Junior and DJ circled around each other on a sparring mat in the woods. The other rangers sat nearby and watched. They each wore a black karate uniform provided by Lightspeed Rescue. Miss Fairweather was teaching them a few martial arts techniques as part of their training.
“This is ridiculous,” DJ said. “What good does walking around in circles, staring at each other do?”
Fairweather looked to DJ. “You’re supposed to watch your opponent for weaknesses in his defense. This exercise is meant to get you to think before you attack.”
“This exercise will kill me with boredom,” DJ said.
Junior smirked at his close friend and teammate. “You should feel lucky. If this was an actual sparring match, I’d have wiped the mat with you my now.”
“It is so on now,” DJ said as he kicked forward, sweeping the legs out from under Junior.
Junior crashed back onto his tailbone. “What’s the big idea? We’re not supposed to actually be fighting.”
“In that case, you’re doing excellent,” DJ said with a grin on his face.
“You are such as an ass,” Junior said as he pounced forward and tackled DJ in the midsection. The two rangers crashed against the ground and went tumbling off the mat as they wrestled against each other.
Max sighed and looked up to Miss Fairweather. “They could really keep this up all day…”
The Saima palace resembled a dark and twisted Mayan Pyramid with a jagged, demonic skull head on top. The palace was hidden in a dark pocket dimension within Angel Grove. The land Angel Grove sat on used to hold a palace dedicated to the worship of the Saima Queen.
The dark skies above the palace twisted in pools of pale-purple and crimson light. The light illuminated the skull portion of the Saima palace, where the demons plotted the downfall of mankind and the resurrection of their queen’s palace.
Diabolico narrowed his red eyes and tightened his hands into fists. “My first demon monster…destroyed…by children…”
Lokai, the demon of earth calamity, pulled a demon card of his own from behind his back. “Let me try, Diabolico. I have a card that can crush those kids before they even have a chance to use their Megazord.”
Vypra ‘accidentally’ bumped against her brother demon and made him drop the card. She pulled her own demon card out from behind her back. “We need a monster with more than brute strength…”
The demon on her card had a bulky, V-shaped body with no neck. The creature’s lumpy skin was sickly green, and he had two massive, sphere-shaped boils growing in place of shoulders. His eyes were red and his mouth full of fangs. Dog-like ears extended from the creature’s small head. The demon monster’s name was Gasu’gairu.
Diabolico nodded. “I suppose you deserve one chance…Spell Master!”
Jinxer stepped out from the shadows. “I am here, my lord…”
Vypra handed Jinxer her card. “Make this demon monster come to life…”
Jinxer took the card and turned towards the Hell gate. The Hell gate served as a mystical portal to cross demons over from Hell into the mortal realm. The gate’s power was limited, meaning the Saima could only summon no more than three or four demon monsters at a time.
Jinxer tossed the card into the fiery portal. The card flashed with black energy, summoning the demon monster etched on its surface. Jinxer waved his hands back and forth while whispering an incantation in a language known only in the lower Circles of Hell.
Flames burst from the portal as the demon monster materialized.
The rangers gathered in their apartment within the city. The droid MINT hovered into the living room and extended a tray from its gear-shaped body. The tray was full of hot chicken, mashed potatoes, and rolls.
Junior smiled at the sight. “Now this I can get used to.”
Their communicators sounded and Dr. Billy Cranston’s voice came through. “A demon monster is attacking the Mabro District. You’re needed.”
Max answered. “We’re on it.”
Junior sighed as he looked at the food sitting on the droid’s extended shelf. “It figures…it really does…”
The rangers armed their morphers.
“Lightspeed, Rescue!” they shouted as they snapped their morphers open. Energy wrapped around their bodies as they morphed into their Ranger forms.
Gasu’gairu stalked across the busy city streets as people ran in panic. The villain laughed as the screaming crowds practically trampled over each other while fleeing. He loved the site of meat trying to run.
The demon armed a spherical gray globe in each hand. The villain hurled the globes forward like bullets. Each globe punctured through a building and exploded, creating massive shockwave that sent fiery debris crashing on the ground below.
The Go-Liner skid to a halt on its tracks nearby. Rescue Red’s visor sensor zeroed in on life signs trapped in the basement level of a flaming building in danger of collapsing at any second.
