Ultimate Gao Rangers: Chapter Two

The Ghost Monarch Rises

 

Simon sat next to GaoLion on a cliff. The two were on the sky island Anamarium while looking down at the lake and valley below. The other four Power Animals gathered around that lake. He was awestruck by the sight.

 

“I still can’t believe this is real…” he said.

 

GaoLion rumbled softly to the teen as if speaking. Simon felt the animal’s emotions and feelings wash over him like a wave. He understood GaoLion, and the lion understood him. It was a strange bond, but Simon was getting used to it.

 

“But what’re the Orgs’ motives?” Simon asked. “Isn’t there a way to stop them…?”

 

He passionately wanted to defend the city and planet, but whenever something living was killed or hurt, he could feel their grief. He didn’t want to cause anyone that kind of pain.

 

GaoLion rumbled a response to Simon’s question. The teen sighed and nodded. “I was afraid you’d say that.”

 

***

 

Angel Grove, 2000AD

 

Nine-year-old Simon sat leaning against a tree. He was in a park nearby his home. The park was filled with trees and bushes. A creek cut through grassy fields, and a wooden bridge stretched over that creek.

 

He wrote in a small notebook his parents by adoption had bought him for school. But the boy used his notebook to write his stories.

 

Ever since he could remember, he preferred to sit outside and write instead of playing baseball with classmates or  riding bikes.

 

Often the target of playground bullies and name-calling, Simon often wrote to escape the world around him. He let nature inspire him in that writing. Everything worked in harmony in nature. It was beautiful and alive.

 

In his stories, Simon would save all of nature. All of the people who bullied him would turn to him for help. The cute girls in his class would realize what a hero he was. His parents would love him as truly as if he were their own son.

 

Simon looked off to a nearby tree, where a bird’s nest was visible in the lower branches. Simon loved birds. They were his favorite animal. His grandfather always called him a “little hawk.”

 

A group of school kids Simon’s age ran through the park. Simon narrowed his eyes when he recognized them as a group of bullies. The bullies gathered beneath the bird’s nest. Simon heard parts of their conversation.

 

“…I betcha I could knock it down…” one of them said.

 

Simon slowly rose to his feet. “Hey guys,” he called towards them without walking too close. “It’s just a nest…leave it alone.”

 

One of the boys, Keagan, laughed at Simon. “Don’t be so gay.”

 

Keagan picked up a stone and looked up at the bird nest. He whipped the stone forward. The stone bashed against the nest, and the nest crashed onto the ground, spilling its eggs into the grass.

 

Keagan and his friends laughed at Simon and walked off. “Later loser!”

 

Simon stared down at the nest. He could have stopped them. He could have struck the bully down and pried the rock from his hand. But Simon had stood still.

 

Simon sat on the ground and lifted the bird’s nest into his hands. A tear streamed down his cheek. He couldn’t save the nest. He didn’t even try.

 

***

 

A strange, white mist spread across the streets of Angel Grove. The mist wove in and out of alleys, around corners, and across the cold pavement before coming upon a parked taxi cab. The cab driver was apparently taking a break from work, asleep at the wheel.

 

The mist passed over the cab, seemingly taking an interest in the driver. The white cloud moved towards a coil of barbed wire hanging from a nearby wall. The mist started to mimic the shape and draw the metal into its being. The metal and wires started to twist and form a humanoid shape.

 

The new creature growled with evil delight as it stalked towards the cab. Slime seeped from between the villain’s wires. It’s red eye glowed with deep power.  

 

The driver awoke to the cold feeling of barbed wire running across his face. He screamed in panic as his taxi was entwined with wire and slowly crushed, smashing him inside and killing him instantly.

 

The Org breathed a satisfied hiss and walked away.

 

***

 

Night fell over Angel Grove, as well as Gao Rock. The turtle-shaped mountain was cloaked in the center of Angel Grove West. The structure could blend in naturally to any surrounding and become invisible to the naked eye. The first four Gao rangers were resting inside, their latest battle still fresh in their mind.

 

Blue sat back against a wall, leaning his head against the rock. His eyes were fixated on the cave ceiling. “That was so weird, seeing two Org come together like that.”

 

Black nodded. “And then one of them growing giant. I didn’t know the Org could do that.”

