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Old November 19th, 2017, 08:39 PM #21
Ravie's Avatar
> Ravie
Equal Opportunist
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 214
Ravie
Equal Opportunist
Ravie's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 214



Power Rangers FireStorm

Power Rangers FireStorm
Episode 01: The Sands of Shogunatta


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An Island Somewhere off the Pacific Coast, 2003

Nine black clad figures were split into three teams in order to be the first to find a cave which held a treasure which would bring honor to one of three Ninja Academies. It was a competition and a test for the trio from each Academy. To show that they were worthy to be Power Rangers.

The point was not only to get to the cave, but also avoid the other teams. Getting separated from your team was not exactly how it was supposed to go. Miranda Jo Scott fell into a hidden ravine before her teammates could catch her. "Randi! Are you okay?"

Getting to her feet, she winced and dusted off her butt. That wasn't very graceful for a ninja. She looked up and saw her two teammates looking down at her from far above her head. "No problem," she said. She looked around. She could easily climb out but there was something curious about where she'd fallen. "Keep looking for the scroll up there. I'm going to check something out down here," she called up.

"You sure?" called the voice of Hunter Bradley.

"Yeah, isn't this a team exercise?" Blake Bradley asked.

"No better team than the Bradley Boys. I'm just checking this out. I'll catch up to you guys in a few!" she assured them.

"Be careful down there!"

"Catch up soon!"

She saw movement as the two of them left the hole she'd fallen through. When she looked closer, she saw that it wasn't a ravine she'd fallen into. It was a tunnel. She pushed down her mask and hood. She held a hand out in front of her and electricity crackled around her fingers, lighting her way.

She continued inland following the tunnel. She occasionally came to a fork or a dip and soon realized she was getting further and further underground. She paused when she came to a circular cavern just as three other black clad teenagers came into it as well. There were other entrances along one side of the perimeter, but opposite them, was a larger opening. The other ninja spotted her and the opening at the same time.

They all bolted across the cavern together, thinking that perhaps this is what they were looking for. Randi just barely made it inside before the other three. But inside the cave wasn't anything like a scroll room. Once all four of them were inside, the entrance behind them closed up.

One of the other ninja ran back to where it was and felt around, but the room they were now in was completely smooth and featureless. The only thing inside was a small pedestal in the middle. There was an insignia in the middle of it that lit up in a steady blinking.

"What is this doing all the way out here?" Randi wondered as she approached it.

A ninja in orange piping dropped her hood and pulled away her mask. She was a blond with blue eyes, fair skin, and cute freckles. "Do you know what this is? What's going on here?" she asked.

A ninja in purple piping dropped her hood as well, revealing an Asian girl with dark eyes, and dark wavy hair. "This probably isn't part of the test, right?" she said looking around.

The ninja by the wall in teal piping banged a fist against the seamless surface. He lowered his hood, revealing a tanned boy with shaggy hair and thick black glasses. "I would think not," he agreed.

Suddenly Randi had the eyes of all three fire ninjas on her. She held up her hands. "No, I just meant that. It's Ninjor's insignia," she said, gesturing to the center of the pedestal.

"What's a Ninjor?" the girl in purple asked.

Randi ran a hand through her short brown hair and didn't answer. "How did you guys get down here?" she asked.

"We fell. The ground just kind of opened and we wound up in the tunnels. We thought it was part of the test," the blonde answered.

"Not our finest moment of ninja-ing," the other girl said.

The young man slipped past them and studied the pedestal. "Ninjor isn't a what. It's a who. He's an ancient alien ninja warrior who has helped the Power Rangers in the past. I'm Donny, by the way," he said without looking at Randi. He was still studying the pedestal.

"Randi. Randi Scott," she said.

"Mai-Li Yeoh," the dark-haired girl said with a faint smile.

"Mikey Hanson," the blonde said. "What are you thinking, Donny?" she asked.

"I think it's a signal. Maybe a distress beacon, but I agree with the question. Why is it all the way out here?" Donny answered finally.

Mai-Li looked down at it. "Well, you know what they say; when in doubt start pushing buttons," she declared.

"Don't!" Mikey and Randi both tried to stop her from pressing the insignia, but it was too late. A bright burst of light blinded them moments before they were thrown off their feet. They landed in soft, dry sand.

Randi blinked and looked around as she sat up. Under a blaring sun, they were grouped around a pedestal like the one that they'd just seen, but it was older, more weathered. Randi blinked again. They weren't under a blaring sun. They were under two suns. One was yellow, the other was smaller and blue and very near the yellow one.

"Oh, my," Mai-Li said.

"That's an understatement," Mikey said as they scrambled to their feet.

"Instantaneous inter-stellar travel. Amazing," Donny said.

"Yeah, okay. We're on another planet. Awesome. But, has anyone noticed we're in the middle of nowhere on this other planet?" Randi asked.

"Good point," Mai-Li agreed. She shaded her eyes and scanned the horizon in every direction.

"Surely, if this was a beacon of some sort, it wasn't activated for no reason. Someone must be nearby if they were hoping for someone to show up," Mikey said. She was a very reasonable person, seemingly at odds with her fiery capabilities.

"Okay, so we can either sit around and wait or what?" Mai-Li wondered. Reasonable wasn't really in her wheelhouse. She was action oriented and impulsive.

"We could each pick a direction, scout ahead for an hour or so before regrouping here," Donny suggested.

"I don't like the thought of splitting up," Randi said.

Mikey was about to agree but she held a hand up, calling for silence. She could hear something. Like the sound of shifting sands. The others heard it now. Other sounds came to them. It was the unmistakable sounds of a fight. They covered their faces again and crept toward the sounds. It wasn't long before they came upon a scene. They hid behind a sand dune and checked it out.

Amid a group of blue creatures with faces floating over their bodies, was a young man clad in black and blue, and a creature, a gray smudgy-swirly creature. The young man was fighting against the blue creatures while the gray smudgy-swirly creature gloated.

"What help do you hope to gain, Ninjetti? Your own tribe can barely police itself. What hope do you have against the Youkaitto and the Royal Family?" he goaded.

The young man, who appeared to be Asian-featured, had long narrow eyes, and dark, messy hair. He was tall, slim, and delicately featured, but he fought with a skill and precision that was impressive. He dropped low and swept the feet out from under an enemy, and in the same motion, come up lashing out at two more.

Dex Ro was lithe and agile, and stronger than the Youkai expected. Even if he was a trouble maker, they expected to end him easily. They were mistaken. Grabbing one of the grunts by the arm, Dex practically threw the creature at the Youkai. "The Youkai will never rule Shogunatta," he vowed in a voice that was rougher than expected.

From their hiding spot, the four Earth Ninja observed. "What should we do?" Donny wondered.

"I'm not going to sit and debate. I'm going to help," Mai Li said. "Then I'm going to eat that cute little dumpling up," she added and was on the move before Mikey could stop her.

Randi was right behind her. Donny and Mikey shared a brief look but could not stay hidden either.

The Youkai was caught off guard by the sudden appearance of four others in the fight he thought was going to be a breeze. They filtered into the fight.

Randi ducked in, striking out with both hands, hitting a creature square in the middle. She jumped when two others tried to come at her from behind. She flipped mid-air, landed behind them. Electricity crackled, and she slammed her hands into their backs. They exploded in a crackling blast that seemed to release their floating ghostly faces.

Donny landed a couple of heavy kicks to the creatures. They tried to swarm him, push him down into the sand. He unzipped his leather tunic and pulled out of it, effectively slipping away. He made a series of hand movements, a fire started within them. He lashed out, fists on fire and ignited several in a series of almost too quick to see strikes.

Mikey was swift and agile. She slipped into the fight. She bounced around, kicking and spinning, only using her arms for blocking for the most part. She pulled down her mask, took a deep breath and blew a plume of flames that out a wide berth of the enemy creatures.

Dex Ro was slightly taken aback by his sudden reinforcements. One moment he was valiantly trying to fight off an overwhelming amount of Kagers. Then four strangers came along. A small compact one, flew over his head and stomped their heads, flipped, and landed gracefully. Mai-Li turned slightly, winked at him, summoned a burst of fire, and took out several of them out.

The Youkai, suddenly finding himself with a lot less back up, scrambled backwards. "This isn't fair! Where did they come from? Other Ninjetti are pathetic weaklings!" he screamed.

Dex looked around. "I think this is the help you said wouldn't come, Youkai," he stated.

The Youkai laughed. "Not that it's going to make a difference. Daimou and the Royal Family will rule Shogunatta!" His whole body suddenly began swirling and he launched a volley of choppy wind energy that blew them all off their feet. They crashed into the sand and skidded several yards.

Randi got to her feet and dusted her butt off yet again. "This isn't exactly how I expected my day to go," she declared. she took a stance. "Good thing I'm always prepared," she held up an arm with a device attached to it. On it was a Power Disc with an emblem that was somewhat swirly. "Thunder Storm, Ninja Form, ha!" She used two fingers and set the Disc spinning. Electricity crackled around her Morpher. Her insignia appeared briefly, and she was enveloped in blue-violet energy.

Around herself formed a skirted power suit of a dark blue-violet color. Her insignia appeared in gold on the chest. Gold shoulder guards and belt formed. Black legs and indigo boots formed just before silver arms and gold-and-indigo gloves. Last to form was an indigo helmet with gold around the visor and two swirly prongs mimicking the markings of a lady beetle.

The three fire ninjas got to their feet and took up similar stances. Mikey's Power Disc resembled a dragonfly. Donny's Disc resembled a hornet. Mai-Li's Disc resembled a Moth. "Fire Storm, Ninja Form, ha!" they said as one and spun their Discs. Fires ignited.

An orange ghost image of the dragonfly wrapped around Mikey forming a skirted power suit of mostly orange, with black arms and legs and gold accents. The helmet that formed was reminiscent of a dragonfly.

A teal ghost of the hornet emblem wrapped around Donny forming a power suit of mostly teal, with black arms and legs and gold accents. The helmet that formed was teal with gold that tried to look like wings and antennae.

A violet ghost image of the moth emblem wrapped around Mai-Li forming a skirted power suit of mostly purple with black arms and legs. The helmet that formed was violet with gold around the visor that were graceful like butterfly wings.

Dex Ro watched in some amazement as the four Power Rangers charged forward. The Fire Rangers drew swords from their backs, and the Thunder Ranger had a staff. A faint smile touched his face.

Indigo moved in close to the Youkai. Electricity crackled along her thunder staff as she hit. The Fire Rangers each had two swords. Cyclo, the Youkai, was fast but outnumbered. His last-ditch move was to start swirling again.

The Rangers were able to withstand the attack, but they were still blown back again.

Dex removed the N emblem from his belt and attached it to a device on his wrist. He spun it. "Desert Storm, Shinobi Form, ha!" A ghost image of the N insignia wrapped around him. It formed a sleek blue-ish power suit with silver arms. Over that formed pieces of blue, sleek armor with gold accents. A blue helmet formed that was trimmed in gold and had an N on it. The same N appeared on his chest. A blue handled sword formed on his back. He drew it as he jumped. He slashed into the swirling Youkai.

The Youkai cried out and stumbled back, smoking and sparking. "You won't win, Shinobi! Daimou will see to it!" he said. He made to escape but the Shinobi Ranger seemed to slide along the sand and blocked his way, slashing with his sword again.

"Okay, let's finish it," Orange suggested. "Orange Zipper!" She summoned a weapon that resembled a blowgun.

"Teal Stinger!" A crossbow that resembled a wasp formed on Teal's wrist.

"Violet Flyer!" A gun-like weapon equipped with shuriken shaped like moth wings appeared in Violet's hands.

"Indigo Slinger!" Indigo summoned a pair of morning stars on a chain. She spun them, and they crackled with electricity. She tossed them at the Youkai and they wrapped around his ankles. Electricity crackled, stiffening his body.

In a triangle formation, the Fire Rangers fired their weapons on the Youkai. The Orange Zipper fired dragonfly shaped flames in rapid succession that exploded on when Orange's helmet popped open and she blew into it. The Teal Stinger fired small bolts that were shaped like large stingers attached to small hornets. The Violet Flyer fired the shuriken.

The attacks hit the Youkai, and he exploded, kicking up a spray of sand that showered over them and left a crater instead. Indigo dropped her morph and pushed back her hood. "You called for help?" she asked Shinobi. The Fire Rangers dropped their morphs and revealed their faces as well.

Shinobi dropped his morph. He gave them polite bows. "Yes. I did. My name is Dex Ro," he said.

Mai-Li smile widely, a dimple popped out in her cheek. "Hi! I'm Mai-Li," she said. "So very nice to meet you," she said. The other three introduced themselves as well.

"So, what is this about?" Mikey asked.

