"Thank you, Rangers. You've all done a great service to the universe."
"Don't mention it, bro."
He looked at the circle of young men around him. They had given so much, gone through so many sacrifices... 'Of course,' he reminded himself. 'It's why they're Red Rangers.'
"Well, I guess it's time to say goodbye again. May the Power protect you all." He tapped fists with the others, a final parting and ode to a Ranger tradition born long ago, and began walking away. The sun beat down on his sweat covered brow. All the machinery NASADA had around certainly wasn't helping the heat, even if it was close to a mile away. It occurred to him that he hadn't had a drink since before they had left early that afternoon. His jeep came into view around the corner of a building, water bottle luckily still laying on the dashboard. He sunk into the driver's seat and began to guzzle the precious liquid, pausing to reflect on what had just happened.
The sound of engines brought him out of his reverie. He watched as a yellow rover rolled out through the gate, followed by a motorcycle, an SUV, and a red sport car. Finally, the Astro Megaship Mark II blasted off to who-knows-where to defend the universe again. His eyes remained glued to the sky for several minutes before his cell phone rang.
"How'd it go?"
He sighed. "Good. Serpentera's destroyed. The rookie got 'im."
"Yeah. It was pretty low on power. Couldn't have killed an ant." Silence.
"You miss it, don't you?"
"It was a part of me, Kim. It was my life."
"I know, Tommy. I know. Just come home."
"75 percent charged."
"How much longer?"
"Not long. Perhaps another day."
"That's not good enough."
Pause. "Perhaps I can speed things up if we bypass some non-mandatory systems."
Brown eyes scanned a data readout. They were running out of time....
"Can we bring the subjects in?"
"Not all. The computer's having trouble locating some of them. Besides, I'm not sure if that would be a good idea, at least not now. I'm bypassing the secondary generator. Give it a couple of hours."
A small buzz sounded from a nearby console. "Scanners picking up something. We have to hurry."
Jason Lee couldn't help but grin slightly as he negotiated the mild traffic down one of California's interstates. The vibration of his motorcycle's engine underneath him gave a slight feeling of power as he dodged between two cars and into another lane. The past year had definitely been his time for taking risks. Even as a Ranger he hadn't been so bold. Of course, being the team leader made you realize you weren't invincible faster than you liked.
He had recovered from the drain the Gold Ranger Powers had put him through about a year earlier, much faster than he should have, according to what T.J. had said to him after scanning through the databanks on KO-35. Once he was back on his feet, Jason found that he had apparently developed a bit of an attitude in some situations. Tough talk apparently spared him more fighting than negotiating sometimes. A smirk couldn't be stopped from curving his lips at the thought. 'Guess Maligor's little adjustment was good for something after all.'
A gas station parking space welcomed Jason as he pulled in and shut the engine off. He was absolutely starving, and a little snack before getting back to his apartment would probably help ease the hunger pangs, not to mention lower his room service bill. A tingling sensation began burning in the pit of his stomach. 'Man, must be worse than I thought.' Then it started to get stronger. 'Wait a second....that's not hunger...that feels like....' The thought remained unfinished as the first Red Ranger blacked out completely.
"Subject One acquired."
"He looks a little beat up."
"The generator's still a little low on power. Don't worry. There's no injury."
"Can we bring the others in?"
"Perhaps. I'll try for Number Two now."
"Be careful. We can't risk this being detected."
"Don't worry. This one's been dormant for a long time."
Music pumped in the background, a driving, hard rock beat. Several people crowded around a stage as neon lights flashed around the whole room. A smooth dancer moved to the music as he nearly bounced around the stage like his limbs were made of rubber. People cheered as they watched him spin, jump, kick, and do things that were considered impossible for someone without a well-trained body to pull off. Applause sounded as the dancer stopped his routine with the music, gracefully bowed to his audience, then walked offstage with a spring in his step.
No one saw him come back.
She took a deep breath. It was good to be back home. California was warm, but definitely a lot less humid than her last place of residence. 'Not to mention a lot more predictable,' she thought with a grin. A gasp of pain escaped her as a sharp sensation whipped through her stomach. 'Okay, maybe not...'
Nobody was around to watch her vanish.
