The Legend of Zeo: Chapter Fourteen

Legends of Triforia

 

 “Ultra Transform!” the five rangers shouted as they stood at a plaza within the city, facing a Machine shaped like a robotic tarantula. Energy shimmered around them as they morphed into their armor.

 

The spider opened its jaws and launched a pair of smaller spider-shaped droids. The two droids attached themselves to Zeoblue and Zeopink’s face plates and sent surges of electric energy exploding across their armor.

 

The other three Rangers ran to their sides and tried to pry the spiders free from their helmets.

 

Zeoyellow spotted the Machine stalking towards them and armed her weapons.

 

“Zeo batons!” she shouted as she held her hand in front of her visor, and her two nunchuku appeared in a flash of yellow light.

 

She twirled her weapons as she charged at the Machine. She struck its armor twice with a flurry of blows, then brought her leg around in a sweep kick that knocked the Machine off its feet.

 

The spider reached forward with its claws and grabbed hold of Zeoyellow while tossing her backward, sending her rolling across the ground to her fallen teammates.

 

Trey ran to the scene from behind the creature as he armed his Zeo braces.

 

“Ultra Transform!” the prince shouted as gold energy flashed around his body and he morphed into his Ranger form of Zeo Gold.

 

The prince rushed towards his opponent, trying not to let his own thoughts distract him. Thoughts of confusion as to why the Machines were so interested in a backwater world of little to no significance. Confusion as to how five Terrans managed to hold out against the Machines for so long, as well as other villains the likes of which even Trey feared. Bandora, Daisatan, Zedd…These humans managed to defeat some of the most powerful evil beings that even time itself could not destroy.

 

His heart ached for home. On Triforia, the world made sense. The world had order.

 

Zeo Gold pushed these feelings away and flipped over the Machine. He landed in a crouched position in front of the spider and slammed the spear end of his staff against its armor. The blow caused the Machine to lose control over his droids, and the small spiders fell off the Rangers’ helmets.

 

Zeo Gold regrouped with the others just as the tarantula fired a stream of energy blasts that exploded across their armor.

 

The Rangers combined the power from their Ultra Cannon and Zeo Gold’s staff to destroy the monster.

 

Trey powered down his armor.

 

***

 

10,000 years ago, Triforia

 

Thirteen-year-old Trey sat by his mother’s side within the royal courtroom of Triforia’s capital city. The walls were made of ornate tan-shaded marble with rows of pillars extending down to the floor of white marble. A long, narrow red carpet extended from the entrance of the court room to the front of the room. The carpet was trimmed with gold and patterned with various columns of symbols that ran along its edges.

 

Trey was sitting in a small golden throne at the front of the room next to his mother’s larger throne. He was dressed in an intricate black and gold robe that itched terribly. Despite his years of being forced into formal wear, he never grew used to it.

 

His mother was dressed in a white and gold gown. She was a visibly powerful woman with sharp and beautiful features.

 

Triforia was governed as a matriarchal society, with women having higher status than men.

 

The mother and son were alone in the court room, except for the guards, and waiting for the first case to begin.

 

The Queen leaned over to her son. “Best pay attention, Trey. Someday it will befall upon you to advise the Queen, your wife, in matters such as this.”

 

Trey slouched in his chair as he leaned his chin on his hand. “Please don’t remind me, mother…”

 

The chamber doors opened as man dressed in black and bound in shackles was escorted into the court room by a trio of golden-armored guards.

 

The prisoner was forced to his knees in front of the Queen’s throne.

 

“Loquicious,” the Queen said as she stared down at the prisoner. “You were recently caught attempting to infiltrate the mages’ praxium by using Shadow magick. Magick that has been outlawed for centuries. Magick spawned from the depths of the underworld itself. Your response?”

 

The prisoner smiled as he stared at the Queen and her child. “It is not my fault your planet’s mages were weak. Not my fault I slipped right beneath them…”

 

“What were your intentions?” the Queen asked.

 

“You’ll never know…” the prisoner said.

