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Old November 10th, 2015, 01:32 PM   #81
NewWhiteTiger
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Yeah, it's a mixture of shock because I just never expected him to be one of the four horsemen, but at the same time it just makes so much sense, especially when you figure his whole plan for Tommy was basically to off the universe. Sure it allegedly ended with everyone in paradise forever, but it was a massive kill switch. I hope Samuel points out the irony of Simon wanting to get stronger to stop death and pain is what is now leading his crusade to end it all, it just feels like something that needs to be said to him, maybe by Tommy if they end up around each other. That being said I love the twists you've added for Simon. I figured he might end up trying to undo what Tommy did, or that those would be the Dark Man's plan for Simon or something along those lines, but I love the way you went about doing it. Especially the reveal that the first Angel was Lucifer himself. Not the image I had when that first angel first demon info was revealed. The hope shattering step that was needed to really buy into the downfall of Simon story here. I don't know, so much happened in this chapter, it was an amazing read. Can't wait for the next one.
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Old November 10th, 2015, 04:26 PM   #82
Ryuranger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green1 View Post
Not at all. Personally, I've just been trying to formulate something witty to say about Akuma being Death. However, the best I could come up with was, "Huh. Ya don't say." It really does make sense, though.
"Huh you don't say" is great feedback, Green1! Glad you liked it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LOMINogard View Post
I can't say I'm disappointed. You've spent years building up the mystery though, so we never really knew what to expect. Plus now it's an odd thought to look back and imagine that everything was being coordinated by the Horseman Death.

Perhaps this is just my opinion here, but I almost feel like the bigger reveal was the first one. Not that this doesn't raise a whole lot of new questions about how it fits into his character and plans and backstory, but it seems like his time as a Dragon Knight was sort of the big "oh wow, he really was..." moment more than him being Death. Again, not saying that isn't nice, just trying to process my thoughts.
I totally see what you're saying.

I enjoyed writing him as the Green Dragon Knight, and could have feasibly made that an entire season. Originally, waaaaaaay back when I wanted the Dark Man connected to Zedd, I still planned for him to be Death. In the show, Zordon said the battle between him and Zedd gave balance to the Morphing Grid, so I thought it would have been cool to make Zedd represent Death and Zordon represent Life. But I dropped that plan...although in hindsight, that does sound cooler.


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Originally Posted by ShadowRanger View Post
Nope so far worth waiting for
Thanks, Shadow! That means a lot coming from someone with the power to delete the entire UPR website.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NewWhiteTiger View Post
Yeah, it's a mixture of shock because I just never expected him to be one of the four horsemen, but at the same time it just makes so much sense, especially when you figure his whole plan for Tommy was basically to off the universe. Sure it allegedly ended with everyone in paradise forever, but it was a massive kill switch. I hope Samuel points out the irony of Simon wanting to get stronger to stop death and pain is what is now leading his crusade to end it all, it just feels like something that needs to be said to him, maybe by Tommy if they end up around each other. That being said I love the twists you've added for Simon. I figured he might end up trying to undo what Tommy did, or that those would be the Dark Man's plan for Simon or something along those lines, but I love the way you went about doing it. Especially the reveal that the first Angel was Lucifer himself. Not the image I had when that first angel first demon info was revealed. The hope shattering step that was needed to really buy into the downfall of Simon story here. I don't know, so much happened in this chapter, it was an amazing read. Can't wait for the next one.
Glad you liked it and it made sense. The Dark Man/Death will explain more about his motives next chapter, and you'll see Simon interact with Samuel and Tommy. We basically catch back up the release of N'Ma and breaking of the Fifth Seal.
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Old November 24th, 2015, 06:59 AM   #83
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Chapter 08- Gao: Brushstrokes

Simon narrowed his eyes at the Dark Man: Death.

"Is this some kind of joke?"

"It's no joke, I assure you. Why do you think I was able to so easily bend the forces of good and evil to my whim? Death motivates all things," the Dark Man said. "You are the first to learn my secret."

"That you're...Death," Simon said. "You expect me to believe that?"

"It's not quite that simple." The Dark Man waved to the other side of the table. "Please...have a seat."

Simon knitted his brow and sat at the table. "You have 30 seconds..."

The Dark Man smirked. "I have as long as I wish, young Ranger," the Dark Man said. "Were you ever curious as to the source of my motivation?"

"Can't say I gave it much thought," Simon said.

"Before time and space, I existed as a mann, the son of an immortal Priest of the One Power. A Dragon Knight," the Dark Man said. "Even then I became weary of war and destruction. And eventually...I became a pawn. The Priests used me in their fowl games. I killed most of my comrades. And then...the Forsaken killed me."

"Too bad that didn't stick," Simon said.

"Indeed," the Dark Man said. "When I awoke from my apparent demise, the Wheel of Time had started to turn. I found myself at the beginning of the first universe. It was eventually destroyed, and a new universe born, as the gods played their games with the mortals. I watched this happen again and again, a universe born, a universe destroyed, an endless cycle. Can you imagine what that was like?"

"I'm missing the part where this makes you Death," Simon said.

"Of course..." the Dark Man said. "Before time and space, when the Forsaken sought to corrupt me, they exposed me to higher planes of awareness. Even then, entropy started to drive existence, and the chief forces of entropy were war, famine, pestilence and death: Unintended consequences born from the nature of existence itself.

"Much as the Creator developed awareness, so did the primal forces of entropy. Death found in me, a powerful soldier. A servant. You could call it a possession or a merger...but when I wielded the powers of the Green Dragon Knight to betray my allies, I wielded the powers of Death itself.

"And when I awoke within the first universe, I awoke as Death. The embodiment of Death. Unable to end my own life, doomed to watch the destruction of countless others.

"You see...the gods were clever when they started the Wheel of Time. They wove me and the other horsemen into the very pattern of existence, so we would remain the driving forces of each and every universe created and destroyed.

"The gods...doomed me to this existence. And I hate them for it. I want nothing more than to end this cycle and start anew, in a world without endless suffering, without endless pain, and without...death."

"Why tell me this?" Simon asked.

"Because you want the same thing," the Dark Man said. "You've felt the torment of the mortal realm, and you want its cycle of endless suffering to end. Think of the pain you've experienced in just two decades. Imagine that pain magnified throughout countless eons. I have felt such pain...and I carry it with me."

"What do you want?" Simon asked.

"As the Horseman of Death, I am bound by the Wheel of Time and its rules. That's why I sought Tommy, one who could break free from the strings of Fate. You interest me for the same reason. You have the blood of the First Demon and the First Angel, a unique convergence that gives you the power to defy Fate. You can use that power to protect this universe, as your mentor did. Or you can use that power to end this universe and create something better, where all your friends and family can be reborn."

"You realize that sounds insane..."

"Even to one who has fought his way through the Nine Circles of Hell?"

Simon looked away. "Even if I have that kind of power..."

"You do. And here is what I propose." The Dark Man placed his slender, silver blade, the Kuroryuken, onto the table. "Take my sword. And join the Forsaken."

"Are you serious?"

"Always," the Dark Man said. "I want nothing more than to see their plans fail. I hate them all, and if they release the Dark One, I fear he will create something even worse than this accursed Wheel of Time."

"Then why join them?" Simon asked.

"So you can help them break the Fifth Seal to the Dark One's prison." The Dark Man lifted his hand before Simon could speak. "Barriers prevent the gods from entering the mortal plane. They can manipulate. Scheme. Influence. But they cannot actually touch your world. If the Fifth Seal breaks, those barriers fall."

"Then what?" Simon asked.

"Then the gods and angels come to Earth," the Dark Man said. "And to end their games, you kill them all."


***

Mat blinked twice, speechless. Mostly. "Jesus Christ," he cursed. "No more Time Shards. I'm done. What the hell? Breaking Seals? Killing gods? No wonder reality broke."

"Calm down, Mat," Kym said. "We have to see how this plays out."

"We know how this plays out," Mat said. "N'Ma killed, Fifth Seal broken, green light for Armageddon."

Kira shook her head. "It can't be that simple..."

"Why not?" Mat asked.

Tyler stepped in. "Because it never is..."

***

Simon agreed to the Dark Man's terms. The former ranger crouched on a rooftop, closed his eyes, and reached out to the Astral Plane. He thought of Moridyn, a Forsaken, and tried to call for him. Signal him.

He didn't need long.

A line of silver light split through the air and turned to reveal a glass-like portal. Moridyn stepped through the gateway.

"Simon..." he said as he adjusted his cufflinks. "I can't say this is a surprise."

Simon stood and faced the Forsaken. "No?"

"No," Moridyn said. "You have learned the inevitable truth: That this world's failure is a certainty."

"That's right..." Simon said.

Moridyn smiled and placed a hand on the former ranger's shoulder. "Are you ready to join me, Simon? As a comrade? A brother?"

Simon shrugged off the Forsaken's hand. "To join you...but not as a brother."

"Very well," Moridyn said. "You are now the same as I…Forsaken."

***

Mikhail placed his hand over a map. His palm glowed with golden light, illuminating the dark warehouse. He stood alongside his unlikely comrades: Samuel, Eiji, Ryan, Zadie and Shirogane.

“This is worse than I feared…” he whispered.

“Always a good sign,” Eiji said sarcastically.

“Simon has already encountered Death. And now…I can no longer sense the horseman’s presence. He has gone back into hiding…” Mikhail said.

“What does that mean?” Samuel asked.

“I do not know,” Mikhail said. “Death is the most powerful of all the horsemen, his energy immeasurable. He is limited only by the Wheel of Time, the same as a painter is limited by his canvas.”

“What makes him so special?” Eiji asked.

“He’s had the ability to interact with the mortal plane directly, since the birth of the first universe,” Mikhail said.

“So how do we stop him?” Shirogane asked.

“Wait a minute…” Ryan said as he glanced at Shirogane. “Why are you even here, again? We wouldn’t be in this mess if you hadn’t killed Simon in the first place.”

“I have told you, my actions were not my own,” Shirogane said.

“Which is why we shouldn’t trust you,” Ryan said.

“Boys,” Zadie chided. “Life’s easier when you don’t trust anybody. Move on.”

Mikhail shifted his palm across the map. “I should be able to pinpoint Simon’s whereabouts, as his energy grows stronger.”

“How much stronger are we talking about?” Samuel asked.

Mikhail looked up silently. His cold, golden stare said it all.

***

Simon cursed beneath his breath as he leapt across the rooftops. "Forsaken. What does that even mean?"

“Pointless titles,” DaiShi answered in his mind. “For pointless creatures. They are nothing compared to the Heir of the Mogralord.”

"Isn't that another title?"

“It is a birthright.”

"Sounds like another title."

“...you are lucky we still need each other, mortal.”

"Actually, I could do without you."

The demon laughed, a rumbling noise within the former ranger's soul.

Simon landed on a ledge and looked down, to where the Mystic Rangers battled Koragg.

The former ranger narrowed his eyes. "That's him. Koragg..."

“The Wolf Knight,” DaiShi said. “His magick can send you back into the Pit.”

"I spent a year getting out of there..."

“This is different,” DaiShi said. “This is not death. This is travel. A journey the knight makes every day. You would simply be a passenger.”