It was almost eleven o'clock at night when he finally left the dojo, locking the door on his way out and still stretching his neck from the endless hours of paperwork. "Figures I get stuck with the paperwork on a weekend," he mumbled to himself, running a hand through his dark hair. The moon illuminated the street, giving it an almost surreal effect. "Oh well. At least I won't have to deal with any traffic." He pulled a set of keys out of his pocket and got ready to unlock the door of his car.
Those keys weren't used that night.
"Subjects One through Four have been obtained."
"Good. What of Five and Six?"
"We only have enough power remaining to transport one of them."
"Not good. We need them both as soon as possible."
"I'll transport Five. Six is a quick learner."
"Are you sure? He might not be so receptive to this."
Sigh. "Very well. Acquisition of Subject Five in twenty standard minutes."
Kimberly Hart Oliver sighed. It was almost eight o'clock in the morning and Tommy still hadn't gotten home. Sure, NASADA was a long way, but he should have arrived the night before. She checked her watch. 'Well, guess I'll have to hope he's home when I get back from work.' She grabbed her purse and began heading out to her car.
Kimberly Hart Oliver didn't make it to work that day.
He couldn't see anything in the pitch blackness. He couldn't feel anything. And, truth be told, he didn't really know anything at the moment.
Wait. He did know something.
It was cold.
Wherever he was, it was freezing. It almost felt like ice had begun collecting on his skin. Hold on. Feel? He thought about that for a moment. Yes, he decided, he really could feel. It was sort of distant, but he could definitely feel.
"Are they ready?" The voice was distant and very drowned out, almost like he was hearing it from underwater. He tried to strain his ears, maybe move towards it. Something about the cold was keeping him where he was. Even his head couldn't move.
"As ready as they'll ever be." He couldn't hear what else was said. What was going on?
"Alright. Bring them out."
He felt heat now. It was building up all around him. The icy feel on his skin was replaced by a soothing, warm sensation. Something felt like it was falling off of his skin. 'Did they really ice me over?' He found he could move his neck a little bit and craned it to look down at himself. Nope. No ice anywhere. Weird.
The warmth continued through his whole body, bringing all feeling back to him. A few movements later he decided everything at least seemed perfectly alright.
"Man, and I thought I'd seen some space-age stuff. That was just plain funky."
Wait a second! Could it really be him?
He turned to see where the voice had come from. His jaw nearly dropped in surprise.
There he was, the original Black Ranger, Zack Taylor. Not much had changed about him, although he had cut his hair short again and was certainly dressed a bit plainer than his high school years.
Jason nodded. "Yeah, it's me." He took a look around. "Any idea where we are?"
"Certainly not Kansas."
Both former Rangers had only heard that voice a few times, but they certainly knew it. "Rocky?"
The Hispanic man walked slowly up to the two, surveying the area around him. "Uh-huh. And like I said, this is definitely not home."
"Great, so who's abducted us now?"
All three men looked around in shock. "Kimberly? They got you, too?"
The brunette nodded. "Whoever 'they' are."
"Let's hope they're friendly." Aisha Campbell made her way into the group.
"Man, talk about weird," Zack stated as he looked around. "This place almost looks like the old Command Center."
"That's because it is."
Old instincts kicked in, and the five dropped into defensive stances as they turned to the new voice. Jason and Rocky soon dropped theirs, however, when they saw who the speaker was.
"Trey!" they both exclaimed.
The Triforian Prince slowly crossed to them. "Yes. It's been a long time, Rangers. I'm afraid that I have been forced to seek your aid once again."
"Excuse me, somebody wanna clue us in here?" Aisha indicated herself and the remaining two. "First off by telling us who you are."
Trey took a deep breath. "As you may have guessed already, my name is Trey. I am the Prince of the planet Triforia, a planet quite far from Earth, which is what makes my situation more dire, but I will get to that soon enough. I am also the Gold Zeo Ranger." Sadness etched itself into his features. "Well, I was the Gold Zeo Ranger. Those powers are gone now."
"What happened to them?" Jason knew what it was like to have the Power taken from him, and he knew by the look on Trey's face that the Gold Ranger was definitely not inactive of his own free will.
"Triforia has been invaded. By whom I do not know, but their forces are far too strong for us to hold out for long. They damaged the Golden Zeo Crystal beyond repair."
