A HEART OF GOLD
by Joe Rovang and Kittie Verdena


A Heart of Gold


EPISODE III:  INTO THE DARKNESS

* * *

[Establishment shot of the mountainous Rebel Command in the Triforian desert.]

[From an exterior door, Billy bursts out and holds the door open for Bulk and Skull.  The three of them each have their own color aura.]

[Billy is confused.]

BILLY:  Where's Cestria?

[Skull looks back down the corridor.]

SKULL:  She's not back there.

[Billy suddenly clutches his head in pain.]

BILLY:  Aagh!  She's hurt badly!  I can feel it!

[Billy tries to get back through the door to go back in.]

BILLY:  I've gotta go back for her!

[Bulk holds Billy back and points at the desert as Skull closes the door.]

BULK:  No, man, look!

[Billy grimaces and struggles with Bulk.]

BILLY:  No!  Her signal's fading!  I can't...!

[Billy freezes.]

BILLY:  I can't sense her anymore...

[Bulk shouts urgently.]

BULK:  Billy, I'm telling you, LOOK OVER THERE!

[Billy looks.  Less than 100 feet away, the Zeo Rangers are being pummeled by the Dark Rangers as Rita and Zedd watch from beneath their beach umbrella.  Jason and Red are just off-screen.  During the struggle, the title appears at the bottom of the screen.]

TITLE:  A Heart of Gold part III: Into the Darkness

SKULL:  Two groups of Power Rangers!

[The Zeo Rangers are being pounded savagely by the Dark Rangers.]

BULK:  It looks like the Zeo Rangers are the good guys...  and they're in big trouble.

BILLY:  Oh no - it looks like Jason's in even more trouble!

[To the right of Rita and Zedd, who are slightly to the right of the Ranger battle, Jason is crawling through the sand trying to escape the approaching Red Ranger.]

BILLY:  Guys, hold on to me!  It's time for a gold rush!

[Bulk and Skull hold Billy's shoulders, uniting their auras into a single white aura.  The Golden Power Staff, aimed at Red, opens up and releases a surge of energy.]

[Red looks up in time to be knocked several feet through the air by the blast.  Jason stumbles to his feet and makes it over to Billy, Bulk, and Skull as the smoking Red Ranger lies in the sand.]

JASON:  Thanks...  I thought I was finished.

BILLY:  What's going on?

JASON:  I was about to ask you guys the same question.

[A booming voice from the facility makes an announcement in Triforian.]

JASON:  What does THAT mean?

[Billy concentrates.]

BILLY:  Something about evacuating...

JASON:  How do you...?

[Billy gazes at the orb on the end of the Golden Power Staff.]

BILLY:  The staff... it talks to me...

[Bulk continues to watch the Ranger melee.]

BULK:  Guys, we have to help the Zeo Rangers!

[Billy analyzes the situation.]

BILLY:  Hmm...  we'd never get a clear shot...  but I have another idea.  Form a circle around Jason.

JASON:  Huh?

[Bulk and Skull do so; the three form a circle around Jason.]

BILLY:  We're giving you the Gold Ranger powers.  You're their only hope.

[Skull looks toward the action, frightened.  He is unable to speak.]

SKULL:  B-- B-- B--

[Jason speaks to Billy.]

JASON:  But...  my body couldn't handle the powers...

BILLY:  No, Jason...  I was responsible for that.  They made me build a machine to drain the powers...

[Skull manages to blurt out a word in panic.]

SKULL:  B-- Bulk!!

[Bulk is irritated, listening intently to the conversation.]

BULK:  Quiet, Skull!  I'm trying to understand what Billy's say--

[Bulk suddenly catches sight of Red Ranger sauntering their way.]

BULK:  Aagh!  Evil Red Ranger at twelve o'clock!

[Billy quickly raises his arms out to his sides.]

BILLY:  Let's do it!

[Bulk and Skull mimic Billy's posture.  The Golden Power Staff hovers between Billy and Jason. As Billy, Bulk, and Skull touch their fingertips together in their triangular formation, their three colored auras combine into a white field which flows around Jason as he reaches out to take the Golden Power Staff.  When the light is gone, Jason stands as the Gold Ranger, holding the Golden Power Staff.]

BULK:  Wow...

BILLY:  Good luck, Jase.

[Jason turns around to face Red, speaking to him as they slowly circle each other.]

JASON:  I can feel what you did...  Even though I stopped you from finishing, you linked our minds.  But don't think that'll stop me from destroying you once and for all!

[Jason attacks.]

[After watching briefly with Bulk and Skull, Billy heads for the door.]

BILLY:  All right, we've done all we can do.  I'm going back in.

[The ground starts to tremble.]

BULK:  Hey, what's happening?

[Full view of the mountain from its base.  Hundreds of small spacecraft emerge from an opening in the top of the mountain and begin to fly away.]

[Bulk and Skull are elated.]

SKULL:  Hey, the aliens are leaving!

BULK:  Just like the staff told you, Billy!

[Billy thoughtfully looks at the giant towers on the horizon.]

BILLY:  Hmm...  the towers are off-line.  The central generator must be down.

[He watches the swarm of ships disappear into the sky.]

BILLY:  And with the Rebels' panicked escape, one would think they were fleeing for their lives...

