Author's Note:Although the monsters in this story are, of course, fictitious, the central human characters are not. They are real people that I have met, and I have gone through the trouble of asking their permission to make them Rangers. I have even asked how they would respond to certain situations so I could do an accurate representation of them. Of course, none of them are real Power Rangers. Although the fictitious characters, powers, etc. found in this story are of my own creation, the original concept of Power Rangers belongs to Saban, Inc. Anyway, that's my disclaimer, now I hope you enjoy the story.
Power Rangers: Dragon Rangers
The Heart of a Dragon
The two of them walked down the carpet to the far end of the throne room. One, the brother, was tall, with an extremely muscular build, red skin, and tentacles coming out of the top of his head, going down his back as if they were long dreadlocks. The other, his sister, physically similar, only shorter, with blue skin, her tentacles tied back in a long, braided ponytail, and boasting a definitively female form. Both of them, however, were clad in a black leather uniform, far more decorated than those that lined the hall on either side, the brother's covering most of his body, while the sister's was a two-piece that left the stomach and most of her legs bare. Those on the side were all physically identical. They all looked like ninjas wearing black leather suits, except their eyes were sunk back into their skulls, and were as black as marbles. All of the beings in the hall wore the same mark, one of a black dragon, on their chest. Where on the chest corresponded to rank. The soldiers on the sides all had their mark in the middle of their chest, marking them as the lowest. The brother and sister, however, wore a smaller one over their hearts, labeling them as the highest of the high.
The far end of the throne room consisted of a set of steps that led up to a large, beautiful throne that stole the vision and focused it upon itself, so grand was its design. In front of this throne were two smaller ones, less magnificent, and less attractive, but nonetheless regal. These two smaller thrones were where the brother and sister went, each taking a seat in one, the sister on the left, and the brother on the right. The brother sat erect, with the air of a soldier at the ready, the truth of it evidenced by the broad sword he wore at his side. His sister, however, sat down in a casual way, sprawling herself in the most comfortable way she could find. The staff she constantly carried, however, pointed at her own skill as a fighter, as well.
Startled murmurs went up as a green being suddenly burst into the hall. His appearance was such a shock that even the brother and sister snapped to attention, staring at the featureless character that now stopped in front of them and bowed low. The creature uttered a rush of garbled, incoherent noises as if he was trying to explain something.
The brother suddenly got an irritated look on his face as he slammed his fist down on his armrest. "What's wrong with you, Morphaeus? Pull yourself together!"
Immediately, Morphaeus stood back up, and almost instantly, his features became more definite. His head developed eyes, a nose, and a mouth. His body solidified into a muscular build with a black uniform similar to the brother's, with a long sword strapped to his back. His skin, however, remained green.
"Forgive me, Lord Kligaden, Lady Kara," he said, bowing properly to both of them in turn. "But we believe our scouts have found the Dragon Sword."
Kligaden and Kara had relaxed after the hall had quieted down from Morphaeus's sudden entry, but they tensed again as a new, agitated murmur filled the hall.
"Silence!" Kligaden shouted over the din, and immediately, the room was quiet again. Leaning closer to the green general's face, he said, "Now, you are saying that you have actually found the Key to the Hearts of all Dragons? Or do you only 'believe' you have?"
"We have, truly, my lord."
Kligaden grabbed Morphaeus by the neck of his uniform. "The Dragon Sword is the tool we need to bring back our Queen. This is of utmost importance. Are you sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this is really the Dragon Sword?"
"Yes, my lord!" Morphaeus gasped.
Kligaden threw him back down with a toss of his hand. "You had better. If I find out that this is another dead end, I will see to it myself that you never make such a mistake again. Is that understood?"
"Yes, sir," Morphaeus responded in a rush.
Suddenly, Kligaden looked furious. "You dare refer to me with the title used for an officer!? I am the lord of demons, unmatched by anyone!"
