Eclipse Star: Chapter 69
Recap: Trillium City was under siege by an army of Hex-Duo robots, but thankfully the group was able to issue a shutdown code to every mechanical soldier, turning them off and allowing enough time to blow up the two big Charles Robotics facilities. There’s still more to do though as the group discovers an even bigger threat: A building-sized Hex-Duo piloted by the Octa-Rangers! They’ve got to fight for the city, today, on Eclipse Star!
Chris: Willy, give me your ear-bud.
-Willy pulls out his ear-bud and tosses it to Chris, who in turn sticks it in his ear.
Chris: Jack, tell me what I’m looking at.
Jack: (At the Northern Lodge viewing the situation on TV). News stations just came back online and the first thing they started broadcasting was one hell of a large robot. And apparently the Octa-Rangers are in the cockpit.
Chris: The Octa-Rangers?! You’re kidding me!
Jack: That’s what the cameras are showing.
Glitch: (Coming over the frequency). Guys, we’re a few blocks away from this thing. Please advise.
Kevin: (Taps Chris on the shoulder). Help civilians, maybe?
Chris: Yes, Kevin, good idea. Glitch, tell your group to clear the area as far as you can. Protect civilians and whatnot. Relay that to Lindsey.
Glitch: Will do.
Glitch: Help civilians.
Leena: (Rolls her eyes). Well obviously.
Lindsey: Alright, stay low and do everything you can to help. Let’s go!
-Her group takes off to round up bystanders and get them the heck away from the area.
-Meanwhile, Chris’ group of four takes off at full speed toward the behemoth.
Derek: So your plan is to…what exactly?
Chris: You’re strong; you piece things together.
Derek: I think we should take out the Octa-Rangers one by one. If they’re down, the giant robot might go down, too.
Chris: That’s what I was thinking. Willy? There’s no nice way to say, uh, go help civilians instead of fighting.
Willy: (Beams) Haha! Fine by me!
Chris: (Smiles) Glad you understand.
-Willy spirals away from the group and down toward the ground as Chris, Derek, and Kevin go in for the attack.
Chris: Okay, let’s rock and roll!
-The Octa-Zord fires a blaster from its eyes at the three, missing its target only slightly.
Derek: We got eye cannons!
Chris: I noticed!
-The three duck and dodge blast fire until the robot stops for a moment. It’s headpiece breaks away to reveal the pilots, each now wearing beefier suits with metallic sheens.
Stigma: So glad of you to join us!
Chris: I thought we beat you guys a while ago? What do you stand to gain from this?
Qoppa: I’ll tell you!
Stigma: (Holds a hand up). Hey, yo, I got this.
Qoppa: Yeah! He’s got this!
Stigma: (Back to Chris). What we stand to gain is a victory for our mighty nation! What we stand to gain is honor for Balobyn and praise from Octavious himself!
Chris: So you think a giant robot is the best option?
Stigma: Sure. Why wouldn’t it be?
Chris: You know, stability for one.
-Derek and Kevin come flying out from behind the robot, each hitting a leg at the knee joint.
-The robot buckles backward and starts to fall.
Stigma: Rangers! Quick Maneuver Epsilon!
-The Octa-Rangers pull some levers and dials in unison, causing the giant zord to swivel at the hip, catching itself before it hits the ground.
Stigma: Hah! Can you do better than-
-Chris smashes through the back of the head and grabs Stigma, plowing him into the ground.
-The Octa-Zord recovers and begins fighting Derek and Kevin once again, moving surprisingly quickly for something its size.
-Chris and Stigma grapple and spin as they skid on the pavement before Stigma gets a chance to throw himself clear.
Stigma: Hah, alright, that was pretty good. But you’re just wasting your time.
Chris: Hey, I got nowhere else to be. My time is yours.
-Chris takes a swing at Stigma. Stigma stands his ground as Chris’ punch bounces off Stigma’s chest.
