Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers or any other show. They are the property of whoever owns the rights at this time. Justin's dream is courtesy of the epilogue of Two Faces of Sydney from JRL's Earth Crystals story, which he has still not continued despite previous promises hint hint.
Author's Note: Super Green is not an original idea. It's what I called a mode that was seen in a couple of Masked Rider episodes where Dex's armour changed without reason. In some of those episodes Dex was also shown in an enlarged state. The reason for this was that they were using footage from a Kamen Rider movie instead of the usual series, however instead of making up a new power for Dex, I just wanted to give this mode a name. As far as the devolved Edenite goes, inspiration for that came from two sources: Kamen Rider Black which was the show before the show that got translated as Masked Rider, gave the hero a pre-armoured phase, and the movie Kamen Rider Shin where the protagonist mutates rather than transforms into a Kamen Rider. Datz is the name originally given to Fact in the Masked Rider/Power Rangers crossover Friend in Need. I decided to keep them as two separate machines and will probably end up using them both in future stories.
Hey Teacher, Leave Those Kids Alone
The Moon 6th January 1998
His name was Behemoth and he was a failure. He had arrived offering his services to Divatox. She had sent him after Prince Gasket who had soundly defeated him and then sent him on a suicide mission against the Machine Empire's foundry. He had survived only to wind up back where he had started. And now the area of the Moon where he had once met with Divatox was empty, leaving him alone... and hungry. With nothing better to do he had made his way to Rita's Luna Palace and had eventually found some food.
He sniffed it, making a face at the disgusting smell. It didn't taste much better and when the pain started he thought that maybe he had made a mistake. That was until he started to feel the effects of the strange food as it restored his battered body, renewing his strength along with a change of skin tone. Now he would show Divatox that he could pulverize the Power Rangers just as he had boasted... once he finished eating.
"That prediction made no sense, even Fact is not so dense," Gork mocked.
"I think reactivating Datz was a mistake," Nefaria whispered to Cycloptor.
Indeed the majority of Count Dregon's senior advisors were in agreement. Datz had last been used on the planet Edenoi and had been damaged shortly before Dregon had decided to make Earth his new target. The Datz unit had been damaged and replaced by Fact, but following a recent fit of anger, Fact needed time to repair... and for Dregon to calm to down.
"Datz unit is at peak computational capacity," Datz responded. "Current test subject has a forty-two percent chance of triumphing over the Masked Rider. Current plan has a ninety-six percent chance of successfully completing primary objective."
"How can the plan succeed if the subject fails?" Nefaria demanded.
In recent months Dregon had expanded on his hybrid experiments, creating a collection of warriors to replace his dwindling supply of Insectivores. The process had been slow due to the constant interference of the Masked Rider and his allies, but Dregon was finally at the stage where he had sufficient specimens to start sending them into battle. The problem was that most of them had an even lower chance of success than the Insectivores.
"Masked Rider has superior abilities that will result in destruction of mutant," Datz replied. "Destruction of specimen will lead to completion of Count Dregon's primary goal."
"And how would defeat allow Count Dregon to conquer this planet? He is not making sense!"
"Perhaps because conquering this planet has never been my main goal," Dregon mused.
"Correct, primary goal of Count Dregon is control of the Masked Rider powers," Datz replied.
"Very well Datz, tell me how this plan of yours will work," Dregon instructed.
"Electro Saber - Activate!"
Positioning his hand against the Ecto-Accelerator, the Masked Rider gripped the handle of the Electro Saber and pulled it free, charging the weapon as he did so. For Dregon's forces it was the moment they had been waiting for. Datz's analysis of the Masked Rider had detected a weakness in the Masked Rider's armour while drawing his weapon. With the Ecto-Accelerator partially exposed, the Blaster Bug followed its instructions and unleashed an energy pulse that struck the the charging interface.
The Masked Rider was thrown backwards, crashing to the ground, his Electro Sabre destroyed by the overload. However apart from the discomfort of his landing, Dex was unhurt. He launched himself back at the Blaster Bug, avoiding the miniature swarm of razor sharp spike it threw in his direction.
Masked Rider drove himself feet first in the Blaster Bug, causing it to explode.
"I thought his defeat was supposed to give Count Dregon control of the Masked Rider powers," Nefaria sneered.
"Outcome successful," Datz reported.
"Datz must be blind or out of his mind," Gork protested.
"Perhaps you should be watching the monitor then," Cycloptor told him.
"Ectophase, deactivate!" Masked Rider called.
And then he screamed. Dex had endured pain before. He had suffered countless injuries at the hands of Count Dregon's forces. He had suffered nightmares almost every night due to some of the things his 'uncle' had put him through. But that was nothing compared to the agony he felt as he tried to deactivate his damaged Ecto-Accelerator. Blaster Bug had damaged the device, breaking the safety protocols that limited the way in which the device transformed Dex. With the device damaged, the discharge was no longer controlled and tried to alter its user's body.
In a flash his armour vanished, but the power was not done. He could feel the changes to his DNA as the Ecto-Accelerator tried to transform his body into a living version of the Masked Rider. His skin ripped as his fingers tore at his burning flesh. His muscle mass increased, ripping his clothes as his body grow to accommodate the power. Sharp spikes appeared on the back of his forearms. His face changed to resemble that of his Masked Rider armour, but his eyes were green instead of red.
And then control seemed to slip as the insect warrior's instincts took control of the transformation, forcing Dex's consciousness to the back of his mind. With an inhuman scream the devolved Edenite turned toward the populated areas of the city and charged.
"The Masked Rider has been devolved into an Edenite mutant," Datz reported. "Count Dregon's primary goal is now complete."
Suddenly the machine's prediction made sense. Even though the Blaster Bug had lost, the Masked Rider had been transformed into a beast, something that Count Dregon could control. By triumphing Dex had effectively handed his enemy control of the Masked Rider powers.
"Dex come on buddy," Skull begged as he tried to lead the Mutant Rider away from the population centre.
Meanwhile Bulk was keeping the rest of Dregon's forces at bay.
"Now would be a good time to call that grandfather of yours and ask for some advice," Skull continued. "Dex?"
