Ultimate Mystics: Chapter Two
The Mystic team de-morphed and gathered around Udonna's staff. Madison collapsed to her knees. She barely knew Udonna. And yet somehow, she felt overwhelming loss and guilt.
"I can't believe she's gone..." she whispered. "This all happened so fast..."
Nick rolled his hands into fists. "Koragg, right? That was the name of the thing who did this...?"
The rest of the teens stood quietly, until Xander's Mystic Morpher toned and broke the silence. He pulled it out and flipped it open. The morpher projected a small screen that showed dark energy within the city.
"Hey guys," Xander said. "I think more of those Hades wankers are in the city."
Two young women sat on the rooftops of downtown Briarwood. They looked nearly identical, with pale skin, black lips and midnight hair. They wore dresses as black as night, and twisted, bat-like wings extended from their backs.
One of the girls, Nai, smirked. "They're like worms, squirming around the surface."
"Squirming around," echoed the other girl, Mare.
"If we're going to live in the mortal world...they're going to get in our way, aren't they?"
Mare nodded. "In our way."
Nai stood and dusted off her dress. "Lord Morticon ordered us to scout...but he didn't say to stay quiet..."
Nai and Mare joined hands.
"We should go," Xander said. "Shouldn't we?"
Madison nodded. "We owe it to Udonna."
"Right...." Chip said with a smirk. "The ultimate mission of revenge."
Nick knitted his brow. "You still think this is a game? Look what happened to Udonna," he said. "If you don't take this seriously, the same thing will happen to you."
Vida stepped to Chip's defense. "Hey...You've know Chip for what? Five seconds? Don't talk to him like that."
"It's true," Nick said. He kept his eyes on Chip. "You act like a five-year-old living in a cartoon."
"Nick!" Vida shouted. "That's enough."
"Guys," Xander said as he stepped between them. "We probably shouldn't kill each other. Plenty of bad guys who can do that for us, am I right?"
Nick shook his head. "Come on Xander," he said. "Chip's staying here. The rest of you, follow me."
"Follow you?" Vida asked. "We don't even know you."
"Vida..." Xander started to say.
"No," Vida said. "If you three want to go? Fine. I'll stay here with Chip."
Chip shifted uncomfortably. "Um, I know it's not a game...but I still want to help. I have lightning power. I can-"
"You're not getting yourself killed," Nick said. He looked to Xander and Madison. "Come on..."
Nick ran towards the city. Reluctantly, Xander and Madison followed.
Nai burst into an office and spat flames of shadow. The blasts ruptured cubicles and shattered windows. Across the street, Mare crashed into a restaurant and spat bursts of fire. The attack blasted tables and chairs into pieces.
Civilians screamed and fled outside.
The villains leapt onto the street, and cars swerved to avoid them. Tires screeched as vehicles smashed into one another.
Nai and Mare opened their mouths and spat bursts of flame, which tore across the streets with bursts of spark and smoke.
Through the smoke, Nick, Xander, and Madison ran to the scene. They skid to a halt when they spotted Nai and Mare.
"Well..." Xander said. "They don't look very beastly, do they?"
Madison shook her head. "They look...human."
"Human?" Nai asked with a smile. "There's no way we're human."
"No way," Mare echoed.
They joined hands, ignited with shadow energy, and meshed into a single being: Necrolai.
"This, is my true form," Necrolai said. "And as long as I'm here...let's play."
Necrolai flew towards the teens and fired bursts of shadow energy. The rangers dove aside as the blasts exploded around them.
They rolled to their feet and flipped open their morphers. "Heavenly Saints! Grant us the power of magick! Magical Source, Mystic Force!"
Their magick circles slid across their bodies as they morphed into their Ranger forms.
They snapped into fighting stances.
"Burning Flame Elemental! Magick of the Flame! Mystic Red!"
"Howling Earth Elemental! Magick of the Forrest! Mystic Green!"
"Rippling Water Elemental! Magick of the Water! Mystic Blue!"
Together, they shouted: "Mystic Rangers!"
Chip and Vida brought Udonna's staff back to Root Core. Chip paced back and forth as he grasped the weapon.
"I've always wanted to be a hero," Chip said. "That doesn't mean I think this is a game."
"Look, Chip," Vida said. "I stuck up for you back there...but Nick has a point."
