Tommy stepped through the portal. Darkness wrapped around him like smoke and mist, extending as far as he could see. Chills crept down his spine. Here we go…one last time…
The last time he faced the Dark One, the experience nearly destroyed him, body and soul. Tommy had thought he won that encounter and sealed the Dark One for good. But he was wrong. The Dark One’s seal was imperfect. And his influence still spread.
Slowly, the mist formed a deep cavern that extended to infinity. The cave walls ebbed as if they contained liquid darkness. The entire cavern felt alive, like massive jaws threatening to swallow Tommy whole.
Tommy walked through the cavern. Time seemed to slow around him. Each step felt like it took hours. Ahead, he saw a wall of blackness. Nothing. Instantly, he knew. It was the Dark One, welling up against the walls of his feeble prison.
A figure stepped from the shadows in front of Tommy. The darkness peeled back from the figure, revealing his true form: Shadow Blade, a version of Tommy Oliver from Demon World Earth, where Tommy had remained the Evil Green Ranger of his own free will.
Tommy narrowed his eyes. “Are you kidding me?”
“We’re not doing this,” Tommy said. “Step out of my way. I’m done facing evil versions of myself. For real this time.”
“You would think so, wouldn’t you? You’ve faced the darkness inside of you so often. Beaten it so many times. Accepted it. Risen above it. And yet…you’re still your own worst enemy. You shackle yourself, and you still don’t understand how.”
Shadow Blade laughed, an eerie sound that echoed through the darkness. Something about him seemed different. He was channeling the True Power, the energy and essence of the Dark One. “No. I don’t think I will.”
Tommy lunged to attack.
The 16-year-old Simon Kaden from the past stared up at the older, evil version of himself: a new type of demon/angel hybrid, now called Abaddon.
The villain looked down at his younger self. “How…”
“Only someone who can break free from Fate can come here, right?” Simon asked. “Well…I’m you. So I have the same powers and abilities you do. Only without the crazy.”
“You are a naive and hopeless child who still dreams of being a hero.”
“I’d rather be naive than turn into a bitter psychopath,” Simon said. “I refuse to believe I could ever turn into something like you.”
“Your belief isn’t required,” Abaddon said.
Abbadon spread his arms. Darts of shadow shot towards the ground. Simon dove and rolled across the floor; the blasts exploded around him. Quickly, he jumped to his feet and flipped open his morpher.
“Wild Access! Ha!” Energy wrapped around him as he morphed into Gao Red.
He unsheathed his dagger and pounced at Abbadon.
Angel Grove/Demon City
The battle spread to a war-torn plaza, dotted with dry fountains, ruined statues, vines, piles of rubble, and black trees. Gutted, skeletal skyscrapers surrounded the plaza.
There, the Mystic Rangers and Kamen Rider Wizard faced a group of White Jokers that took the form of the Balban General Iriesu and her army, including Skelekron, Crumummy, Rykon, Hardtochoke, Icy Angel, and Freaky Tiki.
The Green Ranger stabbed his staff into the street.
“Magi Staff! Gii Magika!”
Vines sprouted from the ground and lashed towards Skelekron. But the villain chopped the vines away, dashed forward, and shield-bashed Mystic Green with bursts of spark. The blow knocked him backward, and he tumbled across the street.
The Green Ranger rose to his knees and shifted his weapon to axe-mode with a flash of emerald energy.
“Magi Axe! Green Ground!” He chopped his axe to the ground with a wave of green energy that tore through the street.
The energy wave exploded beneath Skelekron and sent him staggering.
Nearby, Crumummy snapped a pair of ribbons that wrapped around Mystic Pink and Mystic Blue. Icy Angel triggered volleys of frozen arrows that stabbed the Rangers with massive bursts of spark.
Freaky Tiki charged towards the Pink and Blue Rangers with his spear aimed forward.
Mystic Yellow leapt through the air from behind his two teammates. He thrust his staff.
“Yellow Thunder!” He fired bursts of lightning that lashed Freaky Tiki with massive bursts of spark, knocking him aside.
Mystic Red moved in and slashed Mystic Pink and Mystic Blue free of their bindings.
The Red Ranger turned his attention to Hardtochoke. The monster charged through the Rangers, slashing them aside one-by-one: Green, Blue, Yellow, Pink, Red.
Mystic Red crashed and rolled to his feet.
Skelekron pounced towards the Ranger and chopped high. Mystic Red jumped to his feet, parried, and slashed; Skelekron blocked with his shield and swung wide, slashing the Red Mystic Ranger with bursts of spark, whipping him backward.
Mystic Gold leapt to the Red Ranger’s defense.
“Providence Flare!” He pulled out a card that fired a beam of golden light.
The beam blasted Skelekron with bursts of spark, sending him staggering backward.
A monster, Rykon, lunged at Mystic Gold with an overhead slash. The Gold Ranger side-stepped, swiped his Laser Lamp, and fired at point-blank range. The impact blasted Rykon backward, knocking the sword from his hand.
Nearby, Mystic Pink and Mystic Blue regrouped.
The Pink Mystic Ranger thrust her staff. “Pink Storm!”
She fired a cyclone of pink energy that bashed Icy Angel with bursts of spark, blowing the monster into the wind.
Mystic Blue lifted her staff. “Gii Magika!”
Water erupted from the ground and thrashed several monsters with bursts of spark, sending them staggering.
Mystic Red and Kamen Rider Wizard charged towards Iriesu. The villain waved a hand over her crystal ball, summoning specters of energy. The energy specters blasted the Red Ranger and Rider with massive bursts of spark.
Wizard rolled into a crouched stance. He slid his Infinity Ring onto his hand, shifted his Driver, and placed his hand over his buckler. “INFINITY: AWAKEN”
A white dragon-shaped burst of energy shot upward from the Rider, and then dove into him with a splash of energy. A magic circle formed beneath his feet and slid upward, shimmering with shards of white and silver power that surrounded the Rider like a cloud. The magic circle formed a shell of energy that encased the Rider like ice, and when the shell shattered, Wizard stood in his Infinity Form.
He armed his weapon, the AxCalibur, a sword-axe hybrid. He channeled energy into the weapon, enlarging it, as he lifted the blade high.
