Disclaimer: The Power Rangers are the property of Saban/Disney, and I lay no claim to them. The Taelons are from the series Earth: Final Conflict. Jack Bauer and co. are from the Fox series '24'. The Rani is from the series 'Doctor Who' and is owned by the BBC. This story is part of the COE Final Reckoning series and follows on from the events of COE Final Reckoning Minion of Darkness, COE Final Reckoning After the Minion, COE Final Reckoning ID War, Crisis of Faith.
Selection of a Lunar Wolf
By: The Q-team
At a house in Los Angeles a young girl sat in her room thinking about a conversation she had with a relative of hers. Her last one. "Kim have you heard from Taylor?" Kristen Earhardt asked her cousin Kimberly Bauer over the phone.
"No is something wrong?" Kim asked. Kristen answered, "I'm not sure. I got a call from Turtle Cove. The police there said that she disappeared a couple of days ago. No one knows what happened to her."
"Well what about your mom? Is she looking for her?" Kristen sighed as if giving her an answer of no. "You know mom disowned Taylor after they had a big falling out over what direction she was going to take in her life. Dad was pretty much the same way."
"So what are you going to do, or shouldn't I ask?" Kim asked.
"I'm going down to Turtle Cove." Kristen said. "See if I can find her myself. I'd ask you dad but if my dad found out I tried to contact him..."
"Yeah I know... you dad pretty much hates my dad for supporting Taylor when he disowned her." Kim sighed. To be honest, she didn't think very highly of General Earhardt. "If I hear anything I'll let you know."
That call was the last time Kimberly Bauer had ever heard from her cousin Kristen. And nothing was found about Taylor, who had been living with Kim and her family for some time over the last year until she got her own place in Turtle Cove, either. Kim had kinda moved out about the same time that their parents had separated. She had placed her call to Eric Meyers, but she realized that if she was ever going to see her cousins again, she had no choice but to call one man who could help. Her own father.
~Easy Kim, you can do this. she thought as she walked up to the house her father, Special Agent Jack Bauer of the Counter Terrorist Unit, lived in. She had tried to see her father as much as possible ever since he and her mom had separated. She wasn't sure why they had separated and no one would say anything to her at all. She just hoped they would get back together soon.
The separation had the effect of Kim getting to talk to her other family members, namely her cousins Taylor and Kristen Earhardt. Taylor had left the Air Force due to reasons Taylor wouldn't go into. Kristen also went into the Air Force academy much like Taylor did. And both for the same reasons, they didn't want to be controlled by their parents anymore. Kim admired that about her cousins, they both had no problems standing up for what they believed in. ~ Or if they do they don't show it. ~ Kim thought with a smile. As she came up to her father's door Kim tried to imagine herself in Taylor's shoes and knocked on the door hoping to summon up the courage that her cousin seemed to have.
The door opened and a man with thinning blonde hair stood in the doorway. He looked tired and weary as if the weight of the world fell on him. A far cry from the man Kim Bauer used to know. "Kim?" Special Agent Jack Bauer asked.
"Yes dad." Kim said standing in the doorway. Jack stood for a good couple of seconds before he allowed Kim inside. "Not that I'm not glad to see you but what are you doing here?" he asked Kim.
"I need your help dad. Taylor and Kristen have disappeared." Jack was shocked as Kim continued.
"Taylor disappeared first. She was last seen in Turtle Cove, and Kristen later followed. Then she disappeared." Jack then asked how Kim knew the girls had disappeared. "Taylor usually sends Kristen e-mails on a regular basis. One day the e-mails stopped and then Kristen got a call from Turtle Cove University wondering if she knew where a friend of Taylor's, Alyssa Enrile, was. Kristen said she didn't know and asked why they wanted to know. They said it was because she hadn't been in class for days. The same amount of days Taylor had been missing."
"Wait. Turtle Cove University? Turtle Cove where all those monster attacks are?"
"The very same." Kim told her father. "Apparently this 'Alyssa' and Taylor were friends, and they tried to contact all her friends to find out where Alyssa was. Since they couldn't contact Taylor they found Kristen's number and called her. That's when she figured out Taylor disappeared."
"What can I do?" Jack asked afraid he'd know what the answer would be. Sure enough Kim answered with "I was wondering if there was anyone you could talk to in CTU maybe see what you could to do to find them."
"Kim I am not sure how well it will work out, " Jack said giving reservations. "Not to mention I don't think Chappelle is going to allow authorization for a mission into the 'Freak Zone. '"
"Dad, two of our family have disappeared. And no one's doing anything to find them." Kim pleaded. "Please dad. You have to do something."
Jack sighed. "All right I'll see what I can do. Besides, Diana would haunt me from her grave if I didn't find her daughters. If they won't authorize a mission, I'll go down their myself to find them." Kim smiled and hugged her father as if thanking him.
Three hours later...
"What do you mean no?" Jack asked his supervisor Ryan Chappelle over the phone from his office at the Counter Terrorist Unit in Los Angeles. He couldn't believe what he was hearing as it seemed that Chappelle was stonewalling him.
"Jack I realize you are concerned about your family but we just can't spare any agents right now. Also bear in mind that cases in the Freak Zone are outside CTU's investigative jurisdiction." Regional Director Ryan Chappelle told him but Jack cut him off on the phone. "Listen to me. This bureau owes me. I have sacrificed a lot for my country and it has made a royal mess of my immediate family and personal life. Now it seems like you are willing to let two of my family die. Maybe you are willing to regard my two nieces as acceptable losses, but I'm not."
Chappelle however would have none of what Jack Bauer had to say. "This conversation is over Jack. You are not to go to Turtle Cove. Have I made myself perfectly clear?"
"Crystal Ryan." Jack growled slammed his phone down on its receiver and threw his phone off of his desk and against the wall. It was then that Nina Meyers came into his office, "Rough time Jack?"
"Chappelle won't let me go into the 'Freak Zone' to look for my nieces." Jack sighed as he put his hands through his hair.
"Nieces? As in more than just Taylor?" Nina asked her boss.
"Yeah. Taylor has a younger sister, Kristen. She's disappeared now trying to find Taylor, " Jack shook his head.
"I'm sorry Jack." Nina said sympathetically, "I know Taylor means a lot to you."
"Thank you Nina... what did you come in here for before I threw the phone against the wall?"
"Tony's got the new listings on the three agents that have been transferred to us from the Dallas, New York and San Francisco Branches." Nina told him. "He said you ought to check them out."
"Fine tell Tony to set them on my desk." Jack said not really in a 'do paperwork' frame of mind. When Tony walked in, Nina gave him a look as if saying 'be careful, he's in a lousy mood today. ' Tony nodded but he was still concerned for his boss.
"Jack... you okay?"
"Well other than the fact that Chappelle told me he wouldn't allow me or for sending anyone to look for my two nieces that are missing in Turtle Cove then I'm fine Tony." Jack made his irritation of the director's decision quite clear.
"Your nieces?" Tony asked curious. "As in one more than just Taylor?"
"Yeah. One of them disappeared while the other disappeared trying to find her. And that director we all know and loathe says that the happenings in Turtle Cove are outside CTU's investigative jurisdiction. 'We just don't handle 'Freak Zone cases' was the official line." Upon the mention of the Freak Zone, Tony's wheels started turning.
"Jack I think we may be able to spare one agent." Tony said. Jack wondered who it was when Tony handed him a dossier, which Jack quickly opened. "This is the transfer from the San Francisco branch." Inside it was a picture of a young man who looked to be in his early 20's with dark brown hair and a beard stubble on his chin. The name in the file read 'Merrickson, Steven'. Jack read the file and didn't quite know what to make out of it.
"This guy sounds like someone who should be in the X-Files." Jack said as he looked at some of the highlights. "Investigation into Paranormal activity. Seventeen missions total into the 'Freak Zone' area." However Jack did have to concede that Merrickson had qualifications, which could have been useful. He was skilled in four different Martial Arts styles. He also had an investigation record that was impressive. "You sure Merrickson can find Taylor and Kristen?" Jack asked.
"If anyone can it's him." Tony said. "If anyone asks Merrickson can just say that he was doing a routine 'Freak Zone' investigation. Which it is in a way."
"I want to see him." Jack said. "Find him, and bring him to me."
"Already done." Tony said as he left to find Agent Steven Merrickson.
~Another apartment in a long string of apartments. ~ Steven Merrickson thought as he started to get organized in his new place. Boxes were littered all over the place filled with odds and ends he and his sister Lisa picked up during all the moving around they had done.
Life had never been easy for the Merrickson kids. Steven was born first, with his sister Lisa following two years later. Their father had been in the army and the family moved around from post to post, never really staying too long in one place. By the time the two kids had made friends it would have been time for them to move on to another post, or base, as their father would be reassigned constantly.
Steven and Lisa's parents died when they were just in their teens. They were driving home from a party with the joint chiefs of staff when a drunk driver hit them causing an accident. After the crash the two Merrickson siblings looked after each other. They moved around from different cities: Charterville, Crossworld City, Angel Grove, Mariner Bay so that they weren't separated or placed into foster care. Steven wasn't sure that would happen, but neither he nor Lisa wanted to be separated from each other.
They attended schools in each of those cities as they moved around. Their school transcripts seemed like a tour of the Freak Zone itself. For some reason both siblings couldn't get away from the area. Steven was soon able to graduate High School, and become legal enough to be his sister's legal guardian. He then decided to follow in his father's footsteps and serve in the military.
After training in the military and serving a brief stint he went on to work in different Federal Agencies. Steven transferred over to San Francisco to join the SFPD. Lisa came with him and hoped to finish out High School at St. Marin's Private School. As Lisa completed her high school education in a place where she had stayed longer than a few months, Steven tried to make a home for his sister. A home the Merrickson kids never had since their parents died.
And Lisa was grateful for the sacrifices Steven had made. Even Steven himself saw rewards in the life he was carving for himself and his sister. ~ So much change in life. Now it seems like we finally found a home. ~ he thought.
But despite the moving around there was one thing that had stayed constant in the Merrickson kids lives. They always found themselves at the center of unusual events. Especially when there father was stationed at military posts in the Freak Zone.
Steven and Lisa became involved in happenings that would have been considered bizarre. One instance was when they had to save a whole cheerleading squad from being turned into dogs for a vain monster to retain her beauty, or a monster from stealing some military secrets on a base. Even when in the military Steven became involved in unusual events. Some of them even found themselves in a subsection in Steven's permanent file.
Captain Nash Bridges of the SFPD's Special Investigations Unit picked up Steven's record, and Steven served exemplary for one year. Unusual cases still crossed his way, but they started to become more of a hobby to him than anything. After that year with S. I. U. , CTU came calling and offered him a job. Steven seemed interested, but there was still one matter he had to consider. His sister Lisa did not want to go.
"Steven. I feel like I have a home here. I'm just getting ready to start college. I'm tired of moving around." Steven considered Lisa's words and decided to let her stay. The apartment they had would be enough for her to live in, provided there wasn't another massive earthquake to bring the place down. Like Captain Bridges, the Merrickson's lived in an Earthquake condemned apartment that Steven had to sign a waiver from the city for. All the same, it was the closest thing the Merrickson kids had to a home for a long time.
Now they were going their separate ways. For Steven however the split seemed unusual. Not because Steven was leaving his sister Lisa behind, but because Steven was taking a job outside the Freak Zone, in Los Angeles. ~ Of course L. A. is considered pretty freaky in its own right. ~ he thought. San Francisco was a colorful city in itself, but when the Cylons attacked years ago San Francisco was considered part of the Freak Zone.
A CTU office was set up in San Francisco, but it did not involve itself in 'Freak Zone cases' referring to deal instead with what lied in it's charter mandate. Dealing with terrorist activities. Also San Francisco was still considered a key area in the national infrastructure. Even though there hadn't been many 'weird' events since the Cylon attack, there were still some 'unique cases' from time to time. Some of them had three young women who were sisters that found themselves in the center of events.
Steven had only now moved in his boxes of odds and ends into the apartment he was renting. He would report to Special Agent Jack Bauer tomorrow morning for his first assignment. The phone however wasn't hooked in for five minutes before it started to ring. Steven picked it up and answered "Merrickson."
"Agent Merrickson. This is Jack Bauer. I need you to report to CTU immediately."
This was a curious development to Steven. "Agent Bauer. You do realize that I report in tomorrow. Can't this wait until then?"
"Negative. I need you now. Report to CTU immediately." Jack then hung up the phone and Steven was left wondering. What was it that was so bad that Jack Bauer needed him now? ~ Only one way to find out. ~ he thought as he made his way to the CTU office.
Steven walked into CTU where Tony Almeida greeted him. "Agent Merrickson. Jack is expecting you." Steven allowed Tony to lead him to Jack's office but Steven did ask "Would you mind telling me what all this is about?"
"Jack will explain it to you." Tony and Steven were at the door to Jack's office and Tony knocked. "Merrickson's here."
"Send him in." Jack ordered as Steven opened the door and walked in. Jack was sitting at his desk looking over Steven's file. "Have a seat." Jack said. Steven did so.
"I've been looking over your file Agent Merrickson. Interesting read. Military, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence training. You single handedly raise a sister by yourself, and you make the Freak Zone a pasttime of yours." Steven wasn't sure where the line of conversation was going so he asked straight out. "Agent Bauer. May I ask what it is I'm doing here? Technically I'm not supposed to report to CTU until tomorrow. You order me here today. I'm curious to know why."
Jack looked at Steven, and had to admire the young man's directness. Sometimes Jack himself preferred the direct approach, so he took out another file and tossed it over to Steven who read it. Inside were pictures of two girls. Both had blonde hair, one was a little older than the other and Steven thought he could see a slight resemblance of Jack in them. Steven looked at the files and saw the names on them. 'Earhardt, Kristen' and 'Bauer, Taylor'.
Steven looked up from the file and stared at Jack. "Relatives of yours?"
"My nieces." Jack said. "Taylor used to be Taylor Earhardt, but was disowned by her father and stepmother. She's taken my name."
"What happened to them?" Steven asked.
"They disappeared in Turtle Cove not long ago. Along with a couple of other kids." Jack tossed another file in Steven's direction. This one had four names in it. 'Evans, Cole', 'Enrile, Alyssa', 'Cooper, Max', and 'Delgado, Danny'. "These four disappeared about the same time Taylor did, and Kristen quickly followed when she went down to Turtle Cove to find them."
"What does this have to do with me?" Steven asked.
"I'm aware of your case history." Jack said. "I know of your 'Freak Zone' forays. Which is why I believe you are the ideal agent to go down to Turtle Cove and see if you can turn up anything on my nieces. See if they are alive, dead, and if they are dead to get those that killed them."
"Agent Bauer. You do know I'm trying to get away from Freak Zone cases. That was one of the reasons I upped with CTU."
"I know Merrickson. But I need someone with your experience and background. I'd go myself, but Chappelle will not authorize me to go and see."
"So this reassignment is coming from your own authority?" Steven asked. Jack nodded but added "My own authority however won't be enough to sway Chappelle for long. If you can't find Taylor and Kristen quickly enough..."
