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Old 03/20/11, 03:36 PM   #1
TaJaDoru
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Default Power Rangers Galaxy Striders

Authors Note: This was written last year as part of RangerCrew's "The Power Is Yours" contest. While I was part of the team of Wolf Eye's Productions, I had to back out due to personal reasons. They told me that I was still welcome to post this wherever I was welcome to, so here it is!



The galaxy... once you observe it closely, is a small place. A place of coincedences... a place of mystery... and a place where legends are born. The past impacts the present... the present demands answers... and the future is uncertain. It all ended on the small planet of Miranoi... and it will all begin anew... as the stars have dictated.

POWER RANGERS GALAXY STRIDERS

The secrets of the Miranoi and the ancient wars are revealed in this exciting installment of the Power Rangers universe! A new villain, a new ally... and a team chosen by the galaxy itself...








EPISODES
01 - Ravaged
02 - The Stars Have It
03 - Uneasy Alliance
04 - Second Chances, Pt. 1
05 - Second Chances, Pt. 2
06 - Diary of a Mad Jungle Woman
07 - Marlin Maladay
08 - Our Bond
09 - Dusk Before Dawn, Pt. 1
10 - Dusk Before Dawn, Pt. 2
11 - Alpha to Omega, Pt. 1
12 - Alpha to Omega, Pt. 2
13 - Breaking Out
14 - Shadows of the Past, Pt. 1
15 - Shadows of the Past, Pt. 2
16 - Truth
17 - Everything's Relative
18 - Heart of Miranoi
19 - End of Eternity, Pt. 1
20 - End of Eternity, Pt. 2 *SEASON FINALE*

MONSTER OF THE WEEK
01 - Dualash (Kagekamuro, Act 01)
02 - Dualash
03 - Cerberado (Ootsumuji, Act 02)
04 - Senior Bambina (Yanasudare, Act 05)
05 - Senior Bambina
06 - Catharsis (Namiayashi, Act 04)
07 - Plaguture (Yamiororo, Act 07)
08 - Necrocon (Hitomidama, Act 09)
09 - Draxius (Isagitsune, Act 17)
10 - Sezius (Hyakuyappa, Act 18)
11 - Arachniture (Gozunagumo, Act 23-24)
12 - Arachniture
13 - Twixic (Sogizarai, Act 36)
14 - Volcanum (Happouzu, Act 32-33)
15 - Volcanum
16 - Senorita Conchita Miguelita Pajarita! ARRIBA!* (Yomotsugari, Act 44-45)
17 - Abscorbin (Chinomanako, Kamen Rider DCD Episodes 24-25)
18 - Abomination (Oborojime, Act 46)
19 - Abomination

*- But you can call her Connie

STYXERIANS
Kalamax (Shitari)
Crescenda (Dayu)
Reapus (Doukoku)
Shadius (Akumaro)
Nikolas Aegean (Juzo)
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Old 03/20/11, 03:36 PM   #2
TaJaDoru
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Default RE: Power Rangers Galaxy Striders

Episode 01 - Ravaged


Space...empty, yet full...immense, yet small. Here, many fates intertwine. Here, many stars gather. And it is here where the balance of the universe was nearly unraveled... as our story begins...

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In a small corner of the galaxy, far away from the traditional home we call Earth, rested a rather small planet. Its hue was a brilliant tint of green, one which reflected the sunlight admirably. In the vast blackness of space, it was comparable to a diamond in the rough. Even if you were to penetrate the borders of this world, you wouldn't see much of anything still. Much of it is covered in green...as if the planet itself was alive.

However... one particular site on its surface stood out from the rest of the planet. In the midst of the jungles and creatures, stood a city of modern design. It resembled many a city from Earth, if not a bit more advanced in their technology. In the center of this metropolis stood an impressive tower that overlooked the city from all sides. Adjourning the sides of the city were large wall constructs which were mainly used to keep dangerous wildlife out. All in all, it was a safe environment. Even if it was foreign to some still, it was a place to call home. For this was the colony set-up by the inhabitants of Terra Venture, a space exploration colony which crashed on the planet of Miranoi years prior and this same colony was now under seige from a mysterious bout of sabotage. Whenever the people River End, named because of its geographical position next to the Mari river, tried to expand and create new cities...their equipment mysteriously went missing or was broken. Two explorers, whose job it was to map out the jungle for future sites of production, recently happened upon one such site. The first, a young man in a blue-greased top and gray uniform, walked over to the wreckage of what was once apparently some kind of building equipment.

"That's the fifth one this week. What do ya think caused this?" His companion was a blonde woman in a similar outfit, only her top was spotted with a very dark pink. She bent down next to him and examined the debris closely.

"Hmm...looks like it was attacked with something with sheer brute force. Maybe a wild animal?" The young man in blue shook his head.

"I doubt it... an animal wouldn't attack these sites in particular. I mean, look around..." He turned to face the jungle behind him. "The surrounding jungle is untouched. A large animal would have left some kind of tracks." She glanced around to look for herself. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught the shadow of a figure who had moved through the trees. She turned to her friend in blue.

"Well, Kai... we should stay with the construction site then. There's one more in the area. If we keep watch, then we can see for ourselves who or what is behind this." The young man, addressed as Kai, replied positively.

"Sounds good, Kendrix. I just need to contact Commander Stanton before we go any further." Setting up the case with the video feed, Kai set out to work on getting it started up. In the meantime, Kendrix occupied herself by looking through the trees for that mysterious figure she saw only moments before. Nothing in the jungle was moving, however... but she could feel it. They were still being watched.

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The tranquility of Miranoi was disturbed, yes, but it wasn't the only thing being so. Flashing through the galaxy at speeds only told in the realms of fiction, was a giant ball of light. If anything...it resembled a shooting star. Its path was erratic but seemed to be guided towards the emerald sheen planet. Inside the shooting star of sorts, appeared the silhouette of a ship... a very ancient ship that may have been used centuries ago. Cracks lined the vessel's bottom and the sails were slightly tattered from years of fighting fierce winds. As the ship approached Miranoi, a deep, grave voice boomed over the star, bathing it in a red glow.

"Ah...I have finally returned to this wretched rock. But this time... there is no one to stop me!" The voice cackled as the shooting star entered the planet's orbit.

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"Understood, sir. We'll report what we find immediately." Kai replied to his Commander as the feed cut with both of them performing a respectful salute. He turned his head, his eyes wandering to Kendrix, who was now walking in the direction of the next site. Kai quickly closed the case and ran over, somewhat concerned.

"Kendrix...what's wrong? You're spacing out." She shook her head, putting on a grin.

"Oh...it's nothing. Just had a bad feeling. Must be this jungle heat." Kai wasn't thoroughly convinced, but he wouldn't press the issue. Instead, he walked alongside her as they continued to the next spot. From a tree a few yards away, a pair of wild, untamed eyes were trained on them. The figure who they belong to frowned at their presence. Jumping into the next tree, the mysterious one continued to follow them, plotting their next move.

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Many miles behind the traveling duo and their mysterious stalker, there was another crisis being handled in River End. Everyone in the perimeter of the expansive tower that loomed over the city was especially in a state of overwhelming panic. Several screens popped up showing images of a large mass of crimson energy getting bigger every moment.

"Sir, the object is coming in faster than we anticipated, and gaining speed. It'll reach the colony in less than 20 minutes." Reported a man in the same suit as Kai. He was slightly taller than the Asian and his outlook on their current situation was grim. The Commander, on the other hand, was easily the most senior in the tower. He had his hands folded as his gaze traveled from the monitors, back to his officer, then back again. He took a moment to respond.

"Do we know its trajectory and exact landing position, Officer Corbett?" Officer Corbett, or Mike as he was often called by his friends, nodded.

"Yes, sir. It's going to impact the river that flows through the city. There are no buildings near it, though, so the damage to the colony itself will be minimal." The Commander processed this and shook his head.

"Let's not leave anything to chance. We need the Rangers." Mike saluted and replied quickly.

"Yes, sir. I'll contact them immediately." He disappeared out of sight leaving the Commander to stand up and walk over to the rather large windows aligning the outer walls. As he looked into the skies, a large red dot began to come into view, clearing itself in focus.

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"Yes! Full speed ahead!" Thundered a deep voice as the star was nearing the colony at insane speeds never thought possible by mere mortals. Bypassing the tall walls of the city, the star shot right into the lake, leveling the little arbor life that was there. Everything was singed, smoking and charred. The lake itself turned a blood red for a few seconds until it reverted to a crystalline blue. After that, it was as if nothing had happened. The trees were restored and the flames were swallowed whole. Running onto the scene of the crash were three multi-colored figures. Their chests were white, trailed with a black, horizontal zig-zag pattern. The gloves and boots were of similar design to that of the chest, mostly white. Their helmets had the motif of different animals. The one in red twisted his head to survey the area, but he could find nothing out of the ordinary. This confused him and his voice reflected it.

"That's weird. Mike said the thing would crash here... but I don't see anything at all." The one in green was looking around as well as he replied,

"Yeah, everything looks normal. What do ya think is going on, Leo?" He shook his head and replied.

"I don't know. Maya, you have any ideas?" The one in yellow didn't answer because she was too busy looking over the edge of the lake. "Maya?" She bent over placing a hand on the lake's surface and shook her head.

"I can't explain it; it feels like there's something's here that shouldn't be." The other two nodded. They've been around the yellow ranger long enough to know that Maya's intuition about these things were usually, if not always, right.

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Inside the lake, or rather, at the base of the lake, the star had dispersed most of the energy that had surrounded it so only the ship remained. It stayed at the bottom of the lake, as if resting. The inhabitants of the ship were not happy and the most powerful of them let out a thunderous roar that rippled through most of the lake.

"I WANTED TO LEVEL THIS PLANET IN ONE FELL SWOOP!" Shouted out an infernal figure, his body glowing a brilliant red. He was the epitome of what some would call devilish. His entire appearence, from his bloody-armor to his four glowing golden eyes, seemed to suck the life straight out of the lake.

"N-Now please, Lord Reapus, we would have been obliterated in that blast if you had released all of your power." Pleaded a significantly smaller figure. This one was draped in robes of imperial ages and had the head of what could be considered a squid. In the corner of the large room within the vessel was a woman. She wore a large headdress which covered most of her eyes and was also entirely covered in robes, down to the leather-like gloves she wore. She steadily played her precious shamisen; the music that came from each strum of her pick across the strings wafted through the air like feathers in a breeze.

"You think I can't control my power. Is that is Kalamax?" He loomed over his cowardly subordinate like a vulture would fresh road kill. The side-order to go was terrified.

"Oh, no! Of course not, Lord Reapus! Oh, how funny you should even suggest that. I mean really, can't control your power! Who would even think such a thing?!" He laughed nervously. Reapus, who remained completely unemotional in terms of face, simply turned his back and said, quite roughly,

"That's what I thought." The female member of their little group decided at the moment to stop playing her instrument. From her position in the room, she suggested softly,

"Reapus...if you destroyed the entire planet now, you wouldn't have been satisfied. I know you. You love to hear tortured screams." The heck-clad figure took this into consideration and finally nodded.

"I suppose you're right... send a monster to the surface then. I sensed a couple of weak energy signals that may be protecting the planet. Destroy them." With nothing more than a flick of the wrist, the ships began to emit an ominous wail. Shooting out of the ship, zipping through the water was a spectral apparition that stopped and hovered just before the city's Command Tower before taking shape. It was dually colored, with red on the upper half and blue on the lower; the lower half was a large face that resembled a demon's mask. The upper half was a fish-like samurai with appropriate head gear. With an aquatic undertone, it said merrily,

"Ah! Now we can have some fun!" He grinned, unsheathing his relatively large swords. He proceeded to approach the tower, which was easy considering how large it was.

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Upon arriving at the next site of construction, the two forms of Kendrix and Kai made it their business to inspect everything. Needless to say, it was all in order much to the relief of Kai.

"That means our friend hasn't been here yet. That's good." Kendrix nodded. She was still looking behind them, wondering if that person she saw was still following them. She was about to tell Kai about what she saw...until the sound of a breaking twig caught both of their attention. She looked towards the jungle on her right with Kai's back to hers. They both took defensive stances, wondering just what was tailing them. From his right, Kai caught sight of a fast-moving figure jumping out of the trees and into the light of the site. She was, for all intents and purposes, a real jungle girl. She wore slings of multi-colored beads around her neck and a vest made of rough animal skin that was dyed pink with the color of berries. Her hair was wild and filppant to match her personality. She wielded a primitive spear but did not attack straight away. Curiousity piqued, Kendrix asked calmly,

"Are you the one who's doing all this?" The amazoness woman, when she answered, spoke in a different tongue than either person knew.

"Tey. Voy tyug fra hnikam tiht uenalp zrc." Kai had a weird mix of rememberance and confusion. He turned to Kendrix,

"Do you know what she's saying?" Kendrix shook her head.

"I don't recognize the language...but I felt I've heard it before." The young woman charged them with the spear. She was preparing to deliver the death blow when a small shot was heard behind them. Moments later, as if she was made of stone, the jungle woman dropped like big game, her face to the forest floor. Kendrix cautiously walked over to the woman and saw that caught in her shoulder blade was a very heavy tranquilizer. Looking for the origin, Kai spotted two more people on the horizon. Walking through the trees towards them were two young men; one wore an open gray sweater, with a red tee underneath and the other favored a blue long-sleeve. The red one waved to them, saying,

"Oh, hi there!" He was beaming. Kendrix grinned back at him while Kai focused on the one in blue. The one in red tilted his head and held out his hand for them to shake. "I'm Byron. My friend over there is James. We heard there was some kind of monster out here, so we came to catch it or something." He couldn't help but be embarassed. James shook his head.

"More like this idiot dragged me. I didn't even want to come out here in the first place. We've been lost for two days! It's a good thing we found you guys." He glanced down at the unconcious girl. "Good thing, too. Looks like we found your monster." Byron looked disappointed that the monster was nothing more than a young woman. Kai shook their hands, all the while saying,

"I guess so. We'll have to haul her in for questioning, though...even if we can't understand her." Kendrix nodded. The group of four, plus the culprit, went back through the jungle from whence they came. Once they reached the city wall, the communicators on their wrists began to beep. Kendrix and Kai both looked at each other and quickly said,

"Please take care of her and bring her to the tower. We have...business elsewhere." Shrewdly, the two then ran off leaving Byron and James who was still shaking his head.

"You are too helpful for your own good, Ron... way too good." He sighed, but Byron lit up.

"Aw, come on, James; they asked us to do something important!" Ce beamed. With some arguing and hesitation, the two of them carried their unconcious passenger into the city.

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"Hold it right there!" Cried out Leo, as he once again donned the red spandex, but this time, his entire team was there with him. The monster turned and laughed.

"Oh, please! You guys are nothing! I won't even have to break a sweat." In a flash, the monster rushed them, swords at the ready. The rangers charged him as well, grabbing the handle on their belts and releasing a full length sword. Meeting in the middle, the rangers began to do battle with the creature. Kendrix and Damon slashed down, aiming for the monster's quite bare torso. Seeing their attack, he dodged and made a quick slash against them, throwing them back after some sparks escaped their suits.

"Kendrix, Damon!" Cried out a concerned Maya. She gripped her sabre and made a stab to the monster's chest. Instead of blocking it, the monster sidestepped and trapped the blade inbetween his arm and chest. Maya, in desperation to pull it out, tried to throw a punch at him. Smirking, he let go of her blade, making her stumble for a few seconds giving him ample time to attack her. Unleashing both of his blades, he slashed an X. Maya cried out in pain as she fell back. Kai and Leo, the last ones standing, powered up their sabres, hoping to take him down with this attack. The monster turned to face them, quite curious about this turn of events. Leo shouted out as their sabres shone brilliantly,

"FIRE!" From their sabres they fired two energy slashes, one red and one blue. The monster threw up his swords and blocked both of the beams, struggling to fight them off. Leo and Kai stared in shock and amazement as the one in blue said,

"He's... fighting it!" And this was true. The blasts were barely moving him back. He stood their for a few more moments, until...

"NnnnNNNNnnnrrrggghhhhhaaa!" Shouted out the monster as he slashed his swords up, deflecting the blasts. The other three rangers managed to walk over, damaged. Leo looked at his team and said finally,

"Okay, guys. We've got one shot left." The team agreed and knew what he was thinking. Throwing their hands into the air, the group shouted out,

"Lights of Orion, Activate!" Instantly, the rangers were enveloped in a brilliant flash of golden light. The monster stepped back a few steps.

"O-Orion?" The rangers stepped out of the light, their suits slightly changed by the addition of bits of armor, like the arm-band embedded with an emerald, the wild claws attached to their hand opposite the sabres, and their belt becoming slightly larger. Performing a group attack, the five rangers ran side by side, energizing and combining into a single ball of light whose intensity rivaled the stars above. The monster dropped his swords and wanted to run away. The rangers were only a few seconds away from victory...

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Meanwhile, back on the ship of our villains, Reapus was besides himself with fury. He began to roar and pierce the hulls of the ship repeatedly.