"Does he?" Chip asked. "I've heard about Rangers fighting monsters my whole life. The good guys always win. And we're the good guys."
"We barely know what we're up against," Vida said.
Suddenly, a black blur dashed across the floor. Chip practically jumped from his shoes, but he calmed when he noticed the source of the blur: A cat.
Vida arced an eyebrow. "You think you can fight the forces of evil when a cat scares you?"
"He didn't scare me, he just...startled me," Chip said. "I didn't know Udonna had a cat. Poor guy..." He leaned next to the cat and petted his neck. "Hey there."
The cat jumped away from Chip and landed on the scrying table.
"She's right," a high-pitched voice said.
Vida and Chip stepped away. Slowly.
"So..." Chip said. "You're a talking cat. Udonna had a...talking cat...How cool is that?"
"I'm not a cat," the creature spoke telepathically. "I'm Kuro. Udonna's familiar. And Vida is right, Chip. You don't know what you're up against."
Vida shook her head. "Thanks, but can we back up to the talking cat part?"
"There's time for that later," Kuro said as he walked around the Viewing Globe. "Udonna trusted you to face a power that's older than time itself! Morticon is no ordinary villain..."
"Udonna told us," Vida said.
"But she didn't have time to tell you the whole story..." Kuro said.
He propped his front paws onto the Viewing Globe, and images started to twirl within the glass.
Before space and time
The Nether - a twirling mass of Cosmic Power that existed before space/time. Infinite. Ethereal. The Nether existed in a state incomprehensible to the mortal mind.
It twisted and churned.
And it developed a consciousness. Mathematical. Logical. Orderly self-awareness. And from this self-awareness grew emotion, the strongest of which: Loneliness.
And so, the awareness sought to create.
He forged seven beings of immeasurable scope and power. Their existence filled the endlessness of the Nether. The great awareness - the Creator - tasked these entities with a simple mission: Forging the cosmos.
The beings harnessed the Power Cosmic and created the first sparks of life, the cosmic races such as the fairies, imps and djinn. They shaped these races into beings of physical form, and gave them homes. Lands to walk. Skies to fly. Oceans to swim. A masterpiece. A beautiful mosaic painted across the great Nether.
The seven cosmic beings - the Pantheon - fashioned realms for these creations. And in these realms, they formed planets, as their creations became more and more complex. Physical realms. Spiritual realms. Mental realms. An endless network the mortal mind could not begin to understand.
The early races could move freely from world to world, from realm to realm. Their numbers grew and populated the Nether, until the Nether itself no longer existed. In its place: The cosmos. Proto-space.
The Creator wanted to preserve his masterpiece. He didn't want his realms, his races, to fall back into the twisted existence of the Nether.
So he created something new.
Although forged with the Power Cosmic, life carried its own unique wonder. Its own power. Emotion. Will. Thought. Strength - these were not attributes of the Power Cosmic.
The Creator took these attributes and used them to fashion a new force of energy: The One Power. The Power permeated the cosmos and knitted all life together. It acted as a force of order. Unity.
The Power needed caretakers. So the Creator fashioned 13 Priests of the One Power to channel its energies. The Priests became the first flesh-and-blood race: Immortals. Not cosmic like the other races, but powerful in their own right.
The Creator fashioned a throne for himself, and along with his Priests, made a home on a realm that would become known as Earth.
The cosmic races called Solitas the Champion. The first of the Pantheon, he symbolized strength and order. Harmony.
But eventually, harmony bored him. What good was a champion with no enemies? Not even a concept of enemies? Danger. Evil. Threats. These notions didn't exist.
Solitas appeared in physical form when he mingled among the cosmic races. In this form, his skin looked black as darkness, and his armor looked silver, forged with the most brilliant of cosmic material. His eyes burned with golden light, and flame trickled with his every step. His long, silver hair flowed across his back like a mane.
The comic being walked across a glass bridge that spanned two islands, which floated in the sky. Ahead sat the Palace of the Creator, pillars of silver and gold that stretched upward, connected by walkways that glowed with bright purple runes.
He grunted with distaste as he approached the palace. Outside waited Aenaria, the Matron of Life. A member of the Pantheon, she looked slender, with green, glass-like scales across her body. The scales shifted color with the slightest of movement, as did her bright, glowing eyes.
