Author's Note: The bar scene in this fic was based on the scene from the "Protect the Quasar Saber" episode of PRLG. (Duh!) This fic contains some PG level language.
"Idiots, Morons, useless toads," Trakeena screams as she storms onto the bridge of the Scorpion Stinger.
"Mistress Trakeena, please," Villamax asks concerned, "what troubles you so?"
Trakeena drops onto her Throne with a thump, "I'm tired of losing!" she cries. "Every time we face the Rangers, it ends in defeat! As if that weren't bad enough, our latest loss has given them a new Ranger to torment us with!"
"Trakeena, I swear to you," Deviot says joining them, "I will make the Rangers pay for your humiliation."
Jumping to her feet, Trakeena clubs Deviot with her staff. "You!?!" she screeches. "You couldn't even find the key to the Phantom powers...in your OWN Zord!"
"If I may, Mistress," Villamax interrupts, "The reason we keep losing is because we fight the Rangers in there own home."
"What are you saying?" Trakeena demands.
Villamax continues, "On Terra Venture, the Rangers are at home. They know the territory, and will fight that much harder to protect it."
"So you think we should lure them away, to some place where the advantage is ours," Deviot adds.
Villamax flashes Deviot a disgusted look, "Eeeeyeeesss," he hisses.
Finally, Trakeena smiles an evil smile. "I like this idea," she purrs, "but where will we send them, and what bait do we use?"
"I think I may have your answers, Mistress, or at least this communication might," Deviot says happily.
Jerking the paper from Deviot's hands, Takeena reads it and bursts into evil laughter. "Perfect, just perfect," she cackles, "Villamax, we're making a slight detour. Set course for planet ONYX!"
"Oh Man, You guys are gonna love this!" John says polishing a metal devise strapped to his right wrist.
"Let me get this straight," Leo says from his perch atop a large block of polished metal, "that gizmo is gonna fire a laser beam that'll allow you to cut through this block of Universal Steel?"
"It's called a Battleizer," John corrects him, "and yes it will. I built it from plans on the Black Box I found when I got my Phantom powers,"
"WE built," Damon says sharply.
"Okay, okay, Damon helped on the technical stuff," John admits.
Kendrix steps forward patting John on the shoulder. "And who decoded the schematics?"
"All right," John says impatiently, "Kendrix helped to! Can I shoot the block now?"
Stepping in front of the block, John begins punching buttons on his battleizer. "Each Battleizer function has a specific code. One for the Battleizer Punch, a Battleizer Shield, and one for..."
"BATTLEIZER LASER, FIRE!" On command a dazzling beam of light leaps forth from the Battleizer striking the Steel Block slicing it in half easily.
"Whoa!" Leo says, "I got get me one of those!"
"No Problem," John says happily, "we built enough for everybody, and even have an extr..."
Suddenly, an alarm interrupts John, as Mike's voice comes over the intercom. "If you guys are done with show and tell, you better get up here, NOW!"
Hearing the seriousness in the Magna Defender's tone, the remaining Rangers rush toward the bridge.
On the Bridge, Mike and Alpha rush back and forth from panel to panel working controls and adjusting settings.
"How long?" Leo asks bursting into the room. Behind him are Damon and John, with Kai and Maya following in rapid succession.
"Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi," Alpha says, "The signal came in nearly ten minutes ago. We've been trying to decode it since."
"All we know," Mike adds, "is it's definitely on a Power Ranger frequency, and it's definitely a distress signal."
"Al," John asks seriously, his hands flying over a control panel, "can you give us a point of origin?"
"Negative," the little robot says sadly, "we can't even read it ye...Wait, here it is!"
Stopping they're furious activity, the rangers all stare at the main monitor as a blurry, distorted image of a blonde girl comes into view. "Re...this...Kar...My ship is ...aged...crash landing on planet...if you...hear me...help."
"Is that the best you can do?" Damon asks impatiently, "we can barely see or hear her."
"Okay," Kendrix informs them from her console, "this should do it!"
The picture is the first to clear; revealing a beautiful young woman dressed in black. As she speaks, she is working frantically at the controls of a spacecraft.
"Wait," John says surprised, "I know that face."
