#05 - "Girls Meet Bubbles" (Originally Written In: 2017)|
[ Song du Jour | Close ]
Brandon ran into his sister's office, flinging the doors open. "Kendrix!" He stopped and bent down, trying to catch his breath.
"Brandon," she inquired, getting out of her chair and walking toward him, "what's going on? You're out of breath. Did you *run* all the way here?"
"It was... Only five... Flights... Of stairs... And one... Long hallway..." He replied, breathing deeply between phrases.
"Xityrant's monster has captured Chase and Riley, and they're not in the city anymore."
Her eyes widened. "That's not good..."
At that moment, an intern ran in. "Mr. Morgan! Dr. Morgan! Phoenix is no longer on our radar! We fear that he might have been apprehended by the same monster that captured Chase and Riley."
"Brandon, contact the girls and have them teleport here immediately. I don't want to risk them getting captured, as well."
"Yes, ma'am," he said. He turned and ran out of the room, followed by the intern.
Kendrix walked toward the picture window in her office and looked out at the city. "What's your plan, Xityrant?"
"Do you understand?" Xityrant asked.
"Yes, sir. We send down a different monster, out of fear that Dumpster will somehow let those Rangers go free."
"Don't send Blackjack. I have plans for him."
"Yes, sir." Clerica teleported out of the room.
Down on the third floor, Clerica appeared in her chamber and summoned a monster. A purple-and-blue-colored monster appeared before her. She looked her over. "What's your special power?"
"My name is Bubbles, and I can trap people in force-field bubbles, from which they cannot escape!" She boasted.
"Fitting power," she said. "Go down to the city, and start trapping people in your bubbles! If you get those remaining Rangers, Xityrant will give you a promotion!"
"Really? Xityrant knows that I exist? He's *so* dreamy. I'd love to trap him in a bubble and --"
"HEY!" Clerica fired a beam at Bubbles, stopping her mid-sentence. "Xityrant is MINE. Got it?"
"We'll see," Bubbles replied. "After I capture the remaining Rangers, Xityrant will fall in love with me, and we'll live happily ever after!" She waved at Clerica. "Buh-bye, darling!" She teleported away in a stream of blue-and-purple-tinted bubbles.
"'Buh-bye, darling,'" she mocked. "We'll just see about that. I'll use our prisoners to my advantage." Clerica walked out of her room, heading toward the Containment Chamber.
Brandon made his way back to the Science Lab. When he arrived, he watched as Gabriela and Kaori were teleported into the room. "Thank goodness!"
"What happened?" Gabriela asked, looking around. "How did we get here so quickly?"
"Brandon, is everything okay?" Kaori inquired.
"I'm afraid not, girls. Phoenix and the others were captured by one of Xityrant's monsters, and they were taken away!" The girls gasped. "We have been trying to locate them, but have had no luck."
"Did you broaden the search parameters to include outer space?"
"We did, but we couldn't find them."
"Then, where could they be?" Gabriela asked.
"Duh, they're probably locked away on Xityrant's ship, but it's cloaked, so we cannot find them," Kaori replied. "It's the only logical solution."
"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go up there and rescue them!" Just then, the monster alarm sounded. She gasped. "Is that the guys?"
Brandon pulled up a video of Bubbles landing in the City Centre. "I don't think so, unless Xityrant's turned them into a... Lady bubble-shooting monster?"
"I did hear through the grapevine that Riley's nickname is 'Bubbles,' so maybe it's him, at least?" Gabriela asked. Kaori looked at her with a deadpan expression. She shrugged. "What? It's possible!"
"It's not Riley. The scanners would have picked up the traces of his DNA." He turned toward the girls. "You two need to be careful when battling this monster. If you two get captured, then the city is completely defenseless. Your individual Power Weapons are ready, though they haven't been fully tested yet. You can summon them in battle, if you find it necessary."
"Wow, thanks!" Kaori exclaimed. "You ready, Gabi?"
"Good!" She pulled her Engine Charger out of her jacket pocket and inserted it into her Rail Morpher, lowering the gate mechanism. "TQG, Activate!" Instantly, a pocket of pink energy enveloped Kaori, transforming her into the Pink Ranger. She looked at Gabriela. "What are you waiting for?"
"I don't want to get captured, too."
