Ultimate Legacy: Chapter Ten
Gods and Men
Images twirled around the Ultimate Power Rangers. The Time Shard unlocked, showing visions of Earth after the defeat of N'Ma and release of the Hell Gods, which triggered the Apocalypse and broke the Fifth Seal to the Dark One's prison.
"Anyone else bring popcorn?" the Green Ranger asked.
The others sighed and shook their heads.
(New Generation Year Six)
DECA Base assumed high-alert status. The SPD headquarters dispatched Silver Guardians and ZECT units across the globe, in anticipation of cataclysmic attacks.
The threat: The Fifth Seal broke, unleashing the Apocalypse, allowing the gods of legend to enter the mortal realm. The biggest risk came from the Gods of the Underworld, from Lucifer to Hades.
SPD anticipated madness on an epic scale.
But nothing happened.
The Earth sat quietly, and waited.
Commander Kruger leaned forward at his desk. He knitted his brow and kept his eyes on his control monitor.
"Swan, any signs of the enemy?" he asked for the sixth time that hour.
She shook her head. "Not yet," she said from her science station. "We picked up the initial energy surge after the destruction of N'Ma, but after that...nothing."
Kruger growled with annoyance. The initial energy surge measured off the charts, which worried the commander. SPD equipped its forces to deal with meta-level criminals, not intergalactic threats, and certainly not gods. No Ranger team could equal the power of a god.
"Keep analyzing the initial data stream," Kruger said. "We won't be able to stop the threat, so we'll need a way to contain it."
Swan nodded. "We're working on it, along with every science division INET has."
"Let's hope that's enough..." Kruger said quietly.
Nat stood on the top of DECA Base and looked out upon the city, a buzz of activity as people went about their daily lives.
Z joined him and crossed her arms over her chest. "So this is what the Apocalypse looks like?" she asked. "It's actually not that bad."
Nat smirked. "Always the optimist...It's going to get worse."
"True. But at least this gives us a break from hunting other Ranger teams..." Z said.
Nat nodded. "We wasted so much time fighting each other...We basically let this happen."
"Don't say that. You can't know how things would have turned out, if Cranston and Oliver had worked together instead of against each other."
The ground trembled, and the skies darkened. Red lighting scorched the clouds, which parted to reveal a blood-red moon.
"Well..." Nat said. "That escalated quickly."
Hades, Greek God of the Underworld, hovered in the skies above Athens. Dressed in dark Greco-Roman armor, eyes like fire, and skin as black as coal, he grinned.
Slowly, he spread his hand across the land, and he reached out with dark, cosmic energy, the power of the dead.
"The land of my father..." he whispered, his voice like gravel. "The land of my brothers. Now...and forever...you belong to me."
Nat and the rest of his team gathered in the Situation Room within DECA Base. They stood at alert as Kruger addressed them.
"It's happened..." He pulled up a holographic image of Greece. "The Greek God Hades crippled all of Greece in the blink of an eye. Now...he's making a move towards England."
Bridge's face paled. "How do we fight something like that?"
"Do everything you can to mitigate the damage, and stall until we learn how to capture the god," Kruger said. "We need more data on his energy signature, and this fight gives us that chance."
The holographic image shifted to a massive army of skeletons and zombies, dressed in war uniforms from various time periods and countries. Nazis. U.S. marines and army men. Greek and Roman soldiers. Egyptian warriors. Ninja.
"This is the bulk of Hades' army," Kruger said. "Focus your counterattack here. I'll try to keep Hades off your backs."
Nat narrowed his brow. "You'll what? That's crazy..."
"Maybe," Kruger said. "But we don't have much choice. Now move out!"
DECA Base shifted into ship mode, blasted across the sea and arrived in England. Zombie soldiers marched through the streets, along with hellhounds and winged harpies that fluttered through the skies.
The city managed to evacuate for the most part, except for soldiers who belonged to an elite unit called Hellsing, the fledgling British response team tasked with combating supernatural threats. Named after the monster hunter of legend, Van Hellsing, the soldiers carried conventional weapons marked with various runes to fight evil.
The Hellsing soldiers opened fire with bullets that tore through the zombies. But the undead continued their advance, despite their gaping wounds and shattered bones.
Above, Hellsing helicopters flew through the air. They fired volleys of missiles that exploded across the streets below. Flames and shrapnel tore zombies and skeletons to pieces.