"Please, my lord," Morphaeus responded, backing up with his hands raised in front of him. "Please, I slipped! It will never happen again."
Kligaden picked his sword up and brought it back. "On that, Morphaeus, we agree!"
"Kligaden, no!" Kara placed her hand on her brother's shoulder. "You are of an offensive personality, brother. You frightened him, and he responded accordingly. He did not mean to offend you. He is our greatest general. Surely there is a better way to go about this, if it needs to be dealt with at all." Kligaden lowered his sword and fell back into his throne. "Good boy." She turned to Morphaeus. "Now, if you think that this is really the Dragon Sword, go and get it, and bring it back to us. Then we will decide for ourselves if it is, oh, how do the mortals say it now? The real McCoy?"
Morphaeus bowed and saluted at the same time, bending down on one knee, and putting his fist over his heart. "As always, Lady Kara, your beauty and wisdom is beyond compare. I shall not fail you."
"See that you do not. I may not be able to restrain my brother's hand the next time. Oh, and Morphaeus," she said as an afterthought as he was leaving the hall.
"Yes, my Lady?"
"Take the Demonkin with you. They might prove useful."
"Thank you, my Lady." Morphaeus bowed again, then turned to leave, the ninjas on either wall falling in behind him.
When they were alone again, Kligaden turned to his sister as she sat back down, disgust in his eyes. "You are entirely too soft with them, Kara."
Kara smiled at her brother. "And you are entirely too hard on them, Kligaden."
Kligaden got up and started stalking the room. "I don't even see why we are still looking for the blasted thing. It's been ages since the Queen last sat in her throne. I'm beginning to wonder if it's all only a myth."
Kara walked over and put her hands on his shoulders. "Calm down, brother. If you stomp any louder, the humans might hear you."
This, however, only made him stomp louder. "Humans," he snarled. "I can't stand them! Filthy weaklings! We sit here in this dark hole that they banished us to, amid chaos and disorder, and they get to sit in their dimension of light, laughing and playing. Ha! How disgusting. It makes me want to puke."
"Please don't, brother. We just had the floor polished."
"Funny, Kara. You just sent a troop of demons into the human world, wasting valuable resources. And for what? To chase a dream! And you think you have room to joke?"
"That dream is the only thing that holds our world together. It's the only thing that keeps every demon from giving up on everything that we believe in. Doesn't that mean anything to you?"
"Perhaps some of us have already given up on those pathetic 'beliefs,' sister."
"Oh, well," Kara said as she patted him on the shoulder. "Perhaps when Morphaeus returns, you faith will be rekindled. But at least wait until he does return before you start marking the end of the world, will you?"
"Very well," Kligaden sighed. "I will heed your advice and wait until he returns, with or without the Dragon Sword."
* * *
The swords of the two knights clashed with a resounding ring. Both strained to force the other away, neither giving an inch.
"You killed my sister," the knight in blue yelled. "I will make sure you pay with your life!"
The red knight struggled to hold his ground against the increased fury of the blue knight. "I didn't do it! I would never harm her! Please, stop this senseless fighting! I don't want to hurt you!"
The blue knight broke away from the sword lock, yelling, "You should have thought about that before you told such a bold-faced lie!" With a shout, he hit the red knight's sword just below the hilt, knocking it out of his hand.
The red knight turned with a gasp to watch it fly for an instant, then he turned around to face the blue knight again. "It's time to end this!"
The blue knight grinned widely as he pulled his sword back again. "I couldn't agree more."
The blue knight charged the red one again. With a cry, the red knight jumped into the air, and knocked the sword out of his hands with a tornado kick. The instant he landed on the ground, he jumped again, this time, kicking straight out, catching the blue knight in the chin, and sending him to the ground. In another instant, the red knight jumped on top of him, grabbed hold of his shirt, and pulled his fist back, ready to end it.
The blue knight held his hands up. "Okay, okay, that's enough! It's just a movie! You don't have to take it so seriously!"
