The Legend of Zeo: Chapter Sixteen
Billy sat in the Command Chamber alone working on a control panel as his gaze drifted up to the empty holographic tube in front of him. It had been a month since Zordon left for Eltar. He took a moment to wonder about the great darkness his mentor was preparing for. He wondered how his latest creations could come into play.
He pulled up an image of a prototype suit of Silver Ranger armor. The armor had a white stripe across the chest with six green squares running across it. The belt was outlined in gold with an upside down triangle at the buckle, and gold rings circled around the wrists and ankles. The gauntlets and boots were white.
It was at that moment the alarms in the Command Chamber started to blare.
Alpha scurried into the room as Billy reviewed the Command Chamber’s sensor display.
“What is it, Billy?” Alpha asked as he waddled into the room.
“A small craft just entered Earth’s atmosphere,” he said as he pulled an image of the vessel up on the Viewing Globe.
“It’s Aquition,” Alpha said.
Billy was familiar with the world Aquitar only through files logged in the Command Chamber’s systems.
“I’ll contact the Rangers,” Billy said.
Tommy and his four teammates ran to the crash site on a grassy hill just outside the city.
A man was draped from the vessel and lying across the ground. He wore a body suit of purple and gold garments. His skin was pale and cracked as if dried out. He appeared almost human, except for the gills running behind his pointed ears.
They leaned down towards the Aquition and noticed his chest rise and fall weakly.
Tommy activated his communicator. “He’s alive, but barely.”
A figure suddenly de-cloaked near the ship. It was a cyborg with a twisted, rusty metal body. He was a member of a bounty hunter race known as the Verox.
The bounty hunter aimed his gauntlet forward as the rangers grabbed the Aquition and dove for cover. Explosions sparked around them as they rose to their feet and readied their Zeonizers.
“Ultra transform!” they shouted as they morphed into their Ranger forms
Verox launched a volley of fiery energy spheres that exploded against the Rangers’ armor as they rolled for cover.
“Zeo Blasters!” Zeored shouted as they rolled to their knees while pulling out their side arms and firing.
Verox erected an energy barrier that blocked the weapons’ fire and sent it back towards the Rangers in a massive pulse of energy
Verox dashed forward in a blur of motion and struck the Rangers down one by one. After beating back the five Rangers, he turned his attention towards the fallen Aquition.
“Back off Verox!” a voice shouted from behind the ship.
The bounty hunter looked up just as Zeo Gold flew through the air with a sidekick that slammed against his chest. The bounty hunter went skidding backward across the ground as Zeo Gold regrouped with the others.
“You guys okay?” Zeo Gold asked as he helped the others to their feet.
“This creep just hit us by surprise,” Zeoblue said defensively.
“Let’s hit him back,” Zeored said as he placed his hand in front of his visor, summoning his sword in a flash of red energy.
Verox fired an energy whip towards Zeored’s sword to knock the weapon away, but the Ranger spun forward while cutting the whip in half. He followed by bringing out his blaster and firing several rounds. The bounty hunter was taken off guard as the blasts slammed against his body in a series of small explosions.
“Let’s bring ‘em together,” Zeored said as the Rangers combined their weapons to form the Ultra Blaster.
Zeo Gold activated his staff. “It’s time for a gold rush…Victory Flash!”
His staff launched a wave of golden energy blasts that exploded against the hunter’s armor as the other Rangers aimed their weapon forward.
“Ultra Blaster, fire!” They fired a single energy pulse that crackled with power as it exploded through Verox, causing the bounty hunter to explode.
Zeogreen turned to Zeo Gold. “So what was that thing?”
“A Verox,” Zeo Gold explained. “They’re a race of cybernetic bounty hunters.”
“Alright,” Zeored said. “Let’s get that pilot back to the Command Chamber and figure out what’s going on.”
The Machine King climbed back to the Earth’s surface after pulling himself free from his entrapment of rubble. He rose to his feet as his armor groaned and whined in protest.
Even the original group of Zeo Rangers from Triforia hadn’t fought with this much fervor. He was tired of them always interfering. Always winning. Not a single battle in this war had been his.
“Until today…” he said quietly as he looked to the sky.
His directive would be fulfilled. Mankind would be wiped out so the universe itself could survive.
He downloaded his weapon, a long double-edged onyx blade with a golden hilt and trimmings. He activated his recently installed expansion program and grew to giant size.
