Chapter 22: Storm Before The Calm, Part 1
"I can't believe this!" Dustin entered Storm Chargers, carrying a box with bottles of oil, while looking upset. "I ordered four stroke oil and they send me this two-stroke stuff! What am I supposed to do with that?"
Kelly and Shane laughed at him; he turned to them and frowned. "What's so funny?"
"Look, forget about the oil and pack your bags." Shane said with a grin as he walked past Dustin.
"Why? Where are we going?"
"You wanted to freestyle, well guess what? You're going to get your chance." Kelly smiled as she handed Dustin a sheet of paper. "Fill it out and sign it. We have to get it in and straight away if you want to make the deadline."
Dustin looked down at the sheet before grinning. "This is for the US Action Games! Are you serious?!"
"Yep, and by the way, under sponsor, write 'Storm Chargers'." Kelly added before walking away.
"Sponsor?" Dustin asked, still grinning, before looking over at Shane. "Hey, did you know about this?"
"I'm going too!" Shane cheered as he jumped onto the couch. "Skateboard, baby! Yeah!"
"Aw yeah!" Dustin cheered too as Shane continued jumping on the couch when Tori and Skyla walked inside. "Hey Tori, Skyla, check it out."
Tori and Skyla looked down at the paper and smiled at Dustin.
"Oh yeah, Kelly's sponsoring you to go to the US Games in freestyle," Tori said.
"Yeah, how'd you two know?"
"She showed me and Skyla this morning."
"Congratulation Dustin," Skyla said before she went over to Shane who greets her with a smile and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into a hug.
Tori walked over to the lounge area as Blake and Hunter entered the store. "Hey!" Blake greeted when he saw Dustin.
"Hey guys, guess what?" Dustin asked as Hunter and Blake walked over.
"We know, US Action Games, right?"
"That's awesome!" Hunter commented as he and Blake joined the others in the lounge.
"So let me get this straight," Dustin started as he walked into the lounge too. "Everybody knew except for me? Is that about right?" He asked as he sat down.
"Pretty much." Tori nodded.
"Yup, everyone" Blake added with a smile.
"What about Marah?" Dustin asked.
"Um, I'm not sure about Marah knowing about this, but she's with Cam and Kapri at Ninja Ops," Tori answered.
Dustin clapped his hands "Sweet! I can't wait to let her know about this news," he said and then turned to Blake "Oh Blake, didn't you test today for Roger Hannah?" he asked. "For the Factory Blue sponsorship."
Blake nodded and Tori turned her attention to him, not that it wasn't already on him to begin with. "Oh yeah, how did that go?"
"There was a photographer there from Dirt Works magazine. He said he hadn't seen anyone test that fast since McGrath in '91!" Hunter smiled, proud for his younger brother. Blake received congratulations from everyone.
"I could Factory ride if I want it!" Blake smiled.
"Well, why wouldn't you want it?" Dustin asked.
"Well don't you think we're a little busy around here?" Blake asked.
"But how can you pass up an opportunity like that?" Shane asked excitedly.
"That's what I told him!" Hunter smiled.
At Ninja Ops, Cam was at the computer main frame with Marah and Kapri standing beside him.
"I already check to see if Lothor or his goons attack the city," Cam looked at Marah and Kapri "So far, nothing," he told them.
"Are you sure?" Marah asked with uncertainty "I just have this weird feeling that Lothor might be up to something".
"Same here," Kapri agreed.
"Well, I'll see if I can find something," Cam said as he went back to typing on his keyboard to see if he can find something.
"Thanks Cam," Marah touches Cam's shoulder before she stares down at her necklace that was glowing. Even Kapri's necklace was glowing too, which it has never done that before.
~At Storm Charger~
Everyone was busy talking about the US Action Game while Tori was thinking about something
"Uh guys, I have a question" she interrupts them and everyone turned to look at her "Did any of you guys happen to tell Sensei that we're going to the action games?"
Shane, Dustin, Blake and Hunter looked from one to the other, silently.
"Uh Oh!" Shane exclaimed, "Not me."
"Hey? What about Cam?" Dustin regarded, "Did you guys ask him if he wanted to go with us?"
The rangers are now at the Ninja Ops talking to Cam who was standing with his arms folded. Marah and Kapri were standing next to him looking back and forth at the rangers and their cousin.
"So it slipped all your minds?" Cam asked as he stares at the rangers who smiles sheepishly at him, "…I mean, Dustin I can believe."
