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Old October 28th, 2008, 08:54 AM #1
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BattleRanger
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,166



The Power Rangers Saga: Fire and Ice (FINAL CUT)


FIRE AND ICE

Written by Patrick Nelson Smith




The Power Rangers Saga: Fire and Ice contains strong violence, adult language, and adult situations.


*Disclaimer- Power Rangers and all related properties are copyright of Disney, 2009. All original properties are copyright of Patrick Nelson Smith, 2009. Reproduction and/or use of these original properties without the author's consent is prohibited. No content may be reproduced without the express consent of the author.*


It is a power as old as time itself . . .

It is an enemy no world has withstood . . .

It is a legacy handed down for millenia . . .


It is our darkest hour . . .

It is our greatest hope . . .

The Saga . . . RETURNS!

*Author's Note- Fire and Ice is a story that I have been working on since about 1994 ... through constant rewrites, the basis of seeing the original MMPR characters thrust into our real world, facing their greatest enemy, has never changed. I've toyed with all types of scenarios, but as I am writing the last chapters of this story, I really felt it was time to catch everyone up and present to you this 'final cut' of the Fire and Ice story. Remember . . . the best is yet to come.*


>>>>CHAPTER INDEX<<<<


THE POWER RANGERS SAGA DATABASE
**
FOREWORD
**
CHAPTER ONE
**
CHAPTER TWO
**
CHAPTER THREE
**
CHAPTER FOUR
**
CHAPTER FIVE
**
CHAPTER SIX
**
CHAPTER SEVEN
**
CHAPTER EIGHT
**
CHAPTER NINE
**
CHAPTER TEN
**
CHAPTER ELEVEN
**
--CHAPTER ELEVEN DELETED SCENE--
**
CHAPTER TWELVE
**
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
**
CHAPTER FOURTEEN
**
CHAPTER FIFTEEN
**
CHAPTER SIXTEEN
**
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
**
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
**
CHAPTER NINETEEN
**
CHAPTER TWENTY
**
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE
**
CHAPTER TWENTY TWO
**
CHAPTER TWENTY THREE
**
CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR
**
CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE
**
CHAPTER TWENTY SIX
**
CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN
**
CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT
**
CHAPTER TWENTY NINE
**
EPILOGUE
**


COMING SOON

THE POWER RANGERS SAGA: THE RISING STORM


Last edited by BattleRanger; January 19th, 2016 at 08:05 PM.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 08:55 AM #2
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BattleRanger
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Chapter One

A Nation Divided

It was the greatest war in American history. Three million fought- an astounding 600,000 died. This great yet terrible war was the only one fought on American soil by Americans. In the mid 1800s, the United States would be torn apart by this turn of events. Since the beginning of the colonies more than 200 years earlier, two regions of the country had developed in very different ways. They were not the same for many reasons, but the rising tensions began separating the fabric of our sovereignty. By 1860, after failed years of compromise on many issues, the outbreak of war was something that could not be prevented. The time of serenity and unity would be utterly shattered by the Civil War of the American people.


Jason Scott yawned and rubbed his eyes, the words on the page blurring in his strained sight. Utterly bored at the details of past events, he stared out the window, through a sunlit haze. Like most people, he knew what happened to his forefathers, the basics anyway. What good were fine details? His mind always seemed fixed on the horizon, to the future. The world around him seemed as just a flat desert of boredom and predictability. However, the sky just above him, while certainly as far stretching and open, held depth and wonder. However, he was often quickly reminded that just beyond the blue haze of the atmosphere was the black haze of space, dotted with pinpoints of starlight and dead planets of no excitement and wonder. Concentrate, panjanim, he thought to himself, I've got to focus on my Tae-Kwan-Do for the competition. I don't have time to be in this moment. Until I've proven my skill to myself and the judges, my mind will always remain on that day. Jason yawned despairingly and rubbed his eyes before turning them to his friend, Adam.

Adam sat in the next row of seats in the confined class room, equally uninterested in the history of his nation. But while Jason always seemed to look to the future, for excitement, Adam's calm, level head was always in the moment, whether he was interested or not. But his attention was usually inward, in his mind, in the creativeness of his imagination. At any moment, he could pull up a favorite song of his from his mental jukebox and tap out the beat with his yellow pencil against his textbook. But his mind wasn't filled with stock music he heard, it was also filled with his own compositions. While music seemed to be the core of his existence, he also was anticipating getting home from school, where he would spend time with his friends Jason and Zack, usually getting into some sort of mischief with the latter, while Jason would usually ask Adam to help him with his Tae-Kwan-Do.

"This war was one of many that was the result of the persecution of a group of innocent people. The Civil War spilled the blood of our ancestors in an attempt to free the enslaved masses that were bound silent without their own voice. The Union armies managed to liberate the slaves of the peoples of the south.

This war was reflected almost a hundred years later in the Second World War as recently elected Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler, perpetrated one of the greatest tragedies in modern history, a Nazi mass murder of the Jewish people known as the Holocaust. However, the Jews were not only the victims of Nazism. It is estimated that as many as 15 million civilians were murdered by this racist regime, including millions of other ethnic groups," Ms. Appleby explained.

Without warning, the high-pitched chorus of chimes came from the circular metal bell fixed just above the entrance way. The ringing of the bell came as a surprise to the teacher, who had planned to review more material before breaking for the day. She glanced at her watch and checked the time to be three-thirty pm.

"All right students, we will begin our discussion of the wars of the modern era on Monday. Have a safe weekend and be sure to have your chapter questions completed to be turned in when we return," she announced before returning to her desk.

"Weekend, here we come," Adam said, cramming his book into his backpack.

"No doubt, bro," Jason added, grabbing his notebook and following Adam out the doorway and into the hall.

"Big time!" The voice came from a tall, black teenager who was wearing oversized silvery jeans and a Los Angeles Raiders football jersey. Zack Taylor grinned his mischievous, lopsided smile, anticipating the atmosphere and action of the night's football game. For Zack, the game meant more than just beating the rival Stone Canyon Eagles . . . his number was a rhythm and his football field was the head of his drum.

Alongside his fellow musicians in the drum line, Zack fought the battle to motivate the Angel Grove Tigers and to entertain their fans. It was a battle that Zack knew by heart . . . he had to scratch and claw just to make drum line, not only against his classmates, but against the indecision in his heart. He had always been there with Jason and Adam on the field, looking out for one another and enjoying the pure sport of football. But his music was a serious side of himself that he had to satisfy, even if it meant playing the game from the bleachers . . . but at the moment, all those feelings were tucked away, far beneath Zack's playful and warm demeanor.

"We'll be in the big time once we get off JV," Jason reminded. Zack's grin came crashing down as he rolled his eyes.

"Come on bro! Tonight's the night," Zack emphatically declared. "Word's out that Coach Hardy has picked a few guys off of JV to play tonight," Jason halfheartedly smiled as Zack grabbed Adam by the neck in a playful chokehold.

"Remember man, we got Stone Cold Adam Park over here . . . myself, the most electrifying man in all of half-time entertainment, and . . ." Zack paused, grinning at Jason. Jason posed, flexing his muscles, imitating professional wrestler Triple H, causing Adam and Zack to burst out into laughter.

"The-ah Cerebral-ah Assassin-ah, The GAME-ah!" Jason shouted, straining his neck out in parody of the pro wrestler. Zack's laughing came to a sudden halt. Their eyes darted, glancing at the students that had gathered around them. Jason quickly noticed the Angel Grove Tiger's star quarterback, Nick Hibriten, wearing his gold and blue lettermen jacket, step through the crowd.

"You better get your game faces on, rookies. Or those Stone Canyon Eagles are gonna eat you alive. And if you get in my way . . . you won't have to worry about them," the blonde haired six foot four, 225-pound All-Star threatened. Jason swallowed his pride and took a deep breath before turning away and retreating to his locker. The hallway resumed its normal after-school chaotic pace as Zack and Adam slowly approached Jason.

"Don't worry bro. Ol 'roid head has his head too far up Coach Hardy's ass to see the light of day. Not to mention those UCLA scouts," Zack noted. Jason nodded and locked his locker.


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The AGH computer lab was busy with students applying to colleges, researching homework, and two particular students fixed around a monitor showing a NASA space shuttle launching. Trini Kwan and Billy Cranston sat at the desk, reading the headline.

"Californian astronaut, Jake Cranston, was selected today as the pilot for NASA's first manned mission to Mars, aboard the shuttle Sovereignty. Cranston is a graduate of astrophysics at UCLA and is part of a team of young scientists at NASA, nicknamed the Young Guns. The crew of the shuttle Sovereignty will be in Cape Canaveral this weekend after a meeting with President Mitchell in Washington that is slated for this afternoon. Liftoff is slated for next week, weather permitting,"

"That's so prodigious, Billy," Trini, the young Vietnamese-American female noted. Billy pushed his glasses back up the ridge of his nose, grinning. For as long as she could remember, Trini had been near Billy's side, almost like a big sister. While she certainly shared Billy's enthusiasm for science and mathematics, she still liked to enjoy simpler pleasures like listening to music or going shopping. Billy certainly never felt betrayed by this, but would often wish that Trini were more like him, researching nuclear fusion or calculating algorithms. While Billy preferred the classic rock of the late Seventies such as Boston and Foreigner, Trini would rather listen to top 40 radio, where she could hear a blend of the styles and genres she favored.

"Yeah, my parents are psyched. They're leaving for Florida tomorrow morning," he returned. As they spoke, a brunette girl came running in, dressed in a cheerleading uniform. Kimberly Hart felt out of place in the computer lab but was in such a mad rush that the surroundings never really took full effect on her. For Kimberly, running into the computer lab would be more likely as an escape some sort of dreadful situation, not with academic intent.

"Trini!" She yelled.

"Hey girl," Trini replied. Billy rolled his eyes and turned back in his chair.

"What's your problem, robo-geek?" She asked, curling her lip in exaggerated disgust. "Anyway, Trini, in the morning, my parents are flying to Palm Springs for their anniversary, so I'm throwing a party tomorrow night. Valerie Chandler's brother, Robert, is a DJ and she got him booked for me. Its gonna be bitchin, girl," Kimberly exclaimed at such a fast speed that one would wonder how she managed to keep her lips from setting on fire, as Billy usually noted.

"I don't know Kim, I . . ." Trini began as Kimberly cut her off, running her hand down Billy's shoulder.

"You can even bring astroboy," she added. Billy looked up, his face blushing. Kimberly gave him a sultry look and he was quickly brought to his feet. For a fleeting second, he questioned their hold on the carpeted floor.

"Sure! We'll be there!" Billy replied quickly. Trini sighed at Billy's lack of control over his hormones and nodded at Kimberly.

"We'll be there," She echoed Billy's blurt. She knew that Billy had zero control over his hormones and would forget his vast intelligence or mild-mannered composure as soon as someone as beautiful as Kimberly paid him attention. Kimberly bounced through the double doors to the east hall, making her way to cheerleading practice and ran into Zack, who was walking with Jason and Adam to the parking lot. She gave him a disgusted look and continued down to the gymnasium.

"Watch where you're going, mallrat!" Zack hollered. Adam laughed as Zack dusted his shirt, as if contact with the cheerleader left him covered in dirt.

"You riding with me?" Jason asked Adam. Zack quickly ran off to his truck to meet the girls that were gathered around a car next to it.

"I thought you had drum line practice?!" Jason hollered.

"Nope, not tonight. Catch ya at the Sun!" Zack yelled back as he strutted up to the girls. "Hello ladies. Did it hurt when ya'll fell from heaven?" Adam turned back to Jason.

"Let’s go," He smiled. They loaded up in Jason's candy red Chevy pickup as Jason hit the play button on his CD Player. Techno-Heavy Metal music filled the truck's cab as the two vehicles pulled from the parking lot.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Down the Sun restaurant was set amongst gas stations to the left of a small shopping center on the outskirts of Angel Grove. Black with orange flame-painted brick ran the length of its walls, decorated with intentional graffiti, advertising drink specials and various specials the club offered. Inside, neon and flashing lights shone off the teenage customers standing at arcade games, pinball machines, and pool tables as frosties were served to the seated patrons. The said drink was an ice cold concoction that mixed soft drinks and sports drinks with fruit flavors and such was delivered by waitresses in black mini skirts, fishnet shirts over colored tops, excessive makeup, and dyed hair.

"A cherry Dr. Pepper frosty," Jason shouted over the music being projected by large speakers set behind the booth where he sat with Adam and Zack. The waitress scribbled on a white pad of paper and returned to the bar.

"You still entering the tournament?" Jason asked Adam. Adam spun his straw around in his hands.

"I don't really know. Competitive marital arts really aren't my thing," Adam replied. Jason nodded and shot his eyes back at the counter to check on the progress of their drinks.

"I'm not doing it so much for the competition as I am to try and get my name out there. If enough people take notice, it'll help when I finally get my dojo open," Jason explained.

"I always get a rush when we compete at state. Two bands going at it . . . its cool," Zack replied. With that, their waitress returned with the drinks.

"One cherry Dr. Pepper frosty," she said, handing the drink to Jason, "a grape Sprite frosty," she added, handing Adam his drink, "and a cherry limeade," Zack reached for his drink and reached for a straw. He jammed the straw down into his drink and took a sip.

"We just gotta keep our heads in the game tonight. Coach really put some responsibility on our shoulders by letting us play Stone Canyon tonight. If we win this one, we"ll be district champs," Jason reminded. Adam nodded.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The sprawling campus of the University of California at Angel Grove sat majestically in the late afternoon sunlight. A silvery SUV made its way down Wilshire Blvd. before hanging a left onto Westwood Blvd. Hailey Morgan sat in the plush chair, her long brown hair streaming down her face. She looked over her sunglasses, brushing a brunette lock from her view. She drove through Westwood Village, turning onto Charles Young Dr. to the Experimental Sciences Building. She parked the vehicle in the adjacent parking building and locked the door. Her briefcase held tightly, she made her way into the building before meeting her supervisor, Dr. Weston.

"Hailey . . . I would have thought you'd be on your way to Florida by now," the man said behind thick glasses. Grey strands peeked out from a head of black hair that was trimmed short and proper. Hailey smiled and assumed a new grip on her briefcase.

"I had considered it . . . but you know I don't do too well with the press. Jake's gonna be so busy with everything, getting ready for the launch . . . we both decided it'd be best if I stayed. Besides . . . we're on the threshold of a breakthrough,"

"Just don't run yourself into the ground, young lady. Lock up when you leave . . . and Hayley . . . Good luck this weekend," Dr. Weston added before walking through the double doors to the parking garage.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Angel Hills Subdivision . . .

"So how's Washington?" Billy inquired, holding the phone between his chin and shoulder. Trini sat at his computer in the rigid desk chair while Billy had opted for the softness of his blue plaid bed comforter. Billy nodded his head as he continued his conversation with his brother. Click-click-tap-click-tap . . . the keys of the sprawling keyboard pierced the air as Trini gathered her research on fusion for the science project she was working on with Billy.

"She's staying at the campus?" Billy inquired. Trini rolled the mouse over several images of fusion researchers and glanced at Billy who was heavily involved with his phone conversation. She clicked the mouse a few more times and sighed desperately.

"Billy, lemme know when you get off the phone . . . I can't get these formulas to download," Trini said to Billy as he gave her a thumbs-up, "I'm gonna check the game," With that, she moved in the chair to Billy's bookshelf and turned the radio on. After a quick dial to the local station, she increased the volume.

"And with that, the Tigers lead the Eagles fourteen to ten. The Eagles quarterback Kurt Fowler looks to even the odds with this next play. Here's the kick off . . . and a perfect catch at the ten-yard line. Fowler up the middle, he's at the twenty . . ."

The sickening sounds of helmets and padding crashing split the early night air, echoing into the stands. Adam felt a rush of adrenaline surge through his body, making his skin feel as if it were on fire. The air in his lungs had escaped him as he fought to breathe in. The bright lights faded out to a dim glow, the roar of the crowd nothing more than a monotone hum that barely could be heard over the ringing in his ears. He swallowed hard, tasting the metallic bitterness of blood. He blinked, trying to get a grasp on his body's functions.

"Adam!" A woman cried. The yell came from Diana Park, who jumped up alongside her husband, Johnny.

"Touchdown! Fowler's offensive line just cleared him a straight line to the end zone. It appears we have a man down on the field!" The announcer shouted over the loudspeakers. He saw the double digit printed on Adam's jersey and ran through his roster list.

"Number twenty-two, Adam Park of Angel Grove, is down," with that, the Angel Grove Tiger's trainer rushed onto the field with Coach Hardy. The trainer bent down to Adam and saw him struggling to his feet.

"Hey kid, you alright?" He asked.

"Yeah . . . I just got the breath knocked out of me," Adam said, spitting out the blood in his mouth. Coach Hardy patted him on the shoulder as they returned to the sidelines. Jason stood, holding his helmet at his side.

"You okay, bro?" He asked, kneeling beside Adam, who sat on the bench, guzzling down a sports drink.

"I'm better than okay, I'm great," Adam smirked. When Jason saw Adam's half grin, he smiled back and returned his focus to the game.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


An hour and a half later, the lights of the football field illuminated the empty stands as the players walked around the parking lot. The Eagles loaded up onto the yellow school buses as a few of the players talked with the Angel Grove Tigers. Adam walked away from the bustling parking lot to the field house.

"Yo Adam, hold up!" Jason hollered, running up to him. Adam turned around and slapped hands with Jason.

"You comin' to the Sun with us, right?" Jason asked.

"Yeah, I guess man. Our first night off JV and we get our asses handed to us,"

"Don't sweat it, man. Its just getting started for us. Next year, we'll be off JV for good." Jason replied.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Saturday morning . . .

The beams of early morning sunlight peeked out from behind clouds of dark gray and reflected off the silvery rims of Jason Scott's red pickup truck. He sat atop a black bucket, strenuously polishing the twenty inches of shiny chrome. He made circular motions with the light blue polish and buffed them to brilliance. After returning the polishing liquid, buffing pad and bucket to his parent's garage, he stiffly walked around to the driver's side door of his truck, still feeling the effects of last night's football game. Once within, he pulled the door shut and cranked the truck. Distorted electric guitar notes played from his speakers as he shifted the gears into drive. Pressing the accelerator, he turned out of the driveway and headed toward the four-lane highway that would take him into town.

Minutes later, his destination came into view, a custom auto shop just on the outskirts of Angel Grove. The parking lot was lined with customized trucks, SUVs, tuners, and import cars. Jason noticed the left side shop door was open and could hear a faint hip-hop beat from within. As soon as he was inside the shop, the smell of cigarette smoke and engine exhaust met him. A black extended cab pickup truck sat in the middle of the shop, generating the music. Jason spotted the shop's owner, Carlos Vallerte.

"Que pasa, mi compadre!" the lanky Hispanic man grinned behind a small cloud of cigarette smoke.

"De' nada essa, who's truck is this?" Jason asked, walking past the truck.

"It belong to a buddy of mine, Justin Garza," Carlos replied. Before Jason could finish asking about the truck, they heard a voice from the entrance to the shop door.

"Excuse me. Do you sell shifter kits?" The man asked. He was an older man, wearing blue jeans and a green and gold racing jacket that read 'Rush Racing Sports' in white stylized letters on the front.

"Yes sir. Let's step inside and let me get the specs you need," Carlos said, leading the man and Jason into a small office near the front of the shop. Carlos sat down into a rolling chair and turned on his computer while studying the man.

"You new around here?" he asked.

"Yeah, I just moved here with my nephew about two weeks ago," he replied, before giving Carlos the exact specifications of the shifter he needed. Carlos typed onto his computer and turned back to the man.

"Your nephew, he a racer too?" Carlos asked in less than perfect English.

"No, no, he's more into martial arts. He's all excited about a tournament being hosted down at the civic center,"

"Your nephew is competing at the tournament?" Jason asked.

"Yes, he was heavily involved back in Fresno, a black belt in Tae-Kwan-Do. You might have met him, you're probably the same age,"

"I haven't noticed anyone new around . . . what's his name?"

"Tommy Oliver," the man replied. With that, Carlos printed out a sheet of yellow paper and handed it to the man.

"I didn't catch your name," Carlos said.

"Oh, John Rush. Rush Racing Sports," the man replied.

"Okay Mr. Rush, I can get it in Monday morning . . . I don't keep parts of these such in stock, I mostly cater to the kids around here. If you want to, you could check one of the bigger stores in town," Carlos explained.

"That's okay. I'd rather spend my money here. I used to be a small business owner as well, I know how business can be," the man replied.

"Muchos gracias. I'll get on the phone with the parts catalog now," Carlos added.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Destine Technologies tower sat at the north side of Angel Grove, gazing down upon the gothic angles of the First Episcopal Church. Hayley Morgan rode the elevator to the forty-seventh floor, where the grants committee had gathered to hear her presentation on nanotechnology. With a loud 'ding' the elevator doors slid open and an elderly man in a black suit greeted her.

"Ms. Morgan, I presume."

"Dr. Richter, good afternoon. I'm here . . ." Hayley began.

"To meet with the board of directors, I know. I've been studying your work, young lady, and I must say that I am amazed at the work between yourself and Dr. Weston. How is Phillip?" The man asked of his old understudy.

"He constantly talks about you, sir. The funding from your company has helped us achieve what would have been impossible on our own. Even the university lacks the funds to support a cause as great as ours."

"Well, you are on the cutting edge of modern medical science, Ms. Morgan," Dr. Richter said, glancing down at his watch. "I won't keep you a moment more. I believe you are expected," With that, the doctor led Hayley to the board room where the committee members had gathered.

"May I present to you today, Ms. Hayley Morgan of UCAG. I trust you will find her presentation insightful," Dr. Richter stated.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Another place . . .

The clear blackness of deep space was suddenly pierced by the white underbelly of the large drilling frigate. Massive spikes of antenna clusters broke its otherwise sleek shape as it tore across the void of the space lanes. Thousands of blinking lights signaled its gargantuan form to other galactic vessels, although the abandoned Eltarian system was devoid of any such traffic. Its pilots, drillers from the planet KO-19, sat in dirty control chairs that suited their gangly forms. From the bridge, a computerized series of beeps signaled the arrival of their destination.

"I don't know, Kaben. Heard too many rumors about this little dead planet of yours. Smugglers call it the Hand of Chaos. There's something down there . . . I can feel it already," the one they called Brytem noted. Brytem was the only human in the crew of mostly Utauin humanoids. At a glance, the Utauins would seem human, were it not for their long, slender limbs and light blue skin.

"That's your imagination at work. Anyone would be jittery after drinking as many Moon Clusters as you have. Not to mention those Mengarun cigars," Kaben, the crew's head drillhand replied.

"It would take a whole cruiser of Moon Juice to get my senses off track. If I recall correctly, my nose has saved your wormy skins enough times for a Whill to lose track of," Brytem retaliated.

"Breaching atmosphere. Landing procedures initiated. Cabanin Drilling Facility in range. No return to landing signal. Repeating transmission . . . no return to landing signal," a soft robotic voice spoke within the bridge.

"Cancel the transmission. Something must be blocking their receivers. Gear up team, we'll be landing in sixty michrons," Kaben said into his comm unit. The bridge team reached behind their control chairs and pulled gear boxes onto their backs, sliding their arms into the shoulder straps.

Dust and rock was kicked up as the large vessel spewed repulsor energy down toward the planet's surface as it bulls-eyed the landing markers. Within a matter of seconds, it sat perched on top of the permacrete platform, its engines dying with a low whirring sound. A hatch opened up under its hull, the crew members slowly walking down the black ramp.

"The generators are still running. Where is everyone?" the scientist of the crew, Cashgira, asked.

"The Ghost World of Eltar. Now, I can retire," Brytem joked. He looked into the distance at a desert of black sand and sparse rocks. An eerie purplish glow in the sky signaled the arrival of daylight. Kaben knelt down and ran his hand over a two-meter long blast mark in the permacrete. He glanced up at the others.

"Carbon scoring. Otem, unpack the Electro-Lances," Kaben ordered the young Utauin.

"Could it have been pirates?" Amothan, the crew's pilot asked.

"Not likely. Most of them would never come near this planet- they're too superstitious. And who can blame them?" Brytem asked, although his question was really more of a statement. With that, Otem returned from the ship with the eight Electro-Lances.

"What's the deal with this rock anyway?" Otem inquired.

"This 'grave-world' is the product of the Dairakun Wars. Bunch of hopped-up freaks on some sort of religious crusade wiped out the planet's entire population with a parallel series energy cannon, some sort of prototype doomsday weapon. The only Eltarians that were left were the ones offworld. Now, the ghosts of these damned souls roam the planet, seeking retribution against any living thing that sets foot on their world," Brytem explained.

"Or so we're told," Kaben added. Brytem defiantly stepped into Kaben's way and eyed the Utauin driller face to face.

"You ever seen a spect' up close?" Brytem asked.

"Well, no, but I don't . . ." Kaben started.

"Not again guys. I'm not getting paid enough to ref a pissing contest," Otem said. With that, the team descended the stairs, noticing a flickering light shining off the floor.

"At least they left the light on for us," Brytem noticed. The team entered the half-lit lobby. Brytem stopped in his tracks, the hair on his neck standing on end.

"Something's not right," He said, sniffing the air.

"I'll check the central computer's driller's log," Cashgira said. With that, he removed a flat panel from a systems dock in the wall and began issuing command codes. As he conducted his search, the others shone their shoulder-mounted light beams into the dark depths of corroded metal scaffolding.

"I found it. Initiating holoviewer," Cashgira stated. A beam of light shot down from an unknown source above the team and formed the image of an older Utauin male, sporting a white braided beard. His voice was deep and heavy and he was seemingly short of breath.

"Driller's log: supplemental. Drilling has been stopped for the time being. We've unearthed some sort of ancient ceremonial crypt. Specialists are estimated to arrive at 21:00 michrons. Auxiliary crew set to rendevous with transport vessel Valkyrie a . . . th . . . e . . . nin . . . 06:00 sharp," Just as quickly as the three-dimensional image had appeared, it faded away.

"Everything else is corrupted. The facility is blasted with solar flares on a regular basis and it's detrimental that the radiation deflection systems are initiated at that time. Apparently, since no one was here, the data was lost to the radiation," Cashgira explained.

"Can you bring up the landing platform surveillance video for the ETA of the specialist crew?" Brytem asked.

"Give me a minute," the scientist replied. With that, he entered more commands into the keypad that brought up a hologram of a small transport ship landing on the platform. Without warning, six black starfighters swung into view, raining down laser bolts upon the ship. A blue orb, a photon torpedo to be more exact, struck the ship, disintegrating it.

"Lock in on one of those fighters," Kaben ordered. With that, a round marker came up on the image and slid over to the fighter closest in frame.

"Increase values," Kaben added. The ship soon became the lone image in the holoviewer.

"Any clue who it might be?" Kaben asked, turning to Brytem.

"I've flown most star lanes in most of the 28 known galaxies. But I've never seen anything like this before,"

"Is there anything else to this recording?" Kaben added.

"No sir, the video feed was destroyed by the energy output of the photon blast,"

"Alright. Arm your lances. Brytem, take Otem, Cilox, and Amothan and check the east perimeter. We'll check the west side. Keep your comms up and check in if you find anything," Kaben commanded.

"No, I figured we'd just keep it to ourselves," Brytem added. The steel platforms creaked with each step as Kaben lead his crew into the depths of the facility. Steam shot up from vents and a constant drip-drip-drip of water could be heard in the distance. The air was warm and muggy, hanging to their exposed skin. At the end of the darkened corridor, the team reached a turbolift shaft.

"Cashgira, bring the main systems online," Kaben ordered.

"Yes sir. Central systems will be online momentarily,"

"Computer, bring all lifts online," Kaben instructed.

"Not possible. All servo systems are offline," the soft computerized voice explained.

"Computer, why are servo systems offline?"

"Connection to servo lines has been severed. Impossible to bring systems online."

"Is there an access staircase near?"

"Affirmative. Staircase exists in north hall," the computer answered.

"Alright, everyone proceed to northern hallway. I'll bring up the rear," Kaben commanded, tapping his comm unit. "Kaben to Brytem,"

"Go ahead," the response came.

"All the lifts are dead. Can you confirm the same?" Kaben asked.

"Affirmative. We investigated the servo stations. Someone cut the control lines,"

"Copy that. We'll check back in shortly," Kaben replied.


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In the dark maze of durasteel scaffolding, Brytem lead his team past the eastern maintenance tunnels.

"So you've seen a ghost face to face?" Otem asked, his Electro-Lance crackling with electricity as he nervously fidgeted with the control handle.

"Face to face ain't the bad part, kid. I had one jump in on me," Brytem replied.

"Jump in?" Cilox, the younger Utauin, asked. Brytem turned around face the alien humanoids.

"Jump into my mind, into my body. But ghosts don't fly starfighters and that's what we're looking for. We got bigger fish to fry than spects, believe me," Suddenly, the comms crackled to life with static that was interrupted by a loud scream for help.

"Amothan, get a lock on their coordinates!" Brytem hollered as the team rushed toward the access stairs.

"They're on the transmission platform!" Amothan shouted after checking his indicator.

"Set lances to maximum voltage," the command came from Brytem. The team thumbed the dials to high power as they ran down the stairs.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Within the depths below, Kaben struck out with his lance at a massive robotic form. The bipedal machine was covered in sleek, black armor, light enough for extreme maneuverability but still tempered to repel most forms of blaster energy. Its monotone polished form was broken up by a crimson symbol on its chest that strikingly resembled the Omega letter of the Greek alphabet, however modified with four stripes flowing from it. While the machine itself was considered a weapon, a MAW (Military Automation of War), it still carried a single rifle. Its cold robotic 'eyes' showed no remorse as it dispensed of the Utauin driller. Satisfied with the machine's work, two humans dressed in pressed black military uniforms appeared from the surrounding shadows.

"Commander Tiena, the MAWs have secured the drillers' vessel," the younger Sergeant noted. The Commander, with his silver hair and blue eyes, regarded Kaben's dead body with no emotion.

"We are proceeding on schedule. This interruption is only a mild delay. Soon, Lord Zedd will take claim to his throne and we will spread the blood of the entire universe," Tiena replied.

"Attention: four enemy marks approaching," the MAW Soldier stated.

"Destroy them," the Commander added before returning to the access tunnel. The two men climbed down the dark hatchway, a blue light illuminating the bottom of the shaft. Hundreds of MAWs were excavating the massive burial chamber, some piloting dull-yellow 'rockers that were bipedal that featured assorted digging devices.


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Earth . . .

Jeremy and Jeanna Hart's extravagant home sat at the end of a long driveway in a suburb of Angel Grove nicknamed 'Snob Hill'. To some, the name would be an insult, but to the homeowners, it was a mark of separation from the common folk of Angel Grove county. The said driveway was lined with cars and trucks of varying makes and models. From a distance, the sound of loud dance music could be heard. Jason parked his truck alongside the driveway, behind Zack's black F-150.

Inside the house, teenagers walked about with plastic cups filled with alcohol, while talking and looking at teenagers of the opposite sex with hungry eyes. As Jason walked in the door, he heard Zack's voice from across the room, where he sat at a love seat with three girls around him. Jason smiled as Kimberly Hart walked up to him.

"Hey stud. The kegs are on the back patio and um . . ." Kimberly started, as she slowly walked around Jason, running her hand across his shoulder. "Should you need a place to crash, my room's the third on the left, upstairs,"

"Kim, you wouldn’t even go to the Fall Ball with me. Why would I bother?" Jason asked.

"Oh please, like it wasn't obvious that whoever went with Ricky Stevens would be guaranteed to be crowned Queen of the Ball. Ugh . . . whatever. Just don't puke on the carpet, loser," Kimberly added before strutting off.

"What was that all about?" Adam said, walking up to Jason.

"Oh, hey bro. Ah, nothing. I guess it's hard for her to believe that some of us still have morals," Jason replied. Adam scoffed then smiled.

"Yeah right . . . come on man, you wouldn't want one round with that bedroom gymnast?"

"No way man, she's totally heinous. Besides, she’s more Britney Spears and I’m more Bullet For My Valentine- its like oil and water. It’d never work out,"

"Okay bro," Adam replied mockingly as the two made their way to the back patio. Adam grabbed a plastic cup and proceeded to fill it with beer from the nearest keg. Jason grimaced as a high-pitched female voice began to sing over the karaoke speakers.

"Cindy Demby. God, how can anyone stand that noise?" Jason asked, filling his own cup with beer.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Billy Cranston stepped out of the black Grand Prix that belonged to his best friend since the third grade, Trini Kwan, the cool night air bring up goosebumps on his skin.

"Come on Billy, it'll be fine," Trini insisted. Billy shrugged at her.

"I don't know Trini . . . social events aren't really that appealing to me. I don't drink and I don't really care for music released after the Seventies," Billy responded.

"Billy, you need to loosen up . . . and enjoy yourself. Try to have fun tonight. Think of it this way . . . your bother would have never been chosen to fly the first manned space shuttle to Mars if he hadn't stepped out of his safety circle,"

"I guess you're right. I'm just too scared about being rejected further by my peers. But I shouldn’t let them keep me bound to my simple little existence,"

"Don't worry. Even a genius can have a wild side. Just look at Benjamin Franklin," Trini said as they approached the front door to the Hart residence. As soon as Trini rang the bell, the door swung open.

"Hey girl!" Kimberly exclaimed, seeing Trini.

"Oh, the cyberfreak," Kimberly said once she noticed Billy standing back in the shadows. Billy stepped forward with a half grin on his face. "I think there's some chocolate milk in the fridge if you get thirsty. Or maybe some Kool-Aid . . ."

"A screwdriver," Billy interjected.

"Screwdriver?" Trini and Kimberly asked simultaneously.

"Yeah . . . maybe three-fourths orange juice and a fourth alcohol," He responded.

"Sorry Mr. Robert Downey the Third, but the only screwdrivers we have around here are flathead and Phillips head. You'll have to do with light beer if you want a buzz," Kimberly smarted.

"Um . . . that Kool-Aid . . . cherry or grape?" Billy asked. Kimberly shook her head in disgust and walked off, leaving Trini as she let a small chuckle escape her lips.

"Sorry Billy. You might want to leave the drinking to the ‘3.0 and below’ students," She said. The two walked into the enormous house and were met by assorted stares and whispers. Billy surveyed the crowd before hearing a voice to his right.

"Yo Billy!" the distinct voice belonging to Jason Scott carried to the class honor president. Trini grinned and walked off to find Kimberly. Billy swallowed hard, nervous by himself in the sea of people.

"Billy, what's up? I didn't expect to see you here," Jason asked, Adam and Zack following behind.

"That's makes two of us," Zack smirked, hiding his grin.

"Billy's in my karate class. He just started at the beginning of the semester," Jason explained. "So what are you doing here?"

"What do you mean?" Billy asked nervously.

"I don't know, I didn't expect to see Mr. Most Likely To Succeed here tonight," Jason explained. Billy let a half-laugh out.

"Well, my parents are in Cape Canaveral this weekend to see my brother off. I'd get stir crazy if I just sat around, watching Quantum Leap reruns,"

"Your brother . . . he's the astronaut, right?" Adam asked.

"Yeah, he's going up Monday morning. The first human team to ever land on Martian soil," Billy replied.
"Yeah? How long before he goes to Ura . . ." Zack started before Jason cut him off with shake of his head. Zack's mischievous smile faded quickly.

"It's good to see you Billy," Jason said, walking off toward the den area.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Nick Hibriten stood with his friends and fellow Angel Grove Tigers, David Brooks and Brian Donovan, each holding glasses of whiskey and cola. Billy made his way through the crowd, searching for Trini when a foot from the All-Star quarterback tripped him up. Billy stumbled into a group of five girls standing near the kitchen, spilling their drinks on themselves and Billy.

"Oops. Crash landing, space freak," Nick laughed. Between uncontrolled laughter, the other two took their shots.

"One small trip for dorks, one giant fall for astro geeks," Brian added.

"Yeah, Houston we have a problem," David followed. Suddenly, Jason, Adam and Zack appeared behind the three.

"You were right about one thing . . . you do have a problem," Jason said. Nick turned and stared threateningly into Jason's brown eyes.

"Is that right?" He asked as Trini rushed into the kitchen.

"Billy, are you alright?" She asked, handing Billy his eyeglasses.

"So what's it gonna be, rookie?" Nick asked. He noticed Trini assisting to Billy and chuckled.

"Why are you wasting your time, Jason? Mr. Most Likely to Remain a Virgin here seems to have enough protection with little miss queen of the damned," He added, walking up to Trini.

"You can rot in hell, Hibriten," Trini cut back. With that, Nick, grabbed Trini by her arm which prompted Adam to push Nick back. Nick stood in disbelief at the actions of Adam Park, who was quickly held by Jason and Zack.

"Be cool bro, no fight, no cops," Zack said quietly. David and Brian gathered behind Nick when Kimberly suddenly appeared.

"Nick, you're drunk. I want you to leave. Now," she said. Nick laughed and reached for a cup of beer at the dining table.

"Now, Nick. Before I get my brother over here," Kimberly added. Trini walked over to Jason, Adam and Zack and stood beside Kimberly.

"Touch me like that again and the police will be involved," Trini firmly said.

"You heard her, guys. Party's over," Nick said to David and Brian as the music resumed. The three exited out the front door as Billy joined the five teenagers.

"Thanks for sticking up for me like that, Jason. You showed true integrity," Billy said.

"Don't sweat it. He's been dancing with Jack Daniels a little too long," Jason replied.

"I'm sorry Trini. I should have never let those guys in to begin with," Kimberly apologized.

"Are you okay?" Adam asked, softly caressing Trini's arm with his finger.

"Yeah. Thanks Adam," Trini replied.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Deep space . . .

'There it is again. The face of my tormentor. Staring into my eyes, laughing at me. He's been at it for a few hours . . . pushing my patience. Of course in these shackles, I'll never move, never lash out in anger. All I have are my senses . . . and the face in the dark. Again he shows his face . . . split by deep lines of age. And those eyes . . . my god those eyes . . . lit up like red hot coals. The smell of burning flesh lingers in my nostrils. I feel no pain, surely this is not my own flesh I smell. I lick my dry and cracked lips and taste a sulfuric bitterness. Where am I? How did I end up here?

There he goes again. What type of sick satisfaction can he gain from seeing me suffer? Why doesn't he ever just go home? These are my latest questions. My mind turns over and over again, trying to find the place before . . . before all of this. Now I hear the thunder again. I suppose it's the monsoon season once more. Will I be able to find the shelters on the north bank? Out here in the sea . . . I feel the weight of the water, but not its soft wet texture. Why can't I feel? The thunder is increasing in its display of sonic wonder. Now the dark sky is split wide open by the uneven flow of lightning.

The time I have spent here . . . I cannot begin to comprehend. It seems at times as if only a moment . . . however, during the other times, it feels like I've been a prisoner of this darkness for an eternity. I would sleep, but I am afraid that I would not wake up. I've been here before . . . I know the chains feel familiar. But I have never been here this long. Have I become forgotten? In the few dreams I do remember, I was a general of a grand army. That's right. I am a general! How dare they hold me like this! Of course what is a general without his soldiers? I am nothing now . . . nothing but a voice in my mind . . . I would speak out with my tongue, but I am afraid of what I would hear.

That face . . . that hideous face full of anger and madness . . . why won't he let me be? He seems to lack the ability to quench his thirst for my misery. Surely there is enough of it . . . I have felt it for years, it seems. Did I do something to warrant his presence? Did I request him in some dream of mine and merely lost memory of it? I do not know. Now the sparks of lightning are more intense. There is something . . . peculiar in the air . . . and I can make out faint voices in the depths of the shadows. Maybe they are coming . . . coming to set me free. I see the panic in the tormentor's face . . . he can feel his end is coming.

