Ultimate Time Rangers: Chapter 12

Time Fire’s Cry

 

Eric walked towards the other rangers with a smug grin on his face. Junk droid parts and scrap still littered the ground of the industrial park around them. Eric held up the morpher on his left wrist.

 

“Thanks for helping me get this brace, Collins,” Eric said with a subtle, mocking tone to his voice. The Guardian turned and started to walk away.

 

“Eric, wait,” Wes called.

 

Eric stopped and turned back around. Jenn took a step towards him with her arms crossed over her chest. “Do you even know what you’re supposed to do with that?”

 

Eric smiled with amusement. “This is what controls the V-Rex, right?”

 

The rangers were stunned. How did Eric find out about the brace’s connection to the V-Rex zord that had rampaged through the city.

 

“Don’t look so surprised,” Eric said. “You guys aren’t the only ones in this game anymore, Collins.” He gave Wes a mock salute and walked off. “I’ll be seeing you later…”

 

***

 

Dorunero, Lira, and Gien gathered in the prison tower and watched a video display of Time Fire’s first battle. The Quantum Ranger slashed through junk droids with blinding speed.

 

Lira snarled at the sight. “A new Time Ranger…”

 

Dorunero glared at Gien. “Your plan failed, droid. Now this Quantum Ranger has control of the V-Rex. You wasted a perfectly good prisoner for nothing…”

 

Gien pulled a prisoner capsule out from behind his back. “We still have a chance, Don Dorunero…a chance to gain control of the V-Rex before Time Fire…”

 

***

 

Mr. Collins sat back in his desk chair as Eric stood in front of him. Collins had a look of utter disbelief on his face. “You’re telling me that you have the same armor and weapons as the Time Rangers?”

 

Eric nodded and pointed to the morpher on his left wrist. “And that’s not all…This brace will let me take control of the V-Rex.”

 

Collins narrowed his eyes. “Actions speak louder than words. So prove it.”

 

***

 

Sion sat at his computer while the others stood behind him. The youngest ranger was analyzing Takku’s data from Time Fire’s battle. His fingers danced across the keyboard while Takku uploaded information from his data port next to the monitor.

 

Wes could not help but be impressed at some of the finer details of the suit. “So this is the Quantum Ranger, armor, huh?”

 

Sion nodded. “But this isn’t much…just basic surface scans. We still don’t know anything about this Ranger.”

 

The rangers had hoped detailed scans and information would help formulate a plan about what to do with the V-Rex and Quantum Ranger. The V-Rex was going to recover soon, and its rampage through the city would start again. 

 

Lucas sighed and crossed his arms. “So we basically have nothing to work with here.”

 

Wes grabbed his jacket and started for the door. “I’ll try talking to Eric again. See if I can get some sense into him.”

 

“If that doesn’t work, beat the crap out of him and take his morpher,” Damien said only half jokingly.

 

***

 

V-Rex stirred within its cavern as the last of its injuries healed. The zord rose to its feet and started activating all its systems.

 

The criminal Gien released entered the cave and approached the V-Rex from behind. The villain wore a bulky suit of camouflage armor and carried a staff, topped with a wedged hammer. His name was Master Hunter.

 

“Ah…”Master Hunter said as he looked over the zord. “The mighty V-Rex…”

 

V-Rex turned and roared at the small criminal. The zord pounced forward to chomp down on criminal. Master Hunter extended his gauntlet and fired a dart with a patch at its tip. The patch smacked against the zord’s head.

 

V-Rex roared as if in pain while the patch took control of the V-Rex systems.

 

***

 

Wes sat uncomfortably in the lobby of Silver Guardian’s headquarter building. Men and women in formal business attire entered and left the lobby through wide glass doors. Men with briefcases stepped off the elevators with cell phones in their hands. The scene was too familiar for Wes, and reeked of his father.

 

Wes had grown up in high-rise corporate offices and businesses. His father had seen to that, dragging Wes to nearly every meeting and outing when he was just a boy.

 

A woman escorted Eric over to Wes. The Guardian took a seat across from his former classmate. “Collins…stopping by for a little visit?”

 

“Eric,” Wes pleaded. “You have to give us that V-Commander. Whatever you’re planning has to stop.”

 

“What I’m planning should be obvious,” Eric said as he stood up and started walking towards the rear of the lobby. “Follow me…”

 

Wes followed Eric through a few winding hallways at the rear of the building. They went outside into a wide, secluded alley. Eric slammed the door shut hard.

 

“I thought we could use some privacy,” Eric said as he lifted his morpher. “You want this, you’ll have to come and take it.”

 

Wes sighed with frustration. “I don’t want to fight you for it. Look, just…The V-Rex is dangerous. And it’s going to wake up soon. The city is in danger…”

 

“I’ll be waiting when that zord wakes up,” Eric said. “The V-Rex is mine.”