"Hey," Dustin stated in offence, "I was the one who remembered."
Shane nodded "it's true! He was."
"I can understand how this could have happened," Sensei theorized, while glancing up at the group. "It is a great honor to compete in such an event. I can only imagine the excitement can be quite a distraction."
"So is it alright if we go?" Tori asked.
"Yes of course," Sensei answered.
Dustin, Hunter, Shane, and Blake cheer. Tori notices that Kapri and Marah was staring at their necklace that they were holding in their hands "Are you two are okay," she asked, walking over to them.
"Yeah," Marah and Kapri.
"We were just examining our necklace that's all," Kapri explained.
"Making sure nothing is wrong with it," Marah added.
"Oh," Tori nodded with understanding "Since you two aren't doing anything, would you two like to go to the US Action game?"
Marah and Kapri look at each other before turning to Tori and nodded with a smile.
"Sure!" They both replied.
"Great!" Tori smiled.
Dustin went over to Marah and touches her shoulder "Hey"
"Hey," She turned to him with a smile
"Are you going to US Action game?" He asked.
"Yeah," she nodded "I wouldn't want to miss out seeing you compete".
Dustin smiles and hugs her "Thanks Marah," he said before kissing her on the lips.
"Awe," Everyone said and Dustin and Marah pulled away. Marah buried her face against Dustin's chest hiding the blush on her face.
The day of the US Action Games arrived, the rangers, even Cam, got out of the Storm Chargers van and grinned as they watched the many people run through the gates with just as much excitement as them.
"You guys better check in!" Kelly told the others, over the noise of the crowd. "I'll make sure the gear is okay."
"We'll check out the place..."Hunter trailed off when he turned and look at Kapri who was standing next to him.
"Let me guess, chicks?" Tori asked as she raised her eyebrow and had a teasing smile on her face.
"Funny," Hunter snorts "I was about to ask Kapri if she want to go with me to check the place out," he puts his arms around Kapri's shoulder "What do you say?" He asked Kapri.
"Sure," Kapri agreed with a smile then turn to Marah "Are you going to be okay?" she asked her sister.
"Yeah, I'll be fine," Marah nodded "You go ahead".
"Don't worry Kapri," Dustin appears next to Marah with a smile "I'll protect her and keep her close to me," he assured the Lightning Samurai Pink ranger.
Kapri playfully punches Dustin in the arm "You better," she said before walking over to Hunter who grabs her hand and held it.
"Come on, I'll cruise with you." Cam decided as he followed Hunter and Kapri.
"Cyber Cam?" Blake asked.
"Not Cyber Cam." Cam confirmed. "Who says Real Cam can't cruise?"
"Yeah!" Hunter cheered a bit as he pumped his fist in the air.
Later on, Hunter was walking with Kapri talking while Cam follows behind them, looking around the area before noticing that people were running away and a bunch of kelzaks.
"Uh, Hunter?" He turned to Hunter and Kapri who was still talking to each not noticing the Kelzaks.
"Not now, Cam." Hunter shook his head.
"Yes now." Cam nodded.
Hunter and Kapri looked over at the kelzaks and quickly rush over to Cam.
"Just when I though today wouldn't go badly," Hunter told Cam.
Hunter, Kapri and Cam ran onto the skateboard ramp, where the kelzaks were waiting
"Hey Cam," Hunter said without taking his eyes of the Kelzaks "Do you have any idea why they're here?"
Cam shook his head "No clue".
All of a sudden, some Kelzaks Furies appeared on top of the ramp.
"Look like we have more company," Kapri look back and forth at the Kelzaks and the Kelzaks Furies.
"I think we might need a few extra hands." Cam said as he, Kapri and Hunter got into fighting stances before the Kelzaks Furies jumped down and started fighting them.
Suddenly, three teenagers came running and screaming as they tried to fight to kelzaks and help out. "You guys have to get out of here!" Cam told them.
"Dude, we're just trying to help!" The guy with brown hair and the black shirt said to the two rangers.
"You can help by standing aside and staying out of our way!" Hunter told Eric as he kicked away a Kelzak Fury and flipped over another one.
It wasn't long until the kelzaks and Kelzak Furies disappeared leaving the three rangers confused.
Hunter, Kapri and Cam regrouped before walking over to the three teens.
"What were you guys thinking?" Hunter asked sternly.
"We were thinking you guys were in trouble." The dark-skinned and black haired guy named Kyle said as he stood up. "You should be happy we were there."
