Urina sat on a large thrown made of machine parts. They were in Aplexsus, the puny little town Urina had destroyed years ago when her first plan failed.
It would not fail again.
These puny "humans" would be destroyed or would become her servants, maybe. She hadn't really decided yet. Maybe servants, she could always make them do back breaking work to remind them of how superior the race of those changed by the Uranium shower were to them. After all, if she killed them they never suffered, she reasoned. If she made them slaves, they could suffer every day if she wanted.
"Urina, my liege!" called a voice. Masterblade, its owner, ran into the room. Ahh, Masterblade. Urina's right hand man, her finest adviser and even her close personal friend.
"What is it, Masterblade? Is something wrong?"
"No, nothing wrong," sneered Masterblade, "One of our precogs had a vision. A powerful one, at that,"
"Did she see anything useful?" asked Urina. Precognitive's could see any range of things, from someone baking cookies in the next minute to the end of the world in millions of years. However, Urina highly doubted that Masterblade would run in here so quickly if it had been one of those.
"I do not know, Urina. She saw 5 teens in colorful spandex suits. Does that mean anything to you?" Masterblade asked. He hated not knowing something, and Urina knew much more about the world than he did, as he had been isolated from it for the last several years.
Urina turned a strange expression on her face. "He would be desperate and stupid enough to try those?" she asked in disbelief.
"Who, and what, Urina?" Masterblade asked anxiously.
Urina closed her eyes and massaged her temples. "When the uranium shower came, Masterblade, along with humans who were outside or near large amounts of nuclear energy, seven ordinary stones were changed. If that cursed James Blake can harness their energy, he can turn a few teenagers into a force possibly powerful enough to stop us," she smirked. "However, we have two of the stones. Also, the power is highly unstable. Any person who was not changed by the uranium shower would disintegrate on contact. He would never be able to put a team together,"
"What should we do?" Masterblade asked.
Urina thought a moment. "Treat the precog for a level 5 vision. Then we'll adopt a wait-and-see approach. If Blake activates, we will as well. But at the moment we might as well not blow up two perfectly good people if we don't have to take the chance,"
"As you wish," Masterblade said, backing out.
Urina watched him leave and bit into a sandwich. So, Blake wanted war? Well, he was getting it. He could be sure of that.
Ok, so it all started that Tuesday evening. Dresden Blake was in the VCB sim. (Dre had named it; the acronym stood for very creepy basement) trying to fix a problem with the virtual reality programs.
See, Dresden had been recruited for project RAU(Rangers against Urina) through her Uncle James. Not to be a ranger though. Despite her blonde hair and her seemingly delicate appearance, Dre was far from a bubblehead. A tech genius, actually. So while her uncle was out looking for people to be on his ranger team, Dresden was fixing a computer bug.
"Hey Dre, what're you doing?" asked a voice behind her. Dresden ceremoniously bonked her head on the bottom of the table. She ducked out, rubbing the top of the bump.
"God, Marce, don't sneak up on me like that," she said, looking up at the brunette. Marcie Bruce was two years younger than Dresden, but was probably one of Dresden's best friends. Since Marcie lived here and Dresden spent enough time here to kill a moose, there wasn't exactly a way around it. It's not like the girls couldn't stand each other after all.
Marcie giggled. "You do know you've been working down here for two hours, right? It's eight o' clock,"
"It is?" Dresdan asked, peering at the pink watch on her wrist. "Oh, it is. I guess I just lost track of time. Someone took the program for the simulator and metaphorically put it through a shredder. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, right?"
"No," Marcie defended. "I'm only down here for training with Mr. Blake, and Ava's never down here,"
Dresden sighed. "Then there are two possibilities. Either the program I wrote just broke apart for no reason, or…"
"That bitch Sophia did it," Marcie finished. "For goodness sake, doesn't she get how important this is? The whole fate of the human race could be at stake, which by the way, includes her,"
Dresden smiled at the ninth grader. "She hates me; she just wants to see me crash and burn. I don't think she really cares what's at stake,"
Marcie shook her head. "She makes me want to levitate her in the air and remove all her ego," She took a deep breath and calmed down. "Anyway, want to grab something out of the kitchen in my room? You can't do anything on an empty stomach,"
"Sure," Dresden shrugged. "Maybe 10 minutes away from computer code will give me an idea on how to fix the stupid thing,"
Several friends sat watching their schools pep rally.