"ORION! I SENSE HIS POWER!" With a flame of hatred as strong as the underworld itself, he disappeared from the ship. Kalamax and the slightly older woman stood by. Kalamax was sweating.

"Oh, my! Lord Reapus has that old flame back! This planet is as good as done for now! Isn't that right, Crescenda?" The woman continued playing her instrument, reminiscing. She spoke softly still,

"Yes...he hasn't been this angry since the war with Orion and those rangers." Kalamax nodded.

"Ah, yes...those rangers. We should be thankful that they were killed in the war along with Orion before we were sealed away in that lost galaxy. Otherwise, Lord Reapus would have been unbearable to serve." Crescenda said nothing more on the subject and continued to play her sad song...

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Right between the monster and the major burst of energy the rangers had fired, a bloody fire appeared. Wielding a giant sword, Reapus swung his mighty power striaght towards the rangers. The blast stopped when it came into contact with his sword. With some ease, he batted the rangers out of the ball, making them scatter on the floor. Reapus tilted his head, surveying the rangers. He grumbled and walked over to them. He put his foot on Leo's chest and started to crush his ribs.

"AGGGHHHH!" The red ranger shouted in pain. Reapus spoke gruffly.

"You guys made me think Orion had come back! YOU WON'T LIVE TO REGRET THAT!" He positioned his sword to cleave off the young ranger's head. Kendrix, moving on sheer willpower alone, tackled Reapus off him. She didn't get far though since he swung his mighty sword down. She held up her sabre to block, but it was like a hot knife through butter; the sabre broke in two as she felt the impact of the sword. Falling down, she started to disappear in a white light. Maya and Kai ran forward to their fallen comrades.

"KENDRIX!" Screamed out a broken Maya. Out of pure rage, she raised her sabre and brought it down on him. Reapus paid her no mind and simply grabbed the blade, crushing it in his bare hands. He gave her a swift stab with the sword's hilt. Maya flew back hitting a cement wall. She slumped down, also fading in white light. Kai and Damon, after making sure Leo was fine to stand on his own, dashed over. Charging their sabres, the blue and green rangers fired their energy slashes at Reapus. He held up his sword horizontally and stopped the blasts in mid-air. The colors of the slashes turned black and red, emitting powerful lightning. He fired them backwards, with double the power. The two rangers flew back from the explosion, their sabres cut into pieces by their own attack. Leo, clutching his chest, tried to reach for his friends.

"KAI! DAMON!" He tried to move forward, but fell over. He looked up and saw both of them disappear in the same way as the girls had. Reapus was unbelivably bored out of his wit. He looked lazily at the red ranger and sighed.

"This is disappointing...and you guys had some of Orion's power to boot." He dragged his sword on the ground and, once again, raised it in a executioner's fashion. Leo rolled over as the blade went into the ground, making deeps scars in the surface, sort of like its own crater. Leo, eyes blazing with his own hatred for this demon, gathered all of the power that his facets could muster, making his sabre glow gold. It poured out flames of such intensity, one would think a supernova was occuring. Reapus shook his head. "You're a pale stand-in for Orion, boy." Leo didn't care what he said. He focused only on one thing: revenge. He rushed forward and gave almighty heave. Reapus casually held up his own sword, expecting to block it again. When their swords clashed, he was startled when Leo was actually pushing him back. "W-What is this?!"

Leo broke the contact between their swords and gave a heavy slash downwards, slashing Reapus down the middle. The demon howled in pain.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH ! YOOOOOOUUU INNNNNSOLEEEENT CURRRRR!" He backed away from the red ranger. There was a singed wound in his skin from the impact of the sabre. He clutched it and pointed to him. "I won't forget this...never." He disappeared in the same bloody flames he appeared in. Leo, glad that he was able to inflict a fatal wound, dropped his sabre, which broke into pieces as it hit the floor. He himself fell, flashing in a white light as he disappeared.

... From the broken and shattered sabres, five lights, similar to their owners' ranger colors, shot out of the remains. All the way into the atmosphere they flew until they streaked down at breakneck speeds. They raced back down into the city of River End, breaking up to scatter...

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At one of the only schools, a young woman was busy cleaning the exterior of a very large blackboard. Her auburn hair was up in a neat bun as she looked outside the window. As she watched her students enjoy their recess, she smiled a little before continuing her duties until a whoosing sound made her look towards the window again. Racing towards her was a yellow-streaked light. Her brain told her to run, but her body couldn't obey, no matter what command it gave. As if it were a spectre, it phased through the glass and hit her with full force. A warm sensation started to fill her, a familiar kind of sensation which she embraced and in a matter of moments...it was over. But the warmth remained. She was confused, but felt comforted at the same time.

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At the Command Tower, the jungle woman was sitting in a cell, not talking. The Commander and various subordinates had tried to talk to her, but no one had the courage to even continue so she sat in silence. In a moment, she jerked her head up and looked to the ceiling. From several floors above came down a pink light that enveloped around her and she instantly was reminded of something far off Somewhere in her memory, something had triggered. In a brief moment, she felt happy for the first time in a long while. After the light had died down, she sat back down, quiet as ever... but holding onto that sudden feeling.

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Just above the Tower, adjoining the rooftop, there was a young man in a green long-sleeve wearing a plaid vest-like coat. He was in the middle of reading a book on something of no consequence until he saw it, a green flash hit the roof spot on. Dropping the book momentarily, he was filled with a sudden rush of nostalgia as memories swept over him. They weren't clear or easily remembered, but they were his. He knew that instinctively. He tried to reach out and pull the memories closer, but they vanished with the light. He lightly grasped his hand and wondered what it was as he sat in silence to ponder it.

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Walking outside the Tower, Byron and James were deep in discussion.

"Honestly, I don't know WHY I let you talk me into these things. Especially since I don't even KNOW you that well." Byron smiled as he replied,

"True...but I can tell you're my friend. That much I know." James sighed.

"What kind of logic is that?" Byron shrugged.

"It's not something you can apply logic to. It's something that you feel...y'know?" Before James could comment further, two flashes, one red and one blue, fell from the sky and impacted the ground the two stood on. Byron and James were now floating in the energy, overwhelmed by it.

"What is this...?" Wondered aloud James. Byron hugged what he could of it and said quietly,

"It's warm..." Then, as if a film was playing, cycles of memories started to play over and over. They weren't distinct, but they could tell they were important. Before they could make any more sense of it, the sensation ended. The young guys looked at each other and nodded in agreement. They needed to know where that light came from.

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Meanwhile, just outside the planet's orbit, there was a sparkling crystalline star. It was radiating brilliance, but it was cool to the touch. The surface was of such quality that it could have been compared to the most valuable diamonds. Inside the star was a hollow cave. It was massive in and of its own right. In the main chamber, however, there were five pods. Each of them housed a different Galaxy ranger... Leo, Kendrix, Kai, Damon and Maya. They were resting peacefully in these pods. Overlooking them was a woman with pale skin who shone almost as brilliantly as the star itself. She was wrapped in various white fabrics, satin and silk among them. She turned from her charges to the big screen that over looked Miranoi and spoke softly,

"At long last... the seal has been broken. The war will now enter its second act...and this time.... it'll have a conclusion."

TO BE CONTINUED....
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Old 03/20/11, 03:37 PM   #3
TaJaDoru
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Default RE: Power Rangers Galaxy Striders

Last time on Power Rangers: GALAXY STRIDERS...

***********

"Sir, the object is coming in faster than we anticipated, and gaining speed. It'll reach the colony in less than 20 minutes."

"Let's not leave anything to chance. We need the Rangers.”

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"I WANTED TO LEVEL THIS PLANET IN ONE FELL SWOOP!" Shouted out an infernal figure, his body glowing a brilliant red. He was the epitome of what some would call devilish. His entire appearance, from his bloody-armor to his four glowing golden eyes, seemed to suck the life straight out of the lake.

--------------------------------------------

"Are you the one who's doing all this?” The amazon woman, when she answered, spoke in a different tongue than either person knew.

"Tey. Voy tyug fra hnikam tiht uenalp zrc." Kai had a weird mix of remembrance and confusion.

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"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH HHHH ! YOOOOOOUUU INNNNNSOLEEEENT CURRRRR!" He backed away from the red ranger. There was a singed wound in his skin from the impact of the sabre. He clutched it and pointed to him. "I won't forget this...never." He disappeared in the same bloody flames he appeared in. Leo, glad that he was able to inflict a fatal wound, dropped his sabre which broke into pieces as it hit the floor. He himself fell, flashing in a white light as he disappeared.

From the broken and shattered sabers, five lights, similar to their owners' ranger colors, shot out of the remains. All the way into the atmosphere they flew until they streaked down at breakneck speeds. They raced back down into the city of River End, breaking up to scatter...

--------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, just outside the planet's orbit, there was a sparkling crystalline star. It was radiating brilliance, but it was cool to the touch. The surface was of such quality that it could have been compared to the most valuable diamonds. Inside the star was a hollow cave. It was massive in and of its own right. In the main chamber, however, there were five pods. Each of them housed a different Galaxy ranger... Leo, Kendrix, Kai, Damon and Maya. They were resting peacefully in these pods. Overlooking them was a woman with pale skin who shone almost as brilliantly as the star itself. She was wrapped in various white fabrics, satin and silk among them. She turned from her charges to the big screen that over looked Miranoi and spoke softly, "At long last...the seal has been broken. The war will now enter its second act...and this time...it'll have a conclusion."


***********

Episode 2-The Stars Have It

Plumes of white smoke rose from the scorched earth like the living dead as the surrounding landscape near the lake reflected the intensity of the battle that had taken place just moments ago. Broken trees and shattered stones littered the battle-scarred field as two lone figures slowly surveyed the area. The younger of the two scanned the area until they fell upon the remnants of five golden-winged sword hilts. They were the Quasar Sabers his little brother, Leo, and the other Galaxy Rangers used to defend both their manmade world of Terra Venture and their adopted world of Miranoi from Trakeena and her forces. The young officer picked up the hilt that he first removed from the sacred stone and then handed to his brother later on and fell to his knees. His training kept him from expressing his full sorrow, but one lone tear still managed to run down his cheek as he tightly gripped the broken sword in his hand. The elder officer also had deep remorse for the team he was so proud to mentor during their interstellar journey and showed it the best way he knew how-by giving a heartfelt salute to honor the quintet of fallen heroes. After saying a silent prayer, he looked down at the soldier in blue and placed his hand on his shoulder.

“They fought their hardest for Miranoi, Mike.” Commander Stanton began as he kept his voice from breaking. “They left this world heroes.”

He just couldn’t find it in his heart to use the word “die” in front of Mike. Mostly because it would mean that the Commander of Terra Venture would have to force himself to come to grips with the fact that Leo, Maya, Kendrix, Kai and Damon were gone.

“I know, Commander.” Mike whispered. “I just can’t believe...that...”

Mike and the Commander witnessed the battle with Reapus on screen back at the Command Tower and Mike’s screams when he saw his brother and friends cut down by the new threat seemed to echo throughout the building.

“Even with the Lights of Orion...they still couldn’t beat him.” Mike said in a shaky voice. “How are we supposed to defeat this new guy without the Quasar Sabers?”

“We’ll find a way. You brother would want us to keep fighting.” Commander Stanton reassured. “Right now...we need to head back to base so that we can explore what options we have available to us. We must keep busy otherwise grief will overtake us. Also, we still have the matter of the construction sabotage...and that mysterious woman to tend to.”

“I’ll try to question her, sir. But with the language barrier, that’s gonna be a tall order.” Mike replied with a slight cringe.

As Commander Stanton and Mike woefully walked back to the city of River End, a not-so-triumphant return was going on beneath the surface of the lake as a semi-cleaved Reapus staggered onto his ship.

“Lord Reapus! You have returned!” Kalamax exclaimed happily as he rushed to his master. Unfortunately, Reapus was in no mood for a hero’s welcome an unceremoniously shoved Kalamax to the side as he took his throne. “F-f-forgive me, Master. I was just glad you survived. So, that power. Was it, indeed, Orion?”

“It was his power, yes. But his physical form was nowhere to be found.” Reapus groaned in pain. “As I thought, Orion is gone for good. Now that I have destroyed those bothersome rangers, his power they wielded has been destroyed as well!”

Crescenda played her shamisen with the grace of a geisha as she looked upon her master.

“But what about your wounds?” She asked with concern.

“Unfortunately, I must remain here until they heal.” Reapus lamented as Kalamax handed him his cherished red bowl filled with sake. “But in the meantime, Dualash can continue where I left off.”

As if on cue, the multicolored creature in question walked in as if he had accomplished what Lord Reapus, himself, had set out to do. Seeing his minion walk in with such a proud expression angered the devilish lord.

“And continue, I shall.” Dualash promised. “Miranoi won’t know what hit it.”

“Don’t come in here with that smug look!” Reapus roared causing the vessel to shake. “If it had not been for your show of cowardice in front of the rangers, I wouldn’t have needed to step in and take such a beating! As it is, I’m confined to this ship until I completely heal.”

Dualash’s second mouth which rested on his lower half seemed to give a slight smirk as he rested his sword on his shoulder.

“I shall not fail you, Lord Reapus.” He replied with a bow. He was about to turn to leave when Reapus grabbed him by his throat and brought him to within a few inches of his face. He could smell the noxious fumes his breath emitted as his multitude of eyes glowed an eerie yellow.

“For your sake, Dualash...you better not.” He growled loudly. “I made a great sacrifice for you to aid in your success today. Don’t make me regret my decision.”

Though his face was unable to display his fear, his posture was more than capable as he shivered.

“Of course, my lord. I’ll destroy this planet in your honor!” Dualash shouted as if he was already victorious.

“Then go forth and wreak havoc!” Reapus ordered.

With a regal bow, Dualash exited the throne room and off of the submerged ship towards the surface of the lake.

***********

Back at the Command Tower, a different kind of battle was shaping up as Mike entered the interrogation room. The guard who was stationed at the door whispered to the Terra Venture officer.

“She’s a tough nut to crack, sir. She keeps spouting that weird gibberish.” The guard said to Mike in a hushed voice.

Sitting in a chair across from a small table was the jungle woman who was apprehended earlier. She still donned her primitive attire only this time, she wore a fierce scowl and her eyes held such contempt that her stare could put Medusa to shame. Mike, who was a bit intimidated by her intense glare, summoned up his courage and sat in the other chair to begin his investigation.

“Okay...I guess first thing’s first. Why don’t you tell me your name.” Mike asked as cordially, yet professionally, as possible.

The jungle woman just sat there with folded arms and answered in a low voice.

“Zm Fman ti Jracat.” She answered in her strange tongue.

“Oookay. Let’s try this.” Mike continued with a sigh. “Are you the one causing all the construction sabotage?”

“Tey. Voy ena suoy zhtlif tenihcam fra hnikam tiht uenalp zrc.” She said, repeating her words from when she met Kendrix and Kai.

Hearing her speak in such a strange language made Mike let out a frustrated sigh. It was bad enough that he didn’t understand her, nor she, him, it seemed, but it felt like she had no intention of cooperating. He was about to abandon all hope when...

“Setaw.” The young woman said.

“What?” Mike asked in return.

“Setaw. Setaw!” She repeated with urgency. To make the man in blue understand, she cupper her hands and brought them to her lips as if she was drinking something.

“Oh! You want water!” Mike said as a light bulb turned on. When he saw the girl nodding, he turned to the guard and ordered him to bring a glass of water. A few minutes later, he returned and Mike handed the glass to the jungle woman who looked at it and at him weirdly.

“You know...drink.” Mike said as he made the motion of drinking from a glass since he figured this was the first one the girl had seen.

The woman kept her eyes trained on Mike as she slowly took a sip from the strange clear container. When her cheeks were full, she spat the water right into Mike’s face momentarily blinding him. She, then, grabbed him from across the table and flipped him over her head showing great strength in spite of her petite stature. The guard trained his weapon on the girl, but it was soon proven futile as she spun kicked it right out of his hands. The frustration etched on his face increased as he charged the amazon woman in the hopes of tackling her to the ground. She quickly grabbed him by the shirt and monkey flipped him over her. The momentum caused him to slam in to semi-conscious Mike. Seeing her chance, she took the chair and threw it at the window causing glass to shatter and fall outside. With one last look of contempt, she leapt onto the sill and jumped out to the flagpole that stood outside. Grabbing the rope, she used it as a vine to swing out towards the forest where she used her agility to finish her escape. Back in the interrogation room, Mike and the guard groaned in pain as they struggled to stand.

“Sound the alarm! The prisoner has escaped!” Mike shouted as he made his way to alert Commander Stanton.

***********

On the roof of the same tower, the young man who was trying to figure out the strange glowing orb that entered him earlier was shocked out of his pensive state when the sound of glass breaking and the sight of a woman leaping from the flagpole to the jungle caught his attention. He was further intrigued when sirens started blaring.

