Ultimate Time Rangers: Chapter Two
Dorunero took another puff from his cigar. He stood at the jail tower’s viewport while looking out at the dense woods that surrounded them. “We came here to escape the 31st century…but this wretched place is even worse.”
“Don’t worry…” Gien walked along the cryogenic suspension storage wall, where dozens of aliens, mutants and cyborgs were held prisoner. “We have a formidable base. Well supplied. Well hidden.”
Lira ignored the robot. “Dorunero…we cannot just sit here. Let‘s find the Rangers and kill them.”
Dorunero took another puff from his cigar as he continued to look out the viewport. “We are not mindless monsters, Lira. First…we need solid fiscal support. Then we can enter the economic and criminal elements of the city, gain influence, and use that influence to expand worldwide. If the Rangers happen to get in our way in the process, then they will die.”
Wes and the other rangers sat in an indent at the base of an abandoned cement building. Pillars of concrete supported the side of the building above, keeping it from falling and crushing the rangers.
They had just finished telling Wes their story.
Wes raised his eyebrows. “You’re from the 31st century? The future? And those monsters were from the future?”
“They weren’t monsters,” Jenn said, her arms crossed over her chest. “They’re criminals.”
“Oh, well that’s okay then,” Wes said sarcastically.
“Look,” Jenn said, “we needed a fifth person. We didn’t have time to go scouting. You helped us and now you’re done.”
Jenn grabbed Wes’s wrist and pulled the Chrono Morpher off.
“Hey,” Wes protested.
“We only needed you to unlock the rest of our morphers,” Jenn said again. “Now you’re done. Go.”
“Oh, come on,” Wes said. “This is a lot to take in…but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun.”
Jenn narrowed her eyes. “Fun?”
The others winced. They knew what was coming.
“This is not fun,” Jenn said firmly. “People died in that attack. Dorunero’s organization has killed thousands of people. Corrupted countless lives. This is not a game. We are fighting to stop him. We are fighting for our time's survival. Have you ever had to fight for anything?”
Wes stood quietly, not knowing what to say.
“Just leave,” Jenn said as she turned away from him. “And forget you saw anything.”
Gien used the three-pronged claw that was his right hand to open the cryogenic freezer closet. His hand scanned past dozens of frozen meta-level criminals, mutants, and aliens.
Lira narrowed her brow at the android. “What are you doing, robot?”
Gien laughed as he picked up a small containment unit. He carried the tube over to the cryogenic matrix. “We have an entire army of criminals. We should use them…”
The droid set the containment unit into the cryogenic matrix. The matrix sealed shut as Gien walked over to the matrix control station. Dorunero entered the room and watched as Gien activated the matrix.
The matrix filled with steam as twirling strands of energy twirled inside. Genetic material unraveled and reassembled. The prisoner returned to his normal size.
The matrix hissed open as the criminal stepped forward. The hunch-backed alien was covered with a light suit of dull gray armor His eyes were dull yellow, beneath a metal mask and helmet.
Gien introduced the criminal to Dorunero. “The bomber, Jeka!”
Dorunero stepped forward towards the criminal. The former prisoner declined his head in gratitude. “Thank you for your assistance.”
Dorunero took a puff of his cigar. “I ask only one thing in return. Your service. To the Landaraz Family.”
Jeka used back-mounted propulsion jets to streak across the city rooftops. The meta criminal placed translucent gemstones at various business buildings and corporate skyscrapers.
Wes walked into his father’s mansion. The teen took off his jacket and handed it to the butler.
Wes’s dad, Mr. Collins, barged from one of his rear office and walked towards his son. Mr. Collins knitted his brow. “Wesley, where were you? I told you I wanted you home four hours ago. Meeting with the Innacore executives was an important step for you.”
Wes rolled his eyes and walked past his father. “Dad, I’m not in the mood for this right now.”
“Wesley,” Collins said firmly. “If you’re going to take over my company someday, you need to start networking now.”
Wes turned to face his father. “I don’t want to work for your company.”
“Then what will you do?” Collins asked. “You’re 18. It’s time to start taking on some responsibilities with your life.”
“I tried to,” Wes said, “but you wouldn’t let me.”
“Tried to?” Collins said in disbelief. “By trying to start those ridiculous karate classes? No son of mine will sink so low. Next you’ll be asking to clean grease traps at a drive-through restaurant. You're meant for better things.”
