Reality shattered, leaving shards of time and space in an endless void of chaos and madness. Within the void, the Ultimate Power Rangers gathered to learn the secrets of the End of All. Using Ranger Keys, they unlocked Time Shards to slowly unravel the history of existence’s downfall.
The Shards revealed this story.
The Dark One invaded Tommy’s mind, his very essence. The power felt crushing, like the pressure of the deepest oceans.
Tommy gritted his teeth. “Is that all you’ve got?”
YOU MISTAKE. THIS IS NOT AN ATTEMPT TO DESTROY YOU. THIS IS PREPARATION.
FOR THE TRUTH. LET ME SHOW YOU WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN…
The Dark One’s energy wrapped around Tommy like a cold wet blanket. From the darkness came mist. The mist peeled back to form a landscape, a cityscape, like Angel Grove but slightly off. The color looked muted.
People moved about the street like normal. Cars drove across the roads.
At an intersection, a minivan floored through a yellow light and nearly smashed a sedan. The sedan driver got out of his vehicle, pulled out his gun, and fired. Bullets shattered the windshield and killed the minivan driver.
A few people glanced with passing interest. Everyone went on about their way.
Tommy narrowed his eyes at the sight. “Seriously…?”
He ran towards the minivan. But the image shifted, starting to spin.
SEE HOW EASILY THEY KILL EACH OTHER? the Dark One’s voice rumbled like a storm. THEIR HEARTS ARE FILLED WITH MALICE, WITH NO REGARD FOR LIFE.
“This isn’t real,” Tommy said.
The image shifted to a church in Angel Grove North, the church where Simon’s father preached. But the building looked…different. Stained glass windows showed an armored figure, with a massive broadsword and fire for wings.
Tommy narrowed his eyes. “Is that…?”
The Dark One.
“Tommy!” a voice shouted from behind.
He looked to see Shannon, his first girlfriend, walk towards him with Kimberly and Ashley.
His face paled at the sight of her. “Shannon…”
She walked up to him and kissed him full on the mouth. Kim caressed his cheek and pulled him towards her, kissing him. Ashley did the same. Tommy barely had time to realize what was happening before it was over.
Their kisses felt cold. Hungry. Void of love. Just lust and insatiable hunger.
Tommy ignored him. “What are you doing?”
“Going to church.” Shannon wrapped her hand in his. “Today’s the big day.”
“Big…what?” Tommy still felt taken aback, despite all he’d seen and experienced as a Ranger. “This Church…”
“Careful,” Shannon said coldly, her grip tightening.
Screams sounded nearby. Ropes lined the church’s rooftop. The ropes snapped upward and tightened, hanging two dozen men and women.
The churchgoers applauded.
Kim brushed the hair from her forehead. “Did you watch 'The Apprentice’ last night?”
Tommy knitted his brow. “What the hell just happened?”
“'Hell’?” Kim arced an eyebrow. “That’s a weird word.”
Tommy shook his head and looked into the skies. “What is this?!” he shouted. “Whatever you’re trying to do, it won’t work. I’ve been through enough mind games to-”
MIND GAMES? DO YOU REALLY THINK THESE ARE MIND GAMES? THESE ARE THE REALITIES I CAN CREATE WITH MY POWER. ALL OF EXISTENCE IS NOTHING BUT CLAY TO BE MOLDED, REMADE IN MY IMAGE.
Images shifted, to entire city blocks of people on their knees, worshipping the blackened skies, the presence of the Dark One. They seemed devout but empty. Hopeless. Lost. Angry and heartbroken.
As one they slit their wrists and throats, bleeding out, without a moment’s hesitation.
DO YOU SEE? I AM THEIR GOD. I HAVE REMADE THEM. ALL THINGS ARE MINE. THEY WILL NOT KNOW THAT THEY HAVE LOST. THEY WILL KNOW NOTHING BUT ME.
Images shifted to plains filled with armies, demon-possessed men and women, monsters, and creatures of Nightmare. The Dark One’s Emissary kneeled at the lead of the army, which spanned the infinite landscape.
Tommy felt his spirit tighten as his will struggled, pointlessly, to resist. “This…can’t be happening…”
DENYING THE SUN DOES NOT MAKE IT SET. DENYING ME DOES NOT PREVENT MY VICTORY.
