Ultimate Gao Rangers: Chapter Four

Big Dumb Ox

 

Black and Blue walked along the night-lit streets of Angel Grove’s China Town. The full moon cast an eerie glow across the city below. Blue carried a local tabloid opened to one of the inside pages.

 

“There’s an old temple nearby they say is haunted,” Blue said as he read the pages, his eyes opened wide with excitement. “It could be an Org.”

 

Blue was the youngest Ranger, a few months shy of 15-years-old. But he still had about three months more experience on the job than Black.

 

“If it is an Org,” Black said, “we should contact the others first.”

 

Blue scoffed. “No way. They’d hog all the fun.”

 

The two rangers moved onto the dark temple grounds. Black crossed his arms over his chest as he shivered, partially from the cold and partially from fear. “We shouldn’t be here…”

 

Blue smirked. “You’re scared, aren’t you.”

 

Black toughened his expression and stood tall. “Not at all…”

 

Blue smiled and rolled his eyes. “I don’t believe that for a second.”

 

They came upon a tall brick wall that stretched several meters above each of them.

 

“Hope you brought your climbing shoes, Black,” Blue said.

 

Black hesitated. He hated heights.

 

“You’ll do fine,” Blue said. “Now give me a boost.”

 

Black laced his hands. Blue put his foot in Black’s hands and pushed up, climbing up to the top of the wall. Blue stretched down his hand and helped Black up to the top of the wall.

 

Blue quickly leapt down to the other side, but Black hesitated.

 

Blue heard a ruffling noise come from closer to the temple. He darted forward and saw a ghostly figure past the back side of the temper. The air reeked of death nearby. The ghostly shape shimmered and vanished into a temple bell.

 

“Black, did you see that?” Blue asked. He looked over his shoulder. Black had fallen face-first onto the ground. “Oh come on…you can be a real idiot sometimes…”

 

Black said nothing. He had been called worse.

 

***

 

10-year-old Michael sat in the back of the classroom with his shoulders hunched low. It was the first day of the school year, meaning he had to put up with a new wave of snickers and name calling from his classmates.

 

Michael was easily twice as big as his classmates. He was taller. More muscular. And quickly labeled a freak.

 

He tried to sit as far back in the classroom as possible to avoid standing out among his classmates. But his teachers always made that hard to do whenever they called on him to read in front of the whole class.

 

His face would always turn red as he held his book and stammered through the sentences. His classmates would snickers and whisper to each other just loud enough to be heard. “Big dumb ox…”

 

He had trouble keeping away from his cruel-hearted classmates at recess too.

 

Michael stayed by the back of the building near a small flower garden as the other kids played basketball or field football. He barely noticed on of the kid’s accidentally throwing the ball over a tall wooden fence.

 

“Shit,” one of the kids said. Their school district was part of an impoverished part of the city, known for at-risk children with poor language and social skills. “Alright, who’s going to climb over that fence?”

 

The boy wore a black jersey several size too large for his body. Small marks of dirt lined his lean, pale body, and sweat accented the curves of his small muscles. His pale face was dotted with freckles on his chiseled cheekbones, above thick, pink lips. His scruffy black hair was short-cut and slick with sweat. His name was Dylan.

 

“Someone’s gotta,” Dylan said again as he and his friends moved over to the friends. “And I ain’t doing it.”

 

“Oh come on,” one of the others said. “Don’t be such a pansy. Climb.”

 

Dylan shook his head. “Some crazy old guy with killer dogs lives over this fence. You’d have to be stupid to climb over this thing.”

 

A smirk crossed Dylan’s face. He looked towards the distance to Michael. “I just got a great idea…”

 

Dylan and his friends ran over to Michael. “Hey Michael…”

 

Michael looked up slightly.

 

“I know we’re not exactly friends, but we kind of lost our ball over that fence,” Dylan said. “We were wondering if you could help us get it back…”

 

A slight smile crossed Michael’s face. “I could prolly do that…”

 

Michael moved towards the fence and started to climb as Dylan and the others tried to hide their snickers.

 

“I wonder if the dumb ox screams like a girl?” one of the boys asked.

 

Michael climbed to the other side of the fence and dropped to the ground. He looked up to see three K-9s snarling at him. Michael froze for a moment, his face turning pale with fear.

 

“Hey…” Michael started to say. “I’m not going to-”

 

The dogs barked and pounced forward.

 

Michael jumped onto the fence to climb back over, but one of the dogs bit down on his pants leg and pulled down hard. The boy crashed back first onto the ground as the dogs pounced on top of him.