The shackles seem now loose . . . do I dare? Why not? Yes! Yes! I am free! Now, to deal with this monstrosity of a man that has kept me agonizing company for too long. In the shadows, I see his movement . . . after a moment's worth of tracing those moves to my memory, I lash out with all of my hatred . . . I feel a sharp piercing pain in my side . . . I have struck myself! What is this? What has happened? This is not skin . . . this is . . . something else. My god . . . this face, this body . . . it is my own.
'


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"Attention sirs, crypt is ready for human entry," the MAW bearing white stripes instructed. Commander Tiena and his Sergeant scaled down the platform access panels.

"Excellent. Six thousand years of searching has proven successful," Tiena said. For Menas Tiena, his entire life has been devoted to finding the lost lord of the Dairaku. As a child, growing up in a political family in the Vinaad System, he had always heard of the great Dairakun Wars that claimed the entire population of the planet Eltar and countless lives throughout the galaxies where its fires raged. Upon completing his education at the premier academies on the planet of Buruthon, he found himself captivated by the reality of the history that became folk lore for most of the universe. To that end, he joined the Immortal Vast, allowing its armies to sweep his own system, betraying his family to see the glory of the black legions once again under the command of Lord Sih Caien Zedd.

"Sirs, there is an entrance prepared for you," one of the MAW soldiers explained. Tiena and his Sergeant nodded and ducked down into the small metal passageway that led down into the bowels of the massive chamber.

"Emperor Nereus will see us greatly rewarded," the younger rank said.

"Rewards shall not be our fate, Ragnus. Zedd's rebirth into this universe transcends any prize we could ever imagine," Tiena reminded his Sergeant. The two Immortal Vast officers proceeded toward the central chamber where large columns of metal supported the weight of the rubble above.

"The Crimson Sepulchre . . ." Tiena whispered to himself. He ran his hands along its engraved top casing before coming to a blood-red crystal. He traced its edges with his forefinger before the crystal began to glow with a rubicund light.

"We'll need a 'pulsor sled . . . contact Admiral Tomeran and have him move the Nebulos to the shipping bay," Sergeant Ragnus instructed the ranking MAW.

"Compliance," it returned before transmitting the appropriate commands to the Vast legion cruiser on the far side of the planet's moon before moving to retrieve the hovering sled.

"Once the waters inside reach a certain temperature, the reanimation process will begin. It will be as if being born once more. The Crest Holder will then be weakened until his body fully recovers the hypersleep. Once we jump to KO-10, we are to rendevous Chanmiral Recinas. The Chanmiral will replenish our squadrons with new MAWs for Lord Zedd's rebirth," Tiena instructed. As the 'pulsor sled came into view, Ragnus turned to his Commander.

"The Chanmiral . . . what of Project: PRIMATOR?" he asked, remembering the debriefing of the operation received on Regada II.

"Project: PRIMATOR will be finalized once we reach KO-10 and I anticipate Lord Zedd will baptize a new Master Warrior," Tiena answered. Several MAWs lifted the aged tomb onto the sled before following the two officers to the shipping bay.


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The other side of the Verolean Galaxy . . .

The blackened world of Carinasia sat in the void of space that was known as the Collavarian system. The 'Crest World' of the Immortal Vast's black legion, it shared the light of its star, Vigon, with none. The Imperial Palace, named the Citadel of Vega, reached for the dark skies from the depths of the Renom Valley. The Imperial ziggurat was encircled by beautiful terraces and open walkways.

Blakus Nereus, the fifth Emperor of the Immortal Vast and founder of the Imperial homeworld, walked along in the late afternoon, the smell of the ocean flowing through his nostrils. It would be this same time everyday that the storm clouds would roll in off the ocean waters and cleanse the palace and temples of the sulfuric ash that rained down from the dark grey clouds above. His dark green cape billowed in the sea breeze, capped off at the shoulders by metal armor that reached around to his chest. He looked out beyond the valley floor, at the Pyramids of Orion. Light green light split the otherwise onyx coloration of the dark energy conductors. The man clothed in a white Imperial uniform slowly approached him.

"What is it?" Nereus asked, never once hearing the man's footsteps. He closed his eyes and reached out for the thoughts of the man in white, the words on his tongue robbed by the dark lord's mastery of psychic abilities.

"Sih Caien has been unearthed . . . excellent. I will assemble the Sons of Maelstrom. Prepare the Chanticulm for our session," Nereus instructed.

"So it shall be, milord," the Chanmiral of Carinasia replied, returning to the palace. Nereus returned his gaze to the pyramids.

'So our time has come at last. Soon, we will claim the world of Earth for Jenova and rule from our new lush Crest World. Zedd will surely desire revenge upon those who imprisoned him . . . and once he destroys Zordon of Eltar, no one will be capable of standing in our way.'

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER TWO
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Old October 28th, 2008, 09:12 AM #3
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> BattleRanger
Call the 5-4-1
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,166
BattleRanger
Call the 5-4-1
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,166



Chapter Two

The Kennedy Space Center, Florida . . .

Robin and Carolyn Cranston sat at the shiny white dining table with their son, Jake. After a long day of taking in the sights and attractions that the space center had to offer, the family had retired to enjoy dinner, and what would be one of Jake's last meals before heading toward Mars with the rest of the Sovereignty crew.

"Just who would have thought? Jake Cranston . . . the first man to step foot on Mars," Robin said while peeling a shrimp. He dipped the succulent bite into a small bowl of cocktail sauce and popped it into his mouth, smiling.

"I know. It hasn't really set in just yet. I mean, I've been to the international space station, but to get to see something up close that no one has ever looked upon . . . it really makes you feel . . . I guess I can't find any words to describe it," Jake replied.

"How about exciting?"" Carolyn asked. "After all, you'll be in the history books. A real American hero,"

"I'm not one to revel in fame, but I guess it comes with the territory," Jake explained.

"I just wish Billy could be here," Carolyn said.

"Baby brother's probably better off in Angel Grove . . . get him around this many brainiacs, we'd be hard pressed to ever get him away," Jake replied.

"Have you talked to Hayley?" Robin asked.

"I did for a little bit last night. She said Destine Technologies is giving the University a grant to help the nanotechnology research she's doing,"

"That's great. I'm bet she's excited," Carolyn said.


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Angel Grove . . .

Kimberly Hart shuffled her feet along, pink fuzzy slippers covering them. She made her way into the den and noticed several bags of luggage in the front foyer.

"Morning sweetie," the masculine voice came from behind. She turned around to see her dad standing in the kitchen.

"Daddy? What's going on? I thought you were in Palm Springs,"

"Well, we were, but things didn't go as well as I had hoped," Jeremy Hart replied.

"Where's mom?" she asked.

"Your mother took a commercial flight back in. She's staying at your grandma's,"

"I don't get it . . . what, exactly, is going on?" She demanded. Her dad walked into the den and sat her down, resting beside her.

"I guess as much as its going to hurt, you have the right to know what's going on. Your mother and I aren't married anymore. I guess it won't be official until we go to court, but she wants to move to Paris to pursue her fashion career. We just aren't best friends anymore . . . our careers have made us different people. I just . . ." he began. Kimberly's eyes filled up with tears and she ran off to her room.

"Kimberly!" He cried after her. He heard the familiar sound of the door locking and proceeded to finish unpacking.


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Deep space . . .

The bridge of the Immortal Vast command vessel, Nebulos, was open to the spinning swirls of hyperspace. Commander Tieana stood at the helm, his arms folded behind his back and held together. At moments, he would close his eyes and imagine the victory that he would claim upon reaching the terran Earth and serving under Lord Zedd.

"Commander, we are preparing to fall back into realspace," one of the officers stated. The Commander returned to his captain's chair and secured himself. With a low whine, the sublight engines cut them out of the hyperspace realm, returning the stars to their familiar blinking pinpoints.

"Contact the Chanmiral. I wish to land at once," Tiena ordered.


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The surface of KO-10 was rocky and barren, save for small patches of woodlands. Once home to a race of mighty warriors, it now was the base of operations for Chanmiral Recinas, one of the top scientists within the Immortal Vast ranks. His facility spread out over a mile's worth of desert land, its dull gray hues standing out against the deep red sands. Chanmiral Recinas' chancery sat in the apex of the triangular compound, directly in the center of its massive walls. Its inner panels were mazes of electronics and computers, some devoted to a high-powered communications systems, others to security, news, and high stakes Aruu games. Recinas sat in his overly plush command chair, crafted from exotic stone and covered in fine silks. The arms of his chair housed command devices for controlling his advanced systems.

"Incoming transmission . . . do you wish to receive?" a robotic voice asked. Chanmiral Recinas pushed a black controller which turned his chair to face towards the systems port set into the far wall.

"On screen," he commanded. Frustration permeated the Chanmiral's aged face as he took in the sight of Commander Teiana.

"Chanmiral . . . we are preparing to land. We have Lord Zedd on board, but I am afraid he is still in suspended animation. It might be sometime before he awakens."

"I will meet you on the landing platform," Recinas replied.


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Too large to dock with a facility of its size, the Nebulos crew arrived by means of a shuttle craft, flanked by two black MAW-Fighters. Recinas stood at the edge of the platform, the spewing energy from the 'pulsors blowing his cape around his form. Steam shot from the edges of the boarding ramp as it opened up beneath the hull of the spacecraft.

"Commander Tiena . . . welcome to Delta Station," Recinas greeted.

"We are anxious to see your PRIMATOR units," Tiena replied.

"Yes, yes of course. We have already completed a successful test run on Gamma-Vile and Emperor Nereus has commissioned four of my units to Regada II," Recinas returned. The two officers turned back to the shuttle craft as they watched the 'pulsor sled being lead down the ramp, cradling the Crimson Sepulchre.

"We have followed everything correctly but he has still not yet awakened," Tiena explained.

"No worries. I'll get my best men on it. Zedd will be reborn before nightfall," Recinas pledged.


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Earth . . .

Jason Scott set up on his bed, the flashing light of the TV screen casting shadows into the room. He closed his eyes, feeling them burn from lack of sleep. He reached for his nightstand and grabbed the glass of water that sat beside his alarm clock that read 10:30. He sighed and swallowed down the water before reaching to turn off his lamp. He clicked the remote control, turning the TV off and pulled the blankets up under his arms. Jason rolled over and exhaled, taking in the comfort of his bed. In no time, he drifted off into a deep sleep. Without warning, he felt a warm heat through out his body and opened his eyes, a blinding sun filling his sight.

'Where am I? The desert . . . I see my friends . . . Adam, Zack . . . Trini and Billy . . . Kimberly is here as well. The earth is in danger . . . the threat of an
invasion. Now what? There are black forms all around us . . . closing in. They are dressed in some sort of armor. Ah . . . I feel it . . . a box, a strange device here that was given to us . . . by who? I can't remember. I feel a strange sensation racing throughout my body . . . Tyrannosaurus!'


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Angel Grove resumed its normal Monday morning pace as yellow school buses wove through the suburbs, picking up students and delivering them to their scholastic destinations. One particular bus sat stationary at Angel Grove High, parked behind the cafeteria.

"Can you imagine what must be going through your brother's mind right now?' Trini asked, as she walked the parking lot with Billy.

""He's always acting like nothing bothers him, but I know he must be scared to death," Billy replied. The two walked past the library building and up the steps to the main yard. She saw Kimberly sitting alone at one of the numerous picnic tables scattered.

"Billy, I'll catch up to you in Mrs. Craun's class," she said. Billy nodded and headed for the breakfast line in the lunchroom.

"Hey Kim. Care if I sit down?" Trini asked, walking up to the picnic table.

"Trini . . . yeah, I kinda need someone to talk to," Kimberly replied.

"Okay . . . so what's going on?" Trini asked, sitting opposite of Kimberly.

"Well, my parents are getting a divorce," Trini's eyes widened and she felt her stomach drop. "Mom's staying in San Francisco with my grandma . . . she called me last night, she had some lame-ass excuse. Dad flew in himself yesterday morning and he's just been a mess. Plus I had this really weird dream last night,"

"Kim, divorces aren't easy, but the truth is, a lot of times, it works out in the long run,"

"Where'd you hear that lie? Valerie Chandler's parents divorced and it wrecked her entire life. She hates her step-dad and her mother just buries her head in the sand on everything,"

"I'm sorry. I'm just trying to help you think positive,"

"Well, Steve found out and got into it with daddy. When he first told me, I locked myself in my room. When I came out, he had already went to bed,"

"I wish I knew how to help, Kim. We just need to get you distracted for a little while until things settle down a bit. Anytime you need me, though, I'm here,"

"Thanks Trini," Kimberly replied, smiling, which Trini thought must have been awfully hard to do.


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Jason, Adam, and Zack stood near the side entrance of the gymnasium when they noticed a man walking up the front sidewalk, wearing black jeans and a green plaid pullover. He wore an earring in his left ear and had long black hair pulled into a ponytail.

"Who's that?" Jason asked.

"Oh, that's the new guy. He's in my PE class. Tommy . . . something," Adam replied.

"Tommy Oliver?" Jason returned.

"Actually, I think it is Oliver. You'd like him- he's into martial arts. Do you know him from somewhere?"

"No, I just heard of him," Jason said, as the man walked up to the three.

"Sup," Adam greeted.

"Nothing much. Do you guys know where the Mrs. Craun's field trip is meeting at this morning?" Tommy asked.

"Yeah, we're supposed to meet in the back parking lot at seven thirty-five," Zack replied.

"You're going to the fossil exhibit too?" Adam asked.

"Yeah, I got an e-mail from her saying that her Biology classes would be going this morning," he replied. He turned his attention back to Jason who quickly extended his hand out, shaking the hand of the student.

"Jason Scott. I think I met your uncle this weekend,"

"Tommy Oliver. Yeah, Uncle John. He's trying to fix a shifter in one of his race cars," Tommy did what he could to drive the shyness from his mind. This was his third new school in only two years and he knew that attachments would be senseless at this point. It would only be a matter of time before his uncle John Rush would be ready to head back on the road and pursue another record with his racing team. He had met all the guys who enjoyed getting to make an impression on the 'new kid' and he had the routine down as close as a stage actor. His discomfort managed to peek through with a short sigh. Observing the moment, Zack glanced down at his watch and cleared his throat.

"Well fellas, 'bout time to head to the bus. I got seven thirty now," he replied.

"I got to get something out my locker real quick. Catch ya on the flip-side," Tommy replied before running up the steps to the main hall.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The tenth planet of the Kalderon Omega system . . .

"With these PRIMATOR units, we'll have the grandest army in the known universe," Recinas gloated while proceeding down the hallway, Commander Tiena following by his side.

"I used the biological design of a race of extinct warriors to create my own genetically engineered supersoldiers. They are smart enough to be loyal and serve without question, they can think creatively in battle, and as with most MAW solders, they can be rebuilt or easily replaced. We designed a prototype that featured metals of higher density and merged it with another prototype of mine, a fully sentient, positronic brain-core. This unit, which we have simply called Primator, is who we are anticipating Zedd will christen his Master Warrior. In doing so, we will have the highest approval to start manufacturing units to serve the Emperor and the council heads directly,"

"And what's the connection to the MAWs?" Teina asked.

"We have went back to basics on the materials used to construct MAW armor and built stronger and better versions of their base armor. All PRIMATOR units will be suited with this new armor, which is capable of resisting energy blasts operating anywhere from one hundred to two-hundred fifty thousand ampherebands. There are very few weapons in known creation that will be a threat to these supersoldiers,"

"Most impressive, Chanmiral," The two officers met the end of the walkway which was a double door that split open to reveal a massive lab.

"Let's check on Lord Zedd's progress," Recinas instructed, stepping down the stairway to the base level. They saw Zedd floating in a large chamber, filled with a light green liquid.

"The Mactin liquid is strengthening and conditioning his muscles. Without it, it would be sometime after regaining consciousness before he could walk," Recinas explained, walking up to the head scientist. "What's the progress?"

"His brain-waves are stabilizing . . . we thought if we increase the voltage in the Mactin, he could go into cardiac arrest. Doing so would surely kill him. His body has not recovered from the sleep enough to take it," the man replied. Recinas studied the system screens set into the large white panel.

"Increase them by ten percent. Watch the heart monitors," Recinas instructed.

"Wait . . . I think he's waking up, sir!" the man shouted. Tiena and the other observers quickly turned towards the Mactin chamber and saw Zedd's body flailing in the thick liquid.

"Get him out of there!" Recinas shouted.

"Mani chamber powering down. Evacuation beginning," came the voice from the panels. They watched as the liquid drained out of the chamber. Zedd slowly fell to his hands and knees and started to curl up into a fetal position.

"Open the doors," Recinas instructed. The glass chamber swung open, Zedd covered in the gelatinous chemical. His face was a maze of muscle structure, bone, and cartilage that peered out from the metal ring that reinforced what was left of his skull, his brain slightly pulsing.

"Where am I?" Zedd asked in a deep, raspy voice.

"Lord Zedd. I am Chanmiral Recinas. Welcome to Delta Station," Recinas greeted. Zedd made his way up to his knees and ran his hands over his head and face, feeling the exposed tissue.

"My mask!" he shouted, his body beginning to glow a crimson hue, hiding his face in his hands. The dark lord was not vain, but refused to ever let anyone his face for his own personal reasons. His weakened eyes peered out between his fingers and took some satisfaction in watching his servants scurry about.

"Someone get his armor!" Recinas shouted back at the scientists.

"It will be a moment, milord. We have . . ." Recinas began before being cut off by the dark lord.

"What age is it?"

"It is the thirtieth age, milord, the calender of Meladon," Tiena replied.

"What? . . . the thirtieth age . . ." Zedd echoed. Suddenly one of the scientists appeared, carrying a large black case.

"I am free . . . free of my prison that has held me for more than ten ages," Zedd said mostly to himself.

"Milord, we have your armor . . . do you wish for private quarters?" Recinas asked.

"Make it so . . . Chanmiral. Once I return from private, I wish to speak to Blakus Nereus at once," Zedd commanded, unfamiliar with the designation.

"Yes milord. The Emperor is anticipating hearing from you," Recinas replied.

"The Emperor . . . yes. In due time, we will meet again," Zedd said more silently, standing up. Recinas draped a black cape over his shoulders, Zedd grabbing it away and pulling it tightly around him.

'Emperor Nereus. Inconceivable. Of course, left in my absence, the Immortal Vast would have no choice but to see award Nereus lordship. No matter. Soon, my vengeance shall be acted out upon those who imprisoned me . . . and those who turned their backs and retreated to the corners of the universe. I am LORD ZEDD! I AM EMPEROR OF ALL THAT I SEE!'

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER THREE

Last edited by BattleRanger; January 27th, 2009 at 10:43 AM.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 12:16 PM #4
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Once I get the first act set up here, I'm gonna begin to pace the subsequent chapters as I feel necessary. I've already finished the 26th chapter of the story and I'm still working on the finale- I promise you guys, its gonna be worth the wait.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 12:35 PM #5
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Chapter Three

The edge of Florida's east coast . . .

The NASA orbiter Sovereignty sat secured to the massive SRB units that would soon ignite, propelling its washed-white form into the cosmos. Jake Cranston sat at the helm of the ship, finishing the pre-flight checks. He held his comm unit tight to his ear.

"Houston, this is Sovereignty. All systems are a go," Jake stated. He felt his stomach start to tense up, hearing the various traffic over the comms. He swallowed hard and felt as if time stood still. Suddenly, he was violently shaken in his chair.

"10, 9, 8, 7 . . ." the countdown proceeded. Jake felt the massive engines begin to roar to life, almost simultaneously.

"6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . . we have liftoff!" At the call of the ‘One’ mark, the Solid Rocket Booster units ignited with enough force to utterly destroy the hold of gravity. During the first moments of the orbiter's ascent, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water spilled across the launch pad, cooling it and suppressing the destructive soundwaves that were generated by the rockets.

"We'll take it from here," a male voice sounded over the comms.

"Copy that, Houston," the female announcer replied. Jake felt the force of the rockets almost push him through the chair where sat strapped in. While Jake knew that his training had been thorough and precise, there was an air of unpredictability with this mission. He would be, to human knowledge, the first man to ever walk on Mars. The butterflies in his stomach spun, but he knew it wasn't the anticipation of the flight.

He had flown F-16s and enjoyed zero-g training. But this was much different. It wasn't just himself at stake, there was a beautiful woman waiting for him, crammed up in some science lab, trying to cure cancer. He knew how his little brother Billy had adored him and looked up to him like some sort of hero, living the actual reality of a dream spawned out of Billy's personal science fiction. He swallowed again, feeling the hard lump in his throat. He clenched his fist inside his space suit, closing his eyes and seeing the face of Hayley Morgan staring back at him.

Beep-beep-beep! Beep-beep-beep!

Billy glanced down at his watch and thumbed the alarm off. Trini stood close beside him, taking in the sights of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

"Jake ought to be well on his way, now," Billy said, turning to Trini. She saw the concern in his eyes . . . and it was well warranted. Only one out of the last three orbiters ever made it out of the earth's atmosphere.

"I'm sure it went fine. Those shuttles are a lot safer these days," Trini reassured. The crowd of students continued to swarm around the lobby to the massive building.

"This is so cool. I can't wait to get to see the dinosaur bones," Jason said, sitting down beside Adam and Zack.

"No doubt, no doubt. I wonder if they have a triceratops," Adam pondered aloud, with a smirk. Zack nodded towards the front of the lobby, where Mrs. Craun stood, her hands on her hips.

"Speaking of fossils," He said, as the teacher began to clap her hands together.

"Students . . . students, your attention please," She instructed. A slow hush fell over the teenagers as she cleared her throat. A tall black man walked up behind her, in a dark blue jacket and black slacks.

"This morning, we will be directed by Dr. Ethan James. I trust you will show him the same respect and attention as you would me," Mrs. Craun said. Dr. James held a hand towards the front doors to the main hallway.

"We are honored to have Angel Grove High School this morning. If you will follow me through here, we shall begin our tour of the facility and our many exhibits," The man instructed. The students were lead down a darkened hallway that opened up into an expansive room, flanked by glass displays.

"Our featured fossil exhibits are a Cambodian Jurassic display, featuring the world's most complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton ever discovered and an Ice Age feature from the frozen lands of Siberia, where a Smilodon, or Saber-toothed Tiger as it is more widely known, and full size Mastodon have been frozen in perfect condition. I would like to take this moment to thank the man responsible for these awesome exhibits, Anton Mercer, son of prominent paleontologist Richard Mercer," Dr. James explained.

"What up?" Jason asked, Tommy Oliver striding up beside him.

"Can't call it. Ah man, this is so fascinating," Tommy whispered.

"To your right, you'll see the vertebrae and skull of the majestic Brachiosaurus. Its name means 'Arm Lizard,' These dinosaurs each possessed tremendously strong blood vessels and a heart that would pump its blood with a pressure four times as great as our own. This was necessary to pump the blood the awesome length of their necks to their brains," Tommy's eyes lit up at the site of the bones, recalling his favorite dinosaur.

"This particular skeletal structure, from Tanzania, Africa, was found in close proximity to a very puzzling fossil set that may in fact be the skeletal remains of the legendary creatures that would come to be known as dragons. The fossils of this upright animal are currently being examined in Germany by a group of paleontologists from around the world,"

"Incredible," Billy whispered.

"Don't get excited, robo-boy. I doubt these dragons had anything to do with dungeons," Kimberly said just loud enough, walking past Billy. Billy's eyes narrowed at the comment.

"One of the more graceful creatures of the late Jurassic, early Cretaceous era was the Pterodactyl, shown here with its massive wingspan which could reach up to thirty-three feet across in some instances. Hailing from the pterosaur family, these creatures, by definition weren't even Dinosaurs, instead belonging to the Diapsid class," Kimberly eyed the flying reptile as she slowly approached Tommy.

"You know, this one was my favorite growing up. Ever since I saw The Land Before Time, I loved them. I always wondered what it would be like to fly free like they did," Kimberly said, trying to initiate conversation with the handsome newcomer.

"Probably terrifying. Soaring over lava fields, thunderclouds, having to avoid being eaten ... I'd just as soon stay on the ground, myself," Tommy replied. He glanced towards Kimberly and met her eyes. His stomach began to spin in ever direction possible and he felt his face tingle as his cheeks flushed. Kim returned his half-smile by flirtatiously batting her eyes. However, Kimberly couldn't continue her flirting game when she was overcome by his good looks. She slowly sank further into the dark saucers that were Tommy's brown eyes and felt herself melt. She grabbed a nearby railing for support. Trini walked past Kimberly, forcing a cough that helped her friend to recover from the awkward moment.

"You'll see here, the Dimetrodon, which is closer related to us mammals than dinosaurs and roamed the earth during the Permian period," Dr. James continued, directing the students.

"Lead the way, fly-boy," Kimberly insisted to Tommy with a flirtatious grin that reminded Tommy of his grim depiction of being a Pterodactyl. Tommy smiled back and caught up to the other teens, Kimberly in tow.

"Triceratops. Evolution gifted this mighty quadruped with the defensive powers of a neck-protecting ridge of bone and three protruding horns that would intimidate any predator. Triceratops was one of the more intelligent Dinosaurs of its day, despite lacking swiftness. She's my personal favorite, a mighty four-legged knight of the Jurassic period," Dr. Ethan James stated with a smile. Adam's eyes lit up as he took in the white-washed form of the fossilized skeleton.

"Capping off this particular display is the king of all Dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus Rex," Jason made his way through the crowd to catch a better view of the tyrant lizard king.

"I gotta see this," Jason said, squeezing in-between several more students. Seconds later he stood at the base of the skeleton.

"The Tyrannosaurus. One of the last non-avian dinosaurs to walk our world before the great extinction, it stood approximately fifteen feet high and was about forty feet in length. Since these beasts were so huge, you might find be asking yourself how they were able to hunt prey with such effectiveness to be one of the most terrible creatures to walk the earth. Through biomechanic studies, scientists believe that the Rex could move fairly swift, maybe ten to twenty miles an hour, but not as fast as other Tyrannosaur species, such as Albertosaurus.

Tyrannosaurus Rex would also shed its razor-edged, serrated teeth periodically, like most Archosaurs. The teeth of the Rex are very interesting . . . rather than being the flat, knifelike blades as in most other carnivorous dinosaurs, they are more like giant spikes. The bite marks of these teeth are quite recognizable on some bones. Even some Tyrannosaur fossils have been discovered, bearing these marks.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes this particular exhibit. If you follow me, we will take in the awesome sight of the Saber-toothed Tiger and Mastodon in our Ice Age exhibit," Dr. James instructed.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Another time, another place . . .

"Milord, it was last seen of the world of Tirol. The Almsteen Band . . . the deep-space alloys allow it to conduct alien energy fields inaccessible to anything alive other than its bearer. These magnificent energies deliver the universe to one worthy enough to possess its powers," General Zedd spoke. The image of his master, Maelstrom, flickered in the dim light of the ship's control bay.

"It shall be yours, General, if you wish to seek it out. Once you capture Serpentara and possess the Almsteen Band, our federated armies will be the strongest ever to walk worlds. Have might in Jenova, my friend," Maelstrom returned.

"Returned, my master," Zedd replied. With that, the image faded. Zedd turned back to the few officers staring out at the blue green orb that hung in the stars.

"Ready our troops, commander. We shall claim Serpentara and a few Eltarian lives with it. Move the forces out on my command," Zedd ordered.

'Serpentara . . . the greatest weapon ever constructed. But it soon shall serve our armies and bring destruction to those who fabricated its awesome form. With the combined power of it and my DragonZord, I will be INVINCIBLE!'



-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Nebulos . . .

Zedd sat in the darkness of his circular meditation chamber, deep within his own consciousness. Through his unnatural link to the Morphing Grid, he could revisit times long forgotten and events not yet transpired. Established by a great Morphing Master, the Morphing Grid was a computer system that existed within a dimensional plane only accessible by computer systems within a specific matrix. The system was simply an electronic section of the energy field that gave the Zyraku their powers and could store machines and weaponry that could be called upon in battle. However, Zedd's illicit connection was the result of his strong Dairaku energies and a microscopic matrix system housed within the confines of his facemask.

His mind hung on the sight of the titanic machine that was Serpentara, the great Zord slayer. Many a world had been claimed for the Immortal Vast under its shadow . . . yet it had been lost after Zedd's untimely fall to the hands of the wizard warrior, Zordon. But he knew it would only be a matter of time before he would once again lead armies with its might. A slight flicker of red energy played over Zedd's face mask . . . the dark Lord was fully awake. His mask sat in place, hiding his damaged face.

The interior curve of the mask was a twisting maze of wires and circuitry, enabling Zedd to have superior optical advantages, including telescopic vision. The outer shell was a polished silver hue. Set at the top of his mask was his Grand Horn, a long ridge of metal that rose up a dozen capins (or inches) and ended in a slanted Z.

"I've found it," the words were quietly spoken, yet holding tremendous authority. Zedd stood up from his the circular chamber that was his mediation chair. His crimson cape hung off his shoulders and swept across the metal floor. Upon nearing the entranceway, the doors split open, allowing Zedd through to the main corridor. One of the deck officers quickly rushed to meet him.

"Milord, it is an honor to be graced by your presence. Do you wish for me to . . ." the man began.

"I wish to contact the Emperor. In private, lieutenant," Zedd ordered.

"As you wish, milord. I shall clear the conference quarters for you," The lieutenant replied, rushing down the hallway to an opened door. Seconds later, a half dozen officers scurried out from within the quarters. Zedd walked past the lieutenant who was nervously sweating and secured the door mechanisms behind him.

"Computer, transmission code: draco henshin, mark delta grand. Authorization: Lord Sih Caien Zedd. Connect to Emperor Nereus. Initiate," Zedd instructed.

"One moment please," the computerized voice returned. The room darkened and a light blue beam shot down from the ceiling.

"Connection authenticated and online," the voice added. With that, the beam of light split into the form of Emperor Nereus.

"After a millennia, my good friend . . . I am once again taking in the sight of the greatest general ever to command an army. Lord Zedd, I trust Jenova's might is with you," The Emperor greeted. Zedd stood silent for a moment, calculating the words he would speak. It would prove disastrous to reveal his disdain for the Emperor at the moment.

"Blakus . . . I am afraid I must dispense with any pleasantries. While time seems stalled for me after my long sleep, I am afraid it is coming to an end for Zordon of Eltar," Zedd replied, intentionally excluding Nereus's title.

"I admire your will, Lord Zedd. I had anticipated the swiftness in which you would exact your revenge against Prince Zordon. With Zordon out of the way, we shall claim Earth as our new Crest World. Therefore, I am prepared to fully stock your campaign against the Morphing Master with whatever you so require. Our scouts report that the Sol system is completely unguarded against any attack."

"If Zordon is alive, I am indeed positive he would have trained a new team of Rangers or completed preparations to draft one in an emergency. The old man is not as foolish and blind as you would like to believe," Zedd explained. Nereus grimaced with a bit of anger and frustration that came across as a forced smile.

"Then you shall strike swift and hard. The terrans would be utterly defenseless and you could easily claim their forces. With no living being to possess his precious Zyraku energies and his allies thousands of light-years away, Zordon would be completely vulnerable. Even if he manages to draft a new team into play, they would be no match against my battle-hardened armies that have crushed legions of Ranger forces throughout the universe."

"The power of the Eltarian gods is strong with Zordon. Nonetheless, we have might in Jenova. I will claim the world of Earth and leave no one human standing."

"It is settled then. I have recently taken delivery of the newest and most powerful ship in our fleet, christened the DeathForce. I will send her to relieve the Nebulos and aboard her, you may make your way toward Earth."

"I am impressed, Blakus. You have managed to hold Maelstrom's legacy in a firm grasp. One day, you may overwhelm even our illustrious founder. Have might in Jenova, Emperor," Zedd spoke with apparent sarcasm.

"Returned . . . Lord Zedd," with that, Nereus's image vanished, leaving Zedd standing in the empty quarters. A double beep came from the door.

"What is it?" Zedd asked.

"Milord, it is Commander Tiena," a voice answered.

"Enter, Commander," Zedd replied. The lights drew back up as Tiena walked in.

"Milord, a Primator unit is awaiting your presence in the Chanmiral's quarters,"

"Make this quick, Commander," Zedd spoke, turning towards the door. Commander Tiena led the dark lord down a secondary corridor to the expansive circular quarters belonging to Chanmiral Recinas.

"Lord Zedd, we are graced by your presence. It is a . . ," Recinas began.

"You may skip your bloated greetings, Chanmiral. What is it that you wish to show me?" Zedd interrupted.

"Milord, we have constructed the ultimate killing machine, designed to serve directly to the Emperor and the Lords of the Empire. A genetically engineered supersoldier that obeys commands without hesitation and are able to think creatively. Sergeant Wanera, bring him in," Recinas instructed. The short officer entered a side room as a low growl was heard.

"Lord Zedd, may I present . . . the Primator," Recinas spoke. The low growl belonged to the hulking figure that was lead out of the side quarters by the Sergeant. Standing nearly eight feet tall, it ducked down into the room, perched atop huge, thick legs that were set in a wide stance to support its weight. Its massive arms hung from even larger shoulders. It was dressed in a jet black kinetic body suit that clung to its skin. MAW-Grade armor sat in specific places, lining its shoulders and its chest. A long piece of armor protected its abdomen and curved back around to the lower back. Its thighs bore the same armor and stretched down to the knees. It face was nearly human, long braided hair hanging down from the left side. Blood red eyes shown with an unnatural light, the sole sign of its positronic brain-core.

"Ah . . ." Zedd whispered, walking up to the Primator. It turned his head sideways, puzzled at the image of the dark lord.

"I am Lord Zedd, sworn enemy of the righteous and noble," Zedd instructed.

"Lord . . . Zedd. What is your wish, milord?" Primator asked, kneeling down before him.

"Be patient, my servant. Excellent work, Chanmiral. You have done well. I wish to begin the christening. I require a text of the Jenovan Tongues," Zedd said. Recinas retrieved a copy of the Dairaku writings from his personal room. Zedd took the book from him and turned back to the other officers.

"Leave us," he commanded. With that, the room emptied, leaving Zedd alone with the Primator. He thumbed through the old pages of the book, to the Tongues of Orion, the Book Of War.

"It is written in the Scrolls of Vega, words of a timeless past. In the days of darkness, there shall be a master. Powerful and wise, sound in form and obscure in heart. In Jenova, there is trust, there is power. By the Tongues of Orion, I gift you with this power. Until the last battle is won, your enemies are beneath your feet. My own strength flows through you. This is our prayer, Primator: 'From the moons of Cryon to the fires of Keonta . . . our might is not of our own, but that of Jenova. She leads us beyond our enemies and with her one day, we shall stand victorious. I bestow the enlightenment of evil upon you, as it was passed on to me. In Dairaku, we shall not stray . . . we shall not cease. Where there is a master lord, you shall be master warrior. By the star of Carin, I ask this of you, dark Jenova . . . give us reign over our enemies and rule over all land.' Rise, my warrior,' Zedd commanded. The supersoldier rose to his feet and took a step towards his lord. Zedd closed his eyes and traced the outline of Primator's face with his clawed hands.

"I, Lord Sih Caien Zedd, christen you my Master Warrior. You will serve me with loyalty and power. Have might in Jenova, my Master Warrior," Zedd continued.

"I am honored, milord. How may I serve you?" Primator asked.

"For the time being, my friend, have patience. Your hatred for the Eltarian known as Zordon will grow in time and it will be a valuable ally. Your hatred will make you even stronger than you are now. Come, Primator. There is much to attend to," Zedd instructed.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Angel Grove, California . . .

Kimberly Hart closed her gym locker and grabbed her backpack. She walked out of the gym and down the concrete pathway to the parking lot. Her black Pontiac sat at the end of the parking lot, next to the road. She noticed a green Camaro parked next to it. As she got closer, she noticed someone sitting in the green car.

"Can I help you?" she asked, walking up to the car. When the man turned around, she realized it was Tommy Oliver.

"Sup," Tommy said.

"Hey . . . fly-boy," Kimberly replied with a heavy sigh.

"So what ya doin' this weekend?" Tommy asked. Kimberly smiled and brushed her hair out of her face.

"I'm not sure yet. I'm kinda going through a hard time right now. I'd love to go out, but I might have to help my mom move. My parents . . ." she began. The words seem to freeze on her tongue and she swallowed hard and breathed in. "My parents are getting a divorce and I don't want to really commit to a date, because I have no idea what could be going on,"

"I'm sorry. Look, I'd tell you to call me if you need someone to talk to, but I'm going to be gone the rest of the week with my Uncle. We still have a few things to move and loose ends to tie up back home. I'll be back Friday morning . . . can I call you when I get back? We don't have to go out, maybe we can just try and get your mind off of things. Trust me, things like this can eat you alive if you let them. There's no one way to deal with them head-on, so a lot of times, it just helps to keep yourself distracted," Tommy replied.

"Okay . . . here, let me give you my number," Kimberly said, dropping her backpack and grabbing her memo book from the front pocket. She pulled a pen from her pocket and jotted down her phone number.

"Thanks, Tommy," she said, handing Tommy the piece of paper.

"It’s nothing. I'll holler at you when I get back in. Bye," He said, turning the key in the ignition.

"Bye," Kimberly replied. She watched as the dark green car drove off.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Rising Sun Martial Arts Academy sat at the north end of town, next to the YMCA building and Health Unit. On the outside, the Academy was peaceful and quiet. However, on the inside, Jason Scott's Ki-haps cut through the silence of the near empty training studio. Adam was dressed in a white do-bok, tied by a red belt, while Jason wore the black uniform tied by a black belt.

"It looks like you've got the kyukpa down," Adam said, walking through the debris of the shattered bricks.

"I just got to keep concentrated. Thanks for showing up, Adam. I really need work in free sparring," Jason replied.

"Hey, its no problem. I'm always looking to up my game. You want a break first?"

"No . . . no. I'm going to stay focused and just feel my movements. Give me a challenge, bro. Bring your A-game,"

"Alright. Junbi?" Adam asked, stepping onto the blue sparring mat.

"Junbi," Jason replied, circling to the other end of the mat. The two teens bowed to each other and assumed their stances.

"Si Jak!" Jason yelled, giving the sign to begin. Adam lunged at Jason, who blocked his strike before catching his friend with a side kick. The two began to trade strikes and counterstrikes, each moving with graceful speed and swift precision. Jason began to overpower Adam, who managed to use his speed to regain control over the sparring match. Without warning, a ring tone carried into the air.

"Kalyeo," Adam said, asking Jason for a break. He jogged over to his gym bag and pulled out his cellphone.

"Hello? Yeah . . . well, I guess. Alright. Bye," Adam's end of the conversation echoed into the empty studio.

"That was my dad. I gotta run. Look, you're the kyobum nim. I just made red belt last month. But I'm telling you dude, you're the most prepared that I've ever seen you. There's no way you're not walking out of the competition without a trophy," Adam said.

"Thanks, bro. I guess I gotta shut down for the night anyway. Grandmaster Corben put a lot of responsibility in me keeping the academy open to practice. Gam Sa Hameda," Jason thanked Adam, shaking his hand.

"Gam Sa Hameda," Adam returned.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hayley Morgan sat at her computer desk, running over the lines of code on the monitor, her white lab coat spilling out the back of the chair. She stretched her arms out and let a long sigh escape her lips. He glanced over at the picture of Jake Cranston, standing in his blue NASA uniform next to a cardboard display advertising the DVD release of the My Favorite Martian television show. The picture was a gag, back when Jake had planned on spending time with Hayley while the first humans landed on Mars . . . amazing how plans would change, she thought. Leaving her desk, she grabbed the cordless phone, dialing a number.

"Billy? Hey . . . its Hayley," she spoke, into the phone. Billy sat at his own computer desk, instant messaging Trini.

"Hey Hayley. Hey, congrats on getting the extra funding. The Amit Grant is rewarded to very few people. The last recipient went on to create world's first clone of a sheep,"

"Great, now I'm associated with sheep people," Hayley joked. "No, the reason I called is that Jake's been on my mind. I know it’s barely even been a day, but I miss him,"

"I know. We all miss him here," Billy replied.

"Are you scared for him too?"

