Ultimate Time Rangers: Chapter Seven

Written in Stone

 

Gien walked into a secret chamber within the prison tower. Only he knew of its existence. Dorunero had no idea about the potential locked within the chamber, called the X Vault. The X Vault held only the most dangerous and ruthless meta-criminals.

 

Each one of the small prison capsules was labeled with yellow and black cross-bone warning signs.

 

The droid laughed quietly to himself. “So many to choose from…”

 

***

 

The rangers were back at their office. Takku was perched on his interface panel next to the computer. Information about the Time Shadow flashed across the screen.   

 

“The Time Shadow was a project with the Inter-City Police,” Takku explained. “Its flight and combat programs are automated. Not as sophisticated as a droid, but still self-sufficient and self-operated.”

 

Jenn arced an eyebrow. “If it was an Inter-City project, why didn’t I ever hear about it?”

 

“It wasn’t exactly public knowledge,” Takku explained. “The Time Shadow was designed specifically to combat and neutralize the Nova robot, and prevent temporal distortions from growing out of control.”

 

“Is that what went on at the plaza?” Wes asked. “When we saw duplicates of ourselves?”

 

“Yes,” Takku explained. “The Zeta-3 crystal was not supposed to be invented yet. The Reimei was never supposed to be created. The Temporal Axis tilted, causing distortions around each of you.”

 

Lucas narrowed his brow. “You said the Time Shadow…was designed specifically for coming back and fighting Nova. Stopping the distortions.”

 

Damien opened his eyes wide in shock. “Wait…are you saying you knew this would happen? That Dorunero would escape to the past, and we’d end up here?”

 

“Yes,” Takku explained. He did not elaborate.

 

“How?” Damien asked.

 

“History,” Takku explained. “But the Reimei and Zeta-3 creation was not supposed to happen.”

 

“You’ve only said that six times,” Damien said, his voice thick with frustration. “Now what are you saying about us?”

 

“Damien…” Sion said, trying to calm his friend down.  

 

“Tell me,” Damien said firmly.

 

“Time is delicate,” Takku said. “Some events, some parts of the past, were supposed to be altered. Dorunero was supposed to come to the past and you were supposed to follow to stop him. But something else is wrong. The Temporal Axis is off balance. Something is changing time, and the result could shatter our future.”

 

We’re changing time,” Damien said, frustrated with his own confusion. “Every time we morph. Right?”

 

Takku said nothing.

 

***

 

Citizens walked across the promenade on their way to and from work, while others sat at park benches, reading the newspaper and enjoying the bright, sunny day. Birds sang in the trees, and the flowers looked especially vibrant.

 

It all changed.

 

A handful of egg-shaped devices rolled across the promenade. Each was striped with red, yellow and green.

 

A man reading the newspaper adjusted his glasses and looked down at the small egg-shaped device. It flashed with a sting of electricity before exploding with a massive burst of flame.

 

Each egg exploded in spheres of fire, decimating the landscape and tossing bodies in every direction.

 

A meta-criminal stalked through the flames. The tall villain was covered head to toe in strange armor. The left half of his armor was colored white, and the right half was tinted blood-red. His head was flat and v-shaped. Yellow eye slits were just above a slender mouth filled with fangs. A trio of thick, jagged blades extended from each of the villain’s shoulders. He carried a thick techno sword slung over his left shoulder. The thick blade was nearly as tall as the villain himself.

 

His name was Psyca.

 

The killer stalked across the ravaged promenade, laughing with insanity. He reached down and lifted a wounded, burned man by the throat. The man’s legs dangled just above the ground as he struggled to breath.

 

“Human…” Psyca said. “Should I kill you? Or let you live? Such decisions. Difficult to make.”

 

Psyca sighed and snapped the man’s neck before tossing the limp body aside.

 

***

 

Back at the office, news of the promenade attack flashed across the TV screen. Helicopter news’ crews were capturing footage from above.

 

Jenn looked to the droid. “Takku…”

 

Takku accessed his database and uploaded information onto the rangers’ computer. Data on the criminal displayed across the computer monitor.

 

“That’s a Hell’s Gate prisoner!” Takku practically shouted.

 

Wes looked to Jenn. “Hell’s Gate?”

 

Jenn nodded. Her face turned slightly pale. “Hell’s Gate. It’s the nickname for the X-Vault, a cryo-chamber filled with the deadliest meta-criminals. The vault must have been in the prison tower Dorunero escaped here with.”

