Author's Note: The following story takes place shortly after the end of Book Eight-The Legend of Zeo and Book Nine-Shifting to High Gear.

                                                                                           

Ultimate Power Rangers: Movie

Armor of Mars

 

Alexandria, Egypt

 

An archeological expedition set up camp in the barren wasteland outside of Alexandria. A deep underground ruins, that appeared Greco-roman in design, had been discovered. And the leader of the expedition was investigating it personally.

 

Dr. Cheng was a middle-aged Japanese man with glasses covering a pair of dark eyes, and his hair was black and neatly trimmed.

 

He ran his fingers across a dusty and ornate box of stone as his eyes looked over the inscriptions. His face lit up as he recognized them.

 

“This is it…” he said quietly as he slid the box’s lid free. A stone leg with three golden discs attached by leather straps was inside the box. “The Armor of Mars…After all this time…”

 

***

 

A pick-up truck was parked near the hole in the ground that led into the ruins. A thick cord extended from the truck into the chasm below.

 

The driver received a call via the radio from Dr. Cheng.

 

“Alright sir,” the driver said. “It will be just a sec…”

 

The driver leaned out the window and looked behind the vehicle as he shouted to the other group members. “That was Dr. Cheng! Pull him up!”

 

The driver turned forward again as his breath caught in his throat. A muscular man dressed in a light suit of gold armor was standing in front of the truck. He had a slim gold headband and a blood-thirsty grin.

 

Before the driver could scream for help, the stranger smashed his fist through the windshield and bashed in the driver’s skull.

 

A few team members heard the commotion and ran to see what was going on. They stopped in their tracks as they saw the strange man with his fist through the windshield and blood splattered across its shattered glass.

 

The stranger turned to the team members and slammed his fist against the ground, producing a deep crimson energy shockwave that tore through the ground and exploded beneath the feet of the workers.

 

***

 

Dr. Cheng grumbled to himself as he climbed up the cord on his way out of the ruins, keeping the box held tightly beneath his right arm. “Stupid…have to do everything myself…”

 

He pulled himself up to ground level and opened his eyes wide with horror. Fires were raging out of control across the camp, and dead bodies littered the ground.

 

Cheng scrambled to his feet as he tried to run for his truck, but a blur of motion landed on the ground in front of him. It was a raven-haired woman in a tight, revealing red leather bodysuit. She leapt into the air and extended her hands, producing a torrent of energy diamonds that exploded all around Cheng as he rolled out of the way.

 

He hopped into his truck and frantically keyed the ignition. As he looked up, he saw a slender man dressed in white standing on a cliff up ahead. He had pale white hair and a golden hawk-like mask. The man leapt forward with lightning quick speed as he armed a glove of claws and sliced the top of the truck completely off.

 

Cheng had to duck to keep his head. He slammed his foot on the gas as the truck barreled ahead down the rural road.

 

The man in the hawk mask landed next to his two companions as a sick smile spread across his face. “He’ll wish he would have let us kill him in a second.”

 

Cheng put the pedal to the metal as he tried to gain as much distance as possible from his attackers. Up on the road ahead, he saw another young man standing in the center of the road. He wore a black high-collared vest and slacks. The inside of the vest was deep red. His eyes were hazel and he had short dark hair.

 

Dr. Cheng narrowed his eyes as he glared at the young man. “Out of my way!”

 

The young man held up his left hand. He wore a golden band around his forearm and hand that pulsed with crimson energy. He leapt straight up into the air and opened his palm as he fired a massive pulse of red energy that exploded across the street and tore apart the car in a ball of flame.

 

Cheng was thrown from the truck as he rolled out of control across the ground, still carrying the stone box beneath his arm.

 

The young man, Laokorn, slowly walked towards Dr. Chen. “You have what is mine. Would you please return it…”

 

“Go to hell, punk!” Cheng shouted.

 

Laokorn lunged forward and slammed his fist against the man’s chest, cracking his ribs as his bones pierced his heart.

 

Cheng collapsed to the ground as Laokorn’s three henchmen approached.

 

The woman clad in red leather silently kneeled down and removed the armor from the stone box. She strapped it onto Laokorn’s left leg.

 

Once attached, the armor segment pulsed with energy as it spread into a solid gold plate of armor that covered him from the knee down.

 

Laokorn smiled with mad delight. “Three pieces of armor found, three to go…”

 

He shot up into the sky with the speed of a bullet as he aimed his gauntlet towards a valley in the distance. He launched a crimson energy pulse that flew down into the valley and exploded with phenomenal force.

 

The red-leather clad woman’s eyes sparkled with delight. “Amazing…Lord Laokorn’s power becomes more magnificent with each piece.”

 

Laokorn landed on a nearby cliff and smiled at his newfound power. “The Armor of Mars will be mine…then I will have the power to become a god!”

 

***

 

Tokyo, Japan

 

The crowd in the Tokyo Dome auditorium was jam packed for the night’s series of fights. They erupted into cheers and applause as the first match was set to begin.

 

The first fighter approached the ring. A crowd favorite, he wore red boxers and a blue hood over his head. The announcer introduced the fighter in Japanese as he leapt into the ring. It was Rocky.

 

At only 19, Rocky as the youngest to advance so far in the international fighting community. He had always dreamed of fighting professionally and started training right after high school. His age, wit, and prowess made him a favorite with spectators.

 

His opponent for the night was a bald Tai kick boxer.

 

Two friends of Rocky’s watched from the audience: Jason Scott and Trini Kwan. Tommy Oliver was supposed to meet them at the match, but he had to catch a later flight. He would still be joining them for the reception the next day.

 

The ringmaster signaled the match to begin as the Tai man lunged forward with a flurry of kicks and punches.

 

Rocky kept his guard up as his opponent pushed forward hard, forcing the teen backward.

 

Trini wrinkled her brow with concern. “He’s better than this…why isn’t he fighting back?”

 

Jason grinned. “He’s just getting warmed up, Trini.”

 

Rocky was backed into a corner before he narrowed his eyes and struck back with a single move. He sprang forward while slamming his knee across his opponent’s face. The older man was knocked out cold as he collapsed onto the mat.

 

The crowd cheered as Rocky extended his fist into the air in a victory pose. “All right!”

 

***

 

Tommy arrived at his hotel well after midnight as he checked in with the receptionist.

 

“Reservation for Tommy Oliver,” he said.

 

“Just a moment,” the Japanese woman said as she checked her computer. “Yes, we have you in room 1013.”

 

Tommy took the key card she slid to him. “Thank you.”

 

He left the desk and looked around the spacious lobby area. “There’s gotta be something around here to do…” he said quietly to himself.

 

It was too late to meet up with the others, and he didn’t feel like checking in for the night.

 

“May as well take a walk…see what Jason’s been talking about all these years.”

 

Tommy left the hotel lobby and started walking down the street. His friend Jason had studied in Japan for a year along with his friends Zack and Trini. It was less than a vacation for them however thanks to a group of evil spirits known as the Youkai. While Tommy and his team had been fighting the Gorma in the States, Jason and his friends had been fighting the Youkai in Japan.

 

Even despite their year-long war, Jason and the others still spoke highly of the country, and especially Tokyo.

 

Tommy continued to walk down the night-lit streets and noticed an arcade from the corner of his eye. He didn’t feel up to bar hopping, and wasn’t even sure about the drinking age in Japan, and he doubted any gyms were open.

 

Tommy smiled as he sighed. “What the hell…” he walked into the arcade.

 

***

 

A blonde-haired American teenager ran through the night-lit streets as fast as she could as a trio of silent shadows followed her from the rooftops above.

 

She searched frantically for a place to hide, and she spotted an open arcade packed with people. She ran inside.

