"Shit," Tommy muttered as he watched Bowser grow to giant size. The woman who had opened fire on Sugarcoat turned and walked away, covering her retreat with a barrage of gunfire.
"Get back here, you—!" Indigo Zap cried.
"Save it," Sunny Flare said. "We've got bigger problems."
"UWAAA HAAA HAAA HAAA HAAA!" Giga Bowser laughed. "WHO'S TOUGH NOW, POWER PUNKS?"
The Shadow Force Rangers stared up at the giant Bowser. "I don't think we can fight a giant monster," Sugarcoat said.
"Well this is just wonderful!" Sour Sweet said. "Congratulations on getting us all killed, dino-doc!"
"This is not a problem," Tommy said, pointing his saber at the sky. "WHITE TIGER ZORD!"
A long moment of silence passed.
"This is a problem," Tommy said.
"Was that...was that supposed to do something?" Indigo asked.
"Yeah, it was supposed to call my Zord," Tommy said. "I guess the Zords can't enter this dimension. That or...or something else is blocking their power." He put his gloved hand to his chin, tilting his head down. "Maybe it's because we're using Ranger Keys instead of the original Power source..."
"What the heck is a Zord?" Lemon asked.
Before Tommy could answer, someone else spoke up.
"Whoa, there are other Rangers?"
"I do not have any intel on these Rangers."
"News to me too. More importantly, there's kind of a giant dragon turtle monster rampaging over there."
"Hey, you guys need a hand?"
Five new Power Rangers had appeared.
The Red Ranger wore a sleeveless body-hugging red minidress over full-body gold tights, elbow-length red gloves, and knee-high red boots; her gloves and boots sported wide black bands at the cuffs. A white belt with an ornate gold cross buckle hung low on her waist; a holster with a sidearm was positioned at her right hip. Her red helmet's black visor was shaped like the broad wings of a predatory bird. A single broad gold band circled the helmet above the visor; beneath the visor, the golden plastic faceplate bore a grimly smiling mouth. To her right stood a shorter girl, outfitted in pink over silver tights, a bright silver heart-shaped buckle adorning her belt. The visor of her helmet, while still evocative of a bird, was more gently rounded in shape, with five thin silver bands above and a silver faceplate beneath.
The remaining three new arrivals were all male; unlike the girls, their outfits were solid one-piece bodysuits, stretching from neck to foot, with the same matching boots and gloves. The blue Ranger had a chevron-shaped belt buckle and two wide silver bands circling his helmet above a visor reminiscent of a shark's gaping maw. The yellow Ranger's belt buckle was a four-pointed star; his visor was shaped like the head of an ox, and his helmet sported three bands. The final Ranger wore green, with a diamond-shaped belt buckle, four silver bands on his helmet, and a visor faintly evocative of a rhinoceros.
Tommy took off his helmet and breathed a sigh of relief. "Hey, yeah, we really do," he said. He frowned. "Sorry, I...I don't recognize you guys. I thought I knew all the Ranger teams..."
The new arrivals looked at each other. "ALL the Ranger teams?" the green Ranger asked.
"I thought we were the only ones..." Blue said uncertainly.
"Looks like we're not. Also, what's up with your exosuits? They're like, all over the place," Yellow wondered.
"Long story," Tommy said. "So...who are you guys?"
The newly arrived Red Ranger looked at her companions. "Introduction time?" she suggested.
"HAI!" the Pink Ranger cheered enthusiastically. The male Rangers shook their heads and chuckled.
"Greeeat, more weirdoes," Sour Sweet muttered.
"Make it fast, team!" Red said as she began posing, extending her arms to her sides, then crossing them perpendicularly in front of her chest before pointing with her right hand while raising her left arm at a 45-degree angle. "The blazing defender of the human race! PowerRed!"
Blue drew his lower right leg back at an angle perpendicular to his left, extended both arms straight to his sides, then spun in place, gracefully dropping into a tiger stance. "The surging tide that washes away evil! PowerBlue!"
