Star Rangers : A Clash of Red (Working Title)

Everything sounded so crisp, the hum of electricity, labor intensive breathing, and the ever present roar of the two greatest weapons ever conceived finally doing battle with one another. It hadn't been the perfect evening for Jason Scott as he was only a few hours removed from what Kimberly Hart considered to be the greatest evening of her young life. The date had been a long time coming and neither one of them could stand another moment forced to keep their feelings held deep within. How foolish they were. Angel Grove was full of their kind, naive children playing at true romance. The cities high schools being the worst culprit as it appeared to foster this mentality. Unfortunately for Jason and Kimberly their evening had been cut far too short. Even though he didn't know if she was still alive Jason had already decided that he would fight for her. It wasn't until this moment that he felt truly alone, Something he wasn't used too, hardly in his high school life and never in this one.

The ground was an unforgiving slab of concrete that made up the foundation of the underground parking structure. It had been under construction for three years and was meant to be an auxiliary location for the local college but received endless delays due of budget cuts. That made it the perfect arena as there were no cars and only sparsely placed rebar with wide gaps in-between. They indicated where future support beams would go but tragically many had already begun to show signs of rust. Luckily for both combatants the building had already been connected to the power grid and they could feel their weapons devouring the energy around them. There was an almost constant buzz of static echoing off the cavernous room, leaping from shadow to shadow. Briefly being interrupted every so often only when sword met saber. This resulted in an even more hideous shriek as two weapons that were never destined to meet actually did. Sparks would jettison outward at every clash leaving small imprints where the concrete itself had melted.

"Your nothing but a brute aren't you? Another wall that stands in my way." Anakin Skywalker didn't hate the man he was fighting, he loathed him. Somehow feeling free enough to indulge in the misplaced frustrations he had built up over Padme's impending end.

Jason Scott never liked evil, always spewing out lies, instead he preferred his own wit. "Haven't been called a "wall" before. Never knew them to knee, punch, or slash at the things trying to climb over them."

Smirking Anakin retorted, "Perhaps that was too high of a compliment because where I come from our walls disintegrate intruders." That wasn't entirely true as they would need to be specially calibrated and would require far more energy. Starting energy based walls where used for temporary holding cells in almost every ship with only one having the capability of being made deadly.

Very well then, Jason thought. Into the flame I shall go.

The dark red glow of the Power Sword carried by Jason Scott was in stark contrast to the vibrant blue bloom of the foreign weapon held by his opponent. Normally he would of continued to use the Gun Blade on his hip but reconsidered after realizing how quick his opponent actually was. The weapon in Jason's hands growled with furious energy as intense heat permeated the area. Jason's suit was heavily resistant to such temperatures leaving him unaffected while Anakin could already feel blisters forming on parts of his hand. It wasn't actually a very heavy weapon although it vibrated in such a way that it fatigued the wielder unexpectedly. Fortunately for Jason the benefit for such penalties was a powerful weapon that could slash through anything. Even delicate attacks appeared to use added momentum as it executed more devastating blows with weakened effort. Like all the other enhancements, both physical and mental that came along with Ranger gear, weapons too had their boons... And curses.

It seemed to be a strange yet immensely powerful weapon held by the invader thought Jason as his helmet failed to identify it. The hilt was no greater than a foot in length and resembled a metallic flashlight. All the more impressive was how effortlessly it was being wielded. Jason could only be envious as he actually strained to control the burden of his sword. The man who announced himself to be Anakin Skywalker made no wasted effort or movement during their encounter. The fight had been going on for almost eight full minutes, an eternity considering the pace those two had set. Oddly enough this placed Jason's mind at ease as it was only a few hours ago he felt truly helpless. Anakin wished he wasn't the only force wielder up against these rangers but telling Obi-Wan would of meant his missions doom. As powerful of an ally as his master would of been nothing could stand in his way. He could only hope that doing so would provide some small window of hope in saving his wife from death.

"Hope you had fun because I expect many more nights like this." Said Kimberly as she leaned up against Jason's car. They had parked across the street from her house and she just wanted one more moment alone with her date.

Knowing that now was the time Jason smiled and replied, "I've got quite a few magical evenings in your future." He stepped in closer, whispering into her ear, "We've got plenty of time to enjoy this." The ground was moist from the evenings rains that had passed only minutes before their arrival.

