Disclaimer: The Power Rangers are the property of Saban/Disney, and I lay no claim to them. The Taelons are from the series Gene Rod nberry’s Earth: Final Conflict. Lara Croft is a character from the Tomb Raider game series owned by Eidos Interactive. Jack Bauer and co. are from the Fox series ’24’. The Rani is from the series ‘Doctor Who’ and is owned by the BBC. This story is part of the COE Final Reckoning series and follows on from the events of COE Final Reckoning Minion of Darkness, COE Final Reckoning After the Minion, COE Final Reckoning ID War, Crisis of Faith..
Deceptions and Capture
By The Q team
By The Q team
Just outside one of the underground labs Jindrax and Toxica stood outside waiting for Rani to call them in. Jindrax was starting to lose patience but not as much as Toxica. “How long does it take for someone to shed their humanity?” Jindrax asked thinking only for a second about how strange that question sounded.
Toxica didn’t answer however. She was thinking back to a point where the mysterious woman known as the Rani appeared. She said that Master Org was imprisoned in the body of a human and that the Rani could help him regain his Org self once again. But it could not be done in the nexus. Master Org had to go with her to her own base of operations. “Where’s that?” Jindrax had asked. Rani gave her answer, which chilled the two Duke Orgs to the bone. “Arcadia Academy.”
Jindrax and Toxica had heard horror stories about that place in their wanderings around the planet for 3, 000 years. Stories about children disappearing and being experimented on. When they got there they found every story was true.
Sure there were children taking their classes with apparently certified instructors. But this was Rani’s way of weeding out the weak from the strong. Those that were considered strong candidates were brought forth for high-level experimentation. Those that weren’t of Rani’s high expectations, well they too had their uses. Uses Jindrax and Toxica weren’t sure they wanted to know.
Jindrax and Toxica felt chills as they walked through the sublevels of the Academy. Many a time they saw experiments of one kind or another and they weren’t sure they wanted to know. The Orgs felt an aura throughout the whole sub level seemed more evil than either one of them could imagine. Also appearing throughout the halls were monstrous brutes that looked like a cross between human and ape that were armed with pistols and/or knives. “Uhhh pardon me for asking, but what are those ape things?” Toxica asked.
“They are Ogrons.” Rani said. “They are the most dangerous, and savage, mercenaries throughout the galaxy.”
Master Org took in the whole academy with interest. “I’m impressed Rani. You seem to be well knowing and well protected.”
“It helps to be. There are some obstacles one should be protected from.” Rani said remembering the last time the Academy fell under attack. And how thanks to Lara Croft and her friends Rani was near death until the Shadow Lord of Evil, Mirabilis provided her with a new body. Lara Croft was nowhere to be found on the planet though, and she was believed to be dead in a collapsed pyramid. Rani was ‘pleased’ to say the least about this news. So much so that it was said that she laughed loud and long in her office before she celebrated. But this was neither here nor there. Right now there was something else to focus on. Namely Master Org losing his humanity.
Soon enough they came to a room and Rani told Jindrax and Toxica to wait outside. “The process takes time to prepare. I shall inform you when it’s time to enter. “Rani then closed the door leaving Jindrax and Toxica on the other side waiting. They didn’t bother leaving the spot for fear of what they would find if they went exploring. And they also weren’t sure they would have liked what they would have found either. So Jindrax and Toxica stood outside the lab waiting…and waiting…and waiting… almost to the point where Jindrax was ready to lose patience.
“Geez. What’s taking so long!” Jindrax said clearly irritated by the wait.
“Patience Jindrax. Ranitime said that the shedding of Master Org’s humanity is a time consuming procedure. It takes a while to prepare.” Toxica said trying to be reassuring, but even she was starting to feel more than a little anxious. After a few minutes the Rani stepped out of the room and looked at Jindrax and Toxica. “Well what’s happening?” Toxica asked.
The Rani gave an evil smile as she stepped back out of the two Duke Orgs’ path. “See for yourself.” Rani said as the invited the two Duke Orgs into the room she was working in. What they saw they couldn’t believe.
The Orgs looked at Master Org in a tank of blue liquid. The changes in his DNA were becoming evident as Org features were already starting to take shape. His skin started to become paler and take a more monstrous look. And more importantly his horn was starting to show through. “Jindrax, Toxica. May I present to you the blue tank, ” Rani said addressing the apparatus, which Master Org floated in. “A device capable of many wonders, and horrors, for many species.”
“Wow.” Toxica said in total awe. Even Jindrax was impressed.
“Yes. You are now being present at the rebirth of Master Org.” Rani said. “I did however leave in a few human attributes however. Such as a human form he can turn into. One never knows when that might come in handy.”
Toxica cringed her nose as if she was about to smell something awful. “Do you have to?” she asked.
“Yes. If Master Org wishes to control the Wild Zords himself.” Rani said. Jindrax suddenly got what the Rani was thinking. “Of course! The Wild Zords are controlled by humans too. If Master Org still has some human in him then they can become his Wild Zords. That’s genius.”
“I thought so.” Rani smiled at Jindrax’s flattery as all three returned to look at the blue tank and at Master Org’s rebirth. After several hours Master Org emerged from the blue tank in a form Jindrax and Toxica feared. Rani handed Master Org a new set of robes, which reflected the monstrous look before them. His face no longer had any recognizable human attributes even though it did have something of a human shape. His eyes glowed an evil yellow, and his horn(which was as real as any other Org’s) was prominent among his features.
“I don’t believe it.” Toxica said as Master Org appeared in all his glory. Master Org then grabbed Toxica by her shoulders and looked into her eyes with such force. “BELIEVE!”
He then turned to the Rani and offered his thanks for ‘restoring him to what he once was’. Rani just smirked and said, “Remember our deal Master Org. I help you, and you help me.”
“Of course. In the meantime I hope that you will stay and aid my forces when the arrangements have been met?”Rani nodded. “Of course.”
“So what are we to do now?” Jindrax asked. Master Org then turned to look at the two Duke Orgs and said, “Now we capture the Rangers.”
“What? Capture?” Jindrax and Toxica said in unison.
“Yes.” Rani said. “My benefactors want the Rangers to…examine for uses of their own.”
“But…we have always tried to destroy the Rangers. Why capture them now?” Toxica asked. All Rani said was “I have uses for them.”