The red knight smiled as he released him, and offered his hand to help him up. "Sorry about that, Joe. I guess I just got excited. So, what did you think? I thought it went well."
Joe smiled. "It was pretty good, David. It went together pretty well."
"Pretty good," David yelled, throwing his hands in the air. "Pretty well? I think it was the best scene yet!" He turned to Jesse, who was by far the biggest of his friends, but also the most pessimistic. "What did you think, Jesse?"
"Not bad," he said, scratching behind his ear. "It'd help if you had a camera, though."
"Finally, Jesse," Adam exclaimed, turning to face Jesse. "We found something we agree on!" Although Adam was David's brother, Jesse was more David's friend than Adam's, and they more or less only tolerated each other.
David grinned widely. "Yeah, one of these days, we're going to have to get one of those."
"You'd never be able to do that in a real fight, though," Jason said from under the tree he was leaning against. Jason was Joe's brother, even though he was black and Joe was white. He was also ten times better than any of them in martial arts. Now, he walked over in front of David and picked up a long stick, holding it out in front of him in the position that Joe had taken. "Do that to me, and let me show you where you had problems."
David paused. "Are you sure? I mean, I wouldn't want to hurt you, or something."
Jason laughed heartily. "You aren't going to hurt me, boy! You're too little!" Even though Jason was a year younger than him, and about the same height, Jason was a football player, and a big one, at that. He had a little over a hundred pounds on David, so he was justified in noting the difference.
David shrugged, then crouched down, preparing to jump. "Okay, here I come!" He jumped up, executing another tornado kick.
As David's foot came toward him, however, Jason turned the stick around and swung back, hitting David in the back of his ankle and throwing him off.
David, his form ruined, completely lost his balance in the air, and fell to the ground on his rear. He stood up as he rubbed his tailbone. "Was it really that easy to stop?"
Jason shrugged as he threw the stick, now in two pieces, to the ground. "It wasn't hard. Joe could have done it, but he's too little, too."
"Hey," Joe complained as he gently pushed his younger brother. He was as tall as Jesse, but, whereas Jesse was big, Joe was not. He was as skinny as Adam, and that was saying something.
"I'm hungry," Jesse said without preamble.
Jason dismissed him with a wave of his hand. "You're always hungry, big'un."
Another stomach growled even as he said this. "Okay, who was that," he yelled, mocking anger. "Whoever it was, I swear I'll tear it out of them!"
David raised his hand. "That was me. I'm always hungry after doing something like this."
Jason yelled as he threw his hands up, then pointed at the two of them. "You know what this is, right? This is mutiny! That's what it is!"
"Jase," Joe said, smiling, from behind, "you'd have to be our leader before it would be mutiny."
"Yeah," David joined in, "and since we're at my house, I'm the leader! So I say, let's go down to Arseans, and get a bite to eat!"
From the outside, Arseans Reandevoux looked like a small, wooden building with a few benches outside. On the inside, there was a crafts store and a snack area. This was where the group typically went to hang out, if they didn't just go to one of their houses.
"Hey, everyone," Mrs. Nezbitt, the storeowner, greeted them as they came into the building. "How's the acting coming?"
"Oh, it was great," David answered as they all took a seat. "I, like, did this awesome tornado kick, and knocked Joe's sword out of his hands."
"What he isn't telling you," Joe countered, grinning widely, "is that he had to use his body to fight, because I knocked his sword out of his hands.
Upon mention of the sword, David pulled the long sword out of its cover to look it over. He was glad that they had thought to make a duplicate of the real sword. The fake had really been taking a beating since they started using it. He hadn't wanted to use the real sword, which he had bought when he was in Texas on a trip, because he didn't want to take a chance on it being damaged. For some reason, it was very important to him, and he felt like it should be protected. Even the fake was a work of art. The skull cracker at the end of the hilt was the heads of two griffins, with a red gem in the center. The hilt, itself was made to resemble the coils of a great serpent, winding its way up a tree. The crossguard looked like a great, roaring dragon, or a demon. That was the part that none of them could figure out. At times, it looked like a majestic dragon, and at others, it was a demon so evil that they could hardly bear to look at it. The entire hilt was made of copper, so that it looked like fire in the sun.
