Prelude to a War
The sun had risen above the tops of the buildings across the street, cheerful springtime sunshine that dashed through the alleyways.
The wet dark smell of the river that clung to the walls and wafted off of the street – held in place by a layer of fog that was forming before his eyes.
A curly dark-haired figure emerged through the wisping fog in. Dressed in his usual ensemble – a pair of blue denims and a black leather jacket. His feet making conspicuous sounds against the hollow sidewalks.
Adam Park wasn't use to being outside of Angel Grove. Visiting Reefisde seemed like a pretty good change of pace. Less monster attacks for one, and the air seemed to smell different.
As he walked passed the meadows, his ears could hear the sounds of heavy machinery. He risked a glance and saw a glint of metal out of the corner of his eye. He whirled around and experienced a sudden flash of déjà vu.
Metallic bodies sprinkled the area yards below him. Cog Warriors. A scouting party to be exact. His Ranger instincts propelled him to investigate the matter. It was foolhardy, perhaps, given the fact the he's out numbered ten to one, but what was he supposed to do?
Walking along the curb, he climb to the crest of a low hill and crouched down beneath the shelter of a tree. It was almost impossible to tell from this distance exactly what they were looking for. "Looks like the COGs are holding a picnic down on the surface-"
"And you're invited." A sinister voice said from behind. Before Adam could act, the cold clenched fists of Metal Alice caught him by surprise. Adam found himself being thrown around like a ragdoll, slamming against walls and gates, trying to pick himself off of the ground. He didn't recognize the android, but she seemed to be a formidable fighter.
Without thinking, Adam dove. He sailed through the air toward Alice with headlong abandon, his arms outstretched, colliding bodily with his challenger, driving them both tumbling like ragdolls along the grassy hill.
As soon as they found their footing, Metal Alice gave out an angry snort and charged at him full tilt, fist cocked.
Trusting speed and agility, he used her head as a pivot, twisting in midair so that he landed gracefully right behind his adversary. Alice tensed herself up into good fighting form. Her optic sensors scanning his fighting stance.
Assuming the aggressive approach, Adam danced forward and unleashed a barrage of solid punches and body kicks that made him feel the same satisfaction as when he threw strikes in bowling.
Meeting Alice's thunderous swings with circling parries, Adam became a blur of motion as he fended off strike after strike. Proving an outstanding counter ability against her. Kicking off the tree, her spun out a roundhouse that connected squarely with Alice's jaw.
Her lips split, Alice spat out a gobbet of dark oil. The android lowered her soulless gaze to Adam, her crimson eyes blazing with carnivorous fury. "Yer superkick might've taken the wind outta me for a minute or two, hu-man, but believe me, tis not a trick that will work twice."
Over Alice's shoulder, an arena of Cogs lumbered forward, their soulless gaze came to rest on their human prey. His blood went cold when he whirled on them with hostile brown eyes. Alice elbowed her way to the front of the metallic party. "COGs," She exhorted smugly, "ATTACK!"
Fatigue poisoned his body, which made Adam think twice about fighting them. His heart pounding, his gaze drew inward. His wife, Tanya Sloane, flashed through his mind's eye. It took all of his nerve not to teleport away; instead, he stood his ground, while his metallic pursuers drew near.
His Zeonizers wove into visibility, Adam drew himself to full height, invoking, "It's Morphin' Time," And boiled with celestial light, *Zeo Ranger Four – Green* A feeling of pride swelled in his chest as a corona of light washed over him, dazzling him into even a more valiant figure, the Green Zeo Ranger.
He sprung forward without hesitation, hurling himself through the air in a soaring circle that ended with both feet hammering Alice in her cold chest, ramming his adversary backward through a plate glass window.
Hurtled head-over-heels through a shower of shards and debris, Alice gouged a pillar and tumbled the ground like a ragdoll. "-GRF!"