"And why the hell would he take me along?"

“You are of the Forsaken,” DaiShi explained. “The Chosen of the Dark One. Do not be surprised if he bows and kisses your feet.”

"How will he know that?"

“You have been gifted by Moridyn's touch,” DaiShi said. “He will know...”

***

Simon followed Koragg into the woods after the knight's battle. The villain placed his sword and shield over his chest and started to whisper an incantation to re-enter Hell.

Simon interrupted. "Koragg!"

The knight lowered his arms and looked over his shoulder. "What are you...?"

"Someone who needs a ride," Simon said.

Koragg turned to face his potential opponent. "You reek of Ranger magick. As well as something...darker."

Simon shifted into his Shaded form, with skin and hair chalk-white, and eyes solid black except for red irises. "I'm Forsaken..."

Koragg tilted his head with disbelief. "Forsaken are immortal, older than time. You...I sense...are not."

"But I've been touched by Moridyn..." Simon armed his black katana with a flash of dark light. He stepped closer to the knight. "Go ahead. Have a peak. See for yourself."

Koragg lifted his hand. But before he could reach out with his senses, sparks exploded around him.

Suddenly, Samuel, Ryan, Eiji, Shirogane and Zadie jumped into the woods.

Simon scoffed with annoyance. "Seriously, Sammy? What part of 'leave me alone' does your wolf brain not understand."

Samuel lifted his sword towards his brother. "Mikhail told us everything. You're a Forsaken now?! Tell me it's a joke."

"You're the joke," Simon said. "Now do you mind? I'm trying to have a conversation with my new friend Koragg, here."

"I am not your friend," Koragg grumbled.

"Not helping, Barney," Simon said.

Samuel narrowed his eyes. "I'm giving you one more chance, Simon. Come with us. Let us help you. You've been through Hell...literally...that's not something you have to go through alone."

"Who says I'm alone?" Simon shifted stances. His white, bone-like, Gorma mask formed over his face. He growled with the voice of DaiShi.

Samuel circled his blade through a ring of energy overhead, and snapped his sword to his side.

"Garo." The golden armor of Garo clamped around his body.

Ryan flipped open his Faiz Caller and pressed the "5" key three times: "STANDING BY."

"Awaken." He snapped the caller into his buckler; red energy flashed around his body as he transformed into Kamen Rider Faiz: "COMPLETE."

Eiji flipped open his wrist bracer. "Overdrive! Start up!"

Energy flashed around him as he morphed into Titan Silver.

Zadie sighed and shifted stances. She hated transforming with the use of her new power. Reluctantly, she sparked her virtual energy and shifted into the armor of the Red Python.

Shirogane shifted into his Shaded form, with chalk-white hair and skin, and solid black eyes except for silver irises.

Simon and Koragg shifted into defensive stances.

"Well..." Simon said with fake amusement. "Aren't we a fun little group."

Garo shot at his brother through a streak of golden energy. Simon swung his black katana and parried, knocking the Golden Knight aside.

Shirogane leapt at Simon from behind; Simon snapped around with a hook-kick that bashed Shirogane from the air.

Shirogane landed in a crouched stance and skid backward from the force of the blow. He looked up and glared at his former comrade and leader.

"Stop fighting, Simon. You saved me from evil once. Let me do the same for you," Shirogane said.

"Evil? What's evil about wanting an endless cycle of pain and suffering to end?" He thrust his hand with a TK burst that hurled Shirogane off his feet.

Garo dashed to attack with a wide swing of his sword. Simon blocked and side-kicked his brother with a burst of spark.

Nearby, Koragg lunged to join the battle. But Titan Silver blocked his path. The Silver Ranger spun with an upward swing of his staff. Koragg blocked with his shield, sparking on impact, and chopped his sword towards the Silver Ranger's head.

Titan Silver side-stepped and stabbed Koragg's gut with a burst of spark.

"You're kind of clumsy." Titan Silver hopped forward with a chop of his staff.

Koragg energized his blade and swung through a streak of purple energy, slashing Titan Silver with bursts of spark that hurled him through the air.

"Clumsy?" Koragg asked. "Your power is-"

Kamen Rider Faiz lunged to attack with a flurry of punches. Koragg lifted his shield to block the blows; each punch forced him a step backward.

Faiz snapped a side-kick that knocked the shield from Koragg's hand. Koragg stepped back and swung wide; Faiz ducked and gut-punched Koragg.

The Wolf Knight grumbled with annoyance. "You are an irritant."

"I've been called worse." Faiz punched Koragg in the faceplate.

The villain staggered backward.

Red Python leapt from the side and tossed her daggers through streaks of crimson energy. The blades struck Koragg with bursts of spark that whipped him off his feet.

Meanwhile, Simon and Garo circled one another. Their blades clanged with bursts of spark as they slashed and parried, blocked and countered. Simon smirked the whole time, and his arrogance only annoyed the Golden Knight.

"I thought watching you die was the worst thing that could have happened to me..." Garo said. "I was wrong."

"Cry, you'll get over it," Simon said with a wide swing of his sword.

Garo blocked; the impact sent him staggering backward.

"Dammit, Simon!" Garo shouted as he chopped his blade. "Snap out of it!" He slashed again. "You say you're so sick of pain and suffering...what do you think it is you're causing!"

"You've thought it yourself." Simon slashed Garo with a burst of spark. "You've wished the world had a reset button."

"Not literally!" Garo lunged with a chop Simon blocked.

"You're being too small-minded to understand." Simon parried and kicked Garo backward.

From behind, Shirogane leapt back to the scene and lunged at Simon with a diagonal swing. Simon caught the sword and hurled the former ranger overhead.

"Why won't you all just stay away..." Simon said. DaiShi shouted in his mind: “Do not try to reason with them! They are no longer your friends! Slaughter them all!”

Nearby, Faiz charged towards Koragg. The villain swung his blade through swift and powerful strikes the Rider dodged.

Kamen Rider Faiz darted forward, side-kicked the villain, and pommeled the Wolf Knight’s chest with volleys of punches.

Koragg regained his footing and swung upward, slashing the Rider with a burst of spark that whipped him off his feet.

Faiz rolled into a crouched stance and pulled his Exceed Barrel from his belt. He snapped the barrel onto his ankle: “EXCEED CHARGE.”

Red energy glowed from the barrel and spread across the red line of the Rider’s leg.

Faiz crouched, leapt forward, and somersaulted through the air while aiming a flying kick towards Koragg. A cone of digital energy formed around the Rider’s leg and aimed at the Wolf Knight

The energized kick smashed against the villain with a massive burst of electricity and fire that hurled him through the air.

Koragg crashed and skid across the ground, tearing through dirt.

The villain muttered curses as he climbed to his feet. He barely had a chance to switch stances before sparks exploded against his armor. Koragg looked ahead to see Titan Silver charging with his Drive Detector in Sniper Mode.

The Silver Ranger shot into the air and aimed downward. "Sniper Mode! Silver Blast!"

He triggered a massive spear of pale blue energy that stabbed the knight with massive bursts of spark, sending him staggering backward.

"Drive Detector! Spear Mode!" He snapped his weapon into a staff and landed with a chop Koragg parried.

Titan Silver hopped backward to gain distance. "Drive Detector! Silver Slash!"

He spun and swung wide, firing a blade of silver energy.

Koragg formed a magick circle beneath his feet and dropped through, vanishing back into Hell, as the blade passed through the air.

Titan Silver cursed beneath his breath.

Meanwhile, Garo and Shirogane darted towards Simon. The Forsaken swung wide, firing a blade of black energy tinted crimson. The blast smashed Shirogane and Garo, hurling them through the air.

Samuel crashed with a pulse of golden light that powered down his armor.

Simon leapt through the air, angled his descent towards his brother, and landed with a chop of his sword. Samuel lifted his weapon; their blades clashed as Simon pressed downward and clenched his jaw.

Samuel narrowed his eyes. "Is this what it's come to? You going to kill me, brother?"

"It wouldn't matter if I did..." Simon said. "You could come back, into a world where death doesn't exist, where you, and everyone I cared about, are alive and at peace. No more pain. No more suffering. Just peace."

"You're insane!" Samuel shouted. "Snap out of it!"

"There's nothing to snap out of!" Simon shouted as he pressed his blade down harder. "This isn't a spell. This is me!"

Suddenly, wooden stakes shot through the air and stabbed into the ground, forming a ring around Simon and his brother. The stakes crackled with electricity that blasted Simon off his feet and hurled him through the air. The former ranger crashed against a tree and dropped to the ground.

Slowly, he climbed to his feet and looked up to a face a squad of Night Troops arrive on the scene.

"Back up?" Simon asked. "You brought back up? Really?"

The Night Troop Gen dashed forward and swiped his claws. Simon blocked and kicked the soldier upside the head.

Crescent energy blades shot towards the former ranger, but he slashed them aside, just as the Shaded named Gavin flash-stepped towards him from behind. Simon snapped around with a hook-kick, bashing Gavin's face and whipping him backward.

"This is pathetic," Simon said as he stabbed his black katana into the ground. "I don't want to fight you...any of you! I'm trying to end this!"

He unsheathed the sword of the Dark Man, the Kuroryuken, and flared with jade energy. His eyes flashed with green light; Simon reached for the powers he siphoned from the Horseman of War. Molten, fiery power glowed from beneath his skin.

"I never wanted this..." he whispered as he chopped the ground with a massive shockwave, carrying the force of several bombs. The blast hurled everyone through the air.

Simon shifted his grip on his sword, but before he could launch a follow-up attack, he felt a wave of vertigo and fatigue from the use of his heightened power. DaiShi screamed in his mind to hold on. But he collapsed and slid from consciousness.

***

Months ago, the Night Troops established a compound in Kansas to act as a U.S. stronghold.

There, Samuel and the others locked Simon in an iron, underground bunker. Symbols and ruins covered the walls, serving as wards to block all types of energy, from demonic and angelic, to channeling and Ranger powers.

"Fancy..." Ryan said as he felt the hinges of the door. "Why haven't we made something like this before?"

"We didn't know how," Samuel said. "Not before Mikhail..."

Mikhail entered the hallway and walked towards the two young men. "We have to act quickly...I don't know how long the power of these runes will be able to contain him..."

"What is it we're supposed to do, exactly?" Ryan asked.

"Simon's mind must heal from the scars of Hell," Mikhail said.

"But how?" Samuel asked.

"I..." Mikhail hesitated. "I do not know. It may not even be possible."

"That's reassuring," Ryan said sarcastically. "Thanks."

***

Hours passed. Simon paced back and forth within the bunker. He rolled his hands into fists and tightened with frustration. "Do they really think they can lock me up?"

He tried to channel The Power, but couldn't reach it. Nor could he tap into the power that churned within his own blood.

“Sorcery!” DaiShi howled from within his mind. “Only ancient magick from before space-time itself could create binding spells such as this!”

"Mikhail..." Simon said. "Cute."

Suddenly, light flared with intense brilliance that forced Simon to his knees. The doors opened, and Samuel stepped into the chamber. Simon tried to pounce, but the light pinned him down.

