Ultimate Time Rangers: Chapter Three

First Day on the Job

 

From the Associated Press

Published in 2006

 

Armed with a tri-barreled plasma rifle, a man dressed in body armor locked employees and customers in a vault after robbing an Angel Grove bank.

Police have labeled such attackers as Meta-Criminals, a term describing their enhanced strength and special abilities. Investigators believe the Meta Criminals are from the same terrorist group that started attacking the city in 2001.

The Rangers have interfered with each attempt to learn more about the enhanced criminals, Angel Grove Assistant Police Chief Rick McQueary said.

“It was bad enough when they rampaged through the streets,” McQueary said. “Now they’re everywhere, stealing cars, dealing, kidnapping, putting lives on the line everywhere.”

The Rangers complicate matters by fighting Meta Criminals with no authority and escalating every situation into an all-out conflict, he said.

 

DAY ONE: MOVING IN

 

A car thief. Not a villain bent on global domination. Not a demon wanting to wipe out mankind. A car thief. The face of evil in Angel Grove had changed.

 

The criminal’s name was Kiisu. His body was v-shaped and capped off like a mushroom. His white body had a sky-blue hue to it. Segmented tentacles hung from his elbows, and his face was nothing but a thick, v-shaped compound eye.

 

The villain leapt onto the roof of a car and wrapped his tentacles through the driver-side and passenger-side windows. The tentacles released bursts of spark as they hotwired the car and triggered the ignition.

 

The sleek red sports car tore through the city streets, cutting around corners and plowing through traffic.

 

***

 

Wes led the other rangers to a subdivision of neighborhood businesses in the northern part of the city. The buildings were packed together and old but had the advantage of close access to the massive city’s subway and monorail systems.

 

Damien looked to Jenn. “I think we were better off in the alley.”

 

Wes overheard and looked back to them, a charming smile across his face. “Come on, guys. Trust me. You’re going to love this…”

 

He led them towards the back of a three-story building, where enough parking spots were available for ten vehicles. A staircase led up to a door on the building’s second level.

 

“This whole place is vacated,” Wes explained as he started walking up the steps, each step squeaking as the rangers walked over it.

 

“I can see why,” Damien said.

 

They entered a narrow hallway, which had one door to their left. They entered the door and stepped into a wide, empty white room. “Here it is,” Wes said with a smile.

 

Sion’s eyes opened wide. “This is great.”

 

“Sion,” Wes said as he placed a hand on his friend’s shoulder. “That’s why you’re my favorite.”

 

“There’s nothing here,” Lucas said.

 

“Not yet,” Wes said. “But there will be. This will be our office. There are two adjoining rooms we can use for bedrooms.”

 

Jenn arced her eyebrow. “Office?”

 

“Well, yeah,” Wes said. “We’ll have to work to make money, unless you plan to forage for food. Takku helped me think of jobs for all of your based on your skills.”

 

Wes pulled four papers out from a pocket on the inside of his over-shirt. He handed one to Sion. “I figured you could do computer repair, software design, that kind of thing.”

 

Sion’s face lit up.

 

“Did you really have to right these down?” Damien asked.

 

“Yes,” Wes said as he handed Damien a sheet of paper. “I figured you could run a women’s self-defense class.”

 

Damien smiled. “Well…this whole idea suddenly seems a whole lot better.”

 

“Lucas,” Wes said as he handed Lucas a sheet. “You can be a driver, chauffer, and that type of thing. I know a great place to get some junk cars we can spruce up for you.”

 

Lucas took the paper. He was less than enthusiastic.

 

“Jenn,” Wes said as he handed her a paper. “You can be an investigator…and other things.”

 

She took the paper from him.

 

“I’ll be starting a martial arts class,” Wes said.

 

Jenn sighed and shook her head, reluctantly accepting the fact that the empty white room would have to be their base and home until Dorunero and his criminals were all captured. “Alright, if we’re going to make this work we need better security…”

 

Jenn looked to Sion. “Sion, bring whatever you salvaged from the Time Ship in here. Start setting up a security perimeter. Sensor packages, emergency force fields, dampening fields, the works. We can’t let Dorunero find us, but if he does, we have to be prepared. Once you get everything set up, hack into the planet‘s orbital satellites.”

 

She looked to the rest of the rangers. “The rest of you have your…’jobs’…so take whatever you need.” She looked to Wes. “I’m assuming you have some money for them?”

 

“Yeah,” Wes said. “It’s the benefit of having rich grandparents who are generous during birthdays.”

 

***

 

A couple hours passed. Lucas was behind the wheel of an old, beat up sports car from the mid 1990’s. He never realized how slowly non-hover traffic moved.

 

He was on a  supposed Interstate that wrapped around the central core of Angel Grove, providing easy access to each side of the city. In three lanes of traffic, the cars barely moved past 70 mph.

 

He wove in an out of traffic was zooming past cars, tires screeching across pavement. A lopsided grin curled up on his face. 

 

Up ahead, Lucas noticed an armored truck barreling through traffic, knocking over any car or van that got in its way. The armored truck was used to deliver mass sums of money.

 

Lucas immediately noticed a meta-level criminal on top of the truck. He shifted gears and slammed the gas pedal to the floor.

 

The ranger swerved in and out of traffic while moving in towards the truck. Cars honked and smashed against each other, shattering glass and broken bumpers across the pavement.

 

It wasn’t long before police sirens sounded from behind. Lucas cursed beneath his breath.

 

***

 

Lira had set up a television within the tower. She had it tuned into helicopter footage of the high-speed chase.

 

“A Time Ranger is following Kiisu,” Lira said with peaked interest, her eyes glued to the screen.

 

Dorunero was browsing through rows of prisoners while puffing his cigar. “It’s not a Time Ranger, Lira.”

 

“It is,” she said as she leaned forward and rested her chin on her hand.

 

“Lira…” Dorunero took a puff from his cigar. “Time Rangers do not drive old sports cars.”

 

“This one does,” she said.

 

***

 

The chase moved the downtown area of Angel Grove West. Lucas stayed on the tail of the stolen truck, while a squad of police cars followed them both.

 

The armored truck turned a busy street corner too sharply, and the vehicle tipped onto its side while skidding across the pavement. The villain was thrown from the roof of the car and tumbled across the road.

 

Lucas skid his car to a halt and hopped out. Police cars parked in formation to barricade the road. They opened their car doors and stood behind them while aiming their weapons forward. “Freeze!”

 

One of the officers shouted.

 

Lucas stood with his back towards the officer and faced the criminal. The villain slowly climbed back to his feet.

 

Lucas armed his morpher. “Chrono, Trigger!” He slapped his brace’s activation panel. Strands of data energy circled around him as he morphed into his Ranger form.

 

Time Blue armed his double-bladed saber and charged forward to attack.

 

The villain whipped two tentacles towards the Rangers, thrashing the Blue Ranger across the chest with a burst of spark.

 

“Fire!” the officers shouted.

 

They opened fire with bullets that exploded harmlessly against the criminal and Rangers’ armor.

 

The criminal tossed a group of golden pellets from his hand. The pellets rolled across the ground and transformed into a group of junk droids that stood upright while arming short sabers. The drones moved towards the cops and attacked.

 

Explosions suddenly sparked across the grunts, knocking them back. Time Blue looked up to see the other four Rangers hop down from the Time Flier. They landed as the Rangers regrouped.

 

Time Pink thrust her badge forward and stepped closer to the criminal. “Kiisu. You’re under arrest for breaking the Temporal Accords.”

 

Kiisu scoffed and signaled the soldiers forward to attack. Time Blue armed a double-blades Vector Saber, Time Red armed his twin Vector Sabers, and the other Rangers activated their Vol cannons.

