Monday, December 29, 2014

Paragon of Justice: Crimson Ranger Episode 11: This Is How I Fight!




The story so far: Pete Robinson was just another self-sufficient, lackadaisical otaku until one day, a red comet fell from the sky which turned out to be the super-powered paragon of justice and all-around busybody, the Crimson Ranger.  Pete is conned by the dying Crimson Ranger into taking the Red One Changer and taking on the mantle of the Crimson Ranger. Fortunately, Pete is not completely alone as he fumbles his way through the new role forced upon him. The spirit of the original Crimson Ranger returns to help him as a twin-tailed 13 year-old Japanese schoolgirl named Giselle Orchardwither with an annoyingly cute voice and who only exists in Pete’s head. Whether she is for real or a mere figment of Pete’s imagination is irrelevant since Pete is the only one who can perceive her.

Stripped of his powers with the Red One Changer in Wrath’s hands and feeling down after having recently been betrayed by Miss Vanity, Pete undergoes intense hand-to-hand combat training with Baphomet. At first, he reveals himself to be a reluctant fighter and constantly puts himself down for not knowing how to fight. However, Baphomet realizes that there is a lot more to him than even he himself is aware of.
Baphomet attacks Pete seriously with a knife and with his life in danger, Pete’s natural fighting prowess comes to the surface. At this point, Pete realizes the reason why he continues to fight…

Characters
Pete Robinson: Pete is the epitome of average. The only notable thing about his character is that he is a video game and anime otaku and he loves to spend his meager salary importing weird things from Japan. Despite his hobbies, Pete is the type of person who does not hold strong beliefs and would rather go with the flow and avoid conflict if possible. Pete works as an employee at Games R’ Go.

Sheryl Harrison: A good friend of Pete who works as a manager at the hobby shop that Pete hangs out in. She has a very nerdy appearance and wears dark-rimmed glasses and has frizzy hair that looks quite reminiscent of overcooked spaghetti. Sheryl can be a bit of a control freak and likes to keep her shop nice and tidy. Lately, she has taken an interest in a comic book known as “The Adventures of Black Trojan”

Primela Rosenkreuz: Pete’s co-worker who serves as the secretary of Games R’ Go. A young woman with a model-like appearance that matches her trans-atlantic accent when she speaks. Most people wonder why she sticks to such a mundane job when she could easily be mistaken for a fashion model or actress. She seems to be on good terms with Pete.

Giselle Orchardwither: The original Crimson Ranger who currently only exists in Pete’s head. She takes the form of a 13 year-old twin-tailed Japanese schoolgirl with a snarky personality. Possesses supreme mastery of the pwnage powers of the Crimson Ranger.

Miss Vanity: A beautiful super-powered vigilante who wields an elegant broadsword. She seems to value fashion and beauty above all else, even going as far as to avoid a battle if it might result in a broken nail. She has since revealed her secret identity to Pete Robinson – a secret that only the two of them may ever know.

Baphomet: A self-proclaimed protector of animal rights who is a master of stealth. He wears a horned goat’s mask and appears to be a master of mixed martial arts – even going so far as to defeat an opponent who has been tainted with the light of RAGE using a triangle choke.

Wrath: The interstellar warlord and conqueror of worlds and ultimate ragequitter who is currently targeting Earth. Possesses an army of one-hit kill underlings who serve no useful purpose other than target practice for heroes of justice. He can also use the light of RAGE in order to invoke a human being’s pent-up anger and use this potential in order to transform them into a super-powered monster of the week. Upon defeat, a person who has fallen into RAGE transforms back into human form unharmed.

Chapter 11: This Is How I Fight!

The ground was shiny and was constructed out of large, thick-looking metal sheets that had been welded together hastily. It seemed ridiculous, but the entire planet seemed to have been built this way. Wrath’s interstellar fortress was a lot further away from the sun than Earth. Thererfore, the weather was cold here and although it wasn’t quite snowing, it was enough to be an annoyance for most people, but Pete Robinson – even considering his tiny frame, was far from your average individual. In fact, without batting an eye, Pete could honestly say that the cold never bothered him anyway.