The Rider shot into the air.
He slashed through a streak of shining, silver energy that cut through Iriesu’s defenses, striking her with bursts of spark that hurled her backward.
Mystic Red pressed the attack. He somersaulted through the air.
“Magi Magika!” The Red Mystic Ranger ignited with flames and shot towards Ireisu. “Red Fire!”
He dove through the monster with massive bursts of spark and flame, ripping her to pieces.
Another wave of White Jokers swarmed into the plaza. They transformed into Phantoms, the foes of Kamen Rider Wizard, including Drake Phantom, Gremlin Phantom, Phoenix Phantom, Medusa Phantom, Spriggan Phantom and Manticore Phantom.
Mystic Red cursed beneath his breath. “We keep getting pinned down.”
The Green Ranger stood at his side. “There are a thousand of us now. Where are the rest of the good guys??”
Suddenly, blades of power shot through the air and slashed the monsters with bursts of spark.
The Samurai Rangers dropped into the plaza, swords ready.
“Need some help?” Samurai Red asked.
Mystic Red smiled beneath his helmet. “Thanks, uncle.”
Samurai Green and Mystic Green leapt upward, back-to-back. The Green Samurai Ranger twirled his staff, igniting the weapon with power.
“Forest Vortex!” He summoned a cyclone of energy that surrounded him and Mystic Green, whipping leaves of energy into the air.
Mystic Green lifted his staff. “Gii Magika!”
His staff energized the vortex. Green leaves of energy started spinning and firing energy blades, slashing through monsters with massive bursts of spark as the cyclone expanded, thrashing monsters and hurling them backward.
Another wave of monsters moved in, but Samurai Yellow and Mystic Yellow cut them off.
Samurai Yellow slashed into the street.
“Seismic Slash!” Her sword triggered a burst of energy that tore through the street and shot towards the enemy.
Mystic Yellow stabbed his staff into the ground.
“Yellow Thunder!” He charged the Yellow Samurai Ranger’s atack with lightning power, creating a thunder quake.
The thunder quake tore beneath the monsters with massive bursts of lighting and electricity, tossing them into the air.
Monsters charged through the opening.
Samurai Pink and Mystic Pink crossed weapons.
“Wind Power!” They fired a twirling vortex of wind energy that smashed through the monsters with massive bursts of spark, thrashing their bodies and blowing them off their feet.
Samurai Gold and Mystic Gold charged into the mix.
The Gold Mystic Ranger swung and twirled his blaster, firing beams of golden energy that punctured through monsters. The Gold Samurai Ranger swung his blade through streaks of golden energy, slashing monsters with bursts of spark.
Nearby, Samurai Blue and Mystic Blue crossed weapons.
“Water Power!” They created a surging tidal wave that smashed through monsters, giving the Rangers space to charge and press the counter-attack.
Mystic Red and Samurai Red chopped their blades at the Phoenix Phantom. The Phantom Monster blocked; his blade clanged against the Rangers’ weapons.
The Rangers pressed down against the monster’s steel.
Samurai Red spun his sword’s symbol disc; the blade ignited with power. Mystic Red channeled his energy through his sword; the blade erupted with fire.
The swords cut through the monster’s weapon and sliced through the creature with bursts of spark. Secondary explosions ripped its body to pieces.
Samurai Red took a moment to catch his breath. “So…Uncle?”
“Yeah, long story,” Mystic Red said. “It’s a time-travel thing.”
“Ah.” Sadly, that made complete sense. “Got it.”
The Samurai Rangers’ battle moved from the plaza to the inner streets, where Riders and Rangers fought endless waves of countless foes.
The road ahead split off into a “Y” with White Jokers on both sides. Crumbled buildings and ruination surrounded them on all sides; the Blue Samurai Ranger noticed monsters and X-Borgs surge through the insides of ruined buildings.
“There’s no end to them,” Samurai Blue said.
Samurai Green stood at his side. “Yeah…these Countdown-to-Destruction things are a real bitch.”
Samurai Red knew he didn’t have the same repertoire of motivational speeches as his brother Tommy. But he did his best.
“Keep it together, guys,” Samurai Red said. “We stick together. We take it one wave at a time. And we win.”
The Red Samurai Ranger lifted his sword. He faced the next wave of White Jokers, which transformed into monsters from the Mystic Rangers’ rogue gallery, including Hades Beast Chimera, Hades Beast Yeti, Hades Beast Siren, Hades Beast Samurai, Hades Beast Gargoyle, Hades Beast Skeleton, Hades Beast Ghoul, Morticon and Imperious.
A building collapsed with a burst of power, crushing a rear wave of monsters and sending clouds of debris and dust into the streets. When the dust cleared, the Samurai Rangers saw the Overdrive team standing in the rubble.
The Red Overdrive Ranger snapped. “Attack!”
Overdrive Red’s helmet flashed and summoned a red spear. He grasped the weapon. “Drive Lance!”
He twirled the lance and swatted a monster through the air. The creature crashed through a building that crumbled on impact.
Overdrive Black’s helmet flashed and summoned a two-handed hammer. “Drive Slammer!”
He dashed through the monsters and swung left and right, bashing them aside with bursts of spark.
The Black Ranger knocked the legs out from beneath a monster, smashed the fallen creature’s chest and swung wide. His mace bashed a monster’s head to pieces.
Overdrive Pink summoned her weapon, a rifle-shaped blaster. “Drive Geyser!”
She fired bursts of hydro energy that blasted through monsters with bursts of spark.
Overdrive Silver leapt straight upward and snapped his weapon into its blaster configuration.
“Sniper Mode!” He aimed downward. “Silver Blast!”
He triggered a massive spear of pale blue energy that punctured through the street with an explosion. Flames and sparks tore through the ground and hurled the monsters through the air.
Samurai Green leaned and stabbed through a monster with a burst of spark. Titan Black swung his hammer and smashed the creature’s head. The Green Ranger pulled his sword free, and the monster slumped to the ground.
Samurai Green shook his head. “I’m not saying thank you.”
“Didn’t ask.” Titan Black swung his hammer and moved towards his next opponent.
Samurai Green swiped his Symbol Disc.
