"Enjoy your pizzas," the pizza delivery boy said before exiting the cabin.
"Thanks," Chris replied. The Ranger leader closed the door, then he and his brother, Nick, carried the four pizzas into another room, where the other Rangers were waiting.
Three days had passed since the Rangers' confrontation with the evil goblin, Voncho. Even though the nightmares had ceased, the six teens still felt that they should take heed to Andros' advice. Ashley had given them permission to use her family's cabin in the mountains.
Despite the futuristic advancements that showed in city life, the mountain cabins were buildings that remained simple in structure. This particular one had stood for over thirty years. Before they had left, Ashley had informed the six teens that the cabin had no electricity, which was no problem for the Rangers. After all, their reasons for using the cabin was to get away from the hustle and bustle of Angel Grove, and bond as a team. Besides, Joseph had a cellular phone in his van, if a phone call had to be made.
The Rangers were emersed in various activities when the Medlin brothers entered the room.
Joseph was currently sitting at a table, tinkering with his Astro Blaster. "Ya know, I think I've figured out how to make these Astro Blasters fire a freeze ray," he addressed Michelle.
"Really. How?" the Asian girl replied, looking up from her book.
Joseph rose from his seat and walked over to where Michelle was sitting. He then showed her the exposed inside of the blaster. "There's a slot right here for an ice cell."
"Well KO-35 is the only known planet where ice cells can be found," Michelle reminded.
"I know. I'll talk to Andros and Zhane about it when we get home."
"Is everyone drinking Pepsi?" Stephanie asked, as she prepared to pour the drinks.
"Yeah." the others replied.
Tim handed paper-plates to the others, and then they all sat down and began to eat.
It was night now, and the temperature had dropped to a chilling temperature, and so Chris had made a fire in the fireplace to keep everyone warm.
The teens were now lying in their sleeping bags, though none of them were sleepy. It seemed that they were still a little timid about drifting off to sleep, after the nightmares.
"Well I guess there's no better time then now to get all of our fears out in the open," Chris said. "Any volunteers?"
Stephanie sat up and began to speak. "I'm sure you guys know about how strict my parents have been on me about making friends, who are in the same social class as me. Well ever since we all became friends, I've been afraid that my family wouldn't approve of all you, especially me dating Tim. I guess what I really dread is them sending to a private school. far away from here."
"Well, Steph, I'm sure your mom and dad don't mean to be so harsh, but I think they're just concerned that someone will take advantage of you and break your heart," Joseph explained.
"Did you talk to your parents about how you feel?" Chris asked.
"Yes. All three of us sat down, last night and talked things through. They were so understanding, and I really felt better after our conversation." As she spoke, Stephanie was filled with a sense of relief.
"So did you tell them about me?' Tim raised an eyebrow.
"I sure did."
"Did you them that you love me?" Tim questioned.
"Tim," Stephanie blushed. The other Rangers began to laugh at Tim's questioning, and Stephanie's reaction.
"Okay, so who's next?" Chris said as he gathered his composure.
Joseph cleared his throat and then began to speak, "Well being an athlete has always been to tradition in my family. My grandfather was an All-American in football, my father was a superstar Pitcher for the Braves, and my Uncle Eddie held many titles in WCW, several years ago. I mean the first toy, my dad got me was a football. He's always pressured me to be athletic, and don't get me wrong, I love playing football, but sometimes I get a little carried away. I tend to show-off a little too much." Joseph wiped a few tears from his eyes and then continued. "I....I.....I just want to please my family. I just want everyone to be proud of me. I long to hear people say, "There goes Joseph Guerrero! Man he's a great player!"
"Which was the basis of your nightmare," Stephanie assumed.
"It was a football game and we were playing Stone Canyon. The coach had told me to call a running play, but I wanted to show off. I thought I had a Receiver open, but it turned into an interception. I had cost Angel Grove High the game, and boy was everyone angry. I got kicked off the team, heckled by the fans, and dumped by Michelle. Then Tommy and Andros took my morpher from me."
