Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers, they belong to the current copyright owner.
Crossroads of Evil — King of Fighters Part 6
The anticipation was building with each step and the distance to the ring had never seemed so great. With such an extreme battle looming time just seemed to slow. And while this match was not the main event, Terry Bogard and the Lonely Wolves could not help but recall the events that had led them to that point. So many battles they had endured, all those opponents they had fought. From Geese Howard, to Wolfgang Krauser, to Laocorn Gaudeamas and the Armor of Mars, to the Cylon Invasion. It had been the most spectacular journey. Horrific some would say, but spectacular nonetheless. Each event had been burnt into their memories, moving them along the path to the next battle. In the end it all came down to the next fight.
And then, the music roared, and the applause from the crowd filled the arena as the Lonely Wolves entered. And suddenly the memories were gone as their minds fixed firmly in the present. Now they had to focus on the moment for another opponent would soon emerge through the entrance. And even though they were not be evil like Geese Howard or Wolfgang Krauser had been, nor misguided like Laocorn, they were still the opposition. Driven certainly, by spirit and a cause they considered noble. And perhaps more than a little darkness.
‘Fly Away My Hero’ soon faded from the loudspeakers leaving the Lonely Wolves were in the ring waiting as Team Nightfighter took its long walk as ‘Rollin’ filled the auditorium.
This time however there was no bike, no separate entrances. They stood together as a team and walked to the ring, completely focussed on the battle at hand. Terry and Kincaid locked eyes, silently wishing the other well. Then everyone took their respective corners waiting for the life bars to reach full. Once the referee gave the signal to begin, the battle did so.
Cassandra and Joe started out. Joe had some reservations about hitting a girl he didn’t knowâ¦ until Cassandra launched herself forward to deliver the first punch and followed it up with three more in quick secession. Joe found himself on the defensive quick and went into a ‘ki’ attack to try to regain the offensive.
“SLASH KICK!” shouted Joe as he delivered his move. Cassandra dodged the kick and ducked down to deliver a leg sweep. She then jumped up high in the air and delivered her own move to end the fight. A move she had only just observed, but figured out quickly.
“RISING TACKLE!” shouted Cassandra as she brought forth both her knees and landed hard into Joe’s chest. Joe was out of it after that. The bar was down fast. Joe tried to regain the upper hand with a series of attacks, but Cassandra evaded most of them. Some did connect, but not enough to do any significant damage.
Cassandra then wrapped her legs around Joe’s neck and put Joe into the Triangle choke. Any awareness he had left faded quickly, as Joe succumbed to darkness. His life bar went down to bare minimum then to nothing. Joe was out. Cassandra had won. But Cassandra had no time to celebrate as Andy entered the fray.
There were some who would claim it was wrong to hit a woman under any circumstance. Andy was not such a person. At least not during a competition. He knew that the women he faced trained hard to get to the point where they had a chance of reaching the tournament, just like the men. So to not give each opponent his best regardless of their gender, was an insult. In the end his opponent wanted to win and he wanted to win and the only way to do so was by defeating their opponent. With that in mind Andy charged at Cassandra thinking of attacks that would stop his adversary.
And he was pleased to find that it had been the correct move because Cassandra proved herself more than capable as she blocked each attempt. Even when Andy attempted a Rising Tackle, Cassandra rolled out of the way. Andy was able to barely do a handspring to block the impact the missing tackle would have caused. He flipped himself over and stood on his feet. Looking at Cassandra he thought of what attack to do next, then realized something from a previous battle.
Cassandra seemed to be able to anticipate a person’s moves. It was as if she was reading their mind. And that gave Andy a new strategy. He closed his eyes and thought of nothing. He let his mind focus on the moment and let his body’s rhythm guide him during the fight. This deprived Cassandra of the advantage of picking up Andy’s thoughts before he made the move as her opponent relied on instinct. He let his body be the guide. And Cassandra had her mettle tested. To the point where Andy’s bar was slightly higher than Cassandra’s. But one move could finish the fight.
“PSI BOLT!” Cassandra shouted as she let loose a burst of mental energy towards Andy. Andy took the bolt but still charged forward. He brought forth his foot, enclosed in a blue glow, and delivered the final move.
“CRACK SHOT!” The move connected. Andy won. Cassandra was knocked down.
Bruce was next, and he went full tilt. Andy didn’t have a lot of strength left and Bruce knew that. It was a challenge to hold on to his remaining life bar until he got a break. A break Bruce wasn’t about to give.
As Bruce rolled in with Rolling Thunder, Andy delivered an uppercut to the small of Bruce’s back. He flew up for a few seconds and landed hard on his back… jarring it temporarily. But long enough to cost him precious seconds.
The clock kept ticking as Andy seemed to get back a measure of strength. To where he and Bruce were neck and neck. Both then went at it with a series of moves that seemed like a dance. Both seemed to move with each other. Punches and kicks, wearing the other out as time went on. Then they decided to go for the final strike. Andy and Bruce took themselves down with a double clothesline. Both lay on the ground as the seconds ticked past. They then stirred trying to get to their feet before the time expired. Bruce then stood up for a brief second before falling back down. His bar exhausted. But that one second was enough for him to win his round.
But Bruce’s fight was done and as Terry entered, Buruce had no chance of fighting. Terry won by default, leaving a fresh Terry to face a fresh Kincaid, man to man in a match many had anticipated.
Starting out both Terry and Kincaid kept thing simple. Punches and kicks were exchanged until Kincaid sidestepped Terry’s latest attack, then wrapped his right leg around Terry’s left and then delivered a side Russian leg sweep, sending Terry back down to the ground. As Kincaid got back up, Terry retaliated with a leg sweep of his own and it was Kincaid knocked down for a spell.
Both were soon back on their feet as they exchanged another volley of blows and karate with the clock ticking by fast. Faster than the life bars were. Finally Terry decided to do some ‘ki’ moves to weaken his adversary.
Kincaid took the blow and was sent back. His bar took a hit, but then Kincaid was back on his feet as he then delivered a flaming punch right to Terry’s jaw. Terry felt the flames and the heat that came from them. Not to mention the force of the punch. Terry could feel the power behind the punch; it was so great that Terry took a similar drop in his life bar.
~Time for another attack.~ Terry thought as he delivered his next move. “POWER WAVE!”
Kincaid took this blow as well. However he did not send in any sort of counter. Terry thought it might be a good time to finish his adversary off as his bar was low.
Kincaid had hoped Terry would try this move. He rolled out of the way of the incoming knees and wrapped his legs around Terry’s neck in a variation of the Triangle Choke. It was called the Gogoplata which caused Terry to taste blood in his mouth. Not to mention make it hard for Terry to breath. Kincaid broke the hold after eight seconds leaving Terry gasping for breath, and to wipe away blood coming from his mouth.
Once Terry was able to breath again he felt a hard punch come at him from Kincaid. It hit him in the Solar Plexus and sent him flying outside the ring. As he pulled himself back into the ring, Terry noticed that their bars were once again neck and neck. It was surprising how accurately they reflected how he was feeling. ~Time for a new move.~~
Kincaid ducked this and sent his own move. Flames rose from the ground in a similar fashion. Terry ducked out of the way.
Terry then considered using a Buster Wolf, but figured that move would be no good if Kincaid had a counter. And Terry could tell Kincaid had done his homework. Kincaid wasn’t looking to use anymore of his power than he had to. It all came down to plain old fashioned fists. Back to basics.
Both fighters were fine with that.
Terry and Kincaid were throwing haymakers at one another giving their all and leaving it all on the floor. Both were battered and bruised, but neither one was looking to quit. Then the bell rang. Time had expired. The referee looked at the life bar for both combatants. They were dead even. The fight was declared a draw.
Everyone was stunned. Even Paul Heyman.
“I don’t believe this! What do you think you are doing you stupid officials!” Heyman shouted. “You can’t declare it a draw! That means they are BOTH eliminated!”
The match with the Nightfighters and the Lonely Wolves had been a dead heat in the end, especially with Terry Bogard and Jeff Kincaid. They kept it even the whole time.