Jason was flirting with the girl behind the counter, Christie Hampton. He turned around, saying, "Isn't that right, David?"
"Huh?" David snapped out of his trance, trying to catch up on what he hadn't heard.
Jason just grinned widely. "Boy, you got to learn to listen to me! I was telling Christie that I helped fix one of your moves this afternoon."
"Oh, oh, yeah," he said, slightly embarrassed that he had zoned out like that again. It seemed like it was happening more and more often. "He did. Actually, he's not telling you the whole story. He threw me on my rump, and made it look so easy that a child could do it."
"Again?" Christie sighed, putting her hands on her hips. "Jason, either he's making a lot of mistakes, or you're just enjoying knocking him around."
"Both," he admitted with a shrug. Then he turned to everyone else in the room. "So, what are we going to get on the pizza today?" He waited, but no one spoke up. Jesse and David shifted uncomfortably. "C'mon, people! I'm buying! I need to know what you want on your pizza!"
"Jason," Joe said from the far corner of the room, "you know they hate handouts. Just order a couple of Supremes and be done with it."
Jason shrugged as he turned back to give Christie the order. "And throw in a peach float for each of us," he added after pausing for a moment.
David was on his feet, hands in the air in a moment. "You don't need to do that, Jason! You don't need to put out that kind of money!"
"Well, then, if you don't want a float, what do you want to drink?"
David felt his face grow hot with embarrassment. "I've got water at home that I can drink."
Jason laughed again as he grabbed the first float that Christie set on the counter and shoved it into David's hands. "Drink up, Christiansen. You aren't getting out of this one."
Christie's shift ended while they were eating their pizza, and she went over and joined them, reaching right in their midst to grab a big slice, cheese stretching out behind it.
"Hey," Jesse said in complaint, staring in shock as the slice disappeared into her mouth. "I had my eye on that piece!"
"Well, you should have had your hand on it, instead, shouldn't you?" she retorted in between bites, a bright smile crossing her face.
"She's right, big'un," Jason said, reaching for another big slice as he watched the shocked look on Jesse's face direct toward him. "You've got to be fast in this group." He turned to Christie after he swallowed his first bite of the slice. "Good pizza."
"Thanks," she said around a mouthful of her own.
Jesse just slumped down on the table and contented himself with one of the small pieces.
* * *
They were walking down the road, heading back to David's house to pick up the stuff they had left there and leave. Christie was with them, since Jason was to give her a ride home.
She shifted a large frying pan under her arm for the hundredth time. Jason saw and mentioned it. "Christie, why in the world are you carrying around a frying pan?"
"It's my mom's," she answered, shifting it uncomfortably yet again. "I needed it for work today because we couldn't find the one Mrs. Nezbitt had. We found hers, though, so now, I'm taking this one back home." She waved it around threateningly. "You give me any trouble about it, and I'll smack you on the head with it!"
They had just gotten up to the house when it happened. Out of nowhere, a group of ugly creatures appeared, seeming to form out of the ground, itself. They came up like water, solidifying into what looked like black ninjas. On their chests were crests of a black dragon. Their faces were little more than skulls with skin pulled taut over them. Their eyes were black marbles, sunken back in their sockets. There were 15 of them, which meant that they outnumbered them a little less than three to one.
Out of instinct, the six of them backed off, horrified by what they saw. Christie gasped, almost dropping the frying pan.
"What are those things," David demanded, not daring to take his eyes off of them.
"I don't know," Jason answered, also fixed on the creatures, "but they are the ugliest things I've ever seen."
"They're horrible," Christie moaned, backing up against a tree.
