Ultimate Overdrive: Recap

 

INET formed several ISIS divisions with various functions. The organization formed the ISIS Prevention and Recovery Initiative to prevent threats before they happened.

 

A subgroup called SGS operated within the Prevention and Recovery Initiative. SGS came equipped with a new Ranger team, the Overdrive Task Force Titan Rangers.

 

Their mission: Track artifacts of power codenamed Precious before they fell into evil hands.

 

During their first joint operation, they accidentally awakened a villain named Gajah and his army of Karths.

 

The Rangers recovered a powerful artifact, called the Heart of the Ryujinn. Minutes afterward, a strange dragon-like serpent sprang from the sea and swallowed Gajah whole.

 

Chapter 04: Ultimate Overdrive

The Jaryuu Tribe

 

The rangers watched in shock as the giant serpent returned to the sea.

 

Will knitted his brow. “Was that a freaking sea dragon?”

 

“That had to be one of the Negative Syndicates,” Rose said.

 

“Negative Syndicates?” Kelsey asked.

 

Jake nodded. “It’s a codename for groups after Precious like we are. The bad guys.”

 

***

 

The serpent formed the head of a giant dragon beast that stomped along the ocean floor. Part mechanical, part biological, Daijaryuu Doldo glared through the dark waters with bright yellow eyes.

bou-vi-dorudo

 

Several grunts called Dragonoids piloted the beast.

bou-vi-ryuujinhei

 

The red-scaled, dragon-like grunts carried curved sabers and escorted Gajah to their leader: Ryuuon.

 

Ryuuon wore thick dragon scale armor that matched the color of his red face. bou-vi-ryuoon

 

“We’ve been searching for your Heart of the Ryujinn for quite some time,” Ryuuon said, his voice deep and powerful. “The core of a giant, powerful weapon.”

 

“You saw, didn’t you?” Gajah asked. Dragonoids held their sabers at his throat to keep him still. “Those colorful bastards…they took it.”

 

A Dragonoid pressed his blade against the villain’s skin. “Watch your tongue,” he said with a screeching voice. “You are addressing the one who gave us life. The High King Ryuuon!”

 

Ryuuon walked slowly towards Gajah. “I heard you say there was more than one treasure of the Ryujinn.”

 

Gajah narrowed his black eyes and said nothing. 

 

***

 

Max Mitchell filled a cup of coffee within his office, in SGS headquarters. A computer, scanner, and various gadgets and artifacts cluttered the circular room.

 

The doors slid open, and Shane walked inside while carrying a case — the case that held the Heart of the Ryujinn.

 

“We’re back,” Shane said to the former Red Lightspeed Ranger. “And we brought the Heart of the Ryujinn.”

 

Shane set the case on Max’s desk.

 

“Nice…” Max said as he took a seat at his computer.

 

He opened the case and pulled out the Heart of the Ryujinn. He placed the relic on a panel, beneath a scanner next to his computer. The scanner pulsed with purple light that analyzed the relic.

 

The results flashed across Max’s computer screen. “This is it, alright,” Max said. “But INET got it all wrong. Which is surprising, and not, at the same time.”

 

“What do you mean?” Shane asked.

 

“This artifact had nothing to do with the spell Bandora used to wipe out the dinosaurs. It was just a little bit before her time, in fact,” Max said.

 

Max told Shane the story of the Ryujinn, and their First Great War. About 1.7-million years ago, a Ryujinn boy named Akessell sought power to make himself stronger. He used an ancient spell to summon the evil spirit DaiSatan to Earth. Some of the Ryujinn swore allegiance to DaiSatan, including the king himself: Gajah.

 

No one knew, but a demon loyal to DaiSatan possessed Gajah and used him to lead DaiSatan’s followers, called the Ka’zuul. The Ka’zuul created the Heart of the Ryujinn as part of a weapon system. But they never got to use the weapon. Various Ryujinn tribes banned together, exorcised the demon from Gajah, and killed the king.

 

The Ryujinn sealed the king’s body inside a tomb, along with the Heart of the Ryujinn.

 

“So he’s been asleep this whole time…” Shane said.

 

“Technically, no, not so much,” Max said. “The king is dead. But when you disturbed his body, the same demon that possessed him 1.7-million years ago came back from…ya know…Hell. He must have still had a connection with the king’s body somehow.”

 

“He said something about the Ryujinn having more than one relic,” Shane said.

 

Max nodded. “That’s true. According to legend, the Ka’zuul created two artifacts.”

