Mirinoi's surface is a sea of sheer chaos, mostly joyful. Why wouldn't it be? The bearers of the Quasar Sabers have fulfilled their quest, the planet's people have just been freed from Scorpio's spell, the Pink Ranger is back from the dead and Terra Venture has found its new world.

Or rather, most of them. The city dome, smoking, lies in a crater where the Megazord dumped it. Amid the rubble bodies are visible—here a woman's arm pokes out from beneath a pillar, there a man in a badly slashed chef's uniform lies buried under a pile of broken glass. There are visible gaps in the survivors, little knots of people scattered around the jungle. At each crackle and bang of the Galactabeasts' fireworks, a small Japanese girl flinches and clings tighter to her father, sobbing.

As the energy wave reaches the far edges of the village, a boy stumbles and catches himself on a tree. He looks himself up and down, and then gazes around in amazement at the scene before him. His eyes widen as he glimpses the distant Rangers. Hastily he starts towards them, only to feel something crunch beneath his foot. Looking down he sees a shattered stone limb, and the excitement in his face turns to horror.


Power Rangers Rumor Legion

Created by Michelle Marr and Aaron Thall

"The Legend Begins, Part 1"

Plot by: Aaron Thall

Written by: Michelle Marr


A single starship descended towards the dark side of Mirinoi. Inside, a humanoid being in silver armor manned the controls, glowing blue eyes scanning the skies for any sign of trouble.

Bits of space debris drifted near the planet's outer atmosphere, leftovers of Terra Venture that the humans had not retrieved—at least, apparently. As the little craft coasted in towards Mirinoi, several long bars began to float towards it. The warrior didn't notice as several began attaching end-to-end. As they did, electricity began to crackle around the rods, drawing more to it.

When he saw, there were two wide half-circles of metal moving towards him, energy arcing across them. Recognizing the trap, the warrior swerved straight up, but the trap moved with him. It snapped together, forming a wide ring linked by a net of electricity. Spinning, it whirled after him as he tried to evade it, fighting the planet's gravity as well as its attraction to him.

As the ship spun and whirled, something thumped in the back of the craft. The warrior looked around in alarm: in the cabin behind him, a black chest was shaking against its fastenings—multiple chains and locks. Its gleaming sides were carved with fantastical monsters, whose eyes were tiny jewels. They seemed to glint malevolently in the light.

Turning his attention back to the dogfight, the warrior spiraled away from the flying net, heading towards the planet below. He went faster and faster, letting gravity drag him down, and the net followed. At the very last second, he shot back and sideways. Caught in the planet's pull, the net continued to fall, exploding as the heat of reentry overwhelmed it.

Just as the warrior breathed a sigh of relief, a pepper of laser fire took out his left wing engine. The ship began to spin, trailing smoke, and he glimpsed a beetle-like craft coming towards him from the moon. Harpoon guns rose out of the mass of spikes and weapons, locking onto his ship.

"Pirates," the warrior growled. He armed the ship's one missile launcher and fired, but his ship's wild spinning threw his aim off. The harpoons fired, clanging against his ship and cracking its hull in places. The atmosphere began to whistle out, and the warrior quickly abandoned his seat. Even a ship this small had an emergency pod: if these were pirates, they wouldn't want to damage any possible goods.

As the warrior freed the chest from its stand, the engine finally exploded. The ship skewed sideways, hurling warrior and box to the wall. As they tumbled, the chest hit a metal wall and one of the locks snapped. A horrible whine filled the air.

"No!" The warrior yelled, grabbing at the box. The chains began to split and shatter, and the whine grew into a howl. Shoving it back, the warrior ran for the front of the ship, snatching up a sword. As he turned back, the box exploded open. The warrior's scream joined those filling the tiny ship, but was soon drowned out.

In the attacking ship, a lean humanoid in his late teens leaned over his monitor. Bewildered, he ran a hand through his spiky hair, which was so light it was almost white.

"The ship just…blew up," he said, looking around at the other two monsters in the cramped bridge. All three wore a mishmash of military-esque clothes and weapons, though the boy's arsenal was mostly hidden. Only the gleam of metal gave away the knife strapped to his thigh, or the gun inside one leather boot. "Must have had something explosive inside it that got triggered."

"I'm picking up really strange readings," a bloated blue creature added, from where he stood monitoring the viewscreen. Storming forward, a humanoid vulture wearing combat gear shoved him aside to take a look. His gunbelts, crisscrossed over his feathery chest, clinked at the movement. "Like…a lot of life signs, but they're weird and going away."

