This story is currently undergoing editing. Changes might be made to this story over time. Disclaimer:The Power Rangers are the property of Saban Brands and I lay no claim to them. The Pegasus is part of the series Battlestar Galactica owned by Universal Studios. Cassidy Bridges is part of the series Nash Bridges owned by Carlton Cuse Production. This story is based on an original idea from Shadow Ranger from an earlier COE version.
By The Q Team
By The Q Team
Once a beautiful water world boasting an underwater civilization that was beyond peer to anything among the council worlds. In some cases Aquitar was considered a power among council worlds much like Inquirus had been until its conquest by the UAE.
Now Aquitar had met the same fate as Inquirus: conquered by the UAE during the rise of Minion.
No longer was it boasting of an underwater civilization. Most of the underwater cities were destroyed in the initial attack. Those that didn't now rested on the newly unveiled undersea ground, vacant. Mere ghost towns. In the attacks many in the cities had died, many were presumed dead, and those that were alive wondered if perhaps the dead weren't the lucky ones as most of them were taken by special ships waiting for them....to be taken for slave processing.
Most of Aquitar's water was gone. Slavery had become Aquitar's new stock in trade, with the water being used as a lifeline to the captives. The very water that had been part of Aquitar's beauty and culture symbol had been holed up in storage tanks rationed to the survivors who now worked in slave labor camps. The captive slaves however believed that 'Rationed' was deemed too generous a term, as they had been given just enough to survive. Brief hydrations to achieve the bare minimums of sustenance and nothing more. The slaves now performed the most menial and demanding tasks the new rulers demanded of them. Especially those working in the newly built 'mines'.
The term 'mines' however could have been considered too generous a term, especially if they saw how resources were being 'mined'. The old Aquatian regime did their planetary mining via safe and environmentally friendly methods to preserve the natural beauty of the planet. But with the water now holed up in storage tanks a new form of mining was introduced. One outlawed on Aquitar for centuries, Strip mining.
Strip mining was considered a form of mining that destroyed more than it gave in terms of benefits. However there were space bound businesses that used the method of mining due to cheaper pricing. Any environmental damage caused was deemed 'someone else's problem. Usually it was 'bleeding heart environmentalists' on whatever planet that was mined that was left with the mess. A mess that was extremely hard to clean up in many cases.
The justification for the strip mining was so that the new rulers could extract newer resources from the planet. Resources that couldn't be reached due to trying to preserve the watery landscape.
However only MOST of the citizens of Aquitar were slaves to the new regime. Not all. There were other Aquitians spared from the whip of slavery. These Aquitians seemed to be charged with mysterious duties. Duties appointed to them by the new ruling body of Aquitar.
A ruling body that hid behind its hideous enforcers.
If an Aquatian looked around they would see many Aquitians with cybernetic enhancements, and dead vacant eyes. These Aquitians were walking dead obeying only the ruling body or the guard commanders at the new slave centers that were constructed.
Atop the guard tower stood the commandant of Slave Camp 1. One of five on Aquitar. It was this Commandant's duty to ensure that the mining went along smoothly as the ruling council did its own buisness to ensure what they believed was the well-being of Aquitar.
The well-being meaning the preservation of their own interests. And the slaves knew this.
Below a young Aquatian boy looked up taking a second off the work he was doing to look up at the Commandant. A female Aquatian wearing an all-black uniform. The young Aquatian looked at the commandant not with hatred, but with sorrow. As if he had known her from before and now could only see how far she had fallen.
The Commandant saw the young Aquatian and the two seemed to lock eyes. As they locked their gazes a human saying appeared in the mind of the Commandant of how 'the eyes were the windows to the soul'. The Commandant looked in the Aquatian boy's eyes and saw the desolation and sorrow in him that seemed to reflect the current Aquatian landscape. But there was something else in the soul of the boy as well. A spark.
The Commandant knew this spark well. It was the spark of hope.
A spark she knew had to be extinguished. Hope could not be permitted in any of the slaves.
The Commandant then gave a signal to the cybernetic guards standing nearby. In a split second they quickly rushed the boy and held him up for all to see. The Commandant then spoke and said "Look at this child. A child who had dared to hope." Looking at all the slaves the Commandant then added "Hope is something none of you dare do." And with a wave of her hand the cybernetic guards took the boy off to what passed as 'solitary confinement'. Solitary Confinement being more of a chamber of horrors than anything. It had been said that once a prisoner went in they would have been lucky to remain dead. But now even that wasn't enough.
Some prisoners that went in would come back later as new guards with Cybernetic implants. Part of the new guard.
The young Aquatian was carried off. A friend that stood by him ran to the Cybernetic squad manhandling his friend. The friend sought to stop them, but was beaten back, with bruises to prove it. As the boy was being carried off the other slave that was the boy's friend looked up at the Commandant and asked "WHY?" as tears fell down his face.
The Commandant stared at the boy for a second and gave no answer. She merely turned on her heel and walked back into her tower office where a communique was coming in. "Yes."
"Commandant one. How goes progress?" the voice said on the other end.
"Mining operations reaching optimum productivity." the Commandant said in a deadpan voice reflecting no emotion.
"Increase productivity." the voice on the other end said. "Cut rations if you have to but get them working more." The Commandant nodded without hesitation as the voice then said "Also report to loading bay to receive transports."
"At once." the Commandant said as she then signed off. She then sent a signal to her cybernetic guards ordering the rations to be cut unless productivity was increased. The guards sent a signal indicating the instructions were received and would be obeyed.
The Commandant then became lost in thought. Thoughts of the past and a past life. A life of heroism and honor. _That life is over now._ she thought as she looked in a mirror and saw her reflection. Seeing who she was now compared to who she was then.
Once she would have defied the orders given to her by the ruling body. Now she knew better.
Aquatica City-Central Complex of Slave Camp 1
Once the beautiful underwater capital of Aquitar. Its buildings lit up like a beacon of light amidst a sea of darkness.
Now it stood like an imposing monolith to its people. With all the water around the city drained people could see it as its new conquerors sought it to be. A dark structure looming over the population. Casting a shadow of fear instead of being a beacon of hope.
And in the capital spire the Ruling Council sat. Dominating Aquitar with an iron will. All parties in the chamber held an interest in the planet for their own gain. Raping the world and its people for what was perceived to be its greatest treasure.
The water of the Eternal Falls.
It had been said that the water had mystical healing properties. That it could reverse aging, hold back sickness, or any miracle one could imagine. It had been sought by several beings and races. Yet only two of the 'interested parties' had immediate access thanks to Aquitar's immediate rulers. Two were mutants that worked for Rita Repulsa, yet their inner beings were finally freed due to the rise of Minion. And rulership of Aquitar was their reward for the darkness they sought to bring.
But even they could not have conquered and ruled Aquitar alone. They had help. Someone with her own agenda. A mysterious figure perched on a high seat of command. Obscured by shadows yet seeing everything on the planet and beyond. Yet despite this ruler's insight it was decided that the three of them could not rule this world alone. More help was needed.
Help provided by the criminal underworld.
