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.
After several encounters with the beautiful vigilante known as Miss Vanity, Pete is surprised when she breaks into his apartment one day and blackmails him into having a date with her. Although Pete is initially reluctant, he soon comes to realize that she means him no harm and comes to enjoy the date. Sometime later, Pete is inside the local arcade center failing badly at some fighting games when his fail-session is interrupted by an apparent murder within the Arcade center of his arch-nemesis, the ultimate ragequitter Wrath. The plot thickens when the self-proclaimed protector of animal's rights and full-time bad-ass normal vigilante known as Baphomet accuses Pete's fabulously beautiful co-worker at Games R' Go, Primela Rosenkreuz of being the murderer. Pete uses his pseudo-lawyering skills learned from video games to point out the contradictions in Baphomet's allegations and reveals that Wrath wasn't really dead and was trolling them all along. With his cover blown, Wrath starts laughing like a madman at his successful trolling (Successful! Troll is successful!) and knocks Baphomet unconscious when he tries to take revenge for being trolled. And thus… the stage was set for the epic final battle between the conqueror of worlds and ultimate ragequitter, Wrath and the paragon of justice, Crimson Ranger!
This is the story of Pete Robinson. The "Mr. Average Otaku Guy" who became the Paragon of Justice: 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. 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 7: The Final Battle?
Pete Robinson knew that he would not be able to walk away from this one without a fight. Taking out the Red One Changer from inside his shirt, he raised it high into the air and screamed out.
"Transform! Paragon of Justice… Crimson Ranger!"
Within a span of 10 seconds, Pete was engulfed in a ball of red light, started twirling around in mid-air with his eyes closed like a ballerina and his clothes magically faded away and were replaced by tight-fighting red spandex with a matching oversized motorcycle helmet.
"All right, Giselle. I'm gonna need all the help I can get for this fight. What can you tell me about Wrath?"
"Huh? What's there to tell?"
The Crimson Ranger, Pete Robinson, had to hold himself back from doing a facepalm at Giselle Orchardwither's reply.
"Any intelligence you can offer me? Wrath's stats? Fighting style? Technique? Weaknesses? Strengths? Affinities? Hit points?"
"I don't know about giving you intelligence, Pete. I'm sure you're not that dumb. As far statistics on Wrath, I can assure you – he's not gonna win Miss Universe anytime soon." Giselle Orchardwither answered in an annoyingly cute voice.
At this point, Pete was unsure as to whether Giselle was being serious or not, but he decided to give it one more try.
"Giselle, give me a serious answer please?"
"Sigh… guess it can't be helped. The truth is that I've never actually fought him before."
"He-hey! It's not my fault. This is the first time he's ever initiated a fight with the Crimson Ranger in person as far as I know. The Crimson Ranger before me just happened to have several pictures of Wrath lying around in his base of operations – so I instantly recognized him."
"Wait, so this previous Crimson Ranger didn't have any data on Wrath either?"
"Wrath: conqueror of worlds and ultimate ragequitter. That's about it."
"Sigh… forget it."
Thanks to his heightened senses in Crimson Ranger mode, it only took Pete half a millisecond to assess the situation. Baphomet was lying unconscious with his back to the wall. Primela Rosenkreuz had passed out on the floor. Wrath was standing nonchalantly about 4 meters away. Although he was in a non-threatening stance, Pete felt an immense amount of pressure from just standing within Wrath's immediate vicinity. The Guy Fawkes mask he was wearing obscured his face completely making it impossible to make eye contact with him. The way Wrath bowed his head slightly made it seem as if the mask was perpetually smiling – an empty smile that spoke of certain death.
Suddenly, Wrath broke the silence.
"I see you're ready, Crimson Ranger."
With that, he twirled in place and ripped off his mask and clothes simultaneously to reveal – that he was wearing a motorcycle helmet with black and white, tight-fitting spandex underneath. A costume beneath a costume – brilliant!
Wrath stood proudly and crossed his arms at shoulder length while snickering sardonically.
"Heh heh heh! What's wrong, Crimson Ranger?"
"G-giselle? What is this?"
"Well, Pete. I'm just as shocked as you are, but you must accept what you can see with your own two eyes right? That helmet, that embarrassingly tight spandex, he's most definitely deriving his power from the same source as you."
"Sigh… of all the luck… and just where did the Red One Changer come from anyway?"
"Beats me. The Crimson Ranger before me never told me."
"Ah yes, Crimson Ranger… before we begin… allow me to do this!"