 

Yellow chimed in. The beech-blonde haired ranger entered the room from one of the side chambers, a stern look on his face. “Something has to be changing them. Making them stronger.”

 

White entered after Yellow, she looked around the room and noticed that their newest member was missing. “Where’s Red?”

 

“Hmph,” Yellow said sarcastically. “He probably got scared and ran away.”

 

***

 

Tommy Oliver, 21, circled around Simon on the Hayate Way school’s main sparring mat. Tommy stepped back into a solid defense stance and stood still.

 

Simon tightened his fists. Even when not morphed, he felt the power of the lion pumping through his veins. The lion’s strength empowered his every muscle, roaring with savage energy.  

 

“Ha!” Simon shouted and rushed towards Tommy to attack. Just as Simon was about to strike, Tommy clotheslined him, and the teen fell to the ground.

 

Simon rubbed his jaw while sitting up on the mat.

 

“Well?” Tommy asked.

 

“I got too carried away again,” Simon said as Tommy grabbed Simon’s hand and helped him up.

 

“I’ve told you a thousand times, pal,” Tommy said. “Don’t let your emotions fight for you. You need to stay focused…feel the Ki of the Earth.”

 

“I know,” Simon said, frustrated with himself. “I’m just not sure how.”

 

Tommy smiled. “That’s because you’re trying too hard. You need to stop trying and start trusting.”

 

Simon sighed and shook his head.

 

Tommy knitted his brow with concern. “There’s something you’re not telling me…”

 

Simon walked over to the side of the mat and picked up his towel. He started patting his sweaty face down with the towel. “I can’t talk about it…yet at least.”

 

“Simon,” Tommy said firmly. “What’s wrong…”

 

Simon leaned against the wall and took a drink from his water bottle. “It’s just…how do you do what you do? And make it look so easy?”

 

“It’s not easy at all,” Tommy said. “You know that.”

 

“But how do you…” Simon shook his head. “I’m not even sure what I’m asking…how do you know when to fight and when not to? When to attack with everything you’ve got and when to hold back?”

 

Tommy sighed. Simon’s question was not an easy one to answer. Tommy’s early days as a ranger were nothing he was proud of, even after he broke free of Bandora’s spell. Tommy had killed her Dark Warlords, never bothering to think that maybe they were under a spell as well.

 

“There’s something Jestin’s spirit told me on Eltar,” Tommy said. He remembered what Jestin had said, word for word. “‘Protecting your friends, protecting the people you love, those are your motives. Do not let those motives be clouded by fear and doubt. Immerse yourself in The Power. Do not think, do not worry, just let The Power guide you. Controlling your darkness is not a conscious effort. Do not be afraid of your destiny, or your potential.’”

 

Simon sighed. He still did not understand.

 

“So,” Tommy said. “Are you going to tell me what’s going on.”

 

Simon shrugged. “Just give me some time…”

 

***

 

Nine-year-old Simon burst into his older sister’s room with the bird nest and eggs in his hand. “Maya, you have to help me!”

 

Maya looked up to notice Simon with the bird nest. “What’s wrong? And don’t let mom see you with that thing in the house, or you’ll have a whole new problem.”

 

“These idiots in the park knocked this off a tree,” Simon said. “I didn’t do anything to stop them…”

 

Maya extended her hand. Simon gave her the nest and eggs. She sighed and looked at the eggs. One of them was cracked. “Well you did the right thing,” Maya said. “You would have been grounded for a month if you picked a fight with those other kids.”

 

Simon shook his head. “But I let them do this. This is my fault.”

 

A sympathetic smile crossed Maya’s face. “Simon, this is not your fault. You’re not the one who knocked over the nest.”

 

Simon shook his head again. “But I let those other kids do it. It‘s my fault, now I have to fix it.”

 

Maya sighed and looked at the nest. “I’ll see what I can do…I suppose we can set up an incubator in my room…”

 

Simon smiled and gave his sister a hug.

 

***

 

Simon walked into the main chamber of Gao Rock. He had a small television and a few other books beneath his arms. “So…where’s my room?”

 

“What is all that?” White asked with a confused expression on her face.