The response came in the form of a powerful swipe. Sparks flew from Skull's armour as the mutant tried to cut him in half. A punch to the jaw had Skull flying through the air, cursing that the monster had somehow learnt to master the Rider Punch.
"We don't want to hurt you Dex," Bulk warned as he cut through the last Maggot with his axe. "But you wouldn't want us to let you hurt people."
"You must take back control Dex," Lexian urged.
"How?" Dex asked.
"You must control your thoughts and emotions," the old king explained. "You control the power of the Masked Rider, it does not control you. Take back control Dex, conquer your fear and embrace the change for what it is: an opportunity."
"But what is this thing?"
"It is a part of you Dex, a part of your heritage that the Masked Rider powers unlock everytime you transform. Like the Super Blue and Super Gold transformations, it can be a great asset in your war against Dregon, but only if you command it. Embrace it Dex, seize this opportunity and let the Masked Rider evolve."
Evolution, that was what it was all about. Dex remembered how in the past the Masked Rider powers had seemed to behave oddly, allowing him to grow to giant size or in one instance changing the appearance of both his armour and of Chopper. Super Blue and Super Gold had been technical enhancements to his powers, it seemed that this was a change brought about through his bloodline or maybe the power source from which the Ecto-Accelerator drew its power.
"I must take back control!"
And in his mind Dex found himself facing the creature that had taken control of his body. This was the Masked Rider that relied only upon its Edenite heritage. A creature of instinct and violence. A creature that had noticed him and was already charging.
But as he ducked the first swipe of its deadly forearm claws, Dex realised that this was his mind. And here he could call on the power of the Masked Rider. And so he did so, allowing the power of the Masked Rider to shape itself to his need, coating him not in the black and green armour he was used to, but rather a shinier all green armour.
And then they clashed, the raw power of a devolved Edenite against the skill, training, magic, technology and heritage of the Prince of Edenoi. Rider Punch against Rider Punch, Rider Kick against Rider Kick. Both were exceptionally powerful, but while the monster allowed its anger to drive it that was all it had. While Dex drew upon the knowledge that his family, his friends needed him to regain control and to stop Dregon. That determination drove him onward, adding extra force to each punch he delivered.
And as his foot connected with the mutant, Dex knew that he had won. It was time to return to the real world and help his friends.
"Mask Rider, Super Green!"
With that call, the devolved body of the Edenite mutant vanished as solid armour replaced living exoskeleton and Super Green was born.
The inaugural meeting of the United Alliance of Evil that had not progressed as he had foreseen. The return of Lord Zedd while welcome had disrupted the proceedings as the revived villain had demanded the return of territory taken in his absence. That had led to other old disputes being dragged up as some factions almost came to blows. And even when they had settled under the pressure of his dominant visage, there had been some too ignorant to respect his authority.
The Grand Monarch could have cursed his agent for taking so long to complete his task and risking exposure. In fact Dark Specter had cursed him; he had almost obliterated him as punishment for his failure and as a warning to those he might have inspired. But in the end he had spared him. For while he had failed to remain undetected, he had brought with him a prisoner that would allow Dark Specter to triumph.
The problem was that it had shown some of the others that the prizes they had at one time pursued were still obtainable. And that in turn had led to speculation that they could make similar attempts and perhaps wrest control of the United Alliance of Evil from his control. And while he knew that in such a struggle he would stand triumphant, it would be at the loss of several major players he had been counting on as pawns in his little game.
That was why he had decided to overlook some of the minor empires that had ignored his command to attend the meeting. While the more powerful factions were distracted by their petty rivalries, he was willing to let a few insignificant villains try their hand at invading the Earth. They would most likely fail, but if they succeeded, he would tear their prize from them and use them as an example. Most importantly, he would be protected; Dark Specter understood the power of the planet Earth. He had seen how the planet's magic bolstered positive feelings such as love, creating them where they did not exist, bolstering them where they did. Even the most wicked villain attacking the small world was doomed to become a victim of the planet's magic, becoming a poor reflection of the villain he had once been. Rita and Zedd were prime examples of just how far a villain could fall; Dregon had pretty much turned into a joke.
Yes it was far better to allow the smaller factions to try their luck. If they got lucky, he would then claim their victory on behalf of the entire United Alliance of Evil. And as the ruler of the UAE, that meant the Grand Monarch would claim the Earth for himself.
A commotion drew his attention and he sighed when he noticed the source. It seemed two witches had decided to settle their disputes with a magical duel. The problem was that they were equals and had the same limited number of spells at their disposal. What had started with curses had descended into hair pulling and clawed nails. Assuming his more intimidating form he growled at the pair, relishing the way they broke apart. It was a shame that the moment his back was turned they would resume their fighting. He shook his head and called the meeting back to order. It was going to be a long day.
"News in from Japan where government sources have confirmed that Ultratech Soldiers were dispatched earlier today to combat what appears to be another monster attack. Official sources confirmed that the monster was taken down and has been removed for further study. No comment has been made about the apparent loss of two soldiers during the incident. The Japanese Government is expected to give a formal report on the incident to a closed meeting of the United Nations within the next few days.
When the various villains invading the planet Earth had received orders to attend Dark Specter's meeting, they had complied. However while Rita had been sure to take her most prized possessions and Mondo had seen to it that anything he left behind could not be used by a competitor, Divatox had simply upped and left. In her haste she hadn't even thought to cancel the bounty she had placed on the Turbo Rangers. Or maybe she had remembered and decided to leave it there on the off chance that one of her mercenaries got lucky. Regardless of her reasons, the Turbo Rangers had found themselves having to clean up the Streets of Angel Grove.
Surprisingly in Divatox's absence the bounty hunters had actually managed to organise themselves. There wasn't an established leadership or an outright plan. Although there was an agreement that they would not undermine each other once they agreed whose turn it was. And by decide they meant long sessions of drinking the most toxic space liquor and bragging about their abilities. There was no doubt that each considered themselves the best at something, even if in one case that was knowing the difference between a tree and a shrub.
