Lightspeed Rescue: Chapter Five

Magma Rebirth

 

Max, Junior, DJ, Kevin and Steph sat in simulation modules within the Aqua Base. Sensor nodes were stuck on their chests and heads to monitor their reaction times. The sensors picked up heightened anxiety and frustration as the rangers continued their test, witnessed through pairs of VR goggles.

 

They were simulating a fight against ten Saimajuu, the demon monsters of the Saima Clan.

 

Their capsules shook with each simulated impact.

 

DJ groaned with frustration as another jolt shook him in his chair. “This is fucking ridiculous. It’s one against one. Always. Do you honestly think the Megazord will ever have to go against ten of these freaks at the same time?”

 

Miss Fairweather shook her head while standing behind a nearby monitoring station. “We can never be too sure.”

 

Junior scoffed. “You could have at least started us out with two, ya know. Heck, we still have trouble beating one of these freaks.”

 

“Just focus on the simulation,” Fairweather said.

 

The lab doors slid open as Capt. Mitchell stepped inside. “How are they doing?”

 

“Okay if I could get them to focus,” she said.

 

Mitchell’s gaze drifted to the rangers. He knitted his brow with disappointment. “Increase the difficulty level by another ten.”

 

The simulator chairs started to shake harder from massive virtual impacts. The rangers were each thrown from the chairs with a final jolt before slamming against the deck, their VR goggles falling from their faces.

 

Junior scoffed as he pulled himself up. “I am so asking for a raise.”

 

“What went wrong?” Mitchell asked as he stood over the fallen rangers. “Stand up.”

 

The rangers all rose to their feet, but said nothing. “I don’t think you five are taking this seriously enough.”

 

Junior mumbled under his breath. “No one asked you…”

 

“The Saima are growing stronger with each fight,” Mitchell continued. “You’re not. Your sync ratios during this simulation were barely above average. You did better the first time you morphed.”

 

“It’s a simulation,” DJ said. “Against ten of-”

 

“I’m not asking for an explanation,” Mitchell said. “I’m telling you to improve. Now get to the outdoor training facility. You’ll spend the rest of the day there until I’m satisfied. Go.”

 

Max narrowed his eyes at his father as he and the others turned and left.

 

***

 

Dr. William “Billy” Cranston was in the Aqua Base Research and Development lab along with dozens of technicians and workers.

 

“What’s the status of the new fusion program?” he asked as he moved to his main lab station.

 

“It’s online,” a techie reported, “but we’re having trouble with the weapon systems. Each simulation shows a massive energy discharge.”

 

Cranston sighed with frustration. “Keep working. I don’t want this program tested on the field.”

 

Lightspeed was Billy’s first Ranger team. They could not fail. Their every weapon and zord had to be a flawless creation. He would settle for no less than perfection.

 

***

 

The rangers arrived at the outdoor training center in the woods, which separated Angel Grove from Stone Canyon.

 

Climbing walls, ropes, and sparring mats dotted the training area. Silver Guardian soldiers stood at various posts to make sure the zone was secure and to keep hikers away.

 

“This is ridiculous,” Junior said as they walked towards the nearest climbing wall. “I had an afternoon planned, ya know.”

 

“Pfft.” DJ shook his head. “No you didn’t.”

 

Junior shrugged. “I could have.”

 

“Let’s just get this over with,” Max said as he ran towards the nearest wall, leaving the others behind.

 

Steph shook her head. “This has to be so hard on him…”

 

Kevin nodded in agreement. “I wonder why his dad was gone for so long…and made everyone think he was dead.”

 

“It doesn’t matter,” DJ said. “He’s back now, and he’s an ass. Especially to Max.”

 

“Maybe one of us should try to talk to Dr. Cranston or Miss Fairweather about it,” Kevin said. “We’d at least find out more about the situation.”

 

DJ patted his friend on the shoulder. “I think you just volunteered.”

 

***

 

Diabolico stood with his demonic siblings in the upper chambers of the Saima temple.

 

Jinxer stared into the shadows while waving his hands back and forth, whispering an incantation in a language known only in the pits of Hell. The spell master was casting his power into the void, where their Queen Bansheera was damned to drift for eternity while in a bodiless form.