Rescue Red looked to his teammates. “Junior, Steph, Kevin…you guys get the fire under control. DJ…there’s a parking garage entrance at the rear of the building we could probably squeeze your zord through. I’ll ride with you, we’ll go down, and get the trapped people out.”
The Rangers split up and moved into their individual zords. Rescue Red joined the Yellow Ranger in the Hazer Rescue. The Yellow Ranger took his seat and inserted his blaster grip over the control console’s node.
“Hold onto something,“ Rescue Yellow said. He twisted the grip downward as the yellow-armored zord rolled out. Rescue Red was practically thrown backward due to the zord’s speed.
Hazer Rescue throttled down a tunnel entrance to the parking garage. The tunnel was thick was smoke and tinted red from nearby flames. The yellow-armored zord rolled onto the basement-level floor as Rescue Yellow twisted his zord’s control lever, causing the zord to spin sharply.
Rescue Red was thrown to the side of the zord cockpit. “Who taught you how to drive?”
“No one,” Rescue Yellow said. “We’ve been over this topic, remember?”
The yellow-armored zord backed up to a wall that separated them from the trapped survivors. Hazer Rescue extended its crane construction claw and aimed it towards the wall.
“Hold on,” Rescue Yellow said. “I mean it this time…”
Rescue Yellow twisted his blaster grip counter-clockwise. Hazer Rescue roared forward and slammed through the wall, tearing through electric wiring and pulverizing concrete on impact. The yellow-armored zord pulled to a stop.
“Let’s go,” Rescue Red said as he moved towards the cockpit exit.
Rescue Red and Rescue Yellow ran into the smoke filled parking garage and moved towards a row of cars covered with rubble. The cars had trapped civilians inside who had been driving out of the garage when the attack happened.
“Help me with this beam…” Rescue Red said as he moved towards the nearest car. The vehicle was almost completely smashed by a giant beam from above.
The Red Ranger and Yellow Ranger moved in and started lifting the beam from the car.
Outside, Rescue Blue moved his zord into position and opened fire with top-mounted cannons. The cannons fired flame-retardant chemicals that started to put out the fires raging around the city.
Rescue Green and Rescue Pink were on the streets below, helping civilians to nearby ambulances and emergency vehicles. They heard a roaring sound come from the building and turned to see Hazer Rescue roll out from the building’s sub-level.
The yellow-armored zord skid to a halt near the emergency vehicles. Rescue Red and Rescue Yellow left the zord while carrying a group of injured civilians towards the emergency vehicles. Rescue Green and Rescue Pink helped carry the victims to the nearest ambulances.
The last ambulance door slammed shut and the emergency vehicles rolled out towards the nearest hospital.
The Rangers regrouped at the massive wheels of the Hazer Rescue after the last of the emergency vehicles left the scene.
“That didn’t go to bad…” Rescue Blue said as he stood tall and watched the emergency vehicles leave.
“That’s because you didn’t do much,” Rescue Yellow said.
“Let me see if I just put out every fire on this block,” Rescue Blue said.
“Wow,” Rescue Yellow said sarcastically. “Somebody get this guy a fucking medal.”
“Guys,” Rescue Red said with an exasperated sigh. “Knock it off.”
Jets of steam suddenly burst from the pavement and knocked the Rangers off their feet. They slammed against the ground and tumbled backward before rolling into crouched defensive positions. They looked up to see Gasu’gairu appear in a burst of dark light.
The demon monster growled at the Rangers with a deep, booming voice. “You extinguished my flames…not a smart move.”
Batlings suddenly leapt forward and clutched onto the Rangers’ legs, arms, waists, and necks. The Rangers struggled against the soldiers while trying to knock them away.
“Argh…shit!” Rescue Yellow screamed as a Batling tightened its grip against the Ranger’s ankle and nearly twisted his leg off.
The villain’s body morphed into an organic wrecking ball and started rolling back towards the city buildings.
Rescue Red leaned back and slammed his elbow against a soldier’s chest. He swung his other elbow down, crashing a blow against another Batling’s neck. “Junior, DJ…follow that demon freak. We’ll keep these bat brains off your backs.”
Rescue Blue dashed off. He looked over his shoulder to Rescue Yellow. “Keep up if you can!”
The Yellow Ranger grumbled beneath his breath and followed.
