Author: Har-El PM
On the eve of his wedding, Leo finds himself an unwilling partcipant in a deadly competition.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Leo C. & Kendrix M. - Words: 9,602 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 5 - Published: 07-08-01 - id: 347128
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimers: I do not own Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy, or any characters affiliated with the show. They are the joint property of Saban Entertainment, Fox Kids, Toei, Bandai, and who knows what else. The Keeper of the Cosmic Gladiators, the Traiganites, and any that take part in the tournament are my ideas, though.
Notes from the author/Timeline: This story takes place a month and a half after the events of the episode "Facing the past" and the same amount of time before "Enter the Lost Galaxy", 3 months after "Turn up the volume", and 4 1/2 months after "Desperate times, desperate measures" (interesting fact for anybody who wants to know: The time spaces puts Kendrix at being six months pregnant in this story). The story is split between a tournament that Leo is unwillingly involved in and... well, you'll see.
By Lucas Harrell
Leo walked through the warehouse that was the final resting place of his worst enemy, the Psycho Defender. 'If Hyuuga hadn't been there to help me, I would have been as good as dead,' he thought. Suddenly, a laughing was heard. "Who's there?" he demanded.
"Just an old friend," a voice called out from the shadows, "Or I guess it's more like an old enemy."
Leo couldn't believe his ears or his eyes, as the Psycho Defender stepped out of the shadows. "It can't be you," he muttered.
"Oh, but it is," Psycho Defender said, "And this time, Hyuuga won't be enough to help you against me."
"We'll see about that, Psycho Defender," Leo said, "Defend the galaxy!!!" He flipped open one of his two morphers and slid the loop into place. Seconds later, he was transformed into the Magna Defender. Energy poured out of him, and seconds later, Hyuuga was standing next to him, also ready for battle.
Psycho Defender brought forth his bladed staff and held it above his head. "The hard way it is, then," he said. He then charged the two. Leo and Hyuuga tried to block his swings, but he overpowered them both, kicking the old Magna Defender away and knocking his successor on his butt.
Psycho Defender brought the bottom blade of his staff up to the helmet in front of Leo's face. "And now, my pathetic counterpart, you die," the evil Ranger growled, thrusting the staff at Leo.
Leo sat straight up from bed, gasping. He was drenched in sweat and he found it hard to catch his breath. 'It was just a dream,' he thought, as he finally got his breathing back to normal.
"Leo?" a soft, sleepy voice asked from beside Leo. Kendrix sat up next to him. "What's wrong?" The two had moved into his quarters, the largest of all of the Rangers' living quarters, and were slowly adjusting to life living together, as well as preparing for their baby and wedding.
"It was just a bad dream, Kendrix," Leo murmured, suddenly very grateful for Kendrix's presence.
"Oh, my poor baby," Kendrix cooed, gently gathering Leo into her arms. "Do you want to talk about it?" He hesitated for a moment, but she gently prodded him until the details of the nightmare came out.
"I have a bad feeling that something bad is just over the horizon," Leo said, "I could die, and you'd have to take care of the baby all by yourself."
"You can't talk that way," Kendrix said, "Any being in the universe, on any given day, can die, but you can't let that stop you from living your life to the fullest."
"I know," Leo said, "But the dream seemed so real."
"They usually do," Kendrix said, "But you can't let them get to you, or you'll become an emotional wreck." There was a slight pause. "Why don't you try to go back to sleep? It should help."
"You're right," Leo said. He hugged Kendrix to him for a moment before they both released each other. He rolled to his side, away from her, and tried to fall asleep, but the dream still haunted him. Sleep eventually overcame him, but it was uneasy.
The next morning, Kendrix woke to find Leo gone. A note was on her night stand. She leaned over, picked it up, and started reading it.
"I know you hate waking up to an empty bed, but I wanted to take the Defender Cycle out and get some fresh air. You looked so beautiful that I just didn't have the heart to wake you up before I left to tell you where I was going, so I'm leaving this note. I won't be back for a while, because I'm dropping by a tailor's to get fitted for a tux.
PS: Don't forget about your appointment with the wedding coordinator."
Kendrix smacked her forehead with the palm of her hand. She had completely forgotten about the appointment wedding coordinator. 'You're rubbing off on me, Leo,' she mused, smiling. 'I was never this forgetful.' Just then, the chime to the door went off. "Come in," she called out. Maya walked in. "Oh, hi, Maya, what's up?"
"Mike had to get to the command tower early, so I thought I'd come with you on your appointment with the wedding coordinator," Maya said, "Do you mind?"
"Of course not," Kendrix said, as she got out of bed. "Just give me a second to get changed, and we'll go."
Maya nodded and leaned against the wall, as Kendrix changed out of her maternity nightgown. "So, where did Leo get off to this early in the morning?" she asked.
"He's going job hunting and he said he was going to get an early start," Kendrix replied, as she slid into her clothes. "He said that he's also going to stop by a tailor's to get fitted for his tux. Has Mike gotten fitted yet?"
"Yeah, a few days ago," Maya answered, "He's supposed to pick it up later on."
Kendrix nodded as she finished dressing. "Good," she said, "Everything seems to be going all right. Well, let's get going, before we're late for the appointment." The two gathered a few things, and she locked the door on their way out.