Steven didn't need to hear any more. He had already made his decision. "I'll find your nieces Agent Bauer." Steven said. Jack shook his hand as if wishing him luck.
There were a lot of things Kelly expected when she was captured by Master Org and his forces.
Having dinner with an alien prince of an intergalactic crime organization wasn't one of them. A prince she couldn't help feeling something towards. Some sort of attraction.
"Are you all right?" Xizor asked as he looked across the table to Kelly. Kelly seemed to be staring at her food.
"Sorry. I just..." Kelly started to say but couldn't get the words out. Xizor however prodded her as he got up from his chair and started to cross over to her. "Just what?"
"I'm just curious." Kelly was able to say gaining a measure of composure. "Just who are you? And what do you represent? I mean, you're not an Org."
"No. I'm not." Xizor said. "I represent an organization that has interests in many affairs of the galaxy. Black Sun is the organization I head." Kelly looked as Xizor walked closer to her. Every step he took, her breath seemed to shorten.
"What is your relationship with Master Org?" Kelly asked barely able to get the question out..
"Strictly business." Xizor said. "I was called upon by a mutual acquaintance of ours. Master Org had captured the Wild Zords, and my help was required to make sure others across the galaxy would be compensated for their own reasons." Xizor stopped as he got close enough to Kelly, but got down on his knee as he looked Kelly deep into her eyes. "But enough about me. Tell me about you."
"Me?" Kelly asked. "What do you want to know about me?"
"Well it's obvious that you are the Pink Ranger in your team. Pink Rangers are well known for their beauty across the galaxy. I am glad that myth has not been exaggerated." Kelly could feel Xizor looming over her as her pulse began to quicken. She was feeling aroused and didn't know why. ~What's happening to me?~ she asked herself. Xizor then took a breath as if sniffing her perfume, even if she wasn't wearing any. "You want this don't you? You want to release it?"
"What are you doing to me?" Kelly asked. "Why am I... ?"
"... feeling the way you do?" Xizor asked. "How often have people looked at you? Wanted to possess you as if you were an object? A conquest? And how often had you turned away denying yourself the pleasure of intimacy?"
"They... they... were jerks.." Kelly said. "... and I... don't see you in a different category."
"Oh but I see you in one." Xizor said. "I see you as a woman. Young, beautiful, dying to let the hunger within herself out. Wanting someone to satisfy the desire you feel within. Wishing someone would love you... caress you... care for you like a real man would." Xizor loved this. He was getting her primed, getting her ready, and soon she would accept him.
"But I... I don't..."
"Don't what? Love? Love is an illusion. Brought forth by desires from within. Once the desires are satiated there is the next conquest. Surely your cousin Kimberly knew this. Why do you think she sent the letter?" Kelly looked at Xizor in surprise. "How did you know Kimberly?"
"I know much about you Kelly." Xizor said. "And about Kimberly, and her letter to Tommy the Red Zeo. I know of her finding love with the White Zeo. It won't last you know. She'll tire of him and move on."
"That's... not true." Kelly said trying to keep control, but her control was slipping.
"Sure it is. Tommy quenched her desire briefly, as Skull is doing now. Let your desire be quenched. Let me be the one to satisfy the animal within you. Release yourself Kelly Hart! RELEASE YOURSELF!!!"
Finally Kelly could resist no longer. Her lips parted and Xizor kissed her. The kiss seemed to be hard and forceful, yet tender and passionate as well. Kelly found herself unable to fight back, nor did she have a wish to. ~No, he's seducing you. Fight him! Fight back!!!"~ a voice in Kelly's mind screamed. But Kelly couldn't break free even in she wanted to. Xizor held her tight as their kisses grew to intensity. Finally he made his way towards her shirt and moved it up to take it off.
"I... I..." Kelly studdered.
"Shhh! Say nothing. Just let it happen." Xizor said as he continued to have his way with Kelly. The kisses raged with intensity as Xizor led her to a nearby bed chamber and pushed her down on the bed. Xizor then looked at Kelly again and smiled as he saw the look on her face. A look of hunger combined with helplessness and willingness. She was ready to let Xizor do whatever he wanted to her, and Xizor smiled as he slipped off his robe allowing Kelly to see his muscular body. Her eyes went wide with the sight of his body as the war within her own mind continued. ~He's a hottie!~
~No! Don't let him do this!~
Kelly couldn't come to a resolution in her own mind, so Xizor came to it for her. He reached under her shirt and pulled it over her arms revealing her bra and bare skin. He then undid the button on her shorts and the zipper and slid them down to her feet. On the way down he kissed her smooth legs tenderly. Each time Kelly moaned as the kisses made contact. ~Kick him. He's in the perfect position. Kick him!~
Her body didn't respond.
The shorts were at her shoes, and Xizor slowly undid the laces getting ready to take them off her feet. When he did he then took off her socks leaving Kelly in her underwear. Xizor then took her full body into his gaze. She needed him, and she couldn't fight back. She was ready.
But he still wanted more.
Xizor continued the foreplay, kissing and caressing Kelly as he removed her underwear slowly. Soon she was completely naked, and ready for Xizor to do whatever he wanted to her. Whether she wanted it or not.
"N... n... no..." Kelly said weakly.
"Shhh. Don't speak." Xizor said softly as he made ready to make his move.
Just then the intercom came on, and Xizor cursed his own dumb luck. Angrily turning on the intercom due to his mood being spoiled he glared at whoever was calling at this time. "What?!" Xizor shouted.
"My apologies master. Duke Hazzard wishes to see you in the control room." Guri had said. Xizor sighed and said "Can't it wait?"
"No. It involves a security breach. Rani and Master Org are preoccupied." Hazzard said. Xizor relented and said that he would be there shortly. Quickly he grabbed his robe and redressed himself leaving Kelly on the bed. Her breath running hard.
"It seems that business calls for me to be elsewhere. Will you be fine until I get back?" Xizor asked. Kelly didn't reply as she looked straight at Xizor unable to give an answer. Xizor looked at Kelly and sighed. ~ She was stronger than most. A pity. She was almost ready. ~ Xizor then turned to walk out the bedchamber.
Kelly was left in the room as Xizor left. Her breath slowly returning to normal. All the while her mind was focused on one question. ~ "Oh god! What was I doing?"~
Xizor walked into the control center angry. "This better be worth my time. I had the Pink Ranger ready to be broken."
"We have visitors!" Hazzard said as he pointed to the screen. On it were two faces that Master Org, Rani, Hazzard and Xizor became very familiar with.
They were two members of the Primal Force.
"You sure this is the right place?" Curtis asked Sylvia who both stood on the main grounds of Arcadia Academy.
"This is where Willy said Kelly was last known to be according to her Primal Link log." Sylvia explained. She and Curtis looked around to survey their surroundings. Basically it looked like an ordinary school with students, and teachers alike. But Sylvia and Curtis knew that when it came to Arcadia Academy, nothing was what it seemed.
They knew of the Acedemy's infamous history. The media ran some stories on it years ago when the first abductions had taken place. Stories that were never proven but were always suspected. And the Ranger files also said some things about the academy that didn't seem too promising.
"Okay where do we start to look?" Curtis asked. "Dormatories? Cafeteria? Girl's shower?" Sylvia rolled her eyes at Curtis and thought about where to check things out first. "Let's try the admissions building. Where the central offices are."
"Why there?" Curtis asked.
"Because that would be where Ranitime would conduct her business." Sylvia explained. "At least her public business. And I'd say that if she's involved in this, then that would be where we need to go first." Curtis didn't argue as he and Sylvia went to the admissions office and wondered where the Headmistresses office was.
"Ummm. Excuse me. We're looking for the person in charge." Sylvia said. The male receptionist looked up at Curtis and Sylvia and asked "And why would Miss Ranitime wish to see you two?"
Curtis listened to the voice and realized that it sounded like a voice some of his school teachers used when they didn't wish to use nails on a chalkboard to get the class to be quiet. "Uhh. We're told this is a school for gifted kids. We like to think we're gifted."
The receptionist was about to say something when the intercom activated. "Let them in. I'll speak to them." Sure enough the receptionist allowed Curtis and Sylvia to enter the office where the Rani was sitting in her chair looking at a TV monitor that had shown the outside of her office where Curtis and Sylvia both were. "Have a seat." Rani said motioning to the two chairs before her desk. Curtis and Sylvia both took them. "So what brings you to Arcadia?"
Sylvia had to think of a good lie to tell Rani, but she didn't know what to say. She then said "Neighbor saw his kid admitted and asked us why we weren't chosen. We were in the area and decided to see the place for ourselves." Rani paused for a moment knowing that they were lying, but decided to play along for now.
"Of course. Wait here and I shall get you a syllabus." Rani then got out of her chair and left through an adjacent door. Inside that door was a control console which connected her to Xizor and Hazzard below in the sublevels. "It seems our 'Spirited Deer's' friends have come for her."
"Shall we subdue them?" Hazzard asked. Rani thought about that and gave her answer.
"For right now we watch. But make preparations to capture them anyway. I'll give a signal when it's time." Rani signed off and grabbed a course syllabus as she re-entered her office ready to play gracious host once again to Sylvia and Curtis.
"Here is our class syllabus. I hope we have interesting courses for you." Curtis and Sylvia looked through the course booklets pretending to be interested.
"May we take a look at the campus grounds?" Curtis asked.
"Not at all. I shall have a guide waiting for you." Rani said as she pressed a button on her desk. "Samuel can you please send a student volunteer to my office please?" The receptionist answered Rani's request and a volunteer was on their way. After an hour a young boy appeared to escort Curtis and Sylvia.
"Please escort these youngsters around the campus area." Rani said as he led Curtis and Sylvia from their chairs to be escorted around the campus. Rani then sat and watched the 'student volunteer' lead Curtis and Sylvia across the Academy grounds. Now she could control exactly where they would go.
And if she wanted the two young Primal Force Rangers in the sublevels, well she had the option to lead them there.
After a long ride Steven came up to the sign that said 'Turtle Cove welcomes you. Enjoy your stay. ' Steven smiled as he remembered all the sights he saw on his way to the city.
He had to admit he enjoyed cross country riding. He loved the feeling he got when he got on his motorcycle and rode seeing the world around him. He found it enjoyable to appreciate the country's beauty first hand. However once he crossed into the city it was back to business.
Steven parked his motorcycle right outside building at the address Jack gave him that Taylor was staying at. Not having a key to the apartment though, he took up to picking the lock to the apartment but found he didn't have to because the door just opened up when he touched the knob. ~ I don't like this. ~ Being careful, he pulled out his 9 millimeter and walked in carefully into the apartment.
Unaware that there was a hidden camera planted there and it was watching him.
At Arcadia, the hidden camera that had been placed at Taylor's apartment alerted the Rani. She was glad she had decided to place cameras at all of the 'legal' residences of the Wild Force Rangers in Turtle Cove. It had already netted her two prime subjects for research, not mention alerted her to dealing with who ever might come to look for the missing rangers. She had her database already running up an identification profile on the young man in question. ~Are you a boyfriend or a relative... let's find out just what you are worth to me. ~ the Rani mused as her systems came up with the answer to her question.
It was not an answer she liked.
"Federal Agent. Assigned to Counter Terrorist Unit. District Supervisor, Jack Bauer." She then realized that Taylor had a relative named 'Bauer' and it wasn't hard to put two and two together. After reading Merrickson's file, the Rani decided to kill to birds with one stone.
Have the Princess Org Onihime have her first run in the real world and eliminate a possible nuisance at the same time.
"Wow I'm impressed." Curtis said as he came out of the auditorium where the girls gym class was taking place. Sylvia rolled her eyes thinking how it would have been typical to wander into the girls gym class by mistake. Their young tour guide however didn't seem to be bothered by it though. In fact he didn't seem to be bothered by anything.
"We have a very impressive math department, and the library is the best all across this country." The boy said as if giving a video documentary. Sylvia however wasn't too interested and asked "Look we're looking for where they have 'special ed classes'. Do you know about those?"
"Oh Dr. Ranitime teaches those herself." The boy said. "If you want I can take you to one." Sylvia and Curtis nodded and said "Please do." Sure enough the boy led Sylvia and Curtis across campus to where the Math building seemed to be. The boy then opened the main door of the building and led the two Rangers to where the elevators were.
"Press down please." The boy asked Curtis. Curtis did so and soon the elevator arrived. All three got in and the doors closed as Sylvia looked at the controls. "So what level are the classes on?" she asked. Just then she and Curtis felt a lurch as the elevator descended downwards. Both Sylvia and Curtis wondered what was going on, especially since the elevator had been going down for a long time.
"Does this place have a basement or something?" Curtis asked. Surprisingly the kid answered "Many in fact." The elevator then stopped, and the door opened allowing the boy to step out and face his 'guests'.
"Dr. Ranitime will see you now." The young boy said as a herd of Ogrons stood behind him. Curtis and Sylvia were then escorted below into the lower levels of Arcadia.
Steven looked at Taylor's apartment and saw that it didn't look like anyone had been inside for some time. Even more than that it looked like it had been through somewhat of a tornado. He felt compelled to call out but figured discretion would be better executed for this instance.
Steven scanned the room clearly taking notice that whatever struggle had happened was an intense one. "Was just one girl taken from here? Or both?" he asked himself allowing the possibility that there might have been two struggles from the same apartment at different times. Then his gaze fell upon something that made his blood run cold.
"Oh no..." Steven breathed as he saw blood against the wall and the indentation of the wall broken. He put his hand on it and felt the area. The blood was dry, meaning this had happened some time ago. ~ I don't know if I want to consider that to be a good or bad thing. ~
So preoccupied with the indentation that Steven didn't even realize the presence that came up behind him. "Move and you're dead." A voice said from behind.
Mentally Steven berated himself for letting his guard down for even a second. He knew something was aimed at his head from behind but it wasn't a normal gun. It had the sound of one of those newer energy weapons he had been reading about. ~ Great. What's next?~
"Hands over your head and throw your gun down." The man behind him growled.
Steven put his hands up and tried to talk, "You are making a mistake here..." was all he got to say as the man behind him shoved him against the wall hard, making him loose his grip on his gun. He also felt the weapon the man had closer to his head.
"Don't screw with me. I saw you in here stalking around with that gun. Now you have three seconds to tell me just who the hell you are." He spat.
Steven closed his eyes and sighed, "Why is it every thug that ends up holding a gun at my head never wants to do this the easy way?" Reacting fast he kicked back with his left foot, aiming right for the man's mid section and hit its target: a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. It sent the man off him and Steven went on the offensive quickly with a spinning kick to knock the weapon out of his hands. "Now let's see how good you are with out a gun to back you up!"
"Gladly!" the man said getting into a fighting stance of his own then went on the attack. Steven blocked many of the attacks his opponent gave as did the opponent block many of Steven's attacks. Steven however got the upper hand with a faint sweep, going for a tornado kick that hit its mark and then grabbing his opponent's shoulder, which forced him down the floor. He saw his 9 millimeter right next to him and pointed at the man he had on the ground. "Now then, let's try this again only I'll ask the questions. Who are you?"