"We're too close to Youkai Mountain. Come with me to Lotus Village and I'll explain everything," Dex said. He began running in a westerly direction. A streak of blue was left in his wake. The Earth ninjas ran behind him.

~~~~~~~

Lotus Village looked like a dusty Old West town met traditional Far East architecture. Even the clothing the villagers wore were the same sort of odd mish-mash. Most folks seemed to know Dex Ro by sight and often called out to him. Lotus Village was at a higher elevation than the desert beacon. The travelers could now see an ominous looking mountain in the distance to the south. To the north there was another landmark, a lone, solitary temple.

Dex led them to a large, run-down house a little past town. It was square and gated resembling any number of older grand manors in the East. It looked like it had once been elegant and grand, but it had seen better days. Still, inside was clean and it looked like repairs have been underway. Dex removed his boots before entering the main building. The others did the same.

"You must all be quite confused. Where did you come from?" he asked, leading them to a kitchen where he began to prepare a pot of tea. They sat around a low table. "Earth? Probably Earth," he surmised, answering his own question.

"Good guess," Randi said.

"Mind filling us in on the rest?" Mikey asked.

Dex brought a pot of hot water, and five small cups to the table. He politely poured each of them some tea before filling his own cup. "This is my family home. If the story is to be believed, we're descended from a man named Watanabe Ryou, the leader of the first settlers of Shogunatta. True or not, we were a large, well respected family, not only in Lotus Village but all Ninjetti Tribe. Lots of aunts and uncles and cousins. My mother and father just had me.

"Now there's only me left, and half of Lotus Village. Twelve years ago, the Youkaitto attacked us when Daimou and the Youkai Royal family were awakened from under Youkai Mountain," he said.

"Can you rewind some more? I get the feeling that this didn't start twelve years ago," Donny said.

"No, it's been ongoing since the beginning. When humans came to Shogunatta, instead of one community, they split into two. The Youkai Royal family has been buried under Youkai Mountain since times forgotten. They began influencing the humans who came here. Eventually two factions formed. The Youkaitto and the Ninjetti. We've warred for as long as we've been here. But, about five hundred years ago, the Ninjetti won. Or at least subdued.

"The Youkaitto retreated to Youkai Mountain, and the Ninjetti flourished. We grew, we progressed. We became lazy. Aside from a few pacifistic sects deep in the Great West Mountains, no one continued learning martial arts. We were unprepared for when the Youkaitto managed to awaken the Youkai Royal family and attacked. From then on, the Ninjetti basically works for them. Occasional rebel bands are formed and quickly put down."

"And yet, here you are, fighting the good fight, very well I might add, with Morphing technology to boot," Mai-Li said.

Dex nodded. "The survivors of Lotus Village raised me. They tried to tell me to just accept fate. That everyone lost someone and stirring up trouble was not going to be a good for anyone. For a long time, that's what I tried to do. But the Youkaitto keep getting stronger. Their technologies are advancing at a rate the Ninjetti can't keep up with. They regularly make patrols through villages to take people to do labor in the mountain. Mostly boys and men.

"My when I was eleven, the labor squad came though Lotus Village. They tried to take me and my friend, so we ran. We didn't have a goal, direction, or anything. Just get away. So, we headed north, deeper in into No Man's Land. They came for us. I'm not sure why. Maybe they were after me, the last of my family. I don't know. My friend hurt his leg and I helped him as much as I could, for days, but he urged me to go on without him."

Dex took a deep breath and drank his tea. "And to my everlasting shame, I did so. I left him and continued until the Temple," he said, staring at the tea cup.

"That's the Temple of Power, right?" Randi asked.

Dex inclined his head. "For as long as we can remember, it was dormant. People have traveled to it. No one was ever allowed in. That night, not only was I allowed in, but the Youkai and Kagers that were following me were dealt with. I was offered food, water, and a place to stay for the night." He gave a wan smile. "My benefactor is a bit surly and reluctant, but with enough persuasion, he agreed to help, only because the Youkai Royal Family makes it no longer a 'human problem'," he said, remembering his first encounter with his reluctant mentor.

"The Royal Family isn't strong enough to completely take over. But they're getting closer, their Youkai are getting stronger. I was no longer enough, and I was afraid they'd know I was in Lotus Village again. So, after consulting with my master, I activated the beacon and waited. And you appeared," he added. He was becoming increasingly aware, rather than participating in the conversation, Mai-Li was propping her chin on her hand, watching him with a wide, dimple-popping smile. He cleared his throat and got up to brew more tea.

"So, instead of a test, we end up transported to another planet to join a one-man revolution against evil alien oppression. Yeah, that sounds about right," Randi said. "Any food? I'm famished," she declared.

"You're taking this whole thing rather in stride," Donny noted.

Randi blinked then shrugged. "I spent a few years in Angel Grove. And my brothers may or may not have also worn shiny suits in the past, but they will neither confirm nor deny," she said with a wry smile.

"That explains a lot," Mikey said with a friendly smile.

Dex was rattling around, trying to find some food. "I have rice. I haven't had a chance to go hunting," he said, running his hands through his hair. "I guess I wasn't really expecting help to arrive," he said. "Ah, Grannies to the rescue," he said moments before someone knocked on the door.

The visitors got to their feet as Dex let in a troop of little old women began bringing in things like food, clothing, bedding, and other goods. They clucked and fussed. They told stories about Dex as child that Mai-Li couldn't get enough of. Apparently only old people and children, with only a few adults remained in Lotus Village. The ones who didn't die in the initial attack by the Youkaitto were slowly whittled down by being taken for labor, or ran away in fright.

After filling their bellies with simple rice and side dishes, they changed clothes, and found rooms to sleep in for the night. It seemed that instantaneously traveling across space and jumping straight into a battle between good and evil then trekking countless miles across a dessert was kind of exhausting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Youkai Mountain

High on Youkai Mountain, there was Skull Castle, a fortress made of the bones of ancient creatures that used to live on the planet long before even the dinosaurs of Earth lived. The Youkai Royal Family have long been ruling over this planet. Even the almighty Ninjor had only been able to force them into sleep. He hadn't counted on the presence of humans to be the key to awakening them.

The anger, resentment, and violence of humans, especially their beloved Youkaitto tribe, over centuries even millennia slowly brought them from their slumber. They planned secretly plotted and planned. They struck quickly and subjugated not only the Youkaitto who worshiped them, but also the Ninjetti who'd defied them and flourished as they slept.

Now, the Youkai Royal Family, headed by Daimou, the Demon King, ruled over the planet. He did not fear anyone, let alone Ninjor, who was now alone. Whatever allies he'd had thousands of years before were long gone. Whatever rebellions the Ninjetti tried to stir up were quickly quashed.

The only thorn in his side had been the son of the Chieftain of the Ninjetti Tribe. The boy had escaped his attempts to capture or be rid of him for over a decade. Daimou had been somewhat impressed that he'd even managed to get Ninjor involved. But it was no matter. Even with the ninja master, a single human boy was no match for the Youkai.

Daimou was a large creature, in a dark robe. He was half gold and half silver with a long wide head. He also seemed to be wearing spectacles. For convenience, he and his younger siblings, often appeared as humans, though there was no denying that they weren't. Even in his human form, one of his eyes was metallic silver, and the other metallic gold, framed by his spectacles.

Daimou had hordes or minions, the Youkai who slept beneath the Mountain and the Kagers that did the grunt work. His closest subordinates, however, were his younger siblings. Karouno, the Demon Princess, and Otono, the Demon Prince. He also had a recent disciple in the form of Dr. Suritto. He was a human whom Daimou had personally fished out of the mines. Seemingly young, but white haired with a scar that bisected his face. He'd shown an aptitude for chemicals and concoctions that the Demon King wished to exploit.

His current quest was to find ways to increase demon powers. Suritto was one avenue he was exploring. Daimou was touring Dr. Suritto's rather impressive lab, listening to the man ramble on about his latest concoction when a Kager burst in, going to its knees in a supplicating bow. It remained crouched while it waited to be acknowledged.

"Are you certain it will work?" Daimou inquired of the Doctor.

"I'm uncertain about what reaction the test subject will have to the serum, and It will need some sort of massive energy spike to activate, but one thing I'm certain of, the subject's power will expound exponentially," Suritto assured him.

"Hmm." Daimou turned toward the waiting Kager. "What is it?" he asked. The creature answered not in words but a sort of keening moan.

Daimou tilted his head. "Interesting. You may go," he dismissed. The Kager bowed and exited the room backwards. "My dear Doctor, I may have discovered your catalyzing agent. Prepare a subject with this...what did you call it again?" he asked.

"Serum 16, my lord," Suritto answered, swirling a bit of dark liquid in a vial.

"Indeed. Serum 16. Prepare a subject. He will lead a raid on Lotus Village tomorrow. We need a few more laborers for the mines," he said. He started to leave the lab but paused. "Ah, my sister has returned from seclusion," he said. "Do please try not to scare her away again. I'd hate to lose a talent like you."

Suritto gave the Demon King a deep bow. "Your graciousness knows no bounds, my lord." Daimou continued on his way.

Suritto clenched his teeth and went back to dabbling with his serum, curbing the urge to seek out the princess.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lotus Village

Dex wasn't used to having so many people around. After the Village Grannies had left, the off-world visitors retired to their respective rooms, but they were awake early, doing morning exercises. He'd never seen ninjutsu quite like theirs. Nor were their own ninjutsu the same. The tall girl called Randi had ninjutsu that was completely different than the other trio. She stayed to herself until Mai Li engaged her.

He'd gone into the mountains to find them some meat. When he returned with a few rodents, Randi and Mai Li took them. Randi easily saw to cleaning them, while Mai Li seemed to know her way around a kitchen. Donny and Mikey were clueless.

"You guys are impressive," Mikey said, giving props where they were due.

"My Dad takes me and my brothers on extended camping adventures every summer. If you didn't learn how to clean a squirrel, a bird, or a fish you didn't eat. Until he took pity on you," Randi said with a fond smile. She scrunched up her nose when she realized it'd been awhile since their last trip and now she was stuck on a planet far from home.

Mai Li just smiled slightly. "I'm the oldest in our home. A lot of the time, if I didn't cook, we only had cereal to eat," she said. "Okay! Everything is ready," she declared. Since they couldn’t contribute to the meal, Donny and Mikey handled the clean-up.

"You're all a long way from home. I apologize for taking you away from your families," Dex apologized.

It was really beginning to sink in for them they were indeed away from their families, and would be for an undefined length of time. They didn't really respond to his apology. He hadn't expected them to.

Randi shook herself. "We are where we're meant to be," she declared.

Mai-Li smiled. "Exactly," she said. Though she felt sorry to the other kids in her home, unlike the other three, she wasn't sad to be there. "Let's go explore Lotus Village," she suggested. She gazed at Dex. "Will you be out guide or leave us to our own devices?" she asked.

Dex nodded. "I'll guide you. There isn't much to see. There's still a lot of damage," he said.

"We're young and healthy. If there's anything we can help with, we'll try," Donny said. He tended not to speak much, Dex noted.

Mikey nodded to agree.

Dex nodded and they left the manor to explore the Village. It was bigger than they first thought. The dust Old West feel was only on the outskirts of the village. Going deeper in, it was more of a mid-twentieth century vibe. The technology was even up to par with around then, though something besides electricity powered everything. But there were nearly deserted areas, areas without power, areas without people.

Yet the people eagerly welcomed and greeted them wherever they went. They farmed in small patches, hidden within ruined parts of the city. Dex explained they'd had to adapt to survive because the Youkaitto had taken over any farm that was productive and all the crops went to them instead of the Ninjetti.

Lotus Village was so devastated because it'd been the capital of the Ninjetti. It was hit fast and crushed so that other Ninjetti villages wouldn't put up much of a fight and were occupied instead. Aside from the labor raids, Lotus Village was left alone to serve as a reminder that the situation was helpless and even their young Chieftain was powerless.

The group eventually split up to explore on their own. Mai Li stayed with Dex. Her dimple had disappeared a while ago and hadn't even been hinted at. "Are you upset?" he asked her.

"Hmm?" she glanced at him. "Not really. Just thinking about how terrible it all is and that I'm glad I'm here to help," she said and smiled at him over her shoulder. Without realizing it, he ended up smiling back at her. "See, you're glad I'm here, too," she added with a giggle, before turning away and continuing down the street they were walking on.

Dex caught up with her. "Is that not all right?" he asked.

"Nope. I'm glad," she said. They stopped short when they heard screaming. They started running toward the sound.

They came upon a scene. A Youkai and a group of Kagers were dragging a young man down the street while a woman who appeared to be his mother continuously begged them not take him. The young man was struggling to get away, but he was helpless against the strength of the Kagers detaining him.

"Ugh, lady, your voice is grating on my nerves," said the crab-like Crustavore. He waved a pincer-like arm at her and a bubble enveloped her, effectively silencing her. The young man, screamed and fought harder.

Before Dex could, Mai Li jumped into it, drawing a sword and fighting off the Kagers holding the young man. Once freed, the youth ran to his entrapped mother.

"Who dares interfere with the Youkai's rightful enlistment of laborers?" the crusty crab demanded.

"You mean the enslavement of my people?" Dex demanded.

The crab scoffed. "You. Do you know why Daimou lets a mutt like you do as you please? Because you have no teeth," he snarled. He jumped forward to snap at the young man. But Dex flipped out of the way, drawing a sword to deflect.

"Who needs teeth when you have swords?" Mikey said as she came upon the scene.

"I've seen scarier monsters in kiddie movies. Do we even need five swords for this?" Randi asked, gesturing at the monster listlessly.

"He looks like he'd feed us for a while. Assuming no one has a shell fish allergy," Donny said, sizing him up.

"I wouldn't eat him if you paid me," Mai Li declared, making a face.

Crustavore found himself surrounded by the five ninjas. He scoffed again. "What's this? A rebellion? Again? We all know what happens to rebels, don't we, Chief?" he said to Dex. "The Ninjetti are soft, pathetic, weaklings, like him," he thrust a claw toward the young man who was rolling his mother to safety.

"I suppose it's a good thing we aren't Ninjetti," Randi declared. She charged forward. The other ninjas charged toward him as well. He threw bubbles at them. They had to use their swords to avoid getting caught, and when they did, more Kagers appeared to keep them away from the monster.

Mai Li was thrown back, and Dex moved to catch her, they both landed hard, rolling for a moment. "Thanks for the assist," she said.

"My pleasure," he said.

"Now's not the time," she said but shot him a wink as they came to their feet.

"It's time to take this to the next level," Mikey declared, holding up her wrist.

Crustavore was already surprised at the kind of resistance they were putting up, but still, he was confident in winning. "Oh, what next level is that, little yellow girl?" he asked

Mikey smirked. She spun her Power Disc. The others spun theirs as well.

"Fire Storm, Ninja Form, ha!"

"Thunder Storm, Ninja Form, ha!"

"Desert Storm, Ninja Form, ha!"

The Rangers Morphed and converged on the monster. They found his shell to be rather tough. The double swords of the Fire Ninjas clanged off him quite ineffectually. Indigo's Thunder Staff wasn't having much luck either. His armored pinchers were also quick. Even Shinobi couldn’t get the upper hand.

He produced bubbles and flung them at the Rangers. "Shinobi Shielder!" Shinobi sprang forward, activating his wrist piece. Sand collected in front of them, and an electric discharge hardened it into glass. That the bubbles bounced off, but each hit cracked the shield.

Crustavore laughed maliciously. "So much for all your big talk," he said.

"There's only one thing to do in this situation," Indigo stated.

"What would that be?" Orange questioned.

"We form a powerful combination," Teal said suddenly.

"Huh?" Violet asked.

"This shield won't last much longer!" Shinobi warned them.

"Indigo Slinger!"

"Teal Stinger!"

"Orange Zipper!"

"Violet Flyer!"

Teal, Indigo, and Violet gathered and put their weapons together. Zipper became the barrel, Stinger the body and trigger, the Flyer the firing mechanism, and Slinger the charging mechanism. "FireStorm Cannon!" they announced.

The glass shield shattered, and Shinobi rolled out of the way. Crustavore had to admit to being surprised when the shield shattered, he faced a formation of Rangers around a wicked looking cannon. "Fire!" Orange pulled the trigger and a powerful blast of electricity and fire exploded through the crustaceous creature.

Before the Rangers could celebrate their victory, the Youkai began to bubble and swell up, growing to massive proportions. "Ah! Thank you, dear Doctor! I can feel so POWERFUL!" he shouted gloatingly.

"Well, that's never happened before," Shinobi declared.

"Any brilliant ideas this time? Seriously doubt our Zords magically transported with us," Orange declared.

"We've got that covered," Shinobi Said. He tossed them each a small computer chip. He plugged one into his Morpher. "Sand Dweller!" He summoned and flickered away. The dessert began to undulate as something massive moved underneath it like a giant snake. A blue and tan train burst through a sand dune and fired on the massive monster with missiles. The monster roared with outrage and tried to stomp the train, but it was already underground again.

The other Rangers found where to plug in their chips.

"Storm Chopper!" Orange summoned.

"Storm Jet!" Teal summoned.

"Storm Glider!" Violet summoned.

"Storm Tanker!" Indigo summoned.

The Rangers flickered and appeared in the cockpits of their Zords. The orange Chopper was helicopter-like and fired missiles, and hovered with ease. Crustavore crashed into it as it tried to swat it away. Orange yelped as she tried to regain control.

The stealthy, streamlined Jet zoomed past him, unleashing a barrage of missiles, distracting the monster from Orange. Triangular and aerodynamic, the violet Glider was incredibly maneuverable. Violet zoomed around, firing missiles at him, and he couldn't catch her.

The domed, circular indigo Tanker rumble toward the monster. Seeing that it moved slower than the flying machine, and didn't slip underground, Crustavore tried to concentrate on it by throwing bubbles at it, but they bounced off the impenetrable armor. A barrel suddenly rose up out of the top of it. Indigo aimed at his middle and fired.

Crustavore roared and kicked at it. "Don't get happy Rangers!" he snarled. He threw his arms up and summoned a barrage of exploding bubbles from the sky. Indigo hunkered down in her Tanker, and Shinobi was safe underground but the flying Zords didn't fare quite as well.

"Everyone, all right?" Shinobi asked.

"A-Okay," Orange assured shakily.

"No serious damage," Teal reported.

"I'm just kind of mad. How do we level up?" Violet demanded.

Shinobi activated something on his console. "Activating Megazord mode," he announced.

The five Zords came together, shifting and attaching. Tanker formed the body, Dweller formed the legs, Glider forms the left arm with a shield, Jet formed the right arm with a sword, and Chopper forms the helmet and a set of wings. They appeared in a shared cockpit. "FireStorm Megazord!""

Eh? What's this now?" Crustavore scoffed. "Fancy, but useless!" He said and shot bubbles at them.

The Megazord threw up the shield. It dashed through toward him and slashed with the sword. Crustavore, deflected and countered. The massive entities traded blows for a time, but Crustavore's shell was even tougher that this size.

"This is getting irritating," Indigo declared.

"I agree," Shinobi said. "Hang on!" He gritted his teeth under his helmet and flipped some toggles on his console. Thrusters under the orange wings ignited and Megazord took flight. "FireStorm Flash!" The Megazord's sword came alive with fire and lighting.

"Eh?" Crustavore didn't have time to say more as the Megazord dove toward him and slashed through him with the sword. It landed a distance away as he exploded.

All right, yes!" Violet and Orange high fived each other.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The mother and son that the Rangers had saved came out to greet and thank them. Dex, however, seemed less than pleased. "How many more young men people are hidden in the Village?" he demanded.

The small family had the good sense to look abashed. Before they answer, there was a sudden burst of power that not only knocked the ninjas of their feet, but crumbled several buildings.

Four beings had appeared. They all wore human form. Daimou, tall, aloof, silver-haired and lovely, dressed in elegant black robes was accompanied by Dr. Suritto and his two younger siblings.

Karouno, the Demon princess, barely wore a short yukata and tall boots. Her eyes were both metallic gold and her dark hair was worn long. Otono, the Demon Prince, was stout and brutish, his eyes flat metallic silver. He dressed like an ancient warrior. He was mostly bald except for a patch of long dark hair.

Dex coughed and got to his knees. "What is this?" demanded.

"Otono, our slave," Daimou gestured to the young man, who was now separated from his unconscious mother. Otono grunted and slung the youth over his shoulder.

"Well, Doctor. It seems Serum Sixteen needs to go back to drawing board," Daimou said casually. The doctor bowed.

Karouno was surveying the humans with some interest. "Are these the champions of Ninjor?" she asked. She giggled. "How funny," she said.

"Who are you people?" Randi demanded.

Daimou smirked. "Ninjor's standards really have dropped after all this time," he declared. He walked toward Dex and knelt so that they were on the same level. "Have you realized yet, young Chieftain of the Ninjetti? There is nothing you or your decrepit master can do. That was only a small fraction of my power," he said.

"You're Daimou?" Dex demanded.

"It's good that you've recognized your King. You may get to live thanks to that," he said, standing. He walked over to Mai Li. "How lovely. I may keep this one, for entertainment," he said, grabbing her chin, and surveying her face.

She jerked away. "In your dreams," she growled.

Daimou's unsettling grin only widened. "I don't mind a challenge," he said. "I'm in a good mood today. I'll let you have your lives and your freedom for a while longer. I haven't been do entertained in quite some time," he said.

"You're really just going to let them be?" Karouno asked.

"I'm old. I'll get my entertainment where I can. Next we meet, Ninjetti, I do hope you'll at least be a challenge," he called to Dex as they disappeared again.

Mikey clenched her fists. "Where do they get off?" she demanded.

Donny sighed. "They have a point. Our current power is nothing compared to theirs," he said.

"Then we'll just have to get more powerful," Mai Li said.

Randi finally got to her feet. "And not just us," she declared.

"What do you mean?" Mikey asked.

Dex got to his feet and helped Mai Li to hers. "It's time for the Ninjetti clan to come together and fight back. We can no longer hide in the shadows and hope that the Youkai leave us alone. That's not going happen," he said.

"And now that we're here, you're no longer alone," Mai Li said, smiling at him.

"We'll all work together to train you an army," Randi declared.

"That's what it's going to take," Mikey said.

"You said there were more Ninjetti than Youkaitto. It's time to remember what strength in numbers means," Donny said.

Dex looked at their determined faces, then around at what was left of his home. He nodded. "We have a lot of work to do. We'd better get started," he said and started to lead them back toward his house. Mai Li caught up to him and grabbed his hand, settling in beside him. Mikey and Donny followed. Randi took up the rear.

She paused and looked around. She'd never more alone, without her brothers or her team mates there. AT the same time, she'd never felt she belonged anywhere else, more than she did on this planet far away from home that needed her. She realized she was being left behind, and quickly caught up with them.

It was going to be a long journey to free this planet, and five young ninjas didn't seem like much help. But a small boat in the ocean could create big waves.

~~~End~~~
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Old March 22nd, 2018, 02:16 AM #22
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Saiki 30 Day OTP Challenge

Something silly from DA.

OTP Writing Prompts.
Starring Daiki and Saeko after PRSC and MRFW

01 - Holding hands
It loomed before Saeko like a dark castle. Sprawling and intimidating. Minions frolicked to and fro as she looked on. She'd been there before, of course, for orientation. But it hadn't felt real at the time. Now it was real. Now a normal, average life was bginning and she had absolutey no idea what she was going to do about it.

Kane cleared his throat from behind her. "You keep that up, you're going to break Daiki's hand," he stated, a grin spreading coloring his words.

Saeko blinked and looked down. In her nervousness, she'd automatically reached out and grabbed Daiki's hand and was squeezing it. She dropped it quickly. "Who said you could hold my hand?" she demanded. She straightened her shoulders and began marching off.

Daiki rubbed his smarting hand. "You're going the wrong way. The Cassius Building is to the right. And don't be late for my class," he called after her. He tried not to smile as she blithely corrected course and continued to march off.

Kane shook his head. "I'm glad I ain't gotta take any of your classes. I'd have to rethink this whole college thing," he said and disappeared into the mix of students at Angel Grove University where Daiki was beginning his first day as an instructor in the language department, Kane was having his only on-campus class for the semester and Saeko was beginning her new life as a normal girl. Noting the time, Daiki hustled to his new office to prepare for his first lecture.


02 - Cuddling somewhere
Saeko sat on the beach. It was a private beach. Her family had rented the beach house for the summer. They did things like that apparently. She was not feeling well today but her...Daiki wanted to decompress. He'd been teaching summer classes, working on some intellectual paper, protecting the Stewart kids with her, and representing the Studio in kendo competitions all the while. If he wanted to decompress, she figured he deserved it. So it made her feel even worse that she felt bad.

He'd been out in the water for awhile, but she wasn't worried. Drowning was the least likely way for Daiki Singuji to die. She'd just spotted him swimming back toward shore, when a particularly annoying cramp hit. She grimaced, but had to admit she felt a little better when he started walking toward her. He was dripping wet, and even feeling wrung out didn't stop her from appreciating the sight of him.

She held a towel up to him as he grew nearer. He took the towel and patted off his chest and shoulder, and scrubbed furiously at his hair for a moment. He sat on the beach towel next to her. She meeped when he suddenly snaked an arm around her waist and pulled her into his lap. He cuddled her close to him, and nuzzled his face against her neck.

She sighed and slipped her arms around him. "Do you feel better after communing with the ocean for awhile?" she asked. He made an affirmative sound but didn't say more. She smiled slightly and stroked his damp hair. Even if she felt like blech, at least she could snuggled here with him for as long as he needed her to.


03 - Gaming/watching a movie
Saeko sat on the floor in the living room of the house watching computer generated explosions on the large flat screen TV. "When you lose, I'm next. I'm going to beat him this time, " she told Kane as he furiously tried to beat Daiki in loud battle of wits.
"Neither of you have defeated me yet," Daiki commented calmly even as he concentrated on the game. He calmly finished the game.

Kane groaned and grumbled loudly. Saeko popped to her feet and snatched the controller away from him. Kane pouted and meandered away. He'd find something better to do.

"In the unlikely event that you win, what kind of reward would you like?" he asked.

"In the very likely event that I'll win, you'll find out," she stated. The smirk she shot him made him wary. He had a feeling their ideas may not mesh on this subject.


04 - On a date
Daiki and Saeko came out of the movie theater. It was an old fashioned, out the beaten path little place. No big budget Hollywood blockbusters were ever played there. Instead it featured more obscure art house or foreign films. He knew that Tai and Lani often went when they'd marathon old kung fu movies.

That day, however, their offerings meshed with both Daiki's and Saeko's interests. Despite her unconventional upbringing, Saeko loved to read trashy romance novels and watch sappy romance movies. The small theater just happened to be showing a bunch of old romance movies from the time of the Japanese occupation of China, and Daiki had been interested in this period for a paper he was working on.

"Wow. They really knew how to tell stories back then," she declared.

"Stories loaded with plenty of pro-Japanese propaganda," he commented.

She made a face at him. "This is our first date. Can you not be a buzz kill?" she asked.

"That wasn't my intention. I was simply--" she cut off his explanation by putting her hand over his mouth. He blinked at her.

She smiled at him. She slowly took her hand back. "Where we are going for dinner?" she asked.

"I thought we'd make a theme of it and go for Japanese," he said. "Authentic. Not sushi and whatever else Californians think of as Japanese cuisine." She cocked her head questioningly. He smiled now. "My place. I'm cooking," he said. He held out a hand.

She hesitated. She'd been to his place before. But not since...not after...not as a potential...

She took his hand and they made their way toward his place.


05 - Kissing
Saeko hadn't managed to actually beat Daiki in sparing. Not as long as she's known him. Not as his disciple, and not since he claimed she was no longer his disciple. Neither swords, nor hand to hand had she been able to beat him. He always seemed to just manage to beat her. Today she was determined.

Today, she was not getting the upper hand after all. So, she decided to cheat. She allowed him to get in close to her, knowing he would think he was about to win. Instead, she kissed his cheek. For that split second, she felt his surprise, his defense weaken, and she took fool advantage of it. She flipped him, and pinned him to the floor. "I won this time," she gloated.

He pursed his lips together. "You cheated," he said.

"So? What are you going to do about it?" she asked. His only answer was to reverse their positions, much to her surprise, and press his mouth against hers. She decided it was okay for him to win again.


06 - Wearing each others’ clothes
Saeko thought it would be funny seeing Daiki wearing a qi pao. Her reward for finally beating him in a particular video game had been his agreement to put one on. He'd had conditions of course. Only at his place, no one else would see him, especially Kane, and no photographic evidence.

While he was changing, she put on his Studio jacket and found a pair of spare glasses and perched them on her nose. She cleared her throat. "What is taking so long?" she demanded, imitating his precise, impatient way of talking. She crossed her arms over her chest and stared at the bathroom door.

It finally opened, and he wore a white qi pao very similar to the one she used to wear. He laughed when he saw her. "What are you supposed to be?" he asked.

"I'm you," she declared and pushed the glasses up her nose with her middle finger, imitating his usual practice. It made him a bit blurry and she was grateful. Seeing him did not make her laugh. Instead it made her feel very, very warm.

Daiki grinned. He stepped closer to her and leaned in close to her. "Then you're doing it wrong. Aren't you always accusing me of parading around shirtless? You're overdressed," he reminded her.


07 - Cosplaying
08 - Shopping
09 - Hanging out with friends
10 - With animal ears

11 - Wearing kigurumi
Saeko and Daiki slowly looked at each other. Their faces were neutral. A delighted giggle made them turn toward Kiari, their friend. "It's so adorable!" she declared and clapped her hands together.

Kane stood nearby, his face was suspiciously blank. Daiki narrowed his eyes at him and cleared his throat. "Why am wearing this ridiculous thing again?" he demanded. He spread his arms, showing off the baggy blue body suit he wore.

"It's cute. Put your hood up so we know you're a dragon," Kii said. Daiki harrumphed softly and put his hood up, darker blue spines and pointed ears on the hood really sold the dragon aesthtic. Kane made a strangled noise. Daiki glared at him again.

"I look like a chicken," Saeko declared.

"You're an eagle," Kiari responded.

Saeko turned toward Daiki in her white suit, flipped her hood up with the bright yellow beak, and spread her arms which showed a feather print attached between them and the body of the suit, and waited for his opinion. This time he made a strangled sound. "See? Chicken," she declared.

Kii's face fell. "You guys suck," Kane declared, trying gallantly to hold back his laughter. He draped an arm around Kii's shoulders. "C'mon babe. Let's go to your room and play bear and monkey," he said.

"I still think they look adorable," Kii said stubbornly as she allowed herself to be led off. Kane murmured an agreement.

Daiki and Saeko looked at each other. "Wanna go to my place and play dragon and eagle?" he asked.

She narrowed her eyes and pushed him. "You've been hanging around Kane too long," she declared, and started climbing the stairs. "My room is closer."


12 - Making out
13 - Eating icecream
14 - Genderswapped
15 - In a different clothing style (Visual Kei, gyaru, lolita, ect. )
16 - During their morning ritual(s)
17 - Spooning
18 - Doing something together
19 - In formal wear
20 - Dancing
21 - Cooking/baking
22 - In battle, side-by-side
23 - Arguing
24 - Making up afterwards
25 - Gazing into each others’ eyes
26 - Getting married
27 - On one of their birthdays
28 - Doing something ridiculous
29 - Doing something sweet
30 - Doing something hot
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Old June 4th, 2018, 10:38 PM #23
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Power Rangers Alpha Season Beta

Power Rangers Alpha Season Beta
Chapter 02 : Black and Yellow


Command Center

Tai Stapleton nearly tripped over several small, mechanical dinosaurs that decided to run around his feet in a cat-like manner. "What the--?" he yelped. He looked around and realized there were several more mechanical creatures. A long-necked mechanical dinosaur about the size of a dog was wiping the floor with a rag in its mouth. Another one with a duck-bill was running through with a toolbox in its tiny arms and disappeared into the Zord lab where Holly was no doubt working on something.

"Sorry about that," Danny said. He held something that was like a notebook computer but actually opened like a book. "I was trying to test the recon R.A.D.s," he said.

"The what now?" Tai asked. What had his other geniuses been up to while he was in school?

Nyo's head popped up over a console. "Ranger Assistant Droids," he answered. "You should be able to interface them now, Danny," he said.

Tai was nodding slightly, then he shook his head. "No, I need more," he said.

Danny grinned slightly. He plugged the sideways laptop into the console. "Ranger Assistant Droids. I been working on them all summer with Nyo. Glad he decided to stick around. There are nine of them in total. Little Foot does a variety of cleaning chores," he motioned toward the long-necked dinosaur. "He is also the team 1 cannon that took out the monster yesterday," he explained.

"Duckie passed you earlier. It fetches and carries. It's the Team 2 cannon," Nyo supplied.

"The three miscreants that zoomed by earlier are Ed, Double-D, and Eddy. They're three of the recon Zords," Danny finally finished what he was doing and several of the screens on the Power Chamber lit up with split screen views. Three were moving quickly through the desert. Another three were aerial views of Angel Grove. "Petrie, Peewee, and Percy are pterodons that fly around."

"We figured we could use them for filling any holes in the viewing globe network," Nyo added.

Tai was nodding for real now. "Keep up the good work," he said and continued on to the Blue Lab where he knew Billie was holed up.

She didn't bother to glance up when he entered. "We have a problem," she declared.

Tai rubbed the back of his neck and glanced up at the ceiling. "That sounds ominous," he said.

Billie smirked slightly. "I finished," she said. "But we're still at a disadvantage for when they launch their next attack," she said.

Tai crossed his arms over his chest. "Ah, the Black and Yellow problem. Has anyone heard from Fox?" he asked.

"Autumn and Winter received a letter stating he didn't know when he'd be able to return. However, I am unable to locate him," Beez's voice informed them.

Tai let out a breath. "From now on, anyone leaving the country for parts unknown is getting chipped," he declared. Billie snorted. "Where's Taran?" he asked.

"He's at the Youth Center. Should I ask him to come?" Beez asked.

