I sit here as I type this 4th revision to my opening chapter watching CNN covering the 8.9 quake in Japan 18 hours after it happened. It just struck me that's how I started the first chapter of this story. It was just a story in a three ringed binder years ago when I started it with an earthquake as a means of getting four kids where they needed to be in order to become one with their armors. I find myself ashamed for doing that now. Writing that at the time and even re-writing it now years later-I just didn't think about all of the implications of what would happen in a real world situation. My heart goes out to everyone in Japan affected by the disaster. I may not have much to offer financially but I'm sending what I can through a relief organization and I encourage anyone who reads this to do the same.
This is the fifth revision that this opening has gone through. One thing I never had in my handwritten version was background information on the new generation bad guys. After getting to a part where they came into the story I realize they needed an intro before that and the best place to do it was the opening. I wanted to leave the new group of Troopers entirely for the first chapter but I finally had to stop kidding myself and get down to business. While this is a story about all five of them one has always been a bigger part of the story than the other four. So you find out quite a bit about one of the Troopers history in the opening as opposed to the rest that only comes in later chapters. For this 5th revision there were some minor errors that still needed correcting despite two editors and a smart error finding word processor and there were a few parts that I just flat out didn't like and had to fix. Most are so minor even if you read the 3rd or 4th version you won't be able to spot it-there is one biggy at the end though that just had to be fixed cause I was sick of looking at the way it was written.
Sixth now-i find something wrong every time I read through this thing...apparently I need new editors.
Seventh change now-this one about "the goddess lover" i wanted changed.
This is a story about a group of people forced to come together to continue the fight that their fathers started. Along the way they have to over come obstacles such as ill health, past mistakes, prejudice, pride, etc to do it. I mean no offense especially when it may come to some of the exchanges between Rachel and Takeo-none of those beliefs are my own-they just make for good drama in the story. I didn't set out to stereotype anyone certain characters just evolved the way they are and I hope that no one will take offense from anything that I write.
Right after Arago's defeat at the hands of Kaos:
Several of the Nether Realm demons remain in the Mortal World. Among them a powerful water wielding she-demon with silken red hair. Unlike most of her demon counter parts she is not merely disembodied soul inhabiting a suit of magical armor. Many in the Nether Realm had sought to defeat her-those like her even conquer her-but her downfall comes in the Mortal World. Many here flock to her treating her like a goddess. One young man catches her eye and she takes him for her lover. His family fearing for their son curse the demon to die with the birth of the bastard son she bares from their union. Her lover in a rage kills his family for what did to his love and escapes Japan with the infant demi-demon. He spirits the child away to another continent where despite the curse put on the demon extending to kill every female descendant a blood line endures.
After the creation of the Nine Armors:
Kaos fears that when the demon Arago makes good on his revenge that these nine armors alone may not be enough to defeat him. He sets out to another land where he prepares objects and hides them until such a time that they might be needed to defeat the demon once and for all. Should they be found before they are needed he makes sure they are objects that would be revered and kept safe.
Nearly three quarters of a century later:
The goddess' lover is now old but only his hair has grown white giving away any hint of age. He was granted immortality by his goddess lover. They were supposed to live together forever. Only another immortal can kill another-how they must tremble to know humans can at least get rid of female ones with a curse. As his rage over what he lost burns deeper than ever as his son with the goddess chooses to end his immortal life. He is sought out by a spirit who needs someone like him to help regain what he has lost and perhaps even someday to get back what he has lost and desires to have again. He has nothing else to live for and with the prospect of getting back the goddess one day he accepts the offer. He then retreats to the Nether Realm to serve his new master.
Soon after the Samurai Troopers gain the swords of Fervor:
They called him a quack for pursuing the armored mermaid described by the drunken surfer-who claimed to be saved by her-rather than the freak disturbance of the sea in Australia that the young man-lucky to be alive-encountered. He believed the young man even if no one else did. Someone like he described couldn't have just disappeared into the crowds. The armor that he described would just sink in the waves. Yet he is sure it is that armor which caused the disturbance in the water. If she was real she had to be here somewhere among the observers swarming the beach waiting for her chance to escape. That red hair the drunken surfer described...she has to stand out among the crowd. Not auburn, or any other natural shade of red. Red like a crayon is what the surfer called it. The scientist is just about to give it up when he suddenly spots her near the pier. He swears he can feel the power radiating from her. Does she know what he wants? He is very certain of that when the blond haired guy she just spoke to turns around to look at him.
