Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers, Haim Saban and Shuki
Levy does. All rights belong to them. If you have any messages or comments
or criticisms, send them to me: email@example.com. P.S. If
your criticism is about my view on the Homosexuality issue, don't bother
sending it, because it will just go into the trash box.
Author's Note 1: In this story, I'm taking certain events from Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie and implementing them into this fic. You'll be able to see which events I'm talking about. So, enjoy this installment.
Author's Note 2: This installment is number four in the series and it follows number three, which was entitled "Survival of the Rangers". I hope you have been enjoying this series as much as I have been enjoying writing this and I hope you continue to read them. Thanks.
As always, the appearance around the atmosphere of the Earth was gloomy and dark, with no type of light to eluminate anywhere. However, on the moon, neon type lights were floating all around the the Skull Cavern, the base of operations of the Chief General Officer of the Xianth Empire also known as Diabolico and his forces. Diabolico was recently given free reign of attacking the Earth by the Xianth Emperor, a creature known as Skeletor, who had left on a journey of destruction to the Desert of Despair and Phaedos. Inside the Skull Cavern, the aura of darkness that was everywhere on the inside of the main chamber was filled by four figures, Diabolico, Vipra, Loki, and technician Jinxer. Above them, a communications terminal was opened with the traveling ship of the Emperor and his pale colored skeleton looking face could be seen looking back at them.
"Diabolico," the Emperor said, softly, "what is the progress thus far?"
"Mighty Emperor," Diabolico began, "I have already attacked the rangers to test their strength to determine the maximum level of their abilities and I am preparing for a strike that will take them out permanently. Then, the Earth will belong to the Xianth. I swear it."
The Emperor looked pleased with the explanation as he responded. "Very well. Tell me, what is your plan?"
"There is a monster on the secret island of Muranthias named Maligore. We get the rangers there and we force them to battle Maligore. The monster's strength far bypasses their strength."
The Emperor's eyes narrowed at that. "You have already made a mistake. You are depending on Maligore to strong enough. Do not underestimate the rangers, Diabolico."
"Yes, my liege."
"Your plan does have merit, though. I am simply going to alter it. Diabolico, I want you and your two warriors here," he motioned to Loki and Vipra, "to lead the rangers to Muranthias, where you will join Maligore in the destruction of the rangers." Skeletor paused a moment, considering, "I doubt very seriously that Zordon will send every ranger to Muranthias. In fact, it is most probable that he will split the team, send half after you and leave half on Earth in defense."
"When would you like us to leave?" Loki put in his voice.
"At once. Prepare for you trip at once. I want Earth in Xianth control very soon. I am in the process of finding the entrance to Ninjor's Temple and it seems as though Dulcea has disappeared. But, it's only a matter of time. They can't run forever. Get yourselves ready."
"Yes." Diabolico obediently obliged.
"Oh," the Emperor said as an afterthought, "one last thing, while you are on your journey to Muranthias, I have enlisted the assistance of one of the strongest bounty hunters in the galaxy. Someone I have used many times in the past. Merely to keep the rangers there busy."
"Very well, my liege. My I ask, who you are sending?" Diabolico asked.
"It is of no consequence to you." Skeletor said.
"Yes, Emperor." Diabolico replied.
"Good. Get going." Skeletor ordered, ending the transmission.
There were not that many students at the Angel Grove Youth Center, just Emily and Ernie at the bar, and a few students at the training pads where the workout area is located. Near the bar, Trey of Triforia, the Gold Ranger, was seated with his back against the wall with Jordan Riley, the Midnight Zeo Ranger seated in front of him as they were talking.
Trey and Jordan, it seemed, were made for one another because they had immediately hit it off and were enjoying each other's precense as much as they could. They hadn't yet actually made the leap to going out, but they were well on the way.
"Where are the guys at, anyway?" Trey asked her.
"Oh, well, I'm not sure." Jordon responded, "they'll probably show up soon. You wanna go take a walk."
The two left the Youth Center, having already paid for the meals they had and walked around the campus of the High School. Both seemed content to just walk for a little while, but it was Jordan who decided to begin the conversation. "How long do you think you'll be staying, Trey?"
Trey's eyebrows lifted at his surprise of the question. He had already told Zordon's his plans of the future, but he had yet to tell the rangers. He was surprised, but relieved, to see that Jordan was asking, because that meant that she might want him to stick around for a while.
"Well, there's the whole Emperor thing, y'know." he said softly. "Then, after that...we'll see."
"Hm." Jordan considered that. Then her brows knit together. "You wanna go do something after I get out of class today."
"There's a cool dancing club down town. I used to go down there a lot. What do ya say?" she smiled.
And he didn't have the heart to turn away from those pale eyes. "Sure. You know where to find me."
Right. Jordan thought. Trey referring to Trey's favorite spot at the park. "Escort me back to the school."
"Let's go." Trey agreed.
The Dark Destroyer was hovering over the planet known as Phaedos and the Emperor had his forces down near and around the Sacred Grounds, trying to find out where Dulcea had gone. The reason his forces were not on the Sacred Grounds were simple, any creature of evil purpose would lose their power and be destroyed by the land instantly. The Emperor didn't like taking unnecessary risks if he didn't have to.
He was sure she was still there, he could feel her presence. The only problem for him, unfortunately, was that Phaedos was Dulcea's backyard and she knew the surface and underground like no one else, which gave the legendary warrior the advantage. An advantage that Skeletor despised with all his black heart.
