Black Out

Jason Lee Scott

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Weeks passed as Jason traveled through the jungles of Kraw. The river he had been following had come to an end, so he followed the nearest trail he could find. That only lead to another river with another end, and the cycle repeated itself. This went on for some time, but the breath of fresh air during the process was his meetings with various travelers he shared the road with. He’d encountered mostly hunters who had guided him along the way, and he knew he was getting closer to New Abraxas. He also knew that he was getting much closer to the other Rangers, as he’d encountered more tales of brilliantly colored lights descending into different parts of the jungle weeks ago.

One that stood out to people was a streak of black light that had landed nearest to his path. People had a hard time describing it, as it was both a dark void yet bright as day at the same time. For as much as it confounded the travelers Jason encountered, he knew it was his close friend Zack Taylor’s teleportation beam. It had taken all the Rangers a bit of time to wrap their heads around the fact that they could simply turn into beams of light for fast travel, but the Black Ranger’s energy signature had been the most difficult to wrap their minds around, especially to the brainiac of the group, Billy.

It was a blessing, now, though, as it was leading Jason closer and closer to his friend. New Abraxas could wait if it meant he was able to recover a Ranger. He wondered if Zack would be sealed away like he had been, or if he’d managed to make a lucky escape too? It certainly wasn’t the best thought if all the Rangers had been dropped right into the same dire straits as he had.

It led him to another temple. This time he was on the outskirts instead of the heart, and the layers of defenses he would have to infiltrate were apparent enough, but the real problem was the armed mercenaries milling about the outside of the place. He recognized a similar dress and appearance to Jericho, the man he’d battled upon his arrival and who was apparently the leader of this faction of insurgents. In his travels he’d heard tales of a man trying to raise an army to stand against Indiana Jones. Jason hadn’t quite appreciated meeting the leader in the moment when he’d broken his wrist, bashed his head into rocks, and thrown him in the river. He didn’t believe Jericho was dead, though, and seeing his people mill about like nothing was wrong was enough of a clue that his guess was accurate.

He didn’t like the situation, mostly because he knew that if he had his power coin, he could easily take the whole crowd in a straight fight as the fully powered Red Ranger. As it were, he was just a regular man, unarmed in the middle of a heavily militarized camp. He didn’t have any other choice than to deal with it, though, because Zack was in there and needed help one way or another. The invading memories from earlier rang in his head though. Even if he could save everyone, he would need to find a way to get their actual powers back if they were going to have a chance against this Darkseid character. Or Zedd, for that matter.

Jason crouched low and quietly slipped between the boxes of equipment and machinery that littered the courtyard. All the clutter made it easier to sneak in and still manage to overhear useful information.

“Whole damn thing is pitch black inside,” one of the mercenaries commented to another, within the Ranger’s earshot. “We’re getting the lights installed now so we can search the place.”

“Must be because the natives abandoned this temple,” the other replied. “Weird that they would do that. They’ve been territorial of all the others.”

“Must be a shrine to some god they don’t like anymore,” the original man laughed. “Come on, help me carry this.”

The two men hoisted a crate up and moved away, while Jason kept moving as he noted that bit of information. Luckily there were flashlights scattered all over the place, so he snatched two and kept moving. His sights were set on the front door on the temple, but there was too much foot traffic going in and out to make it through the doorway. Instead, he was going to have to find a smaller entrance not in use.

He surveyed the area, and there didn’t look to be any deliberate side doors. Looking up gave him a new idea. A building in disrepair probably had plenty of holes in the roof. If he could manage to sneak up there, then maybe he could find a way in from above.

It wasn’t the best plan, but he was more than used to working with what he had instead of what was ideal. Why should that change now? Chuckling to himself with amusement at his fortune, the Ranger began to quietly work his way up the fallen debris beside the temple.
 

Jason Lee Scott

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Jason dropped into the ruined temple, landing in the darkness with a small stumble. He was really just happy that there had been solid ground below him, as he’d tried to use his flashlight as little as possible on the way in. Unfortunately he wasn’t blessed the ability to see in the dark, so he had no choice but to click his flashlight on at that point. All it really revealed was an empty, creepy hallway, but empty was a win for him considering the small army that he had slipped by outside.

He made his way through several dark corridors before entering a massive chamber. He didn’t slow as he entered it, knowing that his source of light gave him away to any ambushers. Instead he was quick to step in and shine his light around to assess the area and catch anyone waiting for him. There was no one lurking in ambush, so he walked through the ominously poor lit space, noting a few gaps in the floor with his light. He didn’t know where they went to, but he sure didn’t want to drop in them.

Jason moved through a few more hallways, including turning around at a few dead end rooms before he finally saw something he recognized. Within an empty room there was a pod much like the one he escaped from upon his arrival in this realm, built into the wall just the same. A black light glowed from it, with made him immediately realize that his own surely held a red glow before he’d escaped.

He quickly approached the device and looked it over to find any sort of release mechanism. It seemed to be sealed tight, so he didn’t know what else to do except apply some brute force. He stepped back and delivered a powerful kick, not knowing how else to approach the contraption.

Luckily, his muscle-headed approach seemed to have worked. Gears whirred to life, and Jason stepped back as the tomb split open. As soon as the doors were open he recognized his old friend Zack Taylor. Zack had been the Black Ranger on his team, but more importantly one of his earliest and longest friends. Jason raced forward as Zack was dumped to the ground, and slowly began to stir.

