Disclaimer: The Power Rangers and all related characters, weapons,
planets, sunglasses, stuff and universeseses... belong to Saban. Not me.
However, incase you were curious, Yes! I do have a bit of originality
in my stuff. This includes, but is not limited to: the Blade Rangers,
Talkar, and umm... some other stuff.
Timeline: After and a bit during 'The Ending' from the series 'The Gathering'... Hmm I'm noticing a trend here.
Warning: Mild swearing and violence, actually some of it may not be considered mild by some, but I suppose I'm not a real good judge of it.
Notes: This series, 'Dark Rising' takes place after 'The Gathering'. Several of the titles in this series are named after the planets they take place on. 'Dark Rising' can be read in pretty much any order except for the one titled 'Eltare', which will be the finale.
Any questions and or comments can be sent to me at Randelm@hotmail.com.
Farcus Bulkmire seethed inside. The Rangers had teleported to the IGPF ship. They hadn't been told to demorph, which was unexpected. Instead they'd been ushered to stand in a semi-circle wearing their Ranger armor without their helmets, a sort of stand-by mode for the powers, and considered by many to be 'formal dress'. They stood before five grim looking people who sat at a long table. The Rangers' mentors and support crew stood behind them, they looked angry, but they didn't act on it.
Then, after being ordered and herded like a bunch of criminals, this Soviso character accused them as such, and there didn't seem to be anything they could do about it. Then he'd insulted Dimitria... Every Ranger in Red and several others had to immediately be restrained at that point. Finally he played a recording of the last minutes of the crew they were accused of killing and passed sentence. They were to receive the Talkar, it sounded like some kind of exile or banishment.
"Goodbye Rangers, and May the Power Protect You."
The ancient blessing coming from such a despicable mouth is what finally set Bulk off. He moved to grab the oily little man but several hands restrained him. Three large guards had grabbed him and were propelling him towards the portal that Soviso had produced. There was a large amount of struggling and fighting in the room, he put up a fairly good fight himself, but there was no chance to fully morph before he was thrown through the portal and everything went black.
There was a feeling of floating... someone far away was talking softly. Lazily he drifted through the void when something one of the conversers said caught his attention.
"I don't know what's going on, but we've got to try to get to Eltare... I'm sure that's where Zordon will be going," the voice was familiar... he knew it from somewhere.
"How do you know where he's going?" this voice was much lighter, but still someone he knew.
"We don't," replied yet another with a slight Spanish accent. "But it's the best guess..."
The wind blew by, stirring his hair, and slowly he opened his eyes. He was leaning against a large rock in a barren landscape lit by starlight.
"Hey... you're awake," said Silvia Stormshroud, "How do you feel?"
"Tired... where are we?" replied Bulk.
"In a desert, somewhere..." replied Carlos, he was clad in a black T-shirt and black jeans, his Lunar Lance propped against his shoulder, his blaster holstered at his side.
"How long we been here?"
"About an hour or so, with enough daylight to get you and ourselves out of our armor," Adam was the one who replied this time, he was clad in a green shirt and black pants, his weapons were on the ground next to him.
"And we're gonna' try to find a way to Eltare huh?"
"That's the plan," Emily was clad in her Purple Ninjetti robes, as was Silvia who was next to her, in her Greens.
"We should try to get some rest," said Adam, "Tomorrow's likely to be a rough day." The others agreed and tried to find comfortable spots on the hard ground. Bulk wasn't able to go to sleep at first, he lay awake and stared at the stars wondering if one of them might be home, after a while he drifted off, thinking of family and friends... and hoping they were alright.
The five rose the next day just before the sun began to. The boys then turned to their armor... The girls were lucky; they had only their Ninjetti robes and didn't have to figure out how to buckle that forty plus pound mess onto their bodies. With much twisting, and grunting, and straining, and a good amount of help from the girls, they were finally able to get it all on minus the helmets of which there was no sign. Weapons were holstered and slung on backs or hung on belts, and they were off. With no land marks and no way of knowing which direction to go they just headed off in what they hoped was a straight line towards the buttes in the distance.
Emily sighed. They'd been traveling for several hours in the blazing sun. The sand had slowly turned red and they were now traveling though more of a badlands type terrain. It was hot, very hot, at least she didn't have to wear armor like the guys, that must be terrible, especially for Carlos in all that black. Finally Adam called a halt in the shade of a large boulder with a small cave like depression.