"Something's coming towards us," the boy interrupted. "Some kind of energy, I don't—"

Before he could finish his sentence, a blue-violet light shot right through the hull of the ship and slammed into him, flinging him across the room into the far console. It sparked, and he rolled down to the floor.

"Blaze!" The blue monster waddled over as fast as he could, but the vulture beat him to the punch. Rolling him flat on his back, he began checking the teen over. He seemed stunned, eyes slitted open and breathing shallowly. Making frightened noises, the blue monster bent over him. "Is he okay, Karrion?"

"Shut up and let me check!" The vulture snapped.

Blaze groaned, putting a hand to his head. It shook so much that he almost stabbed himself in the eye with his spiked wristband. "Ow . . . whawuzzat?"

"I have no idea," Karrion replied.

Blaze looked like he was trying to say something, and pulled at his vest. Yanking it up, Karrion looked at Blaze's bare chest. There wasn't a mark on it, but when he touched it with a wingtip, he felt heat radiating through Blaze's skin.

"We'll take him to that lizard guy, get this checked out," Karrion said, jerking Blaze's vest back down again. "Burble, take the helm."

"Got it, boss," the blue monster replied, and waddled back to the controls. "But won't Lizadite be mad that we lost the ship?"

"We didn't destroy it, it blew itself up. Nothing we could have done," Karrion replied.

"I feel fine," Blaze protested, sitting up.

"Better safe than sorry."

The small ship rocketed down towards the planet.


On the far side of Mirinoi, a teenage boy was standing on the edge of his village, gazing at the Quasar Sabers. They'd stayed securely in their rock ever since being placed there by the Galaxy Rangers almost six years before. That fact was no deterrent to the boy—Yora.

He stepped forward and seized the nearest Saber, the one that had been the Red Ranger's, and pulled. It didn't budge. Taking a deep breath, he shifted his grip and tried again. A growl forced its way out through gritted teeth, but the sword remained firmly in place.

As he shifted his position to pull again, a reddish light flashed through the trees. It swerved around and shot into Yora's back, and he jerked as if he'd been shoved from behind. Panting, he let go of the Quasar Saber and looked around. Nobody was there, and the light had faded. He turned back and felt a sudden wave of dizziness. Shaking his head, he focused on the Quasar Saber once more.

"I'm not giving up on you yet," he muttered.


Two more lights, one white and one green, flew over the jungle and towards Terra Venture. In the time since the crash, the remnants of the city dome had been turned into a city. The lights flew towards the northern side of the city, and a particularly noisy French restaurant. The front of the house was overflowing with people, all gathered along the longest table.

One man was juggling five or six dinner rolls from the bread basket, another was doing card tricks for a cluster of watching kids (who probably weren't from the party but had been welcomed anyway), and most of the others were laughing and talking while they waited for their food.

The head of the table was overrun with a cluster of people who were all clearly related—they all had the same dusky skin, black hair and eyes. One, a slim teenage girl, was alternating between conversation and keeping the younger kids from causing too much destruction.

"Andrew, if you're not going to eat the bread then leave it alone, don't throw it at your sister. I know we couldn't go to La Papillon like we used to, Dad, but I've heard a lot of good things about this restaurant," she said.

"Don't apologize, Isabel—this place is lovely," her father reassured her, reaching over to ruffle her hair. She beamed at him, reaching over to stop the toddler next to her from wiping his dirty fingers on the tablecloth without looking. "And don't worry about your nieces and nephews."

"It's no trouble—I'd rather give the others a break."

"A break from my grandchildren?" Her father mock-protested. At his beckoning Isabel passed him the toddler. As she let go and settled back, the green light swerved in through the window and struck her in the back, jolting her forward. She blinked and looked around, confused, but nobody else seemed to have noticed. She put a hand to her head, wincing.

"Excuse me, guys," she said, pushing her chair out and getting up.

"Isabel?" Her father looked up at her in surprise.

"I'll be back in a little bit." Frowning, she headed off towards the bathrooms.

In the restaurant's kitchen, the chefs and staff were rushing around assembling the party's massive order. One, a brown-haired young man, heard a particularly loud whoop from the dining room and shook his head in disgust.

"Circus folk," he muttered through a French accent. "Why do we even allow them in here?"

"Enough complaining, Jean-Paul," the head chef said, coming up behind him. He took the bowl Jean-Paul had been whisking. "They're not causing a scene, and they pay well anyway."