"You have no idea how much trouble you are in." the man shot. Steven could now see his face in the room, as it had been totally dark save for the small amount of sunlight that had come through the shades. He looked partly of Asian decent, square jawed, short black hair, and brown eyes that stared at him with fury.
Steven's eyes widened slightly though he didn't take his gun off the man. "Eric Meyers?"
"So you do know who I am but the question is who are you and what are you doing in my friend's house?" Eric growled.
Steven reached into his pants pocket and pulled out his badge. "Steven Merrickson, CTU."
It was Eric's turn to stare at the other man, "You're a Federal Agent?"
"Yeah, " Steven said as he got up off of Eric. Once he did, Eric got up himself and looked him over. "So what's a member of the Counter Terrorist Unit doing here?"
"The 'Freak Zone' as this area is called by some is something a hobby of mine, " Steven said holstering his weapon. "But I'm here to find out what happened to Taylor Bauer and her sister Kristen Earhardt."
"How did you find out where she lived?"
"The man who gave me this case happens to have a personal stake in this, " Steven told him.
A brief smile crossed Eric's face, "So Jack sent you huh. Let me guess, the only reason he couldn't come hunting for Taylor himself was because of that jackass Chappelle."
"Is there anyone who doesn't think that?" Steven asked. Eric was about to answer when something caught the corner of his eye. "GET DOWN!!!" Eric shouted as he tackled Steven through the window of the apartment just before the energy blast hit them. When it did connect, the apartment exploded.
"What the hell was that?" Steven groaned as he started to get up along with Eric. The sudden appearance of a squad of Putrids and a feminine green creature, who seemed to be in charge of them, answered his question.
"Wild guess, but I'd say its them." Eric replied.
"Well now. Apparently there was more than just one person who came looking for the fallen eagle." The female creature sneered, "But don't worry, if you want to join her I'll gladly send you to her."
Eric and Steven looked at this being, Eric even more in rage, his eyes narrowed at her. "What did you say?! What did you do to Taylor!"
"What are you going to do human? Make me tell you what we Orgs did to her and her friends? What makes you think you stand a chance in hell against me, the Princess Org Onihime." She chuckled as she motioned forward with her scepter. "Putrids attack!"
Eric looked at Steven for moment, who said to Eric, "I can handle these things but the lady in green is a bit out of my league."
"I was just going to say... that bitch's ass is mine! QUANTUM POWER!!!"
"What is this?!" Onihime had to cover her eyes a moment from the light but when she opened them she got decked and sent flying from a single punch of an enraged Quantum Ranger.
"I'm going to make you tell me what you know about Taylor no matter what!" the Quantum Ranger vowed as he charged her.
Steven looked at the Putrid that were advancing on him and knew that his gun would have no affect on them. But then again he was itching for a fight with these things. A wicked smile formed on his face as he got himself in a ninjitsu stance, "Okay boys, let's dance."
Inside her chambers Kelly quickly got her clothes back on, and felt herself coming back to normal. After several breaths she found herself thinking about what Xizor was doing to her.
~Okay! Calm down!~ Kelly thought. ~ It's obvious this Xizor guy has you hot to trot, but how's he doing it? Magic spell?~ Kelly then dismissed the idea. ~ Even Rita Repulsa never tampered with a lust spell. Hell, I've never even heard of a lust spell. ~
Kelly then thought that perhaps Xizor had some natural ability to get women to act the way they do. ~ Some sort of Pheromone that makes women not able to resist him. YES THAT MUST BE IT!!!~ she thought. ~ Now all I have to do is resist it! But first I have to get out of here!~
She looked around her prison trying to see anything that she could use to her advantage. Outside was an Ogron guard standing vigilant so there was no overpowering him. ~ Okay. Now what?~ she thought.
She continued to scan the room she was left in. Obviously Xizor liked extravagant things. There seemed to be cologne from Altarus, various spices from Exeter III, clearly he was a person of taste. ~ Must be to impress the ladies while he seduces them. ~ she thought. Kelly's eyes then came across something at the head of the bed. Something that would have been just out of a victim's reach, but just high enough for Xizor if he needed to reach it. ~ In case the victim was too difficult I'll bet. ~ she thought as her eyes fell upon a small stiletto that looked like it was part of the headrest.
Kelly pressed what looked like a release and the little dagger fell out of the headrest and into her hand. ~ Now for the Ogron. ~ she thought.
What little she knew about Ogrons was what she saw based on their arrival at Arcadia. They appeared to be grunt soldiers. Smarter than Putties but only barely. They had only enough smarts to fight, communicate and use their brute force. Not much else. Kelly figured it wouldn't be much to cause a disturbance in the room and the guard to come in running. To that end she proceeded to tear apart Xizor's bed chamber.
"AHHHH!!! AHHHHH!!! LET ME OUT!!! LET ME OUT!!!" she screamed as she threw everything around in the room. Sure enough the Ogron charged in and tried to calm the apparently hysterical Kelly down. "Silence child! Restrain yourself!"
Kelly still carried on like she was having a hysterical fit. So focused was the Ogron in calming Kelly down he didn't notice her put the stiletto in his leg. The Ogron then let out a howl of pain as the small blade entered his kneecap and he had fallen to his other knee. Kelly then gave a chop to the back of the Ogron's neck sending him down the rest of the way.
"Sorry big guy, but your boss is not my type." Kelly picked up the Ogron's weapon and left the Ogron lying on the floor. She charged down the corridor looking for a way out.
In the corridors their guide and the Ogron sentries were escorting Curtis and Sylvia. "So what is Ranitime's deal with Master Org?" Sylvia asked.
The guide was only too happy to answer. "Mistress Rani supplies Master Org with weapons and power to use against his enemies. What Mistress Rani gets from this are for reasons of her own."
"But she does get something out of the deal." Curtis said. A shove from the Ogron behind him was his only answer.
"Rani gets resources of her own." Their guide explained. Sylvia however pressed on. "And what about the Wild Force Rangers? Was she involved with their defeat?"
Their guide looked at both of them and said in a chilling voice "Yes."
Curtis and Sylvia knew from the tone of their guide's voice that they had to get out quickly, or what happened to the Wild Force would happen to them. But they still needed to find Kelly. "Where's our friend Kelly?"
"She is safe." The guide said. "She is a guest of one of Master Org's partners. Prince Xizor."
"Prince Xizor?" Curtis asked. "Who's he?"
"Head of the Black Sun Crime syndicate." The guide explained. "She is being entertained in his bedchamber." Curtis and Sylvia had exchanged a look when they heard that Kelly was being 'entertained'. Sylvia especially wasn't sure she wanted to know what 'entertained' meant to Xizor. They had to find a way to get free and find Kelly. Sylvia then nudged Curtis and eyeballed the rafters. He knew what she had in mind and she needed a distraction. Curtis would provide it.
"Hey guys." Curtis said turning around. "Do you guys dance? Maybe I can show you some cool dance moves or something." The Ogrons grabbed Curtis and turned him around forcefully, but for those few seconds that allowed Sylvia to jump up and grab the rafters delivering a kick to the back of their guide's head. Then turning around delivered two kicks to the first two Ogrons' head. Sylvia then jumped down and stood side by side with Curtis. "I must thank Kelly for those gymnastics lessons." Sylvia said.
"When we find her. Right now we got these guys to deal with." Sylvia nodded at Curtis's assessment and soon they got into fighting stances and went into a hit and run pattern with the Ogrons trying to get through them. Once through they ran down the corridor looking for a lift to get them to Xizor's bedchamber.
"Found one!" Curtis said as he and Sylvia dove in. Immediately Sylvia asked "Where's Xizor's bedchamber?" The lift then explained and Sylvia then said "Take us there."
Kelly continued to run down the corridor hoping to find a lift out when she ran into Curtis and Sylvia. "Hey guys!" she said as she saw her two friends.
Curtis and Sylvia met up with Kelly and Curtis handed her Primal Link back. "Figured you were missing this' he said.
"Yeah I was." Kelly said. "Any idea how to get out of here?"
"I believe I can answer that." A voice said from down the corridor. All three turned around to see who was speaking to them. It was Xizor.
Curtis and Sylvia saw a look of fear cross Kelly's face. She appeared to look scared of him. Genuinely scared. So focused were they on Xizor and Kelly that Curtis and Sylvia didn't notice the Ogrons appearing behind them, and subduing them. Quickly they took Kelly's weapon and the Primal Links back. "Take them to the detention block. I will deal with them later."
The Ogrons obeyed Xizor's order and took Kelly and Curtis away. However he stopped the ones carrying Sylvia and Xizor immediately looked into her eyes. "You appear to be quite spirited yourself. And you carry a terrible pain with you. Let me help you." Like before with Kelly Xizor had a seductive tone in his voice when he talked to Sylvia.
And also like before with Kelly Sylvia felt her own resolve weaken.
It seemed to be hours to Kelly and Curtis who were sitting in the detention cell. Kelly paced like a nervous nelly. "Kelly what's up? I've never seen you like this."
"It's Sylvia!" Kelly explained. "I'm just afraid of what he's doing to her." Kelly then gave her own accounts of being in Xizor's bed chambers and Curtis couldn't believe his ears. "Oh man."
"And you can only imagine what he's doing to Sylvia now." Kelly said. Suddenly the doors opened and the Ogrons appeared again. "Xizor wishes to see you." The lead one said. Soon they were both escorted to some sort of room where Curtis was being held by Ogrons and Kelly seemed to be left free. She briefly wondered why when all of a sudden a light went on, and the hiss of a glass partition opened.
"Go!!!" Curtis shouted as Kelly ran through. Once the partition closed Kelly stopped as she couldn't believe what they saw next.
Kelly saw Xizor looking down at Sylvia who also looked like she was ready for Xizor to have her way with her. Her shirt was off and it looked like her skirt would come next. "XIZOR!!!" Kelly shouted. Xizor, startled by Kelly's shout, looked up and saw her face contorted in a mask of rage. "Ah Kelly. I was wondering when you would appear!"
Kelly let her anger consume her. Here was this monster who tried to seduce her, now here he was again trying to seduce her friend. ~ Not Sylvia!~ she said to herself. ~ NOT SYLVIA!!!
"She is such a spirited girl. Much like you." Xizor said looking into Sylvia's eyes while he spoke to Kelly. Sylvia also felt the pheromone taking effect on her and found she couldn't control herself either. She looked up at Xizor and felt her desires mount, and Xizor looked to take advantage. Curtis looked off to the side as he tried to fight against the Ogron Mercenaries that held him.
Kelly felt her anger rise however. She needed her anger to rise. She couldn't have the pheromone Xizor gave off affecting her again. So she got a running charge and landed a spear in Xizor's gut. She then launched punch after punch across Xizor's face beating him down. When she got off of Xizor Kelly then picked him up and threw him into the nearby wall where she launched a shoulder block into him.
Then followed more punches and more punches, followed by tears. The anger faded and the sadness overtook her. Kelly then found herself on her knees sobbing as the anger in her faded and the tears came. Sylvia looked at her friend and came to her side as she was getting her shirt back on and fixing her skirt. "What did you do to her?" she asked Xizor.
"Merely released her innermost passions and desires which I sought to satisfy." Xizor said. Sylvia was shocked to hear this. "You... you raped her?"
"No. She gave consent." Xizor said as if trying to justify what he did. "Besides, I was called away before things could get interesting."
"Interesting?" Sylvia asked. "How can raping a girl be considered interesting."
"My dear, I was not raping. I was releasing. Releasing her innermost desires. Her needs that she needed to satisfy. Just as you do." Xizor said as he looked at Sylvia. Immediately she felt her pulse quicken again. Her desire mounting. Clearly the pheromone was taking effect again on Sylvia as she allowed Xizor to again remove her shirt and slide the skirt down to her ankles.
"Don't fight it. Let it go." Xizor said as he looked at Sylvia. He then turned to Kelly who looked up with tears in her eyes. Xizor said his next few words softly as if attempting to reassure her. "Do not feel sad. I never meant to cause you pain. I just sought to release the feelings you had within you I still can, if you wish me to."
Through the sadness and anger Kelly saw the pheromone taking effect on her again. Her mind was now a place of turbulent emotion. Sadness, rage and desire became interwoven into a collage of darkness. Kelly wasn't sure what to do. Sylvia looked up at Xizor wondering what she could do. Right now Xizor and her desire for him was all she could think about.
On the other side Curtis struggled to find a way to escape the Ogrons holding him. However the more he struggled the tighter their grip became. It was then that he had an idea, as he let himself go relaxed and limp. As if on cue the Ogrons relaxed their grip on Curtis and he rolled out of their grip landing on the floor, but quickly picking himself up.
Curtis then delivered a side kick to the first Orgon and took his weapon. He then fired some shots at the ceiling sending debris down on them. He then made his way through the door Kelly had gone through and found both Kelly and Sylvia looking up at Xizor as if entranced by him. Curtis saw the girls being seduced, and wondered if they were under a spell.
"KELLY!!! SYLVIA!!! FIGHT IT!!!" Curtis shouted. But both girls were on their knees looking up at Xizor who smiled. He would now have the Pink and Yellow Rangers.
Back on the Animarium Willy and Jeremy saw the sacred waters erupt and looked in to see what the attack was like.
So far they saw two people fighting off Putrids with another Org looking on as if she was co-ordinating the attack. "Princess. Who is that Org? I've never seen her before."
Shayla answered Jeremy's question. "I don't know. She kind of looks like the Princess Org Onihime, but that's not possible. She died a long time ago."
"We've also got other problems." Willy said as he saw the image shift to the arrival of the Lunar Wolf Ranger again. "Man I wish the others were here."
"Don't worry. You will be able to call on the Wild Zords if you need them." Shayla said. "As well as form the Megazord. But you two will have to pilot it."
"We'll make do." Jeremy said as he and Willy brought forth their Primal Links and morphed. "PRIMAL ACCESS!!!" they shouted as they went down to face Lunar Wolf.
Lunar Wolf looked regretfully at the two Primal Force Rangers, inside her mind she wished they would be able to kill her. It would be better than what she was being made to do... and even more comforting than having to constantly feel this pain in her heart. It was tearing her apart.
Unfortunately, she was the Orgs puppet and the part of her that was still truly Kendall could only watch as the rest of her did her evil masters' bidding. "DARK WILD ZORDS DECEND!!!"
The Wild Zords all teleported down. Jeremy and Willy had no choice but to call forth their own Wild Zords and form the Megazord. Control of it was difficult with only two Rangers, but they believed they would manage.
"PREDATOR WAVE!!!" Lunar Wolf said from the cockpit of her Zord as the energy waves launched from her zord and headed for the Isis Megazord. Winged Falcon and armored Armadillo got up the Isis shield just in time, and braced themselves for the next attack.
"DARK BEAR ZORDS!!!" she then shouted as the bear brothers appeared. They took the spots on the arms and then proceeded to punch at the Isis driving it back. Lunar Wolf then decided to try a new approach and called forth the Lion Zord and Bison Zord. Hammerhead and Wolf then detached and formed onto it forming a second Megazord. Now the odds were two on one
And to make matters worse Armored Armadillo saw the power start to fall again on the Isis Zord. "I hate it when this happens. They outnumber still and she can have so many different combinations with the Predazord." Armored Armadillo muttered from the cockpit of the Isiszord.
