Eclipse Star: Genesis Chapter Fifty-Four

June 11, 2009 at 8:16 am (Eclipse Star: Genesis) (, )

Eclipse Star: Chapter 54

“Crowd Pleasers”

 

-Octavious walks  off stage once the cameras at his press conference go off.  His son Maximilian follows him.

 

Octavious:  I doubt we’ll have to wait very long until we get a response from all that.

 

Maximilian:  Yes, very doubtful.  But father, that still leaves another variable uncertain.

 

Octavious:  And what variable is that?

 

Maximilian:  How likely are your soldiers to succeed?

 

Octavious:  The Octa-Rangers are flawless.  I’ve trained them myself.

 

Maximilian:  That contradicts itself.  If you trained them yourself they cannot be without flaws.

 

Octavious:  (Restrained anger).  Hold your tongue, boy.

 

Maximilian:  That is not to say that you are a poor instructor; rather that no one can be trained in under a month and be expected to compete with the current opposition.

 

Octavious:  Don’t underestimate my skills.

 

Maximilian:  I’m more worried about you underestimating the skills of those kids.

 

Octavious:  I’m not.  Anyone who trains under me should be adequately prepared to fight at their peak.  I’m the best there is.

 

Maximilian:  Then maybe you should be the one fighting.

 

Octavious:  Or maybe it should be you, huh?  You’ve been telling me for years how amazing you are in battle, but I’ve yet to see that.

 

Maximilian:  I haven’t had the chance-

 

Octavious:  No, and you will not be getting that chance any time soon.  Nor will I.  Those in a position of power do not do the fighting.  That’s how you know they’re strong; they have someone else do the fighting for them.

 

Maximilian:  I could kill these kids if I fought them.

 

Octavious:  (Getting right up in Maximilian’s face).  Do you even realize how difficult it was to get you to where you are now?  Do you?  Just think for a second about what an accomplishment it is for the son of the enemy’s forces to suddenly become leader of those forces.

 

Maximilian:  I realize it was difficult.

 

Octavious:  You don’t know the half of it, boy.  I’ve been waiting for years for the timing to work just right for this.  Every day there was the chance that you would be found out; that everything we’ve been working for becomes compromised.  Allowing you to rise in ranks unnoticed, and then have the current Commander, my cousin, killed without traceable blame being put on us, is a miracle enough as it is without mentioning all the hardships that are far too complicated to explain.  And now you’d like to just throw that hard work away?

 

Maximilian:  No.  But I do not intend to be the type of leader who sits around and does nothing when I’m entirely capable of getting something important done myself.

 

Octavious:  Then you’re indeed going to be a foolish leader.

 

Maximilian:  At least I’m not a coward.

 

-Maximilian walks away.

 

-Syrus stands off to the side, arms crossed.

 

Syrus:  Kids today.  What can you do with them?

 

Octavious:  Don’t push me Syrus…

 

Syrus:  The current generation is so ungrateful.  You raise them, pamper them, make them heads of enemy forces, and still they want more.

 

Octavious:  (Smiling).  Ha ha, gloat all you’d like Syrus, because pretty soon it’ll be you who’s got to deal with these kids firsthand.  And failure won’t be tolerated again.

 

Syrus:  (Becoming serious again).  I have a problem with our current strategy.

 

Octavious:  You think the Octa-Rangers aren’t strong enough?  Is that it?

 

Syrus:  Beyond just that, I’m far more concerned about what you’ve instructed a handful of soldiers to do.

 

Octavious:  War is Hell, Syrus.

 

Syrus:  But there is no honor in kidnapping innocent family members.

 

Octavious:  Don’t worry; I’m not asking you to be a part of the raids.

 

Syrus:  Please, don’t do them.  No good will come from these actions.

 

Octavious:  Hmph, you sound like one of my Soothsayers…  We’ve finally gotten the information needed about these kids’ personal lives and you don’t want to use it?

 

Syrus:  If you push them they will push back and far harder than you’ll like.  Don’t do it.

 

Octavious:  It’s already been set in motion.  While the group meets us tomorrow at noon here at the Arena, their parents will be in the process of getting kidnapped.  If for some reason the Octa-Rangers fail to kill them, we’ll force them to surrender with our newly gained leverage.