BULK:  What, like the place is gonna self-destruct...?

[Billy's eyes widen with insight.]

BILLY:  Of course!  Cestria must be behind this!  Now I KNOW she's still alive!

[Billy opens the door and rushes down the passage, which is now utterly dark.]

BULK:  But--!  Hey!

[Having removed them from his pocket, Skull holds his keys by the mini-flashlight which is attached to the keyring.]

SKULL:  Boy, too bad he's gone.  He could've really used this...

[Bulk frowns with determination.]

BULK:  Come on!  We've gotta help him...

[Bulk enters the darkness and vanishes.  Skull yells after him from outside.]

SKULL:  I'm not going in there!

[Skull leans forward, calling down the tunnel.]

SKULL:  Hey, Bulk, did you hear me?  I said I'm not going in there!

[Skull pauses, then trots in.]

SKULL:  Hey, wait up!

[Nearby, as he uses his sword to defend himself against White Ranger's attacks, Tommy looks at the opening in the compound.]

TOMMY:  First the Rebels evacuate, and now Billy, Bulk, and Skull go back into the darkened compound...  probably looking for Cestria.  I don't like this.

[While Tommy is distracted, White sweeps him to the sand and steps on his stomach, pinning him down.  As White rears back to impale Tommy with Saba, Tommy reaches for his dropped sword, but it's landed just out of his reach.]

[White thrusts Saba down, but the blade stops inches from Tommy's chest.]

TOMMY:  Huh?

[Saba flies from White's hands and buzzes around his head as White tries to grab the saber. Saba hovers and speaks in a sagely voice.]

SABA:  Tommy, you're worried about your friends, and the Dark Rangers are beating you!  You have to retreat!

TOMMY:  But...

[Saba plunges himself through White's visor, impaling the Dark Ranger's head.  As black smoke streams out from the shattered visor, Saba shouts, half of his blade run through White's head.]

SABA:  Finish him off, and then get your Rangers OUT OF HERE!

[Tommy snaps to attention and fumbles for his sword.]

TOMMY:  Right...

[Tommy rises with a martial arts whisper, his sword blade energizing with red light.  As he releases a primal cry, he swipes his energized sword through White's midsection, slicing him in half.]

[White Ranger falls as smoke streams from its wounds, and both Saba and the suit dissolve.]

TOMMY:  Little buddy!

[Rocky flies through the air awkwardly and skids through the sand beside Tommy.  He sits up with his hand to his head.]

ROCKY:  Ugh...

[Tommy helps him up.]

TOMMY:  Rocky!  Are you okay?

ROCKY:  Yeah, I'm fine...  just a little dizzy...

TOMMY:  Guys!  We need to regroup at the entrance to the compound!

KAT:  Right!

[Kat, Tanya, Adam, and Jason successively leap into the air, escaping from combat.]

[Tommy and Rocky then leap as well.]

TOMMY:  Going airborne!

ROCKY:  Right behind you!

[The Rangers land in front of the open door.  Rocky, coming out of a clumsy landing, crashes into the wall.]

[Adam grabs Rocky and puts Rocky's arm around his shoulder.]

ADAM:  Rocky!

ROCKY:  My energy boost's wearing off...

[He demorphs once more.]

[Tommy is assembling his advanced Zeo Laser Pistol by combining his blue sword weapon and his laser pistol.]

TOMMY:  Guys, we need some firepower!

[Kat and Tanya do the same.]

KAT / TANYA:  Right!

[Jason opens the Golden Power Staff.]

JASON:  I hear you!

[The Zeo Laser Pistol and Golden Power Staff blasts are somewhat successful at holding back the five Dark Rangers, who are trying to walk toward the Zeo Rangers with their Power Weapons.]

TOMMY:  Okay, here's the plan...  Adam, you take Rocky inside and get Billy, Cestria, Bulk and Skull out of there.  We'll hold back the Dark Rangers.

[Adam does so.]

ADAM:  You got it, Tommy.

[Morphed Adam and demorphed Rocky are shown in silhouette entering the tunnel.]

ADAM:  Wish we had some light...

[Rocky takes out his lamp from his Power Box and turns it on, illuminating a decent radius around them in the seemingly endless tunnels.]

ADAM:  Nice...

[Adam calls down a side tunnel as they progress through the seemingly endless labyrinth of darkness.]

ADAM:  Billy!!

ROCKY:  Bulk!  Skull!  Where are you?

ADAM:  No answer.  C'mon...

* * *

[Outside, the Zeo Rangers are barely holding back the Dark Rangers with their energy blasts.]

[The same Triforian evacuation announcement echoes over loudspeakers.]

KAT:  What, again?

JASON:  Oh no...

TOMMY:  What?

JASON:  I could understand it this time.  And in about fifteen minutes, this whole compound is gonna blow sky-high.

[Kat is alarmed as she continues holding off their foes.]

KAT:  What?!

TANYA:  What if everyone doesn't make it out in time?!

[Tommy tensely continues firing.]

TOMMY:  Oh man, how could I let Adam and Rocky go in there? And without teleportation being up...!

JASON:  Look, if we go in after them and get everyone together, the staff can teleport us out.

KAT:  How do you know?

JASON:  It says so.

[Tommy continues firing.]

