Spoiler Warning: The commentary found here discusses events in this episode and beyond.  Read at your own risk!


Episode 17: "Tales of a Darkened Past"

This episode was completed on March 21, 2007, and released on June 28, 2008.  Its title refers to Trask's backstory, wherein darkness could be literal or figurative.

Writer:  Joe Rovang

[ Sentai footage is from Jetman #20 unless otherwise noted. ]

In Jetman #20, Black rescues a young photographer who's convinced something strange is causing brides to leave their grooms at the altar.  Black doesn't find anything strange about it, despite the monstrous vacuum nozzle in her photos.  She ultimately convinces the Rangers to speak with her disaffected sister (one of the brides), and they ultimately set a trap for the monster (Hoser).  After Black tangles with the monster alone, they destroy him with the Megazord, and the photographer is left with a crush on Black.

I used footage from Jetman #20 here because its Megazord battle served as an effective exit for the Megazord (specifically, the Phoenix Blade didn't appear, which I was able to depict as a glitch).

Originally, my season overview had this episode as a potential Chris focus, and indeed I did feel Chris was being under-emphasized at this point.  Ultimately, though, I was uninspired by the love-sucking vacuum cleaner plot and had no pressing ideas for civilian plots, so I indulged myself with almost an entire episode dedicated to Trask's backstory.  I'm quite glad I did, because I felt it fleshed out not only Trask's character but also the galaxy as a whole.  It would, however, be an expensive episode to produce.

[ Fade in to EXT. SNOWY MOUNTAINS (NIGHT) - In the dead of night, a bright moon (nearly a week after a full moon) illuminates a snowy night in the mountains. ]

This episode takes place on Friday, June 19, 1992, two days after the Reverbit incident (and Trask and Sasha's confrontation) in the previous episode.

[ TRASK trudges through the snow and feels searchingly along a rocky cliff face (compare with episode 10).  He appears unable to find what he's looking for. ]

TRASK (remarking to himself):
It's gone...

I planned not to use Magda's lair further, but it will reappear in episode 26.  To my surprise, it also became the villains' new base in episode 32.

[ TRASK takes a step back from the rock and surveys the landscape. ]

TRASK (cont'd, inwardly):
Where are you now, Princess?

Trask is trying to track down Sasha after Strife interrupted his attack on her in the previous episode.

[ INT. HOUSE, DINING ROOM (MORNING) - In a dining room adjoining both the kitchen and the living room, LUKE eats from a bowl of cereal at the dining table, where a basket of fruit serves as a centerpiece.  In the background, a back door leads to the back yard.  In the kitchen, MAGGIE prepares a bowl of ramen noodles. ]

The dining room is mostly located underneath the second-floor staircase which leads up to the attic.

Maggie's noodles are a reference to episode 11.

I neglected to mention that Luke should be in his work uniform here.

[ LUKE speaks between bites: ]

I just don't understand how she found out.

Luke is referring to Maggie's discovery in the previous episode that Frieda apparently knows his identity.  It's unknown why it took two days for this to come up in conversation (or maybe Luke's been obsessing about it this long).

I guess you could ask her.

LUKE (noncommittally):

[ CHRIS enters and grabs a banana from the fruit basket. ]

Chris is on his way to work.



Hey, Chris.

[ CHRIS gestures toward the front of the house. ]

So, we ever gonna get that door fixed for real?

Hey, you did a good job...

CHRIS (humbly):
Please.  I put a couple of screws in it.  The next gust of wind that comes along...

Chris downplays his handyman abilities.  Their need for proper door repairs will serve as a convenient reason for Casey to run into Barry in the next episode.  I didn't have that in mind when Maggie broke the door in the previous episode.

I'll call Mr. Patterson this afternoon.

Good idea.  See you guys.


See ya.

[ CHRIS exits. ]

[ INT. SPACE STATION CORRIDOR - DILLIK explores the corridors of the space station, puzzled by something we don't yet hear.  On his way, he passes a few NOBODIES stationed in the halls. ]

Nobodies are present because battalion 4 is still in existence from the previous episode.

[ In time, we begin to hear distant metallic clangs and clatters, as if some sort of large machinery is being torn apart. ]

[ Drawing closer to an open doorway near the end of one particular corridor, DILLIK exlcaims: ]

Not the engine room!  (rushes forward)

[ INT. SPACE STATION, ENGINE ROOM - DILLIK appears at the doorway and is horrified by what he sees within (off-screen). ]

[ We see TRASK tearing into a large, futuristic apparatus on one side of the room with his sword.  The apparatus is in a state of considerable damage as innumerable pieces, large and small, litter the floor.  Among the debris are several particularly large metal shapes, perhaps having served as an outer casing for the apparatus. ]

This is the first time we've seen either the engine room or the wormhole generator.  The generator will not appear again.

Presumably Dillik performed research from his lab prior to events in episode 1, even though the bulk of the wormhole generator was actually located in the engine room.

DILLIK (off-screen):
Trask!!  W-- W--

[ DILLIK is nearly unable to form words. ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
What are you doing to the wormhole generator?!

[ His sword embedded in the apparatus, TRASK cruelly pries it out, pulling more mechanical guts from the structure. ]

I'm not taking any chances.

Of what?!

Of Sasha bringing Magda back.  She's an unacceptable wild card.

Now considering Sasha a foe, Trask is apprehensive not knowing where she is.  The idea of Magda returning from her dimensional prison (see episode 10) is unacceptable to him.  (From a practical standpoint, I needed to disable the wormhole generator before Sasha's monster army, so that I could introduce biomass monsters in episode 25.  Originally, though, I expected that Sasha would tear it apart.)

B-- But what about Lord Omos' plans?!  Do you even have any idea what he's going to do to us when he gets here??

[ Unconcerned, TRASK takes another stab. ]

We'll be fine, Dillik.

DILLIK (pacing, in a panic):
How do you know we'll be fine?  You don't know we'll be fine!  I don't feel fine!  Do you feel fine?

[ TRASK halts his work with a sigh.  He turns to DILLIK. ]

Dillik, sit down.

[ DILLIK stops suddenly. ]


Just sit down.

[ DILLIK skeptically takes a seat on one of the larger metal pieces.  He listens intently. ]

TRASK (reluctantly):
(sighs)  There is no Lord Omos.

[ DILLIK chuckles disbelievingly. ]

DILLIK (amused):
What are you--

TRASK (blankly):
There is no Lord Omos.  I made him up.

Though Lord Omos was alluded to as early as episode 1, it took some time for me to decide he was a fabrication (the first evidence of the hoax appears in episode 11).

[ DILLIK blinks.  Stunned, he opens his mouth, but no words come out.  Finally, he manages to speak: ]

No... Omos...?

Well, there was an "Omos," but... not who you think.

I intentionally referred to Omos in the past tense here to insinuate that Trask had killed him; I had Trask's lies planned out in multiple layers, such that Dillik wouldn't learn them all at once.  I wasn't sure at this point whether I would ever have a chance to revisit Omos' demise, but I did in episodes 35 and 38.

I-- I don't understand...

[ TRASK sighs, dispels his sword, and takes a seat on a nearby hunk of debris. ]

Why don't I start from the beginning?

Story time!!

[ Dissolve to EXT. ALIEN VALLEY (DAWN) - We pan across a what was once likely a verdant valley, filled with tall trees.  Many, however, are browning, and some entire regions are dead.  In the heart of the valley, a cluster of dome-shaped hills hide partially subterranean homes.  Their architecture consists of primitive materials such as stone and earth, but their design is noticeably alien. ]

This planet goes unnamed until episode 38, in which I gave it the arguably unoriginal name "New Vampiria" as part of a joke in that episode.

I assumed that mostly subterranean homes would be most practical for Vampirians who avoid sunlight.

I conceived of climate change as the impetus for the departure of Trask and his comrades, but it presumably wasn't of the man-made (Vampirian-made) variety.

TRASK (voice-over):
On my home planet, my clan was facing extinction.  The winds had shifted, and our valley was dying.

