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Mega Morphing Power Rangers

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Flightless Man, Jul 5, 2021.

?

Who should become the Green Ranger

Poll closed Monday at 11:30 PM.
  1. Orion

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Kat

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
  3. Adam

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
  4. Rocky

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Aisha

    1 vote(s)
    5.0%
  6. Tanya

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
  7. Justin

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Bulk

    10 vote(s)
    50.0%
  9. Skull

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
  10. Lauren

    1 vote(s)
    5.0%
Loading...
  1. Threadmarks: Episode 0: Day of the Dumpster
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Mega Morphing Power Rangers

    MMPR/Mega Force AU.
    Revised version trimming out the fat and adding some additional detail.

    When the Dumpster that began everything opens, it transforms the teens originally intended to save the world into the Evil Space Aliens and forces Zordon to select five different teenagers with attitude. Since everyone focuses on the dinosaur part of MMPR, I'm using the mastodon and saber tooth tiger to give everyone Ice Age Zords instead.

    I have plans to do my own versions of the first six seasons, by amalgamating every season into a six year time frame and choosing the villains, rangers, Zords, suits, and mentors I like best. Out of 120 or so canon rangers, I’m only going to be using about 18, with a few canon civilians and mentors as rangers also.

    My intent is to use each seasons canon number of additions/replacements, but do so for different reasons and in different orders. For example: The Green and White Rangers will be different characters. In season 2, three new rangers will join the team (not counting white) and three will leave by seasons end/ before season 3.

    I really liked the extra gadgets and helmet abilities, in the original movie and so each ranger here will have one of each. I also really liked the Power Bikes and wish they got used more than once in a background scene, so I will be using them.

    Episode 0: Day of the Dumpster
    “Zordon, wake up!” Alpha Five starts to shamble around the Command Center and activates the dormant consoles, causing the panels to light up with musical beeps.

    The glass tube running through the middle of the room lights up with a pale blue glow. A thick fog billows inside and takes the shape of a massive bald head.

    “The day you warned me about has arrived,” The tricolor robot stutters out in panic. “Master Vile has gotten free and has claimed our first choice of Power Rangers.”

    “Fear not Alpha,” Zordon tries to calm his assistant, to mixed results. “I had you find back ups for a reason, you shall have to summon them instead.” The ageless wizard’s lips quirk into an amused smile, as if he knows more than he should for being asleep a thousand years.


    ...


    Jason’s lower lip shifts almost imperceptibly, as he tries to figure out how to say convince to his younger cousin Troy into staying at the Juice Bar with him and his friends.

    “You’re sure you just want to wander around?” Jason smiles in tentative support of his new roommate’s choice of moving forward from the accident. “You’re more than welcome helping us set up inside.”

    “If I’m living in Angel Grove now,” Troy Burrows sighs and looks at the teens enjoying the first weekend since school got out. “Probably better try and figure out where everything is.” He chuckles and points, when he catches sight of some of his cousins friends approaching. “Maybe make some of my own friends, not just borrow yours like a weirdo.”

    You could even help me teach my class after we help Ernie.” Jason shrugs at his cousin and smiles wide when he himself catches sight of Zachary Taylor and Kimberly Hart.

    “Your friend Kimberly didn’t seem to enjoy my presence last night,” Troy rejects the offer with an unconcerned shrug. “I’ll find something to do until you’re done. You said around five, right?”

    “Yeah,” Responds Jason with a wince. “She’s just going through her own stuff right now and wasn’t expecting anyone new, it wasn’t personal.”

    “Hey guys,” Zach calls through the open windows, waving enthusiastically beside a scowling Kimberly. “You coming to help out Troy? Ernie will really appreciate an extra pair of hands”

    “No,” The new kid in town shrugs and steps out of the jeep, allowing the brunette girl in pink shorts claim shotgun. “Going to take my aunts advice and get some fresh air, make some friends of my own.”

    “Well... my brother Noah is playing chess down by the soccer field,” Zach explains awkwardly, finally realizing the tension present. “If you wander down that way, keep an eye out for someone your age in blue and kicking everyone’s butt.”

    “If his friend starts to bother you,” Kim scowls back the way she just came. “Feel free to throw Jake in the lake for me.”

    “Jake’s not that bad Kim,” Zach tries to defend his brother’s only friend. “He’s looked out for Noah for years and he works hard, I can’t even tell he had a stutter anymore.”

    “I know he’s not,” The petite gymnast exhales slowly and agrees with a frown on her face. “But ever since our parents got married… it’s like my dad forgot I exist.”

    “You did decide to live with your mom,” Jason awkwardly broaches and then holds his hands in front of him when Kim turns to glare.

    “You guys are right,” Agrees Kimberly with a snort. “He’s been nice enough to drive me anywhere I want. So maybe don’t throw him in the lake,” She changes her mind with a sigh and mutters under her breath. “It’s not his fault my dad had a secret family.”

    “It’s nice to see the Kimberly I know is starting to come back to us,” A pair of female arms loop around the startled girls waist and pull her into a hug, with the long raven hair of Trini Kwan poking over Kim’s shoulder ensuring Jason does not come to her rescue and only laughs. “I was worried I was going to see you go through a goth phase.”

    “I too am pleasantly surprised by your far more cheerful mood today,” Billy Cranston agrees with a wide smile on his bespectacled face. “I hope this means you are filled with enthusiasm for our task?”

    “I wouldn’t say excited exactly,” Kim giggles and leans into her friends embrace. “But I’m not dreading helping Ernie with the flea market anymore.”

    “Come on, it won’t be that bad.” Trini smiles at Jason, as he and Troy exit the scarlet jeep. “We only have to help with set up today and clean up tomorrow.”

    “Ernie’s giving us a hundred dollar tab for the help,” Zach cheers and his friends are unable to resist the contagious enthusiasm. “He can even ask me to clean the bathrooms and I wont complain.”

    “I’m telling him you volunteered then,” Snorts Jason, before he gives a final farewell to his cousin. “See you here around five thirty and remember to ignore the goons in the leather jackets.” Troy waves goodbye and heads down towards the beach.

    “How’s he doing?” Trini asks softly. “Is he still not talking about it?” Her voice is filled with compassion and even Zach refrains from joking.

    “He seems to be okay with the day to day stuff, but he’s repressing the accident.” He scowls and tries to change the subject. “How are you and Emma doing?”

    “She’s not crying about Skull’s personality change anymore, but I think she still blames me for not keeping him away from Bulk last year.” Trini wrings her hands uncomfortably, while Zach knocks on the double doors.

    “People change,” Zach frowns at how much Farkas did, after only a few weeks of being bullied. “Not your fault if they won’t ask for help.”

    “He was our friend and we didn’t know he was hurting,” Counters Trini serenely. “I only regret not being given a chance to help him, before it was too late for our friendship.”

    “Well it is appropriate to blame me for my current troubles with my step sister,” Billy commiserates with his friends. “I keep offering to help her with her school work, but she just wants to be left alone.”

    “Billy...” Trini smiles softly at the more book smart of the five. “She’s a straight A student.”

    “She doesn’t need help with homework, she needs to feel like part of the family.” Agrees Kim, while sharing a knowing look with the others.

    “Yeah dude,” Chimes in Zach. “Maybe think about asking her for help with one of your projects, so she knows you don’t think she’s stupid like the rest of us.”

    “I don’t think any of you are stupid,” Shaking his head back and forth frantically, Billy denies the claim. “And I don’t think she is either.”

    “So show her that,” Zach strokes his chin in thought.

    The door is kicked open suddenly, with Ernie struggling to keep a large dirty bin in his grip. It’s large enough to fit a grown man inside, and the lid has a large red crystal embedded in the rock. Strange runes cover the object and imply a sense of foreboding.

    “Whoa Ernie!” The well muscled Jason rushes forward, grabbing the other side of a dirty bin as his crimson muscle shirt strains from the effort.. “Let me grab this.”

    “Thanks Jason,” The overweight and overly happy man pants out in relief. “I have no idea who’s this is, but it sure looks interesting. Someone will be dropping big bucks on this thing.”

    “It looks like a barrel or maybe some kind of an ancient dumpster...” Trini wonders out loud and follows the others inside the youth center.

    “But it looks like it was carved from some kind of stone,” Adds Billy, even as Jason’s hands start to burn. “I wonder what’s inside it?”

    “Ouch!” Yelps Jason, dropping it to the floor and cracking the seal.

    After ten thousand years, I’m finally free!” A voice filled with the very essence of evil escapes from the container, as the lid falls open and the foul scent of death escapes. “It’s time to conquer Earth!” A dark mist explodes from the canister and envelops the six people, filling their hearts with evil and corrupting them right to the bone.

    Jason roars in agony as his muscles contort and his bones extend. His muscle mass doubles and then triples in moments, with dark wiry fur exploding out from his body. As he shrieks in pain, his jaws extend forward and take the form of a snarling muzzle.

    Black feathered wings bursts from his back next and when his transformation is complete, a golden metal armor forms on his body. Feeling weak from the transformation, Goldar climbs to his feet and bows before the bin.

    “For you Master Vile,” His red eyes flash with rage and coming violence. “I shall slay the humans by the thousand!”

    “Ladies first I believe,” Kimberly rises, with little visibly different about her, besides the change in attire. her flowing red robes are covered in gilded runes, while her forked hat looks to be made from woven white hair.

    “Unless you wish to challenge my right to lead?” She quirks her lips dangerously and sneers down at the bestial form of her oldest friend, a massive wand that most would call a staff in her hands.

    “...No,” Concedes the renamed Goldar, as he is easily able to sense which of them has the most raw power and how wide the gape between them is.

    “Good,” She reaches up and pats him on the head several times like a dog.

    Since you are so eager to serve,” Vile’s voice cackles from inside the container, as he emerges with resplendent robes and a mask of ancient carved gold covering his face. “If you can have this ball of dirt subjugated by the time I return, I will let you rule the remains.”

    He walks to the middle of the room stiffly, working out the charlie horse with each step. Waving his golden hands in a strange pattern before him, glyphs of black flame appear in the air.

    As his corrupting power surges into the void between the runes, Master Vile reaches forward with a skeletal claw and rips the very fabric of space before.

    Waves of darkness pulses from the tear, pouring darkness over the reshaped beings and the one who made them so. Shadows grow over them and twist in on themselves, causing them to vanish with no trace of them ever being in the building.

    No time passes as their shadows coalesce on the moon and regrow into seven distinct shapes, each one more monstrous looking than the previous.

    Zordon hid any evidence of me well, but hidden is not destroyed!” Master Vile lifts his face upwards and roars, a wave of visible force slamming into the surface and crumbling the nearby area of the moon into dust.

    A massive black palace is revealed as the dust settles, so tall it stretches stories above the crater it rests in.

    You have a year,” Vile warns the Sorceress of Sin. “Do not disappoint me, or you shall wish I killed you now.”

    “But where are you going Master Vile?” The rotund and short form of Squatt steps forward and blurts out in a squeaky voice.

    To ensure my empire remembers to who they swear allegiance!” The nearly ageless being roars into space, making his message heard by all who serve him.

    He strides to he balcony overlooking the Earth with a relaxed arrogance, that one only gains after countless victories. Sneering at the only world to resist his power, he distorts himself into shadows and shoots out into the blackness of space.

    “Finster!” Rita Repulsa shrieks at the monster who was once Billy, intent on ruling the human race and in need of his services.

    “Yes Mistress Repulsa?” He whimpers back at her in false obedience.

    “Get me an army, now!” She cackles and with a single wave of her wand causes the still drifting moon dust to collect into a perfect sphere, floating before the Evil Space Aliens. “I want to look down on a world run by me before bedtime!”



    Notes: This is the first revision, I’m going to try and get a second one done by dinner. I hope the improvement is noticeable.

    As a scarlet jeep pulls into the parking lot and sneaks in to a free spot, the driver turns off the ignition and runs a hand through his short black hair. Jason’s lower lip shifts almost imperceptibly, as he tries to figure out how to say goodbye to his passenger.

    “You’re sure you just want to wander around?” Jason keeps his voice relaxed while he locks eyes with his younger cousin and smiles in tentative support of his new roommate. “You can always come help me and my friends at the Juice Bar.”

    “If I’m living here in Angel Grove now,” Troy Burrows sighs and looks through the windshield at the families and friends enjoying the first weekend since school got out. “Probably better try and make some of my own friends.” He shakes his head from side to side and chuckles when he catches sight of some of his cousins friends approaching.

    You can even help me teach my class after we help Ernie set up, since I know you can keep up with me.” Jason shrugs at his cousin and smiles wide when he catches sight of Zach and Kim.

    “Your friend Kimberly didn’t seem to enjoy my presence last night,” Troy rejects the offer and starts opening the passenger door. “I’ll find something to do until you’re done. You said around five, right?”

    “Yeah,” Responds his frowning cousin. “She’s just going through her own stuff right now and wasn’t expecting anyone new, you just surprised her.”

    “Hey guys,” Zachary Taylor calls through Jason’s open window, waving enthusiastically beside a scowling Kimberly. “You coming to help out Troy? Ernie will appreciate an extra pair of hands”

    “No,” The new kid in town shrugs and steps out of the jeep, allowing the brunette girl in pink shorts claim shotgun. “Going to take my aunts advice and get some fresh air.”

    “Well my brother Noah is playing chess down by the soccer field,” Zach explains when he gets a meaningful look from his best friend. “If you wander down that way, keep an eye out for someone your age in blue and kicking everyone’s butt.”

    “If his friend in a black soccer jersey starts to bother you,” Kim scowls back the way she just came. “Feel free to throw Jake in the lake for me.”

    “Jake’s not that bad Kim,” Zach tries to defend his brother’s friend. “He’s looked out for Noah for years and he works hard, I can’t even tell he had a stutter anymore.”

    “I know he’s not,” The gymnast exhales slowly and agrees with a frown on her face. “But ever since my dad married his mom… it’s like he forgot he even has a daughter.”

    “You did decide to live with your mom,” Jason awkwardly broaches and then holds his hands in front of him when Kim turns to glare. “Hey, I’m just saying blame your dad and not your half brother.”

    “You guys are right,” Agrees the girl, clenching her hands in anger. “He’s been nice and has been driving me anywhere I want in the new truck my dad got him. So maybe I should see if he wants to come to the concert with us next month, it’s not his fault my dad had a secret family.”

    “It’s nice to see the Kimberly I know is starting to come back to us,” A pair of female arms loop around the startled girls waist and pull her into a hug, with the long raven hair of Trini poking over Kim’s shoulder ensures Jason does not come to her defense. “I was worried I was going to see you go through a goth phase.”

    “I too am pleasantly surprised by your far more cheerful mood today,” Billy Cranston agrees with a wide smile on his bespectacled face. “I hope this means you are filled with enthusiasm for our task?”

    “I wouldn’t say excited exactly,” Kim giggles and exits her friends embrace, claiming her seat before Zach manages to climb into it from the back. “But I’m not dreading helping Ernie with the flea market anymore.”

    “Come on, it won’t be that bad.” Trini smiles at Troy and slides into the middle seat in the back of the vehicle. “We only have to help with set up today and clean up tomorrow.”

    “Ernie’s giving us a hundred dollar tab for the help,” Zach cheers and his friends are unable to resist smiling at the contagious enthusiasm. “He can ask me to clean the bathrooms and I wont complain.”

    “I’m telling him you volunteered then,” Snorts Jason, before he gives a final farewell to his cousin. “See you here around five thirty and remember to ignore the goons in the leather jackets.” Troy waves goodbye and walks into the park without another look backwards.

    “How’s he doing?” Trini Kwan asks softly, while Jason backs out of the parking spot. “Is he still not talking about it?” Her voice is filled with compassion and even Zach refrains from joking.

    “He seems to be okay with the day to day stuff, but he’s repressing the accident.” The driver scowls at his aunt and uncle’s deaths and signals. “Today is his first day exploring on his own, so I hope he makes some friends.” He glances into the rear view mirror and makes brief eye contact with the Asian girl. “How are you and Emma doing?”

    “She’s not crying about Skull’s personality change anymore, but I think she still blames me for not keeping him away from Bulk last year.” Trini frowns and folds her hands in her lap, while Zach throws an arm over her shoulder in comfort.

    “People change,” Zach frowns at how much Farkas changed after only a few weeks of being bullied last fall. “Not your fault.”

    “He was our friend and we didn’t know he was hurting,” Counters the serene girl beside him. “I only regret not being given a chance to help him, before it was too late.”

    “Well it is appropriate to blame me for my troubles with my step sister,” Billy shares his own family troubles and commiserates with his friends. “I keep offering to help her, but she just wants to be left alone.”

    “Billy...” Kimberly turns back to the more intelligent of the five and smiles softly. “She’s a straight A student. She doesn’t need help with homework, she needs to feel like part of the family.”

    “Yeah dude,” Chimes in Zach. “Maybe think about asking her for help with one of your projects, so she knows you don’t think she’s stupid like the rest of us.”

    “I don’t think any of you are stupid,” Shaking his head back and forth frantically, Billy denies the claim. “And I don’t think she is either.”

    “So show her that,” Zach insists and then strokes his chin in thought. “Since we’re solving everyone’s family drama, does anyone have any ideas for how I can get Noah to loosen up?” He finally asks when Jason arrives at the Juice Bar, pulling into one of the reserved spots and turning off the engine.

    “If you can’t get someone to, how do you expect any of us to?” Retorts Jason and the five exit the jeep.

    “I’m too loose and I think it scares him, I’d be happy if he could even dance as good as you Jase.” Everyone laughs at Zach’s teasing, which Jason endures with good humor and a big smile.

    “Whoa Ernie!” The well muscled teen in red rushes forward, grabbing the other side of a dirty bin. “Let me grab this.”

    “Thanks Jason,” The overweight and overly happy man pants out. “I have no idea who’s this is, but it sure looks interesting. Someone will be dropping big bucks on this thing.”

    “It looks like a barrel or maybe a dumpster...” Trini wonders out loud and follows the others inside the youth center.

    “But it looks like it was carved from some kind of stone,” Adds Billy, even as Jason’s hands start to burn. “I wonder what’s inside it?”

    “Ouch!” Yelps Jason and lets go of the brown stone container, dropping it to the floor.

    After ten thousand years, I’m finally free!” A voice filled with the very essence of evil escapes from the container, as the seal is shattered from the impact and the lid falls open. “It’s time to conquer Earth!” A dark mist explodes from the canister and envelops the six people, filling their hearts with evil and corrupting them to the bone.

    Jason roars in agony as his muscles contort and his bones extend. His mass nearly triples in moments and dark wiry fur explodes out from his body. Next his jaws extend forward and take the form of a snarling muzzle, complete with a wolf’s fangs lining his mouth.

    Black feathered wings bursts from his back and when his transformation is complete, a golden metal armor appears on his body. Feeling weak from the transformation, Jason climbs to his feet and roars.

    “For you Master Vile,” His red eyes flash with rage and coming violence. “I shall slay the humans by the thousand!”

    “Ladies first I believe,” Kimberly rises, with little visibly different besides her flowing red robes and forked hat. “Unless you wish to challenge my right to lead?” She quirks her lips dangerously and sneers up at the bestial form of her oldest friend.

    “...No,” Concedes the renamed Goldar, as he is easily able to sense which of the six has the most raw power at hand.

    “Good,” She reaches up and pats him on the cheek several times, condescension leaking out with each one.

    “Since you are so eager to serve,” Vile’s voice cackles from inside the container and he emerges with resplendent robes. “If you can have this ball of dirt subjugated by the time I return, I will let you rule the remains.” He waves his golden hands in a strange pattern, before ripping into the fabric of space before him and tearing.

    A wave of darkness passes over the reshaped beings and the one who made them so, before they vanish. No time passes as their shadows coalesce on the moon and regrow.

    “Zordon hide any evidence of me well, but hidden is not destroyed!” Master Vile lifts his face upwards and roars, a wave of visible force slamming into the surface and crumbling the nearby area into dust. A massive black palace is revealed, so tall it stretches stories above the crater it rests in.

    “You have a year,” Vile reminds the Sorceress of Sin and her minions. “Do not disappoint me, or you shall wish I killed you now.”

    “But where are you going Master Vile?” The rotund and short form of Squatt steps forward and blurts out in a squeaky voice.

    “To ensure my empire remembers to who the swear allegiance!” The nearly ageless being roars into space and distorts himself into shadows, shooting out and vanishing in the blackness of space.

    “Finster!” The witch filled with repulsive energy so powerful a tangible aura of sickly green forms around her snarls.

    “Yes Mistress Repulsa?” The body of Ernie has been changed into a slender and white furred dog man.

    “Get me an army, now!” She cackles and with a single wave of her wand tears into the fabric of space. “I want to look down on a world run by me before bedtime!”

    Notes: I've merged histories, so the Mega force rangers are each related to one of the MMPR ones. I wanted to write a different franchise for a while, so here's some power rangers. Expect the darker tone of the 2017 movie, but with as much cheese as I can manage to squeeze in from the television show.

    I watched MMPR-Dino Thunder and got back in with the final few episodes of Super Samurai (I loved Lauren, was very meh on everything else.) and Watched Mega force-Dino Supercharge while being a nanny. Ninja steel was so bad I only liked Preston, Calvin, and Hayley, but that wasn't enough to make it 5 episodes. I've watched most seasons of Super Sentai, so expect villains, plots, zords, costumes, and weapons from earlier seasons. I liked the original movie gadgets and helmet devices each ranger had and so have give each ranger one of those.

    Suits are the MMPR suits, but with helmets themed to the correct ice age animal. The first zords are half from MMPR season 1 and 3.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
    Shadow Pen and Happerry like this.
  2. Threadmarks: Episode 1: Mega Mission
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 1: Mega Mission

    Completing another lap around the clear blue lake, Troy Burrows wipes the sweat from his brow. It’s a lot hotter than back in Hardwood County, which has some benefits he admits to himself when he gets near the blonde girl in yellow doing yoga. He gives her a nod and smiles at her Asian friend in pink as he passes them.

    She rolls her eyes at the gesture, but her friend with the camera is quick to wave back this time with a bright smile. Resisting the urge to stop and say hello to the girls, Troy takes the blonde’s glare as a hint and continues his workout.

    Cheers from ahead signal the home team scored again and Troy smiles to himself at the local pride on display. The smile slips when he catches sight of the goons Jason mentioned, the pair sauntering to the front of the concession line and cutting in front of a dozen kids.

    The leader is overweight, with a loose ponytail hanging over his black leather jacket. His two compatriots flank him, one is a tall skinny teen with a spiked collar on his neck and the other is a girl with long frizzy blonde hair.

    “Don’t get involved,” He exhales heavily and repeats some of his dads last words. “Not unless someone could get hurt.” If he hadn’t gotten suspended, he would still have his parent’s disappointed faces to look forward to every morning.

    Approaching the large crowd around the soccer fields, he looks over the heads of the people and catches sight of the chess tables at the far end. Most people look to be part of a regular crowd, but the teen around his age is aggressively playing two matches at once.

    “That’s really impressive,” Troy offers easy praise to the black teen, when the second game is won only a few turns after his first. “I haven’t played in a while, but you’re miles ahead of me.”

    “Me?” The curly haired teen looks around for the subject of praise, before slowly pointing at himself in realization and grins. “Thanks. I don’t think I’ve ever had an audience, everyone is always focused on the real athletes.” He pushes his glasses up his nose with a finger and offers a hesitant grin. “You said you played, how about a game?”

    “Haven’t played since February,” Admits Troy and he feels a cool sensation of guilt fill him at the idea of doing so now.

    “Well I can go easy on you,” Noah looks over at the players on the field and does some quick mental math. “I have half an hour or so, before my friend is done showing off.”

    “Can I be black?” Troy takes a deep breath and pushes past the painful memories. “My dad always made me be white and without him...”





    “Who is he?” Gia Moran grumbles to her best friend Emma Kwan, once the jogger in red is out of sight.

    “No idea,” Emma shrugs and zooms her camera in for a perfect shot of some ducklings. “But he seemed nice. I think he’s living with Jason.”

    “I think Billy mentioned something like that a few weeks ago.” When her egg timer goes off, Gia stands and tries shaking the tension out of her limbs.

    “He’s always been nice when he’s with Trini,” Frowning at her best friend’s anger, Emma offers her a hand up. “I don’t get why you’re always butting heads with him.”

    “Same reason you and Trini have been at each others throats,” Smirking at her friend, Gia grabs her bag and heads towards the path.

    “That’s different!” She yelps out a denial and rushes to catch a power walking Gia. “Trini never liked Eugene.”

    “Well...” Gia hesitates briefly, before gathering her courage and finally saying it. “Wasn’t she right? He changed so much, I don’t even recognize him.”

    Suddenly the ground starts to shake violently, with birds exploding into the sky for safety. The wind swiftly becomes a frigid gale that bends the trees nearly in half. Lightning erupts across the cloudless sky, but it is blood red bolts and clearly unnatural.

    “What’s going on?” Emma clutches the blondes arm and pulls her out of the way of a falling tree.

    “I have no idea!” Barely being heard over the shrieking wind, Gia helps Emma over the tree. “It was completely calm a few seconds ago.”

    “Can you hear screaming?” Frantically Emma looks around for the source.

    “It’s coming from all over,” Gia agrees and points towards some roller bladers. “Those things are going to get them!”

    The two teens are being pursued by what look like grey men doing a strange leaping shuffle, the five figures babbling incoherently the entire time.

    Springing into action, Emma leads with a cartwheel kick and knocks one of the figures down. Gia is quick to back up her best friend and delivers a fierce blow of her own to the next babbling creature’s chest.

    Barely hearing the calls of thanks from the fleeing pair, the two begin fighting back to back in desperation. None of Gia’s kicks are doing more than knock the grey creeps down, with Emma’s moves being equally ineffective at doing lasting damage.

    Before the girls can be overwhelmed, they vanish in a swirl of lights. Yellow and pink beams of crackling energy shoot into the sky and arc towards the mountains, joining with three other lances of light.


    ...


    As soon as the ground started shaking, dozens of the freaky grey aliens attacked everyone present. Knowing his team can look after themselves, Jake Holling dashes across the grass and heads for his best friend.

    “I’m coming buddy,” He pants under his breath, forced to divert his path towards a fleeing mother. Sliding into a kick, Jake drops the creature about to grab her stroller.

    “Get to the other players Mam, I’ll cover you.” Planting a hand in the turf, he flips himself onto one hand and begins kicking to a rhythm only he can hear.

    He manages to drop all three of the nearest clay men, but groans when each one climbs back onto their feet. As the exhausted soccer player raises his arms to defend himself from a very painful looking blow, a figure in red slams into the creep.

    “You’re Jake right?” The brunette pants out in greeting and uppercuts his next enemy cleanly. “Let’s get back to Noah.”

    “Good call,” Agrees the raven haired athlete, taking down another creature with a sliding kick and then springing back to his feet. “Because it looks like they could really use the help!” He grabs the unknown kids forearm and starts spinning, only letting go when Troy has enough momentum to clear the creeps between them.

    ”Let them go!” Roars Troy as he dives for the two carrying Noah like a struggling log.

    “Thanks guys,” Gasps Noah as he clambers to his feet. “I thought I was a goner.”

    “How’d you get caught?” Asks Troy, not breaking his gaze from the foes leaping side to side. “I told you to get them out of here.”

    “I realized these things are attracted to noise,” Noah blocks a punch aimed for his face and returns a glancing jab of his own. “So I tried leading them away, no way the seniors could have outrun them.”

    “Good man,” Cheers Jake, as he defends Noah’s exposed back from a blow. “Knew you had it in you.”

    “We’re completely surrounded!” The more intellectual of the three realizes first. “You guys are going to have to leave me.”

    “Not happening,” Troy and Jake say in unison. “Stay close and focus on blocking,” The boys share a determined look, before moving back to back to back.

    “Something’s happening!” Noah calls out unnecessarily, as swirling lights surround the trio.

    “We’re being abducted!” Jake starts leaping to conclusions.

    “Close your eyes until you stop moving,” Orders Troy firmly. “Or you’ll be really sick.” With those being the last words any of them have time to utter, they vanish in a trio of red, blue, and black lights.





    “I think I’m going to be sick,” Groans Gia as soon as she materializes in a room filled with multi colored consoles.

    “Me too,” Agrees Emma with a worried gasp.

    “Told you guys the aliens got us,” Jake Holling opens his eyes and peers around the circular room.

    “Although Zordon is not from Earth,” A chirping mechanical voice responds. “I was constructed here, which I believe makes me an Earthling.” A pillar of foggy blue glass is in the center of the room, as a figure reveals itself.

    A bronze robot with red armor plating on his chest and hands walks forward. His limbs a blue mesh like metal that allow for flexibility and his head is shaped like a flying saucer. A single red sensor on the front of the dish marks the ‘eye’ of the robot.

    “Whoa...” Exclaims Noah in wonder as he adjusts his glasses and peers eagerly at the machine. “A fully functioning automaton, straight out a post futuristic setting.”

    “What?” Troy is brave enough to admit he has no idea what that means.

    “He’s saying it’s an old school robot,” Explains Gia, interpreting the tech talk for the others. “If you think that was hard to follow, never ask Billy for help.”

    “Old school?” The robot wonders aloud, which has Noah rush to reassure the sad voice.

    “Don’t worry, retro is in.” When the robot chirps happy, Noah breathes out in relief.

    “As long as nobody is getting probed here,” Adds Jake with a nervous darting of his eyes around the room. “I have to agree with my buddy here, you look dope.”

    “I think you’re kind of cute,” Emma agrees, finally getting over the motion sickness of her arrival.

    “As relieving as it is to hear that news,” The Robot titters in embarrassment. “We didn’t bring you here to compliment us.”

    “Who’s we?” Troy looks around and notices four doors evenly spaced around the chamber, but fails to see a second person.

    “That would be me and my assistant Alpha Five,” A booming voice comes from the glowing tube in the center of the room, a bald man’s face taking shape like the Wizard of Oz. “I am Zordon an ancient defender of good and I need your help to ensure your world remains free from Master Vile and his forces.”

    “If you’re talking about those grey guys, how do you expect us to do anything?” Demands Gia, her arms crossed in defiance. “Nothing we did even slowed them down.”

    “Same with us,” Jake makes eye contact with the cute girl and grimaces. “It was like hitting clay.”

    “That would be because they are made from moon dust and the blood of the innocent, making them indeed a form of clay.” Zordon agrees with a sad expression crossing his massive face.

    “The Putties are one of Master Vile’s many foot soldiers and not the real threat you shall face.” Alpha explains in attempt to be helpful.

    “What else are you talking about?” Gia is not ready to just trust everything some head in a tube says.

    “Vile corrupts the hearts of all around him and brings out the very worst in them.” Alpha answers promptly, shuffling over to a large crystal ball and pressing a few buttons.

    “Ten thousand years ago, while I and my allies sought to protect this world.” The voice of Zordon echoes through the room. “We managed to seal him away, but he found a way back and seeks to bring ruin to the Earth.”

    The viewing globe shimmers and the fog inside creates a crystal clear image of downtown Angel Grove. People are screaming and trying to flee what has to be over a hundred of the Putties rounding up any too slow to escape.

    Leading the foot soldiers, is a nearly seven foot tall and snarling monster. Gold armor covers him and his sword flings blasts of fire that impact parked cars, causing them to explode in flaming shrapnel.

    “I have chosen you five to defend this city and your very world from an evil that has extinguished entire galaxies.” In the hands of each teen, a silver belt buckle with a golden coin appears. Each one has a secondary color, matching the lights they traveled as.

    “No pressure or anything, right?” Jake tries to relieve the suddenly tense atmosphere.

    “Noah.” Zordon stares directly at the teen. “I am aware of how intelligent you really are and how you will never give up. I have chosen you to be the blue Aenocyon dirus Ranger.”

    “The what now?” Jake hisses at Noah.

    “Dire wolf,” He answers without even looking back.

    “Okay that’s sweet.” Concedes Jake with a smile and he joins the others in examining his own coin. “What about me Mister Head in a Lava Lamp, what cool animal am I?”

    “You have the enthusiasm the others will need in these coming dark days and a drive to prove yourself.” With an amused smile, Zordon continues. “I have chosen you as the black Mastodon ranger.”

    “How closely have you been watching us exactly?” Gia frowns up at the head.

    “Close enough to know you are independent and fierce, perfect as the yellow Smilodon ranger.” Answers Zordon with a smirk.

    “Saber-tooth Tiger,” Gia grins to herself in spite of her misgivings. “Awesome.”

    “Emma.” Zordon shares his reasons for choosing her. “You are kind and filled with compassion, but still willing to fight for the environment. I have selected you to be the pink Falco antiquus ranger.”

    “Um what is that?” Noah is the only one not giving Emma a confused look.

    “Ice age falcon from Europe,” He answers without taking his eyes off of Alpha.

    “And you Troy are patient, having the ability inside you to lead this team with courage.” Zordon looks at each teen in turn and something in his gaze fills the five with faith in themselves. “You are the red Gigantopithecus ranger.”

    “Ancient orangutan bigger than a gorilla,” Noah explains before anyone can ask, which has Troy nodding his head in silent thanks.

    “Hold the Power Morphers before you and declare your intent,” Zordon instructs the teens. “The Power Coins will react and provide you the tools needed to save your world.”

    “I’m still not sure I believe any of this,” Admits Gia with a hesitant frown at the viewing globe, her face draining of any color. “The Juice Bar is being attacked.”

    Each teen realizes someone they care about is in danger and even if the floating head is lying about anything, the bruises from the ‘Putties’ are real.

    “We need to help those people,” Troy grabs his morpher and lifts it, with the other four following his lead a half second later. “It’s morphing time, Great Ape!” A pulse of red energy expands and covers his body, forming a skintight suit of protective energy.

    “Mastodon!” The soccer player is second to call his animal, engaging his morpher with a swift hand motion. A black energy covering his body and leaving him with a suit of black, with white diamonds on the torso.

    “Saber-tooth tiger!” Gia calls out third, her voice filled with righteous fury at the sight of people being attacked. The yellow energy leaves her in a skirt-less battle suit, with white gloves and boots.

    “First Falcon!” Fourth to make her call of battle, is Emma and her voice is filled with worry. Her suit being the only one of the four with a skirt is not noticed at the moment.

    “Dire Wolf!” Noah yells last and his body is covered in blue and white.

    The five teens stare in silence for a moment and see how each ranger’s helmet is shaped like the prehistoric animal giving them power. Finally Jake looks up at Zordon and awkwardly asks.

    “So um, how are we getting back to the city?” His voice conceals the tension filling him.

    “And where is here?” Gia snorts.

    “Hold your morpher above your head and call out ‘Command Center’.” Zordon instructs the teens. “This shall allow you to return whenever you need and Alpha can send you directly to the emergency.”

    “We need to get back to the action,” With a voice filled with unwavering determination, Troy looks at his new team. “Now that we can really help people, we can’t wait here and watch.”

    “Well said Red Ranger,” Agrees Zordon with a pleased voice. “May the power protect you.” His words are ended with the earlier sensation of teleportation overtaking the rangers.

    “I don’t feel sick at all,” Exclaims Emma’s pink bolt of energy, as the five colors arc across the sky back towards the city. “It’s like we’re going in slow motion this time.”

    “Focus on getting the people away from the Putties,” Commands Troy, concealing his self doubt with rage. “We need to thin out the numbers before we try and finish off the leader.”

    The five bolts of colored energy land in the middle of the street, with the five rangers charging straight at the horde.

    “I feel so powerful, like I can take all of these freaks on by myself even.” Laughs Jake as his blade blaster slashes through his foe with ease. “And they aren’t getting back up anymore, which means I’m calling first blood.”

    “Be careful hotshot,” Noah barks at his friend and shoots a barrage of lasers into the Putties surrounding Jake. “Red said to focus on the rescues, not kill shots.”

    “The people inside the bus!” Calls out Emma frantically as she blasts a hole into the roof of the over turned vehicle. “I’m going to get them out, cover me Yellow!” She doesn’t wait for an answer and enters the flaming bus.

    “We may have the power,” Grunts Gia beneath her helmet, as sweat begins dripping down her brow. “But we’re out numbered twenty to one.”

    “Than let’s see what else these powers can do,” Troy charges forward and reaches for the side of his belt. “Blaze-torch!” A device clips onto the back of his hand, with a tube extending directly to his chest and flames begin shooting out a dozen feet before him.

    A concentrated blast of the fire, leaves the next wave of approaching Putties fast baked statues. Attaching her own gadget to her spare hand, the pink ranger shoots out pellets of condensed air in very quick succession. The rapid strikes, send the cooked clay men crumbling to dust in seconds.

    “Hey Yellow,” Barks an overly excited black ranger. “Check out these moves!” His own wrist mounted device sprays out a freezing mist that leaves the Putties brittle.

    The asphalt is also left with a layer of ice, which allows Jake to slide through and smash the Putties in half with a single strike each. When he reaches the end of his instant ice rink, he kicks off a charging grunt and goes back to finish off the ones he missed.

    “Nice Black,” Gia admits and then darts forward. “But that’s nothing compared to this!” She shoots out a wire grapple from her wrist and it loops around her targets, slicing through the waists of a dozen with the contracting razor wire.

    “Stop showing off you two,” Growls the red ranger as he clashes with the golden general. “Get the people off the street and help Blue form a perimeter!” Troy roars with effort and uses every muscle in his body to not be knocked off his feet.

    “Ah Red Ranger!” Goldar snarls at his struggling foe. “It’s good to see someone with fight in them. Let’s see if your insides are different from the cowards who have already fallen to my blade!”

    Goldar catches the red ranger’s throat and lifts him into the air, before slamming him repeatedly into the cracking sidewalk. Only the pink ranger’s intervention, saves Troy from being impaled on Goldar’s sword.

    The fire spraying from his device is fed by the oxygen blasts, and it sears Goldar’s exposed body. His face is left an angry red, with one eye permanently closed and both his wings featherless.

    “You will die painfully for this rangers!” Roars the evil general, before vanishing in a cloud of black smoke.

    Before anyone can think to celebrate, a crescent moon staff shoots out of the sky and strikes the road. Bolts of violet lightening shoot out from it and course through the remains of the Putties that litter the street.

    The grey figures melt and pool together, growing ever larger until the form towers above the buildings. Each section of the body is made of a dozen of more Putties and if you look close enough, you can see the faces contorted in pain across the grey giant.

    “How the heck are we supposed to fight that thing?” Jake tries to stay on his feet when the rock monster takes a step forward.

    “Rangers, it is time for you to call upon your ancient protectors.” Zordon’s voice echoes inside their helmets. “Summon the Pleisto-Zords and defeat the Rockstar monster.”

    “Alright everyone,” Troy throws a hand towards the sky and calls out in defiance at this threat to the world he calls home. “We need Pleisto-Zord power now!”

    Five cries of epic proportions thunder out across the land, as the prehistoric guardians awaken. The swift blue dire wolf races along the coastline and appears in moments, having traveled the great distance at an unbelievable speed.

    Next a yellow saber-tooth tiger charges into the city, having descended from the mountains and stands ready above the yellow ranger. The shriek of a pink falcon announces the arrival of her best friend Emma’s own Zord, having flown from the sandy desert in seconds.

    A trumpet call comes from the lumbering black mastodon, teleported from the arctic and raring for action. The stampeding form of a massive red ape brings the final Zord to the battlefield.

    “Let’s get this Rockstar out of the city, so we can really lay into him,” Troy leaps into the sky, somehow clearing the several stories needed to reach his Zord.

    The others follow his action and land on top of their own massive machines of protection, with the red ranger bringing his ape forward in a tackle. He catches the bigger, but far slower rock monster in his grip and lifts him above his Zord.

    “Here Emma, take a free shot.” He tosses the creature outside city limits, before it can figure out how to counter attack.

    “How considerate of you Troy,” Emma giggles with the excitement and fires a salvo of missiles from her falcon’s folded wings.

    “This is a-mega-zing!” Jake pins the fallen monster beneath his black machine.

    “Agreed.” Noah’s grin is audible over the radio. “Gia, how about we finish this thing off?”

    “I go high,” She responds with an excited tone. “And you go low.”

    As the mist from the mammoth chills the stony hide of the monster, the wolf and tiger Zords raise and extend forth their tails. Each one takes the form of a cannon and from the saber-tooth tiger, a bolt of electricity is shot forward. The blue wolf instead sends out pressurized water, that carves through Rockstar and leaves only a new landmark in it’s place.

    “Mega Morphing Rangers,” Troy calls over the radio, completely ignorant of the cheesiness to his words. “That was a mega morphinominal win.”


    Episode 1: Mega Mission

    As he completes yet another lap around the admittedly small lake, Troy Burrows is definitely glad he borrowed his cousin’s shorts. It’s a lot hotter than back in Hardwood County and when he gets near the blonde girl still doing yoga down by the water, he gives her a nod and smile.

    It took a few laps for her to return the gesture, but her friend with the camera is quick to wave this time. Resisting the urge to stop and say hello, Troy takes the hint from the blonde’s glare and continues down the path.

    Cheers from ahead signal the home team scored again and Troy smiles to himself at the local pride on display. The smile slips when he catches sight of the goons Jason mentioned, the pair sauntering to the front of the concession line and cutting in front of a dozen kids.

    “Don’t get involved unless someone could get hurt,” He exhales heavily and repeats some of his dads last words. If he hadn’t gotten suspended and picked up early, he would still have their disappointed faces to look forward to every morning.

    Approaching the large crowd around the soccer field, he looks over the heads of the crowd and catches sight of the chess tables. Most people look to be part of a regular crowd, but the teen around his age is aggressively playing two matches at once.

    “That’s really impressive,” Troy offers easy praise to the black teen, when the second game is won only three turns after his first. “I haven’t played in a while, but you’re miles ahead of me.”

    “Me?” The curly haired teen looks around for the subject of praise, before slowly pointing at himself in realization and grins. “Thanks. I don’t think I’ve ever had an audience, everyone is always focused on the game.” He pushes his glasses up his nose with a finger and offers a hesitant grin. “You said you played, how about a game?”

    “Haven’t played since February,” Admits Troy and he feels a cool sensation of guilt fill him at the idea of doing so now.

    “Well I can go easy on you,” Noah looks over at the players on the field and does some quick mental math. “I have half an hour or so, before my ride is done showing off.”

    “Can I be black?” Troy takes a deep breath and pushes past the memories, looking to make new ones instead. “My dad always made me be white and it feels weird without him.”



    “Who is he?” Gia Moran grumbles to her friend, making sure the jogger in red is out of sight.

    “No idea,” Emma shrugs and zooms her camera in for a perfect shot of some ducklings. “But he seemed nice. I think he’s living with Jason, his cousin or something.”

    “I think I remember Billy mentioning something like that a few weeks ago.” When her egg timer goes off, Gia stands and tries shaking the tension out of her limbs.

    “He’s always been nice when I see him with my sister,” Frowning at her best friend’s anger over her father’s choices, Emma offers a hand and helps her up. “I don’t get why you’re always butting heads with him.”

    “Same reason you and Trini have been at each others throats,” Smirking at her friend, Gia grabs her bag and heads towards the path.

    “That’s different!” The Asian girl yelps out a denial and rushes to catch a power walking Gia. “Trini never liked Eugene.”

    “Well...” Gia hesitates briefly, before gathering her courage and finally saying it. “Wasn’t she right? He changed so much in just one year, I don’t even recognize him anymore.”

