Author’s Notes: I just want to thank everyone from the Power Core’s message board. Thanks for your input.
The creature known to his friends as Grubble couldn’t figure out for the life him what he’d done to deserve to be in a predicament like this. All he knew was that he was in an unfamiliar part of the forest and he could sense an evil presence around every turn.
Grubble’s day had started just like every other day. His wife had woke him up, and together him and the other furry creatures of his village had come together to dine on breakfast. Of course, Grubble had been the amusement of everyone. He entertained his family and friends with jokes and wise fables, until it was time for him to begin his daily duties, and this was where his troubles began.
It had been Grubble’s responsible to head off into the forest and gather nuts and berries for the most important night of the year for his village, The Great Feast. Usually Grubble could easily find food a few miles away from his home, but today for some unknown reason the berry bushes and chestnut trees were barren. Knowing that his people would be very displeased if he returned without food, Grubble decided to venture a little deeper into the forest.
Fortunately, he found plenty of berries and chestnuts, but he also found something or someone else.
“Now I have you, bear,” an evil voice had said from behind Grubble, as he picked dropping a handful of chestnuts into a brown sack. With fear in his eyes the furry creature had turned around to see a very tall, and very menacing black wolf monster standing before him.
The wolf was dressed in a pair of black rubber pants and carried an axe in his right hand. Grubble immediately recognized the creature as Cargen the Hunter.
Now Cargen’s eyes gleamed with delight as he saw the fear in Grubble’s eyes. “Lord Shroud will pay me good money for bringing him a furry.”
“Pl....Pl..Please don’t hurt me, Cargen,” Grubble begged. “I have a wife and kids.” The little bear dropped to his knees and began to whimper.
“Stand up, you coward!” the wolf barked. “Fortunately for you I’m in a sporting mood, so here’s what I’m going to do. You have two minutes to flee from me, but once those two minutes have passed I’m going to track you down and take you to Lord Shroud. Now go!”
Grubble wasted no time forgetting about the sack of food that he’d gathered, the little bear fled for his life.
Now Grubble could go no further he fell to the ground, ready to face whatever fate would hand him, but sure enough Cargen found him.
“You are pathetic, bear!” the hunter spat. “I’m the greatest hunter in the universe, but just once I’d like to hunt something that could offer me a little bit of a challenge.”
As if on cue, Hogley materialized joined by three Predatrons.
“Ask and you shall receive, Cargen,” Hogley said.
“State your business, pig.”
“Gen. Cobrada has a job for you. One that I’m sure you’ll find most interesting.”
“I’m already on a job, I’m supposed to deliver this furry bear to Lord Shroud,” the wolf stated.
“Well you can still please Lord Shroud by taking care of this little matter on Alter-Earth.”
“Who does Cobrada want me to hunt? A thief? A rare cat? Or maybe one of those Revolutionaries?” the wolf guessed.
“No....He wants you to hunt the most resourceful and most irritating do-gooders in the universe....Gen. Cobrada wants you to hunt down the Power Rangers and kill them!”
Cargen burst into laughter at this revelation. “Very well, Hogley, I shall take this job, and let these Power Ranger beware.” Cargen scooped up the now trembling Grubble and walked away with him.
Now the three Rangers were relaxing for a few brief moments, before heading back to their headquarters.
“It feels like there’s danger lurking around every corner in this dimension,” Ashley commented.
“Yeah, we’ve got our work cut out for if we’re going to find our missing friends, defeat Lord Shroud, and learn more about this Oblivion,” Zhane added.
“Hopefully this book will provide some information about him,” Karone said, holding the book.
The three Rangers rose from the bench, and were just about to head for the secret entrance to the sewer system, when Cargen and about ten Predatrons materialized.
“Excuse me, but can anyone tell me where I might find the Power Rangers?!” the villain yelled out to the crowd of people. The crowd of people began to run in fear as the robotic soldiers blasted at them.
“Come on... this way,” Zhane whispered to this teammates. The three teens ducked behind some trees. There was three flashes of light, and then the Silver, Pink, and Yellow Rangers came running out to face this challenge.
