POWER RANGERS TAKE FLIGHT

Episode 9: "Heiress Apparent, part 1"

Writer:  Joe Rovang

[ Sentai footage is primarily from Jetman #17, but all sources are indicated. ]


DR. BERING (voice-over):
Previously on Power Rangers Take Flight:


[ Fade in to EXT. PRAIRIE (NIGHT) - We begin with a shot of the nearly full moon (with just a hint of shadow along its left side, indicating the night before a full moon).  The camera then slowly tilts down and pans across a prairie bordered with trees, the pale glow of the moonlight casting the area in an eerie blue hue.  The moon's position in the night sky suggests it may be roughly an hour before midnight. ]

[ Eventually, the camera reaches SASHA, a slender, tall woman in a distinctive black and white suit (compare with sentai) and a large, round headpiece.  Her back is to the camera as she calmly surveys the area from atop a hill.  Near her chest, she clutches with both her hands an object later revealed to be her STAR HANDLE (compare with sentai). ]

[ Nearby, slightly downhill from SASHA, we see TRASK approach, his eyes on SASHA with unknown intent.  He eventually speaks. ]

TRASK:
Your majesty.

[ SASHA curiously turns to face TRASK.  She eyes him for a moment, modestly intrigued.  Her STAR HANDLE is now seen more clearly: it is a white and blue rod adorned with a small red gem in one end. ]

[ TRASK bows onto one knee, lowering his gaze respectfully. ]

TRASK (cont'd):
My name is Trask.  Please allow me to welcome you to our humble planet Earth.

[ SASHA narrows her eyes slightly, studying TRASK. ]

TRASK (cont'd):
You've traveled far.  Please make yourself at ease, my queen.  Our resources are your own.

[ SASHA finally speaks.  She does so with a wry smile. ]

SASHA:
You've mistaken me for someone else.  (continues to study Trask)  There's something out of place about you...  You're a Vampirian, aren't you?

[ TRASK's head remains lowered.  SASHA begins to amble a lazy, unconcerned path downhill toward Trask's location. ]

SASHA (cont'd):
I didn't think there were any Vampirians on this side of the galaxy.

[ SASHA circles him casually.  TRASK's eyes follow her briefly as she strolls behind him.  When she returns within view from the other side of him, he surreptitiously returns his gaze to the ground. ]

SASHA (cont'd):
Where is your clan?

TRASK:
Long gone, your majesty.

[ SASHA stops in front of TRASK. ]

SASHA:
Do you live among the humans?

[ TRASK bristles before replying with sinister precision, still looking at the ground. ]

TRASK:
... The humans' time on our planet is coming to an end.

[ SASHA laughs playfully. ]

SASHA:
Are you so sure I'm not a human?

[ TRASK politely bows his head further. ]

TRASK:
An excellent illusion, your majesty.  Please forgive me for sensing your power.

SASHA (rolling her eyes):
Oh, let's stop this charade, Trask.  You know I'm not the queen.

[ TRASK's head remains lowered, his eyes unseen.  He then slowly rises and stands firmly, his eyes gazing in SASHA's direction but focused beyond her.  His face is expressionless. ]

SASHA (cont'd, grinning):
Good boy.  (seriously)  Now, why do you think we're here?

[ TRASK remains motionless, continuing to gaze through SASHA. ]

TRASK:
To expand your empire.

[ SASHA initially crinkles her nose in displeasure, but her eyes open slightly in wonder as a new realization dawns on her.  TRASK's gaze, meanwhile, focuses on SASHA as he watches her reaction. ]

SASHA:
... You haven't heard...!  (to herself, looking around)  Boy, news travels as slow as LIGHT out here...  (to Trask, kindly)  Well, Trask, thank you for your hospitality.  I think we'll find our objectives are... compatible.

[ SASHA smiles, takes a step back, and raises her STAR HANDLE.  An intense burst of white light flashes from the object, causing her to vanish as TRASK shields his eyes.  All that remains afterward is a fleeting puff of vapor in the moonlight. ]

[ TRASK lowers his hands and touches his face tenderly, as though checking for burns.  Not amused, he then grunts to himself, turns, and vanishes with a ripple effect. ]


[ Dissolve to EXT. SNOWY MOUNTAINS (DAY) - We see a long establishment shot of snow-covered Alpine-looking mountains on a clear, crisp day. ]

[ The camera gravitates toward the base of a particular mountain. ]


[ Dissolve to INT. QUEEN'S CHAMBER - We pan slowly across a dark chamber of some sort with a smooth, mist-covered floor; four large, ribbed columns appear to be tied into knot shapes, and knotted light structures are suspended in the air (compare with sentai). ]

[ At one end of the chamber is a black and white platform, on which sits a tall-backed dark wooden throne (compare loosely with Jetman #17).  A long, red carpet extends from the throne. ]

[ Seated in the throne (though initially shown only from behind her throne) is QUEEN-EMPRESS MAGDA.  She is dressed in a royal white dress appropriate for a very cold climate, with a white hood draped loosely over her head.  Her forearms are covered with smooth white gloves, and her fingers adorned in elegant rings (compare with sentai hands).  Her right hand clutches an upright staff bearing a round end filled with various colored prisms and lenses which each distort light in a different shape and hue. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #1) - Upside-down, SASHA descends an inverted, unseen staircase (or rather ascends, from her perspective). ]

Sasha descends Sasha descends

[ In close-up, we see SASHA descending, upside-down.  She then rotates around to the proper orientation and continues to descend. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #1) - SASHA's boots land gently on the smooth floor below. ]

Sasha's boots Sasha's boots

[ MAGDA speaks from her throne, not yet shown from the front.  SASHA stands near the center of the chamber, STAR HANDLE in hand.  MAGDA's voice is regal and imposing. ]

MAGDA:
Sasha, this is no time for frivolity.  There is much to be done.

