Ultimate Time Rangers: Chapter 08

Sex Appeal

 

The rangers had a customer in their office: a divorced man and his crying infant. The man sat on the couch while Damien was off to the side of the room, holding the baby and making coo noises to hush the infant’s crying. He was not successful

 

Jenn, Wes, and Lucas sat across from the man. He had a picture of a 25-year-old woman in his hand.

 

“You have to help me find her,” he pleaded. “The police won’t do anything to help, and she…she’s the first person I’ve cared about since the divorce. Now she‘s just…disappeared.”

 

Sion walked over with a cup of tea from the man. His eyes brightened when he saw the picture of the young woman. “She’s beautiful…”

 

“Thank you,” the man said. His name was Marcus Parker. “Her name is Lillian. She loves me…even though she was always too good for me.”

 

“Lillian…” Damien said softly as he handed the baby to Sion and nudged him out of the way. He wanted to look at the picture and was glad when he did. “You’re right…she is beautiful…”

 

Wes and Lucas glanced at the picture too. Their jaws practically dropped.

 

Jenn arced an eyebrow at them. She turned her attention back towards Parker. “How did you meet her?”

 

Parker’s face turned slightly red. “Online. She had a profile on Yahoo.”

 

Lucas finally took his eyes off the picture. “Did you ever give her any money?”

 

“Well, I helped her pay her mother’s hospital bills,” Parker explained. “It was the least I could do for all the help Lillian gave me around the house. But money isn’t important…I need to find my Lillian.”

 

***

 

Parker left a few minutes later. Lucas breathed a small sigh and sat back on the couch. “Well…she lied to him about her mother.”

 

Jenn nodded. “I agree.”

 

Sion’s face suddenly lit up as he turned the computer monitor towards the other rangers. “I found her!”

 

The screen had an online Yahoo profile of Lillian, along with her picture.

 

“Wow…” Wes said as he moved closer to the computer. “She looked even better in that picture.”

 

Jenn felt a slight sting of jealousy. Surprise followed. Why was she jealous? She shook her head and rose from the couch, her arms crossed as she walked towards the computer. “One of you needs to message her and meet her. Let’s find out what kind of person she is.”

 

***

 

A day past. Parker was finding it difficult to work a fulltime job, take care of his home, and take care of his child. He hired Jenn for various odd jobs around the house, such as cleaning and washing dishes.

 

Meanwhile, dinner was cooking on the stove.

 

She heard the door swing open as Parker walked inside. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Jenn at work. “Thank you again, so much, for your help. I’m sorry I had to bother you like this. I’m just…so busy.”

 

“Don’t be sorry,” Jenn said with a slight smile. “This is what we do.”

 

“Where’s my son?” Parker asked as he took a bowl full of soup that Jenn made. He took the bowl over to the table and had a seat.

 

“He’s asleep,” Jenn said.

 

Parker took a sip of the soup and nearly gagged. He pushed the bowl away from him. “I’m sorry. I…uh…probably shouldn’t have eaten at work.”

 

Parker stood from the table and left the kitchen. Jenn arced an eyebrow at him as he left. She walked to the table and tasted the soup. Her nose wrinkled. It was terrible. This is why I prefer my food replicated.

 

***

 

Wes arranged to meet Lillian at an outdoor restaurant by a woodland pond within the city. Still adjusting his tie, Wes sat at a small circular table that looked out upon the pond. His eyes were immediately drawn to the entrance gate when Lillian walked in.

 

She was radiant, dressed in a red, sleeve-less blouse and tight black pants. She looked at Wes and smiled.

 

Wes smiled back, his face turning slightly red as his heart pounded in his chest.

 

Lillian walked over and took a seat across from Wes. “Hi…I’m Lillian. You must be Wes…You’re even better looking in person.”

 

Wes practically fell from his chair. “You…you too…”

 

She smiled, causing Wes’s heart to race even faster.

 

***

 

Wes met Damien, Lucas, and Sion behind a corner after the ‘date’ ended. Wes breathed a love-sick sigh and ran his fingers through his hair. “She was amazing…I could of just…she was just…”

 

“Breath,” Lucas said.

 

“What did you find out?” Damien asked.

 

“That she’s fantastic,” Wes said. He leaned against the wall. “She lives alone and takes care of her mother, who’s in the hospital.”