"Yes. Tell him to come to Red One," Tai answered. He walked out of the Blue Lab and continued down the hallway. Across from the Blue Lab was the Zord Lab, where Holly and Danny worked on their larger projects. Past them were two more rooms. One was used as Beta Z's personal space, and the other had been inhabited by Billy Cranston, who had to return to his home on Aquitar before he could begin a rapid aging process that would lead to his death within a week.

He came to another door that slid open across from the Medical Lab. It'd been mostly used for storage, more of Alpha 5's junk collection, but at some point, someone had decided that Tai and Lani needed an office. So they cleared it out and dubbed it Red One. Tai actually found himself using the space, which he hadn't intended to do. He wasn't sure how he felt about being somehow separate or above the rest of the team. He had to admit though, it was useful to have a place where he could think and make plans quietly, even if constant interruptions were expected.

The room itself was barren, except for a large, round boardroom table that accommodated everyone and more. He liked the round table. That way he didn't feel like he was trying to be the "boss" of everyone by sitting at the head of the table or something.

No sooner had he sat down in one of the chairs than Taran was walking through the doors. "It's like you were waiting," Tai said.

Taran sat down in one of the chairs. "It's obvious we have a gaping problem," he said.

"Can you or Lammy or Rei find Fox?" Tai asked.

"Even if we could, he won't make it back in time. Now we don't even have Griff keeping an eye on the Moon. We're flying blind when it comes to Widow and Roki. They're stronger than ever. We can't really wait for Fox," he said.

Tai sighed. "What do you suggest?" he asked.

Taran cleared his throat. "Beez didn't tell you?" he asked.

Tai raised a brow. "Tell me what?" he asked.

"Black and Yellow will sort themselves out. They're missing," Taran said.

Tai scrubbed a hand through his hair, messing his spikes up. "No, she didn't mention it. Jason said the same thing happened when we ended up with our Power Coins. I guess there's nothing to do except wait it out," he said. Though he had to admit he was patently curious about who'd be joining the team. "You can go back to playing with Autumn, now," he said, dismissing Taran.

"Yeah, I ain't gonna argue with that," Taran said and disappeared as quickly as he arrived.

Tai decided that going out to play was a good idea. Taking advantage of the quiet days was the only way to stay sane. He sent Lani a text message and left the room as soon as he got a reply.

--x--

A few days later Tori, Chloe (who was officially back in Angel Grove), Zara and Melody were doing some school shopping at the mall. Zara was complaining about her increased workload at Think Pink! Dance and Gymnastics. A studio run by former pink Power Rangers Kimberly Hart, Kat Hilliard, and Cassie Chan. Zara worked there as part receptionist, part janitor.

"Is something special happening?" Melody asked.

Zara shrugged. "I don't know. There's some special guest that Kim's advertising to get more sign-ups for gymnastics. She's dying to say but she won't actually say," she said. She dug around in her purse and fished out a flyer. It didn't say who the special guest was, the Olympic Rings were ghosted into the background of the flyer.

Tori gasped and looked at Chloe. "You don't think...do you?" she asked.

"Think what?" Melody asked.

Chloe sniffed. "Who else would it be?" she said with a sour expression.

"Who?" Zara demanded.

Tori grinned. "I forget you two weren't around for the last Olympics and the amazing fifteen-year-old who took the men's gold medal in gymnastics. He happens to be a hometown hero," she said.

Zara glanced at Melody. "That tell you anything useful?" she asked.

Melody shook her head. "Not really," she answered. "Olympics aren't broadcast on Terra Venture," she explained. "Instead we have our own version of the games."

Chloe sighed. "It's obvious who it is, whether Kim's telling or not. Seriously, in a gymnastics studio owned by Kimberly Hart, she's advertising an Olympic athlete without saying his name? There's only one person that would be. And his name is Mason Hart," she said with a chilling edge to her voice.

"Ooh," Zara and Mel said.

"So, why do we dislike him?" Zara asked.

Tori snickered. "We don't. He's every bit as loveable as Rex. I don't really know what her problem with him is," she said, looking at her best friend questioningly. She didn't know there was a problem. Her phone chimed and she checked her text message. "I got to go. DF says there's something of the utmost importance that she has to tell me," she said.

"Let's all head out together then," Chloe suggested. They agreed.

--x--

Palace on the Moon

Widow walked into the laboratory she shared with her husband. He was there, hard at work, hunched over a lump of Dark Clay with a loupe on one eye and sculpting tools in hand. An intense look of concentration was on his face as he worked.

"Isn't that Finister's job?" she asked, placing her hands on his shoulders and rubbing slightly.

The corner of Roki's mouth lifted slightly. "You know what they say, if you want something done right, you do it yourself," he declared.

She peered over as the blob of clay and narrowed her eyes. "What exactly are you working on, dear husband?" she asked.

His slight smirk turned into a full-on grin. "That, my dear, is going to be a surprise," he said.

Widow crinkled her nose. "I shall have to think of creative ways for you to tell me. In meantime, why don't I have Finster cook up a nice playmate for the Power Rangers? Silly things don't seem to have things together. It' be a shame to waste this opportunity," she declared.

"I shall leave you to do your worst," Roki said. "Perhaps I'll see how they're faring soon," he said but went back to his sculpting.

--x--

Tori and the three other girls went in different directions after leaving the mall. She was headed home with several bags. She jumped when she heard a jaunty toot-toot behind her. She turned and smiled when Wood pulled up on his yellow scooter. "Need a lift?" he asked.

"Why thank you. If you don't mind," she agreed.

"What are boyfriends for?" He hopped off his scooter, pulled his extra helmet out from under the seat, and placed her bags neatly inside.

Tori grinned and kissed his cheek. "They do come in handy at times. Although I'm still not sure you got this pink helmet for me and not Nathan," she said. He chuckled without answering. Tori lifted the helmet to put it on her head but it slid through her fingers and hit the pavement. It took a Wood a moment to process what was happening.

Tori was staring at a girl who'd come upon them. Dressed in a designer artistically ripped jeans, a white tank, and yellow plaid shirt, the girl froze with the mp3 player she fiddling with dropped to the pavement. Her hair was a mix of reds, browns, blacks, and blonds, pulled into a high ponytail that cascaded in curls on one side. Her skin was a similar mochaccino color to Tori's, but the most striking thing about her was her bright aquamarine eyes.

Her shocked expression went from Tori to some point beyond them. "Look out!" she shouted. Tori and Wood spun around and there was a patrol of Dark Putties behind them. Tori opened her mouth and screamed. Waves of sonic energy knocked them off their feet. Several of them crashed into each other and merged into one monster-sized, hulking Puttie.

"Well, that's new," Wood breathed. He pushed the panic button on his comm and grabbed each girl, springing backward with them, just as the Hulk Puttie swung a large fist and crashed into his scooter, sending it flying through the air.

Tori helped steady the other girl when she stumbled on the landing. "Run," she said. The girl didn't need telling twice as the three of them took off down the street. They skidded to a stop when they just ran into more Putties. "We're being surrounded."

"Well, I haven't been here long enough to tick off the locals," the other girl said, her voice had a slight accent. "These guys must be wanting to meet you two," she added.

"Unfortunately, they don't discriminate," Wood said. Multicolored laser blasts had the Putties scattering slightly. The female Red and Green Rangers, the male Blue Ranger, the Gold and Electrum Rangers had arrived.

"Sweet as! Power Rangers are really a real thing," the girl gaped.

"Get to cover," Red told them as they faced down the Putties.

"Let's go," Wood said and tried to lead the girls away, but more Putties popped up in front of them. "What is this?" he demanded. He had separate to defend himself when a Puttie lunged at him. He sprang up without really meaning to, and he landed hard on a Puttie's face when he came back down. "Whoa," he said.

"Watch out!" The girl pushed Tori out of harm's way when one of the Putties turned his arm into a long blade and slashed at them. She stumbled back and they both landed hard on their backsides. A Power Dagger to the forehead had it turning to black dust. Wood ran to them. "Are you two all right?" he asked.

Tori sprang to her feet. The other girl bounced up almost as agilely. She was staring at something in her hand. "What the devil? Where'd this come from?" she asked. "You reckon they want this thing?" she asked and held up the metallic power coin emblazoned with a saber-toothed tiger. Wood and Tori gaped at her a moment. Then Wood grinned. "Awesome! New partner," he crowed.

"Come again?"

"Smilodon. Say it now!" Wood said urgently as more Putties combined to make another Puttie hulk behind her

"Smilodon?" she repeated dumbly. The Power Coin dissolved into her hand. A metallic yellow communicator formed on her wrist. A Morpher appeared on her forehead.

"It's Morphin' Time!" Wood said. In a single motion, he passed his hand over his communicator and spun his Power Coin. "Smilodon!" A yellow digital matrix formed a power suit a with a yellow saber-toothed tiger themed helmet.

Tori passed her hand over her communicator and her Morpher appeared on her upper arm. She spun her Power Coin. "Pterodactyl!" A light pink power suit appeared with a pink and white pterodactyl themed helmet.

Confused but not sure what else to do, the other girl spun her Power Coin. "Smilodon!" A slightly lighter yellow power suit appeared with a yellow saber-toothed tiger themed helmet. "This is so awesome!" she said, looking at what she could see of herself. "I'm a Power Ranger," she said.

"Yes, and Power Rangers fight Putties and monsters," Pink stated. "Power Fans!" She summoned, her weapons appearing in her hands.

"Power Daggers!" male Yellow summoned.

"Power Grips!" female Yellow summoned.

--x--

Chloe lived closest to the mall. She also didn't buy very much, as much as she wanted to. She was saving up for an even better camera than the one that'd turned evil. She never could bring herself to look at it the same way again. She also thought it didn't work quite right either, but Danny had taken it apart and put it back together several times for her and he never found anything wrong with it.

Even if it was all in her head, she was getting a new one. She thought about selling that one to help her fund, but then she'd be camera-less and that was even worse. She was also in a grumpy mood and stupidly not paying that much attention to her surroundings. She literally ran right into the Putties that were waiting for her.

"'Ey! Watch it!" she scolded and looked up. "Youse know what. My bad. I wasn't watchin' were I was goin'," she said, backing up a few paces. She dropped her mall bag, pressed her panic button. She fisted her hands and took a stance.

"You've got to be kidding me. Run, idiot!"

Someone ran past her, grabbing her arm on the way, dragging her behind him. She glanced back and saw the Putties merging together. "Faster!" She said and put on as much speed as her short legs would allow her and they ducked into an alleyway.

However, it appeared to be too much for her would-be rescuer. As if his leg suddenly stopped working, he went down, almost bringing her with him, but he let go of her arm. She skidded to a stop. "What's with youse? We gotta move," she said. She took stock of her wannabe hero.

Although his face was contorted in pain as he kneaded his leg, it was easily recognizable. He had a messily stylish mop of black hair, and his golden eyes were dim with the pain he was feeling. His face had the unmistakable stamp of a Hart. So much so, he was nearly identical to his older cousin, Rex. "Don't hang around here. Run away. That thing is right behind us," Mason Hart said through gritted teeth.

"The Power Rangers are on their way. Looks like I gotta rescue youse," she said drily.

He blew out a frustrated breath and used the wall of a building behind him to push himself to his feet. "Why are you so stubborn?" he demanded.

"That's my charm," Chloe said. The Puttie hulk pushed itself into the ally. Chloe took a calculated risk and stepped out to face it. Mason didn't seem to be able to run anymore.

"What are you doing?" he demanded.

Before Chloe could answer him, a blast of energy exploded the Puttie hulk into a cloud of black dust. When the dust dissipated they could see the male Red Ranger holding the BrontoCannon while the female Blue Ranger, the male Pink and Green Rangers, and the Silver Ranger were engaging other Putties beyond him. "Everyone all right here?" Red asked.

"Thanks to the Power Rangers," Chloe said.

Red cocked his head. "Whatcha holding there, kid?" he asked Mason.

Chloe glanced at Mason. He seemed puzzled to find himself holding a metal coin with a Mastodon emblazoned on it. "Uh...does it belong to you?" he asked.

Chloe groaned. "Really? Him?" she asked.

Red chuckled. "Are you really that surprised? He's a Hart," he said. She made a sour face. "It belongs to you," Red said to Mason.

"We got another big one!" Pink shouted, hovering and firing at another hulk with his Power Bow.

"I hope Little Foot has another blast in him. Grab your partner and let's go," Red said to Chloe and ran out of the alley.

"What's...happening...? Was that...Tai?" Mason asked slowly.

"Say Mastodon and let's go help," Chloe told him.

"Mastodon?" The word activated the Power Coin. It dissolved into him. A communicator and Morpher appeared.

"Do what I do and don't ask a bunch of questions. It's Morphin' time!" She waved her hand over her communicator and spun her Power Coin. "Mastodon!" A black power suit appeared with a black mastodon themed helmet that had pink eyes.

Mason, still confused and unsure what he could do with his nearly useless leg, followed suit. He spun his Power Coin. "Mastodon!" A black power suit appeared with a black mastodon themed helmet that had yellow eyes. He was startled when the pain in his leg had disappeared.

"Let's go, new guy," female Black said. "Power Axe!" she summoned the large axe and ran out of the alley in order to help the other Rangers.

"Power Flail!" The new male Black Ranger summoned a spikey black ball that connected to a shovel handle by a retractable chain. He followed her into battle because...that's what he did now?

--x--

Palace on the Moon

"Was there any use in this?" Rio scoffed, watching the proceeding through the telescope on the balcony overlooking the earth.

"Finster wanted to test something, so I let him. If it took out a couple of Rangers off by themselves, then it would be all the better," Widow said.

Rio smirked slightly. "But that's not what happened, is it? Instead, they filled in their missing pieces," she said.

Widow looked at Rio steadily. "I only tolerate you because Roki allowed you to serve us. Do not test my patience. You aren't my cousin," she warned and followed her warning with a cold smile. She quietly walked away.

Rio made a face and silently mocked her behind her back. She turned her attention back to the action on Earth. She'd get her revenge one day. On all of them. Power Rangers and Repulsas alike.

--x--
(Lani, Danny, Tori, Kiki, Wood, Autumn, Lammy, Taran)

The new female Yellow Ranger was handling herself pretty well. She seemed to have the fundamentals of karate and a few other things thrown into the mix. She was also extremely agile, and light on her feet, almost seeming to react before the enemy could make a move. She turned a handless flip and landed gracefully in a crouch when a Puttie tried to pummel her with a hand that formed into a large heavy club. She struck out with the Power Grips before headbutting it in the forehead making it disappear.

"How are you doing that?" male Yellow asked his new partner.

"Dunno, bro. Just kinna happens," she answered.

"Not quite as impressive as sweep kicking the Skeleton Ranger without a power suit, but I approve of the new girl," Blue stated. While he was fighting with one Puttie, he threw out a hand toward Green, and a force-field protected her back.

She dispatched the first Puttie, and swung around and got rid of him. "Thanks," she said.

"Did yours and Wood's Powers evolve?" Pink asked, taking out another Puttie.

"Looks like it," Red said as she stretched herself further than ever before in a bid to slip around behind a Puttie to lop off its head with her Power Sword. There was a beat as everyone sort of watched it fly through the air as it crumbled away.

"Beheading works, too!" Electrum announced. She forgot about accuracy and used her VelociRapier to whip heads off left and right.

As the strongest member of the team, Gold was holding off the Puttie Hulk. He used his StegoMace to block blows, but he never could get the upper hand. Regular Dark Putties kept trying to distract him. "Knocking them off also seems to work," he said and crashed the weapon into one's head and watched it roll. "I'm not sure how it's going to work out with our friend here," he ducked out of the way of a massive swing.

"Let's give Duckie a test drive, then," Blue said.

"You mean the new Team 2 Cannon?" Red asked.

"That's the one."

"Let's get on with it. Not sure how much longer Taran can hold him off," Electrum said.

Red held out a hand. "Saurolophus!" she called. The duck-billed dinobot digitized before them. "SauroCannon Mode!" The R.A.D. shifted into a single barrel team cannon that seemed to hover on its own power but Red aimed it. "Spidey senses working?" she asked Gold.

"Go!" he assured.

"Sauro Blast!" She fired the weapon. There was a slight recoil with the amount of energy released from its single barrel. Gold kept the hulk distracted until the last possible moment when he disappeared in a cloud of white smoke. The energy plowed into the hulk and it exploded.

There was quiet for a moment, then the remaining Putties began merging together, creating more hulks, then the hulks merged together creating a giant Puttie the size of a building. "Um, Tai, sweetheart, trade you Wood for Sora," Red said into her communicator.

"Send Danny along, too, and it's a deal," he responded.

"Deal," she agreed. Blue and male Yellow teleported.

--x--

(Tai*, Billie*, Mace*, Chloe*, Nathan*, Winter*, Sora*)

As it turned out, the BrontoCannon took awhile to recharge, so male Red let it go back to the Command Center. Instead, he summoned his Tyranno Sword. "Sora! Split up, bring the big sword, and help me out," he said.

Silver gave a jaunty wave and triplicated. The one still holding the CeratoSword ran toward Red.

Going on pure instinct, because his rational mind was still trying to process everything, the new male Black Ranger grabbed the chain of the Flail, spun it, holding the handle end, whipped the ball toward one of the Putties. The chain expanded, smacked the Puttie right in the forehead, and contracted back to him.

Male Green summoned his Stygian Blade. The triangular bladed sword was handier than for combat than his Stygian Dagger by far. The Flail seemed to take out Dark Putties creeping up on either side of him as he plunged the Blade through one's forehead. "Whoa. Thanks. Nice...flail-ing," he said.

Male Black gave the head of the Flail a little spin. "Mrs. Manahan's fifth-grade yo-yo champ," he stated.

Female Black gagged. "Stop showing off," she said. She axed a Puttie, Cleaving off a leg. Even though it grew back, she already moved beyond it. "Billie, watch out!" She sprang forward to help out the female Blue Ranger, densing herself, but the Puttie that was about to strike Blue was behind, knocked her off balance. She fell into the Blue and they both hit the ground like a ton of bricks.

"Did you just dense me?" Blue demanded.

Female Black let it go. "Kinda felt like it," she agreed as they got to their feet.

"We'll come back to that later," Blue said and winked out of sight. One thing she's always had on her side is a dead-aim. And also the capacity to create Grid generated duplicates of her Power Sais. Which then seemed to appear out of nowhere and stick into the foreheads of the Dark Putties. She fizzled back into sight in the middle of several Putties. They turned on her. "Inconvenient," she said.

The Putties were too close to stab. Instead, pink energy bolts opened up their foreheads. Male Pink landed gracefully in a crouch as they disintegrated. "Thanks. How long were you," she made a hand movement indicating to his levitation.

He shrugged. "I didn't keep track. Awhile," he said. He quickly raised his Bow and took out a couple of Putties coming up behind her just as she tossed a couple of Sais that were coming up behind him. They separated to go back to working independently.

The hulk swung a big fist to swat at Red, but he ducked. The other came to try to crush him. He brought his arms up to take the blow. He groaned and used every bit of his strength to push up.

The CeratoSword cleaved the arm in half. The Puttie hulk made a muffled roaring sound. The arm disintegrated but another Puttie joined the hulk and helped reform the arm.

"Is Little Foot ready for another blast?" Red asked into his helmet.

"Afraid not. Sora should be able to use the Pterodon recon Rads," Nyo answer answered him since he'd had a hand in designing the R.A.D.s. Red gestured for Silver to get one with it.

The other two Silver Rangers were using their smaller swords to take out what they could as they covered the other Silver and Red. Since they shared one mind, they began closing in. "Pterodon! Petrie!"

"Percie!"

"PeeWee!"

Swooping in after digitizing, three small flying dinobots flew to each of the Silver Rangers. They transformed from dinosaur-shaped robots to handheld blasters. "PteroCannon!" The three Rangers assimilated as the PteroBlasters stuck together to create a long barreled rifle cannon that Silver rested on his shoulder like a rocket launcher. "PteroBlast!" He fired the Cannon at the hulk.

A powerful blast of energy ran through each of the R.A.Ds and gathered at the opening of the last one. Once enough energy had built up, it blasted into the hulk and exploded it into black dust.

"Brilliant," Silver declared.

"Let's not celebrate too soon," Blue said when the Putties they'd been engaging suddenly abandoned the fight and ran toward each other. They joined together and began growing, surpassing even hulk status, and going on to giant size.

"Uh-oh, I think we need a bigger gun," male Black said.

"Uh-huh." his partner agreed.

"Um, Tai, sweetheart, trade you Wood for Sora," female Red said to her partner through his communicator.

"Send Danny along, too, and it's a deal," he responded.

"Deal," she agreed.

"Good call," female Blue said giving two thumbs up. Silver teleported and within moments male Yellow and Blue arrived.

"It's Zord time. TyrannoZord!" red summoned.

"TriceraZord!" male Blue summoned.

"MastoZord!" female Black summoned.

"PteroZord!" male Pink summoned.

"SmiloZord!" male Yellow summoned.

"StygiZord!" male Green summoned.

"Alpha Megazord!"

The large mechas began appearing from digital matrixes. Each of the Zords was a dinosaur in a corresponding color as its pilots. The pilots teleported into the cockpit of each Zord. The six Zords came together to form a humanoid robot. They

"Okay, that's kind of cool," male Black said. "So are there designated pilots or..." he left his question hanging.

"We usually let whichever team needs it have it, but some of us are much more skilled than others. My partner for example. Ok, new guy. Let's get out of the way," she said. She reached over and activated his teleport and he disappeared in a glow of energy. She followed suit almost immediately.

--x--

When Silver arrived on the scene to join Gold and Electrum he looked up at the giant Puttie. "I met his twin," he declared.

"Let's not keep yakking," Electrum said.

Gold nodded. "StegoZord!"

"VelociZord!"

"CeratoZord!"

Three large mechs began digitizing into existence. The pilots teleported to their cockpits. "Legend Megazord!" They combine into a vaguely humanoid robot.

"Sweet. As," female Yellow said succinctly. "But where did the Silver one come from? Where'd the other two go?" she asked, confused by the teleporting.

Green draped an arm around her shoulders. "All in due time," she said.

"We should get out of the way," Red stated.

Pink hesitated. "I'm...going to speak with DF. Now. See you at the CC," she said and teleported away.

"That was very un-Tori-like," Green said.

"She'll fill us in when she's ready," Red said. "Let's go." She teleported in a burst of red energy.

"Choice," Yellow said.

"Our turn," Green activated the other girl's teleport before following herself.

--x--

The giant Putties had the ability to mold weapons out of their own clay. The Alpha Megazord discovered this when they sliced off one of the hands. Not only did the hand grow back, but the Giant Puttie pulled a glob of clay from its own body and formed a wicked looking scimitar with it.

"Well, that's..." Pink put up his hands, unable to accurately articulate what he was thinking.

"Balls. I think the word you're looking for is balls," Black stated.

"Mad balls," Blue said, agreeing with his sister.

"Yeah, well, let's see how much he likes getting blasted into nothing," Red stated. "Sharp-tooth Bazooka!" The weapon appeared on the Megazord's shoulder. "Aim," he lined up his shot.

"Here goes," Green said hopefully.

The bazooka's mouth opened up. "Fire!" Six-multicolored projectiles hit the Giant Puttie in a circular pattern, exploding through him. individual Puttie Patrollers exploded from the creature and dissipated into dust as they fell to the ground, leaving nothing in its wake.

