Champions Saga: Chapter Seven

Across Time

 

General Kar sent a trio of demon monsters into Stone Canyon city.

 

The lead demon resembled a blue-and-black scaled raptor with blood-red eyes. The creature had humanoid arms and stood upright. Its tail was covered in spikes.

 

The second demon’s body appeared covered in tattoos and scars. The creature was covered in black shell-like armor and carried a double-bladed staff.

 

The third demon was a black-skinned ogre covered in gray fur. He wore bulky armor and spike-fist gauntlets.

 

Sirens blared through the air as sleek-black Silver Guardian jeeps surrounded the three demons at a city plaza. The jeeps skid to a halt, and Silver Guardian soldiers piled out of the vehicles.

 

The Guardians stood in fighting position and aimed their blasters at the demons. Some crouched on the ground, while others stood behind their jeep doors for cover.

 

Wes stepped out of his jeep and adjusted his cap. He slammed his jeep door shut and calmly walked past the front line of troops.

 

The ranger knew that warning the demons was pointless, but doing so gave his men a boost of confidence. And his men could use every little boost they could get.

 

“You’re surrounded,” Wes shouted to the demons. “Now go back to the hell hole you crawled out of.”

 

The raptor demon hissed and snapped short, bony fist claws into position.

 

“Or not,” Wes said. He looked to his men. “Open fire!”

 

Gun’s blasted like thunder, shooting high-velocity, armor-piercing, explosive-tipped bullets that were coated with a vibro shield. The bullets exploded against the demons with massive bursts of spark, but they were not injured in the slightest.

 

The scarred demon started twirling his staff, which emitted blue-tinted energy waves that tore though the streets. The waves of power exploded through jeeps, which exploded with massive bursts of flame that sent Silver Guardian soldiers flying off their feet and flailing through the air.

 

Wes armed his morpher. “SWAT team, on me.”

 

Four Silver Guardians dashed to Wes’s side. They wore high-tech disks embedded on their chests.

 

Wes raised his morpher to his mouth. “Quantum Fire!” Fiery energy wrapped around Wes and transformed him into the Quantum Ranger, Time Fire.

 

The four soldiers next to him placed their palms over the discs on their chests. “SWAT mode!”

 

The disks flashed with energy, activating the soldiers’ variable gears. Black armor and helmets that resembled high-tech SWAT uniforms wrapped around their bodies. The four Guardians armed double-barreled assault rifles.

 

The SWAT team’s rifles blared like chainsaws and sprayed high-velocity bullets across the plaza. The bullets exploded against the demons as Time Fire charged forward to attack.

 

The Quantum Ranger would have liked support of the Ranger variety, but the Gao and Lightspeed teams were involved with battles elsewhere in the region. The other champions still on earth were involved with rescue operations and battles as well.

 

Taking over Angel Grove had tremendously increased the villains’ power, so that they could attack on a non-stop basis at multiple targets. 

 

We won’t be able to keep this kind of fighting up for long, Time Fire thought to himself.

 

“DV-Defender! Blade Mode!” Time Fire snapped his weapon into its sword mode and charged forward to attack.

 

***

 

The Titan battle fleet dropped out of hyperspace at the edge of the Solar System. The fleet meant to destroy earth before the demons based on the world managed to open every Gate to Hell in the entire universe.

 

The fleet commander stared through his ship’s forward view port. His right eye was closed shut by a massive scar left over from the war against Sauron.

 

“Take us into this infernal system!” the fleet commander barked. “Prepare for a full orbital bombardment of Earth once we are in range!”

 

***

 

The Phantom Ranger’s ship landed in Triforia's largest spaceport. Security officers dressed in black and gold armor arrived to escort the ship’s passengers to the palace, where Queen Lady Trania waited for them. Trania was Prince Trey’s mother by adoption. 

 

The Phantom Ranger and four young Beetle Borgs descended from the ship’s platform, and the security detail bowed politely upon meeting them.

 

“Lady Trania brings you greetings and welcomes you to Triforia,” the lead security officer said. 

 

The Phantom Ranger wasn't used to such receptions. He preferred to work secretly and alone. He simply said “Thank you.”

 

The security detail led the heroes through the streets of Triforia. Streets and building of white marble were lined with vibrant gold. The four teens were amazed at the site.

 

“Look at this place!” Jo said, her eyes open wide in awe.

 

Josh smiled at her. “Not something you see everyday, is it?”

 

He admired the younger girl’s optimistic view of life very much. Just being around her lifted his spirits and put him in a better mood.

 

Drew rolled his eyes. During their long trip to Triforia, he found that he and Josh got along better if they simply ignored each other.

 

Roland walked besides Drew. “I wish my Dad could see this.”

 

Drew's thoughts were elsewhere. Josh being back, his blooming relationship with Heather, being called back into action, they all weighed heavily on the young one’s mind. “Yeah. It's nice.”

 

The five entered the Queen's palace and were brought before her throne. She smiled down at them from her throne. “Welcome to my planet, humans.”

 

The Phantom Ranger again felt awkward and decided to cut to the chase. “Thank you, but your planet is in danger. The Red Star is planning on attacking this world and I...we have been sent here to stop them.”

 

The Queen's face became grim. “This planet knows of the Red Star very well. It was their band of pirates that launched a raid on this world years ago. It was the raid that was responsible for the death of my husband, Lord Terian. The Red Star pirates tried to escape with tons of gold pressed latinum and many Triforian to sell as slaves, and Lord Terian lost his life trying to stop them.”

 

“That's terrible,” Jo said.