 

***

 

Tommy’s hands danced across the controls in front of him as his computerized character was defeated by a giant ogre with a club.

 

“Well…” Tommy said as he sat back and grabbed his bag. “That was fun…”

 

He stood up and started to leave when the teenage girl literally ran into him.

 

“Whoa…” Tommy said. “Are you-”

 

She looked up at Tommy as his heart caught in his throat. The stranger in front of him looked remarkably like his first girlfriend Shannon. Shannon had been killed by Goldar during Bandora’s first attack against Angel Grove four years ago.

 

“I’m…I’m fine,” she said as her eyes darted around frantically. “I should have watched where I was going…I…have to go…”

 

She ran past Tommy and headed towards the rear of the room as Tommy watched her go.

 

“Did that really just happen?” Tommy asked himself.

 

The skylight above suddenly shattered as three shadowy figures dropped onto the ground and surrounded the strange girl. Their bodies were covered in shadowy material that seemed almost organic. Their faces were covered in white bone-like masks, and they had pale white hair.

 

The lead Shadow extended his arms as his body expanded outward like a towel and rippled as if blowing across a violent breeze. His right eye pulsed with crimson energy.

 

Before the soldier could strike, a red bag slammed into him and knocked him to the ground.

 

“Sorry to butt in,” Tommy said as he walked forward. “But three big guys against one girl just doesn’t seem fair…”

 

The Shadows turned and glared at Tommy as their hollow eye sockets pulsed with red energy.

 

Tommy snapped into a fighting stances as the three Shadows charged forward with blinding speed.

 

The lead Shadow leapt at Tommy with a flying crescent kick, but the ranger ducked under the blow and turned while slamming an uppercut against the creature’s chest. He followed with a knifehand strike to the Shadow’s neck and a reverse sidekick.

 

The second Shadow tried to sneak up behind Tommy in a blur of motion, but he snapped back with a hook kick that smashed across the creature’s face.

 

The third Shadow moved forward, and Tommy spun towards it while slamming a reverse sidekick against its face.

 

The three soldiers rose back to their feet as if unharmed as Tommy wrinkled his brow with concern. “Who are these goons…?”

 

The lead Shadow lunged forward while swinging its claws towards Tommy. He dodged each blow before countering with a jump reverse axe kick he slammed against the creature’s head, shattering his bone mask as his body disintegrated.

 

Fear filled the hollow eyes of the other two soldiers as they leapt upward in streaks of shadow and disappeared.

 

Tommy dropped his guard as he looked around the arcade for the girl. She was nowhere to be found.

 

***

 

The reception the next afternoon was in an open courtyard in the city near a towering building of glass and steel. The people who were gathered sipped their drinks and snacked on finger foods as the blonde-haired girl from the night before wandered onto the scene. This time she seemed to have a purpose. This time she was looking for someone.

 

She spotted a large man in a dark green suit with red hair hunched over a punch bowl and walked towards him. “Excuse me sir,” she said politely. “Do you know which one of these men is Tommy Oliver?”

 

The man’s face turned red as he turned and faced the beautiful girl. She looked about sixteen, but never the less, she was very attractive. “Gee miss,” he said. “I wish I could say I was him…but I’m not. I’m not even sure I’ve heard of him.”

 

The girl sighed. “Well thanks anyways, sir. Sorry to have bothered you.”

 

She walked off as the heavy-set man’s eyes followed.

 

Nearby, Rocky was speaking with Jason and Trini.

 

“Have you heard from Tommy?” Jason asked Rocky.

 

Rocky smiled as he shrugged. “Nah. He’s probably just waiting to make some kind of dramatic entrance…”

 

“This dramatic enough for ya, Rocko?”

 

They turned to see Tommy walking towards them with his jacket slung over his shoulder.

 

Rocky smiled at the sight of his old friend. “Hey, Tommy. Nice of you to finally show up.”

 

“Heard you put on quite a show,” Tommy said as the two grasped each others' hands and pulled each other into a hug.

 

“I guess you could say that,” Rocky said. “Short but sweet, anyway.”

 

Tommy looked to Jason. “Hey, Jase. Nice to see ya.”

 

Tommy caught up with the three friends and felt a little uncomfortable while doing so. Even though they were like family, he felt a little distant from them now. He spent the last year with his Zeo team and had barely spoken with Rocky, Jason, or any of the others during that time.

 

They heard a woman scream as their heads snapped to attention. They looked towards the glass entrance to the lobby and saw one of the Shadow creatures holding a dead body up in his left hand. He extended his right hand and fired a low-level energy pulse that shattered the glass to pieces as he stepped forward.

 

The woman that screamed backed away as she frantically shook her head. “Oh god…don’t hurt me…”

 

The Shadow tossed the dead body on top of her as she shouted. “Get it off, get it off!”

 

The Shadow stalked forward as the blonde-haired girl watched from the crowd, trembling with fear.

 

The green-suited man noticed the girl was frightened and turned to the creature while snarling his teeth. He charged towards the Shadow as he howled a war cry, but the creature merely lifted his hand and fired an energy pulse that ripped through the bulky man’s chest.

 

Tommy, Rocky, Jason, and Trini instinctively snapped into fighting stances.

 

“This one is on me,” Jason said.

 

“Not so much a good idea,” Rocky said.

 

Trini looked to Rocky. “He can do it…”

 

“Go for the mask, Jase,” Tommy said.

 

Jason nodded as he stepped forward. “You wanna fight, ugly? You got it!”

 

The ranger dashed forward and flipped forward through the air, snapping a flying sidekick towards the creature’s head. The Shadow grabbed onto his leg and swung him backwards, crashing Jason against a wall.

 

Jason rose back to his feet as he wiped the blood from his mouth. The creature lunged forward, but Jason ducked under the blow while slamming a round kick against the Shadow’s chest. The ranger moved forward with a flurry of kicks and punches as he pushed the creature backwards.

 

Jason flipped backwards as he kicked the Shadow upside the head, shattering his bone mask into pieces as the creature’s body fell backwards and disintegrated.

 

Tommy and the others gathered around the fallen body.

 

“Well…” Jason said as he looked to Tommy. “What do you think?”

 

Tommy shook his head. “I ran into three of them when I got here last night. They were chasing some girl…”

 

“It was me,” the blonde girl said as she stepped forward.

 

“And you are?” Jason asked.

 

“My name is Sulia,” she said. “I’ve come a long way here to find Tommy of the Hayate Way School.”

 

Tommy wrinkled his brow. “Why me?”

 

“Your strength would be a great help,” Sulia pleaded. “If we don’t hurry, they’ll find the armor. They have to be stopped…”

 

“What armor?” Trini asked.

 

“Yeah…” Rocky said. “You need to back up a ways.”

 

“There’s no time to explain now,” she said. “I…I need your help. Please…Come with me to Rhodos Island.”

 

Tommy sighed as he nodded. “What is it you need us to do?”

 

***

 

A plane flew across the sky, and Tommy sat next to Sulia while inside the aircraft.

 

“Alexander the Great?” Tommy asked, his mind flashing back to when he battled Alexander’s soul in the depths of Hell. “I’ve heard of him, yeah.”

 

“He wouldn’t rest until his empire covered the world,” Sulia explained. “Cave paintings on Rhodos Island are contrary to history. They say that Godomos was the one who defeated Alexander.”

 

“Who was Godomos?” Tommy asked.

 

“Godomos was king of Rhodos Island,” Sulia said. “He was even more feared than Alexander.

 

“Alexander struck a truce with Godomos and returned to his capital, but he couldn’t stop thinking about the power he had seen in the hands of Godomos. And so…he invited Godomos back to Babylon. Godomos arrived, and that was when Alexander suddenly fell ill from a mysterious illness and died.