“Do these uses involve using these tanks?” Toxica said looking at the blue tank with a malicious look. Rani said, “They might.” Jindrax and Toxica readily agreed, especially as they thought about what they could do to Alyssa and Taylor once they captured them. Master Org however betrayed no emotion as he thought about all the horrors he would invoke against Cole Evans.
With that Master Org turned to Jindrax and Toxica to give them their instructions. “Remember. The Rangers are to be taken alive!” Master Org shouted. Jindrax and Toxica nodded and left to confront the Rangers once again. Only this time they would be the victors. Jindrax and Toxica couldn’t wait.
“So… what do we do first… Master?” Jindrax asked.
Master Org heard the word ‘master’ from Jindrax and liked hearing the respect that came from it. As he gave a small laugh as an evil thought filled his mind. “Rani, I have an experiment of my own I would like to try.”
The Rani listened with great interest.
In the alleyways of Turtle Cove a Golden Retriever wandered the streets trying to find a place to keep warm. And if he was lucky to find a nice home for himself. He thought he struck gold a few times with some nice families, but they either shooed him away or chased him away. Many times the dog walked with his head down, but a few times he felt like he was valued. Mostly by one unusual boy who could talk to animals.
The dog met the strange boy when he helped free others from some scary looking animal control people. The dog thought they smelled funny, almost as if they weren’t animal control people at all, but something worse. The boy then introduced himself as Cole and the dog saw him a few times as he looked around for his parents who were missing. The dog promised that he would look out for any sign of them and if he saw them he would let Cole know.
The dog also wanted to try to stay away from those scary animal control people that captured him before. He knew that if they ever got their paws on him that he would be in trouble. No sooner did he have that thought that the two scary people appear to him again. Only they seemed to look worse than they did before. Immediately the woman with the red horn on her head stepped forward acting all cute and innocent, but the dog knew better. “Come here little poochy puppy. Come to Toxica.”
The dog just growled ready to bite if Toxica got too close, which she did and the dog looked to take a good chomp out of Toxica. Toxica drew back and held her staff ready to aim it at the dog. “Why you…”
The dog however didn’t give Toxica the chance to fire as he ran away as fast as his four legs could carry him. “Come on Jindrax, After him!” Jindrax followed Toxica as they tried to chase down the dog. But the dog seemed more fit and had more speed and after a bit of a chase Jindrax and Toxica collapsed on the alleyway. “Boy Toxica. You must have put on some pounds for you to be out of breath so soon.” Jindrax said.
Toxica however stood straight up and looked at Jindrax. “Are you saying that I’m fat?!”
“Well…. your butt has gotten a little bigger. But at least it’s not sagging like a gramma’s.” Jindrax said. Toxica was about ready to slap Jindrax when they heard a clatter in the warehouse. “Is that it?” Jindrax asked.
“Let’s see.” Toxica said as both entered the dark and dreary warehouse. Toxica’s horn glowed a bit to cast some illumination in the room. With that they could see where the dog was hiding. “There he is!” Jindrax said as the dog stood in a path between two sets of crates. “Let’s get him!”
Jindrax and Toxica resumed their pursuit of the dog running down pathway after pathway in the warehouse. Never once did Toxica lose sight of the dog. “Calls me fat will he? I’ll show him.” Toxica mumbled to herself as she gave chase with Jindrax close behind mumbling “Boy some people just can’t take criticism.”
Toxica paid the comment no mind as she and Jindrax continued to chase after the Golden Retriever. Through different passageways, corners and mad made crevices the dog led the two Duke Orgs on a merry chase. The dog took to navigating the warehouse with ease while the Orgs were moving around and bumping into things like an old comedy team doing an old movie. The moment of truth came when they approached a passageway and the dog tripped some netting holding a stack of barrels in place. When the netting came loose the barrels fell from their moorings and cut off Jindrax and Toxica. Taking advantage of the distraction the dog quickly sprinted from the two Orgs making his way to the outside of the warehouse.
The dog thought he was home free when a pet carrier suddenly appeared in his path. It was too late for him to stop or turn so the dog charged into the carrier and the door was quickly shut behind him. Immediately the dog started barking wildly as if demanding to be let out. However the woman that held the handle of the cage wasn’t about to do that. She had other things in mind for the animal. When the sound of heavy breathing interrupted her train of thought Rani turned to see Jindrax and Toxica running up, almost out of breath.
“Oh good. You caught him.” Jindrax said before collapsing due to lack of breath. Toxica collapsed almost immediately after that. Master Org looked at the two Duke Orgs and said “Well done. You have helped us capture this…dirty mutt!”
“Thank you Master.” Toxica said. “But can you get that animal to shut up?” The dog continued barking much to the annoyance of the Orgs, but then the Rani looked at the animal dead in the eye and soon after a few minutes the dog was quiet. “How? How did you do that?” Jindrax asked of how Rani quieted the dog with just a look.
“It’s just a matter of showing the animal who’s master.” Rani said as she looked at the dog and the dog had lain back down. Just then Toxica’s horn began to glow signifying an Org spirit was about to arrive.
“Quickly. We must meet it!” Master Org said as he, Rani, Jindrax and Toxica ran to meet the spirit. Jindrax and Toxica were left carrying the cage with the dog still inside.
They were only a few blocks away when Toxica’s horn glowed even brightly. “It is here. The Org spirit is here!”
“Good. Now all we need is an object to put the spirit in.” Jindrax said as he looked around. “See anything we can use?” Master Org and the Rani however chuckled to themselves and Jindrax and Toxica wondered what the joke was. “We already have a host for the Org spirit to inhabit.” Master Org had said.
“Yeah? What?” Jindrax asked. Master Org and Rani opened the cage letting the dog out just as the Org spirit was descending from the sky. Jindrax and Toxica finally got the message of what Master Org was intending, and they couldn’t believe it. “You…You’re going…to put the Org spirit…into that…animal?”
“Exactly.” Rani said. “Part of the reason the Orgs of the past were easily defeated was because they had no heart. No passion. They just went through the motions in their actions.”
“But if this Org can join his spirit with a living being instead of an inanimate object, then this spirit can be corrupted for our own uses. With this we can destroy the Rangers!” Master Org finished. Jindrax and Toxica couldn’t believe what they were hearing. “Is that possible?” Toxica asked.
“We shall soon find out.” Master Org said as everyone stood back allowing the Org spirit to descend towards the Golden Retriever who was sitting, and waiting for what would happen next. What happened next, was the Org spirit touched the body of the Golden Retriever, and that was when all hell broke loose.