Yellow planted both feet in a wide stance, twisting his body so that his right side faced forward. He raised his left hand slowly to the sky as though grasping at the sun, and pointed at Tommy with the first two fingers of his right hand. "The wrath of God that splits the heavens! PowerYellow!"
Green crouched low, left leg extended straight to his side, arms crossed in front of his chest. He lowered his head like a charging animal, raising both arms above his head at forty-five degree angles and making claws with his fingers. "The messenger of the green Earth's pain! PowerGreen!"
Pink extended both arms above her head, dropping low to crouch on her toes, with her knees pointed sideways from her body; she brought her arms down and inward, touching the crown of her helmet with her fingertips, forming the shape of a heart with her body. "The gentle wind that restores the springtime of the Earth! PowerPink!"
Striking a group pose, they shouted in unison:
"Chosen by fate to defend all mankind! UNMEI SENTAI...POWER RANGERS!"
As the colorful smoke explosion that met their team name erupted into the sky, Tommy strode forward. "So, uhh..." He pointed up at Giga Bowser. "Can you guys do something about this? Our Zords are kinda...not responding."
"Leave it to us," PowerRed said. "Rangers, MechAnimals!"
The Rangers pressed a sequence of control studs on their Morphers. "MECHANIMALS!" they yelled, thrusting gloved hands to the sky.
A gleaming red and gold plane which resembled a giant robot condor soared out of the clouds, letting out a piercing battle cry as it opened fire with searing white lasers; its shots exploded against Giga Bowser's shell, staggering him. Behind it, a bubblegum pink helicopter with a dove motif flew into view, staying carefully in the condor-jet's shadow.
The ground rumbled as a giant green rhinoceros-shaped robot rolled into view on massive tank treads, dragging a blue shark-shaped submarine behind it. The submarine fired surface-to-air torpedos at Giga Bowser, adding to the damage the plane's lasers were doing. Just behind the rhino, a giant yellow mechanical bull appeared, lowing thunderously as arcs of electricity snapped from its horns against Bowser's shell.
The Shadow Force Rangers stared in shock. "What...?" Indigo said.
Tommy grinned. "Man...seeing new Zords for the first time..." He chuckled and shook his head. "Always gets me right here," he said, thumping his chest with a fist.
The Power Rangers jumped into the air and landed in the cockpits of their mecha. "Initiating Mega Fusion sequence!" Red called, slamming a fist on the flashing red button on her control console.
"Mega Fusion sequence!" the other Rangers echoed, hitting the similar flashing buttons in their own vehicles.
//Mega Fusion sequence has been initiated!// a computerized voice announced in all five MechAnimals.
DiaRhino stopped moving, its tread-footed front legs folding against its body and locking into place. The hind legs extended, serving as pneumatic jack lifts to raise the mech's body into a standing position. Its head did not rise with the rest of the body; rather, it remained flat on the ground, the neck extending and pivoting. The hind section of the mech separated; the rear legs straightened out and locked into concealed joints in the main body. The body then separated down the middle; the separated hind section now sat at the top of a massive pair of green and silver legs with a split rhinoceros head for feet.
StarTaurus leapt into the air, snorting steam from its massive snout. Its legs withdrew into its body, which repositioned itself to face downward. It turned so that the bull's back faced the front of the leg section formed by DiaRhino; StarTaurus' bull head rotated and pivoted, receding into a cavity in the body. The horns swung backwards, wrapping around the lower body and locking into place. It lowered itself into position over the transformed DiaRhino, locking into place with a booming clank, the receded bull head covering the upper portion of the leg section.
ChevronShark's tail separated down the middle, swinging forward and locking itself in place against the vehicle's sides. The body separated just behind the dorsal fin, extending to reveal a massive hinge joint. The nose and jaw unlocked and slid backwards, locking against the forward torso and revealing a large silver metal fist, which slid forward from its hidden compartment until it was fully visible from wrist to fingers. The shark mech attached itself to a newly-revealed joint on StarTaurus, forming a mighty right arm.