  

Time Red dashed past a group of junk droids with his saber whirling. He slashed through grunts, his blades tearing apart metal and thrashing through circuitry. The Red Ranger slammed a sidekick against a grunt’s chest and looked to his left while parrying a blow. Time Red swung his blades upward, tearing through the soldier as he turned to his right, thrashing his blades across another soldier’s body.

 

Time Red ran his finger across one of his blades, energizing the weapon with red energy. The Red Ranger spun while triggering his sword, sending an energy blade blast circling around the soldier like a helicopter blade, ripping the grunts apart.

 

Nearby, Time Yellow stalked forward while swinging his weapon left and right, blasting back soldiers with bursts of yellow energy before they could even come close.

 

Meanwhile, Time Blue highblocked a soldier’s blow and twisted the sword downward. He twirled his double-bladed weapon upward while tearing through a droid’s chest. The Blue Ranger moved to his left and swung left and right, twirling his weapon in a butterfly pattern that thrashed through the grunts.

 

Time Blue spun with a roundhouse kick that smashed across a soldier’s head. He ran his fingers along the right part of his blade. The saber energized with blue power. Time Blue swung the weapon and triggered the sword, firing a blue energy blade that shot through a group of soldiers, spearing through them while puncturing through their mechanical bodies.  

 

Kiisu whipped two lengthy tentacles forward. The tentacles wrapped tightly around Time Red and snapped him off his feet. The villain hurled the Red Ranger through the air and crashed him back against the streets.

 

The Red Ranger slowly rose back to his feet. But Kiisu sent volts of electric charges dancing down his tentacles and exploding against Time Red’s armor with a massive burst of sparks.

 

Time Blue leapt forward and slashed his blade through the criminal’s tentacles, cutting the Red Ranger free.

 

Time Red rose back to his feet. “Thanks.”

 

“Don’t mention it,” Time Blue said.

 

The criminal charged towards the Rangers.

 

“Let’s double team ‘im,” Time Red said.

 

The two Rangers held their blades outward and activated their Chrono Triggers, using their power to spin like drills while circling the criminal, their sword thrashing across the villain like helicopter blades, sparking on impact and knocking the criminal backward.

 

Time Red and Time Blue leapt forward and energized their sabers. “Time Strike!” they shouted while thrashing their blades across the criminal in streaks of power, the blades sparking on impact and sending the villain crashing backward.

 

The Rangers regrouped as information flashed across their visors. Takku was sending them data on how to combine their Vol weapons into a bazooka weapon.

 

“Chrono Launcher,” Time Red commanded.

 

The five Rangers combined their weapons into a bazooka. Time Green, Time Blue, Time Yellow, and Time Pin stood at the weapon’s sides, while Time Red grasped the weapon from behind.

 

“Target…locked on,” Time Red said as his visor zeroed in on the villain. “Chrono Launcher, fire!”

 

The bazooka shot an energy pulse that streaked towards the criminal. The blast was designed to explode against the criminal and shrink him while placing him in suspension. The pulse did explode against the criminal, but he ripped off his cryogenic patch before the blast could shrink him.

 

The villain’s body expanded as a result, every cell growing giant.

 

Time Red activated his communicator. “Takku!”

 

“Yokai,” Takku answered. The droid activated his temporal transceiver. “3-D system, stand by for launch!”

 

***

 

Angel Grove, 3006AD

 

A platform of five Time Jets surfaced at the end of the runway. The platform rotated and lined the red-trimmed jet into position with the Time Gate.

 

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, 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

 

A wormhole opened in the sky and the five zords streaked through, swooping down into the atmosphere.

 

“Time Flier,” Time Red 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.

 

“3-D Formation…” Time Red commanded as he grasped control levers to his side. “Time Robo, Alpha!”

 

The Time Jets stayed in tight formation and flew across the streets. Each zord started to reassemble and combine into a giant, red-armored zord. The 3-D formation completed as the Rangers activated their zord: the Time-Force Megazord, Mode Red.

 

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.

 

“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.

 

Time Red 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 criminal, but did not kill him. 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 villain.

 

***

 

Night came. Lucas was standing outside alone while taking boxes from a recently purchased, rusty van. He was parked in the back of their building. Pain suddenly shot through his chest, and his heart started racing. He leaned against the van as his breathing became short and rapid.

 

Wes stepped outside just in time to see Lucas collapse. Wes darted down the steps and ran to his teammate’s side.

 

“Lucas…” Wes said as he helped his friend to his feet. “What’s wrong…”

 

Lucas shrugged Wes off. The racer leaned against the van and tried to catch his breath, clutching his chest. He shook his head. “It’s nothing…”

 

“Nothing?” Wes said in disbelief. “You look like you’re about ready to die.”

 

Lucas shook his head. “Not for another year or so…”

 

Wes knitted his brow. “What?”

 

“Nothing,” Lucas said as he managed to calm himself. “Just forget about this. And don’t say anything to the others…”

 

“Lucas,” Wes said, “you’re freaking me out. Now what’s going on?”

 

Lucas sighed with frustration and looked away from Wes. “I have a genetic disease. There’s no cure, in my time or yours. I only have about a year before it kills me…”

 

***

 

From the Associated Press

Published in 2006

Taken from various news articles

 

The same man is responsible for kidnapping seven children in Angel Grove South on Monday, according to police.

The Angel Grove Police Department is searching for a man in his late 40s who appears homeless. The man reportedly asks children for help and leads them to city back streets where they disappear from sight.

Rumors that a Meta Criminal is responsible are unfounded, said David Park, a detective with Angel Grove police.

“We can’t let out imaginations jump to conclusions every time this happens,” Park said. “We are treating this as we would any other kidnapping, and don’t have time for monster theories.”

 

DAY TWO: RANSOM

 

Damien was not exactly having good look recruiting women for his self defense class. He stood in the center of an upper-street-level promenade while trying to pass out fliers that advertised his class.

 

He was rather picky about who he gave the fliers to.

 

Damien sighed with frustration as another potential customer passed him by. “Fine…be attacked…” He shook his head in disappointment. “I just don’t understand women of this century.”

 

“Damien,” a voice called from behind him. He turned to see Sion walk towards him. The off-worlder had a bright grin on his face, as always. “You’re right, they don’t understand how strong they could be if you taught them.”

 

Damien sighed and turned back to the crowds that walked past. “I’m a little busy now, Sion.”

 

“I know,” Sion said. “I came here to help.”

 

He was bored with computers for the day. He had tried to help the other rangers with their various jobs for the day, but each had turned him down. And they were not exactly nice about it.

 

Sion looked to passersby, his face bright with excitement. “Damien is the best fighter ever,” he said while trying to hand out fliers. Everyone walked past him without making eye contact, as if he was a homeless man begging for money.

 

Damien sighed with frustration and moved past Sion to a young woman.

 

Sion tilted his head and followed his teammate. “Damien…why are you only going after women?”

 

The woman turned and glared at Damien while quickening her pace.

 

Damien scoffed. He placed his arm around Sion and spoke quietly while leading him away from the crowds. “Look…I love everyone, I really do, but…Girls in this time didn’t all know how to defend themselves, see. It doesn’t matter who loves who. They need special attention.”

 

Damien turned and walked back towards a young woman. She smiled as he greeted her.

 

“If that’s true,” Sion said, his eyes opened wide as he grabbed Damien by the sleeve. “Then I love you, Damien!”

 

The woman wrinkled her nose with disgust and took a few steps away.

 

“No, no,” Damien said to her. “It’s not like that. I’m not-”

 

The woman turned and walked off.

