Ultimate Gao Ranger: Chapter Five prologue
1,000 years ago, Japan
The Heian Period
Dozens of Battle Maidens from the Unicorn Clan charged across rolling hills of grass and trees towards their enemies, the Org. Countless slime-covered Org grunts swarmed towards the approaching warriors like a swarm of disease-ridden insects.
The Battle Maidens drew their swords and shouted war cries as their feet pounded against the dirt. Their purple and gold-laced kimonos dulled by battle, the maidens slammed against their enemies.
Their swords tore through rotted flesh with bursts of spark. Their blades punctured through the Org grunts, spraying black ichor and puss with each strike.
The maidens were defending a forest trail that led to the last remaining Unicorn village, and they were losing badly.
The leader of the battle squad was named Kamoko. She shouted orders to her troops while hacking her way through a dense group of Org soldiers.
"Turn their right flank!" Kamoko shouted while chopping off a grunt's head. "Do not let them pass the-"
An Org bashed its blunt club across the Maiden's head. She stumbled backward as the grunt pressed forward. Typically, the grunts were no match for the war-hardened group of Maidens. But the warriors were fatigued after countless months of non-stop fighting.
A second grunt knocked the warrior on her feet. Six others surrounded her and started pounding on her fallen body, snapping her bones and smashing her body.
Without their leader, the Battle Maidens had to fall back.
News of the warriors' defeat reached the last remaining Unicorn village. Its people immediately started gathering what little supplies they could and put together a convoy to abandon their homes.
The Org would be at their doorsteps soon.
Horses and trailers moved deeper into the woods. They headed towards Dragon lands, one of the last few strongholds against the Org.
Six of the Unicorn men carried a platform between themselves. The platform was decorated with a colorful silk tent. The tent was purple and laced with gold. Inside was a soft pillow. The green animal gem of GaoElephant rested on the pillow. It was their last defense if the Org attacked.
A 16-year-old girl named Tetsuko rode on a horse near the tent. Her father rode besides her. He had a stern look of anger and disappointment on his face.
"Do you see what has happened?" the father said. "We have lost everything...and my own daughter, the best fighter in our village, never even lifted a sword to our enemy."
Tetsuko lowered her gaze. "I have told you father...I am not a warrior."
Her father scoffed. "No. you would rather waste your time with a paintbrush..."
"I must chose my own destiny," she said.
"Sometimes war chooses destiny for us," the father said.
"I am one person, father," Tetsuko said. "Do you honestly think that adding one more combatant to the field would have changed our peoples' destiny?"
He never had a chance to answer.
A massive explosion burst in front of the caravan, knocking most of the village people to the ground. The shockwave slammed against Tetsuko and her father, knocking them off their horses.
Smoke filled the air as another explosion rocked the ground.
Tetsuko slowly climbed to her feet as another blast struck near the convoy. She looked up towards the sky to see a massive Org giant stomp towards them. The villain was shaped like a rock grill, with a grate for a face. Two red horns extended from the top of the villain.
An army of Org soldiers charged towards the convoy. The screams of innocents quickly filled the air as the Org grunts attacked with quick and powerful strikes from their clubs.
Tetsuko slowly rose to her feet, smoke clouding her vision. She looked ahead as the carnage closed in around her.
"Father..." she whispered, her eyes darting back and forth across the panicked civilians as they tried to run for their lives. "Father..."
Her hands felt the ground and draped over a fallen body nearby. The body was soaked with blood. She crawled closer and looked down, immediately recognizing her father's lifeless face.
Her face grew pale.
A single tear streamed down her cheek.
There was no time to morn. She had to fight.
A group of Org grunts marched towards her with their clubs held high. Tetsuko unsheathed her father's sword and sprang into action like a cat. She twirled past a grunt and sliced through its neck, cutting off its head as black ichor and puss sprayed from the wound.
Tetsuko continued forward and slammed a spinning sidekick against a second grunt's face. The blow cut off her sandal and cut through her own foot.