TOMMY:  All right, here's what we do.  We fall back and seal ourselves into the compound. That'll give us enough time to get in touch with Adam and Rocky so we can meet up somewhere. Then once we have everyone, we teleport out.

[Kat nods.]

KAT:  Right.

[Kat and Tanya retreat inside.  Tommy prepares to duck inside as Jason continues blasting at the Dark Rangers.]

TOMMY:  Jase, you comin'?

JASON:  Right behind you.

[Tommy retreats, and Jason follows him.]

[Perhaps twenty yards inside the tunnel, Jason faces the opening, with Tommy watching behind him.  Behind Tommy are Tanya and Kat.]

JASON:  All right, Staff, you know what to do...

[Jason pushes the button.  Energy pulses outward from the staff and strikes the ceiling, sending tons of debris crashing down in front of them and casting the tunnel in total darkness.]

TOMMY:  Anyone got a light?

TANYA:  Zeo Two, power down.

[A yellow silhouette of Tanya briefly casts a dull yellow glow in the tunnel, then dies out again. Moments later, unmorphed Tanya lights up the tunnel with the lamp from her Power Box.  Thick dust billows through the air from the rubble.]

TOMMY:  Good thinking.

[Tanya coughs from the dust and reaches back, removing her gas mask.]

[Tommy speaks into his morphed wrist.  Tanya, in the background, puts on her gas mask.]

TOMMY:  Adam, Rocky, do you copy?

[Adam and Rocky are in another tunnel.  Rocky is watching his short-range locator, to the front of which his lamp is attached like a headlight.  Adam replies into his morphed wrist.]

ADAM:  Yeah, we're here.  We've got a lock on Billy with the short-range locator.

[Back in the dust-filled tunnel, Tommy responds.]

TOMMY:  Right, the locators...  those'll help us out a lot.  This place is gonna self-destruct in under fifteen minutes, so what we need to do is get everyone together so Jason can teleport us out of here.

[Adam continues into his wrist as Rocky analyzes the locator display.]

ADAM:  It doesn't look like Cestria's going anywhere, so we should probably meet up where she is.

ROCKY:  What about the Dark Rangers?

[Back with the others.  Tanya, in the background, is fitting her lamp to the front of her locator.]

TOMMY:  We've sealed the entrance, but we don't know how long it'll stall 'em, so we've gotta hurry.  We'll meet you at Cestria's location.

ADAM (voice-over transmission):  Right.

[Jason stops, and the others follow suit.]

JASON:  You guys go ahead.  I'm gonna make just a few more barricades and then catch up.

TANYA:  I'll stay with Jason.

TOMMY:  All right, but you guys hurry up.

JASON:  It'll just take a minute, then we'll probably go after Billy.

TOMMY:  Right.

[Tommy and Kat look at each other.]

TOMMY:  Well, I guess one of us should --

KAT:  I've got a shield, so it would make sense for me to guard our rear while you track Cestria.

TOMMY:  Oh.  Right.

* * *

[Outside, Rita and Zedd are under their umbrella about 100 feet away from the compound, lying in their lawn chairs.]

RITA:  Zedd, this is boring!  Everyone's gone inside!  We can't watch the Dark Rangers massacre the Zeo Rangers!

[Zedd is snoring.]

RITA:  Eh, I guess something's bound to happen sooner or later.

[She falls asleep as well after watching the entrance for a few moments.]

* * *

[Elsewhere inside, Billy, Bulk, and Skull move through the darkness with Skull's mini-flashlight. Skull calls out.]

SKULL:  Hey, Cestria!!

BULK:  I dunno, Billy...  you sure this isn't a lost cause?

[They approach a junction in the tunnel.]

BILLY:  I'm sure.  She's in here somewhere.  I can feel her.

[They pause at the junction.  Billy nods in one direction.]

BILLY:  This way.

[Bulk and Skull shrug and follow him.]

* * *

[Jason has collapsed a final section of tunnel as Tanya stands back with her gas mask on.  The dust is very thick.]

JASON:  Okay, that should do it.  Let's --

[Suddenly, we see an infrared view from a Dark Ranger's perspective as four others, dimly illuminated in infrared, dig through the rubble.]

[Jason clutches his head.]

TANYA:  What's wrong?

JASON:  I could see through the evil Red Ranger's eyes!  The Dark Rangers are already on the second barricade!  They'll be here in no time!  We've gotta get out of here!

* * *

[Unmorphed Tommy and morphed Kat walk through a dust-free tunnel.  Kat guards their rear with the Zeo Power Shield.  Tommy removes his gas mask with one hand, carrying his locator/lamp in the other.]

TOMMY:  Well, looks like the air's clear here.

[Kat watches their backs momentarily, then looks ahead toward Tommy again.]

KAT:  How close are we to Cestria?

[Tommy looks at his locator screen.]

TOMMY:  We've still got a ways to go.  But she's staying in the same spot, so it shouldn't be too hard to get to her.

KAT:  And Billy...?

TOMMY:  He's moving pretty erratically.  I hope the others can catch up to him and meet up with us...

[Jason's voice comes from Tommy's communicator.]

JASON (voice-over, transmission):  Guys, we've got trouble.

[Tommy replies.]

TOMMY:  What is it, Jase?

