All the previous episodes of Paragon of Justice: Crimson Ranger can be read here: http://www.fictionpress.com/s/3028741/1/Paragon-of-Justice-Crimson-Ranger
I'll add them all to this blog... eventually.
Episode 9: Rise,
It is said
that time passes much, much slower in a dream than in physical reality. Thus,
even though it might have seemed like several hours had already passed to Pete
Robinson who was currently unconscious inside Wrath’s closed space, the truth
is that he had simply been asleep for a few short moments – no more than a
minute ever since Miss Vanity knocked him unconscious by clobbering him from
behind as he was engaged in battle with Wrath.
gradually regained consciousness, he felt as if he had been having a really
incomprehensible dream about a super sentai team and a zombie-making nebula
that some celestial author thought was actually funny. At that moment, Pete
remembered a scene from some feminist movie that he’d seen while randomly
channel surfing. It was all about a wife killing her husband for stalking and
physical abuse that also doubles as an advertising stint for Krav Maga martial
arts. In any case, he remembered the instructor’s tip for staying awake in case
you get hit and are on the verge of unconsciousness.
“Hold on to
It was a
pretty ridiculous proposal to be sure and there was no guarantee that it would
actually work, but Pete decided to go along with it anyway since he was in
danger of lapsing into unconsciousness again. He focused all his energy into listening
and gradually, faint voices began to ring in his head.
A very loud and annoyingly cute female voice suddenly jolted him back to full
didn’t have to shout so loud, Giselle. This is seriously gonna give a major
think you should blame me for that part, Pete. After all, it was your little
girlfriend who whacked you on the head from behind.” Giselle retorted.
you’re right. Anyway, shut up for a bit and let’s listen and try to assess the
situation. Looks like I haven’t been unconscious for too long, at least.”
his eyes carefully and saw that Miss Vanity and Wrath were talking to each
other only a few feet away from where he was lying. They hadn’t realized that
he was already awake.
strained his hearing and listened intently while still pretending to be
unconscious. He had correctly deduced that he’d fainted for only a few brief
moments since his fight with Wrath inside the closed space in the Arcade.
Miss Vanity. It’s time for you to prove your allegiance to me! Take the Red One
Changer from the Crimson Ranger’s unconscious body and present it to me.”
Wrath dah-link. I must say, I am insulted that you would doubt where my
loyalties lie when I just saved your derriere from yonder Crimson Ranger.”
“Uh oh… this
is bad, Pete. If someone like Wrath takes possession of the Red One Changer,
he’ll be able to warp the very fabric of reality itself and not just create
closed spaces... and then he’ll doom everyone into…”
“I know, I
know, Giselle. He’ll doom everyone into a 1984-like doublethink existence
because he’s an LGBT discriminator, animal rights activist and all that… I
understand the gravity of the situation. Look, I’ll just wait for Miss Vanity
to get a little bit closer, then I’ll grab her arm and perform an awesome kara
throw and then maybe I can take down the two of them by surprise with Crimson
Pwnage Speed Blitz.”
pretty sound plan except for the kara throw part, Pete. I don’t think that’s a
real martial arts move, y’know.”
she comes. I can smell the scent of her fashionably expensive perfume getting
gauging her distance based on the smell of her perfume?”
you, a friggin bloodhound?”
lots of experience sniffing the fresh plastic from my Hatsune Miku figures. Not
to mention my Hinagiku and Nagi dakimakura covers.”
shouldn’t have asked, you lolicon.”
sashayed past Wrath and elegantly walked towards the Crimson Ranger’s fallen
body. She leaned over and stretched her hands out towards Pete’s belt where the
Red One Changer automatically clasps onto whenever Pete transforms into the
Crimson Ranger. However, just as she was about to take the mystical object from
Pete’s Belt, she felt something pushing up against her chest which made her
cheeks turn beet-red.
pervert! How dare you defile my exquisitely attired body!?”
enough, Pete’s hands were pressed up quite firmly against Miss Vanity’s breasts
– basically groping her. Apparently, you should really watch where you’re hands
are going when attempting to grab someone’s arm and perform some ridiculous
martial arts throw that doesn’t exist.
quick! Cancel into a throw for a true kara!” Giselle Orchardwither urged Pete
with an annoyingly cute voice.
that’s a huge help, Giselle.” Pete said sarcastically as he felt himself being
raised up into the air.
reality did not work like in video games. Miss Vanity picked up the Crimson
Ranger’s limp body from the ground and raised him into the air by his neck. She
then proceeded to slap him several times across the cheek through his thick
helmet which caused sparks to fly out everywhere.
last giant slap, she sent the Crimson Ranger flying several feet before landing
on the ground and rolling over multiple times before crashing into a Super
Street Fighter IV AE arcade machine – destroying the machine’s HD LED screen in
nonchalantly dragged himself away from the Arcade machine’s wrecked screen and
dusted himself off. He then thrust out his left palm in front of him while
curling his other hand into a fist and raising it just slightly above his head
and pointing towards his adversaries. He knew that a fight could not be avoided
now if he wanted to leave this place with his life AND with the Red One Changer
still in his possession.
