Ultimate Power Rangers: Reloaded
Power Rangers: Chapter Six
The Cathedral café in Angel Grove North had no cultural boundaries. The coffee house/dance club had customers dressed in preppy shirts and slacks, as well as Goth teens in all black with piercing everywhere. The café was a hangout for Zack and his friends from school.
Zack sat at a small café table with three of his friends. He drank coke instead of tea or coffee. The room was dimly lit with the faint glow of neon lights creeping in from the dance room in the building’s rear.
“So what’s her name?” one of Zack’s friends asked. The friend wore a black jacket draped over a gray buttoned undershirt. His dark hair was short and slick.
“Kimberly,” Zack answered. “We’re going out again this weekend.”
Another one of his friends slugged him in the shoulder. “You dog.”
Zack smiled and shrugged. “I try.” he pulled out a flask of alcohol and spiced up his drink. He took a sip. “Whoo…” he said as he shook his head.
“Would you like some coke with that Jack. Jeez man,” the slick-haired friend said with a laugh.
Zack just smiled and took another sip. The teen drank with his friends often. On the weekends they gathered at whichever home was parent-less to smoke weed.
Zack was about to come back with a witty remark when his communicator sounded. “Oh man, not now…”
“I didn’t know you had a pager,” one of his friends said.
“It was a gift,” Zack said as he rose to his feet, the alcohol hitting his head with a wave of dizziness. He stumbled to the door, hoping Bandora had sent a monster no stronger than a bunny. A very small bunny.
Mammoth Ranger ran to the western financial district. A multi-armed gladiator-type creature was ripping apart the streets with energy blasts and swipes from his broadsword. The creature threw a car into a building, causing a massive explosion, as Mammoth Ranger regrouped with the others.
“Zack!” Tiger Ranger called when she saw her teammate run towards them. The gladiator monster was too powerful for them to handle while short a member.
Mammoth Ranger regrouped with the team and leaned on his knees to catch his breath. Another wave of dizziness and head pain hit him. He had learned a few months ago that alcohol and exercise was not a wise mix.
Ptera Ranger placed a hand on his back. “Are you okay?”
“Just great,” Mammoth Ranger said as he steadied himself. “Too much movement makes my head spin.”
“Maybe you should sit this one out,” Ptera Ranger said.
“No way,” Mammoth ranger said as he swatted her hand away and stepped past her. He wasn’t about to let her think he was worthless. “He’s mine!”
Mammoth Ranger charged at the monster. The four-armed creature snapped into a fighting stance.
“That hot head!” Tyranno ranger shouted. He was growing tired of Mammoth Ranger’s recklessness.
“Mammoth Breaker!” Mammoth Ranger shouted as he leapt forward towards the creature, holding his axe high.
The Black Ranger pounced forward and swung his axe down towards the monster’s head. The villain used one of its sabers to thrash across Mammoth Ranger’s chest and toss him backwards through the air.
Mammoth Ranger slammed against the ground as the villain turned and stalked towards him. The Ranger ignored the pain and shot to his feet, throwing himself at the monster for a second time.
The gladiator effortless blocked Mammoth Ranger’s chops and slashes before charging its own weapons. The villain’s bottom pair of arms energized two double-edged axes.
“Crusher Axe!” the creature shouted as it swung the two axe blades forward.
The energized blades slashed against Mammoth Ranger’s armor and tossed him backwards. The Black Ranger stumbled out of control and landed near a marble sculpture at the center of the plaza.
The monster powered up a massive electric blast and fired. The blast shot towards Mammoth Ranger, who had risen to his knees.
“No!” Tyranno Ranger shouted as he pushed Mammoth Ranger out of the way. The blast exploded against the Ranger’s helmet with a deafening force.
Tyranno Ranger’s limp body crashed back against the ground. His broken helmet dissipated because of a power overload in his body. Jason’s bare forehead had blood trickling down it.
“Jason!” Ptera Ranger shouted as she ran to her friend, snapping arrows off towards the gladiator monster to keep it at bay. The four Rangers gathered around their fallen leader’s side and teleported away with a burst of light.
“How do you feel Dragon Ranger?” Goldar asked. The two villains stood on Bandora’s palace balcony. The monitored the battle below through enhanced-vision spells that the balcony provided. “Knowing that a barely sentient monstrosity could accomplish what you couldn’t? Could kill the Red Ranger?”
“Never under estimate your enemies, Goldar,” Dragon Ranger said. He kept his eyes on the planet below. “That’s why you’ve failed time and again.”
Goldar snarled his teeth and placed his hand on his sword, ready to silence the Ranger with a swipe from his blade.
Dragon Ranger turned and walked past the simian, still not making eye contact. “I have more important things to do…”
Goldar turned and glared at the departing Ranger. “Fool,” he grumbled under his breath. “Foolish boy.”
The rangers returned to the Chamber. Alpha and Billy led Jason to one of the medical beds on the outskirts of the chamber. The medical table was made of stone identical to the rest of the chamber. A panel attached the table had a slick, flat control console with various colored controls and displays.
Billy and Alpha lied Jason back onto the medical bed. They extended a slab that hovered over his chest. Light pulsed through the slab like blood coursing through veins. Alpha and Billy monitored Jason’s vital signs and tended to his wounds. A soft blue glow drifted over his body as the medical bed made what repairs it could.
Zack sat with his back against one of the chamber’s outer columns. His head was hung low as Billy and Alpha tended to Jason nearby.
Kimberly sat across from him on the floor, placing a hand on his leg. “Are you okay?”
Zack shook his head. The teen was consumed by guilt. “No…no I’m not. This is all my fault.”
