Title: "The Brave and the Bold"
Written by: Shawn
Summary: Forbidden by the Galactic Tribunal to rescue their teammates from an intergalactic terrorist force, the first five female Earth Rangers must race against time to save the guys lives while desperately trying to avert a universal war.
Rating: M for heavy graphic violence, though more in Chapter 2
Timeline/Spoilers: Everything up to the end of "Power Rangers in Space" is canon. After that its all my AU. All other incarnations of the Power Rangers are ignored.
Disclaimer: Disney and Saban own it all. I'm just borrowing their characters for a while.
Email: Notes: This is being written as an all out serious girl-centric action movie. Think "Aliens," "Terminator 2, the "Mission Impossible Trilogy" and the "Die Hard" trilogy as inspirations for this story. Kim, Trini, Aisha, Kat and Tanya are fully trained grown Rangers who know exactly what they are doing and are deadly when the need arises. If you're a fan of the simplistic "Power Rangers" and "Dino Thunder" type of action scenes bail now. All hells about to break loose.
Authors Notes 2: (Purple Ranger) Kimberly Hart-Oliver, (Pink Ranger) Katherine Cranston, (Green Ranger) Trini Kwan, (Gray Ranger) Aisha Campbell, and (Yellow Ranger) Tanya Park are around 28 to 30 years old here. They are capable, confident, and determined to get the job done.
Authors Notes 3: Around five years ago the former Rangers were gathered together again and received new powers. The how and why will be explained in the story.
Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow
The Galactic Tribunal of the Allied Planets
Main Audience Chamber The "Chronos One" Space Station
Monday, May 15, 2007 6:30 PM
Located in the outer regions of Lagos Star System
Hadn't they sacrificed enough?
Shed enough blood?
Given years of their lives, their health, and all that they had for the protection of the galaxy?
That had to be worth something. It just had to be.
Standing behind their statuesq, green-skinned Algorian representative, Kim Hart-Oliver, Katherine Cranston, Trini Kwan, Aisha Campbell, and Tanya Park waited quietly in their Ranger-specific starship flight jumpsuits for the proceedings to begin. As their circular gravitational-floating pod slowly rose from its ground-floor housing to face the Galactic Tribunals lofty podium, they tried to focus on how they would go about saving their friends as soon as they were given what they asked for. Seventy-two hours ago seemed like a lifetime away and with no clue of the guys conditions, or if they were even still alive at all left them with an agonizing restlessness.
The Horde has them.
A ruthless, intergalactic terrorist organization known for an absolute lack of respect for any species. They operate in secret, committing atrocities and assassinations as they seek power and disruption of the Allied Planet's government by any means necessary. Three days ago during a rescue mission of a planet near a sun that went supernova, the teams separated. The girls piloted Zords that escorted huge transportation cruisers carrying survivors while the guys went after a desperate S.O.S transmission from a freighter claiming its life-support systems were failing. They haven't been heard from since.
One half of the team was still missing. Presumed dead by some...
The majesty of the Galactic Tribunals massive main audience chamber was in its grand architecture. Described by many as the true center of the universe, its irresistible allure began with the 100-foot curved Zycore-glass dome open to the incredible sight of twin suns high above the space station and walls lined with seemingly endless rows of silver hover-chambers for representatives of the seven thousand worlds that made up the Allied Planets Government. In this structure a united galaxy decided the fate of billions.
Alas, this place did little to impress the battle-weary Rangers. They wanted this situation to be over with as soon as possible so that they could be on their way. The fanfare of having to make such a formal statement at all instead of their request being granted immediately due to their record of service was a slight to say the least. But if this is what it took, then so be it.
As a final beacon sounded in evidence that all the Allied Planet's representatives were present, Galactic Tribunal Elder Ghorn lifted her small hand in a gesture that the hearing could now commence, causing a hush to fall over the chamber. Clad in a red Tribunal Elder robe that almost seemed to honor her aging emerald complexion and humanoid features, she graced the Rangers and their representative with a bow of respect, as did the other Elders seated on each side of her. "Greeting, Rangers of Earth and Malassa. I regret that this emergency session is taking place under such dire circumstances. We will not waste your time. The Tribunal awaits your purpose and request."
It wasn't hard for Malassa to pick up on the serious and very frustrated mood of the women behind her. They felt disrespected by having to do this at all, and weren't hiding it in their body language. She could feel their tension and was sure the Elders could as well. Especially since two of them were empaths. Nonetheless, she stepped forward to the pod's microphone as her voice echoed out over the vast chamber. "Thank you, your excellency. I will be representing the remaining Earth Rangers at this time. Their purpose today is seeking an immediate rescue of their teammates via help from this Tribunal."
Galactic Tribunal Elder Vorek cleared his throat before speaking, though his heavy tone of voice revealed a hint of impatience. "State your request?"
"One V-Class cloaked warship and ten battalions of Valorrian Guard marines," Malassa began as the pod slowly ascended towards the Tribunal Elders. Chatters of conversation lifted about the hall, though not so loud to cause a commotion. "They want to depart as soon as possible so that they can begin the search for their teammates. Intelligence reports suggest that Horde have bases that could be located on the moons of Sarlac in the Alpha Quadrant. They wish to begin their search there immediately."