So far the Turbo Ranger's had battled the best chef, the best hedge trimmer and the best burglar in the Universe. None had been that difficult for the teens to overcome although the chef had put Tasha off broccoli for life. And as the days passed and it became clear that wherever Divatox had gone she would not be returning anytime soon, the Turbo Rangers had come to accept that they were going to be the team known for their easy wins over low calibre opponents; it was almost embarrassing.
But despite how useless the majority of those left behind were, there were still some signs of hope. Porto had been working on a secret project before leaving and unable to complete the final stages himself, had located a qualified instructor. It had been the instructor's job to train Porto's candidates into the seasoned warriors needed to defeat the Power Rangers Turbo. Sadly it seemed that Master Spank'Em had been angered to the point where he was willing to destroy his two charges.
"You look exhausted," Trini remarked as she sat down at the table across from Sydney.
"I am exhausted," Sydney answered, peeling an orange. "I'm still remembering stuff, and... some of it isn't pleasant. I didn't sleep real well because of it."
"Remembering stuff?" Trini asked, taking a bite of her cereal. "What do you mean?"
"It's a long story, but I don't mind telling you if you're ready. It's gonna shock you, though."
"Very little shocks me anymore," Trini told her.
Sydney started to begin her tale, but another memory suddenly hit her like a ton of bricks. She jerked her gaze to the microwave nearby, where the digital display revealed the time was 7:31 a.m. "Oh God."
"Trini, please trust me. You have to morph and go to the Zord Holding Bays, right now."
"Right now!" Sydney cried. "Please, just trust me!"
Trini, admittedly shocked at her adopted sister's outburst, nonetheless nodded her head and shouted, "It's Morphin Time!" As yellow energy crackled behind her, she thrust her morpher out and cried, "Saber-Tooth Tiger!"
Sydney caught a glimpse of the armoured Yellow Morphin Ranger, and then, Trini was whisked away in a yellow teleportation beam. "Please don't be too late," she pleaded.
When Trini materialized, she did not find herself standing in the middle of the massive Zord Holding Bays. Instead, she was standing in the burning wreckage of the destroyed Zord Holding Bays. Large fragments of their Zords lay everywhere, utterly demolished. Smoke was billowing up in great black clouds, and the sky was stained orange from the burning debris.
Justin Stewart awoke with a start, cursing yet another night of interrupted sleep. It had been going on since the start of the year. It was never the same dream and he would not class them as scary, just deeply disturbing and more than a little confusing. In his dreams he always saw the Power Rangers, but rarely were they the Rangers he knew. Sometimes their names were different. Sometimes that had different powers or teammates. He had had one dream where Tanya had been the Purple Morphin Ranger and Aisha had been something else altogether.
But he wasn't sure what this dream represented. Was it a warning, a glimpse of how things might be, or just a dream? He wasn't sure. However as his alarm sounded he was sure that this was going to be another long day.
The one thing worse than ridiculous monsters taking up their leisure time was boring lessons. The voice of the teacher droned on and one, making her students yearn for the lesson to end just to escape to a more exciting class. It wasn't that Mrs Finn was a bad teacher. Most of the time her lessons were enjoyable, however the curriculum had turned to Trigonometry and after the introduction to the subject, the lessons had grown duller as she explained the application of all they had learnt. To be fair it would have been difficult for any teacher to make it fun. Still even knowing that the next lesson would be more interesting did little to improve their attentiveness.
"And so, when you have a right triangle, what formula is used to describe the cosine of the angle." Mrs Finn surveyed her classroom, eyes narrowed. "Moose!"
The heavyset boy startled, almost falling out of his chair. "What?"
"Can you tell me the formula used to determine the cosine of an angle in a right-angled triangle?"
"Uhh- baby formula?" the bully replied. Most of the class giggled.
"No." Mrs Finn scanned the room. "Fred Kelman. Can you answer the question?"
"Um,- no, ma'am," Fred replied. The teacher sighed.
"Justin Stewart." It wasn't a question. Justin, Fred, Tasha, Rosa and Franklin were the top students in her class and while the other four found it a challenge, she sometimes thought that Justin held himself back more than he let on. The blue-clad genius looked up from his notebook.
"Adjacent over hypotenuse," he answered before returning to whatever he was studying. Mrs Finn was certain it was not the work on the board.
"Correct." Mrs. Finn turned back to the board when a strange sound caught her ear. Turning around, she saw her students grimacing, but no obvious source of the noise. Shrugging it off as just one of those things, she continued teaching to her increasingly inattentive class.
There were a few like Justin who enjoyed the challenge of the subject, but for the others it was just plain difficult. As some fell asleep and others gazed out the window, wishing the class would end, they failed to notice the increasingly agitated figure who had decided to inspect their classes.
Dark Red Turbo slammed into the villain at full speed, drawing his sword as he did so. His opponent hardly reacted to the force of the body blow as he skilfully redirected the sword with his sabre. From there Dark Red Turbo found himself on the defensive as his enemy showed the many eons of practice that marked him as a master swordsman. Still Dark Red Turbo while not exactly holding his own was able to prevent the wicked warrior from slicing him to pieces. He was rewarded for his endurance by a fierce kicked to the abdomen followed by a slice to the left leg that pierced the protective material of his uniform. At least that had provided Dark Blue Turbo the time needed to get into position and open fire.
Master Spank'Em appeared momentarily surprised when Dark Blue Turbo opened fire upon him and silently congratulated his scarlet opponent for distracting him. But as he humiliated himself by ducking the first of the two shots, he proved himself the master combatant by using his sword to redirect the second shot into the recovering Dark Red Turbo. He could almost see the surprise of Dark Red Turbo's face behind the now cracked helmet, but set aside his gloating as he charged at Dark Blue Turbo.
Dark Blue Turbo responded as he was expected to: by firing continuously at the villain as he closed the gap. Dark Blue Turbo and Dark Red Turbo were a team but Dark Red Turbo was better suited to close combat while Dark Blue Turbo was more effective when laying down covering fire. Not that their positions could not be reversed. Dark Blue Turbo could hit harder than Dark Red Turbo, but he was less likely to connect with a blow due to his slower speed. When it came to firepower though Dark Blue Turbo could direct his shots in ways that Dark Red Turbo could not hope to match.