Solitas didn't care for her, and she didn't care for him.
"Come to throw another one of your tantrums, brother?" Aenaria asked.
"Out of my way, sister," he said. "I have come to see father."
"We're omnipresent beings, Solitas. You can see him anywhere and everywhere."
"I grow tired of your mocking," Solitas said. "He has done nothing but hide in his palace, leaving us to carry out his work, unnoticed."
"We perform the tasks we were created to perform. That is our purpose...." She looked into the distance. "I have breathed life into wonderful races. Beings of untold wonder and-"
Solitas waved his hand dismissively. "Spare me. While you make these infantile creatures, I am left with what? Nothing. If father thinks his use for me is over, and he can cast me aside, he is wrong."
"Are these feelings, brother? We are above the races and their emotion."
"And yet our father has created an all new power based on their emotion!" Solitas shouted.
Aenaria narrowed her eyes. "Watch your tone...Father will call you if he needs you..."
Solitas nodded. "And I suppose I will just wait patiently until that time. Like an obedient pet."
"It's best that you do..."
"No," Solitas said. "I think not."
Solitas vanished with a pulse of silver light and expanded into his true, infinite form.
The planet Hades floated along the outer edges of proto-space. Black mountains covered the landscapes, and pools of molten lava flowed through wide crevices.
Solitas manifested as a wave of silver mist and flowed across the planet. He assumed his physical form and landed on a massive mountain that looked out upon a desolate valley.
Below, flesh-and-blood races gathered in various tribes. They sat beneath tents and feasted on grubs that burrowed beneath the rough terrain.
"Truly..." Solitas whispered. "These people are among the lowest of the races."
The creatures of Hades resembled powerful beasts, trolls, goblins and monsters. Their leader looked like a hulking humanoid, with blue skin and twin horns that curved downward from his head. He called himself Morticon.
"Beasts of Hades!" he shouted. "Who would challenge me next?!"
The races of Hades often fought each other for sport, to display their strength and power. Morticon alone stood undefeated among his people.
An orc-like Hades beast slammed his goblet on his table. He wiped foam from his mouth and stood.
"I will fight you, Morticon!" shouted the orc, Braxthar. Red-skinned with massive tusks, he moved with great strength and power.
Unimpressed, Morticon grunted. Braxthar grunted back, and he stepped into the fighting pit.
From afar, Solitas watched with growing interest. The races of this world acted with such violence. Orderly, yet heated. Maybe...Maybe he could harness this emotion, this violence.
Below, Morticon stepped into the fighting pit
Braxthar cracked his knuckles, snorted a laugh, and charged to attack. The orc lunged; Morticon side-stepped and elbowed the creature's head. Braxthar dropped hard, and Morticon kicked the fallen orc's chest.
Quickly, Braxthar rose into a crouched stance and swung an upper-cut punch. Morticon caught the punch, grabbed the orc's arm, and twisted. Braxthar howled with pain as his arm bones snapped and crunched.
Morticon laughed and kicked the orc aside.
The orc tumbled across the dirt. Slowly, he climbed to his feet, and limped from the pit.
Morticon lifted his arms, and his people cheered for his victory.
Above, Solitas grinned with fiendish delight. "Yes...This violence. This anger. So tempered. Controlled..."
What if he changed that? Maybe then the Creator would acknowledge his existence. The cosmos needed its champion. And for that champion to rise, the universe needed a villain.
"Yes..." Solitas whispered. "What better way to upset my father's order...then with chaos."
Morticon sat in his tent and drank deeply. Slowly, silver mist seeped into the tent and twirled around the Hades Beast. The mist took form as Solitas.
Morticon grunted, unimpressed. He tightened his fist, shattering his glass.
"Solitas the Champion. Strongest of the Pantheon," Morticon said mockingly. "Protecting us from...what, exactly?"
Solitas lifted his hand. Invisible force slammed Morticon and forced him to his knees, into a bow. "I will protect this cosmos...from you."
The cosmic being extended his hand. A bone-like blade slid from his palm and stabbed into the ground.
"Take this blade," Solitas said. "A fang from my spiritual body. A fang you will use to carve through creation."
Morticon knitted his brow. "Carve...?"
"You wish to demonstrate your strength? For sport?" Solitas asked. "What better adversary than the universe itself."