HeartDove's tail section pivoted perpendicular to its body. A large hidden section concealed in the copter's body swung down and forward, with the skids swinging out to the sides and sliding forward. A large fist, the counterpart to the other, emerged from this section; the pivoted tail locked into the left shoulder joint of StarTaurus; the entire assembly pivoted, rotated, and adjusted itself so that the cockpit formed a shoulderguard, with the rotors on the outside of the arm.
CrossCondor rose high into the sky, its tail and legs folding and locking into its undercarriage. The bird's head swung down, facing the rear, and separated into two sections; a silver robot head emerged from the fuselage, which the split bird head folded around to form a helmet. The bird mech lowered itself onto the assembly formed by the others, the wings sliding down to form a broad red chestplate. Massive bursts of steam blasted from the joints as the combined form completely settled; the mech's yellow eyes glowed brightly above a silver faceplate.
//Mega Fusion sequence completed!// the synthetic voice announced as the Rangers assembled in a single, combined cockpit.
"COMPLETE! POWERMEGA!" the Rangers chorused.
The Shadow Force Rangers stared up at PowerMega. "Holy shit," Indigo breathed.
"That...is actually pretty sweet," Sour Sweet said, her tone lacking any of its usual bipolar inflections.
"Hells yeah!" Lemon Zest cheered. "When do we get one?"
"I don't think we do," Sugarcoat said. "It looks like those robots were all made to combine. If we're all from different teams, any robots we had wouldn't be compatible." She turned to Tommy. "Would they?"
"Not usually," Tommy admitted. "Moot point, since none of you can access your Zords." He frowned. "If I could figure out how to at least summon mine, it'd be a start. My DragonZord and White Tiger Zord have their own Megazord modes, they don't need to combine with other Zords..."
"Well, for now, we should just sit back and enjoy the show," Indigo said. "This is gonna rock."
"It's not a very elegant design though, is it?" Sunny Flare asked, tilting her head. "I mean, clashing colors, a mishmash of animals jumbled together to make a giant robot with no symmetry whatsoever..."
"Well I think it looks freaking awesome!" Rainbow Dash cried as she landed next to the Shadow Force Rangers. A moment later, Miles, Ladybug, and Chat Noir arrived.
"Wow, just in time for the grand finale!" Chat Noir said. "But who's driving it?"
"Some new guys," Lemon Zest said. "No fair, that should be us up there."
"We'd better get clear," Tommy said. "You don't wanna be too close to one of these fights without protection."
As the group moved to safer cover...
"WHAT'S THIS?" Giga Bowser roared. "A GIANT TOY FOR ME TO BREAK?" He tucked himself into his shell and began spinning; he launched himself at PowerMega.
"Brace for impact!" PowerRed ordered. PowerMega planted its feet and extended its arms, trying to catch Bowser; as he slammed into the robot, the ground shook violently and sparks flew. Explosions and smoke rippled across the robot's torso.
The Power Rangers steadied themselves and pushed a series of levers forward; PowerMega's eyes flashed as it grabbed hold of Bowser and stopped his spin, then raised one massive leg to kick him into the air. The shark arm pointed up, and several torpedos fired out, catching Bowser in the weaker armor of his underside.
Bowser emerged from his shell and landed on his feet, causing an earthquake. Taking a deep breath, he exhaled flames which swept across the landscape, setting the abandoned hospital and some of its surroundings on fire.
"ABUNAI!" PowerPink cried. She frantically pressed a series of buttons and grabbed a control stick in front of her; the left arm of the mecha detached, partially transforming back into a helicopter which flew high into the air and flipped upside-down, creating a wide, glowing pink tornado which swept across the battlefield, extinguishing all the flames.
"Nice, Hatoko!" PowerYellow said. "But be careful, there could be people around here!"
"We need to finish this up," PowerBlue said, looking at the others. They nodded at each other and flipped open five covered controls on their console.
They pressed the controls.
With explosive bursts of steam, panels popped off of each MechAnimal forming PowerMega, flying around in midair and rearranging themselves into a giant broadsword with a single-edged segmented blade, each section a different color. PowerMega gripped the Mega Saber in its right fist.