"We'll be fine out there. We've got our weapons, and it's not the same monster that the guys encountered. What could go wrong?"
"I guess you're right." She set her backpack down and took her Engine Charger out of her pocket. She inserted it into her Rail Morpher and lowered the gate mechanism. "TQG, Activate!" A similar pocket of yellow energy enveloped her, transforming her into the Yellow Ranger. "You're sure we'll be safe?"
"C'mon, woman! Pull yourself together!" Kaori shouted. "We don't need MEN to protect us!"
"Yeah! Let's go and kick some butt! Last one there has to wash Phoenix's laundry!" She pressed the yellow button on her Rail Morpher, teleporting her out of the room.
"What? No! I hate how he needs his underwear hand-washed and ironed dry!" Kaori followed Gabriela out of the Lab.
Brandon shook his head. "Hoo, boy." He paused. "Although, I'll bet ironed-dry underwear feels nice against your skin. Note to self: Ask Phoenix about his laundry."
"So, what are you going to do?" Riley asked, addressing the pouting Phoenix, who was sitting in the far corner of the cell.
"I say, we leave him here," Chase interjected. "Clearly, he'd rather be here than on a team led by two former Power Rangers."
"You're probably right. So, our plan..." The door to the Containment Chamber flew open, and Clerica walked in. "Shh," Riley motioned for Chase to be quiet, and turned to face his captor. "You're looking lovely today!" He smiled.
"Cram it! I need to use you three as bait. Think you can handle that?" Phoenix looked up. "Yeah, you back there. You're included in this, too."
"You know..." Chase made his way to the front of the cell. Riley moved back. "It's rather dry down here. Would it be too much trouble for a beverage? I'm rather parched."
Clerica sighed. "Whiny, demanding prisoners. Why didn't I use an executioner? I'll be back with your water..." Chase glanced over at Riley and gave him a quick smirk.
"People of Venture Capital! I am Bubbles, and I am here to capture you in... Well, bubbles! Spectres, seize the civilians and hold them still!" The grunt fighters followed suit, holding onto random civilians as Bubbles fired her containment pods at them, containing them within free-floating spheres. "This is too easy!" She laughed.
-"Earth Claw, Slash!"- Kaori flipped through the air, slicing at Bubbles as she landed. She quickly tumbled out of the way while the monster was dazed.
-"Lightning Hammer, Strike!"- Gabriela landed with her hammer drawn, pounding the ground and sending shockwaves toward Bubbles, electrocuting her and knocking her away.
She got up and shook her head, trying to regain her composure. "What the--?" She asked as she turned around, only to be met with the two Rangers. "Power Rangers?!"
"That's right!" Gabriela rested her hammer on her shoulder. "Surprised to see us?"
"We're going to send you right back where you came from!" Kaori pointed her claw weapon at the monster. "Now, let these people go!"
"No dice, ladies! In fact, why don't you join them?"
Clerica walked back to the cell. "Here." She shoved the cup of water through the door.
"Thank you!" Chase took it. "Has anyone ever told you that your eyes are like two bubbling pools of acid?"
"No..." She smiled slightly.
Chase took a sip of the water, and Riley bumped his arm, spilling the drink. "Riley!"
"Aw, man! Now, I've got water all over my shirt. Better let it dry off..." He grabbed his shirt by the front buttons and tore it open. He discarded it, tossing it onto the ground. "That's better!"
Clerica's eyes widened. "I, um..." Chase stretched, flexing his muscles. "I..."
"You don't want your shirt to get dirty, Chase. You'd better pick it up," Riley suggested.
"Oh, right!" He turned around and bent over, giving Clerica a good view of what he had to offer. He slowly picked up the discarded shirt and flung it over his shoulder. He turned back to face her.
"I... Hoo boy... I just remembered. Something suddenly came up. Bye!" She ran out of the room, dropping the keys to the cell as she fled.
Riley knelt down and reached through the bars to the cell, grabbing the keys. "Works every time!" He stood up and high-fived Chase. The two of them turned toward Phoenix. "That's how you get it done, son!"
He stood up and approached them. "I'm sorry for anything bad I've ever said about either of you. Playas got some game! Now, what do you say we get out of here? Oh, and can you put your shirt back on?"
"Jealous?" Chase smirked. Riley snickered.
