The Wider World Part I:- Arrivals Chapter Two
POWER RANGERS :- Demon Wars
The Wider World Part I:- Arrivals
Sari sipped at her hot chocolate and sat back. Over in the corner what the young techno-organic guessed was an extended family traded stories. She wondered what that would be like, lots of friends and family. The only family she ever had was her father and the only friends the Autobots. Now here she was, alone and so far way from even them.
Quickly crushing that thought Sari bit her bottom lip, she couldn't afford to cry in public, or to dwell on what had happened.
Eight months earlier:-
Sari looked out from Omega's front window. Earth hung there in the night sky, growing bigger as they got closer and closer. She grinned at the sight, even if she wasn't human it was still her home. Turning around she offered a smile at Optimus who grinned back.
"To tell you the truth I'm glad to be back." the red and blue robot admitted.
"Really?" she laughed.
Optimus nodded. "When I was a cadet I day dreamed of standing before the council, a champion. I would have lead a great battle with the Elite Guard, defeating Decepticons after a bitter struggle. Then, after what happened to Elitea… well by the time I met you I had already given up on it. Some dreams don't stand up well to reality. Now it's come true I should have been more careful about what I wished for."
Sari wasn't sure what he meant, "So why are you happy to be back?"
"If I'm honest I'm one among several down there. Back on Cybertron I am the hero, not the others. It's me that they pay attention to, I feel like I'm some sort of legend that I have to live up to. I can't do that."
Sari laughed and was about to say something when Ratchet cursed behind them. "By Primus!"
Optimus looked up and gasped; "Sari, don't look!" he whispered urgently, but it was too late she already had.
At first she thought it was the wrong planet. They were a lot closer now and from what she could see it couldn't have been Earth. Dirty great clouds billowed out of craters easily visible from space. Whole continents were surrounded in ruddy red bands and made of nothing but charred ash. Thousands of fires, swallowing whole forests, sparkled in the night side of the planet.
It was the end of the world and all she could think about was her dad. "What, what happened here?" she gasped.
Eight months later:-
Sari shook here head to clear it and quietly brush away a tear. She couldn't let that happen to this Earth. The Warlord and his forces had to be stopped. Quickly finishing the drink she stood up, pulling a few notes from her pocket.
She felt a little guilty about that, it wasn't really stealing because no one had really lost anything, but that didn't' make it legal. The cash machine had been friendly and it was only a minor thing for her and her abilities to convince it to give her a little spending money. If anyone checked there wouldn't be any record. Still it wasn't her money and if they did notice they might just pull the machine apart to find out what happened. It didn't deserve that, so she hoped for it's sake they didn't check.
Leaving what she guessed was a good enough tip Sari nodded to the waitress and left. She wasn't three steps from the door before an internal alarm went crazy.
Tretrax hissed as he paced a path in the solid rock. A'Zores was the up and coming general. He'd already conquered seven dimensions in the name of the Warlord. The very thought that a Converted could succeed where he, Tretrax; General of almost twenty Earths, had failed. It was enough to and him into a rage. Tretrax had lead armies personally thought fire, magic and technology. That pretender, that half-breed, hadn't dreamed of the sort of carnage he revelled in.
The Warlord knew Tretrax hated the dilettante and was using that hatred. They both knew it and they both knew it would work. He would already have lept into action if he had thought of something to do, but experience had shown that without careful planning he'd lose
These Rangers had faced armies, designed to tire them out. Rockthorn's shear force and Dydtrax's deviousness. Each time coming back stronger, more powerful and skilled than before. Everything he did just seemed to strengthen them. He needed a new tactic, one that they couldn't expect, or adapt to.
Silently he ran through everything he had at his disposal, none were useful. It would take too much time and effort to summon his larger forces. By the time they had crossed the dimensions the Warlord's patience would have exhausted and the Rangers would be more powerful than ever.
Then it came to him, there was a force close enough and big enough to make a difference. Humans weren't the only dominate species, and some worlds were more suited for hunting than conquering. Most Generals ignored those worlds, They were of vey little use to the Warlord after all and dominating them was a waste of effort. Tretrax on the other hand had often enjoyed taking the more difficult humans and toying with them. A hunting world was always a good place to watch them struggle.
One such world was practically next door, and had his most experienced gamekeeper at hand. Chuckling the Demon General threw out a clawed hand, rending reality and calling forth his servant.