"ANOTHER SWORD? I'M SICK OF SWORDS!" Giga Bowser roared, ducking his head into his shell. Giant hammers rained down on PowerMega and the surrounding environs, leaving massive craters and going a long way towards finishing the work of destroying the abandoned hospital. PowerMega shuddered and sparked as it endured the hail of hammers.
"NOW!" PowerRed yelled. "MEGA SLASH!"
"THREE! TWO! ONE! MEGA SLASH!" the others chorused. PowerMega rocketed towards Giga Bowser, each segment of its sword glowing brightly.
With the first slash, intense wind pressure tore into Giga Bowser.
With the second slash, the earth beneath Giga Bowser erupted upward, slamming giant boulders into him.
With the third slash, yellow lightning surrounded the sword and flowed into Giga Bowser, snapping up and down his body.
With the fourth slash, a torrential waterspout exploded from deep underground, knocking Giga Bowser high into the air.
PowerMega jumped up to meet him, burning red flames gathering around the Mega Saber.
The final slash engulfed Giga Bowser in searing flames as it bisected him. Shafts of energy erupted from the cracks and dents in his shell as he bellowed his pain and rage.
"CURSE YOU, POWER PUNKS!" Giga Bowser roared...
And then he exploded violently, filling the sky with fire and smoke.
PowerMega landed, shaking the ground, steam hissing from its various joints as it relaxed its stance and lowered its sword.
"Mission complete!" the Power Rangers said in unison in the cockpit, folding their arms.
* * * * *
On the ground, at a safe distance, the Shadow Force Rangers, Rainbow Dash, Ladybug, and Chat Noir watched. The Shadowbolts had removed their helmets.
Rainbow's jaw dropped. "That. Was. AWESOME!"
"Hell yeah it was!" Indigo Zap echoed.
"Just like Ultimate Mecha Strike III, right Bugaboo?" Chat Noir said with a grin.
"Yeah, I think I'll stick to video games," Ladybug said. "That could've killed a lot of people."
They watched as PowerMega broke apart into the five component mecha, which...just sort of parked around the mostly-destroyed hospital. The Power Rangers climbed out of their mecha and walked out into the parking lot; the group ran out to join them.
"Good work up there, guys," Tommy said. "Wish we could've backed you up."
PowerRed removed her helmet and shook out her medium-length honey brown hair. She was Hispanic, with a pretty face and sharp grey eyes. "It's okay," she said. "We've gotten used to this sort of thing by now." She frowned as she looked at the Shadowbolts. "Uhh..."
"Never see blue people before. Or pink people. Or..." PowerPink took off her helmet, revealing herself to be a teenage Japanese girl with dark hair and brown eyes. "What going on here?" she asked haltingly.
The rest of the Power Rangers removed their helmets, revealing themselves to be a young black man with yellow-frosted hair, a freckled ginger with wild red hair and a scrubby beard, and a handsome Spaniard with wavy shoulder-length black hair and bright green eyes. "Something tells me we have bigger problems than being out of contact with UNMEI," PowerBlue said.
Tommy sighed. "Yeah," he said. "It's a long story, there's a lot to fill you in on, but basically you're in another dimension. And for now, there's no way back to where you came from."
PowerRed frowned. "That's not gonna work for us," she said. "Every second we're away from Earth, more and more lives are at stake."
Tommy shrugged helplessly. "The locals are working on the problem, but it's gonna take some time. They're saying two or three weeks."
The Power Rangers looked at each other uncertainly. "Well this sucks," PowerYellow said, running a hand through his frosted hair. "Nevermind what's happening back home, our MechAnimals took a lot of damage in that fight. We can't fix them ourselves, and then there's refueling..."
"One thing at a time," PowerRed said, holding up a hand to silence him. "We need to rest and refuel ourselves before we can worry about our MechAnimals. We also need to know exactly what's going on here." She looked at Tommy and the Shadowbolts. "Starting with how there can possibly be other Power Rangers."