The giant Org stalked even closer to the remaining refugees. Tetsuko dove aside as the giant foot crashed down next to her. She rolled aside next top the tattered silk that used to be the moving shrine to the Gao diamond.
She saw the small gem glimmering from beneath the silk. She rolled past the silk and picked up the crystal, clutching it closely to her heart.
"GaoElephant!" she shouted at the top of her lungs.
The elephant cry cut through the woods as the massive beast charged forth from the woods. The armored elephant smashed its powerful body against the Grill Org, knocking the villain backward and sending it skidding across the ground.
GaoElephant pushed forward. The massive beast tore its horns through the creature, puncturing through fiery, rubble skin and piercing the rotten flesh below. Steaming hot ichor splashed against the ground below as GaoElephant pushed forward, its tusks ripping the enemy to shreds.
The giants battled above as Tetsuko crawled over to her father's body. She buried her head in his chest and started to cry.
Ultimate Gao Rangers: Chapter Five
Within a Mountain
The rangers spread the ancient scroll across a stone table in Gao Rock. They looked at the scroll alone while Tetomu stayed secluded in the Sacred Pool. The scroll was written in Japanese Kanji symbols, but parts of the scroll were missing and other parts were faded.
Ryan crossed his arms over his chest. "I don't suppose any of you read Japanese..."
White sighed and shook her head. Her father had tried to teach her the language when she was younger, but she had refused to learn.
"It has to say something important," Simon said. "The Org wouldn't have wanted it otherwise."
Simon looked to his teammates. "My sister Maya knows a lot about...this kind of thing. I can snap a few pictures and get her to translate."
Ryan shook his head. "That's a waste of time. Even if she can translate it, there are symbols missing."
Simon shook his head. "What's a waste of time is standing around here, scratching our heads, trying to make sense out of something we can't even read."
Ryan waved his hand dismissively.
The Sacred Pool suddenly bubbled like a fountain as Tetomu reappeared in the chamber. She was staring down at the small globe of rock in her hand with a look of excitement in her eye.
"I know what this is," Tetomu said as she looked up to the others. "An animal crystal is inside."
"Animal crystal?" Michael asked. "For another zord?"
Tetomu nodded and extended the sphere towards the sacred Pool. The rangers gathered around and watched the stone globe's reflection in the waters. The reflection showed the image of a Gao diamond within the rock. The gem had the image of an elephant.
Blue arced an eyebrow with disbelief. "An elephant?"
White looked to him. "And...?"
Blue shook his head. "I was expecting something more impressive...like a panther or cougar or something."
Tetomu slowly turned the globe in her hand. "GaoElephant was one of the Power Animals left behind when Anamarium rose into the sky."
"You mean there are others?" White asked.
Tetomu nodded. "Many were left behind. Some, such as GaoElephant, must have survived."
"So how do we find this zord?" Simon asked.
"The answer has to be in the scroll..." Tetomu said.
White walked across the city streets on her way home from Gao Rock. Her mid drifted to the scroll and the earlier thought she had about her father. Her mind flashed back...
14-year-old Saiya laid on a grass field outside of Little Tokyo and read. The book was a collection of English literature and plays. She had thumbed halfway through it in a day. She could never read enough.
Her father walked towards her from behind and leaned against a tree while looking down at his daughter. He breathed a sigh of disappointment. "You weren't in classes again today..."
Saiya closed her book and looked up to father while stammering an excuse. "I...lost track of time after school."
"Do you expect me to believe that?" his father asked. He stood tall and strong, his shadow casting downward over his only daughter. His only family. "It's important to me that you learn more about you heritage, Saiya. More about your birthright."
Saiya lowered her gave. Her father's obsession with his home country was what drove Saiya's mother, an American, away forever.
"Meet me at the dojo in one hour," her father said as he turned and started to walk away. "You'll need your bo-staff."