After the events of Gaiden episodes:
He sits in front of his computer pouring over all the data that was gathered during the Samurai's battle with Shiakisen. He never again saw the girl but he tracked down the blond haired guy she was talking to that day only to discover he had his own armor. Even though the girl never showed up the scientist's alliance with the sorcerer had severed him well in trapping the blond haired boy and for awhile the bearers of four more armors. The hologram that he has only just begun with what little data he gleaned from the Halo armor along with the other four is progressing nicely. The real world applications born from this data could be limitless. He has waited to get his hands on this armor since he first studied its disturbance back in Australia after the first round of trouble in Tokyo had ended. As he works he has no idea that in something called the Nether Realm a force that refuses to die has linked itself with his computer model in the Mortal Realm.
Even without armor Arago is a force to be reckoned with. Kayura and his former Dark Warlords are a lost cause but he intends to make them pay for their betrayal. He bides his time refusing to rush into revenge this time opting instead to wait-gather his strength-renew his acquaintance with old allies and make new ones.
After the events of Message:
The warriors become aware that not all of the demons which entered this world left with Kaos' first defeat of Arago. They go their separate ways investigating increasingly troubling reports around the world that seems to be the work those demons left behind.
Members of a secret cult of a long forgotten water goddess follow one of the Samurai as he leaves Japan hoping more to find a young woman he has strangely found himself enamored with that he once met as a teen back in Australia-than to fight demons again. All is proceeding just as the cult hoped would happen. That young woman is a direct descendant of their goddess and they intend to use the woman and the warrior of Torrent to bring her back into this world.
10 years after the events of Message:
Kayura and the former dark warlords Rajura, Anubis, and, Naaza have been missing for some time before the Samurai Troopers get word that something is amiss there. All of them are leaving behind young children when they venture back to Japan. They have no idea the magnitude of vengeance that is awaiting them upon their arrival.
2 months ago (April 2029):
After seemingly countless years of staring out of a computer screen the holographic computer model begins speaking to its maker. It did not gain what it wanted from the long dead samurai and it intends to use this dark soul to gain it.
"You still need more research to realize your goals."
At first he only looks around the room. He had been called mad before, but after so many years of frustratingly failed efforts he thinks maybe he finally has become it. He gets up and looks around the room. "Who's there?"
"It is only you and I."
He stops looking back at the computer. "Y-You can speak?"
"You have no idea just what your research has accomplished so far...would you like to see?"
"Yes...yes I would." He sits down in front of the computer screen as violent imagery from another world speeds by. "Is this some sort of virtual world?"
"It is a realm as real as your own and I am the link between those worlds. It seems that we both have a common goal."
"The five armors?"
The scientist sits in awe for a few moments as in he takes in the fact there are more armors. "Nine?"
"I have four now, but need the other five to realize my goals. I will grant you the research you desire if you help me regain the other five armors."
The scientist doesn't even stop to consider what he might be getting himself into. "What do I have to do?" He jumps up as four glowing orbs float out of the computer screen. As they materialize into round crystals four pictures appear on screen.
"Search out these four and give them the crystals. They will draw out the other five that we both seek. Until then you may study their armors and glean what secrets you can from it."
He stands there looking around. If four glowing crystals weren't laying in front of the monitor he would think that it had all been some sort of hallucination. He picks up the crystals feeling their energy coarse through him. "Not just five armors but nine..." He closes his palm tightly over the crystals as he hits the print button-once the printer spits out the images on screen he rushes out to seek out the four.
In the Nether Realm Arago's new holographic form as a disembodied spirit without armor once again made tangible by the dark magics of this realm looks out over his domain from his castle. "The fool...just like before the nine armors will only grow in power through use and then I alone will have all their power."
1 month and three weeks ago:
In the United States the scientist sits in a visitor booth in a prison waiting for the first person he was asked to track down. He clenches the crystal tight in his hand as he mentally goes over all he learned about the young man. The facts of his case are quite clear to an unbiased observer. The man's long time lover had committed suicide. The now imprisoned man had been found by neighbors highly distraught over the body of his dead lover mere moments after returning home from a business trip. His lover's wealthy family refusing to accept suicide-and most likely the fact that their only son was homosexual-payed for the best lawyers to slap a murder charge on the grieving man. The scientist knows that the charge held up in court because of the exchange of a great deal of money. A little snooping through a bank's data base provided that information. With what he knows he could probably get a whole new trial that would lead to the man's exoneration, but that isn't why he is here. He looks up as the man in an orange jump suit sits down on the other side of the glass. The scientist picks up the phone. "I have something for you Wayne."
"Unless its information that's going to lead to a new trial so I can get out of here-I'm not interested."
"Do you really think the people that put you in here would let you escape what happened even if you got what you want? They would follow you every where ruining every shot you get at a decent life. No my friend in that respect you are better off where you are. I could give you information but it won't really help you. What I can do is get you out of here...now."