The two Rangers followed the demon monster through twisting alleys and wide stairwells. The villain eventually rolled into a small building and sealed the door behind himself.
Rescue Blue and Rescue Yellow ran into the alley and looked towards the closed wooden door the demon monster had gone through.
Rescue Yellow drew his Rescue Blaster and tightened his grip on the weapon. “Does that damn demon think he can hide.”
He started to charge towards the door, but Rescue Blue stopped him. “Wait…this is clearly a trap. Let’s go to the side and-”
“Hush,” Rescue Yellow said as he shrugged his friend off and charged towards the door.
Rescue Yellow opened fire with lances of red energy that punctured holes through the door. Smoke leaked from the blaster holes from a fire the demon started within.
Blue Ranger noticed the smoke get immediately sucked in. he had seen the movie Backdraft, so he knew what that meant. “DJ, don’t open that door!”
But it was too late. Rescue Yellow smashed his shoulder through the door, splintering wood and moving into an empty hall. The back draft suddenly sent a torrent of supernatural flame that shot out from the doorway and exploded against the Yellow Ranger’s chest with a massive burst of sparks that sent him flying backward through the air.
The blast slammed against Rescue Blue as well, smashing the Ranger off his feet.
The other Rangers ran onto the scene after fighting through the last of the Batlings. They gathered around Rescue Blue as he stumbled to his feet, shaking his head to fight against a wave of dizziness.
“What happened?” Rescue Green asked.
“Rescue Blue moaned beneath his breath. “It’s DJ…he went in…caught the blunt of the blast.”
The Rangers noticed Rescue Yellow lying on the ground nearby. He wasn’t moving, and part of his visor was cracked open.
“DJ!” Rescue Red shouted as he ran over to his friend.
Rescue Red crouched over and lifted Rescue Yellow’s fallen form into his arms. The Yellow Ranger’s armor was scraped with marks of flame, and blood was trickling down his forehead, visible beneath his broken visor. His breathing was shallow.
“DJ, come on man, you’re too stubborn to go like this…” Rescue Red said. He looked to Rescue Blue. “How could you let this happen!”
Rescue Blue would have answered, but he was choked by his own grief.
The four rangers split up into different rooms in the Aqua Base while waiting on word about DJ.
Junior sat alone on a corridor bench and buried his face in his hands while leaning his elbows against his legs. I should have stopped him, Junior thought. It’s all my fault…
Junior’s mind flashed back…
Eight-year-old Junior and 7-year-old DJ sat at a fishing area at the city docks. Junior sat at the edge of the pier with a fishing pole while swinging his legs back and forth across the water.
DJ was lying back on the dock , fidgeting impatiently with his hands and feet. “Fishing is boring. All you do is sit.”
“Nuh-uh,” Junior said. “You just don’t do it right.”
DJ breathed an exasperated sigh and sat up. “Let’s go ride bikes.”
Junior wrinkled his nose at the thought. “We’re not allowed.”
DJ rolled his eyes. “Yeah, like that’s stopped us before.”
DJ started to run off the pier, and Junior let him go. Junior kept his eyes fixated on the water as he waved his pole back and forth in an effort to taunt the fish below with bait.
He suddenly heard a crash and scream come from behind him. He turned and opened his eyes wide with shock to see DJ lying across the pier unconscious. A row of suspended boats had fallen and crashed against the boy’s head.
Junior dropped his pole into the water and ran towards his friend.
Young Max ran onto the pier from nearby and scrambled to his friend. “DJ! DJ!”
DJ had a concussion and was fading in an out of consciousness. Max narrowed his eyes when he saw Junior running towards them. “Why weren’t you watching him! Look what you did!”
Junior shook his head to clear the memory and sat back to rest his head against the wall.
Max sat in the lobby with Steph. He leaned forward with his hands folded over his legs, tapping his thumbs together anxiously. Steph placed a hand on his leg to try and calm him.
“Max…how come you were so hard on Junior?” Steph asked. “You know it wasn’t his fault. DJ can be hot headed sometimes…”
Max nodded. “I yelled because…it was my fault. I’m the leader. I told them to go after that monster alone. We should have all gone.” He shook his head. “My father must be having a great laugh at my expense right now.”
The Aqua Base alarms suddenly started to blare through the corridors.
