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  1. #1
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    Power Rangers Zeo 2



    Comments/Praise/Questions/Praise!

    From deep in space, a long-forgotten evil has emerged with
    one thing on his mind - conquest. Four veteran Power Rangers,
    and one very talented rookie, must band together to defend Earth
    from an evil force that isn't afraid to destroy, or even kill, to get
    what he wants.

    Lokar the Terrible has returned, but standing in his way are the new
    Power Rangers Zeo. Can even the avatars of the mighty Zeo Crystal
    stop this threat once and for all?

    Maybe.

    Maybe not.


    Sophia Green has lived in Angel Grove all her life, and like most residents of that fair city, she grew up hearing tales of the legendary Power Rangers. Now, having found herself in the right place at the right time, Sophia has become Zeo Ranger One, Pink, and has also discovered her legacy as one of the Progeny of Fate.

    What does this legacy mean for her, and how will it affect the battle against Lokar's evil forces?



    Kira Ford was your average high school student in Reefside, California, when a strange turn of events made her the Yellow Dino Thunder Ranger. After defeating the mighty Mesogog, and graduating high school, Kira has begun to focus on her professional singing career. However, she couldn't ignore any request for help, either from the Sentinel Knight, or from Adam Park. Kira accepted the powers of Zeo Ranger Two, Yellow, as well as the charge to defend Earth from Lokar, but how will her Ranger duties affect her singing career?



    Tori Hanson has spent most of her life learning how to better serve her fellow man. Wielding the power of water, she was chosen to become the Blue Wind Ranger, defender of Blue Bay Harbor, and the Wind Ninja Academy. Tori's inner ninja was instrumental in banishing the dark ninja Lothor to the Abyss of Evil. As soon as Adam called her, Tori lent her assistance, eventually becoming the new Zeo Ranger Three, Blue. However, Tori's ninja past holds a dark secret. How will this secret end up affecting the battles of the present?



    Xander has always been a kind hearted soul, and it was his heart that led the Xenotome to select him to become the Green Mystic Force Ranger. After a year of intense battles, the Mystic Force finally defeated the demonic Master. Xander spent most of his days managing the Rockporium, at least until the Sentinel Knight called him for assistance. Shortly afterward, Xander answered Adam's call for help in Angel Grove, an act which led to Xander becoming Zeo Ranger Four, Green. Xander's earth magic will prove to be a great help to his new team, but how does his destiny fit in with the mysterious Grimoire Arcanus?



    Adam Park has fought the good fight for longer than nearly any other Power Ranger of Earth. Time and time again, Adam has heard the call of the Power, and has never once hesitated in answering it. However, recent events have left Adam without the idealism and good nature of his youth. Adam, while still a good person, is now more of a battle-hardened soldier than he ever was before. What happened that would affect the new Zeo Ranger Five, Red, so profoundly?



    [INFORMATION CLASSIFIED]



    Episode List

    1. Progeny of Fate, Part I
    -A great evil has emerged from the depths of space, intent on denying the Power Rangers of Earth their technilogical backup. On Earth, Sophia Green delivers an e-mail she was mistakenly sent to Adam Park. He calls together his latest allies in a last ditch effort to save Earth, but can even these mighty warriors prevail over the might of Harbinger?

    2. Progeny of Fate, Part II
    -The new Zeo Rangers face an attack launched by a former Power Ranger, and learn some valuable information about the evil force threatening the planet. They travel to the Zeozord Holding Bay, in an attempt to augment their arsenal, but are halted in their efforts by a powerful minion of Harbinger's. Can the Zeo Rangers stop this monster without access to the Zeo arsenal?

    3. Old Friends
    -Two of Lokar's warriors duel in his dark arena, while Sophia lets her secret identity slip to one of her oldest friends. Can this friend be trusted, and what will happen when a champion is decided in Lokar's Ebon Palace?

    4. Ladies of the Water
    -Tori meets a long-forgotten schoolmate of hers at Adam's dojo, but the reunion is less than friendly. Meanwhile, Lokar is searching Angel Grove Harbor for something, with the help of a mysterious ally. Can the Zeo Rangers stop Lokar from obtaining a powerful new weapon?

    5. Plan Xander
    6. Laryngitis
    7. Adam in Overdrive
    8. Looking Glass
    9. Mirage, Part I
    10. Mirage, Part II
    11. Black Magic Woman
    12. [CLASSIFIED]
    13. [CLASSIFIED]
    14. Rock and a Hard Place
    15. Innocence Lost


    More to Come!

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  2. #2
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    Progeny of Fate, Part 1
    By Question



    “Welcome to the Astro Megaship, Mr. Hartford.”

    Andrew Hartford smiled at his host as he exited the Mega Shuttle. “Thank you for having me, Mr. Cranston. And please, call me Andrew.”

    His host smiled. “Only if you’ll call me Billy.” Billy began leading Andrew down the halls of the Megaship while they spoke.

    Andrew chuckled. "After reading your papers on Power Ranger technology, I think I'm a little too star struck to be calling you by your first name. But give it time."

    "My papers?" Billy asked, eyebrow slightly raised. "I looked over the schematics for your android prototype. Creating a self-aware android without access to anything but Earth technology is definitely something to be proud of. I doubt even I could have accomplished that."

    Andrew's smile wavered slightly, but Billy didn't notice. "Ah yes, Mack. He's... something special, all right. However, if it's all the same, I'd prefer not to discuss my son. He's never felt comfortable being treated like just a piece of technology, and I respect that."

    Billy nodded. "Of course. My apologies. Well, this is it." The door that Billy had led Andrew to slid open with a Star Trek-ish whoosh. Several people sat around a conference table, and they all watched Andrew and Billy enter. The older man was slightly unnerved by that as he sat down, despite the smiles all around, but Billy seemed to be in his element.

    Of course, Andrew thought, the man had years of lecturing under his belt. He was likely used to the attention.

    Billy moved to a podium set up in front of the conference table. He cleared his throat, and the little bit of conversation ceased. "Welcome, everyone, to the fourth annual Ranger Technology Symposium. We have a couple of new faces this time around, so why don't we introduce ourselves? I'm Billy Cranston. I used to be the Blue Power Ranger of Earth, before leaving to become a technology advisor on Aquitar."

    A dark haired woman spoke next. "My name's Angela Fairweather. I developed most of the technology used by Operation Lightspeed Rescue."

    An Asian gentleman in green sitting next to Andrew spoke next. "Cam Watanabe, formerly the Green Samurai Ranger. I designed some technology for the Ninja Storm Power Rangers, as well as some new programming for the zords we used."

    "I'm Hayley," an attractive woman sitting on the other side of Andrew said. She looked Andrew in the eyes briefly before speaking again. Andrew smiled. "Billy and I designed most of the morphers and weaponry used by the Dino Thunder Power Rangers."

    Billy chuckled. "I'd say you did most of the work there, Hayley."

    "And I'd say I didn't." Hayley shot back good-naturedly. "I'd never have gotten the projects off the ground without you, Billy." Hayley glanced at Andrew and blushed slightly. It was then that Andrew realized that he'd been staring.

    Andrew cleared his throat. "I'm Andrew Hartford. I developed the technology for the Overdrive Power Rangers, based mostly on papers Mr. Cranston," Billy arched an eyebrow. "Um, papers written by Billy."

    A few more introductions were tossed out, but Andrew only listened with half an ear. He was too busy trying to stare at Hayley out of the corner of his eye. Unbidden, Mack's words came to him.

    "Why didn't you just make one of those, too?"

    Well, son, this is why,
    Andrew mentally responded while playing footsie with Hayley under the table.

    Suddenly, the Megaship began to tremble violently. Sparks erupted from consoles, not only in the conference room, but all over the ship. Billy rushed to one of the lesser damaged consoles in the room. "DECA, what's going on?" DECA could only respond with a gurgling noise that, in a human, would be construed as one choking on their own lifeblood. A brief burst of static signaled DECA's demise. However, a voice still came out of the speakers all over the ship.

    "Prepare to die, allies of the Power Rangers. Without you to provide support and technology, the Rangers of Earth will surely perish under my supreme might."

    The voice continued with some villainous spiel or another, but Andrew had lost interest. All Andrew could think about as the voice spoke was how his son was one of the aforementioned Rangers. "What do we do?" Andrew asked over the chaos.

    Billy, who's eyes had gone wide with recognition the second he'd heard the voice over the intercom, was frantically typing into a console he'd managed to partially salvage. "We warn Earth. If this is who I think it is, Earth's in major trouble."

    "Who do you think it is?" Andrew asked.

    "I recognize the voice. It's an old foe the Power Rangers tangled with a few times back when I was active. I only hope he-"

    The Astro Megaship Mark 2, fastest ship in the galaxy, exploded noiselessly in the void of space.


    **********

    Sophia Green was roused from her sleep by the beeping of her computer. She had been deep in the midst of a glorious dream involving her, Orlando Bloom, and a meadow full of wildflowers.

    Needless to say, she was fairly irritated at the interruption.

    Sophia got out of bed and walked across the room to her laptop. The beeping came from her e-mail alert program. Like a dunce, she'd completely forgotten to turn off the audio alert. Sophia stifled a yawn as she pulled up her e-mail client, deciding that if she checked it now, her time wouldn't have been completely wasted.

    To: Green_Zen@gmail.com
    From: morphinblue@hotmail.com

    Body: Adam, ^&(^gkGKgb%&*vk danger to earth ^&((* need zeo crysvVY%$^vibe&*%vvhj&*%vvhkvuyr^&*


    Sighing, Sophia went to delete the e-mail, but something stopped her. She moved it to her Saved E-Mail folder instead.

    Sophia lay back down in bed, hoping for a quick return to blissful slumber, but she couldn’t stop thinking about that e-mail. Most of it was corrupted and irretrievable, but the few uncorrupted parts worried her for some reason.

    Sophia got up and went to her computer, resigning to the fact that she wouldn’t be able to sleep until she was sure that the message was nothing to worry about. She opened up Firefox and went to Google’s homepage, wondering how best to go about this. There were likely hundreds of people named Adam in Angel Grove alone, and narrowing that down would be difficult.

    Sophia reopened the mysterious message, going over every character with her keen eye. She kept coming back to the word ‘zeo’. It didn’t have any particular meaning for her, at least not any that she could figure out, but it resonated in her mind for some odd reason. On a hunch, she typed ‘Adam+zeo’ into Google’s search bar. The first hit on the search page was the website for Angel Grove High School, Sophia’s alma mater.

    Scanning the page quickly, Sophia found just what she was looking for.

    Adam Park, class of 1997
    E-mail: Green_Zeo@gmail.com


    An Adam with an e-mail address a single character off from her own? That had to be more than coincidence. Sophia ran another quick Google search for Adam Park. As it turned out, he ran a dojo not far from Sophia's house. She almost walked out the door right then and there, but realized that he probably wouldn't be there until morning. Sophia printed a copy of the e-mail, and settled into bed for some semblance of sleep.

    Orlando Bloom rewarded her diligence greatly.


    **********


    "Class dismissed."

    Adam bowed to the dozen students on the mat. They returned the gesture and walked toward the locker rooms. Adam watched them go, remembering good times with Rocky and Aisha as he watched the friends in his class horse around. They reminded Adam so much of the innocence of his own youth, and how much stronger those friendships had become once the trio had been selected to become Power Rangers.

    Who knows, maybe Adam was training the next generation of Power Rangers here in his dojo without even knowing it.

    "Um... hello?" Adam blinked, bringing himself out of his reverie. He turned around to see a girl looking at him quizzically. She was younger than Adam, maybe closer to Tori or Kira's age, but she radiated... something. Adam couldn't decide exactly what.

    "Can I help you?" Adam asked as he led the girl to a nearby chair. He mopped his slightly sweaty brow with a small towel.

    "I'm looking for Adam Park. Do you know him?"

    Adam put on his best customer service smile. "That'd be me. What can I do for you?"