SASHA (curiously):
Mother, I met a Vampirian!

MAGDA (dismissively):
Shadow dwellers.  I've met many in my conquests.

SASHA:
But this one seems --

MAGDA (interrupting):
He is insignificant to our plans.

SASHA (curtly, disappointed):
Yes, Mother.

MAGDA:
Sasha, do you remember Illam?

SASHA (still pouting slightly):
Of course, Mother.  My birth world.

MAGDA:
Do you remember why we destroyed them?

SASHA:
There were weapons...


[ Flash to EXT. ALIEN QUARRY (Jetman #40, tinted dark blue from sentai) - We see various shots of a five-man armored team, the VANGUARDS.  In all shots, any visible facial skin from the sentai is covered with a grayish-black texture, a US addition. ]

[ In the first shot (reversed from sentai), the VANGUARDS pull white bird-shaped visors over their shrouded faces. ]

Vanguards (black mask effect not shown) Vanguards (black mask effect not shown) Vanguards (black mask effect not shown)

[ In the next shot, we begin with a close-up on a holstered pistol on a VANGUARD's chest, a red "J1" insignia above it.  The camera then shifts to a blue and silver shoulder apparatus. ]

Vanguards (black mask effect not shown) Vanguards (black mask effect not shown)

[ In the next shot (US footage), we see a close-up of a VANGUARD's belt buckle, fashioned to match the future Sky Kestrel's cockpit emblem (compare with Jetman #24).  It resembles a gold G in a pentagon shape. ]

[ In the next shots, we see a VANGUARD wielding a chain and hook weapon, another brandishing a sword, and another quickly throwing a boomerang in midair. ]

Vanguards (black mask effect not shown) Vanguards (black mask effect not shown) Vanguards (black mask effect not shown)

[ The final shot shows the five VANGUARDS bracing to fire a bulky, dual-barreled cannon. ]

Vanguard cannon Vanguard cannon (black mask effect not shown)

[ As the final few shots have appeared, SASHA's voice has been heard. ]

SASHA (cont'd, voice-over):
They wanted to use them against us.


[ We return to INT. QUEEN'S CHAMBER. ]

SASHA:
But what does that have to do with Earth?

MAGDA:
I have seen the same technology here.

SASHA (startled):
What...?  How can that be?  The Illamites couldn't have sent a signal this far, could they?

MAGDA:
No.  I suspect a third party is involved.

SASHA:
Someone from the empire?

[ We see MAGDA's face for the first time.  She is seemingly human - beautiful, but with stern facial features, seeming to approach her late forties or early fifites by human standards. ]

MAGDA:
No.  Someone with knowledge of the Ancients.  There are Power Rangers here.


[ EXT. CAFE - Downtown, we see the brick cafe known as "Vanishing Point." ]

CHRIS (voice-over):
But why don't they?


[ INT. CAFE - Inside, PETE and CHRIS are sitting at their usual booth (see episode 3), with plenty of room left for more guests.  In the middle of a conversation, PETE is struggling to explain himself. ]

PETE:
Well... they're...  They're abstract.  Like... Like legends!  Legends don't age, you know?

[ A SERVER approaches the table with two sodas and sets them on the table, along with two straws. ]

PETE (cont'd, to server):
Thanks.

CHRIS (unwrapping his straw and putting it into his soda):
Yeah, but legends take place in the past.  Comic books are supposed to be contemporary.  They can't just keep --

[ CHRIS is interrupted as CASEY and MAGGIE arrive.  CHRIS takes a sip of his soda. ]

CASEY:
Hey guys, look who I found!

[ CASEY and MAGGIE take a seat (CASEY across the table from CHRIS).  MAGGIE smiles modestly. ]

PETE:
Hey, Maggie!  So, one more year under your belt, huh?

MAGGIE:
Well, technically, there's still summer semester...  (cheerfully) But, yeah, only one calendar year to go.

CHRIS:
Pretty nice of the bad-guys to give you the week off for exams.

[ Although she isn't the focus of this scene, CASEY bashfully brushes strands of hair behind her ear as she avoids eye contact with CHRIS. ]

MAGGIE:
(chuckles)  Yeah, really.  (to Pete)  Hey, how are you feeling?

[ PETE finishes taking a sip of his soda. ]

PETE:
Eh, no worries.  (reaches back and rubs his upper back)  Still just a little tender.  Hey, Luke said he was gonna try to be here in a couple minutes.


[ EXT. CITY STREET - Wearing his museum uniform and his helmet (see episode 7), LUKE is cycling along the side of the street, mostly out of the way of traffic, except when he has to navigate around parked cars. ]

[ As LUKE continues biking, LISA's voice is heard (off-screen). ]

LISA:
Luke!

[ LUKE looks and sees LISA on the sidewalk, waving him down.  A broad smile is on her face. ]

[ LUKE rides up to LISA and gets off his bike.  He leans it against his body as he removes his helmet.  The bike remains between them as they talk, with LUKE standing in an unoccupied curbside parking space. ]

LUKE:
Lisa!  Hi!  (awkwardly)  Hey, I... tried to call you last week...

