DECA Rangers: Chapter Two
Alarms blared throughout DECA Base as the fortress went into lockdown mode. Red lights flashed along the ceiling and floors, and doors of solid vibranium slid into place to seal off sensitive areas of the headquarters.
Wes Collins, field leader of the Silver Guardians, hurried down a sub-corridor towards one of the base's evidence lockers as three of his men followed.
"What's the source?" he asked into the comm link on his wrist.
Swan's voice answered. "The Zylon-class Trident in evidence locker 8. It was carrying a worm that used the entire base to boost its signal."
"I hate it when the bad guys get clever," Wes said.
They moved towards evidence locker 8, which was sectioned off with transparasteel doors. Wes stepped up to the security lock, which scanned his retina, and one of the doors opened.
He quickly stepped inside and spotted the trident near the center of the walk-in locker room. "Get isolation charges around that beacon," he said. "I want its signal cut off."
The Silver Guardians managed to shut down the trident and dampen its signal- but not before the signal spanned the Solar System and stretched light years away to the other side of Earth's quadrant of the galaxy.
DECA Base stood down from its lockdown mode, and the rangers returned to headquarters. Inside, near the top of the base was a round briefing room walled with holographic monitors that tracked extra terrestrial activity across the planet, but more specifically, in Angel Grove. A round table was in the center of the room, and a holographic projector was on the center of the table.
The five rangers sat around the table as Kruger stood nearby.
"First of all, I believe introductions are in order," Kruger said. "Team, this is Nat. He will be serving as DECA Red. Nat, this is Sky, DECA Blue; Bridge, DECA Green; Z, DECA Yellow; and Syd, DECA Pink."
"Sir, why him" Sky asked. He made a conscious effort to not look anywhere near Nat. "He hasn't been a Ranger for more than five minutes, and he's already blown what should have been a standard Op."
Nat scoffed. "If it should've been so simple, then what was your trouble?"
Sky narrowed his eyes at the latest addition to the team. "We had everything under control until-"
"Gentlemen," Kruger interrupted. "Now isn't the time." The commander began to pace around the table as he continued his briefing. "I believe the agent who was killed, the one who carried the trident, was meant to die, so you would find the trident and bring it here. Which means it wasn't being used for something as simple as off-world communications."
Syd leaned forward. "Well then what was it being used for?"
"I know who to ask," Z said. "Damien Tryp."
Nat shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "That may not exactly work."
"Agreed," Kruger said. "He's too high profile to bring in for questioning unless we have solid evidence."
"Right," Nat said. "That and...I may have tossed him out a skyscraper window."
"Are you kidding me?!" Sky snapped. "Are you going to kill all our leads?"
"Back off," Nat said.
Z knitted her brow with confusion and looked to her teammates. "Damien Tryp isn't dead..."
"He's dead. I threw him out a window," Nat said.
"Um, Nat?" Bridge asked awkwardly, as if he was nervous to speak to the new ranger. "Did you see a body? Because in our experience, albeit limited experience, if you don't see a body, chances are they're not really dead."
"I threw him out a skyscraper window," Nat said. "Body or not, I'm pretty sure he's dead."
Kruger crossed his arms over his chest. "We believe Damien Tryp is Diamantian. The fall wouldn't have killed him."
Nat knitted his brow as a thought dawned on him. "Wait a second...if you guys knew about Tryp, why'd you let him run loose all this time?"
"SPD walks a fine line," Kruger said. "We don't operate under the umbrella of any government, but we're not outside the law. We would need something solid before bringing someone like Damien Tryp in for questioning."†
"Well in that case..." Nat said as he leaned forward. "I may have given you an in. Think about it: a powerful CEO, who happens to be an ET, gets assaulted and thrown out a window? Sounds like something you guys would look into."
Z smiled and nodded in agreement. "We could make it look like we were investigating the assault, and use that as an excuse to bring him in for questioning."
Nat looked to Sky. "You're welcome."
"Very well," Kruger said. "Nat, since you've...encountered...Damien Tryp before, you remain here while the others bring him in."
The commander went over a few more technical details about the aftermath of the lockdown before dismissing the rangers to their duties.
Sky pulled Nat aside in the corridor outside the briefing room. "You might have 'given us an in,' but let's get one thing straight: We don't go around throwing people out windows and doing whatever we please. We're SPD, not a rogue hit squad. There are rules and regs for a reason."
"Is that why you need an excuse to ask someone- who you know is a killer- a few questions?" Nat said. "I didn't join up with this group to get strangled with red tape."
"That 'red tape' is what separates us from them," Sky said. "If you don't like it, leave. I'd be happy to show you the door."
"I'm sure you would, partner," Nat said.
"Don't call me partner," Sky said.
