Reality shattered, leaving shards of time and space in an endless void. The Ultimate Power Rangers journeyed through this void to learn the secrets of the end of existence. Using Ranger Keys, they unlocked Time Shards to slowly unravel the broken pieces of history.
The Shards revealed this story.
Now, Earth The Command Chamber
Alpha Five waddled to the Command Chamber’s forward station, which faced the giant Viewing Globe that rested in Zordon’s former position.
“The Rangers are on their way, Tommy,” the robot said.
“Good…” Tommy kept his gaze fixed on the Viewing Globe, which showed his teams splitting up. With them on their way, Tommy had his own role to play. “I’m moving to the next phase. Keep an eye on them…and pull me out the minute you think you need me.”
“Ay-yi-yi…are you sure this is a good idea, Tommy?”
He hesitated. “Well…no. But it’s the end of the world. Seems like a good time for bad ideas.”
Tommy sat in the center of the Command Chamber and crossed his legs. Slowly, he pulled a vial from his pocket and popped the lid. His nose wrinkled with disgust, not just at the vial, but at his actions as well.
The vial held the Dark Man’s blood. And Tommy meant to use it. Definitely a new low, Tommy…
He poured several drops on the floor and used his fingers to trace a glyph. Once complete, he whispered a spell and slapped his palm against the symbol. Dark light flashed through the Command Chamber, and Tommy disappeared, traveling into the Astral Plane.
The Astral Plane
The pain struck immediately and without warning.
Tommy grabbed his head and collapsed to his knees. The Astral Plane felt like it was screaming, screeching into his mind and shaking his bones. His vision couldn’t interpret his surroundings– flashes of light and dark and color, swirls of spark, flame and ice. Sounds like anti-music.
He felt his awareness spread, like being pulled apart into threads that spanned for miles and miles, into infinity.
“Tommy, my love,” an eerie voice whispered through the chaos. “Let me ease your pain…”
A hand reached out and caressed his cheek. His vision cleared. And as the pain subsided, he looked up at a face he recognized all-too well.
“Kimberly…” he whispered. Then he noticed. Her skin glowed, and her eyes and hair danced with golden fire. No…not Kimberly. Tommy narrowed his eyes and pushed her hand away. “The Phoenix.”
She smiled seductively, and with great hunger. “Don’t you find this form desirable?”
“What are you doing here?”
“Me?” She smiled and tried to look innocent — failing miserably. “You and your Ranger friends trapped me here years ago, Tommy. Don’t you remember? No, the question is, what are you doing here?”
“Not looking for small talk, that’s for sure,” Tommy said.
“But you are looking for me, aren’t you?” She reached towards his face again; Tommy stepped back. “Otherwise, why else would I be here? I sensed your mind the minute you stepped onto the Astral Plane. It…reached for me.”
Tommy cursed beneath his breath. “That doesn’t mean I wanted to see you like this.”
“Do I remind you of past heartache? The loss of your old love, and mother of your child? My fire burns in him, too, you know…”
“Like I said…I didn’t come here for small talk. You know what’s happening.”
The Phoenix looked amused. “Yes, the Dark One’s Seals are breaking. I am a force of creation, such things are beneath me.”
“Fine,” Tommy said. “But like you said. You’re a force of creation. Of rebirth. You might not care about the Dark One, but…you care about me. In some twisted way. Because Kimberly did. So you’re going to help me.” He lifted his hand, palm up, and his skin tingled with the Dark Man’s energy. “We’re going to restore the powers lost during the Second Countdown to Destruction. All of them. And then seal the Dark One forever.”
Mesaana stood on the mountainside of the Mojave Desert and looked out upon the landscape. At her command, ghosts and specters floated across the rocky terrain. The paranormal creatures twisted and howled in agony, sounds that prickled the Forsaken’s skin. She enjoyed their torment.
“Having fun?” a voice asked from behind. She looked to see Simon Kaden walk towards her.
Mesaana smiled lustfully. “More fun now that you’re here. I’ve been hoping for a chance to be alone with you…”
“I’m flattered,” Simon said, not bothering to hide his insincerity. “But I’m here on business.”
The Forsaken made a pouty face. “Oh, you’re no fun.”
“I get that a lot.” He shifted the conversation to the task at hand. “We have a weapon to find, preferably before the Rangers do.”
