REPORT 01: First Mission! Fight, PowerRed!

"The time has come, hasn't it?"

Lights flashed on computer consoles arrayed around a hexagonal room lit by overhead halogen lamps. A lone figure stood in the notched workspace of an elliptical table set in the center of the room. A man stood in shadow at one end of the room, hands clasped behind his back. He nodded once, the action barely visible to the other occupant. "The Archons have arrived. It's just as we expected."

A sigh. "All these years...I had hoped we were doing this for nothing."

"As did I, my friend." The shadowed figure turned to examine a computer display. "Contact our agent in San Francisco. Advise him to seek out the first candidate." He paced along a bank of steadily working computers, sighing. "At long last, UNMEI's true mission begins..."

In the narrow back lawn of a modest townhouse in northern California, two young boys were playing catch under the watchful eye of a rather bored, irritated young woman.

Well, in truth, she wasn't really watching them very carefully, and she was more bored than irritated, because the trig text she was trying to make sense of was threatening to put her to sleep.

Lamia brushed a stray lock of honey-brown hair out of her face as she flipped another page in the cumbersome text, glancing up to see the two younger Cruz siblings laughing as the ball sailed gracefully back and forth between them. She smiled; her little brothers were shoo-ins for Little League once they were old enough.

Gray eyes flicked back to the text, scanning it as a frown creased a face that most people would term beautiful. Lamia wasn't vain by any stretch of the imagination; she knew she had good looks, but didn't go to any extra effort on her appearance, nor did she try to flaunt her beauty like so many of her peers did. Her skin tone just barely hinted at her Hispanic heritage; she was of average height and had a trim, athletic, yet modest figure. She typically didn't bother with much makeup or jewelry, as those things didn't matter to her—and apparently, her boyfriend didn't seem to care about them much, either.

As one of the boys missed the ball and had to chase it to the fence line, the back door of the house opened, and a tall, well-built young man stepped out. "Hey beautiful," he called in a suave tone.

"Alex!" Lamia abandoned her studies and rushed to greet her boyfriend with a hug. "I didn't think you'd be over today."

Alex shrugged. "Practice got cancelled. Coach called in sick today."

"That's too bad," Lamia said.

"Yeah..." Alex grinned. "But at least I get to spend today with my favorite girl."

Just then, the ball escaped from the two boys and went flying toward a window. Lamia suddenly went from standing by her boyfriend to being halfway across the yard, foot lashing out to send the ball over the fence into the neighbor's yard.

Alex raised an eyebrow. "Does that count as a homer?"

"Lamia!" one of the boys cried. "That was our ball!"

"Yeah? Well that's Mom's window," Lamia replied. "So why don't you two go get your ball from next door, then come back and watch TV for a while, okay?"

"Okay," said the younger of the two. "We'll go next door so you two can smooch." Laughing, the two boys wandered out of the yard, making exaggerated kissing noises.

Lamia rolled her eyes and sighed. "Brats."

Alex chuckled. "C'mon, let's see about rounding up some pizza. I don't want to sit and watch you poison your brothers. Or me, for that matter."

Lamia smacked him hard in the chest. "Jerk."

An object descended through the Earth's atmosphere, disturbing the orbits of several satellites in its wake.

It couldn't rightly be called a ship. Gunmetal gray and seemingly one solid piece, it resembled a huge arch, and seemed to swallow any light that dared approach it.

Across the world, scientists, heads of state, and military commanders were suddenly interrupted in their routines as the object was detected. Frantically, they scrambled to make sense of what was happening, to decide on a course of action; all the while, the strange, foreboding object continued its approach toward Earth.

Nearly six hours after entering the atmosphere, it descended to a level where it could be seen with the naked eye. In situation rooms the world over, those in power watched grimly as the object drew closer and closer to the estimated target point in Japan.

At approximately eight A.M. local time, the entire nation of Japan watched in awe, shock, and varying degrees of panic, wonder, excitement, and fear as the arch descended directly over Mount Fuji. A pair of long, thin, gleaming silver rods protruded from the base of the hovering enigma, filling the air for miles around with a high-pitched whine as they began to whir. The arch descended until the rods contacted the mountain, and plumes of dust rose into the sky as they drilled into the stone.