A howl erupted from the Golden Retriever as his body started to change. He got bigger and meaner looking taking on a more monstrous approach. His teeth started to look like fangs, the body took a more humanoid appearance, and his eyes cast an evil red glow. The horn of an Org protruded from his head signifying its newfound status. What was once a peaceful, loving animal was turned into a hideous Org monster.
Master Org looked at the new Org before him, and loved what he saw. “Perfect. At last a monster who will destroy the Rangers. And one they would not dare to strike!”
Rani nodded in agreement as Jindrax and Toxica looked on wondering what to make of what happened. Only that they saw an Org spirit merge with an animal to create a hideous monster. Barely a moment passed before Rani and Master Org beckoned the two Duke Orgs to follow them. “What’s going to happen now?” Jindrax asked.
Master Org answered the question with much anticipation. “The end of the Rangers!” Then he laughed a sinister laugh.
Outside of Turtle Cove Medical Center an ambulance pulled up to the emergency room entrance. Paramedics rushed to attend to the occupants inside as well as news crews looking to cover the story pertaining to the occupants.
Alyssa saw the commotion as she came from a class and rushed to see what was going on. Through it all she heard a name being mentioned. ‘Adler’. ~ Dr. Victor Adler?~ she thought to herself. ~ Has he been found?~
Sure enough the reporter nearby identified the man that was being carried out on the stretcher as Dr. Victor Adler. “Dr. Victor Adler, the archeologist believed to have been missing for years after an expedition in the Amazon has been found and located. Dr. Adler is currently being admitted to Turtle Cove Medical Center for evaluation and…just a minute we have something else coming in.”
Everyone then turned to see a second ambulance come in with a second figure being carried out on a stretcher. This one was female with dark brown hair and a somewhat middle aged, but lovely young look to her. Again the reporter heard the identification about her and relayed it to her viewers. “It would seem that the second party to that lost expedition into the Amazon has been identified as well. Dr. Elizabeth Evans, the second member of the Expedition team to find the lost kingdom of Animaria has also been found and is being admitted into Turtle Cove Medical Center. No word yet on whether the third member of the expedition, Dr. Richard Evans, has been found or admitted to another hospital at this time.”
Alyssa couldn’t believe it. ~ Dr. Adler? And Cole’s mother are both found? I’ve got to tell Cole~ Alyssa then got out her Growl Phone and placed the call to the Animarium and to Cole.
At Turtle Cove cemetery Cole was visiting his parents’ graves when his Growl Phone rang. “What’s going on Alyssa?” Cole asked answering.
Alyssa paused before giving her next answer. “Cole, they found Dr. Adler. And your mother.”
“Wh…what?!” Cole said barely able to get the word out.
“It’s true. They’ve just been administered to Turtle Cove University hospital.” Cole didn’t know what to say, so he didn’t say anything. He just ran down to Turtle Cove Medical Center to see his mother. Alyssa then called Max, Danny and Taylor to tell them what had happened.
At Turtle Cove lanes Max was practicing his bowling skills with Danny at the scoreboard taking score. Max held the ball up lining up his shot then brought it down releasing it towards the pins at the end. When the ball hit the pins they all scattered as max scored a strike.
“Oh yeah! Strike!” Max shouted as he and Danny high fived each other, and Danny took Max’s score. Guess Don’s really been helping you huh?”.
“Well I do want to get back into bowling once the Orgs are beaten. Helps to stay in practice.” Max had said. Taylor stood off to the side watching wondering if she had anything better to do when the Growl Phone rang. “Alyssa, please tell me that there is something going on. I’m bored here.”
“There is.” Alyssa said. “Cole’s mother has been found and admitted to Turtle Cove medical, along with Dr. Victor Adler.” Max and Danny picked up their growl phones to include themselves in the conversation. “When did this happen?” Max asked. “Does Cole know?” was what Danny asked.
“They were administered just now and Cole is already on his way.” Were Alyssa’s answers. Taylor however was concerned. “Alyssa, do you think it could be a trap? It all seems too convenient.”
“If it is or not we have to be sure.” Alyssa answered. “Can you meet us at the hospital?” All three nodded yes and made tracks to Turtle Cove University hospital.
At the Turtle Cove University hospital Cole took to the halls running like a man with a purpose. Alyssa, Taylor, Max and Danny followed close behind. When Cole got to the nurse’s station he asked for the room Dr. Elizabeth Evans and Dr. Victor Adler were kept in. When the nurse gave it to him Cole and the others quickly followed.
When he got to the door Cole took a deep breath not sure what to expect, only that the answers he sought were behind the door. “Remember Cole, the answers may not be what you want to hear.” Taylor said.
“I know. But at any rate I have my mom back.” Cole said full of optimism that his mother had indeed returned from the grave. When he opened the hospital room door to see the occupants inside he saw a woman with long stringy brown hair that had looked like it had been in leaves and muck, and a broad shouldered man with long black hair that looked the same. They both seemed pretty fit, and didn’t look too malnourished. Both wore typical hospital gowns, but for Cole they could have been wearing glad rags for all he cared.
“Mom? Dr. Adler?” Cole asked.
“Yes son. It’s me.” ‘Dr. Evans’ said as she reached out to hold her son. Cole immediately rushed into her arms and cried. “I wondered so long what had happened to you. I’m so glad you were alive.”
“It’s no problem son.” ‘Dr. Evans’ said. “We’re here and we’re together. “You, me, Victor and your friends. “It was then that Alyssa asked “Dr. Adler. What happened to the other Dr. Evans? You know, Cole’s father?”
Dr. Adler looked up at Alyssa and said “You’ll find out. Soon enough!” Just then vines seemed to shoot out of Dr. Adler’s hands enveloping the Rangers and Cole looked up wondering what was going on. “Mom what’s happening?” he asked.
‘Mrs. Evans’ had an evil look on her face that Cole couldn’t believe seeing as she said “You’ll find out soon enough.” As she echoed Adler’s words. Then she injected him with a substance that knocked him unconscious. None of the Wild Force knew what would happen next.
Hours later Cole had awaken to find himself in a warehouse of some kind. As he took in his surroundings he saw his friends being tied up by evil looking vines that gave off a sap that soaked the other Rangers.
