Champions Saga: Chapter Two

Pawns

 

Angel Grove, 3008AD

 

Capt. Logan wrinkled his brow as he watched a holovid tuned into the past. The images showed Time Fire battling a dark-armored warrior with red undergarments. Logan shook his head and deactivated the screen. “This shouldn’t be happening…”

 

He sighed as his fingers danced across a holographic control panel in front of him. He activated another holographic display, which showed a diagram of the timeline. Capt. Logan was shocked as he watched the display.

 

“This can’t be,” he said in disbelief. He stood as he stared at the timeline projection. The line was distorting at an alarming rate.

 

Capt. Logan shook his head and activated a communications button on his counsel. “Lt. Tristen, this is Capt. Logan. Go to alert status. Condition Blue.”

 

There was a pause at the other end of the channel. “Condition Blue, sir?” the Lieutenant asked in disbelief.

 

Capt. Logan nodded, not taking his eyes off the timeline display. “That’s right, Lieutenant. Time is unraveling itself, and we have to find out why.”

 

***

 

Angel Grove, 2008AD

 

Twenty-two-year-old Jason Scott walked across the campus of Angel Grove University along with his girlfriend Emily. The two had been dating for a year and planned to marry at the end of the semester, following their graduation.

 

The two were holding hands and laughing as Billy walked up behind him. “Jason.”

 

Jason and Emily turned around. “Billy,” Jason said as he smiled. “Hey, what are you doing around here?”

 

“I’m afraid this isn’t necessarily a social visit,” Billy said with a serious look on his face. “We need to talk.”

 

Jason turned to Emily. “I’ll catch up with you at the library, Emily.”

 

“Is everything ok?” she asked.

 

Jason nodded and kissed Emily’s hand. “Yeah.”

 

Emily sighed. “Ok. I’ll meet you there.”

 

“She seems nice,” Billy said after she walked off.

 

“She is,” Jason said. “Now what’s this about?”

 

“I have a favor to ask. I’m assuming you’ve seen Alcorn on the news,” Billy said.

 

Jason nodded. “That new demon. Yeah I’ve seen him.”

 

“He took my Ranger team out of commission. It will take them a week to recover. If Alcorn strikes before then, the city will be helpless,” Billy said. “I’d like you to reassemble the Ninja Rangers and protect the city from Alcorn until the Lightspeed Rangers are healed. You’ll have Lightspeed’s support units at your disposal, and I’m calling in the Silver Guardians. They have a Ranger as their commander, Time Fire.”

 

Jason sighed. “I’ll have to round up the other Rangers.”

 

Billy nodded. “It shouldn’t take too long with teleportation.” He handed Jason a communicator. “Contact me as soon as your team is assembled. Thank you, Jason.”

 

“No problem, man,” Jason said.

 

Billy walked away as Jason stared at the communicator with mixed feelings. He swore a long time ago to use his powers to protect the innocent, so whether or not he should fight against Alcorn wasn’t even questioned. However, he had grown accustomed to normal life.

 

“Well,” Jason said quietly to himself. “It was a nice retirement while it lasted.”

 

***

 

Cy was on the crystal planet of Spectra wearing his usual brown cloak disguise. Spectra was known to be one of the best planets in the cosmos for gathering information. Due to the planet's value, many merchants traveled there often. Such merchants possessed valuable knowledge. The trick for Cy was finding the information that he wanted.

 

He was in one of the planet’s many taverns. The interior was the exact contrast of the outside world. Whereas the planet was bright and full of beauty, the inside of the bar was gray and broken down. It was the perfect place for Cy to find what he wanted.

 

He already had managed to gain a lead. The Red Astro Ranger had managed to save a trade vessel from being overrun by a band of pirates. The ship’s Captain had no knowledge of use to Cy, but he had pointed the Ranger to someone who would. The merchant Cy was looking for was called Menlanar.

 

Menlanar supposedly was a regular attendant at this tavern whenever he was on the planet Spectra. And as the Red Astro Ranger had been told, the merchant was not easy to miss.

 

Cy could spot the space going alien from clear across the bar. Menlanar had a neck that was four feet long and a small head that seemed to have only two large black eyes.

 

Cy walked over to the alien and sat down. “I'm looking for information. I was told you could help me,” he said in the low, silent voice he always used when in disguise.

 

Menlanar looked down at Cy. “Glee kleb chchch knack...” The alien activated his translator when he caught Cy's non-responsiveness. He must have forgotten that not everyone speaks his native language. “What is it you wish for information on?”

 

“The Tablet of Chakra.” Cy pulled out a few credit chips, and Menlanar grabbed them as soon as they hit the table.

 

“The Tablet of Chakra. Not very valuable. It was written early on in the history of our universe by some sort of wizards. When the Masters arose, they dismissed the Tablet as nothing but fantasy and useless legends. The tablet was somehow broken up and scattered. The colony world of KO-35 had a fragment in its museum that was stolen not too long ago. The only other known fragment is...practically unreachable.”

 

“Practically?” Cy slipped the alien more credits.

 

“For what good it will do you, the other fragment is held in a museum on the planet Isis.”

