Rangers in Space: Chapter Four

Finding Your Past

 

“Life has a way of throwing up unsuspected turns. Turns we never ask for. Turns that go against everything we stand for and believe in. We can either accept these changes and explore these turns, or travel the same road. The road to nothingness. The road to death”

 

-- Dr. Marcus Androgans, 2101

“New Age Thinking”

 

The Galvopsee Outpost was established on the barren world for the sole purpose of mining gases which, for a time, were integral to starships for propulsion. That time had passed, but the outpost remained for reasons unknown.

 

But for whatever the reason of the outpost’s continuing existence, Cy seemed surprised when he picked up a distress call from the planet. Tommy had insisted they check it out, despite Cy telling him distress signals were beneath their notice.

 

After entering orbit around Galvopsee, the Rangers morphed and road their Cyber Sliders to the outpost, which rested on the side of a large mountain-scape that dwarfed the largest on Earth.

 

The Rangers flipped off their boards and landed outside the outpost, noticing a figure hunched over a bridge, gasping for air. The back of the Galvopsian’s head was dripping with green blood.

 

Astro Red walked over to him and laid a hand on his shoulder. “How badly are you hurt? Who did this?”

 

The Galvopsian turned around, and the Rangers were glad they wore helmets to hide their shock. The Galvopsian's loose, blue skin looked like it was stretched across his face.  

 

“You are…Rangers?” he asked. “Real Rangers?”

 

Astro Red nodded. “Yes. What happened.”

 

The flaps on the Galvopsian’s face bent upward. “Then there is hope.”

 

“Sir,” Astro Pink said as she kneeled down towards him. “Can you please tell us who did this to you? Are there any others injured?”

 

“Not here,” the Galvopsian said as he pointed down a trial. “They moved to our sister site a few moments ago. We wouldn’t cooperate with them, so…”

 

The Galvopsian slumped as his body went limp.

 

Astro Red shook his head. “Let’s get down that trail,” he said.

 

***

 

In the sister camp, Craterites tossed workers into crates of gas, cut them down with blades, and punctured flammable materials, causing several explosions.

 

A lobster-type beast walked over to a fallen Galvopsian, who was wide-eyed with fear as he stared up at the monster. The monster lifted his claw arm and prepared to strike down his victim.

 

“Hold it!” Astro Red shouted as he leapt through the air and flying sidekicked the monster off the man. The monster quickly recovered and fired a yellow energy blade from his claw that struck Astro Red to the ground.

 

Craterites surrounded the Red Ranger as he rose from the ground and flipped a soldier over his shoulder. Then he turned to his left and sidekicked a soldier in the face. He snapped the same leg around to hook kick another soldier that tried to sneak up on his side.

 

The other Astro Rangers began fighting against the Craterites, trying to keep them away from the Galvopsian workers.

 

Astro Yellow blocked a soldier’s sword and knife-hand chopped that soldier in the neck. Then she turned to face a soldier coming at her directly ahead and jump kicked that soldier in the face.

 

A saber streaked towards Astro Pink’s head, but she grabbed the soldier’s wrist and twisted him to the ground.

 

Astro Blue kneed a soldier in the gut an elbowed it on the back. He turned and blocked a blow from another soldier and sidekicked that Craterite in the face.

 

Astro Black struck a Craterite with an uppercut to its midsection. He then flipped that soldier to the ground and stepped on its throat as three other soldiers charged at him. One from ahead, one from his left, the other from his right. He backfisted the soldier to his right, low blocked a soldier’s blow from in front of him and cross punched it in the face, then hook punched the soldier to his left.

 

The five Rangers regrouped and ran to face the lobster monster.

 

“Give Astronema a message for me,” Astro Red said. He downloaded his Drill Saber and ran towards the creature. “Saber Slash!”

 

His blade energized and slashed through the creature twice, causing the monster to fall back and explode.

 

“Just don’t make ‘em like they used to,” Astro Blue said.

 

“Let’s get the injured to our sick bay,” Astro Red said. “Then let’s find out what makes this planet so important to Astronema.”