Stigma: (Waggles a finger). Ah-ah-ah. We’ve had a bit of an upgrade since we last fought.
Chris: Upgrade huh?
Stigma: That’s right. New armor, courtesy of Charles Robotics. Our strength and durability have increased far beyond our normal limits.
Chris: I don’t really care about your normal limits; I’m more curious about mine.
-Chris takes another swing and begins the two of them exchanging blows.
-Kevin and Derek continue buzzing around the Octa-Zord like flies, being general annoyances but not doing any real damage.
Derek: You got a favorite color?
Kevin: I have no preference at the moment.
Derek: Alright then, I’ll take the black-
-Derek is smacked by a backhand as he ponders what to do next.
-Qoppa leans out of the cockpit.
Qoppa: Yeah! You like that?
-Kevin stomps down on Qoppa’s head, knocking the pink ranger clean out of the zord.
Kevin: Derek! I went with pink! That okay?
Qoppa: (Spiraling to the street below). It’s salmon~!
-Derek orients himself as another massive robotic hand swats at him. He punches it away and begins to repeat this process as more punches and kicks rain down upon him.
-Eventually, the robot claps both hands against him, closing him in.
-Derek is now being pulled between two huge hands.
Sho: (He and the other two rangers are staying inside the cockpit this time). That hurt much?
Derek: (Struggling). Ghhhh…nah, not really.
Sampi: That’s totally a lie. You’re lying! That’s got to hurt!
Derek: Heh, oh really?
-Derek pulls his arms to his sides and flies straight up, carrying the Octa-Zord with him.
San: (Flipping levers and dials). Hey hey hey! This thing’s not supposed to bend like this!
Sho: So fix it!
San: I could really use a maneuver order here!
Sho: Uh…which one fires rockets?
Sampi: Maneuver Rockets-Fire…fire! (Hits a button).
-Rockets appear from the zord’s shoulders and fire straight up at Derek.
Derek: Alright then, that makes sense.
-Derek lets go of the robot and zooms off to lose the rockets. They persist on following him.
Derek: Hah! You’ve got trackers in those things? You’re making this WAY too easy!
-Derek does an about-face and flies back at the Octa-Zord.
-The rockets turn around and follow him.
-Derek stands on the opposite side of the Octa-Zord, arms crossed and looking proud of himself.
Derek: You guys are doing all the work for me, aren’t you?
Sampi: Maneuver 1337 Hax!
-Sampi pulls another lever, causing the center of the Octa-Zord to open up just as the rockets blast through it.
Derek: Oh shit.
-Both rockets hit Derek head-on, throwing him through a number of buildings where he finally lands, skidding on his back, totally wasted from the double explosion.
-Meanwhile, Chris and Stigma are fighting back and forth as cars trying to get out of their way.
-Chris flips over a car as it slams on its breaks, skidding into Stigma.
-Stigma smashes the back end of the car, flipping the front end up under Chris’ chin.
-Cars start to pile up behind the two, only having minor fender benders but still crashing into one another.
-Chris looks back at the damage being done.
-Stigma throws a punch that grazes Chris’ cheek, just as he moves his head out of the way.
-Chris throws one back directly at Stigma’s chest. The punch is caught by Stigma using both hands to absorb the blow.
-Stigma elbows at Chris, missing as Chris ducks.
-Chris throws an awkward left straight-punch as he ducks backward. The punch still lands in Stigma’s right side, causing him to wince sideways.
-Chris follows up with a kick from his right foot that hits Stigma in the head right above the neck.
-Stigma slams his helmet against the ground, bouncing as he hits.
Chris: (Tapping his earbud). Glitch, I’m over on Washington and 17th; can you send someone over to divert traffic?
Glitch: Yeah. (As he’s directing civilians into buildings). Austin! Washington and 17th! Chris needs traffic control!
Glitch: Austin’s on his way over.
-Stigma fires a blast at Chris, blowing him across the street through a storefront.
Stigma: You need to be put down!