JASON (voice-over, transmission):  The barricades didn't work.  The Dark Rangers are in here with us.

[Back with Adam and Rocky.  Rocky is watching his locator.]

ADAM:  There's a comforting thought.

ROCKY:  It gets better.  They don't show up on the locators.

[Tanya and Jason are rushing through a tunnel with no dust.  Tanya no longer has her gas mask on.  Jason nearly stumbles in distraction.]

JASON:  Ungh...

[Tanya pauses.]

TANYA:  What is it? Are you seeing something else?

[Jason grabs her arm to make them keep going.]

JASON:  They've split up, and the Red Ranger's on our tail!

TANYA:  Should we try to hide somewhere?

JASON:  No, he'd find us!  He can see our heat trails!

[Tanya stops and hands Jason her locator/lamp.]

TANYA:  Heat trails, huh?

[Tanya turns to the tunnel behind them, holding her flamethrower nozzle.]

TANYA:  We'll just see if he can follow us through this.

[Tanya proceeds to torch the tunnel in a blaze of fire.]

[Jason opens one of several doors near them.]

JASON:  Not bad.  Quick, in here!

[As Tanya takes back her locator/lamp, they duck into the room, closing the door after them. They look around the room, which the lamp reveals to be a Triforian living quarters.  In the back is an open closet.]

[From outside, we hear a guttural version of Jason's voice.]

VOICE:  You go.  I stay.

TANYA (whispering):  Jason, that's your voice!

[Jason pulls her toward the closet.]

JASON (whispering):  I know.  Hurry - get in here.

[They get in, and Jason pulls the closet door shut behind them.  From inside the room, we see the hall door open, and the Red Ranger examines the room, backlit by the orange glow of the flames in the hallway.]

[Through Red's infrared eyes, we can see Jason and Tanya's heat trails leading to the closet. Still through his eyes, we see him walk to the closet and open the door, but it's empty inside.]

[In the flickering hallway, Jason and Tanya materialize from golden energy and begin to run away.]

TANYA:  How'd he know which room we were in? The fire should've blinded him!

JASON:  I don't know.  Maybe if I can see through his eyes, he can see through mine.  In which case...

[Infrared view of the hallway with bright spots far down the hall where Jason and Tanya are.]

JASON (voice-over):  ...he knows just what we're doing.

* * *

[Back with Adam and Rocky.]

ROCKY:  I wonder how much time we have left...

ADAM:  I dunno.  I wish we h--

[Rocky's ears perk up.]

ROCKY:  Did you hear that?

ADAM:  Hear what?

ROCKY:  Footsteps.

[They look back, and Rocky shines the lamp on the approaching Yellow and Black Rangers, who are brandishing their Power Weapons.  Rocky yells in panic.]

ROCKY:  Aaagh!  Run!!

[They run.]

* * *

[Elsewhere, Kat is looking ahead over Tommy's shoulder as he studies his locator.]

TOMMY:  I'm worried about Cestria.  She hasn't moved this whole time.

KAT:  She's probably just locked up somewhere...

TOMMY:  Yeah, I hope so.

[Suddenly, an arrow flies past Kat's shield and grazes Tommy's arm.  Tommy winces and grabs his sleeve.]

KAT:  Tommy!

[They look behind them to see the Pink and Blue Rangers, brandishing their Power Weapons.]

[A second arrow whizzes toward Kat, but she deflects it with her shield and returns fire with her Zeo Laser Pistol.]

KAT:  We've got company!

TOMMY:  We can take 'em!  It's morphin' time!

[Kat holds out her hand in front of him.]

KAT:  No, Tommy - if we stay to fight, we won't make it to Cestria in time!

[Tommy pauses.]

TOMMY:  You're right...  we've gotta keep moving.  They're not too smart or fast...  Maybe we can outrun 'em.

* * *

[Jason and Tanya are running down a tunnel, and they see they are coming up behind the Yellow and Black Rangers.]

[As they run, Jason holds out his hand to Tanya.]

JASON:  Hold on!

[Tanya takes his hand, and they begin to turn translucent, swirled with golden energy.  The Yellow and Black Rangers look back just in time to get smashed aside by the golden streak that was Jason and Tanya.]

* * *

[Billy, Bulk, and Skull move through another tunnel and approach a large doorway on the right. Billy enters.]

BILLY:  In here.

[They enter a large room that Skull's flashlight reveals to be a large control room with an enormous generator in the center.]

BILLY:  It's the Rebels' main generator and control room...

[Bulk examines a glowing red seven-digit display changing its readout between dashes, dots, and equals signs a bit slower than one count every second.  The display reads: dash dot dash dash dash dot dot .]

BULK:  Hey, Billy, take a look at this.

[They stop to watch the display change to dot dot dash dash dash dot dot , then to equals equals dot dash dash dot dot .]

BILLY:  It's base-three numerals.  They're counting down.

[Billy takes Skull's flashlight as the display reads dash equals dot dash dash dot dot .  Billy walks off, leaving Bulk and Skull to study the display.]

SKULL:  Huh?

[The timer hits dot equals dot dash dash dot dot .]

BULK:  Skull, don't you get it?

[The timer hits equals dash dot dash dash dot dot .]

BULK:  It's a time bomb!

[The timer hits dash dash dot dash dash dot dot .]