"We can't keep going on like this," said Bulk breathily.
"He's right Adam," agreed Silvia, "You three are worse off because of your armor, but we're getting dehydrated, we've no supplies, no shelter..."
"I know, but I don't know what to do about it. Has anyone seen any animal or plant life?" No one indicated that they had. "Well then, I'm open to suggestions..." Again silence.
"I suppose we just continue as we have been," Emily's voice was quiet, almost hopeless, "and search for some kind of civilization." Adam merely nodded, there was little else he could do.
They set out again under the blazing sun and unbearable heat. They rested often and peered into the distance wondering if there was anyone to aid them in their journey. That evening they stopped and stayed awake only long enough to shed their armor before they fell asleep, tired, sore and sunburned.
Carlos awoke to a blade at his throat and a malicious whisper. "Move, and die..." The language was a guttural one he'd never heard before, but apparently enough of the power remained to translate the meaning for him. And he did as he was told, moving only his eyes in an attempt to figure out what was going on and if there was something he could do.
"Let them rise." It was a commanding voice and the blade at Carlos' throat was immediately removed. Cautiously he rose to a sitting position, his eyes never left the man who held the blade. He was rugged looking, obviously raised in the desert, with a small scar under his left eye, and several days' growth on his chin.
"I will speak with them alone." Carlos shifted his gaze to the man who spoke. He was tall, lean, but well muscled, he had iron-grey hair and close cropped beard. His men looked at him, unsure about his declaration.
"They will not attack me," he reassured them, "they are heroes." Carlos' captor eyed him a bit, gave a small sneer, and turned to rejoin a larger group that was merely shadows in the moonlight as far as he could tell. The five Rangers focused their attention on the man who stood in the semi-circle they made. Finally he sat so they could all see him and stared at each of them, weighing, measuring...
"Who are you and why are you here?" his question was blunt but slightly curious.
Adam considered what to tell the man, on the one hand he was a truthful person by nature and lying wasn't his strong point, on the other hand they needed help, and they might not get it if they were thought to be outlaws... Finally he settled on the vaguest truth he could come up with.
"We are travelers, and we are lost."
The man threw back his head and laughed good-naturedly. "Well put my young friend, well put indeed, but allow me to expand on that that description a bit. You five are warriors from far away, Rangers to be exact, from the planet Earth. You are here not of your own free will; you have committed some wrong or have been accused of such. And now you wish to go home."
They all nodded slowly. "How do you know this?" asked Carlos
The man smiled a bit, "Your armor, is that almost metal stuff that technical warriors use. But it shows no scars of use or ware. Your weapons are the same, no signs of use. And your women are Ninjetti, a noble and respected warrior." The man paused and regarded their armor that made a pile near him.
"And the rest?" asked Emily a bit irritated at the way she'd been referred to.
The man's eyebrow flickered in surprise but he didn't even glance at the purple clad girl. Instead he addressed Adam. "I know that she is a worthy warrior, but I am surprised you allow the girl to speak out of turn."
"Excuse me?" Emily's anger caused her voice to become a dangerous whisper. The man continued to ignore her.
Adam cleared his throat uncomfortably, "Ah... gender means little to rank among us... and rank means even less... we are a team, and equals."
"Ah... Well then to answer your question Ninjetti, I know that you have been sentenced to the Talkar. Why else would you be trudging though the badlands... and you're sunburned. Under normal circumstances the Power would protect and repair you, even from such small hurts. As for your desire to be home, that is fairly obvious."
"And our being from Earth?" Carlos was carefully fingering his blaster.
"Everyone knows. All have heard how the Power Rangers of Earth, the most feared and respected fighting force known, has fallen."
"Then why did you ask who we are and why we are here?" Bulk seemed more than a little irritated.
"Because, Centurion, I thought you might need assistance." Bulk looked surprised at the man's knowledge of his powers. "Yes I have seen Centurion armor before, though this is an 'uncivilized' world. However I was under the impression that they were not biological life forms," he answered the unspoken question.
"And you would be willing to aid those accused of murder?" Silvia's relaxed voice again surprised the man, but not for long.
"No young Snake. What I see is five young warriors in need of aid. But out here, as everywhere, aid comes at a price."
"We've no money," replied Emily.
"It is not material wealth I seek, I have enough of that. My band and I are mercenaries; we guard merchants on this particular expedition. But the bandits have gotten worse of late. Already I have lost seven men and two merchant's servants. But if we had Talkar with us... Well needless to say Talkar usually become mercenaries themselves."