Leo zoomed through the streets of Terra Venture on the Defender Cycle. 'Man this thing is awesome,' he thought, as he cut around a corner. 'I have to take this baby out more often.'
Suddenly, a huge blast hit the pavement not too far ahead of Leo. "Whoa!!!" he cried, and tried to stop. He wasn't able to stop in time, and was thrown off the Defender Cycle. He landed hard on the concrete. The Magna Defender armor cushioned the blow, but it still hurt.
Leo slowly got to his feet. After checking himself for injuries, he checked his wheels. It surprisingly didn't have significant damage. "Alpha sure built this thing to last," he muttered. 'Better look for whoever did this,' he thought, looking at the hole in the concrete.
Before Leo could draw his sword, however, several creatures came out of the shadows and rushed him. He tried fighting them off, but he found their numbers to be too overwhelming. What's worse, he didn't have the elbow room to draw his sword.
The shadowy creatures grabbed Leo's arms and he found himself helpless. "What are you?" he growled.
The creatures didn't answer, but someone did, as they too came out of the shadows. "They are known as the Traiganites, and most of them don't speak anything other than the gibberish that is their native language," the man said.
"And who are you?" Leo asked.
"I am known as the Keeper of the Cosmic Gladiators," the man said, "Most simply call me the Keeper."
"Cosmic Gladiators?" Leo asked, "What're those?"
"People that we chose to take part in a grand tournament once every cycle, or, as you know them, year," the Keeper replied, "We have been monitoring you and the Galaxy Rangers for some time now, and we have decided to let you alone enter the tournament.
"If you win, you become the Grand Gladiator," the Keeper continued, "You will become rich beyond your wildest dreams. But the down side is you have to come back every cycle until you are beaten."
"Well, it sounds like fun, but I'll have to decline your offer," Leo said, "I've got a wedding to plan. And on that note, I'm already close to being late for my appointment at the tailors to get fitted for a tux. So you see, I can't come."
"I'm afraid you don't have a choice," the Keeper said. He gestured to the creatures, who tightened their hold on Leo, as the tall man pulled out a small diamond shaped apparatus and used it to open a gate. The creatures took him through first, and the Keeper followed.
Leo was roughly dumped into a cell. "Oh man, this is crazy," he muttered, as he rubbed his wrists. His morphers were gone. He then reached up to his neck. A collar had been placed there. It was pretty much weightless and not a bother, but he couldn't help but wonder what it did.
The Keeper walked through the door. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't rip your head off," Leo growled.
"Because you'd die of electrocution before you even got close enough," the Keeper sneered, "The collar around your neck is merely to keep you from escaping or doing harm to me or my associates."
"What happened to my morphers?" Leo asked.
"Oh, don't worry," the Keeper answered, "They'll be given back to you right before each of your matches. You'll need all the power you can get, since you're the only human Cosmic Gladiator. You can even call your predecessor... I believe his name is Hyuuga... to help you, if you want."
Leo eyed the Keeper with suspicion. "What's the catch?" he demanded.
"There is no catch that I haven't already explained," the Keeper replied, "Behave, stay alive, and win, and you'll be able to go back to your 'Terra Venture' soon enough to plan the wedding. If you don't, your pretty little fiancee will be very heartbroken."
"Leave Kendrix out of this," Leo growled.
"Oh, I will," the Keeper said, "We're not interested in her, just you. And maybe your unborn baby, but not it until it's at least your age."
"That's it!!!" Leo said. He jumped up and started for the Keeper. He didn't take three steps, before electricity coursed through his body painfully. He fell to his hands and knees, and it stopped.
"I would not recommend doing that again," the Keeper said, "The voltage gets higher on each attempt, and will eventually fry you on the first step after too many futile tries. Just sit back and rest, for your first match isn't too far off." With that, he left the cell-like room.
Leo barely got up and dragged himself to the small bed in the corner. He fell onto it like a ton of bricks. It didn't take him long to fall asleep. He was awakened by several pairs of rough hands. The Traiganites pulled him from bed and carried him to a room, where a bunch of aliens were gathered.
'This must be the room where they gather the Cosmic Gladiators,' Leo realized silently, after he was pretty much literally thrown into the room, along with his morpher. He looked around. "Does anybody speak English?" he asked, as he strapped the morphers back onto his wrist.
Leo's question was met with grunts and shaking of heads mostly, but he was surprised when one huge, muscular alien stepped up. "I speak language," it announced in clipped English.
Leo extended his hand. "My name's Leo Corbett," he said, "What's yours?"
"Me B'ar Gashn," the alien said. It stuck out it's hand. Obviously, B'ar was vaguely familiar with the Earth custom of shaking hands, so Leo initiated it.
"It's nice to meet you, B'ar," Leo said.
"You Power Ranger?" B'ar asked, looking at his morpher.
"Sort of, yeah," Leo admitted. He looked down at the aliens huge wrists and was surprised to find something that vaguely resembled a morpher there. "You're one, too?"
B'ar nodded. "Big honor for my people," he said, "We defended villages from a gaoshu..."
"I don't mean to interrupt, but a what?" Leo asked.
"I believe it mean demon in your words," B'ar answered, "It called Einox, and it live in blackness above clouds and attacks with lesser gaoshu. When we send them back, he has fully grown jolaze... er, monster, attack. We then call our iqalom, physical forms of that you call spirit animals, to defeat them."
