Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers or any other show. They belong to their respective copyright owners. No money is being made from this piece of writing.

A Stressful Workout

Australian Outback, Earth

This was not really Australia. It was more of an artist’s impression of how the outback should be. In truth it was a room created inside of Power Mountain, using advanced technology to change energy into matter for a short time. The image converters allowed the Rangers to see, hear, smell, touch, and taste everything they would experience in the Outback. Alpha had programmed the room so that the Gem Coin Rangers could practice with their temporary powers.

“Ready guys?” Tommy asked.

“Ready!” Rocky, Adam, Kat and Tanya answered.

“It’s Morphin Time!”

“Zeo Ranger I – Crane!”

“Zeo Ranger II – Bear!”

“Zeo Ranger III – Ape!”

“Zeo Ranger IV – Frog!”

“Zeo Ranger V – Falcon!” Tommy grimaced as if he had touched a hot plate. The sensation only lasted for a short time and he was happy to mark it down as a side effect of using two separate power sources.

“Begin simulation,” Zordon instructed, he was watching events from his Plasma Tube.

“Yes Zordon,” Alpha responded.

A troop of WD Units appeared and at Alpha’s command, they attacked the Rangers.

“Begin!” Zeo Falcon commanded.

The Rangers were outnumbered to offer a realistic training season and to allow them to test their improvised combat techniques. This was the first training session they had had since switching to the Gem Coins. By now they had learnt what their powers were capable of. At first they fought using hand to hand combat. Then they used their Gem Coin Pistols to cut down the numbers.

“No effect,” Zeo Falcon noted as the robots kept coming. “Switch to level two attacks.”

“Shield Wall!” Kat called. The transparent pink wall surrounded her and as with a small movement of her hands, it shifted outward to slam into the unsuspecting WD Units. The machines fell from the impact, but quickly regained their footing.

“Phase mode!” she ordered. The wall faded as she directed it to move away from her to cover the machines. “Phase mode deactivate.” The WD Units were now trapped in the energy field. She clicked her fingers and the wall shrank inward, crushing everything inside.

“Crane Blast!” She raised her fist to her visor and waited for it to ignite. Then she moved her arm in a wide circle and punched the air in front. Flame shot from her fist and engulfed another machine.

“Power Daggers!” Zeo Bear called.

When Tanya had been Yellow Zeo, she had used the Nunchuks that came with her uniform. With the loss of the Zeo Crystal that weapon was no longer available, but Tanya had quickly grown accustomed to wielding the Power Daggers of the Yellow Morphin Ranger.

Switch the weapons between their heavy cutting form and their more slender piercing mode, she aimed for the joints and other notable weak points, disabling limbs rather than whole machines until she could go back and finish the job.

“Gem Coin Blaster!”

During a search of Power Mountain, the Rangers had discovered a set of multipurpose weapons based around a self-contained unit with interchangeable cartridges. The cartridges determined the type of shot and ranged from simple bullets to explosive acid shots, and even laser beams.

“Twist Pack,” she said, slamming a new ammo pack into the receptacle.

She took aim and fired a shot at the nearest WD Unit’s ankle. She was delighted when the target exploded, tipping the machine off its feet. She fired at two more machines. A head shot for one and a chest shot for the other. The results were not as positive; the chest shot deflected harmlessly while the head shot only accomplished a large hole in the machine’s cranial unit.

Disappointed she charged forward before the machines could recover and attacked the same spots with her daggers. This time the machines went down.

“Strobe Blast!”

Two yellow metal balls shot from Tanya’s helmet. The first hovered over her head while she held the other in her hand. Then as both exploded, she moved; the hovering ball let off repeated bursts of light that blinded the WD Units. The ball in her hand exploded with energy every time she landed a punch. The two effects combined made it appear that she was not moving.

“Screw Kick!” Zeo Ape called.

Drawing on a reserve power cell and using it to enhance the power of his Gem Coin, Zeo Ape ploughed into a group of robots. His energised foot smelted anything in its path. When he landed, he kept his powered-up foot in the air whilst twisting on the other leg. His savage kick landed on an incoming WD Unit and decapitated it.