"I was being facetious," Nat said.
Sky scoffed and shook his head as if disgusted. "Just stay out of our way," he said while turning away from Nat and walking down the corridor.
Syd had lingered back by the briefing room door, and she waited until Sky was out of sight before walking towards Nat. "You'll have to forgive Sky," Syd said. "He takes his job here way serious."
"I noticed," Nat said as he stared down the corridor towards where Sky had left.
"He actually enlisted in the army right after high school, because of his dad," Syd said. "His father was killed in Iraq a few years back, and I guess Sky wanted to honor his memory or something like that."
"This isn't the army," Nat said.
"Clearly," Syd said. "Sky was enlisted for about a year before he was discharged. He won't really say why...but anyway, after that, he was recruited by SPD. This is pretty much all he has."
"That's no excuse to be a prick," Nat said.
A comet shot into the Solar System and streaked towards the Earth. The object left a trail of crackling energy far more powerful than that of a normal comet, because the object was not a typical piece of space rock. It was a machine.
Damien Tryp, indeed alive, sat behind a black-polished desk in one of his high-rise offices in Angel Grove. The office was so wide that it nearly took up the entire floor, and the room was decorated with various antiques and pieces of art. The desk was in front of a wall of windows that extended from the floor to the ceiling.
The businessman stood when his office doors opened, and Sky, Bridge, Syd, and Z walked inside. He put on his best fake smile and straightened his suit jacket. "SPD..." he said. "You've had quite an impact on our city in the few months since you've been here. Well done. It's made business so much...easier."
Sky walked up to the desk and crossed his arms behind his back. "We're glad to hear it, sir."
Tryp took a seat and waved his hand out to the four chairs in front of his desk. "Please, be seated. I assume you're here to investigate the attack that was made on me in this very building. That...boy...could not have been human."
Z nodded. "We have reason to believe he was after something," she said. "A Zylon-class communications Trident."
"I see..." Tryp said as he leaned backward. He dropped his friendly demeanor, and a smug grin crossed his face. "I suppose you think you're clever...using the attack as an excuse to question me about the trident." He looked down at his watch. "But I'm afraid you're too late. If the trident did its job, and I'm assuming it did, you're too late now."
Sky narrowed his eyes. "That sounds like a confession."
"Oh, it is, not that it matters." He looked at the rangers and smiled. "That's the great thing about this world, this country in particular. I could sit here and tell you all about my crimes and my plans, but with the right amount of money, and the right law firm, I'd never even be formally charged. The legal system is so wonderful."
The building suddenly shook, and the rangers stood from their seats. Tryp smiled, stood, and turned his back towards the rangers to face the window. "It's here..." he said.
In the distance, a massive machine dropped from the skies and crashed into the city with a thundering boom. The giant machine was a mobile, fan-like turbine with giant drills extending upward from its sides. The turbine rolled through the city streets towards Tryp's building.†
"It's magnificent," Tryp said. "Enough power to drill into the Earth and create enough upheaval to topple society. And I, and my company, will be there to pick up the pieces. Can you imagine the wealth?"
The rangers pulled out their weapons and aimed at the businessman. "Call it off," Sky said. "Now."
"I would rather not," Tryp said.
The businessman pressed a button on his watch, and his body shimmered with energy as suit of odd armor covered him with plates of diamond-hard, shining steel. The plates formed a helmet around his head that extended upward with three blades shaped like the top three points of a star. And bulky, red-tinted armor plating extended from his shoulders. His human face- a disguise- shimmered away to reveal narrow, orange eyes above rows of sharp, long teeth.†
The Diamantian leapt forward, shattered through the window, and streaked through the air towards the turbine machine in the distance.
Syd looked to Sky. "We have to stop him."
Sky nodded. "Right." He pulled out his morpher, and the others did the same.†
"SPD! Emergency!" Energy shimmered around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms.
"On second thought," DECA Green said. "Isn't this more of a job for Jet Force? I mean, with the big, attacking robot monster and all, I thought that-"
DECA Blue ignored the Green Ranger and flipped open his badge. "Delta Runners! Mobilize!"
The massive bay doors of DECA Base flipped open, and the four Delta Runners launched from the zord hanger. The blue-armored Patrol Gyro hovered through the air, while the yellow-armored Patrol Armor, green-armored Patrol Trailer, and pink-armored Patrol Signer drove across the streets.
The four zords throttled towards the enemy turbine, and the four DECA Rangers ran into their cockpits.
Ranger Pink swerved her zord in front of the turbine machine to block its path, as DECA Green steered his zord towards the enemy mecha's side.
"Signal Cannon!" the Green Ranger shouted.
The side of his zord slid open to reveal a blaster that fired pulse blasts, which exploded against the enemy mecha with bursts of spark.