Alpha stares in disbelief. "Ay-yi-yi-yi, its Karone!"
"Repeating, This is Karone Lanrydon of KO-35. I was attacked by some kind of...bug men. My ship is damaged, and I'm making a forced landing on the planet Onyx! Rangers, If you can hear me, please send help!"
As Karone finishes her plea, a panel behind her explodes filling the cockpit of her craft with smoke and sparks knocking her unconscious. Then all becomes static.
"That's it, guys," Mike says darkly, "the transmission is gone.... Terminated at source.
"DECA," Leo commands, "set course for Onyx. MAXIMUM HYPER-RUSH VELOCITY!"
Within minutes, the Astro MegaShip is well on its way to Onyx. Aboard her however, the Rangers have some difficult decisions to make.
"I don't like this, Leo." Damon complains, "we could be flying right into a trap."
Alpha looks at him worriedly, and says, "But Karone was one of us once. We can't just leave her there."
"She was NOT one of us," Kai snaps.
"Kai, who is this Karone?" Maya asks.
Looking uncomfortable, Kai's voice cracks with anger as he answers, "She was at one time the self proclaimed Queen of Evil. During the Battle of Earth she led the assault that all but destroyed Angel Grove, and she is personally responsible for the death of hundreds, if not thousands."
Observing Kai's anger, John addresses him in a cool dispassionate voice. "That's a real good story Kai. Now why don't you tell her all of it."
"All of it?" Maya asks.
John continues, "Karone was abducted as a child, and raised by an evil android called Ecliptor. She was never really evil; she just lived the way she was brought up. That didn't stop her however, from turning to the side of good, and joining her brother the Red Space Ranger."
"But what about the Battle of Earth?" Maya wonders aloud.
Now Alpha speaks, "Just before his universal offensive, Dark Specter attempted to destroy the Earth with a giant asteroid. When Karone traveled to the Dark Fortress to reprogram it, she was captured. While she wa..."
"This time," John interrupts, "they didn't bother with brainwashing or lies. They stuck bionic implants in her brain." John moves closer to Maya for effect, and taps his temple as an example. They hard-wired her for evil."
"Yes," Alpha continues, "even the slightest thoughts of good caused incredible pain. It was the ultimate violation."
"Having listened to all of this quietly, Leo finally stands catching everyone's attention. "None of this matters," he says. "No matter who she is, or what she did in the past, or for that matter why she did it, she called us for help. We can't ignore someone in trouble."
"Are you sure little Bro?" Mike asks from beside him, "It could be a trap."
"He's right," Leo says to the group, "so we vote on..."
"No," Kai interrupts. "Your right. We were given these powers to help people, no matter the danger."
Suddenly, Leo remembers the Ranger credo that Alpha taught him, "To protect the universe...." he begins placing his hand over the middle of the table.
Taking the hint, the other Rangers place their hands on his, and they finish the pledge together as one voice, "from the forces of evil. One goal, one team, the POWER RANGERS!" "Now let's go kick some ass," John says enthusiastically.
It's Mid-night on the planet Onyx as a lone prisoner lies bound, hand and foot in total darkness. The hood that covers her head blinding her is really unnecessary since the cell she's kept in stayed perpetually dark anyway. She guesses it's some ploy to break her spirit. Several days ago she would have told them it wouldn't work, but now...
Suddenly, her revelry is interrupted by the sound of footsteps approaching her door. Her trained ear detects three people. The first set of steps, she can't identify. The second would be the idiot guard who walks with a permanent limp. The one she had given him during a past escape attempt. The heaviest steps would belong to Kirog the cell keeper, a towering, fang faced neo-humanoid who gave her chills when he looked at her with his twisted gaze. She shuddered to think what went on in his dirty little mind. Hopefully she would never have to find out.
She hears a creak as the cell door is opened, and she is jerked roughly to her feet. With a gesture that is as much a blow as a grip, her hood is ripped off exposing her unaccustomed eyes to the bright light shinning through the door.
Her eyes finally working again, Karone Lanrydan finds herself staring eye to eye with hideous Kirog. With a single fluid motion, he lifts her up and slams her into the cell wall where he holds her, her feet several inches of the ground.