 

“Not much,” Simon shrugged and set the television aside. “Just some of the basics. I figure we’ll be spending a lot of time here, we might as well do what we can to settle in. That reminds me…I haven’t heard any of your names. I’m Sim-”

 

Yellow cut Simon off. “If you plan on being a soldier, you have to throw out your old name. I’m Gao Yellow. You’re Gao Red. Nothing more.”

 

Yellow tossed Simon a jacket identical to the other rangers’ jackets, only trimmed with red. Simon caught the jacket and looked it over while feeling the fabric between his fingers.

 

The television suddenly flashed on, the familiar sound of a news broadcast coming from the speakers. A reporter was explaining the details of a taxi cab driver who was crushed in his vehicle. Tetomu was leaning over, staring at the TV monitor with interest, never seeing such a device before.

 

“This is really convenient,” she said with a  smile, amazed at the technological device.

 

“It’s a television,” Simon started to say, but Black was gasping. Simon noticed that Black was looking at the TV’s plug. The plug Tetomu was holding as electricity sparked between her fingers.

 

Tetomu dropped the plug after watching a brief news report about a series of attacks in the city. The TV went off the second the plug dropped from her hand.

 

“How did she do that?” Black asked.

 

Tetomu rose to her feet, coughing to get the rangers’ serious attention. She started speaking when they turned to her. “As the Earth gets weaker, the Org grow stronger. What I just heard…it has to be an Org at work. We must respond.”

 

“How do we get over there?” Simon asked. “That report came from the other side of the city.”

 

Tetomu smiled and held out her hand. Bright light flashed above her palm as Gao Rock began to rumble. The mountain lifted from the ground and started flying through the skies above Angel Grove. 

 

***

 

Jindrax and Toxica walked through the sewer systems extending beneath Angel Grove. They followed a network of tunnels and subway service corridors long forgotten, until they reached a hidden passage leading to the mountains outside the city. The passage led to a cavern with demonic face engravings on the walls.

 

Each engraving was twisted with torment, as if trying to escape from the stone walls.

 

The cavern was called The Nexus, the place where new Org were born. Slime flowed across cracks in the walls like black blood. Puddles of ichor bubbled in the chamber’s darkened corners.

 

The Nexus had reappeared in Angel Grove about a year ago. Pollution had weakened the Earth enough for lesser Org beings and grunts to start appearing. The Org violated nature enough for Toxica and Jindrax to take form about a month ago.  

 

Jindrax and Toxica were Duke Orgs.

 

In the Org hierarchy from 1,000 years ago, all Org revolved their lives around the Org Master, an unseen god. The Org Master gave birth to dozens of Highness Dukes, generals to carry out his will. Each Highness Duke, sometimes called Monarchs, chose two Duke Orgs as his hands. The Master tasked his monarchs and dukes with gathering bastard-born Orgs and turning them into soldiers.

 

Nearly 100 Duke Orgs had walked the Earth 1,000 years ago. Now Toxica and Jindrax were the only Dukes alive.

 

Toxica and Jindrax entered a wide chamber within the Nexus. Slime-covered, demonic statues lined the walls.

 

“The place where the Org are born!” Toxica said, her eyes wide open with joy. “It feels so good to come here!”

 

Toxica dropped to her knees.

 

“Hmmm…” Jindrax said as he looked to Toxica. “Why you’re down there-”

 

“The scrolls,” Toxica said as she extended her hand.

 

Jindrax handed Toxica a pair of ragged, leathery scrolls. She opened the scrolls side-by-side on the rocky ground.

 

Toxica slowly traced her fingers across the Kanji symbols on the scrolls. The scrolls were written in dried black blood that burnt Toxica’s skin. The stank of her burning flesh filled the cavern as she traced her blackening finger across each symbol and closed her eyes.

 

The scrolls slowly blackened and burned around the Kanji symbols. The symbols bled from the scroll and into the ground itself. The Kanji symbols etched into the ground and pulsed with a burst of black fire that slammed against Jindrax and Toxica, knocking them backward. The dukes slammed against the rock wall and crashed back to the ground.

 

A massive blister of rock formed on the opposite wall like a boil. The blister bubbled with black puss as it took shape, forming a massive statue that ran from the ceiling of the chamber to the floor. The statue was of a demon head with a gaping, fanged mouth open wide. Eyes of black and red fire burned into the statue.