“Bankai!” he shouted. “Scatter, Shinkenmaru!”
He slashed through a monster with a pulse of jade light. Energy pedals surrounded the creature and fluttered like falling leaves. The pedals tore through surrounding monsters with massive bursts of spark and ichor.
Overdrive Blue summoned a fanned gauntlet. “Drive Vortex!”
He aimed downward and fired a gust of wind that launched him through the air, hovering over the monsters.
The Blue Ranger landed and used the gauntlet as a fist weapon. He punched monsters with blasts of air that smashed them to pieces.
Samurai Blue stood at his side; the Blue Samurai Ranger twirled his blade through butterfly patterns, hacking and slashing monsters with bursts of spark.
“Bankai!” the Blue Samurai Ranger swiped his Symbol Disc. “Freeze and Rage, Shinkenmaru!”
His blade pulsed with hydro energy that solidified into ice. He slashed his sword, which spawned a serpentine ice dragon that tore through monsters with massive bursts of frost.
Overdrive Yellow summoned scoop-shaped fist weapons. “Drive Claws!”
She pounced and smashed a monster’s head between her shovels.
The Yellow Ranger smashed the claws against the side of a building and knocked massive piles of rubble loose. Chunks of concrete fell in front of the Ranger; she used her claws to swat the debris at the monsters.
The boulders smashed through the monsters like cannonballs, blasting them apart.
Several monsters tried to scurry backward, but Samurai Yellow waited for them. Her blade flashed with seismic energy as she struck them down one-by-one, blows sparking on impact.
The Yellow Ranger turned to face another wave of monsters. She slid her Bankai Disc onto her sword and swiped the disc.
“Bankai!” she shouted. “Erupt, Shinkenmaru!”
She chopped the ground with a seismic shockwave. Rocks sprouted from the earth and hovered around her like a shield. The Yellow Samurai Ranger sliced upward, sending a rippling wave of dirt and stone through the street. The wave of stone and power smashed through the monsters with bursts of spark that hurled them through the air.
Samurai Gold and Samurai Pink dueled with Hades Beast Samurai. Their blades clanged as they clashed.
The monster kicked Samurai Pink backward and slashed Samurai Gold to the ground. The Hades Beast pounced and chopped towards the fallen Rangers. But the Silver Overdrive Ranger dashed in front of them, blocked the blow, and side-kicked the monster backward.
The Silver Overdrive Ranger swung his staff. “Drive Detector! Silver Slash!”
He spun and slashed wide, firing a blade of silver energy. The blade cut through the monster with massive bursts of spark that forced him to his knees. Secondary explosions thrashed the monster’s body.
Samurai Pink rolled to her feet and swiped her Symbol Disc.
“Bankai!” she shouted. “Reap, Shinkenmaru!”
She slashed her sword and fired a volley of wind scythes. The scythes slashed through monsters with bursts of spark and splatters of ichor.
Samurai Red and Overdrive Red moved towards Morticon and Imperious.
The Red Samurai Ranger swung his sword and fired a blade of fire.
Imperious waved his fan and spoke a simple spell: “Mujura.”
The flame blade sputtered and died before it could connect.
Morticon charged, blade swinging. He clashed weapons with Samurai Red and Titan Red. The Red Samurai Ranger twirled his Spin Sword, and the Red Overdrive Ranger wielded his Drive Lance.
The monster hopped backward to gain distance.
“Dark Magic Strike!” He slashed through a streak of dark energy that slashed Titan Red and Samurai Red with massive bursts of spark, whipping them backward.
The two Red Ranger tumbled and rolled into crouched positions.
Titan Red flipped open his Overdrive Tracker. “His sword. It’s off the Precious Scale.”
“Yeah, I don’t know what that means?” Samurai Red said as he climbed to his feet.
Imperious fired a beam of black energy at the two Red Rangers. They dodged, just as Morticon slashed his sword, striking the Rangers with bursts of spark.
The two Red Rangers stepped back and regrouped. Samurai Red lifted his Spin Sword, and Overdrive Red lifted his Drive Lancer.
The Red Overdrive Ranger glanced at Samurai Red. “Do you have a finisher?”
Samurai Red nodded. “One or two. You?”
“One or two,” the Red Overdrive Ranger said. “Ready?”
Samurai Red slid his Bankai Disc onto his sword; he swiped the Disc.
“Bankai!” He ignited his sword with flame. “Blaze, Shinkenmaru!”
Fiery energy surrounded his body and took the outline of a winged lion. He shot through a streak of fiery light that tore through Morticon and Imperious.
The Red Overdrive Ranger shot at the villains with his weapon held forward.
“Drive Lancer! Red Crash!” His lancer energized and speared through the monsters with massive bursts of spark.
The two creatures collapsed and exploded into ash.
The Overdrive Rangers and Samurai Rangers regrouped to face the remaining monsters from the Mystic Force rogue’s gallery.
The Overdrive Rangers armed their team blaster. “Dual Crusher!”
“Drill Head!” Titan Red shouted as he shifted the weapon to drill mode. Together, they shouted: “Go!”
They fired a burst of energy that nearly kicked them backward.
The Samurai Rangers spun their Symbol Discs, sparking charges of power. Elemental energy washed along their blades.
They slashed through streaks of power, firing blades of energy that shot towards the monsters.
The Samurai and Overdrive attacks combined into a massive wave of power that tore through the monsters, vaporizing them into ash.
Tommy leapt back from Shadow Blade and snapped into a defensive stance. The villain summoned his black sword and taunted the ranger to attack. Tommy cursed beneath his breath and summoned his golden-hilted sword, Ryuseiken, with a flash of light.
“You really want to duel?” Tommy shifted his grip. “Here? Now? You know this is pointless.”
“Pointless? If I weaken you even a little, my master’s task will be that much easier. No, I think I will stand in your way. Your victory isn’t set in stone. It never has been.”
“Just step aside,” Tommy said. “If my victory isn’t set in stone, neither is your defeat. Let me pass. For once, make the choice you know you should.”
“Now? Now you beg me to return to the Light? I have been promised the True Power of the Dark One himself. Power greater than that of a god! You will not steal that from me. By my grave, you won’t!”
