Champions Saga: Chapter One

Dark Tide

 

Dark energy swirled around the skies of Angel Grove. A spear-like palace of stone erupted from the ground with an explosion of debris as lightning scorched the skies above. Crimson lightning struck the palace as it started to pulse with energy.

 

A throne room hollowed out within the palace. A tall jagged chair of onyx rock appeared in the center of the room. A humanoid demon prince sat on the throne, tilting his head back with evil delight at the sight of his new home. The young demon was dressed in skin-tight black leather. Intricate plates of golden and crimson armor covered his arms, legs, chest, and shoulders. His hair was cut short and dark purple. His name was Lord Alcorn.

 

Alcorn rose from his throne as his troops assembled in two lines before him. One of his generals, Chimera, stepped forward. She was dressed in blue and silver armor that matched her edged headpiece. Her hair was long and dark, wrapping around her body as if alive.

 

“We have arrived in the mortal realm, sire,” Chimera said as she kneeled.

 

Alcorn nodded. “So we have…And our peers thought us foolish for trying.”

 

Alcorn and his demon clan was born from the fires of Hell. This was their first time setting foot outside of the Shadow World. They planned to succeed where their seasoned predecessors had failed.

 

Alcorn extended his hand, producing a wide viewscreen bordered by flames. The fiery image zoomed in towards a view of Angel Grove city.

 

“We must secure this population center at once,” Alcorn said. “Time is of the essence if we are to complete our task.”

 

“May I suggest a probing attack, sire?” General Kar said. The demon was wrapped in baggy, dark blue robes. His face was pure white and his eyes blood red. “We must test the strength of these Rangers our demon brethren fear so.”

 

Alcorn blasted Kar with a ball of red energy. “A probing attack? You fool…Have you learned nothing of those who came before us? This city called Angel Grove is ripe with power. The lines of magick of this world all intersect there. We will tap into this power immediately. Then nothing will stop us!”

 

***

 

Eons ago, during the first millennium of the universe, a vast and all-encompassing empire of evil was ruled by Sauron. As the Supreme Monarch of all Evil, Sauron was able to bend all creatures to serve his will. His empire lasted for thousands of years, until a great warrior known as Jestin challenged him and imprisoned him in a dimensional vortex.

 

After the defeat of Sauron, the galaxy was divided into small territories ruled by clans. One such clan was the evil Red Star. The Red Star had been the most powerful of all the clans, gifted in the ways of dark magic and technology.

 

But as the universe developed, teams of champions known as Rangers arose to challenge all that was evil. Lead by their Masters, hundreds of Rangers rose up against the forces of evil and brought light into the universe. The Red Star was defeated and its leadership slowly crumbled.

 

Centuries later, the Red Star slowly began to re assemble as a vast criminal organization. After some time, it became the largest criminal empire in existence.  Then Sauron returned.

 

The Grand Monarch of Evil broke free from his prison and crashed through the galaxy, conquering Eltar and capturing Zordon, gathering all evil warlords, rulers, and clans under his command. Through Sauron, the Red Star Clan was reborn with a fury that had not been seen in ages.

 

Then came Zordon’s Wave. It destroyed Sauron and the villains under his command. The Monarch of all Evil had taken complete control of all the Clan’s resources, so when Sauron fell as a result of Zordon’s Wave, so did the Red Star Clan.

 

The fall of the Red Star did not come as a surprise to some. Several cultist groups within the Clan had predicted its downfall thousands of years ago. They had also predicted that the Red Star would be reborn, only twice as powerful. This rebirth would begin with the awaking of a great new demon in the very rim of the galaxy. Such a demon had been found.

 

On KO-35, Gen. Veylar sensed the awaking of Alcorn. He smiled to himself wickedly. It has begun. The Red Star will be reborn.

 

Gen. Veylar was in charge of one of the many task forces bringing order back to the galaxy and helping with reconstruction. Little did people know he was also leader of a Neo-Red Star movement. Being a double agent had served him well throughout his whole career.

 

He opened up a com-line with his executive officer. “Alcorn has arisen. Prepare to leave this place...for Earth.”

 

***

 

Tommy’s eyes snapped open as the buzzing in the back of his head intensified, warning him of danger. Warning him of doom. He was sitting in a meditative pose on a wooden floor in his Hayate Way school.

 

“What the hell was that?” he asked himself as he rubbed the back of his head. He stood up and shook his head to try and clear the eerie feeling that had crept over him.

