The Legend of Zeo: Chapter Three

Bridging Gaps

 

Justin, Chris, Ashley, and Kat walked slowly and cautiously up to Tommy’s door.

 

“Are you guys sure this is such a good idea?” Justin asked his friends.

 

Kat nodded. “Tommy’s going through a hard time. He needs friends.”

 

“He doesn’t want to be our friend,” Chris said. “He’s made that more than clear.”

 

“Cut the guy some slack,” Ashley said. “He’s been through a lot…and he’s lost three of his teammates…including his girlfriend.”

 

Justin shook his head. “That still doesn’t mean he has to-”

 

Justin stopped talking as the door opened and Tommy’s sister Chelsea peaked her head out. “Can I help you?” Chelsea asked.

 

Justin’s eyes opened wide, stunned by how attractive Tommy’s sister was. “Wow…I mean, yes. Is, um, Tommy home?”

 

“Are you friends of his?” Chelsea said.

 

“You might say that,” Justin said.

 

Chelsea sighed. “Come on in.”

 

Justin and the others walked inside as Chelsea led them upstairs to Tommy’s door.

 

“Enter at your own risk,” Chelsea said.

 

Justin sighed and knocked the door.

 

Tommy opened the door and wrinkled his brow. “What are you guys doing here?”

 

“Well,” Justin said. “We tried contacting you through our communicators, but-”

 

“Our communicators are only for emergencies, not for social calls,” Tommy said sternly.

 

“Sorry,” Justin said. “We’re just…”

 

“Worried about you,” Kat said.

 

Tommy sighed and shook his head. “You don’t even know me…and I’d like to keep it that way.”

 

Tommy shut the door and leaned against it. He walked over to his desk and picked up a picture of him, his old team, and Master Kaku as he sat on his bed.

 

***

 

The four teens walked down the street in silence until Justin spoke up. “Well that was productive,” he said sarcastically.

 

Explosions rang around the four teens as they were thrown to the ground. Two plant-like machines appeared in front and behind them. They were Machine Cactus Mark I and Machine Cactus Mark II.

 

“Zeo Rangers…” the largest of the two growled. “Please do me a favor and put up a fight.”

 

“With pleasure,” Justin said. The four teens readied their Zeo braces.

 

“Ultra Transform!” they shouted as their armor shimmered to form around them.

 

The two machines lashed out with thorn wires. Zeoblue and Zeopink were grabbed by the lead machine and pulled away. The smaller of the plant pair wrapped its tendrils around Green and Yellow and pulled the two Rangers off their feet.

 

The machines sent electric charges across their wires and exploding against the Rangers’ armor.

 

***

 

Billy sighed as he worked in the Command Chamber. The image of a phoenix-like jet craft could be seen on a control station he was working on.

 

“Well Alpha?” Billy asked.

 

“It just might work, Billy,” Alpha said.

 

“Congratulations, Billy,” Zordon said. “Once completed, these mecha will greatly strengthen the Rangers’ odds against the machines.”

 

“Thanks, Zordon,” Billy said. “I just wish I could be with them.”

 

The alarms began to blare, and Billy saw the four Rangers getting clobbered by the two machines through the Viewing Globe.

 

“Contact Tommy,” Zordon said.

 

***

 

The four Rangers were still being tossed around by the machines when Tommy showed up in his jacket and helmet riding on his Zeo Cycle. He rammed the two monsters back, causing their tentacles to slacken and the other Rangers to be released.

 

Tommy dismounted and removed his helmet. “You people never learn…Ultra Transform!”

 

Tommy morphed into his armor as the others regrouped around him.

 

The two machines moved in and fired optic blasts towards the Rangers. Zeored and the others leapt for cover as the monsters charged forward.

 

Zeored sprang back to his feet. “Star Riser!” he shouted as his power sword materialized in his hand and he charged forward towards the approaching machines.

 

Zeored spun horizontally while slashing the smallest monster across the chest. The larger machine quickly moved in towards the Ranger and slammed a backfist blow across his helmet and an uppercut to his midsection.

