Sailor Moon: Rise of the Dark Ranger
Location: Ruins of the Command Center, outside of Angel Grove California
For Jason Oliver, life had always been hard, having to keep secrets, and live up to and live down the legacy of his parents, especially the legacy of his father. For Jason, keeping secrets about his family, from his friends, and his girlfriend, and having to make choices that required the greatest of sacrifices, had made him hate being the son of a Power Ranger more than ever.
His girlfriend, his mind began to drift back to the night his parents died, the lie he told her about why they could no longer be together, how he ran off into that blinding rain without explaining why? The regret he felt that there was no other way to keep her safe from the man he had once called his brother. His brother, the very thought of that man brought back a variety of memories, of their play fights, their martial arts training with their father and uncle, and of the accident that had left the jagged scar across his right eye. Of all the people in the world, there was no one he hated more than the monster he'd once been happy to call his brother.
Location: Apartment 541, Jubban District, Tokyo, Japan
A bright green flash filled the apartment, revealing the Green Ranger. He remained, silent as he began to de-morph, revealing a young man in his mid-20s, with short jet black hair, his left eye was pure red, giving it the appearance of blood, while his right eye was sky blue, yet had the appearance of pure ice. Around his left eye was a jagged scar. He was clad in a black and green jacket, with a green shirt beneath it and dark blue jeans.
The man made his way over to a hidden panel on the far side of the room, sliding the panel open, revealed a small glass globe.
"You summoned me," the man said, as the image of the Dark Ranger, "I am at your service my Emperor."
"Green Ranger," the Dark Ranger replied, "Report on the status of the Negaverse forces."
"The plan worked just as you said my master," the man replied, "with the loss of Queen Beryl their lands were easy pickings for our Shadow Rangers and Battle Zords."
"And what of the Sailor Scouts," the Dark Ranger inquired.
"They are none the wiser to our plans," the man replied, calmly.
"Excellent," the Dark Ranger said, coldly, "we can proceed to the next stage in my plan."
"You mean it's time my master," the man replied.
"Indeed," the Dark Ranger replied, "Begin preparing the Earth for my arrival, and begin gathering the souls necessary for fueling the Dragonzord."
"As you command my master," the man said bowing.
"One more thing Green Ranger," the Dark Ranger said, the man stopped in his tracks, "Don't get carried away with your personal vendetta." The man simply grunted.
"If my brother tries to interfere master," the man said, "he will share the fate of the other Power Rangers."
Location: The Power Chamber, beneath the ruins of the Command Center
The old Power Chamber had once been the headquarters of the Power Rangers, but now it was little more than a relic, filled with memories of old times. It was here that generations of Power Rangers were guided by Zordon's wise council in what seemed to be an endless war against the ambitious and corrupt who would seek to subjugate the Galaxy to their dark will. It was a room filled with history, a silent witness to countless moments of triumph and tragedy, of the site where countless brothers and sisters would join the ranks of the elite brotherhood that was the Power Rangers.
Now all that remained were old consoles, covered in cobwebs and dirt with the remains of old Paranatron armor scattered about the chamber, relics of Divatox's attack on the chamber long ago. Behind the old consoles, was a large glass tube which had long been shattered the tube that had once held Zordon himself.
Jason couldn't help but wonder what the chamber had been like when his parents had been there during their time as Power Rangers. Jason gazed across the shattered room, as if looking for something.
"My sons," a familiar voice said, from behind him. Jason spun around, just in time to see a hologram of his father, appear behind him, "if either, or both of you, are watching this message it means both your mother and I are dead, or the threat we have long feared has finally come to pass forcing us to tell you of this message." Jason remained silent, fixated on the image of his father, "What you are about to see is a history of a threat far greater than the evil we told you of when you were younger, and a history we only learned after we had passed our powers on, when Billy contacted us from Aquitar with news of the discovery of the tomb of one of the First Rangers. Long ago, long before the creation of the original power coins, Ninjor had created six other coins, each one drawing its energy from the souls of the Dragons who dwell in the constellation Draco, to combat the threat posed by the Demon God Ragnos. It was during this war that the wielder of the Black Dragon Coin betrayed his team mates, sealing their leader, Zordon, within a time warp, and murdering the original owner of the Green Dragon Coin, forever corrupting it. The legend says that in the end the reaming First Rangers sacrificed themselves to destroy Ragnos, and the traitor fled into the depths of space, where it is rumored he improved the Black Dragon Coin and took the title Dark Ranger." Jason sighed, as the message continued.