 

“Alexander’s generals set a trap for Godomos and burnt him to death, but the armor he wore, the Armor of Mars, survived the blaze without a scratch…”

 

The plane arrived at its destination as the group traveled by boat to the Rhodos and found a hidden cave. Several paintings were inside the cave ruins, including one giant painting of a shadowy figure.

 

“Who’s that guy?” Rocky asked.

 

“That is Godomos,” Sulia explained as she looked up at the painting. “It is said that when Godomos was killed, the armor itself came alive, taking on the form of Mars, the God of War. The city was engulfed in flames and nearly destroyed until a group of five warrior rose up against Mars and defeated him. Afterwards, the armor was broken into pieces and scattered.

 

“My brother and I…are direct descendants of Godomos. Legend says that if a member of the cursed Godomos bloodline were to wear all six pieces of the armor at once, the Power of Mars would be released on this world once again, making the wearer into a god.”

 

“That would be bad,” Rocky said.

 

Sulia nodded. “My brother already has half of the armor…He wanted the power…but he’s inherited the curse as well.”

 

One of the support beams suspending piles of debris above cracked as the mounds of rock started to fall.

 

“Sulia!” Tommy shouted as he leapt forward and pushed her out of the way. The cave in separated Tommy and Sulia from the rest of the group.

 

“Are you alright?” Tommy asked as she rolled off of her.

 

“Yes…” she said. “Thank you.”

 

Tommy nodded. “Not a problem.”

 

“Your arm,” Sulia said with concern as she reached out to a bloody gash across Tommy’s arm.

 

“It’s just a scratch,” he said.

 

“No…here…” she placed a hand on his wound as it started to pulse with a faint crimson glow.

 

“How are you doing this?” Tommy asked as his wound healed.

 

“It comes with the blood line,” Sulia said.

 

They linked up with the others and entered further into the ruins to a tall water fall.

 

Sulia removed a gold pennant from her neck. “This pennant has been passed down in my family for generations…”

 

She placed the object on a slab of stone as it slid downward. The waterfall peeled away, revealing a hidden doorway that slid open from the rock.

 

They walked inside the hidden chamber to find an archaic map of the Earth painted on the walls. “This map was developed by my ancestors, and shows the location to all the armor pieces except for one. My brother has already found the pieces from Macedonia, Thrace, and Egypt.

 

“If my brother gets his hands on each piece of that armor…” she shook her head as tears swelled up in her eyes.

 

“It will be okay,” Tommy said. “He’ll be going after the other pieces of the armor…we’ll be there to save him when he shows up.”

 

“Then what are we waiting around for in this dumb cave?” Rocky asked. “Let’s get going before Laokorn and his buddies get to the armor first.

 

Jason nodded. “We should split into groups.”

 

“Right,” Tommy said. “Jason and Trini, you head to Baghdad. Rocky, Sulia and I will take Antakya.”

 

***

 

Laokorn stood at the window of his two-story beach resort as his assistant stood behind him. He was dressed in a white suit, and she in a red suit with a skirt.

 

“Is there any word on my dear Sulia?” he asked.

 

“Sulia and her accomplices have split into two groups and are searching for the armor,” she said.

 

A smile spread across Laokorn’s face. “Well, well…this should make things much more interesting…Send Hower and Javin.”

 

***

 

Antakya, Turkey

 

Their plan landed in Turkey at night, and the group of three checked into their hotel. Afterwards, they headed to an outdoor restaurant to eat.

 

Rocky had a full course meal that he wolfed down so quickly, Sulia was visibly impressed.

 

“Wow…” she said. “You must have really been hungry.”

 

Rocky smiled sheepishly as he shrugged. “Guy’s gotta have his meat and potatoes, ya know?”

 

Tommy smiled. He was glad some things never changed.

 

“So Tommy,” Rocky asked. “What’s the game plan?”

 

“Well,” Tommy said. “The first thing we should do is check out the library. We’ll head there in the morning.”

 

***

 

Tommy lied in bed that night as he pulled out an old picture he kept in his wallet. It was a picture of Shannon. He still thought about her and knew he always would, but seeing Sulia reminded him so much of his former love.

 

“Shannon…” he said softly as he ran his fingers across the picture.

 

He heard a small tapping on his door that snapped him back into reality. Tommy rose from his bed and walked over to the hotel door, opening it with a turn of a knob. It was Sulia.

 

“Tommy…” she said. “I just wanted to thank you again. For coming out here. I know this all must sound crazy to you, but I…”

 

“Hey,” Tommy said. “It doesn’t sound crazy. You’re worried about your brother…that’s understandable.”

 

She nodded, a tear forming in her eye. “I just wish sometime…that life could have been normal for my family. No legends. No curses.”

 

“I know what you mean, Sulia,” Tommy said. “I know what you mean…”

 

***

 

The next day, Tommy, Rocky, and Sulia shuffled through books in the ornate library as they searched for clues as to the armor’s whereabouts.

 

“Here,” Sulia said as her face lit up. “I think I found something…When Alexander’s general pulled back to this location, he locked all his treasures into a secret tomb that no one could enter.”

 

“That must be where he hid the armor,” Rocky said with excitement.

 

Tommy nodded. “What’s over that location now?”

 

Sulia took a moment to compare maps. “It looks like…a police station.”

 

“A police station?” Rocky asked as he stared shuffling through a pile of newspaper. “I think someone beat us to the punch.”

 

Rocky pulled out a front page story about a police station bombing that occurred recently.

 

“Great,” Tommy said sarcastically as he picked up the article. “It says ruins of an ancient palace were discovered below…”

 

Sulia nodded. “That’s where the armor was.”

 

“You snooze you lose,” Rocky said. “We lost…”

 

Sulia shook her head. “But my brother doesn’t have the armor yet either,” Sulia explained. “We’re…connected in a way. I would have felt it if he activated the next armor segment.”

 

“It says the ruins were raided 900 years ago and everything of value was taken to Western Europe and sold,” Tommy said.

 

“Great,” Rocky said sarcastically. “That armor could be anywhere…and this whole dumb trip’s been a waste of time.”

 

“Hold on a second, Rocko,” Tommy said as he thought for a moment. “I think I know where that armor was sold to…”

 

“How?” Rocky asked.

 

“At the Hayate Way, we studied various forms of martial arts schools across the globe,” Tommy explained. “One school was the Stroheim School in Germany. They’ve always been interested in ancient relics, and their motif was always oddly Greco-roman…”

 

“Sounds like it’s worth a shot,” Rocky said.

 

Tommy nodded. “Rocky, get a hold of Jason and Trini and let them know about the change in plans. Sulia and I will head to Stroheim castle.”

 

The three teens didn’t notice the onlooker sitting secretly in the shadows. It was Javin.

 

***

 

Baghdad, Iraq

 

Trini stepped out of the shower with a robe wrapped around her body as Jason stood by, visibly uncomfortable.

 

“Well…” Jason said. “There’s only one bed…so I guess I’ll, uh, crash on the couch.”

 

“Are you sure?” Trini asked.

 

Jason did a double take. “Um, yeah. It’s ok…”

 

He wasn’t sure at what point he started having feelings for Trini. He just knew they were there, and their current situation wasn’t helping matters. Jason knew nothing would happen, despite his feelings. He preferred it that way too.

 

There was just too much history. Their friendship was too deep, and she recently broke up with another good friend of his, Jonathan. He didn’t know the details of the breakup, but he knew they weren’t pretty.

 

***

 

The next day, Jason and Trini arrived in an art museum and found the stone casing for a segment of armor. The casing was empty.