Wrath waved his hand and in an instant, their surroundings lost almost all color. Everything had turned into a monochromatic green. More importantly, all the people around them had disappeared – apparently disintegrated into nothing.
"W-what is this?" Giselle Orchardwither screamed in terror.
"Y-you monster! Why did you have to do that?"
Wrath held his hand out in front of him.
"Tut! Tut! I'm whimsical not cruel, Crimson Ranger. Rest assured that everyone who was within this gaming center is still alive. I merely removed their existence from the field of battle by physically transporting our bodies into a time and space wherein there is no one inside the Arcade center."
"It seems I need to explain further. So be it, listen well and I shall try to elaborate so that even your jaded otaku brain can comprehend it. Dozens of people come and go into this arcade center on a daily basis. Even at night, it is almost never completely abandoned because it operates for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Now then, wouldn't you say it's possible that at some point in time, there was a moment wherein absolutely no one was inside this building? It might have been because it was a slow day with no customers and the security guard was out to lunch. Alternatively, a fire might have broken out in the vicinity or in the arcade itself forcing everyone to vacate the building. Another possibility is that the arcade could have closed down in the future forcing the owner to abandon it to the bank. What I did was to take a single instant in time of one of those possibilities and use my power to transport the both of us to that specific point OF time. In Shana, they call it a fuzetsu, in other anime, they might refer to it as a kekkai, a reality marble or a closed space. In this case, we are actually existing in a place outside of space and time! Isn't that amazing?"
"Dude, whatever… I'mma punch you now!"
In a blur, Pete rushed down Wrath and crouched hard at the last minute. With all his strength, he drove his fist upward and delivered a crushing uppercut on Wrath's lower jaw with a resounding crunch. The villain was sent flying several feet into the air, but Pete wasn't quite done just yet. He leapt up to chase after his prey and delivered one jab, two hooks and a low kick at Wrath while he was still in the air and finished with a devastating double hammer fist to the head that was so powerful that it catapulted Wrath straight into the ground, creating a small crater on the marble flooring where he landed.
"6-hit AIR Combo! Good job!"
A heavenly voice rang out from out of nowhere.
Pete couldn't believe that it was this easy, and yet, he sensed that victory was at hand.
Somehow defying the laws of physics, Pete accelerated his descent while still in mid-air to continue the rushdown on his downed adversary.
Suddenly, a malevolent force rose up from the ground and hit Pete square on the jaw. It was a blow that would have broken off an ordinary human being's head. Somehow, Wrath had recovered from the damage that Pete had dealt him in an instant and had mounted a counterattack of his own. Pete had been hit with the rising uppercut – a legendary move said to be used by master martial artists in an instant in order to escape combo pressure after being knocked down.
A heavenly voice rang out from out of nowhere.
Pete landed on his head and tumbled violently backwards. He managed to regain his footing at the last instant.
"Pete, are you okay? Damn, that took some pure guts to draw first blood on the big bad." Giselle Orchardwither said in annoyingly cute voice from within Pete's head.
"I'm fine, Giselle. That DP (acronym for dragon punch) just took the wind right out of me. I should have known he wouldn't go down that easily. I won't lie. I was shaking in my knees just moments before I initiated that attack. Still… even though he managed to interrupt my momentum… some good did come out of it. Now… I know that he's not omnipotent. My powers are good enough! I can hit him and hurt him!"
Pete licked the blood from his lips from within his motorcycle helmet. A wicked crescent moon shaped smile cut across his mouth.
Wrath stood unmoving with his arms crossed.
"I must say, that attack was quite overwhelming, Crimson Ranger. Although, I regret to inform you, but you didn't do as much damage as you think you might have."
Pete pointed his finger at Wrath defiantly.
"Am I really?"
Even with a helmet on, Pete could tell that Wrath was grinning from ear to ear in a mocking smile underneath.
"You're totally bluffing and I'm gonna call your bluff right now."
Pete bent down with one foot forward ready to rush down Wrath once again.
"Wait!" Wrath held one hand out in front of him while he fumbled clumsily for something inside his belt bag.
"Hah! I knew it! What's the matter, Wrath? Ya scared?"
"Not likely, Crimson Ranger. I just need to put these on first."
Wrath took out a gigantic pair of black headphones from his belt bag and put them on right over his helmet.
"Okay, do your worst, Crimson Ranger."
"Heh, you asked for it!"
Pete continued his rush down. To add insult to injury, he planned to use the exact same attack as he did before, but much faster.
"Crimson Pwnage Speed Blitz!"
Pete accelerated his speed to four times the Crimson Ranger's base speed allowing him to move at a rate of just 20% slower than the speed of light.