[ Dissolve to INT. TRIBAL COUNCIL - Inside one of the larger stone-walled domes, three young adult Vampirians stand before a council of five ELDERS.   The dome is dimly lit by torches in stone ventilation shafts along the walls. ]

[ The three young adults, all equally chalk-skinned, are dressed in flowing, gray garments.  They consist of VIR, a muscle-bound male; KORA, a maroon-haired female; and TRASK, the tallest of the group.  They stand coolly as the ELDERS lecture fiercely them (no audio). ]

The name "Kora" was left over from my original plans for Sasha's character (see notes in episode 9); after I'd established Sasha as Magda's daughter instead, I began pondering a female counterpart to Trask, and I called her "Kora."  That idea was carried over here when I was in need of comrades for Trask.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
Several of us knew we had to leave, but the elders forbade it.

Trask and his two comrades were impetuous but astute youths when they left their clan.

[ A tapestry on the wall stylistically depicts an army of copper-colored humans armed with bronze age weapons.  The borders of the tapestry resemble the stone walls of a fortress. ]

The Builders who terrorized the Vampirians on Earth weren't necessarily copper-skinned; this may have been a stylistic exaggeration by the chalk-skinned Vampirians.

This tapestry suggests that the human-Vampirian war occurred a few thousand years ago.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
Legends spoke of the Builders, savage men who lived in daylight, building weapons and fortresses.  It was said they killed on sight.

The Builder legend represents the Vampirians' view of humans, or at least when viewed through the distant lens of history.  Their legends, however, don't specify that this clash occurred on another planet, and in fact Trask's tribe may believe New Vampiria to be their people's native world (its name in Dillik's star charts notwithstanding).

[ EXT. DESERT EDGE - At the edge of a forest, VIR, KORA, and TRASK emerge, barely recognizable in dark gray cloaks, their faces concealed in cloth. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
But my comrades and I were naive and impetuous.  We set out in secret during the day...

Vampirians normally sleep during the day to avoid the dangerous sunlight; therefore, daytime becomes the most effective time to sneak out.  Cloaks become a necessity (Trask hadn't yet tempered himself to absorb sunlight), but even these don't protect them for long.

[ Beyond lies a vast desert. ]

The leadership of Trask's tribe is insular and stubborn; their people have not succeeded in navigating this vast desert to know what creatures also inhabit their world.

[ EXT. DESERT (SANDSTORM) - VIR, KORA, and TRASK weakly trudge through a vicious sandstorm.  Finally, VIR falls. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
...but the elements cut us down.

[ KORA stops to help VIR, but TRASK, briefly glancing back, continues on his way. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
I don't know if the others survived.

Though Trask is revealing his origins and the nature of the Omos ruse, I intended for the true fate of his comrades to be a layer which Dillik didn't uncover for quite some time.  As is divulged in episode 26, Trask survived by leeching energy from his comrades, such that Vir actually perished; we don't know how Kora survived.

[ EXT. DESERT CLIFF - His cloak now somewhat tattered, TRASK stops at a cliff. ]

[ Below, we see a sprawling "city" seemingly built of hardened mud.  All structures, from central clusters of tall, skyscraper-like spires, to vast fields of single-story dwellings, have been sculpted from the earth by seemingly inhuman origins.  Round window-like openings dot the sides of every building. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
Eventually I came upon a civilization.

Trask is exploring lands unknown to his people.

[ In a closer shot of one of the streets below, we see gentle-looking four-legged creatures interacting.  They resemble a cross between turtles and manatees. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
They were builders, but not the monsters of legend.

Here it's indicated that Trask's people expected the legendary Builders to coinhabit this planet; this matches with episode 13, in which Trask states that few in their few in their civilization remembered their conflict (at least not with much clarity).

[ EXT. MUD HOUSE (NIGHT) - In the night, one of the aforementioned creatures, smaller in proportions, wanders in a perhaps curious manner away from the rear of a single-level mud dwelling. ]

[ Still in his gray cloak (but his head now uncovered), TRASK emerges from the dark corner of the property, apparently startling the creature.  He projects a steady torrent of green energy from his hand, causing the creature to squeal briefly before going limp. ]

Here we see Trask's leeching power in action for the first time, though Pete felt its effects in episode 8.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
I survived leeching energy when I could.

We don't know what means of sustenance his clan had established back home (pens of animals for draining?), but in the wild, leeching proves to border on inadequacy, which fits with Trask's description of the biomass gun as a more potent source of nourishment in episode 16.

[ TRASK disappears into the shadows once more, and the creature soon struggles to recover. ]

Disappearing into the shadows appears to be an innate Vampirian ability.

[ EXT. MUD CITY CENTRAL (DAY) - TRASK lurks behind a mud wall, fully bundled up in his cloak. ]

[ The object of his attention is a sleek, ivory-colored spacecraft (nearly identical in design to his own future ship, color aside).  A short distance from the ship, and around whom a large crowd of the mud city inhabitants are gathered attentively, is a tall, slender creature with six legs and triple-jointed upper arms, draped in a white robe.  He gestures animatedly (no audio) for the benefit of the enrapt crowd. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
Ultimately, salvation came in the form of a Vessit missionary.

I needed Trask to escape his home planet by stealing a visitor's ship, as this technology wasn't available to either of these races; therefore I conceived of a missionary of some sort who stopped here to proselytize (as religion surely wouldn't be unique to mankind).  Per the description of Trask's cockpit in episode 13, however, I had to make the missionary clearly inhuman in physique.

I do find it curious that a missionary would come in such a sexy-looking ship, but that's just how it is.

[ The ship's boosters ignite, and the craft lifts off from the ground, bathing the crowd and the startled missionary in a dust cloud. ]

We don't know what became of the missionary, but perhaps a cohort came after him when he didn't return.

[ INT. VILLAIN COCKPIT (UNMODIFIED) - Poised uncomfortably in the cockpit (which lacks the subsequent ad-hoc modifications described in episode 13), TRASK nonetheless works the foreign controls as best he can. ]

The cockpit was later modified for his physiology, as established in episode 13.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
That was the day I became a space pirate.

Dillik referred to Trask's status as a former space pirate in episode 13.

[ EXT. MUD CITY CENTRAL (DAY) - Above the city, the spacecraft wobbles in the air.  It then rockets off into the sky. ]

Trask has had no previous experience piloting spacecraft, but he catches on quickly (perhaps too quickly, but this will have to be chalked up to creative license).

[ INT. SPACE STATION, ENGINE ROOM - TRASK continues his story. ]

In a stolen ship, I hopped from outpost to outpost, trading goods for sustenance.

[ EXT. ALIEN MARKET (DUSK) - In an outdoor market, mixed alien races (none of them close to appearing human) buy and sell goods.  Lamps burn in locations throughout the market. ]

Though the alien outposts were required by dialog in episode 16, I made no effort to avoid similarities to the planet Onyx from Power Rangers in Space (1998) and Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999), as this locale tended to be a fan favorite.

[ Dressed in his customary leather outfit, TRASK saunters through the crowd.  He casually and indiscriminately removes several pieces of equipment from a table (including, it may be noted, a BIOMASS GUN).  As the alien vendor reacts, TRASK vanishes with a ripple effect.  Several aliens nearby react to the disappearance. ]

This is the acquisition of Trask's biomass gun from a Nimian outpost, as mentioned in episode 16.  I wrote this scene to match that dialog, not vice-versa.

Trask must have acquired his warp generator implants before this point to facilitate in his piracy.  Though they aren't mentioned until episode 26, I did have them in mind at this point.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
Each time my supplies were depleted, I stole what I could and fled to the next settlement.

[ The roof of a nearby wooden building explodes into splinters when blasted out by blue laser pulses from within.  TRASK'S SHIP, now gunmetal black, flies out from the gaping hole and darts off into the sky. ]

He has also had his ship modified by this point.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
This was my existence.

[ INT. VILLAIN COCKPIT - In his cockpit (now in its modern, customized state), TRASK removes the BIOMASS GUN from his coat and inspects it curiously. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
But it was during this time that I discovered biomass.

[ INT. VILLAIN SHIP, CARGO HOLD - In a rear cargo portion of his ship, TRASK is seen stacking silver canisters (those traditionally used for biomass) against the wall. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
With a portable source of sustenance, I was free to explore the galaxy.