 

The scanner whined with protest as the Heart of the Ryujinn pulsed with crimson power beneath its surface.

 

“That’s weird…” Max said. “It’s almost like a heartbeat.”

 

***

 

The Angel Grove Museum of Mythology opened as a last ditch effort to attract tourism into the dying city. The museum displayed artifacts and archeological finds void of power, but connected to the city’s history of Rangers, Riders and monsters.

 

The building also served as a front for SGS, based beneath the museum.

 

Rose hurried through the museum while looking for Kelsea. The museum hosted few guests, mostly aliens posing as human.

 

The ranger spotted Kelsea standing in front of a display, showing broken pieces of rock soldiers from the Power Rangers’ battle against Bandora in 2001.

 

“Kelsea,” Rose said. “You can’t just walk off like that without permission.”

 

“But this is really interesting,” Kelsea said.

 

“You’re not a child,” Rose said as she took Kelsea by the arm. “Come on.”

 

The two rangers stepped onto an elevator and pressed a combination of buttons, a code that lowered them into SGS headquarters.

 

They stepped into the SGS situation room, equipped with a wide viewscreen across the wall, and a control table in the center of the floor.

 

Chairs and couches lined the walls, and a staircase led upward to a small loft.

 

Will sat in the loft while rummaging through his backpack, and Jake sat on a couch on the lower level.

 

Rose walked towards Jake. “How’s your research?”

 

Jake looked up from his tablet. “Good. I think I found out who that serpent belonged to. They’re new. They call themselves the Jaryuu Tribe. They apparently think they deserve to rule the world because they’re made out of dinosaur DNA.”

 

Sparks ignited from a table near the rear of the room, and Kelsea gasped. She stepped away from the table, having tinkered with one of the gadgets.

 

“Kelsea,” Rose chided.

 

“I didn’t mean to. I barely touched it!” Kelsea said defensively.

 

“The Jaryuu Tribe, huh?” Will said as he walked towards Jake. “Let me see.”

 

“Nope,” Jake said as he turned off the tablet. “This database has information about every Negative Syndicate.”

 

“You still don’t trust me…” Will said.

 

“You punched me and tried to steal the Heart of the Ryujinn. So, no, I don’t trust you,” Jake said.

 

The doors slid open, and Shane walked into the room.

 

“Chief,” Jake said. “That dragon serpent? It belonged to the Jaryuu Tribe.”

 

“I see,” Shane said. “I remember hearing about them…”

 

The main viewscreen activated, and an image appeared. The image should have looked like a normal human with a normal voice, a high-ranking INET official. But Max tweaked the monitor as a practical joke. The man appeared as a cartoon image, an upside-down cone with round eyes, a black mustache and crowned head. The scrambled audio made the voice sound high pitched and nasally. When the rangers asked who the image represented, Max always smiled and said: “Call him Mr. Voice.”

 

“Rangers, good work,” Mr. Voice said. “I heard you collected the Precious. But your mission isn’t over yet. We’ve learned of a second Ryujinn artifact.”

 

“That must be why the Jaryuu Tribe took Gajah,” Will said. “To lead them to it.”

 

A secondary viewscreen displayed an image of the Heart of the Ryujinn. The cutaway image showed a pulse, which gradually increased the artifact’s Hazard Level.

 

“This signal is probably calling to the other Precious,” Mr. Voice said.

 

Shane pressed his hand against the main control table to turn it on. The table — one giant screen — displayed a map of the world. The map zoomed in on an area in Asia.

 

“There’s a matching signal coming from here,” Shane said. “This must be the second artifact. Let’s move out, and find it.”

 

The rangers moved towards the elevator, but Rose held Shane back, and Jake stayed for a moment too. 

 

“Chief,” she said. “Isn’t it dangerous to put them in contact with the Negatives?”

 

Jake nodded. “There’s so much we don’t know about them,” he said. “Especially Kelsea. And we don’t know if we can really trust Will.”

 

Shane smirked. “That just makes it more interesting. “Come on…”

 

***

 

The Rangers entered their zord holding bay, beneath SGS headquarters. They entered their cockpits, slid their portable control consoles into place, and attached their Overdrive Trackers to the consoles.

 

 Titan Red pressed a button his tracker. “LAUNCHING SYSTEM, ON!”

 

“Let’s move out,” he said as he swiped the small wheel on his tracker. “GO. GO!”

 

The zords launched from the holding bay and headed for Asia.