"You an' me gon' hab' som' fun, MEAT," Kirog snarls at her, "den I might let Scruddly hab' what's lef. You member Scruddly, don' you, Stronema?"
Karone wants to scream for help or at least protest, but can only bite down on the gag in her mouth. It didn't really matter, even if she could scream, this is Onyx, the center of evil for the entire universe. Who would help her?
"Get back, you twit!" a voice commands from behind Kirog, before shoving him roughly away. As Karone falls back down, she notices her rescuer. He.... It is a cyborg in a gaudy, almost Shakespearean costume complete with a frilly white collar around his neck and missiles mounted on his wrists. *This must be the Deviot the other guards mentioned. * She concludes.
"This isn't yours any more," Deviot says with sadistic glee. "Trakeena has plans for this one. Bending down the mysterious cyborg lifts Karone easily and smirks. "This meat is going to market.
As the evil creatures gathered around her cackle with evil delight, for the fist time since being imprisoned on Onyx, Karone feels cold unrelenting fear.
It's sometime in the early morning as the Astro Megaship glides quietly over the desert landscape of planet Onyx. She had come in without landing lights and under radio silence, and even now her stealth cloak ensures the ships safety from the prying eyes of surveillance equipment and RADAR. Silently the craft sits down behind a massive sand dune where it is concealed from the nearby town.
On the Bridge the seven Rangers prepare for the dangerous mission ahead.
"How long to reach the outpost from here?" Leo inquires of Kendrix.
"At foot speed, I'd say about...two, maybe three hours," Kendrix answers studying the Galaxy Navigator in her hands.
"We don't have two or three hours," Leo complains. "And we can't use the Astro Cycles or Jet Jammers"
"Right," Kai agrees, "they'd be to easy to see from the Outpost."
Leo can shakes his head. "John, you having any luck," he asks hopefully.
"Nothing between us and the Out post but a lot of desert," John responds not bothering to look away from his monitor. Flipping a few switches, he changes the view several times. "Rocks," he says, "sand, tumble weeds, sand.... wait a minute," he says hopefully.
"What!?!" Leo asks impatiently.
"Four humanoid life readings, and eight larger..." John breaks off in mid sentence as a wide smile crosses his face. "Hey, guys," he asks mischievously, "ever see "Star Trek V"?"
Less than a kilometer away from the MegaShip at a small oasis, a grumbling pig faced alien sits by a roaring campfire along side his three compatriots as they celebrate there latest "victory."
Taking another swing of Cimmerian Ale, the pig faced man, Midok, lets out a loud and disgusting belch as he stares eight Tsemus he and his friends just caught.
Identical to Earth's horses, the Tsemus were now an endangered species on Onyx thanks to the natives traditions of working them to death, killing them for sport, but mostly just cruelty. Because of this rarity, Midok and friends expect to receive a high price for them at the Outpost.
"I'm hongray," Sloat, a vaguely humanoid alien in filthy armor complains, "An I gots a taste fo Tsemu meat!"
"You just be sure you eat one of your Tsemus, an not one o' mine," Midok warns. "I plan on getting' plenty o' zenapitars for my two."
"Sssso what," Slan, a snake skinned man retorts, "he can eat one now, and ssssell the other for twisssse assss much."
"I don't care 'bout Tsemus or zenapitars," Midok bellows drunkenly. I wants DRINK! Drink an' women. Human women."
"Your nutsssss," Slan admonishes, "theresssss not a human female for sssssseven light yea..."
"Excuse us," a quiet voice calls from behind them.
Startled, the four poachers turn to find two beautiful women walking seductively toward their fire. One a blonde dressed in a sleeveless T-shirt and the other a brunette in skimpy animal skins.
Consumed with drunken desire the aliens rise clumsily to their feet and stumble toward their moonlit visitors. Women on Onyx either rode with gangs, or hung around the "safety" of the outpost. Few were stupid enough to come into the desert alone and unarmed. And of those, NONE came close to being as beautiful as the girls before them are. These two were too good an opportunity to be missed.
"We need some help," Kendrix purrs seductively. Stepping close to Midok, she strokes his scraggly beard.
Rubbing against the snakeman, Maya stares into his eyes sending silent promises of pleasure through the air. "Our ship crashed, and we would do anything if we could borrow one of your horses."