    Suddenly the ground starts to shake violently, with birds exploding into the sky for shelter. The wind doesn’t remain calm and swiftly becomes a frigid wind that bends the trees in half. Lightning is erupting across the sky, but it is blood red bolts and nothing natural.

    “What’s going on?” Emma clutches the blondes arm and pulls her out of the way of a falling tree. “Where did this come from?”

    “I have no idea!” Yelling back and barely being heard over the shrieking wind, Gia helps Emma over the tree. “It was completely calm a few seconds ago.

    “Can you hear people screaming?” Frantically Emma looks around, intent on locating the source.

    “It’s coming from everywhere,” Gia agrees and points towards some roller bladers being pursued by what look like grey men doing a strange leaping shuffle, the five figures babbling incoherently the entire time. “Those things are going to get them!”

    Springing into action, Emma leads with a cartwheel kick and knocks one of the figures down. Gia is quick to back up her best friend and delivers a fierce blow to the next babbling creature’s chest.

    As they barely hear calls of thanks from the fleeing roller bladers, the two begin fighting back to back in desperation. None of Gia’s kickboxing is doing more that knock the grey creeps down, with Emma’s Tae Kwon Do like wise being mostly ineffective at doing any lasting damage.

    Before the two can be overwhelmed, they vanish in a swirl of lights. Yellow and pink beams of crackling energy shoot into the sky and arc towards the mountains, joining with three very similar lances of light.

    ...

    As soon as the ground started shaking, dozens of the freaky grey alien things attacked the park and everyone present. Knowing his team can look after themselves, Jake Holling dashes across the grass and heads for his best friend.

    “I’m coming buddy,” He pants under his breath and is forced to divert his path towards a fleeing mother and her stroller. “Get to the other players Mam, I’ll cover you.” Planting a hand in the turf, he flips himself over into a one handed stand and begins kicking to a rhythm only he can hear.

    He manages to drop all three of the clay men, but groans when each one climbs back onto their feet. As the exhausted soccer player raises his arms to defend himself from a very painful looking blow, a figure in red slams into the creep.

    “You’re Jake right?” The brunette pants out in greeting and uppercuts his next enemy clean on the chin. “Let’s get back to Noah and the seniors.”

    “Good call,” Agrees the raven haired athlete, taking down another creature with a sliding kick and then springing back to his feet. “Because it looks like they could really use the help!” He grabs the new kids fore arm and starts spinning him, only letting go when Troy has enough momentum to clear the creeps between them and Noah.

    ”Let these people go!” Roars Troy as he throws himself at the two carrying Noah over the shoulder like a struggling log.

    “Thanks guys,” Gasps Noah as he clambers to his feet and brings his hands up in a very weak looking guard. “I thought I was a goner for a second.”

    “How’d you get caught?” Asks Troy, who doesn’t break his gaze from the foes leaping side to side in front of him. “I told you to get them out of here.”

    “I realized they’re attracted to noise,” Noah blocks a punch aimed for his face and returns a glancing jab of his own. “So I lead these things away from the others, no way they could have outrun them.”

    “Good man,” Cheers his oldest friend, as Jake defends Noah’s exposed back from a blow. “Knew you had it in you.”

    “We’re completely surrounded!” The more intellectual of the three realizes in panicked worry. “You guys are going to have to leave me here.”

    “Not happening,” Troy and Jake say in unison, before sharing a grin and moving back to back to back. “Stay close and focus on blocking,” Commands Troy as he knocks one of the Putties down for a fifth time.

    “Something’s happening!” Noah calls out unnecessarily, as swirling lights surround the trio.

    “We’re being abducted!” Leaping to a logical conclusion, Jake starts to freak out.

    “Close your eyes until you stop moving,” Orders Troy firmly. “Or you’ll be really sick.” With those being the last words any of them can say, the vanish in a trio of red, blue, and black lights.



    “I think I’m going to be sick,” Groans Gia as soon as she materializes in a dimly lit room, with a ring of multi colored consoles around her.

    “Me too,” Agrees Emma with a slight tremor in her voice.

    “Told you guys the aliens got us,” Jake Holling opens his eyes and peers around the circular room he finds himself in.

    “Although Zordon is not from Earth,” A droning and mechanical voice responds and the room lights up with a warm gold glow. A pillar of glass is in the center of the room, with a foggy blue substance swirling about inside. “I was constructed here, which I believe makes me an Earthling.”

    A bronze robot with red armor plating on his chest and hands walks forward. His limbs are a blue mesh like metal that allow for flexibility, and his head is shaped like a flying saucer. A single red sensor on the front of the dish marks the ‘eye’ of the robot.

    “Whoa...” Exclaims Noah in wonder as he adjusts his glasses and peers around the chamber. “A fully functioning automaton, straight out a post futuristic setting.”

    “What?” Troy is brave enough to admit he has no idea what that means.

    “He’s saying it’s an old school robot,” Explains Gia before Jake has a chance to interpret his friend for the others. “If you think that was hard to follow, never ask my step brother for help on your homework.”

    “Old school?” The robot wonders aloud, which has Noah rush to reassure the sad sounding voice.

    “Don’t worry, retro is in and you are very cool.” Noah breathes out in relief, when the robot chirps happily and nods.

    “As long as nobody is getting probed in here,” Adds Jake with a worried glance around himself. “I have to agree with my buddy here, you look dope.”

    “I think you’re cute,” Emma agrees with a cheerful smile, finally getting over the motion sickness of her arrival.

    “As relieving as it is to hear that news, we didn’t bring you here to compliment us.” The Robot titters in embarrassment.

    “Who’s we?” Troy looks around and notices four doors evenly divided around the chamber.

    “That would be me and my assistant Alpha Five,” A booming voice comes from the glowing tube in the center of the room, a bald man’s face taking shape like the Wizard of Oz. “I am Zordon an ancient defender of good and I need your help to ensure your world remains free from Master Vile and his forces.”

    “If you’re talking about those grey guys, how do you expect us to do more than get knocked around?” Demands Gia with her arms crossed in defiance. “Nothing me or Emma did, even slowed them down for a minute.”

    “Same with us,” Jake makes eye contact with the blonde girl and grimaces. “It was like hitting clay.”

    “That would be because they are made from moon dust and the blood of the innocent, making them indeed clay.” Zordon agrees with a sad expression crossing his massive face. “The Putties are one of Master Vile’s many foot soldiers and not the real threat you shall face.”

    “What else are you talking about?” Gia demands, clearly not ready to just trust everything some head in a tube says.

    “Vile corrupts the hearts of all around him and brings out the very worst inside them.” Alpha answers promptly, shuffling over to a large crystal ball and pressing a few buttons.

    “I faced him ten thousand years ago, while I and my allies sought to protect this world.” The voice of Zordon echoes through the room. “We managed to seal him away, but he managed to a way back and has already claimed innocent lives as his new generals.”

    The viewing globe shimmers and the fog inside creates a crystal clear image of downtown Angel Grove. People are screaming and trying to flee what has to be over a hundred of the Putties rounding up any too slow to flee.

    Leading the foot soldiers, is a nearly seven foot tall and snarling beast man. Gold armor covers him and his sword flings blasts of fire around him. The blasts that impact parked cars, cause them to explode in flaming shrapnel.

    “I have chosen you five to defend your city and very world from an evil that has extinguished entire galaxies.” In the hands of each teen, a silver belt buckle with a golden coin in its center appears. Each one has a secondary color, matching the lights they traveled here as.

    “No pressure or anything, right?” Trying to relieve the suddenly tense atmosphere, Jake cracks a joke.

    “Noah.” Zordon stares directly at the teen wearing glasses and smiles. “I am aware of how intelligent you really are and how you have the ability to achieve greatness with a group of trusted comrades. I have chosen you to be the blue Aenocyon dirus Ranger.”

    “The what now?” Jake hisses at Noah.

    “Dire wolf,” His friend answers without looking back.

    “Okay that’s sweet.” Concedes Jake with a smile and he joins the others in examining his own buckle. “What about me Mister Head in a Lava Lamp, what cool animal am I?”

    “You have the determination to never back down and the enthusiasm the others will need in these coming dark days.” Answers the ancient being with an amused smile. “I have chosen you as the black Mastodon ranger.”

    “How closely have you been watching us exactly?” Gia frowns up at Zordon.

    “Close enough to know you are independent and fierce, never backing down from a challenge and perfect as the yellow Smilodon ranger.”

    “Saber-tooth Tiger,” Grinning to herself in spite of her misgivings, Gia nods slowly and grasps her buckle tightly. “Awesome.”

    “Emma.” Turning to the remaining girl, Zordon shares his reasons for choosing her. “You are kind and filled with compassion, but are still willing to fight for your beliefs. I have selected you to be the pink Falco antiquus ranger.”

    “Um what is that?” Emma looks at the others, with only Noah not returning an equally confused look.

    “Ice age falcon from Europe,” Noah still hasn’t taken his eyes off the glowing blue head.

    “And you Troy are patient and creative, with the ability inside you to lead this team with courage and strength.” Zordon looks at each teen in turn and something in his gaze fills the five with faith in themselves. “You are the red Gigantopithecus ranger.”

    “Ancient orangutan bigger than a gorilla,” Noah explains before anyone can ask, which has Troy nodding his head in silent thanks.

    “Hold the Power Morphers before you and declare your intent,” Zordon instructs the teens. “The Power Coins will react and provide you the tools needed to save your world.”

    “I’m still not sure I believe any of this,” Admits Gia with a hesitant frown at the viewing globe and goes still, her face draining of any color. “The Juice Bar is being attacked.”

    Each teen realizes someone they care about is in danger and even if the floating head is lying about anything, the bruises from the ‘Putties’ are real.

    “We need to help those people,” Troy grabs his morpher and lifts it before him, with the other four following his lead a half second behind. “It’s morphing time, Great Ape!” A pulse of red energy expands and covers his body, forming a skintight suit of protective energy.

    “Mastodon!” The soccer player is second to call his animal, engaging his morpher with a swift hand motion. A black energy covering his body and leaving him with a suit of black, with white diamonds on the torso.

    “Saber-tooth tiger!” Gia calls out third, her voice filled with righteous fury at the sight of people being attacked. The yellow energy leaves her in a skirt-less battle suit, with white gloves and boots.

    “First Falcon!” Fourth to make her call of battle, is Emma and her voice is filled with worry. Her suit being the only one of the four with a skirt is not noticed at the moment.

    “Dire Wolf!” Noah yells last and his body is covered in blue and white.

    The five teens look at each other in silence for a moment and see how each ranger’s helmet is shaped like the prehistoric animal giving them power. Finally Jake looks up at Zordon and awkwardly asks.

    “So um, how are we getting back to the city?” His voice conceals the tension filling him.

    “And where is here?” Gia asks Alpha who tries to explain by giving her map coordinates.

    “Hold your morpher above your head and call out ‘Command Center’.” Zordon instructs the teens. “This shall allow you to return here whenever you need and Alpha can send you directly to the emergency.”

    “We need to get back to the action,” With a voice filled with unwavering determination, Troy looks at his new team and declares. “Now that we can really help people, we can’t wait her and watch.”

    “Well said Red Ranger,” Agrees Zordon with a pleased voice. “May the power protect you.” His words are ended with the earlier sensation of teleportation overtaking the rangers.

    “I don’t feel sick at all,” Exclaims Emma’s pink bolt of energy, as the five colors arc across the sky back towards the city. “It’s like we’re going in slow motion this time.”

    “Focus on getting the people away from the Putties,” Commands Troy, as he conceals his self doubt with rage at those being hurt. “We need to thin out the numbers before we try and finish off the leader.”

    The five bolts of colored energy land in the middle of the street, with the five rangers charging straight at the horde of babbling grey beings.

    “I feel so powerful, like I can take all of these freaks on by myself even.” Laughs Jake as he draws his blade blaster and slashes through his first foe with ease. “And they aren’t getting back up anymore, which I’m calling first blood.”

    “Be careful hotshot,” Noah barks at his friend and shoots a barrage of lasers into the Putties surrounding Jake. “Red said to focus on the rescues, not kill shots.”

    “The people inside the bus!” Calls out Emma frantically as she blasts a hole into the roof of the over turned vehicle. “I’m going to get them out, cover me Yellow!” She doesn’t wait for an answer and enters the flaming bus.

    “We may have the power,” Grunts Gia beneath her helmet, as sweat begins dripping down her brow from the stress. “But we’re out numbered twenty to one.”

    “Than let’s see what else these powers can do,” Troy charges forward and reaches for the side of his belt opposite his holster. “Blaze-torch!” A device clips onto the back of his hand, with a tube extending directly to his chest and flames shooting out a dozen feet before him.

    A concentrated blast of the fire, leaves the next wave of approaching Putties fast baked statues. Attaching her own gadget to her spare hand, the pink ranger shoots out balls of concentrated air in very quick succession. The rapid fire strikes, send the cooked clay men crumbling into dust in seconds.

    “Hey Yellow,” Barks an overly excited black ranger. “Check out these moves!” His wrist mounted device sprays out a freezing mist that leaves the Putties brittle, but still mobile.

    The asphalt is also left with a layer of ice, which allows Jake to slide through and smash the Putties in half with a single kick each. When he reaches the end of his instant ice rink, he kicks off a charging grunt and goes back through to finish off the ones he missed on his first pass.

    “Nice Black,” Gia admits and then darts forward. “But that’s nothing compared to this!” She shoots out a wire grapple from her wrist and it loops around her targets, slicing through the waists of a dozen with the contracting razor wire.

    “Stop showing off you two,” Growls the red ranger as he clashes blades with the golden armored general. “Get the people off the street and help Blue form a perimeter!” Troy roars with effort and uses every muscle in his body to not be knocked off his feet.

    “Ah Red Ranger!” Goldar snarls at his struggling foe. “It’s good to see someone with fight in them. Let’s see if your insides are different from the cowards who have already fallen to my blade!”

    Goldar catches the red ranger’s throat and lifts him into the air, before slamming him repeatedly into the cracking sidewalk. Only the pink ranger’s air bullets save Troy from being impaled on Goldar’s sword, which gives him enough time to fire a second blast of flame from his wrist.

    The fire is fed by the oxygen blasts, and it sears Goldar’s exposed body. His face is left an angry red, with one eye permanently closed and both his wings featherless.

    “You will die painfully for this rangers!” Roars the golden general of evil, before vanishing in a cloud of black smoke.

    Before anyone can think to celebrate, a staff with a crescent moon on top shoots out of the sky and strikes the road. Bolts of violet lightening shoot out from it and course through the remains of the Putties that litter the street.

    The grey figures melt and pool together, growing ever larger until the form towers above the buildings. Each section of the body is made of a dozen of more Putties and if you look close enough, you can see the faces contorted in pain across the grey giant.

    “How the heck are we supposed to fight that thing now?” Jake groans at the massive creature and tries to stay on his feet when the rock monster takes a step dangerously close to him.

    “Rangers, it is time for you to call upon your ancient protectors.” Zordon’s voice echoes inside each ranger’s helmet. “Summon the Pleisto-Zords and defeat the Rockstar monster as a team.”

    “Alright everyone,” Quick to act, Troy throws a hand towards the sky and calls out in defiance at this threat to the world he calls home. “We need Pleisto-Zord power now!”

    Five cries of epic proportions thunder out across the land, as the prehistoric guardians awaken. The swift blue dire wolf races along the coastline and appears in moments, having traveled the great distance at an unbelievable speed.

    Next a yellow saber-tooth tiger charges into the city, having descended from the mountains and stands ready above the yellow ranger. The shriek of a pink falcon announces the arrival of her best friend Emma’s own zord, having flown from the sandy desert in seconds.

    A trumpet call comes from the lumbering black mastodon zord, helped to cross the vast distance from the arctic with teleportation. The stampeding form of a massive red ape brings the final zord to the battlefield.

    “Let’s get this Rockstar out of the city and then we can really lay into him,” Troy commands and leaps into the sky, somehow clearing the several stories needed to reach his red ape.

    As the others follow his action and land on top of their own massive machines of protection, the red ranger brings his ape forward in a tackle. He catches the bigger, but far slower rock monster in his grip and lifts him above his zord.

    “Here Emma, take a free shot.” He calls over the radio and tosses the creature outside city limits, before it can figure out how to counter attack.

    “How considerate of you Troy,” Emma giggles with the excitement of piloting such a powerful machine and fires a salvo of missiles from her zord’s folded wings.

    “This is a-mega-zing!” Crows Jake as he pins the fallen monster beneath his black mammoth.

    “Agreed.” Noah’s grin is audible over the radio. “Gia, how about we finish this thing off?”

    “I go high,” She responds with an excited tone. “And you go low.”

    As the mist from the mammoth chills the stony hide of the monster, the wolf and tiger zords raise and extend forth their tails. Each one takes the form of a cannon and from the saber-tooth tiger, a bolt of electricity is shot forward. The blue wolf instead sends out pressurized water, that carves through Rockstar and leaves only a new rock formation in it’s place.

    “Mega Morphing Rangers,” Troy calls over the radio, completely ignorant of the cheesiness to his words. “That was a mega morphinominal win.”
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021
    Happerry likes this.
  3. Threadmarks: Episode 2: High Five
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 2: High Five

    “We rock!” Crows Jake Holling in success, a massive grin plastered on his face.

    “Did we just save the city?” Gasps Noah Taylor in front of his console, as the systems on display no longer show an enemy. “Are we superheroes now?”

    “You got that right buddy,” Jake’s grin can be heard clearly by everyone, with the enthusiasm beginning to seep into them.

    “We did good work today,” Concedes Troy Burrows, with a small grin of his own forming. “But we did almost everything by ourselves. None of us fought as a team and if the enemy was ready for us...”

    “Things would have gone a lot worse.” Gia agrees with a sigh.

    “Dude,” Balks the black ranger, as he steers his ebony mastodon back towards it’s resting place. “Are you seriously going to be one of those coaches that is never happy we win a game?”

    “If those goals are people’s lives...” The new leader calmly responds. “I’m going to make sure we train, until we save every one of them.” The raw conviction in his voice, has Jake go silent in contemplation.

    “It sounds like you already have ideas for that.” Emma Kwan is already out of sight, her pink falcon clearing the vast distance first.

    “I want everyone to meet at the Command Center after breakfast,” Insists Troy, which has them all groan at the early time. “I really want us to work on fighting as a group.”

    “As cool as that ice of yours was Jake,” Noah raises a complaint with his best friend. “It made it impossible to back you up if something went wrong.”

    “And I had no idea the range on my flames,” Volunteers the red ranger. “If one of you was on the other side of that gold monster...”

    “We’d have been toast,” Gia acknowledges and brings her yellow tiger to a rest.

    Five crackling bolts of color, arc through the sky once the ancient machines have been returned. Entering the brown stone building covered in runes, five disheveled teens appear in a heap.

    “You did it Rangers!” Alpha cheers when they materialize.

    “Thanks Alpha,” Replies Emma with a cheery smile. “It was so exhilarating.”

    “And terrifying,” Admits the now unmorphed Noah. “I thought I was going to die the whole time.”

    “As you should be ever aware,” The echoing voice of Zordon, reverberates through the room. “Overconfidence will only lead to an early demise. But likewise, self doubt will stop you from acting in the face of danger.”

    “We’re a team and we need to learn from each others strengths,” Agrees Troy, who gets an approving smile from the floating head.

    “Or you shall all be taken down by your individual weaknesses,” Zordon confirms the grim declaration. “Tonight however, you have earned the knowledge that people are safer because of you.”

    “Why pick us Zordon?” Troy finally works up the nerve to challenge the ancient being. “Why not adults?”

    “Are you not physically mature?” Zordon looks to the other for explanation. “I enter cycles of dormancy for hundreds of years at a time, but when I was last active in the defense of Earth… you would all have been paired off with children of your own.”

    “How long have you actually been awake?” Snorts Gia as she takes on a more relaxed stance. “You’ve been watching us, but how in depth?”

    “The systems record potential candidates, when incidents of great challenge arise in life.” Alpha speaks for his master. “Of the several hundred candidates approved, you five were closest and most likely to be emotionally motivated in the cause.”

    “Well it has been a long time since people our age,” Explains Gia with a roll of her eyes. “Got considered mature.”

    “We’re fifteen,” Admits Noah, but corrects himself when Jake coughs. “Or sixteen. We don’t even live on our own yet.”

    “Zordon,” Alpha’s voice has a tremor of guilt in it. “I believe I have made a mistake in the parameters of the potential rangers. Aye ai ai!” Shame begins filling his tricolor body.

    “We might not be adults,” Troy places a comforting hand on Alpha’s gold shoulder pad. “But you chose us to be Earth’s defenders for a reason.”

    “And we will never surrender,” A fierce expression of determination grows on Gia’s face.

    “So you’re stuck with us now, deal with it.” Jake stands between his teammates, throwing an arm over the shoulder of both.

    “I grew up with Gia.” Emma steps forward and links arms with her blonde friend. “You aren’t going to change her mind, so you better make do with us.”

    “I don’t know guys,” Noah admits, worrying about his own lack of combat skills. “What if we’re not the best choice for this?”

    “Well...” The red ranger begins, waiting for Noah to look at him before continuing. “I seem to recall you saved all those seniors.”

    “I saw people running,” Agrees Jake, as Gia shakes his arm off her with a bemused smirk at the seriousness being displayed by the goofball. “But each of us stood our ground.”

    “Find me someone more willing to fight for this planet and I’ll trade with them.” Troy’s declaration has Noah grow resolve of his own.

    “It would appear Alpha,” Zordon’s relieved voice reverberates through the Command Center. “That you made no mistake in choosing these rangers.”

    “What a relief,” Slumping forward, Alpha begins to giggle. “I was worried I had doomed the world.”

    “Rangers.” Announces the ancient being. “Alpha will send you back to the park. When an emergency occurs, you must seek isolation for swift transit.”

    “Anything else we should know?” Noah’s earlier concern begins to worm back into his voice.

    “Never escalate a battle.” Zordon confirms with a heavy sigh. “Because if you break the rules of challenge first, the ancient protections on Earth will be broken and the universe’s evil will be able to locate you again.”

    “Never use your powers for personal profit,” Adds Alpha. “If you do, the powers will find you unworthy.”

    “And try not to reveal your identities, it will only make life difficult.” With a quirk in his lip, Zordon chuckles at the five teens. “When I was the red ranger of my own world, I learned this the hard way.”

    “People are beginning to return to the park Zordon,” Interrupts the agitated robot. “I must send the rangers back now, or risk detection.”





    The five teens wait beside Jake’s truck and frown at the absent family members who have yet to make an appearance. Troy finally determines enough time has passed for worrying to begin and gets the others’ attention.

    “Jason met them at the Juice Bar,” Troy breaks the uncomfortable silence. “Maybe his jeep got wrecked in the attack?”

    “That makes sense,” Answers Emma with a worry filled voice. “Can you give us a ride Jake?”

    “No problem,” He agrees with an equally panicked expression. “Hope in everyone.” He holds open the passenger door and stares intensely at Noah, diverting his friend from his normal seat and sending him to sit in the back.

    Noah slides in after a giggling Emma, who takes the middle seat without complaint. Rolling her eyes at the obvious intent, Gia climbs in.

    “Shotgun,” She mutters with no enthusiasm. “Let’s go cowboy, Goldar tore downtown up and I’m worried about Billy.”

    “Twice now you’ve mentioned him,” Jake acknowledges without taking his eyes off the road. “He a boyfriend, brother, or?” He trails off.

    “Step brother.” Keeping her eyes locked on the destruction being passed, Gia admits with a sigh. “My dad bailed on us last year and my mom married his dad in February.” She changes the subject with a smirk. “What about you Mister sixteen, you fail a grade?”

    “Found out me and my mom are actually the secret second family,” Jake grunts back with a voice filled with unresolved anger. “And even though I’m only five months younger than Kimberly, I was kept back a year so we never met.”

    “Oh...” Her face contorts in guilt for bringing it up.

    “Don’t worry about it.” He waves of the concern with a smile, while the three in the back remain awkwardly silent throughout the exchange. “If it wasn’t for Noah here, I probably would have been held back.”

    “How many times do I have to tell you Jake,” Growls a no longer silent Noah. “You aren’t stupid, you’re just dyslexic.”

    “I heard what happened to Kimberly’s friend last year, Farkas got torn apart in weeks and he just had a weight problem.” Jake shrugs off the concern of his passengers. “How do you think it will go for me, if it gets out something is off in my head.”

    “People are cruel.” Gia has dropped her guarded expression. “But my mom says. ‘The worse it is now, the better it will be after’.”

    “Only three more years,” Agrees the black ranger with a sardonic chuckle, before throwing his friend under the bus and tries to divert attention from himself. “I see your eyes locked on the left and both are cute I’ll admit, but who has you speechless?”

    “What are you talking about?” A red faced Noah blurts out in embarrassment, swiveling his head towards the sidewalk.

    “Someone is just embarrassed at the attention,” Emma and Gia smirk in the rear view mirror at each other.

    “Oh,” Noah understands and shares a laugh of his own.

    “Uh oh...” Jake lets out a frantic gasp as he pulls up to the wreckage of Jason’s jeep.

    “I don’t really feel like celebrating anymore,” Emma whispers and in the sudden silence of the truck, it carries like an explosion.

    “Good,” Agrees Troy as he opens the door. “Because people might still need help.”





    “I’ll see you guys in the...” Troy pauses and looks at the dash clock. “Later today. How about after lunch instead?”

    “I say,” Yawns Jake. “You won’t see me before two.”

    “Alright,” Concedes Troy with an exhausted chuckle. “Two thirty at the Command Center.”

    “I’ll call Noah, let him know the change of plan.” Waving goodbye, Jake backs out of the driveway and turns to his remaining passengers. “Can you two keep the whole second family thing quiet?”

    “Of course,” Emma agrees with an insistent look at the back of Gia’s head. “We won’t say anything… will we?”

    “We’ll keep quiet,” Unable to resist the sensation of her friends stare any longer, Gia agrees. “Same as what you learned about us.”

    “My lips are sealed,” Jake responds with a puckering of his lips, which has Gia rolling her eyes and Emma giggle. “See?”

    “Is it alright if we stop for some food,” The yellow ranger sighs and starts looking through her wallet. “Don’t want to have to explain everything before I have a chance to eat.”

    “Yeah and don’t worry,” Waving off her attempt to find cash, Jake pops open the middle console and grabs a stack of coupons. “My dads been trying to buy off my love, now that I know how big of a dick he really is. My treat, as long it’s one of these places.” He tosses the stack at Gia.

    “How chivalrous,” Emma grabs the ones that drift into the backseat. “I don’t care, as long as they have chicken.”

    “As the ladies request, so shall I deliver.” His response is complete with a flirtatious wink.

    After he pulls in to the nearest place, the three blink at bright flood lights that have been set up in the parking lot. Inside resteraunt, is a larger collection of people usually found at this time of the night. The attack clearly leaving them all in desperate need of company.

    “What do we have here?” Farkas Bulkmeier notices the entrance of the three starving rangers and turns to confront them. “Three dweebs looking for a bite to eat.”

    When his normal accompaniment of giggles is absent, the larger teen frowns at the balking Eugene Skullovitch.

    “Bulk.” The scrawny teen groans and screws up what little courage he currently has inside himself. “You said we’d leave Emma and Gia alone.” The leader of the two considers this slowly.

    “I am a man of my word,” Bulk pulls his leather jacket up and growls at Jake. “But this geek isn’t an ex.”

    “Bulk, back off.” Gia steps forward, only for Jake to face the challenge himself.

    “I saw you help those kids at the park, that was really impressive man.” Bulk blinks in shock at the praise. “Everyone else was running away and you looking out for others. So for tonight at least, can we just not fight.” Jake grabs the coupons from Emma and tears some of them off for the surprised punks. “You look like you could use a burger, so call it the hero special.”

    “Uh...” Bulk looks at him with wide, considering eyes. “Okay, thanks dw-.” He stops himself and looks Jake in the eye. “Bullet.” He nods to himself slowly. “Yeah if your one of use for tonight, you need a cool name and I’ve seen you play. Shouldn't really be lumping such a jock in with the geeks anyway”

    “Did’ya see when he kicked that one between the legs?” Skull cackles almost like a hyena in support. “That thing flew like a hundred feet!” He chews loudly, his gum squishing grossly with each movement.

    “Don’t be a moron,” Smacking the back of Skull’s head, Bulk tries to share a look with Jake. “Was only like forty feet. I could have done fifty but you heard Bullet, I had to save those kids.” He brags to the girl at the counter, who actually giggles at his attitude.

    “You look good,” Blurts out a pale faced Skull, which makes Emma go still.

    “It’s a truce, not a reconciliation.” Gia glares at the skinny punk who was once her friend.

    “What does she mean Bulk?” He frowns and turns to his leader.

    “She means that tomorrow everyone goes back to being losers again.” Bulk grunts and places his order. “Except Bullet here, especially if he keeps being this cool.”

    “Oh,” Finally understanding, Skull begins chewing again and asks for his own food. “Okay.” He gives Emma a sad look, before following his Bulk outside.

    “What the heck was that?” Grumbles Gia as she takes her seat.

    “Kim told me his dad died on deployment when he was a kid.” Jake lowers his voice and leans closer to he girls. “His mom is depressed and bad with the pension.”

    “I had no idea.” Emma frowns and goes silent.

    “Doesn’t excuse how he acts.” Replies the other girl, which is followed by a fierce growl from her stomach.

    “He didn’t tell you, I did.” Jake firmly declares. “So you don’t know, same as the other stuff we talked about tonight. I was just too exhausted to come up with any reasonable lie.”

    “You sound so mature,” Admits Gia in spite of herself. “What’s going on?”

    “My dad thinks laughing is a waste of time and money,” Growls the raven haired boy. “With all I’ve learned this year, I decided to waste as much of it as I could.” He shrugs and chuckles darkly. “Too bad he just says, ‘Good thing you’re an athlete’.”

    “You don’t want to be?” Asks Emma, since the yellow ranger is preoccupied swallowing.

    “I want to be a vet.” Admits the blushing athlete. “I want to look after animals, but my dad would only complain. ‘Humans are the ones who pay, so don’t waste time on fur balls’.”

    “Suns starting to come up,” Gia points out the orange on the horizon. “Better get home and give mom and David the bad news.





    First thing in the morning, Noah wolfs down his breakfast and leaves a note for his family. Grabbing his morpher and holding it aloft, transports him as a bolt of crackling blue energy.

    When he arrives first, he pays it no mind and launches into a scientific discussion with Alpha. The two don’t realize hours pass in rapt conversation, before a bolt of red arrives and deposits a grunting Troy.

    “Man did you over sleep,” Laughs Noah as he checks his watch and notices it’s nearly three.

    “Jake didn’t call you?” A well rested Troy asks with a frown.

    “No, why?” Noah asks without any concern.

    “We rescheduled training.” He explains and runs a frustrated hand through his hair.

    “That’s why I had time to ask Alpha everything I wanted, without any interruptions!” Noah snaps his fingers in realization.



    Episode 2: High Five

    “We rock!” Crows Jake Holling in success, his face has a massive grin plastered on beneath his mastodon shaped helmet.​

    “Did we just save the city?” Gasps Noah Taylor in front of his console, as the systems on display no longer show an enemy before the Zords. “Are we superheroes now?”

    “You got that right buddy,” The grin in Jake’s response can be heard clearly by everyone, with the enthusiasm beginning to seep into the others.​

    “We did good work today,” Concedes Troy Burrows, with a small grin of his own appearing beneath his crimson ape helmet. “But we did almost everything by ourselves. None of us fought as a team out their and if the enemy was ready for us, things could have gone a lot worse.”​

    “Dude,” Balks the black ranger, as he steers his ebony mastodon North and back towards it’s resting place. “Are you seriously going to be one of those coaches that is never happy we win a game and only tell us about the goals we missed?”​

    “If those goals are people’s lives...” The new leader calmly responds. “Than I’m going to make sure we train until we save every one of them.” The raw conviction in his voice brings Jake up short and he goes silent in contemplation.​

    “It sounds like you already have ideas for that.” Emma Kwan is already out of sight and responding over a surprisingly clear radio, her pink falcon clearing the vast distance back home first.​

    “I want everyone to meet at the Command Center after breakfast tomorrow,” Agrees Troy, which has Gia and Jake groan at the early time. “I really want us to work on fighting around each other.”​

    “As cool as that ice of yours was Jake,” Noah agrees and raises a complaint with his best friend. “It made it impossible to back you up if something went wrong.”​

    “And I had no idea the range on my flames,” Volunteers the red ranger. “If one of you was on the other side of that gold monster...”

    “We’d have been toast,” Gia acknowledges and brings her yellow tiger to a rest inside a vast cavern.​

    Five crackling bolts of color, arc through the sky once the ancient machines have been returned and descend towards the California dunes. When they enter the brown stone building, five disheveled teens appear in a heap.​

    “You did it Rangers!” Alpha cheers and offers the pink ranger a helping hand back to her feet.​

    “Thanks Alpha,” Thanks Emma with a cheery smile at the robot. “It was so exhilarating out their.”​

    “And terrifying,” Adds the unmorphed blue ranger. “I thought I was going to die the whole time.”​

    “As you should Noah,” The echoing voice of Zordon, reverberates through the room. “Overconfidence will only lead to an early demise.” Jake and Gia both let their heads droop. “But likewise, self doubt will stop you from acting in the face of danger.” Now it is Noah and Emma’s turn to look embarrassed.​

    “We’re a team and we need to learn from each others strengths,” Agrees Troy, who gets an approving smile from the floating head.​

    “Or you shall all be taken down by your individual weaknesses,” Zordon confirms the grim declaration and then shares a grin with the worried teens. “Tonight however, you have earned a good nights sleep and the knowledge that people are safer because of you.”​

    “Why pick us Zordon?” Demands Troy, finally having worked up the nerve to challenge the ancient being. “Why not adults?”​

    “Are you not adults?” Zordon frowns and looks to the other for in turn. “I have been dormant for thousands of years, but when I was last active in the defense of Earth… you would all have been past the age of adulthood and bonded with children.”​

    “How long have you actually been awake?” Snorts Gia as she takes on a more relaxed stance. “You said you’ve been watching us, but how in depth?”​

    “I had the systems set to record potential candidates, whenever an incident of great challenge arose in their life.” Alpha speaks for his master, leading the rangers over to the viewing globe. “Of the several hundred candidates approved, you five were closest and most likely to be emotionally motivated.”​

    “Well it has been a long time since people our age,” Gia explains with a roll of her eyes. “Got considered adults.”​

    “We’re fifteen,” Admits Noah, but then he corrects himself when Jake coughs. “Or sixteen. We don’t even live on our own yet.”​

    “Zordon,” Alpha’s voice has a tremor of guilt in it. “I believe I have made a mistake in the parameters of the potential rangers. Aye ai ai!” He starts to shuffle awkwardly in place, shame filling his robotic body.​

    “We might not be adults,” Troy places a comforting hand on Alpha’s gold shoulder pad and tries to reassure him. “But you chose us to be Earth’s defenders for a reason.”​

    “And we will never surrender,” Agrees the yellow ranger, a fierce expression of determination growing on her face.​

    “So you’re stuck with us now, deal with it.” Jake stands beside his red and yellow teammates, throwing an arm over the shoulder of both.​

    “I grew up with Gia.” Emma steps forward and links arms with her blonde friend. “You aren’t going to change her mind, so you better make do with us.”​

    “I don’t know guys,” Noah admits, looking down at his shaking hands and worrying about his own lack of combat skills. “What if we’re not the best choice for this?”​

    “Well...” The red ranger begins, waiting for Noah to look at him before continuing. “I seem to recall you saved all those seniors, before you even had a morpher.”​

    “I saw adults running,” Agrees Jake, as Gia shakes his arm off her with a bemused smirk at the seriousness being displayed by the goofball. “But I saw each of us stand our ground.”​

    “Find me someone more willing to fight for this planet and I’ll give them my morpher.” Troy’s declaration ends the conversation, with Noah growing resolved and nodding.​

    “It would appear Alpha,” Zordon is the one who finally speaks, his relieved voice reverberating through the Command Center. “That you made no mistake in choosing these rangers.”​

    “What a relief,” Sighs the barely five foot tall robot, before slumping forward and then seemingly begins to giggle. “I was worried I had doomed the world.”​

    “Rangers.” Announces the ancient being. “Alpha will send you back to the location from which we first teleported you. When an emergency occurs, your morpher will grow hot and you must seek isolation for transit her.”​

    “Anything else we should know?” Noah asks, his earlier concern beginning to worm back into his voice.​

    “Never escalate a battle.” Zordon confirms with a heavy sigh. “Because if you break the rules of challenge first, the ancient protections on Earth will be broken and the rest of the universe’s evil will be able to locate you again.”​

    “Never use your powers for personal profit,” Adds Alpha. “If you do, the powers will find you unworthy.”​

    “And try not to reveal your identities, it will only make it more difficult to live a normal life.” With a quirk in his lip, Zordon chuckles at the five teens. “When I was the red ranger of my own world, I learned the hard way how you will be targeted by those who desire the power to morph for themselves.”​

    “People are beginning to return to the park Zordon,” Interrupts the agitated robot. “I must send the rangers back now, or risk detection.”​

    …​

    The five teens who have started the first step in a lifelong friendship wait beside Jake’s truck and frown at the absent family members. Troy finally determines enough time has passed for worrying to begin and gets the others’ attention.​

    “My cousin took them all to the Juice Bar earlier,” Troy breaks the uncomfortable silence, trying not to devolve into blind worry yet. “Maybe his jeep got wrecked in the attack and they’re walking here now.”​

    “That makes sense,” Answers Emma with a worry filled voice. “Can you give us a ride Jake?”​

    “No problem,” He agrees with an equally panicked expression on his face. “Hope in everyone.” He holds open the passenger door and stares intensly at Noah, diverting his friend from his normal seat and sending him to sit in the back with Troy.​

    Noah slides in after a giggling Emma, who takes the middle seat without complaint. Rolling her eyes at the obvious intent, Gia ignores Jake’s hand and climbs in by herself.​

    “Shotgun,” She mutters with no enthusiasm and closes her own door. “Let’s go cowboy, Goldar tore downtown up and I’m worried about Billy.”​

    “Twice now you’ve mentioned him,” Jake acknowledges without taking his eyes off the road. “He a boyfriend, brother, or?” He trails off and leaves the question open.​

    “Step brother.” The blonde in the passenger seat admits, keeping her eyes locked on the destruction being passed. “My dad bailed on us last year, so my mom married Billy’s dad in February.” She changes the subject and turns to the driver with a smirk. “What about you Mister sixteen, you fail a grade?”​

    “Found out me and my mom are actually the secret second family,” Jake grunts back with a voice absent of any emotion aside from anger. “And even though I’m only five months younger than my half sister, I was kept back a year to keep us from ever meeting.”​

    “Oh...” Gia’s face contorts in guilt for bringing up the topic.​

    “Don’t worry about it.” He waves of the concern with a smile, while the three in the back remain awkwardly silent. “If it wasn’t for Noah here, I’d probably have been held back anyway.”​

    “How many times do I have to tell you Jake,” Growls his no longer silent friend. “You aren’t stupid, you’re just dyslexic and need to ask for help reading the test questions.”​

    “I heard what happened to Kimberly’s friend last year, Farkas got torn apart in weeks and he just had a weight problem.” Jake shrugs off the concern of his passengers and scowls at the road. “How do you think it will go for me, if it gets out something is off in my head.”​

    “People are cruel.” Gia has dropped her guarded expression and has turned towards Jake. “But like my mom says. ‘The worse it is now, the better it will be after’.”​

    “Only three more years,” Agrees the black ranger with a sardonic chuckle, before throwing his friend under the bus and tries to divert attention from his own issues. “I see your eyes locked on your left dude. Both are cute I’ll admit, but who do you have your heart set on?”​

    “What are you talking about?” A red faced Noah blurts out in frustration and turns his face outwards to the street.​

    “Someone is just embarrassed at the attention and is trying to distract us,” Emma grins at Gia, the two smirking at the diversion.​

    “Oh,” Noah understands and shares a laugh of his own with a smiling Troy.​

    “Uh oh...” Jake lets out a frantic gasp as he pulls up to the wreckage of Jason’s jeep. “I don’t see any ambulances, so I hope that’s a good sign.”​

    “I don’t really feel like celebrating anymore,” Emma whispers, but in the sudden silence of the truck, it carries like surround sound.​

    “Good,” Agrees Troy as he opens the door. “Because people might still need help and we’re not going home until we get them all.”​

    …​

    “I’ll see you guys in the...” Troy pauses and looks at the dash clock. “Later today for training. How about we say after lunch instead?”​

    “I say,” Yawns Jake. “You won’t see me before two.”​

    “Alright,” Agrees the red ranger with an exhausted chuckle. “Two thirty at the Command Center.”​

    “I’ll call Noah when I get home, let him know the change of plan.” Waving goodbye to the new kid, Jake backs out of the driveway and turns to his remaining passengers. “Can you two keep the whole second family thing quiet? Kimberly is really embarrassed about it.”​

    “Of course,” Emma agrees easily, with an insistent look at the back of Gia’s head. “We won’t say anything… will we?”​

    “We’ll keep quiet,” She agrees finally, unable to resist the sensation of her friends stare any longer. “Same as you will about what you learned about us.”​

    “My lips are sealed,” Jake responds with a puckering of his lips, which has Gia rolling her eyes and Emma giggling. “See?”​

    “Is it alright if we stop for some food,” The yellow ranger sighs and starts looking through her wallet. “Don’t want to have to explain everything at home before I have a chance to eat.”​

    “Yeah and don’t worry,” Waving off her attempt to find cash, Jake pops open the middle console and grabs a stack of coupons. “My dads been trying to buy off my love, now that I know how big of a dick he really is and I learned to be frugal from my mom. My treat, as long it’s one of these places.” He tosses the stack at Gia, who tries to grab the collection of loose pamphlets.​

    “How chivalrous,” Emma snorts and grabs the ones that have drifted into the backseat. “I don’t care, as long as they have chicken.”​

    “As the ladies request, so shall I deliver.” Is Jake’s response, complete with a flirtatious wink.​

    After he pulls in to the nearest place with chicken, the three exit the vehicle and blink at bright flood lights that have been set up. Inside is a larger collection of people usually found at this time of the night. The attack has clearly left many too shaken to cook for themselves and in desperate need of company.​

    “What do we have here?” Farkas Bulkmeier notices the entrance of the three starving rangers and turns to confront them. “Three dweebs looking for a bite to eat.”​

    When his normal accompaniment of giggles is absent, the larger teen looks over his shoulder and frowns at the balking Eugene Skullovitch.​

    “Bulk.” The scrawny teen groans and screws up what little courage he currently has inside himself. “You said we’d leave Emma and Gia alone.” The leader of the two considers this and nods to himself slowly.​

    “True and I am a man of my word,” Bulk pulls his leather jacket up and growls at Jake. “But this geek isn’t part of any promise.”​

    “Bulk, back off.” Gia steps forward, only for Jake to put a calming hand on her shoulder and restrain her.​

    “I saw you help those kids at the park get to their parents, that was really impressive man.” Bulk blinks in shock at the praise and smiles. “Everyone else was running away and you were one of the only people looking out for others. So for tonight at least, can we just not fight.” Jake grabs the coupons from Gia and tears most of them off, handing them to the surprised punks. “You look like you could use a burger, so call it the hero special.”​

    “Uh...” Bulk looks at the girls with wide eyes, but they only shrug. “Okay, thanks dw-.” He stops himself and looks Jake in the eye. “Bullet.” He nods to himself and repeats himself. “Yeah if your one of use for tonight, you need a cool name and I saw how fast you ran.”​

    “Did’ya see when he kicked that one between the legs?” Skull cackles almost like a hyena, only stopping when Bulk elbows him ‘discreetly’. “That thing flew like a hundred feet!” He chews loudly and with an open mouth, his gum squishing with each movement.​

    “Don’t be a moron,” Smacking the back of Skull’s head with an open palm, Bulk rolls his eyes and tries to share a look with Jake. “Was only like forty feet. I could have done almost fifty but you heard Bullet, I had to save those kids at the park.” He brags to the girl at the counter, who actually giggles at his more friendly attitude.​

    “You look good,” Blurts out a pale faced Skull, which makes Emma go still and Gia turn to him in anger.​

    “It’s a truce, not a reconciliation.” Gia pulls her friend closer and glares at the skinny punk.​

    “What does she mean Bulk?” He frowns and turns to his leader, no longer smacking loudly each second.​

    “She means that tomorrow them and their go back to being dweebs again, even if they’re still safe.” Bulk grunts and places his order. “Except Bullet here, especially if he keeps being cool like this.”​

    “Oh,” Finally understanding, Skull begins chewing again and asks for his own food. “Okay.” He gives Emma and Gia a sad look and takes his food, following his only friend from the restaurant.​

    When the door closes behind the pair, they approach a beaten up motor bike and it’s complete with an old school sidecar.​

    “What the heck was that?” Grumbles an irritated blonde, as she takes her own seat across from Emma.​

    “Kim used to be friends with him and his dad died on deployment when he was a kid.” Jake lowers his voice and leans closer to he girls. “His mom is depressed and bad with the pension, so Farkas eats when he can.”​

    “I had no idea.” Emma as the most emotional of the three, frowns and goes silent.​

    “Doesn’t excuse how he acts.” Replies the other girl, which is followed by a fierce growl from her stomach.​

    “He didn’t tell you, I did.” Jake holds a hand up and firmly declares. “So you pretend you don’t know, same as the other stuff we talked about tonight. I was just too exhausted to come up with anything reasonable.”​

    “You sound so mature,” Admits Gia in spite of herself. “What’s going on?”​

    “My dad thinks laughing is a waste of time and money,” Growls the raven haired boy. “With all I’ve learned this year, I decided to waste as much of it as I could.” He shrugs and chuckles darkly. “Too bad he just says, ‘Good thing you’re an athlete’.”​

    “You don’t want to be?” Asks Emma, since the yellow ranger is preoccupied swallowing.​

    “I want to be a vet.” Admits the blushing athlete. “I want to look after animals, but my dad would only complain. ‘Humans are the ones who pay, so don’t waste time of the fur balls’.”​

    “Suns starting to come up,” Gia points out the orange on the horizon. “Better get home and give mom and David the bad news.