 

The Phantom Ranger could sympathize with the queen. “I too lost my parents...and my whole world to a pirate attack…”

 

The Phantom stopped himself from saying any more. He preferred his past to remain clouded.

 

The Queen nodded and again tried to smile and resume her job as hostess. “I have set up temporary quarters for all of you within my palace. I am sure you will all be quite comfortable. My guards will escort you.”

 

Security guards split the heroes up and led them down different corridors that branched off from the main throne room.

 

The Queen watched them leave and silently prayed they would be able to stop the villains that murdered her husband.

 

***

 

The next morning, Drew wondered aimlessly around the palace hallways while trying to locate any of his friends, even Josh...well, maybe not Josh.

 

Drew slapped his hand onto his forehead. “I give up. This place is like a maze.”

 

“It's not that hard once you get used to it.”

 

Drew turned around to see a young girl about his age walk towards him. She had a smile on her face that instantly melted Drew’s heart. She wore a white gown, laced with brown and gold. Her hair long, sandy-blonde hair framed her tan face perfectly and flowed across her back.

 

Drew smiled back at the girl and blushed. “Umm....hi.” God she's beautiful.

 

“You must be Drew. I'm Princess Trialia.” She extended her hand and seemed surprised when Drew didn't shake it. “This is how humans greet one another, isn't it?”

 

Drew turned red with embarrassment and clasped her soft hands. “Oh yeah...sorry, just...still a little tired.”

 

“Me too. I was about to go for a walk to wake myself up. Care to join me?”

 

Hell yes! “Sure…I guess…yeah.”

 

***

 

The two walked through the courtyards outside the palace and started to know each other better. Drew was surprised to hear that Trialia was learning to be a highly skilled warrior and planned to follow in her brother's footsteps as the Gold Zeo Ranger someday.

 

Trialia was also equally surprised to learn how Drew first gained his Beetle Borg powers.

 

The young princess laughed. “That's some story.”

 

Drew nodded. “Yeah. At first we were just a couple kids trying to play super hero. It took us a while to learn that 'with great power comes great responsibility.'“

 

“That has a nice ring to it.”

 

Drew blushed again. “Yeah…well it's actually something we read in a different comic book.”

 

They both laughed and Drew continued with his story. “It took a long time for us to finally defeat the Crustaceans. It was quite a relief when they were out of our lives.”

 

“How'd it happen?”

 

Drew sighed. “Well, Nukus found a way to bring back the Mantrons. They were four monsters with powers similar to ours. To lead them, he recreated an old enemy that had been made by the Magnavores: The Shadowborg.

 

“Nukus sent his team to Hilhurst, and the Mantrons nearly destroyed the Astral Borgs. We got there as soon as we could and got our tails handed to us by Shadow Borg.

 

“To make a long story short, we destroyed Shadow Borg and the Mantrons by combining the energy from our Astral Sword and Astral Axe.

 

“Nukus was ticked and grew to giant size. He attacked Charterville and Urbana City, but we managed to stop him with Robo Borg and Boron.”

 

“Wow,” Trialia said. “You've had so many adventures. I'm a little envious.”

 

Drew nodded. “I guess I was starting to miss it. It's just that...right now, this Mogralord guy could wipe out my whole planet any time he wants to, and there's no way we can stop him.”

 

Trialia took Drew's hand into her own. “It will be alright.” She squeezed his hand lightly, and he squeezed back. They both smiled at each other and continued walking through the courtyard hand in hand.

 

***

 

Time Fire extended his blade and charged forward to attack the scarred demon warrior.

 

The villain chopped his weapon down towards the approaching Ranger. But Quantum Ranger high blocked the blow while spinning forward and slashing the demon horizontally, blade  sparking on impact.

 

The demon whipped around and slammed his staff across Time Fire’s head. The blow knocked the Quantum Ranger off his feet and sent him rolling across the ground.

 

Time Fire rose back to his feet just as the bulky demon swung its spiked fists towards him with a flurry of punches. Time Fire was forced backward while twirling his blades to parry the blows.

 

The Quantum Ranger slapped the villain’s fist aside and sprang forward with a jump kick upside the villain’s head. Time Fire chopped his sword downward, blade sparking across the villain’s body.

 

Meanwhile the four SWAT soldiers surrounded the raptor demon.

 

The demon whipped its tail around a soldier’s throat, and snapped that guardian off his feet. The raptor hurled the soldier through the air, and the armored guardian crashed on top of off a jeep hood, which dented upon impact.

 

The raptor pounced forward and landed on a second SWAT soldier. The demon bent down and bit the guardian’s throat. The creature’s teeth pierced through the soldier’s neck, and the demon ripped out his throat. 

 

Time Fire saw the fatal blow through the corner of his visor. He turned to help the SWAT team against the raptor demon. But the ogre demon slammed a spiked fist against the Quantum ranger’s chest. The blow knocked him off his feet and sent him skidding across the ground.

 

The Quantum Ranger heard another SWAT soldier scream as the raptor tore through his gut.

 

***

 

The Titan battle fleet pushed past the outer edge of the solar system and closed in on Earth.

 

A second fleet dropped out of hyperspace in front of the Titan group’s path. The second fleet was composed of another group of Titan ships, surrounded by four jagged-armored Fay’loth cruisers. Grifalzor commanded the allied Titan attack wing. 

 

Kruger’s dreadnaught was in the midst of the second fleet in a command position.

 

Kruger stood on his bridge, surrounded by holographic view screens and projections. “All ships, full stop. Hail the Titan fleet.”

