Disclaimer: The Power Rangers are the property of Saban/Disney and I lay no claim to them. G.I. Joe is the property of Hasbro and Image Comics.
By: The Q-Team
At the top of a hill two boys were looking through a telescope wondering if there was any life in the stars, other than those that wanted to kill them.
"Uhhh Biff?" the stocky guy with greasy spiked hair asked his young rotund friend Biff Bulkmeyer. "If we went into space would we see aliens?"
"Of course numbskull." Biff said to his friend Loman Skullovitch. "I mean how many times has Angel Grove been invaded by aliens?"
"But do they always have to invade us?" Loman asked. "I mean can't they say we come in peace or something? Then blast them with a Space Phaser or something?"
Biff looked at Loman as if he had sprouted a second head. "What kind of stupidity is that nimrod?"
"Well Captain Kirk always does it. Says he comes in peace and fires phasers" Loman said. Biff rolled his eyes and briefly wished his older cousin was here to talk sense into his friend. Unfortunately both he and his friend Skull were called away on a mysterious class trip, with no idea on when they'll be back leaving both he and Loman to fill the vacuum that Bulk and Skull vacated. Biff then decided to look at the telescope again to see what was out among the stars, if anything. -Bulk always said that girls liked looking among the stars.- he thought.
Biff wasn't looking among the stars long as he saw something fill his telescope's vision. An object that rotated almost like a saucer. However half of it seemed to be all green and distorted as it rotated in a certain area. As Biff looked at the object in his vision he found himself quickly tongue tied. "Uh...uh....uh..." was all he could say.
"What? What did you see?" Loman asked as he looked at the telescope and saw the same object. Loman soon became just as tongue tied as his friend until they could both make out what they were both trying to say.
"UFO!!! UFO!!!" the two screamed in unison as they ran away from the telescope as fast as they could.
The object in question that the boys were watching was none other than the Dark Fortress. On board the Princesses of Darkness stood on the ship's bridge looking out at the blue planet in their field of vision. Each one had their own opinion about it.
"Pretty little world." Artemis said. "I can't wait to really take it in."
"All I know is that this little blue planet has caused the UAE more grief than any world in our empire. In fact Ivan Ooze has been added to the list of fallen warlords that have tried to conquer this planet. Thanks to these 'Astro Rangers' that have appeared." Astronema's face cringed as she said the words 'Astro Rangers' as if they were the dirtiest words she had to utter.
Ecliptor however had his own views of the planet. "A truly beautiful world. However the people there need enlightenment. They war with one another, they pollute their planet, they build weapons so they can destroy themselves a hundred times over. Truly this is a world that needs to be saved."
"Then perhaps we will be doing this planet a favor by conquering it?" Artemis asked making more of a statement than asking a question. Astronema looked at her 'sister' and smiled. "What a 'noble' idea." She said with a smirk. The princesses then chuckled as they looked back at the blue planet they were assigned to conquer. -And Sabrina, I look forward to facing you again.- Astronema thought with malice.
Meanwhile, not far away and protected by its own cloaking shield, an object hovered by observing the actions of the Dark Fortress and the princesses in their contemplation. Its captain, the Pirate Queen Divatox, had designs of her own on Earth. And Astronema, and her sister Artemis, were not part of them.
"Intriguing notion." General Havok said as he stood by Divatox's side watching the two teens plan. "Making use of the humans weapons." Divatox however wasn't all that convinced as she shut off the viewer.
"Weapons schmeapons." Divatox said waving her hand as if not caring. "Where's the gold? Where's the riches? WHERE'S MY HUBBY?!!!"
General Havok shook his head in disbelief. "Sister please. I know you have your quest to make Maligore your husband, but we mustn't underestimate these humans. They have proven to be very troublesome as of late. Especially with Rangers present."
"You mean those space geeks?" Divatox said as if writing them off as if they were nothing. "Please, if the teenage bimbos can't beat them I'll wipe the floor with them." Havok was wondering if he should bother talking to Divatox more when Porto appeared ready to give news.
"Uhhhh my queen! Your subcraft is ready." Divatox then left her balcony with Havok wondering what this was all about. Divatox explained right away. "Sometimes it helps to make alliances with those who can help you. Porto happened to overhear someone who wants to make a deal with me."
And with that Divatox flew down in her subcraft ready to rendezvous with her guest. A confused Havok was left behind.
As Divatox was making her way down to Earth she thought more and more about Astronema and Artemis, and those thoughts were none too pretty.
-Hmph! Those teenage stuck ups! I mean there have been some of us who have been in the world conquering game for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. And Dark Specter just gives the Earth job to those two? I swear that the universe doesn't need so many conquerors ganging up on one world. It only needs one!-
And then Divatox had an idea. If Earth only needed one conqueror why shouldn't she be that one? -Why not?- she thought. -Maybe after I make my own deal on Earth I can try to undermine those prissy little girls' efforts to conquer Earth. After all this planet has something for me. My hubby Maligore. What does it have for those two? Just an ego trip. Some one to say 'Look at us we conquered Earth'.-
With that Divatox planned for a way to undermine the efforts of Astronema and Artemis.
In space, just above Earth in low orbit, a ship sat in a drydock that wasn't completed. It almost was but there were some components that needed to be manufactured that the ship didn't have yet. On board two technicians were working on computer simulations regarding the ship's programming.
"Wow we sure were lucky to get insights from Ms. Fairweather and Lindsey Walsh at Lightspeed to help with this thing. This is the first real Megazord Earth has made you know." Technician one said.
"And General Norquist was also able to help out too." The second technician had said as he finished the latest simulation run. "Damn, still only at 60% functionality. It seems like we can never really get this thing done."
"Don't worry. If Norquist gets his way, we'll have more than enough money to finish this puppy." The first technician said. Little did he know that in Washington D.C. he was about to be proven wrong.
"You're cutting the NASADA budget?" General Norquist asked with a mix of shock and outrage. "But we need more money not less!"
"General Norquist." U.S. Budget secretary William Smithe said over the speaker to the commander of NASADA. "It has come to our attention that the National Astronautics and Space Administration Defense Agency is just not as important an agency to warrant the government's attention full time. Besides your agency has yet to come up with an effective way to neutralize any more invaders that attack our planet outside of the Star Wars system."
"We already have a project in the works." Norquist said. "What about the Delta Megaship?"
"That has already proven to be too much of an expenditure already." Smithe answered. "The cost of research and development alone has been more than tests, trials and development of the Airwolf project cost back in '83. And the Airwolf project's cost was but a fraction of the cost the Delta Megaship has become. And frankly the Delta Megaship offers us no immediate gains. Not like the Rangers have provided."
"But the Rangers are gone. We can't depend on them forever!" Norquist shouted. Smithe countered again with "What about that team that recently appeared in Angel Grove?"
"All the same are we willing to continue to be dependent on Power Rangers for protection?" Norquist continued to say. "With all the fund cutting going on we'll never have an adequate defense set up. What will happen when the United Alliance of Evil tries another attack and there are no Rangers to help us? Will you be able to live with yourself when our planet is conquered? Will you be able to sleep at night when that happens? Or do you think a dated system like Star Wars will solve all your problems?"