Those words melted Kimberly's heart, she was trembling as she said in a shaky voice, "Alright tiger, whatever you say." With that they both embraced for their first kiss. Each moment was like having every wish and need fulfilled. If it stopped for even a moment then their worlds may very well come crashing down.

No one on who lived on the street was outside the comfort of their homes. Instead choosing to stay in for dinner or already being gone off to some restaurant. The neighborhood was rich enough to where that choice could be made nightly. Jason and Kimberly had the rare opportunity to be alone in one of the busiest small counties in California. Rain was a rare thing and the heavy scent of wet grass lifted from the lawns like a refreshing fog. Kimberly always felt at ease whenever the weather turned this way, she admired most how the clouds would descend. Imagining as though the fluffy white bomber planes could plan out their payloads of water. More than once she grabbed Jason tightly and wanted to just throw him to the ground but he held fast and just embraced her even tighter. "Whoever planned this evening was a genius." Jason wanted to tell her, but instead all he could do was smile and wave as she turned to cross the street. Kimberly was truly beautiful, she wore a dress that looked as if someone poured white nylon over her body. The fabric was thick which gave a far more classy look as the skirt line ended at just below the knee. As she slowly trotted off her hair and hips seemed to sway in perfect rhythm which hypnotized Jason.

Kimberly Hart had only just disappeared inside when Jason turned on his car, a 1990 red jeep Cherokee, that's when he heard the sound of blasterfire. A full-scale assault had been launched under the cloak of night. Troopers dressed all in white descended from hovercrafts shooting and murdering indiscriminately. The killing was assumed as they only struck houses and other buildings causing horrific explosions. Engulfing the ruined structures in flames it was clear nothing could of survived. Jason had figured it had been through some small miracle that Kimberly managed to teleport away, that familiar pink beam streaking into the night sky. It had occurred to Jason not long after that Kimberly might not know the fate of her family. It wasn't soon after she had fled that the troopers poured from the house and destroyed it. Things might have turned out differently if Jason wasn't so stricken with what he had seen. Effectively he became overwhelmed with emotion, causing him to morph. The invading soldiers proved far easier to cut through than putty men.

Now with the opportunity to do something Jason could see that Anakin too had begun to feel the strain of such a prolonged and intense battle. Clearly he was enduring extreme emotional stress which may explain his physical exhaustion. Skywalker was no stranger to tragedy but he was simply unable to withstand the heartache and worry from the constant nightmares haunting the darkness behind his eyelids. Each night was restless, tossing and turning, often waking up in a pool of his own sweat. Neither his wife Padme or his master Obi-Wan knew the truth. Anakin decided that telling Palpatine would result in actual aid and somehow he would live with the cost.

Senator Palpatine had helped Anakin before when in search of his mother. Now he decided trusting Palpatine could be the difference between Anakin's wife, and their two yet unborn children, living or dying. The promise was simple, "Take a squadron to a distant planet in another galaxy and retrieve a piece of lost technology." Palpatine made Anakin repeat.

Anakin understood what he was being asked to do and there are only five young adults who knew where Zordon was. If he couldn't find them at school then their homes where easy enough to locate. Only a single squadron of twenty five men were given, proving to be more than adequate. "What if the men are not enough or I get overwhelmed? You said this lost technology was powerful." Indeed it was and Anakin stayed cautious in making his tone sound as polite as possible.

"If you're not confident in your chances of success then perhaps I was wrong to tell you." Palpatine said, a surprising amount of resentment in his voice.

Snapping, Anakin said, "They will all confess the location, one by one if need be." He was fuming at the thought of being called a coward or less than capable.

"Very well then Skywalker. You're in command of this mission, the men will respond to you as they would my own voice." Palpatine was straining the point of Anakin's command position.

"You've nothing to worry about Senator. This will be done, quickly." Anakin adopted a stern scowl.

Allowing a thin smile to grow on his face Palpatine drew close to Anakin, throwing a friendly arm around his shoulder. "This will be a crowning achievement. Success will assure your rise in rank, mine too. But don't think of you or I, think of Padme and what you can yet do for her." He was wise to bring Anakin's thoughts back to Padme as she was his greatest source of power.