Simon was on the phone long distance with his sister Maya. He had e-mailed her pictures of the scroll to view from her hotel room in Egypt. Maya traveled the world on archeological digs along with her close friend Kouishiro, who happened to be Kamen Rider Kuuga.
"Okay..." she said from her end of the phone. "I think I've pieced together some of the blurred or missing symbols. The problem is they don't make much sense."
"What do you mean?" he asked her.
"Some of the symbols are just random animals. Black Bear. Polar Bear. Giraffe. Guerilla... I might be able to put things more into context if you told me what this is all about..."
"Well..." Simon hesitated. He still was not ready to tell his sister, Tommy, or anyone about being a Ranger. "It's just a class project...kind of...now, what else does it say?"
Maya sighed and read the rest of her findings.
Simon stepped out of his home and started walking back towards Gao Rock. He adjusted the book bag over his shoulder and ran his fingers through his blonde hair. He looked down at the notebook in his hand, which had notes from Maya written in it.
Simon pulled out his G-Phone and called Saiya. She answered after two rings.
"This is Red," Simon said. "I think I know where the Elephant zord is..."
"GaoElephant?" Saiya said with a hint of excitement in her voice. "I'll meet you outside of Gao Rock so we can go look..."
"What about the others?" Simon asked, not that he would mind spending more alone time with her.
"There's an Org out they're trying to track," Saiya explained. "Yellow wanted us to stay behind and track down GaoElephant while he and the others looked for the Org."
Simon scoffed. "He can't just keep giving out orders like that."
"Well..." Saiya said. "It was kind of agreed upon."
Simon nodded. "Okay...I'll meet you in a few minutes."
Saiya adjusted the belt around her martial arts gi as she stood at the center of her father's dojo sparring mat. She held a bo-staff in her right hand. She was a natural with the weapon, although she was ashamed to admit it. She hated fighting.
Her father believed perfecting the body and spirit through martial arts was the best way to grow and mature as a person. Saiya preferred to expand her mind.
She wished for her mother every time he made her spar. She wished her mother would have gotten custody and taken her back to the east coast. She wished that her father would go back to Japan, the country he seemed to love more than his own daughter.
Saiya's father was making her spar against five boys, each several years older than her.
Her father stood behind her with his arms crossed behind his back. "You will fight with your staff, and only your staff. No kicks. No elbow strikes..."
Saiya nodded in agreement. She just wanted to get it over with.
"Begin," her father said as the five boys charged forward.
Saiya cracked her staff against one of their heads and twirled the weapon around, spearing its tip against a second attacker's chest. She spun back to her left and knocked a boy's arm away before snapping her staff across his face. She knocked the lat two boys aside with a simple combination of swings, each blow cracking against their heads.
The boys slowly rose to their feet while nursing their wounds.
"Again," her father said.
Saiya dropped her staff and turned to face her dad. "Father," she pleaded. "That's enough! I don't want to train like this anymore. What kind of life can I possibly have if all I focus on is this...this! Pushing me like this, getting me to train...it isn't normal. And it's starting to scare me..."
Her father narrowed his eyes. "Don't speak to me in such a tone."
Saiya sighed with frustration. "You're not even listening."
"I am listening well," her father said as he stepped forward. "There are two types of people in this world. The weak and the strong. The weak hide behind their books and desks while the strong risk their lives to protect them. There are enough weak people in this corrupt world. What this world needs is strong, honorable-"
Saiya let out an exasperated sigh and snapped her staff in half against her knee, splintering the wood.
Gao Yellow suddenly soared down from the air and slammed a flying kick against the Org. The Yellow Ranger's kick bounced back off of the creature's rubbery armor. The Yellow Ranger flipped backward and landed on the street between Gao Black and Gao Blue.
"Org!" Gao Yellow shouted. "You're about five seconds away from getting reduced to an puddle of slime."
Tire Org laughed mockingly at the Rangers. "Only three of you?"