Trini spared a sidelong glance at Kim, noting the Purple Ranger's grim expression matched her own. Matched the other Rangers as well. It didn't make any sense to them that this hearing before the whole of the Allied Planets representatives was necessary. An executive order should have been given as soon as the request were made. None of this made sense and that had them worried.
Good thing they had a Plan B...
Having aggressively debated this issue privately among the other other Elders for the last couple of hours, Elder Putan sighed before delivering news he was sure they didn't want to hear. Under any other circumstances he wouldn't want things to be this way. But there were times when the lines of right and wrong were blurred. "Request denied."
"What?" Kimberly shouted to the right of Malassa, who calmly motioned for her and the other Rangers to try and relax. The entire chamber erupted with boisterous shock. All that the Rangers could do stare was at the trio who held the fate of their teammates in their hands.
Though having a very short time to go over the information on what happened to the missing Rangers and the remaining ones lead on their location, Malassa never considered she wouldn't even be able to plead her case before a verdict came down. The Ranger's representative addressed the Tribunal again, "Your excellency, we do not understand this course of action. The Horde used what was believed to be a Hyperion freighter filled with refugees from the recently destroyed world of Ghoran to lure the Rangers in with a false distress beacon. They abducted them and have taken them to an unknown location. Those same Rangers have risked their lives the last five years all over the galaxy for this government. They deserve to have every option exhausted in order to find them and bring them home. How can this Tribunal justify abandoning them?"
"You do not understand the position we are in, Representative Malassa." Elder Ghorn seemed compassionate to a degree, though her dark pupils were forever hard to read her true emotions. "The Horde are a criminal organization demanding the release of their captured leader, Reign Kazar. A man who's been convicted of genocide among numerous other crimes against the galaxy. They are trying to negotiate his freedom for the abducted Rangers. If we were to open negotiations with them it would give them credence and respect as an organization this government recognized. We cannot give them that type of power. We will never negotiate with terrorists. Furthermore, there are new developments that make your request even harder to consider granting, which we will not."
Kim had heard enough, brushing past Malassa to address the Tribunal herself. "With all due respect the missing Rangers should take priority over anything else happening. They have fought and sacrificed to much for this government and the worlds that comprise it. If you don't want to negotiate with the Horde, then fine. I don't either. I intend to kill every last one of them I can get my hands on. But do not deny us the opportunity to save our teammates. We've earned that."
"We sympathize with your dilemma, Mrs. Oliver. Truly, we do," Vorek noted, his whithered hands clasped before him. "But the Horde, in addition to threatening to kill the missing Rangers if their demands are not met have added an additional component to this crisis that threatens the entire galaxy." He continued, "They are now threatening to detonate a Valker Energy Bomb near the border of the Bracken Empire. As you well know that Empire has steadfastly refused to join our Allied Planets as they wish to only mix among their own kind. They are volatile, extremely dangerous, and number over thirty billion on five worlds. If the Horde detonate a bomb of that magnitude near one of their home worlds the result would be catastrophic and possibly set off a war as the Horde have said they would broadcast that the bomb was due to the Allied Planets refusal to meet their demands."
Elder Putan added, "The Bracken are undeniably opposed to reasonable talk between our governments. Their society is predicated upon war and conquest. It is only the size and unity of this government that holds them at bay. The treaty we have with them holds firm, but any ripple at all could shatter it. If the Horde succeeded in their plan we might have a full-scale war on our hands."
Trini had heard quite enough herself. "If we do nothing the Rangers will die and that bomb might still be detonated," he voice echoed throughout the great hall. "Then what would that leave you with? At least give us a fighting chance. Or explain why the hell you won't?"
"Our decision is final. We are sorry. We hope that a resolution will found that can change this unfortunate set of circumstances. Meeting adjourned." Elder Putan pressed a button on his podium as the other Elders quickly retreated back into their private chambers. Not another word was said, though the commotion around the chamber was near deafening.
"I can't believe this!" Aisha complained as their pod began descending back to the ground floor. The main chamber began to empty amidst outrage and dire worry over current events. "What does the Tribunal hope to accomplish by doing nothing? How can they dismiss us like this?"
As always, Tanya could read Kat better than anyone except her husband. And sometimes even then as their decade-plus old friendship would attest. The Pink Ranger was the only one of them who was wearing her comm-link ear piece when they took to the pod. She hadn't uttered a single word the whole time, instead listening to... "We're done here," the Yellow Ranger stated before turning to walk down the short ramp that led to the ground floor.
The other Rangers finally picked up on everything Kat wasn't saying and knew what to expect. Their worst fears have been realized. Not surprisingly, an armed escort of Valorrian Guards in black battle armor met them just before they reached the turbo lift.
"EXCUSE ME?!" Malassa shouted at the new arrivals, having no clue why their weapons were raised. "What is the meaning of this insult?" She was ignored as the men made their way past her, now standing before the Rangers.
