Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers or any other show.
Author's Note: Justin's dream comes from a story I wrote called Tale of the Fallen. It was a tribute to the Turbo Rangers in Ryuranger's Ultimate Power Rangers, a fanfiction series that I have enjoyed for a number of years.
Stirrings in the Dark
Somewhere on Earth
It was not much to look at, but given the resources he had had available, he felt he had worked wonders. Of course his master would not see it that way, he never did. And why should he when he expected so much more? But then the servant in question was a low grade copy of a faithful servant with a large part of its mind altered to remove the problems caused by morality and ethics. His master had thought to call him Egor after the character from the horror films he had seen. Riffraff had been a second choice before Useless and Worthless had proven more appropriate monikers. In the end it didn't matter what his master chose to call him, it was obvious by the disdain in his voice and the insults that followed who he was talking to.
And so it was in accordance with his master's wishes that the twisted servant lurched its way around the around the complex computers, overseeing the collection, sorting and final distribution of data as he had been instructed. When he finally identified the correct signal pattern he downloaded it into the waiting cubicle and awaited the punishment he knew would come. The process was painful and his master liked to express his discomfort forcefully.
At first he had thought something had gone wrong as the teleport beam was absorbed into the waiting body that rested within the radically altered healing tank. Then the noise grew in volume as the body started to moving, its outer form shifting shape to resemble that of a humanoid. Facial features rapidly appeared as stained white robes appeared over the scarred skin. The light faded, leaving behind a humanoid covered in a green gloop as his body shook in obvious agony as the door to the chamber slid open and allowed him to tumble out.
At once the servant shuffled to his master's side, seeking to assist him in any way possible. For all the abuse he received his loyalty was absolute, a part of his conditioning and a few spells.
"That hurt!" his master snarled, slamming his fist into his underling's bowed head. the forceful blow sent it flying across the floor as the anger passed replaced by a wicked grin. "It worked! IT WORKED!"
"Data retrieval has been completed, Sir," the servant reported. "All parties have been located and verified. All chambers have been primed."
"All of them?" he asked, frowning slightly. "A pity, there were a few that could have done with missing some parts. Very well Zero, begin the restoration process. Bring back the chosen."
As the downtrodden servant shuffled off to complete its task, simulated blood oozing from its damaged head, his master took a moment to consider how fortunate they had been. During a recent training session, the Psycho Rangers had been ordered to teleport away, not realising that their ally had set up a barrier to scatter their molecules. Were it not for the machinery he had convinced Biilly to manufacture to retrieve the data from their teleport, they would have been lost. Instead using technology stolen from the Machine Empire's schemes to infiltrate the world's leaders, they had achieved near immortality. That the chamber he had emerged from had already sealed and a new blank body had been installed. The process was not perfect due to the need to graft synthetic flesh onto the exoskeletons, but that was something they could work on later. For now everything was working as he had hoped.
And now the mighty Psycho Rangers had been forced to endure another change in circumstances, one they would never have accepted willingly. Their bodies were gone, destroyed by the destructive burst, but like the truly evil beings they strived to be, they survived and adapted. No longer beings of physical matter limited to a single form, the process had decoded their atoms and stored them as streams of raw data held on inconceivably large data drives. So long as the core data survived and there was a way to access it, the Psycho Rangers could continue to return. And since they no longer had to worry about their physical bodies, they would be even more ferocious in battle.
Of course in putting the plan into action Shinzon had cemented his role as the Psycho Rangers' mentor. Without him they could not control Zero, who was a vital component in the restoration process. Without Zero they were unable to decrypt the stored data. in the process the balance of power had also changed. Before Shinzon had held only a little influence over the group, relying on his origin to sway Biilly's opinions and his manipulation of a few key events to nudge things in the direction he desired.
Zero pressed a sequence of buttons and the apparatus flared to life once more, this time recreating a group of seven Psycho Rangers. From the discomfort they exhibited it was clear that the process was inherently painful for all who tried it, not just him, something he resolved to correct. It would not do to show weakness at the wrong time. Other than the discomfort it seemed the process had even managed to restore their artificial bodies without causing instability. He could have restored them all, but Biilly, Triini, Adaam, Kaat, Kiimberly, Aiisha and Roocky suited his purposes for the moment.
"Welcome back," he smiled, delighting in the irritation on Biilly's face and cautiously noting how it turned to a calculating stare. "As you can see Biilly, your decoding machine worked on the first attempt. We are now not just powerful, we are almost immortal."
