A HEART OF GOLD
by Joe Rovang and Kittie Verdena


A Heart of Gold


EPISODE II:  STRANGE ALLIANCES

* * *

[Establishment shot of the Power Chamber from Zordon's position.  The six Morphin' Rangers - blue, yellow, white, pink, black, and red - stand stiffly in front of the demolished gallery in the back of the room.  The Rangers are holding their Power Weapons.  Rita and Zedd stand off to the right.  Alpha is cowering behind a console.]

ZEDD:  It's a bit ironic, I think...

[Rita and Zedd look at their creations.]

ZEDD:  ...being destroyed by your own former Rangers.

RITA:  Yeah... (chuckles)  Too bad you --

[Stepping into the center of the Power Chamber, Auric the Conqueror brandishes his broadsword.]

AURIC:  Auric the Conqueror is here to help!

ZEDD:  Oh, this ought to be good...

RITA:  Dark Rangers-- ATTACK!!

* * *

[Establishment shot of the sea of Cogs, with the Rangers nowhere in sight.]

[Suddenly, from beneath the Cogs, a crystalline energy dome repels the nearby Cogs, giving the crouching Rangers beneath a bit of space.  The title appears at the bottom of the screen.]

TOMMY:  Good thinking, Tanya!

TITLE:  A Heart of Gold part II: Strange Alliances

[Quickly, though, the shield begins to vanish.]

TANYA:  The Zeo Shield...!  It's already fading!

TOMMY:  But it bought us a few seconds...  Zeo Power Weapons!

[The Rangers summon their weapons and fight the Cogs.]

* * *

[In the Power Chamber, Auric is being overwhelmed in combat against the Dark Rangers as Rita and Zedd watch idly.]

RITA:  I dunno, Zeddy...  six against one...  just doesn't seem fair.

ZEDD:  Maybe we should call them off.

[Rita and Zedd look at each other and burst out laughing.]

ROCKY (voice-over transmission):  Zordon, we're in trouble over here!

[In the Viewing Globe, the Zeo Rangers are struggling against the Cogs with their weapons.]

[Alpha reaches for the controls urgently.]

ALPHA:  Ay yi yi!  Rang--!

[Zedd imbeds the razor-sharp Z of his staff into the control panel in front of Alpha's eyes.]

RITA:  Oops, there went your central teleportation system, Zordon!

[Zedd, his staff removed from the panel, blasts Alpha across the room with a blue energy bolt. Alpha smashes against a wall and lies in a heap, his exterior cracked and charred.]

RITA:  Oops, there went your robot too!  (laughs)

[Zedd speaks into the control panel.]

ZEDD:  Sorry, Rangers, Zordon and Alpha are a little busy right now.

[The Rangers, in the viewing globe, are shocked.]

ZEDD:  Oh, by the way, thanks for the Morphin' powers.

[The Dark Rangers smash Auric against some pipes along the wall.]

ZEDD:  These Dark Rangers sure can pack a punch!  (laughs)

* * *

[On Triforia, the Rangers are still fighting Cogs.]

ROCKY:  Oh, man, what do we do now?!

TOMMY:  We've gotta get back to the Power Chamber!

KAT:  What about Billy and Cestria?

TOMMY:  We just have to hope they can hold on until we get back.

* * *

[Billy sits in his dark cell with his head down.  Cestria walks up to the bars, holding a small viewing device.]

CESTRIA:  Hello, Billy.

[Billy continues to sit there.]

CESTRIA:  I just thought you might be interested to see what's happening to Trey.

[Billy doesn't look up.]

BILLY:  Go away.

[Cestria looks into the viewer in her hand.]

CESTRIA:  He refuses to cooperate and give up his powers peaceably.  It's his own fault he's dying...

[Billy looks up in surprise.]

BILLY:  What--?

[Cestria looks at him with sympathy.]

CESTRIA:  Don't worry, Billy...  it's not your fault.  You did the right thing.  All the Rebel Party wants is to expand and be free of the imposing reign of the Triforian Monarchy.  That's not so wrong, is it?

[Billy doesn't answer.]