"I have been ordered to confiscate your morphers and escort you for the duration of this crisis into protective custody. I am sorry," the gravely voiced, gray-haired humanoid commander noted. He knew if they morphed he'd have little chance of stopping them with this group, but some four thousand Valorrian Guard marines aboard this space station would be another story. He wasn't looking for a large-scale confrontation. Orders were orders so he had no choice but to comply.
Gracing him with what appeared to be an understanding nod, Kimberly disengaged the morpher on her wrist and handed it to the commander. A series of non-verbal cues were exchanged with the other Rangers. "Keep'em in a safe place, k? They don't sell these at Wall Mart." No reply, as he seemed relieved they didn't put up a fight. He wouldn't be relieved for long.
The other Rangers gave the commander their morphers and were escorted to the turbo-lift elevator with Malassa.
The wide-bodied turbo-lift, with its vaulted high ceiling and curved veranda overlooking the grand splendor of the deep space was often a glorious sight the Algorian representative enjoyed upon first coming to work here as a representative of her home world. Stretching an impressive two miles in total length, when the "Chronos One" space station was built designers outlawed teleportation anywhere inside the facility for security purposes. To that end one hundred and fifty-seven turbo-lifts were created to travel from one area to another.
At the moment there was nothing at all enjoyable about this particular trip.
With her back to the wall, Malassa watched the Rangers closely, wondering what was going through their minds. Not only had their request been denied, but it was refused without even a clear explanation why. Add into that volatile mix the lives of their teammates hung in the balance. Adding insult to injury, now they were forced to suffer the indignity of being detained by armed guard and taken into "protective" custody.
A better translation would be that they are now prisoners.
Still, Malassa couldn't help but to feel that something else as amiss. Something elusive as none of the five guards lowered their weapons even one time despite the Ranger's morphers being on an adjacent turbo lift. The mood was tense, edged with a mysterious undertone that led her to believe more was taking place than the obvious. "I have no clue what the Tribunal hopes to accomplish by sequestering you during this crisis," she considered in an apologetic tone, shaking her head at the lunacy of it all. "I am so sorry. I wish that there was more that I could do."
"You did what they allowed you to do," Katherine explained while gazing out over the vastness of space. Her thoughts centered on her husband and what me might be going through. She prayed that he was alright. "Our request was refused because the Tribunal has no interest in saving the lives of our teammates. They are only interested in stopping the detonation of that bomb. To some extent I understand that, but they will also come to understand that we don't ever leave anyone behind."
"The Tribunal is amassing a large fleet of warships just outside the Marquis asteroid field," Kim told an obviously surprised Malassa. "We have friends who have been tracking the fleets movements for the last twenty-four hours." The Purple Ranger took a step toward her as the turbo-lifts humming engines sounded. "Now ask yourself this. Why are the Allied Planet's fleet gathering instead of being spread out all over the galaxy searching for the Horde base where the bomb is? Why isn't a diplomatic convoy on its way to the Bracken Empire to warn them of an impending attack?"
The women before her appeared calmly angry as strange as that sounded. Malassa was still clueless as to how they had come about such information. "I don't know what all of that means."
Aisha gave a half-hearted chuckle. "It means the Tribunal already knows where the Horde are. They're preparing an invasion to destroy their base utterly. There will be no rescue attempt for our teammates because they're going to die in the attack."
Malassa couldn't believe what she was hearing. If such a thing were true... "How can you know this?"
"It's common sense. If they didn't know where the Horde were they would have the entire fleet spread out all over the galaxy. So obviously they know where our teammates are being held." Trini interjected after a pause. "The Tribunal have eyes and ears everywhere. How they came about the information is a moot point. If they succeed they will have averted a war and the Bracken Empire will never have known they were in danger because of the Tribunals refusal to deal with the Horde. Our teammates will be considered heroes who died in the line of duty. And we'll be released and told to be good little soldiers and just go back out there and save the galaxy." She concluded with fire in her eyes, "That's just not going to happen."
Malassa sensed the guards sudden agitation and even if she wasn't mistaken, fear. "So you honestly believe that the Galactic Tribunal is lying to the Allied Planets government that they are doing everything that can do to save the other Rangers?"
Katherine noted, "I have proof the Allied Planets warship fleet is gathering for a major offensive, Malassa. They're going to let our guys die. That's a fact."
"Another fact," Kim pointed out deadly serious, "Is that I have a four year old daughter at home who hasn't seen her Daddy in over a week. She doesn't know what's going on, or who's lying to whom or why. She just needs her father and I will be damned if I go home without him."
"What can you possibly do without your Morphers?"
Tanya hadn't given the signal yet as the turbo-lift continued its rapid decent. Kim shifted her attention toward on the guards. She could see dread written all over their faces, the sight of which made her smirk. "Zordon's death may have destroyed a great deal of the evil that was threatening the galaxy at that time, but his sacrifice gave a gift to each of his former Rangers. When we rediscovered our powers five years ago we realized they were very different and specific than before, but most of all we don't need the Morphers anymore. The power is inside of us now."
