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Power Rangers Wild Force
"The Ancient Warrior"
Original Air Date:5/11/02 Based On:
Gaoranger #23 - - Rouki, Shisu?!(Loki, Dies?!)
*Season 10, bite 15
*Official Fox Kids Show Number PR-1215
*15th episode of PRWF
*433rd total Power Rangers episode
Writer: Katie Torpey Director: Taro Sakamoto
Starring Cast:
Ricardo Medina, Jr. _AS_ Cole (Red Ranger)
Alyson Kiperman _AS_ Taylor (Yellow Ranger)
Phillip Jeanmarie _AS_ Max (Blue Ranger)
Jessica Rey _AS_ Alyssa (White Ranger)
Jack Guzman _AS_ Danny (Black Ranger)
Ann Marie Crouch _AS_ Princess Shayla
Ilia Volok _AS_ Master Org
Sin Wong _AS_ Toxica
Additional Cast:
Philip Andrew _AS_ Merrick
Lex Lang _AS_ Zen-Aku (voice)
Danny Wayne Stallcup _AS_ Jindrax
Ken Merckx _AS_ Nayzor (voice)


[Opening Credits]

In the forest, outside Turtle Cove, Org General Nayzor and the Duke Orgs Jindrax & Toxica, stroll through the shaded daylight. The Dukes keep a slower pace than the casually walking Nayzor, both darting their heads around and turning their heads alertly, and keeping an eye out for a certain predator. Speaking literally behind Nayzor's back, Jindrax asks his partner, "Ya think that BUG that Nayzor put in Zen-Aku's head is still working?" Toxica worriedly replies, "I HOPE so, because if it ISN'T, WE better get OUT of here, because Zen-AKU catches us in the FORest again." Jindrax agrees, suggesting, "Let's get out of here, anyways!" The two Dukes rush around Nayzor, and walk backwards ahead of him, trying to talk to him while refraining from hindering his journey. Toxica gives a dainty laugh, and states with respectful bowing, "Aheheh! General Nayzor... Jindrax & I don't want to... INTERRUPT, your private meeting with Zen-Aku! So, we're going to leave.... Now!" Jindrax waves and bids, "See ya!", as he & Toxica turn away from their superior Org, and prepare to run for safety. Nayzor halts them before they can make any distance, asking, "Wait! WHY are you so SCARED? Orgs are supPOSED to fear nothing." Toxica turns around, and denies, "US?! Afraid of something?!" Jindrax scoffingly waves his hands, and denies as convincingly as he can, "Oh, PERISH the thought! Heh. We've just got HAIR appointments! YEAH! Uhh... bye-bye!" Toxica concurs, "Exactly!", and joins him in turning around to continue fleeing in the opposite direction. Once again they're frozen in their tracks, though this time it's a sight, not a sound, that pauses their progression, making Jindrax gasp, "Whoah!", and Toxica inhale a sharp squeal. In the distance, stepping out of a veil of thin fog, is the third Duke Org, Zen-Aku. He marches menacingly their way, causing Jindrax & Toxica to yelp in fright as they spin around and race back around Nayzor, using his wide green nostrily body to hide behind. Nayzor holds his ground at the center of the wooded field, blinking through his nose as Zen-Aku approaches. Toxica & Jindrax poke their heads around the sides of the General, with the Duchess staring in dreadful eye-wideness, and Jindrax nervously waving, "Uhh, HI, Zen-Aku!"

Instead of defending his territory as usual, the wolf beast kneels before Nayzor, bowing his horned head, and offering up a dark blue satchel in his right hand, stating obediently, "General Nayzor. I give to you the Power Rangers' most VALued possessions." Nayzor gives an approving hum, and puts away his bladed hand-fan. He steps closer to Zen-Aku, leaving the two terrified Duke Orgs without their shield. Jindrax anxiously urges, "Hurry BACK! