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.
“Snake Bite Strike!”
“Web of Deception!”
“Black Lightning Flash!”
The Dark Warlords attacked, lashing out with bolts of energy and power. Secmet fired strands of red energy shaped like snakes. Kayl ignited bursts of black lightning. And Dayus hurled spears that glowed with violet energy and poison.
The Green Dragon Ranger dodged with ease. “Been there, done that, you freaks.”
Green Ranger unsheathed his Dragon Dagger and struck back, slashing the Warlords with bursts of spark.
He hopped backward and slashed through a streak of green energy, firing a blade of jade power that crashed through the villains, hurling them backward.
The Green Ranger grabbed his Master Morpher, thrust it forward, and flipped it open.
Energy flashed around him as he morphed into the Red Dragon Ranger.
He lunged forward and punched his evil doppelganger in the face.
“This is getting too easy,” he said into the darkness, to the Dark One himself. “Aren’t you supposed to be stronger than this?”
The Red Ranger summoned his golden-hilted sword, the Ryuuseiken, with a flash of red light. He stabbed the blade into the ground with a burst of red energy. He channeled The Power, as many strands as he could, and used that energy to craft. To create.
His armor flared with red light that pierced through the darkness. “Let me show you a world where there’s no Dark One…” he said. “A world where you’re back in your cage…”
Tommy stepped forward as a roadway formed itself from threads of light in front of him. His foot fell on a bright, clean sidewalk as he passed from nothingness to majesty.
He looked out upon his city, his home. Angel Grove.
Skyscrapers shined with neatly polished glass, reflecting the sunlight from the blue skies above. The air smelled fresh.
Couples held hands as they walked through the park, vibrant with green trees and flowers. Women and children laughed as they mulled about storefronts.
No Rangers. No monsters. Just peace. A final peace.
No…not final yet, he thought. This isn’t real yet. He’d built this reality out of threads of what could be, of mirrors of the world as it now played out. It wasn’t set.
For the first time since entering this vision of his own design, his confidence shook. How can I…
The vision quivered, pavement beneath his feet buzzing, buildings shaking and wavering.
People stopped in place, motionless, sound dying.
Down an alley, he saw a darkness appear like a pinprick that expanded, engulfing everything near it, sucking them in. It grew to the size of a building, slowly expanding.
YOUR DREAM IS WEAK.
Tommy asserted his will, and the quivering stopped.
People who had frozen in place resumed walking, and the comfortable chatter sprang up again. Soft wind blew down the streets, rustling banners proclaiming celebration and festivity.
“I’ll make it happen,” Tommy said. “This…all this…is your failure. Happiness. Growth. Love…”
THESE PEOPLE ARE MINE NOW. I WILL TAKE THEM.
“You’re darkness,” Tommy said. “Darkness can’t push back light. Darkness only exists when light fails. When it flees. I won’t fail. I won’t flee. You can’t win as long as I’m here.”
WE SHALL SEE.
Tommy walked into a school, Angel Grove North Community High School, his old school…and Simon’s old school.
YOUR PARADISE IS FLAWED, ADVERSARY.
Darkness hung in a mirror to Tommy’s right. It reflected not the school hallway, but instead, the Dark One’s presence.
YOU THINK YOU CAN ELIMINATE SUFFERING? EVEN IF YOU WIN, YOU WILL NOT. ON THOSE PERFECT STREETS, MEN ARE STILL MURDERED AT NIGHT. CHILDREN GO HUNGRY DESPITE THE EFFORTS OF YOUR MINIONS. THE WEALTHY EXPLOIT AND CORRUPT; THEY MERELY DO SO QUIETLY.
“It’s better,” Tommy said. “It’s good…”
IT IS NOT ENOUGH, AND WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH. YOUR DREAM IS FLAWED. YOUR DREAM IS A LIE. I AM THE ONLY HONESTY YOUR WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN.
The Dark One attacked him.