 

Zeored was pounded backward and crashed to the ground as the larger monster armed an electric whip and aimed it towards the Red Ranger.

 

“Tommy!” Zeoblue shouted as he pushed Zeored out of the way and was struck hard by the whip. Explosions danced across Zeoblue’s armor as he fell to the ground.

 

“Justin!” Zeored shouted as he and the others ran to Zeoblue’s side.

 

The smaller machine attempted to launch a flying attack off of the larger’s shoulder, but he foiled the attempt and fell onto his back

 

“Incompetent!” the larger yelled to his fallen partner.

 

“Zeo Blasters!” the Rangers yelled as they shot the two machines with pulses of crimson energy.

 

The larger of the pair lifted his partner up and turned to face the Rangers. “We will return.”

 

They disappeared in a flash of electric energy.

 

***

 

Back in the Command Chamber, the teens paced anxiously as Tommy stood over Justin’s bio-bed. Alpha and Billy were examining the blue ranger with several tools that Tommy wasn’t familiar with.

 

“The weapon was some kind of neural disrupter,” Billy said. “It nearly fried his nervous system.”

 

“Will he be okay?” Tommy asked.

 

Billy turned to Alpha.

 

“I am uncertain,” the robot said.

 

Tommy sighed and walked away from the bio-bed.

 

***

 

The Machine King stood with his back to his two plant machines.

 

“You failed,” he said.

 

“We managed to take out Zeoblue…” the larger started to say.

 

“You could have killed them all, but you fumbled up,” the Machine King said as he turned to face the pair, and he walked towards the smaller of the two. “You are a flawed creation…take him away!”

 

A group of Cogs grabbed hold of the smaller monster and started to drag him away as his partner lunged forward.

 

“No!” the larger monster shouted as he slammed through the group of Cogs with phenomenal strength to free his partner.

 

The Machine King extended his fist gauntlet and fired a dark energy bolt that sent the larger machine sprawling across the ground as his partner was carried away.

 

“Return to the Earth. Fail me again, and you will meet the same fate as your companion.”

 

***

 

Tommy sat in the Command Chamber as Ashley walked over and sat besides him. “This is why you push us all away, isn’t it,” she asked.

 

“What?” Tommy asked.

 

“This is why you push us away…you think it will be easier for you to handle if any of us get hurt,” she said.

 

“I…” Tommy shook his head.

 

“Tommy,” she said. “I may not know the last thing about this…mess I’ve been thrown into. But I do know that we’re in this together.”

 

The alarms began to blare as Tommy and Ashley rose to face the Viewing Globe. The plant machine was shown stomping through the city.

 

“He’s back,” Chris said.

 

“Billy…” Tommy started to say.

 

“I’ll take care of Justin. You guys go,” Billy said.

 

Tommy nodded.

 

***

 

The machine was rampaging across the back streets of downtown when the four Rangers ran to the scene. The plant monster laughed as the Rangers snapped into fighting stances.

 

“Only four of you?” the machine asked. “Did the poor little blue boy get hurt worse then I thought?”

 

Zeored leapt towards the creature, enraged as he armed his Star Riser. He flipped through the air as he sliced the machine vertically and then horizontally.

 

The machine backfisted Zeored, causing the Ranger to loose his grip on the blade. The sword arced through the air before sticking into the ground.

 

The other three Rangers charged forward to attack the monster, but he knocked them away one-by-one.

 

***

 

Justin’s vision slowly blurred back into focus as he sat up, his entire body still burning with pain. “Where…?” he asked as Billy set him back down.

 

“They’re fighting one of the machines,” Billy said.

 

“I have to help them,” Justin said as he tried to get back up, but Billy pushed him back down.

 

“Not yet,” Billy said as he waved an apparatus across Justin’s chest. “Just a few more minutes and you should be as good as new.”

 

Justin rubbed his head as he groaned. “What did that thing do to me?”