 

***

 

Tommy sat at the desk in his room while reviewing a data pad as Galvopsee spun outside his window. The doors to his quarters opened, and Cy burst in.

 

“Do come in,” Tommy said sarcastically.

 

“We’ve done all we can for the injured Galvopsians and they’re back on the surface. We should go,” Cy said sternly. “We’ve wasted enough time.”

 

“We saved lives, Cy. That’s never a waste of time,” Tommy said.

 

“We can’t go answering every distress call that comes around,” Cy said. “We’ll never find Zordon at this pace.”

 

Tommy sighed. “Look, I knew we’d have this conversation eventually, and I’ve tried to figure out a polite way to do so. I haven’t had much luck.”

 

“Do go on,” Cy said.

 

“Your job was to give this ship to me and my team. That means I’m in charge,” Tommy said.

 

“You don’t know the difference between an inductor coil and an impulse manifold,” Cy said.

 

“Now I do,” Tommy said as he held his data pad. Cy simply rolled his eyes, so Tommy continued. “Listen, Cy…I’ll be the first to admit I’m in over my head with this space thing. That’s the only reason I haven’t decked you yet. Like it or not, I need you. We need to work together. But you have to understand,  technical knowledge has nothing to do with leadership ability.”

 

“It doesn’t matter how you define leadership,” Cy said. “We still can’t go around responding to every SOS that comes up.”

 

“That’s where you’re wrong,” Tommy said. “We will help in whatever way we can. It’s our responsibility.”

 

“Our responsibility is to find Zordon,” Cy said.

 

“And you can be damn certain we will,” Tommy said.

 

The urgency in Tommy’s voice made Cy pause. Tommy traced his fingers around the medallion the Dark Man had given him. “Something tells me we’ll be doing a lot more though.”

 

“Where did you get that?” Cy asked with a wrinkled brow.

 

“Why?”

 

Cy pulled an identical piece from beneath his jacket and activated it. The image was different from the one on Tommy’s. “These are Holocons, unique to KO-35.”

 

“That’s your family?” Tommy asked.

 

“Yes,” Cy said. “They…”

 

“I’m sorry,” Tommy said. “I know what that feels like.”

 

“That’s you and your family?” Cy asked.

 

Tommy nodded.

 

“How is that possible?” Cy asked.

 

“I don’t know,” Tommy said. “I don’t know what it could mean. I recognize my mother’s face vaguely. I know for certain that’s my father and that’s me…but the girl…”

 

“These lockets are meant to bond members of a family together, no matter how much time or distance comes between them,” Cy said. “If that’s truly from KO-35, and I don’t see any other explanation, there should be a record of that family on KO-35.”

 

“Could this be a fake?” Tommy asked.

 

Cy shook his head and extended his own medallion towards Tommy’s. They started to shine brighter as they came closer. “That glow symbolizes the medallion’s bond to KO-35. It can not be faked.”

 

Tommy sighed. “This is crazy.”

 

“Maybe we should head to KO-35,” Cy said.

 

“Wouldn’t that be  a waste of time?” Tommy asked.

 

“I don’t believe in coincidence,” Cy said. “Something tells me that your medallion will be key to finding Zordon, and ultimately, defeating Sauron.”

 

***

 

Astronema walked into a black empty room within her Dark Fortress. She kneeled and laid several multicolored stones around her. She closed her eyes as the stones started to glow, and images started to shape within the room.

 

Suddenly, Astronema was kneeling on nothing bur air as she faced a tall, stone tower that extended up from the barren, rocky ground of Eltar. A fiery eye appeared before her and sent a shiver down her spine. The sound of the rushing fire in the eye filled her brain. The sounds spoke to her.

 

“Yes, my lord,” she said. “The Earth Rangers are still at large. My soldiers do not have enough power to…no, my lord, I am not questioning your strength, I simply…no my lord, I have no wish to see them destroy our way of life. You have shown me the horrors that would consume the galaxy if their kind is allowed to survive…yes my lord…the Kerovian System will be their grave”

 

The image slowly dissipated as the room returned to normal. Astronema stood and stormed out of the room.

 

Eclipter was waiting for her and stepped into place behind her as they made their way down the corridor to the Gene-Pool.