    …​

    First thing in the morning, Noah wolfs down his breakfast and leaves a note. As soon as he does he grabs his morpher and holds it aloft, transporting himself once again, as a bolt of crackling blue energy.​

    When he arrives first, he pays it no mind and launches into a scientific discussion with Alpha. The two don’t realize hours pass in rapt conversation, before a bolt of red arrives and deposits a grunting Troy.​

    “Man did you over sleep,” Laughs Noah as he checks his watch and notices it’s nearly three.​

    “Jake didn’t call you?” A well rested Troy asks.​

    “No, why?” Noah asks without any concern.​

    “We rescheduled training.” Troy explains and looks in confusion at a happy teen in blue.​

    “That’s why I had time to ask Alpha everything I wanted to, without any interruptions!” Noah snaps his fingers and grins in realization. “He really does know me.”​

    “If you say so,” Troy snorts and steps back as a pink and yellow light are next to arrive. “As long as you’re not to tired for training, I guess it’s alright.”​
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
    Happerry likes this.
  4. Threadmarks: Episode 2.5: Teamwork
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 2.5: Teamwork

    “Why didn’t you call Noah last night?” Troy questions Jake, as the five train outside the command center. “You said you would.”

    “It’s no big deal,” Jake tries to wave off the concern, but the red ranger won’t budge.

    “Yes it is,” Insists Troy and locks eyes with him. “We’re a team and if I’m supposed to lead you four, I need to know I can rely on you.”

    “After dropping you off, we got distracted by Bulk and Skull.” Jake blocks the red ranger’s spinning kick. “Which reminds me, what did they mean about you two being safe?” He turns the question towards the either of the girls, but both pretend not to hear him.

    “You went somewhere without us?” Noah blurts out and gets taken down by a leg sweep from Emma.

    “Switch,” The yellow ranger calls time and changes places with Jake, who replaces Noah. “And yeah. I was hungry, so we grabbed some food.” Gia ducks under a punch and returns the attack with an elbow to Troy’s chest.

    “Good thing we did,” Agrees the sweaty pink ranger, who knocks Jake back with a swift jab. “My dad stayed up the whole night, in case Trini was found.” Emma’s mood is tense and her eyes are filled with guilt. “You don’t think they’re dead... do you?”

    “The news had footage of the attack,” Noah reassures her with a tension filled grimace. “The Putties were capturing people and bring them through a portal.”

    “So we need to find out where Master Vile and Goldar are hiding out,” Jake looks re-energized by the news. “Then we can save everyone and finish this whole invasion thing, before the whole city is leveled.”

    “Zordon said we can’t escalate things though,” Emma reminds Jake. “I’m going to assume that means not attacking the bad guys base.”

    “How is it escalating?” He retorts in frustration. “If they kidnapped our family, it’s a rescue mission and not an attack.”

    “As much as I like the enthusiasm,” Troy tries to compromise. “We aren’t ready yet.”

    “I don’t know if I ever will be,” Admits the sweat soaked blue ranger. “You all seem miles ahead of me.”

    “My sister and I,” Emma offers with a memory soaked voice. “We learned Tae Kwon Do from our grand parents.”

    “I’ve been in kick boxing for a couple years,” Adds Gia with a smirk at the blue ranger. “I was told it would help with my aggression.”

    “We’re trying yoga now,” The more cheerful of the girls explains when Jake snorts.

    “I know Jake studies Capoeira,” Noah points, before turning to Troy and asking curiously. “What about you? You kicked butt yesterday.”

    “About six months after Jason started taking classes, my parents enrolled me in Karate.” Troy grabs a water bottle of his own and plops down in the shade beside the panting Noah.

    “So come on,” Jake begins to question Gia, a curious expression dances on his face. “Why are you two safe from the punks?”

    “No reason you need to know,” She crosses her arms in irritation. “Just drop it… Bullet.”

    “What?” Noah hisses to Troy who only shrugs, equally confused by the byplay.

    “I was just trying trying to be nice,” Jake grumbles and rubs sand from his eyes.

    “And we’re trying to avoid them,” Retorts Gia, with irritation flashing in her eyes. “So thanks for putting us back on their radar.”

    “Before we start biting each others heads off,” Troy acts as the voice of reason. “How about we call it for the day? We’re tired, cranky, and if we stay out here much longer, someone might get hurt.”

    “Maybe that’s why you’re so sluggish today Noah,” Trying to cheer up the more intellectual ranger, Emma makes a hesitant suggestion. “You only got a few hours of sleep after all.”

    “I don’t need to listen to this,” Growls Jake, assuming he’s being blamed again. “Some glowing blue head decided you’re in charge and we just have to go with it?” He clenches his fists and turns to the others for support, Gia nodding along with him slowly.

    “Hate to say it, but he has a point.” She sounds surprised with herself for admitting this fact. “Zordon and Alpha may have evaluated you, but to us you’re a stranger.”

    “Maybe instead of jumping right into the training today,” Noah tries to head off the argument. “It would have been a better idea... just to get to know each other first.”

    “How can you think of hanging out?” Emma gasps, her face flushed from the heat and exertion. “We all have someone to rescue.”

    “That’s why we’re here today.” Troy brushes the sticky bangs away from his eyes. “Preparing for when we do find them, so we can bring them home safe.” He stares at his disgruntled teammates and sighs. “I’m not really good at making friends, so I’m sorry.”

    “Not a bad idea per say,” Jake admits, his posture losing his earlier defensiveness. “But maybe bad timing, I’m clearly not in the best mood and Emma looks like she’s in shock still.”

    “I just can’t believe that when I go home...” The girl of Vietnamese descent looks distraught. “Trini wont be in the garden.”

    “I haven’t slept yet,” Noah explains the dark rings under his eyes. “Every time I close my eyes, I start imagining what those Putties are doing to Zach.”

    “How about we call it for today?” The red ranger changes into a fresh shirt, unaware of the appreciative looks at his swimmer’s body.





    “How could five people stop you?” The Sorceress of Sin shrieks. “You’re supposed to be my strongest… my champion!” The corrupted body of Kimberly has rage plastered across her face. “So why are you laying here in such a pathetic state!”

    “You never said we would face any capable of fighting back,” The burnt monster pleads rather pathetically. “But once we sacrifice our captives, I will be strong enough to crush the Rangers.”

    “You have already failed me Fool!” The witch slams her moon shaped staff against his head. “It’s Scorpina’s turn now. Since muscle was not enough, it seems a woman’s cunning will be required.”

    “Let me have a second chance,” Goldar desperately begs his leader. “I won’t fail you again, I swear it!”

    “Oh I know you won’t,” A cruel smile appears on her lips. “For you aren’t going to be in charge this time.”

    “Yes Empress,” Goldar drops into a respectful kneeling position before the deceptively powerful witch. “As you command, I shall obey.”

    “Good,” Purrs Rita, as she reaches forward and strokes her general’s head like a pet. “Now take Finster’s next batch of Putties and head to Stone Canyon.” She does some quick math and finishes giving her orders. “We’re going to need at least another hundred souls. Any extra you manage to acquire today, will go to you.”





    Banging on his bedroom door, jerks Noah out of his restless sleep and has him jumping to his feet in a panic. When no attack comes, he calls through his door with a relieved chuckle.

    “What’s going on mom?” His voice is lined with anxiety.

    “A girl’s calling for you!” His mom is excited for him, despite her ever present grief. “Open the door and say yes.”

    The blue ranger grabs his glasses and smiles to himself. If a girl was calling Zach in the middle of the night like this, mom would be pissed.

    “Thanks mom,” He cracks open the door and reaches for the phone. “I got it.”

    “If she’s in trouble, just let me know.” His mom shares a worried smile, wanting to help at least one kid get home.

    “I will mom, but she probably just wants to talk about the attack.” Noah offers a partial explanation. “We hid out with Emma, Gia, and this new guy Troy.”

    “Oh I’m just glad you’re okay,” She let’s out a sniffle and leaves him alone.

    “Noah here.” He lifts the receiver and whispers. “What’s going on?”

    “It’s Emma and you need to get to the command center.” He blinks in shock at her insistent attitude. “Stone Canyon is being attacked right now.”





    “Rangers, thank you for arriving so swiftly.” Zordon greets them, his voice tense. “In an attempt to delay your arrival, the neighboring city of Stone Canyon is being attacked by Goldar.”

    “He’s already back for more?” Jake grumbles. “I thought that inferno would have put him down.”

    “Master Vile’s magic is strong and his evil grants his followers great power,” Answers Zordon with a frown. “Only destruction or purification will be able to defeat an enemy for good.”

    “How do we do that?” Troy asks before anyone else, his voice hopeful at a second option.

    “Alpha and I have finished work on new weapons for you each,” He nods towards his robotic assistant, who takes over the conversation with an excited titter.

    “Indeed rangers.” Alpha pulls a cloth off of a table, revealing five color coded weapons of various design. “These are your power weapons and when you combine them, they will form the Z-Cannon.” He bows stiffly and waits for the rangers to express excitement.

    “Whoa...” Jake lifts the black ax and looks closely at the cannon in the handle. “It’s a two-in-one weapon.”

    “These are incredible Alpha,” Agrees Troy as he examines his own crimson sword in glee. “Thank you.”

    “I can feel the power in them,” Gia gasps when she grabs her pair of yellow daggers, the two weapons connected by an extendable cable. “Goldar and his Patrol will be going down even faster this time.”

    “I don’t know how to use a bow though,” Admits the pink ranger with a blush dusting her cheeks.

    “That is alright Emma,” Zordon is quick to end the distress. “We have connected them to the power coins, much in the same way as the Zords have been. You will know how to use them instinctively.”

    “That’s a relief,” Chuckles Noah awkwardly and begins unscrewing his lance into two maces.

    “When you combine these weapons and focus the power of the Morphing Grid through them,” Explains Zordon with a confident expression. “You will be able to exorcise the evil from one of Master Vile’s victims and restore them to a mostly normal state.”

    “...Mostly?” Gia notices the word choice and raises an eyebrow.

    “The more power Vile has granted them, the harder it is to purge the changes.” Alpha answers, his voice managing to sound more emotive than most people. “I’m very sorry, but we lack the ability to remove all traces of Vile’s magic. Evil leaves a mark forever.”

    “It’s not your fault,” Troy consoles the shame filled Alpha. “We have people to save, it’s morphing time!” In unison, five bolts of color shoot into the sky and towards the battle.





    Arriving on the chaotic streets of Stone Canyon, the five color coded heroes defend the panicking civilians from the babbling grey goons. The angry roar of Goldar is all the warning Troy is given, before he is forced to dive away from a blast of flame.

    The attack of Goldar strikes the street and melts through the asphalt, leaving only bubbling black rocks behind. Drawing his new sword, Troy accepts the burnt generals challenge and charges for him. While the two clash in a flurry of blade strikes, the Putties are methodically dismantled by the other four rangers.

    “Alpha was right,” Cheers Emma, her bow rapidly snapping forward with perfect aim. “It’s like this bow is a part of me.”

    “I know what you mean,” Noah agrees and smashes a Putties head to clay paste between his maces. “I actually feel useful this time.” He catches a clawed fist with one weapon and drives the prongs of his other through the Putties chest.

    “Give me a boost!” Gia calls to an exuberant Jake and races towards him, forcing him to cup his hands.

    As she descends gracefully through the air, she swings one end of her bladed cable like a cyclone and carves through the heads of half a dozen Putties. Finishing off the stumbling foes, Jake fires his cannon into the easy targets and sends a shower of clay raining onto the street.

    “Let’s bring these things together,” Calls out the red ranger, his muscles straining against his aggressive foe. “This guy is tough and I think it’s time to show him we are too.”

    “Power Bow!” Emma jumps into the air, suddenly knowing what is required and laying her weapon on it’s side.

    “Power Ax,” Following her lead, the black ranger adds his own weapon as a base to the combination.

    “Power Daggers,” Gia calls out her own arsenal and connects her daggers to the bow.

    “And my Power Lance!” Next in the air is Noah, attaching his weapons beside the daggers.

    “Now the Power Sword!” Troy roars and slams his blade on top of the entire ensemble, bringing the cannon down to the ground with him. “Let’s see you come back from this Goldar!” He roars in defiance at the golden monster, as the five rangers send a surge of destructive energy through the combination cannon.

    Five beams of multi hued energy lance, across the distance between the heroes and the evil general. At first are held at by by the power of evil, but as the seconds pass the energy begins to crack the armor and pierce through the monster.

    Goldar’s body folds in half and is thrown down the road, leaving only a smoking body of black fur. As the ranger’s pant from the effort exerted, the rescued civilians begin to clap slowly and soon erupt in cheers when he doesn’t rise.

    “Is it over?” Gasps Noah in disbelief.

    “I think this battle is at least.” The red ranger kneels beside the hulking figure and watches as the body convulses.

    The energy of the Morphing Grid worms through Goldar’s veins and purges what vileness it can. The fur begins to fall from Goldar’s face and his body starts to shrink back down to a normal human’s size.

    “No!” His pained wail has the celebration cut short, as he clutches the now human body to his chest. “Zordon, get us out of here now!” A second passes and the five rangers vanish in crackling light, with the body of Jason Scott becoming a bolt of gold accompanying them.





    “How did this happen?” Troy demands with clenched fists. “Goldar attacked before anyone went missing!”

    “It would seems he and his friends, found Master Vile’s container.” Zordon explains with a pained sigh. “He corrupted them with his full powers, changing them into his monstrous generals.”

    “He’s going to pay for this...” The rage filled Troy stares at the covered body of his cousin, with no one being willing to bring up that it was them who did this. “If it’s the last thing I do, Vile is going to die.”

    “I will transport him to one of the areas still damaged,” Alpha speaks softly. “And then place an anonymous call to the authorities.”

    “I should be home for the call.” Standing stiffly, Troy wipes the tears from his eyes. “Can’t let my aunt and uncle deal with this alone.”

    “You have all of our numbers,” Emma reminds him with a soft voice. “Call us if you need anything.”

    “Or even if you just want to talk,” Adds Gia.

    “We’re a team and you’re our leader,” Jake offers the grieving leader a comforting hand. “Let us know if we can do anything.”

    “I might have an idea,” Blurts out Noah with a thoughtful expression.





    Sneaking in the back door, Emma stops in shock when she enters the kitchen. In her sobbing father’s arms, is her deviously smirking sister.

    “Trini...” Gasps Emma in disbelief.

    “They found me near Jason, I was just released for the hospital a little while ago.” Trini smiles at her younger sister, but it never reaches her golden eyes.

    “It’s a miracle Emma!” Their father cries and pulls Trini back into his tight embrace, ignorant of the looks being exchanged between his girls. “Your mother must have kept her safe for us.”

    “I’m really getting tired dad, is it okay if I go to bed now that Emma’s home?” Trini yawns and stands.

    “Of course dear,” He stands and resists the urge for another bear hug. “You need your rest.”


    Episode 2.5: Teamwork

    “Why didn’t you call Noah last night?” Troy questions the black ranger with a disappointed look, as the five train in the sands outside the command center. “You said you would.”​

    “It’s no big deal,” Jake tries to wave off the concern, but the red ranger won’t budge and glares at the soccer player.​

    “Yes it is,” Insists Troy, locking eyes with Jake and refusing to let it go. “We’re a team and if I’m supposed to lead you four, I need to know I can rely on you all.”​

    “We stopped for something to eat after dropping you off and got distracted by Bulk and Skull.” Jake grunts back and blocks the red ranger’s spinning kick. “Which reminds me, what did they mean about you two being safe?” He turns the question towards the either of the girls, but both ignore the comment.​

    “You guys went without us?” Noah blurts out in distraction and gets taken down by a leg sweep from Emma.​

    “Switch,” The yellow ranger calls time and changes places with Jake, who likewise replaces Noah. “And yeah. I didn’t want to wait until after explaining what happened, so we grabbed some burgers.” Gia ducks under a punch and returns the attack with an elbow to Troy’s chest.​

    “Good thing we did,” Agrees the sweaty pink ranger, who knocks Jake back with a swift jab. “My parents stayed up the whole night… in case Trini came home.” Emma’s mood is tense and her eyes are filled with guilt. “You don’t think they’re dead... do you?”​

    “The news had footage of the attack,” Noah reassures her with a tension filled grimace, as he finishes his third bottle of water. “The Putties were capturing people and bring them through a portal.”​

    “So we need to find out where Master Vile and Goldar are hiding out,” Stepping away from his training partner, Jake looks re-energized by the news. “And then we can save everyone and finish this whole invasion thing, before the whole city is leveled.”​

    “Zordon said we can’t escalate things though,” Emma reminds Jake, who growls under his breath at the words. “I’m going to assume that means not attacking the bad guys at home.”​

    “How is it escalating?” Retorts the black ranger in frustrated anger. “If they kidnapped our family, it’s a rescue mission and not an attack.”​

    “As much as I like the enthusiasm,” Troy begins, but Jake isn’t happy with what he hears. “We aren’t ready yet.”​

    “I don’t know if I ever will be,” Admits the sweat soaked blue ranger. “You all seem miles ahead of me.”​

    “My sister and I,” Emma offers with a voice soaked with memories. “We learned Tae Kwon Do from our grand parents.”​

    “And I’ve been in kick boxing for a couple years,” Adds Gia with a smirk at the blue ranger. “I was told it would help with my aggression, but it hasn’t.”​

    “We’re trying yoga now,” The more cheerful of the girls explains for the pair.​

    “I know Jake studies Capoeira,” Noah points to his best friend, before turning to Troy and asking curiously. “What about you? You really kicked butt yesterday.”​

    “About six months after Jason started taking classes, my parents looked for a Karate class in Harwood County.” Calling an end to the training for now, Troy grabs a water bottle of his own and plops down in the shade beside the curly haired teen.​

    “So come on,” Jake begins to question Gia, a curious expression dances on his face. “Why are you two safe from the punks?”​

    “No reason you need to know,” The blonde stares back and crosses her arms in irritation. “Just drop it… Bullet.”​

    “What?” Noah hisses to Troy, who only shrugs with an equal lack of knowledge.

    “I was just trying trying to be nice,” Jake grumbles out a defense and rubs at his eyes.​

    “And we’re trying to avoid them,” Retorts the yellow ranger, with irritation flashing in her eyes. “So thanks for putting us back on their radar.”​

    “Before we start biting each others heads off,” Troy cuts in and acts as the voice of reason. “How about we call it for the day? We’re tired, cranky, and if we stay out here much longer, someone might get hurt.”​

    “Maybe that’s why you’re so sluggish today Noah,” Trying to cheer up the more intellectual ranger, Emma makes a hesitant suggestion. “You only got a few hours of sleep after all.”

    “I don’t need to listen to this,” Growls Jake, as he turns to the team leader and locks frustrated eyes with him. “Some glowing blue head decided you’re in charge and we just have to go with it?” He clenches his fists and kicks at the sand, before turning to the others and Gia nods along with him.​

    “Hate to say it, but Jake has a point.” The blonde sounds surprised with herself for admitting this fact. “Zordon and Alpha may have evaluated us all, but you’re a stranger to us. You’ll have to prove yourself to us, same as you’re making us do for you.”​

    “Maybe instead of jumping right into the training today,” Broaches Noah, in an attempt to head off the argument. “It would have been a better idea... just to get to know each other.”​

    “How can you think of hanging out and having fun?” Emma gasps at the idea, her face flushed from the evening heat. “We all have someone to rescue.”​

    “That’s why we’re here today,” Agrees Troy, brushing his brunette bangs out of his eyes. “So once we find out where they are, we can go get them and bring them home safe.” He stares at his disgruntled teammates and sighs. “I’m not really good at making friends, so I’m sorry if this was a bad idea.”​

    “Not a bad idea per say,” Jake admits after a moment of tense silence, his posture losing his earlier defensiveness. “But maybe bad timing on it, I’m still not completely sure I’m awake right now and Emma looks like she’s been in shock all day.”​

    “I just can’t believe that when I go home...” The Vietnamese ranger looks distraught and near tears. “Trini wont be in the garden with dad.”​

    “I haven’t slept yet,” Noah admits, which explains the dark rings under his eyes. “Every time I close my eyes, I start imagining what those Putties are doing to my brother.”​

    “How about we call it for today?” The red ranger changes into a fresh shirt, unaware of the appreciative looks at his swimmer’s body.​

    …​

    “How could five people stop you?” The Sorceress of Sin shrieks at the finally awake form of Goldar. “You’re supposed to be my strongest… my champion.” The corrupted body of Kimberly has rage plastered across her face, as she paces back in forth in extravagant crimson robes. “So why are you laying here in such a pathetic state!”​

    “Master Vile never said we would face any capable of fighting back,” The burnt beast man pleads rather pathetically, especially for such a ferocious looking being. “But once we sacrifice our captives, I will be strong enough to crush the Rangers.”​

    “You have already failed me Fool!” The witch slams her moon shaped staff against Goldar’s head. “It is Scorpina’s turn now and she has already put her plan into effect. Since muscle was not enough to win, it seems cunning will be required.”​

    “Let me have a second chance,” Goldar growls desperately up at his leader. “I won’t fail you again, I swear it!”​

    “Oh I know you won’t,” Rita Repulsa reaches up and strokes one of the massive white cones of hair, a cruel smile appearing on her lips. “For you aren’t going to be in charge his time, I only need you to cause a distraction.”​

    “Yes Empress,” Goldar climbs off of the stone slab that acts as a bed and drops into a respectful kneeling position before the deceptively powerful witch. “As you command, I shall obey.”​

    “Good,” Purrs Rita, as she reaches forward and strokes her general’s head like a pet. “Now take Finster’s next batch of Putties and head to Stone Canyon.” She does some quick math and finishes giving her orders. “We’re going to need another hundred souls for Vile. Any extra you manage to acquire today, will have their power divided among the rest of us.”​

    …​

    Banging on his bedroom door, jerks Noah out of his restless sleep and has him jumping to his feet in a panic. When no attack comes, he finally realizes whats going on and calls through his door.​

    “What’s going on mom?” His voice is curious, but lined with anxiety.​

    “A girl’s calling for you!” His mom is excited for him, despite her ever present grief. “Open the door and say yes to whatever she’s asking.”​

    The blue ranger grabs his glasses and smiles to himself. If a girl was calling Zach in the middle of the night like this, mom would be yelling at him for days.​

    “Thanks mom,” He cracks open the door and reaches for the phone. “I got it.”​

    “If she needs a ride somewhere, just let me know.” His mom shares a worried smile, wanting to help at least one kid get home right now.​

    “I will mom, but she probably just wants to talk about the attack.” Noah offers a partial explanation. “Me and Jake met this new guy Troy while we hid out with Emma and Gia, was pretty scary being in the middle of everything.”​

    “Oh you’re such a good kid,” She shares a proud grin with her son and leaves him alone to have his phone call.​

    “Noah here.” He lifts the receiver to his head and nearly whispers. “What’s going on?”​

    “It’s Emma and you need to get to the command center.” Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, the dark skinned blinks in shock at her insistent attitude. “Stone Canyon is being attacked this time.”​

    “Why’d you call?” He asks and slides on some fresh jeans. “Not that I’m complaining or anything.”​

    “Troy’s still kind of annoyed with Jake and he asked me to get a hold of you,” The pink ranger admits with a nearly unheard giggle.​

    “Alright I’ll see you guys soon, just need to tell my mom something and get outside.” Noah grabs his morpher and slides it into his pocket.​

    …​

    “Rangers thank you for arriving so swiftly,” The reverberating voice of Zordon greets Gia, the last ranger to arrive in a bolt of colored energy. “In an attempt to delay our intervention, the neighboring city of Stone Canyon is being attacked by Goldar and a squadron of Putty Patrollers.”​

    “He’s already back for more?” Jake grumbles back at the ageless being. “I thought that inferno would have put him down for a while.”​

    “Master Vile’s magic is strong and his evil grants his followers great power,” Zordon answers with a frown. “Only destruction or purification will be able to defeat an enemy for good.”​

    “How do we do that?” Troy asks before anyone else, his voice hopeful at a second option.​

    “Alpha and I have finished work on new weapons for you each,” Answers the giant head with a nod towards his robotic assistant, who takes over the conversation with an excited titter.​

    “Indeed rangers.” Alpha pulls a cloth off of a table, revealing five color coded weapons of various design. “These are your power weapons and when you combine them, they will form the Alpha Z-Cannon.” He bows stiffly and waits for the rangers to express excitement.​

    “Whoa...” Jake lifts the black ax and looks closely at the cannon in the handle. “It’s a two-in-one weapon.”​

    “These are incredible Alpha,” Agrees Troy as he examines his own crimson sword in glee. “Thank you.”​

    “I can feel the power in them,” Gia gasps when she grabs her pair of yellow daggers, the two weapons connected by an extendable cable. “Goldar and his Patrol will be going down even faster this time.”​

    “I don’t know how to use a bow though,” Admits the pink ranger with a blush dusting her cheeks.​

    “That is alright Emma,” Zordon is quick to end the distress. “We have connected them to the power coins, much in the same way as the Zords have been and you will know how to use them while morphed.”​

    “That’s a relief,” Chuckles Noah awkwardly and begins unscrewing his lance, ending up with two maces.​

    “When you combine these weapons and focus the power of the Morphing Grid through them,” Explains Zordon with a serene expression on his face. “You will be able to exorcise the evil from one of Master Vile’s victims and restore them to a mostly normal state.”​

    “...Mostly?” Gia notices the word choice and raises an eyebrow at the blue being.​

    “The more power Vile has granted them, the harder it is to purge all of the physical changes.” The robot answers for Zordon, with Alpha’s voice managing to sound more emotive than the wizard in the tube. “I’m very sorry, but we lack the ability to truly remove all traces of Vile’s magic from someone.”​

    “It’s not your fault,” Emma consoles the shame filled robot and grabs his morpher. “We have people to save, it’s morphing time!” His team follows the action nearly in unison and five bolts of color shoot into the sky.​

    …​

    Arriving in the chaotic street of Stone Canyon, the five color coded heroes leap forward and defend the panicking civilians from the grey goons. The angry roar of Goldar is all the warning the red ranger is given, before he is forced to dive away from a blast of magical flame.​

    The attack of Goldar strikes the street and melts through the asphalt, leaving only bubbling black rocks behind. Drawing his new sword, Troy accepts the burnt generals challenge and charges for him.​

    While the two leaders clash in a flurry of blade strikes, the Putties are methodically dismantled by the other four rangers. With far fewer forces than in the attack on Angel Grove, the rangers are able to work together and ensure the captives are freed.​

    “Alpha was right,” Cheers the Pink ranger, her bow string rapidly snapping forward with near perfect aim. “It’s like this bow is a part of me.”​

    “I know what you mean,” Noah agrees and smashes a Putties head to clay paste between his maces. “I actually feel useful this time.” He catches a clawed fist with one weapon and drives the prongs of his other through the golem’s chest.​

    “Give me a boost!” The yellow ranger calls to the black one and races towards him, forcing him to cup his hands and throw her into the air.​

    As she descends gracefully through the air like a diving tiger, she swings one end of her bladed cable like a cyclone and carves through the heads of half a dozen Putties. Finishing of the stumbling foes, Jake fires his ax cannon into the easy targets and sends a shower of clay raining onto the street.​

    “Let’s bring these things together,” Calls out the red ranger, his muscles straining against a foe who has grown vastly in strength over only a single day. “This guy is tough and I think it’s time to show him we are too.”​

    “Power Bow!” Emma jumps into the air, suddenly knowing what is required of her and laying her weapon on it’s side.​

    “Power Ax,” Following her lead, the black ranger adds his own weapon as a base to he combination.​

    “Power Daggers,” Gia calls out her own arsenal and connects he daggers to the bow.​

    “And my Power Lance!” The wolf ranger is next in the air, attaching his maces beside the daggers.​

    “Now the Power Sword!” Troy roars and slams his sword on top of the entire ensemble, bringing the cannon down to the ground with him. “Let’s see you come back from this Goldar!” He roars in defiance at the golden armored monster, as the five rangers send a surge of destructive energy through the combination cannon.​

    Five beams of multi hued energy lance across the distance between the heroes and the evil general and at first are held at by by the power of evil. But as the seconds pass and the rangers redouble the effort behind the attack, the energy begins to crack the golden armor and pierce through it suddenly.​

    Goldar’s body folds in half and is thrown down the road, leaving only a smoking body of black fur. As the ranger’s pant from the effort exerted, the rescued civilians begin to clap slowly and soon erupt in cheers when Goldar doesn’t rise again.​

    “Is it over?” Gasps the blue ranger in disbelief, as Troy approaches the fallen monster.​

    “I think this battle is at least.” The red ranger kneels beside the hulking figure and watches as the body convulses.​

    The energy of the Morphing Grid worms through Goldar’s veins and purges what vileness it can. The fur begins to fall from Goldar’s face and his body starts to shrink back down to a normal humans size.​

    “No!” The pained wail of the red ranger has the celebration cut short and he clutches the now human body to his chest. “Zordon, get us out of here now!” A second passes and the five rangers vanish in crackling light, with the body of Jason Scott becoming a sixth bolt of gold accompanying them through the dark night sky.​

    …​

    “How did this happen?” Troy demands with clenched fists. “Goldar attacked before everyone got kidnapped.” He slams his fist into his own open palm and growls. “How is he Jason?”​

    “It would seems he was one of the ones who found Master Vile’s container,” Zordon explains with a pained sigh. “And was corrupted with the full powers of the warlock, being changed into one of his monstrous generals.”​

    “He’s going to pay for this...” The rage filled red ranger stares at the jacket covered body of his cousin, with no one being willing to bring up that it was them who did this. “If it’s the last thing I do, Vile is going to die.”​

    “I will transport the body to one of the areas still damaged,” Alpha speaks softly. “And then place an anonymous call to the authorities.”​

    “I should be home for the call.” Standing stiffly, Troy wipes the tears from his eyes. “Can’t let m aunt and uncle deal with this alone.”​

    “You have all of our numbers,” Emma reminds him with a soft voice. “Call us if you need to get out of the house.”​

    “Or even if you just want to talk about anything,” Adds Gia with a sympathy filled face.​

    “We’re a team and you’re our leader,” Jake offers the grieving leader a hand, which he eventually shakes with a half smile on his lips. “Let us know if we can do anything.”​

    “I might have an idea on that,” Blurts out the blue ranger with a thoughtful frown. “Shouldn’t be too hard to get some radios connected to the Command Center.”​

    …​

    Sneaking in the back door, Emma stops in shock when she enters the kitchen. In her sobbing father’s arms and wrapped in a bear hug, is her deviously smirking sister.​

    “Trini...” Gasps Emma in disbelief. “How?”​

    “They found me in the wreckage near Jason and I was just released for the hospital.” Trini smiles at her younger sister, but it never reaches her eyes.​

    “It’s a miracle Emma!” Their father cries in happiness and pulls Trini back into his tight embrace, ignorant of the looks being exchanged between his girls. “Your mother must have kept her safe for us.”​

    “I’m really getting tired dad, is it okay if I go to bed now that Emma’s home?” Trini yawns and stands.​

    “Of course my dear,” the excited father stands and begins clearing the table. “Don’t let me keep you up, you need your rest.”​
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
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  5. Threadmarks: Episode 3: A Pressing Engagement
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 3: A Pressing Engagement

    “You really are talented,” Alpha squeaks in excitement and hands Noah a screwdriver. “I never would have thought of this.”

    The two have been working under the supervision of Zordon, since just after breakfast. The collection of digital watches on the table, have been dismantled and put back together with additional pieces provided by the multicolored robot.

    “I doubt that Alpha, you’re the one who made all of this.” Noah gestures to the many consoles with still unknown uses.

    “Alpha One designed this place, with Alpha Two creating the Zords.” Alpha admits with a bow of his head.

    “Did each ranger team have an Alpha?” He pauses and questions Zordon.

    “These powers have been used by eight teams before you,” Zordon winces and is forced to explain. “But yes, four previous Alphas sacrificed themselves for Earth.

    “Almost done with these, let’s get them connected to the system.” Alpha Five tries to change the subject.

    “This will certainly make it easier to reach you,” Zordon smiles at his ranger. “It makes me confident in victory, seeing how proactive you are.”

    A bolt of pink energy enters the building, revealing a frowning Emma. Her hands are clenched and a faint trail of blood can be seen where her nails have dug into her palms.

    Noah misses her arrival, to focused on the conversation and delicate work. When he turns, it’s to the left and he continues to be unaware of his teammate’s presence.

    “Everyone else on the team, they each have a fighting style.” He connects the first completed watch and hums under his breath absently. “I need to do everything I can to not hold them back and this is all I could come up with.”

    “You shouldn’t talk like that,” Interrupts Emma, placing a firm hand on his shoulder and spinning him around in shock. “As far as I can see, you’re working the hardest at this whole thing.”

    “Uh…” He stammers, startled at her arrival and more importantly by her proximity. “Thanks.”

    “Gia hasn’t even been training for two years and with a reason to focus, she got good pretty darn fast.” She tries to convey her belief in him. “You have a better reason than she does, so I know you can too. We just need to find the right style for you.”

    “What’s her reason?” He blurts out curiously and doesn’t see the flinch on her face.

    “She wanted to beat Skull up, still does her dad and her trainer never taught her the whole martial arts about it only being for self defense.” Emma gives a brief explanation, in hopes of not having to again.

    “Why does she want to beat Skull up?” His retort is automatic.

    “We grew next door to each other and I always had a crush on him.” Emma shrugs awkwardly at his expression of disbelief. “He used to be really sweet and we were friends.”

    “Still don’t see why Gia wants to beat him up.” Noah switches which watch is hooked up and turns back with a socially inept frown.

    “He was my first boyfriend, the summer back before he started high school.” Relieved to finally get this off her chest – without having to also deal with Gia’s anger – has a half smile begin to spread on her face. “It was like all the movies said it was supposed to be and then… he met Bulk and changed.”

    “Oh,” Noah goes silent.

    “Thanks for listening, Trini only ever says ‘I told you so’ and Gia is just to angry to let me vent.” Her smile vanishes her eyes grow stormy. “Which reminds me why I’m here today. My sister was found… alive.” Her lack of smile has Noah stop himself from celebrating.

    “That’s not amazing news?” His frowns at Emma’s trembling.

    “It should be, but was found next to Jason.” She pulls absently at her pink sleeve and her lip starts to quiver. “Was anyone nearby when you put his body in the rubble Alpha?”

    “Definitely not, I triple checked.” His response is laden with indigence.

    “I thought so.” Emma growls and begins to pace. “Because her eyes are the wrong color and the air around her just feels… wrong. Can follow her on the viewing globe Zordon, find out what she’s really up to?”

    “You did the right thing coming here,” The answer is quick and has Emma sigh in relief. “Go observe, while I tune in to her mystical signature.”

    Emma’s half smile grows into a full one and she steps back within reach of Noah. “What do you feel more comfortable doing, kicking or punching?”

    “Punching definitely,” He snorts and rubs his sore calf. “I’m not very flexible and I feel every kick right now.”

    “Well we can work on that too,” Dropping into a casual splits position, she smirks up at him. “Yoga helped Gia with kicking over her head, why don’t you join us sometimes?”

    “That would be really cool, thanks.” Noah nods eagerly at how easily she springs back up to her feet.

    “We can ask Troy, he was doing a lot of punching.” She suggests warmly. “Or maybe regular boxing, I know Gia’s gym has a few people who could teach you.”

    “I’d rather embarrass myself in front of less people, so I’ll ask Troy first.” Noah doesn’t even need to think about it. “Gym class is bad enough, I’m not paying to get mocked.”

    The two follow Alpha and watch as the glass sphere displays the forest North of the city. Emma has biked that trail countless times and her eyes narrow at the sight of her sister. Trini checks her surroundings carefully and steps off the trail, heading towards the mountains and deeper into the brush.

    “Where is she?” Noah asks, having spent far less time in the local nature.

    “Briarwood.” She answers and giggles when he sighs, having to ask for clarification. “It’s the national park along the highway, the one between us and Stone Canyon.”

    “Okay, that’s not a good sign,” He admits with a gasp, when Trini enters a clearing with a dozen Putty Patrollers and doesn’t get attacked.

    “Are they digging?” Emma looks up at Zordon and frowns. “What could they be looking for out in the woods?”

    “Many things,” He admits. “Vile is not the only foe who attacked this planet. He sent generals first and Earth endured a thousand years of strife before his arrival.”

    “We aren’t the only rangers, are we?” Realizes Emma, making her mouth open like a fish. “You said you had allies, so why aren’t they helping?”

    “I hope they will, but evil is not only a product from the darkest reaches of space.” Zordon’s voice rumbles through his explanation. “Evil grows here on Earth as well and I fear my allies have fallen against them over the centuries, for none have answered Alpha’s calls.”

    “I think you better get the others,” Interrupting the ancient mentor, Noah directs his gaze back to the viewing globe. “Because something is definitely buggy with Trini.”

    No longer wearing her normal clothing, Trini is now covered in a golden carapace. She berets the clay goons and directs them to dig faster, even slicing one in half when it fails to do so adequately.

    The arrival of the other the rangers doesn’t take long, with all three bolts of energy arriving before five minutes have passed.

    “What’s the emergency Zordon?” Troy is quick to ask on his arrival, his eyes darting between the viewing globe and mentor.

    “My sister came home last night,” Emma begins, with Gia’s excited cheer having to be shut down hastily by Noah. “But something was wrong, so as soon as she left the house I came to watch her.”

    “Good thing she did,” Backing her up, Noah points to the globe and Trini’s monster form. “Because she turned into that and whatever they’re digging for...” He trails off, his voice grim and humorless.

    “Can’t be good for us.” Grabbing his morpher reflexively, Troy looks at his team and considers the options available. “You guys think we should watch from here, or move into position now?” He tries to work with his team and not just command them.

    “We know they can teleport too,” Gia reminds everyone with a scowl on her face. “I don’t like the idea of missing them once they find whatever they’re looking for.”

    “Good point,” He nods back with a thoughtful look towards Alpha. “Can you send us to the forest, just outside of visual range?”

    “I can, but first Noah has something for each of you.” Alpha waddles over to a console, while Noah becomes the center of attention.

    “It’s hard to get a hold of each other, especially if we aren’t at home.” He starts to hand out the color coded watches, each with silver, copper, and gold attachments. “So with these, we can directly tap into the teleportation network and the bases communications.”

    “You made us walkie talkies that teleport?” Gia looks impressed as she slides the yellow one onto her wrist, just under her black leather jacket and tucking it away from casual sight.

    “Essentially.” Smiling in pride, Noah slips his own on.

    “Dude, I feel like a spy now.” Jake holds his wrist up to his face.

    “This is incredible Noah,” Agreeing with the others, Troy grins at the gift. “Thanks for doing this.”

    “My mom’s still asking about Emma, so I wanted something more private than a house phone.” He blushes from the praise and turns everyone back to the real problem at hand. “Although I think these may need some adjustments, because I can’t seem to lock on to the forest’s location.”

    “It’s nothing you did Noah,” Alpha corrects him. “The area is cloaked in some powerful magic, it is blocking our ability to teleport you.”

    “Better send us as close as you can,” Insists Emma. “I know the way and if we’re going on foot, we should get moving.”

    “Or you can use the Mega Cycles.” Suggests Alpha, his eye flashing rapidly in glee. “I finished them a few decades ago and they’ll be perfect for this.”

    “Good idea Alpha, take the rangers to them now, while I determine the range of the jamming field.” The booming voice of Zordon agrees, with one of the sealed doors whooshing open at his word.

    The five teens follow Alpha down to the workshop floor of the base, realizing how large the base actually is. When the overhead lights come on, the sleek bikes are revealed. The red one stands alone, but the black and blue bikes both have a sidecar.

    “I didn’t think a robot would be so chauvinistic,” Gia crosses her arms and frowns at the fact that she doesn’t get to drive.

    “I had no idea who was going to get the yellow or pink Power Coins,” Counters Alpha desperately in the face of her irritation. “Last time the blue and pink were brothers.” He stands tall and puts his hands on his hips.

    “We can repaint ours,” Offers a surprisingly relaxed Jake. “As long as you let me take her for a spin every once and a while.”

    “Really?” Snorts Noah at his friend’s generosity. “You’re going to give up driving one of these?”

    “I’ll be taxiing you all around when we aren’t morphed.” An unconcerned Jake climbs into the yellow sidecar. “Besides, this is way more comfortable.”

    “Thanks...” He gets a grateful look from Gia.

    “Are you ready Rangers?” Zordon’s voice echoes through the workshop. “I have determined the edge of the barrier is several miles away from the dig site.”

    “Yeah,” Troy grabs his morpher with intent this time and leads everyone in the sound off. “It’s morphing time!”