“Yikes! What’s going on around here?” He asked himself as he ran down the access stairs that led to the roof. A few minutes later, he heard the commotion about the jungle girl escaping and decided to help them by following her trail.

***********

At the school which wasn’t too far from the tower, the young woman cleaning blackboards was brought out of her daydream when she saw a pink blur whiz past her window and into the trees. She figured it was some kind of animal but could swear it looked...human.

“What in the...” She gasped as her curiosity go the better of her. In the back of her mind, she was thankful that she was just a teacher’s aide as she left the classroom to follow whatever it was that had entered the jungle.

***********

“I’m telling you it wasn’t anything bad.” Byron said as he and James stood outside the tower. His friend just shot him a look that was a mix of disbelief and utter shock.

“Not bad? Byron, two lights appear out of nowhere, slam into us and the next thing I know, I’m getting these weird mental pictures of things and people I don’t even recall.” James said in a huff. “If that’s not bad, tell me what it is. I’d love to hear your explanation.”

Byron took a moment to think and finally gave an answer he thought was acceptable.

“That light...it was...” He began. But before he could finish his thought, alarms started blaring and the pink streak blew past them through the jungle foliage.

“Whoa! Where’s the fire!?” James asked as guards poured out of the building along with the man from the roof.

“I want you men to spread out through the area! Bring that woman back here alive!” The head guard ordered as the others filed out. “She’s wearing pink skins and beads. Don’t let her looks fool you; approach with caution!

The description given by the head guard sparked something inside Byron and he remembered the jungle girl he and James helped to bring in.

“Hey, isn’t that the girl who’s suspected of the sabotage at the construction sites?” James asked before he and Byron were pulled to the side by the man in green.

“I think I saw who...or what you’re talking about.” The man whispered. “She swung from a flagpole like a monkey and headed into the jungle. If we go now, maybe we can bring her back because it looks like these guys aren’t gonna be too easy on her the second go around.”

“Sounds good. I really don’t want to hurt her.” Byron said, his innocence showing.

“Like she really didn’t wanna hurt those two others?” James asked as he rolled his eyes. “By the way, I’m James and Mr. Sunshine here is Byron.”

“I’m Jun. Jun Seiling. Nice to meet you.” He said in a friendly voice. “Now, let’s go!”

In a flash, the threesome ventured into the forest to find the mysterious jungle girl. As they searched, the heard rustling in some bushes and Byron went to investigate. When he pulled back the large leaves...

“AAAHH!” A young woman shrieked...but she wasn’t the one they were searching for. “Don’t scare me like that!”

“Sorry.” Byron apologized. “But...who are you?”

The girl walked out of the leaves and pulled some twigs from her hair.

“My name’s Hannah.” The Asian girl answered. “I take it you’re following some pink blur, too?”

“Yeah; I saw her escape from the Command Tower and swing into the jungle.” Jun replied. “And I think these guys were the ones who brought her in the first time. I’m Jun, by the way.”

“Byron.”

“James.”

As the foursome finished their introductions, Byron noticed the battlefield the rangers and Reapus fought on a while ago.

“Guys...look at this!” He gasped as he went to the fight site and discovered the shattered sabers. “Looks like a fight went on here.”

“A big one by the looks of it.” James added as he picked up one of the hilts. “Also, I’d say whoever held these...lost.”

As the group looked over the battlefield, the jungle woman lurked in the trees and glared at the foursome. She felt that they were more destroyers of her precious planet and was about to attack when a huge blast knocks the quartet backwards. When they managed to get a good look at who blasted them, they say the faces of Dualash as he approached them with an army of red and yellow creatures behind him.

“You’re picked the wrong place for a field trip, kiddies!” He snarled.

“Did you do this!?” Byron asked as he helped up his friends.

“As a matter of fact, I did. Now which of you would like to be my next victim!?” He asked as he drew his sword and pointed it at Hannah. “How about we do ladies first?”

“Back off!” Jun shouted as he and the other men stood in front of Hannah.

“How cute! You humans think you can stop me! The last ones I fought thought the same thing...and you just happen to be holding what’s left of them.” He said pointing to James who was still holding the broken sword hilt. “Grimlings! ATTACK!”

Before any of them could blink, the multicolored demons rushed the group making them defend themselves as best they could. Before long, each one was held in place by two creatures.

“UNNHH!!! LET US GO!” Hannah cried as she struggled to break free.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that.” The dual-visaged demon said shaking his head. “My lord and master wants this planet eradicated of all its...vermin. I guess starting with you is as good a place as any! Tell the galaxy rangers I said hello!”

Unable to move, Dualash charged at them with his own blade ready to slice them down. The four young people shouted in terror but before the sword could make contact, spears flew through the air. Some pierced the demons foot soldiers that held the four people captive while some landed in front of the creature stopping him in his tracks.

“Who did that!?” Dualash asked angrily.

With a primal cry, the jungle woman in pink leapt from the trees and stood between Dualash and the foursome.

“Fr’uoy hniyortsed fht uenalp!” The girl said in her strange tongue. “Fvael freh, xon!”

“Why are you helping us?” Byron asked the woman innocently.

“Byron, she’s saving our lives! Don’t ask; appreciate!” James shouted as he took a defensive stance.

Dualash looked this woman up and down and grew enraged that someone was standing up to him.

“How dare you, you little whelp!” He shouted. “You can join your new friends!”

He was about to bring his blade down when five beams of light, similar to the orbs that flew from the broken Quasar sabers, came down from the sky and shone on the five young people. In a flash, they vanished before the demon’s eyes only to reappear in what looked like a hollow, crystal cave.

“Whoa...where are we?” Jun asked as he looked around. The others followed suit, each one taking in their new surroundings differently.

“It’s beautiful.” Hannah whispered in awe.

“Amazing.” Byron said with child-like eyes.

“This...place...is...too...much.” James added.

“Sahw zrekcirt ti tiht? Enes fm lcab!” The jungle girl ordered. Byron looked at her and saw that she wasn’t as comfortable as the others were.

“Hey. What’s your name?” Byron asked slowly. “My...name...is...Byron.”

The jungle girl looked at the doe faced boy and glared at him.

“Tacari. And I can understand you just fine so please don’t act like dirt is smarter than you.” She said with contempt in her voice.

“Ouch!” James said with a slight chuckle. “Okay...now that intros are out of the way...anyone know how we got here? And where is here?”

“I believe I can answer that.” Said a feminine voice.

The door opened and in walked a tall woman shrouded in radiant silken sheets and robes. The light reflecting from the crystals made the white cloth shimmer giving her an ethereal glow. Her appearance had everyone there awestruck, including Tacari.

“Who are you?” Byron asked for the umpteenth time that day.

The woman smiled lightly under her veil.

“I am Celeste. I brought you here because I need your help.” She began. “That monster you encountered...is only the beginning.”

“What do you mean...‘the beginning’?” Jun asked worriedly. “You mean there’s more of him!?”

“Many more. And they all are under the command of Lord Reapus.” She started as she led the fivesome through the crystal cave. “That star that collided on your planet was his ship. A millennia ago, he and his generals waged a great war across the galaxy that nearly destroyed everything in its wake. Countless lives were lost ane more blood would have been shed if not for the rangers. Along with myself and Orion, we were able to defeat Reapus and his Styxerians...but at a great cost.”

“What happened?” Hannah asked with interest.

“I was gravely wounded and burned from the attack. In truth, I’m still in the process of healing even after a thousand years.” Celeste admitted. “Also, the original rangers lost their lives in battle so Orion captured their essence in five Quasar sabers and placed them in a stone on your planet until they were needed. When the time came, the five chosen ones would rise up to defeat the evil that threatened them.”

“Wait...Quasar sabers?” James asked. “You mean the Galaxy Rangers?”

“Yes. You hold one of the broken sabers in your hand.” She said pointing to James. “I was hoping that I’d seen the last of Lord Reapus, but it looks like I was mistaken. He’s returned and stronger than I feared.”

“But, if he beat the rangers...where are they now?” Jun asked.

“Follow me.” Celeste gently ordered.

She took the five people through the crystalline caverns until they came upon the main chamber where five shining pods stood. Inside them were the five Galaxy rangers. The sight made Byron and the others gasp in shock.

“They-they’re...” Hannah stammered.

“They’re not dead, child. They’re in stasis. Or as you would call it, ‘suspended animation’.” Celeste explained.

“But if they’re here...who’s going to fight that thing that almost killed us?” Byron asked worriedly.

“Remember how I mentioned that the Quasar sabers chose these warriors?” When the fivesome nodded, she continued. “Well...when the sabers were shattered, their essence was released to find five new warriors...you.”

The silence in the room was enough to hear a pin drop.

“Excuse me?” James asked in disbelief.

“When the sabers were destroyed, five orbs of power were released and sent to choose new warriors. The spirits of the ancient rangers have chosen you.” Celeste said with a smile reaching her eyes which were the only things visible. “I’m asking you now; do you accept?”

Each person took a moment to think about Celeste’s request.

“I’m in!” Jun piped up.

“Me, too.” Hanna answered.

“I got nothing better to do; why not?” James said in his usual aloof manner.

“Of course, I’ll help.” Byron accepted. Now all that was left was Tacari.

“No! I won’t fight with them!” Tacari exclaimed. That outburst surprised the other four and Celeste.

“Why not?” Byron asked innocently. “What did we do to you?”

“It’s the planet! You’re killing it with your machines. Gouging the earth and pulling up any plants you come across...in my eyes, you’re no better than Reapus!” The jungle woman glared.

“Tacari...I understand your stance on this. But, please, help us fight him. If you don’t, Reapus will prevail and there won’t be anything left of the planet you call home.” Celeste’s eyes reflected the desperation she held. “If not for us...join to save Miranoi.”

It was no secret that Tacari hated the development of her planet and the people in charge of it with a passion, but for all the hatred her heart held for them, she held more love for her beloved planet. She would do anything to preserve it.

“For Miranoi...ONLY for Miranoi.” She stressed.

“Thank you. Now that you all accept, I must perform the ritual to give you your powers.”

Celeste waved her hand and five crystal podiums rose from the floor, each one a different shape. One by one, the robed woman asked the five people to stand on one. Once the youngsters were in place, Celeste spoke again.

“So...what happens now?” Jun asked as he stood on the square crystal.

“Each of you has the essence of one of the ancient rangers, but they must deem you worthy of receiving such power. This ritual will seal the pact and infuse you with power beyond imagining.”

Celeste closed her eyes and began to sing a haunting, yet beautiful melody which activated the crystals under them. Each one started to glow white and the orbs of the ancient rangers’ essence floated outside their bodies. The multicolored balls of light grew and soon took the shape of the ranger who wielded their power a thousand years ago. The ghosts of the rangers looked upon the ones who would carry on their mission and nodded in approval.

“O, great rangers. Do you find these young ones, worthy of your power?” Celeste asked singing slightly.

“We do.” The red figure agreed with the others nodding in response. “Endow them with all our power.”

As Celeste kept singing, a window opened up above them so they could see the trillions of stars that blanketed the black sky. Five groups of stars in particular started to twinkle brilliantly as their stellar energy formed into comets of light. As the multicolored streaks hit the rangers’ essence, both energies combined and the orbs reentered the five as they did before.

“That was...” James began.

“Amazing.” Tacari finished.

“I’m glad you liked that. Celeste said grinning under her veil. “I have something else for you.”

The robed woman sighed in relief as she waved her hand over a console that flipped over to reveal five red contraptions. “These are your Galactic Stroke Morphers.” She said as she flipped one open to unveil its paintbrush-like tip. “To activate your powers, shout ‘Ride the Nova!’” One by one, she handed the five youngsters their new morphers. “More will be made available to you as you fight.”

Hannah looked at her morpher and her doubts started to rise.

“Do you really think we can do this? I mean...if they couldn’t...”

“I know you can.” Celeste said reassuring the young girl. As she was about to console Hannah, an alarm blared causing a screen to appear in front of her. The images she saw were very disturbing as Dualash proceeded to attack the city of River’s End.

“Looks like we get to take these bad boys for a test drive! Sweet!” James shouted happily.

Tacari watched as Dualash laid waste to some of the buildings and she smirked inwardly to herself. Maybe he wasn’t so bad after all. But she remembered what Celeste said about Reapus and his horde destroying her home and she regained her focus.

"Let’s hurry!” She said urgently.

“Yeah, but...how do we get back?” Byron asked.

“I shall send you back down. Good luck.” With a wave of her hand, the same five lights that brought them to her star sent them back to their home planet...and right in the middle of the chaos Dualash and his Grimlings were causing. People were scattering in every direction to escape the carnage.

“That’s it! Burn this city to the ground! Leave nothing breathing!” Dualash ordered harshly as he prepared to slash one of the buildings from its foundation.

“Stop!” Byron shouted as he and the others stood defiantly in front of the building.

“Ahh! I see you’re back to take your medicine like good little children!” Dualash scoffed.

“The only one getting anything shoved down his throat is you!” James shot back as he pointed at the two-faced demon.

“Is that so?” Dualash laughed mockingly. “And just who’s gonna put me in my place?”

“That would be us!” Byron answered with determination crossing his innocent face. “Ready!?” He asked the others.

“Ready!” They answered back as all five flipped open their morphers to reveal the brush tips. When they were ready, they all shouted:

“RIDE THE NOVA!”

Byron stands in front of a fiery background as a red comet shoots out. The young man rides the flaming body through the blackness of space, using his Galactic Stroke Morpher to write his symbol in the stars. The stars connect, form the symbol and adhere themselves to his body to form his suit and helmet. The comet, with Byron on board, zooms through the planet’s atmosphere. His body is ablaze with power as he lands in his full ranger form. Soon, the others follow suit with Hannah in front of a rocky landscape, Jun standing in front of a forest, Tacari with clouds behind her and James with an ocean landscape behind him. Comets of yellow, pink, green and blue carried them into the cosmos as they mirrored Byron’s movements by writing their symbols and attaining their ranger suits. As did the red ranger before them, they all reentered the planet’s atmosphere, their bodies burning like the sun, as they touched down.

“FIERY AS THE PLANET’S CORE! GALAXY STRIDER RED!” Byron shouted.

“UNPREDICTABLE AS A TSUNAMI! GALAXY STRIDER BLUE!” James called out.

“FIERCE AS A WINDSTORM! GALAXY STRIDER PINK!” Tacari said with confidence.

“STRONG AS A FOREST! GALAXY STRIDER GREEN!” Jun exclaimed.

“STEADY AS A MOUNTAIN! GALAXY STRIDER YELLOW!” Hannah shouted.

“We protect this planet with the power of the stars! POWER RANGERS: GALAXY STRIDERS!” The fivesome shouted as they struck their heroic pose.

“Hmmph! I’m not impressed!” Dualash scoffed. “Grimlings, ATTACK!”

Soon, dozens of shogun demons rushed the five rangers until they meshed in battle. Swords clashed fiercely as each ranger fought with a good sized group displaying different fighting styles. James and Jun were more brutish with their moves while Hannah and Byron showed more finesse. Tacari proved that despite being a ranger, she still used her primal instincts to battle the grimlings by jumping over them and clawing at them along with using her sword. When it looked like the rangers would get the upper hand, the number of grimlings increased and the tables began to turn.

“Um...I’m not a tactical genius, but I think we’re losing!” Jun shouted as he was slowly becoming overrun.

“And you call yourself a warrior!” Tacari scolded as she kept fighting.

“He’s got a point, Tacari!” James said as he was grabbed by the legs.

“What are we gonna do?” Hannah asked as she joined the others.

“Rangers...” Celeste’s voice blanketed the battlefield causing every fighter to look up for a moment. “Spin the discs on your swords. Greater powers are at your disposal! Use them and fight valiantly!”

“Okay, Celeste!” Byron called out as her voice faded. “Let’s try it out.”

The red ranger spun the disc resting on his sword hilt until it and the emblem inside shone like brilliant rubies.

“Nova Bihänder!” He shouted. In a flash, his small sword turned into a massive red bladed weapon that was almost as big as he was. “Star Disc ALPHA!” Byron then opened the golden buckle on his belt and placed the red disc inside into his new equipment. “Everyone, duck!”

“Oh, crap!” James shouted as he and the others quickly hit the ground. With all of his strength, Byron swung his mighty weapon and took out a throng of grimlings in one pass.

“Wow! Did you see that?” He asked as he ran head first into another group and began swinging.

“Nice! I gotta try that!” James shouted as he followed suit. He spun the disc on his hilt until it began to glow blue. “Nebula Bogen!” In his hands was a powerful bow and he, too, opened his buckle to place the disc onto his new weapon. "Star Disc BETA! Round two!” He yelled with a smirk under his helmet. He pulled back the plunger and shimmering blue arrows flew through the air to pierce his section of grimlings until they exploded.

The Pink Ranger immediately spun her sword’s disc.

“Celestial Fan!” Tacari shouted, not wasting time with idle banter. In her hands was a large pink and white fan. “Star Disc GAMMA!” She placed her buckle’s disc onto her weapon and began to wail on every grimling that came within a few inches of her. Despite her graceful moves, she still fought with the ferocity of a wild animal.