“Hmph! So I
see you’ve still got some fight left in you, Crimson Ranger. Fine then, I’ll
entertain myself with you for a while.” Wrath said coldly.
that’s how it is. Well then, I shall leave you two boys to settle your
differences like barbarians and beat each other silly. I for one cannot stand
the indignity which the Crimson Ranger has just inflicted upon my person;
therefore, I am leaving – goodbye!”
Miss Vanity took out her sword and slashed the air several times. This caused a
large door-like panel to fall off from the space wherein she had cut through
with her sword – as if she’d cut through reality itself. It was pretty easy to
see since Wrath’s closed space was a monochromatic green, but the area where
the panel had fallen off was not – even though it looked exactly the same
fashionable masked beauty then stepped into the portal that she’d made and
swiftly disappeared from the closed space. The panel of reality that she’d cut
then slowly faded back into monochromatic green.
never understand women no matter how many worlds I conquer… now then, Crimson
Ranger, or should I say, Pete Robinson? Shall we continue where we left off?”
clenched his fist tight and nodded.
Get Raidy! Fight-o!” Giselle Orchardwither shouted in an annoyingly cute voice
with an obviously fake Japanese accent from inside Pete’s head.
fairly confident in his chances now. After all, he’d already destroyed Wrath’s
ultimate weapon – the giant headphones that allowed him to tune out reality.
surprise however, instead of taking the initiative, Wrath simply crossed his
arms and stared straight at the Crimson Ranger – or at least it looked that way
since it was pretty hard to tell because Wrath was wearing a glorified
motorcycle helmet just like Pete.
to slow down as Pete pondered his options in his mind. Escape wasn’t probable
since the entire arcade was effectively a closed space or some kind of reality
marble created by Wrath. Even if he defeated Wrath, there was no guarantee that
the closed space would disappear and that he would safely be transported back
to reality. Miss Vanity seemed to have the ability to enter and exit this place
on a whim – but she’s gone now and it was unlikely that she’d be back. Also, it
wasn’t an ability that Pete could possibly replicate with the Crimson Ranger’s
offense-based capabilities. This left Pete with only one real option: since
Wrath created this closed space, he must have some way to get out of it even without
Miss Vanity’s help; therefore, all that Pete needed to do was beat the stuffing
out of his enemy and make him retract the closed space.
also the coward’s way out which was to admit defeat and beg Wrath to let him
out in exchange for the Red One Changer.
think about it, buster!”
annoyingly cute voice inside Pete’s head quickly ruled out that option.
Pete. Go get him. Crimson Pwnage Speed Blitz now!”
“What am I
to you, Giselle? Some kind of Pokemon… still, that’s not a bad idea… here I go!
Crimson Pwnage Speed Blitz!”
fraction of the time that it takes to blink an eye, Pete accelerated towards
Wrath at a speed that was just 20% slower than the speed of light. The Crimson
Ranger’s body glowed with a bright red aura as he collided with Wrath.
everywhere from the impact and when the smoke and debris had cleared, it was
Wrath who was standing firmly in place with a huge crater that was about 10
meters on the floor around him created by Pete’s Crimson Pwnage Speed Blitz
lying flat on his back just outside the crater. Blood trickled down from his
forehead and there was a huge vertical hairline crack on his helmet’s visor
even though the helmet itself was supposedly nigh indestructible.
He tried to
recollect what had just happened. Wrath’s counter-attack was so simple that it
seemed incomprehensible to the Crimson Ranger how his ultimate move could be
countered so easily. At the moment of impact, Wrath simply bent down and extended
his elbow in front of him making contact with Pete’s helmet – sending him
you the truth, Crimson Ranger…” Wrath said matter-of-factly.
used 10% of my true strength. Those giant headphones from earlier were just a
gimmick. Do you really think that I could earn the title of ‘conqueror of
worlds’ without being strong by myself?”