 

“Master Org…” Toxica whispered as she looked at the statue.

 

***

 

Gao Rock settled on the outskirts of the city and cloaked. Inside, Simon sighed with relief as the rock settled. He wasn’t quite used to getting swept off his feet.

 

Tetomu turned towards the five rangers. “The Org are nearby.”

 

Yellow nodded, a fierce look of determination in his eye, and ran towards the Rock’s exit. The others followed at his heels. Simon hesitated for a moment before joining the others. He was still unsure about the war he was about to continue. Watching it as a kid one was one thing…but being part of it was totally different.

 

Simon took a deep breath and followed the others.

 

***

 

Yellow, Black, White, and Blue gathered at the side of Gao Rock and looked out upon the city spread before them. Yellow stood at center, assuming a leadership position. “Alright, here’s what we do…”

 

“Hey!” Simon said as he caught up with them. “What are we doing?”

 

White turned to him. “We have to go look for the Org.”

 

Blue nodded. “It’s the only way we can find them and fight them.”

 

“Why don’t we try to…talk with them somehow?” Simon asked.

 

Yellow sighed and turned away from Simon. “It’s hopeless to try.”

 

“Is it?” Simon asked.

 

Yellow stood with his arms crossed, thinking, before he patted Simon on the shoulder. “That’s up to you, leader,” he said sarcastically. “Let’s go.”

 

Yellow ran off to search for the Org. Black and Blue followed.

 

White protested. “Hey wait!”

 

***

 

The Wire Org hunted. The creature walked along a street in the wilderness that looked down upon the city. A nearby sign displayed a map. The Org walked to the map and studied it with his red eye. He used jagged barbed wire to scratch his targets.

 

***

 

Nearby, a mansion sat amidst a well-landscaped area surrounded by trees and grass. A young boy sat besides his mother while practicing on the piano. He had trouble with a few cords, so she guided him through a series of key strokes and tunes. Neither of them noticed a single red eye watching from outside.

 

A barbed wire suddenly snapped into the room and wrapped around the woman. The boy screamed as his mother was dragged inside of the piano. Jagged wires wrapped around the piano, crushing the mother inside.

 

The mother let out a final scream as her blood seeped from the piano cover.

 

***

 

Young Simon rested his arms on Maya’s desk, and placed his chin against his arms while looking at the incubator she bought for him. The eggs were inside the incubator. He sighed and sank his shoulders. The eggs were not doing well. He could feel it.

 

Maya stepped inside and leaned in the doorway. “How are they doing?”

 

Simon shook his head. “Not good…The one without a crack may make it…but the cracked egged…the baby is dying…”

 

Simon watched the eggs for hours. Time seemed to blur together. Suddenly, the egg without a crack started to stir. It was hatching. Soon, the baby chick had pulled himself free from its shell.

 

But the other egg sat still. Simon could feel its pain in intricate detail. “Come on…” he whispered.

 

“Simon,” Maya said as she laid her hand on her younger brother’s shoulder.

 

But Maya shrugged her hand away. He kept his eyes fixated on the cracked egg. It had to make it. “Come on…”

 

***

 

Wire Org walked away from the mansion. He was satisfied with his latest strike, but hungry for more destruction and death.

 

Toxica and Jindrax stepped out in front of Wire Org, blocking its path. Jindrax looked back to the mansion and gave a nod of approval. “Now that was interesting…”

 

Wire Org took s step back after noticing their horns. “You’re…you’re single horns…”

 

Toxica smiled and nodded. “You’re observant for a young one.”

 

***

 

Near the billboard that Wire Org cut up, White leaned against the railing. She was on a walkway that extended over the side of the cliff. The city was spread out beneath her. Simon ran over to her.

 

“Any luck?” he asked while leaning against the rail himself.

 

“No,” White said. She looked over her right shoulder to Simon. “Red…about Yellow…I don’t want you to think he’s a bad guy. It’s just that he was the first Gao Ranger, and the first to know about the Org.”

 

Simon raised an eyebrow. “Really?”

 

White nodded. “Blue and I have been Gao Ranger for about six months. And Black is still very new. But before then, Yellow was fighting alone. He’s been a Ranger for almost a year.”