Pete was carrying a small backpack with certain provisions and had a belt bag tied around his waist. In contrast, Baphomet had everything he needed in a lightweight utility belt and his state of the art, quintuple weave Kevlar full body armor.

“Are you ready, Crimson Ranger?” Baphomet growled in his usual, deep, throaty, almost unintelligible voice.

“Uh… y-yeah… but, are we going to skip how we even got to Wrath’s fortress in the first place now? We are in outer space somewhere just outside of Earth’s orbit after all…”

Pete saw a slight shiver from the frame of the masked Vigilante. He could swear that Baphomet was smirking mischievously beneath his horned goat mask.

“You don’t need a reason, Crimson ranger…”

“Oh no…” The annoyingly cute voice of Giselle Orchardwither echoed within Pete’s head.

“Coz… I’m BAPHOMET!”

“Sigh… you had to go there, didn’t you? Don’t feed him straight lines, son. He’ll take advantage of it every single time.”

“Anyway… why do I have to wear this ridiculous hero mask?”

Indeed, Pete Robinson was wearing a ridiculous hero mask made out of red spandex material that snugly covered his entire head and had a large slight around the center which was lined with thin, yellow felt stuck on with hot glue.

Again, Pete saw a slight shiver from Baphomet – which was seriously starting to annoy him.

“Behold, Crimson Ranger… the interstellar fortress of our common enemy, Wrath!”

Pete and Baphomet stood directly outside of a large series of monolithic structures made of dark metal of varying heights with towering double doors approximately 40 feet in height that seemed to beckon them to come in. The sky was a distinct shade of purple and it rumbled incessantly with a constant…

“Wait! STOP THE NARRATION! You purposely ignored my question just now, didn’t you?”

“Oh, Crimson Ranger. Whatever are you talking about? You just really need to let it go…”

“Pete, I swear that if he starts singing, I’m going to stab him in the back with that ridiculous horned goat mask he’s wearing.”

Of course, nothing would come of Giselle Orchardwither’s empty threats since Pete was the only one who could hear her annoyingly cute voice.

SNAP!

Suddenly a loud snap, literally snapped Pete Robinson back into reality. He turned towards the direction of the sound and realized that it had actually come from Baphomet who was brandishing a crude, homemade leather whip.

“Come, Crimson Ranger, it’s time!”

As if the fortress itself had been simply waiting for the crack of Baphomet’s whip, the giant double doors opened before the two unlikely heroes.
Baphomet stomped forward with an air of confidence and a definite spring in his step – almost as if he were enjoying himself – which he probably was.

“Wait… that is the most obvious trap I’ve ever seen, so we’re just going to walk in, storm the front and all that? No plans, no nothing?”
Baphomet shivered slightly.

“What are you talking about, Crimson Ranger? I’m Baphomet! I ALWAYS have a plan.”

“Ok, so what’s the plan?”

At the back of his mind, Pete was hoping that this ridiculous masked vigilante with whom he had undertaken this suicide mission with did indeed have a plan… but somewhere deep within his consciousness, an annoyingly cute voice had another question.

“Doesn’t his throat get sore from talking like that all the time?”

Pete could only do an epic facepalm at Giselle Orchardwither’s misplaced sense of priorities.

“Hrmph! So here’s the plan, Crimson Ranger. We walk in… beat everyone up, take back the Red One Changer and go home and save the day.”
Pete sighed and hesitantly walked behind Baphomet – as if he had resigned himself to his fate.

“Bwahaha! You have got to be kidding me, you two! I didn’t think anyone would be stupid or bone-headed enough to just walk into the enemy’s fortress without a plan. Allow me to say… surrender, fools… but it doesn’t matter because you were as good as dead as soon as you set foot in here anyway.”