"Three is all we need," Gao Yellow said. "Let's go!"
Gao Yellow and his two teammates charged forward to attack.
Simon and Saiya walked along the outskirts of the city towards the mountains. Simon had his notebook in hand, with scribbled notes connecting GaoElephant to a specific rock formation.
"So..." Simon said to break the silence. "Where did you learn to fight from?"
Saiya sighed. "My father. He..." she shook her head. "He was obsessed with martial arts. It drove my mother crazy...that's why she left us when I was younger. She was...scared of him."
"I'm sorry..." Simon said.
"It's okay," Saiya said as she took a cleansing breath and changed the subject. "How about you?"
"An older friend of mine named Tommy taught me a lot when I was younger," Simon explained. "Now I'm enrolled in the same school he was in. The Hayate Way."
Saiya nodded in recognition. "I've heard of it...my father went through the Ikazuchi Way."
Simon winced at the sound of the name. "Yeah, the two schools don't get along so well."
Gao Yellow, Gao Black, and Gao Blue leapt forward and swung their Gao Daggers down hard towards the monster's body. Their daggers slammed against the creatures rubbery armor and bounced off, knocking the three Rangers backward and sending them tumbling across the ground.
The villain energized a pair of short, curved daggers with crimson power and swung the blades forward. Rotating energy blades spun forth and exploded against the Rangers' armor with massive bursts of spark that smashed against their bodies.
The creature fired again with another burst of energy blades that sent the Rangers flying off their feet.
Gao Yellow went flying backward and smashed through the passenger side of a parks car, tearing through the door and shattering glass on impact. Gao Black was thrown through the roof of a second car, and Gao Blue shattered through a windshield.
Tire Org energized his blades and hurled another pair of energy gyros that exploded against their armor with massive bursts of spark.
A ghostly image of Highness Duke Shuten' appeared behind Tire Org. "Enough of this wasting time. The stone...go and find the stone..."
Tire Org did not hesitate. He transformed his body into a wheel and sped off.
Gao Yellow slowly rose to his feet as he regrouped with his two teammates.
"The stone?" Gao Blue asked. "What's that about?"
"GaoElephant," Gao Black said. "Red said the elephant zord was hidden in a mountain."
Gao Yellow nodded. "The Org must be on their way there now. Come on..."
Gao Yellow and his two teammates ran off towards the distance to find Simon and Saiya.
Simon and Saiya moved towards the base of a mountain when explosions rang out around them, knocking them off their feet. Their jackets were lined with special fibers that absorbed most of the impact and prevented serious injury.
They rolled to their feet and looked up to see Tire Org and a group of Putrids stalk forward. "Looking for something?" Tire Org taunted. "Too bad we found it first."
Simon snapped into a fighting stance and pulled out his morpher. "It's morphin time..."
They flipped their morphers open. "Wild Access! Ha!"
Energy wrapped around their bodies as they morphed into their ranger forms and snapped into animal-like fighting stances. Gao Yellow and the other two Rangers leapt onto the scene as if from nowhere.
"I see you've found our new friend," Gao Blue said.
Gao Red nodded. "Unfortunately."
The Rangers snapped into their individual fighting stances as savage power poured through their veins.
"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 Putrids and Rangers charged towards one another.
"Ha!" Gao Red pounced forward with a Lion Fang over each hand.
The Red Ranger landed while slashing his Fang weapons down across a grunt's chest. The blow sparked on impact, tearing open the soldier's chest and spraying black ichor across the ground.
Gao Red spun past a second grunt while tearing his claws across the soldier, ripping through the grunt's chest with a massive burst of spark. The Red Ranger tossed the corpse aside and moved towards his next target.
Gao Red chopped his Lion Fangs against a soldier's head, crushing its skull between the two weapons. The grunt's head squashed like a rotten melon, spraying black puss and ichor against the Ranger's claws and armor. The Red Ranger kicked the lifeless grunt aside.