"Ever since that day," the hologram continued, "the Dark Ranger's Avatars have ventured to numerous worlds across the Galaxy, corrupting them from the inside out, spreading the Dark Ranger's Empire across the stars. But the Dark Ranger has coveted one world above all others, Earth, the planet on which Ragnos was defeated, and the planet on which he betrayed the First Rangers, and has eliminated any threat to his power by manipulating events to his own ends. Though the Dark Ranger has kept his distance from Earth, Zordon prepared for any chance the traitor would return by keeping his old power coin: The Golden Dragon Coin. Prior to Zordon's capture, he entrusted me with the coin, and to keep it hidden, to this day I only told your mother and uncle of the coin's existence." Slowly the panel on which the hologram was, began to slide open, revealing a small square hole. Within the hole sat a bright golden coin, with the image of a bright red dragon carved into it.
"The coin you see before you," the hologram continued, "is the sole remaining power coin used by the First Rangers, the only one that has yet to be corrupted. My sons, I know growing up the sons of Power Rangers was a difficult and painful experience, yet understand neither your mother nor I would ever force you to accept this coin, the way I had been forced to accept the Green Dragon Coin. It is easy for you to hate us for what we have put you through, and not a day has gone by where we haven't regretted every moment, wishing that for one day our children could have a normal life. Just remember that no matter what decisions you make in life, we will always love you both, farewell my sons." Jason remained lost in thought, gazing at the golden coin. The time had come for him to make a decision he had long hoped to never make. Breathing in heavily, Jason reached for the coin.
Location: Alley Way, Jubban District, Tokyo Japan
Cassie made her way out of the theater's backdoor, it had been just another in a long series of performances. As much as she enjoyed being a singer, she still missed the excitement from her days as a Power Ranger, she looked down at the old Astro Morpher around her wrist, a souvenir she'd kept from her adventures on the Astro Mega Ship, and couldn't help but smile. Yet staring at the old morpher reminded her of the stories she'd been hearing on the news, the stories about someone hunting down former Power Rangers, she couldn't help but wonder how much longer her luck would hold up.
Cassie made her way down the alley way, towards her parked car, pausing every few seconds to gaze over her shoulder, she could have sworn someone was following her, yet every time she looked there was nothing but darkness. It was at that moment, Cassie felt herself bump into something, gazing up she saw a familiar figure, the Green Ranger.
"Tommy," Cassie said, breathing a sigh of relief, "what are you doing here, and why are you wearing your old Green Ranger costume?" The Green Ranger didn't say anything as raw green energy gathered around his glove, before Cassie had a chance to react the Green Ranger unleashed his attack, blasting her into a nearby wall.
"Tommy," Cassie said, as she reached for her Astro Morpher, "What are you doing have you gone crazy?" Before Cassie had a chance to activate her morpher, she felt the cold steel of the Sword of Darkness's blade, as it sliced into her wrists, severing both of her hands. It was then the Green Ranger, grabbed Cassie by the neck.
"Tommy," Cassie pleaded, "why are you doing this?"
"Simple," the Green Ranger replied, as he slashed her neck, "my master orders it," as Cassie's lifeless body fell to the ground, the Green Ranger let out a cold laugh, as her life force entered both his sword and the Dragon Dagger, "and one last thing, you were only half right." No sooner had the Green Ranger uttered the words, he felt a strong surge of energy flow through him, looking down at his Morpher, he saw that his power coin had begun glowing bright green.
"So," the Green Ranger said, coldly, "he's made his choice," he turned to face the moon, "Come brother, I'll be waiting."
Location: Jubban District, Tokyo Japan a few days later
Tokyo, of all the cities on Earth, it was the one place Jason never wanted to return, at one time it was the only city on Earth where he'd truly been happy, and yet it was also the city where he'd made what he had long considered his greatest mistake. It was a moonless night, the cool night breeze lifted his black trench coat high enough to reveal the dragon's head style bracelet that now adorned his right wrist, clenched tightly in his gloved hand was a letter he'd received earlier that day, though it only contained one sentence the meaning was clear: "Brother, meet me in the place where our scars were born, at midnight." The very thought that his brother was here, in Tokyo was enough to get his blood burning, he crumpled the letter tightly.
"Don't let your personal feelings cloud your judgment," the bracelet said, its eyes glowing bright gold.
