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. Just as Pete reluctantly agrees to take the badge, a fabulously beautiful costumed vigilante who calls herself Miss Vanity, appeared from out of nowhere seeking the badge. Pete reluctantly chooses to transform into the Crimson Ranger for no apparent reason. Although the battle is desperate, Pete's unyielding defense forces Miss Vanity to retreat and regroup. Pete collapses shortly afterwards only to be awoken by the spirit of the original Crimson Ranger who now resides in his head as a twin-tailed 13 year-old Japanese schoolgirl named Giselle Orchardwither. A few significant battles after his initial transformation and nearly hopeless first test against Miss Vanity, Pete, who was now more or less a veteran Crimson Ranger, encounters a powerful enemy in Lady Staplewire, a female bully victim who had been transformed by the light of RAGE. Pete is clearly overmatched in the battle and is urged by Giselle Orchardwither to retreat, but Pete refuses to give up and eventually wins the fight thanks to his indomitable will and a little bit of help from Miss Vanity. As Pete transforms back to his normal form however, his co-worker, the fabulous secretary of Games R' Go, Primela Rosenkreuz witnesses the transformation and is shocked to learn that Pete is actually the Crimson Ranger.
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. Currently works for Wrath as a mercenary.
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 4: Identity Crisis
"Pete Robinson? You are the Crimson Ranger?" A familiar trans-atlantic voice screamed from behind Pete.
"Oh my goodness! This is amazing! You mean to tell me that I've been working alongside the Crimson Ranger all this time?
Of course, the truth is that Pete Robinson hadn't really been the Crimson Ranger for that long. More importantly however, Pete's secret identity was in dire straits and he needed to formulate a good plan within a short span of time to explain his way out of this situation.
"Pete, your secret identity is in dire straits and you need to formulate a good plan within a short span of time to explain your way out of this situation!" Giselle Orchardwither echoed the narrator.
Pete Robinson nodded in agreement with the annoyingly cute voice of Giselle Orchardwither which only he could hear.
"That's right… I am the Crimson Ranger!" Pete said nonchalantly.
From within her nonexistent existence in Pete Robinson's head, Giselle Orchardwither did an epic facepalm.
"I see! That's amazing, dah-ling. Honestly, I-I don't know what to say."
Primela Rosenkreuz stared at Pete Robinson with a haze of disbelief.
"Just promise me one thing, Primela. Don't tell anyone about this, okay?"
"Well… I-I'll try not to, dah-ling."
"Guess that's good enough. Well, I've had a rough day fighting super powered villains and all, so I'll be seeing you, Primela."
"B-bye, dah-ling. Do take care of yourself."
And with that, Pete Robinson slowly limped away leaving a very bewildered Primela Rosenkreuz behind.
"Whaat the fudge was that all about! You acted as if you had everything under control and then you just went and told her about your secret identity!" Giselle Orchardwither cried out in protest.
"Uh… why wouldn't I?"
"Well… well… because it's your secret identity! A superhero must protect his secret identity with his life or else terrible, terrible things will happen."
"Hmm…" Pete Robinson thought for a moment before asking, "Really? Like what?"
"Well… like what would happen if she told everyone about your secret identity huh?"
"Naw, Primela wouldn't do that. Besides, what's she going to say? That her co-worker likes to dress up in tight red spandex while wearing an oversized motorcycle helmet and fight people wearing Scream party masks?"
"Now that you put it that way, it does seem far-fetched, doesn't it?"
"Well, how about if Wrath finds out about it, huh?"
"Look at it this way, Giselle. If I were Wrath, intergalactic conqueror and ultimate ragquitter, and someone told me that the Crimson Ranger who'd been a constant thorn on my side all this time was actually a skinny kid who represents everything that is wrong about the average weeabo/American otaku rolled into one package, what would I be thinking?"
Meanwhile, in outer space, deep within the space fortress of the intergalactic conqueror and ultimate ragequitter Wrath…
"What? You mean this socially awkward individual who eats only TV dinners and fastfood with anime, manga and video games as his only social outlet is actually the Crimson Ranger? That's IMPOSSIBLE!"
"The cameras confirm it, m'Lord. There is no doubt that Pete Robinson, who is basically Chris-Chan or the epitome of internet forever aloners, is indeed the Crimson Ranger."
"Shut up! I refuse to accept this! There's no way that this guy could be the Crimson Ranger unless there was some celestial author out there who thinks that this over-the-top clichedness which is enough to break anyone's sarcasm meter was actually funny! Burn all these surveillance videos now!" Wrath screamed out in fury at the Scream party mask-wearing henchman who was operating the computer terminal.
A few days later, as Pete Robinson checked in for work at Games R' Go about five minutes of schedule, which was quite normal for him…
"Good morning, Pete… oh, I mean, Mr. Crimson Ranger."
"Good morning, Primela."
Pete's co-employees found Primela's greeting quite strange – even moreso considering Pete's nonchalant response.
"Hey, didja hear that, Julian? Primela just called Pete Mr. Crimson Ranger."
"I heard, Jimmy. Think there's any truth to that?"