The three considered, and had made contact, with Prince Xizor of the Black Sun organization. However another group contacted the ruling dark triumvirate and had indicated that they too were interested in Aquitar, it's benefits, and the rewards for reaping them. They sought to compete with Black Sun, possibly even to drive the Prince out of business. But they needed a major asset in order to bring themselves to a level of major players. An alliance with the Dark Triumvirate was believed to supply the new group that asset, as it would have access to the Aquatian resources.
This organization was simply called 'the Organization'. It was the only name known. It was the only thing anyone was allowed to know. They were a shadowy group that operated in secret. They also believed in the old adage of 'leaving no traces and leaving no witnesses' when a job was done, or when a job got botched. Which left a case very hard to prove if one went to the authorities.
The secretive, and lethal, approach the Organization took appealed to Squatt, Baboo and their mystery ally. In the end they decided to go with the Organization, a decision Xizor did not take well and vowed the triumvirate would come to regret. The Dark Triumvirate disagreed as Xizor had some UAE ties, while it was not known if the Organization did or not. Since no mention of them was made around UAE circles they figured they had no UAE connections. The mystery member of the triumvirate believed having a power base outside the UAE could benefit the others, especially if they wanted to move against the UAE themselves one day. Granted neither Squatt, Baboo or the mystery ruler were in a position to make such a move at the current time, but it helped to have options.
Their only price, 25% of the profits to the Eternal Falls water. The water that made Aquitar the most sought after planet in the known universe. The water that healed Billy Cranston from his rapid aging. And it was that water that would help the Triumverate and the Organization consolidate power.
As well as one other group.
They had arrived by way of a ship. A ship that seemed to be alone, not part of a fleet. But still even one ship full of these creatures caused fear in the most civilized of societies. Still, there was potential in using the creatures.
The creatures seemed to be time lost. Refugees from a distant future, cut off from their main force. When they arrived on Aquitar they could have killed everyone, but an agreement was struck. They needed resources to rebuild their forces, and Squatt, Baboo and the mystery ruler needed enforcers to carry out their will. And they knew of no better forces than the creatures before them. Encased on metal shells, but bringing death and destruction wherever they went. The organization and the Dark Triumverate knew these creatures well. For they were the stuff of dark legend.
They who were the other group on the ruling council were the creatures known as the Daleks.
The new rulers of Aquitar longed to let the universe know of their second ally, and the fear that the Daleks would bring. Fear they would help create. But now was not that time. The time however would come soon. And like the Organization they too had a use for the Eternal Falls water.
In the central tower all the members of the ruling body turned to the viewer as the female Guard Commander of Camp 1 appeared on screen. "REPORT!" the Black Dalek said.
"Transports are arriving. The slave forces are meeting the scheduled quota." the commander said.
"Great." Squatt said still keeping a sense of childhood glee in his voice. "Make sure none of them slack off. Hard workers make happy rulers you know."
"Of course." the Guard Commander said signing off on the transmission. The Organization representative Mature then came forward. She stood with a grace and build of a warrior, yet seemed to have some secrets about her. And she did.
Among those secrets was a power she had possessed. A power that was shared with two other families. She carried the title of Hakkushu about her yet she seemed to be the only one remaining of her family line. This power allowed her to come under the notice of the Organization, and it's leader. The being known as Lord Malice.
Malice seemed to carry the bearing of a being of power and seemed to live a long life. But that life was only temporarily, which led to him seeking the power of the Eternal Falls on Aquitar. Malice was not about to let anyone stand in his way of attaining Aquitar, not even Black Sun. To that end Malice had Mature sabotage many of Black Sun's operations so they could not move in on Aquitar. With Black Sun seriously weakened Malice brought in the Organization and cemented his claim.
Having proven herself Mature was made Malice's second, and dealt with matter's in Mature's stead. Along with her partner Vice. Both made a formidable team, just as their true mistress had commanded.
Vice was another female warrior that was partnered with Mature. Unlike Mature however she did not have a special power at her command. Instead Vice relied on warrior skill and her own 'well-endowed physical attributes' honed through years of upbringing and training. Vice was a skilled warrior, yet also wore next to nothing leaving very little to imagination. However she did keep weapons on her. Two swords across her back, along with a series of daggers and darts across her belt, and chest straps. Vice was a woman of deadly skill and knew how to use it well.
Like Mature Vice learned to be observant to those around her as she also looked around the command center and saw what was taking place. "I think it's going rather well don't you?" Mature said to Vice but it was Baboo who answered.
"If you say so." Baboo had said. "It was nice of Rita and Zedd to let us have Aquitar when Minion made his big push."
Mature chuckled to herself as she thought of Rita and Zedd. "The greatest treasure under their nose. And they were so obsessed with the Rangers they didn't even think of securing it."
"THE ETERNAL FALLS WATER HAS PROVEN TO BE AN ASSET!" the Black Dalek said. "THE DALEKS ARE BEING REBUILT INTO A POWER TO CHALLENGE THOSE WHO WOULD OPPOSE DALEK SUPREMACY! SOON WE SHALL BE AT A LEVEL OF POWER WHERE WE MOVE AGAINST OTHER WORLDS! EXTERMINATE THE NATIVE POPULATIONS! DESTROY ALL THOSE THAT WOULD SEEK TO OPPOSE US!!!"
"Patience." the mystery ruler said as if trying to calm the Dalek. The ruler stayed obscured by darkness obscured by the shadows. "There could still be those to challenge us."
"Challenge us?" Vice said surprised as she stood mentally preparing for battle if one was coming. "Who could challenge us?"
"You would be surprised" the mystery member scanned space with her mind. Two presences were there that should not have been. As she probed further she found they belonged to recon craft of some kind.
"We are not alone." the mysterious ruler of Aquitar had said. And she smiled to herself as she thought that the two craft could only lead to the coming presence of another. Another she was hoping would come.
That other was aboard the mother craft of two small fighter craft that was making as many circles around the planet as they could get away with. Circles that were reconnaissance runs looking to get as much information about Aquitar before the attack to liberate the planet.
These ships made flybys around the planet taking as many pictures as they could. They sought to gain all the information they could gather as the knowledge they would gain would help free the planet from evil's grasp, yet all the while the two pilots found themselves wishing they had their weapons mounted instead of cameras as they expected Aquitar to start firing on them at a moment's notice.
"Why is it that whenever someone needs to add something to these ships they have to remove the laser generator?' the first pilot, a Kerovan known as Arno, asked. The second pilot, a Zybrian known as Zran, agreed and added "I know. First it was the added boosters for thrust, and now its camera equipment for recon. Don't they know that every time they take out the laser generators we're unarmed?"
"Let me tell you what I wouldn't give to be armed right now." Arno said as he viewed some of the material he saw being taken. For the most part they had seen a lot of ships coming in and out of Aquitar. Cargo ships mostly.
"What are they carrying?" Zran wondered as he saw all the ships coming and going. A lot of thoughts went through his mind. "Are they guns? Maybe slaves?"
"Can't be slaves." Arno said. "The council would have sent more ships than just us and the Pegasus."
"Maybe." Zran said. "Nowadays, there's no way to be sure what the council will do. The only reason why we're here is because the Rangers of Earth owe them a favor, and Sygnus of Triforia arranged us to back them up."