"Our bodies?" Kiimberly asked, clearly confused. He had deliberated altered some of their features so they no longer bore an exact likeness to the humans they were based on.
"Reduced to atoms and then scattered through the Morphing Grid." Shinzon told her. "All that was left was the raw data used to mimic those atoms."
"And you thought this was a good idea? You could have killed us!" Roocky snarled and Shinzon made a mental note that while not as near as bad a Jaason, Roocky still had the temperament of a Red Ranger.
"Fortunately I had Billy create a means of locating and capturing that data so it could be stored in a suitable format."
"So we're just data now?" Triini asked.
"Hardly," Biilly corrected her. "While teleportation does split the body into atoms and then duplicates all the information about those atoms ready to rebuild the original elsewhere, it is far more complex than a line of computer code. Consider it a fully decompiled string of DNA combined with our exact nature within the Morphing Grid. In the right circumstances we could have used any number of materials to restore our bodies to exactly how they had been moments before we teleported."
The Morphing Grid was something that Biilly had made a point of studying. Most Morphin Masters and Power Rangers interest in the Grid was limited to the magical energy sources that gave them their powers. Very few studied the Morphing Grid - or Morphin Grid as some preferred to call it - with an understanding of its true nature: a mapping system that plotted the position of all particles and energy throughout reality. Since atoms could be transformed into energy, that allowed a Morphin Master with the experience and equipment to locate any being or object. Admittedly the Morphin Grid was vast and so searches were limited, but Zordon had used such scans many times to locate disturbances or locate his Rangers. In fact the Command Center of old had been equipped to scan and monitor a large portion of the Morphin Grid relating to Earth and its neighbours.
~The universal energy field that links everyone and everything in the fabric of reality,~ Biilly thought, ~sounds like something I would see in the movies. But there is no denying it exists.~
"So we've been duplicated?" Adaam asked.
"Perhaps," Biilly replied. "Backed up would be a better way to put it. And thanks to this machine, our Resurrection Hub, we can be restored as many times as we need in order to defeat our enemies. The Machine Empire has been using a similar process for thousands of years. How else do you think Mondo has survived?"
He pointed to the chamber he had emerged from and heard the satisfying gasp of surprise from the others. Inside the chamber was an exact duplicate of his body, silently sleeping
"The process is automatic now that the first transfer has been completed," Shinzon added. "Any time your physical forms are damaged, you will be able to transfer to a new body; so long as you remember who controls the machine everything will be fine."
"So if we can duplicate ourselves why not do so again and again and again, and build a real army?" Kaat asked.
"Because each body would share a consciousness and a ... soul?" Triini replied. Did they even have souls anymore? Had they ever really had souls? "You'd have to divide your attention between each body and any injury caused to one would affect the whole group."
"We could just use the the machinery to create new foot-soldiers," Adaam pointed out. "If they didn't have to think and only obey they wouldn't feel the strain." His thoughts were already turning to other possibilities.
Aside from their collective memories and a link to the Power, the Psycho Rangers were no longer limited to their original appearances. Indeed they no longer needed to look human or even organic. Just by reprogramming the chambers they could alter their artificial bodies as needed. And yet somewhere deep inside they were all aware that despite the changes they would remain just as ineffectual as they had always been, at least without Shinzon to overcome the fail safes that Minion had implanted.
"Today the Psycho Rangers start again and after recent events, nobody knows we exist," Shinzon informed them. "We are the forgotten threat that will strike only when the time is right. And this is what we are going to do...."
Getting involved with Dark Specter and his plans would have been a mistake. Fortunately they had avoided such an error and were in a position to strike. Lessons had been learnt after Minion. Never again would the Psycho Rangers allow themselves to be led by an outsider. Shinzon was a man of great vision and in time the Power Rangers and their mentor would come to realise just how much darkness a White Morphin Master struggled to keep subdued and why it was so important for them to control their emotions. And that was before he showed the horrors he had hidden within five yet unopened capsules.
Yes the future looked very promising provided they could keep Dark Specter and his forces at bay.
He was without doubt a victim of circumstance. His career had been best described by the words lucky. It was back luck that had made him fall out of favour with his superiors, followed by a string of good luck that had gained him a small amount of fame and notoriety, which in all honesty he had enjoyed. And now that same unpredictable luck had led to him being branded a traitor. But it was in his opinion a real sign of just how unlucky he was that once on the run his ship happened to cross the path of the person he least wanted to meet.
