The Time Has Come
"Quiet, pipsqueak," Adder snarled. His long forked tongue barely touched the small fire lizard's cheek. The Pocket Monster was barely breathing, and its eyes were blinded with the monster's venom. The Charmander slowly rose its hand to try and bat at Adder, but it was too weak.
Goldar and Adder trumped through the forest with their captives, grunts, shouts, and the sounds of lead against clay in their wake. Some of the human police force was trying to stop them, but the Putties were posing quite the resistance.
"I have to tell you, I really want to sink my teeth into these Earth creatures," Adder said. They were only a few moments away from their cave, going down the slope of the hill that overlooked it. He turned his gaze to the young boy and the dog in Goldar's arms, both with poison punctures in their bellies, and licked his jowls.
"You and me both, Adder," Goldar replied as they approached the mouth of the cave. He furrowed his brow and looked seriously at Adder. "But you know our orders. After we wake all of these prisoners up, they will have the option to worship Rita and enter our service. If not, then they become dinner."
Behind the sandy, jutted-out wall of the cavern, Zordon's new team watched and listened to the monsters' words. They kept low and tiptoed around the side, their breathing almost nonexistent.
"So there's more people in there," Ash whispered. "No telling how many."
"Doesn't matter," Lia added, craning her neck to see more. "We just have to follow them quietly and see where they go."
Suddenly the brutish face of Rita's chief minion twisted around the corner. The young people lurched back and tried to circle around to face Goldar and find Adder but the serpent was already gone, along with all four victims.
"I guess my plan worked," Lia remarked.
"Welcome back, children!" Goldar rasped. "We're so glad you could join us!"
"This is your only warning, you freak!" Misty yelled, forcing herself to stay put. "Return everyone you hurt, now!"
Goldar sneered and pointed to the top of the cave. "Aw, but we have some friends that would like to play with you! Putty Patrol, attack!"
A glob of gray light overtook the air above the cavern, producing six figures that somersaulted down to the ground. They fanned out around the humans, staring at them with blaring red eyes, their faces as stony as their huge arms. Meanwhile, Goldar laughed at the sight of the trapped prey and started off down another section of the woods, leaving the teens to try to find a way out of his trap.
"We have to take them two at a time…" Tracey quietly said, moving along in a circle with his friends while the Putties closed in.
Ash silently agreed. He locked eyes with one of the foot soldiers, not noticing the four black stripes wrapping around its back and around to its chest, like a sharp, open X. But he was too late to say anything as the group of Putty Patrollers pushed into their targets. The five teenagers instinctively ducked down, covering their heads with their hands and straining against the forces above. Their extremities pumping with adrenaline, the group simultaneously pushed upward to break the Putties' advance, only making the goons stutter-step back.
"Okay, they struck first…" Lia growled. She hoisted the bottom of her silver athletic shirt down and pushed off toward one Putty in a sliding motion. She brought a knee up to its gut, doubling it over. She torqued her hips and slammed her elbow into the back of its head. The Putty dropped to its knees, and then one of its brethren leapt onto Lia's back, tackling her to the ground.
"I don't think so!" Ash yelled. He ran over from where he and Brock were trying to square off with two more enemies, but one of them grumbled in its alien tongue and yanked the boy back by his shirt collar and nailed him in the right shoulder with a heavy fist. Brock ducked down and attempted to hoist both Putties up onto his shoulders, the two readily protesting by slamming his shoulders. Ash then kipped up and hit a right cross to one of their faces, making it fall feet-first to the ground.
"We've gotcha, Lia!" Misty called out. Her and Tracey rolled out of the way of a pair of clotheslines from their two opponents and went over to their new teammate, who had gotten up and struck her Putties with a swinging forearm block and two punches, but the magical beings were beginning to best her again. Misty grabbed one of them from behind, twisted her legs around its legs, and fell to the ground, taking the Putty with her. Tracey put himself in front of Lia and the other soldier, throwing a fist at its chest and recoiling painfully as it struck the super-tough body. Grimacing, Tracey snapped a front kick up, but the Putty caught his leg and dumped him hard on his back. In retaliation, Lia rotated her arm and thrust a palm strike toward the assailant's face. The Putty rotated with the blow and hit her with a backfist, sending Lia into Misty. The two then picked Tracey up and tossed him into the other two humans in a mess of mud, grass, and pebbles.