“Guys.” Cole said as he looked at the other Wild Force Rangers, as the vines doused them with some kind of fluid. As if on instinct he ran to his friends but a surge of energy appeared out of nowhere and Cole was thrown back. Looking to see where the energy came from Cole saw his mother and Dr. Adler standing nearby. “MomDr. Adler. What are you doing?” Cole asked. Both ‘Dr. Evans’ and ‘Dr. Adler didn’t say anything. They only gave a small chuckle and ‘Dr. Adler’ then kissed ‘Dr. Evans’ with great passion and intensity much to the disbelief of Cole and the other Wild Force Rangers.
“What is this?” Cole asked in shock as he saw Elizabeth Evans and Dr. Adler kissing. “No this is just fine isn’t it lover?” ‘Mrs. Evans’ said as she held Dr. Adler close.
“Mom! What are you doing?” Cole asked still in shock. The next thing Cole saw was a blaster being pointed at him. A blaster that was being held seemingly by his own mother. So strong was his disbelief that he didn’t even see his mother squeeze off a shot and hit Cole knocking him down. Cole then looked up to see Dr. Adler and his ‘mother’ standing over him. “That was a stun setting.” ‘Mrs. Evans’ said. “Don’t move or I will change the setting to the next level.
Cole had no time to question what was happening as the next thing that happened was Dr. Adler ripping off his hospital gown revealing the face of the villain Cole knew and despised, despite his changes.
“MASTER ORG!!!” Cole shouted.
“Sort of.” Master Org said. “Right now you are looking at the old me. Perhaps you would care to see me new and improved.” Everyone then saw Master Org changing before their eyes as he turned into his new monstrous form provided for him by the Taelon blue tanks. “Can’t be.” Cole said in a shocked whisper. Even the other Wild Force Rangers, despite being trapped, were surprised at Master Org’s transformation.
“Yes!” Master Org shouted. “And at last I shall have my revenge!” Master Org then aimed his staff at Cole and fired a blast at him, which sent him flying back into a wall. His shoulders and back took the impact while his chest took the brunt of Master Org’s blast. When Cole finally got himself back together again he looked at Master Org standing over him snickering. “Yes. My vengeance will be so sweet!”
Cole was confused by Master Org’s words and wondered what he was talking about. “Vengeance? For what?”
“For your parents’ betrayal!” Master Org explained in an angry tone. “Years ago we were colleagues. We were making our way to the top together. Then suddenly I fell in love with your mother. But when my love was unreturned, and she went for your father I felt betrayed. I sat back and watched as my two ‘friends’ had the life that was destined to be mine, as I watched disgusted.
“Then finally I had my chance at revenge. We had stumbled across the ruins in the Amazon which dealt with secrets that could have led to the secrets of Animaria. When we arrived I saw the seeds of where the Original Master Org had fallen. At last I saw my opportunity.”
“You ate the seeds.” Cole had said.
“YES! And their power soon became mine! And after that I made sure your parents suffered for their betrayal of me. Unfortunately they saw to it that you escaped that day.” Cole was stunned by the revelations presented before him. “I wondered for so long what happened to my parents, only to find that they have been betrayed…by a friend.” He then looked at Master Org and came to the second revelation. “You’re not Master Org!”
“I am Master Org now! NOW AND FOREVER!!!” Master Org then shot the vines out from his hands again and dodged the incoming strands. When he regained his bearings he brought forth his Growl Phone and called out “WILD ACCESS!!!”. Blazing Lion had now stood in Cole Evans’ place as he turned to look at his mother. “Mother why don’t you do something? Has Master Org put you under some kind of spell? Are you feeling guilt for ‘betraying’ him?”.
‘Mrs. Evans’ gave no answer as she looked at the Putrids that stood close by. Turning to look at her ‘son’ she gave the order. “Putrids attack!”
Out of every corner of the warehouse Putrids appeared to challenge Blazing Lion. Blazing Lion tried to fight back, but the shock of his mother giving the attack order stunned him. He tried to get in a few shots, but the Putrids seemed to be a heartbeat away from overwhelming him. Off to the side he saw Master Org, laughing. Laughing at the confusion Blazing Lion was feeling about the odd behavior from his mother. Laughing at how the Putrids were a heartbeat away from defeating him. A laughter that infuriated Blazing Lion and caused him to cut loose with a furious attack against any Putrid in his path. An attack which caused Master Org to stop laughing, briefly.
Blazing Lion fought his way through the Putrids and did a jump high into the air where a pod hovered over Taylor, Alyssa, Danny and Max. With one stroke Blazing Lion destroyed the pod with his Wild Force daggar and freed the others. Once freed the other four saw the Putrids regrouping ready to strike again. Off to the side ‘Mrs. Evans’ stood watching, and Blazing Lion asked “Mother what are you doing? Why don’t you help?”
Taylor however shook Cole out of his reverie. “Worry about her later. Right now we’ve got these guys to worry about.” Taylor was about to say that she felt something funny about ‘Mrs. Evans’ but didn’t feel now was the time to get into it. The Putrids were the immediate threat, and Master Org was immediately after that. Right now it was one thing at a time.
“WILD ACCESS!!!” shouted Taylor, Max, Danny and Alyssa. After the morph was complete Soaring Eagle, Surging Shark, Iron Bison and Noble Tiger stood with Blazing Lion ready for battle.
“Guardians of the Earth! United we roar!” Blazing Lion shouted. Master Org however wasn’t impressed. “PUTRIDS ATTACK!!!”
The monsters then attacked the Wild Force Rangers, but each was able to hold their own. Iron Bison did a running charge sending a few Putrids into a wall. Surging Shark knocked out several using his wrist blades. Noble Tiger knocked hers back with her Tiger baton. Soaring Eagle used her sword to slice and dice her group of Putrids. Blazing Lion tore through his with his jungle claws. When they were finished with their individual Putrids the Wild Force then faced the group before them that banded together.
“Let’s bring them together guys!” Blazing Lion shouted. The others nodded and used their weapons to form their own unified weapon, the Wild Force Jungle Sword.
“Jungle sword!” Blazing Lion shouted. “Savage slash!”The Wild Force brought down the gestalt weapon in one fell swoop as it cut a path through the army of putrids and soon all fell to the ground I a series of explosions. The Wild Force was about to turn their attention to Master Org when ‘Dr Evans’ came into the picture. “Incredible power! Physicality excellent. I think you’ll be perfect.”
“Perfect? For what?” Noble Tiger asked.