Gasu’gairu stalked through the side city streets in Angel Grove East while hurling sphere-shaped bombs in every direction. Bombs exploded through buildings with bursts of flame, scattering fiery rubble and smoke onto the streets below.
The demon and Batlings moved through a covered tunnel that ran deeper into the city.
“Hold it right there, you freak!” Rescue Red shouted as he, Rescue Pink, and Rescue Green slid down on their grappling lines and landed at the tunnel entrance. They snapped into fighting stances while facing the demon monster and Batlings inside the tunnel.
Gasu’gairu turned and faced the Rangers. “Only three of you now?” He extended his hand. “Batlings…”
The black-clad grunts charged forward to attack.
“Rescue Blasters! Baton Mode!” Rescue Red shouted as they armed their sabers and dashed forward.
Dr. Billy Cranston and Miss Fairweather stood at the main monitoring station on top of the Aqua Base Bay Area. The monitoring station was a small room that looked out towards the city shore.
Cranston had a view screen tuned into the battle between the three Rangers and demon monster.
The rear door to the room slid open, and DJ stumbled in. He still had a bandage wrapped around his head. “What’s going on…?”
Fairweather walked towards him and placed her hands on his shoulders to lead him away. “You should be resting…”
DJ knocked her hands away and shook his head. “I hate hospitals…now what’s going on?”
DJ’s eyes caught the screen tuned into the Rangers’ battle with the demon monster. He narrowed his eyes at the sight. The Rangers were quickly getting overwhelmed by Batlings and the demon monster.
“That fucking demon is back?” DJ rolled his hands into fists. “Why didn’t your cronies wake me?”
“DJ,” Fairweather said. “Please, let’s get you back to the medical wing. I’m sure your friends-”
“Miss Fairweather,” Billy said. “let him go…”
Billy knew it was ill advised, but he recognized the look in DJ’s eyes. DJ was determined to help his friends, and no one could stop him. Billy had given Zordon that look several times during his days as a Ranger.
Billy activated a few controls on the console in front of him. A side viewscreen showed an image of a red-armored cycle with double cannons on front and a side car armed with drills. “You’ll need some speed to get there. This is the Rescue Cycle. It’s a prototype. Eventually you’ll each have one.”
A smirk crossed DJ’s face at the site of the cycle. “Excellent…I’m off to kick some demon ass.”
The battle between the three Rangers and Gasu’gairu had moved into an open area of the streets nearby the tunnel.
The demon monster assumed its sphere form and bounced past the Rangers, slamming them across the chests one-by-one while knocking them backward.
Rescue Yellow twisted the handle of his cycle backward and opened his throttle to full. The cycle shot across the streets on its way to the battle scene. The Yellow Ranger leaned forward as the cycle increased its speed.
He clenched his jaw beneath his helmet. “Doesn’t this damn thing go any faster?”
All five of them would be fighting together if he hadn’t acted so stupid. Maybe it was time to start taking this Ranger business more seriously.
Rescue Yellow twisted the grip back as far as he could, but the cycle’s speed was maxed out. “And maybe it's time for a faster god-damned bike!”
Rescue Red, Rescue Green, and Rescue Pink charged towards the villain with their sabers in hand.
Gasu’gairu opened his jaw and spat three jade-tinted energy tendrils that wrapped around the Rangers while pinning their arms against their sides. The energy strings materialized into organic tendrils that squeezed the rangers tightly.
Electric blasts traveled along the tendrils and exploded against the Rangers’ chests with massive bursts of spark. The tendrils tightened, nearly crushing the Rangers’ chests.
Gasu’gairu armed two sphere-shaped bombs and hurled them forward. The bombs exploded around the Rangers with massive bursts of flame, smashing them off their feet and sending them skidding backward across the ground.
The demon monster armed a massive sphere-shaped bomb big enough to destroy a building’s foundation. He hurled the sphere bomb forward towards the Rangers.
A red-armored speeder suddenly shot through the air and knocked the bomb aside. The speeder swerved around and returned to a red-armored cycle racing onto the scene from behind. The Rangers turned to see Rescue Yellow riding forward on the Rescue Cycle.
“Guys!” Rescue Yellow shouted as he skid the cycle to a halt and hopped off the vehicle.
The Yellow Ranger armed his Rescue Blaster in baton mode and ran towards the others. He used his saber to slash the Rangers free. His Rescue baton cut through the tendrils with bursts of spark, setting the Rangers free.