A loud booming voice from atop the balcony of a tower overlooking the entrance greeted Baphomet and Pete as soon as they set foot inside the fortress. Pete and Baphomet looked up to see that it had come from a guy wearing a Darth Maul party mask and clad all in red spandex not unlike Pete’s Crimson Ranger attire – which distinguished him from the 50 or so lackeys behind him who were all wearing grey over-alls with cheap scream party masks draped over their heads.

This person was not the interstellar conqueror of worlds and ultimate ragequitter known as Wrath, but was in fact a high-ranking officer from Wrath’s army of one-hit kill underlings. Unlike the others, it took 12 hits to get a KO on this sucker.

BAM! CRASH!

Without warning, the double doors slammed shut, trapping the stalwart young masked heroes inside.

“Hoo boy! I knew this would happen. Yup, we walked right into a trap.”
Unperturbed, Baphomet nonchalantly took out a smartphone and fiddled around with it for about 5 seconds.

Trumpets blared and loud electric guitar riffs suddenly blasted out from all the corners of Wrath’s monolithic fortress. Apparently, Baphomet had used his smartphone’s Bluetooth function to hack into the fortress’ sound system.

“Hrmph!” Baphomet cleared his throat

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, he addressed the figure who was still quite a distance on top of the tower with a clear, baritone voice that was completely different from the deep, throaty growls with which he usually conversed with.

“Hah! Did you really think a one-hit kill underling like you could ever hope to defeat us heroes of justice?”

Appalled by Baphomet’s bravado, the officer in red answered his taunt.

“Hah! What are you talking about? You think playing some useless power metal tune is going to help you? A little reality check, oh ‘heroes of justice’ but you’re surrounded and completely here.”

“Hahaha!” Baphomet laughed while still maintaining his deep, baritone voice.

“Hey Pete, don’t let Baphomet hog all the credit. You say something too!” Giselle Orchardwither echoed from within Pete’s head.

“That’s right…” Pete said disinterestedly.

“Umm… coz we’re the good guys and the good guys always win!”

“L-lame! That was the lamest most hackneyed response I’ve ever heard… you should be ashamed of yourself, Pete.” Giselle Orchardwither remarked with her hands covering her mouth in a mix of exasperation and amusement at Pete’s words.

“Hahaha!” The red officer laughed with a most evil laugh.

“People have this silly notion good always beats evil, well it doesn't – as you two and your companion are about to find out.”

Meanwhile, Baphomet’s power metal music had reached its climax and he saw it fit to say one last thing before the battle inevitably began.
He pointed his finger defiantly at the red officer.

“You…” This time, he had reverted back to his usual deep, throaty growl.

“You were screwed as soon as my theme song started playing. You don’t mess with a guy who has his own theme song.”

No sooner had Baphomet said this when suddenly, the music stopped and all that could be heard was the usual rumble of the violent thunderstorm that perpetually lingered over Wrath’s fortress planet.

Pete took out a pair of binoculars from inside his backpack and he saw that the Red Officer was holding a giant power plug – he had pulled the plug and blacked out the entire fortress.

Without warning, the red officer vanished into thin air together with his army of one-hit kill underlings.

“At the ready, Crimson Ranger… it begins.”

Baphomet was correct. In less than a blink of an eye, the red officer and his underlings had descended from the tower at superhuman speed and now had the two heroes surrounded.

Pete felt himself sweating profusely from underneath his spandex mask. This allowed the cool air from the planet’s atmosphere to seep inside and induce a shiver from the former Crimson Ranger.

Pete knew very well that the odds were severely stacked against them. He had been through many life and death situations before, but he had always been able to rely on the Red One Changer and the powers of the Crimson Ranger to see him through.

He did not have that luxury right now. Baphomet, as skilled as he might be, was simply a human being who had trained his body to peak-human levels. Meanwhile, Pete could not even make that claim as he had received all of one day of training from Baphomet.

In Pete’s mind, he realized that two normal human beings had virtually no chance of survival against an army of superpowered super villains – even if they are nothing more than one-hit kill underlings… still, he had come this far, so he was not about to go down without a fight... and thus, he had come prepared to fight in -- his own way.