LISA:
Oh, yeah, I went to see my mom.

LUKE (still breathing somewhat heavily):
Oh... (impressed) ... Really?

LISA:
Yeah, we had a really long talk... Got everything out in the open.  It was... nice, actually.

[ LUKE nods, listening. ]

LISA:
(laughs softly)  We actually hugged.  (chuckles, wiping her eyes as they begin to get watery)  Sorry.

LUKE (sincerely):
No...  I'm happy for you.  I know that was a big step.

LISA (done wiping her eyes):
Yeah...  Oh, I got a new job!

LUKE:
Really?  Where?

LISA:
A little greeting card shop down on Fifth.  (laughs)  I'm a cashier - what do you think of that?

[ LUKE smiles gently. ]

LUKE:
That's great.  Do you like it?

LISA:
Yeah, actually.  It's kinda nice helping customers.  When someone comes in and they're kinda down or upset or something, and you can make them leave with a smile, it feels pretty good.

[ LUKE smiles. ]

LISA (cont'd):
Sure beats looking over your shoulder all the time.  Aww, there was this one kid who had to be, like, twelve or so...

[ As LISA continues, LUKE glances up at the sky as though he is unsure of an unusual noise or presence in the air, though we hear nothing. ]

LISA (cont'd):
... and I caught him taking a pack of gum from the display, and I was just, like, "Why?"... you know?  And, I mean, I felt bad for him...  (notices Luke is distracted)  Wh... What is it?

[ LUKE looks to his right as the electricity goes out in a nearby shop.  He looks around as the entire street, including the traffic signals, have lost power.  Aside from a few car horns from rapidly gridlocking traffic in the intersections, the air is unusually still (with no background music in place).  LUKE and LISA continue to look around until LUKE notices something above them (at which point ominous background music may resume). ]

[ High above, we see a translucent white dome gather from all directions.  A hole directly overhead contracts slowly toward a central point overhead. ]


[ INT. QUEEN'S CHAMBER - Meditating in her throne with her staff held upright beside her, MAGDA is surrounded with a brightly shimmering white aura. ]


[ EXT. SKY - Above the city, the hole overhead continues to contract into a point until it vanishes, completing the dome's seal over the city.  (The scale of the dome is such that the intervening atmosphere tints the dome a pale blue the further away it is from our vantage point.) ]


[ EXT. CITY - From an already high and distant view over the city (use Oakland, California, as a visual model), we dramatically zoom out to a scale of several miles to see a massive, white crystalline dome encasing the entire city, as well as its outlying suburbs and part of the bay lying to the west of the city (comparable to San Francisco Bay). ]


[ EXT. CITY STREET - LUKE and LISA are transfixed by the dome above, as are a growing number of pedestrians and blocked motorists.  Customers and shop owners begin to emerge from buildings to witness the spectacle as well.  The mood is generally neutral, though some people appear concerned as murmurs spread through the crowd. ]

LISA:
Oh my gosh...  What is that?

[ At that moment, LUKE's MORPHER chimes.  Before LUKE can decide what to do, a distant scream is heard from behind LUKE and LISA.  They turn, LUKE dragging his bike with him as he turns so that it's now facing the other direction. ]

[ Some distance down the street, a white humanoid figure, a DISCARD, walks eerily between the gridlocked cars.  The DISCARD's body consists of a smooth, white material seemingly sewn together at random angles with lumpy, jagged stitches; one such stitch stretches diagonally across its face.  No other details are visible on the creature's body, not even eyes or a mouth.  Its gait is smooth, but its upper body remains oddly rigid, giving an impression of inhumanity. ]

[ As the DISCARD walks between cars in LUKE and LISA's general direction, nearby pedestrians grow apprehensive, staying clear of the creature, and drivers inside the cars react anxiously, though the DISCARD doesn't appear to acknowledge them. ]

[ Inside one car, a DRIVER frantically rolls up his window as the DISCARD approaches, though it passes by his car without incident.  The DRIVER nervously continues to watch the DISCARD. ]

[ Nearby, LUKE grows slightly tense and lays his bike on the curb, seeming to want to assume a martial arts stance.  His bike helmet remains in his hand, sadly the only tool or weapon at his disposal.  LISA grips his arm. ]

LISA (softly):
That's... not a Power Ranger, is it...?

[ LUKE eyes the creature sternly, answering after a pause. ]

LUKE:
... No.

[ From behind the DISCARD, we follow as it slowly advances toward the wary LUKE and LISA.  LUKE tenses further.  Just then, it becomes apparent the DISCARD is merely walking past them, paying them no mind.  LUKE and LISA relax slightly and watch as it proceeds in the other direction. ]

[ LISA nudges LUKE's arm and nods her head toward something above.  LUKE looks up. ]

[ Trailing the DISCARD from a height of several yards is Luke's HOVERBIRD. ]

[ LUKE nods reassuringly to LISA.  Suddenly, a yellow bolt of electricity erupts from the DISCARD's back, striking the HOVERBIRD and causing it to plummet lifelessly.  It falls onto a car's rear windshield (cracking a starburst fracture into the glass), strikes a glancing blow off the car's trunk, and lodges itself into the grill of a pickup truck parked behind the car. ]

[ The DISCARD, meanwhile, begins walking down a side street and out of view.  (Though it isn't the focus of the shot, a blue and white "H" hospital sign can be seen in the foreground pointing in the direction where the Discard is heading.) ]

[ LUKE stands dumbfounded for a moment.  He checks his MORPHER, pressing the upper left button (where a red alert light is no longer blinking), but the display goes black.  He presses it again, and the clock display returns.  He cycles through the displays once more - black, then clock display - before noticing LISA has left his side.  She returns from the direction of the pickup truck, cupping the ping pong ball-sized HOVERBIRD in her hands. ]

[ LUKE looks at LISA for a moment, then at the corner where the Discard was last seen.  LUKE tosses his bike helmet onto his downed bicycle and nods toward the street corner. ]

LUKE:
Let's keep an eye on him.