"So why'd you come here?" Aisha was definitely confused. "If your planet is under attack, why come to Earth for help? And most of all, why us?"
"Yeah, Trey. We're retired. As in out, gone, kaput, sayonara, adios, the number you have dialed is no longer in service..."
Kimberly lightly elbowed Rocky. "I think he gets the picture." She turned to the prince. "So why did you come here?"
"Because the invasion force is beginning to spread outward. The attack on Eltar has already begun. Earth is the next target."
"Hold up." Zack stepped forward. "Why can't you tell the other Rangers about this? They're the ones protecting Earth, not us. Not anymore. Hate to say it, man, but I don't think I want Ranger business screwin' with my life again."
"Because we needed the team that has had the most experience in battle as Rangers. Therefore, the original Rangers of Earth seemed the best option."
"But we're not original team members," Aisha stated, indicating herself and Rocky.
"Billy is still on Aquitar. That system would have proven too dangerous under current circumstances and its proximity to Eltar. As for the Ranger called Trini, the information I managed to gain from the archives said that she is..."
"Dead," Kimberly almost whispered. Her best friend's death was still a fresh tragedy in her heart, probably the other Rangers' as well. Everything just seemed so....bleak...without the young Asian woman's advice to turn to. She looked up, straight at Trey. "She died after protecting the planet and nobody knew a damned thing about it."
Jason put a hand on her shoulder. "We knew that's what it was like, Kimberly. It was the risk we took." His eyes met with Trey's. "And the risk I'm going to take again."
"For Trini," Kimberly whispered, nodding her agreement.
Aisha relocated herself next to the brunette. "We're like a family, and I won't let my sister go through anything without me."
Rocky sighed. "I know this is probably gonna come back to bite me where it counts..." He looked at Aisha. "but I've never let a friend down before, and I'm not about to start now."
Everyone looked at Zack, the only one who hadn't made a definite decision. The former Black Ranger shook his head. "Man, you all are crazy. I mean look at yourselves! Do you remember what being Rangers did to us?" His eyes met Kimberly's. "And what it did to Tommy and you? Do you really want that to happen again? It's insane!"
"Zack, please," Kimberly almost pleaded. "We need you on the team. If Trey is right, then we're going to need all the help we can get."
"Don't you remember what it was like, bro?" Jason asked. "Yeah, we had some rough times, but we pulled through. No matter what Rita or Zedd threw at us, we made it out and in one piece. Nothing stopped us." He paused, waiting for Zack to respond. When his friend was silent, he continued. "You used to be the energy for all of us, Zack. You loved life more than any of us combined. Don't tell me you lost that."
The tension in the air was almost suffocating. Zack battled himself inside. 'What if something goes wrong? We were lucky then. We were teenagers, no idea of what it was like. By the time we figured out that people died, it was too late. So many people got hurt...I don't think I can take being responsible for that again....But we saved so many at the same time. We were one of the most feared teams in the galaxy...no, the universe.' He looked at Jason and Kimberly. 'We got so close...we were all such great friends...But Billy and Trini...gone....nobody remembers what they did but us...When we die, will people know what we've done?'
His thoughts were interrupted by an alarm echoing throughout the chamber. Trey hurried to a console and punched a few controls. "There's a battalion attacking people in the city." He turned to the group, opening a case that he had pulled from the console. "A choice must be made now."
Four sets of eyes landed on Zack, each of them pleading in their own way. He gritted his teeth and closed his eyes, begging to God that this was the right decision. His eyes met with the group. "What are we waiting for? Let's kick some monster butt!"
Trey opened the case, revealing five small wrist devices. "These morphers have been modified from the design of my own Zeonizer. The Powers will create any handheld weapon you desire, up to a certain extent."
The five each took one of the wrist morphers and clamped them on with the steel band attached to them. Jason looked to Trey. "Can you teleport us to the scene?"
The former Gold Ranger nodded and moved to another console. "Teleporting now. May the Power protect you."
Jason studied the group, then his morpher. 'Single activation trigger switch. Simple enough. Let's just see what these things can do.' "Let's do it, guys." He thrust his arm up, just like he had done when he had possessed the Zeo Powers, then brought it down and slammed his finger on the activator. "IT'S MORPHIN' TIME!"
In five intense streaks of gold, they were gone.