"Please..." Phoenix threw off his jacket and discarded his shirt, showing off his athletic physique. "I've got my own muscles."
Chase looked himself over and frowned. "I've got to start hitting the gym again."
"Can we go, before they realize the doors are wide open?" Riley asked. "Also, yeah, can you two get dressed?"
Bubbles fired a containment pod at Kaori, but Gabriela ran in front of her. She swung her hammer at the pod, sending it flying back into Bubbles. It exploded upon impact, sending her flying a good distance back, and freeing the trapped civilians around them. "I've got to... Regroup! Spectres! Get them!" The dark-costumed grunts surrounded the Rangers, while Bubbles ran for safety.
"She's escaping!" Gabriela exclaimed. "You'd better go after her!" She started swinging her hammer at the Spectres, striking them and knocking them away.
"What about you?"
"I can handle these guys. I'll catch up."
"You got it! Good luck!" She leapt up over the Spectres and took off after Bubbles. A couple of them followed her.
"Oh, no, you don't. Lightning Hammer, Strike!" She swung her hammer around a couple of times, charging up its energy, and then struck the ground, sending an electric pulse toward the Spectres, who stopped and started convulsing upon impact. They soon dissolved into the atmosphere. "Wow!" She looked at her hammer. "I didn't know that you could do THAT!"
Elsewhere, Kaori got close enough to Bubbles to leap into the air and use her signature attack on her again. "Petal Claw, Slash!" She struck the monster, causing her to fall face-first onto the ground. Kaori landed and assumed a defensive stance. "Ready to call it quits, monster?"
She slowly got back up. "I've still got one trick up my sleeve... I hope..." She looked up. "FIRE THE SATELLASER!"
Xityrant watched the battle unfold, and heard the monster's cry for help. He sighed. "If you want something done right..." He pressed the button, and the growth beam emerged from the ship, striking the monster below. "...You've got to do it yourself. I hope, for Clerica's sake, her monster doesn't lose. If it does, then it's not only the end for Blackjack, but for her as well." He started to chuckle evilly.
The growth beam surrounded Bubbles, causing her to grow to city-wrecking proportions. "Whee-hee! It worked!"
Kaori looked up. "Aw, man!"
Gabriela came running up to her, noticing that the monster was now gigantic. "What happened? I left you with a small monster, and now, it's a huge monster!"
"I guess Xityrant made her grow. That's typically how it works."
"I'm going to encompass the entire city in one giant dome, cutting it off from everyone! Take this, puny peasants!" Bubbles pointed her blaster arm into the air and fired a beam, which came down around the city, encompassing it in an energy field. She lowered her arm to the Rangers below. "What do you two little ladies have to say about that?"
"Can we get our Zords?" Gabriela pressed a button on her Rail Morpher. "Brandon?" There wasn't a response. "Dr. Morgan?" Again, there was silence. "Oh, no! We're cut off from the headquarters!"
"We'd better find someplace to regroup. Come on." Kaori motioned toward a nearby office building.
"Brandon!" Kendrix's voice boomed over the loudspeakers at TQGHQ. "Come to my office... IMMEDIATELY! Kai, to my office, IMMEDIATELY!" The two men ran through the halls of TQGHQ to their boss's office and flung the doors open, running inside. "We've got a serious problem."
"What's going on?" Kai asked.
"For starters, sir," Brandon explained, "one of Xityrant's monsters kidnapped Phoenix, Chase, and Riley, and we have been unable to locate them within the city limits. We fear that they are being held on Xityrant's ship."
"Now, their newest monster has encased Venture Capital in an energy dome, cutting us off from Kaori and Gabriela!" Kendrix added.
Kai snickered. "Remember that time when Scorpius tried that, and Magna Defender tried to crack it open like an egg?"
"This isn't funny, Kai. The Rangers are gone, and half of the city is underneath a force field! You weren't in the one Scorpius did. They're going to run out of air!"
"Okay, calm down," Kai spoke. "We need to think logically. Scorpius's force field was created by a *device*, right?" Kendrix nodded. "And, this one is likely just a monster using its own energy, right?" Kendrix nodded again. "Why don't *we* take the Megazord and try cracking it like an egg? There's no outer dome to shatter, and we're not on the space colony anymore. It could work."