Suddenly, a swarm of harpies descended towards the helicopters. The creatures grabbed onto the aircraft, ripped off their propellers and hurled them downward. The helicopters crashed through buildings, bursting into flame and raining scrap metal onto the streets below.
Nat and his team landed in the streets, mostly vacant except for the undead army and Hellsing soldiers. The sounds of gunfire, screaming and raging flames filled the air.
Nat narrowed his eyes and rolled his hands into fists. He wanted to lash out and attack the creatures that plagued the city. But he knew he had a job to do. So he steeled himself.
"Alright," Nat said. "The Silver Guardian and ZECT units will hold back the undead. We'll focus on helping with the evac. Split up into Theta Formation, and start clearing out these buildings."
They armed their morphers. "SPD! Emergency!" Energy flashed around them as they morphed into their armor. "SWAT Mode, on!"
The five core Rangers powered up into their SWAT armor. Along with DECA Break, they fanned out to save as many people as possible, despite the impossible odds.
DECA Green and DECA Yellow moved towards a hotel, where a group of undead tried to bash down the doors. The Rangers noticed a group of civilians trapped inside, bracing the entryway.
The Rangers armed their rifles.
"No jokes about why Jet Force should handle this?" DECA Yellow asked.
"They really should, but no, this isn't funny, I'm pretty sure I'm shocked speechless, which has never really happened to-"
"Right," DECA Green said as he stopped himself.
They moved in and opened fire with precision blasts, tearing through zombies dressed in ancient Greek armor and modern military uniforms.
DECA Green kicked a zombie's gut and bashed the back of its neck, knocking it to the ground. And DECA Yellow swung her blaster wide, whipping a zombie off its feet.
The two Rangers smashed down the door.
"Come on," DECA Yellow said. "Let's get-"
One of the women screamed.
DECA Yellow looked behind, to where another wave of zombies moved towards the lobby. She cursed beneath her breath, not wanting the army to hurt any civilians.
"Come on," the Yellow Ranger said. "We'll move through the back. Or upstairs and down a fire escape."
"No!" one of the women shouted. "They're in there. They're already in there. They're...they're...eating. There's no other way."
DECA Green tilted his head. "Eating? That's...slightly disturbing."
"That should make them distracted," DECA Yellow said. "Good. We'll head that way. I'll take the lead. Bridge, you take the rear."
DECA Yellow used her visor to pull up a GPS map of the hotel lobby. She led the civilians through an adjoining bar area, and into its back room, where a group of zombie soldiers feasted on their victims.
DECA Yellow opened fire, blasting through a group of zombies dressed in army fatigues.
Several undead grabbed their weapons, from modern rifles to old muskets, and started to aim. The Yellow Ranger dashed forward, bashing and kicking the guns aside, and blasting the zombies through their heads.
The civilians screamed, and some tried to run, but DECA Green did his best to hold them back. "It's OK, it's OK!" he shouted. "Relatively, at least...sort of..."
Suddenly, several zombies in medieval chainmail burst into the room from behind.
The Green Ranger quickly turned and opened fire, blasting lances of energy that stabbed through the undead and whipped them off their feet.
"Uh, Z?" he said. "Company."
"I see that," DECA Yellow said as she smashed her rifle through a zombie's head.
DECA Red and DECA Blue entered the stairwell of an apartment building. They heard nothing but roaring silence, despite the battle on the streets outside.
"That's odd..." DECA Red said.
DECA Blue nodded. "I'm picking up lifesigns...but something else too."
"Death," DECA Red said. "That deafening quiet? It's death."
A demon burst from the floor and lashed out with its tentacles. The two Rangers leapt aside and opened fire, blasting the tentacles with bursts of spark.
A tentacle wrapped around DECA Blue, smashed him against the wall, and tightened its grip. The Blue Ranger’s weapon dropped from his hand as he felt the breathe squeeze out of him.
“Sky!” DECA Red shouted as he opened fire.
His blasts tore through the tentacle, dropping the Blue Ranger to the floor. DECA Blue rolled across the ground, grabbed his rifle, and opened fire. Rapid energy blasts stabbed at the creature’s bulky body, a mass of segments and tendrils.
The tendrils unraveled and snapped like lightning, whipping the Rangers with bursts of spark. The demon lashed upward with its tentacles, grabbed onto the stairwell, and pulled it down. Staircases, railing and concrete fell towards the Rangers like an avalanche.