"You know guys," said the one in blue, Megan McCloud, looking to her friends, "This thing really sucks,"
"Don't I know it!" spat out Kate Dyer. "We could pep up this crowd so much better with our gym routine,"
"It's not just that it sucks," the new girl Chloe Jones said, "It's also that no one's participating. The cheerleaders just aren't getting them to participate,"
"That's true," Megan acknowledged. "If we were actually doing something, it might not be as boring. Nate, what do you think?"
"Hmmm?" Megan's twin brother Nathan asked, turning toward them. He looked sheltered, cold…..just not the most outgoing of people, as Megan always said. "Oh, yeah, this pep rally sucks,"
The bell finally rung, releasing the teens from the regularly scheduled torture. "You know, Nate, it wouldn't hurt to not act like a vampire every once in a while," Megan teased.
"It wouldn't hurt you not to be so outgoing," he shot back.
"Ok, both of you settle down," Kate said. "No need for sibling rivalry within these walls,"
"You're right, Kate," Megan said after a moment.
"Megan and Nathan McCloud, Kate Dyer, and Chloe James, please report to the office," The loud speaker interrupted.
The group of friends looked around. Then Megan turned to her brother. "Please tell me you were not fighting on school property again. Sam's going to kill you!"
"I didn't," Nathan replied coldly, "And even if I did, it wouldn't make sense for us all to be called down,"
Megan saw his point, and nodded to tell him so.
"Then what is it?" Chloe asked, "I don't think we did anything against the rules,"
"Maybe our families called to tell us we're carpooling, or something. They all know we're friends," Kate chimed in.
They all decided that that was the most logical explanation and walked to the office. Little did they know how far they were from the truth.
The three girls and one guy opened the door into the dreary room. Nathan had spent his share of time here: he was one of the bet martial artists on campus, and was surrounded by low life hot heads who thought his sister was pretty. At least that was his defense if anyone asked.
The secretary looked up from her typing. "Ah good, you're all here. Mr. Blake?" she directed this question at a middle aged man with grey hair and glasses.
He looked up. "Hmm?" he asked. The he spotted the group of four.
"Ah, Mr and Ms. McCloud, Ms. Dyer, Ms. James. Come with me, please,"
"I'm sorry?" Kate asked.
A girl burst into the room. "Uncle James! I ran here from the car pool area, they said…" she noticed the group of teens beside her primary caregiver. "You finally found them? Good, it was taking long enough. I was wondering if you were ever going to. Come on, the car's out back. I'm Dre, by the way," She stepped forward and shook hands with Kate, Chloe, Nate and Megan.
"Dre? As in, short for Andrea or is Dre your actual name?" Megan asked.
Dre laughed. "Neither. It's short for Dresden, but that was a good guess. Now come on! We're burning daylight here!"
"What do you mean, exactly?" Chloe asked timidly.
"The RHQ, of course. Come on!"
"RHQ?" Nathan asked, "What exactly are you talking about?"
The girl in pink spun around to her uncle in disbelief. "You mean you haven't told them yet?"
James Blake chuckled. "I was just about to, Dresden, before you barreled in,"
Dresden shrunk. "Oh," she turned to the unsuspecting group of teens. "We need you to come with us. We're not trying to kidnap you or anything, it's important business,"
"Go with you?" Nathan scoffed. "No way. Our sister's already given us the 'stranger danger' talk,"
"My parents are pretty strict about me getting home on time," Chloe admitted.
"And my grandmother is going to kill me," Kate explained.
"Your guardians have already been contacted," James said mysteriously, "You can call them if you don't believe us,"
Each teen called their family and got the same response: Yes, they had been contacted, they were t go with this person, they weren't allowed to say why, ect, ect.
"Well, thanks for the vagueness, Sam," Megan muttered, flipping her phone shut.
"So are we ready to go? Time's a ticking," Dresden asked.
The teens looked at each other and shrugged. "I guess," Kate said.
"Um…can someone say, Wow?" Kate asked in awe.
"Wow," Chloe said.
"Welcome to the RHQ," Dresden said with pride, "My baby. You guys will probably be spending a ton of time here, so get comfy,"
Chloe looked at her. "Wait, backtrack, a ton of time?"
Then a girl in red dropped down from the beam in the ceiling. "Trust me, when Dre says a ton of time, she means a ton of time. I was up there doing my strength exercises for two freaking hours,"
Dresden looked taken aback. "Marce, how many times have I told you not to sneak up on me like that?" she shook her head, "Guys, this is Marcie Bruce, she lives here,"
"You WHAT?" chorused four teenagers.
Marcie chuckled. "Live here. Ever since I was little. I think I should let Mr. Blake explain the rest,"
"Come here, children," Mr. Blake called, over by a huge, plasma screen size computer.