 

Damien scoffed and pushed Sion away. The young ranger slammed against the ground. Damien had not meant to push the younger ranger so hard. He walked over and helped Sion to his feet. “You have to go.”

 

“That was a strong push,” Sion said. “Damien…teach me how to fight like you.”

 

“Fine,” Damien said firmly. “But first you have to go home. You’re really in the way. Go.”

 

Sion’s face dropped. “But Damien…”

 

Damien waved a hand dismissively and walked away.

 

***

 

Sion walked through the streets with his head hung low. None of his four teammates had needed him. He thought he finally had a group he could belong to, but apparently, he was wrong. He would always be alone. Always be an outsider.

 

Nearby, a pair of kids were playing a card game on a bench. A man watched the kids from an alley. The stranger had a heavy brown jacket that was as dirty as it was worn. His brown hair was disheveled, and his skin creased with wrinkles. The stranger grinned, a glimmer of lust in his eye.

 

He lifted three brown sacks into his arms and walked towards the boys. “Excuse me…could you help me carry my bags please? I’m afraid my back isn’t as good as it used to be and-”

 

The kids grabbed their cards and started running. Well, the stranger thought, boys in 2006 aren’t nearly as fearless as my time period.

 

Sion spotted the man and opened his eyes wide with excitement. He hurried over to the stranger. “I’ll help you,” he said with a smile. Finally, a chance to be needed.

 

Sion took the bags from the man and started walking off down the street.

 

The man grinned, a glimmer of evil shining in his eyes.

 

***

 

Various cardboard boxes still cluttered the rangers’ office. The room was furniture with two desks for computers and a filing cabinet to store prisoner capsules.

 

“We need chairs,” Wes said to himself. “How have we forgotten chairs?”

 

Wes’ cell phone ran in his pocket. He was using his cell number as a temporary business number. “Hello?” he answered.

 

“I have someone who belongs to you,” the voice on the other end of the line said. “Sion. You will deliver $5,000 if you want to see him back alive. You have one day. You will be contacted with further instructions. You contact the police, he dies.”

 

***

 

The stranger tossed Sion onto the cold, concrete ground. He was in an apartment complex basement, lined with shelves. A few other children huddled in the corners.

 

Sion knitted his brow with confusion and looked up to the stranger. “What are you doing?”

 

The stranger smiled and leaned down while tilting Sion’s head up by the chin. He leaned in close. “You really don’t understand, do you? How precious. You see…you’ve been kidnapped. And if I don’t see some money soon, you die.”

 

The criminal stepped back and dropped his holographic disguise. The villain was a creature’s whose flat face resembled a frog. From head to toe, he was covered in a red and white body suit trimmed with black. Each of his fingers were long and tubular.

 

***

 

The other rangers had regrouped in the office.

 

“So what are we supposed to do?” Wes asked. “We don’t have that kind of money.”

 

“You could ask your father,” Lucas said.

 

Jenn shook her head. “Even if we did pay, there’s no guarantee we would get Sion back.”

 

Their communicators chimed. Jenn answered, and Sion’s voice came through. The young ranger was whispering. “Guys…don’t be mad. I’m sorry.”

 

Damien narrowed his eyes and activated his communicator. “Sion,” he practically shouted. “What did you think you were-”

 

Sion shushed him. “Please…keep your voice down. I can’t let him know I’m a Ranger. That could Dorunero back to you guys and the office.”

 

“Where are you?” Wes asked.

 

“Have Takku trace my signal,” Sion said.

 

Sion hunched besides a shelf. The other children were looking at him with quizzical expressions on their faces.

 

“We’re coming for you,” he heard Jenn say through his communicator. “Just hang on.”

 

The communication ended. Sion slid his brace back into his pocket to hide the device. He looked at the children, each had fear in their eyes. “Don’t worry…help will get here soon.”

 

***

 

Takku was connected to the computer terminal in the rangers’ office. Wes was pacing back and forth.

 

“I don’t understand…” he said. “How could he get kidnapped.”

 

Takku spoke from next to the computer. “He barely understood the social structure of Earth in his own time. The past…your present…is even more foreign for him.”

 

Wes knitted his brow. “Is he an alien?”

 

“We don‘t use that word,” Damien said. “He’s from the Hummard’s Star System.”

 

Jenn arced an eyebrow and turned to Takku. “Hummard’s Star? Didn’t that go nova a few years back?”

 

“Yes,” Takku explained. “Sion’s homeworld, Hummard IV, was destroyed in the shockwave. A few dozen groups of his people escaped in transport vessels. But the transport ships were destroyed by space pirates. Sion was the only survivor.

 

“Scientists in the Elan system discovered him in 2999. He was only one-year-old at the time,” Circuit continued.

 

“Huh,” Wes said. “That would only make him seven. How is that possible?”

 

“His people mature faster than most species, and yet their life spans are nearly five times as long,” Takku explained. “Rogue Aloc scientists discovered Sion in an escape pod. For more than the first half of his life, he was raised in an isolated laboratory. Technicians studied his every move and thought. They were fascinated by Sion’s innate intelligence and intellect. They hoped to eventually corrupt the boy and use him against the planet’s government.

 

“Aloc’s local SPD Ranger team infiltrated the scientists lab and freed Sion,” Takku explained. “He was taken to Earth, where he was studied further. Studied further in isolation…”

 

Damien rolled his hands into fists. Guilt and anger welled up inside of him. Sion was just like a kid, Damien realized. He had abandoned a kid in a strange, unfamiliar city. He had left Sion alone, and now he was gone. 

 

***

 

The villain opened the gate and slowly walked towards one of the boys. “You’re mother is late…I’m afraid you are going to have to die.”

 

Sion narrowed his eyes. He sprang forward and tackled against the criminal, holding the villain backward.

 

The ranger looked to the kids. “Run,” he said.

 

The kids scrambled to their feet and ran off.

 

The villain slammed a punch against Sion’s gut and knocked him backward.

 

***

 

The fight moved outside. Sion tumbled across an alley as the criminal stalked towards him. His body was bruised and battered. Green blood trickled down his face. He reached into his pocket for his morpher, but hesitated.

 

He could not risk the villain connecting the Rangers to his friends.

 

The criminal kicked Sion while he was down. The villain leaned over and swung a punch down towards the ranger’s skull.

 

A fist appeared as if from nowhere and knocked the criminal away. It was Damien. He and the others had arrived at the scene.

 

Damien leaned down and helped Sion sit up. “Sion…why didn’t you morph?”

 

Sion shook his head. “I didn’t want to make any more trouble for you…Damien…”

 

Guilt choked him. Damien narrowed his eyes and helped Sion to his feet. “Idiot…getting yourself killed…that will make trouble.”

 

Wes nodded. “You’re our friend.”

 

Jenn armed her morpher. “Fight with us.”

 

Sion nodded and strapped on his morpher.

 

“Chrono, Trigger!” They slapped their braces’ activation panels. Streams of data swirled around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms, their backs towards the villain when they landed.

 

The five Rangers snapped around to face the villain while shouting their names.

 

“Time Red!”

 

“Blue!”

 

“Green”

 

“Yellow!”

 

“Pink!”

 

They thrust their badges forward. “Time Ranger!”

 

“You!” Time Yellow shouted, his badge still extended as he and the others took a few steps forward. “You’re under arrest for breaking the Temporal Accords. Now it‘s judgment time.”

 

The criminal fired a particle burst with his right eye patch. The blast exploded around the Rangers with a burst of spark as they dove and rolled for cover.

 

They rose back to their feet as Time Red started forward to attack, but Time Yellow stopped him. “Don’t…” the Yellow Ranger said. “He’s mine.”

