Final Invasion, Chapter Four
POWER RANGERS:- Demon Wars
Alright then, three things before we get into it.
First; The length of time between chapters. I'm sorry I really am but the events in this chapter have been on the cards since I started this story and then mother nature has to come along and make it bad taste. You'll see what I mean when you get into it but needless to say after the East coast of the USA had a interesting time with the weather this chapter needed to wait a while.
Second; Chapter Four, of three. As I've said many times I've written this as a missing season of Power Rangers and a replacement for Buffy's season 8+9 comics. Ws such I tried to keep an episodic structure to it all. This ladies and gentlemen is the end of the season, and the show. Think of it as a made for TV movie and leave it at that, the structure has changed but it's the only way I could fit all this in!
Third; I was hoping to have this whole thing finished before the end of the year. I might have this final "Episode" done by then but there are two epilogues to come. Real life isn't behaving at the moment so other than that I can't say when the next chapters will be out.
"Yes!" Buffy hissed breathlessly. Dawn hadn't seen much of her fight with A'Zores but she could take a good guess as to how it went. Buffy had looked better, parts of her were still smoking after what she guessed was a lightning strike. Dawn remembered how that felt and she liked the idea of finally getting A'Zores back for that too.
Only she wasn't gloating, she was worried. Very, very worried.
The problem was it all felt too easy. The quick distraction giving the others a chance to assemble the Power Blaster and let rip. A'Zores knew they had it, he wasn't stupid enough to fall for something that easy and even less likely to risk going against them without something up his sleeve.
Then, not a heartbeat later, her worst fears came true.
The fireball that had engulfed him an the woman seemed to reverse, shrinking in on itself until it vanished completely. Like water being sucked down a drain. In the middle of it A'Zores stood there, as still as a statue, holding a lump of shiny black something in his outstretched hand. Even from where she was Dawn could feel that whatever it was was powerful. Powerful and pure evil.
"What the hell is that?" Dawn's injured sister asked breathlessly.
"The starters gun." A'Zores gloated. Moving slowly he raised it up, high above his head. Every piece of glass a mile in every direction exploded instantly. Showering them all with shards of razor sharp rain. On instinct Dawn covered her sister's head, holding her tight against the building.
As the glass shattered off her back and quickly stopped Dawn looked around and saw the Demon General still laughing. The dark skinned vampire that was once Kendra actually looked afraid, not that Dawn could blame her. They had to stop this before A'Zores could finish whatever he was doing.
At the moment she could only see one way, interrupt the spell by charging straight at him. Dawn was about to make a desperate dash when the ground erupted around them. Not just shake, but literally jump up.
Great cracks shattered the asphalt and cut the street up like a jagged jigsaw puzzle. Some parts fell, swallowing cars and park benches whole. Others shot up like broken, jagged and rotting teeth. Lampposts exploded out of the ground, embedding themselves in the third floors of sounding buildings. Of course a fire hydrant ruptured too. It sent chunks of metal out like a grenade, one the size of a hand buried itself just over Buffy's shoulder.
The whole world seemed to be screaming out at what was happening, like a dog trying to shake water off it's back and it was only getting worse. A roaring wind picked up from out of nowhere as the rest of the Rangers staggered to them. "We've got to get out of here!" Connor shouted, battered down by the gathering gale.
A newspaper box, picked up by the wind, bounced off a car and into Faith. Somehow the Slayer kept her feet, but she was staggered by the blow. Things were only getting worse. Connor was right, if they stayed where they were they were all dead. Dawn held on to Buffy tightly and slapped the transport button on her watch. Nothing happened.
The earthquakes got stronger, enough to force everyone closer to the ground. "I'm the last person to suggest running, but Red Boy's right!" Buffy snapped as masonry started to fall about all around them. "Wouldn't now be a great time to beam us out of here!"
"I'm trying, somethings wrong!" Dawn shouted over the sound of concrete snapping like dry twigs. Pressing the other button on her watch Dawn called the Command Centre. "Alpha, what's going on?"
"Ay, ay, ay!" The robot responded, sounding even more panicked than usual over the static. "Sensor overload, sensor overload! Evil energy readings are off the scale!" In the background there was an explosion and the static got stronger.
"Just get us out of here!" Cassie shouted over the wind.
"Can't, too much interference!" Alpha told them as the hiss of static became a roar. He tried to say something else, but Dawn couldn't make it out before the watch squawked and they lost contact.
Dawn bit back a few choice swearwords Faith had introduced her to. They were trapped. Cassie grabbed her arm. "We need out of here now, your sister's badly hurt."