--x--

The Legend Megazord had a spikey lance that wasn't doing much against the Giant Puttie. It was having fun trying out different weapons against them. Their trio wasn't as large or powerful as the Alpha Megazord, but they still should have had some impact.

"Let's stick it to him," Electrum suggested.

"Right," Gold agreed. The Megazord dropped the lance as if to joust. "Legendary Lance!" The lance began to glow and the Megazord zoomed forward, crashing through the Giant Puttie. Appearing on the other side of it, the Megazord rested the Lance against its shoulder. Energy from the lance exploded a hole through it's middle but wasn't powerful enough to destroy it completely.
"That's not good," Silver stated.

"No, it's not," Electrum agreed grimly.

"You don't think we left you guys out of our new upgrades do you?" Holly's voice asked. "Just summon the Spike-Tail Silo," she instructed.

"Spike-Tail Silo!" Gold immediately summoned as the Megazord spun around. A stego-saurus faced rocket-launcher looking cannon digitized onto their shoulder. "Aim!" The stego's mouth opened. "Fire!" Three balls of metallic light where launched from the Silo in quick succession. Each hit the Giant Puttie, blowing it into smaller Putties in chunks before they disintegrated into black dust.

--x--

Palace on the Moon

Rio thought about rubbing Widow's nose in the fact that her pitiful creature's creations had failed, but Widow was too calm. Though Rio didn't know the girl that well, her calmness was more frightening than a rage she was known for. "You don't seem...disappointed that your plan failed," she said hesitantly.

Widow raised her brows. "Who said anything failed?" she asked and walked away from the observation post, leaving Rio even more uneasy. She really needed to get off this rock.

--x--

Back in the Command Center, everyone gathered after the battle. Not only was the debrief of Widow and Roki's upgraded Putties, but also their newest team members.

"I know we all miss Rex, but don't you think cloning him was a bit much?" Autumn asked pointedly, eyeing Billie suspiciously.

"And poor Tori hasn't even gone anywhere. Why her?" Lammy agreed.

Billie pursed her lips and put her fists on her lips. "First of all, that's not a clone of Rex. That's his little cousin, Mason," she said. "As for Tori's clone, not my doing," she said.

"She's not a clone either. She's LaKeisha Woods. She's an actress from New Zealand that I always thought looked a lot like Tori," Wood stated excitedly.

"Thus, you're a big fan, huh?" Win teased.

Nathan snapped his fingers. "Yes, she's been in all those movies and TV shows that film down there," he said.

"I didn't think I was thet famous," the new female Yellow Ranger said. "I go by Kiki, bro," she said. "I cannot believe thet I'm a Power Ranger," she said, looking around in amazement. It was going to take some time to get used to everything and learn who was who.

"Same here. Gee, I know a lot of people in this room," Mason said, crossing his arms over his arms over his chest. "For those that don't know me, I'm Mason Hart, Olympic Gold Medalist, teen heartthrob," he said and gave a winning smile.

"Are you sure somebody didn't clone Rex?" Autumn asked.

"I can't vouch for that," Billie stated.

"So, Kiki, tell us a bit about yourself," Lani suggested.

"Not much to tell. I've been acting since I was a kid. I haven't been in almost every American film and programme that films down there as a guest or an extra. I recently finished as a series main about mermaids when my dad and mum decided to come to California for their jobs," she said.

"So..." Nathan tried to find the right way to ask how she looked so much like Tori.

"You look like Tori. Any idea why?" Chloe asked bluntly. Tori was her best friend and delicacy wasn't her forte anyway.

"Because she's my sister. My..twin sister. We were Parent Trapped when we were little," Tori said, making her entrance moments after teleporting. "DF learned through mutuals that our father moved to Angel Grove, and with him, my sister," she said and gestured to the other girl.

Kiki blinked. "I need to go home. We'll do this whole thing later, eh?" she said. She fiddled with her communicator for a moment before teleporting away.

"This is going to take time to sort out," Tori said. "I need to go, too."

"Totally understood," Tai assured her.

"You need some moral support?" Wood said.

Tori nodded and held out a hand. He took her hand and they teleported out.

In the quiet that followed, Mason cleared his throat. "So...who can tell me why my leg doesn't feel like it'll fall off at any given minute anymore?" he asked.

"I got this. Come with me to the Medi-Lab," Billie told him. He nodded and they walked out of the Power Chamber.

"If anyone needs me, I'll be in Red One," Tai said, effectively dismissing everyone to do their own thing.

Sure Widow and Roki had upped their game, but so had the Power Rangers. With a full and capable team, he had confidence that whatever was thrown at them, they'd rise to occasion.

-x-End 02-x-
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Old September 14th, 2018, 11:36 PM #24
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Ravie
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Power Rangers Ninja Fury

Power Rangers Ninja Fury
Chapter 3: Shinobi in the Wind


*****

Bianca Florentine hurried into Quarks to meet her friends after school. For once they weren't required to go train with Dex immediately, yet she was running late. They'd agreed to meet at Quarks, have a snack, and do homework together. "Sorry. I'm late. Madame Hayes wanted to see me after last period," she explained.

They all sat at a semi-circular booth. Brenden on one end, Van on the other with Galen and Misty between them. Books, food, and smoothies littered the table. Bianca scooted Van over and sat down.

"No problem. We ordered your faves," Misty said and handed over a plate containing two small veggie burritos. Bianca wasn't a fad-following Hollywood vegan or anything. She believed in protein, but honestly, Aunt Frizz's veggie burritos were to die for. One of the waitresses brought her a vanilla smoothie.

"Madame Hayes? The drama tea--er, professor?" Galen asked.

Bianca nodded. "He wants me to join the department and headline his production of Sleeping Beauty," she explained.

"I thought you were on a break from acting," Misty said. "What did you tell him?"

"Only if I get to be the prince," Bianca said. "It's Sleeping Beauty, right? Aside from a little bit at the beginning, the princess is asleep while the prince goes on an adventure to wake her up, depending on which version. If I were to do it, that'd be my requirement. Well, Madame Hayes flipped out and went into what I can only describe as conniptions of pure joy," she said.

"Now he wants the princess and the evil fairy to be played by guys. So, I volunteered Van as the princess," she said.

Van, who'd only been half listening while he was eating, and reading a passage from his geography textbook, nearly choked. "You what?"

Bianca grabbed his face with one hand and smooshed it. "Look at this face. It's perfect for a sleeping beauty. Right?" she asked the others. There was a general agreement.

Van pulled his face away from her. "So much for keeping my head down," he grumbled.

"Exactly. It's school. Don't just keep your head down. Do things and make new friends. Not just us," Bianca said.

"When it comes to friends, quality should trump quantity," Van retorted.

"Fine. Make new acquaintances then. Since you've been in school, how many other people have you spoken with? Not counting teachers," she demanded.

Van didn't have an answer for that. He grumpily took another drink of a his fire-apple smoothie.

"I also recommended the evil fairy for Galen, but Madame Hayes says he wants an open audition for her and the other few characters once he finishes the script," Bianca said.

"Sweet. So there's a chance," Galen said.

"We should get to work on out homework before we head out to Dex's," Brenden stated before Bianca could start recommending parts for him. Misty was equally as enthusiastic about doing their homework.

Bianca let them have their way. There was still plenty of time to pester them about joining the production.

*****

Later when they arrive at the Ro house, it was deserted, but they could hear voices and laughter nearby. In a field not far away where they often trained, the two children were flying around on swords while Mai Li and Dex supervised. Milo rode his like a skate board, while Miru was perched on hers side-saddle and holding it like a witch's broom.

"Whoa. That looks like fun," Galen commented.

"It takes a lot of concentration to control the wind mode of the Storm Star to remain airborne," Dex stated.

When she went too high, Miru started giggling, and lost her concentration and dropped. Dex seemed to flicker and appeared under her to catch her in his arms. He sat her down. He gestured for Milo to come to a halt as well.

"We're getting a new Star?" Van asked eagerly.

"I actually debated whether or not to give it to you yet. You're all still beginning to learn to control the Elemental Star," Dex said.

"In elemental ninja arts, Thunder and Wind are two of the most powerful schools. For different reasons. Lightning is one of the most powerful forces in the world. To harness such a thing, a Thunder ninja must never let their concentration waver when using these techniques. Wind on the other hand is the most nuanced, most dynamic, most difficult to master. A Wind Master can live their entire lives learning and never claim to know every technique that can be utilized," Mai Li explained to them. "Using the Stars are a shortcut, but never think you've mastered anything," she warned them and handed out the Stars.

"That's why we are starting simply. You'll notice there are two modes; Wind and Thunder. You are not to touch the Thunder Mode yet," Dex warned them. "You've all been working hard and I thought we'd have a bit of fun today and do some sword riding," he said.

"All right!" Galen said.

"I'm not entirely sure about this whole prospect," Misty said warily.

"You've never wanted to fly?" Bianca asked her.

"That's what nice, safe airplanes are for," Misty answered.

"It's not exactly flying. Just sort of gliding," Van guessed, looking at the Star.

"Well, let's try it out," Brenden suggested. He drew his Blade and placed the Storm Star on it. "Wind Technique!" he said locking it into place. He held out the Blade and when he was sure he was in control, he let go of the hilt. The Blade floated to about a foot off the ground and he jumped onto the blade.

He wobbled but didn't lose it. He gave a sigh of relief that for once he managed not to look like an idiot. His friends clapped for him. Locomoting was a bit trickier, but he managed to get the hang of it fairly quickly.

The others decided to give it a try. Misty felt the safer option was to sit and grasp the hilt like Miru had been doing. Soon they were all zooming around on their Blades. Even if it wasn't training as heavily as usual, they were still learning important skills.

*****

Gennus grumbled to himself when he realized his little brother was missing. Ryzo was always a hothead. Who knew what kind of trouble he'd get into without supervision. "Has anyone seen Ryzo?" he demanded of the family at large.

Gumi flattened its furry ears and snarled, "I was enjoying the peace and quiet." Although, quiet was relative as it's foxy fingers were currently playing a handheld video game.

"Not me, punkin'," Aradne declared with a shake of her head. She'd been reclining with her feet up to help the swelling in her ankles go down.

Juno scoffed. "Who really cares? He's a big boy," she pointed out. She wasn't overly concerned about her little brother. He was a pain in the neck on the best of days.

Gennus shook his head. "He'll make trouble. We should take advantage of it if he does," he said. "Take the pet and gather some fear," he told her.

Barely suppressing an eyeroll, Juno gave a slight bow. "Aye, m'laird," she said. "C'mon, furball, you heard the laird," she said and gestured sharply for the fox demon to follow her.

The creature gave another snarl of annoyance. "I'm almost at the boss level," it complained..

Juno scoffed. "Where'd you even get that annoying thing?" she demanded.

"Oh! I'll play for you!" Aradne volunteered eagerly.

The fox demon saved the game's progress and slipped into one of the inner pockets of the vest it wore. It skulked out of the mines. Juno smiled smugly in response to the dark haired woman's pout. She left the couple to themselves.

"I don't think your sister likes me," Aradne said.

Gennus scoffed. "Ignore her. She doesn't like anyone. However, she's family and we share the same goals," he declared loftily.

Aradne hesitated a moment. "Doesn't a portion of the Clan disagree with this decision?" she asked. She immediately regretted it.

Gennus turned purple with rage. " I AM LAIRD!" he roared. "The Clan is not a democracy!" He declared. "My son will the next Laird!" His tirade didn't seem directed at her, and his last explosion peaked her interest.

"Of course, honey bun. Who else would the next laird be if not the son of the current laird?" she asked and rubbed her baby bump tenderly.

He snarled. "I know you're new to the Clan and don't know how things work. We're family but we can also be bitter enemies. The next laird can sometimes be the eldest son of the next generation. Some of the elders have been whispering a name," he literally spat after saying so. "Out of their bloody minds!" he shouted.

She scrunched up her face in thought. "Was he at the wedding?" she asked. The marriage of the Laird had been an important affair and practically every member of the Clan had been there.

He scoffed again. "No other members of the Clan has even seen the boy since he was fourteen. He's the son of one of my sisters and an outsider who tried twice and failed to conquer this puny misbegotten planet." he said, disgusted.

"Which sister?"

He clenched his teeth. "I'm not worried about this. Once the power of Gengetsu Kibaoni is mine and our son's, there will never again be anyone to question our right to rule not only the Strange Clan, but the whole galaxy!" he declared.

She smiled and patted her belly. "Hear that, sweet pea? You're not even here yet and your Papa is already doing so much for your future," she cooed. Gennus smiled and went to her. He sat and began to rub her feet as he waited for the fear to come trickling in.

*****

After a long Saturday, the teens split up and the left the Ro homestead. Bianca caught up with Brenden by himself. "Hey," she greeted with a smile.

He smiled back. "Hey."

She linked her hands behind her back and turned, walking backwards in front of him. "So, like, I know how hectic things have been, what with school, ninja stuff, evil monsters, and the like, so we haven't really had a chance to talk since that party the other day...but I'm starting to get the impression you're avoiding being alone with me," she said. She held up her hands. "I'm not trying to say anything bad, I mean. Just because two people have a moment and kiss doesn't automatically mean--"

Brenden cleared his throat, and she stumbled to a stop, verbally and physically. He reached out to steady her, pulling her close to him in doing so. She blinked and stared up at him. "I just wanted to clear the air," she finally said and stepped back. She was trying to not blush, and probably failing miserably.

Brenden nodded. "I was slightly avoiding you," he said. "I kinda feel like I should apologize, but I don't want to," he said. "Since I wasn't sure what to do...I avoided it. Not cool, I know," he said sheepishly, looking around everywhere but at her.

She smiled widely and gave something a relieved laugh. "Like I said; two people had a moment. It was a good moment, don't you think?" she said. She faced forward again and linked her arm with his.
She snickered. "Why? You jealous?" she asked.

"A bit," he confirmed.

She was quiet a moment. Then finally, she took on a serious tone. "First of all. It's Van. He's like the little brother I never knew I wanted. Second, of all, it's a peck at most. It's a school play. And the final, most important thing is that I am an actress. I'm taking a break, but I intend to start auditioning again soon. There will doubtlessly be roles with kissing. If that's not something you can handle, then we may as well stop here and just be friends," she said.

"Never said I couldn't handle it. Just a bit jealous," he said.

She nodded. "I can live with a bit jealous. I think complete apathy would bother me more," she admitted. She cleared her throat. "Ah, I feel awkward now. Can we go do something? Is there a place in town to roller blade? Can you roller blade? Let's do something fun," she said, rambling a bit.

Brenden couldn't help smiling again. At least the air was clear now. "Like a date?" he teased a bit. "Roller blading sounds good. I know the perfect place," he said. He shifted his arm until he could link their hands. She couldn't stop the smile that spread over her face again.

*****

Gumi picked a bit of meat out of its teeth with a claw-tipped finger. Juno made a disgusted face at the creature. If they didn't need the mangy thing, she'd have a brand-new fox-fur stole by now. The demon flicked the piece of meat away. It noticed Juno's look and bared its teeth in a simile of a smile.

Juno made a sound. "Do your job, fleabag," she ordered. She held up two fingers and a slip of paper appeared between them. She began chanting under her breath.

Gumi licked its teeth and made an annoyed sound. It readied the Hammer and together they created a summoning star. Juno tossed the star. The star whipped through trees, a lamp post, a mail-box, a parked car until it found a home in the Ironside skate park. It landed on a broken pair of in-line roller-blades.

"Object devoid of will of your own, let the Youkaiza give you purpose," Juno incantated.

*****

Bianca and Brenden arrived at the skate park and rented a pair of roller-blades each from the vender. Although there were any number of places set up for trick skating, with blades or boards, they decided to stick to the circular course where you can just skate. It allowed them to skate side by side for the most part. After awhile, they skated over to a concession stand and bought something to drink and snack on.

They sat at a umbrella shaded table. Bianca was picking at a fluffy white cloud of cotton candy. Brenden watched her quietly. "You're staring at me," she said. She pinched off a bit of the cloud and held it out to him.

He smiled. "I was just enjoying watching you enjoy yourself," he said and leaned forward and ate the proffered treat.

She gaped at him and then giggled. "Good line, Grayson," she said. He smiled sheepishly.

"That's so cute it's disgusting!" A flamboyant, roller blade schemed youkaiza with rings sticking out of his face rolled past them on in-line wheels. As he glided past his put two fingers on each hand up. Other people noticed him and reacted as planned, with fear and panic.

"Youkaiza!" the teens stood.

The youkaiza twirled on his wheels. "The name is Spinferno and don't you forget it," he said, briefly made finger guns, and began skating away.

Brenden triple-tapped the back of his hand. "We have a bogey," he said as he and Bianca skated after the youkaiza. Spinferno sped away from them. He crashed into a cart selling balloons. He quickly righted himself and skated away off. He grabbed at a child, but Bianca managed to get between them, shielding the kid behind her.

"Erk! That's a no-no," There was an awkward moment when the youkaiza suddenly stopped himself just short of grabbing at her chest. She gasped and kicked him in the face, knocking him backwards. He flipped midair and landed on this wheels with a flourish.

Brenden skated to a stop beside her. The others appeared behind them in their black garb. "Let's go!" he said. They each spun out their Power Stars. "Shinobi Start!"

"Ninja Fury Power!" Stars flews around the teens and formed power suits, weapons, and helmets.

Spinferno slid back. "You guys were Power Rangers? In that case," he flicked his arms forward, "get them!" he cried as onizaks began to appear.

The Rangers jumped into action. Red kicked at the onizaks and turned flips, slashing with his Star Blade. Blue jumped into a group and slashed at them. One tried to grab his blade but he kicked it in the chest and slashed him. They decided to go for the youkaiza.

Yellow bounced on top of a couple of spear wielding onizaks, and kicked another in the face before flipping backwards. He landed and slashed with his Blade. White blocked the attacks of several spearmen with Pink backing her up. Pink bonked one on the head with the flat of her Blade. "This may be the wrong timing," she started, taking a minute to duck under a spear swing and slash at its tender underbelly, "but were you guys on a date?"

White turned a one handed flip to kick an onizak and slash at another before settling on her feet. She tilted her head. "You're right. Wrong timing," she said, which in itself was answer enough for the other girl.

Red ran at the youkaiza, jumped and bounced off a wall to give himself momentum, and slashed, but the monster spun on his wheels out of the way. He skated way, but had to quickly pivot again when Blue jumped down from and overhang and slashed at him. Blue and Red converged on him, but he proved too quick on his wheels. He just managed to duck or dodge, finally grabbing the blades, spinning around, throwing the boys off-balance.

"Better luck next time!" he called as he skated away from them.

White saw him on the move, and made an attempt to get in front of him and slash with her Blade. He ducked under in just the nick of time and knocked into her legs on the way past. She fell against a wall with a grunt as he got away.

The other ran to where she was rubbing her leg and grumbling. They powered down to their ninja forms. "Are you okay?" Brenden asked Bianca.

She managed a weak smile. "Fine but a bit embarrassed that he managed to get passed me," she complained.

"Let's split up and look for him. He can't have gone too far. He's not that fast," Brenden said. The others agreed. They took on in different directions.

Bianca ran a ways, then took a beat to think. Where was the nearest place to the skate park to terrify a few more people? Unfortunately she didn't know the city well enough. Screams and people running caught her attention. She nodded to herself and began running in that direction.

She found the monster skating around and showboating. "Found you," she said. "I have eyes on the target," she said into her communicator. She began running, and spun her Power Star as she went. "Ninja Fury Power!" She morphed as she ran. She jumped kicked him in the back. He fell forward and she rolled her feet.

He shook himself as he got to his feet. "Ha, lucky shot," he said, rotating his neck. "Oh, all alone?" he asked with a laugh.

"Never," White said.

"How about a race? Mano y...er..not mano?" he suggested.

"Sounds to me like you're a bit afraid of my friends catching up," she taunted.

"You got it, baby," he said with a sniff and began skating away.

"Shoot," she grumbled. She spun out her Storm Star and attached it to her Star Blade. "Wind Technique!" She locked the Star into place and hopped on the Blade and took off after the youkaiza.

They traveled through a forest path. Whenever he noticed her gaining on him, he sped up even more. There was a sharp turn and she lost sight of him for the briefest moment. She hopped off her Blade in the middle of a semi-active excavation site. She looked around. "I know he's here somewhere," she mumbled.

Spinferno slid up behind her and knocked her forward. "You is right," he said with a laugh. While she was sprawled on the ground, he turned around and produced a ring. There was a dump truck coming their way. He held up a hand and the truck stopped.

A decent looking, early middle-aged black man honked his horn. "Hey!" he shouted out the window. The Youkaiza laughed and tossed the ring at the truck. There was a flash of flames and the truck was enveloped as the ring took control of it. The blast trapped the driver inside even as the truck began speeding forward toward the Ranger who was now her feet.

The truck came right at her despite the driver's best efforts to turn the wheel or stomp the breaks. She began running. "Guys, could really use the help," she said into her communicator. The truck continued to come at her, no matter which way she turned or how fast she ran. She suddenly stopped and threw something on the ground.

The truck ran over a straw figure dressed in white as she hid behind a dumpster. She blew out a breath. But her relief was short lived as the truck came rumbling toward her hiding spot. She rolled out of the way as the truck hit the dumpster. The impact caused the driver to hit his head on the steering wheel and fall unconscious.

She could hear the monster laughing as she ran. "How about a choice, Ranger? Me or that guy?" he taunted.

The truck stopped chasing her and veered off. Van, Galen, and Misty appeared on the scene. "Sorry, Onizaks kept appearing randomly," Van explained.

"Hey, that's my dad's truck!" Galen cried.

"Get him! I'll get the truck!" White shouted. She held up her Blade and locked the Storm Star into place. "Wind Technique!" she called and jumped on her Blade and began to chase after the truck.

"Hey, guys. Can we like, talk this out?" Spinferno asked the new rangers.

"Not a chance," Galen said and spun out his Power Star. Van and Misty did the same. "Shinobi Start!"

"Ninja Fury Power!"

They morphed as they ran toward him. Blue slashed him on the way by. Yellow and Pink slashed him on either side. He knocked Yellow aside and grabbed at Pink. She kicked high kicked him in the face and twirled out of the way. Yellow jumped in and slashed him. Blue rolled up and slashed as well. The youkaiza fell back and rolled.

Blue attached the Storm Star to his Blade. "Wind Technique!" He locked the star into place and began spinning. Blue energy surrounded him as he moved like a spinning top and bashed into the youkaiza from all sides before spinning off and stopping, though he still stumbled around dizzily. "Whoo, Mai-Li is right. I need to work on control," he said as Spinferno went crashing into the ground.

"Little bit," Pink agreed, holding her thumb and index finger a space apart. Yellow steadied his teammate. They stiffened when a new figure walked past the prone youkiza. A muscled guy with a shock of white blond hair wearing a horned mask stood before them. He wore an ornate vest that fell open, paggy pants, and red boots. He carried two swords at his side.

Spinferno bounced to his feet. "Ha! You guys are in for it now that Lord Ryzo is here," he taunted from behind the big guy.

Ryzo let out a harsh breath. Piercing blue eyes could be seen from behind the horned mask. "I am so sick Juno's beasts," he growled. He drew one of his swords. He spun, arcs of blue energy following him as he slashed the youkaiza. He faced the Rangers once more as it exploded behind him.

"Who is this guy?" Blue wondered.

The only answer he received was the warrior using his sword to throw energy at them. It knocked them off their feet and disengaged their morphs.