"-!" Angry, she rolled over on her midriff and pressed her hands to the pavement. Inch by inch, picking herself up to staggering feet like a fighter in the ring. "So that's a no on the whole surrender thing, I'm guessing."
Zeo Ranger Green touched down nimbly on the ground just beyond his opponent. "Don't act surprised." he said, his slender physique now sheathed in green he drew himself to full height, ready for combat. His form fitting garment accentuated every ripple of muscle.
Metal Alice brushed herself off and gave a curt nod at her adversary. An evil grin stretched across her face as she locked gaze with him. "You're a long way from Angel Grove, sweetie." She said. "You have any idea what you're in store for?"
"I kinda do." The Ranger strode forward, his feet crunched the debris. The street lamps caught his visor. "Benefits of an Angel Grove Education."
The Cogs were close at hand now, upright and laying out salvo after salvo of white-hot fire, Explosions erupt all around the Green Zeo Ranger, blooming orange blossoms in the shale.
He tensed himself up to good fighting form. Their burnished armor sparked beneath his pounding blows, sending them into whizzing death.
The parry-thrust battle was interrupted by Alice's comm unit. The voice of Vrak came through. "Alice! We need you back at the ship. Pronto!"
"This isn't over." With that, she and her Cog party vanished in a twinkling leaving the lone Ranger standing in bewilderment. "Just my luck."
Turbulent scarlet clouds parted from above and a shimmering vortex opened like a spinning funnel of carved space stretching into infinity. The Green Zeo Ranger spun towards the vortex, it was like gazing up into the mouth of a cosmic whirlpool.
The luminous bands of color rippled through the upper atmosphere, visible for many miles away. Emerged in a twinkling, a column of bright light heralded the arrival of a white valiant figure, dimly glimpsed in the mist.
The vortex soon closed behind him. An ominous silence ensued.
It was the White Retro Ranger.
Plumes of smoke curled off of his radiant profile. A Saba sword rested in a golden scabbard against his hip. The heroic figure drew himself to full height atop of the heap of blazing rubble, turning to face his onlooker, he bobbed his golden head.
The Green Zeo Ranger experienced a surge of excitement, "Tommy!" Barley able to contain his himself, he broke into a sprint towards his friend who he hasn't seen in ages.
But soon brought to full stop. Something about this Ranger didn't feel right to him. Something unfamiliar.
Reaching up, the White Ranger removed his helmet, bringing to light a wreath of sandy hair, framing a face so boyishly handsome. Honed cheek bones sculpted his straight nose, sparkling an azure gaze beneath light brows. Painful coughs cleared the smoke from his lungs.
He ran a hand through his tousled hair while offering up a warm smile to the Green Zeo Ranger. "Adam," the nameless man said. "well aren't you a sight for sore eyes."
This newcomer, whoever he was not Tommy. He was completely unrecognizable to the Zeo Ranger. If there was a Ranger Yearbook out there, this guy's mug definitely wasn't part of it. The Green Zeo Ranger was understandably perplexed. "H-Have we met before?"
Golden helmet tucked underneath his arm, the nameless man paused absently, allowing his eyes to sweep the area around him. Something in his worried gaze hinted at a much darker knowledge of what's to come. "Name's Ryan Steele," he regarded him soberly. "the White Ranger from a parallel universe."
"Er-" The Green Zeo Ranger felt his eyes go wide underneath his visor. He felt as if his mind was about to explode. He wanted to make sure he heard correctly. "Pa-Parallel universe?"
Ryan strode purposely towards the Green Zeo Ranger, gaze unwavering. "Adam, there isn't much time," he said tersely. "Your Earth is on the verge of annihilation, and the only one who can ensure its survival - is Lord Zedd." Letting that notion sink in before adding. "I was kinda hoping you might be able to help me find him."
Harwood County, Command Cave..
Only Tommy Tensou and Robo Knight occupied the cave. Working diligently to make sense of the recent events.
The two Space Rangers walked in and curious eyes greeted their arrival. In matching silver jumpsuits. "You're an idiot, ya know that Tommy?" The nameless male greeted him with a grin.