Tommy’s spirit gave in, collapsing to the weight of the Dark One’s power. The ranger breathed a sigh of defeat, mist of hopelessness and despair.
“That’s it, Tommy,” a voice whispered, the Tommy Oliver from Demon World Earth. The villain traced his fingers through his counterpart’s hair. “Just let him in…it’s so much easier.”
Tommy scoffed but didn’t move. “You again?”
“In the flesh,” the villain said. “I always knew it would be you and me at the end. Even before I knew you…”
Tommy said nothing. What could he say? The Dark One claimed victory. He covered the world, and all existence, with darkness. And Tommy didn’t know how to stop him. Even with the powers of Earth’s Champions restored, how could he get an all-encompassing force like the Dark One back in his prison to seal it?
Images shifted. Worlds spun into existence and out of control, spawned by the Dark Astral Plane only to die. Worlds of nightmares.
A tear streamed down Tommy’s cheek. “End this.”
END IT? THERE ARE NO ENDINGS. IT IS. I HAVE CREATED IT.
Tommy looked down and saw a barren landscape. Ashley sat with Tyler in her lap. He looked frail and sickly, all skin and bone. Ashley looked just as worn, with frazzled hair cut short. Their eyes looked down, aimlessly, without hope and full of shame.
Clouds of darkness surrounded them like fog.
“Shhh…” Ashley whispered, stroking Tyler’s hair. “I’ll get you away from here. Someplace…safe.”
She snapped his neck. Then slit her wrist.
Tommy’s soul screamed, shaking his entire essence.
AND SO I WIN.
The failure hit Tommy with more pain than any physical blow could inflict– the knowledge that what happened here was his fault. His family, friends, all turned to shadow because of him. Those he loved had become playthings for the darkness.
I WIN. AGAIN.
From the darkness stepped three shadows from Tommy’s past. Secmet, Warlord of Venom. Kayl, Warlord of Cruelty. Daius, Warlord of Illusion.
Tommy’s evil doppelganger laughed at the sight of them. “Look who’s here. Our first teammates…”
Tommy screamed and bashed his elbow against his doppelganger’s face. He flipped the villain to the ground and grasped his Master Morpher.
He looked past the Warlords, into the Darkness.
“You think I’m the same kid I was years ago? The same kid who fell for Bandora’s parlor tricks?” Tommy shouted, fighting down his terror and shame.
THE FIGHT IS OVER.
“It’s just getting started!”
He thrust his morpher. “Dragonzord!”
He morphed into the armor of the Green Dragon Ranger.
“Now…let me show you what’s going to happen.”
Darkness covered all creation. Within Corinith City, the villain Tranza emitted a dome of energy to ward off that corruption. His intentions were less than noble, though. He aimed to take advantage of the Dark One’s chaos to create a new dimension, worthy of his people, the Vyram.
Reality warped within the dome, causing random explosions and waves of distortion.
Tranza lifted his hands, siphoning the power and spitting it back out through bolts of lightning and bursts of static.
The Jet Force Rangers surrounded him.
“Tranza!” Aero Red shouted. “Whatever you’re doing, it ends now!”
The villain smiled with madness. “If you stop me, what then?” he asked. “The world has already fallen into darkness. You’ve lost, Rangers…even if you stop me, you have already lost.”
The villain intensified his energy storm, bashing Jet Force off their feet. From the side, Time Red, Time Blue and Time Pink charged to help. But Tranza blasted them, smashing their armor with bursts of spark that knocked them backward.
The Red Jet Force Ranger rolled to his feet and armed his sword.
Tranza lowered his hands, powered down his energy storm, and unsheathed his own blade.
Aero Red and Tranza lunged at one another and clashed swords, weapons clanging as they circled around one another.
The Red Ranger chopped hard with a high arc. But Tranza vanished and reappeared. The Red Ranger twisted his grip and slashed. But the villain vanished and reappeared again.
Tranza slashed Aero Red with bursts of spark, whipping him off his feet. The Red Ranger crashed and tumbled backward, rolling into a crouched position.
Tranza thrust his hand and fired a stream of red lightning, wrapping around the Red Ranger and pinning his arms to his side.