 

Great. Cy thought to himself. The people of Isis were complete and total isolationists. They despised outlanders. They stayed on their world and made everyone else stay off. Isis was thought to be almost as cursed as the Earth. Almost.

 

The Red Astro Ranger thanked the man and then headed towards the exit. He was blocked by a large creature whose face resembled that of a warthog. “I have not seen you around here before stranger. What business have you?”

 

Cy remained calm and tried to walk around the creature. “I am merely a traveler.”

 

The warthog grabbed Cy and pushed him backward. “I asked you a question, stranger!”

 

Another man stepped in between Cy and the alien. He appeared to be wearing some sort of armor that was made of many zippers. “Let him be. There is no place for common thugs here.”

 

The warthog drew a broad sword and took a swing at the armored man. He ducked and then side kicked the creature in its large gut. He then followed with a spin kick across his face.

 

Two more warthogs walked over from opposite sides of the tavern to join their friend. Cy stood next to his newly made ally. “Looks like we've managed to stir up a bit of trouble.”

 

“These things happen.” The armored figure and Cy attacked the three warthog men. The Ranger kicked the sword from one of the hog's hands and caught it before it hit the ground. He then threw a reverse sidekick that sent the overweight alien crashing onto a table.

 

Cy's new ally drew a sword of his own and parried the blows of two warthog aliens at once. He then round kicked the hog on his right and snapped the one at his left with a hook kick.

 

Once their adversaries were down, the two left the tavern for the outside streets of crystal. The armored figure patted Cy on the back and laughed. “You are an excellent fighter, stranger. I am Villimax. You would make a great ally.”

 

Cy shook his head. “I am very grateful and honored by your offer, but I have important business to attend to.”

 

Villimax nodded. “Very well, but I hope our paths meet again, my friend.”

 

Cy left leaving Villimax standing alone on the streets. Soon after, a little creature with green goggles waddled over to him. “Villimax! Villimax! Who was that?”

 

Villimax looked down to his friend Keglar. “He ran into trouble with a Hogmite thug. I do not like to see people pushed around.”

 

Keglar knew this of Villimax very well. It was not to long ago that the little alien was forced to serve a horrible villain as a monster maker. Villimax had come across the villain and defeated him. Keglar had immediately become Villimax's traveling companion in gratitude. “Oh, but still Villimax, I wish you wouldn't cause so much trouble.”

 

***

 

Space was filled with evil scum such as smugglers, thieves, and pirates. Most of them never accomplished anything to the degree in which Sauron or Lord Zedd did, but sometimes, they could inadvertently start a chain of events that did.

 

The Collacs were a gruesome band of pirates that made their name by stealing treasures from worlds and selling them to the highest bidder. They had no special powers, no soldiers, and not even monsters. They made a living by theft and theft alone.

 

The leader of the Collacs name was Goiter. He was a morbidly obese frog-man looked up to and admired by his shipmates. However, everyone else knew for a fact that he was an idiot, plain and simple.

 

Goiter brought his ship out from hyperspace and entered orbit around the Earth.

 

“HHmmmm...many a things to be a found here me thinks.” He had just made a stop by a forest planet and stolen a magical key from a wizard named Dappu. The fat dullard had heard stories about the planet Earth and had planned to use the key to unlock some of its treasures.

 

“Doomba! Bulbon! You come a here!”

 

The two identical creatures raced onto the bridge on all hundred of their tiny insectoid legs. “Tibimibe iba fibor mibunch mibunch?” The asked together.

 

“Me thinks no. You a already eaten. We land a da ship and find a things.”

 

The two creatures scurried away and made preparations to land.

 

The Collacs landed in a secluded place in Angel Grove City (a parking garage that was under construction). They had been attracted to the power emanations that resulted from the intersection of the planet’s ley lines there.

 

Once the ship was sealed up, the three Collacs left their ship to see what they could find. Doomba and Bulbon were trying to keep up with their master, but they were too busy fighting over Dappu's key. “Gibivibe tibo mibe!” “Nibo! Ibis miinibe tibo kibeibep!”

 

Goiter bashed the two on the heads and took the key from them. “Give a to me! And me think you best be quiet!”

 

The three continued on their way until Goiter stumbled upon a barren piece of land. He closed his eyes as he felt the power beneath it. Although he was as dumb as a doornail, his people had a special gift of sensing things of great power. “Something goody goody be here me a think.”

 

He held out the key, and it began to glow. The Earth cracked open, and a large metallic hand carrying some sort of egg appeared. Dumba and Bulbon became excited. “Ibeibats, Ibeibats!”

 

Goiter whacked them again. “You bein a quiet! This be no for lunch!” The key continued to glow and the egg cracked open. A figure of some sort with purple skin and clothing emerged from the egg.

 

The purple man extended his hands and shot lightening into the sky. “At last! I am free! Ladies and gentleman...the Ooze is back!” Goiter was taken aback so much that he dropped the key.

 

Dumba and Bulbon were holding each other as they both shook in fear. Goiter was simply dumbfounded. “Who be you?”

 

The purple creature stepped down from the egg. “I am Ivan Ooze. I'm guessing it was you who released me.” Ivan looked over the Collacs and sighed. “Oh well. Guess I shouldn't be picky.”