Suddenly each of the guards filtered out, weapons trained on a Ranger, the triggers all cocked back in preparation to fire. Malassa quickly moved between the two forces, hands extended defensively. "Please, please! We need to talk about this. Everyone just calm down. Perhaps we can gain another meeting with the Tribunal?"
A small device in Tanya's pocket began to buzz. "Got it!"
Katherine nodded after Tanya spoke. "Thank you, Malassa, but we don't have time. Now kindly fall back so you don't break your neck."
"Wha..." was all the Algorian could utter before Katherine produced what seemed like a small blaster made of glass from inside her jumpsuit and fired a thin dart that embedded in her neck. She lost consciousness that very instant, falling to the floor.
What transpired in the next ten seconds saw only three of the five guards even get off a shot.
Kim somersaulted over the head of one guard who barely managed to fire his weapon and quickly snapped his neck from behind with such force part of his collar bone tore through his skin. Aisha calmly walked through the laser blast fired at her, grabbed the guard and threw him against the wall so hard he crumbled to the floor unconscious. Trini teleported behind the three remaining guards, touched each their shoulders, and then teleported them outside the turbo-lift.
Their bodies simply floated away into the cosmos.
Acting quickly, Tanya removed two black disks from the inside of her jumpsuit and pressed them to the turbo-lifts door. She waited until the twin number readouts synced with the number above them on each disk. The ends began to glow as the turbo-lift slowed until it came to a halt. "The overrides working. All turbo-lifts are shut down between Decks 10 and 50. We're on Deck 7. Two across is the starship hanger bay."
"I'm on it." Aisha quickly phased through the hatch and on the other side opened it via the wall-mounted key panel. "Why can't anything ever be easy for us?"
Trini shrugged while checking down the brightly lit hall, the hint of a smile curling her lips. "And we thought it was a good day for the Ranger girls when all of us finally had a skirt on our outfits."
"Let's save the fashion talk for later," Kim noted as they began slowly moving down the wide silver-themed corridor. Any second now alarms would go off and all hell would break loose. As it were many of the alien workers and droids began quickly fanning out, seeking shelter in rooms while shutting doors or fleeing away from what they knew was to come.
Trini retrieved a device no larger than a calculator and began scanning along the wall on her left. It began beeping wildly, signaling that it found what she had been looking for. "Security processors are on the other side of this section of the wall. Its a direct-connection to the space stations defense mainframe" Handing Aisha the device, she watched the Gray Ranger phase her hands through the wall to implant the device to the wiring they needed to hack into. Its goal...
"SECURITY PARAMETERS HAVE BEEN DEACTIVATED," an electronic voice announced throughout the space station. "HAVE A NICE FUCKING DAY."
Grinning, Trini arched a brow when the other Rangers heard what she preprogrammed the device to say once it did its job. "I was in a mood."
"At least we won't have electro-shields or ceiling stunner guns popping up out of nowhere," Katherine noted as they began the long trek down the now empty corridor.
Taking the point, Kim held her scanner out ahead of them for signs of trouble. They reached Deck 8, but upon turning a corner ear-piercing sirens began blaring in all directions. Her scanner began tracking movement. Lost of movements. "Look alive girls. We got twenty fully armed Valorrian Guards on the way. Some are on hover-jets."
"So much for an easy exit," Trini quipped while zipping up her jumpsuit.
Tanya put away her scanner, readying herself for battle. "Time to go to work."
"Want me to give our old battle-call?" Kim asked in a half-mocking tone of voice. "You know, for old times sake?"
"NO!" was their collective reply.
"Bitches," Kim smirked under her breath.
Their slowly eyes shut as they summoned the Great Power within them, willing a shimmering light all over their bodies. The powerful energies settled into form-fitting battle armor that changed color for each of them. Back packs and a fully equipped utility belt completed their black-lined attire.
The Purple, Green, Pink, Gray, and Yellow Rangers stood ready for anything.
Anything being a a massive array of laser fire streaking violently down the hall, hurdling past them, ricocheting off the walls in sparks of brilliant color as the battle had begun.
"I'll plow the road!" Kim called out, unsheathing the Purple Ranger Saber from her hip. She ignited the lavender blade and then charged through the smoke filled hall as the sounds of intense fighting echoed behind her.
Ahead, two dark-suited Valorrian Guards rode circular Hover-Jet disks, firing at Kim, who deftly deflected each shot away before leaping into the air and slicing through both Hover-Jet's engines. The machines sputtered out of control, crashing into the ground before exploding. The Guards jumped off beforehand.
Kim launched into battle, using her saber to send one of the Guards laster blast back at himself, killing him instantly. The other charged her from behind, ramming its shoulder into the small of her back. The force of which sent them barreling through a steel-reinforced wall into a supply room, crashing through rows of shelves stacked to the ceiling.
The Purple Ranger back-flipped to her feet. "Have a nice flight." Grabbing the Guard, she threw him through the other end of the room, straight through the wall so far down the hall his screaming voice began to fade long before he landed out of her line of sight. "See ya next fall."
With as smooth a slashing motion of her saber as one could imagine, the Purple Ranger decapitated another guard that attempted to attack her from behind. "Gotta love it."