"It's undignified," Jean-Paul retorted. "They're turning our dining room into a carn—"

Jean-Paul was interrupted by a white light striking him in the back. He changed color and staggered sideways a step, one hand going to his chest.

"Jean-Paul? Are you all right?"

"I don't feel well," Jean-Paul replied shakily, heading out of the kitchen. As he rounded the corner he almost ran headlong into Isabel. He swerved sideways just in time.

"Careful!"

"Sorry." Jean-Paul glanced the black-haired woman up and down, and smiled, forgetting all about the weird feeling from earlier. "Normally when I knock women off their feet it's less abrupt."

"Really?" Isabel didn't look as impressed with what she saw. "All right then, I'll take your word for it. I'd stay and chat but I don't feel all right, so if you'll excuse me."

Jean-Paul watched her leave, smiling to himself. "Then I'll do my best to make you feel better, mon cherie."


"WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU LOST THE SHIP!?"

The yell was nearly audible in the early morning jungle outside. It echoed from a battered spaceship shaped like a black metal pyramid, which stuck crookedly up out of the trees. Inside the pyramid, the shouter continued to rant. He was about twelve or thirteen, from the looks of it, dressed in armor. His catlike tail lashed as he paced back and forth across the command deck.

"How could a spaceship just vanish all by itself?" He wheeled on Karrion, who was standing a few feet away.

"I told you, I don't know what happened, just that the ship exploded and everything inside it came down here!" The monster protested.

Storming up to him, the catboy grabbed Karrion's neck feathers, jerking his head down to eye level. "Then where are they? The Pandorans, the guardians—that box was crowded!"

A smooth male voice cut into the conversation. "I've been scanning for them for some time, Lord Maahes, but with so many different energy signatures filling the planet it's difficult to pick out just one."

The speaker revealed himself to be a lizardlike humanoid with blue-green skin. He wore red and violet robes and used a black walking stick. Coming up beside Karrion, he continued, "Valkyrie and the Gargoyles have been sweeping the planet."

Maahes released Karrion, wheeling on the lizard man. "Then why haven't they found anything?"

"With respect, sir, it is a very large planet, and most of these creatures are particularly clever and dangerous."

"And what about the guardian spirits? I thought they were supposed to stop the monsters—shouldn't they have come to us?" The man hesitated, and Maahes grew a little less belligerent. "Lizadite? They would have come looking for us, right?"

"My understanding of the guardian spirits is that they seek out the ones they deem worthy. I have no way of guessing what they would consider worthiness," Lizadite said slowly.

" . . . You're saying they might not choose me? Or even Valkyrie?"

"I'm saying we cannot count on an unknown factor like the choices of the guardian spirits," Lizadite replied.

Expression hardening, Maahes turned to the far side of the room. Multiple viewscreens covered the walls, showing various parts of the jungle and Terra Venture. He moved towards one in particular—a familiar boulder with five sabers rising out of it.

"Then let's try something we can count on."


Terra Flora Park was about to become a battlefield. On either side lurked a small army, preparing to attack the other. Well, if a group of children and teens of varying ages in homemade LARPing gear counted as armies.

"Everyone's clear on the plan?" One girl asked, buckling on her breastplate. She was Japanese-American, and her outfit clearly had the most effort put into it—she'd even dyed her hair electric blue. There were a chorus of yes's from the other kids, and she grinned. "Great—we're going to win this time, I know it!"

Drawing her sword, she joined the forming line. Someone on the far side let out a battle cry, and the other kids echoed it. The army charged, the girl near the front. The two sides met, weapons clashing. The Japanese girl was in the thick of it, striking out and forcing everyone back.

"Hah! Hiya! Ha—AAAARGH!" Her shout turned into a shriek of terror and she dropped her sword, recoiling in terror. She lost her balance and sat down hard. Right in front of her stood one of the other kids, wearing a homemade Ranger helmet. He was laughing. Noticing, some of the other kids joined in.

"Told you she'd freak out!"

"What's your problem, scaredy cat? The Rangers are the good guys!"

"Shiori, are you okay?" Two of the LARPers on her side helped the girl up. She held up her sword—or rather, the hilt of it. She'd fallen on it and now the blade hung by a few splinters.

"I-I'm okay," she stammered, standing up straight. "But I think I'm done for today. I'll see you guys next week."

"If you're sure," a slightly taller girl replied, giving the pranksters a dirty look.

"I'm sure," Shiori mumbled, grabbing her things and hurrying away from the group. The sword went into a bag, along with several other pieces of armor. Gathering it up, Shiori left the park, head down.

