Chapter 14: Storm Before the Calm
A/N: Last time, Kennedi freed the ninja students on Lothor's ship, only to be kidnapped herself. The others are worried about her now that they know this. It's time for the final battle, and the rangers are ready to do whatever it takes to get back safe and sound and get rid of Lothor for good. What'll happen when they have to go on a rescue mission while they have to finish off Lothor once and for all?
So after about a week, I'm finally updating this again with the last chapter. The past week has been tough with school, homework, and work. I was going to update this yesterday, but I passed out as soon as I hit the bed. I worked until 8:30 PM yesterday, got home, couldn't find my wristlet (which had my license in it), drove back to where I worked (thankfully just a few minutes away from my house), asked if anyone saw it, found it in my car somehow trapped between the passenger seat and passenger side door, came home, saw the bunny I had hit on my way back to work (it came out way too fast for me to stop and there was a guy like right behind me), ate dinner, showered (because I had gym and was all sweaty), and finally fell asleep around 10.
Anyway, let's get on with this chapter.
Thanks so much for reviews, reading, favoriting, anything!
Disclaimer: I only own things not originally in the show.
A few days had passed, and there was no news on Kennedi. The rangers knew that she was the only one on Lothor's ship right now, and Hunter was deeply worried about her. Just like when they first heard news of the Ember Academy being attacked, Hunter refused to be anywhere near the others, wanting to be alone. They all understood this, having seen how much Hunter and Kennedi cared about each other. While the two didn't go on many dates or do many couple like things, they could all see the love there.
Cam had been with the three other Senseis, monitoring Lothor's whereabouts and trying to keep track of what was going on. He had told the rangers that as soon as they figured out what exactly was going on with Kennedi being on Lothor's ship, he would let them know. At the moment, it was the best they could hope for. The only other problem with that was coming up with a believable excuse to tell Kelly. Dustin hadn't said anything to her, and the red head knew something must've been up.
Now, Shane was at Storm Chargers, talking to Kelly about something as Dustin was picking up a delivery outside. Despite what was going on in the ranger world, there was some exciting news to be shared, and the two at the counter knew no one would be more excited about it than Dustin. The brunette entered the store, not looking too happy.
"I can't believe this!" he huffed. "I ask for four stroke oil, they send me this two stroke stuff. Bah! What am I supposed to do with that?" Shane and Kelly laughed. "What? What's so funny?"
"Hey, look," Shane walked over, a grin on his face. "Forget about the oil and pack your bags."
"Why?" Dustin wondered. "Where are we going?"
"You wanted to freestyle?" Kelly walked over to the yellow ranger. "Well, guess what. You're gonna get your chance." She handed him papers. "Fill it out and sign it. We have to get it in straight away if you want to make the deadline."
Dustin took the papers and read it over before grinning. "This is for the US Action Games! Are you serious?"
"Yeah," Kelly nodded. "And by the way, under sponsor, write Storm Chargers."
"Sponsor?" Dustin grinned, turning to Shane who was standing on the couches. "Hey, did you know about this?"
"I'm going too!" Shane danced around. "For skateboard, baby! Yeah!"
The yellow ranger turned to Tori, who was just walking in. "Hey, Tori, check it out!"
"Oh, Kelly's sponsoring you to go to the US Action Games in freestyle," Tori spoke.
"Yeah," Dustin's grin fell. "How'd you know?"
"She showed me this morning," the blonde shrugged, going to join Shane on the couches.
"Guys, guess what," Dustin looked to Hunter and Blake, both who entered.
Blake nodded. "Yeah, I know. US Action Games, right?"
"That's awesome," Hunter agreed, the two moving over to the couches. Dustin followed them.
"So let me get this straight," he continued. "Everybody knew except me? Is that about right?"
"Yeah, that's about right," Tori confirmed.
Dustin shook his head and turned to Blake. "Hey, didn't you test today for Roger Hannah, the Factory Blue sponsorship?"
"That's right," Tori recalled. "How'd that go?"
"There was a photographer there from Dirt Works magazine," Hunter explained. "Said he hasn't seen anyone test that fast since McGrath in '91."
"So what's the deal?" the earth ninja wondered.
"Well, factory ride if I want it," Blake grinned.
"Why wouldn't you want it?" Dustin questioned.
Blake turned serious. "Come on. Don't you think we're a little busy around here?"
"Yeah, but how can you pass up an opportunity like that?" Shane wondered.
"That's what I told him," Hunter agreed.
Kelly came over, looking deadly serious. This confused the rangers, as she was just happy moments ago when they all walked in. "All right," she spoke, getting their attention. "I want to know where Kennedi is, and I want the truth."
"Um…" Shane looked to his fellow rangers, all who didn't know how to answer. However, Dustin did.
"She may have gotten taken hostage by Lothor," he bit his lip. This earned him smacks upside the head from his four present teammates.
"Of course she did," Kelly huffed. "And you guys are doing nothing to find her?"
"What are you talking about?" Tori pretended to not know anything.
"Dudes, it's fine," Dustin assured. "She's known about us for a while now."