 

Tommy walked outside into the Hayate Way courtyard, a chill still creeping down his spine. Dozens of students trained in the field, practicing three different styles of martial arts.

 

The Dark Man suddenly walked up behind Tommy, appearing as if from no where as he always did. The Dark Man kept his hands in his trench-coat pockets. “What’s troubling you, Tommy?”

 

Tommy didn’t even turn around to face him. “Haven’t seen you in a while.”

 

The Dark Man grinned. “I’m glad I was missed.”

 

Tommy turned to face him. “I never said I missed you. Now…what brings you out this time?”

 

“Do you remember when we last spoke? I warned you of your final conflict…the one that would decide the fate of the entire universe…”

 

Tommy nodded. “I remember.”

 

“That conflict is right around the corner now. The players are all about to fall into place. Everything you and the champions of this planet have been through has been leading up to this moment,” the Dark Man said.

 

“So what am I supposed to do?”

 

“For now…wait. You will know when the time is right to take action. Good luck, boy.”

 

The Dark Man vanished back into the shadows.

 

***

 

Billy sat in his office on the top floor of INET’s skyscraper headquarters. His assistant, Miss Fairweather, was showing him holographic projections of the newly emerged demon temple.

 

“We have no data on these demons at all,” Fairweather said.

 

“It’s possible they’ve never appeared in our realm before,” Billy said. He sat back in his black leather chair and sighed. “It hasn’t even been a month since we beat the Saima, now we have these guys to deal with.”

 

“I’ll contact the Rangers,” Fairweather said.

 

Billy nodded.

 

***

 

The Astro Megaship cruised through space at impulse speed. Cy and Zhane had spent the last two years assisting in restoration efforts following Sauron’s attacks. Since the Earth Rangers had to remain on Earth, Cy assumed the mantle of Astro Red and four Kerovians were chosen to complete the Astro team.

 

Zhane wasn't very happy as he stormed onto the bridge carrying a small data pad. Cy and Daithi, Astro Blue, were on watch, and Zhane literally threw the data pad at them. “Take a look at this.”

 

Cy managed to catch the pad and began to read it. “It says Gen. Veylar has disappeared from his post along with his entire task force.”

 

Zhane threw his arms up in the air. “I told you I didn't trust that little Decrovian Worm!”

 

Daithi held his arms out to calm his friend. “Hold on, Zhane. Why do think Veylar is a traitor. I mean…just cause he's disappeared...”

 

“Keep reading,” Zhane said.

 

Cy did as Zhane insisted and was startled by the results. “A ship similar to Veylar's is headed towards Earth.”

 

Zhane nodded. “With a task force strong enough to wipe out the planet.”

 

Cy threw the pad down and moved to his station. “DECA, Alert Status. Set a course for Earth. Hyper-rush nine.”

 

***

 

Alcorn stood on top of a skyscraper in Angel Grove Central. Four of his generals stood at the east, west, north and south sides of the city.

 

“This will be too easy,” Alcorn said to himself as he grinned. He extended his hand, and a red bolt of energy shot into the sky. His generals did the same, and they were each connected with a ring of power.

 

A red cylinder of energy extended down around Alcorn from the skies. The energy started swirling around like a tornado of power.

 

The five teen members of Lightspeed ran to the foot of the building Alcorn was on top of. The winds were howling and the clouds above turned black.

 

Max activated his communicator. “Billy, we’ve spotted the leader.”

 

“Seems like a nice guy, too,” Junior said sarcastically.

 

“Good,” Billy said through their communicators. “If you take him out, it should stop the demons from tapping into the ley lines.”

 

Max nodded. “Hopefully it will be just as easy as you make it sound.”

 

Max and the others readied their braces. “Let’s get to work…”

 

“Lightspeed Rescue!” They flipped their morphers open, and energy wrapped around their bodies, morphing into their Ranger forms.

 

They transformed into their armor and leapt to the rooftop. They landed behind the demon leader and pulled out their side arms.

 

“Rescue Blasters!” They fired red lances of energy at Alcorn, but the tornado of crimson energy surrounding the villain reflected the Rangers’ blasts. 

 

Alcorn turned to face the Rangers. “I was expecting you…”

 

Alcorn extended his hand and fired an energy bolt that exploded against the Rangers’ armor with bursts of spark, blasting them off their feet.

 

“Allow me to introduce myself,” Alcorn said. “I am Alcorn, son of Mephisto.”