"I was at first. But once I found out the shuttle liftoff was a success, I know his years of training will be all the confidence he needs to complete the mission,"

"I told him not to go off and pull some Bruce Willis Armageddon stunt and save the world and leave me behind,"

"Come on Hayley, its Mars. What could possibly happen?" Billy replied.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The DeathForce legion cruiser sat in a stationary orbit around KO-10, the Nebulos jumping into hyperspace in the distance. The newest ship to grace the Immortal Vast starfleet, its gargantuan form shadowed even the senatorial ships of the Sons of Maelstrom. A white flickering of light near its cargo bay indicated the transport shuttle was ready to dock. Within it, Lord Zedd stood beside his newly christened Master Warrior.

"Boarding procedure initiated," Commander Tiena replied from the control chair.

"Good. Have them set a hyperspace jump for the Hyperion Constellation," Zedd ordered. Tiena turned around in his chair, bearing a dumbfound look on his face.

"Milord, it was my understanding that we would be leaving the Verolean Galaxy and heading toward the Sol system," Tiena insisted.

"Do not undermine my judgment, commander. I am well aware of my own plans," Zedd replied.

"As you wish, milord," Tiena answered, transmitting the appropriate codes to the bridge. The underbelly of the massive ship shadowed the cockpit of the shuttle as it docked within the electromagnetically sealed hangar. Several squadrons of MAWs sat at the entrance way to the turbolifts. The hatchway folded out and down, steam hissing from its sides. The ship's admiral stood, prepared to meet Lord Zedd.

"Commander," he nodded towards Tiena as he exited the craft. Following Tiena were several officers. Suddenly, a large shadow spilled out of the cargo hold of the ship, a form too massive to use the exit ramp. Several MAWs ran to the form to investigate.

"Tell them to stand down, Admiral," Zedd's easily recognizable voice came from the exit ramp.

"Soldiers, stand down. Return to your formations," the Admiral instructed. Zedd walked down the ramp, his burgundy cape sweeping along its edges.

"Lord Zedd, I am Admiral Hi-Connis. Welcome aboard the DeathForce. My men instruct me you are changing our course to the Hyperion Constellation. I trust your judgement, milord, but I must ask . . . what place does an imperial vessel have in such a remote location?" the Admiral asked. Zedd turned to him, his body beginning to glow a crimson hue. Before Zedd could answer, the hulking aberration that was Primator stepped out of the cargo hold, walking up behind his master.

"There is an asteroid near the gamma sector that is holding a weapon of some importance to me. I expect to be there in less than a di-chron (A measure of hours). I equally expect you to recognize that the next time you question my judgment, Admiral, your place will be the remotest of locations possible," Zedd replied.

"Yes, milord," the Admiral returned, bowing to Zedd.

Lord Zedd stood on the bridge of the DeathForce, taking in the sight of the massive planet that was KO-10.

"Captain . . . proceed at full ahead," Zedd said, turning his head around.

"As you wish, milord," the captain returned. Zedd felt the ship stall as a high pitched whirring sound spilled out into the bridge. Zedd stepped back and found the safety of his control chair. With that, the space before them began to tear apart with light blue tendrils of energy.

"Mark!" The captain commanded. At the word, the ship lunged forward, seemingly beyond the distant stars in the viewport. The awesome force of the engines catapulted the vessel beyond our existence into that of hyperspace.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Carinasia . . .

"My lord, I have new reports of a gathering of power near the Sol sector," the slow, alien voice began over the commlink. Emperor Nereus sat in his personal quarters, barely lit by two glowrods in the distant corners.

"I have felt it. Surely, someone has been alerted to our plans," Nereus returned.

"I have traced an ion trail off the world of Endoi,"

"Impossible. We swept their forces years ago . . . surely, there would be no resistance there,"

"I am afraid so, my lord. A Kamen Rider was spotted there recently. A bit of a rebel, I believe he will be completely alone if he crosses your path,"

"I will not let this stand. Your loyalty will prove to be very . . . rewarding, Jurus. Keep me updated," Nereus said.

"Yes, my lord," With that, Nereus cut the transmission feed.

"A Kamen Rider . . . he will be no match for Lord Zedd and the Primator unit. This Kamen will be the first Zyraku to fall to the might of the Immortal Vast in over a decade," Nereus silently spoke, turning back to the open balcony that peered out into the valley.

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER FOUR
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Old October 28th, 2008, 12:52 PM #6
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Chapter Four

The Hyperion constellation . . .

The massive chunk of planetary debris floated along the cold vacuum of space. It shone with an awesome brilliancy, the result of light reflecting off the crystalline fields that stretched across the asteroid.

"I can feel it now," Zedd whispered from his control chair.

"Milord, we have locked onto the alloys in Serpentara . . . however, we are picking up massive life-form readings surrounding it," the captain explained.

"Prepare a shuttle for my deployment. I will deal with them personally," Zedd instructed. He closed his eyes and sought out the signatures of these beings within the Morphing Grid. He passed through them, recognizing the species.

"Celenstans . . ." Zedd whispered.


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The asteroid's canyon walls broke the sunlight, casting long shadows into the valley floor. The Celenstan StarSkiffs sat three dozen meters from the massive metallic leg that sat unexposed. The Celenstans, nomadic scavengers that value anything mechanical, crawled over the dark green limb, chattering in alien tongues. Their attention was soon taken by the silvery shuttle that landed just beyond their own craft.

"These dirty little maggots will not lay waste to Serpentara," Zedd said walking toward the aliens, Primator following closely. Skittish creatures, the Celenstans began to scatter as Zedd approached them.

"Oh no you don't!" The dark lord cried, raising his fist. Blue bolts of energy sparked off the Almsteen Band, racing through the air and striking the aliens. The ring on his hand was gold and had light blue crystals set into it and was crown-shaped. Once the aliens were off their feet, Zedd struck them again with the energy from the ring, leaving them dead.

"The only good Celenstan is a dead one," Zedd added, walking up to the mechanical limb that peered out from beneath the rock.

"Winds of the Almsteen, grant me power!" The dark lord shouted, raising his hands to the sky. The tendrils of blue energy danced along the ground, shaking it beneath Lord Zedd's own feet. At first, the sound was the pure rumbling and shifting of dirt and rock, then came the creaking of metal, all imposed over by the sharp crackles of the bolts of energy.

"Serpentara, ARISE!" Zedd commanded. With that, the bolts increased ten fold. The massive form of Serpentara began to show, clouds of dust rolling off of its body. The howling winds kicked the dust up into a storm that cloaked the form of the Zord slayer.

"Excellent," Zedd spoke, the winds and dust dying down. He took in the awesome sight of his personal Zord, once again in his possession.


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Angel Grove, California . . .

Jason Scott walked through the door to his home, dropping his backpack off at the nearest empty chair. He made his way up the stairs and down the right to his room. Closing the door behind him, he grabbed the remote control to his CD Player and thumbed the play button. As music filled the room, he fell backwards onto his bed, letting loose a sigh. He closed his eyes for a minute, feeling the temptation of sleep beckoning him.

'I wonder what the whole deal is with the dinosaurs . . . Zack and Adam had the same dream I had, only they called out the name of different dinosaurs . . . Zack didn't even say a dinosaur, I think he dreamed about the Mastodon,. Must be bad meatloaf in the cafeteria again. There must be something wrong with me. I just can't shake the feeling, like something's gonna happen. And I don't know what. I don't even know if its something big, or something stupid. Pull yourself together, Jason. Just one week until the tournament. Now's not the time to get committed to the psych ward.' With that, Jason's phone began to ring.

"Hello? Grandmaster Corben . . . yes sir. No, that's okay. I'll just finish up at the youth center. Yes sir. Thank you," He spoke.

"Great. His brother Michael shows up and I'm left high and dry," Jason added, sitting up on his bed, running his fingers through his hair. He turned the CD player off and walked over to his TV, turning it on.

"And in national news, the NASA shuttle Sovereignty has begun transmitting pictures from the Martian world, including new findings that Mars once had an atmosphere much like our own and water as well. We'll keep you updated on this breaking story,"


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The planet Bromak V . . .

The shadowy form of the DeathForce cruiser came into sight, the equally dark Serpentara held in tow by several tractor beam systems. Zedd sat at the bridge, in his control chair, watching the dark red orb that hung in the viewscreen increase in size. Nearby, energy storms could be seen sweeping across the void of space, the only warning of the dimensional hole that claimed many ships in times long forgotten. This stellar gap had been studied and modified by Immortal Vast scientists as a means of jumping from one side of the universe to the other.

"Contacting jump control. . . . Authorization code accepted," A voice came from the control panel in the bridge.

'Everything is proceeding according to my own design. In a few hours, I will attack the earth and exact my revenge upon Zordon of Eltar. Once Zordon is out of the way, Nereus may do as he wishes to the planet and I will move to seek out the rest of his comrades, beginning with the former Yellow ZyrakuRanger, Tirene Avron. She will join her brother and her Eltarian Lord in the Elysian plane.' Zedd thought to himself, in complete anticipation.

"Milord, we are ready to jump, with your permission," Captain Deveri instructed.

"You may proceed at will, captian," Zedd returned, securing himself further in his chair. The jump through the space-time hole would be a violent one that would tear a lesser ship apart. However, the legion cruisers were fitted with particle shielding that would divert any destructive energy away.

"As you wish, milord. A vector has been targeted . . . the Sol system. The gate has been set and all systems are in the green . . . engage," Deveri repeated the information fed to him by his system monitor. With the call, the ship leapt forward through the dimensional gap, time seeming to stand still.


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The surface of Mars . . .

Jake Cranston's comm unit crackled with radio interference from the cosmos, breaking up the traffic of his teammates. Sitting in the chair of the rover, he glanced around into the horizon of red sand and clay,

"Isn't it amazing, Leslie?" Jake asked his female counterpart. Leslie nodded her massive helmet.

"Yeah . . . I just wanna know where Arnold Schwarzenegger is. I got something for him worth a ‘total recall’, baby," she joked. She continued to make passes over the soil with her scanner. Suddenly, the scanner began to beep rapidly.

"I think we may have something Jake!" She hollered.

"Hey Leslie, I'm a pilot, not a geologist,"

"Come on Jake, where's your sense of adventure?" She replied. Jake left the rover and knelt down beside Leslie.

"Whatcha got?"

"Some sort of alloy . . . just below the surface . . ." she answered. She moved the dust and sand away from the spot, revealing a square, copperish marker.

"Whoa . . . what is it? The last will and testament of Yoda?" Jake joked, trying to find his grasp on reality. The sheer presence of this marker would change everything ever written about the red planet.

"Its got markings . . . four diamonds in the center . . . and the rest, I dunno . . ." Leslie said.

"Its ancient Egyptian . . ." Jake responded. Leslie looked up at Jake with a half grin.

"Come on, I thought you were just a pilot,"

"Even I get to watch the Discovery Channel . . . no, really, I took a class in Ancient Languages back in college,"

"So what's it say?"

"The Undead . . . or Immortal . . . will one day return. The great serpent will claim the skies, leading the locusts from the sun. The third must be protected . . . the destroyer will make his . . . the rest is too eroded. Jesus, this is like something straight out of Star Wars or something,"

"Well, as unreal as it may be, we have a real job to do. We'll have to report it," Leslie instructed.


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Washington DC . . .

"Mr. President, I think you should have a look at this," the voice belonging to Secretary of Defense Alan Collins spoke. President William Mitchell sat up in his chair, raising an eyebrow.

"Alan, tell me it something positive," President Mitchell insisted, feeling his stomach drop. He reached for the manila folder and turned it open.

"Well, only if you watch the X-Files, Mr. President," Alan replied.

"My God . . . what does it say?" Air Force General Isaacs asked, approaching the Secretary Of Defense.

"We have a team of specialists working on that sir, but one of the astronauts, the one that discovered it, has a background in ancient languages. Um . . . I believe its Jake Cranston. When he alerted us, he informed us it speaks of an immortal being returning at some point in time, talk of a giant snake that seems to destroy the sky and a plague of locusts. Then it says that something called 'the third' must be protected from the destroyer," Alan answered.

"The third? What the hell does that mean?" President Mitchell asked.

"We're not quiet sure sir, but our initial belief would be Earth, the third planet from the sun,"

"Okay . . . well lets not jump to conclusions. Contact NASA, tell them to keep a lid on this. I want everyone associated with this finding and the mission itself to maintain complete silence and let anyone who wishes to spread panic with this news know that they will prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As far as the Sovereignty team goes, they will complete whatever research they are conducting at the moment, but as soon as they are finished and can pack up, I want them on the first thing smoking back to this rock and I want them held until I can speak with them personally. Let’s not drop the ball on this, guys. We don't need a frightened, un-informed public," President Mitchell explained.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Jake Cranston stood beside Leslie Bradley within the experimental lab set into the huge form of the Sovereignty shuttle, studying the copper marker.

"I don't get it. They want us to come home because we actually found something. Its bullshit. We probably just scrapped the top of the iceberg. There's probably cities and all kinds of archeological finds waiting out there," Jake said angrily.

"President Mitchell wants us home, Jake. There's no way around it. Now they'll send in the specialists and we'll be yesterdays news," Robin replied. The crew commander, the tall black man that was Sherwin Campbell, climbed down from the engine hatch.

"Personally, I'm glad we're going back. This is just too far out for my comfort," he said.

"Why? I mean, we barely got started here . . . and now it’s like they don't trust us to be here," Jake spouted.

"Hey man, you got kids?" Sherwin replied with a question.

"No, but I got a beautiful college graduate waiting on me,"

"Really? My wife just gave birth to my two baby girls. You think I want to risk all that just for something that'll end up a Discovery Channel special? Hell no. Those girls and my baby need me. More than the United States needs an Air Force colonel up here. All I . . ." Sherwin was interrupted by a loud rumble of static over the speakers.

"That ain't normal," Leslie said, running to the bridge. She checked the instrumentation and gave a puzzled look back to her crew mates. With that, the orbiter began to rumble, shaking the equipment within.

"Is it an earthquake?" Jake asked. Leslie glanced back at her panels.

"No . . . there's some sort of . . . atmospheric disturbance . . ." She replied.

"Houston, are you reading this?" Jake asked into his comms.

"Negative Sovereignty, all screens are green. What's happening?" Houston control replied.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Space and time split around the hull of the DeathForce cruiser, stretching through the dimensional tear into Martian space.

"Milord, we have reached the Sol system," Captain Deveri instructed.

"Begin a scan of the area. The Earth must not be alerted to our presence," Lord Zedd commanded. The captain nodded and began to work at his panel.

"Milord, we are picking up an un-identified craft on the surface of the Martian planet. Signatures indicate six life-forms aboard," Deveri replied.

"Bring the teleporting systems online. I will handle them with the might of Serpentara. Move the DeathForce to the dark side of the Earth's moon and await my orders. Have battalion of MAWs ready on my command," Zedd ordered.

"As you wish milord," Deveri replied, engaging the teleporting systems.


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"Lock it down!" Jake shouted in the cockpit of the NASA orbiter. Leslie hurried to secure the equipment panels, the violent rumbling finally coming to an end.

"Sovereignty, this is Houston, what is your situation?!" The voice crackled into their headsets.

"What the hell was that?" Sherwin asked, leaning into the cabin. The remaining crew members spilled out of the galley.

"What moldy Martian god did we piss off?" Daniel Battalgia, the crew's technical supervisor asked.

"What's that?" Susan Parker, the blonde Air Force Lieutenant asked, pointing to a blip on the radar screen.

"Is it a meteor?" Bryan Miller, the astrophysicist, inquired.

"No, the rate of decent doesn't match something that just falls out of the sky. This thing is coming straight for us," Sherwin replied.

"My God," Susan mumbled, watching the snaking form appear in the reddish sky. Serpentara stretched out nearly six hundred feet long in the Martian sky, producing a low hum. Dust was kicked up as the massive machine landed, standing upright in the fading sunlight.

"What is it?" Jake asked.

"I don't know, but it doesn't look friendly!" Daniel shouted.

"What do we do?! We're sitting ducks in this thing!" Susan added.

"Leslie, fire up the boosters! We've got to get off this rock!" Jake shouted.

"What about the rovers?!" Daniel asked.

"Leave 'em, we've got to get out of here!" Jake replied. Leslie strapped herself down in the control chair, engaging the engines.

"Everyone, hold on!" She shouted.

"Guys, strap yourselves in!" Jake added, sitting down in the cockpit. The main vertical thrusters came online and the shuttle began to hover.

"Look!" Susan shouted, pointing out the cockpit. Serpentara stood in the glaring sunlight, red bolts of energy dancing around its head. The other crew members turned their attention to this spectacle.

"Your world is doomed," Zedd said from the darkly lit cockpit of Serpentara. He tapped the control lever and the energy dance convalesced into an expanding, circular energy beam that tore through the shuttle. The Sovereignty crew cried out and were suddenly silenced by the blaze that consumed them.


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Houston, Texas . . .

"We lost contact at approximately Eight Forty-Five PM, Eastern-Standard time. All systems report complete failure," one of the control operators relayed into the telephone.

"What was the last radio transmission?" Alan Collins asked, seated beside the President in the White House.

"The last transmission wasn't radio traffic sir, but a photograph of a disturbing image. It appears to be a large . . . although it could . . ." the operator frantically began to grasp for the word to describe the image.

"What the hell is it?!"

"It's a serpent, sir. Um . . . but not biological. It appears to be mechanical, some sort of weapon, possibly a vessel."

"Upload it," with that, the operator fed the appropriate commands into his computer, which was linked with Alan's laptop. The image began to appear on the screen. A silent hush fell over the Oval Office as the image finished uploading.

"My God in heaven . . . alright, your orders are to maintain a complete press blackout. Do not reveal any information until instructed to do so by myself or the President directly," Alan instructed, hanging the phone up.

"Move us to DEFCON 4. It’s safe to assume that this unidentified vessel is a potential threat to the world. Alan, get online with Space Command. I want an update on this matter in ten minutes," President Mitchell ordered.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Jason Scott sat at his desk in his Fourth Period Biology class, holding his notebook and textbook tightly against his chest. The bell for his lunch period rang and he quickly made his way out of the room and into the long hallway of the east wing. He saw Zack and Adam making their way from their Social Sciences classroom ahead and rushed to meet them.

"How 'bout it?" Jason asked, walking beside Adam.

"Its meatloaf day . . . did that answer your question?" Adam replied depressingly. They watched a group of seniors make their way to the parking lot, leaving to meet up at the local burger shop, Big-mouth's Burgers.

"Again?" Jason replied.

"Yup, just two more years of soybean burgers and sour milk, fellas. We're gonna own this school," Zack said. They stood at the doors to the cafeteria, waiting for the line to move, when the TV set in the far corner came to life with an image of the local news channel logo.

"We interrupt our regular broadcast for this breaking story . . ." the monotone voice announced. With that, the screen was filled with the image of a blonde woman, in her mid 40’s, standing, holding a microphone.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I address you now with alarming news. British intelligence sources indicate a massive unidentified object entering the Earth's atmosphere. Just moments ago, we contacted media outlets at NASA and the White House, who have refused to comment on the situation. We will keep you updated at this story progresses," the woman informed. The students within the cafeteria were silenced at the news. Jason glanced over at Zack, who's mouth was open with shock.

"Come on bro, you don't believe that, do you? These people will do anything to get ratings. If something were going on, I think we'd know about it," Jason insisted.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Oval Office, Washington DC . . .

"Sir, we have incoming over Pacific airspace," Lieutenant Daniel Staunton informed, running into the room.

"Is it the anomaly?" President Mitchell asked.

"Yes sir, it appears to be," Lt. Staunton replied.

"General Isaacs, move your men to intercept," President Mitchell ordered.

"Yes sir," General Isaacs replied, rushing out of the room.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Pacific Ocean . . .

The Navy air carrier Liberty sat in the Strait Of Mexico, launching T-38 fighter jets into the sun drenched sky.

"Acquisition of target," Commander George Clancy instructed. With that, the clouds began to break apart, revealing the terrible sight of Serpentara snaking through the upper sky.

"A laughable attempt, you earth things," Zedd spoke, reaching for a control panel set into the right frame.

"Lock and load," Commander Clancy ordered. As soon as the command reached the other pilots, hidden bays split open down the massive form of Serpentara, spilling a dozen alien ships into the air. They were pitch black in color and were powered by four things that could only be assumed as engines. Specifically designed MAWs sat inside each of the deadly craft.

"My QuadraFighters will deal with them," Zedd assured himself.

"Sir, we got boogies, hot and incoming!" One of the officers hollered from the radar monitor.

"Squad leaders, we have enemy targets at alpha-five-niner. Move to attack positions," General Maron Bradley ordered.

"We copy that, Liberty. We have them in our scopes," Commander Clancy replied. The QuadraFighters began to rain down bolts of bright red energy, picking off several of the T-38s.

"Sir, we lost two squad leaders!"

"I want all pilots off deck!" General Bradley ordered.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Washington DC . . .

"Mr. President, we lost two squadrons over the Pacific," General Isaacs informed the Commander In Chief.

"Alright, what's the anomaly's heading?"

"At current velocity and course, it should reach Angel Grove in five minutes,"


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The bell for fifth period rang within the classroom, where Jason, Zack, Adam, Billy, Trini, and Kimberly sat together. Their teacher, Mr. Evans, walked to his desk.

"I trust you've all heard the news of the unexplained atmospheric phenomenon. Thankfully, the President doesn't seem to believe it a threat, so we may continue today on our discussion of the literary works of Edgar Allan Poe," Mr. Evans began, opening up his folder.


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Death Valley, California . . .

The secret facility sat at the apex of a mound of dirt and rock. It was hidden to the visible eyes by jagged walls of granite and sand. Its tan coloration and unique design allowed it to blend into the vast sea of sand surrounding it. Its exterior was chiseled granite walls, curved and towering, cut with foreign symbols and designs. Whirls of dust tumbled across its concrete outer yard, collecting up against its main circular chamber. Within, alarms and sirens began to blare.

While the exterior was simple and natural, save for its nonpareil design, its walls contained computer systems and technology beyond that known by any human of the planet Earth. Four sheer columns stood within the central chamber, covering fluctuating beams of light energy that illuminated its hypermodern control panels. Opposite the main entrance sat a cluster of crystals atop a round base. Blue bolts of energy danced the length of the two nearest columns, reaching out for the crystals. A beam of transparent energy came down from a crystalline fixture set directly above the base. In the beam of energy, a pale-white face appeared, the visage of Prince Zordon of Eltar.

"ALPHA 5, we have an emergency!" he exclaimed. A side door near the main exit opened, revealing his robotic assistant.

"Online and awaiting instructions," the robot instructed, floating atop two 'pulsor batteries. It moved the middle of the curved control panels.

"There is a great disturbance in the Morphing Grid. Bring the monitors online," Zordon instructed.

"Compliance," ALPHA returned in a rather monotone voice. A holographic screen appeared above the far right control panel, directly in Zordon's sight.

"Tracking energy signatures now . . . picking up QuadraFighter frequencies . . . stand by . . . unknown energy signature," ALPHA relayed the information shown in the control panels.

"Bring up an image of this unknown signature," Zordon requested. ALPHA continued to dial buttons as an image began to flash in the holographic screen. The massive form was too big to be contained by the hologram, but Zordon knew immediately what he was beholding.

"It is Serpentara . . . and that means only one thing . . . Zedd," Zordon instructed. 'How is this possible? He was laid into that sepulchre to sleep until the day the elder gods would return to judge the unjust. I saw it with my own eyes . . . the same eyes that now behold the image of my own Zord, mighty Serpentara, stolen by Zedd thousands of years ago. Surely some fool must have unearthed the dark Lord . . . or even worse . . . Blakus Nereus has discovered this fertile and virgin star system. And here I sit . . . unprepared . . . I should have seen this coming. How could I have been so blind? There is a veil over the Morphing Grid. There is no time to properly train a new team to face him . . . I must send them in good faith that the gods of Eltar will continue to watch over me and my Master Plan.'

"ALPHA, began a scan of the nearest populated area . . . teleport to us six humans physically and mentally capable of bearing the symbiotes," Zordon instructed.

"Compliance," the robot replied, beginning his scan. Zordon grimaced as he accepted the threat of his nemesis.

'So it begins anew . . . the Red Ranger, leader and tactician . . . the Yellow Ranger, the field scientist . . . Blue Ranger, second-in-command . . . the Pink Ranger, reconnaissance . . . Black Ranger, vehicle and arms specialist . . . and finally, the command specialist, science advisor and the human link between the team itself and the command center.

"Six viable subjects located . . . teleportation channels prepared . . . awaiting orders," ALPHA 5 instructed. With that, the chamber began to shudder and rumble.

"He has arrived," Zordon stated.


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Angel Grove High . . .

"Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts, to parents who were itinerant actors. His father David Poe Jr. died probably in 1810 and his mother, Elizabeth Hopkins Poe in 1811. Edgar was taken into the home of a rich merchant, John Allan, and brought up partly in England, where he attended Manor School at Stoke Newington. Never legally adopted, Poe took Allan's name for his middle name. Poe attended the . . ." Mr. Evans was suddenly drowned out by a loud rumbling sound, as the ground beneath his feet shook violently. With that, the loud bell rang again, this time in three short intervals.

"Students, get under your desks!" Mr. Evans instructed, ducking under his own desk. The rumbling continued as Billy glanced over at Trini.

"Something tells me this isn't an earthquake!" He shouted over the loud rumbling.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The secret command center of Zordon of Eltar . . .

"Engage at once ALPHA 5, time is of upmost importance!" Zordon commanded.

"Compliance. Teleporting initiated," ALPHA returned.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Jason was staring out into the hallway through the open door when he felt a sharp tingling in his neck and shoulders. The pain began to crawl down his arms and he felt suddenly lightheaded. The room began to fade into a blur, the noise of the rumbling fading as well. He heard a high pitched ringing in his ears and quickly glanced over at Adam and Zack, who by their own painful dispositions, were experiencing the same thing. Oddly enough, when he looked up to his other classmates, they seemed to be unaware to this strange condition, their heads tucked low and eyes squeezed shut. However, even Kimberly, Trini and Billy seemed to be feeling the effects of this sudden and unknown pain.

Without warning, he felt a quick rush around him and his body went numb. He shut his eyes, afraid to see what was around him. Although his limbs and body were anesthetized, he felt tremendous force all around him, as if he were moving at an incredible rate. Then, as quickly as the pain had manifested itself, it was gone. However, he knew by the cold, metal floor beneath his hands that he was no longer in his fifth period English Literature class. He opened his eyes to the metal ramp beneath him. It shone with the reflection of four points of light, set in a circle around him.

"Welcome humans," a voice thundered within the room. Jason forced his eyes upward and could not believe the sight before him.

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER FIVE
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Old October 28th, 2008, 12:56 PM #7
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BattleRanger
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,166



Chapter Five

*Their world attacked by the evil Lord Zedd and his monstrous machine, Serpentara, six teenagers have been unknowingly selected to master awesome powers unlike anything ever seen. Without warning, advanced transportation systems have teleported them to a hidden, alien compound in the desert outside of Angel Grove.*

Jason Scott opened his eyes to the metal ramp beneath him. It shone with the reflection of four points of light, set in a circle around him.

"Welcome humans," a voice thundered within the room. Jason forced his eyes upward and could not believe the sight before him. The face was a whiter pigment than most human skin. His light blue eyes were almost like glass, even beyond the transparency of the projected image. There were no ears where there should have been, only ear canals that curved into the skin. His nose was raised with three ridges that furthered his alien appearance. The face floated in the stream of energy, an apparent projection of an alien face belonging to an equally alien body.

"I am Zordon, what you would call an extraterrestrial, from the planet Eltar. Please, do not be frightened by my appearance, or lack thereof. This disturbing image is a direct result of my incapacitation. Allow me to explain- what you see before you is a projection, created out of my residual self-image and cast into this ion tube for the purpose of communicating with this dimension. My physical body lies just above this tube, in a state of suspended animation, as a previous encounter with my mortal enemy left me trapped within a time warp. However, this unique state is what has preserved me all these thousands of years," Zordon explained.

"Magnificent," Billy stated, beginning to take in the sights.

"So exactly where are we?" Jason asked, stepping forward. He rubbed his arms, feeling the goosebumps against his fingers.

"This is my strategic outpost, my . . . command center," Zordon replied.

"Um, can somebody come back to Earth and pick me up? Because I am totally confused," Kimberly said, walking up behind Jason.

"Actually, it is quite simple, my dear. Your world is under attack . . . I have brought you here to protect it,"

"Oh, yeah right," Zack remarked, shaking his head.

"ALPHA 5, initiate the view screen," Zordon instructed. The robot appeared from his holding base and floated towards the teenagers. Billy walked up to the android and ran his hands over its metal head, peering into its eyes as if he expected to see its inner workings.

"I've never seen anything like it! A fully sentient, multifunctional automaton," Billy noted.

"Your doubts will be quelled in the images you see," Zordon explained. The teens turned to the holographic projection that displayed the images of Serpentara releasing the QuadraFighter squadrons over the Pacific Ocean. It then played the recording of Lord Zedd battling a man dressed in red armor, wielding a silver sword.

"Who is that?" Adam asked.

"He is Lord Zedd of the Immortal Vast, an alien militant force that wishes to conquer the universe. Zedd is powerful in the dark arts of his home world and wields a jeweled ring known as the Almsteen Band. The vehicle he is piloting is Serpentara, which once belonged to me. Serpentara's purpose was to defend the free people of Eltar, however, under Lord Zedd's control, it has brought nothing but death and chaos to the universe," Zordon explained.

"What does all of this have to do with us?" Trini interrupted.

"You have been brought here to form an elite team to battle Lord Zedd. Each of you will be given extraordinary powers drawn from ancient animals that once populated this planet, what you call Dinosaurs," Zordon answered. Without warning, spirals of white light shot from their waists, forming a black belt that held a silver device in the front.

"Behold the keys to your powers," Zordon stated. Adam pulled the metal box from its black case and examined it. It was octagonal in shape, the top and bottom sides longer than the rest. A gold coin sat in the middle of it, where the device was split in a jagged zigzag design. Red banners sat surrounded the coin, with alien words displayed on them.

"Whoa . . ." Zack whispered, holding his box, "What are these?"

"Those are your Power Morphers. When in danger, raise them to the sky, calling out the name of your Dinosaur and you will morph into a formidable fighting force known to one and all as the Power Rangers," Zordon replied.

"Morph?" Kimberly asked.

"Metamorphosis," Billy replied. Trini leaned close to Kimberly.

"It means to change," she explained, Kimberly nodding.

"As Power Rangers, you will gain access to a universe of power and command a fleet of colossal assault vehicles known as Zords," Zordon continued, "Power Rangers, step forward and accept all that has been given to you." Jason walked towards the ion tube, Adam and Trini following him.

"Jason, as the Red Ranger, strong and powerful, you will control the powers of the Tyrannosaurus DinoZord," Zordon explained. A swirl of red energy festooned around Jason's body. Jason grinned with excitement as Trini walked forward.

"How do you know who we are?" Trini inquired.

"All things are revealed to the Morphing Grid, my dear. As so, Trini, you will become the Yellow Ranger, fearless and unstoppable. The Saber-toothed Tiger Zord will be under your command," Zordon explained. Yellow energy began to twirl around Trini.

"Adam, the Blue Ranger, mighty and wise, you shall control the Triceratops DinoZord," Adam watched the blue arcs of light climb up around him.

"Zack, you will become the Black Ranger, clever and brave. You will pilot the Mastodon Zord," Zack watched the energy surround him and glanced over at Kimberly.

"Kimberly, graceful and swift, as the Pink Ranger, the Pterodactyl DinoZord shall be yours," Kimberly watched her energy beams fade out before looking to Billy.

"Billy, your position is of a different manner. While your physical skills are not in question, your intelligence and technical ability have gifted you with the keys needed to become the human link between myself and the Rangers. For the rest of you, just as you work together, so do your Zords. When you need help, you need only to turn to the power of your DinoZords, which will come together to form the mighty MegaZord," Zordon explained. Zack shook his head and began to step forward, looking at the other teenagers.

"Power Morphers? MegaZords? Reality check. This whole thing is bogus. I ain't interested in being on the next episode of Pranked," Zack said, before turning to Zordon, "Look, its been real, but I'm out," He turned to the back door and began to walk away, as Kimberly turned to Zordon as well.

"See ya," she said before following Zack. The exit door split open as Zack stopped and hollered back at his friends.

"Ya'll coming? Jason!" He shouted.

"What?" Jason asked, watching the view screen as it displayed the image of the MegaZord.

"Let’s go man!" Zack said, walking through the door. Adam, Trini, and Billy followed Zack.

"Yeah . . ." Jason said to himself, turning away from the viewscreen. He walked down the ramp and out through the open door. Zordon gave a visible sigh as Jason walked out.

"Very well then. Let the Power protect you," He wished to the teenagers, as they pushed through the outer doors, into the covered walkway. Kimberly followed the others as they climbed through the rocks and dirt. Her foot slipped off a rock before she regained her balance. She dusted her hands off and looked back at the command center.

"The least he could have done was send us back into the city," she stated.


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Angel Grove . . .

Serpentara sat at the north end of the city limits, near the forest and parks area, spilling waves of destructive energy at the assemblage of tanks and solders that guarded the perimeter of the city. Within the cockpit of the mighty Zord, Zedd was suddenly alarmed by his senses. He glanced up and engaged his comm link.

"Captain Deveri, land your troops at these coordinates. Their orders are to terminate the human life-forms that await them," Zedd ordered, while keying in a specific pattern of numbers.

"As you wish, milord," the reply came.


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"Guys, we shouldn't have left him. I mean, he chose us to save the world. I say we do it," Jason commented as the teenagers continued to walk through the desert.

"Do you really think we can?" Trini asked.

"Hey guys, you don't even know what you're talking about. I mean, we talking to giant floating head," Zack joked. Jason gave a half smile before feeling the wind suddenly shift. They turned around to watch red arcs of energy begin to fan out, the wind whistling around them.

"I got a bad feeling about this," Jason commented, slowly backing away. The spirals of energy continued to spin before revealing the form of MAW soldiers, standing in black armor from head to toe. Kimberly began to slowly back away and turned around to stare one of the soldiers directly in the face. The machine reached out for her arm and slung her against an outcropping of rock nearby.

"Spread out!" Jason yelled, taking a defensive posture. He felt two massive arms enclose him and he leapt up and kicked backwards with his feet, rolling the MAW in the sand. He landed on his back and leapt up back to his feet. The MAWs continued to surround and attack them. Trini dodged a robotic fist and spun in the sand before delivering a stiff side kick that took one of the MAWs off its feet. Kimberly watched as two MAWs approached her. She cut a back flip and began to somersault to safety.

"Billy!" Trini shouted, watching Billy struggling in the grip of a MAW. Adam was the first to arrive to his aid and landed a stiff kick that sent the MAW stumbling. Zack dodged the various blows aimed at himself and managed to land a few as well. As he turned around to continue his attack, he felt his arm grabbed by a MAW and felt the force of the robot pull him backwards, propelling him into the large rock behind them. He glanced up and watched as Kimberly tumbled towards him. He reached up to stop her from slamming into him as Billy rolled into Kimberly, knocking her down on top of Zack. Adam watched helplessly as Trini joined the fallen teens before being kicked in the abdomen. He felt the force of the kick move him backwards, landing beside Trini. They looked back at Jason, who stood alone in the midst of the fourteen robotic monstrosities.

"Jason!" Trini cried, watching a MAW deliver a stiff backhand that left blood on Jason's face. Jason felt his anger swell up inside before being kicked square in the chest. He rolled through the sand in pain and felt the hands of his friends lift him up out of the sand. The six teenagers stood up and began to back away, looking for cover.

"What do we do know?" Trini asked. Jason dusted himself off, feeling the strange device that sat attached to the black belt around his waist. He pulled it out and stared at the golden coin, seeing the image of the Tyrannosaurus Rex emblazoned on it. He glanced back at the others.

"Zordon said these Morphers will give us powers . . . lets do it!" He exclaimed. The others glanced down at their morphers and pulled them loose from their clips. Jason looked at his friends, his fellow teammates and saw the realization in their eyes. He stepped forward, swinging the morpher around and aiming it upward.

"Tyrannosaurus!" He shouted. For what seemed like an eternity, the box sat still and inactive as the MAW soldiers began to close in. Then, without warning, the box split open, sparks of energy dancing around the coin. He felt a rush of warmth over his body as the currents of energy poured into his skin. A wave of energy climbed back from the morpher, leaving a red bodysuit on his body. In a flash of light, armor was left in specific places over his body. A helmet then appeared on his head in a flash of light. He looked out through the darkened visor, seeing the holographic readout that displayed his vitals, his energy levels, and his morpher's status. He flexed his fists within the gloves and felt a strange sensation coursing through his arms. He waved his arm out towards the MAWs, red flames of energy spinning off his hand, slamming through the soldiers.


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"Morphers are online, Zordon. The symbiotes have fused successfully,"ALPHA instructed within the Power Chamber.

"Excellent. Teleport Billy to us and unlock the Zord Abyss. Send the Rangers to Serpentara's coordinates. They must stop Lord Zedd!" Zordon ordered.


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Lord Zedd sat in the black kyrin-skin chair of Serpentara's cockpit, feeling coldness settling in the pit of his stomach. He scanned the Morphing Grid and saw the Rangers standing over his defeated MAWs. His skin began to glow a bright red hue as he slammed his fist down against the control panel.

"I cannot believe it! Never send a robot to do a Dairaku's job! Damn that fool, Zordon! Damn his Rangers!" Zedd shouted.


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Jason glanced back at the other Rangers, who were dressed in similar armored uniforms. Before they could exchange words, the sharp tingling of teleporting energy swept their bodies.

"It’s happening again!" Adam shouted.

"We're teleporting!" Billy replied. He vanished in a spiral of white teleporting energy, leaving the five Power Rangers behind. They followed behind Billy, each teleporting in energy arcs of their respective colors. Billy landed within the Power Chamber, where ALPHA was floating at the main control panel.

"Billy, you will guide the Rangers to use the weapons at their disposal. Their basic sidearm is the Blade Blaster, a laser pistol that can be converted into a dagger. There are several more squadrons of Zedd's soldiers landing in Angel Grove. They must use these weapons to eliminate the soldiers," Zordon explained. ALPHA handed Billy a headset commlink which he slid on, hearing the radio traffic of the Rangers talking to each other as they landed on the waterfront.

"Guys, this is Billy. You'll find weapons on the sides of your uniforms. These are your Blade Blasters. Use them to make quick work of Zedd's soldiers," Billy informed the Rangers.

"Right!" Jason shouted, pulling the weapon from its holster. Within the display of his helmet, he saw a diagram of the weapon and how to use it. The Blade Blaster was in safe mode, where the blade was folded inward, yet the body remained in dagger form. He squeezed the trigger, watching the blade swing open. Jason Scott, now as the Red Power Ranger, ran headfirst into the awaiting MAWs, swinging and slicing with the Blade Blaster. Several of the soldiers fell to the ground in bursts of sparks and smoke. He turned around to watch his teammates continue the attack, leaving very few of the MAWs standing.

"Take 'em all out!" Jason shouted.

"Rangers, Lord Zedd is your priority. We have your Zord vehicles online and ready for battle," Billy sounded, the static of the transmission robbing his voice of humanity.

"Right," Jason said, seeing his Zord's status appear in the top left corner of his viewscreen.

"Leave 'em! We're heading out!" Jason shouted back at the other Rangers. They nodded in recognition of the order.

"ALPHA, teleport them to the Zords," Zordon instructed. The automaton ran his indasteel fingers over the keypad, accessing the Zord portals.

"Alright guys, prepare for displacement and teleportation," Billy said. With that, the sharp sting of teleporting returned again, this time carrying the Rangers to their individual Zords.


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"Milord, we have five distinctive Zenosystem energy channels online, near the east quadrant," the voice of Captain Deveri sounded in Zedd's comm.

"The Zords . . ." Zedd whispered to himself. He quickly sought out his path to the Morphing Grid and examined the energy signatures of his foes.

"Impressive . . . but hopeless," He added, turning Serpentara toward the Power Rangers.