If Smithe was fazed by Norquist's words he didn't show it in his voice. "General, this is a minor budgetary allotment. You'll still have the resources you have, just with limitations. If anything it could probably benefit your Delta Megaship project if it goes on a slow pace."
"Or maybe it will be shut down altogether and forgotten about!" Norquist shouted. "Or maybe you'll decide that the ship is too much of a waste of money to pursue!"
"General our decision is final. We're putting a cap on NASADA's budget as of now. You still have the resources you have now, and they should be adequate. I suggest you stop complaining, and resume your work on planetary defense. Good day." Norquist heard the click on the other line. His outrage clearly showing as he clenched his fist and hit his desk.
Back at his Washington office Smithe held his face in his hands then looked up from his desk and looked at the figure in a military uniform standing nearby. His voice reflecting contempt for the man as if he was doing something he was forced to do. "I did what you wanted. Now please leave."
The man known as General McKnight seemed unfazed by Smithe's words, seeing as how he had gotten exactly what he wanted. "Good job Smithe. The Jugglers will be pleased." was all he said before he turned and left.
On board the Dark Fortress Astronema and Artemis looked out at the planet they sought to conquer. "How shall we begin our attack?" Artemis asked.
"Well usually the program has been to send down some troops first, then follow up with monsters in case the land attacks fail, but that tactic has been done already." Astronema said. "Besides, Earth has stood up to invasions in the past. And it still remains defiant."
Artemis nodded. "We also need to see what weapons the people of this planet have." Just then Ecliptor came in with two quantrons. "Ecliptor, you have returned with your preliminary assessment?"
"Yes my princesses." Ecliptor said as he was about to deliver his report. "And I do not believe we should take this planet lightly."
"Well that much is obvious given the defeats past warlords have had." Astronema said, but then noticed Ecliptor's hesitation. "There's something else isn't there?"
"Yes." Ecliptor said as he turned to a video screen and an image presented itself on screen. "This is a video inventory of one of the many arsenals this planet has. And let me add this planet has MANY arsenals of such weapons."
"Primitive weapons?" Astronema asked. "Why should we care about that?"
"They may be primitive, but they're deadly." Artemis said as she saw what was on the inventory. Nerve gas, chemical agents, biological weapons. There were even a few nuclear missiles used for bombing runs among the arsenal's contents. "Each one of these weapons are designed to inflict mass casualties on a selected target. If this race had space fairing capabilities of their own they could perhaps be an even bigger threat than Dark Specter."
"And in case you might believe that the threat can be minimal, let me show you this." Ecliptor them cast a video image of the Atomic Bomb test in 1945, and the effects the bomb had when it was used in two cities in Japan. "The nuclear weapons can cause much more devastation than this bomb ever could, and leave the planet unusable for millenia. We would never be able to get at the natural magic until all the radiation dissipated."
"So many weapons." Astronema said in shock. "Enough to kill everyone on the planet a hundred times over."
Artemis shared the same surprise. "If Dark Specter didn't get the natural magic of Earth, he could easily get the weapons stores it has in order to subjugate other worlds."
"Provided they don't destroy themselves with their own weapons." Astronema added. "So how do we go about conquering this planet?"
"Well there is one weapons system we can make use of." Ecliptor said as he changed the video screen to a series of diagrams for sattelites armed with weapons. The lettering on the diagrams said 'SDI-Space Defence Initiative. Code Name: Star Wars'
"Star Wars?" Astronema asked.
"It's a space based defense measure developed by a country called 'the United States of America' to prevent nuclear attacks from striking their soil." Ecliptor explained. "It was deemed highly classified by the government of this territory, officially it's not supposed to exist."
"And unofficially it does exist." Artemis said. Ecliptor nodded "It is still made reference to from time to time." Astronema asked "What does this defense network entail?"
"Limited countermeasures by our standards, but effective nonetheless." Ecliptor explained. "There are satellites which contain missiles on board used to knock out nuclear missiles, as well as laser targeting and pulse weapons to use against said missiles as well."
"Could it be converted into a planetary defense grid against Dark Specter's forces?" Artemis asked. Ecliptor paused for a moment as he contemplated the data. "It is possible, with proper modification."
"And if we used this technology, could we perhaps use it to subjugate Earth?" Astronema said, again Ecliptor processed the data and said "It is possible again with proper modification."
"Well then Ecliptor it seems like we have our way to conquer Earth." Astronema said. Artemis also liked the plan, for reasons of her own. "Now all we need is the monster to do the reprogramming with."
"And I know just the one to call." Astronema said as she went over to the commline to summon the monster she would need.
Meanwhile the monster in question was having a brief meeting with Rygog and Porto aboard Divatox's sub craft. "You know what to do?" Porto asked.
The monster, which had a boxy appearance to him as he was covered with all sorts of technology and devices, looked at the amount of treasure that was paid to him. He would get half now, and half on completion of the job. The job being the complete humiliation of the Astro Princesses.
"Don't worry you'll get your humiliation." the monster known as Reprogrammer said. Just then the portal opened to take Reprogrammer to the Dark Fortress appeared. After sending his payment into a subspace pocket Reprogrammer stepped through ready to do Astronema and Artemis's bidding.
All the while ready to do Divatox's bidding.
Astronema pointed to the doorway and Reprogrammer then appeared ready to listen.
"Reprogrammer. Locate the main SDI satellite. Find a way to get the network under our control." Artemis then added, and see to it that we have a way to use it as well, so no one horns in on our action."
"As you command my Princesses." Reprogrammer said as he left the Dark Fortress in hopes to find the main satellite where the SDI tech was controlled. Waiting for the chance to turn on the Princesses for his true mistress.
Washington D.C. The Lincoln Memorial
Divatox stood looking at the statue of Abraham Lincoln as he sat in his chair. She didn't care too much about the human leader, but realized that he must have been important if a temple was built for him. -Maybe I'll have them build a temple for me Once Maligore is free.- Divatox thought. -And I'll build it where that human's temple is. After all I look better on a throne than some old man.-
Divatox decided to dress inconspicuously, but if a black coat with pink stole and her hair in a french braid was inconspicuous the Divatox definitely needed to learn more lessons about subtlety. There were still one or two guests in the memorial that gave her odd looks. A little girl even said "Hey daddy look at the weird lady." Divatox was about to do something terrible to her when she saw her visitor approach. -You're real lucky I have business here or I'd do something nasty to you.- Divatox thought with a glare towards the little girl as she walked over to meet her 'guest'.
He was dressed in a military green overcoat covering his U.S. Army dress uniform underneath. There were four stars on his shoulders, he had gray hair and a strong bearing. Divatox thought she could sense an aura of power from this man.
"Divatox?" the military man, who was a four star U.S. Army general, asked. Divatox just said "That's my name don't wear it out."
"My name is General Moore." The general said. "I hear you have something to tell me."
"Oh yeah " Divatox said. "You see I have a deal for you that you may want to consider. You see you know me as a member of a group called 'the United Alliance of Evil'. A group that has its power spread across the cosmos."
"And has run across its share of trouble with the Power Rangers too." General Moore had said. Divatox's face curled up into a scowl while Moore held up his hands. "I mean no disrespect. I just call things like I see them."
"Then you also know we hope to defeat those Rangers soon." Divatox said. "But we also...could use some help in that regard." General Moore looked surprised as he wondered what Divatox had in mind.