 

Simon nodded with understanding. “And then the newest guy, me, becomes the leader…”

 

White nodded.

 

Simon’s gaze drifted as he saw a series of ‘x’ marks drawn on the billboard nearby. “Look at this…”

 

The two looked at the map for a moment. It looked like something had marked a series of targets. The two rangers nodded at each other and ran off.

 

***

 

The city’s widest amphitheater was abuzz with the normal activity. Wire Org and the two Duke Orgs stood nearby, watching the people, but staying hidden from view.

 

Jindrax leaned on the monster. “Your power isn’t enough right now. But we can make you stronger. Why, we can make you strong enough to wipe out this whole city.”

 

“Wouldn’t that be wonderful?” Toxica said as she smiled wickedly beneath her veil. She held out a shell-shaped cup filled oily red and gray liquid. “We’ll give this to you...a very special liquid.”

 

The red and gray syrup moved as if it was alive.

 

***

 

Simon and White stepped through the broken-glass entrance to the mansion where Wire Org had attacked. They looked over the damage, their eyes wide open in shock.

 

White ran over to the piano and looked inside. “Look at what happened to her! You think you can communicate with someone who would do this?”

 

Simon looked away from the piano, rolling his hands into fists. “We have to try…”

 

***

 

Yellow regrouped with Blue and Black in the midst of the city.

 

Blue sighed with frustration and shook his head. “No sign of the Org anywhere.”

 

“Then we’ll keep looking,” Yellow said firmly. “And where are Red and White? Why haven’t they checked in yet?”

 

Blue shrugged. “I’m not sure…it’s nothing to be worried about…he might be a good leader.”

 

Yellow turned and glared at blue. The younger ranger took a step back and stammered defensively. “I mean, we never have tried talking to the Org…have we, Black?”

 

Black shook his head. “No…”

 

“So…” Blue continued. “What if Red’s right?”

 

“No,” Black said. “I think the only thing Red will find is violence.”

 

***

 

Wire Org lashed out with a cluster of barbed wire tentacles. The wires snagged a group of seven people by their throats. The wires tightened, snapping them off their feet and cutting against their throats, drawing blood.

 

The Org whipped the people through the air and slammed them against the ground while shooting another volley of tentacles. More wire wrapped around the citizens and twisted their bodies in un-natural ways, snapping bone, tearing muscles, and cutting into flesh.

 

“This is so much fun!” Wire Org shouted and snapped the bodies away like extra baggage. The bodies tumbled across the concrete and brick of the amphitheater and patio area. 

 

The villain pulled out a shell-like cup filled with purple slime and ichor. Wire Org poured the slime onto the concrete ground. The slime took shape, forming gray-skinned grunts. The grunts’ rotted flesh was covered in a thick layer of slime. Purple eyes extended from their heads like massive boils. They were called Aurgettos.   

 

The soldiers spread out and preyed upon the fallen, injured civilians who clung onto the last strings of their lives.

 

Simon and White ran to the edge of the amphitheater and looked down to the carnage below.

 

“Grunts!” Simon shouted.

 

“What is this?” White asked as she looked down at the dozens of Org soldiers. Wire Org stood among them. “I’ve never seen so many Org before…”

 

Simon took a few steps down and shouted boldly to the Org. “Stop! Why are you doing this?”

 

Wire Org turned to face the rangers and tilted his head with curiosity. He pointed towards the two rangers and signaled the Aurgettos forward. “More blood! Get them!”

 

The Aurgettos charged forward and rushed up the stairs to attack.

 

Simon jumped down two steps while slamming a jumpkick against a soldier’s chest. His kick smashed an indent in the grunt’s slime-coated chest that knocked the soldier backward.

 

Simon looked to his left, faced a soldier, and snapped a sidekick that smashed in that soldier’s face. One of the grunt’s purple eyes burst open from the impact, spraying puss-covered ichor against the amp theater steps.

 

A few steps higher, an Org grunt swung its club towards White’s head. She parried the blow and circled her arm around before slamming the heel of her palm against the soldier’s chest.

 

White leaned back and swung her elbow towards a soldier that tried to sneak up on her. Her elbow strike crushed the villain’s chest on impact.