Dawn grinned as Cassie tried to keep control of the conversation. Dr Jackson was a odd guy. She could tell he was good, picking up on a few little things she fired at him, but there was something off about him. He knew a little too much not to be an expert, the sort of person that could easily earn a five figure sum behind some lost desk in a museum somewhere. Happily translating books, carvings and whatever.
But he was in too good a shape for that, and there was something about him that reminded her of Giles. The same hidden depths and dangerous potential. He wasn't the sort of person that would be hiding behind a desk. He would be out there, up to his knees in a dig and finding just the wrong sort of artefact, but he wouldn't be anywhere near an army.
Then there was Teal'c. He just sat back and watched, wearing a silly baseball cap pulled low and trying to hide a tribal tattoo. He wasn't doing a good job about it though. Dawn could see it was there and could tell it was gold, but she couldn't make it out. Looking at the two of them Dawn got an unsettling feeling about Cassie. She didn't know what sort of group would need both a translator and a guide that would be anywhere near Canada.
In fact Dawn was having serious doubts that Cassie had ever been there. While there were things that didn't add up with her friends there were somethings that really didn't make sense with Dawn's super-evolved roommate.
That was going to have to wait, as Cassie tried to steer the conversation away from Daniel, Teal'c or why they were in town both their wrist watches bleeped their warning. "What was that?" the large, dark skinned, man asked.
"Oh just a little reminder, so we don't miss classes." Dawn lied quickly. "We'd better get going."
"Urm… yeah!" Cassie agreed. "We've both got class, must get to class. Bye." Grabbing their bags the two Rangers made a quick getaway. Dawn noticing that Faith had slipped out the back. Instead of going down the street the two of them met up with the Slayer in the alley.
"Let's beam out before your friends decide to follow." The Slayer said rolling her sleeve up.
Landing in the Command Centre they found Alpha and Dr Oliver hunched over a set of controls. "What's the sitch?" Dawn asked pulling her morpher from her bag.
"You're here! Good." Dawn's professor said before pointing to the Viewing Globe that was only showing static. "It looks like Tretrax is up to his old games again, Alpha's picked up multiple readings. We're trying to track them down…"
Dawn saw it the same time he did. The static fizzled out and cleared, showing a group of something's slouching about. "What the hell are those?" Cassie asked aloud.
"They kinda look like Oz did on a full moon, but it's daylight out." Faith said, frowning.
"Oz?" Dr Oliver asked.
"He's a werewolf, well lapsed now." Dawn shrugged. "But that's not what these are. I think these guys are Hell-hounds."
"Hell-hounds." Cassie winced."'I thought those were supposed be big black dogs."
Dawn shook her head, remembering her watcher training. "Those are familiars and sprit forms, Witches summon and use them for all sorts of things. These guys are the real deal, think of them like trained attack monkeys. Not to bright, but rabies isn't the worse thing to worry about."
"Trained attack monkeys?" Faith repeated. "Demons made of rock and demon chicks that steal your life force. I thought things were wacky back in Sunnydale."
Dr Oliver laughed; "It's a normal week for me, you should have been around back when we had to deal with Tengu Warriors. Alright you three go,but you'd better be careful, Alpha's also picking up two big sources of evil energy, but we can't pin them down. If I had to guess Tretrax has more than just Hell-hounds left to throw at the City."
"He's not aiming at the City." Faith pointed out.
"Faith's right." Cassie agreed. "They're too far away from the centre. Its got to be a trap."
Dawn nodded. "But if we don't spring it we all know what will happen." They did, Tretrax wasn't going to stop so neither could they. After a grave moment the other Rangers nodded. "It's morphing time!"
Beaming to a quarry, just outside the city, the three of them landed and ran up the rim of the mine. Looking down they were met with a shock. "What is this, amateur hour?" Faith asked, hefting her Power Axe.
Below, fighting off the Hell-hounds, was a girl in a pail yellow outfit and a helmet. It was a Ranger costume, but it came close. She even had a mini-skirt, like the three of them had. On the other hand they didn't have robotic helmets, or a nifty little backpack thing. "I don't know who she is, but it looks like she can handle herself." Cassie pointed out.
Faith snorted. "Yeah, for an amateur. Wouldn't last two minutes against a real threat."
Dawn decided to cut them off. "Real or not she can't take them all on at once. Let's get down there." She leapt down, aiming for one of the hounds with a good boot. Cassie and Faith were just behind, swinging their weapons.