Shadow Blade came forward swinging.
Abbadon twirled his cape. The cloak of darkness fired darts of shadow. The blades stabbed through the emptiness towards Gao Red.
The Red Ranger sprang upward with the strength and agility of the lion; the darts passed beneath him.
But Abbadon had been prepared for the move. The villain snapped a whip of shadow that writhed like a snake and wrapped around the Red Ranger’s neck. The villain tugged on the whip, snapping the Red Ranger through the air.
Gao Red slashed through the tendril, somersaulted through the air, and landed in a crouch. The Ranger held his dagger in a reverse grip and shifted into a defensive stance.
Abbadon laughed at the younger version of himself. “Look at you…your young body burning with your foolish idealism. Burning so hot, it will wilt your soul, until you become…me. Do yourself a favor. Kill yourself.”
“Why would you even say that?”
“It’s simple,” Abbadon said. “Just as you can’t accept me, I can’t accept you. I look at you, and I’m reminded…I did become a hero, just like Tommy wanted. A hero of justice. And that is exactly why I know that the reality of being a hero is a mistake. To be a hero is to live with regret after regret, betrayal after betrayal. Endless pain and suffering. To be a hero is to face the truth: It’s impossible to save everyone. Saving the many means leaving the few to die. No matter how hard you fight, there will always be those who suffer. And you, with your empathic abilities…you will feel it all.
“This is what you’ve been fighting for,” Abbadon floated closer to his younger self. “You’ve been fighting for a world caught in a cycle of killing and death, doomed to repeat for all of eternity. Kill one person to save another, drive someone to despair to save another. Wouldn’t it be better to let a cycle like that end? To have peace? Why would you hesitate now that you know what you really are?”
The Red Ranger tightened his grip on his dagger. “Abbadon…do you have regrets?”
“Of course I do.”
“Well…then I guess we’re two different people after all.”
“No matter what happens to me, I’ll never regret the path I’ve chosen. The path of a hero. That’s why I’ll never accept you. I’ll fight every day to save humanity and the world.”
“That thinking is where this all started,” Abbadon said. “You’ll wake up one day and find that you’ve become me.”
“I won’t,” the Red Ranger said. “That day will never come.”
“That’s true,” Abbadon said as he stalked towards his younger self. “I suppose it won’t. Because neither of us is going to leave this place alive.”
The Red Ranger crouched and shifted his stance.
Abbadon narrowed his eyes. “Do you really think you can keep up with me? If your precision is even slightly off, it will mean your death.”
Gao Red pounced and attacked.
Angel Grove/Demon City
A fresh wave of X-Borgs emerged. Then another. And another.
Mystic Red leapt onto the slanted ruins of a skyscraper and surveyed the battlefield, clogged with heroes and villains. The scene reminded him of the alternate future where he came from, a future where the Dark One conquered everything.
“I can’t let that happen…” he whispered.
The skyscraper exploded underneath him, hurling him into the air. Rubble and debris pelted his armor. The Red Ranger crashed into a dead park and tumbled across the dirt. He climbed to his feet, surrounded by crumbled statues, dried fountains, and dead trees of black bark.
White Jokers surrounded him. Each took the form of the Wolf Knight Koragg.
Mystic Red cursed beneath his breath. “Oh come on.”
The knights charged and swung their swords. Mystic Red always found Koragg’s slow-and-heavy broadsword easy to parry and dodge– but not when there were dozens of them.
The villains slashed and chopped Mystic Red, blades sparking on impact and bruising the Ranger beneath his armor.
The Red Ranger stepped back and tried to gain distance. But a Koragg shield-bashed him from behind, knocking him to the ground. A blade stabbed towards Mystic Red’s helmet, but he rolled aside just in time, and the sword stabbed through earth.
Mystic Red flipped to his feet and spun wide, snapping his cape and firing a circle of flame that whipped the knights backward, explosions thrashing their armor.
The Red Ranger blocked a sword swing, and then another, and another, but a duo of slashes pushed past his defense and struck him down, blades sparking on impact.
“Zazare!” Five of the knights snapped open their shields and fired bursts of purple energy shaped like the heads of wolves.
The blasts slammed Mystic Red and tore up the ground around him, explosions bursting with showers of spark and flame. The Red Ranger crashed onto his back. Smoke sizzled from his armor.
The villains charged at the fallen Ranger, swords lifted to chop him down. But before they could attack, bursts of flame and energy smashed the villains with showers of spark, knocking them backward.
Mystic Red climbed to his feet and looked towards the origin of the attack: Wolf Knight Fire, an evil, twisted clone of Nick from the same dark future.
“Not to seem ungrateful…but since when are you on my side?” Mystic Red asked.
Wolf Knight Fire held his sword in an offensive stance. “I am on no side but my own.”
“Oh, don’t be so cranky!” a voice came from behind the red-armored knight. Usagi leapt to the scene, along with the rest of the Sailors. “Your evil twin and I had a little chat, Nick! I can be very persuasive.”
Mystic Red smirked beneath his helmet. “Should I be jealous?”
“Not at all!” she answered. “You’re the only red-armored warrior from the future for me!”
“Usagi,” Jupiter chided. “Enough flirting. We have a battle to win.”
The other Mystic Rangers leapt to the scene, and they regrouped along with the Sailor Guardians.
“Alright,” Mystic Red said. “Let’s go Legendary!”
The Rangers armed their morphers.
“Legendary Source! Mystic Force!”
Magick circles slid across the Rangers, morphing them into their Legend Warrior armor.
They armed their Mystic Lion Staffs and attacked.
“Rockslide!” The Green Ranger thrust his staff, firing a wave of stone and earth.
“Whirlwind!” Mystic Pink twirled her staff, firing a wave of wind energy.
“Tidal Wave!” The Blue Ranger thrust her staff with a torrent of hydro energy.
“Lightning bolt!” Mystic Yellow lifted his staff and fired a massive blast of lightning.
“Firestorm!” The Red Ranger thrust his staff with a wave of fiery energy.
Earth, wind, water, lightning, and fire surged towards the onslaught of villains.
The Sailors lent their power to the assault.
“Burning Mandala!” Jupiter fired comets of flame.