"It's not your decision to make," Jason snapped back. However before he had chance to finish his statement, he overheard a familiar voice approaching from behind. No, he couldn't let her see him, not now, not after what had transpired between them. Thinking quickly Jason ducked into a nearby alleyway, taking cover behind a large dumpster, from the corner of his eye, Jason could make out the figures of three young girls, yet one drew caught his attention more than the others, she was taller than the others and wore a green sailor style school uniform. Memories began flowing back into Jason's mind, memories of one of the few times he'd truly been happy, but that was another time, another life. He knew full well as long as they were together she'd never be safe and how he felt there was no choice but to hurt her emotionally to save her life. The girl stopped for a brief second, and gazed down the alley, Jason ducked deeper into the shadows, fearing that she'd seen him.
"Hey Lita," one of the other girls shouted, "Come on, we'll be late for the movie."
"Uh," Lita said, hesitantly, "Yeah I'll be there in a second." It felt like an eternity, but eventually she went away, only looking back once.
"Who was that," the bracelet inquired.
"Someone who means everything to me," Jason replied, with a small tear forming under his red eye, "someone whose gentle heart I had to devastate in order to protect her." With that, Jason made his way out of the alley, and vanished into the crowd.
Location: Stormdrain, near Shrabara Movie Theater, Midnight
Jason slowly emerged from the shadows, it had been five years since he'd been here, and yet the cold steel of the back side of that blunted sword striking him in the eye, of the scream his brother had let out as he too struck him in the eye with the back edge of his own sword. Five years since the murder of his parents. The silence was only broken by the sound of a passing train. Yet Jason remained unmoved, his gaze remained fixated on the figure standing on the opposite side. The lower half of his face was covered by a green bandana, yet it was the blood red left eye that was all the proof Jason needed to confirm the man's identity.
"Hello brother," Jason said, coldly.
"Hello brother," his brother replied. The two men simply stood there sizing each other up, waiting for the other to make the first move.
"It's been five years," his brother continued, "Five years our feud has raged, five years worth of fights, FIVE YEARS WORTH OF HATE BURNING IN THE DEPTHS OF MY SOUL." Jason remained silent as the Sword of Darkness materialized in his brother's hand, "You always asked me why I murdered mother and father, I've always told you that it was because of the humiliation you inflicted on me, but that's a lie, I only said that because I knew it would HURT, I used to tell you that our feud has been a matter of honor, and my hatred for you stems from what transpired HERE," he pointed his sword to the ground, Jason however remained frozen, trying to control his own anger, "but that too is a lie, I killed them and I hate you because father chose HIS YOUNGEST SON to inherit the Gold Dragon Coin INSTEAD OF HIS ELDEST SON," Jason slowly willed a double bladed sword to form from the bracelet on his wrist, "I murdered mother and father and I've hated you all these years because father chose nothing more, nothing less."
"You weren't ready brother," Jason snapped back, pointing his sword at his brother, "you were always impatient, hot headed, you never understood what it truly means to be a Power Ranger, but more importantly Father saw that I was more deserving of the coin then you."
"Oh you know something little brother," his brother replied, laughing "that is where you'd be wrong," he assumed a fighting stance.
"Brother," Jason replied, "nothing in this universe would've made me happier if father had chosen another to bare the Gold Dragon Coin," he too assumed a fighting stance, "But I'll die to ensure you never wield it."
"I was hoping you'd say that," his brother snapped, "Five years I have served the Dark Ranger as his herald, hunting down any on Earth who are connected to the Morphing Grid, a task I was all too happy to do, because I knew one day it would draw you out of hiding," Jason remained still, waiting for the right moment strike, "because for five years all I have ever wanted IS TO SEE YOU LYING AT MY FEET, AS I TAKE FROM YOU THE THING THAT YOU VALUE THE MOST, AND THEN KILL YOU WITH MY OWN HANDS!"
"Brother," Jason said, as his grip on the sword tightened, "it doesn't have to end like this."
"After all this time brother," his brother replied, calmly, "there is no other way." Things seemed to move in slow motion, as the two warriors leapt towards each other, the only thing breaking the silence was the sounds of metal clashing into metal, as their swords met. For what seemed like an eternity the two warriors were at a stalemate, each one perfectly countering the moves of the other, just waiting for the other to make the mistake that would turn the tide. Just as his brother brought his sword around, Jason spied an opportunity, ducking beneath his brother's attack, just as it came within a hair of striking him, Jason, spun kicked his brother's leg out from under him, sending him careening to the ground. Before his brother had a chance to regain his footing Jason placed the blade of his sword under his brother's neck.
"This ends here and now," Jason snapped, as he prepared to slit his brother's throat.