 

Trey’s mind wandered as his mother continued the questioning. Such cases were always formalities. Invoking dark magick was always punishable by either death or banishment. The prince also recognized that the prisoner had a point. Triforian mages were weak, not half as strong as those of Eltar or even Edenoi.

 

Too much emphasis was placed on politics. His planet needed warriors, not more crown-heads. He longed to be one of the warriors.

 

***

 

The Present

 

The Rangers were locked in combat with a group of Cogs by the rocky shore when a Machine monster appeared that produced sound waves that induced severe fatigue in the Rangers. They struggled to stay on their feet as the sound waves intensified.

 

Clank appeared next to the Machine and armed an energy rifle, aiming the weapon forward towards the Rangers. “Farewell, Zeo Rangers.”

 

A blast of golden energy exploded against his rifle as it went flying from his hand in a twisted heap of metal. Clank turned to look at the top of a cliff and saw the Gold Ranger standing with his staff in hand.

 

“Not you again…” Clank mumbled with frustration as his robotic eyes glared at the Ranger.

 

“In the flesh,” Zeo Gold said as he flipped off the cliff and somersaulted through the air while slamming a flying sidekick against Clank’s chest. The frail machine was knocked backward.

 

The Machine monster turned towards the Ranger and fired a burst of energy blasts that exploded around Zeo Gold as he dove for cover.

 

Zeo Gold rolled to his feet as he activated his staff.

 

“It’s time for a gold rush…Victory Flash!” the Ranger aimed his staff forward and launched a volley of golden energy bursts that tore through the Machine, ripping it to pieces.

 

***

 

10,000 years ago, Triforia

 

Fourteen-year-old Trey stood on a balcony extending from a lower level of his mother’s castle as he looked out towards the garden courtyard below, filled with red and purple plants. A girl his age named Triana was being led through the courtyard by her tutor.

 

The girl seemed to be particularly drawn to a bush of red and violet flowers, but Trey noticed her tutor shoed her away from the bush.

 

Trey had to admit that Triana was stunningly beautiful, but he had no desire for a bride…especially one he’d never spoken with. Although she was chosen at birth to marry into the royal family and become queen, he had never spoken with her. They were not allowed to spend any private time together. She had not even seen him up close.

 

One of his servants slowly stepped onto the balcony. “Is everything all right, my prince?”

 

He shook his head. “No…I want out of this place. I’m sick of living in a bubble. Sick of having every detail of my life planned out for me…”

 

The servant nodded. “But that is the way of things, master.”

 

Trey shook his head. “That doesn’t mean I have to like it…do you see that girl down there?”

 

The servant walked up to the railing and looked down. “Triana…”

 

Trey nodded. “She’s beautiful, and I would very much like to get to know her…but I can’t. They will make me marry her, but not allow me to even speak to her. Not allow me to fall in love with her, or even lust after her.”

 

“This is the way of things,” the servant said.

 

Trey narrowed his eyes as he shook his head. “Not for long…”

 

He turned and ran from the balcony as he headed towards the nearest exit to the palace.

 

***

 

Triana was walking through the garden, having moved away from her tutor, when a hand reached out and pulled her into a bush. She let out a small shriek as a hand reached around her and held a red and violet flower in front of her face.

 

“Meet me at the Elycian Springs tonight at high moon,” a gentle voice whispered in her ear.

 

“What is the meaning of this?” she asked with frustration. She wiggled free of Trey’s grasp, but by the time she turned, he had already sprinted away. She rose from the bush and looked around for any sign of whoever had grabbed her, but she found no one.

 

She looked down at the flower in her hand with mixed emotions of curiosity, flattery, and anxiety.

 

“Strange…” she said softly as she ran her fingers along the petal.

 

***

 

The springs were in a field just outside the capital in a field of purple grass and tall trees with merlot-colored leaves. A pond outlined with stone sat in the center of the field with a streaming gush of water rising from its center like a fountain. The moonlight shined on each droplet of water, making each seem like it was glowing.

 

Triana stood by the springs as she stared at the droplets of water falling back to the pond and rippling across the surface of the water.

