Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers; they belong to their respective copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made from this fic.
Authors Note: This is an alternate universe from the television show with an alternate timeline. In the show's continuity it begins after Gasket and Archerina arrive and continues through the episodes that follow. The mention Gasket makes to having Tommy under his power is from: Where on Earth is Zeo Ranger V and King for a Day parts 1 and 2. Jennifer Belle is the same girl Rocky was interest in the episode with Silo.
When Zords Attack
The alarms sounded deep inside the Power Chamber, warning the Rangers that peace was being disrupted once more. Zordon's satellites high above the Earth pinpointed the disturbance and fed the visual data to the Viewing Screen inside the Power Chamber as Alpha interrogated the computer, urgently seeking more information.
"Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi!" Alpha exclaimed as he visually identified the cause of the alarm. "Zordon, there's an army of Zords out there."
"Calm down Alpha, this is clearly one of Gasket's schemes." Zordon boomed as he watched the Dino Megazord stomped towards the mountain. Clearly they were not interested in Angel Grove, just its defenders. "Summon the Rangers," he instructed.
The Rangers appeared moments later, Billy following not far behind.
"Aw man, not more evil Zords!" Tommy said as he laid eyes on the small army of metal that was heading towards them.
"I always wanted to see them one more time," Jason muttered as he laid eyes on the Red Dragonzord, "but not like this."
"These Zords are based on the original schematics," Billy told them. He frowned. "Gasket has upgraded them with Machine technology, but the basic parts are still there. I bet they even have the inserts for our Power Coins." That last sentence was said with a hint of sadness. There was little doubt that Billy missed his days as an active Ranger.
"How could Mondo build something that big?" Rocky asked, awed by the size. "Zordon said his scan turned up nothing unusual."
"Maybe they built them small and grew them," Kat answered.
"Computers say there are no signs of metal fatigue or plate distortion," Billy droned. "They were made this size."
"Alpha, begin another scan of the Machine Sky Base," Zordon ordered.
"But Zordon, we already scanned there," Alpha complained.
"Alpha, scan for nothing," Billy instructed.
"Ai-yi-yi, how do I scan for nothing, I can see nothing."
"Not nothing," Jason said, seeing where his friend was going with this. " Nothing . Look for anything that shows up as void on the scans."
"A Machine Empire cloaking device," Adam realised.
"Like the one they used before," Tommy added.
"Affirmative," Billy replied absently.
"Found it!" Alpha cried.
"Billy, can you break through?" Kat asked.
"Given time I should be able to see through their shield."
"Great," Tommy said. "In the meantime we need to head off those Zords before they get too close to the Power Chamber."
"Prodigious!" Billy exclaimed as he managed to pierce their cloaking device. "Gasket left it on the old frequency."
"Alpha, please adjust the Viewing Screen accordingly," Zordon requested.
Alpha did as he was told and the evidence was clear for all to see. The base was now twice its original size and was at full production.
"Gasket built an entire factory," Kat whispered, shocked by the revelation.
"That's overkill for one set of monsters," Adam said.
The Rangers exchanged nervous looks. "You don't think he'd..."
"It would be logical," Billy pointed out. "Defeat the Rangers with their own Zords and then mass manufacture an army of war machines to finish conquering the planet."
"Rangers, Gasket's actions threaten not only this world, but every other inhabited planet. With Zord technology the Machine Empire could prove impossible to stop."
"Zordon's right," Tommy agreed. "We need to stop those Zords and ensure he doesn't make any more."
"It's going to take everything our Zords have just to survive," Billy pointed out. "And that's before the factory."
"I know!" Tanya called out, causing the Rangers to give her their attention as she explained her plan.
"A risky plan Tanya," Trey stated as he teleported into the Power Chamber. "But that is our best hope. Pyramidas is at your command Jason, as always. I thank you for allowing me to use it for travel from here to Triforia, but the Carrier Zord is the property of the Gold Ranger and not the Lord of Triforia. Your need has priority now and forever. I trust you will attempt to return it in one piece."
Jason nodded the affirmative.
"It'll take time to get the item we need," Billy said, directing his words at Tommy. "You might as well try to separate the Zords before they can attack en masse."
"Right," Tommy nodded. "It's Morphin Time!"