"Dark Specter can be very rewarding to those that help him. If you were to help us, then we could see to it that you are properly rewarded. You would have a seat of power among the UAE, and rule a nation once the occupation is complete." General Moore sounded impressed with the idea Divatox presented to him.
"It sounds intriguing." General Moore said. Already his mind was turning to dominating a place where he saw his vision of the American Dream living. A re-imagined vison of his own devising. For so long Moore had thought the old vison was dated and thought his vision was the future of his country, but there was no legal way to implement it. But now Divatox had provided him with an offer he couldn't refuse. Finally the general gave his answer.
"What all do you need?"
"Any files the government may have considering the Rangers and their powers. I know they are talking about making their own powers in some organization called 'Lightspeed."
Moore chuckled a little at what Divatox was saying and quickly explained himself. "There may not be a Lightspeed after my associate General McKnight is finished. He's already cut the NASADA budget to get funds for his Cyborg Rangers project. And I think he'll also be getting some from Lightspeed too." Divatox couldn't help but smile a little. She couldn't believe how corrupt this general and his associates could be. It almost warmed her heart, but it also made her very wary of this general. He'd be prepared for any double cross the UAE would attempt.
Deciding that it would be a good idea to honor the agreement for now Divatox said "All the same the UAE can make use of the information. Can you provide it?"
Moore nodded that he could. "I'll arrange a courier to drop off the papers at a rendezvous point." Divatox smiled and then shook the General's hand. An agreement had been struck.
Moore then turned to leave the memorial. Divatox teleported out as well. No one noticed the photographer that was snapping pictures at the meeting. The photographer then brought out a cell phone and told the dispatcher to "Contact Agent Hauser. A deal was made with the Jugglers and the UAE."
The photographer gave a verbal report with photographs.
Back on the Dark Fortress Astronema and Artemis watched as Reprogrammer was doing his work. Sure enough he was able to find the main sattelite, and he was able to get into the programming software. "Boy this system is complex. It would take a human months to get in here." However Reprogrammer wasn't an ordinary monster. He was an expert hacker, and after a few hours Astronema and Artemis got hold of the SDI computer network.
"Excellent!" Astronema smiled. "Now all we need to do is pick a target."
"Preferably someplace uninhabited." Artemis said. "We want people to be afraid of us remember?" Astronema nodded and ordered Ecliptor to pick a target. "Target selected."
"FIRE!!!" both girls ordered, and a particle beam erupted from one of the SDI satellites ready to hit the Earth below.
In a private clearing families were gathered by a neighborhood swimming hole enjoying the sun and water when a beam of light streaked across the sky and impacted the nearby mountain. People panicked and ran for cover hoping that whatever deathray came from the sky wouldn't hit them.
All around the world there were reports of similar weapons being fired from the sky and all over the Earth, people lived in fear.
Up in space the Astro Megaship hovered in orbit around the Earth, monitoring any sign of Astronema or the UAE. When the beam from the sattelite fired and hit its target they immediately found a sign.
"ANDROS LOOK AT THIS!!!" Ashley shouted as the Astro Rangers all ran to see what was on the video monitor. A news report came on saying that a laser beam had streaked across the sky and hit the top of a mountain. Just as the report went off, another image appeared on the screen.
"Whoa! Who's that?" Carlos asked. The image on the screen answered his question for him.
"This is Astronema!" Astronema said on the video monitor on the Megaship. "In case you were wondering I now control the weapons system called SDI, or Star Wars, as it was nicknamed. I know your own government has denied the existence of such technology, but I am here to say that your own government is lying to you."
The Rangers were looking on wondering what Astronema was talking about. "Lies? Andros what's she talking about?" everyone asked. But Andros was fixated on the message before him. And Astronema continued speaking.
"Star Wars has existed for a long time, and now I control it. I can use it to select any target on the planet I so desire, and vaporize it if this planet doesn't surrender to me. And in case you were wondering, you do not need to surrender to me just because I have your planet in the icy grip of fear. I am asking you to surrender because you need to ask yourselves 'Do you really want to serve a government that lies, cheats and steals on a regular basis?' I have watched your planet. And there are people suffering, and everyone is too worried about themselves to care about them. The politicians in your nations capitals grant themselves pay raises while poor people go hungry or have no job. Crime and murder run rampant throughout your planet. You come up with weapons to kill yourselves with. You do not care for each other. You are all looking out for yourselves, and not for one another."
Andros looked on intrigued. This was not Astronema's usual M.O. She always subjugated or destroyed worlds, never had she tried to appeal to the populace.
"Well I am here to change all that. I will care for this planet, as if you were all my own children. And if you defy me I can destroy you in an instant. I await your decision people of Earth." Astronema then cut off the transmission
On board the Astro Rangers looked at the blank screen wondering what to make of what was seen. "Well, she sounds pretty convincing." Cassie said.
"But it does no good." Andros said. "She serves Dark Specter. And Dark Specter would be no better in charge of Earth than your politicians."
"The only problem is," Sabrina started to say. "Is how do we convince the people of Earth that?"
"Good point." T.J. said. "After all, with a sales pitch like that people may surrender to Astronema willingly."
Andros thought for a while and came up with a plan. "D.E.C.A. Do you have the U.A.E. historical files?"" D.E.C.A. said that she did. Sabrina knew what Andros had in mind and mentioned that she too had some tidbits on hand.
"Let's get them together. In the meantime you guys track those satellites. Astronema's controlling them somehow." The Rangers all nodded as Andros and Sabrina left to prepare their side of the story.
On the Dark Fortress Astronema and Artemis were waiting for the people of Earth's actions. Artemis couldn't help but admire Astronema's speech.
"Nice touch advertising the corruption on the planet." Artemis said.
"What can I say? I hate politics." Astronema said.
"I know the feeling." Artemis said as she thought of how the council turned their backs on her home planet KO-35. 'Not worth sufficient protection' was the official line, and it upset her to hear it.
It also made it easier for Artemis to join Astronema, seeing as how she wanted to deal with the council in her own right. Andros fought against the system, but Artemis always thought she could do more. With Astronema she figured that she could do that more. But first she needed to help conquer Earth.
She only hoped that no one would die needlessly. Artemis prayed to both the light and the darkness for that.
On board the main satellite Reprogrammer was enjoying the feeling of power he possessed. All the weapons at his command, and he held the planet in an icy grip of fear. With a simple thought he could kill so many people on the planet. Or even conquer it himself.
"Now there's a thought." Reprogrammer said. "I could be ruler of Earth. With these satellites I could make the people do whatever I wanted. And the magic of Earth would be mine. And I could get Divatox's money too."
Reprogrammer contemplated the choices before him, and wondered if it was worth it serving two witches like Astronema and Artemis. -Or was it better to be my own master-? he thought.
The Megaship cruised towards the sattelite network and had been coming up to the Star Wars sattelites. As they got closer they hoped to take out as many as possible. However their coming was seen miles away by Reprogrammer. He turned the immediate arsenal towards the Megaship and opened fire.
On board the Megaship was taking it's abuse. "D.E.C.A. damage."
"Nuclear tipped warheads launched. Damage extensive." D.E.C.A. said. Everyone's eyes went wide with hearing this. "Nuclear tipped?"