A deep laugh echoed out from behind the creatures, and they parted to let another creature through. This one also wore a black leather suit, but he was larger, and more muscular. He looked more human, although his skin was green, and his eyes were blank. A long sword rested on his back, ever ready for battle. "Yes, I agree, my dear," he said, his voice deep and rough. "They are quite horrible. Trust me, the only thing you'll find more frightening then their looks is how cold-hearted they are when they fight. They are emotionless, without the burden of feelings or pain, completely loyal, and infinitely replicable."
"What are they," David asked again.
The being turned his gaze to David, measuring him up as an opponent. As he did so, his eyes rested on the hilt of the sword. David noticed, and tightened his grip.
He saw the gesture, of course, and smiled widely before answering his question. "They are Demonkin, the foot soldiers of the Evil Queen's Dark Army."
"And you?" Jason stepped forward as he addressed the creature, staring him down as he squared his shoulders, trying to make himself look as big as possible. "Do you have a name? Or are you just big, green and bald?"
The being snarled at Jason, baring his teeth. "I am Morphaeus, High General of the Dark Army! No human mocks me!"
Jason grinned widely back at him. "I just did. Do you want to make something of it?"
Morphaeus almost launched himself at the boy, but held himself back, reminding himself of his mission. "No, not this time, not yet. I have other pressing matters to deal with at the moment. Don't worry, though. As soon as they are taken care of, I'll be back to rip you to shreds."
Jason didn't even flinch. "Fine, then. Go. I'll be here waiting for you."
It was Morphaeus's turn to grin. "You misunderstand me, human. My business is here. I've come to take the Dragon Sword. You weaklings will relinquish it willingly, or I will take it from your decapitated bodies."
They looked around at each other in shock. Finally, David turned back to him. "Leave us alone! We have no idea what you're talking about. We don't know of any Dragon Sword."
"Don't you? Why, my boy, it is the very sword you wear at your waist this instant!" Morphaeus brought his fist up in front of himself threateningly. "Now, give it to me, or die!"
David stepped back toward the group, whispering to them quickly. "What should I do?"
"Give it to him," Joe whispered back, grasping the real one that had been leaning up against the other side of the tree. "Let's see what he does with it."
"Right," David nodded. He walked forward from the rest of the group, drawing the sword and holding it out to him. "Fine," he said angrily. "Take it! You outnumber us, and fighting you would be stupid. Take it, and leave us!"
Morphaeus yanked the sword from his hand and watched as he backed toward the group again. Then the monster smiled. He smiled wider than he ever had in his life. "You foolish children! You have no idea of the power you had in your grasp! This sword holds the power of the Dragons! The very power the Dark Army needs to bring back our Queen! You stupid, weak, filthy humans! You have just handed over the entire universe to the Dark Queen of Demons!" He smirked at them as his eyes closed to slits. "Just so you don't feel left out, let me show you the power that you have given us!" He thrust the sword up into the air, throwing his face up to the sky. "Great Dragons of Power," he shouted, "I summon thee! Grant me the power you hold!" He stood there for a moment, waiting. Finally, he brought it back down. "What? Nothing's happening! But why?" He brought the sword down to look at it, and he saw the imprinted label. "What's this," he shouted in a rage. "Made for David Christiansen by Custom Novelty?" He threw the sword into the ground with a growl. "It's a fake!" He spun back toward them. "You thought you could trick me by giving me a fake sword, did you? Well, guess again! Now, you're all going to pay!" He brought his hand around, pointing at the group. "Demonkin, attack!"
As the creatures rushed forward, the group broke up. Joe spun as he drew his own sword, tossing the Dragon Sword to David. "David, catch!"
David spun around and caught it in one hand, bringing it around to slice at the stomach of a Demonkin that had charged right in front of him. To his surprise, instead of drawing blood, the strike threw sparks. "What are these things," David asked as it staggered back and he spun around to swing at another one, getting the same result.
"I don't think it's them as much as it is the sword," Joe yelled back, struggling with several of them at once, though his sword seemed to have no effect on them at all.