"So we assist you in guarding the merchants. The merchants feel safer guarded by such renowned warriors as criminal Rangers, you don't pay us but in sustenance and shelter and pocket the extra money you charge the merchants. Meanwhile any bandits will think twice about attacking such a force. Am I right?" Bulk sounded a bit bitter.
"Mostly, Centurion... the extra money will be dispersed among my men. So what say you? Right now you've no better choice."
Adam looked to his friends' gaunt sunburned faces and tired eyes, and the decision was made for him. "We will accept on the condition that once we reach wherever this market is, we will again be on our own."
"It's a deal Green Ranger." The man offered his hand, and Adam clasped it.
"I am Tarlain," said the man standing up, "We will start out in one hour. Until that time I want you to warm up, practice... show the merchants that you are capable warriors and that there is no longer anything to fear, baffle them with bullshit."
The five began buckling on the boys' armor and then began going though stretches together.
"I do not like this," muttered Carlos.
"Me either, but I don't see any other way," Emily rather viciously kicked the air at that.
"We'll do what we have to in order to get to Eltare," replied Adam, "And right now, as much as I dislike it, that involves putting on a show for the merchants."
Those just mentioned began to emerge from their wagons rather sleepily and didn't notice the newcomers in the pale starlight. The five moved in perfect synchronization, enough of the power remaining for them to have that partial-psychic link that allowed them to do so. They went through graceful, flowing maneuvers for several minutes until all eyes were on them. Suddenly at an unseen command they broke into their separate styles.
Bulk switched into a brawling/grappling style that accented his upper body strength; flashes of blue-grey accenting the more powerful punches.
Emily and Silvia began to perform various acrobatic and visually impressive stunts, together and singly. Their Ninjetti training had given them skill in the fighting arts and they displayed it for the merchants.
Carlos and Adam drew their weapons and swung them around in controlled precise movements, parry, strike, thrust, slash. The green hatchets flashed in the coming light and the black 'lance' was a dark blur.
As one they halted all movement standing erect and proud in a line facing the merchants and mercenaries. After a minute or so the servants went back to work breaking camp and preparing for the morning drive.
Tarlain approached the Rangers who had begun to converse in their own small circle, a smile on his face. "Very fine job Talkar, the head merchant told me he feels much safer with you around."
"I don't get it," said Emily, "Why would he feel safe around people who have been sentenced as criminals?"
"Well for one thing you aren't criminals..."
"How can you be sure?"
"I have an ability... I can read auras, especially of one who works with the Power. You are not criminals. And for another, they trust my judgment.
"I see..." Adam's face had that speculative set to it.
"Well it looks as though we're ready. Mount up and we'll set off."
It was still mostly dark; the sun wouldn't rise for at least an hour. Emily was tired and drained and she had never before in her life set eyes on a real horse. She approached the light tan colored beast warily. Carefully she placed a foot in one of the stirrups and lay a hand on the saddle and was about to haul herself on, when a tugging at her sleeve stopped her.
Startled, Emily looked down into the face of a young girl, no more than eight. "Yes?" she asked, taking her foot out of the stirrup.
"Other side," replied the girl quietly.
"Other side?" Emily was a bit confused.
"You mount the horse on the other side."
"Oh... Thank you. What's your name?" Asked the Ninjetti as she began to circle the horse.
"No! Don't walk behind him, he might kick." The girl had grabbed Emily by a hand and led her around the front of the creature and to the left side.
"Well then... I thank you again. You're pretty smart."
"Everyone knows how to ride a horse, at least here. But you looked like you could use some help. I'm Talia, what's your name?"
"Emily. So... just what is the proper way to get on a horse?"
The girl grinned. "Put your foot here... and this hand here... and swing on up." Emily did as she was told and was soon on the back of the creature. "See? Easy, now to tell the horse where you want to go you use these reins. Mostly they do what you tell them to, but sometimes they wont, so be careful." A bit nervously Emily grasped the reins and looked down to Talia.
"So what's a young girl like yourself doing out here with a bunch mercenaries?"
"I work for Master Tarlain."
"Ah... Well if there's nothing for you to be doing, I was wondering if you would like to ride with me, help me get the hang of this horse riding business."
Talia's eyes practically lit up. "I'll go ask Master Tarlain!" and she dashed off.