-Stigma charges after Chris with his hands glowing.
-As Stigma points them down at Chris, Chris slams the ground next to him, throwing up a cloud of dust and glass.
-Chris comes through the cloud straight on, mashing Stigma in the face, cracking his helmet around the visor.
-Chris leaps out of the ruined storefront, headbutting Stigma at the crack.
-He reaches out and grabs Stigma’s foot, pulling him back through the storefront and hurling him out the back end.
Syrus: (From an underground bunker, viewing a screen displaying the fight with Chris). Ranger Stigma, land and kick straight back immediately.
-Stigma lands and kicks back, catching Chris right in the face, stunning him.
Syrus: Downward elbow strike to his neck.
-Stigma leaps up and hits Chris with a downward elbow strike at the collarbone, badly phasing Chris as he drops to a knee.
Syrus: Full body tackle.
-Stigma throws himself at Chris, the two launching themselves out into the street again.
Stigma: Wow, this is actually working.
-Chris’ eyes flick open as he stares at Stigma’s helmet.
-Chris cranks his Pulse energy way up, tossing Stigma off him and down the block.
-Derek’s eyes also flick open as he regains some consciousness, the quaking of the Octa-Zord’s footsteps helping to rock him back to reality.
Derek: (Rubbing his head). God damn. Fine. (Stands up and growls his next line). Fine.
-As the Octa-Zord continues taking steps forward, Derek’s power skyrockets. He begins screaming as the zord stops moving. The ground, however, is still quaking, much worse than before.
San: He’s charging for a really big attack.
Sho: Yup, sure looks like it.
San: So we should…?
Sho: Meet his attack with our own.
San: Yes! That is exactly what I was going to suggest!
Sho: Sampi, what maneuvers do we have left?
Sampi: (Reading off a long list). Um, let’s see, we can’t use the Omega Cannon at the moment, so I’d say our best bet is the Desperation Chest Buster. Sound good?
San: I’m down with that.
Sampi: Great. (Flips some levers). Maneuver Desperation Chest Buster!
-The Octa-Zord’s chest opens up to begin charging a crazy-huge energy attack, releasing it almost instantly.
-Derek throws his hands forward, cupped as they meet, and unloads his entire energy payload, screaming as his does so.
-The two energy attacks collide and begin pushing against one another. Derek starts taking a few steps forward, pushing a lot harder than the robot can.
Derek: DEREK MANEUVER EFF YOUR COUCH!!!!
-The energy attack begins generating a pulsewave that shatters all nearby windows.
-Derek’s beam completely engulfs the Octa-Zord’s beam, slamming into the robot and throwing it backward.
-Derek’s beam dissipates as he drops his arms, exhausted.
Derek: Hah, hah, ah man, that wasn’t so bad.
-The Octa-Zord lands on its back, the front pretty badly charred and ripped up.
Derek: (Hunched over with his hands on his knees). Hah. (Flips off the Octa-Zord). Right there buddy.
-Qoppa lands in a crater next to Derek, totally wiped out. Kevin lands next to him.
Kevin: Nice blast, Derek!
Derek: (Looking down at Qoppa, his eyebrows raised). Not bad work yourself.
Kevin: He’ll be fine, but he’s probably knocked out pretty good.
-Derek takes a step forward and raises his foot. He starts to bring it down on Qoppa’s head, but Kevin stops him.
Kevin: Hold on! There’s no reason to kill him!
Derek: (Derek looks from Qoppa to Kevin and back). Well, I guess he is the pink one, so it’s your call.
Derek: (Unsure). Now what?
Kevin: The big robot’s down, so I don’t know.
Jack: Hey, who’s still got radio conferencing down there?!
Chris: (Still fighting with Stigma). Jack, I’m still here. What’s up?
Jack: You’ve got a second megazord coming your way.
Chris: You’re shitting me.
Jack: ‘Fraid not. And this one looks like a tiger.