 

Takku displayed data on this particular prisoner. “Hell’s Gate number X-07. Psyca. Convicted of murdering more than 8,500 people on four different planets.”

  

“Let’s go,” Jenn said as she moved towards the door.

 

The other followed, except for Damien, who lingered behind. The pro fighter had a concerned look on his face. His gaze was downward.

 

Sion stopped and looked towards his friend. “Damien…let’s get going.”

 

Damien sighed with frustration and reluctantly followed. The news about temporal distortions still weighed heavily on his mind. How could he fight when doing so might destroy his future?

 

***

 

Corpses littered the ground at the meta-criminal’s feet.  He looked at his work and gave himself a nod of approval.

 

He heard a noise above him. The noise was quite annoying. He looked up to see the news helicopter hovering in the air above. The villain laughed and extended his sword towards the helicopter. His sword also functioned as a single-barreled blaster.

 

Psyca fired a bolt of golden energy that exploded through the helicopter. A twisted heap of smoking metal, the helicopter’s remains smashed against a nearby skyscraper with a final explosion of smoke and flame.

 

The villain laughed. It was good to be free. Perhaps a stroll through the park would be next.   

 

“Stop!” a voice shouted from above. The villain looked up to see Time Pink and the other Time Rangers on the Time Flier.

 

The Rangers leapt from the flier and landed on the promenade 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 Red slowly stepped towards the monster while extending his badge. “Psyca…you’re under arrest for breaking the Temporal Accords…”

 

“Ahhh…” the villain said. “How cute.”

 

Time Yellow knitted his brow beneath his helmet and charged forward to attack. “Vector Sabers!”

 

The Yellow Ranger armed his twin swords and dashed towards the criminal. But Psyca extended his gun and fired a golden pulse blast that exploded against Time Yellow’s armor with a burst of spark, knocking him backward. 

 

Time Green and Time Blue armed their own sabers and sprang through the air to attack. Psyca easily lifted his sword cannon and blasted them from the air with a pair of well-aimed shot, each blast exploding against the two Rangers’ armor on impact.

 

Time Pink rolled to the side of the villain and swung her Vector Saber forward. She triggered the weapon, firing a pink energy blade that shot towards Psyca. Psyca batted the energy blade aside, sending it shooting back towards the Pink Ranger and exploding against her chest.  

 

The Pink Ranger crashed backward against the ground.

 

“Jenn!” Time Red shouted as he ran to her side. The Red Ranger stood between Time Pink and Psyca as the criminal stalked forward towards them.

 

Time Red armed a double-bladed Vector Saber and charged forward to attack. He swung the blade towards the villain’s head, but Psyca parried the blow with ease. Time Red spun and quickly swung his saber back around towards the villain’s head.

 

Psyca blocked the blow and twisted the saber downward. A gun erected from the villain’s chest and opened fire at near point-blank range. Explosive bullets sparked against Time Red’s armor and knocked him backward, sending him tumbling across the ground.

 

The other Ranger regrouped around Time Red as he rose to his feet. “Vol weapons!” The Rangers activated their Vol weapons and aimed the cannons forward. “Fire!”

 

They shot a wave of multi-colored pulse blasts that speared towards Psyca. The villain batted the blasts aside with ease while laughing.

 

Time Blue looked to Time Red. “Our energy attacks don’t work against him.”

 

“Then we’ll have to move in close,” Time Red said.

 

Psyca tossed an egg-shaped bomb that exploded in midair in front of the Rangers, creating a massive shockwave that knocked them backward, sending them skidding across the ground as explosions sparked across their armor.

 

Psyca turned and walked away from the promenade.

 

The villain stalked onto the street, his weapon casually slung over his shoulder. He walked past a car parked along the curb. The driver was on his cell phone when Psyca nonchalantly tossed a bomb through the car’s open window. The bomb exploded, destroying the car with a massive eruption of flame and smoke.

 

Psyca stalked forward.

 

The Rangers regrouped and leapt over parked cars while jumping towards the villain. They slammed their bodies against the criminal and tried to tackle him to the ground. But Psyca thrust his arms outward, knocking the Time Rangers away.

 

Time Blue tumbled across the street and rolled into a crouched position. H looked up just in time to see Psyca spit a stream of fire forward. The fire stream splashed across Blue Ranger, exploding against his armor and knocking him backward.

 

Psyca pulled out a handful of egg-shaped bombs and tossed them around the Rangers. The bombs exploded with rolling waves of fire that tore apart the streets, sending the Rangers flying off their feet as secondary explosions sparked across their armor.

 

The criminal tossed another handful of grenades that exploded around the Rangers, sending them crashing backward as their armor forcibly powered down.

 

“Hmph.” the villain turned and started walking away from the scene. “You’re boring me now.”

 

Takku hovered over to the Rangers. “Are you alright?”

 

The rangers slowly rose to their feet, except for Damien. Takku warned the group. “Psyca is attacking the city again. He needs to be stopped.”

 

“Let’s go,” Jenn said.

 

“Wait.” Damien still sat on the ground, his brow wrinkled with concern. “We can’t just…we can’t just keep fighting like this…”

 

Damien rose to his feet and tightened his hands into fists.  He glared at Takku. “I’m not going anywhere, until you tell us what happens to us.”

 

“Damien-” Sion started to say.

 

“No,” Damien said firmly. “Don’t you get it? He knows exactly what we’re going to face. He knows. Where and where. How and when. What if something…what if something happens to our future?”

 

“Stop,” Jenn said firmly as she stood in front of Damien. She stared down at him, strong but sympathetic. “You’re not the only one upset about this. But we have a job to do.”

 

Lucas lowered his gaze. He understood why Takku could not tell them what their fate was. “Wes can’t know his future. It would pollute the timeline…the same thing is true about us,” he said softly.

 

Sion knitted his brow. “But what if…what if Damien is right. What if we only make things worse.”

 

A massive explosion sounded in the distance. It was Psyca.

 

“Rangers!” Takku warned. “Psyca is attacking!”

 

Lucas rolled his hands up into fists and stared off at the explosions in the distance. He looked back to Damien. “Only now matters, Damien. These people need us now…we can‘t let worrying about the future keep us from saving lives.”

 

Lucas ran off towards the distance and armed his brace. “Chrono, Trigger!” Strands of data energy circled around him as he morphed into his Blue Ranger form.

 

A slight smile crossed Jenn’s face as she watched Time Blue run off. “So this is history?” she said quietly. “Knowing how the future turns out won’t change why we’re here. To fight Dorunero.”

 

Jenn ran towards the distant battle scene while arming her brace. “Chrono, Trigger!” Strands of data energy circled around her as she morphed into her Pink Ranger form.

 

***

 

Time Blue swung his double-bladed Vector Saber down towards Psyca while landing. Psyca blocked the blow, and the two opponents pressed their blades hard against each other.

 

“My, my,” Psyca said mockingly. “You’re really back?”

 

Psyca knocked Time Blue’s saber away and thrashed the Ranger across the chest, blade sparking on impact and whipping the Blue Ranger backward.

 

The villain swung his blade down towards the fallen Ranger. But Time Pink suddenly thrust her Vector Saber out and blocked the blow before kicking the meta-criminal backward.

 

***

 

“Damien…” Sion said quietly. “I love being a Time Ranger. With all of you. And so…”

 

Sion armed his brace and charged towards the distance. “Chrono, Trigger!” Columns of data energy circled around him as he morphed into his Green Ranger armor.

 

“Sion…” Damien said sadly, watching hi friend run off.

 

Wes smiled and turned to Damien. “Looks like you’ve been rebuked, huh.”

 

Damien shot to his feet. “This isn’t funny! You have no idea what this is like for us.”

 

Wes’s face became serious. “Don’t I? I actually think this is the one thing we all have in common. Worry. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I don’t know if I’m doing will help, or make things worse. Hurt people I care about.

 

“But I do know I’m not going to be one of those people who just sits back and worries. I’m going to fight. Not for our distant future…For our tomorrow.”

 

Wes charged towards the battle in the distance. “Chrono, Trigger!” He slapped his morpher’s activation panel. Columns of energy circled around him as he morphed into Time Red.

 

Damien slumped to the ground, his fists clenched. His thoughts drifted to home. His home. The future. But the rangers’ words echoed in his mind. Fight for tomorrow, huh? Damien slowly rose to his feet. He thought of his friends. Sion, Jenn, Lucas, and Wes. He took a deep breath and opened his eyes, a fresh look of determination in his eyes.

 

“Alright…” he said quietly with a slight smirk. “Fighting it is, then.”

 

***

 

The meta-criminal blasted the four Rangers backward. The villain placed his foot on the fallen Green Ranger’s chest and lifted his thick blade. “Die.”

 

“Ha!” Time Yellow shouted as he leapt onto the scene as if from nowhere. He held out his elbow and slammed against the villain, knocking him backward.

 

Time Yellow helped Time Green to his feet as the Rangers regrouped.