He had ordered an immediate retreat; the enemy had given chase. He had plotted complex course changes and hidden in places he should not have been found. They knew where to look. His comrades had shown their best performance, putting in a display of teamwork and bravery that would have made any manager proud. It was a shame that the only appreciation their pursuers had shown for their actions was to kill them quickly. The fight if it could be called that had been one sided and swift. Their shields had been rendered useless, their engines destroyed and their hull breached in minutes. His crew had been executed and now he found himself standing before the man who would determine his fate.
"I admit I am impressed," he was told as the Inquisitor paced back and forth. "Not many can pull off such an act of treason and make it look as if they were simply incompetent. Had it been just the one prize I could have let it go, two I would have had you watched carefully, but more than three of our most prized wins... nobody can be that incompetent."
"But it's true," Sledge protested. "We never thought one Ranger could cause so much trouble."
"Oh yes, the Ranger," came the reply. "We did some research and guess what we found? You lied to us. On an official report you lied about the nature of the cargo you were carrying. You claimed to be carrying a Ranger, when it was just a Guardian. Now you're claiming that the same Guardian somehow managed to escape from your elite crew? Need I remind you that your crew captured both the Phantom Ranger and the fugitive Visceron? And you expect me to believe you're foolish enough to allow a Guardian to set them free? I am not a fool Sledge, and neither is Captain Crash."
Captain Sledge, space pirate and unfortunate victim of the Dianthe's elite Creep Squadron - with Captain Crash preoccupied, the squadron was led by the Inquisitor, a towering brute known for extracting secrets from those that dared not share them, thought as hard as he could, seeking some reason for the towering enforcer not to end his existence. They had already tried bribery with their entire supply of morphing templates. The Inquisitor had simply declared the property would become his when he terminated them. He had then proceeded to pulverize every bone in one of Sledge's crewmen as a show of the power he wielded before handing the rest of the pirates over to his fellow Creeps for a bit of fun. Sledge hadn't seen what had happened to them, but the screams of agony led him to believe it had been bad. It was strange because he was certain he remembered his crew being executed immediately, so he was unsure how they had also been tortured.
So now he was on his own, berating himself for not changing sides when he had thought about it. At least then he would have been a known traitor, which was much better than being a suspected traitor. The Inquisitor that Crash employed was not known for his delicacy. The good cop, bad cop routine took on new meaning as it usually started with a beating to the point where the victim could not stand before the bad cop took over. The Inquisitor played both roles very well.
"I know you lied Sledge and I will be making that clear to Crash. It's been a while since he had the opportunity to punish a traitor and I'm inclined to let him have the opportunity for the morale of crew. You understand I'm sure, but just between you and me..." Inquisitor said, leaning in close and offering a small wink, "I think you really are as incompetent as your story claims. I think that you and your crew stumbled upon these opportunities and used them to bolster your reputations. And then you found yourselves outsmarted by the enemy and realised how it would make you appear. I bet even Crash would have to offer some sort of mercy if he heard such a pitiful tale. Shame you will never get a chance to tell it."
As he walked out of the interrogation room he flicked a switch, electrifying the floor, walls, ceiling and even the air. Anything he touched made him jolt in pain. Every jolt of pain caused him to flinch, resulting in another painful shock. And as the Inquisitor closed the cell door, Sledge realised that his ordeal had only just begun.
The latest meeting had been in session for hours and so far progress was almost non-existent. For all the power he wielded, Dark Specter had been ill prepared to deal with the idiocy, selfishness and overly inflated egos of his should-be followers. Villains he had cowed into submission had grown a backbone in his presence that they had failed to show before the meeting. It had left him with the choice of making another example or pressing on and hoping his speech would inspire their loyalty. He had chosen the latter option and was growing to regret it. By attempting to show himself as a powerful and wise being, he had inadvertently shown that his followers could get away with their antics. That had encouraged others to follow their lead while those he sought to impress the most looked bored.
At the far end of the long table Dark Specter had prepared for his favoured allies, Master Vile was fighting the urge to just leave. He had only attended in the first place because he had heard Dark Specter's boasts of obtaining a power that would put even the Zeo Crystal to shame. But it turned out Dark Specter had not obtained such a power, indeed his chosen agent's attempt to gain the power in question had resulted in a clear failure on his part. The Earth was no longer obtainable. But the Zeo Crystal was.