 

***

 

Once Cy returned to the Megaship, the Astro Rangers set a course for Isis. They all gathered on the bridge so Cy and Zhane could fill them in on the planet's history.

 

Daithi leaned back in a chair to listen. “So what's so bad about this Isis place anyway?”

 

Zhane also took a seat. “Heh, where do we start,” he said jokingly.

 

The Red Astro Ranger sighed. “Well, the Isosians have been around for as long as anyone can tell. They were possibly the first civilization to develop in the known universe.”

 

Zhane added in his two cents. “The thing is though, that they hate offworlders. They'd probably shoot us down the second we entered their system.”

 

Cy continued. “They're isolationists. They don't like outside influences, and they hate war. They've already had their fare share.

 

“Their whole society is based on the melding of man and machine. Early in their history, a cult arose that used the planet’s technology to develop a system of traveling across realities. They planned on using this system to conquer everything.

 

“Eventually, the cult was defeated, but not before they placed all of their secrets in something called The Box of Isis and sent it away from their planet.

 

“It was a gruesome war, and because of it, the Isosians dedicated themselves to using their technology for peace. They won't let anything take a chance at corrupting their society.”

 

Bran shook his head. “So how are we going to get them to hand the tablet over to us?”

 

Cy and Zhane looked at each other blankly. Karone smiled. “You guys have no idea, do you?”

 

Zhane slapped on his best smile and shrugged. “We figured we can just come up with a plan when we get there.” The others rolled their eyes and returned to their quarters for the rest of their journey.

 

A few hours later, the Megaship entered the outskirts of the Isis system. The rangers all manned their control stations and sat silently, awaiting orders from Cy.

 

Cy brought the ship to a full stop once Isis was in visual range. “Karone, open all hailing frequencies.” 

 

Karone activated the ship’s communications system. “Hailing frequencies open.”

 

“Planet Isis, this is Cy, leader of the Astro Rangers of KO-35. We mean you no harm and seek only information on the Tablet of Chakra...”

 

The Megaship suddenly rocked from another explosion. Bran gripped his console tightly to keep his balance as another blast shook the ship. “We’re being fired upon!”

 

A message was broadcast over the ship’s speakers. “This is your first and final warning. Leave our space immediately or you will be destroyed.”

 

Cy repeated his message. “We're only here for information. The Tablet of Chakra...”

 

“The Tablet of Chakra was stolen no less than two hours ago by an unknown mercenary band. It is most probable that you are in allegiance with this band. Leave our space or be destroyed.”

 

The viewscreen zoomed in on more than a dozen humanoid mecha jetting towards the Megaship. The mecha were seven-feet tall and heavily armed.

 

Zhane was the first to point them out. “Mobile Suits. We'd better get out of here.”

 

Daithi nearly fell to the ground as another blast struck the ship. “Good idea.”

 

The Mobile Suits grouped up and executed a firing run against the ship’s Mega Laser turrets. In a matter of moments, the particle beam weapons of the Soldiers managed to seriously damage the ship’s weapons. It wasn't long before they were attacking the engines as well.

 

Cy shook his head as he saw the power indicator on the screen in front of him drop. “We can't hold them off like this. We've got to get to our Cyber Sliders.”

 

Zhane nodded in agreement. “I'll stay here and pilot the ship.”

 

The other five Astros dashed from the bridge to their Morphing Tubes. They jumped through the tubes, and in a mere matter of seconds, were morphed and riding on their Cyber Sliders in the coldness of space.

 

The Mobile Suit pilots apparently were not expecting such a tactic from their enemy, because they were completely disorganized upon the appearance of the Rangers. The Astros split up and attacked their adversaries.

 

Astro Red held out his hand as he charged a duo of Isosians head on. “Drill Saber!”

 

The Red Astro Ranger’s sword appeared in his hand just in time for him to block the particle beam shots of the approaching Soldiers. When he was close enough, he swiped the lead Isosian across the chest and then snapped his sword around, swiping another Suit in its midsection.

 

Astro Black had called forth his Astro Lance and was dealing with a duo of Soldiers. The Black Astro Ranger used his Lance to smash the Mobile Suit’s jet units, causing them to spiral off into space.

 

Astro Blue, Pink, and Yellow had connected their weapons with their Astro Blasters to create more powerful firearms.

 

The situation became grave when the shock of seeing the Astros riding through space wore off on their enemies. The Mobile Suits quickly pulled themselves together and hit the Rangers hard. It was the Rangers' turn to be taken by surprise.

 

Astro Yellow was being tailed by a trio of Soldiers that would not let up. They continued to fire at the Yellow Astro Ranger with a barrage of miniature missiles from their wrist-mounted launchers until the Ranger’s Glider was struck. The impact sent Astro Yellow spiraling off of her Galaxy Glider and away from the heat of the battle.

 

“Saoirse!” Astro Red ignored his opponents and flew off towards the Yellow Ranger.

 

Cy and Saoirse had developed a romance between each other from the first day they met. She meant everything to him and he would do everything within his power and beyond to help her.