"You're not one of those that consider Earth a 'primitive backwater' are you?" Arno asked. There was a lot of talk about Earth among the worlds of the council. A lot of it was far from flattering. People were wondering why so much attention was being given to it when there were other worlds in greater peril from the attacks of the UAE. And if Earth had been lost, well so what? It's not like other worlds didn't fall to the UAE. Some of them deemed 'more important' to the council than a world full of primitives.
"No." Zran said as soon as Arno asked the question. "They seem to be earning their blood stripes, despite not being technologically advanced." Arno heard Zran's answer and agreed with what Arno said. "It does seem that what these Earth humans lack in technology and magic skill they seem to make up in spirit."
"But what's on those cargo ships?" Zran asked as he saw the barren surface of Aquitar. Once blue, now dull yellow due to the lack of water that was now stored in the old storage tanks Hydro Hog used to keep the water in before. "What does Aquitar have to offer? Except as a notch in the UAE's conquest belt?"
"I don't know." Arno had said. But what the outgoing cargo ships were transporting must have been important as the passing fighters picked up the fighter craft and weaponry that have appeared on Aquitar making the planet look more like an armed camp. "There has to be something though with all the ships coming in and leaving."
Arno saw all the ships landed and hoped none of them launched right away. They were using the cargo ships for cover as they ran their scans and took their pictures. Both Arno and Zran knew that if one of the fighters on Aquitar came their way the two fighters had no way of fighting back. All they could do was run. Both pilots counted their blessings that no one came after their Viper craft.
They continued to take their pictures until Zran said "We've just finished our final orbit. Let's get back."
"You speak the wisdom of the Morphin Masters." Arno said as the two Viper craft hit their turbos and escaped the planet making their way back to their mother ship, the Battlestar Pegasus. None of the ships on the planet seemed to notice the Vipers leaving. And if there were any defenses that detected the two ships they seemed to not be triggered, which relieved the fleeing pilots. They didn't want to get into a battle with ships while they were unarmed.
When their massive base ship came into view both pilots were amazed by the massive size of the vessel. It was remanded to the IGPF but there was seldom a use for it as it was primarily used as a warship. And the IGPF seldom was sent into warzones, at least military designated warzones. Still, with the weapons on the ship, just the appearance of the ship quelled serious riots before they even had the chance to start. No one wanted to be on the receiving ends of the Pegasus's weaponry.
But the scans Arno and Zran obtained made the pilots think when weaponry on Aquitar could have been more than a match for the Pegasus's weaponry. The pilots knew they needed to talk to Commander Kinwon and the Ranger leaders. Retaking Aquitar DEFINITELY would not be easy.
Once they received their landing clearances the two pilots landed on the Pegasus starboard landing bay. Immediately they were greeted by the ship Commander Kinwon and the Rangers in command consisting of Tommy, Jason, Skull, Andros and Tyler. The pilots took notice of the Pegasus Commander and the four Ranger leaders by his side.
As the pilots looked at the five Rangers they didn't seem like much, just regular humans they saw on many different worlds. But their teams had made quite the name for themselves in the council circles due to their exploits on Earth, a planet that wasn't supposed to have exploits due to its cultural and technological standing, yet people still couldn't stop talking about the little blue planet that was baffling what had been considered the worst villains in the UAE. They had also survived tortures and humiliations from the worst of villains and still lived to tell the tales.
The pilots took notice of Andros's uniform as an Astro Ranger then took notice of the similar uniforms the Earth Rangers were wearing. Even though the symbols on the jackets were different the pilots saw the signature color that reflected their Ranger status. Arno and Zran saluted the Ranger leaders and Kinwon glad the pilots had returned.
"What have you found out?" Kinwon asked.
"There is much we need to discuss." Arno said. "And a lot of it is not good." Zran added.
"How bad is it?" Tommy asked. Arno couldn't find the words to express what he had seen, all he could let out was a heavy sigh. Tommy got the message.
"We'd better adjourn somewhere more secure." Kinwon had said. All the Ranger leaders nodded, and wasted no time as they, the two recon pilots and the Battlestar commander all left the landing bay.
On board the Pegasus was a room that may have been at one time a Council Chamber. A chamber where the design indicated a meeting room of sorts where officials and/or military leaders met and planned out important events or campaigns that were due to happen.
Inside the room was a circular table surrounded by 12 chairs, with one seeming to reflect a position of authority, or importance. This chair was assumed to be one for a political, or military, leader. Upon entry to the chamber Kinwon took the main chair with everyone sitting around to discuss the next action to be taken. "Everyone take a seat please." Kinwon had said. The Rangers and two pilots all did so sitting around the table keeping everyone in view as they made their plans.
As the Rangers and pilots all sat Andros took notice of the rest of the room. Curtains adorned a window showing a star scape in view. Also off to the side was a star map that had the entire Aquitar quadrant mapped out. Planetary bodies, outposts, asteroid belts, anything and everything to know about Aquitar was on this map, which was to help in planning out the liberation operation.
"We have scans of the route the recon pilots too." Kinwon said as the images appeared on the map screen. At first it was computer images indicating the flight path the pilots took. Then the images switched to live images. Among them were views of the storage tank HydroHog used to steal Aquitar's water during his campaign on the planet. Also present were defense fortifications, prison grounds, slave complexes where people were being put to grueling work conditions for reasons unknown. Also there was what seemed to be a new cybernetic warrior patrolling the prison grounds and other areas of the planet.
Aquitar now seemed to be little more than an armed camp reminiscent of the concentration camps in Germany during World War II. Guards patrolling outer limits, guard towers with armed soldiers standing watch, and weapons everywhere. Some of them were the cybernetic guards that were Aquitians at one time. The others were a masked group of soldier that didn't have any enhancements, but seemed to belong to another group that had conquered Aquitar.
Everyone wondered who all had conquered Aquitar, and who all was in charge. The Ranger leaders and Kinwon did not know those answers but they saw the legacy of their evil reign. Most notably where the water that had been the jewel of Aquitar was gone exposing the hard ground beneath and the cities that once floated on water now moored on the exposed ground.
Andros felt his heart fill with sorrow as he remembered a previous visit on Aquitar. The beauty of the world now apparently stripped from it. Jason and Tommy felt that sorrow as they remembered the images they saw. Images that no longer resembled the world they knew.
Skull had never seen Aquitar but he saw places that were desolate and barren. He remembered trips out to the desert and remembered how dead the land seemed. Aquitar looked to be like no desert he had ever seen. If anything, it looked worse.
Nothing seemed to remain of the Aquitar of old. Once considered to be a beautiful world, it was perverted into a new Aquitar where it seemed that fear ruled and the peace that was kept was the peace of the gun.
"The resolution is as clear as possible on many of the pictures. So we have recognizable images." Jason said trying to keep his composure. He felt like he wanted to cry, or shout in anger at what was done to the planet. But he needed to keep his cool. This was a time when cooler heads needed to prevail. "Thank you for these." Jason said as he nodded to the two pilots grateful for their efforts. When the pilots left everyone turned their attention back to the photos
"How's Billy taking this?" Tommy asked concerned for the Blue Morphin Ranger. "Seeing Aquitar like this."
"He's not seen the pictures, but I think he already knew what happened." Jason said as he looked at the images with a mix of sadness and rage everyone shared. "He's anxious. He really wants to get down there and get the monsters off the planet. Probably more than the rest of us, due to him having lived there for a while."