 

Time Yellow looked to Time Green. “You wanted me to teach you how to fight? Pay attention…”

 

Time Yellow slowly stalked towards the villain. The criminal charged forward and attacked with a surprising amount of strength and speed. The Yellow Ranger blocked a kick and ducked under a hook punch.

 

Time Yellow rose back to full height and swung the back of his fist towards the villain’s face, but the criminal knocked the Yellow Ranger’s arm away and slammed a kick against his chest. The villain followed with a hook punch across the helmet.

 

Time Yellow crashed backward.

 

“Not bad…” the Yellow Ranger said as he climbed to his feet. “But you waste too many movements.”

 

The criminal spun forward while thrashing his fingers across the Ranger’s armor, sparking on impact.

 

Time Yellow grabbed the villain’s arm and kicked its legs out while twirling the villain around. The Yellow Ranger released his grasp and sent the kidnapper flying through the air. The villain smashed onto the hood of a car, shattering the windshield.

 

“Hurts, doesn’t it?” Time Yellow said as he stalked towards the villain.

 

The criminal slowly climbed back to his feet.

 

Time Yellow leaned forward and slammed a combination of powerful punches against the villain. Jab, cross, jab cross, each blow sparking on impact.

 

The Yellow Ranger grabbed the villain by the arm and lifted him overhead before flipping him to the ground.

 

The criminal armed a double-edged blade and pounced forward to attack the Yellow Ranger. The villain swung his blade down towards Time Yellow’s head.

 

Time Green pounced forward and blocked the blow with his left Vector Saber. He sidekicked the criminal backward and thrashed his right saber across the villain’s body, blade sparking on impact. The Green Ranger chopped both blades across the villain with a massive burst of spark that knocked the criminal backward.

 

Time Yellow stepped forward, his back to Time Green, and extended his rams. “Finish him.”

 

Time Green leapt onto Time Yellow’s shoulders and pushed off, angling his descent towards the criminal while holding his two sabers in a noon and 9 position.

 

“Time Strike!” He swung the blades through streaks of green power that exploded against the villain, sending the criminal crashing backward and skidding across the ground and secondary explosions sparkled across his body.

 

The Rangers regrouped as the criminal stumbled to his feet.

 

“Chrono Launcher,” Time Red commanded.

 

The five Rangers combined their weapons into a bazooka. Time Green, Time Blue, Time Yellow, and Time Pin stood at the weapon’s sides, while Time Red grasped the weapon from behind.

 

“Target…locked on,” Time Red said as his visor zeroed in on the villain. “Chrono Launcher, fire!”

 

The bazooka shot an energy pulse that streaked towards the criminal. The blast exploded against the criminal, causing a chain reaction that shrank the villain and placed him in suspension. 

 

***

 

The rangers returned to the office. Damien was dressing up Sion’s wounds. The young ranger smiled as he looked at the bandage wrapped around his arm. “You’re good at that, Damien.”

 

“I’m a pro fighter,” Damien said. “I’ve fixed up worse than this before.”

 

Wes looked at Sion’s green blood and smiled with amazement. “An alien…I can’t believe I didn’t know.”

 

“I told you,” Damien said firmly. “Don’t say ‘alien.’”

 

Sion looked up to Wes. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.”

 

“It’s alright,” Wes said as he shuffled the ranger’s hair. “Your hair…I always thought you were dying it.”

 

“I am,” Sion said, his eyes opened wide. “I’ve been dying it since I was three. I thought it would look cool…so does it?”

 

“Sure,” Wes said. “For an alien.”

 

“Hey,” Damien said as he got to his feet and stalked after Wes. Wes laughed and ran towards the hall.

 

Sion smiled brightly and followed. “Wes! Damien! Where are you going?” 

 

***

 

From the Associated Press

Published in 2006

Taken from various news articles

 

About 500 residents died in a riot Tuesday night in Angel’s Square.

The square remained closed early Wednesday as investigators at the scene tried to determine what caused the incident, which police are calling the Angel’s Massacre. 

 

DAY THREE: MEDICAL COVERAGE

 

The office was finally set up.

 

A coffee table and two loveseats were set up in an L-shaped formation in an office corner. The couches faced a high-definition television set.

 

The congruent corner still had a table with two computers set up as Sion’s work station. He had various computer chips and pieces of electrical equipment spread out across a table that sat besides the computer monitor.

 

Cabinets lined the opposite wall. Five of the cabinets were for each ranger. The heavily-locked cabinet held captured prisoners. A small, circular table sat in the middle of the floor. Takku was perched on a hat rack nearby. 

 

The television was showing a horrifying piece of news. A group of dead bodies had littered the streets at dawn. Police had no idea how they ended up there.

 

“I remember something like in our time,” Jenn said as she watched the TV with her arms crossed. She looked to Takku. “Takku…access your data base.”

 

Takku flew to his perch next to the computer and plugged in. He uploaded his data onto the computer. “In 2975,” Takku explained. “The same circumstances happened for a straight week. Every morning at dawn, piles of dead had lined the streets. The man responsible…”

 

Takku loaded the prisoner file onto the computer. “Prisoner Number SC-08M. Gowagen. He was a medical doctor on Lunar Colony Armstrong. He developed an affinity for watching people die.”

 

“So it was him?” Damien asked. “He killed all those people?”

 

“He did something far worse,” Takku explained. “He uses a device to gain control of their minds, and he has them slaughter each other.”

 

Jenn narrowed her eyes. “We have to find him before nightfall.”

 

***

 

A news photographer named Emily crouched behind bushed on a hill. She looked down to an underpass that led into Angel’s Square. The underpass was guarded by two patrol cars and three police officers.

 

She bit her lower lip and narrowed her brow, trying to think of a way inside. Her editor needed pictures, and she was going to deliver. Photographs of strange happenings in the city were a specialty of hers.

 

She had a knack for finding trouble and getting it on film.

 

She pulled a small pack of fire crackers her from camera bag. She lit a fuse and tossed the pack.

 

The fireworks went off, creakingly gunshots. The cops drew their weapons and faced the noise as Emily snuck behind them and moved through the underpass. She smiled to herself and pulled out her camera.

 

***

 

Angel’s Square used to be the busiest part of the city during all hours of the day. Shoulder packed crowds, honking horns, and blinking signs that put Times Square to shame.

 

But today the streets were empty and quiet.

 

A manhole cover slid open as the five rangers climbed out.

 

“Can we please never do that again?” Wes asked Jenn.

 

“I’ll think about it,” she said.

 

Jenn pulled her sleeve off of her brace. Sion had programmed their morphers to detect the criminal’s mind-control devise. “Let’s split up.”

 

The rangers walked off separately.

 

Wes walked along a street of buildings, the first few floors of which were retail shops, with condominiums on the top floors. He heard something fall from the roof and dove aside. Several pots of flowers shattered on the concrete behind him. He looked up, but saw no one.

 

A few streets away, Sion looked into the window of a vacated sports store. A lone man was sitting on the ground. His eyes were open wide with insanity. He was using a hammer to slam nails into a wooden bat.

 

Jenn was moving through an alley while trying to get a trace of the criminal’s device. She heard a scream.

 

The ranger darted from the alley and looked across the street. The photographer, Emily, was on a railed extension that wrapped around the second story of a building.  A man had her in a chokehold from behind.

 

Jenn dashed forward towards the building’s steps. She darted up the steps and onto the balcony. The ranger ran towards Emily and slammed a punch against her attacker’s face. Jenn grabbed Emily by the arm and quickly led her down the staircase. They took cover by a nearby alley.