Racing towards a small battalion of firing Valorrian Guards, Aisha cut to her right, running through a wall and a series of occupied computer rooms. She offered a couple of apologies along the way to the startled occupants, and then cut left through another wall four rooms down as she was now behind the guards. "Over here boys. Were you looking for me?"
Her thunderous roundhouse kicked connected flush with two of the Guards jaws, knocking them clear off their feet. She quickly phased through a laser blast that killed another Guard behind her. She spared a look at the fallen Guard before addressing the one still holding his blaster. "You guys need target practice."
One of remaining two Guards nailed her with a laser blast from behind that she didn't have time to phase through. She quickly rolled away from another burst, and then took to the walls, defying gravity by forward-flipping across it until she landed directly in front of the Guards. She produced a small explosive device from her utility belt and pressed a button. "This is gonna blow up in ten seconds. I can phase through the blast. The question is, can you?"
The Guards dropped their weapons and ran for their life, leaving a very amused Gray Ranger behind. "Works every time."
Meanwhile, another set of armored Valorrian Guards, the very best soldiers in the army of the Allied Planets, found themselves completely overwhelmed.
Moving as if she were a Goddess of war, Trini sent a high-knee into the chin of one Guard, crushing it before teleporting behind another and wrenching his arm backwards in a way it was never meant to bend. She teleported away from multiple kicks and punches so fast, evading every attack, all the while delivering crushing blows that sent the Guards reeling. She was poetry in motion, a blur of precise martial arts maneuvers that crippled her opponents until they were littered all around the Green Ranger's feet. "My mom always said the boys would all fall for me someday."
The very first time Tanya's abilities manifested themselves was when she was playing with her white Great Dane puppy in the backyard of her and Adam's home. He bought the dog for her for Christmas that year and she just loved Mac from the first time she saw him. She remembered throwing a brand new Frisbee, and then wanting to chase behind the cute puppy after it.
She ended up running with the still-in-flight Frisbee.
In fact, she ran past it, then slowed down to run alongside it, and then past it again. She ran far enough that when it began to fall she was able to easily catch it. Mac stared at her in awe.
Now, as she ran towards a hail of laser fire, she saw each and every bolt of energy as it seemed to whiz by her in slow motion. She was so fast that the Guards weren't even able to get off another shot before the Yellow Ranger battered the three into unconsciousness. "Speed kills. Deal with it."
Ducking a vicious right hand blow, Kim executed an uppercut to one of the Guards that instantly broke his neck, knocking his body with such force it embedded in the ceiling. When three more Guards fired her way she ran up the side of one wall, over the ceiling and down the other side before grabbed the wreckage of one of the Hover-Jets. She threw it at the remaining guards, impacting with such force two lost limbs as their bodies were flung down the corridor.
"THE HALLS CLEAR!" the Purple Ranger shouted as the others came to her.
"You ever wonder why you were given super strength?" Aisha asked as they ran for the starship hanger.
"I think it was God's way of apologizing for making me so short. My grandmother always said he works in mysterious ways."
Having ducked inside one of the communications rooms, Katherine was able to finish up the last of their escape plan by hacking into the space stations mainframe while the others dealt with the Valorrian Guards. While the Rangers were far more than a battalion or two of them could handle even they couldn't deal with a thousand or more of them. The space station was equipped with over four thousand Valorrian Guard marines.
It was a death trap and the longer they stayed the harder it would be to get out alive.
Kat was pleased to report, "The starship hanger bay doors on Deck 9 are open and there seems to be nine fully fueled ships in section 4-B."
"Then that's where were headed," Trini noted as they reached the massive hanger bay doors. Kim walked up to them and with a battering forward kick sent them flying off their hinges.
Unfortunately on the other side were no less than fifty fully-armed Valorrian Guard, including a dozen on Hover-Disks.
"I'll handle this one ladies," Kat offered as she slowly walked forward, towards the Guards who all trained their weapons on her. "Just get us a ship. Something fast with good shields." The other Rangers flanked to the right...
"DEMORPH NOW AND FALL TO YOUR KNEES AT ONCE. WE ARE AUTHORIZED TO USE LETHAL FORCE TO STOP YOU!" a commander shouted from one of the Hover-Disks in the back of the battalion. He watched the Pink Ranger's refusal to halt, but then he swore his eyes began to fail him as it seemed she began to... vibrate... or something... as if light fractured around her... and then he yelled at the top of his lungs, "FIRE!!!! KILL THEM ALL!!"
Into the air leapt thirteen Pink Rangers, while twelve more began firing with wrist-blasters at the battalion of Valorrian Guards. Katherine's duplicates attacked with a fury that completely caught the bewildered marines off-guard as they couldn't deal with so many Rangers suddenly appearing out of nowhere.
Though difficult and mentally painful at times, Kat coordinated telepathically with her multiples, seizing the advantage of their enemies shock by laying waste to the entire battalion. But as her multiples began dying off, which she suffered her great pain whenever it happened, she saw reinforcements arriving from all sides. Hundreds of guards... More than the Rangers could possibly fight off. "We got company!" she shouted into her wrist communicator.