“My turn!” Hannah yelled as she spun her disc. “Star Grazer!” In a blink of an eye, her sword transformed into a tri-bladed weapon. “Star disc EPSILON!” She locked her buckle’s disk in place and used her grazer as a defensive weapon blocking the grimlings’ swords from making contact with her. When she had the chance, she threw her Star Grazer like a boomerang at a throng of oncoming demons and mowed them down like a runaway buzz saw.

“Whoa! Too close!” Jun shouted as a couple of blades came within inches of cutting off his head. “Astral Lancer!” He shouted as his sword switched from his primary weapon to a very long spear. “Hey, Tacari! Maybe we should switch weapons!” He shouted to her.

“Maybe I should switch teammates!” She shot back as she kept fighting.

“Ooookay...Star Disk DELTA!” He placed his buckle’s disc onto his weapon and swung it much like Byron did with his sword, but with more control and speed. When he spied another group coming at him, he launched himself over them using his spear as a pole vault before slashing the grimlings with his new weapon. This went on until the only one left to fight the rangers was Dualash.

“Impossible!” The double-faced demon shouted in disbelief. “How can my forces be defeated by mere...CHILDREN!?”

Byron gripped his bihänder tightly as he glared at Dualash under his helmet.

“We’ll show you who’s a child! HAAAAAAAHH!!!”

Before anyone could stop him, the red ranger charged at the two-faced monster with reckless abandon. Dualash fired his lasers at him only to have them deflected by his weapon’s massive blade.

“Byron!” Jun shouted.

“I knew it. The guy has lost his mind! You idiot!” James scolded in frustration.

“Is he always this reckless?” Hannah asked with concern.

“If he is, we’ll be looking for a new leader before the day’s out.” Tacari chimed in with folded arms.

Ignoring the others, Byron swung his massive sword and pushed Dualash back like a football training dummy until he pinned him to a wall. With one might spin, Byron cleaved the hulking enemy until he was reduced cinders in a huge explosion, much to the delight of his comrades.

“Man...that was sick!” James shouted as he patted his friend.

“I’m glad that’s over.” Hannah sighed.

It’s not over. I can feel it.” Tacari warned.

Tacari’s warning would come to fruition as the flames from the explosion were sucked back into Dualash’s body causing it to grow as tall as the city’s skyscrapers.

“You pesky rangers! I’ll grind you under my heels like bugs!” And he proceeded to do just that. Luckily, the rangers dodged out of the way.

“Yikes! Okay, this wasn’t covered in the manual!” James shouted. “How are we supposed to fight that!?”

“Rangers...hold out your hands!” Celeste ordered.

As if to answer his query, five colored orbs shot through the sky and landed in the upturned palms of each ranger. The light faded revealing contraption that were the same shapes as the podiums the stood on when they were on Celeste’s star.

“These are your zords. Use them in conjunction with your morphers.” She advised.

“We will! Thank you!” Byron called up before looking to his teammates. “ALPHA LION!” He shouted, crossing his arms in front of him.

He set his device on the ground and drew a symbol over it until it grew to massive proportions. The device unfolded to reveal that it was, in fact, a lion zord.

“Man! We got some cool toys! Come on, guys!” James urged. “BETA DRAGON!”

“GAMMA TURTLE!”

“DELTA BEAR!”

“EPSILON MONKEY!”

The four remaining rangers mimicked Byron’s movements and soon his red lion was joined by his fellow zords in combat. Seeing the stampede, Dualash fired lasers from his swords in an attempt to stop them, but to no avail.

“That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” James shouted happily.

“Stop acting like a child! This isn’t a game!” Tacari hissed under her helmet.

“Lady, are you always this bitter?” James asked, shaking his head. Hannah just decided that keeping quiet was the best option.

“I’ll go in first!” Byron said as he charged forward. His Alpha lion gave a mighty roar as it passed the giant demon, striking him in the process.

“Hey, save some for us!” James scolded.

“I’m going in!” Hannah said gaining a bit of confidence. Her monkey leapt ahead and pounded Dualash with it’s simian fists before using its agility to swing to the top of a building. Once there, it folded back into its triangle and rolled on top of Dualash knocking the swords from his hands.

“My turn.”

The Pink Ranger folded her turtle zord and hurled herself towards the towering shogun like a frisbee only to be knocked down by an overhead forearm. The next thing she knew, she was in the second set of the monster’s jaws.

“Get your teeth off of me!” She shouted.

“Hang on!” Jun rushed in with his Delta Bear and began to slash at the demon like a mother grizzly.

“Why you impudent little-” Dualash snarled as he picked up the green bear. But Jun just folded back into a square and landed on his toe causing him great pain.

“Let’s move!” The Green Ranger ordered.

“Right!” Tacari agreed as they rolled away to regroup.

“Leave this to a pro!” James said smugly as his zord hit Dualash square in the face in his folded form. “Now for the real fun to begin!” His Beta Dragon shot blue flames from its mouth roasting the shogun menace.

“We have weapons, too? I have to try!” Byron said sounding more like a kid on Christmas than a warrior. Pulling his sword out, he spun the disc and shouted: "ALPHA LION METEOR!” His zord soon took the shape of a flaming jet and rocketed towards a dazed Dualash. With a forceful thrust of his sword, the red ranger urged his lion on until it collided with Dualash in a massive explosion ending his life.

The five rangers, now demorphed, stood in the middle of the city and looked down at their compact zords.

“We...we did it. We actually did it!” James shouted. “Man, this is too wild!”

“I know. This is just surreal!” Hannah sighed, thankful that it was over.

“You have done well, rangers.” Celeste’s voice echoed. “But be warned, this was only a portion of Reapus’ power. You mustn’t let your guard down for a moment.”

“We won’t let you down.” Jun replied looking up.

“So...what now?” Byron asked wondering what to do next.

“I will contact you when the need arises. Until then, get some rest.” Celeste ordered before fading out leaving the five newest rangers to their own devices.

“I guess...I guess we go home for now.” Byron wondered aloud.

“Nobody’s gonna believe this one.” Jun whispered to himself. “Question...who’s gonna be teaching us to use this stuff? I mean, we had Celeste’s help before. That last fight was luck because I’m not that great a fighter.”

“Neither am I, but we made out alright.” Hannah surmised. “But, I still think we can do this.”

“And it’s that very thinking that will get you all killed.” Tacari sneered. “You treat this like a child’s game when everything’s on the line.”

By now, James had had enough of the jungle woman’s rants about one thing or another and was about to set her straight...or so he thought.

“Okay, lady! I don’t know what bug crawled up your butt, and being from the jungle, I’m sure that happens a lot, but why do you keep bagging on us?” He asked furiously. “And what makes you think you're such a better fighter than us, anyway?”

Tacari shot a piercing glare at the blue ranger before grabbing his wrist and throwing him into some low hanging vines.

“Ask me when you can block that.” She shot back at the now upside down James. She started to walk away from the other rangers when Byron grabbed her arm gently.

“Wait.” He pleaded. “I know we got off on the wrong foot...with us hitting you with that tranquilizer dart...”

“That was you!?” She shouted.

“BUT...I think we can learn a lot from each other. We could definitely use your fighting skills. Maybe...you can teach us some things.” Byron asked with his baby face.

“Maybe. Maybe not.” She said jumping into a nearby tree. “When you need me...”

“We can come find you?” Byron interrupted.

“No...I’ll find you.” The jungle woman answered with a stone face before swinging into her jungle home.

“You think we’ll see her again?” Byron asked with a tilted head making the others look at him weirdly.

“Uh...she’s on the team so...yeah.” James answered with a roll of his eyes. “This is gonna be a long war!” He thought as he and the others went their separate ways for now.

***********

Meanwhile, back on Reapus’ ship...

“SHE’S STILL ALIVE!?” Reapus roared causing the vessel to shake. “HOW DID SHE MANAGE TO SURVIVE!?”

“I-I-I have no idea, Lord Reapus!” Kalamax stammered fearfully. “She’s craftier than we anticipated.”

“WHAT DID YOU SAY!?” He snapped at his vassal.

“I-I-I meant ‘we’ as in Crescenda and I. Of course you knew all along about Celeste’s resourcefulness, my lord.” The squid-like general sais as he corrected himself.

“Resourceful, indeed. She even managed to recruit children to fight her battles for her...which means she is also too injured to fight.” Reapus reasoned as he looked through his portal. “Enjoy your victory now, Celeste. But mark my words. Soon, I’ll be the one to bring down the curtain on your final act!”

=====

One group of rangers falls and another one rises to the challenge. But will the young people be ready for all that Reapus has to offer? Stay tuned.

=====

End of Act Two
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Old 03/20/11, 03:38 PM   #4
TaJaDoru
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Default RE: Power Rangers Galaxy Striders

Last time on Power Rangers: GALAXY STRIDERS...

***********

“They fought their hardest for Miranoi, Mike.” Commander Stanton began as he kept his voice from breaking. “They left this world heroes.”

“Even with the Lights of Orion...they still couldn’t beat him.” Mike said in a shaky voice. “How are we supposed to defeat this new guy without the Quasar Sabers?”

--------------

“Lord Reapus! You have returned!” Kalamax exclaimed happily as he rushed to his master. Unfortunately, Reapus was in no mood for a hero’s welcome an unceremoniously shoved Kalamax to the side as he took his throne. “F-f-forgive me, Master. I was just glad you survived. So, that power. Was it, indeed, Orion?”

“It was his power, yes. But his physical form was nowhere to be found.” Reapus groaned in pain. “As I thought, Orion is gone for good. Now that I have destroyed those bothersome rangers, his power they wielded has been destroyed as well!”

--------------

Seeing her chance, she took the chair and threw it at the window causing glass to shatter and fall outside. With one last look of contempt, she leapt onto the sill and jumped out to the flagpole that stood outside.

“Sound the alarm! The prisoner has escaped!” Mike shouted as he made his way to alert Commander Stanton.

--------------

“My name’s Hannah.” The Asian girl answered. “I take it you’re following some pink blur, too?”

“Yeah; I saw her escape from the Command Tower and swing into the jungle.” Jun replied. “And I think these guys were the ones who brought her in the first time. I’m Jun, by the way.”

“Byron.”

“James.”

--------------

With a primal cry, the jungle woman in pink leapt from the trees and stood between Dualash and the foursome.

“Fr’uoy hniyortsed fht uenalp!” The girl said in her strange tongue. “Fvael freh, xon!”

--------------

“I am Celeste. I brought you here because I need your help.” She began. “That monster you encountered...is only the beginning.”

--------------

“RIDE THE NOVA!”

“We protect this planet with the power of the stars! POWER RANGERS: GALAXY STRIDERS!” The fivesome shouted as they struck their heroic pose.

--------------

“Resourceful, indeed. She even managed to recruit children to fight her battles for her...which means she is also too injured to fight.” Reapus reasoned as he looked through his portal. “Enjoy your victory now, Celeste. But mark my words. Soon, I’ll be the one to bring down the curtain on your final act!”


***********

Chapter 3: Uneasy Alliance

Darkness has fallen over the city of River’s End and the citizens of the developing city were all resting comfortably in their homes. Five, in particular, were resting after their inaugural battle with Reapus and his legion of demonic underlings. Hannah was in her modest home grading papers while Jun slept in his quarters in the Command Tower. Tacari found solace sleeping in the jungle canopy with various creatures keeping her company. Elsewhere in the city, the remaining two rangers shared an apartment where one was trying to fall asleep. “Trying” was the appropriate word because his roommate, the young man chosen to be the red ranger, was busy looking out his window at the twinkling stars above and making conversation.

“James? You think Celeste is looking down on us right now?” Byron asked innocently. “I mean, I know she kinda has to since she gave us these powers, but maybe she checks on us every once in a while?”

James let out a slow groan as he was woken up from his light slumber.

“Ron...” He began using his nickname for his friend. “It’s kinda hard for her not to look down considering she’s all the way up there.” He said as he pointed his finger at the ceiling to make his point.

“Yeah.” Byron said as he continued to look up at the heavenly bodies. “The stars are pretty, aren’t they? And Celeste lives on one of them. Wow! Kinda makes you wonder what else is out there. Maybe we’re not completely alone in...”

“I swear, if you finish that sentence, I’ll smack you with this pillow.” James warned. But as much as he wanted to get mad at his wistful friend, he couldn’t stay mad at him. He did find that partial statement ironic seeing as how they were on a planet that people back on Earth probably fantasize about when they ask the same question. “Dude, why are you making such a big deal out of it? So she lives on a star.” James said with a heavy sigh.

“It’s not just that.” Byron said as he turned to look James in the face. “It’s being chosen to be rangers, it’s these powers, it’s...well...everything! Before, it was just you and me. Now it’s you, me, Jun, Hannah and...”

“Jane of the Jungle?” James interrupted with a smirk. “Hannah and Jun I can deal with, but her? Being chosen to save the world would be cooler if I didn’t have that amazon chick for a teammate. Oh, and by the way, thank you so much for coming back for me after she judo threw me into those vines.” He said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

Byron couldn’t help but chuckle at his buddy’s misfortune.

“What? Okay, I’m sorry I didn’t come back. But, you got cut down, right?”

“After hanging upside down for three hours!” James shouted. “The guards who finally cut me down nearly arrested me because they thought I was drunk! Let them hang by their knees with the blood rushing to their heads for three hours and we’ll see how coordinated they walk!” He grumbled.

The youthful faced red ranger just let out a sigh as James ranted.

“Well...it was sorta your fault. You could have been a little nicer to her.” Byron said in the jungle girl’s defense.

I could have been-Byron, she did nothing but ride us during that last battle!” James protested but when he saw that Byron still seemed to take Tacari’s side, the blue ranger just shook his head in defeat. “Whatever, man. That chick just needs to lighten up.” James said letting a yawn escape. “And you need to get some sleep. That Reapus guy could attack anytime so the sooner we can et some shut-eye, the better.”

“In a minute. I wanna look at the sky some more.” Byron replied as he turned back to look out his window.

“One minute. Then lights out!” James ordered as he turned over and put the pillow over his head.

One minute passed, then another...then another until Byron could hear the faint snoring of his friend. The doe-eyed ranger continued to look up at the stars as if he were in a trance. It was almost as if he were looking for answers. Little did he know that answers would be revealed in time...along with more questions.

*********

Meanwhile...

Things weren’t as serene for those aboard Reapus’ ship. The tension was so thick after Dualash’s crushing defeat, the crimson devil himself could cut it with a katana. The only things that kept Reapus from snapping was his sake and Crescenda playing her shamisen.

“Celeste...you’ve been a thorn in my side for centuries.” Reapus mused to himself. “You’ve managed to find more children to fight your battles for you.”

“Perhaps, my lord, we can use their inexperience to our advantage.” Kalamax suggested.

“What do you mean?” The devil lord asked his vassal.

“What I mean is that there may be some chinks in their armor you can exploit. Being that this is their first time working as a team, I’m sure there are some underlying issues among the rangers.” The squid-like advisor explained.

“From what I’ve seen, the pink one doesn’t seem very happy to be associated with the others.” Crescenda pointed out as she strummed her shamisen. “She might be their weak link.”

Reapus took a moment to mull over his underlings’ suggestions and thought that it was worth a try.

“Sounds promising. And I may have someone who can find her weak spot. Cerberado! Come forth!”

From the depths of the lake came a monster that appeared to be a cross between a weasel and a centipede. The fearsome creature boarded the ship with spiky sword in hand and knelt before Reapus.

“You called, my lord?” Cerberado asked.

“Indeed. I want you to target the pink ranger.”

“How would you like her destroyed?” Cerberado asked a little to eagerly.

“Oh, I don’t want her destroyed...yet. I want you to find out her weakness and see if you can use that to get her to side with us.” Reapus ordered. “I want to finish off those rangers from within!”

“Ah, an inside job of sorts.” The weasel demon snickered. “She’ll be under our wing.”

“And the rangers will be out of my hair!” Reapus chuckled evilly. “Now, go!”

“As you wish!”

Cerberado bowed before leaving to carry out his orders. He knew the price of failure and that was incentive enough for him to succeed.

***********

The next morning, the sun rose over the riverside city and shone brightly over the people below. Most of the citizens answered back by either hitting the snooze buttons on their alarm clocks or by covering their heads with their bed sheets. Jun, however, was a rare breed. He was the type who woke up before dawn and today w as no exception. He decided that today was nice enough to go out for a jog so he left the Command Tower wearing a green and white track suit and ran through the streets. This was one of the few times during the day where he had the chance to enjoy nature and clear his head but his peace was interrupted when he heard the sounds of someone in distress.

“Uhhhh. Oh, come on. Just a bit more...” Said the female voice as she struggled with her books. “Who knew being a teacher’s aide was as much work as being an actual teacher?”

The young woman kept grumbling until she lost her footing. Her books tumbles to the ground and the graded papers inside were floating away thanks to the breeze.

“Oh, no!” She shouted as she tried to grab her papers.