BULK:  When it hits zero, we're toast!

[Billy walks through the darkness with the flashlight.  In the background, Bulk and Skull are illuminated by the display panels as the timer hits dot dash dot dash dash dot dot .]

SKULL (their conversation fading into the distance):  Zero? How would you tell?

[Billy's light falls upon Cestria's boots sticking out from beside a pipe fixture.  He drops the flashlight in shock.]

BILLY:  Oh, god...

[The fallen flashlight shows Cestria sitting weakly against the wall, her eyes closed, her bloody hands over her stomach.  Billy kneels beside her and cradles her head in his arms.]

BILLY:  Cestria...!

[Cestria opens her eyes weakly.]

CESTRIA:  Billy...  you've gotta get out of here...

BILLY:  I'm taking you with me.

[Cestria closes her eyes again in pain.]

CESTRIA:  No...  it's too late for me...  One of those guards got in a...  lucky hit.

[She smiles weakly before wincing again.]

CESTRIA:  It's...  really bad.  I can't hold on...  any longer...

BILLY:  Don't talk like that...  I can take y--

[Cestria looks into his eyes wearily.]

CESTRIA:  Billy, shhh...

[Billy looks down at her with tears in his eyes.]

CESTRIA:  I'm sorry...  for...  everything...

[Tears run down Billy's face as he holds her close.]

BILLY:  You're a good person, Cestria.

[Cestria lies limp in his arms.  The area falls completely silent.]

* * *

[Tommy and morphed Kat are still running.  Kat looks at Tommy's bleeding arm.]

KAT:  Tommy, your arm!

TOMMY:  It's fine.

KAT:  No it isn't, Tommy!

[Tommy glances back at her as they run.]

TOMMY:  Well, we can't exactly stop!

[Kat stops dead.]

KAT:  Wait...  maybe we can.  Do you hear that?

[Tommy listens.  The faint sound of water can be heard.]

TOMMY:  Water rushing...

[They crouch beside a grating in the floor.]

KAT:  A irrigation tunnel...

TOMMY:  Looks like a sewer to me.

[Kat removes the grating panel.]

KAT:  Come on.  I have an idea to buy us some time.

[We see Pink and Blue walk up to the open grating.  Tommy's voice calls out from the tunnel below.]

TOMMY (off-screen):  Hey, guys, down here!

[We see the Dark Rangers' view in heat vision as they look down the grating at Kat and Tommy standing in the ankle-deep water in the tunnel below.  Tommy's locator/lamp are fastened to his Power Box behind him.]

KAT:  Yeah, come and get us!

[Down in the tunnel, Pink and Blue drop down into the sewer tunnel and begin to approach the two.]

TOMMY:  Ready...

KAT:  Hold on!

[Kat, holding onto Tommy, leaps over the Dark Rangers in a single bound, landing just below the opening above.  Tommy fires the cable from his rappelling kit straight up, and it pulls them both back up to the upper tunnel.]

[Above, Tommy slides the grating back onto place, and Kat quickly welds it shut with her Zeo Laser Pistol.  Once finished, she holsters her weapon.]

KAT:  All right, that should buy us some time.  Zeo One, power down.

[Kat demorphs with a pink gleam and removes her medkit from her Power Box.]

KAT:  Let's take a look at that arm.

[Tommy smiles and watches her admiringly as she works on his wound.]

TOMMY:  That was a...  uh, pretty good move back there.

[She smiles back.]

KAT:  Thanks.

* * *

[Rocky and Adam round the corner to the control room's hallway as Rocky leads the way.]

ROCKY:  In there!

ADAM:  I hear them coming!

[They dash inside and duck behind a piece of machinery.  Adam quickly pokes his head back up and aims his advanced Zeo Laser Pistol at the doorway.]

[Behind the shelter of metal, Rocky begins to bring his Zeonizers together.]

BULK (off-screen):  Rocky!

[Rocky startles and hides his Zeonizers, looking at Bulk and Skull near the display wall to the right of the doorway.  Bulk and Skull approach, surprised.  The timer in the background changes to dot dash dot equals dot dot dot .]

BULK:  What are you doing here?

[Adam quickly looks away from the doorway and agitatedly motions for the two to duck down with them.  Rocky no longer has his Zeonizers.]

ADAM (whispering):  Get down, you two!

[Bulk and Skull confusedly duck behind the barrier with Rocky and Zeo Ranger Four.  Together, they all watch the doorway intently.]

[Suddenly, we see the backs of black and yellow Rangers round the corner.  Adam fires, and Gold Ranger Jason is struck in the back with an orange beam of energy.  The beam reflects off his golden vest, striking the ceiling with a flash of sparks, as Jason stumbles forward one step. Tanya catches him.]

TANYA:  Jason!

[Rocky and Adam suddenly stand in alarm.]

ADAM:  Jason!!  Are you okay?

[Jason turns, his back smoking slightly.]

JASON:  I'm fine.  My shield protected me.  But stay down...  the Dark Rangers'll be here any minute.

[The four Rangers, Bulk, and Skull take cover as Rocky addresses Bulk and Skull.]

ROCKY:  Hey, you guys, where's Billy?

[Bulk points in the direction Billy went.  The timer reads dash dash equals dash dot dot dot .]