"Dude, you told her?" Blake accused.
Kelly cut in. "He didn't have to tell me anything. I knew since you two became rangers," she pointed to Hunter and Blake. "Why do you think I haven't fired you guys yet for all the times you've run out on me?"
The rangers all shared a look.
The next day, the rangers found themselves arriving at the US Action Games. The three Senseis thought it was a good idea for all the rangers to go to this, hoping it would take some stress off their minds. They still hadn't found anything on Kennedi, and there was nothing new on what Lothor was possibly planning. For now, though, the rangers just wanted to relax. Kelly pulled the Storm Chargers van into a spot and they all hopped out, taking in the crowd and excitement.
"You guys better check in," Kelly advised. "I'll make sure your gear's okay."
"We'll check the place out for, uh…"
"Let me guess," Tori interrupted the red ranger. "Chicks?"
"Now that you mention it," Shane grinned, spotting a cute red head go by.
"Come on," Cam offered. "I'll cruise with you."
"Cyber Cam?" Blake questioned as the six began to move into the park.
Cam rolled his eyes but kept a smile on his face. "Not Cyber Cam. Who says real Cam can't cruise?"
Kennedi knew what was going on. Ever since rescuing the ninjas a few days ago, she had been held hostage on Lothor's ship. It had given her a lot of time to observe things that happened on the ship from where she was being kept. Her hands were tied to a pillar so she would try to escape or anything, and it had proven tough when trying to do certain things.
She had also noticed something odd about Marah and Kapri lately. They had been unusually nice to her when it was just the three girls alone. They had untied her hands so she could eat what they brought her, and so she could go to the bathroom when need be. The two made sure she was kept in top health. The orange ranger was unsure if doing so was part of some plan, or if they were pretending to be evil the entire time the war against Lothor had been going on.
Earlier in the day, she had heard them talking with Lothor about the Abyss of Evil, something she knew would spell trouble for her teammates. The dirty blonde had managed to catch all the important details, and she knew she should try and find a way out to warn her teammates. At the moment, Kapri and Marah had gone to check out the Abyss of Evil, and Kennedi knew her friends would realize something was up, since the Abyss was close enough to where the Action Games were being held.
With a sigh, she thought of how she could let the others know what was going on.
The rangers minus Cam and Kennedi were all in the stands at the Action Games. Kelly was with them, noting how they all looked anxious. After an attack from Kapri and Marah, Cam and Hunter had gathered the others and told them about the area they were interested in. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but Cam went back to Ninja Ops to check things out. It was quiet for them until they heard a cell phone going off.
"Hello?" Tori answered hers, wondering who would be calling her now.
"Tori?" Kira's voice floated over the line. The girls had exchanged numbers, having become close since they met. "It's Kira. I got some information from Ken that might be useful."
"What kind of information?" Tori wondered. This questioned drew the others' attention to her.
"Ken somehow tapped into my mind and told me a few things that might be helpful to you guys," Kira explained. "Don't know how she did it, but that's not important."
Tori sighed. "So what do you got?"
"Well," Kira bit her lip. "I take it you guys know she's on Lothor's ship, so I'll spare that detail. Anyway, she said something about hearing Lothor mention an Abyss of Evil, which is near where the Action Games are being held."
"That must be what Kapri and Marah were after," Tori concluded. This confused the guys.
"She also said that those two were acting really weird," Kira added. "She said that they had been nothing but nice to her since she'd been taken hostage. She's not sure if it's part of some evil plan or if they're showing that they've been pretending to be evil the whole time, but she knows that they've been acting really weird for them."
"It does sound weird," Tori agreed, frowning. "Well, I gotta go, but if you get anything else like that from her, let me know." Kira assured her she would and the girls hung up. Before Tori could say anything, their morphers went off.
"Go for Shane," the red ranger answered.
Cam's voice spoke. "Rangers, I'm sending the zords to you. There's a big fish in a little pond you need to deal with."
Kennedi wasn't sure how much time had passed since she had given her sister a message to pass on to her teammates. All she knew now was that Lothor, Marah, and Kapri were gone, doing something that involved Ninja Ops. Vexacus was off fighting the rangers, and Kennedi knew that if they destroyed him, it would cause the Abyss of Evil to open and explode. It was quiet until she heard voices. She looked up and saw Cam being dragged in by Lothor, Marah, and Kapri. Kelzaks tied his hands on the pillar Kennedi was at so the two rangers were next to each other.
"You won't get away with this, Lothor," Cam huffed. "Whatever you're doing, it won't work."
"Oh, ye of little faith," Lothor scoffed. "Is that any way to talk to your uncle?" He flipped open a scroll, letting the two ninjas see it.
"The scroll of destiny," Cam gasped. "That's been missing from the Wind Ninja Academy for years."
"Before our ceremonious meeting in the past," Lothor explained. "I borrowed it to ensure my future. It's the key to my master plan."
Kennedi looked amused. "You based your master plan on some beat up old piece of paper that doesn't even tell you the outcome?"
"This beat up old piece of paper has accurately predicted everything," Lothor growled. "See this part near the bottom? That's where I destroy Earth once and for all."