"So the sooner we free this planet the happier a lot of people will be." Andros said in a direct way. Everyone agreed as Kinwon then said "I take it you gentlemen have ideas?"
"Based on what we can see." Andros said looking at the image on screen. "This looks like a Prison camp with 5 different hubs that act independently. If one goes down the others pick up the slack. Which means we would need to hit all four at one time."
"Sadly they'll see us coming." Tyler added. "Aquaitian telepathy, if they have enough Aquitians, can serve as eyes and ears for any they consider hostile."
"Which means we need to do an attack that looks like an attack, but isn't an attack, yet IS an attack." Skull added. The line got him a few glances as the others were surprised Skull had said such a line, especially one that was correct.
"That sounds about right Skull." Tommy had said as he noted that Skull had clearly grown up quite a bit as White Zeo Ranger, and leader of Zeo Team II Skull nodded at Tommy's compliment as he then said "But we have an idea in mind right?"
Jason nodded as he said the plan that was in play. "We'll use the Sky Megazord to launch a series of drops while making it look like an attack from above. In the meantime we drop a Ranger team outside the hubs allowing them to sneak in and destroy them."
"And once that's done we can storm the stronghold of the new rulers, capture them to face justice and Aquitar is freed." Tommy added. Taking a breath he then added"We make it sound so simple. Like it's going to be so easy."
"It won't be. We all know that." Tyler said. He could tell Tommy felt unease about the simple sounding of the plan. Everyone knew the execution of the plan would be nothing simple. There would be hell to be paid. Not just with Squatt, Baboo and their allies, but on the Rangers as well. They would just make sure the conquerors of Aquitar paid a heavier price than the Rangers would. "There will be some resistance, and we are hoping to have luck on our side."
"But we'll pull through. We have to." Jason then said. It was then that Kinwon took a look at the planned proposal. Looking at the intel he figured the plan laid out was the best response to freeing Aquitar. They were going to get no help from the council. All they had was the Pegasus and the Ranger teams, not to mention a very slim chance to retake a planet that was considered to be a valuable ally not only to worlds in the council but to the teams of Rangers themselves. They had to help any way they could. "It is acceptable." Kinwon said. "We'll hold back the Pegasus and await your signal."
"Good."Jason said. "Right now I think we could use some rack time." No one disagreed with that recommendation. At least no one in the room.
Outside the room someone else was watching, and recording the plans the Ranger leaders were making. Once the recording was completed the person recording would make sure the recording was transmitted to those who needed to see it.
Pegasus Celestial Dome
Despite the massive size and firepower the Pegasus had, the massive Battlestar was also an ancient ship. While its age was never fully calculated in council terms it was believed to be well over 700 Earth years. Also despite the work done by the council on restoring, and exploring, the ship there were still some secrets and aspects that remained unexplored.
One of these aspects was a Celestial Dome located just above the main thrusters. One of the last ones on the ship. It had originally been used by startographers to calculate star positions for the navigation computer so locations could be determined. With the advancement of the computer systems many of the domes were taken down over the years, or Yahrens, as the creators of the Battlestar were rumored to measure time.
However one dome still remained. It's communication equipment functioning and operating on old and outdated frequencies the council did not use anymore. Frequencies the ships communications bunker would not be detecting. Especially if it was masked by a passing Earth video transmission. And that was the plan one on the Pegasus had. To send a message to Aquitar.
But first they would wait. Wait until everyone on ship had slept. The Power Rangers charged with liberating the planet were all asleep preparing for the big day tomorrow. Soon everyone was asleep. except for the night relief crew. That was the person's cue to move.
Sticking to the shadows and the nearly deserted corridors the person made their way to where the Celestial Dome was located. The person had been briefed that they would need ear phones as the roar of the thrusters was deafening, and found the information to be right as when they approached the thruster corridors the roar was incredibly loud. But as they went through they found the hatchway and ladder leading up to the Celestial Dome.
After climbing the ladder and opening the hatch the person snuck into the forgotten Celestial Dome and closed the hatch. Looking around the person didn't see much about the chamber. It looked like an enclosed room with a terminal and a chair in the center. Taking the chair the person looked at the controls and tried to activate the communications equipment that was set to old, and outdated Gamma frequencies. The person pressed one button and received a surprise.
The walls fell away exposing the person to the infinite dark of space. For a moment the person was amazed, seeing space all around them. The person thought it was like riding in the hand of God. After a few seconds of amazement the person resumed work on the console trying to locate the communicator. Once they found it the person then located and activated the communications frequencies to secretly transmit to the planet below. By this person's side was a crystal data port used to transmit information to the receiver in question.
The receiver however was on planet, and the video monitor had shown who was on the other end-Squatt and Baboo. Their signal hidden in a passing Earth broadcast from a 1960's. A fourth part of an adventure called 'The Tenth Planet'. The operator in the dome was lucky the episode transmission had not been burned up in a solar storm or sunspot. After opening the Gamma communications link an image appeared. An image of two of Aquitar's new rulers.
Rita Repulsa's former minions Squatt and Baboo. "We are receiving you. Do you have the information?" Baboo asked.
The operative typed in a series of commands on the computer terminal before them and then inserted a disk in the drive transmitting information. A transmission bar appeared on the screen indicating the data being transmitted. After a few minutes the screen then sent a 'data sent' message indicating that the briefing was sent. Squatt grabbed the data crystal from the receiving port on his end and laughed. "Ha ha! Those power pukes won't know what hit them!" Walking away Baboo was left to close the transmission.
"You've done well. Be ready." Baboo said. The figure nodded as Baboo ceased the transmission and the operative closed and left the dome. For a moment they looked at the steel walls sealing off the darkness of space enclosing them in the structure. The operative then felt comforted by the closed walls as they themselves had closed off any feelings they may have had about what they were going to do.
And what the soon to be traitor was going to do was seal the Rangers' fate. Just as the walls and hatch of the Celestial Dome was sealed as the operative left.
Pegasus Bridge. Communications Bunker
The main bridge on the Pegasus looked to be a massive control center overseeing the operations on board the massive ship. In the absence of Kinwon the duty of operations on the massive Battlestar fell to the night shift, and the shift commander Watch Officer Horous. In the communications bunker a communications tech named Aya was noticing strange transmissions coming from the Pegasus. Transmissions that weren't part of the normal operations of the ship. "Watch officer?" she called.
From the central command station Horous looked in Aya's direction and asked what was wrong. "I've been monitoring some transmissions passing by. They seemed harmless at first, being what looked to be old Earth programming broadcasts. But as I was monitoring, and initiating the data retrieval, I found an underlying code in them."
"Data retrieval?" Horous asked. Aya said "There was a time when people of Earth destroyed some programming records believing they were of no further value. It wasn't until years later that they tried to reconstruct the destroyed data. I figured if I could record some of the passing transmissions it would help Earth reclaim some of its lost information."
"Noble goal." Horous said. "But what's this about a code in the broadcasts? No coded transmissions were supposed to be sent. Anywhere."
"We were able to determine the frequency they were sent on." Aya said. "It's seemed to be sent on the same frequency the original broadcasts were on. A Gamma Frequency." Horous looked wide eyed in shock. "Gamma?! That frequency is ancient. No one uses it anymore."