BULK:  He's over there looking for this alien girl that was with us.

[Skull looks nervously toward the empty doorway in front of them.  All appears still.  Bulk and Skull suddenly get up.]

SKULL:  We'll...  uh...  we'll go find 'em.

BULK:  Yeah.

[Bulk and Skull scurry off and approach the area where Billy went.  Skull is anxious.]

SKULL:  "The Dark Rangers'll be here any minute??"  Bulky, I don't like the sound of that!

[Meanwhile, the Rangers watch the doorway as reddish laser beams fly by in the corridor.]

TANYA:  What's going on?

JASON:  It must be Tommy and Kat!

[Tommy and Kat, both morphed, duck into the room holding their advanced Zeo Laser Pistols and duck down with the other Zeo Rangers.]

TOMMY:  Did we miss the party?

[The five Dark Rangers stand in the doorway but are pelted by the Zeo Rangers' laser fire.]

ROCKY:  Nope...  it's just starting!

[Red Ranger speaks in Jason's deep voice.]

RED:  Blade Blasters!

[The Dark Rangers draw their Blade Blasters from their holsters and begin a massive laser shootout.  Rocky takes cover.  As dozens of shots are exchanged, Tommy addresses the others.]

TOMMY:  Okay, here's the plan...  We distract the Dark Rangers right until the place is about to blow, then Jason teleports us back to the mountains.

ROCKY:  Sounds like a plan to me.

[Tommy glances at the timer, which reads dot equals dot dash dot dot dot .]

TOMMY: Now, we just need Billy to read this timer...

[Bulk and Skull approach the fixture behind which Billy is crouching.]

BULK:  Hey, Billy, did y--?

[They find Billy with his head down as he kneels beside Cestria's body.  Tear droplets have made tiny darkened spots on her dark clothing beneath Billy's face.]

SKULL:  Oop...

BULK:  Uh...

[Billy speaks without raising his head.]

BILLY:  She gave her life to let us escape.

[Bulk and Skull are stunned.]

BULK:  Billy, man...  I'm sorry...

[Suddenly, Cestria's body begins to glow with white light, alarming the three humans.  Billy's tear-filled eyes sparkle from the light.]

SKULL:  W-- w-- what's going on?

BILLY:  I don't know!

[Cestria's body turns into light and vanishes.]

BULK:  She disappeared!

[Skull glances toward the laser shootout near the door.]

SKULL:  Maybe we should too...

[Billy stands and looks up toward the ceiling with a hint of a smile.]

BILLY:  Yeah...

[At the shootout, Billy joins the Rangers and Rocky behind their barricade, as do Bulk and Skull. The Rangers are delighted but are unable to spare time for embraces.]

ADAM:  Billy!

KAT:  Oh, Billy, you're okay!

TOMMY:  Billy, great to see you!

ROCKY:  Where's Cestria?

[Bulk and Skull look uneasy.]

BULK:  Um...

[Billy smiles weakly.]

BILLY:  She's safe now.  Far away.

[A stray laser from the Dark Rangers strikes a cluster of wires, sending a small hail of sparks bouncing off the reunited teens.  The Rangers continue to return fire.  Billy mutters to himself.]

BILLY:  What a Turbo Thunder Cannon wouldn't do right about now...

TOMMY:  Billy, how much time do we have?  We're gonna leave at the last second so the Dark Rangers can't follow us.

[Billy studies the display, which reads dot equals dash dot dot dot dot .]

BILLY:  Umm, a little bit left.  I'll call the time.

[Skull shakes his head after eyeing the display.]

SKULL:  I still don't get it.

[Nearby, Jason stops shooting and looks at the Golden Power Staff.  In the background, Billy is explaining the numerical system to Skull as the timer reads dash dash dash dot dot dot dot .]

BILLY (barely audible in background):  It's base-three from right to left.  The dot is zero, the dash is one...

TOMMY:  Jason, what's wrong?

JASON:  Something's...  taking possession of the staff!

[The Red Dark Ranger laughs as he holds out his hand, and everyone pauses as the Golden Power Staff crackles with energy and zaps Jason's hands away from it.]

JASON:  Aghh!

[The staff hovers through the air, slowly approaching Red Ranger through the battle zone.]

JASON:  He's controlling the staff through me!

ADAM:  That's our only ticket outta here!

[Jason rises from the shield of machinery to make a move for the staff, but the four other Dark Rangers bombard him with laser fire.  Jason braces himself, slightly stunned, as the lasers bounce off his golden chest armor.]

[Red Ranger, watching, places his hand on the Black Ranger's forearm, lowering his aim slightly, and the lasers strike Jason in the unprotected stomach, causing a burst of sparks to erupt from the black material of his suit.  A second blast, followed by a third, strikes Jason's midsection, causing him to stumble back and duck behind the metal barrier to recover.]

TOMMY:  Jason!

ADAM:  We can't lose that staff!

[Rocky eyes the staff with determination as it has almost reached Red Ranger.]

ROCKY:  It's mine.

[Rocky points his arm toward the staff, a three-pronged claw aimed straight ahead.  He fires the claw, and it grasps the hovering rod firmly.  At the same time, a strong gloved white hand also takes hold of the staff.  Red Ranger has the Golden Power Staff in his grasp.]