“Power Axe!” Zeo Frog cried.

There was little finesse to his hacking style as he made his way through the nearest group of droids. He was more selective than his blue teammate and targeted the power units on each machine.

“Falcon Blast!” The Red Ranger’s power erupted from his helmet, took the form of the phoenix and flew at the few remaining WD Units.

“Gem Coin Cannon!”

When Alpha had been unable to locate and separate the Zeo Cannon for the Rangers, he had decided to build something that would serve a similar purpose. It was large, so much so that in addition to the Rangers holding it up, it also required two additional legs.

“Fire!” A burst of multicoloured energy surged forth and as the smoke cleared the Rangers were left standing in a pile of scrap metal.

“Well-done Rangers,” Alpha said. “Prepare for phase two!”

The wreckage was replaced by a new set of machines. These were larger and heavily armoured. Their enhanced shells repelled the Rangers’ attacks. The Rangers were already prepared for this eventuality and used the already summoned cannon to punch a hole in the left side of the droid’s skull.

“Rangers,” Zordon boomed. “I have detected unusual energy readings somewhere outside of Angel Grove. You may continue the simulation, but Alpha will not be available to change the scenario.”

“Okay Zordon,” Tommy said. He had hardly heard what his mentor had said due to the advancing machines. “We need the heavier artillery guys.”

Each Ranger placed a glowing ball of energy inside the firing chamber, connecting their powers directly to the device, and lowered the heavy weapon from their shoulders so that it now fired like a mortar cannon. They waited for the machines to move closer before firing. The weapon was not built for accuracy, but was more than capable of destroying a large area. As the energy wave struck the ground, it vaporised everything in its path.

“We’re done Alpha,” Zeo Ape said into his communicator. “Alpha?”

“He went to check on something,” Zeo Falcon said.

The Rangers put their weapon back into its hiding place and moved their hands to their hips ready for teleportation. Nothing happened and Zeo Falcon remembered that the Training Room, where they were based, was shielded from teleportation. For all intents and purposes they were in Australia, but at the flick of a switch, the surroundings would vanish leaving only a small chamber.

“Command: Deactivate Program,” Zeo Falcon instructed.

“Unable to comply” the computer answered.

“Let me try,” Adam said. “Command: Override Program. Authorisation: Green Z Four.”

“Program Activated” the computer said.

“Well that worked,” Zeo Bear said sarcastically as the scenery changed to a swamp.

“Whoa!” Zeo Ape exclaimed as they fell into the quick sand that had appeared beneath them.

“Billy, we need some help here,” Zeo Falcon said. He had thought the former Blue Ranger had been looking in.

“Help me!” Zeo Crane screamed as she felt something wrap around her leg and start dragging her under.

“Kat!” Zeo Ape cried. He held out his blade for her. “Grab on!”

“Gem Coin Pistol!” Zeo Falcon cried as he pulled his sidearm and aimed at a nearby tree. The weapon sizzled as the sand caused it to jam.

“It’s pulling me under!” Zeo Crane warned.

Luckily Zeo Bear had the solution, firing an ice pellet into the ground, freezing the surface and allowing Kat to climb free. Before she was clear, a huge snake flew into the air. Its tail was wrapped around Kat’s foot and as it returned under the sand Zeo Crane was taken with it.

“Kat!” Zeo Bear yelled.

“Hold on Kat!” Zeo Frog called as Zeo Falcon summoned his sword and attempted to slice it in half.

“Mmph mmph – mmph mmph!” Zeo Crane managed. The sand that caked her helmet muffled her words.

The snake reappeared a moment later and exploded. Zeo Crane followed, throwing the end of the snake’s tail aside as she did so. Her helmet vanished as she gasped for air.

“What happened down there Kat?” Zeo Falcon asked.

“I gave him indigestion,” Pink Zeo quipped, holding up a Gem Coin Blaster.

“How did you get that?” Zeo Bear asked.