A burst of wind so terrible, it threatened to rip Tommy’s skin from his bones. He stood tall, eyes narrowed toward the nothing, crossing his arms behind his back. The attack ripped away the vision– the beautiful city, the laughing people, the monument to learning and peace. The Dark One consumed it, and once again, it became mere possibility.
Darkness spread through Corinth like dense fog, bleeding through Tranza’s dimensional barriers.
The Red Jet Force Ranger leapt through the air and chopped his sword at the villain. But Darkness wrapped around the Ranger, filling him with hopelessness and loss. He crashed and rolled onto his side, dropping his blade.
Through the fog he saw visions of Marie, his fiancé, who he lost during the Vyram’s first assault on Earth years ago.
“No…” he whispered.
The Black Jet Force Ranger charged at Tranza from behind. But Kamen Rider Kaixa and Kamen Rider Delta blocked his path.
Aero Black scoffed with disbelief. “Really?”
Delta and Kaixa fired their blasters.
The attacks bashed the Black Ranger with massive bursts of spark, hurling him backward. He crashed and skid across the broken streets. Darkness enveloped him as he rolled into a crouched stance. Through the fog, he saw Kirsten in the arms of Christopher.
The illusion shimmered. The image of Kirsten looked at Vince, knitting her brow with disbelief.
“Did you think I would ever really love you?” the illusion of Kirsten asked, snuggling closer to Christopher. “You’re broken. Damaged…”
Darkness wrapped around Time Pink.
“Jenn!” Tim Red shouted.
He ran towards her, but darkness blocked his view and bled beneath his armor. The Red Ranger collapsed to his knees.
Three ghostly images leaned down next to him: Eric, Damien, and Sion.
“You let us die…” the image of Eric, Time Fire said. “You destroyed the future…”
The illusion grabbed Time Red’s throat.
Darkness bled beneath the streets. The fog ebbed through rubble, flowing into the collapsed cavern that had trapped the Lightspeed Rangers. Fallen beams and chunks of concrete pinned the Rangers down, and they couldn’t move.
Images danced through the fog, and the images spoke.
“You are orphans. All of you, unwanted…”
Within the Enetron Matrix, the RPM, Digi, Overdrive and Bio-Beast teams fell through an endless vortex that crackled with stands of digital energy and lightning.
Dark Buster dove through the vortex towards the falling Rangers.
The villain grabbed Digi Red by the helmet. They plummeted downward, deeper into crackling darkness.
“What makes you so special?” Dark Buster asked. “You…your friends…you mortals…what makes a soul a soul?”
The Red Digi Ranger screamed as he felt the pressure build within his helmet. Dark Buster grabbed tighter, and tighter.
“Let’s find out.” Dark Buster hissed.
The villain smashed the Red Ranger’s head with a massive burst of energy that shattered his armor, killing him. Digi Red’s body tore apart and dissolved into nothingness.
“NO!” Digi Blue shouted.
He slapped his bracer, which spoke the command: “POWERED CUSTOM – IT’S MORPHIN’ TIME!”
He morphed into his powered-up custom armor and dove towards Dark Buster.
“Gorilla punch!” The Blue Ranger swung an energized punch.
But Dark Buster grabbed the punch and kicked Digi Blue upside the head.
Digi Yellow twirled downward to assist. She slapped her bracer: “POWERED CUSTOM – IT’S MORPHIN’ TIME!”
She morphed into her powered-up custom armor.
“Rapid Kick!” The Yellow Ranger pulsed with power and shot towards Dark Buster with a flying sidekick.
Dark Buster grabbed and snapped her leg, punched her helmet, and punched through her chest with a burst of spark, killing her.
The villain laughed, filled with more power than ever, power he seemed to draw from the very darkness that seeped through the digital data around him.
The Rangers and Dark Buster dashed back and forth throughout their descent, exchanging blows and bursts of energy.