 

Lucas knitted his brow. “Wait a minute…you didn’t give her any money, did you?”

 

Wes shrugged. “Well just a little…For her mother…ya know…she‘s in the hospital…”

 

Damien breathed a sigh of exasperation. “Are you kidding me? How could you let her rip you off when you knew she was a con?”

 

“It’s not like that,” Wes said. He was still grinning like an idiot.

 

“This is ridiculous,” Lucas said. “Let’s call Jenn.”

 

Damien nodded. ‘Tell her I’m meeting this Lillian next. I’ll bend her to my charm.”

 

***

 

Jenn was ironing Parker’s shirts. A difficult task, ironing. She had nothing like it in her time. She was used to tossing her clothes in the replicator at the end of the day. The replicator broke clothing down molecule by molecule and recycled the energy for use in replicating the next day’s clothing.

 

Her thoughts drifted. Smoke slowly rose from the shirt she was ironing. Jenn cursed beneath her breath. She had burnt a hole in Parker’s shirt.

 

Parker walked in just as Jenn lifted the shirt and inspected the gaping burn. He sighed and pulled out his picture of Lillian. He looked to the picture with deep longing in his eyes. “Lillian…please come home.”

 

***

 

Lira walked into the main chamber at the prison tower. A group of Zenitto guards escorted her. She wore mismatched street clothes and sunglasses. The junk droids carried her bags, full of recently stolen clothes and jewelry.

 

Dorunero was laying with his face downward in the center of the chamber. A pair of junk droids were massaging the crime boss by slamming their hands against his back.

 

The villain noticed Lira walk in through the corner of his eye. “Lira…What happened to the prisoner you released? It’s been three days, and she hasn’t shown us any profit.”

 

Lira smiled knowingly. “Oh, she’s out…fishing.”

 

Dorunero’s gills narrowed. “Fishing?? She is supposed to be working. Building a criminal empire is not free.”

 

Lira laughed to herself and walked past Dorunero. “Oh, but it’s not normal fish she’s after.”

 

***

 

Damien took a sip of his scotch while he waited for Lillian. He sat at an upclass bar in downtown Angel Grove. The lights were dim, and jazz music played in the background.

 

Damien saw Lillian enter the bar. She wore a skin-tight white, sleeveless dress. The dress had a diamond slit in the center, showing cleavage. Damien’s heart raced faster as she approached.  

 

Lillian sat next to him and smiled.

 

Damien smiled back. “You must be Lillian…?”

 

“Yes,” Lillian said, her voice quiet and seductive. “Why…is something wrong?”

 

Damien’s grip tightened around his glass. “No, no…you just…ah…look different than I thought you would.”

 

Lillian made a pouting face. She slowly ran her finger’s along Damien’s shirt sleeve. “You don’t like it?”

 

“No, no!” Damien stammered, his heart pounding. “I like it. I mean you. I like you.”

 

Lillian smiled and leaned in close. “Do you believe in love at first sight?”

 

Damien could feel her warm breath against his neck, sending goosebumps across his skin. “I do now…”

 

She moved in closer and started running her fingers through the soft hair on the back of Damien’s neck.

 

***

 

The five rangers were back in their office the next afternoon. Wes and Damien frantically darted around. Damien checked his hair in a small mirror, while Wes prepared a bouquet of flowers. 

 

Jenn narrowed her eyes at them. “What the hell are you two doing?”

 

Damien smiled as he spiked his hair up. “I’m going to see Lillian tonight. I want to surprise her.”

 

“That’s great,” Wes said, “if you want her to think you’re a stalker.”

 

Damien scoffed. “You can’t talk. You’re sending her flowers. Ugly flowers. Could you be more lame?”

 

Lucas crossed his arms and looked to Damien. “I suppose you gave her money too…”

 

“Some,” Damien said. “She has to take care of her mother all by herself.”

 

Jenn rolled her eyes and shook her head. “This is ridiculous.”

 

***

 

Lillian leaned against a wall while smoking a this cigarette. She had an aura of sexual arrogance about her. The woman’s look caught the gaze of passersby. She loved the attention.

 

Lira approached the woman from behind a corner. She walked over to Lillian and extended a hand. “Well?”

 

Lillian pulled a wad of money from her pocket and handed it to Lira. Lira scoffed. “This is it? You’ve been out for a week, and this is all you have?”