 

“I am not in a pleasant mood, Eclipter,” Astronema said.

 

“I am sorry, my princess,” Eclipter said.

 

Astronema entered the Gene Pool. The six troll-like creatures that worked at various stations stopped to kneel. In the center of the room was a large portal. The portal was responsible for melding genetic material and creating Astronema’s monsters.

 

“Who created the creature that was destroyed at the Galvopsee outpost?” Astronema asked. “Speak up.”

 

One of the trolls stepped forward. Astronema could almost hear his legs clamp together. “I-I did, highness.”

 

She extended her hand and blasted the troll with a purple energy bolt. “The next abomination that steps from this Gene Pool better have ten times as much power. Your latest creations have been jokes.”

 

She stormed out of the room with Eclipter following behind her.

 

***

 

The Astro Megaship blasted through hyperspace on its way to KO-35. Only Tommy and Cy were on the bridge as the other rangers tended to duties elsewhere on the ship.

 

“I don’t want the others to know about this,” Tommy told Cy. Cy simply nodded.

 

The purpose of the Astro Rangers’ mission was two fold: Their main objective was to travel to various points in the Kerovian system and deploy a small group of probes. The probes would execute a volley of scans and gather vital information that would be transmitted to the Astro Megaship at any location via an encrypted, non-traceable signal.

 

While the rest of the Rangers deployed the probes, Tommy would travel to KO-35 and try to learn the secrets behind his locket.

 

The Megaship reverted to real-space just inside of the Kerovian System as the teens gathered some supplies from their lockers near the Morphing Tubes.

 

“You’ve been awfully quiet today,” Ashley said to Tommy.

 

“Long night,” Tommy said.

 

“You’re awful at hiding things, ya know,” Ashley said with a smile.

 

Tommy grinned as he closed his locker. “I know.”

 

The teens started walking towards the tubes.

 

“You know,” Kat said, “don’t you think it’s a little strange we’re launching these probes from here of all places?”

 

“It’s an abandoned system,” Tommy said. “Cy knows it well in case we run into trouble.”

 

“I suppose,” Kat said, dropping the subject.

 

“Last one back has to mop the deck for a week,” Justin said as they stepped onto their platforms and hopped through the tubes. Their transformation was triggered as they barreled down the tubes. They shot outside the ship on their Cyber Sliders.

 

Five probes lined up in front of them after being dropped from the hanger. The Rangers maneuvered their Sliders above the probes and latched onto them with the bottoms of their boards. The probes themselves were just a little larger than the Cyber Sliders.

 

“Okay,” Astro Red said. “Get to your drop off points, then get back to the ship.”

 

The Rangers split up and blasted through space.

 

***

 

Astro Red dropped his probe from his board at the designated location, then he flew towards KO-35. He flew over the planet’s barren moon and came to a halt when the colony world came into view. It took his breath away. This blue-and-white gem shined with a luster Earth hadn’t known in ages.

 

“Incredible,” Astro Red said as he leaned forward and flew towards the planet’s atmosphere.

 

***

 

Astro Red flipped off his Cyber Slider and landed in a deserted plaza area. The wind howled across the empty streets of ornate concrete and steel.

 

He started walking through a walkway lined with arches.

 

“That complex Cy told me about has gotta be around here somewhere…” Astro Red said as he pulled out his hand-held scanning device. It started blinking blue a few miles from his location.

 

“Life signs…that’s impossible.” At first Astro Red suspected a trap, but then he narrowed the search field. “They’re human…could there be survivors?”

 

He ran across the plaza to where he’d picked up the life sign. The signal vanished when he arrived. He shook his head and examined his surroundings. Behind him, a pool of liquid metal collected on the ground and emerged to form Eclipter.

 

“You!” Astro Red shouted as he assumed a fighting stance.

 

“Astro Red,” Eclipter said as he assumed a fighting stance. “Are you ready for a rematch?”

 

“I’ve been itching for one, tin head,” Astro Red said as the two opponents circled around each other. Fighting Eclipter was quite a challenge for the Red Ranger. The android’s programming allowed him to analyze his opponent’s every move and instantly come up with a defense and counter strike. Each blow was flawless and efficient, not a single move was wasted.