"Andros. It's good to see you too, buddy."
Tommy clapped Andros on the back. "Okay. It's good to see Ashley. But, hey - You look well, too."
A wry smile appeared on Ashley' lips. "Well, this isn't a social visit, so wipe that dumb smile off your face. We need a favor."
"A favor, you say." Tommy's brow rose in shock. "What makes you think we're in the business of favors?"
Andros's jaw tightened. "Because we were going to say please."
Ashley put her hand on Tommy's shoulder. "For old time's sake?"
"Let me call up the team."
And several minutes later..
"That was one battle. This is war." Andros looked out at each of them. "The training wheels are off. My Job.. Our job, now is to keep an eye on the bigger picture."
Kimberly swept her hair back from her face and tied it in a loose ponytail. Then placed her hands on her hips. "And does this big picture involve Zedd?"
"Maybe." Andros shifted slightly, reached behind him, fished out a silvery disk. Casually, he frisbeed it to the center of the room and a blue light gradually bloomed in being above it, dominating the center space of the cave.
A portrait of pure light faded into view and spun on its axis, throwing off wisps of blue haze, dispelling the murky gloom behind.
Silence spread across the cave as the skeptical audience clustered around the hologram. Their collective eyes darting about as they tried to get a better look at the holographic portrait suspended on high. It wavered, indistinct like a reflection in the pond.
The mugshot bore the brooding features of an exotic alien. Best described as vampire bat-like. Sullen eyes glare at them like a grey flints from fire. His head, encased in what looked like an artificial environment.
Andros jerked a thumb at it. "Name's Broodwing." he told them. "Classified as an intergalactic arms dealer, potentially dangerous and well-connected. We have it on good authority that he's making camp in our backyard."
Ashley took up her position alongside her husband, gently stroking his back. "Worst case scenario," she said. "He's holed up somewhere on Onyx. Maybe supplying a few party favors to his newest BFF, Emperor Mavro."
Strobing encouragement, the hologram became nothing, but a blur of light and motion before wafting once again into a phantom image of said Insectoid.
"Mavro," Tommy echoed, his gaze turned inward. "Is it possible we're dealing with a member of the United Alliance of Evil? I mean, other than Zedd?"
"Dunno. I'd say that's a safe bet."
Emma felt stupid, which made her feel angry. She swung her head around and threw Kimberly a confused look.
Kimberly glanced over at Emma briefly, then turned her attention back to the hologram. "A secret society of super villains, way back when." She regarded her soberly. "Do me a favor, Emma, brush up on Legacy of Power once in a while."
"Look, we're obviously in favor of stopping this wackjob from killing thousands," Gia said, looking totally unimpressed. "but a motive as to why he wants to, would be helpful."
Jake drained half of his Froyo in an extended swallow that brought forth a comforting burp. "Right, what she said."
Andros shook his head slowly. "Kid, your guess is as good as ours. We've only had a few brief encounters with him, but we know he's not shy about killing."
"Wow, Andy." Tommy forced a smile, hoping it would cover up his lingering unease. "Is that your idea of a pep talk?"
"Mnh-Mnh." Andros replied, allowing the faintest edge to his voice. "And don't call me Andy."
Troy shifted uneasily, drawing glances from his team. "Now that that's settled, where do we fit into all of this?"
"Right," Ashley said "our space probe has recently picked up scans of a mystery weapon located on Onyx. Not sure what it is." She thumbed a series of micro controls on his wrist-worn apparatus.
Mavro de-rezzed and was replaced by a bird's-eye view of pale globe. A computer generated grid assembled itself over the phantom image. Andros called for scanning to be initiated, and in a moment, a glowing red X moved slowly across it like the cursor of a computer screen, indicating an area located in the northern quadrant.
Zeroing in on the image, it drew up a digital display of a metallic object embed in a craggy mountain.
The heroes leaned into to study it. Their faces bore an expression of utter confusion.