“I got it!” Jun yelled as he jumped into the air and caught every wayward piece of paper before they flew away for good. “Here.” He said as he handed the lady her papers. It wasn’t until she took them in her hands that Jun realized the woman was Hannah.

“Thanks. I would have had to do this over again.” She said softly.

“N-no problem.” The green ranger stammered slightly. “Nice day out, huh?” “Nice day out? I can’t do better than that?” He thought to himself.

“Yeah...it is.” Hannah replied as she looked at her watch. “Oh! I better get going.” She scrambles to gather her things but she was having some difficulty.

“Here. Lemme help.” Jun offered.

“N-no; you don’t have-I mean...”

Jun gently smiled at the flustered yellow ranger as he picked up some of her books.

“I know, I don’t have to.”

“Thanks.” Hannah replied with a soft smile of her own. “I like getting to the school early to set up for class.”

“So, you’re a teacher, then?” Jun asked.

“Teacher’s aide.” She corrected. “I’m doing my small part educate the kids until I get my license. It’s good practice for the real thing.”

Jun nodded as he saw that they had something in common. They both made a habit of getting an early start on the day.

“Now, that’s admirable.” He nodded. “We need more teachers around here.” “Especially pretty ones.” He thought to himself as they walked to the school.

“So...what do you do?” She asked. She wanted to know a bit more about her new green teammate.

“I work in the Archeology Department at the Command Tower.” Jun answered. “I help translate the writings found on some of the ancient ruins and artifacts we uncover.”

“Wow! That sounds exciting.” Hannah smiled. “Maybe I can convince the teachers here to take the kids on a field trip up there someday.”

“That sounds like a good idea. I can run it by Commander Stanton when I get back.” Jun agreed as the twosome arrived at the front of the school. Being a gentleman, the green ranger opened the door for Hannah and placed her books on her large desk. “There you go. Oh, and speaking of Commander Stanton, I better get to the tower. My shift starts in a few.”

“Oh...well, I guess I’ll see you around?” The yellow ranger asked hopefully.

“Definitely.” Jun said with a smile before jogging out leaving Hannah to set up for her first class.

***********

While some were getting their day started in the city, others were trying to do the same thing in the more undeveloped part of River’s End but a certain jungle woman was making that task nearly impossible. She was up before any other human and her handiwork was being found by the construction workers.

“Man! Not again!” The foreman shouted. He and his men found their bulldozers and tools destroyed beyond recognition. “I thought she was being held at the Tower!”

“She was...but she escaped yesterday.” One of his workers informed his boss.

“This is getting old! Men, we can’t finish our work until we bring her in so, for now, our mission is to catch that jungle girl before she ruins any more equipment!”

His men cheered as they essentially turned into a posse. Their bounty...Tacari.

***********

Back at the Command Tower, Mike and Commander Stanton were going over the footage they caught of the battle with Dualash and the new group of rangers that arrived on the scene. When the double faced creature appeared with his horde of Grimlings, everyone in the tower feared the worst since the news of the Galaxy Rangers’ demise reached them. But when they saw the new quintet of rangers fighting the menace, hope was quickly restored as well some curiosity. Just where did they come from and, more importantly, who were they? Mike and Commander Stanton were both working hard to find the answers.

“I can’t believe that out of all the footage here, there’s not one clue to their identities.” Mike sighed.

“Well, we’re gonna comb through every frame until we find something.” Commander Stanton said with authority. “Once we do find out who they are, I want you to bring them here. Right now they’re our best hope.”

“Yes, sir.” Mike saluted with a drawn out yawn as Commander Stanton shook his head in jest.

“Why don’t you go for a walk? Get some fresh air.” He suggested.

“Good call.” Mike agreed. “I won’t be long.”

With another salute, Mike left the main control room and went out of the building passing Jun in the process. If only the former Magna Defender knew that Jun was one of the heroes he was searching for.

*********

Meanwhile, James and Byron were in the plaza getting some breakfast and enjoying the nice day when Mike passed by. Byron looked up from his sandwich at the man in blue and focused on his face. Something about him seemed oddly familiar to the upbeat red ranger and his gaze caught the attention of Mike who had the feeling that someone was watching him.

“Um...can I help you?” Mike asked the young man.

“Beg pardon?” Byron asked oblivious to the fact that he was even staring at the Terra Venture officer.

Mike just looked at the guy like he grew a second head. Was he really this much of a space cadet?

“You’ve been staring at me for the past few minutes.” Mike clarified.

Byron kept looking at the taller man intensely as if staring at him would jog something in his mind.

“You...really...look familiar.” Byron said in a whisper. “Are you sure we haven’t met somewhere before?”

“Uh...I doubt it.” Mike said as he backed up. This wide eyed kid was making the Terra Venture officer grow more and more uncomfortable. James felt that the conversation was getting awkward by the minute and he decided to step in before things totally went south.

“Yeah! I am really sorry about my overly eager friend.” James began as he grabbed Byron’s arm. “He hasn’t taken his medication this morning. We’ll just be on our way! Bye!”

In a swift move, James pulled a confused Byron into an alley to talk some sense into him.

“Dude? What is your malfunction?” The blue ranger asked. “Why were you staring at that guy?”

“I-I dunno! I just got this weird feeling that I’ve seen him somewhere before and...wait! Why did you tell him I hadn’t taken my medication!?”

“Well, with the look you had on your face, I either had to tell him you were an incurable optimist...or you were on something. The latter seemed more believable so I went with that. Consider that payback for leaving me in those vines.” James said simply making Byron shake his head in disbelief.

Just as Byron was about to protest, Celeste’s voice was heard in the rangers’ minds.

“Rangers. Another one of Reapus’ generals has appeared in the city square! He’s close to your location.” She urged.

“Okay...that was weird.” James said in awe. Hearing voices in your head wasn’t something the blue ranger had expected.

“We’re on our way!” Byron replied. “Come on. The others are probably on their way there now!”

“Let’s hope so.” The blue ranger said as he and his friend ran to the location.

At the school, Hannah had also heard Celeste’s voice and excused herself since the students were in the middle of a test. Jun was two steps away from entering the Command Tower when he heard the call to arms and Tacari was already swinging through the treetops towards the disturbance.

At the city square, Cerberado and his legion of minions were terrorizing all of the citizens of River’s End who were out conducting business.

“Miserable humans!” He growled. “Your very presence is littering my lord’s dominion! And it’s about time I exterminate! Grimlings, round up any human who tries to scurry away!”

With an evil glint in his eyes, Cerberado used the centipede-like appendage wrapped around his body as a savage whip.

“DEVIL’S WHIPLASH!” He shouted as his weapon extended to reach a building that was hundreds of yards away. The impact sliced the building in two sending debris tumbling down upon the helpless. He was set to repeat the process when...

“HEY!” Byron shouted at the multiple bladed creature. “Leave this city alone!”

Cerberado halted his attack when he saw Byron and his friends standing defiantly in front of him.

“Looks like Reapus didn’t learn his lesson.” James scoffed.

“I agree. So how about we teach him not to mess with us?” Jun asked as he glared at the newest threat.

“You’re finally starting to make sense.” Tacari nodded as she got ready to fight.

“Ready?” Byron asked pulling out his Galactic Stroke Morpher.

“Ready!” The others shouted following suit.

“RIDE THE NOVA!”

The fivesome went through their morphing sequences in space and landed back on Miranoi.

“So you’re the ones giving my lord trouble!” Cerberado asked condescendingly. “Hard to believe that humans are causing such problems for Reapus.”

“Maybe you’ll believe it when we destroy you!” Tacari snarled.

“Not likely. Grimlings, take them down!”

In an instant, shogun demons and rangers meshed in battle as swords clashed.

“I’m not wasting any time!” The blue ranger quickly spun the black disc on his sword hilt. “Nebula Bogen! Star Disc BETA!” James quickly placed the blue disc on his bow and fired off rounds of shimmering water arrows at the grimlings.

“Celestial Fan! Star Disc GAMMA!” The pink ranger called for her weapon and slashed at the red and yellow underlings with might swings.

“Astral Lancer! Star Disc DELTA!” Jun was the next to call for his weapon of choice and with it, he jabbed the bladed end into one grimling and catapulted him into his evil comrades.

"Star Grazer! Star Disc EPSILON!” Hannah’s sword transformed into her tri-bladed weapon and she quickly threw it frisbee style at her horde of chattering demons. “Not how I wanted to spend the morning!” She shouted to her friends.

As the other rangers tangled with the grimlings, Byron was going head to head with Cerberado. With his Nova Bihänder in hand, the red ranger and the weasel general fought like two alpha males vying for top position in the pack.

“You think you and your rangers can stop us? Lord Reapus is all powerful!” Cerberado screamed as his curved sword nearly makes contact with Byron’s body. With a swift move, the red ranger narrowly blocks the sword with his own.

“I don’t think...I KNOW we’ll stop you!” Byron said with conviction. “We won’t let you hurt any more people!”

“We’ll see about that!”

Cerberado struck Byron in the chest with a powerful kick before coming down with his spiked sword. Byron brought it up to block in time and returned the favor by swinging his Nova Bihänder down. Neither combatant was gaining an advantage over the other as the other rangers were finishing up with the grimlings.

“I never thought I’d say this, but I’d rather be grading papers right now!” Hannah shouted as she threw her Star Grazer at the last of the shogun demons. The triple blades struck down the grimlings in its path and, unfortunately, kept on flying towards Byron.

“Whoa!” He shouted as he just barely dodged.

“Loophole!” Cerberado shouted as swing his large sword like a baseball bat. The force knocks the red ranger into a nearby building making an impression in the concrete.

“Byron!” Hannah shouts caught the attention of the other rangers who rushed to their friend’s aid. “I’m so sorry!”

“Not half as sorry as you’re gonna be! DEVIL’S WHIPLASH!

“Look out!” Tacari shouted.

But it was too late. The centipede-like appendage whipped out from Cerberado’s head and connected with all five rangers in a devastating attack. The force of the blow left all five rangers demorphed and writhing in pain.

“This is the hope of Miranoi? What a joke!” With that, Cerberado vanished without a trace leaving Byron and his team to wonder what went wrong.

“Yikes! Was it just me or was that guy stronger than the last one?” James asked as he struggled to stand.

“It wasn’t just you.” Jun groaned in pain. “That was just brutal!”

“Tell me about it!” Hannah whispered as she stood. “What now?”

“We learn from this and grow stronger. That’s what.” Tacari said seriously as she got up. James looked over at his pink teammate and glared daggers at her.

“Do you ever have anything positive to say?” James asked.

“We’re alive.” She said in a deadpan manner.

“Hey! You can’t get more positive than that. He could have killed us.” Byron said, grinning through the pain. “Besides, we have to help all these people. Some may be hurt.”

You help! I’m not staying here any longer than I have to.”

Before anyone could say anything to the contrary, Tacari ran to the nearest tree and swung back into the jungle leaving the others to help the injured.

“Can you believe her!?” James growled. “GAH! She is the most aggravating...”

“Just let it go.” Jun said simply. “Let’s just help these people.”

Everyone agreed and started with the rescue efforts. While that was going on, Mike and Commander Stanton were shocked to learn four of the five identities of the rangers. One, in particular was the most shocking out of them all.

“Jun?” Mike whispered. “He’s one of them, sir. He’s one of the new rangers.”

Commander Stanton looked at the screen and nodded to himself.

“Mike, I want you to take some soldiers and go to the square. Bring those people here.”

“Yes, sir!”

Mike ordered four of his soldiers to go with him to the square. If they were the rangers from the last fight, they could use some help in the form of someone who’s been there and done that. A little while later, as the rangers gathered the injured to be taken to the hospital, they were approached by Mike and his soldiers.

“Jun?” Mike said to the green ranger.

“Sir. What are you doing here?” Jun asked in surprise. When he saw the other soldiers, he had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. “What did I do?”

“I need you and your friends to come with us.” The former Magna Defender ordered.

“Whatever it is, we didn’t do it!” James shouted as held his hands up. “We’re innocent!”

“You’re not under arrest. My commander just has a proposition for you.”

Jun looked at Mike and knew that he was on the level but the others weren’t so sure. Hannah looked anxious and James’ face reflected distrust. With the three of them unclear of what to do, all eyes fell on Byron.

“It can’t hurt to hear him out, right?” Byron said with the innocence of a child.

“If talking’s all he wants to do, I’m all for it.” Hannah agreed.

“Looks like we have a meeting to go to.” James nodded.

“Follow me.”

Mike led the four rangers to the Command Tower so they could meet Commander Stanton and, hopefully, train them so they could be more formidable.

“Welcome. I’m Commander Stanton. I see you’ve already met Mike.” He said with a small smile.

Mike took a good look at the quartet and when his eyes landed on Byron and James, his eyes widened.

“As a matter of fact, I’ve met these two earlier this morning.” He said pointing to the red and blue rangers.

“Yeah, I thought I saw you somewhere before!” Byron said happily making James groan in annoyance. “I’m Byron and this is James.”

“Hey.” The blue ranger greeted simply.

“Hannah. I guess you already know Jun.” The yellow ranger added. “In any rate...just why have you asked us to come here?”

“To be honest, the reason I’ve asked you all to come is because we know you’re Power Rangers.” Mike explained. “My commander and I both feel that we can help you.”

“So, wait. Just what do you know about the Power Rangers?” James asked.

“More than you realize, young man.” It was at that time that Commander Stanton stepped in and took over the conversation. “You see, I was once the mentor of a group of rangers years ago. Mike was a part of them as well so we do have some experience.”

Mike looked over the foursome and his brow furrowed in confusion.

“Wait...I thought there were five of you.” He asked making Byron and company cringe. They knew who the pink ranger was but they weren’t sure HE wanted to know.

“Well...” Jun began.

“Um...” Hannah stalled.

“You see, the thing is...” James stammered.

“Come on! Don’t leave me in suspense. Who is she?” Mike wondered. Seeing as how the others weren’t forthcoming with this information, he was more anxious to know the answer.

Byron was about to spill the beans when a commotion outside the door caught their attention. The sounds of guards shouting made them turn their heads, but what got their attention the most was the distinct sound of a woman screaming in an unintelligible language.

“Hold on to her! She’s a scrapper!” One guard warned as he and three others brought in a struggling Tacari. “We caught her tampering with more of the cranes and bulldozers!”

“Ueg suoy zhtlif tdnah gfo go fm! Uel fm pg!” She shouted. “J s’now uel voy qeek hnillik tiht uenalp!”

Enraged, Tacari kicked one of the guards in the shins. As he yelled out in pain, she flipped the two holding her arms over her shoulders. The last guard drew his weapon and trained it on the feisty jungle woman; this made Byron and the others stand in front of her protectively.

“Don’t shoot her!” Byron pleaded.

“Byron, why are you protecting this woman? She’s the one causing all the construction sabotage these past few months!” Mike explained.

“Um...how can I put this delicately?” Byron said trying to lessen the blow he knew would be coming. “Remember the missing ranger you asked about just a second ago?”

“Yeah.” Mike replied wondering where Byron was going with this.

“Well...they just arrested her. TA-DA!” The red ranger said with a flourish and a stupid grin on his face.

There was an awkward pause before Mike’s face slowly began to match Byron’s sweater.

“WHAT!?!? You mean...SHE...HER!?” Mike stammered. “Oh, you have GOT to be kidding me! How did she get to be a ranger?”

“T’taht fnon go suoy tsenisub!” Tacari snarled at Mike.

“What did you say?” Mike asked angrily.

“She said, ‘that’s none of your business’.” Jun translated making Tacari look at him with confusion.

“How did you know that?” The pink ranger asked.

“My job here is to translate old ruins and artifacts.” Jun explained. “I’m not fluent in it, but I can read and understand Miranoian.”

“Can we get back to the real issue here?” Mike interrupted. “She shouldn’t be a ranger! She should be in jail for her actions!”

“I’m trying to save what’s left of Miranoi!” Tacari shot back.

“I don’t care what you’re trying to do! You can’t go around destroying property! We need those machines to build our homes!”

“So, in order to build YOUR homes you have to destroy MINE!?” Tacari asked angrily. “I knew it! You’re no better than those who you call evil! As long as you’re still killing everything in sight with your faceless monsters, I won't fight with you!”

Just like last time, the amazon leapt onto the window sill and jumped out to the flagpole sanding outside. One more great leap took her to the jungle canopy where she disappeared among the vines.

“Tacari, wait!” Hannah shouted as she ran to the window. But it was too late. Tacari was nowhere to be found. “Guys, we have to go after her!”

“I say let her go! If she feels that strongly about us, then we don’t need her!” James chimed in. “I can’t believe I defended her from that guard! I should have let him shoot her.”

“That’s a terrible thing to say!” Hannah scolded.

“Byron, what do YOU think? You’re our leader, after all.” Jun said looking at the red ranger.

Byron looked out the window that led to the jungle and sighed. He could see the points made by both sides, but one point overrode both arguments: they were in charge of stopping Reapus and they couldn’t do that without Tacari.