 

Eclipter tossed off his cape and charged at Astro Red. The Red Ranger leapt through the air and aimed a flying punch towards Eclipter’s head, but the android grabbed his fist and struck the Ranger on the back. Astro Red fell to the ground, and Eclipter placed his foot on the Ranger’s chest. Red Ranger instantly drew his sidearm, but Eclipter grabbed his wrist and twisted the weapon out of the Ranger’s hand.

 

Eclipter then lifted Astro Red up and ran through the archway while bashing him against each of the stone arches. When they reached the end of the archway, Eclipter tossed Astro Red into a shallow pool of water cut out from the concrete ground. Eclipter stalked towards him.

 

“Drill Saber!” Astro Red shouted as he stood and rushed towards his opponent. He skipped towards Eclipter while bringing his blade down diagonally, then dashed forward with a horizontal strike. Astro Red turned and struck again with an x-shaped pattern. He went for a vertical strike to the head, but Eclipter high blocked the blow and kicked the Ranger in the gut.

 

Astro Red was forced a few steps back as he assumed a defensive stance. Eclipter walked towards the Ranger again, but this time, Astro Red rammed his Drill Saber to the ground and energized it, causing a shockwave that ripped towards Eclipter’s feet. The android lost his balance as Astro Red leapt through the air.

 

“Screw Drill Saber!” He spun as his weapon struck Eclipter in the chest and knocked him to his knees.

 

“Cyber Slider!” Astro Red called. He turned to Eclipter before hopping on his board. “We’ll finish this later.”

 

“Count on it.”

 

Astro Red hopped on his Cyber Slider and road off deeper into the colony’s city.

 

***

 

Cy’s fingers danced across the controls at his station as he manned the bridge alone. “DECA, what happened?”

 

“A jamming field is covering the planet’s surface,” DECA reported.

 

“Astronema?” Cy asked.

 

“Unknown,” DECA reported.

 

“That might as well be a yes,” Cy said. How did she find us here?

 

The bridge doors opened, and the rangers walked in.

 

“Where’s Tommy?” Kat asked.

 

“He’s on KO-35,” Cy said.

 

“Why?” Justin asked.

 

“He was checking something out,” Cy said. “We just lost contact with him a minute ago. Some kind of jamming field.”

 

Ashley shook her head as she walked to her station. “What has he gotten himself into this time…”

 

“Do you think you can break through the jamming?” Justin asked.

 

“Only one way to find out,” Ashley said as she began manipulating her controls.

 

“I’ll try to narrow down the source,” Chris said from his station.

 

“We should polarize the hull plating in case we get any surprises or anything,” Justin said.

 

Cy nodded. “DECA, polarize the hull plating.”

 

“Got it,” Chris said. “There’s some kind of a communications outpost on the second moon. It’s spreading the jamming field across the planet.”

 

“Let’s get back on our Cyber Sliders and get over there,” Justin said.

 

***

 

Tommy entered the lower level of the building Cy had directed him to and activated his scanning device. The lower level was the library of the colony world, although this was the first library Tommy had seen without any books.

 

A circular arrangement of terminals lined the center of the library, and similar terminals were embedded in the walls. He walked over to the center arrangement and placed his hand on one of the control panels. The consoles hummed to life as a holographic image of the planet appeared in the center of the room.

 

“Good…still has power…” Tommy said as he removed his medallion and placed it in the top right slot of the console, as Cy had instructed.

 

Four three-dimensional mug shots replaced the spinning planet. One was of a 4-year-old Tommy, one was his father, another was his mother, and the last was a little girl.

 

“Begin recording,” Tommy said softly. “Identify …then access most recent information.”

 

A voice similar to DECA’s spoke from the central computer. “Father: Tenkasei Ryou, missing and presumed dead as of AC165, Wife: Callista, died AC165, Daughter: Karone, kidnapped AC165, Son: Andros, evacuated AC165.”

 

“To where?” Tommy asked.

 

“The Sol System.”