 

Simon flipped a soldier over his shoulder and slammed his foot against the grunt’s face. He leapt down the last few steps and landed on the patio below. Simon snapped into a fighting stance and faced off with the Wire Org.

 

“Why are you doing this?” Simon asked, narrowing his eyes at the Org monster.

 

The Org tilted his head as the soldiers gathered around him. He was intrigued. 

 

Simon reached out and wrapped his mind around the Org, trying to get a sense of emotion. Where life should have existed, whether good or evil, there was nothing. The Org was like a black hole, sucking all life inside to an empty void.

 

“There’s nothing…” Simon whispered.

 

The Org cackled with laughter and lashed out with a pair of wire whips. White suddenly leapt forward and pushed Simon aside, but a barbed wire thrashed across her back, knocking her onto the ground.

 

“White!” Simon shouted as he rolled back onto his feet. He ran over to her side. “Are you alright?” 

 

“White!” Simon shouted, staying by her side.

 

She nodded and slowly sat up. “I’ll be okay…”

 

Simon knew she was lying. He could feel her pain. He turned back towards the Wire Org and narrowed his eyes, rolling his hands into fists. He felt his heart pounding in his chest. Lion’s blood pulsed through his veins like burning power. He pulled out his morpher.

 

But Wire Org lashed out with a barbed wire that wrapped around Simon’s wrist before he could morph. The wires tightened, cutting into Simon’s wrist and sending pain shooting up his arm.

 

Simon winced as a second wire whipped towards him and wrapped around his neck, tightening, cutting through his skin and choking off his air supply.

 

Wire Org laughed as Simon collapsed to his knees, trying to pull the wire of his neck, his lungs aching for air.

 

One of the patio chairs suddenly went flying through the air and slammed against the monster. Wire Org was knocked back and his wires slackened. Simon was released, and he looked up to see Yellow, Black, and Blue arrive at the scene.

 

Black helped Simon to his feet. The rookie red ranger rubbed his soar, blood-soaked neck.

 

“You okay?” Black asked.

 

Simon nodded, glaring at the monster Org. White regrouped with the rest of the team.

 

Yellow caught on to Simon’s expression. “Do you understand that thing now?”

 

Simon shook his head. “No…there’s nothing inside of it…it’s like a black hole inside, sucking in everything around it.”

 

Yellow nodded. “The Org are different…and we have to do everything we can to stop them…so what will you do…leader?”

 

Simon didn’t answer, so Yellow grabbed him by the collar. “What will you do?”

 

Simon wrinkled his brow, pulled out his morpher, and pushed Yellow away. Simon turned and glared at the Org monster. “We’ll fight…”

 

The rangers flipped their morphers open.

 

“Wild Access!” they shouted, pressing their morphers’ activation panels. “Ha!”

 

Energy enveloped the team as they morphed into their Ranger forms. They each snapped into their animal-like fighting stances while standing on the amphitheater steps.

 

“Blazing Lion…Gao Red!”

 

“Iron Bison…Gao Black!”

 

“Surging Shark…Gao Blue!”

 

“Noble Eagle…Gao Yellow!”

 

“Belle Tiger…Gao White!”

 

Gao Red stepped forward. “Guardians of the Earth…” he shouted, “United we roar! Wild Task Force!”

 

“Gao Ranger!” they shouted in unison.

 

The Org grunts charged forward to attack. The battle moved to an old building that was modeled as a Japanese temple near the amphitheater.

 

Gao White attached to the side of the building with her claws. She thrashed her claws across a soldier’s face, her glove’s nails drawing black ichor while sparking on impact. A soldier tried to sneak up behind her, and she snapped a kick back, bashing her heel against that soldier’s horn, and snapping the rotted horn off of the grunt.

 

Gao Black grabbed a soldier by the neck. The Black Ranger’s muscles flooded with the strength of the Bison as Gao Black lifted the soldier and slammed it back onto the balcony, crushing its body.

 

Two grunts charged towards Gao Black. The Black Ranger grabbed both grunts by the heads and bashed their faces together. Their heads squashed like melons, spraying black ichor and puss across the temple balcony.

 

Gao Black tossed the two grunts backward. The two soldiers went crashing against a wall, shattering concrete on impact.