Something crunched in the skull of the hound as Dawn's foot came down. The girl in yellow spun around. "Power Rangers! I've been looking everywhere for you, should have know you'd turn up!" She put up a high block against another Hound, easily stopping it.
Dawn drew her Flute and struck at it's underside, instead of melting into a pile of goo these things just fell to the ground, leaving blood and guts like a normal beast. "Yuck, I'm glad I don't have to pay a dry cleaning bill." She winced as various fluids sprayed down her leg.
"I know what you mean." The girl agreed. She was doing fairly well unarmed and despite Faith's scepticism she wasn't that bad a fighter. This close Dawn could see it wasn't just a helmet, but the whole costume was mechanical. The cloth was some sort of flexible metal, with little joints at the elbows and knees. The helmet was yellow with two rabbit like ears laid back. Dawn had no idea what they were for, but looked sort of like pig tails. The girls face was covered with an armoured plate and her eyes were glowing bright blue. The same blue as some sort of device on her chest.
Faith and Cassie fought their way down to them and, casually blasting Hell-hounds either side, the four of them made a small circle. Ready to take on the army. As the demonic creatures charged the three Rangers and their new friend they were quickly cut down.
"That's enough!" Someone shouted and the Hounds slouched back, growling at the four girls. Then from one direction they melted away, making a path for something that almost made Dawn throw up.
"Who invited Quasimodo's ugly brother." Cassie quipped, sounding more that a little shaken. Dawn couldn't blame her, it looked like someone had shaven a Troll. A horrifyingly ugly mismatched face, with a mouth full of broken tusks. It's flat nose was pig like and shoved up one side and caveman brow jutted out almost as far as it's chin.
It was hunched over, one overly long arm knuckle dragging like a crutch. It's short stubby legs made it lope rather than walk. In it's shorter arm it dragged a long leather whip held to what looked like a log handle by a couple links of chain. In all it was perhaps the most barbaric monster Dawn had seen. "Well then, I was expecting three pretties. Where did the fourth come from?"
"I don't think I want you to know." The girl sounded at least as disturbed as Cassie had, but not as afraid.
"I know I don't" The Blue Ranger whispered, backing off further. Dawn knew they needed to do something, and quickly. Cassie wasn't going to be much use against this guy, not that Dawn could blame her. Between them she and Faith had faced worse, that meant it was gong to be their job.
Sari saw the Blue one take a step back, then the Green and Gold one spun the dagger thing in her hand and got into an en-guard position. "Black, you're with me. Blue, you and our new friend keep the doggies busy."
"Doggies?" Sari asked. "You don't mean those things do you?"
"Stick with me" The Blue one twisted her staff, broke it in two and charged some of the, whatever they were. Green and Black jumped, their own weapons swinging at the monster.
The Rangers were just as good as the news said. While the two of them kept the creature busy Blue, now with two weapons, was fighting to keep the "doggies" off her teammate's backs.
Now it was her turn, Ratchet's bypass still meant she couldn't activate her Energon blades, Thunder hammer or even her jump jets. The only thing she could do was activate her blasters. Flicking her hands she gave the mental command and they opened up. Sections slid away and repositioned, splitting and revealing a blue emitter. Ramping up the power Sari created two glowing balls of destructive power and fired. Scattering the shambling whatevers.
"Nice trick!" The Blue one shouted taking down another two. Sari wasn't sure why but every time a Ranger hit one of these things it exploded, sending the very dead thing spinning away. "Help me keep them busy!"
"What about your friends, don't they need our help?" Sari looked. Somehow they'd forced the ringleader back and out of the circle of minions. Right then the Black one was being thrown about by the whip while the Green and Gold one was on it's back, trying to wrestle it to the ground.
"They'll be fine. They do this sort of thing all the time." Blue laughed, trying to reassure her. Twisting the two staffs back into one she swept the legs out from under several attackers and then drew a pistol from her holster. Shooting each of them in quick succession.
Sari had to admit she was jealous, Not only did these guys have a colour scheme they kicked ass. They also had staffs, axes, daggers and now laser pistols, sure if she had access she had all sorts of cool toys too, but last time she did that she had almost overloaded and had stabbed Bumblebee thought the chest plate.
Ignoring that inward shudder Sari fired off another two blasts. Only a handful of these things remained and Blue was dealing with them. With her weapon united again she used it to pole-vault into the middle of them. A few short blows later and they were down
Sari ran up to them. "Cool, now let's help your friends."