"No, you should be happy they all decided to dematerialize. You have no idea what's you're dealing with." Cam stated.
"I'm gone." Kyle decided.
"Me too." The blonde girl, Tally, agreed.
"Later, dudes." Eric shook his head a bit before walking away with his two friends.
"They were interested in this area here," Cam noted, "but it must have all been a diversion."
He was standing in the clearing where Kelzaks and the Kelzaks Furies were earlier. He glanced up to look at his friends. Everyone minus Blake peered back down at him.
"I don't see anything," Dustin responded with confusion. He let his eyes roam the clearing.
Cam shook his head, confused.
"Hey?" Shane asked suddenly, "What's wrong with your amulet?"
Cam narrowed his eyes at him, "What do you mean?" he then looked down quickly; the amulet glowed; mirroring that of a light bulb, but then short fused. It shocked Cam lightly in the process.
"Ah!" Cam yelled; a mixture of surprise and pain.
"What is it?" Tori cautioned.
"It's frozen," Cam revealed in alarm.
"Frozen?" Dustin laughed, "Dude it's like eighty degrees out."
"No kidding," Cam replied sarcastically. He ripped the amulet from his neck, and inspected it. "I better get back to ninja ops and do some tests on it there and see what this is all about."
"I can teleports you back to ninja ops," Marah offers and Cam nodded.
"I'm going with you guys," Skyla said as she joined Cam, Marah and Kapri. Shane went over and hugs her and assured that he will be okay. Then Hunter went over and kisses Kapri on the lips. Then he let go and look at her "Be safe and careful," he told her.
"Okay," she nods before joining Cam, Marah, and Skyla. Then Marah teleports herself, Cam, Kapri, and Skyla back to Ninja Ops.
Vexacus was wondering in the forest when Lothor appears in front of him.
"Lothor?" What are you doing?"
"I was planning to ask you that," Lothor walked over to Vexacus "But since you're here," he pulled out his RAM.
"Lothor, what are you planning to do?" Vexacus asked.
"Something that we keep the rangers busy while I work on my plan," Lothor hits a button. A neon pink laser shot out of it and hit Vexacus. The pink light soon engulfed him.
"Scroll of empowerment," Lothor commanded, "Descend!"
As expected, the scroll appeared; illuminating the sky. Its energy descended upon Vexacus. Vexacus laughed manically, as the energy did wonders for his body. Within moments he grows into a huge monster.
"I will destroy the power rangers," Vexacus revealed "and Lothor's evil empire will be mine!"
"Not if the rangers destroy you first, you fool!" Lothor walked away with a grin on his face.
"I don't know dad," Cam expressed; frustrated, "I can't figure out why the amulet reacted that way. It's even drawing power away from the reactors. It's never done anything like this before."
"How has it reacted in the past?" Sensei asked.
"Well," Cam began thoughtfully, "once or twice it's gotten really warm but that was only when something good happened."
"Interesting," Sensei noted, "one might conclude that-"
"Since warmth comes from good," Cam interrupted; picking up on his father's point, "cold must come from bad or evil! I can't believe I didn't think of that...I must be losing my edge?"
"Some concepts," Sensei enlightened, "though they may seem simple are the most difficult, especially those that pertain to the powers of good and evil."
"So, that explain why me and Marah necklaces have been acting weird lately," Kapri said eyeing her necklace in her hand.
"Something tells me it has something to do with Lothor," Marah added with a worried expression.
Cam was about to say something when his computer beeps.
"Well that's not good," Cam stated with disgust, as he eyed a monitor in ninja ops. Vexacus was showcased on the screen reeking havoc. "I'll handle this one myself," Cam added as he began typing on his keyboard.
To his dismay his computer began to malfunction. "Come on!" Cam complained, "I can't believe this!"
"That's not good," Marah said.
"Yo! What's up?" Cyber Cam greeted as he materialized suddenly behind him, Marah and Kapri.
Cam looked up at him; frustrated. "The hydraulic portals to the samurai star megazord have lost power."
Cyber Cam looked back at him unfazed, "bummer."
"Listen," Cam instructed, "there's a manual override lever in the-"
"Green box outside the entrance to the hanger," Cyber Cam finished knowingly. Cam nodded.
"I know," Cyber Cam reminded, "You programmed that information into me."
"Right," Cam stated impatiently, "I forget sometimes. See if you can reset it from there. I'm going to call the rangers."