The first thing they noticed was the smell of smoke and fire. It was stronger than they remembered. Or was it because they had been out for so long?
"Whoa, cool costumes."
Rocky was right on that count. Their armor was black all over, only the form of it over their bodies betraying gender. The helmets were basic, but there was something about them....
"Morphologic armor," Adam stated. He had manipulated his helmet's design to display tusks similar to those on his old Black Ranger uniform. The others focused, altering their appearance to seem more like their original costumes.
"Alright, now that we know who's who, let's get to work." Jason took a quick scan of the surroundings. They were on a building top. Screams of terror floated up to them from below. "Let's see what's over there." The five of them sprinted to the edge and checked the scene.
"Looks like quite the welcoming committee," Kimberly quipped.
The sight before them was intimidating. Hundreds of animal-like creatures ran through the streets, harassing any civilian they came across. A large, buffed-up monster similar to a spider walking on two of its legs was menacing a family near the remains of a building.
"I hate spiders," Zack growled, clenching his fist. As he did, energy swirled around his hand, coalescing into a weapon.
"Zack, your hand!" Aisha pointed to the form he held.
It was his Power Axe.
Without a blink, he moved it up into Cannon Mode. A targeting reticule popped up and a small rocket armed itself in the barrel. He took aim just behind the spider monster.
"Lock and load."
The rocket was fired, leaving a trail of smoke as it flew towards its target. Its resulting explosion sent the creature flying into the rubble just behind the family. All five of the Rangers could hear it growl in rage as six of its arms tossed the rubble off of it and looked straight at them.
"Mess with somebody your own size, bug-brain!" Aisha shouted.
"And who's going to stop me?" the monster challenged.
"We don't have time for chit chat," Jason came in over the helmet comms. "Rocky, Aisha, you two see if you can keep that family safe enough to get out of here. Kim, Zack, you're with me." He concentrated, bringing a clenched fist up in front of his helmet. In a few moments, a sharper rendition of his old Power Sword appeared. "Let's go!"
The five leaped down, breaking apart in a swirl of attacking limbs. Rocky and Aisha avoided fighting as much as they could, dodging attacks to get to the family stranded amidst the hellish creations. There was only one problem.
These things were fast.
Each time Rocky dodged an attack, another one would come straight at him. Several blows came to his midsection before he managed to roll out of the creature's way and continue moving. A centipede-looking beast came barreling at him, tiny needle-point legs moving like lightning. He felt the legs of one of the things similar to an octopus grab him and hurl him at the insect-like creation. Hundreds of points of white hot pain lanced through his body as the centipede rammed against his armor again and again before he even hit the ground.
'These things are really starting to piss me off,'Rocky mentally growled. 'Alright, if they don't want to fight fair...' The centipede leaned its body over him, preparing to continue the torture. Rocky clenched a fist and pictured a weapon forming. Seconds later, a multi-bladed staff lanced upward and shredded the centipede, splattering yellowish entrails all over the general area. Rocky back rolled and stood up. He saw Aisha standing near the family, trying to hold off several beasts with some kind of arm cannon. Little did she know a rhino-hybrid was charging in from her left side, getting ready to quite possibly impale her with its horn.
In a burst of speed, Rocky hacked and slashed his way through the crowd of brutes with the blades of his staff spinning at full force. Aisha noticed him coming and cranked up the power on her cannon, widening her range to make the pathway easier.
'I'm not going to get there in time!'There was no way he could match that thing's speed. It didn't have anything blocking his progress. 'If I could just get out of this crowd!' Then an idea came to him. He whirled, knocking a wolf-like monster on the head with the blunt end of his staff, then leaped off of its shoulders and back flipped over Aisha. The rhino beast came in view just behind her. Rocky sent a mental command and merged the blades of his staff into a large one at the end, then slammed it into the creature's skull and levered it through the thing's face. A roar of pain and the splattering of black goo signaled the thing's death.
"Nice move," Aisha complimented, firing more blasts into the crowd.
Even though no one could see it, Rocky grinned. "Still got it." He turned to the family. "Let's get you out of here!"
"Not so fast, you little cretin!" The spider-beast that was menacing the family when they came in appeared. "They're my supper!"
Rocky began spinning his staff's blades again, but before he could use them, a huge blast of energy impacted on the monster's back, leaving a gaping hole that oozed green. Zack stepped over the thing's body, axe in hand.