 

The spell master did not have the power to pull the queen back into the Earth’s plane of existence. Few mages had that strength. But Jinxer had finally discovered a way to communicate with her.

 

A white mist suddenly formed in the shadows. The wall of mist rippled like a pool of dark water as a distorted, vague facial image appeared in the outlines of the fog. It was Queen Bansheera.

 

“My children…” a ghostly voice said from the fog. “I grow tired of waiting in this abyss…”

 

“My Queen,” Diabolico said as he held his head low. “This world is protected by a team of Rangers that is proving most…troublesome.”

 

“Kill them and be done with it,” Bansheera said. “The Grand Cross will signal my return, and at that time, I want my palace standing.”

 

The fog slowly dissipated and  vanished into the shadows.

 

Diabolico narrowed his red eyes and looked to Jinxer. “I want the Rangers’ Megazord destroyed at once.”

 

“Yes, Diabolico,” Jinxer said as he bowed to his leader. “I will summon a Saimajuu to-”

 

“No,” Diabolico said. “I have a better plan.”

 

***

 

Miss Fairweather was on the Rescue Bay’s observation deck, which looked out upon the ocean and city shore in the distance. She stood over a computer terminal that displayed the latest status reports and systems updates from throughout the Aqua base.

 

The observation deck’s door slid open as Kevin walked in.

 

“Kevin.” She gave him a friendly smile. “Why aren’t you with the others?”

 

“Well,” Kevin said, not sure exactly where to start. “There was kinda something important I needed to talk to you about.”

 

Fairweather leaned back against the console. “Go on…”

 

Kevin took a deep breath before explaining. “It’s Capt. Mitchell. Ya see, Max has spent more than half his life thinking that his father was dead. And now he’s back, but with no explanation. I was hoping maybe you could tell us what‘s going on…”

 

A look of sympathy crossed her face. “I can’t. It’s classified.”

 

Kevin arced an eyebrow. “It’s his dad…”

 

Fairweather sighed. She wanted to explain, but couldn’t. She was bound by her duty. However, she did feel a need to help the rangers solve the puzzle. She could not imagine the conflict Max was going through.

 

“Max is good with technology, right?”  Fairweather asked.

 

Kevin nodded. “Yeah he is.”

 

“Have him come to the observation deck tonight,” Fairweather said. “I won’t be here then, but tell Max to make himself at home.”

 

***

 

Eruptions of fire tore through the mountains outside of Angel Grove. A giant-sized creature tore free from the earth and stood upright. The demon monster was Magnavore reborn. Magnavore, the first demon monster the Lightspeed Rangers ever fought, was now more read than black, his stone body pulsing with fiery energy.

 

The Saimajuu carried a massive club of jagged black rock.

 

The Saima Clan had used their Queen’s power to recreate the fiery demon of rock and flame. 

 

Magnavore slowly stomped towards the city.

 

***

 

Max scaled a rope as quickly as he could. The slim teen’s muscles burnt with strain as he pulled himself upward, one hand after another. His father’s voice was still fresh in his memory.

 

“The Saima are growing stringer with each fight,” Mitchell continued. “You’re not. Your sync ratios during this simulation were barely above average. You did better the first time you morphed.”

 

He pushed himself harder and scaled faster.

 

The rangers’ communicators suddenly toned.

 

Max slid down the rope as Junior, DJ, and Steph regrouped with him. They were each out of breath from their own exercises.

 

“Ya know,” Junior said between breath as he leaned over with his hands on his knees. “I don’t think this day will ever end.”

 

Max activated his communicator. “Go ahead.”

 

Capt. Mitchell spoke through their communicators. “The Saima have somehow resurrected Magnavore, only this one is more powerful. Get to the Go-Liner.”

 

Max turned off his communicator.

 

“This is fucked up,” DJ said. “We killed Magnavore. How can he be back?”

 

Max shook his head. “I don’t know…but we beat him before and we’ll do it again.”

 

He wished he was as confident as he sounded.

 

***

 

Max and the others regrouped with Kevin in the Liner bay.

 

“Let’s suit up,” Max said as he and the others armed their morpher.

 

“Lightspeed! Rescue!” Their morpher flashed with golden power as their armor wrapped around their bodies and they morphed into their Ranger forms.