    The Mega Cycles thunder through the woods, the skill to handle the mighty machines having been implanted in the ranger’s heads. The wide trails through the forest, make it easy for the sidecars to traverse the path.

    When the three vehicles reach the section that Trini went off road, they come to a stop behind Troy. He turns to the other rangers and keeps his voice low.

    “Speed or stealth?” His words are calm, but the tapping of his foot reveals he does feel the stress of the situation.

    “Speed,” Growls Emma, her hands locked on the weapons of her side car in a death grip. “I’m not letting my sister get away.”

    “So we don’t get a repeat of last time,” Troy whispers, but his voice is heard clear in everyone’s helmet. “We keep the Z Cannon on half power.”

    “Agreed.” The others speak as one, with variations on the wording.

    “You and Noah take her down, while we handle the Putties for you.” Revving his engine back to life suddenly, he races off the roads and clears the way for the others.

    “What if they find… whatever it is they’re looking for out here?” Jake asks, since no one else has brought up the worst case scenario yet.

    “We grab it from them and play keep away.” Troy lets out as a low growl. “It took us almost seven minutes to get here, so we only have to make a clean break for it.”

    “Whoa...” Exclaims Emma in shock, as her helmet begins zooming ahead like a telescope. “I can see them,”

    “And I can hear everything,” Clutching at the sides of his helmet, Jake slumps forward in the yellow side car.

    “Our helmets seem to have a personalized feature,” Noah sniffs experimentally, as a wave of smells assault him suddenly.

    “Everything is so bright,” Groans Gia and starts to slow down. “I must have night vision in mine, how do I turn it off?”

    “Tell me me someone figures it out,” Whimpers Jake, as he curls up in his seat.

    “All I can see is glowing colors, Is it heat?” Wonders Troy, his vision distorted with a neon collage.

    “Alpha, how do we turn our helmets off?” Emma is the one who calls for answers.

    “They shouldn’t have turned on without a command,” He responds in confusion from the base. “Something must be supercharging you right now.”

    “We really can’t let them find what they’re looking for,” Troy answers and slows down, with Noah pulling ahead of him. “Don’t wait for us, we’ll catch up!”

    “Got it,” He gulps and increases the distance between him and the others. “But don’t take too long please.” Doing their best to ignore Jake’s whimpers, Noah and Emma disappear from view into the woods.

    “Keep the Putties off of me.” Emma has her Power Bow drawn and pointed forward. “Trini is mine.”

    “Jake always said to never get in the way of a cat fight and I just thought he was being a perv,” Comments Noah with a gulp. “But you’re scarier than Gia right now, so don’t worry.”

    “Good.” Emma releases her bowstring and starts rapidly firing off as many arrows as she can.

    The bike roars into the clearing, just in time to watch a half dozen arrows strike Trini’s scorpion themed armor. Each one explodes in a shower of sparks, sending the monster girl bouncing along the dirt.

    A barrage of lasers from the side cars cannon, impact the ground next to Trini and send a shower of dirt raining down onto her. Emma draws her Blade Blaster and leaps from the vehicle, charging for her already standing sister.

    “Smarter than I thought Emma,” Cackles Trini, the cruel expression on her face distorting into the visage of a scorpion. “No point taking it easy on you out here, not since you figured it out anyway.” She swipes forward with one of her massive claws, at the same time her tail shoots forward.

    The dripping tip is definitely loaded with venom and comes dangerously close to stabbing into the pink ranger’s chest. Blocking the claw strike with her blade, Emma kicks hard into the monster’s face.

    “Not going to work anymore little sister, I’m far stronger now and I don’t have any reason to hold back.” Hisses Scorpina, her second claw backhanding Emma’s face.

    Enduring a spark shower of her own, she is sent sailing through the air and lands in a heap. Before Scorpina can take advantage of her fallen prey however, the twin blasts from the black and red cycles force her back.

    “We got your back,” Gia calls out to the fallen Emma, drawing her Blade Blaster. “Lets light her up!” She leads the three way attack, with no complaint from either guy.

    “Are you sure you have time to deal with me?” Scorpina covers her face and endures the attack with ease. “Or did you miss Squatt and his bombs in Angel Grove?” She looks up at the sun and grins. You don’t have long before he sets off the fireworks.”

    “You’re lying,” Emma denies the claim and gets ready for a second round.

    “Ask your blueberry boss,” Her sister cackles in glee. “He should be able to detect them by now.”

    “Zordon, is she telling the truth?” Troy calls it in to double check, unwilling to leave such a claim unanswered.

    “Good timing Troy,” Answers Zordon with a strange hiccup to his voice at the mention of his name. “Alpha was just about to call you. Three bombs have been detected and require you to disarm them immediately.

    “We’ll handle this,” Gia insists, knowing Emma won’t be leaving this fight. “You said you wanted to drive every once in a while, so here’s your once.” She teases Jake as he hops onto her seat.

    “As long as it gets the sound to end, I’m fine letting you drive forever after this.” He and Noah disengage the side cars and follow Troy from the battle. “I’m not going to be here, so you don’t have to worry about impressing me.”

    “Take your own advice, I don’t want to have to break a new black ranger in already.” Gia calls her own farewell and goes back to back with Emma.

    “See, told you she likes me.” He crows to Noah, before racing after the guy to clear the jamming field.



    Episode 3: A Pressing Engagement

    “You really are talented Noah,” Alpha squeaks in excitement and hands him a screwdriver. “I never would have thought of doing this.”​

    The two are working under the supervision of Zordon and have been since just after breakfast. The collection of digital watches on the table, have been dismantled and put back together with additional pieces provided by the multicolored robot.​

    “I doubt that Alpha, you’re the one who made all of this.” Noah gestures around the Command Center and the many consoles with still unknown uses.​

    “I may have made something with the same use,” Alpha admits with a bow of his head. “But you’re the Power Rangers and I make things to stand out. I don’t understand why Zordon insists you keep it a secret.”​

    “So we don’t get turned into weapons for the government I assume.” The wince on Zordon’s face, is enough to confirm the blue ranger’s fears. “Almost done with these, let’s get them connected to the system.”​

    “This will certainly make it easier to reach you,” Zordon smiles at his ranger. “It makes me confident in your victory, seeing how proactive you are.”​

    A bolt of pink energy enters the building, revealing a frowning Emma. Her hands are clenched and a faint trail of blood can be seen, from where her nails have dug into her skin. It’s not enough to be more than a scratch, but a deep one nonetheless.​

    Noah misses her arrival, to focused on the conversation and delicate work. When he turns, it’s to the left and her continues to be unaware of his new teammates presence.​

    “Everyone else on the team, they each have a fighting style.” He connects the first completed watch and hums under his breath absently. “I need to do everything I can to not hold them back and this is all I could come up with.”​

    “You shouldn’t talk like that,” Interrupts Emma with a stern glare, placing a firm hand on his shoulder and spinning him around in shock. “As far as I can see, you’re the one working hardest at this whole thing.”​

    “Uh…” He stammers, startled at her arrival and more importantly her proximity. “Thanks Emma.”

    “Gia hasn’t even been kick boxing for two years and with a reason to focus, she got good pretty darn fast.” She smiles back at him and tries to convey her belief in him through her eyes. “You have a better reason than she does, so I know you can too. We just need to find the right style for you.”​

    “What’s her reason?” He blurts out curiously and doesn’t see the flinch on her face, when she lets go of his shoulder and turns away.​

    “She wanted to beat Skull up, still does her dad and her trainer never did the whole martial arts thing.” Emma takes a deep breath and gives a brief explanation. “You know the ‘you won’t use this except for self defense’ thing.” She clarifies when Noah makes a noise of confusion.​

    “Why does she want to beat Skull up?” His retort is instant and automatic, or else he could have done the math himself.​

    “We grew up as neighbors and I always had a crush on him.” Emma shrugs awkwardly at the blue ranger’s expression of disbelief. “He used to be really sweet and we used to be friends before he quit his piano lessons. We even did a talent show together, when I was in grade five.”​

    “Still don’t see why Gia wants to beat him up.” Noah switches which watch is hooked up and turns back with a socially inept frown.

    “He was my first boyfriend, the summer back before he started high school.” Relieved to finally get this off her chest – without having to also deal with Gia’s anger – has a half smile begin to spread on her face. “It was like all the movies I watched said it was supposed to be like and then… he met Bulk and changed, almost over night it seemed.”​

    “Oh,” Noah goes silent and tries to think of a way to change the subject.

    “Thanks for listening, Trini only ever says ‘I told you so’ and Gia is just to angry about it to let me be the one to vent.” Her smile vanishes her eyes grow stormy. “Which reminds me why I’m here today. My sister was found… alive.” Her lack of smile has Noah stop himself before celebrating.​

    “That’s not amazing news?” His voice is full of curiosity at the reaction Emma’s giving, especially once she starts to tremble.​

    “It should be, but she said she was found next to Jason.” She pulls absently at her pink button up blouse’s sleeve and her lip starts to quiver. “Was anyone nearby when you put his body in the rubble Alpha?”​

    “Definitely not, I triple checked.” His response is laden with indigence.​

    “I thought so.” Emma growls and begins to pace. “Because her eyes are the wrong color and the air around her just feels… wrong. Can we watch her on the viewing globe Zordon, find out what she’s really up to?”​

    “You did the right thing coming here,” The answer is quick and has Emma sigh in relief. “Go to the viewing globe, while I tune it in to her mystical signature.”​

    Emma’s half smile grows into a full one and she steps back within reach of Noah. “What do you feel more comfortable doing, kicking or punching?”​

    “Punching definitely,” He snorts and rubs his sore calf. “I’m not very flexible and I feel every kick right now.”​

    “Well we can work on that too,” Dropping into a casual splits position, she smirks up at him. “Yoga helped Gia with kicking over her head, why don’t you join us sometimes?”​

    “That would be really cool, thanks.” Noah nods eagerly at how easily she springs back up to her feet.​

    “We can ask Troy about karate, he was doing a lot of punching.” She suggests warmly. “Or maybe regular boxing, I know Gia’s gym has a few people who could take you on.”​

    “I’d rather embarrass myself in front of less people, so I’ll ask Troy first.” Noah doesn’t even need to think about it. “Gym class is bad enough, I’m not paying to get mocked.”​

    The two follow Alpha and watch as the glass sphere displays the forest North of the city. Emma and Gia have biked that trail countless times and her eyes narrow at the sight of her sister. Trini checks her surroundings and steps off the trail, heading towards the mountains.​

    “Where is she?” Noah asks, having spent far less time in the local nature.​

    “Briarwood.” She answers and giggles when he sighs, having to ask for clarification. “It’s the national park along the highway, the one between us and Stone Canyon.”​

    “Okay, that’s not a good sign,” He admits with a gasp, when Trini enters a clearing with a dozen Putty Patrollers and doesn’t get attacked.​

    “Are they digging?” Emma looks up at Zordon and frowns. “What could they be looking for out in the woods?”​

    “Many things,” The ancient mentor admits. “Vile is not the only foe who was faced in this region. He sent generals first and Earth endured a thousand years of strife.”​

    “We aren’t the only rangers, are we?” Realizes Noah, making Emma blink in shock at his words and open her mouth like a fish. “You said you had allies and they didn’t all die, so please tell me we have a back up plan.”​

    “I hope so, but evil is not a product of the darkest reaches of space.” Zordon’s voice rumbles through his explanation. “Evil grows her on Earth as well and I fear my allies have fallen against them over the centuries, for none have answered our attempts to communicate.”​

    “I think you better call the others,” Interrupting the ancient mentor, Noah gets Alpha’s attention and directs his gaze back to the viewing globe. “Because something is definitely buggy with your sister.”​

    No longer wearing her normal clothing, Trini is now covered in a golden carapace. She berets the clay goons and directs them to dig faster, even slicing one in half when it fails to do so.​

    The arrival of the other the rangers doesn’t take long, with all three bolts of energy arriving before five minutes have passed. Troy is the first to arrive, with Gia being the last one to arrive this time.​

    “What’s the emergency Zordon?” Troy is quick to ask, his eyes darting between the active viewing globe and the blue head.​

    “My sister came home last night,” Emma begins, with Gia’s overexcited cheer having to be shut down. “But something was wrong, so as soon as she left the house I came here to watch her.”​

    “Good thing she did,” Backing her up, Noah points to the globe and her sister’s monster form. “Because Trini turned into that once she got to the clearing and whatever they’re digging for...” He trails off, his voice grim and humorless.

    “Can’t be good for us.” Grabbing his morpher reflexively, Troy looks at his team and considers the options available. “You guys think we should watch from here, or move into position now?”​

    “We know they can teleport too,” Gia reminds everyone with a scowl on her face. “I don’t like the idea of missing them in transit once they find whatever they’re looking for.”​

    “Good point,” He nods back with a thoughtful look and over at Alpha. “Can you send us to the forest, just out of visual range?”​

    “I can, but first Noah has something for each of you.” Alpha waddles over to a console, while Noah becomes the center of attention.​

    “It’s hard to get a hold of each other, especially if we aren’t at home.” He starts to hand out the color coded watches, each with silver, copper, and gold attachments. “So with these, we can directly tap into the teleportation network and the bases communications.”

    “You made us teleporting walkie talkies?” Gia looks impressed as she slides hers onto her wrist, just under her black leather jacket and tucking it away from casual sigh.​

    “Essentially.” Smiling in pride at the four’s praise, Noah slips his own on.​

    “Dude, I feel like a spy now.” Jake holds his wrist up to his face and begins whispering.​

    “This is incredible Noah,” Agreeing with the others, Troy shakes the inventor’s hand. “Thanks for doing this.”​

    “My mom’s still asking when Emma is going to come over, so I wanted something more private than a house phone.” He blushes from the praise and turns everyone back to the real problem at hand. “Although I think these may need some adjustments, because I can’t seem to lock us on to the forest’s location.”​

    “It’s nothing you did wrong Noah,” Alpha corrects him and points to the viewing globe yet again. “The area is cloaked in some pretty powerful magic, it is blocking our ability to teleport you.”​

    “Better send us as close as you can,” Insists Emma. “I know the way and if we’re going on foot, we should get moving.”​

    “Or you can use the Mega Cycles.” Suggests Alpha, his eyes flashing rapidly in remembrance. “I finished them a few hundred years ago on a maintenance cycle, they’ll be perfect for this.”​

    “Good idea Alpha, bring the rangers down to them now and I shall determine the range of the Jamming field.” The booming voice of Zordon agrees, with one of the sealed doors whooshing open at his word.​

    The five teens follow Alpha and his admittedly slow pace down to the workshop floor of the base. When the overhead lights come on, the sleek bikes are revealed. The red one is by itself, but the black and blue bikes both have a sidecar in one of the girls colors.​

    “I didn’t think a robot would be so chauvinistic,” Gia crosses her arms and frowns at the fact that she doesn’t get to drive.​

    “I had no idea who was going to get the yellow or pink Power Coins,” Counters Alpha desperately in the face of her irritation. “Last time the black and yellow rangers were bonded, with the blue and pink being brothers. The red ranger was even a mother.” He stands tall and puts his hands on his hips.​

    “We can repaint ours,” Offers a surprisingly relaxed Jake. “As long as you let me take her for a spin every once and a while.”​

    “Really?” Snorts Noah in disbelief at his friend’s generosity. “You’re going to give up driving one of these?”​

    “I figure I’ll be driving you all around now when we aren’t morphed.” An unconcerned Jake climbs into the yellow sidecar. “Besides, this is way more comfortable.”​

    “Thanks...” He gets an impressed, but also curious look from Gia.​

    “Are you ready Rangers?” Zordon’s voice echoes through the workshop. “I have determined the edge of the barrier is several miles away from the dig site. You had best go now, if you wish to interfere in the operation.”​

    “Yeah,” Troy grabs his morpher with intent this time and leads everyone in the sound off. “It’s morphing time!”​

    …​

    The the Mega Cycles thunder through the woods with ease, the skill to handle the mighty machines has been implanted in the ranger’s heads. The wide trails through the forest, make it easy for the sidecars to traverse the path.​

    When the three vehicles reach the section that Trini went off road, they come to a stop behind Troy. He turns to the other rangers and keeps his voice low.​

    “Speed or stealth?” His words are calm, but the tapping of his foot reveals he does feel the stress of the situation.​

    “Speed,” Growls Emma, her hands locked on the weapons of her side car in a death grip. “I’m not letting my sister get away.”​

    “So we don’t get a repeat of last time,” Troy whispers, but his voice is heard clear in everyone’s helmet. “We keep the Z Cannon on half power.”​

    “Agreed.” The others speak as one, with variations on the sentiment.​

    “You and Noah take her down, while we handle the Putties for you.” Revving his engine back to life suddenly, he roars off the roads and clears the way for the others.​

    “What if they find… whatever it is they’re looking for out here?” Jake asks, since no one else has brought up the worst case scenario yet.​

    “We grab it from them and play keep away.” The response from Troy comes out as a low growl. “It took us almost seven minutes to get here, so we only have to make a break for it.”​

    “Whoa...” Exclaims Emma in shock, as her helmet begins zooming ahead like a telescope. “I can see them,”​

    “And I can hear everything,” Clenching his helmet, Jake slumps forward in the yellow side car.​

    “Our helmets seem to have a personalized feature,” Noah sniffs experimentally, as a wave of smells assault him suddenly.​

    “Everything is so bright,” Groans Gia and starts to slow down. “I think I have night vision in mine, how do I turn it off?”​

    “Tell me me someone figures it out,” Her passenger whimpers and curls up in his seat.​

    “All I can see is glowing colors, am I seeing heat?” Wonders Troy out loud, his vision distorted with a neon collage.​

    “Alpha, how do we turn our helmets off?” Emma is the one who calls the Command Center for answers.​

    “They shouldn’t have turned on without instruction,” The robot responds in confusion. “Something must be supercharging you right now.”​

    “We really can’t let them find what they’re looking for,” Troy answers and slows down, with Noah pulling ahead of him. “Don’t wait for us, we’ll catch up!”​

    “Got it,” He gulps and increases the distance between his blue cycle and the others. “But don’t take too long please.” Doing his best ignoring the whimpers coming from his best friend, Noah disappears from view.​

    “Keep the Putties off of me.” Emma has her Power Bow drawn and pointed forward. “My sister is mine.”​

    “Jake always said to never get in the way of a cat fight and I just thought he was being a perv,” Comments Noah with a gulp. “But you’re scarier than Gia right now, so don’t worry. I’ll leave you and her too it.”​

    “Good.” Emma releases her bowstring and starts to rapidly fire off as many arrows as she can.​

    The bike roars into the clearing, just in time to watch a half dozen arrows strike Trini’s scorpion themed armor. Each one explodes in a shower of sparks, sending the monsterfied girl bouncing along the dirt.​

    A barrage of lasers from the side cars cannon, impact the ground next to Trini and send a shower of dirt raining down onto her. Emma draws her Blade Blaster and leaps from the vehicle, charging for her already standing sister.​

    “Smarter than I thought Emma,” Cackles Trini, the cruel expression on her face distorting into the visage of a true scorpion. “No point taking it easy on you out here, not since you figured it out.” She swipes forward with one of her massive claws, at the same time her tail shoots forward.​

    The dripping tip is definitely loaded with venom and comes dangerously close to stabbing into the pink ranger’s chest. Emma blocks the claw strike with her blade and kicks hard into the monster’s cheek, only making her head roll to the side.​

    “Not going to work anymore little sister, I’m far stronger than you now and I don’t have any reason to hold back anymore.” Hisses Scorpina, her second closed claw slamming into her sister’s face.​

    Enduring a spark shower of her own, Emma is sent sailing through the air and lands in a heap. Before Scorpina can take advantage of her fallen prey, the twin blasts from the black and red cycles force her back.​

    “We got your back,” Gia calls out to her fallen friend and draws her own blaster. “Lets light her up guys!” She leads the three way attack, with Troy and Jake following her lead without any complaint.​

    “Are you sure you have time to deal with me?” Scorpina covers her face and endures the attack with ease. “Or did you miss Squatt setting his bombs in Angel Grove?” She looks up at the sun and grins. You don’t have long before he’s finished and sets off the fireworks.”​

    “You’re lying,” Getting to her feet, Emma denies the claim and gets ready for a second round.​

    “Ask your blueberry,” Her sister cackles in glee. “He should be able to detect them by now.”​

    “Zordon, is she telling the truth?” Troy calls it in to double check, unwilling to leave such a claim.​

    “Good timing Red Ranger,” Answers Zordon, his voice coming through to all five rangers clearly. “Alpha was just about to call you, we have detected three massive bombs in the city and require you to disarm them immediately.​

    “Me and Emma can handle these guys,” Gia insists, knowing Emma won’t be leaving this fight until her sister is safe. “You said you wanted to drive every once in a while, so here’s your once.” She teases Jake.​

    “As long as it gets the sound to turn off, I’m fine letting you drive forever after this.” He and Noah disengage the side cars and follow Troy from the battle. “Be careful. I’m not going to be here, so you don’t have to worry about impressing me.”​

    “Take your own advice, I don’t want to have to break a new black ranger in already.” Gia calls her own farewell and goes back to back with Emma.​

    “See, told you she likes me.” He crows to the other guys, before racing after them to catch up and clear the jamming field..​
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
    Happerry likes this.
  6. Threadmarks: Episode 3.5: United We Stand
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 3.5: United We Stand

    “You’re sure it’s at City Hall?” Troy demands frantically, as yet another room is empty and the Mayor’s security grows angry behind him.

    “It most definitely is,” Confirms Alpha. “The energy signature matches the one at the mall, as well as the one over at the power plant.”

    “I’m not finding it anywhere, I’m going to need more specific directions.” He looks for anymore doors that haven’t been checked yet.

    “I knew this was a hoax,” One of the four security guards growls to his fellows. “He sounds like a kid.”

    “Quiet,” Commands Troy, trying to maintain what little authority he has left. “Energy build up means heat.” He activates his helmet’s thermal sensing.

    Ignoring the bodies in the building, his gaze is drawn to the maintenance tunnel running beneath the building. Figures only slightly above room temperature are shuffling back and forth in the confined area, with a glowing red device between the lot of them.

    “It’s in the tunnels below us, where’s the entrance?” Troy draws his blade blaster and follows the only guard still eager to follow his orders.

    “This way.” He has his own baton at the ready and reaches the heavy steel door to the tunnels, panting far less than his grumpier coworkers. “Inside here Sir.”

    “You should evacuate once I go in, try and clear the blast radius in case I fail.” Remembering how badly he did yesterday, Troy grips his blade tightly.

    “No can do.” The grumpiest guard shakes his head in denial and crosses his arms firmly. “If a bomb really is down here, we need to make sure it’s taken care of.”

    “Okay, but you need to remember the Putties are made from clay.” Troy grabs the door handle and exhales slowly. “Go for head shots, or they’ll just overwhelm you. The more unique monsters are the kidnapped people they transformed.”

    “Holy shit...” The oldest security guard gasps. “Really?”

    “The lion man in gold armor,” Needing to tell someone what happened, Troy admits his failure. “It was only killing him, that we learned he was… a member of my family.” He manages to catch himself at the last second.

    “They took almost two hundred people between all the attacks so far.” The helpful guard goes pale, but switches his baton for a handgun. “This really is an invasion, isn’t it?”

    “Yeah, but we need to focus on this.” Keeping calm, Troy places a hand on the red head’s shoulder. “These things are about twice as strong as a person and way more durable, but they’re slow and extremely stupid.”

    Troy waits for the men to gather what courage they have, before he thrusts the door open and leads the charge into the maintenance tunnel. With his far superior speed, Troy throws himself over the Putties as a distraction.

    The sudden action has the Putties turn to follow his descent, which leaves them open to a barrage of handgun fire. In such a confined area, a blind orangutan could eventually make a head shot and they make several.

    The four manage to tear apart the heads of seven clay men before running out of ammo. While they split the attention of the foot soldiers, Troy charges towards the few still standing foes and proceeds to slice them into confetti.

    “You know how to disarm that thing… right?” The grey haired guard manages to stammer out and point at the beeping bomb.

    “I have a few ideas,” Responding abruptly, Troy patches back into the radio and cautiously approaches the device. “Found my bomb, can you teleport it out of here Alpha?”

    “That would be most unwise Troy,” Alpha’s response is expected, but still unwelcome news. “It would have a very high probability of detonating as soon as I lock onto it.”

    “Than I’m going to need someone to walk me through this.” Checking the timer, he breathes a sigh of relief at the nineteen minutes remaining.

    “How’d you find yours’?” Interrupts Jake from his own mission at the mall. “I can’t find mine anywhere.”

    “I used my helmet,” Troy admits, which has Jake growl in frustration.

    “Seriously?” He mutters under his breath. “You better have some Aspirin waiting for me back at the base Alpha.”

    “It wasn’t even half as bad this time,” Troy rushes to reassure Jake. “Whatever is being dug up is loaded with power, you can handle it this time.”

    “He’s right Jake, I can actually track the smell I want right now.” Noah makes his own situation known. “And I smell something foul, like a combination of pickled snail and gunpowder.”

    “Alright, let you know when I’m ready for my own how to guide.” Jake sighs and activates his own helmet. “Stay safe you guys.”





    As soon as his sense of smell was increased, Noah’s feet began leading him straight towards the sickly aroma. It allows him to save time and ignore dozens of rooms he would have had to search otherwise and leads him to the main generator.

    “Should have figured it would be here.” He summons his Power Lance and keeps it in the more defensive pole-arm form. “Caught you… blue handed?” Noah’s cry sputters out and loses what fierceness it had.

    The barely five foot tall monster is bright blue in color, with a pebbly texture covering most of his skin. A large bumpy protrusion extends from his head, with his clothes being a garish collection of old fashioned pilot garb.

    “I was kind of expecting someone more intimidating,” Noah steps forward warily, his lance spinning slowly in his hands and ready for action. “I think even I can beat you.”

    “Everyone thinks they can push Squatt around, but now I’m the one doing the pushing!” He reaches into the leather satchel at his side and begins to toss grenades at the blue ranger. “Once I deal with you, I’ll blow this city to smithereens.”

    “I thought you needed us as captives, not corpses?” Noah ignores everything but the blue goblin man and proceeds to bat back as many explosives as he can.

    “It’s so hard to find any of the buried treasures, but sifting through the rubble will be a breeze.” Throwing himself to the side, Squatt narrowly avoids being engulfed in his own blast. “Uh oh.”

    The accelerated beeping from the planted bomb, has Squatt panic and climb to his feet. He takes a look at the blue ranger and thinks better of battle, choosing instead to vanish in a cloud of foul smelling smoke.

    “My bomb’s been damaged.” Turning his radio back on, Noah wastes no time and rushes to the explosive. “I have no idea how long I have left, the timer is blank.”

    “Get started and tell me exactly what you do,” Troy is quick to answer. “I’m going to copy your homework.”





    Taking the others’ advice, Jake activates his surround sound hearing and manages to sort through the noises. When he hears the familiar voice of Skull crying out in pain, it is followed by the warbled babbling of the Putties above him.

    “Hang on, I’m coming.” He leaps up to the second floor, before repeating the leap up through one of the skylights.

    Erupting onto the roof of the mall and landing in an impressive shower of glass, Jake summons his Power Ax. Bulk and Skull have been bound with two friends, but unfortunately none are gagged.

    With them is a black teen Jake can’t recognize and Sharkie. The unknown guy looks exactly like how an extra would dress, with a very generic face. Like he was only intended for a single episode and never even got a name in the credits of life.

    “It’s a Power Ranger,” Bulk roars in excited hope. “We’re saved!”

    “You just sit tight Bulk, I’ll have you all free in no time.” Forgetting that the punks are supposed to be strangers, Jake rolls forward and leg sweeps the Putties away.

    “The Black Ranger knows my name,” Exclaims the no longer terrified Bulk. “Must have seen my unbeatable record at the Juice Bar.” He winks at Sharkie and holds his hands up eagerly.

    “See, easy peasy.” Jake does his best to disguise his voice when he remembers he should. “Get the others free and out of here.” He slices through Bulks rope with his ax and helps him up. “I got to teach these dweebs how to dance.”

    “Dweebs?” Blinking at the familiar phrase, Bulk starts to untie Sharkie.

    “Anyone who hurts innocent people is a dweeb,” Explains Jake with a smirk. “I might even have to call them a worthless geek, because that’s all a bully is to heroes like us.” Bulk goes pale at the words, redoubling his efforts to free his friend.

    Not sparing the punks a second glance, Jake swings forward and cleaves the head off of one Putty. The next one to approach is bisected just above the waist, with the third losing both arms. Lacking the brains to know it’s already over, the remaining Putties charge the Black Ranger in an attempt at overwhelming force.

    “Tag, you’re it!” Launching into a sideways flip, he flings himself over the Putties and draws them away from the bullies. “Oh your cheaters I see.” He kicks the next one off the roof, grinning at the splattering thud that follows.

    “Oh and the crowd goes wild,” He takes a quick bow at the cheering from Bulk and his friends, before finishing off the rest of the Putties as quickly as he can.

    When the last one is a pile of twitching clay, he hurries over to the car sized bomb. Finding fourteen minutes left on the timer is a relief – but when he hears Noah panicking over the radio – he’s forced to remain quiet.

    “What is this thing?” Not realizing the danger everyone is still in, Skull kicks the device.

    “A bomb.” Blocking Skull’s second ignorant kick, Jake stares down the scrawny teen. “So maybe get off the roof and try clearing the mall for me.”

    “You heard the Black Ranger guys,” Bulk grabs Skull by the shoulder and pulls him away. “My friend needs us to help him save the day, we’re basically Power Rangers now.”

    “Good thing these visors are one way,” Snorting to himself as the four punks race off the roof, he rolls his eyes and starts following the instructions being given. “But I really wish my hands would stop shaking.”

    A roar of primal anger echoes over the city and in the distance, the sight of a rapidly growing figure can only make Jake blink in shocked worry.

    “You guys hear that?” Troy asks once the bellowing ends and the massive form begins to march towards Angel Grove.

    “I can see it and she’s coming straight for the City.” Growls Jake as each stride of the arachnid women brings her nearly a mile closer. “We got maybe two minutes before she’s stepping on buildings.”

    “What happened in Briarwood?” Troy directs his words to the silent Emma and Gia, hoping it’s not yellow and pink that will need to be replaced. “You girls okay?”

    “Some goblin freak showed up and my sister told him to take over.” Of the two missing rangers, Emma is the first to respond. “We had to get clear when she started growing.”

    “How close are you three two finishing?” Gia cuts in. “Because we’re going to need some more muscle for this.”

    “Hold her off as long as you can,” Desperate for an answer, Troy insists the girls begin without them.

    “You heard him,” Gia’s excited grin can be heard. “We need Pleisto-Zord power now!” The shriek of the pink falcon is followed almost instantly by the roar of the yellow tiger, making the massive scorpion pause.

    “Let’s do this,” Emma’s words are lacking in her normal cheeriness.

    A salvo of missiles launch from her Zord’s folded wings and impact the twin claws of Scorpina, shielding her from the brunt of the attack. Wasting no time, Gia follows up the attack and sends her own bolt of lightning at the monster.

    Watching Scorpina strike upwards and leave a deep gouge in one of the falcon’s wings, Jake can only growl in frustration. When she catches the leaping yellow tiger and begin pulling it apart, Jake reaches for his personalized gadget.

    “I’m going to do something stupid... hope it works.” He warns the others and begins to blast the bomb with the freezing fluid. “I’m not dead yet, so I’m pretty sure cold works.” Jake grunts, only stopping when the explosive is frozen solid and no longer lit up.

    “What did you do!” Noah roars at his friends lack of patience.

    “Froze it and now I’m going to smash it.” He looks up and sees Gia’s Zord be thrown towards the ocean. “The girls need a meat shield, so I’m up. Mastodon power, now!” The trumpeting of his Zord brings relief to Jake’s frayed nerves and he swings his ax downwards.

    It shatters the bomb into hundreds of pieces, but miraculously does not explode. Breathing out in disbelief, Jake calls in his success.

    “I really didn’t think that was going to work.” He leaps towards his approaching black protector. “Jake is in the seat and ready to turn this monster into mince meat.” He starts to charge and collides with the massive woman.

    She catches his massive tusks each claw, but begins to get pushed back. While Scorpina is locked in a grapple with the mastodon, it lifts it’s trunk and sprays more of the freezing mist. Enveloped in the cloud, a second shriek of pain comes from the giant monster.

    “Nice timing, she hits hard and is faster than someone that size has any right being.” Gia announces her return, by having her Zord leap for the monster’s rising tail and catching it in her jaws.

    “Which Is why I can’t let her go, or she’ll dance all over the city.” Jake admits that his Zord lacks the mobility for a second chance at a clean hit.

    “You guys did great,” Troy’s voice is a relief, but the roar of his ape and the howl of Noah’s wolf are even more welcome. “But is it okay if we join the party now, or are you trying to keep the girls to yourself?” His teasing smirk can be heard by everyone.

    “Be my guest, she just wants to two step.” The Mastodon is finally lifted off it’s front legs and tossed to the side, crashing into the forest and uprooting dozens of trees. “And my Zord has four left feet.”

    “Rangers.” Zordon’s reassuring voice comes through with perfect clarity. “It is time for you to combine your Zords.”

    “Alright Zordon,” Agrees Troy, as a glowing red crystal forms in his hand. “Let’s bring them together everyone. We need Megazord power, now!”

    As soon as he inserts the crystal into his console, the other four rangers follow suit. Running beside each other the yellow tiger and blue wolf lower themselves to the ground and role forward on wheels. Attaching to both of them as the body, the red ape’s arms fold inwards.

    Next to combine is the ebony mastodon, with it’s body splitting in half and attaching to both shoulders of the rolling tank. The final one of the Zords to connect, is the pink falcon and it rests on the ape’s shoulders’ to form the head.

    Racing towards the startled Scorpina, the many weapons begin to fire in unison. The five colors of laser strike the champion of evil and send her crashing onto her back with a pained hiss.

    “Oh you have some more tricks I see,” Holding her tail aloft, Scorpina sneers at the Megazord and returns fire with her own sickly green energy beam.

    “Hold on!” Noah blurts out.

    The combined ability of the zords is not additive, but increases by multiplying the power of each. With the sudden increase in combat power, Scorpina begins to look worried.

    “If she gets behind us, we’re screwed.” Realizing they have a lot of fire power but almost no mobility, Gia speaks up with a hiss of her own.

    “Offense or defense?” Troy agrees and leaves the decision on how to finish this a group matter.

    “I’m tired of taking hits,” Grumbles Jake. “I say we go all out and end this.”

    “I’m with Jake,” Emma chimes in. “Trini would want me to stop her, no matter what.”

    “Alright, lets change to Battle Mode.” Pressing a few commands on the console before him, Troy’s seat switches places with Emma.

    The Megazord begins to stand and the red apes head rises from the chest, while the falcon rests on the chest as additional protection for the rangers inside. They take an experimental step forward and cheer as one.

    “Oh, your sister has no idea what she’s in for now.” Troy raises the mastodon’s head as a shield and raises it’s other hand towards the suddenly stormy sky.

    “We need the Mega Sword!” Emma calls out and summons the powerful weapon, causing it to impale the ground right before the massive machine.

    “Let’s do this!” Roars Gia in full support.

    The Megazord’s free hand barely grabs the Mega Sword in time, but Emma begins to channel all auxiliary power to the weapon. They don’t give Scorpina time to recover and swing the enormous weapon forward, sending a beam of rainbow energy into her.

    It strikes the fallen form of Trini and tears through the body like tissue paper. None of the blood that Jason displayed from his fatal wound is present, with the remains looking more like dandruff and not meaty chunks.

    “I think she... molted.” Trying to make sense of the strange remains, Noah offers the only explanation he can come up with.

    “Gross.” Jake gags as the Megazord pokes at the biggest piece with it’s sword, causing it to crumble like dust.

    “So my sister is going to be home tonight?” Growls Emma angrily. “I’m terrified of leaving my dad alone around her.”

    “I’ll spend the night and we can take turns keeping watch,” Offers Gia, hearing the strain in her friends voice.

    “Good call,” Troy agrees with the decision and adds. “We’ll keep our communicators handy, so don’t hesitate to call.”



    Episode 3.5: United We Stand

    “You’re sure it’s at City Hall Alpha?” Troy demands frantically, as yet another room is empty and the Mayor’s security is growing angry behind him.

    “It most definitely is,” Confirms Alpha, as all of the base’s systems confirm the claim. “The energy signature matches the one at the mall, as well as the new one that has appeared over at the power plant.”​

    “I’m not finding it anywhere, I’m going to need more specific directions.” He grunts back and looks for anymore doors that haven’t been checked yet.​

    “I knew this was a hoax,” One of the four security guards escorting the Red Ranger growls to his partner. “He sounds like he’s just a kid under that helmet.”​

    “Quiet,” Commands Troy, trying to maintain what little authority he has right now. “Energy build up means heat.” He snaps his fingers in triumph and activates his helmet’s thermal sensing.​

    Ignoring the bodies in the building, his gaze is almost instantly drawn to the maintenance tunnel running beneath the building. Figures only slightly above room temperature are shuffling back and forth in the confined area, with a glowing red machine in between the lot of them.​

    “It’s in the tunnels below us, where’s the entrance?” Troy draws his blade blaster and follows the only guard still eager to follow his orders.​

    “This way, follow me.” He has his own baton at the ready and reaches the heavy steel door to the tunnels, panting far less than his grumpier coworkers. “Inside here Sir.”​

    “You should evacuate once I go in, try and clear the blast radius in case I fail.” Remembering how badly he did just yesterday, Troy grips his blade tightly.​

    “No can do.” The grumpiest guard shakes his head in denial and crosses his arms firmly. “If a bomb really is down here, we need to make sure it’s taken care of. We volunteered for this after all.”​

    “Okay, but you need to remember the Putties are only made from clay.” Troy grabs the door handle and exhales slowly. “Go for head shots, or they’ll just overwhelm you. The more unique monsters, are the ones who are the transformed people they kidnapped.”​

    “Holy shit...” The oldest security guard gasps and it looks like his grey hair has gone a shade whiter. “Really?”​

    “The lion man in gold armor,” Needing to tell someone what happened, Troy admits his failure. “It was only after hitting him full power and killing him, that we learned he was… a member of my family.” He manages to catch himself at the last second.

    “And they took almost two hundred between all the attacks.” The helpful red headed guard goes pale, but switches his baton for a handgun. “This really is an invasion, isn’t it?”​

    “Yeah, but we need to focus on this right here.” Keeping calm, Troy places a hand on the red head’s shoulder. “These things are about twice as strong as a person and way more durable, but they’re slow and extremely stupid. Work together and don’t panic.”

    Troy waits for the men to gather what courage they have, before he thrusts the door open and leads the charge into the maintenance tunnel. With his far superior speed, he throws himself over the Putties in a flying dive and rolls to a stop on the far side of the group.​

    The sudden action has them turn stupidly to follow his descent, which leaves them open to a barrage of handgun fire. Even not being the best marksmen – in such a confined area – a blind orangutan could eventually make a head shot.​

    Being somewhere in the middle of that range, the four manage to tear apart the heads of seven clay men. While they split the attention of the foot soldiers, Troy charges towards the few still standing and proceeds to slice and dice them into confetti.​

    “You know how to disarm that thing… right?” The grey haired guard manages to stammer out and point at the bomb.​

    “I have a few ideas,” Responding abruptly, Troy patches back into the radio and cautiously approaches the beeping device. “My bomb is clear, can you teleport it out of here Alpha?”​

    “That would be most unwise Ranger,” Alpha’s response is expected, but still unwelcome news. “It would have a very high probability of detonating as soon as I locked onto it.”