Now, he thought inwardly, is not the time to dwell on it. Standing in front of the Emperor of the Xianth Empire was the bounty hunter he had hired, personally, to see to the destruction of the rangers that Zordon would have stay to protect over the Earth. In front of him was a warrior wearing a black and gold suit. The black appearance of the suit is made with the same material as the rangers' suits is and the gold part of his suit is special armor that is nearly undestructable.
The gold armor covered his entire upper body, including back and chest, and his sides as well as his arms. He was known as Demon Hunter and the Emperor knew that he could trust him to complete this mission. He had used him many times before.
The Emperor reached into a desk drawer in front of him and pulled out a small silver case and opened it to reveal what appeared to be twenty gold coins. He showed them to Demon Hunter and closed the case before he pushed it to the bounty hunter. "This is the fee for this job, Hunter." he said.
Demon Hunter picked the case up with his left hand and tucked it away in an invisible pouch at his waist. "The job will be done. When would you like this completed."
Skeletor smiled a bit. "My Chief General Officer is organizing a plan to release a monster on the island of Muranthias. Half the rangers will track him there to stop him. When that half leaves, destroy those that remains."
"Very well, Emperor." Demon Hunter said before he turned and headed towards the door.
"Oh, and Demon Hunter?" the voice drawled behind him.
Demon Hunter stopped.
"I'll double the reward when I have their dead bodies." Skeletor's eyes filled with grave intensity.
Demon Hunter said nothing, he merely walked out the door, his mission begun.
Inside the Power Chamber, warning bells were sounding as Alpha went to check on what the problem was. Alpha and Blue Senturion were the only two in the main chamber at the time.
Blue Senturion had told Zordon of his reason for needing to see him. Blue Senturion had been sent by Zordon's dear friend Dimitria from the planet of Inquirus about the Emperor's exploits. She had told the Senturion to tell Zordon that Skeletor's forces had already made one attempt at capturing her, but the royal guard was able to fend them off.
And Dimitria didn't want to waste any more time, so she sent the Senturion to Earth with Inquirus' most powerful weapons, their source of power for their Power Rangers. Inquirus hadn't had Power Rangers for the last five thousand years because of planetary peace. Blue Senturion had already turned over the package that Dimitria wanted Zordon to have, as well as a set of five small information disks, or key cards, as they have been called.
Zordon had already looked at the first key card and it showed a listing of possible allies who would be willing to stand against the Emperor. Also on the disk was a map that led to the homes and locations of those same allies. The top two allies on the list, Zordon had seen, were the Phantom Ranger and the Red Space Ranger, a ranger Zordon hadn't seen in close to six years.
Zordon had every intention on finding both of them and asking for their help in the upcoming war with the Emperor. But, first, he had to deal with the situation that the warning bells were for...
"Zordon!!" Alpha cried.
"Calm down Alpha." Blue Senturion adivsed, looking up, "It seems as though Diabolico and his forces are making a long journey."
"A journey?" Zordon repeated.
"Yes. Diabolico, Vipra, Jinxer, Loki, and the Batlings have boarded a Xianthian Sub and have gone to the Lost Sea." Blue Senturion told Zordon.
"Aye yi yi!!!" Alpha cried, "That means only one thing."
"Yes," Zordon clarified, "Diabolico is going to Muranthias."
"This could mean great danger to the universe, Zordon." Blue Senturion said.
"Contact the rangers, Alpha. We must determine a move of action immediately."
"Right." Alpha said.
The ten Zeo Rangers were each at a different place. Tommy and Kat were at Tommy's house, enjoying some private time from everyone, Adam and Tanya were visiting an empty lot that Rocky and himself were considering leasing for their new Martial Arts Dojo, Trey and Jordan were at Trey's favorite spot in the park, watching the waves of the Angel Grove Lake ripple past them, Rocky and Kimiko were at Ernie's-doing some sparring as Rocky felt that he was slacking off some, and Jesse and Torrey were at their apartment down town relaxing, as they always did at this time of the day.
Tommy was the first to return the message. "This is Tommy."
"Rangers, I need all of you to report to the Power Chamber." Zordon's voice held a sense of urgency.
"We're on our way." Tommy said, as he and Kat teleported out of his house. The others followed suit and soon, all ten Zeo Rangers were standing before Zordon, with Alpha and Blue Senturion standing near them.
"What's going on?" Kat asked.
"Rangers," Zordon began, "it seems that Diabolico has made his first move in nearly a month."
The rangers waited.
"He and his forces have left the Skull Cavern and headed to the Lost Sea." Zordon said.
"Lost Sea?" Rocky said in question.
"Yes, the Lost Sea. The Lost Sea is a body of water like that on Earth, only the Lost Sea is infamous of travelers going out to the sea, and not coming back. I believe that Diabolico is heading to the island of Muranthias."
"Muranthias." this from Torrey.
"Yes, Muranthias is the only island that is surrounded by the Lost Sea. It is said that travelers have been stranded there to be killed by the natives there who worship, who they believe is a god, a creature called Maligore. Maligore is a beast without emotions. If he is released, Maligore will have the power and opportunity to cause great danger to the entire universe." Zordon told them.
A moment of silence. Then...
"We'll just have to stop them." Adam said.
"What do we do?" Rocky asked.
"What do you want us to do?" this from Jesse.
"Rangers, calm down. There are two ways for Maligore to be released. The first is blood sacrifice. The sacrifice of a life in Maligore's name. The only other possibility is of the old ancient spell that cast him into the prison that holds him. Our main problem is that Diabolico knows the spell."