“You want the Power Rangers?!” the Pink Ranger yelled.
“You can’t handle the Power Rangers!” the Silver Ranger added.
“Come on, give me everything you’ve got,” the wolf snarled, as he drew his battle axe.
Zhane struck first, summoning his Super Silverizer and leaping at Cargen. The wolf braced himself and met the Ranger with a swing from his axe. Sparks sizzled all over Zhane’s suit as he rolled on the ground in pain.
“Nobody does that to our friend and gets away with it!” Ashley yelled. Both female Rangers summoned their weapons and quickly disposed of the Predatrons.
“Now its your turn!” Karone aimed her Nova Staff at the hunter and unleashed a pink bolt of energy from it. The ray struck the hunter, temporarily dazing him, but Cargen quickly rebounded and knocked the Pink Ranger to the ground with a swing from his axe.
“C’mon, Yellow Ranger, show me what you’re made of,” the wolf taunted.
Ashley’s first thought was to retreat and get help, but she wasn’t sure if Zhane and Karone would be alive when she returned. The Yellow activated her Yellow Comet Mode and slammed herself into the hunter, sending him to the ground.
“You’ll never defeat the Power Rangers....Never!” Ashley vowed, but her victory was premature.
Cargen let out a shrilling howl that caused Ashley to loose her footing and tumble to the ground.
“Hold it right there!” the Red Ranger ordered, he and the remaining two Rangers arrived.
“Eat fireballs, Rangers!” Cargen began to unleash a series of orange fireballs from the tip of his axe. Andros, T.J., and Adam dropped to the ground after being struck by these rays.
“Well that was easy enough. Now for phase two of my plan,” Cargen hissed. He aimed his axe at each Ranger, causing them to disappear in a beam of green light. He then vanished in a beam of the same color.
From within Ranger headquarters, Billy and Brandon had seen everything.
“Who was that monster?” Billy asked.
“His name is Cargen. He’s the best hunter in the universe,” Brandon replied grimly. “He’s probably taken the Rangers to another planet, in order to hunt them down and. well...you know the rest.”
Billy now wore a worried expression on his face. “We’ve got to locate them before its too late.”
“I’ll set the computer to start running scans for their biorhythms.” the young boy suggested.
The blue sky then turned to fire as an image of Lord Shroud appeared through the flames. “Welcome to the Savage Lands, Power Rangers. The six of you have been quite a thorn in my side, but today you’ll meet your ends,” the dark sorcerer proclaimed. “Cargen will hunt each of you down one-by-one, and since you can morph and you’re all seperated from one another.....there’s no way the six of you can survive, this time. You’ll wonder through this world, trying to find your friends, but at the same time, each of you will wonder if Cargen is right on your heels. Now I’ll let Cargen do his job....Farwell, Power Rangers....And I hope your deaths are slow and agonizing.” With that the image vanished and the sky returned to its blue color.
Adam looked around at his surroundings. It appeared that the Asian teen was in the middle of a hot desert.
This truly presented a dilemma for the young man. The words of Lord Shroud echoed in Adam’s mind. Cargen could be hunting him down at that very moment, and there was no shelter in sight. *I’ve got to get moving.* the Ranger thought. *If Cargen is coming after me. At least I can put a little distance between the two of us.* And so the Ranger began his journey, unsure of what would happen to him.
Several miles away, Cargen was walking at a steady pace across the desert. One of the biggest advantages of being a wolf was that Cargen had an uncanny sense of smell. He had picked up Adam’s scent and was heading straight for him. Of course, Cargen could have easily just teleported to the Ranger’s location, but he did want to give the Power Rangers a sporting chance, even if their chances of surviving were impossible. *Be afraid, Green Ranger. Be very afraid, because when I catch you, I’m going quench my thirst with your blood.*
Sweat began to pour from Adam’s body, and he wasn’t sure if this perspiration was a result of the scorching heat or his fear.
“Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! You’d better start running, Green Ranger,” a voice said, from a distance. A quick glance over his shoulder, was all it took to cause Adam to break into a sprint. Cargen drew his battle axe and began to fire red beams from it.
In the distance Adam could see a rock formation. If he could reach the rocks, he’d be able to use them against the evil hunter, but it was not to be. A sharp pain ran through Adam’s right leg, as he struck by one of Cargen’s beams. As he fell to the ground, Adam knew that his fate was in the hands of Cargen.
“Well, Green Ranger, you gave me quite a run,” Cargen said, holding his axe close to Adam’s head. “I should kill you right now, but I think I’ll wait and kill you and your friends at the same time.” Cargen then pulled out a remote control device, and fired a beam at the fallen Ranger. A glowing green energy net materialized around Adam, and then he and the net vanished.
“You’re next, Yellow Ranger,” Cargen hissed, before teleporting away.
“I’ve got to keep moving. I’m got to find Andros and the others,” she kept telling herself. Ashley was the most optimistic of the Power Rangers. Whenever things had seemed hopeless in the past, if had always been Ashley who would encourage the other Rangers not to give up. Now Ashley was all alone and a swamp, and there was a monster hunting her down like an animal.
The Yellow Ranger climbed up a tree, swatting several flying bugs away in the process. Something in the sky had caught her attention, but once she realized what it was, she wished she hadn’t climbed the tree.
There was a green cloud in the sky. *Its a symbol.* she deduced. *Cargen has captured Adam, and he’s letting me know that I’m next.*
“Hey, Yellow Ranger! C’mon down! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!” taunted the wolf, who was now standing at the bottom of the tree. “Don’t make me come up there after you.”
Ashley looked around frantically, hoping that she would to able to jump to another tree branch. There was a tree nearby, but the gap was too large for her to make an unmorphed jump, and if she did attempt the jump and miss, she surely be killed by the long drop.
Cargen was now climbing up the tree very quickly, Ashley considered taking the jump, but then a vine caught her eye. She’d never tried anything like this before, but this was a life or death situation, and afterall, if Tarzan could do it so could she. She grabbed one end of the vine and slung it towards the other branch. As the vine wrapped itself firmly around the branch, she grabbed the other end and slung away just in time to avoid being hit by Cargen’s axe.
Cargen made a wild leap at the tree branch, striking Ashley from behind. Both of them began to fall downwards, and Ashley was sure she was about to die, but her fall was broken by something that began to pull her upwards.
She looked up to see a massive eagle, who was holding her by the back of her yellow and black shirt.
Cargen, who had landed on his feet on the ground, took aim at the eagle and fired a red beam from the axe. The beam struck the bird, causing it to release Ashley.
“Whoa!” she screamed, as she fell downward once more. Splash! the water went as Ashley landed in it. Cargen rushed into the water, and pulled the Ranger up by her neck.
“Gotcha, Yellow Ranger,” he said gleefully.
“What are you going to do to me?” Ashley asked, as she began to tremble.
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill you....yet.” Once again, Cargen unleashed a net, but this was yellow. He watched with pride as the Yellow Ranger vanished into thin air.
“Next stop, the Treacherous Mountains. Get ready to fight, Silver Ranger.” Cargen vanished in an array of red light.
There were a flash of lightning and then Zhane saw a yellow and a green cloud hovering above the mountain range.
“I’m not going to run, Cargen! So you might as well come out, so we can get this over with!” Zhane yelled.
“Aw, man, and I heard that you were the Ranger who loved to play games like this,” Cargen stated, as he materialized in front of Zhane.
“I do like games, but this is no game.” Zhane leaped into the air, in attempt to deliver a flying dropkick, but Cargen was ready and he caught the Silver Ranger in midair.
“Pathetic Ranger, your martial arts is no match for my raw strength,” Cargen growled. The hunter then slammed Zhane to the ground with a large amount of force. As he lay on the ground, Zhane was sure that his back had been injured, but there wasn’t much time to think about that, because a silver net was now forming around his body, and before he could utter another word, Zhane vanished.