The former ranger cursed beneath his breath. "Heya, Sammy. Nice trick."

"I didn't want to do this..." Samuel said.

"I didn't want a lot of things," Simon said. "Shit happens."

Samuel stepped closer and pulled a needle from behind his back.

Simon narrowed his eyes. "A needle? Are you freaking kidding me?"

"It's the blood of a holy man," Samuel said. "A priest. We're running low on options here...so we'll keep trying until something works."

"That has to be the lamest-"

Samuel plunged the needle into Simon's neck and injected him with the blood. The knight whispered an exorcism spell, and Simon felt the blood burn through his veins.

The former ranger collapsed onto his side. "Cute..." he growled between his clenched jaw. "Real cute."

"I'm sorry..." Samuel said. "One of us will be right outside. Just try to..." He shook his head. "Just try to come back."

Samuel stepped outside and closed the door behind him. The light dimmed, and Simon climbed back to his feet. "We have to get out of here..."

“Agreed. But these runes are too strong.”

"You're the Big Bad Heir of the Mogralord," Simon said. "The Great Beast of Hell. Do something...beasty."

“My powers are as blocked as yours.”

"Yet you're talking to me..." Simon said. "Maybe there's some type of astral loophole we can-"

Suddenly, sharp pain stabbed through Simon's head, and he collapsed. "What the-"

“You were supposed to be a hero,” a voice whispered. Simon looked up to face a 10-year-old version of himself. “We wanted to save people. Save everyone.”

Simon cursed beneath his breath. “I still do…”

Young Simon narrowed his eyes. “No. You don’t. Look at you…You’re a monster! The Rangers would never-”

“Stop being naive!” Simon shouted to his younger self. “Good and evil. Black and white. The world isn’t like that. It’s…pain. That’s all there is.”

“That’s what you’re causing,” young Simon said. “What would Tommy-”

“Stop it!” Simon shouted as he tore through the hallucination. He breathed heavily as his heart pounded in his chest. “That wasn’t…That wasn’t real.”

“Of course not, mortal,” DaiShi whispered. “Your human mind plays tricks on you.”

Simon cursed beneath his breath. “We’ve got to get out of here…”

***

Visions and ghosts of the past assaulted Simon. They berated him. Mocked him. Tried to widdle him down to nothing.

Simon curled up against the wall, lowered his head, and smirked.

“Astral magick…” he whispered at the realization.

Almost all magick came from the One Power, the driving force of the Wheel of Time, an ocean of energy that permeated all reality. Demonic energies split from the One Power like streams, as did holy energies.

Cosmic Power predated the One Power; cosmic beings such as the Phoenix, the Heavenly Saints and the gods wielded this ancient energy, the power of creation itself.

The bunker blocked these energies. But the Astral Plane existed as something separate, a plane of reality all its own, meshed with the mortal realms, and all the realms of the universe. A strong enough mind could alter its perception enough to enter the Astral Plane without the aid of the One Power or Power Cosmic.

Simon couldn't call on the core of his power. But he could reach out with his mind. He could sense Samuel and Ryan outside the cell. He could feel Mikhail and the others upstairs. And, as he turned his attention downward, he could feel the pits of Hell.

"Perfect..." he whispered.

***

Simon extended his astral form into Hell. There, he moved through the circles with ease and entered the Ninth Circle, where N'Ma stirred. Shadows surrounded the former ranger, and blue eyes burned from that darkness.

"So..." Lucifer whispered. "You have returned..."

"More or less," Simon said. "You never told me you were all globbed together with every god of the underworld from every mythology."

"I told you...my prison was not my own."

"Right," Simon said.

He parted the fog, and below, he saw boiling red pits. Massive stalactites and stalagmites extended from above and below, and the stones glowed with orange power.

Simon descended into the pits, hidden below the Great City of Hell itself, near the very core of Hades.

The former ranger landed near a bright red pool. Within, the Life Force of N'Ma stirred.

"Hey there, little guy..." Simon said as he reached out his hand. "I need the Fifth Seal to break...that means I need you to come out and play."

"Ranger!" a voice shouted from behind.

Simon turned to see Koragg stalk towards him. The former ranger narrowed his eyes. "Koragg...are you still relevant?"

"Step away from the pit," Koragg said. "I will be the one to release N'Ma. I was forged to be the Dark One's sword..."

Simon sighed. "I just...Really? Come on."

Koragg lifted his sword.

Simon shook his head. "No. I'm really not in the mood."

The Wolf Knight charged to attack.

Simon grumbled beneath his breath and summoned his black katana with a burst of dark light.

Koragg lunged with a powerful chop.

Simon lifted his hand and suspended the Wolf Knight with a net of TK energy.

"Do you have any idea how useless you are?" Simon asked. He tightened the net, cracking Koragg's armor as he growled with anger and pain. "Seriously, why are you even here?"

"I serve...the master..." Koragg grumbled.

Simon scoffed and shook his head. "You're all the same."

He thrust his hand and hurled Koragg backward. The Wolf Knight crashed and skid across the ground.

Slowly, the villain climbed to his feet. "I am of the Twilight's Hammer..." he said with grim determination. "I am the weapon of the Dark One. I was forged in flame. Forged in darkness. And you would call me nothing?!"

The Wolf Knight's body trembled with rage. Suddenly, red light flared from the damage in his armor. The light sealed the cracks and covered him completely. Then, with a final pulse of crimson energy, Koragg stood with his armor converted into a suit of red and gold.

Simon knitted his brow. "I recognize that energy. You're Tommy's son...but not. Like a shadow of a person..."

"No!" Koragg shouted. "Mystic Red is the Pretender!"

The villain shot through a streak of red energy and clashed against Simon, their swords sparking on impact. Koragg poured black and crimson energy into his blade, and Simon did the same. The former ranger's eyes flared with dark light, and Koragg's visor flared with crimson energy.

Simon smirked at the sight of Koragg's struggle. "You really want to do this? You really think you can take me?"

Koragg reached for his power, the true power of his birthright. He ignited with energy that shook the cavern, knocking himself and Simon off their feet. Their combined energy misfired and blasted into the pool of N'Ma. The pool crackled and rippled, singed with the energy of the Son of the Dragon, along with the Child of the First Demon and First Angel, Heir of the Mogralord.

The pool ripped apart.

And N'Ma rose.

***

Simon's body flared with crimson light, singing the runes from his prison and blasting the door from the bunker. Samuel and Ryan started to rush towards him, but he blasted them with TK energy that hurled them down the corridor.

"I warned you to stay away, Sammy," Simon said. "Now it looks like you're going to get a front row seat."

Simon flash-stepped out of the compound and rushed towards the site of the Apocalypse.


***

The images shifted to N'Ma rising above a Middle Eastern city. His arrival tore through the fabric of space, with fracturing rifts of green energy that poured demons across the streets.

The fissures stretched for several blocks as citizens screamed and ran with panic.

Tyler and the rangers watched Tommy Oliver run to the scene, quickly joined by Adam Park, Rocky DeSantos and Jason Scott. They battled the demons, until eventually, Simon arrived.

Tommy broke away from his comrades and faced Simon alone.

***

Tommy and Simon faced each other on a rooftop.

"Simon..." Tommy said. "I'm glad you're alive..."

"Are you?"

"What kind of question is that?" Tommy asked. "Of course I am. That doesn't mean I exactly prove of your lifestyle choices. What you've been doing..." Tommy shook his head with disappointment. "It has to stop."

"Funny you should say that," Simon said as unsheathed his silver sword, the Kuroryuken.

Tommy narrowed his eyes at the sight of the weapon, which he recognized immediately. "That sword..."

"It's the Dark Man's," Simon said. "Death's."

"Death?" Tommy asked. "What are you saying?"

"That the Dark Man is the embodiment of Death. Who knew, right?"

"How did you get that?"

"He gave it to me," Simon looked along the edge of the blade. "I can't say I like the guy...but he has nice taste in swords."

"You can't listen to anything he has to say Simon," Tommy said. "He'll try to manipulate you. Use you."

"He already has," Simon said. "That doesn't mean I can't use him too." The former ranger pointed his sword towards the distance. "I'm the one that helped N'Ma get lose. And when your little Mystic Ranger team kills him? They're in for a surprise. See...N'Ma isn't a monster. He's a mesh of every God of Hell from every mythology, ever. When he dies...the Hell Gods get loose. And then I'll kill them all."

Tommy knitted his brow. "What the hell happened to you?"

"Hell happened to me," Simon said. "I'm just doing what you couldn't, Tommy. You had your chance to make everything right...and you past it up. You weren't willing to cross the line. But I am. Because I've seen things way worse than petty, morale dilemmas."

"Simon..." Tommy started to say.

Then he heard N'ma roar in the distance. He knew he didn't have much time, so he leapt from the rooftop and dashed towards the scene of the Mystic Rangers' battle with N'Ma.


***

Again, the images changed. Tyler and the rangers saw the Mystic team defeat N'ma, releasing the Hell Gods, and causing countless angels to fall from the Heavenly Realms.

The vision zoomed in on Tommy, who had regrouped with Adam on a rooftop.

***

Tommy and Adam watched comets streak from the skies. Falling Angels, they crashed across the city, and the entire planet. The barriers weakened between Hell, Earth, and the Heavenly Realms, allowing the gods to set foot in the mortal world for the first time.

Adam shook his head with disbelief. "Is this the end...? I can't accept that."

"No..." Tommy said. "It's not the end. Not yet."

"You sound so sure," Adam said.

"I am..." Tommy said. "Because I just realized something. I told you about that vision I've been having ever since the Second Countdown to Destruction. The world unraveling, a kirin destroying everything. I thought that represented Billy...and I still do. But I also saw, in the middle of all that destruction, a red star circling a green star."

"What do you think that means?" Adam asked.

Tommy swallowed the lump in his throat. "I think it means...when the end comes...I'm going to have to face Simon. I think I'm the red star. And he's the green.”


***

The images ended as the Time Shard dimmed. Tyler and the rangers stumbled within Gao Rock and nearly collapsed.

"OK..." Mat said. "That was intense."

"What happened?" asked young Simon, at an age before he ever became a Hurricane Power Ranger, let alone a force of destruction bonded to demonic power.

"You..." Mat started to say. "Yeah, you have some issues you might want to get checked out."

Simon arced an eyebrow. "Huh?"

"It's nothing," Kym said as she laid a hand on his shoulder. "We...saw what we needed."

"By the way," Mat asked, "who's Billy? That Tommy guy said something about some Billy guy destroying everything in a vision."

Suddenly, Gao Rock shook. The chamber flashed with light and started to peel back with strands of energy, revealing the open island of Anamarium, which started to disintegrate.

"No..." Simon whispered as he rolled his hands into fists. "What's happening..."

"Simon..." Kym whispered. "I'm sorry for what happened to you..."

He narrowed his eyes. "What are you-"

Simon, Tetomu, and the samurai of the Anamarium shattered.

Tyler sighed and looked ahead, to where the Legacy Galleon sailed towards them.

"Come on," he said. "Let's get out of here before we're caught in the storm."

They leapt from Gao Rock and landed on the ground below, just as it pealed apart into strands of energy that shattered. The rangers lost their footing and nearly fell into a vortex of broken space-time.