 

***

 

Simon and the other rangers gathered in Gao Rock the next morning. The rangers were a bit skeptical about Blue’s story.

 

“I don’t understand how you could have a hard time believing this,” Blue said. “This is Angel Grove, where monsters are more common than rain.”

 

White shrugged. “It doesn’t sound like an Org…it sounds like you were just seeing things.”

 

Simon looked to Black. “Did you see anything?”

 

Black shook his head.

 

“Of course he didn’t,” Blue said with annoyance. “He was too busy flipping out.”

 

Ryan scoffed. “You’re the one who sounds like he’s flipping out, kid. You can’t jump every time you see something scary and call it an Org.”

 

Blue sighed with frustration and stormed out, shooting Michael a glare while he left.

 

***

 

Toxica and Jindrax slowly talked through the trees surrounding the “haunted” temple. The two duke Orgs sensed the presence of a newly emerged Org monster.

 

Org creatures were born from scum and slime that seeped up from the earth. The slime was saturated with hate and negative energy that formed sometimes combined and formed separate consciousness. Whenever an Org achieved consciousness, the ichor vaporized into a ghost-like form that searched for something solid to take hold of and shape into a body.

 

The most recent Org monster formed by taking control of a bell, which cracked and contorted to form the head and body of the Bell Org monster.

 

Bell Org stopped in his tracks when he saw the two dukes walk towards him. “One…one horns…” the creature stuttered with fear.

 

“Observant,” Jindrax said sarcastically as he crossed his arms over his chest and looked the monster up and down. “Let’s hope your strength is better than your brain power.”

 

Toxica slowly kneeled on the ground and pulled out a black scroll Shuten’ had given her. The scroll was written with the blood of humans from more than 1,000 years ago. She slowly rolled the scroll across the dirt ground.

 

The Kanji symbols on the scroll turned black and bled into the dirt. The soils started to bubble and puss over as if wounded. The Kanji symbols twisted and formed an image of a sphere-shaped object.

 

“There is a power locked within these mountains,” Toxica explained to the monster. “Lord Shuten’ wants this power before the Rangers reach it. You will help us, or we will send you back to the dirt which you crawled out of.”

 

Jindrax twirled one of his daggers to accentuate her point.

 

***

 

The Sacred Pool in Gao Rock started to bubble as Tetomu and the gathered rangers stood around its waters.

 

“What is it?” Simon asked.

 

Tetomu shook her head. “The Org are gathering near the mountains outside the city. They’re after something…something powerful.”  

 

Ryan narrowed his eyes. “That’s near the temple Blue was at last night…”

 

***

 

Blue walked by the temple grounds with his hands stuffed in his pockets and his shoulders hunched over. He kicked every rock and pebble that got in his way. He was still upset that Michael had let him down.

 

“After everything I’ve done for that guy…” Blue said quietly as he shook his head. Michael had been terrified during his first battle as a Ranger. Blue had helped the Black Ranger overcome that fear.

 

Blue’s G-Phone toned. Blue flipped open his morpher and saw the call was from Black. He rolled his eyes with annoyance and flipped the phone back shut.

 

He suddenly heard a scream come from nearby the temple. Blue narrowed his brow and sprinted towards the temple.

 

Blue skid to a stop on a dusted path when he noticed a group of Org grunts around Bell Org. A helpless man had been trapped beneath a large bell that the Org monster had dropped.

 

“Org!” Blue shouted as he snapped into a fighting stance. “I knew you were here!”

 

Bell Org turned towards the young ranger and laughed. “I’ve eaten meals older than you, boy.”

 

Blue wrinkled his nose. “Go ahead and underestimate me…it’ll make my job much easier.” He armed his morpher.   

 

“Wild Access!” he shouted as he flipped his morpher open and pressed its activation panel. He thrust his hand forward while pulling the morpher back towards his head. “Ha!”

 

Blue energy surged around him as his armor activated, and his helmet wrapped around his head. The visor snapped shut as he morphed into his Ranger form. Energy surged through his body like sharks’ blood as his heart pounded in his chest. Adrenaline flooded his veins and throttled through his every muscle. 

 

“Ha!“ Gao Blue pounced forward and grabbed two grunts by the backs of their necks. The Ranger leapt through the air while dragging the soldiers with him. Gao Blue landed and slammed the soldier’s heads against the ground, smashing their skulls like rotten melons.

 

Gao Blue rolled into a crouched fighting stance and sprang back through the air. He swung his legs and kicked down on two soldiers’ chests while he was still in midair. His heels smashed against the soldiers’ bodies and knocked them to the ground.