 

***

 

Ryuuon, Gajah, and a group of Dragonoids walked through the woods in search of the second Ryujinn artifact.

 

“Wait,” Ryuuon said as he lifted ahead.

 

Above, the Blue Ranger’s Gyro Driver flew through the air.

 

Ahh…” Gajah said. “It looks like they’ve come for the relic too.”

 

“The rumored Titan Rangers,” Ryuuon said. He looked to his Dragonoids. “Bring forth Daijaryuu Doldo!”

 

***

 

The giant lizard stomped through the wilderness and roared. The creature fired chest cannons that blasted through the landscape.

 

Explosions sparked around Dump Driver.

 

“A welcome already?” Titan Red said as he steered his zord to attack.

 

The zord turned a 180, throttled backward, and extended its dump bed like a battering ram. The bed smashed against the monster with massive bursts of spark and grasped onto its body.

 

Titan Red snapped his zord around and hurled the monster off its feet.

 

“Now,” he said to his teammates. “Driver-zords, assemble!”

 

He pressed a button on his Overdrive Tracker: “FUSION SYSTEM, ON!”

 

“DUMP!”

 

“GYRO!”

 

“SPEED!”

 

“DOZER!”

 

“SUB!”

 

The Red Ranger swiped the device’s small wheel, sparking a charge: “TITAN FORMATION!”

 

The five zords shifted shape and combined to form a massive robo. The Rangers grabbed their portable control consoles — Titan Drivers — as their chairs slid into a central cockpit. They slid their Titan Drivers into place.

 

DriveMax Megazord!” Titan Red called out. “Titan Robo!”

 

They attached their Overdrive Trackers to their Titan Drivers. “First Gear, in!”

 

The monster’s chest cannons blasted the Megazord with bursts of spark, forcing the robo several steps backward.

 

“That’s gotta be them,” Titan Blue said. “The Jaryuu Tribe.”

 

“Drive Shovel!” Titan Red shouted.

 

The Megazord armed a shovel, dug into the ground, and hurled massive piles of dirt at the creature. INET designed the shovel as an excavation tool, but the Rangers used it as a weapon. The dirt smashed against the monster and formed a massive pile that held it in place.

 

DriveMax Megazord Saber!” Titan Red shouted. The pickaxe and shovel combined to form a broadsword. “Titan Slash!”

 

The Megazord’s engines whined with power, and the sword vibrated with energy. Titan Robo swung the blade through a crescent arc, then chopped through a streak of energy that tore through Daijaryuu Doldo with massive bursts of spark. The monster crashed and exploded with a burst of flame.

 

***

 

Gajah smiled mockingly. “It looks like your pet dragon has been defeated.”

 

“It’s not over yet,” Ryuuon said as he pressed a red button on the hilt of his sword.

 

***

 

The monster’s backup systems activated and unlocked a repair program, which brought the creature back to its feet. The backup system barely functioned — just enough for the monster to arm a self-destruction device.

 

The monster grasped onto the Megazord as the self-destruct timer counted down.

 

“It’s going to explode,” Titan Pink said.

 

“What?” Titan Black said.

 

“Not this close, he isn’t,” Titan Red said.

 

The DriveMax Megazord knocked the monster backward and kicked the creature. The robo’s foot clamped onto the monster’s body, and the DriveMax Megazord snapped its leg back, hurling the monster through the air.

 

The creature exploded into pieces with massive bursts of spark and flame.

 

***

 

The Overdrive team powered down their armor and investigated the flaming wreckage. Kelsea spotted the pilots, lifeless Dragonoids, scattered across the ground.

 

“They’re all dead…” she said.

 

There’s traces of a remote detonator,” Rose said.

 

Jake shook his head with disbelief. “They blew up their own soldiers to try to kill us.”

 

Shane rolled his hands into fists. “Killing your own comrades…Stealing relics for evil. Negative or not, that’s unforgivable.”

 

He looked to his team. “Split up and start a search. “Black, you’re with me.”

 

Will scoffed. “What, you need to watch over my shoulder?”

 

Shane ignored him. “Let’s move out.”

 

Shane ran off, and Will followed.

 

“OK,” Jake said. “Let’s-”

 

He noticed Kelsea was gone. “Where…Did she take off already?”

 

Rose knitted her brow with concern.

 

***

 

A Dragonoid crouched on the ground and placed his hands on the dirt. Red salamanders grew from the grunt’s skin, crawled down his arms and scurried into the woods. 

 

The poisonous salamanders searched for the rangers.