DECA Break kicked an undead and swung an electric punch, bashing the grunt to the ground.
DECA Pink stood behind him; she triggered her weapon, firing rapid blasts of orange energy. The blasts stabbed through undead with massive bursts of spark, ripping through their dirtied uniforms and bone.
They stood in the center of a plaza, where a wave of undead approached a church. Several dozen people huddled inside the church, trying to hide from the undead and praying for the safety of their souls.
DECA Pink shook her head with disbelief. “Where are they all coming from?!”
“Probably best not to ask…” DECA Break said as he bashed a kick upside a zombie’s head.
Kruger landed on the nearest skyscraper and looked up, to where Hades floated on a throne of black bone. Power ebbed from the god, so strongly, that it vibrated every bone in the commander's body.
He armed his morpher. "SPD! Emergency!"
He morphed into DECA Shadow, unsheathed his sword, and shot into the skies.
The Shadow Ranger slashed past Hades with bursts of spark, but the god barely noticed. He twitched his hand, ever so slightly, and grasped DECA Shadow with invisible energy.
Hades stood from his throne and faced DECA Shadow. "You are one of the heroes of this century...hardly worthy of my attention."
The god turned his wrist; Kruger screamed with agony as pain shot through his body, which nearly tore apart.
"I'm born from the fibers of creation itself, little dog. I could tear you to shreds, knit you back together, and do it all over again. In fact...let me show you."
DECA Shadow exploded into pieces of bone and flesh; dark light ebbed through his remains, which imploded and reformed. The Ranger gasped with renewed life.
Hades laughed, a cold, hissing sound. "You mortals are so frail."
"Then leave us be," DECA Shadow said. "If we're so lowly to you, why even bother to-"
Hades snapped; DECA Shadow exploded and reformed once again. "Don't speak to me in such a manner. I am a god. And you...are nothing."
Tyler's teammates watched in horror.
Mat shook his head. "OK...let's pledge right now...we are never fighting something like that. I mean...never."
Suddenly, cold shivers of fear slid through their bodies. They staggered backward as their surroundings sharpened into better focus.
They fell and landed on a skyscraper beneath Hades.
"Are we..." Kira shook her head. "Are we in the Time Shard?"
Hades looked down upon them. "You...children...You do not belong here."
Mat nearly choked with panic. "Uh...no, no we don't. So we'll be-"
Hades lifted his hand, and the building exploded beneath the teens' feet. They morphed as they plummeted downward; their armor activated just in time for them to crash onto the fiery streets below.
Slowly, the Rangers climbed to their feet.
"Tyler...?" the Pink Ranger asked. "What's happening?"
"It looks like we're in the events of the Time Shard," the Red Ranger said without breaking his cool demeanor. "We're living a piece of history."
Bored with DECA Shadow, Hades hurled Kruger several blocks through the air. The god descended and landed, looming several meters taller than the Rangers.
"Curious..." Hades said. "What are you?" He looked at the Red Ranger directly. "And you...is that Phoenix Fire I sense within your veins?"
The Red Ranger twirled his sword. "Apparently my parents were kind of a big deal in your time."
The Green Ranger shook his head at his leader. "How are you not freaking out right now?"
Hades lifted his hand and gripped the Rangers with invisible energy. The god's shadow extended as if alive, slithered beneath the Rangers, and sprouted tendrils that wrapped around them.
The shadows sent waves of fear through the Rangers. Despite their bravery and courage, they felt sheer terror pour through their veins.
"Feel the lamentation of Hell itself," Hades said.
The shadows intensified and burst with energy that knocked the teens out of their armor. They crashed and skid across the street, where undead soldiers lifted them by their arms and held them in place.
Hades floated to the street and grabbed Tyler by the hair.
"I will ask again..." Hades said. "What are you?"
"Annoyed," Tyler said.
"Vermin..." Hades growled. He grabbed Tyler by the neck and lifted him off his feet. "You mortals don't seem to understand, I can tear you apart with a simple thought!"
The god fired a wave of invisible energy that should have torn Tyler to shreds. But the teen's body ebbed with fiery power that deflected the blast, flashed with bright light, and knocked the god several steps backward.
Tyler landed in a crouched stance and rolled his hands into fists. He looked up, and his eyes sizzled with golden power. He felt energy surge through his veins, filling his body and soul with incredible strength. His thoughts drifted to two figures from his dreams: Tommy, his father. Kimberly, his mother. The Dragon. The Phoenix.
