The Legend of Zeo: Chapter Six

Complications

 

Billy leaned over a control console in the Command Chamber as he manipulated a panel in front of him while standing next to Alpha.

 

“These Zeo Battle Helmets are going to come in handy,” Billy said. “They’re a lot better than what we used in the old days.”

 

“You mean like bows and arrows?” Alpha asked jokingly.

 

Billy grinned. “Funny Alpha.”

 

“The two of you are to be commended,” Zordon said. “These helmets will make a great addition to the Rangers’ arsenal.”

 

Billy smiled.

 

***

 

Tommy and Kimberly sat inside Alesandro’s, an expensive high-class restaurant in Angel Grove West. They were both dressed up and sitting at a candle-lit table.

 

“This is nice,” she said as she smiled at Tommy while reaching forward and taking his hand.

 

“Thanks,” Tommy said. “It’s been a while since we’ve been out alone.”

 

Kimberly nodded. “Being kidnapped will do that to you.”

 

“I’m just glad you’re back,” Tommy said as he gave her hand a gentle squeeze.

 

Tommy’s communicator sounded.

 

They both sighed as Tommy leaned back.

 

“I…uh…” Tommy said.

 

“Be careful,” Kimberly said. “I’m not around to watch your back anymore.”

 

Tommy nodded and kissed Kimberly on the cheek before heading out the door.

 

Kimberly closed her eyes and took a sip of her drink while she ran her hand across her chest, where the brand of the Phoenix remained.

 

***

 

Tommy threw on his leather jacket and joined the others in the Command Chamber.

 

“What’s going on?” Tommy asked as he walked over to Billy and the others in front of the Viewing Globe.

 

“A squadron of the Machines’ fighter-mecha and a mother ship,” Billy said as the globe displayed the crab-like mecha and the gear-shaped mother ship.

 

The mother ship was hovering above the rooftops as fighters swarmed the city.

 

“It’s time to take care of business, guys,” Tommy said as he and the others readied their Zeo Braces.

 

“Ultra Transform!” they shouted as they connected their braces. Energy flashed around them as they morphed into their armor.

 

The five Zeo Rangers transferred into their zords’ cockpits within the mecha hanger.

 

“Sky Phoenix!” Zeored shouted as he powered up his zord.

 

“Dash Leon!” Zeoblue called as he primed his mecha.

 

“Gran Taurus!” Zeogreen shouted as he activated his zord.

 

“Moa Loader!” Zeopink shouted as she powered up her zord.

 

“Dogu Lander!” Zeoyellow called as she brought her zord online.

 

“Launch!” Zeored said as the zords moved out of the hangers.

 

***

 

The five zords entered the city as a group of fighter mecha swarmed towards them while emptying their missile racks.

 

“The Machine King hasn’t launched an attack this big in a while,” Zeogreen said.

 

“He must be getting desperate,” Zeoblue said.

 

“Kat,” Zeoyellow called from her zord. “How about some fire power.”

 

“Right,” Zeopink said.

 

The two zords unleashed a massive payload of rockets and pulse blasts that tore through the machine fighters.

 

Sky Phoenix, Dash Leon, and Gran Taurus opened fire as the fighters scattered.

 

“Let’s bring ‘em together,” Zeored said as he placed his sub-crystal on the console in front of him. “Zeonizer Crystal!”

 

“Zeonizer Crystals!” the others shouted as they inserted the small devices from their braces into their control panels.

 

“Ultra Fusion!” Zeored shouted as the five zords altered their forms and combined.

 

“ZeoMegazord!” they shouted from their cockpit as the Megazord started stomping through the streets towards the gear ship.

 

“Super Crown Sword!” Zeored called as he activated the Megazord’s saber.

 

Several groups of mecha flew towards the Megazord and opened fire as the ZeoMegazord swung its saber to destroy some of them.

 

The mother ship opened fire with a powerful phased laser blast that exploded against the Megazord and sent it crashing to the streets.

 

The Rangers struggled to bring their Megazord back to its feet.

 

“Let’s finish this,” Zeored said.

 

The Rangers used the ZeoMegazord saber as a spear and hurled the weapon towards the gear. The mother ship was pierced as it exploded.

 

***

 

The Machine King rolled his hands up into fists as he stared down at the Earth from his moon-based balcony.