ROCKY:  No you don't!

[Beneath the gauntlet of blue tendrils used to anchor the grappling gun to Rocky's body, Rocky's fingers activate a hidden palm switch.  The steel cable instantly grows taut, but the staff doesn't budge.  Instead, Rocky is dragged over the barricade, straight toward Red Ranger. The Rangers desperately attempt to grab him, but he is pulled away too quickly.]

ROCKY:  Bad move, bad move!

ADAM / KAT:  Rocky!!

[Scrambling to his feet after stopping inches from Red Ranger, Rocky frantically triggers the release on his grappling gun, causing its tendrils to unwind.  As the claw releases and the tool falls from the staff, Rocky bolts in the opposite direction, but the white gloved hand locks onto the Power Box on his back with its vice-like grip, crumpling its smooth metallic exterior.  The panicked Rangers cry out.]

[Rocky quickly unsnaps his shoulder straps, gliding out of the restrained pack.  He dives back behind the Rangers' barricade.  The four Zeo Rangers regain their composure and aim their weapons at Red, who has discarded the crumpled Power Box.]

RED:  Power down.

[Simultaneously, the Zeo Rangers and Gold Ranger demorph with orange gleams of energy, their weapons vanishing.  Billy crouches beside the startled teens to check on them.]

BILLY:  Guys!

TOMMY:  He demorphed us!

[Meanwhile, Bulk is stunned.]

BULK:  THOSE guys...?  They--!  Skull!

[Skull, off to the side, is analyzing the timer display intently, disregarding Bulk.]

TOMMY:  We're running out of time!

[The timer reads dot equals dot dot dot dot dot .]

SKULL:  It's okay, there's still twenty timer ticks left!

[Billy looks up at the display.]

BILLY:  No, base-three!  That's six ticks!!

[Jason stares at the staff in Red's hand and grimaces in concentration.]

JASON:  Almost...

[The timer hits dash dash dot dot dot dot dot .  Billy shouts the time.]

BILLY:  Four!

[The Golden Power Staff opens in Red's face and blows him and the other Dark Rangers back in a golden explosion.  The staff lands on the floor between the two teams of Rangers.]

[The timer hits dot dash dot dot dot dot dot .]

BILLY:  Three!

[Skull looks at the Golden Power Staff, then darts out and tosses it to Jason.  The Dark Rangers, on their backs outside the doorway, take several shots at Skull as he rolls aside to safety.  Jason catches the staff.]

[The timer hits equals dot dot dot dot dot dot .]

BILLY:  Two!

[Jason holds up the staff, and gold energy crackles from it.  Red Ranger scrambles to his feet and lunges toward the Rangers.]

[The timer hits dash dot dot dot dot dot dot .]

BILLY:  One!!

[The six teens, Bulk, Skull, and Billy vanish in a sphere of golden energy.  Red Ranger slams into the barricade and frantically looks at the timer.  It shows a string of seven dots. dot dot dot dot dot dot dot  Zero.]

* * *

[In the desert, Rita and Zedd are sleeping on their lawn chairs beneath the Lord Zedd umbrella. Their staves are still stuck in the sand beside them.]

[Rita stirs awake sleepily.]

RITA:  Zeddy, do you hear something?

[The entire mountain explodes in blinding white light just as a rainbow of energy traces over Rita and Zedd's heads.  Furious waves of white energy from the explosion pour across the desert, yielding only to a small force bubble in the middle of the maelstrom, in which Rita and Zedd are protected.]

[As dust sweeps through the air, Rita jumps up from her chair and shrieks.]

RITA:  Aaaaagh!!  Our Dark Rangers!!

[Zedd mumbles in his sleep.  We zoom out a long distance to see that the landscape is now one vast sea of mirrored silicon.  All is silent as clouds of vapor blow across the smoothed landscape.  Where once stood a mountain now lies a gaping black crater.]

[Rita's feet scuffle across the small radius of surviving sand.  She steps onto the solid mirror all around them and taps the point of her staff against its surface.  We see her face as she speaks, stunned.]

RITA:  Glass...  Sand fused to glass...

[Rita's face contorts into a twisted grimace.  She spins around to face Zedd, her eyes aflame with fury.  Zedd remains seated in his chair.  He speaks calmly with a sigh.]

ZEDD:  They're gone, Rita.  Let's go home.

* * *

[Establishment shot from far away as the teens, Billy, Bulk, and Skull stand solemnly in a circle with their heads bowed.  We hear Bulk's voice fading in.]

BULK (voice-over):  She made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the safety of others and... showed us the goodness within her heart...

[The teens listen respectfully as Bulk speaks.]

BULK:  ...And the goodness that's in all of our hearts, waiting to be released.  Wherever she is now, she touched us all...  and she'll live on in all of us.

[They all raise their heads again.  Skull sniffs.  Billy smiles appreciatively at Bulk.]

BILLY:  Thanks, Bulk.  That was beautiful.

[Tommy exchanges looks with the others.]

TOMMY:  Well, guys, I guess it's time we headed home.

[Billy takes a step back and nods.]

BILLY:  Keep in touch, you guys.

[The teens are confused.]

ADAM:  You're not coming with us?

BILLY:  I'm gonna stay on Triforia and help clean up.

[In the distance, we see the crumbled remains of electrical towers.]