“Tell me there’s a rule here that will not allow this to happen. We have to have a finals here JR! Team Gorgeous should not be allowed to win the title by default!” Heyman said. “They should earn it!”
“Paul it looks like tonight wonders will never cease because I agree with you.” JR said. “Right now it looks like we’re going to have our answer.” As an official made their way to the announce table.
JR was passed an envelope and then read it. A smile came to his lips as he went over to where Michael Buffer was and gave him the envelope. Buffer read it and was surprised. JR then went back to his own seat and Heyman was jumpy. “What was in that envelope!”
“Just wait and hear it like everyone else.” JR smirked while Heyman fumed.
“Ladies and gentlemen, due to the nature of the last match, the sponsor of the tournament has decided to put a new rule into effect. The Lonely Wolves and the Nightfighters will BOTH face Team Gorgeous in the Finals under a new match style. The first ever King of Fighters Triple Threat! In exactly thirty minutes, we shall begin the Finals of the King of Fighters!”
The battle had surprised those watching from the Shadowboxes and as the audience waited for the final match, the occupants considered what they had seen. For her part Kali was intrigued at the idea of a Triple Threat match, but uncertain if she really desired to see it. A part of her wanted something more.
“You know what? I don’t think I want to see a Triple Threat match. I think I want to kill some fighters now!” Kali declared.
“Well don’t let me stop you.” Minion replied. He really wasn’t interested in what she had to say. For the most part he considered her a nuisance. Still her suggestion did stir his curiousity. “Maybe we get to see what type of power these ‘fighters’ and ‘Night Fighters’ truly possess.”
“Trust me they are tremendously powerful and you will get to see a demonstration of that power,” the Valeyard answered. “With or without Kali’s intervention.”
“Do you doubt my power?” Kali asked. “The power of the Yagami? Of the dark God Orochi itself?”
“Only as much as I question your sanity?” Minion retorted. “Just remember I haven’t decided on your future yet. If the fate of this reality is really mine to decide, at this point I could easily let it slip into oblivion. And even if I were to let it continue, your life expectancy grows shorter with every word you utter.”
“I have a feeling your decision will be made in the next few minutes,” Valeyard told him, causing Minion to ponder what he meant. As his gaze returned to Kali, he had a feeling that she was about to influence his decision in a drastic way.
However as he continued to analyse the situation, Minion missed Kali’s glance towards the shadows and the figures that waited there for their mistress’s command.
In the stands Geese also considered the recent turn of events. There Had never been a Triple Threat match at the King of Fighters before. The idea had been raised a few times and dismissed as too difficult to control. Still, he figured it would be an interesting development, that would lead to possible opportunities at the next tournament that could expand his own power base.
“A Triple Threat?” Andy asked. “What does that mean, we have to fight two teams at once?”
“Looks that way Andy.” Terry said. Ten he smiled. “At least it will be something new.”
Joe smiled and laughed at Terry’s joke while Terry and Andy kept serious. They were entering a fight with opponents they knew next to nothing about in a match format they had never tried. Terry was right. It was definitely something new.
Kyo walked into the room overlooking the entire stadium. He felt the power he associated with the presence that he had felt through out the tournament. It felt familiar to him but he couldn’t place it; it was not the power of the Yagami.
“I’m glad you were able to come.”
Kyo turned forward and saw a woman in a white outfit. She had black hair. Kyo then saw her turn around and saw her face. She was Japanese, had black hair and looked like she was in her late 20’s. “When I heard that you had been eliminated from the tournament early, I was surprised… until I found out that you were distracted. Not to mention the damage you sustained from your battle with Iori Yagami after the fight had ended.” She then walked forward to him. “I was hoping to see all of the power that defeated Rugal Bernstein.” She looked down and saw the final match of the tournament prepare to begin. “However that won’t happen unless I test your skills myself.”
Kyo blinked at her. “Just who are you? How do you know Rugal?”
“Rugal is not the issue here,” she remarked. “Though you should know that you and your friends were able to win because he was destroyed by a power not meant for humans.” she said. “The question is: was it really your own strength or just luck?”
Kyo stood ready. “I’ll ask again. Who are you?”
“My name is Chizuru Kagura. I am the Guardian of Seal.” she said.
“Guardian of the Seal?” Kyo asked.
“I want to see your true power. If you are not up to it, then just walk out that door.” Chizuru said. “What do you say?”
Kyo got into his stance, raised his right hand, and brought it down as he said, “Ikuze!”
The fight was on.
As Minion watched the fight from above his mind turned to what remained of his forces in this reality and how they could be used. He figured Silvo, Brasso and Bronzo were destroyed since their existence was closely link to his power and will. But his Psycho Rangers had obviously survived. Kaat, Daavid, Triini, and Toommy had broken away and built their new identities and lives, but where were the rest? It was a question he repeated aloud. “What happened to the rest of my Psycho Rangers?”
“Biilly is still around looking to lead the Psycho Rangers,” the Valeyard answered. “But there are only six Psycho duplicates remaining: Jaason, Zaack, Taanya, Roocky, Kiim, and Buulk. Red, Black, Yellow, Blue, Pink and Gold respectively. There’s even a Silver Morpher out there as well I believe.”
“Enough for a main Ranger team.” Minion said. “Not exactly formidable against these teams of ten I’m seeing. Or teams of almost ten.”
“But useable, if properly applied.” the Valeyard answered. “And I have some ideas on how to apply them.”
Minion looked at the Valeyard. “I’m sure you do.”
“There is an additional player in this matter,” Valeyard explained. “Geese Howard possesses two morphers; pink and white I believe”
He cast a glance at the Shadowbox Geese was sitting in and Kali asked “What does he plan to do?”
“Create his own Ranger team.” the Valeyard answered. “To control them with dark power disguised as good, yet leaving them addicted and controlled. Warriors of good twisted into servants of evil. Slowly but surely until they are addicted to the power, yet they demand more.”
Minion actually looked interested in that revelation.
“A weapon of good that became a weapon of evil, made into a weapon of good again yet still serving the cause of evil. Evil that goes round and round like a merry go round.” Minion said amused by the irony. It was at moments like this that the fragile grip he held on his sanity could be clearly seen.
“Sometimes the greatest threat can be what you leave behind.” the Valeyard said. “And I don’t mean just the Psycho Rangers.”
“Now I must prepare for the real show.” Kali said as she got up to leave oblivious to the looks Minion and the Valeyard were giving her. “A show of my newfound power.”
With that she left the Shadowbox as the Valeyard looked at Minion and smiled.
“Now the show shall truly begin. And I don’t mean the Triple Threat match.”
It didn’t take long for the Triple Threat match to begin. Team Gorgeous made their way to the ring as Michael Buffer explained the rules.
“Ladies and gentlemen. The rules of this match are simple. Two combatants will start the fight out. When one is defeated then the member of the third team sends in their fighter. Insertion of fighters is determined on which team member is eliminated. If a member of the Lonely Wolves is eliminated by a member of Team Nightfighter then a member of Team Gorgeous fills in. If a member of Team Nightfighter is eliminated by a member of Team Gorgeous, Team Lonely Wolves comes in and so on. The winner is determined by the last team having the most members at the end, or the last member standing at the end with all other teams eliminated.”
All members nodded as the match made ready to begin. Bruce and Joe began, exchanging blows as both gave as much as they could, with all the heart they had. However Bruce still hadn’t recovered from the last battle soon fell to the ground. That was the signal for King to enter. Joe took a breath knowing that Team Gorgeous had the distinct advantage. They were more rested than the Lonely Wolves or even Team Nightfighter. King proved him right as she unleashed a flurry of Muay Thai fighting moves that wore down Joe and brought him down.
Soon King was standing up top. Joe however wasn’t going to stand for it as he brought King down for a leg scissors. King had to fight to get back on her feet as she made ready for a Tornado Kick. The kick didn’t connect as Joe ducked out of the way and delivered a side kick/uppercut combo.