    Sophia took a folded piece of paper out of her shorts' pocket, and handed it to Adam. "I got this e-mail early this morning. Our e-mail addresses are pretty similar, so I think it was meant for you. Unfortunately, most of the file was corrupted, and I couldn't restore it."

    As Sophia spoke, Adam read the message. Despite the very few intelligible words, his eyes narrowed with a healthy mix of frustration and fear. He folded the paper and put it into his pocket. "Thanks, Sophia. I really appreciate this."

    Sophia, a self-proclaimed praise whore, began to graciously accept his thanks when Adam began walking briskly away. "Hey, wait!" she called as she caught up with him. "Aren't you going to at least tell me what this is all about? I did come all this way..."

    Adam stopped, and turned to look back at her. "That's an AGHS t-shirt. You didn't come all that far."

    Sophia smirked, and Adam couldn't help but notice how cute it was. "I came three whole blocks to deliver an e-mail."

    "You could have forwarded it."

    "'Danger to Earth'. It seemed a little to important to trust to e-mail again. You see what happened last time."

    Despite the situation, Adam had to chuckle at that. "Fair point. Why are you so gung ho about this, anyway?"

    "I want to help. I... I don't know why, but I know I have to."

    "I don't think it's a good idea. This could be dangerous."

    Sophia's eyes narrowed. "What, you don't think I could handle myself?"

    "I didn't say that, exactly..."

    Without warning, Sophia spun into a kick. Adam didn't even have time to attempt a counter before she'd finished. Her left foot was pointed squarely at Adam's Adam's apple. He gulped, which made his throat expand just enough to touch Sophia's sneaker. "Okay, I-"

    "NOOOOOOO!"

    This time, Sophia was the one without enough time to react. She was tackled to the ground by what looked to be a midget in the world's worst R2-D2 costume.

    "Easy, Alpha." Adam said, lifting the metal guy off of Sophia before pulling her to her feet as well. "This is Sophia. I have to make some calls, but then we're going on a little trip."

    Alpha tilted his head quizzically at Adam, before shrugging in resignation as best his five foot frame could. He stuck out a hand in greeting. "Hello Sophia. My name's Alpha. Nice to meet you!"

    Sophia, still slightly suspicious, tentatively shook Alpha's hand as she wondered what the heck she was getting herself into.


    **********


    Sophia was about to give up and leave the dojo, when Adam finally reappeared from the back office. His face was pretty pale, and he did not seem happy. "Adam? What's wrong?"

    Adam swallowed before answering, the lump in his throat almost too much to talk to. "Billy, the... the guy who sent the e-mail... His ship was..." Adam couldn't finish. Tears started streaming down his face.

    Impulsively, Sophia threw her arms around Adam, comforting him as best she could. Adam just stood there a moment, letting his emotions run amok. Adam let his tears run for several minutes, until his tear ducts were dry. "Sorry about that. It's just... Billy was probably my best friend. One of them, anyway."

    "I know how you feel. My best friend died when I was really little, and I cried for days. Are you going to be okay?"

    Whatever sadness had been on Adam's face moments before was now replaced with quiet fury. Sophia silently prayed for mercy for whomever had done this to Adam's friend. It's always the quiet ones...

    "I'll be okay as soon as I find out who did this and kick their ass from here to Triforia and back."

    "What's a Triforia?"

    "Later. Right now, we have to take a trip. I should warn you, this is probably going to be really dangerous. If someone could get the drop..." Adam choked a bit before continuing. "Get the drop on Billy, there's no telling what else they‘re capable of. Are you sure you're still in?"

    "Do I have to kick you again?"

    Adam had to smile at that. No one since Tanya had been able to bring him out of a brooding mood so quickly before. Adam briefly wondered if that was the reason he was being so open with Sophia, despite only having met her an hour before. Inviting her on a mission that, by rights, should have been Power Ranger-only? It wasn't the best of ideas, logically, but he knew he was right to do so. Adam decided to trust his instincts about her.

    "Okay, then we have to leave now. If something's really coming to Earth, we have to be ready when it gets here."

    "Okay. Where do we go first?"


    **********

    "Sophia, welcome to the Power Chamber."

    Sophia kicked a small shard of metal. It was quite a bit heavier than it looked. "I have to be honest with you, Adam. It doesn't look like much."

    Adam chuckled softly. "It used to be an incredible place, filled with alien technology and magic. I met some of my best friends here."

    "Alien technology and magic? You're being awfully cryptic about this whole thing, Adam."

    "Keeping in mind I only met you about three hours ago, I'd think that it's understandable. And don't worry; you'll find out everything in due time."

    "What, you don't trust me?" Sophia shot Adam a sideways smile.

    "Not quite yet. I'll let you know when."

    "Adam!"

    Sophia looked up in surprise at this last. It hadn't come from her. Looking around, she saw three people walking up the hill from the same direction she and Adam had. A blond girl in some sort of blue accented uniform was waving, presumably at Adam as Sophia didn't recognize her. She was flanked by a pretty brunette, and a taller guy in another sort of uniform, this one tinted green.

    Adam smiled widely as the trio approached. He extended his hand and shook each of theirs warmly. "Thanks for coming on such short notice, guys. I really appreciate it. This is Sophia Green. She's the one who gave me the message from my friend. Sophia, this is Tori Hanson, Kira Ford, and-"

    "The name's Xander," the guy, presumably Xander, said with an accent Sophia found, well, kind of cute. He made a show of kissing the back of her hand. "And I must say, it's a pleasure to meet you." Kira and Tori both rolled their eyes.

    "Um, nice to meet all of you, too," Sophia responded after making sure that Xander wouldn't try to keep her hand or anything weird like that.

    "I'm kind of surprised you called us, Adam," Tori said. "We work great together and all, but why not call your old team?"

    "I actually tried them first," Adam responded. "But every one of them was missing."

    "Dr. O's been missing from Reefside for a few days," Kira added. "I've been helping him out in his office for the semester, but he hasn't been in since last Friday. Principal Randall said he never called in or anything. That's not like him."

    "No, it isn't," Adam agreed. "Tommy may be forgetful sometimes, but he'd never miss that many days in a row without telling anyone. Not if he could help it, anyway."

    "Hayley hasn't been around either, now that I think about it," Kira added thoughtfully. "Think there might be a connection?"

    "I think she went with Cam to that technology conference. He couldn't stop talking about it for days," Tori said, smiling at the memory.

    Adam coughed softly. "Actually, guys, I... I have some bad news about that. I wanted to wait to say it to you all in person."

    Tori's smile faded, as did everyone else's. "What happened?" she asked.

    "The conference Hayley and Cam were at... and Mr. Hartford... the ship... it was lost. I only know because the Aquitians who found the wreckage knew enough about Billy to make sure and tell me what they found." A tear fell down Adam's cheek. "There… weren’t any survivors. I'm so sorry, guys."

    "What's an Aquitian?" Sophia asked.

    "Do they know what destroyed the ship?" Tori demanded, her fists clenched. Kira looked like she wanted to ask a question too, but her face was deathly pale and she couldn't form any words. Xander, who'd only known Mr. Hartford for a short time, remained respectfully silent for his friends.

    Adam shook his head. "It could have been any number of things. The only thing ruling out some sort of natural disaster was the message Billy tried to e-mail me. It must have been sent just as the Megaship was destroyed, corrupting most of his message."

    "What's a Megaship?" Sophia asked.

    "What's our first move?" Xander asked.

    "Billy's message mentioned the Zeo Crystal, so we're here to see if we can salvage it from the wreckage of the Power Chamber." Adam replied.

    "What's a Zeo- oh, never mind," Sophia gave up, deciding to just go with the flow and hope things would be better explained later.

    "The Zeo Crystal was just... left here?" Kira asked, powering through the words as best she could without breaking into tears. "In the wreckage of the Power Chamber?"

    "That was our fault," Adam said. "The Zeo Crystal was left as the main source of energy for the Power Chamber when we activated the Turbo powers, and we never explained to the new Turbo Rangers how powerful it really was. When Divatox launched her last offensive and destroyed the Chamber, the former Turbo Rangers just left it here, not realizing what it could be used for if it fell into the wrong hands."

    "Who’s she?" Sophia asked.

    "I might be able to sense the Zeo Crystal's magic with my wand," Xander offered.

    "And Tori and I should be able to dig it out from under the ruins with our powers," Kira added.

    "Is she a friend, too?" Sophia asked. "Are we expecting more people?"

    Adam tilted his head in slight confusion as he turned to face Sophia. "Is... who a friend?" he asked cautiously.

    Sophia pointed to a section of the wreckage behind the group. The four collectively turned their heads to look, and then the four heads collectively gasped.

    "We were not expecting her, then?" Sophia asked.

    Approaching the group from the rear was a woman, or what could have passed for one had her body not been colored entirely in shades of blue. She was dressed in deep black body armor, and her gait was that of someone who was supremely confident with their body and what it could do. Sophia had seen the same stride used by every cocky martial artist she'd ever met.

    "Humans. I am Harbinger. You will surrender the Progeny of Fate to me, or you will all perish with her." Harbinger’s voice seemed to radiate cold, and Sophia instinctively shivered.

    "Let me handle this one," Xander told the group, winking. He walked toward Harbinger with his hands raised in the classic 'I'm harmless' pose. "Hi there. My name's Xander. Now, I'm sure that if we just sat down and talked this though, we could come to some sort of an accord. What do you say?"

    Harbinger cocked her head slightly, and shot her palm into Xander's chest. Xander went flying, and would have fallen had Adam and Tori not caught him. "Y'know, Plan Xander really doesn't work as often as you'd think. Ranger up?"

    Tori, Kira, and Adam nodded. Sophia was about to ask what was happening, but they were too quick.

    "Ninja Storm, Ranger Form!"

    "Dino Thunder, Power Up!"

    "Magical Source, Mystic Force!"

    In flashes of bright, multicolored light, the three newest additions to the party transformed into multicolored spandex.

    "You're... you're all Power Rangers?!" Sophia, despite the weirdness of the day in general, was shocked. She turned to Adam. "Man, too bad we're not Power Rangers too, huh?"

    Adam smirked slightly. "Well, actually..." He reached behind his back, pulling a small item out from god-knows-where. "It's morphin' time! Mastodon!" In a flash of equally-bright light, Adam was the Black Ranger. "You... might want to stand back."

    Her mouth open in mute shock, Sophia nodded. She stepped back, allowing the four Power Rangers to take a defensive stance between her and Harbinger.

    Tori and Kira attacked together, leaping at Harbinger with both of their swords drawn. With two quick swipes, Harbinger knocked them both to the ground. Both of their spandex uniforms disappeared in a shower of multicolored sparks. They tried to stand, but the pain coursing through their bodies was too great. Their morphers were flung away as well, sparking and obviously damaged beyond repair. Harbinger stepped forward, intending to finish the two girls off, but Xander pulled them aside with two mystical vines.

    Harbinger turned to Xander, beckoning him forward with a hand gesture. Xander obliged. "Mystic Force Fighters!" A pair of giant red boxing gloves appeared on Xander's hands, and he clashed them together threateningly. "You really want to do this?"

    In a flash of blue, Harbinger was right in Xander's face. She grabbed him by the neck and tossed him up into the air. She leaped up after him, only to kick him into a large piece of the Power Chamber’s wall. His green spandex disappeared in a flash of light, leaving Xander prone. "You tell me, human."

    Harbinger stepped forward slightly as Adam shot her in the back with his Cosmic Cannon. She turned around to see what had happened, only to be sliced in the face by Adam's Power Axe. Adam moved to make another attack, but this time, Harbinger caught the axe on the downswing. Light green blood dripped down from her hand as she ripped the axe from Adam's grip, flinging it aside. She began pummeling Adam with a series of punches and kicks, and she was too fast for Adam to even attempt mounting a defense. With a final, powerful strike, she punched Adam several feet away. Just as the others, Adam's spandex vanished. He checked his morpher quickly, only to see it as busted as the day he'd trained Carlos.

    Harbinger's entire offensive had lasted less than half a minute.

    "Now, human. Nothing stands between us." Harbinger was directing her comments toward Sophia, who'd been standing to the side and silently praying during the entire fight.

