Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers. The OCs that appear here belong to DeathDealer1997 (who has provided many awesome non-Rangers), kandyapple12, and myself.
Warning: This is going to be my second-anniversary-on-the-site fic, due to the fact that it's rapidly becoming a mammoth of a fic, so chapter 2 will appear October 9th of this year.
*China, January 28th, 3:48 am*
"Zart, please come out of the building with your hands in the air," a police megaphone echoed through the dingy apartment building. The order was repeated in Chinese, and inside Apartment 32, Zart crouched in the bathtub, hugging his knees to his chest and breathing very quickly.
The searchlights outside gleamed off his shaven head and the flame tattoo on his forehead. The Asian man's patched, dirty clothes were scorched at the edges, and the entire apartment was dotted with black patches, all barely visible even with the severe light pollution outside.
"Zart, come out or we will be forced to come in after you," the policeman called. Zart laughed under his breath. There was a psychotic glitter in his eyes.
"Like you'd dare," he hissed, and began creeping towards the window. Peeking out, he focused on the cars parked in the street, sirens flashing. Grinning, Zart focused on their gas tanks, and hoped they were full. He raised a hand.
Then he heard a door shatter, and running footsteps downstairs. Zart sat up straight. They were actually coming after him—they must have some plan. They'd seen enough of their cop friends barbecued all those other times, and they weren't suicidal.
Now they were kicking the doors open one by one, drawing closer. Zart looked around wildly, and then gestured down at the cars. The closest one exploded, throwing police in every direction. With a laugh, Zart directed the flames towards the next one. The cops were fleeing in every direction, panicking, and a few were on fire. The sight brought back some happy memories, but Zart quickly refocused on the task at hand.
Then the door smashed inwards, and Zart whirled around. The policeman, in full riot gear, let out a shout, and his friends ran for him. Quickly, Zart sprang up and focused on the man. Just a spark, that was all he needed—
Then the police turned on the fire hose. The flames that had begun licking at the floorboards were extinguished in a second, and as Zart let out a cry of protest, they turned the hose on him. It swept his feet out from under him and slammed him into the wall, denting the drywall. Zart screamed in rage and pain, and tried to call on his abilities to no avail.
After five long minutes, the hose turned off, and Zart crumpled to the shag carpeted-floor, gasping. His chest ached, and he felt more battered than he had since living with his father. The men came forward, cautiously, and Zart spat curses at them. He wanted desperately to set them on fire, watch them scream and writhe as they burned to death, but he could barely even get up.
One of the men sat on Zart's back, and the others quickly grabbed the young man's limbs as he began flailing. Just as they got one of the handcuffs on, there was a burst of energy. The policemen all cried out and sprang up, and Zart lifted his head.
In the middle of the room stood what might have been a man, in insect-like armor. His helmet was angular and green, with two multifaceted red eyes and a gold crest between them. A red cape flowed down to his mid-calves, and his armor was green with rings and crescents of gold, covering his chest, shoulders, arms and legs.
Silently, the stranger drew a scimitar from his hip, and pointed it at the policemen. The men started running, but a few lingered, drawing their pistols and shouting warnings at the newcomer. With a casual flick of his wrist, the newcomer sent blasts of green energy from his sword into the police, throwing them to the ground, unconscious.
Shakily, Zart pushed himself up on one hand. The handcuff clinked, and his arms trembled. Then a gloved, armored hand caught him by the shoulder, and Zart looked up at the armored stranger.
"…What?" Zart panted. The stranger pulled him to his feet, and the two teleported out with a flash of green light, leaving the stunned or dead policemen alone as sirens wailed outside.
They materialized in a shadowy, shiny black room, and Zart whirled. He stared at the wide, nearly empty room, still dripping. In the middle of the room was a huge glass screen, on which rotated the image of a tropical island. Then there were footsteps and the rustle of cloth, and Zart turned around.
"You've gotten him? Excellent!" A woman exclaimed. She was clad in draping blue silk and tight black leather. Her blue hair flowed down her back, held in place by a black cloth bound around her forehead. She looked Zart up and down, and grimaced. "I thought he'd be a bit more impressive than this."
"Impressive?" Zart snapped his fingers, and the woman's sleeve burst into flames. With a startled cry, she beat it out as the warrior raised his sword. Looking furious, the woman gestured, and the fluttery blue fabric around her arm shot towards Zart, quickly winding about him and tightening. He choked.