Joe had won again, but now it was Cassandra’s turn, and she took no prisoners. Mind you, then neither did Blue Mary, however Cassandra knew what Joe had in mind and beat him quickly. Blue Mary was next as onlookers tried to comprehend the speed at which the fight was progressing.
However in the stands, Kali was losing patience; she wanted the fight to end and quickly. She would get her wish.
In the basement of the Cow Palace, Kyo had won his battle with Chizuru, and wanted answers. “Now tell me who you really are and how you know Rugal.”
“As the Guardian…” she started to explain as she got up. “… I am the protector of the Power of Darkness… the sealed off Power of Orochi. That is the power you saw Rugal use one year ago.”
Kyo blinked at that. He remembered what his father had told him about the Orochi. None of it was good. “Did Rugal release the power?”
“No he did not. He had only siphoned a sliver of the power when the seal was broken by another. Rugal never knew that the power of Orochi would eventually destroy him. Such power is not meant for normal human beings.”
“Why did I have to fight you anyway? And why did you hold this tournament?” Kyo asked.
“To see the strongest fighters in the world and to see your true power.” Chizuru replied. <"But why?" Kyo asked.
“Dark times are upon us Kyo Kusanagi, and we have little time left to prepare to stop the evil that is coming.” Chizuru said.
“What are you saying?” Kyo asked but saw her stiffen up.
“My god… he’s here…” Chiruzu breathed.
“Who? Whose…” Kyo asked but then froze as he felt a presence too.
“I think you both know…” a new voice spoke. One that was familiar to both Chizuru and Kyo. “The wheels are already in motion. You cannot stop my master, the destroyer of your pathetic world.”
That was all they were able to say before the room there were in came apart; utterly and completely.* * * *
What was happening below was of no concern at the moment to the combatants above, especially as Cassandra was about to claim her victory.
Blue Mary may have had the mind of two women, but Cassandra had strong mental power, and stood victorious. It now was Andy’s turn to enter the fray. Both gave their all, but Andy was the fresher man. Not even Cassandra’s skills could have helped her. Andy won, but barely. Now he had to face Mai. They may have been married, but in the ring they were just combatants. Andy and Mai ended in a draw; both were eliminated. That left Terry Bogard and Jeff Kincaid to face each other once more.
And that meant it was Kali’s time to strike.
Suddenly chaos was unleashed. A tornado appeared in the middle of the stadium, explosions rocked the building as multiple areas seemed to collapse as the walls gave way and the stands disappeared into a storm of smoke and flame. People were thrown from their seats, landing painfully on the ground as the Cow Palace was torn apart.
Very few of those that fell were lucky enough to survive. The tornado twisting everywhere, sweeping up the fallen, snapping limbs as the tremendous force of the whirlwind threw them aside. Those that were still alive no longer considered themselves lucky. Fortunately most did not have long left to live before their suffering ended.
For the Rangers it all happened too fast. All they had been able to do was watch as people scrambled for safety. Only a few made it; JR and Heyman were among them.
In the stands the Stewarts also made their way out; the guards had decided to leave already, claiming that Geese didn’t pay to have them sucked into a whirlwind inside the arena. They made their way to find safety as the Rangers in the stands looked on.
“Oh my godâ¦” Ashley cried as she looked at the nightmare before her. So much death and destruction was shocking; while not everybody survived a monster attack the Astro Rangers had never been in a position where they had to witness such devastation. Fortunately there were some who had managed to come to terms or at least block out the emotion long enough to function. Alison rushed to her side, with Cassie and Kat following.
“Snap out of it sis; we have a job to do.”
“Agreed.” Andros said as he noticed the Morphin and Zeo Rangers had regained their wits and were doing what they could to help people out. He also noticed a few other volunteers seeing to the safety of survivors. They were members of the Order of the Claw and the Wind Ninja Academy. The Astros also moved to assist when the tornado dissipated and a sound of laughter echoed throughout the remains of the arena.
Cassie growled as he heard that laugh and saw Kali Yagami standing a top the broadcast tower.
“Oh Cassandra… I’m waiting…” Kali smirked.
~You want a fight… YOU GOT IT!~ Cassie fumed as she broke away from Alison and Katherine and went after Kali.
The Rangers from all the teams were horrified by what was happening but nobody hesitated as they went for their morphers, and Tommy called out: “It’s Morphin Time!”
“WHITE RANGER POWER!”
“BLACK RANGER POWER!”
“PINK RANGER POWER!”
“BLUE RANGER POWER!”
“YELLOW RANGER POWER!”
“RED RANGER POWER!”
“GREEN RANGER POWER!”
“PURPLE RANGER POWER!”
“CARRIER RANGER POWER!”
“ZEO RANGER I-PINK!”
“ZEO RANGER II-YELLOW!”
“ZEO RANGER III-BLUE!”
“ZEO RANGER IV-GREEN!”
“ZEO RANGER V-RED!”
“ZEO RANGER VI-PURPLE!”
“ZEO RANGER VII-SILVER!”
“ZEO RANGER VIII-BLACK!”
“ZEO RANGER IX-WHITE!”
“ZEO RANGER X-GOLD!”
“ZEO BLADE POWER!”
“ZEO SHADOW POWER!”
“ZEO PHOENIX POWER!”
“ZEO PSI POWER!”
“ZEO PUNK POWER!”
“ZEO KNIGHT POWER!”
“ZEO RANGER POWER!”
“All right people let’s do it!” Red Morphin said. “Stick together as best you can, but help get the people out quick. Their safety is paramount!” Everyone agreed and rushed into battle trying to save any civilians that they could. A job that became harder as it seemed monsters had spewed out of the tornados that were running everywhere. All this meant was that the job was going to be harder, but they were determined; the Power Rangers were going to save the day or die trying.
Unseen within the protection of the Shadowbox, Minion watched the Rangers morph. It was one thing seeing the Rangers alive, but to see them morph. Their presence taunted him, pushing his hate and anger to new highs.
“It really hits home doesn’t it?” the Valeyard asked, his calm question breaking through the clouds of madness. “You took them to their limits and yet they still persevere.”
The words did little to draw Minion back to the realms of sanity. It was clear that he was on the brink of losing all control, but in that instant he at least restrained himself enough not to simply destroy the reality and return to his own world. He wanted the Rangers crushed, their spirits broken. But he wanted it don by his own hand, not a snap judgement. That granted them a small stay of execution.
“You mentioned a deal. Something involving a chamber of secrets. What do I have to do?”
Valeyard smiled; Minion had regained control. At least for now. “First thing, we need to watch the Rangers in action. The knowledge you gain here could be of use when you try for the Ravolox Chamber.” Taking out a pen from his pocket Valeyard then twisted the top, sending out an activation signal. “This will work long enough for us to observe further.” Retaking his seat, the Valeyard continued “We are now a second out of sync with the rest of the universe. Perfect little hiding place from the rest of the world as we watch everyone fight.” Minion remained in his seat as the Valeyard sat comfortably, along with the Popplewicks.
“Study everything.” Valeyard adivsed. “Past, present and future. What you learn here can be beneficial to your future plans. Plans that can extend beyond the end that is prepared for you. Plans that can help you create….a lasting legacy.”
Minion considered the Valeyard’s words. ~A legacy?~ he asked himself. ~Something for the future? Yes. That is intriguing.~ Minion smiled at the thought that even in death the Rangers would not be safe from him. No matter what generation they would be. But the Zeos and Morphins would surely fall. And if possible, he’d include these Astro Rangers in his plan.
In his own seat, Mr Popplewick spied Leo and Karone trying to escape the crowd as Kali’s monsters struck. “Where are you going Princess?” Mr Popplewick asked the departing Karone. Getting up from his own seat Mr Popplewick asked to be excused.
“Curious about your former first choice?” Valeyard asked.
“I wish to see for myself how much she has grown,” Mr Popplewick said.
Valeyard deactivated his device and Mr Popplewick left the Shadowbox. As soon as he was gone, Valeyard reactivated the device and the observation of the battle continued.