That Master Spank'Em managed to dodge and counter every shot that came his way was impressive. But Dark Blue Turbo was not foolish enough to let an enemy get so close if he wasn't sure he could blast him. In an instance he replaced his twin pistols with a less advanced battle hammer and attacked. His first shot actually connected, damaging Master Spank'Em and shocking the villain enough that he didn't notice the second blow until it had connected with his head. By that time Dark Red Turbo had recovered enough to catch up and the two Rangers attacked simultaneously, refusing to become the victims for Master Spank'Em to show to his classes.
"Enough of this!" Master Spank'Em declared.
In a whirlwind of movement he managed to misdirect and disarm both Rangers. His sabre and feet made short work of Dark Blue Turbo and he felt a sense of delight as he swung for the Ranger's throat. Only to find Dark Red Turbo's sword blocking his way. His attention shifted to Dark Red Turbo and in the process allowed Dark Blue Turbo to draw his pistols to fire into the villain's chest at close range. As the villain landed on the ground, Dark Red Turbo was already in motion, his sword shifting through the air as he delivered the cutting blow to the villain's neck.
Despite their victory, both Rangers obeyed immediately, not seeming to notice their fallen foe as he exploded. Of course he was just a machine created to fill in for their real teacher as Master Spank'Em stepped from behind the wall where he had observed the battle.
"Your skills have shown a dramatic improvement," he told them. "However there is still room for improvement. Dark Red Turbo, you have been taught to use all parts of your body, not just your sword. You could have easily used a few kicks to stagger your opponent. And you, Dark Blue Turbo, did well to vary your assault, but should have moved between shots. Still your improvements are acceptable."
Secretly he was very impressed with the skills they had shown. He had heard about Divatox's recent plan to create her own team of Turbo Rangers. The plan had failed, but Porto had at least installed a failsafe to make sure the powers could never be used against the Dianthe. Dark Red Turbo and Dark Blue Turbo were a secret side project that Porto had been developing.
Long ago scientists with the Galactic Council had tried to create intelligent life by reverse engineering fallen members of the Machine Empire. To protect themselves against the possibility that their creations would rebel, they had placed their processors inside vehicles captured from the Dianthe's race tracks. Only two of the vehicles had proved suitable after being retrofitted so they had wheels. The rest had been scrapped and the personality units had been implanted in small scale test bodies - for the scientists had agreed that upon successful completion they would create full size bodies for their creations.
Unfortunately during a Dianthe raid on the holding facility to recover their captured personnel, one of Divatox's underlings had discovered the project, terminated most of the staff and turned the results over to Porto. The inventor had been tinkering with the results ever since and had found a way to connect the full size vehicles to an energy source similar to that used by the Turbo Rangers. He had then used his knowledge to build two devices to channel that energy from the vehicles into a living body. Knowing he could not pass them off as Rangers, he had designated them Riders. The Speed Force generator in one vehicle powered the Dark Red Turbo Rider while the one located in the other vehicle did the same for the Dark Blue Turbo Rider. Porto had even gone so far as reducing the two vehicle to the scaled models used during testing to make them portable.
And then he had selected his candidates. Unlike previous attempts, Porto had not searched for capable martial artists. Instead he had chosen humans with suitable personalities and had hired Master Spank'Em to turn the results into skilled combatants and loyal members of the Dianthe; loyal only to Divatox and Porto of course. He had even created some Zords for them to use if the need arose.
"For now you are to work on your 'joint' tactics. I will have a test arranged for you later. If you pass I will allow you to introduce yourselves to the Power Rangers."
The two Rangers bowed as Master Spank'Em walked away to make some arrangements. That had led him to seek out the Turbo Rangers so that he could study them further.
He had intended to remain hidden, but after observing the Turbo Rangers for a short time, he had remembered why he had been so angry before.
"I say, desist this outrageous behaviour at once!" Spank'Em bellowed, revealing himself in the process. He had spent the morning observing the Power Rangers and their classmates. The lack of respect for their teacher, their inability to pay attention and their obvious ignorance left him feeling outraged.
The class turned, most screamed while the five Turbo Rangers were on their feet ready to fight. In the chaos nobody noticed their teacher had fainted. Before them stood what could only be described as a monster. He looked like he had been created from a part of the classroom since they could see chunks of wall surrounding his chalkboard upper body. His right arm was made up from a combination of geometry tools and a text book with pencils acting as fingers while his right arm appeared to be a coloured pencil. Although given the bandolier it was likely some form of weapon. His lower body looked like somebody had stolen a teacher's desk. Little did they realise that Spank'Em had been created by using one of Rita's wands and an abandoned classroom. Fred noticed that the mortar board on his head had seen better days and that the cane he carried looked especially painful.
"How dare you ruffians show such disrespect your magnificent teacher by daydreaming and fooling around behind her back. Have you no respect for the knowledge she seeks to impart upon you? No, this is quite, quite unacceptable. Clearly standards in Angel Grove are not high enough and need rigorous enforcement. So, prepare yourselves, for I am taking over this rabble you call a class. My name is Spank'Em and I am a most respected instructor of disobedient youths. Now, you shall all sit and write the line: I must be attentive in class because failing to do so wastes my teacher's valuable time and disrupts the learning process of those around me. One billion times should suffice."
"And what if I don't want to write some stupid lines?" Moose asked. He was not particularly brave, but he really hated schoolwork.
"Then you risk suspension," Spank'Em replied.
He waved his can in Moose's direction and the bully found himself suspended over a flaming pit.
"Do I make myself clear?"
Moose nodded as quickly as his head would allow and when the monster released him, he crawled back into a corner, trembling.
"Hey you can't do that!" Tasha yelled. The other Turbo Rangers were at her side, glaring at the monster.
"Do you mind?" Spank'Em growled in reply. "You are disrupting my lesson plan."
As he finished his little speech, a black vortex opened in the middle to the classroom.
"Run!" Fred bellowed.