 

“It’s dangerous,” Wes said firmly. “The V-Rex and Londaraz are my problem, Eric, not yours. And not my father’s.”

 

“Dangerous?” Eric said. He lifted his morpher again. “I don’t think you understand…with this morpher, I have the same power as you and the Time Rangers. In fact, I’m betting I’m even stronger than you…”

 

***

 

The other rangers were back at the office around Sion‘s computer. Damien and Lucas were in the midst of a minor argument.

 

“He’s not a Red Ranger,” Lucas said. “He’s the Quantum Ranger.”

 

Damien sighed with frustration and rolled his eyes. “But he’s still a red Ranger. In red armor.”

 

“Boys,” Jenn said sharply. “Knock it off.”

 

Someone knocked on the office door. Jenn was thankful for the interruption. She walked over and opened it. Her eyes opened wide with surprise at the last person she expected to see.

 

“Mr. Collins…” she said. “Wes isn’t here…”

 

“I’m not here to see Wesley,” Mr. Collins said as he let himself in the office. He had a rough exterior about him, but was still visibly uncomfortable. He did not like mingling with the lower, working class. “I want to speak to the person in charge.”

 

Jenn arced an eyebrow. She looked to the other rangers. Each of them were startled by Mr. Collins’ appearance and not sure exactly how to act. Jenn crossed her arms over her chest. “What is it you want?”

 

“I have a proposition from you,” Collins said. “All four of you. I want you to join my Silver Guardians. You owe it to this city and its businessmen…”

***

 

Wes raised his eyebrows in disbelief. “He’s asking Jenn and the others to join his Silver Guardians? That‘s insane.”

 

“Is it?” Eric said. “They’ll form my new team. I’ll be leading them…”

 

Wes scoffed. “They’d never agree to join my father.”

 

“Are you so sure?” Eric said. “Think about it…they’d have the  support of the entire Silver Guardian task force. Do you really think they could turn that down?”

 

Wes hesitated.

 

Eric smiled when he noticed Wes’ uncertainty. The Guardian took a few steps closer to the ranger. Without warning, Eric slammed a hook punch across Wes’s face. The blow whipped Wes backward, and he crashed onto the ground.

 

“If you win, you get the V-Commander,” Eric said. “Now let’s go.”

 

Eric reached down and lifted Wes by the shirt collar before punching him across the face. Eric slammed a roundkick against Wes’s side and cracked another punch across the ranger’s jaw.

 

Wes spat blood from his mouth as he climbed to his feet. Years ago, while still in school, Wes had made a deal with his father. The deal was simple: if Wes won a certain martial arts competition, he could quit working for his father’s company. If Wes lost, he would have to stay in his father’s employ.

 

Wes had fought against Eric during that match. Wes lost by a single point.

 

Wes rolled his hands into fists and got back to his feet. Father ruled my life while I was in college…Wes thought. I will never let that happen again...   

 

Eric snapped a jumpkick that Wes caught. Wes kicked Eric’s other leg out from under him, causing the Guardian to fall onto his back. Wes leaned down to punch Wes in the chest, but Eric blocked the blow and kicked Wes’s legs.

 

Wes stumbled backward as Eric snapped his leg up, kicking Wes in the gut. Wes crashed backward as Eric rose back to his feet.

 

Wes flipped back up and moved in to attack. Wes slammed jumpkick against Eric’s gut and snapped an inner crescent kick across the Guardian’s head. Eric crashed backward and tumbled across the pavement.

 

Eric rolled his hands into fists and pulled himself back to his feet. He glared at Wes and charged forward while arming his morpher. Wes narrowed his eyes at Eric and charged forward as well, arming his Chrono morpher in the meantime.

 

“Quantum Fire!” Eric shouted a fiery energy circled around his body, morphing him into his ranger form with a burst of crimson energy.

 

Chrono Trigger!” Wes shouted as he slapped his brace’s activation panel. Columns of data energy circled around him as he morphed into his Ranger form.

 

Time Fire snapped a front kick that Time Red blocked. The Quantum Ranger swung the back of his fist towards Time Red’s helmet, but the Red Ranger blocked the blow, grabbing onto Time Fire‘s arm. The two Ranger twisted around each other and pushed off, each taking a step back.

 

***

 

Master Hunter stalked back towards the city while moving through the woods with his new prize. The criminal activated a remote control on his gauntlet, summoning the mighty V-Rex and commanding the zord to stomp forward.

 

The zord roared as if it was confused and in pain. V-Rex thrashed its tail as it plowed through the woods, breaking into a powerful sprint.

 

“Hey!” Master Hunter shouted. “Not that way!”

 

V-Rex was truly a difficult beast to tame.