"Joseph no one expects you to be the perfect athlete," Nick stated. "Its great that your relatives have accomplished so much, but this is about you. You shouldn't feel like you've got be the ultimate athlete."
"Nick's right. I'm sure your family will love you, whether you're a great athlete or not," Tim added.
"And just for the record, I'd never dump, because of a loss on the football field," Michelle assured, cutting Joseph a warm smile.
"Michelle, would you like to go next?" Nick asked.
"Well I guess you guys have heard that I was no angel when I lived in Brooklyn," the Asian girl began. "Well the truth is I was a member of a gang called the Black Scorpions. My relationship with my parents had always been strained. They were always comparing me to my older sister, Drew. My sister and I were like night and day. She got all the good grades in school, and could do no wrong in the eyes of mom and dad. I remember how they threw her a big party, when she was accepted to Yale." Michelle gave a sigh and then continued. "So while my sister was making the honor roll, I was doing everything in my power to find where I belonged in the world. I joined the Black Scorpions, a band of common thugs. Sure we broke every law you can think of, but we were a family, or at least that's what I thought."
It was late, and a group of crewmen were now unloading cargo from a truck, and carrying it into a warehouse. Unknown to the workers, there were about twenty masked figures, who were waiting for the opportunity to strike.
These thieves were dressed in black costumes, with a picture of a scorpion on the back of their shirts.
"Okay this is it. Let's go," whispered one of the thieves. Before the crewmen knew what was happening, the Black Scorpions attacked. Wielding swords, the gang chased the crewmen away.
The villains then entered the warehouse, and began to bust the crates open, revealing the contents, which were Oriental antiques.
"I don't get it? Why are we stealing these antiques?" a female gang member asked.
"Because...," the leader of the gang replied, smashing a vase on the floor. In the midst of the shattered vase was a bag containing a powdery substance. "Our members in Hong Kong went through a lot of trouble to send this stuff to us."
The female member was shaken by this revelation, but there was no time to ponder it now. A large group of police officers stormed into the warehouse.
"Well, well, the Black Scorpions." said one of the officers. "We've got all of the exits blocked, so there's no escaping this time."
"Then we will fight our way out," the leader of the Black Scorpions stated. Each of the Black Scorpions tossed smoke bombs in the direction of the officers. The officers, in turn, had no choice but to fire back. Some of the more skilled gang members managed to take down a few officers, and escape.
One of the gang members noticed a young man, who had been hiding behind one of the crates. The man was now trying to escape.
"Pan! A potential hostage!" the gang member addressed the Black Scorpion leader. The leader then leaped into the air and landed in front of the man, seizing him, and holding a sword to his throat.
"Hold your fire, officers, unless you want me to slice this guys' throat," Pan ordered. The officers did as the villain had instructed. The gang leader then instructed another gang member to start up the truck. The officers saw an opening and rushed the leader. Before she knew what she had done, a female gang member hurled her sword at the officers, but her aim was off, and the sword pierced the chest of the hostage.
"Oh my God!" the girl cried.
"C'mon, Michelle, let's get out of here!" yelled another gang member. But the girl couldn't move. She just couldn't get over what had just happened. As she stood there, Pan jumped into the back of the truck, and it burst through a wall, and sped away into the night, with some of the officers in hot pursuit, in their cars.
Michelle heard the click of the handcuffs, and echoing voices of two officers as they read her rights.
Two days had passed, and in that time Michelle had worked out a plead bargain with the officers. She'd reveal the location of the Black Scorpions' base, and the police would in turn allow her to do community service work. She was just thankful that that man hadn't died.
She was now at home with her parents, and her aunt from Angel Grove had come to visit.
"Michelle, we're sick of the lying, the stealing, the hanging out at night, and all of your other crap!" Michelle's father fumed. "You have disgraced our family for the last time!"
"What's that suppose mean?!" Michelle replied.
"Why couldn't you be-," Michelle's mother said, before being interrupted by her daughter.
"Why couldn't I be more like Drew! Why couldn't I be more like Drew! Hello, mom and dad! I don't want to be like Drew," Michelle sassed. "You two love her more than you love me!"