 

Before the Red Astro Ranger could reach his companion, another figure swept in and grabbed her with his left arm. The stranger was wearing sleek, heavy white armor that had red highlights. The armored stranger was armed with a double-bladed metallic staff. He appeared to be propelled by miniature thrusters built into the shoulders of his armor.

 

Astro Red assumed that the stranger was the leader of the other Soldiers. The Red Ranger was wrong. The armored stranger cut his way through three Mobile Suits that were pelting the Megaship with miniature missiles. The other Mobile Suits broke off their attacks on the Astros to battle the seemingly more deadly foe.

 

A group of five Suits attempted to contain their new adversary with a pincer movement, but the stranger was too quick, even while carrying Astro Yellow in his arm. He spun and jammed his staff through the side of a Soldier and glided over to the next two while simultaneously kicking one in the chest plate and slicing across another's helmet.

 

The last two Mobile Suits rejoined their teammates and retreated back towards their homeplanet. The armored individual flew off towards one of the moons of Isis while opening up a channel with the Megaship. “Follow me.”

 

Zhane didn't argue with the man. The Megaship was badly damaged and in need of repair. Besides, whoever this guy was, he had just saved the Rangers and their ship.

 

Zhane set a course and followed the armored stranger to the moon of Isis.

 

***

 

There was a knock on Billy’s office door as he sat at his desk. “Come in,” he said.

 

Tommy walked in the door. He had his hands in his pocket and was looking around the room, clearly uncomfortable. “Nice place you got here.”

 

“It serves its purpose,” Billy said. Their sincerity could not have been more forced and insincere. “How have you been, Tommy? How are things with Ashley?”

 

“Couldn’t be better,” Tommy said. “Mind if I sit down?”

 

“Not at all,” Billy said as he lifted his hand towards the chair in front of his desk.

 

Tommy sat down. “I need to know what you do about these new demons. I had a visit from an old…acquaintance yesterday. He led me to believe something big was about to happen. Something bad. And Simon, it turns out, had a vision last night of Anamarium in flames. It can’t be a coincidence that this happened at the same time this demon popped up.”

 

Billy nodded. “Unfortunately, we don’t know much. His name is Alcorn, and we’re assuming he’s fresh out of hell. Never been outside of the Shadow World before. He’s extremely powerful. The Lightspeed Rangers were injured badly by him. I talked to Jason and he’s going to bring the Ninja Rangers back together to watch over things until Max and the others heal.”

 

Tommy nodded. “Have you tried talking to Maya? Her grandfather may have left something behind that could be useful.”

 

“I doubt it,” Billy said. “Feel free to try though, if you think it's worth your time.”

 

“I just may. She’s been a help before,” Tommy said. “You’re sure there’s nothing else you know?”

 

“Yes,” Billy said as he nodded.

 

Tommy sighed. “Alright. I suppose I’ll be going then. It was nice seeing you again, Billy. Be careful.”

 

Billy nodded. “You too, Tommy. You too.”

 

***

 

Convincing Zack to leave New York University for a while and Richie to leave the L.A. Police Academy temporarily had been easy. Jason’s real task came from Jonathan and Trini.

 

The two had drifted apart, and whenever they were in each other's presence, open hostility ensued. Jason thought he was going to have to bind them both in chains to keep them from killing each other during the fiasco with Sauron.

 

Jason was sitting with Jonathan at an outdoor café near the campus of Tallahassee University.

 

“Can’t you just transfer my powers to someone else or something?” Jonathan asked. “I’ve good a good life going here, and becoming a Ranger again…” he shook his head. “I mean how many climactic final battles can one person go through, ya know?”

 

Jason smiled. “I know what you mean, Jonathan, but we both know the real reason you don’t want to come back.”

 

“Hey, I’m not afraid to see Trini again. That’s totally not it,” Jonathan said.

 

“Yeah, I don’t believe you,” Jason said with a grin. “Whatever did happen with you two anyway? Why did you drift apart?”

 

“I’d rather not talk about it. It’s water under the bridge and I’d prefer to keep it that way.”

 

Jason leaned back in his chair with his arms crossed as he stared at Jonathan.

 

“What…?What…? Alright, alright I’ll go,” Jonathan said. “But consider it your personal mission to keep Trini and her claws away from me.”

 

Jason nodded. “You got it. Now let’s go.”

 

***

 

The Astros were led to a deep, underground cavern on within the moon of Isis.

 

Once leaving their ship, they met the armored stranger face-to-face. The man snapped his hands to his side, and his armor disappeared with a flash of light. He wore what appeared to be a vest and a pair of slacks. This Isosian resembled a Japanese man in his early 20s.

 

“My name is Sage,” he said.

 

The Astro Rangers demorphed, and Cy introduced his team. “I'm Cy. These are my friends and teammates: Zhane, Daithi, Bran, Saoirse, and Karone.”

 

Sage nodded, keeping his face devoid of any emotion. “What brings you here?”

 

Cy explained to Sage about the Red Star Clan and how they were in search for the Tablet of Chakra for their own perverse and evil purposes.

 

Sage still remained emotionless as he led the Rangers through the corridors of the complex. “I am afraid that the tablet fragment we possessed was stolen not long ago by an offworlder. No one knows for sure how it was done, but we all have our suspicions.”

 

“Like what?” Daithi asked.