“DJ!” Rescue Red shouted as he rose to his feet,. “You okay!”
Rescue Yellow shook his head. “You’re stating the obvious again. I hate that.”
“Hey!” another voice shouted from behind. The Rangers turned to see Junior run onto the scene. “DJ!”
Junior placed his hands on Rescue Yellow’s shoulders. “What are you doing here? You should be back in the medical wing.”
“The beds gave me a stiff neck,” Rescue Yellow said.
Junior smiled and sighed. “Look…I’m sorry about what happened. I-”
“Junior, get over it,” Rescue Yellow said. “It was my fault. I’m the one that barged in there like an idiot. Now let’s skip the mushy shit and kick this demon’s ass.”
Junior smiled and armed his morpher. “Lightspeed, Rescue!”
Energy wrapped around Junior as his armor materialized and he morphed into his Ranger form. The Rangers snapped into their individual fighting stances.
Together, they shouted: “Rescue Task Force…”
“Light! Speed! Rangers!”
Gasu’gairu hurled his bomb forward. The bomb exploded around the Rangers with massive bursts of smoke and flame as the five rangers dove and rolled for cover.
Rescue Blue rolled into a crouched fighting position. “It is so on, puss ball.”
The Blue Ranger leapt forward towards the demon monster. Rescue Blue slammed his elbow down on the villain’s head. Rescue Blue lifted Gasu’gairu by the neck and lifted him off his feet. Rescue Blue tossed Gasu’gairu around and hurled the monster through the air.
Gasu’gairu tumbled across the ground and skid to a halt. He slowly rose to his feet as three grappling lines shot towards him. A line wrapped around the villain’s arms and neck. The creature looked up to see Rescue Green, Rescue Pink, and Rescue Yellow surrounding him while holding onto their grappling lines.
“Rescue Blasters!” Rescue Green shouted.
The three Rangers fired lances of red energy that exploded against the demon with massive burst of spark, ripping across the monster’s body.
The Rangers pulled their grappling lines and swung the villain through the air. The demon monster smashed against the concrete and tumbled across the ground. Gasu’gairu rose to his feet and looked up to see the red-armored cycle throttle towards him.
Rescue Red drove the cycle while Rescue Blue sat in the sidecar.
“Rescue Blaster!” Rescue Blue shouted.
Rescue Blue opened fire with lances of red energy that streaked towards the villain. Rescue Red triggered the cycle’s double cannons, firing lances of blue energy. The energy blasts exploded against Gasu’gairu with massive bursts of spark and flame.
Rescue Red throttled the cycle forward. The cycle rammed against Gasu’gairu and pushed the villain back. The cycle pushed the villain through a pile of crates, and through a nearby shack that exploded to pieces as they throttled through the opposite wall.
The cycle skid to a halt, throwing Gasu’gairu backward through the air. The demon monster crashed against the ground and skid backward.
The five Rangers regrouped as Gasu’gairu rose back to his feet.
Rescue Red activated his communicator. “Rescue Bird!”
The Rescue Bird blasted from the Bay Area in the blink of an eye and shot towards the battle scene. The Rescue Bird materialized above the Rangers and lowered into their hands. The Rangers stood in formation while arming the weapon in its blaster mode.
“Rescue Bird, UniLaser Mode!” Rescue Red shouted as they aimed the blaster towards the demon. “Fire!”
A broad wave of crackling blue-and-gold energy shot forth from the Rescue Bird. The blast shot through the demon monster with a massive explosion of crackling energy and sparks. The villain was pulverized and smashed into pieces. The creature’s remains hardened like rock and scattered across the ground.
Jinxer stood on a building that looked down upon the demon monster’s rubble. Jinxer pulled out a card from his belt. The card had a symbol of a white, winged demon that appeared to rise from the ashes of destruction. The demon held two white orbs in its outstretched hands. It was a Resurrection Gigantisize card.
Jinxer whispered an incantation known only in the pits of Hell. His high-pitched voice spread over the streets as he tossed the card downward. The card spun downward and stuck in the rubble of the goblin demon.
The card flashed with dark energy that spread across the rubble. The energy and rubble shot upward like a giant wave of countless bats. The bats twisted and took shape, meshing flesh and energy while forming a giant sized version of the demon monster.