* * *

[As the Rangers kick back the Cogs, they touch their belts.]

TOMMY:  Prepare to teleport!

[Energy fizzles around the Rangers, but they don't teleport.]

KAT:  It didn't work!

[The Rangers get pounded in their moment of distraction.]

* * *

[Police chief's office.  Former Detective Stone steps in awkwardly with a weak smile.]

STONE:  Chief Crandall...

[The chief frowns.]

CHIEF:  Stone.  Are you enjoying that detective job of yours?

STONE:  Heh, well, see, that's why I'm here...  My detectives left me to work on a case in France, and --

CHIEF:  Your recruits are on a case in France??

STONE:  Well, yes, Sir...  some French detective came to Angel Grove to hire them...

CHIEF:  (chuckles) Who'da thought Stone's boys would make something of themselves after all...

STONE:  Sir...?

[The chief regains seriousness.]

CHIEF:  I'll tell you what, Stone.  You can have your job back.  Anyone who can turn those boys into capable agents is a miracle worker.

STONE:  (chuckles) Thank you, Sir!

* * *

[Bulk and Skull are in the Rebel lab.  Bulk is sitting on a weightlifting bench, and Skull is on a treadmill, leaning idly on the rails.]

TEXT:  Triforia.

SKULL:  Hey, Bulk, how much longer are these tests gonna take? I thought we were supposed to be in Paris by now...

BULK:  Now, Skull, you heard what Inspector Klousteau said.  It's a really important mission!

SKULL:  So...?

[Bulk speaks with resolve.]

BULK:  SO-- they'll put us on the case as soon as they're sure we're ready!  Now quit stalling and show 'em what you can do!

[Skull sighs and weakly turns around and keeps running on the treadmill.]

* * *

[Cestria watches her viewer outside of Billy's cage.  Before speaking, she purses her lips and tilts her head faintly.]

CESTRIA:  Well, it's over...

[Billy looks up.]

BILLY:  What?

[Cestria speaks matter-of-factly.]

CESTRIA:  Trey's gone.  It's a shame he didn't have enough sense to give up his powers instead of keeping them until they killed him...

[Billy looks down for a moment.]

BILLY:  Why do you care?

[Cestria is defensive.]

CESTRIA:  It was just stupid of him not to save himself...  that's all.

[Billy pauses.]

BILLY:  You know, some people are willing to give their lives for a higher good.  Of course, you wouldn't understand...

[Cestria looks hurt for a moment.  She then shrugs it off and looks back into her viewer, in which the soldier is still hooked up to the helmetless Gold Ranger, who is now glowing.]

[Cestria watches.]

CESTRIA:  Whole lotta good it did him anyway.  The -- Hey, it's gone!!

[Cestria finds the Golden Power Staff aimed at her head from inside the cell.  Billy is holding it with determination.]

BILLY:  Unlock the cell, or I do it the hard way.

* * *

[In the room where the power transfer was to occur, the soldier looks around in confusion, and demorphed Trey is slumped limply in his seat.  In an observation booth, a general screams at a technician in a foreign language.]

OFFICER (subtitled):  What in the three moons just happened?!!

[A technician studies the displays.]

TECHNICIAN (subtitled):  Well, Sir, it appears that the Golden powers must have chosen their OWN host...

OFFICER (subtitled):  You want to tell me how they did that?!

TECHNICIAN (subtitled):  I...  don't know...

* * *

[Cestria unlocks Billy's cell with a key, releasing him.]

CESTRIA:  What are you going to do?

BILLY:  I'm going to make sure my inventions go off-line...  permanently.

[Billy begins to walk down the corridor.]

CESTRIA:  You're going to the control deck? There'll be guards all over you as soon as you go in!

[Billy keeps walking.]

CESTRIA:  Don't be stupid, Billy!  You'll never make it out!

[He is almost gone.]

CESTRIA:  Billy, wait!

[Cestria begins to run after him.]

CESTRIA:  Ugh, I can't believe I'm doing this...

[Billy is walking down the corridor as Cestria catches up to him.]

CESTRIA:  Billy, will you just let me check for guards first?