 

Syrus:  Such a thing is cowardly.

 

Octavious:  Well isn’t that a popular word…

 

Syrus:  A person’s loved ones are not bargaining chips.  They’re not objects to be used against an enemy.  I’ve seen it happen before, and it doesn’t work.  I’ve witnessed exactly how devastating a mistake it can be.

 

Octavious:  We’re within inches of succeeding here Syrus.  Years of planning are falling into place, and by the end of the month Balobyn will be in charge of Zanretha.  The war will be over and a new age, our age, will have begun.

 

Syrus:  We need to find the Eclipse Star before we can do any of that.

 

Octavious:  Hah, I don’t need some stupid rock to help me rise to power, let alone kill a couple of children.

 

Syrus:  Don’t forget our primary goal, Octavious.

 

-Syrus starts to walk away.

 

Syrus:  We were given a task with specific orders; don’t disobey.

 

-Syrus leaves.

 

Octavious:  Hmh, Lucifer isn’t in charge yet.

 

*          *            *            *            *

 

-Jack sits up straighter after seeing the recent newscast.

 

Jack:  Alright everyone, it should be obvious that we have a whole new set of problems.

 

Kevin:  Should I go get the others?

 

Jack:  Yeah, this seems like it’d warrant the sort of thing requiring everyone here to discuss.

 

Kevin nods and rushes up the stairs.

 

Jack:  Shame, too.  One night of rest would have been nice.

 

-Austin walks into the living room.

 

Austin:  Hey guys, I heard some commotion.  Anything the matter?

 

Jack:  I’ll explain when everyone’s present.

 

Austin:  Oh no.  I hate it when everyone has to be present for something.  Never good.

 

-Derek walks down the stairs behind Kevin, rubbing his eyes and looking like hell.

 

Derek:  This had better be good.  Or really bad.  I don’t know which, but it better be something.

 

-Lindsey comes in from outside, looking somewhat huffy.

 

Jack:  Oh good, Lindsey you’re here.

 

-Lindsey walks right up to Jack and kisses him, grabbing his face and pulling him closer.

 

-Everyone else in the room stops everything they’re doing to watch this.

 

-After a few seconds Lindsey lets go of Jack.

 

Jack:  Well that’s…that’s definitely how we should always start these meetings.

 

-Jack looks up and notices someone out of the corner of his eye standing at the back door.

 

Jack:  Chris…good, you’re here too.

 

Chris:  (Surprisingly together, though very cold).  Something the matter Jack?

 

Jack:  No, nothing.  (Shakes his head).  No wait!  Yeah, there’s something!  (Looks around).  Everyone accounted for?

 

Glitch:  Everyone’s present, yes.

 

Jack:  Okay.  Everyone, I’ll make this short and sweet.  First, the Legion is now run by Octavious’ son.  Secondly, they’ve made it sound like we’re responsible for all the bad things happening recently and managed to convince the city we’re terrorists.  Third, they’ve issued a challenge where they’d like to pit us against a few of their fighters.  Finally, they’re about to kidnap our parents.  I think that about covers everything.

 

Derek:  (Very bothered and worried looking).  What?  Do you know any more specifics?

 

Jack:  Not much more than that.  Octavious has the challenge stated that they’ll be waiting at noon every day at the Grand Arena, but nothing more than that.

 

Derek:  What about our parents?  Anything about them?

 

Jack:  No.  They they’re about to bring our parents in for questioning, so that could mean just about anything.

 

Chris:  Alright, so let’s go kill them.

 

-Everyone seems bothered by this idea.

 

Lindsey:  What?  What do you mean by that?

 

Chris:  Exactly what it sounds like.  We go kill Octavious and his fighters or anyone else who feels like threatening us or our families.

 

Derek:  Finally some decent ideas start coming from your head.

 

Austin:  No, that’s a horrible idea.  Come on Chris, we’re better than that.

 

Chris:  Are we?  Maybe we shouldn’t be anymore.  Why should we play by some stupid set of rules if no one else is?