The Red Ranger snapped to his right and thrashed both Lion Fangs upward across the grunt's body. The weapons split the grunt in half from the waist up.
Nearby, Gao Blue armed his weapons and surged towards his opponents.
"Shark Cutters! Ha!" The Blue Ranger spun through a group of grunts like a tornado.
Gao Ranger's blades hacked through grunts in a whirlwind of sparks, ichor, and rotted flesh. Org soldiers flailed about, gurgling up black puss and spit as they crashed to the ground.
Meanwhile, Gao White armed her weapon and charged towards a group of grunts with savage grace.
"Tiger Baton!" the White Ranger shouted as she pounced.
Gao White speared her weapon repeatedly against an Org soldier's chest. Each strike sparked on impact and forced the villain steps backward. The White Ranger pushed forward and speared her weapon through that grunt's face. The soldier's eyes burst with purple slime as the grunt's lifeless body collapsed.
The Yellow Ranger was on a ledge of the nearby mountain. Gao Yellow parried a blow from an Org soldier's club. The Yellow Ranger twisted his wrist and swung the blade upward. Gao Yellow's Golden Eagle Sword slashed across the grunt's chest with a burst of spark, piercing through the soldier's rotting flesh as black ichor seeped from the wound.
Gao Yellow leapt off the cliff and glided down towards a group of grunts below. The Yellow Ranger swung his weapon down in an x-shaped pattern while landing. His sword tore through a pair of grunts with bursts of spark and stank ichor.
Nearby, Gao Black used his Bison Axe to parry a blow from a soldier's club. The Black Ranger stepped forward and slammed a powerful cross punch against the soldier's chest. The blow blasted the Org off its feet and sent it flailing through the air.
Tire Org suddenly transformed into a wheel and skid forward. The monster smashed the Rangers aside one-by-one. The Rangers rolled to the side and rose back into crouched fighting positions as the wheel turned and throttled back towards them.
Gao Black tightened every muscle in his body and pounced forward. The Black ranger tackled against the wheel and used all his strength to hold it back. The wheel wined in protest, spinning up dirt and gravel as Gao Black held his ground.
Wheel Org eventually overpowered Gao Black and rolled over him, sending explosions thrashing across his armor.
Gao Black slowly rose to his feet as the other Rangers gathered around him.
"Black," Gao Blue said as he placed a hand on his friend's shoulder. "You okay?"
Gao Black nodded, glaring through his visor at Tire Org.
Gao Red pounced forward and skid to a stop on the other side of the Tire Org. "Come on ugly, show me what you got!"
Tire Org zoomed forward. The Red Ranger leapt over the monster while kicking it against its rubbery hide. Gao Red flipped over the creature and landed on the ground behind it.
"Lion Fang!" he shouted as his claw weapon formed around his right hand. "Gaoling cannon!"
The claw shifted shape and transformed into a short rifle weapon with the golden head of the rifle engraved at its end. The weapons barrels were wrapped around the lion's mane. Gao Red triggered the weapon, firing rapid blasts of green energy darts that exploded against the Org with bursts of spark. The blasts punctured through tire-like armor, spraying black ichor upon impact.
"Final mode!" Gao Red said as he stepped forward and aimed his weapon for another strike. The mouth of the lion opened to form a larger barrel. "Gao!"
Gao Red fired a roaring pulse of golden, crimson energy that rolled forward while tearing through Tire Org. The blast caused a massive explosion that ripped the Org apart, vaporizing its armor and incinerating its rotted flesh.
Toxica and Jindrax stepped onto the scene. 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 Tire 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!"
Tetomu stood on the mountain top and watched the battle unfold. Tire Org dashed forward and thrashed its blades across Gao King, explosions sparking against the Megazord's armor.
Tetomu felt the stone in her hands stir as pale blue and green light started to shine forth from its cracks. "GaoElephant..."
Tire Org transformed into its tire form and rolled forward, slamming against the Megazord.