After several minutes, the drills stopped and retracted. In their place appeared a pair of thicker black spikes. With a sudden motion and a deafening crunch, the arch descended directly onto the mountain, anchoring itself in place, dwarfing the peak of the popular attraction.

"...tell our agent in San Francisco to hurry."

They'd ordered pizza; the boys had returned from next door and turned on the television. Lamia and Alex had joined them, and after some good-natured bickering, the four of them had agreed upon a program to watch, and settled in for the evening.

Lamia was cleaning up after dinner when the doorbell rang. "Nobody get up, I've got it," Lamia said. Wiping her hands on a towel, she moved to the front door and opened it. "Yes?" she asked of the man on the other side. He was rather nondescript; he wore a charcoal suit, had dark, neatly combed hair, horn-rimmed glasses, and an entirely forgettable face.

"Lamia Cruz?" he asked.

She nodded. "Yeah, that's me."

The man flashed an identification folder; there was a silver shield inside next to a very official-looking identification card. "My name's Johnson, ma'am. I need to speak to you privately."

Lamia frowned in confusion. "Are you a cop?" she asked.

Johnson shook his head. "I'm not a police officer, ma'am. I am, however, on official government business. If you don't mind..." He gestured vaguely.

With a backward glance at the three boys in the living room, Lamia sighed. "Around back, then," she said. *What could the government want with me?*

The government man withdrew a manila folder and a palmtop computer from his jacket as Lamia closed the back door. "Okay, what's this all about?" she asked, folding her arms across her chest. "Are you FBI or something?"

Johnson shook his head. "I'm with the United Nations Metamorphic Exosuit Initiative."

"The...wha?" Lamia responded.

"UNMEI for short," Johnson continued. "We're a small organization dedicated to creating a special task force for a specific purpose. I'm a recruiting agent." He set the folder down on the table where Lamia had been doing her homework earlier, and opened it. The Hispanic girl's eyes widened as she saw a photo of herself, paperclipped to a lengthy biographical worksheet.

"Hey, what the—"

"Miss Cruz," Johnson said, sitting down and steepling his hands under his chin, "A crisis is coming. The world is in grave danger. For the last fifty years, UNMEI has worked in secret to prepare a defense against something which could very well destroy all life on Earth. It was hoped that the decades of preparation would be unnecessary...but the time has come."

He pulled another photograph out of the folder and laid it on the table. Lamia squinted; it was hard to make out, but it looked like a giant metal arch hanging in the middle of space. "This was taken by our long-range surveillance yesterday. The object in this photograph landed on Earth an hour ago, at Mount Fuji. Time has run out, and UNMEI must move quickly to stop the end of all life as we know it."

Lamia stared at him. "This is the craziest thing I've ever heard in my life."

"I didn't believe in any of this either when I joined the organization," Johnson admitted. "But it's real, and we're all in danger. If you don't believe me, turn on the news...most of the major networks are covering the story now."

Lamia glanced through the window to where her boyfriend and younger brothers were watching some stupid cartoon, blissfully unaware of strange government agents and giant arches. "Okay, so what does this have to do with me?" she asked.

"For some time, UNMEI has been screening candidates from all over the world to select the task force which will prevent the crisis. The list has been narrowed to five. You, Miss Cruz, are one of those five."

Lamia stared at him. "WHAT?!"

Johnson motioned at the folder. "We've done extensive research. You possess all the qualities needed. You have strong physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, and are a natural leader. You've been chosen to lead the team."

Lamia's mouth fell open, and for a long moment she simply stared in shock.

Then, she started laughing.

"Look, I...I'm flattered, really. But I didn't sign up for anything, I'm not interested in playing soldier...I've got a lot of studying to do, I have kickboxing classes to teach, I have a boyfriend, my mom counts on me to keep the brats in you're just going to have to find somebody else."

"Miss Cruz, there is no one else. Only five people can become the soldiers who will save the world. I'm sorry if it inconveniences you, but you're one of the five. The leader of the five. If you don't accept, everything you know and love will be destroyed by the Archons."


Johnson tapped the photograph of the metal arch. "They drop a doorway on an unsuspecting world. Then they send their forces through. They ravage the world, killing everyone and destroying everything in their path. When nothing is left, they move on. They've been doing this for thousands of years, and no world has survived their attack. UNMEI's task is to make sure Earth is the first world they don't destroy, and if we're lucky, we may even put a stop to them once and for all.