 

Jenn narrowed her eyes at the young photographer. “Who are you, and what are you doing here?”

 

Emily pulled her arm away. “I could say the same thing about you, missy. I’m working.”

 

Jenn glanced down at Emily’s camera. The ranger arced an eyebrow at the photographer. “Do you have any idea how stupid it was to come here? You could have been killed.”

 

“I’ve been in worse situations,” Emily said as she checked her camera to make sure it wasn’t damaged. “I was one of the only field photographers in the world get to get decent shots of that Quantron mess a few months back. This is a cake walk in comparison.”

 

Jenn narrowed her eyes. “More than 500 people are dead. I suggest you quit snooping around and go home before you add another figure to the body count.”

 

Jenn walked off.

 

***

 

The sun was starting to set.

 

A few streets away, Sion’s brace started to flash. His face brightened as he opened a comm line to his teammates. “I found it…I found the device…”

 

Sion cut through an alley and ran towards the signal. He and the rangers regrouped and ran towards the criminal while staying out of sight.

 

***

 

The villain’s slender body was dressed in white armor and a white cape. The criminal’s helmet was slim and tall. He stood in a plaza area lined with bushes and trees. He was warming up his mind-control device, a cylinder-shaped object.

 

A hill sloped down to the plaza. The Rangers were in their armor and crouching for cover behind a row of bushes. Time Pink armed her Vol Sniper and aimed the weapon downward.

 

The Pink Ranger cursed beneath her breath when she spotted Emily hiding behind a bush below, frighteningly close to the criminal. She lowered her weapon and looked to Time Red. “There’s a civilian down there.”

 

Below, Emily leaned out to get a better shot, but she tripped and crashed to the ground. The villain heard the noise and turned to face the photographer.

 

Time Pink sighed with frustration and stood. “She’s ruining everything.”

 

The five Ranger pounced off the hill and leapt downward, landing at the plaza below.

 

The criminal fired tendrils of electric energy that thrashed around the Rangers and pulsed with golden light. The Rangers collapsed onto the stairs as the energy vanished.

 

Time Red slowly rose to his feet and rolled his hands into fists. The Red Ranger leapt through the air and angled his decent towards the villain while swinging a fist. Feet away from the monster, Time Red slammed against an invisible barrier that pulsed with golden power, exploding across Time Red’s chest with a burst of spark and knocking him backward.

 

The criminal laughed mockingly at the Ranger sand walked off.

 

“Vol weapons,” Time Pink said as the Rangers armed their large blasters. They aimed the weapons forward and fired pulse blasts that exploded against the barrier, ricocheted off of the force field, and exploded back against the five Rangers with bursts of spark.

 

Emily watched as the Rangers rose back to their feet. They aimed their weapons and fired again. The blasts exploded against the force field, cracking the barrier.

 

“It’s mine,” Time Yellow said as he walked towards the crack. He reached back and swung a powerful punch against the barrier. His punch shattered through the barrier, destroying the force field.

 

Emily opened her eyes wide with awe. She lifted her camera and started taking pictures.

 

The sun started to set across the horizon.

 

Time Pink turned towards the photographer and stalked forward. Her eyes were staring like daggers beneath her helmet. Emily kept shooting pictures. Time Pink slapped the back of her hand across Emily’s face.

 

“You shouldn’t have been down here,” she said firmly. “People are probably going to die here because of you. Just so you can get your picture. Do you journalists even have brains?”

 

The sun had set.

 

Hundreds piled onto the streets. They were in zombie-like trances while forming into two groups that marched towards each other. They carried make-shift torches, bats, drills and any tool they could turn into a weapon.

 

Gowagen retreated to the rooftops to watch. His insane laughter echoed across the streets as the two groups of brainwashed residents stalked closer towards each other.

 

Nearby, Emily crouched on the streets, watching as the mobs approached each other. She opened her eyes wide with horror when she noticed some members of the mob were children.

 

The Rangers hurried away from the plaza. Time Yellow hesitated and looked back to Emily. He ran over to her for a moment. The Yellow Ranger leaned down and placed a hand on the young woman’s shoulder. “Hey…it’s going to be okay. Just try to find cover and do what you can to get to safety.”

 

She looked up, in awe at the Ranger’s presence.

 

Time Yellow turned and joined his teammates.

 

***

 

The criminal’s glowing eyes were open wide with anticipation. The mobs were mere feet apart. It was about to happen.

 

The villain had moved down to a wide, concrete staircase that led to a plaza in front of a museum. His mind-control device was pulsing with power in front of him.

 

The Time Flier suddenly swooped down from the air. The craft fired lances of blue energy that exploded against the criminal and knocked him backward, shattering his device in the process.

 

The mobs lowered their weapons as the fog lifted from their minds.

 

The criminal scrambled backward and tried to run for cover as the Rangers leapt from the flier. They landed on the steps with their backs towards the criminal. The five Rangers snapped around to face the villain while shouting their names.

 

“Time Red!”

 

“Blue!”

 

“Green”

 

“Yellow!”

 

“Pink!”

 

They thrust their badges forward. “Time Ranger!”

 

Time Pink slowly stepped towards the monster while extending her badge. “Gowagen…you’re under arrest for breaking the Temporal Accords…”

 

The criminal threw a handful of golden nuts and bolts onto the ground. The bolts liquefied and took shape, forming a group of junk droid soldiers.

 

Time Red leapt through the air and landed while thrashing through a droid with his double-bladed Vector Saber. He turned to his left and swung the blade upward, slashing across a grunt with a burst of spark. The soldier’s body whipped backward and crashed against the ground, circuits hanging and sparking from its wound.

 

Time Blue tornado kicked a grunt aside. He completed his spin by thrashing his double-blades Vector Saber through a second grunt’s body, cutting the soldier in half.

 

Time Pink and Time Green stood near each other. The Pink Ranger swung her blades outward in an ’x’ pattern that tore open a soldier’s chest with a massive burst of spark. Time Green slammed a roundkick against a grunt’s chest and chopped a knifehand strike onto the back of the soldier’s neck.

 

Nearby, Emily watched from behind a row of columns. She started taking pictures, but lowered the camera when she saw Time Yellow using his double-edged blade to thrash through a group of droids, his blades cutting deeply through the grunts.

 

His moves were quick and strong. His body a refined weapon. She smiled as she watched him slash his way through enemy soldiers.

 

The criminal suddenly lunged towards Time Yellow. The Yellow Ranger smashed a punch against the villain’s face, knocking the criminal backward.

 

Gowagen slowly rose into a crouched position and thrust his hand forward, firing jagged blasts of electric energy. Time Yellow rolled away as the energy blast exploded against the ground with a burst of spark.

 

The Yellow Ranger rose to his knees and swung his Vector Saber forward, triggering an energy blade that shot against the villain, sparking on impact.

 

Time Yellow ran his fingers along each of his blades. Each blade energized with yellow power. The Yellow ranger swung downward, twisted his wrists, and swung upward, the blades streaking with power while thrashing across the villain. 

 

Explosions thrashed across the villain’s armor and knocked him off his feet. The five Rangers regrouped.

 

“Chrono Launcher,” Time Red commanded.

 

The five Rangers combined their weapons into a bazooka. Time Green, Time Blue, Time Yellow, and Time Pin stood at the weapon’s sides, while Time Red grasped the weapon from behind.

 

“Target…locked on,” Time Red said as his visor zeroed in on the villain. “Chrono Launcher, fire!”

 

The bazooka shot an energy pulse that streaked towards the criminal. The blast exploded against the criminal, causing a chain reaction that shrank the villain and placed him in suspension. 