"That's it, young lady! You just earned yourself a trip to Florida to stay with your grandmother," Michelle's father said.
Cassie knew that Michelle's grandmother wouldn't be able to handle this feisty teenager, so she practically put her foot in her mouth. "I have a better idea. Why don't you guys let her come back to Angel Grove with me."
"Cassie are you sure you want to do this?" Michelle's mom questioned.
"Yes. Angel Grove is a beautiful city, and thanks to the efforts of the Power Rangers the crime rate is very low."
"Oh whoop-ti-do. I'm on my way to a city, that had spandex-wearing teenagers as its main law enforcement." Michelle quipped. Cassie made a funny face at her niece for this remark.
"Michelle, I'm sure once you get to Angel Grove you'll love it."
Three days later, Michelle found herself in Angel Grove, Ca. Her aunt introduced Michelle to all of her friends. Michelle found it odd that they all wore the colors of the Astro Rangers, but she soon just passed it off as them liking the colors they wore.
On the night before Michelle would begin school at Angel Grove High, Cassie sat her down for a little talk.
"Okay, Michelle, tomorrow is the big day. Now I want you to remember that I brought you here, so that you could make a fresh start. I want you to study hard, and stay away from troublemakers." the Pink Astro Ranger warned.
"Aunt Cassie, I know it didn't seem like it, at first, but I really appreciate what you've done for me. I promise that I won't let you down." Michelle vowed.
"All I ask is that you do your best, and stay out of trouble," Cassie stated. "You're a very special girl, Michelle, and I know that you'll do your best to carry on the Chan name at Angel Grove High." Cassie then hugged her niece.
"I did a lot of terrible things in Brooklyn. I got my pleasure from other people's misery. I know now that my parents love me, and that they only wanted me to see Drew as a good role model. But that nightmare really frightened me. I don't want to hurt Aunt Cassie, or any of you. I mean if anyone had told me a year ago, that I'd be the new Pink Ranger, I wouldn't have believed them," Michelle said.
"Michelle, I don't think any of us could begin to understand what you were like in Brooklyn, but we do know what you have become," Stephanie stated.
"You're witty, wise-cracking, but most of all you're dependable. I know that Kimberly, Kat, and your aunt are proud to have you as the newest Pink Ranger," Chris stated.
"I'll go next," Nick said, before taking a bite into a doughnut.
"Hey, Nick, you know you shouldn't eat anything, unless you've got enough for everyone," Joseph advised.
"Oh, I'm sorry," the Gold Ranger replied. He pulled a box out of his sleeping bag, opened it, and then tossed each of his teammates a doughnut.
"You wouldn't happen to have a cream puff in there, would you?" Michelle asked.
"Sorry, I ate the last one while you were talking about the Black Scorpions," Nick replied. "I've got two Jelly Rolls though," Nick replied.
"Nick, just tell us about your nightmare," groaned Chris.
"Okay but you guys better not laugh at this, or I'll give ya a knuckle sandwich," the youngest Medlin brother joked. Nick took a bite into a doughnut, and then began to speak. "Do you guys remember that golden monkey that Tommy and Billy told us about?"
"Yeah, his name was Goldar. I think he was one of Rita Bepulsa's warriors," Tim replied.
"I don't know why, but in my nightmare, I battled him, and he really kicked my butt," Nick revealed.
"If my uncle were here, he'd tell you that the appearance of Goldar in your dream was an extenuation of your fear of being defeated," Stephanie stated. "You're the strongest, physically, of all of us, and therefore, you fear being beaten in battle."
"Well that makes sense," Nick replied.
"Well I'll go next," Tim said. "I think about my parents everyday, and I'm slowly coming to terms with what happened. I guess the one thing that troubles me the most is that the men responsible for their deaths are still on the streets, doing as they please."
"Tim, all of us find the same way that you do. We all want Hodges and Simon to pay for what they've done," said Joseph.
"Its why we carry these morphers, and why our lives are so action-packed," Nick said.