"Well somebody does." the tech said knowing how old the frequency was. "And a signal was detected riding along an old Earth broadcast. They probably figured if they used the code of the old broadcast no one would say anything." Horous considered what Aya was saying and then wondered about the implications. "Can you break the code?"
"It will take some time, but yes I believe I can." Aya answered. "Keep me posted." Horous ordered. Aya nodded that she would as she continued to work monitoring transmissions, and breaking a code from a mysterious transmitter.
Pegasus landing bay
Morning, or rather the day cycle, came to the Pegasus with the Rangers all awake, rested and in their uniforms. Which some Rangers couldn't believe they were in.
Some of the Rangers commented on the uniforms they wore, which were reflections of the Astro Ranger uniforms like the rest of the Ranger leaders had. "Why do we have to wear these things?" Rocky asked tugging the blue collar of his uniform shirt. "It's not like we joined the army or anything."
Kim answered with "Would you go into battle to free a planet in T-shirts, jeans and frilly skirts? I don't think so." Kim looked at her uniform with pink shirt, tan pants with jacket and black boots. She thought the uniform looked pretty good on her.
"No, we'd do it in Ranger uniforms." Carlos had said in his Astro Ranger uniform, which the other Ranger uniforms were modeled off of. "But when we're not in Ranger uniforms...."
"....these work." Sabrina added. Everyone looked at Sabrina and agreed with her comment. They were still unsure how they felt about the former Scorpina going into battle with them, but the Astro Rangers seemed fine with having her by their side. And if the Astro Rangers were fine with Sabrina on their team they should be too.
"They're not too bad." Cassidy said pulling at the cuffs of her uniform jacket. "And I've been in uniform before." she said remembering that she had to wear school uniforms at her school, so she was no stranger to being in uniform. Alison also wore a uniform in school, so she had no problems with her uniform. "At least we're not dressed as Sailor Scouts or something." Alison then added.
"And they aren't Star Trek miniskirts." Kat said looking at her uniform. A lot of the girls nodded at Kat's answer, but some of the guys had their minds turning wishing the girls' uniforms actually had miniskirts instead of pants. Picking up on the thoughts Christina then said "You know in an episode or two guys wore miniskirts." Giving the line with a slight smirk as her own imagination went into overtime.
Christina's comment got a few looks from the male Rangers as if they were wondering if the girls expected them to dress in miniskirts. Samantha picked up on the unease and added "Don't feel bad. Guys wear kilts in Scotland. A mini is just a shorter kilt."
"That show off men's legs." Theresa added. "Drool, drool." Rocky then raised his hands in surrender and said "I got it. I got it. No more ogling. Or we might find ourselves in skirts."
"Remember that bucko." Katarina said as she held her boyfriend close. The Rangers then continued to walk down the corridor until they came to a tram that took Viper pilots to the landing bay they were assigned to. Each tram held at least eight pilots, or Rangers as the case was so several Rangers boarded several trams. Some by team as the Morphin Rangers boarded one tram, both Zeo teams boarded two others, the Outsiders boarded another with the Astros following. When they arrived at the port side landing bay they were greeted with the sight of Jason, Tommy, Tyler, Skull and Andros waiting for them. Behind them was the Sky Megazord, fueled up, in cruise configuration, and ready to go.
"Wow." Carlos said looking at the Sky Megazord. "I don't think I ever took in the ship before."
"You'll have a lot of time to take it in Carlos." Andros then added. "This will be the main zord we use in our first strike. It operates like a regular Zord unit, but also has space functions like the Astro Megaship, which can help us."
"What about the Astro Megaship?" Alison asked. "Can't we use that in the attack too?"
"No." Andros said as if indicating that he considered the idea using the Megaship but rejected it in the end. The look with the other Ranger leaders indicated they were in agreement about the Megaship not being used too. "They'd see the Astro Megaship coming. Besides we thought it might be a good idea if it was kept in reserve here on the Pegasus."
"Besides the Sky Megazord has a stealth field on it. We can sneak in, deploy the teams, and they'd be none the wiser." Samantha added. Jason went to Billy and asked "You got the TP blockers?"
"Affirmative." Billy said. "We're shielded from telepath detection."
"All right. Let's play commando." Skull said rubbing his hands in anticipation as the Rangers and Outsiders all boarded the Sky Megazord and took to their stations. Aisha was about to board when Tommy stopped her. "Aisha I'd like you to remain behind."
To say Aisha was stunned was an understatement. "Why?" she asked trying to make sense of Tommy's decision. "You might need me to bring a Carrier forward or something."
"Maybe." Tommy said. "But there's something Kinwon told Andros, Tyler, Skull, Jason and me before we came here." Tommy then told Aisha what the Nightwatch crew had discovered which gave him cause to worry.
"There was a strange transmission sent. They are trying to determine what's on it, but it had Kinwon worried." Tommy had said. Aisha understood what Tommy was thinking, but still wasn't sure it was enough to have her stay on the Pegasus while everyone else went planetside.
"Worried enough for me to stay behind?" Aisha asked surprised and a little upset she wasn't part of the action. Tommy understood Aisha's reaction but still made his case.
"I don't want to put all our eggs in one basket." Tommy said appealing to reason. "I don't think people are used to us having a Carrier Ranger yet. Not totally. Also, if something goes wrong we'll need our heaviest hitter to get us out, with all the carrierzords she's got. Perhaps even...." casting a look in the Astro Megaship's direction Aisha suddenly got the message. "You think I might be able to control that ship?
"It's possible." Tommy said. "True it's meant to be operated like a megazord but it's also a Zord that's not tied to any individual color, and it serves as a Carrier to Rangers. So we need to see if it's possible...."
"....if the Astro Megazord is a zord I can control and interface with the other carriers like Tor and Titanus." Aisha said. Tommy nodded. "You're the only Ranger that can do this. And if Kinwon is worried that someone may know we're coming we will need help with an escape." Aisha sighed as she knew Tommy was right, but she still wished she was going.
"All right." Aisha said. "I'll see if my power can interface with the Astro Megaship. And if there's any problems you let me know immediately. I'll come. Astro Megazord or no Astro Megazord." Tommy smiled as he patted Aisha's shoulder. "I'd love it if you were there with us too. But we think it's the best way."
"I agree." Aisha said. Be careful though." Tommy nodded and boarded the Sky megazord. As soon as Tommy was aboard Jason took the command seat and ordered Billy to fire up the engines. Immediately the engines of the Sky Megazord roared to life.
"Trini, Samantha. Take us out." Jason ordered. Both girls operated the pilot and co-pilot controls and moved the ship forward towards the opening that led out into space, with the planet Aquitar in the distance.
The Sky Megazord lifted off the landing platform and exited the Pegasus launch bay flying into the starry expanse of space making its way towards the planet they came to liberate. On board all the Rangers hoped for success of their mission. The planet Aquitar in the distance, coming closer and closer to the would be liberators of a world.
As the Sky Megazord flew Trini took a look back in Cassie's direction and then asked if Samantha could take the controls for a while. Samantha nodded that she would, and with that Trini got up to see how Cassie was doing. "Hi." Trini said trying to be civil.