"We have to win Willy... we just have to." Winged Falcon told his friend.
Kelly and Sylvia were both on their knees looking up almost hypnotically at Xizor who smiled. Kelly had already been exposed once and he believed that she was ready to be broken. Sylvia was a challenge but he saw her being broken soon enough. Curtis was off to the side shouting "FIGHT IT!!! SYLVIA REMEMBER WILLY!!!" but a pair of powerful hands grabbed him from behind and shoved him hard into the wall. Curtis looked up and was astonished that the strong hands belonged to a tall blonde woman with a strong build.
"He is dealt with Xizor." Guri said. "You may continue." Xizor nodded as he looked down at the girls again. The pheromone seemingly overwhelming them. "You are both very beautiful. One must appreciate such beauty. I can appreciate that."
An ounce of resolve remained in Sylvia as she heard Curtis mention Willy before Guri took care of him, and she focused all she could on that. "NO!" she shouted as she lunged for Xizor. Xizor was thrown back momentarily, but was then able to kick Sylvia back. Sylvia however got back up and hastily put her shirt and skirt back on as she assumed a fighting stance. "You're not going to get me. I don't love you!"
"Who do you love then?" Xizor said as he scoffed at the mention of 'love'. "Oh well. At least I can get one of you." Xizor turned his attention back to Kelly as Sylvia tried to stop him, only to be met with Guri swinging her behind looking for a fight. Guri started with a roundhouse kick which Sylvia dodged. Sylvia fought back with a side kick, and the two exchanged blows. Finally Sylvia upped the ante with her Primal Link, which she grabbed from the table nearby. She saw Curtis's also and passed it to him before morphing herself. "PRIMAL ACCESS!!!"
Gentle Giraffe now fought Guri and the two were matched power for power. Guri had been programmed with several fighting programs, but Mantis Kung Fu was not one of them. Sylvia however knew that style like the back of her hand and used it to find holes in Guri's defenses. Guri was down, yet not out.
"Well. You sure are a tough lady." Gentle Giraffe had said.
"I am an android." Guri said. "I was designed to be tough." Gentle Giraffe listened to this and said "Oh really?" Guri wondered what she meant by that. She didn't have long to find out.
Gentle Giraffe drew out her saber and beheaded Guri. Her head fell to the floor as her body then fell like a puppet whose strings were cut. Guri was deactivated. Now her focus was on Kelly, but Xizor's was on Guri's beheading. "You will pay for that!" Xizor promised.
"Bring it on!" Gentle Giraffe said as she put away her saber. She and Xizor were going to go at it one on one. Xizor did so by throwing a fake, which prompted Gentle Giraffe to do an attack. Xizor dodged every one of Gentle Giraffe's blows as he took in her fighting style. When he believed that he had enough Xizor grabbed Gentle Giraffe's leg and used it to twist her body around in the air. Gentle Giraffe landed on the ground hard.
Xizor stood over Gentle Giraffe, but she was able to follow up with a leg sweep knocking Xizor down. Gentle Giraffe was back up, but Xizor then delivered a side kick to Gentle Giraffe's chin knocking her back. "I have been trained by some of the galaxy's greatest fighters. "Do you really think you can beat me?"
"No but I can!" a voice said from off to the side. Next thing Xizor saw was Kelly Hart landing a spear in his midsection, taking the wind out of him. Xizor then looked up and saw Kelly standing over him, and Gentle Giraffe looking over Curtis. "Sylvia you've done enough. He's mine."
Xizor then got back up and looked at Kelly. "Well. I see your spirit has returned. That makes having you all the more sweeter."
"You're not going to 'have' me Xizor." Kelly vowed. Xizor smiled as he said "Don't be too sure." Kelly felt her pulse race again. The pheromone was back.
"No! NO!!!!" Kelly shouted as she speared Xizor again. She then grabbed her Primal Link and did something she felt she should have done a long time ago, morph. "PRIMAL ACCESS!!!" she shouted.
Spirited Deer stood as she delivered kicks and punches to Xizor driving him down. When Xizor was knocked back Spirited Deer brought out her saber and held it to Xizor's neck. Kelly saw the look in Xizor's eyes and saw that he was... surprised. He didn't show any fear, just surprised that this would happen.
"What's the matter? All the Pink Rangers you broke in the past never came after you?" Kelly said. She then positioned her saber at where Xizor's heart would be and added "Don't even think about using that hocus pocus on me. The minute I become hot to trot for you this sword goes into your heart."
"How can it? Rangers don't kill." Xizor said.
"No we destroy monsters. And I'm looking at one now." Spirited Deer then took off her helmet so Xizor could see the expression of hate on Kelly Hart's face.
Kelly, Curtis and Sylvia looked down at Xizor who writhed in pain on the ground. Kelly shot a look of hate Xizor's way. "I see you again I'll kill you!" she promised. Then she turned around and walked out of the hall with Curtis and Sylvia. Their friends were waiting.
"You okay?" Sylvia asked Curtis. Curtis nodded yeah. "That lady sure can hit though."
"That lady was a robot." Sylvia said. "And it shouldn't bother you again." Curtis wondered what she meant when Sylvia handed her Guri's decapitated head. "AHHHHH!!!" he shouted almost dropping the head. Kelly and Sylvia couldn't help but giggle.
Kelly then had an idea. "Sylvia do you think you can get into that thing's memory and find a way out of here?" Sylvia considered the idea and said "I'm no Willy, but I'll see what I can do."
Sylvia looked at Guri's head and felt around looking for a circuit panel or I/O port. When she found one on the back of the head Sylvia opened it and tried to fiddle with the circuit connections trying to get Guri to divulge information. "You sure you know what you're doing?" Curtis asked.
"When your cousin and you hang around geniuses you pick up a few things." Sylvia explained. Finally Sylvia got a connection and Guri's eyes went wide open. "Location Sector 4B. Soulbird testing bay is nearby. Bay leads to outside."
"Can we trust this?" Kelly asked.
"Only one way to find out." Sylvia said as the three raced to the Soulbird bay. When they entered the three remorphed and fought the Ogrons and Putrids guarding it with their shocksticks. Immediately they went full tilt knocking the weapons out of the Ogrons' and Putrids' hands and made motions that the Rangers would have used the weapons on them for payback against their mistreatment of the Soulbird. Once the Ogrons and Putrids were driven off the Rangers looked at Soulbird's burns. "Oh you poor thing." Spirited Deer had said.
"Can it make it out of here?" Curtis asked. The Soulbird gave out a screech indicating 'yes'. "Well that settles that. Let's get aboard." All three Rangers boarded Soulbird and charged out through the bay. When they came to the closed bay doors the three Rangers leveled their blasters, and Soulbird itself also fired his weapons blasting the door apart.
Soon they were free. Spirited Deer, Gentle Giraffe and Raging Rhino left the Academy with the Soulbird guiding them.
Back at the apartment complex Onihime directed the battle against Steven, Ouantum Ranger and the Putrids. Both Steven and Quantum Ranger were holding their own, which infuriated Onihime.
"Well then I guess if one wants something done right then one must do it themselves." Onihime leaped into the battle drawing out her daggers cutting into Quantum Ranger. When he was knocked back she brought Steven into her line of sight and sought to charge him. Quantum Ranger however was able to grab Onihime's ankle causing her to trip and stumble down to the ground, but not before she was able to hurl a dagger straight towards Steven.
"Look out!" Quantum Ranger shouted as the dagger headed for Steven. Steven saw the blade and ducked at the last second. A Putrid took the blade and fell to the ground.
"AHHHHH!!!" she screamed as she saw the dagger miss it's mark. She soon got up to see Quantum Ranger and Steven both get running charges towards her, only to find herself being pulled out of the fight by Toxica. "Let go of me!" Onihime shouted.
"Quiet you brat!" Toxica shouted as she dragged Onihime by her cloak. "You should be glad that I'm saving you right now!" Onihime continued to complain as she was forced to retreat.
"Get back here!" Quantum Ranger spat as Toxica took Onihime out of the battlefield and saved her from becoming seriously harmed.
"Eric! Look!" Steven shouted to the Quantum Ranger. He was pointing to the battle between the Primal Force and the Org's Dark Wild Zords. It wasn't looking good.
"Looks like they could use another Zord. Think you can clean up base here without me?" Quantum Ranger asked.
"Day I lose to mindless minions is the day I hand in my badge. This isn't the first time I fought against such a type of opponent." Steven smirked.
"Good. So in case you get killed I don't have to worry a thing." Quantum Ranger smirked as he made his way to where the Zord fight was going on.
"Yea... hey!" Steven growled as he realized just what Eric had said to him. However he got his focus back and just in time before a Putrid had attacked him in the face with its club.
Winged Falcon and Armored Armadillo continued to fight, but they were seriously being overmatched. "Oh man if we ever needed help we need it now!" Winged Falcon said.
"Ask and you shall receive!" a voice said over the comm line. "Curtis?" Winged Falcon asked.
"And friends!" Spirited Deer said. "Be careful cause we're coming in." The Soulbird phased into the Isis Megazord's cockpit and soon the Megazord was fully crewed once again. Once on board Spirited Deer got her animal crystal back. "Thanks guys!" she said. "Now let's take this bitch down!"
The attention was once again focused on Lunar Wolf and the Predazord, who fired her first shot. "PREDATOR WAVE!!!" she shouted as the energy waves fired again. Isis Megazord was able to hold off the shots and was able to mount a winged attack of its own as the Rangers swooped in and slashed at the Predazord's torso. Predazord however quickly recovered and made ready to launch another attack, only to get blasted away by another attacker.
"What the?!" Gentle Giraffe blinked at the figure that had just saved them from getting nailed by Predazord.
"I don't believe it! It's the Quantum Ranger!" Spirited Deer gasped.
Running towards the battle was the Q-Rex with the Quantum Ranger riding on top. Quantum Ranger then ordered the Q-Rex to transform. "Q-REX! MEGAZORD MODE!!!" he shouted. The Q-Rex obeyed and soon two Megazords stood ready to face the Predazord and whatever zords Lunar Wolf had on its side.
"Looks like I will need more fire power..." Lunar Wolf muttered as she switched orbs. Wolf and Hammerhead disengaged and the Black Bear and Polar Bear Wild Zords attached themselves. "Predazord Double Knuckle Mode!"
Predazord then launched itself forward and delivered a series of one/two punches against both Isis Megazord and Q-Rex. As they were being driven back Lunar Wolf then decided to fire the bears' energy weapons at the Zords at close range. Q-Rex got the heat beam straight into the chest, while Isis Megazord got the cold beam in its chest. Q-Rex had some systems damage and circuit overheating, while Isis Megazord had systems freeze up on it.
This brought Lunar Wolf forward to do what seemed to be a double clothesline to both zords. Both the Q-Rex and the Isis hit the ground hard. The Ranger pilots were disoriented by Lunar Wolf's attack.
"Damn!" Quantum Ranger muttered as he felt the impact from that shot when it hit the Q-Rex. "That is one tough broad."
"You don't know the half of it." Primal Red told him.
Unknown to the combatants the Wolfzord felt something tug at him and pull him another direction. Despite being under control of the Lunar Wolf Ranger, he believed this call was something he could not ignore. Immediately he left the battle to see what it was.
Meanwhile Steven was wrapping up the last battle with the Putrids. Eric had helped with most of the trouble, and all Steven had to do was the mopping up. The mopping up ended when the last two Putrids attacked and Steven did a duck and flip over causing the Putrids to fly over Steven and hit the ground hard. This took the last of the fight out of them, and they were the last two to leave the fight.
After stopping the last of the Putrids, Steven was about to get onto his bike but then he suddenly heard the sound of a howl.
The howl of the wolf.
"What in the world was that?" Steven asked as he turned around... and found himself face to face with the biggest wolf that he had ever scene in his life. It had just come right out of nowhere. "HOLY!" he ended up falling backwards as the wolf was now staring at him. It wasn't long before he realized that this looked similar to the look of the Power Animals. ~Terrific! Looks like someone decided to send this thing at me! Now I'm screwed. How the hell can I possibly fight off a ZORD?!~ as he moved back wards, Steven reflexively clutched something his mother gave him long ago when ever he felt like he did now.
However as the Wolfzord descended down to pluck him from the ground with its teeth, something inside Steven's jacket started to glow giving off a silver light. It froze the Wolfzord, making its black eyes turn red and it looked down at Steven.
Steven was waiting for his fate but then saw that the Wolfzord was now looking patiently and if were even possible, a bit affectionately at Steven. "What... I... I don't get it..." it was then he realized that something was glowing in his jacket. He pulled it out.
What had been glowing was the crystal orb that his mother had given him when he was a little boy.
An orb with a wolf inside.
Steven stared at Wolfzord for a while as well as look back at his orb. "This... this is you... isn't it?" Wolfzord nodded as he looked down at Steven still affectionately. As Steven looked at Wolfzord, he felt strange, ~ I don't get it... I feel... like I've seen him some where before... but where?~
"HEY! What do you think you are doing!?"
Steven turned around to hear Jindrax from out of nowhere screaming at Wolfzord who turned an angry head at the Duke Org. "What do you think you are doing! You belong to us you over grown flea bag and further more you are supposed to obey your master!"
"Animals like this are free to do as they please." Steven called out to Jindrax, "Whoever gave you any rights over them?"
"Shut up human! I'll get to you in..." Jindrax shouted looking at Steven and when he did he stopped. If it were possible, Jindrax's face would have been paler than it was right now. He stepped back in disbelief. "... no way... your supposed to be dead..."
"What?" Steven blinked when he heard Jindrax say that.
"Balitou... it's impossible!" Jindrax shook his head in disbelief.
"Who are you!" Steven shouted. Wolfzord growled in anger, mirroring Steven's own tone and decided to start advancing on the frightened Duke Org.
"Oh man. Dead man or not, I do not like where this going! I am out of here!" Jindrax freaked as he teleported out of the area, leaving Steven feeling very confused. ~ What was that all about... and why did that thing feel familiar?~
At their base, Master Org clutched his chest for a moment as he felt a break in the magic that had been set up.
"Master Org?" Nayzor asked.
"One of the animals has broken free of our control." Master Org said. Since he had cast the spell he would know when one of them had broken free. "And it's..." He was interrupted by Jindrax's appearance, rather ungracefully, into the room. Master Org and Nayzor looked at him. "What are you doing?"
"Well... Master Org..." Jindrax started but Master Org was not in the mood for excuses.
"The Wolf is now out of our control and you know why don't you." Master Org walked toward him. "Tell me Jindrax... tell me now!"
"Uhhh well we think... someone may have the Orb." Jindrax said. "There was a disturbance earlier at where the Yellow Eagle Ranger used to live. The Putrids were beaten, but that was also where we lost the Wolf's signal."
"WHAT!" Master Org roared. "Someone has the Wolf Orb!"