As that thought struck him Master Vile realised that he had the opportunity to snatch control of the UAE away from Dark Specter. If he could obtain the Zeo Crystal he would at least be on an equal footing to this upstart. If in the process he could also claim the powers of the Rangers of Earth, he would be the most powerful member, a position that would guarantee him the leadership and the greater share of the spoils.
He wouldn't be able to do it on his own though. He would need outside assistance. Rita and Zedd were not an option since they were too busy focussing on Zedd's lost territory to help with Earth. The Machine Empire would no more work with him than he would lower himself to cooperate with them. As for Divatox, he knew she would betray him at the worst possible moment and through that misjudged act, bring the entire scheme crashing down around him. His eyes searched the crowd, seeking out those that were not disrupting the meeting, those that would be useful. And finally he caught sight of the person he needed. With a air of importance, Master Vile drew himself up and made his way over to where Monastra Repugna stood talking to Count Dregon. It was time to renew an old acquaintance.
It was fire without light, just visible darkness and lots of heat; at one time that had been a classical description of Hell among some of Earth's populace. Whereas the truth of that image had yet to be confirmed, it was an accurate depiction of the black sun in another part of the galaxy. The heat allowed the occupants of the otherwise freezing space to thrive. They were beings of darkness, without a real form save for the matter they absorbed from around them. Highly magical and capable of changing shape and size at will, they had once been demons and malicious spirits that had been caught in an event horizon and found themselves unable to claim a physical shape. Long long ago there had been several thousand species living on their world, but war and interbreeding had wiped out all but the strongest of their kind. Over time the surviving races had left the Black Nebula, the most recent over a million years earlier had recently claimed the name Dark Specter.
But those that had remained had also endured. To survive the cold and the terrible storms they had been forced to unite in body and mind, pooling their magical strength to weather the storm. As time had passed they had drifted beyond the event horizon and had found themselves trapped inside their own black sun. There had been a brief battle for dominance, several would-be leaders had emerged, none were without a flaw of some description. They had multiplied, but while doing so had led to millions of entities, there were still only a few thousand truly distinct minds.
And now for the first time since the exodus, their attention had been drawn beyond their realm. The little planet known as Earth had attracted their interest. A planet that glowed with magical energy. In recent years the natural magical that surrounded the planet had become a beacon, a veritable feast for those that could claim it. Others wanted the world for their own reasons, but for these creatures it was nothing more or less than a craving to feed upon the potent energy.
As one they chose a suitable form, a biological ship capable of moving through space without the need of machinery or vast amounts of magic. Their selected form travelled by consuming any and all matter in its path and then expelling a stream of dusty particles to propel itself forward. At first it had to lose a vast chunk of its body just to gain momentum, but once it reached a suitable speed, it rebuilt its lost mass and adapted its shape to gain speed.
It was a long journey though and constant eating was not enough to maintain its power needs - for the energy requirements to hold a physical form were incredible. And so it selected nearby worlds to feed on. As it approached a target, it unleashed large portions of its bulk towards the surface, aware of the damage such rocky missiles would cause. That was an important part of its strategy... at over three hundred miles in diameter, it was a hard target to miss and could not afford drawn out conflicts.
The first wave of rocky missiles were little more than meteors, burning up harmlessly as they entered the atmosphere. Yet the duration of the meteor shower and the fact that it occurred across the planet, lighting up the sky and disrupting communications for several hours, had astronomers wondering just what had caused so much debris? As observers around the world turned their eyes toward the sky they were unable to find what they were looking for as the second wave of larger meteors struck at more carefully selected targets. And with each assault the defences of a target world were worn down until there was no possibility of resistance as the world was consumed and the aliens resumed their course toward Earth.
"I swear from this moment that I shall devote my life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty, and injustice, in all their forms until the day another takes my place!"
He remembered the day he had spoken those words. It had been the day his life had changed forever and he had given up his place in the mortal world to become the Phantom Ranger. He had had a different name back then. He had been a man without direction wandering from planet to planet in search of work and adventure. He had been on a trip to a jungle world known as Bangallia when he had come upon a crashed space ship.
How long the ship had been there was unclear, but the jungle had already started to recover from the fires that had accompanied the crashing vessel. From the scorch marks on the side of the craft it was clear that it had not been a simple case of pilot error.
He approached cautiously, finding his way to the charred section where the cockpit should have been. there he had been surprised to find that not only was the pilot still there, he was alive. Barely alive. He had later learnt that the ship's systems had served as a makeshift cryogenic unit, maintaining the occupant's life functions until help arrived. It had been a wasted effort though since a closer inspection revealed that the unit was almost exhausted and that the pilot was too badly injured to survive long enough once removed from the device for even the most skilled surgeon to save him.