[Billy stops and looks back at her.]

BILLY:  Why would YOU help ME?

[Cestria looks slightly pained.]

CESTRIA:  Look, I may like the Rebels' expansion idea -- of colonizing new worlds -- but I draw the line at killing people.  I don't want to see another innocent hurt...

[Billy watches her as she scrolls through various camera views in her viewer.]

CESTRIA:  If I had my way, we'd only colonize uninhabited planets...

[Billy carefully watches the viewer.]

BILLY:  Wait!  Go back!

CESTRIA:  Huh?

[In the viewer is the lab where Bulk and Skull are being held.  Billy is aghast.]

BILLY:  Bulk and Skull!  Where are they?

CESTRIA:  The research lab.  Follow me.

[Cestria leads the way.  After a pause, Billy reluctantly follows.]

* * *

[Power Chamber.  Zedd kicks Auric's fallen, battered body as Rita and the Dark Rangers stand nearby.  Auric's body turns into its small tiki form with blue energy, and Zedd picks it up.]

ZEDD:  Soon, the Dark Rangers will crush the Zeo Rangers, just like they did to Auric.

[Rita looks absently at the Dark Rangers.]

RITA:  I dunno, Zeddy.  They're strong enough... but since when have our spells given something half a brain?

ZEDD:  What are you getting at, Rita?

RITA:  Evil zombie Rangers can't compare to the real deal without a decent leader.

ZEDD:  A leader, eh...?

[Zedd winds up to throw the tiki.]

RITA:  Someone who's Tommy's match in cunning and strength...

ZORDON:  You'll never get away with this.

[Zedd shouts as he hurls the tiki at a 45-degree angle upwards.]

ZEDD:  Would someone shut him up?!

* * *

[Long-distance shot of the Command Center as the tiki flies out through the wall and hurtles skyward.]

[In space, the tiki tumbles away from the Earth.  Breaking the silence of space, we hear the sudden sound of crunching glass-like material.]

ZEDD (voice-over):  THANK you!

* * *

[Rita speaks excitedly with Zedd.  In the background, the Power Axe is embedded in Zordon's smoking tube, where Zordon can no longer be seen.]

RITA:  Zedd, I've got an idea!  Jason's been sad about losing his powers...  let's make it up to him!

ZEDD:  Ha ha, brilliant...

* * *

[Cestria and Billy walk down a hall.  A guard rounds the corner and spots them and suddenly reaches for his sword upon seeing them.]

GUARD (subtitled):  Hey, stop right there!

[Billy and Cestria freeze.  The guard approaches Cestria, who is standing in front of Billy.]

GUARD (subtitled):  What are you doing with the engineer?

[Cestria replies in Triforian.]

CESTRIA (subtitled):  I'm taking him to the lab to be examined.

[The guard's eyes widen as he looks past Cestria at Billy, seeing the Golden Power Staff in his hand.]

GUARD (subtitled):  Hey!  What's he doing with th--?

[Cestria replies condescendingly.]

CESTRIA (subtitled):  Private, please don't tell me that fake staff has you fooled.

[Cestria whispers to the guard.]

CESTRIA (subtitled):  He's gone a little crazy...  he thinks he's the Gold Ranger.  We had to give him that decoy just so he'd cooperate.  It'll make it much easier to examine him.

[The guard laughs, relieved, gesturing toward the staff.]

GUARD (subtitled):  Of course, yes... Look at how fake that staff looks!  (chuckles)  Carry on.

[The guard motions for the two to keep going, causing Billy to raise a suspicious eyebrow.]

[Cestria and Billy keep walking.  Billy soon glances back to make sure the guard is gone.  Billy has a very faint bluish aura around him, barely visible.]

BILLY:  What'd you tell him?

[Cestria, in front, glances over her shoulder at Billy.]

CESTRIA:  That you carried around a toy staff and needed mental help.

[Billy forces a slight smile.]

BILLY:  Ah...  Thanks.

[Cestria stops and turns around, startled.  She squints, examining him.]

CESTRIA:  Billy, are you glowing?

