Disclaimer: Power Rangers belongs to Saban, and this idea belongs to WolfsbaneX. Thanks to both for letting me write this—though I'm fairly certain Haim Saban won't see this, thanks anyway!
Itzpapalotl paced the floor furiously, sharpening her claws on a whetstone with quick, nervous jerks. Her huge, butterflylike bat wings flicked tensely, the obsidian tips catching the starlight. She watched the open sky, as her Tzitzimime—star demons, the humans called them—raised a shield around the sun. Everything was going to plan so far—first the sun, then the humans would be theirs to devour, and those horrible Power Rangers were busy with the newly-escaped Diabolico.
Then one of the Tzitzimime on the far side of the Sun winked out. It was odd for her to leave now, but one demon wouldn't diminish the shield much. Another took her place, and a few called out jibes about the Tzitzimitl's inability to handle so much power. Then the replacement disappeared. And the Tzitzimitl beside her.
There was a white flash, and an entire row of Tzitzimime vanished. A scarlet flame shot across its path, and nearly half of the demons avoided it—only to be blasted into dust by blue and pink lights.
"They're here! Attack!" Itzpapalotl shrieked. The Tzitzimime began pursuing the lights—but then the abandoned shield around the Sun began to crack. Hurriedly, many of the demons returned to the shield.
Itzpapalotl began to pace frantically. She stopped at one end of the room, and her empty eye sockets flashed blue. A pair of stars shot beams of light down towards her, which formed into two Dark Stars. Itzpapalotl turned to them.
"You, bring me Mamalhuaztli, Cetlcitlalin and Citlalcolotl! Hurry!" She snapped. The two bowed, and headed off in different directions. Itzpapalotl faced open space again, her shell skirt tinkling. The lights were hunting down her Tzitzimime down one by one. She hated to see them be destroyed, but if she withdrew now, so would they.
The three Tzitzimime entered the room, and Itzpapalotl bared her teeth in a mirthless grin. The demons all looked very similar, but the first was covered in orange flames, chill radiated from the second, and the third had a long, armored tail with a scorpion's stinger at the end. They bowed.
"You summoned us, my queen?" The burning one asked, in a distorted and unnaturally deep voice.
"Mamalhuaztli, I want all of you to attack the ancient temples," Itzpapalotl said, as the other Dark Star returned, carrying an obsidian case. "Destroy whatever you can."
"With pleasure!" The Tzitzimitl chuckled, and flashed away in a burst of fire. The second and third bowed, Citlalcolotl chuckling and flicking her tail in anticipation, and exited with puffs of snow and greenish vapor, respectively.
Itzpapalotl turned her gimlet-eyed gaze back on the Earth, watching as the three star demons descended towards northern Mexico. She smirked ferally, and glanced up at the rest of her Tzitzimime. They were holding the shield now, fending off their attackers systematically. Far too many were gone, but it wouldn't matter soon. They'd replenish their forces from Earth's people soon enough.
"Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!" Teens of various ages chanted. They stood in a loose, wide ring around a pair of older boys, who were just now circling for an opening. Then the taller, browner one dove in, tackling his opponent to the dirt. They rolled, and the audience moved back for them.
Finally flipping free, the taller boy shoved himself up and swept his opponent's legs out from under him with a spinning kick. Lunging forward, the teen slammed the other boy flat on the ground and held him there, despite his struggles.
"Ready to apologize?" The tall boy gasped. His lip was bleeding, and he had what promised to be an impressive black eye growing. His opponent struggled, but the boy only tightened his grip.
"Okay, okay! I'm sorry for stealing that kid's lunch money, okay?" The loser yelled. "Now let me up, Tez!"
Tez did, and the other kids cheered and made fun of the loser as he scrambled away. Tez stood up. Casually, he pulled his loose blond hair back into its queue. His sleeve was torn nearly off, and the fingernail scratches along his shoulder bled.
"Trouble!" A kid near the back yelled, and the audience scattered. The police car that had scared them away parked next to the curb, and a tall, brown cop climbed out. Tez waited for him to come over, folding his arms and wincing a little as his injuries stung.
"Again?" The policeman asked wearily, looking the battered Tez up and down. "I thought graduation would mature you at least a little bit."
"Those bullies just can't take a hint, Officer Mror," Tez replied cheerfully.
"Get in the car, Tez," the officer said, shaking his head, "We're going home."
"Oh? Am I making you look bad at work, Dad?" Tez asked, with a half-smile, looking over his shoulder.
"Yes," the man said bluntly. "Get in."
Tez went to obey, but paused.
"Is it supposed to be this dark all of a sudden?" He asked, squinting up at the sky. His eyes widened. "Hey, is that a meteor shower?"
"In," Officer Mror ordered, taking a handful of Tez's red plaid shirt and throwing him into the shotgun seat. He grabbed the seat belt buckle, shoved it into Tez's hand, and slammed the door shut. With a huff of annoyance, Tez buckled his seatbelt, and glanced out the window.
Little points of light were dropping out of the sky, getting larger and larger as they fell. All of the tourists were standing around and pointing—and Tez noted an abundance of video cameras. He glanced up at the sky, frowning, as the stars fell. There was something funny about them—
Then the screaming started. Tez unbuckled, rolled down his window and stuck his head out, trying to see where it was coming from. The fiery projectiles were landing all around now, half-blinding Tez as he tried to look at them. Something was moving in there—
"Not in the squad car," his dad ordered, and tried to pull him down.