 

***

 

Shane finished listening to Rose’s report through his Overdrive Tracker. He hung halfway up a small mountain and spoke with her through the device’s comm screen.

 

“Understood,” he said. “Keep looking for the Precious. If you find Yellow, fire a signal shot.”

 

“The Jaryuu Tribe would notice that,” Rose said.

 

“Good,” Shane said. “Luring them out would make it easier for us.”

 

Shane flipped his tracker close.

 

Will climbed towards his leader from below.

 

Shane smirked. “You’re late,” he said. “Any idea where Yellow would be?”

 

“How would I know?” Will asked between deep breaths.

 

Shane nodded. “Fair enough.”

 

He started climbing again, and Will followed.

 

***

 

Jake and Rose walked through the rocky woods.

 

“Who do you think Yellow is?” Rose asked.

 

Jake shook his head. He kept his eyes on his tracker’s scanner. “I just know what they said after testing new recruits. She supposedly doesn’t remember anything about her past.”

 

***

 

Shane and Will used their grapplers to swing onto the branch of a massive tree. Will stumbled and nearly fell, but Shane caught his arm and pulled him up.

 

Will shook off his leader’s hand. “What are you doing? I was fine.”

 

“Clearly,” Shane said. “So?”

 

Will sighed. “I found her a few months ago. I was looking through this building in Demon City, and I saw her trapped beneath some rubble…”

 

***

 

“Demons had used the building as a temple, but they left it behind,” Rose said. “Kelsea didn’t know who she was, or what she was doing there. But…what if she lied.”

 

“You think she’s pretending to have amnesia?” Jake asked. “That she’s a spy?”

 

They walked deeper into the woods and approached a rocky cliff. They heard scuffling come from below, and knelt at the edge of the cliff.

 

The rangers looked to see Kelsea facing a Dragonoid in the chasm below.

 

Jake knitted his brow. “What is she doing…?”

 

The Dragonoid heard and snapped his head towards the rangers. He hurled his sword upward, and Rose used her Overdrive Tracker to knock the blade aside.

 

The Dragonoid leapt onto the side of the mountain and scurried towards the cliff to attack.

 

Jake flipped open his tracker. “I’ll send the flare.”

 

Rose leapt from the cliff. She used her tracker to open a small parachute that slowed her decent just enough for her to land safely in the chasm below.

 

“Rose,” Kelsea said.

 

“When we’re on missions, use codenames,” Rose said. “What were you doing with that Dragonoid?”

 

Rose lifted the grunt’s fallen sword and aimed it at Kelsea. “Answer.”

 

Kelsea stumbled backward and fell, her eyes open wide with panic.

 

***

 

Ryuuon, Gajah and several Dragonoids walked up a rocky hill nearby. Another Dragonoid scurried onto the scene and kneeled at the feet of his master.

 

“Master Ryuuon,” the Dragonoid hissed. “The Rangers are coming closer.”

 

“So…” Ryuuon said. “None of them were killed?”

 

Hmph,” Gajah said. “It looks like you need my help.”

 

Gajah placed his hand on a stone and whispered an incantation known only in Hell. The stone stirred and bubbled, and the bubbles took shape to form figures that split from the rocks. The figures twisted into Karths. 

 

***

 

Shane and Jake walked through the rocky woods. Ahead, they saw Jake’s signal flare shoot into the sky.

 

Shane stared towards the flare. “Looks like they’ve spotted Kelsea.”

 

Will said nothing. He stared at Shane, pulled out his tracker, and armed its knife.

 

He lunged towards Shane and stabbed — the blade pierced a red salamander on the tree next to the ranger.

 

Will pulled the blade free, and the poisonous creature dropped to the ground.

 

“It’d be a pain in the ass if you died here,” Will said.

 

“How reliable,” Shane said.

 

Shane pulled a small tracker chip from his pocket and flipped it. The chip knocked a salamander from the tree behind Will.

 

“Now we’re even,” Shane said.

 

***

 

Rose aimed the Dragonoid sword at Kelsea. “Are you working with them? Or another syndicate?”

 

Jake rushed into the chasm. He moved towards his fellow rangers and crouched next to Kelsea.

 

“What were you doing, Kelsea?” Jake asked.

 

“I…” Kelsea hesitated. She lifted her left wrist to show her teammates her bracelet, a golden band etched with strange symbols. “I was just showing him this.”

 

Jake knitted his brow. “What is it?”

 

“I had this when Will found me,” she said. “I thought maybe one of the Negatives would recognize it.”