Chris: (Aghast). What?
-As Chris and Stigma clench up, a massive white tiger zord barrels overhead, running to meet up with the downed Octa-Zord.
Stigma: Hahaha! Looks like Digamma showed up for reinforcement!
-Stigma starts trying to pull Chris in as he throws his knees out, but Chris keeps stopping each knee-strike.
Chris: (Clenching his teeth). I don’t care who shows up to help, it’s not going to-
-Chris stops as he looks Stigma straight in the tinted visor. He squints and catches the briefest glimpse of Stigma looking back, though not directly at Chris, but rather at the screen within the helmet showing Syrus.
Syrus: (Notices this instantly). He knows about the visor!
Syrus: Fire your strongest energy attack now!
-Stigma briefly sparks before unleashing a powerful bright red-tinted energy blast directly at Chris’ chest.
-Chris takes all of this, once more getting thrown through a number of buildings.
-As this is happening, Digamma’s tiger zord meets up with the Octa-Zord.
Derek: This isn’t gonna be good.
-Lindsey and Glitch land next to Derek and Kevin.
Lindsey: We just heard that…(pointing) that was showing up.
Derek: Well, it’s here now, so no worries I guess.
-The tiger zord flops down on the remains of the Octa-Zord, fusing the two together as strobe lights kick in. It jumps back up, even bigger and tougher looking.
Qoppa: (Regaining consciousness). Oh hey, the Super Octa-Zord! That’s so cool!
-Lindsey elbows down into Qoppa’s helmet, shattering the facemask completely. Qoppa is once more out.
Lindsey: So who has a plan?
Kevin: I actually have one.
Lindsey: Care to share?
Kevin: It’d just be quicker if I go ahead and do it.
-Kevin starts concentrating and glowing an amber hue. He begins to grow exponentially larger until he matches the size of the Super Octa-Zord.
-The Super Octa-Zord stops advancing as the cockpit breaks away to reveal the four rangers sitting in it.
Digamma: (Now wearing a pristine white ranger outfit). You’re kidding me! There’s no way that’s possible!
Kevin: (His voice is now infinitely deeper). Hahaha, you guys attacked our city, remember? We have home-court advantage.
Digamma: Okay, who’s ready to-
-Lindsey hits Digamma, carrying him out of the cockpit and into the fray with her.
Sampi: Um, did we just, uh, lose our replacement leader just now?
Sho: Yes, just forget him, we’ve got a big-ass black dude standing in our way. Pull out the Octa-Sword!
-Sampi flips some levers and the Super Octa-Zord produces a glowing energy sword out of nowhere.
-The Super Octa-Zord steps forward, trying to cut Kevin down, but he steps out of the way, kicking the Super Octa-Zord in the chest. They begin fighting back and forth.
-Digamma and Lindsey careen through the air as they punch back and forth.
Digamma: What was that all about?!
Lindsey: I felt like I was missing some sort of fun!
Digamma: I’m not about to get beaten by a woman!
Lindsey: You’re not about to have a choice, Maximilian!
Digamma: Don’t you dare!
-The two continue brawling in the air.
-Stigma runs through the debris, looking for Chris, but he doesn’t seem to be anywhere.
Stigma: I don’t get it, where did he go?
-Chris flies out of nowhere and stomps Stigma in the head with both feet, taking him to the ground and riding his helmet as they go.
-Chris shifts over to stand on Stigma’s chest before punching down onto his helmet.
-Chris continues pounding as they keep skidding.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM!
-Chris’ eyes look scarily intense as his teeth are gritted.
-Stigma’s helmet explodes into a shower of pieces. Chris takes one last look at him and throws a final punch.
-The ground around Chris and Stigma craters out. Stigma is totally K.O.ed, though still alive.
-Chris hops off Stigma’s chest and lets out a sigh. He picks up a sparking piece of the inner visor.