"I believe you might over reacting to all of this." The Rani said as she entered the room.
"It was the Sixth Ancient Warrior that tipped the tide of the last Great War to the side of good. I do NOT wish for history to repeat itself! If this person has the Wolf Orb than he must be the true warrior of the Lunar Wolf " Master Org cried. He looked over at Nayzor, "Get our remaining Orgs out of the area now. We must deal with this new complication."
"At once Master Org." the General Org bowed and vanished.
"In the meantime let's find out who our mystery guest is." Rani said as she called up security programs that allowed her to tap into surveillance satellites orbiting Earth. Master Org was astonished at how Rani was able to do this. "It's amazing what one can accomplish with the right stolen code." Rani sneered. Master Org couldn't help but smile at Rani's abilities, but that smile soon faded as he saw the image come up on screen as to who had the Wolf Orb.
"Who is this?!" Master Org asked when he saw Steven's image appear along side Wolfzord. Jindrax was about to speak but the Rani spoke first, "Steven Merrickson. He's a federal agent for the United States. He was also snooping around the Yellow Eagle Ranger's apartment."
"He has our crystal! As soon as we have regrouped we launch a new offensive to get this crystal back!" Master Org shouted. Rani nodded in agreement, but Jindrax quietly walked out of the room without anyone knowing at all. His thoughts reflecting disbelief. ~He doesn't know... Master Org didn't know who he was... how could he not?~
Isis Megazord and the Q-Rex were still taking their amounts of punishment as the Predazord stood over them savoring its next attack. "Now let's see. What will I do next?" she asked with a sneer. She then heard a howl off to the side and saw the Wolfzord heading their way.
"Wolfzord what are you doing here?" Lunar Wolf asked. Wolfzord however didn't answer. The only response from the zord was a pouncing onto the Predazord knocking it off balance. Wolfzord then did a few swipes with it's claws before taking a position off to the side.
"What the hell?" Gentle Giraffe muttered as she saw a Wild Zord that had been attacking them only a short while ago now go on the offensive against the Orgs' own power animals and the Lunar Wolf Ranger.
"Wolfzord! What are you doing! I order you to stop!" the Lunar Wolf cried out to 'her' zord. Wolfzord's response was striking down the Predazord with a running charge knocking it off balance and into a condemned building. Rubble fell all over the Predazord when it hit.
"This is becoming very bizarre, " the Quantum Ranger stared as he looked on at this.
"The Wolf is on our side?" Raging Rhino asked.
"I don't get it..." Armored Armadillo shook his head.
"Wait! Look at its eyes! They are red now instead of black! All of the Orgs controlled Wild Zords have black eyes." Spirited Deer said to the others.
"But who broke the spell?" Winged Falcon asked.
Steven looked from a distance as he saw Wolfzord helping the others out. With the extra Wild Zord helping the Rangers out looked like a definite difference was being made.
"Yeah! Get 'em wolf!" Steven shouted but then he heard the sound of a beam coming his way. He jumped out of the way to find Toxica and Onihime ready to attack.
"Return our property at once!" Toxica demanded of Steven. Steven let out a heavy breath and shook his head no.
"If you think I'll give you two ugly hags anything you are out of your minds." Steven responded.
"UGLY HAG!!!" Onihime screeched in disbelief and rage at being insulted like that. She raised her scepter high and fired off a bolt of green lighting at Steven, which he had to dodge. As he got up Onihime stared him down, "I am a Princess!" She cocked her head and then pointed at Toxica. "SHE is an ugly hag!"
"WHAT?!" Toxica roared in shock, "Why you stuck up snot nosed brat of an Org!"
"Stay out of my way you old crone." Onihime shot.
"Old crone! That's even worse what the White Tiger Ranger called me until we took care of her!" Toxica fumed.
Steven overheard Onihime and Toxica's conversation, and though it might have been fun to watch the Orgs in a catfight his mind was focused on one sentence. "Until we took care of her." Steven immediately came to the realization that these Orgs had something to do with the disappearance of at least one of Taylor's friends. ~ And from they way they talk they sound like they killed her too. ~
Before the Duke and Princess Orgs could do anything Nayzor appeared. "Master Org has ordered us to withdraw for now."
"But father..." Onihime stated.
"We can finish them later. There has been a complication." Nayzor said.
"You mean that human over there?" Toxica scoffed. "He's nothing without the Wolf Orb. Let's take it now."
"No. We leave now."
No one had time to wonder why Nayzor gave this order, due to Steven getting a running charge at the Orgs knocking them back. He picked up Nayzor's sword which jarred out of his grip and cut him down. He then cut into Toxica cutting her staff in half and sending her down. Next he kicked Onihime in the stomach and then gave her a hard clothesline. Onihime then found Nayzor's blade at her throat and Steven holding the blade.
"Now I'm going to ask this question, and you better give me a straight answer." Onihime looked up at Steven, and the glare in his eyes, and nodded as Steven asked his question. "Did you kill Taylor Bauer?"
Onihime didn't answer so Steven held the blade closer to her throat as he asked the question again. "Did you kill Taylor Bauer?" Steven said glaring down at Onihime. Onihime then had a sneer across her face as she gave her answer. "Yes. Why else would I say that the Eagle had fallen?"
Steven then gave a hard glare at Onihime. "You go back and tell your masters. It's now open season on Orgs. I'm not going to stop until I've hunted down every last one of you! YOU HEAR ME?!!!" Onihime got the message as her eyes went wide eyed with fear. "Now get out of here!"
Onihime scurried off to rejoin her 'father'. "You will pay for that human!" Nayzor vowed. "You first!" Steven said.
Nayzor didn't bother to respond. He shouted to Lunar Wolf "Retreat! We'll attack again later!" Lunar Wolf was barely able to get herself back up and teleport out of the fight. The zords followed, and soon after that the Orgs followed.
As soon as the Lunar Wolf and her Dark Wild Zords vanished, Steven decided it was time for him to vanish as well. He had seen enough for today and right now it wasn't his place to be anywhere near the rangers. He figured Eric would be taking up enough of their time.
With the Orgs gone the Primal Force disembarked from their zords and demorphed. The Wild Zords were sent back to the Animarium and Willy and Jeremy hugged Kelly welcoming her back. Kelly however only returned the embrace half-heartedly which gave Jeremy and Willy cause for concern. "You all right?" Jeremy asked.
"Ask me later okay?" Kelly said. Jeremy and Willy nodded and Sylvia whispered "She's got a lot to sort through. Give her time." Jeremy and Willy nodded, but Curtis wasn't sure time was what she needed right now.
"At any rate we found out something. Master Org is not working alone." Curtis said. "He's got some help."
"One of his helpers is named Ranitime." Sylvia said. "She's some sort of evil woman who conducts weird experiments on people. Along with that is some lizard prince who makes women fall at his feet."
"Xizor." Kelly said. "His name is Xizor." She then turned to look at her teammates and added "He really messed my head over." Jeremy and Willy were about to ask how bad when Sylvia held up her hand. "Give her space."
"Did you find out anything else?" Jeremy asked. Curtis and Sylvia said no. "But we did get something else." Sylvia then held up the android head of Guri and Jeremy and Willy looked VERY surprised. "This android was at Xizor's side. Her memory core or whatever may have information we need." Jeremy asked Willy if he could decode the data inside and Willy said "I'll give it a shot. I will admit that it might feel ghoulish to me though."
Jeremy nodded and said "Do what you can." Just then Eric walked up and saw Jeremy and company. "I take it you guys are the new Rangers?"
"Rangers?" Jeremy asked innocently. "What makes you think we're Rangers?"
Eric gave a slight smirk as he said. "One, you're wearing Ranger colors on your clothes. Two, you're wearing jackets that give your animal. And three who else but Rangers would be holding something like an android head so casually?" The Primal Force had to acknowledge Eric's response as he then introduced himself. "Eric Myers from Silver Hills. I'm the Quantum Ranger."
"From the Silver Guardians?" Sylvia asked. "What brings you out here?"
"Long story." Eric said. "I think we need to take it to your base of operations." The others thought about Eric's request and decided to take him up to the Animarium.
When the Primal Force and Eric arrived at Animarium Eric couldn't believe his eyes. "... whoa." was the only thing Eric could say after he had been brought on the Animarium and saw that was a floating island.
"Well that would be our reaction in a nutshell when we first saw this place." Kelly said to him.
"Main temple is this way." Willy said as Eric was led to where Princess Shayla waited for them. Once they arrived at the temple on the Animarium, it was then that Princess Shayla appeared before all six of them.
"Kelly. I'm so glad you're safe!" Shayla said as she hugged her warrior in a welcome home hug. She greeted all her friends until she came to Eric.
"Hello there friend, I am Princess Shayla, " she introduced herself. "I want to thank you for helping out my friends in our fight against the Orgs today, though I am curious as to why."
"Same thing with us, " Jeremy said, "What brings the Quantum Ranger from Silver Hills all the way to Turtle Cove?"
"I came here looking for the girl who was the Yellow Eagle Ranger." Eric explained. "I had heard that she disappeared, and I came to look for her." Shayla sighed briefly as Eric mentioned Taylor. "You do realize that it could be possible that she's dead."
"I figured that. But I hope she's not." Eric said. "I find her to be... special to me."
Curtis couldn't help but whisper "Sounds like someone's got it bad." Jeremy told Curtis to knock it off as Eric continued. "Once I got here I met someone and we got into a fight with some new Orgs. And then I met the new Rangers here and helped them fight off this witch that had her own Wild Zords."
"And she almost clobbered us too." Jeremy said. "If Sylvia, Curtis and Kelly didn't come with the Soulbird, and Eric with the Q-Rex we'd be dead now."
"But what about the Wolfzord?" Sylvia asked the Princess, "It was attacking us at the beginning of our battle, but then it was fighting against the Lunar Wolf. Why is that?"
"It must be because the person the Orgs have as the Lunar Wolf is not the true Lunar Wolf." Shayla stated.
"Not the true Lunar Wolf? What do you mean?" Willy asked.
"The only way the Wolfzord could have done what it did to day was if the Orgs did not have possession of its crystal orb and the rightful heir to the Lunar Wolf powers has the Orb." Shayla said to them, which brought out a bit of silence. "If I may explain. In order to understand the powers of the Lunar Wolf you must know about the warrior that once controlled the power and Zords of the Lunar Wolf: Merrick Balitou. He was the sixth Ancient Warrior that defended Animaria, and the most powerful. In the final battle with the Orgs, the battle was more intense than ever. Master Org himself was there to make sure he would not lose the war. Knowing his friends would need an edge, Merrick put on the mask of deceased Duke Org Zen-Aku in order to gain the power needed to stop the Orgs and then defeat Master Org."
"However there was a price to be paid for Merrick's choice. He..." Shayla broke off unable to say anymore as tears fell down her face. "Princess are you all right?" Kelly asked.
"I'll be okay... just give me a minute." Shayla said composing herself. "It's just that I was so close to Merrick. And when I was awakened after 3, 000 years and heard about his fate." Shayla found out about Merrick second hand from a journal entry left by one of the defenders. But when she read it, in her mind's eye, she saw it all happen. Animarium 3, 000 years ago.
The war was going terribly for the guardian's of the Animarium. Master Org was making his final great push, and the guardians had to push back.
Every guardian, every spirit animal was being called forth. Their orders would be to form a massive defense perimeter that the Orgs could never cross. Animus told the guardians that they must all hold the line.
However Animus also said that the princess needed to be kept safe. So he ordered Merrick to take her to the temple of Animaria and keep her safe. Once inside Merrick instructed Shayla to rest and that the Animarium would keep her safe. "Princess, it's your duty to protect the Animarium. Please do this."
"But Merrick..." Shayla tried to plead, but Merrick would have none of it. He couldn't afford to.
"Princess please. This battle is already costing us dearly. You must live to protect the Wild Zords. To take the Animarium and escape so that their spirits never die." Shayla still felt her heart ache. "But what about you?"
"My destiny is here, fighting alongside my friends and comrades." Merrick said looking Shayla in the eye, as if telling her something no words could express. Shayla looked at Merrick in understanding and took his face in her hand. "Take care." Was all she could say. Then she went into the tomb of Animaria to sleep. To awaken only if she and the Wild Zords were needed again.
Merrick then walked away from the tomb to make his way to the battle where his fellow Guardians were fighting. On the way he met with resistance. "Where do you think you're going?" a voice said from behind. Merrick turned to see who his opponents were, and found Jindrax and Toxica waiting for him.
"I've no time to waste on Duke Orgs like you. My friends need me." Merrick said.
"Well then make time." Toxica said as she brought her staff to bear against Merrick. Vines shot out of it and tried to engulf Merrick. Merrick dodged the incoming vines, which he later found out were only a distraction. A distraction that allowed Jindrax to move behind Merrick and make ready to strike him while his back was turned.
Merrick however figured that Jindrax would attack from behind and ducked to avoid the incoming blade. Merrick then gave a leg sweep to knock Jindrax off his feet, and Merrick then quickly got on his as he struggled to continue to make it to the final battle. Only to feel a vine wrapped around his leg knocking him back down.
Merrick hit the ground tasting dirt and turned to look at Jindrax and Toxica leering down on him. "As we said. 'Where do you think you're going?'" Toxica said with an evil chuckle.
Not far away, a battle raged. A battle for supremacy for one side, and a battle for survival for the other. For it was here that the Orgs mounted their final strike against the kingdom of Animaria, and as the army and Guardians looked at Zords being destroyed, and animal crystals immediately being shattered after that, it was clear that the battle was not going well for the Army of Animaria. Especially with Master Org himself leading the mission of destruction as he brought his staff against many of the attacking Wild Zords.
"Zebrazord!" Black Guardian shouted as the zord was destroyed by Master Org's power blast. That however would not stop the other Wild Zords, and the soldiers of Animarium who swore they would hold the line against Orgs.
They fired their weapons. Everything they had. Many of the Orgs had fallen, but many more Wild Zords fell due to Master Org's power. "Wild Zords! Regroup!" Animus ordered.
The Wild Zords obeyed, but the Org attack still continued. Those that survived refortified themselves at another position. The Guardians and the Animarium army did the same, but the Orgs continued to press on.
"My friends. We have no choice. The Wild Zords must be protected. We must protect them as they race towards the Animarium and safety!" The Guardians and army were saddened to hear Animus call for the Wild Zords' retreat, and the Wild Zords weren't too fond of it either, but they knew Animus was right.
"We must protect the sacred animals." Blue Guardian said. Everyone agreed and then went back into the Org onslaught as the Wild Zords sought the protection of the Animarium.
"Cover their retreat!" Red Guardian ordered. The Animarium army and the Guardians did as they were ordered. And some of the Wild Zords made their escape. But the price was high, in that over half the army had fallen, and some more Wild Zords fell in the retreat. Animus knew he had to do something. But what?
"Guardians! Come!" Animus said in his armored Megazord. The guardians all did what their mentor said and boarded the Megazord form of their mentor. Once in Animus's control center the guardians sought to take quick advantage.