"Primitive, but deadly." Sabrina said. T.J. then spoke up saying "And that's not all."
Energy pulses started to lance out and strike the Megaship. The ship reeled upon contact. "Initiate zord transform D.E.C.A." Andros ordered.
"Unable to comply. Zord transformation circuits fused. Prompt service is required." D.E.C.A. had said. Damage reports continued to pour in as weapons suddenly became off line.
"We've got no choice." Cassie said. "We have to fall back!"
Andros didn't like the order but he gave it. "Very well retreat!" Soon the Astro Megaship limped away hoping for time to lick its wounds.
Astronema and Artemis watched as the Megaship retreated. Astronema savored the moment for all it was worth.
"At last Red Ranger. At last I defeat you and send you with your tail between your legs." Astronema boasted. "You and your Rangers."
Artemis didn't respond at all and called up Reprogrammer's image on the screen. "Well done Reprogrammer. Keep the weapons trained on earth so that the people know that the threat is still real." Reprogrammer however didn't comply.
"Reprogrammer what's happening?" Artemis asked with a little more concern. "I gave you an order." Again Reprogrammer didn't respond. Turning to Astronema Artemis then said "I'm not getting a response from Reprogrammer. Is our comm line defective?"
Just then Reprogrammer's voice filled the control chamber. "It is not defective. I am giving the orders now!" Astronema and Artemis watched as the Star Wars defense system turned on the Dark Fortress and threatened to either blow it up or damage it. "You will stand down and tell the UAE that I, Reprogrammer, lay claim to Earth. And any that try to stop me will meet their destruction."
Astronema's voice then seethed as she glared at Reprogrammer's vision. "TRAITOR!!!" she seethed. "I'll make you pay for this!" Reprogrammer responded by launching a targetting beam and missile at one of the Dark Fortress's stabilizers. The stabilizer was badly damaged and the Dark Fortress listed a little to the left.
"I'll expect your answer soon." Reprogrammer said to the two princesses of evil. Astronema vowed revenge, but Artemis had an idea forming in her mind.
Reprogrammer would pay, and pay dearly.
Inside an office in Washington D.C. a government suit was looking at the efforts of the Astro Rangers and felt a little sad. They were taking on a heavily armed satellite network and the odds were clearly not in their favor. Yet he sensed that the Rangers would not give up. They would continue to fight on until they won.
In a way the Power Rangers reminded the spook of days gone by. When he was part of a team that fought for the ideals that the Rangers appeared to fight for. As he looked at the Rangers, he saw a little bit of himself in them as well.
That was why it made him sick to hear what Generals McKnight and Moore were looking to do for their own selfish gain. Although the suit knew that the group those two were part of, the Jugglers, were among the most corrupt in the ranks of the military. And he had been working hard, along with his superior officer to dismantle the group from within.
McKnight would be a problem. There was nothing overt that could be used to get him. But Moore was an immediate threat to the Rangers and the world. He had to be dealt with.
Quickly the suit picked up the phone and called his superior officer. "This is Agent Conrad Hauser, code name 'Duke'. Get me the Tomahawk."
Back on the Megaship the Rangers were licking their wounds. "What's the damage?" Andros asked the others.
"Engines took a pounding, but nothing that can't be fixed." Ashley said as she looked over the engine core.
"There are a few ruptures in the hull, but emergency drones are already patching them up." Carlos added.
"All in all we came out pretty lucky." Sabrina said. "It could have been worse."
Andros nodded grateful for the words of reassurance, but he knew he did not like to retreat from a battle, especially if it was against Astronema. "What about weapons?"
"There was some overheat." T.J. said. "I don't recommend using them again in sustained manners until the cooling system improves."
"That could be a problem." Cassie said. "Astronema's monster is dug in pretty deep in the satellite network. And those satellites are very well armed."
"We need some additional firepower." Sabrina added. "But where are we going to get it?"
Andros thought for a moment and then went to the communications station. "D.E.C.A. open a channel to Earth. Code 47 to General Norquist." Everyone wondered what Andros was talking about but Sabrina had a good idea. "Code 47? That's an eyes only channel reserved for Morphin Masters."
"Are you going to contact Zordon?" T.J. asked.
"No. Someone else on Earth." Andros opened the channel and ordered everyone to morph. Once they did the image of General Norquist then appeared on the screen.
"Greetings Red Ranger." Norquist said. "What can NASADA do for you?"
"The Astro Megaship was severely damaged." Red Astro reported. "We can effect repairs, but due to Astronema's monster being buried deep within the Star Wars system we don't have the firepower necessary to do a second battle with the satellite network. Is there something you can do to get us some additional firepower?"
Norquist sighed. "Unfortunately no. We had some projects in the works, but they're still incomplete. And due to cuts in funding we won't be able to get them on line for a good while. By then it will be too late. Astronema would have conquered Earth by then."
"So there's nothing that can be done?" Gold Astro asked. Norquist thought for another minute then had an idea. "Perhaps there is something you can do." Norquist pressed a few keys on his terminal and a diagram appeared alongside his image on the Astro Megaship's screen. It was an image of a ship of some kind.
"This is a diagram of the Delta Megaship." Norquist said. "It has been under construction for a while, and final installations of vital components were about to begin before the funding was pulled. Is it possible for you to get on board and help the science team to complete it?"
"Just tell us what components you need General." Yellow Astro said. A list of technical data then appeared and Yellow Astro nodded. "We have that equipment on hand."
"Excellent." Norquist said. "Coordinates to the Delta Megaship are being fed into your system as we speak. Good luck." With that Norquist signed off and the Rangers demorphed looking at Andros with confused expressions on their faces. "How do you two know a general on Earth?" Cassie asked.
"Norquist is a Morphin Master." Andros explained. "He came to Earth hoping to ensure that Earth would have a sense of protection in case the UAE decided to move against it. To that end he became involved in the military, and worked to create the organization called NASADA, short for National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Defense Agency. It's a subgroup of your own NASA agency."
"But Norquist must have some problems." Carlos said. "Someone's cutting his budget?"
"We'll have to worry about those later." Andros said. "Right now we need to get to the Delta Megaship and get that running." The Astro Megaship then turned and headed for the co-ordinates where the Delta Megaship was to be.
Back on the Dark Fortress Astronema began immediately taking in an inventory on her troops and weapons stores. Ecliptor gave her the rundown on what all she had.
"We have our battalions of Quantrons. Our Velocifighters could also square off against the satellites Reprogrammer has. You also have a vast army of monsters and magical weapons to use against him." Astronema nodded at Ecliptor's assessment, but also sensed that he was holding something back. "What are you not saying?" Astronema asked.
Ecliptor sighed. There was no easy way to say it, so he just said it. "Even though you have forces Reprogrammer has interfaced himself with the SDI system so he can control the satellites simultaneously. If you mount a retaliatory strike, he can deflect that strike from any number of directions. Even if you win the engagement it would cost your forces greatly."
"An acceptable risk." Astronema said. "That monster must know the folly of betraying me."
"Not if it means heavy losses to you." Ecliptor added. "Dark Spector has awarded you and Artemis the chance to move against Earth. Would it do you any good if your forces were so crippled that you had to go to someone like Divatox for assistance?" Astronema listened to Ecliptor and shivered at the thought of asking Divatox for aid.
