By Max_Morana 6 Comments
The Keeper's Command Center: Years and years ago...
One by one, the vibrant colors of each Ranger illuminated command center, all of them being summoned at once. After a decade of working together, the team didn't feel the need to exchange pleasantries, merely friendly nods to their comrades.
They were a diverse team, denizens from all corners of the galaxy. Red Ranger Jak, Yellow Ranger Taylor, Black Ranger Roger, Blue Ranger Srang, Pink Ranger Linda and Green Ranger Darner. Together, they were The Supernova Rangers.
Jak stepped up to The Keeper's pedestal, and gave a courteous bow in her presence. "You called for us, Keeper. From the sounds of it, we have something of a crisis on our hands." The Red Ranger slowly looked up, just as The Keeper manifested her ghostly form.
"You are correct, Jak. After years of silence, it would seem that our old foe, Commander Fenpa, has resurfaced once again to start another conquest..." Her words lingered in the air with a heavy silence following it. While none of them looked directly at him, everyone gave small and pained glances towards Darner. "...This will mark his first appearance since-"
Darner looked up, glaring at The Keeper with his intense and glowing jade eyes. "Since he killed my sister, yes. We were all thinking it." His voice was accompanied by a light clicking noise, his insect biology melding with his humanoid side.
Another silence, until Roger walked up behind the Green Ranger, and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Hey man, we want to get him as much as you do, and we will bring him in. Just... Are you okay to go through with this?" He strained a supportive smile, trying his best to keep Darner calm. Everyone waited silently for the answer, knowing that Roger was the one to ask. The two having forged a strong friendship over their service together.
"..." Darner lowered his head, sincerely contemplating his condition, contemplating what his best friend asked him. After another moment, he looked over to Roger, and gave him a stern nod. "Let's get this monster, once and for all."
Roger smirked, patting Darner on the back. "That's what I like to hear!"
The Keeper warmly smiled at the moment, before regaining her serious composure and continued. "Very good."
A hologram was brought up around the Rangers, of a desert planet shrouded in perilous smoke. "This is Planet Dresken, a relatively peaceful planet with a local milita that protects a system of ten neighboring planets. Approximately one hour ago, a large battle station arose from one of it's many open deserts, unleashing thousands of battle robots to spread among Dresken. They have currently occupied a portion of the planet, killing any who show even remote resistance. Behind this attack? Commander Fenpa himself. It would seem that he was hiding underground, building this machine army for this day to come, and is now seeking to take this planet as a starting point in a new conquest."
Linda stepped up, pointing at the hologram. "And the local milita? Where are they in all of this?"
"They are putting up a decent enough fight." The Keeper replied, displaying footage of the battle currently ensuing. "But I'm afraid this war is not in their favor. They're simply outnumbered by these machines, and more continue to march out of Fenpa's fortress."
Jak rubbed his mouth while listening, already forming a plan in head. "Sounds simple enough. Touch down, get to the base, apprehend Fenpa and blow that fortress sky high. The machines lose their spawning point, then we clean up the rest and assist the milita. Probably be back before dinnertime, if we play our cards right." The leader chuckled, a cocky grin on his face as the others rolled their eyes jokingly.
"A sound operation, Jak. I leave it on all of your hands, and I will be watching over you."
The team marched over to the teleporter pad, pulling out their amulets and calling forth their power.
"KING PRAETOR, RED RANGER!"
"SKY REAVER, PINK RANGER!"
"BLACK BULL, BLACK RANGER!"
"MONARCH BUTTERFLY, YELLOW RANGER!"
"GLIMMER COUGAR, BLUE RANGER!"
"DRAGONFLY, GREEN RANGER!"
Their bodies were consumed by cosmic and crackling light, and the transformation occurred immediately after. The smoke settled, and there stood the Supernova Rangers in all of their power.
"Alright guys..." Roger tapped his wrist teleporter.
Planet Dresken, The Battlefield...
The frenzy of battle was immense, plasma bolts flying about like a swarm of locusts. Both militia and machine fell into the sand by the second, with the battle literally head to head, the firing line approximate to each struggling force. The skirmish was so intense, it kicked up an unnaturally large sandstorm, making everything that much more intense.
In the midst of the bloodshed, shined the multicolored light of the Supernova Rangers, far behind enemy lines, and right in the middle of hundreds of machines. They all leaped into action instantly, no stranger to "hot 'ports" as they called them.