    "Who, me?" Sophia pointed to herself, half sure that Harbinger was playing some sort of evil space alien prank on her. "What'd I do?"

    "You have the stink, child." Harbinger made a show of sniffing the air and grunting in displeasure, as if she'd just tasted a bad glass of wine at a tasting. "These Rangers, they are but nuisances. You, however, have the stink of destiny about you."

    "D... destiny?" Sophia gulped as Harbinger approached her. Xander attempted to grab Harbinger's ankle as she walked by, but the alien shrugged him aside as if her were simply an insect, unworthy of her attention.

    Sophia backed away from Harbinger, desperately trying to figure out how she'd survive if Harbinger really wanted to kill her. Things didn't look good, so Sophia kept talking. "What do you mean, 'destiny'?"

    Harbinger kept her pace steady as she approached Sophia. "There is a Nexus, a web of time, fortune, and destiny. It weaves its way throughout the universe, occasionally granting pathetic insects such as yourself a glimpse at unearned power and glory. You reek of it. You Progeny of Fate are a threat to my master, and you will all be eliminated!"

    "Fate?" Sophia said again, more to herself than to anyone else. "I'm a threat?" Sophia stopped backing away from Harbinger, and the blue alien stopped a few steps away from her.

    Sophia stood up straight, forcing her body to exude a confidence that she didn‘t really feel. "You think you can take me on? Someone your master considers a threat, and you think I can't threaten you? Bring it, sister!" Without warning, Sophia launched herself into a spin kick that would have devastated any human opponent. She pulled herself into a tight spin, building up every bit of speed her lithe frame could muster, and used every erg of force at her disposal to slam her foot directly into Harbinger's face.

    Harbinger stood still as a boulder. She began to laugh darkly.

    "Well. Frick." said Sophia.

    Then the ground began to rumble. Harbinger struggled to keep her balance, but couldn't. The powerless Rangers, on the other hand, were able to rush to Sophia's side.

    "What's going on?" Adam asked. Sophia shot him a look, and Adam put up his hands in mock defense. "Rhetorical."

    Five colored pillars of light shot forth from the ground. They coalesced into a quintet of multicolored orbs - red, green, blue, yellow, and pink.

    The blue and yellow orbs entered Tori and Kira's bodies, as if trying to pass through them but never exiting. The green orb found its way to Xander, while the red orb came to Adam.

    "Red...?" Adam murmured.

    The pink orb of light found its way to Sophia, passing through her as it did the others. The landscape was engulfed in the brightest white light anyone present had ever seen, and when it faded, five Zeo Rangers stood before Harbinger.

    The five Rangers were in awe with their new suits, but none moreso than Sophia. She had half gotten used to the idea of her new friends being Power Rangers, but being one herself was a whole new ball of yarn. "Look at me! And here I swore I'd never wear spandex because it'd make my butt look fat. I look spectacular!"

    “The Progeny of Fate! You… you’ve unlocked the true potential of the Zeo Crystal!” Harbinger seemed almost afraid. That made Sophia even happier.

    "Okay guys, looks like we have another shot at this," Adam stepped forward, taking charge. "Let's show Harbinger what we can really do!"

    "Right!" came a chorus of four agreements.

    Adam attacked first, throwing Harbinger off balance with a barrage of kicks. He spun aside to make room for Tori and Kira to attack in tandem. Kira blocked Harbinger's counterattacks, and then ducked low so Tori could deliver a devastating jump kick to Harbinger's head.

    Next, Xander leaped at Harbinger, kicking her several times before landing. In a single fluid motion, Xander ducked down and swept Harbinger's legs out from under her. The alien fell with a thud.

    Harbinger tried to rise, but Sophia was too quick for her. She tried to jump to her feet, but as soon as she did, Sophia landed a jump kick to her midsection, and Harbinger went flying.

    "All right guys, form up." Tori and Kira took a position on one side of Adam, while Xander and Sophia took a stance on the other. "Zeo Laser Pistols!" As one, the group drew their pistols and aimed them at Harbinger.

    "You won't win this," Harbinger hissed, not realizing that threats are pretty pointless after already having received an ass kicking.

    "Whatever you say," Adam responded, grinning under his helmet. "Fire!"

    Five lances of laser energy lanced out of the pistols, and Harbinger was wracked with pain as sparks erupted off of her body. She was engulfed in smoke and dust, and when it cleared, she was gone.

    "We won! We won, right? She's gone, we beat her, we won! Yay!" Sophia was jumping up and down, clapping her hands with joy.

    "I doubt it," Adam responded. "There was no explosion. That usually means they'll be back."

    "Oh." Sophia stopped jumping. "So, um. Progeny of Fate, huh?"

    "We need to find them," Kira added. "But how?"

    "Especially since everyone that might know how was on the Megaship," said Tori. "We're on our own here."

    "We'll find them, and we'll save them," Adam said, his voice showing a confidence he didn't entirely feel. "We have to."


    **********

    "Tomorrow, we'll head out to the old Zord Holding Bay and see if Billy left anything lying around that we can use to find the Progeny of Fate," Adam said to Sophia.

    "You sure it's okay if we stay here meanwhile?" Tori asked. The question was moot, however, as the out-of-towners had already set their stuff up in a room upstairs.

    "Yeah, it's no problem," Adam replied. "I made sure that my dojo had rooms upstairs for whenever an old friend might want to drop by for a while."

    "Any old friend, huh?"

    Adam looked toward the entrance and grinned when he saw who was there. "Jason! I tried to call you today, but you weren't around!"

    Sophia was a little creeped out by the Stepford Wives-esque smile plastered onto Jason's face, but she trusted Adam's taste in people. He'd befriended her, after all. Still, she subconsciously backed away slightly from the newcomer.

    "Yeah, I know. I got here as soon as I could," Jason replied, moving up to grasp forearms with Adam. "And I have a message you need to hear."

    “Oh? What's up?" Adam asked, curious.

    Jason tightened his grip on Adam's forearm. He leaned in close to Adam, as if to whisper a secret right into his ear. "Hail Lokar."

    That was the last thing Adam heard before Jason punched him in the face.

    ~To Be Continued~

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  3. #3
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    Progeny of Fate, Part 2
    By Question

    "Adam!"

    Tori was the first to respond, over a decade of ninja training having honed her instincts to their peak. She took a defensive position between Jason and Adam's falling body, sure of her ability to fend the enemy off of her friend.

    Xander's training took over next. In a flash of green light, vines broke through the floor of the dojo, catching Adam's body and lowering it gently to the ground. Another mental command from Xander, and Adam's unconscious body was wrapped in a protective cucoon of vines.

    Kira and Sophia took up defensive positions on either side of Tori. While neither thought for a second that they were anywhere near Tori's level of fighting skill, they knew that this guy had hurt their friend, and they wanted a piece.

    "What do you want?" Tori's voice was cold. She was not a fan of her friends being hurt like that, and she refused to play around.

    "You mean he never talked about me? I'm a little hurt." Jason's voice kept a conversational, almost jovial tone as his body instinctively fell into a defensive position of his own. Tori's eyes narrowed as she noticed. Jason's instincts were likely as honed as her own, and that didn't bode well.

    "To be fair, you did punch him before introductions could be made," Sophia said, marvelling at how quickly she'd learned to hide the mind-numbing fear she was feeling.

    "Fair enough," Jason smiled, another sign of confidence in his own skills. Sophia was getting a little tired of cocky bastards messing with her friends (who, given, she'd only known half a day). "Name's Jason. I used to be a Zeo Ranger with Adam, until I gave up my powers. And you?"

    "Tori. Wind Ninja Academy sensei."

    "Xander, wizard extraordinaire."

    "Kira, a better singer than you."

    "Sophia. I'm just sort of here."

    "Good to know." Jason ran in a slight arc to his left, making it to within arm's length of Sophia before any of the Rangers could move. Sophia ducked the first two powerful punches Jason shot at her, but reeled slightly when the third grazed her cheek.

    Sophia began a slow descent toward the ground before Kira caught her. Jason moved off slightly, unwittingly giving Tori the room she needed to leap over her fellow girl Rangers and aiming a flying kick at Jason's face. Jason ducked out of the way, and aimed a kick at the small of Tori's back just before she would have made a graceful landing, sending her sprawling.

    Xander moved up to Jason while the former Ranger was busy with Tori, and aimed several potentially devastating punches at him. Jason seemed to sense the impending attack, and quickly whirled around to expertly block them. Unfortunately for him, this gave Tori the half second she needed to sweep Jason's legs out from behind, sending him crashing to the floor.

    Jason recovered quickly, jumping to his feet and forcing Xander and Tori away with two powerful shoves. As they flipped away, Jason found himself face-to-face with a smiling Kira.

    "Remember me? I'm the one who sings." Kira took a deep breath and screamed. Yellow waves of energy emanated from her mouth, and her voice took on an unnaturally high pitch and became very, very loud. Jason grabbed his ears in pain as the sonic vibrations from Kira's mouth forced him back. He fell to the ground and rolled backwards, still gripping his ears even as Kira mercifully shut up. He might have jumped back to his feet again, if not for Xander summoning yet another set of vines, effectively restraining the former Ranger.

    The four conscious Zeo Rangers gathered around Jason, close enough for conversation but far enough away that he couldn't grab one of them should the vines break.

    "Why did you attack Adam?" Tori asked first.

    "What?"

    "What are you doing here?" Xander spoke next, holding up his hands in what might have been some sort of secret magical defense.

    "What?"

    Xander and Tori shot each other a confused look.

    "What's a 'Lokar'?" Sophia asked, not really expecting anyone to answer her. Sadly, she was getting a little used to that.

    "I can't hear you!"

    Kira blushed slightly as Tori shot her a look. "Guess I don't know my own lung strength."

    Jason struggled with his bonds violently enough that all four Zeo Rangers stepped back. When it became fairly obvious that he wouldn't escape that way, he began to laugh darkly. "You fools. It took all four of you to simply restrain me... You have no idea what it is you're messing with. If you knew..."

    "We'd kick it's ass." Sophia folded her arms defiantly. The other three Rangers smiled and nodded their assent.

    "We'll see, rookies. We'll see." In a bright flash of crimson flame, Jason vanished. The vines that had been holding him were charred black, and fell to the floor in a pile of ashes.

    "So. We have a nemesis." Sophia said gravely. She brightened noticeably as she continued. "Am I the only one kind of psyched by that?"

    No one chose to answer her. Again.


    **********

    "Unnhh... What hit me...?" Adam groaned as he woke up. A cool washcloth dropped from his forehead as he sat up in the bed.

    "From the way I heard it, you managed to expertly block Jason's fist with your face," Alpha responded, handing Adam some aspirin in a small Dixie cup. "The other Rangers managed to fight him off while you were snoozing the day away."

    "Very funny, Alpha." Adam swallowed the medicine in a single gulp, and then sipped water from a second cup Alpha handed him. "Did Jason mention why he attacked us?"

    "He might have, if someone hadn't deafened him," came Xander's voice from the door. He was grinning widely, taking out the sting that might otherwise have been in his words.

    "Hey, I said I was sorry," Kira shot back as she, Tori, and Sophia followed him into the bedroom. "You okay, Adam?"

    "Little groggy, but I'll manage," Adam responded as he got out of bed, much against Alpha's unspoken wishes. He took the washcloth and pressed it lightly against his forehead, sighing in relief as his headache dissipated. "Did Jason say anything else?"

    "He did mention that we'd probably wet ourselves if we knew who we were messing with." Sophia recalled.

    "Your typical supervillain banter," Kira added.

    "He whispered something about... someone or something called 'Lokar' to me, right before cold cocking me. Anyone know who that might be?" Adam asked the group.

    "LOKAR? Are you sure, Adam?" Alpha looked as shocked and as frightened as he could possibly manage without actually having a face.

    "I'm guessing... bad?" Xander said.

    "Very bad. Very, very, very bad." Alpha had started pacing nervously, fidgeting with his hands as he did so.

