Shadows of Evil: Chapter Twenty-two
Lightning scorched the skies above Angel Grove as Tommy stood facing Lord Zedd on top of a massive stone pillar recently erected from the ground.
“Tell me, Tommy,” Zedd said in a mocking tone, “how is dear, sweet Kimberly doing?”
“This ends here, Zedd,” Tommy said.
“Indeed it does, Ranger…” Zedd said. “You have meddled in my affairs for the last time.”
Tommy readied his Aura Morphers. “Chakra ignite, Aura Power!” Red light flashed around Tommy as he morphed into his armor and assumed a fighting stance.
Zedd extended his staff. “Know, Tommy, that no matter what the outcome of this battle, victory is mine.”
“I don’t think so, Zedd,” Dragon Ranger shouted as he dashed forward towards his opponent.
Zedd extended his right hand and fired a purple-tinted energy fist that twirled through the air towards the Ranger.
Dragon Ranger leapt over the blast as he extended his hands forward and shouted “Nova Force,” firing an energy discus of fiery power towards Zedd.
The dark warlord leapt backwards as the blast exploded beneath his feet. Dragon Ranger flipped forward while arming his twin dragon swords and swung down towards Zedd while the two were still in midair.
Zedd high blocked the two blows with his staff before he pushed Dragon Ranger back, energized the ‘z’ of his staff with white and red energy, and swung it across Dragon Ranger’s chest.
Dragon Ranger fell to the ground while executing a back flip so he could land on his feet. Zedd landed in front of the Ranger seconds before Dragon Ranger energized his two blades and lunged forward while shouting “Saber Flare!” and producing a horizontal energy blade towards Zedd.
Zedd extended his staff vertically, holding his ground as the flare swept around him.
Dragon Ranger charged forward, but Zedd sprang for the attack. He swiped his energized staff upwards diagonally across Dragon Ranger’s chest, and then against his collar bone.
Dragon Ranger fell onto his back as Zedd swung the spear of his staff towards Dragon Ranger’s face shield.
Dragon Ranger grabbed a hold of the staff before it could strike through him, and the weapon started to discharge energy that exploded against the pillar.
“Come now, Tommy,” Zedd said. “Surely you can do better. I’ve seen you kill before, and with far more flare.”
“I don’t kill, metal-mouth,” Dragon Ranger said as he summoned his Kiryoku and pushed Zedd backward before flipping back to his feet.
The Ranger extended his hands and shouted “Star Fire!” as he launched a comet of flame towards his opponent.
Zedd nonchalantly batted the comet aside before striking his staff into the ground. His staff shot a pulse of red lightning into the dark clouds above, summoning a lightning storm that crashed across the ground and caused the pillar to explode.
The explosions slammed against Dragon Ranger and sent him hurling across the rooftop of a nearby building.
Zedd leapt to the ledge of a neighboring building and looked down at the Ranger as he slowly rose to his feet.
“I couldn’t be more disappointed,” Zedd said.
The warlord extended his staff and fired strands of red electrical energy that wrapped around Dragon Ranger and caused explosions to dance across his armor.
Zedd lifted Dragon Ranger off his feet by using the energy tentacles and swung him through the air, crashing him through a nearby office building. He was slammed through several interior rooms and walls before crashing through the window on the other side of the block, and falling onto another rooftop.
The other Rangers gathered around Kimberly’s fallen form within the Command Chamber as they set out on their task to revive her.
Zordon created a mental link between all of the Rangers as their minds entered Kimberly’s via the Astral Plane.
Adam, Billy, and Rocky appeared as if they were standing on asteroids in a dark empty void as flickers of flames surrounded them.
“Okay…” Billy said as he closed his eyes. “The Phoenix energy should still be here. We tap into it…Rocky uses it to heal her body…Adam, you use it to bring her back.”
“Sounds too easy,” Rocky said.
Just then, a brilliant Phoenix flared into existence within the Astral Plane.
Dragon Ranger rose to his feet as he extended his arms forward and shouted “Magna Blast!”
He fired a stream of fiery power containing lances of crimson energy towards Zedd. The villain twirled his staff like a propeller, using it as a shield as it dispersed the energy from Dragon Ranger’s attack.
Dragon Ranger leapt forward while arming his twin dragon swords again. He landed in front of Zedd and struck high, but his blow was blocked by Zedd’s staff, he spun and struck horizontally with his other blade, but Zedd’s staff blocked that blow as well.
The two opponents continued their duel as their weapons clashed against each other in a shower of sparks. Their battle was as bright as the storm above and their blows as loud as thunder.
Parry. Thrust. Thrust. Counter. Strike. Parry. Thrust. They danced across the rooftops in a blur of motion, neither managing to gain the upper hand.
“Do you know why I’ve already beaten you, Tommy?” Zedd asked as he parried two strikes from Dragon Ranger’s swords.
“Not interested,” Dragon Ranger said as he knocked Zedd’s staff to the side before slamming a sidekick against the villain’s chest.
The Phoenix emitted a high pitched bird-like cry that caused the rangers to drop to their knees as they covered their ears.
“I thought we got rid of that damn thing!” Rocky shouted.