 

“I can’t believe it’s not here,” Trini said with frustration.

 

Jason nodded. “They say it was stolen and taken to China by Gangues Kahn.”

 

“Hey guys!” a voice shouted.

 

They turned to see Rocky running towards them.

 

“Aren’t you supposed to be with Tommy and Sulia?” Jason asked.

 

Rocky sighed. “Long story…”

 

***

 

The three teens sat outside the museum as Rocky finished informing them.

 

“The Stroheim castle, huh?” Jason asked. “I wonder where this piece was taken…”

 

“If it was somewhere in China…” Trini said. “I bet Master Jubei would know something about it.”

 

“Jubei?” Rocky asked. “Who’s Jubei?”

 

“An old friend of my family’s,” Trini said. She turned to Jason. “He goes way back with Sandaya.”

 

“Do you know how to find him?” Jason asked.

 

Trini nodded. “He doesn’t exactly keep a low profile.”

 

***

 

Japan

 

“So…” Laokorn asked as he sat on his balcony and looked out into the night sky. “The fifth piece is in China?”

 

“Yes, my lord,” his assistant in the red-leather uniform, Panni, said.

 

“And Javin is headed to Germany for the fourth?”

 

“Yes, my lord,” she said. “This Tommy is on his way there too, along with your sister.”

 

“Ah, yes,” Laokorn said. “My dear Sulia is somewhat infatuated by this Tommy…I can sense it. Perhaps I’ll go to Germany myself. He must be very special to have stolen my sister’s heart…very special indeed.”

 

***

 

Frankfurt, Germany

 

Tommy drove through a small city street on a motorbike as Sulia rode in the sidecar. He handled the bike quite well due to his experience on the Zeo Jet Cycle.

 

Tommy looked down to her as he rode on. “If you’re tired, we can stop somewhere and take a nap.”

 

“No,” she said with a smile. “It feels good to be out on the open road. Let’s keep going.”

 

A lopsided grin spread across Tommy’s face as he turned back to the road ahead.

 

Sulia’s eyes opened wide with shock as she looked up into the air. “No…” she said quietly as a volley of crimson energy spheres shot and curved through the air towards their motor bike.

 

Tommy swerved to his left as the blast exploded against the pavement. He weaved across the road to avoid the other blasts as they exploded all around him, showering debris and pavement through the air.

 

Tommy silently cursed beneath his breath as the shockwave sent his bike swerving out of control, head on towards a gas tanker. He grabbed hold of Sulia and leapt straight up into the air like a bullet as the truck smashed the bike.

 

Tommy and Sulia landed on the pavement as the truck swerved and tipped over, skidding towards them across the pavement. The two ran forward towards a parking garage as the tanker slammed against a wall and exploded. The fiery shockwave tossed Tommy and Sulia into the ground level of the spacious garage.

 

Tommy helped Sulia to her feet, but before they could catch their breath, a car dropped down from above. Tommy grabbed Sulia and leapt out of the way as the vehicle exploded against the pavement. The red-haired, muscular warrior Javin dropped down the center of the garage and landed in front of the fiery blaze.

 

Tommy snapped into a fighting stance. “Someone you know, Sulia?”

 

Sulia shook her head in shock as she looked to the warrior. “Javin no…why you? Why would they send you.”

 

Javin wrinkled his brow at Tommy as he charged forward with a fierce volley of punches that Tommy dodged as he moved backwards.

 

Tommy spun forward with a reverse jump round kick, but Javin blocked the blow and pushed Tommy’s leg away. He stepped back and assumed a defensive stance as the two started circling around each other. He’s tough…

 

Tommy charged forward as he shouted, “Burn Knuckle!”

 

His right fist ignited in flame as Javin crossed his arms in front of his chest to block the blow. Tommy’s fists slammed against Javin, and the villain was slammed backwards and crashed through the hood of a parked car.

 

Tommy ran towards Sulia and grabbed her hand as they headed to a large elevator designed to lift cars to the higher levels of the garage.

 

Javin rose back to his feet and smiled as he watched Tommy and Sulia ascend on the elevator. The villain’s hand started to glow with crimson energy as he extended his fist forward and launched a kinetic energy blast that shot towards the two.

 

Tommy grabbed Sulia and jumped straight up as the blast incinerated the elevator below him. He leapt high enough to grab onto the top level’s edge with his right hand as Sulia hung down from his left arm.

 

Tommy lifted Sulia up, and she grabbed a hold of the ledge to pull herself up. She reached down and helped Tommy as he climbed onto the top level as well.

 

They rose to their feet as they heard someone clapping in the distance. They turned to see Laokorn looking down at them from a  circular rooftop across the street.

 

“I watched your little tussle with Javin,” Laokorn said. “You’re as good as I’ve heard you to be, Tommy…”

 

Sulia eyed Laokorn as her skin turned pale and her eyes opened wide. “Brother…”

 

Tommy narrowed his eyes at the villain. “Laokorn…”

 

Laokorn flashed a fiendish smile. “I have a little proposal for you,” he said. “Join me on my quest. You seem adequately qualified.”

 

“Thanks, but no thanks Laokorn,” Tommy said firmly.

 

“And here I thought it was such a generous offer…” Laokorn said. “Oh well. I’ll simple thank you to return my sister to me then.”

 

Tommy snapped into a fighting stance. “I don’t think so…”

 

Laokorn laughed with amusement. “O-ho, really?”

 

The villain vanished and reappeared in front of Tommy in the blink of an eye, taking the ranger off guard. He slammed two punches against Tommy before spinning a reverse sidekick that slammed against his chest. Tommy was smashed backwards as Javin’s hands appeared from the shadows behind him and grabbed his arms.

 

Laokorn crossed his arms in front of his chest as he looked at Tommy. “I understand your power now. Javin, do with him as you will…” The villain looked to his frightened sister. “Sulia, let’s go.”

 

Tommy slammed his foot back against Javin’s knee and flipped the warrior over his shoulder. Javin flew through the air and twisted his body to land on a few meters in front of Tommy.

 

Javin slammed his fist to the ground as he shouted “Earth Quaker!”

 

A pulse of fiery energy tore through the roof towards Tommy, as the ranger slammed his fist against the ground as well.

 

“Fire wave!” he shouted as a crimson wave of fire tore through the ground towards Javin’s blast.

 

The two attacks intercepted each other and exploded, creating a shockwave that slammed Tommy backwards as he crashed against the ledge.

 

Laokorn stalked towards Tommy as he extended his right hand, the armor segment pulsing with energy. “It seems such a waste to kill you, but I suppose I have no choice.”

 

The circular piece of armor on his palm ignited and hurled an energy sphere towards Tommy.

 

“Stop it!” Sulia shouted as she quickly threw herself in front of the blast.

 

Laokorn flicked his wrist and quickly dissolved his own blast mere inches away from his sister’s face.

 

“Well, well,” Laokorn said. “Aren’t you a lucky heroine. Enough of this nonsense, Sulia. Come stand at your brother’s side.”

 

“You are not my brother!” she shouted. “You’re a devil…”

 

“Sulia,” Laokorn said in a mocking tone. “You must stop these little outbursts. You will make me kill your friend.”

 

“Sulia,” Tommy whispered. “When I tell you to, move…now!” Sulia ducked out of the way as Tommy sprang forward and slammed his fist against the rooftop. “Flame geyser!”

 

A massive explosion blasted apart the roof and top half of the parking garage as Tommy grabbed Sulia and jumped down towards a stream below.

 

***

 

China

 

Jason and Trini walked into a night club pulsing with multi-colored, bright neon lights and techno-pop music.

 

Jason shook his head in disbelief. “Why would Master Jubei ask us to meet him here?”