 

“Doesn’t matter who you are,” Rescue Blue said as he and the others rose back to their feet. “You demons are all the same.”

 

“Rescue Blasters, Baton mode,” Rescue Red shouted as the five readied their sabers and leapt towards the demon. The tornado of crimson energy electrified them on contact and tossed them backwards.

 

Alcorn laughed. “You mortals are even more fun than I thought.”

 

Rescue Red activated his helmet’s communicator. “Billy, we need a way to take that energy shield down.”

 

“By the time we figure out a way to neutralize the field, it will be too late,” Billy said.

 

“Damn,” Rescue Red said.

 

“I have an idea,” Rescue Green said.

 

“You always do, pal,” Rescue Red said. “What is it?”

 

“Billy,” Rescue Green asked through his helmet’s communicator. “Has this building been evacuated?”

 

“Yes,” Billy said.

 

“Good,” Rescue Green said as he turned to his leader. “We can blow the roof out from under him.”

 

“Crude, but sounds like it would work,” Rescue Blue said.

 

“Let’s do it,” Rescue Red said. “V-Lancers, blaster mode.”

 

“Specter Blast!” they shouted, aiming their weapons downwards at the last minute, blasting the roof out from underneath Alcorn’s feet.

 

Half the building collapsed, sending Alcorn towards the streets below along with the rubble. The ring of power was disrupted as a result. The Rangers leapt down to the streets below as Alcorn rose back to his feet.

 

“Not so tough now are ya, ya purple-headed freak?” Rescue Yellow said as the five assumed defensive stances.

 

“Perhaps I’ve underestimated you,” Alcorn said. “I’ll be leaving now, but let me give you a little parting gift.”

 

Alcorn extended his hand and fired a massive blast of crimson electricity. The blast slammed against the Rangers’ armor with massive bursts of spark and tendrils of electricity. The Rangers screamed as they were blasted backward and out of their armor.

 

Alcorn laughed and teleported away in a burst of crimson flame.

 

***

 

Tommy lied down in his bed as Ashley curled up next to him.

 

“Are you alright?” Ashley asked. “You seem tense.”

 

Tommy nodded. “Yeah. Just had an unexpected visitor today.”

 

“That guy in the trench-coat you told me about?” Ashley asked.

 

Tommy nodded. “Yeah. Something bad is going to happen, Ash.”

 

“Do you think it’s related to this new demon that tried to take over the city today?” she asked.

 

“It could be. I’m not sure,” he said.

 

“Talk to Billy about it in the morning,” she said.

 

Tommy sighed. “He’s probably too busy cooking up more toy soldiers in that lab of his.”

 

“Tommy, he’s your friend,” she said.

 

“He used to be. That was before he left us to go to Aquitar and started this whole mad scientist get up. He’s messing with The Power like its just another energy source. That’s a bad plan,” Tommy said.

 

“Either way, call him in the morning if the newest bad guys on the block are bothering you,” she said. She kissed him on the forehead. “Now get some rest.”

 

***

 

The Megaship entered the Earth's Solar System and found Gen. Veylar's ship already in orbit. Karone, newly chosen Astro Pink, opened up hailing frequencies with the vessel. “They're not responding.”

 

The next thing they knew, they were being fired upon by Veylar's ship. Daithi grabbed onto his console to keep himself from falling. “Oh, they're responding alright.”

 

“Polarize the hull plating and return fire!” Cy commanded.

 

The ship’s Mega Lasers opened fire and impacted on the weaker ship's hull.

 

Veylar's ship then broke apart and exploded, but not before it launched a small drop ship.

 

Cy watched the drop ship’s trail across the viewscreen. “We've got to stop that ship. To the Morphing Tubes!”

 

The Rangers ran off of the bridge to follow the drop ship.

 

***

 

The drop ship landed in the desert area not far from Angel Grove. The six Astro Rangers were in hot pursuit on their Cyber Sliders. The doors to the drop ship opened up and dozens of soldiers leapt through. They were Verox Soldiers, scaled down versions of the cybernetic Verox Bounty Hunters.

 

Astro Silver was the first to jump off of his glider. Verox! That slime-ball got his hands on Verox Soldiers!”

 

The other Rangers joined Astro Silver on the ground and prepared to do battle with the Verox.

 

The Verox had the Astro Rangers way outnumbered, but the cyborgs were still no match for the team of six. Astro Red had drawn his Drill Saber and was using it to carve up the Verox left and right.

