Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to their respective copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made from this fic.
Time Scale: This story begins four weeks after ‘The Minion of Darkness Saga’. I’d advise you read it, but if you really can’t be bothered, just start reading here and you’ll probably pick most of it up – it’s hardly complicated.
It was a task that Tommy and Jason had grown to loathe over their time as leaders of the Power Rangers. Today it was Jason’s turn to endure the hardship and face an enemy that he could not vanquish with the help of a Power Sword. The world press had assembled in Angel Grove, awaiting confirmation from the Rangers that the danger had indeed passed.
Given such an enemy, Jason knew that maintaining momentum was the key to victory. A moment of weakness, the smallest sign of indecision and they would attack. They were a cruel breed without the mercy he had seen Lord Zedd offer from time to time. In the press won this battle of wills then the Power Rangers would wish they were dead.
The Red Ranger appeared suddenly, White Ranger on one side and Purple Ranger on the other, both helping to convey the clear message that anybody wishing to attack their leader would have to get through them. As they stood waiting the crowd started to fire question after question at them.
“Red Ranger, why are there two sets of Power Rangers?”
“White Ranger, why has the Red Ranger taken command again?”
“Why have you returned to your original powers?”
“What are your suits made of?”
“Purple Ranger, are you single?”
Red Ranger raised his hand to speak, but the questions kept coming. In the end he nodded to the Purple Ranger. She produced a strange looking gun and fired at the ground. Ice crystals formed around the reporter’s feet, causing them to shut up.
“Okay, you can stop now,” Red Ranger said.
Purple Ranger released the trigger and both the blaster and the ice disappeared. All eyes were on the Rangers, wondering what would happen next.
“Thanks,” Red Ranger said. “Your questions might be answered after I have finished this statement; they will definitely not be answered before.”
Jason took a deep breath and then started to recite the speech Billy had prepared. What they needed now was a quick explanation so they could make a fast getaway.
“In recent times a new villain known as Minion chose to attack Earth. The Zeo Rangers needed assistance so they recruited a second team of Rangers. The Zeo Rangers were captured during a recent battle before the new team could be fully activated. Minion has been destroyed and the Zeo Rangers released. You may rest assured they are expected to make a full recovery.”
“Wasn’t a Ranger responsible for their capture?” one of the reporters asked
Jason took his time before answering. The duplicate Billy that had fooled them all had been responsible for a great many things. In a way the Rangers were disappointed that with Minion’s demise the Nega Rangers had vanished. Jason knew he would have liked to have evened the score and he suspected his friends felt the same.
“One of Minion’s creations was able to infiltrate our headquarters and sabotage our efforts. The Power Rangers are not infallible and we have been fooled. In future we will ensure we never make the same mistake again.”
“What can you tell of reports that one Ranger was killed?” Anthea Trener asked.
Under his helmet Jason’s face fell. Travis had been a good man, a noble lord and somebody that Jason had thought of as a friend. While he had never been as close to Trent and Travis as he was to Trey, he had come to appreciate them as individuals and not just components of the Gold Ranger.
“During his attempt to conquer the planet, Minion was responsible for the loss of many lives, both on Earth and on other planets.” His mind turned to Aquitar and Triforia where the forces of darkness still threatened to snatch control. “All those that died at his hands were victims; nobody deserved to suffer through his evil.”
“What was the victim’s name?”
“No comment,” Purple Ranger said. “Minion killed many people. As soon as we have a list, we will release their names.”
“Red Ranger, Minion gave the Zeo Rangers a count of six in which to kill him. Why did they not take the opportunity to do so?”
Jason stared at the reporter; glad that she could not see the glare he was giving her under his helmet. Detective Park groaned at the question. Louise Marshall was not known for her tact or sensitivity. He really didn’t like what she was suggesting about his son.
“Ms Marshall, you may not have noticed, but Minion did show the footage of the Zeo Rangers and others being tortured. As far as we can tell that was only the most recent session. After that kind of treatment their reactions were bound to be impaired. I wonder how you would have faired in those circumstances?”
“Excuse me Red Ranger, but I am not a Power Ranger. It is not my job to save the world. I just report the news.” Louise glared at the masked hero, unsure if her words were having an effect. Just to be sure she added: “At least I seem to be able to do my job.”
“Ms Marshall, the Zeo Rangers have risked their lives on a regular basis to protect this world and the freedoms we enjoy. I suggest you bear that in mind before criticizing them. We are only human.”
The reporter looked like she was about to respond, but her partner decided to intervene and silence her.
“What about the other heroes who were held captive?” he asked.
“All those held captive, were released although I’m not aware of their condition.”