"How does he know the spell?" the Gold Ranger asked.
Zordon hesitated in his answer. "He knows the spell because........Diabolico has made it a point to know everything about Muranthias that he can."
"Do you know why Diabolico has wanted to know everything about it?" Jordan asked.
"Yes. Diabolico's wanted to know all this because........because Maligore is his father." Zordon said softly, aware of the shocked silence in front of him.
"Oh boy." Tommy exhaled.
"Yes. You could say Diabolico has a personal stake in this. I would like half of you to go to Muranthias to stop Diabolico from succeeding in his mission. It could mean dire circumstances if he does release Maligore."
"Whatever it takes." Tommy pledged.
"Yeah." Adam agreed.
"We're with you." Kimiko stated.
"Good, I'm glad you all feel that way because I'm going to need all of you to be strong. And, I mean no offense to you," to motioned to Kimiko, Jesse, Torrey, and Jordan. "But, I would like to entrust this mission to Tommy, Rocky, Adam, Kat, and Tanya. They have had experience in this type of mission before and it would be better if they went. Trey will stay behind with you in case anything happens."
"Good. Rangers," he motioned to the main five, "Alpha will teleport you to the docks on one side of the Lost Sea. From there, you must find the Ghost Galiant, it is a sailing ship that you will be able to travel through the Sea on and it will lead you to the Nemesis Triangle. That will be the most difficult part of your journey before getting to Muranthias. In order to safely pass throught the Triangle, you must use these," he motioned towards Alpha, who was carrying a small box. "These are the Nexus Gauntlets. These will get you through. At the moment you pass through, hold your hands with the gauntlets together and they will form a beam of energy that will protect you and the ship for safe passage through."
"Good luck." Alpha said.
Tommy smiled as they did they all.
"Alpha, open the portal to the docks." Zordon said.
"Yes, Zordon." Alpha said, punching a few buttons.
Goodbyes were already being said by Tommy, Adam, Kat, and Tanya as Kimiko grabbed Rocky's left hand and tugged him to one of the corners of the main chamber.
"Kimi, I'm coming back." Rocky swore feverently.
"I know... it's just......I just found you. I don't want to lose you." Kimiko whispered.
Rocky closed his eyes. "Kimiko, I want you to know something. The short time we've been together has been some of the best times of my life and I wouldn't trade any of it for anything." he ran his thumb over Kimiko's cheek.
She closed her eyes at the touch. "Come back to me Rocky."
"I will." he promised.
The docks that led to the waters of the Lost Sea were long and studius, able to hold the five rangers' weight as they walked along the length and tried to focus their eyes ahead, trying to find the ship called the Ghost Galiant.
Tommy had a large round strobe light that he used to light their path as they ambled forward. On the docks were old crates and heavy boxes covered in spider webs that looked to be years old. There were skeletons attached to some of the crates, a testament to the dangers of the Lost Sea.
"Hey guys," Tanya said, looking around, "I hear the Sea, but I don't see a ship."
"I'll go look up ahead." Tommy told them as he walked towards the end of the docks.
As he neared the end of the docks, he said as an afterthought, "I think I've found it."
"Look!" Kat pointed, "the Ghost Galiant."
"It's fantastic." Rocky added.
Up ahead, only a few feet ahead in the water was the Ghost Galiant, outlined by the Moon's light shining down on the water. Now that they found it, they had to get to it.
At the edge of the dock they were standing against was a small wooden boat that looked to be in semi good condition and large enough to carry them to the Ghost Galiant and that's just what they did. One by one, the small wooden boat was filled with five Zeo Rangers as Tommy and Adam used the paddles to move the small boat to the ship.
After the five were aboard the Ghost Galiant, they stowed away their small loadings of food that they brought in the lower level of the ship and then they left the bottom of the ship to go figure a way to get the ship moving.
After searching the surface, they discovered a small chest on a stoop, that appeared to be stuck there. Tommy reached his hand out and opened the small chest to reveal five holes the same size of the small stones embedded on the Nexus Gauntlets. As Zordon had told them just before they left the Power Chamber, the small stones will get them through the Triangle.
"Looks like the stones control the ship." Kat said.
"Yeah." Tommy agreed as he slipped his stone off and placed it on one of the openings. One by one, the other rangers did the same and watched as an eery glow surrounded the stones before something behind them moved, making them jump.
"The compass is moving." Adam remarked.
Above and around them, the sails began to lift themselves into position and set themselves into position as the wooden wheel at the stern of the ship began to move. As they watched, the Ghost Galiant began to move through the water, causing waves as it tredded through the waters of the Lost Sea.
And they were on their way to Muranthias.
Just outside the city of Angel Grove, where the beginning of the Angel Grove Mountain that seperated the city from Stone Canyon stood a solitairy figure. A figure that looked at the upcoming city with hooded eyes, eyes which looked very forward to completing the mission here and collecting the bounty owed him.
Demon Hunter had been here before, oh yes. Not the city in general, but Earth. Not only the Emperor, but many other evil monarchs had contracted his services before. Some were to terminate a person who had come a little too close to an operation, others to give a threatening warning to stop an operation from taking place. But, the Demon Hunter had never been contracted to destroy Rangers. But, the Hunter was looking forward to the upcoming battle. It was something that triggered an overwelming feeling in the pit of his stomach and he just couldn't wait to begin.
Walking closer to the beginnings of the city, he brought out his Demon Blaster and took his aim, the first building in sight.
His fingers tightened on the trigger... and he fired.