 

“This machine the Rangers bend to their will is troublesome,” he said as he narrowed his eyes.

 

Queen Machina nodded. “Yes my lord.”

 

“Clank!” the Machine King called.

 

Clank stumbled into the King’s main chamber while carrying Orbus. “Yes my King?”

 

“I need a machine with enough firepower to disable this robo,” the Machine King commanded. “Then I went the contraption thrown into the sun. If my machines cannot destroy it, perhaps that ball of gas can.”

 

***

 

Rocky sat at a park bench with Kimberly as she leaned forward with her chin on her hand. “I mean,” she said. “We’ve been back for over a week, and I see him more on the news fighting those machines than I see him in person.”

 

Rocky nodded. “I know it must be hard…Hell, It’s hard and me and Adam too, just in a different way.”

 

Kimberly smiled. “I would hope so.”

 

“Its weird not being in the fight anymore…and having to just sit back and watch,” Rocky said.

 

“Yeah,” Kimberly said as she sighed. “I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when we all go away for college.”

 

“Hey,” Rocky said as he placed a hand on Kimberly’s shoulder. “We’ve all been through a lot together. We’ll get through this too.”

 

Kimberly squeezed Rocky’s hand. “Thanks.”

 

Rocky shrugged. “It’s what I do.”

 

***

 

“You wanted to see me, sire,” Clank asked as he and Orbus were summoned a second time. A table with various pieces of machinery and equipment was laid out in the center of the room.

 

“Take him,” the Machine King said.

 

Cogs moved over to Clank and took Orbus from the slender machine’s shoulder. The soldiers carried Orbus to the table and began opening his panels and operating on his electronic innards despite his screaming protests.

 

“Hey...what are you doing, put that back!” Orbus yelled.

 

“Relax Orbus,” Clank said. “It’s not all that bad.”

 

“That’s the spirit Clank,” the Machine King said with amusement. “You’re next.”

 

“What? No...my systems are too delicate…” Clank protested as he was thrown to the table next to Orbus.

 

“You two are receiving growth implementation programs to increase my machines’ mass and size to match that of the ZeoMegazord,” the Machine King said. “And I have the perfect machine to try it out on…”

 

***

 

Ashley and Kat were driving through Angel Grove North. Ashley placed her hand in front of her mouth as she yawned behind the wheel.

 

“Long day?” Kat asked.

 

Ashley nodded. “I was in the Command Chamber all night with Billy. He was showing me our zords’ systems…they’re incredible.”

 

Kat leaned forward in the passenger seat as she looked through the window to see a pair of missiles streak by overhead and explode against a building.

 

“Look!” she shouted.

 

Ashley screeched the car to a halt as the two teens hopped out of the vehicle.

 

“Where are they coming from?” Kat asked as two more missiles flew by.

 

Ashley shook her head as citizens ran by in panic.

 

“I don’t know,” she said as she activated her communicator. “Zordon…something’s wrong.”

 

***

 

Tommy, Justin, and Chris met the girls on the city streets as another pair of missiles flew by.

 

Tommy activated his communicator. “Billy, can you tell where these things are coming from?”

 

“A machine is launching them from the mountains just outside of the city,” Billy said. “I’m locked onto its coordinates. I can teleport you there anytime.”

 

Tommy nodded and looked to the others. “Let’s go.”

 

“The fun never stops,” Justin said as they ran off.

 

***

 

The five rangers arrived in a rock quarry outside of the city and hopped off their Zeo Cycles as they removed their helmets.

 

“It should be around here somewhere…” Tommy said as he and the other rangers looked around.

 

They spotted the Machine King as he stepped forward to the edge of the quarry alongside a machine monster that resembled a walking missile platform. The monster’s name was Machine Silo.

 

“Welcome, Rangers,” The Machine King said as the five teens below assumed defensive stances. “I came to wish you farewell…you are a thorn in my side that is about to be removed.”

 

The monster fired a pair of rockets towards the teens. They leapt for cover as the two missiles exploded.

 

The rangers rose back to their feet as they readied their braces.

 

“Ultra Transform!” they shouted as they morphed into their armor.

 

The monster leapt down from above and ran towards the Rangers as they pulled out their side arms.