"What do you propose I do then?" Astronema asked. "I can't sit back and let that traitor get the best of me."
"You will not have to." Artemis said standing in the doorway. "You forget one thing, the Rangers are still out there." Astronema cast a look that said 'Yeah so?'.
"That means that they will be looking for ways to beat Reprogrammer themselves. And if I know Rangers they will not give up until they find a way to defeat him. So why should we do all the work when the Rangers can do the job of defeating Reprogrammer for us."
"And when the dust is cleared we can move against the Rangers ourselves, since they will be weak from the engagement with Reprogrammer." Astronema said. "Ingenious."
"Well I was more or less thinking that this would be a great lesson in honor for you." Artemis said. "Especially when Reprogrammer finds himself all but defeated." Astronema wondered what her sister meant, but Ecliptor seemed to get the idea. "When his defeat is at hand he will go calling for help, and he will turn to you my Princess. And when he does..."
"...I refuse it." Astronema said catching on. "And I show other the price for betraying me." Artemis nodded.
"So for now, we wait." Astronema nodded agreeing with her sister deciding that she would hold off on the engagement so she could see what the Rangers would do."
From his observation point on the Delta Megaship the first technician was looking over computer data when he saw a massive ship approaching. He was speechless as he tried to make out what it was. It was only the chime of the communications channel that brought him out of his state.
"Delta Megaship." The voice said on the other end. "This is the Astro Megaship of the Astro Power Rangers. We request to come aboard and offer any and all technical assistance you may require."
It took a few seconds but the technician shook himself out of his state. "This is Delta Megaship. This is a special NASADA project. I can not let you on board without proper security clearance."
"Sending security code." The voice said on the other end. The technician looked over the code info and saw that the authorization did in fact come from General Norquist. "Very well. Permission granted." The Astro Megaship then proceeded to dock with the Delta Megaship.
On board the Megaship Andros cut off the communications channel as the other Astros looked out at the sight of the Delta Megaship. It did have something of an impressive design to it, but there was some skepticism to it as well. "You sure this thing can stand up against those satellites?" T.J. asked.
"It will once we help them complete it." Andros said. "Norquist said that systems were almost complete, but due to problems he wouldn't get into that completion is taking longer than expected. If we help out we can get this ship running in no time, and we'll have a weapon to use against those satellites."
"All right. How do we go about this?" Carlos asked. Ashley quickly said "I'm good with engines. I can check those out."
"I'll handle communications and the computer systems." Cassie said.
"Carlos and I can look over the weapons." T.J. said.
"And Sabrina and I can handle the rest of the ship." Andros said. "Let's get over there."
The Rangers all made their way to the jump tubes and teleported over to the Delta Megaship looking to get her in tip top shape.
Sure enough the Rangers morphed and got busy. Using parts and supplies from the Astro Megaship they helped the technicians complete the Delta Megaship as fast as they could.
Blue Astro and Black Astro worked on the weapons as they said they would. Computer chips were inserted as well as the structural framework improved. When they were ready for a test firing they were amazed at the firepower that was put out. "Wow!" Blue Astro had said. Black Astro had to agree.
Yellow Astro and one technician were working on the engine. Fortunately it had a similar design as that of the Astro Megaship. It made use of an engine core that was connected to special Hyperrush engines. They looked over conduits, and ensured the connections were secure. They also looked over the engines themselves and with some additional parts from the Astro Megaship, the engines were completed. When they were activated they hummed beautifully as Yellow Astro and the technician looked on proud of their work.
Red and Gold Astro looked over the structural integrity, and life support functions of the Dalta Megaship. The cooling systems were the one thing that needed little modification, and in fact, the Delta Megaship had parts that could be used to repair the Astro Megaship's cooling system. Gold Astro ensured the transport of the additional parts and used those parts to finish repairs on the Astro Megaship while the rest of the Rangers finished the Delta Megaship.
Finally it was Pink Astro and the second technician who completed work on the computer system. The computer didn't have an AI like the Astro Megaship did with D.E.C.A., but Pink Astro found that D.E.C.A. could be used to remote access the Delta Megaship if it needed. She also noticed something in the design of the Megaship, a modular construction.
She and the technician looked through a lot of simulations and found that the ship was able to separate into different subcomponents. The technician wondered why this was possible when Pink Astro called Red Astro to the bridge. When Red Astro arrived he asked what the problem was.
"There is some sort of modular construction in the Delta Megaship. Almost as if it could separate." Pink Astro said. Red looked at the simulation and came up with an idea. "D.E.C.A. are you connected with the Delta Megaship's computer?"
"Affirmative" the computer said.
"Insert Astro Megaship into simulation run." Red Astro ordered. D.E.C.A. did so and Red engaged a computer simulation of his own. In it the computer had the Delta Megaship separating and joining with the Astro Megaship forming some kind of super megazord. A megazord that could only have been called the Astro Delta Megazord.
"Norquist must have planned this." Pink Astro said. "He must have known that we might have needed help."
"Perhaps." Red Astro said. "It's hard to tell what was going on in Norquist's mind. He may have been trying to get something built for KO-35, and yet not arouse suspicion." Cassie thought "Maybe."
"At any rate we can test the transformation sequence another time. Right now we need to finish the diagnostic, and see if this Megaship is operational." Just then Yellow Astro appeared and said "Engines are ready."
"Weapons have been completed and updated." Blue Astro and Black Astro said.
"Computer is complete and D.E.C.A. is helping with diagnostic." Pink Astro said. Just then the systems all powered up and D.E.C.A. said "Final checkout is complete. All systems are operational. All that is needed are the ship's command codes." Red Astro looked at the two technicians and technician one gave him a key card. "Data slot over there." He said making reference to a computer terminal nearby.
"Which slot?" Red asked. Technician one answered "Right one." And Red Astro inserted the card. The Delta Megaship was under the Astro Rangers' control.
"Thank you." Red Astro said. "Can we arrange for your transport to Earth?" The technicians nodded and said "Thanks." In two streaks of light the technicians were sent back to Earth and the Rangers took stations on the slightly smaller bridge of the Delta Megaship.
"Take us out." Red Astro said as he ordered the Megaship to leave dock. On command the Delta Megaship slipped out of the superstructure of the drydock and made it's way into the open void of space. It joined up with the Astro Megaship and soon made it's way back to the satellite network where Reprogrammer waited for them.
Reprogrammer sat believing in his superiority. He believed that he had conquered the Rangers and Earth. He had already doublecrossed the Princesses, and wondered if after he took the rest of Divatox's money, he shouldn't double cross her as well. -Double cross two of the inner council? Dark Specter will be impressed with me.- he thought.
He could already imagine his seat on the UAE council now, but so lost was he in his fantasy that he didn't notice the Astro Megazord coming in for attack. Before he knew it, two satellites were destroyed.
"How? Ahh it doesn't matter!" Reprogrammer then fired his pulses at the Astro Megazord, but its shield deflected the bolts. It then launched another sword strike destroying another satellite. So preoccupied was he with the Astro Megazord that he didn't notice the Delta Megazord come in from behind and take out another wing before it was too late.
"What kind of ship is that?" Reprogrammer asked as the Delta Megaship approached. The answer came in a flurry of laser volleys across Reprogrammer's bow and a communication from Red Astro. "Reprogrammer. This is the Delta Megaship, commanded by the Astro Rangers. Surrender now or face the consequences."