Pfeh! You’re obviously lying through your teeth, Wrath. I was just about to pwn
you hard if Miss Vanity hadn’t come in.”
struggled back to his feet. It was probably just a lucky shot and fortunately,
his suit’s force fields absorbed most of the impact of the blow. He went back
into a fighting stance.
still going to fight me after that? You must be effed up in the head something
fierce, Crimson Ranger.” Wrath taunted him.
think you’re bluffing, Wrath. You’re nothing without your giant headphones that
tune out reality.” Pete answered back.
Then… I guess I’ll have to show you a little demonstration.”
his arms and bowed his head. Pete felt a strong aura rising up from out of
Wrath’s black spandex-clad body. It almost seemed as if his body mass had
increased ten-fold even though Pete could clearly see that Wrath’s body
remained the same size. The villain had undoubtedly grown powerful… very
show you 20% of my power!”
In a matter
of seconds, Wrath dashed all around Pete destroying the walls and pillars of
the Arcade with his bare hands – even the pieces of debris that fell from the
ceiling all around them were instantly crushed to powder with a dazzling display
of hyperspeed martial arts strikes.
mind, a part of Pete was thinking that the logical move would be to attack
Wrath while he was busy showing off, but another part of him – perhaps the more
instinctive part of his brain, told him that to do that right now would be
tantamount to suicide. He was clearly no match for Wrath given what he was
witnessing right now.
to do something – anything. Even running away seemed like a good idea right now
– futile though it might be, but his legs remained glued to the ground. It wasn’t
anything noble like the notion that a hero would never run from battle. I t was
just that Pete was experiencing the most primal and natural survival instinct
in the world: true fear. A fear that can
either paralyze you or prime your body for battle by charging it with adrenaline
– for Pete’s part, he couldn’t even lift a finger at the moment.
Wrath appeared behind him. When it happened, Pete wasn’t even aware of, but the
fact of the matter was that Wrath was clearly behind him right now.
it! It’s dangerous!” Giselle Orchardwither’s warning came just a split-second
“Is 30% of
the Crimson Ranger with the side of his hand on a specific spot at the back of
Pete’s neck. It appeared to be a very light tap, but to Pete, it felt like a
million tons of concrete had suddenly come crashing down on his neck.
that, Pete Robinson, the Paragon of Justice: Crimson Ranger fell to his knees –
be taking the Red One Changer now. Seriously, this was the famous Paragon of
Justice? What a joke.” Hissed Wrath.
A few hours
later, Pete woke up inside the arcade – mostly unharmed and no longer in his
Crimson Ranger form. Apparently, Wrath didn’t even deem him to be an adversary
worth killing. Pete knew it himself. Compared to Wrath’s strength, he was
He tried to
get up onto his feet, but his limbs felt sore all over. He probably could have
willed himself to get up, but his body wasn’t the only thing that was hurting
right now. Pete knew the truth – that he had been soundly defeated by his
nemesis and he could never use his Crimson Ranger powers again. Wrath had taken
the Red One Changer – the bad guys had won.
Wrath were to conquer the Earth at this very moment, Pete Robinson probably
couldn’t have cared less. What made him feel even more dejected was the fact
that with all the powers that he had at his disposal, he was still nothing more
than a bug, an insect to be squashed and played around with by the conqueror of
worlds known as Wrath. What had even made him think that he could stand up to
such an entity?
a hold of yourself. It wasn’t your fault. There was no way – not even I could’ve…”
familiar, annoyingly cute voice of Giselle Orchardwither could do little to
ease the emotional pain that Pete was going through.
not say it – not even to the little girl inside his mind who had been his ally
through thick and thin (mostly). He couldn’t say that it wasn’t that he blamed
himself for that incident, but that he simply felt bad that he didn’t have the
Red One Changer anymore and therefore, he was no longer the Crimson Ranger.
Crimson Ranger had given him power beyond his wildest dreams, but more
importantly it had turned him into the protagonist of the superhero movies,
video games, manga and anime that he had always idolized and he’d even found
some kind of pseudo-love interest in Miss Vanity. He was no longer just Pete,
the average, self-sufficient 20-something lackadaisical otaku. No, that had
become just a mere disguise for his true identity, the Paragon of Justice:
Crimson Ranger. As much as the world needed the Crimson Ranger as its savior
from the forces of Wrath, Pete also needed to be the Crimson Ranger to save
himself from his own mundane existence … but it was all over now.
was a huge slap to the face from reality itself. The truth is that he couldn’t
be the Crimson Ranger any longer and on top of that, the world was probably
doomed thanks to his incompetence.