A city burned outside while Anakin knew he was just within reach of his goal. The constant sound of bombs and explosions outside would have deafened him if they hadn't gone underground. The men fighting alongside him where elite troopers who each had extensive combat experience. Unfortunately Anakin had served with their kind before and knew better then to put much faith in them. This is when Anakin realized how clever of a man Palpatine was, he allowed their detachment to take almost half a dozen hovercrafts. They are partially computer piloted and would at the very least negate the lack of tactical sense some imperial soldiers had.

"Your evil has run out of time, soon those ships will be destroyed and you'll answer for what you've done." Jason didn't realize how tired his voice sounded even through the helmet microphone. The white diamond shaped pattern on his suit had some time ago been stained crimson. Charred patches pepper his chest, legs and arms though none of the supposed strikes had made any breach. The emptiness of the parking structure seemed to sap the normally vibrant colors of the now battle torn ranger uniform. The Power Sword was gripped tightly in his right hand, a mighty weapon that complemented Jason's fighting style. The hilt was mostly a deep burgundy while the edge of the weapon pulsed with a vibrant ruby hum. Shooting Anakin was the clear choice in the beginning but that proved to be almost fatal as the projectiles where easily deflected back. Oddly enough the ranger suits had never been tested against their own weapons.

Jason was in awe at his opponents ability to easily deflect projectiles, something he never even considered was possible. "Nice moves. What sort of martial art style is that? Don't think I've ever seen someone do that before."

"Likely you won't again as I'm going to be the first and last Jedi you'll see." Anakin was full of pride as he didn't want to let on that each deflection was close to being a deathblow. "I wasn't given my powers, it took my entire life to be the best. How much time have you spent cowering behind that red helmet?"

Jason Scott hadn't actually been a ranger for very long but he trained in some form of martial arts for the past decade. He replied, "Long enough. Somehow I don't think all your training as a despicable Jedi is going to pay off. The others would agree with your tactics of mass murder?" Jason wanted dearly to spit on him.

Anakin's smirk faded as he said, "Sometimes you need to go above and beyond to do what must be done." He motioned vibrantly as if trying to convince himself.

Jason sensed this and said, "Somehow I think they may thank me when I drag your filthy corpse back to them." He felt his words lash out seeing a plethora of emotions flash across Anakin's face, ranging from rage to an almost rampant fear. Skywalker managing to push that all aside and stand resolute.

Anakin Skywalker looked no worse for wear as his robes suffered multiple burn marks. A cut opened up earlier just above his eye sending a steady stream of blood down his neck just, past his collar. It didn't help that it felt like he was sucking on a pile copper for more than three minutes. Jason managed during a flurry of blows to strike Anakin in the ribs with a well placed knee that would of made anyone else pass out let alone double over in pain. It was clear that Skywalker was made of stronger stuff as he remained unrelenting. Even managing to reply in a cool and unwavering tone, "I've been hit harder by baby Shaak's on Naboo."

Knowing that he landed a flush blow Jason wondered just what sort of person he was fighting. His foe looked human but had abilities unlike anything Jason had ever seen. It didn't look like a device of any kind was giving Anakin powers although he expected the lightsaber at one point. "Pain is something you mask well. A shame my team won't get to see your face and witness vengeance done. That name "Vengeance", I think one of the ships they destroyed earlier had that name." Jason let out a resounding "Ha!" as if trying to combine all his laughter into one word.

Sounds of distant muffled explosions shook the ground and made the air vibrate. Outside the confines of their arena a lot had been going on between the four remaining rangers and the cloned troopers. Billy Cranston and Kimberly Hart where off fighting their own battles while Zack Taylor and Trini Kwan joined up to rescue trapped civilians at the Groves Mall. The majority of people where dead or already fled. Only two junkies remained because they were too petrified with fear to run or hide and found themselves surrounded by troopers. Zack and Trini were both transported to the location directly from home base where they had been watching the carnage. twelve troopers easily managed to lock down the entire building as they split off into roaming groups. Two had only just approached a pharmacy, in-between a discount shoe store and movie rental shop, when Zack and Trini found themselves only yards away.

