There are certain rules a sentai team is supposed to follow. They’re supposed to have matching uniforms, and a theme. And they ALWAYS have a guide or mentor. Someone who gave them their powers and can tell them how to use those powers. Someone who tells them what their team name is supposed to be and the history of their enemy.
The rules have been broken. They have no team uniform, they have no guide. They have magic powers they don’t understand and an unknown enemy taking over random cities.
At least they get along, right?
Season Notes: violence, magical coercion, references to suicide, cliffhanger
At one time or another, everyone Blade knew had mocked him for his obsessions with safety and being prepared. Today was worth every bit of scorn he’d ever taken. It had taken him all of five minutes to get his emergency supplies loaded on his bike — and only that long because he’d grabbed the community supplies along with his go-bag. Having a bicycle let him get ahead of both the evacuees on foot and the drivers (trapped in gridlock). But he didn’t run and keep running. He had a plan (he always had a plan). Based on his research, he knew that folks escaping west would start collapsing at Lansford Park. Far enough that fear couldn’t drive people further and big enough to have room for a crowd. By the time the first folks on foot arrived, Blade had a blanket out piled with water, first aid supplies, and energy bars. It wouldn’t last long, but it would help. He hoped.
Salem staggered to a stop, glancing over her shoulder every few seconds. As soon as she could, she began stumbling onward. Where? She didn’t know. Away. Behind her, the city she had lived in her whole life was dying. Around her others — dozens, no hundreds — ran or stumbled or crawled away from the monsters that had appeared and started attacking everyone and everything in the city center. As well as she knew the city, Salem had lost track of where she was in her frantic race away. She’d been running for what felt like hours but didn’t know how much longer she could keep going.
Quickmoon stood bracing emself in the sunken doorway that led to an old root cellar. Inside the root cellar hid eir siblings and grandmother. Gran couldn’t run, and none of the grandkids had been willing to abandon her. Since Quickmoon had taken classes in everything from judo to HEMA… (She never stuck with anything for more than a year, and the saying about the martial artist who practiced one kick 10,000 times was echoing through eir mind now…) Ey had convinced the others to let eir hold the door. Ten thousand kicks practiced 10 times might make for a shitty martial artist, but it was more than either Noam or Amanda had learned.
So far, the monsters had been running past, not noticing eir below street level. Ey didn’t think that would last long.
Mobb cheered when she saw the National Guard rolling down the street toward the aliens. She thought they were aliens. Whatever they were, they were about to get their asses kicked. She had no idea where her unit was, but she was reaching for her Reserve ID card when a boom like the deepest drum ever reverberated through the sky. A rip had opened, a bruise-purple blot across the blue sky. Out of the rip — rift? — stepped… a person? Mobb thought it was a person. Even though they were easily a mile away, Mobb saw them — and the three who followed them — as if they were right in front of eir. They were skinny, their pinkish skin contrasted with their dark hair and green eyes. They laughed, nearly as deep as the echoing boom that had announced their arrival. And Mobb knew the Guard wasn’t going to be enough.
Astaroth hated his name. He felt foolish thinking about it as some interdimensional menace loomed over his city. But it was exactly the kind of name an interdimensional menace should have. Thinking about how much his name sucked was better than listening to the Villain Monologue spewing from the Evil Overlord wannabe. Astaroth hated bullies. Had hated them for as long as he could remember. This guy, whatever they called themself, might be a bigger bully than anyone he’d faced before. As far as Astaroth was concerned, they were just another bully. And Astaroth was done running from bullies.
Why them? Why those five out of all the thousands — millions — of people in the city that day? Who knows. Luck, the hand of God (or gods), some mystical requirements they met. But it was them. And it was a hair’s breadth too late.
A soundless explosion ripped through the city center, lightning-bright and blinding everyone who looked. When it faded, the city center was gone. In its place stood a fortress of gleaming metal.
At that moment, that same moment, the five were touched — no, overwhelmed — with an unearthly power.
Blade was lifted off his feet, spun and twisted, his clothing sheeting from his body like water. He was wrapped in power, transformed. A uniform slithered across him — dark blue with a neon green ‘vest’ like first responders wore with more pockets and pouches than a mall ninja. A helmet formed over his head, the same blue as the outfit with a heads-up display that showed him the health and general status of everyone in view.
Not knowing why, Salem took a running leap, and something held her in mid aid. Her clothing flowed into a skin-tight tracksuit that gleamed pale gold in the impossible darkness that surrounded her. Dark sunglasses shielded her eyes, and an aerodynamic helmet wrapped around her head. Her HUD flickered to life with distance, time-to, and best route information. She came down to earth like a runner on the blocks, this time facing toward the enemy.
Quickmoon settled into a solid high guard. Eir clothing evaporated into glittering motes that reformed into a gleaming HEMA ‘uniform’ — white fencing jacket over long shirt, loose black pants, sturdy boots, and shin guards. A great sword formed in eir hands. Ey sprang forward in the great sword’s slashing, spinning defense. A fencing helmet with dark, glass faceguard snapped over eir, highlighting strengths and weaknesses of every enemy in sight.
Mobb’s ID card shattered in her hand, reforming into an automatic rifle (sans magazine). Her clothing twisted and rewove itself into a shimmering camo bodysuit that blurred her outline. She nearly disappeared into the background. The dark glasses that wrapped around her head sharpened her vision and gave her targeting information for whatever she focused on. She settled into a crouch and instinctively sighted on the big bad — impossibly far away though they were.
Astaroth somehow saw each of the others transform even as power wrapped around him, lifting him on a shining pillar. Light exploded out for him, searing his clothing. Blue swirled around him, reforming in loose pants and a robe that shone with strange symbols and sigils. He closed his eyes against the brightness, but pressure built behind his lids, forcing his eyes open, forcing his mouth open. Light beamed out of his eyes and mouth, piercing the sky above him. He alone received no helmet, no glasses. The light shimmered around him, somehow highlighting and concealing his face. As the rest of the lights faded, a single word burst from him, “Enough!”
The word rolled around the city like a great wind and bowled over the enemies nearest him.
And as it rolled over the city, each of the others heard it clearly, transmitted through their helmets.
“What the fuck?
“Oh hell no.”
“I’m a damn sentai…”
So the team was formed, but only after Prince Mourningdagger had a foothold on the world. It was up to the team to push them back off it.
Mighty Hero Force Epsilon, S1, E2
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