But the Legacy Galleon lowered its grappling lines. The rangers grasped onto the lines, which reeled them back inside their vessel.

Tyler ran into the cockpit and snapped his wheel, turning the ship away from the Anamarium. The entire island unraveled into strands of color that thinned or broke into pieces. Then, the fragments collapsed and exploded with a flash of light that smashed the Legacy Galleon with a giant shockwave.

The shockwave sent the ship spinning out of control. Tyler grasped his wheel and tried to get back onto a stable course. But he crashed his head against the deck and lost consciousness.

---To be continued…Chapter 09

Last edited by Ryuranger; November 24th, 2015 at 08:41 AM.
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Old November 24th, 2015, 02:15 PM   #84
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Ok, for the first time, I don't think I agree with Tommy on his thoughts as to what his vision means. Why would the Green Star represent Simon, who has always been Red? I have a feeling that Tommy will have to fight himself (Green vs Red), or some such.
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Old November 24th, 2015, 02:27 PM   #85
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Ok, for the first time, I don't think I agree with Tommy on his thoughts as to what his vision means. Why would the Green Star represent Simon, who has always been Red? I have a feeling that Tommy will have to fight himself (Green vs Red), or some such.
but Simon has the Dark Man's sword now and he was the Green Dragon Knight.
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Old November 24th, 2015, 06:09 PM   #86
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but Simon has the Dark Man's sword now and he was the Green Dragon Knight.
True, but that would make me think more that it would be Tommy vs the Dark Man. Which raises an interesting point. Does Tommy KNOW DM was the Green Dragon Knight?
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Old November 24th, 2015, 07:44 PM   #87
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Tommy doesn't seem to really have any idea about the Dark Man's origins, since he just now told them to Simon, which seems to be a first in-universe. More or less, with the way things are going, it looks like Tommy's just making guesses based on a bunch of dots that need connecting.
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Old November 25th, 2015, 02:33 AM   #88
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Personally I think Tommy is wrong. The neither star is Tommy. One is the Dark Man and the other is either Simon or Tyler.
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Old November 25th, 2015, 02:46 PM   #89
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Ok, for the first time, I don't think I agree with Tommy on his thoughts as to what his vision means. Why would the Green Star represent Simon, who has always been Red? I have a feeling that Tommy will have to fight himself (Green vs Red), or some such.
Tommy seemed pretty convinced. And Simon did have that jade flare-up.


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but Simon has the Dark Man's sword now and he was the Green Dragon Knight.
This is true.


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Originally Posted by Green1 View Post
True, but that would make me think more that it would be Tommy vs the Dark Man. Which raises an interesting point. Does Tommy KNOW DM was the Green Dragon Knight?
Tommy does not know that.


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Originally Posted by LOMINogard View Post
Tommy doesn't seem to really have any idea about the Dark Man's origins, since he just now told them to Simon, which seems to be a first in-universe. More or less, with the way things are going, it looks like Tommy's just making guesses based on a bunch of dots that need connecting.
Yep, Tommy didn't know anything the Dark Man really being Death until Simon said something.


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Personally I think Tommy is wrong. The neither star is Tommy. One is the Dark Man and the other is either Simon or Tyler.
Interesting thought. We will have to wait and see!
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Old December 17th, 2015, 12:32 PM   #90
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Just realized its been almost a month, and no word. Everything ok, Ryu?
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Old December 17th, 2015, 06:10 PM   #91
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Oh wow. I've been so busy I didn't catch how long it had actually been. Here's hoping for the best
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Old December 18th, 2015, 05:11 AM   #92
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Just realized its been almost a month, and no word. Everything ok, Ryu?
Yes, sorry about the delay. It's been a busy couple months.

I've actually written half the next chapter, half the chapter after that, and bits and pieces of the finale...so I've lost focus a bit in my spare time. But I will have an update by the end of the month. I might end up combining the next two chapters instead of forcing each one to stretch out. That would mean just one SPD-tribute Chapter.

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Oh wow. I've been so busy I didn't catch how long it had actually been. Here's hoping for the best
All is peachy. I appreciate you guys continuing your interest!
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Old January 4th, 2016, 05:08 AM   #93
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Greetings!

Now that the holiday is over, I should get back on track with posting regularly.

Although I've also been distracted with playing Star Wars The Old Republic again...
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Old January 4th, 2016, 06:35 AM   #94
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Don't like playing it, but that is one game where it's very easy to lose myself in the background information.
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Old January 10th, 2016, 01:23 PM   #95
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Chapter 09- SPD: Judgement Pirates

Tyler climbed to his feet within the cockpit of the Legacy Galleon. He looked through the viewport and saw that the ship floated aimlessly through the fragments of space and time.

Groaning, he ran his fingers through his tousled dark hair and grabbed the cockpit's center control wheel.

He started to activate the comm and call for his shipmates. But before he could, he saw a massive dreadnaught lower into view off the bow of the ship.

The ranger narrowed his eyes. "Always nice to have company..."

Mat's voice came through the come system. "Um, Tyler, you awake yet?"

"You could say that."

"Good. Then you've more than likely noticed the giant dreadnaught about to eat us," Mat said.

“Hard to miss.”

The comm system buzzed, signaling an outside hail, and Tyler pulled it up on the viewscreen. The image showed a dog-like, alien being named Kruger, who commanded the Earth branch of SPD before the Shattering.

Tyler arced an eyebrow at the strange alien. "Lost?"

Kruger tilted his head. "I was about to ask you the same question," he said in a low voice. "This entire region is a hazard."

"The whole universe is a hazard, if you haven't noticed," Tyler said. "What's left of it, at least."

Kruger's ears perked with curiosity. "We haven't been able to navigate past the Local Group of Worlds. What's the situation outside?"

"There is no outside," Tyler said. He didn't bother explaining. For whatever reason, most people didn't realize and couldn't comprehend the nature of their existence in the shattered universe. He thought of Kruger as more than likely “fragged,” meaning his mind shifted back and forth between his past, present, and even alternate versions of himself.

"What are you saying?" Kruger asked.

Tyler sighed. "I'd love to explain," he said sarcastically. "But we have all of existence to fix."

Kruger grumbled with annoyance, just before Tyler cut the commline.

***

Kruger stood on the bridge of DECA Base with his arms crossed behind his back. In dreadnaught mode, the massive base dwarfed the Ultimate Power Rangers' ship.

"They're hiding something," the commander grumbled after Tyler cut the commline.

"But what?" asked Swan, his chief science officer, manning a forward station.

"I don't know..." Kruger said. "But we need to find out. Prepare a boarding party."

Swan knitted her brow. "Commander..."

"Do it," he said. "This whole area of space is falling apart, and we need to know why. There's no time for protocol."

Swan nodded reluctantly. "I'll let Nat and Z know. But if they run into trouble...they won't be able to morph. Their powers are gone."

"I'm aware of that, Swan," Kruger said. "But we don't have a choice. We need answers." He swung his hand towards the viewport. "Send in the team."

***

DECA Base fired grappling lines that latched onto the Legacy Galleon. The ship veered and tried to pull away, but the stress almost buckled the hull.

Nat and Z led a squad of Silver Guardians through the ship's docking port. The two rangers grasped their blasters, but hesitated before moving further down the ship.

"I don't like this," Z said. "A boarding party? We're not pirates."

"Kruger thinks these people have answers," Nat said.

"Do you?" Z asked. "The commander's been acting so strange since..."

"Since space started ripping apart?" Nat asked. "Yeah, I noticed. Can you blame him, though?"

Suddenly, the ship shuddered, nearly knocking the rangers to the deck.

"What the-" Nat cursed.

Z shook her head. "Something's happening..."

***

The Ultimate Power Rangers gathered in the cockpit of the Legacy Galleon and shifted the ship into Megazord mode.

The Ultimate Megazord armed its cannons and opened fire, battering the DECA Base Ship's hull.

The Red Ranger snapped his wheel, breaking the Megazord free from the DECA Base's grappling lines.

The Yellow Ranger looked towards her leader. "We should get out of here. We're wasting our time with these people."

The Blue Ranger shook his head. "Some of 'these people' are still on board."

"Not for long," the Red Ranger said.

"Right," the Green Ranger said sarcastically. "We'll just activate our non-existent intruder protocols and send in our imaginary security team."

"Or..." the Ultimate Red Ranger said, "we can shut off the inertial dampeners and do this."

He shut off the dampeners and snapped his wheel as hard as he could.

***

The Megazord jerked hard, tossing Nat, Z and the Silver Guardians off their feet. They smashed back and forth against bulkheads and deck plating.

***

Kruger stiffened his posture. "Can you reach Nat?"

Swan shook her head. "The Megazord's causing too much interference."

"Can we switch to our Megazord mode?"

"Not without the support of Ranger powers, which we don't have."

Kruger grumbled with annoyance. "Open fire, all cannons. Try to knock out their weapons and engines, without causing significant damage. We don't want to hurt our team."

Swan's eyes opened wide with disbelief. "Commander-"

"Just do it, Swan," Kruger said. "We don't have time for caution."

"It's not that," she said. "Something's folding out of subspace."

"Another ship?" Kruger asked.

"No..." Swan said. "A planet."

***

Space folded with bursts of light and energy, unveiling a massive world covered with green forests and blue oceans.

The planet's gravity grabbed DECA Base and the Legacy Galleon. Weakened, the two vessels plummeted through the atmosphere and barreled towards the surface.

***

The Armada watched the disturbance from a distance. The lead ship hovered along with a squadron of war vessels, and waited.

Prince Vekar smirked at the sight of the Legacy Galleon, engulfed in flames, plummeting towards the planet's surface.

"It looks like that SPD Dog has managed to do what we could not..." He tilted his head with familiarity. "And if I'm not mistaken, that world should be very...familiar...to him. What poetic justice."

He looked over his shoulders towards his men. "Bring me the Triggerion Action Commander, Buramudo.



“Tell him he has a new assignment: To cripple the Power Rangers...and destroy the home planet of Doggie Kruger in the process."

***

The Legacy Galleon crashed across an ocean and slid to a stop against a sandy shore.

Tyler joined his teammates in the crew hold, where they used the ship’s sensors to search for DECA Base, but found nothing.

Mat shook his head while standing at the main station. "They may have vanished. Literally vanished. That's not exactly uncommon."

Not only did the dreadnaught disappear, but so did Nat, Z and the boarding party.

Seth crossed his arms over his chest and looked out the nearest viewport. "Can't say I'll miss them."

"Do we know where we are?" Kym asked as she stood alongside Seth. "Is this another Earth."

"Nope," Mat said. "And not a floating island either. It's a world called Sirius."

"A Flux World?" Kira asked.

"I thought that was a given," Mat said. A Flux World referred to a planet with areas that shifted back and forth between the past, future and alternate realities.

Their navigation droid, Navi, fluttered through the crew hold. "This is it!" the droid shouted with excitement. "The next clue is here! For the Ultimate Secret!"

"What's the clue?" Tyler asked.

"Tresa navigato!" Navi floated back onto his pedestal. "For the next Grand Power...look for the enforcers of justice."