"I guess we don't have any other options. Brandon, figure out a way to allow us to pilot the Zords. Wrangle a couple of your interns if necessary. We'll need to form the Megazord, and that requires five people, correct?"
"Right away, sis!" Brandon turned and ran out of the room.
Kendrix sighed. "What happened to the days when monsters would be trying to find magical energy spheres in cameras?"
"It's a different time."
Riley, Chase, and Phoenix made their way through the halls of Xityrant's ship. "Where exactly are we going, anyway?" Phoenix asked.
"Every ship has some sort of secret way out," Riley replied. "We just need to find where this one's is, and we're home-free."
Chase noticed a sign on a nearby door labeled 'EP-005.' "Hm... Is this what I think it is?" Riley and Phoenix joined him in looking at it. "'EP' could mean 'Escape Pod.' This might be our way out!" He saw that there was a keypad next to the door. "I wonder what the code is."
Phoenix cracked his knuckles. "Stand aside, gentlemen." The other Rangers backed away, and Phoenix slid on a brass knuckle. He punched the panel as hard as he could, breaking its screen and causing the door to slide open. "There's your access code."
"And, you just happen to keep a brass knuckle on you?" Riley asked.
"We'd better hurry, before they catch on." The three Rangers filed into the Escape Pod, and the door closed behind them. A few seconds later, they were ejected from the ship, and were headed for the city below.
-"ALERT! ESCAPE POD DISPATCHED!"-
Xityrant checked the footage, and saw the Rangers escaping. He growled, pounding his fist on the arm of his chair. "That tears it."
Clerica heard the blaring voice boom over the speakers of the ship. "They escaped? ... They escaped! Oh, no..."
Blackjack walked out from an adjacent room. "Mm-hmm... I wonder how Xityrant's going to like that little bit of information." He crossed his arms and leaned against the wall. "Guess I'm not the bad employee anymore!"
"YOU!" She grabbed him and pulled him toward her. "I need you to find Dumpster and come down to the city with me. We *have* to get those Rangers back!"
"Wait a minute," Blackjack said, breaking free from her grasp. "What is this 'we' business?"
"I seem to recall a certain evil overlord telling a certain someone that he had one last chance and, if the next plan failed, he was done for."
"How did you know that?"
"I didn't. You just admitted it."
"Oh, you're good..."
The Rail Riders were headed for the city. Piloting them were Kendrix, Kai, Brandon, and two of the workers from the Weapons Lab: Alex and Mackayla. Kendrix was in the Red Rider, Kai was in the Blue one, Brandon was in the Green one, Alex was in the Yellow one, and Mackayla was in the Pink one.
"We should be at the dome soon," Kendrix spoke, her voice booming through the speakers in the other Rail Riders.
"These things are AMAZING!" Mackayla exclaimed. "Are they always this fast?"
"We designed them to achieve optimum speed in the shortest time possible," Brandon explained. "See, the photons align with the neutrons just so, and--"
"She just asked if they always go this fast, sir," Alex interjected.
Kai rolled his eyes. "He's definitely your brother."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Kendrix asked.
"Oh, you know exactly what I mean..."
"Hey, shouldn't we be forming the Megazord now?" Alex asked.
"Alex is correct," Brandon replied. "Kendrix, you may do the honors."
Gabriela and Kaori were hiding out in the lobby of the nearby ThirdMerit Bank tower, waiting out the monster attack. Morphed, but helmetless, they plotted out what they should do next.
"I don't like this," Kaori spoke. "We're sitting ducks here!"
"Is there anything that we *can* do?"
"Let's see... We have a fifty-foot-tall monster out there that's trapped a portion of the city in an energy field, and nothing can easily penetrate it. We're cut off from our headquarters and our Zords. Oh, yeah, and the guys were kidnapped!"
"So, you're saying that it's hopeless?"
"It's not looking too promising." Gabriela fell silent. "Gabi?"
"What if... Now, this is just a hypothesis, but what if the monster has a weak point that we can exploit?"
Kaori perked up. "Go on..."
"You remember the phrase, 'Achilles Heel'? What if we can find Bubbles's Achilles Heel, throw every attack we have at it, and weaken her? Maybe she'll shrink back down to a normal size, and we can finish her off!"
"That's... That's brilliant!" She put her helmet back on, and handed Gabi's to her. "Let's do it!" Suddenly, they felt the ground shake. "What was that?"