"Never!" Reprogrammer shouted as he tried to turn his sattelites towards the approaching Megaship. Sattelited that were disabled thanks to the volleys from the Delta Megaship.
"We did warn you." Red Astro said over the comm link. "Now prepare to face the consequences."
Reprogrammer looked at the Megaships and saw his empire crumble before it was even born and on board the Astro Megaship Red Astro was ready to call out the big ones as he ordered the zords to come together. Soon Reprogrammer found himself facing the Astro Delta Megazord.
"NOOOOOO" Reprogrammer shouted. "Must get to another satellite." Quickly he scanned for another satellite to commandeer, and saw one close by. But when he prepared himself to download, he found he could not communicate with that other satellite.
"What?" Reprogrammer said in shock. "What's going on?"
"I think we can answer that Reprogrammer." Said the voice of Artemis. Reprogrammer saw the image of Astronema and her twin before him, and immediately he knew what was happening. The princesses of evil were keeping him from downloading into another satellite. "Princesses, I beg you. Please spare me!"
"I don't think so." Astronema said. "I'm going to make an example out of you. I'm going to show everyone what it means to betray me." The icy tone in her voice sent chills up Reprogrammer's spine.
"Please. Let me serve you again. It wasn't my fault. Divatox paid me to betray you." Reprogrammer pleaded as the Astro Delta Megazord got closer.
"Divatox?" Artemis said. "She put you up to this?"
"Yes. It was her." Reprogrammer pleaded. "She also has your fortress bugged so she can monitor your plans." This brought concern to the princesses as they had discovered their security had been breached. Ecliptor was going to do all he could, but Reprogrammer continued to do his pleading.
"Please spare me and I'll serve only you." Artemis and Astronema listened for a moment and then turned and smiled at Reprogrammer giving their answer.
"And run the risk of you betraying us again? You forswore an oath to us to serve and you broke that oath. Why should we have you serve us now?" Artemis said as she added. "And now we leave you to your fate, and to us we have our destiny."
"PLEASE MY PRINCESSES!!!" Reprogrammer pleaded. But the transmission was cut off. Reprogrammer only saw the Astro Delta Megazord come in ready to make it's last strike. That image would be the last thing Reprogrammer would see.
The Princesses watched as the Astro Delta Megaship made it's strike. The SDI sattelite with Reprogrammer on it had exploded in a shower of flame and debris. Astronema couldn't help but smile.
"Such is the fate of all who defy me." Astronema sneered. Her attention then turned to the Megazord and wondered if she should not attack the Rangers onboard. Artemis didn't think so.
"Not yet. We need to know more about what that zord combination can do." Astronema looked at Artemis and asked "Shouldn't you know?"
"Just because I was a Yellow Ranger doesn't mean I was entitled to everything there was to know." Artemis seemed to say the line with a sense of smug superiority that Astronema wasn't sure she should hate, or be proud of. "There are some things yet to be revealed."
"Just as there are some of Earth's weapons that are to be revealed. And maybe even used." Astronema thought of the possibilities of the weapons. "And some of them may have a big kaboom."
Artemis looked at Astronema and said :"I like Kaboom."
"As do I." Both then turned their attention back to the viewer where Reprogrammer had perished. Artemis then looked at her sister and said "This was a lesson in honor. Do not turn on your allies and don't attack a person while they are down."
"Why?" Astronema asked. "Is it not more tactically sound to attack when one is down, or to attack from behind?"
"Attacking from behind is for cowards, or for one who is truly desperate." Artemis said. "It is something any fool can do. But fighting as a warrior, and defeating them. Now that proves one's superiority. It gives a claim no one can dispute."
Astronema seemed to understand a little. "And that is who I hope to be. But still..."
"No worries. There is still much to learn." Artemis stated. "But remember we must never be cowards. We are princesses. We have a standard we must meet." Astronema nodded seeming to understand the importance of her title.
And so the lessons would continue. But first they had to plan revenge against Divatox.
On the Astro Delta Megaship the Rangers noticed the Dark Fortress retreat. The other Rangers watched the retreat with joy, but Yellow Astro seemed to know better. "I'd love to say that was the end of Astronema, but that's not the case is it?"
"Astronema will be back." Red Astro said. "She's never been one to hide."
"You know her pretty well?" Pink Astro asked. Andros didn't respond to the question. He just turned and made his way off the bridge. He briefly turned back and said "Come on. General Norquist is waiting."
The other Rangers made their way down hoping to talk to Norquist.
Meanwhile back on Earth General Norquist was extending his thanks to the Rangers. "Thank you Rangers, if it wasn't for you Astronema would have conquered Earth."
Red Astro then demorphed before Norquist. The others were shocked that Andros would do this. "Don't worry. General Norquist and Zordon have a long history. Our secret is safe with him." Then as if on cue, the other Rangers demorphed as well and introduced themselves to the General. Norquist accepted the introductions gratefully. "Earth is grateful for you, and so am I."
"I just can't believe the Star Wars system actually exists." Carlos said.
"I can." Ashley said. "Astronema just used it."
"Can't NASADA modify the system so it doesn't happen again?" T.J. asked.
"Unfortunately NASADA may not be around much longer." Norquist said. "The budget has been cut."
"What?!" Cassie said. "But NASADA is the primary defense network against aliens Earth has."
"I know." Norquist said. "But what Astronema said wasn't totally without merit. There are corrupt officials in Washington who only look out for their own ends. I can't prove anything, but I know they're responsible for NASADA's budget problems."
"We must not allow this to happen General." Andros said. "Is there anything that can be done?"
Norquist thought for a moment then he had an idea. "I think there maybe something I can do." He said as he picked up his phone and told his secretary "Get me the Pentagon. I need to speak to General Clayton 'Tomahawk' Abernathy." As the secretary made the call he looked at the Astro Rangers and said, "For every corrupt politician in Washington, and the world, there is at least one who wants to do good for the people of this country, and this planet. I'm looking to speak to one of them now."
"I hope he can help." Carlos said. "Earth needs all the help it can get." The Astro Rangers then left leaving General Norquist to talk with General Abernathy.
Washington D.C. The Pentagon
Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was walking up to the main gate along with his aide Leftenant Benton as they were making their way to a meeting with U.S. allies and branches of U.N.I.T. Lethbridge-Stewart looked to get the meeting over with, while Benton seemed to be enjoying the trip. Benton had never really left London, and he savored every visit when he went someplace new.
"Is our presentation ready Benton?" Lethbridge-Stewart asked. Benton said it was.
"Excellent. I'm hoping this will encourage soem American involvement in some of these extra-terrestrial affairs." Lethbridge-Stewart and Benton continued up to the gate when the two were detained at the main gate of the Pentagon by a blustery General who was demanding the gatekeeper open the door due to rank, and all the while seemed to be berating the enlisted man. "Do you know what these stars mean corporal? That means you do as I say. Now will you open this gate, or shall I call the M.P.'s and have you arrested for disobeying a superior officer?"
Lethbridge-Stewart watched the whole affair with disgust. He may have been called 'pompous' or 'military minded' but he always respected those that served under him. The type of officer he saw before him seemed to give the American Military a bad name as the General continued to bully the enlisted subordinate.