 

Trey walked up behind her in black and brown garments similar to that of peasant folk. “I wasn’t sure if you’d actually come…”

 

Triana turned to face Trey for the first time as a smile slowly spread across her face. “You look familiar…”

 

Trey smiled sheepishly as he shrugged. “I have one of those faces…”

 

Just standing there and talking to her made Trey’s heart leap up to his throat. He was surprised by his own reaction, not expecting it to be so intense. He started to walk towards her, but was disappointed to see her back away.

 

“Who are you?” she asked. “And what is the meaning of this?”

 

“Surely you’ve had an admirer before,” Trey said.

 

She shook her head. “No,” she said gently.

 

Okay…Trey thought to himself. Say something…

 

Trey started to open his mouth to speak, but no words came forth. He was captivated by her eyes. They were like twirling pools of light that a boy could drown in. Say something, say something, say something…

 

“What is your name?” she asked.

 

Trey smiled. Perfect setup…

 

“You may call me whatever you wish…”

 

Triana’s face turned slightly red as she smiled.

 

***

 

Trey led Triana to the outskirts of the city, to where a traveling circus was performing on the stone streets. The two laughed together as they enjoyed each sound and sight of the circus, pleasures denied to them because of their birthrights.

 

Triana’s face suddenly became sorrowful as she stopped in her tracks and stared off to her right.

 

“What is it?” Trey asked as he looked to see what was drawing her attention.

 

He spotted a caged animal, about the size of a forearm, circled around with fear in its pearl-shaped eyes. The creature was covered with short green fur.

 

“That temereese,” Triana said. “I don’t like seeing animals caged.”

 

A mischievous grin spread across the prince’s face. “We can take care of that…Go talk to the man by the cage. Distract him.”

 

“How?” Triana asked.

 

Try shrugged. “Pretend to be lost.”

 

“Lost?”

 

“It’s either that or a lift skirt,” Trey said.

 

Triana slapped Trey on the chest as he held his hands up defensively. “A joke, a joke…”

 

Triana arced an eyebrow at him. “Not a funny one…”

 

Trey vanished into the crowd as Triana slowly approached the man standing by the small creature’s cage. “Excuse me, sir,” Triana asked. “I was wondering if you could help me find my way…”

 

As Triana distracted the heavy-set man, Trey snuck in behind. The prince slowly moved towards the cage and swung its hinge open. The small creature leapt forward the second the cage door opened and landed on Trey’s face. The prince was taken off guard by the creature’s over-the-top displays of gratitude and tripped backwards over a barrel before crashing to the ground against his backside.

 

“Hey!” the bulky man said as he turned and spotted Trey rising from the ground with the creature moving to wrap itself around the prince’s arm.

 

A boyish grin spread across Trey’s face as Triana ran towards him. “Sorry to bother you, sir…we’ll be on our way.”

 

The two young friends ran away as the man started to follow, but he tripped over his own feet and fell face first to the ground. The two nobles giggled as they ran down the dark alley with their new furry friend.

 

***

 

Trey and Triana came to a stop within an alley as they looked at the small creature, running with excitement around Trey’s arm.

 

Triana laughed as she looked up into Trey’s eyes. “I think she likes you.”

 

“I hope she’s not the only one,” Trey said with a grin as Triana smiled, her face turning slightly red.

 

The creature began making a loud clicking noise as it stared down the alley. A group of six men walked towards the, each had bodies ripping with tattooed muscles.

 

“Hello, princess,” one of the men said as he flashed a toothless grin. “Some very important people want you. Come willingly, and we’ll let this street urchin of yours live.”

 

Trey stood in front of her and placed his hands out across her. “Stay away from her, scum…you have no idea who you’re dealing with.”

 

One of the men lunged forward and slammed a punch against Trey’s face. Trey flew backwards off his feet and crashed against a pile of crates, banging his head against the ground as the he was enveloped by the darkness of unconsciousness.

 

***

 

Trey slowly awoke to the feeling of a cold compress being placed against his head. His vision blurred into focus as he saw an elderly man with gray hair and a beard looking down upon him. “It’s all right, prince,” the man said. “The injuries are minor.”

 

Trey sat up, which a violent rush to his head quickly protested. “Triana…”

 

“They took her,” the man said.