Immediately they fired the blasters of the Animus Megazord at all the Orgs they could find. Animus had a lot of power to him and many of the Orgs had either scattered or fallen to Animus's power. "All right! We're doing it!" the Yellow Guardian had said.
But unfortunately the blasters could not maintain fire for any extended period of time. Soon Animus had to stop firing in order for his weapons to cool down, and unfortunately there was still one Orgs standing. And that Org was none other than the worst of the lot, Master Org himself.
Master Org raised his staff and fired a blast that struck Animus dead center in the chest. Master Org then quickly capitalized by giving damaging strikes to Animus sending him back, and weakening him further. Then he raised his staff and gave Animus one final strike knocking Animus down. As he crashed hard to the ground the Guardians also felt the control center explode around them in a series of sparks. Soon they had to abandon their leader and mentor as they all looked up at Master Org, who stood seemingly triumphant.
"At last! Victory shall be mine!!!" Master Org shouted into the crashing thunder. The Animus Megazord looked up damaged with hope seemingly lost.
Jindrax and Toxica stood over Merrick as if savoring the kill before they actually did the deed. "Well Balitou, any last words?" Merrick listened to Jindrax's words, and the taunting that was behind them. Clearly he didn't expect Merrick to mount any sort of offence again. A smile then crossed Merrick's face as an idea came to his mind.
"Yeah. Catch me if you can!" Merrick then launched himself into a fast run making his way to the safety of the woods. Jindrax and Toxica clearly didn't expect this action from Merrick and it took them a second for them to come up with the idea to run after him. They followed the natural path the woods left for them believing that Merrick followed the same path. When they got to an open clearing in the woods both Duke Orgs wondered where Merrick could be.
Their answers came in the form of two feet swinging towards them from around a tree trunk. Jindrax took the toes to the face as Toxica took the brunt of Merrick's knees in a move that 3, 000 years from now someone would call the '619'.
With both Org's down it was now Merrick's turn to capitalize. Drawing out his dagger he moved to disarm Jindrax first by wedging in his own blade and give it a twist that sent Jindrax's weapon flying into the brush. The then went into a tug of war with Toxica's weapon until he used her own strength against her and the staff struck her chin knocking her out cold. When Jindrax got up he saw what Merrick had done to Toxica and he vowed "You'll pay for that Balitou!" as he got a running charge towards Merrick.
Merrick however had no time to wait. As Jindrax got closer Merrick brought up his leg in an Ax kick that cold cocked Jindrax. Soon he was knocked down beside his fellow Duke Org Toxica. Merrick then left the two defeated Duke Orgs and made tracks to where his fellow Guardians were fighting Master Org.
When he arrived, he felt his heart get heavy at the sight before him. Animus was down. The Guardians stood helpless as Master Org stood over them, and all powerful giant making ready to savor his kill. "Starla, Arno, Moonstone, Lancer, Jayna." He said looking at them as they still showed determination not to let Master Org win. His eyes fell especially onto Starla, the Pink Guardian, whom Merrick considered to be his closest friend.
It was to Starla that Merrick confided his feelings to Princess Shayla to. Feelings he knew he could never act on. Starla had provided Merrick with comfort many a night when he felt his feelings would crush his soul. There was one night however when Starla and Merrick did more than just comfort each other, but now was not the time to think about that. Right now all his friends were in danger.
"I've got to do something. But what?" Merrick asked himself. He couldn't call the Wild Zords, for his will wasn't strong enough yet. An answer then came to him. But it clearly wasn't an answer he would like. Nevertheless it was the only one he had.
He raced to an ancient Org tomb. The tomb of the most dangerous Org known.
The tomb of the Duke Org Zen-Aku.
Arno, the Red Guardian, looked at his fellow warriors and saw that they were more or less okay. Moonstone the Blue Guardian looked a bit roughed up but he was still standing. Lancer the Black Guardian was also standing. Jayna the Yellow Guardian however was holding up the Pink Guardian Starla who was clutching her stomach.
"I'm fine Jayna." Starla said as she saw something out of the corner of her eye. Merrick, standing on the rock ledge looking at all the devastation around them, with Master Org standing victorious over Animus. She then saw Merrick retreat and refused to believe that he would have given up on them. Instead she chose to believe he still had an idea on how they could win this battle and that he was going to implement it very soon.
"Be careful Merrick." Starla said watching Merrick's retreat. She then turned to look at her fellow Guardians who looked up at Master Org who was taking his time with them. "Why doesn't he kill us now and get it over with?" Moonstone asked.
"He wants to savor his victory." Jayna said. "He wants us to know that our lives are in his hands, and that he can take them anytime he wants.
In truth that was half right. It was true Master Org wanted to savor his victory, but he was also evaluating his opponents, wondering what was wrong with the picture before him. Then he realized his answer. One Guardian was missing.
"Where is the Lunar Wolf Guardian?" Master Org shouted. "Tell me now!"
Merrick ran through the jungle brush. Not even thinking about the shortness of breath or exhaustion that threatened to overtake him. His only concern was for his friends whom he needed to protect. To that end he would go to a place that Animus himself forbade anyone to go, but now Merrick had no choice but to go there. As he burst through the last of the brush his gaze cam across the structure that was his destination. The place where the most deadly of Orgs rested his final rest.
The tomb of the Duke org Zen-Aku.
Merrick raced to the entrance of the tomb and quickly made his way inside. As he navigated the labyrinth of corridors he came across the central burial chamber where the body of Zen-Aku rested in a sarcophagus. A sarcophagus Merrick was about to open.
Merrick pushed on the lid of the sarcophagus as it slowly opened. As the body of Zen-Aku came into view Merrick's eyes focused on the prize he was looking for. The mask that rested on the mummified face that was Zen-Aku. Quickly Merrick grabbed the mask and held it in his hands as if contemplating his next decision.
~ Animus warned me what the consequences would be if this mask was used. ~ Merrick thought. ~ About how the dark spirit of Zen-Aku would possess the wearer of the mask leading to a second coming of Zen-Aku himself. ~ Merrick knew that the decision before him was not one that he could take lightly. He knew of the legend of the mask, and the power it contained. And it was the power that his friends needed most.
~ I will worry about the consequences later. Whatever they might be. ~ Merrick thought as he put the mask upon his face. Already he felt a rush of power flow through him, energizing him like never before. Also present was some sort of spirit. A darkness that Merrick could only conclude came from Zen-Aku, or at least his spirit. It took all of Merrick's strength of will to keep that darkness at bay.
"The power! The darkness! I must act quickly before it consumes me!" Merrick then called forth his three animal spirits: the alligator, the hammerhead shark, and the wolf, and made his way to where Master Org stood waiting for him.
Master Org stood over the fallen body of Animus and looked down at his long time foe. "All right now. Answer me! WHERE IS THE SIXTH GUARDIAN!!!"
"I will never tell you!" Animus said defiantly. Master Org hoped that he would say that as he brought his staff weapon up and drove it straight into Animus's chest. As the chest made contact with the Animus Megazord the spear punctured the outer shell practically impaling Animus as the weapon struck.
Energy erupted from Animus as his life force seemed to pour out of the Megazord and scatter throughout the atmosphere. It seemed as if Master Org succeeded in killing Animus. "NO!!!" Arno shouted as tears started to form in his eyes. The rest of the guardians also felt sorrow as Animus was apparently killed.
"And now. Where is the sixth guardian!" Master Org said advancing towards the five guardians. The answer to his question however did not come from the guardians Master Org looked down on, but from the sixth guardian himself.
"PREDATOR WAVE!!!" came the call of the sixth guardian Merrick Balitou as intense energy struck Master Org sending him back. The guardians all wondered where that came from as did Master Org who quickly recovered, only to find the Predazord standing before him.
"How? How is this possible?" Master Org asked. "None of your wills were powerful enough to call on the animal spirits!"
"When it comes to beating the evil of the Orgs. Anything is possible." Merrick said with a confidence he could barely muster as he tried to keep the dark spirit of Zen-Aku at bay. Master Org however sensed a darkness around the Predazord. A darkness he was familiar with. "You're wearing the mask of Zen-Aku. You have doomed yourself!"
"Not yet I haven't!" Merrick said as he launched the Predazord into a flying strike with the hope of knocking back Master Org. Master Org however quickly dodged the incoming Megazord and Merrick's blow missed its mark. Merrick quickly got the Predazord back up and faced Master Org again, who was clearly ready for action.
Master Org also knew about the curse of the mask, and knew that if Merrick had stayed in the fight long enough then the mask would possess him and Zen-Aku would return. Master Org knew his best chance lied in making sure his fight with the Predazord went as long as possible. ~ That way even if I lose. I will win. ~ he thought.
Merrick and Master Org then began their fight for real. Merrick launched into a flurry of strikes, which Master Org deflected. And Merrick did the same with whatever strikes Master Org threw his way. But somewhere along the line Merrick felt something was wrong, other than the spirit of Zen-Aku making its way into his mind. It felt as if Master Org was holding back some of his power. As if he wasn't going at full tilt.
"This may give me the chance I need." Merrick said as he called forth all his power into one concentrated burst. "PREDATOR WAVE!!! FIRE!!!"
A burst of energy then shot out of the Predazord striking Master Org dead center and throwing him back. Merrick thought that was the last of Master Org and that he could finally remove the mask. But there were two things wrong. First off was that the mask would not remove itself from Merrick's face. He had it on too long, and now Merrick clearly was in the grip of the mask's evil. "You are mine now!" a dark voice said inside Merrick's mind.
The second thing that was wrong was that Master Org was standing again. Clearly this was what he wanted to happen. He wanted the Predazord to use up its power facing him, as well as Merrick trying to keep the evil of Zen-Aku at bay. No matter how hard one could try, it was always difficult to fight a battle on two fronts. Master Org now had the advantage. Or so he thought.
For the evil of Zen-Aku was able to gain control briefly and he turned his gaze towards Master Org. "You thought you could destroy me! Now you will pay!!!" Zen-Aku then called forth all the dark power he could muster and changed the Predazord to a monstrous appearance. Master Org was shocked at what he was seeing and wondered how it was possible.
The only answer Master Org would receive was a blast from the Dark Predazord, which fired its weapons at Master Org destroying him completely.
Master Org fell to the ground in an explosion. Finally he was defeated, and the guardians rejoiced as the Predazord's task was complete. They were unaware that the nightmare was about to begin for them.
"And now Guardians... YOU DIE!!!" Zen-Aku said as the weapons came to bear on the guardians, but suddenly he felt a surge of energy within him. This surge of energy glowed brighter and brighter as it threatened to consume Zen-Aku. And it wasn't a guess as to where this energy came from.
"Balitou!!!" Zen-Aku shouted as the energy ran from him into the Predazord purging it from the evil that infected it. Merrick/Zen-Aku then spilled out of the cockpit as the Predazord vanished. Merrick/Zen-Aku then floated in the air much to the Guardian's amazement. A howl of pain then came forth as it seemed that Zen-Aku was being driven out of the mask. His spirit scattering across the far winds much like Animus's had done leaving Merrick and the evil mask behind.
"My friends." Merrick said through Zen-Aku's mouth. "I had no choice but to wear the mask to save you. But the evil of the mask is poisoning me. The evil of Zen-Aku is trying to enter my soul so it can become sentient. I won't let it. I would rather die than let its evil possess me!" It was then that the Guardians knew what Merrick had planned. He was willing himself to die.
"MERRICK NO!!!" Starla shouted.
"I have no choice Starla!" Merrick said. "For what it's worth. I appreciate all you have done for me. I will value your friendships always." And with that the mask fell free from Merrick's face as energy struck him like lightning centering on a lightning rod. Another explosion erupted from Merrick's being and when the smoke cleared Merrick fell to the ground as the glow faded.
Quickly the Guardians felt Merrick for any signs of life. None were present, and his body only continued to grow colder and colder as death claimed him. All the Guardians mourned his loss, one in particular as tears fell down her face and her voice filled the sky.
"MERRICK!!!" Starla cried out into the sky.
The funeral service for Merrick was a sad occasion to say the least. All that could have survived had gathered to pay their last respects. All except for Princess Shayla and the Wild Zords who were on the Animarium, which was long gone by now.
The other five Guardians served as Merrick's honor guard as his body was lowered into the ground. All five stood with their weapons drawn over Merrick's coffin as it was lowered into the ground. The customary military salute for a fallen soldier who died in the service of Animaria. Like all the other troopers Merrick was given full honors, and many of the Animarium Army buried many a friend that day.
"May the animal spirits guide Merrick Balitou, and all those that have fallen this day, to their final and just reward." The minister had said before adjourning the service. A monument stood marking the site of those that had fallen in battle. After that everyone in the Animarium Army that survived wondered what they would do next.
The kingdom of Animaria was gone. The floating island of Animaria was gone as well. The soldiers had no home to defend anymore, and the Guardians were also in the same boat. Many had decided to leave the remains of Animaria and see what the rest of the world had to offer. The Guardians however decided that they would stay at what remained of Animaria, all but one.
"I can't stay here." Starla said handing her dagger to her friend Arno. "It's just... there's too much here that reminds me of death. I want... I need to remember Animaria as a place of life. And I can't do that by staying here." Moonstone was about to say something about them helping to rebuild Animaria, but Arno waved his hand as if saying 'don't push her. ' "Where will you go?" Arno asked.
"North." Starla said. "There are some tribal villages that could make use of land and farming techniques that we all learned here. Perhaps by passing on our knowledge the ideals of Animarium can still live on."
"But what about your weapon?" Lancer asked. "Who will you pass on your powers to?"
"I already have my replacement selected." Just then a girl stepped forward with dark hair and an oriental skin tone walked forward. "This is Kaori. She will be my successor as long as the Guardians exist." Everyone nodded and immediately welcomed Kaori into their little group. Arno however couldn't help but be concerned for the former Pink Guardian.
"Will you be all right Starla?" Red Guardian Arno asked his friend. Starla nodded and said "I'll be fine. It's just... I can't be here right now."
"Just promise that one day you will return." Arno said. Starla nodded saying that she would. After saying her goodbyes Starla then left the ruins of Animaria. None of them knew about the secret she kept. A secret Merrick himself wasn't privy to, otherwise he might not have made the choice to put on the mask of Zen-Aku. ~ Or would it have just strengthened his resolve to put on the mask?~ she asked herself.
Starla felt her stomach. Her body was carrying the last reminder of Merrick Balitou. She would nurture it and see that it would grow so it could have a rich and fulfilling life, as would the descendants that followed. She owed it to him. As she walked her hand fingered a jewel she kept in her tunic. It was a round jewel with the shape of a wolf inside of it.
It would be passed on from generation to generation so that none of Merrick's sons would ever forget of the sacrifice their father had made for the world.
It wouldn't be for another forty years that Starla would return to the ruins of Animaria. What she would see there would be a horror she would never forget.
Starla looked to see five dead bodies, smoking and burned as if some dark terrible force had struck them down without mercy. Starla felt the power they might have all possessed stripped away from them, hence the feeling of cold that emanated from their bodies. A cold that was even colder than the cold of the dead soldiers that fell at the final battle.