The Red Officer ignored Pete completely and went straight for Baphomet.

“What now, oh hero of justice? I’ve completely destroyed your trump card.”
The Red Officer used his slightly pwnage powers to teleport behind Wrath and fire three red fireballs at him. The flames were of such intensity that they could easily burn a man alive with a single hit. Of course, Baphomet’s new quintuple weave Kevlar armor did grant him some degree of protection, but the fireballs were still a threat to him nonetheless.

Without turning to face his adversary, Baphomet did a triple backflip in the nick of time just barely dodging the fireballs. Upon landing next to the red officer, he immediately unleashed a series of four lashes at the villain who winced in pain before teleporting behind Baphomet once again.

Seeing that Baphomet had the situation under control with the officer in red, Pete felt that it was his time to fight as well. 10 or so one-hit kill underlings warily surrounded him. They knew that this person was once the Crimson Ranger, but they were unaware of what he was capable of in his human form.

Pete closed his eyes to concentrate.

“Pete, you can do this.” Giselle Orchardwither urged him on sincerely despite her annoyingly cute voice.

“Thanks, Giselle. Don’t worry, with you by my side, I won’t lose…”

Pete reached into his backpack and took out a machine pistol modified with a drum magazine that he had been hiding inside his backpack.

Chaka! Chaka! Chaka!

Using quick bursts of fire, he made short work of the one hit kill underlings surrounding him and all were defeated within 2 seconds.

“M-M-M-MULTI KILL!” A celestial announcer’s voiced echoed throughout the field of battle from out of nowhere.

“Whut the… you didn’t have to use all that heroic talk if all you were planning to do was shoot them! What happened to all that training from the previous chapter!” Giselle Orchardwither squealed.

“Well… I’m pretty sure that me beating Baphomet was PIS (plot induced stupidity). Did you really expect a guy wearing a red spandex mask to take on an army of super villains unarmed? That’s not heroism, Giselle. That’s just suicide.”

Pete Robinson paused and without batting an eye, turned and shot a one-hit kill underling who had snuck up behind him. He smirked beneath his mask.

“The weak have their own way of fighting.”

And thus, the battle to save our world went on in this manner… for hours upon hours it went on and on until finally, exhausted and on the verge of collapse, the heroic duo found themselves surrounded by more and more waves of enemies.

“Baphomet… I’m almost out of bullets… I think this is it.”

They stood with their backs to each other, their enemies slowly closing the distance. Yes, the heroes were formidable, but even the greatest heroes could succumb to superior numbers – their enemies were aware of this as were Pete, Giselle and Baphomet.

“Hrmph! A slight miscalculation. I never expected them to be this many. Nevertheless… Crimson Ranger, it was an honor to have fought by your side.”

“No Baphomet, It is my honor to have…”

TZING! TZING!

A white blur descended from above and danced its way around the arena. Each time, the distinct metallic swish of a long bladed weapon making contact with its target could be heard.

“Don’t worry, Dah-Links! I used the back of my sword!”

“You’re using a double edged sword!” The underlings who had been slashed all cried out in unison before doubling over in pain from their near-fatal wounds.

Pete could recognize that distinctively fake trans-atlantic accent from anywhere.

“Miss… Vanity?”

“No time for discussions, Pete Dah-link. We must make haste.”

“Crimson Ranger, I’m not interested in interfering with your love life, but she’s cleared a path for us, so let’s GTFO like now!” Somehow, Baphomet still managed to say this in his deep, throaty growl – which led Pete to the conclusion that this must be his normal, conversational voice.

Sure enough, Miss Vanity had defeated a string of five enemies per row that led back to the towering double doors of Wrath’s fortress. They had to escape now before the underlings could realize exactly what was happening.
With no time to waste, the trio ran as fast as their legs could carry them towards the exit. Fortunately, in his haste to take out Baphomet’s theme music, the red officer from before had cut the power to the entire fortress and caused the double doors to open automatically as an emergency safety feature.

