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Old August 7th, 2018, 06:49 AM #41
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NewWhiteTiger wrote: View Post

Great chapter Ryu, I don't get nearly as much spare time as I used to so I haven't been on the board much lately, when the first thing I see is a lengthy update chapter from you...well I'm really happy I checked out RangerBoard today lol. Amazing chapter as always.
Thanks! Nice to hear from you, totally understand about spare time. I'm lucky that I'm in a rare spot with some time on my hands, and the urge to crank out some stories.

The next chapter is going to be fun, it's rather Tommy heavy-- my version of Fighting Spirit. I've been working on it all morning and can't stop.
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Old August 7th, 2018, 11:14 AM #42
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Great update! It always feels like a holiday when you pop up on the forum I'm a big fan of the way Simon has sort of followed in Tommy's path (both intentional and unintentional) to the point now where he's essentially became a second Dragon. The fact that he's, for all technical purposes, an antagonist and yet I still emptihize woth him shows how organically he has developed. Its like watching an old friend get in with the wrong crowd. Like, come on dude, chill out and play some Halo. Looking forward to the next update (:
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Old August 8th, 2018, 09:45 AM #43
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SuperselfieRed wrote: View Post

Great update! It always feels like a holiday when you pop up on the forum I'm a big fan of the way Simon has sort of followed in Tommy's path (both intentional and unintentional) to the point now where he's essentially became a second Dragon. The fact that he's, for all technical purposes, an antagonist and yet I still emptihize woth him shows how organically he has developed. Its like watching an old friend get in with the wrong crowd. Like, come on dude, chill out and play some Halo. Looking forward to the next update (:
Thanks! I'll have the next update very soon, I'm about 15 pages in so far.

As for Simon, yeah, he's been interesting. At some point he just developed a life of his own, and half the time, he ends up surprising me too.

I'm so trying to work that Halo line into a chapter, btw, hilarious.
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Old August 8th, 2018, 02:51 PM #44
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Amazing as always, Ryu. Just curious if the side stories some of us fans sent in to you will ever be seen, or if the new direction kinda nixed that thought. Looking forward to more.
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Old August 8th, 2018, 05:46 PM #45
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Green1 wrote: View Post

Amazing as always, Ryu. Just curious if the side stories some of us fans sent in to you will ever be seen, or if the new direction kinda nixed that thought. Looking forward to more.
I will definitely get those posted.

It's not so much a new direction as much as deciding to get straight to these two arcs and not worry about fleshing out Gokai. They will likely get posted between this arc and the next one (Gokai doesn't come back until the next one...although they are technically watching this arc through Time Shards and such).
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Old August 8th, 2018, 06:27 PM #46
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Chapter 03: Fighting Spirit

Beyond all space and time

Reality shattered, leaving shards of time and space in an endless void. The Ultimate Power Rangers journeyed through this void to learn the secrets of the end of existence. Using Ranger Keys, they unlocked Time Shards to slowly unravel the broken pieces of history.

The Shards revealed this story.


***

ROUND 1

The Astral Plane


The Ninja Megazord, Shogun Megazord and Falconzord spoke to Tommy in unison.

TO REACH THE CENTER OF THE FORGE, AND TO FREE IT FROM CORRUPTION, YOU WILL HAVE TO FACE THE SOURCE OF THAT CORRUPTION. THE SOURCE OF EVIL.

“I’ve faced evil before,” Tommy said. “All my life, actually. I’m not afraid.”

VERY WELL. ALTHOUGH BE WARNED. WHAT YOU WILL FACE IS UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU HAVE SEEN BEFORE...EXCEPT IN YOUR VERY NIGHTMARES.

Tommy’s vision blurred and flared with flashes of light. When he regained his focus, he found himself near the forge once more.

The former ranger took a deep breath. “OK...now...get to the forge...defeat a giant, corrupt Megazord...re-create all the powers lost during the Second Countdown to Destruction. Simple…” He took another deep breath. “Right…”

The landscape shifted. The skies tinted to dark jade, and the ground sprouted with jagged mountains and hills. In the distance, Tommy saw a massive spire, one he recognized all too well-- Bandora’s palace.

Evil laughter cut through the air-- the laughter of Tommy’s own voice, only distorted, and evil.

He turned to a rocky hillside and looked up to see the Green Dragon Ranger.

The Green Ranger unsheathed his Dragon Dagger.

“Hello, Tommy.”

Tommy sighed. “Aw, man. Seriously? Is this the best you can do, Astral Plane? I’ve fought evil versions of myself at least two dozen times.”

“Don’t be so quip, Tommy…” the Green Ranger walked slowly down the mountainside, like a predator. “I’m not just some illusion or dark shadow. I’m from a world that never should have been. A world born only to die. Although I guess that’s true of every world. Isn’t it?”

“All I know is, I’ve faced my dark side before, plenty of times. You have no power over me.”

“You don’t even know what your ‘dark side’ means. Do you truly understand what brought me into being? I didn’t at first...but my Lord enlightened me.”

Tommy didn’t even bother asking about the identity of this ‘Lord’ person. “Well, that was nice of him.”

“You still don’t understand what’s happening, do you? What this all means? It’s the Ultimate Secret, Tommy.”

Tommy narrowed his eyes. That phrase, he’d heard it for the past several years, and nothing good ever came from it. “OK, I’m not amused anymore. I don’t care who you are, I’m going through you.”

“That’s the spirit.” the Green Ranger dashed to attack. “Si-kuya!”

The evil Ranger launched a series of lightning-fast punches and kicks. Tommy blocked and pivoted, striking back with a spin kick that bashed the Green Ranger’s helmet.

Tommy pressed forward with a flurry of punches of his own, hammering the Green Ranger’s golden chest shield. He finished his combo with a reverse side-kick that knocked the evil Ranger several steps backward.

“I’ve been stronger than you for some time now, Green Ranger.”

“You may have strength...but I have one thing you don’t have. Loss!” The villain lunged with a jump-kick and round-kick that forced Tommy several steps back.

The Green Ranger continued his assault with rapid kicks and punches, gaining ground with each strike. “I know all about you, how you lost poor little Shannon, your first girlfriend. It’s what drove you to take the Sword of Darkness. That loss drove you to evil.”

The Green Ranger hook kicked Tommy’s head and sidekicked his chest. “But I’ve lost so much more! Teddy! Kimberly! Chelsea!”

The Green Ranger swung a punch. Tommy caught the villain’s wrist. “That doesn’t give you the right to go insane.”

He round-kicked the Ranger’s side and kicked him upside the head.

The blow whipped the Green Ranger backward; he crashed and tumbled across the ground.

His armor powered down with a flash of jade light, revealing his human form. At least, mostly human. His hair looked pale white and disheveled, and his skin was the color of chalk. His eyes were blood red, the same color as the veins that spread beneath his skin.

He looked like Kai, Bandora’s son.

“What the hell are you?” Tommy asked.

The evil Tommy smirked. “There’s the reaction I wanted. On my world, after your Ranger friends killed Kai, Bandora molded me into his image. I became her dear son. Sweet, isn’t it?”

The villain climbed to his feet. “You know...I guess it’s kind of funny when you think about it. Isn’t it? Loss drove me to become what I am today. The same thing happened to Bandora, when she lost Kai the first time.” He laughed. “I mean, she sold her soul to a devil after she lost her poor little boy. Aw, man...that kind of loss...it drives people, Tommy.”

Tommy tightened his fists. “It does…” He thought of Shannon, struck down by Goldar. He thought of Kimberly, and all the heroes lost during the Second Countdown to Destruction. And he thought of every scene of devastation and destruction caused by his Ranger battles, destruction that took away family members, loved ones, and friends.

“But it doesn’t have to drive you to evil. I take my loss, and I use it, to fight against psychos like you. So innocent people won’t have to go through what I have.”

“And how’s that been working out for you?” the evil Tommy asked. “Your world is in the middle of the actual Apocalypse, and that’s not even the worse thing happening.”

“Thanks for that reminder…” Tommy stepped into a fighting stance. “I’m going to set things right. But first, I need to go through you.”

Tommy charged to attack his dark counterpart. They exchanged spinning kicks and punches, dodging and parrying, blocking, and countering.

The evil Tommy swung an elbow towards Tommy’s face. Tommy blocked, ducked and elbowed the villain’s ribs. He followed with a sidekick that bashed the villain backward.

Evil Tommy hit the ground and quickly rolled to his feet. He thrust his hands with a TK burst that nearly knocked Tommy backward, but Tommy countered with a burst of Ki.

“Like I said…” Tommy tightened his fists. And within his right fist, he felt a warm glow. “I’ve fought evl versions of myself. You’re nothing new. Nothing I haven’t already overcome.”

“That’s just the thing...I’m not something you overcome and get over just once. This battle of ours...it may take different forms, different times...but it’s never going to end.”

“Fine by me.” Tommy opened his hand, revealing the Green Dragon Coin. With a flash of golden light, a morpher formed around the coin. Instinctively, Tommy thrust the morpher forward.

“Dino! Buckler!” He snapped the morpher open, and it flared with jade energy. “Dragonzord!”

Green energy wrapped around him as he morphed into the Green Dragon Ranger.

Evil Tommy laughed. “Well, well. That look suits you.”

Dragon Ranger lunged and attacked, feeling The Power course through his body. He hadn’t morphed in years and had forgotten about the rush, the constant stream of energy and power. That power surged through his muscles, fueling every strike.

He forced the evil Tommy several steps backward. The villain lost his footing and fell onto his back.

Dragon Ranger stepped onto the fallen villain’s chest and unsheathed his Dragon Dagger.

Evil Tommy laughed. “You’re a fool. You think that’s all this is? Facing an evil version of yourself? You have no idea what you’re up against…But my Lord...he will show you.”

Suddenly, Dragon Ranger’s vision blurred and exploded, swirling and shattering, flashing and dimming.

When his vision cleared, Tommy found himself standing on a vast plain of gray, covered in mist and smog. He looked to his hands-- no sign of the Dragon Buckler.

“Great…” he muttered. He somehow managed to re-craft the Green Dragon Ranger powers with a thought, but those powers didn’t remain. Why? Maybe that’s why he needed the forge, for permanence.

Tommy heard footsteps through the mist, along with the clanking sound of shifting armor. A dark figure approached, dressed in a cloak that billowed as if from wind-- although the air was still.