    "Who's Lokar?" Sophia asked, hoping that the fact everyone else wanted to know too would help her question to get answered.

    "Lokar is an interdimensional being, what humans would term a demon," Alpha began, choosing to ignore for the moment Sophia's victory jig. "but significantly more powerful. Many would-be evil warlords over the millennia have called upon his power to fuel their evil magic, including Rita Repulsa."

    "So, who called Lokar this time?" Kira asked, somewhat rhetorically. "Harbinger, maybe?"

    "That's the thing. If there were someone powerful enough on Earth to summon Lokar, we would very likely know about him by now. Such magic users are rarely so subtle," Alpha replied.

    "And Harbinger didn't exactly scream anything but 'lackey'," Adam added. "If Harbinger were one of those rare bosses who was willing to get their hands dirty right off the bat, she probably wouldn't even bother summoning Lokar."

    "Precisely, Adam," Alpha praised.

    "So what are the odds Lokar finally decided to act on his own, instead of waiting to be summoned?" Xander asked.

    "I'm afraid that I don't sufficient data to calculate the odds of that," Alpha said, somewhat sadly. "But I believe that it may be a hypothesis worth looking into."

    "What about the Progeny of Fate?" Sophia asked. "Harbinger said she wanted to kill me because I was one of those."

    "The Progeny of Fate are... well, I suppose the closest English translation would be 'the chosen'," Alpha replied after a moment of thought. "People who are meant to be thrust above their peers, to become greater than one of their status would otherwise be. Think of them as sort of the universe's immune system. If the universe senses that someone needs to be somewhere for some reason, the universe makes it happen."

    "The universe is... alive?" Sophia asked, a trace of skepticism underlying her question.

    "Not in the strictest sense, no," Alpha said. "At least, not alive in a way that any of us would recognize. But it has... sort of a self preservation aspect to it. It's less like a living being, and more like a computer with a firewall, only far more advanced."

    "So, what, it protects itself by making people more powerful or something?" Tori asked.

    "Sometimes. It's complicated. Sometimes, the universe needs someone to protect it with enhanced abilities, sort of like a Power Ranger. Sometimes, all it might need is someone to not be somewhere." Alpha bowed his head in slight embarrassment. "I apologize if I'm not making this clear, but the properties of the Progeny don't really translate well into your language."

    "So, Lokar kills the Progeny of Fate on the off chance that one of them might be destined to defeat him?" Xander asked.

    "It wouldn't work like that, as far as I know," Alpha said. "If a Progeny dies before they can fulfill their destiny, the universe can simply create another. Killing them would seem to serve no useful purpose."

    "So he must know something we don't," Tori brought the train of thought to it's logical conclusion. "Something about how killing the Progeny would serve his purpose."

    "Which is why he'd be taking the initiative this time," Kira added. "Maybe he's on some sort of schedule?"

    "Are we even sure that Lokar and Harbinger are working together?" Sophia asked. "Couldn't this all just be a coincidence?"

    "Attacked by a former Zeo Ranger only a few hours after becoming Zeo Rangers ourselves? That'd be one heck of a coincidence," Adam replied. "It's usually best to assume the worst, because the worst usually ends up being right. If they're not working together, it'll be a happy coincidence, but it would be foolish to run on that assumption." Privately, Sophia wondered if Adam had always been so cynical.

    "And we don't know a thing about his motivations or plans," Xander complained. "What's the next move, boss?"

    After the first ten seconds of silence, Adam was about to agree with the request for a plan of action. He took the washcloth off his forehead, however, only to see everyone in the room looking at him. Adam fought the urge to look behind him; he was the Red Ranger now, and he was the one everyone here would be looking to for advice and leadership.

    "The Power Chamber was destroyed, and there won't be anything of value left there," Adam said after a moment's thought. "But the Zeo Zord Holding Bay might still have something we could use."

    "Zordon kept a number of the Command Center's files backed up there for safe keeping," Alpha confirmed. "I'm sure they would be of some use. And I might be able to salvage enough computer components to create an early warning system, so we know when Lokar attacks."

    "What about the Turbo Zord Hangar?" Adam asked. "Do you think that might be intact as well?"

    "The Turbo Zord Hangar was destroyed during Astronema's final assault on Earth, unfortunately," Alpha replied.

    "I can have Daggeron ask the Mystic Mother about Lokar," Xander added. "Maybe she knows something about Lokar that we can use against him."

    "Who's the Mystic Mother?" Sophia asked. She asks lots of questions.

    "Well, uh," Xander coughed slightly in an obvious ploy to stall for a few extra seconds. "She's the source of our good magic. She used to be named Rita, in what Udonna called the dark days."

    "Rita... Repulsa...?" Adam asked in wide-eyed disbelief.

    "Yeah, they are definitely the same person," Xander said. "But she's good now, and she might know a thing or two about Lokar."

    "Well..." Adam glanced at Alpha, who shrugged slightly. "If you trust her I... promise not to shoot her if I see her."

    "All I ask, boss," Xander grinned.

    "Well everyone, get some sleep. We have a big day tomorrow," Adam said, feeling a bit more comfortable giving what might have been an order. "We meet here at seven tomorrow morning."

    Sophia groaned.

    "And I'll bring the coffee."

    Sophia brightened noticeably. "Fair compromise."


    **********

    "Search faster!"

    Harbinger had returned to the ruins of the Power Chamber shortly after sending Jason to deal with the Zeo Rangers. She was confident that he'd be able to get close enough to destroy them before they suspected a thing. In the meantime, she'd chosen to return to the ruins and obtain what she would have already, had she not been interrupted.

    A Golem sauntered up to her and held up a piece of metal for her inspection. It was nowhere near what she was looking for. With a snarl, Harbinger smacked the Golem's hand and sent the metal shard flying. "Idiot! It is a box, not a random chunk of metal! One more mistake, and I will ensure that your next assignment will be as a piece of clay in a Triforian art class!" The Golem whimpered and ran off.

    The Golems were among the most powerful grunts in Harbinger's employ. They resembled the Putty Patrollers that several former villains had utilized in their wars, only much bulkier. The Golems were large and powerful, but very, very stupid. Harbinger was constantly wishing she had something smarter working for her, like Cogs or Quantrons. However, what the Golems lacked in brainpower, they made up for in spades with brute strength and loyalty. If Harbinger ordered a platoon of Golems to leap off the mountain to their certain destruction, they would actually fight over the honor of going first, at least until she ordered them to stop.

    "Harbinger of the most revered one," came a hissing voice from slightly behind Harbinger. There was only one other being on the mountain with the ability to speak at the moment, so Harbinger knew full well who it was.

    "Status." Harbinger said, rather than asked. Harbinger very rarely asked anyone for anything.

    "The Golems have consistently failed in their search for the item. Perhaps we should-" He might have spoken further, had Harbinger not been crushing what passed for a windpipe on the heavily muscled avian creature.

    "The most honored Lokar demanded it. We will not leave until we have it. Am I understood." Despite the phrasing, Harbinger was still not asking a question. "Or perhaps I could simply inform him that the powerful Veron is, in his heart of hearts, a coward and a quitter."

    "Un-unnecessary, honored warrior," Veron croaked. Harbinger released him from her grasp, and he gulped in air hungrily. "We will continue the search."

    "Yes. We will." Harbinger looked away from Veron, seemingly sniffing the air with her alien nose. "I smell... humans." Her eyes narrowed. "The humans. Veron, take a squad of Golems, and crush those insolent Power Rangers. They're..." She sniffed once more, and pointed. "That way."

    "Come on, you good for nothings!" Veron called out, happy to be doing something other than failing his mistress. "We have work to do!"


    **********

    "It's... big."

    Sophia found herself unable to describe the Zeo Zord Holding Bay in more precise terms than that. She considered commenting on the armada of skyscraper-tall robots, but she was the only one present not used to having a gigantic battle machine at her beck and call. So she settled on 'big'. The chamber itself was littered with rubble, but the supports holding it in place seemed to be solid. The main chamber was occupied by the dormant Zeo Zord fleet, but there were doors leading to more chambers in the back.

    "Big, and invisible to all known forms of scanning technology." Alpha was positively beaming. "And with any luck, the Zeo Zords will be ready to do battle again very soon."

    "Plus, we need to get the backup Zeonizers," Adam added. "The crystal helped us morph once, but it'll be easier for all of us with the morphers on hand."

    "I'll go get the backup computer module up and running," Alpha said, already beginning to walk in a direction, presumably toward the aforementioned computers.

    "I might be able to help," Sophia added, following Alpha. "I'm no slouch with computers."

    Adam nodded. "All right. Everyone else, this way." Adam lead the remainder of the team in a direction opposite Alpha's own.

    "This is... also very big." Sophia mentally scolded herself for not being able to come up with a better description of the massive computer core before her. It was an accurate description, however, as the core itself was just higher than the waist of the nearby mech Alpha had called the Red Battlezord. Alpha had already pulled a panel on the core open and began cleaning out cobwebs and dust. Sophia moved to another panel and did the same. "Ew, how long has this computer sat here without someone taking care of it? It makes my inner nerd cry a little."

    "The Zeo Rangers last utilized the Zeo Zords just over a decade ago, and the Power Chamber itself was connected to this backup computer until it was destroyed a year after the Rangers shifted into Turbo." Alpha chuckled at his little wordplay. "As far as I know, it hasn't been accessed since."

    Sophia's eyes widened. "Ten years? Wouldn't it be obsolete, like, six times over?"

    Alpha chuckled. "Not these computers. They were imported straight from Eltar, and the technology hasn't significantly changed in almost two thousand years."

    Sophia whistled softly, and then gagged slightly as she dragged a clump of bright purple goo out of her open panel. "So you've been hanging out with Adam for the last decade?"

    "Nope. I spent a while in space with two teams of Power Rangers, and then came back to Earth about five years ago. I didn't see Adam again until he retrieved me from a crate in Angel Grove last year."

    "You were stuck in a box for almost five years?" Sophia asked, shocked that anyone would leave poor Alpha alone for that long. "Who thought it was a good idea to leave you alone in a crate for so long?"

    Alpha paused for a moment in his ministrations, and Sophia could have sworn he was trembling slightly. "I, uh, don't really want to talk about it. We... have a lot of work to do, after all."

    Sophia recognized a brushoff when she heard one, and she respected Alpha's feelings enough not to probe further. She and Alpha continued to clean in silence for several minutes, until the computer core's status lights lit up and it began humming with extraterrestrial processing power. Alpha flipped a switch on the core, and the lights in the Holding Bay flashed on, illuminating the shadowy chamber.

    Alpha led Sophia to a nearby console, which had been off before, but was now operative. "This is the Zeo Zord bootup sequence. Just follow the onscreen prompts, and the Zeo Zords should be up and running in no time." Alpha moved to another console a few feet away, and Sophia was forced to wonder if Alpha was intentionally avoiding her, so she wouldn't ask any more questions.

    The interface was extremely intuitive, and Sophia soon found herself moving quickly through each leg of the program. She didn't need to ask Alpha for help, and he didn't offer any for the moment. Sophia continued typing in silence.

    Meanwhile, Adam led the other Rangers to a laboratory on the other side of the large main chamber. Everything was covered in a fine layer of dust, and the remnants of several fast food containers still littered one of the desks. Adam started to walk briskly past them, but stopped and picked up a years-old carton of Szechuan beef. He seemed to drift away for a moment as he studied the food.

    "Everything okay, boss?" Xander asked, placing a supportive hand on Adam's shoulder.

    "Huh? Yeah." Adam gulped, trying to fight the lump that had just formed in her throat. "Well, no. Billy and I... We used to eat down here, and work on projects for the Zeo Rangers to use out in the field. This... was the last meal I'd ever eaten with Billy before he left Earth." A single tear rolled down Adam's cheek as he remembered his old friend. Tori and Kira remained silent, remembering their fallen friends as well.

    "I think the best way to remember Billy, and everyone else, is to kick Lokar's demonic butt back to the stone age, eh?" Xander flashed everyone present his trademark grin. "No better memorial than that."