    “Than I’m going to need someone to walk me through this.” Checking the timer, he breathes a sigh of relief at the nineteen minutes remaining.​

    “How’d you find your bomb?” Interrupts Jake from his own mission at the mall. “I can’t find mine anywhere.”​

    “I used my helmet,” Troy admits, which has Jake growl back in frustration.​

    “Seriously?” He mutters under his breath and groans, before directing his communication to the Command Center. “You better have some Aspirin waiting for me back at the base Alpha.”​

    “It wasn’t even half as bad this time,” Remembering how much pain all the sound was causing, Troy rushes to reassure Jake. “Whatever is being dug up is loaded with power, you can handle it this time.”​

    “He’s right Jake, I can actually track the smell I want to right now.” Agreeing with the new leader, Noah makes his own situation known. “And I smell something foul, like a combination of pickled snail and gunpowder.”​

    “Alright, let you know when I’m ready for my own how to.” Jake sighs and activates his own helmet’s super hearing. “Stay safe Blue.”​

    …​

    As soon as his sense of smell was increased by his helmet, Noah’s feet began leading him straight towards the sickly aroma. It allows him to save time and ignore dozens of rooms he would have had to search otherwise and leads him to the main generator.​

    “Should have figured it would be here.” He summons his Power Lance and keeps it in the more defensive pole-arm form. “Caught you… blue handed?” Noah’s cry sputters out and loses what fierceness it had.​

    The barely five foot tall monster, is bright blue in color and has a pebbly texture covering most of his skin. A large bumpy protrusion extends from his head, with his clothes being a garish collection of old fashioned pilot garb.​

    “I was kind of expecting someone intimidating,” Noah steps forward warily, his lance spinning slowly in his hands and ready for action. “I think even I can beat you.”​

    “Everyone thinks they can push Squatt around, but now I’m the one doing the pushing!” He reaches into the leather satchel at his side and begins to toss grenades at the blue ranger. “Once I deal with you, I’ll blow this city to debris.”​

    “I thought you needed us as captives, not corpses?” Noah ignores everything but the blue goblin man and proceeds to bat back as many explosives as he can.​

    “It’s so hard to find any of the treasures buried beneath us, but sifting through rubble will be a breeze.” Throwing himself to the side, Squatt narrowly misses be engulfed in his own blast. “Uh oh.”​

    The accelerated beeping from the planted bomb, has Squatt panic and climb to his feet. He takes a look at the blue ranger and thinks better of battle, choosing instead to vanish in a cloud of foul smelling smoke.​

    “I cleared my bomb, but it’s been damaged.” Turning his helmet’s radio back on, Noah wastes no time and rushes to the explosive. “I have no idea how long I have left, the timer is changing randomly.”​

    “Get started and tell me exactly what you do,” Troy is quick to answer. “I’m going to copy you exactly.”​

    …​

    Taking the others advice, Jake activates his surround sound hearing and manages to sort through the various people. When he hears the familiar voice of Skull crying out in pain, it is followed by the warbled babbling of the Putties above him.​

    “Hang on, I’m coming.” He leaps up to the second floor, before repeating the leap up through one of the skylights.​

    Erupting onto the roof of the mall and landing in an impressive shower of glass, Jake summons his Power Ax and faces down with the Putties. Bulk and Skull have been bound, but unfortunately not gagged.​

    With them is a black teen Jake can’t recognize and a girl with long frizzy blonde hair. The unknown male looks exactly like how an extra would dress, like he was only intended for a single episode and never even got a name. ‘Sharkie’ however, Jake does recognize under her sunglasses and black lipstick.​

    “It’s a Power Ranger,” Bulk roars in excited hope. “We’re saved!”​

    “You just sit tight Bulk, I’ll have you and your friends free in no time.” Forgetting that the teens are supposed to be strangers, Jake rolls forward and leg sweeps the Putties away from the bound punks.​

    “The Black Ranger knows my name,” Exclaims the no longer terrified Bulk. “Must have seen my unbeatable record at the Juice Bar.” He winks at Sharkie and holds his hands up eagerly.​

    “See, easy peasy.” Smirking beneath his mastodon themed helmet, Jake does his best to disguise his voice. “Get the rest free and get off the roof.” He slices through Bulks rope and points to a large piece of broken glass. “I got to teach these fools how to dance.”​

    Not sparing the punks a second glance, Jake swings forward and cleaves the head off of one golem. The next one to approach is bisected at just above the waist, with the third losing an arm and a leg. Lacking the brains to know it’s already over, the remaining Putties charge the Black Ranger in an attempt at overwhelming force.​

    “Tag, you’re it!” Launching into a sideways flip, Jake flings himself over the Putties and draws them away from the bullies. “Oh all of you are I see,” He snorts to himself and kicks the next one off the roof, grinning at the splattering thud that follows.​

    “Oh and the crowd goes wild,” He takes a quick bow at the cheering from Bulk and his friend, before finishing off the rest of the Putties as quickly as he can.​

    When the last one is only a pile of twitching clay, he hurries over to the car sized bomb. Finding he has fourteen minutes left on the timer is a relief – but when he hears Noah panicking over the radio – he’s forced to remain quiet and follow along.​

    “What is this thing?” Skull interrupts, not realizing the danger everyone is still in and kicks the bomb.​

    “A bomb.” Blocking Skull’s second ignorant kick, Jake stares down the tall but scrawny teen. “So maybe get off the roof and try clearing the building for me.”​

    “You heard the Black Ranger guys,” Bulk grabs his friend’s should and pulls him away from the explosive. “My friend needs us to help him save the day, we’re basically Power Rangers now.”​

    “Good thing these visors are one way,” Snorting to himself as the four punks race off the roof, he rolls his eyes and starts following the instructions being given. “But I really wish my hands would stop shaking.”​

    A primal roar of anger and pain echoes over the city and in the distance, the sight of a rapidly growing monster can only make Jake blink in surprise.​

    “You guys hear that?” Troy asks once the bellowing ends and the massive form of Scorpina begins to march towards Angel Grove.​

    “I can see her and she’s coming towards us.” Growls Jake as each stride of the arachnid women brings her nearly a mile closer to the city. “We got maybe two minutes before she’s stepping on buildings.”​

    “What happened in Briarwood?” Troy directs his words to the silent Emma and Gia, hoping it’s not yellow and pink that will need new rangers. “You girls okay?”​

    “Some blue goblin freak showed up and my sister told him to take over.” Of the two missing rangers, Emma is the first to respond. “We had to get clear when a staff shot out of the sky and made her start to grow.”​

    “How close are you three two finishing?” Gia cuts in immediately after her best friend. “Because we’re going to need some more muscle for this.”​

    “Hold her off as long as you can,” Desperate for an answer, Troy insists the girls begin without them. “We’ll join you when we can.”​

    “You heard him,” Gia’s excited grin can be heard. “We need Pleisto-Zord power now!” The shriek of the pink falcon is followed almost instantly by the roar of the yellow tiger, making the massive scorpion woman pause.​

    “Let’s do this,” Emma’s words are focused and lacking in her normal sense of self doubt.​

    A salvo of missiles launch from her folded wings and impact the twin claws of Scorpina, shielding her from the brunt of the attack. Wasting no time, Gia follows up the attack and sends her own bolt of lightning at the monster.​

    Watching Scorping strike upwards with her tail and leave a deep gouge in of of the pink wings, Jake can only growl in frustration. When she catches the leaping yellow saber tooth Zord and begin pulling it apart, Jake reaches for his personalized gadget.​

    “I’m going to do something stupid, hope it works.” He calls over the radio and begins to blast the bomb with the freezing fluid. “I’m not dead yet, so I’m pretty sure cold works.” Jake grunts, only stopping the spraying when the explosive is frozen solid and no longer lit up.​

    “What did you do!” Noah roars at his friends lack of patience.​

    “Froze it and now I’m going to smash it.” He looks up and sees Gia’s zord be thrown towards the ocean. “The girls need a meat shield, so I’m up. Mastodon power, now!” The trumpeting of his Zord brings relief to Jake’s frayed nerves and he breathes in, before swinging his ax at the block of ice.​

    It shatters into hundreds of pieces, but does not explode and the black ranger breathes out in disbelief.​

    “I really didn’t think that was going to work.” He shakes his head and leaps towards his approaching black machine. “Jake is in the seat and ready to turn this monster into mince meat.” He starts to charge and collides with the massive insect woman.​

    She catches his massive tusks, one in each claw and begins to get pushed back. While Scorpina is locked in a grapple with the charging Zord, it lift’s it’s trunk and sprays more of the freezing mist. It envelopes her and a second shriek of pain comes from the giant monster.​

    “Nice timing, she hits hard and is faster than she has any right being.” Gia announces her return, by having her Zord leap for the rising tail and catching it in her jaws.​

    “Which Is why I can’t let her go, or she’ll dance all over me and then the city.” Jake admits that his Zord lacks the mobility for a second clean hit.​

    “You guys did great,” Troy’s voice is a relief, but the roar of his ape and the howl of Noah’s wolf are even more welcome. “But is it okay if we join the party now?” His voice is teasing, but focused on the danger.​

    “Be my guest, she just wants to two step.” The Mastodon is finally lifted off it’s front legs and tossed to the side, crashing into the forest beneath. “And my Zord has four left feet.”​

    “Rangers.” Zordon’s reassuring voice comes through everyone’s helmet with perfect clarity. “It is time for you to combine your Zords and form the Megazord.”​

    “Alright Zordon,” Agrees Troy, as a glowing red crystal forms in his hand. “Let’s bring them together everyone. We need Megazord power, now!”​

    As soon as he inserts the crystal into his console, the other four rangers follow suit. Running beside each other the yellow tiger and blue wolf lower themselves to the ground and role forward on wheels. Attaching to both of them as the body, the red ape’s arms fold in on itself.​

    Next to combine is the mastodon, with it’s body splitting in half and attaching to both shoulders of the rolling tank. The final one of the Zords to connect, is the pink falcon and it rests on the ape to form the head.​

    Racing towards the startled Scorpina, the many weapons begin to fire in unison. The five colors of laser strike the champion of evil and send her crashing onto her back with a pained hiss.

    “Oh you have some more tricks I see,” Holding her tail aloft, Scorpina sneers at the Megazord and returns fire with her own sickly green energy beam.​

    “Hold on!” Noah blurts out, but finds his warning unneeded.​

    The combined ability of the zords is not additive, but increases by multiplying the power of each. With the sudden increase in combat power, Scorpina begins to look worried.​

    “If she gets behind us, we’re screwed.” Realizing they have a lot of fire power but almost no mobility, Gia speaks up with a hiss of her own.​

    “Offense or defense?” Troy agrees and leaves the decision on how to finish this a group matter.​

    “I’m tired of taking hits,” Grumbles Jake. “I say we go all out and end this.”​

    “I’m with Jake,” Emma surprises Gia with her answer. “The Trini I know would want me to stop her, no matter what.”​

    “Alright, lets change to Battle Mode.” Pressing a few commands on the console before him, Troy’s seat switches places with Emma.​

    The Megazord begins to stand and the red apes head rises from the chest, while the falcon rests on the chest as additional protection for the rangers inside. They take an experimental step forward and cheer as one.​

    “Oh, your sister has no idea what she’s in for now.” Jake raises the mastodon’s head as a shield and raises it’s other hand towards the suddenly stormy sky.

    “We need the Mega Sword!” Emma calls out and summons the powerful weapon, causing it to impale the ground right before the massive machine.​

    “Let’s do this!” Roars Gia, sending her leg forward and forcing Noah to match her pace.​

    The Megazord’s free hand barely grabs the Mega Sword in time, but Emma begins to channel all auxiliary power to the weapon. They don’t give Scorpina time to recover and swings the enormous weapon forward, sending a blade of rainbow energy forward.​

    It strikes the fallen form of Trini and tears through the body like tissue paper. None of the blood that Jason displayed from his fatal wound is present, with the remains looking more like dandruff and not meaty chunks.​

    “I think she... molted.” Trying to make sense of the strange remains, Noah offers the only explanation he can come up with.​

    “Gross,” Jake makes a gagging sound and pokes at the biggest piece, causing it to crumble like dust.​

    “So my sister is going to be home tonight?” Slamming her fist on the console before her, Emma growls angrily. “I’m terrified of leaving my dad alone around her, not to mention going to sleep.”​

    “I’ll spend the night and we can take turns keeping watch,” Offers Gia, hearing the strain in her friends voice.​

    “Good call,” Troy agrees with the decision and adds. “We’ll keep our communicators handy, so don’t hesitate to call if she does something.”​
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
    Happerry likes this.
  7. Happerry

    Happerry The Song to the Flame

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    Power Ranger fanfiction is rare, so it's nice to see a new and good one. And one with some very interesting setting changes too. I do wonder how much the de-transformed victims remember of their 'monster time' though.
     
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  8. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Thank you very much, it has been something I've wanted to do for years. The idea really came from seeing the one episode when Kimberley is kidnapped into becoming Rita. I really liked the helmet abilities and gadgets from the original movie, so gave those to everyone. And I had a plate as a kid with the 3 Shark Cycles on it as a kid. I spent many a meal, wondering why the girls had side cars. Learning in the sentai yellow was a boy, made it not a sexist thing anymore and I was very happy to slip that interaction in.

    I decided Zordon worked best as an alien threat deterrent and his students handled Earth based threats with different teams. Every sealed evil in a can (until Dino Charge) is from Earth and this explains why he wasn't working with earlier teams.

    Ever since the In Space finale, I always wondered why Zordon's energy was not used earlier in a smaller dose and so based the cleansing of the monsters on that. Evil people make weaker monsters, because the real power comes from corrupting someone. Rita/Mystic Mother seemed to remember everything, so anyone successfully purged will retain long term memories. but recent ones will be gone for ease of new monsters not knowing the ranger's identities. Finster makes his monsters one at a time, so each one cured in a single episode will not remember being a monster beyond brief flashes and nightmares.
     
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  9. Happerry

    Happerry The Song to the Flame

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    On another note, are you going to be exploring the wider response to what's basically a monster invasion being fought off by masked heroes? I can totally understand why someone would want to just handwave that, but stuff like when the guard went..

    And how the normal human guards were actually useful in response to this is making me wonder how much you're going to be going beyond the 'monster of the day' normal plotline.
     
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  10. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    I have to be very careful how I answer this to avoid specific spoilers. I have rough plans for 6 seasons, up to my own version of Countdown to Destruction. The guards helping, was definitely a first step in a larger plan.

    I plan to begin with
    the Mayor forming a Lost Galaxy style security program, with normal humans being only able to handle smaller groups of Putties at first or provide a distraction against any monsters. Silver Guardians kind of Program by the end of the second season and by season 3 they will create a single 6th ranger and move towards a team of rangers next(after collecting the debris from seasons worth of battles).They will go mostly silent for season 4, since other rangers will take the secondary protagonist role. By the Turbo season, they will have become Lightspeed Rescue so I have a reason for the vehicle based team. It will be background for a while, but build and connect to the main plot.

    Ever since the first time Zedd de aged the rangers and they didn't remember anything, but the 6 ten years olds (and bulk and skull) fought off a patrol I had 0 respect for Putties (since they were the 3rd and most powerful version.). Combined with Countdown, Humans can face foot soldiers in even numbers/good gear and training. In space (and KO-35 rebels), Lost Galaxy, Time Force, Light Speed, and even SPD have non rangers forces able of fighting grunts, so it will become more and more common as civilians enroll in martial arts(because seriously half of Angel Grove high is in Jason or Tommy's class it seems) and police/military train better.


    If you remove all the duplicate plotlines from the 25 seasons, you really only have about 8 seasons worth of content to play with.
     
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  11. Threadmarks: Episode 4: On Fins and Needles
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 4: On Fins and Needles

    “You actually did it, I’m impressed.” Rita Repulsa accepts the small golden coin and holds it up for closer examination.

    “It better have been worth it, I almost got zapped for this thing.” Retorts Scorpina with unbridled anger in her eyes.

    “Of course it is, Rita wouldn’t have sent us after it otherwise.” Squatt squeaks out his support.

    “If the rest of my forces are as useless as Goldar proved to be, it will be needed to destroy the Power Rangers.” The sorceress cackles at the irritation on Scorpina’s face. “It’s useless like this,” Rita realizes with a hiss and traces the large crack running through the coin. “Finster! Get to work fixing this, it needs to be charged.”

    “Yes mistress,” The sniveling dog man accepts the coin with delicate hands and bows. “It will take some time to do it right, but it is possible.”

    “Baboo, go down to Earth and fetch me Goldar’s body.” Rita struts to her balcony and gazes down at the world below. “If he thinks death is all it takes to escape my service, you are all sorely mistaken.”

    “What about me your evilness?” Eager to please, Squatt almost dances in place. “Do you have something for me to do?”

    “Since you have proven so adept at digging like a rat, I’m sending you to the place called Silver Hills.” Rita strokes her chin and leers at the idea of ruling over the mud ball below. “The Sword of Darkness rests within the Nasty Knight’s tomb. Recover the blade, the Knight shall lay waste in his search for it.”

    “Oh goody, he sounds strong.” Squatt giggles madly to himself and shuffles from the room.

    “And me?” Scorpina glares daggers at the witch.

    “You will grab me a fresh subject for transformation,” Rita allows a cruel sneer to cross her face. “It’s time to truly begin this campaign of conquest and what better way than turning the innocent into our soldiers?”

    “Does it matter who I get you?” The defiant general clarifies her instructions.

    “You know the rules, same as I do.” Rita snorts at the idea of ‘fair play’, but will abide… for now. “As long as they’re in public and have hit puberty, they’re fair game. If they formally surrender, they are my subjects and safe from most harm.”

    “Why do we follow them?” Queries Baboo as he works on his disguise. “Wouldn’t it be better for us, if we just attacked with everything you have?”

    “Right now Earth can only maintain a single Ranger team,” Rita explains, as if to a particularly slow child. “But if we escalate the battle beyond a contest of champions, the Morphing Grid will grow in strength and we will be facing multiple teams at once.”





    Only a week after the frantic rush to disarm the bombs, the rangers are back at the park to try this yoga thing. Deciding it would be a bonding exercise, all three of the guys have joined the morning sessions.

    “Don and Al still haven’t figured out what the Putties dug up in Briarwood,” Noah gasps out when he collapses. “How many artifacts do you think are buried, if they can’t even narrow it down?” He pulls off his sweaty blue muscle shirt and throws it into a crumpled pile.

    “Dozens at least, maybe even hundreds.” Lifting herself into a handstand, Gia doesn’t even wobble with the wind. “Don and his friends been doing this for a long time.”

    “Al has finished repainting the bikes.” Snorting at the public names for Alpha and Zordon, Jake does his best to match Gia’s form. “He wanted to make sure I didn’t feel pressured by you into swapping.” Being more used to movement with his forms, he quickly loses balance and starts to shake.

    “Your ears still ringing?” She laughs when he finally falls over.

    “Nah, only lasted a couple of days and I’ve gotten some more practice in with it.” Jake joins Noah at the picnic table and rests his forehead on the still cool wood.

    “You’re awfully quiet this morning Troy, whats eating you?” Noah realizes he has yet to really say anything besides hello.

    “I killed Jason...” He whispers, his voice filled with shame. “You may all have been with me, but I pulled the trigger and I can’t tell his mom and dad.”

    “I made the choice to swing for my sister.” Emma gingerly approaches Troy and pulls him into a hug. “I get it.”

    “I don’t know if my brother’s a monster, or was just used as a sacrifice.” Admits a distraught Noah. “I’m just trying to stay focused on improving myself so I can find out.”

    “You did fine for a beginner,” Assures Emma, a relaxed smile on her face. “A few weeks of this and you should start noticing a real difference. It will help with learning a fighting style, have you put anymore thought into which one?”

    “I have to admit, it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be.” Noah slips his glasses back on now that the physical exertion is over.

    “If I knew all it would take to get Noah to workout, was a pretty girl asking him,” Jake teases his friend playfully. “I would have paid one to ask years ago.”

    “So I should be bribing Gia,” Noah retorts with a smirk of his own, which makes Jake sputter to everyone’s amusement. “To get you in the library?”

    “You did a good job making the Noah level stuff seem understandable,” He shrugs and turns to Gia, a look of acceptance on his face. “If I really want to be a vet, I need to get my grades up. Could you give me a hand sometimes on my biology?”

    “If you hadn’t literally just said it was animals, I’d think that was some kind of pickup line.” Gia considers the request and makes a counter offer of her own. “But Billy’s dad wants me to clean up the garage, so give me and Emma a hand bringing the junk to the dump.”

    A scream from down by the beach has all five spring up and make a break for the sound. As they dash across the sand, the sight of a bleeding girl has them pick up the pace. A trail of wet and bloody sand leads down to the lake.

    “What happened?” Jake reaches the girl a year or two younger than them first, her sandy blonde hair and pale pink one piece are a stark contrast to the crimson blood staining the beach.

    “It came out of the lake and grabbed Ryan,” The injured girl gasps out with a very pale face.

    “She’s lost a lot of blood.” With his hands pressed against the wicked slash on the girl’s side, Jake desperately tries to do something useful. “Go call an ambulance!” Emma stands in a rush and does as requested, sprinting at full speed towards the burger shack.

    “What grabbed Ryan?” Troy presses for information.

    “A shark,” The girl groans, her eyes wide with terror. “It was so fast, I couldn’t do anything.”

    “Don’t move around so much,” Jake chides her, with a stern look at Troy. “We need to keep the blood on the inside, alright?” She giggles in spite of the pain, a sign she’s growing delirious. “Now what’s your name, I’m Jake.”

    “Dana… Dana Mitchell.” Her lips are pale when she finally answers.

    “I haven’t seen you around before, are you new or visiting?” Jake keeps her focused on him.

    “We just moved to town, my dads at a meeting and I’m looking after my brother.” Dana’s eyes cross in worry and she starts to tear up. “Where’s Ryan?”

    “We need to get her to the hospital and then go find him,” Gia hisses to Troy, which causes his hands to begin trembling.

    “Go for a swim?” His eyes dart between the lake and Gia, before he sighs. “I uh… can’t really swim. I can keep a lookout on shore, make sure no one else gets nabbed.” He looks down at the grass, avoiding eye contact with anyone.

    “Probably a better idea for us not to all go down anyway,” Noah agrees and completely misses the fact that it was supposed to be an embarrassing secret. “I haven’t actually rented from the Surf Shack before, so I’ll keep watch with you.”





    A knock on the Mayor Daniel’s door, has his three guests turn and look back in irritation. When the solid door open a moment later, a pale faced aide sticks her head inside.

    “I don’t want to interrupt Sir, but we’ve had another attack.” She turns to Captain Mitchell and gives him a sympathetic wince. “We got a call from the hospital and your daughter is in critical condition, with reports that Ryan is also missing.”

    “What!” The stern faced, but extremely loving father jumps to his feet.

    “Some teens at the beach found her and kept her stable until an ambulance could reach her.” Reciting what she was told over the phone, the mayor’s aide does her best to fill in the frantic father.

    “I’m sorry, but I need to reschedule this meeting.” No one thinks to deny the man, letting him dash from the office in a hurry.

    “Stone,” The Mayor turns to the now highest ranking member of his new security force. “It looks like we have a test run for you and the squad, try and get one alive for study please.”

    “I’ll do my best sir,” Jerome Stone salutes the forward thinking mayor and grabs the frazzled scientist by his collar. “Lets go Phenomenus. You wanted to see the action, didn’t you?”

    “Well yes, but I meant a recording of you.” The bald man stutters in panic, as he is dragged behind the officer. “I’m not trained for field work!”





    Standing on the beach far enough away from the scene of the accident that the police are unaware of the teens’ presence, three of them strap on an oxygen tank. Gia double checks the hoses for any leaks, by quickly rubbing oil over then and smiles when no bubbles appear.

    “We’re good to go, lets hurry before they decide to cordon off the whole lake.” She jerks her head in the direction of the cops, which has Jake and Emma start walking towards the shore.

    “You guys are sure you know what you’re doing?” Troy asks with concern plastered on his face.

    “You grow up here and you learn how to do a lot of these kind of things,” Noah explains with an embarrassed shrug. “I may not be, but this city is really into it’s outdoor activities.”

    “We’ve been doing this since we turned twelve,” Agrees Emma with a smile at Troy’s concern. “Don’t worry about us, it’s the kid I’m concerned about.”

    “I hate to say it Emma,” Gia stops with the water reaching her waist. “But I think it’s going to be too late for Ryan.”

    “If he was just a snack, why haven’t we seen more blood?” She denies the suggestion. “It makes more sense if he’s been captured like the others, so we need to find him fast.”

    “Go. If something happens you can beep us.” Troy urges them on.

    Gia leads the way in her butter yellow bikini, with Emma following in her own pink one. Bringing up the rear of the search, Jake keeps his eyes peeled on the lake bed and not on the shapely rears before him. When they make it deep enough that weeds no longer cling to them, they catch sight of a cavern.

    It doesn’t have a large opening and is barely big enough for an overweight man to squeeze inside, but the orange glow makes it impossible to miss in the gloomy water. Gia looks back at the others, making sure they also see the glow and leads them towards it.

    A swift form surges through the mud and heads straight towards the trio, creating a cloud of muck to block out the rangers’ vision. Once they have been obscured from sight, the thing rises swiftly and grabs Emma in it’s claws. Restrained and helpless, she is pulled down into the muck before anyone can react.

    When the water finally clears, it has Jake and Gia begin to frantically search for Emma. Realizing that she is nowhere to be seen, Gia grabs Jake’s arm and points to the orange glow. Nodding in understanding, he follows her towards the entrance of the cavern.

    While Gia hesitates at the mouth of the cave, an arm reaches out and grabs her air hose. As she struggles to get away, the hose is severed and a cloud of bubbles block Jake’s vision once again. Her efforts do nothing and she is yanked inside the tunnel.

    Squeezing into the entrance after her, Jake worms his way through the tunnel and emerges in a small and yet air filled cavern. An unconscious boy is being tended to by the missing Emma, while Gia gasps for breath in front of him.

    The creature that captured them is nowhere to be seen, but half a dozen even smaller tunnels give several options for ambush. Seeing the remains of Emma’s air tank have been chewed on as if by a shark, Jake groans and looks at Gia’s likewise ruined gear.

    “I don’t know how we’re getting out of here with only one air tank and that thing in the water.” Taking off his own tank, he makes sure it’s sealed tight.

    “Is that Ryan?” Gia ignores the obviousness of Jake’s statement and instead helps Emma with the now coughing preteen, doing her best to ignore the tight confines of her location.

    “I don’t know, but this means we can’t morph now.” Gia blinks in realization, with Jake’s words being like a bucket of ice water.

    “I turned on my communicators alarm, but I have no idea if they’re busy with this slippery shark.” He growls and kneels beside the others.

    “Now that the adrenaline rush is gone,” Admits Gia, as it’s her turn to grow pale and begin shaking. “I’m realizing how little room we have in here.”

    “Are you claustrophobic?” Jake finally understands and backs away as much as he can.

    “Only completely.” Grabbing her knees in shaking hands, Gia slides onto her backside and closes her eyes.

    “Hey, focus on me Gia.” Emma whispers soothingly. “We’re going to get out of here, you’ll see.”

    “You take Ryan and my tank.” Offers Jake. “Get help and the police divers can find us easy.”

    Realizing they can morph once she’s goettn the kid out, Gia opens her eyes and takes the offered oxygen tank. Once she attaches the working one to the twelve year old, she takes Ryan’s hand and leads him to the narrow exit.

    “Two breaths and then pass the mouth piece to me,” Gia explains softly. “We’re going to need to be fast okay, so don’t freeze up even if something happens to me.”

    “Okay,” He gulps back in obvious terror, but follows her back into the water.





    “Have you two seen Sharkie?” Bulk and Skull approach Troy and Noah, with matching disgruntled frowns on their faces. “She was supposed to meet us here hours ago.”

    “No, sorry.” Noah points at the bloody beach and the cops. “We’ve kind of been preoccupied.”

    “What happened?” Forgetting his missing friend for the moment, Bulk peers at the crime scene. “Did a body wash up?”

    “Girl got attacked by a shark and her brother is missing.” Trying to get them to clear off, Troy does his best to be brief.

    “Seriously, a shark attack?” The larger punk growls in anger and shoves Noah back a few steps. “Skull may be a complete moron, but you can’t fool me that easily.”

    “Yeah!” Skull enthusiastically chimes in, only to frown a moment. “Wait a second...”

    “Not now Numbskull, these dorks need to be taught a lesson.” Bulk steps towards the fallen Noah, only for Troy to block his way.

    “You really want to start something, with the boys in blue right here?” His words are enough to make Bulk pause and reconsider his actions.

    “Fine, we can settle this later.” Bulk snorts derisively.

    “Yeah later!” Skull slams a fist into his open palm, only to scurry after Bulk when he realizes he’s alone.

    “Jake’s alarm is going off,” Hissing under his breath, Noah holds up his flashing watch. “Something is going wrong, we should morph.”

    “Good call,” Agrees Troy and he leads them into the bushes. “Great ape!” He whispers once the pair are out of sight.

    “Dire wolf!” A flash of red and blue light fades away, revealing the two rangers.

    Yells are soon followed by gunshots and screams of pain, mixed with horrified shrieks of the onlookers. Rushing out of the foliage, has the rangers witness a blood bath on the beach.

    A humanoid shark is dashing across the blood slick sands, tearing chunks out of the officers. They may not be fleeing like during the first attack, but maybe that would have been better.

    The monster is incredibly fast, with both rangers struggling to keep it in sight. By the time they cross only a few hundred yards, only three out of eleven officers remain standing.

    “Get your people off the beach!” Troy roars and slashes for the Slippery Shark with his Power Sword, only for it to blur around the attack and send him sailing away in a shower of sparks.

    “We’ll hold it off until the other rangers get here,” Adds Noah, who sends a salvo of lasers at the shark. “We need the area cleared, so we can use our big guns!” His confident instructions turn into a pained yelp, as he is sent rolling by the speedy monster.

    With both rangers laying in agony on the red sand, the monster stands over the red ranger and bends down with an open maw. A crack of thunder echoes and the Slippery Shark clutches it’s cheek with a shriek.

    Two more bangs come suddenly, followed by a quick emptying of the officers’ clips. Less than half of the bullets strike and none do more than graze the monster, but the distraction is enough for the red ranger.

    Leaping into the air, he focuses his energy through his blade and swings at the irritated shark. Catching the monster clean across the back, an explosion knocks the creature to the ground.

    “I said go!” Repeating himself but with more command in his voice this time, Troy sends the officers scurrying to get the fallen off the beach.

    “Let’s boil some shark!” Noah attaches his pressurized water cannon and sprays the monster, with Troy sending a wave of his flame next.

    The cloud of steams is hot enough to be felt through the suits, but the Slippery Shark only roars in anger.

    “Oh that was a bad idea dweebs!” The monster hisses in a feminine voice and removes her fin. “Taste my Shark Fin Boomerang!”

    The body part is thrown with deadly accuracy and soars straight for Noah’s throat. At the last second however, it is stopped by a desperate grab. Before Noah can have a chance to feel any relief, the weapon jerks backwards towards the monster.

    Only a mid air tackle from Troy saves the blue ranger from meeting the shark’s open maw. When the pair land in a tangled heap, Troy is now the one holding the fin.

    “You idiot, why didn’t you move?” Troy growls at Noah, who isn’t going to take that.

    “Why’d you get in my way, I was using his momentum against him!” Watching the bickering begin, the Slippery Shark cackles to herself and blurs away towards the city.



    Episode 4: On Fins and Needles

    “You actually did it, I’m impressed.” Rita Repulsa accepts the small golden coin and holds it up for closer examination.​

    “It better have been worth it, I almost got zapped for this thing.” Growls Scorpina and refuses to back down from the witches glare.​

    “Of course it is, Rita wouldn’t have sent us after it otherwise.” Sucking up to his mistress, Squatt squeaks out his support.​

    “If the rest of my forces are as useless as Goldar proved to be, it will be needed to destroy the Power Rangers.” The sorceress cackles at the irritation on Scorpina’s face. “It’s useless like this,” She hiss in frustration and traces the large crack running through it. “Finster! Get to work fixing this, so it can be recharged.”​

    “Yes mistress,” The white dog man accepts the Power Coin with delicate hands and bows. “It will take some time to do it right, but it is possible.”​

    “Baboo, go down to Earth and fetch me Goldar’s body.” Rita struts to her balcony and gazes down at the world below. “If he thinks death is all it takes to escape my service, he is sorely mistaken.”​

    “What about me your evilness?” Eager to please, Squatt almost dances in place. “Do you have something for me to do?”​

    “Since you have proven so adept at digging like vermin, I’m sending you to the place the humans call Silver Hills.” Rita strokes her chin and leers at the idea of ruling over the mud ball. “The Sword of Darkness rests within the Nasty Knight’s tomb. Find and recover the blade, the Knight shall lay waste in his search for it.”​

    “Oh goody, he sounds strong.” Squatt giggles madly to himself and shambles from the room.​

    “And me?” Scorpina crosses her arms and glares daggers at the witch.​

    “You will grab me a fresh subject,” Thrusting her over sized wand above her, Rita allows a sneer to cross her face. “It’s time to truly begin this campaign of conquest and what better way than turning the innocent into our soldiers?”​

    “Does it matter who I get you?” The defiant general raises a single eyebrow expectantly.​

    “You know the rules, same as I do.” Rita snorts at the idea of ‘fair play’, but will abide by the rules… for now. “As long as they’re in public and have hit puberty, they’re fair game.”​

    “Why do we follow them?” Queries Baboo as he works on his disguise. “Wouldn’t it be better for us, if we just attacked with everything you have?”​

    “Right now Earth can only maintain a single Ranger team,” Rita explains, as if to a particularly slow child. “But if we escalate the battle beyond a contest of champions, the Morphing Grid will grow in strength and we will be facing multiple teams at once.”​



    Four days after the frantic rush to disarm the bombs, the rangers are back at the park that began this adventure. Deciding that yoga would be a good group exercise, all three of the guys have joined the morning sessions.​

    “Don and Al still haven’t figured out what the Putties dug up in Briarwood,” Noah gasps out when he collapses to his yoga mat, having decided an hour is long enough for his first time. “How many artifacts do you think are buried, if they can’t even narrow it down?” He pulls off his sweaty blue muscle shirt and throws it into a crumpled pile.

    “Dozens at least, maybe even hundreds.” Lifting herself into a single arm handstand, Gia doesn’t even wobble with the wind. “Don and Vile have been doing this for a long time after all.”​

    “Al has finished repainting the bikes.” Snorting at the public names for Alpha and Zordon, Jake does his best to match Gia’s form. “Wanted to make sure I didn’t feel pressured by you.” Being more used to movement with his forms, he quickly loses balance and starts to shake.​

    “Your ears still ringing?” She laughs when he finally falls over.​

    “Nah, only lasted a couple of days and I’ve gotten some more practice in with my helmet.” Jake joins Noah at the picnic table and rests his forehead on the still cool wood.​

    “You’re awfully quiet this morning Troy, whats eating you?” Noah realizes the red ranger has yet to really say anything besides hello.​

    “I killed Jason...” He whispers, his voice filled with shame. “You may all have been with me, but I pulled the trigger and I have to look his mom and dad in the eyes everyday.”​

    “I made the choice to swing for my sister.” Emma rolls to her fee and approaches Troy with an open hand, which he allows her to pull him to his feet with.​

    “My brother is missing and I don’t know if he’s a monster, or if he was just used as a sacrifice.” Admits Noah with a distraught face. “I’m really just trying to stay focus on improving myself so I can find out, it’s been leaving me too tired for anymore nightmares at least.”​

    “You did fine for a beginner,” Assures Emma, a relaxed smile on her face. “A few weeks of this and you should really start noticing a difference. It will help with learning a style, have you put anymore thought into it?”​

    “I have to admit, it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be.” Reaching into his bag, Noah slips his glasses back on.​

    “If I knew all it would take to get Noah to workout his body was a pretty girl asking him,” Lifting his eyebrows at the exchange, Jake teases his friend playfully. “I would have paid one to ask him years ago.”​

    “So I should be bribing Gia,” Noah retorts with a smirk of his own, which has Jake sputter to everyone’s amusement. “To get you in the library?”​

    “You did a good job making the Noah level stuff seem understandable,” He shrugs eventually and turns to Gia, a look of begrudging acceptance on his face. “If I really want to be a vet, I need to get my grades up. Could you give me a hand sometimes on my biology?”​

    “If you hadn’t literally just said it was animal biology, I’d think that was some kind of pickup line.” Gia considers the request and makes a counter offer of her own. “But Billy’s dad wants me to clean up the garage, so give me and Emma a hand with it and let us use your truck to bring the junk to he dump.”​

    A scream from down by the beach has all five spring up and make a break for the sound. As they dash across the sand, the sight of a bleeding girl has them pick up the pace. A trail of wet sand leads down to the lake, with webbed foot prints returning to the water.​

    “What happened?” Jake reaches the girl a year or two younger than them first, her sandy blonde hair and pale pink one piece are a stark contrast to the crimson blood staining the beach.​

    “It came out of the lake and grabbed Ryan,” The injured teen gasps out with a very pale face, the shock clearly starting to hit her like a truck.​

    “She’s lost a lot of blood.” With his hands pressed against the wicked slash on the girl’s side, Jake desperately tries to do something useful. “Go call an ambulance!”​

    Emma stands in a rush and does as requested, sprinting at full speed towards the burger shack.​

    “What grabbed Ryan?” Troy presses for information.​

    “A shark monster,” The girl groans, her eyes wide with terror. “It was so fast, I couldn’t do anything.”​

    “Don’t move around so much,” Jake chides her, with a stern look at Troy. “We need you to keep the blood on the inside, alright?” She giggles in spite of the pain, a sign she’s growing delerious. “Now what’s your name, I’m Jake.”​

    “Dana… Dana Mitchell.” Her lips are pale when she finally answers. “We just moved to town, my dads at a business meeting and he asked my to look after my brother.” Dana’s eyes cross in confusion and she starts to tear up. “Where’s Ryan?”​

    “We need to get her to the hospital and then go for a swim,” Gia hisses to Troy and Noah, which has the red ranger’s hands start to tremble.​

    “Go for a swim?” His eyes dart between the lake and Gia, before he sighs. “I uh… can’t really swim that well. I can keep a lookout on shore, make sure no one else gets nabbed.” He looks down at the grass, avoiding eye contact with his new friends.​

    “Probably a better idea for us not to all go down anyway,” Noah agrees and completely misses the fact that it was supposed to be an embarrassing secret. “I haven’t actually rented from the Scuba Hut before, so I’ll keep watch with you.”​

    …​

    A knock on the Mayor Daniel’s door, has his three guests turn and look back in irritation. When the solid oak door creaks open a moment later, a pale face aide sticks her head inside.​

    “I don’t want to interrupt Sir, but we’ve had another attack.” She turns to Captain Mitchell and gives him a sympathetic wince. “We got a call from the hospital and your daughter is in critical condition, with reports that Ryan is missing.”​

    “What!” The stern faced, but extremely loving father jumps to his feet.​

    “Some teens at the beach found her and kept her stable until an ambulance could reach her.” Reciting what she was told over the phone, the mayor’s aide does her best to fill in the frantic father.​

    “I’m sorry, but I need to reschedule this meeting.” No one thinks to deny the man, letting him dash from the office in a hurry.​

    “Stone,” The Mayor turns to the now highest ranking member of his new security force. “It looks like we have a test run for you and the squad, try and get one alive for study please.”

    “I’ll do my best sir,” Jerome Stone salutes the forward thinking mayor and grabs the scientist by his collar. “Lets go Phenomenus. You wanted to witness your stuff in action, didn’t you?”​

    “Well yes, but I meant a recording of you.” The bald man stutters in panic and is dragged behind the grumbling officer. “I’m not trained for field work!”​

    …​

    Standing on the beach far enough away from the scene of the accident that the police are unaware of the teens’ presence, three of them strap on an oxygen tank. Gia double checks the hoses for any leaks, by quickly rubbing oil over then and smiles when no bubbles appear.​

    “We’re good to go, lets hurry before they decide to cordon off the whole lake.” She jerks her head in the direction of the cops, which has Jake and Emma start walking towards the shore.​

    “You guys are sure you know what you’re doing?” Troy asks with concern plastered on his face.​

    “You grow up here and you learn how to do a lot of these kind of things,” Noah explains with an embarrassed shrug. “I may not be into them, but this city is really into it’s sports.”​

    “We’ve been doing this since we turned twelve,” Agrees Emma with a smile at the concern. “Don’t worry about us, it’s the kid I’m concerned about.”​

    “I hate to say it Emma,” Gia stops with the water reaching her waist. “But I think it’s to late for Ryan.”

    “If he was just a snack, why haven’t we seen more blood?” The pink ranger denies the suggestion. “It makes more sense if he’s been captured like the others, so we need to save him.”​

    “Go, if something happens you can beep us.” Troy urges them on, his worry for the twelve year old worming into his mind.​

    Gia leads the way in her butter yellow bikini, with Emma following in her own pink one. Bringing up the rear of the search, Jake keeps his eyes peeled on the lake bed. When they make it deep enough that seaweed no longer clings to them, the catch sight of a cavern.​

    It doesn’t have a large opening and is barely big enough for an overweight man to squeeze inside, but the orange glow makes it impossible to miss in the gloomy water. Gia looks back at the others, making sure they also see the glow and leads them towards it.

    A swift object surges through the mud, creating a cloud of muck to block out the rangers’ vision of each other. Once they have been obscured, the thing rises swiftly and grabs Emma. As she is restrained and helpless, she is pulled down into the muck.​

    When the water finally clears, it has Jake and Gia begin to frantically search for Emma. Realizing that she is nowhere to be seen, Gia grabs Jake’s arm and points to the orange glow. Nodding in understanding, he follows her towards the entrance.​

    While Gia hesitates at the mouth of the cave, an arm reaches out and grabs her by the air hose. As Gia struggles to get away, the hose is severed and a cloud of bubbles block Jake’s vision once again.​

    Squeezing into the entrance, Jake worms his way through the tunnel and emerges in a small and yet air filled pocket. An unconscious boy is being tended to by the missing Emma, while Gia gasps for breath in front of him.​

    The creature that captured them is nowhere to be seen, but half a dozen even smaller tunnels give several options for ambush. Seeing the remains of Emma’s air tank have been chewed on as if by a shark, Jake groans and looks at Gia’s likewise ruined gear.​

    “I don’t know how we’re getting out of here with only one air tank and that thing in the water.” Taking of his own tank, he makes sure it’s sealed tight.​

    “Is that Ryan?” Gia ignores the obviousness of Jake’s statement and instead helps Emma with the now coughing preteen, doing her best to ignore the tight confines of her location.​

    “I don’t know, but this means we can’t morph now.” Gia blinks in realization, with Jake’s words being like a bucket of ice water.​

    “I turned on my communicators alarm, but I have no idea if they’re busy with this slippery shark.” He growls and kneels beside the others.​

    “Now that the adrenaline rush is gone,” Admits Gia, as it’s her turn to grow pale and begin shaking. “I’m realizing how little room we have in here.”​

    “Are you claustrophobic?” Jake finally understands and backs away as much as he can.​

    “Only completely.” Grabbing her knees in shaking hands, Gia slides onto her backside and closes her eyes.​

    “Hey, focus on me Gia.” Emma whispers soothingly. “We’re going to get out of here, you’ll see.”​

    “You take Ryan and my tank.” Offers Jake. “Get help and the police divers can find us easy.”​

    Realizing they can morph once she’s gone, Gia opens her eyes and takes the offered oxygen tank. Once she removes her own and attaches the working one to he twelve year old, she takes Ryan’s hand and leads him to the watery exit.​

    “Two breaths and then pass the mouth piece to me,” Gia explains softly. “We’re going to need to be fast okay, so don’t freeze up even if something happens to me.”​

    “Okay,” He gulps back in obvious terror, but follows her back into the water.​

    …​

    “Have you dweebs seen Sharkie?” Bulk and Skull approach Troy and Noah, with matching disgruntled frowns on their faces. “She was supposed to meet us here hours ago.”​

    “No, sorry.” Noah points at the bloody beach and the cops. “We’ve kind of been preoccupied.”​

    “What happened?” Forgetting his missing ‘friend’, Bulk peers at the crime scene. “Did a body wash up?”​

    “Girl got attacked by a shark and her brother is missing now.” Trying to get them to clear off, Troy does his best to be brief.​

    “Seriously, a shark attack?” The larger punk growls in anger and shoves Noah back a few steps. “Skull may be a complete moron, but you can’t fool me that easily.”​

    “Yeah!” Skull enthusiastically chimes in, only to frown when he realizes exactly what Bulk said. “Wait a second...”​

    “Not now Numbskull, we got so dweebs to teach a lesson to.” Bulk steps towards the fallen Noah, only for Troy to block his way.​

    “You really want to start something, with the boys in blue in sight?” The red ranger’s confidence is enough to slow the bully down, with the actual advice making him reconsider his actions.​

    “Fine, we can settle this later.” Snorts Bulk in an attempt to seem in charge.​

    “Yeah later!” Skull slams a fist into his open palm, only to scurry after Bulk when he realizes he’s alone.​

    “Jake’s alarm is going off,” Hissing under his breath, Noah holds up his flashing watch. “Something is going wrong, we should morph.”​

    “Good call,” Agrees Troy and he leads them into the bushes. “Great ape!” He whisper yells once the pair are out of sight, with Noah following his lead.​

    “Dire wolf!” A flash of red and blue light fades away, revealing the two rangers.​

    Yells are soon followed by gunshots and screams of pain, mixed with horrified shrieks of the onlookers. Rushing out of the foliage, has the rangers witness a blood bath on the beach.​

    A humanoid shark is dashing across the blood slick sands, tearing chunks out of the officers on sight. They may not be fleeing like during the first attack, but maybe that would have been better.​

    The monster is incredibly fast, with both rangers struggling to keep it in sight. By the time they cross only a few hundred yards, three out of eleven officers remain standing.

    “Get your people off the beach!” Troy roars and slashes for the Slippery Shark with his Power Sword, only for it to blur around the attack and send him flying in a shower of sparks.​

    “We’ll hold it off until the other rangers get here,” Adds Noah, who sends a salvo of lasers at the shark. “We need the area cleared, so we can use our big guns!” His confident instructions turn into a pained yelp, as he is sent flying by the speedy monster.​

    With both rangers laying in agony on the red sand, the monster stands over the red ranger and bends down with an open maw. A crack of thunder echoes and the Slippery Shark clutches it’s cheek with a shriek.​

    Two more bangs come suddenly, followed by a quick emptying of the officers’ clips. Less than half of the bullets strike and none do more than graze the monster, but the distraction is enough for the red ranger.​

    Leaping into the air, he focuses his energy through his blade and swings at the irritated shark. Catching the monster clean across the back, an explosion knocks the creature to the ground.​

    “I said go!” Repeating himself but with more command in his voice this time, Troy sends the officers scurrying to get the fallen off the beach.​

    “Let’s boil some shark!” Noah attaches his pressurized water cannon and sprays the monster, with Troy sending a wave of his flame next.​

    The cloud of steams is hot enough to be felt through the suits, but the Slippery Shark only roars in anger.​

    “Oh that was a bad idea dweebs!” The monster hisses in a feminine voice and removes her fin. “Taste my Shark Fin Boomerang!”​

    The body part is thrown with deadly accuracy and soars straight for Noah’s throat. At the last second however, it is stopped by a desperate grab. Before Noah can have a chance to feel any relief, the weapon jerks backwards towards the monster.​

    Only a mid air tackle from Troy saves the blue ranger from meeting the shark’s open maw. When the pair land in a tangled heap, Troy is now the one holding the fin.​

    “You idiot, why didn’t you move?” Troy growls at Noah, who isn’t going to take that.​

    “Why’d you get in my way, I was using his momentum against him!” Watching the bickering begin, the Slippery Shark cackles to herself and blurs away towards the city.​
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
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  12. Threadmarks: Episode 4.5: Water You Thinking?
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 4.5: Water You Thinking?