 

Bran, Astro Black, was sweeping the feet out from underneath the soldiers by using his Astro Rod. Astro Blue backed him up with his small Astro Tomahawk. The Blue Ranger enjoyed his weapon and often used it in spinning attacks.

 

Saoirse, Astro Yellow, and Astro Pink had teamed up with the power of their weapons, the Star Slinger and Satellite Stunner. The Yellow and Pink Rangers were able to shoot down the Verox before they even came close.

 

Astro Silver was using the blade of his Silver Blazer when he saw a hooded figure running from the drop ship. "It's Veylar!"

 

The Silver Ranger jumped over a pair of Verox and landed in front of the figure, pulling off his cloak. It wasn't Veylar; it was a Verox Bounty Hunter. The bounty hunter shot Astro Silver in the chest, and the ranger went tumbling backward. The Verox Bounty Hunter then activated a button on its arm and grew to skyscraper size.

 

The Rangers grouped together and Astro Red activated his communicator. “Astro Megazord online!” The Megaship entered the planet's atmosphere and underwent a transformation into humanoid form. The Rangers transferred to the Zords' control room and prepared to do battle with Verox.

 

The Astro Megazord moved in and backfisted Verox twice, and followed by a punch to the face with its other hand. Verox countered by leaping into the air and kicking the massive Zord in its chest.

 

The Rangers were rocked in their seats. Astro Black turned to Astro Red. “This monster's pretty tough.”

 

Cy nodded. “But we're tougher. Astro Megazord Saber online!”

 

The Zord’s saber appeared in its hand and struck at the Verox with a horizontal swing. The monster fell to the ground, but quickly recovered. “Energize Saber!”

 

The Saber energized and slashed through the Verox multiple times. The Bounty Hunter fell backward to the ground and exploded...right on top of the drop ship.

 

***

 

Simon lied on his bed, staring at the ceiling while trying to fall asleep. He sighed as sleep continued to escape him. His empathic abilities had been giving him strange sensations all day, and he couldn’t point his finger at why.

 

He was aware of the new demon group that had tried to take over Angel Grove. But he had been around different monsters and villains since he and his sister were attacked by Bandora’s first monster seven years ago. He never received a feeling quite like this one before.

 

Maybe I’m just having some kinda Ranger withdraw, he thought to himself as he tossed and turned.

 

Then, images flashed before his minds’ eye. Anamarium was burning, Tetomu was screaming. Simon sat upright as he struggled to catch his breath. What the hell was that?

 

***

 

The Astro Rangers returned to the bridge of the Megaship after their battle with the Verox. DECA had downloaded what she could of the drop ship's computer files and Cy and Zhane were examining them.

 

Information scrolled across the screen as Cy relayed his findings to the other Rangers. “Apparently, Gen. Veylar was working for the Red Star.”

 

Daithi looked at his friends and realized they were as clueless as he was. “What's the Red Star?”

 

Zhane answered. “The Red Star Clan. A long time ago the entire universe was divided into ruling Clans. The Red Star was the worst.”

 

Cy nodded. He too was familiar with the history of the Red Star. “Eventually, the Clan system collapsed, and the Red Star became the largest crime organization in existence. They fell apart after the death of Sauron two years ago."

 

Karone shook her head. “I had a few run ins with the Red Star when I was Astronema. If the remaining members of the Red Star are up to something, we could be in big trouble.”

 

Cy nodded in agreement. “Let's get back to KO-35.”

 

The Megaship left the Earth's orbit and jumped into hyperspace.

 

***

 

He was known only as The Prophet. The last of an order of mages that had been exterminated centuries ago. He stood before his master's throne and kneeled. “Gen. Veylar has been killed.”

 

The Prophet’s master nodded. He was surrounded by darkness so that he could not be seen. “Is the cursed planet Earth to be the place of The Gathering?”

 

The Prophet nodded. “Yes. Alcorn is the demon spoke of in our prophecies. The Earth will be the center point for the final war between good and evil that will make the heavens tremble. Then only the Red Star will remain.”

 

The figure in the shadows smiled. “Excellent. Begin preparations for the Gathering.”

 

***

 

The Astro Rangers landed on KO-35 and learned disturbing news. The planet had been attacked by the Red Star and a fragment from the Tablet of Chakra was stolen. Cy had informed the others that the tablet had been found on a barren desert planet many years ago. Scientists could not determine where the tablet came from or how old it was. They were only able to determine its name, The Tablet of Chakra, and that it was incomplete.