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Jason stood atop the Tyrannosaurus DinoZord, staring at the silver hatch that rose from the red metal around it. He stepped onto the hatch as it slid open, allowing him to drop down into its dark vacuity. He saw blinking lights in his peripherals and another hatchway just below him. He climbed down it and found himself in a silver cockpit that was just large enough for him to maneuver to the black chair that rested behind the slanted control panel. For its upright posture, Jason found the chair to be quite comfortable.

"So what now?" He heard Zack sound in his comm.

"On the control panel before you, there are two black controls shaped to the palms of your hands. Squeeze them simultaneously and you'll see the indication of startup in your helmets. After that, log in with a recognition phrase," Billy replied. Jason found the controls on his panel; the left one had a circular symbol that bore his helmet, while the right control featured a representation of his Dinosaur. He reached and squeezed them both and saw the 'Z.O.R.D. SYSTEMS ONLINE' in his bottom left display. Jason saw the red control sticks just below the grip controls and knew in his subconscious that they were the manual controls for his Zord. He grabbed them and slowly moved his Zord forward.

"Alright guys, log on!" Jason gave the order. He saw a red light flash on, indicating he was logged into the Zord's systems.

"Zack here, this is kickin'!"

Adam here, lets rock and roll!

This is Trini, all systems go!

"Let's tame this snake!" Kimberly concluded. The Zords towered over the city's metropolitan giants of steel and glass. The Tyrannosaurus DinoZord of the Red Ranger reached well over two hundred feet into the air. The Blue Ranger's Triceratops DinoZord rested on two massive crawler treads, while the Mastodon Zord and Saber-toothed Tiger Zord each sat on four hydraulic legs. They each were about one hundred and fifty feet tall. The graceful Pterodactyl DinoZord was the smallest, bearing a wingspan of fifty feet and a height of only twenty.

"Rangers, separately, your Zords will be no match for Serpentara. Jason, as the leader, you will make the call to form the MegaZord when you feel threatened to escalate the situation," Billy added. Jason watched as the towering serpent Zord slowly marched toward them.

"Rangers, stand by for MegaZord transformation," Jason ordered.

"Jason, initiate the sequence by placing your Morpher into the designated slot on your control panel. Your verbal command will be processed and the Zords' onboard guidance systems will lead them through the process," Billy returned.

"Copy that, Billy. Alright guys," Jason started, removing his Morpher from his belt and pushing it into place on the panel. "Let’s show him a little MegaZord power!" The rest of the teens followed and cried in unison, "MegaZord power!" Within his cockpit, Jason heard the electronic voice of the system indicator.

"MegaZord sequence has been initiated," it stated. The Zords began to transform, steam shooting out from vents and sparks of light flashing around them. The Tyrannosaurus DinoZord received the Triceratops and Saber-toothed Tiger Zords, which formed to its front legs. The legs of the Tiger Zord slid into its form, replaced by large wheels that spun out. The Mastodon Zord split in half, its head forming up between the Triceratops and Tiger Zords. Its cannons slid up over the arms of the Tyrannosaurus, stretching out with long silver barrels. The Pterodactyl completed the transformation, landing behind the head of the Tyrannosaurus, flexing its own cannons forward. Jason felt the seat of his chair fold under as he slid down into an expansive cockpit, landing in another control chair, surrounded by four others. He glanced around and watched as the other Rangers landed in their designated areas from beams of teleporting energy.

Jason watched as Serpentara stopped at the edge of the industrial district. Tendrils of yellowish energy danced in the air around its head as it fired a bolt of starplasma at the Rangers.

"Incoming!" Trini shouted.

"Brace for impact!" Jason replied. The blast slammed into the hull of the tank, shaking the cockpit violently. Sparks flew from the control panels as the Rangers checked the monitors.

"The ray shields have been compromised. They'll need to recharge," Trini reported.

"Rangers, this is the first stage of the MegaZord: As a tank, it can be used to travel terrain quickly and easily and has more firepower capabilities. Serpentara is nearing, use your cannons to buy you some time to switch to battle mode," Billy explained.

"Right. Alright guys, hit it!" Jason ordered. The Rangers thumbed the buttons on their control sticks, replying to Zedd's energy blast with a furious shower of pulse blasts. Zedd felt the hits rock his cockpit violently.

"Alright, let's bring him down to size. MegaZord, battle mode," he ordered. Massive angular hands folded out from the cannons as the Pterodactyl dismounted and hovered above the assemblage. The tank began to shift upwards, the Triceratops and Tiger Zords shifting at the neck, becoming the legs of the MegaZord. The tank stood upright as the cannons shifted out, becoming the arms. The Pterodactyl flew in, its head and feet tucking within its form. It attached onto the chest of the Tyrannosaurus, as two large panels folded forward from the neck of the DinoZord. Its lower jaw shifted down as a humanoid face rose out from within the mouth.

"MegaZord activated," the electronic voice declared.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


"So . . . Zordon has a few surprises left in his act. Little does he realize what I have in store for his Rangers," Zedd commented, regarding the sight of the MegaZord. The dark lord flicked a series of green switches.

"Emperor Mode," a voice of deeper tone sounded in the cockpit.


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Inside the command center, Billy watched Serpentara's energy levels rise on the monitors.

"Zordon, there's some sort of energy surge in Serpentara," Billy reported.

"Warn the Rangers. Zedd may have altered Serpentara's structure since our last encounter," Zordon instructed.

"Rangers, I'm picking up a rise in Serpentara's energy levels. He may be preparing for another plasma blast," Billy sounded in their comms. The serpent’s mouth opened and the Rangers braced themselves for an attack. Instead, the lower jaw unlocked and a face appeared, not dissimilar from that of the MegaZord’s. The body began to fold outward, the neck sliding down to the chest. The arms unfolded into bulky humanoid arms and shifted forward. The legs straightened out and telescoped their length. The remaining form was humanoid and was overly muscular. The tail's covering began to fold out and down to reveal a large sword. A handle shot out from the bottom and the large warrior Zord grabbed the sword from the sky as lightning danced the length of the blade. The Rangers sat frozen in awe at the sight.

"Their only hope will be the Godhorn. Billy, tell them to call upon its power," Zordon instructed.

"Rangers, you'll need your most powerful weapon to defeat Serpentara. Jason, call upon the Godhorn to combat Lord Zedd," Billy explained. Jason nodded and looked up into the sky.

"I call upon the Godhorn!" He shouted. Lightning flashed across the sky, coalescing into a towering, shiny sword that fell to the ground. It landed just before the MegaZord as Jason moved the arms to grab it. The blade of the Godhorn was wide just above the guard, which was triangular in shape. The base of the handle had a red orb attached to it. Jason saw the gleam of Serpentara's dark saber and brought the Godhorn up to parry its advance. The two swords collided in a shower of sparks, the force of the impact shaking the seats beneath the Rangers.

"Forward all available power to the arm servos," Jason commanded. Zack increased the power output as the MegaZord spun its sword in its capable robotic hands. Serpentara slashed again as blade met blade. Jason spun the sword around to counter and watched as Serpentara's blade slid through the Godhorn, causing the weapon to disintegrate in a shower of energy.

"He destroyed the Godhorn!" Kimberly shouted. A high pitched beeping filled the cockpit of the MegaZord as Serpentara grabbed the MegaZord by the neck and lifted it into the air.

"ALPHA, I'm not reading the Godhorn in the Morphing Grid anymore," Billy announced.

"That is because it was destroyed permanently. The Godhorn was a gift from early Endonite priests who settled in the land you now call Europe some ten thousand years ago. ALPHA, engage the matrix systems and try to form them a temporary weapon to defeat Lord Zedd," Zordon commanded.

"Negative helm control!" Adam shouted within the now darkly lit cockpit of the MegaZord.

"Micropressure's in the red!" Trini exclaimed.

"What do we do?" Kimberly asked.

"Zack, send a surge of magnetic energy into Serpentara's arm. Reverse the polarity of its motors and it should release us," Jason ordered.

"Jason, that's brilliant!" Trini commented. Zack grinned within his helmet and issued the commands. Zedd cursed the Rangers as he unwillingly released his hold on the MegaZord.

"Zordon, I've configured what energy remained of the Godhorn into a weapon called the Mega Saber. It should be able to be drawn from the Morphing Grid as we speak," ALPHA instructed.

"Rangers, Zedd expended a massive amount of energy by switching to warrior mode. His defensive systems are gone and he is left vulnerable. ALPHA has a new weapon standing by for the MegaZord. Call upon the Mega Saber and combine your powers to defeat Lord Zedd," Billy explained.

"Right. Mega Saber!" Jason shouted. The mighty sword appeared within the MegaZord's hand as Jason brought it around to block Serpentara's sword. The two swords collided and Jason pulled the Mega Saber down. He moved the legs around and threw a solid side kick at Serpentara that bought the Rangers the time and space needed for their attack.

"Alright Rangers, let's finish him!" Jason shouted.

"Mega Saber, power up!" They cried together. The MegaZord spun the sword around and raised it to the sky as bolts of energy climbed its blade. It held the blade high and slashed at Serpentara. The blade scraped down the length of the serpent Zord, as energy spilled off the sword and struck the wounded machine.


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"Inconceivable . . . those damned Rangers are NO MATCH FOR ME!" Zedd cried in his cockpit. He quickly sent all the available power to the restoration systems. The machine quickly transformed back to serpent mode, smoke billowing from breaches along its form. It slowly rose into the sky, its engines stalling slightly.


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"He's getting away!" Zack shouted.

"Rangers, Lord Zedd is defeated. Although he will return, his destruction will be due in time. Initiate the Zord's disassembly and they will return to the holding bay. Standby for teleporting," Billy instructed. The Rangers entered the commands into their individual control panels and watched as teleporting energy carried them from the MegaZord cockpit to the command center.


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"Welcome Rangers! You have done well," Zordon greeted as they unclasped their helmets and removed them.

"Alright. We did it," Jason smiled at Trini, giving her a high-five. Zordon watched as Zack sat down on the floor, leaning up against one of the consoles.

"Zachary, what is wrong?" Zordon asked. The other Rangers turned to their teammate and saw the doubt that spilled out over his face.

"I just don't know if I'm up for this. I mean, we were pretty lucky today," Zack stated.

"Luck had nothing to do with it. The five of you have come together to form as fine a group of superheros as there has ever been before. Billy, you have proven yourself as an excellent counterpart to the Power Rangers as well," Zordon explained.

"Yeah bro. We did it together. We kicked Zedd's ass because we were capable. It wasn't chance," Jason said, extending his hand out to Zack. Zack took his hand and Jason pulled him back up to his feet.

"We're in the big time," Jason smirked at Zack who smiled back.

"Power Rangers, gather before me," Zordon instructed. The teens walked up the ramp and stood around Zordon's ion tube.

"I have no doubt in my mind that each of you were destined by fate to master your powers. Never in all my years of training warriors like yourselves have I seen a group come together so quickly and defeat an adversary of Zedd's proportion. In the days to come, the symbiotes contained in your powers will continue to bond to your body and your mind. They will speak to you when you are calm and at peace. They will guide you through the battles that lie ahead. Furthermore, as Power Rangers, you are bound to uphold three basic rules: you must never use your powers for personal gain, you must never escalate a battle unless forced to do so and you must keep your identities a secret. Always remember that your hearts and minds are more powerful than any weapon that can be assembled," Zordon explained.

"Yeah, alright. I'm in," Jason said.

"Its not even a question," Adam replied..

"Affirmative," Billy stated

"Me too," Trini added.

"Count me in," Zack declared.

"You got it!" Kimberly said. They put their fists out together and smiled at one another, fully accepting their responsibilities and duties as the new defenders of Earth. They leapt into the air, throwing their hands upwards in a joyful gesture.

"Power Rangers!" the voices of the teens echoed into the expanses of the Power Chamber. Zordon of Eltar grinned at the display and knew that Lord Zedd would regret the day he set foot on the world of these brave humans.

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER SIX
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Old October 28th, 2008, 02:13 PM #8
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Joined: Jan 2005
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BattleRanger
Call the 5-4-1
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,166



Chapter Six

The moon . . .

Lord Sih Caien Zedd of the Immortal Vast, stood defeated. Defeated . . . that word was a realization that the dark lord could not bear to face. Zordon's fleet of Zords outnumbered and over powered even the mighty Serpentara. Zedd knew the risk was too great to allow Serpentara to be destroyed . . . he had no choice but to retreat. 'Surely the ion drives would have held if not for the fact that most of the energy batteries had already neutralized during Serpentara's long sleep. No matter. Perhaps some of the DeathForce's emergency supply batteries could be formatted for Serpentara's energy drives.'

The dark lord stood in the shadow of his towering Zord that sat in the open expanse of the Sea of Tranquility, feeling the metallic texture of the Almsteen Band against his fingers. He made a fist and felt the ring course energy currents through his body. The arcing of energy sounded off with bursts and crackles. Blue bolts escaped the Bendarin crystals and shot into the distance, striking like vipers at a large ridge of gray rock almost ten stories high. The bolts found their specific targets and continued to carve the rock away. Suddenly, the energy storm stopped, the air still alive with clouds of dust and the electric feeling of the power currents. A large chunk of rock floated towards the dark lord, nearly ten feet long.

"It is almost too good to be true . . ." Zedd thought aloud, reaching deep into the Morphing Grid.

'Transtium. The rarest of precious alloys. No doubt that some of the fragments would wind up someplace this desolate. It conducts energy better than any metal in existence . . . and it’s nearly indestructible,' Zedd recounted. The piece of rock began to spin rapidly, great chunks of dirt falling off it. The Almsteen Band reached out with its bolts, cutting away at the transtium alloy core. When the arcs of energy again subsided, a large staff was left floating in the air. It was a chrome color and ended in a large slanted 'Z' at the top and a short blade at the bottom. Zedd reached out for the staff and held it in his clawed hands.

"Admiral Recinas to Lord Zedd," the traffic sounded in Zedd's commlink.

"What is it, Admiral?"

"Milord, we wanted to check on you. We read massive energy levels all over your coordinates. Is everything alright?"

"Everything is excellent, Admiral. Just . . . working on our new home," Zedd replied. With that, the energy storm spun back into existence, stripping away layers of rock and dirt.


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Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia . . .

The brisk wind blew around Billy Cranston, fluttering his windbreaker in its wake. Billy stood in total silence, watching the carriage bearing the casket of his brother, Jake Cranston, Sovereignty mission specialist,. The bright red stripes of the American flag stood out against the dreary, gray sky and the winter grass beneath it. He swallowed hard, feeling the lump in his throat. The procession made its way deeper into the sea of washed-white headstones, following the carriage and marching soldiers. The rhythmic drumming echoed into the distance, broken by the high pitched clicking of camera shutters. Billy glanced around, taking in the sights of the historic memorial park when he noticed a familiar redheaded woman walking towards the edge of the pavement. Hayley Morgan, fiancée of Jake Cranston, managed a smile that reached out to Billy with comfort. The gesture was heartfelt but too weak to reach Billy's heart. He put on a weak grin of his own that quickly faded as three T-38 Talon jets flew overhead in the missing man formation.

The procession held up at the edge of the road, as the pall bearers carefully moved the casket off of the carriage. They slowly and precisely lowered the casket in their hands before turning counterclockwise away from the carriage, towards the grave site. Billy and his parents followed the procession, flanked by honor guards. Dark green chairs lined the site, which included a standing memorial, displaying a picture of Jake. The pall bearers, dressed in black uniforms with white hats, moved in formation, positioning the casket over its metal base.

Billy and his family sat down, with Hayley sitting towards the end of the row, facing towards the honor guards. A drum roll began to sound as they lowered the casket down. Three rifle shots over the graves gave way to the customary Taps solo, the pall bearers raising the flag up over the casket. They began to fold the flag in precision that only came with routine and practice, as the band played America the Beautiful. Billy glanced over at his dad, who fought a losing battle against tears that swept down his face as he was handed the flag. Hayley lowered her head and closed her eyes.

'I'll never forget . . . that restaurant in Beverly Hills where you ordered the champagne for my birthday. God, it was beautiful. I've never ate Chicken Alfredo to a live band before. And then the champagne came . . . and my glass sparkled with the light of a hundred stars. I always wondered what would have happened if I had drank that glass and swallowed the ring . . . I'm sure you would have had to jump right into 'Hero' mode and saved me . . . but in same way, you did. You saved me from life without you.

But now . . . all I have are memories. I had a bad feeling the whole time, from the moment you took off on that rocket ship straight into the stars. I guess I'll always wonder what would have happened if I hadn't decided to take that job at UCAG and we had gotten married then. Would you still have gone? I guess its not fair to ask that. I have to let the past be the past. In some way, you being gone will fuel more people to strive for excellence and achieve their own dreams. Of course, I . . .
' Hayley thought to herself, before feeling a hand on her shoulder. She glanced up to see Billy standing over her.

"I know you're not okay, but I was hoping to ask you anyways, as some kind of warm gesture," Billy said in his own special way. Hayley smiled a ray of sunshine breaking through the dreary sky in her heart.

"Well, even if I'm not, I know he is. He's up there, somewhere, watching us right now, probably acting all macho, like he's not affected by it. He never did let his emotions get the best of him," Hayley noted.

"Yeah, I know. He'd probably be embarrassed at all this attention he's getting,"

"You're probably right. Listen, I'm taking a few weeks off, I'll probably spend sometime in Angel Grove, catching up with a few old friends. While I'm in, I'll probably stop by and raid your mom's kitchen a few times,"

"That would be great. I'd love to introduce you to a few of my friends," Billy replied.

"Right. Well, my plane leaves in two hours. I guess I'd better get back to the hotel and get packed up. I have a few things to take care of back on campus before I take my leave. Tell your mom and dad that I'll call them when I get in town. Take care, Billy," Hayley said before turning back away from the grave site.

"You too, Hayley," Billy replied.


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Jason Scott sat by himself at the far booth within the Down The Sun, sipping his Dr. Pepper float, his head bobbing to the music. He glanced up and saw Adam Park walking towards him.

"What's up?" Adam asked, sitting down.

"Can't call it. What are you up to?"

"I’ve just been thinking about everything that happened. What a ride."

"Tell me about it. Sometimes I gotta see something about us on the news just to remember that it wasn't all just a dream."

"God, the news. Its everywhere. I guess you heard about Billy's brother."

"Yeah, I found out once I got home. We're part of the same team now, but I really don't know what to say to him."

"Same here. Trini knows him pretty well. She said he was in Washington for Jake's funeral."

"I know that it’s probably turned into a personal issue now, with Zedd and all. Really, it has for all of us. You heard from Zack?"

"No, after we got home that day, he kinda disappeared,"

"Well, when Zedd decides to retaliate, I hope we can reach him," Jason said, returning back to his float.


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Kimberly Hart sat curled up in her father's oversized reclining chair, holding the cordless phone close to her ear. She sniffled and wiped tears from her face as she continued talking to her mother.

"Baby, I know its going to be hard on you . . . but trust me, things would have been worst if me and your father were there together, tearing each other apart. In the long run, this is best for everybody," Her mom said.

"I'm not ready for any of this. Dad can't do everything himself. And I mean, it’s not like he's gonna go out and date and find someone to help him out. You know how he is."

"I know. You have to be strong, Kimmy. Your dad and I both still love you very much. We just couldn't make it work. Our hearts weren't in it."

"So you're just giving up? You could have pretended to be okay, at least until I got out. This isn't fair. You wouldn't have done this to Steve."

"That's pretty selfish, Kimmy. Your father and I had to do this. We both wanted peace and we knew we'd never have that with each other, no matter how hard we worked at it. Sometimes, people just grow apart. Now, I have a chance to have something special here . . ." Kimberly mom began before being cut off.

"You had something special. And you just walked out on it," Kimberly said, hanging the phone up and tossing it to the couch. She wiped the tears from her eyes, trying to focus on the television. She grabbed the remote control and turned the TV on. She scrolled up the channels before noticing that most were news reports covering the President’s pending speech. She stopped on one of the channels, where an older man in a dark blue suit stood before the White House.


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"President Mitchell has already said this morning that he plans to fully address the events of the alien machine that attacked the city of Angel Grove and pass his condolences to the families of the crew of the Sovereignty orbiter as well. Ok, I'm getting word we're going live to the Oval Office," The man said before the screen was filled with the image of the Presidential seal.


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"Good evening. I am joining you all tonight from the Oval Office, where I first learned of the terrible machine that sought to quench its appetite for violence on our world. Acting with experience and good faith in our government and armed forces, I kept this threat shadowed to deter wide spread, un-informed panic, ensuring the safety of my fellow Americans and the free people of Earth.

When this threat was fully realized, I ordered military action against it. However, this proved to be unsuccessful. The machine landed in the great city of Angel Grove, California. It was there that this machine was driven off our sovereign soil by five brave souls. Armed with extraordinary weaponry and fighting machines of their own, they secured the freedom of life for our nation and the world. This Godsend of fearless heroes, however, vanished as quickly as they appeared. It is my wish that we as a nation would extend our gratitude, appreciation, and support to these nameless heroes.

This victory against mortal persecution, however, has come with the weight of a tragic loss. In the course of this machine's journey to our world, the lives of six astronauts aboard the NASA space shuttle Sovereignty were claimed by its evil. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these heroes and to those of the brave men and women who's lives were lost while defending against this threat.

As I leave you tonight, I wish to conclude with a message to the beings responsible for such destruction. We are a peaceful world of love and tolerance who would welcome any like-minded life to our world. But for those dealing out violence and oppression, know that this country has never bowed down in the face of persecution. We have fought and died for the right to live and to do so freely. This liberty is not easily broken and knows no fear. Under God we stand free. Under God we are a liberated nation. Under the shadow of chaos and death, we prevail, we defend our mortal liberties, and we shine the light of justice into the depths of the world's darkness.

Peacefully, we have traveled the expanses of our own galaxy in the pursuit of natural exploration and adventure. We’ve defied and broken the boundaries of mortality by developing cures for deadly illnesses in zero gravity medical laboratories. I can only hope that this positive and civil program of space exploration does not become a military operation.

In the coming days, weeks, and months, we should stand as a nation without fear or reservations. We should lend our strength to each other as it is so needed. We will continue to study this threat and move against its evil with confidence and courage. And as history continues to unfold, we will face tomorrow's challenges head-on with a decisive, iron will. May God be with you all. Thank you and good night," President Mitchell spoke from his desk.


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238, 857 miles above the White House . . .

Literally carved from the moonrock of the Vitruvius crater by alien energy fields, the massive palace wasn't anything that could be construed as a natural formation. Cut with a majestic series of colonnades that supported a series of stairs that lead to the main entrance, its specific function was for housing Lord Zedd's vast forces. Atmosphere containing force feilds were generated by newly installed generator batteries set into the surrounding ridge.

Lord Zedd watched the transmission of the terran leader known as President Mitchell on his viewscreen. He scoffed at the President’s weak threat to his conquest of Earth and the destruction that would follow.

"That spineless politician knows nothing. He is mired by a senatorial committee, much like the one on Eltar. They grant this foolish primate the highest rank of their armies, yet he has only witnessed warfare from the same vantage point as I see him now," Zedd stated. He moved about in the hollowed chamber of rock that was his throne room. A large onyx throne sat in the middle of the chamber, carved from some unknown alien mineral. Large fans set into the walls of the chamber turned, casting rhythmic shadows into the throne room.

"Sergeant Ragnus," Zedd ordered. His command carried to the level just below his chamber. The Sergeant came up the staircase, saluting Lord Zedd.

"Ragnus, ready Primator for his mission to Earth. Gather my best troops to accompany him," Zedd ordered.

"Yes milord," Ragnus replied. Zedd watched from his balcony as the squadron of shuttles from the DeathForce landed, carrying equipment for Zedd's palace.

'With daybreak over the western coast, I will introduce Zordon's warriors to my own Master Warrior. Primator will overpower them in combat while Zordon will refuse to defy his honor and call his precious Zords into battle. Once Zordon is out of the way, the human forces will be swept in one night,' Zedd schemed in the cold corridors of his twisted mind.


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Sunlight spilled in through the canary yellow curtains, drenching Trini Kwan in its luminance. She cursed the bright light and turned over in bed. Before she could fall back to sleep, her mom came in and hollered for her to get up. Tired of fighting her daughter, she turned the main light on above the bed. Trini pulled a pillow over her head before finally submitting to the morning. She walked past the room belonging to her little brother Jonathan and headed towards the kitchen.

"Trini, its 7:20. You're gonna be late," her mom said, rushing to grab her purse and keys.

"I know mom, I'm gonna ride with Kimberly this morning. She's always running late,"

"Alright. I gotta get your brother to the babysitters before I'm late. Bye Trini, love ya," she said, running out the door.

"Love you too, mom," Trini replied. She walked over to the pantry and retrieved a box of cereal. She sat it down and felt a sharp pain begin to course through her body. She closed her eyes from the intensity of the pain which reminded her of the experience of teleporting. When she opened her eyes, she was standing on the main platform within the Power Chamber. She looked over at Zack, who stood with an eyebrow raised.

"What?" She demanded.

"Nothing. Just admiring the view," Zack replied. Trini glanced down to see her pajama top unbuttoned, revealing her black bra. She gasped and quickly pulled the shirt tight around her.

"Perv," She returned before buttoning the top.

"Zordon, it’s pretty early. We have school today," Jason stated plainly. Zordon nodded.

"Yes, I am aware of your academic activities. Unfortunately, Lord Zedd does not care. A few minutes ago, ALPHA 5 traced an atmospheric disturbance over Angel Grove. Zedd has landed several of his soldiers near the rock quarry. It is your duty to investigate this. Due to Billy's unfortunate loss, I have decided not to disturb him this morning, so ALPHA will be ready to assist you in any way," Zordon explained.

"Come on Jason, we don't have time to be off chasing aliens," Zack replied.

"No, Zordon's right. We chose to do this. We had our chance to walk away. If we're gonna stop Zedd from taking more lives, we'll have to make sacrifices of our own," Jason explained.

"Look, we don't know what Zedd's soldiers are up to, but you can bet your ass its nothing but trouble. I say we take care of it," Adam said, stepping up.

"Zedd's going to have to pay for what he's done already. If Billy were here, I know he'd be begging to exact a little revenge," Trini added. Zack nodded and walked toward his teammates, Kimberly following.

"Let's do it," She said, nodding to Jason.

"Right. Its morphing time!" Jason hollered. The teens closed their eyes and felt into the air behind them, pulling their Power Morphers from the Morphing Grid. They shoved the morphers forward and spun them to their upright stances.

"Mastodon!"

"Pterodactyl!"

"Triceratops!"

"Saber-toothed Tiger!"

"Tyrannosaurus!" Bursts of light poured outward from behind their Power Coins, spiraling into festoons of energy that climbed the height of their bodies, leaving them fully suited in their uniforms and helmets.

"ALPHA, teleport them to the rock quarry. May the Power protect you, Rangers," Zordon wished as the teens vanished in beams of teleporting energy.


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The five Power Rangers landed in the rock quarry that was just a couple of miles outside the city. With the workers still on strike, the pits and machinery were devoid of any workers.

"All right guys, it looks pretty quiet. Keep your eyes peeled," Jason instructed.

"Jason, I've got readings all over my scopes. I don't know what these things are made of, but I can't lock them down," Adam replied, checking his radar inside his helmet.

"ALPHA, we can't seem to find anything." Jason spoke into his comm unit.

"Rangers, Zedd's soldiers are capable of projecting energy cloaks. Jason, your helmet is equipped with a sophisticated tracking device. Activate your Power Scope and you should be able to make out the MAWs," ALPHA replied.

"Right. Activating Power Scope," Jason stated. A silver visor slid over his helmet, covering Jason's viewscreen.

"Alright guys, I've got a lock on them. Arm your Blade Blasters to blaster mode," Jason ordered. The Rangers pulled the weapons from their holsters and changed them into blaster weapons.

"Hold your fire, they're moving. I'm gonna see if I can draw a few of them out. Stay back," Jason added. He ran around a large pile of rocks, before coming up to a large pit. He saw several soldiers hiding in its open area. He fired off a few blasts from his weapon before feeling something drop kick him. He hit the ground with a hard thud. Before Jason could fully spring back to his feet, another kick left him in the dirt.

"Jason!" Kimberly shouted, as she watched Jason struggle against his invisible enemy.

"How can we fight something we can't see?" Zack asked. Jason managed to regroup with the others, shaking his head.

"It’s impossible. There's too many of them. We need a way to mark them somehow," Jason said.

"Jason, when you morphed for the first time, you threw a bolt of energy that spread out like fire. If there were someway we could hit the MAWs with the energy, it might leave some sort of burn or wound on their armor which we could see," Trini suggested. Jason felt a tingle of energy in his palm and he opened up his fist to see a red flame of energy dancing from his hand.

"How'd you do that?" Adam asked.

"I don't know. I pictured the flame coming up from my hand and I felt it kinda burn. And it just appeared," Jason replied.

"That's right. Zordon said our symbiotes would work to obey our commands. If we're capable of making energy fire, we just have to believe," Zack explained, a bit to his own surprise. Jason slapped him on the back.

"You're right. Let’s try it, all together," Jason instructed. The Rangers balled their fists up and concentrated on feeling the energy gathering in their hands.

"I feel it," Kimberly stated.

"Alright Rangers, let's show 'em some fire power!" Jason ordered. The Rangers shoved their hands forward, launching small orbs of energy that expanded into waves of fire. They watched as pieces of damaged MAW armor could be seen standing in the air.


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"Primator, destroy the Rangers!" Zedd shouted from his throne. The Rangers watched as a squadron of MAWs appeared, disengaging their cloaks.

"Let's take these freaks," Adam said, assuming a fighting posture.

"Rangers, advance!" Jason shouted. The Rangers ran to meet the MAWs, slashing and blasting with their Blade Blasters. Jason watched as an even bigger looking MAW appeared from one of the empty pits.

"Fall back!" He commanded. The Rangers glanced up to see Primator running at them. They shoved back against the MAWs and gathered together.

"It doesn't look like its carrying any weapons," Trini noted. With that, Primator held his hands out before him. His right hand began to collapse, folding up into his wrist. A metal handle shot out, fanning out into a wide saw-blade. His left hand followed and was replaced by the barrel of a proton cannon.

"You were saying?" Zack added.

"Who the hell are you?" Adam shouted.

"I am Primator and in the name of Lord Sih Caien Zedd, I am here to destroy you," the cyborg replied. He charged at the Rangers, slicing at them with his buzz saw.

"ALPHA, it is time for the Rangers to call upon their Power Weapons," Zordon instructed.

"Compliance," the droid returned, "Rangers, you are now armed with specific weapons at your disposal called the Power Weapons. Your symbiotes will guide you to call them to battle."

"Right," Jason said, He heard the name echo in his mind as a silver sword appeared in his hand . . . Power Sword. The weapon had a red hilt that was carved with scrolls and designs.

"Power Sword!" He shouted. He glanced at the other Rangers, who all held new weapons.

"Power Daggers!" Trini exclaimed. She held the two yellow sais in her hands, which were shaped like the fangs of her animal spirit.

"Power Lance!" Adam yelled, twirling his blue staff that ended in silver tridents.

"Power Bow!" Kimberly called. Her bow was white, with pink panels and scrolls. She was confused at the absence of her bow's string.

"Power Axe!" Zack shouted, holding his black axe that was composed of alien metals. Its blade gleamed in the sunlight.

"Alright Rangers, let's take them down!" Jason shouted, charging Primator with his Power Sword. His blade met the saw of Primator's weapon, resulting in a shower of sparks. Jason dodged a blast of energy from his cannon and managed to slice the blade across Primator's face. Kimberly, dumbfound at her lack of arrows and bow string, concentrated on communicating with her symbiote. She felt a tingle in her hand and looked down to see a beam of pink energy sitting in her palm. She set the energy arrow into the chamber on the bow and felt a strange resistance against it. She pulled it back and felt the arrow tug away from her fingers. In a flash of energy, the pink bolt exploded forth, slamming into a MAW, sparking electric death from the wound.

"The time for your victory is coming to an end," Primator said, vanishing alongside the remaining MAWs in fanning red energy.

"Rangers, Zordon requests that you return to the command center," ALPHA instructed.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


"What was that thing, Zordon?" Kimberly asked once they landed.

"It is my belief that Zedd has christened a new Master Warrior. The Dairaku Lords believe that every Master should command a Master Warrior. Lord Zedd is no exception. The Immortal Vast is full of perverse scientists who mutate life and twist nature. This Primator is not just a machine. He is a cybernetic life-form," Zordon answered.

"Well, whatever he is, we managed to beat him," Zack added.

"I am afraid that is not so. Zedd is merely toying with us. His MAW soldiers can be pressed out and fabricated at astounding rates. He was testing his warrior against you. It’s safe to assume he has greater plans for Primator. There is a mysterious shroud falling over the Morphing Grid. It is an anomaly I cannot explain. I am sorry for the interruption Rangers. May the Power protect you," Zordon stated.


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"Milord, I have a priority signal from Carinasia. It's the Emperor," Commander Tiena instructed.

"I'll take it in here, Commander," Lord Zedd replied. He stepped towards the back of his throne room, to a metal plate set into the floor. As his feet made contact, hundreds of holographic cameras spun out of the walls surrounding Zedd, recording and transmitting a three-dimensional image of him to Carinasia. In the space before him, wisps of crimson energy spun together to form the visage of Emperor Nereus.

"Lord Zedd. I trust you haven't destroyed too much of my planet," Nereus greeted.

"Actually, I'm growing sick of the sight of the blue-green orb hanging in my view. I wish to see our Crest World instead."

"Once you have claimed the Earth for Jenova, you may rule Carinasia for all eternity."

"I trust there is a reason behind this conversation, Nereus."

"The DragonZord," Nereus knew that the mention of the machine's name would be enough to satisfy Zedd. However, Zedd dismissed his hope, knowing the machine was long lost.

"What of it?"

"It has been awakened. It climbed out from the Alcyonian Ocean and into my backyard. It was quite a sight to wake up to its terrible visage outside of my chambers," Zedd found a bit of humor in the fact that his Zord had frightened the old Emperor and found himself in almost disbelief at its return.

"Zordon was a fool to banish it to the fathomless waters . . . he should have known it would return one day to seek out its master."

"It should arrive in a matter of days. With it, I am sending several armies of Titan machines to assist your campaign."

"I find myself in debt to you now. I shall wish to thank you personally." Zedd replied, forcing a face of respect.

"You'll have your chance. I will be following your DragonZord by a few days. I wish to personally oversee the destruction of Zordon's legacy and the christening of Earth as our new Crest World,"

"As you wish," Zedd returned, the facade of his respect crashing down into blind anger.

"Have might in Jenova, Lord Zedd," Nereus closed, the image fading out. Zedd began to glow with red light as he smashed his fist down against the wall.

"I don't need him watching over my shoulder as I exact my revenge. Damn that fool! His mere presence will be unnerving enough to cause my own failure. But with my DragonZord back in my possession, it will be a mere formality before I rule this world," Zedd stated.


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Angel Grove High School . . .

Jason, Adam, and Zack walked the length of the parking lot, Jason twirling his keys in his hand.

"You ready for the competition tomorrow?" Adam asked, looking to Jason.

"I guess as much as I will ever be. I'm just ready to get there and get it over with," Jason replied.

"Wait up!" A voice came from behind. Adam immediately recognized it as belonging to Trini Kwan. The three guys turned around and saw Trini jogging up.

"What's up?" Jason asked. With a short sigh, Trini began to explain.

"Billy called me around lunch. He asked me if I would get everyone together and meet him at the juice bar when school's over,"

"Did he say why?" Adam inquired.

"He's been working on . . . something, he just won't say anything about it," she answered.

"Alright. Zack, I guess I'll meet you over there," Jason instructed as Zack nodded in agreement.


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The juice bar was set off the main building of the Youth Center. It sat surrounded by basketball and tennis courts on three sides and the park on one side. Its only accessibility was by foot, from the parking lot almost thirty yards away. Billy Cranston sat on a bench in the park area nearest the Youth Center, holding a navy blue backpack in his hands. A gleam of light caught his eye and he turned around to see Trini's black Grand Prix pull up. A grin split Billy's face as he walked to meet his friend.

"Trini . . . are the others coming?" Billy asked. With that, Jason, Zack, and Kimberly pulled up beside Trini's car. Trini laughed at the irony and smiled at Billy.

"Billy . . . what's happening, bro?" Jason greeted, shaking Billy's hand. Billy, in his usual shy manner, shrugged at the question.

"Okay, so do you mind explaining why we're at the Youth Center?" Kimberly asked. Billy shuffled his backpack in his hands and finally opted to pull it over his shoulder.

"I figured anonymity, considering our new functions, would be immensely significant," Billy replied. Kimberly gave a look of disgust.

"Okay, Trini, can you translate from Billy-talk?" she asked. Trini smiled at Billy.

"Yeah, since we're Power Rangers now, it’s important that we keep a low profile," Trini said. Jason stepped forward.

"What are you getting at, Billy?" He asked.

"I will reveal that once we are inside," Billy replied. He led the teens inside the Youth Center, through the sitting area for the juice bar, and to a back room, usually reserved for youth club meetings. Billy sat his backpack on the round table as the others took their seats.

"Okay. For a few months now, I've been developing a long range communicator that would operate on wavelengths greater than that of ordinary radio devices. I've had the prototype finished, but I've had difficulty finding use for it. After analyzing technology from the command center, I've also found a way to tap into the teleporting systems. These devices," Billy explained, unzipping his backpack and pulling six objects that appeared to be ordinary wrist watches from it, "are the finished product. They are designed such as to resemble ordinary chronographs and will operate as such." Trini leaned towards Kimberly and whispered to her.

"In other words, they're really cool," she said, full of playful sarcasm. Kimberly rolled her eyes at the comment.

"Wow," Zack said, reaching for the communicator that was indicated to be his by the black panel along the band.

"When it became apparent that the only time we . . . excuse me, you, have communication systems is in a morphed state, I decided to implement these units. They will allow us to communicate with the command center, each other, and teleport back and forth to the command center," Billy explained, sliding his communicator onto his wrist.

"Does Zordon know?" Trini asked.

"Yes, ALPHA is the only reason they were readied by this time. He replicated my original prototype and linked them to the Power Chamber's computers," Billy answered.


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Lord Zedd sat on his ebon throne, his brain pulsating with evil thoughts of death and destruction. In his hands, he held a black leather case bearing a gold, round insignia of a dragon's claw. He pulled the case open, revealing a dagger and a gold box. The dagger was emerald, onyx, and gold, with a silver blade. On the hilt of the dagger, a silver mouthpiece was featured, indicating its functionality as a musical instrument. Gold buttons were set into the handle and holes along the blade's center were marked by gold. The dragon's claw design was set into the hilt of the dagger as well. The box was gold, with green panels set near the bottom. It held a coin that bore the same dragon's claw design as the case and dagger, surrounded by a black stripe that ran the length of the device. A black band of fabric encircled the back of it.

"The DragonZord would not be complete without a new master . . . and with the return of the Dragon Ranger, Zordon will bear witness to his final breath," Zedd spoke in the echoing expanse of his throne room.

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER SEVEN

Last edited by BattleRanger; January 27th, 2009 at 10:48 AM.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 06:25 PM #9
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Good Stuff Here! Kinda different from the Orignal Fire and Ice. Hope to see More Peace God Bless
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Old October 28th, 2008, 06:48 PM #10
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Time Ranger wrote: View Post

Good Stuff Here! Kinda different from the Orignal Fire and Ice. Hope to see More Peace God Bless
I basically went in, did some creative edits, some grammatical edits, etc. and basically fixed the continuity of the story.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 07:54 PM #11
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Chapter Seven

Angel Grove . . .

Tommy Oliver fought the massive beasts that tried to consume him with breaths of fire and brimstone. He was unarmed, save for his mastery of the Tae-Kwan-Do fighting style. However, even his karate was no match against the long necked creatures that slashed at Tommy with black claws that ripped his green teeshirt. He ran for what seemed like hours from the horde of monsters, until he came to an outcropping of rock. He turned back and saw the beasts were gaining on him.