"Man you're crazy."
The scientist places the glowing crystal down on the table and flicks it forward toward the bullet proof glass instead of bouncing off it passes through. "You want freedom my friend? Pick up that crystal and not only will you be granted that but you will also gain so much more."
Wayne looks down at the glowing orb part of him can't believe what he just saw. He reaches out to touch it but quickly pulls his hand back. "What kind of trick is this? Are you a hypnotist or something?"
"Its no trick Wayne. Can't you feel its power? Its calling to you. Pick it up-claim it and you can have everything you've ever desired...or I could take it back and you can spend the rest of your life rotting away in here."
Wayne can feel the power from the crystal. It seems to ebb and flow with the beating of his heart. He again reaches out for it entranced by its pull but he stops at the last second. For a long time he just sits staring at the man in front of him as he tries to make sense of what is happening. "Are you the devil? I pick this up and you get my soul for eternity. Is that how it works?"
"I assure you that I am no devil."
"Did he send you?"
"You were chosen Wayne. Chosen to wield unimaginable power. God...the devil...good...evil...does it really matter? Justice-that's what you get Wayne-along with the power to make sure that you are never wronged again...even vengeance upon those who wronged you if that's what you desire. And to get it all you have to do is pick up that crystal in front of you."
He claps his hand over the crystal hiding its glow from the guard who looks his way. Instantly he feels as if his soul is drawn away from his body.
The scientist calmly hangs up the phone and gets up. This job is done and there are others yet to be completed.
Wayne looks around to find himself in what looks like ancient Japan. He wanders over to a window which over looks a golden river.
"I have been expecting you."
Wayne turns around to face the source of the voice. "Who-what are you?"
"I am your devil Wayne. It is I, Lord Arago-master of all you see before you."
"What do you want with me?"
"Five are coming that wield mystical armors in hopes to defeat me. I have chosen you to fight at my side Wayne for one very special reason."
"What is that?"
"Your connection to one of those five."
"What connection is that?"
"It wasn't really a business trip you went away on. Of course your company was finalizing a sponsorship deal but it was more of a pleasure trip for you wasn't it...or as close as you could come to it-or should I say him. Join me wield the armor I have sent to you and when those five are defeated you may have him."
"Times up back to your cell."
Wayne looks up at the guard suddenly as that other world fades away. He feels the pull from the crystal stronger than ever as the guard tries to pull him up from the chair and force him on his way. Thoughts are swirling through his mind but one stabs at him very clearly and he very much desires to make that one reality. He picks up the crystal grasping it in his hand.
The guard blinks several times in shock as the inmate in front of him just disappears with a flash of light.
As the scientist leaves the prison he muses over Wayne and his talk of the devil. Part of the scientist wonders just how true that is. Even if it that is the truth then like Wayne he supposes that even he has a price for which he will risk it all.
1 and a half months ago:
The scientist waits in the hallway of a hospital in England. He knows the man he is looking for is what the press are dubbing Jack II. Someone has been terrorizing the streets killing woman in much the same style as Jack the Ripper once did. Police are no closer to catching this killer today than they were when the original ripper was on the prowl. He found Todd only a few days ago. A seemingly bright young man at the top of his class. One who is destined to become one of the pioneering greats of the surgical profession. After following him from a late night residency shift in order to make his pitch-the scientist witnessed just how wrong that initial impression was. That night he walked away. He looks now to his left. The scientist dare not take on this task alone. He has Wayne here for backup just in case this gets out of hand.
As soon as Todd exits the operating suite he spots first the scientist and then Todd. Neither of them are dressed in hospital garb. "If you have family here you will have to wait outside only staff are allowed back here."
The scientist glances over at Wayne. "It is you that we are here to see Todd. I have an offer for you."
"An offer. I have heard that one before. I am quite comfortable working where I am thank you."
Wayne looks up at Todd. "We aren't from another hospital looking to lure you away."
"Perhaps it is best I cut straight to the point, Todd. I meant to talk to you a few nights ago so I followed you waiting for the right moment. That's when I saw what you did to that woman."
Wayne quickly moves in front of Todd as he begins to panic and tries to run. "Take it easy fella. If we were police we would have busted you already."
Todd looks up at Wayne in shock. "How did you move so fast?"
"Why don't you hear my friend out and if you like what he has to offer you can perform that little trick yourself."
Todd looks from Wayne to the scientist.
"I'm not here to judge or even threaten you Todd, but please allow me to point out that sooner or later the police will catch up to you. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but they will. What I can offer you is the chance to keep up your...hobby without ever getting caught."