“Guys, if we’re going to defeat Reapus, we need Tacari so we’re going after her. All of us!” Byron stressed.

“I still think it’s a mistake, but it’s your call, bro.” James conceded.

“Then we better hurry. Who knows when Cerberado will return.” Jun replied.

Mike just stood there and listened to the remaining four rangers debate on whether or not to look for the belligerent jungle woman and when he heard Byron make their choice for them, he sighed. All he knew was that it was better that they looked for her instead of him considering their history.

“We’ll be back...and I still can’t shake the fact that I’ve seen you somewhere...” Byron said with a tilt of his head.

“We can play 20 questions later!” James said pulling his friend out of the room and soon they were making their way into the jungle.

The foursome had a new mission: find Tacari and convince her to come back to the team. The search would be like looking for a needle in a haystack since their pink ranger had lots of experience blending into her jungle surroundings. While the rangers split up to look for their friend, Cerberado was also looking for Tacari, but he had an ulterior motive.

“Now where can the little jungle girl be?” He hummed to himself as he looked up. As if on cue, Tacari was swinging from vines to get as far away from the tower as she could. “Ah, there you are.” He sneered as he used his whip to cut the vine she was going to grab next. The miss made Tacari fall, but the agile woman righted herself in time to land on her feet.

“Who’s there?!” She asked angrily.

“Just someone who wants to talk.” Cerberado said in a low tone.

“We have nothing to talk about! Leave!”

“Not until you hear me out.” Cerberado said as he walked closer to her. Tacari took a fighting stance in case he tried anything. “Why the defensive stance? Don’t you trust me?”

“No.” Tacari answered bluntly. Her quick answer made the monster chuckle sinisterly.

“Well, my dear, as much as you despise me, I’m sure you detest all these buildings popping up and destroying your lovely home even more. Am I right?”

Tacari kept her guard up as Cerberado circled her.

“What business is that of yours?” She asked skeptically.

Well, I, too, don’t like what the humans are doing to this planet.” He lied. “Miranoi was a lush planet before the humans colonized it. Don’t you want things back to the way they were? Don’t you miss swimming in crystal clear water? Eating fruit free from pesticides? I know you miss breathing fresh, clean air.”

“So, what if I do?” Tacari asked. “Your mission is to destroy...not preserve!”

“But I destroy TO preserve. As do you.” He pointed out. “You see, we’re not that different, you and I. I think we could make an exceptional team. What do you say?”

Tacari took a moment to think about Cerberado’s words. In a way, they did hold some truth, but she also thought back to Celeste’s words and how she needed their help. Tacari may not have been wise about too many things, but she could still tell when someone was lying to her.

“I say...tsik zm tsa!

Tacari cartwheel kicked Cerberado away from her long enough to make her escape to a nearby tree.

“Tell Reapus we don’t make deals with evil!” She shouted as she swung away.

Cerberado watched in defeat as his quarry made her escape through the treetops.

“Blasted girl!” He snarled to himself. “It’s clear that words don’t work on her. Perhaps seeing is believing.”

A plan hatched in his brain as he made his way to one of the construction sites. He wanted to cause more than just structural damage. As he made his way into town, the other rangers kept up their search for Tacari and were about to give up when Celeste’s voice rang through their minds.

“Rangers! Cerberado is causing havoc at one of the construction sites by the school district!”

“We’re on our way, but we can’t find Tacari!” Byron replied worriedly.

“She’ll be there, but you’re needed immediately.” Celeste urged. “Please hurry!”

Hannah looked down at her Stroke morpher and spoke into it.

“She’s right, guys. We can’t wait for Tacari. If he’s at the school district, then the kids are in danger.”

Byron and the other rangers agreed and soon left the jungle in haste.

“I just hope she comes to her senses.” Byron thought as he ran.

***********

On the outskirts of the school district, Cerberado and his grimlings threatened the workers by destroying the half-completed buildings and all of their equipment. It was a lot like what Tacari did, but on a much grander and much more destructive scale.

“Leave nothing standing! Show these humans that their destruction of Miranoi won’t be tolerated!” He shouted loudly enough for Tacari to hear. “Hopefully she’ll see this and believe I’m telling the truth.” He thought.

“You’re full of it!” Byron shouted as he, Jun, Hannah and James arrived in full ranger gear. They made quick work of the underlings and faced Cerberado. “We know full well you have no interest in protecting anything!”

“And who are you to decide that?” He shot back. “In any rate, you should me more concerned with protecting yourselves! DEVIL’S WHIPLASH!

Byron managed to dodge the attack by rolling to the side but the others were knocked back into some debris. The blue, green and yellow rangers were slowly getting back on their feet when they caught sight of an unmorphed Tacari watching the red ranger run with a full head of steam at Cerberado.

“Tacari!” Hannah shouted as she went to the pink ranger. “I knew you’d come! Morph so we can help Byron.”

“No.” She answered. “I said I wouldn’t fight with you and I meant it.”

James grew angry and confronted the jungle woman.

“What is the matter with you?” He asked furiously. “Look, I know you don’t like us. But why take your hatred out on someone who hasn’t done anything to you?”

“Because that’s what you’re doing to this planet!” Tacari answered. “Why do you think I destroy all of your machines? Not only do they destroy my home, they kill countless animals. What I do, I do to protect them. They’re innocent! Not like you care.”

Hannah was about to voice her opinion when she saw Byron rush past Cerberado and his drawn sword and over to a crumbling wall. He went behind it and came back out with a little boy who was hiding.

“You bothersome pest! Die where you stand!” Cerberado growled as he attacked Byron and the small boy.

“I gotcha, kid!” Byron reassured the scared child.

“Oh, no? Then look at Byron.” Hannah ordered as she pointed to the red ranger fending off Cerberado with a sword in one hand and clinging to the child with the other. “That child is also innocent. What you say we’re doing to the planet is no different than what Cerberado is doing right now. Don’t you see? We’re all really fighting for the same thing: to protect the innocent...all of them. But we can’t do that without you, Tacari.”

Jun stepped in hoping that a united front would convince the jungle girl to join with them again.

“She’s right. We need your help. Don’t we, James?”

James looked at Jun and Hannah and heaved a defeated sigh.

“Come on back to the team, okay? You don’t even have to do it for me. Do it for them.” James said pointing to Byron and the little boy.

Tacari kept watching as Byron fought for his and the little boy’s life. The entire time, she could hear him say “it’s okay” and “I won’t let anything happen to you”. After a few tense moments of silence, Tacari pulled out her Stroke Morpher.

“RIDE THE NOVA!”

Tacari quickly morphed into her pink ranger garb and drew her sword.

“Let’s help him out!” She shouted as she ran forward.

“It’s about time!” James groaned as he, Jun and Hannah ran to aid Byron.

The red ranger in question kept fighting until the sound of the boy’s mother cut through the battle.

“Corey!”

“Mommy!” The boy shouted. As Byron too him to his worried mother.

“Thank you so much!” She replied tearfully.

“You’re welcome. Now get somewhere safe!” He ordered.

As the mother and child ran as fast as they could away from the combat, Cerberado saw this as his chance to take down at least one ranger.

“You love giving me openings, don’t you? DEVIL’S WHIPLASH!

Cerberado whirled his centipede whip and was poised to strike down Byron when his back was turned until...

“Not today!” Shouted four familiar voices.

In a show of unity, the blue, green, yellow and pink rangers leapt into the air and slashed at the weasel’s menacing whip preventing it from striking the red ranger.

“You okay, man?” James asked as they ran to check on their friend.

“Yeah, you came just in time.” Byron sighed. “He’s one tough cookie!”

“I believe I have something you can use.” Celeste added through her mental link with the rangers. “Combine your star discs with your striders. I think you’ll like the outcome.” She said with a smile in her voice.

“If you say so.” Byron said as he went first. He opened his golden buckle, pulled out his red star disc and gave it a spin. Soon his strider blade was engulfed in swirls of fire. “Check it out!”

“Nice!” James shouted excitedly as he and the others mirrored their leader’s actions. As expected, each ranger’s element surrounded their blades. James’ blade was infused with ribbons of water while Hannah’s had waves of yellow earth circling hers. Tacari’s sword had the power of glittering wisps of air and Jun’s sword had shimmering leaves appear.

“These are your Aurora Blades. They’re much more powerful than your original striders.” Celeste explained.

“Celeste, I like your style!” James nodded.

“Let’s show him what real power is!” Byron ordered as they all shouted:

“AURORA BLADES! CELESTIAL STRIKE!”

All five rangers run at Cerberado and each one lands a devestating blow to the demon, their element exploding in the process. The sounds of their zord animals echo throughout the site until they all stop with swords outstretched. Blue lightning sizzles across Cerberado’s body until he falls limp and explodes.

“That was incredible!” James exclaimed.

“It’s not over yet.” Tacari warned.

“You blasted rangers!” Cerberado growled angrily as he grew to humongous proportions.

“No time to waste, guys! ALPHA LION!” Byron shouted.

“BETA DRAGON!”

“GAMMA TURTLE!”

“DELTA BEAR!”

“EPSILON MONKEY!”

They all laid their devices on the ground and drew the star symbol to make them grow into their zords.

“I won’t be beaten by toys!” Cerberado shouted as his sword sent a powerful dust storm at the zords. The gale force was enough to temporarily blow them backwards.

“We’re not strong enough!” Hannah said worriedly.

“You will be.” Celeste corrected through the mental link. “The five of you have the power to combine your zords into a mighty warrior. The Strider King Megazord.”

“Okay, Celeste. We’ll try it!” Jun agreed.

“Let’s get this party started!” James shouted. “STRIDER KING MEGAZORD...UNITE!”

Soon the dragon, monkey, turtle and bear zords folded back into their original forms and stacked one on top of the other with green on the bottom, blue, pink and yellow on top. James looked at their handiwork and, to say the least, was very confused.

“Are...we supposed to look like this? Something doesn’t click!”

“Uh...I think we goofed!” Hannah observed.

“We look like a totem pole!” Tacari shouted.

“I was gonna say shish kabob, but totem pole works, too.” James said jokingly.

“Never mind the fact that you totally left me out! Thanks!” Byron said slightly hurt.

“Cut us some slack. We’re new at this!” Jun said in their defense.

“I have no time for childish games! FORE!” Cerberado shouted as he swung his sword like a golf club and knocked the green zord from the bottom. This sent the other zords tumbling to the ground.

“Use the stars to guide you to victory.” Celeste suggested.

“Okay. Sorry about that.” Byron apologized as he took out his stroke morpher. He drew the symbol for “unite” in the air. “ZORDS UNITE!”

Soon, the lion zord opened up and rearranged itself to form the head and torso while the yellow and pink zords formed the arms. The green and blue zords went on to form the legs with an extra component flying off of the dragon zord. The arms snapped on to the red torso before the upper half attached itself to the legs. The extra piece that flew off formed the regal shogun helmet that the megazord would wear into battle. The chinstrap materialized and a long sword with the five animals etched into the blade appeared.. In th cockpit, the five rangers appeared in front of podiums that housed their strider swords.

“STRIDER KING MEGAZORD!” They shouted in unison as the complete robotic warrior stood atop a cliff.

“Amazing!” Jun said in awe.

“Even I have to agree with you.” Tacari nodded.

“But the last one was kinda funny.” James chuckled.

“Guys, we have to focus! He’s coming!” Byron warned as the others got their heads in the game.

Cerberado charged at the new megazord ready to send it to the recycling bin.

“STELLAR SABER!” Byron yelled.

The megazord drew its sword and brought it up to block the attack before pushing the monster backwards. Angered that he didn’t have the advantage, Cerberado wildly swung his sword downward but the Strider King sidestepped in time.

“Swing and a miss!” James shouted tauntingly.

Cerberado tried to connect with his sword again but the megazord ducked the blow causing the demon to cleave the building behind them.

“Missed again!” Byron chided.

This time, it was the rangers’ turn to strike, and strike they did. With a fluid swing, they caught the giant demon with a powerful slash slicing him and the scaffolded structure behind him.

“Yes! We’re winning!” Jun shouted.

“I refuse to lose to the likes of you! SUPER GRIMLINGS! ATTACK!”

Soon, enlarged versions of the usual red and yellow shogun demons emerged from the cracks between the buildings and surrounded the Strider King Megazord.

“What!? Oh, so not cool!” James grumbled in protest.

“How did they get so big?” Hannah asked worriedly.

The super grimlings engaged the megazord in a fierce battle as swords clashed and sparks flew. Fearing the megazord had the upper hand, some of the grimlings threw chains to ensnare the robotic warrior. They then sent pulses of energy through the chains causing explosions to bombard the rangers.

“Oh, come on! Chains, too!?” James shouted.

“What do we do?” Hannah asked unsure of their next move.

“I got this! ALPHA LION! FLAMING ROAR!

A stream of fire blew from the lips of the Alpha Lion and roasted the super grimlings long enough for their grips on the chains to loosen. The Strider King them yanked on the chains so hard, the force sent the grimlings flying into each other before they hit the ground. Before they had time to recover, the megazord slashed his sword cutting the shogun demons that surrounded it. Each one fell with sparks flying from their bodies.

“No! I won’t be defeated like this! Slice him to ribbons!” Cerberado ordered his remaining grimlings.

But the Strider King stood firm as he cut each one down with a single slash. Byron and his teammates pulled their swords from their podiums and pointed at Cerberado. The megazord mimicked the ranger’s move and pointed its Stellar Saber at the quaking demon.

“Time to finish this!” Byron said calmly.

“STELLAR SABER! COSMIC SLASH!”

The rangers spun the discs on their striders and a quintet of colored lights orbited in a circle creating brilliant glow. As it shone, the etchings on the Stellar Saber lit up like a Christmas tree from hilt to tip. A shower of sparks rained down on the area as the Strider King brought his sword around for the deathblow. All five brought their swords down in a brutal slashing motion and the megazord followed suit. A flash of light streaked as the giant blade connected to Cerberado one last time. The sparks from the sky and the ones from the demons body merged as he fell to the ground. The explosion produced multicolored smoke signaling the end of Cerberado. Then, true to his form, the Strider King Megazord put away his sword just as the code of Bushido dictates.

***********

Back at the Command Tower, Byron and company stood in Commander Stanton’s presence as he addressed the heroes.

“You did well, rangers. The city of River’s End is in your debt.”

“You don’t have to thank us, sir.” Byron smiled.

“Yeah, we’re just doing our part to protect everyone and everything on Miranoi.” Jun said with a nod.

As he group was enjoying the praise, a few of the guards entered the room and immediately drew their weapons at Tacari.

“Stop!” Mike ordered. “Put down your weapons!”

“But, sir! She’s the saboteur! An escaped one at that!” The head guard replied. “We have to arrest her!”

“Maybe you didn’t hear me the first time. I said put...them...down!” Mike warned sternly. “She’s officially been pardoned..provided she agrees to work with the rangers until Reapus is defeated.”

The jungle woman gave Mike a cold look but slowly softened to the point where she didn’t look as fierce. She couldn’t very well save her home if she’s locked up.

“I’ll agree...if you agree to stop the construction.” Tacari bargained. If she was gonna put up something in good faith, so would they.

“But...that would severely put the workers behind schedule!” The guard reasoned.

“Well...” Byron began hesitantly. “She has a point. I mean, why keep building new things if they’re only gonna get knocked down by monsters anyway? Right? Wouldn’t it be better to wait until the 50 story demons are beaten?”

Now, it was Mike’s turn to mull over the terms. After a few moments of silence...

“Okay. Agreed.” Mike nodded.

“Agreed.” Tacari parroted.

“Oh, thank goodness!” Hannah sighed with relief. “I was afraid that we’d have a war of our own.”

“No...it would dishonor the galaxy rangers’ memories.” The pink ranger said seriously. “I’d rather die than do that.”

Those words made Mike and Commander Stanton bow their heads in respect. Byron looked over the officer’s shoulder to see the broken Quasar Saber hilt in a glass case with photos of the five rangers. Each picture had a plaque with a heartfelt epithet . Byron went to take a closer look at the memorial and his eyes widened in recognition.

“Mike? Why do you have these guys in a glass case?” He asked innocently.

Mike turned to stand next to the inquisitive young man.

“Because these guys were the Galaxy Rangers that saved Terra Venture and Miranoi years ago. They were also my best friends.” He said as he tried not to break down. “That one...was my little brother. He and the others fought to their last breath a few days ago against a new threat.”

“I knew you looked familiar!” Byron said excitedly. “But...he’s not dead. None of them are, really.”

“What do you mean they’re not dead?!” Mike asked a bit angry that Byron would joke about this.

“I mean we saw him and the others yesterday.” Byron clarified. “They’re alive...kinda.”

It was then that Mike looked at the wide-eyed youth pleadingly.

“Tell me where he is, please!” Mike begged.

Just then, a glowing orb of light appeared in the center of the room and took the shape of Celeste.

“Celeste!” The Strider Rangers exclaimed.

“Young man, I can answer your questions.” She said in a soft voice. “Follow me.”