Sensing the opportunity to end the interview the Rangers teleported away.
As the Morphin Rangers left, two figures emerged from the shadows, discussing all that they had seen.
“Did you hear that?” one of the men.
Both wore suits of heavy armour made from an alien metal, covered by the traditional black and purple robes that marked them as the High Masters of the Foot Clan, a criminal organisation that had started on Earth nearly a thousand years.
He was adopted the name Shredder after a legendary warrior that had terrorised the planet long ago. Whatever his name had been before his arrival was a mystery and something he was reluctant to share with even his most trusted servants. He had chosen to call himself Shredder, knowing that the name struck fear into the hearts of his enemies. His powerful body, hidden by enchanted armour, had been built as a means for him to move around in Earth’s environment; in reality the Shredder’s real body resembled a red brain with sharp teeth and tentacles encased in a very convincing shell.
Long ago he had fallen under the tutelage of the Jakanja, a clan of Space Ninjas that followed the demon Tao Zento. Under their influence he became a dangerous criminal. Eventually he had been captured by his people and sentenced to be imprisoned in another dimension. However he had broken free while being transported to Earth and forced the prison ship to crash. He had been the only survivor.
On Earth he had formed the Foot Clan and paved the way for a Jakanja invasion of the planet. They failed and were forced to leave the planet thanks to the efforts of the Shredder’s formal captors. Deep in the mountains secret ninja schools had been training the planet’s natives to fight the evil forces of the Jakanja. It was a tradition that had never ended.
For a long time the Shredder remained incapacitated, but twenty years ago he had been released and transported to America where he had come into contact with a young ninja student named Kiya Watanabe. He had made a deal with Kiya, offering him power and influence if the young ninja could steal an amulet from one of the school’s students. Kiya had agreed and then foolishly, tried to use the power of the amulet for himself. The young fool had been banished from the Earth – for the ninja school and others like it had been started by those who had defied the Jakanja – and Shredder had been forced to find others to help him rebuild his organisation.
The man he addressed was called Oroku Saki, his junior partner in the clan. Using his influence, which stretched into the underworld and black markets of several countries, Saki had recruited the dregs of society to create an army of criminals. These thugs committed their crimes without attempting to hide their movements, covering the Foot’s less obvious and more sinister activities.
“I heard,” Saki answered. “The Power Rangers have suffered a defeat. They are weak in the eyes of the public.”
“The public are sheep, led by the power of the newspapers and the opinions of the few,” Shredder told his protégé. “They may lack faith in the Rangers, but they failed to notice that those they are familiar with did not attend the conference. Their heroes have been wounded more seriously than they realise; now is the time for our forces to take over. Then we will summon my allies and escape this miserable world.”
“But what of those who replaced them?” Saki asked.
“They will not cause us a problem,” Shredder answered. “They are new and untested. We will see how they fare in battle and then knowing their strengths, we will conquer and send them scurrying like rats.”
“And then you shall have your escape and the Foot shall rule supreme,” Saki finished.
“Exactly,” Shredder agreed. He removed the front of his armour so Oroku could see his face, a rare honour for Oroku. “Come, we must ready ourselves for battle.”
Tommy sat alone in the Training Room, surrounded by the practice droids he had systematically destroyed. It had become a habit, almost ritual in the weeks following the destruction of Minion. In that short time Tommy had worked tirelessly to rehabilitate himself from the injuries Minion had inflicted. Zordon had helped the Zeo Rangers to come to terms with what had happened mentally, but physically they needed rest, exercise, and plenty of time. There had been plenty of mornings when one of his friends had come in and seen him asleep on one of the soft cushions. Nobody wanted to claim that he was obsessive, but he was.
Not that he would be a Ranger for much longer. Graduation was approaching and after that the Zeo Rangers hoped to find replacements to take up the mantle; with Minion gone, the Machine Empire scattered and Rita and Zedd yet to resurface, their replacements wouldn’t have much to worry about. All they were waiting for was the right time and for Billy to finish developing the new powers.
“Hey Tommy!” Rocky said, walking over to him.
“Hi Rocky, what’s the problem?” Tommy asked.
The Rangers had decided after the first week that Tommy should not be left inside the Training Room for more than a few hours without somebody checking up on him. That had been the time that Tommy had pushed his limits too far and demorphed in the middle of the simulation. He had been lucky that Kat and Tanya had found him before the droids could cause permanent harm.
“Nothing’s wrong. I’m just checking you’re okay.”
Some of the Rangers tried to find excuses to keep an eye on him. He lost count of how many times David had fallen asleep watching him lift weights under the pretence of spending quality time with his brother. Rocky was too upfront not to tell him why he was there and if pressed lecture him on the reason why the others just didn’t trust him to remember the panic word.