Cassie looked up, gave a greeting smile, and said "Hi." There seemed to be a moment of awkward tension between the two girls but both resolved to work past it.
"You going to be okay?" Trini asked trying to keep the conversation going. Cassie tried to keep the conversation going, but the situation weighed heavily on her mind to where Cassie just smiled again and said "I'll try, but this isn't…."
"What some kids normally do on a school day I know." Trini said with a chuckle picking up on Cassie's sentence. "And…..well…."
"Thank you." Cassie said as she picked up on Trini's sentence. "You be careful as well."
"Thanks. If we're lucky we'll be home for dinner next week." Trini then went back to the helm station as the other Rangers talked to each other and wished each other well before they came to their quarry.
"We're approaching Aquatian airspace." Trini said. Jason then ordered "Activate stealth field." On command the Sky Megazord became invisible as it entered the airspace of Aquitar. Once inside they came across the Aquatian defense grid and hoped the invisibility screens held up to the scans. This hope was essential as they saw the defenses the new regime had placed on Aquitar.
Turbo lasers seemed to be mounted on asteroids floating around the planet. Anyone of them capable of severely destroying, or damaging, the Sky Megazord. There had also been indications of satellite platforms with more obvious weapons ready to destroy. The asteroid cannons looked more like a sucker punch than anything. There were even rumors of asteroids being hollowed out to create short range fighter craft used to do suicide runs on approaching ships. If any were present, none of them appeared. Throughout their passage through the defense grid none of the weapons, secret or no, had been triggered.
The massive cannons did not track them and the Sky Megazord cleared the defense grid and sailed on through towards the surface of the planet.
Which was what the ruling body wanted.
Inside the central tower the ruling council saw the Sky Megazord approaching. It had entered the defense grid completely cloaked, but the sensor net in the grid detected the zord the second it had entered the grid.
"ALL BATTERIES ARE READY TO FIRE!!!" a Dalek voice had said. Lord Malice had also added "We even have the asteroid fighters ready to strike."
"Thank you, but no." the mystery ruler on the throne had said. "Let them approach. Let them come to the planet. Let them think this will be simple."
"What?" Squatt had asked. "Why let them land? We could kill them now and be done with it."
"I don't want them killed." The mystery ruler had said. Pausing they had said "That would be too much of a mercy." Lord Malice then asked "A mercy?"
"Yes." The ruler had said. "If we destroyed them now they wouldn't know how much they had failed. They wouldn't be sufficiently broken as it were." Soon the Sky Megazord penetrated the defense net but the Black Dalek was still not sure why the Rangers were allowed to pass.
"WHY DID YOU NOT EXTERMINATE THEM? NOW THEY ARE APPROACHING THE PLANET SURFACE!" The Black Dalek was curious as to why the mystery ruler would let the Rangers get so close. But everyone else in the ruling council had an idea as to the ruler's logic.
The mystery ruler smiled and said "It is so much more satisfying when victory is so close to your opposition that you take it away from them." Fingering a blade she had she also added "And when they feel the sting of defeat the pain they feel is much sweeter."
Everyone noticed how the ruler emphasized the word 'sting'. For that was what the ruler sought to do. Sting the Rangers with a defeat so bad it will seem like they had died. A sting of pain and death.
A sting of a scorpion.
The Sky Megazord cleared the defense grid without a scratch or an attack sent it's way. "This just seems too easy." Tyler said not liking the feeling of ease as they went through the defense grid. "All those guns and asteroid fighters, and none of them turned our way or detected anything? Something's wrong."
"Right now I'm not complaining." Zack said at the weapons console. Everything was armed, but there was no need to fire. They couldn't anyway since the weapons were off line in order to maintain the stealth field. As they flew they took in the new 'landscape' of Aquitar. A 'landscape' that was once the seabed of a great ocean.
Everything appeared dry and dead. Practically very little life remained on the exposed ground. Some bodies of sea animals that could no longer swim still littered the ground beneath them as a 'reminder' to council viewers from afar that new rulers were in command of Aquitar. Jason then said "Kinwon said most of the sea life was picked up by a fleet of 'cleaners' used to dispose of...." Jason could not complete the sentence as it turned his stomach when he heard what Kinwon said. No one needed Jason to finish his sentence anyway. The Rangers pretty much got the message. Especially Billy, who had made Aquitar his home for a short time.
"We're freeing this world." Billy said. "We're freeing this world and saving these people." Everyone picked up on Billy's resolve and agreed with him. One way or another the Power Rangers were going to free Aquitar.
The Sky Megazord maintained its low level flight until the Rangers came up to their target. "Coming up to hub one." Trini said as they took note of the structure. It reminded everyone of the MCP hub, which was based on ENCOM's popular game TRON. Rocky had invited everyone for a game night one night and TRON was one of the games he had chosen to play, along with Space Paranoids. The Rangers however had no time to compare settings to movies as they stuck to business. Jason nodded at Trini's words and said "Zeo Team 1. You're up."
Tommy, Kat, Samantha, Rocky and Adam got up. Katarina gave Rocky a kiss for luck and Sabrina gave Adam her best wishes as well. Rocky then whispered "I think she's crushing on you."
"Rocky." Adam said not sure he wanted to think about the girl that was Scorpina 'crushing' on him. Fortunately Tommy brought everyone to attention as he gave the call "IT'S MORPHIN TIME!!!"
"ZEO RANGER I-PINK!!!"
"ZEO RANGER II-YELLOW!!!"
"ZEO RANGER III-BLUE!!!"
"ZEO RANGER IV-GREEN!!!"
"ZEO RANGER V-RED!!!"
The first team of Zeo Rangers stood morphed and ready to go. They then grabbed their anti grav packs and made their way to the jump tubes. Once inside the floor opened up and dropped them to their target site. The Rangers then floated to the ground much like a sky diver that opened their chute at the right minute.
"They're out." Kimberly said. Jason then ordered Trini to make for the next target. Skull and his team then took to the ready position ready to make their drop.
"Coming up to hub two." Jason nodded. "Skull you're on."
Zeo Team II nodded and took their positions ready to morph.
"ZEO RANGER VI-PURPLE!!!"
"ZEO RANGER VII-SILVER!!!"
"ZEO RANGER VIII-BLACK!!!"
"ZEO RANGER IX-WHITE!!!"
"ZEO RANGER X-GOLD!!!"
Like the previous Zeo Rangers Zeo Team II grabbed their anti grav belts and entered the jump tubes. Gold Zeo asked White "You know how to do this Skull?"
"I thought you did!" White Zeo said with mock worry followed up by a slight chuckle. Gold picked up on his friend's joke and laughed himself hoping to ease the tension. Then the second team dropped. The Sky Megazord then headed for Hub 3 where the Outsiders made ready to jump.
"Hub 3 coming in." Trini said. "Tyler, you're on."
The Outsiders then took their positions and morphed.
"ZEO SHADOW POWER!!!"
"ZEO BLADE POWER!!!"
"ZEO PSI POWER!!!"
"ZEO PHOENIX POWER!!!"
"ZEO PUNK POWER!!!"
"ZEO RANGER POWER!!!"
"ZEO KNIGHT POWER!!!"
The Outsiders then followed their friends' leads and entered the jump tubes. They too dropped over their target and floated down to the ground. Sky Megazord then headed for Hub Four. The Astro Rangers' jump site. Trini looked at Cassie and Alison and gave a thumbs up wishing them luck.
