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Monday, May 14, 2012

871 - MMPR: The Eighth Coin (2012 Final Cut) - Part III


Yes, it's been a good long while, but look at it this way. It'd be another few months if this were brand spanking new rather than a re-edit.

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



-o-

Angel Grove, CA
Present Day

"So what about this one?" Aisha asked Adam as she pulled out a simple greenish colored shirt from the retail rack. All Adam could do was glance at the shirt before letting out a shrug and turned his attention towards the town square, bustling with activity and happy shoppers.

Aisha slumped and casually placed the shirt back from the rack. "Okay, so green doesn't suit you. Could you at least pay attention?"

Adam turned back towards Aisha, suddenly noticing her strained expression.

"Sorry, 'sha," he said, "My mind is just wandering."

Suddenly, both their communicators bleeped, earning shared looks of concern from the two friends.

-o-

Around their usual table at the Angel Grove Youth Center, Rocky DeSantos fiddled with the remaining french fry on his plate, casually drowning it in the puddle of ketchup on the edge. Sitting on the table with him are Tommy Oliver and Billy Cranston, both of whom are sipping juice through their straws. The others were at the park, apparently... and the Youth Center itself has been relatively quiet for a couple days. It isn't particularly common for the Youth Center to be this quiet – some would say it was almost a rare occurrence, but some times, quiet is a good thing. It allows for wandering minds to reflect on certain things...

"Rocky?" Tommy blurted, "I think that fry has had enough."

"Huh?" Rocky said, broken from his trance and looking up to see the amused looks of his friends. He shook his head and finally ate the last fry. "Sorry, I've just been thinking."

"So have I," Tommy said, the humor loss in his low voice. "Things are really heating up here. That's how many times we had to deal with a small army of monsters?"

"Third attack in a row," Rocky grimaced, "Whatever Rita and Zedd are planning, it must be big."

Tommy nodded, taking a quick sip of juice. He then turned to Billy. "Any word from Zordon?"

Billy shook his head in the negative, pushing aside the empty cup. "Unfortunately, the heavy interference is disrupting our communication with the Command Center. I'm still trying to ascertain the problem to resolve this issue posthaste, but I've been through the entire spectrum of communication frequencies and I still cannot get through."

Rocky shot Billy a look of amazement. "Billy, it sounds like you're... stumped!"

"Yeah, I guess I am," he admitted, "But I don't get what's causing the interference. There shouldn't be any interference at all, actually."

Before Tommy could chime in, his communicator beeped. The sound almost startled Billy, causing Rocky to clap his hands together.

"Looks like it cleared out on its own," said Tommy nonchalantly before motioning towards the locker room. "Let's go."

The three teens got up from their table and proceeded to head towards the locker room area. When they saw that the coast was clear, Tommy raised his communicator and made contact.

"Go ahead, Zordon."

"Rangers, your presence is required at the Command Center immediately," the sage's voice blared through the communicator. "I have already called on the others."

"Got it, Zordon," he replied, "We're on our way."

-o-


Kimberly laid in bed, staring up towards the ceiling. She was feeling a little more tired than usual... probably because she was still recovering from her cold that she suffered from a couple weeks ago. But it wasn't just that, or else she would have gone with Aisha to the mall. Something else was bothering her... but she doesn't know what. It wasn't like her to be morose.

"What's wrong with me?"

She glanced at the beeping wrist communicator on her dresser. With a heavy sigh, she pulled herself up to a seated position and quickly latched the device on to her wrist. Without so much as a word, Kimberly merely pressed the button and vanished in a beam of pink energy.


-o-

She had been roaming around the streets of Angel Grove for the past hour, trying to find some reason for her being here. Unfortunately, Gillian didn't find anything that could lead her to... something. Somehow, the coin had "told" her – for lack of a better word, in her mind – that she needed to come to this city. But as with all things that the coin "tells" her, the reasoning was something she couldn't quite grasp. Despite not finding the answers she was seeking, she did find herself gaining a growing fondness for Angel Grove.

The more she had toured around the city, the more she had grown to appreciate the lush beauty and innocence of the town that she hadn't encountered all her life of travelling the globe. Meeting the various townsfolk of the city, she couldn't but find them to be a friendly lot. A welcome change of pace compared to some of the folks she had come across in her travels.