 

Tommy took a deep breath before continuing. “What happened in AC165?”

 

“Specify.”

 

The power started fluctuated as control panels blinked off and on. “Record all relevant data and save,” Tommy said frantically as the power continued to strain. The disk spat out and Tommy pocketed it.

 

“What the hell is going on?” Tommy asked himself as he ran for the exit.

 

***

 

Astronema’s latest creation was tapped into the colony’s power grid and draining energy at a startling rate.

 

Astro Red flew through the air and flying sidekicked the monster, taking it by surprise. The creature rolled across the ground as it retracted the two tentacles it was using to drain the colony’s power.

 

“You’re going to regret your timing,” Astro Red said as he assumed  a fighting stance.

 

The monster rose back to his feet, and pulses of green energy lanced out that crashed against Astro Red’s armor, throwing him backward as he crashed onto the ground.

 

Astro Red rose to his knees, but the monster fired crimson eye beams that blasted him back down. Another blast came at him, but this one from a different direction. He looked to see Eclipter walking towards him.

 

“Did you really think we’d let you escape so easily?” Eclipter asked.

 

Astro Red rose to his feet and assumed a fighting stance. “The two of you against me? That doesn’t seem fair.”

 

“You are at a disadvantage,” Eclipter said.

 

“No…it doesn’t seem fair for you,” Astro Red said as he charged towards Eclipter.

 

***

 

The other four Rangers walked through the dimly-lit outpost on KO-35’s moon. Astro Blue took the point as Astro Black guided him by using his satellite search.

 

“Hang a right,” Astro Black said.

 

The four turned down another corridor and found themselves facing a group of Quantrons.

 

“Astro Snipers!” They shouted as they opened fire on the soldiers. The Quantrons moved in, most of them having been destroyed by the Rangers volley.

 

A Quantron swung its blade towards Astro Black, but he grabbed the weapon with two hands, twisted it to his right, and backfisted the soldier in the face following with a side kick to its chest.

 

Astro Yellow flying axe kicked a soldier’s neck, causing the Quantron to drop as the Ranger tornado kicked another Quantron that approached her left.

 

Astro Pink struck a soldier’s face with her right palm heel, then used the same arm to elbow a soldier that approached behind her.

 

Astro Blue flying sidekicked a soldier to the ground. He downloaded his Astro Tomahawk and began parrying blows from the Quantron’s blades.

 

“Chris, which way?” Astro Blue asked as he spun and cut down a soldier horizontally.

 

“The door to your left,” Astro Black said as he uppercut punched a soldier in the gut, then brought his elbow down on the Quantron’s back.

 

Astro Blue drew his Astro Sniper and blasted the door open. He ran into the room, which was lined with piles of junky equipment.

 

“Great,” Astro Blue said as he looked back out into the corridor. “Ashley, I could use that brain of yours.”

 

“It’s a little busy right now,” Astro Yellow said as she used her Astro Sling to mow down six soldiers that were rushing towards her.

 

Astro Pink used her Astro Capture to clear the soldiers away from the door as she ran in and stood by Astro Blue.

 

“My helmet icon,” Astro Pink said. “It’s for communications. I may be able to jam the signal’s source.”

 

“Excellent,” Astro Blue said as a group of three Quantrons started to enter their room. “I’ll watch the door.”

 

Astro Blue blasted the three soldiers down with his sniper as the cell-phone icon on Astro Pink’s helmet flashed on. She looked around the room as her visor displayed data collected by her helmet icon. It flashed red when her gaze drifted over a small pentagonal box. She looked closer at the box as her icon display showed her the near countless number of wires extending from it, through the walls, and through the entire base.

 

“If we destroy the source of the signal, this whole outpost will be destroyed,” Astro Pink said.

 

“Can’t we just turn it off?” Astro Blue said as he opened fire on another group of soldiers.

 

“I don’t know how,” Astro Pink said.

 

Astro Yellow side kicked a soldier, and the Quantron went crashing through a pillar. She ran past Astro Blue and into the room with Astro Pink.

 

“Use your icon to hack into the device’s programming. I’ll use my icon to make a digital pocket dimension to represent its systems,” Astro Yellow said.