"What's going on?" Jesse Parker asked as she and Torrey looked up. The alarms in the Power Chamber had just went off and now they wondered why.
"Rangers," Zordon's voice called, "I don't know who this is, but someone is attacking the outer perimeters of the city. Near the mountain. Be careful when you face him."
"Right." Trey said, "It's morphin time!"
"Zeo Ranger VI, White!" Torrey called.
"Zeo Ranger VII, Black!" Jesse called.
"Zeo Ranger VIII, Silver!" Kimiko called.
"Midnight Zeo!" Jordan called.
"Gold Ranger Power!" Trey finished the morphing sequence.
The five morphed Zeo Rangers went into a defensive posture as they materialized in front of Demon Hunter. Demon Hunter was in a relaxed state when his opposition arrived. He still had his blaster in his hand and he had the weapon leaning against his armored shoulder as he gazed at them with amused respect.
"Who are you?" Gold Zeo demanded.
"I...am called Demon Hunter." he responded in a calm voice.
"What do you want?" White Zeo asked.
"That's simple." he said. "To complete my mission."
"Your mission." repeated Silver Zeo.
"That's right. You see, I am a bounty hunter. I was given a bounty on your heads and that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'm here to destroy you. So, let's get on with it." Demon Hunter sneered just before he made his move.
He dove right for them. As he charged them, he transformed his Demon Blaster into his Demon Sword and immediately thrust a powerful strike for Gold Ranger's face. Gold Ranger deflected it with a powerful swip of his Power Staff and hit Demon Hunter's chest with his boot. It barely affected the hunter. Instead, Demon Hunter delivered an intense kick to Gold Ranger's chest, which sent the Triforian several feet back. Demon Hunter turned to the other four next.
"Trey!" Black Zeo said, raising her hands up.
As Gold Ranger tried to get to his feet, Black Zeo charged Demon Hunter, trading blows. After ducking a thrust over the head, Black Zeo jumped into the air and delivered a double kick to Demon Hunter's face plate. With a whiplash like action, Demon Hunter fell back a few steps and the other rangers took advantage. Black and White Zeo jumped into the air together and delivered powerful thrusts of their legs to Demon Hunter's chest, knocking him back. Silver and Midnight Zeo also dove into the air together and turned their bodies forward, where their arms where out stretched and their fists knocked Demon Hunter back after hitting his chest. He fell to the ground with a thump.
Gold Ranger stepped forward, with his Power Staff in hand. "Time to feel the sting of my Power Staff. Gold Ranger Power, Now!"
Gold Ranger used the staff to perfection, the power blasting at Demon Hunter with precision and hearing the impact as an explosion erupted at and around Demon Hunter. As the rangers began to feel victory at their fingertips, it was taken when from the smoke walked out Demon Hunter, his Demon Cannon in his hands, aiming their direction.
"Your measly powers are unimportant." he said. "Mine are, however."
Demon Hunter released a surge of power from his cannon as it impacted each and every Zeo Ranger, knocking them down as explosion after explosion of power exuded from around them. They were powerless to stop it. Endless pain surged through their powers and into their bodies, nearly making even Trey pass out from the extremity of it.
When the smoke of the explosions cleared away, Demon Hunter was left to gaze at the five bodies of the rangers. He knew they weren't dead, however. He could see the small twitches in the hands. The rangers were now demorphed, the blasts taking their tolls on their powers. Their clothing were mostly shredded away, leaving scars and blood in their wake.
Demon Hunter smiled under his mask as he raised his Demon Cannon for the final strike. The aim was precise and sharp and he was ready to collect his bounty with their deaths.
Deaths which were taken from him as spirals and tendrils of colored light illuminated from around their bloodied bodies, and when the light vanished, they were gone.
The ship known as the Ghost Galiant was an old pirate's ship. No one in history knew who owned this legendary ship, just that the owner was an old pirate who died ages ago, but his spirit was left behind to guard over the ship.
And now, the Ghost Galiant tredged it's way through the waters of the Lost Sea on it's way to the Island of Muranthias. Up on the bow of the ship was Tommy and Kat, just watching the waves as the ship crashed over them.
"Think this'll be exciting?" Kat asked, looking over the waters.
"When isn't one of these adventures exciting, Kat." Tommy replied, a smile on his lips as he nudged her with his shoulder.
She smiled back.
"I think," Tommy murmurred, "this is going to be a dangerous one. We're gonna have to do whatever it takes to stop Diabolico from releasing his father."
"We'll do it. We always do." Kat was certain.
They both fell silent.
"Got any plans for after Graduation?" Tommy changed the subject gracefully.
Kat considered the question carefully. "I do."
"Yep." Tommy replied.
"I think I'm gonna try to get into AGU for the Fall Semester." Kat said, watching Tommy's expression.
It didn't change.
"What are you going to study?" Tommy asked.
"I'm going to study to become a Public Relations Specialist."
"Wow." Tommy laughed.
"Yeah. I've been thinking about it lately. I think I want to have something that has to do with making sure the public knows the truth and what better way to do that than a PR Specialist."
"Good reason." Tommy responded.
"What about you Tommy?" Kat turned her head to peer at her boyfriend. She noted the evident straign in his face and frowned.
"I think... I don't know yet. I just don't know." Tommy shrugged.
"Well, there's still a little time left. Just think things over." she rubbed his arm.
Tommy nodded before looking ahead and widening his eyes. "Look." he said to her.