Along the way, Gillian had come across a small clothing shop on the main street. She figured it was worth checking out since she needed a fresh new set of clothes... and the prices seemed to be within her price range. So she stepped in and after a while, stepped out wearing new clothes. She picked up a snug-fitting blue denim jacket to replace the worn-out one she had been wearing, along with a clean white shirt and dark pants, with the heavily-wrapped coin hanging around her neck on a cord. A single piece of rubber band tied her shoulder-length black hair together, completing the look.

Next door to the clothing shop was a small tavern. Having a sudden urge for a warm beverage to wake her up, Gillian stepped through the doors. The interior of the bar had a fresh, almost futuristic look to it that made the hunter appreciate the design. Most bars she had gone to were dirty and full of filth, but this place was clean, almost spotless. Satisfied with the establishment, she approached a barstool and sat on it. On cue, a tall, slender man in his mid-40s emerged from the back, wearing a buttoned-shirt and sweatpants.

"What can I get for you, kiddo?" The bartender's bellow was loud but pleasing, something the woman found surprising considering his occupation. "I'm afraid I've no beers here, since the city passed the ban on alcoholic products three days ago."

Gillian seemed somewhat surprised and wanted to ask, but decided against it. "Just some black coffee will do nicely, thanks."

"Coffee? I got coffee." The bartender then approached his brewing machine and tapped in some buttons. The machine soon began emitting bubbling sounds while the bartender pulled out a glass pot and rinsed it with water.

"You new around here?" he asked while he placed the pot onto the brewer.

"Kinda," she replied, "I'm only here for a couple of days on business."

The bartender raised an eyebrow. "Really? What kind of business?"

Gillian hesitated for a moment. "The shady kind."

"The shady kind?" he repeated. "You mean like assassin or something?"

Gillian shrugged. "No, nothing like that. Just looking for someone. Or something."

"Like bounty hunting or something?"

"Actually, I'd call it adventuring than hunting," she said calmly, "But I guess you could call it that if you want."

There was a slight pause between the two of them as the bartender pondered her response. Gillian had expected some sort of hostility or repulsiveness as a result, but much to her own amazement, the bartender didn't react at all. He simply nodded in acknowledgement as he took the now-full pot from the brewer and poured coffee into a mug.

"Honestly, you don't really look the type," he said, "But that's probably the best kind of hunter. The one that blends in with the rest of the crowd. My older brother used to say that all the time when he was in that business."

"Really?" she asked, intrigued. "Your brother was a hunter?"

"Oh yeah, big-time hunter," he said as he placed a cup on the bar. "By the way, you want any sugar or milk?"

Gillian nodded slightly. "Sugar."

The bartender nodded and slipped in a touch of sugar into the coffee before settling it on the bar before the new arrival. "Yeah, a nice illustrious five-year career going all over the world," he continued, "Eventually came to an end during a job gone wrong that ended up costing him his leg. Nasty business, that is."

"True." The girl nodded as she took a quick sip of the coffee. The strong concentration of caffeine aside, she thought it was an excellent beverage and took small sips, so that she could savor the flavor.

"By the way," the bartender said, "the name's Anthony. What's yours?"

"Mine's Gillian."

"Pleasure," he said. He took a moment to pour himself a cup and brought the pot to the sink. He pulled out another empty pot and placed it on the brewer. "So do you mind what kind of bounty you're trying to collect?"

Gillian frowned at the question, unsure on how to answer. "If I wanted to, I wouldn't know. I'm supposed to be looking for something. Or someone." She shook her head. "I'm sorry, I'm just rambling now. Sounds completely off-the-rocker, doesn't it?"

Anthony shot her a smirk, which earned a look of confusion from the girl. "I take you're not familiar with Angel Grove. Around these parts, off-the-rocker is the normal."

"Really?" Gillian asked, her curiosity suddenly peeked. "Like what?"

-o-

The Command Center was filled with more activity as the trusted robot known as Alpha 5 bounced from one control console to the other, checking on various readings of each. After some time, six beams of light and the six Ranger teens emerged in the middle of the Command Center circle.