"I hate spiders!"
Before Rocky could even smile at the comment, they were nearly overrun by the monsters around them. "We could really use another one of those rockets right now, Zack!" he yelled.
"Can't," the man panted back. "Out of ammo." He was swinging his axe with wild abandon, sending varying colors of blood and just as varied an assortment of limbs flying.
"Heads up!" A petite blur launched into the group. Kimberly used her gymnastic prowess to move among the monsters and deliver precise blows with the daggers she had morphed onto her hands and feet. Jason drove his way in soon after, sword moving like a blender on a power surge.
"Family's out of here," Jason gasped. Everybody knew what that meant.
Aisha grabbed her cannon and split it in two, attaching the halves to her arms. Several bursts of charged ammunition pounded into and through her targets. Anything that got through the barrage was met with a blast of electric lightning and burned to a crisp.
Zack had morphed his axe into two smaller axes, using them in a tornado spin and attacking things at head, body, and leg height. A frog monster slammed its legs into him and kicked him several feet away. The Ranger was on his feet and in the air in seconds, bringing both axes down and slicing the thing cleanly into thirds.
Kimberly had given up on the small blades on her body and morphed herself a bladed version of her Power Bow, using its ends to rip into several monsters. Whenever she got the chance she fired an arrow that was charged with explosive energy into a crowd.
Jason and Rocky fought back to back. Both used their bladed weapons and martial arts skills to keep most of the beasts at bay, but it was quickly becoming a losing battle. "There's too many of them!" Rocky shouted over the roar of combat.
And just like that, the army of destruction around them disappeared.
Trey froze. "Not good. They're going to need help, and fast."
"Subject Six has been acquired. I'm bringing him out of stasis now."
"I don't suppose all that hardware's for making coleslaw," Rocky joked.
Standing before them, nearly six and a half feet tall, was a monster that looked like a mutated ant that had made a visit to the local armory. It wore a long trench coat with small daggers of every description decorating it, carried several blasters in its four arms, and a seemingly large amount of voltage was running between its antennae.
The monster cackled. It was a shrill sound that reminded some of the Rangers of Skelerena, the hyena monster Zedd had sent them against years ago.
"Prepare to die, you meddling miscreants!"
It charged at them, firing multiple blasts at the Rangers. They all dodged and regrouped behind the monster as it turned around to face them again.
Aisha merged her cannons again. "Nifty use of alliteration there. I was almost scared."
Kimberly loaded her bow with three energy arrows. "One big can of Raid coming right up."
Zack managed to charge a small bit of energy into a rocket as Jason and Rocky morphed their weapons into energy rifles. As soon as Jason shouted "FIRE!" the air sizzled with energy. Smoke covered the ant-monster. Satisfied at the damage done, the Rangers lowered their weapons.
Shrill laughter dropped their spirits. "Is that the best you've got?"
"I don't believe it."
The monster was still there! Not even a scratch!
"Now it's my turn!" the beast laughed. It brought all of its arms to bear. The Rangers could hear the weapons charging.
"Everybody move!" Jason shouted. They broke off to the sides...
...but it was too late. The monster's blasts hammered into the Rangers, sending them crashing to the ground. Several groans of pain came from them all. They tried to get up, only to have their muscles fail and let them collapse in a heap once again.
"You're pathetic!" the ant monster spat. "Five humans trying to stop the forces of the great Sektarus! Hah! Now you will pay the price for your insolence!" It aimed its blasters at the fallen figures. The hum of their charging filled the air again.
Several thoughts ran through each Ranger's head at that moment. Each one knew that they would die, but none of them figured it would be in their first battle against an invading force. This one just seemed too strong for them. Every individual on that team felt the weight of what was about to happen.
Jason: 'I can't believe this! We can't lose! We're the Power Rangers! We can't let evil win!'
Aisha: 'After all the good we've done...it ends like this? Beaten so easily?'
Zack: 'I knew Trey made the wrong decision. We've been gone too long, and now...now we pay with our lives.'
Rocky: 'No! I'm not going to die like this! There's no chance! We can't let him beat us!'
Kimberly: 'It can't be...not like this...Tommy...I'm so sorry. I love you.'