"Come on!" Brock let out as he side-kicked one of the Putties. It rocked back and Ash lunged to tackle it, but he was pulled by the legs and to the ground by the other Putty, who whirled around and launched Ash into his friend.
Thunder rumbled in the distance, and all six Putty Patrollers regrouped a short distance away from their targets, who limped and lurched together near the mouth of the cave. The Putties then let out loud, rambling cries. Foliage rustled in the near part of the woods, and four of their brethren began to pile onto the scene.
"Usually toadies like these aren't this strong or smart," Brock said, cranking his shoulder back.
"They aren't Team Rocket," Tracey contributed. He hitched every breath as his spine throbbed.
"Just our luck," Misty added, licking her lips. A faint trickle of blood leaked from a cut in her mouth.
The six in the foreground slowly stepped forward, babbling and flexing their craggy arms. The other four advanced just as cautiously, teasing the pounce. The humans backed up, and Ash absentmindedly reached into his pocket, grazing his Power Morpher and Power Coin.
"Of course we'd forget…" Ash said, showing the group his items. "We have the Power Morphers and Power Coins!"
Everyone else quickly got their devices and coins out. Lia chuckled. "Zordon said to use these when we're in danger. Two-to-one odds sounds like a good time!"
The group slowly got to its feet, and they each placed their Power Coins in the middle of their Morphers, a light clinking sound ringing out.
"Gotta get there. Gotta get there," Chief Kanzaki told herself as she ran up the hill. She was way ahead of her team at this point, and with one last push, she cleared the hill and raised her pistol at the four beings in front of her. But there were more than just those four strange monsters. Six more were in front of the cave, and those five kids stood right in front of the cavern, arms raised to the sky, supporting five round objects.
Brock, Lia, Tracey, Misty, and Ash pushed the buttons on the sides of their Power Morphers, and as the syllables they spoke hit the air, electric energy burst through their bodies.
Radiant lightning bolts and columns of light surrounded the teens, also casting down on the Putties jumping in to attack. They were immediately thrown back to the ground; some of them crumbled into clay lumps, and others dissolved in gray light.
With the opposition gone, the humans stood tall, looking nothing like they had before. Shining one-piece jumpsuits in black, pink, blue, yellow, and red now clothed Brock, Lia, Tracey, Misty, and Ash. Large white diamond shapes broke up the color of the main suits, and each person was protected with white-and-colored-diamond boots and gloves. They also wore all-encompassing helmets, each one modeled after their respective dinosaur spirits. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were finally there.
Sherry Kanzaki's jaw dropped. She nearly tumbled down the embankment as she ran to meet the group. Even as she got within arm's distance, she had no words.
"We're doing just fine, officer," Red Ranger said, removing his hands from around his Power Morpher, which was now attached to a white belt. "I don't think these guys will be causing any more trouble."
"I'll say!" Pink Ranger shouted, looking at her gloved hands. "I feel amazing!"
"There's nothing like this," Black Ranger whispered. He clenched his fist and felt a familiar warm feeling flow through his whole being.
Blue Ranger smiled, his eyes glowing almost as bright as the yellow eyes on his three-horned triceratops helmet. An array of bars and computerized lines and numbers ran across the Heads-Up Display that surrounded his black visor. Numbers ticked and a message formed: MONSTER ENERGY TRACKED: DOWNTOWN FERON GROVE.
"The monsters are downtown, guys," he reported. "We have to go!"
"Right," Yellow Ranger agreed. Her HUD reading showed the Adder's energy signature moving downtown as well. She took the chief by the shoulder and said, "We'll take care of everything downtown. Those creatures have been capturing people and bringing them into that cave. It's clear now, so you can go get them!"
"Awesome!" Red Ranger called. "Let's go!" And with those words, the Power Rangers instantly shot up into the air, cloaked in the light of teleportation.
Just as the Rangers left, more officers came down over the rise, looking into the sky and copying their superior's surprise with open mouths.
"Chief Kanzaki!" one of them cried. "What was that?! Who were those people?!"
Kanzaki refocused on her team, taking a moment to let the rush settle and to try to form a reply. She couldn't come up with one.