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.
The Astral Plane
Tommy gazed out upon the rough terrain, mountainous land crossed by streams of golden lava, flowing from several larger pools. The scene looked out-of-focus, like he could see through everything at the forefront of a rolling crimson hue.
“What is this place?”
“A forge of sorts,” the Phoenix explained. “You see…the Astral Plane is the realm of thought. Dreams and imagination. Through this forge, those dreams and thoughts can become reality.”
The Phoenix kneeled down and swept her hand through a stream of golden lava. “The Power itself flows through here, as does the Power Cosmic. This place is a nexus of sorts, binding all planes of existence within the Wheel of Time. Think of it as the hub of the wheel, if you must. The furnace that keeps the Gears of Fate turning.”
Tommy nodded. If he planned to restore the powers lost during the Second Countdown to Destruction, and turn those powers into the new Seals of the Dark One’s prison…he needed to do so from here.
“This will work,” he said. “I think…”
“It will, if you are willing.” She stepped closer to Tommy and touched his forehead. “You’re not seeing enough. Open your eyes. All of them.”
He stepped back. “I only have-”
Then he saw it: Bubbles of ichor and shadow, flowing through molten pools, infesting the ground with stains and the air with blots of smog and smoke.
“What the hell…”
“The darkness that plagues your world,” The Phoenix explained. “The evil that seeps from the Dark One’s prison…it affects all planes of existence, even here.”
Suddenly, a massive figure, as large as a Megazord, rose from the lava. Fiery magma covered its skin and horned head, a silhouette Tommy recognized but couldn’t quite place.
The creature smashed its palm against the ground, triggering shockwaves of cold fire and anti-sound that hurled Tommy off his feet. He thrashed through wind and hail and streams of color.
His vision shifted, from the barren surface of the moon, to the glimmering cities of Eltar, to the ruined hellscape of Angel Grove after its destruction.
Tommy landed in what looked like Angel Grove Central. And when he looked up, he saw massive figures, as tall as buildings, surround him. They looked like ghosts, barely visible, mostly transparent, but familiar.
The lead figure stepped forward and extended a saw-like blade.
YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE. LEAVE US TO SLUMBER. LEAVE US IN OUR ANGUISH…
Tommy tilted his head. It couldn’t be. Could it?
He recognized the massive being. Gao God, the Animus Megazord.
California The desert
The Drive Voyager rested in the desert. The Overdrive team gathered in the massive zord’s main hold, which pulsed with crimson light. The source: a containment box designed to store powerful relics called Precious.
Kelsea stayed behind Will while holding his arm. “Um, is that supposed to be happening?”
“No,” Rose said, her voice calm as she stepped closer to the box.
Shane moved alongside her. He flipped open his Overdrive Tracker and scanned the Precious, which radiated with power. “Its Hazard Level keeps climbing.”
“Are you going to toss it out?” Will asked impatiently. “Or should we just let it explode and kill us all. Just asking.”
The box exploded with a burst of smoke, vaporizing, revealing the sword Uramasa. The jagged blade shrieked as if alive, pulsing with waves of energy that slammed the rangers against the walls.
Screams bled from the blade and flowed through waves, like spirits, that spread through the entire zord. The spiritual pressure nearly collapsed the zord, its armor plating buckling with moaning noises of its own, like a massive, dying beast.
The rangers armed their morphers. “Overdrive! Start-up!”
Energy flashed around them as they morphed into their armor.
Titan Black fired his blaster. But the blasts bounced harmlessly off the blade and ricocheted across the holding room.
Titan Blue pushed the Black Ranger’s weapon down. “What are you doing?!”
The Black Ranger shrugged him off. “Trying to not get killed. Care to help?”
The zord shuddered again as if ready to implode.
Titan Red stayed calm. He flipped open his Overdrive Tracker and used his thumb to key the command buttons: “LAUNCH SHIFT, ON! DUMP! SPEED! GYRO! DOZER! SUB! GO. GO!”
The Red Overdrive Ranger looked to his teammates. “We’re abandoning the Drive Voyager. Get to your zords. I’ll be right behind you.”
“What are you doing?” Titan Pink asked.
“Stabilizing the blade so we can move it.”
“And if that doesn’t work?”
“You’ll be in the clear.” He smirked beneath his helmet. “And I’ll have had one last adventure.”
Titan Black grabbed the Pink Ranger by the arm. “Come on, you know better than to argue with the Chief when he gets sappy.”
The Red Ranger waited until his teammates evacuated. Then, he stepped forward and armed his Drill Crusher.
He aimed at the sword and braced himself. “Mixer Head! Go!”
The rifle fired with kickback that nearly knocked the Red Ranger off his feet. The containment blast splashed across the sword and started solidifying into a concrete-like substance, containing the sword and its energies- but not before it sparked another paranormal shock wave.
The blast hurled Titan Red against the wall. He crashed against the deck and quickly rolled to his feet.
