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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

394 - Fanfic REPOST - Power Rangers Zeo: Shadow Of The Dragon, PART 2

Originally Published on FF.Net: November 2003 to May 2004

Made some minor edits to the text. Seemed long overdue, I suppose. Also, I noticed that most of my text breaks in the FF.Net postings have been removed. Thanks, FF.Net, for screwing that up for me. Idiots. Oh well...

Disclaimer: The author would like to clarify that Power Rangers and its characters is owned by Saban Brands and not the author.


"What happened?"

The words spoken by Tanya Sloan echoed in the pitch-black room. Regaining consciousness after being plucked from the battle with a strange being, she noticed that there was no illumination at all, except for the outline of a door, which appeared to be oversized. Hearing Rocky groan as he got up made Tanya relieved that she wasn't alone. She also heard other footsteps, which she assumed came from the other two Rangers.

"Felt like we were teleported," Adam answered.

Kat looked around the room, but couldn't see anything since it was too dark. "But how did we get here?"

"It must have had something to do with that mummy in the trench coat." Rocky said, still a little dizzy. "It has to be."

Adam sighed heavily. "Let's just find a way out of h-." His words were cut off when he walked into a wall. Recoiling back a bit, Adam cursed. "Damn! You can't see anything here!"

"You alright, Adam?" Rocky asked. "I'd come over to check on you, but I don't want to slam into anything and break my nose." He couldn't help but let out a grin and because of the darkness that enveloped everyone, he didn't have to conceal it.

"Yeah," Adam answered, a small smile creeping up his face but soon faded, "By the way, my nose is just fine, Rocko. Let's just find a way out so we can escape, but take it a little slow."

Kat stiffened as she stared at the outline of the heavy door. "You're right, Adam," she said somewhat confidently, although it was evident in her that she wasn't sure, "We have to find a way out. I just hope Tommy's alright."

---

The last time Thomas Oliver saw the Dragonzord, it was under the control of a clone that had his old Green Ranger powers. After several battles, the clone came to his senses and stayed in the past while the Dragonzord would return to its slumber, where Tommy had figured he would never wake again. So it was understandable that he would be in shock and awe of the sight of his old zord.

This stranger, whoever he or she may be, has somehow managed to steal the Dragon Dagger, and Tommy couldn't quite figure out how long ago it's been missing, or how it could have been unnoticed by Zordon. Shaking the notion out of his head, he looked on as he saw the Dragonzord make its way to the downtown districted, with his new opponent floating behind his new prize.

"Red Battlezord!" he called as he thrust his right arm to the sky.

From the Zeo Holding Bay, the Red Battlezord was shot out of its launch cannon and landed near the zord. As soon as he saw the zord, Red Ranger jumped on board and took control. He then guided the Battlezord to meet with the Dragonzord. The feeling of dejavu... the poser Cyclops who was able to change into other zords... the Green Ranger clone, standing tall commanding his zord to fight off the White Tigerzord a couple years ago... Tommy's mind stirred with these thoughts. If it was a clone, he would have been able to accept the current situation.

"Once again, we meet, old friend." The words came out bitter.

The stranger looked on as the two massive machines stood facing each. It studied the sight for a moment, mostly out of interest and a slight bit of awe. Perhaps this new player was amazed by the sight before him or her. Nonetheless, the stranger took the Dragon Dagger and played a familiar tune. Tommy tightened his grip on the controls. This is it.

Dragonzord swung around and extended its tail drill, the tip narrowly hitting the Battlezord's chest armor. Battlezord attempted to make a quick tackle in order to take down the other zord, but the Dragonzord countered with a volley of concussion missiles. The volley was enough to knock down the Battlezord, its fall cushioned by a nearby abandoned building.

"You're tougher than before," Tommy grunted as he struggled to maintain stability of his Battlezord. "But I have to stop you."

With a few control movements, the Red Battlezord approached the Dragonzord and deliver many hard punches to Dragonzord's central plate. The punches that hit caused several sparks to fly off, but in effect, they did nothing. Dragonzord delivered a headbutt to the Battlezord, which knocked it back a couple feet. Battlezord attempted a tackle on Dragonzord and managed to latch on, but the Dragonzord's free arms enabled it to fire its missiles to drive away the Battlezord. The attack had pushed the Battlezord away and Dragonzord fired a couple more missiles to keep it distanced. Tommy seemed frustrated at the fact that an old zord is beating an advanced zord such as the Battlezord. Determined to win the battle, he attempted another strategy: the Battlezord took a couple steps closer to Dragonzord and locked the old zord in a bearhug hold, wrapping. Dragonzord, immobilized in this maneuver, struggled to free itself or use its missiles to drive away Tommy's zord as before, but could not.