"Enforcers of justice?" Kym asked.

Seth shook his head. "You've got to get better at this, Navi."

"I do what I can!" the droid protested.

"Come on," Tyler said. "Let's head out and see what we can find."

***

The rangers entered a city of spiraling skyscrapers and domed buildings. Various races walked across the streets, although most belonged to the race called the Anubiseijinn, natives of the planet Sirius.

"Well..." Mat said. "We won't stick out at all."

They moved into the crowd and tried to ignore the suspicious stares. Apparently the planet's inhabitants didn't have much experience with human-looking races.

Kira noticed armed guards patrolling several street corners, and she narrowed her eyes at the sight. "These people don't seem friendly..."

Seth shook his head. "They look like they're at war."

Mat arced an eyebrow. "How can you tell?"

"They just have that look," Seth said. "Of people living in fear...for too long."

Suddenly, a piece of trash hurled through the air and smacked Tyler against the head.

"Go back to your own planet, freaks!" shouted a female Anubiseijinn. "You aliens aren't welcome here!"

Tyler knitted his brow at the woman. "We're just passing through."

Someone growled from behind the teen. "Passing through?" a stranger asked. "Is that what you call it?"

Someone else shouted. "You people are terrorists! We were happy here! Protected!"

"Go back to your own home!"

"Get off our streets!"

"Offworlder scum!"

“Pirates!”

Mat sighed. "We apparently crashed into the middle of a hate crime."

"Come on..." Tyler said as he grabbed Mat's arm and started to lead the rangers through the crowd.

They didn't make it far before a stranger bashed a rifle upside Tyler's head, knocking him to the ground.

Tyler rolled into a crouched stance, snapped to his feet, and attacked. He kicked the rifle away and punched the stranger upside the head.

He glanced over his shoulder. "Run," he told his teammates. "Now."

The crowd surged around the teens and attacked relentlessly, unleashing pent-up anger, rage and fear. The rangers did their best to defend themselves without causing too much harm.

Several guards parted their way through the crowds to subdue the rangers. Each wore an elongated, black helmet with a black faceplate. Tyler tried to intercept them before they could reach his teammates.

The teen grabbed a guard's rifle and kicked his legs, knocking him to the ground. The teen kicked another soldier, and then another, knocking them back before they could attack.

The last guard swung the butt of his rifle towards Tyler's chest. Tyler blocked and kicked, but the guard sidestepped and bashed Tyler in the gut.

The ranger staggered backward, and the guard pushed forward. The soldier wielded his gun like a club, smacking Tyler on the shoulder as he struggled to dodge in the middle of the mob.

Cursing beneath his breath, Tyler spun with a round-house kick that bashed the helmet off the guard's head. Tyler noticed the guard immediately: Doggie Kruger.

"You again?"

Kruger growled. "Have we met before, offworlder? Do you work for Grumm?"

"Do I- What?" Tyler lost sight of his teammates, and Kruger took advantage of the distraction.

The soldier kneed Tyler in the gut and swung his rifle towards the back of Tyler's neck. Tyler dodged just in time, and he knocked the rifle from the soldier's hand.

Kruger unsheathed his saber: D-Sword Vega. He kicked the legs out from under Tyler, who crashed onto his back. Kruger leaned down and placed his blade against Tyler's throat.

"Yield," Kruger said, "and this will go a lot easier."

Tyler narrowed his eyes. "I liked you better when you were bottled up on your spaceship."

***

Kruger cuffed Tyler and led him along the side-streets, towards a patrol cruiser.

Tyler shifted his wrists against the cuffs. "I don't suppose you'll tell me what this is all about."

"You nearly caused a riot."

"By walking?"

Kruger growled with annoyance. "These are tense times. Grumm and his agents have infiltrated the entire system. He's building up for something big...an attack. But rest assured...we'll be ready."

"What's a Grumm?"

"You know very well what I mean," Kruger said.

"No, that's why I asked," Tyler said.

They stopped at the patrol cruiser. Kruger slid the back door open. "Get in. I'm taking you back to base."

Tyler stepped inside the cruiser, then pushed off, flipping backward and landing behind Kruger. The teen kicked the soldier's legs out and ran.

Kruger growled with annoyance, hopped into his patrol cruiser, and sped off to pursue the ranger.

***

Even while cuffed, Tyler managed to pull out his morpher and open a comm-line. "Navi," he said. "What happened to the others?"

"Tyler!" Navi said. "They lost track of you when they broke away from the crowd. Are you alright?"

"Great," Tyler said. "Just running from a big, talking blue dog."

"I'll have the others meet you!" Navi said.

"Can you find us somewhere clear to-"

Patrol sirens blared from around the corner. Kruger's cruiser zoomed into the alley and sped towards Tyler.

The teen cursed beneath his breath and kicked down the nearest door, busting into a warehouse.

"I need someplace safe, Navi," Tyler said.

"Keep moving forward!" Navi shouted. "You're in a cluster of unmanned storage buildings. I'm picking up a sensor blackout in the heart of the area. Head there, and you can hide until you escape!"

Tyler sprinted ahead, moving from building to building. He reached the blackout area and moved in between stacks of spherical containers, trying to hide from sight.

Suddenly, the pursuit cruiser smashed into the warehouse and charged through containers, scattering them everywhere and hurling Tyler through the air.

Tyler crashed and tumbled across the floor.

Kruger skid his cruiser to a halt, hopped out, and armed his sword.

“You’re coming with me,” the warrior said.

Tyler climbed to his feet and smirked. "You want to fight me while I'm unarmed and handcuffed?"

"You're a terrorist and a pirate," Kruger said. "I'm not worried about whether you get a fair fight."

"Fair enough," Tyler said. "But I have to warn you...I'll be taking your car."

"You'll be what-"

Tyler lunged, spun past Kruger with a kick, and bolted towards the soldier's speeder. Kruger moved faster than expected, bashing Tyler across the head and sending him staggering aside.

The teen reached into his jacket for his morpher, but Kruger kicked the transformation device out of his hand. The morpher skipped across the floor as Kruger pressed forward.

Kruger slashed and chopped; Tyler sidestepped and dodged, moving back with each blow. The ranger spun and kicked low. Kruger dodged and chopped, bringing his blade towards the teen’s collar bone.

Tyler lifted his hands to block with his cuffs; he smirked and waited for the blade to slash the bindings. But Kruger stopped his sword less than an inch from the cuffs.

“Did you really expect me to fall for that?” Kruger asked.

“That was the idea…” Tyler pounced and snapped a kick.

Kruger blocked and swung his pommel, bashing the ranger to the ground.

"I suggest you stay down," Kruger said.

"Noted," Tyler said as he climbed to his feet. "Are we about done? I'm getting bored."

Kruger growled and started to pounce, but before he struck, a clattering sounded from the other side of the warehouse. On instinct, the ranger and soldier ducked into the shadows.

Buramudo entered the other side of the warehouse with an army of X-Borgs. The villain pointed to the center of the warehouse.

"Set up the device there," he ordered.

The X-Borgs carried a massive console equipped with sensors, torpedoes and seismic disruption packages. The soldiers manned the console and started a series of activation sequences, arming the device.

Tyler now understood why Navi marked the area as a sensor black-out zone. The Armada must have blocked scanners in the area to set up their strange weapon.

"Wonderful..." he muttered.

Buramudo snapped around, having heard the ranger. "You...How did you find me here?!"

The villain armed his blaster and opened fire. The blasts nearly tore through Tyler; but Kruger pushed him away, and a bolt of energy tore through the soldier's side.

Kruger growled with pain. He quickly snapped Tyler's cuffs around a pipe to hold him in place.

"Stay here," Kruger said.

"Are you serious?" Tyler asked.

"We're not through." Kruger unsheathed his sword, turned towards the X-Borgs, and charged.

Buramudo growled with annoyance and barked orders at his underlings. "Move the weapon! And kill the dog!"

Kruger slashed through a group of X-Borgs that moved close. Meanwhile, a second group of X-Borgs started moving the weapons array, and Buramudo went with them.

Kruger tried to fight his way closer to the villain, but his injury slowed his movements. By the time he cut down the last of the X-Borgs, Buramudo had fled.

Kruger growled with annoyance and looked over his shoulder for Tyler. But the ranger had broken free from the pipe and disappeared.

The soldier's fur ruffled with anger. He walked across the warehouse, picked up Tyler's morpher, and ran after Buramudo, heading deeper into the warehouse area.

***

Seth, Mat, Kira and Kym ran to the warehouse area. Mat flipped open his morpher and zeroed in on Tyler’s location.

“He’s that way,” he said as he pointed ahead.

They didn’t make it far before a trio of Zergs and group of X-Borgs blocked their path.

“The Armada…” Kira cursed beneath her breath. “Great.”

Seth pulled out his morpher. “Looks like Tyler’s gotten himself into trouble.” He clicked open his Ranger Key. “Let’s do this.”

The four teens armed their morphers and Ranger Keys. “It’s morphin’ time! Ultimate Transform!” They inserted their keys into their morphers: “POOOOOWER RANGERS!”

The Rangers morphed into their armor, unsheathed their swords, and charged to attack.

***

Kruger moved silently across a catwalk. He leaned against the railing for support, to keep from falling. His injury seared through his side.

The solider looked down to see Buramudo and an army of X-Borgs gathered around the weapons platform.

There…he thought as he crouched deeper into the shadows. I need to destroy that platform before-

His pain intensified. He didn’t realize it, but the wound seeped with blood that dripped downward and splattered onto the meta-criminal’s head.

Buramudo laughed softly. “I thought I smelled wounded dog.”

He snapped around and opened fire, blasting the catwalk with bursts of spark that sent Kruger hurling through the air.

The soldier crashed and tumbled across the cement.

Buramudo lifted his guns and stalked towards the fallen warrior. “The Great Dog of Hell? Hah. You’re nothing but a-”

Suddenly, Tyler swung from the shadows. Gripping a chain, he kicked Buramudo hard, slamming the villain off his feet.

Tyler landed and knitted his brow at the criminal. “Back away from the dog.”

The criminal rolled onto his back, aimed at the ceiling, and opened fire. His blasts tore through the ceiling; the roof collapsed and showered rubble towards Tyler and Kruger.

Tyler grabbed Kruger by the arm. “Come on.”

They scrambled aside as the rubble crashed onto the floor where they had stood.

***

With one hand behind his back, the Ultimate Blue Ranger twirled his saber, swatting aside X-Borgs with bursts of spark that buckled their armor.

Nearby, the Ultimate Green Ranger armed his Power Saber and Power Blaster. He hopped and dodged a group of X-Borgs while slashing and blasting, whipping X-Borgs through the air.

The Ultimate Pink Ranger blasted a group of X-Borgs that charged toward her. She switched to her saber when they moved closer, and she slashed them aside with bursts of spark.

The Ultimate Yellow Ranger stood nearby. She carried her sword in one hand and blaster in the other. She blasted a group of X-Borgs, then slashed through another group, snapping a side-kick that bashed the last grunt away.

The remaining grunts regrouped, as did the Rangers.