He began to climb the granite wall and felt a cold, reptilian skin against his leg. They had him. He slid down the rock, all the way to the ground, where the creatures began to gather around him. He felt the horrific pain as they slashed his stomach and chest, mauling his human body. He screamed in agony and looked up, directly into the face of one of the dragons. The beast began to open its mouth and Tommy could make out a face staring back at him. Its mouth continued to open wide and Tommy found himself staring nose to nose at the face. He realized, after a few seconds, that the face he saw was his own.



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Tommy sat up in his bed, sweat soaking his sheets. He did what he could to regulate his irregular breathing and closed his eyes. The image of his face sat burned into his mind.

'Those eyes . . . they weren't even mine. But I know it was my face. What a nightmare!' Tommy thought, glancing at his alarm clock.

'Two-thirty. I've got to get some rest. I don't have time for nightmares . . . I've got the karate tournament in the morning.' With that, Tommy pulled the blankets back over himself, rolling to a dry section of his bed.


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Morning broke over the city of Angel Grove, spilling into the streets that were lined with early morning traffic in and out of the city. Near the east side of the city, the large convention center sat, bustling with activity.

Jason Scott sat isolated in the dressing rooms, concentrating on the events ahead. He was to compete in Power Breaking, where he would be crushing cinder blocks with his bare hands. He picked up a roll of black athletic tape and began to tape his hands up tightly. Banners reading 'Southern California Karate Classic' were posted high within the convention center, highlighting the American and Japanese national flags.

"Next up, Angel Grove's own Jason Scott, with his Power Breaking demonstrations!" the voice of an announcer rumbled in the expanses of the convention center. Trini, Adam, Zack, Billy, and Kimberly cheered loudly for their friend. Jason stood near the entrance way to the main stage, dressed in his white do-bok. Jason heard his music start, the instrumental simply titled Session by Linkin Park, and made his way up onto the stage.

Around the stage were several steel stands, some holding boards and others holding concrete cinderblocks. Jason breathed in deeply and performed a short kata that led into his breaking routine. Jason moved fluidly around the stage, breaking stacks of boards in sync to the bass beats pronounced over the house speakers. He then began to vary his performance, breaking a stack of boards with his right elbow before striking a cinderblock with his left knee. The crowd was silenced with amazement at Jason’s performance as he continued to destroy the objects. For his finale, Jason cracked an inch thick piece of wood using his fingertip to strike with. The crowd burst into applause as Jason bowed.


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Lord Zedd sat upon his throne, his mind in the ethereal regions of the Morphing Grid. His sweeping focus passed over hundreds of thousands of humans, seeking out one worthy human that would bear the mantle of the Dragon Ranger.

"Ahh . . . Zordon's Power Rangers . . ." Zedd whispered, passing over the signatures of the teenagers. They appeared as bright astral points in the darkness of the Morphing Grid's expanses, surrounded by Zyraku energy. Zedd noticed that surrounding the Rangers were signatures of humans possessing extraordinary strength, speed, and skill.

"I need a warrior, not a snot-nosed teenage brat. These humans simply will not do," Zedd continued, before increasing his sweep of the Morphing Grid.


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Jason stood off to the side of the stage, reading the Power Breaking scores. He managed to best his competition by a measure of only five points.

"Jason, you did really great," Trini commented, handing Jason his water bottle.

“Yeah, it was a prodigious demonstration of tameshiwari,” Billy added.

"Thanks guys. I just got to make it through Individual Point Fighting . . ." Jason replied, before a familiar face caught his eye. He turned his head and saw Tommy Oliver standing only a few yards away, dressed for the first round of competition.

"Hey, isn't that Tommy?" Zack asked, seeing Jason=s direction turn.

"Yeah . . . I ran into his uncle the other day . . . he said he would be competing," Jason replied.

"Tommy's competing? Jase', bro, my cousin Daniel in Sacramento told me about this guy. He's supposed to be some slick-shit karate champion," Adam added.

"He's cute too," Kimberly added.

"He is gorgeous, isn't he?" Trini continued. Jason turned around to the young women, his eyes narrowing.

"What?" Kimberly asked, defensively.


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Zordon of Eltar was an unusual being, one who's very existence was split between two worlds. While his body remained in the normal realm of space-time, more specific in the chamber just above his ion tube, his mind and very essence was elsewhere. His only communication with the common world came through sophisticated technology that was only possible by way of the Morphing Grid. Zordon's mind was one with the energy plane and he could sense the variations and subtleties therein. At this particular moment, he felt a cold darkness surrounding the astral forms of the Rangers. He searched deeper for the origin of this anomaly. However, the very darkness itself shrouded most of the Morphing Grid. Zordon's ion tube casing descended, his face appearing from bolts of energy.

"ALPHA 5, it is imperative that we contact the Rangers," Zordon explained. The little silvery droid rose out of its docking station and moved towards the control panels.

"Compliance," it returned.


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The Rangers watched the crew clear the stage as a musical tone was emitted from their communicators. Jason looked at Billy, raising an eyebrow.

"Oh, the tonal alarm. It’s my own composure. Zordon must be trying to reach us," Billy explained. Jason rose his forearm up, engaging the communicator.

"I read you, Zordon," he spoke. Zordon's booming voice sounded from the small speaker.

"Rangers, there is a disturbance in the Morphing Grid, centered around your very position. I cannot identify it, so be mindful of your surroundings. We will notify you the moment there is a threat. Please use caution Rangers," Zordon instructed.

"We understand, Zordon," Jason replied.

"Very well then. May the Power protect you all," Zordon concluded.

"I wonder what's going on . . ." Adam said, his voice trailing off as he glanced about.

"I don't know. I don't have time to mess with Lord Zedd today," Jason replied.

"And now, ladies and gentlemen, the Point Fighting competition!" the announcer thundered over the loudspeakers.

"I'm up," Jason stated, leaving his friends as he headed towards the stage. Jason knew he would be competing in the first round, as he had previously checked the tournament brackets.


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The Imperial Stardock , the Collavarian system . . .

The massive Grand-class Crest Ship, Eye of the Hellion, was an angular god of sleek, black durasteel. The intent of its monstrous design was to instill fear in those who would behold its awesome sight and to show the might of the imperial ship yards scattered across the known galaxies. While the ship was a part of the Immortal Vast navy, it belonged to one person only . . . the Emperor of the black legions, Blakus Nereus. Two dozen plasma drives pushed its body through the coldness of space, its destination the Sol system. Its bridge was set at the top of a massive tower almost a hundred meters tall that broke its otherwise sleek hull. Emperor Nereus stood in his traditional red pilgrimage cloak that all rulers of the Immortal Vast would wear when off their Crest Word.

"Milord, we are preparing to jump into subspace," one of the bridge officers announced. Nereus turned away from the viewport and retreated to his chair.

'The Earth . . . it is the final link to joining my empires. Its location will prove to be efficient for our new Crest World. Once Zedd exacts his revenge, his purpose will be lost and he will return to the depths to be consumed by dust and worm for all time,' Nereus grinned at the thought of imprisoning Lord Zedd.


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Jason dodged the knife-hand from his third round opponent. He knew victory was at hand and he would be squaring off against Tommy in the final round. James Robles let his defenses down for a split second . . . but it was all the time Jason needed to capitalize. He threw a solid side kick that forced Robles out of bounds. From the darkened stands, Adam watched as the referee raised Jason's hand.

"Yeah, alright Jason!" he shouted as the crowd burst into applause. Tommy watched as Jason left the stage, music signaling the intermission before the final round. He shook his arms, stretching his muscles and loosening up. His eyes burned with a fire of determination as he cracked his knuckles. Without warning, the intermission music faded, and the announcer took center stage.

"And now, ladies and gentlemen, the final round of the Southern California Karate Classic point fighting championship!" he announced.

Jason stood near the side of the stage with a white towel draped over his head. He quietly recited a prayer under his breath.

'Lord God above, protect, guide, and guard me now and always. Keep my loved ones safe and out of pain. Give me your strength, your courage, and your wisdom to stand strong against all evil. I vow to protect, guide, and guard with my life all those in need who may cross my path. Guide my hands with your direction, speed, and strength. Allow me to find all targets. Allow my mind to be still. Allow my body to be calm. With the dedication of my training and Your protection, I know that I will win.' The words were Jason's own, ones that he had committed to memory many years ago when he tied a white belt around his do-bok.

"And our power breaking champion, from right here in Angel Grove, Jason Lee Scott!" With the announcement of his name, the crowd erupted once again into cheering and applause. It was Jason's first time to experience such an ovation, but he knew it was well earned. He had competed several years in a row, but he had never made it to the final round. This year was his. No one could take it from him. Time seemed to slow down and the blinding lights faded into a soft glow. He saw Tommy and in his mind, they were the only ones walking the earth. It was this concentration that had allowed him to get this far . . . there was no turning back. The two combatants bowed to each other and slowly backed away. The silence overwhelmed Jason's senses, roaring like a sharp scream. Tommy made the first move.

The low kick was aimed at Jason's right leg, more specifically at his calf, but Jason side stepped, preparing to parry anymore sudden moves. Jason found himself surprised at Tommy's aggressiveness, but moved in response to his actions with precision and experience.


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Lord Zedd's senses suddenly alarmed him to a clouding within the Morphing Grid. An in-perceivable grin split his face as he scanned the energy plane for the disturbance. He found himself once again viewing the Rangers, who were gathered at the convention center . . . only this time, there was a shadow cast upon their forms.

"Interesting . . ." Zedd whispered, watching Tommy and Jason compete.

"Point!" The referee announced as Tommy was backed out of the bright red circle. Jason knew that at this moment, he was ahead of Tommy, two to one. He re-assumed his fighting stance and met Tommy in the center of the mat. Tommy blocked several kick variations from Jason before grabbing his left arm and delivering a solid knife-edge to his ribcage. Jason winced in pain, dropping down to one knee. He knew that the failure of his leg's strength cost him a point and tied him with his competitor. As he slowly made his way up to his feet as the referee led Tommy away.

'There is no pain . . . the imagination can feed on your body. Let go of your body's reception and learn to trust the natural flow from within.' The words were those belonging to Jason's mentor, Leonardo Corben. Jason felt the pain lessen as he shifted on his right foot, dodging a heel kick. Jason found himself in a position to capitalize and over take Tommy. However, he decided on a more artful, honorable approach. Once Tommy regained his balance, Jason drew up the air between them in a rush of speed, landing a side kick that knocked Tommy out of bounds once again.

'Do not give into the excitement of the moment. To celebrate is to be defeated. Never allow pride to swell up . . . still your mind once you have the upper hand and your opponent will be powerless against you.' The teachings of Grandmaster Corben echoed in Jason's mind, sounding as clearly as if he were standing beside his student. Jason showed no visible emotional response, something Tommy failed to control. The disgust in Tommy's eyes was apparent, as frustration washed over him. Jason knew his opponent's calm demeanor had been destroyed. Balling up his fists, Tommy felt the power of his anger coursing through his muscles. Everything he had given Jason had been returned back, blow by blow, with every parry and counter.


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Lord Zedd focused his concentration on the avatars of the two combatants, the darkened world of the Morphing Grid fading to an almost crystal clear view of the fight. He felt the warmth of anger falling over Tommy and allowed another grin.


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Like two dueling dragons fighting to the death, Tommy's rage stood against Jason's patience. But this day, Tommy's vengeful serpent of angry anticipation overtook the calm and peaceful beast of Jason's fortitude, giving way to another precious point.

Before Jason could clear his mind, Tommy was on the offensive once more.

"Jut-si-kiyah!" Tommy cried, striking Jason with a perfectly executed spinning hook kick. Tommy's foot found its target with excellent precision. Jason quickly moved to counterattack as the referee called the bout over.

"Time!" He yelled, as a quiet hush fell over the audience. The judges turned to each other, debating the results. Jason swallowed against the uncomfortable dryness in his mouth. The announcer looked up from the judges' table and raised his microphone.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this year's Southern California Karate Classic point fighting championship . . . Tommy Oliver!" With the announcement, the crowd erupted into cheering. Jason felt his stomach drop in disbelief. Pulling his emotions into check, he quickly regained his composure and met Tommy in the center of the mat, reaching out to shake his hand.

"Not bad bro," he said halfheartedly.

"I'm impressed. You matched me move for move. Better luck next year, huh?" Tommy replied, letting a half smile play across his face.

"Absolutely. Gam Sa Hameda," Jason added in Korean.

"Gam Sa Hameda," Tommy returned.

"Jason . . . come on man, keep your head up bro," Zack said, playfully patting Jason on the shoulder. Jason shook his head at the comment.

"An exceptionally poignant display of martial arts, Jason," Billy commented. Jason forced a smile for Billy's benefit. He took his towel from Adam's hand and began to wipe the sweat from his eyes.

"I didn't come to put on a show. I came to win," Jason mumbled. Trini heard the comment and walked up beside her friend.

"Jason, karate isn't about winning. Its all a state of mind. Healthy competition is the fuel for determination and drive." She added.

"I guess you're right. Listen guys, I'm gonna catch a shower and head in. I'll see you guys later," Jason said, grabbing his red duffel bag.


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"The search to christen a new Burian knight has come to an end . . . this . . . earthling managed to defeat the leader of Zordon's Rangers. I have no doubt he will prove himself worthy," Lord Zedd said to himself.

"Commander Tieana!" Zedd shouted. From the shadows, the older officer appeared.

"Yes, milord."

"Gather the best of your troops. Do not arm them, Commander. I want our guest in one piece," Zedd ordered.

"As you wish, milord," Tieana replied, falling back from Zedd's sight. The dark lord returned his gaze to the world that would become the next capital for Nereus's black legions.


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Tommy walked alone from the dressing rooms, carrying a black backpack. He pushed through the outer doors of the convention center, raising a hand to shield his eyes from the brightness of the midday sun. He slipped on a pair of ear phones and pulled his silver MP3 player from his pocket. With the fast paced hard rock music starting, he never heard the whirring of teleporting energy behind him.

Then, he felt it . . . it was a cold hand, one that felt like smooth metal. It grabbed him on his forearm and spun him around. Tommy gasped at the sight of ten similarly dressed black-armored soldiers. Before he could commit a second to thought, his self-defense instinct kicked in. Tommy leveled the soldier that had grabbed him with a low sweeping kick. He turned and ran, knowing he was impossibly outnumbered. He looked around and noticed he was running into the middle of a construction sight. Feeling the soldiers gaining on him, Tommy stopped and grabbed at the nearest object he could find. His only chance would be to arm himself.

Tommy spun the shovel around in his hands, anticipating the MAWs. He struck out with the metal end of the shovel, the sheer velocity and force cracking the softer parts of their forms. Oil and smoke poured from wounds as Tommy continued to swing the shovel around.


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"Even my MAWs are no match for this human . . . Primator, retrieve this human for me," Lord Zedd ordered.

"Yes, my master," Primator returned. His form fanned out into spirals of red energy that faded into the air, carrying him to the Earth.


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Tommy felt the wind shift as Primator landed. He jerked the earphones off his ears and began to back away.

"Aww man, you're even uglier than the last ones," Tommy commented.

"You will find there is no point in running, earth thing. My master seems to think you have potential," Primator said, taking a step forward. Tommy spun the shovel in his right hand.

"Is that right? Well, you can tell your master to go to hell."

"You fool. Lord Zedd is beyond even the grasp of the netherworlds. Not even the necros have rule over him. If you resist, I will kill you," Primator threatened.

"If you plan on taking me, you'll have to," Tommy returned, charging Primator with the shovel. Before Tommy could connect with the makeshift weapon, the whirring fans of red energy caught him, carrying him to Zedd's palace.


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Jason Scott sat hunched over on his bed, enjoying the clean feeling of having taken a shower. He drank from the bottle of Gatorade, enjoying its citrus flavor. He heard the melodic beeping come from his communicator and reached out for it. He engaged the receiver.

"I read you, Zordon," he spoke into it.

"Jason, I have contacted the others. Lord Zedd has landed his MAW General, Primator, in the city. The coordinates are locked into your communicator. The other Rangers will meet you there. Attend to the matter quickly before there are any civilian casualties. May the Power protect you," Zordon ordered.

"I'm on my way," Jason replied, pressing the buttons to teleport. He felt the air around him rushing past at immeasurable speeds and felt the solid ground beneath him again. He stood beside the other Rangers who were confronting Primator. The midday sun spilled through the street where the five Power Rangers stood, facing the cyborg Master Warrior.

"Jason!" Trini exclaimed.

"I got here as soon as I could," Jason said. He looked up at Primator, who held a dark blue Honda Civic above his head. Jason could make out the faces of two women inside the car.

"Let them go, Primator! They're defenseless! If you want a fight, you've got it! Its morphing time!" Jason yelled, the teens calling their morphers from the Morphing Grid. In flashes of light, they stood as Power Rangers once more.

"I've waited long enough, Red Ranger," Primator said, laughing maniacally as he hurled the car at the Rangers. Jason held his breath as he watched the vehicle come twirling towards them. Zack jumped into the air, catching the car by its front bumper. Sparks flew as the car collided with Zack's breastplate. He spun around with the car, turning a full one hundred and eighty degrees. He then sat the car back down on the asphalt. He ran around to the driver's side and pulled the car door open.

"Are you ladies alright?" Zack asked. Cold shock coursed through his body as he watched the two women morph into black MAW soldiers. A solid metal first slammed into his helmet, cracking his visor. Jason saw the attack and quickly ran to his friend's aide.

"Guys, there isn't any time. Use your Power Weapons to destroy Zedd's forces," Billy's voice sounded over the comms. Within the Power Chamber, Billy watched the fight play out on the holographic viewscreen.

"Right! Power Weapons now!" Jason shouted. He called the Power Sword from the Morphing Grid and pulled his Blade Blaster out. Jason charged the soldiers with both weapons, slashing through MAW armor, sparks flying with each strike. Jason faced Primator after he disposed of the MAWs. Red glowing energy burst out from the blades of his weapons as he slashed at Zedd's Master Warrior. Primator replied with an energy blast from his proton cannon. The blast slammed Jason backwards, landing him in the strewn circuitry and armor from the destroyed MAWs. As he slowly made his way back to his feet, he heard Billy in his ear.

"Jason, combine the Power Weapons into the Power Blaster to deal with Primator . . . your symbiotes will guide you through the process," Billy explained.

"Right!" Jason replied, as the other Rangers ran to his side. Jason took one more swing with the energized Power Sword, striking Primator across his abdomen. The hulking cyborg stumbled back.

"Alright guys, bring 'em together!" Jason ordered. Zack was the first to contribute to the formation of the mighty Power Blaster, modifying his Power Axe and tossing it into the air where it remained in a stationary hover. Kimberly added her bow, which attached itself across the hilt of the Power Axe. Separating his lance at the center, Adam furthered the assembly, throwing the two halves of his Power Lance which formed barrels on the sides of the Power Axe's main cannon. Trini's Power Daggers fell in beside the halves of Adam's lance before Jason leapt up, completing the weapon with his Power Sword. The blade of his sword snapped into place atop Kimberly's bow as Jason brought the weapon out of the air. Fully assembled, the Power Blaster was an awesome sight as the Rangers gathered around Jason.

"Fire!" They shouted together. Beams of energy shot from the cannons, slamming into Primator. He stumbled backwards into fanning red energy that carried his form back to the moon.

"Okay guys, good work. Everything's clear on the screens, so lets go home," Billy stated from the command center.

"Right. We'll see you later," Jason replied into his communicator. Jason gave a quick glance through the deserted street of the construction area before nodding to the other Rangers.

"Power down!" They cried, causing their uniforms to return to the Morphing Grid in flashes of spiraling energy.

"I don't know about you guys, but I could go for some grub," Jason said.

"I'll second that," Zack added. Adam walked over to Jason and Zack, indicating his intent to join the two.

"I'm out. My mom's supposed to be coming in today . . ." Kimberly began, realizing she had yet to really discuss her parents' divorce with anyone other than Trini.

"We'll do it some other time then, Jason," Trini added, covering for Kimberly. Jason nodded, realizing Kimberly didn't want to discuss her personal life.

"Alright. Just to be safe, let's keep the teleporting down to a minium. Its not like we just drop in undetected, you know," Jason replied.

"Right. We'll take the bus," Trini agreed, before turning with Kimberly to find the nearest bus stop.


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The Lapseless Chamber. The chamber was Lord Zedd's own pocket dimension, set apart from the reach of even Zordon's highly attuned senses. The bright, white void had no known measure. The name itself was enough description . . . lapseless. From the safety of his lunar palace, Zedd could use the Lapseless Chamber to fully influence and manipulate even the strongest mind. Tommy Oliver was no exception. Alone within the Lapseless Chamber, Tommy would accept any voice he heard as his own. As Zedd reached through the Lapseless Chamber into Tommy's mind, he began planting the seeds of doubt and mistrust against the Rangers.

'Your parents,' Zedd whispered through the void of his Lapseless Chamber.

"My parents," Tommy echoed, without any emotion.

'Where were the heroes then?'

"Where were they then?"

'You know they could have saved them.'

"I know they could have saved them."

'You know you could have saved them.'

"I know I could have saved them."

'Instead they would deceive you.'

"Instead they would deceive me."

'These . . . Power Rangers.'

"The Power Rangers."

'You know who they are.'

"I know who they are."

'The one you fought today.'

"The one I fought today. Jason." Tommy replied, recalling Jason's name from his memory.

'Jason. The Red Ranger.'

"The Red Ranger."

'He proclaims to be a hero. Yet you defeated him.'

"I defeated him."

'The one who holds romantic interest in you.'

"Kimberly."

'The Pink Ranger. She is no different. You will defeat her.'

"I will defeat her," Tommy continued, repeating as Zedd twisted his mind. Lord Zedd allowed a slight grin, feeling the dark hatred swelling up in Tommy.

'They will all fall by your hands,' Zedd said, continuing to manipulate his new warrior.

"They will all fall by my hands," Tommy replied. Within the Lapseless Chamber, Tommy's eyes beheld the visage of his captor.

'You are my Burian Knight . . . my Dragon Ranger.' Zedd added, securing Tommy's loyalty.

"I am your Burian Knight. I am your Dragon Ranger."

'In the darkness, you will find my voice. I am your master.'

"You are my master."

'You are the dragon, deadly and swift.' Zedd finished, leaving the void of his Lapseless Chamber.

"I am the dragon, deadly and swift." Tommy replied, his mind completely under Lord Zedd's rule. In the darkness of the lunar palace, Zedd uncovered his tribal cloaks for the first time since being sworn General of the Immortal Vast. He traced lines in the armor of his vest, the only memories of a war that had been long forgotten. Quietly, Zedd allowed himself to feel nostalgic at the sight of the garments, their gold patterns shining in the light of his personal chambers.


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Another time, another place . . .

Sih Caien Zedd, Dragon Ranger and Knight of the Burian Tribe, tore flesh and armor open with the Zyusoken Dagger. Blood and mechanical oil spilled onto the desert ground as Zedd continued to slaughter the Immortal Vast warriors. The gold Shield Of Lagan shone in the early morning sunlight, reflecting the light for miles. Prince Zordon, the Wildcat Ranger, saw his comrade impossibly outnumbered. In a flash of red streaking energy, he stood by Zedd's side, wielding the Sword of Eltar.

"Together, my brother . . ." Zordon said. The title of brother did not indicate relation. Instead, it was a title earned after many battles that the two had shared. Zedd turned to him and moved, the two Zyraku Rangers standing back to back against the Immortal Vast armies.

"Together, my prince," Zedd returned. The blades of the crimson and emerald weapons became a storm of silver death against the black legions.


TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER EIGHT

Last edited by BattleRanger; January 27th, 2009 at 10:51 AM.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 07:02 PM #12
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,166
BattleRanger
Call the 5-4-1
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,166



Chapter Eight

Angel Grove, California . . .

Jeanna Hart stood in the driveway of the house she had called home for nearly twenty years, fighting back the emotions that had already threatened to overcome her on the drive in from her mother's house in Chino Hills. She knew that things would get better, that for once in her life she'd be able to breathe. But leaving her family, especially her daughter Kimberly, was something she could not have prepared for. The late day sun peaked over the horizon of trees, its luminance scattered at her feet. She smiled as the beautiful young brunette that was her daughter came out the front door, carrying her last bag of belongings. Jeanna knew the divorce was tearing her daughter apart but she knew in the long run, Kimberly would be happier.

"I guess that's it, Kimmy," she said, reaching out for the designer bag that she had bought on the last shopping trip she had taken with Kimberly. Kimberly managed a half smile against the breaking of her heart.

"Yeah . . ." she replied, her voice trailing off as she turned her head, doing her best to hide the tears that trickled down her face. She felt her mom place a hand on her shoulder. The touch felt warm and inviting. Failing to stay strong, she pulled her mom in close and wrapped her arms around her. She muffled her crying against her mom's body as she felt Jeanna's fingers comb through her hair.

"Its okay baby," Jeanna reassured, although she knew the words held no assurance at all.


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Jason, Adam, and Zack sat at a booth within the establishment known as Big-mouth's Burgers. Its pseudo-modern interior brimmed with flashy, neon colors, set with bright blue seating booths. Jason toyed with the last few pieces of his Gorilla Burger.

"It’s just so cool, you know, getting to save the world and all," Jason plainly stated, inhaling the remainder of his hamburger.

"Yeah, we're just reaping the rewards," Zack replied.

"Come on man, it’s not about the rewards. We weren't just chosen by chance to become Power Rangers," Jason began to reply. Realizing the sensitivity of the subject matter, he decided to lower the volume of his voice before finishing. "We were destined for our powers."

Zack shook his head at the comment.

"Come on bro, haven't you ever felt you belonged to something bigger than all of this?" Adam asked, backing up Jason's statement.

"All of this?" Zack inquired. Jason sighed in return.

"Yeah, living your life day to day, aimless and ordinary. But deep inside, you feel that you have something that screams for adventure you'll never find in the world that we know. We're part of something so big and important, we can't even begin to understand it," Jason explained.

"Even if that's so, do you think we're the only ones? I mean, what about the ones that would rather rule or destroy the world than defend it? What if they were destined for something like what we've become?" Zack asked. Jason felt the words send a chill down his spine. The hairs on his neck stood on end as he contemplated the thought before managing to shrug it off.

"Someone with our powers . . . but evil," Adam added.

"That shit's not even funny," Jason commented, refusing to acknowledge such a possibility.


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Lord Zedd stood before the slumped figure of Tommy Oliver. The human sat in the cold, stone seat, in between dream and wake.

"Awaken, my warrior," Lord Zedd spoke. Tommy felt the words wash over him and he slowly began to focus in on the form of the dark Dairaku lord. Zedd had re-calibrated his A.E.I. (Artificial Environment Inducers) system to be more comfortable for his captive terran, but had overestimated the average human heat tolerance, as evidence by the beads of sweat on Tommy's brow.

"The tribal cloaks of the Burian Knights . . . adorn them," Zedd further instructed, holding his hand towards a darkly lit chamber off to the side. Tommy left his seat to investigate the raiments, which included a pair of black leggings and black kyrin boots, topped by gold armor. The black, long-sleeved tunic bore a dark green vest that fell down to the thighs. The material was set with gold tribal sigils and black scrolling. Tommy traded his street clothes for the tribal attire and returned from the chamber, securing the black kyrin belt across the vest.

"Secure victory against those who await you and fulfill your destiny as my Burian Knight," Lord Zedd instructed.

"Yes, my master," Tommy returned, his voice completely devoid of all emotion. Tommy watched as red energy began to spin in front of him, moving towards his body. In a flash of bright light, he stood in the sand of a deserted beach. Rocks of granite shot up from the sand, breaking up the otherwise flat landscape. The energy that carried him to the beach once again spun into existence, this time leaving the form of twenty MAWs. But these were no ordinary footsoldiers . . . their bright rubicund armor indicated that they were Rubitrons, the highest and most deadly form of ground troop possessed by the Immortal Vast. They stood at a distance for a few seconds, slowly spreading out to the side.

Lord Zedd watched the battle begin from his vantage within his throne room. Tommy wasted no time in engaging the Rubitrons, rushing into the very midst of them. His battle cries echoed in Zedd's hollow chamber of rock.

"This human is proving to be quiet exceptional . . ." Zedd noted, watching as Tommy stood over three fallen Rubitrons.

"Milord . . ." the voice of the officer came as he rushed into Zedd's chamber.

"What is it, Ragnus?" Zedd demanded of the interruption.

"We have a priority signal from the Eye of the Hellion lord, they are entering the solar system," Sergeant Ragnus instructed. Zedd's mask managed to hide the shock that fell over him.

"On viewer, Sergeant," Zedd replied. The image of Tommy battling the Rubitrons was quickly replaced with the visage of Emperor Nereus.

"Your excellency, you're . . . early," Zedd stumbled over the words, failing to properly greet the Emperor.

"Yes, well, the Earth's forces will not be swept away within a night, at least not at your current rate. We will be in lunar orbit in one standard chron, Lord Zedd. I trust my thanks are still in order," Nereus replied. Zedd felt the hate swell up inside, and stifled the emotion before it showed.

"You see my DragonZord delivered to me and I'll see your planet delivered to you, your excellency," Zedd returned.

"We shall see," Nereus concluded, his image fading away.


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Angel Cove Beach . . .

Tommy Oliver fought for his life against the Rubitrons, almost ten remaining by his last count. The dozen mechanical warriors surrounded the human, ready to attack from any direction. But while the robots could be programmed to remember patterns and sequences of moves, one thing they lacked was sheer human determination. Tommy's bare hands cracked through the softer areas of the Rubitrons' otherwise adamantine armor, usually located around the joints of their bipedal form. His knuckles were covered with black oil from the destroyed Rubitrons that lay scattered across the sand.

"Jut-si-kiyah!" Tommy's distinct ki-hap cut through the air as he attacked a single Rubitron, executing a head-scissors takedown. Tommy rolled in the sand with the Rubitron as he delivered a strong kick that split the soldier's face in half. He leapt to his feet and caught one of the Rubitrons in a standing leg sweep before dealing a hard knife edge that busted through the softer armor of its abdomen. Tommy ripped out the coupling of wires and circuitry sparking electronic death for the Rubitron before turning to the remaining ten Rubitron MAWs. He arrogantly waved the machines his way with an outstretched hand, leveling the first one to reach him with a solid clothesline. He spun through the air, his feet connecting with their intended targets, the loud cracking of armor echoing into the distance.


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Klaxons and sirens blared within the expansive Power Chamber. As Zordon's face suddenly appeared in his ion tube, ALPHA 5 quickly rushed to the control panel, angling his 'pulsor units to achieve speed.

"Zordon, sensors are picking up a disturbance in the gamma quadrant . . ." ALPHA instructed.

"Show it," Zordon commanded. A few keypad commands later, the holographic viewscreen flashed to life. ALPHA shook his head and worked to sharpen the image.

"As I feared, the Crest Holder of the Immortal Vast has arrived," Zordon instructed, feeling Nereus's unique life-force in the Morphing Grid.

"What course of action do you suggest?" ALPHA asked, the screen clearing to show the massive Crest Ship.

"Hold at alert status . . . we will contact the Rangers only if necessary," Zordon answered.


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Hayley Morgan pulled her silver Yukon into the driveway belonging to Robin and Carolyn Cranston, turning the key backwards, she killed the engine. She stepped out and was greeted by Billy as he opened the front door.

"Hayley!" He yelled with excitement, walking out onto the concrete walkway. The woman smiled at the greeting.

"Billy . . . it’s good to see you," She replied, giving him a warm hug.

"It’s been a madhouse here . . . the press hasn't let up yet," Billy said.

"No surprise there," Hayley replied, following Billy back into the house. Billy's parents greeted Hayley as she walked through the door. She smiled, hugging the two.

"Hayley, it’s really good to have you here," Carolyn stated.

"Listen, if you're tired, we've got Jake's old room fixed up for guests . . ." Robin added. Hayley felt her stomach drop at the mention of her fiancée's name. She covered the emotion with a smile.

"That would be nice. Thanks," she replied.

"Hun, if you're hungry, there are some leftovers I can heat up for you," Carolyn offered.

"No, thanks, I ate on the way in. I really appreciate you guys extending your hospitality. I prefer a real bed to a Motel 6 mattress any night," Hayley replied. Billy returned to the foyer, carrying Hayley's bag.

"Thanks Billy," she said, taking the bag from him, "If its alright, I think I'm going to go ahead and call it a night. Hopefully we can have lunch together tomorrow."

"Sure hun. If you need anything, let us know," Carolyn offered.

"I will. Thanks. Good night," Hayley replied, heading up the carpeted stairs to the guest room.

"Good night," the Cranstons echoed.


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Tommy Oliver stood in Lord Zedd's throne room, staring at the blue-green world that was his home. He had been waiting for hours since defeating the Rubitron warriors. The sun's light crept over the lunar horizon, spilling into the palace's darkened chambers. He heard the sound of metal against stone, the footsteps of his master. He turned to see Zedd entering the room, bearing a black box in his hands which he set on a stone ledge near the entranceway.

"Kneel before me," Zedd commanded. Tommy felt his body obey the words before he had the chance to fully comprehend the statement. He knelt on his left knee, bowing his head at the feet of his master. Zedd traced the circumference of Tommy's head with the sharp metal ends of his fingertips.

"By the might of the Lagans, I baptize you my Dragon Ranger. As the sole Knight of the Burian tribe, you are hereby empowered by the might of Zyusoken, the talon of the Burian god Ranthas. Furthermore, you will bear the Shield of Lagan, the scales of the Burian god Sokenus. The power of the lost Chaos Orb will be with you for all of your days under the eyes of the Lagans. With Zyusoken, you will control the DragonZord, the avatar of the Burian gods. By the star of Carin, I ask this of you, dark Jenova: give us reign over our enemies and rule over all land. Rise, my Dragon Ranger," Zedd spoke, after reciting a verse of the Prayer of Dominance in his final words. Tommy Oliver slowly rose to his feet.

"Your morpher," Zedd spoke, handing Tommy the device. He beheld the gold Doron Morpher that had been Zedd's so many millennia ago. Tommy strapped the morpher to his right wrist, feeling the cold metal against his skin. The morpher was a long metal device, plated with gold that had ornate carvings set into it. Near the top of the device was a black oval, bearing an alien symbol.

"Your Dragon Dagger, the Zyusoken," Zedd continued. Tommy drew the weapon from Zedd's palm and studied it. He spun it ever so gently in his hand before sheathing it.

"Complete your transformation and call upon the power of the dragon," Zedd instructed. Tommy nodded, taking a step back. He swung his arm around in an arc towards his chest.

"Dragon power!" Tommy commanded. Instantly, the oval cover retracted, exposing the gold Power Coin. Tendrils of emerald energy danced along the circumference of the Dragon Coin, climbing up Tommy's arm and down his body. The Burian cloaks slid into the Morphing Grid, leaving Tommy clothed in the armor of the Dragon Ranger. Gold light burst out from his breastplate, forming the dragon shield. The morphing energy subsided, the supernatural force still hanging strong in the air.

"For your victory against my most elite forces, I am further empowering you with the might of the Sword of Darkness. Whosoever shall wield its blade shall be the highest servant of Jenova. In the dawn of new day, you will enter your enemies’ command center and destroy it. By doing so, you will draw out the Rangers and you will annihilate them. Have might in Jenova, my warrior," Zedd instructed.

"You command and I obey, my master," Tommy replied. The crimson spirals of teleporting energy fanned into existence, sweeping over Tommy and carrying him to the Earth.


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Jason Scott pulled into the Angel Grove High School parking lot, tapping his thumbs against the steering wheel to the music coming from the truck's speakers. Stepping out of his truck, Jason squinted in the harsh morning light.

"Big time!" The call was distinct, belonging to Zack Taylor. Jason shook his head, his modesty now utterly shattered by his personal nickname given by Zack.

"Would you stop calling me that?" Jason smiled, walking up to Zack.

"Oh come on, since when have you been so shy?" Zack asked.

"I'm not shy, but you make it sound like I'm some big cocky asshole. You know me better," He replied. Zack grinned and decided to change the subject.

"You think we're gonna actually have a normal day today?" He asked as the two strode up the walkway past the cafeteria.

"By normal, do you mean not saving the world?" Jason grinned. Before Zack could answer, Jason was greeted by Adam and Trini.


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The Eye of the Hellion sat in orbit around the moon. Its center perimeter was a deep trench of lasercannon batteries and fighter ports. Near the hull, the trench held docking bays that could receive most of the shuttle craft in the Vast fleet. The familiar inverted ‘V' shape of the Emperor's personal shuttle craft appeared against the blackness of the Crest Ship, heading towards the lunar surface.

Emperor Nereus had opted to make his Head of Arms, Lord Zedd, wait for his arrival. It was a test of his servant's patience and gratitude for his presence. Nereus knew Zedd's discontent for his arrival would be buried deep beneath his facade of loyalty and only by demanding his servitude would he ever force Zedd to show his true feelings. However, Nereus was disinterested in Zedd's loyalty . . . it was Zedd's hatred for Zordon and his kind that served his empire.

"Milord, we are receiving a landing signal from Emperor Nereus's shuttle," Sergeant Ragnus stated. Lord Zedd saw the pale white ship in the distance.

"Inform them that we are ready to receive them," Zedd replied, turning from the black control panel.

"As you wish, milord," Ragnus complied.


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Near the east chambers of the lunar palace, the smaller lunar craters had been converted into ship bays by technicians aboard the DeathForce. Within the largest crater, Zedd's command vessel sat, unmanned and dormant. The system of crater bays was connected by tunnels, which utilized flashports, the most advanced type of transportation systems. Lord Zedd stepped out of the flashport chamber, into the open expanse of the crater bay and awaited the Emperor's shuttle. The craft leveled off, 'pulsors spewing magnetic energy as they lowered the ship to the durasteel platform. A dozen MAW soldiers stood in formation at the hatchway, holding their blaster rifles in a bridge. Mon-Chanmirals Braken and Stridus exited the craft first, standing alongside the MAWs. Emperor Nereus made his way down the ramp, under the bridge of weapons held by the robotic troops.

"It is a supreme honor to receive you, your excellency," Lord Zedd lied, offering the greeting against his own heart's emotions.

"As it is to join you in claiming the Earth for Jenova, my friend," Nereus replied. Zedd gave a low growl at the Emperor's audacity.

"I was expecting delivery of my Zord . . ." Lord Zedd began.

Nereus cut through Zedd's question. "It is aboard my ship, Lord Zedd. Your Dragon Ranger will be able to retrieve it when he so desires. I can assure you, it is in optimal condition." Zedd, for the first time since receiving his protective exoskeleton, was thankful for the mask that hid his face as his lips curled in disgust as Emperor Nereus strode past him, towards the flashport.


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The holographic countenance of Zordon of Eltar hovered within the stream of ions contained in his energy tube. He felt the coldness in the Morphing Grid . . . a very familiar shiver that ran down his ethereal spine. He concentrated on the disturbance and found himself in shock at the sight. The Dragon Ranger.

"ALPHA, contact the Rangers and have them report here immediately," Zordon commanded.

"Compliance," came the programmed response as the droid engaged the communication systems. Before ALPHA could complete the command, alarms sounded loudly within the Power Chamber.

"Intruder alert . . . intruder alert . . . warning: main perimeter has been breached," a soft robotic voice sounded. Zordon's eyes widened as ALPHA brought up the security cameras. A shadowed form was made out, turning the bend of the west corridor.

"ALPHA, lock down the Power Chamber!" Zordon commanded. Before the droid could return to the security panel, sparks flew from the main door. The locking mechanisms began to whine as the intruder overpowered them, pulling the door apart. Zordon beheld the awesome sight of the Zyraku Dragon Ranger as he entered through the doorway.

"ALPHA, engage the containment field!" Zordon yelled. The robot did as he was ordered and a white column of energy formed around the Dragon Ranger. Tommy stood within the field before striking at the energy with the Sword of Darkness. Sparks shot up from the security panel as the containment field was destroyed.