Tommy noticed more details as the figure came closer. Beneath a midnight black cloak, the stranger wore armor that appeared no heavier than cloth, mostly black, trimmed with dull silver. A mask covered most of his face, except for his mouth and jaw. The mask appeared demon-like, with lines of silver and narrow, blood-red eyes. The stranger’s black hair was tied back in a ponytail.

The stranger dropped his cloak and rolled his shoulders. “Hello, Tommy,” he said with a cold, evil voice Tommy recognized all too well-- his own. “I’ve been looking forward to this.”

Tommy narrowed his eyes. “Let me guess...you’re an evil version of me?”

“You could say that. I’m the only you that matters.” The villain rolled his hands into fists. “I’m Tenkasei Ryo. And I am the Gorma.”

***

ROUND 2

Tommy narrowed his eyes. “Gorma?”

“You remember them, don’t you? You fought them. You defeated them. You denied yourself the power they offered.” He lifted his hands; crimson light danced across his palms. “I didn’t.”

“So you’re a version of me that joined the Gorma?” Tommy shook his head. “That would never happen.”

“Oh, but it did. I was once a fool, like you. I tried to deny my past as Bandora’s Green Ranger. I fought as the Red Dragon Ranger, leader of the Power Rangers. Then I met my father...a Gorma. I killed him, of course, and then took his place. The Triumvirate tried to stop me. I crushed the life from them, and then destroyed their emperor. I’m all that’s left of the Gorma now. All that’s needed.”

“I just finished this dance with-”

“Enough talk,” the Gorma snapped. “I look at you and see nothing but weakness. I will eradicate that weakness, the same as did the weakness within my own soul.”

The villain thrust his hand with a wave of energy daggers that shot towards Tommy. Tommy dove and rolled aside, but the Gorma hurled another volley of the blades.

Tommy rolled into a crouch and slapped his right fist against his left palm. “Ki!”

His Kiryoku blocked the daggers with bursts of spark, splashing against an invisible energy barrier.

Tommy shot to his feet and hurled an invisible blast of power. But the Gorma knocked it aside and thrust his hand, summoning waves of fire that erupted around Tommy. Tommy lifted his right arm, took control of the fire and hurled it back at the Gorma.

The Gorma swatted the flames aside. “We could stand here and throw power at each other all day. Or...you could face the truth, and submit. Submit to me, your better in every way, and let me end your miserable existence.”

Tommy rolled his hands into fists. He hoped to summon his powers, the powers of the Red Dragon Ranger, the same as he’d summoned the powers of the Green Ranger. But nothing happened.

The Gorma took notice. And he laughed. “What’s the matter, you little misfit? All out of juice? Pathetic…”

The villain hurled a bolt of crimson energy that slammed Tommy’s chest and knocked him backward. Unrelenting, the Gorma summoned another wave of energy daggers, and bursts of fire that erupted from the ground.

The blasts tore at Tommy, slicing through his skin and clothes, knocking him to the ground as blood splattered from his wounds.

The Gorma used his Ki to pull a chunk of earth from the ground, shape it into a column, and bash it onto the fallen ranger’s back.

Pain shot through Tommy’s spine, burning every muscle and tendon throughout his body.

The Gorma lowered his guard and stalked towards his fallen opponent. “I suppose this never happened to you. But it did happen to me, when I faced my father. He beat me, the same as I have beaten you. But I cast my weakness aside, and joined him.”

Tommy groaned, barely able to lift his head, and unable to move without pins of white-hot agony shooting through his limbs.

“There’s no way I would have joined the Gorma.”

“No? No way you’d grow tired of being helpless? A victim? Don’t you remember when you lost your powers as the Green Ranger? You were...useless. A joke. Why would you ever let yourself feel that way again? Why would you let yourself feel that way now? You could claim the power that is your birthright, rise to your feet, and strike me down. You are the Dragon, the one who broke free from the strings of Fate. The very cosmos could bend to your will! But instead...you whimper. You choose your weakness.”

Tommy clenched his jaw. Despite the pain, he started to climb to his feet, slowly, move by move. “You think you know me? Do you have any idea what I’ve been through since the Gorma? How much I’ve grown since then? That was...what...15, 16 years ago?”

Tommy channeled The Power and let its energy flow through his body and soul like a refreshing current. “What’s weak is to give into darkness. It’s quick. It’s powerful. But it’s the easy way out. You’re nothing but a coward. You want to eradicate weakness so bad? Take a look at yourself.”

“I...will kill you,” the Gorma hissed, shaking with anger. “Slowly…”

“Bring it on.”

The opponents charged at one another and exchanged fierce blows, each strike ringing with thunder. The Gorma’s every kick and punch and ebbed with crimson energy, as did Tommy’s.

Neither gained the upper hand.

So Tommy hopped backward to gain distance. He formed a bolt of crackling Ki energy between his palms and hurled it at the Gorma.

The Gorma caught the blast and siphoned its energy, strengthening his muscles. The villain slapped his palms together and pulled them apart, forming a whip of crimson energy. He snapped the whip at his opponent.

Tommy grabbed it, tightened his grip, and pulled, snapping the Gorma off his feet. He lunged forward and swung his fist, punching the Gorma in the face.

The Gorma’s mask shattered into pieces, and he staggered backward. The villain looked up, blood trickling down his forehead near his third eye, the trademark of the Gorma. The evil Tommy’s face looked twisted into a permanent scowl.

“You’ll pay for that, Ranger. No one sees my face. No one!”

“Pretty sure I just did, freak-show.”

Tommy snapped into a fighting stance. Red energy circled around him as his chi ignited and drew from The Power. For a moment, he thought he would morph. But that flood of morphing energy didn’t come.

Instead, Tommy focused his power on his attack.

“Star Fire!” He thrust his hands and fired a comet of energy.

The fiery blast smashed against the Gorma with massive bursts of spark, hurling him backward as secondary explosions tore through his cloth armor. The villain crashed and skidded backward, smoke rising from his wounds.

“You done?” Tommy asked.

The Gorma said nothing. He squirmed on the ground. And he laughed. “Done? You have no idea. I am strength. I am power. And I won’t be done until I’ve turned you and your pathetic world to cinder.”

Tommy’s vision snapped inward, into a pinpoint, then exploded outward with flashes of light and sound, and spinning fre…







Tommy collapsed to all fours and shook, his body reeling from the experience, the shift, the…

“What the hell was that…?”

“Ah, there you are.” The voice sounded deep, like gravel. A clawed hand grabbed Tommy by the throat and lifted him up. “Hello, Tommy.”

Tommy looked into the red visor of Lord Zedd. But beneath the visor, Tommy saw the faintest color of eyes. His own eyes.

“Yeeees.” the villain said, his voice thick with amusement. “You understand now, don’t you?” Zedd tilted his head back and laughed. “Welcome to my nightmare!”

***

ROUND 3

Zedd threw Tommy through the air. “Oh, Tommy, I’ve waited years for this. I never grow tired of destroying you!”

Tommy hit the ground and rolled into a crouched stance. When he looked up, he realized he was in Zedd’s palace. Zedd appeared the same as he had years ago, but the metal across his body looked sharper than Tommy remembered, and more polished.

The villain held his Z-staff in his left hand, and stared with an evil, intense gaze that gave Tommy chills. The ranger’s skin prickled, and his hair stood on end.

“Zedd...” He said the name with a whisper.

“Yes, Tommy. Lord Zedd. Emperor over all I see. And right now, I see a frightened child, trembling with terror.”

Tommy narrowed his eyes and swallowed his fear. Slowly, he rose to his feet and faced one of the most terrifying villains of his entire life. “What is this? Am I supposed to believe you’re me?”

“Yeees, Tommy. Do you think I would ever let you defeat me? You destroyed my body. But in turn...I infected yours.”

Tommy tilted his head. “What…?”

“I forced myself upon you. I took over your entire being. And now, we are one. My ultimate victory!”

Tommy started to speak, but his breath caught in his throat. What could he say to that?

Zedd aimed his staff at the ranger. “Yes, Tommy. Feel your fear. Let it wash over you and lead you to where you belong: On your knees, at my feet.”

Tommy tightened his hands into fists, narrowed his eyes, and charged. “Si-kuyah!”

He snapped a volley of kicks and spin kicks that Zedd twirled his staff to block.

“Are all those ‘ki-yah’s’ really necessary, Tommy? Very well, I can do some too. Ooo-Oooh. Ooo-Oooh…Ha!”

Zedd snapped his staff with a burst of power that hurled Tommy off his feet.

The villain twirled his staff and fired again, sparking streams of electricity that poured against Tommy. The blasts sent waves of pain through the ranger as he struggled to break free. But the stream of power held him in place. The pain intensified, more, and more, and Tommy screamed.

Zedd intensified the blast. “Yes, scream, Tommy, scream, but no one can hear you! You are alone, and powerless before me!”

The villain fired a final burst of power that blasted Tommy through a wall. The ranger tumbled into the next room and rolled to a stop, his body sizzling with electricity from Zedd’s attack.

Zedd stepped into the room and looked down upon the fallen ranger. “You have failed, Tommy. You have failed everyone you have ever loved.”

The villain walked to Tommy and lifted him by the neck. “I suppose we are alike in that way. I never did tell you, did I, Tommy? I was a champion of my world, much like you. But I could not save it. Plagued with failures, I watched it burn.” He pulled the ranger closer. “I vowed to live a life free of attachment, free of emotion, to never know such failure again. Through this, I found power, the power to make the universe my own. The power of conquest.”

Zedd turned towards his balcony, which gave him a view of the blackened earth in the distance. “Do you know which of your friends I killed first, Tommy? Precious Kimberly, of course. She tried to reach you, to reason with me. So I ran her through. Slowly...A pity she was pregnant at the time. And to think, you watched it all happen through my eyes. You held the weapon that killed your lady love and unborn child. I-”

Tommy grabbed Zedd by the arm and flipped backward, kicking the villain upside the head and breaking free from his grip. Tommy landed and pressed forward.

“Burn Knuckle!” His fist ignited with fiery energy and smashed Zedd’s faceplate, shattering his visor, revealing his eyes.

The villain staggered back. “Very good, Tommy. You still have some fight in you!”