"No friggin way, man! Didn't'cha see the way Pete just seemed to implicitly admit it? A real superhero would guard his secret identity with his life!"
"Ah, true that. Pete's just a nobody, a chump, a loser otaku who represents all that is wrong with American otaku."
Pete cringed inwardly as he overheard the last remark.
Later that day, Pete decided to stop by the hobby shop on his way home from work.
"Hmph! I don't believe it. You basically just revealed your secret identity to the whole world and no one gives a flying feather about it!"
"Myself being the most boring person I know does come with some perks after all, Giselle."
"Heya Pete! How's life? You started reading up on the Adventures of Black Trojan yet?"
"Hey Sheryl! Nah, not yet. I'll get to it one of these days."
"Pete, you are one heartless liar… come to think of it, I think someone once said, 'there is no force on this Earth that can stop a heartless liar." Giselle Orchardwither said in an annoyingly cute voice from within Pete's head.
Pete started browsing the magazine section looking for nothing in particular. The truth is that Pete just had something on his mind lately, specifically, a twin-tailed Japanese schoolgirl with an annoyingly cute voice who literally resided in his head, and he just wanted to be alone with his thoughts for awhile in a place that he was familiar with – a futile effort at best, but you can't blame the guy for trying.
"By the way, I heard that Naruto is ending soon." Sheryl said as she sorted out some manga that a few unscrupulous customers had left lying on the floor. Her long, curly, spaghetti-like hair seemed to brush across the floor like a mop as she bent down to pick up the manga.
"What? You sure it's not Bleach you're talking about, Sheryl?"
"Nope, Naruto's ending too." Sheryl paused and lowered her voice down to a whisper, "I got it from a very reliable source and it's even confirmed by Kishimoto!"
"Ah well, I'm not really into mainstream anime anyway."
"There's a slim chance, but it might even be in the news." Sheryl said as she flipped on the TV, but only a rerun of the latest episode of Shippuden was airing.
Elsewhere, inside the public playground, 9 year-old little Harry Sparkler was having a bit of a spat with his little friends.
"You guys don't understand. I'm telling you! Ninjas are for real!"
"Ah, get off your soap box Harry. Ninjas are fictional people from Japan. I know because my mother said so." Said Drake Williams.
"Harry, you should really stop watching that violent TV show." Celestine Blossom, the only girl in the group added.
"She's right, Harry. You'd better stop it before you become like you-know-who." Said Ron King in a distinctly fake British accent. Of course, no one actually knew who "you-know-who" was… do you?
"No! Ninjas are real! And you guys aren't my friends anymore if you say they're fake!"
Harry began to throw a huge temper tantrum, the likes of which no other 9-year old had ever thrown before. He became so agitated that his face became blue with rage – and from lack of oxygen.
At that moment, a light came down from out of the sky and descended on Harry Sparkler's head.
"You there within this unearthly light, you like ninjas, don't you?"
"Yes... how did you know that?"
"I saw you starting a flamewar in a Naruto message board yesterday. Remember, anything you say on the internet can and will be used against you… hahaha! Now… transform! Give in to your inner rage!"
It lasted for only a few short seconds, but as soon as the light had stopped shinning and the smoke cleared, a tall black figure clad in a brownish lifejacket with dark blue over-alls underneath emerged.
"Harry?" Ron King said with a squeak – this time, without the fake British accent.
"Harry's gone! I am the Chosen Ninja!" The figure declared.
"Huh? Where are you going my friends? … Ohhh, I get it. You don't want to be my friends anymore because I just proved to all of you that ninjas are real right? I'll show you guys! I'll show you the power of friendship compels you! The power of friendship compels you! The power of friendship compels you!"
The Chosen Ninja fired off six kunai from a hidden pocket from within his jacket at his three friends.
"Take that! Shurikens of Friendship!"
"Kyaaa!" Celestine Blossom cried out as a shuriken landed in-between her feet barely missing her.
"What do these shurikens have to do with friendship!" Yelled the panicked little girl.
"They are burning with my passionate feelings of friendship for all of you, my friends!"
"Gah!" Ron King just barely dodged a kunai that would've stuck right on his nose.
"Take this again, Shurikens of Friendship Unlimited Barrage!"
This time, The Chosen Ninja fired off a barrage of kunai in all directions at breakneck speed.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
At that moment, all the kunai that The Chosen Ninja had fired stopped moving in mid-air and all fell to the ground harmlessly. Deflected by some unseen force.
"The Paragon of Justice and all-around busybody, the Crimson Ranger is here! Stop this senseless slaughter at once, Chosen Ninja!" Although it must be noted that there was no slaughter taking place… yet.
Moments before, Pete had been watching Naruto on TV with Sheryl at a local channel when a late-breaking news story showed the kids at the local playground being harassed by what looked like a wannabe Ninja in a strange Naruto-esque outfit. Naturally, the scene was so out of place that Pete and Giselle Orchardwither recognized right away that it must have been an individual who had been transformed by the light of Rage.
"Whoops! Sorry, Sheryl. Gotta rush!"