[ LISA nods, and they both hurry in that direction.  As they run, LISA slips the HOVERBIRD into her pocket. ]


[ EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - On a street lined with houses and condominiums, the BLUE and BLACK RANGERS land and survey the area.  BLACK RANGER takes a moment to look up at the dome still persistently visible across the sky. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Man, I don't like that at all.

[ BLUE RANGER touches her fingers to the left side of her helmet. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Hey, I've got a reading.  Wait a minute, now he's at the waterfront!

[ BLACK RANGER, facing the other direction, nudges BLUE RANGER out of her helmet haze. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Uhh, no he isn't.

[ BLUE RANGER turns.  We see a gray-colored DISCARD, similar to the first but with different stitch patterns, walking some distance away down the center of the residential street, in the two RANGERS' direction.  The DISCARD then suddenly breaks into a sprint (though moderately inhuman in its smooth gait). ]

[ The two RANGERS anxiously take a step back.  BLACK RANGER draws his SKY BLASTER from his holster. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
This isn't gonna be pretty.


[ Break. ]


[ EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - The gray DISCARD continues sprinting down the street toward the camera, having gained decent ground.  The dome still covers the sky. ]

[ BLACK RANGER takes aim with his SKY BLASTER, BLUE RANGER by his side.  BLACK calls out in a firm tone. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Stand down, jack!

[ The DISCARD continues its frantic pace down the street, now shown nearly in close-up. ]

[ BLACK RANGER aims down slightly and fires.  A yellow laser strikes just in front of the DISCARD, creating a burst of sparks.  The DISCARD, in response, leaps with dazzling speed and agility over the explosion.  As the DISCARD flies nimbly through the air, it rips open at the seams as though its body consisted of a hollow shell of flexible material, the material unfolding into the shape of a large claw.  It slams into both RANGERS and wraps around them, cocooning them together in gray material as they tumble back onto the asphalt. ]

[ Their heads still uncovered, BLUE RANGER struggles in vain against the gray material now wrapped around them.  BLACK RANGER, meanwhile, shakes his head in dumbfounded frustration and then cries out: ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
... What?!!

[ From the two Rangers' perspective looking skyward (the dome still visible above), numerous DISCARDS - in assorted shades of black, gray, and white - gather around, looking down at the camera.  They then bend down to grab the Rangers (off-camera), and we fade to black. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - Beginning with a close-up on the central console's monitor as it shows a wide aerial shot of the domed city, we zoom out to see a frustrated TRASK pound the console with his fist.  He turns away from the console but still occupies the central station.  DILLIK stands contritely on the other side of the console, TRASK's back now to him. ]

TRASK:
(grunts)  What is that old witch up to?

DILLIK:
Um, well... It looks like a class 2 forcefield around Spring Valley...

TRASK:
I can see that.  (turns back to Dillik)  Why haven't you traced the princess's teleport signature yet?

DILLIK (gesturing toward the console):
Well, you've been kinda hogging the monit--

[ TRASK glares at DILLIK.  DILLIK startles and busies himself at a wall console. ]

DILLIK:
A-- Actually, that's okay.  I'll just work over here.

[ TRASK grumbles before looking down at the monitor once more.  In close-up, we see the domed city again. ]


[ EXT. WAREHOUSE - Alone outside among a cluster of warehouses, PINK RANGER emerges from around a corner, looking around as she holds her SKY BLASTER ready.  In shots where the sky is visible, we see the dome still overhead. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger, to herself):
All right, where are you...?

[ PINK RANGER continues to search the area warily.  She looks in various places, failing to find anything each time. ]

[ Nearby, PINK RANGER is walking between two buildings, SKY BLASTER still in hand.  As she passes through, a black layer covering one of the walls (seemingly an innocent, dark-colored wall while it was stationary) begins to peel off from the top corner while PINK RANGER's head is turned.  She notices too late as the layer of material suddenly springs out and engulfs her. ]

[ Wrapped in this black sack-like prison, the now unseen PINK RANGER falls to the ground, her physical and verbal outbursts within almost muted entirely by the constrictive material. ]

[ From nearby, an assortment of gray, black, and white DISCARDS emerge and drag the wriggling sack away. ]


[ EXT. PARKING LOT - In a run-down, abandoned parking lot somewhere in the city, YELLOW RANGER hops down off a wall and surveys the area.  The dome still occupies the sky above. ]

[ Seemingly alone in the parking lot, YELLOW RANGER calls out. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Hey, man, come on out.  (looks around)  What do you say we just talk this out, huh?