Life-sign readers indicated that two people were still alive and they had taken refuge behind the counter of the store. Security camera footage proved the two to be none other than the misfits Farcus "Bulk" Bulkmier and Eugene "Skull" Skullovich. It couldn't be said if the two had intentionally found themselves behind the counter of the drug store but it was clear it wasn't just fear that motivated them. Luckily the two troops had their backs turned as they meant to progress further into the Mall. Zack took the opportunity and rushed them, catching one from behind with his axe, cleaving him the length of his back. The troopers armor meant nothing as the deep wound glistened red. Trini got off two shots before they scrambled into the pharmacy but only managed to graze the not yet injured enemy on the shoulder.

Bulk upon seeing the two troopers enter immediately raised his hands in surrender and wept, "Sorry guys, but we're closed!"The purple shirt under his leather jacket had been stained with sweat. He was standing next to Skull who was also trembling.

"Don't worry fella's, no one's gotta know ya stopped by." Skull could hardly muster a friendly tone. The trooper who had been shot could only grunt as the other raised his weapon to finish off these two clowns. He made several shots, missing, but causing shattered glass to slam against skulls face. Blood splattered on the counter as Skull gripped the left side of his face. Doubling over only the low sound of whimpering could be heard.

Entering from behind both Zack and Trini brandished their weapons, Trini with her two daggers approached the injured soldier first. He expected nothing as she was silent on her feet. The two dagger plunged deep into both of the stunned troopers lungs. The life flowed out of him like water as his gun slammed to the ground. The other soldier spun quickly around, lining up a shot and wanting desperately to pull the trigger. Unfortunately both of his arms had been severed by Zack's mighty axe. In truth even a child could cut down trees with that weapon due to its perfected edge. His gun, and arms too, fell to the ground with a similar crash. Zack finished the job by turning, using his momentum and hewed, sending the torso of his victim one way and leaving his legs in place.

"Oh hey, it's you guys."Bulk had already shimmied out from behind the counter and was moving toward the exit. "Don't wanna get in your way so we'll be outa your hair." He was pulling Skull by his arm, he'd lost a lot of blood and would need stitches.

"Stop!" Trini's voice boomed. "Put what you've taken back our we'll leave you here and say we were simply too late." The mall's camera's as well as her own helmet mounted recorder would disprove that claim. The two in front of her were notoriously stupid and had been scared witless to boot.

Dropping two full bags out from under his jacket Skull muttered, "Alright den, we're sorry. Just like to keep my hands busy when I get scared, ya know?" Bulk had silently placed his stolen items on the ground while Skull spoke. The two bags he placed on the ground absorbed much of his blood, leaving a growing pool on the floor. Trini could only feel pity for him in this moment, too weak to defend himself and lacking in any skill as a thief. The two sprinted off down the hallway toward to exit.

The sound of their escape had only just faded when a giant fireball engulfed the store and the two rangers standing within it. A volley of grenades had been lobbed in by the remaining troopers who responded to the distress of their fallen comrades. Fortunately each ranger suit, even though appearing to be made of thin spandex, was actually a synthetic polymer that could withstand almost any mortal weapon. Eight soldiers awaited outside the blaze, dressed in a thick white armor that had each been polished to perfection. Out manned and out gunned Zack and Trini unleashed a burst of shots from their weapons before making their attack. Unsure if any had been struck they leapt from the flames, each yelling their primal war cry's.

"That's a lot of confidence you have in your friends." With that Anakin Skywalker darted towards Jason Scott and the nearly twenty foot gap between them closed instantly. Quickness was of Anakin's greatest weapons and he knew it. This red "ranger" before him struck with great might and accuracy but had a weakness for flashy maneuvers that left him reeling. Feeling as though there wasn't much time to continue the pace Anakin foresaw this being his final assault. No one, mechanical or otherwise, had ever dodged or parried the planned thrust.

With such speed the lunging attack would have ended Jason but Anakin was relying on his power while Jason used his training. With quick thinking the red ranger brought down his Power Sword in an overhead smash. This left him open but made it impossible for Anakin to dodge. Everything happened so quickly, it was apparent the attack had no way of being diverted either by Jason or through the rechanneling of Anakin's momentum. Realizing that soon both men would be laying dead in the empty parking lot he let instinct take over. Acting too quickly and without control Anakin released a great deal of force energy just beyond the tip of his lightsaber. Both men plummeted backwards, thereby negated both of their intended strikes. The shockwave from the burst sent dust and pebbles tumbling in all directions as though a miniature nuclear device had been detonated. Static permeated the area leaving a dull blue haze of energy that dimmed as it steadily dissipated. On the now pristine concrete only a small blackened circle remained.