 

***

 

Emily sat on her apartment, shifting through her pictures. One series of shots were pictures of Wes, Jenn, Lucas, Damien, and Sion. Jenn was obviously Time Pink, Emily told herself.

 

She looked at a picture of Lucas. He was around her age, square shoulders, a strong mysterious look, but seemed to have an inner sensitivity to him. Emily smiled. “Time Yellow…” she said while looking at Lucas’s picture.

 

***

 

From the Associated Press

Published in 2006

Taken from various news articles

 

A gang war on the city’s eastside left three dead and more than a dozen wounded Wednesday.

Everyone involved was a juvenile, according to police reports.

Various youth gangs are becoming more organized and high profile, engaging in acts of violence ranging from mugging to arson.

 

DAY FOUR: FIRST STUDENT

 

It was 1 a.m.

 

Thirteen-year-old Ben stood outside in his backyard. Rope was tied tight around the tree. The young teenager slammed his fists against the tree in a steady rhythm.

 

Ben was Wes’s first student in a karate class. He enrolled in the class because of one simple reason: bullies. A group of punks had tormented him for days. The right side of his face was still fresh with bruises left over from the encounter.

 

Ben’s mother peaked her head outside. “Ben…it’s one o’clock in the morning. You have to be up for school in five hours.”

 

Ben kept hitting the tree. “Ben, sweetie…you’re scaring me.”

 

***

 

Later in the morning, Ben’s mother sat with Wes in the office.

 

“He was up all night,” she explained. “He’s been like this for days, even before joining your class. I…I don’t know what’s wrong.”

 

“Have you tried talking to his teacher?” Wes asked.

 

Ben’s mother scoffed. “For all the good it did me. She’s not a pleasant woman. Anyway…Ben has looked up to you since he met you. I was hoping you could talk to him?”

 

Wes nodded. “I’ll see what I can do.”

 

***

 

Wes walked across a courtyard outside of Ben’s school. The young teenager attended a poor school district on the northern edge of the city. But school grounds were surprisingly well kept with trees, bushes, and patches of flowers.

 

Ben tended to a small group patch of flowers as a group of four older teenagers walked over to him. They each wore red slashes around their left arms. The leader had dark, disheveled hair died with blonde streaks. His cronies called him Boss.

 

He stepped forward, his hands in his pockets, and looked down to Ben. “Well?”

 

Ben did not make eye contact or say a word. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad of money. One of the cronies grabbed the money and handed it to their leader, who quickly counted the cash.

 

Boss narrowed his brow. “This is only half of what I asked for.”

 

Ben shook his head. “It’s the best I could do.”

 

Boss looked to his lackeys. “Get this worthless shit to his feet.”

 

They grabbed Ben by the arms and lifted him from the ground. Boss grabbed Ben by the collar and reached back with his other harm to deliver a punch.

 

Wes stepped onto the scene at that moment. “Hey!”

 

Boss slammed a punch against Ben’s face. Ben crashed against the ground and skid backward, his elbows rubbing against the pavement. The bullies walked off.

 

***

 

Wes sat with Ben in the nurse’s office.

 

“They’re part of a gang,” Ben explained. “The Yakuza, or something. They were recruit a couple days ago.”

 

“Have you told anyone?” Wes asked.

 

Ben nodded. “Yeah, but they won’t do anything about it. This is why I took your class…I want to fight them. I want to hurt them for what they’ve been doing.”

 

***

 

The rangers gathered around a table in their office. Jenn spread a large map of Angel Grove across the table. The map showed basic locations throughout each of Angel Grove’s five massive subsections.

 

“The Yakuza was the name of the Japanese mafia in this time period,” Jenn explained. “That’s where these gangs got the names. So far, they’ve been spreading in small pockets across the city. I haven’t been able to find any pattern.”

 

Lucas’s arms were crossed over his chest. “Is it Dorunero?”

 

“It could be,” Jenn said.

 

Wes nodded. “Either that, or an odd coincidence in timing. Ben said the gang members in his school were recruited just a couple days ago.”

 

Jenn nodded thoughtfully. “It would make sense for Dorunero to start with gangs and thugs before getting involved with the criminal element’s heavy players. That will give him some backing, along with financing.”

 

Wes nodded. “We should talk to the gang members at Ben’s school. It seems like a good place to start.”

 

***

 

Ben was walking home from school. Boss and his group of thugs stepped out onto the sidewalk to block his path. The gang leader extended his hand and stalked forward. “I want the other half.”

 

Ben kept his gaze down, not making eye contact with Boss or the gang member’s cronies.

 

Boss slapped the back of his hand across Ben’s face. Ben crashed to the ground as one of the gang members tore his backpack away. The thugs dumped the bags contents across the sidewalk.

 

“Leave me alone…” Ben said quietly.

 

Boss kicked Ben while he was down.

 

Ben rolled his hands into fists. “I said…leave me alone!”

 

Ben sprang to his feet and slammed a punch against Boss’s face. The blow knocked Boss off his feet, smashing the thug’s nose and knocking him unconscious.  

 

The teenager heard someone clapping from behind. He turned to see a strange woman walking onto the scene. She slowly clapped while looking at Ben, a large smile spread across her face.

 

***

 

Hours passed.

 

Teen thugs gathered in an old abandoned warehouse. Flags and banners with various kanji symbols decorated the warehouse. The strange woman led Ben to a rectangular table at the front of the warehouse.

 

She stood behind him while placing her hands on his shoulders. “This young one defeated your leader with ease. You will show him the same respect you show me.”

 

A lopsided grin crossed Ben’s face.

***

  

The strange woman walked into the Londaraz lair and approached Dorunero. The woman flickered as she powered down her holographic disguise. She was a he: the criminal named Furan.

 

Furan wore a dark-red trenchcoat with yellow trimming that looked like fire. He wore all black beneath the jacket and black slacks. The alien’s skin was chalk-white with some traces of a purple tint. He wore black sunglasses and a green Mohawk.

 

Furan laughed as he started counting cash from his pockets. “Kids in this time period are so gullible.”

 

***

 

He had only been on the job for an hour, but Ben was fitting in quite nicely. He held his head up high as he and his cronies walked through a park. The cronies grabbed a teenager by the arm and pushed him up against a tree.

 

Ben smirked and stepped forward. It felt good to get back at the world, he said, ignoring his own conscious. He extended his hand. “I’ll take your wallet. Don’t think about doing anything stupid.”

 

***

 

The rangers tracked down Boss’s home in a run-down part of the city.

 

“I’m done with them,” Boss aid while standing his doorway. “Now get the hell away from house.”

 

Wes put his hand on the door before Boss could close it. “Then who’s in charge.”

 

“That little friend of yours,” Boss said. “But I doubt he’ll last long.”

 

***

 

Later that night, Furan stood in his woman disguise while speaking alone to Ben. The criminal was not happy. He had a suitcase full of money, but not nearly enough. “This is all you could get in one night?”

 

Ben narrowed his brow. “Oh, come on. What’s wrong with-“

 

Furan reached forward and grabbed the boy by the throat. “Respect. Learn to use it.”

 

The rear door burst open as Wes and the others entered the room.

 

“Let him go,” Wes said firmly to the criminal.

 

Furan cursed beneath his breath and tossed Ben aside before running out the door. The rangers followed, running outside into a wide alley that separated the warehouses. The villain armed a whip weapon once he realized he could not run, and the rangers readied their morphers.

 

“Chrono, Trigger!” They slapped their braces’ activation panels. Streams of data swirled around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms, their backs towards the villain when they landed.

 

The five Rangers snapped around to face the villain while shouting their names.

 

“Time Red!”

 

“Blue!”