Nearby, the other four Jet Force Rangers regrouped.
Tranza thrust his hand. Crimson lightning shot from his palm, thrashing the Rangers with bursts of spark. They staggered backward; Tranza lifted his sword and charged.
He pounced and swung his sword, slashing through the Jet Force Rangers one-by-one. They swung their blades, trying to block and parry, but Tranza moved faster, striking them down.
The Black Ranger rolled to his feet and leapt through the air to attack. He armed his fist weapon. “Wing Gauntlet!”
He punched towards the villain. But Tranza caught the punch and threw the Ranger through the air.
Aero Blue and Aero White flipped towards the villain, leapt through the air, and angled their descent towards Tranza. They armed their swords and chopped. But Tranza vanished; the two Rangers landed and staggered off balance.
Tranza reappeared and chopped his sword to the ground. Sparks erupted beneath the White and Blue Rangers, knocking them off their feet.
Yellow Owl leapt through the air and tackled Tranza, lifting the villain and throwing him aside. Tranza flipped through the air, bounced off a building, and shot towards the Yellow Ranger with a flying side-kick. The kick bashed the Yellow Ranger off his feet.
Meanwhile, Time Red somersaulted through the air and cut Aero Red free from his energy bindings.
Time Blue and Time Pink moved in on Tranza to keep him back.
“Vol Sniper!” Time Pink armed her massive blaster and fired bursts of pink energy.
The blasts smashed Tranza with bursts of spark, as Time Blue moved in to attack.
The Blue Ranger lept into the air and armed his Vector Sabers.
He swung through streaks of blue energy, slashing Tranza with bursts of spark.
The villain staggered backward but stayed on his feet. He hacked the Blue Ranger to the ground with a burst of spark, twisted his grip, and slashed Time Pink with a burst of spark that whipped her backward.
Time Red and Aero Red charged with their blades held forward. They circled Tranza, weapons whirling and sparking against one another.
The villain hopped backward to gain distance, thrust his hand, and fired a pulse of energy that smashed the Red Rangers with bursts of spark.
The Digi Rangers lead the RPM, Bio-Beast and Overdrive teams into the Enetron Matrix. They moved through a winding corridor that spiraled upward inside the core of the matrix.
“Be careful,” Digi Red said to the others. “Last time we were in here, those cyber demons tossed us out without even trying.”
“That’s because you suck,” Red Falcon said.
Digi Blue grabbed Red Falcon’s arm. “Dude, what’s your problem?”
Suddenly, the Matrix lurched, sending the Rangers stumbling. The walls and floors tore apart; the Rangers fell downward, flailing through the air as distortion energy rippled around them.
From above, the villain Enter dove towards the heroes. His body rippled and morphed into the maroon armor of Dark Buster.
“Volcanic Attack!” His body flared with the fiery image of the cheetah, which exploded outward.
Explosions scattered the Rangers with bursts of spark, sending them flying across the cybernetic void in the center of the Matrix.
Outside, the DriveMax Megazord armed its saber and hacked the Samurai Megazord off its feet. Shinkenou crashed and skid backward, smashing through smaller buildings.
The Mach Megazord hovered in midair and fired volleys of lasers, missiles, and gatling blasts. Shinkenou climbed to its feet just in time to take the full impact of the attack.
The Samurai Rangers shook within their cockpit.
“This is getting ridiculous,” Samurai Green muttered. “We can’t keep this up!”
“What’re we supposed to do?” Samurai Blue asked. “Give up?”
Samurai Red shook his head. “We need to-”
The ground shook with a thundering boom. The Rangers expected another barrage of explosions, but instead, they saw something that gave them a glimmer of hope.
The Victory Trailer, Artillatron, rolled into Corinith.
The Phantom Ranger, his powers restored, stood within the cockpit.
He lifted his communicator to his faceplate. “Rangers…you must stop the cause of possession at its source. The Enetron Matrix.”
The Trailer’s holding bays opened, revealing the Turbozords of the fallen Turbo Rangers.
“I’ll give you the cover you need,” Phantom Ranger said, controlling the Turbozords by remote.
The Turbozords revved up and throttled from the trailer. The zords, more mystic than mechanical, swerved across the streets and combined, rising up to form the Turbo Megazord known as RV Robo.