 

“Better hurry,” Astro Blue said. “These Quantrons are popping up everywhere.”

 

“Let’s do it,” Astro Yellow said as her icon flashed.

 

***

 

Cy was having troubles of his own. The Dark Fortress itself had de-cloaked and launched a group of Velocifighters at the Megaship. He led the ship through a series of twists and turns, doing his best to evade enemy fire while countering with blasts from the ship’s Megalasers.

 

“DECA, activate countermeasures,” Cy commanded.

 

“Deploying flares,” DECA said as the rear of the ship launched flares that strayed the enemy fighters off course.

 

“Change our heading,” Cy commanded. “The Grear Patch.”

 

“Navigating through the Grear Patch is not recommended,” DECA warned.

 

“I know,” Cy said. “That’s why we’re going.”

 

The Grear patch was on the outskirts of the Kerovian System and consisted of massive clouds of charged gases that damaged any ship that tried to pass through it.

 

“Emergency power to the hull plating,” Cy said. “We’ll need it.”

 

***

 

Astro Red backfisted Eclipter, but the android sidestepped while blocking the blow and knifehanding the Ranger in the back. The blow caused a small spark against Astro Red’s armor as he fell to the ground.

 

The Red Ranger rolled to his knees, but Eclipter kicked him in the chest and back fisted him across the helmet, knocking him back farther.

 

Astro Red rose to his knees again and readied his side arm. “Astro Sniper!”

 

Lances of blue energy shot towards Eclipter, but he blocked them by simply extending his hand. Then he fired optic blasts that crashed against Astro Red’s chest.

 

“For centuries I have been undefeated in battle,” Eclipter said.

 

“Until now,” Astro Red said as he charged towards the villain. Eclipter extended his hand, and electric beams of green energy wrapped around Astro Red. Eclipter used the energy whip to drag Astro Red across the ground in circles as explosions sparked across his armor.

 

***

 

Astro Yellow and Astro Pink stood in the pocket dimension representing the blocking device’s system. It resembled a narrow city street with identical buildings less than an inch from each other.

 

“Here we are,” Astro Yellow said.

 

Several of the building’s doors opened, and Craterites poured forth.

 

“These are security devices,” Astro Yellow said as she pulled out her Astro Sniper and started firing. Astro Pink did the same.

 

Astro Pink’s visor display allowed her to see the building ahead, which represented the device’s mainframe.

 

“This way,” Astro Pink said as she assembled her Capture Sniper and cleared a path through the Craterites.

 

Astro Yellow flipped through the air and landed on the building’s porch as she used her Astro Sling to keep the Craterites at bay. “Cover me,” she said to Astro Pink.

 

Astro Pink blasted Craterites left and right as Astro Yellow tried to pry the door open. She eventually grew tired of finesse, aimed her sniper, and blasted the door handle off. She bust through the door only to find another door in front of her. This one made of steel.

 

“This was so much easier in theory,” Astro Yellow said as she blasted the metal door, but it was barely marked.

 

“The window!” Astro Pink shouted.

 

“Right,” Astro Yellow said. She leapt towards Astro Pink, and she caught her friend’s feet and gave her a boost. Astro Yellow went crashing through the second-floor window into the building.

 

A group of Quantrons leapt at her from behind several closet doors. She used her Astro Sniper to blast soldiers left and right as she kicked down the Quantrons that got too close to her.

 

“I wish I had a bomb,” Astro Yellow said quietly. Then, a small grenade-sized bomb appeared in her hand. “Huh.”

 

She blasted a few more Quantrons as she slapped the bomb to the floor. She ran towards the window as the bomb detonated. She broke through glass as the fires of the explosion snaked out after her. She hit the pavement hard and rolled across the ground as Astro Pink came to her side.

 

“That did it,” Astro Pink said.

 

“Good,” she said. “Now let’s get out of here.”

 

***

 

“You’re welcome,” Astro Blue said as Astro Yellow and Astro Pink snapped back to reality.

 

“For what?” Astro Pink said.

