Saturday, August 24, 2013

Paragon of Justice Crimson Ranger: Episode 8: There's No Way I Can Accept This Kind of Development!

All the previous episodes of Paragon of Justice: Crimson Ranger can be read here:

 I'll add them all to this blog... eventually.

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.

Pete finally comes face to face with his greatest enemy, the ultimate ragequitter and conqueror of worlds known as Wrath. After fighting a mostly losing battle against Wrath and his giant headphones that tune out the reality, Pete somehow gains the upper hand, but just when victory is in sight, he gets whacked on the head from behind by Miss Vanity and falls unconscious – oooh the betrayal!


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.

Episode 8: There’s no way I can accept this kind of development!

“Ugh… my achin head!”

Pete Robinson woozily got up to his feet and tried to make sense of what had happened to him. Even while his vision was still blurry, Pete’s mind was already wide awake trying to piece together the sequence of events that had led him into this situation – whatever situation it was he was in right now.

“Lemme sum it up for you.” An annoyingly cute voice echoed from within Pete’s head.

“No… I’m just beginning to understand what happened.”

“Basically, you got into a losing fight with Wrath, but just as you were about to mount an epic comeback, your precious ‘Vivian’ bonked you on the head from behind. Betrayal, Pete! Pure and utter betrayal!”

“Nooooooo! … Is what I bet you were expecting me to say, eh Giselle? Unfortunately, you forget that I snapped way back in chapter 4 (re-read it if you want to find out why). In any case, my blurry vision is beginning to come unblurry now. So let’s see…”

“Well… that’s a surprise.”“It certainly is, Pete. Who’d have thought you’d end up back inside your room? I mean, wouldn’t anyone expect to see you inside the dungeon or ultra high security prison within Wrath’s space fortress after being knocked out cold from behind in the previous episode?”

“Yup, yup… exactly! That’s how these super sentai stories roll after all, but I dunno, Giselle. This all seems a bit too surreal for me.”

“Ah, you’re awake, Pete dah-link! I do hope you won’t think too badly of me for that little boo boo I inflicted on your cute little head.”

Pete immediately recognized that trans-atlantic accent which could only come from Miss Vanity.

Seemingly unsurprised at seeing the person who’d just betrayed him inside his room and without her Miss Vanity costume, Pete simply smiled brightly at Vivian.

“Oh no, not at all, Vivian. I’ve got a pretty thick skull, see?” Pete knocked on his skull twice as he said this.

“Umm… why do you keep calling her Vivian, Pete? Isn’t her identity pretty obvious to any reader who’d actually read this series up to this point?” An annoyingly cute voice echoed from within Pete Robinson’s head.

Just in case you’ve forgotten, Giselle Orchardwither is a 13 year-old, twin-tailed Japanese schoolgirl with a snarky personality who is actually the ghost of the original Crimson Ranger who apparently died in the first episode of this fiction series but now exists in said schoolgirl form as a figment of Pete’s imagination. In short, only Pete can see her, which opens up all kinds of philosophical questions as to whether or not she even exists.

“Ahem… if you’re done with your internal monologue, dah-link. I’m sure you’re curious to know why and how you ended up in your room… also, I hope you weren’t thinking of something horrid such as pure and utter betrayal… were you, dah-link?” Vivian fluttered her eyelashes seductively.”

“Well yeah, it’s all a little bit over my head at the moment, so a little explanation would be nice.” Pete replied while totally handwaving the pure and utter betrayal part.

“Dammit, Pete. You just triggered the flag for turning this entire episode into a long, narrative explanation of whatever it is that’s about to be explained via a long narrative.” An annoyingly cute voice said inside of Pete Robinson’s head.

“Well then…” a really flamboyant sounding male voice with a terribad British accent suddenly interrupted, “I suppose it’s my turn.”
A lean gentleman all clad in black and wearing a Guy Fawkes mask suddenly dropped down from the ceiling and onto Pete’s bed before doing an awkward tumble and landing on hard on the floor with both feet.

“Greetings! I am…”

“Wrath, conqueror of worlds, ultimate ragequitter and all that stuff?”

“Very perceptive of you, Crimson Ranger, although I must say that the ultimate ragequitter stuff is pretty much an informed trait rather than something that I truly exhibit at this point.”

“STOP!” An annoyingly cute voice screamed yelled like a banshee from inside of Pete’s head.

“What is it with this annoying development? I can totally see where this is going. This is going to lead into the defeat means friendship trope.”

“What are you talking about Giselle, I didn’t even beat him in the last episode remember?”