"So, Chris, what are you afraid of?" inquired Joseph.
"My life changed forever when I claimed the Red Ranger Powers," Chris began. "I mean the previous Red Rangers have always exhibited bravery, determination, and most of all good leadership capabilities. No matter how many times Tommy and Andros tell me I'm doing a good job, I still worry that one day, a bad decision on my part will cost one or all of you your lives.'
"I think I speak for all of us when I say that we couldn't ask for a better leader," Tim stated.
"Yeah, you're not bossy, you're always willing to accept input from the rest of us, and you're always cautious." Michelle added.
"Take our adventure on Isra for example. We could have attacked Howlin and his soldiers head on, but you thought of the innocent people on that planet, and came up with the brilliant plan of us disguising ourselves as Brood soldiers and sneaking onto the planet," Nick reminded.
"Well I'm really glad you guys have so much confidence in me. We've accomplished so much over the past few weeks, and I know that one day we'll get the evidence necessary to put Mason Hodges and Derek Simon behind bars for good," the Ranger leader vowed.
The six teens talked a little while longer, about one thing or another, before drifting off to sleep.
As the sun began to rise over the mountains, a Brood shuttle arrived in the area. The shuttle carried Princess Zara, Blane, the Shadow Ranger, and a few Brood soldiers.
"The signal is weak, but I'm sure they're in the area," Blane explained.
"They're probably unmorphed," the Shadow Ranger guessed.
"Soon, very soon, the Power Rangers will bow at my feet," hissed the Brood princess as she gazed out of a window at the mountain scenery.
Stephanie was the first to awake. Something just wasn't right, and she could virtually smell evil in the air. She wasted no time in waking the others.
"I don't know, maybe I'm just being paranoid," Stephanie said.
"No, I'd never underestimate a woman's intuition," Chris stated.
The six Rangers then exited the cabin, and no sooner had they stepped inside then they saw the Brood shuttle approaching.
"How did they find us?" Joseph wondered.
"Aw man. C'mon let's morph," Nick stated.
"Maybe if we pretend like we're just normal teenagers, they won't notice us," Tim suggested.
"Its your call, big bro," Nick said, looking at his brother.
"We've got to lure them away from here," Chris replied. "If we fight them here, they could attack someone in one of the other cabins." With that the Rangers dissolved into six beams of night and soared into the sky.
"Hmmm, six beams of light, six Rangers," commented Blane. "Follow those beams!"
The Brood shuttle began to fire lasers at the six beams of light, but the Rangers descended down, and landed near a river.
"Let's Rocket!" they shouted.
"Send down the soldiers!" commanded Zara. "Destroy the Power Rangers!"
The green-robed soldiers teleported down, and the battle began. The Red Ranger and his brother tossed every soldier that came near them into the river, while the other Rangers used kicks and punches to bring down the attackers.
"Shadow Ranger, get down there and destroy them," Zara ordered. The evil Ranger nodded, and then vanished.
"White Ranger, you are mine!" yelled the villain as he arrived on the battlefield.
"Thank again, Simon," the White Ranger replied, summoning his Liberty Sword. The Shadow Ranger summoned his newest weapon, the Shadow Sabre, and the two warriors began to fight.
Tim quickly took the upperhand with some lightning fast swings of his sword. He backed the Shadow Ranger up to the waterfront, and knocked him in.
"Looks like you're all wet, Simon," Tim commented.
"We'll meet again, White Ranger!" yelled the Shadow Ranger as the current carried him down stream.
"What I need is a monster," commented Zara.
"Black Bears are common in this area," stated Blane.
"Ah yes, Nightpaw will do nicely," Zara said. With that the princess waved her hand, and a portal opened. A giant Black Bear, garbed in a karate outfit emerged from it.
"How may I serve you, Princess Zara?" the creature asked.
"Destroy the Power Rangers," she hissed. The creature then teleported away.
On the ground the Rangers had regrouped and were just about to teleport away, when Nightpaw arrived.
"Leaving so soon, Rangers?" the creature growled.
"That's one big Papa Bear," the Pink Ranger quipped.