 

Gao Blue leapt from a nearby lake and grabbed hold of two soldiers. He dragged the grunts beneath the water’s surface with a splash. While under water, Gao Blue thrashed his claws across the soldiers with a series of strikes. The waters quickly grew thick with black ichor.

 

Gao Yellow glided through the air, his wings in position, and snatched up a soldier. He slammed that soldier against a wall, then tossed the grunt away like a rag doll.

 

Gao Red’s fight moved to the rocky hills on the other side of the lake. He crouched down low, sharpening his claws against the ground as grunts charged forward. He narrowed his eyes beneath his visor and clenched his jaw.

 

“Ha!” Gao Red shouted as he pounced forward and attacked, surrendering to the power of the lion.

 

Gao Red landed while slashing his claws across a soldier’s chest with a burst of spark, tearing open the grunt’s body and spraying ichor, thick with black puss, in every direction. 

 

Gao Red dashed forward, clawing through a soldiers chest, then hopped and turned to swing both claws across a soldier’s face. Rips tore across that soldier’s head with bursts of spark, spraying black ooze against the Red Ranger’s armor.

 

A wire suddenly wrapped around Gao Red from behind and pulled the Ranger backward. Gao Red went flying off his feet and tumbled across the ground. The other four Rangers regrouped to help their leader, but Wire Org snagged them with barbed metal tentacles as well.

 

The wires tightened, sparking against the five Rangers’ armor with bursts of spark. The Rangers struggled to break free, but the barbed wires only tightened.

 

Wire Org sent electric energy pulses along the barbed wires. The pulses exploded against the Rangers’ armor with massive bursts of spark and smoke, bringing the Rangers down to their knees.

 

“Use your weapons!” Gao Red shouted as he armed his Lion Fang.

 

The other Rangers armed their weapons. They chopped their weapons through the barbed wire with bursts of spark, breaking free from the monster’s grasp. Wire Org crashed backward after the wires snapped.

 

Gao Red and Gao Yellow dashed forward and started dragging the monster across the ground. They slammed the creature against a rock face and rolled out of the way.

 

The dazed Wire Org rose to its feet as the five Rangers regrouped with their weapons.

 

“Let’s bring them together,” Gao Red said. The Rangers combined their weapons. The Lion Fang and Tiger Baton formed the handle. The Shark Blades and Bison asked formed the weapon’s blade, which the Eagle Sword tipped off.

 

“Gao Blade!” they shouted as the blade energized.

 

See ya!” Gao Red shouted to the creature.

 

They chopped the energized blade downward. The golden blade extended while chopping through Wire Org, tearing its body apart, ripping through rotted flesh, wiring and bone. The monster fell backward, its energy overloading and exploding, producing a shockwave that decimated the monster into nothing more than a boiling puddle of slime.

 

A pair of voices’ shrill laughter split through the air. Through the smoke of the Org’s explosion, the Rangers saw Jindrax and Toxica standing.

 

“Oh,” Jindrax said with mock disappointment, “they defeated the Org that we liked so, so much.”

 

“What are you?” Gao Blue asked.

 

“I am the Duke of Org, Jindrax!”

 

“I too am  Duke of Org. Toxica!”

 

Toxica extended her staff and fired a jagged red energy bolt that exploded against the Rangers’ armor with massive bursts of spark. The blast knocked the Rangers backward and sent them tumbling across the ground.

 

Toxica extended her staff towards the oozing remains of Wire Org. She whispered an incantation while waving her staff back and forth. The end of the staff slid open like an iris and a dozen black seeds shot out. Toxica started to scream the chant as the seeds rooted in the ooze remains. “Oniah-sha-shee! Kua-ta-to!”

 

Thick vines shot up from the ooze, extending as high as a skyscraper. The vines started to mesh together while twisting and thrashing back and forth. The vines formed a giant-sized version of a reborn Wire Org.

 

The Rangers rose to their feet and stepped back. Their gaze drifted up along the giant-size monster. The two Duke Orgs laughed mockingly at the Rangers before teleporting away with a burst of dark light.

 

The giant’s foot stomped down towards the Rangers, but they managed to roll out of the way and roll back to their feet. They unsheathed their Gao Daggers and extended the blades into the sky.

 

“Wildzords, descend!” they shouted. The blades emitted an enchanting tone at their command.