"What's going on, Zordon?" Tommy asked, "What did Zedd send us this time?"

"Ayaiyaiyaiyai, Tommy! It's not Zedd!" Alpha shrieked, "It's much more powerful than anything we've ever encountered!!"

Billy checked through the reports printouts from the computer console. He squinted his eyes to see if the readings were playing tricks on him, but he confirmed they weren't. He shook his head, not wanting to believe what he was reading. His disbelieving look didn't escape the Rangers' notice.

"What is it, Billy?" Rocky asked, "What's wrong?"

"Whatever it is, it must be a powerful being." Billy turned towards the other Rangers. "According to these readings, the power signature is rather similar to our own Power Coins, if not moreso."

Tommy looked ahead. "Could this be another Power coin, Zordon?"

Zordon hesitated for a moment before he gave an answer, his voice rather unsettled and unsure. "I was hoping this day would never come. Whoever this intruder is, she may have possession of the Eighth Power Coin."

"Eighth coin?" Billy repeated, perplexed. "I don't understand, Zordon."

"According to ancient legends," Zordon explained, trying to keep a calm voice, "there were eight Power Coins created in a circle of colors; red, yellow, blue, pink, black, green, white, and a colorless coin. The coins were not originally intended to be used for morphing powers. They were powerful devices that bore powers far beyond those you know them to possess. They were either a wondrous tool or a malevolent destructive force.

"When I originally found the five power coins originally, I've studied the ancient texts that came along with them. I've learned the history of previous holders of the coins using them for their own purposes, both noble and otherwise. Seldom few could control the full power of the coins, others grew insane as the power of the coins corrupted their minds, and in some cases... perhaps it would be best not to dwell on those details."

"Ouch" was Kimberly's honest reply.

"To prevent future users of the coins from tapping the coin's full power," Zordon continued, "I had discovered that several of these coins had morphigenic properties and that their power could be harnessed safely through morphing technology. After several decades of research, the Power Morphers were created. As we gathered more information, we've learned the existence of three other coins; the green coin that was in Rita's possession, the white coin of which was discovered in recent times, and the Eighth coin, which was considered mythical because no one was ever willing to confirm its existence.

"While the seven coins you now hold allow you to morph into Power Rangers due to the unique morphigenic properties, the Eighth coin has no such properties, making morphing impossible. According to myths, the coin serves as a connector source of the other seven and its power levels dwarf those of the other coins."

The blaring klaxon sounded, cutting off Zordon's speech. Alpha punched up an image on the Viewing Globe, showing a teenaged girl having a cup of coffee in a bar. At first, Billy found nothing peculiar about that, except that her body was letting off a faint purple glow thanks to the Viewing Globe's extra sensory modes.

"That girl must have the coin," Alpha concluded. "It's the only reason the alarm is triggered."

Tommy nodded and turned towards the others. "Let's do this, guys."

"Be careful, Power Rangers," Zordon warned, "You are not dealing with another monster. The bearer of this coin has the ability to manipulate the Morphing Grid itself and if provoked, she will not hesitate to unleash the awesome power of the coin. Her power far exceeds anything Rita and Zedd have ever devised."

Tommy nodded. "Right. It's morphin time!"

-o-

Gillian was on her second cup of coffee when she and Anthony the bartender were conversing over the sights and sounds of Angel Grove. While she was getting to learn as much as she could about the happenings within the city, including the monster attacks and the rather fantastical tales of giant dinosaur robots and multi-colored defenders of the city, she was actually amazed by the taste of this coffee. It was so good that they could be talking about nothing and she'd still stick around because, damn, this coffee tastes good. It also helped that the bartender was such a nice guy that she was willing to forget her troubles and talk with him all day. He had that aura that allowed her to be open and trust him to not stab her in the back... as has been the case with other folks she had encountered in her past.

Gillian was just about to finish off the last drop of coffee in her cup when she noticed Anthony's jaw drop with a stunned look in his eyes. She casually tilted her head towards the door, ever so slightly, to get a glance at the source of his astonishment. She had never seen them before, but she knew of them... and there they were...

The Power Rangers...

To be continued...

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