"Andros. Your turn." Jason said as they came to hub four. The Astro Rangers target. All nine stood ready. "LET'S ROCKET!!!"
All nine Astro Rangers stood and entered the tubes. They too dropped to their target below. For a second Zack watched as Gold Astro launched herself through the jump tube. The memories of Scorpina came flooding back into his mind. Memories he had no doubt the other Morphin Rangers shared on some level.
"All right guys. Change course for our target." Jason ordered as the Sky Megazord headed for Hub One. The Sky Megazord then veered towards its target and soon came into proximity to their main target. "All right guys! IT'S MORPHIN TIME!!!" Jason called out bringing forth his morpher with the other Morphin Rangers doing the same.
"WHITE RANGER POWER!!!"
"BLACK RANGER POWER!!!"
"PINK RANGER POWER!!!"
"BLUE RANGER POWER!!!"
"YELLOW RANGER POWER!!!"
"RED RANGER POWER!!!"
"GREEN RANGER POWER!!!"
"PURPLE RANGER POWER!!!"
The Morphin Rangers were ready for battle as the brought the Sky Megazord into range. "One thousand kilometers and closing." Pink Morphin said as the Morphins were coming to their target. Soon they would be close enough to deactivate their stealth field and transform into Megazord mode to do their part in the mission.
"Defence grid is not up yet." Black Morphin said. Red Morphin nodded and said "Let's hope it stays that way. White Morphin however added "Weapons are at the ready."
"And nothing's being activated yet." Yellow Morphin said. "No guns. No targetting sensors. No nothing."
The Rangers breathed a sigh of relief as they took Pink Morphin's observation as a good sign. They had no idea how wrong they were.
In the main chamber the ruling party looked on as the Rangers did their drops from the sky. They had monitored the Sky Megazord's energy signature the minute it had entered Aquitar's atmosphere, and saw the Ranger teams jump from their cloaked ship. The rulers waited for the right time to bring forth their next surprise that was guaranteed to 'pull the rug out of the Rangers' as Squatt and Baboo said. Everyone waited for the right moment to come. A moment fast approaching.
"Now?" Mature asked as she felt the anticipation come closer, or seemed to have due to the company she was in. She may have been in the room with instructions from another, but she still had a part to play. No one noticed any duality in her as the anticipation that was felt had now hit.
The ruler had nodded as Baboo and Squatt smiled saying "Now!"
The order was now given. The trap was about to be sprung. A trap the Rangers would not escape from.
Memories of sky diving filled the minds of Red, Blue and Green Zeo as they remembered sky diving during the show to save Little Angel's Haven years ago. back in his White Morphin days , before his brother took up the mantle, Red Zeo had rode down on an air board and touched down on the target to the applause of the crowd. Blue and Green Zeo did not have boards, but they felt the rush of adrenalin the controlled fall provided, and like the Angel Grove Air Show everyone touched down on the spot on the ground. Once the Rangers were down safely they quickly discarded their anti grav belts. Like a parachute they were only good for one use then had to be recharged. Since there was no place to recharge them they had to be discarded.
"Let's play commando man." Blue Zeo said as if getting himself ready for what was to come. Everyone else seemed comforted by Blue's bravado as Red Zeo went into the leadership role.
"All right guys. We have to get to the main perimeter and find a way in." Red Zeo said. Everyone looked around the structure with their scanners when Green Zeo found one. "Got one Tommy. Service exit at the rear." Zeo Team I followed the path until the entrance they sought came into view. "Looks okay." Pink Zeo said. "Few guards. In and out. Simple." The other Zeos seemed comforted by the sight, except for Yellow who had a feeling something was not quite right.
"All right everyone let's go." Red Zeo said as all the Rangers followed Red's lead. Yellow Zeo paused for a second as she had a bad feeling of what was to come. A feeling that left her worried. "This is too easy." she said as the others turned back to her.
"What's too easy Samantha?" Blue Zeo asked. "I mean we're not going to get a better opportunity to get in like now."
"That's what's worrying me." Yellow Zeo answered. "This is too inviting. Security can't be so weak they would leave a section with little to no protection. This, all of this, is just too easy."
"That's not a bad thing Samantha." Pink Zeo said as the Rangers continued on. Yellow followed, yet keeping her mind open for the other proverbial shoe to drop. As Zeo Team I came within two miles to the complex door to the door Red hesitated as he started to have the same bad feelings Yellow had.
"Samantha's right. This is too easy." Red said. "Let's regroup and find another way in." Zeo Team I agreed with their leader's decision and left the doorway to regroup. They soon found another entrance on the side looking over a rock face. "What's this?" Blue Zeo asked.
"The Power Exhaust." Red Zeo answered. "Where waste power exits the complex according to Billy's notes." Green Zeo gave Red a look as if wondering 'are you kidding me?' then asked "Where waste power exits? Are we going to get fried if we enter here?"
"Not if we time it right." Yellow Zeo answered. "If we go in during a recharging cycle." Giving one another a look they made their way up the mountain path to where the end of a tube rested. A tube that looked like the end of a water slide tube. A tube that led to a power reactor inside the complex.
Giving one another a second look Zeo Team I looked at the tube entrance and Blue Zeo asked "You sure about this?"
"No." Red Zeo said. Yet he knew it was the only option available. "But what choice do we have? We have to take this hub down, and the only way to do that is on the inside." Looking at each other the Rangers knew Red Zeo was right. This was the only way in that seemed to be unexpected. Blue Zeo then asked "Who goes first?"
"I'll start." Yellow Zeo said as she sat at the entrance and slid down the tube. Pink Zeo followed with Red going next. Green Zeo went down the tube next with Blue taking the rear shouting "GERONIMO!!!" the whole way down.
The tube seemed to slide for miles and miles with each Ranger praying the power would not launch out the tube frying everyone. Before long however the tube ended with Zeo Team I finding themselves in the main engine room. "So far so good." Pink Zeo said. "Looks like things are going our way.".
"FREEZE!!!" a voice said behind Zeo Team I taking them all off guard. Turning around they saw a whole group of figures surrounding the Rangers. Some of them with cybernetic implants, others with uniforms and armor indicating a whole different soldier group entirely. All of them armed, even though some were more blood thirsty than others. But both would have been ready to fire if the Rangers gave even the slightest provocation.
Getting into the defensive the Rangers turned around and then got into fighting stances ready to fight. Before they could move however a device hovered in the air over the ambushing soldiers. "What the…?" Blue Zeo asked unsure what he was seeing, and also wondering why the soldiers weren't attacking.
Before the Rangers could determine what the hovering object was waves of energy shot from the device like a combination of blaster fire and plasma lightning striking the rangers hard,. As each burst hit a member of Zeo Team I they quickly fell to the ground and demorphed.
None of the Rangers had a chance to defend themselves, or process the attack that came their way. Before anyone knew what had happened Robo Aquitians and the Guard Commander of the area surrounded the Rangers.
Yellow Zeo then said "Spoke too soon Kat." Before falling into unconsciousness. Pink Zeo then joined the others in darkness wondering how things could have turned so quickly.
The simple answer was, a trap had been sprung.