 

Trini sighed. “It’s hard telling with him. Let's split up and look around.”

 

The two separated and moved through the shoulder-packed crowd.

 

Trini spotted the old man near a group of young, giggling Chinese girls a quarter his age.

 

“Master Jubei,” she said as she walked towards him.

 

“Trini!” he said with excitement. “Meet some friends of mine. My, how you’ve grown.”

 

“Master, I need to talk to you,” she said firmly.

 

He shook his head. “Later, later…”

 

“No, Master,” Trini said. “Right now…”

 

Jubei noticed Jason move behind Trini and cross his arms in front of his chest in an intimidating posture.

 

Jubei rolled his eyes. “Alright, alright. Check the Iro temple.”

 

Jason narrowed his eyes as he looked over Jubei’s shoulder.

 

“Get down!” Jason shouted, but Jubei moved as quick as lightning.

 

The old master pulled a staff from beneath his cloak and struck backwards against someone who had tried to sneak up on him. It was the golden-masked Hower.

 

Hower leapt up onto one of the support beams above as the dancing below stopped, and everyone looked up at the villain.

 

“See what you’ve done,” Hower said as he pulled out a glass of wine and took a sip. “You’ve made my dancing lovelies stop…barbarians.”

 

Hower leapt back down to the floor and landed in a crouched position besides her as he looked up.

 

“You, are exquisite,” he said.

 

Jason snapped into a defensive stance. “Careful, Trini.”

 

“Trini?” Hower said. “What a lovely name. Is he your boyfriend?”

 

Trini snapped into a fighting stance. “Either way…it’s not like you’d stand a chance.”

 

“Very well then,” Hower said as he stepped backwards and surrounded himself with a small cyclone of wind. “Until next time…”

 

The wind dissipated and Hower banished from sight.

 

***

 

Frankfurt, Germany

 

Sulia led Tommy into an old wooden chapel. He hadn’t managed to erect a Kiryoku barrier in time and was badly injured from the blast.

 

He lied on the ground unconscious as she laid her hand beneath his shirt and on his chest. She used her energy to flow into his body and try to heal him, but it wasn’t enough.

 

She shook her head with frustration as she pulled back her hand. “It’s not working…maybe if…”

 

She pulled off Tommy’s shirt, then pulled off her own, revealing a white-laced braw. She started to lay down on top of him.

 

“Maybe if I release all my energy at once…” she said as her body started to glow, and energy flowed into Tommy.

 

As Tommy slowly returned to consciousness, images flashed before his mind’s eye. Imagines of Shannon. Their last walk across the city street. Goldar’s fiery sword blasting apart a building, debris crushing his love.

 

His eyes slowly opened as he felt Sulia’s heart beat against his.

 

Wh…what?” he asked, a little more than confused.

 

“I had to use a lot of energy,” she said. “I…I can’t move yet…it’s so cold…”

 

Tommy reached out and took his shirt as he pulled it over Sulia and wrapped his arms around her. “Thank you, Sulia…”

 

“I feel so safe here, Tommy,” she said, her voice still weak. “In your arms…

 

“Since the Godomos legend and the armor, I’ve been afraid. Not just of the armor, but of my brother. Our father was an archeologist, and the ruins on Rhodos island was his greatest discovery. Mother died shortly after we were born, and he raised us both, in between his studies of course.

 

“Remember the pendent I showed you in the cave? That was the reason my father and a colleague began researching the Godomos legend. He used the pennant and the map I showed you in the cave to find the first piece of armor. It’s historical value was obvious, but no one thought it possessed any mystical powers.

 

“Even though they didn’t know the armor possessed any mystical power, at least one person thought it was worth dying for. My father’s colleague betrayed him, murdered him, and took all the credit for himself. The murder was written off as an accident during a robbery. My brother couldn’t handle this…

 

“Laokorn confronted my father’s killer and was shot in the process. During the struggle, he was drawn to the piece of armor and strapped it onto his right arm. He used the armor to incinerate my father’s murderer.

 

“After that...everything changed. He began searching for the armor…”

 

A tear streamed down Sulia’s cheek as Tommy wiped it away.

 

“Everything will be okay,” Tommy said. “I promise…”

 

***

 

Heibi Province, China

 

Trini stood outside the temple gates, waiting impatiently while Jason was inside. Temple rules prohibited women to set foot inside.

 

The wind kicked up around Trini as she wrinkled her brow with concern and looked down the long path behind her. She noticed Hower step into view, and the villain launched a blue energy dagger that twirled towards Trini.

 

Trini flipped backwards and landed on the arch as the energy dart passed beneath her. She snapped into a fighting stance as she faced her foe.

 

“I suppose you’re looking for the armor too,” Trini said.

 

A cold smile crept across Hower’s face.  “What would you do if I were, young lady?”

 

Trini narrowed her eyes. “I’d be happy to show you…”

 

Trini leapt forward as she extended her arms and shouted. “Ninpo shard attack!”

 

A cloud of white energy diamonds appeared in front of her and shot forward like bullets towards Hower. Hower commanded the winds to form a protection field of air that the shard blasts ricocheted off of.

 

Trini landed in front of Hower and crouched low while swinging out a sweep kick. Hower leapt over the blow, but Trini jumped in time to slam a spinning heel kick across his face. Hower was thrown backwards and crashed against the stone staircase.

 

Hower quickly rose back to his feet and snapped off a volley of energy daggers. Trini flipped backwards to avoid the daggers, but they exploded across the ground beneath her and shattered the arch behind her, creating a rippling shockwave that knocked her to the ground.

 

Inside the temple, Jason heard the explosion after retrieving the armor. He carried it in a box beneath his arm. He ran outside the temple and stopped in his tracks. He saw Hower standing on a damaged column while holding Trini by the neck.

 

“Trini!” Jason shouted.

 

“Now, now,” Hower said. “One false move and this young lady becomes less than happy.”

 

“Bastard,” Jason said through clenched teeth.

 

“Perhaps,” Hower said with a cold smile. “I assume the armor is in that box. Place it on the ground and move away…”

 

Jason nodded as he placed the box down and started to take a few steps backwards. Hower leapt to the ground while still holding Trini and bent down towards the box. It was at that moment Jason decided to strike.

 

The ranger sprang forward with his elbow aimed towards Hower’s face. The villain twisted his body and used Trini as a shield. Jason’s elbow stopped less than an inch from Trini’s face when Hower launched a counter attack.

 

The villain used his free hand to launch a flurry of strikes that sent Jason flying backwards off his feet. The ranger slammed back first into a column  as the structure cracked from the impact. Jason slid to the ground as Hower laughed.

 

“At least stand up, you coward,” Hower said. He twisted Trini’s head so he could look into her eyes. “Losing a loved one always hurts my dear…but I suggest you get used to it.”

 

He leaned in to kiss her as Jason sprang forward. “Keep your hands off!”

 

Hower snarled as he tossed Trini aside and turned towards Jason. The two opponents both readied energy strikes that exploded against one another, creating a massive shockwave.

 

***

 

Frankfurt, Germany

 

Count Blood stood within a large stone chamber within Stroheim castle as he viewed various paintings on the walls.

 

Panni hid within the shadows as she glanced over the paintings, noticing that one of the lords depicted was wearing the breast plate to the Armor of Mars. “So,” she said quietly. “This is where they’ve been keeping it.”

 

“Who’s there?” Count Blood asked as he turned away from the paintings.

 

“No one you fools would have heard of,” she said as she stepped out from the shadows. “Do yourselves a favor and hand over the breast plate.”