The Aquition pilot was resting on the bio bed as Billy and Alpha looked over him with various instruments.
“What’s wrong with him?” Kat asked.
“The Aquitions are water dwelling,” Billy said. “He’s dehydrated.”
Alarms in the Command Chamber started to blare.
“What now…” Tommy said with frustration.
The rangers turned to the Viewing Globe and watched as a group of Cogs tore through the city streets, led by the Machine Queen and her son Sprocket.
“That little guy annoys me,” Justin said.
“Let’s take care of business,” Tommy said as the six rangers teleported out.
The rangers arrived in the war-torn streets as they readied their braces and faced off with the army.
“Machina!” Tommy shouted. “We’re sending you to the scrap heap!”
Machina extended her hand towards the rangers. “Kill them.”
The Cogs charged forward with a roaring sound of twisting metal gears.
“It’s morphin time!” Tommy shouted.
“Ultra Transform!” the six shouted as they morphed into their Ranger forms and charged forward to battle the enemy.
The Aquition’s eyes slowly opened.
“Where,” he said with a voice heavy in vibrato.
“You’re in the Command Chamber,” Billy said. “On Earth.”
The young man nodded. He appeared no older than 20 in human years. “Then I made it…” He slowly sat up as he examined his surroundings. “The Shaper. I must speak to him.”
“Zordon?” Billy asked. “I’m afraid he returned to Eltar. If you want, I could-”
“No,” the man said. “Not Zordon. One of his Chosen. The warrior of the Heaven Time Star.”
Billy nodded. “That’s me…I suppose…”
The Aquition breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank the Maker. I am Cestro…My planet is in need of your help.”
“How so?” Billy asked.
Cestro slowly pulled himself off the bio bed and rose to his feet. “A warlord named Namor is leading a rebellion from the Dark Waters. He’s using ancient magick, long forgotten. Evil magick.
“Thousands of years ago, my planet had a Ranger team. These Rangers had powers based on ancient mythological beasts from our past: the Sea-Dragon, the Griffandon, the Pegasaur, the Mermaid, and the Water-Bird. The energy patterns of these creatures were encoded into five transformation devices.” Cestro rolled up his sleeve to reveal a circular black wrist brace with blue and gold trimming. “This is one of the devices. Unfortunately, all five are damaged beyond our means of repair.”
Billy gently took hold of Cestro’s wrist as he inspected the casing of the device. “I can take a look…”
Zeored parried a blow with his Star Riser and brought his blade down through the center of the soldier’s head. He followed by kicking the Cog backward and turning to strike through another soldier.
Two Cogs leapt forward and swung their staffs down vertically towards Zeo Gold’s head. Zeo Gold swung his staff through an arc to parry the blows before running the spear end of his weapon through one soldier’s chest. He pulled his weapon free and roundhouse kicked the second soldier to the ground.
Billy was leaning over a control console in the Command Chamber alongside Cestro and Alpha as he cautiously opened the panel of the wrist morpher.
“I should be able to repair it,” he said as he took careful scans of the morpher’s insides. “The lines of code aren’t too complex. The trick will be realigning the transformation matrix with the armor activation sequence without overloading the focus lens.”
The alarms in the Command Chamber sounded again.
“Ay-yi-yi!” Alpha said as he faced the Viewing Globe. “Billy, look!”
Billy and Cestro turned to look at the Viewing Globe. They saw an image of the giant Machine King stomping through the streets, swinging his powerful dark saber through everything in his path.
“Oh no,” Billy said.
Rubble fell down around the Rangers as they regrouped and the streets rumbled. They looked up to see the Machine King approaching as his young son shouted with excitement from below.
“Get them, father!” Sprocket yelled.
Zeoblue pulled out his sidearm. “Shut up,” he said as he fired a lance of energy that exploded in between the young Machine’s eye.
Sprocket was thrown backward, his armor only slightly damaged.
The core five Rangers activated their communicators.
“Warriorzords, mobilize!” they shouted as the five warrior-shaped zords shot through the sky and activated their retrieval programs. The Rangers teleported into their cockpits within streaks of multi-colored energy.
“Move in,” Zeored said as he moved his zord forward, and the others fell into formation besides him.
Blue Warriorzord downloaded its arm blades and swung towards the Machine King’s head. The King parried the blow and swung his blade horizontally across the zord’s chest armor. Alarms blared in the cockpit as the Blue Warriorzord was thrown backward by the force of the impact and sent flailing through the air while crashing through several buildings.
