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Ch’rell Shock, The Shredder Returns
“Ninja Technique: Ice Carpet!”
Less than two months had passed since Serpenterra had wiped the small town off the face of the Earth. The ground was molten, still cooling from the awesome power the machine had unleashed. To step upon the burning soil would have meant death. Some had already tried to access the lost town only to discover that despite the thin crust that had settled, it could not hope to support the weight of a tiny rodent, let alone a human. That was why as Saki walked over the melting ice he had conjured, Saki was relieved that he had been taught some of the ancient secrets of the Ninja.
The power he had summoned came from the Morphin Grid, channelled through his body and directed with a combination of hand movements, words and mental imagery to generate a moving block of ice on which he could stand as he was transported to the place where the statue of the town’s founder had once stood. The ground steamed as the heat turned the ice to water and the water fell onto the hot ground. Only his focussed mind and determination kept the ice intact as he reached his destination.
“Very good Saki,” his master said when the reached the place he desired. “This will do.”
“Yes master,” Saki acknowledged, dropping to one knee while fighting to keep the ice intact.
His master was unable to assist him in his current form. Once a proud warrior, the alien known as the Shredder had been punished by his own people for heinous crimes. His body had been ripped apart leaving only the brain-like creature within – for Shredder’s race were capable of building bodies for themselves in order to survive their environments. Shredder’s replacement form had been damaged thousands of years later during a battle with the Power Rangers of Earth. Now he sought a new means to renew himself.
“There is great power in this place, Saki,” Shredder mused. “The damage has created a wound in the Earth I can use.”
After their recent defeat at the hands of the Power Rangers, Shredder had been determined to regain his former strength. And the first step to doing so required him to absorb a large amount of heat and radiation. The decimated town was a perfect choice.
“Leave now Saki,” Shredder instructed. “Return when I summon you.”
As he spoke, the Shredder managed to levitate himself from the icy platform, allowing Saki to withdraw to safety. In the past the Shredder had relied upon his own strength, alien technology, alien ninja training and Earthly minions. Now he planned to pool all of those resources together to create a new power that would gain vengeance on his enemies. Superior technology, alien power and ninja magic combined with the evil genius that the Shredder represented. Combined together those forces would make him unbeatable.
Saki was out of sight as Shredder lowered himself onto the ground. The earth beneath him cracked as the surface bubbled violently. Slowly his body was pulled into the inferno as the next phase of his plan commenced.
New York City
Saki regarded the smashed remains of his master’s armour. He had been surprised that anything had survived; the Shredder had been fortunate to possess the technology needed to teleport a short distance, but doing so had meant sacrificing the armour and had permanent disabled most of the alien’s technology.
Still Saki had felt compelled to seek out the remnants of his master’s former body regardless of its state. He had always been intrigued by the odd sensations he had felt when touching the metal. It seemed familiar.
“And so it should,” a voice said.
Saki turned with the speed gained through years of practice, his eyes searching for signs of the intruder who had managed to enter without his knowledge. His eyes narrowed as he palmed a weapon ready to teach the intruder a harsh lesson.
The cloaked figure dodged the knife thrown in his direction, flicking the blade that followed it aside with practiced ease. This was not a simple fool, but a skilled practitioner of the fighting arts; he could have easily given the other warrior a challenge. He had no interest of continuing the battle though, simply because he was not certain he could restrain himself from killing Saki if they fought for too long.
“Who are you?” Saki demanded.
“Somebody who knows a lot more about the history of that armour than you Oroku Saki,” the ninja answered. “Or did you believe the lies your master told you?”
“Master Shredder would not lie to me!” Saki snarled.
“Of course he would,” the stranger countered, “if it would gain your services. The Shredder is linked to your family and your master needs that link.”
He could sense that Saki did not believe him and decided a different approach was needed.
“He told you that he was called the Shredder and that he built this armour using his technology. The truth is that this armour was built for a samurai lord in Japan named Oroku Nagi. It is the armour that carries the name ‘Shredder’.”