"FORM A PERIMETER, WE NEED BREATHING SPACE TO CONTINUE!" Jak shouted over the blasterfire through his helmet's communicator, summing the Crimson Blade to start slicing through the opposition like wheat in a field.
Roger, the knightly Black Ranger pulled out his massive Ebony Blade, and begun cleaving the machines apart in a berserk flourish, greatly contrasting the martial arts of his comrades. "HRAGH! I'M GONNA HAVE SAND IN MY CRACK FOR DAYS AFTER THIS!"
Linda fired a quick few energy arrow from his bow, quickly looking over at Roger and begun sprinting right towards him. "Gross. RAINING DOWN, LET'S GO!"
Roger didn't need to hear anymore, as they used this technique hundreds of times. Without even looking, he held an open palm out, to which Linda landed squarely on with one foot. With a heave, he threw the Pink Ranger into the air. Pulling back on her bowstring, multiple energy arrows formed, and unleashed them down into the mechanical masses, exploding on contact.
"WELL, I ALREADY LOST COUNT! HEY DARNER, HOW ABOUT WE CALL THIS ONE A WRITE OFF!?" Roger laughed boisterously, brutally shoulder checking a robot's head clean off.
"..." Darner didn't respond, too focused and weaving through a line of machines with his Jade Daggers, his swings so fast that they were a blur. It was only when he reached the others, did the machines realize they were already dead, and started falling into pieces en masse.
"That ought to do it! Finally, I can hear myself think." Jak looked around, now joined with the whole team as they all glanced at the massive fortress ahead. "Alright team, spearhead formation, let's get in there and fast!"
And so they assembled, charging forward as a unit and proceeded to tear down anything in their path. It was only a matter of time before they reached
The bay door was blown down by the combined force of the Ranger's charge, quickly getting to work in securing the main hall.
"I got you, now's your chance!" Taylor nodded to Srang, drawing a group's attention by firing her two power blasters while moving to a metal pillar and taking cover. The Blue Ranger took his chance, spinning his Azure Glaive while flipping gracefully behind the distracted group. With a single swing, a wave of chilled air enveloped the machines, freezing them solid. "I never tire of hearing that "cracking" sound." Srang spoke softly, tapping his Glaive on the ground, causing the ice block to shatter into countless pieces.
The team regrouped in the center, always keeping their eyes peeled for straggling forces. "Looks like nobody's home." Roger sheathed his blade, and cocked the now put together Ebony Blaster. "What's the call, boss man?"
Jak took a moment to put it together, then looked to the rest while rocking his fist. "I got it. Srang, Taylor, you're our demolition experts, any way we can light this place up?"
Srang looked up with a titled head, tracing his fingers at the sight of pipes flowing with energy. "I'm familiar with this layout. It's running on a power source known as "Shimmer". Very powerful, very volatile. Taylor and I just need to locate the power source-"
"-Then we can override the output, and revert everything back to the core." Taylor mutually nodded along with Srang.
Linda stepped up, holding her bow closely and gave a nod. "I can cover you guys while you get to work, I wouldn't trust any of these bruisers to watch your back." She joked, still in a dry tone.
"Then we will head up to Fenpa..." Darner clicked, already staring at the route he intended on taking.
Jak and Roger shared a concerned glance. There was no doubt about it, they would need all three of them to rip through Fenpa's predictable hordes defending him.
"Alright. Drang, Linda and Taylor, we'll see you soon. Roger, Darner... Up we go."
And so, after a long glance to each other, the Rangers split into two groups. They didn't stop for a second, not a single one of them. Through blades slashing, and bolts taken to their shields, through the aches and pains they persevered.
Jak, Roger and Darner arrived at the final floor, with Roger throwing down a robot that was still stuck onto his fist. "Goddamn, I gotta give 'ol big head some credit, these clunkers are relentless." The Black Ranger huffed out his words, the other two also catching their breath. "Now, if I were a bettin' man, which I am, I'd say that looks like an evil Commander's door."
The black knight was referring to the massive door ahead of them, and nothing left in their way.
"I'd double down on that." Jak readied his blade. "Roger, if you would."
"On it." Roger cocked his Ebony Blaster, and blasted a hole through the door.