“Zordon asked Billy to make us each a Gem Coin Blaster and include it with our powers,” she answered. “As long as you know what you need and it’s been connected to your powers, you can call on any weapon in the arsenal.”

“You should see the place now,” Adam added. “We all thought it was just a large room, but it actually goes on for miles. Billy is a serious collector.”

“Um guys, not to interrupt or anything, but we should probably get out of this sand,” Rocky said.

Before the Rangers could do so the scene vanished to be replaced by the metal walls of the Training Room.

“Alpha must have fixed it,” Zeo Falcon said. He had spoken too soon. When he finished, the setting changed yet again.

“Oh man, this is too much!” Zeo Ape complained.

A new environment had been created. This time it featured a few of the monsters the Rangers had faced in the past. Peckster, Silo and a Varox stood ready.

“Divide and conquer,” Zeo Frog suggested.

“Right,” Zeo Falcon agreed. “Adam and Rocky handle Peckster, Kat and Tanya deal with Silo, and I’ll take care of the bounty hunter.”

As the other couples moved away, Zeo Falcon allowed his opponent to attack whilst he stayed back slightly. Even though he was not sure what was happening, he knew that the Varox was a dangerous foe

“Power Sword!”

Now it was the Varox’s turn to watch as Tommy took the aggressor’s role the battle. His attack showed the confidence and commitment gained through years of experience as a Ranger. Elsewhere, the other Rangers were making short work of their opponents and seemed to be having a bit of fun while they were at it.

Suddenly the three monsters started to grow.

“We need the Ninja Zords!” Zeo Ape called.

There was no response, the Zords having not been included in the program that was supposed to be running. Something was wrong with the simulator.

“Alpha must still be away from the controls,” Zeo Frog stated. “Otherwise he would have stopped the simulation at phase two.”

“How many phases are there?” Zeo Crane asked.

“Five,” Zeo Frog answered. “The last one is meant to be Zord-sized monsters.”

“So who changed the program?” Zeo Bear asked.

“The computer did,” Zeo Falcon guessed. “The program is adaptive.”

“But only when the safety protocols are deactivated,” Adam responded.

That was when the Training Room reappeared and the door opened.

“Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi, are you all right Rangers?”

“We’re fine Alpha,” Tommy confirmed as the Rangers powered down.

“What happened?” Rocky asked.

“Rangers, teleport to the Power Chamber immediately!” Zordon ordered before Alpha could respond.

“Well, at least we got our workout,” Rocky said as they left in a column of light.

Power Chamber

“Zordon, what’s happening?” Tommy asked as the Zeo Rangers appeared in the Power Chamber.

“I am sorry for leaving you in the Training Room Rangers,” Zordon said solemnly. “Somehow the computer program that operates the simulator became corrupted. Had Billy not discovered what was happening when he did, the results would not have been pleasant.”

“Now the good news, we have a message from Trey,” the little robot exclaimed. “He’s on his way to Earth!”

“That’s great news Alpha,” Kat said.

“Yeah, with the Gold Ranger powers maybe we can recreate the Super Zeo Zords,” Adam pointed out.

“Or help us retrieve the Zeo Crystal,” Tommy added. “We need all the help we can get.”

“This is indeed good news Rangers,” Zordon boomed. “Even though your powers have changed, I still believe the six of you were meant to be a team. When united you will be the strongest force on Earth.”

“That’s not difficult,” Rocky commented. “We’re probably the only defenders left on the planet.”

That was true. In the first few days and weeks of his attack on Earth, Minion had attacked any and all of the Rangers’ potential allies. Some he had captured, others such as the Avengers he had incapacitated and a third group he had ordered to be destroyed. When the Rangers had found the bodies of Guy Gardner and former Flash Barry Allen dead in their homes, they had realised how bad things had become.

It had taken Zordon time to figure out why Minion had attacked some of his other targets. At first they had assumed that Minion wanted to control the planet’s Ley Nexuses, but that had proven incorrect. Rocky had eventually solved the mystery after visiting Tommy’s house and spotting Teddy Oliver’s comic book collection. All the places attacked were the supposed homes of some of the Earth’s greatest heroes.

To be Continued

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