Just outside the park, a black Hispanic woman was waving around a small handheld scanner. Studying the screen, she tapped her earpiece.

"Governor Stanton, I think I'm close to the source—whatever it is."

"Good work, Miss Hidalgo, don't lose it," a male voice replied through the set. Reya Hidalgo nodded, oblivious to the yellow light streaking towards her. She was equally unaware of Shiori, right up until the girl wandered into her path. On her screen, Reya saw the light swerve, but by the time she looked up it was gone. Instead she saw Shiori stumbling into the middle of the street.

"Hey!" Dropping her scanner she darted into the road and pulled a wobbly Shiori back just in time to avoid a car. It honked as it whooshed past. Reya helped Shiori onto the grass again. "Are you okay?"

"I feel weird . . ." Shiori mumbled, visibly disoriented. Reya checked her pulse, reassuring her in a gentle voice. Her forgotten scanner lay in the grass, beeping frantically. It was pointed at Shiori. Meanwhile, deep inside the girl, a voice spoke.

"What happened . . . no, this is all wrong!"


Yora made his way out of Terra Venture High, avoiding any clumps of chatting students. It wasn't difficult; he didn't have a lot of friends around here. Most Mirinoites hadn't started going to the Terran schools until the last few years.

Outside, Yora broke into a run, going down the sidewalk and to the outskirts of Terra Venture. He moved onto the road whenever he saw another pedestrian, but didn't slow his pace until the sidewalk ran out, replaced with a dirt trail. There he stopped, walking in place to keep his heart rate up while he got his breath back. After about a minute, he kept going into the jungle.

His village was just far enough into the woods to mute the city noise. There were a few people around, including Yora's mother, who was outside their house cleaning animal skins. Yora dropped his books inside and joined her. She looked a lot like him, but her dark curls were flecked with grey.

"How was school?" She asked, not looking up as she scraped the fat off with a sharpened rock. "I hope you don't have a lot of homework this time; your father wants to go on a hunting trip soon and he's going to need the help."

"I can finish it before then," Yora replied.

"I think he wants to turn in early tonight," his mother replied. "We won't have time for you to read, at least."

Yora nodded and kept scraping. His mother glanced up at him. "You know we don't mind you spending so much time with the Terrans anymore, right? We let you go to their school and spend time with them, but we want you to still grow up Mirinoite."

"I know." It was an old conversation topic, one Yora wasn't very interested in repeating. The two finished the skin, and Yora's mother began unpegging it.

"Don't think I don't trust you, Yora. We've . . . been hearing rumors about monsters in the city again. Just please be careful, all right?"

"I will be." Yora took the skin and left her to start staking down the next one. As he hung the skin up, he glimpsed movement through the trees. Frowning, he paused and looked closer. Something large was flying low through the trees—actually, a lot of somethings, from the sound of it, moving fast. Yora looked the way they were going. The Quasar Sabers were that way.

Yora broke into a run, ignoring the shouts of surprise as he dashed past the villagers and into the jungle. He went his own route, one he didn't think the monsters (or whatever they were) knew about. However, as he rounded the bend he almost ran into another man. He swerved aside just in time and looked up in surprise. Standing there, looking equally confused, was former Red Galaxy Ranger Leo Corbett.

Yora's expression darkened. "You."

"No time for this," Leo panted, and started running again.

Yora growled but followed, quickly reaching the same speed as the older man. All too soon they emerged in the clearing surrounding the Quasar Sabers. Also surrounding the Quasar Sabers were a cluster of grey-skinned Gargoyles, trying to free them from the boulder.

"What are you doing?" Leo demanded.

Whether or not the monsters could speak was unclear; their response was to screech at the two and charge. Yora sucker-punched the nearest Gargoyle across the face. It fell back with a weird howl. Two more caught Leo by the arms, but he elbowed one in the face and punched the other. He ducked and kicked another one back so it fell into the others in a brief pileup. He grinned.

"Just like riding a bike."

Nearby, Yora jumped upwards, wrapping his arms around the Gargoyle trying to dive-bomb him. His weight threw it off-course, and it slammed sideways into a tree as it struggled to get him off. The two fell to the ground together in a tangled heap. Getting an arm around its throat, Yora started choking it. Another Gargoyle tried to help out but the panicked flailing of Yora's target kept it out of reach. Eventually Yora got a good enough grip and twisted, hard. The Gargoyle went limp. Kicking it away, he scrambled to his feet, and heard a whisper. It was barely audible over the screeching Gargoyles and noises of fighting, but definitely there, and it felt so close it was as if someone was speaking right behind him.