“Moon Tiara Action!” Sailor Moon hurled her energized tiara like a boomerang.
“Venus Chain!” Venus snapped her chain, which pulsed with waves of orange energy.
“Mercury Aqua Mist!” Mercury fired waves of hydro bubbles that scattered across the streets.
“Supreme Thunder!” Jupiter triggered massive bolts of green lightning that struck from the skies.
Their attacks tore through the entire city block, vaporizing Koragg knights with massive bursts of flame, lightning, and sparks, scattering their remains into the air.
Kamen Rider Wizard had split off from the Mystic Ranger group. He found himself surrounded by White Jokers that took the form of the Fangaira, including Fang Moth, Fang Frog, Fang Earwig, Fang Ladybug, Fang Chameleon, Fang Grizzly, Fang Cicada, Fang Warthog, Fang Sungazer and three Fang Rats.
The monsters swarmed and attacked.
Wizard armed his saber and twirled. His blade struck the monsters one-by-one, sparking on impact. But the powerful creatures nearly overwhelmed him. The Rider knew how to fight foes of superior numbers, but he didn’t recognize the fighting techniques of these creatures, and that put him at a disadvantage.
Luckily, back-up arrived.
Kamen Rider Kaixa dashed through the monsters, blade swinging and slashing. Kamen Rider TheBee moved alongside him, launching volleys of punches and kicks. And Kamen Rider Drake joined them, firing his blaster.
Fang Moth slashed at the three Riders. Kaixa blocked and side-kicked the monster.
Kamen Rider Drake shifted the zector on his blaster.
“Rider Shooting.” The weapon echoed his command: “RIDER SHOOTING.”
He fired a supercharge blast that tore through Fangaira monsters with massive bursts of spark.
Kamen Rider TheBee shifted the zector on his wrist.
“Rider Sting.” The weapon echoed the command: “RIDER STING”
TheBee lunged and swung his fist; his wrist blade sparked with power and punctured through a Fangaira with massive bursts of spark.
Kaixa powered up his sword, which spoke the command: “EXCEED CHARGE”
The Rider’s blade glowed with yellow energy and slashed through a streak of power, tearing through Fangaira.
Ninjor, Auric and the Sentinel Knight Zubaan stood in a circle facing outward. Monsters surrounded them; they struck back with speed and strength.
Ninjor’s slender sword was a blur, slashing and striking, blade sparking on impact. “Ha! Come at me, foul villains!”
Auric swung his broadsword, the heavy weapon sweeping wide with powerful slashes that buckled armor and tore through flesh. “Auric will fell these foes!”
And Zubaan launched fierce combos of kicks and punches, spinning with each strike. “Zu! Zu!”
Samurai Red leaned against his sword. Samurai Blue stood next to him and shifted into a defensive stance.
“You okay?” Samurai Blue asked.
Samurai Red nodded. “Just wonderful.” He sounded out of breath. “Just got to pace myself.”
“Stop trying to act like your brother, thinking you can take on this whole army by yourself. You’re not Tommy.”
“Gee thanks,” Samurai Red said.
“You know what I mean,” Samurai Blue said. “You’re you. And…I love you. You know that. Stop trying to live up to your brother’s reputation. Honestly, I don’t even think he’s that great.”
The Red Ranger smirked beneath his helmet. “Well…he is. That’s what’s so damn frustrating.”
A group of White Jokers transformed into Budou of the Space Pirates Balban and his monsters, including: Chillyfish, Destruxo, Samuron, the Shark Brothers Onimaru and Yamimaru, Teksa, and Starcog.
They charged to attack the Samurai Rangers.
Chillyfish spat darts of freezing energy.
Samurai Pink morphed her Spin Sword into her fan weapon.
“Wind Fan!” She snapped her fan with a wave of wind energy that swatted the chill darts aside.
Samurai Blue and Samurai Green leapt from behind the Pink Ranger.
“Hydro Bow!” The Blue Samurai Ranger triggered arrows of hydro energy that exploded around the monsters.
“Forest Spear!” The Green Ranger armed his Forest Spear and landed with a chop towards Samuron.
Samuron lifted his halberd, blocked the blow, and kicked the Green Ranger backward.
Samurai Red and Samurai Yellow dashed towards Budo and Destruxo. But the Shark Brothers dashed back and forth past the Rangers, as quick as blurs, striking them down with bursts of spark.
Destruxo lunged at Samurai Red and chopped at the fallen Ranger. But a sword blocked the blow, and a boot kicked the villain backward.
The Red Samurai Ranger looked up at the attacker: Ninja Red.
“Back off, ugly!” the Red Ninja Ranger shouted at the monsters.
The other four Ninja Rangers leapt into battle.
Ninja Red dashed at Budo. Their blades clashed with bursts of spark as they circled around each other, wiedling their sabers with speed and power.
Suddenly, the Hurricane Power Rangers dashed to the scene; they supported the Ninja team.
Hurricane Red and Ninja Red ignited their swords with power and slashed through Budo, blades sparking on impact and ripping the villain to pieces.
The Hurricane, Ninja, and Samurai Rangers managed to gain ground against the White Jokers posing as Budo’s army.
But the skies tore open, and another wave of White Jokers landed on the streets. The monsters separated the Hurricane and Ninja teams from the Samurai team.
The White Jokers transformed into Ayakashi, including Gigertox, Fiera, Sharkjaw, Sergeant Tread, Duplicator, Steeleto, Vulpes and Robtish.
Gigertox lashed out with blade tendrils that snapped towards the Ninja Rangers and Hurricane Rangers. They dove and rolled aside, dodging the whipping blades.
Ninja Black and Hurricane Yellow rolled into crouched positions. They attacked as one.
“Seismic Storm!” Hurricane Yellow thrust his palm and fired a jagged blast of seismic energy. The blast tore through the streets.
“Ninpo Earth Assault!” Ninja Black shouted. Boulders tore from beneath the streets and launched at the monsters, battering them with bursts of spark.
The combined quake sent the monsters staggering.
Hurricane Green took advantage of the move. He dashed to attack, blade slashing and chopping through monsters with bursts of spark.
The Green Hurricane Ranger high-slashed towards Steeleto. But the villain blocked and spun with his duel blades, slashing the Green Ranger backward.