“I am a weapon…” Mesaana purred.
Simon rolled his eyes. “You know what I mean. This sword, Urimasa, is special.”
Serrator, a Forsaken in disguise, had crafted Urimasa for the villain Juzou, who died at the hands of the Samurai Rangers. The blade went missing after his final battle. Urimasa posed a danger as one of the only weapons that could kill the Forsaken — they could only die by weapons created by their own hands.
“Word has it the Titan Rangers have been on its trail,” Simon said. “Moridyn wants us to find it first, before anyone can use it to stop us.”
“Moridyn wants?” Mesaana asked. “Being his lapdog doesn’t suit you.”
“I’m no one’s lapdog.”
“MmmHmm,” she teased. “What makes you think I can help you find this sword, anyway?”
“You’re a paranormal magnet, and that sword is filled with paranormal energy: Tortured spirits.”
“Tortured spirits? Now you’re speaking my language…” She looked into the sky and closed her eyes, whispering the sword’s name. “Urimasa…”
Simon arched an eyebrow, skeptically. “It’s that easy?”
She lifted a finger, shushing him. And again, she whispered, “Urimasa…” The Forsaken snapped open her eyes. “There. We can find it now.”
“Simple. I reached out to the sword and ignited its paranormal power.”
“You did what?” Simon sighed and shook his head. “How wonderfully stupid. Now anyone can find it.”
“Whining doesn’t suit you either…” Mesaana teased.
“Whatever…” Simon said as he started walking down the mountainside. “Let’s get moving. Just point me in the right direction.”
She smiled, laced her hands around his right arm, and led him downward.
The Drive Voyager throttled across the desert on its way to Corinith City.
Recalled, the Titan Rangers traveled to Corinith in response to the city’s Omega-Level Code Red, the highest threat level possible, which called to all of INET’s Ranger teams.
Shane, the Red Overdrive Ranger, sat the cockpit, along with Jake and Rose, the Blue and Pink Rangers.
“Are you picking up anything?” Rose asked.
Jake shook his head. “Just static. You?”
“The same,” she said, and then whispered to herself. “What’s going on…?”
Shane leaned back. He typically liked the challenge of a new adventure. But this time, he worried. What could be bad enough to warrant an Omega-Level Code Red, and then cut off all communication with Corinith City?
The cockpit doors opened, and Will stepped in, with Kelsea not far behind. “Uh, guys, we have a problem.”
“What-” Jake started to ask.
An explosion rocked their mobile base. Waves of green, paranormal energy swept across the zord with massive bursts of spark that rattled the hull.
“That would be the problem,” said Will, the Black Ranger.
“It’s the Relic we tracked down,” said Kelsea, the Yellow Ranger. “That sword.”
The Overdrive team learned of Urimasa’s existence as part of its efforts to recover relics dispersed after the destruction of Angel Grove. The team managed to retrieve the blade, now held within the zord.
“Let’s get to the cargo bay,” Shane said as he left the cockpit.
The control console still pinged with the Omega-Level Code Red from Corinith.
The Enertron Matrix pulsed with crimson light that washed across Corinith. Dark clouds swirled above, with bolts of lightning that crackled with digital energy. Streams of smoke–demons–surged from the matrix and spread across the city. Unlike most swirls of demon smoke, these wisps crackled with strands of digital code.
Dax, the Red Bio-Beast Ranger, watched from the foot of the matrix. He cursed beneath his breath. “See…this is what makes Dr. Cranston a douche.”
“This isn’t funny, Dax,” said Kylie, the Blue Bio-Beast Ranger.
Their communicators toned, and Ian, the Yellow Bio-Beast Ranger, answered. “Colynn, what’s going on?”
“Some kind of attack force coming from the Enertron Matrix. It’s like it’s infected,” said Colynn, the Bio-Beast Rangers’ lead scientist and support specialist. “INET’s triggered an Omega-Level Code Red.”
Dax arced an eyebrow. “Yeah, I don’t know what that means?”
“It means you’re getting reinforcements. In the meantime, engage the main wave. The Digi Rangers are-”
She cleared her throat. “The Digi Rangers are heading into the Matrix. You’ll have your hands full on the streets.”
“Our hands full with what? Smoke?” Dax asked. “Do we fight smoke? Really?”