The Ultimate Yellow Ranger sighed. “This is taking too long…”

She flipped her belt buckler open and pulled out her RPM Yellow Ranger Key. The other Rangers armed their RPM Keys, and they pulled out their morphers.

“RPM! Get in Gear!” They slid their Keys into their morphers: “RRRRRRPM!”

They morphed into the RPM Task Force Turbo Rangers. Kym shifted into RPM Ranger Black, Mat shifted into RPM Ranger Green, Kira shifted into RPM Ranger Yellow, and Seth shifted into RPM Ranger Blue.



Ranger Blue armed his cannon. “Turbo Blaster!”

He triggered massive energy bursts that tore through X-Borgs and bashed them through buildings.

The Yellow RPM Ranger kicked her way through a group of X-Borgs. Her strikes smashed metal and dented armor.

She armed her weapon. “Zip Charger!”

She triggered the charger, which dashed around X-Borgs, striking with bursts of spark that whipped them off their feet.

Ranger Green pressed his buckler. His chest symbol glowed and summoned his weapon: The Turbo Axe. He leapt forward and landed with a massive chop, triggering a wave of jade energy that ripped through X-Borgs with bursts of spark.

Ranger Black pressed her buckler and summoned her weapon: The K-9 Cannon. She grabbed the blaster and fired bursts of energy that tore through grunts.

Flipping sideways, she kept firing, blasting through the enemy.

The four Rangers dashed towards each other, regrouped, and armed another set of Ranger Keys.

“Chakra, ignite!” They slid their Keys into their morphers: “HEEEEEEAVEN STAR TASK FORCE!”

Kym shifted into the Pink Phoenix Ranger, Mat shifted into the Green Lion Ranger, Kira shifted into the Yellow Kirin Ranger and Seth shifted into the Blue Tenma Ranger.



Tenma Ranger launched through X-Borgs with spin kicks. He snapped volley after volley, bashing grunts before they could strike.

The Blue Ranger skipped ahead with a jumping side-kick, kicked the legs from beneath a second grunt, and round-kicked a third grunt in the face.

Nearby, Kirin Ranger twirled with grace, bashing her back-fists and palm-heels against X-Borg armor. She pounced with volleys of strikes, and then smashed both palm-heels against a Zerg’s chest, hurling the grunt backward.

Lion Ranger armed his Thunder Staff and twirled the weapon, parrying and blocking the clubs of several X-Borgs.

The Green Ranger spun and swung wide, bashing an X-Borg’s gut, hurling the grunt off its feet.

Phoenix Ranger fought her way through a group of X-Borgs. She elbowed a grunt, spin-kicked an X-Borg, and swung her palm hard, bashing a grunt in the faceplate.

The four Rangers regrouped. They slapped their right fists against their left palms.

“Bomber, set!” They formed spheres of cyan-tinted Ki between their palms. “Kiryoku! Bomber!”

They hurled the blasts, which combined into a single bolt of golden power. The comet punctured through X-Borgs and Zergs with massive bursts of flame and spark, tearing them into scrap metal.

***

Tyler led Kruger through a corridor and helped him sit against a wall.

The commander grunted. “Why did you rescue me?”

“What can I say,” Tyler said. “I’m a softy. Besides…I owed you one.”

“You what?” Kruger asked.

“You wouldn’t have gotten hurt if you hadn’t shielded me,” Tyler said. He shifted uncomfortably, not used to displaying gratitude. “You’re a pretty pushy cop, aren’t you?”

“I was only doing my duty,” Kruger said. The commander grasped his wound and breathed deeply. “What about you? You’re going to regret not running. Now you have the Planetary Guard after you…and this Armada.”

“That doesn’t bother me,” Tyler said. “It wouldn’t matter if the whole galaxy was my enemy. Which it kind of is…”

“You sound like someone with pride,” Kruger said. “Is that why you saved me? For your pride?”

Tyler smirked. “Maybe. Now…sit tight. I’ll take care of the Armada.”

The teen turned and started to walk away.

“Wait,” Kruger said as he climbed to his feet. He staggered over to Tyler and released the teen’s cuffs. The commander tossed the bindings aside. “I’m counting on you.”

Tyler rubbed his wrists. “You’re a cop. Are you sure you can trust a pirate?”

“I don’t trust pirates,” Kruger said. He reached into his pocket, pulled out Tyler’s morpher, and handed it to the teen. “I trust that pride of yours.”

“Fair enough,” Tyler smirked as he took his morpher. “It’s not my problem if you end up regretting this.”

The ranger turned and ran off to face the Armada.

***

Buramudo traced his fingers over his weapon platform’s control console. “It’s finally time to launch! With these spacial disruptions, every major city on the planet will disappear!”

“Oh really?” a voice called from the shadows. Tyler stepped through a sheet of fog and entered the warehouse.

Buramudo and the X-Borgs scrambled to defend their device. “There’s only one minute left!” the villain shouted. “There’s no way you can stop it in time!”

“Time and I have a funny relationship.” Tyler pulled out his morpher and Ranger Key. “Ultimate Transform!”

He inserted his Key into his morpher and shifted into his Ranger form: “POOOOOWER RANGERS!”

The Ultimate Red Ranger charged to attack, and the X-Borgs returned the charge.

With one hand, the Red Ranger wielded his saber with powerful precision, hacking through X-Borgs, blade tearing through armor that sparked as it tore apart.

He swung wide, snapped a round-house kick, and slashed upward, striking his way through the enemy lines.

The Red Ranger hopped forward, straddled a grunt’s neck, and pulled out his blaster. While on the X-Borg, the Red Ranger opened fire, blasting through grunts with bursts of spark.

The Red Ranger kicked off the grunt and chopped through a streak of red energy while landing, tearing the soldier in half.

The Red Ranger pulled out his Nitro Red Key and inserted it into his morpher: "NIIIIIIIIITRO Rangers!"



Tyler shifted into Nitro Red.

He unsheathed his saber and dashed through hyper speed, slashing through X-Borgs with bursts of spark.

He skid to a halt, pulled out his Masked Red Key, and inserted it into his morpher: "MAAAAAAASKED RANGERS!"



He shifted into Masked Red, unsheathed his sword, and energized the weapon with cyan power. He slashed through a streak of energy that tore several X-Borgs to pieces.

An X-Borg charged towards him with its staff swinging; Masked Red side-kicked the soldier's face, whipping him backward.

The Red Ranger pulled out his Bio Red Key and slid it into his morpher: "BIIIIIIIO RANGERS!"



He morphed into Bio Red, pulled out his blaster, and opened fire, triggering red energy darts that tore through the next wave of X-Borgs.

The Red Ranger pulled the Red Defender Key from his buckler and slid it into his morpher: "DEFEEEENDER RANGERS!"



He morphed into Defender Red and pounced with a flying sidekick. The kick bashed an X-Borg to the ground, and when Defender Red landed, he unsheathed his sword and sliced an X-Borg down with a single swing.

Tyler flashed with energy as he shifted back into his Ultimate Red Ranger form.

Buramudo trembled with rage as he watched the last X-Borg fall. “Impossible!”

The villain armed his guns and charged to attack.

Buramudo swung his blasters like clubs. The Red Ranger dodged and parried, then slashed the villain with bursts of spark that knocked him several steps backward.

The Action Commander aimed his weapons, but before he could fire, the Red Ranger blasted the villain with bursts of spark. The impact hurled the villain out of the warehouse.

“If you’ll just wait out there…” the Red Ranger said.

Quickly, the Red Ranger snapped around and opened fire on the weapons platform. His blasts tore through the array, which exploded into pieces of fiery debris and shrapnel.

“No!” Buramudo shouted as he climbed to his feet and staggered back into the warehouse.

The Red Ranger twirled his sword and prepared to defend himself. But he didn’t have to act alone. The Pink Ranger called his name as she and the other Rangers ran into the warehouse.

“You guys OK?” the Red Ranger asked.

“Us? What about you?” the Yellow Ranger asked.

“Saved by a talking dog,” the Red Ranger said.

The Green Ranger tilted his head. “Huh?”

A voice came from the other side of the warehouse: “I was the one who was saved…by a rather arrogant space pirate.”

Buramudo trembled with anger. “You bastards…all of you…bastards!”

“We’ll talk later,” the Red Ranger said as he regrouped with his teammates. “Let’s make this showy.”

They stepped into fighting poses.

“Ultimate Red Ranger.”

“Ultimate Blue Ranger.”

“Ultimate Green Ranger.”

“Ultimate Yellow Ranger.”

“Ultimate Pink Ranger.”

“Ultimate Task Force…” They called out together: “Power Rangers!”

They armed their weapons and charged to attack. The Blue Ranger and Green Ranger moved in low, twirling their sabers and slashing the monster’s gut.

The villain stumbled and tried to counter. But the Yellow Ranger and Pink Ranger lunged with kicks that sent him staggering backward.

The Red Ranger armed his DECA Red Key, and the others regrouped with him and did the same.

“SPD! Emergency!” They slid their Keys into their morphers: “DEEEEEEECA RANGERS!”

They morphed into the Guardian Task Force DECA Rangers, the SPD Team of Earth. Kym shifted into DECA Pink, Mat shifted into DECA Green, Tyler shifted into DECA Red, Seth shifted into DECA Blue, and Kira shifted into DECA Yellow.



The Rangers stalked towards the villain, and then split up to attack.

DECA Pink and DECA Yellow armed their D-Batons. They twirled and slashed, striking the monster with bursts of spark while moving around him faster than he could counter.

The Yellow Ranger hopped forward, kicked the villain, and used the footing to backflip through the air.

Buramudo staggered backward and opened fire. DECA Pink interrupted his aim with a slash of her baton. She spun with a wide arc, ducking beneath his gun blasts, and slashing him with bursts of spark.

The Pink Ranger stabbed the monster’s chest, knocking him several steps backward.

DECA Blue and DECA Green moved in. Frantically, Buramudo opened fire before the Rangers could attack. But his shots went wild, barely aimed.

The Blue Ranger and Green Ranger swung and slashed, striking the monster with bursts of spark.

DECA Green armed his D-Blaster and fired darts of green energy. The blasts stabbed the monster with massive bursts of spark, sending him staggering backward.

Buramudo fired at the Blue Ranger.

DECA Blue leaped backward as the blasts sparked against the floor in front of him. The Blue Ranger armed his D-Blaster and fired lances of blue energy, striking the monster with bursts of spark.

The Red Ranger armed his D-Magnums and charged.

Buramudo fired at the Ranger. The villain’s blasts exploded across the warehouse as the Red Ranger leaped through the air to avoid the attack.

In midair, the Red Ranger aimed downward and fired, blasting Buramudo with bursts of spark that tore through his armor.

DECA Red landed and used his guns like club, bashing Buramudo. The villain lifted his blasters and fired. But the Red Ranger grabbed the villain’s arms and twisted, letting the shots go wild.

The Red Ranger snapped a front-kick that knocked the monster several steps backward. DECA Red pressed forward with a reverse side-kick that hurled the villain off his feet.

The Red Ranger combined his two blasters into a short rifle. “D-Magnum 01, D-Magnum 02, set. Hybrid Magnum.”

The other four Rangers combined their D-Knuckles and D-Batons. “D-Blasters!”