Cyber Cam nodded, "On my way," he informed, before dematerializing.
"I'm going contact the others, you girls know what to do," Cam said before he types on the keyboard.
"Right!" Kapri and Marah nodded.
"Ready?" Kapri turned to Marah who nodded.
"Ranger form! Ha!"
Kapri and Marah got into their zords, combining their zords into the megazord and went off to face Vexacus.
At the US Action Games continued, Shane, Dustin, Tori, Blake and Hunter were cheering and watching a rollerblading race when Shane's morpher beeped. "Rangers, I'm sending the zords to you." Cam's voice was heard. "There's a big fish in a little pond you have to deal with. Marah and Kapri are already there and they need your help".
"On our way, Cam." Shane nodded before he and the others made their way out of the stands.
"Where are you guys going?" Kelly asked.
"Uh, bathroom?" Dustin lied.
"All of you?"
"We'll be back, I promise." Shane told Kelly as all of them left.
The five rangers made their way to an empty area to morph and looked around just in case there was anyone nearby. "Ready?" Shane asked.
"Ranger Form, Ha!"
Cam activated the zords and the rangers jumped into them before forming the Thunder Storm Megazord and landing in front of Vexacus blocking his attack on Kapri and Marah.
"Guys, you're here!" Kapri and Marah smiled.
"Sorry, we were late," Hunter said.
"You guys ready?" Shane asked as the others nodded in agreement before charging.
Vexacus' hand glowed white as he fired multiple white blasts of energy at the megazord. "You should watch your step!" He taunted
"Come on guys, let's do this!" Hunter yelled as the others repeated the last part before activating the Lion Laser and blasting Vexacus, but he swung around his sword and deflected each hit.
Kapri and Marah attacked Vexacus using the ball of flames, but Vexacus block and tosses it right back at them. Then he slashes Kapri and Marah's megazord hard in the chest, sending both of girls falling out from the megazord.
"Marah! Kapri!" Dustin, Hunter, Tori, shouted.
Kapri and Marah landed on the ground demorph. They slowly got up and looked up at the others in their megazords.
"We're fine," Kapri told the others.
Hunter and Dustin sighed in relieve seeing both of the girls are okay.
Shane took out the Lightning Riff Blaster with his Ninja Sword plugged in as he strummed it. Once the Mammoth Zord was summoned, the megazord jumped onto its back.
"Mammoth Zord!" The rangers called before firing another large blast at Vexacus, who cried out in pain.
"Land Shark Attack!" Vexacus cried as his land shark hit the Thunder Storm Megazord and separated them into two megazords. "Victory is mine!" He laughed as the megazords got up.
"I don't think so," Hunter fumed.
"Its thunder time," Blake informed.
The Thunder Rangers charged Vexacus, while the Wind Rangers looked on.
The Thunder Megazord locked Vexacus in a death grip.
"Watch out!" Shane shouted suddenly.
But it was too late, for Vexacus tampered with their Zord. "Goodbye Thunder Rangers!"
"It's going to blow!" Shane yelled.
"Hunter!" Kapri shouted as she rushes forward, but Marah grabs her arm and pulled her back "Marah! Please let me go! I have to help Hunter and Blake!"
"No, you'll be destroyed if you go," Marah replied, refusing to let her sister's arm go.
"Blake! Hunter!" Tori screamed; her heart skipped a beat in the process.
"Get out of their!" Dustin pleaded.
To their dismay the Thunder Megazord exploded; destroying Vexacus along with it.
"Noooo!" Shane yelled; distraught.
"NOOOO!" Kapri cried as she watches the Thunder Megazord exploded.
"NOOO!" Cam and Skyla yelled as they also saw what happened on the computer screen in ninja ops.
"Yessss!" Lothor laughed. He watched happily as Vexacus's energies were transferred to the abyss.
As expected the abyss rippled louder; century's worth of evils bubbled higher towards the surface.
Shane, Dustin, and Tori arrived at the Thunder Megazord wreckage before contacting Cam while Marah and Kapri returned back to Ninja Ops.
"Cam!" Shane's voice rang out suddenly. Cam frowned as he eyed the scenario on the monitor. Kapri and Marah were standing next to Cam looking at the screen. Kapri was sad and in tears
"We've reached the Thunder Zord's wreckage. It doesn't look good," Shane continued gravely.
"Any sign of Hunter and Blake?" Tori asked hopefully.