"I tell you what, Missy," Midok tells Kendrix, "you show us what you got, and we'll see." Turning toward his companions, Midok lets out a belching laugh. "Right Boys!"
Trying to keep from gagging, Kendrix moves even closer to the boisterous drunken slob before her. "Okay, lover," she whispers, wanting to vomit, "how about this..."
With stunning speed, Kendrix' arm shoots up landing a powerful elbow punch to Midok's nose filling the air with a wet cracking noise.
Falling backwards several steps, Midok reflexively turns away from the source of the attack, and finds himself face to face with John and Leo. "Pardon me," John says calmly, "but what are your intentions with my girl friend?" With that John delivers a devastating open handed blow to Midok's face as Leo hits him with a flying sidekick.
"Nice kick," John compliments Leo.
"Your punch needs work," Leo answers.
"Yea, your Momma." John cracks.
Almost instantly the Rangers have over come the drunken poachers, and freed the horse-like animals.
"Will they help us?" Leo asks Maya as she strokes one of the beasts.
Maya looks back and smiles, "They're grateful to us for freeing them, and say they'll do whatever we need," she tells him.
"Leo!" Kai calls from the sand dune. Rushing down to join them, Kai pants from his run but manages to speak. "Just...heard over the subspace sys...system. They're moving Karone to the Dark Zone bar."
"A bar," Leo questions, "why?"
"They said something about an auction to be held at noon."
"Damn, that's only a couple hours from now," Leo curses.
"Don't worry," John says joining them. "The plan will still work, it'll just be...tricky." John winces at the thought.
"I don't know," Leo argues looking at the large tote bag he holds. "Are you sure about this."
"Would you rather waltz into town fully morphed and fight a hundred monsters and assorted supervillains?" John asks sarcastically.
"Okay, okay, I get the picture." Leo says. "Let's ride guys!"
One by one, the Rangers mount their newfound steeds and prepare for the coming battle. All that is but one.
"Uh, Leo?" Damon says slowly, "I'm all for saving Karone, but I ain't ridin' a horse. No Way."
Leo can only shake his head and smile, "Okay, fine," he says finally, "we need you here at the MegaShip anyway. We'll be back as soon as we can."
Pulling on the rein, Leo rears his horse to its hind legs as he shouts, "Head 'Em Up Move 'Em Out!" And with that horse and rider gallop away.
"He just had to say it," Mike says smiling at his brother's usual enthusiasm. "Let's Ride!"
Watching Mike streak away in a cloud of dust, Kai and John flash each other a mischievous grin as they to prepare to ride.
"HOOOYAH!" Kai shouts.
"WOOOO YEA! GET UP!" John cries following him toward town.
"Boys," Kendrix says shaking her head.
"Yeah," Maya says in agreement. "HEYAH!" and with that, the normally quiet Maya is gone.
"They're all nuts!" Damon complains.
"Yeah," Kendrix agrees laughing, "Hold on to these." Throwing Damon her glasses, Kendrix rears her own horse, and prompts it to action. "EEEEYEEEHAAAH!"
Damon watches as the Rangers ride out of site, and shakes his head. "Horses now," he complains as he leads the remaining Tsemus toward the MegaShip. "Zords, GalactaBeasts, space colonies, and now alien horses, this isn't a super hero team, it's a Saturday morning kids show. You guys are house broken, right?"
The noonday sun is beating down on the streets of Onyx City. Streets that are unusually quiet for the Mecca of all evil monsters. As the dry desert wind dies down, voices can be heard coming from the Dark Zone bar.
Inside the bar an even more mixed group of alien and monster alike gather listening intently to a scraggly alien on stage auctioning a huge and menacing looking rifle.
"Oneseventyoneseventyoneeighty," auctioneer continues. One eighty, do I hear one ninety? Come now ladies and gentlemen, this IS the legendary weapon of Tahag, the Great!" he prods.
Turning the weapon in his hands, the auctioneer examines the trigger as he speaks. "Why I believe it still wor..." Without warning, a laser-like beam shoots across the bar vaporizing the glass of the gas-masked man at the bar.