    Adam forced a smile. "Amen to that. Let's get those Zeonizers." He led the Rangers to the back of the laboratory, where a large metal door took up most of the back wall. "This is the Zeo Auxiliary Vault. We used to keep spares of everything but the Zords back here, just in case the Machine Empire found a way to destroy any of our weapons."

    Adam kneeled by the large metal door and began typing numbers onto a small keypad. The door rewarded him with an angry beeping. Adam swore under his breath. "Sorry, guys. It's been over a decade since I was last down here. Shouldn't be more than a minute though, if all goes well..."

    Unfortunately, things chose just then to not go well. With a burbling battle cry, a half dozen of Harbinger's Golems burst into the laboratory. Adam swore again. "Hold them off while I work on this!"

    "Right!" Xander, Tori, and Kira all responded as one as they each fell into fighting stances.

    Tori looked around the confined lab, and decided that it wasn't nearly big enough for a prolonged brawl. With a circular motion of her hands, blue energy coalesced into a stream of water, forcing the Golems out of the lab like a chihuahua being shot with a fire hose. With a trio of battle cries, Xander Kira, and Tori followed them out, only to see a legion of Golems trashing the main chamber and everything within.

    "Oh, this is swell," Kira muttered. "Anyone think we could just ask them to leave?" Xander cleared his throat and began walking toward the very large group of grunts, but Tori and Kira pulled him back by the arms. "Rhetorical!" The Golems collectively roared, and the fight was on.

    "Unios Tryn Prifior!" Xander leaped into the air just in time to avoid a slash from a Golem's clay sword. As Xander reached the apex of his jump, his spell kicked in, causing vines to form around the ankles of three Golems. The three of them tried to rush Xander as he landed gracefully, but they each tripped and fell. The vines continued to grow, crushing the Golems into a cloud of gray powder. Xander dusted off his shirt, and went to find more enemies to kick the butts of.

    Several Golems had climbed the stationary Zeo Zords and Red Battlezord, obviously deciding to take the high ground in this fight. Tori used her ninja skills to leap from zord to zord, joining the dozen Golems atop Zeo Zord Four, a green bull. They attacked Tori en masse, but the Wind Ninja Sensei had other ideas. She made one final jump to the zord's head, and summoned her ninja magic again. As before, the blue energy became a powerful geyser of water in her capable hands, and she used precision aim to blast each Golem one by one, causing them to fall to the ground and explode into dust.

    Kira was just at the feet of the Red Battlezord, battling her own group of Golems. Like Xander and Tori, she was trying to get into position to use her genetic ability, but the Golems wouldn't leave her alone. Inspired, Kira looked down and screamed at the ground. The energy from her mouth propelled her into the air, where she screamed again. The helpless Golems covered their non-existent ears right before joining their brethren as clouds of gray dust. Kira began to tumble back to the metal floor, having not really thought this part of the plan through, but Xander was quick enough to catch her with a burst of green vines. She landed gracefully on the floor as Tori and Xander formed up beside her.

    More than half of the Golems were gone, and the rest seemed content to cower in fear. Suddenly, the Holding Bay began to rumble, and the main zord-sized door of the Holding Bay was ripped off its hinges. Xander, Tori, and Kira covered their eyes as the sunlight poured into the room. They looked up to see a gigantic creature that looked like a sparrow who'd taken a bunch of steroids. It roared menacingly, as if ripping a giant metal door apart weren't menacing enough.

    "I'll handle this one, ladies." Xander straightened up again and took a few steps forward.

    "Um, as much as we all love Plan Xander, I really don't think this is the ideal situation..." Kira said.

    "Plan Xander has it's place, but this kind of isn't it," Tori added.

    "Laldies, relax," Xander grinned. He raised his Mystic Wand skyward as he jogged toward the giant beast. "Galwit Mysto Prifior!"

    In a flash of green light, Xander had transformed. He was now every bit as tall as the mechs in the Holding Bay, and he took a defensive position between the zords and the monster. "Take care of the grunts! I'll handle this beast!"

    Meanwhile, Sophia had been working diligently on her computer console. She had wanted to join the fray, but she knew that she would probably be of more use behind a computer than facing a bunch of gray monster things. Alpha still hadn't spoken to her since her last question, and Sophia was wondering if she should apologize.

    The Holding Bay began to rumble again, and Sophia looked to her left to see three Golems running away from a set of stairs that led into the basement. The mountain rumbled a third time, and Sophia realized that the grunts had likely set explosive charges in the basement while everyone upstairs had been occupied. "Um, Alpha?"

    "Explosives, I know." Alpha seemed terse, but Sophia ignored it. Alpha began pulling computer components out of the computer core and piling them into his hands. "We may not be able to save the core itself, but these memory nodes should be enough. I'll get these to Tori's van, you go help them fight."

    "Can do!" Sophia left her console just as it began to wildly spark. She turned to help Alpha escape as well, but the android was quicker and more agile than he looked. Sophia decided that he'd be fine, so she ran to help Tori and Kira finish off the Golems.

    Xander's Titan form wasn't faring too well against Veron. His giant green axe had done some damage, but Veron smacked it out of Xander's hand, and it landed too far away to be of any real use now. Xander considered trying to use magic against Veron, but the beast was too quick for him, overpowering Xander each time the Titan would pause for a second to summon anything. Thus Xander was forced to limit his attacks to kicks and punches, and these were hardly an effective attack against the much stronger monster.

    With a mighty roar, Veron slammed Xander in the chest with a mighty kick, and followed up with a quick headbutt. Xander stumbled backward, but before he could regain his balance, Veron shot a fireball from his wings, scorching the Titan and causing him to shrink. Xander hit the ground outside the Holding Bay with a painful grunt. Veron laughed mockingly at the fallen Ranger.

    Sophia, Tori, and Kira ran up to Xander's fallen body, having decided to leave the Golems to their fate in the collapsing mountain. Adam joined them a few seconds later, his arms filled with Zeonizers and something sparkly gripped tightly in his fist.

    "Here, try these on for size," Adam said as he handed out the morphing devices. The five of them strapped the Zeonizers to their wrists as Adam did, and then wondered what to do with them.

    "These are... kind of bulky, huh?" Xander asked rhetorically.

    "How do these work?"

    "Do they come with Pong?" Sophia asked, getting a number of blank stares. "What? I like Pong..."

    "Just follow my lead, guys," Adam said as he brought his Zeonizers together, everyone else following his lead. "It's morphin' time!"

    "Zeo Ranger One, Pink!"

    "Zeo Ranger Two, Yellow!"

    "Zeo Ranger Three, Blue!"

    "Zeo Ranger Four, Green!"

    "Zeo Ranger Four, Green!" Adam paused, mentally shouting at himself for his blunder. "Zeo Ranger Five, Red!"

    In a flash of multicolored light, where once stood five humans now stood five Zeo Rangers, posing heroically and ready for the opposition.

    Almost.

    "Will... will our lasers work on that...?" Sophia wondered aloud, fingering her Zeo Laser Pistol. "Because that guy's kind of really big."

    "We need to get to the Zeo Zords," Adam said. He managed to run a whole three steps toward the Holding Bay before the inside erupted into a maelstrom of fire. He could almost hear the Zeo Zords scream as they were burnt to cinders by whatever the Golems had done to them and the mountain began to collapse on top of them.

    "We don't still have to get to the Zeo Zords, do we?" Kira asked.

    "No, this'd be the time for Plan B." Adam opened his fist, revealing five sparkling crystals. "I figured we would need the backup sooner rather than later, so I grabbed these from the Auxiliary Vault."

    "What are they?" Tori asked as Adam handed out the crystals. Each was the size and shape of a large coin, and they were emblazoned with the same shapes as the Zeo Rangers' visors.

    "They're called the Super Zeo Gems. They're the keys that unlock the Super Zeo Zords, the most powerful zords we had in our arsenal, save maybe Pyramidas." Adam inspected his own gem. "I'm, uh, not really sure how to activate them, though. Last time, we had the Gold Ranger energize them with his staff, but that's not really an option this time..."

    "We'd better think of something quick," Xander said, pointing at the advancing Veron. The avian monster had begun slowly walking toward the team, obviously relishing the suspense it was creating.

    "Only one thing I can think of," Adam said. He held his Super Zeo Gem in his thumb and forefinger and raised it toward the sky. "We need Super Zeo Zord power, now!"

    Five comets of light crashed down in the nearby valley, and when the light faded, the five Super Zeo Zords were standing there, brandishing their weapons at Veron. The monster hadn't been expecting that, and he involuntarily stepped back.

    "Amazing," Tori said, admiring the sleek, shiny contours of the Super Zeo Zords.

    "Perfect," Xander agreed, rubbing his hands in anticipation. "Shall we?"

    Adam nodded his assent, and the Zeo Rangers jumped into the air and landed in the cockpits of their respective zords. As they completed their landings, the Super Zeo Zords came to life, forming up into a single file line and posing with their respective weapons.

    "Rangers or Zords, I'll destroy you all!" Veron roared. He jumped into the air and began flapping his wings, soaring above the Rangers.

    Adam grinned under his helmet. "Looks like Veron doesn't know these zords at all. Super Zeo Zords, take flight!" After the pilots flipped the appropriate switches in their cockpits, the five zords began soaring in the air as gracefully as Veron.

    The Pink and Yellow Zords flew to either side of Veron. With a thumbs up that somehow they could each see from their respective cockpits, the zords emitted plumes of white energy from their chest symbols, causing Veron to spark and roar in pain. He flew lower to avoid them, but Tori pulled up below him in the Blue Zord. With a savage flip kick, she propelled Veron into Angel Grove Harbor.

    Xander aimed his Green Zord at the harbor as well, and took chase after Veron with a mighty splash. It took a few moments of searching with radar, but Xander found Veron and knocked him back out of the water with a massive punch from the largest Super Zeo Zord. He landed on the ground just outside Angel Grove. He flipped to his feet as quickly as he could, but it wasn't quickly enough. Adam's Red Zord landed betwen Veron and the city, brandishing a giant version of the Zeo Five Power Sword. The blade of the weapon began to glow with red energy, and Adam swiped at the beast. Veron tried to block the attack, but it was too little, too late. One explosion later, and that was the last anyone had to worry about Veron.


    **********


    "Imbecile..." Harbinger muttered as she stood on the roof of the Ebon Palace, before the Dark Altar. "I apologize great and feared one. I should have chosen my warrior more carefully."

    "You could not have known that the Power Rangers would activate their zord fleet," a booming voice from above intoned. Harbinger, while still fearing for her life, looked up, puzzled. "Fear not, my Harbinger. You have been my loyal and trustworthy servant for far too long for this one failure to evoke my wrath."

    The towers of the Dark Altar began to glow with black energy. High above her head, the visage of the great and powerful Lokar appeared in the sky. Lightning crackled from the points of each spike on his head, but his expression remained neutral.

    Two Golems approached the chamber, whimpering with fear. Between them, they held a massive chest. They set it lightly between Harbinger and the Dark Altar, and left as quickly as they could manage without seeming disrespectful.

    With a flash of orange energy from her eyes, Harbinger destroyed them anyway.

    "My lord, the Golems finally managed to unearth the treasure you sought." Harbinger opened the chest's ornate lid, revealing the swirling energies within. "Zordon was a fool to leave this within his Power Chamber, and his chosen will live to regret it."

    Lokar began to laugh, causing the entire Ebon Palace to rumble violently. From the shadows, five humanoid figures joined in his evil laughter, and even Harbinger was forced to chuckle slightly.

    After all, it wasn't every day one got begin the Apocalypse.


    **********


    "This is awesome!" Xander exclaimed as Alpha led the Zeo Rangers into the basement of Adam's dojo. Unlike a typical basement, this one was filled with computers and flashy lights and all sorts of other high tech looking gizmos. "Why does everyone have a better lair than we used to back in Briarwood?"

    "I've been working on this for a while now," Alpha said brightly. "With the memory nodes I salvaged from the Holding Bay, it's finally operational. Rangers, welcome to Zeo Ops!"