A garishly adorned horseless carriage with a reinforced glass bubble was parked a scant 10 meters away from the entrance to Wrath’s fortress. Apparently, Miss Vanity had thought things through.

“Huff! Huff! … isn’t it going to be a bit crowded in there?” Pete remarked.

“Oh come now, Dah-link! Surely you didn’t expect moi to use a gaudy old spaceship? That’s just so plebian. Besides, I had it custom-made just for this occasion. See?”

As they neared the carriage, saw the words. “Vanity’s Escape” etched in monotype corsiva and at the side of the carriage.

“Hey Pete… didn’t I warn you about her?” Giselle Orchardwither suddenly chimed in.

However, Pete was deaf to her complaints.

“Beggars can’t be choosers, Giselle. It’s not like we have any other choice right now.”

This was something that the little girl inside of Pete’s head could not argue with.

Baphomet simply kept silent – unsure of what to make of the situation… or possibly devising a plan!

The trio made it to Miss Vanity’s vehicle without a hitch and once they were safely in outer space with no pursuers in sight, Pete was the first to break the silence.

“Miss V… Vivian… why are you helping us?”

Miss Vanity set the carriage on auto-pilot and then turned towards Pete. She blinked twice as if lost in thought – and then she smiled – a smile that could melt any man’s heart.

“Pete, Dah-link… I’m sooo sorry!”

And then she reached out to hug him, which immediately incited a blush from Pete… who was quite thankful to be wearing a spandex hero mask that completely concealed his face.

Baphomet remained silent and cupped his chin as if he were taking in everything that was happening around him and trying to make sense of it.

“Ahem… now then, dah-link. Allow me to explain. First of all, I, Miss Vanity – that’s Vivian to you and only you, dah-link, never truly planned to betray you. However… at the time of your initial encounter with Wrath, I had no choice but to act as if I were on his side… because of… REASONS! Ok?”

“Sounds fishy to me.” Giselle’s complaints went unheeded as Pete was completely absorbed in Miss Vanity’s discussion.

“Anyway, dah-link. Things have changed quite rapidly ever since that encounter. I had planned to somehow steal the Red One Changer away from him while he was distracted, but Wrath is a shrewd one. You are aware of his reality-altering powers no? Well, what he has done is that he has placed the Red One Changer inside of a tacky little reality marble – so to speak, not unlike the one that you two fought in. Really, that Wrath has no fashion sense whatsoever… well, to continue, he cannot access the Red One Changer on his own since the thing is sort of like a living entity in that it has a personality and chooses its wielder and not the other way around.”

“Wait… what? Run that last part by me again?”

“Oh? You didn’t know? Not just anyone can transform into the Crimson Ranger. You had to have been chosen by the Red One Changer.”

“Ooook? And by what standards?”

“Haha! Dah-link! I thought that was obvious…”

“Naturally, the answer is love!”

To be continued… See you in the next episode and have a happy new year! Thanks for reading!

Next Episode Preview: Pete Robinson watches TV… on analog! But it’s all good because analog TV is actually superior to HDTV technology because resolutions don’t matter! If it looks good to you, then it’s good! This causes Sheryl Harrison to facepalm at Pete’s ignorance, because everyone knows that you miss out on certain details like that brief pantyshot on Sailor Moon Crystal if you still insist on watching TV on analog. Furthermore, the 4:3 aspect ratio stretches out the picture and makes the characters look anorexic. Stay tuned for more hyperspace  interstellar busybody fighting action in the next exciting episode of Paragon of Justice: Crimson Ranger.

Did you like this episode? New readers can jump in and read this story from any chapter because of my awesome recap that covers just about everything you need to know at the start of each episode, but if you'd like to know how things really began for Pete, then head on over to https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3028741/1/Paragon-of-Justice-Crimson-Ranger and read all the episodes of Paragon of Justice: Crimson ranger that you missed.





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