“Turbo Megazord,” Phantom Ranger commanded. “Spin-out.”
The Megazord armed its saber and charged forward, spinning like a tornado. The attack slashed past the possessed Megazords, blade sparking on impact.
The Mach Megazord dashed into the air and opened fire, launching a barrage of blasts and missiles. The Turbo Megazord dashed aside, blasts exploding around the Robo with bursts of spark and fire.
The High Octane Megazord dashed in from the side, swinging its blade upward, sashing the RV Robo with bursts of spark. The Turbo Megazord staggered, and the RPM Megazord pressed forward.
The RPM Robo performed its Full Throttle Slash, energizing its saber and chopping through a streak of energy, slashing the Turbo Megazord with massive bursts of spark.
The Turbo Megazord crashed onto its back and skid backward, tearing through the streets.
The Red Lightspeed Rescue Ranger armed his V-Lancer and swung through a series of blows, striking Riot Troopers with bursts of spark, whipping them off their feet. But the demon-possessed Riders kept coming.
Rescue Red opened a commline to Dr. K. “You might want to get out of here. I don’t know how long I can keep this up.”
The Ranger hacked a Rider to the ground, swung upward, and slashed a second Trooper off his feet.
A Riot Trooper kicked the Red Ranger’s head, sending him staggering backward. Rescue Red twirled his staff into a defensive stance. But a Riot Trooper pressed forward and slashed him with a burst of spark, whipping him backward.
Footsteps sounded from the other end of the corridor.
“Out of practice, Max?” a voice asked.
Four figures bashed the Riot Troopers from behind, slashing and hacking the possessed Riders to the floor.
Rescue Red climbed to his feet, and when he looked up, he saw them. His teammates. His family.
“Guys!” Rescue Red shouted with excitement. “I could freaking kiss you.”
“Yeah, please don’t.” Rescue Yellow swung his Rescue Baton, slashing a duo of Riders to the floor.
The five Rangers regrouped, together again for the first time in years.
“So…” Rescue Blue said. “This all feels familiar, am I right?”
Suddenly, the floor shook with a colossal boom from above. The ceiling collapsed, raining concrete and debris down upon the team.
The Army of the True Cross battled the Specters of the Dark One– technically. The battle looked more like a massacre. The grunts fired bolts and beams of energy that ripped through exorcists like rag dolls.
Exorcists countered with spells flaring, guns blazing and swords slashing. But their attacks accomplished little to nothing.
Shura moved alongside her troops, slashing past Specters that tried to overwhelm her.
“Dabo!” She swung her sword, firing blades of violet energy that stabbed through Specters with bursts of spark.
A Specter fired bursts of dark power, splashing against Shura and hurling her backward, breaking her bones and singing her skin. She crashed and skid across the streets, snapping her neck, a meaningless death.
“Shura!” Rick yelled from nearby. A exorcist, and brother of the Jungle Fury Wolf Ranger, Rick wielded a pair of guns and opened fire.
His blasts sparked against Specters but caused no damage.
Rick’s students, the Shaded named Kyle, Rika and Enzo, moved in next to him.
Enzo gripped his talisman and shouted a spell. “Homage to the all-pervading Vajras, destroy!”
A bolt of Holy lightning shot from the skies and exploded, scattering several Specters. The attack gave the other students room to advance.
Kyle lunged forward. Blood surged through his veins, his muscles tightening beneath skin shaded the palest of white. He punched a Specter’s chest and helmet, knuckles pommeling armor.
The Specter swung the back of his fist, swatting the Shaded aside.
Rika thrust her palms. “Kitsune!”
She fired bolts of electricity shaped like foxes. The blasts splashed harmlessly across the lead Specter.
Enzo cursed beneath his breath. “This isn’t working! These things are way outside our power class!”
“Just keep fighting!” Kyle said as he climbed to his feet. “It’s the end of the world, this isn’t the time to hold back. There’s no giving up!”
Long, a Forsaken, walked through the ruins of Demon City while looking upward. “Dark One!…Dark One…!”
“What does this mean…” Long muttered, his voice cracking with insanity. “Why won’t you answer…I didn’t mean to forsake you, I only wanted to create the joy of destruction…”
“Long!” a voice shouted from the shadows.