 

“Green”

 

“Yellow!”

 

“Pink!”

 

They thrust their badges forward. “Time Ranger!”

 

Time Pink slowly stepped towards the villain while extending her badge. “Furan…you’re under arrest for breaking the Temporal Accords…”

 

Furan twirled a whip shaped like a thin octopus tentacle. He snapped the whip, emitting an energy discharge of electric power that exploded against the Rangers’ armor with a burst of spark while knocking them backward.

 

The criminal snapped his whip out, wrapping the tendril around Time Red’s neck. The villain pulled back, tugging the Red Ranger off his feet and sending him tumbling across the ground.

 

The villain lifted Time Red by the neck and slammed him back-first against a wall. Time Red struggled to breath as the villain’s grip tightened like a vice.

 

The Red Ranger slammed his fists beneath the villain’s arms. The criminal dropped Time Red, and the Red Ranger moved forward as soon as his feet touched the ground, snapping a sidekick that smashed against the villain’s chest, knocking the criminal backward.

 

Time Red sprang through the air and slammed a flying punch against the criminal, forcing the villain backward. The Red Ranger pressed forward with a flying sidekick, and followed with a flying knifehand chop that crashed against the criminal’s collar bone.

 

Time Red punched forward with a rapid volley of punches that slammed against the criminal, pounding his flesh and cracking his bone. The Red Ranger’s final punch cracked across the villain’s face, sending him flying off his feet.

 

The criminal crashed backward as his cryo patch tore off. The patch’s removal caused a chain reaction in the criminal’s DNA. The villain’s body expanded and grew giant.

 

Time Red activated his communicator. “Takku!”

 

“Yokai,” Takku answered, the Japanese word for ’roger.’ The droid activated his temporal transceiver. “3-D system, stand by for launch!”

 

***

 

Angel Grove, 3006AD

 

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 answered Takku’s call.

 

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, 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

 

A wormhole opened in the sky and the five zords streaked through, swooping down into the atmosphere.

 

“Time Flier,” Time Red 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.

 

“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 as they 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. The Time Rangers reached forward and grabbed the Lancers.

 

Furan twirled his whip and charged towards the Megazord. The whip snapped forward, but the Time-Force Megazord caught the whip with its right hand and slammed its left fist against the villain.

 

Furan went flying backward, crashing through a nearby building before crashing against the ground.

 

“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.

 

Furan snapped his whip, firing bursts of electric energy that exploded against the Megazord with a burst of spark. The Time-Force Megazord walked through the explosions, stalking towards its opponent.

 

“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.

 

***

 

Wes sat with Ben on the boy’s steps.

 

“This has been…one hell of a day,” Ben said.

 

“You could say that,” Wes said.

 

“I saw you, you know. Hat Ranger thing,” Ben said.

 

“You can’t tell anyone,” Wes said.

 

Ben shook his head. “I won’t…”

 

“Good,” Wes said. “So, tell me what happened. Why did you do it?”

 

Ben shrugged. “It just felt…good. It was the first time I didn’t feel weak. I guess I got a little carried away. Now…now I feel like crap.”

 

“Well…you should,” Wes said.

 

Ben nodded. “I’m taking the money back tomorrow. I’ll probably…god, I am in so much trouble.”

 

Wes patted Ben on the back. “Yes you are. Now I’m not really good at…talking about these kind of things. I’ve gotten into my fair of trouble too. Just remember that you‘re not learning martial arts to be a bully. You‘re better than them. And just because you can beat them up, doesn‘t mean you should.”

 

Ben nodded. “I won’t do this again. It felt…wrong.”

 

“Good,” Wes said. 

 

***

 

From the Associated Press

Published in 2006

Taken from various news articles

 

An unknown sniper killed five city businessman Thursday.

Each businessman was rumored to have connections with Angel Grove’s criminal element, according to police.

 

DAY FIVE: STALKERS AND SNIPERS

 

Emily was in trouble again. She had entered her apartment to find an unexpected visitor: a meta criminal.

 

The villain’s flat, almost featureless pale blue face had black glossy eyes and a slit for a mouth. Plates of pale-gray armor that looked like leafs covered her body, legs, and arms. She wore red garments beneath the armor.

 

The criminal wore brown gloves with a wrist-mounted cannon on her right arm. Leaf plates of armor were draped across her head as well. Her name was Reihou.

 

“Welcome home,” Reihou said. The villain had been rummaging through Emily’s scrap books and photo clippings from work, specifically, the pictures of the Time Rangers. She held up the latest front-page picture. “You seem to have taken many pictures of these Time Rangers.”

 

Emily turned to run off towards the door. But Reihou fired a burst from her wrist blaster that buzzed past Emily’s head and shot through the wall. Emily stopped in her tracks, frozen with fear.

 

“No reason to leave,” Reihou said. “I just want to talk…”

 

***

 

The rangers huddled around the coffee table in their office. They had the latest photo page of a city newspaper spread across the table, and the photo page features pictures of the Time Rangers. Each picture was taken by Emily.

 

“It’s that same girl we ran into a couple days ago in Angel’s Square,” Jenn said. “How can she always track us?”

 

“Do you think she knows who we are?” Wes asked. “That would explain how she shows up at the right moment.”

 

“I don’t know,” Jenn said, “but this has to stop. Sion…can you track down her address?”

 

Sion nodded and turned to his computer.

 

Wes smiled. “You could just use a phone book…”

 

***

 

The rangers arrived at Emily’s apartment to find her rooms empty and in shambles. Someone had clearly broken into the apartment, and it looked like Emily had been kidnapped.

 

The rangers looked through her things for a clue as to what had happened.

 

“Man,” Wes said as he looked through a stack of pictures. “She sure has a lot of pictures of us. Especially you, Damien.”

 

Damien walked over to Wes and looked at the various pictures of Time Yellow.

 

Lucas eventually noticed a bullet hole in the apartment wall. “Look at this,” he said to the others. “It’s some kind of blaster mark.”

 

Sion’s eyes opened wide. “Takku can analyze it.”

 

Minutes later, the rangers returned to their office as Takku processed data about the bullet hole and bullet itself. The bullet type was not developed in the current time period, which meant it came from the future. Takku found only one criminal in the Londaraz group that used such ammunition.

 

Takku uploaded the criminal’s information onto the rangers’ computer. “Prisoner number AG-38M. Reihou. Convicted on twelve counts of assassination/murder, and six counts of murder. Sentenced for 180 years.”

 

***

 

The criminal’s plan was perfect. One of Emily’s pictures showed a side-by-side image of Time Yellow and Lucas, who Emily mistakenly thought was the Yellow Ranger. Reihou planned to wait until the ranger approached Emily, and shoot the ranger down from the distance.

 

Emily sat alone on a square, concrete block in the center of a wide, open plaza. Reihou watched from above, taking cover on a balcony that wrapped around one of the city’s high-rise office buildings. The villain’s wrist blaster was armed, and a targeting device activated over her right eye.

 

She waited.

 

Below, Emily eyes her surroundings as tension nearly choked her. A strange collar was around her neck, blinking, sending a signal to bait the Time Rangers.

 

Emily knew Reihou was watching. The criminal would kill Time Yellow the second she saw him. She would never forgive herself if that happened.

 

***

 

Takku received the signal. The droid uploaded a 3-D rendering of the square onto the rangers’ computer. The screen showed an image of Emily sitting alone at the square with a frightened look on her face. 

 

“Why is she just sitting there?” Wes asked.

 

“She’s bait,” Jenn said. “She’s meant to lead us into the open so the sniper can shoot us down.”