Hurricane Green crashed and tumbled. Steeleto charged at him like a tornado of swords and blades. But Ninja White leapt to the Green Ranger’s defense.
“Ninpo Diamond Storm!” Ninja White hovered and formed a cloud of diamonds. She snapped her hands; the diamonds shot through the air like bullets, puncturing Steeleto with massive bursts of spark.
Sergeant Tread hurled his bladed wheel. The weapon slashed Ninja White from the air with a burst of spark.
“Trini!” Ninja Yellow ran to her defense, and Navy Thunder joined him.
But Duplicator blocked their path and slashed wide, striking the two Rangers with bursts of spark that whipped them backward.
Navy Thunder rolled into a crouched stance, armed the kuwaga claw on his staff, and grabbed the monster.
Ninja Yellow lifted his sword.
“Ninpo Lightning Assault!” He fired bolts of lighting that ripped across the streets and struck Duplicator with massive bursts of spark, ripping through his armor and body.
Navy Thunder twisted his grip on his staff and ignited charges of navy lightning, thrashing the monster with bursts of spark. He swung his staff and hurled the monster through the air. Duplicator crashed through a building that collapsed on top of him.
Fiera fired energy bursts at Ninja Black and Crimson Thunder. They dashed through blurs of motion, dodging the blasts, and leapt towards the monster to attack.
Crimson Thunder placed his right fist against his left palm. “Shadow Style! Shadow Clone Jutsu!”
Shadow clones split from his body and dashed to attack. Tinted with crimson, the shadows dashed back and forth, bashing the monster with bursts of spark that sent her staggering.
Ninja Black armed his fist weapon and lunged to attack.
“Shinobi Knuckle!” He bashed Fiera with a punch that hurled her through the air.
Monsters rushed at Ninja Blue and Hurricane Blue.
Hurricane Blue slapped her right fist against her left palm.
“Water Style! Water Shuriken Jutsu!” She snapped a volley of water shuriken that tore through monsters with massive bursts of spark, holding them back while Ninja Blue launched his attack.
“Ninpo Water Assault!” Ninja Blue summoned a wave of water that bashed the monsters and hurled them backward.
Sergeant Tread hurled bladed wheels at Ninja Red and Hurricane Red.
The Red Rangers slashed the blades aside and struck back against the Ayakashi.
“Ninpo Fire Assault!” Comets of energy circled around the Red Ninja Ranger and shot forward like cannonballs, bashing through monsters with bursts of spark.
Hurricane Red dashed with his sword.
“Air Style!” He shouted. “Whirling Blade Jutsu!”
He dashed through blurs of motion and swung his sword through streaks of power, slashing monsters with massive bursts of spark that scattered them across the battlefield.
The Red Hurricane Ranger regrouped with his teammates, and Ninja Red regrouped with his Ninja Ranger team.
The Hurricane Rangers combined their weapons into a single cannon, and the Ninja Rangers armed their swords.
“Thunderstorm Striker! Fire!” The Hurricane Rangers triggered a massive burst of twirling energy that tore through monsters with massive bursts of spark and shock waves.
“Shinobi Strike!” The Ninja Rangers crossed their swords and fired a lance of golden energy that punctured through monsters with massive bursts of flame and light.
The ground split with a thundering quake that triggered shock waves of rubble and debris. The impact hurled the Hurricane Rangers off their feet and sent them tumbling beneath the streets.
They crashed into a ruined subway station. Within the station, a group of White Jokers transformed into Youkai, including: Junaiya, Miss Chief, Centiback, Kitsune, Vampirus, Witchblade, the Barbaric Brothers, Bakeneko and See Monster.
Before the monsters could attack, a burst of Ki exploded in the midst of their ranks. The blast scattered the monsters deeper into the subway station.
The Hurricane Rangers looked to see the Heaven Star Task Force Power Rangers standing on the stairs
Hurricane Red smiled beneath his helmet. “Tommy…”
“Simon?” Dragon Ranger asked, pride in his voice.. “Should have known you’d become a Red Ranger someday.”
Navy Thunder grabbed Hurricane Red by the shoulder. “Yeah, could we not? Big fight, monsters everywhere.”
“Right,” Hurricane Red said. “Let’s take care of business!”
Witchblade snapped blade boomerangs at Phoenix Ranger and Hurricane Blue. The two Rangers flipped aside as the boomerangs past them.
Phoenix Ranger landed and thrusted her palm at the monster.
“Cyclone!” She fired a twirling cyclone of pink energy that lifted Witchblade off her feet.
Hurricane Blue leapt towards the monster.
“Water-Palm Blade!” She formed a blade of water in her palm and bashed the blade through the monster.
While still in midair, she unsheathed her sword.
“Striking Tide!” She swung her blade through a wave of water that tore the monster in half.
Miss Chief hurled a spinning blade of fire at Crimson Thunder and Lion Ranger. The Rangers dove aside and rolled into crouched stances.
Lion Ranger placed his right fist against his left palm.
“Heaven Illusion Star! Mist Concealment Destruction!” He thrust his hands and fired a wave of mist that surrounded Miss Chief with darkness.
Illusions stepped from the darkness. Dozens of Lion Rangers. Then hundreds, as far as the monster could see. She frantically swung her wheeled weapon, passing through specters as easily as passing through air.
From with the illusion, Crimson Thunder shot towards her.
“Shadow Style! Shadow Clone Jutsu!” He split into dozens of shadow clones that battered Miss Chief with punches and kicks.
Several Lion Ranger clones charged with jade light and shot at the monster as fast as lasers, striking Miss Chief with punches and kicks that flashed with light.
The illusion dropped.
Crimson Thunder and Lion Ranger shot at the monster to finish her off.
“Shadow Bolt!” Crimson Thunder thrust his hand with a burst of crimson-tinted shadow energy.
“Hand of Fate!” Lion Ranger thrust his fist with a beam of pale-green light.
The beam and bolt combined into a comet of power that punctured through Miss Chief and vaporized her into ash.
Hurricane Yellow and Tenma Ranger charged at Centiback and Kitsune from opposite sides.
The Blue Ranger thrust his hand.