"But we can't succeed if we don't have a team to fight the Archons. If we can't build our elite force, all hope is lost."

Silence loomed over the two for a long moment.

"I...I just don't know," Lamia said at length. "I'm not sure I even believe all this, and even if I do..." She laughed humorlessly. "I'm no soldier. Sure, I can do a little kickboxing, but that's it. I mean, there's lots of people I'd pick over me to be a hero. I'm just a normal college girl."

Johnson nodded, and withdrew a black wristwatch from his jacket pocket, placing it on the table, along with a folded slip of paper and a business card. "I can't make you do anything," he said. "It's your decision. But do consider what I've said. The world's in trouble. Your friends, your family, your very way of life...yours and everyone else's. Think about it. I'll be in touch." With that, he retreated into the house; a moment later she heard the front door close as he left the premises.

Alex's head poked out through the back door; he didn't look happy. "What was all that about?"

Lamia pasted on a game smile. "Just some stupid Army recruiter. You know how it goes."

Alex rolled his eyes. "Sheesh. You comin' back in?"

"In a minute," the brown-haired girl said. Once her boyfriend was back inside, she glanced at the objects on the table, picking up the wristwatch. It was rather unremarkable, save for the expensive look about it and the bright red cross in the center of the face, trimmed with gold. A small digital display in the middle of the cross displayed the time in military fashion; there were a few other details on the watch that didn't immediately mean anything to her, but otherwise, there seemed to be nothing unusual about it at all. She turned her attention to the other items Johnson had left behind. The business card simply listed his name, cell number, and e-mail address. The folded paper seemed to be a diagram of the wristwatch, detailing several points about it and listing a series of "activation codes" in a grid on the lower right. Shaking her head, she slipped all of it into the manila folder and headed inside; it was getting late and she wanted to get some quality time in with her boyfriend before he had to go home.

"Analysis of planetary linguistic data concluded. Linguistic database and communications protocols adjusted. All units configured with new linguistic data."

"Status report."

"A small militia is mobilizing at the base of the Arch."

"Threat assessment?"

"Threat level zero."

"Raise defensive screens. Analyze attack pattern of local military force. Commence planetary defensive scan."

"At once, General."

"Another boring world...just like the last ten."

They appeared in groups of three and six. At first they went unnoticed, appearing as they did in large cities, but as more and more groups appeared in various locations around the world, people became alarmed, wary, suspicious. Some panicked.

Within hours of the descent of the Arch, thousands of them had been distributed around the world. They stood silent, the light glinting off the broad gold breastplates, shoulderguards, bracers, and greaves they wore; the tight black bodysuits beneath seemed to swallow the light, making their armor all the brighter. Each wore a black helmet with a narrow white visor in the shape of a broad, inverted V; the helmets were featureless otherwise. A white half-cape hung from their shoulders, and each carried a five-foot golden lance, two-pronged at one end, with six sharp spikes arranged perpendicular to the shaft at the other.

Police who approached them were ignored at first. Arrest attempts were made and resisted. Officers who attempted force met with a swift, brutal end.

Those who witnessed these altercations learned that the newcomers were bulletproof.

Many wondered why none of the bizarre soldiers had appeared anywhere near the arch over Mount Fuji.

One thing was clear to all:

Earth was being invaded.

The house was quiet when Lamia woke up. She glanced at her clock radio and groaned. "I hate waking up in the middle of the night," she muttered. With a sigh, she decided to slip out to the kitchen for a glass of water and maybe a slice of leftover pizza before going back to bed.

Once she had her cold pizza and water, she sat down on the living room sofa. After a moment's thought, she picked up the television remote and turned on the set, lowering the volume so it wouldn't wake up the rest of her family. She flipped through the channels mindlessly as she sipped her water. She was about to click past what looked like some kind of cheesy sci-fi horror movie, when her half-asleep mind seized on a minor detail that brought her fully awake.

This was a news channel.