“Time to bag the Blue Ranger,” Cargen chuckled.
“I feel like I just fell into a scene from the Lion King,” the African American quipped, as he watched to the battle.
A red beam struck the ground in the midst of the battle causing all of the creatures to flee in terror. T.J. glanced at the sky, realizing that Adam, Ashley, and Zhane were now prisoners of Cargen the Hunter. “He won’t catch me, so easily,” T.J. vowed, as he held a razor blade in his right hand.
“You’d better start running, Blue Ranger!” came the voice of Cargen.
T.J. decided that it would be best to heed the hunter’s advice for now. He figured he’d stand a better chance of beating Cargen if he were on the ground. He slid down the tree trunk and then began to run for his life.
Cargen was in hot pursuit of his prey, but then T.J. seemed to vanish. Cargen began to stiff the air, trying to get T.J.’s scent. He had had the Ranger’s scent just a moment ago, so where had he gone?
Without warning, T.J. leaped out of some red bushes and slashed Cargen’s face with the blade. The hunter staggered backwards, dazed by this sudden attack. T.J. didn’t let up, leaping into the air and striking Cargen in the chest with a spinning kick.
“So that’s it! There’s something in those red bushes that hinders your sense of smell,” T.J. discovered.
“That’s right, but you won’t get the chance to warn your last two uncaptured friends.” Cargen let out a shrilling howl, causing T.J. to lost his equilibrium and tumble to the ground. The blue net formed and T.J. vanished.
“Four down, two to go. But I have a feeling these last two will present more of a challenge to me. Here I come, Pink Ranger,” Cargen snarled.
Karone’s plan was to bait Cargen in. He been able to take the Rangers’ morphers, but she still had her magic, or at least enough to keep the hunter at bay for a while.
Cargen materialized in the forest and immediately began to stiff the air for Karone’s scent. She’d be the easiest to find, because of the perfume that she wore, but Cargen’s instincts told him that he should not underestimate this Ranger. There was something magical about her.
As Cargen journeyed deeper into the forest, he was overwhelmed by several scents. The scent of flowers, the scent of wet grass, and other scents that he was unable to recognize. The Pink Ranger was trying to confuse him, but he’d be the one to get the last laugh.
“Show yourself, Pink Ranger. Your cheap tricks won’t save you from me!” the wolf demanded.
“Hey, Cargen, what’s wrong? I thought you liked a challenge,” the voice of the Pink Ranger echoed through the trees.
Cargen hated to be mocked, especially by females. Over the years Cargen had not only gained a reputation for being the best hunter in this dimension, but he also was known to be very rough with females when they didn’t give him what he wanted. Now he was getting angry, and if he could’ve reached Karone at that moment he would’ve made her a black and blue Ranger.
“Hey, Cargen, look out below,” Karone’s voice chimed.
“What?!” At that moment, a pile of tree branches dropped on the villain.
“RRRRRRaaaaaaaa!” the hunter growled, as he burst out from under the pile. He then began to fire red beams wildly in every direction.
*Hmmm, he’s got quite a temper.* Karone thought to herself. *If only I could contact Andros and tell him this.* Then a thought occurred to her. She had telekinetic powers. Hers weren’t as powerful as Andros and Zhane’s, but she had them nonetheless. Perhaps she could link with her brother. Karone opened her locket and began to concentrate on the picture of Andros and herself.
In a snow covered region of the Savage Lands, Andros wander aimlessly. He was tired and he was cold. It seemed as thought one of his biggest nightmares had become a reality. It was a known fact that Power Rangers were at their best when they were together, so by separating them, Lord Shroud had put the Rangers at their weakest point.
*No, I can’t start feeling sorry for myself.* the Ranger leader told himself. *The other Rangers are counting on me to figure out how to get us out of this....Andros? Andros? Andros, can you hear me?* The voice of Karone now entered Andros’ mind.