"I know!" Dawn snapped, she was worried too and could see Buffy was in a bad way. "But unless you have a better idea…" she trailed off, realising she already did. "Sari try and brake through the interference, get Jack on the phone. Tell him we need a lift!"
There was a startled moment before Sari nodded sharply and looked up into the darkening sky. "Cassie do what you can for her, guy's we've got to keep them covered." Faith and Connor agreed drawing their Blade-blasters
A'Zores though wasn't interested, he was still busy with whatever spell he was performing. For a moment Dawn toyed with the idea of interrupting him. She didn't know what that would do to the spell. It could stop it or send the whole thing out of control. She wasn't going to risk it and from the way the others were holding off neither were they.
Even if they did try Dawn wasn't sure they'd even hit. A terrible tornado of darkness had sprung out of the black lump in A'Zores hand. It twisted and turned into the sky high above them before splitting into three parts that spun off like strands of a web. Dark blasts of lightning scattered across and between them, leaving fading lines between them. Under the criss-cross of lines the sun itself seemed to dim and the world grew cold.
Great jagged shards of black top rippled and jutted out of the ground like broken glass. Power cables, left over from the street lights, began to dance. Sparking and jumping from everything they touched. Dawn had seen the end of the world before, but it had never been driven home like this. It was all she could do to hold on and ride out the storm, if it ever ended.
Xander ducked as a black lightning bolt shot down from the sky and hit nearby. 'We've got to do something!' one of his Slayers shouted. Pulling out his phone, Xander tried Buffy first but there was no answer.
As soon as he hung up Xander's phone almost leapt out of his hand. He glanced at the Caller ID. "Willow, thank god… Buddah, Gia or whatever. Where are you?"
"Still at the apartments…" she started
"Get out of there!" Xander shouted turning to look at the building. It was far to close to whatever was happening. Even if too close in his opinion was the same hemisphere.
"We're already packing, where are you?" She asked urgently.
Xander let out a breath. "We're heading to the college, the others are meeting us there." he glanced around.
"Dawn… the Rangers?"
"They went to help Buffy." He told his best friend, knowing exactly what her response was going to be.
Willow spluttered for a moment. "Help Buffy? Oh my goddess, you mean she's in the middle of that! Xander do you have any idea what is going on. I can sense the evil from here…"
"Will, calm down and keep packing!" Xander cut off the babble. "Where's Giles?"
"Here with me. Giles, it's Xander."
There was a brief scramble and the former librarian took the phone. "Buffy's where?"
"Not sure." Xander admitted, "The Rangers ran off to help and then all hell broke lose!"
"Going by the law of averages…"
"Buffy's in trouble, and there's nothing we can do."
"Where are you?" Giles asked him. Xander quickly repeated what he told Willow, suggesting that they hurry. "What then?" The Watcher asked, sounding worried.
Xander couldn't blame him. "You think I know? I just hope they get out of there and get in touch! What else can we do?"
There was along moment as the sky was literally shaking. "We have to find a way to contact them. Dawn's archeology professor at the College, Dr Oliver, he has to have some way to contact them. You're closer, try to find him and get some answers. We'll be there as soon as we can!"
Thanks to Cassandra Buffy felt stronger, not enough to put up a fight, but hopefully enough to run. "You wouldn't mind sticking around after this is done?' She asked still feeling sick to her stomach. "We Slayers need someone to patch us up too, you know."
"You really think we're going to live though this?" The Blue Ranger asked, her voice a whisper. Buffy paused, this wasn't her first apocalypse, not even her tenth. By now it was supposed to be a walk in the park. She wanted to tell the Ranger that she was sure. That it was going to be fine.
But she couldn't. Buffy had lost fights before. She'd run from rooftop to rooftop to escape the collapse of Sunnydale. She'd even broken her own heart sending Angel to hell but in all the times she'd stopped the apocalypse it had never been like this. Never driven home quite as much. It might have been the shear scale of what what happening, or just the fact that she still felt like she'd been run over by a tank, but this was a nightmare.
Dawn and the Rangers had so much stuff, lasers, axes, staffs, even giant fighting robots and they were helpless against this, whatever this demon was.
The Tornado of Evil as Buffy had dubbed it in her head, was nearly over but the madness wasn't. As the last wisps of darkness were carried into the now almost completely black sky all sorts of other things began to rise up to. The newspaper box that had clipped Faith began to lift off the ground. Shards of broken glass hovering like someone had just switched gravity off. At first Buffy thought it was a trick of the wind but the howling gale and even the earthquakes had stopped. As if the world was holding it's breath.