With renewed vigor, the audience bids on the ancient weapon until finally... "Sold to the Centaurian for two hundred seventy zenapitars."
Pleased with himself, the auctioneer draws himself up proudly, takes a deep breath, and prepares for the next item. "Now ladies and getlemen, the item we've all been waiting for. From across the galaxy, we bring you the turncoat who foolishly sided with the forces of good costing evil its greatest victory. I proudly present to you fresh from KO-35, the legendary...ASTRONEMA!
On cue, Kirog and a pair of motley guards drag a bound and gagged Karone through a curtain-covered door at the back of the stage.
Angered by her sight, creatures all over the bar throw food, glasses and bottles at the shackled woman. Karon closes her eyes as a bottle sails straight for her head but bounces away as if hitting something unseen.
Suddenly, a strange feeling comes over Karone. A feeling of...comfort. It's as if she were not alone on stage with these vile creatures. But it must nerves. She can see there is no one on stage with them, is there?
"Please, please," the auctioneer calls. "I must ask that you refrain from eviscerating the merchandise until after it is paid for." Smiling evilly, the auctioneer strokes Karone's chin even as she tries to pull away. "Just picture having the Great Traitor as your personal slave. You could have her bend to your every whim, or if you wanted to you could slit this pretty throat."
Fighting back tears, Karone looks on bravely. "We will start the bidding at two hundred thousand zinabitars. Do I hear two..."
"Wait!" a booming voice interrupts. It is a man in black and red armor, who now walks bravely up to the stage stairs. "One million zinabitars!"
A collective gasp runs through the building as all recognize him.
Karone stares in horror at the armored figure before her. *He's supposed to be dead! * Her mind screams. *Oh God, he's supposed to be dead! *
"Psycho Red!" the auctioneer cries.
"That's right, toad, and I have a score to settle with this spoiled brat of a she witch. So HURRY!" Psycho Red commands.
Obviously frightened, the auctioneer continues "One million going once, going twice, sold to the Red Psycho Ranger!" the auctioneer says.
"Silence!" the Psycho Ranger bellows. "I have a better idea! You give me Astronema, and I let you live." Now the entire room goes silent..
"T...t...that's impossible" the auctioneer says nervously.
Psycho Red laughs. "Fine," he says unfazed, " I was looking forward to killing you anyway."
"On further consideration," the auctioneer says quickly, "we have decided to accept your proposal! Please come again. Turning quickly to one of the scaggly guards, the auctioneer pushes him toward Karone. "Quickly," he orders, "give the customer his merchandise!"
Scrambling to obey, the guard removes the shackles from Karones ankles and rushes her down the stairs.
"I like you," Psycho Red tells the auctioneer, "your not as dumb as you look." With that, Psycho Red turns slowly and walks toward the door pulling Karone roughly behind him. "You're not Psycho Red!" a familiar female voice accuses from overhead.. Turning toward the voice, Karone and the Red Psycho see Trakeena glaring down at them from the balcony above them. Around her stand Villamax and a squad of Sting Wingers. "Your some two-bit imposter trying to save your washed up supervillainess friend." Trakeena accuses. "As a matter of fact if I were to guess, I would say you're...Leo Corbett, the Red Galaxy Ranger! Suddenly, the room comes to life as some creatures scramble to leave and others prepare to attack.
Taking the initiative, Karone sends a spinning heal kick into both the auctioneer and the limping guard. guard.
At the bar, the gasmasked creature rips the cloak and mask from his head revealing the face of Kai Chen. Similarly, Maya and Kendrix discard their disguises and shove their way through the crowd to join Leo and Karone.
"MMMRRRPHH!" Karone screams through her gag as Kirog charges toward her, trunchion in hand.
"AHHHHGGH!" Kirog screams in pain as a laser beam slices through the air exploding the truncheon in his hand.
Startled, the bar patrons all turn toward the stage to see who fired the shot, and gasp in shock.
On stage a familiar armored figure shimmers into view. "Phantom Ranger!" someone yells.
"Perfect," Trakeena whispers happily, "almost all here." Pointing into the chaos below, Trakeena calls, "Villamax!"
Stepping forward, Villamax jumps over the banister and drops to the ground ready to attack.