Leo nodded. "How do you know all of this about my people?" he asked.
"Our team was once led by Qole, the one your people know as Ninjor," B'ar said, "He learned a lot from the team from your planet when he helped. He taught B'ar all B'ar know about everything. I no quite good with your language yet, but me hope that we spend enough time together for me to get better."
"While I want to get back as soon as I can, I'll help with that in any way that I can, my new friend," Leo said. Suddenly, an alarm goes off, and two of the gladiators disappear. "What's going on?"
"They call first two combatants to arena," B'ar explained, "When one unconscious, otherwise incapacitated, or dead, the other declared winner. Watch monitor." Leo nodded. B'ar's rather crude English was a bit hard to understand at times, but he was able to get the gist of what his newfound friend was saying.
The monitor B'ar pointed to was a crudely made one, but was large. It showed the two missing gladiators facing off. The two went at it, tooth and nail. In the end, the smaller one was declared the victor, after he broke the larger gladiators neck unmercifully.
"Winner Teioln, a member of the race Munpea," B'ar explained, "They notorious for killing without mercy or even reason. He no need to take poor Vrets life. Vret have many wife and child. Now, all widowed and orphaned."
B'ar turned to Leo and extended his big paw. "We make pact here," he said, "If I no get vengeance on Teioln, you will, and vice versa."
Leo watched Teioln for a moment, before grasping B'ars hand. "You've got a deal," he said, "You're right, he didn't need to take Vret's life." Suddenly, he felt himself being teleported away. 'Must be my time to fight,' he mused.
Leo soon found himself staring down a huge blue skinned centaur-like alien in a strange arena that looked to be rectangular. "Time to get the show on the road, I guess," he muttered. He opened one of his morphers and slid it into the slot in the other. "Defend the galaxy!!!" Seconds later, he was transformed into the Magna Defender.
No sooner was Leo morphed, than the alien rushed him, swinging a huge club in an overhand manner. The young Magna Defender went on the defensive, pulling out his sword and bringing it up to block the club. The alien pulled back and swung the club at him again.
Leo easily dodged out of the way. He put the sword back in the sheath and converted it to blaster mode. He powered it up to half energy. 'That should be enough to knock this brute out,' he thought. He blasted the alien. It flew into the wall and slumped to the floor, indeed unconscious.
Leo felt himself being teleported away. When the teleportation effect went away, he found himself back in his cell. He was powered down and his morphers were missing. 'Guess I'm supposed to rest for my next match,' he thought. He went over to the bed and laid down on it. 'I wonder if Kendrix is all right.'
Kendrix and Maya were laughing as they entered the quarters the former Pink Galaxy Ranger shared with Leo. "I'll never forget Leo's face when Trekeena posed as Tracy and came here," the young Mirinoian said, "And yours. You looked like you were going to rip her head off or something. And Leo's."
"I felt like it, too," Kendrix admitted, "And what about you? You looked pretty peeved at Mike for almost succumbing to her charms."
Maya nodded. She had really given Mike a piece of her mind after that adventure, for leaving her and the others to help 'Tracy'. "How did you feel when the Crumummy 'stole' our beauty?" she asked.
"Well, when it wrapped those bandages around our faces, it felt like I was smothering," Kendrix said, "I don't really remember anything after that, until Mike opened the jar."
"Same here," Maya said. Just then, her communicator beeped. "Maya here."
It was Mike. "Is Kendrix there with you?" he asked. Maya and Kendrix could both tell from the tone of his voice that something was wrong.
"Yeah, I'm here, Mike," Kendrix replied, "What's wrong?"
"We found the Defender Cycle downtown, abandoned," Mike answered.
"What?" Kendrix asked, "Do you have any idea where Leo is?"
"Not yet, but we're having Alpha scan for anything unusual in the area we found the Defender Cycle," Mike said.
"I'll be right there, then," Kendrix said.
"We both will," Maya corrected. She put a hand on Kendrix's shoulder. "It'll be all right, you'll see. Whatever happened to Leo, we'll get him back." Kendrix nodded. She visualized the Megaship's bridge, touched a button on her transmorpher, and the two teleported away.
When the teleportation effect deposited the two on the Megaship's bridge, they found the others waiting on them. "You didn't have to come," Kai said to Kendrix.
"I did have to," Kendrix corrected, "I wouldn't live with myself if I didn't do everything I could to help find Leo. I love him too much." The others nodded and set about trying to find Leo.
Kendrix suddenly had to sit down, so she did at a nearby console. "He'll be back," she assured herself softly, "We'll find him." 'Don't prove me wrong, Leo Corbett,' she thought, 'I don't think I can do this without you.'
Leo woke with a start. "Oh, man," he muttered, sitting up and swinging his legs over the edge of the bed. He stayed like that for a moment with his head down. It had been the same nightmare he had the night before, and he didn't have Kendrix to
"Nightmare?" asked a soft voice.
Leo looked up, almost expecting Kendrix, but only to find B'ar looking at him from the cell across from his. "Yeah," he said, "A reoccurring one, at that." He saw the puzzled look on his new friend's face. "Uh, it's a nightmare I've been having the past couple of nights."