Tommy stepped into a fighting stance, despite the weakness and pain that nearly drove him back to the floor.

“I’ve had enough of you for one lifetime, Zedd. You’re not me. I’m nothing like you. This is over.”

“Don’t tell me when this is over, Ranger! I have conquered your body and soul once, and I will do so again, and again, until the end of time!”

Zedd thrust his staff with a stream of electricity.

Tommy dove and rolled to dodge the blast. He shot to his feet and lunged at Zedd with a jump-kick. Zedd dodged and twisted his grip, swinging his staff at Tommy’s head. Tommy blocked, grabbed the staff, and tore it from Zedd’s hands.

The ranger twirled the staff and speared it through Zedd’s side.

Zedd screamed and staggered backward, collapsing to his knees. He grabbed the staff, partially buried in his side. Black ichor seeped from the wound.

“Well done, Tommy. Now, finish me. Finish me, and I will simply infect you as well. We will become one, once more.”

Tommy shook his head. “I never noticed how pathetic you were until now…”

“Strike me down, ranger. I command you.”

“We’re done, Zedd…” Tommy relaxed his stance. “We’re finally done.”

The landscape shifted, ebbing and crackling with distorted images and sounds that flashed across the eyes of Tommy’s mind.

When the images settled, Tommy found himself standing on the surface of the moon. Rusted metal and discarded technology stretched as far as the eyes could see. The ranger recognized the rusted remnants that surrounded him.

“The Machine Empire…”

“No…” a mechanical voice whispered. “Not anymore.”

Tommy turned to face the voice, knowing what he would find.

The villain looked gray, with blood-red eyes, jet black hair buzzed short, and circuits embedded beneath the skin. Other than these oddities, he looked exactly like Tommy.

The real Tommy stepped into a defensive stance. “Of course…”

***

ROUND 4

Tommy faced off with his robotic doppelganger.

“I suppose you’re some version of me that was taken over by the Machine Empire, right? Cute.”

“Taken over?” the cyborg said with a metallic voice as cold and even as steel. “The Empire saved me. Saved me from my inferiority. From my emotion. From my humanity.”

Through space, Tommy noticed Earth. It looked completely barren, no atmosphere or oceans, just mechanical atrocities across the entire surface.

The villain noticed and tilted his head. “You see. I served as the Machine Empire’s instrument to save the world.”

“Look, I’m feeling impatient. Let’s just get this over with.”

Much like what had happened with the Green Power Coin, Tommy felt a warmth spread within his right fist. He opened his hand, and a red light shined from his palm. The light grew and formed the star piece of the Zeo Crystal. The crystal ebbed and shifted shape, forming Zeonizers that wrapped around the ranger’s wrists.

Tommy couldn’t help but smile. “Much better.” He snapped into a transformation stance. “Ultra Transform!”

He connected his bracers, triggering a wave of power that washed over him, morphing him into the Red Zeo Ranger.

Zeo Red placed his hand over his faceplate. “Star Riser!”

The Ranger’s star-shaped visor flashed red and activated his sword, which appeared in his hand.

The cyber villain extended his arms; his fists transformed into barrels, which opened fire with high-yield blasts.

Zeo Red charged and swung his sword, slicing through the blasts with bursts of spark. He leapt through the air and landed with a chop, hacking the villain with bursts of spark that knocked him several steps backward.

The Ranger pressed ahead and bashed his pommel against the villain’s face.

The Machine grabbed Zeo Red’s arm and punched the Ranger’s side, fists hitting as hard as cannonballs. The villain tightened his grip and flipped Zeo Red overhead.

Zeo Red crashed onto his back and dropped his sword, but quickly grabbed his blaster. “Zeo Blaster!”

He blasted the Machine with bursts of spark that kept the villain back. Rolling to his feet, the Ranger sprang into the air with a flying kick.

“Zeo Power Kick!” His energized kick smashed the Machine with bursts of spark.

The villain staggered backward but kept his ground. He lunged with a volley of punches and back-fist blows, pommeling the Red Ranger with bursts of spark. The final punch whipped Zeo Red off his feet, and he crashed against the ground.

Zeo Red rolled aside, grabbed his fallen sword, and sprang to his feet. He lunged with an upward swing and downward chop, striking the monster with bursts of spark.

The Ranger stepped back and lifted his blade. “Star Riser! Power up!”

The blade energized with red power. Zeo Red twirled the weapon, stepped forward, and swung through a streak of energy. The blade slashed the Machine with massive bursts of spark, ripping a wound through the villain’s chest.

Oil and ichor splashed from the wound, which sparked with secondary explosions. The Machine collapsed to his knees. But instead of toppling over, circuitry and nanites stitched his wounds together, repairing the damage.

Zeo Red sighed. “That’s unfortunate.”

The Machine lunged and grabbed the Red Ranger by the throat. Nanites swarmed from the villain’s hand and spread across the Ranger’s armor. The microscopic machines sparked with energy that infected the armor like a virus.

Sparks exploded across Zeo Red. His armor shimmered in and out of focus, losing its integrity. Strands of energy snapped lose, and his armor unraveled with a final burst of light. Tommy collapsed to all fours; his Zeo Bracers sparked and fell from his wrist, secondary explosions scattering the devices into pieces.

The Machine kicked Tommy upside the head; the blow whipped the ranger backward.

“You were not built to survive here.” The villain lifted Tommy by the shirt, punched his gut, and hurled him aside. “You’re human trash.”

Tommy spat blood and climbed to his feet, pain shooting through his body like daggers. “You’re the one who’s a piece of junk. Care to try that again?”

“Why do you resist? I did too, at first. I tried to fight back. But once they removed the infestation of my soul...once I stepped back and looked at our existence free from the illusion of emotion...I saw the truth. What I am now, what I have brought to the world, is peace”

Tommy shook his head and muttered beneath his breath. Through the corner of his eye, he noticed a fallen spear barely visible beneath a pile of Cogs.

“Like I said before...I’m feeling impatient.”

Tommy rolled across the ground, grabbed the spear, and pounced. He stabbed the weapon through the Machine with massive bursts of spark. The villain staggered backward, so Tommy hopped forward with a kick that slammed the spear, driving it deeper.

The Machine collapsed to his knees once again. This time, Tommy grabbed the spear and ignited it with fiery energy.

“I don’t know what the deal is with you guys, or why you keep popping up. But I’m done with games. I’m getting to the forge, and no nightmare version of myself will stop me.”

The spear flared with fiery power that erupted inside the Machine and burnt through his body.

Tommy stepped back.

And the landscape started to spin.

His vision expanded and narrowed, blurred and focused, twirled and ignited.

Dots of color. Dots of sound.

His vision blurred back into focus, and he found himself standing on the rooftops of a city. Above, a battle fortress floated in midair, casting its shadow across the metropolis.

The fortress fired a green teleportation beam onto the rooftop. From the beam stepped a figure dressed in light plates of gray armor over a black bodysuit. He wore his hair dyed red and pulled into a ponytail, and small black lenses covered his eyes. He carried a gray staff tipped with a delta-shaped spear.

He smiled, a cold grin from a face Tommy recognized as his own.

“Hello, Tommy…” He sounded amused as he bowed low, mockingly. “Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Astronos. It will be my pleasure to lead you to your execution…”

***

ROUND 5

Astronos leaned on his staff and looked his counterpart up and down. “My, you’re a rather accurate pretender. For the most part, at least. I don’t care for the hair.”

“What the hell are you supposed to be?”

“I told you. I’m Astronos. The real Astronos. And you...are a fake. A copy, meant to show me what I could have been had Darkonda not saved me as a child.”

Tommy sighed. So in this nightmare scenario, Darkonda kidnapped him and not Karone. Wonderful.

“Listen,” Tommy said. “This isn’t happening. I’m done fighting twisted doppelgangers. You can either-”

Astronos lifted his hand; invisible energy wrapped around Tommy’s neck, choked him, and lifted him off his feet.

“Don’t speak to me that way,” Astronos said. “It’s not very nice. That’s really the problem with this universe. No one has any manners.”

Tommy narrowed his eyes and triggered a Ki burst that knocked Astronos back, releasing his grip. The ranger landed on the rooftop and crossed his left arm over his chest.

“You wanna do this? Fine.” Energy wrapped around wrist, forming his Digitizer. He stood in his transformation pose. “Install! Astro Ranger!”

Energy wrapped around him as he morphed into the armor of the Red Astro Ranger.

Astronos scoffed and twirled his staff into a defensive stance. “As if I would ever sully myself with the armor of a Ranger.”

The villain thrust his staff with a burst of crimson power.

“Drill Saber!” Astro Red armed his sword and swatted the blast aside.

The Red Ranger leapt through the air and landed with a chop that Astronos blocked. The Ranger twisted his grip and swung left, and then right, slashing and hacking with a powerful volley of strikes.

Astronos twirled his staff without effort, blocking and parrying the Ranger’s attacks with ease. “I refuse to believe there’s any version of me that could be so sloppy.”

He spun and swung wide, slashing Astro Red with bursts of spark. The Ranger stepped back and countered with a high slash. But Astronos blocked and kicked the Ranger’s side.

“I’ve been trained by the best fighters in the galaxy.” Astronos spun and whacked his staff against the Red Ranger’s helmet. “I’ve lived among the Titans, learned from the mages of Eltar and gone to war against the Kilrathi. What are you compared to them? What are you, but a pale attempt at becoming my shadow?”

Astro Red parried and slashed upward, striking the villain with bursts of spark. “Why does every evil me talk so damn much…”

“Evil?” Astronos twirled his staff and attacked with a flurry of blows the Red Ranger blocked and dodged. “I crush evil into fine powder.”

“What, so you think you’re righteous?” Astro Red struck back, and the villain parried.

“I know I am. The galaxy’s no longer a weak joke. Because of me. Because of my strength. I gave the people hope, and they loved me for it. Their lives are more peaceful and prosperous than ever before.”

“So you’re evil and delusional.” Astro Red slashed and kicked. “That’s good to know.”

Astronos laughed and twirled his staff, chopping down hard. Astro Red blocked, but the impact knocked him to one knee. The villain kicked the Red Ranger upside the head, flipping him backward.

“I’m the savior of humanity across the cosmos,” Astronos said. “That’s not delusional, you little shadow. It’s simple fact.”