"Intruder, discontinue your current motion," ALPHA ordered, laser blasters folding outward from hollow panels on his arms. As Tommy took a step toward the floating robot, ALPHA fired at him. Ducking the blasts, Tommy rolled under ALPHA and came up behind him. In a single, swift motion, he pulled a coupling of wires loose that showered the Dragon Ranger in sparks and smoke. The automaton fell to the metal floor.

"So . . . you're the one my master calls Zordon of Eltar. I expected more of a challenge to enter your command base," Tommy said, walking down the ramp toward Zordon's ion tube.

"I can sense much confusion in you, boy. You know not what you are doing," Zordon returned. Tommy ignored the remark, spinning the Sword of Darkness in his hands.

"Lord Zedd has a strong hold with the weak minded. I can feel the pain you are holding inside. Stop this and I can help you regain what Zedd has already robbed you of," Zordon continued. Tommy slowly turned back to Zordon.

"I am the Dragon Ranger and in the name of my master, Lord Sih Caien Zedd, I am here to destroy you!" Tommy cried, striking at the base of Zordon's ion tube. Sparks and fire flew from the gash in the copper-hued metal. Tommy struck the light columns, shattering the towering glass tubes that crashed to the floor. He found the communications panel and began to key in a distress signal.


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Jason, Zack, Adam, Billy, Trini, and Kimberly sat together at the concrete bench, tucked under the covered walkway that separated the west wing of the high school from the girl's gymnasium.

"I don't know, I still say . . ." Adam started, as he was interrupted by a series of rapidly repeating double beeps from Jason's communicator. Jason quickly moved to cover the alarm with his hand, muffling the sound. After a quick glance around to make sure no one was watching, he engaged the communicator.

"This is Jason," He spoke quietly. The only response he was given was a warping sound of static. Trini shook her head and engaged her communicator.

"ALPHA? This is Trini . . ." The static played through her communicator as well. Billy studied the numbers that were displayed on his communicator.

"There must be something wrong with the communications array. Coordinates have been downloaded into the communicators," Billy explained.

"Then there must be trouble. Billy, you get to the command center. We'll find out if Zedd is up to anything," Jason instructed. With that, the teens exited back to the parking lot. Standing behind the cafeteria, in a secluded corner, Jason nodded at the others, giving them the signal to teleport. Billy's beam of white teleporting energy shot towards the desert as the Rangers headed towards the park. The five teens landed on the edge of the park, overlooking the city.

"Okay, so what's up?" Zack asked, surveying the landscape. Then it came. At first, the teens never noticed the beam of fluxing azure energy. Then they heard it . . . it roared like fire and crackled like electricity. Finally, they felt it. As they dodged the blast, they felt it slam into the ground. Jason spun around and saw their attacker. He was carrying two weapons, one in each hand and he was dressed in a uniform very similar to their own. Its color was unique and shocking . . . a green Ranger. Jason found himself in disbelief that this was the one that fired upon them . . . until he saw the green Ranger hold the blades of his two weapons together once more. By combining the two energies from the Dragon Dagger and the Sword of Darkness, a concentrated beam of rippling sapphire energy was produced that flew towards the Rangers. They leapt out of the way, the blast once again rumbling the ground beneath their feet.

"Looks like we're gonna have to even things up, guys. Its morphing time!" Jason shouted. The Rangers pulled their Power Morphers into reality and shoved them forward. Beams of energy expanded from the morphers, cloaking them in their armored uniforms.

"We are the Power Rangers, sworn to defend the earth," Jason explained, giving the green Ranger another chance to explain himself. Jason took a step forward, his hand close to his Blade Blaster, prepared to unsheathe it at a moment's notice.

"I am the Dragon Ranger and in the name of Lord Sih Caien Zedd, I am sworn to destroy you!" Tommy yelled, charging Jason. Jason called the Power Sword from the Morphing Grid and swung the mighty sword up in a arc, colliding with the green Ranger's own weapons. The four other Rangers watched as the red and green Rangers circled each other. Jason backed away, holding his Power Sword at an angle, anticipating his opportunity to attack.

Tommy swung the Dragon Dagger, its blade colliding with the Power Sword in a brilliant display of sparks. Now standing nearly four meters apart, the two fighters leapt into the air, raising their weapons to strike. In mid air, the two traded blows and slashes before landing. Jason lost his balance and landed on his back in the dirt as his enemy settled gracefully on both feet. Jason cursed himself for losing control and quickly spun around and came to his feet.

"Jason!" Trini shouted. The Red Ranger turned back at her and shook his head.

"I've got this guy!" He shouted. The two Rangers charged each other again, slashing at each other's throats with their weapons. Sharp bursts of light blinded the Rangers as the two continued their dance of death. Anticipating the Dragon Ranger's next movement, Jason jumped and pulled his feet into the air, as Tommy missed with a low sweep kick. Before Jason could capitalize on Tommy's failed action, the Dragon Ranger regained his footing and stood defensively. Tommy slowly lead Jason back towards him, never losing sight of the rubicund warrior. Jason leapt at Tommy, swinging his Power Sword.

Tommy quickly brought the Dragon Dagger in an arc, blocking Jason's attack. Jason stabbed at the green Ranger, who swiftly countered the attack. He saw the Dragon Ranger shift on his feet and ducked, Tommy's kick flying harmlessly overhead. At that second, Jason knew the moment was his to take. He spun in a low form, sweeping Tommy's feet out from under him.

Jason let his calm temperance fall from him, allowing his anger flow through his muscles. He raised the Power Sword high into the air and brought it down, striking at the fallen green Ranger's head. Tommy blocked the attack, holding his two weapons together, pushing the Power Sword back. Jason continued to stab at the Dragon Ranger, each time his blade pushing into the dirt as Tommy rolled on his sides. The Red Ranger swung at Tommy's head once more, but this time received a stiff kick barreling him backwards.

Jason jumped to his feet. Tommy watched as the Red Ranger brought his weapon back around and jumped with a spinning side kick that knocked Jason's blade back into the dirt. Frustrated, Jason swung his closed fist at his emerald enemy, striking the Ranger directly in his helmet. Tommy returned the punch, first with a right hook and then with a left. Seizing the opportunity, Tommy delivered a spinning heel kick and rolled Jason through the dirt. Jason came up and saw that the Dragon Ranger had moved out striking distance. In one swift motion, he unsheathed the Blade Blaster and shifted it to blaster mode. Tommy saw the weapon and quickly brought his dagger up to his helmet. Jason watched as the green Ranger played a low tone on the dagger. Surprised but not impressed, Jason fired on the green Ranger as he walked towards him. Instantly, the blasts were repelled and returned, sparking off Jason's armor. Frustrated, he fired again, before making the connection that the green Ranger's dagger had increased the strength of his shield. Jason slowly made his way back up to his feet as the other Rangers gathered around him.

The jade Dragon Ranger cupped his hands together as emerald spirals of energy spun into existence. The sparkling tendrils flowed into Tommy's hands, collecting and forming into a sphere that crackled loudly as bolts of energy played over its surface. In a flash of blinding light, he launched the orb. As soon as the ball of emerald fire escaped his hands, its center began to flash white as it expanded.

Traveling near the speed of light, the Rangers never had the chance to dodge the fireball. The momentum and force of the energy sphere knocked the air from the Rangers' lungs, slamming into them. A low hum came from the morphers, followed by the sudden disappearance of their armored uniforms. Tommy spun the Sword of Darkness in his hands as he prepared to run Jason through with it.

"NO!" Kimberly shouted, jumping in front of Jason. The thrust of the sword came up short, mere inches from Kimberly's body. Tommy stared through his tinted visor into her eyes and felt a chill run down his spine. He took a step back and vanished in a crimson fan of energy.


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Billy Cranston sat on the cold metal floor of the Power Chamber, tracing wires and cables back to their origins. After several failed attempts to contact the Rangers, he knew that it was up to him to repair the communication systems. Billy soldered the remaining wires back together and stood up, facing the panel's display.

"Here goes nothing," he mumbled, restarting the system. He thumbed a few buttons, paging the Rangers' communicators.

Jason and the other teens were still overwhelmed by shock when their communicators sounded.

"This is Jason, go ahead," Jason announced, engaging his comm.

"Jason, its Billy. Listen guys, the command center has been wrecked. I managed to reconnect the communication systems, but I'm afraid ALPHA 5 has been damaged and we've lost contact with Zordon's temporal point," Billy explained.

"What about teleporting systems?" Jason asked.

"The systems are offline themselves, but you'll have teleporting ability as long as your morphers are online," Billy replied.

"That's our problem. We encountered a green Ranger . . ."

"A sixth Ranger? To my knowledge, there are only five Rangers to each team."

"This guy probably belongs to another team. His uniform is only similar, its not exact."

"How peculiar. It’s apparent the coordinates were set as a trap. How did you fare?"

"Not good. This guy hit us with some sort of energy bomb and it robbed us of our suits. The morphers aren't responding."

"Zordon had warned me about this . . . a power surge within the energy capacitors would short out the systems and the morphers would have to be reset manually."

"So what do we do?" Jason asked.

"Find some sort of transport. The sooner you get here, the sooner I can get your morphers reset. Without their protection and Zordon's guidance, we're at a strategic disadvantage," Billy replied. Jason stood for a moment, staring out into the park. He felt the ache of battle . . . he knew that while he had matched this green Ranger move for move, the emerald warrior possessed abilities that he and the other Power Rangers never even knew existed. The enigma of this new enemy fed on his mind and he felt anger clouding his judgment. He felt the tension of his muscles as he made a tight fist with his left hand. With determination settling into his mind, Jason thumbed the controls to reply to Billy.

"We're on our way."

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER NINE
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Old October 30th, 2008, 04:46 AM #13
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Joined: Jan 2005
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BattleRanger
Call the 5-4-1
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,166



Chapter Nine

*Driven to the verge of defeat by the mysterious Dragon Ranger, The Rangers are now without the protection of their powers. With the debut of this green Ranger, our heroes face their greatest challenge yet as they are forced to face Zedd's forces without the guidance of their mentor, Zordon.*

Zordon of Eltar slipped from reality, drowning in the black void of the universe. Separated from the Morphing Grid by the destruction of the matrix systems, he was a lost spirit in an ocean of chaos and confusion. Sheer will had allowed him to find the Morphing Grid to begin with, after the witch Bandora had cast his soul from his body, but now, he doubted he would ever find that plane of reality again.


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The Moon . . .

Tommy Oliver sat in the chair of black rock, his eyes rolling into the back of his head. His pupils were dilated and his breathing came in short, rushed gasps. His body finally let loose of reality and he found himself, once again, within the Lapseless Chamber. Within Zedd's perpetual world, the dark lord's voice resonated.

"You have made me proud. Even though your enemies stood five-fold, by your hands, they fell as one. You could have destroyed them . . . yet you allowed yourself to feel compassion for the Pink Ranger, the one you called Kimberly. Hear my words, my Burian Knight . . . you will destroy her," Zedd spoke from his onyx throne. Tommy's head bobbed slightly as he repeated Zedd's words in return.

"I will destroy her."

"Attack the mind and the body will fall without effort. She looks for strength in the Red Ranger, the one you called Jason. Do not be fooled by her actions . . . she will deceive you. You can trust no one other than your master," Zedd continued.

"I can trust no one other than my master."

"You are the dragon, deadly and swift," Zedd concluded, his voice leaving the dimension.

"I am the dragon, deadly and swift," Tommy repeated with automated obedience.


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Three ATV's sat in the shadow of the towering form of the command center. Within the darkened Power Chamber, the Power Rangers stood assembled, but completely powerless.

"Have you found anything, Billy?" Jason asked, sifting through the scattered debris.

"I'm afraid it’s going to be more difficult to locate Zordon's temporal signature than I had originally thought. However, I stumbled across the security systems while I was working on fixing the teleporting systems. In doing so, I discovered quite a disturbing record of the green Ranger's attack on the Power Chamber," Billy replied. Jason walked over to Billy, who was standing in between the security panel and the teleporting systems panel.

"Show it," Jason instructed. Billy reached out for the keypad built into the security panel.

"Let me warn you now, the systems are designed to play the surveillance recording as a three dimensional hologram, sort of a real-time recreation. Don't be alarmed," Billy explained, as he keyed in the appropriate commands. The lights within the Power Chamber dimmed even further. Millions of orbs of light burst into existence and scattered throughout the chamber. Then, they heard the alarms. Jason quickly glanced to Billy.

"It’s all a part of the recording," Billy stated. The Rangers watched as the Power Chamber's initial look, whole and untouched by the Dragon Ranger's evil, was displayed over the shattered light tubes and scattered circuitry and panels.

"ALPHA, lock down the Power Chamber!" The Rangers heard Zordon's voice echo into the room. The holographic ALPHA 5 shot towards the security panel as they watched the Dragon Ranger walk through the main doorway. They saw a clear wall of energy shoot up around him, which the green Dragon Ranger destroyed with the Sword of Darkness. A few moments later, the Rangers watched as the Dragon Ranger deactivated ALPHA 5 by ripping out a handful of wires that ran from his head to his body.

"So you're the one my master calls Zordon of Eltar. I would have expected more of a challenge to enter your command base," The Dragon Ranger's voice echoed in the Power Chamber. The emerald hologram strode past the gathered Power Rangers and down the ramp to Zordon's ion tube.

"I'm gonna get that son of a bitch," Jason stated plainly.

"Stop this and I can help you regain what Zedd has already robbed you of," the Rangers heard Zordon offer. The holographic Dragon Ranger, who was facing back towards the main door, slowly turned to face the ion tube.

"I am the Dragon Ranger and in the name of my master, Lord Sih Caien Zedd, I am here to destroy you!" With the green Ranger's proclamation of intent, he struck the base of Zordon's ion tube in a brilliant shower of sparks. The Rangers watched as the green Ranger walked up to the communications panel, which was now a mess of wires and cables.

"At this point, I believe the green Ranger entered his intended coordinates and sent out a distress signal. He was preparing to ambush you," Billy explained. Jason sighed and turned back to Billy.

"Alright, kill it," He told Billy. In a flash of white light, the three-dimensional hologram vanished.

"So what do we do first?" Zack asked.

"Your morphers. Getting them reset will just be a matter of using the control wands," Billy replied, reaching under the morphing control panel. Still in its hidden compartment, he pulled a wide black box out.

"It doesn't look like they were damaged," Billy stated, opening the box. He removed the five navy panels and handed them to each of the Rangers, according to the emblazoned Power Coin featured on each wand.

"Each of your morphers operate on individual energy signatures. The wand belonging to your morpher can access your particular signature and reboot the morpher's capacitor system," Billy further explained.

"So what are they normally used for?" Trini asked.

"Anytime the morphers are repaired, modified, or adjusted, the wands give full access to the powers without the clearance that your symbiotes would usually administer. Its mostly a security protocol. In this case, they are the only way to access your morphers' systems," Billy replied.


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Lord Sih Caien Zedd sat on his throne of carved jet-black rock and stone, rasping his metal talons against the arm rest that ended in a sculpted Lagan Dragon head.

"General . . ." a voice sounded behind the throne. Zedd whipped his head around and saw that no one was there. Dismissing the noise, he returned his gaze to the earth.

"General . . . Zedd . . ." the voice spoke again. Zedd knew for certain that he heard his name spoken and stood up from his throne.

"What type of devilry is this?!" he demanded. An icy chill brushed against him. He knew now that he was communicating with a spiritual intruder.

"Identify yourself, spirit!" Zedd shouted, slamming his staff down.

"Emperor . . . Yataras . . . Maelstrom . . ." the voice answered.

"How is this possible?" Zedd questioned.

"A great many . . . things are . . . possible . . . once you walk . . . with Jenova . . . she is with you, Sih Caien . . ." Zedd heard the words and knelt in the darkness of his chambers. It had been thousands of years since Zedd had spoken with his master, but time had done little to fade his loyalty to the dark lord.

"I am at your command, my master," Zedd offered.

"Blakus Nereus . . . he orchestrated my fall . . . and his rise . . . for his treachery, he must be punished with death . . ." the dead Emperor explained. Zedd felt the words sting like fire climbing over his body. He knew Nereus had a particular disinterest in Maelstrom's legacy, but now he understood the reasoning.

"As you wish, my master," Zedd returned.

"There is more . . . left without a Crest Holder for the first time in all known ages, you must allow a show of force before the black legions and ascend to my vacant throne," Maelstrom continued.

"But how?" Zedd asked respectfully.

"Cyclopsis, the Hunter. Before your time, Sih Caien, the ancient terror was imprisoned in the comet, Prometheus. He is the last of the ten terrors of the Archaic Epoch in the system, the last son of Jenova . . . his feats are told in countless records across thousands of star systems . . . ancient starships were lured in by the trumpet of the Hammer of Itassis and consumed by the aberrant Fire of Oculous,” Maelstrom explained.

"My lord, how will the Hunter serve me? I know the legends all too well, the terrors bathed the Hyperion Constellation in blood before falling prey to a black hole- not even the dark lords who summoned them were spared . . ." Zedd began. Before he could continue, the ghostly whisper of his master echoed again.

"Within the Scepter of Carinasia are coordinates to the comet’s closest path to the Sol system. Once you are within sight of it, use the power of the Almsteen Band to control the comet’s trajectory. With the Terror, Zordon's warriors and the Earth itself will fall in one night. But beware, Sih Caien . . . there is a mighty force that stands to confront you. You will know it when you see him. He is cloaked with Zyraku energy, yet he fights with a power that is purely Dairaku. His hybrid powers are dangerous . . . do not underestimate them," Maelstrom warned.

"Yes, my master," Zedd returned.

"This will not be our last convergence, General . . . have might in Jenova, my friend," the ghost concluded with a low whisper.

"Have might in Jenova, my master," Zedd returned, standing up. Zedd stood calm for a minute, silently staring back out through the view given by his balcony. He walked over to stone railing and leaned upon it. As he let a low sigh escape, footsteps approached the throne room. Zedd turned and watched his Dragon Ranger, dressed in his Burian cloaks, enter the chamber.

"I sense you are anxious to return to your world . . ." Zedd stated.

"Yes, my master," Tommy returned.

"So be it. Return to your terran raiments and I will prepare a portal," Zedd instructed, returning his gaze back out to the stars.


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"Okay, this should do it . . ." Billy spoke, kneeling with Trini over the body of ALPHA 5. He held a plug of wires in his fingers and snapped it into place. A low whirring sound came from the robot.

"On-BUZZ-ne an . . . d-d-d-d-d-d . . . aWAY . . . t-t-t-t-ing . . . intrud-d-d-d-er," the droid sputtered as it slowly floated up. Sparks shot from the repulsor units as the droid crashed back to the floor. Billy shook his head in disgust.

"The damage is more severe than I thought . . . his interior circuits will have to be replaced," Billy explained.

"How long will that take?" Jason asked.

"It depends . . . there should be replacement parts in ALPHA's charging chamber. If not, I'll have to build them . . . that could take weeks," Billy replied. Jason reached out for his newly reset morpher and placed it into his back pocket.

"I still don't like the idea of having to just carry the morphers with us," Adam said.

"We don't have a choice. Until Billy can get the matrix systems back online, we'll have to keep them on us at all times," Trini replied. Jason nodded at Adam.

"Alright . . . Trini, stay here with Billy. Adam, you and Zack come with me and get the 4-wheelers home. Kim . . . we'll call you when we know something," Jason instructed.

"Okay," Kimberly replied. She took a step back away from the Rangers and swung her Power Morpher in an arc.

"Pterodactyl!" she commanded, bring forth a carnation energy storm. Fully clothed in her uniform, she vanished in a second burst of light.


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Leaves and freshly cut grass spun through the air as the energy landed behind the Youth Center. Confident that she arrived undetected, she powered her morpher down, her armored suit returning to the Morphing Grid in a festoon of clear light. Kimberly took a second to shake the sensation of displacement from her head and saw a familiar face walk past her. The face belonged a body, dressed in black jogging pants and a green tank top.

Tommy Oliver pulled the gym door open and stepped into the cool air of the gym and dropped his green duffel bag beside an empty weight bench. He checked the weights and turned around and saw Kimberly running up to him.

"Hey Tommy!" Kimberly greeted happily. Tommy looked into her eyes for a second and turned back to the weights. Confused, Kimberly repeated the greeting. For Tommy, his heart screamed in protest as his mind and body gave way to Zedd's evil influence.

"Tommy . . . hey, it’s me, Kimberly," she said, leaning in. Tommy slowly turned back to her.

". . . and?" He asked, holding an open hand in the air, as if he should have been impressed.

"What's wrong?" Kimberly asked, feeling her stomach start to spin.

"You tell me . . ." Tommy snapped back. Kimberly's eyes narrowed in anger.

"So, like . . . what's your problem?" She asked.

"Why don't you just get over it, Kimberly? You're not the center of everyone's universe, ya know," Tommy replied. Kimberly, whose stricken expression showed all too well how deeply his words wounded her, dashed out the door. Tommy's heart broke, yet he showed no remorse for the actions that were fueled his master's manipulations. He straddled the bench and leaned back, grabbing the weight bar. He pushed it up and did a set of five lifts before setting the bar back down.

"Look guys, it's the freak show. Hop off the bench, sweetheart. The water weights are over by the yoga mats," the arrogant voice came. Tommy glanced up as Nick Hibriten walked up with David Brooks and Brian Donovan flanking him. Tommy sat up, ignoring the comment.

"Listen, freak, this is my weight bench. I set my lifting records on this bench," Nick continued. Un-phased, Tommy began adding weights to the barbell. Nick sighed and reached out, grabbing Tommy by his forearm.

"You must not have heard me, this is my . . ." Nick began. Tommy jerked his arm back and in one swift motion, shoved Nick into the weight rack. The tall blonde fell over the middle bar, spilling weights off the rack. David and Brian stood dumbfound at the action. As a small crowd of onlookers gathered, Tommy grabbed his duffel bag and headed out through the exit.


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Angel Heights Suburb . . .

Jason stood in the driveway of his parents’ house, leaning on the bed of his truck, talking with Adam and Zack.

"I just don't get it . . . Zordon never mentioned a green Ranger," Jason stated.

"I think he would have if he had known," Adam replied.

"I do know one thing . . . this guy is going to pay for what he's done," Jason swore. Adam shook his head in disapproval.

“You remember what Grandmaster Corben said,” he reminded.

“I know . . . a true martial artist has got nothing to prove. He always tries to avoid fighting,” Jason recited perfectly.

"Well, it would help if you knew who he was," Zack reminded Jason. Jason nodded at the comment. He walked around to the driver's side door and pulled it open.

"Look . . . I'm going to hit the gym . . . vent out a little bit," Jason said, sitting down in his truck.

"Alright bro. If you need us," Zack began, pointing to his communicator, "You know how to reach us."

"Will do," Jason replied, starting the ignition. He pressed the accelerator and eased down the road.

"I've never seen him so shaken before," Adam stated. Zack turned to him.

"Yeah, well, it happens when you get your ass handed to you twice in the same week," Zack replied, indicating Jason's defeat by Tommy and the Dragon Ranger.

Jason hung the sharp right onto the main highway leading back into the city, whispering the words to Determined by Mudvayne.

"I'm flushing the trust of everyone, stabbing in the back and thinkin' they can break me. Set my sight, can't die until I'm done, mind endurance! Never wanted any more than what I deserve, better bring it, I'm takin' it all! Fuck an inch, 'cause I'm bringin' a mile! Its on now, one, two, three . . ." Jason lost himself in the song, feeling the lyrics as if they were his own words. He never saw it coming.

Steel, glass, and plastic exploded into a million separate shards as the body of the dark green SUV impacted the side of his truck. The impact forced Jason's pickup onto its side, skidding across the road. Oncoming traffic swerved, the sound of screeching brakes splitting the air. Smoke and sparks few from Jason's truck. The crash had come so quickly, Jason had barely seen the gleam of the SUV's chrome bumper before it was too late.


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The green Dragon Ranger stood in the median of the highway, reveling in the power that had enabled him to lift the sports vehicle and hurl at his enemy, the Red Ranger. In the wake of the destruction, he felt full satisfaction at his handiwork. Even though the attack left Jason's ribs fractured and his face a bloody mess, he was at peace. He felt no pain, he felt nothing at all. It was the closest to death he had ever experienced. He had been forced, or knocked as the case was, into unconsciousness. The Dragon Ranger, Lord Zedd, even his fellow Rangers were light-years away. As he slowly woke up, confusion was the first thing he felt.

"This isn't my bed . . . where am I?" Jason looked around and realized he was lying sideways on his door. Panic fell over him as he found himself staring out the windshield at a shimmer of red fanning energy that vanished as quickly as it had appeared.


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Lord Zedd sat in the hollowed chamber of onyx stone, alongside Emperor Nereus and his Mon-Chanmirals Wynn Stridus and Jarak Braken. Each was seated in curved seats of rock, covered in elegant Imperial drapes. The Chamber of Counsel was an intentional seating room for the purpose of hosting Imperial guests.

"As we speak, my Dragon Ranger is preparing to destroy . . ." Lord Zedd began.

"Preparing? Worlds did not fall to our might because we simply prepared, Lord Zedd. We struck with decisive victories and we claimed lives and land for Jenova. I chose you to head the campaign against the Earth because of your hatred for Zordon and your skill as a General and Head of Arms . . . I assumed you would sweep in with force and blinding confidence and claim the Earth . . . perhaps Altherion could do better . . ." Nereus let his words come slowly, making sure Zedd felt the emphasize he placed on them. But just as quickly as he had disrupted Zedd's report, the Head of Arms retorted.

"Your Excellency, if I may, Zordon was more prepared than I had anticipated. He cast a new team of his Power Rangers only minutes after I landed on the Earth. These Rangers have no previous training, yet they seem to be battling with the strength of years of experience."

"They are children, Sih Caien. They have no real power . . . they are still underdeveloped. My Titans will trample their cities to the ground and defeat their Zords," Nereus replied.

"Give my Dragon Ranger until nightfall . . . and in return, I will deliver the Earth into your hands myself," Zedd offered. The Crest Holder stroked his dark beard before replying.

"You have until daybreak," Nereus returned as he stood up, the Mon-Chanmirals standing as well, "In the meantime, we shall retire." Zedd watched as the three men walked out of the expansive chamber. Zedd knew that the verbal attack on his actions was meant to impress Braken and Stridus as Nereus knew it would take time to conquer this human world. Zedd left his chair and returned to his throne room. Walking up to his throne, he began to speak.

"Computer, open a channel to the Dragon Ranger," Zedd commanded. A soft double beep sounded, notifying Zedd that his command was being executed. Within the darkened chambers, Tommy's voice sounded.

"Yes, my lord," Tommy spoke, answering the request to speak with his master.

"The time has come for you to summon the DragonZord. Your Dragon Dagger doubles as an instrument . . . your symbiote will provide you with the notes necessary to awaken your Zord. With the Red Ranger out of your way, his comrades will be at a great disadvantage. Draw their Zords into battle and destroy them," Lord Zedd ordered.

"You command and I obey, my master," Tommy returned.

"Go to the place where land and sea meet and summon the great dragon god, your DragonZord. Have might in Jenova, my warrior," Zedd concluded.

"Returned, my master," Tommy replied. A sensation of déj* vu swept over the dark lord as the channel was closed.

'Has it really been that long ago since I spoke those same words to my own master?' Zedd asked himself as his thoughts quickly turned to Nereus's betrayal, 'Blakus Nereus . . . that self-serving snake . . . he will soon walk with Jenova and she will damn him to hellfire for his treachery.'


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Angel Cove Beach . . .

Tommy Oliver appeared on the large outcropping of rock from the whirlwind of teleporting energy. In a flash of green light, his morpher appeared on his right wrist.

"Dragon power!" He commanded, swinging his arm around. The emerald storm of energy spun into life, cloaking him in the armor of the Dragon Ranger. As the energy died down, he unsheathed the Dragon Dagger. Holding it sideways, by its hilt, he studied the three gold buttons that ran down the top of the handle. The silver plate of the helmet that covered his mouth split in half, receding to the sides. Raising the mouthpiece to his lips, he began to play a triumphant melody that echoed into the distance.

In a brilliant burst of sapphire energy, the DragonZord vanished from the massive docking bay aboard the Eye of the Hellion. The gargantuan beam shot towards the earth and slammed into the Pacific Ocean. Seawater shot miles into the air as the DragonZord struck the seabed in a growing cloud of sediment. Tommy watched the beam hit the water, amazed at how quickly it came. For the first time in thousands of years, gyros and zenosystem motivators came to life within the titanic form of the DragonZord. The melody was like no other . . . the call of his master. It stormed through the waters, seeking out the sound of its master's flute, the dragon talon Zyusoken.

Tommy watched as a gold crest broke the water. Gold, black, and green durasteel plating shimmered in the sun as the massive DragonZord stepped onto the shore. The crest of its head seemed to touch the clouds as a loud metallic creak slipped from its mouth, almost as if the metal beast was roaring a greeting to its master. Tommy leapt off the rock and shot across the sky in a flash of energy, landing atop the crest of the mighty Zord.

"I am the dragon, deadly and swift!" Tommy shouted as the Zord made its way onto the beach of the sandy cove. In his mind, Tommy considered the words that he had often repeated since falling to Zedd's evil. Pushed by determination to be the dragon, to be deadly beyond anything manufactured by the Immortal Vast and more swift than any ship fabricated by the Imperial ship yards, Tommy repeated the words to himself, as if by speaking them, they would come to pass.

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER TEN

Last edited by BattleRanger; October 30th, 2008 at 06:50 PM.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 01:41 PM #14
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Chapter Ten

*Following a vicious attack at the hands of the Dragon Ranger, the Power Rangers are unknowingly without the leadership of the injured Jason Scott. With his DragonZord, the evil green Ranger now plans to carry out his symphony of destruction, with the decimation of Angel Grove as his magnum opus.*

Jason Scott sat strapped to the table as the nurses cut through his black teeshirt. His parents stood close by, horrified by the bloody sight of their son. The bright light of the emergency room faded to a soft glow, the bustling sounds of the ER team becoming a faint roar in Jason's ears. There was a sharp burst of pain every time he tried to breathe, but he didn't understand why. The X-rays would show it. Jason felt the deep sleep of unconsciousness calling to him . . . he did what he could to fight it, but felt the calm of the darkness sweep over him and he could no longer protest.


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The command center . . .

"Alright, try it now," Billy instructed. Trini reattached the wires to ALPHA's circuit board. Garbled speech came from the automaton as Trini despairingly sat the robot back on the floor.

"I don't get it . . . that should have worked," Trini insisted.

"I'll probably have to reset his entire intelligence system. Its not that he's malfunctioning, its just that he can't communicate any information to us. It'll take some more time," Billy replied.

"Yeah, something we don't have," Trini noted. As soon as the words escaped her lips, sirens sounded within the Power Chamber.

"At least the alarm systems are working again," Billy stated, running to the repaired control panel.

"What is it?" Trini asked. Billy continued to run his fingers over the keypad.

"I'm bringing up a visual . . ." Billy replied. The holographic viewscreen suddenly appeared, hovering above the control panel. They beheld the terrifying image of the DragonZord crashing into the harbor.

"It's a Zord!" Trini shouted. Billy noticed a person standing atop the head of the Zord. He worked to zoom in on the figure. The screen then displayed the Dragon Ranger, standing atop the crest of the Zord.

"And it looks like it belongs to the green Ranger . . ." Billy added, "I'm calling the other Rangers."

"Guys, its Billy. The green Ranger is back and appears to be controlling a dragon Zord. Morph and get your Zords before he destroys the city," Billy announced into the curved microphone extending from the repaired communication panel.

"Right!" the response came from the Rangers. After a long moment, Trini glanced at Billy with a worried expression.

"Did you hear Jason respond?" she asked, fidgeting with her morpher, prepared to transform for combat.

Billy turned to Trini. "No, I didn't . . . why?"

"It’s not like him not to reply. Something's wrong . . ." Trini answered. Billy shoved his glasses back up the ridge of his nose and turned back to the communications panel.

"The systems are reading Jason's communicator online . . . I'll engage it manually," Billy said, pressing the SPEAK button on the console, "Jason, its Billy. Do you read me?" Jason's communicator sounded to deaf ears, its flashing red lights shimmering off the broken glass scattered in Jason's truck.

"Still nothing . . . listen, Jason or no Jason, you've got to stop the dragon Zord," Billy reminded Trini, "I'll keep trying." Trini nodded back before thrusting her morpher forward.

"Saber-toothed Tiger!" Her cry came with fierce determination as gold energy began to burst around her. She knew that the Dragon Ranger was somehow responsible for Jason's disappearance and that with everything in her, she was going to make the emerald warrior pay the proverbial piper. The mighty Saber-Toothed Tiger Zord roared to life, rushing to meet the other DinoZords at the bay.

"Trini here, all systems are go!" She shouted, logging into her Zord's systems.

"What took you?" Kimberly asked with concern.

"Its Jason . . . we couldn't establish contact with him," Trini replied.

"Not good," Adam commented.

"So what do we do?" Kimberly asked again.

"I say we send this green bitch and his Decepticon reject packing. I'd lay odds he's got something to do with Jason's disappearance," Zack added.

"My thoughts exactly," Trini replied. The fleet of Zords came crashing into the open expanses of the bay's abandoned ship yards, blasting with bolts of energy at the towering form of the DragonZord.


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This is Jason Scott's world . . .

Through moments of darkened peace, punctuated with sharp blinding pain in the glare of consciousness, all you find is anger. It’s like a red hot supernova, threatening to explode with deadly fire. The flashes of night and day are broken by images of your enemy, your mortal nemesis. With each breath, you are reminded of his strength . . . this green warrior, this . . . Dragon Ranger. The throbbing in your muscles and the piercing twinge each time your lungs expand are your only sense of reality. Hanging over everything, from every shard of glass removed from your skin, every drop of your blood spilled, is the enigma, the question- Who is the Dragon Ranger?

Susan Scott sat in the uncomfortable chair beside her son's hospital bed, watching tirelessly as the IV slowly dripped nourishment to Jason. Her entire life, she had been able to comfort her son with words or a touch, but she knew that Jason was far beyond a soft whisper or gentle caress. Her long, brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail which she absently toyed with. A rustling of the elevated hospital bed's sheets gave way to a loud groan from Jason as he turned to his mother.

"Mom?" Jason asked weakly.

"I'm here, baby," she replied. Baby. The word wasn't an indication of age, nor was it patronizing, but the only comfort Susan knew she could offer.

"There's something I should . . . . ah," Jason's words were interrupted by the sharp pains coursing through his sides, "I need to tell you something." Jason felt the butterflies in his stomach. He knew that the only comfort he could give to his mother would be to tell her the truth. I'm a Power Ranger. Jason managed a half-smile. What a revelation. Of course, she would think he was crazy, that the Demerol was causing him to go mad. Nonetheless, Jason knew that it was his mother's right to know. As soon as he thought he had sucked in enough air to announce, Mom, I'm the Red Power Ranger, a knock came from the door. Susan walked to the door, casting a dumbfound look at her son.

"Who is it?" she asked.

"Angel Grove Police Department," the deep, masculine voice answered. Jason shrugged at his mom who reached and opened the door. Two officers stood in the hallway, one dressed in street clothes and the other dressed in a navy-blue uniform trimmed in gold.

"Can I help you?" Susan offered politely. The man dressed in causal clothes spoke up first.

"Yes ma'am, I'm Detective Jerome Stone, this is Lieutenant Mark Haylock. Are you Mrs. Scott?" the Detective greeted.

"Yes I am. Is there something wrong?" Susan replied.

"That's what we're hoping to discover, Mrs. Scott. We'd like to speak to your son Jason, if its not too much trouble," Detective Stone answered.

"Its okay, mom . . ." Jason's voice came from within the room. Susan gestured toward the open space of the room, inviting the two officers inside.

"Mr. Scott, we're terribly sorry to interrupt your rest," Detective Stone offered, reaching out to shake Jason's hand. Jason shook the Detective's hand firmly and eased his way up.

"Please, call me Jason," the Red Ranger insisted.

"Jason, what can you tell us about your accident?" Detective Stone began, standing beside Jason's bed. Unsure of whether the officers knew of the Dragon Ranger's involvement in his wreck, he decided to recall an edited memory.

"I had just left the house and I was headed to the gym to work out. I know the road like the back of my hand, it's the only way into the city from Angel Heights. I remember thinking about the intersection ahead, so I started to slow down. The next thing I remember, it was like a bomb went off in my truck. I remember waking up, probably a few minutes later, and I was lying on the window of my truck," Jason explained. The Detective sat quiet for a moment before replying.

"Do you remember seeing anything else? Anything unusual?" Detective Stone inquired.

Determined to throw the officer off, Jason decided to offer a simple, yet sarcastic answer. "Nothing more unusual than a green Tahoe coming through my side door." Jason's mother, tired of the officers berating her son, spoke up.

"What's all this about?" Susan demanded.

"Your son's wreck wasn't an ordinary traffic accident. Several eye-witnesses reported seeing, what they claim was a man wearing some sort of green costume. We believe this man to be a Power Ranger, the title given to the taskforce that was responsible for stopping the alien machine a few days ago. This green Ranger threw the SUV, belonging to a Mrs. Lori Brian, at your son's pickup," Detective Stone explained. Jason felt his stomach drop straight to the floor at the mention of the green Ranger.

"But these . . . Rangers, they saved the city," Susan recalled.

"Yes ma'am, but the truth we are looking at is that these individuals operate outside the law. Its within reasoning that they have the capacity to act out with violence against innocent victims just as much as your average joe-turned-street criminal," Detective Stone replied, "What we're interested in is why."

The question was one that Jason knew he could not answer without repercussions. The officers talked as if all Rangers were colored by the actions of the Dragon Ranger. Unless Jason explained his own involvement and the truth behind the Power Rangers, his kind would come under scrutiny from the public. However, if he were to reveal the true reasoning behind the green Ranger's attack, his teammates’ and his own anonymity would be destroyed. Before Jason could fully weigh the implications of either answer, a series of alarms sounded over the Lieutenant's radio.

"All units, all units, code three in industrial bay, code three in industrial bay! Requesting backup for crowd control!" announced an urgent voice that followed the electronic alarms. Lieutenant Haylock quickly reached for the microphone clipped to his shoulder.

"This is AP-29, I'm 10-8," He replied to the call.

"We'd like to follow up, at your convenience," Detective Stone said to Jason, handing him a card with his office and cell phone numbers displayed.

"Sure," Jason replied, with no intention of calling the Detective. The two officers rushed through the door, heading to the disturbance. Susan returned her eyes to her son.

"Do you really think a Power Ranger attacked you?" Susan asked. Torn between the truth that would expose himself and the lie that would betray his morality, Jason ignored the question.

"I think I'm going to lie back down for a bit," Jason replied, gently lowering himself back down.


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"ALPHA, I could really use your help right now," Billy told the automaton. Of course, ALPHA, in his current state, couldn't hear Billy's request for his assistance nor give any sort of reply to it. Billy ran his fingers over the keypad, searching for bio-rhythms, not a generic rhythm but the one belonging to Jason Scott, the Red Ranger. The computer continued to scan through thousands of people per second until it stopped.

"I've got him!" Billy announced, "He's at the hospital . . . not good . . . checking vitals . . . really not good!" Billy noticed through the computer's display that Jason's ribs were fractured in several places and he had suffered severe head trauma. The scan's readout of Jason's vitals left Billy worried and confused. He was no practitioner of medical science, but he knew enough. Jason's injuries were those associated with an automobile accident . . . but Billy knew better. Jason's absence as the DragonZord launched its attack was too well planned to be coincidence. He debated on whether to save the news for the Rangers' return to the command center or to interrupt their battle and inform them of Jason's whereabouts.


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Angel Grove Industrial Bay . . .

Disadvantaged by the absence of their leader, Jason, and his Tyrannosaurus DinoZord, the Power Rangers utilized their own individual Zords' firepower against the DragonZord. Within the green Zord, Tommy ran his fingers over the control panels via the guided expertise provided by his energy symbiote. A screen above the viewport indicated that the missile tubes located in the DragonZord's fingers were armed. His cockpit was suddenly shaken as a laser bolt from the Pterodactyl DinoZord rocked the mighty DragonZord.