 

Lillian took another drag from her cigarette. “The men I’ve met don’t have much.”

 

Lira narrowed her eyes. “Then don’t bother with them. Has your brain not thawed yet? You used to be good at this kind of thing.”

 

Lira tossed the wad of cash onto the ground. “Get us some real money. Or you’re going back in the freezer.”

 

***

 

Jenn was back at the man’s home. This time she vacuumed. Another odd task. She wondered how people could live under such conditions. In her time, environmental filters made apartments self cleaning.

 

Parker walked in the home’s front door.

 

Jenn turned to greet him. She accidentally turned the vacuum and cord, which tipped over a nearby fax machine. The fax machine fell to the ground with a bang. The sound woke Parker’s son, and the infant started crying.

 

Jenn’s face turned slightly red.

 

Parker sighed and shook his head. “Lillian…”

 

***

 

The next morning.

 

Wes sat on the office couch while pouring a glass of tea. His gaze was distant, his mind fixated on Lillian. Sion was trying unsuccessfully to get Wes’s attention.

 

Damien was in a corner, doing pushups without his top on. He was oblivious to Sion’s calls as well.

 

Jenn’s door opened as she walked into the office. She was dressed, but had clearly just woken up. Her hair was disheveled and her eyes looked tired.

 

Sion walked towards her. “Jenn…these two have completely lost it. They’ve been ignoring me all morning.”

 

Wes looked up to Jenn. “We’re fine. Really.”

 

Jenn could clearly see that was not the case. “Where’s Lucas?”

 

“He went to meet Lillian,” Sion said. “He thinks he can figure out who she is, and why she has this affect on people.”

 

Jenn sighed. She shook her head while rubbing her eyes. “Men…” she mumbled beneath her breath.

 

Sion narrowed his brow with concern when he noticed Jenn’s appearance. “You look terrible.” He eyes lit up. Finally, something to do. “I’ll go get some medicine!”

 

Sion ran back into the boys’ room.

 

Jenn’s shoulders sank. She looked terrible. Couldn’t take care of a few simple house chores. She knew these things should not bother her. But they did. “It’s like I can’t be anything like other women…” she said quietly.

 

But Wes overheard her. He looked up, his eyes momentarily freed of haze. “Don’t say that. You’re better than most women I know. Strong. Confident…”

 

Jenn cracked a smile. “Really?”

 

Damien kept doing push ups. “She’s no Lillian, though.”

 

“Well, yeah,” Wes agreed. “But no one is.”

 

Jenn narrowed her eyes.

 

***

 

Lucas sat at an outdoor café on the far east side of the city, where towering buildings met rolling hills and mountains in the distance. He was dressed as usual, with dark pants and a jacket over a blue t-shirt.

 

Lillian walked towards the table, but stopped in her tracks at the sight of Lucas. She didn’t have time to waste with him. She needed someone rich.

 

Lucas looked up and saw Lillian standing nearby. His eyes lit up. He never expected her to b so attractive up close. She was like beauty personified.

 

Lillian turned and walked away.

 

“Wait!” Lucas called after her. “Lillian!”

 

***

 

Lillian walked around nearby corner. Jenn was leaning against the wall with her arms crossed. Her cold eyes stared at the woman. “So…you must be Lillian.”

 

Lillian turned, her hair sparkling in the sun. She faced Jenn and wrinkled her nose in disgust. “And who might you be?”

 

“A friend of Parker’s…and Wes. Damien. Lucas,” Jenn said. “I believe you know them.”

 

Lillian smiled with amusement and lit a slim cigarette. She made the habit look sensual. She slowly exhaled smoke through her red lips. “And what’s your point? They‘re just men. Toys…but I don‘t suppose you could understand that.”

 

Jenn narrowed her eyes. “What do you mean?”

 

Lillian smiled while taking another slow puff of her cigarette. “You’re barely a woman. The way you dress. Your hair. The way you stand.” She wrinkled her nose. “Ick.”

 

Lillian dropped her cigarette to the ground and turned, walking away while smashing the cigarette out with the heel of her shoe.

 

She and Jenn did not notice Lira watching from nearby.

 

***

 

Jenn returned to the office Takku was the only one inside. The droid flapped his wings the second he saw her. “Jenn! I finally found a match in the database.”