*Karone? Is that you?*
*Yes, but there isn’t much time. Cargen has captured the other Rangers, and he’s after me now. I’ve managed to hold him off with my magic, but not even that will be able to prevent him from capturing me. Andros, Cargen has an incredible temper. He’s flown into a fit of rage. It’s affecting his ability to track me, and that’s not all. There’s this red stuff in the tree that I’m hiding in, that seems to be hindering Cargen’s sense of smell. Andros, you have to stop him..hur...*
“Karone! Karone!* A cold shiver ran up Andros’ spine as he realized that something had broken his sister’s link with him.
Karone tumbled to the ground in a heap, as Cargen stood over her. “Well I finally caught you. I should kill you right now for that stunt you just pulled, but you’re more useful to me as bait for your brother, the Red Ranger.”
“Sounds like you’ve been talking to Darkonda and Master Vile,” the Kerovan girl deduced.
“Yes, we spoke briefly. They told me that you were very ambitious and that I should be wary of your magic. Its a good thing I listened to them,” Cargen hissed. A pink net formed around Karone, and then she vanished.
“And now the real hunt begins. Only the Red Ranger remains.”
After running for what seemed like only minutes, Andros realized that he had somehow ended up in a forest.
“Hold it right there!” a voice ordered from behind the Ranger. Andros spun around to see a group of furry, little bears standing before him, with spears in their hands.
“Ewoks,” he said.
“What have you done with Grubble?” one of the creatures questioned.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t know what you’re talking about,” the Red Ranger replied. “My friends and I were brought here by an evil hunter named Cargen. He’s already hunted down my friends and now he’s after me.”
“Cargen!” growled one of the creatures. “I had a feeling that we’d have to deal with him sooner or later.”
“You said that Cargen brought you and your friends here? Then that means that you are a...,” one of the Ewoks began.
“Yes, I’m a Power Ranger. In fact, I’m their leader,” Andros finished.
“Please allow us to come with you, Power Ranger. Grubble was carrying out a very important mission when he disappeared. He has a wife and kids, and we’d like to have something definite to tell his family when we return to the village.”
“I have a feeling I’m going to need all the help I can get,” Andros replied.
So together the Red Ranger and the group of Ewoks set out to rescue the missing Rangers and to learn the fate of Grubble.
“I feel the heat of that lava.....even from up here,” Adam stated.
“We can’t lose hope,” Karone encouraged. “Andros will rescue us.....somehow.”
“That’s what I’m counting on, Pink Ranger,” Cargen snarled as he stood at the pulley’s lever. “When the Red Ranger shows up, I’ll capture him also.”
Grubble angrily rattled his cage trying to find a weak bar that he could bend. He was glad that his cage was on the ground, but if he could free himself he’d try to help these five strangers who seemed to be on the verge of facing death.
Behind some nearby bushes, Andros and the Ewoks scoped out the situation. The Ranger leader had spotted a tray, lying on the ground, that held the six morphers. He figured his best chance of rescuing his friends would be to swipe the morphers, but he’d need a distraction, and that’s where the Ewoks would come in. “Okay, guys, here’s what we’re going to do.” Andros began to explain the full details of his plan, as the little bears listened attentively.
The cage holding the Rangers was now just a few feet above the lava, and sweat was pouring from the Rangers. Things weren’t looking good for them, but still they refused to lose faith that their leader would save them.
“Hey, Cargen!” called a few Ewoks, who were covered in the strange red petals that concealed their scent.
The wolf grabbed his battle axe and began to give chase to the little bears. This gave Andros his opportunity to grab to morphers. Scooping up his morpher, the Kerovan morphed and then repositioned the pulley so that he could lower it onto solid ground.
“I’ll have you guys out in no time,” the Red Ranger said, using his Spiral Sabre to cut the bars.
The other Rangers retrieved their morphed, and then freed Grubble.
“Okay now let’s go teach that hunter a lesson,” T.J. suggested.
“Right!” the others replied, in unison.
Cargen cornered the Ewoks in nearby cave, and was now ready to punish them for interrupting his plan, but it was not to be. The hunter was struck from behind by several multi-colored beams of energy.
“This time we’re the hunters, Cargen,” said the Red Ranger.