 

Sage ignored the question and continued his walk through the complex. “Your ship will be up and running soon, then I will have some of my Soldiers escort you safely out of our space.”

 

Zhane looked at his surroundings and came down with an eerie feeling. “Are you rebels?”

 

“Not exactly,” Sage said. “We just believe that it is time for us to leave our cradle behind. We want to explore the universe and not live in fear of it. The Dynast will do anything in his power to keep us all here. He doesn't want any of our technology to be shared or stolen by offworlders.

 

“Regardless of the wishes of my planet’s leaders,” Sage continued, “I gathered together anyone who wished to leave this world and explore the universe here in this very complex. We are currently working on several long-range ships to provide transportation out of this system, but the Dynast has been trying to prevent our escape. Mine in particular.”

 

“Who's the Dynast?” Karone asked.

 

“The ruler of Isis.” Sage pulled out an arrow shaped crystal from behind his back. “This is the Tekno Crystal. I use it to activate my powers, call upon my armor, and transform into Tekno-Man. It was given to me by my father before he...was destroyed. This crystal is the most advanced melding of our people's sciences and technologies. Tekno-Man was to be our planet’s greatest defender. It is for this reason the Dynast will not be happy to see me take my leave. I believe that he would rather have me killed and my powers taken than see me leave this system with this crystal.”

 

Daithi shook his head. “This Dynast doesn't sound like a very nice guy.”

 

Sage shook his head. “He is merely misled.”

 

Sirens began blaring throughout the complex. Sage balled up his fists. “Darkheart. It could only be him.”

 

The rangers looked at their newfound friend with confusion.

 

Sage explained. “Darkheart...used to be a highly respected scientist on my world until he turned to evil. He now leads a small army and attacks the planet on a regular basis.”

 

Sage dashed for the hanger bay, and the rangers followed.

 

***

 

Ivan took the Collac’s ship and stored it in his underground temple of ooze. He was happy to see the temple still in fairly good condition after so many years. He waved his hand, and the ooze below him began to move and take shape. Soon, a group of soldiers formed out of the ooze. They were ready to obey Ivan's command.

 

“My Gooclones! It is time for us to begin what we started six-thousand years ago!”

 

Dumba and Bulbon looked to Goiter with confused looks on their insectoid faces. Their leader merely shrugged as the Gooclones began their march onto the surface.

 

***

 

The five former Turbo Rangers still worked in the Pegasus garage, only as a means to pay for college. The five each attended Angel Grove University.

 

“Come on, Luke,” Tyler asked.

 

“Tyler, I feel for ya man, but ya can’t just take company money for your date.”

 

“Not take,” Tyler said. “Borrow.”

 

Luke sighed and shook his head. “No way.”

 

“Ummmm, Luke?” Cassie asked as she walked into the main room. “Didn’t you take some money from the shop last week to buy comic books?”

 

Luke turned to Cassie. “Shhhh…Cassiiiiiie.”

 

“Oh, I see,” Tyler said.

 

“That was different,” Luke explained.

 

“How was it different?” Tyler asked. “Besides the fact that I would be using the money for a worthwhile purpose.”

 

“What’s not worthwhile about Spriggan?” Luke asked.

 

“Gee, where do I start,” Tyler said, but before he could finish, a golden light flashed in the middle of the garage. It was Dappu.

 

“Car Ranger!” he shouted. “It’s been a long time!”

 

“I told you not to call us that,” Luke said as he smiled, and the five gathered to greet Dappu.

 

“So what’s up?” Carlos asked. “Is this just a visit or is there something else?”

 

“I’m afraid I have bad news,” Dappu said. “Ivan Ooze has been freed by these space clowns who stole my key.”

 

“What kind of name is Ivan Ooze?” Luke said.

 

Tyler leaned to Cassie. “This coming from the guy who just took store money to buy kiddie books.”

 

“Let it go, man,” Luke said.

 

Dappu explained. “Ivan Ooze is a morphological being who was trapped in a hyperlock tomb thousands of years ago by Zordon. He’s preparing to attack the city now with an army of soldiers called Gooclones.”

 

“Where at?” Tanya asked.

 

“A factory he created above his old temple ruins,” Dappu said.

 

“All right guys, let’s rev up and get this slime ball,” Luke said as he and the others armed their morphers.

 

“Shift into Turbo! Axle Power!” They inserted their keys into their morphers and turned the ignition. Morphin energy throttled through their system as they morphed into their Ranger forms.

 

***

 

The command ship of Darkheart looked like a dark metallic blowfish. Surrounding the ship was a group of crab-like fighters called Craboids. The Craboids were fearsome mecha, and the Isosians had come close to being defeated by them many times.

 

Sage, along with the Astros, entered the complex's hangar bay and prepared for battle. Power-Armored Soldiers were being launched into space from both the moon and the surface of Isis. It appeared the government and “rebels” were putting aside their differences and joining forces.

 

Sage looked back to the rangers. “Your ship has been repaired. I advise you to leave.” He pulled out his crystal and raised it to the sky while calling out: “Tekno Power!”

 

Beams of energy surrounded Sage as his armor activated and he became Tekno-Man. He prepared to jet out of the hangar bay when Cy stopped him. “We're coming with you.”