But the turbine machine, its drills and turbine spinning, rolled forward and bashed past Patrol Signer and Patrol Trailer with massive bursts of spark that shook the streets below.
Inside DECA Base, an observation port looked down upon the mecha hanger, which was empty except for the red-armored Patrol Striker, zord of the Red Ranger. Swan sat in the observation port and finished a diagnostic of the Patrol Striker while Kruger stood over her.
The commander had his arms crossed over his chest, and his ears were twitching impatiently. "The Rangers are going to need their Megazord."
"The fusion program isn't finished," Swan said. She shook her head as her fingers danced across the controls. "I told Dr. Cranston we needed more time before going online...he wouldn't listen."
"He rarely does," Kruger said.
The doors to the observation port slid open, and Nat rushed in.
"Kruger," he said.
"It's 'Commander' or 'Sir,'" Kruger said.
"Right," Nat said. "I need my zord. The team is getting trashed."
Swan continued to type on her diagnostic panels as she spoke. "It's not mission-ready yet."
"I just took it out earlier today," Nat said.
Swan kept her eyes on her work. "But since it's been back in the hanger, I've been trying to finish installing the new fusion program."
"Fusion program?" Nat asked.
Kruger nodded. "It will allow your Delta Runner to combine with the other four zords to form the DECA Megazord."
"Without the finished program," Swan said, "you'd have to assemble the zords manually."
"Sounds fine to me," Nat said. "I'm rolling out."
Nat dashed through the doorway, and Swan shouted at him to wait, but he was already gone. She looked to Kruger. "I hope you knew what you were doing...giving that boy a morpher."
Kruger nodded without showing the slightest hesitation. "I'm sure of it."
Nat morphed into DECA Red and dashed to the loading port just above the mecha hanger. The main wall of the loading port was lined with five entry tubes used to slide into the Delta Runners, which typically were kept on the hanger floor.
Ranger Red dove feet first into the opening that was illuminated with a red glow, and he slid through the tube towards his zord on the hanger deck.
DECA Red landed in his cockpit seat and attached his morpher to the console in front of him to activate the zord's systems.
The Red Ranger paid close attention to the stats that flashed across his visor to instruct him how to operate the zord. He may have driven Patrol Striker once, but he was far from an expert.
DECA Base's mecha hanger bay opened up, and Patrol Striker revved up and rolled out onto the streets of Angel Grove.
Patrol Armor rammed against the turbine machine, but the enemy mecha smashed past the yellow-armored zord and continued its drive forward.
Above, the blue-armored Patrol Gyro hovered into position.
"I have a shot," the Blue Ranger said. "I'm taking it."
The zord's gyro cannons spun and fired darts of energy that exploded against the machine with a shower of sparks, but the enemy mecha's armor was too strong for the blasts to penetrate.
DECA Blue cursed beneath his breath. "We need to fall back, regroup, and come up with a plan."
"There's no time for that," a voice said through the comm system. It was DECA Red.
The Blue Ranger looked out his viewport to see Patrol Striker drive towards the scene below. "I didn't ask for your input."
"Noted," DECA Red said. "Now let's combine."
"Combine?" DECA Yellow said. "The fusion program isn't finished. We'd have to do it manually."
"So?" DECA Red said. "Just follow the instructions. They flash across your visor. Can't get much more obvious than that." He shifted a control lever in his cockpit. "Delta Runners assemble! DECA fusion!"
Patrol Striker extended two arms and lined up with Patrol Armor and Patrol Signer, which regrouped beside the red-armored zord. The three zords continued to drive forward, and at the same time, the Patrol Striker arms tried to latch onto Patrol Armor and Patrol Signer. But the two other zords jerked back and forth with resistance.
"It's not working!" DECA Pink shouted.
"You've just got to nudge it a bit," DECA Red said.
Ranger Red turned his control wheel back and forth and locked the two other zords in place while swerving across the streets and nearly flipping out of control. The cockpit rocked so violently that DECA Red thought his zord was about to shake apart. But then, with a loud clank, the three zord's tightened their lock into position and lurched forward, nearly knocking the Red Ranger from his seat.
DECA Blue's voice came through the comm system. "You think I'm going to let you showboat?"
Patrol Gyro and Patrol Trailer maneuvered into formation and formed a pair of legs, and the other three zords linked up with the two. The fusion program completed, and the five zords formed a giant robo.
"Gear up!" the Rangers shouted. "DECA Megazord!"
The Patrol Trailer leg opened a side panel and popped out the Signal Cannon, which the Megazord caught in its hands.
The turbine machine immediately took to the offensive and sprayed lances of energy that streaked towards the Megazord.
Ranger Blue tightened his grip on his controls. "Take him down!"