The Red Bio Beast Ranger dove at Dark Buster from behind. The Red Ranger stabbed his blade into the villain’s back armor and held tight.
The Red Overdrive Ranger dove at Dark Buster from the front. Titan Red armed his Drive Lancer and swung downward, slashing the villain with a burst of spark.
The six Samurai Rangers leapt from their Megazord and charged towards the Enetron Matrix. Above, the Phantom Ranger and Turbo Megazord battled the robos possessed by demons.
Samurai Green cursed beneath is breath. “What’s the definition of insanity again? Oh yeah, exactly what we’re doing.”
They stopped at the foot of the matrix, which ebbed with crimson power and strands of digital code. Darkness flowed throughout the entire city, blanketing the streets with fog.
“Now what?” Samurai Gold asked.
The Red Ranger flipped open his morpher. “Our Symbol Power. If this thing is really possessed…we’re going to exorcise it.”
Slowly, Kamen Rider Kabuto climbed to his feet. Fatigue burned through his muscles and joints, which felt brittle and about to break.
He had never felt such pain. He tried to remember a saying of his grandmother’s, something to motivate him, but nothing came to mind.
Xanathor kicked him upside the head; he flipped backward and crashed onto his shoulder, sending needles of pain stabbing through his upper body.
“You were made with my power…” Xanathor growled. “But you are nothing more than the bug mirrored on your armor.”
The villain lifted his foot and stomped towards the fallen Rider.
With a sudden burst of strength, Kabuto caught the villain’s foot and pushed, sending him staggering backward.
The Rider climbed to his feet, crouched low, as he could barely stand.
“My power is my own,” he said in his calm, casual voice, even though his insides screamed with agony. He lifted his hand towards the sky. “I am the one who will walk the path of heaven, to rule over all: Tendou Souji.”
Golden light flashed overhead, shot downward, and landed in the Rider’s palm. The light formed an enhanced version of the Kabuto Zector called the Hyper Zector.
Kabuto snapped the Hyper Zector onto his belt.
“Hyper Cast Off.”
He flipped the zector’s switch; it spoke the command: “HYPER CAST OFF” His armor flared with energy and powered up; the zector spoke the command: “CHANGE HYPER BEETLE”
He morphed into his Hyper Form.
Xanathor chopped his blade. Kabuto blocked with his forearm and side-kicked the villain, knocking him several steps backward.
Kabuto pressed ahead with a flying knee strike, bashing the villain upside the head. The Rider landed and launched a flurry of punches, pommeling the villain’s chest armor.
DECA Shadow grabbed DECA Red by the arm.
“Get up, Nat,” he said as he helped the Red Ranger to his feet. “This fight isn’t over.”
Kabuto stepped back and placed a hand over his buckler.
“Hyper Kick.” He activated his zector, which spoke the command: “MAXIMUM RIDER POWER – HYPER KICK”
He spun, his kick crackling with lightning. The blow struck Xanathor’s head, sending the villain staggering backward.
Kamen Rider Kabuto pressed forward with a flurry of punches, bashing the villain’s armor, each blow forcing Xanathor back a step.
Xanathor caught Kabuto’s wrist. “You want to walk the path of heaven, you insect? By all means…do so.”
Xanathor tore the horn from Kabuto’s helmet.
Brajira floated in midair. The Dark Angel extended his arms, channeling power from the three giant wedges in Demon City.
The demon smiled. “Now…to elevate my New Creation!”
Suddenly, a voice shouted: “Mane of Flame!”
A wave of fire washed through the skies, swatting Brajira from the air.
The villain crashed and skid across the war-torn streets. When he looked up, he saw his attackers: The Galaxy Rangers, along with the Seraph Rangers.
Galaxy Red’s palms still crackled with flame.
Brajira narrowed his eyes at the sight of the Galaxy team. “You should have stayed in your forest.”
He thrust his hand with a burst of crimson lightning. The Rangers scattered as the blast exploded between them.