Tommy looked at his friend shrewdly.
“You’re bored, aren’t you?”
“Yeah,” Rocky admitted.
“Rocky just wants to have fun,” Tommy teased.
“Hey, watch it, Tommy!” Rocky warned. “I happen to remember a certain Ranger who got into a car with a strange girl and…”
“Okay Rocky, I get the point,” Tommy smiled.
“Good, so what are you doing?”
“Waiting for Zordon to decide he needs us,” Tommy answered honestly/
Since there were now two teams of Rangers, Zordon had decided that one team would take the role of active duty while the other team were reserves. The Zeo Rangers had lost the coin toss, leaving them on the sidelines should any emergencies occur. ~Not that there have been any actual attacks recently,~ Tommy thought.
They had been really lucky to have the Morphin Rangers as their allies. Jason, Trini, Kimberly, Aisha, Zack and Billy were experienced Rangers, Sam had two centuries of adventuring behind him and whatever David lack in experience he made up for in his willingness to learn.
“Let’s face it, it’s been weeks since Minion attacked and no sign of Rita, Zedd or Mondo. I think we’re starting to get bored,” Tommy said.
When they heard their communicators beep, neither team concerned themselves to find out who Zordon wanted and all teleported to the Power Chamber.
When the Zeo Rangers arrived they were disappointed to find Alpha watching the Morphin Rangers in battle against the Putty Patrol.
“Zordon, what happened?” Kat asked.
“A group of Putties appeared, but Jason’s team have taken care of it,” Zordon answered. “I have no idea whether Rita and Zedd have truly returned or whether this is just a rogue batch testing the planet’s defences.”
“Why didn’t you call us?” Rocky asked, annoyed that they had missed the action.
“I didn’t want to disturb you!” Zordon said. “I know that you have had doubts concerning your futures as Rangers and wanted to allow you the time you needed to reach your decision.”
“Thanks, I think.”
They all laughed at the comment and walked over to watch the view screen. Alpha moved back to let them all see.
On the screen, Green Ranger cut a Putty in half. Behind him the Red and Black Rangers hacked into their own opponents. Yellow Ranger used her Power Daggers to great effect while White and Pink Ranger unleashed a barrage of arrows. Blue Ranger energised his Power Lance and used it to cut down one Putty after another. One of the foot-soldiers tried to sneak up behind him, only to find its neck entangled by Purple Ranger’s Power Whip. Blue Ranger promptly put the sneaky Putty out of its misery. Within minutes the battle was over and the Rangers returned to the Power Chamber.
“Congratulations Rangers,” Zordon said. “It would seem that since you’ve received your new powers, the Putties can no longer keep up with you.”
“Yeah that was pretty easy,” Zack admitted.
“Well at least you got some action,” Rocky grumbled. Then his expression changed into a small grin. “Hey, I bet we could have finished them off faster!”
“Don’t be ridiculous, there are eight of us and only six of you,” Kimberly pointed out.
“Yeah right. Next you’ll be saying you could beat us in a fight!” Tanya joked.
“Doubtless!” Billy commented.
“Is that a challenge?” Rocky asked.
“Yeah, I guess it is!” Zack answered. The two teens grinned at each other, both imagining the challenge such a match up would provide.
“What about it guys?” Tommy asked.
“We’ll be happy to show you rookies a few things,” Jason answered. “After all, you replaced us.”
“If I remember correctly, you were called in as my replacement and had to give the powers back,” Trey remarked.
“Zordon, is this okay?” Trini asked.
“I do not see why not, but make sure it does not get too serious,” Zordon said. “I believe you will find that there are others who are eager enough to harm you on their own and won’t require assistance.”
“Great, so who’s gonna fight?” Rocky asked excitedly. Of course, they were all eager, but since there were six Zeo Rangers and eight Morphin Rangers, somebody needed to sit out.
“I need to run a test process on the Zeo Zords,” Billy said, excusing himself from the battle.
Trey, David and Sam also excused themselves since they had other things to do. That left the battle five on five.
Zordon smiled. Considering the two groups were about to fight against each other, he had never seen them work as a team quite like that. There had been a serious challenge made, but it was all in good heart, and Zordon was proud of them all.
“I do not like this Master,” Oroku said. Having observed the battle, the two ninjas were unable to agree on their next move.
“It has already been decided,” Shredder responded. “The enhancements these warriors have undergone will make them perfect for this task. When we strike, the Power Rangers will be taken by surprise, they will never overcome the power of my Cyber Ninjas.”