    Tori, Kira, and Xander wandered around their new base, marvelling at each device. Even Tori and Kira were impressed, despite the similarity to Ninja Ops and Dino Ops.

    "I even managed to save a large percentage of Zordon's database. With research, we may be able to find just what Lokar wants with the Progeny of Fate," Alpha added.

    "Speaking of Progeny, where's Sophia?" Kira asked no one in particular.


    **********

    "Penny for your thoughts?"

    Sophia looked up, and saw Adam standing by the stairs leading down from the roof. He had a half smile and a jovial tone, which was markedly different from the Adam Sophia had met the day before. She realized that it must be for her benefit.

    "Just thinking," she replied as she returned her gaze to Angel Grove's skyline.

    "Anything I can help with?" Adam asked as he took a seat on the roof's edge, next to Sophia. The two dangled their feet over the ledge, each only a single butt scoot from plummeting down to the grass.

    "The Progeny of Fate, mostly," Sophia admitted. "The Progeny are each supposed to have a purpose or something, so I was just wondering what mine was."

    "Destiny," Adam nodded, staring out at the skyline as well. "Everyone has a destiny, not just the Progeny. You'll figure it out when the time is right."

    "Do you know what your destiny is?" Sophia asked Adam.

    "Not yet," Adam admitted. "Maybe it was to be a Power Ranger. Maybe... maybe being a Power Ranger is just a stop on the way. Who's to say?"

    "Then how do we know when we've fulfilled our destiny?" Sophia asked.

    "No idea. Maybe we don't," Adam replied. "Or maybe we'll just know. But there's no sense in worrying about it, not yet anyway."

    "Do you think we can beat Lokar?" Sophia asked. "When you guys were talking about him earlier, he sounded really powerful. What if... what if this was just his advance party? What if-"

    "Every Ranger wonders, at some point or another, whether or not they can win the war. The trick is to just focus on one battle at a time. You have to take a first step before you can take a second. And remember, you have four veteran Rangers here, and we're going to make sure you're as prepared as possible for this fight." Adam fidgeted slightly. "That is, if you're still in."

    "Of course I'm still in! How can I say no to defending my world?" Sophia flashed Adam a half grin. Her stomach rumbled, and she blushed slightly. "Any chance we could get something to eat?"

    "Absolutely," Adam got up, and helped Sophia to her feet as well. "You haven't lived until you've tried Alpha's flapjacks."

    The two laughed together as they reentered the dojo. Neither was sure what was going to happen next, but they knew that they wouldn't have to face it alone.

    ~fin~

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  4. #4
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    "We get friendship bracelets?" Sophia asked as she strapped the device to her wrist. If it had had a face, it could have been mistaken for a retro watch, complete with pink wristband.

    "These are called communicators. They allow communication between team members when you're separated-"

    "I have a cell phone, you know," Sophia grinned.

    "...as well as allowing teleportation while you're not in your morphed mode," Alpha finished.

    "Oh, well, that's a bit more useful then."

    "Very cool," Xander added, as he strapped his own communicator to his wrist. The rest of the new Zeo Rangers were doing the same.

    "You simply tap the gold button on the communicator face and envision a location. As long as you're within the range of the Zeo Ops teleportation matrix, you should appear at your destination in a matter of seconds."

    "What kind of range does it have?" Kira asked.

    "About seven hundred thousand light years. Unfortunately, it's not nearly as far as the Power Chamber could have teleported us," Alpha responded.

    "Well, gee, that's all?" Sophia sighed dramatically. "I guess we'll just have to make do."

    Everyone present shared a hearty giggle. Sophia had quickly become the comedy relief of the group, and everyone appreciated it. Laughing was a nice change from worrying about Lokar's next move.

    Alpha moved to a console nearby, and began typing on some unlabeled buttons. "Since we were unable to retrieve the Zeo arsenal from the Zord Holding Bay before it's collapse, I also took the liberty of creating a set of personalized weaponry for you all. Please hold out your hands." As the Zeo Rangers did so, they each received a familiar looking weapon. "I used the databanks to cross reference..." Alpha cleared his throat, which was odd, as he didn't really have any reason to. "Well, actually, I just looked up your weapons on the Wikipedia page for the Power Rangers."

    More giggles.

    As the Rangers each held out their hands, a holographic replica of Alpha's new weapons appeared in them. "For Adam, the Zeo Five Power Axe." Adam tested the heft of his weapon, and found it surprisingly light and easy to maneuver. Knowing what he did about Alpha, though, he suspected it would deliver significantly more punch than his old Power Axe did. "I also recreated the Cosmic Cannon mode. I figured it would come in handy."

    Xander began twirling his weapon in his hand, like some sort of circus clown or carnie. "Xander, your weapon is the Zeo Four Power Scepter. I created it out of a material that can focus and amplify magical energy, similar to your Magistaff." Xander nodded approvingly.

    "Tori, you have the Zeo Three Power Sword. Like your Ninja Sword, it can convert to Gold Mode to deliver twice the kick, but only for a short time." Tori smiled widely as she tested her sword's weight. It was similar enough to her old sword that Tori could tell she'd have no problems using it in battle.

    "Kira, for you I've designed the Zeo Two Power Grips." Kira's weapons looked sort of like her old Ptera Grips, but the blades were serrated, which Kira knew meant she'd be able to deal even more damage with them. She grinned as she flipped them in the air like a pro knife juggler.

    "And finally, Sophia. I didn't really know what you'd prefer to wield in combat, so I figured that you'd appreciate something long range. And thus, the Zeo One Power Bow!"

    Sophia, while not unhappy, inspected her weapon curiously. "Um... No quiver?"

    "When you pull the drawstring back, an arrow made of energy will appear." Sophia nodded approvingly. "I'm still working on a combined mode for the weapons, but these should be enough to hold back Lokar's forces in the meantime.

    "Awesome job, Alpha!" Sophia complimented, followed by a chorus of agreement from the other four Rangers.

    My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard
    And they're like...


    Sophia blushed as she scrambled to retrieve her ringing cell phone from her jeans pocket. Notcing the caller ID, she groaned. "Gotta run, guys. Promised a friend of mine I'd meet him at the park." With a few last minute waves and thanks and junk, Sophia rushed upstairs.



    **********



    "Step forward, my chosen, and accept my gift," Lokar rumbled from atop the Ebon Palace.

    Lokar's five warriors stepped from one of the many shadows present in the Ebon Palace's throne room. Harbinger watched from beside the Dark Altar as they approached. As each of Lokar's chosen were lit up by the light of several dozen candles upon the altar, they smiled darkly at their lord and master.

    As they lined up before Harbinger, she kneeled down to the chest at her feet, the same chest which her Golems had found beneath the ruins of the accursed Zordon's Power Chamber. Harbinger looked up into the sky, waiting for her master's permission. As his giant head nodded, Harbinger opened the chest to reveal the swirling, multicolored energies within.

    Lokar began to chant words from a long-dead language, and the sky began to crackle with electricity. The energies began to leave the chest at Harbinger's feet, and floated into the sky. With a crackle of thunder, a lightning bolt passed through the floating nimbus of energy. It split into five separate bolts of lightning, and it struck the five warriors. None of them were able to withstand the torrent of pain, and they fell backward amongst a shower of sparks.

    As the warriors rose, they found that their wardrobe had changed. Instead of the loose-fitting black robes they had been wearing, they were now garbed in tight, brightly-colored spandex.

    Well, three of them were.

    The sky began to calm as Lokar surveyed his new fighting force. The three warriors with altered wardrobes were admiring their new uniforms. The two still garbed in robes had confused looks on their faces.

    The taller one spoke first. "Master Lokar? I... I do not understand..."

    "Silence!" Lokar rumbled as the sky crackled with more thunder, underscoring Lokar's command. The tall warrior, properly chastised, knelt before the Dark Altar. The other unchanged warrior knelt with him.

    "You five have all been members of a superior warrior brigade, with victories unheard of amongst your brethren on other worlds. I have decided that you would make a perfect advance force for my own army. The irony... Earth conquered by those who had been unmatched in defending it. It is with supreme pleasure that I bequeath Zachary Taylor, Trini Kwan, and Kimberly Hart with the powers of the Black, Yellow, and Pink Mighty Morphin Power Rangers."

    Kimberly, Zack, and Trini held their arms before them and bowed to Lokar. Their uniforms, the same uniforms they once wore in the service of Zordon, seemed to sparkle in the candlelight.

    "As for you, Jason Scott and Thomas Oliver," Lokar continued. "You have each been powerful leaders of the Power Rangers, having both led your teams through battles unmatched throughout the cosmos. Both of you are worthy to lead my Dark Power Rangers, but only one of you shall have that honor."

    "I should lead, master. I was the original leader, before Zordon handed the role to Tommy to soothe his pathetic ego..."

    "No, my lord! I was the leader of the Zeo Rangers, and I know how their new Red Ranger thinks far better than him..."

    Tommy and Jason had spoken as one, their words fairly indistinguishable from one another's. Lokar wasn't having any of that, though, as thunder cracked overhead yet again.

    "SILENCE!" Tommy and Jason resumed their kneeling stances, silent. "I do not wish to hear you bicker for this most coveted of positions. I have a more worthy idea."

    Lokar's throne room began to fill with gray mist, and when it cleared, the entire room had changed shape. Instead of the Dark Altar, the room now looked like... an ordinary dojo.

    "You shall battle amongst yourselves here. The fiercest warrior shall become my Red Ranger, and the leader of my Dark Power Rangers."

    Tommy and Jason took up positions on either side of the dojo's sparring mat. They dropped their black robes to reveal karate gis under them - Jason in white, and Tommy in black.

    Tommy smiled, as he knew that he would win this fight for sure. He'd been besting Jason in single combat since they first met, and he'd kept his skills up to par enough to become a Power Ranger yet again, long after his graduation.

    Jason smiled, as he knew that he would win this fight for sure. He was the one who first defeated Tommy as the evil Green Ranger, with his superior firepower and skills, and he'd been the first one Tommy thought of when he was looking for a Gold Ranger.

    Neither opponent bowed. They'd known each other long enough that they didn't need to. Without a single word, both former Power Rangers began a frenzied combat.

    Meanwhile, Lokar called Harbinger to the back of the room, away from the eyes of the Dark Power Rangers. "Harbinger, the Pink Zeo Ranger is alone in Angel Grove. Send a contingent of Golems to eliminate her. It will be far easier for my Dark Power Rangers to defeat a team of four, rather than a team of five."

    Harbinger bowed deeply. "Your wish is my command, Lord Lokar."


    **********

    "Sorry I'm late, Leo. Got caught up in some stuff." Sophia was breathing heavier than normal, having run to Angel Grove Park straight from Adam's dojo. She belatedly realized that it might have been a good opportunity to use the new teleportation system, but it was a little late for that now.

    "Must be nice to have a life," the long haired man sitting in the shade of the oak tree said. He stood up and dusted off his jeans, flashing a grin at Sophia. "How you been?"

    "Not bad." Sophia gave Leo a big hug. The two of them had been friends since before Sophia understood the concept of the word 'friend'. "Lots of stuff's been going on lately. I swear, you're gonna freak out."

    "Sophia, this is Angel freakin' Grove," Leo shot back. "I doubt anyone here would be shocked by anything that happens. I mean, did you hear that the Zeo Rangers are apparently back in town? It's been, what, ten years since they last showed their helmets?"

    "Um, yeah, I did hear something about that," Sophia replied, looking at anything but Leo's eyes.

    That was when the oak tree beside them went up in flames.

    Leo and Sophia reeled back, the sudden influx of heat seemng worse than it really was. A quick glance around confirmed Sophia's first suspicion. "Harbinger. Always a pleasure," she practically growled.

    Indeed, standing not ten feet away was the blue skinned warrior who'd quickly redefined the word 'dangerous' in Sophia's mind, even after only a single meeting.

    "Harbinger? What's she a harbinger of?" Leo's words reminded Sophia that the general population of Angel Grove hadn't heard of Harbinger yet, and thus didn't know how much they should be fearing her.