 

“Neural disrupter,” Billy said. “You’re lucky to be alive.”

 

“Good to know,” Justin said.

 

Billy smiled. “You remind me of Rocky.”

 

“He was the other blue one, right?” Justin asked.

 

Billy nodded.

 

“Maybe that’s why Tommy hates me...”

 

“He doesn’t hate you, Justin. He’s just going through a hard time,” Billy said.

 

“Well alienating us isn’t going to help,” Justin said.

 

Billy nodded. “I know…but he’ll come around.”

 

Justin nodded as the feeling of pain slowly evaporated.

 

“Now,” Billy said as he walked towards the viewing globe. “I’ve found a weak spot in the machine’s armor.”

 

The globe showed a picture of the back of the machine, right below its shoulder.

 

Justin smiled as he rose from the bio-bed. “Excellent.”

 

***

 

The four Rangers regrouped and readied their side arms. “Zeo Blasters!” they shouted as they opened fire on the monster.

 

The machine used his whip to deflect the blasts. He then lashed out at the rangers with tentacles of thorns that grew from his side. The tendrils wrapped around the Rangers and pulled them off their feet as the monster slammed them against building walls and the ground.

 

The machine released his grasp on the Rangers while flinging them to the ground. The monster fired optic blasts that exploded against the Rangers’ armor.

 

From behind the creature, a gloved hand pulled Zeored’s sword from the ground. It was Zeoblue. He charged towards the machine and plunged the blade through the machine’s weak spot on his back.

 

Zeoblue pulled the sword from the monster before reverse sidekicking the machine backwards.

 

The Blue Ranger ran over to his teammates and helped up Zeored while handing him the sword. “I believe this belongs to you...”

 

Zeored paused for a moment. “Thanks.”

 

The machine rose to his feet as smoke seeped from his back wound.

 

“Weapons,” Zeored said.

 

The five Rangers brought their weapons together. “Ultra Blaster, Fire!” they shouted as their combined cannon fired a sphere of golden energy that punctured through the monster’s side.

 

The machine was hit hard and sent flying against a building. The Rangers’ blast went a fraction to wide, so the monster didn’t sustain fatal damage. He was just severely wounded.

 

Sparks exploded across the machine’s body as he teleported away.

 

***

 

In the machine’s palace, the injured plant monster was thrown to the ground. He looked up to see his dead partner hung between two pillars with his wiring and innards strung out.

 

“No…” the injured machine said quietly as he looked at the remains of his former comrade.

 

The Machine King stepped behind the injured creature. “This is the fate of those who fail me.”

 

A group of Cogs picked up the injured machine as he screamed in protest.

 

The Machine King smiled as he turned and left the room.

 

***

 

A knock sounded on Justin’s door. He opened it and was surprised to find Tommy standing there.

 

“Hi, umm…hi,” Justin said, surprised to see his leader standing at the door.

 

“Can I come in for a minute?” Tommy asked.

 

“Sure, sure,” Justin said.

 

Tommy took a seat in the living room as Justin opened his fridge. “Want a coke or something?”

 

“I’m good,” Tommy said.

 

Justin took a seat in a chair by the couch. “So what’s up?”

 

“I just wanted to say thanks…for taking that hit for me,” Tommy said.

 

Justin shrugged. “That’s what teammates are for,” he said.

 

Tommy nodded.

 

“Look,” Justin said. “I know that I have no idea what you’re going through, but me and the others want to help. You’re our leader. We look up to you.”

 

Tommy shook his head. “So did the others…and look where it got them.”

 

“We’ll get them back,” Justin said. “We’re in this together now.”

 

Tommy nodded. “We will get them back.”

 

“In the meantime,” Justin said. “You’re stuck with us,” he smiled.

 

Tommy smiled.

 

“You want to hook up with me and he others later?” Justin asked. “It might help you get your mind off things.”

 

“I’d like that,” Tommy said.

 

“Excellent,” Justin said.

 

The two teens stood and shook hands.

 

To be continued…Chapter Four