 

“I don’t know who you are. wench, but I’ll thank you to be civil,” Blood said as he tore off his clothes, revealing a suit of blue-green fabric covering a red undershirt and brown padding across his shoulders. He also wore a red cape.

 

Blood pulled a double-edged sword from his back and charged forward, stabbing his sword in a blur of motion as Panni dodged each blow. He whipped out his cape and wrapped it around her before snapping it open and tossing her aside. Panni landed on the ground as Blood charged forward and swung his blade low.

 

Panni leapt over the blow and arced through the air before landing behind her opponent.

 

Blood turned to face her. “Not bad for a woman, but you’re still no match for me…”

 

Panni started to radiate with a faint purple hue. The brick walls behind her started to shake before blasting open. Two large torrents of water shot forward and slammed against Blood. He was slammed through a brick wall as his body crumpled to the ground.

 

“How’s that for a woman?” she said as she turned from her fallen opponent to find the breast plate.

 

***

 

Rocky stepped into the corridors of the castle, as water reached just above his heals. “Huh,” he said as he looked around the room. “Looks like company’s already arrived.”

 

He spotted a small hidden passage to his left, and an elderly servant slouched against the entryway.

 

Rocky ran over to the man. “You okay…?’

 

The man didn’t appear to be breathing. Rocky sighed and shook his head as he stood up.

 

Tommy and Sulia entered the room, their feet splashing in the water.

 

“I guess we’re a little late, huh?” Tommy said.

 

Rocky turned to face his former leader. “Hey! Are you okay…?”

 

“Yeah,” Tommy said. “Thanks to Sulia.”

 

Sulia’s face suddenly turned pale as she dropped to her knees and grabbed the sides of her head. “No…Laokorn, no…”

 

“Sulia,” Tommy said as he and Rocky leaned down towards her. “What is it?”

 

Sulia screamed. “Laokorn, stop!”

 

***

 

Japan

 

Laokorn hovered in the air within his private chamber, the breast plate secured against his chest as crimson energy thrashed around and through his body. The energy slowly dissipated as Laokorn landed in front of his throne.

 

“Now there’s only one left,” Laokorn said.

 

Panni nodded. “We have no leads yet, my lord.”

 

“The key must be in that pennant my dear Sulia wears around her neck,” Laokorn said. “I want the three of you to go fetch her and the pennant for me. Allow nothing to stand in your way…Once we have all the pieces of the armor, we can begin to rule a world governed only by the limits of our imagination!”

 

***

 

Rhodos Island

 

Tommy, Sulia, and the other rangers regrouped within the island’s ruins, trying to plan their next move as they sat on the stone floor.

 

“I’m so sorry everyone,” Sulia said. “This is all my fault.”

 

Tommy shook his head. “Don’t be so hard on yourself, okay? We’re all here because we chose to be.”

 

“That’s right…” Jason agreed. “It’s not your fault we weren’t good enough.”

 

“C’mon, Jason,” Rocky said. “Who knows. There’s still one piece yet.”

 

Trini shook her head. “That piece could be anywhere.”

 

“No,” Tommy said. “There has to be a clue somewhere…I think the answer is in that pennant, Sulia. The descendants wanted to hide their secret from anyone outside the family. The key has to be in that pennant.”

 

“But Tommy,” Rocky said. “We’ve already gone over this place with a fine-tomb comb.”

 

Rocky slammed his hand against the wall, and a brick suddenly slid forward. The brick opened a hidden chamber in the side of the ruin walls.

 

“Huh,” Rocky said as he and the others stepped inside.

 

A ray of red light was coming from the far side of the wall, through a hole no thicker than a needle. They looked forward at the source of the light.

 

“The light,” Sulia said. “It must be coming from the other side of this wall.”

 

Tommy nodded. “Looks about the size of that pennant.”

 

Sulia nodded as she removed the pennant from her neck and placed it inside the wall slot. The beam of light was redirected and shined at a direct location on the map across from it.

 

“It’s shining on the map,” Trini said.

 

“That must be where the last piece is,” Tommy said. “The Dead Sea…Israel.”

 

***

 

Jerusalem, Israel

 

The group traveled to an ornate hotel in the city. Trini and Sulia sat by a pool alone, as Rocky and Tommy watched them from their room’s balcony above, sipping on drinks.

 

“She’s a good kid,” Rocky said of Sulia.

 

“Yeah,” Tommy said as he nodded.

 

“All that weird karma stuff following her around…you sure you up to it?” Rocky asked.

 

“I better be,” Tommy said. “I made her a promise.”

 

Rocky yawned as he leaned forward on the balcony. “If you like her say so. Girls aren’t like us. They don’t pick up on stuff like we do.”

 

Rocky slipped and fell to the floor.

 

“”What…” Tommy slumped onto the ground as well. “Drugged…”

 

***

 

Trini stood and stretched by the pool. “We’ve got an early day tomorrow. Let’s get some sleep…”

 

“Okay,” Sulia said as she stood. The two turned and started to walk towards the hotel, when suddenly, a powerful spinning geyser erupted from the pool.

 

Panni sprang from the geyser and armed razor-sharp claws as she sprang forward towards the two girls.

 

“Back,” Trini said as she stood in front of Sulia. The ranger grabbed Panni’s arm and hurled her over her shoulder.

 

The villain was thrown backward but twisted through the air and landed in a crouched position.

 

She turned to the balcony. “Tommy! Rocky!”

 

“Don’t waste your breath, sweetie,” a voice said from behind her. She turned to see Hower and Javin with Tommy and Rocky draped over their shoulders. They tossed the two rangers to the ground.

 

Hower extended his hand. “Simply hand over the pennant and the girl, and we’ll let you be, my pet.”

 

“That’s enough!” Sulia shouted. “Please don’t hurt them. I’ll do whatever you want.”

 

“Sulia, no,” Trini said. “You can’t trust these people.”

 

“It’s okay, Trini,” Sulia said with surprising calm as she walked forward toward the villain.

 

“Sulia, no,” Trini said again, but she continued forward.

 

Sulia stopped besides Hower. “If you hurt them, I’ll kill myself. You know I’ll do it.”

 

“No need for melodrama,” Hower said.

 

Sulia walked over and to Javin.

 

“Javin,” Hower said. “Return Lady Sulia to Lord Laokorn.”

 

A swirling vortex of fiery energy surrounded Sulia and Javin as they teleported away.

 

Hower smiled as he turned to face Trini. “Now…it’s show time.”

 

Panni sprang forward from behind Trini and wrapped her arms around the ranger’s throat as Hower slowly stalked forward, a sick smile spread across his face. He held his hand out to his side as electricity danced across his fist.

 

“Wait!” a voice shouted from above. They looked to see Jason staring down at them from the roof of the hotel.

 

Trini took advantage of the distraction to flip Panni over her shoulder.

 

Jason snapped into a fighting stance. “Alright bastard…This time…you’re dead!”

 

Jason flipped off the roof and descended towards Hower feet first as he shouted “Ninpo!”  The ranger’s kick radiated with crimson energy as he streaked towards his opponent.

 

Hower leapt straight up into the air as Jason’s blow exploded beneath the pavement below him. The villain looked down at the ranger and snapped off a pair of energy blades. The blades exploded against the ground with a tremendous display of force, causing a massive ball of flame to erupt.

 

Jason pounced from the smoke as he charged forward and slammed his elbow against the side of Hower’s head. The villain’s mask shattered as he was thrown backwards and skid across the pavement.

 

Panni screamed a war cry as she charged towards Jason, but Trini didn’t give her a chance to attack.

 

“Ninpo, shard attack!” she shouted as her energy shards shot forward and cut across the villain’s body. Trini slid forward and slammed her elbow against the woman’s ribs, cracking each as Panni was thrown backwards.