"What was all that about?" Silvia had approached silently sitting astride her horse like she'd been doing it for years.
"Well, she helped me, and I don't think riding in a stuffy wagon all day would be very fun for the girl," replied Emily.
Silvia nodded as Talia came dashing back. "He said yes!" the girl exclaimed. In one quick movement she had put her foot on Emily's and swung herself up in front of the saddle.
Before Emily could reply, the wagons began to move forward, and the horse lurched to a trot on its own. Desperately she groped at the reins and tired to control the beast. After a bit the horse slowed down to a walk and Emily saw that Talia was in control.
"Here," said the young girl taking Emily's hands, "Hold the reins like this... and to have him turn do this..."
Silvia watched from behind as Emily got a crash course in horsemanship from the small girl. Her attention wandered from the Purple Ninjetti to her other companions. Bulk and Carlos rode together, the larger man was absently stroking the blaster at his side as the two spoke. Bulk was angry, it was difficult to tell, but Silvia had had a lot of practice in observing others and it was fairly plain to her that he was absolutely furious. About what wasn't all that difficult to figure out.
It was no secret that Bulk and Skull had spent a good amount of their high school careers attempting to find the 'True Identities of the Power Rangers'. And being the trouble magnets that they were, the Rangers had had to bail them out of numerous scrapes. So finally the two grew up a bit and their relationship with the Rangers turned from a desire to find their secret, to a desire to assist their heroes. And now that they were the heroes they'd so admired, they'd been called criminals and cast out, and falsely so. And that's what had Bulk so angry. But he controlled it. She doubted that Carlos was even picking up on it. Then again Carlos had something else on his mind, he kept glancing ahead to where Adam rode alone near the head of the wagon train.
Adam had been a close friend and advisor to Carlos for some time now and Carlos was worried for his friend. Adam had suddenly withdrawn into the exclusive shell he managed when in emotional pain, and not even Carlos could break it, and that upset the young Black Ranger.
Silvia sighed. There were many things going through the displaced Rangers' minds, and unfortunately each would have to deal with them in their own ways. And all to often for those who were meant to protect others, that meant relying on oneself.
"You're very insightful for someone who's been a Ranger for so little time."
Silvia nearly jumped out of her skin, her horse shied in response to her surprise. "Tarlain, you startled me."
"My apologies Green Ninjetti. I also want to apologize for my earlier assumption of your... status. Here, women do not... that is they are not very... outspoken."
"I understand. Might I ask you a question?"
"How do you know I've not been a Ranger long?"
"As I mentioned before, I can read auras, you and the Purple Ninjetti have just recently received your powers." He smiled slightly at her speculative look. "Now my turn for a question... more of a request really."
Silvia nodded, signaling he should continue.
"Would you mind passing my apologizes on to your Ninjetti companion? I do believe she thinks badly of me now, and I do not wish to... have her even more angry with me."
Silvia smiled a bit. "I'm sorry Tarlain, but I think it'd be best if the apology came from you."
Tarlain heaved a long-suffering sigh. "I suppose you're right."
Silvia watched as Tarlain cautiously approached Emily. She couldn't hear what was said over the rumbling of the wagons and various noises of man and beast, but she did see the pained expression on his face, as Emily seemed to be tearing into him verbally. After a bit, the Purple Ninjetti calmed down and Tarlain rode to somewhere else in the wagon train.
They traveled until what Silvia approximated to be about two hours before noon, at which time Tarlain ordered a halt. The wagons were driven into a circle, and a large white canvas was produced and stretched between the wagons, creating a surprisingly cool shelter. The animals were brought into the protection, while the humans opened the sides of their wagons and began lying down on the bunks between the cargo.
The Rangers had grouped together when Tarlain approached. "Get some rest while you can, I've got men on watch, if anything happens, they'll warn us."
Adam nodded, and the five looked for an area within the shelter to rest. Bulk lay out on the ground, not even bothering to remove his armor. Emily propped herself against a wagon wheel, Talia snuggled next to her. Carlos and Adam sat crossed legged, and talked for a bit. That is, Carlos talked and Adam nodded on occasion. Finally Carlos seemed to give up and unbuckled his armor and lay on his back.
Silvia watched from her position propped against one of the wagons, as Adam took off his armor and reached into the pocket of his pants. Carefully, he removed a small black box and opened it. Looking inside the box the young man heaved a sigh. Silently as she could Silvia stood up, and approached Adam sitting down next to him.