The light elves of Valaer flew through the golden skies of their realm. Their wings glistened with light, and their bodies glowed with power.
Suddenly, bolts of flame shot from the skies and blasted the elves from the air. Wings burning, they crashed and skid across fields of purple grass.
Flames ignited across the fields, and Morticon stepped from the fire. He gripped his sword Fang and led an army of Hades Beasts, ready to test their strength.
"So..." Morticon said through a twisted grin. "This is what true power tastes like..." He looked to his men. "Kill them all."
In his infinite form, Solitas watched from everywhere. He witnessed the Hades Beasts rush across the realm of Valaer and slaughter every light elf in sight. Knowing nothing of war, nothing of violence, the light elves fell quickly.
Morticon stood on their corpses and raised his sword high, as his Hades Beasts cheered.
Solitas laughed, and he watched, as the Hades Beasts spread across realm after realm.
"Ignore me now, father..." he whispered. "Ignore me now..."
The Viewing Globe dimmed.
"So you see...Morticon is older than time itself. The Hades Beasts are ancient!" Kuro said. "Udonna..."
The cat lowered his head. "Udonna gave her life to protect you. So you could stop him. You weren't just chosen at random. She believed in each of you."
Necrolai dove at the Rangers and hurled bolts of shadow energy. The blasts slammed against them with bursts of spark that whipped them off their feet.
The villain swooped past the Rangers, lifted them with her hands and legs, and flew into the distance.
Kuro hopped onto a shelf to face Chip at eye-level. "Do you understand now, Chip? Not only is this not a game...it's a fight for the fate of existence!"
Chip nodded. "I..." He glanced at Udonna's staff and set it aside. "I get it."
"So how are we supposed to fight something like that?" Vida asked.
"Your courage will push your power past its limits..." Kuro said. "I'll explain more later; the other Rangers need your help now!"
Five chambers opened in the rear of the room. Each contained a speeder.
"These are your Mystic Racers," Kuro said. "They'll get you to your friends. And fast!"
Chip smiled. "Can I take this seriously and still think those are sweet?"
Vida smiled. "Don't stop being you. Just don't get yourself killed."
"Is that the moral of the story?"
They grasped their morphers and ran towards the speeders.
Necrolai flew over the wilderness while carrying Mystic Red, Mystic Green and Mystic Blue.
Koragg's voice sounded from beneath the surface. "Zazare."
The giant Hades Beast Blob rose from a magick circle.
Mystic Green stared at the monster as he struggled to break free from Necrolai. "Not another one..."
Necrolai smiled with fiendish delight. "The glutton blob has appeared...Blob! I give these delights to you!"
Necrolai tossed the Rangers into the air, and Blob swallowed them whole.
Mystic Yellow and Mystic Pink flew towards the giant monster.
"No one's here..." Mystic Pink said.
Mystic Yellow flipped open his morpher, which also functioned as a communicator. "Hey guys, where are you?"
"You're late, Chip," Mystic Red said. "This Blob swallowed us!"
"Swallowed you?!" Mystic Yellow shouted. "That's so...cool!"
Mystic Pink looked to her teammate. "Let me handle this..."
She leaned forward and throttled towards the monster. Hades Beast Blob swatted at Mystic Pink, but she flew circles around him.
The Pink Ranger leapt from her speeder, hovered in midair, and unsheathed her staff. "Maagi Magiro!"
Her staff fired flurries of pink energy that clouded the monster's face and sent him stumbling backward. The creature breathed in the energy, hacked, and coughed up the other Rangers.
Mystic Red, Mystic Green and Mystic Blue crashed and tumbled across the ground. The Pink Ranger leapt downward to join them.
"Hey guys!" Mystic Pink shouted as she ran towards her teammates.
Mystic Red climbed to his feet and wiped goop from his helmet. "What is that thing?"
Above, Mystic Yellow leaned forward and sped towards Hades Beast Blob.
"Chip!" Mystic Red shouted. "What are you doing?"
"You said I wasn't taking things seriously?" Mystic Yellow asked. "Well this is me, taking things seriously!"
The Blob thrust its hand and fired globs of slime that exploded around the Ranger with bursts of spark. Mystic Yellow swerved back and forth to avoid the blasts, then hopped onto his speeder.
The Yellow Ranger unsheathed his staff. "Furious Thunder! Gii Gigiru!"