    “Some help over here!” Gia’s head bursts through the waves and she calls towards the shore frantically, Ryan in her arms and making her struggle to stay afloat.​

    Noah gives a dismissive snort to the red ranger’s inability to swim and dives in himself, surging across the lake with powerful strokes. Taking the awestruck preteen, he brings the boy back to the beach and carries him over the bloody sand.

    “The Power Rangers...” Gasps Ryan, as in the commotion Gia was able to dive back under water and morph unseen. “You have to save the people in the lake!” He shakes off his amazement and insists they save the ones responsible for his freedom. “They still need help.”​

    “Don’t worry kid, we’ll get them.” Troy gives the yellow ranger the signal and with a sigh, she reenters the lake. “Now let’s get you to your family,”​

    “Uh… Red?” Pointing at the parking lot, Noah is the first to see three black vans pull up and half a dozen heavily armed people exit each one. “What’s going on?”​

    “The mayor hired my dad to run his security force,” Ryan explains to the two superheroes, with stars in his eyes and a dopey smile on his face. “He was at his first meeting this morning, it’s why Dana was looking after me today...”​

    “Oh no… Dana!” He starts to grow frantic and tries to look for her on the beach. “You have to find my sister!”​

    “We already did,” Troy assures Ryan, making sure to block the view of the beach with his body. “She’s at the hospital already.”​

    “You mean Jake did,” Muttering under his breath, Noah waves down the approaching soldiers. “The kid is safe, but we need to go after the shark.”​

    “Her lair is at the bottom of the lake,” The yellow ranger reemerges from the lake, with Jake and Emma sharing the oxygen tank behind her. “She’s going to be coming back eventually.”​

    “We’ll clear the park out, get an ambush ready for when she does.” The commanding officer grins with feral glee.​

    “Your equipment better have more kick than the cops,” Troy shakes his head and explains who’s blood is on the beach. “Because that took less than fifteen seconds.”​

    “I’m fine, but the smell is making me nauseous.” Not faking her reaction in the slightest, Emma looks green as she tries to get away from the beach. “Can I go?”​

    “Yeah, but you can expect to hear from the Captain about this,” Lt Stone concedes with an impressed look at the two teens. “He’s going to want to thank you for saving his kids. Hell, even I don’t think it’s a waste to reward you for something like this.”​

    “The hospital is going to be overwhelmed soon, we got a bloody trail right to the wharf.” A second officer adds, her brown eyes locked in steely calmness. “If you two are sure you’re alright, we don’t have the means to insist otherwise.”​

    …​

    “Zordon.” Troy calls back to base, as he and the others carefully step over the bodies on the pier. “Why is this monster killing so indiscriminately?”​

    “Yeah, the last few really had a snatch and grab style.” Checking inside a stall, Jake goes pale beneath his helmet and steps away quickly. “Why is this one different?”​

    “A spell of siphoning has been placed over the city,” Zordon explains, but it doesn’t relieve anyone. “Each life taken by the Slippery Shark, is being used to empower something or someone.”​

    “If you could actually throw a punch,” Coldly Troy growls at the blue ranger, making the other three pause in confusion. “All of these people would be alive.”​

    “And if you could do more thank grunt like a caveman, you wouldn’t have killed your cousin.” Noah hisses back viciously, which has Troy throw the first punch.​

    “You guys, cut this bullshit out!” Throwing herself at Troy, Gia manages to pull him back.​

    “Yeah!” With Noah restrained in a bear hug, Jake barks his own angry rant. “We don’t have time for this nonsense, we have a Shark to find.”​

    “Blue’s only use on this team is his brain,” Struggling in Gia’s grip, Troy hisses at the nerd. “If he can’t find this monster, he should just turn his coin in and we can find someone useful.”​

    “If you can’t do anything but hit stuff, maybe we should replace you with a gorilla!” Noah isn’t going to take that and with unusual levels of ferocity, he spits back at Troy. “At least the silent treatment from it would make sense, do you just think you’re better than us?”​

    “Only you,” Noah breaks free from Jake’s grip and turns away from everyone. “She’s a shark and went straight for the ocean, we should be looking out their.” He points at the twenty odd boats floating in sight of the wharf.​

    “Why is it’s lair in a lake?” Troy denies the idea instantly. “You go for a swim if you want, I’m going to keep looking here and be useful.”​

    “How about Blue and I put our Mega Cycle in surf mode and check the bay,” Trying to play peace maker, Emma makes a suggestion. “While the rest of you keep investigating here?” She sounds hopeful and since Troy has no reason to be angry with her, he agrees to the plan easily.​

    “Sounds good, keep an eye on our tech support.” Troy dismisses the blue ranger without a second thought and continues the search of the massacre.​

    “You three stay safe too,” She calls to them and lets Noah climb onto the bike first, before sliding into the side car.​

    “Can you believe that moron?” Noah doesn’t even wait for them to be on the water, before he starts to complain. “How the hell was a muscle head like him made leader?”​

    “Why are you two being like this?” She retorts, her patience nearly gone. “You’re acting like Gia on a bad day.”

    “I had the Slippery Shark’s boomerang,” Taking his eyes off the ocean, Noah tries to explain his perfect reasoning. “And I was going to ride it back in for a take down, but he jumped into me and knocked us both down. He started bitching at me as soon as we got back up.”​

    “And you don’t find that strange?” Emma raises an eyebrow and snorts at the claim.​

    “You think the monster turned us against each other?” Shaking his head at the idea, Noah catches a whiff of blood. “Wait, I think I can smell her!” He focuses on his helmet’s enhanced sense of smell and filters out the heavy scent of the ocean.​

    “You can?” She exclaims in amazement. “All I got was telescopic vision.”​

    …​

    Dude, what the hell has gotten into you?” Jake grabs the red ranger’s shoulder and firmly holds him in place.​

    “You heard him,” Defending himself with a huff, Troy reminds them of the earlier exchange. “He said I killed Jason.”​

    “And I heard you blame him for all of this,” Gia growls and stands beside Jake in support. “Neither of you are innocent in this.”​

    “I tore through their friendship, now watch me do the same to you!” The cackling shriek of the Slippery Shark comes from below, with her erupting through the pier and charging for the three rangers.​

    The black and red ranger are sent flying from the impact in a shower of sparks. While they sail through the air, she continues her attack and pounces on Gia, her claws tearing into the front of the yellow ranger furiously.​

    “Gia!” Jake gets to his feet first and swings his ax into the shark’s back, only for him to be swatted aside again.​

    “We need to work together on this,” Trying to form a plan, Troy pulls the black ranger back to his feet.​

    “You sure you can?” Snorts Jake, but he does concede with a nod. “Sorry, what are you thinking?”​

    “Freeze the pier and me and Yellow will keep Slippery Shark of balance for you.” Troy raises his sword in one hand and draws his shorter blade in the other. “Hey fish face, my turn!”​

    Leaping through the air in an attempt to not have his approach heard, Troy swings both weapons downward. Sparks erupt from the monster, but it barely does enough to get her off Gia.​

    “You’ll have to try harder than that Ranger,” Snarls the monster, her mouth dripping blood as she roars in anger.

    “Alright, you asked for it!” Jake sprays the monster and the wood beneath her, creating a nearly instant ice rink. “Lets see how good you are at hockey!” He charges forward and slides across the ice, only flipping into the air for an overhead ax kick at the last second.​

    “Lets see how good you are at dying!” The shark yells in triumph, as soon as a familiar wand shoots from the sky and embeds itself in the wood nearby.​

    A stream of violet energy, surges out of the magical artifact and causes the monster to reach epic proportions. Her weight shatters the pier and as the three rangers tumble into the surf, Slippery Shark wades towards to cruise ship in the bay.​

    “Snack time!” Her roar echoes over the ocean, with screams able to be heard all over the shoreline.​

    “We need to do something!” Gia gets ready to call her saber tooth tiger, but hesitates. “Will our Zords just sink?”​

    “It’s only waist deep on the monster,” Looking at how deep the water is on Slippery Shark, Troy grows more confident with each word. “The Megazord will be fine.”​

    “I hope so,” Jake mutters, worried about the red and blue ranger being able to work together.​

    “Rangers, you do not have to rely on only a single Megazord formation.” Alpha’s voice comes in clearly through the helmets, sounding as stressed out as Jake and Gia currently feel. “Since Noah and Troy have been affected by the Boomerang Fin, the will only have trouble working as a team.”​

    “I’m sending schematics for the Megazord Aquatic mode now, I hope you’re ready to take the lead on this battle Jake.” Alpha sounds nervous, but that could just be his normal worry.​

    “What do you mean?” Responds the black ranger, as the Pleisto-Zords cross the vast distances and head for the battle.​

    “The zord that forms the head, is the ranger in charge of motion controls.” Explaining how the ability to create different formations works, Alpha already sounds more sure of himself. “The other four seats in the cockpit, handle the weapons, engines, shields, and scanners.”​

    “Cool, so I get to drive this time?” Jake grins as the Zords appear on the shoreline. “Mighty Machines, combine!” He holds his right hand skyward and gleefully makes his own war cry.​

    Instead of the wolf and tiger forming the legs, this time the red ape splits in half from head to waist. It bends over with each arm adding mass to the two legs, allowing them to extend in length and connect to the black mastodon forming the head and body.​

    The blue wolf connects to the right shoulder, while the yellow tiger attaches to the left. As the Megazord’s head has the trunk wrap around it almost like a snorkel, the pink falcon lands on the back of the massive machine.​

    It’s wings hiss and fold backwards, with each rotating until the resemble a massive propeller on the Megazord’s back. Each ranger’s individual cockpit emerges in the center of the combined weapon, with roll calls being called off one after the other.​

    “Noah’s in, let’s bring this baby for a spin!” He slides into place behind the console in charge of shields.​

    “Emma too, now time to shine!” She brings the engines to a ready state, balancing the amount of energy being used from each Zord.​

    “Gia’s in the seat, so this Shark’s about to get beat!” The yellow ranger takes her place at the weapons console, bringing them all online.​

    “It’s Troy, lets see if he can feel us now!” He roars from his seat at the communication and scanning station, ready for revenge on this monster.​

    “Jake is here, no need to fear!” Jake slides into the driver’s seat and sends the Megazord stepping forward and into the ocean.​

    “Incoming from the north...” Troy calls out with a confused frown. “Five bogies and they’ll been in visual range any second.”​

    “They must be from the Turtle Cove air force base,” Explains Gia, realizing that’s the closest source of fighter jets.

    “Maybe we won’t be needed at all.” Emma is hopeful, but keeps her hands on the controls in resignation.

    “Don’t count on it, we need to engage before they get here!” Sending the Megazord diving forward, Jake engages the enormous propeller and torpedoes through the water.​

    “We aren’t going to make it, they’re here!” Warning the others, Troy points to the ten lines of smoke heading towards the Slippery Shark.​

    “Brace for impact!” Noah calls out to late, as the shock wave sends the Megazord rolling onto it’s side and the rangers are thrown around the cockpit.​

    “It barely even phased her...” Checking the systems for damage, Troy finds the monster almost entirely unharmed.​

    “But it sure pissed her off!” Gia warns the others, just in time to watch the Shark Fin Boomerang slice through two of the jets in a single throw and a third get it’s wing ripped off on the return.​

    “Cover them,” Troy commands, with Jake grunting in agreement as he rights the Megazord. “We can’t let them throw away their lives here.”​

    “I know!” Angling the massive machine towards the sharks unprotected back, Jake has them surge forward with Mega Sword drawn.​

    Instead of charging it to it’s capacity, Gia keeps the sword’s power at a respectable fifty percent. The glowing blade carves through the waves and with an explosive slash, the monster collapses.​

    The impact sends a wave towards the shoreline, swiftly growing to over fifty feet in height and making everyone worry.​

    “Gia, get the Cryo-Cannon online!” Trying to keep the panic from his voice, Jake aims the hose and sprays.​

    The mists collides with the wave just before it reaches the beach and leaves a wall of ice separating the sea from the shore. The ocean going side of the wave rocks the boats in the bay, but is already losing momentum when it vanishes from view.​

    “This is the Red Ranger.” Troy hacks into the remaining jets radio. “Thanks for the assist, are you all accounted for?”​

    “… This is Yellow Eagle.” A female voice answers after a moment of hesitation. “We lost one on impact, but the Coast Guard is already moving to recover the other two. Now get off this channel, it’s supposed to be secure.”​

    “Good thinking Troy,” Noah acknowledges, before he realizes what has been said earlier in the day. “Um and sorry about what I said, I have no idea what came over me.”​

    “Don’t worry about it,” Shaking his head and groaning, Troy waves off the apology. “Whatever that monster did to us, I almost wanted you dead more than her. I’m sorry too, now let’s move on with life and save the world.”

    “That’s why you’re the leader,” Gia admits with an impressed look on her face. “I hold a grudge.”​

    “The shark… look!” Looking down at the glowing body of the Slippery Shark, the rangers watch her begin shrinking.​

    The toothy scales fall off in droves, leaving the beach soon to be covered in them. In moments, no sign of a giant monster is visible, only a naked blonde girl being fished from the ocean by the Coast Guard.​

    “We did it!” Emma cheers in glee at successfully defeating a monster, without killing them. “We really did it this time.” She collapses onto her console, giggling happily to herself.​

    “I just we knew what to do sooner...” With a heavy voice laced with guilt, Troy leans back in his seat and goes silent.​

    “Can you teach me karate?” Noah asks after a moment of awkward silence. “You weren’t wrong, I need to learn how to throw a punch.” The rangers teleport to the Command Center, with the zords returning to rest automatically.​

    “Only if you help me on my math, because I do need help with that.” As the five bolts of energy race across the sky, they experience it like a slow motion water slide.

    “I’m free all week,” Admits Noah with a chuckle. “I’m free most weeks actually, especially considering my only friend is also a ranger.”​

    “Jake’s not your only friend,” Troy rejects that idea, but then gets nervous. “At least I hope you consider me one too.”​

    “After everything we’ve gone through this, we’re all friends and I’ll even say so in public.” Gia’s confident voice comes from the crackling yellow light.​

    “Still need help cleaning out the garage?” Asks the black light, with Jake’s grinning voice. “Cause if Noah’s going to be busy, I’m available.”​

    …​

    “Not even halfway charged!” Rita shrieks in frustration at the golden coin in her palm. “How can it still need more sacrifices!”​

    “The conversion rate is the problem Mistress,” Finster tries to explain. “As an artifact of goodness, it gains only trace power from the sacrificed souls.”​

    “Is that why it didn’t make me and Scorpina super strong, but it powered up the rangers?” Asks Squatt, a confused expression marring his pale blue face.​

    “Exactly,” Confirms the sinister mechanic.​

    “So instead of charging it the same way we do ourselves...” Rita realizes, a gleam of cruelty shining in her eyes. “We need to steal the power from another good source.”​

    “Or you can keep making sacrifices, but that could take years.” Finster agrees, which has the villains shiver in worry. “And we don’t have that long.” He reminds them of Vile’s eventual return.​

    “We won’t let the souls go to waste,” Grabbing her head and growling, Rita makes a bold declaration. “Goldar can make use of them, in his new and far superior body.”​

    “Grab another hostage and make me a monster Finster, one that can really show these rangers what Mighty is.” She sneers at the dog man and hisses. “The girl had far to much darkness in her, she was weak!.” Turning to Baboo, she smacks him across the face with her recovered wand. “Find someone with inner strength, so Finster can turn it into real power.”​

    “It will be done your evilness,” The navy dark blue ape man whimpers. “I’ve been looking for candidates and have the perfect one. Principal Caplan will be perfect.”​

    “Oh he always said I would make something out of myself one day,” Cackles Rita, her mocking voice echoing through her moon palace. “I don’t think he expected me to make something out of him.”​


    Notes: I'm using monsters from Seasons 1-3 of MMPR for Finster's normal monsters this 'season'. I can't use all of them, so I'll take requests on who I choose. I only have my heart set on 4 of the replacement rangers over the 6 seasons, so I'll take suggestions on anyone not from Ninja Steel/Samurai.
     
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  13. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    I recieved some excellent critisicim and so will spend the next week going back over the story and rewriting it. Part of the criticisim suggested I do so in first person instead of third. It's only going to take me about a week to redo the story and since I'm going to clean it up anyway, should I change it to first person and alternate ranger perspectives each chapter?

    I really don't mind and only did third person because publishers scared me off, so if requested/agreed upon, I will change it to first person starting tonight and be done the conversion by next week. If not, I'll only do the basic clean up.
     
  14. Happerry

    Happerry The Song to the Flame

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    No real opinion on which viewpoint is better to read, but first person can be hard to write in, so if you do do it, see how it feels to write in before you dedicate yourself to a full conversion? I've written in both before, and sometimes stories just feel more correct in one then the other.

    Also if you do rewrite the original chapters, I'd prefer it if you kept their original forms available somewhere.
     
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  15. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Thank you for the feedback. I tried writing the revision in both, but third person feels right for this story.

    And I'll spoiler the old chapters at the bottom of the revised ones, so people can compare at least for a while. In a few weeks I'll probably delete them to get rid of the false inflation on my word count.
     
  16. Happerry

    Happerry The Song to the Flame

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    I'm honestly not sure if words in spoilers are counted for word count on these sites. I know there's been trouble with alerts deciding spoilered words don't exist in the past, at least, for deciding when to actually give an alert.
     
  17. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    I don't think it does, so I'll leave them all up in a spoiler tag. Thanks for making me check
     
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  18. Threadmarks: Episode 5: He Blasted Me With Science
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 5: He Blasted Me With Science

    “People this smart kind of intimidate me,” Emma admits as she peers around Billy’s garage with curiosity.

    “I have no idea what any of this stuff is for.” Tossing another box of spare parts into the back of the truck, Gia groans at how much work is left to do. The clutter in Billy’s shop reaches the ceiling, with half finished projects crammed into the single car garage and leaving very little room to maneuver.

    “Billy was supposed to clean it out this summer, but… you know.” His missing persons status is left unsaid, with Gia directing Jake towards the heavier stuff.

    He takes the largest one in an attempt to impress, with Emma remarking at the revealed contraption. “What is this thing?”

    Two metal alcoves are separated by wires and tubes, with space for a person inside each one of the paired devices. Straps show where someone would place their wrists and ankles, with wires hanging at head height.

    “Is Billy a serial killer in waiting?” Jake whistles when returns for a second load, stepping closer for a proper inspection. “Or is he going the Frankenstein route?”

    Slapping him in the back of the head, Gia makes an educated guess. “Knowing Billy, it was probably something unbelievable, like downloading his mind into an android.”

    “Well if we’re betting,” Jake turns and smirks at how close he and Gia are currently, with the tight confines of the mess helping bring them closer together. “I think it steals intelligence and Billy found it years ago. No way someone can be that smart naturally.”

    Snorting at the claim, Gia reminds him of his own best friend. “How does that explain Noah?”

    “Billy and Zach are friends, so maybe he tested it out first on Noah.” Chiming in with her own ideas, Emma climbs inside one alcove. It’s been a stressful week and the playful banter is just what she needs, they all need it. “Want to find out?”

    Snorting at the idea, Gia gives it a pass. Jake however is antsy and in need of an outlet for his anxiety, so he straps himself in beside Emma.

    “If you get all my brains,” He starts to make a witty retort, only for Gia to cut him off.

    “We may not notice for days.” Widening her eyes in fake horror, Gia hesitates with her hand over the lever. Sure nothing should happen and the machine doesn’t seem to be plugged in, but a feeling of dread fills her stomach.

    “Ha. Ha.” He plays it off casually, but worries that’s how she really thinks. “Smart and funny.” Exactly why I don’t ask anyone for help, you all react the same.

    “But not cute?” Emma defends a blushing Gia, who flips the lever in an attempt to silence her.

    Sparks shoot from the tops of both alcoves, with black smoke filling the garage quickly. Emma and Jake convulse beside each other, with surges of pink filling him and black energy entering her.

    Both cry out in pain as the energy courses between them, the most intense agony either has felt taking over. The lights above explode with a pop and leave the three coughing in the dark.

    Struggling to free himself, Jake lets out a pitiful shriek. “Gia! Get me out of this thing!”

    It doesn’t take long for Gia to get them out of the straps, her ability to see in the dark increasing each day. Does that mean Noah can smell us all? “Calm down Jake, it’s just some smoke and Emma’s doing fine.”

    “No I’m not!” He wails back at Gia, who frowns in realization. “And why are you calling me Jake?” His body stills and his face takes on a look of constipated thought. Definitely not his best look.

    “Why are in my body?” Emma grabs Jake by the collar and shrieks in his face.

    Emma in Jake’s body finally connects the dots and goes pale. “Jake… are you in me?”

    “Um, maybe.” Jake in Emma’s body reaches a hand up, before experimentally poking her chest and gasping. “Okay, that’s a definite yes.”

    Gia slaps her hand away, growling at Jake. “You can stop that now.” I’m not going to be able to look away for a second, am I?

    “We can fix this, right?” Jake’s voice gasps, as she watches the smoke billow out of the garage. “Right Gia?”

    “We better call the others.” I am not making things worse.





    As Alpha examines the body swapped rangers, Noah cannot stop grinning like a madman. “This is completely unprecedented and impossible.” He turns back to the machine that has been brought to the Command Center and actually giggles.

    “Glad someone’s excited about this.” Jake is about to wrap is arms around himself reflexively, but a glare from Gia has him freeze in place. “Because I’m about a foot and a half too short, my balance is all...weird, and Gia’s acting like my prison warden.”

    “You’re the one who wouldn’t stop touching me.” Emma gives her best friend a grateful smile for the earlier intervention. “So deal with it until Alpha and Noah can fix us.”

    Alpha pauses his examination and his red optic light dims for a moment. “I’m not sure what this machine was supposed to do, or even what went wrong.”

    “What are you saying Alpha?” Gia hisses at the apologetic robot.

    “I don’t know how long it will take to fix this.” He shrugs at everyone’s shocked looks. “I’m not perfect, I’ve seen Alpha Six in the basement ready to replace me.”

    “I’m sleeping over,” Insists Gia. “No way I’m leaving you unchaperoned for a whole night in my best friend.”

    “What about my truck?” Jake’s worried gasp sounds very out of place in Emma’s petite body.

    “Told my mom the power surge did something to it and we needed some parts.”

    Alpha reaches for one of the loose cable and when his hand closes around it, his body begins to jerk back and forth wildly. Troy’s tackle manages to free to robot from his predicament, but surges of visible energy have Gia reliving the first incident.

    “Aye ai ai, my head hurts.” Grabbing Troy’s temples, Alpha lets out a pathetic whimper of his own. “Why does my head hurt? More importantly… how does my head hurt?”

    Lifting the fleshy fingers in front of his face, Alpha starts to giggle. He can feel how warm the room is and how much it tickles, when his hair brushes against his fingertips. “No wonder you are all so irrational, your body is telling me everything all at once and I can’t figure out what to do first.”

    “My stomach is churning, does that mean I’m hungry?” He has wide eyes filled with amazement.

    “Yeah, sorry about that.” Alpha’s body struggles to it’s feet and Troy squeaks out an answer. “Didn’t have lunch yet.”

    “Can I eat something?” Troy’s face shifts into an eager smile, as Alpha begins to bounce on his heels. “I’ve always wanted to.”

    “Alpha’s not going to be any help like that, why don’t you guys get him out of here and let me work?” Noah snorts at the sight of Alpha picking Troy’s nose.

    Gia pretends to consider it, before she concedes to the request. “Alright but Jake’s buying.”

    “If I’m buying, does that make it a date?” He realizes and the smirk on Emma’s body is very out of place.

    “I guess it does, so looks like you’re doubling with Troy.” Emma loops arms with a laughing Gia.

    “Wait, what?”

    Jake’s question is left unanswered, as he and the other three vanish in crackling beams of energy.

    “You’re really alright letting Alpha run around as you?” Noah quirks his lips into a smirk and stares at the robotic body housing Troy.

    Troy considers the question, but ultimately shrugs. “He’s been alone for a long time, he’s earned a day off and I’m kind of looking forward to some peace and quiet tonight. Besides, it got the others to calm down once they had Alpha to focus on.”





    Alpha slurps at the dregs of his milkshake and excitedly slams the empty glass on the counter. “Another one!”

    “Maybe don’t return Troy’s body with a twenty pound weight gain.” Gia hisses under her breath, but Emma just leans in close and laughs off the concern.

    “Come on, let him have some fun. I’ll even make sure he does some exercising tonight and Troy will never know”

    Alpha bobs his head eagerly and pleads with a scowling Gia. “Please Gia, they will give me as many as I wish.”

    “Because I’m paying,” Grumbling under his breath, Jake reaches into the jacket being worn by Emma and grabs his wallet. “One more Al, then we’re going to the mall.”

    “Why?” Emma asks for everyone, when Jake doesn’t elaborate on his own.

    “I’m always hearing how gross guys’ bathrooms are, so I’m going to find out once and for all.”

    “That’s your big plan?” Gia is clearly unimpressed.

    “If it wouldn’t bother Emma, I’d see what it feels like to turn some heads.”

    Blushing at the idea of him doing so in her body, Emma gives a relieved sigh. “Thanks for the restraint, I don’t think I could show my face here again if you did.”

    “I honestly expected something a little more...” Gia trails off, but Jake catches her meaning.

    “Perverted?” He frowns at Gia’s nod. “I have porn if I want to see a naked girl, no reason I would ever abuse a friends trust like that.” Growling at the idea, he grabs Alpha’s hand and leads him away. “You go do whatever you want, me and my date are going to get some desert.”

    Missing the byplay due to his lack of human interaction, Alpha cheers in eager delight. “Oh yay, can we try the cinnamon buns please?”

    Watching the two walk away, Emma elbows Gia in the ribs. “Nice going.”

    “I’ll apologize, don’t worry.”

    “Good. Because that was rude even for you.” Gia scowls at the snort, but accepts the ribbing without further complaint.

    “What are they doing?” Changing the subject, Gia points to the crowd forming around Bulk and Skull.

    “You really care?”

    “Mildly curious,” Gia admits with a shrug.

    “What’s going on?”Raising her voice loud enough to be heard, Emma calls out to her ex and his friend.

    “Bullet! Get over here dude, I heard the yellow ranger and you saved the kid.” Bulk grabs her arm and yanks her beside him. “My buddy the Black Ranger and I saved the whole mall, with some help from Skull and Sharkie.” He adds when Skull makes a whining noise behind him.

    “You should help us find out who they are, they might need our expert help again one day.”

    “So you’re with Gia I see, Emma still hasn’t found anyone?” Skull tries to act casual, but his twitchy eyes give him away. “Not that I care of course.”

    “She’d date my dog before looking at you that way again,” With savagery unusual for both Emma and the body she inhabits, she dismisses Skull as an afterthought.

    “Burn!” Bulk’s eyes pop out of his head, while Skull folds inwards on himself in embarrassment.

    “Sorry Bulk, but I’m kind of on a date here.” She gestures to Gia, hoping to get away before she really lays into Eugene.

    Bulk shows a moment of uncharacteristic understanding and grins back. “I hear ya man, go have fun.”

    “Thanks for telling everyone that,” Gia hisses when the pair round the corner.

    “Crap, I’m sorry.” Blinking in realization, Emma grabs her friends hand desperately and misses Jake’s dad walking by. “I was still playing along with the joke and didn’t think at all.”

    Gia frowns, but slowly her expression shifts into a smirk. “At least you’re playing the part well.”

    “I’ve been having a harder time reading today.” Emma whispers, worried about doing anymore harm to someone’s reputation. “I never really understood what being Dyslexic meant before, but if it’s always this hard for him… I’m impressed more than anything.”

    “Really?”

    “Yeah and who could blame him for taking a quick peek, I was going to.” Winking at Gia, Emma steps around her and leaves Gia sputtering in the hallway.





    “Can you believe her?” Jake vents to Alpha as he stuffs Troy’s face. “Thinking I would do something like that.”

    “I finished, I would like to try some chocolate now please.” Standing abruptly and looking at the menu with hungry eyes, Alpha ignores Jake completely. His sensory overload ruining Alpha’s ability to maintain rational thought. “And after that I need to try using the bathroom, I think my tank is getting full.”

    “Maybe you have had enough.” Jake pulls a green faced Alpha away from the counter. “I’m not getting blamed when you throw up.”

    “I don’t feel good Jake.”

    “That’s because you ate way too much buddy, you just need to sleep it off.” Jake pats him on the back, causing Alpha to let out massive belch. “Nice one Dude.”

    “I can taste the milkshakes again,” He whimpers in response and clutches his belly. “Do you think I’ll dream tonight? I always wondered what that was like.”

    “I hope so.”

    “I really think I need to use the bathroom now.” Alpha whines pitifully, drawing curious glances from those walking by.

    With an uncomfortable look on Emma’s face, Jake makes his voice a hushed whisper. “When we find one, just use a stall and drop your pants. I’m not dealing with proper explanations or a mess right now.”

    “How come when I look at some of you Troys body feels strange, but the girls don’t give me that feeling?” Confusion covers Alpha’s face, but Jake just shushes him.

    “No idea and none of our business. Do not mention this to the others, I mean it Alpha.” Jake’s expression is forced into a stern frown, which looks strange on Emma’s face.

    “Okay Jake, if you say so.”





    Peering down from her balcony on the moon, Rita steps away from her telescope and cackles. “Good job Baboo, your sabotage worked even better than intended.”

    “Thank you your evilness,” He whimpers out. “But what sabotage?”

    “Was it not you who crossed the wires in the machine? You made it when human and no one else knew it even existed.” Frowning at her sycophantic servant, Rita strokes her chin in thought. “Or are you just grossly incompetent?”

    “Yes, it was me.” Being careful with his wording, Baboo can only be happy he never tested the device himself. As Billy he always had trouble expressing his feelings and this machine was supposed to share them directly, but not like this.

    Rita sneers at Scorpina, her least reliable servant by far. “The principal’s transformation is nearly complete, I suppose even you would find the occasional success.”

    Accepting the words for now, Scorpina keeps her head bowed and considers her coming revenge. Rita may have power in spades, but she throws it around like a toddler having a tantrum and that leaves openings for someone to exploit.

    “Once he wakes, the rangers will be helpless as they are now.” She promises Rita.

    “Since my brother and the yellow ranger will be under your roof tonight, I need you to make them a proposal.” Rita strokes Scorpina’s cheek and purrs. “It will be far easier to find Zordon’s hideout, if one of them accepts my deal.”

    “What am I to offer them?” She whimpers back, as Rita’s nail leaks her toxic magic into Scorpina’s skin.

    “Why the chance to live and serve me of course.” Rita sneers at her general. “I always thought my brother would look better in green, but if he is too scared... I know Gia has uses for the power.”
     
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  19. Threadmarks: Episode 5.5: Switching Places
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 5.5: Switching Places

    “You sure it’s fine to leave you here for the night, we can hide you in my room.” Hesitating before he heads to meet the others, Noah has concern plastered across his face. “You can play my Nintendo, or we could even get a head start on your math?”

    Tilting his disc shaped head to the side, Troy let’s out a chirping laugh. “I’ll pass on that.”

    “Alright, I guess I’ll see you in the morning.” Noah snorts at the hi-jinks likely going on at the mall. “Hopefully Alpha will have adjusted enough to help out, or this could take days.” He waves goodbye and dissipates into a crackling sapphire beam.

    Zordon chimes in with an amused smile sliding onto his face. “It was very kind of you Troy, to allow Alpha Five this opportunity to experience humanity. He will never forget this, nor will you I believe.” An unidentifiable look flashes in his eyes, as he loses himself in ancient memories.

    “I’ve been called a robot before, but I never expected it to be so...” Troy pauses, searching for the perfect word. “Relaxing.”

    “It does provide a sense of clarity, does it not?”

    Sounds like you’ve experienced this yourself. Without the distraction of his overactive danger sense, Troy is able to actually think about what he did wrong. Having no emotional guilt weighing down his thoughts, it becomes clear he did everything he could and somehow... that feels worse. Nothing I did could have changed anything.

    “Why didn’t you tell us how Vile creates his generals? I could have saved Jason, if only I knew it was him.”

    Zordon looks down at his red ranger and smiles sadly. “It has been a long time since I faced him, I forgot exactly how personal he made things.”

    “How could you forget something that big?” Instead of feeling the rage he knows he should be, Troy considers the admission and realizes he has a hard time remembering his own mother’s face. Ten thousand years is a long time after all.

    “I am sorry Troy, I forgot how much something like this would affect y-.” Zordon stops himself and changes tactics. “Humans feel everything so much, but as time passes… you will no longer be bound by the pain and that will make the hurt return fresh.”

    “Not really encouraging advice.”

    “But it is the truth and that is what I will always provide you,” Zordon promises firmly.

    Let’s see how true that is. Troy blocks out any distraction and gives Zordon his full attention. “Okay, can I ask you some questions?”

    “Of course, I am here to guide you after all.”

    Troy considers all the things he wants to know and asks the first thing that he thought of. “What happened to the last team of rangers, when did you choose them?”

    “Almost three thousand years ago, I chose six rangers to face Ivan Ooze.” Zordon’s face shows his love and grief for them in equal measure. “Dulcea was an incredible disciple and I hoped she would one day replace me, but Ooze decided otherwise. In the final battle to seal him away forever, he bound her with him to his prison.”

    “I’m kind of stuck on the six ranger part.” Troy admits, shocked at the revelation.

    “Her coin was lost in the battle and to keep Ivan from being awoken ever again, the other five hide the island even from me.” Pride fills Zordon’s voice. “To this very day, their descendants should remain ever vigilant wardens of Phaedos.”





    Arriving at the mall has Noah presented with four disgruntled rangers. Emma’s body is stuck in a very Jake like pose, with his knees pulled up to his chin and a mopey expression fighting off tears.

    Looking at Gia’s back, reveals her posture as one leaking shame and even Jake’s body looks ready to scream beside her. In Troy’s body and enthusiastically failing at using a paddle ball, Alpha is the only one who seems to have enjoyed the experience at all.

    “Noah!” Alpha drops his toy and throws himself forward, forcing Noah to catch him awkwardly. “Did you come to have fun at the mall with us?” Completely oblivious to his companions’ moods, Alpha begins regaling him with his ‘adventure’.

    Managing to put him back on his own feet, Noah holds up a hand to stop the rambling. “Sorry, but the malls going to close soon. I’m going to bring you and Emma home with me tonight and I need you to try and pretend to be a normal teen.”

    “That means no eating with your hands Alpha,” Jake allows an amused smirk to appear on Emma’s lips.

    With a not very Jake like giggle, Emma adds. “And you have to answer to Troy, or it will make things difficult for him when you switch back.”

    “Will you still show me how to fight?” With a childlike look of desperation, Alpha pleads with her. “You promised.”

    “If we can use Noah’s backyard, I guess so” She concedes with a glance at Noah. No one should see us in the dark, Troy’s reputation will be fine.

    Noah nods slowly and realizes he’s not the most uncoordinated right now. “Mind if I join in?”

    “Of course.” Emma agrees gladly, before frowning at the tension between Jake and Gia. “You two aren’t going to kill each other... are you?”

    Jake crosses his arms and hisses. “Maybe, I could be a psychotic ax murderer.”

    Groaning at her screw up, Gia sits down on a bench and pats the seat beside her in invitation. Jake gives her a hesitant glare, but does accept after almost a full minute of silent deliberation.

    “I’m sorry okay.” No attempt to shift the blame is added, just an admission of guilt. “You’ve more than proven you aren’t like my dad and Eugene, it’s not fair to expect the worst from you.”

    Blinking in shock at the apology, Jake grabs one of Gia’s hands in forgiveness. “My dad is one of those shitheads and I never want to be like him, only going after someone meek he can manipulate. I like you because you challenge my stupidity and would never let me act like that.”

    “Hell no.”

    “But give me the chance to screw up first, maybe I’ll keep surprising you.” He lets go of her hand and stands, nothing left to say on the matter right now.

    Whispering to Emma and Alpha, Noah has wide eyes. “I know I’m surprised, he normally sulks way longer.”





    In the Taylor’s backyard and lit by only the porch light, Emma slowly demonstrates some beginner moves. Alpha keeps falling down laughing, still not quite used to how bendy humans are. Noah however, is copying each movement with determination and precision.

    The door swings open and his mother steps outside with a pleasant, if anxious expression on her face. “Your learning to fight now Noah?”

    “Just want to learn how to defend myself Mom.” He doesn’t look back, instead watching Emma like a hawk. “City does keep getting attacked you know.”

    She goes deathly quiet, which finally gets her son to look at her anxiety riddled face. “I know, that’s why I’m so worried about you. Zachary knew how to fight, but he’s still gone and I don’t want you thinking you can impress some girl like this.”

    “I’m doing this, so I can make sure I come home every night.” Noah’s voice is filled with a strength she hasn’t heard before, which makes her heart swell.

    She sniffles and wipes at her eyes. “I’m so proud of the man you’re becoming. Now remember, bedtimes still eleven.”

    “Mom!”

    “Sorry. I mean don’t stay up too late.” Smirking at her son’s embarrassment, she leaves him and his friends to their fun.

    Emma waits until she has gone inside, before turning to a struggling Alpha. “Why are you trying so hard... Troy, I thought this was your idea of fun?”

    “Alpha One was a warrior model and designed to aide the rangers in battle.” Alpha admits, sadness being expressed from every pore. “He went missing protecting the second team of rangers and was never found, which is why the rest of us have all been support only.”

    “You want to fight?” Emma can hear the longing in his voice.

    Alpha frowns and has a moment of self reflection. “I do. It was supposed to be my purpose, but I was never given the chance to be that robot.”

    “You lost your whole family to Master Vile and those who came after him,” Gasps Noah, finally understanding why today has mattered so much to Alpha. “This is the first time any Alpha, ever got to just be a person.”

    “It was so much fun, I’ll never forget today my… friends?” Alpha’s statement becomes a question by the end, worry pouring from his body.

    “Of course we’re friends,” Bother rangers speak in unison. “I put up with Jake/Gia, don’t I?”

    Noah checks his watch and grins at the blushing Alpha. “Now what else do you want to do, we’ve still got some time.”





    In Emma’s rather cramped but impeccably clean room, Jake raises an unforeseen issue with Gia.“Should I just sleep in these, or... what?”

    “Emma said she was going to peek at you, so just change like normal and don’t ogle her more than you have to.” Gia concedes with a sigh. If she can trust you with her body, I can try and be reasonable over this whole situation.

    “Really?”

    She looks at him in silence for a while, but decides to explain her reasoning. “If Zordon chose us all based on Alpha’s footage and we both have a best friend who was selected, I should have the same faith in all three of you as I do myself.”

    “But not as much as Emma?” Jake has laughter in his eyes.

    “Hell no, she’s a gold medal and we’re all fighting for silver.” She snorts at the idea of Emma ever hurting her.

    Joining Gia in the giggles, he admits the truth of the declaration. “Fair. She’s probably the only person I’ve ever seen intimidate my dad and she was only seven.”

    “He was littering as I recall.”

    “Oh, so you do remember going to elementary school with me?” He smirks at Gia’s blush, embarrassed at being found out.


    Trying to play it off, she returns a smirk of her own. “I tried to block most of those years from my mind, but bad memories seem to keep popping back up.”

    “Well yeah.” Jake exclaims like it’s obvious. “If you don’t actually deal with what’s bothering you and just repress that shit, you’ll only self-destruct one day.”

    “You’re telling me to deal with my problems, Mister ‘I won’t tell my dad what I want to do for a living’.” Crossing her arms at his ‘advice’, Gia tosses herself onto Emma’s bed.

    “I may not be confronting him now, but that’s just so he doesn’t kick me out and I know he would.” He grimaces. “For all I know, he still has a few more hidden families out in the world. He goes on business trips often enough for it.”

    “Knock knock, I hope I’m not interrupting anything?” The bedroom door is flung open, with Trini sauntering inside with uncaring arrogance.

    Gia growls at the disguised Scorpina. “What do you want?”

    “I was supposed to offer you a deal, but you are such an ungrateful mammal… I don’t see how you will be of any use.” Scorpina’s eyes flash an intense amber, as she steps towards her sister’s body. “How about you Jake, would you like all your dreams to come true?” Nightmares are still dreams.

    “Of course I’d have to sell out the world first, wouldn’t I?” He leans away from the hand stroking his cheek, causing Trini’s face to settle into a frown.

    “Rita wants a servant, but I have plans of my own and find myself in need of a king… what do you say Handsome?” She purrs seductively, causing Gia to reach for her morpher reflexively. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you, wouldn’t want to escalate things now… would we?”

    Knowing deep down it’s already to late but desperate to try, Jake makes a counter offer. “Give back the people you kidnapped and I’ll come with you.” Like Noah would say, ‘the needs of the many’.

    “Sorry, but these transformations leave a monster starving. We may have some bones left though.” Scorpina taunts him and shrugs. “Oh well, I tried. You may want to get to Turtle Cove though, Rita’s looking for revenge and Caplan should almost be ready.”

    “Why would you tell us that?”

    Scorpina rolls her eyes at Jake’s response. “And here I thought the rumors of your intellect were only cruel lies. Rita and you both stand in my way, the more you slow each other down… the more time I have to grow my own hive.”

    Beeps of alarm come from both ranger’s watches, with Scorpina smirking at the sounds. “Better answer that, or all those pilots will die.” With those parting words, she turns on her heels and saunters from the room.

    “What is it Zordon?” Gia answers first, with Jake speaking closer to hear.

    “Rangers, Turtle Cove is under attack. You need to morph immediately and join the others at the air force base.” Despite the gravity of the situation, Zordon’s voice remains calm.

    “On our way.” She ends the call and glances to Jake expectantly. “It’s prime time for power!”

    Approving of her own variance to the morphing call, Jake follows her lead. A moment later, matching beams of pink and yellow soar into the sky.





    Doing what they can to keep the Mighty Minotaur from crushing the soldiers below, Alpha slams one of the Megazord’s fists into it’s chin. The force of the blow throws the creature away from the base, sending it crashing into one of the nearby hills.

    “Nice hit!” It doesn’t really matter who is cheering, Alpha can only focus on how… right this feels. Being here in the Megazord Alpha Two designed and morphed as the red ranger is exhilarating. Being human just allows him to enjoy what he should have been doing his entire existence.

    “Yeah, now we got to make sure he stays down!” Gia warns them, sending more power to the legs.

    “Right. I should use the Mega Sword, shouldn’t I?” Or maybe switch to tank mode, go with a full power cleansing. Alpha hesitates in long enough for the monster to climb back to his feet. Guardian mode might be better though, this thing is definitely mighty indeed.

    Noah manages to cut through his haze of inaction with a panicked yelp. “Do something Alpha!”