 

Jason turned to Trini and smiled. Before he could thank her, Hower jumped up from behind. Jason turned and slammed a palm heel blow across the villain’s temple. Hower crumbled to the ground.

 

***

 

A helicopter flew across the rocky landscape, inside, Sulia slowly regained consciousness as she sat up.

 

“Welcome back to the living, sister,” Laokorn said.

 

“Brother…” Sulia said, her voice shaken.

 

“You didn’t really care so much about the pennant, did you?” Laokorn asked. “I’ll be more than happy to return it when this is all over. Consider it a token of thanks for helping me find the Armor of Mars.”

 

Laokorn closed his eyes as the armor fragments he wore started to pulse with blood-red energy. “Javin…he has been successful.”

 

Sulia shook her head. “You mean…”

 

Laokorn snarled a smile. “The Armor of Mars is mine dear, sister…”

 

The helicopter descended towards a small island, to the shore of the Dead Sea as its passengers disembarked.

 

Javin stepped forward towards them as Laokorn smiled. “Remind me to reward you, Javin.”

 

Javin walked over to Sulia as he kneeled in front of her and extended the pennant. A look of betrayal flashed across Sulia’s face as she slapped Javin.

 

“How could you?”

 

Javin was silent.

 

Laokorn walked to the shore and extended his hands as the armor he wore started to pulse. He spread his hands apart as an ancient ruins rose from the sea. He looked to his remaining underling.

 

“Javin, you know what to do,” he said. He reached out and grabbed his sister’s arm. “Come along, Sulia.”

 

The two siblings entered the temple ruins as Javin remained behind.

 

***

 

A jeep pulled up to the shore as Tommy, Jason, Rocky, and Trini leapt out and looked towards the ruins.

 

“Okay,” Tommy said. “Let’s take care of business.”

 

The four rangers charged forward as a group of the Shadow creatures leapt from the ground and surrounded them. They snapped into fighting stances.

 

“Tommy,” Trini said. “We’ve got this. Go find Sulia.”

 

“Get out of here,” Rocky added.

 

“Okay,” Tommy said as he ran off, knocking a soldier out of his way with a double flying sidekick.

 

“Go get him,” Rocky said as a villain sprang up behind him. He turned and slammed a tornado kick across the soldier’s face.

 

Trini flipped forward and wrapped her ankles around a Shadow’s head, twisting as she dropped that soldier to the ground. Another trio charged towards her.

 

“Fire attack!” Jason shouted as he launched three streaming comets of energy that smashed against the soldiers before they could reach Trini.

 

Tommy ascended the steps as fast as he could. When he reached the top level, he came to a halt as he spotted Javin sitting in a meditative posture.

 

Javin silently rose to his feet and assumed a fighting stance. Tommy snapped into a stance of his own. The two charged forward towards each other.

 

“Burn knuckle!” Tommy shouted as his fist energized with deep red power.

 

Javin swung his fist forward as well as it ignited with orange flame.

 

The opponents' fists slammed against one another, producing a massive energy wave that shook the ruins to its very foundation.

 

***

 

Laokorn led Sulia deeper into the open temple to where a statue of Godomos was found. The figure of Godomos was leaned over, being driven to the ground by the spears of several soldiers. On the head of the statue was the final piece of armor. A three-disc golden headband.

 

“Stop now,” Sulia pleaded. “While you still can.”

 

Laokorn grabbed his sister’s arm and pulled her along as they walked towards the statue.

 

***

 

Tommy and Javin’s fists were crackling with energy as they pressed against each other, the resistance from the two blows creating a whirlwind of energy that tore across the stone floor.

 

Javin swung his fist aside, allowing Tommy’s fist to move forward and slam against the villain's chest. Javin was knocked backwards as his back slammed against a pillar and he slid to the ground.

 

“Why…” Tommy asked as he ran towards Javin. “Why’d you give up?”

 

Javin struggled to speak. “With that much energy out there…we were both going to die. I figured…if one of us were to live…it should be the one of us who could save Lord Laokorn…and Lady Sulia…”

 

Javin’s eyes rolled back as he died.

 

***

 

Laokorn reached forward and grabbed the head piece.

 

“Laokorn please,” Sulia pleaded. “If you put on that headpiece, I’ll lose you forever.”

 

“If it means finally having revenge on those that destroyed our country…why not become a devil?” Laokorn said as a mad grin spread across his face.

 

“Let’s say you get revenge,” Sulia said. “What are you going to do when someone comes to get their revenge on you?”

 

Laokorn laughed. “And who will take revenge against a god, my sister?”

 

“Sulia!” Tommy shouted.

 

Laokorn narrowed his eyes as he turned and saw the ranger at the other end of the long and wide corridor.

 

“Tommy!” Sulia called out.

 

“If you’ve come this far,” Laokorn said. “It must mean you’ve defeated Javin. Very well…you, Tommy shall become the very first to fight a god.”

 

Laokorn started to put on the headpiece as Tommy ran forward.. “Don’t do it!”

 

But he was too late. Laokorn placed on the headpiece as a storm of crimson energy filled the ruins and streaked up into the heavens themselves. The temple vibrated with power as the armor around Laokorn expanded to cover his entire body with a seamless coat of silver and golden armor.

 

Laokorn landed on the ground again, his eyes mad with energy.

 

“It’s amazing…” he said as he rolled his hands into fists. “Every cell in my body is exploding with power!”

 

Laokorn extended his fist and produced a massive, twirling wave of crimson energy shaped like a fist that curved towards Tommy. Tommy leapt straight into the air as the fist passed beneath him and arced upwards, exploding through the temple roof.

 

Tommy was still in midair when Laokorn appeared behind him in the blink of an eye. Laokorn placed his hands together in a fist and slammed them against Tommy’s back. Tommy was thrown towards the ground, but he flipped and twisted to land in a crouched position.

 

The ranger looked up to see Laokorn streaming down towards him. Tommy flipped upwards, aiming a kick towards Laokorn as he shouted “rising tackle!” and his kick pulsed with energy.

 

Laokorn grabbed Tommy’s leg and swung him around before releasing him. Tommy was thrown out of control through the air as he slammed against a pillar, crushing most of its stone as he went limp and fell to the ground.

 

“It’s sad,” Laokorn said as he stood and watched Tommy struggle to his feet. “Humans and their limitations. Oh, they do try and raise their conscious, improve their bodies…but they can only go so far. Right now, I however have descended humanity. I, Laokorn, have become a god!”

 

Laokorn extended his hands towards Tommy as he built up an energy pulse. “You shall die, cursing your own humanity…”

 

A stream of comets streaked towards Laokorn’s side and splashed over an invisible energy shield the villain was erecting. He turned his gaze to his left and spotted Jason.

 

“Leave him alone…” Jason said.

 

The ranger sprang forward, aiming his elbow towards Laokorn’s face. Laokorn caught the blow with ease as Trini leapt forward into the air from behind Jason.

 

“Ninpo shard attack!” she shouted as her energy shards shot forward. The blasts ricocheted off the invisible barrier as Laokorn tossed Jason aside. Trini flipped forward towards Laokorn, aiming a flying kick towards hid head, but he wrapped a strand of crimson energy around her and tossed her aside.

 

Trini flipped through the air and landed on her feet as Jason rose from the ground.

 

“Trini,” Jason said. “Get Sulia.”

 

Rocky landed on the ground and jumped towards Laokorn.

 

“Tenma Flash Kick!” he shouted as he launched an energized tornado kick towards the villain. Laokorn grabbed Rocky’s leg and tossed the ranger aside.