 

The five Rangers sprinted into the lead liner’s cockpit. They dropped into their seats and pulled their blaster grips from their holsters. The Rangers slid the grips onto nodes protruding from their consoles and twisted the grips downward.

 

Each bay door swung open, giving the Rangers a view of Angel Grove’s shore and the train track that would take them there.

 

“Go-Liner,” Rescue Red commanded. “On track!”

 

Rescue Red reached to his side and pushed a control joystick forward. 

 

The individual liners shot forward like bullets, the force pushing the Rangers back in their seats. The liners combined and formed a single train that throttled across the ocean and onto the shore.

 

Onlookers stared in amazement as the massive train moved along tracks that curved across the city streets. Curving around the edge of the city, the Liner screeched to a halt at the edge of the mountains where Magnavore had reappeared.

 

The Rangers hopped into their individual zord cockpits. Rescue Red inserted his blaster grip over the console node in front of him and twisted the grip downward.

 

“Rescuezords, mobilize!” Rescue Red commanded as each zord rolled out of its liner. 

 

Images of Magnavore flashed across Rescue Blue’s panel. “He looks like he’s been eating his Wheaties.”

 

Rescue Yellow rolled his eyes beneath his visor. “You did not just say that.” 

 

“It’s hard to make wisecracks when you’re ready to piss yourself,” Rescue Blue said. Magnavore’s energy readings were higher than anything the Rangers had faced.

 

“We’ll do fine.” Rescue Red thrust his blaster grip forward. “Lightspeed Megazord fusion, online!”

 

Aero Rescue hovered over Hydro Rescue and lowered two grapplers. The grapplers hooked onto the zord’s side and started to lift the machine from the ground. Meanwhile, Med Rescue and Hazer Rescue rolled side by side. The two zords tilted upward, forming a pair of legs.

 

Rescue Green maneuvered his zord over the legs and slowly lowered the Hydro Rescue downward. The Hydro Rescue locked into position with the legs, forming a lower torso.

 

Pyro Rescue extended its ladder arms and grasped onto the torso. The red-armored zord used its ladder arms to rise from the ground and slide down onto the torso. Pyro Rescue locked into position, forming the zord’s chest and arms.

 

Aero Rescue slid onto Pyro Rescue and completed the transformation, forming the Lightspeed Megazord.

 

“Lightspeed Megazord Saber!” Rescue Red shouted as he pushed his blaster grip forward. The zord’s double-edged saber formed in Lightspeed Megazord’s right fist.

 

The Megazord and Saimajuu stomped towards each other with their weapons extended. The robo and villain dashed past each other while swinging at body level. The villain’s club smashed against the zord’s armor with a massive burst of spark as the Megazord saber cut across the villain’s torso, sparking on impact.

 

Magnavore turned back towards the Lightspeed Megazord while swinging his club downward. The club smashed against the Megazord’s chest, sparking on impact and denting armor beneath its weight.

 

The villain swung downward again, and the Lightspeed Megazord held its saber horizontally to block the blow.

 

But the club shattered through the saber and smashed against the Megazord’s chest.

 

“Shit!” Rescue Yellow shouted.

 

Rescue Red shook his head, fear welling inside his throat. “I didn’t think that was possible…”

 

Magnavore brought his club through a powerful back-hand swing that smashed against the Megazord, whipping the robo backward. Lightspeed Megazord tumbled off its feet and crashed against the ground.

 

The Rangers were jarred in their seats. They had never been hit that hard.

 

Magnavore slowly stalked towards a mountainside and fired a fiery optic burst that soaked through the ground. A tornado of flame erupted and took shape as chunks of debris formed a second demon, Tri-Fire. The three-headed demon was tinted red, as if a fiery ghost of its former self. The creature armed its double-edged sword.

 

Rescue Yellow tightened his grip on his controls. “Son of a-”

 

Tri-Fire opened its jaws and fired three torrents of flame. The flame blasts splashed across the Megazord while smashing it backward and igniting explosions across the zord’s armor.

 

The Lightspeed Megazord was thrown against the ground and sent skidding backward, tearing up dirt and rock.