Kimberly shook her head and leaned forward. “No it’s not. You’re being to hard on yourself.”
“No, Kimberly,” Zack said as he pushed himself back onto his feet. “I’m not being hard enough.” He turned and ran off.
The four-armed creature continued to stalk through the streets. Its rampage had moved from the financial district to Angel Springs Plaza, a path of white concrete that wrapped through flower gardens and ornate statues.
Zack ran to the scene, raging anger covering his guilt. He skid to a halt as the gladiator sent an energy blast exploding through a nearby statue.
“Hey you! The freak with the four arms!” Zack shouted.
The mindless gladiator turned and hissed at the ranger. The monster recognized his enemy well. Its entire existence hinged on killing the teens.
“You hurt my friend,” Zack shouted as he readied his Dino Buckler. “Now I’m going to hurt you! Dino Buckler!”
Zack thrust the buckler forward and snapped it open. Dark energy spread across his body as he transformed into his suit of armor. He snapped into a fighting stance. “Mammoth Ranger! Black!”
The two charged at each other. Mammoth Ranger armed its axe, while the creature chose to fight bare handed.
Mammoth Ranger leapt through the air and brought his axe down vertically towards the monster’s head. The monster blocked the blow with one set of hands and double punched Mammoth Ranger in the chest with another set.
Mammoth Ranger fell to the ground, but quickly flipped back up.
“Blade Blaster!” he shouted as he fired lances of energy at the creature, but the monster deflected each blast with his weapons.
“Electric Shocker!” the monster yelled as he fired a blade of electric energy that slammed into Mammoth Ranger and sent him crashing into one of the fountains at the plaza.
Jason rubbed the back of his head while he pulled himself up on the medical bed. His entire body ached. Dots of light still blurred his vision. He rubbed his eyes to try and clear his sight and mind.
“He’s awake!” young Simon called out from besides the medical bed.
Jason shook his head to wave off the last of his clouded mind. “What’s going on?”
Zordon looked over to the ranger. “You were injured by Bandora’s latest creation and brought here. Zack is now engaging the monster alone.”
“What?” Kimberly asked in shock. She and the others looked to the Viewing Globe. An image of Mammoth Ranger appeared as the four-armed creature slammed its fists against the Black Ranger.
“The five of you must function together,” Zordon told the gathered rangers. “Your strength lies in team work.”
Jason gathered his strength and rose from the medical bed. “Let’s go help Zack…”
“May The Power protect you,” Zordon said as the teens left the Command Chamber, headed towards their next fight.
A sword was about to crash down on Mammoth Ranger’s head. Tyranno Ranger appeared and kicked the blade out of the way. Tyranno Ranger spun a heel kick that slammed the monster away from Mammoth ranger..
“You’re on a roll today,” Mammoth Ranger said as he climbed back to his feet.
“Let’s form the Power Blaster,” Tricera Ranger said.
“Right,” Tyranno Ranger said as he armed his Tyranno Sword.
The Rangers combined their five weapons to form the Power Blaster cannon. Bandora’s monster charged towards them to attack, but the Rangers fired the cannon before the creature could strike.
The blast speared against the monster and exploded, ripping through the creature’s armor and bone as it burst into flame, its own energy overloading and igniting.
A card streaked down from the skies in a streak of dark light. The card struck the monster’s burning remains and triggered a spell. The spell reassembled the four-armed creature on a gigantic scale that towered over the streets.
The Rangers raised their arms above their heads and called for their calvary. “Dinozords, arise!”
The five Dinozords stomped through the streets. The Rangers leapt into the air and jumped into their zords’ cockpits. Each cockpit was fused inside of the zords’ armor.
“Dinozord fusion!” Tyranno Ranger shouted.
The five Dinozords reassembled and combined to form the Megadinozord. The Rangers joined in the zord’s central cockpit.
The gladiator creature swung its axe down towards the Megazord. Megadinozord used its forearm to parry the blow, and slammed a backfist against the creature’s chest.
“Let’s make this quick,” Tyranno Ranger said. “Megadinozord Saber Battle Crash!”
Megadinozord lifted its sword high above his head. The blade energized with crimson energy as the zord swung downward. The saber cut through the gladiator, causing the creature to stumble backward as its energy overloaded and exploded.
Zack was sitting alone outside the Command Chamber. Jason walked up besides his fellow ranger and took a seat.
“So what’s up?” Jason asked. Zack had told Jason to meet him outside.
Zack took a deep breath. What he was about to say did not come easy for him. “I just wanted to…say thanks,” he said. “And I’m sorry. You almost died because of me.”
“We’re part of a team now,” Jason said. “We have to look out for each other. We’re not invincible you know.”
Zack nodded. “I know now.”
Jason patted him on the back. “Thanks Zack.”
Jason climbed back to his feet and walked inside. Zack followed a moment later, Jason’s words weighing heavy on his mind. They were not invincible. Far from it.
Zack sat on his basement floor with a group of friends. His parents were gone for the weekend on different business trips, meaning it was his turn to host. They passed around a small black and gold marijuana bowl.
“You’re awfully quiet,” one of Zack’s friends said to him. “We usually can’t shut you up about this time.”
The others laugh, more so than the comment called for.
Zack nodded, his eyes glazed over. “I was just thinking…”
They laughed again between hits.
“Seriously,” Zack said. “Who knows when we’re going to die? Or how? It could happen tomorrow.”
His friends laughed at him again, one of them leaned back so far he actually tipped over.
Zack shook his head and took another hit. It’s all real to me now…too real.
To be continued…Chapter Seven