 

Trey started to rise from the bed of straw he was lying on. “I have to get back to the palace…tell my mother…”

 

“No,” the man said as he gently pushed Trey back down. “Rest first, then we will save the princess together.”

 

“Who are you?” Try asked as he knitted his brow with confusion.

 

“A friend,” the man said as he walked to the back of his wooden shack and opened a small chest. The chest was a direct contrast to the rest of the old room. It’s edges were trimmed with gold, and its panels were made with highly polished steel.

 

The man unlatched the chest and opened it as it made a whining sound. The sound was almost like a chorus of high voices singing a single word. Zeo.

 

He pulled out and object wrapped in gold silk and presented it to Trey. “Once you open this, my young prince…your life will never be the same.”

 

Trey reached out and unwrapped the object. It was the Golden Power Staff.

 

Trey looked over the black and golden staff as he held the weapon in the palm of his right hand. “What is it?” Trey asked as he ran his left hand along the blade at the bottom the weapon.

 

“It is simply called the Golden Power Staff,” the bearded man said. “An artifact of an ancient civilization long forgotten by time. The staff was found with these…”

 

The man held out a black silk pouch that Trey took with his left hand. The pouch contained two golden wrist braces.

 

“What do you know of the first king of Triforia, after the Shattering?” the man asked.

 

The Shattering was a period of time thousands of years ago when the empire broke apart into separate nation states, each hostile with another on different levels.

 

Trey shook his head. “Just what I’ve heard from my tutors…he united the kingdoms.”

 

The man nodded. “This was how he did so. These braces allowed him to transform into a powerful golden knight. He used the power to secure his wife upon the throne and unite the world. Since then, members of my family have been entrusted with keeping the staff and braces safe until needed again.”

 

Trey looked over the staff, staring at his own reflection in its golden plating. “What kind of a warrior?”

 

The old man smiled. “I will show you…”

 

***

 

Triana was bound to a chair in the center of a dark and empty room as her captors towered over her.

 

“Don’t be scared little girlie,” one of the men said. “We represent an organization that stands to make a substantial prophet by your safe return…”

 

“Let her go!” a voice shouted from the end of the room. They looked to see Trey standing alongside the old man, who wore a dark cloak pulled around his body.

 

The men couldn’t stop themselves from laughing. “A boy and a grandpa…you must be joking.”

 

“I don’t joke,” Trey said, biting down his nervousness as he readied the braces attached to his wrist.

 

The tattoos of the men crackled with electric energy, invoking magick spells. One of the men extended his hand and launched a sphere of energy at Trey and the Cloaked man.

 

“Now, Trey!” Cloak shouted as Trey snapped the wrist braces together.

 

A flash of golden energy wrapped around Trey as the energy blast slammed against him. The prince was thrown backward off his feet and sent crashing against a pillar before sliding to the ground.

 

He rose to his feet as he looked over his gloved hands, noticing a suit of gold and black skin-tight armor. A helmet also wrapped around his head with a visor as dark as night. He was the gold knight that would later be called Zeo Gold.

 

“Kill him,” the lead criminal commanded as one of his men moved in.

 

The bulky fighter moved towards Zeo Gold and swung a hook punch, but the Ranger managed to duck under the blow with increased speed. The man pushed forward and swung another punch, and Zeo Gold knocked the man’s hand away while breaking his right. The Ranger followed through with a cross punch that knocked the man backwards.

 

Another one of the thugs charged forward towards Cloak while snarling his teeth. The elderly man extended his hand with a simple gesture, summoning a massive bolt of blue lightning that slammed against the thug with a powerful boom, tossing the criminal backwards.

 

Zeo Gold ran towards Triana, but three of the thugs blocked his path.

 

“Out of my way!” he shouted as he charged forward.

 

The center man fired another energy pulse. The prince tried to dodge that blast, but was clipped against the shoulder and nearly spun off his feet. The other two men dashed forward and began slamming their fists against Zeo Gold, their magick enhancing their speed and strength.

 

The three men leapt on top of the prince and continued to pound at him with their fists.