Alarms blared throughout the carrier zord, in danger of losing its structural integrity.
Titan Red wasted no time. He leapt off the floor, grabbed the contained sword, and landed while sprinting towards the zord’s exit.
The Red Ranger climbed to the top of the Drive Voyager, which shook from the stress of the sword’s discharge. He looked over his shoulder towards his Dump Driver, triggered his grappler and reeled himself into his cockpit.
“Chief,” Titan Blue said through the comm-line. “Perfect timing, we’ve got company.”
“A Negative Syndicate?”
“Nope, worse,” Titan Blue said. “Rangers.”
Samurai Red and his five teammates dashed across the landscape towards the Drive Voyager. They followed glowing kanji, tracking symbols they used to find the supernatural sword.
“That’s it,” Samurai Red said. “Just ahead.”
Samurai Green scoffed at the sight of the Overdrive zords. “The Titan Rangers? Really?”
“They’ll never give up the sword,” Samurai Yellow said.
Samurai Gold armed his blade. “Then we’ll just have to take it.”
The Samurai Rangers closed in on the Titan Rangers’ zords, which throttled from the scene. Their tracking kanji aimed towards the blue Overdrive zord, the Gyro Driver.
Samurai Blue launched through the air, landed on the Gyro Driver, and stabbed through its armor plating. He grasped tightly onto his sword to keep from flying off the zord. The wind rushed against his body, but he kept a solid grip.
In the zord’s cockpit, Titan Blue cursed beneath his breath. He opened his comm-line. “I’ve got a passenger.”
He turned his zord into a sharp roll, nearly hurling the Blue Samurai Ranger off the vehicle. The roll snapped the samurai around like a ragdoll, but he didn’t let go of his blade.
“A little help, guys?” Samurai Blue asked through his comm.
The zord throttled forward and continued its spin. Samurai Blue nearly slipped loose. But he armed his Bankai Disc and swiped it.
“Bankai!” His sword pulsed with blue energy. “Freeze and Rage, Shinkenmaru!”
The Ranger’s sword pulsed with hydro energy that solidified into ice. The ice coated the machine and froze its gyros, which locked into place as the zord plummeted towards the ground.
On the way down, Samurai Blue lost Uramasa’s signal. “What the…Guys, I just lost the signal. It was a decoy!”
Samurai Red scoffed through his comm-line. “Great. It could be in any one of these zords…”
Titan Black’s Speed Driver tore across the ground below, its wheels kicking up dirt and debris. Samurai Green leapt through the air and landed on the vehicle.
He stabbed his sword between the zord’s armor plating for balance. “Let’s try this one.”
Titan Black grumbled within his cockpit. “Oh no you don’t.” He grabbed his Overdrive Tracker from his console. “Switching to auto pilot.”
The Black Overdrive Ranger jumped from his cockpit and landed on top of his zord. He leaned into a tight stance to keep his balance, and unsheathed his Drive Defender in saber mode.
“Didn’t we already kick your butt?” the Black Ranger asked.
The Green Ranger pulled out his saber and shifted into a defensive stance. “You and I must remember that fight differently.”
Titan Black jumped and hurled forward, smashing the Green Ranger as they rolled and tumbled across the zord.
Samurai Green nearly fell, but he stabbed his blade between the zord’s armor.
Titan Black rolled to his feet and switched his Drive Defender to blaster mode. He opened fire, blasting the Green Ranger with bursts of spark that whipped him off his feet. Samurai Green tumbled across the zord and fell from its edge – but he managed to stab the zord’s armor plating and dangle from the vehicle’s side.
The Black Ranger armed his Drive Slammer, leapt through the air, and landed on the zord with a downswing, bashing the Green Ranger from the vehicle.
Several meters behind, Samurai Gold watched the battle as he dashed across the landscape.
“Uh, guys?” the Gold Ranger asked. “You do remember we have zords too, right?”
He attached his Claw Symbol Disc to his morpher, flipped it open, and dialed a code. The code triggered a projection of a kanji that glowed with golden power.
“Clawzord!” the Gold Ranger shouted. “Arise!”
With a burst of light, the crab-like Clawzord appeared along the path of the Titans’ vehicles.
The Gold Ranger leapt into his cockpit. He slid his Barracuda Blade into the zord’s control console and attached his Symbol Disc to the weapon’s hilt.
“Clawzord!” he shouted. “Rise up!”
The Clawzord shifted shape and assumed its humanoid warrior form. “Claw Battlezord! Daikaiou!”
Claw Battlezord armed a pair of curved katana and swung wide, slashing the Speed Driver with bursts of spark. The vehicle swerved out of control and slammed against the Yellow Ranger’s Dozer Driver, which toppled over.
Samurai Gold smirked beneath his helmet. “See? No reason to make this overly complicated.”