 

The tone reached up to the sky island Anamarium and caught the ears of the Power Animals. A bridge of multi-colored light extended down from the island and towards the Earth. The Power Animals roared as they charged down the bridge and into battle.

 

The Wildzords leapt forward to attack one by one. GaoTiger swung its claws, GaoBison aimed his horns, GaoShark surged forward, GaoEagle fired golden blasts from its wings, and GaoLion pounced like a cat. But one by one, Wire Org slashed the zords away with its metal tentacles.

 

GaoLion rose back to its four feet and looked down at Gao Red. The lion roared, its eyes flashing with green energy.

 

Gao Red placed his hand over the lion insignia on his uniform. He knew what Gao Lion was saying. He was surprised he didn’t guess it right away. “Guys…listen to your Wildzords…”

 

The other Rangers stood and listened to their own Power Animals. The beats roared, each of their eyes flashing with bright green energy.

 

“Everyone…” Gao Red said as he tightened his grip on his Gao Dagger. “Let’s bring our zords together…”

 

The Rangers stood in a circle and thrust their daggers towards the center. Gao Red looked up while making a claw with his left hand over the right side of his chest. “Wildzords! Assemble!”

 

The five Wildzords charged forward as fiery energy surrounded them. GaoBison morphed into a waist and set of legs. GaoTiger and GaoShark formed the arms and attached to GaoLion, which served as the chest. GaoEagle attached to the lion and allowed the zord to hover over the ground as it zoomed forward.

 

The Rangers leapt up towards the zord and melded with it. A cockpit formed in GaoLion’s head armor, and five stations appeared for the Rangers to stand behind. Each station had two black, organic globes for controls. A slot was between each globe pair for the Gao daggers.

 

Gao Red laid his dagger onto the slot and placed his hands over the globe controls. “Rise up!”

 

 The combined zord rose and back-flipped through the air as the formation completed. “MegaWildzord!” the Rangers shouted from their cockpit. “Gao King!”

 

Wire Org charge forward and thrashed its barbed hand across the Megazord’s chest, its fist sparking against zord armor upon impact. The creature followed with a roundkick that slammed against the Megazord’s chest. Gao King was not fazed by the blows.

 

“Fin Blade!” Gao Red commanded.

 

The MegaWildzord armed its blue fin blade and swung the weapon upwards diagonally. The sword slashed across the monster with sparking explosions, ripping through its barbed wire and cutting through rotted flesh. The single strike forced Wire Org backward.

 

Gao King leapt up and flipped backward, snapping into a fighting stances and charging with energy for the attack.

 

“Shark Surge!” Gao Blue shouted. The shark fist swung forward and slammed against the monster with an explosion.

 

“Tiger Fury!” Gao White shouted. The tiger fist charged forward and bashed against Wire Org.

 

The monster fell back as the Rangers prepared their final strike.

 

“Roaring Fury!” Gao Red shouted.

 

Each of the animal’s mouths opened and fired a pulse of energy. The energy beams combined and exploded through the monster, ripping Wire Org to shreds and vaporizing him.

 

***

 

Young Simon lifted his head, his eyes opened wide. The cracked egg slightly stirred. Then it happened again. “Maya!”

 

No one answered. Maya was gone.

 

The egg stirred again. Simon could feel the creature’s struggle for survival.

 

“Great…” Simon said. “What am I supposed to do…I have to help him…”

 

Simon reached in and slowly started to peel away the shell, helping the chick break free. The chick’s mouth was too weak to open. The bird was frail. Simon reached for an eye dropped and used the dropper to feed the bird.

 

The creature’s vitals stabled. The chick was weak, but would survive. At least for now.

 

“You did it…” Simon whispered. “You broke out, little guy…” 

 

***

 

The Dukes of Org returned to The Nexus. They were grumbling over Wire Org’s defeat to Gao Ranger when they heard a stirring from the cave wall. One of the statues, a twisted an arrogant face, started to twist and stir.

 

Toxica opened her eye with delight. “The lord is about to be born!”

 

The stone started to change. It transformed into an organic creature that stayed concealed in the shadows. Its eyes opened, multiple eyes on its arms and face that glowed in the darkness.

 

To be continued…Chapter Three