 

“Get off of me!” he shouted while springing to his feet and swinging his arms wide, knocking the three criminals off their feet with a powerful blow.

 

The prince glared through his visor at the remaining criminal. The thug energized his tattoos and launched a fiery blast of energy that streaked towards Zeo Gold’s head. The prince armed his staff with a flash of golden energy and swung, batting the energy blast back to its originator. The blast slammed against the thug and knocked him out.

 

Zeo Gold ran to Triana and untied her. “I’m so glad you’re alright.”

 

She shook her head as she backed away. “Trey…he called you Trey. The prince.”

 

Trey’s armor powered down as he shook his head. “I’m sorry, I…I didn’t want to tell you yet.”

 

“Stay back,” she said as she backed away from him. Just stay away.” She turned and ran from the warehouse.

 

Cloak walked over to Trey and placed a hand on his shoulder. “You fought well.”

 

“No I didn’t,” Trey said. “And now Triana…she’ll probably never speak to me again…I just wanted to…”

 

“Go to her,” Cloak said. “Make things right.”

 

Trey knitted his brow and looked to Cloak. “Who are you?”

 

“No one with any mysterious past or connection to you. I am just a man. A man interested in turning you into a warrior,” he said. “Tonight you will be with her. Tomorrow…Tomorrow we will start your training.”

 

***

 

Triana was sitting within the top of a tree on a long branch as she rested her head against the main trunk. A small furry green creature crawled over to her that she recognized immediately.“Hello again,” she said as she smiled at the creature.

 

“Triana!” a voice called from below. It was Trey.

 

“I do not wish to see you,” she called down to him.

 

“Then close your eyes,” he said. “I’m coming up…”

 

Trey climbed up the tree and sat next to her. She looked ahead, not acknowledging his presence.

 

“Technically,” Trey said. “I never lied to you.”

 

“You’re awful at apologizing, I see,” she said, still avoiding his gaze.

 

Trey sighed as he shook his head. “I’m sorry, okay? I just wanted to get to know you. I didn’t want to tell you who I was…I wanted you to get to know me. Me.”

 

The two sat in silence for a moment.

 

She placed her head on his shoulder, still looking ahead. “My parents are going to be so mad.”

 

Trey smiled as he draped his arm around her shoulder. He bent down and gently kissed her forehead.

 

***

 

The Present

 

The five Rangers were at a water processing plant at the outskirts of the city. They surrounded the latest machine monster, which had the ability to liquefy its form.

 

“Zeo Blasters!” Zeored shouted as they aimed their sidearms and fired. The lances of energy moved harmlessly through the monster as it liquefied.

 

A group of Cogs landed on the ground around the Machine and charged forward.

 

“Let’s take care of business,” Zeored said as he and the other Rangers charged forward to attack the villains.

 

Trey stepped to the edge of a balcony above, looking down on the battle as he armed his Zeo Braces.

 

“Ultra Transform!” he shouted as he connected his braces and morphed into his armor with a flash of golden energy.

 

Zeo Gold leapt down onto a midlevel catwalk as a group of Cogs surrounded him. He summoned his staff with a flash of golden energy and charged forward.

 

He blocked a Cog’s staff and knocked the weapon away before bringing the end of his staff across the soldier’s chest. He hopped to his left while striking another Cog down with the spear end of his weapon.

 

The hydro machine fired a powerful torrent of water that knocked the six Rangers to ground level. The monster fired a salvo of energy blasts that exploded across their armor.

Zeoyellow eyes a few pipes off to her left. “That coolant…”

 

Zeored nodded. “Good idea, Ashley. Let’s do it.”

 

The six ran back behind a cluster of pipes as the Machine followed.

 

The monster turned a corner and noticed the Rangers were nowhere to be found. That was until he looked up and saw the five Rangers aiming down with their rifles and firing. Their blasts struck coolant pipes that froze the Machine in place as Zeo Gold stepped out and activated his staff.

 

“It’s time for a gold rush…Victory Flash!” He fired bursts of golden energy that shattered through the monster.

 

***

 

Distant past

 

Eighteen-year-old Trey sat besides his mother in the royal courtroom. A group of four female nobles kneeled before the throne as they addressed the Queen. The anxiety in the room was palpable.