Astro Red used his saber for balance and climbed to his feet. “Yeah, I think I hate you the most out of all the evil me’s so far.”

Astronos aimed his staff at the Ranger’s faceplate. “You don’t understand hate. I lost my whole family and world to Rangers like you, villains masquerading as heroes. Cowards. Supposed watchers of the people. But in in truth, the enemy of the people. When you’ve suffered as much as I have, then you can speak to me of hate, you little peasant.”

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Astro Red lunged and swung his sword with renewed speed and energy. Each blow forced Astronos back a step.

The Red Ranger tightened his grip on his sword. “Saber Slash!”

Astro Red slashed through streaks of power, striking Astronos with bursts of spark. The attack shattered the lenses over the villain’s eyes.

Astronos screamed, covered his eyes, and fell to his knees. “You...you irritant!”

“I am done with evil me’s.” The Red Ranger smashed his sword’s hilt against the villain’s head.

Tommy powered down his armor and leaned next to his fallen opponent. “Maybe now that those stupid lenses of yours are gone, you can open your eyes. You’re not good. You’re not righteous. What you’re doing is wrong and violates everything moral and good in the world.”

Astronos laughed. “Do you really think I’ll listen to your lies? You’re just angry because you know I’m right.”

Tommy sighed. “Not in the slightest…”

He stood, and a wave of vertigo washed over him. His mind burst with images and lights and sounds, fragments of memory and worlds, faces he loved and people he never knew.

Then darkness.

Then light.

Then a blur, which resolved into a clear day in Angel Grove.

Tommy found himself standing in the middle of a park wedged between several high-rise buildings. In the distance, he saw himself in a brown suit, with hair cut short, wearing glasses and carrying a suitcase.

Tommy arced an eyebrow. “Okay...” he whispered. “Evil-business me?”

“Not quite,” a voice said from behind. Tommy turned to face himself, the same age, wearing the same clothes. “You’re actually a teacher now. Ancient Civilizations. It doesn’t pay much, but you’re happy. Ashley’s happy...and expecting. It’s a good life.”

“And who are you supposed to be?”

“You,” the other Tommy said. He seemed...happy, and light, like he didn’t carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. He nodded towards the distance. “And this world, it’s mine. After the Second Countdown to Destruction...we had a choice. You made your choice, the choice to let the world keep moving forward. I made a different choice. To let the world end. And now...Well, now we have this new world. A world without Rangers or monsters. A world that makes sense.”

Tommy knitted his brow. “You rewrote your world’s reality?”

“Don’t act like you’ve never done the same. It’s all for the greater good.”

“I’d never play god.”

The other Tommy chuckled, all in good nature. “Uh, I hate to break this to you Tom, but you have. Remember when the Jakanja came and destroyed your dojo? All those students...gone. But for some reason, no one ever investigated you, no one came looking for you, their families never questioned you. Why is that…?”

Tommy hesitated. “That’s different.”

“Is it?” the other Tommy asked. “You used spells to change their memories, so they’d have no knowledge of the dojo or how their loved ones really died. You changed their realities.”

Guilt nearly choked him. “I had to keep Tyler and Ashley safe-”

“Exactly!” the other Tommy said. “That’s my point, Tom.” He leaned forward and put his hand on his chest. “What I wanted for my loved ones, my family, was never going to happen, because the world was going to hell. I changed all of that. I saved them. Why was that so bad? I had the power to give my world a restart, and I had the responsibility to use that power.”

Tommy lowered his head. A world without monsters or Rangers. No demons. No villains. Of course that sounded great. But...but…

He looked back towards the image of himself in a suit, now talking on a cellphone and laughing. He did look happy, like someone who never got dragged into an eternal war between good and evil, never served Bandora as the Green Ranger. Never met Zordon or Alpha, or journeyed through space and time. Never experienced any of those things.

“It’s not real,” Tommy said. “None of the people in this world you’ve made...none of them are real.”

“Of course they’re real,” the other Tommy said.

“No,” Tommy said. “We’re defined by everything that happens in our lives, the good and the bad. When you changed all that...you took away everyone’s identities. You didn’t just alter memories...you changed everyone, manipulated them.”

“I didn’t manipulate them. I gave them a better world.” The other Tommy sighed with a smile, and shook his head. “You just don’t understand.”

“You can’t take someone and fundamentally alter the core of their being against their will. Especially not on a global scale.”

“And yet…” he shrugged. “Here we are.”

Suddenly, storm clouds passed overhead, blotting out the sun. Lightning flashed, followed by rumbling thunder.

The other Tommy looked up and sighed. “Well...that’s new.”

“What’s happening?”

“My guess? My world is great and all...but your reality, unfortunately, is still the prime reality.” He waved his hand up at the storm. “So all this? It’s your fault. It’s why we’re all going to have to kill you, Tommy.”

Lightning scorched the landscape, burning trees and grass. From the flames stepped the Evil Green Ranger, the Gorma, Zedd, the Machine, and Astronos. An unseen voice laughed from the skies-- the voice of the Tommy from Demon World Earth.

***

The landscape shattered and shot Tommy through a swirling vortex.

His body flailed out of control and landed in the molten landscape of the forge. Groaning, he climbed to his feet, his fingers pressing into ash as he pushed himself up.

“Aw, man…” he whispered. “I don’t even want to know.”

But he couldn’t help thinking, what did all that mean? Those doppelgangers…the visions of different worlds…what did they freaking mean? Were they parallel realities like Demon World Earth? Or something more?

Suddenly, a thundering boom sounded from behind, shaking the entire realm. Tommy turned to see the Megadinozord in the distance, the original Megazord of the Power Rangers-- although it looked barely recognizable, covered with magma and blotches of shadow, and eyes that glowed red.

“Okay…let’s see if I can do this…”

He closed his eyes and slapped his right fist against his left palm. Red energy ebbed from his spirit, circling his body. The energy moved faster, and faster, and then circled around his wrists, forming his Aura Changers. The bracers glowed with bright red energy.

The Astral Plane shook, with a shockwave of psionic power that whipped Tommy backward. He felt his vision start to shift, as if the landscape itself would pull away from him, but he fought against that pull. And he focused on his power.

“Oh no you don’t…” He landed on what passed for ground in this odd realm of mind and spirit.

Tommy looked into the distance and stood firm. “Old friend…” he said quietly to the Megazord. “I don’t know how…but I’m going to have to shut you down.”

Tommy stepped forward into an all-too familiar pose.

“Chakra ignite!” He connected his bracers and shouted: “Aura Power!”

The bracers triggered a spark of chi that morphed Tommy into his armor, wrapping him in fire as he became, once more…



“Dragon Ranger! Heaven Fire Star, Red!”

A bright streak of red energy shot downward and landed in the Red Ranger’s hand, forming the Heaven Star Thunder Gem of the Red Dragon Thunderzord.

He tightened his grip on the gem, unsheathed his Star Sword, and raised the blade into the sky. “Red Dragon Thunderzord, arise!”

The Astral Plane rippled with power, a shock wave released by the arrival of the Red Dragon Thunderzord. The beast roared with might as its serpentine form flew through the skies.



Dragon Ranger leapt onto the zord and leaned forward, flying towards the Megadinozord in the distance.

He couldn’t help but smile beneath his helmet. “Just like riding a bike,” he whispered. “OK, Red Dragon. Let’s take care of business.”

---To be continued…Chapter 04
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Old August 8th, 2018, 07:44 PM #47
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Well, that was one hell of a trip, I definitely enjoyed each of the alternate Tommy's, especially the last one. You pose some interesting moral dilemmas and I almost find myself agreeing with the Tommy that rewrote reality... It's all pretty haunting in actuality. A man becoming a god is such an interesting concept in fiction because a mortal will view the universe from a rather one-dimensional point of view. Tommy chose what he did because he didn't step away from his own human perspective. Let people live freely... assuming they really are free. Maybe it would have been better to take the reigns and create a new reality, especially considering the big old mess the universe has tangled itself into (look at a pair of headphones left in your pocket for comparison.) Of course, if he would have done that we wouldn't have this awesome chapter! Love that you're on that writing grind. Keep up the good work (:
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Old August 9th, 2018, 07:34 AM #48
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SuperselfieRed wrote: View Post

Well, that was one hell of a trip, I definitely enjoyed each of the alternate Tommy's, especially the last one. You pose some interesting moral dilemmas and I almost find myself agreeing with the Tommy that rewrote reality... It's all pretty haunting in actuality. A man becoming a god is such an interesting concept in fiction because a mortal will view the universe from a rather one-dimensional point of view. Tommy chose what he did because he didn't step away from his own human perspective. Let people live freely... assuming they really are free. Maybe it would have been better to take the reigns and create a new reality, especially considering the big old mess the universe has tangled itself into (look at a pair of headphones left in your pocket for comparison.) Of course, if he would have done that we wouldn't have this awesome chapter! Love that you're on that writing grind. Keep up the good work (:
Thanks! This chapter was a lot of fun to write.

I originally had these scenes spread out over a couple of chapters, interwoven with some Goseiger/Jungle Fury stuff as the B Stories. But I decided to dedicate a whole chapter to the alt-Tommy's instead.

I totally hear you on the moral dilemma. Even as I was writing I found myself thinking, "wait, would a new world with no demons or monsters be so bad?"
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Old August 9th, 2018, 08:14 AM #49
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Please tell me that this isn't the start of Ultimate Drakkon.
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Old August 9th, 2018, 02:26 PM #50
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Green1 wrote: View Post

Please tell me that this isn't the start of Ultimate Drakkon.
No. I'm good with my evil Tommy from Demon World Earth, no need for a Drakkon on top of that.
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Old August 9th, 2018, 04:03 PM #51
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Ryuranger wrote: View Post

No. I'm good with my evil Tommy from Demon World Earth, no need for a Drakkon on top of that.
Do you think you would have incorporated Drakkon into your story (or atleast the suit) if it was around all those years ago when you started UPR?
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Old August 9th, 2018, 10:47 PM #52
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Drakkon's role in UPR is kindof dpread between Dark Tommy, Billy and his future/other dimension evil self. In the same way INET pretty much covers Promethea's role (and Alphabet Soup's). To include Drakkon you lose a lot of what's alrady there.