Until he acquired the biomass gun, Trask had no practical means of bringing a source of sustenance on long voyages.  In addition to being portable, biomass presumably increases Trask's stamina as well.

[ INT. WATERFALL CAVERN - In a cavern behind a waterfall, TRASK kneels politely before an upright creature with feline features but smooth, dolphin-like skin.  The creature kneels on a wicker mat and converses with TRASK (no audio). ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
I met many sapients on my travels.

I chose the term "sapient" as opposed to the more popular "sentient" because I wanted to distinguish between beings that could feel (sentients) and beings that could think (sapients).  By this distinction, presumably sapience would be more remarkable throughout the galaxy than sentience.

[ EXT. BALCONY (TWILIGHT) - On a Romanesque balcony constructed from smooth, white stone, TRASK stands close to DAE, a slender, graceful-looking creature with an approximately humanoid body frame; her body is covered with very fine white fur or down, and both she and TRASK wear blue silken robes.  The couple admires the purplish sky some time shortly after sunset. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
I even lived among the Raia on the outskirts of Magda's empire.  I was... happy.

I found this facet of Trask's history interesting, but I never found an opportunity to reintroduce these elements, as the empire would have crushed the Raia, and Trask felt no compulsion to speak or think of them again.

[ INT. RAIAN CITY HALL (DAY) - In a similarly Romanesque governmental building, a panel of ornately dressed Raia (of the same morphology as Dae) are riled by the arrival of a pack of heavily-armored, blue-skinned reptilian soldiers.  The soldiers' weapons, an assortment of blades, are not drawn, but their presence nonetheless appears hostile.  Each suit of armor bears a unique purple emblem, the EMPIRE SIGIL. ]

I may have overdone the "reptiles are badguys" cliché, but so be it.

Forces from the empire will not reappear in Take Flight, but episodes 30 and 40 make it seem inevitable that the Earth will some day encounter empire forces (perhaps in a manner similar to the Raia's encounter) if they don't strike first.

The empire sigil also appears on Dillik's ship in this episode.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
But then Magda's forces arrived.

Magda was in charge of the empire at this point in Trask's history, adding motivation for Trask to detest her.  This overlap in the villains' backstories wasn't planned before I wrote this episode.

[ EXT. BATTLEFIELD (DAY) - In a grassy valley overlooking a Raian town in flames, Raian soldiers in gold armor clash with the blue-skinned soldiers.  One Raia after the next falls to the overwhelming armada. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
The Raia fought back... and were immediately laid to waste.

Arguably the empire wouldn't have crushed them immediately if they hadn't resisted, but Trask's description of Magda in episode 10 indicates that worlds acquired by the empire are destined to be rendered uninhabitable sooner or later.

[ EXT. CLIFF EDGE (DAY) - Standing within the shadow of his ship on an overlooking cliff, TRASK watches the carnage below without emotion. ]

[ Moments pass.  TRASK then turns numbly and enters his ship.  The hatch seals behind him, and the ship subsequently flies away. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
I returned to my wandering.

I found Trask's response here (or lack thereof) to be particularly fascinating; I chose this as his response simply because it seemed like the "Trask" thing to do.

[ INT. VILLAIN COCKPIT - TRASK examines his monitor.  In it, we see a Larian harvester ship, a bulky, pod-shaped craft apparently not designed for aerodynamics. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
Ultimately, I encountered the Larians.

The Larians are discussed in the commentary for episode 13.  I felt the Larians were worthy of further exploration, but I introduced more details in Take Flight than I was able to flesh out adequately in a single season, the Larians being one example.  I could understand if some people regard this approach as sloppy, leaving too many loose ends, but I felt it spiced up this universe nicely and still left room for readers' imaginations to run free (after all, fanfic potential was one of my favorite parts about Power Rangers).

[ INT. LARIAN HARVESTER, CARGO HOLD - Inside a somewhat spacious metallic chamber, Trask's sword blade can be seen cutting through the ceiling from the outside. ]

Chronologically, this is the first appearance of Trask's sword.  He presumably acquired it from an alien outpost, as he was not seen carrying it when he left home.  Kora, however, will possess a similar sword when she arrives in episode 26.

[ Once a roughly rectangular hole has been cut, the blade pulls back, and the thick metal panel then crashes to the floor under the force of TRASK's boot.  (Beyond the ceiling, the cargo hold of Trask's ship, tilted on its side, may be seen.) ]

[ Sword in hand, TRASK gingerly leaps down through the hole and scans the room, a malicious twinkle in his eye. ]

[ Cowering in one corner of the room is an assortment of two-legged alligator-like creatures covered with iridescent scales. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
Their automated harvester ships were brimming with nutrients.

[ INT. LARIAN HARVESTER, COCKPIT - Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand (now no longer holding his sword), TRASK descends a small flight of metallic steps and enters a small cockpit-like control room with no seating.  Computer controls and displays occupy the front of the cockpit, and above them is a wide viewport overlooking the seemingly stationary cosmos outside. ]

Seemingly stationary because the stars' distance from the ship would make them appear stationary, even at tremendous speeds (notwithstanding sci-fi's trends to the contrary).

[ TRASK approaches the computer and examines one of the displays. ]

[ In close-up, we see a large number of bright blue dots amidst a computer-generated constellation. ]

[ TRASK grins. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
And once I knew where to look, I was set for life.

The computer displays all of the nearby harvester ships, giving Trask a virtually unlimited supply of spaceborne biomass.  Though this proves extremely convenient for Trask, I didn't actually have it in mind when I mentioned the Larians in episode 13.

[ INT. SPACE STATION, ENGINE ROOM - DILLIK looks away, repulsed. ]

Y-- You didn't rescue any of them...!

In episode 13, Dillik boasted of Trask's rescue of countless lifeforms from Larian harvesters; at the time, Trask was less than enthusiastic about confirming this story.

[ TRASK shakes his head numbly. ]

No.  I existed solely to satisfy my urges.  But that changed when I found... them.

Trask comes clean about his motivations; all in all, he is making himself quite vulnerable by opening up to Dillik, aside from omitting his murder of Omos and Vir, which he may feel would alienate Dillik too greatly.

[ INT. LARIAN HARVESTER, CARGO HOLD - A metal slab cut from the wall crashes to the floor (and in the process, a jagged metal fragment breaks off from the slab). ]

[ INT. VILLAIN SHIP, AIRLOCK - Trying to board from the cargo hold of his own ship (the two ships locked together), TRASK seems to run into an invisible forcefield which prevents him from entering.  He is mystified. ]

This is the first time we see Trask physically prohibited from entering a human dwelling space.  It may be assumed that this effect is one of the curses placed on the Vampirians by human sorcerers, as mentioned in episode 13.

[ As TRASK examines the entranceway, his hand meeting an almost magnetic repulsion rather than a solid entity, a TEENAGED GIRL cautiously approaches from within the ship.  She is of Pacific Islander descent and wears a Samoan lavalava dress, her legs tattooed with webbed designs above the knee. ]

The Larians have collected various human specimens from Earth, perhaps no more than a few weeks prior to this encounter.  (We don't know what means the harvester ships used to keep their specimens alive and healthy.)

This girl is from the Samoan Islands, where lavalava dresses are worn and such leg tattoos are common.

[ Seeing her, TRASK is stunned, recoiling slightly.  He studies the girl (off-screen), seeming to try to make sense of the spectacle. ]

Trask hasn't previously encountered humans, or anyone even remotely resembling humanoid (beyond his own kind).

[ The TEENAGED GIRL studies Trask (off-screen) as well.  Soon, she smiles softly.  Without warning, an OLDER WOMAN of Asian descent, dressed in a dusty, worn Zhongshan suit, anxiously drags the TEENAGED GIRL away by the wrist, out of Trask's area of vision. ]

The older woman is from China; Zhongshan suits were popularized as a form of national dress in the first half of the 20th century.  It has since been abandoned by the youth of China, but in 1992, it is still worn by older people and peasants.

The humans have spent some time in captivity, and the Chinese woman is now protective toward the teenaged girl and mistrusts this stranger.

