Chapter Twenty-Three: Destroying Serpenterra
(Which Is Surprisingly Easy To Do)
Date: October 5, 2002
Andros had suggested that the Rangers meet in one of the conference style rooms, but being Red Rangers they were all starving so the meeting was held in the kitchen. Luckily this kitchen was larger than the kitchen on the original Astro Megaship, so everyone had a seat. As soon as each Ranger had a plate of food in front of them Andros started.
“Aurico and Leo are coming as soon as they can.”
“Who are they?” Cole asked.
“Aurico’s from Aquitar,” Jason said. “He and his team took over for us for a little while when we were having some power issues.”
“And Leo’s the Red Galactic Ranger. He’s on Mironoi now,” Tommy said.
“Think he’s going to tell Kendrix?” TJ asked.
“No,” Andros, and Jason answered.
“Let’s get started,” Tommy said. “Several years ago, the Machine Empire emerged from deep space and tried to invade the Earth. Myself and the other Zeo Rangers succeeded in stopping their invasion mostly through the fact that Rita and Zedd returned and scared Mondo off. When Zordon died, the wave of good energy destroyed the Machine Empire. However, like I mentioned before, some villains from various teams managed to survive. Now these last surviving members of the Machine Empire have regrouped under the command of General Venjix. They’re gathering in the Sea of Tranquility on the moon.”
“What would they want on the moon?” Wes asked.
“Serpentera,” Jason said.
“I already told you that like seven times on the phone, so don’t sound so smug,” Tommy said. “Anyways, years ago when Lord Zedd was defeated, his personal Zord remained hidden on the surface of the moon.”
“I’ve spent the last few years trailing General Venjix,” Andros said.
“And you didn’t tell us about this?” TJ asked, sounding slightly hurt.
“It’s a KO-35 thing,” Andros said awkwardly. “They didn’t even let me tell Zhane or Karone. I would have told you guys, honestly seeing as I really could have used some help, but it was kind of breaking the law if I told anyone.”
“If the Machine Empire gets Serpentera they’re gonna have more than enough power to destroy the Earth,” Jason said.
“Which is why I told NASADA to bring more people along,” Tommy said.
“Then we have to stop them before they get it,” Cole said. “We’re the only chance Earth has.”
“How much longer till we get there?” Eric asked.
“Only a few more minutes,” Andros said. “So everyone to the Jump Tubes.”
“The what?” everyone but TJ asked.
“Those,” TJ said, pointing to the tubes along the wall. “Jump in them, they’ll take you down to the moon.”
“Can’t we not breathe on the moon?” Jason asked sarcastically.
“And neither can the bad guys, but that’s never stopped them,” TJ said.
“They always put an air bubble up,” Tommy said. “Otherwise the Rita problem would have been solved ages ago.”
“What about the temperature?” Wes asked.
“Air bubble equals heat bubble too,” Tommy said.
“We have now arrived at the moon,” Deca said over the communication system.
“Can’t we just teleport?” Jason asked.
“Jump tubes!” Andros said, pointing. “Go now!”
“Fine, fine,” Jason said.
“Everybody ready?” Tommy asked.
“Got your morpher?”
“Why would you ask that?” TJ asked. “Of course everyone has their morpher.”
“He couldn’t find it during the Countdown and he didn’t take it with him to the island when it exploded,” Jason explained.
“Shut up,” Tommy said. “Morphers ready?”
“Time to kick some Machine Empire butt!”
Andros and TJ, partly out of habit, partly out of comfort, did their customary routine before jumping into the Tubes.
“What did they just do?” Carter asked.
“Don’t question it, just go with the flow and get to the moon,” Jason said.
Tommy and Jason went last amongst the Red Rangers, glancing at each other before shooting down to the surface of the moon.
“General Venjix,” Gerrock said, “installation of the neo-plutonium reactor is nearly complete.”
“Excellent,” Venjix said. He turned to the monument of King Mondo and said, “At last, we will avenge your untimely destruction, King Mondo. Let’s begin!”