“Your ancestor. Many generations ago he led a large army across Japan, conquering as they went. He was eventually defeated and his army was disbanded although a few remained and helped him found the Foot Clan to seek revenge. When they were defeated a second time, Oroku Nagi was executed.”
He paused, allowing Saki to absorb the truth about his family’s history, knowing it would help to break down the man’s loyalty.
“Oroku Nagi had never accepted his own mortality. In his life time he selected some of his closest advisers and set them the task of finding him a way to live on after death. The Shredder is the evidence of how close they came.”
He held out his hand toward the armour, causing it to glow slightly.
“The Foot Mystics used the knowledge they acquired to bind Oroku Nagi’s essence to his armour, creating the creature known as The Shredder. He built a new army.”
“The Shredder is the evil spirit that resides in the armour of my ancestor?” Saki asked. He wasn’t certain if he should consider the stranger a fool or a very inventive liar.
“With the rebuilt Foot Clan at his side, The Shredder rampaged once more. And this time it took far more than soldiers to stop him. In the final battle, it took magic and sacrifice to subdue the evil spirit within the armour, preventing it from controlling its metal body. From that moment on it became just a suit of armour.”
A suit of armour with a very powerful and vengeful spirit attached to it. One that needed a living soul to give it the motivation and purpose. Saki was the obvious choice due to his bloodline to help unleash The Shredder’s wrath.
“Sometime later an alien named Ch’rell was deposited on Earth. Ch’rell’s race were little more than large brains with eyes and teeth. On their own world they used telepathy to control their environment. But as a criminal, Ch’rell was banished from Ultrom. On Earth he retained some of his abilities, but needed protection from the unfriendly environment. He found your ancestor’s armour hidden away in storage and used his powers to control it. Later he placed himself inside the armour and added technology favoured by the Jakanja, an alien ninja clan. He claimed control of The Foot and used them to prepare the way for a Jakanja invasion.”
“Then why are these alien ninjas not here?” Saki asked.
There was some genuine interest. His master had mentioned his alien allies and had taught Saki some of their techniques.
“Ch’rell’s people chose to check up on him and realised the threat he could pose to them. They conspired with some of The Shredder’s enemies, leading them to believe that Ch’rell was The Shredder. Together they defeated him and he remained imprisoned for generations. When he was released he once again took control of the Foot Clan and moved to America. It was pure luck that he happened to meet you here.”
The Shredder had grown stronger when the descendent of Oroku Nagi was close by. Ch’rell had used that connection alongside his technology in his portrayal of the ninja warrior known as Shredder.
“And so the question must be asked: do you continue to follow an impostor, or do you claim your rightful place as leader of The Foot?”
That decision would determine what happened next.
Ch’rell had failed to notice them when he had stolen their master’s armour. They were the Foot Mystics, the priests that Oroku Nagi had commanded to secure his immortality. They had been the ones that had called upon the dark powers and transformed their fallen master into an evil spirit. They had cast the enchantments that had allowed the newly formed spirit to possess the armour of their fallen leader. They had then used their knowledge to guarantee that when their master called, his army would be there to obey.
They had failed and The Shredder had been defeated. They enchantments they had used to allow the spirit to use the armour as a body had been broken, trapping The Shredder within the armour. They had been locked away with the rest of his followers and had been unable to stop the Ultrom named Ch’rell when he had taken the armour. Ch’rell’s time as the Shredder came to an end and it seemed the spirit they had worked to preserve had been lost.
But then the Shredder had reappeared in America, working alongside Oroku Saki, a descendent of Oroku Nagi. Being close to Saki had awakened the slumbering spirit of The Shredder, even as the Ultrom continued his charade. When the armour had been seemingly destroyed in a confrontation with the Power Rangers, Saki had retrieved parts of the armour where the spirit remained.
Now with The Shredder on the verge of returning, the spells that kept his armies secured were failing. The Foot Mystics and the army they had amassed were on the move. Except this time instead of conquering everything in their path, they moved silently through the shadows to cross the sea and reunite with The Shredder.