“Don’t you see? That’s exactly it. Some celestial author thinks it’s funny and it’s his way of partially subverting this trope. Also, technically, you did beat him before miss fake eyelashes here interrupted.”

“Ahem! If you are quite done with your neurotically-challenged monologue, Crimson Ranger. May we continue?”

“Haha! Wrath, dah-link. You’ll find that he does that a lot. It is quite adorable, I daresay.”

Pete turned to Giselle Orchardwither (in his mind’s eye, of course!) and they both gave each other knowing glances. Yep, there was something incredibly annoying about hearing Wrath and Vivian speak in turn with their incredibly flamboyant accents.

“Now then, Crimson Ranger. What you will hear might come as a surprise to you, but we mean you no harm.”

“No, that’s not really all that surprising considering that you could have done all sorts of nasty things to me while I was asleep.”

“Oooh kinky! I like that, Pete dah-link.” Vivian fluttered her eyelashes seductively.

Suddenly, a 1080P HD screen projection that seemed to be floating in mid-air appeared behind Wrath.

“Allow me to explain… to put it quite simply, we’re aliens.”

“Cool, that explains everything. So… can you two like get out of my room now? Oh wait, you probably won’t do that, so never mind, I’ll leave.”

“WAIT! You didn’t even let me finish explaining.”

“You kinda lost me at the ‘were aliens’ part, dude.”

“But Pete, dah-link. It is quite true that we are aliens from outer space. Will you not believe me?” Vivian fluttered her eyelashes as she said this with pouting lips.

“Please don’t say such ridiculous things with such a cute face.”

“… you know what? I think I’ll go watch some reruns of Hayate no Gotoku Season 2. This conversation is going nowhere fast. Bye, Pete!”

“Ehhh? Hey, Giselle. Don’t leave me alone with these two nutjobs.”

“Oooh? I think you’d make a great team, Pete.”

“Wait a second, Giselle. What are you insinuating by that?”

“I wonder?” And just like that, Giselle Orchardwither’s existence vanished from Pete’s head – which is pretty hard to imagine given that she’s nothing more than a figment of his imagination… apparently.

“Ahem! You do love your internal monologues, don’t you, Crimson Ranger? Anyhoo! Let us continue.”
A 2D pixellated image of an aquamarine blue planet appeared on the screen behind Wrath.

“This is our home planet Aquaria.”

“Wow… how original,” Pete interrupted.
Vivian snickered in the background.

“So basically, we got overrun by a zombie outbreak and the survivors fled to nearby planets… you know how that goes.”
The screen now showed a picture of the Red One Changer – the mystical item in the shape of a cheap plastic badge that allowed Pete to transform into the legendary paragon of justice and ultimate busybody, the Crimson Ranger.

“As you all know, there are five of these legendary changers around – each corresponding to a different color.”

“No, I do not know that, Mr. Wrath… but I can see where this is going… sigh, please continue.”

“Right then. There were originally five of these legendary changers around and they were developed as prototypes to allow an ordinary soldier to fight off hundreds of zombies at once by enhancing their speed and reflexes to superhuman levels as well as awakening certain latent powers within them. The main problem is that only certain individuals could harness the power of these legendary changers and transform.”

“Uh huh? And what would be the requirement for allowing an individual to transform? Talent? Heart? The earnest desire to protect someone or something like that?”

“Actually… we don’t know!” Wrath said confidently.

“Don’t say that with such conviction!”

“Well, to continue, we sort of lost the Red One Changer, which you currently have in your possession.”

Pete patted his chest to make sure that the Red One Changer was still there and indeed it was.

“Since you can already transform with it, I guess there’s no harm in letting you keep it. It was stolen from our ship some time ago by this twin-tailed little girl with an annoyingly cute voice… but she totally fell for my fake hostage bomb decoy trap! (It’s true! Read episode 1 if you don’t believe me).”

The screen now showed what looked like a literally living planet with veins and pulsating globs of giant pus-filled pimples all around.

“This is the source of the zombie outbreak on Aquaria. A previously unidentified nebula sent out these living planet-sized asteroids flying all over the universe. We’ve dubbed it, Umbrella. Once these asteroids enter the atmosphere of a host planet, they immediately send out an airborne virus that implants itself into the brains of living beings and causes the death of conscious thought and an instinctive craving for flesh.”

Wrath raised his finger into the air and began nodding – which looked rather odd considering that he still had his Guy Fawkes mask on.

“Understand, Crimson Ranger? The Umbrella nebula must be destroyed at all costs, but for that, we need an intergalactic army of soldiers armed with these power changers. Until the fully-working version of the power changer is completed, all we can do is work with the five prototype ones we have and destroy the zombie threat as it makes its way onto other planets.”