“Experimentation.” “Dr. Evans said as the roof ripped off the warehouse and standing over them was something that looked like a cross between an Org and a rabid dog. A beastly growl erupted from the monster and Master Org shouted with a sense of pride. “Say hello to CujOrg!”
Everyone looked at the monstrous Org before them. Never before had the Rangers faced such a monster, and Blazing Lion was the first to understand why. “His heart. This Org has a heart!”
“What? How can this be?” Soaring Eagle asked.
“The Orgs corrupted it. They took a gentle soul of an animal, and joined him with an Org spirit creating…”Blazing Lion then paused as he felt a little more of the presence. A presence he knew.
“Oh no. It’s that dog! The dog I first met when I came to Turtle Cove!” Blazing Lion said.
“How?” Noble Tiger asked. Soaring Eagle however said to worry about that later. “Right now we have an Org to stop.” She said.
Blazing Lion tried to stop her and said, “You can’t!There’s a living being there!” After a stomp and slash from CujOrg Soaring Eagle had made up her mind. “I know. But if we don’t stop him he’ll roll right over us. We can’t sit back and do nothing!”
Blazing Lion realized the dilemma they were all in and realized that there was no other alternative. They had to fight CujOrg. Especially since he was rampaging all across the city. Bringing out his animal crystal he made the motions to call their zords. The others followed Blazing Lion’s lead. “WILD ZORDS DESCEND!!!” the Rangers called.
The zords all answered the call and raced to confront CujOrg. Red Lion, Blue Shark, White Tiger, Black Bison and Yellow Eagle all formed the Wild Force Megazord. Soulbird also appeared joining with the Megazord to form the Zord’s cockpit. Elephant Zord separated to form the Megazord’s sword and shield.
The Megazord stood ready for battle, but CujOrg launched a series of strikes and slashes with savage ferocity. So quick were the strikes that the Megazord couldn’t mount an adequate defense. The Org was quick and agile while the Megazord was slow and bulky. “Taylor, Max, call the bears!” Blazing Lion ordered.
Soaring Eagle handed the black bear crystal to Surging Shark while she kept the polar bear crystal. “BEARZORDS DESCEND!!!” the both called and the Bear Brothers appeared firing their weapons at CujOrg, which sent him staggering.
Had it not been for the Bear Brothers firing their heat and cold rays CujOrg might have won quickly than expected, and Blazing Lion would not have had the idea he had to defeat CujOrg. “Are you sure this will work?” Iron Bison asked.
“I know I can get through to him.” Blazing Lion said as he closed his eyes trying to reach the Org’s heart. ~ Listen boy. I know you can hear me. You’re not an Org. You’re your own creature. Don’t let these monsters tell you what you can and can’t be. ~ CujOrg then seemed to stop as if affected by Blazing Lion’s empathy with the animal side of him. But the Org side continued to thrash about trying to drive Blazing Lion out of its head.
~Don’t listen to them!~ Blazing Lion pleaded as he seemed to sense the inner struggle between the dog he knew and the Org that possesses him. He could sense the dog fighting back, but the Org was strong. There wasn’t too long left for the dog and Blazing Lion knew there was only one way to stop him. One he knew he would regret as he brought the Megazord’s sword into position. In the path of the Org’s heart.
“Forgive me boy.” Blazing Lion whispered as he impaled CujOrg with the Wild Force Megazord’s sword. Energy erupted from everywhere as the Org stood ready to blow. For a brief second Blazing Lion felt as if he could hear the dog he knew speaking to him. Telling him ‘Thank you for freeing me. ‘ Blazing Lion accepted the thanks wishing there was another way to save his canine friend.
CujOrg then self-destructed, unfortunately the explosion sent out a shockwave so powerful that the Megazord was caught in the wake. The Megazord was knocked back down to the ground as the damage took its toll. The Rangers themselves were thrown from their cockpit and landed hard on the ground.
As the Rangers landed hard their crystals rolled away. The Lion, the Eagle, the Shark, the Bison, the Tiger, the Elephant, the Gorilla and the Bear Brothers all stood out of their reach. The Soulbird also landed not too far away, but it was injured and not able to offer much help. The Rangers tried to make their way to the crystals, but ‘Mrs. Evans’ stood in the way of the Rangers, preventing them from getting their crystals.
“Mom please. We must get our crystals.” Blazing Lion said. Again ‘Mrs. Evans’ only smirked as she then snapped her fingers signaling the next surprise to appear. Not once did she move out of the Rangers’ way.
As if on cue a herd of Ogron mercenaries barged in and attacked the Rangers keeping them away from the animal crystals even more. The Wild Force fought back but the Ogrons were not Putrids. They had an intelligence combined with savagery. And both these attributes were put to use when dealing with the Wild Force, as they were quickly subdued.
“Mom! Please stop this!” Blazing Lion said as he tried to fight back. All ‘Mrs. Evans’ did was stand off to the side with her arms crossed laughing. “I must say you sure are lasting a lot longer than most of my subjects do…son.”
“What? What are you talking about?” Blazing Lion said.
“Well perhaps I should introduce myself.” ‘Mrs. Evans’ said as her face peeled off revealing a different face underneath. Her hair also pulled back revealing blonde hair underneath. The new face Cole saw was one of beauty, but one of evil as well.
“Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Rani, or as I’m known on Earth, Ranitime.”
The Ogrons then held the Wild Force in place. But Noble Tiger knew who she was. “I know you. There was an investigation about you years ago. Something about experimentation on children. You disappeared years ago even though the case was disproved.”
“The case may have been disproved, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t true.” Rani said. “However events have called for me to resume my interests here on Earth, and Master Org and you are a major part of those interests.”
“You won’t get away with this!” Soaring Eagle shouted struggling against the Ogrons that held her. Master Org then stepped forward and laughed. “There’s nothing you can do about it.” With a blast of energy Master Org sent Soaring Eagle flying back into her friends. The force of the blast however overloaded the powers and soon all the Wild Force had force demorphed.
Master Org stood over his victims and shouted. “Thanks to powerful allies I am a complete Org, but I have just enough humanity to take your prized Wild Zords from you. Once you’re out of the way.” The Rangers all watched as Master Org then picked up all the crystals that lay on the floor, much to the Wild Force’s dismay.
“Our Wild Zords! NO!!!” Danny shouted as he tried to struggle but the Ogrons held him in place.
“Give those back! They’re not yours!” Alyssa pleaded.