    “This is what you’ve always wanted, isn’t it?” Emma stays calm and whispers in Alpha’s ear. “The chance to be a ranger. So show us what you were designed for, I believe in you.”

    “We all do,” Adds Gia, her voice unusually supportive.

    “Thanks rangers.” Alpha ignores all the things he could do and focuses only on what he will do. He draws the Mega Sword and leaps over the freeway as gracefully as can be, meeting the Mighty Minotaur in combat.

    A bolt of crackling silver arrives inside the cockpit, revealing Alpha’s gleaming body. “I know you can do this, I’m with you every step of the way.” Troy places a hand on his own morphed body.

    The to titanic forms trade blows back and forth, but ever so slowly, the Megazord forces the monster backwards and away from the base. The unified front of the rangers, has them recover from each strike faster and deliver returning ones with ever increasing precision.

    When they knock the Minotaur down a second time, Alpha narrows his eyes and sends the Morphing Grid’s energy into the Mega Sword. He raises the blade above the Megazord, bringing it down in a fierce slash.

    Rainbow energy strikes the monster and like with the shark, causes the changes to revert. Slowly at first the Minotaur shrinks in size, but to Alpha’s great pleasure and everyone’s relief… a naked principal is revealed.
     
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  20. Happerry

    Happerry The Song to the Flame

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    I suspect the relief only lasted until they realized no one had a spare pair of pants.
     
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  21. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Ha ha. Yeah, it'll be hard to look him in the eyes ever again.
     
  22. Threadmarks: Episode 6: Food Fight
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 6: Food Fight

    Pacing back and forth behind Noah, Jake impatiently waits for him to finish. “How much longer Dude, you called and told us it was ready an hour ago.”

    “I just have one more adjustment to make and…” He very carefully solders the last loose wire. “Done! who’s first?” No one leaps to volunteer, so Troy steps up.

    “Hope you had fun Alpha, but looks we’re the lab rats.”

    Alpha twists the red ranger’s face into a pitiful whine, but nods. “Alright Troy, if I have to.”

    No sparks or smoke comes from the machine this time, only a flashing of lights and exchange of energy between the pair. When it ends, Troy opens his eyes and reaches for his face.

    “It worked.”

    Noah looks outraged. “Of course it did, I triple checked everything.”

    “You intentionally switched someone’s brain,” Jake elbows the disgruntled Noah. “It’s not that we don’t trust you, it’s that we can’t wrap our heads around this and it’s a lot of trust to put in someone.”

    “Don’t worry, I trust you.” Taking Alpha’s place, Emma smiles with encouragement.

    Jake agrees with a confident grin and replaces Troy in the alcove. “And you know I do.”

    “I’m working on it,” Admits Gia, a half smile gracing her lips.

    When the lights stop flashing a second time, Emma hastily unstraps herself. “Oh, it’s so good to be me again!”

    “I’d be offended, but I feel the same way.” Jake peers down at the others and grins. “It’s nice to be on top again.”

    “I don’t know how you deal with being so high up all the time, I kept tripping over everything.”

    Snapping his fingers, he turns to Gia. “You still need help cleaning out the garage? I have to grab my truck from your place.”

    “I don’t have anything going on today, I can help too.” Troy adds, wanting to stretch his muscles.

    “If Billy has more stuff like this and you’re just going to to toss it all...” Noah trails off, making Jake sigh in realization.

    “Fine, I’ll drop it off at your place.”





    “You have a car in here, did you know that?” Exclaims Noah, eagerness plastered on his face.

    Gia turns and blinks in surprise. The white Volkswagen Beetle is old, but in excellent condition. “It is a garage.”

    “Is David getting rid of this too?” with less than a month from his own birthday, Noah has dreams in his eyes.

    “You can ask, but probably.” She shrugs and tosses another box into the back of Jake’s truck. It was buried under at least two years worth of junk, I doubt anyone remembered it was here.

    “Sweet!” He scampers inside.

    “Did you see the posters at the mall?” Emma stops humming along to the radio, turning to everyone with a concerned expression.

    “About the street festival?” Double checking, Jake nods after a few seconds. “Yeah. It’s to raise money for all the places damaged in the attacks.”

    Smiling at the lack of protest, she shares her idea. “We should all do something, anyone can sign up. Ernie’s daughter needs some volunteers and I was thinking, why not?”

    “Doing what?” Troy likes the idea.

    “We can donate food for them to sell, or help run the stall she’s going to set up.”

    Knowing they will all eventually agree and Emma just needs time to convince the others, Gia adds her own support. “It sounds like lots of people are coming. Every city that’s been attacked is donating funds, probably even more that I don’t know about too.”

    “So it’s one hundred percent going to be attacked.” Troy growls in understanding. No way they can pass up a crowd that big. He slams a fist against the walls, making everyone jump in shock. “We’ll all donate, but we need to be looking for trouble on the day.”

    “I guess I’ll make chili, no reason the family recipe should go to waste.” Noah reenters the room with David Cranston. “Mom wont make it for just the two of us.”

    “Well I’ll be...” David blinks in disbelief. “Billy never told me he had this in here, I doubt it was ever insured.”

    “How much do you want for it all Sir?” Noah looks ready to empty his school savings, his eyes roaming the collection he wants to bring home.

    Gia’s step dad holds up a hand to stop Noah and whistles in awe of the garage. “You cleaned my garage, you kids aren’t making me pay for a landfill, and you want to give me money?”

    “Um… yes?” Confusion leaks from Noah.

    “You get this thing out of here and it’s yours.” David grins at the awe one Noah’s face and winks to Gia. “Your friends staying for dinner, or you going out again?”

    “Apparently we’re making chili, sorry.” She doesn’t look upset at all.





    Friday brings a bright sunny sky and just enough of a breeze to waft the aromas down the street. Dozens of stalls have been set up by people from every walk of life, all of them eager to give back to the city.

    Glancing at the two security guards in the line, Jake cheers when they both go for the hottest bowls. “You really are heroes!”

    “You shouldn’t be encouraging them, they’ll only get hurt.” Gia cautions him with a whispered hiss.

    People need this. Troy realizes as he watches Ernie’s daughter serve three people at once, a look of grim resolve on Hayley’s face. Even Bulk and Skull are mostly behaving, with both eagerly following the soldiers around and pestering them with questions.

    “We may as well split up and cover more ground.” He gestures up and down the street, at how the festival carries on out of sight in both directions.

    “What do you say Gia,” Jake broaches with a flirtatious grin. “Let me buy you lunch?”

    “Really?” She rolls her eyes, but isn’t opposed to the idea.

    “You said you’d give me a chance.”

    She pretends to consider it, but eventually agrees. “Alright, impress me.” Watching Gia be lead off, the other three laugh and head the opposite direction.

    “They’ll have the cutest kids,” Emma grins at the idea.

    Noah snorts and offers his own version of events. “Or the most bitter break up on Earth.”

    “Well if they do, we’re keeping Troy in the divorce.” Smirking at Noah’s expression, she drags the pair towards a kebab stand.

    Amused and playing along, Troy grins back. “I don’t get a say in this?”

    “Nope,” She pops the P, not even looking back as they get in line.

    Screams come from the far end of the street and while everyone rushes away from the danger, the trio charge towards it.

    The security force does prevent any casualties, but do little else of use. Once the gorging monster disarmed them, the pig ignored them and returned to feasting.

    “Did that pudgy pig actually eat lead?” Noah gasps.

    Crouched beside him, Emma adds with a frown. “Then the guns and grenades.”

    “It’s morphing time!” Troy leads them into an alley and through the role call.

    The three exit the alley with weapons ready, but the Pudgy Pig ignores them. Dashing from stall to stall, he empties each one in seconds, leaving nothing behind.

    “We have to stop him!” Emma doesn’t wait for instructions, shooting at the monster’s unguarded back. Sparks shoot out from the impact and sending the monster rolling forward, only stopping when it crashes into a wall.

    “Don’t let it get up!” Dashing forward, Troy manages a few slashes with his sword and feels his confidence grow. Of course only a half second later it is shattered, as the Pudgy Pig opens it’s mouth wide and inhales. Despite his iron grip, the force of the wind tears his sword loose and sends it straight down the monster’s gullet.

    Noah tries to cover Troy but the pig summons an over sized set of cutlery and parries his attack. “How is everything fitting in this thing?” He grunts and is sent flying away. “It shouldn’t be possible.”

    “Tell that to my weapon,” Troy hisses and draws his Blade Blaster as a back up. “Don’t let go of yours, no matter how strong the wind is!”

    As the monster starts to inhale once again, Emma and Noah’s weapons are torn loose. “Harder than it sounds!”

    “A ranger never lets go of their weapon!” Chiding both them and himself, Troy starts to unleash a barrage of laser fire.

    “Well we did.” Noah insists with a growl. “So either we’re posers, or you need a different theory.”

    “We know how to fight without weapons, so why are we worrying?” Kicking a table into the monster, Emma flips over it and clings to the Pudgy Pig’s back.

    “Cause I really liked that lance!” Noah draws his own blaster and peppers the monster. “I want it back.”

    “We kind of need them to finish this guy off,” Adds Troy as he roars for Emma to move, unleashing a wave of flame on the pig.

    “Save some bacon for us!” Dashing towards them, Gia is a half step behind Jake and both are morphed.

    Jake sprays his freezing mist, only for the Pudgy Pig to lower his head and absorb the attack with his helmet. “Want me to freeze some for later?”

    “Look out!” Noah tackles the black ranger out of the way, only to absorb to full attack himself.

    “We’re getting our butts kicked by a pig… this is just embarrassing.” Speaking for everyone, Jake watches the monster go back to his buffet.

    Emma grits her teeth and refuses to give up. “We can’t let him eat everything, this was supposed to help people.”

    “He didn’t eat everything,” Troy realizes, pointing to the heaping pot of chili.

    “I have an idea, but we’re going to need some help.” Laughing at the plan forming, Noah rushes over to the remaining soldiers. “Want to help us save the day?”

    The group doesn’t hesitate, all of them saluting in unison. “What do you need us to do Sir?”

    “The Pudgy Pig is ignoring everything spicy, so get the unfilled balloons and stuff them with that chili.” Noah keeps his voice clear and confident, despite his nerves. “We’ll hold the line and when he inhales our blasters, fire away.”

    “You heard the blue ranger, get moving!” Lt Stone barks out, with none of his men hesitating. “We’ll give you the signal when we’re ready Sir.”

    “Still think they’re only going to get hurt?” Whispers Emma, as she and Gia race towards the monster.

    “I may have underestimated them,” She admits with a groan. “But I’m just worried about what it will lead to.”

    “Pen it in, we’ll hit him from every angle!” Noah suggests, with the others following his lead.

    “Light it up!” Commands Troy and five different colored beams create a destructive barrage. It does nothing but tickle the Pudgy Pig, who proceeds to slash at the rangers. One by one they are sent flying, but they do manage to delay the monster long enough.

    “We got as many as we could find,” Stone roars over the sounds of battle. “Ready when you are!”

    Noah clambers to his feet, getting into formation with the others. “Time to really get his attention.” They connect the beams of energy, combining them into a spear of power.

    It collides with the Pudgy Pig, who lets out a delicious squeal of agony. As the smoke clears and the monster tries to stand, a large blackened patch of skin is visible.

    “Hang on!” Troy calls out, intent on keeping the mouth open as long as possible.

    The security force wastes no time and balloons filled with chili are sent sailing at the pig. Most splatter on the pavement, with a few even smearing on the creature’s body. The one thrown by Lt Stone however, goes straight down the gullet.

    At first nothing happens. But when the balloon pops in his stomach, the Pudgy Pig whistles like a kettle and starts to vomit up everything he ate.

    The Power weapons are the first to go, with the soldiers gear coming next. Troy dives for his sword and grimaces, shaking the bile from his blade.

    “Gross,” Emma gingerly lifts her own bow.

    Gia spins her daggers in her palms and pleads with Troy. “Can we please end this now? I was actually having a good day before he ruined it.”

    “Be my guest Yellow,” He turns it back on her.

    “Gladly.” She gives Emma the signal and brings the Z Cannon together. “Lets do this!”

    The power strikes the pig and bathes him in the rainbow light, burning the toxic magic from his veins. The grotesque body sheds the extra thousand pounds and leaves a shivering science teacher.

    “Is that Mister Milton?” Noah double checks, while the soldiers move in and wrap him in a banner. “The science teacher?”

    “I’m wondering what they’re going to do with him.” As the five leap onto one of the roof’s overlooking the scene, Gia points out a black van.

    The security forces put the confused man inside, with a pair of them climbing in after them and slamming the door shut. Once he’s secured, the van races off back to where it came.

    “They have no idea what’s going on,” Noah offers an explanation. “They’re probably going to run some tests and make sure what we did is permanent.”

    She concedes to the possibility, but worries anyway. “Well if he’s not home in a week, I want to do some digging of my own.”





    Baboo squirms inside his fake skin, disgusted at having to pretend to be a human. The captured Doctor is odd enough that no one should notice a change in personality, but he desperately wishes to finished this mission.

    The fact that the humans continue trying to interfere, has Rita both curious and infuriated. His mission to sabotage efforts with a chance of success will give him great value in her eyes, but likely to miss out on the souls taken. No one needs a spy strong enough to kill them after all.

    “Doctor Phenomenus, we have another recovered monster.” Being torn from his scheming, Baboo peers at the soldier before him. “We need you to begin the examination immediately.”

    “What?” Blinking at the words, Baboo is left confused.

    “Your told us to get you first,” The soldier frowns. “To ensure the freezing process worked as intended.”

    “Ah yes indeed, lead the way officer...” Baboo peers at the name tag. “Corbett.” Smirking to himself, he considers what a golden opportunity he has been provided.
     
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  23. Threadmarks: Episode 7: A Star Is Born
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 7: A Star Is Born

    Getting off her bike, Gia whistles at the repaired wall. “Juice Bar looks good as new, it’ll be nice to have something go back to normal.”

    “Will it really though?” Emma locks the two mountain bikes up and follows her inside. “Hayley seems nice, but will they really be able to replace Ernie?”

    “Never our intention,” A guy their age with shoulder length sandy blonde hair, is blocking the girls way inside. He has a wide grin and a very relaxed attitude, serene one could even say.

    “You are?” Gia challenges the new guy.

    “Forgive me, Hayley already told me about you and I feel like we’re already friends.” He gives an exaggerated bow and winks at them. “My name is Orion and I’m the brother you mentioned, welcome to our grand reopening.”

    Emma smiles back and greets him. “Thanks, I’m Emma and my grumpy friend is Gia. It’s nice to see you’re already so busy.”

    “You aren’t the only ones craving some normalcy.” He chuckles and leads them inside, forced to clear a way to the counter. “Your friends Noah and Troy got here a while ago, they’re using the mats right now.” He snaps his fingers and frowns. “I thought a fifth one of you was coming by, Hayley had me put aside a gift card for each of you.”

    “Soccer practice,” Gia answers without thinking. “They have a game tomorrow and are going late today.”

    “He won’t be able to come to the auditions then, too bad.” He shrugs and slides behind the counter. “Troy’s coming with me to the commercial tomorrow, either of you interested? They’re looking for martial artists.”

    Rolling her eyes, Gia has to decline. “Apparently I have to watch his games, some kind fair trade thing relationships have going on.”

    “You’re looking forward to watching them all run around and get sweaty, so don’t act so hard done by.” Emma snorts at her friend’s scowl and orders. “I’ll come, I need a distraction.”

    “Noah?” Seeing his shoes sticking out from under the sink, Gia gets his attention. “I thought you and Troy were training?”

    “The garbage disposal went haywire, so me and Troy are helping out.” Slamming his head on the counter, Noah groans. “He’s washing dishes I think. Had a hard time with customer service, so Hayley shoved him in the back.”

    “Is it supposed to be spewing foam like that?” Orion steps back, right as gallons of bubbles pour onto Noah.

    He sputters and tries to get clear of the mess, finally being offered a hand from Ernie’s son. “No it’s not and I’m going to have to take it apart to find out how it is.”

    “Talk to my sister, she’s the boss here.” Orion has a panicked look on his face. “I do deliveries, that’s it.”

    “You have an interesting name,” Taking her blueberry smoothie, Emma digs for details.

    “Mom likes astronomy,” He winces at what could have been. “I’m just lucky dad talked her out of calling me Rigel.”

    Emma realizes with a giggle. “Oh and Hayley, like the comet.”

    “Exactly, we’re going to have a viewing party on the roof and all of you should come.”

    Wiping the last of the foam off, Noah turns to the girls. “Did he mention the commercial? Sounds pretty cool.”

    “Yeah I’m going to drive Troy in the morning and we’ll make a day out of it.” Orion grins eagerly.

    “So what time should we be here, if I coming with you?” Emma asks and misses Noah’s disgruntled expression behind her.





    The next morning in Orion’s grey van, Troy and Emma accompany him to Stone Canyon. In the passenger’s seat, Troy fiddles with the radio and settles on grunge. Feels appropriate, considering the mood.

    Orion’s cheerful mood from yesterday, was worn down by the rush and he keeps his dark ringed eyes on the road. “I know why I’m so quiet, but what’s eating you two?” He glances in the rear view mirror quickly, to see Emma squirm in the backseat.

    “My sister has been… different since the attacks began,” Careful with her words, she tries to answer. “We just started getting over mom’s death and now Trini is acting like a psychopath.”

    “Your mom is dead too?” Troy blurts out and winces immediately. “Never mind, ignore me.”

    She shrugs and sees no reason to hide it. “She was sick for a long time, it’s alright. Trini is who I’m worried about right now.”

    “What happened?” Orion catches Troys wording.

    “Car accident.” The answer comes out as a low growl. And only myself to blame. “And Jason’s body was pulled out of the rubble.” I put him their.

    Orion and Emma share a look in the mirror, with her slowly putting a comforting hand on Troys shoulder. “I’m sorry.”

    “Not like I’m the only one living it.” He shrugs, with all three sharing the silence.

    As they pull up outside Stone Canyon High twenty minutes later, Emma groans at the sight of a familiar bike. “Of course they’re here too.”

    Orion pauses and frowns. “Who?”

    “Nobody, don’t worry about it.”

    The trio get out and find the main entrance locked, leaving them confused and frustrated. Only the arrival of three local teens relieves them. A Latino teen in a red karate gi and a girl with long braided hair in yellow flank the one who introduces them.

    “You guys here for the commercial too?” The Asian teen in black asks, a friendly smile on his face. “They want us to go in through the gym door.”

    Thanking him, they trade introductions and learn his name is Adam Park. His cohorts are Rocky DeSantos and Aisha Campbell, all three friends since childhood.

    Troy turns to the other teen in red and asks Rocky. “Do you know what the commercial is for?”

    “No, they just want people who are trained.”

    The doors slam shut behind them when they enter, the entire room blanketed in darkness. Familiar jabbering has the rangers and new friends grow wary, with Troy calling out a warning.

    “It’s Putties, get the door open!” He can almost see an after image of one come towards him, giving Troy time to drive a knee into the goon’s stomach. Can’t morph with people right here!

    Aisha’s panicked scream comes from his left. “Adam!"

    “Throw them with the others, it’s time to deliver my prize to Rita!” A cackle comes from the far side of the room, only to be cut off when the door swings open from the outside.

    A long haired brunette stands in the entrance, a green muscle shirt matches his sweat pants in a slightly darker shade. He keeps the door from closing and gets ready to fight.

    “Get out of their!” Waving for everyone to exit, he swings for a charging Putty. “Hiyah!”

    Now visible, a large blue furred creature in a baseball jersey roars. “Stop them!”

    The teens do their best to escape, but only Orion manages to get outside. Babe Ruthless sends forth a cloud of red energy with the teen in green slamming the door shut.

    The energy bathes the fighters and causes them each to writhe in pain, collapsing on the floor. First the locals trio, with the green teen next, and finally the rangers are unconscious.





    When Noah’s communicator chimes in alarm, he glances around the Juice Bar and sneaks out the back door, vanishing in a beam of blue light. Standing at the top of the stairs and about to ask the genius to fix the microwave, Hayley gapes like a fish.

    “Well that was unexpected.” She mutters to herself, before her eyes roll to the back of her head and she collapses.





    Noah’s bolt of blue deposits him at Stone Canyon High, with Gia arriving a few seconds later. “Jake will be her soon,” She answers his unspoken question and the two begin searching for clues.

    “Over here!” He finds Orion on the ground, just outside the gym doors.

    Gia catches up and scowls. “Is he okay?”

    “He’s breathing,” Remarks Noah, feeling for Orion’s pulse..

    Cracking open the doors reveals a still dark room, showing signs of struggle. Some lights are knocked over and even the smell of blood is in the air. No occupants are currently present, which makes the pair jump in shock upon Jake’s arrival.

    “Find anything yet?” He whirls away from Gia’s slap and laughs at Noah’s shriek.

    “Don’t do that!” Clutching his heart, Noah growls.

    “Zordon, no ones here and we have someone injured.” Gia narrows her eyes and ignores Jake for the moment, her heart also racing. “What’s going on?”

    “The commercial appears to have been a trap, everyone else got captured by Rita’s monster.” His confident voice sets them at ease. “We have tracked them to the moon and can send you after them, but you will need find a way back yourselves.”

    Hisses Jake, as he lifts Troy’s scorched leather jacked. “What are you talking about?”

    “Rita’s magic shields her palace, I can only get a few inside and likely only this once.” Explains Zordon. “She will strengthen her shields even more upon your detection and make it impossible for me to recover you the same way.”

    “Well, what are you waiting for?” Gia roars at her wrist, desperate to get Emma back safe.

    “Are you all in agreement?”

    “Damn straight,” Insists Jake, getting a mouthed thank you from Gia.

    Noah has a moment of concern, but he pushes past it. “Always wanted to go to space, no time like today.”

    “Mister Milton is still missing, so can you bring Orion to the base.” Her voice goes soft with concern. “I don’t trust he’ll still be here when we come back.”

    “Only until he begins to wake, then I will have to return him.” Compromising with the request, Zordon allows it this once.

    “Good enough for me.” She accepts the words and vanishes in crackling yellow light, joining a black and blue one heading for the moon. A grey and beam goes another direction, the dim and fading light heading towards the Command Center

    “This is amazing!” Screams Noah, as the trio breach the upper atmosphere and can see all of North America. “I think I can die happy now.”

    Gia scowls at the blue light and roars back. “No you can’t, not until we save the world!”

    “Then you can die a happy hero.” Jake teases somberly.

    They streak past the International Space Station and blur towards the moon. A shimmering oily dome blocks the ranger’s view, but once they slip through a massive black stone structure is visible.

    The three bolts of color land on one of the smaller balconies, with Gia the first to recover her wits. “Stay quiet and follow me!” Her hissed command is followed without question, Noah and Jake falling obediently in line behind her.





    “My head...” Troy groans and opens his eyes, only to wish he was still asleep.

    The four teens who had tried to fight beside them, are writhing before him on the cold stone floor. He rolls over and grits his teeth, forcing his aching muscles to respond and inch by inch he brings himself towards a prone Emma.

    “Are you alright?” Hissing through his own pain, Troy tries to wake her. “Emma, I need you to wake up. I can’t do this by myself.

    Her groans have him sag in relief, but a shrill voice has him tense up again. “Emma?” Skull’s voice echoes in the room lit only by the stars. “Emma Kwan?”

    “You’re what’s his name!” Bulk’s voice is next, sounding a lot less confident than normal. “Bullet’s friend. They catch you too I see, not so tough are you?”

    “You really think now is the time for this?” Troy helps Emma sit up and hisses into the gloom. “We have more important things to worry about right now.” Like figuring out how to morph. Even someone as thick headed as you will notice, if I light the room up.

    “The power rangers will save us,” Desperate self delusion is all Bulk has right now and he’s going to cling to it with all of his might. “I’m friends with the black ranger you know.”

    Emma is finally coherent and gasps at the sight of the others. “What’s going on?”

    “It is you...” Skull groans at her voice. “I’d hoped it was another Emma.”

    “Well tough luck, you got me.” Asshole. She starts checking on the others, following Troy’s lead.

    Skull tries to explain, but realizes the futility. “No that’s not what I...” I wanted you to be safe. He tries to help them. “What happened to these guys?”

    Chiming in with his own realization, Bulk’s form becomes visible. “And why are you fine, they carried you all in together?”

    “The monster hit us all with a cloud of red,” Emma tries to remember, with Troy filling in the rest.

    “I think they got hit with more of it, we were closer to the edge.” Troy fails to get a response from any of the afflicted teens. Better than saying our powers kept us safe.

    “They come back every once in a while and grab someone,” Volunteers Bulk, a simple plan forming in his mind. “We can overwhelm the two grey guys and make a break for it!”

    Troy considers it and insists. “We’ll each have to carry one of them, we aren’t leaving anyone.”

    “Fine.”

    Emma shushes them all and points to the door. “Do you hear that? someone’s coming!”

    “Get ready everyone,” Issuing his command, Troy takes his place beside Emma and waits for the door to open.

    When it does, they don’t give the Putties a chance. The four of the rush the first two through the door and start wailing on them.

    Only Noah’s wolf whistle manages to break up the scuffle, with Bulk clapping happily.

    “I knew you’d come for us, I told you all!” He changes his grappling of the black ranger into a hug.

    “Of course I would and I always will.” Jake has a look of confusion behind his visor, as he disentangles himself from Bulk. Kind of a heroes job to save people, isn’t it?

    “We can only get two out the way we came, so Blue here will escort you.” Gia gestures to Troy and Emma. “Red and Pink will be come back with him, they’re keeping the... portal from closing.” She thinks fast and hopes they go with it. Emma you need to go morph, because you’re the only one with a flying Zord.

    “Alright...” Catching the hidden meaning, Troy grabs Emma’s arm and follows the blue ranger from the room.
     
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  24. Threadmarks: Episode 7.5: To Flea Or Not To Flee
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 7.5: To Flea Or Not To Flee

    “How are we going to do this?” Noah asks on his return.

    Turning to the bullies, Troy is forced to ask them for help. “Can you guys each carry one of them, the halls are crawling with Putties.”

    “You can count on us,” Nodding vigorously, Bulk reaches for the prone form of Rocky.

    “Good man,” Jake offers, lifting Tommy onto his own shoulder.

    “Be quiet, and move fast.” Troy checks the hallway and leads the way. “Pink needs to get past the barrier so she can summon her Zord and the rest of you need to get to a meet her outside.”

    Snorting at the name, Skull is unimpressed. “Is that what the robots are called? That’s a dumb name, you should have called them Transformers.”

    “I seem to remember Red said be quiet.” Emma elbows Skull in the back.

    He blushes in embarrassment, but knows he’s heard that voice before. “Sorry.”

    “What are you going to be doing?” She realizes exactly what Troy said and whirls on him.

    “Making a distraction.”

    “Not by yourself you aren’t,” Gia growls, but Troy is firm in his decision.

    “You need to cover the others, I’ll be fine.” He gestures for Emma. “Let’s go, I’ll give you a twenty count before I start making noise.”

    She groans, but gets ready anyway. “I really don’t like this plan.”

    “Either you go first, or we have to escort them all the slow way and wait for you on the balcony,” Explains Troy as he dashes from the room, Emma only two paces behind him.

    Exactly twenty seconds later, explosions can be heard a floor above them. “Move!” Gia takes the lead and makes sure to go a different direction.

    The dreary décor all looks the same, she growls at yet another identical hallway. Makes finding a way out almost impossible.

    “Shh, someone’s coming.” Jake holds up a hand and whispers to the rest. “Yellow get ready.”

    Loud thumping steps can be heard approaching, accompanied by an off tune whistling. “Oh boy, Rita’s going to be happy with me for sure.”

    Squatt skips into view and stumbles to a stop, his jaw dropping in shock. In his hands he holds a curved silver blade, with a ruby set in its handle and an eerie green glow.

    “Uh oh.” He turns on his heels and sprints away, screaming his head off. “Intruders in the palace!”

    “Stop him!” Jake hisses, prompting them all to take off running.

    Taking the lead, Gia leaps in front of the blue monster, forcing him to take a different corridor. “Don’t let him get away!”

    “He’s mine!” Roars Noah, finally putting two and two together and realizing who this monster is. “Take her.” He doesn’t give Gia a chance to argue, practically throwing Aisha at her and dashing down the hallway.

    She readjusts her grip on the girl and growls. “I guess we’re going this way instead.” Turning the opposite way Noah just ran, Gia tries to keep her pace bearable for Bulk and Skull.

    “What about… Blue?” Jake hisses behind her, clearly conflicted on what to do.

    “He knows the mission and he’s making more noise for us, let’s not waste his heroics.” She tries to be rational, yet brisk in her explanation.

    He scowls, but concedes the point. “If he’s not waiting outside, I’m coming back in for him.”

    The foursome traverse the maze like castle, continually ascending onto ever more foul smelling floors. The coppery scent of blood fills the air, along with a thick purple fog that clings to them.

    “The noises are coming from in here,” Jake stops beside an iron door, straining to hear inside.

    Sighing, Gia tries to keep him focused on finding a way out. “Not our goal right now, we have people to save.”

    “And they aren’t the only people Rita captured, are they?” His words remind Gia of the over two hundred missing people, making her blood burn.

    “Alright, but be quick.”

    “I prefer to be thorough,” Jake retorts with a waggle of his eyebrows, that she unfortunately misses out on. Pushing open the heavy door, he goes still at the horrific sight.

    Over a hundred people have been hooked up to tubes, draining the blood of each one. Drip by drip, the crimson fluid splashes into a vat of grey clay and dollops some onto a conveyor belt.

    A pure white dog man is by the machine, his eyes wide in shock behind his round spectacles. “Oh my, this isn’t good.”



    “Turn around and face me!” Roars Noah as he gains on the warty monster who was once his brother.

    “It’s just you now?” Squatt realizes with a glance back and grows confident in his chances. “Alright little brother, you asked for this!” He cackles madly and charges the blue ranger, the Sword of Darkness raised above him.

    “Yes, I did.” Agrees Noah with a grim voice, his lance clashing against the sword in a shower of sparks. “Because I’m going to bring you home!”

    Noah’s rage gives him strength and once he’s locked against the glowing sword, he draws his Blade Blaster with one hand. Clenching his teeth and ignoring his doubts, Noah fires wildly into his brother’s face.

    “Rargh!” Squatt falls backwards and drops the magical weapon into the fog. He clutches his eyes and screams in pain, allowing Noah to focus his energy through his weapon.

    Unscrewing his lance is only the first step in his plan, with him shoving the barrel of his blaster inside. “Sorry about this Zach.” He keeps his eyes open, refusing to hide from his action and shoots.

    The lance is shot forward like a rocket, glowing a vibrant blue. It strikes Squatt square in the chest and throws him down the hall, his roars of pain only increasing in volume and intensity.

    Gasping from the effort, Noah staggers towards his fallen brother. “Zach! You better be breathing.” Or mom will kill me.

    “Noah?” A naked and shivering Zachary stares blankly up at his brother’s relieved face. “What are you doing here? It’s not safe, Rita has plans for you all.”

    He blinks away tears and helps his brother to his feet, unconcerned by his nudity right now. “It doesn’t matter, I have to get you outside. Our ride is coming.”

    “Why’s it so dark? Are we in one of the dungeons?” Zach is confused, but Noah can’t tear his gaze from his brother’s milky eyes.

    “It must be a side effect of purging you, just keep a hold of me.” He takes Zach’s hand and puts it on his shoulder. It better.



    Leaping off the balcony, Emma lands in a crouch on the surface of the moon. She takes a half second to be amazed, before dashing for the barrier atop the crater.

    One small step for man, one giant leap for a ranger. She smirks to herself and coils her muscles, throwing herself into the air and clears the several story cliff in a single bound.

    She braces her self for an impact that never comes. Like it really is a film of oil, Emma slides right through it and lands on the outside.

    “Alpha, I need my Zord now.” She manages to keep her voice even, despite the worry for her friends. “The others are still inside and are going to need a quick escape.”

    Alpha takes a moment to respond, shocked by her sudden call. “I can do you four better.” He recovers quickly and five Zord sized beams of light soar from the Earth.

    “You’re amazing Alpha.” Grinning when her falcon materializes with a silent shriek, she leaps onto it’s head and climbs inside.

    Alpha links the other Zord’s autopilot to her own controls. “Aw shucks.”

    I’m coming guys. Emma grits her teeth and sends her squadron of machines into the crater. She can see a figure in yellow waving, a pair of familiar punks beside her and the others nowhere in sight.

    Bringing her Zord’s wing level with the Balcony, Emma climbs back on top. “Where is everyone?”

    “Blue chased after Squatt and we found everyone else they kidnapped.” Gia explains with a disgusted voice. “Black’s got the one responsible frozen to a wall and is getting them all free. I should go back and help.”

    Stopping her, Emma lets a smirk grow on her face. “No, I have a better idea. We’re forming the Megazord.”

    “With just the two of us?” Gia helps Bulk onto the wing of the Zord, before handing him Aisha and he brings her inside the machine.

    “You remember what Alpha said?” Emma has determination flowing from her. “If your Zord is the head, you’ll be driving. I’ll lock onto the others and you can punch straight through to Black.”

    A thud echoes on the metal wing, announcing the arrival of Scorpina. “Good plan little sister, too bad I’m going to have to stop you.” She stabs forward and Emma is thrown to the side, hanging from her zord by only a single pink hand.

    “Emma!” Gia screams, forgetting secret identities in the face of her friends imminent demise. She doesn’t have time to react, before the monster raises a sword she last saw in Squatt’s hand and impales Eugene through the chest.

    He gasps in pain and a trail of red leaks from his mouth. As his eyes roll back in his head, he goes limp and falls forward. Emma’s scream of grief lasts for what seems an eternity, but the noise is ended by an even more ferocious bellow of loss.

    Bulk charges from the cockpit’s door and tackles the gloating general, sending the both of them over the edge of the wing and tumbling after Skull.

    Gia helps the shocked pink ranger up and sends her inside the Zord, bring the last few teens inside herself. “Still want to do this?”

    “Hell yes.” Emma’s response is savage and filled with anguish. “We’re showing them how it feels, when some brings down the house!”

    The mastodon compacts into a block shape and forms the torso, with the extra mass becoming one arm. leaping on top and taking the form of the head, is the yellow tiger next.

    Before the can fall to the moon, the Ape attaches at the waist and becomes the legs. The blue wolf jumps into the arm next and becomes the remaining arm, with only the falcon to go.

    It shrieks in echo of Emma’s own rage and lands on the back. Unlike before, it does exactly what a bird should do and becomes a pair of magnificent wings.

    “Megazord Flight Mode, engaged!” Emma calls out and Gia sends her the coordinates for Jake’s morpher.

    “Nice and easy now, we don’t want to crush the captives or my boyfriend.”

    “No one else is dying.” Responding with no emotion, Emma brings the machine’s arm back for a punch and drives the fist through the roof of the palace.

    Cowering beneath it, Jake opens his eyes in relief and reaches up to deliver a fist bump. “Now that’s what I call a rescue! Let’s go everyone, get in the hand and the others will meet be on the other side.”

    It takes five handfuls, but seventy eight survivors are rescued and crammed inside the storage area of the Megazord.

    “What happened to Bulk and Skull?” Asks Jake in concern, as he takes his seat behind the engine controls.

    “They proved me wrong,” Gia whispers for a grieving Emma, ending any further questions. “What are we doing with this guy?” She jerks a thumb to the bound Finster.

    He shrugs a response, overwhelmed by everything that has happened today. “Deal with him on Earth. We need to get the others before we have to face someone our size.”

    “It looks like they’re together and almost outside.” Gia peers at her monitor in relief. “That balcony, hurry!”

    Emma maneuvers the Megazord into position, with the head staring at the shocked rangers and Zachary. “Let’s get out of here!” Cheers Troy, while the blue ranger helps his brother inside the robot.

    “Can we go home now?” Once he’s in his seat with his brother standing behind him, Noah finally feels like a hero.

    “One last parting gift,” Emma growls and draws the Mega Sword, before slashing at the palace. It endures the brunt of the attack, but is left with the top dozen floors now separated by a cleft. “Now we’re done.”

    The Megazord starts to soar away, but a furious Rita extends her wand and shoots forth a bolt of black lightning. It crashes into the right wing and tears it off, sparking in an explosion of power.

    “Hang on!” Troy calls out needlessly, as everyone is thrown around and helpless in zero gravity. The engines stall and the lights go dim, with the Megazord tumbling through space towards Earth.

    They survive reentry, but with the systems unresponsive are only a meteor heading for the ground. In a sense of dramatic irony, the massive machine descends straight towards Stone Canyon High.

    Crashing into the school sends everyone slamming hard into the nearest surface. A croaking quack comes from he bottom of the pile and Noah rolls over, freeing Jake’s squished throat.

    “Did we survive?” He groans out, finally able to breath.

    Noah challenges this idea with a giggle. “Dying is supposed to end the pain, so I know I’m still alive.”

    “Well the last thing I saw was a bright light, so who knows.” Zach’s words have Noah go two shades paler and has everyone else at a lose for words. “I’m kidding guys, lighten up. You saved a lot of people today.”

    “It’s not over yet.” Troy looks up when the ground begins vibrating. “Babe Ruthless is back and bigger than ever.”

    Noah sighs, but doesn’t even consider fleeing. “Now we’re going to die.”

    “Or maybe not, look!” Troy can’t believe his eyes.

    A gold and silver knight strides towards the giant monster and doesn’t balk at the challenge. The makes a declaration unheard from this distance, but the roar that follows is definitely not silent. Thundering steps announce the Zord’s arrival and reveal an imposing white giraffe shaped zord, nearly the same size of the combined Megazord.

    Jake turns to his best friend and prods him. “Noah, you know what you need to do right?”

    “If it’s an ice age animal, I think it’s a Paraceratherium...” He realizes that does nothing to help and clarifies as best he can. “A hornless rhino and the Largest land mammal ever, although it’s not from the Pleistocene.”

    “Well whoever that is, they’re kicking ass.” Gia remarks with a grin, as the new Zord unleashes a barrage of laser fire on Babe Ruthless.

    “But they don’t care about collateral damage at all,” Counters Jake, as the monster explodes in bloody pieces. “Or saving the person that was...”



    Scorpina recovers from her fall and grips the Sword of Darkness. With this, she can finally take command and dispose of the witch.

    Striding confidently towards her soon to be royal chambers, Scorpina sends the remaining Putties away. She pauses outside Rita’s door and takes a deep breath, before kicking the door in and charging for the sorceress.

    “My turn now!” She slides under he blast of magical fire and slashes forward, only to have the Sword of Darkness blocked by Rita’s wand.

    “Should have done more with it,” Rita tuts her general and whistles. “Time to show you what I did with Goldar.”

    A skinless man with angry red flesh and silver filigree adorning him walks forward. A grim visage of metal covers his face like a cattle guard and in his hand is a massive Z topped staff.

    “I heard what you said about finding a king, it was one of the only intelligent things I ever heard you say.” Cackles the sorceress, as Lord Zedd channels a beam of raw energy at the traitor.

    Scorpina is forced to molt again, or face a true death. It leaves her gasping for breath and weakened yet again, forcing her to dash away and flee the moon. The Sword of Darkness clatters to the floor and Rita grasps it with a frown.

    “I guess she did a few things useful,”

    Zedd agrees and places an arm around her waist. “She left a body outside for experimentation and even stopped one of the captives from fleeing, I guess we have our Green Ranger.”

    “But with no fight to the death for the honor?” She pouts at the words, but her eyes dance with evil and plans fill her mind. “I guess we’ll just make sure he leaves lots of bodies in his wake.”


    Notes: Yes, I merged the Nasty Knight and Robo Knight storylines and turned the Ultrazord into a similarly shaped mammal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
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  25. Threadmarks: Episode 8: Beware the Knight
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 8: Beware the Knight

    As the shocked silence grows heavier, Jake is the one who break’s it. “He’s on our side… right?”

    “I hope so, because his ultra Zord is turning this way.” Noah hisses back.

    Alarms in the Megazord start to blare, as the new white machine locks it’s weapons onto them. “Surrender Vile’s soldier for elimination, or share his fate.” The declaration is hacked into the cockpit’s speakers, causing all five rangers to jerk in shock.

    “I believe he means me,” Finster snickers from his spot bound on the floor.

    “Not happening,” Groans Troy, tapping into the Command Center. “Zordon. You need to get us out of here now!” Just as the white light is about to connect, the heavily damaged Megazord dissipates into rainbow light and scatters into the sky.

    The civilians are sent to the Angel Grove that began everything, with a freshly restored Ernie and Zach a part of the crowd. The five rangers appear back at base and share a united front.

    Gia goes first, her words being spit with a heavy dose of venom. “What, did you decide to replace us already?”

    “Hard to miss the fact that he got his Zord of his own.” Agrees Jake, a glare on his face as he removes his helmet. “And it was a heck of a lot bigger than mine, what gives?”

    “I noticed he was barely above room temperature.” Troy adds, which has Noah get excited.

    “Did you make a robot ranger to help us?”

    When Alpha’s lights dim and he awkwardly begins shuffling in place, Emma is reminded of what he said. “Or is this someone you lost a long time ago, who found their way home?”

    “Astutely noticed Emma.” Zordon admits with a heavy sigh. “And yes, Alpha One was my attempt to create a combat model.”

    “Attempt?” Crossing his arms, Troy notices they are a few models down the line and no longer have the same purpose. “What went wrong?”

    Sorrow and guilt mix on Zordon’s face. “I built him, guided him, and loved him like a father.” He lets his words sink in before continuing. “Losing my little Robo Knight, was a pain I did not wish to repeat. Each subsequent model, was designed for a support role only.”

    “My brother was tasked with protecting the Sword of Darkness from Master Vile,” Explains Alpha, his voice sounding more morose than many a man. “I thought he had fallen long ago in his duty.”

    Noah is still focused on the ultimatum. “He’s powerful alright, but he was ready to fry us. Something went wrong with his programming.”

    “We kind of need to deal with Finster still.” Jerking his thumb toward the force field, Jake reminds everyone they do have a captive.

    “What about Orion, isn’t he still here?” Emma remembers their new friend.

    “Correct on both counts Rangers.”

    “So lets bring this guy outside and finish this.” Grinning like a loon, Noah is already heading for the exit. “I kind of need to tell my mom Zach is home and she’s supposed to pick me up from the Juice Bar soon.”

    Once they assemble the cannon outside in the desert, Alpha transports a grumbling Finster in front of them. A quick blast of multicolored lasers later and to the shock of everyone, Ernie is the one trying to cover his nudity.

    Ready for it this time, Troy tosses his towel is to the Juice Bar’s owner. “Uh, thanks kid. You’re Troy right?”

    “Yeah.” The fact that he remembered that from his time as a monster, is not a relief.

    “Well thank you all, it felt like I was a prisoner in my own body the entire time.” He shudders and starts to tear up. “The things Kimberly made me do to those people...”

    Troy speaks up with concern, speaking into his wrist anxiously. “Is Orion alright to drive home?”

    “He has been kept in a state of suspended animation until you returned.” Quick to respond and giddy from his own news, Alpha explains. “It would be best for you and Emma to return with them, so as not to arouse suspicion from him.”

    “If that’s the case, shouldn’t you send him to the park with everyone we rescued?” Troy counters with his own suggestion. “So we can explain his sudden reappearance.”

    “Don’t worry guys, my lips are sealed.” Assuring them before even needing to be asked, Ernie smiles at the five teens. “Got to be a real jerk to rat out the people who saved me.”