Ryu: Why do I get the impression Tommy missed something important he was told before he start into the forge?
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Old August 10th, 2018, 06:41 AM #53
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SuperselfieRed wrote: View Post

Do you think you would have incorporated Drakkon into your story (or atleast the suit) if it was around all those years ago when you started UPR?
Hmm...I don't know, that's a good question. I definitely would have still used my Demon World Earth (Based on the AoA X-Men story from the '90s), and I guess it would have made sense to use Lord Drakkon in place of the Tommy from Demon World Earth. But I don't know...


ShadowRanger wrote: View Post

Drakkon's role in UPR is kindof dpread between Dark Tommy, Billy and his future/other dimension evil self. In the same way INET pretty much covers Promethea's role (and Alphabet Soup's). To include Drakkon you lose a lot of what's alrady there.

Ryu: Why do I get the impression Tommy missed something important he was told before he start into the forge?
Oye, I didn't even think of the INET/Promethea similarities. Probably just the same source of inspiration.

And yes, Tommy did miss something important.
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Old August 10th, 2018, 09:50 AM #54
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Ryuranger wrote: View Post

Oye, I didn't even think of the INET/Promethea similarities. Probably just the same source of inspiration.
I know that. You had INET done years before Promethea although it is interesting some of the things both organisations are into. Obtaining and experimenting with energy sources for instance.

Funny thing is I can't pin down your inspiration for INET, but I can see where Promethea's came from because I recognise some of Grace's leadership qualities. Given several hints in the way Drakkon was defeated the first time I'd say most of the writers are Doctor Who fans... although lets face it Kamen RIder and some of the mess they cause could also be the case.

And yes, Tommy did miss something important.
I'm guessing the original megazord is not the source of the corruption... I can also guess what they were referring to if the first part was right.
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Old August 12th, 2018, 06:52 AM #55
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ShadowRanger wrote: View Post

I know that. You had INET done years before Promethea although it is interesting some of the things both organisations are into. Obtaining and experimenting with energy sources for instance.

Funny thing is I can't pin down your inspiration for INET, but I can see where Promethea's came from because I recognise some of Grace's leadership qualities. Given several hints in the way Drakkon was defeated the first time I'd say most of the writers are Doctor Who fans... although lets face it Kamen RIder and some of the mess they cause could also be the case.


I'm guessing the original megazord is not the source of the corruption... I can also guess what they were referring to if the first part was right.
It's been so long I can't remember!! Other than taking the name from Megaranger.

And no, the original Megazord isn't the cause of the corruption, just...corrupted by the same forces corrupting the forge and Astral Plane, bubbles of evil from the Dark One's prison.


I'll get the next chapter up soon, but it will be a lot more straightforward, Rangers vs. villains, etc.

It will feature, though, the most popular Red Ranger of all time! With charisma! Charm! And the widest range of emotions ever displayed! I am, of course, speaking of...Troy! Unarguably the most interesting and captivating Red Ranger in the history of the multiverse!

Take a sneak peak at this upcoming action! Brace yourselves for this preview of Troy inspiring hope and strength!!!!


Troy stood. "..."


Jaw dropping, I know! And look at this, how he commands the stage, making the ladies swoon!!!


"..."


Egads!

And the final preview!

"Do you see any tears?"

Jake arced an eyebrow. "Do I...huh? Drink some coffee or something, you're just sleep talking at this point."
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Old August 12th, 2018, 08:06 PM #56
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I'm not sure what was better, the chapter or the above critique on Troy, a guy who on paper could have been the coolest ranger of all time but in action was the biggest flop a character could ever be (the chapter duh). Can't wait for the next one. Is this last alt world how we get a Dr. Oliver and Dino Thunder rangers?
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Old August 13th, 2018, 04:37 PM #57
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NewWhiteTiger wrote: View Post

I'm not sure what was better, the chapter or the above critique on Troy, a guy who on paper could have been the coolest ranger of all time but in action was the biggest flop a character could ever be (the chapter duh). Can't wait for the next one. Is this last alt world how we get a Dr. Oliver and Dino Thunder rangers?
Glad you liked the chapter and "preview" for the next chapter! Yes, Troy was a huge disappointment. I thought about making him better in UPR but he doesn't deserve it.

The alt. world is not how we will get Dino Thunder (unless I decide to change my plans and be lazy for the sake of time..then, yes, that gives me a Plan B).

Next chapter is almost done. It really is straight forward, but we'll get back to Tommy and the Astral Plane in the chapter after next. Don't worry, I won't let the World of Warcraft expansion get in the way like I did the last expansion.
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Old August 15th, 2018, 02:22 PM #58
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Chapter 04: Return to Demon City

Beyond all space and time

Reality shattered, leaving shards of time and space in an endless void. The Ultimate Power Rangers journeyed through this void to learn the secrets of the end of existence. Using Ranger Keys, they unlocked Time Shards to slowly unravel the broken pieces of history.

The Shards revealed this story.


***

The Ginga Forrest

The Ginga Tribe lived within the safety of a pocket dimension, sealed against the danger of intruders. Tommy Oliver had chosen this place to hide his fiance, Ashley, and son Tyler, to keep them safe.

Tyler sat around a campfire at night, the light from the flames reflecting in his hazel eyes. Ten-years-old, he never lived a normal childhood, often hunted by those who wanted to use the power of his bloodline, the bloodline of the Dragon and Phoenix.

Ashley and Tommy actually lost him for a time, after the emergence of the Dark One’s Shadow Line. Once reunited, Ashley and Tommy vowed to redouble their efforts to keep the boy safe. They sought that safety within the Ginga Forrest.

As Tyler stared into the flames, he somehow felt the struggles of his father. “Dad…” he whispered. “Where are you…?”

He knew his dad planned on leading the Rangers to stop the Forsaken from freeing the Dark One, but didn’t know the details. Fair enough. Tommy and Ashley didn’t know all the details either, like how when Tyler went missing, he somehow called on enough power to make him and a few other kids Rail Rangers, heroes modeled after a cheesy television show.

The boy sighed, pulled up his legs, and leaned his chin on his knees. He knew he could help his dad and the Rangers. But instead, he had to hide, and that drove him crazy.

“I know that look,” a voice said from behind. He turned to see Ashley walk towards him. The former Ranger took a seat on the grass, pulled up her legs, and leaned her chin on her knees. “Whatcha thinking about?”

“Dad…” Tyler whispered.

Ashley nodded. “Me too…”

“Don’t you wish you were helping him? I mean, we’re just sitting here and he’s out fighting.”

“I am helping him. By keeping you safe,” Ashley said. “You’re the most important thing in the world to him.” She leaned over and kissed his head. “To me too.”

Tyler blushed. “Thanks. But you know that’s not what I mean.”

“I know…” Ashley said.

The boy shook his head and looked back into the flames. “Did...did you know my mom?” he asked her for the first time. “My real mom, I mean.”

Ashley nodded, remembering Kimberly. “Just a little. She’d already moved to Florida when I met your dad.”

Tyler nodded. “Sometimes...I don’t know...I wonder what she would do. If she were here.”

“She wouldn’t want you to worry,” Ashley said. “And she’d want you to be safe.”

The boy sighed as he stared into the flames. For a moment, he felt like he could see an older version of himself staring back somehow, as if from outside of time and space.

***

An undisclosed location

Simon Kaden polished the demon sword Uramasa. The blade ebbed with the spirits of trapped souls. But more importantly, as a weapon forged by the Forsaken known as Serrator, it could kill the other Forsaken. Those immortals could only die by the weapons they crafted with their own hands.

Simon joined the ranks of the Forsaken not long ago, as a means towards his goal of killing the Dark One and stealing his power. With that power, Simon planned to free the world from its endless cycle of pain and anguish by restarting all of reality. And reshaping that reality.

The Forsaken didn’t trust Simon, but most sought to use him. Mesaana paid for that with her life, although her goals weren’t nearly ambitious as the others, if she even had goals other than feeding off the pain of mortals.

The Forsaken known as Long, on the other hand, wanted to unleash the Great Beast of Destruction upon the world. He tried to do so with the teenager known as Jarrod and demon called DaiShi-- heir of the Mogralord-- but he failed. Tommy Oliver and Adam Park’s team of Jungle Fury Rangers stopped Long.

But the Forsaken didn’t plan on giving up, apparently, Simon knew. Because he felt the villain hiding in the shadows.

“I can see you,” the former ranger said without turning around. “You’re not at all subtle.”

Smirking, Long stepped from the shadows. His red-and-golden robes appeared wrinkled and worn, and his hair looked disheveled.

“I wasn’t trying to be sneaky, young one…”

“Then what were you doing?” Simon kept his back to Long. Slowly, he lifted Uramasa and ran his hand along the blade. “Keep in mind, this is the only weapon in existence that can kill you.”

Long bowed, humbly and submissively, and took a step back. “Not entirely true, but true enough. You’ll find I’m not quite worth the trouble. Merely coming to say ‘hi’ to the newest member of our ranks.”

“I doubt that.”

“Yes, I suppose you would…”

“I’ll ask you one more time.” Simon tightened his grip on the blade. “What are you doing here?”

“I wanted to see you for myself,” Long said, truthfully. “You see, being locked in a prison for the entirety of time and space can become...boring. Once released, I found Jarrod to play with, and the spirit of DaiShi. That spirit, that power, resides within you now, doesn’t it? Along with quite the quilt-work of energy and abilities.”

“The Dark Man tricked me into supercharging my soul, so that when I was killed, I could be strong enough to break out of Hell. That does tend to leave a mark.”

“Indeed, indeed.” Long dared to step closer to the former ranger. “I know what you are trying to do, Simon. Allow me to help you. I am a master of the First Fist. Of Genki. Yet another source of power for you to add to your arsenal.”

“If I wanted Genki I would kill you and take yours.”

“Of course, of course,” Long said, slinking back. “Then perhaps I can interest you in...this.”

The Forsaken pulled a stone tablet from his robes. Etched with runes, the tablet ebbed with a strength and spiritual pressure of its own, which Simon could feel, like a hum or vibration through the air.

“The Demon Tablet,” Simon said.

Long’s smile widened. “You’ve heard of it, I see. So many secrets, so much knowledge, all within these little runes. Legend says this tablet is one of three, the word of the gods, inscribed by the angel Metatron-- a sort of instruction manual for all of reality. If you wish to kill the gods, and use their power to face the Dark One...these words of wisdom can only help. But what would help even more, are all three tablets, together.”