B'ar nodded. "The competition will be starting again soon," the alien said.
Leo stood up. He was a bit shaky at first, but he quickly overcame it. "How long was I out?" he asked.
"About three of what you call hours," B'ar said. The alien paused. "What was your nightmare about?"
Leo didn't have time to answer, as the Traiganites came just then. "I think I'll walk this time," he told them. The creatures backed off and allowed him to walk out of the cell under his own power. B'ar joined him outside the cell, and the two followed the shadowy creatures to the waiting room.
"So, what was your nightmare about?" B'ar repeated.
Leo recounted every second of his reoccurring nightmare. "Have you ever had one like that?" he asked B'ar.
"All the time," B'ar admitted, "All my team have. Qole told us once that one don't go up against Einox or other gaoshu without them." Leo nodded.
The two were taken to the waiting room and given their morphers. "I have a little bit of clairvoyance, and it's telling me you'll need my help in this next fight," Hyuuga pointed out.
"Yeah, I get the same feeling," Leo mind-spoke to Hyuuga, "So be ready to be called out at any time."
"I always am," Hyuuga replied.
Leo turned to B'ar. "Good luck," he said, extending his hand to his new friend.
"You too, Leo," B'ar said, gently grasping Leo's hand and shaking it.
It wasn't two minutes later before Leo found himself teleported to an arena. It looked like a jungle, minus the animals. He found himself facing down a tall, stocky looking ugly humanoid alien. 'Reminds me of something off that old movie Predator,' he mused, 'Well, better morph.'
"Defend the galaxy!!!" Leo shouted. He went through the usual motions. Seconds later, he was morphed and ready for battle. The Predator was the first to strike, moving with surprising speed and agility, and almost skewered him with it's wrist claws.
Leo jumped back. 'Damn, this dude's fast,' he thought, 'You ready, Hyuuga?'
"Ready as always," Hyuuga replied. Energy poured out of Leo and coalesced into his predecessor. The two both drew their Magna swords.
The Predator made a snarling sound and pulled out a spear like projectile weapon. It threw it at Hyuuga, who was barely able to move out of the way. "You want to play rough, huh?" the elder Magna Defender asked, "Well, bring it on."
The Predator dove in towards Hyuuga, only to be blasted by Leo, who had converted his sword to shotgun mode. It hissed in pain and turned to him, only to have the older Magna Defender almost skewer it with his sword.
The Predator barely dodged the swing, and it only drew blood. It snarled and turned back to Hyuuga, who had started to retreat. He drew a bead on him with his shoulder mounted laser gun.
Just as the Predator was about to rip loose with a blast, Leo came running through the arena, blasting the alien. "Fall, damn it!!!" he shouted, "Fall!!!" His last shot hit the gun, and it exploded in the Predator's face. It flew back and hit the ground. It didn't get back up.
Hyuuga was barely able reunite with Leo before the young Magna Defender was teleported out of the arena. This time, he didn't go back to his cell, but back to the waiting room. B'ar was gone, but he was shown on the monitor, fighting.
'I must have to fight another Cosmic gladiator before I can rest,' Leo thought, 'Well, my adrenaline is pumping, so I'm ready.'
"Well, I'm afraid I can't help in the next fight," Hyuuga said, "But I know that you can defeat whoever it is on your own."
Leo smiled. "Thanks for the vote of confidence, Hyuuga," he murmured telepathically. He readied himself for his next match.
Leo's next match was against a huge scorpion-like creature in an arena that looked to be a construction site from Earth. 'They must be giving me the advantage for once,' he decided, as he morphed.
Leo tried to pull his sword out, but as soon as it cleared the scabbard, the scorpion knocked it away with it's claw. It then tried to stab him with it's tail, but he was barely able to dodge out of the way. "Didn't your mother ever tell you it's not nice to stab people?" he taunted.
Using surprising speed, the scorpion creature smashed it's claw against Leo across the arena. He smashed into one of the support beams. The armor took most of the hit, but it still smarted.
Leo noticed a steel beam right next to his feet. With surprisingly little effort, he picked it up and waited until the scorpion creature came closer. When it did, he tried batting it with the beam.
The steel beam smashed against the creature's head. It fell down to the floor. Whether it was unconscious or dead, Leo couldn't tell. 'I hope it's not dead,' he prayed silently, 'Please, God, don't let it be dead.'
The second he retrieved his sword, Leo felt himself teleported away from the arena. A second later, he found himself back in his cell. He then dragged himself over to the bed and fell onto it. He quickly fell into a fitful sleep.
Kendrix hadn't realized that she had fallen asleep until Mike shook her arm. "Why don't you go back to yours and Leo's quarters?" the Red Galaxy Ranger suggested softly, "You look like you're asleep on your feet."
"I can't until we have something solid on what happened to Leo," Kendrix insisted tiredly. She hated to admit it, but she was half-asleep. "I doubt I could sleep unless I know he's all right."
"I don't want to, but I'll pull rank if I have to, Kendrix," Mike replied, "Go on and get some sleep. You have my word that the second we have something, you'll be the first to know, I swear."
Kendrix started to argue some more, but didn't have the heart to. She knew Mike was worried about Leo just as much as she was, but he also had to look after his soon to be sister-in-law and unborn niece or nephew. "All right, I'll go," she muttered.