    "Progeny," Harbinger, eloquent as ever, said. Her voice still radiated the emotionless cold that Sophia remembered all too well. "I trust you've had proper time to prepare for your imminent destruction."

    "Not so much, no." Sophia cringed slightly as she remembered that Leo was still with her. "Hey Leo, maybe you should run?"

    "From a cerulean-skinned pyro? I'm thinking not." Leo fell into a karate stance, confident as ever. Despite the danger, Sophia rolled her eyes. Leo had always been way too cocky for his own good.

    "Golems!" In a flash of black light, a half dozen of the grey creatures Sophia recognized from the Zord Holding Bay appeared. Sophia cringed inwardly, as she rememebered that they hadn't technically beaten the Golems before; they had been crushed by the decimated Holding Bay.

    "Stand back!" Sophia positioned herself between Leo and the advancing Golems.

    "I'd love to stay and destroy you myself, but my lord has important business for me to attend to," Harbinger intoned. With a wave of her blue arms, Harbinger disappeared in a flash of light.

    The Golems, however, remained.

    Sophia launched a punch into the face of the nearest Golem, forcing it to stagger back slightly. Pressing her attack, Sophia pivoted on one foot to deliver a powerful kick to the Golem's midsection. It staggered again, but continued to advance. A swipe by a Golem from Sophia's left forced her to stumble, and knocked her communicator into the nearby grass. Sophia tried to dive for it, but was blocked by three more Golems.

    Leo wasn't faring much better. His attacks had more power than Sophia's, but the Golems were far hardier than any opponent he'd ever faced. He already had a black eye from one Golem's assault.

    Sophia backed away slightly, and considered. Leo was one of her oldest, closest, and most trusted friends. Plus, she couldn't just let the Golems and, by extension, Harbinger beat her. The thought of that made Sophia's blood boil.

    Just like that, Sophia had made her decision. She hoped Adam wouldn't be too mad.

    "It's morphin' time! Zeo Ranger One, Pink!" In a flash of bright magenta light, Sophia transformed into her spandex clad alter ego.

    Sophia drew her Zeo Laser Pistol and fired several bursts of energy at the advancing Golems. As the blasts hit them, the Golems exploded into lifeless chunks of grey clay. It only took a few seconds for Sophia to destroy each of Harbinger's minions, which was a little surprising when she considered how tough they'd been before.

    In another flash of light, Sophia demorphed back into her t-shirt and jeans. She blushed slightly as she looked at Leo, who was staring at her with his mouth open. "So, where was I? Oh yeah, big news!"


    **********

    Harbinger launched a blast of energy at the main entrance to Angel Grove Metalworks, causing the large doors to collapse inward. Several security guards ran to stop Harbinger's advance, but her companion met them with a blast of his own, causing them to disappear.

    "Harbinger of destruction, I sense large quantities of unrefined ore this way," Harbinger's cybernetic ally, Teletron, led her into the building. Instead of walking down the various hallways, as one might have expected, Teletron simply walked through the walls. Teletron simply melted through them, like a ghost. Or Jack.

    Harbinger, however, simply blasted the walls while she followed Teletron's lead.

    Teletron led Harbinger straight through the building, and out into the back. There were several trucks worth of ore and metal sitting back there, unattended since Harbinger and Teletron's presence had caused everyone to abandon the worksite.

    "Excellent. Lokar the Great and Powerful will be pleased." Harbinger came as close to smiling as she ever had. Teletron raised his arms, ready to teleport the load of metal to Lokar's palace, when a chorus of voices erupted from behind.

    "Stop!" Teletron and Harbinger almost turned around, but the four Zeo Rangers flipped over their heads to take a defensive position between them and the load of metal that was their target. "Don't know what you're up to, Harbinger, but you can guarantee we're not gonna let you get away with it!" Adam finished.

    "Power Rangers. How utterly predictable." Harbinger seemed almost bored by their presence. "Teletron, you know what to do." In a flash of black light, Harbinger vanished.

    "Well, Power Rangers, I've heard a lot about you," Teletron said. "Not that it'll matter in ten seconds."

    "Why ten-" But Kira's question was interrupted by a blast of yellow electricity from Teletron's hands. Explosions racked her body as she was flung backwards from the force of the attack. "Oh. Ten seconds. Gotcha."

    "Zeo Four Power Scepter!" Xander leaped at Teletron, spinning his weapon like an expert baton twirler. As he brought his weapon down, however, Teletron vanished into thin air. "What, already?" Xander asked no one in particular. Xander's musings were halted, however, when Teletron reappeared next to him. He swiped at Xander twice in succession, causing a grunt of pain and a shower of sparks to come from the Green Ranger.

    "Zeo Three Power Sword!" Tori held her sword in one hand, and her extended Zeo Power Pod* in the other. In true ninja style, Tori slashed at Teletron with both weapons together, hoping that at least one would strike her enemy down. Alas, Teletron was too quick. With each of Tori's attacks, Teletron would disappear, only to reappear a microsecond later, beginning the process again. Finally, after a particularly brutal attack by Tori, Teletron slammed her in the midsection, and flung her into a large pile of sand.

    Kira drew her Laser Pistol and fired a volley of blasts at Teletron. However, Teletron went intangible, and the blasts passed right through him. Unfortunately, Xander and Tori were on the other side of the cybernetic beast, and they were blasted by Kira instead. Kira stopped shooting, which was also unfortunate, as Teletron took the opportunity to teleport up to her, slash her savagely, and teleport away.

    This time, though, Teletron had to contend with Adam. Just as Teletron materialized, Adam brought his Power Axe down. Teletron was flung backwards with the force of Adam's attack, flying back several feet.

    "Not bad, Red Ranger..."

    Teletron jumped into the air and vanished again. Adam frantically scanned the battlefield to try and spot him again, but he couldn't find him. A dark shadow grew on the ground beneath Adam, and he found himself with a sinking feeling. Looking up, Adam saw Teletron plummeting down toward him. Adam barely had enough time to raise his arms in self defense as Teletron landed.

    The force from Teletron's punch caused fire to erupt all around the Red Zeo Ranger. With a cry of surprise and pain, Adam was flung into the other three Rangers, and all of them collapsed to the ground.

    "Hmph. And Harbinger told me you were a force to be reckoned with..." Teletron laughed heartily to himself. He turned back toward the pile of metal he'd come for. With a wave of his robotic arms, the metal vanished into thin air, with Teletron himself following shortly after.

    "Well. That was fun," Xander grunted as he helped the girls to their feet.

    "No, it really wasn't," Adam said as he dusted his spandex off. "We'd better get back to Zeo Ops, see if Alpha can tell us anything about this guy."


    **********

    * - You know, the little grey sword thing that I didn't know was called that until I looked it up on rovang.org just now.


    **********

    "So, guys, this is Leo."

    The Zeo Rangers, fresh from their defeat at the hands of Teletron, had entered Zeo Ops, only to see Sophia and Alpha sitting with a guy none of them had seen before.

    "Leo, these are Tori, Kira, Xander, and Adam." Leo moved to shake each of their hands. Three of the Rangers were cordial, but Adam was almost glaring at Sophia. All she could do was shrug slightly.

    Man, this place is awesome!" Leo was totally geeking out. "And I can't believe I'm hanging out with the Power Rangers!"

    "Sophia? A word?" Adam still didn't look happy.

    "Um... Yeah. Stay put, 'kay Leo?" Leo was chatting excitedly with the rest of the Zeo Rangers, and barely acknowledged Sophia's words.

    A few moments later, Adam and SOphia were on the roof of the dojo. The sun was just beginning to set, and Sophia kept her arms crossed to protect herself from the chill.

    "You told him? How could you?" Adam... well, he was about as happy as he looked.

    "I didn't exactly tell him..." Sophia didn't like seeing Adam angry. Well, okay, she didn't like seeing anyone angry, but especially Adam. "Harbinger attacked us, and if I didn't morph we would have died."

    "But..." Adam shook his head, clearly upset. "We can't just tell people about who we are. It could put them in danger."

    "How could Leo be more in danger if he knows?" Sophia countered. "At least this way, I'll be able to tell him if he's going to be in trouble soon."

    "Guys like Lokar have this bad habit of putting people we care about into dangerous situations, just to get at us." Adam ran a hand through his short hair. "Not to mention that if he tells anyone..."

    "You can trust Leo like you can trust me." Sophia's eyes flashed steely resolve. Adam admired the loyalty she had to her friend, and hoped that she'd have that for the rest of the Zeo Rangers one day.

    The door to the roof burst open to reveal a jogging Xander. "Trouble, boss. Alpha says that cyborg thing's back at the Metalworks. We gotta move."

    Adam nodded, and he and Sophia followed Xander back downstairs to join up with Alpha and the other Zeo Rangers.

    And, apparently, Leo.

    "Sophia, is this cool or what! We're gonna kick some monster butt!" Leo punched the air a couple of times, clearly excited at the prospect of helping the Power Rangers.

    "Um..." Sophia glanced at Adam, who merely shook his head slightly. "No, Leo. We're handling this; you're waiting here."

    "But..." Leo looked at the other Rangers present, but none of them showed any signs of disagreeing with Sophia. "But I can help!"

    "You can also get killed, and I don't want that happening."

    "But..."

    "No!" Sophia began walking to the door, refusing to look back. "C'mon, guys. We need to get to the Metalworks."

    The rest of the Zeo Rangers followed Sophia out the door. Leo and Alpha saw quick flashes of multicolored light from outside, and they were gone.

    "So. Care for a game of checkers?" Alpha asked.

    "Nah." Leo looked longingly out the door. "Metalworks, huh?"


    **********


    Teletron had indeed returnd to the Angel Grove Metalworks, and like before, the Zeo Rangers were there, ready to stop him from... whatever. He was evil; stopping him is kind of what they did regardless.

    This time, he'd brought a squadron of Golems along, and Harbinger seemed to be sticking around for the obligatory fight scene as well.

    Tori and Kira found themselves dueling back and forth with Harbinger. The blue warrior had improved since they'd last fought, as she was moving deftly between Tori and Kira's laser blasts. Glancing at each other, the two girl Rangers silently agreed on upping the ante.

    "Zeo Two Power Grips!"

    "Zeo Three Power Sword!"

    Harbinger grinned ferally as the Rangers drew their blades. Harbinger drew her own sword from its sheath on her back, and continued her duel against the Rangers. Neither side seemed to be taking any sort of advantage, despite the superior numbers the Ranger girls boasted.

    Meanwhile, Adam and Xander took the fight to Teletron. Adam had hoped that facing two opponents at once would slow down the villain a bit, but all it seemed to be doing was causing Xander and Adam to occasionally miss and hit each other with their weapons.

    Finally, Xander tried something new. Holding his Zeo Four Power Scepter aloft, he called out "Unin Terra Ifrit!" The ground beneath the three combatants began to rumble, and several vines erupted from below. The vines began to thrash, and Teletron seemed to slow down his teleporting for fear of being throttled by one of them.

    However, the vines were also impeding Adam and Xander, so Teletron's
    slower speed was countered by their having to slow down as well. In frustration, Xander dispelled his vines, causing Teletron to move even faster. He and Adam seemed to be fighting a losing battle of attrition here, and Xander hoped the others would be there soon.

    Sophia found herself on Golem detail. Every time one of the bulky clay beasts began to try and attack some of the other Rangers, Sophia blasted it into oblivion with her Laser Pistol. There were far too many of them for her to handle alone, however.

    "YEE-HAH!"

    Sophia groaned inwardly as she recognized the voice that seemed so giddy. Looking toward the entrance, she saw Leo riding in on his motorcycle, through the holes in the building that Harbinger and Teletron had created earlier.

    Without slowing down, Leo drove his beloved bike into the nearest group of Golems, knocking them down like so many bowling pins. He pulled his bike to a stop next to the bewildered Pink Ranger. "So. You miss me?"

    "What are you doing here?" Sophia demanded, firing a pair of blasts at some unsuspecting Golems as she admonished her friend.