“Quit trying to decide everything for me!” Wes said with frustration.
Collins shook his head and walked back towards his office. “I don’t have time for this…”
Wes rolled his hands into fists.
A clock struck 7 a.m. the next morning. One of Jeka’s bombs flashed blue and exploded with white-hot flame, destroying an entire skyscraper with the blink of an eye, with no damage to surrounding infrastructure.
The building was owned by Collins.
Wes walked down his staircase at home in his boxers and open robe. He heard his father on the telephone. “A what?” Mr. Collins said. “That’s ridiculous…”
Collins turned on a big-screen television in the living room. Angel Grove reporter Lyn Holtkamp was covering the report. A local businessman was sitting next to her. He pulled a holographic data card from his pocket and activated it.
The message card showed a small holographic image of Jeka. The criminal was demanding $10 million from each local businessman in Angel Grove West’s financial district. The villain threatened to blow up nearly half the district’s buildings if the money was not delivered to him by noon at the docks.
Wes narrowed his eyes while listening.
SWAT vans and police pulled up to the docks. Officers piled up and aimed their weapons forward at the creature. Detective Park was among them.
“Take the suit off and drop to the ground!” Park shouted.
No one believed Jeka was a monster or creature. Monsters never gave ransom demands. They always focused on random acts of violence and terrorism.
“Is that supposed to be a joke?” the criminal asked.
A trigger-happy officer opened fire. The entire squad fired as bullets bounced harmlessly off of the criminal’s armor. The villain laughed at the officers. Jeka fired pulse blasts from his shoulders that exploded around the cops, killing some and knocking others backward.
Collins walked towards his limo with a suitcase full of money in hand. Two bodyguards accompanied him. He was going to pay the creature’s ransom and protect his real estate.
“Wait!” Wes called out as he ran towards his father.
“I don’t have time for more nonsense,” Collins said as he started to open the limo door.
“This isn’t nonsense,” Wes said as he grabbed the suitcase, his father still holding tightly to it. “I’ll make you a deal. I take care of the ransom demands in a way that lets you keep your money, then you agree to let me go. If I can’t…then I’ll work for you willingly. 100 percent.”
Collins looked at his son for a moment. The man had rarely seen such a look in Wes’s eyes. Collins knew what his son was proposing was propitious. But the look in Wes’s eyes…
Collins handed his son the suitcase.
“But sir,” one of the bodyguards started to protest.
Wes had already turned and started running. He neglected to tell his father that failing would likely mean his death.
Takku spoke to the rangers. “You cannot return to the future; not until you apprehend Dorunero and his criminals. The timeline is already too much at risk. Catch Dorunero, and we can return home.”
“It’s not that easy,” Jenn was quick to say. “What about the Temporal Axis?”
“It is stable for now,” Takku said. The droid was able to trade basic communication messages with Time Force via a temporal transceiver. “If too much is altered, and the balance is broken, our time period will be destroyed.”
Damien narrowed his brow. “You mean we’d never be able to get home? That's crazy.”
Lucas leaned against the wall with his arms crossed. He shook his head. “I’d hate to get stuck here. Everything is so…savage.”
“We won’t get stuck,” Damien said firmly. “We’ll drag Dorunero back to our time by his fish tail if we have to.”
Sion nodded, his eyes glimmering with hope. “This is what we were trained for.”
Lucas shook his head. “There’s only four of us.”
“Five,” a voice came from behind them. They turned to see Wes walking towards them with a briefcase in hand. He had been eavesdropping. Wes looked to Jenn and walked towards her. “You’re right…I’ve never had to fight for anything in my life. Ever. But now…now I have something to fight for. Let’s fight to save our tomorrow…”
Wes was expecting Jenn to scoff and roll her eyes. But she didn’t. She recognized the look of determination in the teen’s eyes, although she did not understand it. Jenn slowly stepped closer towards him and handed him his Chrono morpher.
Wes smiled and slapped the brace onto his wrist.
Jeka counted the money in various suitcases open in front of him. He was not impressed. The villain scoffed and aimed his arm at the police officers. “Where’s the rest?” he asked impatiently and opened fire. A barrage of bullets exploded around the police officers, tearing through some of them.
“Stop!” Wes shouted as he ran towards the creature with a suitcase in hand. The teen walked towards the villain and extended the suitcase. “Sorry to keep you waiting. Here…here’s the rest of your payment.”