"Enough of this . . . I will destroy her." Tommy declared with manipulated intent.

A soft automated voice within his Zord sounded, "Targeting systems are online." Tommy watched the Pink Ranger's Zord soaring over the water of the bay, coming around for another pass.

"Right battery, engage one and two!" Tommy called the two missiles as they escaped the metal fingertips of the DragonZord in bursts of fire. They spiraled through the air, computer systems guiding them straight to their target.

Within the cockpit of the Pterodactyl Zord, alarms blared loudly in Kimberly's ears. She noticed on the radar screen that two blips were approaching her at deadly speeds.

"Shit! I've got incoming!" Kimberly cried. Her plea carried over the comms to the command center where Billy brought up the defensive systems of Kimberly's Zord.

"Kimberly, engage your plasma shields and bank down!" Billy instructed urgently. Before Kimberly could ask for the location of the shield controls, her fingers worked over the control pad, bringing up a round bubble of plasmatic energy around her Zord. She grabbed the control sticks and shoved them forward, the armored hull of her Zord rolling forward to meet the missiles.

In a burst of flames, the missiles exploded against the plasma shield. However, the velocity and force of the missiles destroyed the energy shielding, rocking the Zord as they slammed into the thick durasteel that would normally form the chest and front shielding of the MegaZord. Sparks exploded from Kimberly's shield controls, dancing off her helmet and the transparasteel viewport. While her plasma shields were compromised, the integrity of her Zord's hull was not in question.

"Thanks, robo-geek," Kimberly offered to Billy. The name, this time, wasn't meant as an insult, but as an affectionate nickname.

"Good flying for a pseudo-intellectual," Billy returned playfully. As soon as he gave the reply, he remembered Jason's condition and decided to inform the others. "I've got some bad news guys. Jason's in the hospital and judging by his vitals, the green Ranger attacked him, probably while he was in his truck."

"I knew it!" Trini shouted angrily.

"Is he alright?" Kimberly asked.

"He's sustained some broken ribs and what appear to be minor injuries to his face," Billy replied. Zack heard the news and made a gloved fist while watching the DragonZord stomp towards his Mastodon DinoZord.

"Let's not lose focus here, guys. This green Ranger wants to divide and conquer, but there's still four of us and only one of him," Zack reminded.

"Right!" the other Rangers shouted in unison. They watched as the DragonZord spun around, its tail swinging at them. On the tip of the metal tail was a spinning drill that threatened to penetrate the durasteel hulls of the DinoZords.

"Hit him with all you got!" Zack shouted. A burst of sub-zero gas shot from the trunk of the Mastodon Zord, freezing the servos in the tail's drill.

"Activating laser cannons!" Adam instructed. The tail of his Zord shifted over to face the front, its two cannons dancing with sapphire energy. The energy coalesced into two separate beams that slammed against the DragonZord. The Saber-toothed Tiger DinoZord did the same, its singular cannon folding forward and firing with gold energy. The attack was furthered as the Pterodactyl Zord spun in a barrel-roll, unleashing a blitzkrieg of energy bolts at the green Zord.

"Warning . . . energy shielding at twenty-seven percent. Hull breach imminent," the computerized voice rang out in the DragonZord's cockpit. Disgusted at the turn of the battle, Tommy thumbed the teleporting systems to return the DragonZord to the ocean floor and return himself to his master's lunar palace. The Rangers watched as the DragonZord vanished in a beam of flashing turquoise energy. Celebration rang out over the comms but Billy quickly played the killjoy and reminded the Rangers of Jason's condition.

"Alright guys, report to base and let’s figure out what to do about Jason," Billy instructed.


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The Moon . . .

Nereus walked up the spiraling stone staircase, his emerald cape sweeping each step as he made his way to Zedd's throne room. His gold crown reflected the blinding sunlight that crept over the lunar horizon, climbing towards Zedd's palace.

"Make it quick, Zedd. There is much to attend to," Nereus stated, walking into the open space of Zedd's chambers. His words echoed without a reply. He was quick to notice that the room was as silent as a tomb. Before he could feel his anger boil to the surface of his mind, the beautiful sight of the terran homeworld caught his eye. He walked to the edge of the balcony and leaned upon the railing. He looked out over the cratered landscape at the massive blue-green orb that he had dreamt about for so many thousands of years. The Earth. The first time he heard of it, the Grathan Skyraiders had called it the World of Wonder, first for the massive beasts that thundered across its grassy plains and later for the towering cities that spotted its majestic lands. But there was one thing that he despised about this planet . . . its uncivilized race of humans, humans whose only concern is a very narrow-minded, self-serving lifestyle full of comfort and pleasure. What gluttons, Nereus thought.

"Emperor Nereus, what an honor it is to be graced by your presence," Zedd offered, entering from a side room set apart from the throne chambers. Nereus quickly turned around and folded his hands together behind his back.

"You may dispense with your greetings, Sih Caien. The hour is late and the Crest Holder of an empire should not be disturbed for such pleasantries," Nereus reminded the dark lord.

Zedd's mask hid his wide smile as he slowly approached the Emperor, rapping his fingers against the bow of his Z staff. "Oh, I can assure you, your Excellency, pleasantries are not my agenda."

Nereus knew Zedd's words were unusually condescending, brimming with a hidden motive that the Emperor could not identify. He is a spineless protofin, Nereus reminded himself. He is no threat.

"Do you remember the day Emperor Maelstrom was murdered?" Zedd asked, approaching Nereus. The Crest Holder felt an ice cold shiver run down his spine at the mention of Maelstrom's name. He wondered silently what the reasoning was behind Zedd's question.

"Of course. I remember the distress signal from the Hellion and then a lone QuadraFighter blasting its way out of the hangar bay. We fired everything we had available but could only watch helplessly as the ship leapt into hyperspace. It was my last day as Mon-Chanmiral," Nereus replied. There was no lie in his recount of the events, he assured himself.

"Once you learned our Emperor was dead, what did you do then?" Zedd continued. Nereus knew his actions as if he had executed them merely hours before.

"I feared for the safety of the black legions. With my first act as Emperor of the Immortal Vast, I commanded the entire imperial fleet and all forces to fall back to Carinasia."

"You feared for the safety of the legion vast? Deviot was one man, Blakus!" Zedd shouted, his voice cracking with emotion. The thunder of his voice caught the Emperor by surprise. "You left me to die on Eltar, one man against Zordon and his Rangers! Did you fear for my safety, Blakus?" Nereus, tired of masking his emotions and motives to Zedd, responded.

"No one outside of Maelstrom and yourself believed in your idea to reclaim the Dairaku Cannon. You were fighting a personal war and it became my responsibility to cut our losses and leave you behind."

"You orchestrated the murder of our Emperor!" Zedd shouted, no longer disguising the truth that had been revealed to him. From the shadows, four Rubitron MAWs appeared, their blood red armor shining in the light as Nereus replied with the full intention to justify his actions.

"Maelstrom was weak! As were you! As you still are, Sih Caien! Your obsession to destroy Zordon and his legacy has blinded you to our greater destiny." With Nereus's admittance, Zedd turned to the Rubitrons, who were oblivious to loyalties and only recognized Lord Zedd’s authority.

"Seize him!" Zedd commanded. The Rubitrons rushed towards Nereus, two of them grabbing him by his arms and dragging him to Lord Zedd's feet. The old man had little fight left in him, his psychic powers wasted on the positronic minds of his captors. They held his arms tightly outstretched from his body, their cybernetic grip fully capable of restraining the Emperor.

"Maelstrom was like a father to me . . . he undid what Zordon perpetrated upon me by letting me burn in that lake of fire. I lost a brother in Zordon but I gained a new life with Maelstrom and the teachings of the Varoxe Priests. But you took that away from me!" Zedd shouted, striking Nereus with a closed fist. Blood and spit oozed over Nereus's swollen lip. Zedd stared into the sunken eyes of his captive. Lines of age split his face and gray hairs sprouted beside jet black strands. Shock and horror were painted on his trembling face.

"Show me mercy, Sih Caien . . ." Nereus muttered. Zedd gave the comment no regard, turning the blade of his staff to face the Crest Holder. Its silvery gleam caught Nereus's eye, who sputtered a trail of mercy pleas as the Rubitrons pulled him to his knees.

"Show me blood, Blakus . . ." Zedd replied coldly. He thrust the staff through Nereus's body, the sound of metal against bone ringing into the air. Nereus felt the cold staff penetrate his skin and shove completely through. A nearly silent death rattle escaped his mouth as blood trickled down his body and onto the stone floor. Zedd pulled his staff from the dead body as blue tendrils of energy flickered down the staff, burning the blood away.

"Arrest the Mon-Chanmirals Braken and Stridus and bring them to me," Zedd ordered.

"As you wish," the MAWs replied. The two Rubitrons holding the body pulled the limp form back into the shadows as Zedd walked to the edge of the balcony. The perpetual blackness he gazed into seemed to split, giving way to a massive, white warrior that set an armored foot down upon the moon. Supernatural fires roared from its maw, engulfing the moon in a deadly blaze. The sight was not literal, but a vision of the machine before which all worlds would tremble . . . Cyclopsis.

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER ELEVEN
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Old October 30th, 2008, 08:13 PM #15
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Chapter Eleven

Emerald Battalion Commander Menas Tieana stood in the depths of Lord Zedd's palace, in the chambers that were purposely created to house the officers of the Immortal Vast, holding his hands folded behind his back. A late day stubble broke the otherwise pale complexion of his face which was set into a determined gaze. Tieana beheld the broken corpse that had been the Emperor to whom he had pledged his loyalty so many moons ago. Of course, his true loyalty had always been to Lord Zedd, even though he was born centuries after the dark lord's fall and imprisonment within the Crimson Sepulchre. He was merely twenty-something the day he studied about the Morphing Wars and the evil Lord Zedd at the Pilan Academy of Scholars. It was his fascination with the dark lord that lead to his baptism into the Dairaku and his charter to unearth Zedd for Emperor Nereus. Even Tieana knew that Nereus's interest in Zedd was for his own glory, not for Zedd's freedom.

Commander Tieana's father, Senator Berunus Tieana, had been pivotal in the outreach of technology and enlightenment to the furthest reaches of uncivilized space. Menas found poetic justice in the fact that he would spread darkness and destruction to those whom his own father had saved from savagery and famine. Footsteps interrupted Tieana's personal thoughts. Footsteps belonging to his officer, Sergeant Emanus Ragnus.

"This is madness! How can you stand idly by while Zedd is even reveling in his murder of our Emperor?" Ragnus demanded. Tieana flashed the younger man a smile that hid his true discontent with the Sergeant's angry rattling.

"It is the way of things, Ragnus. The black legions have been handed over to their rightful ruler. A fact that you should accept." Ragnus felt betrayed by his Commander's words . . . his Commander for whom he had risked his own life while leading MAW battalions against innumerous forces on forgotten worlds. He questioned whether Zedd's lunacy had spread to his silver-haired mentor.

"Commander, this is treason . . ." Ragnus continued to insist. Tieana was quick to silence the younger officer.

"Leave it, Ragnus," Tieana commanded coldly, "There is much to be done."


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The command center . . .

Adam Park, still dressed in his duraweave body suit and armor, turned back to the monitor set into the control panel. The screen displayed an image of Jason's body, monitoring his vitals.

"So what do we do?" Adam asked, turning to Billy.

"We'll teleport him here. I know someone that might be able to treat his injuries more effectively," Billy replied. Trini cut her eyes at Billy, obviously questioning his judgement.

"Isn't that dangerous? What with his broken ribs?" She asked. Trini had a basic understanding of teleporting that she had assumed Billy had shared with her.

Kimberly was quick to speak up. "What do you mean?"

"Teleporting is a very . . . delicate process. The possibility does exist that Jason's fractures would worsen their breaks in re-molecularization," Billy replied. Kimberly turned back to Trini, pleading for a translation.

"When the systems rearrange Jason's molecules, his broken bones would disrupt the signal and the fractures would break further apart."

"That's a variable, but its not great enough to abandon it," Billy defended. Zack set his helmet down and stepped up from the back of the Power Chamber.

"What's our other options?" Zack asked, assuming responsibility in Jason's absence.

"There aren't any." Billy's answer was plain and left no arguments for the acting leader of the Power Rangers.

"Do it, Billy. We trust you," Zack instructed, turning to Trini. She uncrossed her arms with a sigh and made her way to Billy's side.


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The Lapseless Chamber . . .

"I cannot tolerate failure. Swear to your victory, Dragon Ranger." Zedd's words echoed into the infinity of the dimension, sounding with a tone that could shape reality to his own imagination for whomever he held within the chamber.

"I will be victorious, my master." Tommy's words came with programmed determination.

"Time is drawing further from our hands. I am altering your mission. The Red Ranger, bring him to me."

"Yes, my master."

"You were successful in injuring him. He is vulnerable now. Once you have delivered him to me, re-engage his comrades in battle. Do not fail me this time, Dragon Ranger. Failure will provoke me to strip you of your power and your humanity. You are the dragon, deadly and swift."

"I am the dragon, deadly and swift." Tommy felt the heat of reality sweep over him and found himself in the darkened chambers of Zedd's lunar palace. He stepped into a swirling vortex of crimson energy that swallowed him whole.


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"I've got to find the command center," a determined Jason Scott reminded himself. A dark orange sun hung low in the pale blue sky, casting long shadows across the reddish sands. Jason scaled the height of the crimson dunes, finally reaching a couple of ancient granite pillars, carved with symbols of a distant world far beyond Jason's knowledge. He stepped between the two columns, stomping through a shallow puddle of water.

Without warning, a whistle of air shot past his ear, as if trailing some deadly projectile. Jason noticed an indention in the left column and watched as the Dragon Dagger materialized in the stone in emerald flames. Then, he heard it.

"Jut-si-kiyah!" The battle cry was one that had haunted Jason's every waking thought. The battle cry belonging to the Dragon Ranger. Jason turned and in a swift, fluid motion, freed the dagger from the granite and assumed a defensive stance. But the action came too late. By the time Jason had turned to face his adversary, the Dragon ranger was right on top of him. A spin kick allowed the green Ranger to brandish his weapon and landed a stiff uppercut that flipped Jason into the puddle of water. Jason slowly rose to his feet, clenching his fists so tight that his knuckles turned white. Jason charged the Dragon Ranger, his momentum sending the two combatants tumbling down the dune. In the scuffle, Jason claimed the Dragon Dagger for himself and came up, swinging the dagger through the air. The Dragon Ranger quickly sprung to his feet.

As he regained his footing in the sand, the emerald warrior caught a solid side kick in the chest. Momentarily stunned, he was wide-open as Jason plunged the blade of the Zyusoken deep into the green Ranger's head, piercing armor, bone, and brain. The Dragon Ranger then literally shattered into crystalline fragments that had been human flesh and duraweave armor mere seconds before. Jason took a step back, obviously shocked by the Dragon Ranger's sudden disintegration. The green Ranger's helmet, still intact and bearing the Dragon Dagger, slowly rolled to Jason's feet. Jason lifted the severed head, hoping to finally learn his enemy's identity.

A microservo suddenly came to life and the tinted visor of the helmet rose into the crest of the helmet. What Jason beheld was beyond his own rational capacity. He stared silently into his own eyes, horrified that all along he had been fighting himself.



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Jason Scott lurched forward in the elevated hospital bed, gasping for air. Cold perspiration streamed down his face. Okay, no more Demerol for me, Jason told himself. He wiped the sweat from his face with his bare hand and turned his head to the room's entrance as a knock came from the door.

"Come in," Jason offered. The door opened, revealing emergency room Dr. Yost.

"Mr. Scott, you have a visitor," Dr. Yost explained. Tommy Oliver stuck his head around the door frame and flashed Jason what seemed like a genuine smile.

Jason recognized his opponent from the tournament. "Tommy . . ."

Tommy nodded as he entered the room. "Jason . . ." Tommy walked over and shook Jason's hand before sitting down in the chair beside the bed.

"So what happened to you?" Tommy asked, displaying a front of concern.

"Well, I decided to play chicken with a Yukon . . . looks like I lost," Jason replied jokingly. He stared at Tommy for a second and realized that he hadn't even told the other Rangers where he was and wondered how Tommy found out.

"So how did you know I was here anyway?" Jason asked. Tommy sat silent for a long moment.

"Your mom . . . I saw her in the parking lot on her way to work. My . . . uncle is in, he broke his foot at the shop," Tommy lied. Jason knew there was no truth in the answer. He knew that he had never even mentioned Tommy to his mother and there was no way Tommy could have known who she was. He decided to play along with Tommy's game.

"The doctors said they're going to release me this afternoon," Jason explained.

"Really? That's great, man." Jason felt a slight change in the room temperature and felt an unknown force playing in the air. Two MAWs stepped out from the walls, grabbing Tommy up and restraining him. Jason pulled the blankets off and rushed for the two robotic soldiers before two more appeared behind them.

"Tommy!" Jason shouted. He felt the cold metal arms of the MAWs wrap around him and he winced in pain. He felt dizzy as red spirals of energy played in front of his eyes. The sight of Tommy struggling against the MAWs that held him was the last thing he saw.


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The command center . . .

Billy continued to study the display of Jason's position, carefully plotting teleporting rhythms that wouldn't endanger the Red Ranger. Without warning, Jason vanished off the computer's scopes.

The cry that came from Billy startled the other Rangers who rushed to his side. "Jason!"

"What happened to him?" Trini asked. Billy, short on answers and explanations, pleaded with the computer to triangulate Jason's new position.

"The scopes are clear . . . its like Jason was teleported by someone else," Billy came to the only logical conclusion he could imagine.

"What about residual energies?" Trini asked. Billy thanked Trini for her intelligence quietly and his fingers danced over the control keys.

"I'm bringing up a field scan. Whatever energy source teleported him will be displayed momentarily." The Rangers watched as the screen was filled with a series of numbers.

"The computer doesn't recognize the frequency . . ." Trini said.

"Yeah, but I recognize it . . . it's the same frequency from Zedd's teleporting systems," Billy explained.

"So Zedd's got Jason now?" Zack asked with concern. He leaned in closer to get a glimpse of the frequency's wave pattern.

"Okay, so we've got no Jason, no Zordon, no ALPHA and we've still got this green Ranger to deal with. I don't see how we can get through this," Adam distressed. Zack stepped over to the Blue Ranger.

"Come on, don't be such a defeatist," Zack said.

"Well, it’s easy when you've actually been defeated. I mean, this guy was Zedd's trump card. He played it, he's won," Adam argued.

"Look, we can still fight this guy. We've got the numbers and we've got the MegaZord as well," Zack returned.

"Well, we would have a MegaZord if Jason were here," Adam explained. Billy turned back from the control panel.

"Actually, I could transfer control of Jason's Zord to one of you strictly to form the MegaZord," Billy explained.

"What about piloting it separately?" Adam asked.

"No, there's no way. Operating your Zords requires a level of control that can't be compromised," Billy replied.

"What about you, Billy? You could rig a remote piloting system," Trini insisted. Billy smiled at the comment and then shook his head.

"As much I would enjoy getting to pilot one of the Zords, the fact is, without Jason's symbiote, there's no telling how the Zord would respond. The MegaZord would give you some level of control, but even that's a risk that we're gonna have to take to combat the DragonZord," Billy explained. Almost as if on cue, the alarms within the Power Chamber screamed.

"Where's the disturbance?" Zack asked, trailing Billy who ran to the main control panel.

"It's the green Ranger!" Trini shouted, recognizing his armor as the holoscreen spun to life above the panels. The Rangers watched the DragonZord crash into the desert.

"What's his trajectory?" Zack asked. Billy quickly spun back around to face them all.

"He's on his way here. You've got to stop him . . ." Billy replied.

Zack nodded and the other Rangers fell in behind him. "Back to action!"


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The Moon . . .

Jason Scott struggled against the MAWs who fought with the Red Ranger to hold him down. Jason kicked, punched, and clawed with everything inside of him to break free of their hold. However, even Jason's tempered muscles were no match for the lightning quick microservos and hydrosystematics that powered the MAWs' arms and he was quickly slammed back down to the cold stone floor.

"Struggle if you must, Red Ranger, but you shall soon obey." The voice was deep and raspy, cutting the air with a confident and almost arrogant tone. Jason managed to catch a glimpse of his host through the darkness of the MAWs that held him to the ground.

"You may release him," Lord Zedd instructed. The MAWs stood to attention, leaving Jason to find his way back to his feet. He reached behind his back, hopelessly, for his Power Morpher.

"You'll find that your transmorpher is safe," Zedd spouted, holding the device out at the Red Ranger. Jason felt the warmth of anger wash over him. He leapt forward, twisting and turning with an outstretched foot that reached for Zedd. But the kick never hit its mark. Jason felt as if he had tried to kick a solid wall and watched as blue flames danced around a protective bubble of latent energy that Zedd projected from the Almsteen Band. The energy returned the force of Jason's kick back at him and slammed him into the near wall.

"Surely you jest. I feel your anger, I feel how it consumes you. It makes you powerful. Your recklessness was something I anticipated. MAWs, strap him into the server threshold. Induce his subconsciousness and alert me when he is in," Zedd commanded. Jason fought as MAWs rushed in and contained him once again.


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Death Valley . . .

Tommy Oliver sat in the confined space of the DragonZord's cockpit, occasionally glancing at the radar screen while he loaded the missile tubes. A sharp alarm sounded in his comm . . . the arrival of the DinoZords. The four massive assault vehicles came into view as a dust cloud just beyond the sea of sand that separated the command center from the cascades of the mountain range. From the sand storm came tendrils of multi-hued energy that reached for the DragonZord.

"Engage plasma shields!" Tommy commanded, choosing to voice the order over keying it in via the control panel. However, his voice sounded too late. The blasts of the DinoZords rocked the Zord, the autobuffers cushioning the impact around the cockpit. Tommy found his targets as the Zords abandoned the cloak of the storm, opting to take the DragonZord head on.

"Let's show this son of a bitch just who he's dealing with!" Zack shouted. The chorus of replies sounded over the comms.

"Billy! Its time for some MegaZord power!" Zack commanded.

"Right. I'm bringing the Tyrannosaurus online. I'll patch control of it to your master panel," Billy replied. Tommy took advantage of the lull and fired off a dozen missiles at the DinoZords.

"Guys, brace yourselves!" Zack shouted, watching the trails of the missiles twisting behind them. Sparks and fire flew as each Zord was directly hit by several missiles. Trini watched in horror as the Pterodactyl DinoZord spun out of control.

"Kimberly!' She shouted at her partner. Kimberly reached at her control sticks through the smoke and sparks that filled her cockpit.

"I can't see a damn thing in here!" Kimberly returned. She felt a moment of hope as Billy's voice cut through the wailing of her Zord's alarms.

"Kimberly, restart your cockpit air regulators . . . that'll clear the smoke out. Hurry, you're falling at high speeds!" Billy shouted. Kimberly felt a calm voice speak within, guiding her to the air regulators. Her symbiote continued to aide her as the smoke was sucked out of the cockpit. Her hands danced over the controls and her Zord managed to level off, soaring back up into the sky. Cheers rang out as the Tyrannosaurus DinoZord caught up with them.

"Damage assessment!" Zack shouted.

"Trini here, it got a little hot, but I'm okay," Trini replied.

"Adam here, all systems are up and running."

"Kim here, flying high."

"Alright then. MegaZord, power up!" Zack commanded. The Zords quickly came together, rushing through the tank stage as steam and pressurized gases brought the assemblage upright. The mighty MegaZord flexed its durasteel pivots and frame as light blue bolts of lightning fell from the sky, dancing across the MegaZord's mechanical limbs.

"MegaZord activated," the computerized voice announced within the expansive cockpit.

Tommy watched the MegaZord assume a defensive posture, almost teasing him to attack. He jerked his control sticks sharp to the left, spinning the DragonZord around. Its massive tail came at the MegaZord, its drill tip spinning with deadly accuracy, striking the MegaZord across the chest. The drill ripped open the durasteel plating, revealing the complex circuitous innards of the Pterodactyl Zord.

"It breached the hull!" Kimberly shouted, her individual control panel displaying the damage to her Zord.

The DragonZord and MegaZord stood in the open expanses of the desert, sand washing onto the legs of the gargantuan vessels.

"I call upon the Mega Saber!" Zack commanded. The weapons panel indicated the weapon was online as it appeared from a thunderbolt that struck its right hand. The MegaZord spun the double bladed sword, holding it at an angle before the DragonZord.

"Alright guys, full power!" Zack ordered. The Rangers sent their own available Zord power to the MegaZord's weapons systems. Energy played along the blade of the Mega Saber as Zack swung it at the DragonZord. However, a barrage of missiles burst from the DragonZord's fingertips, slamming into the MegaZord. The mighty assemblage stumbled backwards, reeling from the impact of the missiles.

"Shields have been compromised!" Trini shouted.

Zack, realizing the severity of the MegaZord's damage, tapped the side of his helmet. "Billy, we need all available power!"

"I'm afraid that's not possible! The MegaZord's stabilizing systems are failing! I'm afraid you'll have to separate the Zords to avoid their destruction!" Billy replied. Zack shook his head, refusing to accept the reality of Billy's assessment.

"There's got to be another way!" Zack demanded. Trini placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Billy's right. The MegaZord must be disassembled," she pleaded.

"Alright then. Disassembly begin!" Zack ordered. A double beep indicated the command was accepted by the systems.

"MegaZord disassembly activated," a soft computerized voice sounded within the cockpit that began to shut down. The individual Zords split back to their own forms and rested, smoke rising from their capacitor chambers. The four Power Rangers stood before their colossal assault vehicles, watching as the Dragon Ranger appeared from a burst of emerald energy.

"Take note of your surroundings, Rangers. Soon, this will be your cemetery!" Tommy shouted, charging the Rangers with the Sword of Darkness in one hand, the Zyusoken in the other. The two weapons found their marks with precision and ease, filling the air with smoke and sparks.

"Guys, I've got a new energy signature online . . . belonging to the Red Ranger!" Billy sounded in the comm units. Momentarily distracted, the Rangers were open as the green Ranger launched a flashing ball of fire at them. Through the walls of flame that burnt the sand into crystalline fragments, the Rangers could make out a red form walking their way.

Adam saw the distinct diamond pattern across the breastplate and recognized the figure to be Jason Scott. "Jason!"

The Rangers watched in shock as their leader casually strolled past the green Ranger and brandished his Power Sword from a flash of crimson energy.

"I am the Red Ranger and in the name of my master, Lord Sih Caien Zedd, I am here to destroy you!" Jason announced. Adam forced air back into his lungs, refusing to believe the sight of his friend and leader, Jason Scott, holding his Power Sword in an offensive posture. For whatever reason, Jason had chosen, no, not chosen, but been forced to align himself with the dark lord of the Dairaku.

"Make peace with God, Rangers. He will soon greet you!" Jason shouted, rushing towards his friends and teammates with the sharp edge of the Power Sword angling towards them.

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER TWELVE
--DELETED SCENE--

Last edited by BattleRanger; October 30th, 2008 at 08:30 PM.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 07:45 PM #16
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BattleRanger
Call the 5-4-1
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 4,166



Chapter Twelve

A hero.

Trini Kwan never considered herself a hero. She always believed she was ordinary, even though she had saved countless lives by driving Serpentara back into space, and even while she fought on a team that people would call superheroes. It was all she wanted. Heroes were wired differently, she always told herself. Heroes were always at the forefront of the action.

Trini preferred a more subtle approach.

One person she did consider to be a hero, however, was her friend Jason Scott.

Trini was only eight years old the first time she met Jason. Her dad had taken an engineering job in Angel Grove and they had just moved from Houston. At the time, Trini’s attractive feminine looks had not yet developed; instead, she wore her hair in pig tails and wore black rimmed glasses while sporting buck teeth. Most of the kids had ignored or ridiculed her. But one kid, one boy, had taken up for her. He was Jason.

At the time, Jason was a scrawny shell of the man he would eventually become. But he met Trini the day he was supposed to meet for his first karate class. Jason had invited Trini to the class and before long, Trini was practicing martial arts beside her new best friend. But that was then . . . this is now.

Now, the man she had always thought of as a hero, as her best friend, stood before her and her other friends, Adam, Zack, and Kimberly, and held a sword in his capable hands.

Trini watched as Jason moved to them, spinning and turning, aiming the sword in deadly strikes that would kill a lesser man. But the Power Rangers were hardly mere humans. Protected by duraweave suits and Irandanim armor, the blade would hurt, but it would not kill. Still, to Trini, it was something that she knew could be avoided.

"Power down!" Trini commanded, her uniform fading out in flashes of canary energy. She ran to the front of her friends and stood defiant before the Red Ranger.

"Jason!" she cried. The Red Ranger felt the urgency in the cry. It was a cry that he easily recognized, one that coursed through every fiber of his human heart. He held the Power Sword above his head, frozen by confusion.

"Power down!" Adam shouted. Sapphire energy coursed over his body, returning his uniform to the Morphing Grid.

"Jason, it’s me, Adam. We're your friends!" Adam pleaded. Jason shook his head in confusion.

"No! You're my enemies! All you've done is get in the way . . . if you won't step aside, then I will kill you myself!" Jason shouted. Before he could bring the blade of his Power Sword back to a deadly angle, Zack and Kimberly stepped forward.

"Power down!" they cried. Flashes of onyx and rose energy left them in their street clothes.

Zack reached out for the Power Sword, slowly easing it back down. "Its okay, 'big time.' You've got to listen to us. Zedd and this green Ranger, they're your enemies." As Zack pleaded with the Red Ranger, Trini placed a hand on Jason's shoulder.

"Think of what we've been through, Jason. Think of what you've been through," Trini added, glancing at the Dragon Ranger. The Rangers' emerald adversary, apparently sick of the group therapy session between the Red Ranger and his teammates, decided to capitalize on the moment.

"Back off," Jason quietly, but firmly spoke, blocking the Dragon Ranger with the blunt of his Power Sword. Trini swallowed and continued.

"Without you, without our leader, we're crippled. We've lost Zordon . . . don't let Zedd take you from us too." Zordon, Jason repeated. Images of smoke rising from the command center, the emotions he had felt as he was informed of his new identity as the Red Power Ranger, everything touched and twisted by Zedd's manipulation began to sharpen, becoming crystal clear. He shook his head. What have I done? Jason asked himself. As Jason's posture took a relaxed form, the Power Sword in his hand vanished in a spark of crimson energy. Infuriated, Tommy drew the Sword of Darkness from latent energy and held it out against Jason's chest.

"What do you think you're doing? Lord Zedd commanded you to kill and if you don't have the strength to serve the Immortal Vast, then I will destroy you all!" Tommy shouted. Jason grabbed the curved blade of the dark sword and turned it aside.

"Power down!" Jason commanded, his armor and bodysuit spiraling into the air in festoons of rubicund tendrils and beams of light. Jason, now fully competent in his own mind, turned around to face the Dragon Ranger.

"You can tell your master that if he wants our world, he'll have to pry it out of our dead hands," Jason announced with blinding resolution. He fluidly assumed a defensive posture, standing between his friends and his true enemy.

"I would expect no less!" Tommy cried, charging Jason with the Sword of Darkness. Jason parried with two hands cupped together, stopping the sword on its deadly trajectory. He fought Tommy for control of the weapon before the green Ranger landed a kick that took Jason off of his feet. Jason sprung back to his feet, kicking the Sword of Darkness free of the Dragon Ranger's hands. Jason took a step back, swinging his hand back around, grasping his Power Morpher.

"Ready?" Jason asked, anticipating the response from his team. Their cries of approval came and Jason spun the morpher around to his chest.

"Its morphing time!" He ordered, thrusting the morpher outward.

"Mastodon!" Zack commanded, grinning from ear to ear in joy.

"Pterodactyl!" Kimberly shouted, feeling a slight tremor of hope in the return of their leader.

"Triceratops!" Adam yelled. For the first time since receiving his powers, the pure fascination of the energy storm that transformed him from human to superhuman paled to the overwhelming elation of seeing Jason back in action.

"Saber-toothed Tiger!" Trini cried, waiting for the call of her hero, the call that would transform Jason into the Red Ranger.

"Tyrannosaurus!" Jason shouted, invoking the dancing bolts of crimson energy that left him standing as the Red Power Ranger. Swinging his arm around, the Power Sword burst into existence from the Morphing Grid. The Power Sword and the Sword of Darkness collided, striking like bolts of lightning fighting for ground. Parries and strikes blended into an almost fluid fury of blades. Before the other Rangers could make their move to assist Jason, foreign energy spun into life, releasing several battalions of war hungry MAWs.

The MAWs swarmed the Rangers like locusts. Beams of laser energy, projected from the Blade Blasters, rained death upon the black legion soldiers. Moving like a wave, the Rangers stormed into the midst of their robotic enemies, Irandanim blade and laser bolt cutting through their masses.

Tommy and Jason continued to trade strikes against each other, moving slowly away from the army of MAWs. Standing at a stalemate, each warrior vied for ground against the other, adrenaline and pure determination pushing them further into pure mortal combat. With their blades locked together like two stags, they began to trade blows with closed fists. Beneath their duraweave, their muscles rippled with ferocity, spinning the blades in deadly dances. The shadow of the command center's east tower soon spilled over them as Tommy forced Jason backwards with earth shattering blows. Blood from busted fists and swollen lips spilled within their protective suits, absorbing into the fibers along with the sweat of battle. Jason parried and countered against the Dragon Ranger and turned to put some space between himself and his enemy. To Jason's shock, the granite wall of the command center stood at his back.

"Billy, open the outer doors!" Jason shouted, straining against the force of the Sword of Darkness that dug into his body suit.

"Jason, I strongly advise that you . . ." Billy began to warn.

"Do it now, Billy!" Jason demanded. A trilling beep sounded as the double doors split open, revealing the curving corridor leading to the Power Chamber. In the darkness of the command center, sparks flew from the blades striking against each other. Jason pushed the manual controls for the entrance to the Power Chamber and the fight spilled out before Billy's own eyes. The two Rangers exploded into action, the swords becoming blurs of motion until, once again, they came to a deadlock.

They backed away and began to circle each other. Several moments followed without motion as the two warriors remained staring at each other, as if waiting for some proper, unspoken signal.

Executing a move of incredible speed, Jason lunged at the Dragon Ranger. Tommy blocked the stab with equal speed, riposting with a counterslash that Jason barely parried. Another parry and Jason countered again, using this opportunity to move around the green Ranger. They continued to trade blows, with the crimson warrior now backing toward the Power Chamber's entrance. The two swords locked again, filling the room with the sound of metal against metal. Jason swung his arm around in a close circle, slamming his fist deep into Tommy's stomach. With the Dragon Ranger desperately gasping for air, Jason took the opportunity to clench a tighter grip on the hilt of his sword, spinning its blade toward his adversary. Stumbling backwards, Tommy's foot tripped over a coupling of loose wires, landing him on his back in the corner of the Power Chamber's side exit. In a flash of blinding energy, the Power Sword overcame the temper of the wicked sword's blade, shattering it into metallic fragments.


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Deep within the supernatural realm of the Morphing Grid, Lord Zedd observed the failure of his disciple, the Dragon Ranger, and felt the thundering quake as the Sword of Darkness was destroyed. Lurching forward into reality, Zedd vented his anger against the stone rest of his throne.

"Bring me my Dragon Ranger powers, even if you have to skin that loathsome human alive to do so!" Zedd barked at a trio of Rubitrons standing in the shadows of his chambers.


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The Dragon Ranger cowered in the corner of the Power Chamber's side ramp, still grasping the broken blade of the Sword of Darkness. The Doron morpher, strapped to Tommy's wrist, began to glow a crimson hue. It yielded an explosion of light leaving the forms of three ruby-toned MAWs, the elite forces known as Rubitrons. One of the machines quickly sucked up the space between Tommy and Jason. It drew a deep red sword out of thin air and held it before Jason as the other two Rubitrons pulled Tommy to his feet. Jason watched as the distinctive fans of Zedd's teleporting energy spun to life, swallowing the green Ranger and the Rubitrons whole. Jason slowly fell to his knees, his uniform vanishing in bursts of light. Billy rushed to Jason's side as the Red Ranger collapsed to the floor.

"Jason!" Billy cried, watching Jason's eyes roll into the back of his head. The other Rangers, victorious over the MAW legions, walked into the Power Chamber as Billy called out to them.

"He's still severely injured!" Billy shouted. Trini rushed past Billy and Jason as the side door split open, revealing the medical quarters. Adam and Zack helped Jason up as Billy rushed in behind Trini to assist in setting up the medical table. The small medical chamber was dark, save for a few glowrods that shone from the ceiling. The walls were fabricated out of some sort of reflective alloy, having a smooth surface broken by circular red-trimmed orbs in patterns of six, vertically set and spaced apart. The medical table was a piece of elevated white duraplast, topped with a soft black bed cushion. A duraplast arm containing hypermodern medical equipment and sensor arrays rose from the table and up over the cushion. Trini slipped a monitor bracelet that was connected to the control arm by thick black wires up Jason's forearm. A display set into the lone control panel against the far wall of the chamber displayed Jason's vitals. Trini shook her head, discouraged by the readings.

"He's got internal bleeding . . . massive head trauma . . . if it weren't for the protection and added stability of his suit, the green Ranger would have killed him," Trini proclaimed distressingly.

"There might be just one person that can save Jason . . ." Billy explained, heading back into the open Power Chamber.


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Angel Grove . . .

Hayley Morgan stood in the warm shower, leaning into the stream of hot water. Steam rose off of her body as she propped against the shower wall, feeling the water run down her back. She closed her eyes and felt muscular, masculine arms wrap around her waist. Hayley instantly recognized the touch as belonging to Jake Cranston. She found herself amazed at just how real the memory felt. She let the water run down her face, taking a few seconds to enjoy the moment.

"Hayley?" the timid voice came from the door. Hayley sighed, losing her nostalgic moment and turned the water off. She quickly wrapped a fluffy, olive towel around her body and eased the door open.

"Billy! Good God, where have you been? You're parents have been worried sick!" Hayley said, opening the door completely.

"That's what I need to talk to you about. I know this is going to sound illogical, so please try to be optimistic," Billy pleaded. Hayley, realizing the seriousness in Billy's tone, sat down on the edge of the toilet seat as Billy began to explain.

"Okay . . . you know that the machine that killed Jake was piloted by alien life forms, right?" Billy asked, waiting for Hayley to reply before continuing. When she nodded, Billy spoke up again. "The truth is the alien that piloted the machine, which I know to be called Serpentara, is a sinister leader of an extraterrestrial empire from deep space, bent on conquering Earth. His name is Lord Zedd."

"How do you know all of this?" Hayley asked.

"Because I saw it with my own eyes. The war that Zedd wages isn't against the people of earth . . . instead, it's a timeless struggle against a more benign alien species from the planet Eltar. A sage named Zordon is here now, on our world. He is one of the few survivors of Zedd's destruction of Eltar. Zordon was forced by Zedd's attacks to draft five humans to assume the position of his own warriors and a sixth human to be the sort of link between himself and his human team. That person is me," Billy explained. Hayley stared silently at Billy who finished his explanation.

"But now Zedd has a warrior of his own, created in the same likeness of the Power Rangers, an evil green Ranger. This green Ranger utterly decimated Zordon's command center and has left the team's leader severely injured," Billy concluded. Hayley felt the skin on her body raise on end and looked up at Billy.

"And I guess that's where I come in, right?" She asked.

Nodding, Billy answered. "We can't risk anymore public exposure. The attack has already been under investigation from the local police. I know your nanobot serum can undo the evil of this green Ranger."

"But the serum . . . it’s still experimental!" Hayley exclaimed.

"It has to work, Hayley. We're going to lose Jason if we don't do something," Billy insisted. Hayley held her head in her hands.

"No promises, Billy. I mean, its been successful so far in rebuilding human proteins, bones and cartilage, but its never been used on a living breathing specimen."