The demon smoke plunged into buildings and beneath streets, and surged into cars and trucks. Street lamps. Traffic lights. Power lines. Circuitry, wire and machinery of all kinds crackled with energy and thrashed, tearing through concrete and brick. The circuits meshed and formed various shapes, most of them humanoid, others monstrous.
Creatures of electronic mesh and supernatural power, they ebbed with shadow. Crimson light pulsed beneath their made-from-scrap armor like veins of blood.
Dax cursed beneath his breath. “Great. So demons possess machines now. That’s…fun.”
They armed their morphers.
“Bio Burst!” They connected their bracers, triggering waves of light that washed across their bodies, morphing into their armor. Their transformation complete, they snapped into fighting stances.
“Gene-Tech Task Force…Bio-Beast Rangers!” they shouted together.
A building exploded, with a shockwave that hurled the Rangers off their feet. They crashed and skid across the pavement.
Yellow Lion rolled to his knees and looked up to see a wave of mechanical monstrosities charge towards him.
“This looks like a bad Michael Bay movie.”
Red Falcon armed his blaster. “That’s the only kind of Michael Bay movie.”
The three Ranger regrouped and fired their Bio Blasters — darts of energy stabbed through the monsters, but didn’t slow them down a single step.
The creatures shifted shape and lashed out with arms and tendrils and claws, slashing the Rangers with massive bursts of spark that swatted them aside like gnats.
Alarms blared throughout Corinith’s holding bay, the Garage, which stored the zords of the RPM Rangers. Technicians scrambled back and forth across the deck, prepping various auxiliary transports and vehicles.
Dillon, the Black RPM Ranger, stood alongside Ziggy, the Green RPM Ranger, near the rear of the hanger. They noticed the massive Whale Carrier fire up its engines and move into lift-off position.
“Come on.” Dillon grabbed Ziggy by the arm and moved towards the carrier.
“Hey- What- What about-”
“No time,” Dillon said. He didn’t plan to sit and wait for orders while city went to hell around him and others did the fighting. “That Carrier’s not taking off without us.”
The Whale Carrier launched through the skies towards the Enertron Matrix.
Inside, Gem and Gemma — the RPM Gold and Silver Rangers — manned the controls. The Digi Rangers — Colin, Digi Red; Bright, Digi Blue; and Tessa, Digi Yellow –waited in the rear of the cockpit. Through the viewport, they saw swirls of demon smoke thrash through the air.
“This is going to be-”
“-tight,” Gem and Gemma said.
Colin leaned against the back of Gem’s chair. “Just get us as close to the Enertron Matrix as you–whoa!”
Gem and Gemma steered Whale Carrier through a tight role that nearly knocked the Digi team off their feet. A stream of smoke smashed the zord from below, splashing across its armor with strands of digital energy.
Gem and Gemma gripped tightly onto their controls.
“The worst,” they said.
Colin stopped paying attention to their muttering. “This’ll have to be close enough. Let’s-”
Electricity lashed out within the rear of the cockpit; strands of circuitry and metal formed a humanoid creature with claws extending from its hands and forearms.
“Get back!” Bright pushed his teammates aside.
The demon-possessed monstrosity slashed its claws at the teen. Bright dodged and kicked hard, bashing the monster from the cockpit. The creature tumbled backward and skid across the adjacent corridor.
Tessa opened her eyes wide with disbelief. “What, demons can possess circuitry now?!”
“We’ve seen weirder,” Colin said.
The monster hurled bolts of electricity and power. The blasts struck the three teens, and Gem and Gemma, igniting their nerves with pain and agony.
Gem and Gemma’s muscles tightened, their hands locked onto the controls. The Whale Carrier dove out of control, crashing through the tops of several skyscrapers. The two pilots tried to pull up, but they couldn’t will their own arms to move.
The demon machine pounced for an attack. But a hand grabbed its neck and smashed it to the ground. Dillon–the Black RPM Ranger–grabbed the circuitry in the machine’s chest and pulled, ripping out its mechanical guts.
The demon fled from the broken circuitry through a stream of black smoke that flickered with digital code.
Colin narrowed his eyes at the sight of Dillon, who seemed to have come from nowhere along with his teammate, Ziggy, the Green RPM Ranger.
“Have you been onboard this whole time?”
“Yeah, I didn’t exactly trust you to get the job done,” Dillon said.