"Oh my god." Kat breathed, watching the Nexus Triangle before them. It was a myriad of lights and colors that formed a large looking force field that extended all the way down to the botton of the Sea and stretched miled either way.
"We'd better go back to the guys. Grab the stones." Tommy said before he took off back down to where the other three rangers were. Kat quickly went to the small box where the stones were positioned and grabbled them before she, too, joined them under the bow of the ship.
"Alright, remember what Zordon said!" Tommy yelled, as the closer they came to the triangle, the waves began crashing harder, causing more sound around them.
"Right! Hold the stones in our hands to create the energy barrier to let us through." Rocky yelled back.
The five of them formed a perfect circle with the stones in their right hands and together, they extended their hands to where they met in the center of their circle. A powerful jolt of energy surged forth before it vanished and the rangers all watched as the Nexus Triangle passed through the ship and each one of them, a strange sensation tingling through their bodies when the Triangle passed through their bodies. Then, just like that, they were through the Nexus Triangle and closer to the Island of Muranthias.
The silence was deafening as the Blue Senturion and Alpha assisted in bringing the five Zeo Rangers into the imfirmary area of the Power Chamber. They were unconscious, the pain taking their toll on their sensitive human bodies. Five beds were prepared in the infirmary to treat their wounds, and only Zordon knew how weak they all were.
After the two androids proceeded in getting them to the infirmary and letting the machines get to work on their injuries, Blue Senturion and Alpha returned to the main chamber to speak with Zordon.
"Zordon, who was that being?" Blue Senturion asked.
"The main computer tells us his name is Demon Hunter." Zordon stated.
"Demon Hunter." Blue Senturion repeated. "I've heard that name before. I can't remember where."
"Here is the imformation the computer was able to collect." Alpha said, looking up.
"Demon Hunter is a bounty hunter of the highest degree. He was involved in the Great War of Phylos. Phylos lost millions of people during that war. It says that Demon Hunter was paid to start the war and paid to end it. He slaughtered hundreds of people to begin the war and slaughtered more to end it. No wonder the rangers couldn't defeat him." Zordon surmised.
"If Demon Hunter is a bounty hunter, then someone hired him to do this." Alpha realized.
"Yes. It is most likely that the Emperor hired him. Part of the report indicated dealings between the two." Zordon clarified.
"Then, the Muranthias journey?" Blue Senturion asked.
"A ruse. To seperate the rangers in an attempt to destroy both of them at the same time." Zordon said.
"What are we gonna do?" Blue Senturion asked.
"There's nothing we can do until the others return from Muranthias. We can just hope they're strong enough for what they will face."
Walking along the land of the Island of Muranthias was no different than walking back home, Tommy realized, as he and the other Zeo Rangers continued their journey through the mountainy glades of the island, intent on finding the entrance to the Maligore's Volcano which was inside the Serpeant's Temple.
"The energy signal Zordon put in the tracker is really helping us here." Tommy said to them as they walked over a grassy hill that led downward towards a river that large rocks were on to extend a sort of bridge over.
"At least it'll get us there." Rocky remarked.
One by one, they each walked over the river by hopping off the rocks that broke the surface of the river's stream before they were on the other side and were able to continue their trek upward. The passed a set of trees with an unusual shape and paused, as just a short distance away, up on the horizon, was an unusual rock that was shaped with the head of a monster and they knew without guessing that that was the volcano of Maligore.
"Looks like we've found it." Adam said, looking at the strange rock formation.
They all drew in breaths.
"Let's go." Tommy said as they began heading in the volcano's direction.
The walk through the grass and branches was shorter than they anticipated as they journeyed closer to the volcano. A few more minutes of traveling through it and they were at the base of the volcano, trying to find the entrance.
Diabolico and his minions of the Batlings, Loki, Vipra, and Jinxer all surveyed the surroundings with a satisfied air. It had been many eons since Diabolico was able to enter the Serpeant's Temple without much worry about the Emperor's wonderings of his whereabouts.
They had arrived through their sub a little over five hours ago and everything was in preparation for the ceremony to bring back his father, Maligore. His father.
Diabolico pondered a moment on the moment when Maligore was imprisoned here. He knew ancient Sages were responcible for the entrapment but, he could never figure out who was responcible. He himself was a very young demon, not completely understanding his heritage and looking very different than what he currently looked like. It was just before he first met the being that would change the fate of his destiny forever, the Emperor.
He'd never met his father before and he doubted Maligore would remember him, if he knew him at all. As far as Diabolico was concerned, this mission was for one purpose to him, to destroy the Rangers so that the Earth could be in the Xianth Empire's control. That was why he was here and he would complete his mission no matter what.
And as the time winded it's way down, he knew the moment of truth would be very soon. He was ready for it.
Tommy, Katherine, Rocky, Adam, and Tanya all found themselves a few feet away from an opening to the volcano. They had been searching the perimeter at the base of it for the past fifteen minutes, just trying to locate the way into it. Now they had.
Just ahead, they could hear the sounds of footsteps dancing and fire crackling, as well as drums and other native instruments indicating, to them, that a ceremony was not that far off.
"I guess this is it, guys." Tommy said quietly.
"Let's finish this and go home." Adam said.
"Yeah." Rocky agreed.
"It's Morphin Time!" Tommy called.
"Zeo Ranger I, Pink!!"
"Zeo Ranger II, Yellow!!"
"Zeo Ranger III, Blue!!"
"Zeo Ranger IV, Green!!"
"Zeo Ranger V, Red!!"