"They're sure a lot tougher than anyone I've fought before," Jason said, throwing one of the Demonkin into another, then turning to kick another in the stomach before nailing it in the head with an elbow. "But they can't be invincible. Or can they," he said in surprise as the one he had hit hard in the head straightened up without any difficulty.
Morphaeus just laughed. "They're a lot stronger than any human could ever be, you pathetic fools. You don't stand a chance!"
"Uh, guys," Christie yelled from where she was cornered by the tree. "I … could use … a little … help here!" Each time she paused, she took another swing with the heavy frying pan at the Demonkin that had her cornered, but they were steadily getting closer.
"I've got you, Christie," Jesse yelled, slamming his full 235 pounds into the Demonkin that was closest to her, sending it to the ground. He turned around, yelling, "Run!"
She nodded quickly, but turned around to see more Demonkin staring her right in the face. She screamed right before one bent down, slamming its fist into her stomach, knocking the wind out of her. Another one grabbed her by the hair, while a third kicked her back into the tree, where she crumpled down, unconscious.
"Christie!" Jesse cried, yelling for his cousin. Before he could do anything, the other two that had been cornering Christie grabbed his arms, twisting them around behind him. He yelled in pain as they snapped. The third one that he had tackled came up and kicked him in the stomach. As his face went forward, it punched straight into it, shattering his glasses and knocking him out.
"No!" Jason yelled, punching a Demonkin in the face before moving toward them. Before he could go anywhere, one grabbed him from behind. He sent an elbow to its face, forcing it to let go, but the Demonkin from the others mobbed him, beating him down.
"Jason!" Joe reached out toward his brother, but a Demonkin grabbed his sword hand, twisting it around and forcing him to drop it. Another one kicked him straight in the face, almost exactly like David had done earlier. Only this time, it wasn't fake. Joe went over backwards, landing on his back, his eyes rolling around blank. They had knocked him out cold with one blow.
David turned around from the two that he was trying to deal with. No matter how much he swung, they kept on coming back. He saw Joe and ran toward him, yelling his name.
A large hand grabbed him by the shoulder and threw him down. David rolled over to see the sneering face of Morphaeus staring back at him. "You can't help them now, boy. You're mine, you insolent little pest! I would have chosen the big, mouthy one, instead, but the Demonkin took care of him. But since you have the sword, and you tried to trick me with the fake one, you'll make a fine second-place candidate!"
"Lucky me," David muttered, rolling out from under him and back on his feet.
Morphaeus just smiled at him. "Don't bother resisting, boy. If you can barely hold off a couple of Demonkin, you don't stand a chance against an elite officer such as myself!" With a back swing of his hand, he sent David into the rock wall of the house, where he slumped down, grunting with the pain. Morphaeus stalked up to him, drawing his long sword, an evil grin spreading across his lips. "Now, time to die!"
Adam had picked up a whip he had made from a thick stick and a gold chain, and had been keeping his set of Demonkin at a fairly good distance by swinging it around in front of him. When he heard Morphaeus, he spun around, horror on his face. "David! No!" He brought the whip back and snapped it out, wrapping it around the neck of a surprised Morphaeus. He gave it a hard yank, tightening it as Morphaeus grasped at it, struggling to breathe. "David, are you okay?"
David struggled up. "Yeah. Thanks, bro. You just saved my life."
"Not yet, he hasn't," Morphaeus growled, getting a solid grip on the chain. With a shout, he snapped the heavy chain apart, sending twisted links everywhere. He spun around, his eyes shining with anger. "I'm going to kill you for that!" Before Adam or David could do anything, the monster had his sword drawn back and rushed at Adam at a blinding speed. A look of shock spread over Adam's face as the sword went through him. Morphaeus held it there for a moment before yanking it back out and kicking him to the ground.
David's eyes burned with tears, and his chest with rage. His brother. This monster had killed his brother. He staggered up before he knew what he was doing. He forgot all of the pain in his body. There was only one thing on his mind. Revenge!