"Alpha, assemble the Zeo Megazord," Zordon instructed.
"Do they have a chance of victory?" Trey asked quietly.
"I believe so," Billy answered. "Gasket copied the Zords, but there were some additions not contained in the schematics."
"The Zords also lack a connection to the Morphin Grid," Zordon pointed out.
"But, I thought the Zords were always part of the Grid," Billy said, slightly confused.
Trey of Wisdom chuckled lightly as he became the dominant personality for a time; since leaving the Earth, Trey had found a way to achieve limited reunification. Maintaining unity though required constant application of willpower and was a temporary solution only.
"Zords are more than just machines Billy," the former Gold Ranger said, remembering the lessons he had been given as a youth, back in the days before he had become a Gold Ranger and the sentience of the Power had become less significant. "The Zords used by the Morphin Grid represent the spirit guardians you have used before. The metal gives them form, the Morphin Grid grants them sentience."
"And Gasket's creations only have the physical aspects," Billy surmised.
"That is correct Billy," Zordon said. "Only a Morphin Master can infuse Zords with the power of the Morphin Grid."
"And since Gasket is a machine and doesn't understand the workings of the Grid," Trey continued, "such an approach would never occur to him."
"Or to me," Billy said.
"On the contrary Billy," Zordon said. "While the Zeo Zords are not connected to the Morphin Grid you have carried out a similar infusion of power using the Zeo Crystal."
"Thanks Zordon," Billy said, hardly comforted. "Did you find out how Gasket gained those designs?"
"I believe so," Zordon answered. "Alpha and I found a security breach in the Command Center's computer system, the one we used as a data backup and allowed you to use for storage. I am afraid that such a breach never occurred to me Billy."
"So does that mean the Zeo technology has been compromised as well?" Trey asked.
"Affirmative," Billy agreed, recalling what had been stored on that system. "I will have to find a way to limit the damage."
"In the meantime Billy it is essential that you contact Professor Belle and retrieve the Pulse Generator," Zordon stated firmly. "Gasket must not be allowed to start full production."
"I'm on my way Zordon," Billy said, lifting a small device from a handy cabinet. "I just hope Tommy can keep the Zords intact until we're ready."
"Super Zeo Zords, Power Up!" the Rangers minus Jason called.
The five geometrically shaped Zords appeared in the sky and the Rangers teleported aboard. Tommy didn't give the command for them to unite and the others did not question his decision as they flew into battle.
"Pick your targets," Adam warned, "stay away from the Megazords."
The others nodded as the Zords separated, zeroing in on the Battleborgs, which they interpreted as the most vulnerable targets. They engaged briefly in combat, taking advantage of Gasket's lack of insight surrounding the control systems. Yellow and pink energy lanced through the battlefield as the Battleborgs were herded into a single position so Tanya and Kat could strike them with their Zords' chest mounted energy beams.
"They can't move properly," Rocky realised as he dodged the Red Battleborg's clumsy attack.
"They were never intended to be piloted," Adam told him. "Billy said they are just an extension of the Aquitian Rangers' wills."
"They're down," Tanya reported. "Moving in for the kill."
"Leave them!" Tommy cried desperately. "Gasket might not replace them if they're repairable."
The others were sceptical, but Tommy was the leader. Perhaps he had something in mind.
"Tommy, the other Zords are heading your way," Jason warned.
It was a frightening sight. The Ninja MegaFalconzord hovered on the horizon, with the Red Dragon coiled around its legs like a huge serpent. It resembled a looming angel of death, waiting for the call to strike, far more impressive than the earlier version. Its fists glowed with power, hinting at the attack it had in mind. Beneath the airborne Zord, the Shogun Megazord stalked across the small area of the city, walking through buildings as if they weren't there.
"Tommy, they're spreading out," Kat warned.
"Dino Megazord and MegaTigerzord closing in from the east," Adam reported. "Shogun Megazord, Ninja MegaFalconzord and Red Dragon to the North, I've got a double reading on Titanus from the south; they're trying to force us to go west."
~Which would have led us into the path of the Battleborgs,~ Tommy realised.
"I think it's time we called the shots for a while," Tommy said. "Jase?"
"We're ready," the Gold Ranger responded from inside Pyramidas.