“Where’d these guys come from?” David asked.
He along with Sarah, Ken and Kincaid were taking out the ninjas that had simply appeared.
“Probably the insane woman laughing at the top of the tower.” Sarah answered. She pointed to where Kali was laughing as she savoured the pain and suffering below. The laughter caused something to burn in Kincaid’s soul.
Even though Kincaid was fighting however his mind was a million miles away; he was his concerned for his wife, pregnant with his child, and how these monsters just kept appearing, ready to kill everyone around them for pleasure. Then he remembered the laughter. The laughter of Kali as she looked down at the suffering. The people dying was some sort of fun for her. Clearly she took pleasure in seeing another’s pain.
And that was the wrong attitude when Kincaid was around. He had a strong dislike for those that took pleasure from the suffering of others. It made him angry. Very angry. Angry to the point where he lost all sense of rationale. There was only one thing on his mind: vengeance. Pure and simple.
And as the feelings of vengeance overwhelmed him, he cut loose again. Giving a howl of rage that left an assassin’s blood cold, as he fought like a man possessed.
“Everyone morph!” Kincaid ordered. Soon he, Ken, David and Sarah pulled out their Night Ranger morphers and gave their calls. Cassandra joined in as well.
“POWER OF NIGHT! SHOW YOUR LIGHT!”
“EMERALD RANGER POWER!”
Where once stood Kincaid, Ken, David and Sarah now stood the Red, Black, Silver and Gold Night Rangers along with the Emerald Ranger. “See to Mickey!” Red Night told Bruce. Bruce nodded and went to his friend’s fiancÃ©e. Then they resumed the battle.
Black Night seemed to feel the rush of battle. He enjoyed cutting loose at times, but still endeavoured to keep his emotions in check. Still there was no shortage of enemies to fight.
Silver and Gold Night fought together in tandem. Their bond as brother and sister made them unbeatable, but there seemed to be more enemies to fight. In the back of her mind Sarah wondered when Kane was going to appear. The battle seemed like a perfect opportunity for their rival ninja to strike.
Emerald Ranger also fought hard, demonstrating her skill, but her attention often turned to her leader and friend Red Night who seemed to fight with an untapped ferocity.
“I’ve seen him fight before.” Emerald Ranger said. “But never with this anger. Thisâ¦cold fury.”
No one had time to think, for they were still fighting. And Red Night was fighting the hardest of all, knocking out all that stood in his way.
In the stands Kanoi and Omano of the Wind and Thunder Academies met up with the Masters from the Order of the Claw, and Andrew Hartford. RJ was taking the lead. “This is really blowing my sense of serenity,” The Wolf Master said. Everyone glared at RJ’s poor choice of words, especially with all the devastation and death around them.
“An appropriate choice of words if you ask me,” a voice said standing atop the rafters. All four looked up and saw a man in green cammo fatigues wearing a cammo mask that was reminiscent of the ninja as well. A sword adorned his back as well as a shoulder blade with several grenades dropping down from it. The two ninjas and RJ knew who the person in cammo was.
“Faceless Master!” Kanoi said with hatred. “I wished I would not see your presence again.”
“Many have hoped I would not be seen again.” Faceless Master said. “Most of those hopes have been met, before I sent them off to the great beyond.” The Faceless Master seemed to take pride in his last statement. A pride that was sick, but not unexpected.
Faceless Master was unlike other ninja. For one could not accurately explain his origins. He was said to have trained under the Koga ninja clan, and there was enough story to back that claim up. But no one could accurately determine any sort of identity for him, or where he picked up additional training that seemed to be military; he knew about explosives and weapons outside ninja academies.
“Wait a minute.” Hartford said. “The Faceless Master? Firefly?”
“You know this dude?” RJ asked.
Hartford nodded. “He’s appeared on a few anit-terrorism watchlists. He did some high profile work for a terrorist group years back that was well funded and well connected. Didn’t think he knew ninjas either.”
“Oh trust me Mr Hartford. I know ninjas. Just ask the Arashikage.” Faceless paused as he then said “And I have my own ninja clan as well.” From the stands another group of ninjas appeared surrounding the Ninja Masters, Hartford and the Masters of the Order.
“What are these?” Kanoi asked.
“Koga ninjas.” Faceless answered. “A little something Ms Yagami asked for. She also asked for some recruits for her own Ninja Academy. Recruits I was happy to provide them.”
“Which means we’ll have a second wave of ninjas coming in.” Kanoi said.
“Let us deal with the first wave first,” Omano recommended. as the fighters took their defensive positions. That was when someone appeared from out of nowhere and landed with his blades drawn. Ready for combat.”
“Silent Master.” Sensei Omano acknowledged.
The Silent Master gave a gesture that everyone follow his lead. Faceless looked at the new arrival with amusement. “Welcome Silent Master. Hope you find this battle memorable.”
The Wind and Thunder ninjas, as well as those of the Order of the Claw rallied behind the figure that would lead them. The black garbed form of the Silent Master. His sword drawn ready for combat.
And soon battle started between Kali’s ninjas allied with the Koga Ninjas of the Faceless Master, and those of the Order of the Claw and the Wind and Thunder Ninja Academies.
RJ, Kanoi and Mr Hartford stood together before the Koga Ninjas. Each one noticing something on their arm. They were morphers. Each one took notice and made a small comment.
“Something I’m trying out,” RJ said.
“Something I’m testing,” Andrew explained.
“Preparing for a prophesy,” Kanoi remarked.
“As am I,” Sensei Omano added.
RJ then asked “I hope this is not it?”
“No. Hopefully it won’t be for years to come,” Kanoi replied. But there were still the ninjas and dragons before them. And the Rangers needed all the help they could get.
“Test run?” Hartford asked.
All three answered yes.
“NINJA STORM! RANGER FORM! HA!”
“THUNDER STORM! RANGER FORM! HA!”
“JUNGLE BEAST SPIRIT UNLEASHED!”
Where once stood Kanoi, Omano, Andrew and RJ now stood the Wind Ranger, the Thunder Ranger, the Overdrive Ranger and the Wolf Ranger. The first two being prototypes for their own future projects. Wolf Ranger however was in perfect balance with his own animal spirit.”
A mad melee soon followed.
The Stewart family ran as far as they could, as fast as they could. All the while trying to dodge the debris coming down all around them.
“Daddy I’m scared!” Miley said holding her father tight.
“I’m scared too darlin. Don’t worry. It’ll be all right.” Robbie Ray said.
No sooner did it seem that the kids got back from their break, found the downed King of Fighter teams and got back to their seats for the final round, then they found they had to run inside an arena that looked to be destroying itself from the inside out due to monsters and ninjas. Jackson held onto his mother as she followed Robbie Ray out of the Shadowboxes and down a corridor hoping it was the way out. They found a door that indicated an exit was not far away, only to find a group of Koga Ninjas blocking the way.
What the Koga Ninjas didn’t expect was Terry Bogard coming up from behind the Stewarts ready to deliver a move to get the Koga Ninjas out of the way.
Terry then motioned for the Stewarts to follow him as he sought to get them out of the Cow Palace. Robbie Ray and Susan followed Terry holding onto Miley and Jackson. Protecting them for their dear life. Soon they got out. Rescue workers and police were already starting to show. Inspector Nash Bridges was one of the first to arrive. Terry made his way to the Inspector looking to leave the Stewarts in his care.
“Look after them Inspector. I’m going inside.” Terry said.
“Wait. Terry. What’s going on? Where’s my daughter?” Nash asked.
Terry sighed and answered “In there fighting monsters and ninjas, as well as my brother, my cousin, and her friends. ALL of her friends.” Terry then went to go back inside the Cow Palace before turning back around and saying “Inspector Bridges. Please don’t come in. We’ve got people to get out and safe. Please stay here and help those we get clear. Please.”
“Terry, you’re asking a lot. Especially with my daughter being involved.”