“And I suppose you know where to find the other tablets.”

“Of course. Your old home...the quaint metropolis now known as Demon City.”

***

Ruins of Angel Grove

Silver Guardians and ZECT Troopers patrolled the perimeter of Angel Grove. After the Second Countdown to Destruction, the center of Angel Grove became Demon City, a wasteland of demons, spirits and monsters, with a tear through reality that extended straight into Hell..

The taint was confined to Angel Grove Central, for the most part. But when Simon Kaden broke free from Hell and returned to life, he unknowingly broke a seal to the Dark One’s prison. When that seal broke, so did the supernatural barriers that contained Demon City. That evil spread across all of Angel Grove, and then outside of the city and into the world.

The government destroyed Angel Grove in a failed attempt to eliminate the threat. But Demon City remained.

Within Demon City, the villain named Xanathor commanded a legion of monsters, including demon-infused Death Knights and creatures called Worms. Tommy didn’t know why the villain chose to remain in Demon City. And to further complicate matters, Dr. William “Billy” Cranston’s INET organization seemed particularly interested in the area.

Tommy sent his most recent Ranger team, the Seraph Rangers, to investigate and report back to the Command Chamber.

The teens stayed in the shadows as they crept towards an outpost of Silver Guardians. They crouched low behind the ruins of a fallen building, and looked ahead to where Guardians and ZECT Troopers stood guard around a makeshift bunker.

Jake stayed down and sighed. “What are we doing here again?”

“Being covert,” Gia said, not even trying to hide her annoyance. “So stop talking.”

“Hey, I was only trying to-”

“Not now, Jake,” Troy said in his usual, half-dead demeanor. “We have to find out what all these INET troops are up to without causing any trouble.”

“Could you maybe wake up the next time you need to say something?” Jake asked. “You might as well have just yawned.”

“Guys, let’s focus,” Noah said. He nodded towards the distance. “It looks like they’re protecting that bunker. I bet whatever they’re here for...it’s in there.”

Emma nodded in agreement. “Too bad we can’t just go up and knock.”

Jake smirked. “Is that a challenge?”

“No,” Gia practically hissed.

The boy smirked. “Whatever. Sounds like a challenge. I’m going on.”

“Jake, don’t-”

He had already bolted to his feet and rushed towards the bunker, while crouching down low.

Gia shook her head. “This is why we can’t take him anywhere.”

“He’s going to get caught,” Emma said.

“Not if we help him,” Troy said. “Come on.”

***

Xanathor stood within his palace of black rock in the center of Demon City. He stared through a portal of green fel energy, and through that portal, he watched the Seraph team close in on the bunker.

“More of Tommy Oliver’s pets,” he whispered with a voice like ice. “How quaint.”

He didn’t like the idea of Rangers meddling in his domain, especially with his plans so close to fruition-- all thanks to his new “allies.”

Three shadowy projections appeared behind him. One ebbed with strands of digital code. “Our alliance has only just begun. And already, you have Rangers encroaching on your domain.”

The other apparition appeared humanoid, but with wings folded across his body. “Allow me to serve you, oh great God of Death and Destruction.”

The third apparition scoffed. “No one trusts you, you winged miscreant.”

Xanathor ignored them and grabbed his broadsword. “I will deal with this personally.”

***

Troy slid a Power Card into his Totem Morpher. The card emitted a subtle breeze of energy-- Invisabreeze-- that shrounded the teens from sight as they followed Jake towards the bunker.

“Jake, slow down,” Noah whispered after his friend.

“Hey, I’m just trying to do our job,” Jake said defensively.

They made it to the door of the bunker, concealed by the Invisabreeze technique.

“Guys,” Emma whispered. “They’ll see the door open. We can’t just walk in…”

“Another challenge?” Jake asked.

Gia swatted his arm.

The doors opened, and two ZECT Troopers walked out. The teens scrambled back to avoid getting bumped into, and as soon as they had an opening, they rushed into the door before it closed.

“See?” Jake said. “Easy peasy.”

The others didn’t pay him any attention. Instead, their eyes fixed on the occupants of the bunker. Jake looked for himself, and his eyes opened wide.

The small room held five cylinders. And each cylinder held a captive: Seth, Kamen Rider SaSword; Marx, Kamen Rider The Bee; Skyler, Kamen Rider Drake; Dylan, Kamen Rider Gattack; and Tendou, Kamen Rider Kabuto. Their eyes closed, they looked unconscious, or possibly dead.

“Whoa…” Jake’s eyes opened wide. He recognized the captives from Tommy’s files. “Guys, those are Kamen Riders! Actual Kamen Riders!”

“But why are they being held captive?” Troy asked, his voice even and unsurprised.

Jake sighed. “Dude, seriously. Drink some coffee or something.”

Suddenly, ZECT Troopers burst into the room. They aimed their weapons at the teens and shouted.

“Freeze! Backs against the wall, now!”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Jake said, lifting his hands in a non-threatening manner. “Let’s not get carried away, no need to get trigger happy. We’re all good guys here...I think?

A soldier grabbed Jake and threw him to the floor. The other teens started to protest, but the troopers slammed them against the walls.

“You shouldn’t have come here,” one of them practically hissed.

“Yeah, I kinda got the sense of that,” Jake muttered.

Hearing the commotion, two Silver Guardians stepped into the bunker. They stopped in their tracks, taken aback by the sight of the teens, as well as the trapped Kamen Riders.

“What the...what the hell are you-”

The ZECT Commander gunned the two guardians down without mercy or hesitation. “So much for our cover.” He looked over his shoulder to some of his men. “Eliminate anyone who isn’t one of us. We’ll clean-up here.”

The troopers nodded and rushed outside, leaving only two behind with their commander.

Jake rolled aside and climbed to his feet, regrouping with his friends.

The commander and his two troopers started to blush, sweat, and steam, as if overheating. Their skin molted and dripped from their bodies, cooling to reveal their monster forms, Worms disguised as human.



“That explains it,” Jake said.

“Come on, guys,” Troy said. “It’s morphin’ time.”

They grabbed their Totem Morphers and inserted their transformation cards. They thrust the morphers forward and shouted: “Seraph Summon!”

Wings of energy flared from their morphers, wrapped around them, and morphed them into their armor.

The Rangers leapt outside, landed on top of the bunker, and snapped into fighting stances.

“Fury of the Dragon. Seraph Ranger Red.”

“Venom of the Snake! Seraph Ranger Black!”

“Bite of the Shark! Seraph Ranger Blue!”

“Claw of the Tiger! Seraph Ranger Yellow!”

“Flames of the Phoenix! Seraph Ranger Pink!”

“Earth’s defenders,” Seraph Red said. “Never surrender. Saint Task Force...”

Together they shouted: “Seraph Rangers!”

Seraph Black stepped forward. “Let’s step on some bugs!”

The five Rangers somersaulted through the air and landed among the army of Worms.

The Black Ranger and Yellow Ranger stood back-to-back.

Seraph Black loaded an attack card into his morpher, which spoke the command: “TENSOU!”

“Rock Rush!”

The spell lifted rocks and shot them like missiles towards the Worms. The barrage blasted through grunts with massive bursts of spark and ichor.

Seraph Yellow loaded an attack card into her morpher: “TENSOU!”

“Spark Quake!”

Vibrations shook beneath the Worms and sparked blasts of electricity, thrashing the villains’ bug-like armor.

Nearby, three Worms molted, their skin melting and dripping, bodies steaming, revealing their evolved forms. Mantis Worms.



The Mantis Worms sprang to attack with surprising speed, dashing back and forth past the Rangers, claws striking armor with bursts of spark.

Seraph Blue crashed and tumbled aside. A Mantis Worm leapt towards him, and he quickly inserted a card into his morpher: “TENSOU!”

“Defense Stream!” A wall of water sprang upward, and the Mantis Worm crashed into the barrier.

The Blue Ranger rolled to his feet and inserted another card into his morpher: “SUMMON BATTLE GEAR!”

“Shark Bowgun!” He fired arrows of blue energy that stabbed through the Mantis Worm with bursts of spark.

The monster staggered backward but stayed on his feet.

As one, the three Mantis Worms increased their speed to hyper levels, dashing back and forth and bashing the Rangers, claws and fists sparking on impact.

The attacks drove Seraph Black to his knees. “How are they moving that fast?! We can’t even-”

A claw slashed his helmet, whipping him backward.

***

Nat throttled his motorcycle through the outskirts of Angel Grove’s ruins. The Red SPD Ranger ignored the beeping from his morpher. Corinith had issued an Omega Level Code-Red, which signaled all INET-aligned Rangers to return and defend the city.

But Nat ignored the call.

Instead, he focused on a communications blackout that popped up near Demon City. Something told him he needed to focus his attention there, and he learned long ago to trust his instincts-- mostly because they came from a parasitic alien called a Daemon that lived in his body, granting him preternatural senses.

The ranger skid his cycle to a halt when he noticed an all-too familiar sight, the bodies of Silver Guardians and ZECT Troopers strewn across the streets.

He flipped open his morpher, which also served as a communications badge. “DECA Base, this is Nat.”

“Go ahead, Nat, this is Swan.”

“I need a sweep on my location. I’ve got Guardians and ZECT Troopers down. At least...two units.”

He hopped off his cycle and walked among the dead, holding his morpher as Swan finished the scan.

“This can’t be right…” Swan said.

“What is it?”

“They were killed by blaster fire. ZECT ordinance.”

Nat narrowed his eyes. “It’s bad enough we have Oliver’s Rangers to fight. Now ZECT Troopers are turning against each other?”

“I’ll need to dig deeper into these readings,” Swan said. “I’ll notify-”

Thunder boomed in the distance. Nat snapped around, and the sounds of battle started to creep closer.

He sighed. “Something tells me I’ll have answers here in a bit. Contact the Commander. I’m going to need back-up.”

***

Within the bunker, the containment tubes slid open, and the Riders started to awaken. Dylan, Kamen Rider Gattack, winced and grabbed his forehead as he stepped out of the tube.

“What...what was that? I thought I was dead…”

His vision blurred into focus. He looked to see Tendou step from a similar tube. Tendou, Kamen Rider Kabuto, looked completely composed, per his usual calm-and-collected demeanor. He carried himself with an air of superiority.