Dre groaned. "Uncle James, get off my equipment. And don't even think about touching the morphers! You are technologically challenged!"
"Wait. What?" Chloe asked. Megan and Nathan were confused and speechless. Kate's eyes had widened beyond normal capacity.
"Morphers. Devices that will change you into a fighting force to take on the evil of Urina,"
"Maybe I should explain it from the beginning, Uncle James," Dresden said gently. She turned to the teens. "Many years ago, there was what we like to call the Uranium shower. A large amount of the element, the purest form we've ever seen. It caused….incredible changes in life you see today,"
"How?" Chloe asked interestedly.
"Well, the biggest change was in human DNA. Certain humans, most predominantly those who were outside or near large amounts of nuclear energy, developed abilities not normal in the human genome," she explained, then smirked. "You all have experience with that,"
Kate gasped. "How the hell do you know that?"
Dresden rolled her eyes. "Relax, Kate, we're not doing government testing here. Just let me finished. Now where was I? Oh yeah. There was one person who was changed, her named was Urina. She believed basically in what we like to call the 'civil war philosophy', where those with powers were the whites and those without are the blacks. She put a plan into action to take over the world. Thanks to us, she was stopped,"
Dresden opened the box she was holding. Inside were 4 small machines in different colors and an indentation. Marcie noticed the others looking strangely at the indentation and held up her wrist. On it was a small red bracelet that, with a quick flick, turned into a red version of the machines.
"However, she's risen again and this time, she's back with a vengeance. During the uranium shower, it wasn't just DNA that was changed; the chemical properties of 7 stones were changed as well. We have five of these stones in these machines as their power source. Now, we're asking for your help," Dresden took a deep breath. "Marce? You love this part,"
Marcie turned toward the four teens. "We're asking you to become a force to fight Urina. These machines are morphers, which morph you into power rangers. You, and only you, can pilot these spandex suits. If the wrong person bonds with the rocks; they die. Plain and simple. Guys, will you fight with us?" she asked strongly.
She was met with stares and open mouths. "You have got to be doping us," Megan said finally.
Dresden shrugged. "Nope, no trick. If no one fights against Urina, life as we know it will cease. Life will become a hierarchy; those of us changed at the top, those not- dead or turned into slaves,"
Finally, Chloe surprised everyone by stepping forward. "I will. This Urina person sounds like bad news,"
"Are you sure?" Marcie asked. "Once you touch the morpher, it's bonded to you. You can't back out,"
Chloe nodded. "I'm sure,"
"Ok," Dresden said, "Pick the one that strikes your fancy,"
Chloe thought a moment, then picked up the yellow one and strapped it to her wrist. The morpher glowed for a moment, then turned into a small silver bracelet with yellow gems, not unlike Marcie's red one.
Kate sighed. "I'm in. I kind of like the world,"
Dresden held out the box. Kate picked the purple one, which went through the same process as Chloe's.
"Nate and I'll do it," Megan said. She grabbed the blue one and placed it on her wrist.
"Uhh…those bracelets look overly girly for me…" Nick said with a blush.
Dre giggled. "Sorry, does this help?" she pressed a button on the side of the box, and the morpher changed from an updated wristband to a silver cell phone.
"I guess I can dig this," Nate said, grabbing the cell phone.
A red light pulsed with a short, highly effective beep on each of their morphers.
"What's that?" Chloe asked.
"The signal; there's a monster attacking the city," Dresden explained, running over to her monitor.
"What are we dealing with here, Dre?" Marcie asked.
"Level 9 monster; looks like one of Urina's genetic crazies, but she's really bringing out the big guns,"
"What do you mean?" Megan asked.
"Urina's power is genetic manipulation, she creates these monsters out of animals," Marcie explained, "Come on, we've got to protect the city,"
With that, the new found ranger team ran out.
"Weren't you going to let me get a word in?" James asked of Dresden.
"You'll have enough words with them during training, uncle," she said, her eyes focused on the screen.
Screaming people, dozens of them. That's what really bothered Marcie about Urina, she seemed to take joy in people's suffering.
The rangers slid to a stop on a busy city street. There's no way around it, Marcie thought, we'll have to fight him here.
"Ready guys? Watch and learn!" she called. She flicked her wrist and caused her morpher to appear. Then she pressed a small button on the side. "Uranium Power, Genetic Force!"
And with that, Marcie's clothes and skin disappeared as a red, spandex suit covered her, finishing in a tough helmet.
"Hey, ugly! Looking for me?" she called, going over into a forward hamspring and kick flipping the monster in the gut,"
"Hello Red ranger, Urina warned me about you," The two became locked in a large battle.