"Dad, those look like monsters," Tez said. Then he heard a loud, raucous laugh. It sounded vaguely feminine, but very screechy. Wait, now he could see his shadow—something bright was coming down right on the car.
A huge fiery blur slammed into the car roof just as Tez turned to look. He shot out of the window and into the sand. Throwing out his hands, Tez managed to stop his rolling as the attacker began ripping the car apart. His father was scrambling for the glove compartment, where he kept his handgun.
As Tez stood up, the creature grabbed the near side of the car, tore it free with a screech of metal, and hurled it in his direction. He ducked aside, but not quickly enough—the door slammed him to the ground, pinning both of his legs. Everything went fuzzy.
Theodore Lockman, who usually went by T Lock, was running away from a very persistent Dark Star. He'd fortunately been outside the school bus when the Tzitzimime had attacked it, but he'd quickly been spotted. Skidding around a body, T Lock headed for one of the temples they'd come here to visit. He ducked a blast of icy breath from a passing Tzitzimitl, and leaped the last few feet to the bottom steps.
T Lock scraped both shins hitting the stone, but grabbed at the steps and began clambering up. He twisted around as the Dark Star reached the stairs. To his shock, the moment the creature touched the stone, it disintegrated into purple dust. The Asian boy stopped, and just panted for a while.
"Of course, it's you." The boy's voice startled T Lock, and he whirled around. There was a tall Hispanic boy sitting a few steps above T Lock, though his all-black clothes made him hard to see.
"Mitch?" T Lock asked incredulously.
"Shut up. You figured it out, too?"
"What?" T Lock asked.
"Of course—sheer dumb luck. I bet you don't even know what those things are," Mitch said, gesturing to the monsters.
"But you do," T Lock replied.
"Tzitzimime," Mitch said.
"Those are demons, right?" T Lock asked.
"Aztec star demons—they try to eat people whenever there's an eclipse," Mitch said.
"Oh," T Lock said with a gulp, and looked back at the panic. Now that he was above the chaos instead of in it, he could see that there were only three monsters, with a whole horde of the purple creatures helping them. "They can't get us up here?"
"Nope, they all get vaporized," Mitch said, crossing his legs. "No idea why or how."
Then T Lock couldn't hear Mitch anymore. He glanced around the square of temples, and felt a sudden, uncontrollable desire to go to that one—next to the temple he and Mitch sheltered on. He began down the steps. Suddenly, the demons didn't seem all that terrifying.
Looking back over his shoulder once, T Lock saw that Mitch was climbing up the temple. He wondered whether Mitch was just retreating further or if he'd felt a call as well. Then T Lock was back on the ground.
The run across the open ground was quick. T Lock easily avoided the Dark Stars, and all of the tzitzimime were occupied. The sky was getting lighter, though, and T Lock grinned to himself. Somehow, he suspected these guys weren't big fans of sunlight.
Then he was jogging up the temple stairs. Some were broken or cracked, and T Lock quickly found the main track, where it had been worn smooth. Even though the temple was very, very tall, T Lock's pace stayed steady, as did his breathing. The higher he got, the better he felt.
Soon, T Lock had reached the shrine at the top of the temple. It had been painted blue and white at some point in the ancient past, but now nearly all of the color was worn away. The doorway was black and empty, and T Lock was inside almost before he realized he'd started walking again.
T Lock's sneakers scritched on the rough stone floor. It was pitch black inside the temple, and he moved slowly, hands outstretched so he wouldn't bump into anything. He took a deep breath, and got a whiff of rain and sea breeze.
Then, a blue light shot down from the ceiling, nearly blinding T Lock. He staggered back and threw up his arms, and the light began to form into a figure. T Lock lowered his arms, staring in fascination at the strange sight. The same urge that had brought him here came back in full force, keeping him from running away, even though at the same time he was so scared he thought he'd pass out.
"Theodore Lockman," a smooth man's voice emanated from the figure, and T Lock shivered. Now it looked like a man, seven feet high at least. Gold gleamed from different places all over his body, and feathers fluttered in the still-blowing salt breeze.
"Y-yeah?" T Lock managed.
"Hold out your left arm."
Not sure what was going to happen, shaking with adrenaline, T Lock did so. He flinched as the being reached out and touched his wrist. A near-electrical jolt shot through T Lock's body, and a gold band enclosed his left wrist. The being let go, and T Lock jerked his arm back to look at the bracelet. Blue gemstones glinted in a circle just below the back of his hand.
"I am Tlaloc, and now that Itzpapalotl and her army of Tzitzimime have begun their attacks on the Earth again, I have chosen you to wield my powers to stop them," the man announced.
Slack-jawed, T Lock stared at Tlaloc. "…You're kidding," he rasped. Tlaloc shook his head. He had an odd little smile.
"You are now one of what you call the Power Rangers," Tlaloc said. "Specifically, the Aztec Storm Power Rangers. Your morphing call is 'Aztec Storm, Chosen Form.'"
"But—" T Lock began, but Tlaloc cut him off.
"And you must hurry if you wish to stop the Tzitzimime. You will know what to do. I must rejoin my fellows and prevent the rest from devouring the sun." And he turned back into a blue light and shot through the roof before T Lock could say anything.
"But—" T Lock stuttered. He looked back at the band around his wrist, then back where Tlaloc had been standing, and out the door at the battle. "But—"
Trivia: The morphing call is based off of Ninja Storm's, the first season of Power Rangers that WolfsbaneX saw and understood.
A/N: If anyone's wondering, yes, this is the fic where New Zeo returns—but not until about the halfway point, like the team-ups on the actual show.