger shouted from within his zord as he readied his Thunder Gem. Dragon Ranger grasped the Shadow Thunder Gem.
“White Tigerzord…” Kiba Ranger called as his zord was enveloped with white energy and shot towards the sky like a comet.
“Shadow Dragonzord…” Dragon Ranger called as dark energy surrounded the Shadow Dragonzord, and it shot towards the White Tiger like a dark streak across the sky.
“…armor merge to…”
Sharp, dark armor plating started to cover key areas of the Tigerzord as energy crackled and swirled around the two zords. A dark helmet covered the Tigerzord with a deep crimson visor. The dragon’s wings connected to the Tiger’s back, and the dragon’s head armor formed a gauntlet on the zord’s right hand.
The Shadow Tigerzord and Paladin flew towards the Phoenix as she smiled with amusement.
“Such power will be quite fulfilling…” the Phoenix said.
“Roaring Fire!” Kiba Ranger shouted as the Shadow Tiger extended its wrist gauntlet and poured rings of sonic energy containing a stream of black flame towards the Phoenix.
The blast was absorbed by the Phoenix fire as the goddess laughed. “It’s been far too long…I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed this.”
She extended her hands and fired streams of flame that exploded against the Shadow Tiger and sent the zord plummeting to the streets below. Shadow Tiger crashed through several buildings as it slammed against the streets and skid several blocks before coming to a halt.
She launched a torrent of flame towards the MegaThunderzord, but the Paladin managed to evade the blow as its saber charged with golden energy.
“Star Saber, Divine Justice!” they shouted as their sword swung towards the Phoenix.
She arced an eyebrow with amusement. “Divine?”
The claws of the Phoenix flame wrapped around the MegaThunderzord and nearly crushed the Paladin as explosions danced across its armor.
The Phoenix fired an optic blast that exploded against the zord and sent it crashing towards the ground next to the Shadow Tigerzord.
Kiba Ranger brought his zord back to its feet.
“Byakko…this is impossible,” Kiba Ranger said.
“We need to buy Billy more time,” the tiger saber said. “Combine all of your zords together. Hopefully, it will give you the power you need.”
The Rangers readied their Thunder gems.
“MegaThunderzord, Paladin mode…” they shouted as their zord was encased with a shell of blue energy and shot towards the sky like a comet.
“Shadow Tigerzord…” Kiba Ranger shouted as black and white fire encased his zord before it streaked to the skies.
“…armor merge too…”
The zords illuminated with energy as they crashed against each other and meshed. The zord became covered in a suit of silver armor with intricate golden symbols across the plating. The gauntlets were the heads of the Shadow Dragon and Tigerzord, and the red dragon formed the helmet. Two pairs of gold-trimmed red wings extended from the back of the Megazord as a red-hilted golden blade appeared in its hand.
Beneath the massive plating of silver armor, the Megazord was covered in an organic-looking suit of red-scaled armor.
“OmniThunderzord!” they shouted from within their cockpit.
Billy And Alpha studied the Emcron Crystal as the battle between the Rangers and Phoenix played inside the Viewing Globe.
“This Crystal has the strangest properties I’ve ever seen,” Billy said. “It would take months to even begin to understand it.”
“Unfortunately, we do not have months,” Zordon said.
Billy sighed. “I know…there has to be an easier way of looking at this…”
Alpha nodded. “The Crystal acts as a doorway into an infinite pocket dimension…”
“So we need something to open the door…but what?” Billy asked as he shook his head, reviewing the display of information in front of him.
“Ay-yi-yi!” Alpha shouted as he looked to the Viewing Globe. The OmniThunderzord was struck backward by a raging blast of flame. The zords were split back into their individual forms as they scattered across the streets.
“I have an idea…” Billy said as his face lit up. He pulled out his Thunder Gem. “I’ve been looking at this Emcron Crystal all wrong. My powers are based on the properties of time and space. By using my Kiryoku, I may be able to unlock the Emcron Crystal and drag the Phoenix inside…”
“Take caution Billy,” Zordon said. “If you lose control while manipulating the Emcron Crystal, the resulting explosion will decimate the entire planet and create a shockwave that will rip apart the fabric of reality.
“Then I just won’t lose control,” Billy said as he took the Crystal.
“May the Power protect you, Billy…” Zordon said.
“Thanks, Zordon,” Billy said as he readied his Aura Morphers. “We’ll be back.” Billy faced the Viewing Globe as he connected his braces and shouted “Aura Power!”