"We?" Rocky asked.
"You trying flying a huge pyramid that turns at low speed with all the grace of a cruise liner and firing its weapons at the same time," Jason shot back, his amusement evident. "I was offered some help and accepted it."
"After all, nobody knows Pyramidas better than I," Trey said.
"All right guys, welcome to the fight," Tommy said. "Zeo Rangers, let's bring them together."
The five Zords unified, folding and reshaping themselves to form the Super Zeo Megazord. Its twin sabres were at the ready as the heavy Zord settled on the ground.
"Warrior Wheel, power up!"
"Zeo Megazord, online!"
"Red Battlezord, activate!"
After calling the three Zords the Rangers braced themselves for what was to come.
"They're here!" Kat warned as the first monstrous Megazord emerged, its imitation Power Sword glowing with energy. "I hope this works."
"I hope this works," Billy muttered as he appeared in the family's quarters and activated the hologram projector. It would not do for civilians to know he was a part of the Power Rangers' inner circle. Inner circle, there's a laugh; ~Ernie has more involvement in the Rangers than I do since giving up the Zeo Crystal,~ he thought bitterly.
It had taken longer than usual to reappear through the thick concrete walls of Professor Belle's family's research laboratory. They looked up as he entered, but relaxed once they knew whom it was.
"Um, hi?" Billy managed, forgetting that his face was hidden.
It was Professor Belle who answered. "What can we do for you, Blue Ranger?"
"The Rangers need the Pulse Generator," Billy said, raising his hand to prevent the angry response. "Please, hear me out. Prince Gasket has launched a plan that could mean the end of the Power Rangers unless we stop him. Your Pulse Disruptor might be our only hope."
"I cannot condone such an act," Professor Belle replied. "The Machine Empire are sentient beings. How can I condone wiping out an entire race?"
"I understand that," Billy admitted. "We don't want to destroy the Machine Empire. The chances are that the best we can manage is to disable them for a while. When they come back online though their plan will be worthless."
"To disable the Machine Empire would mean taking the device into space," Jo mused. "Can you do that?"
"We have something in mind," Billy assured her. To himself he added: "As long as Tommy doesn't destroy it."
"I bet," Jo muttered, not impressed.
Jo had nothing against the Rangers; in fact it was their technology that had once saved her father from the maniacal Machine Empire. It was just that she hated the idea that they only had one generator and it would take a long time to design a replacement should they break it.
"If we can fit the generator inside a projectile, we should be able to stop their operations and destroy their factories," Billy told them.
"All well and good," Jo said, "but do any of you understand the workings of the machine, could you guarantee that you could fix any faults before Gasket's servants destroy it. We only have one generator, if we lose it we lose any hope of destroying this threat."
"I am aware of the ramifications of this project," Billy admitted. "I cannot see an acceptable way to avoid it."
"You'll need to take us with you," Jo said, matter-of-factly. "We can fix any problems remotely."
Billy considered what she was effectively asking. Taking a civilian along on the mission was definitely out, but even NASADA's radar would be unable to keep up with Megazord in flight. Taking her to the Power Chamber though would mean revealing one of the Rangers' greatest secrets.
"Whom would you need to take with you?" he asked.
"Any two of us can detonate the bomb remotely," Professor Belle revealed. "It shouldn't be me." He raised his hand to stop any protest. "I wish I could, but I am military personnel. If asked I would have to tell."
"I'm going," Jo volunteered.
"Me too," Jennifer added.
Billy nodded and the three of them teleported away.
The Super Zeo Megazord was a large piece of machinery. So large in fact that it easily towered over the Zeo Megazord. Despite that ample height advantage, it lacked the weight of the Shogun Megazord and maintained a high degree of manoeuvrability. The twin swords it held glowed with energy as it twirled with surprising speed through the city. One blade deflected the Dino Megazord's Power Sword while the other blade hooked in under the Mammoth Shield, ripping it from the giant machine's grasp.
"We've got to go straight to full power, guys!" Tommy warned as the Dino Megazord responded with a cranial blast.