When she turned around she saw the person responsible for the deaths of her friends. He had a pale complexion, dark black hair and a face that reflected no emotion. Just cold, monstrous evil. An evil that fired a weapon at her of some kind which took her energy out of her body. Her energy, and her connection to the power she once possessed before she passed it along to Kaori, who ironically was the body she was standing next to as Starla felt her life force slip away.
Starla's last thought as she fell to the ground was to the safety of her son back at her adopted tribe's village, before the villain named Alex struck her down and took what little power remnants she had for himself. He then walked away from the fallen bodies not even bothering to give them a proper burial. He had a connection to the power of Animaria, as well as a fraction of that power. That was all he wanted.
Matters of faith and superstition meant nothing to him.
And so the bodies of the Animarium Guardians remained unburied. Never touched upon. Until two archeologists stumbled across the remains and gave them the burial they deserved before they too perished at the hands of one they called friend.
"This why I did not have a sixth power to give to anyone in the past." Shayla said completing her story. "Because I thought the power to have been extinguished... but now with the Org's Lunar Wolf Ranger's appearance and this young man with the Wolf Orb, I can only conclude that somehow Merrick split his power into his three crystal orbs. The Wolf, Hammerhead Shark and Alligator. So without having all three orbs, anyone trying to access the Lunar Wolf Powers will die. Now that the Wolf has made his choice, only the one who has his orb can be the true Lunar Wolf Ranger."
"Princess, do you have any idea who the 'true Lunar Wolf Ranger' is?" Jeremy asked. "And if the current one isn't the one that's supposed to have the powers what will happen to her?" Shayla gave the only answer she could to both questions. "I don't know."
As everyone took in everything that Shayla had said, Eric was in thought about this and about this 'Merrick'. ~ I think I may have to pay a visit to see Agent Steven Merrickson. Very soon. ~
Meanwhile, Steven Merrickson was back in L. A. pleading his case to regional director Ryan Chappelle. "Sir I'm requesting permanent assignment to Turtle Cove." Steven said straight out to Chappelle. This took the regional director by surprise. "Why?" he asked.
"There apparently are hostile forces operating there." Steven said. "Agent Bauer's two nieces may have been taken by them."
Chaappelle however did not seem swayed. "Does this have more to do with your 'Freak Zone' cases Merrickson?" the director asked.
"Sir this is a serious matter. Hostile forces are operating in Turtle Cove. They call themselves Orgs. Their main objective is environmental terrorism. I believe this falls under CTU's boundaries, and I formally request to be transferred there until this crisis is abated." Steven said, but the director was being incredibly thickheaded.
"I'm aware of the reputation the Freak Zone has." Chappelle said. "Any terrorists there are usually of the extra-terrestrial variety. Usually CTU's resources focus more on home-grown terrorists."
"Whether it's home grown or not terrorism is terrorism." Steven said a little more forcefully. "You've got to grant me authority to go down there and help diffuse the situation."
"And how pray tell do you intend to do that?" Chappelle then asked. "Teach the Turtle Cove police how to fight monsters?"
"I'll help any way I can sir." Steven said. "You know me. Despite me getting 'colorful assignments' you know I can do the job." The regional director thought for a moment then turned to Merrickson giving his decision. "Sorry Merrickson. But I can't spare you."
Steven stared at Chappelle for a moment before speaking, "Sir, with all due respect... would you kindly please show some compassion!"
"EXCUSE ME?!" Chappelle got up on to his feet.
"This isn't just about Jack Bauer, this isn't just about 'the Freak Zone', " Steven said as he pulled out a videotape and plugged it into the regional director's VCR. "This about trying to save lives... and stop THIS from happening again!" He pressed the play button and the Regional Director of CTU got his first real look into what goes in Turtle Cove.
And of how devastating and graphic the attacks and loss of life were.
Chappelle and Steven watched as buildings were destroyed, medical teams rolling out to take care of the sick and wounded, coroners dictating those that were dead or dying. Anyone that watched the devastation could not turn away from the images that the tape provided. It was like a mix of 9/11 and images of the San Francisco quake of 1989. Images of destruction caused by maddening forces.
There was so much suffering on that tape that for once in his life, Ryan Chappelle was utterly speechless. Steven turned the tape off and looked back at Chappelle, who was still trying to comprehend the loss of life he had just witnessed. "After seeing that Mr. Chappelle, if you still cannot find it within your heart to assign me to Turtle Cove to help take care of this problem..." Steven then placed his CTU badge and his gun on the director's desk, "Well then sir, you have my resignation." He started to walk out of the office when he heard Chappelle's voice.
"Sixty days Merrickson."
Steven turned around to look at the Regional Director. "You have sixty days for this assignment Merrickson. When that time ends you will bring to me a detailed file of everything that has happened in Turtle Cove that you have experienced and if I do not find that what you have done there over those sixty days merits your continued stay there, I will reassign you back to Los Angeles. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes Mr. Chappelle." Steven said as he took his CTU badge and gun back and was about to walk out of the director's office again but Chappelle spoke one more time.
"Merrickson... there have been very few people who have tried what you just did and made their point." Chappelle told him. "Do not assume that will always work."
Steven let a small smile cross his face, "Yes sir, " and with that he walked out of the office.
When the door closed Chappelle put his hands over his face, ~ That kid is really starting to turn out just like Jack did... and that not a good thing. ~
Steven left Chappelle's office and where Jack was waiting. "How'd it go?"
"You were right Agent Bauer. The director is a real four letter word." Steven said to Jack as they walked to the main area. "I managed though to convince him to give me a temporary reassignment privilege."
"How long do you have?" Jack asked.
"Okay... Steven what did you find out?" Jack asked afraid of what Steven would tell him. Steven looked at Jack and knew there would be no easy way to tell him. "Agent Bauer. Your niece Taylor... is dead."
All color faded from Jack's face as he took a step back and fell to the floor as he tried to sit in the chair. "How?" was a word he could barely get out.
"I'm not sure myself." Steven said. "All I do know is that one of the perpetrators I was pursuing said something about 'taking care of someone' implying that they killed them. When I pressed them for further details. The perp said that your niece was someone they 'took care of' too."
"What about Kristen? Anything on her?" Jack then asked.
"Nothing. It may be possible that she is still alive or..." Steven need not have bothered to say the rest. Jack already knew it. He looked at Steven dead in his eyes, "Find them. Make the bastards pay."
"Don't worry Jack. I intend to." Steven vowed, fingering the wolf orb in his jacket pocket.
Back at Arcadia however, Toxica was ranting about her fellow Org Onihime, and the obvious disrespect she was showing her. "I hate her! I hate that stupid, stuck-up, snobbish brat!" she ranted to Jindrax, "I mean she thinks so much better than me! Ha! If she only knew the truth!"
"Funny thing about truth really... it can come back to bite you in the ass."
Toxica stopped her ranting as she looked at her fellow Duke Org, who, for one of those very rare moments, looked serious and in thought. "Jindrax... what are you talking about?"
"I think you might have been right all along about Master Org and we might just be the biggest saps of all still following him." Jindrax said.
"What do you mean?" Toxica asked. Jindrax relayed his experience meeting Steven Merrickson, and thinking he was Merrick Balitou. "The strange part was Master Org didn't even know who he was. And he should have been the first to recognize him. But Master Org didn't seem to know him at all."
Toxica's eyes went wide when Jindrax finished telling her his story. In fact, she slapped her right hand over her forehead. "I can't believe I was that dense! I knew that guy looked familiar... but still how can Merrick Balitou be alive! He's died in the final battle... didn't he?"
"I don't know what to believe Toxica. I crossed swords with Merrick Balitou more than once during the war three thousand years ago, " Jindrax turned his head to face her, his features being deadly serious, "When I saw this 'Steven Merrickson' today, how the Wolfzord was looking at him and when he stared at me... it was like Balitou was staring at me."
Toxica took this all into considering for a bit before speaking, "Whether or not he is really Merrick Balitou, two things are clear. He has the Wolf orb... and 'Master Org' didn't think exactly what you did Jindrax."
"So what do we do?" Jindrax asked her, "I mean, even if he wasn't an Org before he's definitely one now and he's stronger than both of us."
"I know... but I think I have an idea." Toxica said as smile formed on her lips.
Meanwhile Eric returned to Silver Guardians HQ and open up the case that carried the Time Force Transmitter that was used to contact the future. Wes immediately saw what Eric was doing and wondered why he was doing it, although he felt that he had a pretty good idea.
"Eric what are you doing?" Wes asked as he saw Eric pulling up the Time Force Transmitter.
"Getting an answer, " Eric said as he started putting it together. Wes gripped his shoulder. "Get your hand off me Wes."
"You know it doesn't work like that." Wes told him. "They aren't going to tell us what is going to happen."
"Well I have nothing to lose by trying, " Eric narrowed his eyes as his friend. Wes took his hand off Eric and started to help him out with setting up the transmitter. "I hope you get the news you are hoping for."
Eric nodded but felt a bit a sympathy for his friend, ~ Isn't this ironic? We both know we feel something in our hearts for a woman and before we really make something of it... they're taken from us. For Jen it because of living in two different eras... I just hope Taylor's not... ~ Eric didn't finish that thought because he never wanted to say that.
Once the transmitter was set up Eric activated it and Trip's image filled the screen. "Eric, what do you need?"
"I need information Trip." Eric said. "I need to know the exact date that Taylor died."
"Eric. That's classified information. I'd be breaking several regulations if I went and did that." Eric however didn't care about regulations. All he wanted was an answer.
"Trip just tell me. Is Taylor dead or alive?" Eric said flat out.
Trip just had a solemn look on his face as he was debating what to do. Finally he decided to check the systems. What he found was disturbing. "This isn't possible..."
"What? What's not possible Trip?" Wes asked.
"The entire year 2002... its in a state of temporal flux." Trip muttered in disbelief.
"What does that mean?" Eric asked.
"I don't have all the details yet, but some how all of this is centered around the events that occur in Turtle Cove. The disappearance of the Wild Force Rangers... their final fates aren't recorded." Trip explained, "Something outside of normal time has made a tremendous influence on history. Events that should not have happened have happened. And because of that, until there is at least some stabilization no one can travel back in to the past."
"What could have done this?" Eric asked. "I mean what outside forces are there beyond what we already know?"
Trip and Eric looked back at Wes who had a look on his face. The mere mention of that name reminded the two Time Force Rangers about the female Quantum Ranger and Guardian of the Shadow Grid. She was an alternate version of Jen who had gone through a nightmare, having been killed by an alternate Alex as he killed millions of people, including alternates of Eric and Wes himself. That event had somehow caused Jen to be reborn as the woman that they had met, or rather the sorceress that had saved them all from another version of Alex, one who had been an Emperor of his universe. Karla had not stayed long at all, just long enough to undo the damage done by Emperor Alex and then she left never to return again.
However knowing that Karla had come from outside their entire reality just to save them, that just left open a whole new set of possibilities and reasons for what was going on.
"You think she may have had something to do with this?" Eric asked.
"Maybe." Wes said. "We know that she came back to save us. Who's to say she didn't have any long term plans for other Rangers?"
"So Taylor isn't dead!" Eric exclaimed.
"I don't know Eric, " Trip shook his head, "All I know is that as of right now there is no record of her death or of any one of the Wild Force Rangers."
"Meaning she could still be alive." Eric smirked.
Trip nodded as he conceded "It is possible." Eric nodded and said "Thank you Trip." Trip signed off and Eric looked over at Wes. "You know I am going but we both can't go."
Wes nodded, "Don't worry. I'll explain to dad. You won't get fired."
"Funny." Eric rolled his eyes. The two Rangers shook hands and held them hard. "Don't screw up while I'm gone."
"Don't get yourself killed while you're down there... take care of yourself Eric." Wes returned.
Eric nodded and walked away, while Wes said a silent prayer for him. ~ I hope you find her Eric... one of us should be happy to say the least. ~
Before he left however Eric stopped by research and development as he picked up the prototype that had been based of his own personal weapon. As he looked at it he smiled. Mass production of the weapon had been grounded, though Mr. Collins had thought Wes would be better off using it since it had more fire power than the standard Silver Guardian weapons. ~ Sorry Wes but I know someone who could use this more than you could... assuming I can figure out where he is. ~ As much as Eric hated to admit he needed help, he knew he needed it and not just the rangers, he needed someone who had just about as much of a personal stake in this as he did, even if his own personal reason was to keep a promise to someone.
He needed to find Steven Merrickson. ~ I don't know why and I don't know how, but something in my gut is telling me that guy is going to play some major part in this... but what?~ Eric asked himself as he got into his SUV, turned on the ignition, and started driving all the way back to Turtle Cove.
Elsewhere, on the outskirts of Turtle Cove, there was a small and aged two story building called Willie's Roadhouse. It had once attracted many good costumers.
Unfortunately a certain group of people presently inside have made it a very troubled place not to mention causing trouble for others. From tormenting people coming near or by just simply tormenting the people who work and live there. And tonight they were paying another visit.
They called themselves the Bloodrollers, and they named themselves after villains from legend and fiction, except for one that called himself 'Brick. ' The other two were called 'Blade' and 'Joker'. Blade was clearly the leader of the three, and Joker looked to be someone who was a few beers short of a six pack with his green hair and constant laughing. Willie looked at the three and felt his anger rise. "You guys aren't welcome here, I told you to stay away!" Willie shouted.
Blade tossed away a Coke can as he then pulled Willie's shirt with his right hand and brought him forward. Blade bent forward right into Willie's face as he spoke in low tone, "You talkin' to me , Old Man... OUCH!!!"
"Blade you okay?" one of his buddies asked as they saw Blade go down. Blade rubbed the back of his head, feeling pain from what ever it was that had hit the back of his head. He looked down and he saw it was the Coke can he had thrown away. Blade stepped down, turned around and saw who threw the can at him. "What the hell do you think you're doing?!"
Steven Merrickson glared at the thug without an ounce of fear, his ice blue eyes baring down on him, "That's your trash. You pick it up."
Blade and his gang pressed closer toward Steven, "You talkin' to me kid?!"
"Thought that was obvious or are you just stupid?" Steven returned.
Joker giggled at that but Blade elbowed him in the side to shut him up. He motions for several other of the gang to started to advance and some of them picked up pool cues.
Steven however was unfazed by this as he just stood there with his back against the pool table, arms at his side as he was waiting for the right moment. Though he was completely surrounded, he showed no fear.
"If I were you... I'd start runnin' right now, " Blade said in Steven's face, "Cause if ya don't, when we are done with you, your own parents won't recognize you."
Steven slowly turned his head to look at Blade completely. "Two things you should know. One, my parents are dead. And two, " a wicked smile formed on his face, "If you knew me, you would be running."