 

Astro Blue pointed to his helmet icon. “The bomb. My icon allows me to project images, apparently. I heard Ashley mumble something about a bomb, so I projected one to you.”

 

“Not bad, Justin,” Astro Yellow said.

 

“Thanks,” he said.

 

Astro Black ran into the room. “I’m picking up Tommy’s signal on KO-35. He’s in one hell of a fight.”

 

“Let’s go help him out,” Astro Blue said as they all ran towards their Cyber Sliders.

 

***

 

“Drill Saber!” Astro Red shouted as he leapt towards Eclipter. The android grabbed the blade and broke it in half over his knee. He backfisted Astro Red, causing the Ranger to fall to the ground. Eclipter walked over to the Ranger and placed a foot on the back of Astro Red’s head, pressing down hard.

 

“Tommy!” Astro Blue shouted as he and the other four Rangers jumped off their Cyber Sliders and raced towards their leader. Eclipter fired green optic blasts that slammed against the four Rangers, causing them to crash to the ground.

 

“We need something strong enough to take him out,” Astro Black said.

 

“I’ve got it,” Astro Yellow said as she used her visor to examine their Power Weapons. “Bring our weapons together to form the Quadroblaster.”

 

“Right,” Astro Blue said. The four assembled the rifle and aimed it towards Eclipter. The android stood tall, not believing anything the Rangers could throw at him would hurt him.

 

“Fire!” They shot a sphere of crackling energy that slammed into Eclipter with a burst of spark, knocking him back several meters and cracking his chest plate. He gripped his wounds and teleported out.

 

The Rangers regrouped.

 

“Thanks, guys,” Astro Red said. “But we’re not done yet.”

 

Astro Red led the Rangers further up a hill to where the monster was sucking energy out of a tall slender port.

 

“Astro Snipers!” they shouted as they blasted the monster, but the creature absorbed the blasts and countered with an energy pulse of his own that crashed against the Rangers and sent them tumbling backward to the ground.

 

“He absorbed the blasts,” Astro Black said.

 

“We need to distract him long enough to finish him,” Astro Red said. “Kat, use your Astro Stunner. It’s based off of sound vibrations. He may not be able to absorb that.”

 

“Right,” Astro Pink said as she fired her weapon at the monster. Small explosions sparked across the creature’s body as the Rangers assembled the Quadroblaster.

 

“Fire!” they shouted as Astro Red fired his Astro Sniper in unison. Their combined blasts ripped through the monster.

 

Sate-lasers struck the monster’s remains and caused the creature to grow.

 

“Astro Megazord, online!” Astro Red shouted, but the Megaship was no where in sight.

 

***

 

The Megaship blasted through the patch as explosions sparked across the hull.

 

“Hull pressure critical,” DECA reported.

 

“Just a little while longer,” Cy said quietly as the Velocifighters stayed with him.

 

He waited until the Velocifighters were practically on top of him before making his move. He dropped off two thermal detonators from the ship’s rear tubes. The detonators ignited the gases around the Velocifighters, and would have destroyed the Megaship too, if not for Cy’s daring plan. He fired the Hyper-rush engines for a small fraction of a second, hurling the ship out of the patch and damaging almost every system in the process.

 

Hyper jumps in-system were dangerous enough, but jumps from within the patch were pure stupidity.

 

“DECA,” Cy said as he breathed a sigh of relief. “Remind me never to do that again.”

 

***

 

The giant monster fired a blast that tore up the ground around the Rangers.

 

“Where the hell is the Megaship?” Astro Red asked as he and the others slowly rose to their feet.

 

“Tommy, this is Cy,” the Kerovian said over Astro Red’s communicator.

 

“Cy, we need that ship,” Astro Red said.

 

“The Megazord system is offline. The ship is operating on reserve power only,” Cy said.

 

“Great,” Astro Red said. “I don’t suppose you have any spare zords hidden on this planet.”

 

“No,” Cy said. “But…”

 

“But what?” Astro Red asked.

 

“Never mind,” Cy said. “The defensive satellites still have power, but their systems have been damaged. The beams will just reflect right off him.”

 

“How much power, Cy?” Astro Yellow asked. “Combined?”

