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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

404 - Fanfic REPOST - Power Rangers Zeo: Shadow Of The Dragon, PART 3

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

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



"Your presence is requested by Lord Zedd." one of the soldiers said. "I suggest you come with us if you value your lives."


Lord Zedd? Adam thought. Zedd's got us?


The Rangers did as they were told and walked along with the two rock putties, who had their bladed hands positioned across Kat and Rocky's necks respectively. The walk took a while as they went through several dark hallways that almost seemed similar. Finally, after what seemed like five minutes of walking across, they reached a larger, dimlitted chamber. Kat recognized as the throne room of the palace, although she remembered it being a few floors higher than where they are now. The throne room seemed different to her; other than the giant fan in the back, it was not the same. The room had a solid, clean look to it, where as before it was dusty and crude.


On the throne, which was situated in the center of the room with a red light glowing over it, sat the master of the palace, Lord Zedd.


"Welcome, my friends." he greeted mockingly. He sounded almost cheerful, feeling equally as glad that he sees the Rangers' faces turn sour at the sight of him. 


Kat's mouth opened, but she said nothing.


Rocky stepped forward ahead of the others to confront Zedd. "What are you up to this time, Zedd? Why did you bring us here" There was a tone of superiority in his voice and his body posture, something that Adam had never noticed in his friend's behavior before.


Zedd studied the Rangers a moment before "I had nothing to do with your being here." He paused to look at his human prisoners, who shared confused glances among each other. "Don't look too surprised, Rangers. I have other things on my mind than always trying to destroy you."


"You mean that monster isn't yours?" Kat asked, finding her voice.


Zedd waved his hand away. "Of course not. Although from what I've seen, it makes me wish it was." The fleshman paused to take a moment to stand up and approach the Rangers slowly. "It's almost funny. Here I am, putting my affairs in order as I plan to rid my moon of those infernal Machines. Without their leaders, they're not as competent a force as they usually are.


"Imagine my surprise when I find other Machines from their wretched excuse of a homeworld entering the vicinity and destroying Mondo's forces from the ground up. You should see the destruction that is occurring as we speak. And imagine my surprise when I realized that my rarely used cell down below had four life signs and they turned out to be..." Zedd tilted his head a bit before finishing. "You know the rest. So the question remains is what am I going to do with you?"


Tanya spoke. "I'm guessing letting us go is out of the question."


Zedd laughed. "That'd be too easy. I should probably return you to your cells and let you rot until your 'almighty' leader can mount a rescue. That is of course if he makes it back alive."


"What about Tommy?" Kat couldn't hold her worry in.


"Oh he's just fine, my dear." Zedd answered boldly, almost sounding as though he didn't care, "He has his problems but they are of no concern to you at the moment." He pointed to the two putties in the corner. "Take them back to their cell."


At that moment, the two putties pushed the Rangers out of the room and escorted them back to their cell. When they were out of plain view, Zedd walked towards the balcony and stared at the emerald planet. He let out a sigh as he focused his vision onto the structure of the Power Chamber, which used to house the Command Center before it was destroyed; something that Zedd had orchestrated last year. He soon turned away from the balcony and walked towards his chamber.


I hope you do survive this test, Red Ranger. he thought. Because I want a piece of you soon.


-o-


Aquitian living chambers are a pain for a human to sleep in, but William Cranston managed to adapt rather well. For someone who had spent the better part of the past couple of years running around in blue spandex fighting evil space aliens, the former Blue Power Ranger didn't have much of a problem getting used to his new surroundings, but there were some things he couldn't deal with properly. He didn't really mind eating the food, which seemed to consist of various fish foods, and it didn't bother him couldn't sleep comfortably in the Aquitian beds, which had way too much bounce for his tastes.


So for the most part, he didn't get much sleep. Although for some reason, Billy didn't seem to need it. He figured some time ago that it could have been a result of the properties of the special formula that had been used to cure him of an aging process gone wrong; his Aquitian friend Cestro had mentioned side effects.
When the comm system started beeping and flashing a red light, Billy was conscious enough to walk over and check it out, wearing nothing more than blue pajamas. Reading the scan, he saw that the transmission was coming from Earth. Billy activated the comm system and saw a familiar face on screen.


"Tommy! It's been a while."


"Hey, man." Tommy greeted, "How're you doing?"