 

The Megazord slowly rose to its feet as the villains pressed forward. Tri-Fire chopped his blade against the robo’s torso. The blade sparked on impact while chopping through armor and tearing into circuitry. Secondary explosions erupted across the entire Megazord.

 

Magnavore swung his club hard, and the weapon smashed against the Megazord, knocking the robo from its feet yet again.

 

Explosions tore open the robo’s armor as Lightspeed Megazord rose back to its feet.

 

“Ladder arms…Engage!” Rescue Red commanded.

 

The ladder arms extended and thrust forward, each hand grabbing hold of a Saimajuu. The robo and monsters twisted around each other while fighting for the upper hand.

 

Tri-Fire and Magnavore used the ladder arms to lift the Megazord off its feet and smash it against the ground. Secondary explosions sparked in the cockpit, blasting against the Rangers as they struggled to regain control of their zord.

 

The two villains lifted the zord again and crashed the robo against the ground.

 

Magnavore fired an optic blast of crackling, fiery energy while Tri-Fire launching swirling energy blasts. The combined blasts exploded against the Megazord, ripping through armor with a massive burst of spark.

 

***

 

Miss Fairweather and Capt. Mitchell stood in the Aqua Base’s operations room. They watched the battle with growing concern. 

 

Mitchell turned to Miss Fairweather. “Is the new fusion program online?” 

 

She didn’t even bother telling him it hadn’t been tested yet. He knew. “I can have it up in a few minutes. I just need to upload the data into the Go-Liner’s computer nodes.”

 

“Do it,” Mitchell said. He opened up a comm line with the Rangers. “Disassemble the Megazord and return to the Go-Liner.”

 

“We’re retreating?” Rescue Blue asked with surprise. “I didn’t think we were allowed to do that…”

 

“You’re not retreating,” Mitchell said. He was losing patience. “A new fusion program is being downloaded by the Go-Liner. You can use the program to form the Grand-Liner Megazord.”

 

***

 

The Rangers landed their zords back inside the individual liners. After entering the main cockpit, the Rangers inserted their blaster grips over the console’s control nodes and twisted downward.

 

“Go-Liner, on track!” Rescue Red shouted.

 

The train throttled forward as information about the fusion program scrolled across their visors. Fear clenched the Red Ranger in the throat. “There has to be a better way to form a Megazord.” 

 

The Go-Liner increased its speed as the rail up ahead lifted, curving upward towards the sky. Rescue Red closed his eyes tight beneath his helmet.

 

The Go-Liner throttled upward across the ramp and shot towards the skies, quickly flying hundreds of meters off the ground, blasting up to plane level. The force pushed the Rangers back in their seats.

 

Rescue Red clutched onto his control mode, his body stiff as his stomach knotted. 

 

Then the Liners separated, and each started a free fall. The liners assumed a diamond-slot formation while plummeting towards the ground far below.

 

Rescue Red clenched every muscle in his body as the freefall continued, churning Rescue Red’s stomach and tightening his throat. He could not move.

 

Data flashed across the Rangers’ visors, instructing them how to link up. Rescue Yellow, Rescue Blue, Rescue Pink, and Rescue Green sent signals to their individual zords, ordering them to dock with the Red Ranger’s liner.

 

But Rescue Red did not open his liner’s docking ports.

 

“Max!” Rescue Yellow shouted. “What the hell are you doing?”

 

Rescue Red said nothing, keeping his eyes closed tight.

 

The liners moved to connect, but without the red liner’s docking ports, each liner crashed against each other. Denting on impact, the liners ricocheted off of one another and started spinning out of control.

 

The blue liner crashed first, smashing through a building with a massive shockwave that sent debris flying everywhere. The green and pink liners slammed against the streets and started rolling out of control, tearing through the sides of building and ripping up concrete.

 

The yellow-liner’s fall was cushioned by a warehouse building, which was pulverized on impact.

 

The red liner swooped in from a steep angle. It crashed through three buildings, rocking the Rangers in their seats with explosions in the cockpit. The liner smashed through a  fourth building before whipping around and crashing against the street, skidding backward while tearing apart pavement.

 

***

 

Max’s vision slowly blurred back into focus. He stared up at the familiar ceiling of the Aqua Base’s medical bay. He had cuts, bruises, and burn marks across his entire body.