The villain snatched the briefcase and set it on the ground next to the others. Jeka leaned his foot onto the briefcase and pulled out a small disk from his armor.
“Deactivate the bombs,” Wes said.
Jeka laughed. “That wouldn’t be any fun would it. How about I detonate them instead?” the villain started to move his hand towards the bomb activation button on the disk.
“Wait!” Wes said as he extended his hand towards the villain. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you…all you’ll do is blow yourself up.”
Jeka looked to the teen. “What are you talking about, Terran?”
“Check the suitcase,” Wes said.
Jeka crouched down and opened the suitcase. Dozens of his crystal bombs were inside. “My bombs?!”
“You didn’t exactly make them hard to find,” Wes said as the other rangers stepped forward from behind the nearby crates. Takku hovered down from the air and landed nearby. The droid had managed to collect all the bombs.
“Impossible!” the creature growled. “You’re only human.”
Jenn armed her Chrono Morpher. “Ready…”
“Ready,” the others said as they crossed their arms over their chest and armed their morphers.
“Chrono…” they swung their arms outward. “Trigger!” they shouted while swinging their arms back in and slapping their braces’ activation panels. Streams of data swirled around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms, their backs towards the villain.
The five Rangers snapped around to face the villain while shouting their names.
They thrust their badges forward. “Time Ranger!”
Time Pink slowly stepped towards the monster while extending her badge. “Jeka…you’re under arrest for breaking the Temporal Accords…”
“Damn you…” Jeka growled softly as he trembled with rage. “Damn you!”
The Time Rangers charged forward to attack. Time Blue leapt forward through the air and angled his decent towards the villain while pulling back a punch. Jeka opened fire with gauntlet cannons that exploded against the Blue Ranger’s chest with a burst of spark and knocked him from the air.
Time Blue crashed against the ground as the other regrouped around him.
Time Red shook his head. “Remind me to ask you later why you freeze your criminals with their weapons.”
Jeka opened fire with a wide volley of high-yield bullets that exploded against the Rangers’ armor and knocked them to the ground. The villain fired a burst of energy from his jet pack and shot towards the Rangers as Time Red slowly climbed to his feet.
Jeka slammed his body against the Red Ranger while continuing to fly forward, slamming the Ranger through various crates and boxes that splintered on impact.
“Chrono Trigger!” Time Red shouted. Twin Vector Sabers appeared in his hand. The Red Ranger started chopping the blades against the villain’s head.
Jeka’s grip on Time Red released, and the Red Ranger kicked away from the villain while flipping backward. Time Red landed his feet against the side of the building and pushed off, bouncing back towards the villain with Vector Sabers held forward in an ‘x’ pattern.
The blades thrashed against Jeka and knocked the criminal off his feet.
Time Red sprang towards Jeka as the villain rose to his feet.
“Vector Red!” he shouted as the blades energized with crimson energy. “Chrono Strike!” Time Red held his blades at a 12 o’ clock and 3 o’ clock position and slashed the weapons across the criminal’s armor with streaks of power. The blades sparked on impact and knocked the villain backward.
The cryogenic patch on the criminal was ripped open from the attack, exposing his DNA. The exposed patch caused a chain reaction in the criminal that created the opposite effect of what the patches were intended to do. Jeka’s body expanded and grew giant.
The Rangers stepped backward while looking up at the villain with shock. Takku hovered nearby and used his temporal transceiver to send a message to the future. “Providus Base…we need the 3-D system…” There was no answer. “Time Force Headquarters…activate the 3-D system.”
Jeka used his jet back to hover towards the city streets and opened fire with his gauntlet cannons.
Angel Grove, 3006AD
Ornate towers of steel and technology extended into the orange-tinted city skies as hover cars flew through the air. Some towers held small parks of freshly cut green grass, while others served as business observatories.
In the north section of the city sat a circular command complex with several rectangular buildings webbing out from the main compound. A yellow and black giant-sized robo stomped around the perimeter of the compound near a tall gate shaped like an upside down ‘V.’ A runway connected the gate to the complex.
A lone figure sat in the observatory that looked out upon the runway. He sat in the dimly-lit control chamber with a curved holographic control panel spread out in front of him. The stranger hesitated. Then he answered Takku’s call.
“3-D system, stand by for launch,” he said, answering Takku and activating the 3-D system at the same time.