Billy couldn't help but grin widely. "Better than before. I'm able to do a lot of great stuff here and study more about Aquitian technology." He paused, looking back for a moment before turning to Tommy. "Although the beds are tough to get used to."


Tommy's smile quickly faded and was replaced with a worried look. "I hate to spoil your good time," the Red Ranger said, "but we need you back here."


Billy nodded, understanding what he meant. "No explanation need, Tommy. I'll be there as soon as I can."


The communication link was deactivated and Billy went back into his private chamber. He stepped into the nearby green tube-like chamber, pressed a few buttons, and stood as a beam of light-blue light enveloped him. When the light faded, his two-piece pajamas were replaced with a black turtleneck, blue jeans, and cowboy boots. Billy, studying his appearance, sighed.


Cestro must have programmed the cowboy boots, he thought.


"Billy?" A female voice from the bed, sounding a little sleepy. "What's going on?"


Billy nearly frowned. He didn't want to wake her for this. "Trouble at home, Cestria." he told her, "I have to go." He gently kissed her on the forehead and picked up the nearest bomber jacket he could find before stepping out of the room.


"Be careful." Cestria said, still sleepy.


But Billy was already gone.


-o-


The Aquitian spaceport was the only part of the underwater Aquitian city that included a tunnel to a small constructed island above the water which covered about ninety-nine percent of the whole planet surface. The island itself served as a launching pad for non-Aquitian vessels to land, as most of the Aquitian spacecraft were capable of both aquatic and interstellar travel. It didn't take long before William Cranston reached the main spaceport of Aquitar. Scanning the area quickly, he ran towards one of the Aquitians in a blue tech suit; an Aquitian who was also part of the planet's Ranger team.


"Cestro, I need a ship," Billy stated bluntly, "Trouble at home."


Cestro nodded, understanding his friend's desire to return home. "I have a ship ready for you, Billy."


Before Billy could reply on the Aquitian's resourcefulness and ability to plan ahead, he noticed a small glow in the corner of the bay. Cestro took notice of it too, as did a few other engineers. The glow started to slowly glow in brightness, with a couple of nearby works slowly moving away.


"What's that?" one of the engineers asked.


The glow started to pulsate stronger. Billy stared at it for a little longer before coming to the realization. The glow started building up energy and after a second, the energy flew towards the group. As soon as Billy realized what it was, he pushed Cestro aside and took the brunt of the energy blast. Cestro got up and saw the red blaze completely envelope Billy, as it reached the prepared ship and completely incinerated it in mere moments.


The blast, while only passing through the human boy for a second, seemed to last an entire lifetime. He called for his name, but got no response. When the beam faded, all that remained was Billy, few tattered cloth pieces around his naked body, crashing to the hard marble floor. The alien approached to check on his friend, but he couldn't find a pulse.


"Medic!" he cried in his native tongue, "Get me a god-damned medic!"


-o-


From the bridge of his skybase, Lord Aradon proceeded to look on as the assault on Mondo's city continued. He seemed less than impressed with his adversary's forces, who have yet to take down one of his fighters or the ground forces he had ordered to strike below. He knew that the battle would be an easy one, but didn't figure that it would a one-sided battle. Despite this, he is satisfied with the damage that he is delivering to Mondo's forces.


"Lord Aradon, sir," the Cog at Communications called out, "we're getting a coded signal from the homeworld."


Aradon stiffened. "On screen."


The screen shifted to an almost pitch-black screen. The only noticeable thing was a silhouette of an android's head overlapping the gear insignia of the Machine Empire. The head had two stems sticking out that would look like antennae. The body, or what was visible, seemed round-shaped.


"Colonel," Aradon greeted, balancing his tone between cheerfulness and formality rather well, "to what do I owe the pleasure of this communication?"


The shadowed droid hesitated to answer at first, but spoke in a low voice. "Mondo is not here, Lord Aradon."


"Really?" Aradon was almost surprised to hear this. "I had expected Mondo to crawl back to his throne by now, considering the damage we're doing to his forces."


"What's more," he continued, "his transponder is not active. Something must have happened."


"The Power Rangers must have taken care of him." the commander said, "Such a feat would make our efforts easier."


The droid held a finger up and turned his head away from the viewer. Aradon couldn't quite see the expression of the colonel's face because of the screen's darkened state. Soon enough, the colonel turned back to Aradon. "In any case," he said, "The council told me to inform you that you must find him and bring him back to Gorah Khan. Alive if possible, although unofficially we prefer him dead."