New York City
Saki drew the sharpened blade across his palm. Crafted from a piece of his ancestor’s armour, it sliced through the skin, drawing blood. Under the stranger’s guidance, the descendent of Oroku Nagi drew a series of runes on the metal armour, drawing mystic energy through his blood and channelling it into the armour, replenishing the evil spirit on his ancestor. Deep within the armour the spirit of The Shredder stirred.
“I Oroku Saki, descendant of Oroku Nagi, claim my heritage. Grant me your power my great ancestor and use my body to claim vengeance.”
The stranger had warned him that it would be impossible to control the armour and claim its power. The spirit known as The Shredder could not be subjugated and if ejected from the armour it possessed, would seek a new form. Instead Saki offered the spirit a partnership between family. He would provide the spirit with a body and the spirit would enhance Saki’s abilities with its own. Together they would recreate the Shredder and revive his army.
He felt the acceptance as the spirit of The Shredder shifted from the armour and bonded with his body. He cried out as the spirit tore through his soul, entwining itself into his essence, uniting them into a single being. The ancient armour his ancestor had built had been reshaped into crude weapons – there had not been enough to act as armour. Forty eight shurikens, a large sword, a pair of sais, and several other weapons had been crudely crafted and placed close to where Saki sat. A set of shoulder spikes, pads and arm gauntlets along with a metal helmet were the best he could manage.
The pain ended as the bonding completed. The armoured pieces Saki had crafted had been infused with The Shredder’s power, transforming them from crude metal plates into formidable armour. The weapons had been honed to a sharp edge and were ready to be used by the new Shredder. The shurikens had been enchanted to further the warlord’s goals. The sword was now a perfect replica of Oroku Nagi’s blade and guaranteed to cut its way through his foes. Each weapon contained a small green gem stone, a fragment from the Soul Stone that had been cut away during the creation of the Soul Gem. While they lacked the powers of the finished article, they shared its ability to channel spiritual energy, a property Oroku Saki would find useful.
“And now, my descendent: we shall be avenged!” the stranger told him.
For the first time Saki had a clear look at the intruders face. It was twisted and malformed, but the resemblance was clear. He had been speaking with The Shredder the whole time.
The process was complete, the dark energy within the tainted ground had provided him with the fuel his life support technology needed to repair the damage he had suffered. It had taken a long time, but then repairing the damage caused to a brain was not the sort of thing that could be rushed. Fortunately the process had been relatively painless. It had however been exceptionally boring and Ch’rell was eager to take his revenge on those that caused him so much inconvenience.
As he rose through the cooled soil he sent a message for Oroku Saki to meet him. They had work to do and building a replacement body would be the first step. He suspected enough time had passed for his servant to have gathered all the needed materials and secured the facilities needed for manufacture. It was therefore slightly annoying when he reached a suitable hovering height and discovered that Oroku Saki was nowhere in sight.
A little put out that his servant was late, he sent another message ordering him to hurry up. He then waited for the half hour he estimated it would take for Saki to arrive using the ninja techniques he was so proud of. When the ninja failed to arrive he started to worry that maybe he had run into problems. Fortunately the technology that had repaired him had also been upgraded during his time underground. It had been a simple matter to divert some of the energy into thrust, allowing him to move back along the path they had taken many months earlier.
As he did so he took notice of the strange creatures that had arisen from the scorched earth. It was clear the destruction had poisoned the ground in more ways than one. He could count numerous groups of malevolent spirits growing stronger by the day. The plants and animals that inhabited the broken land had been mutated by its power. From the look of some of those he passed even death was not a reprieve from their torment. He had no doubt the ghosts that roamed the city would give anything for a way to leave.
When he reached the edge of the city, Oroku Saki had still not appeared and Ch’rell was forced to accept the likelihood that his servant had abandoned him. He would pay for such treachery but before Ch’rell could track him down there was still the matter of needing a body. With that in mind he flew off down the road, promising himself that Oroku Saki would rue the day he turned his back on Shredder.
End of Part
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