[Billy looks at his hand in confusion, seeing the faint blue aura.]

BILLY:  What?

CESTRIA:  You're glowing!  When did you start doing that?

[Billy looks at the Golden Power Staff.]

BILLY:  I...  I don't know...

[Cestria continues down the corridor with renewed resolve.]

CESTRIA:  Nevermind - we don't have time to worry about that.  I'm sure the Rebel Council's realized the Golden powers are missing by now.

[Cestria and Billy approach the lab door.  Billy's blue aura is still faint but is now slightly more prominent.]

[Billy clutches the staff up near his chest, preparing to enter.]

BILLY:  Thanks for your help.  I guess I'll --

CESTRIA:  You wait here.  I can handle it with a little subtlety.

BILLY:  Are you sure?

[Cestria reaches for the door.]

CESTRIA:  Hey, I got rid of that guard, didn't I?

* * *

[Dissolve as time passes.  Billy is now leaning against the wall beside the door.]

[Billy suddenly looks down the hall in response to a slight shuffling and murmuring.  Two guards in the hall spot him and draw their swords.]

GUARD1 (subtitled):  The engineer!  He's got the staff!

[Billy startles and points the Golden Power Staff at them nervously.]

BILLY:  Don't take another step!

[The guards advance toward him.]

BILLY:  Yeah, like they speak English...

[The staff's orb glows faintly.  Billy suddenly addresses them in their foreign tongue.]

BILLY (subtitled):  Stop where you are!  I don't want to have to maim you!

[The guards are startled.]

GUARD2 (subtitled):  He speaks Triforian!

[Billy looks at the staff, alarmed.]

BILLY:  How the heck did I do that?

GUARD1 (subtitled):  Who cares? We have to get that staff!

[The guards continue to approach him.  He again aims the staff at them.]

BILLY (subtitled):  I warned you!  (in English)  It's time for a gold rush!

[Billy presses the Golden Power Staff's red button, but nothing happens.  The guards are susprised momentarily but then rush him.]

GUARD1 (subtitled):  Get him!

[Billy looks the other way and sees four more guards coming his way.]

GUARD3 (subtitled):  He's got the staff!

[Billy dashes into the lab and locks the door behind him.  He looks around the observation booth.  We pan around the room to see three fallen scientists on the floor.  Down some nearby steps, Cestria is opening the door leading to the lab where Bulk and Skull are.]

BILLY:  This is your idea of subtlety?!

CESTRIA:  They weren't as easy to trick.  Don't worry...  they're just unconscious.

[Billy goes down the steps to join her as she fidgets with the scientists' keys.  His aura is now more prominent.  Cestria looks at him as she pops the door open.]

CESTRIA:  You're getting brighter.

[Billy looks down at his body as she goes into the lab, then follows her.  Cestria is alarmed as she catches sight of Bulk and Skull.]

CESTRIA:  They're glowing too!

[Bulk and Skull are glowing red and green, respectively.  They are surprised to see Billy and Cestria.]

BULK:  Billy and --!  A weird alien girl...

SKULL:  What are you doing in France?

BILLY:  You guys, you're not in France.

BULK:  What Skull means is, "off the coast of France."

BILLY:  No, look, you're on another planet being studied by a hostile alien faction.

SKULL:  That would explain why the food was so weird.

[Bulk looks at himself and Skull, then asks:]

BULK:  You two wouldn't happen to know why we're glowing, would you?

CESTRIA:  We'll worry about that later.  Right now, we've got to get out of here.

[There's a crash in the observation booth.  Billy and Cestria move away from the door, and the three humans' auras grow more intense.]

CESTRIA:  The guards!

BULK:  Huh?

[The guards swarm to the doorway with their swords drawn.]

GUARD1 (subtitled):  Ha!  Nowhere else to run...

[Bulk and Skull yelp and cower behind Billy.  As they put their hands on his shoulders, the three auras are replaced with a single, white aura brighter than the three auras alone.  The Golden Power Staff begins to crackle with power.]

BILLY:  What...?

GUARD1 (subtitled):  Get them!