"For Tanya?" she asked quietly.
Adam jumped and snapped the box closed, but not before Silva saw the gold band with yellow and green stones. He looked at her, and then smiled a bit shyly.
"When were you gonna' ask?"
"I was on my way to see her when Ooze attacked." Silvia nodded, and Adam continued. "And now I don't even know if I'll ever see her again."
The Green Cobra Ninjetti sighed. "All we can do is try, keep faith Adam."
He merely nodded.
The rest lasted until three hours into the afternoon at which point everybody began closing up their wagons and began preparing to continue.
"Oh man..." muttered Bulk, "remind me never to sleep in my armor."
"You alright man?" Carlos asked while buckling on his breastplate.
"I hurt all over."
"Mount up Talkar, we leave shortly," Tarlain called as he hurried around the camp, making sure things were in order.
"I don't like how he keeps calling us that," muttered Emily.
"Me either... like we're not Rangers anymore," added Bulk, still trying to stretch his back.
"Maybe we're not," replied Carlos, "I mean here we are... where ever the hell this is. We've no powers, no way to get to Eltare, if that's even where we ought to be going. What if we should be heading back to Earth, what if they need us there?"
"Carlos don't talk like that!" snapped Emily.
"No... he's right," interceded Adam. "I hate to say it guys, but the Power isn't with us right now. It's not protecting us, not providing us with any means to get ourselves out of this mess. We've got to face the very real possibility that we'll never leave this planet."
"I don't like it, but we should prepare for the worst," Bulk muttered his agreement hand on blaster.
"And just what does that entail?" Emily was getting angry.
"We can't make any concrete decisions out here, we won't be able to accurately assess our situation until we know how advanced this civilization is," Silvia's seemed the most helpful comment so far.
Before anything else could be said there was a scream from near the edge of camp followed by a good deal of shouting, some of it determined, some of it panicked. Without words, the five Rangers rushed to where the panic had started. Riding towards them in a great cloud of dust were what appeared to be several riders.
As the Rangers positioned themselves to meet the riders head on, Tarlian hissed from behind them, "Raiders... we've already had a run in with this clan, they threatened to return. Here's where you earn your meals Talkar."
"We're Rangers," growled Emily quietly as she stretched for the coming battle.
"Alright guys," Adam's voice was a quiet command, "I think a few warning shots are in order." The three guys drew their blasters and sent several bolts above their adversaries. It appeared to have no effect other than that they spread to encircle most of the camp.
"Spread out," ordered Adam, "We've been in tougher fights... May the Power protect you."
It was bad, not as bad as it could have been, but any loss was bad in Carlos's eyes. In all they lost three guards and five horses, two more guards were injured along with two merchants and Silvia had a nasty cut along her left bicep. What they had assumed to be riders turned out to be grotesque centaur like beasts, though there was little resemblance to either human or horse. Their lower bodies were rock hard armored and rhinoceros like while their upper torsos were some parody of a snake.
"What were those things?" Emily asked Talia as the Rangers gathered just outside of camp.
"Xantor... there are clans of them roaming around, not very nice creatures."
"The first non-humans we've seen," mused Adam.
"Most people are humans," replied Talia a bit nervously. She liked these Talkar, but Emily was really the only one she knew.
"Most?" Bulk looked at the small girl while trying to pop his back.
"Do you mean most people on the planet?" asked Carlos.
"Well most people on this planet are humans, or at least pretty close, but most people everywhere are human."
"Everywhere... are we talking on a galactic scale here?" the Black Ranger seemed a bit doubtful.
"In the universe."
Before the conversation could continue Tarlain approached, "Thank you Talkar, you handled the situation perfectly."
Adam nodded his head slightly, there was something about this whole situation that just didn't seem right.
"We shall continue to travel for a few hours and then we shall sleep," with that announcement, the leader of the mercenaries left the heroes.
"Talia, just how well do you know Tarlain?" asked Emily.
"I've been working for him for as long as I can remember... why?"
"Because we don't trust him," Carlos replied bluntly, "I don't mean to be rude, but I get the feeling that I need to watch my back around him."
For the next five days they traveled through the desert of the planet, the food was tasteless and the portions small, they slept on the ground and the nights were incredibly cold. They were tired, hungry and sore when Tarlain finally announced that they'd be reaching their destination by the end of the day.