The Super Zeo Megazord dodged and as the Rangers worked in unison to provide adequate counterbalance, tilted on one leg, swing its other leg in an arc that connected with the Dino Megazord's chest. The large machine then turned, its two swords combined into a single energised blade, which it used to slice downwards, as it turned to face its target; the blade sliced through the first Titanus unit, destroying the Dragonzord assembly as it did so. A soft flick of the elongated sabre and the partially complete Ultrazord was gone.
"One more for the good guys," Rocky explained.
"Don't get cocky," Tanya warned.
"Brace for impact!" Adam cried as he noticed something speeding towards them.
The Zord staggered forwards, sparks flying from its damaged right hand, the super sized blade and a few fingers scattered across the ground as the Firebird returned to the MegaTigerzord.
"I forgot about that," the Blue Zeo Ranger admitted as the other Machine Megazords closed in.
"We need to use the other Zords," Adam stated. It was true; if they continued using the damaged Zord, they would be at a considerable disadvantage. The Megazord Sabre was their greatest weapon and without it they were restricted to hand-to-hand combat.
"All right, Rocky and Kat stay here," Tommy, instructed. He spared a glance out of the cockpit where the Zord's hand was clenching rapidly. This was not a good turn of events; their primary mecha was now a liability. "Call on the Warrior Wheel and... try to use the other hand. Adam and Tanya transfer to the Zeo Megazord. Use the Battle Helmets if you need to." Tommy withdrew his Zeoniser Crystal from the console. "I'll take the Red Battlezord."
"Damage to right-hand limits operation to ten percent," Kat said as the others vanished and she started looking to make repairs.
"We're not going to be using the combined sabre for a while," Rocky agreed. He shifted the controls and scattered their attackers. "We can still use the left-hand sabre though."
"Jason, how about that backup?" Tommy asked.
"Pyramidas is ready when you are," Jason replied. "Lightning attack, now!"
The huge pyramid ascended into the sky and hovered there, waiting for the right moment. Then, after Jason had managed to identify the Rangers from their opponents, the area was blasted with lightning from Pyramidas's apex cannons. The effect was as needed, the Machine Zords were divided up; the Dino Megazord and second Titanus unit faced the Super Zeo Megazord and Warrior Wheel, the second MegaTigerzord and Shogun Megazord were confronted by the Zeo Megazord while Tommy in the Red Battlezord was staring down the Red Dragon and Ninja MegaFalconzord.
"That's all I can do unless you hold them still," Jason warned.
Pyramidas was a self-contained arsenal, but even with Trey onboard, the cast craft was limited to how much power it could release without risking the Rangers; it wouldn't do for Jason to fry his own comrades.
With three Megazords working together, the Rangers forced their mechanical opponents to spread out as the Zords tried to find a workable strategy.
"Warrior Wheel, energise!" they heard Tommy call as the black wheel appeared in the Red Battlezord's grip.
"Wait," Jason said from his post, inside the pyramid now floating overhead. "A little longer... now!"
The Red Battlezord threw the Warrior Wheel at the Dino Megazord. The small robot energised as it connected, blasting the chest shield away as Red Battlezord followed up with a flurry of punches.
"I have him!" Tommy cried, without looking.
"Tommy!" Kat screamed as the Dino Megazord transformed into tank mode.
Tommy kept his cool and managed to avoid its onslaught and returned fire with his Zord's wrist mounted Gatling Cannons. The opposing machine transformed back to humanoid mode and fell to the ground as the attacks shredded its gyro circuits.
"That was too close," Tommy sighed.
Titanus had moved in without Red Zeo noticing and gripped the Red Battlezord by the neck, its teeth ripping into the armoured joints. As it was released, the Red Battlezord dropped on the remains of a small hut as the Machine Empire's Carrier Zord crushed it under its huge wheels.
"This is amazing," Jo said as they arrived in the Power Chamber and her eyes took in the wondrous sight of alien technology working for the benefit of mankind.
"Yeah," Jennifer whispered. "What do you think it took to build this place?"
"Almost two millennia of building and technical improvements," Billy told her casually. "Ten thousand years of strategic planning and paranoia, combine with the magical resources of a Morphin Master and the political power of a living martyr; placed on a direct line to one of the largest convergent points of mystical energy on the planet and seal inside a mountain; I give you the Power Chamber."
"Thank you, though I am not as paranoid as you believe," Zordon's voice boomed.