"Spirit in."

Yora looked around in confusion, but he couldn't see the speaker.

"Spirit in?"

Scarlet light enveloped Yora, getting everyone's attention. When it faded, a Red Ranger was standing there, holding a sword. He looked down at himself in bewilderment, reached up and ran a gloved hand over his visor and the molded mouth of his helmet. He could not make out the symbol on his chest, nor the almost viking helmet style of his helmet.

". . . How did you do that?" Leo asked, bewildered.

"No idea," Yora said, raising the sword. "But I'll take it anyway."

Whirling on the nearest Gargoyles, Yora slashed at them with his sword. A ray of red light cut across them, and they exploded in a shower of stone.

Snapping out of his shock, Leo again made a move towards the Quasar Sabers. The Gargoyles, sensing an easier target, swarmed him, but he was able to duck and kick and throw them into each other to get through. He stretched the last few feet. As his fingertips brushed the pommel of his old Saber, the entire rock was enveloped in green energy. It shot up his arm and flung him backwards; he hit the ground with a grunt.

The energy bubble got the attention of the rest of the fighters, who stopped. The light got brighter and brighter, until with a brilliant flash and crack the entire rock disappeared—along with the swords and a large chunk of the ground. The Gargoyles looked around in confusion, and then took off into the trees in a pack. Yora followed, but they were already too high-up for him to reach, and he skidded to a halt. Slowly, he turned back, sheathing his sword.

Leo had picked himself up and was dialing his phone when Yora returned. "We need to get back to Terra Venture."

"Who's we?" Yora retorted. "I'm not going anywhere with you."

"I like it just as much as you do, but you're a Ranger now and we're going to need each other's help."

"I don't need anything from you or your friends!" Yora snapped, storming up to Leo. "Actually, knowing how well you did I'd probably be better off avoiding you and the other Galaxy Rangers!"

"Listen to me!"

Yora's hand flew to the sword again, but before he could draw it, a new voice interrupted.

"So that's what those guardian spirits do? Interesting."

Out of the woods came a cluster of motley-looking monsters, among them Blaze, Burble and Karrion. Blaze was carrying some kind of scanner, which screeched and started to smoke as he pointed it at Yora. He quickly passed it off to Burble.

"Who are you?" Yora demanded, not taking his hand off the hilt of his sword.

"Doesn't matter. You're the interesting one—our boss wants something you have," Blaze replied, grinning. "Now, I'm guessing you want to do this the hard way?"

"It's one of THOSE days . . ." muttered Leo.


Meanwhile, back at the restaurant, the last of the desserts were coming out when Kendrix entered, carrying a small handheld scanner. She turned towards the party, and the scanner started bleeping frantically. Looking up, she saw that it was pointed at Isabel, who was helping collect the dirty dishes and pass them back to the wait staff.

Kendrix came closer and tapped Isabel's shoulder. "Excuse me, but can you come with me, please? We need to talk."

Isabel turned around and gave her a funny look, taking a moment to recognize the stranger. "Do we know each other?"

"No, but this is important."

"Okay, then. I'll just let my Dad know where I'm going." Isabel headed off, and tried very hard not to freak out.

In the back of the restaurant, Jean-Paul was just coming out of the kitchen, stuffing his beret into the pocket of his apron. He paused in front of a shiny pan hanging from a wall hook, and checked his reflection, combing his hair back into place with his fingers. With a nod of approval he headed out, only to almost walk into a man in a blue uniform. The scanner in his hand squealed.

"Hey! Watch where you're going," Jean-Paul said, looking the newcomer up and down.

"Same to you—you need to come with me," the man replied.

"What? Why? Who are you?"

"I said you need to come with me, it's a matter of the colony's safety, and Kai Chen. Let's go."


Yora sliced a flung net in half. It sparked and the pieces burst into flames as they hit the ground. The pirates fanned out, drawing an impressive variety of weapons. Leo was a little ways behind him, eyeing the pack.

"You'd better leave while you can," Yora said to the other Red Ranger.

"Are you kidding? I'm not going anywhere," Leo retorted.

"Don't expect me to protect you, then."

"Didn't plan to."

The pirates opened fire, multicolored lasers peppering the clearing. Leo jumped one way while Yora charged, only to bounce off a force field. He sat down hard, prompting a chorus of laughter from the pirates. The one generating the force field, a creature that looked like a metal pangolin, lowered the shield once more, and the monsters started shooting. Yora rolled as lasers tore up the ground around him. One or two blasts caught his suit, which sparked but didn't give way. If he felt any pain he didn't show it.