"Is that all you can muster? This is so boring," Ryzo complained. He threw another blue arc of energy at them. Brenden ran in and held his Blade up like a shield. "Metal Technique!" and indeed a shield did form between them and the blow. "Sorry, I'm late," he said.

"Onizaks. We get it," Van said.

"Huh, looks like onna you punks have some fight in ya," Ryzo declared.

"Where's Bianca?" Brenden asked.

"Oh, crap. Dad!" Galen said and scrambled to his feet.

"Go! I'll keep this guy busy," Brenden told them.

"You sure? He's strong," Van said.

"Go," Brenden stated.

Van nodded. He, Misty, and Galen began running in the direction the truck disappeared.

Ryzo grinned under his mask. "You think you got what it takes to fight me, boy?"

Brenden spun out his Power Star. "Ninja Fury Power!" He ran forward as he morphed. He slashed at Ryzo, but the warrior deflected. He passed him up and turned, running at him again, Ryzo running at him as well.

*****

White Shinobi finally caught up with the truck. She jumped off the Blade, grabbing the hilt on the way down. She ran along the edge of the trailer and jumped on the cab. Up ahead she could see a sheer drop off as they headed for an open ravine or small canyon of some sort.

"Okay, Mr. Kulbart, we need to get you out of here ASAP," she said, crouching. She checked the windows carefully on each side, but they were both rolled up. She tried to use the hilt of her blade to knock the passenger side window out, but it was deflected. She tried the windshield, but it didn't work either.

The edge was coming ever closer and she gritted her teeth. She put her Star to her Blade and spun it. "Ninja Fury Power!" she called. The Star spun, shooting off white energy that enveloped the Blade. She planted her feet and plunged the Blade into the roof of the cab, the sound of metal wrenching hurt her ears, but she finally managed to cut a hole in the roof and slipped through it.

Once inside she was able to kick at the driver side door, but the edge was creeping up faster than ever. Finally the door kicked away. She freed the driver from hid seatbelt and jumped out.

"Wind Technique!"

A funnel of yellow wind caught them up. It not only eased their fall but made sure they didn't go over the cliff with the truck. They landed with a thud. She let out a long breath and fell backward. "I really hope your dad's company has insurance," she said to the Yellow Ranger as he, Pink, and Blue approached her.

He gave a relieved laugh and checked on the driver who was starting to come around.

*****

Red Shinobi held his own against Ryzo, but found himself retreating further and further into the forests around them. He was overmatched and he knew it, but he couldn't give up. He slashed at the warrior again, but Ryzo dodged and kicked him in the chest. He fell backward. When he tried to get up, Ryzo planted a foot on his chest.

Ryzo snorted. "Tch," he spat. "You ain't no thing, boy," he said derisively.

Red grunted. "Never said I was," he said. He pressed a button on his blade. Smoke replaced him with a straw dummy dressed in red. He tried to attack again, but Ryzo kicked the dummy at him. He slashed through it, but Ryzo slashed him. He went flying back and crashed into the ground again.

"This is getting boring," he declared. "But, I have to say, you got spirit, boy," he added.

Red grunted and propped himself up. "I'm a Power Ranger," he said and got to his feet. "It's kinda our thing." He took a deep breath, let it out slowly, then another. He spun the Power Star on his Blade. "Ninja Fury Power!" Red energy spun out from the star, engulfed the Blade and him. He short forward, slashed just in front of Ryzo's feet, making the warrior jump back. When the man looked again, the Ranger was gone. "Ninja Flash!" Then, he fell from the sky. Ryzo barely managed to get his sword up.

The blades met. Ryzo and Red both strained. Red pushed forward, and continued his downward slash. A red line of energy was left in his wake. Ryzo crackled and red electricity sparked around him as Red stood up from the crouch he'd landed in. He was breathing hard, holding his sword low.

Ryzo had a black soot mark across his chest, and it was smoking. He began laughing, making Red very nervous. "Now, that was a move, boy!" he praised. He tilted his neck back and forth, cracking it audibly. "Now we can really fight!"

"What!"

Ryzo laughed again. The eyeholes of his mask began glowing, and dark energy surrounded him. Red stepped back as he could feel the power from the other man.

"Water Technique!" A thick fog suddenly surrounded them. Red was startled to see Dex beside him holding a Star Blade. He was also relieved.

"Trying to run, boy?" Ryzo demanded, waving his hands, trying to see through the fog.

"Let's go," Dex said to Red.

"Is it okay to just leave him?" Red asked.

Dex nodded. "That's Ryzo Strange. He's a hot head that likes to fight. The only thing redeeming about that is, he prefers his opponents to be strong. He won't bother civilians. If you aren't here to engage him, he'll go away," he said.

"You're right about that," Ryzo called through the mist. "I got me eye on you, boy. I expect you to be stronger next time we meet!"

"Let's go. This isn't over yet," Dex said. He and Red Shinobi retreated without responding to Ryzo's challenge.

"Hey, y'hear me? Hey!" Ryzo demanded. "Boy!" the fog began to dissipate and he discovered he was alone. He grumbled and rubbed the soot off his chest. He suddenly felt hungry and decided to go home.

*****

Juno was so mad at her brother was messing things up with her youkaiza and that there was a happy ending. "Can I finish my game now?" Gumi demanded.

Juno glared at her, her eyes burned wildly. She clapped her hands together and a large piece of paper appeared between her fingers. "Prepare the Mallet," she commanded and began chanting. The paper ignited in a dark flare.

Gumi put a star on the Hammer and twisted it. The creature hit the dark flame. A dark cloud spun in the sky and from it piles of demonic bones and skulls spilled out, creating a humongous humanoid-ish/lizardish thing with a sword. "Onigaiju!" Juno crowed triumphantly.

*****

The Rangers met up while the foursome where looking for Red. "Are you okay?" Red and White asked each other at the same time. They nodded, feeling slightly sheepish.

"How's your dad?" Red asked Yellow.

"Mai-Li is taking care of it," Yellow answered.

"What is that?" Pink pointed up at the vortex vomiting bones to make the Onigaiju.

"Something to take care of," Red said grimly. "Everyone ready?" he asked. They agreed. "Zord time!" They put their Zord Stars on their Blades and spun them.

"Hidden Shinobi Zord!"

"Hidden Wolf Zord!"

"Hidden Dragon Zord!"

"Hidden Express Zord!"

"Hidden Dumper Zord!"

Red gave his Star another spin. "Shinobi Star Megazord!"

The Zords came together and created a Megazord. The Rangers appeared in a shared cockpit where they all stood in front of podiums that they inserted their swords into. "Let's Dundee this crocodile," White said.

The Megazord moved forward, slashing the Onigaiju with the Drago Sword. It let out a shriek and slashed back. The Megazord brought the Sword up. They strained against each other. The Megazord swung the Drago Shield and bashed into the creature.

"Let's finish it!" Red stated.

"Right!" the others agreed. They drew their Blades. "Splendid Slash!"

The Drago Blade began to glow. The Rangers slashed their Blades. The Megazord slashed the monster with an explosion of multiple colors as it slid by him. It came to a stop as he exploded behind him, nothing left of the creature.

*****

Juno stormed into the hideout and jumped on Ryzo's back while he was eating a meaty leg of some animal. She grabbed at his hair. "Who gave you permission to destroy my youkiaza?" she screamed shrilly.

Gumi slid under the fighting siblings and grabbed the animal leg. It slunk off to a quiet corner to eat its pilfered meal and finish it's game.

Aradne watched with wide eyes but Gennus rubbed his forehead. "Enough!" he finally roared. Juno and Ryzo broke apart, but glared daggers at each other. "We got almost half of the second bowl," he said calmly. "Watch yourself in the future, Ryzo," he warned.

Ryzo grumbled and bent to scoop up his food, only to find it gone. Juno smirked and stormed off.

Gennus sat down with his wife and pampered her for a bit, ignoring his tiresome family. There was time to do away with those irritating Power Rangers.

******

Brenden and Bianca held hands on the way to Quarks. They'd returned their rented skates, some of the few people that had done so. "Are you sure you're okay? You look pale," she told him.

He gave a weak smile. "That Ryzo guy is tough, but I'm okay," he assured her. "Some food will do me good," he assured her.

"One of Van's fire-apple smoothies?" she suggested teasingly.

He laughed. "No thanks. I can't even imagine what one of those things has in it to actually feed him," he said. She giggled. "What about you? You saved Galen's dad," he said.

She brushed a strand of hair behind her ear. "Just what I needed to do, but we'd have been out of luck if Van hadn't magicked everyone to where we were," she said, her voice slightly shaky now. She'd had nerves of steel before, but now she felt kind of deflated.

Brenden looked around a moment. He tugged her behind the dumpster beside Quarks. He let go of her hand and wrapped his arms around her, and pulled her close to him. She sighed and snuggled close to him. That felt nice. She wasn't sure how long they stayed like that, but she didn't care.

*****

Leaving her two rapscallions playing ninjutsu hide and seek, Mai-Li found her husband in the workshop. "Brenden really faced down one of the Strange Clan?" she asked.

He nodded as he looked over some schematics. He sat them aside and she hopped into his lap, draping an arm around his shoulders. "How bad was it that you had to intervene?" she asked.

"Pretty bad. I only intervened to run away. That mask he wears is a powerful artifact. I can't even begin to imagine its origins. If I'd have tried to fight him, well..." he trailed off, shaking his head. "Without a power suit as protection I wouldn't have stood a chance. Imagine, Gennus is even stronger than Ryzo," he said heavily.

She looked at his face a long moment. "You're worried about the kids," she said.

He gave a slight smile. "A bit, but I have faith in them. The one that actually worries me most is the fox demon who uses the Hammer. Something about it tells me it could be more dangerous than Gennus," he said.

Mai-Li nodded. "We weren't much older than them when we tackled Youkai Mountain. Have faith. They'll get better with training. I think we have a great little group. I think when all is said and done, they'll be even better than we were," she said.

Dex raid a brow. "That's a high bar," he declared.

"Very," she agreed. She kissed his cheek. "It's your turn to cook supper. I'm going to play hide and seek," she said, and hopped to her feet and went to play with her kids. Dex watched her go. He had to admit, he agreed with her. These kids had untold potential. They'd need every bit of it before this was over.

*****
End 03
*****
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Old October 1st, 2018, 09:00 PM #25
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> Ravie
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Ravie
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Power Rangers Ninja Fury

Power Rangers Ninja Fury
Chapter 4: Calm Before the Shinobi


*****

Dex Ro paced in front of his students. They were lined up, waiting for him to begin the day's training after their initial reps. He inhaled and exhaled slowly. He opened his mouth as if to speak, but didn't, shaking his head and pacing again. They watched him curiously.

"Is there something wrong, Sensei?" Brenden ventured to asked.

Dex stopped and looked at them. A wry grin formed. "No. No." He cleared his throat. "After careful consideration, I decided to let you all try Thunder Mode on your Storm Stars," he stated. That surprised them. "You're all coming along well. I trust you. But only under my supervision are you allowed to try it," he said.

"Is that why Mai-Li and the kids aren't here?" Misty asked.

Dex shook his head. "No. They went to a dentist," he answered. "Who wants to go first?" he asked.

"I'll try it," Galen volunteered.

Dex motioned for him to step forward. There was a lightning rod in the middle of their training field for safety. "Thunder mode is extremely volatile but also powerful. If you can't summon it at first, don't be discouraged," he said. He stepped aside and motioned for Galen to attempt it.

Galen spun out his Storm Star and locked it to his Star Blade. "Storm Star! Thunder Technique!" He locked the Star into place and thrust the Blade toward the Lightning rod. There was a crackle of sparks along the blade. After a brief pause which made Galen think he hadn't managed to do anything, a static backfire blew him off his feet. Brenden and Van scurried to catch him before he hit the ground. He coughed as his clothes smoked from being singed.

Dex smiled. "Not a bad first try," he declared. That made Galen feel a lot better. "Who's next?"

Each of the teens took their turns, to varying degrees of success, though no one had actually managed to succeed when it came Van's turn. As he stepped forward, Dex and the others moved back several yards. He blinked when he saw that and pouted. "Nice vote of confidence. Thanks," he said. But, surprising even himself, the lightning he summoned wasn't overkill and it was safely grounded by the lightning rod. "See, I've been working on control," he said a little cockily.

"Don't expect praise for doing what you should," Dex said, completely bursting his bubble. But, that was totally something that would come out of any master's mouth. He gave a brief bow and stepped aside.

The rest of the session was spent working with the Storm Star. Galen just wasn't getting it and it frustrated him. Dex assured them that they would train more and that "You are absolutely forbidden to use it in battle until I say so. Using a technique, especially one as powerful as Thunder mode, that you can't control is dangerous for yourself and your teammates. Understood?" he said.

"Yes, sensei!" they answered and bowed to him. He returned the bow and dismissed them.

*****

Juno looked at the bowls of fear, a frown on her face. "It's all Ryzo's fault," she declared sourly. She scrubbed a hand through her dark hair. She spun around, glared at her baby brother, and looked around for Gumi. She frowned. "Where is that mangy animal?" she grumbled. She stalked off to look for it.

"Maybe you should stay out of Juno's way today," Gennus told his brother.

Ryzo grunted, crossing his arms over his chest. He didn't argue, however. He knew when he had pushed his big sister too far. "Fine, I will simply train until the next time I find that red kid," he said, stalking off to the chamber within the mines where he liked to train.

Aradne scrunched her nose. "How admirable is it to defeat a teenager?" she wondered.

Gennus sighed. "He's my baby brother but sometimes I wonder if he's all there," he said, tapping his temple. He turned his attention to the bowl tower. He wished Juno luck in hoping that she gathered a lot of fear.

*****

Galen was using what at some point in its life was most probably a dance studio. It was a big building with a specially made floor and a small stage meant for recitals. Aunt Frizz bought it along with the building she used for Quarks because they were on the same plot of land, but she hadn't done anything with the building. It'd been used for mostly storage.

Brenden and Galen had cleaned up about half of it for training or practicing. That day he was rehearsing for his audition for Madam Hayes' play. It was going about as well as his attempts at using the Storm Star. He kept tripping over his own lyrics while attempting his choreography. He'd already submitted the lyrics and music to Madame and got it approved for the audition but nothing was working out.

Drenched in sweat, losing daylight, still getting stuck in the same spot, and tripping not only on his words but his own feet, he fell over. He stayed on the floor. He covered his eyes with his arm and attempted to settle his breathing. He suddenly sprang up, rolling into a crouch. Dex was sitting beside him cross-legged. "You let me get too close," he chided.

Galen looked around. "Sensei? How did you get here? Why? How long? Is it a test?"

"Do you think I have time to randomly pop in and test my students?"

"Yes?"

"Maybe," Dex conceded. "But that's not why I'm here. Mai-Li wants to rent this place and offer karate lessons in exchange for money," he said. "I came to look it over. I was here for a while. Maybe I should start random testing," he mused.

"I wasn't offering ideas," Galen said. He'd settled down into a cross-legged position as well.

Dex smiled slightly. "I admit that I don't know much about that lyrical sing-song style of music, but from what I noticed, you were rushing," he said, getting to his feet. "It's very similar to your trouble using the Storm Star," he added.

Galen groaned and got to his feet to get his phone and the portable speaker he was using to rehearse. "This where I'd lay some Mr. Miyagi reference in a sarcastic tone, but I doubt it would land," he commented.

"This isn't wax on, wax off. This is someone older and more experienced pointing out a problem," Dex said.

"Well, I am surprised and impressed," Galen admitted with a grin. He wiped some sweat off his face.

"Using the same technology that transported Mai-Li and her team between Earth and Shogunatta, I was eventually able to open communications between the two planets, and later managed to access other communications and media. I have seen all five of those movies," Dex explained.

"You're just a big ol' nerd masquerading as a super mysterious ninja master, huh?"

"I never claimed to be mysterious," Dex pointed out. "We're losing light," he said, the windows that provided light in the electricity-free building showed the sun was going to set soon. "The best thing to do right now is to take a moment. Don't think about the performing or the Storm Stars," he suggested.

"So, basically, the teacher is telling me not to do my homework?"

Dex shook his head and they walked out the of the building. Dex locked up behind them.

"I couldn't help but notice you didn't seem to thrilled about opening a dojo," Galen said. The older man eyed him. "What? You said don't think about the other things for a while, yeah?" Dex shook his head again.

*****

"Object devoid of a will of your own, let the Youkaiza give you purpose." A glowing star stuck to a refrigerator that had been set outside of a building being remodeled. The fridge glowed and contorted, turning a spider monster with black and yellow legs, some tipped with ice skates, with a refrigerator for a thorax.

When people saw it, they began running and screaming, trying to get away from it.

*****

Dex began beeping. He pulled his communicator out of a pocket and pulled it open. There was a map displayed with a beeping dot on it. "That's near here," he said. Galen nodded, he began running, leaving Dex behind as he took a beat to contact the other Rangers, then he was behind Galen in a flash.

*****

The youkaiza chased after the people running from him. Galen, in black garb, ran up and skidded to a halt. Dex, also black-clad, appeared nearby. Tangle web suddenly spit spider webbing at the people and wrapped them up in spider silk and sticking them to a large web. Galen spun out his Power Star. "Shinobi Start! Ninja Fury Power!"

He began running even as he morphed. When his Blade appeared he slashed through the spider web, freeing the occupants, even though they were still wrapped up and continued toward the youkaiza. "How dare you! Frigerantula's webs are something you aren't allowed to touch. Guess you don't know much. So come at me, bruh. Frigerantula gonna get ya," he said as he side-stepped the Yellow Ranger's attack. Yellow compensated and slashed at it's back.

That was the trap. The legs tipped in skate blades could be used behind him. One slashed at the Ranger, making him cry out. Two others pulled him against the creature's body, and while two above him repeatedly struck him as he struggled to get free.

"You can hit or kick me. You can't get free. So what's it gonna be?"

Yellow headbutted the creature in the back, surprising the monster enough to get himself free. He staggered back. "I don't know what hurt worse. That hit or those rhymes," he complained, rubbing his helmet.

"Did you just disrespect me, bruh?" Frigerantula didn't like his rhymes being dissed. Just as the other the four Rangers appeared, the youkaiza changed before they could join the fight. He spun around, dark energy formed as he was sucked into the sky. A black portal behind him, only his head seen as he began pulling in everything it could.

"Hang on to something! Don't let anyone get taken!" Red shouted, trying to keep himself and a woman tangled up in the silk from being caught in the vacuum. The other Rangers followed suit, but Yellow was too close to the vortex and his grip on a concrete trashcan holder was slipping.

"Galen!" Dex tried to get to him just as he lost his grip, but they were both sucked into the vortex.

The monster returned to its true form. "Ah, that was yum-yum yummy in my tum-tum-tummy," he said, patting his fridge door belly.

The Rangers used their Blades and freed the people still wrapped in webbing. "Did that monster just eat Dex and Galen?" White demanded.

"Probably just sent them to a pocket dimension, but still, not good," Blue answered.

"Definitely not good," Pink agreed.

*****

Once inside the youkaiza, Galen lost his morph. He got to his feet. He was in a weird nowhere space that seemed to glow vaguely red. There was a junk covered in cobwebs. Not all of it was from today. He could hear a faint trickle of water. He followed it to a broken fountain of a weird demonic looking head that was barely trickling water from its mouth which caused a little pool. He reached out, but Dex caught his hand. "Don't touch it," he warned.

"Why?" Galen asked, jerking his arm back.

"If that's what I think it is, it'll turn you into a demon called a gedoushu if you drink it," he said.

"Don't drink the demon water. Good call," Galen said. "Where are we?" he asked.

"A remnant. A place where lost things collect. Somehow the youkaiza wrapped itself around a piece of the Sanzu River that survived when it was destroyed." Galen wasn't sure what exactly that meant, but it didn't sound like a good thing.

*****

The Rangers attacked Frigerantula, but his bladed legs fended them off. He slashed at them, throwing up sparks and sending them rolling.

"Ugh. He's tough," Blue complained, getting to his feet.

"Any ideas?" White asked.

"If we hold down his arms, maybe I can use Fire mode," Red suggested.

"You're welcome to try but your friends are gonna fry," Frigerantula declared gleefully.

"We have to be careful if Dex and Galen are still in there," Pink said.

The monster laughed again. "Well, if you're not going to try, guess you'll all just have to fly!" His legs extended growing larger and crashed into the Rangers before they could move out of the way. They did fly, losing their morphs as they landed.

"We need to regroup and think of a plan," Van said and the four of them poofed away.

*****

Dex and Galen glanced around the place they found themselves. "I don't think it's infinite. In fact, it seems rather small, trying to appear large. Let's find the edge," Dex stated.

"Getting away from the demon water is probably a good idea," Galen said. They picked a direction at random and began walking. "So," he said after a minute or so of silence. "What's wrong with opening a dojo? It was one of my major cons about Ferrant Heights that there wasn't one," he said.

Dex sighed through his nose. "I've only ever trained for war. The thought of training for sport or recreation is strange to me," he answered. "I'd feel like I was training children for war again. This time for compensation," he said.

"You train your kids," Galen said.

"Yes. There may be peace now, but the Youkaitto Tribe will one day try to rise to power again," he answered. "It's their responsibility as the future leaders of the Ninjetti to protect our Tribe," he answered.

Galen nodded. "Aside from fighting, there are other things you learn from martial arts. Non-violence was a big one my old sensei was always pushing. He said he's teaching us to fight in hopes we never have to."

Dex paused and looked at his pupil. "Your sensei was wise. But don't call him as if he's no longer your teacher. A teacher for a day is a teacher for a lifetime," he said.

"See, that's what I'm talking about. That's the kinda thing you learn through martial arts. It's not all war and fighting to the death. That's not all your master taught you is it?" he asked.

Dex smiled wryly. "My master was a lazy old hack, but I suppose he imparted some wisdom when he wasn't paying attention," he said. "Ah, here we are," he said when the junk suddenly ended. It still seemed as if there was infinite space, but tossing a piece of wood in front of them confirmed there was a barrier before them.

"Now what?" Galen asked.

"Now we give it an upset stomach."

*****

The Rangers crouched behind a wall where they'd appeared. "Oh, Rangers! It's a lovely day, let's go play!" Frigerantula called out.

"We can't hide forever," Brenden said.

"Can you use magic and teleport inside?" Bianca asked Van.

Van shook his head. "I need to know where I'm going," he said, wishing it was different.

"We could make him swallow a noodle," Misty said. They all glanced at her. "What? Am the only one who's ever swallowed part of a noodle before?" she asked. "It's kinda gross if you don't know what I'm talking about," she said.

"I know what you're talking about," Van said. "Question is, who's the noodle?" he asked.

"Me," Brenden said. "We'll make him swallow me. You can use Wood Mode to wrap my legs with vines. I'll definitely need Van on the outside to pull us out," he said.

"That's really dangerous sounding," Bianca said. "But we don't have any other choice," she stated. "Let's try Operation: Noodle," she declared. They agreed, though reluctantly.

*****

"Fire Technique!" Galen locked the Elemental Star into place on his Star Blade and slashed at the barrier, throwing a large fireball at it. Nothing happened. He tried a few more times. Breathing hard, he stepped back. "This isn't working," he said.

"I see that. The one time I didn't carry a Blade or a Star with me, I get eaten by a youkaiza," Dex complained.

"You didn't learn any fire-jutsu from Mai-Li in 15 years?" Galen asked.