"Now, Talkar, with my peculiar ability I know that the five of you aren't criminals, but others may not be so trusting, so if you'll put these robes on over your armor..." Tarlain produced five white robes like the mercenaries and merchants had been wearing from his wagon.
"These will make it hard for us to get to our weapons it things get out of hand," replied Carlos looking at the clothing.
"Oh, I don't think it'll be a problem," and he smiled, it was the last thing Carlos saw before there was a blinding pain and he blacked out.
"Up! Get up!" Emily felt a sharp kick to her ribs and quickly tried to do as the voice commanded. Looking around the room she saw a fat bald man wearing a sweat soaked shirt and greased stained pants was systematically kicking awake her friends. There were a well lit room with wooden walls and one door which was firmly shut.
"That's it, I've had it!" raged Emily inwardly, "That fat assed bastard is about to receive one hell of an ass kicking!" She started forward, but Adam caught her eye with a slight shaking of his head.
"What's this?" laughed their captor and he sauntered to where Emily was standing, "Thinking of attacking me were you? Well go ahead, give it your best shot girlie," and he stood there smirking at her.
"You asked for it." Nose, temple, groin, three quick blows and the fat man stumbled backwards cursing loudly.
"Tch, tch... Dalin, you should know better. And you," he looked at Emily, "I like your spirit and would enjoy breaking it, but that will be left up to your buyer." This man was trimmer than the one Emily had just pummeled. He stood straight and had a military air about him.
"Buyer?" asked Bulk from where he leaned against the wall.
"Yes Centurion, you will be sold off to the highest bidder."
"I don't think so," retorted Carlos taking a fighting stance.
"Oh I do, and this little device agrees with me," he produced a small metal box with button which he pressed. Immediately Emily dropped to the ground in pain that spread from the base of her head. She heard the exclamations of pain form her comrades, but only as a perifirary sensation. Every fiber of her being felt as though on fire and she was quickly hoarse form screaming.
"That was just a taste of what this device can do. The auction begins in an hour, until then Talkar," and he left. Dalin viscously kicked Emily in the stomach then followed, chuckling maliciously.
"What... was that?" asked Silvia when the pain had finally subsided enough.
"There's something on my neck," replied Adam.
"Mine too," Bulk's voice was definitely panicked. After a bit of inspection it was found that a small metal object had been somehow attached to their necks and presumably could produce pain.
"Oh man could things get any worse?" hollered Carlos. "We're stranded on planet that doesn't have even a memory of water, our powers are gone and now we're about to be sold into slavery! May the Power Protect us, Hah! We are really screwed here guys!"
The other four stared at him in stunned silence. After a while Carlos sat down with his back against the wall, no one spoke until the fat man, Dalin, opened the door.
"Show time Talkar, let's go," and he produced the remote that had caused so much pain earlier. Quickly the five filed out the door and into a dirty smelly tavern. There were all sorts of people, human and otherwise, sitting at the tables and they began catcalls and whistling as the Rangers entered.
The heroes were led onto a raised wooden stage where a man in something resembling a tuxedo and standing at a podium attempted to restore order among the patrons. When things finally quieted down the man addressed them.
"Ladies, Gentlemen, and otherwise, the moment you've all been waiting for. Next on the block, Power Rangers of Earth!"
There was a deafening roar of applause.
"First up will be the Purple Ninjetti."
Dalin shoved Emily roughly forward. Prompted by the jeering of the evil patrons she spun and neatly laid her assailant out on the floor, this was immediately followed by exploding pain from the base of her neck. She felt herself roughly hauled to her feet and supported until she could again stand under her own power.
"And of course with a purchase of a Ranger one will receive one of these remotes which will activate the pain chip attached to their nervous systems. Now, shall we start the bidding at ten-thousand credits?"
"No." The voice came from the entrance and all turned to see a purple robed figure enter. "I have a better idea. You give me the Ninjetti, and you get to live."
"I-Ivan Ooze... it is a great honor..."
"Honor Shmonor, I want the Ninjetti."
The auctioneer tried to protect his interests while not offending the powerful evil lord, but Emily's attention scanned the room looking for any sign of hope. It stopped on Tarlain and Talia, the older man had a broad grin on his face, but the girl didn't look nearly as happy.
"Disgusting," a new voice cut through the argument.
"Excuse me?" drawled Ivan
"They are our enemies, not objects to be sold, this is most dishonorable." It was a humanoid covered in black armor with reddish orange highlights.
"Ah, well if it isn't Villamax... killed Darkonda yet?" asked the purple goon.