 

“You’re thinking it was one of them who left you behind?” Jake asked as he helped Kelsea to her feet.

 

“I don’t know,” Kelsea said. “But if someone recognizes this bracelet…they might know who I am.”

 

Rose lowered the sword. “Is that why you joined SGS? To get close to them?”

 

“I…I’m sorry,” Kelsea said as she started to run off.

 

But Will and Shane approached from the other end of the cavern.

 

“Kelsea…” Will said.

 

“Will…”

 

She unstrapped her Overdrive Tracker from her upper sleeve pocket.

 

“I can’t do this,” she said as she handed him the tracker. “There’s something more important to me than the Precious.”

 

Kelsea walked around Will and headed away.

 

Shane looked after her. “Everyone has a single treasure more important to them than anything,” he said. “We gathered this team to find that treasure. It doesn’t belong to anyone else. It’s a treasure that belongs to you.”

 

Jake smiled. “That’s kind of a sappy thing to say.”

 

“Tell me about it,” Will said.

 

“So…so you’re OK with me joining?” Kelsea asked.

 

“You’re our comrade,” Shane said.

 

Rose nodded. “Titan Yellow.”

 

“Here,” Will said as he handed Kelsea her tracker.

 

Suddenly, dozens of salamanders scurried into the chasm and surrounded the rangers. Above, Karths gathered on the cliffs.

 

***

 

“Here…” Gajah said as he walked onto a mountain outcropping. “The other treasure. This mountain sits over it. The Mind of the Ryujinn is here…”

 

He crouched down, placed his palm on the rock, and whispered an incantation.

 

The ground stirred beneath Ryuuon’s feet and rose, forming a cocoon of stone that wrapped around his legs, waist, and chest.

 

“Gajah!” Ryuuon shouted. “You bastard!”

 

“I don’t remember saying there were no traps,” Gajah said.

 

A stone pedestal rose from the cliff.

 

***

 

The salamanders pounced towards the rangers.

 

They armed their Overdrive Trackers. “Overdrive! Start up!”

 

They slid their trackers across their arms and sparked their morph into their Ranger forms.

 

“Titan Red!”

 

“Titan Black!”

 

“Titan Blue!”

 

“Titan Yellow!”

 

“Titan Pink!”

 

“Overdrive Task Force!” Together, they shouted: “Titan Rangers!”

 

The Karths jumped into the chasm to attack.

 

Titan Red’s helmet light flashed and summoned a red spear. He grasped the weapon. “Drive Lance!”

 

Titan Red twirled the lance and swatted a Karth through the air. The Karth crashed against the mountainside and crumbled on impact.

 

Titan Black’s helmet flashed and summoned his weapon, a two-handed hammer. “Drive Slammer!”

 

He dashed through the Karths and swung left and right, bashing them aside with bursts of spark.

 

The Black Ranger knocked the legs out from beneath a soldier, smashed the fallen grunt’s chest and swung wide. His mace bashed a Karth’s head to pieces.

 

Titan Blue summoned a fanned gauntlet. “Drive Vortex!”

 

He aimed downward and fired a gust of wind that launched him through the air, hovering over the Karths.

 

The Blue Ranger landed and used the gauntlet as a fist weapon. He punched Karths with blasts of air that smashed them to pieces.

 

Titan Yellow summoned scoop-shaped fist weapons. “Drive Claws!”

 

She pounced and smashed a Karth’s head between the shovels.

 

The Yellow Ranger smashed the claws against the side of the mountain and knocked massive piles of rubble loose. The rocks and boulders fell in front of the Ranger, and she used her claws to swat the debris at the Karths.

 

The boulders smashed through the Karths like cannonballs, blasting them apart 

 

Titan Pink summoned her weapon, a rifle-shaped blaster. “Drive Geyser!”

 

She fired bursts of hydro energy that blasted through grunts with bursts of spark.

 

Nearby, Titan Red twirled his staff and bashed a Karth to pieces.

 

A grunt closed in on him from behind. But the Red Ranger stabbed his spear through the grunt’s chest with a burst of spark. The Karth cracked and exploded into pieces of rubble.

 

A small group of Dragonoids rushed into the chasm, followed by a fresh wave of Karths.

 

A Dragonoid opened its jaws and spat a stream of flames at the Red Ranger.

 

The blasts exploded around Titan Red with bursts of spark as he leapt forward to attack.

 

The Red Ranger landed and charged through the grunts, slashing through their bodies and bashing their heads.