The monster's laughter echoed in their ears. They tried to get up, tried to make something move. Anything but this. Anything but death. They heard the weapons charge.
Then they heard the weapons fire.
And then they heard something else.
"Leave my friends alone, you dirt-sucking bug!"
They all looked up to find a form that every one of them recognized attacking the ant mercilessly. Jason was the first to struggle to his feet, followed by Kimberly.
"Tommy," they both gasped. There he was, fighting his heart out. A sword had morphed into his hand, and he was using the blade like it was an extension of his own hand.
"We have to help him," Aisha grunted, pulling her cannon back up.
"How?" Rocky asked. "We threw everything we had at that thing and it didn't even cut into him!"
"Frontal shield," Zack said. "I scanned it. Those antennae produce some kind of personal shield. If we can turn him around or cut those off, we should be able to kill it."
"Let's do it." Jason's words were more forceful this time. Seeing one of his best friends back in action gave him a burst of energy. "I'll help Tommy out. You guys get your weapons ready." With that he charged the beast, brandishing his sword.
It was a rush Tommy had grown used to. The surge of battle inside of his blood. His love for Kimberly pumping in his heart. The sight of his friends lying on the ground fueling his rage.
He had been watching on the viewscreen when the blast had hit the Rangers. To know that his best friend and wife were in that blast nearly snapped his sanity in two. He had swiped the morpher from Trey and teleported onto the scene, using a burst of energy on himself in a Gold Rush technique he had seen Trey use to charge his enemy.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw Jason leap into the fray. He slammed his sword into a blade the monster had pulled out of its trench coat, then followed with a leg sweep. Tommy caught the opportunity and nailed the thing in an energized kick that blasted it several yards away.
"Together again, huh?"
"I was thinking you weren't gonna show."
Tommy smiled at the use of his own line against him. "So what's the plan?"
"Slice the antennae."
Both Rangers surged forward. Their attacks were in perfect synchronization, drawing blood several times. The blades they used were coated in a dark purplish-red. Jason knocked one of the remaining two blades to Tommy, who caught it and used it to hold the monster's last weapon down. Jason saw the opening and leapt up in a spinning slash that took the thin antennae right off the monster's head. Both Rangers leaped back to the group, forming blasters from their swords.
"Pyramid formation!" Jason yelled. He, Zack, and Rocky stood shoulder to shoulder to shoulder next to each other, allowing the girls to stand on them. All five aimed their weapons toward the center and fired. The blast formed a large sphere of energy. Tommy positioned himself behind them and fired his own blast, sending the sphere flying towards the monster. The resulting explosion sent slimy entrails flying.
The six Rangers lined themselves side by side and observed their work. Blood flowed through the streets and into storm drains and limbs still littered the area.
It was the prettiest sight they had ever seen.
"It's been destroyed, sire."
"Hmm. This invasion will be more difficult than I thought. By whom?"
"I am unsure, sire. Sources say it may have been six Earth humans."
"They were empowered, sire."
A deep growl. "I should have known. This is the planet of many of the empowered."
"Shall I send the remains of the battalion, sire?"
"But sire, I..."
Black, soulless eyes burned into him, silencing him. "Do you question my judgment?"
"Good. Let the battalion tend to their wounds. Now go. I wish to be alone." The shadow closed its lifeless eyes in thought. Yes, Earth. Home of many empowered souls. But he had done bioscans before invading. How could these have come so suddenly?
He growled. He knew who it was.
"Impressive, Prince Trey. You have done well to try and halt my plans. However, it will prove ineffectual. I will defeat you, and whatever pathetic being you have decided to empower.
"The war has only just begun."
Author's Note: And so you've read the first chapter of my rewritten Revelation series! Please tell me if you want it continued or not. I value the opinion of the readers very much. Also, if anybody has any kind of storyline ideas they'd like to see, suggest it in your review and I'll see if I can do it (I will, of course, give you much credit and allow you to read it and make sure you like it first).
Thank you: Dagmar, for always responding to her reviews so pleasantly and letting everybody know her true opinion on things
Rach, for making one of the best (and longest) Time Force fanfic series I have ever seen
Ozmandayus, for inspiring me to get into writing this stuff in the first place.
And YOU! For reading and (hopefully) enjoying this fanfic! Thank you!