Master Org clenched his fist around the crystal of the Red Lion and cold vapor seemed to come from what could only be considered an icy grip. When he released the grip the crystal seemed to be covered totally in frost. Off to the side Red Lion fell to the ground as his energy seemed to be drained away. His color changed to a dark gray, and soon dissolved into a cloud of dust. “NOOOO!!!!” Cole shouted.
Master Org saw Cole fall to his knees as if a piece of his soul had been ripped away from him. As Master Org looked at Cole’s pain he felt laughter rise up within him. Laughter he let loose freely. “You have been broken! And now I shall break the rest of you!”
One by one Master Org took an Animal crystal. And each time he did the same. Clenching it into a fist allowing a cold frost to cover it, the animals all being drained of life and dissolving into clouds of dust, and the howls of pain from Danny, Alyssa, Taylor and Max as pieces of their souls had been ripped away from them. The Ogrons then released the Rangers as they all fell to their knees lost in their sorrow and grief. Tears had flown down the faces of Taylor, Alyssa, Max and Danny as Jindrax and Toxica appeared taunting their fallen foes.
“Ha ha! Look at the crybabies!” Jindrax said as he pointed at the Rangers. Toxica leered close to Alyssa and sneered. “You want gramma to come and give you a hug?” she said before slapping her across the face. The Ogrons then hit the Rangers in the back of the neck sending them down to the ground face first so they couldn’t fight back.
Master Org walked over and stood over his defeated foes as he smiled. “You fought bravely, but you only delayed the inevitable. In the end I was destined to win.”
“You haven’t won yet!” Cole shouted as he launched into a running spear which Master Org was able to dodge. As he turned to face Cole he saw the red Wild Force Ranger standing as if getting his strength from a source that no one could comprehend. “You stole my family. You stole my zord. I won’t let you steal Earth’s future!” Cole shouted in defiance.
Master Org smiled and aimed his staff again in Cole’s direction. “There is nothing you can do about it!” Then Master Org fired his staff in Cole’s direction, and the shot hit it’s mark leaving Cole Evans demorphed and in pain.”
“COLE!!!” Taylor shouted trying to get to his side, but the daggers of Jindrax kept her from making that connection as they breezed past her cutting her off from Cole. “Nice shot!” Toxica had said.
“Thank you.” Jindrax said as he took a bow. Rani then brought out a device and pressed a button on it which activated some sort of static field that surrounded the Wild Force Rangers and sent pain flashing all throughout their bodies. When she shut off the field she then cast her gaze at five power transformers that took the shape of a Pentagon, with the Rangers trapped in the middle.
“Finish them!” Rani ordered. Jindrax and Toxica gladly did so. As did Master Org who immediately took out his frustrations against Cole with boots to the chest. Jindrax immediately went after Taylor and Toxica sought to squeeze the life out of Alyssa with vines from her own staff. As for Max, well he finally made his way to Danny only to have the Rani standing over him as well.
“Isn’t this touching? Concern for a friend.” Rani then snapped her fingers and a herd of Putrids came out and ganged up on the two. The other three tried to pull the Putrids off, but it was to no avail as they were thrown back. Then the Putrids surrounded the other Rangers as well as Master Org, Jindrax and Toxica. Quickly they realized that even with Ranger Powers they had no way of escape.
“We have to get out of here!” Alyssa said. Cole agreed. “Soulbird can you fly?”
The Soulbird struggled to get back on its feet, and looked to have enough strength to get the Rangers to safety. Quickly it flapped its wings and flew to where the Wild Force stood. When they all boarded the Soulbird took to the sky hoping to retreat to the safety of the Animarium. Master Org watched as they flew away waiting for the right moment to strike.
As the Rangers flew away they seemed to get a growing sense of safety about being away from that battlefield. They were sad about the loss of their crystals but as long as they were free then there was a chance that they could free the zords later. However that slim chance soon turned into no chance, as Master Org fired another blast of power at the Soulbird sending it crashing back down to Earth, as well as all the hopes of victory that the Wild Force had.
“SOULBIRD!!!” Alyssa shouted as the bird made its way to Earth.
“PREPARE FOR CRASH LANDING!” Cole shouted as they all got into crash positions. When the Soulbird hit the ground the Rangers were thrown from the crash, and were scattered around the wounded Wild Zord.
The Ogrons and Putrids quickly subdued the Soulbird and created a perimeter so the Rangers couldn’t get at it. When Master Org, Rani, Jindrax and Toxica appeared in the Rangers’ path they knew they had no hope to win. The Orgs already had the Zords, the power would take too long to recharge. There was only one option left available.
“Hit recall!” Cole ordered as he pressed the button teleporting the Growl Phone to a safe destination. Alyssa, Taylor, Max and Danny both nodded and pressed their recall buttons teleporting their Growl Phones as well. They all hoped that Shayla would know they were in trouble and help. But for right now the Rangers sought a means of escape, and right now there wasn’t one available.
“It would be a pleasure to destroy you.” Toxica sneered. “But Master Org wants you taken alive!” Toxica was about ready to shoot her vines out at the Rangers again but Master Org held them back. “I want to finish them all myself.” Jindrax and Toxica obeyed and hung back as Master Org had his way with the Rangers. Kicks, punches, anything he could think of he used against the Wild Force. Beating them down leaving them unable to fight back. Soon they were all down. Master Org had his way with them, but their spirits refused to die, as Danny struggled to get up.
“We won’t give up!” Danny said. “NEVER GIVE UP!!!”
The Rani stood over the barely conscious Wild Force Rangers, an evil smile crossing her lips, with a sinister laugh following. “I hear you say that a lot. ‘Never give up. ‘ Foolish words, especially from those who are foolish enough to realize when they are over matched.”
“We may be overmatched. But we won’t surrender.” Alyssa said. “Not to you!”
“Never give up!” Max added. The more Rani heard that phrase the more evil her facial expression became as she looked at the Rangers who were barely conscious. “Since you are so fond of that saying let me give you a saying of my own, and let it be the last thing you hear. A little something I picked up.” Rani then rolled a gas grenade into the center of where the Rangers lay. The gas then spread sending Cole, Taylor, Alyssa, Max and Danny falling into unconsciousness as they heard three words from the Rani. The last three they would ever hear.
“Resistance is Futile!”