[ On one of the surrounding walls, a white DISCARD hops up from the other side and faces YELLOW RANGER below. ]

[ YELLOW notices the Discard (off-screen). ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger, cont'd):
Oh, hey, there y--

[ YELLOW looks over slightly to his left.  A black DISCARD stands elsewhere atop the wall.  YELLOW reacts. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger, cont'd):
... Oh.

[ YELLOW looks in another direction and sees a gray DISCARD on the wall. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger, cont'd, disappointed):
Ohhh...

[ Others of various monochromatic hues line the surrounding walls. ]

[ YELLOW RANGER slumps his shoulders and lolls his head miserably. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger, cont'd):
Man....!


[ EXT. HOSPITAL - On another city street, LISA and LUKE are stalking the white DISCARD from some distance away.  No traffic is seen.  One side of the street is occupied by a sprawling metropolitan hospital, Valley Community Hospital (see episode 8), where lights are visible inside.  It is the only building seen with electricity.  The sky is still covered by the dome. ]

[ Stopping in parallel with the hospital's main entrance, the DISCARD extends one arm toward the building without looking in its direction.  Yellow bolts of electricity extend from its hand and appear to be draining energy from the building. ]

[ LISA and LUKE react from afar. ]


[ INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY - Two nurses in scrubs, NURSE1 and NURSE2, hurriedly walk down a hallway, with other staff visible in the background.  Only the emergency lights are on.  Just then, the emergency lights themselves begin to flicker with increasing difficulty.  The nurses and other background personnel pause and look at the lights anxiously.  A dying whine of machinery is also heard as the lights flicker. ]


[ INT. HOSPITAL, EXAM ROOM - Alone in an exam room, an ELDERLY PATIENT looks around, bewildered, as the already dim lights flicker here as well. ]


[ INT. HOSPITAL, OPERATING ROOM - As a female SURGEON and crew are performing surgery on a patient, the lights and equipment begin to fail.  The dying mechanical whine continues.  The surgical team looks around anxiously. ]


[ EXT. HOSPITAL - LISA and LUKE continue to watch as the DISCARD drains energy from the hospital. ]

LISA:
He's stealing the hospital's backup power!

[ LUKE looks around with helpless consternation, gritting his teeth privately. ]

LUKE:
Man, where are the Power Rangers...?

[ LISA looks down at the HOVERBIRD as she takes it out of her pocket.  She then hurls it at the DISCARD, striking it squarely in the back of the head from a distance of many yards.  The HOVERBIRD bounces onto the asphalt and begins rolling in the gutter.  The DISCARD, meanwhile, lowers its arm, the flow of electricity stopping. ]

[ LUKE looks at LISA quizically.  She shrugs with a mild smirk. ]

[ The DISCARD's body re-molds itself so that it's now facing in LUKE and LISA's direction without ever turning around (the stitches now lying in different positions relative to the DISCARD's face and torso).  The DISCARD begins to advance slowly toward the duo. ]

[ As the DISCARD is seen lurching in their direction in the background, LUKE addresses LISA seriously. ]

LUKE:
Lisa, get out of here.  I'll hold him off.

[ LISA crinkles her brow, finding the suggestion preposterous. ]

LISA:
Yeah, that's okay...!

[ She grabs his wrist and hurries him away from the area.  As he allows himself to be dragged away, LUKE looks back at the DISCARD one more time. ]


[ INT. ICY CELL - In a small room with uneven walls of ice and rock, CHRIS, MAGGIE, and CASEY (all unmorphed) stand huddled together, their breath visible in the cold air.  They look up as PETE's protracted yell is heard growing closer.  The camera pans up to show PETE fall from a tall shaft leading to a dim gray opening above. ]

[ As PETE falls from the ceiling in the midst of the others, he suddenly stops in midair with a surprised yelp.  He floats there a moment, perplexed, though the others don't seem enormously shocked.  He then finally lands with a thump on the ground as whatever force was suspending him lets go. ]

[ Above, the opening at the top of the shaft seals shut, causing the shaft to grow dark (though the cell itself is not in darkness). ]

[ In the cell, the others gather around PETE and help him to his feet. ]

CASEY:
Pete!

CHRIS:
They got you too, huh?

PETE (looking around):
Where the heck are we?

[ CHRIS exhales with a derisive puff of air while rubbing his hands together for heat.  His answer seems more an off-the-cuff quip than a sincere guess. ]

CHRIS:
Pfft... Siberia?

MAGGIE (to Pete):
Are you okay?

PETE (dismayed, touching his Morpher absently):
Yeah, I guess.  What'd they do to our powers?  Can we still morph?

MAGGIE (nodding toward one side of the cell):
Yeah, but I wouldn't try it.  They don't seem to like it very much.

[ Behind glassy bars seemingly made of ice extends a long, dark corridor with mist along the floor.  Standing with their backs to the bars just outside the cell are a number of DISCARDS of various shades. ]

[ PETE grunts in the direction of the Discards (off-screen). ]

PETE (dissatisfied):
Those guys are messed up.

CASEY:
I know.  I'm starting to miss the Nobodies.

MAGGIE:
Do you think they work for Trask?  Maybe this is where he lives.

CASEY:
Maybe.  I wanna know who that guy in the spaceship was.  What'd Mrs. Patterson call him?

CHRIS:
Dillik.

CASEY:
Yeah, what's his deal, anyway?

PETE:
I know.  I wish we knew who all these guys were.

MAGGIE:
And what do they want?

SASHA (off-screen):
Complete human extinction.