"I'll teleport you back," Maya offered, "Then, I'm going back to our place and get some sleep, as well." Mike nodded. The Yellow Galaxy Ranger put her hand on her friend and former teammates arm, and the two teleported away.
Kendrix soon found herself back in her quarters. Maya let go of her arm. "Good night, Kendrix," she said.
"Good night, Maya," Kendrix said. Maya teleported away, and she sleepily walked over to the bed. Before she got in, however, she kneeled down beside it. 'God, please bring back Leo,' she prayed. With that, she got into bed. It didn't take her long to fall asleep, as exhausted as she was.
Leo barely ducked out of the way in time, as the tall, thin, almost human-looking alien swung it's staff like a baseball bat. "Whoa, foul ball," he muttered, as he brought his Magna sword up to block the second blow, this time an overhead one.
The alien retracted the staff and instead lashed out with a simple snap kick. It caught Leo flush in the chest and knocked him back. "That's it," he muttered, "You ready to kick this guys ass, Hyuuga?"
"As always," Hyuuga replied, "Let's do it." Energy poured out of Leo's Magna Defender armor. Seconds later, his predecessor was standing next to him. "Let's do this thing, shall we?"
"By all means, let's," Leo agreed silently.
The alien the two Magna Defenders were facing hesitated, and they used it to their advantage. Hyuuga hit the alien high, and Leo hit it low. The alien snapped out of its funk and dodged both shots with ease.
"I have a feeling this creature can tell our patterns quickly," Hyuuga said, "So try and change it as often as you can. And try not to mimic my moves. Judging from his reaction, he seems to know that trick, somehow."
"You've got it," Leo said. Him and Hyuuga circled around the alien. The alien didn't seem at all concerned about the two warriors.
Leo went first, jumping and converting his sword into shotgun mode in mid air. He shot at the alien, but it easily moved out of the way of the blasts with lightning quick speed. 'How can he move so fast?' the young Magna Defender thought. He hit the ground rolling. He came up on the ground just in front of the alien and thrust forward.
Leo's rather clumsy thrust was easily blocked by its staff. The Magna sword went flying out of his grasp and he found himself at the mercy of his opponent. Unexpectedly, the alien pulled the staff back to his side and let Leo get to his feet. It motioned towards his weapon, which he went after.
While Leo retrieved his sword, Hyuuga went on the offensive. He swung his sword and almost parted the aliens head from his shoulders. Only a quick spin and an even quicker parry from the staff kept the match from ending with a death.
The alien spun. Before Hyuuga could blink, the staff cracked itself upside his helmet. He couldn't help but stumble back. He shook off the effects of the blow quickly and tried a simple thrust.
The alien spun again. This time, it was able to trap Hyuuga's sword between his skin and his staff. The elder Magna Defender tried to pull his sword free, but found that any attempts to do so was futile.
Leo chose that moment to jump back into the fray. He converted his sword back to shotgun mode and ran towards the alien in the tactic he had used against the Predator a couple of fights back.
The alien was forced to let go of Hyuuga's sword, and he used his staff to deflect the shots back at Leo, who was barely able to get out of the way. 'Man, this guy's fast,' he thought, as he stopped for a moment to catch his breath. 'And very good.'
"He's probably been training all of his life to fight," Hyuuga mind-spoke, "Kind of like the Samurai in your people's history. How can we counteract his speed?"
"Maybe we can't," Leo murmured telepathically, "Both of us combined couldn't come close to keeping up with him, but maybe..." He grinned. "I think I've got a plan. I'll tell you when to jump in. Have your sword mode ready."
"Gotcha," Hyuuga replied, and backed off. The alien noticed this right away but didn't seem concerned.
Leo fired another blast from his shotgun. The blast was again deflected, and he got out of the way again. He quickly holstered his weapon and bent the handle back up, switching it back to sword mode. With a cry, he charged the alien, swinging rather wildly with his sword.
The alien was easily able to block the clumsy swing. It thrust out a heel palm, but Leo surprised all three combatants by grabbing it in mid-thrust. He thrust forward with a head butt, catching the alien off guard.
Dropping the Magna sword, Leo grabbed hold of the staff and kept his grip on the alien's wrist. 'Now strike, before he's able to get out of my grasp,' he said to Hyuuga, 'I don't know if I can hold on.'
Hyuuga charged the alien and swung his sword, but, this time, it was handle first. It connected with the back of the aliens head and it crumpled to the arena floor, obviously out like a light.
Hyuuga merged with Leo just seconds before he was teleported back to his cell. He went over to the bed and collapsed on it, feeling more drained after the one fight than all of the others put together.
Leo woke a few hours later, feeling a bit more invigorated and ready for battle. He was taken from his cell and to a huge room that seemed more like an arena than the usual waiting room. This time, only he and B'ar were inside. "What's going on?" he asked his alien friend.
"I no sure," B'ar answered, "But I no like it."
Suddenly, a voice came over the intercom like system. "Welcome, competitors to the semi-finals of the Cosmic gladiator tournament," the announcer said, "Only four combatants remain. From here on out, all fights are Deathmatches.
"The final four contestants have been moved to two different arenas already," the announcer said, "The two matches will take place simultaneously, so that the winner of each doesn't have an advantage over the other. When both matches are over, both winners will be moved to a third arena for the final match. Good luck."