"Say someone sees you like he did the other night." Wayne zips away to other end of the hallway in the blink of an eye. "Who is going to be able to catch you?" He quickly rushes back to Todd. "Jack II could live on forever."
Todd looks back and forth from Wayne to the scientist. "You mean immortality?"
"And so much more." The scientist holds out a glowing crystal. "The master doesn't care what hobbies you pursue as long as you show up to serve him when he calls."
"So what do you say are you in?"
Todd looks over to Wayne. "Aye mate. I believe I am." Todd takes the crystal from the scientist. "Long live Jack."
The scientist turns to Wayne. "Will you do the honors of introducing our new friend to the master? I have others to track down."
Wayne nods as the scientist turns to walk away.
1 month and one week ago:
The scientist looks up from his computer and the last batch of data acquired from the newest addition to the master's army. Drake had been nothing more than a cougar chasing con man-swindling old rich widows looking for love into marriage and out of their fortunes in between periods of living the high life in such places as Las Vegas and Monte Carlo. The scientist had finally tracked Drake to Monaco. Drake was quite lucky to have been at it so long without getting caught. This time however police were about to close in on him. Todd had been all too willing to leave a distraction for them in one of the lavish hotel rooms. Just what the master wants with one like this he doesn't understand. He only does the master's bidding in order to get the research he desires.
Drake looks at computer printouts on the kids that will eventually wield the Ronin armors. "This is what we're up against? A bunch of children?"
"With armor as powerful as your own."
"The girl seems familiar."
"A bit young for you isn't she Drake?"
"Old ladies are just easier to trick out of their money. The young ladies are so much more fun to play with."
"Still she looks rather young for you."
Drake again looks at the girl's picture. "It is her and she is not as young as you might think. I once spent some time in Australia. I married her grandmother. Needless to say she did not approve of me. It was as if she knew I were up to something."
"You conned her Grandmother? The reunion between the two of you certainly won't be pleasant."
"Never the less, I look forward to it."
"Be wary of young Torrent she is much more than she seems." Both men turn to look at the computer as Arago speaks through it. "I have a mission for you Drake."
"What is it that you wish me to do Master Arago?"
"Go to Tokyo and seek out the girl's cult. You will know them when you see them. Follow them then use your powers to recover the staff that once belonged to her. It may prove useful to us."
"Your wish is my will."
The scientist watches as Drake disappears into the shadows. "The girl belongs to a cult?"
"The cult has worshiped her for generations as a water goddess. She was very powerful...too powerful. Many sought to destroy her. None succeeded. When we were banished from your realm over one thousand years ago she was one we were glad to leave behind. It seems mortals succeeded in what we could not-they found a way to destroy her. The cult has brought her back for what purpose I do not yet know. We cannot let her stand in the way of our goals."
"Then why let her claim the armor? Why not stop her now?"
"She is the only descendant of Torrent. I need that armor and without her it will never again rise from the seas. Time grows short and you have one more yet to find."
"I am tracking his whereabouts as we speak Master Arago."
1 month ago (May 2029):
The scientist stands outside a private beach house in Australia. Several weeks ago while he was busy in America tempting Wayne to take the armor a surfing contest was being held in Australia. For several years it was won by one man...who had reported being saved from drowning by an armored mermaid decades earlier. The scientist wonders if that man has any idea the girl that beat him in the contest-the very one he is now in the process of raping is about to become that armored mermaid. When he first became aware of the girl a few weeks ago he had thought perhaps her mother had some sort of Torrent like armor...but the more he thought about that day on the beach the more he became convinced that long before she was ever conceived he was looking at the daughter of Torrent. Master Arago only recently revealed to him just what she truly is. How he can't wait to get his hands on the armor that she will very soon inherit. Its power combined with her own will become a force to be reckoned with and that is something he longs to study and perhaps even one day control for himself.
At a scream that only he can hear a large white tiger gets up looks at the sleeping man that once was a young boy mixed up in the trouble that began when Arago made good on his one thousand year old vow for revenge after being banished from the Mortal Realm by Kaos. The trouble that has been brewing since the defeat of the last warriors to stop Arago is about to begin again. He quietly stalks down the hall into another room.
Kent looks down at the girl as she looses consciousness. "That will teach you to muck with me." Will the lesson stick with her he wonders? Maybe he should leave her something a little more lasting to remind her. He gets off her-making himself decent as he pulls a knife from his pocket. He opens the blade fully intending to leave her such a reminder when he stops drawing away wondering should he just kill her? She saw him so its only a matter of time before she alerts the police. With his record they'll be on him in no time. He starts to stab her but that's too messy instead he grips her throat in both hands as she struggles to draw breath he marvels at just how familiar she looks yet he just can't quite seem to place her. That hair...something about that seemingly unnatural red hair.