"We're outta here, Kat," Kim spoke into her helmet communicator. "That green Valerye vessel to your right."
Finally able to shut down all her duplicates as they faded away into twilight, Kat raced towards the starship as it began lifting off. Massive amounts of Valorrian Guards entered the hanger after her. The entrance hatch remained open, so she jumped off the ground, landing just inside the ship, and then pressed the button for the hatch to close. She demorphed just before heavy blasts of laser fire erupted all over the ship, rocking it hard as they blazed out of the landing bay hanger into deep space.
Only to find twenty Allied Planets C-class fighters coming right at them.
"Girls, strap yourselves in tight!" Kim yelled as she began evasive maneuvers at the controls. "Grab onto something and try not to hurl!"
Thankfully the starship they "borrowed" was one of the faster ships in the galaxy. Coupled with the amazing piloting skills the Purple Ranger possessed gave them an advantage as Kim swiftly navigated their craft through waves of oncoming fighters, dodging wild blasts of laser fire with precision as she led them on a dizzying pursuit course, looping around the massive space station itself before ducking between to huge V-class cruisers.
"Hyperspace coordinates are set!" Tanya informed Kim from in back of the ship, who acknowledged her with a quick thumbs up.
"We're outta here. Initiating hyperspace jump now." The ships Hyperion engines surged with power and then exploded them across the stars far away from their pursuers. Just moments ago Kim released anti-tracking drones to hide their hyperspace jump destination. "That should keep them off our tail for a little while at least."
Upon reaching the cockpit, Kat found Kim at the controls. "Coordinates set for the rendezvous point?"
"You better believe it," the Purple Ranger replied. "How long do you think we have?"
"Cassie said from the transmission she picked up on space-military channels that the Allied Planets fleet will be assembled in ten hours. After that another three in hyperspace to the Horde base."
Kim relaxed back in the pilots chair. "So we have thirteen hours to steal a faster starship, fly halfway across the galaxy to the Horde base, fight our way through an army of Horde creatures, somehow save our teammates, find and destroy that bomb before all out war is started, and all before the Allied Planets fleet destroys the planet."
"Do you know what's tougher than all of that?"
"Waiting to pee when you're stuck on a small starship with one bathroom and four other girls."
Smiling, Kim laughed at a time she really needed too. Anything to keep her mind off the dark thoughts of what might be happening to her husband. She silently willed Tommy to remain strong as she was coming for him. Coming for all their friends. "You have such a way with words, Kat."
"That's what you get when you're married to a genius."
The bridge of the Astro Megaship
Circling the moons of Gama-9
Monday, May 15, 2007 9:30 PM
Macross Star System
Patience was one virtue Cassie Chan had yet master in her adulthood.
The Pink Space Ranger struggled with not being in the thick of things, though she'd long since mastered the art of being a team player. Only now as dangerous events of a galactic nature were unfolding she hated being a part of the back-up team. She was a front lines sort of girl and wanted to be where the action was. Then again, she didn't envy the position of those who needed the Space Ranger's help so desperately. "Any sign of them?"
Leaning over the multi-screened radar array, Ashely searched a thirty-sector perimeter in all directions. "Nothing so far," she replied as the Astro Mega Ship maintained a steady course around the uninhabited moons of Gama-9. "Kim told me if they weren't here within three hours we should head straight to the second rendezvous point."
"And if they aren't there?"
"Then they're probably dead."
Cassie tried to push that depressing thought out of her mind. "We should be with them."
"I know," Ashley agreed with her best friend. "But if they don't make it back the Space Rangers will be all that's left. And if war breaks out with the Bracken Empire..."
"Who'll be left to stop it but us." Cassie sighed behind the flight controls. "The missing Rangers, you know they might be dead already."
"I know that and you know that," Ashely said. "But our friends need hope to see them through this. And if their teammates are dead then they need the closure of knowing it for a fact. We would be the same way if the situation were reversed."
Though Ashley was right far to often for any blond, a slightly amusing thought Cassie held dear, the Pink Space Ranger agreed with her. "When the Rangers arrive we'll get an update on what's happening. They've been so vague about what's happening. I don't think they want us to know everything they're planning."
"They're the vets, Cass. We have to trust them."
"They just might be in over their heads this time."
"Them and us both. I think..." A single streaking red-beacon entered the Astro Megaship's radar field as she began tracking it. "We got a ship moving in fast. Its Valkyrie class, mid-level armaments."
As soon as Cassie raised the Astro Megaship's shields she switched on the main comm-link and opened a hailing channel. "Unidentified vessel, this is the Astro Megaship. Identity yourself immediately or you will be blasted."
"Its us, Cassie. I'd appreciate it if you didn't shoot at us. We've had enough of that lately," Kim's whimsical tone sounded through the bridge comm-speakers. "Sorry we're late for the party."
"What happened, oh founder of the Pink Rangers?" Cassie loved teasing Kim with that title.
"Well, lets just say we enacted a intergalactic version of the hit TV show 'Prison Break'. We'll explain soon enough."