"Xumara," the insect warrior rumbled, in a very deep voice. Chest heaving, the woman looked to him, and then drew back. The tendrils left red marks on Zart's body, and he made a private note to pay this Xumara back someday.
"You're Zart?" The woman asked. The human nodded. "This is my husband, Korassil. Since we saved your miserable hide back there—" Korassil cut her off.
"We've heard about you, and what you can do," the insectoid warrior said, coming around to stand beside his wife.
"Such as?" Zart asked. Korassil finally sheathed his sword, and Zart started trying to wring out his clothes. The damp rags clung to his lean, pale body.
"You're powerful, violent, and highly destructive."
"Thank you!" Zart gave them a bright smile. "You making an offer?"
"We could use a man willing to burn anything in his path," Korassil replied.
"You've got one." Xumara matched his evil smile with one of her own.
"Excellent. After you've rested—and gotten a change of clothes," the woman said, looking Zart up and down, "have you ever visited the Caribbean?"
*The Northern Appalachians, February 2nd, 1:48 pm*
"What do you have to say for yourself, Nico?" Sensei Blackfeather gave the black-haired teenager standing in front of him a hard look. The two stood in Blackfeather's equivalent of an office, which was small and mostly wood-paneled. Outside, other members of the Terra Ninja Academy trained in the grounds. The afternoon was cold and grey, and snow blanketed the mountain.
"It wasn't my fault," Nico replied, not looking up. "Angela and Michael were asking for it." The brown seventeen-year-old kept his hands clasped behind his back, staring down at his boots. His lone earring glinted as he shifted under Blackfeather's gaze, and his uniform jacket—brown, with the Terra Ninja Academy's sigil on either shoulder—creaked a little. His pants had come untucked, and the jacket was buttoned wrong.
"They asked you to turn into stone and chase them down the halls? The wooden halls?" Most of the school was built from materials the students didn't learn to manipulate, as a precaution. Unfortunately, Terra Ninja abilities were quite destructive when used in the wrong way.
"They wouldn't leave me alone. I asked them nicely five times." Blackfeather shook his head, and turning to a window, ran a hand through his quiff of black hair.
"This is the fifth incident you've caused this year. I am a patient man, Nico, but you are simply not improving."
"I'm sorry," Nico said, looking alarmed, but Blackfeather cut him off. There was a thrumming noise outside, probably an airplane passing too close.
"That's what you said last time, and the time before. I'm afraid—"
But Nico never heard what his Sensei was afraid of. At that moment, there was a massive explosion on the grounds, followed by some screams. Forgetting all about Nico, Blackfeather ran out of the room, letting the door slam behind him.
Nico stood there until he couldn't hear the Sensei's footsteps anymore. Then he bolted for the window, and looked out. His green eyes went wide. A fleet of small spaceships were heading towards the school, and they'd already begun shooting at the students. Other creatures rappelled down into the grounds from the flying ships, and engaged the students already there.
Quickly, Nico ran back to Blackfeather's desk, and began frantically going through the drawers. Papers, photographs, books—there! A lacquered black case lay underneath a stack of files, embossed with the sigil of the Terra Ninja Academy—a blue circle with four red wedges.
Pulling it out, Nico set it down and opened it, and then paused. Inside the box, four morphers nestled in red velvet. Letting out a slow breath, Nico ran his fingers across them, almost forgetting the chaos outside. Then an uncomfortably close explosion roused him. Quickly, he seized the one with a blue coin, and slamming the lid shut, shoved the box back into the drawer.
Nico was already in the hall and running when one wall exploded inwards. With a yell, he stumbled away, shielding his face from the splintering wood. A monster squeezed inside, saw the cowering boy, and laughed mockingly.
"What's the matter, lit—" Nico somersaulted towards the monster, slamming his now-stone feet into its legs. With a yell of pain, the monster stumbled back, and Nico flipped himself upright. With a series of stone-fisted rapid jabs, the ninja forced the monster back. It fell against a wall, and then to the floor.
"You tell me what's the matter, pipsqueak!" The teen yelled, finishing the monster off with a solid axe kick. The creature just let out a yell of pain. Then, turning away, Nico raised his hands. With a crackle, his entire body turned into stone beneath his uniform. Nico ran on down the hallway, leaving the sore monster behind.
The teen slammed through wall after wall, ignoring the chaos around him and ducking when something got too close. Finally, he breached the school wall and was out in the grounds. The snow came up to his mid-shins, but the cold didn't bother him while in rock form. Already breathless, the teen focused on the whitened mountains ahead of him, and picked up the pace. He heard a monster yell, and grinned fiercely. Sure, chase me, you pig, but the mountains are my element—literally.