 

Bran shook his head. “Why would the Red Star want an ancient artifact?”

 

Cy shrugged. “I don't know, but we can't let them have it. We have to get it back.”

 

“How?” Karone asked. “They could be anywhere.”

 

Cy activated a control on his console. “The tablet emits a rare energy signal. It's not powerful at all, but it's very easy to trace.”

 

The Rangers agreed to leave KO-35 and search for the tablet.

 

***

 

The Megaship tracked the energy signal of the tablet to an unexplored planet in the Decovian Cluster. The Astro Rangers brought their ship into orbit and teleported to the surface un-morphed. Zhane had stayed behind to watch over the ship.

 

The Astros activated their portable scanners and began searching the barren desert world. Cy picked up a signal fast. “I'm picking up the tablet. This way!”

 

The Rangers quickened their pace. Over the horizon, they could see a small ship, similar to the ship of the late Gen. Veylar. Before they could reach it, the ground began to shake and the Rangers fell to their feet. A creature of gigantic proportions burst from the ground. It resembled a giant worm only it possessed an exo-skeleton that looked like armor.

 

Cy and the others held out their Digi-Morphers. "Install, Astro Ranger!"

 

The worm opened its mouth and dove down at the Astro Rangers. They all managed to leap away and avoid its sharp mangly teeth.

 

Astro Red activated his communicator. “Zhane, we could use a little help down here!”

 

The Astro Megazord flew through the atmosphere and landed in front of the worm. The Zord pulled out its blaster and fried the creature.

 

The Rangers breathed a sigh of relief and returned to the ship. Once aboard, they de-morphed and ran to the bridge. When they walked in, it was obvious that Zhane was not happy. “We lost track of that ship, and the tablet.”

 

Cy shook his head. “They probably lured us down there to get us out of the way. They knew we were coming.”

 

Saoirse placed her hand on Cy's shoulder. “So now what?”

 

“There are other pieces to that Tablet. We're going to find them before the Red Star does.”

 

***

 

The Prophet stood in front of his unseen master once more. He pulled out a silk pouch and pulled out the small stone Tablet of Chakra fragment. “The tablet has been stolen from KO-35, but other fragments still remain. They will not all be taken as easily.”

 

“Bring them before me as quickly as possible. I need the Tablet in its complete form before the Gathering. Use whatever means necessary.”

 

The Prophet bowed and left his master. Only a single thought went through his head. Soon.

 

***

 

Alcorn kneeled within his private chambers as a dark flame appeared before him.

 

“All is proceeding well, my master,” Alcorn said. “Angel Grove will be yours soon.”

 

“Soon?!” A the dark flame said. “You truly are a fool, Alcorn. A fool destined for failure.”

 

“I will prove you and everyone else wrong, my master. I will take hold of this city and clear a path for The Ceremony. Then you will be free to finally set foot in the mortal plane,” Alcorn said.

 

“You are a fool, Alcorn,” the dark flame said as it vanished.

 

Alcorn rose from his knees and screamed with anger as he blasted the wall where the flame had been.

 

“I’ll show you! I’ll show all of you!” he yelled to the air. “You all chastised me when you heard of my plans, laughed at me when I told you I was entering the mortal world. Well now here I am! When you are released, master, you will be forced to do my bidding! I will accomplish what those before me have been trying to do since before time. Then all of the Shadow World will see that Alcorn is truly powerful!”

 

Alcorn laughed to himself. “Soon…”

 

***

 

“It will take the Rangers at least a week to recover,” Billy told four gentleman that appeared before him on his computer monitor. “They were hit with an energy blast that tore straight through their suits, exposing their entire bodies. They’re still unconscious from the shock.”

 

“What do we do in the meantime?” Capt Mitchell asked. “Is the J-Force Project ready?”

 

Billy shook his head. “No. Not for another month at the very least.”

 

“I have this old project I could dust off and send in. Battle Fever J,” Anthony Starr said.

 

“I appreciate the offer, but what Angel Grove really needs to fight these demons is a Ranger team,” Billy said. “I’m going to call in some old friends of mine.”

 

Billy activated the speaker on his desk. “Robin?”

 

“Yes Billy?”

 

“I need you to track down someone who lives in Angel Grove for me. His name is Jason Scott.”

 

To be continued…Chapter Two