BILLY (off-screen):  It's time my inventions did some good for this planet.

[Billy continues.]

BILLY:  And who knows, maybe I'll see what they think of the idea of democracy.

[Jason holds out the Golden Power Staff to Billy.]

JASON:  Here.

[Billy looks at the offering.]

JASON:  It's yours now.

[Billy looks up at Jason.]

BILLY:  Jason, you deserve--

JASON:  You'll need it if the Rebels come back.  You can ensure peace here.

[Billy reluctantly takes the staff.]

BILLY:  But, th-- the... uh, negative protons...

[In a golden flash, Billy finds himself suited up as the Gold Ranger, helmetless.  Jason smiles and speaks softly.]

JASON:  I guess the, uh, Eternal Falls cured that, huh?

[Jason winks.  Billy gives a faint sheepish smile.]

TOMMY:  Listen, man, if you EVER need us, we'll be here in a heartbeat.

BILLY:  I can't thank you guys enough for all your help.

[Tommy pats Billy's shoulder.]

TOMMY:  Don't mention it.

[Billy cautiously holds out the staff.]

BILLY:  Well, here goes...

[The teens give tiny goodbye waves.]

KAT:  Bye, Billy.

JASON:  See ya, man.

SKULL:  Take it easy.

[Everyone is teleported in gold energy.  Now alone, Billy looks out over the desert in silent thought.]

* * *

[Everyone materializes in the ravaged Power Chamber.  The teens are upset.]

ADAM:  Oh, man, look at this place!

JASON:  The Dark Rangers did this.

TOMMY:  What a mess...

[Bulk turns to Skull with fascination.]

BULK:  Skully, this must be the Rangers' headquarters!

SKULL:  Or what's left of it.

[Kat looks at the cracked plasma tube in the front wall.]

KAT:  Oh no!  Zordon!

[Tanya crouches beside the charred and battered Alpha.]

TANYA:  Alpha!

ROCKY:  What are we gonna do?

ADAM:  Hey, the Zeo Crystal rebuilt the Command Center...  maybe it can rebuild the Power Chamber!

TOMMY:  Good idea, Adam.  Let's get to it!

[The five teens stand in a circle and sequentially hold out one arm toward the center of the circle.  Bulk, Skull, and Jason stand off to the side and watch.]

KAT:  Zeo One, power of the circle!

TANYA:  Zeo Two, power of balance!

ROCKY:  Zeo Three, power of the triangle!

ADAM:  Zeo Four, power of the square!

TOMMY:  Zeo Five, power of the star!

[The room begins to glow with white light.]

BULK:  I tell ya, Skull...  I can't believe the Rangers have been under our noses the whole time, and we never realized it.

[Skull uncomfortably rubs the back of his neck.]

SKULL:  Um, yeah.

[The Zeo Crystal hovers above the Rangers, bathing the Power Chamber in white light. Everyone shields their eyes from the intense glow.  The control panels and Zordon's tube are repaired by an invisible force.  The Zeo Crystal then splits up into its five subcrystals, which plunge into the former gallery area in the back wall.  They form tubes of colored light.]

JASON:  Incredible...

[Alpha emerges from behind the control panel in a shiny, redesigned body, delighting the teens.]

KAT:  Alpha!  Zordon!

[Zordon has now returned.]

ZORDON:  Congratulations, Rangers.  You have saved not only three human lives, but also an entire planet.

[The teens smile proudly.]

ZORDON:  You have far surpassed my expectations of the good that can be accomplished by individuals such as yourselves.

[Zordon speaks to Bulk and Skull.]

ZORDON:  And you, Bulk and Skull, have shown that one does not need to possess cosmic powers in order to prove oneself a true hero.  Your bravery and compassion are to be commended.  I trust that the virtue you have demonstrated today extends to your ability to keep secret the identities of the Power Rangers.

[Bulk and Skull smile awkwardly.]

BULK:  Oh...  yeah.

SKULL:  Sure!

BULK:  Uh...  actually, I don't trust us.

SKULL:  Me either.

BULK:  Could you just... like, make us forget about these last few days?

SKULL:  Yeah, Detective Stone might interrogate it out of us.

[The teens chuckle.]

BULK:  Really...  You can take your secret.

ZORDON:  A noble decision.  Using the power of the Zeo Crystal, I will teleport you back to your homes with no knowledge of the events that transpired on Triforia.  Are you certain this is what you want?

[Bulk and Skull look at each other.]

BULK / SKULL:  Yeah.

[The teens smile in admiration.]

TANYA:  Thanks for your help, you guys.

TOMMY:  Yeah...  we couldn't have done it without you.

[Jason nods and smiles.]

JASON:  Good work, guys.

[Bulk and Skull smile, then look up at Zordon.  Fade to white.]

* * *

[The whiteness zooms out, and we see a squadron of Varox fighter ships near a star.]

[Inside one of the cockpits, a Varox speaks.]

VAROX1:  Command, this Corex.

[A reply emenates from the controls in a similar metallic voice.]

VOICE:  Report.

VAROX1:  We have received our payment of one Dragon Coin as promised.  But the coin is no longer connected to a power source.

VOICE:  Set a course for Eltar.  No one toys with the Varox.

[Freezeframe.]

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