 

Gao Blue landed and turned to face Bell Org while snapping into a shark-like fighting stance.

 

“You’re next, bell brain,” Gao Blue said.

 

“I think not,” Bell Org said.

 

The villain summoned a bell that slammed around Gao Blue, trapping him inside. Bell Org slammed the side of the bell with a large mallet. The hammer caused a vibration that thrashed across the Blue Ranger’s armor with bursts of spark. His ears felt like they would burst as the Bell Org struck again. This time, the vibrations knocked his armor hard enough to power it down in a flash of blue light.

 

Blue’s vision blurred as he slipped from consciousness.

 

***

 

Michael sat in the school’s doctor’s office with bandages wrapped around his legs and arms. A few bandages were placed over scratches on his head and face as well.

 

The nurse shook her head in disbelief as she placed another bandage on his forehead. “It’s a good thing you’ve got a thick head…”

 

Michael’s face turned slightly red at her comment.

 

He was released from the office and started walking towards the front lobby, where his parents were picking him up. A blonde-haired girl name Kristen passed him in the hallway. He dreamed about her everyday, but all she ever did was laugh at him, even when he was covered from head to toe in bruises, cuts and bandages.

 

Michael stopped outside a teacher’s office when he heard crying coming from inside. Michael eavesdropped at the door.

 

Dylan was sitting on a stool, and the teacher stood behind. The young man placed his hands on the boy’s shoulders and started softly rubbing his skin. “You’ve really gotten yourself into trouble this time, Dylan…”

 

Dylan sniffed back a tear. “It wasn’t my fault.”

 

The man shushed Dylan, a creepy sound that made the boy shiver. He kept rubbing the boy’s shoulders. “I’ll take care of it…you won’t get in any trouble…”

 

Michael narrowed his eyes. He knew that tone of voice al too well. And he didn’t like it.

 

Michael barged into the room and tackled the teacher hard against the waist. Michael used his anger for fuel as he slammed the teacher over three desks and sent him crashing to the ground.

 

***

 

Michael and the other rangers walked through the woods nearby the temple. Michael tried to call Blue again, but could still not get an answer. He knitted his brow with worry.

 

“Blue’s still not answering,” Michael said.

 

A chill suddenly crept down the rangers’ spines. The stank of death suddenly filled the air. They sprinted closer to the temple and skid to a halt when Shuten’, Jindrax, and Toxica appeared above their path. A group of Org grunts stood by the villains. 

 

“You!“ Simon shouted as he and the other rangers snapped into fighting stances.

 

Michael narrowed his eyes. “Where’s Blue?”

 

Shuten’ lifted his axe. “You’ll be with him shortly…”

 

The villain energized his axe and hurled a spinning, crimson energy blade towards the Rangers.

 

The four Rangers morphed into their armor and leapt through the explosion as sparks thrashed across their armor. They pounced into the woods and slammed against the Org grunts.

 

Gao White dashed past a grunt while kicking its leg out, snapping its knee. She grabbed another soldier by the ankle and pulled, bringing the grunt back-first against the ground.

 

The White Ranger leaned over the grunt and slashed her golden claws across the soldier’s face. Her claws sparked on impact while tearing apart the grunt’s face, ripping through rotten flash and spraying black ichor.

 

Gao White looked up just as a black staff speared against her faceplate. Toxica’s staff snapped the White Ranger’s head backward, but she rolled backward to soften the impact. Gao White rolled back into a crouched tiger-like fighting stance and looked up to see Toxica standing among a group of Orgs.

 

Nearby, Jindrax backhand swung his jagged saber towards Gao Yellow. The Yellow Ranger caught the blade beneath his arm and backhand swung his own blade towards the Org. But Jindrax caught the golden blade beneath his arm.

 

“You’re really starting to piss me off,” Gao Yellow said as he slammed the back of his fist across the Org’s face.

 

Gao Yellow and Jindrax leapt past each other in midair while thrashing their swords across each others’ bodies, each blade sparking on impact.

 

Gao Red battled against a group of grunts at the base of a rocky hill nearby.

 

A grunt swung its club down towards the Red Ranger’s helmet. Gao Red used his claws to parry the blow and pounced forward, tearing the grunt’s chest apart with a burst of spark and black ichor that dirtied the Ranger’s claws.

 

Gao Red looked to his right and swung both hands wide, his claws slashing open a second grunt’s body with a burst of spark that sent black ichor spattering across the landscape. The fallen grunt crashed to the ground, its open wound bubbling with slime and puss.