"Kay," Jake laced his fingers together, cracked his knuckles. "I'm looking at it. Well, what is it?"
Troy's mind was racing. He crossed his arms, trying to not let his uncertainty show. "Dunno. A machine of some kind? Maybe a zord."
"Perhaps." Ashley threw in. "Based upon these orbital trajectories it appears to emit a cosmic level of radiation. Very powerful."
Kimberly spared them the effort. "No, it's more than that." Recognition dawned across her face. A glimmer of fear flashed through her eyes. A cold lump of anger started to form in her stomach. Inhaling sharply, she swung her head around at Tommy. "That's our Power Sword."
"The Mega Power Sword," Tommy said skeptically. "it can't be."
Andros gave her a confused look. "Come again?"
"She's right." the Golden Tiki-Head threw in. "The spirit sword wielded by Zordon's Mighty Morphin Megazord."
If Mavro is after the Power Sword, then that can only mean he possess a Megazord of his own."
Ashley nodded approvingly. "The Armada Megazord. We've seen it. It's not pretty."
"What kept you guys from destroying it, If you don't mind my asking?"
"An oath we swore to the Galactic Space Alliance." Ashley answered. "Our space cowboy days have come to a middle. We specialize in making deals."
There was a hint to Ashley's tone that Kimberly didn't like It sounded like she was tip toe-ing around something. "What kind of deals?
In a spans of seconds, scarlet flames licked the area behind them heralding the arrival of Scorpina. Her hands on hips, she met her onlookers with an evil grin.
Before anyone could react, Troy had her by the throat pushing her back toward the cave wall. His face, flushed in anger.
With a quick twist of her hands, Scorpina threw Troy's arms away, then gave him a powerful shove for good measure. "Aw, what's wrong honey," she mocked, transforming back into Sabrina. "Don't you miss me."
"Andros," Tommy whirled on him square in the eye. "Why didn't you tell me what you were up to?"
"Do you check in with me every time you run off to save the world?" Andros crossed his arms. "Aww right, I almost forgot. You wait for trouble to show up on your front doorstep. Then it's Morphin time."
"Onyx is located in a Ranger Prohibited sector of space," Ashley said. "With her help. We can get in unharmed."
"Lemme guess," Emma said. "This was the good authority you spoke of earlier."
"And what does she get out of it?"
Scorpina smirked. "Isn't it obvious, Lord Zedd gets to keep his throne." She said. "And the Armada Megazord will be a pretty addition to our collection. 'Sides, pretty boy, you kinda owe him for Serpentera."
Arms crossed, Ashley's glared at Tommy, but didn't say anything. Tommy felt the fear leap from Troy and to his team. They shuffled uneasily behind him, fracturing before his eyes.
Andros snorted derisively. "Ptff. Whatever. The point is, Broodwing knows where the Power Sword is and might sell it to Mavro. If combined with the Armada Megazord, Mavro will become unstoppable force-"
"And Blah blah blah, the Earth is in grave danger. We know the drill." Gia threw in. "Now what's the play? I mean, are we destroying it or what?"
"No," Troy said, coming back to his senses. "we'll claim it. As the Gosei Great Megazord, we'll have the Power Sword for ourselves." Eliciting nods of agreement from everyone else in the room. Troy had to get the team moving. The more they stood around, the more the fear would take hold.
Pushing his glasses a bit higher up on his nose, Noah's his eyebrows knit. "Am I missing something? Cause this sounds like a Mighty Morphin matter." he said skeptically. "Why not call -"
"Earth's Defenders, right?" Tommy said, glaring at him. "'Sides Billy is still off the grid. Morphing Grid, I mean; and if he has a cellphone, we don't have the number. That said, the only way for us to stand a chance is if we fight as one, strength in numbers, and all that."
At that moment, the Mighty Morphin Ranger Keys lit up the command cave like flints of a fire. The Hardwood Five regarded them nervously. "Let's get to work."
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