//—continue to appear in cities throughout the world,// the reporter was saying as Lamia turned up the volume. //Officials are hesitant to apply any labels to the armored troops, though several say that their appearance is clearly connected to the arch which appeared over Mount Fuji earlier. Citizens and police are urged to avoid contact with these soldiers, as they have already taken dozens of lives worldwide. They have yet to attack anyone who has not attacked them first; avoiding them is the safest course of action for all.// As she spoke, pictures of eerie figures in gold and black armor carrying spears were shown; most were standing idly on street corners, in front of doorways, and alongside buildings. Some were shown attacking police officers who had drawn their weapons and were firing. Lamia cringed as she saw one of the soldiers impale two officers with a single thrust of its weapon.

As the coverage continued, a shot taken by an amateur camera nearly made Lamia drop her water glass in shock.

Twelve of the invaders were shown marching down a sidewalk.

Two blocks from her house.

Lamia raced upstairs to her room, her mind whirling.

Johnson had said a crisis was coming. He'd been right...and a large group of the silent, deadly invaders was right down the street.

That afternoon, she'd been convinced he was a lunatic, and couldn't see what anything having to do with aliens and arches and invasions had to do with her. She'd been ready to dismiss the whole thing as a delusion.

But now, the enemy was outside her home. If what Johnson said was right...then she had to do something.

But what could she possibly do? Against something bullets had no effect on?

She opened the folder Johnson had given her and took the folded paper and wristwatch. Another slip of paper fell out of the folder as she did so. Turning on her desk lamp, she read it over, eyes widening. She stared at the watch, then back at the two slips of paper before her.

"This is insane," she said. "But...what the hell, here goes..."

She strapped the watch onto her left wrist, then squeezed two buttons on either side of the face. The gold trim around the red cross began to glow. Taking a deep breath, she called out:


She didn't expect anything to happen.

She certainly didn't expect what did happen.

"Confirmed, P01 is status active. Repeat, P01 is status ACTIVE."

The man in the shadows at the rear of the hexagonal room smiled. "Excellent." He looked up at the ceiling. "Good hunting, Red..."

Heads poked out of windows up and down the block. The invaders, while silent, had been enough of a disturbance to the small neighborhood that people had left their beds to see what was going on.

Dogs barked, children cried, and much whispering and murmuring began.

Twelve gold-armored soldiers were filing stiffly up the sidewalk, heedless of their surroundings.

A man suddenly erupted from his house, brandishing a hunting rifle. "I saw you fellas on the news! You've been killin' cops all over the place! Get outta here afore I kill ever' last blessed one'a ya!"

"Sir, please go back inside your house. It's not safe out here," a calm, crystal-clear female voice rang out through the neighborhood. All eyes turned to the source.

A female figure stood leaning against a large tree, arms folded across her chest. She wore a sleeveless body-hugging red minidress over full-body gold tights, elbow-length red gloves, and knee-high red boots; the gloves and boots sported wide black bands at the cuffs. A white belt with an ornate gold cross buckle hung low on her waist; a holster with a sidearm was positioned at her right hip. She also wore a smooth, rounded red helmet with a black visor shaped like the broad wings of a predatory bird. A single broad gold band circled the helmet above the visor. Beneath the visor, a golden plastic faceplate with a grimly smiling mouth molded onto it concealed her face from view.

The people of the sleepy suburban street looked at her, then at the marching invaders, then back again. "Are you one'a them, missy?" the man with the rifle asked.

She shook her head and leaned forward, uncrossing her arms; a stylized gold thunderbolt emblem was revealed on her chest. "No. I'm just a soldier chosen by fate to protect the innocent from harm." She turned to face the enemy, who had stopped and were watching her, assessing her as a potential threat. She thrust her left hand outward to point at them, while raising her right above her head, palm facing upward. "Archon forces! By authority of the United Nations, I order you to stand down or be destroyed!"

The armored troops just stared blankly at her.

"Who'n th' hell ARE you, girl?" the man with the rifle asked.

The red-clad woman posed, extending her arms to her sides, then crossing them perpendicularly in front of her chest before pointing with her right hand at the enemy soldiers while raising her left arm at a 45-degree angle.

"The blazing defender of the human race! PowerRed!"

With that, she drew the weapon at her side and fired at the nearest invader. A red energy beam lanced forth, slamming into the soldier and knocking him backward. Without preamble, she charged across the street, firing at the others as she was given a clear shot. The enemy, quick to realize what was happening, moved to attack head-on, dodging her shots and trying to get in close to impale her.