[ Shocked once more, TRASK warily summons his sword with a ripple effect.  He tries to peer through the doorway and notices the invisible barrier seems to be gone.  He takes a curious step into the harvester ship. ]

This was executed very subtly, but the teenager's smile was an outward expression of her inviting feelings toward Trask; humans need not formalize their invitation with words in order to allow a Vampirian entry.

[ INT. LARIAN HARVESTER, CARGO HOLD - His sword ready, TRASK eases inside from the doorway and beholds the sight within: ]

[ Clustered near the back of the cargo hold is a small group of HUMANS, male and female, of various ages and nations of origin.  Among their ranks are the TEENAGED GIRL and the OLDER WOMAN, while other members of the group include an older Latino man in Mexican vaquero attire, an African woman in a loose-fitting boubou dress and shawl, an elderly Indian man wearing a long shirt with a dhoti around his waist.  The final member of the group is a thick-bodied, Caucasian BEARDED MAN simply wearing baggy shorts; he eyes Trask (off-screen) with particular intensity. ]

The Latino man is a Mexican cowboy.  The African woman is from Senegal (where the boubou dress is worn).  The Indian man wears a dhoti, a piece of cloth wrapped around the legs, as is common in India.  The bearded man is from one of the islands of Greece; I had Rupert Boneham from the seventh season of Survivor in mind when I envisioned him.

[ Continuing to examine the humans (off-screen), TRASK soon dispels his sword. ]

[ Several of the HUMANS react with varying degrees of anxiety. ]

[ TRASK approaches slowly and curiously studies each of the humans' faces.  They watch him carefully in return. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
They were like my kind... but somehow different.  I had never seen such a sight in all my travels.

[ INT. LARIAN HARVESTER, COCKPIT - Descending the metal steps, TRASK approaches the computer console and begins working the colored controls. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
I decided to return them to their home.  But before I could...

It is quite possible that Trask was sincere here, in that he would have returned the humans to Earth if the bearded man hadn't attacked him.

[ Behind TRASK, the BEARDED MAN wails with a broken, feral voice and lunges out from the steps, wielding the jagged metal shard as a weapon.  TRASK deftly sidesteps and hurls the man by his arm against the console, smashing it with a burst of sparks. ]

The bearded man attacks out of fear and suspicion, perhaps partly due to Trask's seemingly supernatural sword trick upon entering.  His voice is broken because the captives presumably haven't had much to talk about (and perhaps no languages in common).

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
I was brutally attacked.

[ His body smoking, the BEARDED MAN lies unconscious on the console. ]

[ INT. SPACE STATION, ENGINE ROOM - DILLIK is apprehensively enrapt. ]

So what did you do?

[ INT. LARIAN HARVESTER, COCKPIT - TRASK removes his BIOMASS GUN from his coat. ]

TRASK (voice-over):
I fed.

Unfortunately, yes, all of the human captives were melted and ultimately consumed.  I found this a shame, even moreso than the more numerous deaths of the space station crew in episode 1.  Sadly, though, it was unavoidable.

[ INT. VILLAIN COCKPIT - TRASK returns to his own ship's controls.  He sits a moment, puzzled, before engaging his ship's drive. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
But what intrigued me was the nature of my murderous cousins.  Could they have been the Builders from our legends?  I set out to find the answers.

Trask refers to the humans as his murderous cousins, though only one of the six actually attacked him; further, Trask has surely ended many lives by this point.


TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
In my travels, I had heard of a Seer.  Many believed their kind extinct.  Others doubted they had existed at all.

Seers are not mentioned further, but it's entirely possible that others exist in hiding throughout the galaxy.

[ EXT. SPACE, GALGA 9 ORBIT - TRASK'S SHIP flies by the camera and approaches a rocky, multi-layered planet, the surface of which seems to have worn away unevenly, like a lopsided jawbreaker.  The planet is shrouded in a hazy blue atmosphere which grows more opaque deeper inside the structure. ]

I would enjoy seeing a visual of Galga 9.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
Ultimately, I found him on Galga 9.

[ INT. OMOS' CAVE - TRASK explores a winding cavern.  In various places, the rocky wall (or in some places, the floor) is worn away, revealing a gaping blue void of indeterminate scope.  TRASK cautiously steps over one such hole; once clear, he spies something further down the tunnel. ]

The planet is apparently hollow.  (This wasn't an intentional nod to the fictional Hollow Planet series.)

[ At the end of the cavern sits OMOS, a shriveled mole-like being with a cane.  His eyes are perpetually shut. ]

Naturally a clairvoyant or omniscient being would have no need for working eyes (practicality aside, the blind oracle is also an ancient archetype).  Whether all Seers are of Omos' race is undetermined.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
His name was Omos.

I invented the name "Omos" (as in "Lord Omos") on a whim, as was the case with most names in this series.


Omos knew of my journey.  He told me of the humans living on planet Earth, and of our shared history... the brutality that had driven my people from the planet.  The more I learned, the more disgusted I became.

It's unresolved whether Omos could see the past as well as the present; though he knows of the Vampirians' history, he could have either lived through it or seen it recounted through some other means.

Presumably Trask's story is true, in that mankind did brutalize the Vampirians prior to the survivors' escape from Earth.  Incidentally, we don't know how the survivors left Earth; it might have even been aboard a Larian harvester!

[ EXT. LAUNCH PLATFORM - On Earth, a NASA space shuttle stands ready for launch. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
What was more, Omos revealed that the humans were on the verge of apogeosis.

Apogeosis was a term I invented to describe a race loosing itself from the hold of its home planet.  "Apo-" is a Greek root meaning "away from," "geo" is Greek for "earth" or "world," and "-sis" is a Greek root for "process."  Perhaps Trask cobbled together these roots to substitute for its counterpart in Galactic Common, as human language doesn't yet contain such a term.

Trask's encounter with Omos probably took place no more than a few months or years prior to episode 1.  My original time frame was fairly tight in this regard, but episode 38 inserts the need for Trask to have acquired Ancients' tears at some point after encountering Omos.

[ EXT. SPACE STATION - The space station (in its original form; see episode 1) drifts in Earth orbit. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
Once they established colonies beyond Earth, they would be unstoppable.

This is the purported motivation for Trask's mission to wipe out humanity.  We may never know how much of Trask's motivation was emotional and driven by revenge, but the practical aspect of averting apogeosis was never contradicted.

[ INT. OMOS' CAVE - TRASK sits attentively before OMOS as the mole-creature speaks (no audio). ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
I begged him to tell me how I could stop them.  He spoke of a device the humans had developed to see across dimensions.

I hadn't yet conceived of the device's alien origin when I wrote this episode.  To minimize the potential contradiction here, I made sure to specify in episode 33 that "core components" of the wormhole generator were alien in origin, leaving the rest to be built by humans.

This is the first time the wormhole generator's dimension-spanning nature is described; up to this point, readers might have assumed that the Jinnsects' home planet (episode 3) and Magda's destination (episode 10) were in this universe.

[ INT. SPACE STATION, ENGINE ROOM - DILLIK gestures to the wreckage. ]

You mean this.


Just to make sure the audience knows it's the wormhole generator we're talking about.

[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - In the original version of the space station's command center, DR. BERING stands listening to a wall monitor; though she partially blocks the screen from our view, many viewers may be able to recognize a familiar disembodied, bluish bald head in the display. ]

This is Zordon's only appearance in Take Flight, and it's partially obscured.  I originally planned not to mention Zordon by name, so as not to encroach on Power Rangers property, but episode 33 later threw this convention out the window.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
They were building ever more powerful weapons under the guidance of an entity on a parallel Earth.

Though Dillik made a veiled allusion to Zordon in episode 3, this is the first clear explanation we receive that the Jetman technology arose under the guidance of another dimension's Zordon (that dimension surely being the one from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers).  Episode 23 will suggest that this dimension lacks a Zordon of its own, to be confirmed in episode 33.


That floating head guy.

To confirm that I'm talking about Zordon.

[ TRASK nods. ]

But in their experimentation, the humans had glimpsed the dimension home to the Jinnsects.  I vowed to use them to destroy the humans.