Two green eyes slowly opened form under pale eye lashes as Torrey was able to gather her vision together to see her surroundings. The surroundings, she noticed, were not her own. And as that realization came, another came.
My God, the battle with that.....thing! Where am I? Slowly, Torrey leaned up on her elbows and took a good look around and then sighed in relief at recognizing the infirmary section of the Power Chamber when Alpha had shown it to her and Jesse. When she sighed, though, she was shown why she was there as her headache inched a painful ache through her.
"Augh." she moaned.
"Tor?" Jesse's whispered voice said from the small twin sized bed next to hers.
"Jesse? Are you alright?" Torrey asked.
"Yeah, I've got a few aches, but I'm fine."
"You guys alright?" Trey asked, as he sat on the edge of his bed near them. Beside him, Kimiko and Jordan were also sitting up, both of them holding their heads as the pained agony shifted through their injuries.
Trey, being a Triforian, was almost completely healed and it was a miracle that he was able to maintain his three escenses when he half expected them to split again. But, he was still in one form and for that, he was relieved. Jordan recieved a minor concussion and a sprained wrist, left side. Kimiko had a fractured elbow, which was wrapped with the white clothing wrapper, and a scar was on her face, just above her right eye, and a white gauze padding was placed over it. Torrey suffered a mild concussion and two cracked ribs whereas Jesse only suffered one cracked rib and a mild concussion. All five were relatively lucky considering.
"Rangers," Alpha said, walking into the room, "how are you feeling?"
"Not so good."
The five voices sounded more like grumbles than moans and, despite the terrible situation, Alpha had to chuckle a bit. But, sobering, Alpha asked them, "Can you walk to the main chamber rangers?"
Slow nods were shown to him as the five of them slowly, but oh so carefully made their way into the main chamber of the Power Chamber were Zordon was already awaiting them. Looking around, they couldn't locate Blue Senturion anywhere.
"How do you feel rangers?" Zordon's question was in a compassionate tone.
"Sore." they all mumbled under their breath, sure he heard it.
"Rangers, I am sorry this has happened to you. I did not believe Demon Hunter's strength had grown since I last saw him." Zordon said softly.
"You faced him before?" Torrey said, looking up.
"Yes, well....not in hand to hand combat. But, someone placed a contract on my life many years ago and Demon Hunter came here to collect it but his strength level was not very strong and I was able to use the Command Center's defense mechanisms to fight him off, but, never in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined him this strong."
"What are we going to do now? The other rangers have still not returned?" Trey said, pondering their next move.
Zordon pondered the situation for a moment. Where it was true that Demon Hunter's power far surpassed the rangers', it was also true that the rangers could use their minds to strategize their next plan of action. Zordon knew most of the Hunter's weaknesses, as well as all his strengths, but Demon Hunter's power had grown and Zordon wondered if he still had those same weaknesses. Hmm.
"I believe the best plan of action for us at the moment is to wait and see what Demon Hunter's next move is. It is entirely possible that his mission was to weaken you, not destroy you. But, if his mission was to destroy you," Zordon paused, "then we must form more powerful powers to battle him against."
"New powers?" Jesse said.
"Yes," Trey answered, now understanding Zordon's words. "The Triforians have developed all kinds of different energy sources for different Ranger powers. As have the Aquitians. We merely have to design the structure and foundation of the powers and have a power source to call the power from."
"Anybody have any ideas?" Jordan asked, not understanding any of the scientific talk.
"What we need," Trey continued, "is an expert in scientifc development as well as someone who knows the backbone of the Power Ranger's data structure."
"Does anyone have any ideas?" Kimiko asked.
Trey and Zordon smiled, knowing who they had to call on.
"Zeo Power Weapons!" Red Zeo called as the five of them raced in through the cave entrance of the Serpeant's Temple. Just ahead of them, an assortment of the Tribesman and Batlings were heading their way, weapons upraised with violent intent.
Just beyond that, the rangers could visibly see Loki and Vipra off to one side, readying themselves to enter the battle and Jinxer was near the back wall, cowering. Diabolico was standing in front of the opening where flames of fire was fuming upwards, shooting out as he chanted. They knew now that time was running out for them.
Red Zeo matched the Batlings facing him with his Zeo Power Sword, knocking them back with the force of his blade. Blue Zeo was using his weapon, the Arm Blades and he used them with perfect precision, cutting down the Batlings and the natives that were trying to get him. Across the area was Yellow and Pink Zeo, fighting together, against a few Batlings. Using expert karate moves and swift kicks; they weren't having much problems. Lastly, Green Zeo was handling the last of then Maligore worshippers easily, kicking them down and knocking them back with his own fighting style.
Finally, the rangers were able to get past the soldiers and faced with Loki and Vipra. Loki had his staff in his hand and ready to fight whereas Vipra had her blade out and was poised to fight.
"Give it up, rangers. You can't stop us." Vipra sneered, raising her sword.
"Never." Red Zeo spoke right back, ready to engage.
Loki swung a strong strike at Green Zeo's head, which was deflected with Green Zeo's Zeo Sword as he and Blue Zeo simultaneously landed strikes on Loki's chest. A few feet away, the girls, Yellow and Pink Zeo, had their Zeo Swords drawn and were going sword to sword with Vipra, who was showing surprising talent for a demon of her size, she was taking their shots, and delivering shots of her own.
Red Zeo had his Zeo Sword drawn and he was advancing on the enchanting Diabolico. Diabolico had his hands held high as he spoke in low tones of a language Tommy hadn't heard before, nor did he have any desire to. With his Zeo Sword raised, he prepare for what, he believed, could be his final battle.