 

“Zeo Blasters!” Zeored shouted as they opened fire on the machine. Their blasts exploded against the monster’s armor, but he continued his advance.

 

“He’s not stopping,” Zeoblue said as the Rangers assumed defensive stances.

 

“Star Riser!” Zeored placed his hand in front of his visor as his power sword appeared in his hand with a flash of red energy.

 

Zeored twirled the blade as he charged it with crimson energy from his Zeo Crystal.

 

“Star Riser, ignite!” he shouted as he swung his sword diagonally, emitting an energy blade that exploded across the machine’s armor, causing the monster to stumble backward as its systems began to overload.

 

“Clank!” The Machine King nodded as the slender android appeared.

 

“Zeoranger!” Clank shouted as he pointed down towards the team while holding Orbus. “It’s time for you to-”

 

“Just do it, Clank,” The Machine King commanded.

 

Clank withdrew a steel cable from Orbus and swung the small droid around before releasing him. Orbus clung against the fallen Machine and interfaced with the monster’s systems.

 

The Machine monster rose back to its feet as its armor crackled with energy, and it suddenly expanded into giant form in a burst of electrical energy.

 

The Rangers activated their communicators as they raised their hands into the air.

 

“Zeo-zords, mobilize!” they shouted as the five zords launched and charged to their location.

 

The Rangers leapt towards their zords as their mecha activated the retrieval program. The Rangers teleported into their cockpits within lines of energy.

 

“Zeonizer Crystal,” Zeored commanded as he placed the crystal from his morphing brace into his control console.

 

“Zeonizer Crystals!” the other Rangers shouted as they did the same.

 

“Ultra fusion!” Zeored commanded as the five zords reassembled and combined into one giant mech.

 

“ZeoMegazord!” they shouted as they joined in their central cockpit.

The machine stomped towards its opponent as the Rangers moved their Megazord forward. The two opponents slammed into each other, causing a series of small explosions before the ZeoMegazord knocked the machine’s arms away and slammed a punch against its chest armor.

 

The machine countered by slamming its head against the Zeo Megazord, causing an explosion as the zord slid backward, but managed to stay on his feet.

 

Before the Megazord could launch a counter attack, the machine fired a pair of rockets that exploded against the ZeoMegazord, causing the robo to crash to the ground.

 

The machine walked over to the ZeoMegazord and kicked the robo in the chest as the Rangers were jolted around in their cockpit.

 

“Silo!” the Machine King commanded from the ground. “Do it.”

 

The machine launched a massive chain from its chest that wrapped around the Megazord. Silo turned to the sky as it fired a quartet of repulser jets and blasted upward with the ZeoMegazord in tow.

 

“Ummm…Tommy,” Zeogreen said with concern.

 

Silo and the zord radiated with heat as the ZeoMegazord was pulled out of the planet’s atmosphere and into space.

 

“Not good,” Zeoblue said. “Not good, not good…”

 

“We have to break free from these chains,” Zeored said as he manipulated the controls in front of him.

 

Silo released the ZeoMegazord as the robo was pulled towards the sun by the giant star’s gravity. The ZeoMegazord’s armor radiated with heat.

 

“We’re going to be cooked alive,” Zeoblue said.

 

***

 

The Viewing Globe in the Command Chamber showed the machine monster whip the Megazord towards the sun.

 

“Billy,” Zordon said. “Bring the zords battle helmets online.”

 

Billy nodded. “I think you’re right.”

 

***

 

The Rangers struggled to break their Megazord free as the inside of their cockpit intensified with heat.

 

“Guys,” Billy said over their communicators. “I’ve designed a set of Zeo Battle Helmets for you to use, each with a special feature built in…”

 

“Billy,” Zeoblue said. “Now isn’t the time to talk shop.”

 

“No,” Billy said. “I’m downloading the data to your helmets’ visors.”

 

Zeored and the others quickly looked over the data.

 

“Okay,” Zeored said. “Chris, give it a shot.”

 

Zeogreen nodded as they rotated their seating so Zeogreen’s station was up front.

 

“Zeo IV Battle Helmet, activate,” he commanded as he pulled forward a switch to his right. A green Taurus-like helmet appeared over the ZeoMegazord’s head.

 

Zeogreen pressed the activation button with his thumb as the helmet’s horns radiated with jade-tinted gravity energy that snapped the zord free from the chains.