Morphaeus spun around with a look of evil glee on his face. When he saw David, however, it evaporated. The boy he saw glowed with a red light. The jewel in the hilt of the sword glowed with an unnatural brightness. He stared in shock as the boy brought the sword back and ran at him, screaming at the top of his lungs.
With all of the strength of his anger and fury, David brought the sword down across the monster's chest, drawing an explosion of sparks as the monster staggered back, screaming as the pain seared across his chest in a blazing fire.
Morphaeus put his hand to the gash that ran down his chest, then held his hand up to his face, staring at it in shock. He turned to look at the boy he had so underestimated, and the boy stared back with fire in his eyes. Then he caught sight of something over the boy's shoulder. He returned his gaze to the boy. "We'll finish this later, boy! Demonkin, retreat!" He disappeared in a flash of light as all of the Demonkin melted away.
David held his fist up to where the monster had been standing. "Get back here, you murderer! I'm going to cut you to ribbons!"
What felt like a hand came down on his shoulder as a voice behind him spoke. "You must calm yourself, young one."
David looked to his shoulder, where a giant claw rested gently. He followed it up and behind him, and all of his anger disappeared, to be replaced by sheer terror. A giant monster was laying down right behind him. David yanked himself out from under the claw, spinning around to face the beast. "Another monster? Let me guess, you want this sword, too, huh? Well, too bad! It's the only thing that will let me kill that murderer. Kill me, if you want. My brother's gone, so I have no reason to live!" He staggered back, trying to take a fighting position while still craning his neck up to stare at the thing. "I'm not afraid of you, you monster! Come and get me!"
The beast seemed to smile as it bent its long neck down so it could be at eye level with David. "Let's get a few things straight. I'm not a monster. I'm a dragon. That sword belongs to me, anyway, and you wouldn't be able to harm me with it if you tried. Finally, none of your friends are dead, not even your brother. Come with me, and I can help them. You must hurry, though, for your brother's life force is fading quickly, and if we don't help him, he will die, and all of the things you've said will be true."
David let his sword arm drop as he turned to look at his brother, his shirt soaked in blood. His chest moved slightly. No, he wasn't dead. Not yet. He went over to him and bent over to pick him up, then turned back to the dragon. "Let's go."
* * *
"You called retreat from a cut and a bunch of kids?" Kligaden yelled at Morphaeus, who once again knelt before him and Kara.
"I was going to finish him off, my lord, but a dragon appeared behind him!"
"A dragon? That's preposterous! The dragons have been sealed up for millennia, ever since they were used to defeat us before!"
"With all due respect, my lord," Morphaeus said, groveling before them, "that sword is the key to the heart of all dragons. It was the sword used to seal both demons and dragons before. Surely, it would have the power to remove the seal."
"He's right," Kara said, placing a restraining hand on her brother's shoulder. "If anything has the power to release the dragons, it is the Dragon Sword. After all, that is why we wanted it."
Kligaden jumped up with a roar, slamming his fists into the arm of his chair. "You should not have run!"
Kara stood up and grabbed her brother's arm. "Kligaden! We hardly equipped him to deal with a dragon!" She waited until Kligaden relaxed and sat back down, then turned to him, hands on her hips. "At least you know that it really does exist, brother."
"Yes," he agreed sarcastically. "That's wonderful news, Kara. Only one problem, though. It's in the wrong hands!"
Kara just smirked at him. "Don't worry. They haven't unlocked the full power of the dragons yet, and they won't get the chance. They are still too weak to stop us."
* * *
"What happened," Jason asked as he came around. He took in his surroundings. He was in what seemed like a large cave, the dark ceiling high above, out of reach of the light that seemed to come from everywhere. "Better yet, where am I?" He struggled to sit up, but a hand came down on his chest.
"Shhh," Christie ordered gently, pushing him back down. She had a wrap around her head, but seemed to be okay otherwise. "You shouldn't be getting up yet. You're still pretty battered from the fight."