Their fellow students didn't need to be told twice, and ran out the door, sounding the alarm for the rest of the school as they did so. In their haste they missed Fred, Justin, Tasha, Rosa and Franklin as they were swallowed in the dark vortex.
The five Turbo Rangers found themselves in a smaller version of the school gymnasium. Before they could consider their surroundings too much, they were struck from behind by a collection of heavy medicine balls. Realising that this was a game of dodge ball they did not want to lose, the five Rangers spread out, avoiding a few hits as they did so, but still clearly outnumbered by an enemy they could not see.
"We need to morph," Fred decided after being knocked to the ground for the third time. "Shift into Turbo!"
The Rangers made the familiar movements needed to activate their powers, only to be struck at the precise moment they needed to insert their keys. A further bombardment sent them scattering for cover, the idea of morphing forgotten as they realised the balls were getting larger and more powerful if the holes in the gymnasium floor were an indication.
"Pathetic," Spank'Em told them as he emerged from the other side of the gymnasium. "I thought I had impressed on you that I am a professor. I teach uncouth students such as you daily and I make it a point to study the academic records of those I seek to educate. I am aware that you are the Power Rangers Turbo. I am also aware of how you activate your powers, how long it takes to does so and the stages at which you are vulnerable. My knowledge is more than sufficient to render your abilities useless. The theme for today is violence..."
He struck out with his cane, slapping the Rangers' hands, causing them to drop their Turbo Keys.
"And homework will be set..."
He produced a pair of large board erasers and banged them together, covering the Rangers in a cloud of white chalk that made the gasp for air.
"I'm going to teach you brats a lesson, one that you'll never forget!"
Another swipe of his cane sent the Rangers flying back into the wall of the gym while he set his sights on the Turbo Keys, much to Tasha's annoyance.
"Hey those are ours!"
A swipe of his cane sent an energy bolt hurtling toward Tasha, which fizzled out an inch from her face.
"Students should be aware that it is school policy to confiscate any little toys they decide to play with during class time." With a gesture the keys flew into his hand and he secured them in a box. "You may have them back when this lesson is over. Provided of course that you survive."
As he finished speaking a group of Piranatrons appeared. Master Spank'Em had found them scavenging around his training camp and after taming them had decided they would make practice material for his two Ranger. Unfortunately Dark Red Turbo and Dark Blue Turbo were now at a level where the fishy soldiers no longer offered them a challenge. So Spank'Em had liberated them to help him test the Turbo Rangers.
"Since this is a gym class, you may start by warming up. And as a little incentive... if you run fast enough you might not get eaten. Piranatrons, show these brats what a school is really like."
Fred was quick to pick up on the monsters intentions as he pulled the others to their feet. "Run!"
And in other news, INET stocks have rocketed following the successful launch of their new Copernicus Personal Computer range. The company received praise for its decision to donate samples of its Copernicus 2000 Personal Organiser to students within the California School System. "
In a small office a lone figure watched the report with interest before turning to other matters. Copernicus was just a small step in a grand journey.
His name was Behemoth and he was angry. Actually he was hungry but hunger easily translated to anger in his case. He had been stalking the depths of the Lunar Palace, eating anything that was remotely edible and blundering into the various magical objects Rita had left behind. His close encounter with her old wands had sent them hurtling toward the Earth. He wanted food, he wanted to take his anger out on somebody. His rage fed his power, causing him to grow and teleport to Earth as the Power tried to grant his wish.
Being a Ranger inevitably had side effects. It was common knowledge on other worlds that those that wielded the Power were often attracted to clothing of a certain colour. Lesser known effects were the Power's desire to make its avatars as strong as they could possibly be. Not only did that lead Rangers to workout and exercise to stay in shape, it led to easier muscle development. It also activated latent abilities such as telepathy, empathy and natural magical talents. In truth living on a Ley Line had already ensured that most of those living in Angel Grove with any sort of psychic talent became more aware of what was going on.
For the Turbo Rangers it was not so straightforward. They were Power Rangers by Zordon's declaration, but their powers came not from magic like the Morphin Rangers and indirectly the Zeo Rangers, but from the Speed Force: another extra-dimensional energy force that interacted but remained separate from the Power. Although similar, the slight differences meant that the side effects also varied. For instance the Turbo Rangers felt a strong desire not only to train in combat, but also to build up their natural speed and stamina.
An important feature of the Turbo powers was their ability to radically change the shape of the person using the powers. Every morpher enhanced the body to a degree, but the Turbo powers actually caused their avatar to grow taller. The reason it could perform such a radical change was that unlike the Morphin and Zeo Rangers, the Turbo Rangers partially merged with the Speed Force during their transformation, their physical bodies transforming into energy contained within their suits. And despite appearances, when they powered down, some of that connection always remained within their bodies; a part of them remained within the Speed Force.
It was that combination training and residual energy that kept the Turbo Rangers ahead of their pursuers. Well that and the general stupidity of the Piranatrons that hadn't considered just stopping as the Turbo Rangers led them in circles.
"Get ready," Franklin advised as they completed another circuit. Up ahead were the climbing ropes, just what the Turbo Rangers needed. "Now!"
The five Rangers grabbed the ropes, using them to swing upward slightly before heading back toward their pursuers. The Piranatrons lacked the intelligence to react quickly enough as they were kicked by their prey. The Turbo Rangers were quick to take advantage, suddenly using their environment to their benefit, tripping the bungling fish soldiers over pieces of equipment they had moved into place during their supposedly panicked retreat. The fight was surprisingly short lived, ending when Tasha and Rosa managed to trap the fish soldiers in the back of a soccer net.
"And that concludes your first lesson," Spank'Em announced as the Rangers tried to catch their breath. "Now for the second lesson: Basic Mathematics. I have already subtracted your powers from this little equation and I added to the danger. So now I guess we need to divide you all up and then your problems will really start to multiply."
"Hey!" Tasha complained. "Fred's the one that handles the bad jokes."
"Yeah!" Fred agreed before he realised what she had said. "Hey!"
"Enough! It is time for your next class."