The Machine King laughed with blood-thirsty enjoyment as he narrowed his robotic eyes at the approaching zords.
“Damn,” Zeored said. “Long range weapons, guys.”
The other four zords aimed their rifles and fired, but the King deflected the blow with his sword.
Below, Zeo Gold raised his staff into the air. “I call upon the power of Pyramidus!”
The Machine King narrowed his eyes as he watched Zeo Gold enter the giant Pyramid’s cockpit in a streak of golden light. “I’ve been waiting for the day our paths would meet again…”
The Machine King struck his sword into the ground, creating a shockwave that tore through the streets and exploded against the pyramid, throwing it backward. The King extended his sword and fired a jagged energy pulse that held the pyramid upside down in midair as explosions danced across its armor.
The Green Warriorzord moved in to attack the Machine King from the side, but he slammed a backfist across the zord with his free hand that sent the robo crashing backward against the other zords.
Billy wrinkled his brow with concern as the battle continued to unfold.
“Alpha,” he asked as he turned to the small android. “Bring the new gattai program online.”
The Machine King used his energy leash attached to the pyramid to swing the carrier zord around and crash it against the rest of the Warriorzords.
Zeoblue slammed his hand against his control console with frustration. “This is getting real old, real fast.”
“Activate your weapons,” Zeored said. “We have to hit him from a distance. Try to disarm him.”
Billy’s voice came over their comm systems. “Guys, your new gattai program is online. Use it to activate the MegaWarriorzord.”
“Alright,” Zeored said as he keyed up the activation sequence. “Let’s see what this thing can do…Warrior fusion!”
The five Warriorzords blasted off into the sky as they reassembled to form one giant fighting robo. “MegaWarriorzord, online!” they shouted as they joined in their wide cockpit.
The Machine King wasted no time in charging forward towards the Megazord and swinging his saber through a diagonal arc. The Megazord used its left arm to block the blow and brought its right fist down, shattering the blade. The MegaWarriorzord followed through with a powerful punch that slammed against the King’s face.
“Warrior Blades!” Zeored shouted as he activated the Megazord’s two sabers.
The MegaWarriorzord swung forward in an ‘x’ formation that damaged the King’s armor as he was forced a few steps back.
“This is it, guys…” Zeored said. “Warrior Blades, energize!”
The MegaWarriorzord placed the two sabers together and formed a single yellow energy blade that tripled in length. The Megazord brought the saber down through the side of the King’s neck and cut diagonally through metal, steel, iron, and circuitry as it swung the blade free from the Machine’s opposite hip.
The King’s robotic eyes rolled to the back of his head as he fell backward and exploded in a massive torrent of flames.
The rangers returned to the Command Chamber and briefly celebrated their victory over the Machine King before Billy spoke to them.
“I have some news,” Billy said as he looked over the faces of the rangers. “I managed to repair Cestro’s morpher. Even so, he won’t be able to duplicate repairs for the rest of his team. With the Machine King gone, the Empire is nearly crippled. They won’t pose much of a threat to you now. So…”
“What are you saying, Billy?” Ashley asked.
Billy took a deep breath before answering. “I’m going to Aquitar. I’ll make the repairs myself and assist the Aquitions in any way I can.”
“For how long?” Chris asked.
“I don’t know,” Billy said. “Alpha can hold down the Command Chamber on his own and work with the INET crew I’ll be leaving behind, so none of you have to reveal your identities.”
“How considerate,” Tommy said sarcastically with a touch of venom on his voice.
“I have to do this,” Billy said. “I hope you understand…”
Billy followed Cestro to the crashed ship, which was still intact enough for a trip to Aquitar. Mixed thoughts and feelings went through his head as he prepared to leave Earth.
He would miss Ashley. She was smart, beautiful…a bright star in his life it hurt for him to say goodbye to. Billy liked to think that when he returned to Earth, he would have a shot with her.
Billy knew Tommy was mad, but he expected as much. Truth be told, he didn’t really feel close to Tommy anymore, or any of the rangers for that matter.
“Everything has changed…” he said to himself.
The trip to Aquitar was about far more than just repairing a few broken morphers. It was about preparing. This evil Zordon was getting ready to face seemed big, and provided Billy with the perfect opportunity to see what his INET creation was really capable of.
Billy continued forward, knowing his life would never be the same. He was the Shaper. This was his destiny.
To be continued...Chapter 17