"I don't think you're going to want to do that."
Kent looks up suddenly at first he is panicked that someone saw him rape and kill the girl, but he calms down as this stranger seems in no hurry to turn him in. "And why not? You want a go with her too mate?"
"She and I will meet another time if the master is willing, but right now he is very interested in you Kent."
"Is that so?"
"Oh yes. He has a proposition for you...but first you must spare the girl."
Kent looks down at the girl a moment before removing his hands from her throat. "What's so special about her?"
"Quite a lot from what I understand. But now lets focus on what the master has in store for you."
"What are you some kook from a cult or something?"
"A cult...interesting term to pull out of thin air don't you think?" He looks over at the girl. "There is something odd...almost other worldly about her don't you think?"
"Now that you mention it-"
"-You're paths have crossed before, but the how and when aren't important right now. What I can tell you is that the girl has a very devoted following...call it a cult if you will. Believe me they will seek you out long before the police would catch up with you...and by then there would be nothing left of you for them to find. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they didn't play at least some role in her father's death. He did try to keep them from her as a child. But back to you my friend...among other things what the master offers you right now is protection from that cult."
"And just what master is that?"
The scientist holds out his palm and opens it to reveal a glowing crystal. "Why don't you take it and find out?"
"And just what other things are in it for me?"
"Power and whatever else you may desire."
The girl starts to come around. Her throat aches and its hard to draw breath. She doesn't dare move when she hears voices in the room. She hopes if she plays dead they will go away.
"Like that which once saved you."
Kent takes a good look at the scientist. "Hey-I remember you from-"
"-then you realize just what sort of power awaits."
He looks down at the girl she looks just like a mermaid he once saw many years ago. This man before him had all sorts of questions about her powers back then. He dwells on the memories of just how she commanded the waves at will. "Tell your master I'm in."
"Take the crystal and you can tell him that yourself." The scientist tosses Kent the crystal and takes one last look at the girl before taking his leave.
Kent catches the crystal and finds himself plunged through a void of darkness into another realm.
It is only dark in part of the world, but five teens left behind by their fathers all slumber in their various locations.
One rests high above the Earth in orbit on the International Space Station the youngest ever scientist to hold residence there.
A second lies in a drunken stupor among strewn bottles empty of the alcohol they once held.
The third one lies only semi-conscious-bound to the bed where a brutal rape has mercifully ended.
A fourth one catches a nap before the press conference for an announcement of the signing of a long term contract with a big time racing team and new sponsors that is going to do wonders for a career that is only just beginning.
The fifth one rests fitfully at home after an eventful day filled with ever increasing rumblings from a nearby long dormant volcano.
The white tiger looks up as a locked panel behind a picture-taken with old friends in a foreign country-begins to glow. He roars softly as a black tiger much like himself not seen since a trip to Africa suddenly appears in the room. They look at each other only to nod in unison as the glowing fades away and an orb of light floats out from behind the picture. That orb of light glows brighter and spins throwing out five others. The orb disappears as the five multi-colored orbs of light fly away.
The red orb makes its way to the sleeping young man near the volcano.
The green one finds the young racer eagerly dreaming of his big announcement.
The lighter blue one seeks out the one lying so still hoping her ordeal is over.
The orange orb hunts for the one who might not other wise survive this bout of drinking.
The darker blue orb searches out the one one high above earth in the space station-its energy disrupting the continuous video feed to monitors on Earth.
The tigers nod again to each other as they sense that all the orbs have found the ones in which they seek. All they can do now is wait and hope the young teens recognize the gifts that they are about to be given and arrive to carry on the fight that their father's died trying to end.
The dark blue orb casts a symbol of wisdom on the forehead of the one aboard the space station.
The orange orb projects the symbol of justice on the forehead of the drunken young teen.
The lighter blue orb casts the symbol of trust on the forehead of the scared girl.
The green one shines the symbol of grace on to the forehead of the young racer.
The red orb casts the symbol of righteousness on the sleeping teen who struggles to awaken as more rumblings start from the volcano.
Both tigers roar together as the orbs glow brightly before entering the bodies of the five teens.
All five of them suddenly awaken together separated only by their vast distances from each other. None knows why but they all strongly feel drawn to different parts of Japan.
The white tiger turns to the black one now. The white one alone watched over the five who came before and the black one now clearly means to remain. One of these five are not as they seem and the lingering spirit of his one time master Kenbukyo has decreed that this one be watched closely.
Night on Bald Mountain