Dex rubbed the back of his neck. "I never had much of an affinity for fire," he admitted. "But, I'll try," he said. He placed his fingers together in front of him, closed his eyes and concentrated. He finally managed to create a small flame.

He opened his eyes and nodded at Galen. "Fire Technique!"

They released their flames at the same time. They hit the barrier, a much larger conflagration, but again, nothing seemed to change.

Galen sighed and sat down. "Let's take a minute. Your advice," he suggested.

Dex sat down as well, and they sat in silence.

*****

Blue and Pink Shinobi fired at the youkai as they chased it down an alleyway. It skirted at of the way and ducked behind a bend. White Shinobi dropped a concealment cloth and slashed at him. He sparked and staggered out into the open, where Red appeared and slashed him as well. He tried to strike with his ice blades, but Red slashed him twice more and kicked him, sending him flying.

The youkaiza crashed into the ground.

*****

"There's no choice. You'll have to use the Storm Star in Thunder Mode," Dex finally concluded.

Galen nodded. "Yep. What about you? There's no lightning rod in here to protect you," he said.

"I know a little thunder-jutsu. I should be able to make sure I don't get struck," Dex answered.

"Should?"

"You can do this, Galen. The only thing stopping you is you."

Galen nodded. He got to his feet and spun out the Storm Star. He replaced it on his Blade. "Storm Star! Thunder Technique!" He locked it into place. He took several deep breathes and let them out just as slowly. Static began to crackle along the Blade. He let it build more and concentrated his energy deliberately. He took one last deep breath.

He slashed forward as he released it, an electrical storm swirled all around them, sparking the barriers, arcing from metal surface to metal surface. His and Dex's hair defied gravity. The barrier exploded.

*****

The monster suddenly staggered and sparked, it grew into the dark vortex, the Rangers ran forward. "This is it!" Red said, gathering his courage and rushing forward.

When the spider opened its mandibles, electricity erupted and Galen and Dex came flying out as the monster retched. Galen crashed into Red and they both hit the ground, but Dex landed almost gracefully.

"Galen! You're okay!" Red said in relief.

A grin split his face. "Yeah. And I didn't electrocute Dex," he said, hopping to his feet, pumped. In the spur of the moment, he broke into his rap and did the pivot move he kept screwing up in practice. "Yes!" he said.

The Rangers clapped and cheered.

"Let's not get too cocky," Dex said. "There is still a youkaiza," he reminded them.

The monster had moved away, hurling other bits and pieces from the inside of him. "Oh snap, the demon water," Galen said.

"That won't come out, but you still need to finish him," Dex said.

"Right," the Rangers agreed and ran off to catch up with it.

"Hey, eight-eyes!" Galen shouted to get the monsters attention. "How's your stomach?" he asked as he spun out his Power Star.

"Onizaks! Get them! Spare no attacks!" Frigerantula shouted.

Onizaks appeared and began to attack the Rangers as Yellow morphed. He jumped into the fray, slashing with his Blade. "You can't handle this, I'm electric," he said as he jumped and kicked at an onizak and slashed again.

Pink slashed several of the creatures. She jumped, and kicked off of Yellow's shoulder, coming down in a spin, taking out a few more of the creatures.

White and Blue teamed up. He tossed her around like a baton in a well-coordinated attack, that allowed her to slash and kick at onizaks at they encroached. She was slightly dizzy after a spin and he set her on her feet. "Now that's teamwork," she declared. He gave her thumbs up.

Red slashed his way through onizaks and the quintet regrouped and faced the youkaiza. "You're the only one left," he said.

Frigerantula stumbled back. "Impossible. I'm invincible!"

"Yeah, not really," Pink said and put her Elemental star on her Blade. "Wate Technique!" she locked the Star into place and slashed her sword, creating a cloud of mist around the monster.

Frigerantula waved his arms around trying to clear his vision. "You may have my eyes clouded, but my skills will still be lauded," he called.

"Transtarter Bow!"

Frigerantula pivoted toward the voice and avoided an energy bolt lobbied at him. "There you are!" he headed toward the source of the attack, but when he got there, there was no one. "There you aren't?"

Yellow flipped through the mist cloud and slashed him from behind. He jerked around but there was nothing. White and Blue jumped from behind with their Transtarter Blades. He sparked and went crashing out of the cloud of mist. He rolled to his feet.

"This is over," Yellow stated as the Rangers prepared their weapons, placing their Power Stars into their Transtarters and locking them into place.

"Transtarter Bow!" White and Pink shot energy bolts toward him.

"Transtarter Blade!" Blue and Yellow Slashed and produced energy that joined with the bolts.

"Transtarter Claw!" Red gathered the energy with his weapon and jumped, the multi-color energy swirling in front of him. It coalesced into star shape that he flung at the youkaiza.

"I don't care whacha say, this will still be my day!" he exclaimed as he exploded.

"Not if I have anything to say about it," Yellow said.

The youkaiza exploded into his large size. "Zord time," Red said, spinning out his Zord Star.

"Hidden Shinobi Zord!"

"Hidden Wolf Zord!"

"Hidden Drago Zord!"

"Hidden Express Zord!"

"Hidden Dumper Zord!"

The Rangers jumped onto their Zords as they appeared. Drago swooped low and blew fire on the giant youkaiza. Dumper threw grenades and Express Zord threw shurikens at him as they sped past. Wolf Zord howled and jumped, crashing into it's back and then slashing with the knife in its mouth as it landed in the back of Dumper Zord.

Shinobi Zord attacked, kicking and jumping, hanging onto it's back and flipping away.

The youkaiza gave a frustrated roar. "Enough of your shenanigans. It's time for me to win again," he shouted and blew spider silk at them. Drago Zord managed to get above the stream but the other Zords weren't so lucky.

"Ick! What now?" Pink demanded, trying to get free of the webs.

"Brace yourselves," Blue warned them. He swooped low and unleashed another blast of dragon fire that burnt the webs, being careful not to burn his teammates to a crisp in the process.

"I've had enough of this," Red declared. He gave his Zord Star another spin. "Shinobi Star Megazord!" The Zords came together to form the Megazord, and the Rangers appeared in a cockpit and put their swords in consoles before them.

"Let's finish this once and for all!" Yellow said with determination.

The Megazord swung the DragoSword crashing into the Youkaiza. In swift succession it had delegged him, leaving on the basic two to stand on.

"AAHH! How am I supposed to a spider like this? This is one heck of a diss," he complained.

"Time to drop the mic," Yellow said and seemed to take the lead and drew his Blade. The others drew their Blades. "Splendid Slash!"

The Drago Blade began to glow. The Rangers slashed their Blades. The Megazord slashed the monster with an explosion of multiple colors as it slid by him. It came to a stop as he exploded behind him, nothing left but the youkaiza shuriken that cracked and disintegrated as the sun began to set behind them.

*****

Gennus watched the trick of the bowls stopped and blew out a frustrated breath. "This is going to take forever," he complained.

"Now, now sweet knees. Nothing worthwhile was ever. Just imagine the power you'll have to hand down to our widdle princey-wincy," Aradne said and patted her belly fondly.

Gennus managed a smile. "Of course, my dear. Even if it takes months, it'll all be worth it," he agreed. She beamed at him.

Juno dragged the fox demon into the lair and threw it against a wall. "This was your fault, mangy demon," she stated.

Gumi snarled and bared its teeth.

Aradne gasped and went over to the demon. "Now, now. That's way to treat our sweet little fuzzy wuzzy," she said and talked in a low voice to calm the demon down. Gumi barely let itself be calm, but it glared daggers at Juno.

"Yeah, Juno. You should stop blaming others for your own faults," Ryzo jabbed, unable to resist getting on his sister's nerves.

"Enough!" Gennus shouted, making all of them wince. "Juno, go calm down. Ryzo, don't agitate Juno. Please, you're all enough to give me a headache," he declared. "We did enough for today. We'll do better next time," he said calmly.

Ryzo, Gumi, and Juno all glared at each other but listened to their Laird. Ryzo went to train. Juno went to meditate, and Gumi slunk off to play its video game. Aradne got up to pamper her husband.

*****

Dex officially decided to follow his wife's plan and open the dojo. So they signed a contract with Ms. Frizz, turned on the power, and started cleaning up the building. He, Mai-Li, the kids, Van, Misty, Galen, and Bianca were helping when Galen burst into the building. "Who has two thumbs and is playing the evil fairy in Madame Hayes' production of Sleeping Beauty?" he said. He held up his thumbs and pointed at himself. "This guy," he declared.

Misty snorted. "You're so corny," she declared and went back to spraying windows and wiping them off.

"Was there really ever a question?" Brenden asked.

"I guess that means Bianca is definitely going make me join," Van groaned.

"Was that ever a question?" she said.

"Congratulations, sweetie," Mai-Li said and then put some boxes in his arms. "Now take these to the dumpster," she ordered.

"Yes, ma'am," he said and walked out of the building again. He didn't mind. He was in a good place at the moment. So, too, it seemed, was Dex as he looked forward the immediate future. He wanted to see what it would be like to not have to train children for war, but for enjoyment. Even if a battle still loomed, for now, for the moment, there was a calm. He'd do whatever it took to protect that calm. So would the Power Rangers.

*****
End 04
*****
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Old December 30th, 2018, 10:27 PM #26
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Power Rangers Alpha Season Beta

Power Rangers Alpha Season Beta
Chapter 03: That's a Raptor

Command Center

Rei eased into Red One where Tai was sitting at the round table, looking at something on a laptop. He glanced up at her to acknowledge that he knew she was there. She smiled nervously and sat down at one of the chairs. He glanced at her again when she was silent for too long. Finally, he closed his computer and gave her his full attention.

She let out a short sigh. "So...Zita's back," she declared.

"I know," he said and began to open his computer again.

She blinked. "You know? How do you know? I just found out," she said.

Tai rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Before she left, Grandpa apparently told her that if she ever needed a place to stay and sort things out, she was welcome at our place. So, she took him up on it," he said. He honestly still couldn't believe it. When someone knocked on his door at the crack of dawn that morning, the last person he expected to see was a downtrodden, bedraggled Zita Repulsa.

Rei was silent a moment. "Oh, dear. We were wondering why she didn't even contact Mori," she said. Then something occurred to her. "How did Lani take that?" she asked.

Tai sighed again. "However, you think she took it is pretty much how she took it. Then I reminded her that I was going to be sharing an apartment with Rex near campus."

Rei snickered but she sobered again and got to her feet. "We should go talk to her," she said more to herself than to him.

Tai got to his feet as well. "Leave her be. She'll reach out when she's ready. Pass that on to Moriko, please. One Repulsa crashing my home is more than enough," he said.

She nodded. "I'll do that. Sorry if I interrupted you," she said, glancing at his computer.

"You didn't," he said. He didn't elaborate that he was hiding out at the Command Center because of her sister. She nodded and scurried out. Whether to find Sora or her other sister, he wasn't sure. He wasn't sure if even wanted to know. He started to sit back down and play another round of solitaire when Beez asked him to go to the Medi-Lab.

The Medi-Lab wasn't large, and there were several people crowded into it. Mason Hart, one of their two newest members, was laying on one of the beds. Several screens were displaying medical images, charts, and information. "Do I even want to know how you people got my medical files?"

"Beez is a supercomputer. She hacks better than I do," Billie answered.

"What exactly are we looking at here?" Kimberly Hart asked. Kim was Mason's cousin, former Pink Ranger, owner of Think Pink, and currently in charge of Mason.

Kat Hilliard, who co-owned Think Pink, was also a former Pink Ranger, and having a nursing degree with some med-school under her belt, was the closest thing they had to an actual doctor since Billy Cranston had to return to Aquitar. "An unheard-of regeneration of bones, nerves, and muscles," she stated.

Beez smiled at Tai when he walked in. "What's going on?" he queried.

"Did you know Mace was in a serious car accident a few months ago?" Kim asked him testily, as if he should have. It was while Rex was still around, so she figured maybe he knew and let Tai know.

"No one else knew, Kim. Mom didn't tell anybody because she didn't want reporters bothering me," Mason said and sat up. His leg had been wrecked. It was the end of his career. It was a miracle, and months of intensive rehab, that he could even walk.

Kim pursed her lips and crossed her arms over her chest. "I didn't know. I was preparing to have you put on a demonstration at the studio," she said with a grimace.

Tai was looking at all the medical charts. "If I'm understanding what I'm seeing, you might be able to after all," he said. "Billie?"

Billie nodded. "I compared his DNA to the rest of ours. He has the same genetic anomalies that the rest of us have. After Kat drew his blood, the puncture healed almost immediately," she said.

Kat nodded. "The extensive damage to his leg is taking longer to heal, but it is healing," she said.

"How are we going to explain that one? It may have been a well-guarded secret, but his mom, doctors, and nurses know about his injury," Billie said.

Tai sighed. He turned to look at Mace. He grimaced. "Lose his files. We'll make sure the hardcopies are lost as well," he said.

Billie nodded. "Beez and I can take care of the digital footprints," she said.

"So... I can...compete again?" Mason asked.

"No," Beta Z said before Tai could. "I am sorry, but you can never compete again. We can lose records, but we can't make people forget. No one can find out about your ability," she said.

Mace rubbed the back of his neck. "I was afraid of that," he said. He understood that, but he didn't have to like it. "Are we done here? Can I go now?" he asked.

Tai nodded. Mace stood up dejectedly and teleported out. Kim and Kat excused themselves as well. "Take care of the online records. I finally found something useful for Griff and Moriko to do," Tai told Billie. She nodded. He was about to leave but hesitated. "What about Kiki?" he asked.

"Wood brought her by this morning. She has the same markers. We haven't quite pinpointed her ability yet, but she couldn't stay long. Family stuff I guess?" she said.

Tai nodded. "Keep me posted," he said and walked out. When he got back to Red One, he sent Lani a text inviting her for an outing when she was available. Within minutes he got an affirmative reply and he left to prepare.

--x--

Palace on the Moon

Widow found Roki pensively staring at the Earth from the overlook. He wasn't looking through the telescope. He wasn't looking at anything in particular. She knew what was on his find. She slipped her arms around one of his and rested her cheek against him. "You and Zita went through a lot together. I can't even imagine how hard her betrayal is on you, husband," she said.

"After we were sent away, it was only the two of us. Thrax was...well, he was a monster and we weren't. He never let us forget we were different from him. We looked out for each other. Uncle Rito isn't exactly a responsible guardian," he said.

He took a deep breath. "Besides, I don't think she betrayed me. Moriko, yes, but she was never fully with us. I always figured that. Zita only joined the other two stop our Aunt. I understand that she probably won't be back here, but I don't think she'll ever actively fight against us and with the Rangers," he said.

Widow nodded. "I hope you're right, my love. I really do. But, unfortunately, my siblings [/i]are[/i] Power Rangers. I will do everything in my power to destroy them," she said.

He smiled and kissed the top of her head. "I'll help you, always," he assured her.

"Do quit sulking, husband. I must go find Finster," she said. She stood on her toes and kissed his cheek and walked away. She'd been plotting a delightfully wicked scheme and wanted to put it into motion to cheer him up.

Not far away, Rio watched. She sneered. So, Zita was back. She clenched her fist. She'd avenge her mother and leave this place as ashes if it was the last thing she ever did.

--x--

Command Center

The Power Chamber was quiet. Not even Nyo or Danny were piddling around. Only A hologram of Beta Z was there to welcome Fox Oliver when he arrived in the Command Center. "Welcome home, Fox," she greeted with a smile.

"Beez. Where is everyone?" he asked.

"Do you need me to give you everyone's exact locations?" she asked.

He held up his hands. "Nah. Is anyone here?" He had his luggage with him, and he'd come straight from the airport without anyone knowing. He'd managed to catch an earlier flight. He was eager to find out what was happening while he was lost in a jungle with his parents.

"Billie is in the Blue Lab. I believe Nyo and Danny are in the Zord Lab," she answered.

It wasn't quite the welcome he was expecting, or hoping for, but it'd do. He was headed for the Zord Lab when alarms began going off. Several screens lit up showing Dark Putties in various places in the city. "What the deuce are those?" he asked.

"You've missed a lot," Billie declared sourly when she came out of the Lab. "And you aren't like all of it," she added.

"Why?" Fox asked warily.

Danny clapped Fox on the back. "You get to help Nyo quarterback for us," he said. Still confused, Fox returned Nyo's grin almost automatically when Danny and Billie teleported away. "Wha-wait! Where's my Morph--who the devil is that?" he demanded when a male Black Ranger showed up on one of the view screens.

"Billie did say you wouldn't like all it, friend," Nyo said apologetically. He wondered if the two Blues left him here to explain what happened on purpose.

"Yeah, I'm getting that," Fox said. He sighed. He'd been in this position before. He knew how to handle it.

--x--

When Tai stopped by his house to change for his outing with Lani, Zita ambushed him at the bottom of the stairs. She was a shell of former self. Her long dark hair was flat and lifeless, no longer done up in her big fluffy, curly pigtails. Her face was bare of her usual dark make-up, making her resemblance to Rei even more pronounced. She was engulfed in what looked like an old sweatshirt of his, with a pair of leggings, and fuzzy socks. Her Victorian-esque Gothic Lolita look was nowhere to be seen.

He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned away from her slightly. She rolled her eyes. "I'm not going to bite you," she said. "I'm here because Grandpa invited me," she reminded him.

He nodded. "But that doesn't mean I have to like it," he said.

"No one said you did," she retorted pulling a slight pout. She cleared her throat. She held out a hand and something appeared in it in a puff of smoke. "I found this while I was...away," she said without looking at him. She glanced when he didn't immediately take it. She scoffed. "Look, you know this symbol, right?" she asked, and waggled it magically.

The object in question appeared to be made of amber. It was slightly shaped like a flattened ball, and no larger than his hands. Emblazoned in the amber was a three clawed lizard footprint inside a circle. He took the object and looked at it in detail. He could faintly make out darker spots within the blob. "Where did you get this?" he asked.

She looked around a moment. "My grandfather's treasure planet," she all but mumbled. He stared at her and she fidgeted. Then she put her hands on her hips and straightened her back, looking a little more like the Zita that had attempted to conquer Earth for nearly a year. "If Roki and Widow can go to M-51 Galaxy and get super powers, why can't I?" she demanded.

"Did you get any?" he asked.

She made a scoffing sound. "That's not the point. Point is, I found that. I can't use it, might as well give it to someone who can," she said, and gave him a smile that was about as far as gracious as possible.

"Someone you'll be mooching off of for the foreseeable future?"

She huffed. "There's that," she said. She turned and stretched. "I'm going to watch my shows," she declared and headed for the den.

Tai rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Instead of watching TV all day, go talk to your sisters," he called after her.

"Can't. I need to see if Romana has amnesia or if it's secretly Romana's twin brother, Reggie who had surgery to become Regina, and is pretending to be Romana because he's in love with Romana's fiancée Todd," she said.

Tai wiped a hand down his face. He just did not know how to deal with situation at all. He went upstairs to change. He studied the object in hands. He went to a window and held it up to the sunlight and there were definitely six distinct darker spots within it. He sent Lani a message to let her know that he may be a little late because he wanted to drop it off at the Command Center, but then his communicator sounded.

"Putties are appearing around Angel Grove," Beez informed him.

"How many?" he asked.

"At least four."

"Send the Pinks and Yellows. Blues and Blacks. Lani and I will meet up with Autumn and Win, and the Legends will be together," he instructed. "There's a thing on my bed. Teleport it to the Command Center for study," he added and tossed the amber on his bed. It disappeared in a flash and he teleported as well.

--x--

Kiki and Tori had been with their father and step-mother, and Dawn Feather for a quiet, awkward. There were so many things wrong with the situation neither of them knew how to start. For one, Tori never knew her father. The only father she ever knew was the Reaver her mother her mother was married to. He'd been from the Bahamas. The opposite was true for Kiki. She never she had a white mother. She also figured her eyes were recessive or something. Dawn Feather, Tori's foster mother, who'd raised Tori after the parents she knew died in action, was just as unsettled and disquieted by the entire situation.

She hadn't known Tori had a twin. Their mother had stayed on Earth, in New Zealand while she was pregnant, and when she came back to work, she'd divorced and only had the one child. As for their father, she hadn't known him well, but from what she knew, her friend's career as a Sol Reaver was the main reason for the split.

Finally, the awkward meal was concluded, and Kiki and Tori could leave and let the grown-ups chat amongst themselves. For her part, despite whatever circumstances surrounded it, Tori was thrilled to have a sister and wanted to show her everything and all at once. Kiki was a little more reserved.

"They can hash out the who's, why's and how's all they want. It's done, you're here and omigosh!" Tori said, practically bouncing. She wrapped an arm around Kiki's.

Kiki gave a short laugh. "Yeah. It's bit choice," she agreed. "So, what do in Angel Grove?" she asked.

"All sorts of things. You definitely need to check out the Youth Center first. Not only does it have some of the best shakes and smoothies in town, but you can do all sorts of things there. Lani, that's the cute one in red, leads a yoga class every Sunday morning with Holly. You can occasionally get Tai to do a kendo demonstration. Gymnasts sometimes practice there as well. Like I said, all sorts of things," she said excited. "Plus, Autumn and Winter are the best. Although I dunno what you're into, it always has cute guys and girls in and out," she said.

"Aren't you with Wood?" Kiki asked.

Tori giggled. "I was letting you know," she said.

Kiki giggled as well. "Well, thanks for that," she said. "And besides the Youth Center where all sorts of thing, happen?"

"The mall. Chloe and I are almost always at the mall. There's Pink, it's a gymnastics and dance studio. There's just always something happening, despite the frequent giant monster attacks. How do you feel about cheerleading?" she asked. "Since Manny left, we have a huge hole on the team that's going to be hard to fill," she said.

"I played a cheerleader once. Cheerleader Number Two," Kiki said. "I ain't thought much about it as a thing to do," she admitted.

"No pressure," Tori assured her. During their trek toward the Youth Center, their communicators went off.

"What's that?" Kiki asked, looking at her wrist.

"Trouble. Let's go," she said and teleported. Kiki teleported right behind her.

--x--

Command Center

While the Rangers confronted the Putties, Nyo and Holly were studying the object Tai sent while Fox kept an eye on the action. He was still a bit confused about the two replacement Rangers, but he knew it wasn't the time to ask his questions.

Nyo and Holly were in the Blue Lab scanning the amber object. "Where on Earth did he even get this?" Nyo wondered aloud.

Holly shook her head. "There's machinery inside and this stuff isn't amber," she said, looking at the readouts on a screen. "If I'm reading this right...it's some sort of polymer that..." she squinted, scrunched her nose, and made a face. "Compressive compound," she concluded finally.

Nyo rubbed his goatee thoughtfully. "You mean, whatever's inside has been miniaturized?" he asked.

"Highly probable," Holly said. Still the thing was perplexing.

Holographic Beez appeared. "I've finished searching my father's memory banks. If he helped Zordon create whatever is encased in the compound, it was done after my creation," she said.

"Any idea how to get whatever is inside out?" Nyo asked.

"Only exposure to a massive blast of a certain type of energy," Beez answered.

"What kind of energy would that be?" Holly asked.

"Grid energy. The Rangers will have to combine their powers to open it," she answered. "But they're a bit busy at the moment.

As if on cue, Fox saw something strange on the monitors. "Guys, those Putties are acting weird. A bunch of them are appearing where Wood and Tori are," he said. "Bloody--since when can they do that?!" he exclaimed as the Putties began combing to create a Giant Putty.