Ziggy shrugged. “Don’t take it personally. He doesn’t trust anyone.”
“Turns out I was right, that’s all that matters,” Dillon said. “If INET wanted this done right, they should have sent in my team.”
Tessa scoffed. “We didn’t exactly have time to draw straws.”
“Uh, guys…” Ziggy tapped Dillon on the shoulder. “We’re kind of diving out of control…yeah that’s happening. I do not want to die in a flying whale, I do not want to die in a flying whale…”
“We’re out of time.” Colin grabbed Bright and Tessa by the shoulders. “Come on, we’re jumping now.” He looked to Dillon and Ziggy. “You two get this zord back under control.”
“We don’t answer to-” Dillon started to say, but didn’t get a chance to finish before Colin, Bright and Tessa dashed to the zord’s holding bay.
Colin, Bright and Tessa dove through the air toward the opening on top of the Enertron Matrix.
They armed their morphers.
“Let’s Morph-in!” They flipped open their morphers, which spoke the command: “IT’S MORPHIN TIME!”
Energy flicked around them as they morphed into their armor and plunged into the Enertron Matrix, diving through a shaft that extended several stories.
The three Rangers slapped their transpods, strapped to their chests like badges: “TRANSPORT!”
With flashes of digital code, their grappling hooks teleported into their hands. They triggered grappling lines, which attached to the sides of the maintenance shaft. The lines went taunt, and the Rangers swung through the side of the shaft and into a maintenance corridor, dimly lit with red emergency lights.
Digi Yellow shook her head with disbelief. “That went as planned…that never happens.”
Suddenly, the walls rippled with waves of digital energy. Metal and circuitry pealed from the corridor and took shape to form metal monstrosities, cyborg-like creatures possessed by demons. Their faces looked skull-like, with jagged, metal teeth. And circular lights burned with hellfire on their foreheads.
Digi Blue glanced at the Yellow Ranger. “You jinxed us.”
She shrugged. “Not the first time.”
Digi Red stepped forward, slapping his transpod: “TRANSPORT!”
His DigiBlade teleported onto his right ankle with a flash of digital energy. The Ranger unsheathed the weapon and twirled it into a fighting stance.
Gem and Gemma couldn’t move. Their muscles stayed locked. And the Whale Carrier continued its out-of-control descent, crashing through buildings and carving through rooftops.
Dillon and Ziggy worked to pry the pilots’ fingers from the controls– hard to do when the cockpit jostled back and forth with such a fury, they could barely keep their balance.
“I am not going to die this way!” Ziggy shouted.
“Crashing?” Dillon asked.
“In a whale. Crashing in a whale!” Ziggy shouted.
Finally, Dillon knocked Gem aside, grabbed the controls, and pulled up. The zord climbed, bashing through a skyscraper on the way to regain altitude.
Gem and Gemma breathed sighs of relief as their muscles unlocked.
Suddenly, spears of techno mesh lanced at the What Carrier. Regaining the controls, Gem and Gemma climbed and banked, flying through evasive maneuvers.
Dillon leaned against the back of their chairs. “Get us back to the Matrix.”
“-going to happen.”
The tendrils of circuitry, electronics, and demon energy wrapped around the zord, flipping it upside down and sideways, jostling the rangers within.
Gem and Gemma grabbed their morphers. “RPM! Get in Gear!”
Energy shimmered around them as they morphed into RPM Gold and RPM Silver. The Gold Ranger grabbed Dillon; the Silver Ranger grabbed Ziggy. They leapt from the Carrier Whale as secondary explosions thrashed its hull.
The heroes plummeted through the air. Ziggy screamed at the top of his lungs, while Dillon merely cursed beneath his breather. Luckily, RPM Gold and RPM Silver managed to summon their Zord Attack Vehicles.
The Falcon Copter and Tiger Jet flew through the air, maneuvered beneath the falling heroes, and caught them.
Dillon climbed into the Falcon Copter and joined RPM Gold in the cockpit. Meanwhile, Ziggy scrambled frantically into the Tiger Jet.
Spires of techno-organic mesh stabbed from the ground, spearing towards the two zords. The zords rolled through evasive maneuvers to dodge, barely.
“Like I was saying,” Dillon said. “Get us back to the Matrix.”