Rescue Red activated his communicator. “Go-Liner, on track!”
The water stirred off the shores of Angel Grove. A massive bay area broke the surface of the water. The bay area had five main chambers, each number and colored coded. A lengthy rail rose from the waters, connecting the bay area to the shore of Angel Grove, and interlinking with the city’s transportation system.
The individual liners shot forward like bullets. The liners combined and formed a single train that throttled across the ocean and onto the shore while traveling faster than Angel Grove’s own bullet train.
The Go-Liner skid to a halt near the battle scene. The Rangers ran towards the massive train and hopped into their individual cockpits.
Rescue Red inserted his blaster grip over the console node in front of him, and twisted the grip downward.
“Rescuezords, mobilize!” Rescue Red commanded.
Each zord rolled out of its liner.
Rescue Red thrust his blaster grip forward. “Lightspeed Megazord fusion, online!”
Aero Rescue hovered over Hydro Rescue and lowered two grapplers. The grapplers hooked onto the zord’s side and started to lift the machine from the ground. Meanwhile, Med Rescue and Hazer Rescue rolled side by side. The two zords tilted upward, forming a pair of legs.
Rescue Green maneuvered his zord over the legs and slowly lowered the Hydro Rescue downward. The Hydro Rescue locked into position with the legs, forming a lower torso.
Pyro Rescue extended its ladder arms and grasped onto the torso. The red-armored zord used its ladder arms to rise from the ground and slide down onto the torso. Pyro Rescue locked into position, forming the zord’s chest and arms.
Aero Rescue slid onto Pyro Rescue and completed the transformation, forming the Lightspeed Megazord.
The giant monster and villain stomped towards each other.
Megazord extended its ladder arms onto the ground. Using the arms as leverage, The Megazord flipped forward and slammed its feet against the monster’s head. The strike dazed the demon and forced him back a few steps.
The Lightspeed Megazord landed and extended its arm, firing lances of red energy from its arm-mounted cannons. The blasts exploded against the demon monster with burst of spark.
The demon monster transformed into a sphere and shot at the Megazord. Lightspeed Megazord caught the sphere as it slammed against its chest armor. The Megazord tossed the demon monster into the air.
“Lightspeed Megazord Saber!” Rescue Red shouted as he pushed his blaster grip forward.
The zord’s double-edged saber formed in Lightspeed Megazord’s right fist. The blade started to pulse with fiery energy.
“Lightspeed Megazord Saber…ignite!” Rescue Red shouted.
The Megazord slowly swung its weapon in a circular pattern, creating a ring of fire. The blade energized with blue-tinted power and swung downward through the fire ring while chopping through the demon monster. The Megazord’s white-hot blade tore the demon’s body apart with a single stroke.
The demon monster crashed against the ground as his power overloaded and exploded.
DJ leaned back in his top-bunk bed listening to headphones while doing his homework. Junior was on the bottom bunk reading a comic book while Kevin and Max sat at their desks.
DJ started to tap his pencil against his book to the rhythm.
Junior sighed with annoyance, grabbed his pillow, and swung it over to the top bunk. The pillow hit DJ’s side.
DJ grabbed the pillow and leaned over to the bottom bunk. “You dropped something…”
DJ threw the pillow against Junior.
Junior pounced forward and grabbed DJ, dragging him off the top bunk and onto the floor. “You are so dead, yellow boy.”
“Careful,” DJ said with a laugh as he wrapped his arm around Junior’s neck. “I have a head injury…”
“That explains a few things,” Junior said as he was flipped over DJ’s shoulder and onto his back. “I could use some back up, people.”
Max looked to Kevin and smiled. “Do we help him?”
Kevin smiled and shrugged. “I suppose.”
Max dove forward and tackled against DJ against the ground. Kevin leapt onto Max’s back and wrapped his arms around his neck.
“Traitor!” Max shouted as he threw himself back, crushing Kevin against the floor.
DJ reached for a pillow and started swinging the feather-stuffed weapon at Max.
“Oh, no,” Max said. “We are not having a pillow fight, you pansy.”
“Who you calling pansy?” DJ said as he twisted Max’s arms.
Max twisted free from the arm grasp and twisted DJ’s arm behind his back. Max laughed. “The guy in yellow!”
To be continued…Chapter Four