Each warrior had a very different landing. Jason Scott's being the most abrupt as he only made it a few yards when his back struck flush with a nearby pillar. Bearing the marks BB-243 in blue and black typography it was one of only a few installed beams. After a sickening thud a sharp moan lurched out as tendrils of agony seemed to tighten around his back and shoulders. Several of his ribs had fractured in multiple places which forced his breathing to become even more labored. The tyrannosaurus helmet was designed to withstand five thousand pounds of pressure but left the neck vulnerable. Jason felt himself unable to willingly move his head and already his body had become stiff. His eyes were shut tightly behind the veil of his helmet, praying that Skywalker too had been waylaid by the sudden blast. It seemed like an eternity before Jason could muster the strength to rise to his feet. Using the pillar as leverage he slowly rose up and tried to regain any comprehension of his surroundings. Feebly grasping the sword and using it as a crutch he could barely make out the lump of his enemy in the distance. Progress was slow going as he crept close making the gap seem vast. To make matters worse Jason felt his left leg drag and could only grunt at the thought of what internal injuries awaited him.

It was hard for Anakin to believe that this supposed space ranger had the quick thinking to avert what would of been the end of the fight. Palpatine was insistent that any foe would be only a minor inconvenience, clearly someone was misinformed. Instantaneously Skywalker knew he was in trouble as his left elbow had been dislocated and several of his fingers where now broken. Trembling with pain another realization came about, this one sending waves of panic through his body, the blue lightsaber was no longer in his possession. All the worse Anakin's vision was heavily impaired, squinting became the only manageable way to keep his eyes open. Jason wasn't the only one who had been well trained as Anakin began to focus and repeat his own mantra, "There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. there is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force." Gradually he could feel the pain being willed away. Urgency was thick in the air as he stood weaponless.

A large explosion of a nearby building caused the whole structure to shake and tremble, resulting in even more dust clouds jetting from the ceiling. "Just give me the technology I'm looking for and this could all be over." Anakin Skywalker could feel his opponents physical distress but was in no position to press the advantage.

"It's trash like you that needs to be swept from this city. Only a coward would use someone's family as bait." Jason said as he maintained a slow pace toward the blurry figure. It had grown larger and soon he would be upon Anakin to finish the job.

One of the greatest advantages of being a wielder of the force is that closing your eyes will allow you to see far better than ever before. Knowing this Anakin shut his eyelids and began to reach out with his mind, searching the dark floor for his lightsaber. Finally, a supposed bit of luck, it was only a few yards in front of him just off to his left. Quickly crouching down he hastily picked up the lightsaber with his robotic hand. It must have been as Anakin took that single step because he heard nothing, only the wisp as Jason leaped through the air bearing down with all his might. It took every ounce of strength and speed to parry the attack causing the blow to strike the ground with such force that it left a massive crater. The impact of the blades crashing together was unlike any other either man had ever felt or heard. The cutting sound resembled an ancient roar from some mythical beast. Darting to one side, Anakin made his counter attack. This time it was aimed at Jason's side and with his weapon not yet back at the ready now was the moment.

The man given task over the Black Ranger duties was akin to a sergeant in a military comparison. It's why Zack was entrusted with the Power Axe, the linchpin of their combined mega weapon. Unknown to most enemies it could quickly be turned into a shotgun- like weapon known as the Blade Blaster. The troopers who surrounded the blazing store were only moments from opening up another volley when Zack delivered one of his own. Catching three out of the eight off guard. Each had a variety of wounds, one losing an arm and half his skull, another being folded in half like a piece of paper, and the last having all manner of small body parts torn off. The last trooper fell to the ground in agony and died shortly after. The five remaining soldiers stood stunned in disbelief, only a moment earlier they had been prepared to depart and now a midnight blur was coming at them. Luckily for everyone they wore helmets as the hallway became thick with smoke and hot ash. This protected their breathing but not their vision, the five white smudges scrambled close together like frightened sheep.