 

The scarred Titan commanded appeared on a forward holographic monitor.

 

“You vermin!” the simian barked. “Thos that stand in the way of Titan warriors meet nothing but death! We are unstoppable, and our courage is as sharp as the blades of our swords!”

 

“That’s fascinating,” Kruger said. “”I am Commander Kruger. Stand down your weapons, and I’ll refrain from destroying you.”

 

The scarred Titan snarled and deactivated the communication link.

 

Kruger looked down into the crew pits towards his technician officer, codenamed Swan. “Transfer auxiliary energy pods to forward shields. Load photon missile bays, and bring the plasma cannons online.”

 

The Titan enemy fleet broke formation and swarmed through space to attack like a pack of sharks. The ships opened fire with streams of blue-tinted energy that splashed across their opponents shields.

 

The Fray’loth cruisers returned fire with beams of blue-tinted plasma energy. The beams exploded against the Titan ship’s shields with bursts of light.

 

Grifalzor stood tall on the bridge of his ship, watching the enemy fleet from his homeworld advance.

 

“Break formation,” he ordered his men. “Target the lead cruiser’s shield generators and open fire, full cannon barrage.”

 

Allied Titan ships opened fire on the enemy. Lances of plasma energy speared through space and exploded against the enemy ship’s port side. The enemy ship’s shield generators started to overheat, and the shields started to buckle.

 

Three of the smaller enemy cruisers broke away and opened fire on Grifalzor’s command ship.

 

The blasts rocked Grifalzor on the bridge, and conduits surrounding him started to explode. He narrowed his eyes at the forward view port, watching the enemy ships advance.

 

“Continue firing!” Grifalzor shouted. “And prepare boarding parties!”

 

***  

 

“She's more my age anyway,” Josh said to Jo. “She’s too old for Drew!”

 

The two were debating whether it was okay for Josh to pursue Heather, even though Drew had his sights set on her. 

 

Jo playfully slugged Josh in the arm. “Age isn't everything. They like each other and have a good thing starting up. As much as I think that Drew gives you too hard a time, you really should back off Heather.”

 

Josh shrugged. “I like the girl...and what can I say? I'm a helpless romantic.”

 

Jo rolled her eyes. "Please."

 

Josh sighed and decided to change the subject. “Wanna take a walk into town?”

 

Jo shook her head. “I don't think it would be a good idea for us to head out alone…”

 

“Oh come on, Jojo. It'll be fun.” Josh grabbed her hand and the two left the palace and made their way into the town area. People were staring at them as they walked by, easily being able to tell that the pair wasn't from around the area.

 

Jo and Josh walked by a street vender selling jewelry and intricate diamonds.

 

“The more things change…” Josh grinned as he and Jo walked over to the vender‘s stand.

 

“Hi,” Josh said to the Triforian who ran the stand. “What have you got here, my good man?”

 

The vender held up a necklace made of the cheapest silver-like material Josh or Jo had ever seen. “It's made from the finest metals on Nubia, imported not too long ago. A hot item that is sure to sell quickly.”

 

Josh shook his head. “Hmmm...I'll pass.”

 

Josh and Jo continued walking, and the street vender glared at them. He pulled out his communicator and made a quick call.

 

The two teens decided to take a short cut through a nearby alley, because Josh insisted it would be shorter. On their way through, their path was blocked by six ugly looking Triforians in black body suits.

 

“Excuse me.” Josh and Jo tried to walk around them but the Triforians stood in their way. “Who are you bozos, anyway?”

 

The six 'bozos' pulled out small bladed weapons and pointed them at the teens. “You off-worlders need to learn a lesson in respect.”

 

“And you need a breath mint, but ya don't hear me complaining,” Josh said.

 

The six jumped at the teens, and Josh pushed Jo out of the way. “Jo, run!”

 

Jo was actually a little flattered that Josh was looking out for her, but his protection wasn't needed. She cracked her knuckles and activated her civilian power of super-human strength.

 

She flipped one of the thugs over her shoulder and hurled him through the air, sending him slamming against two of his friend’s.

 

Josh clapped his hands together and suddenly vanished. He had used his civilian powers to cloak himself.

 

He snuck up behind two thugs and kicked them both in their heads, causing them to fall to the ground unconscious.

 

Josh reappeared, stood next to Jo, and the two teens smiled at the last remaining Triforian thug. The thug charged them, but Jo simply decked him in the face, knocking him out cold.

 

Jo shook her head and continued walking down the alley. “Shorter? Ha!”

 

***

 

The Phantom Ranger stood on top of the Triforian palace as the suns began to set. The view on Triforia always reminded him of his homeworld, the world he lived on for a short time before he was forced to evacuate to Eltar.

 

The stars began to shine as the Phantom Ranger looked out into space, wondering if Cassie was alright. He had allowed himself to become close to the Pink Turbo Ranger and was almost considering opening up himself to her completely, but he wasn't sure if he was ready for such a thing.

 

I'm the Phantom Ranger, he thought to himself. I live my life in the shadows....

 

***

 

Drew tossed and turned in his bed, trying helplessly to fall asleep. No matter how hard he tried, he could not stop thinking about Trialia.

 

She's so beautiful, he thought as he turned around in his bed yet again. I wonder if she's still awake.

 

Drew crawled out of his bed and walked through the dark hallways towards Trialia's room. He became a little nervous when he saw her door open and heard muffled cries coming from inside.

 

Drew watched as a group of Piranatrons carried Trialia from her room against her will. From the looks of it, she had been drugged so she would not put up a fight.