 

The Machine Empire had been attacking their world for a month. Their relentlessness had cost the lives of many.

 

“With all do respect, my Queen,” the center noble, Sial said. “Your conservatism towards this war is getting people killed.”

 

Trey glared at the woman. “Bite your tongue woman, lest I cut it off.”

 

“Trey,” the Queen said gently as she extended her hand. “Be still…”

 

The Queen’s gaze drifted back to the nobles. “Committing our entire armies would be more than foolish. They are entirely ineffective. In fact, only one has successful led campaigns against the Machines. Only one has engaged them and lived to tell about it.”

 

Sial scoffed. “You can’t count on this mysterious golden knight to win the war single handedly.”

 

Trey had kept his identity as the Gold Ranger secret, from even his mother. Only Cloak and Triana knew the truth.

 

“No,” the Queen said. “But by using the methods this knight employs, we can create a Ranger team capable of defeating these robotic monstrosities.”

 

“Forgive me my Queen,” Sial said. “But you are no Dimitria of Inquirus of Dulcea of Phaedos. You cannot create Ranger powers out of thin air.”

 

“Enough,” Trey said as he glared at the women.

 

“Trey…” his mother started to say.

 

“No,” Trey said as he rose from the throne. “I won’t sit here and watch these dogs insult you, mother. I won’t. They’re only interested in playing their sick political games. Now isn’t the time.”

 

Trey stormed off.

 

“Trey,” the Queen called after her son, but he ignored her and continued forward.

 

***

 

Trey stormed into the small hut of the man he knew only as Cloak.

 

“Something troubling you, prince?” Cloak asked.

 

“You could say that,” Trey said as he took a seat and sighed. “I’m tired of all these games the crown heads have been playing. Even my mother. This isn’t the time.”

 

Cloak nodded. “I agree, but at least your mother is still thinking straight. Having her mages create this Crystal based on your staff is a wise idea.”

 

Trey nodded. “Even so…I feel…helpless. I want to just get away from the politics and defeat this empire of mechanical monsters.”

 

Cloak’s face grew seriously as he took a seat across from Trey and leaned forward. “There may be a way…”

 

“How so?” Trey asked.

 

“Do you remember what I told you about the Order of Prophets?”

 

Trey nodded. The Prophets originated on Eltar and supposedly compiled an accurate account of the galaxy’s history up until the end of the universe. The account had been lost.

 

“The Prophets,” Cloak continued, “one of them was my ancestor. He foresaw the invasion of Triforia by these Machines. He knew a crystal would be made from your staff, allowing a group of warriors to combat them. He also predicted that the Machines would be driven off of Triforia, but not destroyed. He predicted their return thousands of years from now alongside evils you couldn’t possibly imagine.”


”What are you saying?” Trey asked.

 

“Trey, my friend,” Cloak said. “I am saying there is nothing you can do in the here and now to stop the Machines. You have done your part by providing a template for a new set of powers through the staff you carry. You are not needed in the present, but in the future.”

 

“The future?” Trey asked with disbelief. “The Eltarian Science Directive found time travel to be impossible.”

 

“It is,” Cloak said. “But cryogenic suspension is not.”

 

Trey’s face grew pale.

 

***

 

The young prince of Triforia had a lot on his mind as he walked through the city streets, the cool night air blowing across his face.

 

When he said he wanted to move away from the political confines of his home, he hadn’t meant through such drastic measures. Could he leave behind everything he knew and everyone he loved? The golden powers gave Trey a strong sense of purpose. They allowed him to break outside his mold of a prince and be his own individual. An individual who made a difference in the world. But according to Cloak, there was nothing he could do in this time period to make such a difference.

 

Trey shook his head, refusing to believe that. “It’s not possible,” he said quietly to himself. “If I stay here, I can save lives. That’s what making a difference is…isn’t it?”

 

According to Cloak, the Machines would return to wage war anew alongside villains most vile. According to Cloak, that time was where he would be needed. Fighting alongside those champions and protecting their families and their loved ones. Not his.