He shifted his weapon to bow-gun mode and fired darts of yellow energy. The blasts exploded against the monster with bursts of spark that sent him staggering backward.
Mystic Yellow hopped back into his speeder and swerved towards the other Rangers. He leapt off the vehicle and landed alongside his teammates.
"Not bad, right?" he said.
Suddenly, the ground rumbled as the Hades Beast Blob stomped towards him.
"He's still moving?!" Mystic Yellow shouted.
"Looks like your bite's not strong enough..." Mystic Red said.
"I'll show him strong," Mystic Yellow said. "Let's do this!"
The Rangers faced the giant and snapped into their fighting poses.
"Burning Flame Elemental! Magick of the Flame! Mystic Red!"
"Howling Earth Elemental! Magick of the Forrest! Mystic Green!"
"Galloping Thunder Elemental! Magick of the Thunder! Mystic Yellow!"
"Rippling Water Elemental! Magick of the Water! Mystic Blue!"
"Blowing Wind Elemental! Magick of the Wind! Mystic Pink!"
"Askani Task Force!" Mystic Red shouted. Together, they called out: "Mystic Rangers!"
Their morphers glowed with golden power and toned with heavenly chimes.
Mystic Pink flipped open her morpher. "A new spell...?"
Mystic Yellow remembered Kuro's words: "Your courage will push your power past its limits..."
Mystic Yellow stepped forward. "Alright...Come on, guys!"
They flipped open their morphers and thrust their wands towards the sky. "Maagi Magi Magika!"
The Rangers grew giant as magick circles slid across their bodies and transformed them into zords called Majin.
Unimpressed, Blob thrust its fist and fired wads of slime. The wads exploded against the zords with massive bursts of spark and flame.
Mystic Phoenix and Mystic Garuda leapt through the fire. Blob fired another volley of slime globes that exploded with bursts of flame, but the zords continued their advance.
Mystic Garuda fired bolts of lightning from his eyes. The lightning thrashed the monster with bursts of spark, sending him staggering backward.
Red Phoenix jumped and spin-kicked Hades Beast Blob. The zord pressed forward and slashed the monster with a burst of spark.
Nearby, Mystic Sprite floated into the air. "Maagi Gii Magiiro!"
She spun with a flutter of pink energy and transformed into a ball. The ball dropped and landed in Mystic Minotaur's hand. Mystic Minotaur swung his axe and swatted the ball through the air.
Mystic Mermaid flipped through the air, swung her tail and whacked the ball towards her teammate.
Mystic Garuda caught the ball, energized it with lightning and hurled it towards Mystic Phoenix.
The red zord leapt upward and drop-kicked the ball. The ball energized with flame, shot through the air, and punctured through Blob with massive bursts of spark.
Secondary explosions tore through the monster as he collapsed and exploded into pieces.
Morticon trembled with rage and stabbed the ground. "Damn mages!"
The floor shook, echoing the rage of the general. He looked to the portal embedded in the floor. The glass-like surface ebbed with crimson light and trembled.
"N'Ma..." Morticon whispered as he walked to the portal.
Koragg stayed back. Who - or what - was N'Ma?
Chip and Vida finished telling the others what they learned from Kuro.
"So..." Chip said. "We're basically in the middle of a fight against the Big Bad of Big Bads himself."
Vida looked at Udonna's staff, which now hung on the wall. "She believed in us. In all of us."
Xander nodded. "And she...had a talking cat, apparently. Can we get back to that part?"
"I'm not exactly a cat," Kuro said. "I'm a spirit! I was sent to Udonna when she came to your time."
"Sent by who?" Nick asked.
"The Dragon Ranger, of the Heaven Fire Star."
To be continued...Chapter 03
A quick word about demons:
Demons come from Hell. Split into numerous factions, they come in two main types:
1) Spirit Demons: In physical form, they roam Hell in spiritual bodies composed of Reishi (spirit particles). The souls of damned mortals, also composed of Reishi, can twist and transform into Spirit Demons over time. Additionally, Hell itself can spawn new Spirit Demons. Spirit Demons can possess the bodies of mortals.
2) Creature Demons: Demons with physical bodies composed of Kishi, the same matter found in the world of the living. Often monstrous, Creature Demons are purely physical entities and cannot possess the bodies of mortals.