 

Jason leapt towards Laokorn while the villain was in midair and launched a flying sidekick. Jason ricocheted off of Laokorn’s energy shield and fell to the ground as the villain emitted an energy fist. Jason flipped backwards as the fist tore up the ground at an alarming right, creating a shockwave that blasted him backward.

 

Laokorn started to swoop down towards Jason, but he didn’t get close.

 

“Gravity well!” Rocky shouted as torrent of blue energy erupted from the ground and blocked the villain’s path.

 

Nearby, Tommy’s eyes slowly opened as Sulia leaned over him. “Tommy…Tommy…”

 

Trini stood as she saw Tommy stand up. “I’ll leave the rest to you,” she said to Sulia.

 

Tommy grabbed her wrist to keep her from going. “No. Get Sulia out of here. While you still can.”

 

“But Tommy…” Trini started to say.

 

“Now,” Tommy said. He looked to Sulia. “Don’t you worry,” he said reassuringly. “I’ll do my best to bring your brother back.”

 

Tommy ran off to battle as Sulia’s eyes followed him.

 

A blast of energy flashed in the middle of the temple as Rocky was thrown back-first onto the ground.

 

The ranger rolled his hands into fists as Laokorn moved forward with an energy blast in hand. Rocky shook his head. “Looks like this is it for our hero…”

 

Before Laokorn could strike, Tommy slammed a flying sidekick against the villain, knocking Laokorn backwards.

 

Tommy landed and assumed a fighting stance. “Come on, Jason,” he said as Jason fell in to his right. “You too, Rocky.” Rocky stood to Tommy’s left.

 

***

 

Trini got Sulia to safety within an outer chamber.

 

“I can fight too,” Sulia said.

 

“No,” Trini said. “Not all fights are won with fists…you can’t help Tommy by fighting…but you can help him by believing in him.”

 

Trini turned to join the fight.

 

***

 

Tommy, Rocky, and Jason leapt backwards through the air as Laokorn produced an energy cyclone that tore through the ground.

 

The villain streaked forward to slam a fist through Jason, but Trini leapt through the air and slammed a kick against him. Laokorn grabbed Trini’s wrist and tossed her aside like a rag doll.

 

“Trini!” Jason shouted as he pushed off from a wall and leapt towards her. He grabbed her while in midair as a volley of Laokorn’s energy pulses exploded around him. One of the pulses cut across his side as he groaned in pain. The two rangers landed as Laokorn walked towards them, his palm held outward to deliver an energy blast.

 

Laokorn’s forearm suddenly crackled with energy as he pulled that arm back in pain, groaning with anger as he clutched the energy.

 

“Now’s our chance,” Rocky said as he slammed his fist to the ground. “Iron Rock Crusher!”

 

Rocky passed out from energy drain as he collapsed to the ground. But not before his massive shockwave of energy tore through the ground and exploded beneath Laokorn’s feet. Laokorn turned through the energy vortex, shouting with pain and rage.

 

“How dare you! Sulia!”

 

“Oh no…” Tommy said quietly as he shook his head.

 

Sulia was standing with a shard of sharp stone piercing through her arm.

 

“My brother is not the only descendant of Godomos,” she said. “The Armor of Mars has only strengthened our bond.”

 

Sulia extended the shard over her chest. “Goodbye, Tommy…”

 

“No!” he shouted as he ran towards her.

 

“Die!” Laokorn shouted as he fired an energy pulse towards them both.

 

Tommy pushed Sulia aside, but it was too late. She had driven the shard through her chest. Laokorn screamed as he backed away, his armor cracking on the left side of his chest.

 

“Why…” Tommy said as he shook his head and scooped her up in his arms.

 

Sulia smiled weakly at Tommy. “I had to…it was my destiny to break this curse…promise me, Tommy…if you love me even a little…strike my brother in the breast plate. You can do it now…please…”

 

“I can’t,” he said as he shook his head. “I’m not going to let you die…”

 

“Tommy…” she said as she reached out and ran her hand across the side of his face. “It was never your choice.”

 

Sulia’s body went limp as Tommy slowly set her against the ground. He turned to face Laokorn as he narrowed his eyes at the villain and rolled his hands up into fists.

 

“Worthless fool,” Laokorn said. “How can you ever hope to defeat me? The next time I strike you there will be nothing left but stinking meat.”

 

Tommy snapped into a fighting stance. “Don’t you dare underestimate me, you arrogant bastard.”

 

“Enough!” Laokorn shouted. “You die!”

 

Laokorn extended his hands and fired a massive wave of energy towards Tommy. Tommy erected a Ki barrier as he pushed forward through the energy wave. He inched closer to Laokorn as the villain’s energy splashed across his shield.

 

“Burn Knuckle!” Tommy shouted as he pushed forward and slammed a fist against Laokorn’s chest plate. Energy flared around the temple and then dissipated. The discs of armor fell to the ground as Laokorn collapsed to all fours, naked.

 

Tommy ran over to Sulia and picked her up into his arms. “Is that enough?”

 

She weakly nodded as Jason, Rocky, and Jason gathered around.

 

Laokorn rose to his knees as he covered his face with his hands. “Good god….what have I done.”

 

Sulia managed a smile. “He’s back…thank you…Tommy…I…have to tell you…”

 

Shh…” Tommy said as he leaned forward and pressed his lips against hers. “I know, Sulia…I know…”

 

She smiled, and then her eyes closed as she gasped her last breath of life.

 

“I know, Sulia…” he said. “But why did you have to die?!”

 

The discs of armor melted as they flowed across the temple floor and towards the statue of Godomos. The liquid armor poured across the statue as it erupted into flames, igniting a powerful energy burst that illuminated the entire temple ruins.

 

The statues around the Godomos statue incinerated, but the Godomos statue itself stood up as if it were alive. It became a being of flame with various silver plates of armor around his fiery body.

 

“Is this the true god of war?” Jason asked as he stared at Mars.

 

“He was just using me…” Laokorn said. “Using me to get his armor…”

 

Mars emitted a twirling fist of flame that Laokorn threw himself in front of to protect the others.

 

“Sulia!” he shouted as his entire body was incinerated with a powerful burst of flame.

 

Jason, Trini, and Rocky snapped into fighting stances.

 

“Get going,” Jason said. “I’ll cover you.”

 

“No way,” Rocky said. “If we die, we die together.”

 

They heard a humming of power from behind them as they turned to see Tommy rising to his feet. Strands of red energy circled around him as his body pulsed with power.

 

Tommy slowly walked towards Mars as he narrowed his eyes, the energy around him turning white hot, similar to when he had warn the Inferno armor more than a year earlier.

 

Tommy surrounded himself with a shell of white fiery energy as he shot forward towards Mars. Mars opened his jaws and launched a torrent of flame that Tommy charged through like a comet.

 

Tommy landed behind the god as he charged his right fist with white-hot energy. He turned and swung his fist forward, creating an energy cyclone that tore through Mars’ fists. The god turned and fired optic blasts that tore through the ground, causing fires to erupt throughout the ruins as Tommy was knocked backwards.

 

Tommy fell face first as he skid across the ground, walls of flame cutting him off from his friends as Mars charged towards him in a streak of flame.

 

“No…” Tommy said quietly as he pulled himself to his feet. “No! Rage of Inferno!”

 

A massive burst of white flame ignited the temple ruins as a torrent of energy funneled straight into the sky, incinerating Mars and his armor along with him. Tommy screamed through a clenched jaw as he poured on the power, making sure every last molecule of the creature was destroyed.

 

***

 

The four rangers stood on the shore as they watched the fiery ruins become swallowed in the sea.

 

“It’s all over,” Trini said. “Right?”

 

“Yeah,” Tommy said. “Let’s go home…”

 

End