 

“I’m not sure exactly,” he answered. “A lot. Why?”

 

“Well, if we can bombard this thing with energy beams, he might try to absorb them,” Astro Yellow said. “The beams may not have any destructive power, but we can pump energy into him until he overloads.”

 

“Cy,” Astro Red said.

 

“I’m on it,” Cy said. “DECA, patch me into the defense grid. Bring the satellites online.”

 

The Rangers stared up as dozens of beams of energy struck the monster. He absorbed the beams, and quickly regretted it as his body was pumped full of energy. The creature began spasming, unable to stop his energy drain process. His body eventually failed him, and he exploded.

 

***

 

The Megaship crawled out of the Kerovian System at impulse speed, its crew surprised that Astronema had not launched a follow-up attack from her Dark Fortress.

 

Tommy walked up to Cy’s door and activated the chime. The doors opened, and Tommy stepped in, his eyes opening wide in surprise. Cy’s room was decorated with dozens of candles, surrounding him in an intricate pattern as he kneeled on the ground wearing a dark-red robe.

 

“I-I’m sorry,” Tommy said.

 

“It’s ok,” Cy said. “Come in.”

 

Tommy took a step further into the room as the door shut behind him. “What are you...I mean…what are you doing?”

 

“Praying,” Cy said. “You don’t have to look so surprised.”

 

“Sorry,” Tommy said. “I just didn’t think…I mean…”

 

“It’s okay,” Cy said. “Are you a religious person, Tommy?”

 

Tommy shrugged. “I went to church when I was a kid and all but…not really.”

 

“Church?” Cy asked.

 

“A…temple kind of,” Tommy said. “Where people gather to worship.”

 

“Hm,” Cy said as he shook his head. “Is it an organized religion?”

 

Tommy nodded. “Yeah. Several. Why?”

 

Cy shook his head. “No reason. It’s just that on KO-35, religion is a more…personal thing. Every race seems to have their own images of some sort of divine creator. We don’t pick and choose which being to follow. We just acknowledge that One does exist. That One does guide us.”

 

Tommy nodded. “Sounds nice.”

 

Cy nodded.

 

“Look, Cy,” Tommy said. “I just wanted to come and say thanks for your help. We all worked together as a team and got out of a bad situation as a result.”

 

“We just got this ship repaired and now…” he shook his head.

 

“I was thinking about that earlier,” Tommy said as he pulled out a data pad. “It seems like we’ve been falling into one too many traps lately, and we end up taking one hell of a beating getting out of them. I drafted some procedures that maybe we could follow to avoid incidents like that. I’d like your opinion when you have a chance.”

 

Tommy extended the data pad, and Cy slowly reached out to take it. “Thanks,” Cy said.

 

Tommy nodded. “Thank you. I’ll let you get back to your praying.”

 

“Wait,” Cy said as Tommy paused. “The locket?”

 

Tommy sighed and pulled the locket out. “It is me and my family. I…As crazy as it sounds, I was born here as Andros. My sister…birth sister, Karone, was kidnapped, which means she’s still alive. My mom was killed. My Dad…well…I know what happened to him. I was found during the attack that killed my Mom and sent to Earth with someone. Whoever that someone was must have dropped me off with my foster parents.

 

“It…” he shook his head. “I don’t understand it yet. But my sister…Karone…I need to find out what happened to her, Cy. I need to find her. I know she’s still alive. Ever since I got this thing…it’s like…I can feel her. I need to find her.”

 

“You can,” Cy said. “With your locket. It connects you to her.”

 

“So, what, I just plug it into the computer or something?” Tommy asked.

 

Cy nodded. “As we’re scanning for Zordon, we may stumble upon a signal from Karone’s locket. If you truly feel her, she still possesses it.”

 

Tommy nodded. “I wish…” he shook his head. “Never mind.”

 

“I’m sorry you didn’t find any more answers,” Cy said.

 

Tommy nodded. “It’s okay.” A smile spread across his face. “You know, you should do this more often. You’re a lot easier to deal with.”

 

Cy smiled. “Don’t worry. It won’t last.”

 

To be continued…Chapter 05