"But I already knew that."
He had been surprised when the injured pilot had spoken. He had thought him to be unconscious.
"The proximity sensors alerted me when you approached," the figure chuckled. "And no, I cannot read your mind."
"We need to find a way to keep this thing running until I can get you some real help," he had said, but the injured man had shaken his head.
"There is no time. My ship kept me alive longer than it should have. Just long enough to complete my final task. I am- Korel Darsan, of the planet Sadrath. I am also known as the Phantom Ranger. And it is to you I offer this legacy."
He had frowned. "What to you mean?"
Korel had not answered, he had simply concentrated. In a flash of black, the pilot's armour was gone and in its place had sat a young, handsome man. His hair was a brilliant white, and his eyes were a truly unearthly shade of green. In one hand he held a spherical ruby, which had been in the chest plate of his armour.
"This is the Power Ruby, one of the oldest and most powerful objects ever known. For generations it has controlled the transformations of the Phantom Ranger. I am not the first Phatnom Ranger although many believe that I am. I was granted the power by the previous Phantom Ranger, just as he received it from his predecessor. It is a potent weapon, but there are some things it cannot overcome. I got sloppy in a recent battle and- " his wry chuckle suddenly became a cough, "I was captured and paid the price for it. Now I ask you to take the Power Ruby and to use its power to continue the Phantom Ranger's mission, or at least to to protect the power until the day comes to pass it on to someone you deem worthy."
"I don't know anything about being a Ranger," he had protested. Korel smiled, a little rivulet of blood trickling from his mouth.
"The Ruby will tell you what to do. It's all instinct. When the time comes... you will know."
He had wanted to refuse, but he had not been the sort to deny a dying man his last request. With a sigh he had nodded. "I'll do it. I'll take your place."
"Very well. From this day forward your life will change. You will still wander, but now it shall be with purpose."
His hand had closed around the stone and the world had started to spin. Somewhere amongst the lights and sounds, he had heard himself speak the oath, confirming himself as the new Phantom Ranger. And he had known that he would never go back.
Knowledge had swept through his mind, the disjointed history of the Phantom Ranger and his origins. He understood that the Phantom Ranger he portrayed was different to the one that had stood firmly against the tide of darkness in the previous existence. Whereas that Phantom Ranger had been able to elude death, the possibility of being destroyed was something he would need to keep in mind. However despite his mortality, the Dianthe believed that he was still the being they had first encountered three-thousand years ago. The feared him in part because he had continued as their greatest leaders and warriors had fallen. And now it fell to the new Phantom Ranger to continue the mission of his predecessors and bring an end to the Dianthe menace.
The Dianthe Clan had evolved in the space of three-thousand years. The pirates had diversified into all sorts of crimes. Drugs, vice, political favours... there were few crimes they had not committed. Murder, extortion and bribery were just a few of the underhanded methods they employed to accomplish their goals. The slave trade and weapon sales had made them rich enough to bank roll an army to conquer a few planets for their criminal activities.
But wherever the Dianthe Clan showed up, the Phantom Ranger was never far behind. He had made himself a nuisance, breaking up many of the Dianthe's more profitable operations. Since the clan had grown he had found himself chasing down one of their leaders while ignoring some of the others. And while he had been aware of Divatox's activities on Earth, he had also seen the reports suggesting the Power Rangers there were more than she could handle. Still his recent encounters with the Dianthe revealed that Divatox had been called away and that the Rangers of Earth had left their planet for some mission. He decided he would check in on those left behind before resuming his quest. If the Dianthe had new allies, then they too would become a part of his quest.
They were a joke among Rangers. Mocked by the comrades and looked down on by the more experienced teams. But they were heroes, just like those that thought them imbeciles. They had tried to be heroes despite their ridiculous uniforms, but now the time had come to stop trying to be Rangers and to fight as Rangers.
Already worn from their battle with Tessai, they looked up to see thousands of Shades and Wraiths approaching. The demon creatures were intent on entering the secret passage and pursuing the Galaxy and Zeo teams.
Pink Turbo shook her head. "Impossible... look at them!"
Blue Turbo tightened his grip on his ViBlade and took a step back. "There's too many of them... no way we can fight them all."
Red Turbo narrowed his brow beneath his helmet as he stared ahead at the unstoppable force. He held his ViBlade high and took a step forward.