"Oh, so it was not paranoia that caused you to give us placebos in place of power coins until the Green Ranger came along?"
"Welcome my friends to the Power Chamber," Zordon said, ignoring Billy's challenge. This argument was one he hoped the former Blue Ranger would eventually drop the subject, which had become a sore point between them, especially since Billy had lost his powers. "I am Zordon, mentor of the Power Rangers."
"Well at least that's one unmasked face," Jo muttered, "even if it is the face of a giant head."
Zordon laughed, it was difficult to be insulted after so long spent with only Alpha as company. During that time he had come to realise that to the outside world he was just a big giant head. It was an illusion he didn't mind maintaining, one day it would no doubt become an asset.
"Before the Rangers can reveal their identities, you must swear not to reveal their secrets," he said.
"I promise," Jo said.
"Me too," Jennifer added.
"Very well," Zordon said, turning to address Billy. "You may remove the hologram now."
Billy obedient deactivated the device that had made him resemble a Ranger. He turned so that the two girls could see his face as he addressed them.
"I'm Billy Cranston, former Blue Ranger and assistant here in the Power Chamber."
"So what now?" Jo asked.
"We need to modify the device so we can use it remotely," Billy said. "We can use my workshop."
"You need to hurry Billy," Zordon said. "When the Rangers have defeated Gasket's current fleet of Zords, we need to ensure he does not begin manufacturing a new collection."
"We're working on it," Billy said as he dragged the girls from the room.
"We have to help him," Kat said as she watched her boyfriend take another blow.
"We have our own problems," Rocky warned.
Without its swords, the Super Zeo Megazord was fighting unarmed. Its damaged right fist sparked as it traded blows with two heavy weights of the Zord world, namely the Shogun Megazord and MegaTigerzord. Fortunately the Super Zeo Megazord was large enough to make the MegaTigerzord look small and anorexic in comparison to the Shogun Megazord, it was hardly dwarfed by the monstrous machine.
"Grab it!" Rocky cried as the MegaTigerzord came into view.
Kat obeyed and the Super Zeo Megazord grabbed the MegaTigerzord with its good hand, using its damaged hand for support. The Zord launched into the air, reaching as high as possible in a single leap before gravity stopped it. Then it fell back to Earth, using the MegaTigerzord as a pillow as the two machines crashed into the remains of the fish market. The Super Zeo Megazord stood upright, slightly shaky from its experience. The opposing Zord did not move.
"Get ready for the other one," Rocky said, suddenly very serious. The crash had taken a great deal out of him and Kat. The human body even morphed, was not supposed to take that sort of an impact and walk away.
The Shogun Megazord marched forward, ignoring its fellow machine as it stepped over the damaged MegaTigerzord. Its Fire Sabre was drawn and ignited; it swung the weapon with deadly expertise. The Super Zeo Megazord raised its arm in defence and the flaming cut only glanced across its armour. But the opposing Zord intensified the power of its weapon and Kat knew they would only be able to withstand so many blows before the Zord's armour was breached.
A second cut came, and a third. On the fourth attempt the Shogun Megazord seemed to back up.
"What's it doing?" Kat asked.
"I don't know," Rocky confessed, remembering the battles they had had in the massive Zord. "Oh no," he realised suddenly. "Separate the Megazord."
"Why?" Kat asked, sensing her teammate's panic.
"The Shogun Megazord attacks by spinning!" Rocky called.
Sure enough the machine had started to spin, whirling its flaming blade towards it opponent. The Super Zeo Mega Zord split apart as the blade connected, narrowly missing Super Zeo Zord V, but damaging Super Zeo Zord III.
"Reformation impossible," Rocky sighed as they tried to reconnect.
"Look out!" Kat cried as the Shogun Megazord made another swing, one they could not avoid.
"Look out," Tanya warned. "Zeo II Battle Helmet!" The helmet slipped into place as she took her seat at the controls of the Megazord. "Rockets on!"
Now with the power of flight, the Megazord flew into the sky and engaged the Ninja MegaFalconzord in its own territory. The two Zords were equal in power, the Machine Empire's creation barely registering an advantage in speed. The Ranger however had the experience and despite the knowledge Gasket had stolen, the machine was still slowed by its complex programming.