Nightpaw charged at the Rangers, throwing punches and kicks, and sending the Rangers to the ground. The monster then began to fire energy blasts out of his hands.
"Cosmic Blade!" yelled Joseph.
"Astro Bow!" yelled Stephanie.
"Dragontamer!' yelled Nick.
"Cosmic Taser!" yelled Michelle.
"Liberty Sword!" yelled Tim.
"Lionizer!" yelled Chris.
The Rangers combined their Power Weapons, and hit the monster with a blast from the Power Canon.
The bear fell to the ground, gathered his senses for a second, and then sprang to his feet.
"Fire the Satellasers," Zara commanded. Instantly, a beam, identical to the one used by the Dark Fortress, fired from the Brood shuttle, and enlarged Nightpaw.
"We need Liberty Megazord Power NOW!" shouted the Rangers, in unison.
On the moon, the zords transformed into comets, and exited their hiding place. As the comets descended down to Earth, they merged into one comet, and just before hitting the ground, the comet became the Liberty Megazord.
The Rangers took their positions in the cockpit, and the battle began.
Nightpaw threw a few punches, that rocked the Megazord, and the Rangers were barely able to keep the mighty robot on its feet.
"We can't take much more of this," commented Joseph.
"I'm sending the Mega Missiles," stated Nick, as he pressed the corresponding button on the control console.
Nightpaw realized that something was about to happen, and began to back away from the Megazord. A compartment opened on the shoulders of the zord, and out flew the Mega Missiles. On impact Nightpaw began to sizzle, and then exploded in a ball of fire.
"Bye-Bye, Papa Bear," Michelle mused.
The Rangers leaped from the cockpit, and then sent the Megazord back up into space.
As they celebrated on the ground, Princess Zara and a few Brood soldiers appeared.
"Ah, the Power Rangers. So we finally meet face to face," the evil princess hissed.
"You must be Princess Zara," Tim assumed.
"You are correct. I'm the new Princess of Evil, and if the people of this planet thought Astronema was bad, wait till they get a load of me," the orange-haired princess sneered.
The Rangers took their stances, ready for yet another battle.
"Oh, I'm not here to fight. I just thought I'd come down here, and give you do-gooders a warning. Stay out of my affairs, or suffer the consequences," stated Zara.
"We're not afraid of you or your monsters, and you can be sure that anytime you start making trouble, we're going to be there to stop you," the Red Ranger vowed.
"Very well, Rangers. Till next time. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha." With that the Brood monarch and her soldiers vanished.
"Well that went well," the Gold Ranger commented.
"That lady is really one piece of work," Tim added.
"Well does anyone have a taste for some cheese biscuits?" Nick inquired. The others then began to tease him for always thinking about food. "I'm paying."
"Well since you put it that way, sure," Chris stated.
"I think I just might eat three biscuits this morning. I mean like you always say, Nick. Nothing works up an appetite like kicking Brood booty," added Tim.
The six teens demorphed, and then teleported away.
In a restaurant, the Rangers sat at a long table chowing down on some very large cheese biscuits.
"I wonder what Karone is going to say when she finds out that Zara idolizes Astronema?" Stephanie asked.
"I don't know, but from what the Astro Rangers have told us about Astronema, I have a bad feeling that Zara is going to be even worst," stated Chris.
"And then there's Hodges, the Shadow Ranger, and Barry Dayton," reminded Michelle.
"Ya know, I wonder what the people of Angel Grove think of us?" questioned Joseph.
"Well they loved the Rangers of the past," stated Tim.
"Yeah, I know, but Angel Grove is a very different place now. I hate to say this, but Mason Hodges practically has the Angel Grove Police Force in his back pocket," stated Nick before taking a sip of his orange juice.
"All six of us have our checkered pasts, but what is important now, is that we have learned from our past mistakes, and that's what makes us such a great team. Right, team?" the Ranger leader commented.
"Right?," replied the others. The Rangers placed their hands together in the center of the table, and silently did the Power Rangers chant, that the original team had done years ago.