 

Trialia saw Drew sprint towards him. “Drew!” Trialia yelled as she was pulled away from her room.

 

“I'm coming, Trialia!” Drew dashed down the hallway, but his path was blocked by a school of Piranatrons under the employ of the Red Star.

 

Drew assumed a fighting stance and pulled out his Data Bonder. “Data Bonder! Beetle Blast!”

 

Drew transformed into the armor of the Chromium Gold Beetle Borg and activated his weapon. “Metallix Lancer!”

 

He swung his Lancer down at a Piranatron, but it high blocked the blow and punched Chromium Gold in the stomach. The Borg wasn't about to let that stop him though. He front kicked the Piranatron in the face and then roundkicked it with his other foot.

 

“Data Laser!” Chromium Gold armed his blaster and fired lances of golden energy that exploded through Piranatrons with bursts of spark.

 

About 12 of the grunts managed to run off with Trialia in tow. Chromium Gold ran after them, following them to the courtyards outside. The Borg stayed hot on their trail as they started towards the woods. 

 

Dozens of spikes suddenly shot forward and exploded against Chromium Gold’s armor, knocking him to his knees. Some of the needles pierced through his armor and cut into his skin.

 

The Borg looked up to see a monster with a humanoid body and the head of a blowfish. The monster had orange-tinted skin.

 

“Stay out of the Red Star’s business,” the monster shouted as it ran towards the woods.

 

Josh stepped outside after walking Jo back to her room. He heard the commotion and rushed towards Chromium Gold’s side. “Drew!”

 

Josh extended his hand to help Chromium Gold up, but the Borg knocked Josh’s hand away. “Move it!”

 

Chromium Gold clutched onto his blaster and charged into the woods to save Trialia.

 

Josh shook his head. He may not have liked Drew, but he had no desire to see him hurt. He extended his hand and summoned his bonder. “Data Bonder! Beetle Blast!”

 

He transformed into the Electric Bronze Beetle Borg and ran after Chromium Gold.

 

***

 

Time Jet Gamma blasted through a time corridor towards Earth. The corridor’s rainbow lights illuminated against the sleek jet’s hull plating and armor.

 

The five Time Rangers stood in the zord’s cockpit and grasped onto their control sticks. The young man in the Time Red armor was Tatsuya, an Asian native who assisted Time Force in the Egos incident of 1984.

 

Damien, Sion, Lucas, and Jenn were in their respective guises of Time Yellow, Time Green, Time Blue, and Time Pink.

 

Time Yellow tapped his fingers impatiently against his control levers. He was worried about Wes, and wanted to get to Earth as quickly as possible to help his former leader. That, and he was just an impatient person. “Could this ship possibly go any slower?”

 

Time Green looked to his friend and mentor. “Passage through the conduit is taking longer because the timeline is destabilizing. Distorted time waves are harder to travel through, because of the chronometric disturbances.”

 

Whatever was happening in 2008 was causing the timeline to unravel. If let unchecked, the cascade effect would destroy all of reality.

 

Time Red looked back to his teammates. “We’re coming upon the entry point now. Everyone hold on…”

 

The Time Jet burst through a wormhole and into space outside of Earth’s orbit. Lances of blue-tinted energy immediately hammered against the zord’s hull plating, rocking the Rangers within their cockpit.

 

The Time Rangers looked through their forward view ports to see ten enemy Titan battle cruisers approaching. The ships had broken through Kruger’s main defense fleet and were headed towards Earth.

 

The Time Jet was caught in a violent crossfire between the advancing Titans and allied ships forming a defensive barrier in Earth’s orbit. Plasma and particle beam cannons blasted against the Time Jet’s hull with massive bursts of spark.

 

“Great timing!” Time Yellow shouted sarcastically while grasping onto his control lever to stay upright as the cockpit shook from another volley of attacks.

 

“Takku,” Time Pink called for their navigation droid. “What’s going on?”

 

An image of the owl-like zord appeared in the bottom corner of Time Pink’s visor. “A Titan battle fleet is attacking Earth,” Takku explained. “The ships to our aft are trying to protect the planet.”

 

“Say no more,” Time Pink said as she tightened her grip on her control lever. “Tatsuya.”

 

“Right,” Time Red said.

 

The Red Ranger rolled the Time Jet hard to starboard and ignited the zord’s afterburners. Time Jet Gamma streaked towards the incoming battle cruisers and opened fire with a barrage of yellow-tinted energy blasts.

 

The blasts pounded against a cruiser, causing its shields to buckle. Unprotected, the ship was gutted by the attack. Beams of yellow light from the Time Ship pierced through the cruiser’s hull with massive bursts of spark and flame.

 

*** 

 

Kruger watched the Time Jet appear through his forward view port. He looked down to Swan. “Contact that ship. Tell them to focus their fire on the heavy cruisers. Order remaining ships in our flotilla to concentrate their fire on the smaller Titan cruisers.”

 

Kruger turned his attention back to the view port. The strange new ship had given Earth more time. He just hoped Grifalzor was having as much luck with the second wave of Titan ships.

 

***

 

Eleven enemy Titan cruisers had lingered near the edge of the Solar System. The enemy vessels were boxed in by Fray’loth battle cruisers and recently arrived Rigellion assault cruisers.   

 

Further inside the Solar System, three enemy Titan ships had broken away from the allied fleet and seta course towards Earth. Grifalzor and his men had boarded these three ships and were trying to take control of the vessels.

 

Grifalzor snapped his wings and shot down the main ship’s corridor. 

 

A horde of Titan warriors blocked his path. Most of the enemy soldiers were armed with broadswords and double-blade axe weapons.