The Red Dragonzord attacked, using its superheated breath to scorch the Zeo Megazord. The flames engulfed the Zord, causing Adam to cry out as the cockpit was superheated. Tanya likewise suffered from the impact as the Red Dragon coiled its way around them.
"We're losing height," she realised as the Red Dragon forced their Zord towards the ground.
""Zeo IV Battle Helmet!" Adam called.
Using the power boost from the helmet, Adam directed the Zord to strain against the serpentine dragon. The Red Dragon remained firmly in place as the Zeo Megazord touched down on the desert floor.
"We're a sitting duck here," Tanya said, looking to where the Ninja MegaFalconzord was powering up its dual fist attack. "We need to break free."
Adam glanced at the Megazord in the air and then at the Red Dragon wrapped firmly around them. He sensed the movement as the grip lightened slightly and he understood what the Red Dragon was programmed to do. Shifting the controls he made the Megazord grab at the flying dragon and held it firmly as the Ninja Zord descended.
"Brace yourself," Adam warned as the Ninja MegaFalconzord approached.
Then there was a collision as the energised fist connected with the metallic body... of the Red Dragon Zord. Explosions ripped through the copy of the Thunderzord and the Zeo Megazord found itself freed as the serpent's body unravelled.
"Zeo V Battle Helmet!" Adam called, returning the Megazord to its default mode. "Zeo Megazord Sabre!"
A quick decisive blow ended the Red Dragon's unfortunate battle. The blade cut just below the head, and although it did not sever the head from the body, it triggered enough fail-safes to disable the machine. ~Gasket really should have checked before he copied.~
With one opponent gone the Megazord turned to face the Ninja MegaFalconzord, swinging its sword quickly in and attempt to seize a quick victory. The other machine was not there though, it had leapt into the air and unleashed a spinning kick. The Zeo Megazord' head snapped around with the impact as both the Rangers inside were thrown from their seats.
A voice crackled over the comm link, barely recognisable with all the other noise.
"Guys, this is Tommy," Red Zeo sent. "We're not going to be able to win fighting separately. Let's bring them together."
As he spoke, Tommy had his Zord reach up and grip Titanus's head. Then, abruptly, the Red Battlezord sat down, jarring its internal workings as it drove the Carrier Zord' lower jaw into his own Zord's head. As Titanus loosened its grip, Tommy did not stay in one place. He directed his Zord over towards the Zeo Megazord, well aware that the overgrown Brachiosaurus would be hot on his heels.
"Mega Battlezord!" he called out, along with Tanya and Adam.
The union was made and in place of two shaken Zords, stood one united machine in excellent working order.
"Fire!" the three Rangers called.
The shoulder cannons pumped as they sent blast after blast at their two opponents. It took a while, but eventually the Machine Empire's creations had enough and collapsed to the ground, where they remained unmoving.
"Warrior Wheel Engage!"
Unable to recreate the Super Zeo Megazord, Rocky had settled for ordering the Warrior Wheel into battle. However, the Shogun Megazord dwarfed the Warrior Wheel and the smaller Zord's attacks had no noticeable effect on it enormous opponent.
"Fire!" Kat called, using her Zords chest blaster to rip into the massive machine.
"Rocky, repairs should be complete," Alpha stated.
"Right," Rocky replied. "Super Zeo Megazord power!"
The Super Zeo Megazord reformed, still lacking most of its right hand. This time though it had the Warrior Wheel to hand. It swung the huge tyre and released it, watching as it impacted on the Shogun Megazord's armour.
"Take it up another notch Rocko," Tommy instructed.
Rocky understood the command and a smile crossed his lips as he saw Kat had understood as well.
"Super Zeo Ultrazord!"
As the various Zords combined, the Shogun Megazord seemed to reconsider. As the combined power of Zeo struck the machine's head though, it was no longer capable of thought as it disassembled and fell to the ground.
"Zordon, emergency all remains to the Power Chamber," Jason instructed, knowing Zordon and Alpha could ensure the machines did not repair themselves. "Billy, are you ready?" he asked as the Ultrazord separated.
"Affirmative," came Billy's reply.
The pyramid abruptly changed course, heading for space and leaving the Zeo Rangers wondering what was going on.