Sparks erupted around them, causing the Rangers to shield their eyes. As a result they never noticed when the floor disappeared and they dropped into the new horrors Spank'Em had prepared for them.
When Spank'Em had first appeared, the Power Chamber's computer had tried to summon the Turbo Rangers only to discover the teenagers were already engaged with the monster and that Angel Grove High School had been taken over. The computer's second protocol to summon all other active and inactive Rangers had failed because there were no other Rangers available. With no other choice it had used a list of extended contacts to summon Bulk, Skull and Prince Dex as the closest thing to a Ranger team on the planet. Together Dex and his two trainees had tried to discover a way in and learn the fate of the students trapped inside. The discovery that Spank'Em had put the majority of them under a spell and was forcing them to write lines became more of a concern when they realised the lines were not written in a language found on earth.
Before they could investigate too far, the alarm sounded again, this time warning of a monster attack in one of Angel Grove's neighbouring cities.
"Aw man he's already huge," Tommy complained as the Viewing Screen showed Behemoth tearing his way through the city.
"This is Behemoth," Dex told them. "The computer says that he was a low class mercenary with a high opinion of himself."
"Well it seems his opinion might have been correct," Skull commented.
"I am detecting some unusual energy readings from Behemoth," Dex warned. "We wll need to be very careful when engaging him."
The trio winced as the monster unleashed an energy wave that destroyed one of the nearby buildings.
"How are we going to fight him anyway?" Skull complained. "He's huge!"
"I've convinced the computer to let us borrow some of the Zords'" Dex replied. "Ectophase Activate!"
~This is not my lucky day,~ Franklin decided as he took in the monster before him.
Franklin assumed he had lost awareness at some point after the gymnasium. He remembered being bombarded by dodge balls, but it was evident his surroundings had changed without him realising it. He had found himself in a high walled maze constructed of stone and some sort of reflective material. It was not glass, he had discovered that when he had tried to break one of the mirrored sections in the hope of finding a way out hidden behind. A voice had promised him that the only way out relied upon him reaching the centre of the maze and that doing so would require him to face countless traps and dangers. He had also guaranteed the young Ranger that if he didn't succeed within five minutes then the walls would collapse and crush him.
And so Franklin had raced to the centre of the maze following the methods his father had taught him long ago of always choosing the left turn wherever that was an option. There had been traps and dangers just as the mysterious voice had warned, and with each turn he heard the walls behind him collapse, blocking any chance of backtracking more than a few turns. He quickly learnt that whatever danger he was about to encounter would emerge from the reflective material. Despite everything he had made it to the centre, only to discover that the lesson was designed to teach Franklin a little history about the planets where gladiators were forced to run through dangerous tunnels only to emerge exhausted and then expected to fight a huge beast.
The creature wasn't a minotaur. Franklin wasn't sure exactly what it was, but he had read enough mythology to know what a minotaur looked like. What he could say for certain was that it was extremely angry as it charged toward him, striking out with a barbed tail. He ducked to the side, causing the creature to collide with one of the reflective panels. Surprisingly both the monster and the wall mirror shattered before reforming as a bigger creature.
"Didn't you know it's unlucky to break a mirror?"
Desperate for a way out his eyes fell upon the large timer that had been set up to taunt him. The seconds were ticking down fast. And that gave Franklin and idea. The next time the monster tried to strike him, Franklin moved, climbing up its back and then using its head to jump up on top of the walls just as they started collapsing on the hapless beast. He let go as the rubble settled, landing on top of the collapsed walls. It seemed his lesson had concluded.
"Oh we haven't even begun Laddie!" Franklin turned and found himself facing a large humanoid shaped mirror. "Mirror Master at your service. And this will reflect on your final grade."
Tasha found herself in a small cell. Her arms were secured behind her back with what she assumed were handcuffs. There were three solid walls to her cell. The forth wall was a barred door made from some sort of energy. She didn't need to approach the crackling bars to know that they would disintegrate anything that touched them. Outside the door she saw the keys hanging from a small hook in an attempt to taunt her.
"Amateurs," she muttered. She was almost insulted.
Ignoring the stone bed the lay on one wall and looked as if it would collapse should she attempt to sit or lie upon it, Tasha leant against one of the other walls. She stood on her left leg while raising her right leg behind her back as far as she could until she could tap the sole with her hand. She heard a small click and was thankful that she had been able to convince Alpha to alter the boots he had created for her after a previous misadventure. They now contained a secret compartment where she was able to hide a few tools. With a small shake of her foot she released the contents, a set of lock picks and a piece of shiny metal about the size of a credit card. She quickly located the correct pick and using her experience of less wholesome pastimes, successfully opened one side of her shackles.
With one arm free she was able to get a look at her restraints. She had been right to feel insulted, she had been secured using a cheap pair of handcuffs. Now she could see the restraints, unlocking the other side took little effort and she threw them into the energy bars, confirming that the bars were indeed set to destroy anything they touched.
That was where the piece of metal came in handy. It was made from one of the materials used to coat the Zords. As such it was high resistant to damage and highly reflective. By angling it correctly under one of the bars, she was able to deflect the destructive energy long enough to reach through a grab the key. Why the key for an energy barrier had been made to resemble a door key with a small button on the end she would never know. But as the bars disappeared, she stepped out in search of her friends.
Now in a larger room she immediately noticed a large safe. Hoping that the Turbo Keys would be hidden inside, she made her way over and tried to open the lock.
"Didn't your parents teach ya not to steal?"
She whirled around, ducking out of the way as something whizzed passed her head. More projectiles followed and she found herself running around the room, dodging behind anything she could find only to discover the projectiles could change course.
"Boomerangs?" she asked as she rolled to the left. "You're throwing boomerangs? Oh!"
At that moment she caught a glimpse of her attacker. Shaped like a giant boomerang, he wore a corked hat and a blue jacket with three stripes on the arm.
"Have to keep to the theme, don't I?" he replied. "Captain Boomerang's the name."
He flung his hand in Tasha's direction and five boomerangs tore through the air, destroying anything they touched.
"Should have stayed in your cell Sheila," Boomerang told her. "That decision will come back to haunt you."