Tetomu stared down at the rock as it pulsed again.
Toxica snuck up from behind the priestess and tightened her grip on her staff. Her master was not about to tolerate the elephant zord falling into the Rangers' hands. Toxica extended her staff towards the priestess and fired.
Bolts of purple energy exploded around Tetomu with a shower of sparks that knocked her off her feet.
Above, Gao White saw the attack from Gao King's cockpit. She felt the blood of the tiger pulse through her veins as she leapt down from the cockpit and landed on the cliff below, standing between Toxica and Tetomu.
Toxica narrowed her eyes. "You again..."
"I'm impressed you remember me," Gao White said. "I've heard what old age does to the mind..."
The White Ranger pounced forward and clawed Toxica across the face. The villain stumbled backward as black blood dripped from her skin. Toxica spun and regained her footing while swinging her staff towards the Ranger. The black staff cracked across White Ranger's helmet and speared against her chest.
Gao White stumbled backward and Jindrax and Toxica surrounded her. Tioxica fired jagged bursts of purple energy, and Jindrax fire white-hot energy blades. The combined attacks exploded against Gao White with massive bursts of spark that thrashed across her armor and whipped her body backward.
Nearby, Tetomu kneeled and held the rock between her palms. She closed her eyes and reached out with her mind to the power trapped within the stone. The stone suddenly lit up with a bright burst of pale-green energy and transformed into an animal crystal.
The crystal emitted a green energy pulse that exploded against the mountainside. The massive explosion tossed debris and rubble through the air while carving the image of an elephant.
"Gao White!" Tetomu called as she rose to her feet. "Place the gem in your dagger's hilt."
The gem streaked towards Gao White in a trail of green/blue energy. Gao White rose back to her feet and caught the gem in her palm. She quickly placed the crystal into her Gao Dagger.
Gao White thrust the blade towards the sky. "GaoElephant! Arise!"
The gem pulsed with a brilliant flash of energy that nearly blinded Jindrax and Toxica while forcing the two villains backward. The White Ranger's Gao Dagger emitted an enchanting melody that tore apart the mountain as the blue-armored GaoElephant charged forth.
The elephant zord let out a powerful trumpet call through its horn and charged into battle.
GaoElephant rammed hard against Tire Org. The zord's tusks pierced through rubbery armor with a massive burst of spark that knocked the villain off its feet.
Gao White rejoined the other in the Megazord cockpit. "Wildzords," the White Ranger said as she laid her Dagger back into its slot. "Attach."
GaoElephant transformed into a sword and shield that Gao King used as his weapons.
"MegaWildzord!" the Rangers shouted. "Gao King, Sword and Shield!"
Tire Org fired a volley of spinning energy blades that streaked towards Gao King.
"Elephant Shield!" Gao White commanded.
Gao King thrust his shield forward. The shield emitted a green energy barrier of brilliant power. The spinning energy daggers exploded harmlessly against the shield with a massive burst of spark that splashed over the barrier.
"Elephant Sword!" Gao White commanded.
Gao King spun around Tire Org like a tornado while slashing across its armor. Each strike pierced through rubbery armor and tore apart rotting flesh with bursts of spark, black ichor and puss seeping from each wound.
"Sword Whip!" the Rangers shouted. "Final Strike!"
Gao King's sword energized and went slack. The Megazord swung the sword down hard like a whip. Each segment of the energized whip tore apart the monster with massive bursts of sparks and explosions. The villain's armor was torn away as its undead body overloaded and exploded, a discharge of fiery, rotting flesh that vaporized into the wind.
Gao White lifted her animal crystal and squeezed it tightly in her hand.
Saiya walked into her father's dojo later at night. She stopped in her tracks and gasped as he noticed her father lying on the ground with blood stains and slashed marks across his kimono.
A dark shadow of a ninja crept forward from the shadows and aimed his katana towards Saiya's head.
To be continued...Chapter Six