 

“Bastards!” Psyca opened fire with a volley of rapid blasts that exploded against the Rangers’ armor, knocking them off their feet.

 

Time Yellow rose in a crouched position and tightened his fists as the villain stalked forward. He looked to his teammates. “I have an idea. Get ready to fire your Vol weapons.”

 

“But Damien-” Sion started to protest.

 

“Trust me,” Time Yellow said.

 

Psyca opened fire with another volley of blasts that exploded around the Rangers with a burst of sparks. Time Yellow separated from his teammates and rolled aside.

 

Time Red and the others armed their Vol weapons and aimed the cannons at Psyca. The meta-criminal laughed, knowing that the Rangers’ weapons posed little threats. The villain did not notice that Time Yellow had taken cover behind a row of bushes off to the side. 

 

The Yellow Ranger held his cannon firmly in hand.

 

“Fire!” Time Red shouted as the four Rangers fired pulse blasts. Psyca used his sword to deflect the four blasts. But Time Yellow rose from the side and opened fire with a pulse of yellow energy. The blast exploded against Psyca with a burst of spark.

 

Time Red and the others fired again. Their blasts exploded against the criminal, knocking the villain off his feet.

 

The criminal’s cryo patch was torn off by the blasts. His DNA exposed, 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!”

 

As always, Takku wondered who the strange man was who sent them Time Jets when they were needed.

 

***

 

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.

 

“Flier Magnum,” Time Red commanded. The Time Flier transformed into a blaster that the Megazord gripped in its hand.

 

A shadow started to cover the sun like an eclipse. The shadow darkened the streets below. Rangers and villains looked up, not sure what was happening. Then the eclipse revealed itself to be a time portal. A V-shaped ship blasted through the portal.

 

Time Red spotted the zord. “The Time Shadow!”

 

“We must need it,” Time Pink said.

 

Time Shadow fired darts of pale-blue energy from its wing mounted cannons. Psyca leapt aside as the blasts exploded around him. The criminal opened fire, shooting lances of golden energy that exploded against the zord.

 

The zord climbed upward and twisted while in mid-flight. Time Shadow started to change shape and form a warrior mode. The black zord armed two double-edged blue blades, and its eyes pulsed with pale-blue energy.

 

Time Shadow formed its Double Vector and swooped down towards the criminal. Psyca activated his chest cannon and opened fire, knocking the zord from the skies. Time Shadow crashed against the ground and skid backward, tearing apart the streets.

 

“Fire!” Time Red shouted. The Time-Force Megazord hovered to the side and opened fire with lances of blue energy that exploded around Psyca with a burst of spark.

 

Takku uploaded information onto the Rangers’ visors about a new formation. Their Megazord could combine with the Time Shadow.

 

“Delta Formation,” Time Red said as he tightened his grasp on the control lancer in front of him. “Shadow Beta!”

 

The Time-Force Megazord and Time Shadow shot upwards into the air. Time Shadow shifted its formation, forming a suit of armor that wrapped around the Megazord.

 

“Shadow-Force Megazord!” Time Red shouted once the transformation was complete. “Mode Blue!”

 

The Megazord armed a rifle-like cannon, edged with Time Shadow’s vector blades. Shadow-Force Megazord hung in the air and looked down upon the criminal while aiming its rifle downward.

 

Time Red pulled the lancer from the control port, and it transformed into a miniature version of the rifle with a flash of blue energy. “Shadow-Force Megazord Saber…Final Strike!”

 

The rifle fired twelve energy pulses. The pulses slammed against the streets, surrounding the criminal like the hours of a clock. The pattern suspended the villain and kept him from moving. The Megazord fired a final pulse blast that shot downward and exploded against the villain with a massive burst of energy.

 

Psyca fell backward and exploded, his body shrinking and returning to a state of suspended animation.

 

***

 

The rangers powered down their armor and joined on the streets below. Damien looked up at where the Time Jets had vanished through the portal. “They always go home without us…” he said quietly.

 

“Damien,” Sion said as he tugged on Damien’s sleeve. The alien ranger had a bright smile on his face. “Come on, we have to get back top the office.”

 

Damien knitted his brow. “It scares me when you get this excited. What is it?”

 

“It’s a surprise,” Sion said. They all started walking back towards the office.

 

“No, seriously,” Damien said.

 

“Seriously,” Sion said. “It’s a surprise.”

 

Wes smiled and shook his head as his friends continued their antics.

 

To be continued…Chapter Eight