Terry nodded but still held to his belief that Nash should stay outside. “I know Inspector. But please. I’d rather not have to add more names to the list of people we have to save.” Terry then turned to go back into the Cow Palace as Nash stood outside to supervise the Police Rescue Efforts. He then turned to the Stewarts and asked “You okay?”
“You Inspector Nash Bridges?” Robbie Ray then asked.
Nash nodded and answered “Yeah?”
“There’s something I need to talk to you about. About that Geese Howard guy?”
Nash then listened to Robbie Ray, Susan and his family taking down all the information they had.
Inside the stadium the Rangers were faced with no end of opponents. The teams had spread out, leading to some unusual combinations as they tried to watch each other’s back.
“Where’s Terry?” Pink Zeo asked Green Astro.
“Seeing to the safety of a family Geese insisted stay for the fight. You know that guy who sang the National Anthem?”
“He sure likes throwing his weight around doesn’t he?” Red Zeo said as more dragons circled above and sent waves of fire in their direction.
The ninjas were also appearing from out of nowhere, but were being taken out by something just as mysterious. None of the Rangers were complaining though. They could use the help.
“Maybe it’s time I tried something.” Pink Zeo said.
Green Astro nodded. “Go ahead and try it.”
Pink Zeo called forth her ‘ki’ power and released it. “KOH KEN!” From her hands shot out a massive pink fireball laced with Zeo energy. The ball struck a dragon causing it to shriek and fall to the ground hurt. Green Astro also had an idea and called forth her Galaxy Glider.
“Alison what are you doing?” Red Astro asked as Green Astro took to the sky.
“Hoping to even the odds a bit.”
Once she was high enough up Green Astro jumped off her glider and her right foot took on a powerful glow which Green Astro hoped her powers would augment.
The energy struck the dragon and sent it down to the ground.
“One down eight to go.” White Zeo said not taking long to celebrate which was just as well as a portal opened and three more Shadow Dragons appeared.
“I didn’t say a thing guys. Honest,” Black Astro protested.
“Don’t worry. I’ll hit Skull after this,” Gold Zeo promised.
White rolled his eyes. “Thanks Bulk. Nice to know you care.”
“Let’s hope Cassie’s having better luck,” Yellow Astro, taking a moment to look up to where her friend was battling Kali.* * * *
As soon as Cassie morphed she immediately started fighting alongside the Space Rangers. Off to the side she found Trini already morphed, and not using her Yagami power. Cassie felt reassured as she didn’t want to use her Kusanagi power at the moment while morphed. She didn’t want a show of power tempting Trini to use her own dark power. Cassie feared that if Trini started using her power she’d never be able to stop as there would always be more temptations to use it. So as long as Trini didn’t use her Yagami power while morphed Cassie would not use her own.
However despite helping out, Cassie was focussed on Kali. She called for her Galaxy Glider and flew up to where Kali stood. Facing her rival Cassie asked “What is this? What are you doing?” Cassie would have asked if Kali was insane, but she already knew the answer to that question.
“It was my masters will.” Kali said as if it was the easiest answer to give, smiling the whole time as if mocking Cassie. “And now to make sure that the fighters are still occupied…” Kali closed her eyes, and then from the sky eight large black dragons came. And on the ground came ninjas in black and dark purple.
“Just a little something I came up with to enhance our forces.” Kali said. “The newer Ninjas of Orochi anyway. The black dragons I got from another world.”
“And just what exactly is your plan here? World domination?” Cassie asked.
Kali laughed as she told Cassie her answer. “Of course not! We want to obliterate this world and then remake it!”
On the other side of the arena a blonde girl was stirring, seeking to free herself.
“Leo… Leo?” Karone shouted as she was getting up out of some rubble that had fallen on top of her. She then saw Leo unconscious with his head bleeding a bit from the head. “Oh my… Leo!” She rushed over to where he was and started using her magic to help move the rubble off of him. She then looked at him. “Not too severe damage… going to need to use magic. Good thing I’ve been taking the time to read up on white magic books.” she then put her hand out and onto Leo’s forehead and started to concentrate. Her hand gave off a pinkish glow. As she had learned when she used battle magic, the type of color her attacks came as was purple. However for healing magic, it was pink.
Once she saw Leo was getting better, she smiled.
Karone turned around and saw Ecliptor right behind her. “Ecliptor? What are you…?”
“My Princess you insult me. You think after keeping track of Astronema for so many years that I can’t keep my eyes now on both of you at the same time.” Ecliptor replied as he held out a case for her. “I’ve already shielded us so that no one will be able to see us… and I have a feeling you don’t want to leave just yet so I made sure I brought this with me when I came down to find you.”
Karone smirked as she saw her Artemis clothing, her anger wig, her weapons and also the battle armor type she and Astronema wore for battles in which their normal leather outfits wouldn’t be enough. “Ecliptor… you know how to please a woman… now please turn around so I can strip without you seeing me.”
Ecliptor merely chuckled as he turned away. Moments later he felt a tap on his back. He turned around and saw Artemis decked out in battle armor with dark blue straight hair that went shoulder length with locks over the front of their faces and a ponytail at the top on the back of her head, her Sati-rang on her belt and Wrath Staff in hand. She then looked at Leo. “Watch over him… discreetly please if you can.”
“You are my concern Artemis,” Ecliptor said but then Artemis had her Wrath Staff at Ecliptor’s throat.
“If anything happens to Leo while I’m gone Ecliptor… I’ll take your head.” with that Artemis waved her hand and disappeared in purple sparkles.
Ecliptor chuckled. “Karone becomes more and more of a handful with each day… and I wouldn’t want it any other way.” With that he just faded away.
However Leo wasn’t exactly unconscious… in fact he saw everything. That didn’t change his mind though in wanting to help all the other people in the building still… or go find Karone.
Hidden in a corner Mr Popplewick smiled as he saw Karone become Artemis. He had heard the first choice embraced her expected destiny, but to see it for himself…. His mind turned to the possible advantages this situation might have for him. Keeping his distance, he decided to follow Artemis.
In the basement of the Cow Palace Kyo was still having his battle. A battle that he was trying to not just win…but survive.
“RAH!” Kyo yelled after his entire world had stopped spinning. He was now back in the middle of the stadium now. He looked to his left and saw Chizuru was hurt. “Chizuru!” He then looked around felt like he was in a nightmare. There were dead bodies everywhere, either in pieces or mangled in the debris.
“Kyo… the blood of the Kusanagi… flows through you… you must defeat him… ah…” she said before passing out.
“Hello Kusanagi.” Kyo turned around to face Goentiz, the man that had nearly killed him three months ago. “Tell me… are you ready to die?”
Kyo immediately looked at Goenitz and got up. “I’m not the same as I was the last time you monster… you are going down.”
“Ha! Your ancestors defiled my god, but it seems you are no different they were so long ago. Weaklings against our power with out a chance in heaven of winning.” Goentiz said.
“Guess again Goentiz. You may be the one without any hope of winning.” Kyo said.
“I wonder,” Goenitz mused, “if you’ve improved even a LITTLE bit since the last time I beat the hell out of you.”
“How about I let my fists answer your question!” shouted Kyo as he rushed at Goenitz.
Off in a corner overlooking the battle Artiemis looked down, wondering how to involve herself in the meleee.
“I may need some help here. Perhaps a Spider Monster.” Artemis thought. “But who?”
Suddenly looking at the battle she saw her choice. Silver Zeo. Artemis saw Silver Zeo fighting the Orochi Ninjas and aimed her staff.
“One spider monster coming up.”
At her will she fired a bolt at Silver Zeoâ¦ which Silver Zeo ducked hitting the Orochi ninja coming in to hit the ninja that was looking to attack from behind. The ninja, who was female started to transform. As she took off her mask she noticed her skin becoming pasty white, fangs coming out of her mouth, and her eyes blood red. Silver Zeo looked on at the transformed ninja astonished. An astonishment the ninja shared, until she noticed the craving in her. A hunger.
The ninja spider brought her arms forward looking to shoot webs from her wrists. Silver Zeo jumped back and brought forth her star shooter firing several shuriken at the Spider Ninja. The shuriken wounded her and the ninja considered retreat. Which she did.