“It must be an echo of the Phoenix entity!” Billy shouted.
“Who cares what it is, how do you turn it off!” Rocky shouted.
Adam closed his eyes as he envisioned a suit of armor forming around him complete with a helmet. “Remember guys…none of this is real…Think up some armor and weapons.”
Adam streaked towards the Phoenix as his right fist glowed with pale-green light.
Zedd energized his staff and slammed it upside Dragon Ranger’s head. The Red Ranger fell off the ledge and crashed onto another roof as Zedd leapt towards him, angling his descent so the end of his staff would pierce the Ranger’s chest.
Dragon Ranger barely managed to roll out of the way as Zedd slammed into the roof. He reached down and placed his hand over Dragon Ranger’s faceplate and pumped purple-tinted electric energy through his body as explosions danced across his armor.
Zedd released his grasp and kicked Dragon Ranger aside as he laughed. Tommy’s armor forcibly demorphed as he tried to catch his breath and slowly rose to his feet.
“It’s over, Tommy,” Zedd said.
“Over for you…” Tommy said as he rolled his hands into fists, and crimson energy started to circle around him.
“Hellfire!” he shouted as he slammed his fist against the roof. A cyclone of flames exploded from where he struck as Zedd was blasted backwards along with the top half of the building.
Zedd fell onto a pile of rubble as clouds of dust rose around him. Tommy leapt to the ground, using his Kiryoku to slow his descent.
“I’m done pulling my punches, Zedd,” Tommy said as he stalked towards the warlord.
“Is that so?” Zedd asked as he rose to his feet. “Show me…”
Adam extended his fist and fired a brilliant pulse of light that slowly enveloped the Phoenix.
Rocky and Billy donned suits of psi-armor as they joined Adam’s side. Billy fired a Chrono pulse and Rocky fired a gravimetric pulse.
“Remember,” Adam said. “We have something this echo doesn’t…will power!”
The rangers poured on the strength. For Kimberly.
Tommy charged forward, his fists radiating with energy as his eyes started to glow deep red.
“Burn Knuckle!” he shouted as he swung his fist forward. Zedd blocked the blow with his staff, but it still produced a shockwave that pushed him back.
Tommy flipped through the air and snapped a reverse axe kick against Zedd’s collar bone. He spun forward and slammed a sidekick against Zedd’s face, cracking his visor as he moved forward and slammed an elbow against the villain’s throat.
Zedd fell to the ground as Tommy stood boldly over his enemy.
Zedd laughed as he rose to all fours. “This is why have I won, Tommy…this is why victory is mine. Look at what you’ve become…a killer…I’ve broken you, fool…now and forever, I have broken you.”
Tommy glared down at Zedd as the warlord’s hackling increased.
“Your powers have reached the point of no return, Tommy…” Zedd said as he rose to his feet and held his staff in a defensive stance. “There’s no stopping it now…Your father’s fate is yours…”
Tommy screamed at the top of his lungs as he charged forward. He leapt through the air and launched a flying sidekick that smashed against Zedd’s visor, shattering it to pieces and revealing a row of blood red snake eyes. The warlord was forced back as he dropped his staff.
Tommy landed and moved forward while lifting Zedd’s staff. He spun while twirling the staff and jamming its end through Zedd’s chest.
“This one’s for Kou, you son of a bitch,” Tommy said as he removed the staff, and Zedd’s body collapsed to the ground.
The rangers focused all their mental energy and poured it on until the Phoenix vanished. They then turned their attention to healing Kimberly and bringing her back to life.
They tapped into the power left over by the Phoenix and went to work. Billy guided Rocky as his mind felt her injuries and wounds. He knew what he had to do somehow…
Rocky absorbed all the pain and anguish as he screamed out in both the physical plain and the astral one. It was necessary for him to feel all the pain the wound would inflict if it were to heal naturally, only in one strong dose.
Adam began to shine like a beacon as he tapped into the regenerative power of the Phoenix and focused on the white light ahead of him. “Kimberly…come on…”
Billy manipulated the fabric of reality itself so the message could reach Kimberly…
Tommy slowly walked away from Zedd’s fallen form, and it felt like every cell in his body was boiling.
“He was right,” Tommy said as he stared down at his hands. His powers were to the point of no return. “Kimberly…”
Tommy heard a roaring noise behind him as he looked up. “Impossible…”
Zedd had somehow recovered and grown into a giant beast. He was hunched forward and his neck stretched out. His metal jaw opened as the grating became rows of pointed teeth. His red snake eyes were shining like slits of crimson light. Silver blades grew from along his spine and forearms.
“Tommy!” a voice shouted for him. He turned to see Phoenix Ranger running towards him, and the other Rangers behind her.
“Kimberly!” Dragon Ranger shouted as he ran over to her and they embraced.
Zedd growled from above.
“Uh, guys,” Tenma Ranger said.
“Right,” Dragon Ranger said as the six regrouped. “Let’s take care of Zedd once and for all…”
The Rangers raised their sabers into the air while holding their Thunder Gems.
“Thunderzords, arise!” they shouted as the seven Thunderzords swarmed through the air towards Zedd’s monster form.