They aimed their weapons and shouted together: “Fire!”

The Red Ranger triggered a fiery energy burst, and the other Rangers triggered lances of energy. The blasts tore through the criminal with massive bursts of spark that ripped him apart with a final explosion.

The Rangers turned from the fiery blast and shifted back into their Ultimate forms.

From orbit, the Armada flagship opened fire with its enlargement beam. The beam splashed across the meta-criminals remains, reassembling and enlarging the monster.

The giant Buramudo stretched his massive muscles. “Fine…I’ll destroy this planet myself!”

The Red Ranger flipped open his morpher and pressed a series of command codes: “LEEEEEGACY GALLEON!”

The Legacy Galleon flew through the skies and lowered grappling lines. The Rangers grabbed the lines, which reeled them into the ship.

They gathered in their cockpit. “Ultimate fusion!”

“ULLLLLTIMATE FUSION!” The ship split into five different zords, which twirled through the air and combined into a massive robo.

“Ultimate Megazord!” the Rangers shouted.

The robo armed its sabers and swung outward, slashing the giant with bursts of spark.

Below, Kruger walked into the clearing and looked up to face the Megazord. His mind shifted, remembering his future as a commander in space, and then as commander of the SPD Earth Branch. Somehow, he knew what he needed to do.

“Rangers!” he shouted. “Unlock the DECA Rangers’ Grand Power!”

He thrust his badge, which glowed with golden light.

In their cockpit, the Rangers grabbed their SPD Keys, which pulsed with energy.

“A new power?” the Red Ranger asked. “Let’s try it.”

They inserted their Keys into their wheels and turned. The Megazord opened several compartments and shifted into a new armored mode.

“Ultimate DECA Megazord!” the Rangers shouted.



The Ultimate Red Ranger snapped his wheel. “Go!”

The SPD armor detached, shifted into car mode, and throttled forward: “DEEEEEEEECA STRIKER!”



Buramudo fired his blasters. DECA Striker swerved to avoid the blasts, which exploded across the streets with massive bursts of spark, kicking up clouds of dust and rubble.

The zord jumped into the air, drove across the sides of buildings, and fired its cannons. Lances of blue energy punctured through the meta-criminal with bursts of spark.

The Ultimate Red Ranger leaned on his wheel and watched. “Not bad.”

DECA Striker swerved through the air, throttled towards the Ultimate Megazord, and shifted into armor that snapped back into place.

The Ultimate DECA Megazord armed its twin blasters.

Buramudo did the same and opened fire.

The Megazord ran sideways to dodge the blasts, which exploded through buildings. The Rangers returned fire, triggering blasts of energy that exploded around the monster with bursts of spark.

Buramudo and the Ultimate DECA Megazord ran sideways and continued their gun duel, blasting and dodging through the streets.

The Ultimate Megazord dove aside and fired, blasting the monster with bursts of spark. The robo landed with a roll, crouched with its blasters, and leaped into the air.

The Megazord angled its descent towards Buramudo and opened fire. Blasts tore through the monster with massive bursts of spark, sending him staggering backward.

The Megazord landed and faced off with the villain.

“Let’s finish this,” the Ultimate Red Ranger said as he turned the Key in his wheel. The Megazord armed gatling cannons in its arms and legs. “Judgement Strike!”

The cannons fired darts of energy that tore through the monster, ripping apart his body as he collapsed and exploded into ash and debris.

***

The SPD Keys glowed within the Rangers’ cockpit. The team expected what happened next: A Time Shard appeared in front of them, floating with pulses of golden light.

“Right on time,” the Green Ranger said. “I assume we’ll pick up where we left off?”

The Ultimate Red Ranger nodded and grabbed his Key. “Let’s unlock the shard…and see what happened after the Apocalypse.”

---To be continued…Chapter 10
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Old January 17th, 2016, 03:29 PM   #96
LOMINogard
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Just realized that I forgot to comment on this chapter. Pretty standard fare overall, but it's nice to get an update nontheless. Plus we get Kruger in a couple different eras of his life thanks to all the fragging. And now on to the apocalypse next chapter!
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Old January 18th, 2016, 06:14 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOMINogard View Post
Just realized that I forgot to comment on this chapter. Pretty standard fare overall, but it's nice to get an update nontheless. Plus we get Kruger in a couple different eras of his life thanks to all the fragging. And now on to the apocalypse next chapter!
Thanks!

Yeah, this chapter felt like filler. The next one does too, but it's a bit better (almost done).

I've started on the Geki tribute, though, and it seems more enjoyable so far, at least while writing it.
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Old January 24th, 2016, 05:51 AM   #98
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Chapter 10- SPD: Gods and Men

Images twirled around the Ultimate Power Rangers. The Time Shard unlocked, showing visions of Earth after the defeat of N'Ma and release of the Hell Gods, which triggered the Apocalypse and broke the Fifth Seal to the Dark One's prison.

"Anyone else bring popcorn?" the Green Ranger asked.

The others sighed and shook their heads.

***

(New Generation Year Six)

DECA Base assumed high-alert status. The SPD headquarters dispatched Silver Guardians and ZECT units across the globe, in anticipation of cataclysmic attacks.

The threat: The Fifth Seal broke, unleashing the Apocalypse, allowing the gods of legend to enter the mortal realm. The biggest risk came from the Gods of the Underworld, from Lucifer to Hades.

SPD anticipated madness on an epic scale.

But nothing happened.

The Earth sat quietly, and waited.

Commander Kruger leaned forward at his desk. He knitted his brow and kept his eyes on his control monitor.

"Swan, any signs of the enemy?" he asked for the sixth time that hour.

She shook her head. "Not yet," she said from her science station. "We picked up the initial energy surge after the destruction of N'Ma, but after that...nothing."

Kruger growled with annoyance. The initial energy surge measured off the charts, which worried the commander. SPD equipped its forces to deal with meta-level criminals, not intergalactic threats, and certainly not gods. No Ranger team could equal the power of a god.

"Keep analyzing the initial data stream," Kruger said. "We won't be able to stop the threat, so we'll need a way to contain it."

Swan nodded. "We're working on it, along with every science division INET has."

"Let's hope that's enough..." Kruger said quietly.

***

Nat stood on the top of DECA Base and looked out upon the city, a buzz of activity as people went about their daily lives.

Z joined him and crossed her arms over her chest. "So this is what the Apocalypse looks like?" she asked. "It's actually not that bad."

Nat smirked. "Always the optimist...It's going to get worse."

"True. But at least this gives us a break from hunting other Ranger teams..." Z said.

Nat nodded. "We wasted so much time fighting each other...We basically let this happen."

"Don't say that. You can't know how things would have turned out, if Cranston and Oliver had worked together instead of against each other."

"No, but-"

The ground trembled, and the skies darkened. Red lighting scorched the clouds, which parted to reveal a blood-red moon.

"Well..." Nat said. "That escalated quickly."

***

Hades, Greek God of the Underworld, hovered in the skies above Athens. Dressed in dark Greco-Roman armor, eyes like fire, and skin as black as coal, he grinned.

Slowly, he spread his hand across the land, and he reached out with dark, cosmic energy, the power of the dead.

"The land of my father..." he whispered, his voice like gravel. "The land of my brothers. Now...and forever...you belong to me."

***

Nat and the rest of his team gathered in the Situation Room within DECA Base. They stood at alert as Kruger addressed them.

"It's happened..." He pulled up a holographic image of Greece. "The Greek God Hades crippled all of Greece in the blink of an eye. Now...he's making a move towards England."

Bridge's face paled. "How do we fight something like that?"

"Do everything you can to mitigate the damage, and stall until we learn how to capture the god," Kruger said. "We need more data on his energy signature, and this fight gives us that chance."

The holographic image shifted to a massive army of skeletons and zombies, dressed in war uniforms from various time periods and countries. Nazis. U.S. marines and army men. Greek and Roman soldiers. Egyptian warriors. Ninja.

"This is the bulk of Hades' army," Kruger said. "Focus your counterattack here. I'll try to keep Hades off your backs."

Nat narrowed his brow. "You'll what? That's crazy..."

"Maybe," Kruger said. "But we don't have much choice. Now move out!"

***

DECA Base shifted into ship mode, blasted across the sea and arrived in England. Zombie soldiers marched through the streets, along with hellhounds and winged harpies that fluttered through the skies.

The city managed to evacuate for the most part, except for soldiers who belonged to an elite unit called Hellsing, the fledgling British response team tasked with combating supernatural threats. Named after the monster hunter of legend, Van Hellsing, the soldiers carried conventional weapons marked with various runes to fight evil.

The Hellsing soldiers opened fire with bullets that tore through the zombies. But the undead continued their advance, despite their gaping wounds and shattered bones.

Above, Hellsing helicopters flew through the air. They fired volleys of missiles that exploded across the streets below. Flames and shrapnel tore zombies and skeletons to pieces.

Suddenly, a swarm of harpies descended towards the helicopters. The creatures grabbed onto the aircraft, ripped off their propellers and hurled them downward. The helicopters crashed through buildings, bursting into flame and raining scrap metal onto the streets below.

***

Nat and his team landed in the streets, mostly vacant except for the undead army and Hellsing soldiers. The sounds of gunfire, screaming and raging flames filled the air.

Nat narrowed his eyes and rolled his hands into fists. He wanted to lash out and attack the creatures that plagued the city. But he knew he had a job to do. So he steeled himself.

"Alright," Nat said. "The Silver Guardian and ZECT units will hold back the undead. We'll focus on helping with the evac. Split up into Theta Formation, and start clearing out these buildings."

They armed their morphers. "SPD! Emergency!" Energy flashed around them as they morphed into their armor. "SWAT Mode, on!"

The five core Rangers powered up into their SWAT armor. Along with DECA Break, they fanned out to save as many people as possible, despite the impossible odds.

***

DECA Green and DECA Yellow moved towards a hotel, where a group of undead tried to bash down the doors. The Rangers noticed a group of civilians trapped inside, bracing the entryway.

The Rangers armed their rifles.

"No jokes about why Jet Force should handle this?" DECA Yellow asked.

"They really should, but no, this isn't funny, I'm pretty sure I'm shocked speechless, which has never really happened to-"

"Bridge..."

"Right," DECA Green said as he stopped himself.

They moved in and opened fire with precision blasts, tearing through zombies dressed in ancient Greek armor and modern military uniforms.

DECA Green kicked a zombie's gut and bashed the back of its neck, knocking it to the ground. And DECA Yellow swung her blaster wide, whipping a zombie off its feet.

The two Rangers smashed down the door.

"Come on," DECA Yellow said. "Let's get-"

One of the women screamed.

DECA Yellow looked behind, to where another wave of zombies moved towards the lobby. She cursed beneath her breath, not wanting the army to hurt any civilians.

"Come on," the Yellow Ranger said. "We'll move through the back. Or upstairs and down a fire escape."

"No!" one of the women shouted. "They're in there. They're already in there. They're...they're...eating. There's no other way."

DECA Green tilted his head. "Eating? That's...slightly disturbing."

"That should make them distracted," DECA Yellow said. "Good. We'll head that way. I'll take the lead. Bridge, you take the rear."