Jarrod leapt at the Forsaken with a flying sidekick.
Long narrowed his eyes. An invisible burst of energy swatted Jarrod from the air.
Camille blurred into sight and stabbed her sai towards Long’s throat. He grabbed her by the wrist and flipped her off her feet.
“Foolish children,” Long muttered. “It’s too late for you to matter now. Too late for anything. The Dark One…is here.”
Jarrod tightened his fists. “Rinki Gai Sou.”
Black-and-gold energy flared like fire and wrapped around him, morphing him into the Black Lion.
Camille stepped beside him. She flared with jade energy, morphing into Green Chameleon.
Black Lion swung a punch that ebbed with energy. “Fist of the Beast King!”
Green Chameleon thrust her fist. “Snaring Strike Fist!”
Black Lion fired a bolt of black-and-gold energy shaped like the head of a lion, and Green Chameleon fired a bolt of twirling jade energy.
Long shifted into his monster form and swatted the blasts aside. The villain thrust his hand, firing a barrage of golden energy bursts from his palm. The blasts smashed the two heroes with bursts of spark, hurling them backward.
Black Lion crashed and rolled to his feet, just in time to block a flurry of punches and kicks from Long.
A voice shouted from nearby. “Stop!”
The voice belonged to Arthur Angel, Paladin of the True Cross and holder of the Kamen Rider Cross powers.
“All of you reek of evil!” Arthur shouted. “You will be purified by my blade, as I, Arthur Angel, Paladin of the True Cross, keeper of-”
Long fired an energy burst that blasted through the paladin’s head, killing him instantly.
“No,” Long muttered. “No more. It’s all ending. It’s all over.”
The Hurricane Power Rangers had gathered in Azmodai’s mansion along with the Violet Wolf Jungle Fury Ranger, White Rhino Jungle Fury Ranger, Garo and his fellow Hellfire Knights.
They found Graendal waiting, not Azmodai. And Graendal sprang her trap.
The floor exploded from below. Dozens of White Jokers surged from the opening, pouring into the mansion and attacking everything that moved, Ranger and demon alike.
Riders followed from behind. Kamen Rider Blade, Kamen Rider Garren, Kamen Rider Chalice, Kamen Rider Leangle, and Kamen Rider Black RX. They kicked and punched through the White Jokers, trying to hold the villains back. They failed.
Aginor– a Forsaken, and creator of the White Jokers– moved among his pets. He smiled at the sight of their power and ferocity.
Kamen Rider Chalice slashed past two Jokers and leapt at Aginor. The Rider angled his descent and chopped towards the Forsaken’s head. But a forearm blocked the blow and kicked Chalice backward. Serrator– barely living– had stepped protectively in front of his master.
Kamen Rider Chalice dashed forward and slashed upward. Serrator dodged. Chalice twisted his grip and slashed towards Aginor. But Serrator pushed his master aside.
Aginor laughed. “He’s quite loyal.”
“You made him that way,” Chalice said, his voice cold.
The Rider reached to his belt, pulled out the Seven of Hearts, and swiped the card through his bow: “BIO”
He thrust the weapon and fired a vine, which lashed around Aginor. He snapped the Forsaken off his feet, swung him around, and bashed him into Serrator.
Kamen Rider Blade found himself surrounded by Aginor’s five generals, the Greed: Ankh, Kazari, Uva, Gamel, Mezool, Giru. They pommeled him with punches, kicks, and energy blasts, but he fought back with swings of his sword, slashing the villains with bursts of spark.
Kamen Rider Chalice stepped back. He swiped the King of Hearts card through his buckler, triggering the command: “EVOLUTION”
His 13 cards shot from his belt, formed a straight line in mid-air, and glowed with power. One-by-one, the cards shot at Chalice and splashed across his armor, powering him up into Wid Mode.
He pounced and kicked Aginor upside the head.
Serrator moved in from behind.
Chalice spun and swung his blades, slashing Serrator with bursts of spark.
The Rider hopped backward and combined his blades into a bow. He slid his Wild Card through the weapon: “WILD”
Chalice triggered a massive burst of energy that stabbed towards Aginor. But Serrator slapped the blast aside.