[Billy quickly points the Golden Power Staff at the approaching guards and pushes the button. This time, it opens, and spheres of energy fly toward the guards and blast them against the wall and into the stairwell, knocking them all out.]

[Amazed, Bulk and Skull let go of Billy, and their individual auras return.]

SKULL:  Bulky, did you see that?!

[Billy turns, excited by his discovery.]

BILLY:  We must each have a third of the Gold Ranger powers!  But how did --?

[Cestria tugs on his shirt, looking into her viewer.]

CESTRIA:  Come on!  Your Zeo Rangers are outside in the middle of a Machine Empire ambush. It doesn't look like they're doing too well.

BULK:  The Zeo Rangers!

BILLY:  "Zeo?"

CESTRIA:  What?

[Billy shakes his head dismissively before addressing Bulk and Skull.]

BILLY:  Nothing.  Let's go, guys.  We're getting out of this place.

* * *

[Outside, the Zeo Rangers are still desperately fighting the army of Cogs.]

[Kat leans back to throw a fireball.]

KAT:  Pink Fire Cloud!

[Kat throws her glowing pink energy ball into the crowd of Cogs.]

[Nearby, Tommy slices through Cogs with his Zeo Power Sword.]

TOMMY:  Man, I can't even tell if we're making any progress!

[Suddenly, Rocky demorphs with a blue gleam and collapses to the sand.  Adam looks back in alarm.]

ADAM:  Rocky!!

[Adam crouches down to inspect his demorphed friend as the others try to protect them.  Adam gives Rocky some water from the miniature canteen of the blue Power Box.]

ADAM:  Rocky, man, get up!

[Kat glances back during the continued fight.]

KAT:  What's wrong with him?

ADAM:  He's been running himself ragged at martial arts camp...  He must've exhausted his strength!

TANYA:  Adam, the three of us can't hold back all these Cogs!

[Suddenly, the Cogs all stop and look skyward.  The startled teens look up as well.]

TANYA:  Look, something's coming out of a cloaking field!

[The giant Machine Skybase appears directly overhead.]

GASKET (echoing voice-over):  Cogs, return to the Skybase!

TOMMY:  Gasket!

[The skybase shines a white beam on the desert, and the Cog army vanishes.  The Rangers are confused as the Cogs dematerialize.]

KAT:  What are they doing?  I don't understand!

[Tanya points toward the horizon.]

TANYA:  Look!!

[On the horizon is a large oncoming squadron of fighter ships.]

ADAM:  Varox bounty hunters!

[Rocky stirs in disbelief.]

ROCKY:  Ungh...  what??

[A hundred or more Quadrafighters swarm out from the Machine Skybase to engage the fighter ships.]

TOMMY:  Quadrafighters!  I've never seen so many of 'em!

[The Varox fighters fly by, strafing the Quadrafighters and the Skybase with blue laser fire. The Rangers watch the immense aerial battle above.]

ROCKY:  What's going on...?

KAT:  The Varox are...  helping us...

[A massive aerial battle ensues between the Quadrafighters and Varox fighters.  Large chunks of shrapnel begin to rain down on the desert.]

[Adam, still holding the canteen, tries to jostle Rocky into action.]

ADAM:  Rocky, you've gotta morph!

ROCKY:  Right, I'll try...  

[Rocky connects his Zeonizers and morphs while reclined in the sand.]

ROCKY:  Zeo Ranger Three, Blue...

[Morphed, Rocky regains the strength to stand up.  The canteen has vanished from Adam's hand.]

ROCKY:  All right, I'm back in business!

TANYA:  Look out!

[The Rangers leap aside to avoid a flaming, destroyed Quadrafighter as it collides with the earth as shrapnel and flames explode outward from the impact.]

[The Rangers recover and continue looking skyward.]

TOMMY:  I dunno why the Varox are helping us, but they sure are making short work of the Rebels' trump card...

* * *

[Rebel Council.  The leaders are agitated as they speak amongst themselves.]

[Leader2 is fourth oldest.]

LEADER2 (subtitled):  Gasket doesn't stand a chance!

LEADER1 (subtitled):  Let's just thank Gold HE'S the one the Varox are after.

