Final Invasion, Chapter Two
POWER RANGERS:- Demon Wars
I can't apologise enough. This chapter put me through the ringer. There have been at least eight different drafts of the chapter, not to mention out right writers block, setting up and staffing the Burnley Beer Festival. Recovering from that and then I went from full time work to part time. Meaning I have half the time to do my job. A job that is getting more and more complex every day.
Xander shook his battle-axe, trying to get some of the dark green gunk off it. "You know I never quite appreciated Vamps as much as I do now." He side stepped a steaming puddle of even more gunk. "Just poof you know. A minute with a vacuum and everything's shiny again."
"I hear you." Becca, one of the Slayers with him, said as she tried wiping some of the slime off her top. "Yugh, this smells like my brother's old sweat socks. I'm burning all my clothes when we're done."
The Blue Ranger looked up from Joyce, a Slayer that had a nasty looking cut on her arm "That's the cool thing about this gig, self cleaning costumes." She looked back as the cut healed. "There, all better. Now be careful out there, the Ancients only know what infections you, any of you could pick up."
"So this doctor gig's more than just a hobby?" Joyce asked.
"I did my medical degree here. With any luck I can head back home after this is done, there's a training hospital back there that's already accepted me as an intern."
"Cool." Joyce stood up and flexed her arm.
"Home? I thought you guys were all space aliens or something?" Becca asked.
The Blue Ranger turned to her. "What, with squid like heads and four arms? Or little green people in our heads?"
"Just because I come from another planet you immediately think I'm not human?" She asked.
"I didn't mean it like that…"
She laughed quickly, "I know. I get that you're curious, truth is I can't tell you everything and we really don't have time if I could."
"Long story?" Xander asked. The Blue Ranger looked at him and he suddenly got the feeling she was grinning at him.
"That's a big yep. Come on, we don't have time to play twenty questions. Who knows what other surprises A'Zores has down here."
"While Buffy and the Green Ranger try to sink a floating pirate ship." Becca quipped. "Is this a normal day for you guys?"
"No, a normal day usually involves more explosions. That's why I know this is just the beginning." With that the Blue Ranger burst into a running sprint down the road at speeds only a Slayer could match.
As the girls raced after her Xander looked back at the ship. Something was falling off the side.
Buffy regretted jumping almost as soon as she did it. It might have looked cool but she'd done the whole leaping to your death thing before, and it just wasn't as fun the second time around.
Good thing the roof she was aiming for was a lot closer than the ground. Still it wasn't close enough, if she wasn't a Slayer even that could have killed her. Rolling with her landing Buffy tumbled head over heals but it wasn't enough. Buffy grunted as she felt something go in her shoulder and came skidding to a stop. "That was really stupid." She hissed between her teeth.
Pulling herself back to her feet she knew she had done something to her arm. It hurt like hell. Not good, she was trying to stop a crazy vampire version of one of her old friends that also just happened to be a Slayer. Her life really sucked on occasion.
"You're hurt." Dawn's magic, talking, sword said. She'd gotten used to a lot of things as a Slayer, but talking swords was almost too much. What next singing spears? A dancing Mace? "Let me help." It offered and then something happened.
A sudden warmth spread from the Sword. It was like sticking her arm in bright sunlight while the rest of her was in shadow. Not hot, but still warm. Whatever the sword was doing it worked. As soon as the warmth hit Buffy's shoulder the pain vanished.
A little surprised Buffy rolled her shoulder. It wasn't perfect, still a little stiff, but better than it was. She flipped the sword into a reverse grip and grinned at the head on the handle. "Thanks." She told him, "I have to tell you this is the first time I've ever worked with a sword. At least one that can think."
"Dawn lent me to you to help. That's what I'm going to do."
"I've never done well with partners. Let's see if we can change that." She told it, him, whatever. Looking up she tried to find where Kendra landed. It wasn't hard.
It looked like she'd landed on a roof too, then gone throughout it. "I though I landed bad, can you see anything Saba?"
Buffy held the sword out to give them a better view. "I don't think she's in there." They told her.
Buffy looked up at the ship as it passed by the blazing sun, "Then where did she go?" she asked.
"I'm over here." Shouted a voice in a thick Jamaican accent. Buffy spun around as Kendra vaulted over the fire escape and charged. The Slayer was barely able to get Saba in-between her and the mad vampire's Scythe.
Dawn ducked a swing by the Pirate Captain. His sword was better than the ones the rest of his crew were waving, longer too, but that didn't mean he knew how to use it. He was nowhere near as good as A'Zores and didn't have the strength of Tretrax. What he did have was an insane amount of belts stuffed with weapons.
In one hand he had his sword and the other was a hook. A real pirate hook, as he brought it up between them a small knife popped out from a slot next to it. Dawn didn't have time to duck as he backhanded her with it, her helmet the only thing keeping Dawn from getting a permeant facial.