 

Kevin:  But that just means all the more that we should be honorable in this.

 

Scott:  Forget that crap.  We’ve nearly been killed half a dozen times now and all we have as a result is one serious bounty on our heads.

 

Danny:  But…things are gonna be okay somehow.  I don’t know how, but…somehow.  (Turns to Austin).  Right?

 

Austin:  Yeah, everything always works out.  We’ve nearly been killed half a dozen times, but we’re still NOT dead.  That means something.  And we’ve been following the rules, which has to mean something more.  If we did anything differently, who knows?  Maybe we’d be dead.

 

Chris:  (Sighs and takes a deep breath, talking quietly).  You’re right…  (Shaking his head).  I’m sorry, you’re absolutely right.

 

Kevin:  Yes.  An eye for an eye is not the way to go about this.

 

Derek:  But they intend to hurt our families.  I’m not going to sit around and let that happen!

 

Jack:  We have to meet them as soon as possible, so that’d be noon tomorrow.  If we’d like to look like the honorable ones, we’re going to have to show our faces at the first opportunity.  But we also can’t just leave our parents out there by themselves.

 

Lindsey:  So we’ll split into two groups!

 

Derek:  That’d never work.

 

Lindsey:  Yes it would!  They’re expecting all of us to show up, right?  Well, they’ve only got 5 guys waiting for us, so why should we all go?  That wouldn’t look very honorable, now would it?

 

Clinton:  (Sighs).  She does have a point.

 

Lindsey:  Yeah I do.  So we only need to send 5 of us to fight them.  In fact, we don’t really even have to send 5, we could-

 

Kyle:  Chris could just go.  (Eyes on Kyle).  I mean, think about it, the guy’s gotta be unstoppable now, so what’s 5 more guys for him to fight?

 

Chris:  No, I’m not able to fight at that level again.  I did it once, I don’t want to do it anymore.

 

Austin:  Five of us go.  No more, no less.  We play exactly by their rules.

 

Jack:  In the meantime, the rest of us will go check in on our families.

 

Derek:  (Annoyed).  There’s a problem with that, Jack.  Our families don’t all live in the exact same house.

 

Lindsey:  Most of our parents live in the same neighborhood though.  Mine, Austin’s, Danny’s and Willy’s and Clinton’s.  Leena’s too.  They all live in the same main area of town.  What about you, Kevin?

 

Kevin:  My parents live nearby the Foursquare Church on Main.  Are you familiar with the area?

 

Jack:  Yeah, that’s also in Brooksboro, right?

 

Kevin:  Yes.  My father’s the pastor of the church there.

 

Scott:  No surprise there.  (Shrugs).  Well I’ve got good news at least: I don’t know who my father is, so we don’t have to worry about him at all, and if the Regime finds and kills him, it’s just doing me a favor.

 

Leena:  What about your mom?

 

Scott:  She’s been locked up.  Unless they’d like to break her out of jail, I don’t think they’ll be wasting their time with her.  She doesn’t even know who I am anymore anyway.  She’s lost her mind.

 

Lindsey:  That’s so sad.

 

Scott:  Do I look all that sad?

 

Jack:  And my parents have been hidden for the past four months after I advised them to, so they’re fine or at least unattainable.

 

Glitch:  Do you even know where they are?

 

Jack:  No, and it’s better that way.  It keeps them as safe as can be.

 

Leena:  Well that still leaves Chris’ parents.

 

Chris:  My grandma lives in Brooksboro, too, though a bit out of the way.

 

Leena:  I didn’t ask about your grandma, I’m talking about your parents.

 

Derek:  His parents are dead, you insensitive bitch.

 

Leena:  Well jeez, so-rry.  He never talks about his family.  What about your mom, Derek?  We know your dad’s gone, so what about your mom?

 

Derek:  Don’t know, don’t care.

 

Lindsey:  Derek, that’s unrealistically cruel.  She’s your mother.

 

Derek:  I’m not going to waste my time worrying about her.  I don’t talk to her anymore, nor do I care what happens to her.  And if the Regime just got a bunch of info on me, then they’ll know that using her to get to me is an absolute waste of time.