This is the first confirmation that the Jinnsects are from another dimension.

Omos couldn't see across dimensions, but he could see what the humans viewed with the wormhole generator.

[ EXT. SPACE - TRASK'S SHIP is flying routinely through space when a powerful yellow electrical bolt sears through it from off-screen.  Debris spews from the ship in zero gravity as it spirals out of control. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
But no sooner than I set out for Earth, I was shot down...

When I wrote this episode, "set out for Earth" was meant to be synonymous with "left Galga 9."  In episode 38, however, we learn Trask obtained Ancients' tears after learning of them from Omos.  Unless he fetched them while Dillik was with him (unlikely), he presumably set out for Earth after seeking the Ancients' tears, and it was only at this point that he was shot down over Dagus 4.

[ INT. VILLAIN COCKPIT - As TRASK struggles at the controls, we see a larger, more elaborate version of a Larian harvester ship in his monitor. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
...by the Larians.  It seems they frowned upon my piracy.

In episode 13, Sasha indicated it was difficult to provoke the Larians to attack, but Trask's repeated break-ins have done the trick.  The nature of this advanced Larian craft isn't revealed, but it may simply be an attack ship.

These events were written to coincide with Dillik's story in episode 13.

[ Cut to black.  Moments pass before Trask continues: ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
I crash-landed on Dagus 4.

[ Fade in to EXT. DAGUS 4, JUNGLE (SUNSET) - TRASK blearily awakens in a dense jungle, most of the area blanketed in shade.  Regaining his senses, TRASK spies his charred, mangled ship some distance away, nestled in a thicket of shattered trees. ]

DILLIK (off-camera, pleasantly):
Oh, hi.

[ TRASK is surprised to find DILLIK crouched behind him.  DILLIK wears his normal yellow and orange suit, but with the addition of a clear helmet, his voice broadcast through the material.  He offers TRASK a jar of violet-colored mush. ]

This is the first appearance of Dillik's helmet.  Though I didn't have allergies in mind, I figured surely whatever kept him from visiting Earth would make breathing the air in the jungle of Dagus 4 a dangerous feat.

DILLIK (cont'd):
Menonberry jam?

An alien fruit; I made it up.

It's probably pretty tricky to eat jam with an airtight helmet on; one can assume Dillik brought it from his ship for Trask.

[ TRASK eyes DILLIK suspiciously. ]

Who are you?

DILLIK (amused by the obviousness of his answer):
Well, I'm Dillik!  (sets the jar down)  But I guess you were unconscious when I introduced myself.

TRASK (rotating his shoulder stiffly):
You dragged me out?

Yep.  Put out the fire too.  Is-- Is that okay?

[ TRASK rises to his feet with a grunt. ]

That's fine.

[ He looks around. ]

You need me to call somebody?

[ TRASK, meanwhile, spies a reptilian-sized creature the size of a rabbit scampering through the underbrush.  He quickly removes his BIOMASS GUN and fires an orange beam.  The creature melts evenly into a puddle of black goo. ]

This is the first time we see the effects of the biomass gun.  I specified that the melting should occur evenly because I felt my original vision (flesh and other tissues melting more quickly than bone) was too grisly, though it would have been more interesting visually.

[ TRASK returns the gun to his coat. ]

[ DILLIK recoils, horrified. ]

What did you do??  (grimaces, taking a closer look)  What is that stuff?!

[ TRASK kneels beside the puddle. ]


[ He scoops up a handful of the viscous substance and cups it to his mouth. ]

[ DILLIK groans, looking ill. ]

[ TRASK swallows with a satisfied sigh, his lips marked with black residue.  After wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he summons one of his silver canisters with a ripple effect. ]

TRASK (pleasantly):
And the rest we save for later.

[ A broad blue beam from the bottom of the canister draws the black goo from the ground as if it were weightless.  The liquid funnels into the bottom of the canister, after which a seal of some sort can be heard closing. ]

This is also the first time we see how Trask actually gets the biomass into the canisters.

W-- What are you?

TRASK (with a smirk):
I'm a Vampirian.  (offers him the canister)  Biomass?

Presumably Dillik hasn't met any Vampirians in his travels.

[ DILLIK winces and shakes his head. ]

A-- Are you going to melt me too?

TRASK (disinterestedly):
Probably not.  (cradles the canister under his arm)  Tell me, Dillik, do you have a ship?

Well, yeah... (gestures)  I-- It's over that hill.  Why?

[ DILLIK looks around in confusion.  Trask and the canister are gone. ]

Trask probably intended to steal Dillik's ship, as he'd done to the Vessit missionary on his home planet.

DILLIK (cont'd):
Hey, where'd you go?

[ EXT. DAGUS 4, CLEARING (SUNSET) - TRASK stands transfixed by a boxy silver ship slightly larger than a garbage truck, various parts seeming cobbled onto the exterior.  In particular, TRASK gazes at the EMPIRE SIGIL emblazoned on the side of the ship.  The biomass canister rests on the ground beside Trask. ]

[ Moments later, DILLIK emerges from the brush and watches TRASK for a moment. ]

TRASK (soberly):
You're from the empire.

The sight of the sigil appears to stun Trask a bit.  Perhaps he's more haunted by the destruction of the Raia than he lets on.

Well, not exactly.  (approaches)  My school's in the Yag system, but sometimes I go to the fringes to buy parts.  (bashfully)  I get messed with less with the emblem on there.

"The fringes" refers to the fringes of the empire; at the risk of being unclear, I preferred casual, short terminology that suggested mutual familiarity with the topic at hand.  ("Apogeosis" was another example.)

[ TRASK touches the ship's hull. ]

You built this?

Trask has been a scavenger of technology; the idea of building it is foreign to him.

DILLIK (with a smile):
Well, sure!  I was building light drives before I got my spots.

Here I made reference to some sort of special drive capable of moving ships faster than light, as would be required to navigate the galaxy in fiction-friendly spans of time.

I liked this small touch, the idea of Dillik's spots coming with age.

[ TRASK eyes DILLIK with intrigue. ]

What else can you build?

[ Dissolve to EXT. DAGUS 4, JUNGLE (NIGHT) - TRASK and DILLIK sit on logs, warming their hands over a luminescent crystal on a squat metal stand.  TRASK is telling a story (no audio) as DILLIK listens, enrapt. ]

A sci-fi version of a campfire story.

In retrospect, I find it out of place that Trask would be warming his hands over this glowing crystal, given that light should make him uncomfortable.  (It's dim nonetheless.)

TRASK (voice-over):
That night, I told you about the human menace and my mission to stop them.

[ Dissolve to EXT. DAGUS 4, JUNGLE (DAY) - DILLIK is working on the hull of Trask's damaged ship as TRASK approaches with a large piece of machinery.  He sets it beside DILLIK. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
You generously began repairing my ship with parts from your own.  But you still planned to return home in the end.

This is probably one act which endeared Dillik to Trask (beyond pulling him from the burning ship wreckage).

DILLIK (voice-over):
Yeah, that's right... I said I'd call for a tow ship.

[ TRASK turns and walks out of frame, away from the ship. ]

[ EXT. DAGUS 4, OUTCROPPING (DAY) - The sun glints on a rocky outcropping where no trees grow.  TRASK approaches. ]

TRASK (voice-over):
I wrestled with the notion of needing help, but I convinced myself I could do it alone.  To that end, I began experimenting with the sunlight.

I had to include this turn of events to fit with Dillik's remarks in episode 5 about Trask's transformation attempts.

[ TRASK slowly reaches his hand into the daylight.  The light begins to burn his flesh a bluish tint as smoke rises from its surface. ]

The smoke coincides with his being burnt by Sasha in episode 16.  By episode 4, chronologically, he was not smoking while under mere sunlight.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
Omos revealed secrets of my race, known only to a select few.

This was designed to fit with Magda's remarks about Vampirian potential in episode 9.

[ TRASK quickly withdraws his hand and clutches it in pain. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
The pain was unbearable in the beginning.