Suddenly, green, sickly mist flowed across the ground, rising above the Claw Battlezord’s knees. The mist seemed to originate from one of the Titan Rangers’ zords, the Red Ranger’s Dump Driver.
A second wave of mist surged across the landscape, splashing the zords with massive bursts of spark and electricity that sent them tumbling out of control. The impact knocked the Titan Rangers from their cockpits, and smashed the Samurai Rangers to the ground.
The two Ranger teams crashed and tumbled across the dirt. Honed with experience and instinct, they skid and rolled into crouched stances to lessen the impact.
Looking up, they saw their attacker: Mesaana, one of the Forsaken.
Samurai Red narrowed his eyes beneath his helmet. Next to Mesaana stood Simon Kaden, his best friend.
“Teddy…” Simon stood with his black katana in his right hand, slung over his shoulder. In his left hand, he held the silver-hilted Kuroryuken, lowered at his side.
Mesaana laced her fingers around his arm. She smiled lustfully. “Are these your old friends?”
He nodded. “Something like that.”
“Good,” Mesaana purred. She twirled her fingers, alight with mist, which filled the air with static.
The Red Overdrive Ranger recognized the mist’ significance. “All that paranormal energy. It was you.” The adventurer sounded almost excited at reaching his conclusion. “Wasn’t it?”
The Forsaken smiled with pride. “I’m a magnet, battery and amplifier of paranormal power. See?”
She flicked her wrist, scattering mist that expanded and exploded into dozens of ghostly monsters. The creatures took numerous shapes, from twisted humanoids with glowing eyes, to animal hybrids that dripped ectoplasm from their jaws.
The para-monsters smashed against the Samurai and Overdrive teams. Their claws and fangs sparked on impact and knocked the Rangers off balance.
Stepping back, Mesaana breathed black mist that surrounded her body, shrouding her from sight. When the mist peeled back, she stood in a monstrous form: shadow black, with flickers of sickly green flame for hair. The same fire burned within her empty eye sockets.
The Forsaken formed a bolt of fiery green energy and hurled it at the Rangers.
“Move!” Samurai Red pushed Titan Red aside; the bolt exploded between them with massive bursts of spark and flame.
Mesaana leaned forward and exhaled, blowing smoke that spread to form dozens of humanoid creatures. They looked like skinless beings of muscle and sinew, alight with sickly green energy. The paranormal creatures moaned like zombies, and acted just as empty with one directive- to consume. The paranormal zombies charged through blurs of motion, clawing and hacking the two Ranger teams with massive bursts of spark.
Slowly, Samurai Green used his sword for balance and climbed to his feet. A dozen of the para-zoms surrounded him and charged with jaws wide open. Their tongues extended and flapped with black ichor, as if alive and bleeding.
The Green Ranger swiped his sword’s Symbol Disc. “Wood Spear!”
The sword glowed and transformed into a spear. Samurai Green swung and twisted the spear through a 180-degree arc that streaked with jade energy. The spear slashed through para-zoms with massive bursts of spark, hurling them off their feet.
A para-zom leapt at the Green Ranger from behind. But before the creature could attack, a hammer smashed the grunt to the ground.
Samurai Green looked over his shoulder to see Titan Black, armed with his Drive Slammer.
The Black Ranger shook his head. “This doesn’t mean we’re friends all of a sudden.”
Samurai Green and Titan Black stood back-to-back as a wave of para-monsters surrounded them.
Nearby, Samurai Pink climbed to her feet just as a wave of para-zoms and para-monsters lunged at her. The creatures kicked and clawed, forcing the Pink Ranger backward as she twirled her saber to block and parry.
The Pink Ranger hopped backward and swiped her sword’s Symbol Disc. “Air Disc. Air Wave!”
Wind energy circled her sword. Samurai Pink slashed upward, hurling a blade of wind energy at the paranormal creatures. The wind power sliced through the grunts with massive bursts of spark while blowing them backward.
The attack gave the Pink Ranger enough room to shift into a defensive stance. To her left, she noticed another wave of para-zoms and para-monsters surround the Pink and Yellow Overdrive Rangers.
Samurai Pink swiped her Symbol Disc. “Wind Fan!”
Her sword glowed with pink energy and turned into a fan. The Pink Ranger spun and twirled the fan, whipping weaves of wind energy that thrashed through the grunts surrounding Titan Yellow and Titan Pink.
The two Overdrive Rangers took that moment to arm their weapons.
Titan Yellow armed her claw-shaped fist weapons, and Titan Pink armed her rifle-shaped blaster.
The Yellow Ranger smashed her Drive Claws against the ground, knocking loose rocks and boulders that sprang upward. She used her claws to swat the debris at the grunts. The boulders smashed through paranormal creatures like cannonballs, blasting them apart.
Meanwhile, Titan Pink triggered blasts of hydro energy that tore through a wave of para-zombies.