    “Thanks Ernie,” Relieved, Troy waves goodbye and watches Ernie vanish in a grey beam of light.

    “I’ll see you guys tomorrow I guess, we should probably check in with Ernie and make sure he’s okay.”

    Emma agrees, exhaling through her nose. “Explaining this to Orion will be fun.”

    “Let’s tell him we barely got away from the attack and hid with him knocked out, only for a giant robot to almost crush us.”

    “And we just woke up?” She considers it and nods. “Better than anything I had.” In agreement, they vanish in a matching swirl of lights, joining Orion’s on the way to Stone Canyon.

    “I’ll see you guys tomorrow, as long as my mom let’s me leave the house.” Noah waves goodbye and disappears in his own beam of blue. I’ll be lucky if she ever let’s me and Zach leave the house again. For some reason, this thought doesn’t upset him too much.

    “Just me and you now.” With a single eyebrow raised, Gia turns to a Jake and his suddenly sweaty palms. “I think we missed the matinee.”

    “Should I just take you home then, after all the excitement?”

    She quirks her lips at the disappointment on his face and chuckles. “We saved a lot of people today and I kind of don’t want this feeling to end yet.”

    “If we eat slow, we can make the seven thirty.” He suggests, which makes her loop her arm through his.

    As they vanish in their own light show, she gives him some final advice. “Better have some interesting stuff to talk about I guess.” I really need a distraction right now.





    “I can’t believe they brought my baby home!” Noah’s mom wraps his brother in a hug, the rest of her words becoming incomprehensible through her tears.

    Zach is quiet for a minute, just sinking into his mother’s embrace. “I missed you too mom. And Noah, thanks for looking after everything while I was playing astronaut.”

    “What?”

    “They took us to the moon mom, was really freaky.” He explains, while Noah opens the door to the hallway filled with the reunited.

    “Noah and Zach!” Ernie’s jovial voice cuts through the cacophony, with his bright Hawaiian shirt clearing a way. “They saved you too?” He winks at Noah carefully and plays oblivious for his mom.

    Clarifies the unseeing but still smiling Zachary. “Just me Ernie.”

    “You need a ride home?” Noah tries frowns at a solo Ernie.

    “Orion and Hayley should be here soon to show off the Juice Bar. She said you’ve been a huge help, would have shut right back down on the first day if it wasn’t for you.”

    “Would it be alright if I got a ride with you?” Noah asks, which has his mom crossing her arms.

    “I thought I told you today was for family.”

    He frowns and tries to come up with an excuse, not wanting to look Zach in the eyes. “I still have to get the… dishwasher working again. Troy kind of broke it and Hayley is counting on me.”

    “First Emma and now this Hayley girl?” His mother gives him a stern look. “I hope you aren’t taking after your brother.”

    “You know I only have eyes for Angela mom.” Zach tries to get the heat off his back, but the wording could have been better. “Besides I’m exhausted and just want to sleep. Can we do family day tomorrow?” Thank you Zach.

    She frowns, but relents eventually. “I guess, if they really need your help. Be home by five.” Guiding Zachary to the elevators, she disappears in the crowd.

    Breathing out a heavy sigh, Noah turns to Ernie with a wince. “Thanks, I was running out of ideas.”

    “Dad!” Orion’s voice is filled with disbelief. “It really is you!” He dashes forward, with a stone faced Hayley power walking after him. Orion doesn’t even seem to seem Noah in his mad dash, but Hayley stops directly in front of him and throws her arms around him tightly.

    “Thank you for bringing him back,” She whispers in his ear and lets go, leaving a stunned Noah to watch her have her own turn greeting her father.

    Ernie wouldn’t have said anything over the phone, so she must have seen me teleport. His mouth goes dry as he follows the family to Orion’s car, dread over his lack of discretion filling him like a sandbag.





    “No Noah yet?” Troy gets off the bus, to find the girls already waiting for him outside the Juice Bar.

    While Emma greets him with a friendly hug, Gia confirms it. “He and his mom are at the hospital picking up Zach, Jake’s covering the counter for Hayley right now.”

    “Zordon said my Zord will take days to get flying again,” Emma admits and follows them inside. “What are we going to do if a monster attacks?”

    They see Jake sitting on the counter of an empty place. “We just take them out while they’re small.”

    “I think we should try and contact Robo Knight, he’d really be a big help.” Troy makes sure no one else is present, before speaking his mind. “And things always seem to go wrong, I’d like some back up we do get a big one.”

    “Did you get enough sleep Dude?” Retorts a scowling Jake. “He was going to blow all of us away yesterday.”

    “Because we had a monster with us. But if he’s as old as Zordon said, maybe he doesn’t know we can purify them now.” Troy tries to explain. But how do you explain that you saw him fight beside them… in a dream and one you only sort of remember?

    Several teams of rangers fought against an army of evil, but none wore any of the current ones suits. Troy clenches his fists, determined none of his friends will fall. “We have to at least try talking to him, fighting should always be a last resort.”

    “Good advice,” Ernie greets everyone, sneaking in through the back door while Orion parks. “I’m going to need someone to takeover my Karate classes, if I want to keep them going. You interested?”

    He appreciates the offer, but has to turn it down. “I don’t know, I can’t really promise my availability.” Monsters like to attack at the worst times.

    “It’s only an hour whenever you have time and we only do drop ins, so if an... emergency springs up.” Ernie winks when he hears the back door open again. “You can reschedule for later.”

    Hayley and Noah enter with an extremely excited Orion bringing up the rear. “If we’re finally hiring some help I can always use someone to clean at night. Or help in the kitchen during rushes. it’s all split shift stuff, so it’s been hard to find anyone.”

    “You two had some impressive moves from what I saw… before everything went crazy.” Orion has an easy grin on his face when he turns to Emma and Troy. “Want to show me what you really have?” His grin splits into a massive smile when Troy agrees, meeting him on the mats.

    When the five watches go off with a synchronous chime a few hours later, Ernie sends the rangers off on an errand and misses Hayley’s look of realization.





    When the five beams of light arrive in Reefside, it is to a grim sight. The Chunky Chicken falls before them, it’s head vaporized.

    “He’s... efficient.” Noah fumbles for a word.

    Beside him, Jake sticks to his earlier opinion. “I still say this is a horrible idea.”

    “Didn’t stop when you had yours.” Troy reminds him firmly, making Jake go silent.

    The team approach the silent figure of Alpha One, wary of a sudden attack. “Thanks for saving us yesterday and for taking care of the monster, but do you know they can be turned back to normal now?” Troy takes the lead with a calm and confident voice.

    “An unnecessary risk, my mission is to guard the Sword of Darkness and slay evil.” The robot declares, the emotion in his younger brother’s voice missing from his own.

    “And ours is to protect the world, so you killing the people who got transformed… not really helping.” Jake snorts, only for Gia to elbow him in the gut and send him once more into silence.

    “That is your mission and I have mine.”

    Emma tries a different approach. “Isn’t Zordon the one who made you, because he’s the one who gave us our mission too. We should be working together.”

    “Name unknown,” The response is delivered like an error message, with Robo Knight’s voice almost like a dial tone. “Claim unverified.”

    Noah figures it out first, blurting out his realization immediately. “Your memory files got corrupted.”

    “Unlikely, that would require my defeat first.” The gold and silver warrior claims, with no trace of smugness in his voice and sounds like a simple fact is being stated. “I am the ultimate warrior against evil, I could not have be defeated. It is implausible.”

    Troy stops Robo Knight from leaving with his own firm declaration. “No more killing monsters, we save people.”

    “Or else?” The robotic warrior clearly expects a threat, only to be surprised.

    “No or else.” Troy steps forward and offers a hand. “You’ll do it our way, because killing innocent people makes you evil and doesn’t that mean you’d need to slay yourself?”

    Robo Knight doesn’t answer or accept the hand, only turns away and starts to run. Once he reaches freeway speeds, he leaps into the air. His legs transform into a rocket and he shoots off into the sky.

    “Well… that went better than I expected.” Admits Jake, taking Troy’s hand so he isn’t left hanging. “I thought he was going to take us all out.”

    “So why did you lip off a potentially killed robot?” Noah growls at his friend.

    “Because I-”

    Gia cuts him off with a roll of her eyes. “Are an idiot sometimes?”

    “We know.” The other three chime in with laughter.

    Noah stops and has to make a confession. "I may have done something stupid too, because I think Hayley knows about me being you know... blue."
     
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  26. Threadmarks: Episode 9: The Trouble With Shellshock
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 9: The Trouble With Shellshock

    “Noah!” His mother barks at him, as he guides Zach to the picnic table in the park. “Slow down, it’s not a race.”

    Knowing this is all his fault, he doesn’t try to argue. “Sorry mom.”

    “It’s fine Mom. I still know how to walk.” Groans Zach, a single day of his and he’s already fed up. “Just let me get used to the cane.”

    I should have been better. Swallowing his guilt, he places Zach’s hand on the table and takes his own seat. This is my fault, the others would have gotten you home safe.

    “I’m just so happy you’re home.”

    His brother nudges him under the table and smirks. “Yeah, thanks to the Blue Ranger.” How can you even say that?

    “He sure did a great job.” He tries to keep out the sarcasm, but his mother’s glare is enough to know he failed.

    Zach smiles, somehow able to stay ever positive. “If you saw the things I had to, you wouldn’t be so upset about giving your peepers a rest.”

    With those words, the family of three try to enjoy the afternoon. Of course the peace cannot last, not in Angel Grove at least. Not even halfway through the meal, a blot of colorless lightning strikes the ground nearby.

    The explosion of energy sends a shower of dirt raining onto those trying to flee, while Noah does his best to shield his mom.

    “Get Zach to the van mom!” He whirls around to find the very earth itself rising up to fight. “Those people are hurt.” I’m saving someone.

    Dashing forward, he doesn’t wait for a response. The dirt and rock are rising up in clumpy segments and slamming together into a vaguely humanoid shape. When fully formed, they stand a foot and a half taller than he does and take on the familiar grey coloration of the Putties.

    “Get away from them!” He doesn’t consider the possibility of failure, he doesn’t have time. The couple on the ground need him and he will save them. Tackling the first one sends it rolling away and leaves him with only three more to face at the moment.

    Noah steps in front of the cowering couple and stands firm, determination flowing from him. “I said go!” They listen this time and take of at a sprint, leaving him able to go all out.

    “I’m not really into rock and roll, but I guess we can jam.” He smirks and ducks the first thrown punch, returning a jab of his own. Slower than the other ones, but a lot more durable.

    Each one of his strikes that connect, reminds him that he can do this. I have to, no one else is here.

    He brings the fight closer to the duck pond and an idea begins forming in his mind. “Hope you can swim!” Slamming his fist into the next golem, he watches with satisfaction and it splashes into the water.

    “Who’s next?” he ducks under the next one to charge him and flips it into the muddy pond beside it’s comrade.

    A second bolt of lighting strikes the park, with a pillar of black smoke revealing the monster. A spike shelled snapping turtle has at least a foot on him, with a rather strange addition. Does it have a traffic light… stuck in it’s spine?

    “I am ranger!” Snarls Shellshock, as the green light glows bright and completely captures Noah in it.

    When he feels no pain, his eyes blink open and he finds himself already moving. Unfortunately it is not his own doing. Why won’t my body stop moving? His best efforts to stop, only get him to perform rapid pace rings around the monster.

    The terrapin foe cackles madly. “Let’s see how fit to fight you are, after you’ve run a few marathons!”

    Unable to resist any longer, Noah begins to run as fast as he can. Instead of digging himself into a trench on the beach, he turns and races away from the park.

    “Alpha, you better call the others.” He patches himself through to the Command Center, as he passes his third mile. “I can’t stop and we’ve got a monster in town.”



    “Don’t get hit by the light,” Troy reminds the other three rangers, while they head towards the screaming.

    Snorting at the obvious, Jake draws his Power Ax. “No duh.”

    “Ten bucks says he’s first one hit.” Emma teases Gia, who shakes her head back and forth.

    “That’s a sucker’s bet, no way.”

    “I’m in and twenty says I’m not.” He laughs back.

    His girlfriend rolls her eyes and groans. “See, a sucker’s bet.”

    “Focus, we got a monster to deal with.” Troy growls, his eyes being drawn to Shellshock and the crowd he’s currently chasing.

    He darts forward and flips over the civilians, slashing through a super sized golem and charging for the next. Not taking a moment to worry about the how, he focuses on dealing with the enhanced enemies.

    Gia takes the lead in directing the crowd and sends them towards the library. Once the crowd starts moving that way, the rest follow with no need for further instruction. She draws her daggers and roars, throwing herself at the charging Super Putties.

    Her arrows don’t do much more than leave a scratch on Shellshock’s hide, forcing Emma to go for her Blade Blaster with a frustrated hiss. “This turtle’s tough, be careful!”

    “Allow me.” Jake confidently declares. He steps in front of her and stops her charge mid step. The triple shot he sends at the monster has no noticeable effect, making Emma laugh.

    “Ooh, impressive.”

    The banter is cut off suddenly, as a beam of red light strikes them both. When it fades away, both are frozen in place and glowing crimson.

    “They looked like they needed a break,” Shellshock cackles at the sight and curls up into a spiky ball, shooting towards the immobile rangers.

    He barely manages to throw himself in front of the attack, which sends Troy soaring through the air and crashing into a store window. Shaking the glass off himself, Troy grits his teeth and charges back for a second round.

    Standing firm beside Gia, he raises his sword above his red. “We have to stop him.”

    “Not like I want to throw him in a zoo,” She snorts back and whirls her daggers in her palms. “So I’ll draw his fire, get that thing off his back.”

    He narrows his eyes behind his visor and can feel his heart pounding a mile a minute. “You sure about this?”

    “No, so hurry up before I change my mind.” She doesn’t wait for an answer, dashing forward and swerving left at the last second.

    “Why are you in such a rush?” Slashing forward with one claw, he knocks the yellow ranger to the sidewalk and laughs. “You should slow down and enjoy life!” A beam of yellow collides with Gia.

    She begins slowing down, like she’s moving through molasses. When the yellow spotlight is gone, Gia shines like the sun.

    “Hope you don’t mind, but I’m a little shy.” Shellshock feigns embarrassment. “You’ll have to settle for some one one one!”

    Roaring in feral rage, the monster collides with Troy and sends him skidding along the road. Sparks explode off of him from the impact and he can he bells ringing.

    “I’m just getting started.”

    Troy flips back onto his feet and block the next swing with his Power Sword. The force of the blow forcing him back a few feet.

    “Well I’m finishing this.” Shellshock retorts and his neck extends. His massive beak chomps down where Troy’s head was a half second prior.

    Balls of scarlet plasma strike the shocked turtle, sending him flying in his own explosion of sparks. The comforting roar of his Mega Cycle echos across the battlefield and Alpha’s voice fills his ears.

    “Troy.” He sounds proud of himself. “I had to rush this, so it may have some kinks to work out still.”

    “What do you mean?” Troy starts to ask, but that’s when Alpha sends the new programming straight into his helmet. The bike’s schematics fill his visor, with the new mode making him grin in delight.

    “Oh, I see.” Troy throws his hands to the side and roars. “Battlizer mode, engage!”

    His bike explodes into pieces, with the collection rocketing towards him. A large section slams onto his chest and clips into a second matching piece along his back. Next are his arms and legs, with more of the armor attaching anywhere he doesn’t need the flexibility.

    Right after shoulder pads connect to the rest of the ensemble, a biker’s helmet in the shape of an ape slides over his own. His arms and legs bulk up and he can feel how much more power he has.

    “You said something about finishing this?” He smirks, the surge of new power making him cocky. “Cause I don’t think it’s going down that way.” The wheel on each thigh drops down and spins, shooting him forward at incredible speed.

    Shellshock is tough, but slow. He’s unable to avoid to sudden attack and Troy tackles the monster. Driving the turtle into one of the few remaining parked cars, It crumples around him.

    Troy leaps into the air and bring his arms together, the twin barrels each on one of them and glowing with power. “Let’s see how strong that shell really is!” He roars, unleashing all the energy he can manage.

    Shellshock can’t avoid the attack and screams in fear, but the noise ends long before the light show. When Troy finally stops his assault, another naked and unfamiliar person is revealed.

    Gasping for breath, Troy smiles at his success. When he turns to check on his friends, the imposing form of Robo Knight is seen observing from a nearby rooftop in silent judgment. Something draws the watcher’s gaze and this warning is what saves Troys life.

    He throws himself to the side, right before a skeleton stabs the air he was just occupying. Half of his bones are bleached white like his sword, but the other half of him is a camouflage pattern to match his gun.

    “Aw I missed Bulk, I’m sorry.” The familiar cackling laugh of Skull comes from the monster’s… skull. “I promise I’ll gut the dweeb this time.”

    “You better, I don’t need a useless sidekick.” Bulk speaks, making Troy’s blood run cold when he makes his appearance. “Just like I don’t need useless rangers.” His bulk is partially concealed by the green ranger uniform, the only difference being his helmet design and the gold crest on his chest.

    From under the reptilian themed helmet, Bulk taunts him with a silver sword in his grip. “You need all these toys to win, so I’m going to show you what it really means to be a ranger.” He fails to see the irony of his statement and rushes forward.

    Only Robo Knight’s surprising intervention stops him from being crushed between Bulk and Skull’s combined attack. While Troy blocks the skeleton’s blade from slicing him in twain, a gleaming great sword of gold stops the green ranger.

    “Red Ranger, your mission and mine intersect currently.” The emotionless voice decides. “I will aid you for now.”

    “Thanks, I can rea-”

    Robo Knight cuts of his gratitude. “Stop. This is a temporary arrangement. Now focus on the battle, do not be distracted like a human and make me regret this decision.”

    “What happened to the Nasty Knight I was told all about, you’re so… tame.” Bulk kicks the machine and manages to send him stumbling back a few steps.

    “And you’re still fat!” Gia is no longer in slow motion and rejoins the fight, one of her daggers looping around the green ranger. She yanks hard and Bulk doesn’t resist until the last second, tearing free and slashing into her.

    Likewise free from Shellshock’s effect, Jake and Emma are next to attack. Working in tandem to save Gia, he barely manages to block the cursed blade. Once he’s done so, he jumps into the splits and let’s Emma slide through them.

    At point blank range, she blasts Bulk right in the face. She doesn’t let up and has her blaster in blade mode by the time she’s back on her feet, swinging with all her might at the green ranger.

    It’s no explosion, but she does send sparks flying with each strike. Bulk take a step backwards with each impact and laughs madly. “You never said Emma had such fight in her Skull. If I knew, I would have let you keep her!”

    “A little busy here Bulk,” Skull parries Troy’s blade, with the red ranger finding them more evenly matched than the waves of power flowing from Bulk’s golden shield. Even my battlizer is just a toy to him.

    “We wanted to draw out the knight, it’s not my fault he’s such a geek.” The green ranger sends all three of his foes flying with a single swipe of his sword, the wave of sickly green energy crashing into them. “Now stop whining and finish him off. If we bring back this hunk of junk, we get to rule whatever is left of the city.”

    A salvo of plasma strikes him in the back and sends him tumbling along the road. “No, you will not.” Robo Knight has his man sized blade in one hand and his other holds a glowing rifle. “My mission is to recover the Sword of Darkness, I do not fail.”

    “Well you’re about to get crushed.” Bulk laughs to himself, as another bolt of colorless lightning forks. It slams into both Bulk and Skull, causing the pair to grow massive.







    Notes: I know it’s a few days before the end of the poll, but I didn’t expect to be posting basically everyday and am like a week and a half ahead of schedule. I could have waited for the 26th, but the poll has been consistent with Bulk having half the votes. I feel people would rather have 3-4 chapters, than wait till the 26th for one.
     
  27. Threadmarks: Episode 9.5: Attack of the 60 Foot Bulk
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 9.5: Attack of the 60 Foot Bulk

    “Great.” Emma scowls as the others leap for their Zords. “I get to watch.”

    As a blue bolt of light enters the wolf, Noah gasps out his log in. “Sorry I’m late, Wolf Zord is ready to fight.”

    “Mastodon, powered up and ready.”

    “Saber-tooth tiger is online.’

    “Gigantopithicus ready to rumble.”

    Not going to miss the coming action, Robo Knight throws his hand to the sky and calls his own Zord. “Titanus, aid me in my mission.” He doesn’t scream, but his voice reverberates across the city.

    When his massive white Zord arrives, he rockets towards it and enters in a flash of silver light. “Rangers it seems I must rely on you still, do not fail.”

    His long necked machine extends it’s cannons and unleashes a devastating beam of white. It strikes Bulk directly in the chest and causes an eruption of power, blanketing the city in smoke.

    “Not even a scratch?” Bulk mocks and is revealed to be completely unharmed when the smoke clears. “Why did I ever look up to you dweebs, you’re more like the Pushover Rangers.” Drawing his own blaster, he returns fire.

    “Handle his ally, the thief is my responsibility.” Commands Robo Knight, as he endures the barrage and sends his Zord charging forward.

    Fine with the division of labor, Troy gives his own instructions. “Jake with me, we’ll knock him off balance and let the others take pot shots.”

    “Got it.” He goes unusually quiet for a moment, before ending his call with a laugh. “I just found the stereo, I’m going to need to bring some music next time.”

    “That would be which button?” Gia plays it casual, but starts frantically searching her own cockpit.

    Rolling his eyes at them, Noah gives the answer. “It’s the orange one that looks like a grenade. Alpha’s not the most... nimble with a brush and I think it was supposed to be an ear.”

    “Have you been riding in style since day one?” Grumbles Jake, as he wraps his Zord’s trunk around Skulls white wrist. “Because that’s not cool.”

    “I thought you would have asked.” The wolf grabs the green thigh in it’s jaws, before pulling away from the Mastodon.

    Troy charges forward and grins. “Now keep him like that.” The red ape grabs a third limb, with the tiger grabbing the final leg.

    With the force of each Zord moving in different directions, a shattering crack echoes through Angel Grove. Skull’s massive head falls to the street, screaming about his lack of body the entire time.

    After a few moments of enduring his wails, the skeleton stops and blinks. “Oh yeah, I’m a monster now.” With that realization, he reforms in the blink of an eye.

    “Alright, my turn now!” He lifts his rifle and unleashes a gout of napalm. It sprays forward and douses the Mastodon, with flames igniting on contact.

    “It’s getting a little hot in here!” Jake starts to panic when a thick black smoke fills his cockpit, blocking everything from sight. “And I just lost visibility.”

    The tiger and wolf Zords leap onto the giant sized Skull, distracting him so Troy can lift the flaming Zord. “We got this, don’t worry.”

    Troy’s words do little to calm Jake. As even when his Zord is placed in the nearby ocean, his cockpit is now filled with smoke and water.

    “Gia, look out!” Troy tries to warn her in time, but Skull’s eyes begin glowing orange. He grabs the tiger by the scruff of the neck and tosses her into the air.

    Unable to reach her, Troy is forced to watch twin beams of orange energy strike and punch through the yellow zord’s hindquarters. Sparks explode from the impact and leave the fierce tiger immobile.

    Skull slaps his free hand against his thigh and barks with amusement. “Two down and three more to go. Damn it’s good to be mean.”

    “Yeah.” Bulk joins the laughter, Robo Knight’s Zord in a headlock and unable to do much. “Whoever said it wasn’t easy, needs to get stepped on.”

    “It was Oscar the Grouch.” His bony companion explains in mistaken confidence. “Does that mean we’re stomping on Sesame Street next?”

    “Don’t be stupid Skull, now stop goofing off and finish the geeks!”

    Doing as he’s told Skull gives Bulk a mocking salute and turns to the growling wolf. “Nice doggie...”

    “This dog wants a bone!” Noah roars and extends his Zord’s tail forward like a canon. The blast of pressurized water, cuts through the bones like cardboard and severs both of Skull’s legs.

    The massive red ape leaps onto the fallen bully and starts doing the Donkey Kong slam. Each mighty blow shatters more bones and stops the skeleton from reassembling himself.

    “This really hurts ya know!” Complains the discard head, which draws Noah’s attention to the body part.

    “It’s his head!” Feeling confidence return, Noah sends his machine dashing forward. What he does not expect, is Titanus being thrown into him and leaving him pinned beneath it. “You have to destroy his head!”

    “On it,” Troy finally understands and turns his Zord, only to have Bulk collide with him. “Never mind, not on it.”

    The ape slides backwards down the street, tearing trenches in the pavement below and Bulk gloats with every block. “Your friends are beaten and you’re going to die. When I’m done here, this city is going to burn!”

    As Bulk forces him closer to the sea with each step, Troy can hear the smirk. “How does it feel, knowing everyone will die because you failed? Does it make you sad, make you want to cry?”

    “Do you see any tears?” Diverting all spare power towards his Zord’s legs, Troy bellows in defiance. Instead of pushing forward, he lifts instead and then falls backwards.

    Bulk’s massive body is thrown out to sea and lands with a plume of water. Troy thinks fast and brings his Zord into the ocean, raising it’s arms as a barrier against the tidal wave sized splash.

    The waves rock him backwards and make it hard to keep the massive machine on it’s feet, but somehow he Troy manages. He doesn’t get to feel relief though, because Bulk is already striding back to shore and Skull cackles in the city behind him.

    “Nice move, but you should have pounced on me and ignored the wave.” Bulk mocks the ape, smirking at how it only reaches just above his waist. “You’re not getting another chance, not now that it’s two on-”

    He stops mid sentence and green electricity arcs along his body. His suit fades in and out of existence, with his massive size suddenly vanishing. The green body falls from the sky, only to become a bolt of green and shoot towards the moon. “We’ll finish this later!”

    “Yeah, later!” Skull shrieks with worry for his comrade and a swirling vortex of bones follows the light into space.





    Feeling the sting of a bitter loss, the five rangers arrive at the Juice Bar and just want to relax. They all have bruises and aching muscles, but none of them want to go home yet.

    “Lot’s of people here for a Tuesday night, what’s going on?” Jake frowns at Noah, sure he forget to tell them about some event.

    “No idea,” He shrugs and repeats himself when Jake doesn’t believe him. “I swear! Why are you looking at me like that?”

    Jake crosses his arms and snorts at his friends ignorance. “Because Hayley’s been following you around like a puppy for days.”

    “He’s right, she has.” Agrees Gia, which gets a big smile from the black ranger. “f anyone knows what’s going on, it would be you.”

    “I keep telling you, I think she knows about me.” He tries to explain, but it comes out as a desperate whine.

    Giggling at the sound, Emma joins in the teasing. “That you’re incredibly smart?”

    “And kind?” Troy adds with a smirk of his own, glad no one seems too depressed.

    “Don’t forget good looking.” Nodding like a sage, Jake reaches for the Juice Bar’s door.

    A cacophony of music and cheers flood the parking lot and the five share confused looks. They enter slowly and find the place almost filled to capacity.

    Teens are dancing and cheering in front of a projector, that constantly plays the rangers victories. The footage is recorded off the news and grainy, but no one seems to care. The fact that they can point at something bringing them safety, is more than enough for the crowd.

    “First impromptu Ranger victory party?” Troy reads off a banner hanging above the counter. Each letter is one of the five ranger’s color and so is all of the decorations. In fact… Troy looks closer at the people celebrating. Everyone is wearing them and I don’t even see a splash of green.

    “Okay, this is awesome.” Jake claps his hands in excitement and takes Gia’s, leading her out to the dance floor. She put’s up a token resistance, but relents to his request for a single dance.

    “Glad you guys could come!” Ernie greets the others with a jovial smile and leans in close. “And even gladder you saved us again.” He winks gleefully at being in on the secret. “Now what can I get you? It’s on the house.”

    “Uh, I...” Sputters Noah when he sees Hayley heading right for him.

    “Come on, I’ll buy you five minutes.” Emma takes his hand and drags him away to dance, calling back to Troy as she does. “Send her after us when the next song changes, he’ll be presentable by then.”

    “Alright,” He snorts at the sight of Noah being shown some basic steps and places his order. Jake’s right, this really is amazing. He smiles at the nearly hundred teens enjoying themselves, not scared and unwilling to let the monsters grind life to a halt.

    “Why is Noah avoiding me?” Hayley cuts right to the chase and slides onto the stool beside him.

    Troy can’t think of anything, never having been great with normal interactions. “He thinks you believe he’s the blue ranger.” He goes for the ridiculous truth, only to feel his blood go cold at Hayley’s answer.

    “I don’t think,” She doesn’t blink, but leans in close. “I know.”

    Troy’s eyes go wide in shock and his mouth goes dry. How do I fix this? “Why do you think that?” He tries to buy himself more time.

    “I know it, because I saw him teleport and only the blue ranger has a beam that color.” She directs his gaze to Noah, who is still stepping on Emma’s feet. “If he hasn’t told you, maybe he hasn’t told the others?”

    “I think that’s the kind of thing he’d want kept a secret.” Ernie reminds his daughter, not missing a beat over her sudden knowledge. “So if he really is, just wait for him to say something. It’s like he’s Spiderman, so it’s his secret.”

    She nods slowly, considering the advice. “Well if he really hasn’t shared this with any of you, he’s got to be feeling pretty overwhelmed.” Standing, Hayley brushes of her blue jeans and double checks with Troy first. “I’m not going to interrupt anything, am I?”

    “Emma said she’d keep him busy for you,” He stands and follows her towards the dancers. “So I shouldn’t leave her hanging.”

    The exchange of partners goes off relatively smoothly, Noah is even able to speak full sentences again when he is handed of to the smiling redhead.

    “How are your dad and Orion doing?” Is his feeble attempt at conversation. “No lasting side effects?”

    She gives him an indecipherable look and nods. “None so far, but my mom is making Orion take it easy. You aren’t supposed to be unconscious that long and she’s worried.”

    “Good precaution,” Noah agrees easily, his nerves settling as the song goes on. “To be honest, I didn’t even know Ernie was married.”

    “Mom works at the observatory,” Explains a very proud Hayley. “She’s kind of famous in her field of work. People say it’s like she has first hand knowledge of where to look for new planets.”

    “What’s her name?”

    Hayley grins at his interest and shares the cover story. “She changed her name when she immigrated from Europe, one of the really small countries. She doesn’t like talking about her childhood very much.” When you tell me the truth, so will I. “She goes by Karen Astronema when she publishes a paper, but otherwise uses our family name.”

    “What’s going on with all of this?” Even he can tell it’s a sore subject and tries to change it to one more easy to answer.

    “Dad wanted to celebrate our heroes and told everyone he was throwing a victory party any time the rangers win.” She answers with a grin. “Half off if you dress in a rangers colors and if you wear green everything’s double priced.”

    “Why?”

    She lets out a light laugh and goes in closer for the slow dance, not giving him a chance to escape. “We only support the heroes here and green showed his true colors today.”

    “That’s really cool of you guys,” His answer comes with his eyes locked on his feet, managing to only step on her feet twice.

    “I know.” Hayley winces from his third accidental footing and stops him. “Let’s try this instead.” Stepping onto his feet, she makes sure his grip on her waist is secure. “Okay, this should work.”

    He goes pale from her proximity and shivers from the feeling of her breath on his neck. “Yeah?” His voice comes out as a nervous squeak, but he does start to dance.
     
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  28. Happerry

    Happerry The Song to the Flame

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    Well, it might not be a breather episode, but at least they get a party.
     
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  29. Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    One every victory, even if I won't show all of them. It really was time to show them having some fun, thanks for reminding me.

    The actual breather is next episode while Rita and Zedd have a honeymoon/acquire new foot soldiers.
     
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  30. Threadmarks: Episode 10: Happy Birthday Noah
    Flightless Man

    Flightless Man Not too sore, are you?

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    Episode 10: Happy Birthday Noah

    “We do rule the moon, do we not?” Lord Zedd steeples his fingers and questions his bride to be.

    Her eyes flash wickedly, as Rita considers how to pay him back for the remark later. “Of course we do.”

    “So why do we have only a handful of subjects serving us?” His voice booms through the nearly empty chamber and echoes through the palace. “This will not do.” He frowns at the recently transformed and knows they will be insufficient.

    The Terror Toad bickers with the Gnarly Gnome on the far side of chamber, while Eye Guy is trading witty barbs with King Sphinx. The Green Ranger is trying his best to impress the deadly Madam Woe, his foolish companion failing to be his wing-man.

    Rita crosses her arms and “The new monsters are much better fighters than the first batch, one of them will defeat the Rangers.”

    “If we intend to rule this rock, we shall need an army of our own and servants that don’t churn my stomach.” The humans are so sweaty and whiny, they aren’t fit to lick the palace floors clean. “The world of Tengu shall be a perfect place to acquire them.”

    “But Zeddie, what about the rangers?”

    He growls at the mention of the color coded warriors. “We can leave the buffoons here with Baboo, they can keep the Rangers busy and of balance until we return.”

    “Of you’re so wicked,” Rita clings to his arm and purrs. “It will be the perfect gift for our wedding.”





    Hands shaking and his heart still going a mile a minute, Noah stares in amazement at his drivers license. In the five weeks since first wearing spandex in public, this was the scariest thing I’ve done. First thing I had to do completely alone and I did it.

    As his grin grows ever wider, he thanks whoever is listening for the lack of trouble today and enters the Juice Bar with a cheery greeting. His friends, both his teammates and the Ziktor family are waiting eagerly for his news.

    “Well guys, I don’t think he looks very happy.” Jake laughs at his expression. “Guess I’m stuck driving him around still.”

    “I did it!” Blurts out Noah in a happy rush, with Gia snorting at his exuberance.

    “Jake got his, so you only had to worry about not panicking.”

    “It’s really not hard,” Hayley agrees. “But congratulations anyway.”

    His brother chimes in gleefully, in between sampling the slices of cake. “I knew you could do it.”

    “Now you just got to get the antenna off that bug.” His best friend reminds him.

    Zach stops mid bite and swallows. “Wait a second, do you have that old car Billy was trying to get flying?”

    “Oh cool, what planet is Billy from?” Orion has an eager expression of curiosity on his face. “I haven’t seen a flying car since uncle Andros came for a visit.”

    No one reacts at first, but varied responses soon come from everyone. Jake and Gia laugh at the ‘joke’, with the other three rangers being more open minded. His families response is the most telling however.

    “Orion!” His dad chides him and heads for the front door, making sure it’s locked for the coming conversation. “You know better than that.”

    Hayley throws pen at her brother and exclaims with very apparent irritation. “You trying to make us move again, why are you such a blabbermouth Orion?

    “But her brother is making a flying car and no one was even blinking at that?” His eyes dart wildly between everyone.

    “Is he saying what I think he is?” Troy cuts through the confusion and speaks right to Ernie.

    Shrugging at being found out, Ernie confirms it. “Karen isn’t really from Europe, she’s from a planet called KO-35.” He let’s that sink in, with Noah being the first to blurt out a response.

    “That’s incredible!”

    “And something we’ve tried to keep a secret.” Hayley scolds her twin. “It’s a good thing Noah’s the Blue Ranger, or we’d probably already be packing.” His friends are either reasonable or gullible, or they’d be asking him a lot more questions.

    “He is, now that is amazing!” Throwing Noah’s earlier excitement back in his face, he has hero worship in his eyes.

    “So that makes you two...” Emma trails off, unsure of the correct phrasing for such an unusual situation.

    “Human of course,” Laughing at her expression, Orion explains. “It’s not like Earth is the only place with us, it’s just one of the only ones hidden from the Alliance of Evil.”

    Troy focuses on the name. “Alliance of Evil?” They do not sound friendly.

    “Ever since Master Vile vanished, his empire splintered and the Alliance is how they avoid more civil war.” Knowing the cat is out of the bag, Hayley explains what she can remember. “The leaders have been looking for him for ages, but something is keeping Earth hidden.”

    “Andros is the red ranger of his world, he sent his sister somewhere she couldn’t be used against him.” Ernie adds with a wistful smile. “I found her crashed ship, when I was backpacking through Europe and we fell in love.”

    Hayley takes the lull in the conversation as a chance to lock eyes with Noah. “You haven’t made any denials yet.”

    “I don’t know what to say,” He groans and looks around for help. I told you all this was going to happen.

    “Ernie already knows and he’s done nothing but help us,” Troy volunteers with a sigh. “If they can trust us with this, we can do the same.”

    His eyes go wide and Orion examines the color each of the five is wearing. “Holy crap, it’s not just Noah. All of you are Power Rangers!”

    “Well not me, but the rest of them yeah.” Zach sees no reason to leave any more confusion and decides to clear it up. “And your mom’s an alien, so you’ll keep each others secrets… right?” He’s using mom’s ‘I’m so disappointed in you’ voice. Noah realizes and a giggle escapes his throat, breaking the rising tension.

    “See, always knew you were a smart kid.” Ernie claps him on the back and makes a step towards moving on from this awkwardness. “Now if the secrets are out, what’s this about a flying car?”

    “Billy was trying to making a flying Beetle, but he could never find an efficient enough fuel source.” Explains Zach with a confused frown. “And something about needing a stronger, but still light weight metal for the frame.”

    Hayley nods at the same time as Noah, but she speaks first. “Well yeah, Earth is really behind in it’s space worthy alloys.”

    “What she said.”

    Smirking at his sister, Orion pretends to remember something. “What about all the stuff in your workshop? I’m sure you and Noah could get it flying.”

    “Really?” Noah turns to the red headed genius with an eager grin. “You have a workshop that advanced, I’m jealous.”

    “If you want to yeah, we could tinker with it.” She agrees quickly.

    Orion jumps in with even more excitement, desperate to share his hidden life with someone at last. “Does that mean I can show everyone else the house? And mom’s ship?”

    “I thought it crashed?” Points out Gia.

    “It took some doing, but we managed to get her back in the air and over the ocean.” Ernie pulls on his collar, smirking with pride at the memory. “Sneaking in during the seventies was terrifying, but worth it.” He ruffles his son’s hair and chuckles.

    Raising a valid concern, Emma reminds the others of Zordon’s words. “Is this okay? We got told to keep this a secret by our… boss.”

    “That was more of a friendly reminder, the other two things are the real rules.” Troy eases her concern. “So I don’t see why we can’t.” We’ve had no attacks in a few days and one is due, but we won’t have to make an excuse if one happens.

    “Aren’t you forgetting something?” Smirking at his kids, Ernie shoves an apron into Orion’s hands. “Your shift just started.”





    Bulk strides towards the front door, frustrated with being given such a simple task. Grab some wedding guests... why am I being wasted on this? Overlooking the appearance of his companion and the other monsters serving Rita and Zedd, he slams his fist against the door.

    It takes a minute, but when the door opens he grabs Kimberley’s mom. No idea why she’s at the top of the guest list. She struggles in his grip, but a swift chop to the still extremely hot mother’s neck ends that.

    “One down, four to go.” He growls to himself and vanishes with his prize, a beam of green shooting to the moon. Skull better not be having too much fun without me.





    With Jake’s truck following him up the well groomed dirt road, Noah guides his car along the very steep bank and pointedly does not look down. “How much farther?”

    “Almost their, just past that big hunk of sandstone.” Hayley points to a red outcropping of rock, maybe half a mile away.

    In the backseat, Zach is growing antsy. “You do this drive everyday? It’s been like forty minutes already, do you live in Silver Hills?”

    “Need to stay out of the city, or family could never visit.”

    “Whoa...” The last passenger exclaims when the property comes into sight, Troy’s eyebrows rising nearly to his hairline. “You live in a mansion.”

    Shifting uncomfortably in her seat, Hayley sighs. “I guess. Most of the time it feels like living in an out of season ski lodge.”

    “Guess you can’t really have randoms showing up, with that just out in the open.” Noah’s jaw drops at the massive telescope and more importantly the cream colored oval ship.

    It has no visible openings, but does have a clear section at what he assumes is the front. About the size of a single wide mobile home, it has a single rocket on the back and a few smaller ones running along the bottom.

    “I let mom know what was going on while you got insurance, she turned off the cloak for us.” Hayley gets out and clarifies. “Normally It looks like a big propane tank.”

    Noah’s eyes roam the hundred acres, amazed at the many strange contraptions. “What’s that do? It looks like a lightning rod, but what’s all the wires for?”

    “And why do you have so many?” Adds Gia, as the others get out of the truck. “I saw some the whole way up.”

    “It’s how we power everything up here and why Angel Grove’s power bills are so low.” A smirking woman answers, approaching the teens to Orion’s groan.

    “You promised you wouldn’t embarrass us,”

    The middle aged woman has long curly hair, that is a vibrant shade of purple. Her black leather vest and torn jeans give an intense look, one no one expected from an astronomer.

    Karen grabs him in a tight hug. “If you still haven’t chased them off, nothing I do will.” Letting him go, she beams at her guests. “It’s nice to meet you all. I was worried homeschooling them for so long had left them too weird, but I guess that wouldn’t bother you five.”

    “Mom!” Hisses Orion, his cheeks dusted with pink.

    “I have sixteen years worth of teasing to get out, just be glad I’m not getting baby pictures.”

    Noah hesitates for a second, but decides to ask. “So you grew up on a different planet?” He continues when Karen nods yes. “What was the strangest thing about Earth? Not the people, but the planet.”

    “The green trees,” She answers immediately, memories of childhood flashing in her eyes. “The ones on my planet are purple.”

    Hayley laughs and adds. “Uncle Andros is always amazed by how long night lasts here, since we only have one sun.” It’s so nice to finally share this with people.

    “It did take some getting used to, but it makes my job a lot easier.” Karen admits with a giggle of her own, very out of place for her extreme look.

    “They said your brother is a red ranger?” Changing the subject, Troy focuses on someone sharing his color.

    “Yeah, his team goes ahead of the Alliance and holds off the advance forces as long as they can.” Karen frowns, but doesn’t sugar coat her words. “They give worlds with no rangers the time to evacuate.”

    Noticing her word choice, Troy finishes with a grim voice. “But not save them?”

    “Not very often.” She sighs heavily. “Their armada is massive and relentless.”

    “Stop hogging our friends, I want to show them the ship.” Whines Orion, as he drags Jake and Emma behind him. “We’ll see you at dinner.”





    He waits in the house across the street for his target to return. The old woman he had to deal with is beginning to smell, but Skull doesn’t have to wait much longer. Baboo said she was on her way. He grits his teeth in anger. I’m going to enjoy this Scorpina.

    When he finally spots the arrogant form of Trini approach her house, Skull draws his sword and lets his eyes glow an angry orange. “Go and get her boys!” He slashes his free hand off at the wrist, the bones scattering on the ground and growing into snarling dogs.

    The six hounds are devoid of any soft tissue, but move just fine. The same repulsive magic powering himself, flows through his pets. They leap through the window in a shower off glass, charging for the disguised Scorpina.

    “I’ve wanted to do this for years!” He follows his bone hounds onto the lawn and shoots forth his eye beams. The angry orange energy pierces her shoulder and sends Scorpina tumbling along the grass.

    She leaps to her feet in all her golden glory, slashing the first of his pets in half. “Shouldn’t have missed, because you wont get a second shot!”

    Slamming against his hastily raised blade, Scorpina smirks at him and strikes forward with her tail. It strikes Skull right between the eyes and sends his head bouncing down the street.

    “Guess it’s time to move out,” She hisses to herself and starts to run, heading for the shelter of the woods. No more wasting time on the humans, now I can devote all my time to the search.





    Note: It’s Noah’s birthday, which means it’s been about 5 weeks in universe since the story began. It was only one mention of how much time would have passed by the time this occurred, so it would have been very easy to overlook.
     
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