“Yes,” Oroku agreed. “But what if the Rangers find a way to deactivate their cybernetics?”
“Then they will still be defeated by highly trained ninjas. Besides, we have this,” Shredder replied as he held up a small tube. “The source of this substance is over three thousand years old, and combined with the power of Ninja Magic it shall enable us to infuse our warriors with the power of animals.”
“It is a good plan Master Shredder.”
“Of course, we shall begin immediately. Ninja, attack!”
From behind the Sentinel Statue in Angel Grove Park a group of ninjas emerged, making their way around the press conference until they cut off all escape routes. The blue ninjas armed with swords kneeled in the front, the red ninjas behind with their bows and the black unarmed ninjas moved between the two lines.
The people in the park watched as the ninjas emerged from nowhere. The police were quick to arrive and drew their guns, Aiming at the approaching ninjas. Angel Grove had an abnormally low homicide rate due to the quick response of its police force and heroes like the Power Rangers to help. Two men clad in metal, one of whom Detective Park recognised from a federal bulletin as the Shredder, stepped from the group. He watched as the armoured commander raised his hand in a fist and the surrounding ninjas fell into fighting positions.
“I am the Shredder,” one of the metal clad ninjas said, confirming Detective Park’s fears. “The Foot Clan are taking over this city. Resist and you will die!”
“Hey, I don’t care who you think you are buddy,” Detective Park said, “But you’re under arrest. Ascot, put the cuffs on him.”
As the officer approached the ninjas moved. One of the black clad ninjas grabbed the officer’s wrist and twisted it until he heard the crack of breaking bones. With his other fist inserted in the man’s neck he twisted before discarding the corpse.
“Fire!” Detective Park ordered.
The other police officers opened fire, but the few bullets that struck a target did little damage. The ninjas avoided the cop’s fire and then either disarmed them or incapacitated them. Detective Park found himself falling back on moves he had learned from his son. He was lucky because although knocked unconscious, he was still alive.
“Angel Grove Park! You just couldn’t resist, could you?” Tommy commented. Billy shrugged.
“Okay. So let’s do this.” Jason suggested.
“It’s Morphin Time!” Tommy cried. As leader of the Zeo Rangers, the team that was supposed to be on active duty, he was technically the leader of their little group. In truth though the command of the Rangers had shifted in the weeks following Minion’s defeat with Billy, Jason, Zack, Kimberly, Trini and Tommy sharing the responsibilities as they worked to restore the Earth’s protection to normal; despite the effects of the Great Power, Zordon’s satellite network was gone, leaving them blind to new enemies entering the solar system.
“Purple Ranger Power!”
“Black Ranger Power!”
“Yellow Ranger Power!”
“Pink Ranger Power!”
“Red Ranger Power!”
“Zeo Ranger I – Pink!”
“Zeo Ranger II – Yellow!”
“Zeo Ranger III – Blue!”
“Zeo Ranger IV – Green!”
“Zeo Ranger V – Red!”
As agreed the Rangers engaged a simulated teleport, landing at opposite ends of the park. As soon as they reached their destination they turned to their opponents and the battle was on. As they crossed the ground, they were already picking their opponents. Tommy and Jason were naturally drawn toward each other, Zeo Power Sword meeting the Red Morphin Ranger’s own Power Sword. Red Ranger charged in, with his sword held high, striking the down towards his adversary. Red Zeo spun, twisting his body as he stepped past the other red clad hero’s blade and directed his own to make a low slash across the Red Ranger’s thigh. Red Ranger managed to hop aside, drawing his Blade Blaster and using the sharpened edge to block the Power Sword before landing a solid kick on the Red Zeo Ranger’s chest. The force of the blow knocked Tommy flying backwards, a shocking development since seconds earlier he had been on the attack.
He hit the ground hard, ignoring the pain so he could roll backwards and return to a standing position as quickly as possible. Red Ranger attacked immediately with his two blades. Red Zeo barely managed to draw his Zeo Sword, the Zeo V Power Sword had been sent flying from his grasp.
Inside his helmet Red Ranger smirked. With a silent command he energised his Power Sword and charged his opponent, expecting Red Zeo to duck. Only when the Zeo Ranger had started moving did he energise his second blade, cutting across Red Zeo’s chest. He somersaulted backwards and drove the Blade Blaster into the ground, sending a shockwave towards Red Zeo. Tommy dodged, rolled and retrieved the Zeo V Power Sword. The warm up was over and the real competition could begin.
“Nice move, but I can do better!” Tommy grinned. He put the Zeo Sword away and held his Zeo Power Sword ready. Then carved a star-shaped symbol in the air before swinging the blade up to blast the Red Ranger.