 

Another grunt used both hands to swing a club down towards the Red Ranger’s helmet. Gao Red knocked the grunt’s arms away and smashed his hands against both sides of the villain’s head. The grunt’s head smashed like a rotting melon.

 

Shuten’ snuck in besides Gao Red and swung his axe downward. Gao Red sidestepped and grabbed the axe with both hands before twisting it downward.

 

“What are you freaks up to?” Gao Red asked.

 

Shuten’ pulled his axe free from Gao Red’s grasp and slashed his axe across the Red Ranger’s chest with a burst of spark. The blow knocked Gao Red backward and sent him tumbling against the ground.

 

Smoke still rising from his armor from the axe strike, Gao Red rolled into a crouched fighting position and armed his weapon. “Lion Fang!”

 

Gao Red pounced towards his opponent like a lion.

 

The Black Ranger struggled with Bell Org in a clearing nearby.

 

Gao Black grabbed hold of Bell Org’s arm as the two opponents struggled against each other at the base of the hill. Bell Org grabbed Gao Black by the back of the head and slammed the Ranger’s helmet repeatedly against its bell armor.

 

Gao Black stumbled backward as the Bell Org armed its massive hammer. Bell Org swung hard and bashed the hammer against Gao Black’s chest. The hammer sparked on impact, knocking the Black Ranger backward and sending him tumbling across the ground.

 

The Black Ranger rose into a crouched fighting stance. “Where’s Blue? I’m not asking again…”

 

Bell Org looked to the top of the cliff, where Blue was trapped beneath a large bell. “The poor boy…he’ll be running out of air soon.”

 

“Blue!” Gao Black shouted as he ran towards the cliff.

 

The Black Ranger started climbing as fast as he could to reach his friend.

 

Bell Org watched with much amusement. The villain waited until Gao Black was halfway up the cliff before striking. The creature slammed his own hammer against his bell-like shell. Each strike sparked ring-shaped sonic blasts that shot forth and exploded around Gao Black.

 

Explosions sparked around the Black Ranger’s armor, kicking up rubble and debris. Gao Black started tumbling back down the cliff. He grasp onto an outcropping to keep from plummeting back down to the ground. The Black Ranger clenched his jaw beneath his helmet as blood rushed to his muscles, empowering his every move as he started back upward.  

 

Bell Org waited until Gao Black made it about a meter higher than before. Then the Org opened fire with sonic energy blasts that exploded against Gao Black with massive bursts of spark, flipping him backward.

 

Gao Black clenched his jaw. He pictured his friend within the bell. he thought of Blue losing his breath. The Black Ranger swallowed his fear and pain and throttled up the cliff at frightening speed. The Black Ranger leapt through the air and armed his weapon.

 

“Bison Axe!” Gao Black shouted as he chopped his axe down against the bell. The bell sparked and cracked in half.

 

Blue fell to the ground as the bell split open. His head was still bleeding and he his breath was short. Gao Black knelt down and next to Blue and sat him up.

 

Blue breathed deeply as his vision blurred back into focus. “Told you…it was an Org.”

 

Bell Org leapt to the top of the cliff and stalked towards Blue and Gao Black with his hammer extended forward.

 

Gao Black stepped back into a defensive stance and stood between Blue and the approaching Org.

 

Lances of green energy suddenly exploded against Bell Org and knocked the creature aside. Gao Black looked to his right and saw Gao Red, armed with his Gaoling Blaster, dash forward along with the Rangers. The team regrouped and snapped into fighting stances.

 

Blue spat blood from the side of his mouth and pulled out his morpher.

 

“Wild Access!” he shouted as he flipped his morpher open and pressed its activation panel. He thrust his hand forward while pulling the morpher back towards his head. “Ha!”

 

Blue energy surged around him as his armor activated, and his helmet wrapped around his head. The visor snapped shut as he morphed into his Ranger form. The Rangers each snapped into their fighting stances.

 

“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.

 

Their voices echoed across the mountains and nearby hillside. A power reacted nearby the temple. It stirred, releasing a pulse of pale-green light.

 

***

 

Tetomu looked in the pool of Gao Rock as the waters stirred. The pools picked up the energy disturbance nearby the temple. An ancient scroll and small globe of rock had been shaken loose.

 

“Rangers…” she spoke to the others. “I’ve found what the Org are after…”

 

***

 

Shuten’ perked up his head when he sensed the power come from nearby. Toxica and Jindrax were at his side. The villain looked up towards Bell Org at the top of the cliff. “Keep them away…”

 

Shuten’ and his two dukes scrambled away towards the power signature.