"Twice. Now I insist the Rangers be released to their superiors or given a swift and honorable execution."
"Still going on about all that honor? You haven't changed a bit. But the fact remains that I am going to take the Ninjetti."
"You'll have to go through me," replied Villamax.
But before the fight could begin there was a crash, Talia had snuck up to the stage and smashed the remote device on the floor. It seemed an occasion for stunned silence. And shortly thereafter chaos ensued. Villamax and Ivan Ooze had squared off, and were going at it, while Dalin and several others approached the Rangers, and still others began fighting just for the sheer joy of it.
Talia started towards Emily, but before she'd taken three steps here eyes went wide, she screamed in pain and tumbled forward landing face down on the floor, a blaster burn in her back. She didn't move. Tarlain stood behind her, blaster in hand.
Emily went numb, then hot and cold at the same time, her entire awareness was on edge as she screamed one loud piercing word.
There was a shattering of something Emily could not see and then she felt a rush of power. She struck out, not with her fists or feet, but with a sting that only one of her kind could possess, but Tarlain wasn't there and Emily's attack smashed a table to splinters. There were gasps and screams and the tavern emptied very quickly, none wishing to face the enraged Ninjetti.
"You've not heard the last of me Rangers or you Villamax," snarled Ivan as he left the bar.
"I certainly hope not," was the reply as the dark knight sheathed his sword.
"What the hell just happened?" asked a fully morphed Black Lightstar Ranger, "Not that I'm complaining."
"I think that Emily broke the spell," replied Green Zeo.
"Quite impressive..." said Villamax. "Here," he tossed some sort of disk to Blue Centurion who caught it easily, "There is a Ranger ship in the spaceport down the street, I suggest you hurry."
"Why are you helping us?" asked Silvia.
He quickly glanced to where Emily was lifting the still form of Talia in her arms. "My honor demanded nothing less. May we meet on the field of battle," and he left.
They exited the building cautiously and began moving towards the largest building in the town. They were nearly there when a hail of blaster fire exploded the ground around them. Adam and Carlos immediately turned and returned fire while Silvia prepared for the enemies charging them.
"I got it!" shouted Bulk as there was a hissing of the spaceport door opening.
Carlos, Adam and Silvia were holding off the enemy as Bulk and Emily, Talia still clutched to her body, darted towards the black and silver ship. Once inside Talia was laid carefully on the floor as Bulk headed to the bridge and attempted to start it up.
"Delta Megaship online..."
"Guys, come on!" Shouted Emily through the hatch of the ship.
The three broke and sprinted for their ride out. Laser blasts rained around them, and Carlos was hit in the back. As one, Adam and Silvia helped him up and they continued running, almost there.
Adam's scream precluded his fall, just inches from the entrance to the ship and Carlos collapsed halfway inside. Emily bent to drag Carlos all the way in while Silvia attempted to do the same for Adam. From behind the Green Ninjetti was grabbed, as was the Green Zeo leaving Emily alone to fend off the evil creatures.
There was the roar of engines coming to life and the ship lifted off the ground and in surprisingly little time had left the surface behind and was headed for space. The hatch closed, but Emily continued to stare through it. Adam and Silvia were still down there and in the clutches of those... despicable 'people'.
"Emily," it was Bulk, "I'm sorry, I had to get us out of there before..."
"I know Bulk... Come on, we've got to get Carlos and Talia to the Medical bay..."
"Who is your master?"
"The lion roars, the stars are bright, the frog jumped over the bull. The lion roars..."
"Blast you human! Answer me!"
"...stars are bright..."
The large evil purple demon looking thing struck Adam across the face causing blood to splatter on the floor. The young man was stripped from the waist up, he already bore the cuts of the beast's earlier attempts to break him. Unfailingly, Adam picked up the litany where he'd left off.
"The frog jumped over the bull."
In a rage the creature stormed out of the cell.
"Adam?" Silvia called quietly, she was not free of cuts herself and the pain made it difficult for her to speak.
"The lion... the lion..." Adam shook his head then winced. "Silvia?"
"I'm here Adam. How... how did you do that?" the painful and embarrassing memories revealed that she had broken under the torture. She had proclaimed Ivan Ooze as her master. It was funny, she hadn't thought that torture was Ivan's style... maybe ordering it done wasn't so bad.