The Rangers were knocked from their cockpits and scattered across the streets as they were forcibly demorphed.
Tommy struggled to rise to his feet as he shielded his eyes from the golden light emitted from the Phoenix.
Kirin Ranger ran across the street towards Tommy while carrying the Crystal. “Tommy!” he shouted. “I think I know how to remove the Phoenix entity from our reality…”
The ground started shaking as the light of the Phoenix intensified.
“What will happen to Kimberly…” Tommy asked.
“The Phoenix will be removed from her body,” Kirin Ranger said. “But…that won’t reverse what Zedd did to her beforehand.”
The Phoenix cried from the skies as she swooped down towards the two rangers. “That Crystal!”
The two teammates jumped to the side as Phoenix landed on the ground in a crouched position, she rose and turned her attention to Billy while extending her hand.
Tommy ran towards her back while shouting “Aura Power!” and activating his armor as he reached around and grabbed her. “Don’t do it Kim!”
The Phoenix laughed as she emitted a fiery pulse that blasted Dragon Ranger backward. Dragon Ranger slammed through a wall as his armor demorphed, and he fell to the ground.
Kirin Ranger stood as he held the Emcron Crystal and focused on its power. Yellow energy flowed from the Ranger and into the Crystal.
“You haven’t the power to open the Emcron,” Phoenix said as she walked forward, energy blazing around her body.
“We’ll see about that…” Kirin Ranger said as he extended the Crystal forward, and yellow energy exploded from the Crystal in a burst of lightning. Energy tentacles ripped into Kimberly’s body and tore the Phoenix Force free.
Sweat dripped from Kirin Ranger’s brow beneath his helmet as he struggled to alter the Crystal’s structure.
“NOO!!” The Phoenix cried as she was ripped from Kimberly and trapped inside the Crystal with a final burst of blinding, golden light.
Kirin Ranger collapsed to the ground as his armor demorphed.
Winds howled through the empty streets as Tommy walked over and knelt down to Kimberly’s body. He held her close, and noticed she wasn’t breathing and her heart wasn’t beating.
He ran his hand along her face, and all he felt was cold sweat. “No…” he whispered in a hoarse voice as he leaned over her.
The rangers returned to the Command Chamber. Rocky and Adam had Billy draped over their shoulders as they led him to the nearest bio-bed. Tommy was carrying Kimberly in his arms as he walked in front of Zordon.
“We have to save her…we have to do something…” he said. “I won’t lose her too…”
Rocky and Adam lied Billy back as Alpha looked over him.
“He will be fine,” Alpha said. “His body is worn out from the power drain.”
Billy’s eyes slowly fluttered open as he saw Alpha’s face.
“It worked, Billy,” Alpha said. “You did it.”
Billy nodded weakly.
“Zordon…” Tommy said. “Come on, we have to…there has to be something…”
“There may be a way,” Zordon said. “The Phoenix power is still within Kimberly, although the entity itself is contained.”
“Meaning what?” Tommy asked as the other rangers gathered in front of Zordon.
“Each of you has special gifts. Adam, you are a descendant of an Angel of Light. The power of the heavens, the power of life flows through your veins. Rocky, you are a healer, attune with the forces of nature. Billy, you are a Shaper, capable of seeing and manipulating in ways no other can. By using these gifts together, fueled by the rebirthing fires of the Phoenix, we may be able to revive Kimberly, but it must be done quickly,” Zordon said.
Tommy nodded. “Okay…okay let’s do it…”
Tommy placed Kimberly on the ground as the others circled around her.
“Billy,” Zordon said, “you must guide Adam and Rocky through the necessary process. We will also need an anchor, someone to meld with the power of the other’s to help keep their powers focused.”
Alarms started to blare in the Command Chamber as the Viewing Globe activated. Zedd was in Angel Grove. The warlord crashed his staff into the ground and created a tall pillar that he stood on as dark clouds covered the skies and lightning shot down to the streets below.
“He’s mine,” Tommy said as he looked to his friends. “Bring her back, guys…”
“We will,” Adam said.
“Count on it,” Rocky added.
“I’ll be the anchor,” Teddy said as he looked to Tommy. “Be careful, big brother…”
Tommy nodded. He kissed Kimberly on the forehead and whispered into her ear. “We’ll see each other again soon, beautiful…just hold on…”
To be continued…Chapter 22