"You think you can stop this from happening ranger?" Diabolico laughed.
"I'm going to give it my best shot." Red Zeo vowed.
"Well, I guess I can tell you this. It takes a drop of blood from a valiant warrior for the final stage of the ceremony to be complete. And it just so happens, we have that in you." Diabolico instantly had his staff in his hands as he delivered a thundering strike to Red Zeo's chest, dropping him to one knee.
A large gold boot sent Red Zeo's head up and back in a whiplash like move that took him the ground, hard. His helmet rolling away. As Diabolico moved in for the kill, Tommy gathered his wits and moved away quickly, bringing his sword in an upward strike that impacted Diabolico's chest, knocking him back a few feet.
Red Zeo then charged ahead in a jumping motion with both his legs as he dove into the air and somersaulted over Diabolico and double kicked him in the back before landing on the ground. Diabolico stumbled forwards, but maintained his balance using his staff before he turned and arced his staff and struck upwards, catching the surprised Tommy across the face with the end of it. Upon impact of the staff, small pieces of Tommy's skin tore and blood splattered all over the ground. Tommy's left cheek was bleeding horribly, a cut caused there.
Diabolico took his staff, where blood was already there and held it over the opening of the pit.
"Mighty Maligore, take this drop of blood as the sacrifice of a valiant warrior and be welcomed into this realm once again. Live and return to the destruction of the world as you see fit to deliver it."
Thunder racked through the cave they were in and all the fighting around them stopped. All, rangers and villains, watched the pit as a claw ascended from the pit, with gooey slime covering it and another claw a few feet away acommpanied it. A monster with the appearance of a lava like formation stepped from the pit and took his first steps outside of it for the first time in over an eon.
It was Maligore and he was angry.
The Dark Destroyer hovered silently over the planet of Phaedos still. The Emperor's forces had returned to inform him that the warrior Dulcea had yet to be found or heard from. It seemed as though she was gone from the planet. But, the Emperor knew she still had to be there, because of the heritage of her family.
The Emperor was sitting in his throne chair in his personal quarters when his intercom buzzed. He pressed a button.
"What is it?"
The voice that answered was his cheif Leutientent, Evil Lynn. "I'm sorry to bother you, Emperor, but we have just recieved word from our forces near the Desert of Despair that Ninjor has left."
"What?" Skeletor's temper was rising at the news.
Evil Lynn looked down before repeating. "I'm afraid Ninjor, like Dulcea, has vanished as well. We can't find any trace of him. We've even gotten inside his Temple, but there is not sign of him."
The Emperor rose from his seat and looked outside the window at the stars and planets around the Dark Destroyer. Crossing his arms over his chest, he thought about the turn of events in this rather unique situation. He wanted his fellow Circle members' power with his own so that he could be one step closer in conquering Earth. That meant, he needed Lexian's, Ninjor's, and Dulcea's power. At the moment, he had no chance of getting close to Lexian and with Ninjor and Dulcea missing, he would have to head towards Inquirus. But, there was one problem with that.
Inquirus had a defense treaty signed with Eltare, Triforia, and Aquitar. If Inquirus was attacked, the other three planets would lend their forces to stop him. And even thought he Emperor's forces are powerful, the Xianth Empire wasn't ready for an all out war with the four planets. So, the Emperor was truly caught and not sure what he should do next.
On the other hand. The Emperor smiled a little. For him to regain the advantage in this little war he started with the Circle, he had to keep the rangers, as well as the Circle members off guard. And, although he didn't like it one bit, he knew the only way for him to get them out of hiding was for him to vanish as they had. That meant returning to the Amkron Xianth Galaxy, leaving Diabolico in charge of the attacks at Earth.
Skeletor thought about losing the services of his Chief General Officer. He didn't like that either. Diabolico had served him for many eons, becoming his most powerful warrior within the Empire. Skeletor himself had trained and carved Diabolico into the demon he was today and losing Diabolico for who knows how long was not something he was looking forward to. And then, there was the mission he had given Demon Hunter.
Things have certainly gotten complicated quickly. He mused. Quickly nodding to himself, the Emperor made his decision and turned to the patiently awaiting Evil Lynn. "Alright, here is my orders. Send a message to Diabolico and inform him that I want him to return to the Dark Destroyer at once."
"My lord?" Evil Lynn was a little confused.
"Did I stutter, Evil Lynn?"
"No, Emperor. I was just wondering why."
"My fellow members of the Circle of the Ancient Order are going into hiding because they know that they are no match for my power. They have the advantage now because I can't find them. In order for me to get to them, I have to convince them that I have given up. That is why I am ordering that we return to our home galaxy at once. I don't want my Chief General Officer to be left behind because I don't know how long we will remain there."
"So, you're just going to let Earth be then?" Evil Lynn asked.
"Of course not. I have someone in mind for that mission. Someone I have been training in the arts of conquering. This will be the perfect opportunity for him to prove his worth within the Empire." the Emperor stated.
"Who?" Evil Lynn asked.
Now, Skeletor smiled. "Olympius."
"We can't......can't take much more of this." Blue Zeo rasped on one knee after being hit by Maligore's right side claw.
"I know. But, we have to stop him from leaving Muranthias." Red Zeo said back, just getting back to his feet.
After Maligore had risen, the rangers had noticed that Diabolico and his forces had instantly left the scene whereas they had half expected them to stay and watch. Then, they had turned their attention to Maligore and had charged him and discovered just how powerful he really was.