"General, a report from the human city known as San Francisco."

"A report?"

"A double patrol of Arquilons has met resistance."

"Resistance? This is cause for a report?"

"The resistance is strong. The Arquilons report a potential threat level of seven."

"Seven?! ...Interesting. Very well...dispatch an Arkhaider."

"At once, General."

Lamia found, to her astonishment, that battling these things was ridiculously easy. The exosuit was shielding her from damage, and her sidearm proved to be extremely effective against them.

Her natural strength had also been enhanced, and she'd discovered that her ordinary kickboxing talents were having a remarkable impact as well.

Seven of the twelve enemy soldiers had fallen and weren't getting back up. One had a hole burned clean through; the stench of something rotting was filling the air as it smoldered. The remaining five had gone on the defensive; it struck Lamia that they almost seemed to be waiting for something.

And then, that something appeared. A flash of black heralded its arrival; a black metal sphere crashed into the street. As Lamia braced herself, the sphere dissolved, leaving behind...

It was female...she thought. Its lower body was a purplish-black serpentine tail; its upper torso was human enough, but covered in scales. The face was angular, with sharp fangs, a forked tongue, and red slits for eyes. Long blood-colored hair streamed down its back. It held a scimitar in one hand.

"Who or what are you?" PowerRed asked.

"My name isss Lilisss...I am an Arkhaider. My lord sssendsss hisss regardsss."

Red clenched a fist. "Why are you attacking Earth? What did we ever do to you?"

"We go where we will," the Arkhaider replied, smirking. "And we do asss we will."

"Not anymore! I'll stop you!" Red declared.

Lilis laughed. "And who are you sssupposssed to be, girl? Sssome sssort of Lone Ranger?"

"It doesn't matter what you call me," Red said grimly, aiming her heat laser. "I'm taking you down."

"Combat analysis?"

"P01 is adapting remarkably quickly to her exosuit. The profiles were dead-on; she's the perfect choice for team leader."

"What about this Arkhaider?"

"Unknown, looks like we're about to find out just how good those weapons really are."

This...was not going as planned.

Lilis laughed as she used her sword to deflect yet another blast into a tree, setting it ablaze. "Isss thisss the bessst you can do, human?" she sneered.

PowerRed holstered her weapon, scowling behind her mask. *Dammit...there has to be a way to take her...* She was distracted by an insistent beep from her watch. *Hell of a time for an alarm...what?*

A light was blinking in a white-gold pattern on the watch; a second light was flashing next to one of the control buttons. Nodding, Red pressed the button, and a fire-engine-red broadsword materialized in front of her in a flash of fire. "Alright! Round two, ugly," she called as she took hold of the sword.

"Interesssting," the Arkhaider hissed, slithering forward with her own sword raised.

PowerRed rushed forward and lashed out with a wild swing; Lilis blocked easily. Ducking out of range, Red went on the defensive, edging around the slower-moving monster and looking for a clear attack angle.

"Foolisssh," Lilis hissed in amusement. "You cannot even handle your sssword."

"We'll see about that," Red replied. "RED STRIKE!" The blade of the sword glowed briefly, and the rookie Ranger slashed, leaving a red trail in the air. Lilis roared in pain as a smoldering wound opened in her scaly hide.

"YOU WILL PAY FOR THAT, HUMAN!" the Arkhaider screeched, before lashing out with a furious series of swipes. Sparks flew as the blade clashed against Red's exosuit with tremendous force; the red-clad girl found herself thrown across the street into a hedge. Standing, she readied her sword again, and charged.

"RED STRIKE!" Another burning slash met with a parry from Lilis; the blade of the monster's sword sparked and smoked. Using the distraction to her advantage, Red lashed out with a furious kick to the Arkhaider's head. The monster reeled backward, allowing the rookie warrior to score three more hits with her blade before the scaly fiend recovered, parrying with her damaged blade.

"You fight well, human. But it endsss now. Arquilonsss, attack!"

And suddenly Red was surrounded by the five remaining troops. "Damn, I forgot about them," she muttered, before launching into a deadly spin of blazing sword strikes and high kicks. In a matter of seconds, the five Arquilons were down...