“Gravity Well!” He fired a jagged pulse of blue, gravitational energy.
The Yellow Ranger slapped his right fist against his left palm.
“Seismic Storm!” He fired a jagged pulse of yellow energy.
The blasts slammed Centiback and Kitsune from opposite sides, triggering a seismic shockwave that shook the earth and smashed the villains into atoms.
Juniya swung his skeletal sword through quick and savage strikes aimed at Kiba Ranger and Hurricane Green. Kiba Ranger twirled his Byakoshinken, blocking and parrying. Hurricane Green twirled his own sword, weapons clanging with bursts of spark.
The villain stepped back and snapped out his hand, firing a beam of red-and-black energy that bashed the two Rangers with bursts of spark, sending them staggering.
Kiba Ranger slapped his right fist against his left palm.
“Heaven Roaring Star! Sound Bite!” He thrust Byako; the blade fired waves of sonic power that overwhelmed the monster and drove him to his knees.
Hurricane Green channeled energy into his sword. He spun and swung the blade wide.
“Sonic Boom!” He fired a blade of green sonic energy that tore through Juniya, ripping the monster in two. The creature’s two halves exploded.
Kirin Ranger and Navy Thunder charged at Vampirus. The monster spat darts; the Rangers dashed aside to dodge.
Kirin Ranger thrust his hands towards the monster.
“Time Crisis!” He fired a pulse of distortion energy that splashed through Vampirus. Time and space disrupted within the monster; energy flashed through his body like digital static.
Navy Thunder thrust his hand.
“Lightning Bolt!” He fired a bolt of lightning from his palm. The blast exploded through Vampirus and tore him to pieces.
Dragon Ranger and Hurricane Red advanced on the Barbaric Brothers. The bulky monsters swung massive swords that the two Red Rangers easily dodged.
Dragon Ranger moved in low. “Burn Knuckle!”
Hurricane Red moved in high. “Whirling Knuckle!”
Their energized fists smashed the brothers with the force of battering rams, sending them staggering backward.
The Heaven Star Power Rangers jumped back to street level. Dragon Ranger cursed beneath his breath as he looked out upon the waves and waves of X-Borgs and Zergs.
“We’re losing momentum,” he said.
“Losing?” Tenma Ranger asked. “We never had momentum.”
The Red Ranger aimed his sword ahead. “We need to clear a path to those fissures and shut the Armada down. If they interfere in the fight against the Dark One, we’re through. No sense in saving reality just to let the Armada destroy everything.”
“Easier said than done,” Kirin Ranger said. “Those X-Borgs are filling every square inch of the city. We don’t have room to maneuver.”
Tenma Ranger smiled beneath his helmet. “Then how about I give us some space.”
Tenma Ranger twirled his staff and swung the weapon towards the ground.
“Iron Rock Crusher!” The staff slammed the earth with a shock wave of blue energy that tore through the ground, kicking up dirt and debris and tossing X-Borgs into the air.
The explosions carved an opening through the streets, leading towards the Armada Conduit. The Heaven Star Task Force Power Rangers charged through that opening.
White Jokers swarmed around the Rangers. The villains transformed into monsters from the Jungle Fury Rangers’ past, including Carnisoar, Jellica, Grizzaka, Rantipede, Gakko, Stingerella, Snapper, Whiger, and Buffalord.
Dragon Ranger and Lion Ranger snapped round-kicks at Grizzaka. The monster blocked and grabbed their legs, pulled them off their feet, and smashed them to the ground.
The Red Ranger quickly rolled to his feet and lunged at Grizzaka.
“Burn Knuckle!” His fist energized and smashed the monster with fiery power, sending him stumbling.
Lion Ranger followed with a side-kick and punch combo, bashing the monster with bursts of spark.
Grizzaka staggered and slapped his right fist against his left palm. “Ringi! Kamuchakka!”
His Rinki ignited with purple and black energy that smashed the Red Ranger and Green Ranger backward with massive bursts of spark.
Carnisoar swooped overhead. The villain dove at Phoenix Ranger. But the Pink Ranger leapt backward and thrust her palm.
“Cyclone!” she shouted.
A pink tornado wrapped around Carnisoar and whipped him through the air.
Phoenix Ranger landed. Stingeralla dashed to attack.
“Scorpion Dance!” The villain launched a flurry of kicks and punches that forced Phoenix Ranger backward.
The Pink Ranger swung an outer-crescent kick that bashed the monster’s head. She followed with a spinning knife-hand chop and jump-kick, pommeling the creature.
Phoenix Ranger snapped another kick. But Stingerella blocked and hopped forward.
“Hishō Shuben Kyaku!” she shouted with a jumping scorpion kick that bashed the Pink Ranger’s helmet and knocked her to the ground.
Tenma Ranger leaned back, prepared to pounce at Jellica with a flurry of kicks. But the villain thrust her staff.
“Ringi! Rabū Shōaku!” she shouted.
Jelly wrapped around the Blue Ranger’s ankles and feet, binding him to the ground. Jellica lunged and swung her staff, slashing the Ranger with bursts of spark.
Whiger faced the Kiba Ranger, Kou.
Whiger thrust his hand. “Genki!”
He fired a golden pulse of Genki that smashed Kiba Ranger with a burst of spark, whipping him off his feet.
Whiger pounced at the fallen White Ranger.
Kiba Ranger snapped to his feet and slashed upward, striking Whiger with a burst of spark. Whiger crashed and tumbled, then rolled to his feet.
Kiba Ranger slapped his right fist against his left palm. “Heaven Roaring Star! Sound Bite!”
He thrust his hand with waves of sonic energy, ripping through Whiger with massive bursts of spark.
Rantipede launched a flurry of high-speed punches that bashed Kirin Ranger. The blows knocked him off his feet, and he tumbled across the ground.
The Yellow Ranger rolled to his feet and slapped his right fist against his left palm.
“Heaven Time Star! Time Reversal Destruction!”
Yellow energy flashed around the Ranger and his opponent. Time rewound for several seconds, to just before the monster attacked.
Kirin Ranger formed blades of yellow energy in his hands.
“Time Flares!” He tossed the energy blades like throwing knives.