LEADER5 (subtitled):  Yes, but the Earth Rangers pose a serious threat to our takeover.

LEADER9 (subtitled):  And with the engineer and the Golden powers still missing...

[The officer interrupts with a waiting viewscreen transmission.]

OFFICER (subtitled):  Sirs, incoming message from Communications.

LEADER5 (subtitled):  This had better be good.

[The communications officer addresses the council from the viewscreen.]

COMM. OFFICER (subtitled):  Your excellencies, we have picked up an interesting transmission to the Rangers from Lord Zedd and Rita on Earth.

[An audio recording plays of Zedd's transmission to the Zeo Rangers.]

ZEDD (voice-over):  Oh, by the way, thanks for the Morphin' powers.  These Dark Rangers sure can pack a punch!

LEADER6 (subtitled):  What does it say?

COMM. OFFICER (subtitled):  I'm playing back Operative Kleusto's translation now.

[An audio recording of Kleusto's voice plays.]

KLEUSTO (voice-over and subtitled):  Beside the method, gratefulness for the Morphin' powers. These Dark Rangers can certainly put a closed fist into a carrying case.

COMM. OFFICER (subtitled):  I thought this would interest you, Sirs, despite our general incomprehension of Earthen idioms.

[Leader5 looks pleased.]

LEADER5 (subtitled):  Indeed.  Rita and Zedd have their own team of Rangers...  This is exactly what we needed.

* * *

[Angel Grove Park.  On a hill overlooking the lake, we see Jason with his eyes on his wristwatch as he counts out the seconds.]

JASON:  57...  58...  59...

[Jason pauses for a moment and looks up, arching his eyebrows as his head is still lowered.  We see Emily standing before him, straining to keep her leg extended in a side-kick pose.  Jason pauses while looking at her.]

EMILY:  Any time, now, Jase...

JASON:  Aaaaand...  60!

[Emily collapses to the grass, propping herself up with her arms.  She smirks at him.]

EMILY:  Gee, thanks.

[Jason smiles.]

JASON:  Don't forget to stretch out again.

[Emily smiles back as she moves her legs as far apart as possible and leans forward to stretch.]

EMILY:  So, what kinda stuff will I be able to do when I get to be a karate master like you?

JASON:  Heh...  well, maybe eventually, you'll be able to do a little bit of this...

[Jason performs an awe-inspiring flurry of moves as he demonstrates a very advanced kata. Eventually, Emily claps enthusiastically as Jason bows upon completion.]

EMILY:  Man, how can you have moves like that and NOT be a Power Ranger?

[Jason smiles nervously.]

JASON:  Uh, beats me...  luck of the draw, I g--

[Jason starts to crackle with electricity.]

JASON:  Huh?

[He suddenly vanishes in a streak of lightning.]

[Emily chuckles to herself as she continues to stretch on her own.]

EMILY:  Superheroes.

* * *

[In the Power Chamber, Jason finds himself in front of Rita and Zedd, and he drops into a defensive stance angrily.]

JASON:  Rita and Zedd!  I've just about had it with you two!

[The Red Dark Ranger grapples Jason from behind, where the other Dark Rangers have been waiting in ambush.  Jason catches sight of his attacker's gloved forearms as he struggles.]

JASON:  The Red Ranger??

[Jason looks at the empty, shattered gallery.]

JASON:  Oh no...

RITA:  Oh, it gets even better!  You're going to merge with the Red Ranger and lead our Dark Rangers to victory!

ZEDD:  Doesn't that sound grand?

[Jason continues to struggle, to no avail.]

JASON:  You'll never turn me against the Rangers!

[Suddenly, an energy bubble opens up in the middle of the Power Chamber.  A hologram of Kleusto's head speaks from within the bubble, with a slight French accent.]

KLEUSTO:  Rita and Zedd, please accept my apologies in advance...

RITA:  Zeddy, why is there a French guy's head inside a bubble?

KLEUSTO:  ...but we of the Triforian Rebel Party need your assistance to destroy the Earth Rangers.