The trio tred carefully through the blasted entrance, weapons ready and their wits about them. It was Darner, however, that twitched at the faintest of noises above them. Far faster than the other, he rolled forward just in time, and avoided an energy barrier that surrounded both Roger and Jak.
"OH SNAP!" Roger shouted, actually spooked as it appeared around them. "Oh- Oh no..." His jovial tone switched at a sudden revelation, and stared at Darner, who barely even gave them a glance as he looked ahead. "Darner! Darner, buddy! Find the generator, we have to do this together!"He unsheathed his blade, slashing at the barrier to no avail.
"HEY! He's right, Darner, please get us out before-" Jak was cut off, as the lights in the room suddenly boomed to life.
"Yes, Darner, help your little Rangers. Don't mind me..." A voice called out to the Green Ranger, and out of the shadows stepped Commander Fenpa himself. "I was just about to get going, what with other planets that need my... Aid." The green skinned villain snidely smirked, looking down at Darner from a small staircase that distanced them. "My creations appear to have this "in the bag" as they say. I am more than comfortable coming back once the pests are wiped out, and the weak have submitted."
"...I've waited a long time for this..." Darner hissed, firming the grip on his daggers.
"Oh? What exactly is your plan here, Green Ranger? Beat me to a pulp? Take me to The Keepers Dimension so I can spend my days weeping at such a crippling defeat?" The Commander squinted for a moment, before clicking his tongue and wagging his finger. "No no... I know that look."
Roger's eyes widened behind his visor, now giving it his all with every slash. He knew Darner, he knew this was a bad idea. Both him and Jak didn't bother talking, and just continued beating on the barrier, hoping that it would finally crack.
"Yes, even behind your helmet, behind all of that cosmic power concealing your face... I see what you're thinking. You would love nothing more than to cut me down, even with that precious Ranger Code in place. All because of... Hmm." Fenpa snapped his fingers, looking up to the ceiling, giving a casual shrug at Darner. "You know, I really can't remember her name."
"You are a DEAD MAN."Darner took his first step up the stairs.
That's when Fenpa revealed his trump card, and reached behind him to pull someone out in front of him. It was a young woman, bound by energy cuffs, tears running down her face, that was swollen from so much panic. The Commander placed a blaster right against her head, tapping it rhythmically on girl's temple. Darner stopped instantly, even taking a step down at the reveal. "Surely you didn't think I wouldn't have a contingency, hm? You're looking at the militia general's daughter. Always strike the heart before going in for the kill, I always say."
The timing couldn't be anymore intense, as the fortress started to rumble and shake from down below. "This is Taylor! We overridden the core, this thing is going to blow any minute now! We have to retrieve Fenpa and get out of here!" All of their helmets buzzed with the info, all while Fenpa looked up at the ceiling, which trickled with metal shavings.
"Well then... That is a disappointment. Seems I need to really take my leave now." The Commander seemed eerily calm, despite realizing that the tides were due to turn in an instant. Ever the egotist, though, he had to gloat before parting ways with his nemesis. "Too bad, so sad. Looks like we're due for another encounter, Ranger. I'll be taking the girl, and taking the first pod off this dust ball."
Roger ceased his attempts to get out, while Jak continued, and slammed on the shield with his armored fist. "LET HIM GO! We'll get him next time, okay? We'll get the girl back just for the love of god, Darner, don't do anything stupid!" His voice cracked with desperation, and Darner just barely glanced back at him.
"..." He remained silent, looking back at the hostage situation in front of him, and finally spoke again. "Child... How old are you?"
Fenpa scoffed, not expecting that in the slightest. "Go ahead, girl, answer the Ranger." That arrogance gleamed, thinking he was relishing a sealed victory.
"I-I'm seventeen! Oh by the maker, PLEASE HELP M-" Fenpa covered the girl's mouth, silencing her pleas. "That's enough! I said answer him, not grovel!"
Darner lowered his head, loosening the grip on his daggers. "......I can live with that."
Roger's blood turned to ice, eyes twitching at the declaration. "No- NO NO NO DARNE-"
The Green Ranger tightened his grip once more, and turned into nothing more than a green streak of light, shooting up the stairs and past both the girl and Fenpa... Blood dripped off of his weapons in a steady trickle. The girl, Fenpa, both stood there in disturbing silence, before the reaction caught up to the action. A large cut slowly formed on both of their chests, and they both dropped to the ground dead right then and there.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Roger cried out, his entire being shaking with rage and horror. Jak silently dropped to the ground, sitting with his head buried in his hands.