He gave her a funny look. "Well, that's because they all ganged up on me!"
She smiled lightly as she gently punched him in the shoulder. "Well, next time, maybe you'll remember to play nicely with the other kids, and you won't end up knocked out for so long!"
"How long was I out?"
"A couple days," she answered, pulling at the skin on his forehead with her thumb to get a better look at a black eye he had gotten. "Everyone else woke up before you."
He watched as she took a strip of cloth and wetted it. "So everyone's okay?"
"Not everyone," she said sadly, stopping what she was doing to look over at another bed.
Jason shifted to see David leaning over Adam, who was still unconscious.
"You said this would help," he heard him say. He couldn't see who he was talking to. "How long until he gets better?"
A voice came from somewhere Jason couldn't see. "There is no medicine more potent than that of dragons, David. But you have to remember the condition your brother is in. His is a deep wound from the blade of a demon. He will need time to recover."
Jason moved to get up, much to the displeasure of Christie, but he pushed her hands away.
"You shouldn't be getting up yet," she said in protest.
"I appreciate the worry, Christie, but I'd prefer to gage my own body's wellness." Still, he was careful when he got up, putting weight on his legs a little bit at a time. He walked over to David and put a bandaged hand on his shoulder. "You okay, David?"
He spun away to face the wall. "I'm fine. I just wish I could say the same for my brother." He punched the wall as he shouted. "Darn it! It should have been me on that blade, not him! If he hadn't gone and saved me, …" his voice trailed off into sobs.
Jason tried to find words to comfort him, but the voice that had spoken to David sounded behind him.
"Jason, I know that he is your friend, but you must let him be for the moment. As much as you would like to help him, there is nothing you can say at the moment to do so. Trust me. All of your friends have tried. I, myself, have attempted it, but to no avail."
Jason turned to face the voice, but staggered back as a large head stretched out of the shadows. "Another monster?"
The head dropped in exasperation. "Please, do not continue to call me a monster. I am a dragon. I am the owner of the sword that the demon coveted. Call me by my name, Phlogiston, the dragon of fire."
Jason stood there for a moment, then nodded when nothing else came to mind.
David flopped down in a chair next to Adam's bed. Jason stared at him for a moment, wanting to say something, but finally dropped his head and turned away as he and Christie walked over to where Joe and Jesse were sitting around a fire, cooking something in a pot.
Phlogiston put a claw on David's shoulder. "Come, you must eat."
David shook his head. "I'm going to stay here until he wakes up. He's going to wake up here pretty soon. He has to. He can't die. He's my brother." Tears ran down his cheeks as he slammed his fists down on the edge of the bed. "I should be the one laying there, not him!"
"Your brother did a brave thing when he saved you, David. Your bond is one that should never be broken, remember that. It was your feelings for him that fended off Kligaden and summoned me. What you did in your brother's name was incredible, never forget that. Your heart is great, even though it is plagued with grief. Whatever happens, you have the heart of a dragon."
* * *
Next time on Power Rangers: Dragon Rangers:
A red aura glowed around David, but it faded as he collapsed, exhausted.
"You have to keep trying, David," Phlogiston told him. "If you can't master my energy of fire, you will never have the power to stop Morphaeus."
* * *
David ran around the corner, coming face-to-face with Morphaeus and a squad of Demonkin. "Stop right there, Morphaeus," he yelled, pulling the Dragon Sword. "We've got some unfinished business to settle!"
* * *
A cloud of dust puffed up as Jesse opened the old tome. "Look at this, you guys! According to this, there are four other dragons!"
* * *
Christie lifted her head as the hand moved in front of her. She jumped up, a wide smile spreading across her face as she shouted across the den. "Everyone, come quick! He's waking up!"
* * *
David yelled as the blow knocked him over the edge.
* * *
Tune in next time for Power Rangers: Dragon Rangers!