When the gas dissipated the Orgs and Rani stood over their fallen victims in triumph. At Master Org’s order Jindrax and Toxica then teleported them to Arcadia. Master Org and Rani then left with the Ogrons and Putrids in tow.
On the Animarium things were quiet. Too quiet.
No word came from the Wild Force Rangers since Dr. Adler and Dr. Evans were found. “They should have checked in by now surely, ” Shayla had said as she continued to pace the floor wondering where the Rangers were when five small flashes appeared before her. Flashes that were the Growl Phones appearing before her.
“Oh no!” Shayla said as she looked at the Growl Phones before her, and feared the worst. “They would not have sent these if they weren’t in trouble.” Shayla’s fear only escalated as she sensed the absence of the spirits of the Red Lion and the other Wild Zords that left with the Rangers. She couldn’t feel anything animals at all on the Animarium.
But the worst for the princess to see was the Giraffezord in a clearing not far from where she was, only to see its entire body glow white and then disappear into thin air.
“What… what’s happening…” Shayla asked her self as she whirled around, her own home now becoming a strange and empty place, “Cole, Taylor, Alyssa, Max, and Danny… what’s happened to you? And to the Wild Zords too? By Animus what is happening?!”
The Princess, unfortunately, did not receive an answer.
At Arcadia Academy was the answer to Shayla’s question. An answer she would not have liked.
Looking at the crystals before her she considered the possibilities the crystals presented. She knew Master Org would want to make use of the crystals first. But she knew that others may be interested in the crystals before two long. Rani remembered the origins of the Ninjetti spirits that the zords carried, and was also aware of Duke Hazzard’s attempt to take those crystals for himself. She didn’t know if Duke Hazzard was still around, or if he would be interested in the crystals and the animal spirits they contained. But it never hurt to keep one’s options open.
~The life support system should still be operating for him. ~ Rani thought. ~ As well as the other items I provided for him~ The other items being the cryo chamber and cloning apparatus so Hazzard could have his way with Shiranna, or at least clones of her. Which was for the best since Rani thought she could make use of Shiranna with the help of some of the new Taelon technology she acquired.
Rani also thought about Black Sun, a criminal organization that had been quiet for the last few years. Ever since the defeat, and disappearance, of the group called the Organization during the Liberation of Aquitar crime organizations had to lay low for a while. Business opportunities for crime organizations were scarce and limited, and Rani thought that Xizor could be interested in the secrets of the Wild Zords if he had shown interest. A good boost for Organized Crime could be benefited from research into the Wild Zords and the Ninjetti spirits they housed.
Rani knew she would want to deal with Xizor if she went this route. Not that there was anything wrong with the rival group called the Organization, but she was aware of Xizor’s reputation, and wanted to go with someone with Xizor’s…ruthless efficiency.
Rani however also knew that any parties who wanted to control the Wild Zords would want information on how the zords could be controlled. With that she had room to negotiate with. If Master Org saw uses in keeping the zords for himself she could always pass off the use as research opportunities for interested parties. And whatever research she could gleam from the zords’ usage could be just as valuable as the zords themselves. Either way she had her bases covered in regards to the Wild Zords.
As for the Rangers themselves, well she had that situation well in hand also as she went down to the lab where the Orgs were, as well as the Rangers.
Just as Master Org had lain suspended in the blue tank while his Org transformation was taking place. So laid the Wild Force Rangers in five separate blue tanks. Cole, Alyssa, Taylor, Max and Danny were floating in the blue substance stripped of their clothes and left naked with only support harnesses covering their private areas. But unlike Master Org who used the tanks to facilitate his Org transformation, the Orgs wondered what the Rani intended having the Wild Force Rangers in the tanks. They did know it wouldn’t have been pretty. Of that they were certain.
Jindrax and Toxica watched as the Ogrons stripped the Rangers of their garments. The Ogrons weren’t all that delicate with the stripping as they left clothing fragments all over the place. They were however able to take in the physical attributes of the Rangers a little better. And while Toxica made goo goo eyes at Cole’s frame Jindrax took in Taylor’s form and admitted that she looked very ‘well defined’ for a human. “And a rival. ‘ He later added. But when the Rangers were lowered into the blue tanks that was when the Orgs’ fun truly began.
Toxica looked at the floating form of Alyssa in the blue tank. Eyes closed, cut off from the rest of the world, helpless before the Duchess Org. And Toxica liked it like that.
“You called me ‘Gramma’ for so long. Now look where your taunting has gotten you. Look where fighting against us has gotten you. You are ours now to do with as we please.”
Jindrax looked at Max and Danny as they floated in their tanks. “Never give up! Never give up!” he said in a mocking tone. “Well you sure can’t give up now can you? In fact, you two bozos can’t do anything now!”Jindrax and Toxica both laughed as they thought about how helpless the Bison and Shark Rangers looked.
“Maybe they should have given up.” Toxica said. “It sure would have made things a lot easier…for us!”
“You know I just had an idea. Perhaps we can make an example out of them. Shoot a video that says ‘this is what will happen to you if you don’t give up!” Jindrax said. Rani mentioned that Jindrax may have had a point there. “Such actions could make effective propaganda. Convince those who follow you to follow their rule or suffer the consequences. A tactic used by many rulers on many planets.”
“Uhhhh yeah.” Jindrax said as he left Toxica to think about that as he looked at the other Ranger that held his interest-Taylor.
Jindrax had to admit that Taylor looked beautiful as she floated in the tank naked. Every curve of her was open to his inspection, and he had to admit that for a human she did look like she had…attributes to her. However those attributes weren’t what interested Jindrax.
“So, this is where our famous rivalry ends. You floating around in some blue liquid naked and me on the outside wondering what would happen to you. I tell you, life isn’t fair… for you!” Jindrax left Taylor laughing as Master Org looked at the blue tank that held Cole’s still form. As Master Org looked at Cole, he saw all the pain, all the suffering he went through, and how much he was looking forward to bringing about some suffering of his own. Especially to Cole.
Master Org thought about rupturing the tank that had Cole inside. Sending all the liquid spilling out ready to kill him right there and right now. To end the pain and betrayal that his so called friends gave him, but the hand of the Rani held him back. “No my benefactors want them alive. You kill him I won’t be responsible for the consequences.” Rani stressed her words very carefully as if stressing to the fullest that it wasn’t a good idea to cross the Taelons.