"Those Rangers have almost won!" Gasket announced angrily. "My Zords are superior, how dare those humans destroy them again?"
"Yes sire," Klank managed.
"Stop grovelling Klank and do something about it," Gasket ordered.
"Show him the other files," Orbus squeaked.
"What files?" Gasket demanded, drawing himself up to his full regal height, a move that failed to impress Klank since Gasket always stood at full height.
Klank shuffled nervously. "I found these in one of the sub folders. Zordon's contingency plans in case they ever had a full set of power coins."
"Why did you not show me these before?" Gasket demanded. "Why have you not built them?"
"I did, Sire," Klank protested, gesturing desperately to the production line.
Gasket turned to admire a second set of Zords. There were twelve in total; two Dinozords, two Thunderzords, two Ninjazords, three Shogunzords and three Battleborgs. These were not Zords the Rangers had used before, they were the machines that would have been used, had Zordon been able to create a full team of Rangers when Rita had escaped. While not powerful enough to tear through a battlefield and turn the tide of a fight, they each added to the assembled arsenal and would prove an unexpected problem for the Rangers.
"And this," Klank said, highlighting a revised design for the Dragonzord, "will be our surprise for the Rangers."
"Excellent," Gasket proclaimed. "Once again my brilliance has presented us with a chance of victory. That annoying Red Ranger won't know what hit him when his team's Zords are torn apart by my prize creation. Imagine his face when he's attacked by his original Zord. Don't just stand there Klank, get to work! This time we will send them into the heart of their city, where the Rangers dare not use their Zords."
Klank pushed a button on his arm and activated the advanced portal technology the Machine Empire used for moving over long distances. More accurate than a mere teleport, this method of transportation would deposit the Zords where the Rangers would be forced to notice them; he planned to send them to the center of Little Japan.
A loud warbling disrupted their plans as the alarms sounded.
"What is the meaning of this?" Gasket demanded.
"Unknown craft approaching Sire," Klank practically squeaked. "It's Pyramidas!"
"And why would the Rangers send their Carrier Zord all the way out here?" Gasket asked. "They have enough problems as it is. "This is obviously an illusion or a trick of some sort."
"I'm picking up an energy reading," Sprocket cried excitedly.
"Let me see that," Gasket snapped. His optics analysed the data and he suddenly seemed to change his attitude. "Shoot it down!"
The Cogs obeyed, bringing the Machine Sky Base's vast arsenal to fire on the great pyramid, but Pyramidas had survived worse and easily drifted through the barrage.
"Don't let them come any closer, please..." Gasket begged, realising what the Rangers were up to.
"What's wrong Gasket, is your plan going to fail?" Sprocket asked.
"Yes dear, what is the matter?" Queen Machina.
"Tell me, my love," Archerina added, much to her mother-in-law's displeasure.
"Those Rangers have the Pulse Generator," Gasket told them.
"So you're giving up?" Sprocket asked, sensing an opportunity to seize power as his less active logic center calculated the odds of maintaining control once he had humiliated his brother.
"Yes, you be in charge," Gasket told him. "Then it will be your failure and not mine."
"Ready?" Jason asked as Pyramidas flew closer.
"Affirmative," Billy answered.
Trey pulled a small lever and the top of the giant Zord opened, sucking the contents of that storage bay into space. He pushed another button to seal the area as Billy powered down the Zord's electrical systems.
"Hold tight," he told the two civilian occupants. Jo and Jen were too busy looking out the porthole to pay attention. "Here we go."
The first container made contact with the new factory, exploding as it did so while the Rangers activated the Pulse Generator. The Machine Sky Base ground to a halt as a surge of uncontrollable energy ripped through everything in its path. Although the pulse only affected electronics, on a base filled with machines, it could cause widespread damage. Sparks flew as delicate wiring overloaded, closing down vital systems, causing collisions and accidents throughout the Sky Base.
Gasket and his family barely had time to register the pulse as they shut down. The Cogs around them, with less sophisticated circuitry, exploding. The throne room was filled with smoke as the short-circuiting Cogs ignited fuel that leaked from damaged pipe work.
Then the base stopped spinning and the gravity failed. Pressure vanished suddenly and anything not secured to the ground was promptly sucked into space and away from the vast structure. Only the members of the royal family and their faithful retainers remained, Orbus drifting towards the open space, but held in place by Klank's icy grip.