Zeo Team II also had a smooth landing and entered their hub. They seemed to be doing well, but Silver Zeo felt her nerves go up on end. "Something's wrong." Silver Zeo said feeling her unease rise up. A feeling her father always taught her to listen to.
"You saying it's too quiet?" Purple asked sarcastically. Silver shook her head at Purple's remark, yet wondered why it came out so sarcastically. Silver Zeo may not have been a Ranger long, but she felt something was off with Purple Zeo. An apprehension of sorts to her and the rest of her teammates. Did she really need them kept at arm's length?
"Believe it or not Emily." White Zeo answered. "I don't think Cassidy is wrong. Everyone keep your weapons at the ready in case any shoes drop." Everyone kept their hands close to their Ranger weapons ready to draw at a moment's notice.
But the next second later laser beams crossed the air striking White Zeo and sending him down to the ground hard. When everyone turned to see who was firing at them another shot came out from nowhere striking them down before they could get a look at who was firing the laser beams, or where they were coming from.
The answer to the question came in the form of a wall of soldiers that had laid down a volley of suppression fire that struck all the Rangers down, or seemed to. It seemed as if in the minds of Zeo Team II Purple Zeo was the last to go down, in fact she seemed to be the last Ranger standing in the minds of others. So much so she didn't seem to fall down.
The rest of Zeo Team II had no time to wonder why as they were down on the ground trying to shake loose the weapons effects. By the time they were recovered enough to look up before darkness overtook them they were surrounded.
Like the Rangers before them, Zeo Team II were held at gun point by Robo Aquitians, Organization Shadow Troopers and another guard commander. They barely had a moment to realize this as they fell unconscious as well from the surprise ambush.
The Outsiders set down on the ground with ease as well. Quickly they discarded their belts also and were soon making their way to their objective. Zeo Shadow first said "So far so…."
"Don't jinx it." Zeo Blade interrupted. Zeo Punk then said "That's my job. It's in the name."
"And I need to make sure those jinxes don't happen. Or that I can see them coming." Zeo Psi said as she was telepathically scanning the area looking for any signs of defense. She didn't pick up any.
In fact she didn't pick up anything. "Something's wrong. I'm not getting any readings."
"Well that's good isn't it?" Zeo Phoenix asked. Zeo Knight however didn't think so. "She should be getting something. If she's getting nothing…."
Zeo Knight had no time to complete the thought as he heard a rustle from behind and felt an impact in his back sending him sprawling down to the ground. He heard shouts from the rest of his team telling him that they were being struck down by the same attackers, and in the same manner.
The Outsiders were left sprawled face down feeling the effects of getting shot in the back. Zeo Knight looked up and saw with blurry vision Robo Aquitians, Shadow Troopers and their commander standing over them before Zeo Knight fell into unconsciousness. The ambush over before it could begin.
Victorious due to their cowardly, but efficient, attack.
As if on command the Galaxy Gliders of the Astro Rangers appeared, with the nine Rangers landing on them with ease. Riding the gliders they flew down to their hub doing everything they could to keep to the shadows of the terrain.
"Bet the others had what we have." Black Astro said. Blue Astro said "I don't know. The Anti Grave belts and that 'jetting' they do seems kind of fun."
"What? You think we should jet sometime?" Silver Astro said. Red however brought calm to the mission and said "Quiet guys. We have a mission to do, and we need silence." Yellow Astro said "Mouths are under lock and key Andros."
"Let's hope those are the only things we have to deal with." Red Astro said as they touched down at their specified rendezvous point. Their objective not far away.
"I suppose we'd better get to it." Green Astro said. Everyone agreed as they sent the Galaxy Gliders out of sight. Once the Galaxy Gliders were safely hidden the nine Astros walked towards their objective. Like the previous teams they were surprised.
"FREEZE!!!!" came the command from behind. Turning around they saw a squad of troops waiting. A squad of troops that looked like Aquitians with cybernetic implants, as well as soldiers in some kind of mercenary army the rulers were employing. At the center was a commander of sorts. A commander which organized the trap the Astro Rangers had teleported into.
Before the Astros could move the guards opened fire sending the Astro Rangers sprawling to the ground. Unconscious and demorphed.
The Sky Megazord raced to the final hub as quickly as the terrain, atmosphere and megaship speed would allow. "Coming up on our target now Jase." Black Morphin said.
"Let's hope the hubs are shut down." Red Morphin said as they approached their target. "Initiate Megazord transformation." he ordered as the Sky Megazord transformed from its cruise configuration and into Megazord mode. From the sleek component craft now stood the Sky Megazord ready for battle. Hovering, waiting for its target.
The only problem-no attack signal came from the hub. It didn't acknowledge any kind of threat coming its way at all.
"Something's wrong Jase." Blue Morphin said. "No signal is coming from the hub." Red seemed pleased as he said "That's good news isn't it?"
"No it isn't." Yellow Morphin then said. "We should be getting readings from the hubs. Active of inactive."
"Wait. What do you mean 'active' or 'inactive.'" Purple Morphin asked. Pink however hit the nail on the head. "They're jamming us."
"How? They don't know....we're...coming." Red said to himself as he knew what was happening. The rulers of Aquitar had known of the Rangers' plan. They had known the whole time. Pink Morphin looked at the communications terminal. The other teams were not transmitting. The only conclusions were they had been captured or....
Red Morphin didn't complete his thought as a cannon locked onto the Sky Megazord and fired. The zord was hit hard by the blast. "Evasive action!" Red Morphin ordered.
"Can't." Blue Morphin said. "Navigation is off line. I'm also reading multiple targets."
"Multiple targets?" Pink Morphin asked. "Where did they come from?" Pink Morphin had no time to wonder as more volleys struck the Sky Megazord crippling it further.
Systems exploded and fuel was leaking. The lateral controls and navigation were damaged sending the Megazord falling to the ground. "CRASH POSITIONS!" Red Morphin ordered as the ground was fast approaching. For a moment Red Morphin was reminded of the movie King Kong when the menacing ape fell from the Empire State Building, a victim of an aerial strike as planes circled around the ape looking to send him falling to the ground.
And like the menacing ape in the movie the Sky Megazord fell from the sky and hit the ground hard. It did not get back up.
In the capitol center the rulers saw the Sky Megazord go down. The Morphin Rangers on board.
"Scan the wreckage for survivors." The mystery figure ordered. The Guard Commander said "I obey." And then signed off. Reports came in from the other Guard Commanders and their troops. The other Ranger teams had been captured and rendered unconscious, helpless and demorphed. They would be brought into the capital soon enough. "Keep your sensors open for any other support." the mystery figure then added opening the channel to another section. "The Rangers didn't come alone. They have help. We must be prepared for that as well."
"I obey." the other commander said. Then the figure signed off leaving the ruling body to their 'triumph'.
"Well looks like the Rangers of came up short didn't they?" Lord Malice asked with amusement in his voice. No one disagreed.
The triumvirate of Aquitar sat in amusement. The Liberation of Aquitar had fallen short of expectations.
_The Rangers' Expectations._ the mystery figure thought as she laughed in her mind at their predicament. They thought they were going to do a noble rescue, only to run into a force that was expecting them. _No Rangers. Everything went according to MY expectations._