Standing, he charged again, but as the monster reached for the force field control on his wrist, Yora threw his sword. It slammed into the monster's arm control and smashed it, and the monster let out a shriek.

Blaze dove for the sword, but Yora was faster and headbutted him aside. Snatching up the sword the Red Ranger slashed aside an incoming monster and backed up once more. Blaze landed on his side and burst out laughing, holding his head.

"You're great! Looks like we finally get a real fight!"

"No need," a new, female voice spoke up. Through the trees strode a woman in chain mail and leather armor. She eyed the group, and drew a hand-and-a-half broadsword. "I'll deal with him."

"Understood, Valkyrie," Karrion said, pulling Blaze up. "We'll nab the other one."

"But I—"

"What did I say?" Karrion glared at him. Blaze pouted and stopped arguing. The vulture released him and led his men towards Leo in a charge. With a look around, the former Red Ranger dashed into the woods, presumably to either lose or fend off his foes somewhere they didn't have room to all attack him at once. The pirates followed—well, most of them. Blaze hesitated, looking back at Yora.

Although Yora put his entire body behind each swing and stab, Valkyrie had more precision and training. She deflected his blows, twisting her sword around and striking back at him. Regardless, Yora stood his ground, and as Blaze watched managed to catch Valkyrie's sword arm, gashing it right through the armor. Expression hardening, she drove the sword towards his chest. His suit sparked at the impact.

"Help him."

Blaze started and looked around in confusion. Nobody else was there—but then, he hadn't exactly heard the voice. More like it was in his head . . .


"You're not hurt?" Reya asked, helping sit Shiori down on a nearby park bench.

"I-I don't think so," Shiori replied. "Thank you."

"No problem," Reya said, with a smile. She retrieved her scanner, checked to make sure it was all right, and joined Shiori on the bench. "What's your na—"

She was interrupted by the scanner going off. Startled she held it up and pointed it in a couple of different directions. It went off again when she aimed it at Shiori, who stared at it as if it was a rattlesnake.

"That can't be right," Reya murmured, and looked over the device.

"What's that thing do?" Shiori asked.

Reya was too occupied to answer her, and it didn't matter anyway because Shiori let out a sudden shrill shriek and dove behind Reya. Startled, the scientist looked up to see Gargoyles flying towards them over the treeline.

"My car's over there," Reya said, pointing to the curb. "Run and hide."

Shiori didn't need to be told twice. She bolted as the grey, stony monsters swooped down towards them. Reya reached under her lab coat and drew a gun, which she aimed and fired at the nearest. A beam of crackling white energy shot out of the barrel and hit the Gargoyle right between the eyes. It exploded with a screech. The mass behind it parted, trying to swoop around Reya.

Shiori was struggling with the locked car door when the first of the Gargoyles reached for her. She dropped flat and avoided its grasping claws. More swarmed towards her, and she crawled underneath the vehicle. The monsters couldn't reach her, so the started pushing and pulling on the car, trying to turn it over.

Reya kept shooting, but by now the Gargoyles had started to wise up to the strange woman and her laser pistol and more and more of her shots were misses. She slowed down, started aiming more carefully. A few of the Gargoyles broke off from the main force to swarm her.

Shiori, sobbing, curled up on the pavement to avoid reaching Gargoyle claws. As she did, she heard a voice.

"Spirit in."

She looked around in confusion, but nobody else was there—except for the Gargoyles. By now they'd gathered on one side of the car and were getting ready to flip it.

"Spirit in!" With a creak, the car started to tip upwards.

"Monsters and strange voices are scary!" She shrieked.

"Say it, girl, quickly! It's your only hope!"

"S-s-spirit in!"

The car and Gargoyles were flung every which way in a blinding golden flash. Reya shielded her eyes. When the glow faded, she came closer, through the stunned Gargoyles. Shiori still lay curled up and quivering on the ground, but now she wore a child-sized Ranger suit. It looked a lot like Yora's, and a sword nearly identical to his lay between her and the ground, but hers was amber where his was reddish.

"N-n-now w-what?"

Reya could only watch in stunned horror as the Gargoyles, now recovered, began to mass around the trembling girl/Ranger. And Shiori herself, paralyzed with fear, couldn't find the strength to move.

Deep within her, the voice watched with equal horror.

"What have I done?!"

TO BE CONTINUED...