Tommy scratched his chin. "Actually," he said, "there are a lot of Power Rangers. I dunno, where you come from, you may be the first? But trust me, the Power Rangers have been around forever." He extended a hand. "Tommy Oliver. World's oldest Power Ranger."
PowerRed took the offered hand and shook it firmly. "Lamia Cruz," she said.
"Esteban Castille," PowerBlue introduced himself.
"Forrest Pine," PowerGreen said, grinning.
"Jack Franklin," PowerYellow said with a nod.
"Hatoko Momokaze," PowerPink said timidly, her eyes never straying far from Rainbow Dash and her wings.
Tommy looked around. "We should get out of here," he said. "We've got a lot to talk about..."
The Shadowbolts and Power Rangers unmorphed; Ladybug and Chat Noir transformed back into Marinette and Adrien. While Miles webswung back toward Canterlot High, Rainbow Dash flying behind him, the rest of the group hiked to a bus stop two blocks away, leaving the MechAnimals at the destroyed hospital.
Ten minutes later, in the silent and lifeless parking lot, the lone garbage truck parked in the corner rumbled to life, driving over to CrossCondor. "Man, you guys were so cool up there!" a high, gregarious voice said. "You got pretty banged up though, do you need a hand? A foot? A bandage? Some Energon?" The garbage truck transformed into an orange and grey robot with a square orange head with a pale grey-white face sporting an absurdly long jaw and a black stripe which bisected its chin like a beard. Blue eyes ringed in black glowed from beneath an orange brow. "I'm Wreck-Gar! Don't worry, I'm a friend! At least I think I am." He frowned, then tapped CrossCondor on the beak. "Hello? Are you awake? Hmm...is your voice box broken, or are you just ignoring me?" Wreck-Gar sat down, pulling an impossible pile of junk out of his backpack, everything from a boat anchor to an accordion to a moldy old cheese sandwich covered in flies. "I know I've got something here that'll get you guys talking..."
* * * * *
Two young women walked cautiously through the forest. One looked around in awe and wonder. The other looked around cautiously, a stern frown on her face.
"This forest is wonderous!" said the first.
"This forest is wrong," corrected the other. "Can you not feel it?"
The first looked at her. "Uh-uh," she said. She put on a slight pout. "You're making that face again."
"You know, that face. That 'I'm gonna shut everyone out' face."
The latter sighed. "I'm not shutting anybody out," she said. "I just...I have a bad feeling about..."
She trailed off as a man passed through the brush ahead of them. The two women looked at one another, picked up their trailing skirts, and followed as quietly as they could.
The man came to a stop at the center of a grove of trees covered in mossy vines. Fruits with dark, tough skins and pearly peach-like meats hung in clusters. The man stood, transfixed, and plucked one of the fruits. He greedily ate it...
The wonder of the first woman turned to horror as the man transformed into a terrible beast. She let out a shriek which drew the monster's attention.
The second woman frowned. "I understand now," she said. "This forest is evil."
"Uhh...no argument there," the first woman whimpered, hiding behind her. "More importantly I think we should run!"
The second woman clenched her fists at her side as the monster lumbered toward them. "No," she said. "I won't have it."
She raised one hand and pointed it at the monster. Swirls of icy mist filled the air. Frost trailed across the ground between the two women and the monster, spreading fractal patterns across the grass; massive shards of ice erupted from beneath the monster, spearing and trapping it. Its angry bellows faded as thick, crusty, shimmery ice and frost encased its body.
But the woman wasn't done yet.
"I won't have ANY OF IT!"
She stamped her foot.
A thick layer of frost crept across the ground, and the sky above turned dark, swirling with snow flurries. Ice and frost rapidly spread from the two women, creeping up vines and trees, weighing them down with the wrath of winter and killing them. Within minutes, the forest in every direction was frozen and lifeless.
The woman nodded firmly, then turned, her shimmery ice-blue dress swishing about her legs as her long platinum braid whipped about behind her. "Come swiftly, Anna," Queen Elsa said briskly. "We must leave this wicked forest at once."
Anna rubbed her arms for warmth. "Warn me the next time you're gonna do that," she complained as she followed behind her sister.