Leaping back Dawn shook her helmet back into place. "Tricky." She grunted bringing her head back up. "Got anything else up your sleeve?"
"What do you think?" he asked, pumping his arm and levelling it at her. The knife was spring loaded, launching out to stab her. Back flipping she lent under the blade, watching it launch out into the sky behind her.
Problem was she was now a good couple of steps away from the Captain and he wasn't the only one on board. The Slayers had all gone below decks to find the hostages, taking a good number of what was left of his crew with them. That didn't mean they were alone and one thing this guy did have in common with the A'Zores was he didn't fight fair.
No sooner had she given them the space needed when one pirate swung in on a rope of all things from the mast. "Oh crap." Was all Dawn could mutter as her kicked her in the chest. The blow sent him spinning off, still holding on to the rope as he swung out over the side.
The Green Ranger was knocked clear off her feet by the blow. Her Flute skittering across the deck in the opposite direction. The instant she landed a trap door exploded to her right and a short, overly muscular demon came out. Grabbing her and holding her down. Looking up Dawn saw the Captain draw an eight barrelled flintlock out from under the rags of his coat.
She had a fraction of a second to react. Disarmed, pinned and about to be shot by what she guessed was a magic gun. It might not kill her with her shield and costume but it would hurt. Maybe enough to blast her costume apart, then she could be in real trouble.
Dawn grinned as one of her patented so-crazy-there-was-no-way-it-was-going-to-work plans came to her.
Buffy tried to push against Kendra, but they were just too strong. Back in the day Kendra had been a good match, now that she was a Vampire and god only knew what else the older Slayer was not going to win that way.
Grinning savagely Kendra's face morphed back into it's more human form as she drove her knee into Buffy's side.
The shot should have doubled Buffy up, if she hadn't seen it coming. Kendra was fast, too fast for Buffy to dodge but the slayer could still use it. Jumping just that fraction too late the Slayer was able to use the force of the blow to brake the dead lock.
Rolling away she swung Saba out, half on instinct, to keep Kendra back. Getting her feet back under her Buffy brought the sword back in a close guard and readied for a mother charge.
Kendra hadn't tried to follow, instead she was half hunched a few paces away. "You're lasting longer than most." she told her.
"Thanks." Buffy snapped sarcastically. "Want to tell me why you're a vampire and not on fire?"
Kendra snorted. "Not my dimension, not my sun." she grinned.
Buffy backed off again, even though she didn't need to. Did that mean stakes wouldn't work either? Too many questions and no answers "What happened to you?" She hissed from between her teeth. This wasn't the Kendra she knew, not even getting vamped should have done this to the shy, dark skinned, girl she remembered.
This would be like Tara coming back as a rock star doing Rocky Horror.
"What happened?" Kendra echoed. "Alright, I'll play. Remember that night? You always do."
"When Drusilla killed you." Buffy managed to say.
This time Kendra's grin was mostly teeth. "Good. In every world you rushed off and leave me to die. Every world but one. Mine. In my world Drusilla didn't just kill me, she turned me."
Buffy felt her heart fall. Drusilla was crazy, that would explain Kendra being a few sandwiches short of a picnic. "You didn't know, you never knew anything. Before they left town Mommy swung by the morgue and picked me up." Kendra continued. "I tried to fight, sometimes I think I did, but in the end she was right."
"Mommy?" Buffy echoed and Kendra leapt like a sprung cat, her Scythe coming up and under. The Slayer was able to block again but the shot jarred her arm, almost numb.
Kendra didn't stop there she swung again, this time over head coming down. All to quickly Buffy was being pounded from all sides. Kendra was fast, strong and hadn't been lying when she told her she knew all her moves.
She'd boxed her in and was driving Buffy backwards, over the edge of the building. "You might think I had it worst of all, those other Kendra's just died. I became this. Truth is Buffy I have it better, I get to kill you over and over again. When I get tired there's always another way." Kendra stopped raining blows and just started to push.
It was like fighting a train, the Slayers boots skipped and skidded across the roof as she tried to stop herself. "Ever thought that this was how you were finally going to die Buffy?" Kendra's face morphed into a vampire's again.
Buffy couldn't hide the sudden smile that came to her. "No and I'm not." Instead of pushing back Buffy let Kendra overwhelm her. It was the last thing this version of her old friend expected, stumbling forward as Buffy fell backwards.
Not giving her the chance to recover Buffy lashed out with her foot at Kendra's knee. It should have broken it, instead the shot sent her stumbling backwards. Enough room for Buffy to roll free. Instead she flipped to her feet kicking Kendra square in the face. "Yeah, you've killed me before. Maybe a hundred times, but I'll tell you something. They're not me." Buffy faked a roundhouse kick, that she used to set up an axe kick. "And you're not my Kendra." This time she came in with a flying knee before grabbing Kendra by the head. She used her momentum to flip up and over, landing behind the vampire. Instead of rolling away Buffy spun and sent her elbow into Kendra's back.