DECA Yellow used her visor to pull up a GPS map of the hotel lobby. She led the civilians through an adjoining bar area, and into its back room, where a group of zombie soldiers feasted on their victims.

DECA Yellow opened fire, blasting through a group of zombies dressed in army fatigues.

Several undead grabbed their weapons, from modern rifles to old muskets, and started to aim. The Yellow Ranger dashed forward, bashing and kicking the guns aside, and blasting the zombies through their heads.

The civilians screamed, and some tried to run, but DECA Green did his best to hold them back. "It's OK, it's OK!" he shouted. "Relatively, at least...sort of..."

Suddenly, several zombies in medieval chainmail burst into the room from behind.

The Green Ranger quickly turned and opened fire, blasting lances of energy that stabbed through the undead and whipped them off their feet.

"Uh, Z?" he said. "Company."

"I see that," DECA Yellow said as she smashed her rifle through a zombie's head.

***

DECA Red and DECA Blue entered the stairwell of an apartment building. They heard nothing but roaring silence, despite the battle on the streets outside.

"That's odd..." DECA Red said.

DECA Blue nodded. "I'm picking up lifesigns...but something else too."

"Death," DECA Red said. "That deafening quiet? It's death."

A demon burst from the floor and lashed out with its tentacles. The two Rangers leapt aside and opened fire, blasting the tentacles with bursts of spark.

A tentacle wrapped around DECA Blue, smashed him against the wall, and tightened its grip. The Blue Ranger’s weapon dropped from his hand as he felt the breathe squeeze out of him.

“Sky!” DECA Red shouted as he opened fire.

His blasts tore through the tentacle, dropping the Blue Ranger to the floor. DECA Blue rolled across the ground, grabbed his rifle, and opened fire. Rapid energy blasts stabbed at the creature’s bulky body, a mass of segments and tendrils.

The tendrils unraveled and snapped like lightning, whipping the Rangers with bursts of spark. The demon lashed upward with its tentacles, grabbed onto the stairwell, and pulled it down. Staircases, railing and concrete fell towards the Rangers like an avalanche.

***

DECA Break kicked an undead and swung an electric punch, bashing the grunt to the ground.

DECA Pink stood behind him; she triggered her weapon, firing rapid blasts of orange energy. The blasts stabbed through undead with massive bursts of spark, ripping through their dirtied uniforms and bone.

They stood in the center of a plaza, where a wave of undead approached a church. Several dozen people huddled inside the church, trying to hide from the undead and praying for the safety of their souls.

DECA Pink shook her head with disbelief. “Where are they all coming from?!”

“Probably best not to ask…” DECA Break said as he bashed a kick upside a zombie’s head.

***

Kruger landed on the nearest skyscraper and looked up, to where Hades floated on a throne of black bone. Power ebbed from the god, so strongly, that it vibrated every bone in the commander's body.

He armed his morpher. "SPD! Emergency!"

He morphed into DECA Shadow, unsheathed his sword, and shot into the skies.

The Shadow Ranger slashed past Hades with bursts of spark, but the god barely noticed. He twitched his hand, ever so slightly, and grasped DECA Shadow with invisible energy.

Hades stood from his throne and faced DECA Shadow. "You are one of the heroes of this century...hardly worthy of my attention."

The god turned his wrist; Kruger screamed with agony as pain shot through his body, which nearly tore apart.

"I'm born from the fibers of creation itself, little dog. I could tear you to shreds, knit you back together, and do it all over again. In fact...let me show you."

DECA Shadow exploded into pieces of bone and flesh; dark light ebbed through his remains, which imploded and reformed. The Ranger gasped with renewed life.

Hades laughed, a cold, hissing sound. "You mortals are so frail."

"Then leave us be," DECA Shadow said. "If we're so lowly to you, why even bother to-"

Hades snapped; DECA Shadow exploded and reformed once again. "Don't speak to me in such a manner. I am a god. And you...are nothing."


***

Tyler's teammates watched in horror.

Mat shook his head. "OK...let's pledge right now...we are never fighting something like that. I mean...never."

Suddenly, cold shivers of fear slid through their bodies. They staggered backward as their surroundings sharpened into better focus.

"What the-"

They fell and landed on a skyscraper beneath Hades.

"Are we..." Kira shook her head. "Are we in the Time Shard?"

Hades looked down upon them. "You...children...You do not belong here."

Mat nearly choked with panic. "Uh...no, no we don't. So we'll be-"

Hades lifted his hand, and the building exploded beneath the teens' feet. They morphed as they plummeted downward; their armor activated just in time for them to crash onto the fiery streets below.

Slowly, the Rangers climbed to their feet.

"Tyler...?" the Pink Ranger asked. "What's happening?"

"It looks like we're in the events of the Time Shard," the Red Ranger said without breaking his cool demeanor. "We're living a piece of history."

Bored with DECA Shadow, Hades hurled Kruger several blocks through the air. The god descended and landed, looming several meters taller than the Rangers.

"Curious..." Hades said. "What are you?" He looked at the Red Ranger directly. "And you...is that Phoenix Fire I sense within your veins?"

The Red Ranger twirled his sword. "Apparently my parents were kind of a big deal in your time."

The Green Ranger shook his head at his leader. "How are you not freaking out right now?"

Hades lifted his hand and gripped the Rangers with invisible energy. The god's shadow extended as if alive, slithered beneath the Rangers, and sprouted tendrils that wrapped around them.

The shadows sent waves of fear through the Rangers. Despite their bravery and courage, they felt sheer terror pour through their veins.

"Feel the lamentation of Hell itself," Hades said.

The shadows intensified and burst with energy that knocked the teens out of their armor. They crashed and skid across the street, where undead soldiers lifted them by their arms and held them in place.

Hades floated to the street and grabbed Tyler by the hair.

"I will ask again..." Hades said. "What are you?"

"Annoyed," Tyler said.

"Vermin..." Hades growled. He grabbed Tyler by the neck and lifted him off his feet. "You mortals don't seem to understand, I can tear you apart with a simple thought!"

The god fired a wave of invisible energy that should have torn Tyler to shreds. But the teen's body ebbed with fiery power that deflected the blast, flashed with bright light, and knocked the god several steps backward.

Tyler landed in a crouched stance and rolled his hands into fists. He looked up, and his eyes sizzled with golden power. He felt energy surge through his veins, filling his body and soul with incredible strength. His thoughts drifted to two figures from his dreams: Tommy, his father. Kimberly, his mother. The Dragon. The Phoenix.

Energy lashed around his body like wisps of flame, and even Hades took a step back.

"Impressive..." Hades growled. "You wield not just The Power...but Creation itself as a weapon."

"Like I said..." Tyler said. "My parents were kind of a big deal."

He flashed with the brilliance of a supernova, knocking back zombies and the god of the underworld.

When the light died down, Tyler and his teammates were gone.

***

Tyler and his teammates shifted back into the dreamscape. They still saw Hades and his underlings, but through the haze of a vision, removed from their reality.

Tyler staggered and collapsed, blood dripping from his nose as his body trembled.

"Tyler!" Kym shouted as she moved to his side.

"I'm...fine," he said as he tried to climb to his feet.

Seth shook his head. "We need to get out of this Time Shard." He looked across the vision, where armies of zombies smashed through the ranks of Silver Guardians, ZECT Troopers and Hellsing agents. "The sooner the better."

"It's not over yet..." Tyler said.

"What else is there to see?" Seth asked.

Suddenly, the dreamscape shifted. Earth zoomed away into the larger view of space. And within space, planets trembled as they faced their own versions of the Apocalypse.

In the Rigel Expanse, planets hurled out of their orbits, wiping out all life before the worlds exploded. The explosions unleashed hordes of demons that attacked numerous space stations and space colonies. The Nitro Rangers fought within Alpha Station, overwhelmed by a number of evil earth spirits and demons.

On Eltar, the Masked Rangers fought on the streets of the capital. Terrorists lined the streets, whispered prayers to long-dead pagan gods, and exploded, unleashing waves of demons.

Barely recovered from decades of strife, Edenoi shuddered. Insectoid demons trapped deep within the planet's surface broke free from every tree and fallen leaf. The world's SPD Team, the Bio Rangers, morphed to fight the insects, but found themselves quickly overwhelmed. The Infestation Wave started to cover the surface of the entire world.

And on Triforia, the Egyptian god Apophis rose to towering heights, like a slithering snake that stretched across the entire planet. He "broke the sky," sending waves of fiery meteors that crashed through the city's buildings and pyramids. Each meteor took form and rose into creatures of myth, cat demons, fiery sphinxes and serpent men. The planet's SPD team, the Defender Rangers, found themselves helpless against the power of the god.

Chaos reigned everywhere. Space lanes crumbled, literally, tearing through the fabric of reality. The universe trembled with torment unknown in its existence, or the existence of its predecessors.

***

The visions shifted back to Earth. Storms rained bloody hail across the Midwest of America. Farther east, off the shore, the oceans churned with madness, and the waters turned red with blood and ichor.

Trumpets sounded their death calls, unleashing woe and misery for all mankind.

***

Tommy Oliver stumbled and nearly collapsed. He leaned on a control console and managed to stay on his feet.

“What was that?” he asked.

“I’m showing massive earthquakes around the whole world!” a robotic voice shouted with alarm.

Tommy looked up towards a giant sphere of glass, which showed images of destruction across the Earth. Earthquakes, storms, wildfires, and tsunamis ravaged the planet as the gods awoke, setting foot on the mortal plane for the first time ever.

“Looks like we finished this place just in time.” Tommy said to the rebuilt Alpha-5, in the center of the new Command Chamber. “Contact the Hurricane, Samurai and Jungle Fury teams. And find the Nephilim. We need the Seraph Rangers…”

***

Dr. William “Billy” Cranston looked out the window of one of his high-rise skyscrapers. A small comm screen opened within the glass, and Miss Fairweather appeared.

“Dr. Cranston,” Miss Fairweather pleaded. “Our assets can’t keep up with this…whatever’s happening.”

“It’s nothing to worry about,” Cranston said.

Fairweather knitted her brow. “How can you say that when-”

“It’s all right.” He reached up and turned off the monitor. He placed his hand against the glass and activated a second comm screen. The screen showed an image of several slabs of black stone, each with a different number.

“Activate the Enertron Matrixes,” he said. “It’s time…”


***

The vision flashed with a burst of light, and the Rangers found themselves back in their cockpit, as the Time Shard hovered in front of them.

"OK..." the Green Ranger said. "OK, no one touch that Time Shard again. Like, ever."

"Was that it...?" the Pink Ranger asked. "Was that the Shattering?"

The Red Ranger shook his head. "No..." he said. "But it was the start…"

---To be continued…Chapter 11
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Old January 24th, 2016, 08:21 AM   #99
Green1
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Ok, maybe its my dislike of Billy in UPR, but I'm betting the Enertron Matrixes have something to do with the Shattering. That guy just cannot leave good enough (bad enough?) alone!
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Old January 24th, 2016, 03:45 PM   #100
LOMINogard
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Tommy's got a new Command Center! Ya!

Meanwhile, Billy, what the heck are you doing? None of this is trustworthy
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