His screams became distorted, as the Rangers were enveloped in their respective lights, teleporting away just as the fortress was consumed by the reactor's explosion.
The Keeper's Command Center...
The Rangers were back once again, with Drang and Taylor huffing and puffing, while the other three stood in grave silence. Srang noticed instantly, looking at the them in unease.
"Where... Where's Fenpa...?"
Darner looked over to the Blue Ranger, blood still shimmering on his visor. "I rectified the problem."
Roger snapped out of his haze, his head snapping to Darner. "You....YOU RECTIFIED IT!? YOU RECTIFIED IT!?" He moved in a black blur, deceptively fast for his size, and slammed his friend against the wall. Without hesitation, he just begun punching Darner over and over and over again, not even realizing he was still screaming. "RECTIFIED IT? RECTIFIED IT? RECTIFIED IT? YOU MURDEROUS BASTARD. I'M GOING TO SNAP YOUR GODDAMN HEAD OFF"
Darner didn't even resist, taking the beating in total silence. Drang ran over, grappling Roger from behind and attempted to pull him off "What are you doing!? Get off of him-!"
Roger slapped the Ranger away, then continued beating Darner in a blind frenzy. "I TRUSTED YOU! I TRUSTED YOU AND YOU BETRAYED THAT! WHY!? WAS IT WORTH IT!?"
Taylor was on the verge of tears, looking to a visibly shaken Jak. "What the hell is he talking about, Jak? What happened!?"
Jak attempted to lift his head, only for it to drop. His answer was a shell shocked mumble. "He... Darner... Killed an innocent... A hostage..."
Both Blue and Yellow Rangers looked to Jak, both reacting in utter horror.
"Oh my god, Jesus Christ..." Taylor sobbed.
Linda stood in the back, distancing herself while keeping her cold composure intact.
Darner's helmet cracked from one too many blows, with just a single jade iris now staring at his "friend". There were no tears wetting it, not even a twitch of remorse, just a burning glare. That was enough for Roger, and he pulled his fist back for one more punch, until...
The entire command center vibrated violently, the Dimension falling apart. Next thing the Ranger knew, they floated in a void that was blacker than black, with only massive bolts of cosmic energy lighting the emptiness around them. The Keeper finally revealed herself, her face forming at an impossibly huge size before her chosen. Even at such a colossal scale, it was clear that her eyes stared down at Darner with absolute loathing.
"Darner of The Sun Lands, you are a murderer, and a COWARD."
Her voice was like an explosion with each word uttered, separating the Green Ranger from the rest. He now floated before The Keeper's massive eyes.
"I could have your LIFE if I chose it, erase every atom of your being, FOR THE INNOCENT LIFE YOU HAVE TAKEN. I, however, am not a MONSTER like you have chosen to become. I hope your vengeance is satiated, for it will be the last thing you ever relish..."
Darner's body began to vibrate and glow harshly. More specifically, his suit and Amulet were the source of this chaotic light.
"You are STRIPPED of your title. You are RELINQUISHED of your power. You will be EXILED to a world of no life, and NO HOPE of anyone finding you. This, I can PROMISE you. BEGONE FROM MY SIGHT."
"HRAAAAAAAAAGH" Darner screamed in agony, as the Amulet literally shattered to pieces from The Keeper's sheer rage. "I regret NOTHING! NOTHING! If I must be a monster to end monsters, THEN SO BE IT! NO MATTER THE COST, I HAVE MY JUSTICE! AAAAAAAGH" His rebellious cries faded out, as Darner, the Green Ranger was flung through a portal behind him, and it sealed once and for all.
The Supernova Rangers took months to recover from the incident, with Jak even retiring shortly after. The Keeper was silent for a long time after, not even materalizing a physical form for years. There was no Green Ranger for generations, the Amulet remaining in peices from The Keeper's conempt. Finally, though, she would go on to put it back together, with it's cracks still visible to this day.
The rest would go on, shouldering the grief for years to come, something Roger would have to carry with him for the rest of his life.
For every Ranger before them, and every Ranger after, this was the team that would forever be known for...
The Original Sin