To explain why Vampirians avoid sunlight.  Presumably even despite his training and his ability to transform, Trask still avoids the light when it's unnecessary due to the discomfort involved.

[ EXT. DAGUS 4, CLEARING (DAY) - In a previously unseen clearing, TRASK emerges from the shade and closes his eyes as the sun beats down on his face.  His skin turns entirely blue, and his lips tint red.  He soon begins to crackle with red electricity, and a white light radiates from his body.  Fade to white. ]

Red electricity was fresh in my mind from episodes 9 and 16; by this point I'd forgotten that his default was a blue gleam (episode 8).  An argument could be made that the red electricity came in moments of duress, while the blue gleam was a gentler transformation.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
In time, I began to tolerate the agonizing light... in small doses.

[ EXT. DAGUS 4, JUNGLE (DAY) - In his usual form, TRASK staggers through the jungle in a semi-conscious state. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
Unfortunately, my transformations left me extraordinarily drained.

To match episode 5.

[ TRASK finally collapses to the ground.  DILLIK soon emerges from the brush and rushes to TRASK's aid. ]


[ Dissolve to INT. VILLAIN SHIP, CARGO HOLD - TRASK sits weakly against one wall, a blanket draped over his shoulders and a jar of black liquid clasped with both hands.  As TRASK watches, DILLIK walks from spot to spot in the foreground, repairing wall consoles. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
You took care of me.  And though Omos had guided me to a defector aboard the space station, he was a human.  I neither trusted nor wished to trust him.

Dillik's care has finally won Trask over.

Trask references a human defector, which serves to foreshadow Will's appearance in episode 18.  By this point, I'd realized that Trask shouldn't have been able to enter the space station in episode 1 without being invited, and so I now planned to use the spiteful Will (glimpsed in episode 11) for that purpose.

[ In close-up, TRASK wordlessly watches Dillik (off-screen). ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
But I trusted you.


[ EXT. DAGUS 4, JUNGLE (DAY) - Standing beside his partially dismantled ship, DILLIK speaks while holding a small communications device to his helmet. ]

DILLIK (timidly):
I-- I know...  I know...  I-- I'm sorry, sir.  (pauses)  No, sir.  I-- I've been helping a stranded traveler.  (pauses)  Yes, sir.  (pauses)  I understand, sir.  Bye, sir.

[ DILLIK sets the device down and turns to find TRASK nearby. ]

DILLIK (cont'd, with a nervous chuckle):
My proctor.

[ TRASK nods.  He watches thoughtfully as DILLIK walks off. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
I took note of your respect for authority figures...

This was the only way I could think to inspire Trask to concoct the Lord Omos ruse.

[ EXT. DAGUS 4, JUNGLE (DAY) - DILLIK uses a rag to polish the gunmetal black hull, which is now once again smooth and spotless. ]

Hopefully Dillik isn't polishing the ship with Ancients' tears.

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
... and once repairs were complete, I concocted an authority figure of my own.

[ TRASK emerges from his ship's airlock with a sense of wonder. ]

Dillik, my friend, I don't know how you did it, but you're in.

[ DILLIK's eyes open wide with wondrous surprise. ]

DILLIK (mesmerized):
W-- What...?

[ TRASK merrily puts his arm around DILLIK. ]

Lord Omos himself has invited you to be part of the mission.

DILLIK (surprised):
M-- me...?  (cocks his head)  Wait, who's Lord Omos?


TRASK (off-screen):
From that point on, you did everything I needed.

[ INT. VILLAIN COCKPIT - As TRASK is flying his cockpit, a muffled commotion can be heard from the back portion of the ship. ]

TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
Sometimes more.

This references the fact that Dillik surprised Trask with the creation of Nobodies from biomass.  Even as their inventor, Dillik nonetheless found Nobodies to be a distasteful use of biomass (see episode 1).

[ Gritting his teeth, TRASK turns to shout at the rear door of the cockpit. ]

TRASK (barking angrily):
Dillik, for the LAST TIME, sh--

I realized Trask's feelings toward Dillik on Dagus 4 reflected his more recent amiable attitude rather than the harsh one seen in early episodes; therefore I posited that the long flight together grated on Trask's nerves.

[ With a whoosh of air, the cockpit door slides open, and DILLIK (minus his helmet) emerges with a NOBODY in tow.  DILLIK presents the NOBODY proudly as it looks around curiously. ]

Hey, Trask, look what I made!

[ Taken aback, TRASK looks the NOBODY over and then raises an eyebrow, seemingly impressed. ]

[ INT. SPACE STATION, ENGINE ROOM - TRASK stands, concluding. ]

And here we are.

[ DILLIK rises and begins to pace. ]

So...  It really is just us out here.

Dillik finds this a sobering idea, that they are beholden only to themselves, and that their mission is on their shoulders alone.

[ TRASK nods soberly.  He then speaks: ]

I still need your help, Dillik.

[ DILLIK pauses a moment.  He then turns and leaves. ]

[ TRASK stands alone with the mangled machinery. ]

[ INT. SPACE STATION, OBSERVATION BOOTH - DILLIK enters and approaches the glass.  He looks out upon the landscape of rock below. ]

[ EXT. BIKE SHOP - CHRIS turns off the lights and flips an "Open" sign in the window to "Closed" before locking the door and pulling the metal gate shut.  The daylight has not yet faded. ]

At this point in the late afternoon, Chris is closing for the weekend, Pete has recently begun his evening shift, and Casey is at work.  Maggie's school-related activities are unspecified.

[ EXT. SUPERMARKET, PARKING LOT - Wearing his helmet, CHRIS arrives at an urban supermarket on his bike.  He gets off near a bike stand and begins to lock the bike and his helmet in place. ]

Chris was about to buy his grandmother groceries for the coming week.

[ At that point, his AVIMORPHER chimes.  Glancing around, CHRIS hurriedly secures the lock and hurries across the parking lot, away from the building. ]

[ EXT. CITY PLAZA (sentai) - HOSER, a monster apparently created from a red and blue canister vacuum, leaps over the camera.  A long vacuum nozzle extends from his face like an elephant's trunk. ]

Hoser leaping

Dillik has created Hoser from Jinnsect #19 of 46.

[ HOSER lands in a populated city plaza, causing numerous people to flee the area as he marches toward them.  He suddenly twirls around, speaking with a somewhat muffled voice. ]

Hoser lands Hoser scares people Hoser scares people Hoser turns

All right, planet Earth, time for a cleaning!

CHRIS (off-screen):
I don't think so!

HOSER (turning):

[ BLACK RANGER strolls through the plaza in slow motion. ]

Black Ranger slow-mo

This shot picks up from Black Ranger's slow motion morph mid-stride.

[ As we zoom out from HOSER, a small fleet of NOBODIES swarms in front of him. ]

Meet my cleaning team!

Hoser with Nobodies Hoser with Nobodies

This is the last appearance of battalion 4.

[ US footage - BLACK RANGER shrugs. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
We can do this however you want to.

[ A cluster of NOBODIES charges toward the camera. ]

Nobodies charge Nobodies charge

[ US footage - BLACK RANGER makes short work of the NOBODIES with hand-to-hand combat.  They all soon fall, and BLACK RANGER addresses the monster (off-screen). ]

In the sentai, Black knocked down one Nobody (elapsed time: one second), which somehow represented the defeat of the entire battalion.  I felt a little more care was in order.

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Now what are you gonna do?

[ HOSER blows a gust of air from his nozzle. ]

Hoser's gust Hoser's gust

This! (blows)

[ BLACK RANGER is blown back. ]

Black Ranger blown back Black Ranger blown back

[ BLACK flips over the camera and rebounds off a wall. ]

Black rebounds Black rebounds

[ In midair, BLACK draws his SKY BLASTER and fires yellow lasers. ]

Black's lasers Black's lasers

[ HOSER sparks and flies back, landing in a grassy park area. ]

Hoser sparks Hoser flies Hoser lands

[ INT. MUSEUM LOBBY - LUKE has a parting conversation (indistinct) with two museum patrons on their way out of the museum.  They may be the last patrons of the day.  In the background, FRIEDA is working at a computer terminal (appropriate for 1992) at the front desk. ]

[ As the patrons are leaving, LUKE's AVIMORPHER chimes.  He anxiously glances back at FRIEDA. ]

[ FRIEDA barely looks up long enough to wave Luke (off-screen) away, indicating he's free to go. ]

[ LUKE frowns, puzzled, but quickly leaves. ]

Luke hasn't yet asked Frieda how she knows his identity.