Samurai Red slashed through a para-zombie and stepped forward, facing his former friend, Simon.
Teddy powered down his armor. He still gripped his Spin Sword.
Simon smirked. “You sure you want to do that?”
“If we’re going to fight…we’re going to do it face-to-face.”
“We don’t have to fight at all,” Simon said. “This is pointless, Teddy. All of it. Let me make things right. Permanently.”
“Make things…?” Teddy shook his head with disbelief. “You’re insane.”
“The whole world’s insane,” Simon said. “And I’m going to fix it.”
Simon lunged and swung his swords, his black katana ebbing with shadow, and silver sword pulsing with jade energy. Teddy barely managed to swing his Spin Sword and parry; each blow forced the ranger backward.
Teddy spun his Symbol Disc, igniting his Spin Sword with fiery energy along the blade. He twisted his grip and swung wide. But Simon parried and struck back, slashing the ranger across the arm.
Teddy winced and hopped backward, blood splattering from his wound.
He twirled his blade upward just in time to block a charge from Simon. The former ranger pushed hard with slashes and hacks, relentlessly forcing his steel upon the red ranger’s blade.
Simon narrowed his eyes and clenched his jaw as he pressed forward. “I don’t particularly want to kill you…”
“That’s reassuring, thanks.” He stepped back with a reverse sidekick that bashed Simon’s chest.
Mesaana twirled her fingers, summoning wisps of green mist that danced along her palm. Before she could summon yet another wave of paranormal monsters to do her bidding, Titan Red charged at her from ahead, and Samurai Gold charged at her from behind.
She smiled a sickly smile. “How cute…”
She thrust her hand upward. Whips of mist lashed out and wrapped around Titan Red and Samurai Gold, tightening around their necks and limbs. The Forsaken sent surges of energy along the whips; the surges smashed against the Rangers with massive bursts of spark and secondary explosions that tore across their armor.
Titan Red clenched his fists. His helmet light flashed, activating his weapon. “Drive Lance!”
The spear appeared in midair and fell downward, slashing through the whips of energy. The Red Overdrive Ranger grabbed his weapon while dropping to the ground and rolling aside. Quickly, he rolled to his feet and swung the weapon through a wide and powerful arc, ripping through the whips that held the Gold Samurai Ranger.
The Gold Ranger dropped to the ground.
He unsheathed his Barracuda Blade, attached his Light Disc to the hilt, and charged.
“Light Disc! Golden Flash!”
He dashed back and forth through streaks of gold energy, slashing the Forsaken with bursts of spark. But she barely seemed to notice.
Instead she laughed, grabbed the Gold Ranger by the neck, and smashed him onto the ground.
Titan Red ran to help. But Mesaana hurled a bolt of green energy that whipped him off his feet.
She looked down at the Gold Ranger.
“I didn’t think you’d be this much fun,” she purred, her eyes flickering with sickly green flame.
She tightened her grip and sent tendrils of agony surging through the Gold Ranger’s body. He screamed, as secondary explosions sparked across his armor.
Ever since her days as a priest of the One Power, before time and space, she loved the sensations that came along with pain and agony.
She inflicted that agony upon Samurai Gold.
Simon kicked Teddy upside the head. The ranger staggered backward, but recovered and lifted his sword into a defensive stance.
Narrowing his eyes, he swiped his sword’s Symbol Disc. “Fire Disc. Blazing Strike!”
Fiery energy twirled around his blade. He slashed through a wide arc that hurled a wave of fiery energy towards Simon. But the former ranger swatted the blast aside, as casually as one might swat a fly.
Simon lifted his swords into a loose fighting stance. “I didn’t know we were using energy attacks. Fine…”
He stabbed his swords into the ground, igniting waves of shadow and fire that surged through the earth and exploded beneath Teddy. The shock wave hurled him into the air. He flew backward and crashed, tumbling across the ground hard enough to break several bones and tear a few muscles, even with the reinforcements granted to him by The Power.
“You can’t beat me, Teddy,” Simon said as he stalked towards his fallen, former friend. “I’m stronger than any Ranger. Hell, I could even take down Tommy at this point. In fact…I think I’ll have to.”
Para-monsters and para-zombies continued their relentless push against the Rangers. And the Rangers pushed back.
Samurai Yellow spun her Earth Disc. “Earth Disc. Seismic Slash!”
The Yellow Ranger chopped her sword downward with a charge of seismic energy that shot towards the paranormal grunts. The energy wave blasted through para-zombies with bursts of spark.
The Blue Overdrive Ranger armed a fanned gauntlet. “Drive Vortex!”
He aimed downward and fired a gust of wind that launched him through the air, hovering over the para-monsters. The Blue Ranger landed and used the gauntlet as a fist weapon. He punched the grunts with blasts of air that ripped them to pieces.
Samurai Blue and Samurai Pink stood back-to-back.
Samurai Blue spun his Water Disc. “Water Disc. Hydro Splash!”