 

Miss Fairweather entered the room and walked over to his bedside.

 

Max turned to face her. “How…are the others?”

 

“They’ll be fine in a little while,” Fairweather said. “You all just need some rest.”

 

Max shook his head and tried to sit up, but Fairweather gently pushed him back down. “But Miss Fairweather…those two demons are still out there.”

 

“Billy called in the Silver Guardians to hold them at bay,” she said.

 

Max scoffed. “They won’t last.”

 

“Which is why you and the others need to rest,” Fairweather said.

 

“But-”

 

A comm line activated, and Capt. Mitchell’s voice came through. “Is Max awake?”

 

“Yes,” Miss Fairweather said. “He just woke up a few minutes ago.”

 

“Send him to my office,” Mitchell said. “Now.”

 

“But Captai-”

 

Now.”

 

***

 

Max stood in front of the captain’s desk with his arms folded behind his back. He tried to keep his face as emotionless as possible, not wanting to give his father the satisfaction of seeing his guilt.

 

Capt Mitchell leaned forward on his desk. “Do you have any idea how much damage you’ve caused?”

 

Max said nothing.

 

Mitchell sighed and leaned back in his chair. “Put your morpher on my desk and leave.”

 

Max narrowed his eyes. “What?”

 

“Give up your morpher,” Mitchell said. “You’re done. We can’t afford to have cowards on our team, so give me your morpher, and leave.”

 

Max glared at his father.

 

Mitchell merely tapped on his desk. “Morpher. Now.”

 

Max scoffed and ripped off his morpher before tossing it onto his father’s desk. He turned and stormed out of the office.

 

***

 

The demon pair’s rampage had caused significant damage to several city buildings and streets.

 

After a brief recovery period, DJ, Kevin, Junior, and Steph morphed and entered the battle zone to help rescue civilians who never made it to the shelters.

 

Rescue Yellow and Rescue Blue ran down a burning corridor on a high-rise skyscraper.

 

“Ya know…” Rescue Yellow started to say. “How many Ranger teams have popped up over the last few years? Eight? Nine?”

 

Rescue Blue shook his head. “I lost count after that whole ‘Countdown to Destruction’ mess.”

 

“Regardless,” Rescue Yellow said. “You think those other bastards would help us out every once and a while. Especially now…surely they’ve noticed two giants stomping through the streets with not a zord in sight.”

 

Rescue Blue shook his head. “Giant monsters happen all the time. They probably just don’t notice anymore…”

 

They continued their conversation as they made their way through the halls. They were both worried about Max and upset with him, but were trying their best to keep their mind off it.

 

***  

 

The five liners were in the train bay as technicians and mechanics tended to the repairs. Miss Fairweather walked towards the lead liner while reviewing a data pad. Repairs were going to be more complicated than she initially thought.

 

She walked into the main cockpit and paused at the entrance at what she saw. Max was beneath a console, tweaking with wiring and control chips.

 

“Max…” Fairweather said. “What are you doing here?”

 

Laying flat on his back, Max kept his eyes on the panel above him. “Helping with repairs. This is all my fault…I have to help somehow.”

 

Fairweather hesitated. She knew Max was gifted with technology, but working on a zord was a lot different than fixing a toaster. “How can you be sure you know what you’re doing?”

 

Max shrugged. “I just do.” He sat up from beneath the council and looked at Fairweather. The teen had a desperate look on his face. “Please. My dad…Capt.. Mitchell took away my morpher. I have to help my friends, and make up for what I did. This is the only way how…”

 

Fairweather reluctantly nodded and let Max get back to work.

 

***

 

The two giants eventually fell back towards edge of their city to recharge their flame. The villain’s taped into the heat of the Earth itself and let that power fuel them.

 

Junior, DJ, Kevin, and Max returned to their apartment after helping with damage control around the city.

 

Junior flopped onto the couch. “I am so wiped…”

 

DJ pushed Junior off the couch and laid himself down.

 

Steph narrowed her eyes when she noticed Max was missing. “Guys…is Max still at the Aqua Base?”

 

“He shouldn’t be,” Kevin said. “One of the nurses said he was released hours ago.”