[ EXT. PARK (sentai) - In midair, BLACK RANGER draws his TALON SWORD and swings. ]

Talon Sword Talon Sword Talon Sword

[ BLACK strikes HOSER with four quick slashes. ]

Black slashes Hoser Black slashes Hoser Black slashes Hoser Black slashes Hoser

[ BLACK then kicks HOSER, knocking him back. ]

Black's kick Black's kick Hoser kicked Hoser kicked

[ After rolling back, HOSER recovers his footing. ]

Hoser rolls Hoser stands

[ The nozzle extends from HOSER's head. ]

hose attack hose attack hose attack

[ Caught by the nozzle, BLACK RANGER struggles, even rolling over a picnic table in the process. ]

Black Ranger vs. hose Black Ranger vs. hose Black Ranger vs. hose Black Ranger vs. hose Black Ranger vs. hose

[ HOSER yanks on the hose, hurling BLACK RANGER through the air on two occasions.  BLACK finally strikes a tree and falls to the ground. ]

Black Ranger vs. hose Black Ranger vs. hose Black Ranger vs. hose Black Ranger vs. hose Black Ranger vs. hose Black Ranger vs. hose Black Ranger vs. hose Black Ranger vs. hose

[ HOSER fires incendiary blasts from his fingertips. ]

Hoser's blasts

[ Through spark explosions, BLACK RANGER emerges with his TALON SWORD ready. ]

Black blasted Black Ranger and sword

[ HOSER charges, wielding an extension tool as a sword. ]

Hoser with attachment

[ The two combatants strike each other in passing.  BLACK quickly turns and attacks a second time, but his blow is blocked and deflected. ]

swordfight swordfight swordfight swordfight swordfight

[ His sword knocked downward, BLACK is struck with two blows from HOSER's weapon, causing him to fall to one knee. ]

Black down Black down Black down Black down

[ HOSER delivers an overhead swing, but BLACK RANGER blocks with his TALON SWORD and reaches for his SKY BLASTER. ]

Hoser swings Black Ranger blocks Sky Blaster

[ Beginning from pointblank range, BLACK RANGER delivers a steady beam of yellow energy from his SKY BLASTER, causing HOSER to crackle with blue electricity as he staggers back.  He is finally struck with a spark explosion. ]

Hoser blasted Hoser blasted Hoser blasted Hoser blasted Hoser blasted

[ BLACK RANGER rises and switches his TALON SWORD to his other hand.  He then leaps. ]

Black readies sword Black readies sword Black readies sword leap

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Yeah!  Now let's see how you like this!

[ In midair, BLACK RANGER pauses with a star field and a purple condor emblem behind him.  He then continues, performing a gleaming purple X-strike (US effect). ]

X-strike X-strike X-strike (gleam not shown) X-strike (gleam not shown)

[ The purple X-strike (US addition) slashes HOSER twice, causing a spark explosion. ]

X-strike (gleam not shown) X-strike (gleam not shown) Hoser defeated

[ US footage - A smoking JINNSECT lands in the grass and expands with yellowish-white energy. ]

[ Giant HOSER materializes above from insectoid energy. ]

giant Hoser giant Hoser giant Hoser

[ US footage - His TALON SWORD still in hand, BLACK RANGER glances around indecisively before leaping into the air. ]

In the sentai, Hoser tried to stomp on Black Ranger; I felt this was more fitting just before the Megazord's arrival.  I had to reshoot this shot because he was recovering from the stomp attempt when he leaped in the sentai.

[ EXT. CITY - Dwarfed by the giant monster, BLACK RANGER leaps up toward HOSER's head. ]

Black Ranger leaping up

[ HOSER blows a gust of air from his nozzle. ]

Hoser blows Hoser blows

[ US footage - In mid-leap high above the city, BLACK RANGER is blown back by the giant gust of air. ]

The sentai shot of Black Ranger being blown back didn't look especially convincing to me, so I called for it to be reshot.  Of note, Black Ranger demorphed at this point in the sentai for some reason.

[ EXT. PARK (US footage) - BLACK RANGER lands on his back in the park, TALON SWORD still in hand. ]

In the sentai, unmorphed Black landed downtown.

[ Sentai - Above, HOSER lifts his foot to stomp on Black Ranger (off-camera). ]

Hoser prepares to stomp Hoser prepares to stomp

[ Back on his feet, BLACK RANGER reacts. ]

In the sentai, Hoser's foot actually came down, seemingly squashing Black, but he succeeded in rolling aside.  As stated previously, this stomp preceded Black's leap.

After landing unmorphed downtown, Hoser reached down for him but was blocked by the Megazord's Aero Glaive, a polearm weapon that I'd neglected to introduce prior to this point.  Its inclusion in this battle would have totally negated the suspense of a glitch leaving the Megazord without the Phoenix Blade (also, any new weapons at this point were to come courtesy of the military, I'd decided), so I cut it here.

[ EXT. CITY (sentai) - Suddenly, the MEGAZORD's foot kicks HOSER back. ]

Megazord kick Megazord kick

[ HOSER rolls and regains his footing downtown. ]

Hoser rolls Hoser downtown

Hey, what's the big idea?

[ EXT. PARK (US footage) - BLACK RANGER looks up to his right. ]

[ EXT. CITY (Jetman #44) - Seen from a low angle, the MEGAZORD strikes a ready pose. ]

Megazord ready Megazord ready

This shot replaces a shot of the Megazord wielding the Aero Glaive.

[ EXT. PARK (US footage) - BLACK RANGER salutes the Megazord above (off-screen) before being beamed up in a green beam. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Nice timing, guys!  (beams up)

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #45) - BLACK RANGER materializes in his seat from purple energy, two fingers on his wrist.  He then grips his controls. ]

Black Ranger in cockpit Black Ranger in cockpit Black Ranger in cockpit Black Ranger in cockpit

In the sentai, this visual represented Black Ranger morphing in his seat after arriving late to the battle (his fingers on his wrist are an artifact of the sentai morph).  Despite the odd hand position, I chose to use this shot anyway, as I hadn't yet committed to a full US cockpit at this point.

CHRIS (Black Ranger):

[ EXT. CITY (Jetman #6) - We quickly zoom in on the MEGAZORD as it stands ready. ]

Megazord Megazord

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #9) - RED RANGER pumps his fist. ]

Red Ranger confident Red Ranger confident

LUKE (Red Ranger):
All right, guys, let's finish this guy off!

The idea of "finishing" him at this point seems a bit strange, as the fight has just begun.  (In the sentai, a moderate amount of time was spent on further use of the Aero Glaive.)

[ Jetman #38 - In RED RANGER's monitor (composite over sentai), we see a schematic of the MEGAZORD with a blinking red right hand, labeled, "Malfunction." ]

monitor (US display not shown)

Malfunction detected in Owl Three.

There was no such malfunction in the sentai.

[ Jetman #16 - YELLOW RANGER looks up in confusion and BLACK RANGER speaks briefly.  RED RANGER pumps his fist and presses his button, activating the Phoenix Blade diagram. ]

Red Ranger calls for Phoenix Blade Red Ranger calls for Phoenix Blade Red Ranger calls for Phoenix Blade Red Ranger calls for Phoenix Blade

PETE (Yellow Ranger):

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Oh man!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
We can do it, guys!  Phoenix Blade!

I adored the idea of typical Power Rangers optimism proving unjustified (and in fact harmful) in this case.

[ EXT. CITY (Jetman #23) - The MEGAZORD suddenly sparks violently. ]

Megazord sparks Megazord sparks Megazord sparks

This shot was taken from the Infernis battle (later used in episode 39).