 

Takku drew a neon grid sphere in the middle of the square. “Reihou could be anywhere within a kilometer radius of Emily. And her sniper weapon can penetrate Ranger armor.”

 

“You’re kidding,” Damien said.

 

“No,” Takku answered. “And I have no way of tracking down the sniper’s exact location.”

 

“So,” Lucas said, “we have to find the sniper without getting shot in the process.”

 

“It’s worse than that,” Takku said. “The collar around Emily’s neck is a bomb. It goes off in 20 minutes.”

 

***

 

The Rangers armored up and kept their distance from the plaza, doing their best to stay out of sight while still keeping an eye on Emily.

 

Time Green had modified his Vol Pulsar to emit an invisible energy barrier that would form a dome around Emily, shielding her and the Rangers from the sniper’s bullets. But the shield would only be temporary, so they had to hurry.

 

Time Green fired a jade-tinted energy pulse that vanished while forming a sphere barrier around the plaza area.

 

Time Yellow was on the opposite side of the plaza. The Yellow Ranger peaked his head out from behind a pillar and looked to Emily. He gave her a thumbs-up sign to let her know everything would be okay.

 

Emily opened her eyes wide with panic. “No…stay back!”

 

She found herself sprinting upward and running towards Time Yellow, fear overriding her own common sense.

 

Time Pink cursed beneath her breath. “She’s going to move outside the field…”

 

The Pink Ranger sprinted forward, and Time Green followed at her heels. They tackled Emily out of the way as the sniper’s blasts exploded against the barrier, shattering it.

 

“The shield’s down,” Time Green said.

 

The sniper fired from the distance again. Time Pink used her Vector Sabers to deflect the blast. The two Rangers and Emily dove for cover while hiding behind a nearby statue. The criminal fired again, pulverizing the statue.

 

Emily screamed and ran for cover. Time Green and Time Pink ran after her, determined not to get her or themselves killed.

 

Above, Reihou narrowed her sights on the Pink Ranger. The villain smiled wickedly to herself and prepared to fire.

 

“Stop!” a voice shouted from behind. She turned to see Time Yellow standing with his Vol weapon aimed towards her head. “Put your hands up.”

 

Reihou did as she was told. “So…you’ve come to save your little princes…how cute.”

 

Time Yellow narrowed his eyes beneath his visor and tightened his grip on the weapon. Time Red and Time Blue ran up to the balcony. They stood behind Time Yellow and armed their own Vol weapons.

 

Reihou dropped and triggered a blast while rolling beneath the balcony rail and falling towards the ground below. The three Rangers dodged the blast, and quickly leapt over the railing to follow.

 

Meanwhile, Time Green and Time Pink had a frantic Emily at the base of a building for cover.

 

“The timer!” Time Green warned, but Emily would not stop trying to break away.

 

Time Pink slammed her fist against the young woman’s gut, knocking her out. The Pink Ranger ripped the collar free and tossed it aside. The collar exploded in midair as the two Rangers leapt for cover along with Emily.      

 

Nearby, the other three Rangers faced off with the sniper. The criminal tossed a handful of golden nuts and bolts to the ground, which transformed into a group of junk droids. Time Red and Time Blue armed their Vector Sabers while Time Yellow armed a double-bladed Vector Saber. 

 

The three Rangers were blurs of motion as they charged through the junk droids, t5heir sabers sparking through armor and tearing apart circuitry with every strike.

 

Time Red parried a blow and slashed a soldier down while spinning forward with a spinning heel kick that smashed across a grunt’s chest.

 

Time Blue roundhouse kicked a soldier aside and slashed his blades outward in an ‘x’ pattern that tore through a grunt’s chest.

 

Time Yellow twirled his double-bladed weapon while dashing past soldiers, ripping through them with powerful strikes and slashes, each blow sparking on impact.

 

Reihou aimed her sniper weapon at the Red Ranger’s back and fired a pair of rounds. Time Green suddenly leapt onto the scene and used his Vector Saber to deflect each blast, which sparked against his sword on impact.

 

Time Pink leapt in from besides the villain and slammed a double kick against the criminal. Reihou stumbled backward and crashed against the ground.

 

The Pink Ranger landed and extended her badge. “Reihou…You’re under arrest for breaking the Temporal Accords. It‘s time for judgment.”

 

“I think not,” Reihou said as she took a step back and ripped off her patch. The villain’s DNA reacted, starting a process that caused the criminal to grow giant.

 

Time Red activated his communicator. “Takku!”

 

“Yokai,” Takku answered as he activated his temporal transceiver. “3-D system, stand by for launch!”

 

***

 

Angel Grove, 3006AD

 

A platform of five Time Jets surfaced at the end of the runway.

 

One-by-one, Providus slammed the Time Jets through the Time Gate. The five zords flew in tight formation and throttled backward through the time stream.

 

***

 

Angel Grove, 2006AD

 

A wormhole opened in the sky and the five zords streaked through, swooping down into the atmosphere.

 

“Time Flier,” Time Red 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.

 

“3-D Formation…” Time Red commanded as he grasped control levers to his side. “Time Robo, Alpha!”

 

The Time Jets stayed in tight formation and flew across the streets. Each zord started to reassemble and combine into a giant, red-armored zord. The 3-D formation completed as the Rangers activated their zord: the Time-Force Megazord, Mode Red.

 

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.

 

“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.

 

Reihou fired her arm-mounted blaster at the Megazord. The Time-Force Megazord armed its shield, which was heavily armored enough to block the blasts.

 

Reihou turned her attention to a nearby building and fired a blast that destroyed the building, sending a cloud of smoke and debris crashing against the Megazord. When the smoke cleared, the Megazord was nowhere in sight.

 

Through the corner of her eye, she was a figure drop from the sky. She turned to see the Time-Force Megazord in mode Blue. The Time-Force Megazord opened fire with energy blasts that exploded against the criminal, knocking her backward.

 

The Megazord fired a force bubble similar to the one Time Green had used in th eplaza. The force bubble confined Reihou and lifted her from the ground.

 

“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.

 

Time Red 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 criminal, but did not kill her. The attack caused a chain reaction within the villain that caused the insides of her body to freeze. The criminal fell backwards, and a large explosion surrounded her as she shrunk down to less than a foot tall, and entered a state of cryogenic suspension.

 

***

 

Jenn laid Emily in her bed and covered her with a blanket. She would awake shortly. Sion was at the photographer’s desk, shuffling through her pictures of Time Yellow.

 

“She really has a thing for Damien…” Sion said with a bright smile on his face. He made sure Jenn did not notice him write his e-mail address on the back of one of the pictures.

 

***

 

Later that night, Sion checked his e-mail. There was a message from Emily. His smile brightened. “Damien, you have fan mail.”

 

“What?” Damien asked as he walked towards the computer. “What are you talking about?”

 

“It’s for Time Yellow,” Sion said. “It’s from Emily, that photographer.”

 

Damien slightly blushed as he leaned over Sion’s shoulder. “You’re kidding. That’s not possible.”

 

“It’s true,” Sion said. “Look…”

 

“Well tell me how to respond,” Damien said as he pushed Sion from the chair.

 

***

 

Wes’s cell phone rang. It was his father. 

 

“Wes,” Mr. Collins said. “I’ve called to tell you to end this nonsense and come home.”

 

“We had a deal,” Wes said. “You lost, now I’m on my own.”

 

“Doing what? Wasting your life?” Mr. Collins said. “I’ve pictured you sitting alone all week, wasting time in fruitless pursuits, and I could not be more disappointed in you, Wesley. What has this accomplished? What have you accomplished.”

 

Wes clenched his jaw. “More than you’ll ever know, Dad…”

 

 

To be continued…Chapter Four