"Let's check it out!"
Bubbles turned around and saw the Rail Rider Megazord striking at the force field. "Puny Rangers?! How did you get out of my dome?" The Megazord kept swinging. "No matter! You can't possibly penetrate my energy field!" She laughed evilly.
Inside the main cockpit, the five would-be heroes were controlling the Megazord. "It's not working," Kai spoke.
"It's got to be getting weaker," Alex commented.
"Keep whacking it!" Mackayla exclaimed. "Harder! Harder!"
"Slow your roll, there," Alex interjected.
"Better do as she says, Kendrix," Kai said. "Whack it! Harder!" Kendrix snickered. "What's so funny?"
"Think about it." She grinned.
The Escape Pod made its way through the atmosphere, heading right for the top of the energy field. A voice came over the speaker. -"ALERT! GROUND FORCE DETECTED! IMPACT IMMINENT!"-
Riley looked out the window. "There's a monster, and... Is that the Megazord?"
Phoenix looked out the other side. "It looks like there's an opening in that energy thing, right above the monster."
"Then, that's where we need to aim this thing," Chase interjected. "Phoenix, is it to the left or right?"
"Everyone to the right side of the ship!" The guys all piled onto the right side of the ship and pushed against the wall.
"Is it working?" Phoenix asked.
"I sure hope so," Riley replied. "If not, we're in for several rough landings!"
Gabriela and Kaori ran up to the distracted Bubbles and started to look for a weak spot. "Do you see anything?" Gabriela asked.
"I don't think it's going to be labeled, 'Weak Point.' For some reason, I'd think that Xityrant's monsters don't have self-destruct buttons."
"Oh, no?" Gabriela asked, pointing to an outline of a circle on Bubbles's left ankle. "What about this?"
Kaori ran over. "It's just a circle." She took a closer look at it. "Although, it *does* look different. Maybe you're right." She drew her Earth Claw weapon. "Get your hammer ready! I'll attack first, get out of the way, and you can send your shockwave at this spot." She charged up her attack as Gabriela took a few steps back. "Earth Claw, Slash!" She struck the soft spot and leapt out of the way. "Gabi, go!"
"Lightning Hammer, Strike!" She swung her hammer at the ground, and the electric pulse rippled toward the monster's foot, striking at the precise spot that it should.
Bubbles started to quiver. "Uh-oh!"
-"ALERT! IMPACT IMMINENT!"-
"I sure hope this worked!" Chase shouted.
"I just want to say one thing... It's been an honor fighting evil with you two!" Phoenix shouted. "I'm sorry for anything I've ever said about you!"
"We're sorry, too!" Riley exclaimed.
"What?! I couldn't hear you!"
The Escape Pod entered the force field through the opening at the very top, bounced off of Bubbles's head, and fell to the ground below, missing Gabriela and Kaori by about three hundred feet. However, the force of the impact was enough to knock them down. Bubbles started to scream in agony as she started to shrink back down, lowering the force field dome as she got smaller. "NOOOOOOoooooo... My dome...!"
"It's getting lower! Hold on!" Kendrix stopped swinging at it.
Gabriela and Kaori got up and ran toward the Escape Pod. The door opened, and the guys emerged from the smoke-filled interior, coughing. "Riley! Chase! Phoenix!" The girls shouted.
"Why are you the only one wearing a shirt, Riley?" Gabriela asked.
"What?" He turned around. "I thought you guys were dressed when we got into this thing!"
"What do you expect? It got hot when we entered the atmosphere, mate!"
"Also, if you've got it, flaunt it," Phoenix boasted, focusing on the morphed girls. "Like what you see?"
"I do, but not you," Gabriela replied, focusing on Chase. "An accent *and* that body..."
Kaori smacked the back of her helmet. "Control yourself! We still need to finish off that monster!"
-"We've got this one!"- Mackayla's voice boomed from the Megazord. The Rangers looked up.
Bubbles turned around. "What?" A shadow grew around her. "Oh, no..." The Megazord's foot landed on her, squashing her and finishing her off.
-"We popped the bubble!"- Brandon's voice echoed.
Suddenly, Dumpster appeared in front of them, flanked by Clerica and Blackjack. "Greetings, Rangers!" Clerica spoke.