 

Titan Red twirled his weapon through a 360-degree arc that streaked with red energy. The blade slashed through the grunts with massive bursts of spark that ripped them to pieces.

 

The Rangers regrouped.

 

“We did it…” Titan Blue said.

 

“Not bad,” Titan Pink said to the Yellow Ranger.

 

“The mission isn’t over yet,” Titan Red said. “We’ve got to find the Precious. Move out.”

 

***

 

A brain-shaped stone sat on the Ryujinn pedestal. Gajah smiled wickedly and reached for the relic.

 

Suddenly, Ryuuon smashed through his stone cocoon. He lifted his sword, leapt through the air, and angled his decent towards Gajah while chopping his blade. 

 

Gajah summoned a sword of stone and parried Ryuuon’s chop.

 

Ryuuon turned and swung his sword through a streak of red energy, which slashed Gajah with bursts of spark that sent him staggering backward.

 

The dragon king howled with rage. “I, Ryuuon, am not afraid of the Ryujinn, or anyone!”

 

Gajah nearly collapsed but stumbled to stay on his feet. He grasped his wounded chest and cowered into the woods to flee.

 

Ryuuon turned his attention to the relic. “So. This is the Mind of the Ryujinn…”

 

The villain walked towards the artifact. Suddenly, explosions sparked around him. He turned to see Titan Red leaping through the air with his Drive Lance held back and his blaster aimed forward. 

 

The Red Ranger landed and faced the villain. “So you’re the leader of the Jaryuu Tribe? Tell me…How does it feel to find the relic by sacrificing your own followers?”

 

“I can make all the followers I need!” Ryuuon shouted.

 

The villain charged and slashed. Titan Red parried and swung the end of his staff towards the king’s head. Ryuuon blocked and slashed, but Titan Red dodged the blow.

 

The opponents clashed weapons with bursts of spark and clangs that echoed through the air. Ryuuon attacked with bestial savagery and strength, while Titan Red countered with quick and agile movements.

 

The villain armed a second sword and swung both weapons through strong arcs Titan Red struggled to parry and dodge.

 

Ryuuon chopped his blades at Titan Red’s head. Titan Red lifted his staff and blocked the blades. But Ryuuon pressed hard, locking his swords against the Red Ranger’s staff.

 

“My creatures are nothing compared to the power of these relics!” Ryuuon shouted, driving Titan Red to his knees.

 

“You…” Titan Red said. “Someone who uses their men like pawns? You can’t beat me. You can’t!”

 

Titan Red sprang to his feet and knocked the swords aside. He armed his blaster and switched the weapon to blade mode.

 

Ryuuon slashed towards the Red Ranger. Titan Red parried with his lancer and used his Drive Defender to slash Ryuuon with bursts of spark. The Red Ranger spun and swung both weapons, slashing Ryuuon with bursts of spark.

 

Secondary explosions tore through his body as he staggered backward, stumbled over the cliff, and fell towards the cavern fall below.

 

***

 

The other rangers joined Shane at the pedestal with the Mind of the Ryujinn.

 

Jake scanned the relic with his tracker. “Hazard Level 130. This is it.”

 

“Collect it,” he said.

 

Rose looked to Kelsea. “You do it.”

 

“Me?”

 

Rose nodded. “I’m sorry about earlier.”

 

Jake nodded. “You’re a Ranger. Just like us.”

 

“Don’t forget about me, or anything,” Will said.

 

Kelsea opened a containment platform. Will lifted the relic and placed it on the platform, which expanded into a case that trapped the artifact.

 

“Even if each of us searches for a different treasure,” Shane said. “We’re all Titans.”

 

“And now you’re sounding sappy again,” Jake said.

 

***

 

Max leaned back in his office chair. The former Lightspeed Ranger opened a private, encrypted comm line to his friend Junior, the former Blue Lightspeed Ranger.

 

“Max!” Junior said through the audio only channel. “I haven’t heard from you in a while. Still working in the lion’s den.”

 

Max nodded. “And I think I’ve finally started to learn what INET is up to.”

 

“And it only took you more than three years,” Junior said. “That’s not impressive, pal.”

 

“I wasn’t bragging,” Max said. “You still working for that newspaper?”

 

“Yeah, pretty much,” Junior said. “Nobody bothered mentioning in high school that journalism pays squat, by the way.”

 

“I’m going to help you get a story that changes that,” Max said. “Once I find proof, once I figure out what’s really going on, you’re going to help me expose all of INET.”

 

To be continued…Chapter 05