 

Grifalzor howled a war cry and armed his longknives. Without breaking his blinding pace, he sliced the head off a Titan warrior and jammed his blades through a second villain’s chest plate, tearing into that  soldier’s heart.

 

Blood splattered across the bulkheads and deck plating as Grifalzor’s blades tore through enemy soldiers with a whirlwind of motion. Grifalzor was relentless while pushing his way closer towards the cruiser’s bridge, where the general waited.

 

Grifalzor let himself feel no guilt while his blade tore through the flesh of his own people. For his entire life, he had been plagued by the misdeeds of Goldar. Grifalzor, Goldar’s descendent, would stop at nothing to clear his family’s honor.

 

Grifalzor surrendered himself to the battle, letting his inner rage guide him through enemy troops. It wasn’t long before he found himself at the bridge entrance.

 

Only two guards in silver armor stood in front of the bridge entrance. Each guard carried a long staff that crackled with electric energy.

 

Grifalzor crossed his longknives, built op a sphere of silver fire between the blades, and shot the fiery blast forward. The blast exploded against the guards with a burst of spark and sent them crashing through the entrance, and skidding across the bridge itself.

 

The General stood alone at the center of the bridge. A crimson and gold cape was wrapped around his gold-trimmed bronze armor. The scar-faced Titan carried a massive double-edged sword.

 

General kept his back towards the entrance, and his gaze fixed on the Earth. The ship had gotten freightingly close to the planet during Grifalzor’s mad dash through the corridors. 

 

Grifalzor stepped onto the bridge and snarled at the General. “Turn and face me, coward!”

 

General kept his gaze fixed on the view port. “You’ve spilled the blood of your own people, little cub. You are just as weak and treacherous as the rest of your bloodline.”

 

Young Grifalzor narrowed his red eyes. “You are about to destroy an entire planet! A planet whose Rangers saved our world!”

 

“Are you capable of speaking without shouting, cub?” General asked.

 

Grifalzor snapped his wings and shot forward while swinging his blade outward in an ‘x’ pattern towards the General. In one lightning-quick motion, the General turned and unsheathed his sword while slashing Grifalzor across the chest. Blade sparked upon impact and whipped the warrior’s body backward.

 

Grifalzor crashed onto the ground and skid backward across the deck plating.

 

The General smiled, revealing rows of rotting teeth in his maw. “It appears the subtleties of our fighting arts are lost on your young generation.”

 

General turned back towards the view port and activated a button on his palm. Machinery whined above the bridge as a spherical, bronze sphere lowered itself. Rings of metal twirled around the sphere in various orbits.

 

Grifalzor looked upon the device and opened his eyes wide with shock. “You call this crude abomination subtle?!”

 

The General merely looked over the device with a glimmer of awe in his eye. It was at that moment that Grifalzor realized the General had gone mad. “What this bomb does not destroy, it will kill with radiation poison. I can think of no better way to die in battle. My fate will stop the destruction of all reality.”

 

***

 

Jo had seen Josh run off with Drew and immediately grabbed Roland to tell him what happened. They both managed to track down the Phantom Ranger on the roof and explain the situation to him.

 

“Let's go,” the Phantom said.

 

The three of them raced outside into the woods that Drew and Josh had ventured into to save Trialia.

 

While entering the woods, The Phantom was hit by an energy blast and fell to the ground. He slowly rose and turned around to see his attacker. It was Lorian Mandalon.

 

“Hello, Phantom,” the villain said.

 

The Phantom Ranger turned to the two teens. “Go. Find the others.”

 

Jo and Roland nodded and ran off, leaving the Phantom alone to confront his adversary.

 

The two teens managed to gain considerable distance away from the Phantom before getting boxed in by a group of Piranatrons.

 

“Looks like trouble,” Roland said as he and Jo pulled out their bonders.

 

“Data Bonders! Beetle Blast!” Roland and Jo transformed into the armor of Titanium Silver and Platinum Purple.

 

The Piranatrons pounced forward to attack.

 

The Borgs stood back-to-back and armed their blasters. “Data Lasers!”

 

They triggered golden energy lances that exploded against the Piranatrons, knocking them backward with bursts of spark that ripped open their armor and skin. But the grunts kept pushing forward.

 

Titanium Silver sidekicked a Piranatron and slammed the back of his fist across a second soldier’s head. He stepped forward and slammed a hook punch across a third soldier’s head.

 

Platinum Purple slammed a front kick upside a soldier’s head, and flipped a second grunt over her shoulder.

 

The blowfish monster appeared in the midst of the battle and shot a volley of spikes at the two Beetle Borgs. The spikes punctured through the Borgs’ armor with bursts of spark, forcing them to the ground.

 

The needles pierced through their armor and cut into their skin, sending waves of pain through their bodies. They slumped over to the ground as the blowfish monster stalked towards them.

 

“What did you do with our friends?” Titanium Silver asked boldly.

 

“They're right here,” the monster said.

 

The villain stepped aside and revealed Josh and Drew, hanging by their arms from a tree. They were unconscious.

 

“Drew!” Platinum Purple called to her brother as she pulled out her blaster.

 

The blowfish monster pulled out a small knife and held it to Drew's neck. “Put your weapons away and retract your armor, or he dies.”

 

“Back blast!” Roland and Jo called out as they reverted back into their civilian identities.

 

“Fools!” the monster shouted as he brought the knife closer to Drew's neck.

 

***

 

The bridge started to shake violently. Kruger’s battle cruiser and Fray’loth ships were opening fire on the vessel to keep it from entering Earth’s orbit.