Liquid energy circled around the Blue Ranger’s blade. He swung the sword through a steak of power that hurled a wave of watery energy.
Samurai Pink spun her Air Disc. “Air Disc. Air Wave!”
Wind energy circled her blade. The Pink Ranger swung her sword upward, hurling a blade of wind energy.
Their blasts tore through paranormal monsters with massive bursts of spark, shredding the creatures into flickers of mist.
The Red Overdrive Ranger charged forward and speared his Drive Lance towards Mesaana’s midsection. Samurai Gold leapt over the Red Ranger, armed his blade, and aimed his descent towards the villain.
Mesaana twirled with a wave of paranormal energy that knocked them backward. They crashed against the ground, rolled to their feet, and staggered into fighting stances.
The other Rangers, having finished off the paranormal grunts, regrouped with Titan Red and Samurai Gold.
The Rangers surrounded Mesaana with weapons drawn. She smiled, wisps of flame flickering from between her teeth.
The Forsaken whispered a single word. “Pain.”
Agony tore through the Rangers. They collapsed to their knees, muscles straining and bones feeling as if they were shattering. Their chests ached and heads pounded.
Mesaana smiled. Shadows peeled from her body, shifting back into human form. She walked casually among the fallen Rangers, who convulsed and spasmed. She breathed in the sensations of their sweet agony.
“This is so nice…” she whispered. “Now, where’s this demon sword that’s caused so much trouble.”
She lifted her hand. From the Overdrive zords, the sword shrieked as if in pain. It shot through the air and landed in Mesaana’s hand. At once, she felt the energy and power of the souls trapped within the blade. Their pain filled her with pleasure and warmth.
“Now I see what all the fuss is about…”
She looked over her shoulder to where Simon dueled with Teddy. Slowly, she walked towards them.
Teddy staggered backward. Exhausted and breathing heavily, he still managed to lift his sword. “You were my best friend, Simon. My brother. I loved you…”
Simon kept his stance firm. “The person you knew is gone, Teddy. He died a long time ago…burned away until nothing was left but a raw nerve…me. A monster.”
“I don’t believe that…”
“I think you do…” Simon said, his voice as calm as ice. “I think you really do.”
Simon charged and slashed with both blades. Teddy staggered backward and managed to block both swords. But the last strike knocked the ranger’s blade from his hand.
Pressing forward, Simon kicked Teddy upside the head. The blow snapped him back, and he crashed onto his back, hard, knocking the wind from his lungs.
Simon lowered his blades to the fallen ranger’s neck.
Teddy looked up; his eyes narrowed with pain and defiance. “Do it. If you’re just a monster…then do it.”
Simon tightened his grip on his swords. But hesitated.
From behind, Mesaana stepped towards him and laced her fingers around his arm. “Finish him already, so we can move on. These Rangers are starting to bore me…” She reached behind her back and pulled out the demon sword Uramasa. “Besides…we have what we came for.”
Simon moved in the blink of an eye. He dropped his swords, snapped around, and grabbed the demon sword from the Forsaken’s hand. Pivoting, he swung the blade and stabbed it through her chest.
Mesaana opened her eyes wide with horror and surprise. Simon twisted the blade and stepped closer to her, closer, leaning to whisper in her ear.
“I never did like you…”
He pulled the sword free; Mesaana slumped to her knees, and Simon lifted his hand towards her forehead. His palm pulsed with black energy, which reflected in the Forsaken’s eyes. She opened her mouth to scream, but the only thing that escaped her lips was a wisp of shadow, the essence of her immortal power.
Simon tightened his fist and pulled on that power, channeling it into his own body, his own veins, pouring it into his soul. He felt her dark taint crawl underneath his skin like legions of fire ants. He felt a rush, like a splash of ice cold water on a hot summer day.
Mesaana gasped her final breath, and collapsed onto her side.
Simon closed his eyes and took a deep breath through his nose, feeling new power thunder through his body in rhythm with his heartbeat.
He kicked Mesaana’s body. He expected the corpse to roll aside like trash. Instead, her lifeless hand grabbed his ankle.
Hissing, she pounced and flipped Simon off his feet. He crashed and rolled across the dirt, rolling into a crouched stance as he lifted Uramasa. “How are you still moving?”
The Forsaken spread her arms and closed her eyes; supernatural wind whipped her hair across her body. “We Forsaken can be killed by the weapons we craft, that’s true.” She smirked and leaned her head back, drinking in unseen power. She enjoyed her own pain. “But that doesn’t mean we die easily.”
Mesaana floated into the air. Strands of sickly green energy twirled around her, wrapping her in a cocoon. Lines of energy continued to wrap around the cocoon, forming layers upon layers, until a giant being of paranormal energy took shape, like a hideous, winged monster. Its energy strands and tendrils looked like raw, exposed muscle, ebbing with sickly green energy.