"We'll be all ears," Ashley breathed s sigh of relief that at least they had all made it here alive. "The hanger bay doors are open. Shields are down so you can dock. We'll teleport you to the bridge as soon as you land."
"Uhm, some sandwiches, donuts, and coffee would be nice as well."
"We'll see what we can come up with."
"Gotcha. Kim out."
Twenty Minutes Later
Pointing to the wide-screen bridge monitor, Ashley detailed what was a most ominous sight for all of them to see. "The Allied Planets fleet that's gathering in the Marquis asteroid field currently consists of thirty V-Class Warships and we've received word from Carlos that twenty more are en route to their location. Quite frankly, its the single largest space offensive force I've ever seen assembled for one attack."
As if things couldn't get any worse, they just did.
"But they haven't taken off yet, right?" Trini questioned while holding a cup of coffee, flanked by Kim, Aisha, Tanya and Katherine.
"They're stationary at this time. Our early estimates of how long it will take the entire fleet to gather holds steady," Cassie explained while bringing up holographic flight charts to show just how far the rest of the fleet were coming from across the galaxy. "You have about ten hours to save the other Rangers or you'll be facing the whole of the Allied Planets fleet. And every ship and Zord we have won't be enough to fight them off. It would be a suicide mission to even try."
"Its a good thing we have no intention of trying," Kim assured them, arms crossed over her chest as she considered the dire circumstances they faced. Pushing that aside for a moment, she addressed the Space Rangers. "Word has already spread of our escape from Chronos One. You're risking your lives aiding us and we all just want to thank you and the other Space Rangers for everything you're doing."
Cassie shared a sidelong nod with Ashely. "Us girls gotta stick together."
"Girl power still rocks," Tanya felt the need to add as it lightened the mood. "We're like the A-Team, but with boobs."
Shutting down the bridge monitor, Ashley swiveled her chair around. "Why do you think the Horde are holding the other Rangers on the moons of Sarlac in the Alpha Quadrant? Our records and intell have those moons made of Mercury Ore. That stuffs radioactive and deadly to every living being in the galaxy, including the Horde."
"We know the other Rangers aren't there." Having never visited here before, Kat toured the technological wonder that was the bridge of the Astro-Mega Ship. "When we became Rangers again five years ago my husband implanted under the skin of our wrists a miniature tracking device keyed into our Ranger powers." Surprised expressions came over the Pink and Yellow Space Rangers. "It took forty-eight hours to track them down, but early this morning we learned exactly where our guys are. It would be far easier if we had what we requested from the Galactic Tribunal, but that didn't work out as planned. In all actuality we kind feared things would turn out the way that they did, so we lied about where we thought our guys might be held. Just in case they didn't know either we didn't want to tip our hand."
Cassie had a feeling she wasn't going to like the answer to her next question. Not at all. "So where are the missing Rangers?"
"Vior," Aisha answered to the tune of absolute silence as that planet's reputation was well known... and feared.
"Cold Hell..." breathlessly spoken by Ashley. Vior's 'other' name as it was a planet of such viciously frigid conditions that the surface and internally until about three miles below the surface were uninhabitable. It was considered the most harsh location in all the galaxy. And now it served as the Horde's supreme base of operations. "If the Rangers and that energy bomb are there you'd need an army to raid that place."
"We don't have an army, Ashley." Tanya stretched her legs in one of the chairs. "We only have us. And times running out."
"We need a ship," Kim wasted no more of it in asking. "Preferably faster than the one we flew here and disposable. If we can save our friends we'll have to steal one of the Horde's ships to leave the planet. But whatever we fly there... well, lets just say our plan doesn't call for it to last very long."
After sparing a final, fateful gaze around the place that served as a home away from home for her for so many years, Cassie stood to her feet, joined by Ashley. "You can take this one."
Gasping, Trini stared at them in awe. "You can't be serious?" she struggled to believe she had heard them right. "This ship has been Andros's home for years. Its the Space Rangers flagship. It has a legacy all its own."
"Its just a starship, Trini. Metal and computers and a whole lot of memories," Ashley explained. "Andros told us to offer it to you if you needed it, and you obviously do. Its is the fastest ship in the universe and your best shot at reaching Vior before the Allied Planets fleet."
"We couldn't possibly..."
"Trini, please. Andros wants you to take the ship," Ashley conveyed his sentiment. "His exact words were that if Zordon could sacrifice his life for everyone in the galaxy the least he could do was sacrifice his ship." She offered a sympathetic smile of sorts to temper their apprehension. "Plus, Zhane and Andros have some cool ideas for a new Astro Mega Ship. So if this one is destroyed it'll be for a good cause. Its a machine, not a living being."
Truly touched, Kim hugged both Space Rangers, followed by the rest of the Rangers as they prepared to say their goodbyes. "Thank you so much. Please tell Andros that for all of us. We'll never forget this."
"Just save the guys," Cassie urged them on. "We deserve a big party when this is all over with."
"You better believe it. And it'll be on us," Aisha promised while hugging both Space Rangers. "So what are you two going to do now?"