 

Kruger watched through the viewport as the General’s ship shot towards Earth’s upper atmosphere. Fray’loth and allied Titan cruisers opened fire with destructive blasts that exploded against the hull of the General’s ship.

 

But the enemy ship continued its advance.

 

Kruger’s monitors detected high energy readings from the powerful bomb on board the ship.

 

“Open a channel to all cruisers,” Kruger commanded. “Stop that ship before it hits atmosphere.”

 

The allied ships intensified their fire, but the General’s ship was too heavily armored. The vessel radiated with heat as it skid across the planet’s atmosphere and plunged towards the surface.

 

***

 

Grifalzor howled a war cry and charged towards the General.

 

With a wave of his hand, the General summoned a sphere of bronze flame that exploded against Grifalzor with a burst of spark and knocked the warrior backward. The young Titan slammed onto his back and skid across the deck.

 

Grifalzor used his blades for balance and rose into a crouched position. He looked through the forward view port and saw the heat of the Earth’s atmosphere splash across the command ship’s hull.

 

The massive bomb continued to whine with power.

 

General slowly walked towards Grifalzor. “It’s truly a pity you had to be as foolish as the rest of your bloodline.” The villain traced his armored hand across the scar on his face. “Do you know how I got this scar, young one?”

 

Grifalzor simply snarled, but the General didn’t seem to notice. The villain continued speaking. “This is from your predecessor, Goldar.”

 

That was impossible, Grifalzor told himself. Titans did have a long lifespan of about 1,000 Earth years, but the General would have had to be millions of years old to have known Goldar.

 

The General shifted his sword from his right hand to left hand. “Dark Magick, suspended animation, potions…immortality is not as difficult to achieve as it once was.”

 

“You old, rambling fool,” Grifalzor spat. He didn’t know or care if the General was telling the truth. “Your insanity is as grand as your ego!”

 

The General sighed. “Again with the shouting.”

 

General swung his sword at Grifalzor. But Grifalzor used his wings to hop over the blade and hover in midair.

 

The young Titan shot downward like a bullet and swung his longknives towards his enemy. The General used his forearm to block the blades and speared his sword forward. The sword smashed against Grifalzor’s armor with a burst of spark and knocked him from the air.

 

Grifalzor flipped backward and landed on his feet. Through the viewport, he saw the surface of the planet Earth loom dangerously close. He was running out of time.

 

The General laughed, an insane sound that echoed across the bridge. “It’s almost over!” his calm demeanor was burst open with a wave of madness. “As soon as this ship crashes, this world is doomed!”

 

Grifalzor tightened his grip on his blades. He narrowed his red eyes at the villain. “You…who would destroy an entire world out of fear. You…who are without honor. You…will die!”

 

Grifalzor shot forward like a bullet. Silver flames danced across his longknives as he swung the weapons towards his enemy.

 

The General lifted his sword to block the blow, but the longknives shattered through the blade. Grifalzor spun forward and jammed his blades upward beneath the General’s bronze chest armor. The blades tore through flesh and cracked through bone.

 

General howled in pain as Grifalzor twisted the blades to tear open the wounds.

 

Grifalzor summoned bursts of silver flame through his blades that exploded outward. The flames blasted a hole through the General’s chest and shot him backward. The villain went shattering through the viewport, depressurizing the bridge.

 

The General’s dead body flailed through the air while bouncing along the outer hull of the ship.

 

Grifalzor grabbed tightly onto the bomb to keep from getting sucked out. Through the shattered viewport, the city of Angel Grove was growing closer. The tall skyscrapers were visible, and the crimson clouds over Angel Grove Central were crackling with lightning.

 

The young Titan warrior knew he could not let go of the bomb. He had to disarm it, and he had to work quickly. He owned it to the people of the Earth because of the sins of his bloodline.

 

Grifalzor still remembered the disgust on Dragon Ranger’s face every time the young Terran looked upon a member of the Titan race. Grifalzor had even attacked the Ranger at first.

 

I was in denial then…Grifalzor thought to himself.

 

The young Titan remembered how, even with his disgust and hatred towards the simian/wolf breed, Dragon Ranger had fought to protect Titan from an attack by one of Astronema’s gene beasts. All five Earth Rangers had worked together to end the threat of the gene beast’s deadly spores.

 

They barely knew Titan, and yet they were willing to sacrifice themselves to save the world.   

 

Grifalzor could not let the Earth die. He owed it to Dragon Ranger and all the other humans.

 

The young Titan tore off one of the bomb’s panels. He was no bomb expert, but luckily, Titan bombs were crude and simple.

 

Pressure threatened to rip him from the bridge and into the atmosphere as he looked upon the circuits.

 

Angel Grove grew even closer in the distance. The cityscape filled the shattered viewport.

 

Grifalzor reached in and started ripping out wires, Snarling, his armored gauntlet tore out every piece of wiring and circuitry he could find.

 

The Titan cruiser smashed through a skyscraper in Angel Grove central, scattering a cloud of debris upon impact.

 

The bomb whined as if to power up, but Grifalzor smashed his fist through the device. The bomb sparked and died down, damaged from Grifalzor’s assault.

 

The young Titan immediately let the current carry him off the bridge and into the atmosphere. He tried to use his wings for balance as he flailed through the air.

 

Meanwhile the battle cruiser smashed through a city block and crashed on the ground. The ship’s engine erupted with a massive explosion, the shockwave of which extended for miles.

 

With the bomb disarmed, the ship inflicted no damage beyond its own crash.