Leo looked at B'ar, shocked. "There's no way in hell I'm going to fight you," he said, "Especially not in a Deathmatch."
"If it was any other time, I would agree with you," B'ar said, "But I have kunor, children in your terms, at home. I'm sorry my friend, but if I have to kill you, I must."
Leo nodded. "I wish it didn't have to come to this," he said, "But I've got Kendrix and our baby waiting back on Terra Venture." He extended his hand. "May the best gladiator win." B'ar nodded and they shook hands.
B'ar suddenly let go of his grip and jumped back. "Tu ka voa pei!!!" he shouted. Seconds later, he was dressed in a Ranger suit that looked to belong to a Red Ranger.
"Defend the galaxy!!!" Leo cried. He went through the usual motions. Seconds later, he morphed into the Magna Defender. He pulled his sword from it's scabbard, B'ar called upon an ax as his weapon, and the two circled around each other.
B'ar was the first to make a move, charging Leo with an overhand swing. The young Magna Defender was barely able to bring his sword up to block. The reverberation from the blow almost broke his wrist. 'Ouch,' he thought, 'Better remember to dodge the blows instead of blocking them. B'ar's way too strong.'
"Need help?" Hyuuga asked.
"No thanks," Leo answered, "B'ar's my friend, so I have to do this myself." With that, he swung at B'ar, who used the long shaft of his ax to easily block it. The huge alien then spun the ax, forcing the sword down. He then lashed back up.
Leo moved his head back, and the ax missed severing his head. He holstered his sword and changed it into shotgun mode. Pulling it back out, he pumped it up to full power and shot at B'ar point blank.
The blast hit B'ar, knocking the huge alien back. "Not bad," he congratulated Leo, as he slowly got back to his feet. "What say we end this now, so the winner no be tired for the last match?"
"If we must," Leo agreed. He switched his weapon back to sword mode and pulled it back out. The two circled each other for several minutes before they both ran at each other.
A mere foot away from each other, they flew into the air. Leo slashed at B'ar, who also slashed at the young Magna Defender. Both shots hit their intended opponents. They landed on their feet and fell to a knee.
Leo staggered to his feet and turned around, to find that B'ar had fallen onto his face. The suit of Red Ranger armor disappeared. 'Oh no,' the young Magna Defender thought, as he rushed over to the huge alien. 'I killed him.'
With surprising strength, Leo rolled B'ar over. The alien spat up some of it's orange blood. "I'm sorry," the young man said, "I wish it didn't have to come to this, I really didn't."
"No worry about me, friend," B'ar whispered, "I go on to a better place now, to join my team."
Leo's eyes widened. "Your team is dead?" he murmured.
B'ar nodded. "Me last survivor," he said, "Was barely able to defeat Einox by myself, just before me was brought here. Do me favor?"
"Anything," Leo said.
B'ar pushed his ax, which was surprisingly still there, into Leo's hands. "Take ax, and use it to become Grand gladiator," the big alien pleaded, "After you do that, use it to defeat enemies. Me would be proud to see it used in that way."
Leo nodded and took the ax, but he put it aside. "I promise I will," he said.
"Thank you," B'ar said. His eyes turned upwards. "I'm coming home." With that and a gurgling sigh, the alien died.
The second B'ar died, Leo found himself teleported away. He found himself in a new arena. He was on a huge platform, and it overlooked a fiery pit. 'It almost looks like they took my perception of hell and made it into this arena,' he thought.
Leo looked up when a second teleportation tube hit the ground. He wasn't too surprised when Teioln was who had been teleported into the arena. "I've been waiting for this," he said, standing up.
"As have I," Teioln said. Leo did a double take when he realized the alien spoke English, and even better than B'ar, to boot. "I've been watching you, human. You are a good fighter. I've been wanting to see if you were worthy enough of a true warriors death at my hands. Ready to die?"
"Funny, I was about to ask you the same thing," Leo said.
"And now, for the last match," the announcer interjected, "Leo Corbett from the planet Earth will be taking on Teioln from the planet Rowalan. The winner shall be this cycle's Grand gladiator.
"And now, for the rules," the announcer said, "Both combatants have access to a superpower that they could use. They wouldn't have gotten this far otherwise. But, since they are close enough to being even in physical and mental power, sheer stamina, speed, and agility, they will not be allowed to access their respective power.
"Now, for the weapons," the announcer continued, "Teioln started out in the tournament with two weapons, while Leo started out with only one and got a second weapon in the semi-finals.
"Each combatant must chose only one of those weapons to use in the finals. After you have chosen, the match will begin. Oh, and one more thing. Leo Corbett will not be able to call upon his partner for physical help. Good luck."
Teioln held out two weapons, a trident and a blaster of sorts. He threw down the blaster, and it disappeared. "I like fighting hand to hand more than I do shoot outs," he explained coldly.
Leo held up his Magna sword and his new ax. 'I promised B'ar that I would use the ax to win this tournament, and I always keep my promises if I can help it,' he thought, as he sent his sword back to it's pocket dimension.
Teioln started out the final match. He tried to end it quickly by rushing Leo. He then tried to skewer the Magna Defender with his trident. The young man was barely able to bring the ax down to block the blow. "You have no hope of defeating me, boy," the alien muttered, "You are a mere child, while I have centuries of experience."