 

He heard a loud whining noise split through the air as he looked up to see a small attack wing of fighter mecha streak through the sky.

 

Trey connected his braces and morphed into his armor with a flash of golden energy as the machines opened fire. Explosions tore up the ground around him as he ran forward and the Machines landed in between the buildings in front of him. A group of Cogs materialized in front of the mecha.

 

Zeo Gold leapt forward with a double flying sidekick he slammed against a Cog’s chest. The soldier was sent crashing against three other Cogs as Zeo Gold moved forward.

 

The Ranger used his right arm to outer block a soldier’s staff. He countered with a right inner crescent kick/left roundhouse across the soldier’s head, knocking that soldier away before spinning forward with a reverse sidekick against another soldier’s faceplate.

 

The mecha opened fire with a missile salvo as Zeo Gold dove for cover. He rose to his knee as he placed his hand in front of his visor and summoned his Golden Power Staff with a flash of golden energy.

 

“It’s time for a gold rush,” he said as he rose to his feet. “Victory Flash!”

 

He extended his staff and fired bursts of energy that exploded through the mecha, causing them to explode. Through the corner of his visor, he noticed an out of control missile slam into a building as debris fell down towards a young boy below.

 

Zeo Gold dove forward and grabbed hold of the boy was rolling across the ground and avoiding the debris.

 

“Are you okay?” Zeo Gold asked as he helped the boy to his feet.

 

The boy nodded, and Zeo Gold caught a glimpse of the innocence within the child’s eyes. That was when it hit them.

 

These were his people. They would be his people in any time, no matter if he knew them or not. No matter if they were family or friends or just strangers. They were his people, despite his distaste for the political process that made it so. They were his people, with friends and family of their own. They were his people, and he had to fight for them, regardless of how or when.

 

***

 

Trey sat in a tree branch as Triana climbed up next to him, the creature now named Takku wrapped around her arm.

 

“He told me,” she said simply.

 

Trey nodded as he looked into his companion’s eyes. “I have to do it, Triana. I know it sounds crazy, but I have to…”

 

“I understand,” Triana said. “Just take me with you.”

 

“What?” Trey asked. “Absolutely not. Your place is here. I can’t ask you to…”

 

“My place is with you,” she said as she rested her hand on his knee. “It was determined by birth, as well as my own heart. We are linked together in so many ways…These past four years, Trey…my life would be empty without you. I need you. You need me.”

 

Trey sighed as he leaned his forehead against hers. “You know we’ll need a small unit for Takku too…”

 

Triana smiled as the two embraced, ready to tackle whatever the future held for them. Together.

 

***

 

The present

 

The Machine the Rangers had IDed as Somnabot had been reconstructed and sent to a plaza in Angel Grove to attack. It was connected to an external power supply via a cable, and using its vibrations to cause serious fatigue among the six Rangers.

 

Zeo Gold’s staff fell from his grasp as he collapsed to the ground alongside his teammates. Luckily, they had an unsuspecting alley who was immune to the attacks.

 

Takku scurried forward like a ferret and bit into the cable, causing a power surge that overloaded the Machine monster’s systems, causing it to explode.

 

The Rangers rose to their feet just as Clank and Orbus made the monster grow.

 

The core five Rangers activated their communicators. “Zeo-zords mobilize!”

 

They leapt into the cockpits of their zords within streams of multi-colored energy.

 

Zeo Gold raised his staff into the sky. “I call upon the power of Pyramidus!”

 

The giant pyramid zord appeared in a storm of golden energy as Zeo Gold teleported into his cockpit within a streak of golden light.

 

“Golden fusion!” the Rangers shouted as they formed the ZeoUltrazord in battle formation. “Golden Storm!”

 

The colossal zord opened fire with a blaze of energy that tore the machine monster apart.

 

***

 

The five rangers walked through the park, looking for Trey and Triana.

 

“I don’t get it,” Justin said. “Billy said they were here.”

 

Kat smiled as she looked up to a nearby tree. “Look,” she said quietly.

 

Trey and Triana were sleeping against one another on one of the tree’s upper branches as Takku curled across their laps and yawned.

 

To be continued…Chapter 15