The Rangers entered their cockpits.
“Thunder-Star fusion!” Dragon Ranger shouted as the core five zords combined into the MegaThunderzord.
“White Tiger, Rise up!” Kiba Ranger shouted as he inserted Byakko into his forward console and his zord assumed warrior form.
“Shadow Dragon, rise up!” Dragon Ranger shouted while holding the Shadow Thunder Gem. The Shadow Dragon assumed its warrior form.
Zedd opened his jaws and fired a torrent of red electrical energy that exploded around the zords as they maneuvered through the air.
Dragon Ranger spoke to Kiba Ranger. “Take it up a notch, little brother.”
“Ready Byakko?” Kiba Ranger asked his tiger saber.
“Whenever you are,” Byakko replied.
“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.
“Roaring Fire!” Kiba Ranger shouted as the Shadow Tiger extended its gauntlet and fired rings of sonic energy containing a massive stream of black fire that exploded against Zedd.
“Kirin Flares!” the Rangers shouted as they fired spheres of fiery energy towards Zedd.
“Tenma Pulse!” they shouted against as the zord launched a jagged wave of blue energy.
The blasts struck Zedd, but he responded by breathing an electric torrent that slammed against the zords.
The MegaThunderzord recovered as the five Rangers readied their Thunder Gems.
“MegaThunderzord…” Dragon Ranger said. “Armor up!”
Cyan energy flashed across the zord as blue-trimmed silver armor flashed into existence and a long silver sword appeared.
“MegaThunderzord…Paladin mode!” the Rangers shouted from within their cockpit.
The Paladin streaked towards Zedd’s monster form as its saber energized.
“Star Saber, Divine Justice!” they shouted as the energized saber swung horizontally towards Zedd’s head.
Zedd caught the blade between his jaws, sending an energy backlash exploding against the Paladin as he tossed the zord aside like a rag doll.
The Rangers recovered in their cockpits.
“Let’s take it up another notch,” Dragon Ranger said.
“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 zord as a red hilted golden blade appeared in its hand. Beneath the massive plating of silver armor, the zord was covered in an organic-looking suit of red scaly armor.
“OmniThunderzord!” they shouted from within their cockpit.
The OmniThunderzord swooped down from the sky towards Zedd. The giant opened his jaws and launched several spheres of electricity that the OmniThunderzord dodged as it readied its golden sword to strike.
“Transcendent Sword, strike!” they shouted as the golden blade energized.
Zedd used his forearm blades to knock the sword away before grabbing hold on the OmniThunderzord and crashing it to the ground.
Zedd clawed at the zord as explosions danced across its armor.
“What is this dude on?” Tenma Ranger shouted.
Phoenix Ranger placed her hands over her chest and nearly fainted.
“Kim, are you okay?” Dragon Ranger asked.
She nodded. “The Phoenix Fire…I still feel it.”
“Do you need to get back to the Command Chamber?” Dragon Ranger asked as Zedd continued to pound the zord.
“No…” she said as the symbol of the Phoenix began to glow on her chest.
The OmniThunderzord began to glow with golden energy as a burst of flame tossed Zedd backward and sent him crashing through the streets.
OmniThunderzord flew towards the skies like a golden comet.
“OmniThunderzord…” Phoenix Ranger shouted. “Armor up to…”
Four pairs of red and gold Phoenix wings grew from the back of the zord. The zords armor became edgier and turned deep red with gold trimmings. The golden symbol of the Phoenix appeared over the zord’s chest as it flashed with a final burst of energy.
The Omnizord shined in the sky like a bright beacon as Zedd cowered away.
“It’s over, Zedd,” Dragon Ranger said.
“Golden Flames, ignite!” they shouted as a massive golden shockwave tore through the streets and slammed against Zedd.
The ground was torn up around him as he slowly disintegrated into nothingness.
The Phoenix-Force Omnizord landed on the ground as the sky above began to clear.
Tommy leaned against a tree in the park while watching Rocky, Adam, Billy, Kimberly, and Teddy play Frisbee in the open field along with Simon.
He leaned his head back and sighed. Out of all the rangers, he was the most exhausted…even more so than Kimberly, who had managed to be freed from death.
He watched them play with a certain amount of envy. They all had gifts. Things that made them special. All he had was destructive force.
The Dark Man stepped out from behind the tree. “Hello, Tommy…”
“Haven’t seen you in a while,” Tommy said without taking his eyes off his friends. “No more white voids?”
“Zedd’s power was keeping me from speaking to you in person,” the Dark Man said. “He didn’t want me aiding you.”
Tommy nodded. “Is it true? What he said…”
“That’s all up to you, my boy,” the Dark Man said. “Your powers are indeed at a level that could easily consume your very being in darkness…but even now your abilities still have room to grow.”
“It’s not over,” Tommy said. “Is it?”
The Dark Man shook his head. “I’m afraid not…”
“I’m going to have to fight again…”
The Dark Man nodded. “But it will be a couple years before you have to worry about your power levels.”
“What do you mean?” Tommy asked.
“You won’t be needing your ki for a while…it will be useless against what’s coming next…”
Tommy craned his neck around, but the Dark Man was gone.