 

Glitch:  It’s true.  The data files I sifted through don’t have his mother listed as a possible emergency use.

 

Leena:  Well that’s good, I guess.

 

Kyle:  Which five of us are going to the big show then?

 

Jack:  I can’t fight, so I’m out.  Chris, you’ll go.  I don’t care what you think about that, you’re going.  Derek, you too.  Scott, you’ll go as well since you don’t have anyone to worry about.  Glitch, since you’ve got all the information about the Regime, you’re going.  Besides, if they try to talk their way around anything you’ll be able to prove them wrong.  And that just leaves one more spot.

 

Lindsey:  I’m going.

 

Jack:  No, you’re not.

 

Lindsey:  Yes, I am.  I’m strong and I’m angry and we need our strongest and angriest to fight right now.

 

-Jack pulls Lindsey closer to him so that he can talk only to her.

 

Jack:  Lindz, I don’t think that’s such a good idea considering…

 

Lindsey:  (Whispering back).  No, it’s a great idea.  The four guys you’d like to go are the most unstable wrecks in the group, and half of them listen to anything I tell them.  I can keep anyone from doing anything stupid.

 

Jack:  Good point.  (Back to everyone else).  Fine, Lindsey’ll go.

 

Chris:  Lindz, it’s too dangerous.

 

Lindsey:  (Angry).  You’re not going to tell me what to do, understand?

 

Chris:  But I don’t…

 

-Austin rests an arm on his shoulder.

 

Austin:  She’ll be fine.  You’ll be there to look after her.

 

Lindsey:  I don’t need looking after, but yeah, in the worst-case scenario you can be there to help me, Chris.

 

Jack:  The rest of us will go to Brooksboro to find out anything more about our families.  Kevin, Foursquare Church on Main?  Where is that?

 

Kevin:  Let’s see…(Doing some calculations in his head).  Lindsey’s family lives on 23nd Street, with everyone else living within 10 blocks of that…the church is about 3 miles away from everyone else.

 

Danny:  Did anyone remember that tomorrow’ll be Sunday?

 

Kevin:  (Snaps his fingers).  I totally forgot!  They’ll be at Sunday Mass by noon.

 

Jack:  The rest of your families the praying type?

 

Lindsey:  Yeah, especially since I left on this whole crazy journey.

 

Austin:  Most of our parents will be at church, so this could work out perfectly.

 

Chris:  My grandma doesn’t go to the Foursquare Church anymore.

 

Jack:  We’ll have to hope for the best then with her.  We just can’t afford to spread ourselves that thin.  If your family isn’t at the Foursquare Church tomorrow at noon, then we can’t defend them.  Agreed?

 

Clinton:  That’s tough but fair.

 

Danny:  That’s easy for you to say; your family’ll be there.  What about…(Points at Chris).

 

Lindsey:  Everyone call and tell your loved ones to go to church tomorrow.  (Shrugs).  I don’t think it really matters if we give ourselves away anymore since we’re going public anyways.

 

Jack:  Okay, so tomorrow before we split up make sure to call your families.  Everyone understand?

 

Nods and agreements all around.

 

Jack:  Good.  Now get some sleep.  Tomorrow’s probably gonna suck.

 

*          *            *            *            *

 

-Octavious paces around backstage at the Arena, looking tired.

 

Octavious:  What time is it?  (Checks a wall clock).  It’s nearly noon…and they haven’t shown up yet.

 

-The five Octa-Rangers are standing backstage as well, stretching themselves out.  They’re all dressed in different colors, with the main ranger in red.  The rest of the rangers are dressed in variations of blue, yellow, black, and pink, all with helmets on.

 

Red Octa-Ranger:  Octavious, sir.  (Salutes).  As the leader of the Octa-Rangers, I feel the need to speak.

 

Octavious:  Shut up Ranger Stigma, you’re the leader by name only.

 

Stigma:  Regardless, I have a few concerns about what you’ve asked us to do.

 

Octavious:  Fine, you’ve got a few minutes before you all perform; what is it?

 

Stigma:  The other rangers and I aren’t sure that making a spectacle of things is the proper way to go about this whole…secretive war thing.