"Good," Tommy said, a hint of regret in his voice. "Now's my chance."

The stranger wondered what was going on and soon noticed that the visor on the Red Battlezord was glowing dimly but slowly picking up intensity. Realizing that an up-close attack was eminent, the stranger extended its arm and fired a stream of energy at the leg of the Battlezord. The blast did not do much damage, but it was enough for the Battlezord to release its hold of the Dragonzord. The visor was still glowing, however, and a second later, a laser blasted from the visor and struck the Dragonzord, knocking it down but a building was crushed by the falling zord.

Tommy thought he had a chance to prepare to finish the battle, but was shocked by the rapid recovery of the Dragonzord. Even at that distance, the blast should have done enough damage. Tommy wanted to voice his disbelief, but went against it. He glanced down at the mysterious stranger who was controlling the zord.

"I don't know who you are and how you manage to get that dagger," Red Zeo shouted, "but you're going to regret ever attacking us!"

Tommy programmed a second charge, but this time he programmed the auxiliary batteries to add to the build-up of energy for a more powerful blast. Tommy understood that this could possibly deliver the killing blow to the Dragonzord, but would also drain most of the defensive units that gave the Battlezord damage resistance of energy. When the beam was fully charged, Tommy fired a beam at the Dragonzord, but before the beam could make contact, it vanished... not just the tip of the beam, but the stream of energy that followed. The Red Ranger looked on in disbelief.

"What?"

With the distraction provided, the stranger played another tune on the Dagger. Almost instantly, Dragonzord swung its mighty drill tail into the visor of Red Battlezord, shattering it completely and exposing the main cockpit where Tommy pulled away. Dragonzord's tail came by for another swing and hit the chest plate, causing it to explode and tear apart. A third and final successive tail whip attack knocked down the ravaged Battlezord.

Trying in vain to get the Battlezord on his feet again, Tommy tried every conceivable method to operate. Then he realized the mental link required to perform attacks had been compromised when he launched the second blast. After a moment of struggle, Battlezord manage to stand, although barely. A distraught Tommy looked into the eyes of his former zord. A zord he had forged a bond with during his days as the Green Ranger. Even after many zord and power changes, the Dragonzord was the one he commonly thought of once in a while. He felt a presence around this zord, which had faced destruction at every turn every battle it fought.

"I can't do it," he told himself, "I can't fight you anymore."

He waited for the killing blow. He waited for the zord to finish him off. He heard the wailing tune that he had been familiar with and closed his eyes to await his fate. The tune played again and Tommy heard the roar of the Dragonzord. A mighty roar that had strength. Tommy stood there, a tear running down his cheek, awaiting what was to come.

But nothing happened.

The stranger blew the tune through the Dragon Dagger and the Dragonzord turned and marched away slowly. The stranger below slowly faded out of sight, leaving nothing but dust and wind. When Tommy opened his eyes, he saw the Dragonzord slowly marching away. He felt a little relieved, but also a void of confusion clouded his mind.

 What happened, Tommy thinks to himself, Why didn't he attack?

Before Tommy could think, a six-tone signal sounded through his communicator. A little hesitant at first, Tommy switched on the comm system of the Battlezord.

"Zordon?" Tommy spoke, his voice wandering.

"Report to the Power Chamber, Red Ranger," Zordon spoke over the communicator, "Your presence is urgently needed."

No answer came. Tommy stared ahead at the Dragonzord as it slowly limped away. He stood there motionless and kept staring until his old zord was nothing more than a shadow.

"Tommy?" Zordon spoke again. "It is imperative that you return."

Tommy shook out of his trance. "Right, Zordon." Tommy answered, though he sounded somewhat dejected. "I'm on my way." Sitting back at the controls, he piloted the battered Battlezord back to the Power Chamber, careful not to step on any cars littered in the streets.

---

The skybase continued its volley of fire on the various factories below that have been part of Mondo's factory. In the bridge, Aradon looked on as his new black Quadrafighters took out most of the ground defenses as well as several power distribution units, rendering parts of the Machine base inoperable. It did not take long, however, for one of the hangar bays to launch several wave of their own classic red Quadrafighters to attack the intruders.

Five red fighters flew towards the main skybase and fired several shots, but none of them penetrated the strong pulse shields surrounding it. Before the flight group could go for another pass, they were instantly destroyed by the black fighter squadron, which had taken care of most of the fighters that were launched from the ground as well as some ground defenses.

"Lord Aradon," the Cog spoke, a voice that sounded more humanoid than mechanical, "our raid against Mondo's personal base is going well. Their fighters are antiquated, as our new polaron weapons are quickly making short work of them."