 

The rangers readied their Digimorphers.

 

“Install, Astro Ranger!” They input the code 3-3-5-enter into their morphers and activated their armor, morphing into their Ranger forms. 

 

The six Rangers were soon on their Cyber Sliders, flying in formation behind Tekno-Man and into the heart of the battle.

 

***

 

The bridge of Darkheart's ship was lit with an eerie red glow that caused his black armor to glow crimson. He monitored the ongoing battle around the planet of Isis with growing interest. These Rangers fight better than expected. It is a good thing I came prepared to deal with them.

 

An organic-looking pod was shot from Darkheart's ship and landed on the surface of Isis. Once the pod touched down in one of Isis's many large cites, it cracked open to reveal a gigantic cyclops creature. Half of its almost-naked body appeared cybernetic in origin.

 

Tekno-Man identified the monster right away. “It's a Cybeast!”

 

The Cybeast began tearing through the streets of Isis. Astro Red knew exactly how to take care of the problem. He opened up his comm-line with the rest of his team. “Back to the Megaship, guys.”

 

The Cybeast was having a blast. Literally. It was capable of producing powerful kinetic blasts from its eye, as well as from its cybernetic arm. Power-Armored Soldiers and Mobile Suits swarmed around the giant while firing away with their weapons, but they were unable to stop him.

 

The Cybernetic Beast wasn't expecting an enemy more his size. The Astro Megazord jetted through the atmosphere and dropkicked the Cybeast, causing him to fall backward.

 

The Red Astro Ranger called for the Zord's primary weapon. “Astro Megazord Saber, online!”

 

The Saber appeared in the Zord's hand. The Cybeast rose from the ground as the Megazord flew in towards it. “Energize, Saber!”

 

The sword cut through the Cybeast as it exploded into a thousand pieces.

 

***

 

Ivan had reconstructed a factory within the city of Angel Grove. He had the factory rigged to drill massive amounts of ooze from the Earth's surface. His Gooclones were ready to move out upon the city and lay waste to the world.

 

His plans would have worked perfectly if not for five multicolored, uninvited guests.

 

The Turbo Rangers arrived on the scene, and Ivan was not happy. “Well, well. What have we here?”

 

Red Racer drew his Vi-Blade and pointed it at his new enemy. “We're here to send you back to where you came from, Ivan!”

 

Blue Racer laughed. “Yeah. The pit of the Black Lagoon!”

 

Ivan smiled and shook his head. “So...Zordon has sent a bunch of super-powered teenagers to defeat me again, huh? How original.”

 

Red Racer wasn't fazed by the villain's sarcasm. “You don't know who you're dealing with, slime face! We're the Turbo Rangers!”

 

Ivan laughed. “Rangers-shmangers. You've seen one Ranger team, you've seen 'em all. Gooclones, attack!”

 

Pink Racer flipped towards the Gooclones before spinkicking one across the face. Snapping into a backflip, she kicked another soldier upside the head.

 

Blue Racer dropkicked a Gooclone in the face and swept the feet out from under another grunt. “You guys are just as bad as the Borzock!”

 

Red Racer drew his Turbo Lightning Sword and used it to hack away at his enemies. One of the Gooclones managed to kick him in the stomach hard. Damn, I'm a little rusty.

 

Meanwhile the Gooclones dropped left and right from the amazing skill of the kicks and punches of the Green Racer.

 

Yellow Racer used her Auto Blaster to destroy a small group of Gooclones. She triggered lances of green energy that exploded through the grunts.

 

Ivan Ooze screamed in anger as the last of his army fell to the Rangers. “You'll pay for that. It seems I need to rethink my strategy.”

 

Ivan snapped his fingers as he disappeared, taking his henchmen with him.

 

Red Racer smiled underneath his helmet. “Great work, guys.”

 

***

 

Jason sat with Trini at a plaza in Tokyo.

 

“Man,” Jason said as he looked at the bustling city around him. “I didn’t realize I missed this place so much.”

 

“Quit changing the subject,” Trini said, but only half jokingly.

 

“Come on, Trini,” Jason said. “We need you.”

 

Trini sighed. “I’m training to be an intelligence agent. I can’t just pick up and leave.”

 

“Look,” Jason said. “I know you and Jonathan have had some problems, but…”

 

Jason’s communicater beeped. “This is Jason, go ahead.”

 

“This is Billy. Alcorn is attacking Angel Grove. Have you found Trini?”

 

“Yeah, we’re on our way,” Jason said.

 

“Oh alright,” Trini said. “Let’s go.”

 

***

 

Alcorn walked across the streets of Angel Grove Central with an intricately designed spear swung over his shoulder.

 

“This should make things easier,” he said as he slammed the spear into the ground. Crimson energy shot from the spear and into the sky.

 

Four of his generals did the same at their previous locations in the city.

 

Sirens wailed across the streets as jeeps pulled up around Alcorn. Soldiers covered with power armor left their jeeps and surrounded the demon while readying their firearms. They were the Silver Guardians.

 

Wes Collins, holder of the Time Fire powers and leader of the Guardians, pulled his blaster and aimed it at the demon.