“Stay back, Rangers, or I’ll fry this little furballs with my battle axe,” the wolf took aim at the frightened Ewoks, but it was the Blue Ranger who dashed forward striking the villain with the point of his Tri-Blaster. Cargen staggered backwards, and the Rangers took full advantage of his weakened state.
They summoned their Power Weapons and hit him with a massive dose of energy.
“No, I will not let the six of you defeat me!” Cargen was just about to let out one of his infamous howls, but the Rangers were ready this time. Andros and Karone activated their respective Red Tornado and Pink Thunder Modes. As the Red Ranger caught the wolf up in a red twister, the Pink Ranger bolted across the room and floored the villain with a powerful burst of energy.
Now Cargen lay motionless on the ground, and the Power Ranger stood triumphantly under him.
“Go ahead, finish me off,” Cargen said weakly.
“No, we have a better idea,” Andros began. “We’re going to send you back to your master, and let him deal with you.”
“No! anything but that!” For the first time in his life, Cargen the Hunter was now whimpering and begging. He knew that Lord Shroud would deliver a severe punishment to him for failing to defeat the Power Rangers, however all of his whimpering was in vain. The magic that had held the Rangers on this planet had now weakened, and a swirling wave of red and gold energy now surrounded the Rangers and their defeated foe.
“Good-bye, Power Rangers, and thank you,” Grubble said happily, as he waved.
In a flash of light the six heroes as well as the hunter were gone.
“Cargen lost didn’t he?” the evil sorcerer guessed.
“I afraid so, master,” Cobrada replied, in a low ton. “My Predatrons found him in Angel Grove Park, and he was just like this.”
“Please, Lord Shroud, give me one more chance. I had the Rangers right where I wanted them, until those Ewoks started helping them,” the wolf whined.
“Listen to yourself, Cargen,” Shroud scolded. “You were supposed to be the greatest hunter in the universe, but now you’ve been reduced to a whimpering fool.” Lord Shroud then addressed Cobrada, once more. “Have Hogley bring him to me. I’m working on an experiment. One that will no only put an end to the Power Rangers, but anyone else foolish enough to defy me.”
“As you wish, Lord Shroud,’ the reptilian general nodded.
“Found anything yet?” Ashley asked, as she and Andros looked over the former Morphin Ranger’s shoulder.
“If what this book says is true.......we may have come across evil that’s worst than anything Lord Shroud could spawn,” Billy explained.
“Does the book give any details on who this Oblivion is, or where he came from?” Andros questioned.
“The details are sketchy, but from what I’ve been able to translate, Oblivion was once powerful god-like being who protected this dimension from evil. Somehow he went bad, and attempted to overthrow the other beings of his kind. He was too powerful to destroy, but the forces of good were able to banish to another realm, however, there’s some sort of ritual that can be used to release him,” Billy said.
“We can’t let that happen,” Andros said.
“Yeah, we’ve got enough trouble with Cobrada, Cricka, and Lord Shroud running around. The last thing we need right now, is to have to fight off a demi-god,” T.J. stated.
“Hey, guys, put down your work and let’s eat,” Karone suggested, as she and Zhane entered to headquarters, carrying a bag of hamburgers.
“Now you’re talk’n,” Adam said, as he sat down at the table.
“Are you okay, Brandon?” Ashley asked noticing how quiet the youngster had been all afternoon.
“I just wanna say thanks to you guys, again. I know you’ll be glad when you’re able to find your missing friends and can go back to your home, but I’m just glad you’re here with me now,” Brandon explained.
“Like we said once before, wherever there’s evil and injustice, the Power Rangers will be there to fight it,” T.J. stated.
“Oh by the way, I brought some samples of those red petals that impaired Cargen’s sense of smell back with me,” Andros said, pulling a few of the petals out of his jacket pocket, and handing them to Brandon.
“Hmmmm, maybe Billy and I can analyzed these samples, and see if there’s any other use we can put them to,” the boy said.
The Rangers finished their meal, and then retired to their quarters to
get some well deserved sleep.