 

“Huh…” Junior said as he sat up on the floor. “Where could he be then?”

 

***

 

Max worked on the Go-Liner straight through the night until dawn. Bags of sleeplessness hung under his eyes. His body was fatigued, but he ignored the feeling. Every time he needed a boost, he just reminded himself of his father’s words.

 

“Give up your morpher,” Mitchell said. “You’re done. We can’t afford to have cowards on our team, so give me your morpher, and leave.”

 

Max narrowed his eyes and worked harder.

 

Alarms suddenly blared throughout the Aqua Base. Max rose to his feet and activated a monitor on one of the stations. The two giant demons of fire were back and moving towards the city again.

 

***

 

Magnavore and Tri-Fire stomped back towards the city streets.

 

A flight of four fighter planes armed with the latest in INET battle technology swooped down from the skies. The jets launched a volley of missiles that streaked downward and exploded harmlessly against the two monsters.

 

The creatures kept stomping forward.

 

***

 

Max slammed a panel shut and shot to his feet. He hovered over the Go-Liner’s control panel and tried to bring its main systems online.

 

“Come on you piece of junk,” he said with frustration as he slammed his hand against the controls. The panel suddenly hummed to life as different consoles and buttons lit up.

 

A monitor nearby showed Magnavore and Tri-Fire entering the city with a barrage of fire attacks that exploded through buildings.

 

Max sighed and looked down at the Go-Liner’s control console. Repairs weren’t complete…but they would have to do.

 

Some of the modifications he made were different than what the Go-Liner’s specs called for. He improvised to by bypassing a few systems and making new program connections to speed the process along.

 

Max did not have time to fill Fairweather and the other rangers in on all the modifications. He would have to lead them through the Grand-Liner fusion during their plummet to the ground.

 

Feared welled inside Max’s stomach.

 

“Give up your morpher,” Mitchell said. “You’re done. We can’t afford to have cowards on our team, so give me your morpher, and leave.”

 

Max buried his fear and ran towards his father’s office.

 

***

 

Rescue Green piloted his Aero Rescue through a downward swoop while triggering his zord’s cannons. Aero Rescue opened fire with cyan-tinted pulse blasts that exploded against the two demons with bursts of spark.

 

Magnavore fired a volley of lava missiles that exploded against Aero Rescue, knocking the zord from the air. The green-armored zord crashed against the streets and skid backward.

 

***

 

Max barged into his father’s officer. Mitchell looked up with a quizzical expression on his face.

 

“My morpher,” Max said firmly. “Now.”

 

Mitchell arced an eyebrow. “Maybe you didn’t understand…”

 

Max didn’t have time for this. He stepped over to the other side of his father’s desk, pulled open the top drawer, grabbed his morpher, and started walking out.

 

The ranger ignored his father’s screaming protests as he left the office.

 

***

 

 Rescue Blue triggered his zord’s cannons, which sprayed streams of fire-retardant liquid against the two giants. The streams splashed across the monsters harmlessly as they stalked forward.

 

“Oh come on,” Rescue Blue said with frustration. “Cool off.”

 

***

 

A pair of Silver Guardian officers blocked the entrance to the liner bay as Max stormed forward. They lifted their hands to keep Max from entering.

 

“If this is going to be too much for you, just throw your morpher on the table and leave,” Mitchell said.  “Frankly, I won’t be surprised if you can’t handle this.”

 

“Lightspeed Rescue!” Max shouted. Energy wrapped around his body as he morphed into his Ranger form.

 

Rescue Red shoved past the two guards with ease and entered the liner bay.

 

The Red Ranger dropped into the lead liner’s cockpit and slid his Blaster Grip over the control node to his side. He twisted the grip downward. “Go-Liner, on track!”

 

***

 

Magnavore and Tri-Fire stalked towards the Rangers zords.

 

Rescue Yellow clenches his jaw beneath his mask and tightened his grip on his control levers. “I’m about five seconds away from shoving this zord up their-”

 

The whistle of a train suddenly split through the air. From their cockpits, the Rangers looked to see the Go-Liner speed to the area.

 

Rescue Red spoke to his teammates through their helmet communicators. “Guys, get in. The Grand-Liner program is back online.”

 

The Rangers hesitated.