“Almost dead,” Tendou said, wiping dust from his sleeve.

“Seriously?” Dylan said. “How are you not losing your mind right now?”

The other Riders stepped from their tubes as they awakened. The last thing Dylan remembered: Kamen Rider TheBee, still loyal to ZECT, hunted down Kamen Rider SaSword. Kamen Rider Drake got caught in the middle of the fight, and Kabuto and Gattack stepped in to help.

Dylan looked to see Marx, Kamen Rider TheBee, step from his tube. “What are you doing here? Did ZECT turn on you?”

Marx knitted his brow but said nothing.

Tendou looked to the dead Guardians on the floor. “I don’t think this was ZECT.”

“Worms?” Dylan asked.

Tendou nodded, noticing the residual goo of Worms that molted. “Looks like they tried to infiltrate ZECT. And captured us…”

Skylar arced an eyebrow. “How can you possibly tell that?”

Tendou smiled. “Grandmother always said…”

Dylan rolled his eyes, but Tendou continued.

“Look to your surroundings to steer you right, and they will never steer you wrong.”

Skylar shook his head. “Pretty sure your grandma was senile,”

Seth, Kamen Rider SaSword, ignored them all and opened the door; they immediately heard and saw the battle, Worms scrambling about the war-torn streets while fighting Rangers.

The teen sighed. “Fucking Demon City, I swear.”

Tendou smiled. “Looks like we’ll all be fighting together for once.”

He grabbed his Zector. Reluctantly, the other Riders did the same.

***

The Mantis Worms blurred across the battle scene, keeping the Rangers pinned down. The villains pommeled the Seraph team, slashing and bashing faster than the Rangers could see.

Just as quickly, and suddenly, the Worms fell, battered and defeated.

Seraph Black tilted his head. “Uh...did I miss something?

Seconds earlier…

The Kamen Riders slapped the sides of their belts, which spoke the command: “CLOCK UP”

The Riders extended fields of energy that manipulated time, making it slow to the point that everything looked frozen-- except for the Riders and hyper-speed Worms. The time manipulation field allowed the Riders to match the villains’ speed.

Kamen Rider Kabuto took the lead Mantis Worm by surprise with a punch and kick. Gattack leapt at the monster from behind with a knife-hand chop to the neck.

Kamen Rider SaSword moved towards the second Mantis Worm. The Rider swung through a butterfly pattern, slashing the monster with bursts of spark.

He stepped back and lifted his blade.

“Rider Slash.” He flipped a lever on his sword’s Zector, which sparked a charge and spoke the command: “RIDER SLASH”

He slashed through a streak of violet energy that tore the Mantis Worm in two, its body bursting with sparks and ichor.

Kamen Rider TheBee lunged at the final Mantis Worm.

“Rider Sting.” He flipped a lever on his wrist Zector, which sparked a charge and spoke the command: “RIDER STING”

He punched with his stinger aiming from his fist. His stinger smashed the monster with massive bursts of spark, sending him staggering backward.

Kamen Rider Drake aimed his blaster at the Worm to finish him off.

“Rider Shooting.” He flipped his blaster’s Zector: “RIDER SHOOTING”

He triggered an energized pulse of power that tore through the creature, ripping it apart with bursts of spark and flame.

Nearby, Kabuto spin-kicked the lead Mantis Worm, and Gattack followed with a flurry of punches.

Kamen Rider Gattack armed his curved blades.

“Rider Cutting.” He flipped the level of his belt Zector, which spoke the command: “RIDER CUTTING”

He swung his blades outward through streaks of blue energy, tearing the Mantis Worm to pieces with bursts of spark.

The time field started to slow, and time returned to normal upon the warning from their Zectors: “CLOCK OVER”


Now

Seraph Black opened his eyes wide beneath his helmet. “Did the kamen Riders just save us? Sweet!”

TheBee wasn’t amused. He kicked and punched the Black Ranger to the ground.

“Hey!” Seraph Yellow rushed to defend her teammate.

TheBee leaned forward to attack, but Gattack held him back.

“What are you doing?!” Gattack shouted.

TeBee elbowed him away. “We’re not on the same side all of a sudden, just because we killed some Worms.”

Suddenly, a figure slammed to the ground with the force of a bomb; the shock wave hurled the Rangers and Riders off their feet, shooting them through the air and sending them crashing through nearby buildings.

Slowly, Seraph Red crawled from the rubble and climbed to his feet. When he looked up, he saw Xanathor standing at the landing site.

The Red Ranger remembered Tommy’s warning to avoid Xanathor. And he ignored that warning.

“You must be Xanathor,” Seraph Red said as he walked towards the villain.

Xanathor thrust his hand, firing a strand of violet energy that wrapped around the Ranger. Xanathor pulled back; the strand reeled Seraph Red into the villain’s grip. He held tightly onto the Ranger’s neck.

“I’ve grown tired of playing games with Rangers. A pity for you…”

Seraph Red struggled to break free but could barely breathe. Even with warning, he didn’t expect this level of raw strength from the villain. “What...are you…?”

“I am the one who will stand at the head of a new Pantheon of Gods. Let the Forsaken try to free the Dark One. Let the old gods fight amongst themselves. They will all fail. And from that failure, my new order will rise.”

Suddenly, explosions sparked against the villain’s armor, although he barely seemed to notice. Xanathor looked aside to see the other four Seraph Rangers charge towards him, their blasters held forward.

“Hmph.” He didn’t even bother to lift a hand. He merely uttered two words. “Ice Chains.”

Chains of ice lashed from the ground and wrapped around the four Seraph Rangers, pinning their arms to their sides, binding their legs, and knocking them to the ground.

“You and your companions reek of angelic energy. But you wield it like children.”

“We’ll…stop you,” Seraph Red gasped as he continued to struggle. His team beat the Warstar aliens, the Yuumajuu demons, and Machine Alice robots. He knew he could-

Xanathor kneed the Ranger, strike sparking on impact, and tossed him aside. Seraph Red crashed and tumbled across the ground, secondary explosions sparking across his armor.

***

DECA Red watched the battle from the fourth floor of a nearby ruined building. He cursed beneath his breath and opened a comm-line to his team.

“Are you in position yet? Those Seraph Rangers aren’t going to last. They really suck.”

“Not yet,” Commander Kruger answered. “Hold your position, Nat.”

“Didn’t you hear what I just said?” the Red Ranger asked.

DECA Blue cut into the conversation. “Could you just listen for once? That guy is a demon warlord demi-god. We’re way out of our league. So just stay where you are until-”

“Last time I checked, you didn’t give the orders.”

“Nat, don’t do anything-”

DECA Red leapt through the window and flipped through the air, passing over Xanathor while facing down and opening fire with his D-Magnums. His blasts splashed across the villain’s armor with bursts of spark.

The Red Ranger landed with his back to Xanathor. He combined his D-Magnums into a single Hybrid-Magnum and turned towards his opponent.

“Magnum Shot!” He triggered a burst of orange energy that blasted towards the villain.

Xanathor swatted the blast aside. He thrust his other hand and fired a burst of unholy energy from his palm. The blast slammed against the Red Ranger with a burst of spark that hurled him backward.

The villain slashed, firing a wave of icy energy that shot towards the fallen Ranger.

Before the blast could strike, Seraph Red moved in to attack. He slid a Power Card into his Totem Morpher and snapped it shut: “TENSOU!”

He thrust the morpher forward. “Defense Storm!”

A wave of wind energy blew through the air and formed a wall, deflecting the villain’s frost blast with massive bursts of spark and ice.

Seraph Red ran to DECA Red’s side and helped him to his feet.

“Thanks…” DECA Red said begrudgingly. “Got one of those for me?”

“Maybe-”

Xanathor charged and slashed his sword. The two Red Rangers dodged, but barely; the villain’s blade clipped the side of DECA Red’s arm with a burst of spark, and slashed Seraph Red’s Totem Morpher from his hand.

The villain twisted his grip and slashed wide, striking the Red Rangers with bursts of spark that whipped them backward.

Xanathor charged his blade with unholy energy and stabbed towards Seraph Red. “Goodbye, irritant.”

A limp creature smashed against Xanathor and knocked him back several steps. He swatted the body away-- the corpse of a dead Worm-- and looked up to face a newcomer: Kamen Rider Kabuto.

“So…” Kabuto said. “You’re the source of the Worms.”

“And you. I know you, Kabuto…”

“As you should. I am the man who walks the path of the heavens to rule over all. Souji Tendou.”

“Do you expect me to take you seriously?” Xanathor asked. “With an introduction like that? I am an avatar of the God of Death and Destruction. You are nothing, clothed in the scraps of my creations.”

Slowly, Seraph Red and DECA Red staggered to their feet. The Seraph Ranger moved to Kabuto’s right, and the DECA Ranger stepped to Kabuto’s left. All three shifted into fighting stances.

Xanathor laughed, a cold rumble within the depths of his helm. “Very well.” He lifted his sword. “Come.”

DECA Red, Seraph Red and Kamen Rider Kabuto charged to attack.

DECA Red armed his morpher: “SWAT Mode, on!”

His badge flashed with energy that washed across his chest, morphing him into his SWAT Mode armor. He aimed his rifle and fired rapid bursts of orange energy.

Seraph Red loaded an attack card into his morpher: “TENSOU!”

“Twist Tornado!”

He thrust his morpher and fired a whirlwind of red energy.

The whirlwind wrapped around Xanathor and thrashed his armor, while DECA Red’s blasts pelted his body with bursts of spark.

Kamen Rider Kabuto leapt through the air with a flying kick.

Xanathor swung his sword wide, slashing through the wind and energy blasts. He slashed again, hacking the Rider from the air with a burst of spark.

The Rider flipped backward and landed in a crouched position.

Xanathor lunged and chopped at Kabuto; the Rider dodged, each blow forcing him back a step.

DECA Red jumped in, swung the end of his rifle, and bashed the back of the villain’s head. Xanathor slashed the Red Ranger aside, barely needing to pay attention.

Seraph Red slid a weapon card into his morpher: “SUMMON BATTLE GEAR!”

“Dragon Sword!” He hopped and slashed his blade.

But Xanathor blocked and kicked the Ranger backward. Seraph Red stumbled as Kabuto and DECA Red regrouped around him.