"We told you, you missed a lot," Danny informed him.

"I was only gone like a month!"

--x--

"Danny, Mace, Win, head to the Giant Putty," Male Red instructed.

His partner nodded at him. "Autumn and I'll finish up here," she assured him.

He nodded. He and the male Green Ranger teleported to the scene where the Giant Putty was. "Megazord time! TyrannoZord!"

"TriceraZord!"

"MastoZord!"

"PteroZord!"

"SmiloZord!"

"StygiZord!"

"Alpha Megazord!"

The large mechas began appearing from digital matrixes. Each of the Zords was a dinosaur in a corresponding color as its pilots. The pilots teleported into the cockpit of each Zord. The six Zords came together to form a humanoid robot and began fighting the Giant Putty.

The Megazord swung the MegaSword at the Giant Putty. The Putty's arm morphed into a club and swung it at the Megazord. It was deflected by the shield, but the Megazord shuddered.

"These things are strong," Blue grunted.

"Let's finish it quickly," Yellow suggested.

"Whoa, what!" Pink exclaimed when another mass of Putties formed another Giant Putties.

"We need back-up," Red declared and the Megazord began defending itself from the two Giants.

--x--

"We're on our way," Gold said. "Sora, can you handle the rest?" he asked.

The Silver Ranger split into three and nodded. He was suddenly hit by a dark blast and his three selves were forced into one being again. "Augh!" he exclaimed and went to his knees.

"You're not going anywhere," Widow declared as more Putties surrounded them. "Oh, I'm sorry, did that hurt?" she asked Silver without even pretending to be sincere. "Good," she added with a little smile. She was dressed for battle in a black on black combat suit.

"Widow," Electrum said.

"What are you up to?" Gold demanded.

Nonchalantly, Widow studied her fingernails. "Where would the fun be if I went around telling all my plans?" she asked. "Putties. Attack," she said. The Putties converged in the Rangers. Silver, recovered from the shock of being forcefully reunited, was able to hold his own against them, but it was impossible to get free enough for even one of them summon the Legend Megazord and help the other Rangers.

--x--

"Those guys are bogged down. So are everyone else. Those Putties just keep coming," Fox stated to the Megazord that was getting it from both sides.

"Then we'd better do something. Danny, can we also use the Silo?" Red asked.

Blue nodded. "Yeh."

Red nodded. "Sh--" he didn't even begin to summon the Sharp-tooth Bazooka when one of the Giant Putties attacked the other with a beam from its moon shaped forehead crest. The other Giant shuddered, gurgled, and suddenly liquified, falling over the Megazord in a wave of a tar-like substance.

"We can't move!" Green stated as he attempted to swing the Sword again. Even the attempt jarred the entire Megazord and the cockpit sparked and smoked. Unhealthy mechanical and electrical sounds shuddered the Megazord again. The remaining Giant began to hammer it with an arm that had been turned into a club. More sparking and smoking.

"Abandon Megazord!" Red shouted.

--x--

Widow smirked. "Aww. Looks like you're all a Megazord down," she said tauntingly.

Gold gritted his teeth and blew a breath through his nose. "Widow!" He suddenly crashed his StegoMace into the ground, causing a blast of concussive energy around him to blow the Putties off their feet. He ran toward Widow while. She held out a hand with dark energy gathering around it.

He was faster and thrust out a hand with a massive explosion of white energy. It crashed into her, then seemed to absorb into her middle, while knocking her off her feet, flying for several yards before landing with a crash.

"Get the Megazord!" Gold told Electrum and Silver. They didn't argue.

Widow staggered to her feet, holding her middle, Roki appeared in an angry crack of red lightning. "What did you think you were doing in your condition?" he demanded. He scooped her up despite her protests and they disappeared.

Gold froze. "Condition?" he wondered out loud even as the Legend Megazord destroyed the Giant Putty in the distance behind him.

--x--

Palace on the Moon

Widow tried to placate Roki. "I'm fine. It was Tarantules. He's so good," she spat the word, "that he'd never actually hurt his sister, not even me," she said soothingly. "I was the best distraction," she added.

Roki wasn't easily placated. "You can't know what kind of adverse effects his magic would have on the children," he said.

Widow pouted and rubbed her middle. "I didn't even think about that. What if his goody-goody magic made something weird happen?" she said. "Can you handle the monster? I think I'm going to lay down for a while," she said in an uncharacteristically quiet tone.

Roki kissed her forehead. "Of course. Rest well, my dear. We'll make sure everything is fine after you've rested," he assured her. She smiled at him and headed toward her room. Roki went to Finster's workshop to unleash a monster on the Rangers since they'd been dealt a critical blow.

--x--

Command Center

Holly abandoned Nyo to check on the damage to her Zords. Nyo briefed Tai and the others about how to get into the object. "Hopefully there's something inside that'll be helpful. We're a Megazord down and a seemingly endless supply of Putties that can combine into Giants," Tai said.

"Did you really get that from Zita?" Rei asked. She'd arrived when they left the battle. She'd wanted check on Sora. Luckily, from what she could tell, there were no lingering adverse effects. To make him permanently unable to triplicate would take a spell so much more complex.

"We decided to consider it rent. She said she found it on your grandfather's treasure planet in the M-51 galaxy," Tai answered.

"That's not surprising. He collects objects of power to keep others from using them," Rei said.

Meanwhile, Fox got to meet Mace. "Sorry for replacing you," Mace said a little unsurely when he realized that Fox was the Black Ranger before him.

Fox shook his head. "It was only temporary anyway. We both replaced Rex," he said. But he knew that wasn't exactly true. Rex had chosen him, but the coin had chosen Mace. Still, he chose to believe what he said. He'd never really expected to become a Power Ranger in the first place when he found out about everything.

Billie and Danny had their heads together figuring out how to use their power energy to open the compression compound.

Taran and Lammy had something else on their minds. "Roki actually said 'in your condition'?" Lammy asked her brother.

Taran nodded. "Since I know my magic and her magic are incompatible, I only sent a blast to knock her back, so I don't think I hurt her," he said rubbing the back of his neck uncomfortably.

Lammy rubbed her chin. "Maybe Finster knows something. I'll see if Moriko and Griff will investigate," she said. She was a little less sympathetic. If Widow was pregnant and still chose to combat Taran, then she deserved whatever happened. She was tactful enough not to say anything to him, however, because he seemed genuinely worried.

The alarms went off.

"A monster has appeared in downtown Angel Grove," Beta Z announced.

"They certainly aren't missing their opportunity," Lani declared.

"Did youse expect 'em to?" Chloe asked.

"As if that could happen," Nathan sighed.

"Let's go," Tai said. The Rangers teleported to where the monster was in downtown Angel Grove.

--x--

A fat cat on a peg-leg appeared in downtown Angel Grove. The Giant Puttie attack was still fresh, so there weren't that many people to attack, the ones who were about found themselves caught up int smoky prisons created by the oversized cigar the fat cat puffed on. He'd take a long drag and blow it out.

"Didn't anyone ever tell you smoking was bad for you?"

The monster whirled around toward the sound of the voice talking to him. He suddenly realized he was surrounded by Power Rangers. Very unhappy Power Rangers. He grinned and laughed in a deep guttural way. "Well, ain't that cute," he said. He took a drag on the cigar and then blew out a willow of toxic smelling smoke. "But you're wrong!" he laughed again.

The Rangers coughed and stumbled away from toxic cloud. The male Pink Ranger floated above it. "Power Bow!" he summoned and began to fire arrows at the monster. Despite the wooden leg, he was surprisingly agile. The male Yellow Ranger braved the cloud and sprang forward with his Power Daggers, but the monster swung his leg like a baseball bat and knocked him away.

"Power Flail!" Through the cloud came the spiked ball and bashed the monster in the face, making him stagger back. "That ain't cute!" he spat. He held up the fake leg and it turned into a wicked looking laser gun, and he began firing it like a machine gun, hopping around in erratic circles. "They don't call me Machine Gun Willy for no reason!" he laughed again.

The Rangers took cover. "I got an idea," the male blue ranger said.

"We're listening," male Red declared.

He hands his Power Lance to his partner. "Get the Mega Power Cannon ready," he said. If he was right, it would be enough. He wrapped a forcefield around himself and ran forward. "Teleport the object to me on my mark," he told the Command Center. He ran into the Cloud.

"You heard the man. Mega Power Cannon!" Red said. The Rangers began combing their weapons.

Machine Gun Willy was firing on the Blue Ranger as he approached even though the energy bullets bounced off. He grunted, stopped firing and put his leg down. "Well, you ain't cute at all," he declared.

"Mark," Blue said and lowered his force-field. The amber-esque object appeared his hands. "Hey, buddy, catch!" he said and tossed it at him. When, surprised, the monster caught the object, the Ranger dove out of the way.

The male Red Ranger aimed the Mega Power Cannon with the other Rangers behind him. "Fire!" his partner called out, and he fired. Six points of energy swirled at the monster, though the compression compound and into the monster. He staggered but didn't go down. As for the objects within the compression compound, six of them went flying, looking like some sort of tiny dinosaur figures.

"Pterodon! Petrie!"

"Percie!"

"PeeWee!"

Swooping in after digitizing, three small flying dinobots flew to the Gold, Electrum, and Silver Rangers. They transformed from dinosaur-shaped robots to handheld blasters. "PteroCannon!" The three Rangers assimilated as the PteroBlasters stuck together to create a long-barreled rifle cannon that Gold rested on his shoulder like a rocket launcher. "PteroBlast!" He fired the Cannon at the monster.

A powerful blast of energy ran through each of the R.A.Ds and gathered at the opening of the last one. Once enough energy had built up, it blasted into the monster and it exploded with arcs of electricity and toxic smoke.

Roki threw down his scepter. "Make my monster grow!"

Machine Gun Willy grew to an enormous size.

"StegoZord!"

"VelociZord!"

"CeratoZord!"

"Legend Megazord!"

While the trio battled the monster, the other Rangers retrieved the tiny mechanical dinosaur figures. They were tiny color-coded raptors. "Okay, what do we do with them?" male Pink wondered.

Female Blue took the blue one. "It looks like a Dakotaraptor. There's something written along the body," she said. She tapped her helmet, and a digital display flashed before her eyes. She magnified the writing. She quickly handed it to her partner. "RaptoZord 2," she said.

She quickly took the others. "RaptoZord 1," she tossed the red one that looked like a utahsaurus to the Red team. "RaptoZord 3," she tossed the even tinier microraptor to the black team. "RaptoZord 4," the pink ventosaurus to the pink team. "RaptoZord 5," a green hesperonychus for the yellow team. "And finally, RaptoZord 6," was a green dromaeosaurus for the green team.

"And to activate?" male Red asked.

"Just give it a shot?"

He nodded. "RaptoZord One! Activate!" he said and tossed it in the air. The small zord began to grow and grow until it was the size of a regular zord. He teleported into the Zord's cockpit.

"RaptoZord--Activate!" male Blue, female black, female Pink, male Yellow, and female Green activated their Zords and they grew to full size, some larger than others. Red's RaptoZord was the largest, Black's RaptoZord was the smallest. "Raptormax Megazord!"

The Red RaptoZord changed into a lithe humanoid figure base, its long tail becoming a sword. The Pink RaptoZord broke and formed leg armor. The somewhat winged Blue RaptoZord transformed into chest armor. The little Yellow RaptoZord became almost spiny gauntlets. The four-winged Black RaptoZord became a helmet with side flares. Finally, the Green RaptoZord transformed into a smaller sword.

The female Red Ranger sighed. "I guess we owe Zita one."

--x--

The monster was even more free with his machine gun leg at giant size. He was also freer with his smoke. He drew a large puff of smoke and blew it at the Legend Megazord. He was obscured in a cloud of noxious smoke. "Where did he go?" Gold demanded.

The Megazord rocked when he began firing at them. They threw up the CeratoSword to block the shots.

The Raptormax appeared behind the monster while it was distracted by the Legend Megazord. It slashed him with the Raptormax Sword and the reverse slashed with the Dromaeomax Sword. Willy cried out and whipped around, firing as he went. The chest shield threw up a crackling forcefield of its own and deflected the blasts.

"That was fabulously awesome," Pink declared.

Willy tried once again to throw up an obscuring cloud, but the wings of the helmet expanded and flapped, blowing the cloud, dissipating it harmlessly.

"Now to finished," Red said and the Megazord hooked the swords behind it's back. "Sharp-tooth Bazooka!"

"Spike-tail Silo!"

The two large cannons digitized into existence and were aimed at the monster. ."Fire!" Six-multicolored projectiles hit the monster in a circular pattern, exploding through him from the Bazooka. "Fire!" Three balls of metallic light where launched from the Silo in quick succession. The monster exploded into a dark dust cloud that blew away in the breeze.

"A bit overkill but satisfying," Black stated.

"Extremely so," Yellow agreed.

--x--

Palace on the Moon

Against her own best interest, Rio couldn't help pointing out the obvious in front of Roki. "Well, that was a lot of trouble for only the Rangers to get new toys."

Roki didn't even look at her. He just held up a hand and flicked it, tossing her into one of the thrones. He whirled around and stalked past her to check on Widow. He was very worried about her.

Rio sulked as he walked past her. She clenched her fist again. She had to find a way to surpass them and get her vengeance for her mother.

--x--

Command Center

Tai, Lani, Billie, Danny, Nyo, and Holly sat in Red One. Holly was briefing everyone on the status of the Alpha Zords. "Out of commission until we can figure out how to remove the gunk. It's everywhere in the machinery. We haven't even been able to disassemble the Megazord," she explained.

"It certainly was convenient that we had back up Zords," Danny said.

"I'm not convinced that Zita would have given them to us if she knew what they were," Lani said.

"Only she knows. I doubt she'd say one way or another," Tai said. He sat back with a sigh. "Okay. Don't drive yourself crazy over it. Danny, take her out," he said.

Danny grinned. "No prob," he said. "C'mon, babe. Let's get some fresh air," he said and helped her out of her chair. She nodded. They left Red One.

Billie stood up. "I'm going to go, too," she said.

"Not to the Lab," Tai said. She made a disgruntled face and tromped out. Tai snickered and shook his head. He leaned toward Lani. "Weren't we going to do a thing before all this happened?" he asked her.

She smiled. "Mm. It's kind of late for the plans we had," she said.

"Then let's skip the end. Pizza and soda at the new apartment?" he asked.

"Through in some frozen yogurt and you got yourself a date," she agreed.

"Deal."

She grinned and hopped up. She gave him a quick kiss before he stood up, so she didn't have to find a way get tall enough. He chuckled as he stood. He pulled her close and kissed her again. "Let's go," he said. She nodded, and they left the Command Center.

--x--

Somewhere in Outer Space

A small craft traveled through space, heading toward Earth. They were still awhile away. A blond man and a younger man with dark hair manned the craft. The craft was pretty well on auto pilot, so they sat around a tiny recreational area just behind the cockpit playing a card game. Something on the main console began to beep.

Zhane Rahl stood and went to check it. "What is it?" Rex Hart asked him.

Zhane frowned, scratching the back of his blonde head. "I'm not sure. There's a phantom ion trail that seems to be following us," he said.

Rex got up and looked at the read out. "How far away?" he asked.

"A few parsecs, but it seems to be taking our exact path. I'll try randomizing our energy output energy, see if that helps lose it," he said.

Rex nodded. "We'll keep an eye on it," he said. He went back to his hand. Zhane followed. They settled in to their cards again as they hurtled through space faster than light toward Earth.

And, it seemed, something was following them.

-xEnd 03x-
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Old January 17th, 2019, 02:24 AM #27
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Ravie
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Power Rangers Alpha Season Beta

Power Rangers Alpha Season Beta
Chapter 04: From Outer Space .1


Rena Hart opened her front door when someone knocked on it. On her front entrance was Tai, Mace, and Nathan. "Hey, Re--" She blinked and slammed the door in their faces before Mace could finish his greeting. Tai held back a laugh at his confusion. "Er...wha--?" the door opened again, and it was if Rena had morphed into a different person. Her messy Saturday morning self with no make-up and lounge pants had been magically replaced with her usual fluffy hair, skinny-jeans, impeccable cat-eye make-up.

"Hey, guys. Hi, Nathan. What's up?" she asked with a forced nonchalance and brushed a piece of hair behind her ear.

"We came to pack up Rex's stuff," Tai answered after Nathan waved awkwardly, and Mace moved her out of the way so they could get in. She sent him an annoyed look before wiping her face and putting on a smile again.

"Oh, was that today. You guys are early," she said.

"It's almost noon," Mace said.

"Oh," again, she sent him a dark look. "In that case, I have things. You where know his room and his crap is," she said. "See ya," she said. Then she smiled again. "Bye, Nathan," she said. Again, Nathan waved awkwardly. She waved back and slipped out the front door.

Mace pointed to Nathan, then pointed to the door a few times. "Does she have a little thing for Nathan?" he asked.

Tai couldn't hold his laughter back anymore.

Nathan cleared his throat. "What can I say, I'm big with emos and the scene kids," he said.

"And the ultra-nerds," Mace drawled as he headed upstairs to his cousin's room.

Instead of being offended, Nathan grinned at that. "Them, too," he agreed.

"Let's go, lover boy. We have work to do and I can almost guarantee that Rex probably has more clothes than Tori and Chloe combined," Tai said.

"I believe that," Mace declared. The three of them headed up to the room of the still space bound Rex Hart.

--x--

Griff and Moriko were living in a warehouse near the bay. It had been old and rundown. It may or may not have been victimized by monsters in the past. But now, they had, and have been working on it. Now it looked like some trendy bohemian, semi-industrial apartment that people through the nose for in downtown. They were giving Taran, Lammy, and Rei the tour since it was finally presentable to company.

There were also aspects that clearly showed they weren't quite normal. An entire corner of the building was devoted to weapons and training, while another area was clearly devoted to magic with weird things in apothecary jars on shelve with books and weird plants. Moriko instructed them to sit in the "living room" area with oversized chairs and sofas strewn with brightly colored throws. She served the Goldsmith siblings some black as death coffee and Rei some tea. "So, what do you think?" she asked.

Lammy grinned. "I like it," she declared.

Taran nodded. "I see you even let Griff have a hand at decorating," he drawled and looked toward the training area.

Griff smirked. "Best looking part of the whole place," he said. Moriko huffed and pushed him playfully.

Taran nodded seriously. "Yes, your sense of aesthetics really shines through with how you arranged all the sharp force objects on one side and blunt force objects on another with the combination weapons in the middle," he praised.

Griff stopped grinning and glanced at his brother then his sister. "Is he messin' with me?" he asked her.

Lammy took a drink of her black sludge before answering. "Yes," she answered. Taran barely constrained his laughter.

Griff leaned forward. "Okay, Pretty. You and me," he said and pointed toward the area.

Moriko patted his arm. "It's okay, sweetie. That's just what big brothers do. Don't pay any attention to him. Your collection has some of the rarest weapons in the galaxy," she said.

Still giving Taran a warning glance, Griff leaned back, but he realized he really would enjoy sparring with him one day. "I'll let it go today," he said. Something tickled at the edge of his senses and he suddenly stood. He glanced at Lammy, who was also getting to her feet. The two of them turned their heads to glance upwards in to the distance.

Rei and Moriko looked confused, then Taran got to his feet as well. "What is that?" he asked them.

His younger siblings shared a look then glanced at him. Before they could answer, his communicator beeped. "There's a monster in downtown. Tai want you to join team two," Fox informed him.

"On it," he said.

"We'll explain it later," Lammy assured him. Griff nodded.

"Sorry to leave so abruptly," Taran said to Mori.

"Go," she ushered.

He nodded and teleported out.

--x--

Palace on the Moon

Widow was feeling so much better after resting for a while. They couldn't find any ill affects so far from Tarantules' magic. She was forbidden from directly confronting him again or going into battle at all. Not that she'd allow herself to be constrained by her husband's rules if she didn't agree with them. It was too risky.

Still, she had to make him, and the other Rangers pay. She checked on Roki. He was working on his project in the lab. She decided not to interrupt him. She paused, wondering where Rio was skulking around. She didn't say so, but she felt that Roki had a little too much sympathy for his family. She supposed that had to do with him being born after his parents had been purified by Zordon's energy. Still, it was his weaknesses that made him adorable. She'd just have to take care of Rio herself if that wretch decided to cross them.

Deciding to leave that matter for another time, she went to Finster's lab. "Mistress," he greeted cheerfully, and bowed to her when she appeared.

She raised an eyebrow. "You're in a good mood, Finster. Do you have something interesting to show me?"

"Oh yes, Mistress. Look at these. Which one do you like better?" he asked, showing her several partially completed clay sculptures.

She studied each one thoughtfully. "This one looks interesting. Finish it quickly and send it to Earth," she instructed with a small smirk.

"Oh, yes, Mistress," he said and picked up the lay figure. He added the final touch and put it on the conveyer belt of the Monster-Matic.

Though she was intent on supervising him, something else caught her attention. Something strange. She went to the look-out and stuck her eye to the telescope and looked around in space as far it could. "Roki," she called out.

He appeared almost immediately. "What's wrong?" he asked.

"Can you see anything?" she asked, moving away from the telescope.

He went to the telescope and looked around. "Hmm. I think I do, but we're facing the wrong direction," he said. What few knew what was that the Palace moved around the moon so that it was always able to watch over the Earth. He took the telescope from its stand. He grabbed her hand and they disappeared on the reappear on another part of the moon. He held the telescope up and looked through it. "There's a small shuttle coming through the solar system," he said and handed her the telescope.

She looked through it and finally sighted the shuttle. "That's not what I was looking for," she said. Then she saw it. Something rippled the space beyond the small shuttle and fired on it. The shuttle narrowly managed to avoid being hit. She gasped.

"What is it?" Roki asked.

She handed him the telescope and drew a circle in front of her. "I spy with my little eye...that shuttle and whatever's behind it," she said. A shimmery image of magnified space lit up front of them as the shuttle of Kovarian design hurtled toward the Earth. Whatever was behind them only rippled when it fired.

Roki cocked his head. "Should we interfere?" he asked.

"Whose side would you be on?" Rio asked. Their flurry of activity had garnered her interest. She'd kept low the past while. Maybe they were over their moodiness by now.

Widow glanced back at her. "Neither. There's something coming. I don't like it. There's another hybrid on the hidden vessel. And that's impossible," she said, clenching her fist. She whirled around and looked in the distance. "Lammy and Griff felt it as well," she said and disappeared. She reappeared in front of her younger siblings, who'd come to the moon to better see what was happening. "What is it?" she demanded.

Griff crossed his arms over his chest. He gave Lammy a questioning look. She shrugged. "Speak. I'll patch Taran in," she said.

"Titus," Griff said, as if that explained everything.

Widow rubbed her forehead. "Well, that clarified everything," she said. Griff just shrugged.

Lammy sighed. "While we were lost in dimensions, we quickly gained reputations, even at an early age. We were hired to hunt down a fugitive named Dr. Lee Keflen. He was wanted in thirteen dimensions and 3 galaxies," she explained. "Mostly his crimes are related to his mad science experiments on sentient species. We were careless. We got captured and he managed to get samples of our blood. Not much, but enough to create one clone by combining our samples. We didn't realize until after we escaped. T-909 came after us for Dr. Lee," she explained. "We managed to get through the neural programming and let T-909 make his own choices. In the end he helped us eliminate Dr. Lee and collect the bounty. We gave him a name and offered to let him travel with us. He refused and said he wanted to find his own way. We haven't seen him since," she said.