Amongst all this A'Zores opened his arms wide and began to float too, a couple of inches fast becoming a foot and then three. "For the love of… What the hell…?" Buffy asked breathlessly, what strength Cassandra had given her was vanishing quickly.
"It's a bad day." Dawn quipped. Buffy knew that tone and had to agree. A'Zores ripped open his great coat, leaving it hanging off his shoulders. All the cuts and holes in it making it look like a pile of rags. He hung there for a second before jamming the lump of black responsible for all this in the middle of his chest and howling in agony.
There was what felt like a reverse explosion and for a fraction of a second Buffy felt herself being pulled towards the floating, screaming demon. "Enough already." Sari muttered just loud enough for Buffy to hear, "We get it, you're a bad ass."
"Just get Jack!" Dawn snapped.
"Signal's clearing, it'll just be a second."
"If we have that long." Faith pointed out. The black thing was growing on A'Zores pail chest. Covering the demon like a growth. Now it was bigger Buffy could see that it was some sort of crystal, with tiny arcs of lightning deep underneath.
It spread to cover him completely, not encasing but changing him into something else. Something that sent shivers up Buffy's spine "Now, at last, it is done!" He gloated as he totally turned to crystal. "Not even you can stop me now, the power… The power is mine! Mine to command, mine to rule!"
He wasn't finished. "Arise! Arise my undead generals and serve me! Serve the new Warlord." At his command six portals spluttered into life, they looked like someone had torn holes in the sky and out of them came six demons.
The first one she saw Buffy recognised as the demon that had jumped her on her first day in this town. Tree-something. He'd looked better, somewhere between what he was and the half rotted mostly dead look the demon foot solders had. All six of them had the same look, more than half dead. "He's not kidding by undead."
"He's resurrected his old rivals into mindless slaves!" The Red Ranger cursed.
"Eight out of ten for style, if not for originality." Cassandra hissed.
"We are so boned." Faith grunted as a low roaring noise came from above. Like the sound of a distant plane coming in to land.
"Not yet." Dawn disagreed suddenly sounding hopeful. "Sari, hit it!" She ordered and then looked to the sky. Buffy followed her sisters gaze and saw something slide out of the overcast sky as the sound got louder.
It was a dull grey metal colour, with a big front and what looked like two squashed boxes on either side. It was a spaceship. An actual spaceship, say what you want Dawn and her friends had some of the best toys.
There was a flash of light that seemed to come from all around her and suddenly Buffy was standing up somewhere else. She lost her balance but quickly Faith and Cassie caught her. Dawn was busy giving orders. "Sari, patch into the weapons system."
"What the hell is going on down there Summers?" A man about Giles's age shouted, Buffy guessed he was supposed to be in charge with all the shiny bits on his uniform.
"Tell you later, just borrowing your ride." Dawn told them. "Sari, fire!"
The Yellow Ranger made a sweeping gesture and out of the window Buffy saw two bright white beams blast out and into the city. She could hardly see what they hit though.
Buffy's adrenalin was running out and it was getting harder to keep her eyes open. She could feel every one of her injuries and they were all screaming at her for attention. She didn't even have the strength left to stand, it was only thanks to Faith she didn't end face first in the deck.
Buffy guessed that they were firing down on A'Zores, but what she and none of the others guessed was that he could fire back. A massive lightning bolt, jet black rather than the blue of before, flew in front of the window. The whole ship shook from the close call.
"Where did that come from?" the grey haired man shouted.
"Bad aim." Sari told him. "I'm bringing the shields up and getting out of here."
"Do it." Both Dawn and the guy ordered.
"We… we have to fight!" Buffy insisted. They couldn't just leave Kendra and A'Zores down there. They might be godly powerful but they had to have a weakness and they had a huge space ship with ray guns.
The ship shook again, this time it wasn't a miss. Two computer consoles exploded in sparks, a hose detached from somewhere above spewing smoke everywhere and Sari shouted in pain.
Dawn rushed to her side while Cassandra helped prop Buffy up. "We're no match for him. Not now!" Dawn snapped as Sari waved her off. "We need to regroup!"
"He… He can't win." Buffy managed to say. "The universe… have to save…"
The Blue Ranger put a gloved hand to Buffy's head. "We will, later. Right now you need to sleep."
Before she could argue, between one thought and the next, Buffy collapsed at the suggestion.
End Chapter Four
Authors note, again:
Oh by the way Ron Wasserman, the guy who wrote and mixed all the music for the original MMPR series and a few of the others, has just realised a hard rock heavy metal version of the sound track. Seriously track it down online, not only is it fantastic but the perfect background for what's coming (and I do hope some people have kept the Go Green Ranger song in their head through some of the earlier fights!)