...and Red screamed in agony as Lilis' sword bit into her back through her exosuit. The suit absorbed most of the impact (with a tremendous explosion and an impressive shower of sparks), but enough of the force got through to send pain flaring up and down the girl's back. Spinning around, Red raised her sword just in time to block a second strike; the force of the blow sent her to her knees.

"You die now, human!" Lilis shrieked triumphantly.

"I...don't...THINK SO!" Pushing Lilis' blade aside, Red leapt backwards, her landing faltering slightly from the pain of her injuries. She raised her sword above her head; it began to glow white-hot with searing flame.


Red made two perpendicular slashes in the air; a red-orange cross of fire erupted from her blade, ripping through the space between her and Lilis and slamming into the Arkhaider. Lilis screamed as she burst into flames; a moment later, she exploded magnificently in a shower of flaming debris, smoke, and sparks.

PowerRed lowered her sword and crossed her free arm over her chest. "Mission complete," she said.

Cheers erupted from the bystanders. Red caught herself and looked around wildly. *Oh man...*

"Good job, girl! You really showed 'em!"

"Yeah! We're safe! Now go kick the rest of their butts!"

Red rubbed the back of her helmet nervously. "Ah...heheh...right." With a wave, she leapt to the top of the nearest tree, then vanished into the night.

As PowerRed landed on the roof of her own house, a voice spoke up, "Good work, Miss Cruz."

She spun around, and saw Johnson standing in the yard. "You..."

"I knew you could do it. You took out a powerful invader, and we collected valuable intel on the enemy."

Lamia dropped from the roof, removing her helmet upon landing. "Look...I...I was just...they were on my street, and..."

"I understand. But you have to know, there'll be more of them. And everywhere on Earth, right now, someone else's family is in danger from those things. You saw the news. They're everywhere. You've been chosen. It's your destiny to stop them."

"My destiny..."

"You won't be alone. As we speak, other agents like myself are contacting the other members of the team. I expect they'll be just as skeptical as you, but..."

"But they'll have to make the same choice sooner or later, when they realize how much danger their families are in, I get it."

Johnson nodded. "I'm sorry it has to be this way, really don't have a choice, Miss Cruz."

Lamia looked at her house, and sighed. "I guess you're right. So...what happens now?"

"You report to headquarters ASAP."

"'s just that..." Lamia hedged. "My family, and...things I have going on..."

"Will all be taken care of. Time is of the essence. Do whatever you feel you absolutely have to, and then meet me out front. I'm to escort you directly to headquarters."


Lamia slipped into her brothers' room, and sighed as she looked at their sleeping faces. *Brats...who knows when or if I'll ever see you again?*

Smiling and kissing each of them softly on the forehead, she walked out of the room. Heading downstairs, she walked into the kitchen. Looking around wistfully one last time, she placed a note on the kitchen table, and, with tears in her eyes, walked out the front door.

"Agent Smith here. Commencing contact with candidate P02."

"Agent Martinez here. Commencing contact with candidate P03."

"Agent Kramer here. Commencing contact with candidate P04."

"Agent Tanaka here. Commencing contact with candidate P05."

"Our Arkhaider was defeated?"


"By a pitiful human?"


"...this is unexpected. Engage Tactical Plan Seven."

"At once, General."

"This planet may not be so boring after all..."


NAME: Lamia Cruz
AGE: 19
GENDER: Female
OCCUPATION: College student/part-time kickboxing instructor

A resident of Northern California, Lamia is selected for the UNMEI project because of her exceptional physical, mental, and spiritual discipline and natural leadership capabilities. As the leader of the team, PowerRed is responsible for issuing commands in battle. Unwilling at first, after seeing the necessity of her new role as PowerRed, Lamia reluctantly leaves her life behind to join the battle against the Archons...

Weapons: Burning Shot, Scorch Blade, Sun Vulcan
Mechanimal: Cross Condor

Next time: Crisis! Archons swarm Narita Airport! P05 won't come out of the bathroom! PowerRed's thrilling second battle!
The next report: "Airport Battle! Pink In Peril!" POWER-ON!

The logos and concepts of Super Sentai and Power Rangers are the intellectual property of Toei, Bandai, and Saban Brands. The characters and story of this work of fiction are the intellectual property of Mythril Moth. Do not repost without permission.


Since 9/19/12