Cam, the Green Bio-Beast Ranger, and Marcus, the Black Bio-Beast Ranger, ran towards the Enertron Matrix. They tried their hardest to ignore the explosions and streams of demon smoke that swept across the surrounding streets.
Suddenly, dozens of demon-possessed cyborgs dropped to the ground, blocking the route to the Matrix. The grunts looked odd, like shambled fusions of Grinders and Metaloids.
Marcus and Cam stopped in their tracks.
“Well…crap,” Cam said.
They armed their morphers, but before they could transform, two figures dropped to the street: Dillon and Ziggy, having leapt from the Falcon Copter and Tiger Jet.
Ziggy staggered and almost fell. “Wha- wha-, they couldn’t land to drop us off?”
Dillon looked over his shoulder to Marcus and Cam. “Need some help?”
“Couldn’t hurt,” Marcus said.
“Figured.” Dillon said.
Dillon and Ziggy slid their Engine Cells into their wrist morphers. “RPM! Get in Gear!”
Energy revved around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms.
Marcus and Cam armed their bracers. “Bio Burst!”
Energy surged through their bodies as they morphed into their armor.
The four Rangers snapped into fighting stances.
“RPM! Ranger Black!”
“RPM! Ranger Green!”
The cyborg demons charged.
The Green RPM Ranger shifted into a defensive stance.
“Turbo Axe!” He armed his massive axe and swung wide, and then chopped, hacking and slashing through circuitry and wires.
Green Rhino jumped onto RPM Green’s shoulders and pushed off.
He snapped his boomerangs. The blades spun and slashed through several machines, ripping them apart with massive bursts of spark.
The boomerangs returned to the Green Rhino Ranger’s hands, just in time for him to block and hack a robot demon to the ground.
Red Falcon kicked and slashed a cyborg demon. His blade sparked on impact and whipped the creature off its feet. But a dozen more took its place. Then another dozen.
“Son of a-”
The army overwhelmed him and forced him to the ground. Their claws slashed his armor, and their tendrils thrashed his body. The Red Ranger tried to raise his sword and cut free from the body pile of circuitry and metal. But the creatures pinned him in place.
Suddenly, bursts of spark tore through the creatures. They staggered backward and collapsed, secondary explosions ripping through their wires and servos.
Red Falcon used his sword for balance and climbed to his feet, shrugging off the last of the cyborg demons. He looked up to see his rescuers, a squad of Riot Riders, soldiers equipped with identical Rider gear.
“Oh yeah, I forgot about you guys,” the Red Ranger said. “Thanks…but this doesn’t make you less of a joke.”
The lead Riot Rider ignored the Ranger. He looked over his shoulder and issued orders. “Circle the perimeter. Form up with Silver Guardians on…”
The Red Ranger stopped listening. Instead, he looked for his teammates. He spotted Blue Dolphin nearby, climbing to her feet with her bow in hand. Yellow Lion stood next to her; he kicked a fallen cyborg demon a final time, smashing its face.
The lead Riot Rider grabbed the Red Ranger by the shoulder. “Hey! Pay attention, you little brat.”
“I’m neither little nor brat-like,” Red Falcon said.
“Don’t be an ass, this isn’t over. Another wave is-”
The ground shook with an explosion. Dozens of cyborg demons dropped from the skies, their bodies twisting into a near infinite variety of shapes, surging like a tidal wave of metal and electric wiring.
Red Falcon sighed and lifted his sword. “I miss fighting shark monsters. Simpler days…”
The Riot Riders charged to attack the wave of enemies. But before they could attack, they collapsed to their knees and writhed with pain, without warning or explanation.
Red Falcon tilted his head. “Um…did you guys break?”
The Riders crackled with purple-tinted electricity, as smoke flowed from their armor plating. The smoke crackled with violet energy, like lines of digital code.
The Red Ranger shook his head and took a step back. Yellow Lion and Blue Dolphin joined him at his side.
“Please, please tell me that’s not what it looks like.” the Red Ranger said, with more annoyance than fear.
The Riot Riders crackled with final bursts of electricity, and stood. They turned to face the Rangers and armed their daggers. Their visors glowed an even deeper black, like voids of darkness. Evil.
“Well…crap,” Red Falcon said.
“The demons,” Yellow Lion said. “They possessed the Rider gears…”
“Like I said,” Red Falcon said. “Crap.”
—To be continued…Chapter Two