Seraph Red and Galaxy Red leapt towards their opponent with blades held high. They landed with powerful chops. But Brajira snapped his wings, blocking their blows.
Galaxy Red hopped backward and energized his sword.
“Flame Slash!” He swung through a streak of red energy, firing a wave of power that splashed against Brajira with bursts of spark.
The other four Galaxy Rangers moved in one-by-one, their blades glowing with their elemental powers.
They swung their blades through streaks of power, slashing Brajira with massive bursts of spark. Each blow sent the villain staggering backward.
The Seraph Rangers slid their weapon cards into their morphers, which spoke: “SUMMON BATTLE GEAR”
They armed their weapons and attacked, swarming around Brajira with all their power and strength, slashing him with bursts of spark, battering his body.
The villain stepped back, lifted his sword, and switched from defense to offense. He slashed Seraph Blue to the ground and stomped his chest.
Seraph Red slashed towards Brajira’s head. But the villain blocked and hacked the Red Ranger aside.
The Red Ranger rolled across the ground. Slowly, he climbed to his feet as his teammates regrouped around him.
“Weapons,” he said. “Let’s bring 'em together.”
The Rangers combined their weapons into a massive bazooka.
“Seraph Blaster!” They slid their Gosei Dynamic cards onto the weapon, powering it up. “Dynamic Victory Charge!”
They fired a burst of golden energy shaped like their team emblem.
Brajira extended his wings and fired a wide energy beam of his own, splashing against the Rangers’ attack.
The impact exploded with feedback, sending tendrils of power and shockwaves smashing the Rangers off their feet.
Seraph Red used his sword for balance and climbed to his feet.
Brajira stalked towards the Ranger.
“You don’t even know what you fight for…” the villain practically hissed. “Your world is already gone. Your entire universe. The multiverse. All of creation…enveloped in shadow. Lost. There’s no saving it. There’s only the hope of my New Creation.”
“We…We never surrender,” Seraph Red said.
The Rangers pulled out their blasters and fired lances of energy, blasting the Dark Angel with bursts of spark.
Seraph Red leapt towards Brajira and somersaulted through the air. Golden wings flared from his back, and his sword ebbed with red power.
He chopped through a streak of energy.
Brajira lifted his word to block the blow.
But the Red Ranger’s blade chopped through the villain’s sword, shattering it. The Red Dynamic slashed through the middle of Brajira, explosions ripping through the Dark Angel’s body.
Brajira collapsed to his knees and toppled to his side, secondary explosions sparking through is body.
Before the Rangers could make another move, a limp form flew through the air and landed in the center of the battleground. They recognized the limp form immediately: Kamen Rider Kabuto, his horn torn from his helmet, smoke sizzling from his armor plating.
Xanathor stalked onto the scene.
Simon kneed Azmodai upside the head. The villain staggered backward but managed to grab Simon by the ankle and throw him overhead. The former ranger flipped through the air and landed on his feet.
Azmodai smiled mockingly. “Quite the acrobat.”
“I’m going to kill you.”
“Yes, do try.”
Simon lunged with a flurry of kicks Azmodai blocked.
“You know…” Azmodai said as he sidestepped. “I never was much for this hand-to-hand nonsense. And yet…I feel invigorated by it. Perhaps it’s the energy of the Dark One, filling me with-”
Simon kneed Azmodai’s gut and elbowed his face.
“I told you to shut up!” Simon shouted with a jump-kick upside Azmodai’s head.
Azmodai crashed and rolled across the ground, laughing as he pushed himself to his feet. “Such raw talent, so wasted on the likes of you.” He laughed again and rolled his shoulders. “It’s quite funny, actually. You dreamed of being a hero, of excitement and adventure…but where have those dreams gotten you? Being a hero isn’t about fame and fun. It’s about facing death. Real death. Sometimes it’s pointless…sometimes people die without meaning…but in the end. Well…in the end, everything dies, doesn’t it? So what’s the point.”