He was interrupted by a large explosion and everyone turned to see the Red Rangers running towards them.
“You know, if you miss King Mondo that much, I promise we can help you join him,” Jason said.
“We’re not gonna let you bring back Serpentera!” Cole shouted fervently.
Internally Tommy could only marvel at how naïve the boy was. Granted, he’d been that naïve when he was the Green Ranger, but still. Well, maybe he himself was a little jaded after all the world takeovers. And if he’d heard the gossip correctly, Cole had been living with apes or something like he was Tarzan.
“Try and stop us!” Venjix challenged, drawing Tommy back to the present.
“Let’s do it!” he said.
“Cogs! To battle!” Gerrock ordered.
The Cogs advanced towards the Rangers and attacked. In the minor skirmish Tommy lost sight of Cole. Once his Cogs were down he glanced around and saw Cole getting blasted backwards by a shot that Venjix fired at him. The Machine Empire generals advanced on him.
Shots were fired and the generals stumbled back. Leo’s jet jammer – Leo and Aurico on board – swooped in and got Cole. Cole wobbled for a second but steadied.
The three flew to relative safety before landing. Everyone else jogged over to them.
“Leo, Aurico, just in time,” Andros said.
“Andros,” Leo said the visor on his helmet slid open. “We got here as soon as we could.”
The 10 Rangers faced the generals and Jason grinned. “Well guys, what are we waiting for?”
“Let’s do it!” Tommy said.
“It’s Morphing Time! Tyrannosaurus!”
“It’s Morphing Time! Zeo Ranger Five! Red!”
“Shift into Turbo! Red Lightening Turbo Power!”
“Let’s rock it! Red Space Ranger!”
“Red Aquitar Ranger Power!”
“All right guys, we’re here to save the Earth,” Cole said. “Let’s take them down.”
‘Shouldn’t I be saying that?’ Tommy thought to himself.
Everyone took off and teamed up to fight the generals – Jason and Cole, Tommy and Wes, TJ and Leo, Aurico and Eric, and finally Andros and Carter. Everyone but Jason and Cole defeated their general. They nearly had Gerrock down, but just after Jason shouted, “Still number one!” Gerrock ran off for Serpenterra after yelling that he had it.
“No!” Cole said as Jason ran off after Gerrock, who reached the Zord and taking off. “Oh no! It’s taking off!”
The others ran to them and watched as Serpenterra lifted off. “Aw man,” Tommy said. “That is one ugly Zord.”
“He’s heading for Earth,” TJ said.
“He’s getting away!” Leo said.
“We’ve gotta get back to the Megaship,” Jason told them. “Come on.”
“Right,” Andros said.
“There isn’t time,” Carter said, stopping them in their tracks. “We have to take out Serpenterra before it leaves the moon.”
“This is why I wanted to bring everyone,” Tommy groaned.
“There’s only one chance,” Cole said. He ran forward, shouting, “Wild Force Rider!” It appeared and he jumped on, flying off.
As the rest of the Red Rangers watched in shock Serpenterra fired at Cole, narrowly missing, and Cole came to a quick halt in front of the large Zord. He headed straight for Serpenterra’s mouth before firing a blast and rode into the mouth of the Zord.
“What the hell did he just do?” Jason asked.
“Uh, did he just sacrifice himself?” Leo asked.
“And how did that even work?” TJ asked. “Isn’t Serpenterra supposed to be hard to destroy?”
“We never managed it,” Tommy said.
“There he is!” Carter said, pointing towards the floating debris and wreckage.
The Red Rangers cheered as he zoomed in towards the moon.
“I gotta admit, you did well, rookie,” Jason said.
Jason and Cole turned and headed for the Astro Megaship Mark II as the others stared at the remnants of the massive Zord.
“I still don’t get how that worked,” Wes said once the two were out of earshot.
“Neither do I,” Tommy said.
“Why don’t we try to get some of the wreckage?” Andros asked. “We should get the bits that won’t burn up in atmo anyways.”