 

“Open fire!” He shouted.

 

The energy blasts were deflected by Alcorn’s crimson energy shield.

 

“You must be joking,” the demon said as he waved his hand, causing several of the jeeps to explode.

 

“Fall back,” Wes commanded his troops as he readied his morpher. “This one is mine.”

 

“Oo, sounds like fun,” Alcorn said. “What do you have up your sleeve, mortal?”

 

“This…Quantum Fire!” Fiery energy wrapped around him as he morphed into his Ranger form.

 

“DV-Defender, saber mode!” Time Fire snapped open his blade and leapt through the air towards Alcorn.

 

Alcorn extended his hand and fired a pulse of crimson energy that exploded against the Quantum Ranger’s chest with a burst of spark, knocking him from the air. “You’re just as weak as the others.” 

 

“I’m just getting started!” Time Fire dashed past the demon while slashing him across the chest horizontally, blade sparking on impact. Time Fire hopped back around and brought the blade down diagonally, but Alcorn grabbed the saber and kicked the Quantum Ranger away.

 

Time Fire tumbled across the ground. He looked past Alcorn and saw the spear. The Quantum Ranger aimed his DV-Defender and fired lances of red energy, but the cylinder of energy around the spear absorbed the blast. Luckily, Billy had given Wes a new modulation program for his blaster based off of data gathered from the Lightspeed Rangers’ battles.

 

“You fool,” Alcorn said. “That energy barrier is impenetrable!”

 

“Wrong again!” Time Fire shouted as he blasted the spear. Red lances of energy speared through the energy cylinder and exploded against the spear, shattering it to pieces.

 

Alcorn narrowed his eyes and fired an invisible telekinetic pulse that exploded against Time Fire’s chest and knocked him backward. The demon walked over and placed his foot against the fallen Ranger’s chest.

 

“You’ll pay for that…” Alcorn rolled his hands into fists as crimson energy danced across his knuckles.

 

Then out of nowhere, dozens of throwing stars slammed against the demon’s chest plate and sparked on impact.

 

“What-” then five blurs of motion crashed into Alcorn one-by-one, throwing the demon to the ground. “Who dares…”

 

The five Ninja Rangers landed in crouched fighting positions with their backs facing Alcorn. Their swords were slung over their shoulders.

 

As one, the Rangers snapped to their feet and turned to face Alcorn. They assumed their individual fighting stances and shouted their names.

 

“Ninjared!”

 

“Ninjablack!”

 

“Ninjablue!”

 

“Ninjayellow!”

 

“Ninjawhite!”

 

Together they shouted: “Shogun Task Force, Ninja Rangers!”

 

“How many of you are there?!” Alcorn screamed as he fired an energy pulse.

 

The blast exploded against the Rangers, and their empty uniforms fell to the ground. The Rangers themselves had vanished from sight.

 

Alcorn wrinkled his brow. “What sort of sorcery…”

 

The five Rangers leapt down from the air behind him. They hacked into Alcorn with their swords, sending the demon crashing to the ground.

 

“Shinobi Spear!” the five shouted as they crossed their swords and fired a spear of golden energy that slammed against Alcorn’s chest.

 

“Not bad,” Alcorn said as he snapped his fingers. A demon warrior with dark-silver armor and red undergarments appeared with a flash of dark light. The villain wore a grated faceplate and carried a broadsword over his shoulder. “Drakor. Take care of these mortals for me.”

 

Alcorn teleported away with a burst of crimson energy.

 

Time Fire leapt towards the villain’s back and swung his blade downward while landing, his blade slashing across the demon’s armor and sparking on impact. 

 

Drakor swung around and slashed the Quantum Ranger across the chest with a burst of spark. Time Fire crashed backward and tumbled across the street, skidding against the pavement.

 

Ninjared and Ninjablack pounced towards the demon and swung their blades towards his chest and body. With a single swipe of his sword, the demon knocked their sabers aside and slashed across their chests with a burst of spark, whipping their bodies backward.

 

Ninjawhite hovered in midair and extended her arms. “Ninpo Shard Attack!”

 

A cloud of energy shards appeared in front of her and shot forward like a diamond storm. The energy-diamond shards exploded against the demon with a massive burst of spark, distracting him as Ninjablue moved in to attack.

 

Ninjablue armed his saber and dagger while pouncing forward. The Blue Ranger slashed his sword across the villain’s chest and stabbed his dagger forward, the blade sparking against the demon’s armor and forcing him back a step.   

 

Ninjayellow hopped off of the Blue Ranger’s shoulders and slammed a flying sidekick against the demon monster’s face.

 

The demon monster stumbled backward but kept his balance. The villain placed his hands in front of him as silver fire started to dance across his skin. The monster’s body suddenly expanded with a massive, thundering boom.

 

Time Fire looked towards the distance and raised his morpher closer to his mouth piece. “Charge! V-Rex!”

 

V-Rex roared as it charged onto the scene. The zord spun forward, whipping its tail across the demon. The tail smashed against the villain with a burst of spark, forcing him backward.

 

On the streets below, the Rangers thrust their scrolls forward and opened them.

 

“Ninjazords, awaken!” the Rangers shouted as powerful lightning shot across the skies.