 

Octavious:  Well then it’s a damned good thing you aren’t the one who’s in charge of a nation and a half.

 

Stigma:  But I’m-

 

Octavious:  Quiet.  I want all five of you ready in ten minutes.  You go live, whether the kids show or not.

 

Stigma:  What if they bring more than five?

 

Octavious:  They won’t.  They’re stupid and noble and they’ll come with no more than five.  But rest assured, they are the enemy and they must be eliminated, no matter the cost.  Now tighten your helmet and get out there.  The public is waiting.

 

*          *            *            *            *

 

Chris:  (On the phone with his grandmother).  Yes, Grandma, I realize that I haven’t talked to you in months.  You do understand what I mean when I use the word “war,” right?

 

Pause.

 

Chris:  No I’m not patronizing you; I’m telling you something very important.  Get to Kevin’s family’s church for Sunday Mass, alright?

 

Pause.

 

Chris:  I don’t care if you haven’t been there in years.

 

Pause.

 

Chris:  I don’t care if it’ll make you look like a hypocrite.

 

Pause.

 

Chris:  Either do this for me or risk being killed, is that simple enough to understand?!

 

Pause.

 

Chris:  No!  I’m not patronizing-  Gah!  I love you!  Be safe!

 

-Chris slams the phone down.

 

Chris:  Idiot!

 

Lindsey:  (On the phone elsewhere).  Yeah mom, Foursquare Church.

 

Pause.

 

Lindsey:  No, I can’t be there.  Not for a while anyways.  Why?  Because mom, I’ll be at the Trillium Grand Arena.

 

Pause.

 

Lindsey:  I know!  I heard that I was on TV last night!  Isn’t it exciting?

 

Pause.

 

Lindsey:  Hah, no mom, I’m not a terrorist.  But I do have to go fight again today.

 

Pause.

 

Lindsey:  You saw the last tournament?  Don’t worry, I’m a lot stronger now.  I’m not gonna get hurt as easily as last time.  (Burst of excitement).  Oh mom!  You could watch me on TV again I bet!  They’ll definitely televise it, I’m sure of it!

 

Pause.

 

Lindsey:  Yeah yeah, Foursquare Church on Main.  Tell them to flip around till they find us.  Okay, love you.  Tell dad the same.  Bye!

 

-She hangs up.

 

Derek:  (Writing a note).  “Dear father…”  Hmm…(Tapping the pen on his chin).  “I was here at the house and must have just missed you.  Gone to go prove that your son’s the greatest.  Hope you get a chance to see.  Love, Derek.”  Yeah, that should be good enough.

 

-Derek puts the note on the table and leaves.

 

-Everyone’s gathered in the living room again, packed and ready to go.

 

Jack:  Okay gang, this is it.  This is the moment we’ve been training for all…this morning.  Let’s go out there and not screw up.  Okay?

 

All:  Hooah!

 

Chris:  Yah yah!

 

Chris, Derek, Lindsey, Scott, and Glitch all power-up and take off towards the Arena via the air.

 

Chris:  See ya Jack!  Don’t do anything stupid!

 

Jack:  Same to you!

 

-The group of five flies with Derek at point.

 

Derek:  Alright team, listen up here.

 

Chris:  You’re the leader now?

 

Derek:  Shush.  I have no idea how powerful these rangers are, but I can only assume that we’re far mightier than them.

 

Glitch:  Should we morph our powers into one and then just have a single representative attack?

 

Derek:  No.  I think we’d all like a crack at these guys.

 

Chris:  Tyrannosaurus!

 

Everyone just kinda looks at Chris like he’s an idiot.

 

Chris:  What?  I’m trying to get us hyped.  You got a better idea?

 

Scott:  Anyone want a pre-game smoke?

 

Lindsey:  No thanks.  I’m not really the smoking type.

 

Scott:  Smokin’ hot.

 

-Scott winks at Lindsey.

 

iChris smacks Scott, causing him to drop his cigarette.

 

Scott:  Ah no!  It’s an omen of things to come!

 

Glitch:  Omen?  What sort of omen?

 

Scott:  An omen that I’m gonna kick Chris in the balls.

