The Crystal Coffin
Kyle Mehtters looked forward as he approached his high school. He was a young man of about seventeen years of age, with short red hair, emerald green eyes, and pale skin. He wore a red shirt, with scarlet shorts and white tennis shoes. Standing next to him was his younger fraternal twin brother, Kent. Kent had medium length blonde hair, blue eyes, and was much tanner than Kyle. He wore a yellow t-shirt under a gray jacket, with blue jeans and white loafers.
"Well," Kent spoke up at that moment, "today's the school camping trip. You got all the essentials, bro?"
"Y-yeah," Kyle muttered, hoisting the massive backpack he was carrying onto his back. "Got everything, right in here… food, water, tent, lantern, bug spray, portable grill…" he trailed off as a group of other students passed by them towards the school building, at the head of which was a girl dressed like a magician. Kyle was so focused on the girl that the weight of his pack got the better of him and he plummeted to the ground, inadvertently getting the girl's attention.
She rushed over to his side, and kneeled down to help him up. "Hey, are you okay?" She asked him.
"I-I'm fine, T-Trucy…" Kyle forced out, blushing. He was struggling to not stutter like an idiot in front of her. "So… you got what you need for the trip?"
"Yup." Trucy answered, before pulling out her Magic Panties. "Right in here!" She then proceeded to pull all of her camping gear out of the panties, drawing awe from her spectators.
"How does she do that?"
"As expected of the heir to Troupe Gramarye!"
Kyle, who had gotten back onto his feet by now, looked at Trucy in amazement… but he was focusing more on her than on her trick. He thought of her as little more than a prodigy with an over-inflated ego when he first met her, but after her trial… well… let's just say he started seeing her in a new light.
Why couldn't he just tell her how he feels!?
Kent took that moment to check his watch, and immediately grimaced. "Holy cow, we're going to be late!" He exclaimed, as the rest of the crowd gasped in response. Kent started pulling Kyle towards the school as Trucy frantically put her gear away, her friend Jinxie helping her.
A few hours later, all the students were gathered in the nearby woods, looking expectantly at the teacher.
"Okay, then," he started off, "We will be dividing you lot into teams of five, and you all must spend a few nights out here in the woods to study the local wildlife. Each group must set up their own campgrounds, and the groups will be graded as a group, so make sure you're pulling your weight, understood?" the students nodded in understanding. "Alright then… the first group will consist of… Kyle and Kent Mehtters… Jinxie Tenma… Rodger Pines… and Trucy Wright." Kyle felt like he wanted to faint at the last name. He was going to be staying with… Trucy?!
Rodger Pines, a shirtless, Mohawk sporting boy wearing a green camo jacket and cargo shorts, gathered Trucy and Jinxie towards the Mehtters brothers. "Let's go look for a good spot to set up camp, alright you dopes?"
"You really don't have to be so mean," Trucy chastised him, as the five of them walked off into the forest, looking for a suitable place to set up.
Meanwhile, somewhere in a dark cave, a young woman sat in a meditative position, a look of calm content on her face. Abruptly, shadowy tendrils started slithering towards her, causing her to wince. One of the tendrils touched her shoulder, and she gasped in fright, her eyes snapping open as the tendrils dispersed into smoke. She scrambled to her feet in a panic.
"No… already?" she asked in horror. "How can he be awakening so soon?" She ran out of the cave, hoping against hope that her fears were not coming to pass.
By this time, Kyle and his group had found an ideal place to set up camp. Kent, Jinxie, and Rodger were pitching the tents, while Trucy and Kyle took inventory.
"Looks like Jinxie didn't bring much water…" Trucy observed. Kyle stiffened as a thought came to him.
"Hey, I saw a stream on the way here. I can go get some water from it!" he exclaimed.
"Really?" Trucy inquired. "Alright then, have at it." With that, Kyle started racing towards the fresh-water stream he saw. "Make sure you fill the canteen!"
Kyle ran a long ways until he could no longer see the campsite, but he was coming up to the stream he saw. As he kneeled down to fill the canteen, his eye caught sight of a cave entrance under the shade of a tall oak. His curiosity peaked, Kyle slowly stood up, and ventured inside. It quickly got very dark, so Kyle had to take out a flashlight he brought with him to continue onward.
Before long, Kyle came to an open chamber with light coming in through small holes in the ceiling. Smack dab in the center of the chamber sat a tall object made entirely of black crystal. To Kyle's eyes, the object seemed almost like a coffin. On five separate pedestals surrounding the coffin were small, colored pins… no, badges. Kyle absentmindedly approached the nearest pedestal, on which sat a red badge, and slowly picked up the badge.
At that moment, the coffin shook slightly, startling Kyle. Stuffing the badge into his pocket, Kyle walked towards the coffin. Slowly, cautiously, wondering if someone was inside… he couldn't help it. He slowly reached forward… towards the lid…
"Don't touch that!"
Kyle whirled around in shock…
…the tips of his fingers brushing against the coffin.
Just like that, the lid of the coffin exploded, and waves of shadow pouring out of the coffin. Kyle and the woman who had yelled at him could only look around the chamber in horror and most of the shadows formed into humanoid, faceless creatures, bodies patterned with images of deformed organs, like an anatomy chart drawn by someone who had no idea what they were doing, and all of them making a distinct groaning noise. Suddenly, a black hand shot out of the coffin, and grabbed the side. Another hand gripped the opposite side, before pulling the rest of the body from the darkness.
There stood a tall young man, dressed entirely in black, with long, silky black hair, with a long bang covering his left eye, and his skin was deathly pale. When he opened his eye, it was all black with a white iris. He looked from Kyle to the woman behind him, and smirked evilly.
"Oh, dear sister…" he muttered, his voice sending a shiver up Kyle's spine. "How does it feel to know that everything you've sacrificed will now be in vain?"