Zack being extremely intuitive made short work of each trooper with his axe. He was a master of his own martial art, Hip Hop Kido, a mixture of his favorite dance moves and deadly martial attacks. The first three where unfortunate in standing too close as each had some portion of their skulls cleaved off or crushed by Zack's swing. The remaining troopers began to panic and fired randomly into the smoke to no avail. Jason was like a tornado as he chopped and hacked the final soldiers to pieces. Each making gargling sounds as Trini only just regained her footing. Unfortunately she found herself in the path of a blaster shot that sent her tumbling head over heels. It was tragic that she was taken out of the fight so early and in such an unforeseen way. Luckily Zack was feeling the flow, he hooted, "Woo! Yeah Trini, you see me get three at once? Never seen Jason do anything like that. Billy blew up a dozen guys once but I don't think that should count, what do ya say Trini?".

Dusting herself off Trini replied "Billy didn't just throw some bomb, he set up a trap using their own weapons, that saved us and should count for something." Thinking back she remembered how the team had been taken captive and their morphers taken away. Luckily Zack managed to set everyone free and Billy created a trap that finished the escape. Proud moments from each ranger.

"Yeah your right." Zack had to admit Trini was correct, but he was still excited. "We better get moving there are a few more roaming around here. I can smell their stink." It was more like his helmet could track their unique energy signatures, but he liked to use dramatic metaphors.

In their wake Zack and Trini had left a hollowed crater that still smoldered with the toxic aroma of a hundred different prescription drugs. The remains of two troops lay within the blaze and soon what was left of the other eight would be engulfed as well. It was a sickening thought but Trini knew that fire crews had no time for this location while entire neighborhoods burned. A tragedy because the mall was a favorite hangout for the ranger. They made it a safe place for everyone by actively promoting a host of community activities. Even Bulk and Skull knew not to mess around while they were in the mall or else they both might get an uppercut to the stomach or a backfist to the cheek. The Groves Mall had already received damage that would take years to repair. Fire burst from the pharmacy, flames licking the ceiling. Such destruction would spread uncontrollably until fire crews had the time to deal with it. By then all that would be left is a pile of smoldering rubble. The sounds of hacking and dying could be heard throughout the ruined halls.

Anakin Skywalker's speed was still something to behold. Even after the injuries he suffered there was no misstep or wasted motion. To his amusement the lightsaber was buried almost a quarter of its length against Jason's side. Something was amiss, Anakin found his arm being held in position by Jason's left hand, the other still gripping his hilt. "You've done despicable things to innocent people. If you had only asked we may of been able to help you. Instead..." As Jason's voice trailed off Anakin could hear the grotesque sounds of flesh sizzling. The portion of Jason's suit that was continually coming into contact with the beam of light had startlingly began to boil. Time soon became meaningless as the inevitability was clear and like a scared animal the once composed Skywalker began to panic. Frantically he punched at Jason who dipped down his head allowing a bare fist to meet his helmet. With a crunch it was apparent, even by Skywalker's expression, that whatever bones remained intact in his hand were no longer. He let out a high pitched screech that rang throughout the garage.

Senator Palpatine made it clear in his instructions, recover the ancient technology, kill hostiles who guard it. Not only would the supposed prize help to save senator Amidala but finally tip the scales in the Clone Wars and complete what had been a tiresome and bloody ordeal. Importance being stressed on those who knew its secret location and how they would guard him with their lives. Palpatine was keen to point out that whatever must be done in order to find the being known as Zordon must be done. As he alone could potentially save entire civilizations from want and destruction. All of this sounded too incredible but when Anakin saw a deep-space transport filled with troops ready to leave he knew things where about to become grave. "Now then, because of the necessary tactics that will be employed during this mission the Jedi council will not be informed. You know as well as I that time is fleeting for your beloved and many others. The force will get this done quickly and save lives Anakin Skywalker." Palpatine sounded every bit the sweet talking snake as Anakin ate up every word. He was love sick and still filled, even then, with images of Padme's death. As the craft travelled through space towards it's far off destination Anakin could only sit back and meditate. If somehow it was possible to seal away that future than somehow he would get through the ordeal. Much like Jason and Kimberly, Anakin too became the embodiment of ignorant youth.