The Blue Ranger shook her head. "No chance, I'm not going anywhere near that thing. Besides They've got it under control." Sari looked and had to agree.
Faith grunted as the ugly troll pulled on his whip, it was wrapped around the shaft of her axe good and tight and this guy was strong. Dawn was still trying in vain to pull him down and brake his grip.
It wasn't going well and sooner or later something was going to have to give, then something did. One of the chain links holding whip to it's handle snapped in two. and both of them were sent flying back. Faith, years of training and Ranger powers helped her roll to her feet instantly.
Dawn, also thanks to her Ranger powers, jumped. Narrowly avoiding being flattened. "Ugh, I don't wan't to get that close again." The Green Ranger hissed. "I don't think this guy's heard of a bath."
"I can smell him from here, thanks." Faith joked, unwrapping the length of leather from her axe.
Raging the Troll snarled. "You despicable bitches, you broke my whip!" as he pawed himself up.
"No really?" Dawn said sarcastically and brought up her Flute. She played that catchy little tune of her's and green lightning flew out from the tip. The Troll was just getting to his feet when the bolts struck. The Troll bellowed in pain as he was thrown back.
Dawn backed off and it was Faith's turn, she didn't want to use Cannon mode just yet but she still had a few tricks. Just like driving the Zord Faith Knew what her Axe could do and how to do it. "Power Axe, ground strike!" She shouted and channeled her strength through the Power Axe. Bringing it up and straight down she buried the blade deep into the ground.
A massive crack sprung out from the ground, kicking dirt and dust into the air. The crack was so deep Faith could have sworn she saw a ruddy red glow at the bottom. As it grew the deep scar jutted straight at the Troll, when it hit all the force went with it. The explosion threw the heavy set demon off his feet and into the air. Pulling the Power Axe out of the ground the crack closed.
"Nice one." Dawn laughed, patting her on the back. "Now let's finish him off, lets Combine our weapons."
Faith instantly knew what she was talking about, but without the other Rangers it didn't make much sense. "How do you mean?"
"My Flute, your Cannon. Put them together and that should be enough to finish him off."
"You can't be…" Then Faith realised what she meant. "Oh, good idea!"
"You'll pay for that!" The Troll bellowed, loping towards them. Faith wasn't going to give them the chance and neither was Dawn. Shifting the Axe into it's Cannon mode she brought the barrel up. Dawn dropped the Flute hilt first into it.
"Ready?" The Green Ranger nodded
"Ready." Faith agreed. Dawn spun quickly. She was on one knee facing the Troll, with her other leg straight out to one side. Faith brought down the combined weapon onto the Green Ranger's shoulder.
"Locked!" Dawn announced, putting one hand on the Cannon. Faith felt her friend channel her power.
"Loaded." Faith did the same, combined Faith could tell how much power the Green Ranger had, it was amazing. No wonder she thought she could take on Tretrax alone, she probably could.
Together the pair of Rangers threw their free hands out, pointing at the Troll "Fire!" The blast was titanic, channeled through both weapons it was more than enough to blast a hole in the demon and then some.
Standing up and disengaging their weapons, Faith and Dawn turned their backs as what felt like half the quarry went up in a black and green fireball. Cassie and the girl ran up.
"That was so cool!" The girl in yellow laughed. "Zap, crack, kaboom! No wonder you've other on the run! Wow, if we had anything like that back home they wouldn't stand a chance!"
"Back home?" Dawn asked, looking her up and down. "That's not around here is it?" Faith hadn't bothered to get a good look. At first she thought the girls costume was something that had been nocked together in the shed, but she was wrong. It looked far too intricate to be something put together by a fan trying to be a Ranger. What mostly convinced her was the glowing blue eyes and crystal like thing in the chest plate.
Before she could ask about it they were bombarded by fireballs. Thrown from their feet the four of them looked up. "Four! every time I think I've defeated you, you Rangers find new ways to thwart me!" Tretrax's voice bellowed. "Let's see you battle this. Let the power of darkness infuse you!"
A dark shadow fell over the fallen Troll, "I hoped they couldn't do that here!" The girl cried out. The inky black shadow grew huge, then pulled back. Like it was flowing down a drain, leaving the giant Troll completely unscathed and towering over them.
"Sorry to disappoint." Faith told her, "But don't worry. We've got something up our sleeves." A quick glance to Cassie told Faith she was ready. Together they reached for the sky. "We need Dinozord power, now!" They called out and in the distance their Zords responded.
End Chapter Two