"I'm sorry sir. But everyone must show a pass." the corporal said.
"Preposterous! I am a four star general! My rank is all the pass you need." The general didn't seem to let up when Lethbridge-Stewart got in the general's face. "General, in case you're wondering there are procedures that all soldiers must follow. Even generals. This corporal was merely asking you to follow those." The general looked at the Lethbridge-Stewart, and was annoyed.
"I don't take orders from Brits that don't make general." the general said. "At least our Brigadiers are generals. You Brits however screw up your ranks royally you got to jump through hoops to become general." Benton was annoyed at the general and looked ready to slug him when Lethbridge-Stewart intervened. "It's not worth it Benton." he said.
"Yeah. It's not worth it." the general said pointing to the stars on his jacket. He then turned back towards the corporal and continued to berate the soldier until he let the general in. So focused was he on intimidating the corporal he didn't notice another general come up from behind him and grab the stars on his right jacket.
"Let's see those stars sir." the other general said ripping the stars off his jacket. The blustery general looked stunned as he saw his stars ripped off and the other general walk past giving his pass to the corporal.
"Corporal I'd have these stars checked." the other general said. "These don't look like the insignia of a man in the army I serve." He then turned to Lethbridge-Stewart and asked "Are you familiar with this insignia Brigadier?"
Lethbridge-Stewart smiled as he said "No General Abernathy. Those do not look like an insignia of any army I'm familiar with." Both then turned to the blustery general who was seething at the humiliation that was taking place at his expence. "WHY YOU!!! I'LL SEE YOU IN LEAVENWORTH FOR THIS ABERNATHY!!!"
The other general, General Clayton 'Hawk'(sometimes called 'Tomahawk') Abernathy, turned to look at the blustery general and said "And I'll see you in Hell General Cross...if they're not checking I.D." Abernathy was a middle aged man who held the rank of Lieutenant General, and while it might not have been as impressive as those that held four stars on their uniforms Abernathy carried himself with a sense of authority that reflected a five star general.
General Cross was stunned by what he saw. Too stunned to notice Lethbridge-Stewart get cleared to enter and turn back and say to Cross "You'd better go back and get your pass General, or do you want to have the other set of stars ripped off your coat?"
Cross went back to his car to head home to find his pass. All the while seething how it had been the third time Abernathy crossed him. Lethbridge-Stewart commented to Leftenant Benton "Actually it's his fourth."
"How do you know General Abernathy anyway?" Benton asked. Lethbridge-Stewart explained "We had soldiers take part in a special exchange program. I had an American soldier under his command as a part of U.N.I.T. and he had a British soldier under my command in his Group Force Delta. He was given the code name Big Ben."
As Lethbridge-Stewart continued to talk to Benton on the way to their meeting Abernathy continued to make his way to his office. An office located where the elite brand of General called 'the Jugglers' had their offices.
Inside a special room located at the Pentagon sits an elite group of Generals from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, and Coast Guard. Their intent was to serve as a balancing agent between the different armed forces. Hence they had wound up with the task of being called 'The Jugglers.'
In reality however, the Jugglers were a corrupt group. Almost all of the Generals who sat in this elite group was involved in one dirty deal or another, and it usually was for their own benefit instead of for the country they were supposed to protect.
Only Abernathy,who sat at the table of the Jugglers worked for the good of his country, and those that protected it. While the other Jugglers used their status for their own gains, Abernathy had other reasons for being on the Jugglers.
He hoped to dismantle the group from within.
Years ago Abernathy had been instrumental for the forging of a new counter terrorism team, Group Force Delta-which answered to the code names G.I.Joe and Action Force. However Abernathy found himself at ends with the corruption of the Jugglers too many times as he was trying to command his unit. The Jugglers then dismantled Abernathy's team, but Abernathy did have some resources available so he could blackmail himself to serving on the Jugglers' panel. He had the hope that the Jugglers could be dismantled from within. So far Abernathy had been able to maneuver the Jugglers to do what he wanted.
And now he was about to do it again. Thanks to a call from General Norquist.
In his office at NASADA General Norquist put Abernathy on the loudspeaker as the problem was being relayed to him.
"I understand General." General Abernathy said. "Ironically there may be something I can do. Are the Space Rangers in your office right now?" Norquist said that they were and asked he speak to them. "Rangers?" General Abernathy asked.
"Yes sir." Andros had said.
"I am aware of the plight that General Norquist is in, and there may be something I can do about it. But I need your help to do it." Abernathy then explained what was going on with General Moore and how he was getting ready to sell Ranger secrets to Divatox. Ashley was shocked by what he had heard.
"I don't believe it. How could a general do that?" Ashley's anger ran a little deeper since members of her family had been involved in the military all the way back since World War I. Her great grandfather was in the Korean War, and her uncle was involved in the Air Force today. General Abernathy picked up a hint of the outrage in Ashley, and could sense an aspect of military upbringing in her voice.
"Some generals are only in for themselves." Abernathy said. "They are willing to sell out their country for their own gain."
"When is this meet taking place?" T.J. asked. General Abernathy gave the location and time according to his sources. "I've already got some soldiers waiting to back you up if you need them."
"Thank you General." Andros said. And with that the Astro Rangers made their way to the rendezvous point. Norquist however talked with Abernathy for a while longer.
"Is there something else Tomahawk?" Norquist asked making reference to the name Abernathy was referred to by sometimes.
"Yes General." Abernathy had said. "While it may be possible for me to help you in this endeavor I'm not sure how long this can go on. Fighting the Jugglers is not an easy task."
"Especially if you're the only man leading the charge." Norquist said. That set up what Abernathy would say next.
"You know that they will try for the Rangers again. They may not be connected to the armed forces, but the Jugglers are taking an interest in Ranger affairs. Especially with the Lightspeed project that the Jugglers CAN control." Norquist knew what Abernathy was asking, and was not sure if he could carry on with it.
"I swore I would not get involved with political matters in the military. My main mission is space exploration and defense. Not dealing with corruption."
"There may not be much of a choice." Abernathy said. "If the Rangers are to be protected they will need an ally, and I may not be able to be that." Norquist heard what Abernathy was saying and realized that he may be right.
"Very well. What do you need to do?" Abernathy then laid out his plan to Norquist.
In a clearing at the Vietnam Memorial Divatox waited for the envoy to approach, as she waited she took in the site of the meeting.
The memorial was shaped like a 'V' and had names on it. Names she found out were those that had fallen in the war. It was a long and bloody war in which Americans had really wondered why they were there in the first place. But Divatox put that out of her mind once the envoy arrived. -The only suffering people will have to worry about is when maligore is free.- she thought gleefully.
She met with an envoy of General Moore, who didn't want to be implicated if things went wrong. "The General seems to be a smart man." Divatox had said.
"No, he's just careful." The courier then opened the briefcase revealing the files the Lightspeed project had on Ranger morphers. It was then that the Astro Rangers had appeared and cornered Divatox and the aide.
"Give it up Divatox!" Red Astro said. "You're not walking away with those."
"I don't think so." Divatox said as she fired bolts of magic at the Rangers, then she called forth her Pirannatrons to deal with them. Red, Yellow, Blue Pink and Black Astros fought the Pirannatrons while Divatox ran away. The aide of the General also tried to escape but he got blasted by a low power shot by Yellow Astro's Star Slinger. She hoped the M.P's would deal with him.