"Seth…" the woman muttered. Now that Kyle could get a good look at her, he noticed that she was dressed in all white, with short blonde hair, blue eyes, and a healthy looking tan. The black man, Seth, simply took a single step forward, a hand stretched out.
"Sera, my dear sister…" he paused, glancing at Kyle. "Is he the one who broke the seal? He certainly doesn't feel evil to me…" he glanced back at his hand as a small, greenish wisp of smoke landed in it. "Now, this one, on the hand… beautiful… but I think I'll leave it for later… the Groaners seem a might hungry right now…"
The monsters surrounding them, the Groaners, apparently, started advancing towards them, but without even thinking, Kyle grabbed the woman's hand, just as she gathered the remaining badges, and made a mad dash out of the cavern, the Groaners chasing after them. Seth simply shook his head before turning back to the mitamah in his hand.
"Truly…" he muttered under his breath. "You are perhaps the most evil individual in recent history… well, relatively recent." He turned his head to a Groaner that had stayed behind for some reason. "Thus, the new chapter of my evil begins!" His monologue over, he threw the mitamah at the Groaner, causing the groaner to change in appearance, clothes appearing on its body, a face developing, white hair growing in, height shifting to match the mitamah. Soon, a man in his late sixties appeared before Seth, looking around in confusion.
"Huh?" the man muttered. "Where am…?"
"Manfred von Karma," Seth identified the amoral prosecutor, causing him to turn sharply towards him. "I have brought you back from the depths of hell. Unless you want to go back, you will do exactly as I say. Understand?" Manfred stared at Seth as if he was crazy. "I can see that you don't believe me…" He held out both of his hands as two more mitamahs appeared in his palms. "Need a demonstration?"
With his piece said, Seth tapped his foot on the floor twice, summoning two more Groaners to the room. He swiftly turned towards them before throwing the mitamahs at the Groaners, once again causing them to change; one into a young, red-haired woman, the other into a blonde man with a ponytail going over his shoulder. Von Karma couldn't help but take a step back in shock, while Seth strode towards them haughtily.
"Dahlia Hawthrone… Kristoph Gavin… I welcome you back to the land of the living," he greeted them, bowing low to the ground.
"What…?" Dahlia muttered, confused. "But… who's channeling us?"
"No one. I brought you three back to life with a secret method that only my sister and I know of." Seth answered her. "Of course, I'm didn't revive you three out of the goodness of my heart… there is no goodness in there. No, I want you three to become my generals. As long as you follow my orders, you can do whatever you please."
"Anything?" Kristoph questioned.
"Anything you wish…. Like getting revenge on the ones who ruined your lives…" Manfred, Dahlia and Kristoph all made eye contact with Seth as he said this. "So… do we have a deal?" All three of them smirked evilly, an obvious answer "yes".
Meanwhile, Kyle and Sera had successfully escaped the cave, and were resting against a thick oak tree. Kyle bent over, trying to catch his breath.
"Did we lose them?" he asked. Sera took a quick peek around the tree.
"I think so…"
"What are those things?"
"Groaners. Take a wild guess why they're called that." Kyle gave her a weird look. "They're corpses that have been reanimated without a soul to guide it. No memory, no purpose, no life for them to live. It's a pitiful existence."
"Is it really… that bad?" Sera simply nodded her head regretfully. "Sera, was it? Who was that guy back there?" Sera was silent for a long time, simply staring down at the ground.
"My older brother… Seth… I still can't believe it came to this… If he is allowed to run free…"
"Let me guess… he'll eventually come to rule the world, right?" Sera nodded sadly. "And you're the only one with the power to stop him, right?"
"No… you hold the key to stopping him." Kyle reared back in confusion.
"Well, one of the five, anyway. The red badge you took from the cave." Intrigued, Kyle hastily fished the badge out of his pocket.
"You mean this?"
"That's right. As long as you have that badge, you wield the power to stand up to Seth… the power… of a Power Ranger."
Kyle could only stare at her incredulously. "A what?"
"A Power Ranger. A noble hero who stands for everything good in the world."
"… So… I'm like… a superhero now?" Sera smirked at him playfully.
"You're better than a superhero… whatever your name is."
"Got it." Kyle turned back to the badge in his hand.
"So how do I use this thing?" Sera handed him a compact, wrist mounted device.
"Put this on, and insert the badge into the bottom." Kyle hesitantly took the morpher, and inserted the badge as instructed.
"Okay. What happens now?"
"Just shout 'Court in session, all rise', as loud as you can."
Kyle couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at this instruction. "Okay… here goes…" he muttered, standing as straight as he could manage. Just before he started, he decided he might as well try and make this a bit more epic.
"Court in Session! ALL RISE!" With his shout, the badge shot out of the device as Kyle jumped after it, the badge coating his body with a red light before attaching to his lapel. As he landed, the light around his body dispersed, revealing a red, spandex-like suit styled after an attorney's uniform, with white gloves and boots, a red tie, jacket and pants, and a white shirt, the badge situated at the lapel of the jacket. A red helmet with a black visor in the shape of a sunflower descended over his head.
Kyle stumbled back against the tree behind him as he abruptly registered his sudden change in wardrobe. "Wha-What!? What the hell is this!?"
"Like it?" Sera asked him, somewhat smugly. "It's your Ranger Suit. Red certainly looks good on you."
"Why is it spandex?" he immediately had to dodge a punch from Sera.
"What did you say?"
"That's what I thought." It was that moment that Kyle and Sera heard a scream in the distance. Sera looked in the direction of the scream, concerned. "That sounded like a girl. The Groaners must have found a new target." Kyle suddenly gasped in realization.
"The campsite!" he exclaimed, immediately running towards the sound, Sera rushing to keep up with him.