The ninja then got on her hands and started to change. Her body took on a reddish glow as she shrunk down to size. Smaller and smaller she became until she was the size of a spider. Which she then became. The spider then walked away on all eight legs looking to use the chaos to cover its escape, and to give it time to figure out what happened to it.
The spider would not have that time as it met the tip of Artemis’s boot, and was crushed underneath it. “Felgercarb. I missed.” Artemis said with a slight smile. While she would have enjoyed the thought of seeing Silver Zeo as a spider demon, she knew there would be other ways to get at her.
For now there were other targets that demanded her attention. The Astro Rangers to name a few.
Kali Yagami for another.
Looking up Artemis concentrated her mental powers to fly up to the balcony where Kali and Cassie were fighting. Standing on the edge Artemis made her move firing purple lightningâ¦.at Kali.
“AHHHHHH!” Kali cried as she nailed in the chest by purple lightning. Cassie turned around… and just let her jaw drop at her savior. “… Astronema?”
Kali was irate. “Astronema?! What the hell is the Princess of Darkness doing blasting me! Last I checked we were on the same side!”
“I’m evil. You’re evil.” Artemis agreed as she then slashed Kali down with her Wrath Staff. “But the same side… not a chance!” She then kicked Kali’s body once and Kali got up. “Ranger I am not on your side either, but this thing has annoyed me off more than you. So for now, let’s just say we have a common enemy.”
Kali just stared in disbelief. “Oh for crying out…” was all she got to say before Cassie kicked her in the chest and then Artemis followed up using purple lightning magic on Kali.
“Stop complaining and start fighting for real!” Artemis said.
From her own battle Trini looked up to see Artemis and Cassie fight Kali. Trini considered joining the battle but the Orochi Ninjas were keeping up with their battle. Silently she wished Cassie luck as she continued to fight.
The Lady Wolves, consisting of Alison and Kat, also were fighting together against the Orochi Ninjas. By their side was Yellow Astro. Kat also fought using some of her budding Ki abilities as best she could. Red Astro, Red Zeo and Red Morphin spared a few glances in the girls’ direction, and were glad they were holding their own. Especially as they had their own monsters to fight.
Everywhere there seemed to be a battle. Not just in the arena, but beneath it as well.
“ARA-KAMI!” Kyo’s fist started with crimson flame as he began his attack. His punch arrived in Goenitz’s face but like the wind, Goenitz disappeared and reappeared behind Kyo.
Kyo spun around and swung a backhand at Goenitz but Goenitz again disappeared. Kyo stopped for a second for regain his footing but Goenitz suddenly reappeared in front of him and grabbed Kyo by the neck.
“Is this what the King of Fighters can do?” asked Goenitz as he engulfed Kyo in a small, controlled tornado.
Kyo cringed slightly as the wind cut into his flesh. Blood spurted out of his injuries. Then, after the attack ended, Goenitz tossed Kyo aside.
Kyo crashed onto the ground and rolled away from Goenitz. Panting, Kyo knew he was out of his league.
Just outside the ring, Mature and Vice cradled the injured Iori back to where Kyo and Goenitz were fighting.
“You can’t fight. The injuries you sustained are critical,” Mature said in concern.
Iori just smiled and said, “Kyo must die by my hands. If I don’t defeat Goenitz, Kyo will die and I cannot allow that.”
Vice and Mature just shock their heads as Iori stood straight. “Thank you,” he muttered before running towards the battle.
Vice and Mature looked at each other before saying, “What have we been doing?”
Mature then added. “What I have wanted… to see who is truly the better one.”
With a wave of his hand, Goenitz called upon a thin line of wind and sent Kyo flying to one side.
Just as Kyo started to get up, a shout from behind alerted him and Goenitz to a new presence.
“Kyo is mine!” shouted Iori as he charged at Goenitz. Clawing down, Iori expected to see blood.
“Fool,” muttered Goenitz before disappearing. Iori looked shocked, as he hit nothing but air. Goenitz’s sudden reappearance shocked him even further. Goenitz grabbed Iori’s neck and engulfed him in a tornado.
“Yagami!” shouted Kyo and he dashed towards Goenitz. His first punch was blocked by Goenitz, but his second punch hit flesh as Goenitz could not concentrate on Iori and deal with Kyo’s attacks at the same time.
Yagami made use of the distraction to kick Goenitz in the chest. Goenitz released Iori and both Iori and Kyo jumped into the air with their hands outstretched and engulfed in flame.
Goenitz was caught in the middle of this attack and was sent flying. “Go!” shouted Iori as he launched a burst of purple flame at Goenitz.
Kyo followed the flame as it streaked towards the Heavenly Wind King. Meanwhile, Goenitz leaned against a wall, unable to believe that two insects had actually hit and hurt him.
~This could actually become interesting.~ Goentiz thought.
The Morphin Rangers were doing all they could to stay together. But some did get separated from one another. Quickly they sought to rejoin their teams, which was a task easier said than done.
Pink Morphin was cut off from her teammates by six ninjas and a dragon from above. Either the ninjas would kill her or the dragon would. She could have faced one or the other, but not both. She knew that. And with the rest of the Rangers caught up in their own battles, and cut off from each other, she was on her own. All she could do was hold her own until the end came.
She didn’t expect the end to come in the form of a thirteen year old girl with what looked like a two speared weapon. “HIYAHHH!!” she cried as she seemed to face the ninjas striking quick and fast. “Go for the Dragon!” the girl cried. “I’ve got these guys.”
For a few seconds Pink Morphin was stunned to see a little girl fighting ninjas, but then she saw the Dragon above tearing into everything, and anyone left. She knew she had to take the Dragon out and knew how to do it.
Bringing up her Power Bow Pink Morphin fired several shots to the Dragon’s throat. The Dragon howled in pain and then seemed to break apart in a puff of smoke. Soon more ninjas appeared and faced the remaining ninjas in Kali’s employ. Soon they were down and one ninja moved to talk to the little girl.
“Lee Ann you must leave! Your father will be very disappointed if you stay.”
“My father is busy with the Faceless Master!” the girl named Lee Ann said. “And how would I feel if I left people to die while knowing I could do something? I have trained rigorously in the Thunder Ninja Academy! I will put my skills to use as best I can, not unlike my father is doing now!”
Pink Morphin then spoke up. “Look it’s not that I don’t appreciate the help, and I admire your spunk kid, but maybe you should listen to the ninja here. No sense in you dying too.”
“My name is Lee Ann. Lee Ann Omano.”
Pink Morphin nodded and said “I get that, but still you’re not a Ranger, and this isn’t a place for kids to fight and die. Get somewhere safe.”
Reluctantly, after some silent urging from the surrounding ninjas, Lee Ann accepted. “Has an exit been secured?”
“This way Miss Lee Ann.” One of the ninjas said as Lee Ann made her way towards it with the ninjas following. Pink Morphin looked at the girl leave and thought she saw something emanate from her for a brief second; a Pink aura.
She had no time to wonder as she saw Red Morphin being overwhelmed by ninjas and his own dragon. Despite more help appearing the battle was still far from being in their favor. Quickly all the forces that could regroup did so and faced the enemies surrounding them.
Even with the help of the Silent Master, the Order of the Claw and the Wind and Thunder Ninjas. Not to mention the new Rangers that seemed to appear out of nowhere, the odds were not that good. If a miracle did not happen soon the Rangers would be over run.
Especially since It seemed the Dragons were coming out of nowhere.
Lee Ann wasn’t the only child from a Ninja academy looking to escape; Cam Watanabe’s parents were busy holding off a heard of Koga Ninjas from the Faceless Master while he had been sent away from the danger.
“Go Cam.” his mother ordered. Cam had no problem obeying his mother’s wishes.
Running down a corridor he met a girl with two staffs and asked “You looking for a way out?”
She nodded “Yeah, you?”
Cam nodded as the girl introduced herself.
“Lee Ann Omano. Thunder Ninja trainee.”