 

***

 

Time Fire swung a flying knifehand chop towards Time Red’s helmet. Time Red grabbed Time Fire’s wrist and flipped the Quantum Ranger through the air. Time Fire crashed back-first onto the ground, but quickly snapped up his leg to kick Time Red backward.

 

Time Red crashed onto the ground and rolled back to his feet in time to block a roundkick from Time Red. Time Fire pushed forward with a cross punch and spinning kick that Time Red dodged.

 

Time Fire blocked a kick from Time Red and slammed the back of his fist across the Red Ranger’s head. The blow dazed Time Red as Time Fire struck again, this time with a roundhouse kick that smashed across Time Red’s helmet.

 

Time Red sidestepped and blocked a punch from Time Fire. The Red Ranger slammed a roundkick against Quantum Ranger’s gut, and followed with a hook punch across Time Fire’s helmet. Time Red swung another punch that the Red Ranger managed to parry.

 

Both red-armored Rangers reached back and swung punches at each other. Their punches sparked against each other’s chests, knocking them both off their feet and sending them skidding backward across the pavement.

 

The two Rangers slowly rose to their feet and stepped back into fighting stances, smoke still rising from their armor. They breathed heavily, fatigued by the battle but not close to finished.

 

Then V-Rex’s roar sounded from the distance. The two Rangers looked towards the city skyline and saw V-Rex stomping across the streets.

 

“V-Rex…” Time Red said quietly as he sprinted forward to run after the V-Rex.

 

While Time Red was distracted, Time Fire drew his DV-Defender and fired lances of crimson energy that exploded against the Red Ranger’s armor. The blasts snapped Time Red’s body back and sent him crashing against the ground.

 

“Don’t even think about it, Collins. The V-Rex is mine,” Time Fire said. “It’s power is mine…”

 

The Quantum Ranger ran off towards the zord.

 

“Wait!” Time Red shouted as he watched Time Fire move off towards the distance.

 

***

 

V-Rex went berserker. The zord stomped through the streets, roaring loudly while smashing its tail through buildings and charging through anything that got in its way.

 

Master Hunter was on a rooftop nearby. The criminal tried to regain control of the zord, but could not. “V-Rex! Obey!”

 

The device on V-Rex’s head crackled with electricity that sparked across the zord’s armor. The emitter device wasn’t working. It was only interfering with the zord’s systems, making the V-Rex angry. 

 

Time Fire ran across a patio area in front of a nearby skyscraper. Time Red was at his heels, following as fast as he could. Through the corner of his helmet, the Quantum Ranger noticed Jenn and the others run towards them.

 

“Excellent…” Time Fire said. “My team…”

 

Time Fire ran towards them. But Jenn and the others ran past him without sparing him a glance as they moved towards Time Red.

 

“So your plan went well then?” Damien said sarcastically.

 

Time Red smiled beneath his helmet.

 

Takku spoke to the Rangers via their communicators. “Rangers…you should be able to contain the V-Rex in Shadow Alpha’s energy net.”

 

“No,” Time Fire said as he walked towards them. “I can tame the V-Rex.”

 

Lucas shrugged. “Give it a try if you have to…”

 

Time Red nodded. “But we still have a job to do. Takku, bring in the cavalry.”

 

***

 

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.

 

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.

 

Time Shadow lined up next.

 

***

 

Angel Grove, 2006AD

 

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

 

The other four rangers ran at Time Red’s side as they activated their morphers.

 

Chrono Trigger!” the four shouted as columns of data energy circled around them and they morphed into their Ranger forms.

 

“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. 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 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. A V-shaped ship 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.

 

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

 

Master Hunter growled with frustration below. The villain ripped off his cryogenic patch, causing a chain reaction in his DNA that made him grow giant.

 

V-Rex ignored the criminal and charged towards its first obstacle, the Shadow-Force Megazord. The zord roared as if infuriated.

 

“Energy net,” Time Red commanded. “Launch!”

 

The Megazord’s shoulder cannons launched jade-tinted energy nets that wrapped around V-Rex and held the zord still despite its snapping protests.

 

Master Hunter extended the tip of staff hammer and fired an energy blast that broke V-Rex loose. The zord continued its rampage towards the Megazord. V-Rex bit down hard on the zord’s sword arm.

  

Time Fire ran to a nearby rooftop. He looked up as the V-Rex bit down on the Shadow-Force Megazord nearby. The V-Rex was digging its massive teeth through the Megazord’s armor with bursts of spark.

 

“V-Rex!” the Quantum Ranger shouted. “Listen to me!”

 

The computer on Time Fire’s brace spoke. “V-Rex check…V-Rex check…voice input system online.”

 

Time Fire looked at his brace as he raised it closer to his mouthpiece. “V-Rex! Stop!”