Meanwhile, several White Jokers stepped back. They pulled cards from their belts and slid the cards through their belt bucklers, which spoke the commands:
Other White Jokers did the same, swiping cards through their belts, which spoke the commands:
“DORA TURBAN SHELL”
“DORA STAG BEETLE”
“BARBED WIRE ORG”
One-by-one, the White Jokers transformed. Dozens of them ebbed with energy and took the form of monsters, demons, aliens and creatures from the champions’ past.
Graendal leaned back and watched the carnage unfold through the massive ballroom. She smiled and twirled her fingers, using her powers to reach out and compel one of the Rangers: Navy Thunder.
Images danced through Navy Thunder’s mind. The White Jokers started to blur. He heard a laugh. He heard himself, his subconscious.
“You deserve this,” the voice whispered.
The hallucinations intensified. He saw White Jokers impale Rachel and slash Hunter to pieces.
“No!” Navy Thunder shouted.
He slashed past two White Jokers and kneeled onto the ground, surrounded by mist. In his mind, he saw an image of Hunter and Rachel, dead. He cradled Rachel’s body.
“No, no, no…” he muttered. “Come on, get up, don’t do this to me…”
His subconscious scoffed. “This is what happens when you anchor your sanity to other people…”
Hurricane Blue leaned next to Navy Thunder. “Blake…Blake! Snap out of it. Whatever you’re seeing, it’s not real…”
“It is!” He pushed her aside and swung his staff, slashing her to the ground.
Crimson Thunder moved towards his brother to hold him back. But the Navy Thunder Ranger hurled a bolt of lightning that bashed the Crimson Ranger backward.
Hurricane Green dashed at Graendal. “Get out of his head!”
She lifted her hand. The Green Ranger dropped to his knees. Smiling, the Forsaken walked towards him.
“Why do you fight so hard when you have already lost?” she asked, her voice like a purr. “I can feel the Dark One’s power…the True Power…his strength is mine.”
A few miles north, in a blackened landscape covered with mist and smog, Azmodai stood on a hill of jagged rock. The First Demon looked upward.
“Do you see me now, father?!” Azmodai shouted into the skies. “I have delivered to you this entire world, this entire existence! You are free by my design!”
Silence. Only black clouds and darkness answered.
“Nothing?! I am so far beneath you, that you would forsake me? Even as I bring you your triumph?!”
“Answer me, Dark One!” he shouted, trembling with rage. “Answer me!”
“This is so ironic,” a voice said from behind. Simon Kaden stepped from the shadows. “You…the psychopath who made dozens of demon children. That man…you…have daddy issues?”
Azmodai regained his composure and smiled, with arrogance. “Dearest Simon. I see that you-”
“Shut up,” Simon said, his hands rolled into fists. “Just shut up.”
“Now, now, control that temper of yours, boy,” Azmodai said mockingly. “That’s not how foster mommy and foster daddy raised you, is it?”
Simon said nothing, but his glare spoke volumes.
Azmodai smirked. “Why come after me, child? Revenge? For giving you life?”
“This…all of this…is your fault.”
Azmodai glanced upward while leaning back. “And weren’t you going to save us all by slaying the mighty Dark One? Then using his power to reshape reality?”
Simon shook his head. “I…saw the Ultimate Secret. Killing the Dark One…it wouldn’t work. It’s all…everything is…pointless.”
“Ah, the Final Prophecy. The Ultimate Secret and its madness. I suppose that explains why you look so disheveled.”
Simon said nothing.
“Tell me, son. What is your grand plan now?” Simon said nothing. And Azmodai laughed. “You don’t know, do you? You’re lost. So you come crawling back to daddy dearest.”
Simon lunged forward. “Whirling Knuckle!”
He swung a punch that twirled with black wind energy.
The Ginga Forrest
Tyler stayed low in the bushes. He recognized the darkness that covered the forest like smog.
“The Shadow Line…” he whispered.
He closed his eyes and reached into the power within the core of his very essence. The One Power. And the Power Cosmic. The energy that turned the Wheel of Time, and the fire of creation itself.
He knew what he needed to do. He needed to reunite the Rangers of his imagination. The Rail Rangers.
—To be continued…Chapter 12