Once again, he crouched down hard upon reaching his target and threw a heavy-handed uppercut right at Wrath's jaw to hit… nothing but air!
Somehow, Wrath had managed to avoid his pwnage level meta-human speed attack.
Fearing a counter-attack, Pete immediately recovered and launched a flurry of punches straight at Wrath.
"9001 Crack Fist Pwnage! You are already dead!"
"Tsk. Such a boorish fighting style you have, Crimson Ranger" Wrath taunted Pete.
What was even more surprising was that Wrath seemed to be standing still and yet, none of Pete's near light-speed punches were even grazing him.
Without warning, Wrath raised his leg and delivered a fierce front kick right at Pete's midsection. The attack was delivered so slowly given Pete's near light speed movement rate and it still somehow found its intended target.
Pete cringed and was forced to his knees from the pain. The damage was so severe that the kick managed to crack two of his ribs even with the advanced shielding offered by the Crimson Ranger's spandex-like battle suit.
A heavenly voice rang out from out of nowhere.
Imagine a runner sprinting at top speed and suddenly crashing stomach first into the end of a wooden pole and you'd have a pretty good idea of what Pete Robinson was feeling at that moment. The Crimson Ranger's suit could protect his body from permanent damage – but not from pain. Indeed, given the advanced alien technology used to create the outfit, it would have been a simple affair to simply disable the occupant's pain receptors while wearing the suit – but the intelligent minds behind the Crimson Ranger's battle suit decided that it was necessary for the occupant to be able to feel pain in order to effectively utilize the suit and avoid danger whenever necessary.
"Hahaha! Look at you groveling on the ground. You look pathetic, Crimson Ranger? Are you really the so-called "Paragon of Justice?"
"Pete, get up! You can't give up now. The fate of the world rests in your hands! The world ends with you!"
"Groan! Giselle, don't make me laugh with inappropriate video game references from out of nowhere like that… I think my ribs are broken, y'know."
"Shaddup and get up! You're the paragon of justice and ultimate busybody! Everyone knows that shounen superheroes are effed up in the head and always get up even though they can barely stand! As long as you can still stand, you cannot lose! You're invincible, Pete! Invincible! A broken rib or two is nothing to you!"
"Ugh… easy for you to say. You're dead."
"C'mon! Just grit your teeth and smile through the pain. What? Are you just going to let him do whatever he wants?"
"Well… not exactly, but I still don't plan on getting up."
Pete raised both his hands to his shoulders and warped in an oversized laser cannon from hammerspace.
Wrath didn't budge an inch. He simply stood in place and even crossed his arms as if he didn't perceive the Crimson Ranger's weapon to be a threat.
"Pete, remember what happened the last time you used that. Aim carefully."
"I've got it covered Giselle." Pete smiled wickedly beneath his helmet's visor.
"I'mma firin mah lazors! Crimson Death Ray MACHINE GUN!"
Pete fired off his Crimson Death Ray right at Wrath at a rate of 100 rounds per second. Naturally, the Crimson Death Ray had infinite ammo, although it did have a 30 second cooldown when it overheated.
The beams were so destructive that they completely incinerated even the part of the floor on which Wrath was standing. Dust and smoke rose up and obscured his target from view forcing Pete to cease fire.
When the dust and smoke had settled, Pete was astonished to see that Wrath was still standing on the same spot – totally unharmed.
Wrath raised his hand high into the air… and bent it back towards himself to point at his matte black headphones.
"Haven't you realized it yet, Crimson Ranger? Nothing says 'tuning out the world' like giant headphones. As long as I have these on, I can tune out reality. Nothing can harm me."
At that, Wrath rushed at Pete who was still sprawled on the ground and kicked him hard in the midsection.
Pete coughed up blood from within his helmet.
Wrath kicked Pete again – even more violently than before.
He was making it a point to target Pete's ribcage - the very same area where he had been kicked before.
"Pete, j-just run. Use whatever remaining strength you have left to push off the ground and run. Y-you'll die at this rate."
"Hahahaha! You're nothing, Crimson Ranger. I bet you're probably peeing your pants off inside your suit right now."
Wrath continued to kick Pete sadistically. He seemed to take great pleasure in tormenting those weaker than himself – very villainous indeed!
"What do you have to say for yourself now, Crimson Ranger? Oh wait, can you even speak right now? Or… lawlz, have you finally coughed out your internal organs?"
Wrath stopped the incessant kicking and stepped on Pete's head – twisting his boot as if he was crushing a bug.