Anakin attempted to clutch his hand as he wrenched back in blinding pain but Jason held fast not letting himself be pulled away. Jason Scott was used to killing, putty men, and so many of Rita's captains that he could hardly keep faces to the names. Tonight this fight was somehow different as if it all could have been avoided. He was chosen to be a fabled ranger because of his abilities, his attitude, his honor and that honor demanded Anakin's life. This was his charge and without a second thought the Power Sword found itself a quarter way into Anakin's belly. Unable to speak or even breath he allowed Jason to take one last opportunity by saying, "Only part of you is evil and I will cut that part out." Taking a step forward he closed the remaining foot long gap between them. Anakin made a sound as if he was violently dry heaving while the sword slid through his organs. The weapon still glowed with heat as the blood coming out of the wound bubbled and hissed.

Numbness overtook Anakin as he no longer possessed the ability to grasp his weapon. After falling to the ground it bounced several times radiating loud metallic *clanks*. Unlike a lightsaber the Power Sword actually took effort to withdraw from Anakin even though Jason still had plenty of leverage. Anakin Skywalker's expression emptied while his eyes hollowed because finally he was allowed to crumble to his knees. His essence was only just leaving him as Jason let go of his arm and allowed it to fall, his wrist scraping against the ground. "Alpha are you getting this?" Jason himself could scarcely believe he'd remembered that his helmet was transmitting everything he saw. Unfortunately he was so deep underground that the signal was blocked. Getting to the surface would be his next move. "I don't know what god or gods you believe in but coming here was a mistake. We only DEFEND our home from people like you. None the less, you were a fine enough warrior and will be buried properly." He hefted Anakin's body over his shoulder effortlessly, he was lighter than he looked. Jason knew that Zordon would need his body retrieved sooner or later and decided to save Alpha 5 some future trouble. That was just the kind of guy he was, equal part genuinely caring and equal parts relentless duty.

The Power Sword was finally secured in its holster and with his free hand Jason scooped up the ownerless lightsaber. He wondered if attaching it to the end of his weapon would add and actual combat advantage but decided halfway during his accent to abandon the idea. The only thing going through his mind from now until he could get his com's working would be how Kimberly was doing. No doubt she heard the awful news about her home and family. No doubt wondering what happened to him and if her beloved captain was still alive. Awash with relief Jason was grateful to hear the static voice calling out through his headset, "Red Ranger, Red Ranger! Red Ranger! Ay-Yai-Yai-Yai-Yai! Are you alright?" The high pitched synthetic voice of Alpha 5 rang in Jason's helmet like a bell.

It's comforting to hear that familiar caring voice thought Jason as he replied, "Yes I am and the threat has been put down. I need to be transported with my cargo. He's become nothing but dead-weight." Billy Cranston once postulated that every ranger, for whatever reason or another, dealt with intensely stressful situations with light hearted humor. Clearly there was never a truer hypothesis.

Zordon's voice was booming through his headset as he reached the mouth of the ground floor exit. The night sky was alive with glowing yellowing embers flickering through the air like firefly's on the way to spread their ashen tears. "Good to hear your voice Jason, your team will be pleased. With the enemy leader gone I feel the mission nearing completion. It won't be much longer." That reassuring tone set Jason's mind at ease as he got in position to be teleported away.

It was a perfect fall evening in Angel Grove with the sky being it's typically cloudless self. A breeze had only just picked up as Jason caught the scent of smoldering rubber and other plastics. He was able to distinguish between that and the smell of diesel. It had been from a tank that exploded nearby at some gas station. The night was slowly drawing to an end for him but he knew that city wide EMS's crews would be working overtime. Luckily with recent events many of the local hospitals bolstered their staff for just such an event. Who could blame them, if he hadn't been a ranger already he would of found his calling as an ambulance driver. Engulfed by a crimson beam of light Jason felt himself become weightless as his body and conciseness where whisked away. Even the burden of Anakin's corpse became nothing as his corpse was on the floor next to Jason. Taking a deep breath Jason Scott awaited updating Zordon. He pushed aside his worry and simply accepted that Kimberly and the others where alright and would soon be returning.