The giant shifted its form with each subtle movement. At first, it appeared bird-like. Then a turn of its head would become more feline, or a shrug of its arms would become more simian. Humanoid to beast-like. Angelic to demonic.
Below, Teddy climbed to his feet. He looked up and narrowed his eyes at the monster, and its continuously shifting form. He lifted his sword from the ground and rallied his team. The other Rangers moved slowly, worn and beaten, Samurai and Titans alike.
“Come on, guys,” Teddy said. “We beat Serrator. We can beat her too…”
He morphed into his armor with a burst of red light.
Samurai Red looked over his shoulder towards Titan Red. “Get to your zords. We’ll cover you.”
Titan Red smirked beneath his helmet. “That’s the spirit. We won’t need long.”
The Overdrive Rangers hurried towards their zords.
Meanwhile, the Samurai Rangers placed their Origami onto the ground. “Samurai-zords, rise up!” They swiped their morphers over their Origami to paint their symbols, which glowed with power. The symbols splashed across the Origami, and the emblems grew giant. Each emblem unfolded to form a Samurai-zord.
The Rangers dropped into their individual cockpits.
Samurai Red swiped his morpher to write the kanji for “combine” above his control pedestal. “Origami assemble!” he shouted. “Samurai fusion!” The five Samurai-zords shifted shape and combined. “Samurai Megazord!” the Rangers shouted. “Shinkenou!”
Samurai Gold looked to the distance, where his zord awaited. “Claw Battlezord!”
The zord powered up, and Samurai Gold leapt into his cockpit.
Before the Rangers could attack, Mesaana spread her arms wide, summoning supernatural winds strong enough to nearly topple the zords. From the wind, wisps of green smoke formed the outlines of various monsters and creatures. These giant apparitions darted across the landscape like maddened beasts, hissing and growling.
Their numbers grew by the dozens; they dashed back and forth, clawing and slashing the Samurai Megazord and Claw Battlezord with massive bursts of spark.
The Samurai Megazord twirled its saber to parry, but couldn’t move fast enough to keep up with the blurring attacks by the paranormal army. The barrage shook the Samurai Rangers within their cockpit.
Below, The Titan Rangers dashed into their cockpits, attaching their trackers onto their control consoles.
The Red Ranger pressed the “robo” key on his tracker: “FUSION SYSTEM, ON!”
He pressed the numerical keys for the individual zords.
He swiped the tracker’s wheel, sparking a charge: “TITAN FORMATION!”
The five zords revved with power and combined to form a giant robo.
“DriveMax Megazord!” the Rangers called out. “Titan Robo!”
Titan Robo lifted its saber forward and tried to push through the swarm of ghostly giants. Explosions burst across the Megazord’s armor with each step. The robo’s servers whined and groaned with protest, sounding as if they could snap apart at any moment.
“That vortex is too strong!” Titan Blue shouted.
“We’ll just have to push harder,” Titan Red said.
He keyed the launch commands for the Overdrive auxiliary zords.
“Ultrazord fusion!” Titan Red shouted.
The Red Ranger pressed the “robo” key on his tracker: “FUSION SYSTEM, ON!”
The Red Ranger swiped his tracker’s wheel, sparking a charge: “ULTRA TITAN FORMATION!”
The robo leapt into the air, and the Driver Sonic attached to its back. A helmet and chest piece snapped into place, as the zords all combined.
“DriveMax Ultrazord!” the Rangers shouted. “Ultra Titan!”
The Ultrazord dove towards Mesaana to end the supernatural storm of wind and monsters at the source.
Mesaana grew wings of green fire and snapped them down, shooting upward through a comet of power. She smashed against the Ultrazord with a massive explosion that hurled the robo backward.
The Ultra Titan crashed against the earth and skid backward, kicking up dust and rock.
Mesaana flared with power and dove towards the fallen Ultrazord. But bursts of energy blasted her aside before she could strike. She flipped through midair, landed, and skidded backward. When she looked up, she faced the Samurai Rangers’ Bull Megazord.
Samurai Red had transferred into the cockpit. “Bull Megazord Blaster! Charge!”
The Bull Megazord armed its rifle and fired a roaring pulse of power. The Forsaken snapped her wings closed to block the blast, which exploded into bursts of flame and spark.
The Claw Battlezord took advantage of the distraction to recover and move in.
“Claw Battlezord! Claw Pincer Slash!” Samurai Gold shouted.
The Battlezord swung its pincers through streaks of golden energy, slashing Mesaana, blades sparking on impact.
Samurai Red pulled a Symbol Disc from his buckler- the Giga Disc. He snapped the Disc onto his Samurai Seal. “Origami assemble!” he shouted. “Giga Fusion!”
All the Samurai Rangers’ zords shifted and pulsed with energy. They combined to form a massive, heavily armored Gigazord.