"Ash and I are going to take your ship, run it past some Allied Planet's blockades to draw their attention, and then ditch it somewhere and hook back up with our team," Cassie detailed. "I wish we could do more, but maybe we can buy you a little more time."
"You're doing more than enough risking your lives for us," Tanya offered gratefully. "We won't ever forget this."
"Good luck," Ashely wished them well as she followed Cassie to the back of the bridge for one lasting peer around this amazing ship. Both knew it was the last time they would ever see it. "God speed."
Kim, Kat, Trini, Aisha, and Tanya watched the Space Rangers teleport to the hanger and then five minutes later green Valkyrie class vessel flew from beneath the Astro Megaship and made the jump to hyperspace.
They shared was a heartbeat of silence for the battle to come and then it was all business.
"The Space Ranger's used a number of off-terrain land vehicles," Kat noted on her way off the bridge. "I'm going to see what I can adapt for what we need to do."
Trini walked after her. "I'm going to the engine room. I'll get things set up there."
Kim took the flight controls while Tanya took the radar and communications station. Aisha familiarized herself with the weapons console. There was no need for a big speech or pep talk. They were Rangers. They had a job to do and failure was not an option.
While waiting for the navigation computer to calculate the hyperspace coordinates, Kim found herself gazing at a small picture of her daughter and husband she took at a local park four months ago. Caitlin and Tommy were play-wrestling in a pile of leaves, grinning wildly for the camera. At the bottom of the picture was written 'Daddy and Kim Jr', Caitlin's nickname given to her by her Uncle Jason. The Purple Ranger touched the photo, her finger grazing over the handsome face of her beloved husband. Damn femininity to all hell she just couldn't live without him. She had no clue what she would do if he... Stone-walling her heart, she shook her head. He was going to be saved along with all the others.
That was all there was too it. Period. End of story.
"Kim, we're receiving a broad Galactic Tribunal transmission."
Tanya's claimed worried Kim a great deal. "On what hailing channel?"
Tanya slowly looked up. "On every hailing channel."
"Punch it through, T. Make sure Kat and Trini can listen in." Ashia scouted ahead using the radar array and found no ships in their vicinity, cloaked or otherwise. "We're safe."
"Calibrating the transmissions signal is a piece of cake," Tanya said. "Here it is."
"THIS IS AN EMERGENCY TRANSMISSION FROM THE GALACTIC TRIBUNAL OF THE ALLIED PLANETS FOR ALL WORLDS, OUTPOSTS, MINING COLONIES, AND STARSHIPS. JUST A SHORT TIME AGO THE EARTH RANGERS DEFIED A DIRECT ORDER FROM THE GALACTIC TRIBUNAL TO HAND OVER THEIR MORPHERS AND SURRENDER THEMSELVES TO PROTECTIVE CUSTODY UNTIL THE CURRENT CRISIS ENDED. NOT ONLY DID THEY REFUSE, BUT THEY ASSULTED AND MURDERED NUMEROUS VALORRIAN GUARD MARINES, STOLE A STARSHIP FROM THE CHORNOS ONE HANGER BAY AND FLED TO AN UNKNOWN LOCATION. THE PURPLE, GRAY, GREEN, YELLOW AND PINK EARTH RANGERS ARE NOW FUGITIVES OF THE ALLIED PLANETS GOVERNMENT. THEY ARE NOT BE BE AIDED OR OFFERED SHELTER ANYWHERE. THOSE FOUND DOING SO WILL BE IN DIRECT VIOLATION OF THIS INVESTIGATION AND SUBJECT TO ARREST AND PRESUCTION. THE EARTH RANGERS ARE HEARBY CONSIDERED CRIMINALS WORKING AGAINST THE BEST INTEREST OF THE ALLIED PLANETS. IF THEY DO NOT TURN THEMSELVES IN IMMEDIETLY ALL ALLIED FORCES THEY ENCOUNTER ARE AUTHORIZED TO USE DEADLY FORCE TO STOP THEM. ANY SIGHTINGS OR INFORMATION LEADING TO THEIR WHEREABOUTS AND CAPTURE MUST BE REPORTED IMMEDIETLY. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED."
As the transmission ended the navigation controls computer signaled the coordinates for a hyperspace jump to Vior were finished. Kim calmly leaned back in her chair, shut her eyes and came to one inescapable conclusion. "We are so fucked!"
"Looks like the whole galaxy's against us," Aisha found she could laugh at for some strange reason. "Well, it could be worse."
Sha thought it over, then rolled her eyes. "Yeah, we're fucked."
"And all we have to do is face off against the most aggressive, violent species in the galaxy to save our loved ones, on the most dangerous planet in existence, with an entire Allied Planets warship fleet chasing us," Tanya counted off on her fingers. "I think I forgot to pay my cell phone bill too."
Exhaling a deep breath, Kim took the flight controls. "If they want a war then we'll give them a fucking war. But on our terms." She initiated the hyperspace launch sequence. "Lets go bring our boys home"
The Astro Mega Ship's engined ignited as it flew off into hyperspace. Its destination... Vior.
The world known as Cold Hell.
The End of Chapter 1