[ The four HEROES look in the direction of the bars.  Approaching from the darkness is SASHA, for whom the DISCARDS move aside.  SASHA stops a few feet from the bars, a smirk on her lips and a hand on her hip.  Her other hand clutches her STAR HANDLE. ]

[ Of the startled Rangers, PETE speaks up, appearing slightly distracted by the large hat on her head (off-screen). ]

PETE:
Who are you?

SASHA:
My name is Princess Sasha.

CHRIS:
Yeah?  What are you the princess of?

[ SASHA narrows her eyes crossly.  She then continues undeterred. ]

SASHA:
I represent a concerned party.  From what we're able to tell... (chooses the next word deliberately) ...our... planet is under attack by rogue agents from another part of what's called the "galaxy."

PETE (still distracted by her hat):
Yeah, we know what a galaxy is.

[ SASHA smiles politely with her mouth. ]

SASHA:
My apologies.  (continues)  We believe we can help free the Earth from this threat, with your help.

CASEY (cocking her eyebrow):
What help?

SASHA:
You must give us the secrets of your Ranger powers.


[ EXT. SPACE STATION - Establishment shot. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - Hunched over the central console, DILLIK squints as he studies the screen. ]

DILLIK:
Hey, Camera One stopped working.

[ DILLIK taps the screen ineffectually.  As we see in close-up, the screen is divided into a five-way split-screen, with the center panel black.  Three of the other panels show Hoverbirds' perspectives as they pore over the smooth white forcefield: two are in remote, wooded areas where the forcefield meets the ground, while the third is over the water, the forcefield seeming to extend into the water.  The fourth, final panel shows an aerial view following a gray DISCARD at a waterfront. ]

DILLIK (cont'd, to the center panel):
What happened to you, little buddy?

[ DILLIK begins typing a sequence of keys on the keyboard.  He pauses to study the display, which now shows various diagrams superimposed over the center panel.  The other panels continue to display views from the other four Hoverbirds. ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
Wow, your solar cell's running on empty.  You need to take better care of yourself.

[ DILLIK distractedly takes a half-second to scrutinize the corner panel following the gray DISCARD at the waterfront. ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
Hey, who's that guy?  (clears his head and returns his focus to the keyboard)  All right, hang on, little fella.  I'm just gonna flash your memory...


[ EXT. CITY STREET - We see a close-up of Luke's HOVERBIRD lying against a wad of brown paper and other debris clogged in a curb drain. ]


[ EXT. ALLEY - In a side alley, LISA and LUKE duck behind a dumpster, both slightly out of breath.  LUKE closes his eyes for a moment as LISA peeks out for their pursuer.  She then leans back to join him in their hiding place, satisfied for the time being. ]

LISA:
I think we lost him.  Who knows what that freak's up to now though...

[ LUKE opens his eyes and addresses LISA as he stands. ]

LUKE:
Lisa, there's something I need to tell you.


[ EXT. CITY STREET - The HOVERBIRD rolls into what could be considered an upright position, its camera eye facing forward and its stripe parallel with the ground.  It then rises with a soft "whiz" sound, flying out of frame. ]


[ EXT. ALLEY - Still standing before the crouching LISA, LUKE is interrupted as his MORPHER chimes.  He glances at his blinking watch before speaking to LISA with determination after a brief moment of hesitation. ]

LUKE:
I-- (determined) I've gotta go.  I can help.

[ LISA looks up at him searchingly before flashing a defeated smile. ]

LISA (gently):
There you go saving people again.  What are you, a...?

[ As her voice trails off, LISA's smile evaporates.  LUKE continues to meet her gaze without reply.  He then turns and trots away.  Now alone, LISA stares at the ground, stunned. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - DILLIK stands back from the central console, clearly proud of himself.  In the background, a monitor on the back wall (where Dillik was previously seen searching for Magda) shows a graphic of Russia, with a blinking red dot in the Sakha Republic's Verkhoyansk Range (near the Arctic coast, in the middle-right side of Russia).  The dot features a text label (later shown in close-up) reading, "Verkhoyansk Range." ]

DILLIK (proudly):
Well, I did it!  Camera One's up and running again!  (then, as an afterthought:)  Oh yeah... I found Magda's base.

[ Polishing his sword while leaning against a console on the other side of the room, TRASK rises alertly. ]

TRASK:
Where is it?

[ DILLIK ambles over to the side console bearing the Russian graphic.  We cut to a close-up for a moment as he points. ]

DILLIK (pointing casually):
It's right here, in the... (squints and struggles to pronounce the name) V... Ver...  Verky--  Well, it's in Russia.  (turns back toward Trask)  What are you g--

[ DILLIK falls silent as he realizes he's now alone in the room.  He pouts moderately. ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
Yeah, tell 'em I said hi.


[ INT. ICY CELL - The four unmorphed HEROES continue to speak with SASHA through the bars of their cell. ]

CHRIS:
Look, Princess, you're asking the wrong people.

CASEY:
Yeah... We don't even know that much about this stuff in the first place.

SASHA:
And who does?  (examines the group with renewed interest)  ... There are five of you, aren't there...?

[ The HEROES glance at each other with growing dread. ]

[ SASHA smiles sinisterly. ]

SASHA:
Maybe your--

[ SASHA falls silent as she becomes aware of something unseen. ]

SASHA (cont'd, to herself):
An intruder...!

[ SASHA dashes off into the darkness, leaving the DISCARDS to guard the cell. ]

[ The confused HEROES look at each other. ]

PETE:
Luke...?