Red Ranger struggled back to his feet. “You haven’t lost your touch Bro,” he commented as the two warriors prepared to fight again.
The others were having mixed results against the others. Rocky was evenly matched with Aisha, Adam was beating Zack, Tanya was having a tough time against Trini, and Kat was losing to Kimberly.
Adam seemed to be gaining more and more momentum against Zack. He had delivered a few good shots with his Zeo Pistol and the Black Ranger seemed to be weakening.
“Cosmic Cannon!” Black Ranger cried when Green Zeo made the mistake of getting too close. Adam’s eyes widened, remembering the power of that particular weapon.
“Oh-oh!” Adam said quietly as he saw the end of the cannon light up.
“Fire!” Zack cried.
Just then, they were all interrupted by an announcement over the Simulation Room’s speakers.
“Everyone, report to the Power Chamber. This is important!” Zordon said.
“Computer, end the program!” Jason called out. The Park and all their weapons disappeared. Adam was relieved.
They teleported into the command chamber, where Billy, Sam and David joined them. As they all filed in, they stood around the view screen.
“Zordon, what’s happening?” Trini asked.
“I am detecting a disturbance in Angel Grove Park,” Zordon answered. “Behold the Viewing Screen.”
“Ninjas,” Zack muttered.
“And they’re killing those people,” Trini added.
“Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi, Adam’s father is there!” Alpha reported.
“Zordon, can we help?” Zack asked. In the past the Rangers had kept out of anything that didn’t involve demons or aliens.
“Yes Zack,” Zordon answered. “I detect a powerful evil behind this attack. Jason, take your team to Angel Grove Park, Tommy and the others will remain here in case they are needed.” Seeing Tommy was about to protest, he added, “until we know who is behind this attack, we must be wary. The Zeo Rangers are still recovering from their ordeal.”
“Shall we go?” Trini asked.
“Let’s,” Zack replied.
“Zordon, we need a mass teleport for all civilians. It’s Morphin Time!” Jason called.
“White Ranger Power!”
“Purple Ranger Power!”
“Green Ranger Power!”
“Pink Ranger Power!”
“Blue Ranger Power!”
“Black Ranger Power!”
“Yellow Ranger Power!”
“Red Ranger Power!”
“It’s done,” Alpha said as the Rangers arrived in the park. “Computers show these ninjas are cyborgs.”
“Thanks Alpha, that makes this a lot easier.”
The various civilians in the park vanished just as one of the ninjas was about to slay Detective Park.
“Stop right now!” Red Ranger ordered.
“Don’t make us do this,” Yellow Ranger warned.
“Ha,” Shredder snorted. “You will learn a harsh lesson in humility.”
“Get them!” Oroku ordered.
Although similar in numbers to the vast armies of Cogs, Tengas and Putties the Rangers had faced in the past; the ninjas were faster and more innovative. The Rangers were unable to land a blow against their opponents. The ninjas however managed to throw the Rangers about.
“Let’s show them why they shouldn’t mess with the Power Rangers,” Red Ranger called.
During their training, the Rangers had been taught multiple techniques for dealing with different types of opponents. While some techniques were shared by their teammates, others were unique.
“Pterodactyl Scream!” Pink Ranger cried.
Her helmet deformed, opening to reveal speakers. Then a screech resembling that of the ancient dinosaur was emitted, creating a wave of sonic energy at a collection of the Shredder’s foot soldiers. Exposed to the intense vibrations, the ninjas were incapable of standing upright as their robotic components fell to pieces.
“Ninja Ranger Power!” Yellow Ranger called.
This was a power that the Morphin Rangers shared, the ability to downgrade their armour in return for an increase in movement. Trini’s costume changed to a dark yellow ninja costume. An opponent attacked, driving his sword forward and cleaved Yellow Ranger from top to bottom. Yellow Ranger was split in two and her body collapsed into a pile of cloth.
“Looking for me?” Yellow Ranger asked.
The ninja swung around towards the noise as Yellow Ranger stabbed it with her Power Daggers.
“Three down,” Zack quipped as his Power Axe cut through a Foot warrior’s weapon.
“More to go,” Trini finished.
“You will learn a harsh lesson,” the metal clad ninja told them.
Both Shredder and Saki performed a complicated series of movements that caused the Rangers to wonder what they were facing.
“Not bad,” Zack said. He put as much confidence as he could muster into his voice and added, “But you lack my cool dance moves.”
“And the knowledge the Rangers never give up,” Blue Ranger added as he drove his Power Staff into one of the ninjas.
“And teamwork,” Red Ranger finished as he drove his Power Sword through a ninja’s neck.
