1,513 words; about a 8 minute read
The Secret of Corvus
Location: Astro Megaship III
Timeline: 21:00 Hours, January 3rd 2051
Valdana stood perplexed at the helm of the Astro Mega Ship, her eyes tracing the familiar consoles once more. The ship possessed the astounding capability of interstellar travel at incredible speeds, a technological marvel that allowed the Power Rangers to traverse the cosmos and confront villains across galaxies. Yet, for the second consecutive day, they cruised along at a mere Mega Mark 2, en route to Corathus as of four hours ago —a destination designated as a top priority to their mission briefing. It just didn't add up.
It made no sense but she was starting to see that there was no rush to anything outside of touring and her own personal brand of being a ranger - being part of a team was hard . She glanced up from looking over the environmental controls that were similar to her tour ship when the doors opened.
“Good evening.” The woman said brightly. She might be confused but it did not pay to be rude to her colleagues. The word "colleagues" echoed in her mind, and in this moment of uncertainty, it was the only fitting descriptor as they had not really had time to adjust to each other.
"Hm? Oh hey Dan." Ellie smiled, looking up. "I can call you Dan, right? I think we established that. Since we're team-mates and all. It's cool, isn't it?"
“You can.” Valdana assured quickly. The green ranger was the only one who had taken to calling her that which felt appropriate for the woman and the friendship they had been trying to build over the last month.
Kilena stepped onto the bridge seeing the pair and smiled despite how sleepy she looked. “Damien wants a briefing as we’ll reach Corathus in the next 2 hours.”
“Oh hey, Kilena…” Valdana said. “I will make an announcement.”
“Allow me, mistress,” Melody spoke up moving to the communication console. Her soothing tones were soon announcing across the ship that everyone should assemble in the situation room.
Oddly prompt as always, Keon appeared in the doorway moments after the announcement was made, as if he were waiting for just such a moment. Despite this, he had his head down in a device that had been taking readings since he and Spencer had left Angel Grove. Nothing abnormal or surprising was among the data, but it did not stop him from peering into the screen. " 'Lo," he said, waving absently and leaning against one of the walls.
It was only thanks to Spencer having gone through the ship with the aid of others that he knew for sure where the Situation Room was. He walked in after Keon, holding a cup of black coffee. "Reporting."
Kilena walked in with the other 2 female rangers all 3 of them strangely silent as Melody ambled along behind.
The door suddenly opened and Julian hurried in, skidding to a stop just inside the door. Smiling awkwardly at the assembled group, he held his hands up in a 'Sorry' gesture, as he slowly made his way to where the group was. "Sorry." He muttered. "Got lost. This place is ma-hoo-sive. What did I miss?"
“Nothing much. Where is…” Kilena started.
"Sorry, I'm late..." Damien said as he walked in wearing his Ranger suit minus the helmet, his face covered in sweat "Training simulator got out of hand."
He sat down, letting his morph drop as he did. He pressed a few controls, bringing up a holographic image of a rocky world.
"Meet Corathus. It's inhospitable as all hell. As in do not de-morph kind of inhospitable." Damien noted, grimacing "It has a nitrogen chlorine atmosphere and there are frequent electrical storms. Unfortunately, an archaeological expedition to the planet recently ceased all contact. We're going in to investigate and find out what happened to them."
Valdana looked at the planet and watched as the planet appeared in front of her. It was a desolate wasteland, dominated by jagged, rust-coloured mountains and barren, toxic oceans that emitted an eerie, greenish glow. The atmosphere looked shrouded by swirling, ashen clouds, concealing the planet's inhospitable terrain.
“If it’s inhospitable what are the archaeological team doing to combat it?” Valdana wondered from the wall she was leaning against as she surveyed the planet. She had done the most planet hoping out of everyone so knew what questions to ask to survey a scene.
"Respiration units." Damien replied, "The good news is the Professor assures me our ranger suits can do the same for us so we shouldn't asphyxiated."
"We should have something just in case morphs fail," Kalina commented thoughtfully. "Respiration units are pretty small."
Spencer nodded at the suggestion of bringing respirators. It was a good idea, and they could find the cargo bay and get them easily enough. "Yeah - we should always have a plan B. which is not 'twice as much laser as plan A'. Especially if this planet is that horrible. If the planet is as awful as you've said, though, were the people there adapted to it somehow, or is the atmospheric situation, historically speaking, new?"
Valdana looked at her tablet. "There have not been people there in the last 500 years or so according to archeological digs so its not a new situation. But also why there was dig sites there according to news outlets." The orange ranger explained bringing up holograms in the middle of the table replacing what was there with articles for the rangers to look through.
"Do we have access to alternate respirator units?" Keon asked, and was a beat longer before, "You know, just in case something happens. If Plan A is go in morphed and we find some less-than-happy to see a gaggle of us in multi-colored, skin-tight armor, then maybe we should also have a more incognito Plan B."
Damien sat there for a moment. Then, his face lit up as he pressed a control on his morpher, teleporting out of the room in a flash of red energy.
"Do I want to know?" Kilena wondered looking around at the blank faces. Units were tiny and could be carried in pockets but it seemed their leader had other ideas.
"Is he...coming back?" Ellie asked, breaking the confused quiet.
Spencer had finally gotten to the point where Damien's antics had become a point of amusement for him when they didn't get in his way. His tone was more humorous than usual. "I dunno. Kinda hope not."
A figure in a red robe walked in, a hood concealing his face. The figure pulled back the hood, revealing Damien.
"I found a use for it!" Damien grinned, pausing "I wonder if that's what the last guy kept this thing for..."
"How is that going to help?" Kilena asked trying to work out the thought pattern that was going on with the red ranger.
Spencer grimaced - he was a step ahead of Kilena, and recognized what Damien's plan had to be. He shook his head. "Unless that robe has a breathing apparatus built in, I don't see how it's going to help with any kind of stealth."
"Our suits fit underneath the robe." Damien replied with a grin "A group of people walking around in robes are less conspicuous than a group in multi-coloured spandex. After all, reports indicate the Cult of Zedd wear similar robes during their pilgrimages. We'll blend right in."
"I really do not know what to make of this." Kilena finally settled on when no one else spoke up.
"Is it always like this?" Valdana asked quietly almost wondering if it was herself before she saw several people staring at her and offered her a shrug. She was still adjusting to being team player compared to being a ranger by herself.
Spencer rolled his eyes at Damien's suggestion. He didn't like the idea. Unfortunately, he didn't have a better one right now, so that would have to be the plan. He heard Valdana's question, and looking at the others, he shrugged at the woman. "Not always, no. Most of the time, he decides it's a brilliant idea just to charge in and figure out his plan after."
Keon's brow rose at the sight. "That is going to be less conspicuous than running down there in a rainbow of colors?" He asked, before crossing his arms over his chest. "I thought we had no idea what was going on on this planet. What if we end up down there and it's a bunch of multi-colored bears that hate hoods?"
"Then we've ended up in a situation which we should be able to handle because we'll be morphed underneath the cloaks." Damien replied, pausing to consider it "Hang on... Multi-colored bears that hare hoods? That is weirdly specific."
"Yes, it's just as absurd sounding," Keon reflected with finality. "But I also don't have a better idea. Seeing as if we went down with breathers instead of our suits, we could be caught and in more danger than we need to be. Robes to the robe convention it is."
"Then let's do it." Damien said, smirking "Relax guys. We've got this."