"I have quite a bit of battle experience, and I know somebody who has a thousand times more," Leo replied, smiling. 'Hyuuga, I need you to open up your memories,' he telepathically said to his predecessor, 'I don't think I can defeat him without it.'
"You've got it, Leo," Hyuuga said, "But remember that my battle techniques work best with a sword. You'll have to adapt them to fighting with an ax yourself. And you'll also have to let your memories become mine."
'I know,' Leo said.
"Then let our memories be one," Hyuuga said. Suddenly, different memories flooded into Leo's mind. He now knew everything about his predecessor, including, most importantly, his fighting techniques.
Leo smiled. "What are you smiling at?" Teioln demanded.
"You're about to find out," Leo replied. With that, he spun the ax around and caught Teioln in the face with the end of the shaft. It was only a glancing blow, but it was enough to make the Munpean angry.
"You dare to strike me?!" Teioln shouted.
"There's not a lot that I don't dare, big, bad, and gruesome," Leo challenged, his smile widening into a smug grin. That did it. Teioln rushed him, swinging his trident wildly. The young Magna Defender easily dodged each shot, striking out with a few of own with his new ax.
Suddenly, Teioln got in a lucky shot that sent Leo back-flipping through the air and crashing to the arena floor. "Not so cocky now, are you?" the dangerous alien asked. He walked over to stand above the fallen gladiator, his trident over his heart. "Well, I do believe it's time to end this."
Leo tried to shake off the effects of the blow, but had a dreaded feeling that he wasn't going to be able to get out of the way and was going to die. Suddenly, images of Kendrix having to take care of their baby all by herself flooded his mind.
"No!!!" Leo shouted, thrusting the shaft of the ax upward. It caught Teioln off guard and hit him square in the chest. He backed up, as the fallen young warrior got back to his feet. He swung the ax over his head, then made a horizontal slash at waist level.
Teioln let out a grunt, as the ax cleaved his body neatly in half. As his body fell to the floor, his upper body did a somersault, while his legs fell to the knees and dropped to the floor a second later.
Leo dropped to his knees. Holding on to the ax was the only thing that kept him from falling onto his face. 'I can't believe it,' he thought, 'It's over. I've won. I'm the Grand gladiator.'
Leo suddenly find himself teleported to a large room. The Keeper walked up to him. "Congratulations, Leo Corbett," he said. He snapped his fingers, and the collar around his neck turned into gold medallion on a long chain. "You are the first human to ever be able to achieve the status of Grand gladiator. You should be proud of yourself."
Leo shook his head. "I sacrificed too many things to get here," he said, "I'm not proud of anything I've done. I'm just glad it's over."
The Keeper nodded. "Well, it is, until next year anyway," he said.
Leo shook his head again. "No," he said firmly, "I get one wish, right?" The Keeper nodded. "Well, then, I wish that this tournament ended now. You can keep any reward, as well as this." He took off the chain and medallion and threw it at the Keeper, who caught it. "No more kidnapping people to bring here, possibly to their death."
The Keeper looked at the medallion, then up at Leo. He surprised the young Magna Defender by nodding. "As you wish," he said. Around them, the room disappeared. Only the two remained.
Suddenly, the Keeper transformed into a being of pure light. "We have been waiting for someone such as you," they said, "One who is pure enough of heart to finally set us free from this damned tournament."
"Who are you?" Leo asked, "Why did you have the tournaments?"
"We are the known as the Zizaya," the Keeper replied, "Long ago, our fore fathers decreed that we test the mettle of each race every cycle. So, they gathered candidates from each race and pitted each other.
"After many cycles, it became a game to our people," the Zizaya continued, "We made rules that kept the gladiators in line. Our only rule actually concerning the tournament itself was that it could only be stopped by a Grand gladiator that wished it to be so. But the past Grand gladiators were always bloodthirsty, and never wanted to end it."
"What about the Traiganits?" Leo asked, "Were they real?"
The Zizaya nodded. "Yes, once upon a time," they said, "But that race was wiped out several thousands cycles ago. We used our energies to make dopplegangers of them. If you had looked closely, you would have noticed that they all looked the same."
Leo nodded. "So, it's finally over, huh?" he asked.
Again, the Zizaya nodded. "Here," they said. The medallion floated over to Leo and fitted around his neck again. "You deserve this, for not just winning against all odds to win, but also for ending the Cosmic gladiator tournament, once and for all. Wear it with pride."
Leo nodded. "I will," he said. He glanced at the ax. "What about this? Can I keep it?"
"Your friend gave it to you, so we, in good faith can not take it away," the Zizaya replied, "But, we will unlock it's hidden powers." A beam of light issued forth and struck the ax. It glowed for a second, but the glow quickly died down. "When you call upon it in battle, it increases your strength, stamina, speed, and agility tenfold."
"Thank you," Leo said.
"No, thank you," the Zizaya said, "And good luck and good-bye."
With that, Leo felt himself being teleported away. 'I'm coming home, Kendrix,' he thought, as the teleportation beam swept him away.
Kendrix found herself drawn to the place Leo had apparently disappeared from while riding his Defender Cycle. "Leo, where are you?" she murmured, as she leaned up against a building. She hadn't been able to very much sleep, because she was so worried about her fiancee.