“Attack!” Saki hissed.
The battlefield was set as ninja avoided the Rangers’ attack and landed their own blows. Black Ranger quickly learnt the ninjas were faster than his Hip Hop Kido and Red Ranger found his strength was a drawback when his opponents were faster than him.
“We’re outmatched here,” White Ranger said as another sword landed on his back.
“Right,” Red Ranger agreed. “We need to slow them down. Billy, any ideas?”
“I might have something in my lab,” Blue Ranger replied. Placing his hands on his hips, he teleported away in a column of blue.
Seconds later he returned with a strange capsule. As the other Rangers jumped back, he threw it at the ground and watched it explode. Green slime covered the ninjas, jamming their gears and slowing them so the Rangers could attack.
“You will pay for that,” Saki warned as he charged at Billy.
Oroku was wearing heavy armour that appeared to be powered by hydraulics. Hidden motors increased the power of his arms and legs. His helmet was designed to withstand most attacks and deliver devastating head butts. In his hand he held a katana that was twice the length of an ordinary blade.
Billy saw Oroku charge and was already moving as the katana connected with his armour. Sparks flew as the uniform’s internal mechanisms reduce the sword’s impact. Oroku brought his weapon round for a second strike, but this time Blue Ranger moved out of the way.
Splitting the weapon in half the Blue Ranger blocked the next attack, trapping the blade between his two clubs. Aiming for the head, he landed a few shots that caused Oroku to raise his arms in defence. Then when Oroku was distracted he drove the other piece of Power Lance into the ninja’s leg.
“I’m not a killer,” Blue Ranger said as he stood over the cringing Saki with his Blade Blaster drawn. “Order your ninjas to stand down.”
“Mercy is for the weak!” Saki hissed.
Pulling the portion of the Power Lance from his leg and grimacing from the pain, Saki drove the weapon towards the Blue Ranger.
“Hellfire!” Green Ranger yelled. A ball of green fire engulfed the metal clad ninja as Blue Ranger jumped away.
Oroku could feel the temperature rising as the fire covered his armour. Specially designed nozzles fired a retardant gas to protect him from further harm. He looked over to where his master was fighting to see that the Shredder was fairing just as badly.
Whereas Oroku’s armour relied on its punching and kicking power for offence, Shredder’s suit was covered with spikes and blades strategically placed to allow attacks from any angle. Currently the Shredder was fighting a losing battle against the Red and Yellow Rangers.
Yellow Ranger charged at the villain, her daggers piercing his armour. Shedder twisted his wrist to enlarge the blades on his gauntlets. The daggers sparked as the spikes knocked them aside.
“My warriors will subdue your friends and then I shall finish you,” Shredder announced.
“I don’t think so Shred Head,” Red Ranger cried as he rammed his shoulder into the villain.
Shredder laughed as Red Ranger found himself caught on one of Shredder’s shoulder spikes. Shredder lifted the Ranger away and kicked him to the ground. With a powerful backhand he decked Yellow Ranger and stood victorious over his adversaries.
“I’m going to peel that armour off your dead bodies,” Shredder told the Rangers as he drew his own sword and moved in on Jason.
“Power Whip!” Purple Ranger called. “One, two, three, four, five.”
Using the experience she had gained in the use of the whip, Aisha moved with the speed of the Hawk and the venom of the Spider. After striking one ninja with her weapon she used the handle to bludgeon a third. A fourth warrior charged her from the offside, but Aisha was quick and after converting her weapon into a straight handled crop-styled whip, she slapped the poor warrior along the side of the face.
The third attacker was moving again, but Purple Ranger already had the solution in hand. Drawing her Blade Blaster she fired a single shot and watched as the cyborg fell.
“Nice,” Black Ranger commented as he hacked at another ninja.
Staying in a fixed spot Zack was using the Power Axe to frustrate his attackers until they all charged together. Under his helmet Zack smiled as he leapt into the air and watched them collide.
The slime Billy had provided meant the ninjas were too slow as Zack fired a single blast and reduced them to slag.
“Power Bow!” Pink Ranger called.
During her time as a Dino Ranger, Kimberly had relied on her bow only to fire arrows. Now with the power of Ninja and Thunder she knew how to use the weapon to its full potential. Every part was deadly, from the drawstring to the individual arrows.
Landing in the center of a group of robots she used the bow as a club before changing direction so that the string could slice a lone ninja in half. Summoning her arrows she used them like daggers and then jumped away and fired her remaining shots from a safe distance. Lowering the weapon to chest level she pointed at a regrouping group of ninjas and watched as they were fried by the energised arrow.
“Hey David, don’t take too long,” she called.