"No brother," his brother replied, his eyes began to glow with raw green energy, "This isn't over," with that he unleashed a beam of energy, knocking Jason back, and slamming him into a nearby tree. Jason, though dazed, slowly regained his footing, as yet more green energy flowed down his brother's arm, forming a golden morpher.
"It's time to up the stakes," his brother snapped, as he raised the morpher to the sky, "DRAGONZORD." The only thing Jason saw was a blinding flash of green light, and as the light faded, the Green Ranger slowly emerged.
"So the stories about the Dark Ranger having father's first power coin were true," Jason said, as he struggled to stand.
"Indeed," the Green Ranger replied, as the Sword of Darkness reformed in his hand, "the Emperor was all too pleased to reward me with it, for slaying mother and father." Jason summoned what little strength he had, and charged towards the Green Ranger, yet just as his blade was about to strike, the Green Ranger leapt over his head, and delivered a spin kick to the back of his neck, knocking him forward.
"Use me," the bracelet around Jason's wrist pleaded.
"No," Jason replied, his anger and pride clouding his judgment. More than anything he wanted to prove that if he could hold his own, without using a Power Coin, then maybe he would finally be free of the burden of being a Power Ranger.
"It's over Jason," the Green Ranger said, coldly raising the Sword of Darkness high over his head, but just as he was about to strike the final, Jason managed to block the attack with his own blade.
"No brother," Jason replied, as a cold smile crept over his face, "I'm just getting warmed up." The Green Ranger let out a cold laugh.
"Very well brother," the Green Ranger replied, "Let's finish this." With that the two gladiators once again lunged towards each other.
Location: Outside Jubban Arcade, near the Stormdrain
"Oh please Amy," Serena pleaded, as she hugged her friend, "I just want you to tell me what you think the questions on tomorrows test will be, oh and give me the answers." Normally Amy was quiet and soft spoken, she'd learned to put up with Serena's schemes and bratty attitude since their battles with the Negaverse, but this was crossing the line, Serena was essentially asking her to help her cheat on an exam.
"Serena," Amy said, harshly, as she pulled her arm free of Serena's grip, "you should be ashamed to even consider asking me to do something like that," her tone grew harsher, "don't you have any pride in studying for these tests and earning a decent grade yourself?"
"She's right you know," Lita added, Serena couldn't help but cringe as she shot Lita a cold glance.
"You're one to talk," Serena replied, "you were just as eager for those answers as I was." Lita couldn't help but blush, Amy on the other hand did all she could to try and restrain the anger she felt towards her friends. Before Amy had a chance to form a reply, the silence of the night was broken by the sound of an ear splitting scream.
Location: Stormdrain, near the Jubaan Arcade, a few moments later
Jason staggered back, blood gushing from the wound in his shoulder. His cold gaze remaining fixated on his brother, as the Green Ranger slowly advanced towards him, the Sword of Darkness now coated in blood. Summoning what little strength he had left, he focused the energy of the bracelet into the two blades of his sword; with all his might he hurled the beams of energy towards the Green Ranger. Beneath his helmet, the Green Ranger smiled coldly, as he deflected both beams of energy.
"It's over brother," the Green Ranger said, coldly, "this time you don't walk away."
"JASON," a voice shouted, catching the Green Ranger's attention. He looked up just in time to see three girls run to the edge of the storm drain.
'No,' Jason thought to himself, 'not her, not here.' The Green Ranger couldn't help but laugh, as the three girls made their way to his brother's side.
"Sailor Scouts," the Green Ranger laughed, the three girls looked at him with confused stares, as if they didn't know what he was talking about, however the Green Ranger's tone quickly changed to one that was cold and harsh, "this doesn't concern you, if you are wise you'll leave." However no sooner had the Green Ranger finished his statement, one of the girls turned to face him.
"If you want him," Lita snapped, "You'll have to go through me first."
"Very well," the Green Ranger replied, as he once again drew energy into his sword, "if you choose to side with my enemy, you shall share his fate." With that he unleashed the energy towards the girl.
"LITA LOOK OUT," Jason shouted, with all his remaining strength, Jason managed to push Lita out of the path of the energy blast, however he took the full blast himself, which threw him against the concrete wall behind him.
"JASON," Lita said, as she crawled to his side, the impact had knocked him out, and also had impaled his other shoulder on a piece of steel wiring.
"You've been warned," the Green Ranger said, before any of the girls had a chance to react the Green Ranger had vanished.
Stay tuned for Chapter II: Gold Storm