Now, as the monster knocked them down for the third time, they were beginning to worry about how they would deal with him. But, he made the decision for them.
Maligore blasted a flash of fire at one side of the cave and made a large hole at which he walked through, intent on leaving the island so that he could begin his reign of terror on the universe once again.
"Tommy!" Green Zeo called, "Can we call on our zords here?"
"I don't know, Kat!!" he looked to his girlfriend.
She used the projections in her visor to discover the answer. "We can call on the Zeo Megazord and the Red Battlezord, but none of the others."
"Then those'll have to do." Red Zeo said.
"We need Zeo Megazord Power Now!" the five rangers called.
As Maligore began to enlarge himself to a larger size, a vortex opened high above the island. The Zeo Megazord slowly descended from the vortex, landing on the ground as the rangers teleported into the cockpit. The vortex remained there.
Maligore instantly spotted it's enemy and he began roaring as he took steps closer to his victim.
"Zeo III, Battle Helmet!" Blue Zeo called, in the lead seat. The Sphinx helmet blasted a course of energy at the beast, impacting on different parts of his body, causing sparks to fly.
As the original Zeo Helmet was placed, Maligore breathed a flame of fire at the Megazord, knocking the zord back several feet. Maligore advanced as quickly as he could, lashing out with a claw that hit the Megazord in the chest, almost knocking it down. He followed his attack with a kick to the sternum part of the Megazord.
The rangers knew they were in trouble now. Most of their frontal power was depleted and they were now running on reserves and that was running low.
"Guys," Red Zeo said, "we've only got one shot at this. We've got to get Maligore into the sea."
"How?" Blue Zeo asked.
"I have an idea." Yellow Zeo said, telling them her idea.
The Zeo Megazord stood near the rocky cliffs with Maligore heading towards them with rising speed. They waited until he was close enough before they made their move.
"Zeo Sabre, power up!" Red Zeo called.
The Zeo Sabre activated instantly and arced downward on a strike the blasted through Maligore's chest, causing him to stumble forward. The Zeo Megazord stepped to the left as it grabbed Maligore's left arm and, upon turning, used all it's reserve energy in throwing Maligore as far as it could. Maligore soared through the air as he went over the cliff and into the Lost Sea.
As the waters of the Lost Sea engulfed Maligore's body, steam erupted from the waters and ascended high above the island, signaling the end of the battle. As the five Zeo Rangers breathed a sigh of relief of having survived this battle, the volcano behind them began to erupt.
"We'd better get out of here." Red Zeo said to his friends as the Zeo Megazord began it's descent into the sky, towards the vortex and towards home.
The sun warmed the atmosphere around the city of Angel Grove. People were milling about, going through their daily business with resolute pleasure. Children, if not playing, were attending their usual days of school with not much pleasure.
Just a day removed form their trip to Muranthias, the Zeo Rangers were glad to be back home and had instantly went home to get some hard earned sleep. Tommy, Rocky, Adam, Kat, and Tanya had learned of the developments of their absence with a sad heart. Learning that their friends had not only been defeated, but had almost been destroyed by a different Power Ranger called Demon Hunter shook them to their very core and they were still shaking from the intensity of it.
The rangers, both teams, had then learned from Zordon that Blue Senturion had left Earth after delivering his package and was currently heading towards Justicitia, the Head Quarters of the Senturions, for repairs to his systems.
Zordon didn't tell them what was inside the package that the Senturion brought. He only told them that when the time was right, he would. They always trusted his instinct, so they wouldn't stop now. Immediately after returning, Tommy's gash on his face was treated by Alpha. The gash was only slightly deep, only leaving a small scar on the left side of his face after Alpha finished his ministrations.
So then, after all the explaining was out, they all had left the Power Chamber to go to their respectful homes and relax after a day full of unexpected events. Trey, until the rangers could find him a place to stay, would remain at the Power Chamber in one of the extra quarters there.
"What do ya think?" Tanya asked her two friends.
Katherine and Jordan both looked at Tanya Sloan. She was dressed in a nice fitting silk gown of the yellow color. From the v-neck opening at the front which showed a small amount of cleavage, to the way it fitted to Tanya's body like a second skin, the effect overall was elegant.
"Very nice, Tanya." Jordan commented.
"You look very beautiful, Tanya." Kat added.
"Thank you." Tanya smiled.
Tanya was ready for her date with Adam. Having the Muranthias problem out of their way, the Zeo Rangers were finally able to relax themselves and live as teenagers should. Adam had asked Tanya for their date the night after they got back and Tanya readily agreed and was now ready.
She had her hair tied back into a single bun behind her head and had small dabs of makeup placed on her cheeks with lipstick on her lips. Small diamond ear rings adorned her ears as she turned and smiled at her friends.
"Well, I think it's almost time for you," Kat pointed at her, "to have a good night. Adam will be here very soon."
And as Tanya turned back to the mirror to continue getting ready, she smiled at her reflection. Things were very much still stressing as far as their newly developed war with the Xianth Empire goes, but things were looking more in their favor. They had ten Power Rangers to defend Earth with, with one of them being the Triforian Ruler. They also had whatever Blue Senturion's package was, which Zordon had in his possession.
But Tanya knew, that as sure as the sky is blue, that in the coming future, the battles would get worse before they would get better, and the rangers would have to be ready.
Too much was at stake this time.
We'll be ready.
Three words, made to form a promise that couldn't be broken, couldn't be broken.
"Let's go downstairs and wait for him." Tanya said as they headed downstairs.