DECA Megazord leapt to the side as enemy fire exploded around the robo, and while leaping, the Megazord fired bursts of energy that exploded against the enemy mecha with bursts of spark. The Megazord flipped, landed in a crouched position, and slid across the streets while holding its blaster in a ready position.
The turbine machine turned and opened fire at the Megazord, but the robo dropped and rolled across the streets while holding its blaster forward and firing energy bursts that exploded against the enemy mecha. Sparks filled the mecha's viewport, and when the sparks cleared, the alien pilot had lost sight of the Megazord.
"Hmm..." the villain known as Damien Tryp kept his mecha rolling forward across the streets and kept his eyes out for the Megazord.
Nearby, the DECA Megazord was crouched behind a dense cluster of skyscrapers with its blaster held at the ready. The Rangers waited until the enemy turbine passed, and then the Megazord stepped out behind the turbine, aimed its blaster, and fired.
Energy bursts exploded against the machine, but Tryp commanded the mecha to hurl debris from its aft waste ports, and chunks of concrete and debris slammed against the Megazord with enough force for the robo to lose its grip on its blaster, which hurled through the air and landed on top of the enemy mecha.
"This thing got a sword?" Ranger Red asked.
"Yes," Ranger Green said. "Solid vibranium with the latest vibro tech for high-frequency, high-yield-"
"Seriously, man," DECA Red said.
"Right," DECA Green said. "Judgment Sword."
The Patrol Trailer Leg flipped open and ejected the Judgment Sword, which the robo caught in its hands.
The enemy mecha opened fire with lances of energy that exploded against the DECA Megazord, but the robo leapt over the turbine, slashed against its armor with bursts of spark, and grabbed its blaster before landing on the other side of the machine.
Sparks exploded from the cockpit of the enemy turbine as Tryp cursed beneath his breath. The Megazord's saber slash had cut through several key conduits, and the mecha was going to fall apart.
The villain had no desire to go down with his mecha. He set the machine on an auto-pilot course towards the Megazord, rigged the blasters to continuously fire, and leapt from the turbine to the safety of the streets below.
The enemy mecha rolled towards the Megazord while firing lances of energy that exploded against the robo's armor.
The Megazord stepped back and used both hands to aim its blaster forward.
"Signal Cannon," DECA Red said. "Full charge!"
Power cells from each of the Delta Runners channeled energy into the blaster, which whined with power as it powered up.
"Fire!" DECA Red shouted.
The blaster fired a volley of explosive energy blasts that ripped through the enemy mecha's armor with bursts of spark, tore through the turbine, and pierced the machine's power core with enough force to detonate the entire machine, which exploded into shrapnel.
The alien known as Damien Tryp limped towards cover on the streets below as his machine went up in smoke along with his plans.
But the DECA Rangers leapt from their Megazord and landed on the streets to block the villain's path.
Ranger Red pulled out his twin blasters. "I won't let you get up and walk away this time," he said. "This time...I'll make sure you're dead."
The villain tilted his head. "That voice...so, it's you, the boy who threw me out the window. Ha."
"I wouldn't be laughing..." the Red Ranger said. "You're going to pay for every life you've destroyed!"
DECA Red leapt to the side while keeping his blasters aimed at the villain and firing energy bursts that sparked against the villain's armor.
The blasts forced the villain several steps back, and before he could defend himself, DECA Blue leapt through the air and smashed his D-Knuckle against the villain's chest with a burst of spark.
Ranger Green moved in next and spun through the air while slashing his D-Baton across the villain's chest with a burst of spark. And DECA Yellow and DECA Pink leapt at their opponent and chopped their batons across the villain's body with bursts of spark that sent him staggering backward.†
The alien stumbled to stay on his feet, and DECA Red stepped closer to the villain.
Ranger Red thrust his badge forward. "Damien Tryp," he said. "You're accused of murder and conspiracy to destroy the Earth." He flipped open his badge. "Judgment!"
The badge lights flashed back and forth between a red-colored "X" and a blue-colored "O." The Red Ranger wasn't sure how the judgment badge worked, but once the badge stopped flashing and showed a glowing red "X," he stopped caring.
"Guilty," DECA Red said.†
Ranger Red combined his two blasters into a single weapon and triggered a twirling burst of crimson energy that punctured through the villain with a massive explosion that consumed his armor and his body.
The Ranger lowered his weapon as the villain's remains blew away into wisps of smoke.†
Blocks away, a strange figure shrouded in a black cloak watched the smoke of the destroyed turbine machine rise from the skyline. The stranger, who hung upside down beneath the ledge of a skyscraper, was disappointed, but also intrigued.
Perhaps the Earth would be a more challenging business venture than he thought.
To be continued...Chapter 03