"You are dead!" Blade shot as he pulled out a knife ready to stab Steven but he reacted faster than Blade could act as he used an elbow strike to the stomach, and then a shot to the throat to send him reeling. Brick came at Steven then from behind but Steven threw the larger man over his shoulder with a judo toss and through the window. ~I'm too confined to fight these guys indoors. Best to take this fight outside. ~ he decided as he ran out of the roadhouse with the other bikers out into the open lot. As he turned around he was on guard for the first biker that came his way. Blocking a strike from the biker's pool cue that he picked up, Steven followed up by striking him in the chest and then a sweep kick knocking him off his feet. He got back up to his feet to take on Joker who came out with a beer bottle but using a snap kick disarmed the man. He then struck hard and fast with a one two punch making Joker see stars before Steven kicked him into a pile of garbage cans where he laid unconsciously.
"Garbage in garbage out, " Steven smirked as he then turned around only to be jumped on the ground by Blade who now started to take his shots at the young man by punching him repeatedly in the stomach.
"Shouldn't have crossed us kid!" Blade sneered.
"Still have that backwards jerk, " Steven growled as he kicked upward hitting Blade's jewels. Shoving Blade off of him and getting his bearings, Steven saw two of the bikers coming at him again both of them with pool cues and trying to hit him. Steven was managing to duck under the shots but knew he couldn't do this forever so he ducked under again but this time making sure that one of the cues of his opponents hit the other person. Taking out the injured person and taking his cue, Steven used it to block and strike back against Brick who had gotten back up and had taken an oar of all things to use as a weapon. ~Reminds me of a hardcore match. ~ Steven smirked as he found an opening and rammed the butt of his cue into Brick's stomach knocking the wind out of him. ~ Got to remember to thank Jesse for teaching me about basic weapon skills. ~ Getting back to the fight, he saw another biker coming at him but he was ready and used the cue to hit him in the shoulder before taking the ground out from under him by using the cue take him off his feet.
"Hold it kid!"
Steven turned around and saw Blade back holding Claire with a knife at her throat. "That's enough 'hero'. Now you're going to take your beating."
"Let my granddaughter go you animal!" Willie shouted.
"No way. This is my way to get what I want!" Blade laughed.
Steven just glared at the man with his eyes giving a glare that could burn right through steel, "I am only going to say this once..." the CTU agent spoke in a voice totally devoid of emotion. "Let Claire go."
"Or what punk!" Blade shot. However Steven didn't have to say anything Claire decided to bite down on the biker's arm, causing him to cry out in pan and loosened his grip on her. Claire then kicked backward, managing to hit Blade in his unmentionables. It loosened his hold on her even further and allowed her to escape. Blade was trying to get his bearings but the pain was too great. "Shit... twice in one day... now I am really..."
Anything more he could have said was cut short by Steven rushing him hard and beating the hell out of him. "YOU! ARE! DONE! OVER! AND! FINISHED!" each one of his words were followed by a knee blow to the stomach and then letting out a scream Steven landed a straight punch at Blade knocking him out and causing some of his teeth to fall out. Looking back at the fallen gang members he saw that Claire was already getting some rope to tie them up and Willie had come out with a shotgun. Steven blinked at that, "I never knew you had a shotgun."
"Haven't felt the need to pick the damn thing up in years until now." Willie replied as he kept the gun trained on the punks while Claire finished tying them up.
"That's all of them except sleeping ugly, " Claire pointed to the unconscious Blade when she said that, "I'll call the police on my cell and have them take these guys into custody." She flashed a grin at Steven. "Nice to see you again Stevie."
Steven sighed as he scratched the back of his head. "Please don't call me that Claire. You know I hate that nickname."
"So what's up with you though? I mean what brings you to our part of California?" Claire asked.
"Need a place to crash at for the next few days. I've got some long term business to take care of in Turtle Cove." Steven replied with a smile on his face, "Got a vacancy?"
Kelly looked over the mountain range of Animarium as she saw the clouds hover over the trees and mountains. She thought about all that had transpired during her captivity, and yet somehow she felt that she and her friends had not seen all that Master Org, the Rani and Xizor had to offer yet. There was the mention of other partners, which meant that Master Org probably had more backing than just the Rani and Xizor.
She felt the worst was yet to come, and she wondered how she would deal with it.
She heard a rustle in the brush and Shayla, Jeremy, Curtis, Sylvia and Willy were standing behind her. "Kelly, we're going to have dinner soon. You want to come with us?" Kelly didn't reply. She just continued to stare out across the mountain range.
"We'll try to keep some warm for you. If you want something Willy can help fix it." Sylvia said. "He's going to be up for a while looking over that head." The five turned around to leave when Kelly then spoke up.
"He was going to rape me!" Kelly said softly. "And I was ready to let him!"
The mouths of Shayla and Kelly's friends were wide open as they heard Kelly make this admission. Kelly then turned and looked at her friends. "What happened to me? What caused me to be so into Xizor's power?"
"From what I can remember about Xizor's people." Shayla explained as she tried to remember what she knew about Shayla's species. "It's natural for the male of the species to produce a pheromone that compels females of any species to fall prey to them. This pheromone builds the desires within the person they are looking to seduce and have their way with. To my knowledge, no one had never broken free of the pheromone's control before."
"I almost didn't." Kelly said. "When he first used it on me I couldn't control myself. I was ready to let Xizor do to me what every football jock wanted to do to me ever since high school."
"Xizor is very practiced at using his pheromone from what I hear." Shayla explained. "He has used it expertly to get women for his own uses, and then turns them over to the slave trades when he's done with them. Hollow shells of the proud women they once were." Kelly nodded as she looked out at the scenery of Animarium and asked "Xizor said that love was an illusion. That only desire is the true feeling of humanity."
Shayla shook her head. "I don't believe that. We need love. It keeps us alive. It gives us something to shoot for. I don't believe love is an illusion."
"But if love comes, will I know it when I see it?" Kelly asked. "Or will I confuse it with the desire that Xizor brought out in me?" Shayla didn't have an answer. Only Kelly could answer that, and the look on Shayla's face told Kelly the exact same thing.
"I'll leave you alone if you wish me to." Shayla said as Kelly nodded. Shayla then turned and left as her friends also offered their support. "We're here if you need us." Jeremy said.
"You can get through this." Curtis said offering reassurance.
"I know the effects of that pheromone." Sylvia added. "It was hard to fight."
"We'll help any way we can." Willy then said. Kelly looked at her four friends and said "Thanks guys. But please give me a minute okay?"
The four rangers then nodded and turned to leave. They believed she would come to them when she was good and ready. Kelly was then left looking out at the scenery, not sure she could trust her own feelings anymore. As she thought about all that had happened and the support her friends offered Kelly realized one thing.
Kelly Hart had a new battle to face from this day on. A battle with her heart.
She hoped she could one day win it.
On the walk back Sylvia and Willy were walking together. "Willy can I talk to you for a minute? She asked. Willy nodded and let Sylvia say her peace.
"How long have we known each other?" Sylvia asked. Willy answered "Going on ten years."
"In those ten years, did you ever... feel anything for me?" Willy seemed taken back by Sylvia's question as if he wasn't sure how to answer it. "What do you mean 'feel anything for you. '"
"Well we've been friends for so long, I just wondered if you thought... you know..." Sylvia broke off letting Willy to get the message. Willy found himself just as tongue tied as Sylvia as he tried to find the words.
"W.. wh... why do you ask?" Willy said. Mentally he cursed himself. ~ Smooth Corbett. Why couldn't you have had your brothers' way with girls instead of the brains of the family?~ Sylvia answered his question.
"Well. When Xizor used his thing on me. I thought of you. And I wondered, since we spend so much time together, that..." Finally Sylvia and Willy just thought ~ To hell with it. ~ and asked at the same time "Do you want to go out or don't you?" After taking a second both Rangers answered in unison "Sure I'd love to."
"Pick you up at seven?" Willy asked.
"Sure, there's a new restaurant opening." Sylvia said. Willy and Sylvia then walked to the Animarium together as a new romance seemed to blossom.
Silently Sylvia hoped the same thing would happen to Kelly soon. Then she could show Xizor that love was not an illusion.
Back at Arcadia Hazzard contemplated all that had transpired. Xizor had been discovered, as has Rani, to be allies of Master Org. Xizor also lost the head of his robotic aide. Currently the body of her was onboard Xizor's ship waiting until the head could be reattached. How he would pull it off Xizor wasn't sure.
So far Hazzard's identity remained a mystery to the Rangers. They did not know of him yet, although he did wonder how long that would last, seeing as how Guri probably had a video record of him in her memory records. Xizor had assured everyone that Guri's information was encrypted, and that it would take a good long time for all the data to be deciphered. 3 to 4 months was Xizor's estimate due to the Rangers' infamiliarity with her systems, and longer to comprehend her data.
Still Hazzard wasn't sure he wanted to wait that long. He wanted the remaining Wild Zords captured. So to that end Hazzard prepared his own plan.
All he would need was the right time to implement it.
Meanwhile, Eric Meyers was looking for Steven. Right now he was sitting outside of a hotel, debating if he should just stay the night there or go up to the Animarium for room and board while he was here, or pull an all nighter to look for Merrickson.
His cell phone ringing interrupted his thoughts however. "What now?" he muttered as he answered it, "Meyers."
"What the hell are you doing little brother?"
"Sis?" Eric blinked, "What's with you?"
"I thought I would just check up on my baby brother at work, only I get in touch with Wes, who tells me you've decided to take personal leave to go into Turtle Cove for an undefined amount of time." Eric's sister responded, "I just happened to got a hold of a very graphic tape of what is going on with these Orgs. From what I see, they make the Mutants you were fighting last year look like chicken littles."
"They weren't the last time I was here." Eric responded.
"Yes you told me about how that was a special case but Eric, don't you think things are going to hell down there?" she asked.
"Which is why I am here!" Eric snapped, "Look sis! A lot of things are happening down in Turtle Cove that are going to affect not just the present but the future and if I don't find out what is, then we could end up with something even worse than September 11!"
Nina paused a little before answering. "... you always were the more stubborn one of the two of us, " she said with a light chuckle in her voice. "I know I am not going to win this one, so at least I can do is tell you to be careful."
"I always am." Eric returned.
A laugh came on the other end, "Yeah and I'm Martha Stewart." A pause came in the line before she spoke again, "If you are looking for Merrickson, which I am certain you are, you can go to Willie's Roadhouse. It's right on the edge of the city. Only real business within half mile."
"Thanks Nina." Eric answered as he hung up the cell and started to drive.
At her desk at CTU LA, Nina Meyers put her phone back on the hook and laid back in her chair. ~ Just had to be like mom didn't you little brother?~ she asked herself. Growing up, the oldest of two children, life was hard for both her and Eric. Their father left them before she was fourteen, their mother died shortly during the time she was in college. All they had left in this world was each other. She helped put Eric through to an expensive school, though he had gotten a bit of a scholarship there to help out, to give him a good education. However it just wasn't a right fit for him.
Then again, it wasn't totally wasted and her brother did learn something from it all. When he got out of college, Nina tried to recruit him into CTU, but Eric decided not to just then. He wanted to gain something on his own without his big sister helping him achieve it. It was one of the main reasons why he ended up joining the Silver Guardians. ~And now a year later instead of just being a common member, he's now co-leading the group and he's the Quantum Ranger. ~ Nina mused on that little fact. The pencil pushers and bureaucrats that ran things in the government, really didn't buy into the Rangers, hence why Chappelle didn't want anyone going into the Freak Zone for long-term time.
And she didn't like the fact that her only family was now going to be in a fight that could end his life and he didn't need to be involved. ~Well you are good at lying to yourself Nina. Is it really that... or just is it really just because you find it kind of creepy that your brother is in love with the niece of your boss... who you just happen to be having an affair with, though technically it is not an affair since Jack and Teri are separated. ~ She shook her head, wondering how it was possibly one big cosmic joke in which both Meyers siblings could be having feelings for the same family.
Still, there were things within her that were screwing up what those feelings are. The relationship between boss and employee, as well as her own brother and how his feelings were to the boss's niece. ~If there is a willing god out there, then I hope that you will end this insanity real soon or at least give Eric what he wants so he can get the hell out of there. ~ Nina prayed to herself as she decided it was time to get back to work.
Though it didn't stop her from hoping that her brother would be all right, no matter what.
It was night now at the Animarium and the Primal Force were sleeping. Princess Shayla decided to go on a walk through the forest. Just wanting to be alone... and try not to think of the past, or rather a certain person.
She thought of Merrick, fighting Master Org, being consumed by Zen-Aku's power, and being destroyed by it. It brought tears to her eyes and she felt her legs give out as she fell to the ground as the tears and grief finally gave way. She cried her heart out and didn't stop for a long time.
She stopped crying when she heard the howl of a wolf. She turned around and saw one she never though to see. "Wolfzord! You're here!" she exclaimed. "How did this... who is it that has your crystal? We have to know." To her surprise, Wolfzord shook his head. "No... but why? Why won't you tell me?"
Wolfzord let out a howl to answer her question, one that made Shayla even more confused, "Because you don't want me to be hurt if it's true? What do you mean?"
Wolfzord let out another howl before leaving her and it only furthered Shayla's confusion. ~ 'You will know... when I am certain of it all... ' What does he mean by that?~ Sighing, the Princess realized she would not have an answer to her question this night. For now, she felt content. She had seen a friend be healed and her charges had a new ally. She felt she could rest now and she knew that she should.
For if tomorrow were to be anything like today, she would need her strength.
Not far from the Roadhouse Steven took a bit of a walk as he familiarized himself with the lay of the land. Not far away he saw the Wolfzord standing. "Wondering when you'd show up." Steven said. Wolfzord gave a low growl and motioned his head in a way saying that there was someone behind him.
"So he is yours,"
Steven turned around and Wolfzord growled from his place as Eric Meyers came out from the shadows and trees of the forest. Steven looked at Wolfzord and as if reading his thoughts settled down. Looking at Eric he replied, "He's not mine. Not a pet or property. He's a friend."
"He's also a bit conspicuous given his size, though in the night you really can't see him, " Eric stated.
"What are you doing here?" Steven asked.
"Looking for you." Eric told him as he tossed to Steven a small metal case. "Open it." Steven did that and inside he saw a weapon that looked just like Eric's Quantum Defender only blue and silver and without the design of any dinosaur head. "When Bio-Lab was doing work on researching my powers, they managed to get significant work done on duplicating my Quantum Defender. It's not as powerful as the real thing or has a blade mode, but is by far stronger than any handgun or the energy guns the Silver Guardians have."
Steven looked at the weapon for a bit before looking back at Eric, "Why are you giving me this?"
"Because you and I both have different reasons for being here than the Primal Force do." Eric told him, "Right now they are more concerned on battling and stopping the Orgs. I am not saying I'm not going to do that... but I have to find out what they did to Taylor and the others. You are the only one of everyone here fighting those monsters that has a goal similar to mine."
"I am here to do what I can to help and finish the job I started, " Steven replied.
"Then I guess we would be better off not fighting each other and working with each other."
"From what I hear Taylor's dead." Steven said. "The only thing I can think of doing is making sure the Orgs are defeated."
"She may not be." Eric said. "But one way or another I'll find out the truth." Steven nodded at that admission.
"You in?" Eric asked.
"Yeah... I'm in." Steven said as he took Eric's outstretched hand.