 

“Ninja Ape!” Ninjared shouted. The symbol on his scroll glowed and projected behind the Ranger before forming the mighty ape zord. Ninjared levitated backwards and merged into his zord’s cockpit.

 

“Ninja Frog!” Ninjablack shouted. The symbol on his scroll glowed and projected behind the Ranger before forming the frog zord. Ninjablack levitated backwards and merged into his zord’s cockpit.

 

“Ninja Crane!” Ninjawhite shouted. The symbol on her scroll glowed and projected behind the Ranger before forming the crane zord. Ninjawhite levitated backwards and merged into her zord’s cockpit.

 

“Ninja Wolf!” Ninjablue shouted. The symbol on his scroll glowed and projected behind the Ranger before forming the wolf zord. Ninjablue levitated backwards and merged into his zord’s cockpit.

 

“Ninja Bear!” Ninjayellow shouted. The symbol on his scroll glowed and projected behind the Ranger before forming the bear zord. Ninjayellow levitated backwards and merged into his zord’s cockpit.

 

“Ninja fusion…Kakure Shogun!” the Rangers shouted as their zords leapt into the air and started to reform. The Ninjazords combined into one giant warrior and landed on the ground below.

 

The NinjaMegazord slammed a flying kick against the demon and landed hard against the ground. The Megazord pressed forward with a flurry of backfist strikes that exploded against the demon’s armor.

 

Drakor energized his blade with crimson an silver fire and swung forward. The blade slashed across the Megazord with a massive burst of spark.

 

Below, the 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-Rex Knuckle!” Time Fire shouted. “Engage!”

 

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

 

The demon countered by swinging his sword and firing a massive energy wave that exploded against both zords, smashing them backward against the ground.

 

“We need some back up,” Ninjablack said.

 

“Right,” Ninjared said as he looked towards the skies. “White Falcon!”

 

White Falcon flew through the skies, its reflection shining in the Megazord’s red eye.

 

“Falconzord, combine!” the Rangers shouted. The NinjaMegazord leapt up as the falcon connected onto its back.

 

“NinjaMegazord…” the Rangers shouted. “Double knuckle strike!”

 

The falcon wings energized the zord’s two fists. The wolf fist and ape fist slammed against the demon with a fierce blow, smashing in the creature’s chest. The monster fell backward, his energy slowly overloading and exploding.

 

***

 

Alcorn kneeled in front of the dark flame again. “I wasn’t expecting more of those Rangers,” Alcorn said. “I…”

 

“Enough talk, you fool,” the dark flame said. “You are on your own now. You will be destroyed just like the countless others before you. When it comes time for me to be released onto the mortal world, I will send real demons to perform the ceremony. Not a little whelp who thinks he is all powerful just because he is Mephisto’s son.”

 

The flame disappeared.

 

Alcorn wrinkled his brow. “You’re coming to this world whether you like it or not. I will be the one to bring you here, and then your powers will be mine to command!”

 

He left his private chambers and went into the main room where his generals were.

 

“We need to distract these Rangers log enough for us to tap into the power this land holds. Prepare to summon the Devils of Kimon,” Alcorn said.

 

“But sire,” Kar said. “The Devils of Kimon answer to no one. You won’t be able to control them if you release them.”

 

“I won’t need to, you fool,” Alcorn said. “I just need them to create a stir. While the Rangers are busy battling the Devils of Kimon, we can finally tap into the ley lines and begin the ceremony.”

 

Kar nodded. “It will be as you wish.” Maybe Alcorn is a fool after all.

 

“Now,” Alcorn said. “I want to make sure there aren’t any more Rangers hiding around. Vanity, have you found anything?”

 

“There is a sky island that floats over Angel Grove. It holds tremendous power,” she said.

 

“Good,” Alcorn said. “Kar, burn this island to the ground. Handle the matter personally.”

 

***

 

Sage once again found himself walking through the corridors of his complex. With the destruction of the Cy-Beast, they had easily managed to destroy the remaining Craboids that Darkheart had left the system.

 

“I cannot thank you enough for your help. I am now in your debt,” Sage said.

 

Cy shook his head. “You've helped us enough already.” Cy hated to be rude, but he wanted to catch the next tablet piece before the Red Star did. “It was an honor meeting you, but we have to get going. We have a mission.”

 

Sage thought to himself for a moment. He still considered himself in debt to the Rangers, and this was the way to pay them off. “I will come with you.”

 

“What?”

 

“In payment for your aide, I will assist you. Now that Darkheart knows who you are, you will be a target. I know how to fight him. This is the best way for me to defend my planet.”

 

Cy understood exactly. He slapped Sage on the back. “Welcome aboard.”

 

***

 

The Prophet appeared before his leader. “Darkheart has failed to eliminate the Rangers. Tekno-Man has now joined forces with them.”

 

The leader of the Red Star slammed his hand upon his throne. “I never should have brought him in on this.”

 

“However…we have the next tablet fragment.”

 

“What have you learned from it?”

 

“It says that the ground will be paved with ooze before the Gathering begins.”

 

The leader smiled. “It is almost time, at last.”

 

To be continued…Chapter Three