*Uh Oh, * John thinks, as he watches Villamax force his way toward the Rangers. *I hate party crashers! * Leaping some thirty feet, John catches Villamax in the head with a flying sidekick.
"You'll regret that human," Villamax swears.
"Yea, sure babe whatever." Ducking, John narrowly avoids Villamax' swords swipe, then back flips onto the piano platform where two Piranatrons grab his arms. "C'mon, guys. Ever heard of a fair fight!?!"
Leaping onto the platform, Villamax tries another sword swipe.
Twisting his body, John forces one of the Piranatrons in front of him where Villamax' slash catches it in the back. "Somebody call a chiropractor!" John yells.
Kicking away the last Piranatrons, John somersaults over the banister summoning his Quasar Saber as he hits the bar floor.
As Villamax charges again, John swings his saber with every once of his strength charging the blade with kinetic energy. As the saber strikes Villamax' own slashing blade, sparks fly as Villamax is thrown to the floor stunned.
"Buh bye," John says as he follows the Rangers out the door.
"TAKE THEM!!!" Trakeena commands.
Outside a chaotic force of monsters follows close after the Rangers as they leave the bar. Coming out the door, the monsters are greeted by yet another cloaked stranger standing across the street from them.
"Greetings, maggots!" Mike tells them as he punches in a command code on his Battleizer. "Fire!" he orders. On command, the Battleizer fires several deadly streams of energy driving the pursuers back into the bar with a series of small explosions.
Untying the horses, the Rangers and Karone quickly mount and prepare to make they're escape.
"John, Move It!" Leo yells seeing the Phantom Ranger still fighting aliens and monsters in front of the bar.
"Go on guys, I'll cover Ya!" is John's only answer.
"Leo! We gotta go now!" Mike cries leaping up to join Karone on her horse.
"Shit," Leo curses as he waves the signal to ride.
As the five race down the street, none see a humanoid spider creature leap down from the bar roof and spit a stream of webbing at them.
Snagging Mike with the line, the Spider tugs hard, pulling Mike from his horse and slamming him to the ground.
"NOOO!" Screaming in rage, John pulls his Astro Blaster and dispatches the Arachnoid with a blazing beam of energy.
"Mike, Mike! Are you okay!?!" John asks kneeling over Mike.
"Oh, Phantom," someone calls.
John looks just in time to see Trakeena standing at the bar's entrance with her staff pointed at him, its tip glowing with deadly energy. "Oh no..."
With a loud crackle, a stream of energy is fired from Trakeensa's staff striking John dead center. Blasted by the energy attack, John is thrown across the street and slammed into a building wall.
"Oh man," John winces, clutching his smoking chest, "oh God. It hurts!"
Now on his knees, John never sees the second blast, which slams him again into the wall. This time knocking him cold. Falling limp to the ground, John demorphs and is immediately seized.
Just outside town, Karone finally catches up to the Rangers.
"Where's Mike?" Leo asks seeing her ride up alone.
"And John?" Kendrix demands.
Winded, Karone struggles to answer their questions. "Mike...was captured, the Phantom Ranger was hit, HARD." Karone gives Kendrix a sad look. "I...I don't know if he...if he's alive."
"I'm going back," Kendrix tells them, her voice full of concern.
"We're all going back!" Leo answers. "Karone, get back to the MegaShip, tell Damon what happened."
"But, I have to go with you. This is my fault." Karone argues.
"No argument!" Leo snaps.
As if to punctuate Leo's command, Kai slaps the rear of Karone's Tsemu. "KEEEYAH!!!" he yells.
Startled by the blow and noise, the Tsemu gallops away. Heading for the last safe place it remembers.
"Will it take her to the ship?" Leo asks turning to Maya.
"Yea, she'll be fine," the girl answers.
"All right then, guys," Leo tells them, "we all go home, or nobody goes home!"
"Giving each other a quick look, the rangers all nod in agreement.
"Then, LET'S RIDE!!!" Leo commands.
As one, they ride back toward town. Two men and two women with one mission. They know the danger that lies ahead. Trakeena will be ready for them this time. But whatever happens, they'll face it together. Not as a matter of choice, but because....
They are the Power Rangers.