"Wait! Where are you going, Pete? This is just getting interesting."
"Well, I'm actually the Crimson Ranger and I need to defeat that super-powered villain who is actually just a human being who has fallen to his/her pent-up emotions of anger and has been transformed into a monster-of-the-week by the light of RAGE."
"Oh, is that all? Well off you go then. Good luck, Crimson Ranger!"
"Thanks!" Pete said as he took out the Red One Changer on his way out.
"I cannot believe it! You just went and told another person of your secret identity! They just don't make superheroes like they used to nowadays!" Giselle Orchardwither said in protest.
Deep within Wrath's space fortress…
"M'lord. I don't really think this one is strong enough…"
"Shut up! Who's the dark lord here, huh? … Hmm… but on second thought, you do have a point, my nameless, faceless minion. I actually did just pick this kid out from out of nowhere just because he seemed to show some anger. Ok, send some back-up."
Back in the playground, the Crimson Ranger was squaring off against the Chosen Ninja when suddenly, from out of nowhere, six of the minions of Wrath, all wearing their distinctive china-quality Scream party masks appeared and surrounded Pete.
"Aha! So you brought your friends eh? We'll see about that… Ninjato of Friendship!"
The Chosen Ninja took out 4-foot long single-edged sword and proceeded to hack and slash at the Minions of Wrath in the blink of an eye causing them to fall to their feet and dissipate into nothingness as all one-shot villains do.
"See, Crimson Ranger? You're good… but friendship? Friendship is magic!"
Somewhere in outer space, an evil lord and ultimate ragequitter performed an epic facepalm, much to the amusement of his computer terminal operating minion.
"Uh… you just killed your own allies, dude." The Crimson Ranger remarked!
"What? Why didn't you tell me? You don't play fair, Crimson Ranger! I hate you!"
The Chosen Ninja took a swing at the Crimson Ranger with his sword at blinding speed… but the attack was so telegraphed that the Ranger saw it coming from light years away and merely sidestepped the attack causing the Chosen Ninja to lose his balance and cut his arm on his sword on his way down.
"B-blood! Waaaaaaaah! You big dumb meanie!" The Chosen Ninja cried out… literally.
"Umm… Giselle? You thinking what I'm thinking?"
"I'm afraid so, Pete… looks like this time we're up against… a little kid."
"Uh… hey kid," The Crimson Ranger called out to the Chosen Ninja.
"Huh? Me?" The Chosen Ninja who was busy licking his wounds… literally, asked the Crimson Ranger.
"You should really give up this super villain business. I don't think you're cut out for it."
"What? You think I'm just a little kid in a ninja suit, don't you? You think Ninjas are f-ficshunal or something like that? Well, I'll show you, buster. I'll show you why I am the ninja of friendship that is magic… I am the Chosen Ninja!"
With that, the Chosen Ninja picked up his blade and charged at the Crimson Ranger head on with both his arms fully extended in front of him in a dangerous forward sword thrust.
The Crimson Ranger raised his right fist upward and prepared to meet the Chosen Ninja's onslaught head-on.
"Take this! Friendship Samurai Sword Thrust!" The Chosen Ninja screamed as his blade neared its target – although it must be noted the aforesaid attack had absolutely nothing to do with friendship.
At the last moment, the Crimson Ranger merely sidestepped the attack and promptly bonked the Chosen Ninja on the head by bringing down his right hand on top of his head.
"Ugh… coz magic makes it all complete…" With that, The Chosen Ninja fell on the ground and transformed back into little Harry Sparkler.
Harry's friends immediately gathered around him. It was quite a testament to their friendship that they refused to run away even after Harry had turned into a horrible, horrible kunai-throwing ninja monster.
"Well, that was unusual, but I guess our job is done here."
"Yup, you said it Pete… wha?"
"What is it?"
"Did you just transform back into Pete Robinson out in the open?"
"Yeah… no one gives a flying feather about it anyway… in your own words."
"Hey! Let's hurry back home. Looks like I can still make it in time for Tomodachi no Mahou.
A few minutes later, Pete Robinson fumbled for his keys inside his pocket when he suddenly remembered that he actually kept his keys in his wallet's built-in coin purse.
Just as he entered his apartment, he was surprised to see that the lights were on.
"Hmm… I guess I forgot to turn them off when I left.
"Why hello there, Dah-link. My, my, I didn't realize that the Crimson Ranger was such a handsome fellow.
A familiar figure fashionably attired in a tight-fitting speedo wetsuit and wearing a wig in a hime cut was lying on his couch in a fabulous manner inside of Pete Robinson's apartment.
To be continued… See you in the next episode!
Next Episode Preview: Pete gets into a flamewar with a hater over the unearned popularity of Tomodachi no Mahou! Sheryl Harrison starts an online Adventures of Black Trojan blog and makes her first $100 from Google Adsense! Meanwhile, Primela Rosenkreuz goes shopping for a Louis Vuitton bag and gets tricked into buying a Class A imitation! What is this world coming to? Find out in the next nail-biting episode of Paragon of Justice: Crimson Ranger!