“Samurai Gigazord!” the Rangers shouted. “Shinken Ha-ou!”
Too massive and heavy to walk, the Gigazord drove forward with the cart of the Bullzord beneath its feet.
Nearby, the Ultra Titan climbed back to its feet.
“Back online,” Titan Pink said.
“Barely,” Titan Yellow added.
The Blue Overdrive Ranger used his scanners to pinpoint Mesaana’s injury, where Simon had struck with Uramasa.
“There,” he said. “That’s her weak point.”
Mesaana swiped her hand and summoned waves of ghosts that swarmed towards the Ultrazord. But the robo shot into the air before the apparitions could attack.
“Ultrazord, sonic strike!” the Titan Rangers shouted.
The Ultrazord’s chest plate radiated with heat and fired an energy blast shaped like a bird. The fiery blast tore through Mesaana’s chest wound with massive bursts of light and spark.
Mesaana stumbled backward, shrieking as secondary explosions erupted through her body.
The Samurai Gigazord moved in, and the Samurai Rangers swiped their Symbol Discs.
“Gigazord Saber!” they shouted.
The Gigazord armed its saber, which pulsed with golden light.
“Aim for the same spot!” Samurai Red shouted.
Mesaana lunged and clawed towards the Gigazord. But the Gigazord slashed the villain aside with a massive burst of spark.
“Power it up,” Samurai Red shouted as he spun his Symbol Disc. “Everything we’ve got…”
The Rangers spun their discs.
The kanji symbols of all their zords burned onto the blade of the Gigazord Saber. The symbols glowed brightly and bled together into a powerful white light that splashed across the terrain.
The light nearly blinded Mesaana, burning away the sickly green energy of her paranormal power, as if flailing her skin.
The Rangers spun their Symbol Discs, pouring more power into the Gigazord’s blade.
“Gigazord Saber!” the Rangers shouted. “Slash of Inferno!”
The Gigazord Saber chopped through a streak of white light that cut the Forsaken in half. The wound burned with white light that dropped the villain to her knees.
She exploded with a final burst of white light that splashed across the earth and sky.
The Gigazord lowered its blade, standing triumphant. For the most part.
The giant’s remains scattered like dust. From the piles of that dust, Mesaana climbed free, her body naked and burnt, hemorrhaging black ichor and ooze. Her breathe wheezed with wet gurgles, like gagging on vomit.
The sight disgusted Simon.
He stepped over, grabbed her by the wet hair, and pulled back her head.
“Let’s try this one more time…”
The former ranger stabbed Uramasa through the Forsaken’s head, down to the hilt. He pulled the blade free, and she slumped to the ground. This time, her body sizzled and dissolved until only a stain of black mold and ichor remained.
Simon breathed a sigh of relief.
He looked at the demon sword in his hand, and tightened his grip. He could use this sword to kill the Forsaken and steal their powers. To become strong enough to defeat the Dark One.
The Samurai Rangers leapt from their zords, as did the Titan Rangers.
Samurai Red armed his sword, although he looked ready to pass out, with shoulders slumped and chest heaving with heavy breathing.
“Simon…” The Red Ranger said between breaths. “Drop the sword.”
Simon shook his head. “No, I think I’ll be taking this…Sorry, I know it comes with quite a bit of baggage for you. Your ex used this, didn’t he? Before you killed him?”
Samurai Red lunged to attack.
But Simon merely stepped backward and surrounded himself with shadow, teleporting away.
The Red Samurai Ranger collapsed to all fours. His armor powered down with a flash of red light, and he slumped to his side.
“Teddy!” Ryan powered down his armor and ran to his boyfriend’s side. “Teddy, what’s wrong?”
Teddy groaned and shook his head. “It’s…nothing. Simon…must have hurt me more than I thought.”
Ryan narrowed his eyes. “I’ll kill him. I swear…”
Teddy reached out and took his hand. “It’s fine…I’ll be fine…”
“It’s not fine,” Ryan said. “Look at you.”
Teddy sat up as he grasped his side, which throbbed as if on fire. “I just pushed myself too hard, I’ll be okay. I promise.”
But the truth was, Teddy had never felt such pain from an attack. Simon was stronger and more powerful than any opponent the Red Ranger had faced. And the wounds proved it.
Will scoffed, having powered down his armor along with the others. “If you two are done nursing each other, we have business to finish. You cost us the sword.”
Bradin narrowed his eyes. “What?”
“You heard me,” Will said. “We’d be in Corinith right now if-”
“Do you even know why that sword was important?” Bradin asked, stepping closer to Will. “No. You’re just messing with things you don’t understand. Again. I can see why that happens a lot, since you understand basically nothing.”
Kirsten walked over to them and placed a hand on Bradin’s shoulder. “Bradin,” she said gently. “It’s okay, let’s just…let them go.”
Will scoffed. “You let us go?”
“She’s right,” Rose said, stepping closer to the boys. “We have to get moving. We’ve already lost too much time.”