 

Jenn walked towards the computer as Takku uploaded a criminal file from his database. “Prisoner number AG-755M. Medo’samaki’me. She uses heightened pheromones to influence men around her.”

 

“Is there any way to counteract the pheromones?” Jenn asked.

 

“There’s no antidote,” Takku explained. “Pheromones are natural and secreted by most species. However…exposure to another female’s pheromones may create a reaction in the males’ body chemistry, shifting their affixation away from Lillian. So we need to find another woman to attract the rangers attention. But…where can we find another woman?”

 

Jenn narrowed her eyes.

 

***

 

Lira walked with Lillian through a grassy park near Angel’s Square. The park was dotted with flower gardens and trees.

 

“Time Rangers?” Lillian asked after listening to Lira.

 

Lira nodded and handed the criminal a printed copy of Lucas, Wes and Damien’s online Yahoo profiles. “They may not have any money, but your hold over them still has certain advantages. Get them to kill each other.”

 

Lillian smiled wickedly.

 

***

 

Lillian sat in Hulman Park a few hours later. The park had a long field of flowers shaped in a rectangular pattern surrounded by brick walkways. In the center of the field stood a large iron-webbed sculpture of the Earth.

 

The sculpture was beautifully polished. One could never tell it was smashed through the side of the building during an attack from Bandora’s evil Green Ranger more than five years ago.

 

Wes walked over to Lillian’s bench. He had a bouquet of roses in his hand. He smiled and held out the roses towards her. “I’m glad you finally called again, Lillian.”

 

Damien suddenly approached from the other side of the woman. He narrowed his eyes at Wes. “What are you doing here, Red? She’s with me.”

 

“Clearly not,” Wes said.

 

Lucas walked forward next. Lillian had invited all three of them to the park. She increased her pheromones, which unlocked primal urges in the three boys. “Now, now,” she said with a smile. “No need to fight over me…”

 

Wes rolled his hands into fists. That’s exactly what they planned to do.

 

Damien smashed his fist across Wes’s face. Wes fell backward onto his tailbone as Damien moved forward to strike again. Lucas tackled Damien from behind and slammed him against the ground.

 

Lucas rolled Damien over and slammed a punch across his face. Lucas did not notice Wes spring forward with a kick. Wes’s foot slammed upside Lucas’s head.

 

Sion dashed to the scene and tried to pry the other three rangers off of each other. His efforts were futile.

 

“Boys,” a voice called from behind them. They turned, and their eyes opened wide at what they saw. It was Jenn, but she looked…different.

 

Jenn wore a tight-fitting sleeveless black dress of fine silk. The dress accentuated every curve on her body, her curved hips, her firm chest, and her smooth skin. Her makeup was subtle, but provocative. Small pieces of glitter on her cheeks sparkled with light. Her dark hair was combed back, fine and combed.

 

“Wake up, boys,” Jenn said.

 

Even Sion was stunned. The four rangers climbed to their feet and couldn’t help but stare.

 

Lillian snarled with rage and shot to her feet. “You tramp,” she hissed.

 

The criminal’s body started to shape shift. Her skin peeled back, revealing a creature with white scales covering her skin. She had yellow reptilian eyes and what looked like a mop of snakes for hair.

 

“Disgusting,” Wes said as he and the others regrouped.

 

Jenn stepped forward and armed her brace. “Let’s go.”

 

“Whatever you say,” Wes said with a sheepish grin.

 

They activated their braces.

 

“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!”

 

“Lillian!” Time Pink shouted, her badge still extended as she and the others took a few steps forward. “You’re under arrest for breaking the Temporal Accords.”

 

Lillian scoffed. “You twits don’t scare me.”

 

Time Red, Time Blue, and Time Yellow rolled their hands into tight fists. They had been manipulated by a snake woman. They were not happy. The three Ranger charged forward to attack.

 

The villain leapt past Time Yellow and Time Blue wile thrashing her claws across their chests. Her nails sparked against the Rangers’ armor on impact, knocking them backward. Lillian continued through her leap and slashed her claws across the Red Ranger’s armor.

 

The three Rangers regrouped, but Lillian lashed out with a trio of tentacles from her head. The tentacles wrapped around the Rangers’ throats and started to squeeze hard, cutting off their air.

 

Lillian sent electric shocks across the tentacles. The shocks exploded against the Rangers’ armor, knocking them off their feet.