 

***

 

The Mogralord slightly lifted his head and looked towards the explosion several blocks away.

 

Unimpressed, he lowered his head back down.

 

***

 

Lorian Mandalon kicked the Phantom Ranger in the side and slammed a fist against the Phantom’s faceplate.

 

Phantom was forced a few steps back, but quickly recovered and jumpkicked Lorian, but the armored villain blocked the kick and slammed his palm against the Phantom ranger’s faceplate.

 

“You're getting slower,” Lorian whispered as the two opponents circled around each other. The Phantom made no reply.

 

***

 

Just as the monster was about to slash Drew's neck, Roland snapped his fingers and used his super speed to dash over and grab the knife from the monster's hand.

 

“What?” the monster gasped as it felt an unseen force push him to the ground. Drew snapped his eyes opened and smiled at what he had been able to do with his telekinetic powers.

 

While the monster was down, Jo rushed over and untied Drew and Josh from the tree using her super strength.

 

“You were faking!” she said to Drew and Josh.

 

Josh smiled. “Pretty clever, huh?”

 

The four teens regrouped, and Drew narrowed his eye at the monster. “Let's show this fish head who he's dealing with.”

 

“Data Bonders! Beetle Blast!” Armor wrapped around their bodies with flashes of light. The armored Borgs snapped into fighting stances.

 

“Chromium Gold!”

 

“Electric Bronze!”

 

“Titanium Silver!”

 

“Platinum Purple!”

 

Together they shouted: “Beetle Borgs, Metallix!”

 

The blowfish monster shot several spikes towards the Borgs, but they had learned from past mistakes and ducked out of the way while pulling out their Data Lasers.

 

“Data Lasers!” They fired lances of golden energy that exploded against the Red Star’s monster.

 

Chromium Gold and Electric Bronze leapt towards the monster while summoning their weapons from their back chambers.

 

“Metallix Lancer!” Chromium Gold’s lanced staff appeared in his hand.

 

“Metallix Saber!” Electric Bronze armed his saber.

 

The two Borgs landed while slashing the monster across the body, blades sparking on impact and forcing the monster back a step.

 

Titanium Silver and Platinum Purple leapt forward next with their weapons.

 

“Metallix Grappler!”

 

“Metallix Baton!”

 

Their weapons smashed the monster off his feet and sent him stumbling backward. Smoke still rising from his body, the monster slowly pulled himself to his feet.

 

Chromium Gold charged his lancer with golden power. He swung the lancer through a hard horizontal arc that streaked through the monster with a blur of energy, tearing the creature in half.

 

The monster crashed backward and exploded.

 

Chromium Gold rolled his hands into fists. “Now to find Trialia.”

 

***

 

The Queen had no wish to see her daughter harmed. She reluctantly opened a communication with the Red Star.

 

The Red Star general smiled as soon as he saw the image of Lady Trania. “Oh, Trania, how good to see you again! How's the family doing?”

 

The Queen shook her head and attempted to control her rage. “I have no patience for your games. Give me back my daughter.”

 

The general leaned closer to the screen and smiled. “Give me your planet.”

 

The Queen sank her face into her hands. “Very well.”

 

***

 

Lorian snapped a roundhouse kick that knocked the Phantom flying to the ground.

 

“You're too late,” the villain said. “This planet has already been handed over to the Red Star. The Princess is being sent to Earth. There's nothing you can do.”

 

The skies turned black and an army of Shades was released that covered the planet like wildfire. The Phantom looked to the skies as thousands of soldiers dropped onto Triforian soil.

 

As the Phantom brought his gaze back the ground, Lorian was gone.

 

***

 

The Red Star signaled Mogralord that Triforia was cleared.

 

The skies above the planet suddenly opened as waves of Shades dropped onto the surface and covered city and town streets with a blanket of death.

 

Back on Earth, Mogralord felt his power increase even further as Triforia was added to his growing collection of planets.

 

***

 

The Phantom Ranger ran through the dark woods until he caught up with the Beetle Borgs.

 

“We have to find Trialia!” Chromium Gold said.

 

Phantom shook his head. “She's been taken back to Earth.”

 

Chromium Gold slammed his fist through a tree. “We have to go after her!”

 

The Phantom Ranger thought for a moment. There's nothing left here. This battle will continue on Earth. “Let's get going.”

 

The Phantom took the Beetle Borgs onto his ship and left towards Earth.

 

***

 

The raptor demon used its tail like a bat to swat a Silver Guardian jeep from the pavement. The jeep rolled through the air before exploding against the side of a building.

 

Time Fire leapt towards the raptor’s back and swung his blade towards the villain’s head.

 

The tattooed demon suddenly pounced forward and tackled Quantum Ranger from the air.

 

Time Fire crashed onto his back, and the demon leaned down while pressing the length of his staff against the Ranger’s throat.

 

The Quantum Ranger grabbed onto the villain’s staff and rolled back while kicking upward, knocking the villain away. The tattooed demon twirled through the air and flipped before landing on his feet.

 

Time Fire flipped back to his feet and turned to face the villain. But the Quantum Ranger heard a roaring growl from his side. He turned to see the ogre demon charging towards him.

 

The monster started swinging his fists at the Quantum Ranger. Time Fire took steps backward while twirling his saber, using the weapon to parry and deflect the punches.

 

Time Fire snapped forward and slammed a kick against the villain’s gut. The Quantum Ranger bashed the end of his saber’s handle across the creature’s skull.

 

The demon howled with pain and took a step backward. Time Fire pressed forward and swung his blade upward, slashing across the demon’s chest with a burst of spark.