"Did you miss me?" Dumpster asked.
"You're still alive?" Phoenix held his nose. "I'll bet you still smell terrible!"
"It's a glandular condition!"
"No matter how many of you there are, you're no match for us!" Riley exclaimed. "C'mon, guys, let's do it!"
The three Ranger guys inserted their Engine Chargers into their Rail Morphers and lowered the gates. "TQG, Activate!" Envelopes of energy surrounded them, shattering to reveal their Ranger identities. The girls joined them, and the five posed defensively. "We are... TQG!"
"We know," Blackjack spoke. "It hasn't changed!"
"We're going to take you down," Clerica added. "This monster's still quite powerful!"
"Not only that, but five against three are better odds for us to win!"
At that moment, a strange beam enveloped the three monsters. Clerica and Blackjack felt themselves being drawn toward Dumpster. They shouted to be freed, but they were absorbed into Dumpster's body. He then shot up to city-wrecking proportions.
"Good thing the Megazord's already here!" Chase shouted.
"All aboard!" Kaori commanded. The five teleported into the cockpit.
"Where are we?" Blackjack asked, floating around.
"I think we're inside the monster," Clerica replied. She inhaled. "Ew! It *does* smell bad in here!"
"That Ranger wasn't lying!"
"Wait! If we're inside the monster and he gets destroyed, won't we get destroyed, too?" Her eyes widened. "Think Xityrant knows that we failed?"
"I'm large and in charge!" Dumpster boasted.
"That's what you think," Riley said, taking over for Kendrix in the lead chair. "Thank you for coming out to help us fight, but we'll take it from here!"
"Be my guest! This was a fun trip down Memory Lane, but I'd rather be back at the office."
The other Rangers took over from their fill-in counterparts.
"Let's end this so we can get back to the base," Riley spoke.
"Rail Rider Megazord, Super Slash!"
The Megazord charged up its sword and prepared to attack. Dumpster backed away. "What are you doing?" The Megazord locked onto him. "I don't want to die!" The sword finished charging. "Oh, no..." It started to quickly slide toward him. "NOOOoooo...!" The Megazord slashed through him as it zoomed past, slicing Dumpster in half and causing him to explode. "What a way to go...!" He blew up, dissolving into the atmosphere.
"Oh, poo, now I have two job openings."
"You guys were all AMAZING!" Mackayla boasted, running ahead of them through the halls of TQGHQ. "I got to fight with the Rangers!" Her voice drifted off as she ran.
Kendrix snickered. "Someone should really go after her."
Alex sighed. "I'll do it..." She walked off in Mackayla's direction.
They passed by the door to the dorms. "We'd better leave you guys to rest and relax after your ordeal. C'mon, Kai, Brandon, we have things to do." Kendrix motioned toward her brother and Kai.
"Right," Kai spoke. "We'll catch up with you later." He and the others walked toward Kendrix's office.
"You two really fought Bubbles on your own?" Phoenix asked.
"We did," Gabriela replied. "Are you surprised?"
"No, I..." He stuttered.
"What he means is, we think it's awesome that you two stood up and defended the city like you did," Riley interjected.
"Exactly," Chase added. "You two are pretty remarkable."
"Oh, we know," Kaori boasted, grinning.
"What about you guys? You broke out of Xityrant's ship without using your Ranger powers! How did you come up with that plan?"
"And, why didn't Chase and Phoenix have shirts on when you got back?"
"It's like I always say," Phoenix replied, "'If you've got it, flaunt it!'" He looked around at the others, who weren't amused. "Nobody? Really?" He sighed. "Fine. It was all Chase and Riley. They used Chase's raw animal magnetism to seduce Clerica, which caused her to run off like a horny teenager, and she dropped the keys to the cell. That allowed them to get out of captivity."
"To be fair, YOU were the one that broke through the security of the escape pod," Chase added, patting Phoenix on the shoulder. "This boy's a beast!"
"Thanks, Chase," Phoenix said, smiling.
"What do you think is going to happen next?" Riley walked over toward the window and looked out at the city, and up toward space. "These attacks are coming fast and furious." The others gathered around him. "If these two monsters had us on the outs, who knows what threats await us?"
"We'd better double down on the Ranger training," Phoenix spoke. The others nodded.