Aradon cocked an eyebrow. "And the royal family?" he asked, concerned.

"There appears to be no trace of them." the Cog commanded, taking a moment to look through his scanners, "I am detecting three skybases from the southern quadrant. Their schematics are also of inferior design."

Aradon let out a sigh, obviously disappointed by the turn of events. "I wouldn't be surprised if that excuse for a king was crawling back to Gorah Khan and left his pathetic slackers to man the fort." he groaned. He turned towards the Cog at tactical "Order our black fighter squadrons to attack the enemy bases. And inform our skybases to concentrate firepower on all power plants and industrial systems."

"Yes, Lord Aradon."

The skybase fired several volleys from the flaks guns to the factories just under them while several squadrons of quadrafighters plotted an attack run towards the other three skybases launched from below. Red fighters were launched from the ground and the bases and a heavy melee was fought, with Aradon's forces overwhelming Mondo's ships. Three black quadrafighters flew circles around one of the skybase, launching several missiles and firing polaron weapons at various spots of the base. After fifteen seconds of following this plan, parts of the skybase exploded and the fighters fled, leaving behind a capital ship that would soon collide to the surface and destroy itself, taking a good portion of the Machine city with it.

---

When Tommy materialized in the Power Chamber, the first thing he saw was Alpha 5, rampantly rushing from console to console. He turned to see the viewer, which showed images of the Dragonzord moving away from the city, smashing through buildings as if they were never there. Finally, he turned to Zordon, but couldn't talk. He couldn't come out and just wonder how the mentor of the Ranger team could not have known about this.

"I know what you're thinking, Tommy," the sage said, his mood evident by his grim expression. "I wish I had answers for you."

Tommy frowned and dropped his head to the point where he would stare at the blinking lights and switches of the command console. "How could this happen, Zordon?" he asked, a hint of anger trailing in his voice, "How could this guy steal the Dragon Dagger?"

Zordon thought for a moment before answering. "I do not know, Tommy. I do know that this enemy is more cunning than what we are used to. If he is able to steal the Dragon Dagger and capture the other Power Rangers, who knows what his full capability is."

"Right," the Red Ranger answered, facing Zordon, "This is just tough to swallow."

Alpha approached Tommy and placed a hand on the teen's shoulder. "I noticed something about his attack earlier. This stranger doesn't seem to be interested in random destruction."

The words spoken by the robot caused bewilderment to Tommy. "Huh?"

"From my scans," Alpha explained, "this 'person' attacked in an open area of the city. Outside of the Dragonzord smashing through some buildings, there wasn't any serious damage and the shots weren't aimed at anyone in particular. Nothing but intentional misses, and the shots that did hit caused only superficial damage and no much more." Alpha paused for a moment before continuing. "To my understanding, the attack was more to draw out the Rangers than it was the usual tactics we are accustomed to. If my scans are correct, our enemy will only attack when it is in his best interests."

Zordon frowned at the robot's last statement. "You must be careful, Tommy. Even though he doesn't work for either Mondo or Zedd and do not share any of their agendas, one wrong move could prove fatal to both yourself and the rest of humanity."

Tommy nodded in confirmation, but he had another concern. "What about the other Rangers?"

"So far, my scans have proven negative," Zordon answered regrettably, "If the Rangers have been taken to another dimension, it is evident that the dimension is not known to my databanks."

"We'll need help then. And the only one I know who can help us is on another planet." The Red Ranger smiled at the thought and turned to Alpha 5. "Alpha, get in contact with Aquitar."

Alpha looked at Tommy in surprise, but turned towards the console. "Right, Tommy."

Tommy looked up to Zordon and the sage nodded. Both knew who this call was for.

---

An hour had passed since the four Zeo Rangers awoke to find themselves in the pitch black chamber that had served as their prison. During this time, Rocky and Adam hugged the walls for any cracks that may serve as an escape while Kat and Tanya attempted to find anything on the blast door that could be used to open from the inside. Unfortunately, their efforts produced no results.

"Whoever's holding us here knows about inescapable." Adam said, almost impressed. He soon noticed the heavy door slowly opening. When the door opened fully, the Rangers stood face to face with their jailors; two tall creatures composed of rocks. Their mannerisms and postures are similar to the old Putty Patrols that Rita used to have. Adam noticed that one of the putties had its left hand severed; in its place was a thick, double-edged blade at looks to be fifteen inches in length. The other putty had its right hand severed; replaced with a similar, but shorter blade. Both putties pointed their blades at the Rangers.

"Come with us, Rangers." One of them said. "Your presence is requested by Lord Zedd..."

To Be Continued

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