"Aren't you missing something?" Cam wondered, noticing how it was torn. "Where's the rest of the scroll?"
"Nice try," Lothor smirked. "But save it. I know exactly what happens next." He took the samurai amulet off of Cam. "It's payback time, nephew."
A while later, Kennedi and Cam struck up a conversation, trying to figure out how to get out of the ship before something bad happened. Cam told her about what happened to Ninja Ops after she had filled him in on what went wrong in rescuing the ninjas. She also told him the strange things that had been happening with Marah and Kapri. At the moment, they were watching Lothor drain the energy from the samurai amulet.
"That's right," he grinned. "Drain all its precious energy."
"I've set the self destruct mechanism on the ship's bridge, sir," Choobo declared as he walked in. "Just like you ordered."
"Excellent," Lothor smirked.
"Yeah, uncle, what about us?" Marah wondered.
"What about you?" he asked.
Kapri shrugged. "Well, now that we're really…evil, don't we get to play a part in your ultimate victory?"
"Now that you're evil," Lothor corrected. "I suppose I can't really trust you, can I? You were a little bit too enthusiastic when you were plotting with Shimazu against me!"
"But uncle," Marah defended them. "You told us to do that!"
"Remember?" Kapri added. "We were all in it together to trick Vexacus into trying to get rid of your generals?"
"Yes, yes," the evil ninja nodded. "We had to make sure the Abyss was at maximum capacity. But, you know, there's always room for two more! Choobo!" Kelzaks grabbed Marah and Kapri, dragging them to a pillar near Cam and Kennedi and tying their hands to it.
It had taken a little while after Marah and Kapri were tied up for Lothor and Choobo to leave the room. Lothor had gone down to attack the rangers. Marah and Kapri couldn't believe their uncle turned on them, but Cam and Kennedi expected as much. The two rangers couldn't help but wonder what their teammates were doing and if they were all right.
"I thought they'd never leave," Kennedi huffed, calling on her fire powers to burn the ropes holding her hands.
"This way," they heard Hunter call. He and Blake entered the room just as Kennedi burned off the last of the ropes around her hands. "Ken, Cam!" the two ran over to them to check on them.
"Thanks, guys," Cam thanked as Blake undid the ties.
"Hey!" Mara called. "You can't just leave us here."
"Why should we?" Hunter asked.
Cam sighed. "Because they're family." Kennedi rolled her eyes and burned off the ties holding Marah and Kapri. The ship rattled as the first part of the self destruct was deployed.
"We got to get out of here," Blake stated. They tried to leave, but Choobo blocked their path. Kelzaks joined him.
"I see you have some new friends," he spotted the two extra ninjas. "This should be fun."
"For old times' sake?" Hunter looked to the other two who could morph.
Both smirked and nodded. "Thunder Storm…"
Getting out of the ship had been tricky, but the rangers had done it. Once they did so, they gathered the other ninja students to help out in the fight against Lothor. From what they knew so far, the others were already fighting and it wasn't exactly looking good. Lothor had just brought back all his generals and a few more aliens to help destroy the rangers. The three wind rangers became surrounded by them all, no escape available.
Kennedi spotted this as she flew in on her glider cycle in flight mode. She fired at the aliens. "Mind if I play through?" she called.
"You will never stop me!" Lothor shouted.
"But we will," Blake called. They all turned to see a morphed Hunter and Blake standing before all the ninja students that had been rescued a few days prior. Kennedi got off her bike and joined the wind rangers.
Shane had called on his Battlizer to help in the fight. The rangers did the best they could for as long as they could. By working together, they managed to get it down to just Lothor that they needed to fight off. Lothor absorbed all their powers into the samurai amulet, making it so they couldn't morph. From there, the rangers had attacked him, pushing him closer and closer to the abyss. To finish him off, the three wind rangers combined their powers to destroy Lothor once and for all, locking him in the abyss.
The following day, once the Action Games were officially over, the rangers were all at the Wind Ninja Academy, graduating from their schools. The ceremony had been short, since there were only seven of them graduating. It had been a good day for the rangers, and it marked a time to celebrate. Now that the ceremony was over, the rangers split off to talk to each other. Cam went with his dad to welcome new students while Blake and Tori talked. Hunter and Kennedi were talking as well, heading to find the other couple.
"So what's going to happen now?" Hunter wondered, his arm around his girlfriend as walked.
"Well, I'm staying here for a while," Kennedi shrugged. "I wanna play fall ball for Blue Bay, but once second semester comes, I have to move to Reefside so I can graduate with Kira. What about you?"
Hunter sighed. "I have a bit of a dilemma. I start training to go into the army, but Sensei Omino made me head teacher at the academy."
"You'll figure it out," a new voice cut in, and they turned to see that Tori and Blake had joined them, the latter haven spoken.
"Hey," Shane called as he and Dustin approached. "You guys ready to do this?"
A/N: So this is the end of this story. Keep an eye out for the Dino Thunder sequel, Double Act.
Thanks for reading and reviewing! Sorry it's a short story!