Xanathor slashed wide through a streak of unholy energy, striking the Rangers with massive bursts of spark that hurled them off their feet.

***

Kruger and Sam ran to the scene, their legs pumping as they passed the bodies of dead Silver Guardians and fallen ZECT Troopers. They made it to the edge of the battle and armed their morphers.

“Emergency! DECA Shadow!”

“Emergency! DECA Break!”

Their badges flashed with energy that wrapped around them as they morphed into their armor.

DECA Break rolled across the ground and slapped his palm against the earth, activating his bracer.

“Electric Fist!” His bracer triggered waves of electricity that shot through the ground and exploded beneath Xanathor.

DECA Shadow armed his sword and charged, slashing the villain with bursts of spark, moving as fast and efficiently as possible to take advantage of the villain’s surprise.

It didn’t last long.

Xanathor grabbed the Shadow Ranger’s blade. “You’re an actual dog?”

The villain’s hand ebbed with frost energy that traveled along the blade. Xanathor smashed the sword against his knee; it shattered to pieces. The villain kicked DECA Shadow with enough force to shoot him backward, crashing through a fallen building.

Xanathor charged his sword with unholy energy and stalked towards the fallen Shadow Ranger.

“Your powers are lacking, Shadow Ranger,” the villain said. “What made you think you could stand against an avatar of a god?”

Suddenly, the Seraph Rangers’ Lion Totem shot down from the skies and shifted shape into an armored Ranger form: Seraph Knight.

The Knight snapped into a fighting stance. “The Angel of Purity! Seraph Knight!”

Xanathor looked over his shoulder towards his new opponent. “More angels?”

The Seraph Knight armed his sword and charged, slashing and chopping as Xanathor blocked and parried. Their swords clanged and sparked on impact, both combatants twirling their weapons through tight and powerful arcs.

Xanathor swung wide. Seraph Knight slid back to avoid the blow. The Knight twisted his grip on the sword and energized the blade with golden power.

“Knight Metallic!” He swung the blade through a streak of power that slashed Xanathor, sparking on impact.

From behind, DECA Shadow climbed to his feet and charged. He launched a flying side-kick that bashed the villain’s back. Xanathor whipped his blade around and slashed DECA Shadow with a burst of spark. The villain followed with a wide swing that hacked Seraph Knight backward.

***

Seraph Red climbed to his feet amid piles of rubble and debris. His teammates regrouped around him.

“Troy!” Seraph Pink shouted. “Are you okay?”

The Red Ranger shook his head. “Xanathor’s too powerful. He tossed us around like we were nothing.”

“We can beat him if we work together,” Seraph Pink said.

Seraph Yellow nodded. “Never surrender, right?”

Suddenly, a fel portal opened in the skies. A blur of motion shot from the portal and slammed past the Rangers with bursts of spark.

The blur landed on the rooftop of a ruined building and looked down towards his opponents.

The Rangers looked up and recognized him instantly.

“No way…” Seraph Black said. “Vrak?”



Vrak had fought alongside all of the Seraph Rangers’ villains: The Warstar, the Yamajuu, and Metal Alice. The later had turned Vrak into a cyborg, which the Rangers destroyed. Apparently, that didn’t stick.

“My true name is Brajira,” the villain said.

“You’re supposed to be dead!” Seraph Yellow shouted.

“You’ll find I’m much harder to kill than your average monster,” Brajira said. “When you destroyed my machine body, it was like breaking me free from a cocoon, allowing me to assume my true form.”

Seraph Blue tilted his head, noticing the villain’s wings. “What are you?”

“A Fallen Angel, freed from Hell when Simon Kaden escaped from Hades and broke one of the Seals of the Dark One’s prison.”

“That’s great,” Seraph Black said, waving the villain away. “But we can only deal with one villain at a time, you’ll have to get in line.”

Brajira laughed, a menacing noise. “Cowards. What you are witnessing here is part of my grand design.”

“We don’t care about your grand design, Vrak!” Seraph Yellow shouted.

“Don’t you? I thought that was why you were here? To spy, and learn Xanathor’s intentions? Well, Rangers, his intentions are my own. I convinced him to form an alliance, of sorts, with myself along with others, with one goal: A New Creation.”

“A what?” Seraph Black asked.

“A New Creation. A new dimension, with a new Pantheon of Gods and angels, a new cosmos, new beings. A new Heaven. And this world...Well, this world will become the new Hell. No changes required.”

“We’ll stop you, Vrak,” Seraph Red said. “We always do.”

“Not this time,” Brajira said. The villain thrust his hand. “Thunder.”

He fired a bolt of crimson lightning that exploded against the Rangers with massive bursts of fire and spark. The blast knocked them to the ground.

Brajira floated downward and landed next to them. “You cannot defy me, this planet’s savior.”

Seraph Blue rolled his hands into fists. “You’re no savior…”

He grabbed his Shark Bowgun. Seraph Pink lifted her Phoenix Shot. They opened fire with bursts of blue and pink energy. But Brajira swatted the blasts aside.

“Dealing with you is a waste of time…” the villain said mockingly.

Slowly, Seraph Red climbed to his feet, lifted his Dragon Sword, and charged to attack. “Say that again!”

The Red Ranger lunged with a high chop that Brajira blocked with his sword. The villain countered with a swing that slashed the Red Ranger’s chest with a burst of spark. They struck again, swords swinging and blades clanging, as they circled around one another.

Their blades clashed, and the opponents pressed forward, sword against sword.

Seraph Red pushed as hard as he could, but couldn’t get Brajira to inch backward. “We...We never surrender.”

“Empty words.” Brajira pushed back and slashed wide.

The Red Ranger hopped back to dodge. He lifted his sword, and the blade pulsed with energy.

“Dragon Sword! Sky Slash!” Golden wings unfolded from his back, and he slashed through a streak of crimson energy.

Brajira caught the blade and threw the Red Ranger off his feet.

Seraph Red crashed and tumbled across the street. His teammates called his name and ran to his side, regrouping.

Brajira laughed. “Just disappear!”

He thrust his hand with a bolt of golden energy that exploded against the Rangers with bursts of fire and smoke.

Through the smoke, golden energy flared. The Rangers morphed into their Ultra Mode and leapt to attack. They moved so quickly that they took their opponent completely off guard.

Seraph Red and Seraph Black leapt past Brajira while slashing wide, striking the villain’s chest. Seraph Pink and Seraph Yellow dashed past the villain and struck his torso, blades sparking on impact. And Seraph Blue leapt at the villain and landed with a chop, slashing the villain with enough power to send him staggering backward.

Seraph Yellow charged and spun, slashing Brajira from the side. Seraph Pink leapt through the air and landed with a chop against the villain’s back. And Seraph Black moved in while swinging his staff through a butterfly pattern, slashing the villain with bursts of spark.

Seraph Red jumped onto the Black Ranger’s shoulders and pushed off, leaping towards the villain. Wings of golden energy flared from his back, and his Seraph Staff pulsed with golden power.

“Ultra Sky Slash!”

He slashed through a streak of crimson energy that tore across Brajira with massive bursts of spark, sending him staggering several steps backward.

Seraph Red landed, and the Rangers regrouped.

“Totem Morphers, set!” They attached their morphers to their staffs, and inserted attack cards into their morphers. “Ultra Gosei Dynamic!”

They thrust their staffs and fired bursts of golden energy. The comets of power combined into a single blast that shot towards Brajira, forming the shape of the Rangers’ emblem.

Brajira lifted his hand and caught the emblem. It sparked and surged against his palm, but he closed his hand, tightly, condensing the blast into a single sphere of power that he shattered with a squeeze of his fist.

Seraph Black shook his head. “No way!”

Brajira opened his hand; steam rose from his palm. “I guess that really is the limit to your powers. Now...let me show you mine.”

Brajira spread his wings wide. They fired wide beams of golden energy that splashed against the Rangers, smashing their armor with bursts of spark and lightning that tore through the street around them. The blast hurled them off their feet; they crashed and tumbled backward, their Golden Armor powering down with a shattering of energy.

“Don’t you people understand that you have zero chance of survival?”

Seraph Red staggered and climbed to his feet. “Don’t...count the odds...yet.”

He lifted his Dragon Sword, leapt through the air, and landed with a chop. Brajira dodged with a mere sway of his body. The villain grabbed the Red Ranger by the throat and lifted him off his feet.

“There are no odds. Nothing will interfere with the birth of my New Creation.”

“Your New Creation?” Seraph Red struggled to break free. “Xanathor will kill you you when he’s done with you.”

“Not if I destroy him first. Don’t you see? I’m the one who has used him. I convinced him to join with me. I brought us together for this one purpose.”

Brajira ignited his palm with strands of lightning and electricity that thrashed Seraph’s Red armor. Sparks exploded across the Ranger as the lightning intensified; the attack knocked Troy from his armor.

Brajira dropped the teen to the ground.

The villain dashed to Seraph Black and Seraph Yellow and lifted both by their necks. “The crude Land Power…”

He fired bursts of electricity and spark that knocked them from their armor and hurled them backward.

Seraph Pink shot to her feet and fired her blaster. Brajira dodged, grabbed her arm, and grabbed her neck. “The feeble Sky Power…”

The Blue Seraph Ranger charged, but Brajira grabbed him by the neck. “And the equally useless Sea Power.”

He ignited bursts of lightning and spark that hurled them backward and knocked them from their armor. They crashed and skid backward, rolling to a stop near their teammates.

“Do you see now?” Brajira asked. “My Dark Angelic Power is invincible. You frail, little beings are no match for me.”

The villain spread his wings and fired beams of golden energy, exploding around the teens with lightning and fire.

---To be continued...Chapter 05

Last edited by Ryuranger; August 16th, 2018 at 02:32 PM.
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Old August 15th, 2018, 02:56 PM #59
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Author's note: I know this chapter was pretty straightforward.

Next chapter will get back to Tommy in the Astral Plane, and finally reveal the Final Prophecy/Ultimate Secret! Also, Jungle Fury! The Red Dragon Thunderzord vs. the original Megazord! And the most unexpected re-appearance of the decade!
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Old August 16th, 2018, 12:34 AM #60
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The most unexpected return... Oh great, Turbo Rangers! or Zordon... Ivan Ooze
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