Simon placed his left hand over his face. Dark energy ebbed from his palm and washed over his body. A white, bone-like mask formed, like the face of a lion, along with a third eye. A black, sleeveless tunic of leather wrapped around his body; two straps of black leather wrapped around his upper arms, his skin appearing chalk-white. Straps of black, with silver daggers, wrapped around his thighs.
He wore the demon sword Uramasa strapped to his back. The silver hilt of the Dark Man’s sword, Kuroryuuken, hung from the side of his belt. And his black katana appeared in his hand.
Azmodai smirked. “Is that what you do when faced with the truth? Hide?”
Simon lifted his sword. “You ruined my life from the moment I was born.”
The villain nodded with pride. “Quite true.”
Simon lunged and slashed his blade.
Azmodai pulsed with dark flame and morphed into the Soul Fire Armor of Kiba the Dark Knight.
The villain spun his two-handed axe, parried Simon’s sword, and slashed his chest with a burst of spark, whipping him backward.
“Azmodai!” a voice shouted from behind.
Azmodai turned to see Samuel run to the scene, flanked by R.J. and Dom.
Samuel wasted no time. He unsheathed his sword and circled the blade above his head.
A loop of golden energy slid over his body and morphed him into the armor of the Golden Knight Garo.
R.J. and Dom armed their morphers. “Jungle Beast! Spirit, unleash!”
Their auras flashed around them as they morphed into the Violet Wolf Ranger and White Rhino Ranger.
Garo tackled Azmodai. The impact hurled them through the air with the speed of a missile, as they twisted back and forth, trying to wrestle each other into submission.
Azmodai managed to grab his axe. He chopped, bashing the Golden Knight downward.
Garo crashed against the ground and skid across the dirt like an out-of-control meteor, tearing through trees and bashing through stone.
Azmodai, his armor darker than midnight, aimed his descent towards Garo.
But Simon dashed through the air with his black katana.
“Getsuga Tensho!” He slashed through a streak of power, firing a blade of black energy tinted with red.
The blast struck Azmodai with bursts of spark, hurling him backward. The villain crashed and skid through the dark woods.
Slowly, Azmodai climbed to his feet. He looked up as Violet Wolf and White Rhino charged towards him.
The Violet Wolf Ranger flipped a switch on his wrist morpher and channeled his ShiGeki into the weapon. “Geki Waza! Don Don Ken!”
The White Rhino Ranger armed his fist weapon. “Nen Nen Dan, Midareuchi!”
The Violet Wolf Ranger fired a bolt of violet energy that crackled like flame. And the White Rhino Ranger fired a barrage of orange energy bursts.
The attacks blasted Azmodai with bursts of spark. But he charged through the explosions with his axe held high.
Azmodai leapt through the air and landed with a chop, slashing White Rhino with bursts of spark.
“This is a family matter,” Azmodai said, his voice muffled through his black armor. “You do not belong.”
Azmodai grabbed White Rhino by the wrist and twisted, snapping the limb. The villain kicked White Rhino, dropping him to the ground.
Azmodai charged his axe and chopped, hacking through the White Ranger’s helmet and killing him.
“Dom, no!” Violet Wolf shouted. “You son-of-a-bitch, I’ll kill you!”
Violet Wolf pounced with a flying knee strike. Azmodai grabbed the Ranger’s ankle and threw him overhead.
Aero Red closed his eyes tight. Illusions blanketed his mind. Darkness gripped his soul. But he screamed and fought back, forcing the images and feelings aside, and replacing those feelings with another– the feeling of determination.
The Red Jet Force Ranger circled around Tranza. Sword streaking through energy, he hacked and slashed, striking the villain with bursts of spark that ripped through his body.
The Ranger hopped backward and armed his fist weapon.
He swung an energized punch that bashed Tranza’s chest, forcing him to his knees.
Secondary explosions erupted through the villain’s body. And strands of energy thrashed from his armor.