[ INT. QUEEN'S CHAMBER - MAGDA continues to meditate within a white aura on her throne. ]

[ From the dark nether-region beyond the immediate surroundings, SASHA dashes in and looks around anxiously, still holding her STAR HANDLE. ]

SASHA:
Come for your friends, have you, Ranger?  Show yourself!

[ Sentai (Jetman #43) - In his silver-armored form (see episode 8), TRASK emerges from behind one of the chamber's dark knotted columns, initially facing Sasha (off-screen).  His sword is poised behind him in his hand. ]

Trask emerges Trask emerges

[ Initially surprised, SASHA scowls at the intruder (off-screen), clutching her STAR HANDLE threateningly. ]

SASHA:
You don't belong here.

[ Sentai (Jetman #43) - TRASK turns to face Magda (off-screen). ]

Trask looks at Magda

TRASK:
My empress...

[ Seen through her aura, MAGDA slowly opens her eyes and speaks with an echoing, regal voice. ]

MAGDA:
Step forward.

[ SASHA watches incredulously as Trask advances (off-screen). ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #17) - TRASK confidently advances down the red carpet toward MAGDA and her aura-encased throne (US addition).  Speaking as he walks, TRASK then stops at the base of her throne platform and switches his sword to his other hand with a flourish. ]

Trask approaches Magda (aura not shown) Trask's sword flourish (Magda's aura not shown)

TRASK:
Your majesty, your powers are galactic legend.  (switches hands)

[ Watching, SASHA stirs anxiously, not trusting the stranger. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #17) - TRASK proceeds to step forward and kneel at the base of the platform, just outside the queen's aura (US addition). ]

Trask kneels before Magda (aura not shown)

TRASK:
I wish nothing more than to serve... (kneels) ...as your faithful general.

[ As MAGDA smirks coolly, her aura dissipates. ]


[ EXT. ROOFTOP - On the rooftop of a building, LUKE is monitoring his MORPHER's display.  As shown in close-up within the display, the white DISCARD is walking through a city plaza. ]

[ LUKE glances up to notice the dome above fading away from view without a trace.  He then looks back at his display and does a doubletake. ]

LUKE (puzzled):
Where'd he go?


[ INT. QUEEN'S CHAMBER - MAGDA leans her head forward with bemused interest.  She speaks with slow, cruel precision. ]

MAGDA:
What manner of misfortune brings a lonely shadow dweller to serve me?  You, whose pitiful race was driven from this planet, now seek to command my armies against the Earthlings?

[ SASHA listens intently. ]

SASHA (to herself):
Trask...?

MAGDA (off-screen):
Imagine, the wretched against the overlords!

[ MAGDA continues, rising from her throne as her upright staff continues to float beside her, unassisted. ]

MAGDA:
But very well, Vampirian of Earth.  (begins to extend her right hand)

[ Sentai (Jetman #17) - We see MAGDA's hand extend in front of TRASK's face. ]

Magda offers her hand to Trask

MAGDA (off-screen):
You shall be my servant.

[ His eyes shifting between Magda (off-screen) and her hand, TRASK reluctantly takes her hand and kisses it gently. ]

Trask kisses Magda's hand Trask kisses Magda's hand Trask kisses Magda's hand

[ Looking down at Trask (off-screen), MAGDA smiles sinisterly. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #17) - After MAGDA (off-screen) pulls her hand away, TRASK rises. ]

Trask done kissing Magda's hand Trask done kissing Magda's hand

[ MAGDA turns slightly. ]

MAGDA:
As your first assignment...

[ Sentai (Jetman #17) - We see a close-up of TRASK's feet as he takes several steps backward.  We quickly pan up as TRASK roars in anger and thrusts his sword forward. ]

Trask attacks Magda Trask attacks Magda Trask attacks Magda

[ MAGDA calmly turns back to Trask (off-screen) as her staff flies in front of her, blocking the incoming sword blade. ]

[ Nearby, SASHA startles. ]

[ MAGDA speaks sinisterly to Trask (off-screen). ]

MAGDA:
That was foolish.

[ Her staff flings Trask's sword away from her (Trask not shown on-screen). ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #17) - TRASK tumbles back, rolling across the red carpet.  He quickly rises to his feet. ]

Trask rolls back Trask rolls back

[ MAGDA smiles savagely as she grasps her floating staff (out of frame, suggested through body posture). ]

MAGDA:
You were not the first to cross me...

[ Switch to sentai (Jetman #17) - Shown in close-up holding her staff, MAGDA's hand is illuminated in flashes of bluish-green light as it morphs with blue electrical bolts (US addition) into a monstrous white appendage with a curled tentacle. ]

Magda transforms Magda transforms

MAGDA (cont'd, off-screen, with growing monstrosity):
And you will not be the first to perish for it!