The White Ranger nodded as his energy arrows blasted another ninja. Continuing to attack, he soon levelled his selection of robots. When he was done, he joined Pink, Purple and Black Rangers ready to finish the task.
“There are still too many of them,” Pink Ranger pointed out.
“Power Axe!” Black Ranger called.
“Power Bow!” Pink Ranger cried as she slotted her weapon into the same position used when forming the Power Blaster.
“Power Crossbow!” they yelled together. “Fire!”
Pink and black fire smashed into the surviving robots, leaving only the human ninjas to run away.
“Give it up Red Ranger,” Shredder said as he approached the fallen warrior.
“Never!” Red Ranger replied. “Power Sword!”
The Power Sword sliced through Shredder’s own weapon as Jason went on the attack. As he reached Shredder a second time, he used the hilt to throw the villain off balance.
“Power Daggers!” Yellow Ranger called again.
As Shredder turned, the Yellow Ranger was already upon him. The Power Daggers pierced his shoulder plates.
Shredder fell back and looked for the first time since attacking to see the condition of his forces. Oroku was injured but at least fighting back, some of his ninjas were regrouping to try again, but the majority had been downed. As he fell back, Shredder was already thinking about what to do.
Shredder knew that none of the Rangers were true ninjas even if they had the fighting skills. He also knew that a ninja needed more than physical skills to survive. There were mental strategies he could se to gain an advantage if he could find the opportunity.
“You Rangers are nothing,” he said to the Red Ranger. “I will beat you just as Minion destroyed the Zeo Rangers.”
Between his first tenure as Red Ranger and his return to claim the Gold Zeo power Jason had learnt how to gain more control over his temper. He was not as hot headed as he had once been, but it was still a potential weakness Shredder wanted to use. The mention of the Zeo Rangers had had its desired effect as Jason’s control snapped and he charged towards the villain.
Shredder waited until the Red Ranger was level with his right foot before he sidestepped the teenager and used his momentum to throw the boy to the ground. He picked up the Power Sword and pointed its sharp point at Jason’s throat.
“Rangers!” he called. “Surrender or I shall destroy your leader.”
“If he dies so does your comrade,” Green Ranger said coldly.
“I will live his loss,” Shredder answered as he dragged Jason upright and held the Power Sword against his throat. “Will you?”
Reluctantly the Rangers relinquished their weapons and Green Ranger allowed Oroku to escape.
“Very good,” Shredder said as he pulled a dead porcupine from a compartment in his armour. “Now Red Ranger you will have the honour of being the first to try my Mutagen.” Shredder hit the Red Ranger with the porcupine and then pulled another tube from his belt. He twisted the lid on the canister and moved Jason into a kneeling position.
Jason closed his eyes and considered his next move. He was pinned down and his friends could not move. Unless one of his teammates could sneak behind Shredder, he was lost. His eyes snapped open as he heard Shredder groan and felt the Power Sword move away from his throat.
As the other Rangers looked on Shredder cried out in pain and released Red Ranger. Behind him something moved.
“Who are you?” Shredder demanded as he turned to face his new attacker. He staggered as a punch caught him in the gut. “You will pay for that!” Shredder shouted angrily only to find himself on the receiving end of a further assault. The Zeo Rangers had joined the battle, using the teleportation system to confuse the villain.
As Shredder charged the newcomers, his spikes at their maximum length, Red Zeo stepped forward to meet the challenge. The Red Ranger, fuelled by anger that the villain had dared to harm his friend, easily caught Shredder’s fist. As the momentum carried the villain forward, the Red Zeo Ranger increased his pressured and crushed the villain’s hand.
Then Green Zeo took over, fuelled by the need to avenge his father. Drawing back his fist, he poured the power of his fragment of the Zeo Crystal into his fist as he punched the villain with a powerful uppercut. He leapt into the air and delivered a drop kick to the top of the Shredder’s head.
There was a loud smash as the Shredder collapsed on top of his canister and was covered with the Mutagen. The chemicals burnt their way through the armour and carried the porcupine’s DNA into the villain’s body. Shredder screamed as his body started to grow larger. Armour and flesh merged as he continued to mutate into a human/ porcupine crossbreed. Muscles and bones enlarged until Shredder was towering over the Rangers and their new ally.
“Leave this to us,” Jason told the Zeo Rangers.
“We need Ninja Zord power, now!” the Rangers called.
“Ninja MegaFalconzord!” Red Ranger called.
“Ninja Battlezord!” Green Ranger called.