Master Org grudgingly nodded and backed away from Cole’s tank. He didn’t know what else her benefactors were capable of and right now he wasn’t sure he wanted to know, or have those capabilities turned against him. “And what about them?” Master Org said as he directed Rani’s attention to the other four figures suspended in tanks full of blue liquid. Their eyes all closed as they floated. Their minds trapped within their bodies, almost like a form of sensory depravation. Trapped in their own worlds, isolated from the real one.
Rani studied the five young people. They were admirable warriors, and the potential she saw in terms of research were almost limitless. And even though her benefactors had other plans for them she realized that there were a few things she could do with them while she had them in her custody.
“My benefactors said they wanted these humans alive.” Rani said as she crossed over to a control board on the wall near the tanks. She then added “But they didn’t say in what condition.” As she pushed a button.
The button released a stream of energy into the tanks that filled the bodies of Max and Danny and permeated their entire beings. As the energy filled them their bodies started to break down. Molecule by molecule until they could no longer hold together and the molecules that made up their bodies were scattered throughout the tanks they were suspended in. Nothing remained of the bodies of the Iron Bison Ranger and the Surging Shark Ranger as their blue tanks became inert.
“Whoa! You…you killed them!” Jindrax said.
Rani turned and gave a smirk in Jindrax’s direction. “You think in such ‘limited’ terms.”
“What do you mean?” Toxica shrieked. “Either they’re dead, or they aren’t.”
“What do you think?” Rani asked back letting the question hang. Jindrax however pressed further and asked “Won’t your Taelon bosses won’t be disappointed?”
Rani however shot Jindrax a nasty look. “The Taelons are not my ‘bosses’. They are my benefactors. And be careful or you may find yourself in one of these tanks. “Toxica stood between Jindrax and Rani and held up her hands as if apologizing. “Sorry. He didn’t mean anything by it. Sometimes he speaks before he thinks.”
“Yes well. See to it that it doesn’t happen again. “Rani said. “And as for the Rangers lets just say I did what you yourselves wanted to do.”
“But…but…how can the Taelons use the Rangers if they’re dead?” Jindrax asked. “Unless they can bring back the dead?” Again the only answer Rani gave was “What do you think?” then she said more. “Haven’t you wished that you could strike down the Tiger Ranger for calling you gramma?’ she said to Toxica. “And haven’t you wished to deal with the Soaring Eagle the only way you wanted to? Well they are being dealt with that way. And they can also be dealt with in any number of ways that we wish.”
Jindrax and Toxica looked on confused but Master Org smiled as he understood what the Rani was getting at, and thought about how evil Rani could be. “All right then. We’ll try it your way. But as a gesture of good faith may I ask something of you?” Rani listened to what Master Org had in mind and nodded. “I don’t see how any harm can be done. All right, the remaining Rangers are yours.” Master Org nodded in thanks as he, Toxica and Jindrax stood before the tanks of their choice.
“Remember what they did to you.” Master Org said fanning the dark feelings within Jindrax and Toxica. “Remember how they insulted you and humiliated you in battle. Remember how you wanted to pay them back for all the misery they caused you. Now’s your chance. Take your revenge.”
“The Taelons will understand. You will receive no reprisals from them.” Rani promised. Then Jindrax and Toxica looked at the tanks that contained their helpless foes.
Toxica looked at the tank that held Alyssa, and Toxica had an evil smile cross her lips. She was going to enjoy what happened next. “This is for all the times you called me ‘gramma'”. Toxica then pushed the button and the same energy that went through Max and Danny went through Alyssa’s body, and like the two Rangers before her, her body broke down into molecules and scattered throughout the tank leaving the tank empty. Nothing remained of her.
“Oh me! Me next!” Jindrax said as he went to Taylor’s tank and leered at her as she floated suspended. “And now Yellow Ranger, our rivalry ends!” Jindrax then pressed the button and Taylor also went through the same molecular breakdown as her molecules then became scattered throughout the tank. And like Max, Danny and Alyssa no trace of Taylor remained in the blue tank. She was gone.
Finally, there was Master Org who looked at Cole as he floated in his tank. Master Org smiled as he savored the moment before him. Cole’s life was now in his hands, and he could do with it as he pleased. And while rupturing the tank and killing the Blazing Lion Ranger was still a temptation, he had to admit the Rani’s ideas had their appeal. Especially since her benefactors wanted Cole and his friends for their own purposes and she said that it would not be a good idea to get on their bad side. “What they did for you is only a fraction of what they can do.” She said.
Master Org nodded in understanding. He never thought much about life in the stars, always reflecting upon the Earth itself. But he had seen enough to know about extra-terrestrial life and what it could accomplish. His own mutation was proof of the potential the stars could hold. ~ Who knows what else these Taelons can do?~ he asked himself. At any rate however Master Org looked at Cole and savored what would happen next.
“At last, my pain ends. And everyone else’s is only beginning!” he laughed as he pushed the button that activated the energy that ran through Cole’s blue tank and into his body. Energy that scattered his molecules and dispersed them throughout the tank as Cole Evans shared the fate of Taylor Bauer, Alyssa Enrile, Max Cooper and Danny Delgado. Complete molecular breakdown with no trace that he was even there.
Master Org looked at the empty tank savoring every moment, and laughing about what would happen next.
On the Animarium Shayla looked up at the sky when she felt the absence of spirit of those she had chosen to be her Rangers. To be her family.
But it was not just the Rangers. It was the animal that had been with her on the Animarium. They were gone. All of the Wild Zords. She had been assigned to protect them and the Animarium. Them and her Rangers.
And that’s when she felt it. A tingle from the animal spirits… but with a malevolence she could not believe. A malevolence that had taken the Wild Zords… and now controlled them.
For the Princess it was much for her bear.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” Shayla screamed in horror as she collapsed to the ground on her knees. She bellowed a moan that sounded of that of the banshees as she felt it Master Org now in possession of the Wild Zords. He had them all. All the Wild Zords that her Rangers had found and those that she had known for so very long, those had been with her since her arrival on Earth and when she had gone up into the sky in the Animarium before the last battle of the Great War. And so had those animal spirits that were on the Animarium with her.
Tears ran down her face like a waterfall as she felt all of this pain and she knew that she had failed. That she had lost everything and everyone that had ever mattered to her. For a third time.
Princess Shayla screamed once more as she continued to weep at the horror that must have befallen her Rangers and the Wild Zords.
A scream that echoed through out the Animarium all through out the night.
TO BE CONTINUED…
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