While Franklin had been left to find his way through the labyrinth and Tasha had finally proven that her skills as a cat burglar could be useful as a Ranger, Rosa had found herself in the middle of a snowfield. Ice, frost and snow was everywhere, causing her to shiver from the chill. The ground beneath her was slippery and she quickly discovered that the ground was cold enough to burn.
She quickly realised that the frozen landscape was in fact Angel Grove High School. She could see some of the other students and their teachers seemingly frozen in place. Luckily it did not look as though they had been literally turned to ice.
"Don't worry, they won't freeze to death," a voice said.
She turned, slipped and caught herself just as a ball of ice hit her in the shoulder, throwing her back to the ground. Before her stood a man made of ice. He wore a captain's uniform and a fur parka. It was clear though that this monster was not human.
"My name is Captain Cold," he explained, unleashing a blast of ice at one of the benches. It froze on contact before shattering. "And I can make things very cold."
What followed was a very one sided game of dodge. Rosa knew she was being herded, played with as she dodged to avoid the icy blasts sent her way. Some shots just turned the area to icicles, while others disintegrated anything they froze. Remembering something from one of the books her brother loved to read, she lured the villain into the school, grimacing when one shot took out the side of the building. She ran through the building, aware that the floors were not as slippery as they had been outside.
She dodged left and watched as the lockers that had been there crumbled before ducking into a door where students were not supposed to go; the boiler room. She knew the heat would not deter her pursuer; his freezing powers would rapidly cool the warm environment. However when she opened a steam valve in his face and he winced in pain, she knew she had the upper hand. She ducked passed him back into the hallway, relying on his anguish to make him follow her. The steam had hopefully taken the edge off his powers. It had certainly melted a part of his face. He fired a less powerful blast at her just as Rosa set off the sprinklers, turning his powers against him before racing out of the school in search of her friends.
"That wasn't very nice," Captain Cold declared, reforming in front of her. "Now I don't normally hurt children, but I think I should put you on ice."
Rosa looked for somewhere to run and noticed a bright flame on the far side of the school. With a nod to herself she set off in that direction.
The sports field was on fire. Moments earlier it had been frozen, but as Justin had started to take a tentative step forward, flames had erupted, melting the ice and snow, an igniting anything it could. Luckily when the ice melted it made everything wet, preventing the fire from catching. Still things were getting hotter and Justin wondered if he had been transported to some sort of hell dimension.
Then a voice had spoken to him, revealing a simple challenge. All Justin had to do was run from one side of the field to the other, without being set alight by the red hot running surface. As a Ranger such a feat would have been easy enough. Turbo Rangers could move at high speed and their uniforms offered protection against heat. Unfortunately Justin did not believe that his trainers would offer the same protection.
"It's your choice," he was told. "Run across the hot coals and risk being set alight, or remain where you are and roast like a pig."
It was possible to channel the powers of a Ranger without a morpher. Some of the older Rangers had done it before and Justin knew tat some of his Turbo powers had leaked into his unmorphed body over time. However there was a much greater risk channelling the Power of Turbo directly due to the effect it had on their bodies. When morphed the Turbo Rangers atoms became so energised that their bodies were transformed into a semi solid state. That was why the Turbo Rangers were capable of growing when morphed. The problem was that their bodies did not limit how much energy they could draw like they would for magic. If they used the powers without their suits they risked speeding up their molecules to the point where they dispersed into nothingness.
Still he had little choice if he wanted to survive. And so remembering how the Power of Turbo felt, he started running. The result was disappointing. He survived the run, covering the distance in a time that would have had the coaches begging him to become a part of the team. However the power did nothing to preserve his shoes, which caught fire midway through the run, or his jeans which were a charred mess. It did prevent him from being burnt.
"If you think that was bad, I'm just warming up."
Justin groaned as he caught sight of the monster. Resembling a large firefighter, his body was ringed by flames. Without a second thought he ran as fast as he could around the school, hopin to find some more ice as he dodged the powerful fireballs.
He looked up in time to see Rosa heading his way, pursued by an ice monster.
"Rosa!" he called back, warning her as the ice villain unleashed another attack.
"Duck!" the cried at the same time.
They both dropped to the ground as Heat Wave and Captain Cold hit each other. They scrambled out of the way as the two villains started arguing. It was time to find their friends and get their powers back.
By a strange coincidence, Tasha and Franklin had had a similar victory over their foes. The two Rangers had managed to find each other and had then fooled Captain Boomerang into striking Mirror Master with one of his projectiles. In the resulting argument the two Rangers had crept away, looking for the others and hoping nobody had gotten hurt.
Fred was hurt. While the others had been toyed with, he had been assaulted by Spank'Em and his two students. Star pupils Spank'Em had called them before launching and assault on Fred with his cane. The Red Ranger had dodged, countered and even disarmed the teacher, only for the two powered thugs to involve themselves. Fred had been thrown back to the ground.
There had then followed an extremely abusive game of keep away as the two students had thrown the box containing the Turbo Keys back and forth while Spank'Em tried to hit him with the cane. It quickly became clear that they were supposed to be evil Rangers although they didn't look like it. They looked a little too sinister to pass it off as humans under a spell.
In the end Fred decided that there was no way to get the box from them. Instead he turned hi attention to Spank'Em, surprising the teach with a vicious assault that proved why he was one of Tommy Oliver's favourite students. He stayed on the offensive, catching Spank'Em off guard long enough to snatch away the cane, which he then used to strike the teacher. His next move was to leap into the air, using the cane to strike the box, releasing the Turbo Keys. He landed and scrambled to grab his key, grinning triumphantly as he held it up.
"Shift into Turbo!"
"Do you feel that?" Franklin asked.
"Somebody just activated a Turbo Key," Tasha agreed, remembering the sensation.
They concentrated, using the resonance to find their way. And as soon as they locked on, they found themselves running through the hallways to join their friends.
"Is that?" Rosa asked.
Justin nodded. He too had felt the activation of the Turbo Key, the vibration alerting him to somebody drawing energy from the Speed Force.
"We need to get in there and get our powers back," he declared.
Rosa nodded and the two Rangers started running.