 

Bell Org turned towards the Rangers and slammed his hammer against his bell-like shell. Sonic rings blasted forth and exploded around the Rangers with massive bursts of spark that thrashed across their armor and kicked up dirt and debris.

 

***

 

Shuten’ and his underlings saw the rock sphere and ancient scroll wedged in the base of the mountain. The crimson-skinned creature slowly stalked towards the globe and lifted it into his slimly palms. His eyes gleamed with fiendish delight as he lifted the scroll as well.

 

***

 

Gao Black and Gao Blue rolled into crouched fighting positions as another wave of explosions erupted nearby.

 

Gao Black rolled his hands into fists tight with frustration. “We can’t get close enough…”

 

“Black,” Gao Blue said as he placed a hand on Gao Black’s shoulders. “Fast-ball special…”

 

Gao Black raised his eyebrow beneath his helmet. “A what?”

 

“Don’t you read?” Gao Blue said. “Use your strength, and throw me towards the Org freak.”

 

Gao Blue armed his Fin Blades. The Black Ranger lifted Gao Blue and placed the Blue Ranger’s heels against his palm. Gao Black swung his arm forward, tossing Gao Blue towards the creature.

 

Gao Blue dove through the air like a shark with his Fin Blades aimed forward towards Bell Org. Bell Org fired ringed sonic blasts that exploded around Gao Blue as he surged forward through the air.

 

“Ha!” Gao Blue shouted as he chopped his blades down in an ’x’ pattern. The Fin Blades splintered through the villain’s hammer with a burst of spark.

 

The creature tumbled backward as the five Ranges regrouped and armed their weapons. Bell Org slowly rose back to its feet and hissed with annoyance. 

 

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 Bell Org, tearing its body apart, ripping through rotted flesh, armor 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.

 

Toxica and Jindrax stepped out from the wilderness nearby along with their master. Toxica pointed her staff towards the boiling puddle of slime and chanted her incantation.

 

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 Bell Org.

 

The Rangers unsheathed their Gao Daggers and extended the blades into the sky. “Wildzords, descend!”

 

The blades emitted an enchanting melody. 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 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!”

 

Gao King pounced forward and attacked.

 

“Shark Surge!” Gao Blue shouted. The shark fist swung forward and slammed against the monster, but rang harmlessly against the villain’s bell-like armor.

 

“Tiger Fury!” Gao White shouted. The tiger fist charged forward and bashed against the monster with similar results.

 

The villain slammed its fists against its own armor, sparking ringed sonic waves that exploded against the Megazord with massive bursts of spark, knocking Gao King off his feet and sending him tumbling backward.

 

The creature armed its repaired hammer and stalked towards the fallen zord.

 

Gao Black rolled his hands into fists and glared beneath his visor. “Bison Kick!”

 

Gao King’s leg shot forward and bashed hard against Bell Org, sending the villain stumbling back a few steps. Gao King rose back to his feet and armed his weapon.

 

“Fin Blade!” Gao Blue shouted.

 

Gao King swung his blade upward. The weapon splintered through the hammer with a massive burst of spark that destroyed the weapon.

 

Bell Org extended his hand towards the air and summoned a giant bell that plummeted down towards the Megazord. Gao King somersaulted backward through the air and slammed a kick against the bell. The bell crashed downward around Bell Org, trapping the villain inside.

 

“Let’s take care of business…” Gao Red said. “Roaring Fury!” 

 

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

 

***

 

Shuten’ and his underlings started carrying the stone sphere and scroll away from the temple grounds. But the stone started to surge with pale-green and blue energy that burnt the Highness Duke’s hand. He screamed with pain as he dropped the scroll and globe.

 

The two items went rolling away from Shuten’ and falling down the cliff. 

 

The Rangers leapt from their Megazord and gathered below. Gao Red lifted the stone globe and scroll from the ground. He looked up to see Shuten’ glare down at him with each eye. The Highness Duke was clutching his burnt hand, still smoking from the wound.

 

Shuten’ and the dukes turned and teleported away, blurring out of focus and disappearing.

 

The Rangers gathered around and looked down at the globe.

 

“So…” Gao Red said as he turned the globe between his hands. “What do you think this thing is?”

 

Gao Yellow shook his head. “Let’s get it back to Tetomu…”

 

***

 

The teacher institutively slammed his knee against Michael and tossed the boy aside.

 

“You little shit…” the teacher said as he pulled off his belt and snapped the leather.

 

Michael narrowed his eyes as the young man stalked towards him.

 

To be continued…Chapter Five