A platform of five Time Jets surfaced at the end of the runway. The platform rotated and lined the red-trimmed jet into position.
The Providus zord swung its massive fist towards the Time Jet. The fist smashed against the Time Jet and throttled the vessel forward. The Time Jet accelerated closer to the Time Gate and disappeared through the gate's portal, leaving a trail of energy vapor in its wake.
One-by-one, Providus slammed the Time Jets through the Gate. The five zords flew in tight formation and throttled backward through the time stream.
Angel Grove, 2006AD
“The Time Jets are on their way!” Takku shouted to the others.
A wormhole opened in the sky, and the five zords streaked through, swooping down into the atmosphere.
“Time Flier,” Time Pink commanded as the Time Flier hovered past their location.
The Time Rangers leapt onto the Flier. The Flier carried them over their five Time Jets, traveling at frightful speeds. Thankful he was not afraid of heights or prone to airsickness, Time Red and the others jumped off the Time Flier and fell into their cockpits.
Time Red slammed against his chair hard and winced. Takku uploaded data onto the visors of Time Red and the others, letting them know how to fight with the Time Jets.
“3-D Formation…” Time Red commanded as he grasped control levers to his side. “Time Robo, Beta!”
The Time Jets stayed in tight formation and flew across the streets. Each zord started to reassemble and combine into a giant, blue-armored zord. The 3-D formation completed as the Rangers activated their zord: the Time-Force Megazord, Mode Blue.
The Rangers stood in the zord’s central cockpit. Five tall rods extended from the floor to the Rangers’ waist levels. Takku uploaded information onto the Rangers’ visors about how to use the Control Lancers to operate the Megazord. The Time Rangers reached forward and grabbed the Lancers.
“Flier Magnum,” Time Red commanded. The Time Flier transformed into a blaster that the Megazord gripped in its hand.
The Time-Force Megazord streaked downward towards the hovering villain while blasting lances of blue-colored energy that exploded against the criminal’s armor. The Time Robo flew swung its feet down and slammed kicks against the criminal, pushing the villain backward through midair.
The criminal opened fire with its wrist gauntlets at near-point-blank range. The blasts exploded against the Megazord and sent the robo flying out if control through midair.
The Megazord fired its thrusters and stabilized before thrusting back towards the villain with a burst of speed. The Time-Force Megazord dodged enemy blasts while firing rapid-speed shots of blue energy darts that exploded against the villain.
Jeka crashed to the ground and started skidding backward across the streets. Takku uploaded more data to Time Red’s visor.
“Changing formation,” Time Red commanded. “Time Robo, Alpha!”
The Megazord disassembled and started to change shape into different formations. The Time Jets merged into a new form: Time-Force Megazord, Mode Red. The red-armored Megazord landed on the streets and faced off with the criminal.
“Time-Force Megazord Saber!” Time Red commanded. A worm hole opened in the Megazord’s chest. A saber speared forward from the portal, and the Megazord wrapped his hand around the saber’s handle.
Jeka lifted a fallen building top and hurled it at the Rangers. The Time Rangers activated their zord’s shield. The building was pulverized when it slammed against the shield.
“Wes,” Time Pink said. “Final strike…”
Time Red nodded as the appropriate data flashed across his visor. He pulled the Control Lancer free from the ground. The lancer flashed with energy and formed a miniature replica of the zord’s saber.
Time Red thrust the saber forward as the Megazord copied his movements. Two shorter blades opened from the Megazord saber like the hands of the clock, forming 90 degree angles with the sword.
“Time-Force Megazord Saber!” Time Red shouted. “Final Strike!”
The zord’s saber energized and swung horizontally. The blade slashed through the monster, but did not kill it. The attack caused a chain reaction within the creature that caused the insides of his body to freeze. The criminal fell backwards, and a large explosion surrounded the villain as he shrunk down to less than a foot tall, and entered a state of cryogenic suspension.
The Time Rangers leapt down to the streets below. Time Pink held a badge over the criminal. The badge flashed with golden light and formed a transparent cylinder that wrapped around the creature.
Mr. Collins walked into his office and spotted his briefcase on the desk. He hesitated, then slowly walked over to the briefcase. He unlatched the briefcase and opened it. All his money was safe inside, along with a note.
The note was hand written with a simple message: “I win.”
To be continued…Chapter Three