[The bubble expands and swallows up the villains and their captive.  Zedd speaks as he vanishes.]

ZEDD:  Eh, we've got nothing better to do...

[The expanding energy touches the Power Axe embedded in Zordon's tube, and the weapon vanishes as well, leaving a shattered crevice in the empty blue column.]

* * *

[In the Triforian sky, there are very few Quadrafighters left.  The Varox fighters pick them off easily.]

KAT:  There go the last of the Quadrafighters...

* * *

[Gasket stands at the helm of the Machine Skybase.  Archerina addresses him urgently.]

ARCHERINA:  Gasket, darling, we have to retreat!

[Gasket pounds the readout panel before him in frustration.]

GASKET:  I can't believe this!!  Triforia's greatest warriors would have become MINE after I overthrew the Rebels!  Those infernal Varox!  What have I ever done to them?!

[The Rangers watch as the Machine Skybase begins to fly away.]

TANYA:  Gasket's retreating!

[The Varox fighters pursue the Skybase into the distance.]

TOMMY:  It doesn't look like he'll be getting any peace and quiet for a while...

RITA (off-screen):  And neither will you!  Ah ha ha ha ha!

[The Zeo Rangers spin around to look behind them.]

TOMMY:  Rita?!

[Rita and Zedd stand approximately fifty feet from the Zeo Rangers.  The Dark Rangers, minus Red, flip through the air over Rita and Zedd wielding their Power Weapons.]

RITA:  Long time no see, Rangers.  Let me introduce you to some new friends of ours...  the Dark Rangers!

ZEDD:  They're oh so eager to meet you!  (laughs)

[Behind Rita and Zedd, Red finally manages to get both hands latched onto Jason's head. There is a glow of energy between them.]

[The Zeo Rangers attempt to defend themselves against the attacking Dark Rangers.  Tommy fights White Ranger, Adam fights Black Ranger, and the others fight their matching colors. The Zeo Rangers have been caught off-guard and are hardly able to fight back.]

[Nearby, Rita and Zedd are reclining in lawn chairs beneath a black beach umbrella with a gray Z emblem printed across it.  Their staves are sticking out of the sand beside them.]

ZEDD:  Ahhh, what a beautiful sight...  Our master plan in action.  Victory is just around the corner.

RITA:  Sorta brings a tear to your eye!  (laughs)

* * *

[Billy, Bulk, Skull, and Cestria sneak through the corridors of Rebel Command.  As they come to a T-junction, with paths going both left and right, Cestria pauses to look back as the other three follow her posturing and go right.]

[At the other end of the corridor from which the fugitives came, Guard1 arrives, spotting Cestria and the others just as they round the corner and vanish from sight, leaving Cestria alone in the junction.]

GUARD1 (subtitled):  You there!  Stop where you are!

[Cestria ducks right and directs the alarmed humans.]

CESTRIA:  Run, you guys!  The exit's at the end of the hall!

[The group of five guards approach the junction where Cestria and the three humans were last seen.  Suddenly, Billy bolts out from the right corner with the Golden Power Staff and runs down the opposite path.]

GUARD1 (subtitled):  Get him!!

[The guards rush after Billy down the corridor.]

* * *

[Outside, energy is flowing between Jason and Red.  Red's torso has come deformed as his chest oozes outward with pseudopodia to absorb Jason.  Suddenly, Jason escapes from the grasp with a rising double-fist and kicks off from Red's belt, flinging himself back.  He collapses in the sand.  Red walks toward him after re-forming his chest.]

[Jason weakly lifts his head to see Red standing over him, reaching down.]

JASON:  No!

* * *

[Alone in a corridor, Billy stumbles and collapses, panting, against the wall of a dead end.  His staff dissolves, and he turns into Cestria.  She closes her eyes and attempts to catch her breath.]

[Cestria opens her eyes again as the guards enter the dead end with her.]

GUARD1 (subtitled):  We've been fooled!  Lousy Aquitian mind tricks!

[Guard1 draws his sword as he sneers above Cestria.]

GUARD1 (subtitled):  Death to traitors.

[Freezeframe.]

TEXT:  To be continued...

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