"Of course." Aradon answered, a smile creeping on his face. The image of the colonel was replaced with the green tinted emblem of the Machine Empire. A grin grew across the Machine lord's face as he turned towards his artillery officer. 


"Take the chair. I'm going to my quarters."


"Of course, my lord." the Cog walked up to Aradon's chair and sat while the lord left the bridge and into his private chambers.


-o-


Alpha tried desperately to stabilize the already weakening signal being sent from Aquitar. When he had succeed in establishing a connection, the viewer (barely) showed the face of an Aquitian woman with long hair, a face familiar to those present as the leader of Aquitar's Rangers. However, Tommy noticed concern on her face and the fact she did not answer immediately after a connection was established got to him too.


"Delphine?" the Red Ranger spoke, "What's wrong? Where's Billy?"


Delphine answered hesitantly. "Billy has been injured."


Tommy looked on in shock. "Injured?" he asked, almost stuttering, "How?"


Delphine shook her head. "We don't how it happened, but he was hit with an intense red blast that appeared out of nowhere."


Tommy froze in place. He thought back to the fight with the Dragonzord and remembered the Battlezord's beam that vanished. Somehow, this mysterious new enemy had displaced the beam to hit Billy, even in a far away place as Aquitar. Whether it was a completely random occurrence or it was an intentional strategy, he didn't know for sure, but he knew it had to do with this wrapped stranger.


"He is in critical condition." she said sorrowfully, "But according to the initial scans, it doesn't seem life-threatening."


"Do you need anything?" Zordon asked calmly.


Delphine shook her head. "No. We believe we can care for Billy."


"Thank you," the sage said, "and good luck."


The Aquitian Ranger leader nodded and the communication link terminated shortly after. Tommy let out a hard breath. "The bastard's good, Zordon." he admitted bitterly, "He knew we needed Billy's help and managed that beam to appear where he was."


"If what you say is true, then we have a problem." Zordon suggested, "If he is able to beam your zord's attack to Aquitar, who knows where he could have brought the Rangers?"


-o-


An hour passed since the Rangers' meeting in Lord Zedd. An hour which was spent in the familiar pitch-black holding cell. Kat continued to feel the walls with her hands, trying to find a means of escape. Adam stood close to the heavy door, searching for any crack or gap that could be used to budge the door open. Unfortunately, neither one had much luck. Tanya sat in a corner, too depressed to do anything productive, while Rocky stood in the middle, not wanting to do anything stupid.


Suddenly, Rocky's eyes widened. "Guys, I just thought of something."


"What?" Tanya groaned, almost agitated.


"Why didn't we morph to get out?" the Blue Ranger asked, a hint of humor creeping through his voice.


Tanya slumped her head in embarrassment and Adam covered his face with his hands groaning. The idea of morphing had never occurred to them. A moment of silence passed before Kat smiled and answered, "You're right. Let's do it."


Each Ranger did their respective calls and soon the four teenagers were enveloped in colored light, subsequently replaced with their morphed Ranger states. Not only did they get the morph through without fail, but the commotion attracted the attention of the guard outside, who opened the heavy door to see what was going on. As soon as he was within eyesight, the Rangers ambushed him and swiftly knocked him out. Adam dragged the guard to the corner of the room as the others left. When all four left, Rocky slammed the door shut.


"Great! We're free!" Rocky called out triumphantly before his tone grew grave. "Now let's get out of here."


In unison, the Rangers left their prison cell and the jailkeeper behind and began 
their search for a way out.


-o-


"It's him, isn't it?" Tommy asked angrily as the alert klaxons blared loudly in the Power Chamber. He turned to Alpha 5, who was working the scanning equipment, 
"Where is he?"


Alpha scanned for a moment and answered, "He's at your brother's reservation."
Tommy's stance almost froze when Alpha mention the reservation where his brother David was at. After a brief pause, he immediately grabbed the helmet nearby and proceeded to teleport, determined.


"Be careful, Tommy." Zordon warned, "Do whatever you can to stop this being, but if the enemy gets the better of you, we will force teleport you back here to safety."


"Understood." Tommy nodded and teleported out of the Power Chamber to the reservation site where his enemy would await him... and prayed no one got hurt in the process.

TO BE CONTINUED...

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