"That's fine with me. But I must warn you now . . . anonymity is the only protection we have at this point. If you do this, I'm afraid you're going to be in it until the end," Billy warned. Hayley stood up and reached for another towel to dry her hair with.

"If I can secure some revenge against the bastard that killed Jake, I'm in. Give me a few minutes to get dressed," Hayley replied, closing the door.


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The dark violet orb called Tryforia hung in the Eurolean Constellation, the bright light of the Moons of Cryon reflecting the ambiance of the star Eurolea to the naturally dark planet. Ages of devastating storms had curved the surface of the black world into magnificent canyons, sloping valleys, and sky scraping mountain chains. Shielded from the storms that swept the planet's surface, most Tryforians lived in spiraling cites carved out of the canyon walls. However, one structure stood above ground, daring the deadly elements. A ziggurat known as Kenstrai, the palace of King Jaiden. Its black stone angles and festooning, rocky guard towers covered sophisticated communication arrays and other unknown systems.

Kenstrai's interior seemed to prefer aesthetic to the practical, its curved walls formed out of exotic minerals that glittered in the lights of the palace chambers. The central chamber, the throne room belonging to King Jaiden, was carved from black glitterstone, set with emerald and gold panels. Ruby tapestry fell from the ceiling in intricate designs and formations, surrounding the throne and the evil king himself. Jaiden, a dark skinned man, with pitch black hair in long braids and a thick goatee, sat relaxed upon his silvery throne.

"Your Excellency, we are receiving a transmission on a secured frequency," An exotic female stated, entering the chambers. She bore the same dark skin as Jaiden, with flowing black hair that fell to her lower back. She stood dressed in black tassels and fabrics that managed to hide the extremes of her feminine figure.

"You serve me well, Lisandra," Jaiden replied. The woman bowed as arcs of light began to spin before Jaiden, forming a two-dimensional image of Lord Zedd.

"Sih Caien Zedd. I had managed to stand strong against the rumors that you had returned from your eternal sleep . . . but now I find myself beholding the man who claimed the life of my beloved father," Jaiden said.

"In war, none are innocent," Zedd returned, deflecting the comment.

"Acknowledged, Zedd," Jaiden replied. Several moments of tense silence passed by before Zedd spoke up.

"I have need of your services to carry out the will of our former master, Maelstrom," Zedd explained.

"You are no servant of the true Emperor of the black legions . . . merely by your presence in the Immortal Vast, you pledge your loyalty to Blakus Nereus."

"Then you might consider this . . ." Zedd began, holding up the severed head of Emperor Nereus. Jaiden's eyes grew at the sight. Refusing to believe Zedd's statement, he shook his head.

"That is not enough, Lord Zedd." Jaiden replied.

"Nereus betrayed your father . . . as he did our master. But I have repaid his treachery. The ghost of Maelstrom has visited me . . . I can still sense his presence."

"Peculiar that I cannot . . ."

"It is fate, my old friend . . . it is destiny. Allow me to explain . . . do you recall the name Zordon of Eltar?" Zedd asked. Hatred rose up like fire in the eyes of the Tryforian king, a hatred for the man who had defeated his own forces so many eons ago.

"Zordon . . ." the name slid off Jaiden's tongue with vicious intent, "Zordon . . ."

"Yes, the prince of the free tribes of Eltar. He alone stands in the way in claiming the last of the virgin galaxies for Jenova."

"What possible service can I provide to the Immortal Vast? Your war machine construction yards are spread out over entire systems. I am but an old man, Sih Caien. You insult my intelligence if you wish for me to believe I can provide service to you."

"Bio-mutants. It is absolutely imperative that Zordon’s Power Rangers be kept busy while I carry out the will of our master. When Maelstrom spoke to me, he did more than name his murderer. He revealed to me a name so great and terrible, entire galaxies will tremble when it is spoken. However, time is of the essence. I have managed to veil the death of Nereus, but there are none to be trusted amongst the ranks of the black legions. If I cannot defeat Zordon and his team of humans before I am confronted by Imperial forces, all that our master worked for so many thousands of years will die along with me."

"Then . . . my services are your disposal, old friend. I ask only one thing in return, Zedd. Take delivery of my warrior Lisandra . . . call it my own personal insurance."

"As you wish.”

"Have might in Jenova, Lord Zedd," Jaiden concluded.

"Returned, my old friend," Zedd replied, closing the communication channel.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The black Tryforian sky consumed the landscape of the northern shore in shadow. In that shadow, a figure crept silently, dressed in simple black raiments.

"So . . . Zedd seeks an alliance with Jaiden to destroy Zordon . . ." the figure spoke, his voice nothing more than a raspy whisper. His matured face was illuminated by the light of the moons, highlighting dark skin broken by faded tattoos. The man was more than that, however. Tonight, he was the hunter. As a squadron of five men, dressed in gold armor began to surround him, however, he appeared to be nothing more than prey . . . but that assessment could not have been further from the truth. Years of struggling against the evil forces of King Jaiden had made him more than that. Wars waged against Jaiden's most elite forces had tempered his muscles. The heat of battle had forged him so mighty, it had become his title: The Battle Ranger.

The Kamen Riders, sworn enemies of King Jaiden, called him the Fury Rider, the great sword of justice. But it was a title he only accepted in their elite company. As the squadron of men closed in on him, a furious light burst into existence, striking out in tendrils of onyx, jade, and crimson. The energy consumed the hunter, the Fury Rider, transforming him from human to . . . something beyond. As the light subsided, the squadron stood face to face with the enigmatic warrior that had claimed countless lives pledged to King Jaiden. The gleam of swords broke the night in flashes of sparks as they collided against the bow of the hunter's staff. Two mysterious jewels set at opposite ends of the staff began to glow bright shades of emerald and rubicund, reaching out for the gold-armored men with bolts of energy that struck them dead.

"Kans Riser, soar!" He commanded, running towards the edge of the rocky terrain. From the canyon below, a dark crimson light could be seen, traveling towards the sky. Diving off the cliff, the man was engulfed by the red light as it arced towards the Moons of Cryon, angling above the Kenstrai towers that touched the sky.

"Prepare for stellar divide," the man instructed, the light forming an organic ship around him.

"At once," a low voice growled in the living cockpit. The Kans Riser's massive wings split in half, a sharp growl coming from the ship almost as if the transformation had been painful. The Fury Rider gently stroked the inside of the ship, offering what sympathy he could manage.

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER THIRTEEN
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Old November 1st, 2008, 09:29 AM #17
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Chapter Thirteen

The Moon . . .

'Beware, Sih Caien . . . there is a mighty force that stands to confront you. You will know it when you see him. He is cloaked with Zyraku energy, yet he fights with a power that is purely Dairaku. His hybrid powers are dangerous . . . do not underestimate them.' Lord Zedd reflected for several moments on the cryptic warning. The words were those of his master, Emperor Maelstrom. Zedd considered the threat for a fleeting second before dismissing the fear that trickled into his mind. Let whatever force the gods can conjure up come my way. No sentient will stand in the wake of Cyclopsis, Zedd reassured himself. Zedd's meditation was abruptly interrupted as his disciple, the human known as Tommy Oliver, entered his throne room.

"Kneel before me," the command came without emotion. Tommy slowly slumped to his knees.

"The frailty of your terran determination is blinding, boy," Zedd said, his words stripping the Dragon Ranger of any pride he may have held.

"Your failure has not only cost yourself a loss against the Power Rangers, but you have allowed the great Blade of Adannan, the Sword of Darkness, to be destroyed. Your human mind cannot comprehend its importance. Words will never suffice in your punishment . . . your failure to execute your mission will not be tolerated!" Zedd shouted, thrusting his fist out. Moving like striking vipers, bolts of turquoise energy burst from the Almsteen Band, searing across Tommy's body.

Tommy pleaded with cries, his body writhing in pain. The onslaught continued, the bolts dancing in the dark chamber.

"Discipline will motivate you past your failures . . . discipline . . . and fear of my powers," Zedd spoke. After a few more seconds, the bolts retreated to the winds of the open chamber. Tommy moaned steadily in pain as Zedd walked up to him. The dark lord placed his clawed hand atop Tommy's brow before raising his own head upward, a wave of energy washing over him. Tommy felt the heat of the wounds ripped in his body fade as quickly as the bolts had appeared only minutes before. Grateful, Tommy bowed at his master's feet.

"I am grateful for your discipline, my master. I swear revenge on the Power Rangers . . . I swear to you, I will destroy them all!" Tommy shouted, his shoulders heaving. Zedd sighed and looked down at his warrior, slowly pulling his hand back.

"There will come a time when your world will be cleansed for Jenova and you will be the last human standing. By my side, you will stand as my Burian Knight and heir to all that you see. But you have not proven yourself yet. Go to your personal quarters and await my orders," Lord Zedd instructed.

"Yes my master."


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The command center . . .

Trini, Zack, Adam, and Kimberly continued their vigil over their fallen leader, Jason, while Billy was away, retrieving a person he had stated could assist in helping the Red Ranger overcome his numerous injuries.

“How is he?” Kimberly asked, keeping her distance from Jason’s prone body. Zack raised up from saying a silent prayer and turned to the Pink Ranger.

“Not good . . . his breathing’s getting shallower and shallower . . .”

Adam stood over Jason, keeping a close eye on the heart monitor. Trini walked up and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.

“He’ll be okay . . . Billy will be back in no time,” she offered quietly. Adam nodded, refusing to smile and ignore the weight of the situation. A sudden rush of wind heralded the arrival of Billy with his guest. Hayley slowly slumped to the floor as Billy guided her body to prevent any injury.

Hayley opened her eyes slowly, the sensation of motion sickness quickly fading. She placed a silver case onto the control panel and began taking in the awesome sight of the Power Chamber.

"This place is really amazing . . ." she said, before noticing the extensive damage.

"While I think a proper introduction to the team is due, we need to help Jason first," Billy instructed. Hayley opened the silver case to reveal an injector gun and four slender tubes containing a light blue liquid. She placed one of the tubes into the injector and followed Billy up the ramp to the medical chamber.

“He’s still unconscious . . .” Zack said, backing away from the table holding Jason. Billy walked up and checked the monitors before turning around, hearing Jason coughing weakly. The Rangers rushed to his side as his eyes slowly opened.

“Jason . . .” Trini whispered. Jason blinked and took in the unfamiliar surroundings. Sensing his confusion, she spoke again.

“Its okay, you’re at the command center. Billy’s here with a friend,” she said, as Jason’s eyes scanned the room’s occupants.

"Jason, this is Hayley," Billy said, introducing the two. Jason smiled weakly.

"Hey . . ." Jason greeted. Hayley replied with a warm smile.

"Hayley's been developing a nanobot serum that can rebuild human muscles and bones from a molecular level . . ." Billy said, "Basically, the nanobots will rebuild you."

"So you're gonna inject me full of microscopic robots that will repair my bones and muscles?" Jason asked.

"Not only that, but they'll repair your injured blood vessels and eat the lactic acid out of your muscles. In twenty-four hours, you'll look and feel like you were never in that wreck," Hayley replied. Jason nodded.

"So are you ready?" Trini asked with concern. Jason stared deep into Hayley's green eyes, through the professional front that had become second nature, through the fear of the untested serum, even through the glaring hatred for the one who claimed her fiancée's life. Jason's eyes were returned with a confident gleam, pure and untouched by restless emotion.

"Yeah, let’s get it over with," Jason replied. Jason closed his eyes as he felt the cold metal touch his skin. He swallowed, feeling a spreading warmth pass through his arm. In the darkness of his mind, Jason saw the pale, alien face of his mentor, Zordon, staring back at him.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The ethereal realm of the Morphing Grid was as real as it could possibly be to one Zordon of Eltar. The Eltarian Morphing Master struggled through the eternal darkness of the computerized dimension, testing thousands of outlet signatures for the one familiar portal that would carry his sentience back to his granite fortress. Disturbed by the growing pitch black cloud in the perpetual distance, Zordon knew his enemy, Lord Zedd, was planning an evil act so great that it would throw the balance of energy within the Morphing Grid into an upheaval of chaos and destruction. His only hope would be to warn his Power Rangers . . . that is, if he were to ever find his way back to their world.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Tommy Oliver explored the far reaches of the lunar palace, far from his own designated quarters. He had spent the past hour waiting in the plain cold chamber for his master before deciding to see what secrets the depths of the palace would hold. The winding hallways were full of marching lines of MAWs, a few spare Rubitrons, and the occasional human officer, all who simply ignored Tommy, who was still dressed in his Burian cloaks. Tommy's inquisitive search soon guided him to an ebon door, standing out against a wall of grayish moon rock. The door was emblazoned with a slanted 'Z' that signified the room's only intentional occupant: the vile Sih Caien Zedd. Tommy ran his hands over the cold stone of the door, feeling for any crevice or device that would gain him entry. When he applied a minute bit of pressure to the oval stone which bore the crest of the dark lord., the door split in half, an eerie crimson light spilling out into the hallway.

"Insha fir garum, ne shaddi un salom, Loradon Sih Caien Zedd," a programmed alien voice sounded. The dialect was one Tommy could not decipher, but he recognized it as a greeting to his master. The darkened room held a massive bed, covered in glittering crimson sheets, shadowed by stone beaks of dragons with wings spread wide across the headboard. A complicated series of clear tubes fell from the ceiling in one corner, their purpose unknown. Beside them sat a black seat of stone, very similar in size and shape to Zedd's own throne. To Tommy's left was a computer panel set into the stone of the wall, displaying an image of the solar system in real-time movement. Cast just above the display screens into the wall sat a gold orb, marked with intricate lines and designs. Tommy's fingers were exploring the shape of the orb when a three dimensional sigil appeared in the air before him.

"What the?" Tommy asked, as he reached out for the crimson marking. His hand passed right through it, although the object appeared to be solid. He quickly recognized it as the Crest of Carin, the crest of the Immortal Vast.

"Accessing personal entries . . . system online," a harsh mechanical voice sounded. Tommy glanced around, seeking the source of the sound when a moving picture appeared before his face. He made out a dark sphere hanging in space, surrounded by thousands of onyx warships.

"I was there . . . the day the bells tolled the arrival of the Immortal Vast. They struck the military compounds at alarming speeds and then moved to destroy industrial centers. It was a well-calculated, well-executed invasion . . . but they overlooked one particular resistance faction- The ZyrakuRangers. Myself and the other Rangers were impossibly outnumbered against the black legions. However, this was the environment in which we shone the brightest. We called upon the powers of our animal protectors and fought the Immortal forces back to the shores. It was there that Emperor Maelstrom unleashed the might of his Titan forces, massive assault vehicles controlled by Vast starships in orbit around Eltar." The voice that clearly belonged to Lord Zedd echoed in the darkened chambers. Tommy waved a hand through the image and the hologram suddenly disappeared. Moments later, the soft computerized voice returned.

"Browsing personal entries . . . displaying entry 9112001-A," the voice announced. The familiar orb of Eltar once again materialized, this time appearing serene and calm in the blanket of stars. Lord Zedd's low growl once again filled the chambers.

"I was only ten standard years old when I was to be taken before the Burian Elders. My cousins had been no less than fifteen before their first test. However, civil war had consumed the free tribes of Eltar and certain practices were to be . . . modified. The Danshan Warriors of the west were moving against my people, the tribe of Burai. Before we reached the Lagan Temple, we were attacked . . . a hunting party of seven Danshans. I sought shelter in the Temple, only to find it consumed by fire. The Elders lay dead on the Temple steps, but there was something calling me into the temple, something that seemed to echo in my mind.

The Temple itself was a maze of catacombs and tunnels that I managed to traverse only by luck. It was in the depths of the Lagan Temple that I found it, the long lost Chaos Orb. I quickly remembered the stories of my childhood . . . before the last Burian God passed on to the Void, he plucked one of the brightest stars from the sky and marked it with his own claw. It shone a mesmerizing emerald hue in the darkness of the catacomb and I couldn't resist. I reached out with my human hand and fulfilled what could only be destiny. The Burian Gods reached out beyond the Galactic Chasm and bestowed their might upon a ten year old boy.

The power rushed through my body as if wildfire. My muscles turned to steel as the Shield of Lagan wrapped around my chest and Zyusoken appeared in my hands. The Gods themselves had christened me their Burian Knight. With my newfound power, I rushed back to the fields outside the Temple where I met the seven Danshans in battle. Bearing the might of the Burian Gods, I killed all but one of the Danshans, the one survivor fleeing into the distance. It was that day that I found my place in the universe, that I found a power unlike anything ever seen by human eyes.
" Before Tommy could react, a loud human voice sounded.

"Attention: Priority command. All Gamma Class MAWs report to Hypervole Quarters." the voice instructed. Tommy heard footsteps fill the hallway just outside the chambers and quickly moved beside the door. The whirling holographic journal spun out of existence as the Dragon Ranger snuck through the opened stone doors, sealing them behind him.

Commander Tieana stood beside Sergeant Ragnus as the squadron of Gamma Class MAWs, marked by the green stripe down their breastplate, marched into the Hypervole Quarters. The Hypervole control team stood at their stations, setting the computers to allow Lord Zedd to receive his guest. Tommy ducked his head into the expansive chamber, trying to gain a better view when the hulking Primator pushed him aside to gain entry. Lord Zedd appeared from the far corridor and moved to stand before the reception portal.

"All linear banks are online and in alignment. Processing signal for reconfiguration," the control operator reported. Zedd's gruesome form heaved slightly in anticipation. Without warning, a beam of solid light came down from the ceiling, enclosing the sunken reception portal. A low note hummed to life as the light continued to intensify in brightness. As quickly as the beam had appeared, it burst out in a fading wave, leaving a figure knelt in the depth of the portal. The figure was distinctly female, bearing a black skin-tight bodysuit and black hair fixed into a tight weave upon her head.

"Lisandra, Master Warrior of the planet Tryforia, welcome to the Sol System," Lord Zedd greeted, stepping forward. Lisandra turned her eyes upward and took Zedd's clawed hand.

"It is an honor to serve you, Lord Zedd," She replied with a thick Tryforian accent. Primator grimaced, his face contorting to show his displeasure at the presence of the female warrior.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Death Valley, Earth . . .

The silence of the Zabriskie Point badlands was suddenly shattered by a similar display of energy. This energy left a sleek, muscular form kneeling in the shadow of a rock-like, avian creature. The man, the Battle Ranger, stood and turned back to his companion, the Riser known as Kans.

"Yes, Kans, the gravity here is considerably greater. I apologize for not warning you already," the man explained. Kans replied with a low trill.

"Your uniqueness will draw unwanted attention, I am afraid," the man continued. Kans began to shake his head, almost as if he was upset by the words. The man reached out and rubbed the Riser on his bony beak.

"I'll be okay, I promise. You'll need to rest after riding the current of Lisandra's Hypervole. Dive into the Lucent Horizon. I'll call you if I need you, okay?" He swore. The Riser seemed to calm down as the man reached underneath its wing, pulling a short trident from its holding compartment.

"Go, I'll be okay," he insisted. With that, the Riser flapped its massive wings, a red light sparkling in the sunlight. That light opened cosmic gateways to the temporal dimension known to all Tryforians as the Lucent Horizon, the safe haven of all Risers. From avoiding predators to seeking refuge and rest, the dimension had served the species since the dawn of known time. In a brilliant twirl of crimson energy, Kans vanished into his ethereal home.

"Take shelter, my old friend," the man offered before taking a better look at his surroundings. A quick dance of fingertips over his gauntlet brought up navigation displays in the man's darkened visor.

'Odd . . . Zordon's frequency is significantly weakened . . . I pray I'm not too late!' the man thought to himself as he turned to face the setting sun. The Battle Ranger exploded into motion, becoming a blur that reached into the horizon.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Jason stood behind the still damaged control panel which sat just before Zordon's hazy ion tube. He stood anxious, almost as if he expected to see Zordon's face appear before him as it had so many times in the past. He toyed with a scorched coupling of wires before tossing them angrily aside. He felt the flames of hatred climb up from the pit of his stomach when a calming hand belonging to Trini landed softly on his shoulder.

"How do you feel?" She asked out of concern. Jason shook his head, refusing to accept the reality of their situation.

"I feel responsible . . . for all of this . . ." Jason replied. Trini nearly fell backwards at the comment.

"Responsible? How can you say you're responsible for any of this?" She returned.

"I was weak . . . I let that son of a bitch Zedd enter my mind and turn me . . . I let the green Ranger live, when I should have killed him the first time we fought. I know I could have!" Jason shouted, slamming his fists down against the console.

"I don't know . . . sometimes, the odds just seem to turn against the hero. I've always been told that in that moment, in that time of self doubt, its when we find our inner strength. I mean, look at it this way . . . even though it would seem we were randomly selected, I know, and surely you do too, that we were destined to assume this responsibility, for safeguarding the planet and humanity itself," Trini stated passionately. Jason scoffed.

"Its obvious, Jason . . . no one, not even Zedd himself, can deny we were chosen by a higher power to fulfill our destiny as rangers. Not even this green Ranger can stop us, stop the drive and determination that proved us worthy of these powers. I'll even go you one better . . . we're not the world's only hope . . . we're its best hope."

Jason closed his eyes and turned them inward, peering through the stains of hate and vengeance, and focused on the burning flame of sheer determination that raged within the very core of his soul. He put his self confidence on as if it were a suit of adamantine armor and felt the power of his courage like a gleaming broadsword.

Jason replied in agreement. "You're right." He suddenly remembered one of the speeches Coach Hardy had given him during their last football game and decided to borrow some of Hardy's movtivational words. "Victory is just beyond our fingertips. I say we reach out and take it." Adam nodded, recognizing the quote instantly, and slowly walked up behind Jason.

"What about Zordon?" He reminded. Jason nodded back and turned to Billy and Hayley.

"You wanna help save the world? Now's your chance. The two of you, with Trini helping, can find Zordon. I know it," Jason said. Billy pushed his glasses back up the ridge of his nose and smiled.

"We'll handle it," Billy replied.

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER FOURTEEN
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Old November 1st, 2008, 11:59 AM #18
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This story is pretty intense so far. A great final cut, I think.
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Old November 1st, 2008, 12:18 PM #19
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..Red X.. wrote: View Post

This story is pretty intense so far. A great final cut, I think.
Thanks! I really appreciate you taking the time to drop a comment. I know the schedule of posting has really been intense as well, as I'm trying to catch everyone up so when these new chapters are finished and the story is completed, you won't have to wait for them very long.

As far as that goes, the story ending is coming along quite nicely and its gonna be about as intense as it can get. Its a three part climax, one here on Earth concerning MegaZords, one on the moon, and a grand finale faceoff that will blow it all away.
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Old November 1st, 2008, 12:21 PM #20
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Chapter Fourteen

*The Rangers have regained their leader Jason, healed by a cutting edge medical nanobot serum created by Billy's friend, Hayley. Now, two new forces prepare to join the battle for Earth- the vile Lisandra, and the enigmatic Battle Ranger. Still mentor-less, the Rangers are soon drawn back into battle against Zedd's Immortal Vast forces. Impossibly outnumbered and facing new enemies, the Rangers will need a galactic intervention to come out unscathed.

The Moon . . .

Lord Zedd spared little effort to assure Lisandra Arcina would feel comfortable in her makeshift quarters in his darkened palace of rock and steel. Luxurious curtains fell before a curved viewport, overlooking the orb of the Earth. Her monstrous bed was covered in the finest silks from the farthest reaches of the galaxy, usually reserved for guests of political power. She sat on the soft cushion of the bed, the water from her hot bath still trickling down her arms and legs. She dried her locks of pitch black hair with an oversized towel, running her fingers down her face and neck. She softly touched the massive scar that stretched from her left breast to the top of her shoulder . . . the mark given to her by the blade of a certain Red Ranger nearly four thousand years ago.

She slid into a black garment that left her legs and arms bare. She pulled a pair of black stockings up her legs, followed by gold-armored boots. She then slid her arms and head into a gold breastplate. Next, she placed her hands into gold gauntlets and fixed a gold head dress into her hair. Fully armored, the woman was no longer known as Lisandra . . . battle hardened and vengeful, she was known by her enemies and allies alike as Scorpina.

Scorpina spun around to face the entrance way as the quarter doors split open. The massive shadow that spilled onto the stone floor was unmistakably that of the cyborg Primator.

"Hmm . . ." Primator began, taking in the woman's attractive figure.
"Lord Zedd wishes to you to . . . grace . . . his throne room with your presence, female." Scorpina regarded the mechanical aberration with equal disgust.

"Don't overload your circuits, mecha. I don't think a cold shower would be in your best interests," she returned, slipping past Primator and heading down the hallway.

Lord Zedd sat upon his throne, his Burian Knight standing at his side. Approaching footsteps heralded the arrival of his warriors.

"Ah, Lisandra, Primator, Jenova is with us," Zedd assured, "The time for an attack has come. The Rangers are still without the guidance of Zordon and they are weak. The two of you, along with my Dragon Ranger, shall lead a squadron of MAWs into the very center of Angel Grove. Draw out the Rangers and use your combined strengths to overpower them."

"As you wish, milord," Primator replied, bowing reverently. Scorpina echoed the gesture as Commander Tieana entered the chambers.

"Milord, all units are standing by," he reported.

"Excellent," Zedd returned. "Prepare to deploy."


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The command center . . .

Billy Cranston had spent most of his life in pursuit of the science of things. As a child, curiosity drove him to learn the mechanics of life and everything therein. However, his true passion wasn't biology, chemistry, or even astronomy as with his brother . . . he considered himself to be a student of all sciences. However, no science known to man could have prepared him for the alien technology of the amazing command center. From the data screen fixed on the temporal control panel, Billy watched as the computers scanned for Zordon's signature.

"There's got to be a way," Billy declared with a tired sigh. "Even if Zordon's signature was somehow weakened, the scanners should be able to calibrate to recognize the most faint of readings," Trini walked up behind, holding the soldering iron in her left hand. While Billy had begun his extensive search for Zordon's signature, Trini had been working to complete ALPHA 5’s repairs.

"The scanners will probably have to manually programmed to variate with each mark point," she suggested. Billy nodded and keyed in the commands.

"Parameters modified. Temporal scan re-initiated," a robotic voice announced. Billy sighed again and lent his weight to the support of the control panel. Hayley sat on the floor behind the panel, adjusting the settings of the scanners to cover a larger area at faster speeds. She wiped her hands free of the debris that had settled on the once-shiny floor and stood up.

"I don't know. This technology is beyond anything I've ever seen. Some of the basic designs are similar, but . . . I did the best I could, Billy," She explained. Jason walked up from the back of the Power Chamber.

"Thanks for your help, Hayley," Jason said, clearing his throat, still moving gingerly around the dais of the chamber. "We're really in a bind without Zordon or ALPHA . . ." Before Jason's statement could reverberate in the expansive room, a series of beeps increasing in pitch sounded from ALPHA 5.

"I think that did it!" Trini exclaimed. The small automaton slowly floated to his regular hover stance as it assumed its familiar posture.

"ALPHA series robotic lifeform, serial 828-93, online and awaiting instruction," it announced in its monotone voice.

"Initiate main setup," Billy ordered with a huge grin, leaving the control panel

"Initiating . . . accessing memory . . ." ALPHA continued.

"Run identity program Marker-Jay-127," Billy further instructed.

"Compliance," the droid began as its voice took on a more cheerful, human tone. "Ay yi yi yi yii, what happened?" The five Power Rangers, shocked at the droid's sudden human attitude, cast puzzled stares at Billy.

"It’s an identity program . . . apparently the ALPHA series robots were designed to be modified with personalities. In ALPHA 5’s case, no one ever utilized the program," Billy explained.

"That whole 'ay-yi-yi' phrase . . . you gave him Jake's dumb worrying sound?" Hayley asked. Billy smiled.

"I've always liked it . . . besides, this way, ALPHA will seem more human, which will increase his proficiency to communicate with us," Billy explained.

"Oh no, Zordon!" ALPHA cried distressingly. The sheer emotion of the robot caught the Rangers off guard. Billy walked up behind ALPHA and began to explain.

"You were attacked . . . as was Zordon. A green Ranger broke in and demolished pretty much everything," Billy began.

"A green Ranger? There isn't a green position in your Zyu class . . . Ai-yi-yi! This is more serious than I thought!" ALPHA replied, turning away from the temporal control panel. Jason took a step forward.

"What do you know about this green Ranger, ALPHA?" He inquired.

"I . . . I remember the alarms sounding and a green Ranger standing in the doorway . . ." ALPHA began to ramble.

"ALPHA, we need to know exactly who we're up against . . ." Jason insisted. The little droid shook his head in frustration.

"My memory banks have been damaged . . . I wish I could help you Jason, but the only thing I recall is Zordon speaking of a Dragon Ranger seconds before we were attacked."

"Listen ALPHA, it’s . . ." Before Jason could continue, the blaring sirens of the alarms filled the air.

"What now?" Adam asked, stepping up. Billy quickly brought up the information.

"Two recognized energy signatures . . . the Dragon Ranger and Primator . . . a third unknown signature, along with nearly three dozen MAWs . . ." Billy reported.

"Where?" Jason asked. ALPHA brought up the map and quickly had the coordinates.

"They're in downtown Angel Grove . . . I'm uploading coordinates to the teleporting systems," ALPHA explained. Hayley stood in amazement as the five Rangers slid their right hands through the handles of the Power Morphers.

"Its morphing time!" Jason cried, stirring up bolts of energy that snaked out of the Morphers. The wave of energy consumed the humans, transforming them into their superhuman counterparts.

"Incredible!" Hayley shouted. ALPHA quickly spun and floated to the teleporting panel.

"Standby Rangers . . . and good luck," the robot wished, keying in the commands.


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Lord Sih Caien Zedd sat in silence, watching the Scepter of Carinasia spin in the vacuous hold of the gravity locks. Formed from a gold-hued alloy, it bore the Crest of Carin atop its crown and several precious jewels long its slender form. However, this was no ordinary staff . . . it contained the secret location of a machine so vile, it destroyed the very people responsible for its ‘birth.’ However, Lord Zedd always considered himself to be the fabricator of impossible works.

"Commander, have your men decoded the information?" Zedd inquired of Tieana, who stood nearby, overlooking his team of scientists. Tieana and his men had been assigned so uncover the mysteries contained in the scepter.

"We've discovered an unfamiliar star chart as of yet, milord," Tieana replied.

"Unfamiliar? Let me see . . ." Zedd commanded, walking up to the shiny control panel set into the wall of rock. The large screen fixed above the panel quickly displayed the star chart.

"The Nelandia System . . ." Zedd recognized.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The five Power Rangers landed in the sprawling courtyard that sat in the shadow of the First National Bank of Angel Grove. Their eyes took in the calm and serene environment.

"Watch your backs guys, ALPHA should have put us right on top of them," Jason instructed, drawing the Power Sword from the Morphing Grid. Striking without warning, a silver blade struck against the adamantine armor of their uniforms, a weapon that belonged to a new enemy. The attacker moved at speeds so quick, the Rangers were helpless to parry and vanished without a trace.

"Jut-si-kiyah!" Jason recognized the battle cry and turned to face the Dragon Ranger as he bore down on the ruby warrior. Holding his ground against his arch-nemesis, he shouted to his teammates.

"Spread out!" Jason spit through gritted teeth. The Zyusoken Dragon Dagger withdrew its struggle against the Power Sword and opted for a lower route, slicing Jason across his thigh. Jason spun frantically, moving to claim ground against the Dragon Ranger. Tommy Oliver, fully empowered with the Dragon Ranger powers, stood his ground against the Red Ranger, parrying and countering viciously with the Dragon Dagger. The two fighters became blurs of motion as they engaged in a breakneck display of offensive power.

Zack charged Primator as the cyborg appeared from a spinning energy portal, raising the Power Axe high above his head. The machine of death blocked the weapon with his massive fists, twirling and connecting with a solid side kick. As soon as the cyborg could regain his stance, energy arrows from the Pink Ranger sparked against his armor. The machine of death merely shook the blows off and charged the four Power Rangers, reaching out with hands that could turn bone into powder. Trini wasted no time launching the Power Daggers at his bulky form, their gleaming blades penetrating the thick armor that covered his wide chest. Primator swatted the daggers to the ground below and paused as his forearms morphed into a buzzsaw and proton cannon, respectively. Adam spun the Power Lance in his gloved hands, anticipating Primator's attack, before a distinctly feminine battle cry rang out. The Blue Power Ranger turned to face the exotic woman bearing gold armor and a broadsword.

"Who the hell are you?!" Adam demanded. The woman was quick to reply as she charged him.

"I am Scorpina, the last thing you will see!" Adam spun the lance around, grasping it at its ends to block the swing of the sword. Her mighty weapon split Adam's staff in half as he fought to grasp the two ends of the Power Lance. Trini was quick to come to Adam's aide, stabbing at Scorpina with her recovered daggers. The Yellow and Blue Rangers traded blows with Scorpina that flowed like lightning and landed like thunder. As the Power Rangers fought against the three warriors, MAW portals spun above the battle ground.

"MAWs!" Trini shouted, distancing herself from Scorpina in order to deflect the bolts of laser fire spewing from the cloud of MAWs. The ground shook as the soldiers landed, aiming their laser rifles at the Power Rangers.

"Adam, take my sword! Assemble the Power Blaster!" Jason commanded, throwing his Power Sword to the Blue Ranger. Adam caught the weapon by its hilt as Jason returned his attention to the Dragon Ranger.

"Guys, bring 'em together!" Adam shouted. In a matter of seconds, the completed Power Blaster rested in Adam's hands as Trini and Kimberly knelt down to support the barrel of the awesome weapon.

"Fire!" Adam cried, concentrated beams of energy erupted from the barrel of the blaster and spinning violently into the MAWs. Zack kept Primator busy with his Blade Blaster as the Blue, Yellow, and Pink Rangers continued to cut through the swarms of black footsoldiers.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The cold, icy blue eyes of the hidden spectator took in the battle that spilled out before him. From his high perch, he watched as Scorpina robbed Adam of the Power Blaster, ripping it apart in a shower of sparks and flame.

'Her reputation has its merit . . .' he whispered to himself. He watched as the MAWs swarmed the Rangers, defenseless without their Power Weapons.


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"What is that?" Hayley asked over the screaming alarm that sounded from the weapons panel.

"The Power Weapons . . . they've been forced to power down . . . the Morphing Grid has frozen them in an attempt to save their signatures . . ." Billy quickly explained, doing what he could to preserve the weapons.

"Morphing Grid?" She questioned.

"I'll explain later," Billy replied, quickly engaging the comm devices, "Guys, I'm afraid your weapons are gone for the moment . . . they've been returned to the armory pocket of the Morphing Grid . . . they'll need time to refigure.

The Rangers glanced at each other once they received the troubling news.

"Not good . . ." Adam snapped. Before the Rangers could act further, Scorpina formed a boomerang of gold light that rippled with energy. She launched the attack which spun into air, hitting the Rangers in kamikaze strikes before fading out into thin air. Bursts of static sounded over Billy's speakers as another alarm sounded.

"Shit, their suits are failing!" He shouted, "Guys, get out of there!" ALPHA quickly shot Billy's command down.

"Without their suits' full integrity, teleporting will be too risky!" ALPHA cried. The Rangers struggled back to their feet when a strong gust of wind played through the tall grass of the bank's courtyard. The slender blades of grass continued to slowly sway in the unnatural breeze, slowing and finally freezing in motion.

The Dragon Ranger, reveling in the destruction of his mortal enemies, seemed as if he were cast from stone. Even the smoke of dying armor capacitors hovered motionless in the air. Without warning, sparks flew from the Dragon Ranger's torso in zig-zag eruptions of flame, their display the only motion in the now dead-silent battle. Seemingly latent emerald and crimson energy formed an X over the battle scarred Shield of Lagan.

Primator, the now ever-still cybernetic MAW commander and Master Warrior soon spewed his own flashes of fire and smoke before the green and red X also formed over his own chest. Scorpina bore the same lines of sparks before receiving the X shaped energy over her own golden breastplate. Curiously, the waves of MAWs seemed exempt from the foreign energy play as time slowly spun back into motion. Zedd's monstrous threesome suddenly erupted in flashes of fire, the X's that covered their chests exploding into awesome surges of devastating energy.

"Guys, watch out . . . I'm picking up unusual energy patterns all around you . . ." Billy warned.

"Yeah, we see it!" Trini snapped back, as she surveyed the three disciples of Lord Zedd cloaked by clouds of smoke that were tinged with the stench of ozone. "What's causing all of this?"

"I'm not sure . . . but get this . . . the energy is operating on the same frequency as your symbiotes . . . however, the patterns are so erratic, I can't get an accurate reading . . ." Billy answered as best he could.

MAW Ground Troop Beta-Nine-Jay-Eighty-Two was no different from any other droid in the MAW Beta Squadron. He was cast from the same Fernovian alloy, wired with the same circuitry, and operated on the same programs. He also shared the same irregular program operation, what a human, capable of human emotions, would identify as fear.

In the space separating the Rangers from the MAW battalions, a shadow fell and vanished. The sound of a razor-edged blade slicing through the air heralded a massive pattern of energy, formed in a split X shape. The expanding energy burned through the smoke-filled air, rippling with snaking tendrils. The energy cut through the MAWs, severing positronic nerve-cores and separating armor from wire.

The Dragon Ranger, Primator, and Scorpina continued to writhe in pain as fans of energy washed over them, carrying them back to the moon.

"Guys, suit integrity readings show a green for teleporting. Standby for displacement." Billy instructed. Columns of clear energy fell from the sky, encasing the Rangers. A flash of light ensued, sending them back to the command center. The discharge of energy, a safeguard implemented Billy and ALPHA to destroy any technology deemed unsafe for Earth, swept over the pavement, burning away the piles of broken MAWs that lay scattered.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Lord Zedd stormed into the nerve system of his vast military operation, his control center chambers.

"Lieutenant, show me the recording of this 'anomaly'," Zedd ordered. The human officer keyed the command in which spun the holographic display to life. The fight between Zedd's forces and Zordon's Power Rangers spilled out onto the display panel, each representation engaged in miniature warfare.

"Milord, at this point, there was some sort of temporal disturbance which caused time to come to a halt," Lieutenant Marshals explained.

"There are few forces in this or any other universe capable of manipulating the natural flow of time . . ." Zedd whispered.

"During the temporal event, your forces were attacked by an as-of-yet unrecognized energy . . . however, we have concluded that whatever it was, it was a symbiote-based power," Lieutenant Marshals continued.

"A Ranger power . . . Lieutenant, continue your work and update me if you find anything else . . . discover our new enemy's identity and you'll see your reward . . . with rank," Zedd offered.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


The five Power Rangers stood around their civilian counterpart, Billy Cranston and their robotic assistant, ALPHA 5.

"Have you got anything yet, ALPHA?" Jason asked, fidgeting with his new communicator.

"The reason Billy and Trini haven't been able to find Zordon's temporal point is because his signature was hidden. It was a security measure to keep Zordon safe in the event that Lord Zedd or anyone accessed the command center's computers," ALPHA explained. Billy turned back to the Rangers.

"Because of ALPHA's system restart, his command memory was corrupted. He's accessing the commands that first linked the systems with Zordon's temporal point," Billy added. ALPHA mumbled as the commands were set back into the system.

"Commands acknowledged . . . accessing temporal gateway . . . connecting with signature . . . and authenticated," the little droid rambled. Billy stepped forward, allowing his fingers to dance over the keypad.

"Bringing plasma display systems online . . . engaging ion tube," Billy reported as the glass encasing came down around the crystal-capped base. Blue tendrils of energy climbed the length of the repaired light columns, reaching out for the tube as Zordon's face formed in the stream of ions.

"Zordon!" Kimberly cried, running down the ramp, to the ion tube.

"Rangers!" Zordon replied with equal jubilancy.

"We thought we'd lost you . . ." Adam explained. Zordon nodded, a wide grin playing across his soft features.

"It is good to see you again too," the legendary Morphing Master replied. He looked around at the wrecked Power Chamber and quickly regained his composure. "However, there are dire issues at hand."

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER FIFTEEN
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