The Pirannatrons were then defeated, and the Astros stood victorious. Blue Astro then asked "Guys where's Divatox?"
"Don't worry. She won't get far." Red Astro said as he planned for her escape.
Divatox continued to run through the brush and the foliage hoping to shake loose the Rangers. Finally she stopped hoping that she was clear enough to teleport. That was when she heard a panther growl and pounce at her. The papers she held went flying all over the area as the panther then jumped up and changed into the form of Sabrina.
"YOU!!!" Divatox shouted. "What are you doing here?"
"Stopping you from escaping." Sabrina said. "There's no way you are leaving with those files." Divatox then stood up and said "Oh well I may not escape with the files, but I will escape." Sabrina wondered what Divatox meant by that.
"You're not the only one that can turn into an animal." Divatox sneered as she began her transformation. Sabrina was stunned by what she saw as Divatox took on an evil red glow.
Divatox's arms and legs absorbed into her body as did her clothes. Her skin then became scaly, as did her eyes become wide and yellow as her mask and hair absorbed into her skin and her body shrunk. Sabrina looked down to see the Pirate Queen of evil turn herself into a snake and slither off into the brush. Sabrina looked tried to see where Divatox slithered off to, but amidst the trees, grass and bushes there were plenty of places for her to hide.
The only consolation was that the Lightspeed files had been retrieved, and Sabrina gathered them up just as Andros and the Astros appeared. "You got the files. Great, where's Divatox?" Andros asked.
"She slithered away." Sabrina said as she told the story of how Divatox turned into a snake and escaped. "She can do that?" Carlos asked.
"It's not something she's known to do, but she has learned the ability." Sabrina said. "The snake is just the creature that reflects her soul. "It's ironic that her snake was a python. She's been known to squeeze the life out of people."
"And so much more." Andros said. "But at least we have the information."
"What do you think that the government is doing with Ranger files anyway?" Ashley asked. "Are they making Ranger powers?"
"General Norquist mentioned an organization called Lightspeed. Maybe there's an enemy they are fighting and they need Ranger technology to fight them with." Andros speculated. "At any rate we've kept the UAE from getting their hands on these files." With that the Astros teleported out leaving Divatox the snake to watch them leave. Then she too teleported out back to her spacebase.
The M.P.'s gathered General Moore's aide, who immediately began a full confession of his and General Moore's actions once he was taken into custody.
Washington D.C. The Pentagon
Abernathy already had a plan in motion to remove a problem that crossed his path, and he would use that plan to eliminate Norquist's problem as well. All with the help of a file in his hand and the M.P.'s by his side. When he arrived at General Moore's office he opened the door to see General Moore behind his desk. "What do you want Tomahawk?" Moore asked.
"A moment of your time General." Abernathy said as he dropped the file on Moore's desk. A file that contained photos of him meeting with Divatox, the aide meeting with Divatox, and the confession from the aide. Moore then looked up to see the M.P.'s flanking his side.
"Trust me. It'll be well spent."
Inside the special conference room the Jugglers were having one of their clandestine meetings. Abernath arrived saying that General Moore would not be joining them. "He tried to involve himself with the UAE and is now making ready to serve time in Leavenworth."
"That leaves us with an opening in the Jugglers. We'll need someone to fill it." An Army General named Gibbs said. "We'll need to screen potential candidates."
"No need." Abernathy said. "A member has already been selected. He'll be arriving soon." Afer a few minutes General McKnight wondered what was taking so long. "How much longer must we wait Tomahawk?"
"Patience Generals, our guest is about to arrive." General Abernathy looked at his watch then got up and left the council chamber. It wasn't until later that Abernathy had brought in something that gave the council a surprise.
"Gentlemen, may I present our newest member." Abernathy said as the Jugglers looked at the doorway as the figure walked in. General Norquist, in his military uniform walked into the chamber and took his seat, ironically across from General McKnight who cringed at the thought of Norquist being a member of the Jugglers. Now they had two thorns in their side to worry about instead of one.
McKnight however asked what all the Jugglers were thinking. "General Hawk, why Norquist?"
"Because we need to establish a space presence now." Abernathy had said. "And no one else has the qualifications Norquist has. He's practically spent his life in space." Norquist smiled at Abernathy's remark not sure if he knew how right he was.
"We could have gone with someone else, but they would not establish the presence Norquist does. I believe his presence will be an asset." Norquist heard Abernathy's words and saw all the nods from the Jugglers, which kind of seemed half hearted.
Norquist looked especially at McKnight and saw how uncomfortable he was, even more so than the other Jugglers were. -Clearly this one I'll definitely have to keep an eye out for.- he thought as the lead general called the latest meeting of the Jugglers to order. Norquist scanned those all around the room remembering what Abernathy said to him. "Each one has a dirty little secret. Once you find out what it is you can get what you need from them." Norquist would not forget those words.
-Zordon my friend. I hope the power is protecting me.- he thought.
Meanwhile on the space base Divatox's pirate crew were waiting for their mistress to appear. "How long should we wait?" Porto asked.
Elgar then felt something wrap around his throat choking the air out of the mutant. The mutant tried to pull the snake off, but couldn't do it. Finally the mutant gave out and the snake slithered away from its victim.
"AHHHH SNAKE!!!" Porto shouted.
"No. That's Divatox!" Rygog said as the snake paused before its two henchmutants.
The snake then began to glow and change. It's skin changed back to human pink as arms and legs started to appear. Her clothes also appeared as did her hair and mask as she grew. Divatox, the pirate queen returned to human form.
"Ahhh that felt good!" Divatox said as she took a breath. "I haven't slithered like that in ages. Or taken someone out like I did Elgar in a while. I should do it more often." She then walked past an unconscious Elgar to pick up a mouse running past her and ate the mouse whole. Elgar, Porto and Rygog turned away in nausea from what they saw.
"What? Can't a girl eat in peace?" Divatox said as she then ordered the space base to be taken back a distance. Currently there was no business for her on Earth right now, but she would return later.
She had a wedding to prepare for, and she needed time to prepare for it in.
But first she had to deal with the Astro Princesses revenge for their corruption of Reprogrammer.
"AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!" she screamed as she saw her treasure room gone and a note saying that it had been scattered across the cosmos.
Divatox would spend weeks trying to find it again.
On board the Astro Megaship General Norquist contacted the Astro Rangers and thanked them for all their help. "It was no problem general." Ashley said. "We were happy to do it."
General Abernathy then appeared on the screen and offered his thanks. He looked at Ashley and said "I am pleased that the Hammond family name is still being served with distinction. Your service as a Ranger does you proud. To all of you Rangers."
"Thank you General." all the Astro Rangers said. Norquist then spoke and said "The Delta Megaship is yours Rangers. Take care of her."
"We will General. Generals." Andros answered. Abernathy then said "We'll do what we can to help you Rangers out, and we'll try to keep the Jugglers off your backs."
"Thank you again General." Andros replied as he then signed off. The Astro Rangers felt like they had won not only a major battle, but gained an important ally as well. They would need allies in the future.
The Astro Rangers had already handed defeats to Astronema and Divatox.
They wondered what else would come.