“Umm… considering the level of your technology can’t you just blast that nebula away with a large beam cannon or some weapon of mass destruction?”

“Nonsense, everyone knows that in order to destroy a nebula, which might not even contain anything solid inside it, you need to amass an army of artificially enhanced super powered beings, infiltrate it and destroy it from the inside. Besides, we’re low on resources since all the potent raw materials that we could salvage from Aquaria went into the development of power changers.”

“Pish-tush, you make such silly arguments, Pete dah-link.”

Pete’s eyes narrowed into slits.

“Ok, I get the picture so far, so what about the ‘light of rage?’”

“Oh, you mean that thing that I use to send those monster of the week things against you? Well, they’re pretty useless. Just in case you haven’t noticed, when I transform a person using the light of rage, they always use fake foam pads, bb guns and useless weapons such as staple guns to fight you.”

“Ugh… I kinda knew that was happening, but I didn’t want to say it.”

 “Ahem… so anyway! To make a long story short, there’s a zombie asteroid headed for Earth right now… which is the original reason why we came here.”

“So… you’re not an ultimate ragequitter and conqueror of worlds after all?”

“Like I said, those are just informed traits and at this point, some celestial author’s grown tired of trying to justify that title. ‘Ultimate busybody’ can stay though.”

“So like, how soon is this asteroid landing?”

“Pete, dah-link. You’re so silly. Of course, it’s already landed.” Vivian said nonchalantly.

“What? Tell me that sooner!”

“Yeah, just in case you haven’t been tuning in to the worldwide news and watching reruns of old anime on TV instead, the Zombie apocalypse has overrun most of China and Africa by now. They’re still fighting back in the Philippines, though. Apparently, everyone out there is a knife nut who can decapitate zombies with a butterfly knife.”

“So like… all these battles I’ve been fighting including the ones from yesterday…”

“Naturally, they were just a test of your abilities in order to prepare you to fight the impending Zombie apocalypse with us.”

“Sigh… this sudden plot development is a bit jarring, but I’ll accept it. So, you mentioned that there are five changers and you’ve only lost one. I have your lost power changer here and I’m assuming you and Vivian have the other two. That makes three so far. Where are the other two?”

“Well, I happen to have the indigo changer right here… and we actually found a suitable user…”

Wrath opened Pete’s closet and out popped an unconscious body wearing a goat mask – the masked bad-ass normal hero, Baphomet! (Read the previous episode if you’re so inclined).

Vivian poked at the unconscious hero of justice – and protector of animal rights. “Yup, he’s still alive, dah-link.”

“Oh and this is the yellow changer. I think we have a suitable candidate for this one as well, Miss Vanity?”

“Understood, Wrath dah-link.”

Vivian reached out at Pete’s face – which caused him to jump back on instinct.

“He-hey? What do you think you’re doing?”

“Would you stop, moving around, dah-link! I just need to get something out of your head.”

“No thanks, I’d prefer to have surgery inside the hospital – no wait, forget I said that. I’d rather not have any kind of manual surgery performed on me at all!”

“Oh pish-tush, don’t you worry, Pete dah-link. It’s absolutely safe!” Vivian’s eyes glowed menacingly.

“Like I said, I’d rather not… whoa!” Suddenly, Vivian reached out and buried her long, slender fingers into Pete’s forehead… but there were no wounds to mark their entry.

“Kyaah! What do you think you’re doing, you old hag!? Dragging me out here all of a sudden! There’s no way I can accept this kind of development! Put me back! Hayate-kun was just about to admit that he’s a lolicon in denial!”
To Pete’s surprise, Vivian had apparently pulled Giselle Orchardwither out of his head and into physical reality.

“There we go! With everyone assembled! It’s time to fight the zombie apocalypse! Watch out for it in next week’s episode of Paragon of Justice: Crimson Ranger!” Wrath said in his terribad British accent.

“Like we said! There’s no way we can accept this kind of development!” Pete and Giselle Orchardwither yelled out in chorus.

To be continued… See you in the next episode!

Next Episode Preview:  Primela Rosenkreuz fights against Vivian… for that limited edition LV purse!  Do zombies die if they are killed? Sheryl Harrison realizes that Tomoko Kuroki is L’s long-lost sister and she must tell this to the world! Pete laments at the fact that someone on the internet is wrong! All this and more in the next thrilling, action-packed, totally coherent ongoing story of Paragon of Justice: Crimson Ranger!

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