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #45) - The RANGERS unexpectedly inundated with spark explosions. ]

Rangers struck with sparks Rangers struck with sparks

[ EXT. CITY (Jetman #23) - The MEGAZORD continues to spark heavily. ]

Megazord continues to spark Megazord continues to spark

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #34) - The RANGERS continue to be flooded with sparks.  RED RANGER looks around during the chaos. ]

sparking continues sparking continues sparking continues

LUKE (Red Ranger):
What's happening?!  (shaken more)

[ EXT. CITY (Jetman #26) - The smoking MEGAZORD staggers back, attempting to regain its balance. ]

Megazord staggers Megazord staggers

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #34) - The RANGERS recover as the smoke clears from the cockpit.  RED RANGER coughs and then comments. ]

Rangers recover Rangers recover

LUKE (Red Ranger):
(coughs)  All right, bad idea...

[ EXT. CITY (Jetman #21) - The MEGAZORD strikes a ready pose. ]

Megazord ready Megazord ready

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #9) - We zoom in on YELLOW RANGER as he presses his button.  The Owl Hammer appears on-screen. ]

Yellow calls for Owl Hammer Yellow calls for Owl Hammer Yellow calls for Owl Hammer

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
The Owl Hammer's working!  Let's do it!

If the Phoenix Blade malfunction was related to a problem in Owl Three, it's unexplained why the Owl has no problem summoning the Owl Hammer.

[ EXT. CITY (Jetman #9) - The MEGAZORD brandishes the OWL HAMMER. ]

Owl Hammer

[ Switch back to Jetman #20 - HOSER blows a stream of air from his nozzle. ]

Hoser blows air

I don't think so, Rangers!

[ Hammer in hand, the MEGAZORD staggers back due to the steady gust of wind. ]

wind-swept Megazord wind-swept Megazord

In the sentai, Hoser blew his gust of air after being sent flying by the Aero Glaive; the Megazord was then shown inexplicably holding the Owl Hammer instead.  I used inserts from other episodes (above) to transition to this weapon.

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - The RANGERS are jostled by the wind. ]

wind-swept Megazord

[ EXT. CITY - The MEGAZORD continues to endure the wind. ]

wind-swept Megazord

[ HOSER's gust reverses and begins to suck air in.  (Notable in the background are green gas tanks featured during the Disastros battle in episode 13.) ]

Hoser goes from blow to suck

[ Hammer still in hand, the MEGAZORD stumbles forward, drawn in by rushing air. ]

Megazord sucked in Megazord sucked in

[ The MEGAZORD is unwillingly drawn closer to HOSER. ]

Megazord sucked in Megazord sucked in

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - As the RANGERS struggle, BLACK RANGER thrusts his fist forward and presses a button on his controls.  A diagram of the ball-and-chain (with handle) lights up on his monitor. ]

Black's idea Black's idea Black's idea Black's idea ball and chain display

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
I've got an idea!  Summoning ball-and-chain!  (presses button)  Now!

This flail was last seen in episode 13, when the Megazord "acquired" it from Disastros (a US invention).  To my knowledge, there was no association between Disastros' flail and the Megazord's flail in Jetman.

[ EXT. CITY - Amidst the wind, the MEGAZORD readies and hurls the flail (see episode 13). ]

Megazord throws flail Megazord throws flail Megazord throws flail

[ The flail plugs HOSER's nozzle. ]

Hoser plugged Hoser plugged

[ The MEGAZORD strikes its hand against the flail's chain. ]

finishing blow finishing blow

[ A sparking burst travels down the length of the flail's chain and strikes HOSER with a large spark explosion. ]

finishing blow finishing blow finishing blow

This spark attack doesn't appear again.  I don't know if it had any special explanation in the sentai, but I don't explain it here.  In retrospect, I suppose it could have been a function of the Echo Shield (see episode 16).

[ Jetman #26 - An explosion laced with blue electrical bolts billows downtown. ]

explosion explosion

I used a substitute explosion here because Hoser's destruction in the sentai featured pink hearts flooding the city as the love he'd stolen was released.

[ Jetman #23 - The MEGAZORD limply falls backward and crashes to the earth. ]

Megazord falls Megazord falls Megazord falls

This shot was also taken from the Infernis battle.

This will be the Megazord's last appearance until the military can repair it (repairs shown in episode 27, Megazord back in action in episode 28).  I chose to incapacitate the Megazord to give me an opportunity to use all of the solo Kestrelzord battles back-to-back (they were more scattered out in Jetman).  Also, the period without working Zords provided some interesting suspense in episodes 18 through 22.

[ EXT. CITY PARKING LOT (US footage) - In a parking lot in the midst of the city, the five RANGERS materialize from a green beam from above and land in a heap on the asphalt. ]

[ Collecting themselves, the RANGERS look between each other and the fallen Megazord (off-screen). ]

[ Break. ]

[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - As DILLIK trudges into the command center, we see TRASK leaning against the wall, as if waiting for him. ]

Dillik, about that monster...

DILLIK (drearily):
I know...

Well done.

[ DILLIK perks up. ]

What...?  B-- But he lost...

Monsters are disposable.  The Rangers' Megazord isn't.

Dillik will later cite this philosophy when trying to cheer up Mainframe in episode 25.

[ DILLIK ponders. ]

TRASK (cont'd):
We're wearing them down.  It won't be long now.

DILLIK (more confidently):
Yeah, I guess you're right...

[ A moment passes. ]

Dillik...  (pauses) ... It's good to have you onboard.

[ DILLIK smiles bashfully. ]


[ DILLIK wrings his hands a moment and eventually speaks up: ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
So...  You know, I was thinking...  M-- Maybe we could be, you know... like... partners or something.

Without an authority figure ruling over them, Dillik figures he and Trask are more like equals.

TRASK (with a raised eyebrow):

Trask isn't necessarily averse to the idea.

Yeah, like...  I dunno, like... you... listen to my ideas every now and then...?

[ TRASK crosses his arms and cocks his head, prepared to listen. ]

Well, go ahead.

Oh, um... I didn't actually--  (turns toward the door)  I-- I'll let you know.

Dillik will push his own ideas in further episodes.

[ TRASK watches him leave. ]

[ INT. MUSEUM LOBBY - FRIEDA continues to work at the computer.  She looks up to see someone nearby (off-screen). ]

[ We see LUKE standing awkwardly, waiting to speak with her. ]

[ FRIEDA lowers her glasses.  Her demeanor is professional but not unfriendly. ]

Oh, Luke.  Did you need something?

His shift has ended in the intervening time.

[ LUKE finally blurts out: ]

... How did you know?

[ FRIEDA smiles and walks out from behind the desk. ]

Well, might I say, you're lucky I figured it out when I did, or you wouldn't still have a job right now.

One wonders if Frieda even has any more employees; Luke seems to be the Miss Appleby of Spring Valley Museum.

Luke has had numerous absences due to his Ranger affairs.

[ LUKE shrinks back and puts his hands in his pockets. ]

FRIEDA (cont'd):
Every time you disappeared, there was a battle in the news.  I realized you had to be either a reporter, a Power Ranger, or a monster.

Originally, Frieda then added, "And you don't seem like a bad guy, so that just leaves Power Ranger."  I changed the line after deciding I didn't want to disparage reporters universally just for a cheap joke.  (Also, Frieda didn't show any particular animosity toward Stacy Keene in episode 4.)

[ INT. MUSEUM EXHIBIT ROOM - We see security footage of LUKE and PETE evacuating patrons, from episode 4. ]

FRIEDA (voice-over, cont'd):
Then I remembered your little heroics that day with the ruby.

[ INT. MUSEUM LOBBY - FRIEDA continues: ]

FRIEDA (cont'd):
So I figured, hey... (shrugs) ... Power Ranger.

[ LUKE stands speechless. ]

[ FRIEDA smiles. ]

Don't worry.  I won't tell anyone.

In a way, she just did.

[ EXT. CITY STREET (LATE AFTERNOON) - Parked in an unmarked sedan, DETECTIVE MORALES listens with a headset.  He appears somewhat taken aback.  Freezeframe. ]

I wasn't crazy about having Detective Morales learn Luke's identity so soon after the Lisa and Frieda incidents, but this seemed like the only logical outcome of the Morales arc.