 

“Um…” Rescue Blue said. “No offense, Max, but that didn’t work so hot last time.”

 

“Just get inside, smart ass,” Rescue Red said.

 

The Rangers parked their zords back inside the Go-Liner and joined Rescue Red in the cockpit.

 

“Grand-Liner Megazord fusion, online!” Rescue Red shouted as the train throttled forward.

 

The Go-Liner increased its speed as the rail up ahead lifted, curving upward towards the sky. Rescue Red closed his eyes tight beneath his helmet.

 

The Go-Liner throttled upward across the ramp and shot towards the skies, quickly flying hundreds of meters off the ground, blasting up to plane level. The force pushed the Rangers back in their seats.

 

Rescue Red clutched onto his control node, his body stiff as his stomach knotted.

 

“Just let me make one thing clear: even though you’re my offspring, you are not my son.”

 

The Red Ranger slowly opened his eyes and let his anger fuel him.

 

Then the Liners separated, and each started a free fall. The liners assumed a diamond-slot formation while plummeting towards the ground far below. Rescue Red maneuvered the center liner into formation.

 

Each liner connected with each other and formed the most massive zord ever created. The tall zord controlled its descent and landed on the rail tracks on the city streets below.

 

Rescue Red breathed a long sigh of relief when the Grand-Liner Megazord touched down on solid ground.

 

Grand-Liner throttled forward and skid to a stop nearby the demon’s. The monsters were barely taller than the Megazord’s waistline.

 

“Now this, I like,” Rescue Yellow said.

 

Information about the Megazord’s weapon systems flashed across the Rangers’ visors.

 

“Grand-Liner gattling system, online,” Rescue Red commanded.

 

Shoulder panels on the massive zord flipped open. The right shoulder was armed with a circular gattling blaster, and the left shoulder was armed with a rack of tightly-packed missiles. Each missile was tipped with the Lightspeed logo. 

 

“Grand Fire!” Rescue Red shouted.

 

Rapid-fire blasts streaked from the gattling shoulder as a massive volley of missiles streaked forth from the missile racks. The blast sent energy discharges traveling through the cockpit, exploding against the Rangers’ armor with bursts of spark.

 

Blasts exploded against Magnavore with bursts of spark, ripping through his rocky skin as the volley of missiles started exploding against him. The missiles blasted through his rocky shell with massive bursts of flame that sent debris flying everywhere. 

 

Missiles tore through to the center of the demon’s body and exploded, pulverizing the monster into nothing more than boulders, which quickly vaporized into dust and blew away with the wind.

 

The Ranger struggled to catch their breath within their cockpit. The electric discharges had burnt beneath their armor.

 

“What was that?” Rescue Blue asked.

 

Fairweather’s voice came through the Rangers’ helmet communicators. “The weapon systems were never tested. The discharge is too strong for you to handle. Return to the Aqua Base.”

 

“No,” Rescue Red said. He looked to his teammates. “You guys ready for another jolt?”

 

“No,” Rescue Blue said. “But do it anyway…”

 

Rescue Red grabbed his Blaster Grip and slid the weapon forward. “Gattling arms, engage!”

 

The shoulder packs flipped downward and connected with the end of the zord’s arms. “Grand Storm!”

 

Grand-Liner Megazord thrust its right arm forward while discharging rapid-fire blasts that streaked towards the enemy like darts. The zord swung its left arm forward, unloading a missile payload that shot through the air towards Tri-Fire.

 

The blast sent energy discharges traveling through the cockpit, exploding against the Rangers’ armor with bursts of spark.

 

The blasts exploded against the villain with bursts of spark, tearing through his body as missiles exploded against them. The volley of missiles exploded through his body with massive discharges of flame.

 

Missiles burst through the center of the demon and exploded, vaporizing the creature with a massive burst of white-hot flame.

 

***

 

Max quietly entered the Aqua Base observation deck once night descended over the city. Fairweather, Cranston, and Mitchell had put in calls to him after the battle, but he ignored them all. They probably wanted to punish him or take away his morpher again.

 

But the teen had something to learn first.

 

Max activated the center console and took a deep breath. He was about to uncover the secret of his father’s disappearance.

 

To be continued…Chapter Six