"So you have your powers back, it's still three against one," Dark Red Turbo pointed out.
"Make that three against three," Justin announced as he and Rosa stepped alongside their leader.
Inside his helmet Fred quirked an eyebrow. "What happened to you?"
"It's a long story," Justin answered, collecting his Turbo Key.
"Hey don't forget about us," Tasha warned as she and Franklin entered. "Your faculty are having a labour dispute," she told Spank'Em with a grin.
"Okay guys, let's put end to these classroom bruisers," Fred said.
"Right!" the others answered. "Shift into Turbo!"
Away from that confrontation, Mirror Master, Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang and Heat Wave had finally stopped fighting long enough to realise the Rangers had played them for fools. Realising that if they stayed there was a good chance they would be destroyed now the Rangers had their powers, the four teleported away, vowing to collect their bounty later. As they left, the effects of their powers disappeared, restoring the school to its previous condition. Almost.
"I can see that you have failed to learn your lessons," Spank'Em declared. "I shall have to dispense additional punishment."
The five Rangers adopted a ready stance while Spank'Em ushered his two students away, assuring them he would not be long.
"I must warn you Rangers that I have taken the opportunity to study your techniques. I know how you fight and there is nothing you can do that will surprise me," the teacher warned.
Red Turbo seemed to shrug as he lifted the cane he had taken earlier.
"What?" Spank'Em sputtered as the Red Ranger raced forward and struck him with his own cane.
The other Rangers were quick to follow their leader, proving something tat many teachers knew already: teenagers are vicious. At first he was able to anticipate their attacks, recovering swiftly enough to block Yellow Turbo's Star Charger knuckles. However when Pink, Blue and Green Turbo started launching distance attacks using their Turbo Power Weapons, while Red and Yellow Turbo attacked at close range, he found himself losing.
"Turbo RAM Cannon Mode!" the Rangers called.
Of course Spank'Em knew about their collective attack and was ready to block it. He had not expected the five Rangers to start running toward him as soon as they pulled the trigger, allowing them to attack him at close range with their side-arms. Off balance, he could only look up in resignation as the second blast from the Turbo RAM closed in.
A city close to Angel Grove
The battle was not going well for the the trio of Not-Quite-Rangers. Behemoth was not the strongest nor smartest monster Dex had ever faced. However his ability to absorb damage and return any energy fired at him severely limited the damage the Masked Rider could inflict. Super Green had already taken the brunt of one of the energy blasts. And regardless of how tough Dex's powers were, Super Green was not a mode he used very often.
"Dex this is Fred," Red Turbo said. "Duck!"
The Masked Rider looked confused for a moment before they realised what his young friends had in mind.
"The Spin Out!"
As Dex reverted to his more familliar form and rejoined Bulk and Skull, the Turbo Megazord darted through the space he had previously occupied, driving the point of their blade into the monster causing him to explode and officially ending the battle.
"So Mr Caplan decided to give the entire student body a week off classes while they repair any damage to the school," Franklin explained as he sipped his smoothie.
"Seems that there was a lot of water damage," Justin agreed.
After the battle was over trio of stand in Rangers had returned to their normal routines after checking on any family that had been present at the school. The Turbo Rangers had regrouped at the Youth Center where they could discuss recent events. They knew that despite their victory, there were lot of loose ends. Spank'Em's underlings had not been destroyed and there were still those two evil Ranges to consider. Obviously if they had believed life would get easier in the year ahead they had been gravely mistaken. On the other hand: perhaps they wouldn't need to worry about going down in history as the the team that fought only goofy monsters after all.
He studied the human form he had developed and nodded in approval. Following the escape of the Turbo Rangers the four mercenaries known as Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, Heat Wave and Mirror Master had agreed to remain until they could fulfil their contract. Since they did not want to sit around on the Moon, they had adopted human identities to allow them to move among the natives. Of course they lacked the means to support themselves financially, so had already discovered ways to use their skills to steal what they needed. They knew that such actions would liking draw the attention of the new Grand Monarch of Evil, but they hoped that whatever plans he had would mean that he would be to busy to worry about them. They were after all just Rogues.
With a howl of pain Behemoth reappeared in the Lunar Palace, his wounds completely healed. Somehow he had survived yet again where he should have been destroyed, but the pain was still all too real and he promised he would make the Turbo Rangers pay for the damage they had caused.
"You see, I was correct in my assumptions."
Behemoth turned to find himself confronted by Spank'Em and his two evil Rangers. Spank'Em was still smoking from his encounter with the Turbo RAM.
"Behemoth's heritage has made him unique to most forms of attack. He can be defeated but he will soon reform."
"My heritage?" Behemoth asked.
"You were unaware of it?" Spank'Em asked, making a noise that clearly conveyed his disapproval. "Such ignorance. You are descended from one of the major demon lines. Bowzock I believe he was called. Clearly the intellect and leadership qualities have vanished over the generations, but the regenerative potential remains." He turned to his students. "Now can either of you suggest how Behemoth's capabilities grow?"
"He gets stronger after each battle and even more powerful when he survives a defeat," Dark Red Turbo suggested.
"Essentially correct," Spank'Em agreed. "Anything that does not kill him forces his body to develop some form of protection. Should he encounter that Megazord again, he will defeat it. Alas that is also the reason we are here. Take him!"
On their teacher's command the two Rangers sped forward, striking the confused monster long enough to secure a collar around his neck.
"You are virtually indestructible," Spank'Em explained. "My pupils require further training and I am sadly no longer in a position to teach." That was true, while he showed them a brave face, he knew the damage inflicted would soon destroy him. However in his Dark Rangers - Dark Riders if Porto's notes were to be believed - he had found a legacy and Behemoth was the key to unlocking their potential. He just wished that he knew their real names. "Their skills have grown to the point where I would consider them a challenge. You will provide them with all the practice they require. And because following each battle you will grow stronger, they too will be forced to become more skillful. And when they reach the level I desire, where I know that my work as their teacher has been completed, I promise you will be allowed to make those Turbo Rangers pay. In the meantime, let the training begin!"
End of Part