Dustin and Shane shook their head and Kapri looked away. Marah and Skyla placed their hands on Kapri's shoulders.
"Don't worry Kapri, I'm pretty sure that Hunter and Blake are okay," Skyla comforts the Lightning Samurai pink ranger.
"I'm getting inferred heat signatures in the area," Cam informed, "but there's a lot of interference. I can't pinpoint an exact location."
"Keep trying to establish contact," Shane ordered. "We'll head back to ops and regroup."
Meanwhile outside Ninja Ops, Cyber Cam was inspecting the wires cautiously. He scrutinized the wreckage carefully.
"Hello Cyber Nephew!"
Cyber Cam nearly jumped out of his circuits. He spun around to face Lothor and gasped.
"This is so frustrating," Cam fussed. "I still can't get a read on Hunter and Blake."
"This can't be good at all," Marah said as she stares down at her necklace that was glowing again "something is wrong, I can sense it'.
"I can sense it too," Kapri agreed as she was also staring down at her necklace that was also glowing.
Cam and Skyla turned to Marah and Kapri. Cam was about to say something when he paused suddenly, "That's weird," he stated after a beat.
"What's wrong Cam?" Skyla asked.
"Cyber Cam's gone too." He answered.
"Keep trying," Sensei persisted. "Keep trying."
"Yes Cam," Lothor mocked.
Cam, Skyla, Marah, and Kapri spun around quickly. Their eyes widened in shock.
"Keep trying," Lothor teased.
A clearly dazed Cyber Cam appears next to Lothor.
"Hello Nephew, Marah, Kapri" Lothor jeered.
"How did you get in here," Cam demanded.
"Your reprogrammed cybernetic replica led me inside," he replied and pushed Cyber Cam violently to the floor "I thought he might need some reprogramming".
"Then I used my DNA handprint," Lothor continued; proudly, "the same as my brother's."
"Or what it used to be," Lothor offended, "to take me the rest of the way,"
"I am no brother of yours," Sensei spats, "our family tie has long been broken."
"You'll never get out of here with him," Cam warned.
"I didn't come for him nephew," Lothor hissed, "I came for you" He looked over at Marah and Kapri "And them," he added and Cam quickly got in front of Kapri and Marah.
"Heh. Ha!" he laughed, "You're dreaming Lothor," he spat.
"Perhaps," Lothor heckled, "but is it so wrong to dream of a world where the ultimate evil rules over all those who inhabit it? Where I Lothor command an army of thousands and all those who live in my shadow must bow down to my greatness? Is that so wrong?"
Cam blinked. "Uh…yes," he answered coolly.
"Fine!" Lothor threatened. "Have it your way!"
Cam's eyes widened. He quickly grabs Kapri, Marah, and Skyla and jumped out of Lothor's way; avoiding a beam of red light, shot dangerously close to his face.
Lothor charged at Sensei heatedly. Sensei quickly sidestepped him, and dogged his attacks.
Lothor fumed, "Trash it all!" he commanded the Kelzaks "And grab Marah and Kapri!"
Cam got up from the floor and attacked Lothor, but Lothor proved to be to strong. He narrowly escaped another beam attack. Then Kapri and Marah blast their power at the same time at Lothor who block and reflect right back at them in the chest.
"Ah," They shriek as they landed on the ground in pain.
"Marah! Kapri!" Skyla rushes over to them when the Kelzaks lunge at her. She hastily kicks two Kelzaks in the stomach and flipped three Kelzaks on the back when one of the Kelzaks grabs her arm and tosses her to the ground. Then the other Kelzaks grabs Marah and Kapri and drag them toward Lothor.
"Let me go!" Kapri and Marah yelled as they were struggling to break free when Lothor knocks them out cold.
"Kapri! Marah!" Cam yelled.
Lothor engulfed the place with beams; destroying the beloved haven in the process.
A beam narrowly missed Sensei, but its force caused him to be impelled backwards into oblivion.
"Get up!" Lothor hollered as he picked up Cam, roughly.
Skyla lunges at Lothor with a bat in her hands, but end of getting blast in the stomach and landed on the ground. A piece from the ceiling fall and landed on Skyla's body.
"Let him go!" Sensei ordered; suddenly reappearing. He lunged at Lothor, but Lothor rebutted his attack. He sent him flying backwards with one of his killer beams.
"Noooooo!" Cam yelled in despair. "Dad!"
Lothor laughed, as he dragged Cam away.