 

“Ashley,” Zeored said. “You’re up.”

 

The seats rotated so Zeoyellow’s position was forward.

 

“Zeo II Battle Helmet, activate!”

 

A helmet with a pair of rockets appeared on the zord. She activated the rockets and used them to halt their descent towards the sun. She then adjusted the jets so the ZeoMegazord blasted back towards Earth.

 

***

 

Silo was in the quarry as the Machine King looked up at his creation. “Prepare for an assault on the humans’ population centers. A fleet of mecha will…”

 

A high-pitched noise cut through the air as the Machine King looked up into the sky and saw the ZeoMegazord enter the planet’s atmosphere and zoom towards the machine monster.

 

“Impossible…” he said as he glared at the robo.

 

The ZeoMegazord drop kicked Silo backwards as it landed on the ground, creating a thundering boom. The Megazord was now in its standard red-winged helmet and had its Super Crown Sword armed.

 

“Round two,” Zeored said as they watched the machine pull itself back up.

 

Silo charged forward to attack as the Rangers dashed their Megazord forward, while slashing horizontally across the machine. The ZeoMegazord turned and ran its saber diagonally across the monster’s armor.

 

Silo was forced back as the Rangers’ seats rotated so Zeopink had center position.

 

“Zeo I Battle Helmet, activate!” she shouted as a helmet appeared that supported a pulse cannon.

 

“Fire,” she commanded as the helmet fired several pulse blasts that exploded against the machine.

 

The cockpit seats rearranged so Zeoblue had the lead position.

 

“Zeo III Battle Helmet activate,” he commanded as a pyramid shaped helmet appeared.

 

“Crash and burn, baby,” he said as the helmet emitted an energy pulse that served as a tractor beam as it lifted the monster off its feet and slammed it to the ground repeatedly.

 

Zeored assumed his forward position again.

 

“Zeo V Battle Helmet, activate!” he commanded as the red-winged helmet returned. “Super Crown Sword!”

 

The ZeoMegazord saber appeared in a flash of energy as Silo rose to its feet and charged forward, preparing to fire a missile salvo.

 

“Grand Final Crash!” the Rangers shouted as the saber energized with golden energy and cut through the machine monster.

 

Silo’s systems overloaded as the machine fell backwards and exploded.

 

***

 

Tommy entered his living room to see Chelsea on the couch and Simon and Teddy on the floor playing a PS2 game.

 

“Has Kim called?” Tommy asked his sister.

 

“No…” Chelsea said. “But she was here watching the news with us during your latest brush with death.”

 

Tommy opened his face wide with surprise as he shook his head. “We weren’t even in the city…how does the media always do that…”

 

“She left as soon as she found out you were safe,” Chelsea said. “She didn’t seem too happy.”

 

Tommy sighed as he picked up the phone to call Kimberly’s apartment. No one answered.

 

***

 

Tommy sat alone at Bear Lake as the Dark Man walked up behind him.

 

“What now?” Tommy asked without taking his eyes off the lake.

 

The Dark Man smiled. “Just checking up on you, Tommy.”

 

“I’m touched,” he said sarcastically.

 

“How are you adapting to these machines?”

 

Tommy sighed. “The Zeo Power is still taking some getting used to…but at least I don’t have to worry about it corrupting me.”

 

“Tommy…” the Dark Man said. “You once criticized me of being too subtle, so allow me to be blunt…stop feeling sorry for yourself, go to her, and make things right.”

 

Tommy looked back at the Dark Man and arced an eyebrow. “What…now you’re giving me relationship advice?”

 

“She’s leaving soon,” the Dark Man said. “Don’t squander your time with her. Consider her feelings. She survived death itself only to be kidnapped by these Machines, returns to find you in a whole other team fighting a battle she is no longer a part of. Living a life she is no longer a part of.”

 

Tommy nodded. “I guess I…I don’t know.”

 

“Go,” the Dark Man said.

 

Tommy sighed and shook his head as he rose from the ground. “I don’t suppose since you’re being so blunt you can finally tell me who you are.”

 

The Dark Man smiled. “Soon enough…”

 

Tommy nodded. “Didn’t think so…” he said as he ran off to make things right with Kimberly.

 

To be continued…Chapter Seven