A shaft of light appeared and teleported the rangers, Mike and Commander Stanton to her star. Mike and Stanton looked around and they were just as awestruck as the others were when they first arrived.

“Wow! This is so unreal!” Mike gasped.

“Astounding!” Stanton agreed. “Where are we?”

“You are on my star.” Celeste explained as she appeared. “Your brother and his friends are resting here.”

With a wave of her hand, she revealed the pods the Galaxy Rangers were kept. Mike went to his brother’s pod and gently placed his hand against the crystal case.

“They-they’re really alive?” He asked hopefully.

“A little worse for wear, but yes.” Celeste said honestly. “I brought them here so they can regain their strength and I brought these warriors to continue the fight against Reapus and his minions.”

She told them the story of the war that ended a thousand years ago and the connection with her and the original Quasar sabers. She also told them how a greater power had found their way into these five young people.

“So, you see, their being chosen was no mistake.” The robed woman nodded. “So, tell me...how do you know the Galaxy Rangers?”

“This one...” Mike said pointing to Leo. “...is my little brother. I pulled out the Quasar Saber along with them. I was originally chosen to fight but Furio launched the attack that turned everyone on Miranoi to stone. As we ran, the ground opened up and I almost fell in. Leo grabbed my hand and tried to pull me up but he wasn’t strong enough. I knew I wouldn’t be able to hang on so I gave him the saber and told him to take my place. Luckily, I survived and came back as the Magna Defender.” A lone tear slid down his cheek as he retold the story.

“No way! That was YOU!?” Jun asked as Mike just nodded.

“It’s rare that the Quasar saber chose two who were worthy of wielding its power.” Celeste explained. “It proves that you both had what it took to be a ranger. Mike...since you have experience with the rangers, I was wondering if you would help me in mentoring them. It wouldn’t be wise to bring them here often because it would leave Miranoi unguarded.”

“I’d be honored.” Mike smiled and bowed. “I think I can whip these guys into shape. Although, one’s already in shape.” He said looking at Tacari. “I’m twice your size! How did you throw me?!”

“She threw you, too!?” James asked in shock. “Well, at least she didn’t judo throw you into vines.”

Mike chuckled as he looked at the jungle woman.

“Maybe I can persuade you to teach me that throw sometime?” He asked.

“You’d have to offer me something else for that to happen.” She smirked.

Mike took a moment to think about the offer...

“I...think I’ll pass.” He conceded making everyone there laugh.

======

And so begins a new chapter in the rangers’ quest to rid their world of Lord Reapus. The agreement made with the pink ranger and Mike is a huge step in mending a few bridges, but how many more bridges will be burned along the way?

======

End of Act Three
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Old 03/20/11, 03:39 PM   #5
TaJaDoru
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Default RE: Power Rangers Galaxy Striders

Last time on Power Rangers: GALAXY STRIDERS...

***********

“James? You think Celeste is looking down on us right now?” Byron asked innocently. “I mean, I know she kinda has to since she gave us these powers, but maybe she checks on us every once in a while?”

============
“You called, my lord?” Cerberado asked.

“Indeed. I want you to target the pink ranger.”

=================
“Um...how can I put this delicately?” Byron said trying to lessen the blow he knew would be coming. “Remember the missing ranger you asked about just a second ago?”

“Yeah.” Mike replied wondering where Byron was going with this.

“Well...they just arrested her. TA-DA!” The red ranger said with a flourish and a stupid grin on his face.

There was an awkward pause before Mike’s face slowly began to match Byron’s sweater.
“WHAT!?!? You mean...SHE...HER!?” Mike stammered. “Oh, you have GOT to be kidding me! How did she get to be a ranger?”

================
“Who’s there?!” She asked angrily.

“Just someone who wants to talk.” Cerberado said in a low tone.

“We have nothing to talk about! Leave!”

================
“Oh, no? Then look at Byron.” Hannah ordered as she pointed to the red ranger fending off Cerberado with a sword in one hand and clinging to the child with the other. “That child is also innocent. What you say we’re doing to the planet is no different than what Cerberado is doing right now. Don’t you see? We’re all really fighting for the same thing: to protect the innocent...all of them. But we can’t do that without you, Tacari.”

=========
“Let’s show him what real power is!” Byron ordered as they all shouted:

“AURORA BLADES! CELESTIAL STRIKE!”

================
Soon, the lion zord opened up and rearranged itself to form the head and torso while the yellow and pink zords formed the arms. The green and blue zords went on to form the legs with an extra component flying off of the dragon zord. The arms snapped on to the red torso before the upper half attached itself to the legs. The extra piece that flew off formed the regal shogun helmet that the megazord would wear into battle. The chinstrap materialized and a long sword with the five animals etched into the blade appeared.. In th cockpit, the five rangers appeared in front of podiums that housed their strider swords.

“STRIDER KING MEGAZORD!” They shouted in unison as the complete robotic warrior stood atop a cliff.

=============
But the Strider King stood firm as he cut each one down with a single slash. Byron and his teammates pulled their swords from their podiums and pointed at Cerberado. The megazord mimicked the ranger’s move and pointed its Stellar Saber at the quaking demon.

“Time to finish this!” Byron said calmly.

“STELLAR SABER! COSMIC SLASH!”

=========
“Well...” Byron began hesitantly. “She has a point. I mean, why keep building new things if they’re only gonna get knocked down by monsters anyway? Right? Wouldn’t it be better to wait until the 50 story demons are beaten?”

Now, it was Mike’s turn to mull over the terms. After a few moments of silence...

“Okay. Agreed.” Mike nodded.

“Agreed.” Tacari parroted.


Chapter 4 - Second Chances, Part I

A droplet of dew steadily trickled down the vein of a leaf, evident of the passing rain fall. A short storm had danced it's way through the jungle and happened to also grace the city with great force. Tropical storms were fairly common on Miranoi, as the inhabitants found out in their first tenure of living there many years back. Despite this, the city, and the buildings wherein, were resistant to those hurricane force winds and torrential downpours. Such a storm had passed by, leaving much of the city unharmed. The outskirts surronding the city of River's End however... that was certainly a mess.

The lovely backdrop of the jungle, just at the base of the city, was completely ransacked, scattering many leaves and debris consisting of thin trees and saplings. There were puddles of mud and water present in every which way the jungle floor was open. Clearly this wasn't the day for a hiking trip. Unfortunately... one particular person lacks such sense. Or rather... he doesn't get it readily.

Trudging through the moist and humid jungle grounds, wearing customary hiking gear, complete with an obsidian and garnet design, was the incurable optimist, Byron. Wiping a bit of sweat from his forehead, he made it to the top of a small pile of fallen arbors, taking a good look around to assess the damage. He sighed as he reached into his bag, feeling around for the object he needed. In a moment, in his hand was a small notebook and a writing utensil with a similar design, as it was a matching set. Byron mumbled to himself as he began to scribble down his own observations.

"I was hoping to run into Tacari if I came out here... she said she's stay within at least 40 miles..." As if on cue, a whoosh of wind blew past the young man, knocking him over into the mud. Within a few seconds of the assault, he started to hear some more incomprehensible shouting come from above him. He grinned and sat up, looking up at his attacker.

"Hnittes b moitcurtsnoc ftis eniheb zm lcab?! J xenk J u'ndluoc usurt neht! J mliw... Oh..." The attacker revealed herself to be the wild and wonderfully confrontational Tacari. She stopped her ramblings as her eyes laid on Byron. She turned away, clearly embarassed at her mistake... not that she'd admit to it. Byron just sat there in an indian-esque pose, with quite a large smile on his face. Neither said anything for a few minutes, making the whole thing seem incredibly awkward. Feeling the need to actually communicate, Tacari finally turned back around and addressed Byron, recovering her dignity, "... You shouldn't come wandering in here... I don't want to accidentally do something I'll regret later."

Byron shurgged off this dark premonition and said sweetly, "But, since you won't come to the city, save for emergencies, we can hardly know you. I came out here... to get to know you." Tacari's folded arms began to soften a fraction lighter, but she didn't let her surprise register on her face, instead, she shot back another question,

"I understand we happen to be a team, but you don't NEED to know me, why go through the trouble?" Byron placed a hand under his chin and looked up for a minute. He seemed to be deep in thought. When he looked back at Tacari, his expression was blank as he responded,

"I want to be your friend, isn't that a good enough reason?" She took a few moments to process this and her lips curved into a smooth smile, if only for a brief second. She turned her back to Byron and started to head into the jungle. Byron jumped and shouted out, "Wait!" Tacari stopped just before the foliage had consumed her. She turned her head slightly and said softly,

"You're naive... I don't know why, but that's one of your better qualities Byron..." With that, she disappeared into the moist green maze. Byron scratched his head and sighed.

"Man, I was hoping we could talk more... ah well, at least I got to see her, so it's not a total waste." As Byron headed back, his eye caught the sight of something gleaming in the low light that penetrated the jungle's canopies. Another rather endearing qualities was his insatiable curiousity. With a quick jump and a few paces forward, he was standing atop what he assumed was an uprooted tree. deeply embedded into the trunk was a circular object, shining orange, as if it was alive. Byron stared at the disc for a while. In the back of his mind, he knew that he had seen something similar to this... but where? It was recent too.

"Huh... where have I seen this...?" The feeling was nagging at him as he tried to think. As if to help him, the disc-like object began to glow bright, like a star. "Star...? Oh wait! That's right! This is the same as our Star Discs!" Byron grasped the disc and dislodged it from the trunk. In the intrum of this, a bright light shot out of the hole which the disc was sealed in. Byron didn't have the attention to notice, he was too excited over the disc... a potential increase to their firepower. But the light flew off the planet, shooting straight off in a path that was parallel to Celeste's star.

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Meanwhile, on the brilliant star itself, the ever-potent beauty of Celeste was in deep meditation. She was positioned atop of a spherical crystal, opaque in appearence, yet sparkled with the intensity of the star. Her eyes were shut while her body was fixed into a praying position. She stayed like this for many hours, the only time her concentration giving out was when a monster had attacked. She broke out of her conciousness and sighed.

"It's almost done... but I'm sure it will take many more days before it is finally complete..." she subconciously rubbed her arm, which was now bare, with no cloth to cover it. Trailing down from her shoulder to the wrist was a gruesome scar, it stood out in stark comparsion with her skin, which was a luminscent white with its crimson bloody hue. She raised her head to the stars around her, letting her eyes wander. She spoke next with a hollow tone,

"These stars are losing there luster without you... Orion..." She continued to stare into space, her mind lost in her own memories. The hand that was rubbing her arm suddenly stopped. Celeste instead used it to slowly reach into the void of darkness that was space, a face full of clear longing.

Without a hint of warning however, she jerked her head back towards the monitor of the planet, something catching her attention. As her eyes graced the screen, she was just in time to catch the sight of a flash of light... no... that wasn't an accurate description...

"That's...!" Celeste quickly dashed over to the monitor, searching around the atmosphere. "I thought he sealed them into the planet forever... why would they appear now?" She kept searching for the light, but by now it escaped her. With a grim look, she turned to the planet and whispered, "Which one was it...?" Her worry was increasing ten fold. If she was correct about the light that had passed her... the people of Miranoi, including the rangers themselves, were in grave danger...

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"YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS!" roared the infernal lord himself, Reapus. The news of his monster's defeat had come down many hours prior... and he still hasn't grasped his calm yet. Fuming with rage, he pointed at the cowardly minion before him. The squid-headed monster backstepped a bit in fear.

"Y-you must understand L-Lord Reapus... he obviously was not strong enough..." Reapus didn't take kindly to this and lashed back,

"ARE YOU SAYING MY MINIONS ARE INEFFECTIVE KALAMAX?!" The squid quickly shook his head in a variety of directions that implied a 'no'. He vocalized this in a stutter.

"O-of course not! W-why would you think of such a thing! The Lord has quite an imagination doesn't he C-Crescenda?" Across the room from them, the solitary mistress played her sad and often slow song on her shimasen. She didn't interrupt her playing, but she did offer a reply dryly,

"Really Kalamax? I heard the same thing too." Kalamax eyed her with anger aand muttered under his breath,

"Miserable witch." She smirked as she continued playing, quite undisturbed. Reapus, his eyes glowing a feral chrome, reached his hand towards the immense sword the laid at his belt. Kalamax quickly fell to his knees and pleaded, quite pitiably, for his life.

"OH PLEASE LORD REAPUS! SPARE ME! I WILL NOT MAKE SUCH A HEINOUS MISTAKE AGAIN!" Before the demon's hand was grasped around the hilt, something made him look up, deep into the sky above them, above the waters even. He let his hand down, something registering on his face. He then turned his back to the both of his minions and said roughly,

"Kalamax... you're spared for now. I still have some use for you... Crescenda... I leave the command of the monsters to you. Pick them as you like." With those short words out, he walked out of the room and went even further below deck... to his personal quarters. Crescenda was indifferent to it. Without a hint of interest, she strummed her instrument twice. A horrendous moan was heard below deck, screeching in the ears of most of the crew. In a flash of green, a spectral appirition appeared through the floor. The woman of musical wiles smiled.

"Yes... you'll do fine. Now... let's give you some form... Senior Bambina!" She quickly played a delicate melody of notes, each one transmuting the spectre into a solidified being. As the creation took shape, his features became more distinct. Protruding from his head, as well as his shoulders, were strands of what could be described as hair, but extremely superficial in color. His wardrobe was even stranger. What seemed to be a fine heavy armor traced his figure, with his head covered in a helmet-esque head piece. Draping down from his armor were little clothes that resembled something like ponchos, only in miniature. In terms of facial features, his eyes were as deep in hatred as Reapus, but were lighter in sheen. His mouth was in a permanately fixed fashion of half-closed and half-open. At his side though, there was a strikingly large armament, which he took in his hands and caressed. The barrel was unrealistical large for a fire-arm, even more so when considering that it was modeled after a bayonet... with a large knife of sorts added as an appendege to the gun's front. The monster bowed out of respect for the mistress and spoke swiftly,

"Ah! Mi amor, how may I be of service?" Crescenda smiled at her soldier. She nodded off to the surface.

"Your targets are the ones known as the Power Rangers." Bambina nodded, with a grim demeanor,

"Ah! Que suerte! I haven't had a battle with the rangers since the battle on Alpha Centari... I still have a score to settle with them." With a smile, his master responded,

"Good. Now, do your worst for them." Bambina bowed once more and disappeared from the deck, evaporating into the spectral form he had prior to his solidification. Crescenda, now satisfied her plan would work, begin to strum her instrument in anticipation of a new song. In the background however, Kalamax gritted his slimly teeth (or equivalent of), adamant in his hate. He muttered on the far side of the deck so his comrade couldn't hear him.

"... Reapus and Crescenda... you both shall rue the day you crossed me... and treated me like garbage. This I will make certain!"

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Meanwhile, at the Tower, many a head was turning in confusion. Lobbying into the Command Room was further in dismay. Commander Stanton and his first officier, Mike, was busy with more work than usual. Mike turned to the stack of paperwork that was piled in twelve different corners.

"Overseeing the city is one thing, but this time of the year is more a pain than usual... all these new commuters from earth... the regristration's hard enough as it is." His superior tipped his cap with a grin.

"At ease. Be thankful these forms are the only enemy we're facing today." Mike rolled his eyes. Deep inside, he honestly wished there WAS a monster attack... it'd be more gripping than this... with a sigh, he continued to file the newcomers into the database of the citizens of River's End. That is... until one file inparticular caught his interest. Flipping through it, he was shocked. With a stupid grin to rival that of Byron, he said quickly,

"Wow! She's coming back!" was all he said, everyone around him gave him a questioning look. It didn't last long though, as the alarms, like the sweet ringing of bells to his ears, began to scream with shrillness. Stanton quickly issued orders,

"Monitors on screen stat! Give me coordinates now! Officer Corbett, contact the rangers!" In an instant of his words, the actions were quickly done. Mike flipped his headpiece on and said just as swiftly,

"Celeste, we got a live one, have everyone head over to Sector B, near the center of the city."

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Shining on the city from above, the sun had placed itself on a high mount in the sky, as if to give itself more prominence. It hung over the city, making it gleam. It would've been a serene scene to be sure... if it wasn't for the stampede of fish-esque samurai that was inhibiting the population. Screams of terror rang out of the city, along with sword clashes and even some gunfire. Unlike the previous monsters, Bambina loved populated areas... made his job more... interesting.

"Si si! Now dance!" the psychotic gunsman laughed as he shot around the feet of the running people. In a matter of a moment though, a shaft of red energy crossed between him and the inhabitants. "Eh? Who is this?"

His answer came sooner than he thought. Forming a line, and side by side, the five rainbow-claded warriors turned their swords upon him and each said in turn,

“FIERY AS THE PLANET’S CORE! GALAXY STRIDER RED!” Byron shouted.

“UNPREDICTABLE AS A TSUNAMI! GALAXY STRIDER BLUE!” James called out.

“FIERCE AS A WINDSTORM! GALAXY STRIDER PINK!” Tacari said with confidence.