Energy lashed around his body like wisps of flame, and even Hades took a step back.
"Impressive..." Hades growled. "You wield not just The Power...but Creation itself as a weapon."
"Like I said..." Tyler said. "My parents were kind of a big deal."
He flashed with the brilliance of a supernova, knocking back zombies and the god of the underworld.
When the light died down, Tyler and his teammates were gone.
Tyler and his teammates shifted back into the dreamscape. They still saw Hades and his underlings, but through the haze of a vision, removed from their reality.
Tyler staggered and collapsed, blood dripping from his nose as his body trembled.
"Tyler!" Kym shouted as she moved to his side.
"I'm...fine," he said as he tried to climb to his feet.
Seth shook his head. "We need to get out of this Time Shard." He looked across the vision, where armies of zombies smashed through the ranks of Silver Guardians, ZECT Troopers and Hellsing agents. "The sooner the better."
"It's not over yet..." Tyler said.
"What else is there to see?" Seth asked.
Suddenly, the dreamscape shifted. Earth zoomed away into the larger view of space. And within space, planets trembled as they faced their own versions of the Apocalypse.
In the Rigel Expanse, planets hurled out of their orbits, wiping out all life before the worlds exploded. The explosions unleashed hordes of demons that attacked numerous space stations and space colonies. The Nitro Rangers fought within Alpha Station, overwhelmed by a number of evil earth spirits and demons.
On Eltar, the Masked Rangers fought on the streets of the capital. Terrorists lined the streets, whispered prayers to long-dead pagan gods, and exploded, unleashing waves of demons.
Barely recovered from decades of strife, Edenoi shuddered. Insectoid demons trapped deep within the planet's surface broke free from every tree and fallen leaf. The world's SPD Team, the Bio Rangers, morphed to fight the insects, but found themselves quickly overwhelmed. The Infestation Wave started to cover the surface of the entire world.
And on Triforia, the Egyptian god Apophis rose to towering heights, like a slithering snake that stretched across the entire planet. He "broke the sky," sending waves of fiery meteors that crashed through the city's buildings and pyramids. Each meteor took form and rose into creatures of myth, cat demons, fiery sphinxes and serpent men. The planet's SPD team, the Defender Rangers, found themselves helpless against the power of the god.
Chaos reigned everywhere. Space lanes crumbled, literally, tearing through the fabric of reality. The universe trembled with torment unknown in its existence, or the existence of its predecessors.
The visions shifted back to Earth. Storms rained bloody hail across the Midwest of America. Farther east, off the shore, the oceans churned with madness, and the waters turned red with blood and ichor.
Trumpets sounded their death calls, unleashing woe and misery for all mankind.
Tommy Oliver stumbled and nearly collapsed. He leaned on a control console and managed to stay on his feet.
“What was that?” he asked.
“I’m showing massive earthquakes around the whole world!” a robotic voice shouted with alarm.
Tommy looked up towards a giant sphere of glass, which showed images of destruction across the Earth. Earthquakes, storms, wildfires, and tsunamis ravaged the planet as the gods awoke, setting foot on the mortal plane for the first time ever.
“Looks like we finished this place just in time.” Tommy said to the rebuilt Alpha-5, in the center of the new Command Chamber. “Contact the Hurricane, Samurai and Jungle Fury teams. And find the Nephilim. We need the Seraph Rangers…”
Dr. William “Billy” Cranston looked out the window of one of his high-rise skyscrapers. A small comm screen opened within the glass, and Miss Fairweather appeared.
“Dr. Cranston,” Miss Fairweather pleaded. “Our assets can’t keep up with this…whatever’s happening.”
“It’s nothing to worry about,” Cranston said.
Fairweather knitted her brow. “How can you say that when-”
“It’s all right.” He reached up and turned off the monitor. He placed his hand against the glass and activated a second comm screen. The screen showed an image of several slabs of black stone, each with a different number.
“Activate the Enertron Matrixes,” he said. “It’s time…”
The vision flashed with a burst of light, and the Rangers found themselves back in their cockpit, as the Time Shard hovered in front of them.
"OK..." the Green Ranger said. "OK, no one touch that Time Shard again. Like, ever."
"Was that it...?" the Pink Ranger asked. "Was that the Shattering?"
The Red Ranger shook his head. "No..." he said. "But it was the start…"
To be continued…Chapter 11