Shane walked over to Teddy and extended a hand towards his fellow red ranger. Teddy hesitated, but reached up, grabbed Shane’s hand, and pulled himself to his feet.
“Thanks…” Teddy said, his body still shaky.
Shane smiled and clasped Teddy’s shoulder. “I wish I could say that fight wasn’t fun.”
Teddy couldn’t help but smirk. “Not exactly the word I’d use, but okay…”
“Come with us to Corinith,” Shane said, suddenly and unexpectedly.
“What?!” Will and Bradin said at the same time.
Shane ignored them. “We don’t know what trouble we’ll find there. We could use some back-up.”
“What’s happening in Corinith?” Teddy asked, still weak, but the intensity of the pain subsiding.
“We don’t know,” Rose said. “We were responding to an alert when-”
“When you attacked us,” Will said, venom in his voice.
Teddy looked to Anthony, who shrugged.
“Sounds like a good as place as any to regroup,” Anthony said.
And if they managed to forge a bond with INET’s Ranger teams’ along the way? They could certainly use the help against the Forsaken, especially now that they lost Uramasa to Simon.
Teddy nodded. “We’ll do what we can to help.”
Bradin and Will each muttered beneath their breath.
Teddy and Shane shook his heads.
The Astral Plane
Tommy looked up upon Gao God, the Animus Megazord that fought alongside the Wild Task Force Gao Rangers what felt like a lifetime ago.
Slowly, he recognized the other shapes as well, as if they blurred into focus. The Galaxy Megazord. The MegaThundezord. The Shogun Megazord. The Ninja Megazord. And even the Falconzord and Tigerzord.
Gao God’s voice boomed with powerful, mental force. YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE, AND WE DO NOT BELONG WITH YOU. WE LEFT THE MORTAL PLANE TO RETURN TO THE POWER. TO SLUMBER. LEAVE US TO OUR REST. TO OUR PAIN.
“Pain?” Tommy asked, trying to ignore the fact that we was talking to the astral form of a freaking Megazord. “From the Dark One’s corruption?”
HIS TAINT COVERS ALL…
“That’s why I’m here,” Tommy said. “Look…I know you returned to the One Power. But we need you back. All of you. Your powers…we can use them to create new Seals to the Dark One’s prison. We can stop his corruption.”
NO, boomed another voice, a chorus of three- the Ninja Megazord, Shogun Megazord and Falconzord. ONLY THE FORGE COULD SHAPE OUR POWER BACK INTO EXISTANCE. AND THE FORGE IS LOST TO US. LOST TO DARKNESS.
Images flashed across Tommy’s mind like strobe lights. He saw the forge again, and saw the massive figure that rose from it. He staggered backward and nearly collapsed.
“I didn’t come here empty handed.” Tommy said. He sat and pulled several artifacts from behind his back. Ninja scrolls. The Heaven Star Thunder Gem of Daimugen. Totems from the Ginga Forest. A sliver of the broken Zeo Crystal. The key-shaped wand of Dappu. A crystal lens from the Megaship’s Mega Accelerator. And a stone from the Anamarium.
Lastly, he pulled a relic he kept hidden even from Ashley, and Kimberly before her. The powerless Dragon Coin of the Green Ranger. Years ago, after Tommy and the original Power Rangers defeated Bandora, the Power Coins and Dinozords returned to The Power. But the Dragon Coin and morpher, powerless, had remained.
“You, and our world, they’re still connected. Using these, I can hone in on that connection. Strengthen it. And bring you back.”
YOU WOULD STILL NEED THE FORGE, said the trio, also known as the Sanshinsho. The Three God Generals.
“Fine,” Tommy said. “Then I’ll free the forge.”
YOU STILL DO NOT UNDERSTAND…
Images flashed again, showing Tommy the corrupt entity in the molten rivers of the forge.
This time, Tommy recognized the entity.
The original Power Rangers’ Megazord.
The Titan and Samurai Rangers’ zords rode into Corinith. The entire city looked broken and deserted, with ruined buildings and rubble strewn across the streets. Every block looked still. Dead.
Titan Yellow shook her head. “We’re too late.”
The Pink Ranger activated a comm-channel. “I’ll open all frequencies. See if we can-”
Suddenly, the ground shook.
Through their viewports, the Rangers watched as seven massive shapes fell from the sky. The size of giants, they ebbed with shadow energy that crackled like static.
The Blue Overdrive Ranger opened his eyes wide beneath his helmet. “Guys…those are…those can’t be…”
The High Octane Megazord. ValveMax Megazord. Mach Megazord.
The Go-Buster Megazord. Buster-Hercules Megazord.
The Bio-Mech Megazord. And the Bio-Mech Battlezord.
Their eyes pulsed crimson. Each Megazord crackled with dark power, demon-possessed.
—To be continued…Chapter Three