“STRONG AS A FOREST! GALAXY STRIDER GREEN!” Jun exclaimed.

“STEADY AS A MOUNTAIN! GALAXY STRIDER YELLOW!” Hannah shouted.

“We protect this planet with the power of the stars! POWER RANGERS: GALAXY STRIDERS!” The fivesome shouted as they struck their heroic pose.

The monster wasn't impressed. But rather he aimed his arm upon them. "You want to play? Then let's play!" He fired a stream of bullets at them, causing them to break formation. The Grimlings weren't about to sit this one out either. In droves, they piled on the rangers, more than the usual amount, this is true. However, they did manage to make a clean path for Byron to face Bambina head on.

"You're mine!" cried out Byron as he raised his sword, calling forth his weapon. "Star Disk Alpha, Nova Bihander!"With a mighty thrust, he heaved the weapon towards his enemy, who was rather nonchalant about it. Rather than react accordingly, he simply stood his ground, not moving. When the massive weapon made contact, the red ranger was sent blasting backwards with violent force. Bambina laughed as he said,

"Hahaha! Now you see? I am invulnearable to physical attacks! No one can hurt me!" Byron clutched his chest, staggering to get himself up. He wasn't about to give in.. no, not a chance. He opened his compartment in the belt a took out the orange disc, eyeing it curiously and impulsively slipping it onto the sword, reverting it back to it's base form. Spinning it, he called out, "Aurora Blade!" His sword was now engulfed in an intense inferno of flames, those that would match the sun in power. With a furious cry, he launched the energy at Bambina, who was shocked.

"Ay CALIENTE!" He cried out as the flames engulfed him, shooting past him and disintergrating him. Byron lefted the sword up, but the attack didn't finish. The inferno, like a snake of it's own accord, covered itself all around the area. The sidewalks were scorched, the buildings started to melt off their supports... and Byron tried to stop it.

"NO! PLEASE STOP!" He cried out. Alas, the flames didn't recognize him as their master. Byron's eyes caught a group of people, which included a young woman and a few children with their parents. He began to run towards them, helplessly trying to navigate those hellish flames. But to no avail. The deed was done. It could not become undone. The fire began to grow bored of its games and withered out, but once they left, the blackened and red skin of the victims was still festering in the young ranger's head. Horrified, he dropped his sword, ready to scream. The others, finally finished dispatching the Grimlings, joined him. With varying reactions.

"W-what the hell?" voiced James, his voice was clearly surprised that his friend was capable of such a thing.

"What in the world happened?!" said Hannah with worry. She hurried over to the surviving victims and began to help them up. Jun said nothing and instead placed his gloved hand over the burnt ground, the smoldering ashes still giving off puffs of smoke.

"Byron... just what happened?" Tacari, looked from Byron, then the damage, then Byron again. Secretly, she did enjoy the destruction... but she saw that her friend was shaking. With a terrible scream, he ran off from them, his morph becoming undone.

"BYRON!" called out James as he ran after him. Tacari placed a sword over his path. With a slight nod in his direction, she said,

"No... Byron needs to grip reality. Better he does now or we all will end up like those unfortunate ones there." She pointed to the people being carried on strechers, now that the ambulances had been called. She looked to the sky. "I just hope this isn't the thing that breaks him..."

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Watching from a distance, a young woman with blonde hair eyed the red ranger making his guilt-filled get-away. In a mere moment, she walked slowly towards the tower and placed her hand on the infrascanner. With a whoosh and a click, the machine rang out

"BIOSCAN COMPLETE... SUBJECT OF ORIGIN: KO-35... Name?" The young woman leaned towards the machine and whispered in a soft voice,

"Karone." The machine's screen went green, letting her into the Tower...

TO BE CONTINUED....

Due to his gross error, Byron has done the one thing he never thought he'd do... attack a civilian. Or rather, a group of them. Will he make amends with himself? And what was the mysterious power he had called upon? All this and more on the next POWER RANGERS GALAXY STRIDERS!

======


End of Act Four
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Old 03/20/11, 03:39 PM   #6
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Default RE: Power Rangers Galaxy Striders

Last time on Power Rangers: GALAXY STRIDERS...

**********

"Hnittes b ooitcurtsnoc ftis eniheb zm lcab?! J xenk J u'ndluoc usurt neht! J mliw... Oh..." The attacker revealed herself to be the wild and wonderfully confrontational Tacari. She stopped her ramblings as her eyes laid on Byron. She turned away, clearly embarassed at her mistake... not that she'd admit to it. Byron just sat there in an indian-esque pose, with quite a large smile on his face. Neither said anything for a few minutes, making the whole thing seem incredibly awkward. Feeling the need to actually communicate, Tacari finally turned back around and addressed Byron, recovering her dignity, "... You shouldn't come wandering in here... I don't want to accidentally do something I'll regret later."

"I want to be your friend, isn't that a good enough reason?"

"You're naive... I don't know why, but that's one of your better qualities Byron..." With that, she disappeared into the moist green maze. Byron scratched his head and sighed.

**********

"Huh... where have I seen this...?" The feeling was nagging at him as he tried to think. As if to help him, the disc-like object began to glow bright, like a star. "Star...? Oh wait! That's right! This is the same as our Star Discs!" Byron grasped the disc and dislodged it from the trunk. In the intrum of this, a bright light shot out of the hole which the disc was sealed in. Byron didn't have the attention to notice, he was too excited over the disc... a potential increase to their firepower. But the light flew off the planet, shooting straight off in a path that was parallel to Celeste's star.

**********

"That's...!" Celeste quickly dashed over to the monitor, searching around the atmosphere. "I thought he sealed them into the planet forever... why would they appear now?" She kept searching for the light, but by now it escaped her. With a grim look, she turned to the planet and whispered, "Which one was it...?" Her worry was increasing ten fold. If she was correct about the light that had passed her... the people of Miranoi, including the rangers themselves, were in grave danger...

**********

"Yes... you'll do fine. Now... let's give you some form... Senior Bambina!" She quickly played a delicate melody of notes, each one transmuting the spectre into a solidified being. As the creation took shape, his features became more distinct.

"Ah! Mi amor, how may I be of service?" Crescenda smiled at her soldier. She nodded off to the surface.

**********

"Wow! She's coming back!" was all he said, everyone around him gave him a questioning look.

**********

"Hahaha! Now you see? I am invulnearable to physical attacks! No one can hurt me!"

"Aurora Blade!" His sword was now engulfed in an intense inferno of flames, those that would match the sun in power. With a furious cry, he launched the energy at Bambina, who was shocked.

"Ay CALIENTE!" He cried out as the flames engulfed him, shooting past him and disintergrating him. Byron lefted the sword up, but the attack didn't finish.

"NO! PLEASE STOP!" He cried out. Alas, the flames didn't recognize him as their master. Byron's eyes caught a group of people, which included a young woman and a few children with their parents. He began to run towards them, helplessly trying to navigate those hellish flames. But to no avail. The deed was done. It could not become undone. The fire began to grow bored of its games and withered out, but once they left, the blackened and red skin of the victims was still festering in the young ranger's head. Horrified, he dropped his sword, ready to scream. The others, finally finished dispatching the Grimlings, joined him. With varying reactions.

"W-what the hell?" voiced James, his voice was clearly surprised that his friend was capable of such a thing.

"Byron... just what happened?" Tacari, looked from Byron, then the damage, then Byron again. Secretly, she did enjoy the destruction... but she saw that her friend was shaking. With a terrible scream, he ran off from them, his morph becoming undone.

"BYRON!" called out James as he ran after him. Tacari placed a sword over his path. With a slight nod in his direction, she said,

"No... Byron needs to grip reality. Better he does now or we all will end up like those unfortunate ones there." She pointed to the people being carried on strechers, now that the ambulances had been called. She looked to the sky. "I just hope this isn't the thing that breaks him..."

**********

"BIOSCAN COMPLETE... SUBJECT OF ORIGIN: KO-35... Name?" The young woman leaned towards the machine and whispered in a soft voice,

"Karone." The machine's screen went green, letting her into the Tower...


Chapter 5 - Second Chances, Part 2

The atmosphere in the city was tense. The sky reflected the grimness of the mood, as the clouds began their waltz across it, bringing their storming partner rain, and her cousins thunder and lightning. The lake that cut into the city was naturally protected from overflowing in this situation, by its sheer ability to carry immeasurable volumes of the life-giving liquid.

Running down its banks was a peculiar mixture to be sure. A salty material mixed in with the lake in marginal amounts, the source of their origin being a figure sitting by the lake's banks. He sat, his arms crossed over his legs, trying to hold himself together. Tears streamed down his face, mixing with the rain run-off on the grass. For many hours he stayed in this position, not saying a word, but feeling tormented.

It wasn't until he heard the squish of a puddle splashing did he turn his head, frowning at the new comer. Placing her umbrella over the drenched young man, the youthful beauty knelt down besides him, tilting her head as she surveyed him. Their eyes met briefly, for a passing second. The golden-haired woman then spoke, albeit softly.

"... You remind me of someone I know. Or rather... someone I used to know." The young man didn't dignify this with a response. He looked away from her, speaking lowly, almost inaudiably,

"Stay away from me." She wasn't going to let in that easily. Instead, she tried a different approach.

"You are feeling guilty and responsible for something aren't you?" This got his attention. Safeguarding himself, he didn't know whether to trust her. Through her years of experience, she was used to distrust. That didn't mean she couldn't work around it. He simply nodded to her original question. She continued,

"Sometimes... things that we can't imagine happen. And you'd give anything for a chance to turn back time and do it over... I know the feeling all too well. I had to work through it somehow. But I was able to, because I had the one thing that made it bearable..." Byron was listening intently now, although he doubted anything she said would have mattered. With a small breath, she finished, "... I had friends. Something you have back there." She pointed towards the tower. Byron looked from her, to the tower and then back. He shook his head.

"No... they're better off without me..." Her eyes glossed over to the square, as the rain diminished and came to a halt. It was her turn to shake her head.

"Really?.... it looks like they could use your help." Byron picked his head up and looked towards the scene.

"Ay! No Red Ranger to save you this time!" shouted out Bambina. The four rangers, fully morphed, held their swords at attention.

"The four of us are more than enough for you. Let's get 'em guys!" shouted out James. With a chrous of approval, the rangers charged the enemy, unaware of his special body. A small pang in the back of his head told Byron that he had to help them.

I have to help them! cried his conciousness, growing louder as the rangers came one step closer to colliding with Bambina. No... I'll only cause more people to be hurt, reasoned his guilty side. Back and forth he went, trying to balance it. The woman next to him shook her head.

"You don't need to think about it too hard. From what I've heard about you... you'd rush into danger for anyone. Do you want to see your friends die right before your eyes? They need you. The city needs you. If those mistakes are heavy on your heart, then let your friends bear it as well. You don't have to suffer alone." Byron's concious grew even louder, drowning out his guilt. With a nod to the woman, he ran towards the group, morpher at the ready.

"Hasta la vista ninos y ninas!" Bambina aimed his rather large gun-arm and fired instantly. He shot the rangers, barrages of bullets trailing their bodies, knocking them backwards. Sparks flew from their suits, the pain shooting through them.

"AAAhhhhh....errrr..... Don't give up guys!" shouted James in between the spurts of pain. Tacari, dashing ahead, held her sword in front of her, aiming for the monster's chest. She quickly stabbed him, striking him dead-on. But, as in the case with Byron before her, she was blasted backwards as soon as the sword touched Bambina.

"Tacari!" cried out Hannah, running to catch her before she landed into the concrete. Jun stepped between Bambina and the two girls, striking a defensive stance. Before Bambina could fire another round, a voice called out,

"HOLD IT!" The figure of Byron ran between them. Bambina was amused.

"Oh? El chico comes back for more torment? You might lose control again!" Byron shook his head.

"Maybe that's true... but if my friends are with me, I can handle anything!" Flicking his morpher open, he called out, "RIDE THE NOVA!"

After he stepped off his comet, Byron appeared, fully morphed. He drew his sword, placing the disk on it. Spinning it, he called out, "Star Disk Alpha, Nova Bihander, BURST MODE!" Wrenching the handle forwards, the large broadsword faced forward, turning itself into a cannon. With some hesitation, he placed the orange disk onto the weapon. The others, allowing themselves to get up, joined him, placing their discs onto the cannon.

"ALPHA!"
"BETA!"
"GAMMA!"
"DELTA!"
"EPSILON!"

The group aimed at Bambina, who shied away. With a forceful group cry, they sounded off,

"ZETA BULLET!" Byron pulled the trigger. When the energy beam made contact with him, Bambina flung his hands in the air, growing large to avoid the attack. Byron looked back to his friends and nodded.

"I'm sorry I ran off guys... I just couldn't take it. Those people got hurt because of me..." Hannah shook her head.

"Yes... but they were easily cured. There was no permanent harm done. I'm sure they can forgive you... we already have." The group nodded. Tacari even responded.

"You're still as naive as ever... welcome back Byron." Byron smiled at Tacari's indirect kindness. He took a glance at the enlarged Bambina and spoke to his team.

"Thanks guys. Now let's knock this guy down a peg or two. Call the zords!" Whipping out their devices, the called out,

"ALPHA LION!”

“BETA DRAGON!”

“GAMMA TURTLE!”

“DELTA BEAR!”

“EPSILON MONKEY!”

“ZORDS UNITE!”

Soon, the lion zord opened up and rearranged itself to form the head and torso while the yellow and pink zords formed the arms. The green and blue zords went on to form the legs with an extra component flying off of the dragon zord. The arms snapped on to the red torso before the upper half attached itself to the legs. The extra piece that flew off formed the regal shogun helmet that the megazord would wear into battle. The chinstrap materialized and a long sword with the five animals etched into the blade appeared.. In th cockpit, the five rangers appeared in front of podiums that housed their strider swords.

“STRIDER KING MEGAZORD!” They shouted in unison as the complete robotic warrior stood atop a cliff. Bambina grinned, knowing his invulnerability still stood.

"Ay! Even now, swords are worth zero to me!" He shot several times at the megazord, which caused it to kneel down. The rangers fumbled around in the cockpit, trying to stablize the controls. James banged the consle he was at.

"How can we get near him?! If we can't get close enough, we'll never damage him!" Jun began to sweat under the helmet, but Byron wasn't worried. In fact, a voice in his head had told him the secret to winning was THAT. His mind snapped again to the orange disk and he took it out, placing it on his sword. Spinning it he called out,

"Star Summon!" The beetle that was trapped within the disk flew out of it and placed itself in front of the megazord. The entire team was shocked, save the guided Byron.

"It's a beetle!" observed Hannah in wonder.

"A zord that comes from a disk? That's new." replied Jun.

Byron called out,

"ZETA KAFER!" He placed the sword back into the console as the zord came to life. Its head spun around, as if like a drill. Bambina was surprised to say the least.

"Eso es malo! That thing!" He aimed down at it, firing down at the ground. Byron, controlling the new zord, made it move forward, ignoring the bullets. Once it got to the feet of the monster, He took the blade out a tiny bit and spun the disk. With great force, the zord threw Bambina a good distance. He struggled to get back up and shouted,

"NO! I will be the winner! Grimlings, come now!" The tall henchmen made a wall against the megazord and the small beetle. The zord opened it's jaws and fired a fire-like beam, creating a path through the wall of Grimlings. Celeste interrupted them, although her usual calm was apparently missing.

".. Bring them together. The Kafer will help you win..." She was hiding something. Worry?

"Let's bring it together!" Byron nodded.

"Armor Form Activate!" The beetle split itself into parts. Firstly, the pairs of legs seperated themselves and reattached to the arms of the megazord. The main body propped itself ontop of the head, replacing the original helmet. The bottom horn split itself open, revealing the megazord's face. Byron slid the sword into the console again and the team called out,

"Strider King Megazord, Terra Mode!" The impressive figure of the new megazord made the Grimlings tremble with fear. Bambina fired at their feet and called out,

"Don't be afraid, get them!" The Grimlings with arrows fired at the megazord, who in turn destroyed them with a blast of heat from it's helmet. Then, it unsheathed its sword and plowed through them, slashing and slicing each one in their way. Lastly only Bambina was left. He stuttered,

"B-B-But swords don't work on me!" He pulled the gun forward, but the megazord was faster. It fired another intense blast of heat from the helmet region, knocking the gun out of his hand. Together, the team drew their swords and made a thrust position. The megazord leaned on one knee as they called out,

"ASTRAL NOVA BURST!" The head of the beetle closed again, masking the face of the megazord. Both of the horns spun and spun, rapidly drawing energy. At its peak, the drill-like attack glowed firece orange and the rangers pushed their swords forward, crying,

"Ha!" The energy was released in the form of a giant fireball, which rammed against the monster. It drilled through him and he shrieked,

"Ai! La muerte!" As he fell down and was destroyed in a fiery explosion. The megazord made a pose and the rangers congradulated each other as per usual. Byron was especially happy... although he had a few questions for Celeste later...

======


End of Act 5
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