"It sounds like you left on," Widow made a face, "good terms. Why are you so worried now?" she asked.

"Because that's Dr. Lee's Dimensionally Intangible Traveling Science Station," Lammy said with a pale face. Even as she spoke, the shuttle finally managed to make into the relative safety of Earth's orbit, but the thing behind them wasn't giving up. It rippled into existence for a moment. It was a large and spherical. It was rippling because several assault crafts were launched from it, intent on going after the shuttle.

"Rex and Zhane are coming in hot with bogeys on their tail!" she said into her communicator before disappearing in a puff of smoke.

Widow jerked. There was a Power Ranger on that dinky little shuttle. Maybe they should have interfered after all.

"Don't think of this as a good thing," Griff told her. He had no specific ill will toward his older sister. It's just that Moriko had a destiny that put her at odds with Roki, and Griff was going to protect her. If that meant being at odds with Widow, so be it.

Widow pursed her lips. "Trust me. I have nothing but a bad feeling about this. The last thing I need is some lawless outsider interfering with my plans for this planet," she said.

"Don't underestimate Dr. Lee either," he said. "Never let your guard down when dealing with him and whatever's he brought with him." He gave her a respectful, if shallow bow and disappeared.

Roki came up behind her and put a hand on the small of her back. "So, you have another little brother?"

"It seems so. And, he brought a big problem with him," she said. He moved his hand to her shoulder and pulled her close. "Let's go back and see what's happening," he said, holding up the telescope. She nodded and they transported to the look-out to see what was happening on Earth.

--x--

Tai, Mace, and Nathan were amid moving boxes full of Rex's things to the apartment he'll share with Tai near the AGU campus. Luckily the building had an elevator. Nathan finally had enough. "Is there even room for all his stuff in this apartment?" he asked and kicked a box full of clothes lightly.

Tai sighed. "Might have to rent the apartment next door just for all this," he said. His communicator beeped. "Tai here. Go," he said.

"A monster appeared in downtown," Fox said.

"Send Taran and Team 2," Tai said. "Keep an eye on the situation and keep me updated," he said.

"Right," Fox said.

"That means me, right? I get to go fight a monster?" Nathan asked.

Tai nodded. "Go fight the monster," he said.

"Good luck with all this," Nathan said and teleported away.

Mace shook his head. "I think he got the better deal," he said with a sigh. "There are more boxes in the car," he said with a grimace. He cleared his throat. "Um, so Fox...I mean I don't know him, but is he really okay with...everything?" he asked.

Tai sighed. "After he found out about everything, this is pretty much what he did. As for being okay, I can't say for sure," he said. "But, don't let it bother you. There's something we, and yes, even Fox, have learned, it's that things happen for a reason. If he were meant to continue being the male half of the Black Team, he would be," he said. "You should worry more about your partner. I don't know what you did to her but being on Chloe Kennedy's hit list is probably not the best place to be," he said.

Mace rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah. If she ever deigns to talk to me again, I do intend to clear things up," he said.

Tai nodded. "C'mon. There are more boxes," he said. Mace nodded and followed him out.

--x--

The monster that appeared in downtown Angel Grove was a pirate captain with a luxurious frock coat and a sumptuous feather in his hat. Well, he thought he was stylish. He didn't realize the massive rotting teeth, the empty eye socket swirling with darkness, and the arm that was in fact a hook ended sword made people afraid of him. He swirled the end of a ridiculously large and thin mustache. "Why are running from Captain Crook?" he asked in a very forced sounding accent. He whirled around and thrust out his arm. Watery energy whirled out from him to capture the people and drag them toward him.

They were an ace up his impeccable sleeve when the Rangers arrive. He didn't have to wait long. Seven Power Rangers arrived. "Stop right there!" female Red said.

"Oh, boy. Power Rangers," Crook crowed. He jerked up his good hand and several civilians trapped in watery pods hovered in the air. "Do you dare?" he asked. He grinned a manic, rotten toothed grin. "Putties!" he called.

"Taran, Nathan, Danny. See if you can figure out how to free the people. We'll handle the Putties and the monster," Red said.

Gold, Blue, and Pink broke off from the others.

"So, I get to stay in the girl power group?" Green asked. "That works for me," he said. "Stygian Blade!" he summoned.

"Power Grips!" Yellow summoned.

"Power Axe!" Black summoned.

"Power Sword!" Red summoned.

They met the Putties that were summoned.

Pink tried to levitate to the trapped people, while Blue consulted with Billie and other minds of the Command Center. Gold, however, got distracted before he could try anything when Lammy suddenly tapped into some sort of psycho-magical communication among the siblings.

"Taran!" Blue held out a hand and projected a forcefield just as his own danger sense kicked in, and he reacted automatically when a Puttie hulk formed and tried to smash him with an oversized fist. "StegoMace!" he summoned the spiked weapon and jumped, using his own strength and momentum to smash it into and send it flying.

"What's wrong?" Red demanded.

"Team One will handle it. Let's concentrate on this problem," he answered her.

She nodded. "Do you need back-up?" she asked, noting the Hulk was coming at him again even as she sent the head of Puttie flying with the flick of her Sword.

"I'll help him," Green said, and broke off from the girls and went to help Gold with the hulk.

--x--

Finally, the last box was brought into the apartment. "Is it really okay to be moving boxes right now?" Mace asked.

"Lani and Taran will let us know if they need help," Tai answered.

"Rex has really been in space all this time? I thought he was doing some kind of work-study thing in Europe," he said.

"That was the point," Tai said. He closed the door to Rex's room. He was done with that. It'd be up to Rex to unpack everything to his own satisfaction. His communicator beeped again, and he got Lammy's message. "Let's get to the Command Center," he said. Mace nodded and they teleported.

When they arrived Nyo was already tracking the shuttle. Even in the atmosphere, the small assault crafts were trying to fire on it. Suddenly it took direct hit. "Teleport them, now!" Tai said. Right before their eyes the shuttle exploded. There was a pregnant pause, but Zhane and Rex suddenly appeared in bright flashes.

Zhane blew out a breath and patted himself down. "I'm alive. Good, Karone would have killed me if I'd died," he said.

Rex was clutching a small box, but otherwise stood stone still. Tai sighed. He went over to his friend and hugged him. "Don't you ever scare me like that again," he said.

"Once was plenty," Rex finally said. "My legs aren't quite working," he said. As bad as it was for those watching, it was even worse for the ones inside the ship. He actually saw, felt, and heard the explosion the split second before he teleported. Not fun.

"You still have legs?" Zhane asked dumbly.

"Let's get them to the medi-lab," Lammy said, and helped walk Zhane while Tai took charge of Rex. They sat the two men on two beds.

"We're okay, just..." Zhane didn't have words.

"Was it the explosion or did I see Mason in there?" Rex asked. Were his relatives haunting him now since he had a near death experience? Hopefully not. Surely the Rat would give him peace in his final moments.

"It wasn't the explosion. It really was Mason. He's your replacement's replacement," Tai answered.

"But I saw Fox."

"It's a long story," Tai said. "Why don't you loosen your grip on this and relax while getting scanned." He tried to get the box from him.

Rex blinked and seemed surprised he was clutching the box. "Oh. Right. That's for Beez," he said, relinquishing his hold on it. When he relaxed his grip, his hands began to ache.

"They gonna be okay?" Fox asked.

"You almost die in a spaceship explosion and see how you react," Billie said absently as she attempted to analyze how Widow's monster had trapped his hostages.

"Good point," he said. "Oh! Tai! Those deadly little spaceships landed," he called. "Things are coming out of them," he added.

"Well, that can't be good," Tai said.

Beta Z came into the Medi-Lab. She took the box from Tai. "I'll make sure Rex and Zhane rest," she assured him.

"Team 1, Lammy, Sora, with me. Billie, let Holly take over for you," he said. Holly appeared almost immediately in the Command Center. She didn't even ask what the situation was when she took over the console Billie was using.

Tai, Billie, Mason, and Lammy teleported out.

--x--

Red-skinned, insectoid creatures disembarked from the small crafts that had landed in the Park. They spilled out more than should have theoretically been able to fit inside. They looked around their new surrounding and saw people. Mandibles clicked together excitedly, and they walked toward the species in a mantis like fashion.

People screamed and began to run away but creatures were able to spit sticky nets that captured people. "TyrannoSword!" the male Red Ranger cut free several people who were caught up in the nets.

"These things are like, super gross," Pink stated.

"Super gross," Black agreed.

She gave him a quick thumbs up. "Power Fans!" she summoned and used both to deflect the nets and to slice through them when necessary.

"Power Flail!" he summoned and began to use the weapon against the creatures.

"Power Daggers!" Yellow summoned his weapons. He used them at close quarters, and his ability to spring around like a bouncy ball to doge when the creature tried to trap him.

"Power Staff!"

"Velocirapier!"

"CeratoSword!"

Green, Electrum, and Silver also summoned their weapons. The creatures were almost as tough to deal with as Dark Putties. "Oh, no. This isn't good," Electrum said when she finally realized why.

"What's wrong?" Green asked her.

"They have Rachnaemance exoskeletons," she said.

"Like Win's?"

"But permanent. This is really not good," she said almost as if to herself. "That means Dr. Lee really does have Titus again," she said.

Silver headed off an attack on her from one of the creatures. He slashed him in half with his huge sword. "Well, at least it ain't as tough as an actual Rachnaemance's," he said as someone who regularly sparred against the Goldsmiths and Win.

"Thanks," she said.

"Keep your head in the game," Red warned her.

She gritted her teeth. "Won't happen again," she said and attacked the creatures with a renewed determination.

--x--

Command Center

A very pregnant Karone arrived in the Medi-Lab with Kat and Kim. "You boys are going to give me a nervous breakdown," Kim declared to her other younger cousin, Rex even as she gave him a big hug.

"Us boys?" he asked.

"Long story," she said.

Karone was nearly sobbing as she hugged, kissed, and fussed over Zhane. Kat was consulting with Beez about their scans. "I'm beginning to think I should go back to med school," she declared with a sigh.

Rex was still confused. "Everybody keeps saying it's a long story. What's the story?" he asked. He really was starting to feel normal again. "What's the deal with Mason? Why is he running around in the Black suit?" he asked.

Kim sighed. She briefly explained to him about Mason returning due to his injury while Fox was lost in the jungle with his parents.

"We weren't lost," Fox interjected.

Rex managed to chuckle. "So, it's actually a pretty short story," he said. "So, if he was injured so badly how is he Power Rangering?" he asked.

"Coin finally worked on him," Fox interjected again.

Rex got to his feet. Kim tried to sit him down again, but he shook her off. "I'm okay," he assured her as he walked to the Power Chamber. He looked at the screens. "So, Widow and Roki returned?" he asked.

"Yeah. Worse than ever. See that thing?" Fox pointed to the Puttie hulk. "They can get even bigger," he said. "But that's old news. What we need to know is what those are and why they were chasing you and Zhane," he said, pointing a different screen.

"Trust me, I'd like to know that too," Rex said, clenching his fist. He turned around as there was another commotion. Melody and Zara arrived. Zara made a bee-line to her older brother, but Mel glanced up at Rex. Their eyes met and he smiled at her. She smiled back.

Fox coughed loudly. "Is this really the time for that, Shifu?" he asked.

Melody blushed and ducked into the medi-lab.

Rex smacked the back of Fox's head. "You embarrassed her, Grasshopper," he scolded.

Fox grumbled and rubbed his head.

"Oh! I have an idea," Holly finally said.

"We're all ears, babe," male Blue told her.

"It needs Taran and Winter though, and there's no one else to engage the hulk," she said.

"Not necessarily," Beta Z said and opened the box finally, revealing three metallic Power Coins. A shiny, almost white coin had an armored dinosaur embossed on it. A more brushed, blueish-toned silvery coin had a flying dinosaur embossed on it. Finally, a bronze coin had a many-toothed shark embossed on it. "I'd like more time for analysis, but we're under constraints," she said.

"Okay, but who--" Fox didn't get to finish his question when without hesitation, Rex reached out and took the bronze coin and put it in Fox's hand. The coin disappeared and reappeared as a morpher digitized onto his upper arm. Rex took the brushed silver coin and put it in Holly's hand, even as she tried to jerk away.

"I'm not a--" but the Coin bonded with her right away, shocking her to her toes.

"Hey, anybody there? What's going on?" Blue demanded.

"You're about to get some reinforcements," Nyo stated watching in fascination as Rex picked up the final Coin and it bonded with him.

"Huh?"

"It's Morphin Time! Ankylosaur!" Rex activated his Morpher. A suit began digitizing around him. Black where the other suits were white, lined in gold. Where the other suits were usually brightly colored, his was a super shiny Platinum. A helmet formed around his head, resembling an ankylosaur.

"Nyctosaurus!" Holly activated her Morpher, knowing there was no use fighting it. The suit that digitized around her was black and a brushed silver-blue tone. The helmet that formed was a little back but mostly Titanium with a tall crest resembling the nyctosaurus.

"Megalodon!" Fox eagerly activated his Morpher. A black and bronze suit digitized around him. His helmet was a fierce shark complete with protrusion resembling fins.

"Let's go," Platinum said, and the trio teleported.

--x--

Female Red was getting impatient. She finally broke through the Putties to be able to spar with the monster personally, but he was an exceptional swordsman himself. She strained against his bladed arm. "Aren't you a cute little Ranger, but you can't beat me. Maybe you should get your boyfriend to do it instead," he taunted and kicked her in the middle. She cried out and crashed into the ground.

"Don't listen to that jerk, Lani," Black said and helped her to her feet.

"Yeah. We don't need no bros to rescue us," Yellow agreed.

"Don't worry. It wasn't his kick that knocked me over. It was his breath," Red said with a snarl.

"Anyone else feel that chill go down their spines?" Pink asked. He wasn't having any luck getting the civilians free, so he lay down cover for the girls. Maybe if they defeated the monster, they'd be okay.

"All the way to my toes," Blue agreed. "Whoa," he said because Holly had her sudden epiphany. "Holly has an idea," he said. "But we need Taran and Winter," he said.

"We're a little tied up," Green said as he rolled out of the way of the Putty hulk's smashing fist.

"Well, what is it?" Gold asked.

Blue shook his head. "Hey, anybody there? What's going on?" he demanded of the Command center.

"You're about to get some reinforcements," Nyo said.

"Huh?" Blue wondered. "I thought Team was busy doing something else," he said.

"They are. What's wrong now?" Gold asked.

"Nyo said we're getting reinforcements," Blue said.

"What reinforcements?" Red asked as she once again volleyed with the monster.

Three unfamiliar Power Rangers teleported to the scene. "Reinforcements at your service," Bronze called out. "Whoa, those things are way bigger in person," he declared.

"Fox!" Black said in surprise.

"Taran, help Winter. Only he can phase into the pods. Now that he's able to phase other people, he should also be able to phase them out again," Titanium instructed.

"Holly!" Blue was equally surprised.

"Go. We'll handle this big boy," Platinum said.

"Rex!" everyone on Team 2 except Yellow exclaimed.

"We'll have the welcome home party later. Let's get this done," he said. He cracked his neck. "I think I've missed this," he said. He held out his hands. "Platinum Kama!" he summoned. Hand-held weapons with wicked-looking scythe-like blades appeared in his hands. He spun them experimentally and grinned beneath his helmet. He ran headlong into the creature, dodging its fists as it tried to smash into him. Instead he hacked into the middle of it.

"I don't think I missed this. I know I did," Bronze said. "Bronze Blades!" he summoned. Familiar yet new single edged swords appeared in his hands. The blades were slightly curved like the swords he'd trained with since he started training. Their weight and length were perfect for him. He didn't hesitate for a moment. He ran, almost passing up Platinum, but choosing to making things easier for him instead, swing the sword, hacking off a fist anytime it lashed out or grew back.

"Titanium Bolt!" Titanium summoned a crossbow that was attached to her arm. It fired metal bolts automatically when she pressed a trigger with her thumb. She didn't have quite the aim as Billie, but she wasn't bad at it. She fired several bolts into the side of the hulk and used them as steps to get to its head. Once she was there, she began firing directly into its cranium. The hulk roared and began breaking part faster than it could regroup as bolts hit the vulnerable parts of the Putties it was made of.

"Just when I thought she couldn't get more perfect," Blue declared.

"Quit slacking off, lover boy," Pink scolded him.

Gold and Green had finally figured out how to rescue the civilians, and Red had finally had enough the bad breath monster. "I'm over this so much," she said. "Saurolophus!" she called. The duck-billed R.A.D. digitized into existence.

"What a cute little dinosaur. Is it supposed to be scary?" Captain Crook asked with an odius laugh.

"Yes," She answered. "SauroCannon!" The little robot transformed itself into a single barrel team cannon that seemed to hover on its own power. Red aimed it. Knowing how the cannon reacted, her team helped her steady it. "Sauro Blast!" She fired the weapon. The energy plowed into the monster and he exploded.

A staff was thrown down from the Moon. "Make my monster grow!" Widow shouted.

Captain Crook regrouped with a giant laugh. "Was that it. Now I'm even stronger!" he crowed. He began to fling his arm, capturing whole buildings.

"Let's go," Red said. "RaptoZord One!"

"RaptoZord Two!"

"RaptoZord Three!"

"RaptoZord Four!"

"RaptoZord Five!"

"RaptoZord Six!"

The Raptor Zords began to digitize into existence and teleported their pilots to their cockpits. "RaptorMax Megazord!" The Red RaptoZord changed into a lithe humanoid figure base, its long tail becoming a sword. The Pink RaptoZord broke and formed leg armor. The somewhat winged Blue RaptoZord transformed into chest armor. The little Yellow RaptoZord became almost spiny gauntlets. The four-winged Black RaptoZord became a helmet with side flares. Finally, the Green RaptoZord transformed into a smaller sword.

"Huh. I have a lot of catching up to do," Platinum said.

"Yep. Go help Tai and the others. I'll stay in case they need back-up," Gold said.

The new trio of Rangers agreed and teleported away.

--x--

Team One, Electrum, and Silver found that the creatures just kept coming from the crafts. "There's no end to them," Silver said in frustration.

"Looks like we need to do something about those crafts," Blue said. "If my readings are right, there's some sort of dimensional anomaly located just inside," she said.

"We'll use the cannons," Red said.

"There's two cannons and three crafts," Black said.

"You can use the Eds," Nyo said.

"Eds?" Black asked.

"The ground recon rads," Titanium explained when she and her teammates arrived. "That's a great idea, Nyo," she said.

"Holly?" Pink asked.

"And me," Bronze said, waving.

"We're not doing this again. Yes, Holly, Fox, Rex. Let's go," Platinum said. "Do your rad thing, whatever that means. I'll just fight weird looking insect things and pretend I know what's going on," he said.

"Good call," Silver said. "Because I don't know most of time m'self," he said and split into three as he engaged the creatures.

"Platinum Kama!" he summoned again.

"Bronze Blades!"

The two of them joined the battle while Electrum and Titanium joined up with Red. "Brontosaurus!" he summoned.

"Petrie! Percie! Peewee!" Electrum summoned.

"Ed! Double D! Eddy!" Titanium summoned.

The dog-sized brontosaurus robot digitized into existence. The three tiny bird-like robots zoomed threw the air and circled around Electrum. Three tiny-cat sized raptors zoomed around Titanium's feet.

"BrontoCannon!"

"PteroBlaster!"

"CompyBlaster!"

Littlefoot transformed into a double-barreled cannon. The pterodon droids connected to form a long-barreled blaster cannon that Electrum rested on her shoulder like a rocket launcher. The three ground recon droids formed a triple-barreled blaster that Titanium had to balance on her raised forearm to aim.

"Fire!"

The three cannons blasted into the crafts and they exploded.

--x--

"Sharp-tooth Bazooka!" After a not so easy battle with the monster, Red finally was able to summon the powerful cannon. The weapon appeared on the Megazord's shoulder. "Aim," she lined up her shot.

The bazooka's mouth opened. "Fire!" Six-multicolored projectiles hit the monster in a circular pattern, exploding through him. The monster cried out as he arced electricity and exploded in a cloud of black clay that dissipated as the Megazord turned away from the scene.

--x--

Palace on the Moon

Widow was very annoyed by her monster being exploded, but she was even more troubled by what may be a rival. The Station rippled into existence once again, as a larger, more sinister looking ship left it. She narrowed her eyes. "Come with me, husband. I want a firsthand look at what's happening," she said.

Roki nodded. The two of them disappeared.

--x--

They reappeared on Earth in time to see the other team of Rangers arrive to help their comrades take care of the creatures that still lingered even after their source was destroyed. They weren't too surprised to see that Rei, Moriko, and Griff were also nearby. What did surprise them was Zita. Hiding from even her sister and draped in what could only be a decorative throw she lifted from someone's couch. Roki made as if to call out or approach, but Widow stayed him and shook her head. He pursed his lips but nodded. It was obvious she would not be receptive to speaking with anyone on either side of the conflict.

The Rangers finally finished off the stragglers, but Electrum stopped them from being very happy. "Something's about to happen," she said and dropped her Morph.

The others dropped their morphs as well. A sleek, sinister black craft landed near them. A bay door opened like a ramp. There was darkness within, and finally movement. Three tiny animals frolicked out. One animal was a puffy white cat with gleaming blue eyes, and three regal tails that flicked around with regal flair independently from each other. Following the cat was a yappy little dog similar to a papillon dog, but it was blue and had a majestic main. Its mouth was full of fangs. Still oddly cute. The third animal was a dainty miniature gray-striped zebra that had a lovely pair of wings.

"Somehow not what I was expecting," Danny admitted.

"Don't be fooled by the cuteness. Those are probably the most dangerous animals you'll ever meet," Lammy warned. She sucked in a breath. Two figures disembarked from the craft. One was a man and one was a woman. They both wore blue-ish steel upper body armor, belts, gauntlets and boots over black combat suits. The woman had dark skin and wore headgear with black braids falling out of it. A whip was coiled on her belt. The man had an eerie familiarity about him. His skin was kissed with gold, and he had bright sky-blue eyes. His hair was dark, short, styled, with a widow's peak. Some sort of electronic implant around his right eye occasionally had lights going on and off. He had two weapons on his back. A long-handled battle-axe and a long-handled flail.

"It really is Titus," Lammy said. She clenched her teeth and her fist.

He turned his head and a smile tilted his mouth. "Fancy meeting you here. Dr. Lee looks forward to getting reacquainted with you and Grifforzer. Of course, he'd also love to meet the rest of the family," he said, looking first at Taran then tilting his head and looking off to where Roki and Widow were standing.

"Why are you ruining my entrance!" A feminine voice asked in a pique. "On your knees! Both of you!"

Titus and the other woman went to their knees as if jerked down. They bowed their heads as a final figure stepped off the ship. A tall, slender woman was dressed in a black body suit with tall black boots. Over that was a metal bodice and gauntlets. Unnatural red hair spilled over one shoulder with a silver band around her head. An implant of some sort also wrapped around the right one of her blue eyes.

"Oh--"

"My--"

"Astronema," Wood, Nathan, and Billie gaped.

"So, you've heard of me," she said with a wicked smile and began to laugh as everyone looked upon the Princess of Evil standing before them.

x-- End 04 --x-- TBC--x
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