“Hey! Zack!” Jason quickly said as he helped his groggy friend to a seated position. “You alright?”

“Jase…?” Zack wearily asked as he blinked his eyes upon waking. “What… where…?”

“Can you stand?” Jason cut him off, more worried about his ability to move at the moment. Regardless, it was damn good to see a friendly and familiar face, at last. Yet, he had to shelve his relief while there was work to do.

“Yea…yea,” Zack said in a daze as Jason helped him to a standing position, yet didn’t let him go right away. He gathered his senses as he looked around the room, fast noting that it was certainly not the climatic showdown in Angel Grove he last remembered being in. “Where are we? Where’s Zedd?”

“We’re on some world called ‘Kraw,’” Jason explained in a hurried tone. “I woke up here weeks ago, I’ve been looking for the team ever since. You’re the first one I found.”

“Kraw. Kraw,” Zack repeated, putting his hand to his face while finally getting his thoughts together. The sudden change was a lot, but he had learned to quickly adapt to unusual developments long ago.

“Hey, I’ll explain as we go, but we have to move. Now,” Jason quickly said, finally releasing Zack to see he was able to stand on his own. “You good?”

“Got to be,” Zack laughed in his cocky tone, as painfully forced as it was. He lowered his hand and looked around the ancient temple. He was shocked by the rapid development, but he implicitly trusted his close friend and leader’s words. They clearly weren’t safe here. He would get the rest of the story later.

Jason nodded and moved away from the dim black light the opened pod offered. He clicked the flashlight back on as he and Zack retreated from the room. As smooth as it had gone thus far, Jason didn’t trust the escape to be as easy.
 

Jason Lee Scott

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Level 2
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Joined
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Messages
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Essence
€4,007
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“I don’t really get it,” Zack said as they walked down the stone hallway, illuminated weakly by Jason’s flashlight. “Kraw, Crossroads…Unmaking?”

The Red Ranger had caught his friend up on everything he had encountered and learned so far in the Crossroads, but the information was a bit of an overload to the Black Ranger. Luckily they were in agreement on their primary objectives: find Billy, Trini, and Kimberly, and recover their powers. They were also in agreement that it was a daunting task far beyond anything they had ever done. They had made a superhero career out of being on the defensive in a world they knew, so this was a whole different ballgame.

“Me either, to be honest,” Jason agreed. “It all happened in the blink of an eye, but now we’re stuck dealing with it.”

“I just hope the others are alright,” Zack said. “The sooner we find them, the better. And what’s up with that guy you were talking about trying to shake you down at the other temple?”

“Don’t know there, either,” Jason admitted. “But his people are all over this temple, so we’ll have to sneak out real quiet-like.”

“Power Rangers being quiet,” Zack sarcastically laughed. “Because that’s what we were always known for.”

They entered the large chamber Jason remembered his first time through the temple, but something felt slightly more off about it this time around. Zack felt it too, and the two Rangers stopped in place. Almost on cue, the door slid shut behind them, and they were suddenly trapped in the room. Zack turned around and lightly hit the stone door with his fist, while Jason shined the light around. Someone knew they were here, so finding them was the issue.

Torches began to light around the room, giving the arena a dim lighting. It was enough to see the room in full, but it wasn’t exactly bright. Jason saw what he needed to, though. A behemoth of a man stood before them with his arms crossed. There was nothing between them but a large arena, though Jason did take note of several moving mechanisms above them, likely the primitive technology that operated the temple’s traps.

“Got anything on you besides a flashlight?” Zack asked as he stepped back up beside Jason, looking at the silent enemy.

“Snacks and water,” Jason lamented as he turned off the flashlight and hooked it to his belt.

“Guess we’re going loud after all, then,” Zack smiled as he slid into a combat stance.

“There’s a lot more than him hanging around,” Jason reminded his friend. They needed to be quick.

Jason worked out on the regular, and he had plenty of muscle mass, but this mercenary before them made him look like a scrawny child. As the man uncrossed his arms, both Rangers did a quick survey of the area for anything useful they could use to get an advantage. Two on one was promising odds, but without their powers they were nothing more than regular humans. There was no telling what this mystery warrior from a fantastic land was capable of.

“We don’t want to fight,” Jason called over, attempting to appeal to some sense of reason that might be in the man. “We’re just trying to leave.”

That effort was a resounding failure, as their new enemy broke into a sprint towards them. For all his size he moved with lightning speed, catching two Rangers off guard despite their attempts to brace for the unexpected. Zack hopped the the side while Jason ducked low when the mammoth swung at him. Jason quickly tried to shove his attacker backwards, but it was like trying to shove a boulder. While Jason stumbled back, Zack swung a kick at the man’s back, only to have his leg swatted away when their opponent turned with effortless agility. The attack was enough to throw Zack off balance, so the mercenary turned once more and delivered a heavy punch to Jason’s chest, knocking him backwards.

As the two Rangers collapsed to the ground, the previously silent warrior let out a bellowing laugh. He made no movement to continue the fight, or even secure more tactical footing. Jason found he was in little position to judge this mystery man’s taste for theatrics, but he could at least find a way to use his overconfidence to their advantage. There were moving contraptions above them and holes in the floor, so something could be used in this fight. A conventional win didn’t seem likely.

“You alright?” Jason asked as he climbed to a kneel, rubbing his chest.

“Just getting started,” Zack said as he began to recover as well.

The man clenched his fists as he stood between the two, with a grin plastered on his face. Jason narrowed his eyes. He would be happy to wipe it off.
 
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