“Cam Watanabe. Son of Wind Ninja Master.”
“You are not a student of your father’s academy?” Lee Ann asked.
Cam shook his head. “My mom is reluctant for me to train. And my father agrees with her.”
“Probably not the best decision right now.” Lee Ann said as both kids heard howling from down the corridor. They didn’t want to know what was coming so they made tracks for the nearest exit as fast as they could. On the way they found a sky box they thought they could hide in. A skybox where they two kids met a young woman in white.
“Who are you two?” Mackenzie then asked.
In another area Andy and Joe were fighting their own Shadow Ninjas. But both noticed Terry’s absence from the battle.
“Hey Joe. Do you know where Terry is?” Andy asked.
A Ninja crashing into the seats next to him answered Andy’s question. Especially as Terry jumped from the rafters.
“Never mind,” Andy said as he stood by Terry’s side.
“Seen Alison and Cassie around?” Terry asked.
Andy pointed to where the Astro Rangers were fighting against one of Kali’s Shadow Dragons and seemingly winning. Terry looked up and saw his cousin fight as the Green Astro Ranger and Cassie as the Pink Astro Ranger. He had to admit both girls were growing up, and with good friends by their sides.
Up in the stands Leo could see just how much damage had been caused… and how the fighters from the tournament along with the Power Rangers were fighting the dark dragons.
However the ones that were the most intriguing to him were the those dressed in black with Ranger colours. The costumes resembled the Psycho Rangers he had once seen, but they were anything but the Psycho Rangers. Despite how fearsome and powerful these new Rangers were, he just knew they were on the side of good.
He focussed on the red one, surrounded in a ring of fire and pain, both of his own making. Screams of agony could be heard as he grabbed the dark assassins ready to deliver the same kind of vengeful punishment as he made his way toward the dragons. The one in red and black was a machine that went non-stop, dishing out fury and fire wherever he could. Fighting until he couldn’t stop fighting anymore. And that would not be for a good long time.
Leo then watched the red one’s fighting style and recognised it. Even though he was more brutal than he was in the ring, there was no mistaking who it was. It was the same man who gave him and Karone the stare on his way to the ring. The man who would give any evil creature nightmares – for that was his mission, and he would let nothing stop him. Never would he allow evil to have the last laugh; he would die first.
“Kincaid?” Leo asked.
Up above Mackenzie saw Kincaid and his friends fight, but knew that even with his power, he would be hard pressed to win the battle.
“I’m going to have to end this.” Mackenzie said standing up. She looked at the two kids, Cam and Lee Ann, before her. “I need your help to get where I need to be. Can I trust you?”
Cam and Lee Ann looked at each other and then nodded. Mackenzie walked towards the doorway leaning on both kids for support. Mackenzie was heavy since she was carrying her unborn child, but she would do what had to be done.
“Take this!” With a raise of his hand, Goenitz destroyed the burst of flame with a small tornado.
From the smoke, Kyo followed fast. “Die! ONI-YAKI!” shouted Kyo as his flame-engulfed fist hit Goenitz in the chest. Kyo followed with an elbow skyward. Goenitz was also hit. Kyo was about to elbow Goenitz in the head when Goenitz recovered and disappeared once more.
“Damn!” shouted both Iori and Kyo at the same time.
“You traitor.” Iori turned to see Goenitz behind him. Instinctively, Iori swung a claw attack at Goenitz but Goenitz blocked it and pushed Iori back before raising both his hands into the air.
Kyo looked in shock at the pose. “That’s Iori’s final move.”
Iori never got a chance to see the pose for Goenitz was already upon him, raining claw after claw onto the young Japanese. “How does it feel, being attacked by your own attack?” mocked Goenitz.
Finally, Goenitz grabbed Iori in the head. “Die.” With that, Goenitz forced wind into Iori, cutting through him and allowing blood to flow free out of him.
“No!” shouted Kyo as he rushed forward. “OROCHINAGI!”
Goenitz turned to face the attack that had defeated Rugal a year ago. The flame never touched him as a wind barrier surrounded him and dispersed the flame.
Kyo’s attack had caused him to leap too far ahead and he landed in front of Goenitz. He swore.
Goenitz was about to finish Kyo when Iori suddenly appeared behind him. “Kyo is mine!” with that, he shoved Goenitz aside.
“What are you doing?” asked a bloodied Iori. “Don’t tell me you’re going to lose to me?” he continued mocking.
“Don’t dream of it.” Kyo replied with a smile.
“Then, let’s do it.” Iori said as he and Kyo rushed out at Goenitz.
Cam and Lee Ann helped Mackenzie make it to an empty sky box where they saw the fight taking place below. Dark warriors and monsters swirled around Rangers and warriors that were being bastions of light against a raging darkness. A darkness that could well consume everything in the arena, then consume all else in the world.
“You kids may want to leave now.” Mackenzie said.
Cam and Lee Ann looked at each other then at Mackenzie. “We’ll stay with you.” Cam said.
“If you need help.” Lee Ann added.
Mackenzie smiled at the two kids and then turned her mind within her being. Focusing on her power. On the light within herself. As she focused she felt another presence. A presence rising within herself. A presence eager to come into the world. Mackenzie couldn’t believe it. Was itâ¦.? Before Mackenzie could answer the sky box erupted.
“And now taste my power.”
Goenitz raised his hands to destroy the two in a burst of wind.
However, Iori moved faster, “YAMI-BARAI!” a burst of purple flame was sent at Goenitz.
Goenitz noticed that there was something different about this flame Iori emitted. It moved very slowly, too slowly to hit the Heavenly Wind King. This incurred Goenitzâs interest and he stopped to see what kind of threat this could be to him. Upon contact, the purple flame exploded into a pillar and engulfed Goenitz. However, besides a little pain, Goenitz felt no heat, like the flame was ice instead of flame.
~What is this?~ thought Goenitz. What he did not notice, was that Kyo had suddenly appeared in front of him.
“What?” exclaimed Goenitz.
“GOENITZ!” shouted Kyo as the flame engulfing his left hand increased in intensity.
Goenitz felt like he was moving in slow motion as Kyo struck the floor with his flame. The crimson flame burst into a pillar of fire that overshadowed Ioriâs own and engulfed Goenitz.
“Arrgghh!” shouted Goenitz as the crimson flame burnt his skin with great intensity.
Then, the greatest shock of Goenitzâs life came, in the form of multiple punches. Too fast for even him to block, or avoid.
“How can this be?” muttered Goenitz as punch after punch slammed against his body. “I am the wind incarnate. No mere human can be faster than me.”
Finally, Kyoâs final punch struck him squarely in the chest. There was an explosion and Goenitz flew backwards, into a wall.
Goentiz didnât move.
The explosion was heard to where Cassie and Kali were fighting. It seemed as if Kali had gotten the upper hand when the explosion happened. Kali turned and saw Kyo standing, and Goenitz down for the count.
She also saw a ball of light coming from a skybox
“No… heâs… NO! VICE! MATURE!” Kali shouted and Cassie took advantage of her distraction hitting Kali with Oni-Yaki. “Help me now!”
Mature decided to cover Vice hung so she could answer Kaliâs call.
~Sheâs been a good partner… but this time Iâll be the smart one.~ Vice thought as she then disappeared behind Matureâs back as she continued to watch the end of the match unfold.
Kyo joined Cassie as she was about to get the final strike when Vice made her move.
“RAVEN FEST!” Vice attacked out of the blue mercilessly at Kaliâs opponents and then latched onto Kali. “Time to get you to safety Vessel.”
Kali looked at Vice. “NOT until I see Lord Goentiz!”
Vice nodded and with Kali sharing Viceâs power, they disappeared.
“Where did they go?” Cassie wondered.
The answer to Cassieâs question came in a flash of light spreading throughout the arena. A flash that blinded many dark ninjas sending them into hiding, and dissipated the dark dragons into ash. Finally the light had faded and the warriors of light stood tall.