Just then, Kendrix heard Leo's voice in her head. "I'm coming home, Kendrix," was what he said.
Suddenly, a flash of teleportation light blinded Kendrix. She closed her eyes, and when she opened them, she was surprised to find Leo standing in the street. "Leo!!!" she shouted, running for him.
Leo turned, and Kendrix threw her arms around his neck, giving a big hug. "Oh man, am I ever glad to see you, Kendrix," he murmured, sending B'ar's ax to the pocket dimension his sword was in and wrapping his arms around his fiancee. The two kissed.
"Where have you been?" Kendrix asked, looking up into Leo's eyes.
"It's a long story," Leo said, "And one I'd rather tell everybody at the same time."
"Then we should find everybody," Kendrix said. She started to pull away, but Leo wouldn't let go.
"Don't," Leo murmured, "I just want to stay like this, if even for just a moment."
"I have no argument about that," Kendrix said. Leo held her tight. It seemed like an eternity before they separated. "We'd better be getting to the Megaship. Mike and the others are probably still there, trying to find you."
"Let's take the Defender Cycle," Leo suggested. Kendrix nodded. "Defend the galaxy!!!" With that, and his usual motions, he was transformed into the Magna Defender. "Defender Cycle, rev up."
At Leo's command, the Defender Cycle zoomed down the ramp of the Astro Megaship. Seconds later, it came zooming down the street it's rider and Kendrix were waiting. The two young lovers hopped on, and they went soaring off back to the Megaship.
Kendrix and Leo hurried down the hallways to the Megaship's bridge. "They're going to nearly have heart attacks when you walk in there," the former Pink Galaxy Ranger said.
"I know," Leo said, smiling.
Leo and Kendrix walked into the bridge room, and the effect was immediate. "Leo!!!" Mike shouted, grabbing his younger brother in a big hug. The others crowded around.
"Where have you been?" Karone asked, when the excitement over Leo's return started dying down somewhat. He told the story about how he was kidnapped and forced to take part in the tournament.
When the excitement over Leo's return fully died down, he headed for the tailor's and got fitted for his tuxedo. "It will be ready by tomorrow," the tailor explained, as she walked him out the door.
"Thanks," Leo said, "I really appreciate you making me an appointment so last minute, especially since I accidentally blew the appointment the other day."
"Oh, it's no problem, really," the tailor replied, waving her hand a dismissive manner,
Leo paid the tailor and left. Ducking into an alleyway and making sure nobody was watching, he morphed. Then, he called his Defender Cycle and headed for the Megaship and his and Kendrix's quarters.
Three days later...
Leo fidgeted nervously in front of the altar. 'I can't believe the day's come,' he thought, 'I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.' He repeated the sentence like a mantra for several moments.
"It'll be all right, bro," Mike said from behind Leo, "Just take some deep breaths and you'll be fine, you'll see." Leo nodded and took several deep breaths.
As if on cue, the organ player started 'Here comes the bride'. Kendrix came walking down the aisle, with Kai at her side and Maya and Karone just behind her, the maid of honor and bridesmaid, respectively.
Leo's jaw dropped when he saw how beautiful Kendrix looked in her dress. She had vehemently insisted that the veil should be the only thing white, so it was a light green, her favorite color. 'Oh wow,' he thought, 'How did I ever get so lucky?'
"You are definitely a lucky man," Hyuuga agreed, "She looks stunning."
Kendrix walked up to stand before Leo as Kai, Maya, and Karone all took their places. She smiled at him. 'Oh wow, he looks so handsome in that tuxedo,' she thought, 'I am one lucky woman.'
"Dearly beloved," Commander Stanton said, cutting into the couple's thoughts, "We have gathered here today to witness the joining of Leo Corbett and Kendrix Morgan in the state of holy matrimony."
As Leo stood there, staring at Kendrix, he couldn't help but remember when him and Kendrix had first met. 'Even with what happened on Mirinoi, then being captured within you, Hyuuga, I still would have stowed away,' he thought, 'I wouldn't trade the adventure leading to this for anything.'
"The rings, please," Commander Stanton said, breaking into Leo's thoughts. Mike handed him his ring, as Maya handed Kendrix hers.
"Do you, Leo Corbett, take Kendrix to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, for better or worse, for rich or for poor, through sickness and health, now and forever, until death do you part?" Commander Stanton asked.
"I do," Leo said, and slipped the wedding band onto Kendrix's finger.
"And do you, Kendrix Morgan, take Leo to be your lawfully wedded husband, to love and honor, for better or worse, for rich or for poor, through sickness and health, now and forever, until death do you part?" Commander Stanton asked.
"I do," Kendrix answered, and slipped the wedding band onto Leo's finger.
"Then by the power invested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife," Commander Stanton said, "You may now kiss the bride."
Leo grinned. He had been waiting to hear those words all day. He pulled Kendrix close, and they shared a deep, passionate kiss. 'I wouldn't trade it for anything,' he repeated in his mind.
To be continued...
Note from the author: Sorry that Trekeena didn't show up in this 'fic? Well, don't worry. While she'll only have a cameo in the next part (the Rangers will be going into the Lost Galaxy in it), you know she'll be a huge part in the big finale. Until next time.