    "I told you, I want to help." As Leo dismounted his bike, he launched a devastating kick into a Golem's face, causing it to whimper as it fell. "And, honestly, you can suggest that I do or don't do something, but you can't really make me, now can you?" Leo punched another Golem in the face.

    "Dammit, Leo." Sophia jumped into a flying spink kick, knocking back the four Golems that had been sneaking up behind her, and followed up with a blast from her pistol for each of them. "You could get seriously hurt!"

    "So could you!" Leo shot back as he backhanded another Golem. "Damned if I'm letting a friend risk her life alone if I can help it!"

    "I'm not alone!" Sophia shot another three Golems, and found that they were all gone. Leo had actually helped take them all down. "Now get to safety!"

    "Progeny." Sophia and Leo looked off to the side, where Harbinger was approaching. Behind her, Tori and Kira lay on the ground, clearly in pain. Sophia drew her pistol and trained it on her enemy.

    Harbinger sniffed the air in disdain. "Your pathetic weapon doesn't impress me, Ranger. A simple laser pistol is far too easy to deal with for one such as me."

    "Funny. I recall chasing you away with one when we first met." Sophia moved between Harbinger and Leo, intending to protect her friend. Harbinger, however, didn't let her.

    Moving faster than Sophia thought possible, Harbinger swatted Sophia aside like a fly. In another quick burst of motion, Harbinger had her hand clamped firmly around Leo's throat. She lifted the boy over her head, squeezing until his face was almost as blue as Harbinger's own.

    Sophia fired her laser pistol square into Harbinger's back, but the alien warrior barely flinched. As Harbinger squeezed the life out of Leo, his body began to glow with a golden sparkle. After a moment, the sparkle faded, and Harbinger flung Leo's body at Sophia.

    "LEO!" Sophia caught her friend and laid him gently on the ground. Sophia's helmet disappeared in a small flash of pink light as she kneeled next to him. "I'll get you to the hospital, don't worry. I'll..." but Sophia was too upset to continue.

    "Hey, Soph, don't worry about me." Leo coughed slightly, and a drop of blood appeared on his lip. "Do your thing. Save the world." Leo smiled, both in acceptance of his fate and to calm his friend.

    And with a burst of golden sparkles, Leo was gone.

    Harbinger seemed less than upset. "With the death of a Progeny, more power is bestowed upon my master."

    "You killed him..." Sophia rose from her kneeling position, clenching her fists in rage. "For what? Because he was a Progeny, like me?

    "How little you humans actually know," Harbinger sneered. "There are forces at work here far beyond your understanding."

    "I understand perfectly," Sophia countered. "You're evil, and your ass is about to get kicked."

    "Perhaps another time, Progeny." Harbinger disappeared in her signature flash of black light, leaving Teletron alone to deal with the Zeo Rangers.

    "Do you need a moment to cry over your fallen comrade, or are you ready now?" Teletron asked, clearly reveling in Sophia's anguish.

    "Oh, you just pissed off the wrong girl." Beneath her oval-shaped visor, Sophia's eyes narrowed. Her entire world now consisted of kicking some intergalactic ass. "Zeo One Power Bow!" Sophia didn't wait long; as soon as her weapon appeared in her hand, she pulled back th drawstring and launched a volley of energy arrows at Teletron.

    However, Teletron vanished into thin air, causing Sophia's attack to explode on a pile of sand behind him. Sophia began running around the open space, correctly recognizing that Teletron's teleportation ability was next to useless against moving targets.

    Time and time again, Teletron appeared where Sophia had been an instant before, only to find his prey was no longer there. Sophia would launch another pair of pink arrows at him, only to miss when he disappeared and began the cycle anew.

    Adam and the rest of the Zeo Rangers could only stand and watch as the two combatants fought for supremacy. After several rounds of fruitless attacks, Sophia upped the ante. "Power Bow, homing mode!" SOphia once again fired a volley of arrows from her bow, this time straight up into the sky. The arrows fell toward the battlefield, and almost caught up with Teletron before the fiend teleported again.

    However, instead of crashing into the ground, the arrows began to fly wildly in the air above the battlefield. As soon as Teletron appeared again, the arrows homed in on their target, exploding as each one slammed into the monster's cybernetic armor.

    Sophia rejoined her teammates, standing in the center of their formation as Teletron struggled to stand. Four Zeo Rangers brandished their Zeo Laser Pistols, while Sophia aimed her bow at Teletron's prone form. As Zeo Rangers Two through Five kept Teletron busy with their pistols, Sophia drew back her weapon's drawstring. The longer she held the string back, the brighter her energy arrow began to glow. Finally, Sophia released it, causing a too-bright missile of pink light to launch toward Teletron.

    Teletron absorbed the missile, but his armor began to leak pink electricity. Unable to do much else, Teletron fell back and exploded, while the Zeo Rangers posed heroically.

    Not that Sophia felt very heroic right then.


    **********

    "Ugh!"

    "Unh!"

    Tommy and Jason were both bloody and exhausted from their battle, but neither was willing to be the first to back down. An omniscient observer would have been unable to tell that the combatants had ever been the best of friends from the ferocity with which they fought.

    Tommy was nursing a broken arm, and Jason knew it. Tommy had been far too showy and acrobatic in the first few minutes of their bout, and Jason had been quick to exploit Tommy's cockiness. Tomy had retaliated with a devastating barrage of punches, the las of which had cracked two of Jason's ribs.

    Now, hours later, they continued to fight. Neither showed any sign of their injuries, and both were intent on beating the everloving hell out of the other.

    On the sidelines, the rest of Lokar's Dark Power Rangers were cheering. As best as Harbinger could tell, the Dark Rangers only cheered for whoever had the upper hand at the time.

    "Harbinger!"

    Harbinger cringed in fear of the punishment she was about to receive. Teletron had failed Lokar, only securing a single load of metal from the Angel Grove Metalworks, and his failure meant Harbinger would bear the blame.

    "My Lord, I can explain," Harbinger began as she approached the Dark Altar.

    "A single load of metal will be enough to begin construction." Lokar didn't sound angry at all - at least not as angry as Harbinger had been expecting. "Far more importantly, you were able to destroy a Progeny, and now his potential belongs to me."

    On the Dark Altar, a black candle appeared in a burst of crimson light. The golden sparkle from Leo's death appeared on Harbinger's hand, and as she relinquished the sparkle to the candle, a dull golden flame appeared on the wick.

    Harbinger breathed a silent sigh of relief. She'd fully been expecting to be destroyed by her master, and she was grateful to not have been. "I promise you, my lord, I will not fail again."

    "You cannot be blamed for the shortcomings of your minions." Lokar seemed... almost charitable. "I have planned far too long for a single loss to set my plans back."

    "UNGH!"

    Harbinger returned her attention to the arena, where it seemed a winner was about to be determined. Jason and Tommy were both moving noticeably slower now, having exhausted most of their energy. Tommy moved to block a punch from Jason, but completely misread his opponent. Jason had been faking, and threw every ounce of his considerable strength into a punch with his other hand. Beads of blood and spittle flew from Tommy's mouth as the science teacher fell in a heap. Jason moved to finish off his opponent, but a bolt of lightning striking the mat halted his advance.

    "Enough!"

    Jason obediently stepped away from Tommy's floored body and fell into a ready stance. Tommy rose from the mat slowly, still bleeding fairly badly from nearly every point on his body it was possible to bleed from, and fell into a ready stance of his own.

    "Jason Scott, you have proven your mettle. You shall become my Red Ranger, and leader of my evil Rangers."

    A bolt of red lightning shot at Jason from the sky, and when the light cleared, he was garbed once again as the Red Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger. A twin bolt of lightning hot at Tommy, and then he was transformed into the Green Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger.

    "Thank you, my master. You won't be disappointed." Jason held his arm in front of him and bowed slightly, proud that his lord trusted him with such responsibility. Tommy bowed similarly, but internally, he was thinking.

    How best to destroy Jason and take his place as leader?


    **********


    "Sorry, Sophia, I can't detect anything." Alpha lowered the small scanning device and set it onto a nearby console. "It's possible that your Zeo power is masking it's energy signatue, but it's also likely that it's just invisible to our scanning system."

    "Okay." Sophia was noticeably subdued today, not that it wasn't understandable. After Leo's funeral, Sophia had returned to Zeo Ops. Alpha had spent most of the time since then trying to find a way to analyze whatever energy signature defined a person as a Progeny of Fate, but Alpha couldn't find anything relevant.

    "There must be some way to detect a Progeny. Harbinger seems to recognize them on sight; maybe if we could get a detailed scan of her ocular organs..."

    "I need some air." Sophia hopped off of the examining table. "Be back in a few, Alpha."

    Alpha had already begun typing into one of the computer consoles. "See you then."

    On the roof, Sophia fell into one of her earliest karate katas, the first she'd ever learned from Leo. She went through the motions a little too fast, and ended up lying flat on her back, looking at the blue sky above.

    Silence.

    Then Sophia began to laugh.

    It began as a little chuckle, grew into a giggle, and before long Sophia was laughing out loud. She couldn't help it, she just... felt like laughing.

    After she had stopped, a voice came from the door behind her. "How you holding up?"

    Sophia flipped to her feet, ready to defend herself against whoever had snuck up here. However, she relaxed when she saw it was Adam.

    "Okay, I guess. It just feels weird that I'll never see him again, you know?"

    "Yeah, I do. It's how I felt when I heard Billy died." Sophia remembered that Billy had been the one who'd sent the e-mail which directly led Sophia into becoming a Zeo Ranger. She wished she could have met him.

    "Leo was... Leo was the kind of guy who wouldn't want to be mourned in a sad way. He always wanted to make people laugh, and he was so good at it." Sophia smiled, remembering all the good times she'd had with her friend.

    "Wish I could have gotten to know him better," Adam said, with a half smile on his face. "But you know, this is a large part of why we need to keep our identities secret. If Leo hadn't known..."

    "I know. He'd still be alive," Sophia answered a bit too quickly. She really didn't need to hear the lecture.

    "Sorry." Adam suddenly found something very interesting on his shoes, judging from how quickly he averted his gaze from Sophia's eyes. The two spent a moment in silence before Adam spoke again. "When I first became a Power Ranger, Zordon asked that we follow three rules as Power Ranger. While I can't actually force you to do the same, I think it would be a good idea."

    "Okay," Sophia agreed. Anything that would keep her friends from dying, Sophia was willing to give a shot.

    "First, never reveal your identity if at all possible. Don't escalate a battle unless the enemy forces you to. And finally, never use your power for personal gain."

    "Personal gain?" Sophia's eyes lit up with mischievousness. "Like, I could go on Letterman and tell the world that I'm the Pink Ranger?"

    "Sophia!" Adam was shocked that she'd even suggest such a thing.

    "Kidding, Adam." Sophia giggled at the look on Adam's face. "I wouldn't."

    "Okay." Adam breathed a sigh of relief. After all, he didn't know Sophia all that well yet. "I have a class to teach downstairs in a few minutes. You sure you're okay?"

    "Yeah, I'll be fine." Adam chose not to point out that that wasn't what he'd asked. "I'm gonna hang out here for a little bit more, and then probably have Alpha run some more tests on me."

    "Sounds good." Adam headed back downstairs while Sophia admired the Angel Grove skyline.

    Zordon's rules were good ones, Sophia thought, and she'd do her best to follow them. She'd also do her best to remember the good times she'd had with Leo, because he wouldn't want her all sad that he was gone.

    Sophia took one last breath of fresh air and returned to Zeo Ops.

    ~fin~

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  5. #5
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    Woh, sweet RPG. I'm one of the first to comment! Any chance of a sequel?

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    Awesome RPG! Zeo is a great series. Love Tori as the blue Ranger. And Adam as Red.

    Can you have Billy return from Aquitar and become the Gold Ranger?
    In Zeo he could not because of the age reversal. But he did leave to go to Aquitar to use their healing fountain. Can you please have Billy return and take upon the Power that should have been his? Please?

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