 

The zord kept fighting, biting against the Megazord and twisting around, its tail smashing through buildings.

 

Time Fire’s morpher signaled again. “Error. The reception system is disturbed.”

 

Time Fire rolled his hands into fists with frustration. He drew his sidearm and aimed at the V-Rex. “V-Rex! Listen to me and stop!”

 

The Quantum Ranger fired lances of red energy that sparked against the zord’s thick-hide armor. V-Rex roared as if annoyed by the attack.

 

V-Rex tossed the Megazord aside and turned towards the building Time Fire was on. The zord charged forward towards its newest obstacle. 

 

Time Fire took a step back as the massive zord ran towards him.

 

“Eric!” Time Red shouted from the Megazord. “Run!”

 

The Quantum Ranger braced himself as the V-Rex came even closer, its wide jaw open.

 

Data suddenly flashed across Time Fire’s helmet. His sensors located the foreign device on the zord’s head. The device was interfering with Time Fire’s control of the zord.

 

Time Fire quickly shifted his aim and fired lances of red energy that exploded through the device, blasting it off the zord. But V-Rex continued his advance, only a dozen meters from the Quantum Ranger.

 

Time Fire braced himself and leaned back as he shouted into his morpher. “V-Rex stop!”

 

The zord stopped in its tracks, its head several feet away from Time Fire. The Quantum ranger breathed a sigh of relief.

 

Time Fire’s brace toned. “Voice control active.”

 

Time Fire smiled beneath his helmet. He stood boldly and lifted his brace to his faceplate. “V-Rex, online!”

 

The zord lifted its head and roared as energy flashed across its body, its battle systems charging to full power.

 

The Rangers watched from the Megazord cockpit. Time Green opened his eyes wide beneath his helmet. “He did it…Eric has the V-Rex…”

 

Time Fire looked to the giant criminal in the distance and shouted orders into his brace. “Charge! V-Rex!”

 

V-Rex stomped forward towards the criminals as it roared, as if angry and hungry for revenge against the criminal that had tried to tame it.

 

“Shoulder cannons!” Time Fire shouted. “Open fire!”

 

V-Rex fired lances of red energy that exploded against the criminal with massive bursts of sparks.

 

Time Fire’s brace toned. “Voice formation: ‘V-Rex Robo.’”

 

Quantum Ranger looked to his zord. “Voice formation…V-Rex Robo!”

 

V-Rex shifted shape as it rose up, assuming a humanoid warrior form. The zord had a massive right fist and a revolving missile cannon in place of its left fist. The Megazord still had its tail, and green emitter disks were mounted on the zord’s shoulders.

 

“V-Revolver fire!” Time Fire shouted.

 

V-Rex’s left cannon spun while shooting a volley of red missiles. The missiles exploded against the criminal’s armor with massive bursts of smoke and flame, forcing the villain back a few steps.

 

“V-Rex Knuckle!” Time Fire shouted. “Engage!”

 

The V-Rex fist energized and shot forward. The fist exploded against the criminal’s chest, smashing massive cracks and dents across the villain’s armor.

 

Time Fire’s brace toned again. “MAX-Freeze Laser: MAX Blizzard. Standby…”

 

Time Fire looked to his zord. “MAX Blizzard!”

 

V-Rex’s shoulder cannons fired streams of jade-tinted energy that exploded against the criminal with a massive display of power. The blast caused a chain reaction that caused the villain to shrink and enter a state of suspended animation.

 

Time Fire smiled beneath his helmet. He leapt onto the head of V-Rex and stood proudly as the zord roared, looking down at the Shadow-Force Megazord.

 

“Eric…” Time Red said quietly, pity in his voice. “Do you have the power you always wanted…?”

 

***

 

Angel Grove, 3006AD

 

Alex, the real Alex, sat behind the holographic control board of the Providus observation deck. He was alone and had the lights dimmed down. Yet he still wore sunglasses, which in the 31st century were just a pair of black lenses that fit over the eyes. Alex, who looked identical to Wes except for his slicked back hair, wore a suit of white that looked like plastic, but had the flexibility of fabric and the strength of steel.    

 

A holographic projector screen showed Time Fire strike a victory pose on top of the V-Rex in 2006AD.

 

Alex turned the projector off and sat back in his chair. “Everything is going as planned…” he said quietly to himself.

 

***

 

Eric stood at attention in front of Mr. Collin’s desk. A smug grin was on the Guardian’s face. “The V-Rex is mine, sir. You saw it for yourself.”

 

Collins nodded, still upset that he failed to bring the four Time Rangers under his control. He would have to settle for making Eric captain. Collins handed Eric the red beret cap. “Very well…the Silver Guardians are yours to command.”

 

To be continued…Chapter Thirteen