The flares punctured through Rantipede with bursts of spark and time/space distortions, dropping him to his feet.
Suddenly, Gakko pounced from a wall and flying tackled the Yellow Ranger to the ground.
Tenma Ranger pulled free from Jellica’s trap. He pounced to attack.
“Tenma Flash Kick!” He snapped volleys of energized spin kicks that bashed Jelica, forcing her back with each blow.
Gakko moved at the Blue Ranger from the side. “Genki! Daijūdonka!”
The villain fired a pulse of golden gravity energy that smashed Tenma Ranger and pinned him to the ground. The Blue Ranger tried to push himself back to his feet, but his body felt like it weighed a ton.
“Gravity power? Really? Now I know how it feels…” He spread his hands across the ground and channeled his power to counter-attack. “Heaven Gravity Star! Gravity Inversing Destruction!”
The Blue Ranger deflected the gravity attack with a pulse of blue light. The light splashed across Gakko and hurled him into the air.
Tenma Ranger climbed to his feet and thrust his hands towards the villain. “Gravity Well!”
He fired a twirling wave of blue energy that washed across Gakko, creating enough pressure to make the villain implode.
“Star Fire!” Dragon Ranger hurled a comet of flame.
“Shining Fury!” Lion Ranger hurled a bolt of jade-green light.
The blasts exploded through monsters with massive bursts of spark.
Just as the streets started to clear, more X-Borgs charged onto the scene.
Dragon Ranger cursed beneath his breath. “This is insane…”
The Red Ranger and Green Ranger shifted into fighting stances. Waves of X-Borgs charged at them. But before the grunts could attack, a figure dashed through the air with a flying sidekick that crackled with lightning. The kick smashed the lead X-Borg with enough force to trigger a shock wave that hurled several grunts backward.
The figure landed: Kamen Rider Blade.
The Rider twirled his sword into an offensive stance. “The Great Tommy Oliver can’t handle a few grunts?”
Dragon Ranger tilted his head. “Do I know you?”
Nearby, Grizzaka charged towards the Rangers and Riders, bashing through X-Borgs like a battering ram, knocking them from his path.
Dragon Ranger, Lion Ranger, and Kamen Rider Blade faced the charging creature.
Blade slid three cards through the Rouse Absorber slit on his sword: “MACH; TACKLE; METAL”
Three cards of energy projected from the sword and splashed across his armor. He shot through a blur of motion and tackled Grizzaka. The impact created a massive shockwave that shook the streets and sent Grizzaka staggering.
Dragon Ranger leapt through the air and armed his Twin Dragon Swords.
“Wildfire Flare!” He slashed through streaks of power, firing a wave of flame that shot towards the monster.
Lion Ranger armed his Thunder Sword and channeled pale-green energy into the blade.
“Thunderbolt Cut!” He swung through a streak of energy that fired a comet of jade light.
The flare and thunderbolt bashed Grizzaka with massive bursts of light and fire, shaking the ground for miles around.
Kamen Rider Blade moved through the explosion and lifted his sword. He swiped two cards through his helt: “SLASH; THUNDER”
His sword ignited with blue lightning and slashed through Grizzaka with massive bursts of spark. The monster split in two and exploded.
More White Jokers and X-Borgs flooded the streets around the Heaven Star Power Rangers and Kamen Rider Blade.
Luckily, the heroes had reinforcements. The Gao Rangers dashed across ruined rooftops like animals, and they leapt to the scene.
“Tommy!” Gao Red shouted. He armed his fist weapon, the Lion Fang. “Blazing Fire!”
He energized his Lion Fang with fiery power and clawed through an X-Borg, sparking on impact. The grunt staggered backward as secondary explosions tore through its body.
Buffalord and Gao Black charged at one another. They tackled against each other with a shock wave that shook the streets. The Black Ranger knocked the villain’s arms away and drop-kicked the monster, sending him staggering backward.
Kiba Ranger jump-kicked Whiger upside the head and slashed upward, striking the monster with a burst of spark. Gao White leapt onto his shoulders, pushed off, and landed while chopping her baton, striking Whiger with a burst of spark.
Gao White stepped back and energized her baton with pink-and-white energy.
“Tiger Baton!” she shouted. “Cross Cut!”
She slashed through a cross pattern, striking Whiger with massive bursts of spark.
Kiba Ranger moved in with his Tiger Saber, Byakko. He energized the blade with blazing white energy.
“Sonic Strike!” He slashed through a streak of white energy that tore through Whiger, ripping through his midsection with bursts of spark.
Secondary explosions punctured through Whiger’s body. The monster collapsed to his knees and exploded into flames and smoke.
Gao Yellow, Gao Blue, Tenma Ranger, and Kirin Ranger charged towards a wave of monsters.
Tenma Ranger armed his weapons.
“Tenma Nunchucks!” He twirled the nunchucks, bashing an X-Borg aside.
Gao Blue moved in on the off-balance soldier.
“Shark Cutters! Surging Chopper!” He swung his blades through streaks of blue power that tore through the X-Borg with bursts of spark.
Nearby, the Yellow Gao Ranger armed his sword. “Eagle Sword! Noble Slash!”
He slashed through a streak of yellow energy that cut through a trio of X-Borgs.
Kirin Ranger moved in on the damaged grunts.
“Time Flares!” He snapped blades of distortion energy that stabbed through the grunts and exploded.
Tommy clashed against Shadow Blade, sword against sword, standing before the darkness that was the essence of the Dark One. The cold expanse was somehow both infinite and empty.
Tommy held so much of the One Power that he nearly burst. He would need that strength in the fight to come. For now, he resisted Shadow Blade sword against sword. He wielded Ryuseiken as a physical weapon, fighting as if with a sword made of fire and light, parrying Shadow Blade’s attacks.
Each step Tommy took dripped blood to the ground.
Shadow Blade came swinging hard in a two-handed blow. Tommy stepped backward, catching the blow on Ryuseiken, but he misjudged the slope of the ground. Either that, or the slope changed on him. Tommy stumbled, the blow forcing him down on one knee.
Blade against blade. Tommy’s leg slipped backward, and brushed the darkness behind, which waited like a pool of ink.
All went black.
To be continued…