[ Beginning with a now monstrously mutated torso, the camera pans up MAGDA's new body, showing a glimpse of a hideous monster face as the bluish-green flashes of light continue. ]

Magda's monster form Magda's monster form

[ TRASK staggers back with a horrified grimace. ]

Trask horrified

[ MAGDA shoots fiery red beams from her eyes. ]

Magda shoots eyebeams Magda shoots eyebeams

[ The beams strike TRASK, enveloping him in a red cyclone of energy, causing him to drop to his knees.  The energy then hoists him into the air, sending him spiraling into a series of dizzying backflips. ]

Trask levitated Trask levitated Trask levitated Trask levitated

[ MAGDA laughs wickedly with her monstrous voice. ]

Magda laughs

[ Jetman #37 - Suspended limply in the air, TRASK sparks and plummets to the carpet below.  He rises with a determined growl, sword in hand. ]

Trask drops Trask drops Trask drops Trask drops

[ Jetman #17 - MAGDA again fires her eye beams. ]

Magda shoots eyebeams

[ Jetman #37 - TRASK's sword erupts in sparks as it flies painfully out of his hand.  We see the sword flip through the air before it rights itself in Trask's direction (off-screen).  It plunges down toward him and strikes him in the shoulder, causing him to soar back with a flash of sparks. ]

Trask loses his sword Trask loses his sword Trask loses his sword Trask loses his sword Trask loses his sword Trask loses his sword

[ US footage - SASHA watches worriedly. ]

[ Jetman #40 - Now holding his sword, a smoking TRASK stumbles onto the floor in agony. ]

Trask defeated

[ Transition from Jetman #17 to US footage - MAGDA transforms back from monster form into her humanoid form with blue energy (US addition). ]

Magda before reverting from monster form Magda's humanoid form

MAGDA (cont'd):
But then... we aren't savages, are we, Trask?  (waves her staff)  Surely we can talk about this reasonably.

[ Sentai (Jetman #48) - Again standing, TRASK is struck with crippling pain as he crackles with red electrical bolts.  He immediately drops to his knees. ]

Trask crackling Trask crackling

[ SASHA cringes slightly at the sight. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #48) - The camera rotates from behind TRASK to his front side as he continues to writhe in pain from the red electricity, clutching his chest/collar area.  His expression appears stunned.  Finally, he gleams with red light (US addition). ]

Trask crackling Trask crackling Trask crackling

[ Switch to US footage - When the light subsides, TRASK has reverted to his normal form.  He drops his sword and collapses onto his hands in weakness, panting for air. ]

[ SASHA appears concerned. ]

SASHA (to herself, softly):
Trask...!

[ MAGDA addresses Trask (off-screen) from her platform. ]

MAGDA:
Few of your kind realize their full potential.  To bathe yourself in light, you must be incredibly determined, or incredibly stupid.

[ Still trying to catch his breath, TRASK manages to lift his head to look up defiantly at Magda (off-screen). ]

[ MAGDA is unmoved. ]

MAGDA:
I assume the latter.  But you may still be useful to me.  I would like you to bring me the Red Ranger.  I don't believe I need to specify the consequence if you decline.

[ MAGDA fades away into thin air.  SASHA regretfully takes several steps backward, fading into the darkness at the edge of the room. ]

[ Left alone with his sword, TRASK growls and punches the floor in frustration. ]


[ Break. ]


[ EXT. APARTMENT ROOFTOP - On the roof of the Rangers' apartment building stands a large semicircle of perhaps a dozen and a half NOBODIES (though we don't yet see the center of their formation). ]

[ Nearby, RED RANGER lands on the rooftop and confronts the NOBODIES with a martial arts stance. ]

[ Without appearing hostile, the NOBODIES closest to RED RANGER part to reveal TRASK leaning casually in the shade against an air conditioning unit. ]

TRASK:
I thought that might get your attention.

[ TRASK makes a circular gesture with his hand, causing all of the NOBODIES to vanish in a chain reaction of black ripple effects tied to his gesture.  Only one NOBODY remains, off to the side, standing calmly. ]

[ RED RANGER creeps slightly closer to TRASK, maintaining a rigid defensive stance. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
What do you want?

TRASK:
Your team has been captured.

[ RED RANGER tenses further. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
What did you do to them?

TRASK:
Sadly, I had no part in this.  An evil queen wants to add this entire world to her collection, and she's starting with the Power Rangers.

[ Though his visor hides his eyes, RED RANGER appears to eye Trask (off-screen) intensely. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
And why are you telling me this...?

[ TRASK stands upright (though still in the shade). ]

TRASK:
(chuckles)  To join forces with you, of course.

[ "To be continued..." ]


DR. BERING (voice-over):
Next time on Power Rangers Take Flight:


[ EXT. APARTMENT ROOFTOP - RED RANGER continues to speak with TRASK. ]

TRASK:
Her name is Queen-Empress Magda.  If you don't destroy her now, your planet will become fodder for her empire.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
And how would I find her?

TRASK (smiling):
I'll take you to her, as my prisoner.


[ INT. ICY CELL - SASHA speaks with the four unmorphed HEROES through the icy bars. ]

PETE (displaying his Morpher on his wrist):
If you wanted our powers, you would've just taken them by now.

SASHA (displeased):
We have no use for your weapons.  We just want to know about them.

MAGGIE:
And what happens when you find out?

[ SASHA smiles coolly. ]

SASHA:
Well, then... We won't have any need to keep you any more, will we?


[ EXT. SNOWY MOUNTAINS (DAWN) - At a cavernous opening in a snowy mountain cliff, RED RANGER braces, ready for a fight.  His fists are clenched. ]

[ We hear footsteps running ever closer from the darkness within the gaping cavern.  As it grows closer, RED RANGER tenses further. ]

[ Suddenly, hordes of assorted DISCARDS lunge out from the darkness.  Cut to black. ]

DR. BERING (voice-over):
Next time, on Power Rangers Take Flight.