Chris: Can you still see me in there? Huh? You don’t leave us and our home alone? That happens to you. (Drops the piece and looks around). Now where’s my grandma? (He flies off).
-On the other end of the screen, Syrus stares at the static on the display, speechless. His lips quiver as a smirk crosses his lips. He leans back in his chair and starts laughing to himself, clapping as he does.
-Lindsey and Digamma land on the top of a building as Digamma begins throwing serious punches and kicks in her direction.
-Digamma chops at her neck, missing as she ducks.
-He follows up with a series of punches, hitting her each time harder and harder.
Digamma: Oh my, that can’t feel good.
-Lindsey throws her hands up to block but still continues to take heavy shots.
Digamma: You can’t compete with our armor’s upgrades. They make us faster, stronger, and more durable.
-He stomps at the building, causing it to collapse.
-Lindsey loses her footing as the building begins falling, leaving herself open to an attack.
-Digamma leaps out and smashes her in the face with an epic knee.
-He pinballs her in the air several times before booting her as high as possible.
Digamma: You’re not much of a fight, are you?
-Digamma pulls his arms back and starts charging his energy attack.
Digamma: Digamma Beam, FIRE!
Lindsey: Dang it!
Digamma: What the hell?
-Lindsey floats in the air, perfectly okay, holding her elbows blades out after slicing Digamma’s beam in half.
Lindsey: (Smiling). Heeeey, that was kinda cool.
-Lindsey disappears and reappears instantly above Digamma’s head, stabbing her elbows blades down into Digamma’s shoulders.
-His armor cracks and splits as he screams out.
Lindsey: (Smiling). Ooh, that can’t feel good.
-She slices out with a flourish, sending the arms of Digamma’s armor falling to the ground.
-She spins and cuts Digamma’s helmet in the same fashion, sending two pieces falling to either side.
-Lindsey holsters her elbow blades and grabs Digamma’s right arm, breaking it in one swift motion before moving onto the left arm and repeating.
-Digamma continues to scream out in agony.
Lindsey: And now, the Lindsey Super Awesome Finisher!
Digamma: Oh no…
-Lindsey screams out as Digamma winces. She lightly chops Digamma in the back of the neck, knocking him out.
Lindsey: And that was a girl that did that. Ouch to you.
-Kevin and the Super Octa-Zord trade blows back and forth, though Kevin has yet to be hit by the energy sword.
-The zord starts firing lasers at Kevin repeatedly, pushing Kevin stumbling backward.
-The Super Octa-Zord pulls the sword up high and brings it down hard and fast at Kevin’s head.
-Kevin reaches out and grabs the zord’s arm, struggling to stop it but managing to get control.
Octa-Rangers: NO NO NO!
-Kevin forces the sword around on the Octa-Zord, pulling it down and then stabbing the zord through the midsection as sparks shoot out all around.
-The Super Octa-Zord takes a few steps backward as it begins glowing. Three brightly colored rangers leap out of the exploding robot.
-Rangers Sho, San, and Sampi land on the ground, panting through their helmets.
Sampi: Rangers, I think we were soundly defeated.
Sho: We’re not done yet.
Leena: Oh I think you’re done yet.
-The rangers look up and see Leena, Kyle, Glitch, Scott, Austin, Danny, Willy, and Clinton standing around them.
San: Ah man. Octavious is gonna kill us.
Sho: Desperation Maneuver-
-Leena kicks Sho in the facemask, shattering his visor.
Leena: Desperation Maneuver Shut Up Already.
-San and Sampi look at each other and nod. They grab Sho and hit the Octa-Ranger emblem on their belts, causing them to glow and disappear.
Kyle: Huh, I wasn’t expecting that.
Leena: Oh come on, we were all expecting that.
-They start to walk away.
Danny: A little.
-Stigma manages to regain consciousness long enough to hit his emblem as well. The same goes for Qoppa.
-Digamma, however, is totally out as Lindsey flies him to the rest of the group.
Lindsey: Where’d they all go?