*New Zealand, February 2nd, 7:48 pm*
A single human man stood in the empty street, a summer twilight casting his shadow on the pavement before him. A few drivers were heading home from work, and the traffic was barely busy. The gym across the street was all but empty—at least, it appeared to be.
The man smiled slowly, and started across the street. His metal cane tapped the ground as he walked, though it was clear from his strong stride that he didn't need it. The gym's air conditioning rumbled overhead, but it didn't dissipate the sweaty atmosphere of the bright yellow-and-green place.
Stopping in the middle of the room, the man glanced around, smiled, and reached into his suit jacket's inside pocket. One woman stopped her treadmill and looked at him, brow furrowed suspiciously as she tried to place his face.
"If I were you," the man announced, revealing a crisp New England accent, "I'd leave at once, while you still can." At this threat, the five or so people stopped what they were doing. Everyone but two—a brawny man and a teenage girl at the counter—ran for the doors, brushing past the Thinker as they went.
"Who do you think you are?" The man growled, glaring at the narrow, bespectacled stranger before him. With a smirk, the newcomer drew out his hand, revealing a silvery metal ball. Eyes widening, the muscled man backed up, eyeing the device.
"You can call me the Thinker," he said. Pushing a button in the center of the ball, he dropped it on the floor. With a rattling noise, the ball split into two, then four, then eight. The balls rolled all around the room, the brawny man looking at them in alarm. "It's always cretins like you that don't listen to warnings. You deserve this."
The balls, now dozens of them, suddenly sprouted spider-like legs and began elongating; unfolding and reconnecting like a complex metal origami into a set of hunchbacked, spider-limbed robots. The girl behind the counter screamed and dove behind it. Their arms unfolded into two sets of guns, and they began advancing on the bodybuilder.
Smiling, the Thinker stepped around them and headed to the counter. A few blue laser beams, and the man cried out as he was vaporized. All that was left was a white mark on the floor where his feet had been. The Thinker had already reached the counter, but as he looked around it, he raised one dark eyebrow. The girl was gone.
"A student," he murmured, and smiled. "Spider Drones! Create a perimeter around the building and begin searching for entrances! Do not let one of the ninjas escape!" With beeps and clicks of assent, the Spider Drones got to work.
*The Himalayas, February 2nd, 1:33 am*
Tauza slashed aside a charging teenager with a single stroke of her claws, and went to the wall. Her black hair was starting to fall out of the braids wound around her head, and her face and purple armor were smudged with dirt. This computerized room was nearly empty, and looked almost untouched. The battle had already moved into the lower halls of the Ethereal Academy.
Going to one computer, Tauza transformed her claws back into fingers and typed in a quick code. Her slanted eyes were narrowed with concentration, and she winced a little as the gashes on her knuckles hurt. The screen filled with white noise for a moment, and then cut to a wide-angled female face. Tauza winced.
"Aunt Tauza?" The grating female voice asked. Tauza got a good look at the woman's pink eyeliner before she backed up.
"Hello, Kapri, don't say anything and put Lothor on the line," she ordered. Kapri opened her mouth to speak, but Tauza gave her a death glare, and the centipede-like crown wrapping around the back of her head wriggled. With a little squeak, Kapri darted out of the frame.
There was a crash outside the room, and some screams. Bits of golden light shot through the door's cracks, and Tauza could hear the noises of battle. She smirked a little, but switched back to a businesslike expression as Lothor walked into view.
"I'll have the entire Ethereal Academy in a few minutes."
"How few?" Lothor asked, folding his arms. Tauza glared at him. Somewhere in the walls, a pipeline burst, and water began pouring out of it.
"Under half an hour. It'll take us a few days to search the caves fully, though. The walls are difficult to scan through."
"Once I've taken care of the Wind Ninjas I'll send you my ship. You can just grab everyone left," Lothor said. Tauza nodded curtly. There was a dull rumble somewhere below her. Lothor waved. "See you then!"
"Of course." Tauza turned off the transmission with a growl. As she turned towards the door, the general thought she saw something out of the corner of her eye. Turning, Tauza looked around the room, but saw nothing. Frowning, she left, heading back to the lower levels to rejoin the battle.
General Tauza's name and centipede theme is based of the Hurricaneger's original villain, General Tau (or sometimes Tao) Zanto.