 

Time Green moved towards them with his Vector Saber. “This is why you three shouldn’t have attacked alone.

 

“I’ll make note of that,” Time Yellow said. “Now cut us loose.”

 

Time Green thrashed the three Rangers free from the criminal’s tentacles. Lillian hissed with rage and pain.

 

Lillian extended her hand and fired a curved, yellow energy pulse that exploded against the Rangers’ armor with a burst of spark, sending them crashing off their feet.

 

Time Pink leap in from the side and slammed a flying double kick against the villain. Lillian stumbled backward but stayed on her feet.

 

Time Pink landed and armed her Vector Saber. She held the blade upside down and stepped back into a fighting stance.

 

Lillian cursed in an alien language and lashed out with a volley of snake-headed tentacles that speared towards The Pink Rangers head.

 

“Chrono Access,” Time Pink said as she accessed her Chrono Trigger. She unlocked a power that let her spin like a tornado, a blur of motion as she darted back and forth while slashing each tentacle away.

 

Time Pink sprang forward through the air and arced her decent towards the villain. The Pink Ranger landed while chopping her blade across Lillian’s body, sparking on impact and knocking the villain backward.

 

“Chrono Launcher,” Time Pink 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, knocking her backward and tearing off her patch. The villain’s DNA started to react and cause the body to expand. The creature grew giant.

 

Time Red activated his communicator. “Takku!”

 

Yokai.“ 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 platform of five Time Jets surfaced at the end of the runway. The platform rotated and lined the red-trimmed jet into position. 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 Pink commanded as the Time Flier hovered past their location.

 

The Time Rangers leapt onto the Flier. The Flier carried them over their five Time Jets, traveling at frightful speeds. Thankful he was not afraid of heights or prone to airsickness, Time Red and the others jumped off the Time Flier and fell into their cockpits.

 

“3-D Formation…” Time Pink commanded as she grasped control levers to her side. “Time Robo, Alpha!”

 

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, red-armored zord. The 3-D formation completed as the Rangers activated their zord: the Time-Force Megazord, Mode Red.

 

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. Time Shadow blasted through the portal.

 

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.

 

Lillian lashed out with two tentacles that wrapped around both zords. Explosions sparked against the zords’ armor as Lillian pumped voltage through the tentacles.

 

“Wes,” Time Pink said.

 

“Right,” Time Red said. “Time-Force Megazord Saber!”

 

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. The Megazord slashed the tentacles away with a powerful swing of its sword.

 

“Delta Formation,” Time Pink said as she tightened her grasp on the control lancer in front of her. “Shadow Alpha!”

 

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 Red!”

 

The Megazord armed a saber, edged with Time Shadow’s vector blades. Shadow-Force Megazord hung in the air and looked down upon the criminal. The zord shot an energy net of green power that wrapped around the villain below.

 

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

 

The saber energized and swung downward, slashing through the villain’s body.

 

“Time up,” Time Pink said.

 

The criminal exploded, creating a chain reaction that shrunk her down to miniature size on the streets below.

 

***

 

Jenn left Parker a fake note she wrote and signed with Lillian’s name. The note read that Lillian could not marry him because of her mother’s illness, and apologized. The note explains that Lillian did not want to burden him with the extra grief.

 

Parker sighed and sat back on his coach. At least he knew his Lillian was okay. Maybe now he could move on.

 

***

 

Sion put Lillian in the office cabinet with the rest of the criminals. The others were in the office as well, but Jenn was sitting on the couch alone while watching the news. She had acted strange ever since the fight in Hulman Park. It was almost like she was embarrassed.

 

Wes sat next to her. “Jenn…Thanks for saving us back there.”

 

“That wasn’t me,” she said.

 

Wes held up his hands defensively. He did not wish to draw her into another argument. “I know, I know. You’re not like that.”

 

“Not like what?” Jenn said defensively as she arced an eyebrow. “Not as good as ‘real’ women whose ribs show beneath their skimpy clothes?”

 

“Jenn, you are so better than any woman I’ve ever met,” Wes said. “You’re strong, independent, smart, confident. And…you don’t have to try to be beautiful, you just are.”

 

Wes’s face turned slightly red at his own comment. “Yeah, well…I’m going to go make sure Damien is staying away from the online dating sites.”

 

Jenn smiled at him. “Thanks, Wes.”    

 

To be continued…Chapter Nine