Crimson Ranger.” A deep, throaty voice interrupted Pete’s thoughts of
Pete Robinson turned his head towards the source of the voice.
familiar stranger’s horned goat’s mask seemed to shine brightly amidst the
glare of the arcade’s multi-colored lights. It was Baphomet, the bad-ass normal
antihero whom Wrath had knocked unconscious earlier.
are you ok? You got hit pretty hard earlier.”
fine, Crimson Ranger. My helmet is made of an unbreakable metal alloy of my own
design. Not even a kamehameha could destroy it. More importantly… are you ok…
in the head, I mean.”
fine, but you can stop calling me Crimson Ranger now, my name is Pete R…”
could finish, Baphomet slapped him across the face with the back of his hand
clad in a heavy padded gauntlet.
did you do that for?”
are messed up in the head aren’t you, Crimson Ranger? Why do you think I’d even
care who you were pretending to be? You ARE the Crimson Ranger – and that is
that. I have decided so do NOT argue with me… it’s futile.”
not the Crimson Ranger anymore. Don’t you see? I don’t even have the Red One
Changer with me now. I can’t transform and access the Crimson Ranger’s powers
“Hmph! And you
call yourself the Paragon of Justice? Is that all that being the Crimson Ranger
was to you? Relying on the powers of some mystical object that wasn’t even
yours to begin with? Think about it, Crimson Ranger. You’re more than that… I
know. I’ve witnessed you in battle countless times from the shadows. You’re
more than the powers and the costume. You’re just too oblivious to see that for
“I… I just
don’t know. All I know is that all my life, I’ve just been Pete Robinson:
slightly out-of-shape, lackadaisical, anti-social otaku; nothing more and
nothing less. I don’t know what it is that you thought that you saw in me, but…”
hit me! You hit me with something long and hard!”
“I did NOT!
You just copied that line off of some combat butler manga. All I did was slap
you across the face again.”
you please stop doing that?”
not! I will keep hitting you for as long as you continue with this senseless,
emo talk, Crimson Ranger.”
as stubborn as some annoyingly cute little girl who only exists in my head,
absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, Crimson Ranger, but I will
definitely continue hitting you until I knock some sense into that head of
Pete was beginning
to grow weary of this conversation. He rose and sat down lazily with his legs
stretched out on the floor. Also, he’d noticed that Giselle had been
Pete. Why don’t you listen to the man. He’s actually making a lot of sense.”
well, I suppose I’m about done with my fifteen minutes of emo mode. Fine,
Giselle… but we’re still in big trouble here with the Red One Changer now in
Wrath’s possession. Also, I still don’t know much about Viv- er, I mean Miss
Vanity and how she fits into the grand scheme of things.”
see you seem to have regained some of your spirit now, Crimson Ranger.” Said Wrath.
antihero paused for moment and looked up in an exaggerated manner as if he was pondering
something before continuing.
Crimson Ranger. You might have lost your powers, but that doesn’t change the
fact that you are the hero that the Earth needs right now.”
sounds really encouraging and all, Baphomet, but the fact remains that Wrath
now has my Red One Changer – and with its powers, he’s all set to conquer the
Earth in any number of ways.”
see, so this Red One Changer is the source of your powers and this Wrath person
can somehow use it like a world-destroyer class weapon, am I correct?”
though I’m not sure how he would use it exactly, but an annoyingly cute little
voice inside my head says that’s about the gist of it.”
solution is simple, Crimson Ranger. We will simply work together and take back
this Red One Changer from the villain known as Wrath.”
simple in theory, but I don’t even know where he is at the moment. Furthermore,
I’m literally powerless to stop him without the Red One Changer. I couldn’t
even get a scratch on him while I was in my transformed state. How do you
realistically expect me to take back the Red One Changer from him now?”
locating him, leave that to me, but before that… let me tell you
endings don't happen in real life, that's why superheroes in fiction exist…
unfortunately, but, even though you or I may not be real superheroes with real
superpowers right now, there is no doubt that I am the hero known as Baphomet
and that you are…”
Crimson Ranger.” Giselle Orchardwither echoed in an annoyingly cute voice from within
Crimson Ranger, I will show you what it means to be a superhero with no
To be continued… See
you in the next episode!
Episode Preview: Pete undergoes a training montage and learns
the ultimate move: faster than anyone! Like the wind, like my name! Hayate no
Gotoku – wait, wrong series! Meanwhile, Primela Rosenkreuz reveals that she is
the head of the prestigious Rosenkreuz family who are actually secretly funding
Japan’s amateur doujin industry in a long-term plan to conquer the world with
manga. Sheryl Harrison buys a PS Vita in order to play Yatagarasu but finds out
that the game has now been moved to Android/iOS devices! Oooh the humanity! All
this and more in the next action-filled, hypercharged episode of Paragon of
Justice: Crimson Ranger!