The Crane started to fold to form the head while at the same time the Frog transformed to become the legs and the Bear converted to become the Ninja MegaFalconzord’s upper body. The already modified Ape and Wolf joined onto the Bear to form the arms as the Crane linked on to become the head. Then the whole upper body joined onto the Frog as the Falcon Zord linked onto the back. Hands formed over the Ape and Wolf’s heads.
The Panther Zord transformed to stand upright on its hind legs. The head rotated downwards to become the chest and the front paws became the arms. The Hawk Zord’s wings and head folded into the body as the Hawk Zord joined onto the shoulders of the Panther to become the head of the Ninja Battlezord. The Panther’s tail converted into a Power Sword as Purple and Green Rangers slid into the cockpit ready for action.
As the Zords battled with the villain, the Zeo Rangers were busy finishing off the Cyber Ninjas.
“We need to finish this,” Red Ranger said as the Ninja MegaFalconzord tossed Shredder to the ground where the Ninja Battlezord savaged him with a barrage of vicious punches.
“Battle Strike!” Green and Purple Ranger called.
The Battlezord sliced through the Shredder’s armour with its sword; the Ninja MegaFalconzord connected with its own finisher.
Shredder shrugged off the combined attacks and launched his own offence. The spikes launched from his armour, striking the Zords.
“We need more power,” Green Ranger noted.
“Right,” Blue Ranger agreed. “And I know just where to get it.”
“Billy, this is risky,” Yellow Ranger warned.
“We don’t have a choice,” Red Ranger answered. “Ninja Zords, power down!”
The Ninja MegaFalconzord and Ninja Battlezord disassembled and returned to their hiding places as the Rangers summoned some new power.
The Shogun Zords lined up as the Rangers teleported into their cockpits. There were now five Shogun Zords and unlike some of the other combinations they were capable of joining into a single Megazord.
“Put them together!” Red Ranger called.
The Zords charged forward. The Pink and Purple Shogun Zords formed the lower legs, the Black and Yellow Shogun Zords formed the upper legs and lower torso, and the Green Shogun Zord transformed into half the upper body. The White Shogun Zord transformed into the other half of the upper body and the head. Finally the Red and Blue Shogun Zords took their place as the arms, the Red Zord acting as the upper arm and the Blue Zord creating the forearms and hands.
“Shogun Megazord Sabre, power up!”
The fire sword ignited in the Zord’s hands. The Megazord moved its arm to the high right position and then swung it down and to the left, slicing through the Shredder. The last of the Mutagen evaporated as the sword finished its journey and Shredder exploded.
“It’s over,” Red Ranger said as the Zord stood victorious. “Let’s go home.”
“Welcome back Rangers, I am afraid that the news of your recent difficulties has caused other villains, some of whom are Earth based to try to fill the void left by Minion,” Zordon explained before the teens could ask. “I am afraid that those ninjas you faced today are but a small portion of what is to come.”
“We must be ready,” Billy said.
“We will be,” Tommy assured him, gesturing to the Zeo Rangers. “We’ll be here as long as we’re needed Zordon. We cannot leave Earth defenceless.”
“Thank you, Tommy,” Zordon answered. “I am aware that some of you feel the need to take time away from your duties. As soon as Alpha and I find a way to satisfy those wishes, we will do so.”
“Thank you,” Kat said. It was all that was needed to sum up the feelings of the Zeo Rangers.
” I suggest you all get some rest,” Zordon said. “I will call you if you are needed.”
“Hey, I seem to remember a challenge we made,” Rocky said.
“Yeah, the challenge where we were about to kick your butts,” Zack answered.
The two teams exchanged looks, then glanced at Zordon who nodded, before teleporting back to the simulation.
“Quickly Alpha,” Zordon ordered.
“I know Zordon, set up the failsafe,” Alpha said.
“I was about to say, turn on the cameras in the Simulator. I want to see this battle.”
It was eight versus six, Ranger versus Ranger. Neither team were willing to break down and all were good friends. Zordon had no doubts that this contest would only have positive effects as the two teams competed for bragging rights. And then when the time came, he pitied whatever villains got in the way of his Power Rangers.
Oroku waited until the coast was clear before approaching his master’s battered remains. The robotic suit was damaged, but there was a chance that the creature inside had survived. His search eventually left him to the mangled chest panel that served as the Shredder’s cockpit. He opened it up and bowed reverently.
“I am glad to see that you are unharmed, Master Shredder.”
They sensed the Shredder’s death or at least the sudden drop in his power levels. The robotic-bodied warlord was not easy to defeat and they were willing to bet that he survived. Even so, his sudden burst of activity made them consider Earth as a target once more. It was a short time later that their ship turned toward the small planet and under the leadership of their new master, a warrior who called himself Lothor, they set course for Earth.
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