"I don't know, the words just came to me," he looked up at her, chained across the room from her. On a small table in the center of the room his small, Green Zeo sub crystal and Silvia's Cobra emblazoned coin sat on a table. So close... Adam was reminded of when Tanya had been captured and Mondo had done much the same thing, taunting her with her Yellow Zeo powers. She fought very fiercely in the following battle.
"Hey Adam," Silvia broke the lull, "know what I just realized?"
He raised an eyebrow at her, though even that was painful, "What's that?"
"Tanya is a lucky woman," she laughed gently when he blushed.
"Yeah well, TJ's got it pretty good himself," he countered. Silvia was quite dumbstruck.
"Oh come now, us Green Rangers are known for being insightful right?"
"But... we hadn't decided to make it official until just before we were summoned by Soviso."
"The longer you're on the team, the more you'll realize that it's difficult to keep secrets from family."
She gave a half laugh, "If we survive that long."
"It is looking pretty grin eh? What do you think the other are doing?"
"Well by now they've probably made it to Eltare," replied Silvia.
"Yeah, they've talked to Zordon and the council and they're rounding up the rest of the team as we speak."
"We'll be home in time for dinner."
"Hmmm... dinner. My mom makes great meatloaf," Adam closed his eyes and licked his lips. Silvia laughed.
"Until now I never realized that being held captive could be so much fun. Thank you Adam."
Adam grinned back, but neither said anything for quite a while thereafter.
Dutrier stared at the... the being in front of him. It was sleek, obviously some kind of construct, bearing molded, muscle defined armor that was a part of its body. Its head was smooth, no wrinkles, a slit for a mouth and eyes that were simply a featureless red, no nose. It carried with it an emerald sword.
"Can... can I help you... sir?"
The thing grinned... or was that a sneer. Dutrier never got to find out a pain exploded in his chest and he knew no more.
"They're here, I can feel them. Power calls power, blood calls blood, pain, the bull in pain, bright star bull, blood, sweet green blood, venom of the sibilant king so sweet, so hot. They're here, I know it. Red Sol Master will be happy. Do not capture, no plans, no waiting, no schemes... kill, devour, O' the sweetness of the tear, the murder, let me... let me taste their life, their power. Sibilant King, Bright Star Bull... you are mine. I feel it."
Kartied, the Green Blade Ranger strode through the halls of the desert fortress.
"Near, they are near... I must have them, I will have them, Red Sol said I could. Power, blood, pain, sweet pain. What? Life, Purple life... Ooze..."
"You there," the voice was deep and gurgling, "What are you? You're not authorized to be down here!"
Kartied calmed his thoughts and concentrated on putting them into coherent speech. "I am Deathblow, Green Ranger of Lord Zedd. I am here for the Green Rangers."
"You are trespassing on Ivan Ooze's property," the Oozeman sneered, "And you cannot have his Rangers."
"Kill, tear, rip..."
"I can, and I will," Kartied held his claymore style weapon before him as several of the gooey purple creatures surrounded him. Block, slash, one down. Thrust, kick, flip, strike, one down. "I was created to fight," one down, "And given the power," one down, "Of the Deathblow," one down, "You cannot defeat me," one down, "I am a Ranger," one down, "And Rangers," one down, "Don't," one down, "Loose..."
The hallway was covered in the purple slime of the foot soldiers, as was Kartied. Carefully, it made its way towards where it could still feel the prey. Hot and energized from battle, it began to run.
"A Ranger? Blast Zordon's little twerps!" Ivan Ooze stood with a swirl of his cape, "Follow me. I'm about to add another Ranger to my collection." And he strode down the stairs towards where his captives were being held, a small army of gooey soldiers in tow.
The door to the chamber opened and Silvia looked up, expecting to see the brutish torturer back again. What she saw instead frightened her. It was the green putty like Ranger carrying his long bladed weapon covered in ooze.
"Hello Rangers..." it greeted in its whispered growl.
"What do you want?" rasped Adam.
The slit that was its mouth spread into a grin and it walked over to the table where the small green crystal and cobra emblazoned coin sat. Grabbing one in each hand it raised them over its head and an emerald light surround the creature, pulsing in time with an unheard beat that grew louder and louder.
Silvia could feel it, feel her own heart beating in time with the felt sound larger, stronger until it filled the room with a shining sound, feeling like emerald on a bright night, stars shining, the hunt... She could feel Adam, his heart beating in time with her own and both connected to the tainted Deathblow. O the stars! It was draining them, of there power.
Of their life.