Glitch: They seem to have some sort of short-range teleportation device.
Lindsey: At least I got the white one.
Austin: That Maximilian?
Austin: What do you want to do with him?
Lindsey: I want to ask Jack. Who has an earbud?
Glitch: I’ll ask him.
Lindsey: And where’s Chris?
Glitch: Uh…huh, I don’t know.
Austin: Last I saw of him he was fighting Stigma.
Lindsey: Well, we should go find him. Everyone else is accounted for.
-The ground starts rumbling.
Leena: Great, what now?
-An enormous explosion rips into the sky from the shoreline where Iess, Grid, Fox, and Job said they’d be.
Lindsey: That was either a very good thing or a very bad thing.
Austin: Let’s find Chris first, then we worry about those guys.
-Chris has flown to the point where the cameras last saw his grandmother.
Chris: (Tapping his earbud). Jack, I’m at her last location, just as you said.
Jack: Yeah, the news cameras don’t seem to care much to show anything except the downed mechs. What’s the area look like down there?
Chris: The ground is all charred up and there’re parts from broken Hex-Duo robots everywhere. Whatever happened here, it was pretty chaotic.
Jack: It’s been pretty chaotic all over the city.
Jack: The others have Octavious’ son, by the way.
Chris: That’s super; I don’t want any more party members at the moment. It’s hard enough keeping track as it is.
Chris: Hold on, I think I see someone.
-A group of two or three dozen come out from hiding once they see Chris in the street.
Chris: Hey, the fighting’s all over. You’re safe now. Have any of you seen an older woman with black hair around here?
Barbara: Older woman? You’re calling me an older woman now?
-He rushes to his grandmother and hugs her closely.
Chris: What the heck happened to you?! I saw you get blown up or something on TV!
Barbara: What? Oh you kids and your TV. You can’t believe everything you see on those things.
Chris: So really, what happened?
Barbara: I was saved by someone who looked an awful lot like your friend Derek.
Chris: Derek? No, he was with me.
Barbara: Hey, I’m just telling you what he looked like.
Chris: Is he still here?
Barbara: No, he ran off immediately afterward.
Chris: (Taps his earbud). Jack, my grandma’s okay, but we might have a problem.
Jack: We’ve had a lot of those.
Chris: She says someone that looked like Derek saved her.
Jack: (Confused). Derek? Derek was with us at the Northern Lodge when we saw her attacked on the news cameras.
Chris: That’s what I said. If there’s yet another super-powerful guy running around out here, I want to know where he is and what he’s doing.
Barbara: Well I just told you he saved me, right? Then he’s a good guy.
Chris: Grandma, I haven’t seen you since, oh man, since this all started, right?
Barbara: Yeah, that’s about right.
Chris: I tried to come see you a few months ago but the house got blown up by some guy that looked like Syrus.
-Barbara becomes far more serious at that name.
Barbara: Did you kill him?
Chris: What? No, he got away.
Barbara: The next time you see that man, I want you to kill him. Don’t even wait; just kill him.
Chris: I don’t understand.
Barbara: Just do as you’re told! I don’t want to see you getting killed!
Chris: Oh…okay then?
-The rest of Chris’ group flies down next to him and Barbara.
Austin: What’s all the yelling?
Barbara: (Instantly less serious again). Oh Austin! Is that you? You’ve all gotten so big!
Austin: Oh, Chris’ Grandma! Hey! Thank you!
Barbara: I don’t believe I know everyone here.
Chris: We’ve got to meet back up with some people, but I want you to come with us. We’re going up north. Will you come?
Barbara: I’ve got nothing better to do, so sure.
Chris: That’s great! Hey, finally things sound like they’re ending well!
Lindsey: Well Mr. Positive, we’ve still got places to go and things to do.
Chris: (Smiles). You’re right. Lead on team leader.
-Lindsey smiles back as the group takes to the skies and starts flying back to the Northern Lodge.
-To Be Continued…