"I think I get it," Chloe said, she ran up. "Uranium Power, Genetic Force!"
The blonde haired girl was suddenly dressed in yellow spandex as she ran after Marcie. That's when large, birdy-lizard looking things came out of hiding and began attacking the city.
"Crap!" Marcie called.
"What?" Chloe asked.
"She released the damn Uranodrites,"
"Come on!" Megan called. "You guys keep fighting Mr. Nutball. We'll take care of these things,"
"Uranium Power, Genetic Force!" Now the silver, purple, and blue rangers were battling Uranodrites like they had been battling them all their lives. Finally the pesky creatures were defeated and the 3 remaining rangers ran over to their yellow and red, who were struggling.
"Come on, guys! Element sword!" Kate called.
An explosion shot towards Marcie and Chloe. They screamed and fell, hurt, to the ground.
"You guys ok?" Megan asked.
"Yeah," Marcie said, getting up. "Only now I have a bone to pick with this guy. Guys, you can combine your powers with your weapons. Follow my lead,"
Marcie got up and ran back into the battle. "Element sword! Telekinetic slam attack!" The sword went toward the monster, who was quickly rammed into the gurder behind it.
"Right behind you!" Kate called. "Sonic Scream attack!" Using her sword as an amplifier, Kate screamed as loud as she could, shattering everything around her- including eardrums.
"Dre, you know, next time it would be awesome, if a person on the team has Sonic Scream, to, oh I don't know, INSTALL EARPLUGS!" Marcie hissed into her mike.
Dresden giggled from her spot at the moniter. "Sorry guys; I didn't know. I'll do it when you guys get back. Now kill this guy by combining the weapons!"
"Right," Marcie said. "Guys, put your weapons together, then use your powers to power it,"
"Ok," Chloe said, putting her sword in.
"Got it," Megan and Nate chorused, clicking theirs together.
"Let's do this thing!" Kate cried, placing her's on.
"Laser Canon! Full power!" They cried. Chloe shot a burst from her hand that quickly made the monster explode.
"Hey! Nice guys!" Marcie said, high fiving Nate, who was closest to her.
Back at RHQ, the rangers were getting 'training guidelines' from James. Dre rolled her eyes from where she sat making modifications to the suits.
"And lastly, you must never tell anyone your secret, unless it is completely unavoidable. Urina has moles she could easily use against you, so also be careful. Make sure you trust anyone you talk to,"
Marcie groaned. "I think they get it, Mr. Blake,"
Dresden smiled at the cheekiness of her best friend before a small flash interrupted her thoughts.
"Ack," she whispered, her fingers coming up to her temples and messaging gently.
"Dre, you ok?" Marcie asked from where they were at.
Dresden spun around. "How did you hear that?"
Marcie pointed to her head. "Mental link, remember? Dre, is something up?"
"No I don't think…" Suddenly, a loud scream erupted from Dresden's mouth and she fell to the ground, rolling into a fetal position.
"Crap, Dre, why didn't you tell me you had a flash?" Marcie ran toward her friend. The rest of the team ran up as well, but before Kate could touch her, Marcie screamed at them.
"No! Do not touch her, whatever you do,"
Hey Meg, Nate asked his sister through his thoughts, are you getting anything?
Megan looked at him and smiled; her telepathy allowed her to read his mind. She thought a moment. No. I think she may be a precog. Telepaths can't intercept other's powers, and the only thing I'm getting from her is a whole lotta pain.
Another scream pierced the air as Dre laid on the ground, tears streaming down her face. If she had had enough consciousness to feel embarrassed, she would have.
Then Dresden gasped as her pain disintegrated and she gently became aware of the absence of flashing pictures.
"You back with us?" Marcie asked gently.
"Yeah…I think I'm alright," The girl in pink replied, pushing up into a sitting position.
"What did you see?" Megan asked.
Dre's head whipped around. "How did you know?"
Megan smiled, copying Marcie. "Telepath, remember?"
"Am I the only person that's totally lost?" Kate asked. Chloe shrugged her shoulders and Dresden just laughed.
"I'm precognitive, Kate. That was a vision,"
"Ohh," Chloe and Kate chorused.
"So what did you see?" Nate asked.
Dresden sighed. "Three more rangers, a white, a gold, and a pink ranger. The pink was fighting against the other two. There are only 7 stones though, so I don't understand,"
"We'll figure it out," Marcie said confidently, pulling the whole team, including the reluctant Nathan, into a group hug. "We always do,"