"My Kendra died a long time ago. She died fighting. That is how I'm going to out, but not today!" Buffy readied Saba, even if sun light didn't work beheading was always a good standby.
Before she could swing Kendra rolled off the side of the building. "Oh no, you're not getting away that easy."
Vi kicked out at one of the Pirates, it's head exploded like an over ripe mellon as it fell backwards down the stairs. "There isn't enough room to swing a cat down here!" Anna called as she rammed a stake into another demon at the bottom of the steps.
She wasn't wrong, below decks it was cramped, low and disgusting. Vi couldn't tell if it was tar or more of the disgusting goo these things exploded into. Leaping over the banister she pulled out her back up stakes. While the demons had to swing their cutlass, or whatever, the Slayers could get away with short jabs.
With a stake in each hand Vi cleared a path deeper into the ship, but the pirates just kept coming. Pushing her to one side. Either luck or the powers were looking out for someone down here because the push sent her to one side where she could see the hostages.
Blocking one clumsy swing Vi flipped her grip and drove her stake in to the attackers head. "Over here, clear a path!" She shouted to the Slayers at the stairwell. "I've found them."
The hostages were in a rusty metal cage that looked nasty, the bars were badly made and bound together rather than welded. "Help us! Please!" Pleaded a hostage who had heard her.
Vi ran to the cell door, shoulder barging into the guard and sending them through a flimsy wall to one side. "Whoa." A hostage gasped and Vi got a look at them. They couldn't have been more than ten years old. The Slayer could feel herself getting angry, these were kids and just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time they had to be here, in this hell.
"Are you a Power Ranger?" The kid asked as what Vi guessed was their mother, or older sister, pulled him closer.
"No sweetie." Vi admitted. "I'm their friend." One look she could tell she wasn't going to pick the lock. With a sharp pull Vi snapped the lock and most of the bars clean off. The demon she'd thrown through the wall came at her, Vi killed it with what was left of the bar.
"Are the Ranger's near?" the Boy asked
"Sure they are." Vi told him trying to reassure the others to. "The Green one's busy upstairs and the rest are
down in the city..."
"So let's get you out of here and they'll blow this place!" Anna dashed up flooring another pirate.
Pulling as hard as she could the Green Ranger somehow got the leverage she needed. With a burst of strength she threw the short demon that had her pinned at the Captain. As she threw them she pulled the dagger from it's belt.
Rolling to her knee in one smooth move Dawn threw crude knife. Behind her the Captain's flintlock went off, splattering the demon. The knife wasn't aimed at either the Captain or the now very dead trapdoor demon. Not even at the swinging demon, but instead she was going for their rope. Cutting it clean through.
This left them hanging in the air with nothing but momentum to keep them going. Now for the really crazy part. Leaping at the falling demon like a coiled cat Dawn made a grab for it's jerkin. "Hi." She quipped. Tumbling through the air she knew she had to be quick about what she had to do. Twisting her legs between them the Green Ranger kicked off, catapulting herself back at the ship. "Bye!"
Soaring through the air she wound back for a punch. This one was going to have everything behind it, she had only one chance. To rely on luck and the hope that Pirate-boy wasn't expecting her to come back. At least not this soon.
She was right, the Captain was coated head to toe in the familiar gunk. When they saw her again the look of blank shock on their face was priceless. "Air mail!" She cried as her fist connected, sending teeth and demon blood everywhere. The Green Ranger carried on, bouncing and skidding across the deck for a couple of feet. "Special delivery." Dawn growled, as she pulled herself to her feet. Her plan had worked, how many more times she had to ask. As many as it takes, was her instant answer.
Reaching out her Flute spun up and back to her outstretched hand, just in time for the Captain to cock his Eight barrelled gun again.
For half a second it looked like it was going to be a mexican stand off before Dawn realised that was never going to happen. The Pirate Captain, spitting teeth and curses fired. With the speed only a Ranger could have Dawn brought her Flute up and played the power tune, charging her shield to full power.
The flintlock's blasts bounced off the Dragon Shield and scattered, one hit and set fire to the sail. Another scorched the deck and two bounced off, killing two pirates. The rest of the shots were sent everywhere else harmlessly.
"What in the seven frosted hells of the deep are you?" the Captain swore.
Dawn cut the air with her Flute, but before she could say something someone else shouted. "She's the Green Ranger!" It was a little boy, in the arms of an older woman. Vi and the Slayers were behind them, helping a few other civilians out from below decks
For a heartbeat no one moved, save for the people escaping the hold, then the pirate turned around and shouted; "Hard to starboard, all hands!" The demon on the oversized steering wheel began spinning like a mad man. The ship began it's sharp turn, tilting badly.
Dawn realised too late just what they were up to, "Vi, hold on!" She bellowed but it was too late. The boy, woman and a few others had already fallen overboard!
End Chapter Two