Chapter Eleven - Here, Now, It Begins
Maikeru stood in front of Captain Kiseki after reporting to her what had occured on the frieght station, after he regained conciousness, Miakeru had checked on the other two rangers, only to find them dead, realizing how easily he could have joined them, he quickly returned to base.
"Dammit..!" Maikeru punched his fist into his other hand in frustration.
Kiseki turned to him, "Maikeru, calm down. Power rankings measure potential future ability profiles, your losing to him is within acceptable error margins. However, I'm not sure what to make of these aberations you seem to have had."
"Aberations?! That was no aberation!" Maikeru lowered his head, thinking of the fury in Rasens' blood red eyes before he had transformed. "That was....he's a monster."
Kiseki studied him for a moment then continued, "Anyway, as for you, you are being relieved of duty until further notice."
"No!!" Maikeru shouted, "I followed my orders didn't I? Didn't I?!"
Maikeru smacked his hand down on the table in anger. "I can't allow this incident to ruin my reputation!"
Five people sat around a large table, it seemed they we're waiting for someone.
One of them spoke up, "A generals' meeting, at this time? It's too soon."
Another spoke, "This day was foreseen...but today is not that day..."
A blue light gathered in the centre of the room, loud lightning-like zapping noises filled the room as the light grew, suddenly there was a small explosion of light and a figure appeared, covered in lightning blue lines, his face hidden in shadows. He walked forward and spoke.
"A dragon has come."
"A dragon?" One of the generals asked.
"Yes, one of the great weapons...our nemesis, the destroyer of worlds." He paused, studying the generals before him, then continued, "Biokasei reports that the dragon in question that has linked, is one whose link cycle had supposedly ended."
"Reactivation?" An older general asked, "But the hosts...the chosen are supposed to be extinct!"
"A ranger grunt, a boy named Rasen, may have linked with the dragon."
The only female present stood, "A grunt? No-one with such low potential could be a chosen." She lifted her hand and a shimmering globe of energy appeard above it. "I shall create a rift in space to seal the linked power away, before it sends the world into turmoil."
"It is not yet time for us to act Undead, let mortals deal with mortals. I have ordered every high ranked ranger to find the boy." The leading figure said, "We feud in life and struggle towards death. It is sometimes the history not found in books, that is the truest."
He faced the entire gathering of generals. "Here, now, it begins."
Rasen, Tempest and Hikari had finally reached the lowdistrict market, it was earily quiet, then Tempest spoke.
"I smell...is this gas?"
There was a noise from behind the three and they turned.
"It's him!" A group of three rangers wearing gas masks stood not too far away. "Hey! Grunt, are you Rasen?"
Rasen didn't respond, Tempest spoke again. "Rangers again, so, we have become wanted." Rasen shook his head sadly.
The three rangers began laughing at them, "No, not yet, but we heard Maikeru tell the Captain about you, and we figured bringing you in might give our reputations a nice boost!" One of them spoke up. "So, we got this ready, and waited for you to come through here." He kicked a huge gas tank at his feet.
Tempest was livid, "You greedy scumbags!" Hikari coughed from the gas.
Rasen spoke to the head ranger, "You used gas for that? What about the people in the maketplace?" As he spoke Rasen spotted a couple of people, cowering in the corners of the maket, coughing and spluttering from the gas.
"It's nerve gas, we use it against Kaijuu, but it works just as well on low ranks too!" He laughed again, "We hear you're pretty strong for a low rank, just being cautious you know?"
Rasen felt fury flash through him and he dash forward, blade flashing, and before they knew what was happening, one of the rangers was at his feet, unmoving, Tempest acted fast, pulling out her energy gun, she blasted back the ranger who lunged at her, his sword aiming to remove her head.
Rasen knocked the final ranger to the ground and he chuckled, "You're pretty fast for a grunt."
Rasen turned away, and began walking back to Tempest and Hikari, the ranger on the ground crawled over to the gas tank and turned it right up, gas poured out at a rapid rate, filling the air with thick, nerve gas.
Alarms were going off, and over a loud speaker a voice rang out. "Airial polution warning, level 4, sealing off affected areas." and doors slammed down all around the marketplace, sealing the gas, inside.
"You and Hikari get to higher ground, quick!" Rasen shouted to Tempest as he ran over to the tank to try stop it.
He reached it and grabbed for the handle, only to find it was gone. There was a chuckle and he saw the last ranger looking at him, he lifted the handle up in his hand, he had broken it off the tank, making it impossible to stop the outpouring of gas.
"Looking for this?" The ranger taunted, "It's too late, you can't stop it now!" The rangers mask had come off when he fell and he suddenly choked and was still, the tank handle dropping to the floor.
Rasen tried to make it over to him, but his strength failed him and his legs buckled and he fell. Hikari watched as Rasen lie motionless on the ground, amid a huge cloud of gas, she suddenly shook off Tempest and rushed down to Rasen, trying to shake him awake as she coughed and spluttered from the gases.
Tempest called out. "Hikari!"
Hikari then did something unexpected, she sat up straight and closed her eyes, a blue light began forming around her wings, then a powerful vaccum-like force began sucking the gas from the air, sucking it into the wings on her back.
"What the..?" Tempest couldn't believe her eyes.
After a minute, the gas was gone and Hikari opened her eyes, she tried to stand, but her legs collapsed under her and she fainted, lying on the ground next to Rasen.
"Hikari, Rasen!" Tempest ran back down to the pair to check on them.
After a few minutes, Hikari and Rasen were awake again, Rasen spoke to Tempest.
"What happened?" He asked.
"I-I don't know, but the gas seems to have disappeared somehow, and you two are okay!" She still looked amazed at what had just happened.
Hikari stood nearby, she was coughing but she smiled.
"The gas...did Hikari?" Rasen asked a half question.
"I don't know...but I know where the answers are, Biokasei." Tempest answered.