"Guys," he said boldly. "We can't let them pass. If they get through, they stop the Galaxy and Zeos, and the whole universe loses."
Green Turbo shook his head. "What do you suggest we do?"
"We fight," Red Turbo said. "And we keep fighting. Everyone else, the other heroes, they may think we're jokes. Hell, look at our outfits, but we're not... we are Rangers. And it's time to show the world why."
The battle that followed would only last for fifteen minutes, but in that time the Turbo Rangers showed why they were worth of the name. At first the grunts charged forward one at a time and were easily cut down. Then the numbers started to increase as wave after wave crashed against the multi-coloured barricade. Two, then four, then twelve... the numbers were relentless, constantly increasing as the Turbo Rangers moved with incredible speed and and skill. They kicked, dodged, hacked and punched the aggressors back. They were unstoppable as their powers seemed to grow by the second.
They were hurt, not a single member of the team could deny that they were being overwhelmed, but they held the line and in doing so they brought the other teams the time that they needed. Never before had they moved so fast, their bodies blurring as they pushed onward. The grunts were too numerous now to count and despite their efforts, the Turbo Rangers were forced to split up as the creatures clawed at their armour.
Blue Turbo and Pink Turbo managed to stand back-to-back and twirl their weapons through intricate fighting patterns while slashing through the villains. Nothing seemed to survive their blades as they stood on a growing pile of discarded opponents. Hundreds of grunts lay at their feet, thousands more had yet to come.
"I love you," Blue Turbo said. "You know that, right?"
"I do," she said. "I love you too..."
They felt their strength draining and their armour weakening. The tears were obvious, the gashes in their skin contributing blood to the carnage they had caused. Green Turbo and Yellow Turbo had already been forced to the ground, and grunts had piled on top of them. Still the two had continued to fight until the very end, even after their weapons were forced from their grips. It wasn't long before Blue Turbo and Pink Turbo were forced to the ground too, but they showed no less commitment to their cause. The four of them lost their struggle, and their lives.
Nearby, Red Turbo ignored his pain and kept swinging. His blade pierced through a Wraith's collar bone. He swept the sword backward, decapitating a Shade. In the meantime he could feel another soldier rip across his back, tearing his uniform and ripping his flesh.
His armour sparked from the power drain, burning his body, but he kept moving forward, swinging, chopping at anything that moved. He surrendered himself to The Power. He turned into a living weapon, stabbing, swinging, cleaving the enemy with a massive display of force and speed. He buried his fatigue, buried the grief of his teammates' death, and pushed onward, becoming a red blur that cut everything in its path. His time had come, his body was beyond its limits, yet he continued, spurred on by the promise that none would pass.
His visor shattered, he hardly noticed. His helmet was smashed off his head, and he used it to bash a Wraith's skull. Blood trickled down blurring his sight, but he was already seeing red. He pressed forward as his uniform was slowly torn to shreds, his only comfort that while he was one man, he stood on a hill of grunt bodies. A sly grin spreading across his face as his blade scalped a Wraith. I suppose this isn't a bad way to go down...
Sooner or later the odds had to catch up with him. Even though they had to clamber over the corpses of their brethren, they did not stop and without a team to assist him, it was not surprising that a fist smashed across the back of his head. He crashed against the ground, his injuries finally slowing him enough that he could no longer stand. There was still enough life in him to make a final push. He lifted his blaster and fired into the horde that approached him, draining the weapon of all but a single shot. That shot he directed at the entrance to the passage, and fired.
The blast caused a cave in that blocked the tunnel entrance, but Luke hardly had time to notice as a Shade's claws dug through his unprotected throat. And as the darkness claimed him he felt a small amount of pride that despite the overwhelming odds, the Turbos had held their ground. None had passed.
Justin Stewart's eyes snapped open. He wouldn't call the dream a nightmare, but it was deeply disturbing. He had seen the Turbo Rangers slaughtered. Except they weren't the Turbo Rangers he knew. This was the third night he had awakened following a strange dream. But so far he had never had the same dream twice. The people were different, the circumstances drastically changed. But perhaps the most disturbing thing was how real they felt.
~I need to talk to somebody,~ he thought before turning over and drifting back to sleep, not realising that the night was already gone and that it was time to get up. As his alarm clock sounded he groaned, realising that this was probably not going to be one of his better days. All thoughts of seeking help were forgotten as he tried to drag himself out of bed.
End of Part