"Well? Say something, Crimson Ranger? Are you really the Paragon of Justice who's been giving me so much trouble?"
Enraged, Wrath drew back and delivered a swift front kick right at Pete's ribs sending him tumbling back several feet backwards.
Before Pete could even think of trying to get up, Wrath had already closed the gap and stepped on his head once again. Pete Robinson wasn't the Crimson Ranger, he was nothing more than a punching bug at the hands of the all-powerful conqueror of worlds and ultimate ragequitter.
"Come again, maggot? I'm afraid, I didn't hear you right?"
"I… said you're a coward!"
"Huh? Hahahaha! I think I might have knocked a few screws loose in your head, Crimson Ranger? You dare to call me a coward right after the sound beating I just gave you?"
"Of course you are… my head is just fine thank you…"
Pete struggled up to his feet. Wrath immediately grabbed him by the throat with both hands and pinned him to the wall.
"Cough… grrrkk… All you do… is hide behind your giant headphones and pretend to be all strong and omnipotent, when in truth, you're nothing but a big coward! You can't even win without cheating. Now I know why they call you the ultimate ragequiter! Not only are you the ultimate ragequitter, you're also the ultimate cheating haxxor! I bet you're the type of person who uses savestates and infinite lives to beat Airman! You activated the Konami Code in Contra! You use bots to win in Tetris Party Deluxe! You use scripts to see through walls in Counter-Strike! You call a good shot out in a game of Lawn Tennis where line calls are based on the honor system! You even modify the rules in a game of Tag so that you can win! Furthermore, you…"
Wrath hurled Pete several feet into the air. The Crimson Ranger landed flat on his back with a resounding thud.
"Pete, are… you alive?"
"Blargh! My spine will never be the same again, Giselle… but I'll live."
Wrath took his headphones and threw them right at Pete who was still struggling to get to his feet.
"You think I can't beat you without my giant headphones? I don't need to tune out the world to defeat you, maggot! I'll fight on your own level! C'mon and bring it!"
Pete promptly grabbed the headphones by his feet and put them on.
"Tsuzutte Tsuranete! Atashi ga~! sono kotoba~! o sakebu kara!"
"Hoho! Odds&Ends by Ryo featuring Hatsune Miku… nice music to tune out the world by!"
Suddenly, Wrath realized what a stupid move he'd just made.
Even before he could finish his sentence, Pete had already activated his crimson pwnage speed blitz and hit Wrath with a launcher followed up by an air combo.
Pete pummeled Wrath in the air with a left, a right, an uppercut, a hook, a cross, a straight, a front kick, a side kick, a roundhouse kick, a hook kick, a spinning kick, a groin kick, a superkick and a drop kick.
Wrath hit the ground spinning and rolled several meters before coming to a stop flat on his back.
Pete walked slowly towards Wrath who wasn't – no, who couldn't move an inch from the beating he'd just received.
"Ugh… why, Crimson Ranger? Why would you, the paragon of justice, lure me into a duel of honor and then resort to a dirty trick to win a fight?"
"Wrath…" Pete paused for a moment before continuing, "You judge me and say 'why?' while I look back at you and say 'why not?'"
"Bwahaha! Brilliant, Pete! You just trolled the troll!"
"I won't be needing this anymore."
Pete took off Wrath's headphones and broke them in half with his bare hands.
Suddenly, Pete saw stars and began to feel very whoozy. Someone had hit him with a blunt object from behind with so much force that it managed to crack his alien technology motorcycle helmet.
Pete turned around just before he lost consciousness and saw a sight that made his eyes water.
"Vivian… why? How?"
"Pete, dah-link. You must be wondering why I'm here when you're supposed to be in a closed space. Dah-link, I am the embodiment of fabulousness, I can enter closed spaces. Furthermore, you must be wondering why I betrayed you… well, Pete… let me just say that I'm sure you have this silly notion that good always beats evil… well, it doesn't. Nighty-night, dah-link!"
To be continued… See you in the next episode!
Next Episode Preview: Pete laments the thought of not being able to watch a third season of Tomodachi no Mahou and initiates a one-person demonstration outside the animation studio's headquarters only to discover that Primela Rosenkreuz is actually the show's lead producer! Sheryl Harrison finally drops The Adventures of Black Trojan to start reading Onani Master Kurosawa! Also in the next episode, Pete forgets to pay his monthly rent and gets his power cut off while trying to save a game just before the last boss in Legend of Legaia! All this and more in the next exciting episode of Paragon of Justice: Crimson Ranger!