Mondo had ensured his family were protected from decompression. Their feet contained mechanical spikes that fixed them to the flooring. Archerina had a similar means of anchoring herself. However, they remained still, unable to take advantage of their lucky reprieve.
The factory complex was not so lucky. The bombs the Rangers had loaded had opened the outer shell and with the sudden loss of pressure, the completed machines Gasket had been about to send to Earth were floating through the open hatchway.
"Come on Zordon," Billy whispered, not daring to reactivate Pyramidas just yet.
The Zords glowed and were promptly teleported to the Power Chamber where they could be dealt with later. The other bombs had by now started to explode, causing random damage to the structure. The scaffolding failed to hold as more explosions rocked the base.
"Alas," Billy said. "You overlooked the Oxygen already contained within Pyramidas and the fact an EMP will only damage active circuits."
He nodded to Trey who pulled a switch and reactivated the massive Zord as another explosion rocked the Machine Sky Base, rupturing the fuel lines between the new factory and the old base.
"Computer systems damaged," Trey reported from a console. "Anything they were keeping in those systems that related to Zords is gone."
"The factory is history too, Billy," Jason smiled.
"We did it," Jo cheered.
"Wait," Jen said, watching her screen. "Virus is in place. If they try and retrieve the data they're in for a shock."
"Morphenominal!" Billy exclaimed.
"Let's get back to Earth," Jason said, steering the Zord through the falling, flying and floating debris. As he piloted, he was well aware that even the smallest piece of debris posed a threat should it get through the shields. Golden light filled the darkness as Pyramidas's engines roared to life and the Zord took off for home, leaving the Machine Sky Base a scorched wreck as the fires ran out of fuel and were extinguished.
Some time later the Rangers and their new friends had regrouped back at the Power Chamber, the mood was one of triumph.
"Congratulations Rangers," Zordon said. "Not only have you managed to disable Gasket's plans and incapacitate the Machine Empire, Alpha managed to teleport all the defeated Zords into an unused chamber where they will cause no further harm."
"Does that mean we have more Zords?" Jason asked.
"Unfortunately, there is a high chance that Gasket programmed his machines to destroy regardless of where they were," Zordon said. "For safety reason Alpha and I will need to arrange for the Zords to be broken down and rigorously checked for secondary control systems. I am afraid that the process will damage them beyond repair."
The View Screen opened, showing a chamber filled with damaged Zords, flashing every few seconds as waves of electric were sent into the onboard systems, preventing all computerised systems from starting.
"Well this has been fun..." Jennifer started.
"But we need to go home," Jo finished.
"In that case, I thank you for the aid you have given the Rangers," Zordon rumbled.
"It was an honour," Jo said.
In two beams of white light, they were teleported away.
"And now Rangers, I suggest that you take advantage of this opportunity; I suspect it will take Gasket and Machina's forces time to recover from this turn of events."
"Good idea Zordon," Tommy agreed. "Shall we?"
There was a collective agreement as Rangers and friends teleported away. Without the threat of the Machine Empire, even Billy could afford the downtime; the repairs to the Super Zeo Zords could wait for one day. With luck, it would be a while before they ran into the Royal House of Gadgetry again.
Sure there were small-scale threats out there, but the Rangers could deal with those. There were also tasks that needed to be completed to ensure the security of the Power Chamber; the citadel had been exposed as a weakness. Before they could relax fully, the Rangers would need to help Alpha install security systems and remove any residual computer equipment. The entire system would then need to be examined in case Gasket's operative left anything behind.
Generally speaking though, the Rangers had won.
Metallic fingers flexed as superior circuitry kicked in and the ruler of the Machine Empire was reactivated. He looked at the destruction, at his annoying sibling and his proud mother. He looked at Archerina, her own restoration program already operating. Soon they would be active again and would make those Rangers pay. After they had repaired the damage those Rangers had caused to his father's Sky Base.
No, that was the wrong approach. His mother and brother had cost him this battle. He and Archerina would start again, this time on their own. Let the squirt and his mother try to match him. They would regret it. If revenge was truly a dish best served cold, the Rangers were about to learn how cold Iron could be when exposed to the harsh environment of space.