The fighters all stood as only dust remained of the ninjas and dragons that they had only now been facing. Terry wondered just what it could have been that could have taken out all those dark warriors. Kincaid however knew and smiled at what his girlfriend had accomplished. Cassandra, Bruce, Ken, David and Sarah did the same.
“Looks like Mackenzie came through.” Bruce said.
Kincaid nodded but then realized that there was also something of a cry of pain to the release of power. He knew that it could only mean one thing, his child was ready to be born.
“Quick weâve got to get to Mickey.” He said as the Night Rangers and Nightfighters looked to see where Kincaidâs girlfriend was.
EMTâs made their way into the arena as quickly as they could, due to the prompt response of the police and rescue due to someone dialing 911.
Chizuru stood in front of the badly injured Goenitz. “You have lost. The Orochi will continue to be sealed.”
Goenitz looked at her with a smile. “You are wrong. Our lord and master will rise once more. He can never be sealed forever. It will be time soon and when he is reborn, he will wipe out the darkness that fills this planet.”
Slowly, Kyo and Iori walked into earshot. What surprised both Iori and Kyo was that Chizuru was crying.
Goenitz looked up at and smiled. “You miss her donât you? The sister I killed ten years ago.”
Chizuru raised her right hand, eager to kill the murderer of her older sister, but she stopped herself.
Goenitz stood up and smiled. “I knew you could never kill me. That is why, you will fail against my master.”
Kyo and Iori immediately went into their battle poses. “If the woman will not do it then I will kill you.” Iori stated.
Kyo and Iori ducked out of the way and then saw Kali and Vice appear.
“You will not kill him Kusanagi… and definitely not you Traitor to our family.” Kali growled.
Iori snarled as he looked at Kali. “And just who the hell are you?”
“My name is Kali Yagami…cousin.” Kali responded.
“So youâre the infamous Kali that Cassie was telling me about.” Kyo said.
“Kyo Kusanagi…a displeasure as always to see any Kusanagi still breathing.” Kali replied. “You and the traitor will die soon enough.”
“Why do you keep calling me traitor?” Iori growled.
“You will understand… when the master is reborn and then he will kill you…” Goentiz smiled as he then looked to Kyo. “You too will fall when my master is reborn. Even the attack you have managed to achieve today cannot stop himâ¦ unless you perfect it.” Goentiz then looked at Chizuru. “And the time of my masters rebirth… shall come with my death… and passing of power!” Goentiz then placed his hands on Kaliâs chest and face as he started to chant. “All that I am, all that I ever was, all that I would have been, I give to you and now you serve our master not only as the Vessel but as the NEW Heavenly Queen of the Wind!”
Chizuru eyes went wide. “The Vessel?! It exists!”
Kali screamed as the power went into her and the force of power kept everyone way from them. Once it was done and the dust had settled one thing was very clear. Kali had just gone to from three to nine months pregnant and the look on Chiruzuâs face was naked shock.
“And now you see… even in the end … you have lost…” Goentiz then fell to the ground and then smiled. “… what a wonderful wind… the wind of my God taking me to heaven… farewell..”
Suddenly, a powerful tornado engulfed Goenitz and he disappeared. As quickly as he had appeared.
“What did he mean?” muttered Kyo when he noticed that Ioriâs breathing had become louder.
Turning around, he saw that Ioriâs head was bending down. Steam emitting from his mouth as his breathing become erratic and louder.
“He has been engulfed with the raging blood!” shouted Chizuru. “The Riot of Blood!”
Mature was shocked. “Vice help me stop him now! Its not time for this to happen!”
However it was Kali who answered.. “Oh it isâ¦ because I desired it” She smirked at Mature’s disbelief. “You made sure Iori was still alive and in the right place so that he could kill my master… and perhaps gain more of suited leader of our cause.”
Mature looked at Vice. “You betrayed me!”
Vice smirked. “What can I say? I just want to serve and live… and watch the gore fest that is about to happen.”
Iori spun to Mature and he suddenly attacked. “Vice you…” was all Mature got to say as Iori clawed into her. Digging into her flesh and into her internal organs.
“Yagami! Stop!” shouted Kyo as he ran to stop him. However, he was too late as Mature landed on the floorâ¦ dead.
Kyo stood there, opposite the out-of-control Iori. Suddenly, an ember lit Kyoâs left arm. “Yagami!” shouted Kyo as he rushed head on into Iori. “OROCHINAGI!”
The attack hit Iori head on and he collapsed unconscious.
“I believe it time to go…” Kali said to Vice and the two vanished. Kyo was left facing an enraged Iori when Chizuru interceded.
“Thatâs enough!” Chizuru shouted. “Canât you see that the Kusanagi-Yagami feud is pointless? Give it up Iori and destroy Orochi with Kyo! We need you!”
“ENOUGH!” Iori shouted. “I will not be told what to do by anyone! I decide my own fate! I live according to my own will!”
“And you Kyo?” Chizuru asked.
“This isnât about our families… its about me and him.” Kyo said. “If Orochi appears before either of us, weâll destroy it… but as for working together… weâll have to wait and see.”
“Rah!” Iori growled before he walked off far away.
Chizuru went to Kyo. “Donât you know this battle is senseless?”
Kyo gripped Chizuru. “OF COURSE I DO! Do you THINK I want it? DO YOU?!” Kyo let go of her and then apologized for his harshness. “Chizuru, I for one am tired of the war between my family and Ioriâs, but this war can only end if IORI wants it to. Until he decides to break the hatred that was ingrained him, there is nothing that I can do to end this war.”
Chizuru sighed. “Then for the sake of all… I pray Iori Yagami realizes this war is meaningless and will help us when the time comes… I can only hope.”
After finishing with Cassie and Kali, Artemis teleported back to where Leo was, only to find he had escaped from the rubble.
“Looking for someoneâ¦.Karone?” a voice said from behind.
Turning around she saw it was Leo. Karone couldnât help but feel embarrassed.
“This is a kinda embarrassing situation…” Artemis blushed as Leo had told her flat out he knew she was Karone.
“So does this mean weâre officially no longer friends?”
Leo just blinked. “Whatever made you think that Karone?” She just stared at him until he continued. “Look Karone, I know youâre pretty much playing the part of Astronemaâs twin… but I know you and you are a good person. Youâve got your reasons for this am I right?”
Artemis just blinked. “You really are taking this much better than I ever dreamed possible.”
“Yeah well Iâve gotten to know you very well over the last five weeks.” Leo replied.
Artemis soon found herself blushing and found herself leaning in to kiss Leo. Leo found himself getting closer to Artemis but something caught the corner of his eye and he turned to see what it was.
“Oh man.” Leo said shaking Artemis out of her reverie.
“Leo what’s wrong?” she asked. Leo pointed off to the exit of the Cow Palace and said “Look.”
It was then that Leo and Artemis saw Kincaid and his people leaving the complex. Leo was looking at them. “Leo?” Artemis asked.
“I got to find out about that guy Karone… its just… something about him… the way he stared at us… its driving me nuts and I have to find out why.” Leo replied.
“Not without me… wait a moment…” Artemis then waved her hand over herself and her appearance changed to that of Karone. “I really donât feel like taking the time to change. A glamour will do for now.”
“Youâre just full of surprises arenât you.” Leo smirked. “Come on letâs go follow that guy.”
Off to the side Mr Popplewick watched Karone and Leo run after Kincaid. He had to admit he found it interesting to watch Artemis in battle. But he believed she could have been better if he had handled her training. ~I would never taught her about honour.~ he thought as his mind cringed at the word. His mind also cringed at the words ~Or love.~ as he noticed the way Leo and Karone looked at one another.
But he also figured that perhaps Leo could have been used against Karone if he needed the Princess of Evil for a favour in the future. It was definitely something he would not rule out. Checking his watch Mr Popplewick decided it was time to rejoin the others. In a shimmer of red energy with an after image of a serpent marking his departure Mr Popplewick teleported away from the San Francisco Cow Palace to rejoin his wife, Minion, Kali, and the Valeyard.
End of Part
**THIS IS THE END OF THE FILE**