 

-Scott punches Chris in the groin.

 

Chris:  Gah!  What the hell?!  That wasn’t even a kick!

 

Scott:  So I improvised mid-attack.  It’s called the element of surprise.

 

Lindsey:  I’m gonna hit ‘em hard and leave ‘em out cold!  Who’s with me!

 

Others:  (Unenthusiastic).  Woo.

 

Lindsey:  Oh come on!  This’ll be FUN!

 

Scott:  You’ll be fun.

 

Glitch:  That makes no sense.

 

Scott:  You make no sense.

 

Derek:  Shut up.  Kick it into high gear troops.  (Gets a smug grin on his face).  We wouldn’t want the festivities starting without us now would we?

 

They all increase speed towards the Arena.

 

*          *            *            *            *

 

-Octavious walks out onto the main platform overlooking the Arena floor.  The stadium is packed full of people anticipating a show of some kind.

 

Octavious:  Ladies and gentlemen!  Welcome, to an historic event like no other!  Today marks the first official joining of the nation of Balobyn and the nation of Zanretha working together against a common threat for the greater good!  Today, we shall liberate your city and rid it of the evil shadow of terrorism caused by the Legion’s traitors!  Tomorrow will be the dawning of a new age of relief!

 

Huge cheers.

 

Octavious:  Hmh…say anything and they’ll eat right outta your hand…I present to you all your saviors!

 

Drum roll.

 

Octavious:  Octa-Rangers!  Assemble!

 

Huge cheers once again as the Arena’s lights turn off and rave lighting kicks in along with heavy techno music.

 

Octavious:  Ranger Stigma!

 

Red Ranger jumps into the center.

 

Octavious:  Ranger San!

 

Yellow Ranger leaps out and high-fives the Red Ranger.

 

Octavious:  Ranger Sampi!

 

Blue Ranger leaps out, flexing and boxing the air.

 

Octavious:  Ranger Sho!

 

Black Ranger rushes in, flipping back and forth and kicking about.

 

Octavious:  And finally, Ranger Qoppa!

 

Pink Ranger rushes out, pumping his arms in the air.

 

Qoppa:  Hooray for me!

 

Octavious:  Trillium City, these are your saviors!

 

-The crowd gives a standing ovation as the Octa-Rangers clap and stretch to their welcome, trying to get the crowd even more riled up.

 

-Octavious also claps for the group, smiling a very fake smile as he does so.

 

Octavious:  Aren’t they great folks?  For their first demonstration, they have a choreographed piece to show!  Witness their dancing prowess!

 

Spotlights go off, with one left lighting the Octa-Rangers as they all stand together in first positions for a dance routine.

 

Octavious:  Hit it boys.

 

BaDOOSH!

 

-The spotlight explodes as an energy ball collides with it, showering the Octa-Rangers with glass and sparks.

 

-They all cover their heads, breaking their stance.

 

Octavious:  What was that?!  (Yelling at the stagehands nearby).  Fix it!  Now!

 

Lights finally come back on.

 

Derek:  And now presenting, the REAL saviors!

 

Derek, Chris, Lindsey, Scott, and Glitch are all standing on the Arena floor in front of the Octa-Rangers, who jump back with a start upon seeing the group.

 

Chris:  Tyrannosaurus!  (Poses).

 

Derek:  (Breaking character and turning to Chris).  Dude, I told you NO.

 

Octavious:  What?!  They showed up?!  (Clears his throat).  Ahem, of course they showed up.  Ladies and gentlemen-!

 

Lindsey:  (Totally getting into the act, yelling at the top of her lungs to the whole stadium).  ARE YOU READY?!!!

 

Group:  HOOAH!

 

The Arena cheers regardless of the fact that these are supposed to be terrorists.

 

Derek:  The reigning champion of Trillium City has returned!  (Points at Octavious).  Prepare to be defeated!  (Thumbs down).

 

Octavious:  Octa-Rangers!  ATTACK!!!

 

Octa-Rangers:  GO TIME!!!

 

They leap at the group, ready for battle.

 

BOOM!

 

-The two groups collide with a flash.

 

To Be Continued…

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