Tranza laughed, a maddening sound. “I just wanted…a new home…” he said between laughs, as he started to sob. “A new home…for my people. For…”
He laughed, until his last breath caught in his throat. The villain’s own energy failed, consuming his body until all that remained was dust.
Tranza, the last of the Vyram, had died.
Aero Black grasped his side as he regrouped with his teammates. They looked into the distance, to where the Enetron Matrix stabbed into the sky, ebbing with darkness.
Aero Red tightened his fists. His body burned with fatigue and pain. He knew his teammates felt the same. But they still had work to do. “Hold it together just a little longer, team,” he said. “Just one more fight.”
The Black Ranger scoffed. “That’s optimistic.”
“Getting tired on me, Vince?” Aero Red asked.
“You wish,” the Black Ranger said. He leaned against a broken-down car and nodded towards the distance. “You guys go ahead, I’ll catch up.”
“But Vince…” White Swan started to say, concerned.
He waved her off. “I’m fine, just give me a minute. You guys go…”
The Red Ranger took the White Ranger by the hand. “Let’s go. We don’t have time.” He sensed her hesitation. “Come on, you know Vince. He’ll be OK.”
Aero Red looked to the Black Ranger. “Take a breather, Vince, but catch up when you can. We need you, man.”
The Black Ranger nodded, but waved the Red Ranger off.
Vince’s armor powered down with a burst of black light. He watched his teammates run towards the Enetron Matrix in the distance.
The ranger grasped his side, wet with blood. Pain and dizziness flooded his senses. No longer able to stand, he collapsed against the side of the car and slid onto the ground.
The darkness still swept through his mind, with illusions of sorrow. He saw Kirsten in Chris’s arms. He saw them walk down the aisle to get married. And he wept. Kirsten. Just…just be happy…
The darkness flowed through his mind until he bled out, dying with a final breath.
Digi Blue and Dark Buster landed on a platform that hovered in the middle of the Enetron Matrix vortex.
Digi Blue twirled his dagger and charged with a chop. Dark Buster parried, round-kicked the Blue Ranger’s side, and slashed his chest, sending him staggering backward.
Dark Buster tackled Digi Blue, and they tumbled off the pedestal. The two opponents started plummeting into the vortex of digital energy and shadow. The villain chopped and pressed his blade against the Blue Ranger’s dagger, forcing them downward.
Weapons sparked against one another, with discharges of power and energy. The villain twirled and slashed the Blue Ranger aside.
Dark Buster vanished with a burst of power, reappeared behind Digi Blue, and slashed the Ranger’s back. The Blue Ranger twirled in midair to strike. But the villain vanished and reappeared again, slashing the Ranger with a burst of spark.
The Blue Ranger spiraled into the void. He used his dagger and forearms to block Dark Buster’s assault, blade sparking against digital steel.
Dark Buster kicked away from the Blue Ranger. The villain spun and swung wide, slashing through a streak of crimson energy that hacked the Blue Ranger with massive bursts of spark, ripping through his custom armor.
The Blue Ranger’s armor pulsed with strands of digital code and static. His custom armor exploded, exposing his standard Ranger form.
Digi Silver and Digi Gold dove towards their teammate.
The two Rangers lifted their swords. Digital energy blades formed around the Silver Ranger like the horns of a stag beetle. A pronged energy blade formed in front of the Gold Ranger like the horn of a kabuto beetle.
They swung their swords, firing the energy blades; the blades smashed Dark Buster one-after-another, with bursts of spark and flame.
Dark Buster thrust his hands with bursts of demonic energy that smashed the Gold and Silver Rangers, sending them tumbling out of control.
A red blur dove at the villain from nearby.
Red Falcon chopped Dark Buster, spun, and slashed the villain.
“Hello again,” the Red Bio-Beast Ranger said as they plummeted downward. “You done with the Digmon? Because I have a real challenge for you.”
—To be continued…Chapter 13