 

The raptor demon suddenly whipped its tail across Time Red’s chest. The Quantum Ranger crashed backward and went skidding across the pavement. The raptor pounced towards the fallen Ranger.

 

But bursts of spark suddenly exploded against the demon, knocking it from the air. Time Fire looked up and saw the Time Flier zoom down from the skies.

 

“Jenn…” he whispered.

 

The five Time Rangers leapt from the Flier and landed on the streets below with their backs towards the demon monsters. One by one, they snapped around.

 

“Time Red!”

 

“Blue!”

 

“Green!”

 

“Yellow!”

 

“Pink!”

 

They thrust their badges forward. “Time Rangers!”

 

The Quantum Ranger smiled beneath his helmet.

 

A group of Hellions appeared in bursts of black flame and surrounded the Time Rangers while moving in to attack.

 

Time Red grabbed a Hellion by the arm and flipped the grunt over his shoulder. The Red Ranger sidestepped and slammed a sidekick against a soldier‘s face, crushing its skull beneath his heel.

 

A Hellion closed in behind Time Red. The Red Ranger reached his arm back, slamming his elbow against the soldier‘s face.

 

Nearby, Time Yellow slammed against group of soldiers with a flurry of punches. The Yellow Ranger’s natural strength was enhanced by his powers, making him stronger than steel.

 

The Yellow Ranger slammed a punch that smashed through a soldier’s chest and ripped through its back with a massive explosion.

 

Meanwhile Time Blue dashed through a group of Hellions. He launched a series of spin kicks that smashed the soldiers aside.

 

Time Pink moved forward with deadly efficiency and force. She slammed a roundkick against a Hellions chest and chopped a knifehand blow against the back of the grunt’s neck.

 

Time Fire ran forward to help his friends while snapping his blaster into its slender blade mode. The Quantum Ranger tightened his grip on the weapon and leapt through the air to attack Hellions.

 

Time Fire landed while chopping his blade through a grunt, his blade a streak of golden energy.

 

Time Fire spun forward while slashing open a second soldier’s chest with a burst of spark. The Quantum Ranger twisted his wrist and swung his weapon through another arc with a streak of golden energy, slashing through a Hellion’s head.

 

The Quantum Ranger dashed forward, a blur of motion as his blade slashed through demon flesh and bone with bursts of spark. The blazing sword thrashed away soldiers left and right before they could even attack, each strike sparking on impact, reducing the Hellions to heaps of rotting flesh.

 

Seeing his friends again gave the Ranger renewed energy and hope.

 

Time Fire let the burning in his veins fuel his every strike. The Quantum Ranger tore through the Hellions with a blaze of power and precision.

 

Time Fire dashed past three soldiers while swinging his blade through two powerful arcs, each blow tearing through the Hellions. The Quantum Ranger spun through a group of five grunts, ripping through their chests with horizontal strikes and cleaving through their bodies with diagonal blows.

 

Time Fire finished his spin while snapping a roundhouse kick that smashed across a soldier’s head. The Quantum Ranger swung a backhand strike to thrash open that Hellion’s chest with a burst of spark.

 

Time Fire smashed a sidekick against a soldier to his right and looked back to his left while using his blade to decapitate a Hellion. The Quantum Ranger kicked the headless grunt away.

 

The other Rangers activated their weapons.

 

“Chrono Trigger…” Time Red said as he pressed down on his brace. Twin swords shaped like the hands of a clock appeared on his hands. “Vector Sabers!”

 

Time Blue connected the ends of his twin swords to form a blade staff.

 

Time Pink armed the two swords as well, grabbing the handles tight.

 

“Vol Pulsar!” Time Green shouted. He armed a massive blaster he had to hold with two hands.

 

“Vol Vulcan!” Time Yellow shouted. He armed a double-barreled version of the same blaster weapon.

 

The Rangers dashed forward and slammed against the Hellions with even stronger force.

 

Time Yellow dashed forward while swinging his weapon left and right. The blaster fired rapid-volley bursts of yellow energy that exploded through Hellions with massive blasts of spark.

 

Time Green dashed forward and leapt onto a wall. He gained enough footing to dash across the wall for a few feet while firing jade energy pulses that tore through the Hellions below.

 

Time Blue dashed through a group of grunts with a blur of motion. He used his blade staff to cut through three soldiers while spinning the weapon, and slammed a spin kick across another grunt’s head.

 

Time Red moved through a group of Hellions while parrying blows and striking through metal. He blocked a soldier’s sword and ran his own blade through the grunt’s arm, severing its hand.

 

Time Pink charged towards the tattooed demon with her blades held outward. But the raptor suddenly fired bursts of optic energy at the Pink Ranger. The blasts exploded against her armor with bursts of spark as she rolled across the ground and rose into a crouched fighting stance.

 

Time Pink extended her saber and fired two blades of pink energy. The blades exploded against the raptor and ogre demons, knocking the villains backward.

 

The six Rangers regrouped.

 

“Chrono Launcher,” Time Red commanded.

 

The main 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!”

 

But before they could trigger their blast, explosions sparked around them and hurled them to their feet. They crashed against the ground, smoke rising from their armor.

 

The Rangers slowly rose and looked up to see that Mogralord’s forces had sent re-enforcements.

 

Kar stood among countless Shades and two additional demon monsters. The white-faced demon smiled.

 

“Welcome to our time period, Rangers,” Kar said with venom in his voice. “The Mogralord hopes very much that you will enjoy your stay, however brief it may be.”

 

To be continued…Chapter Eight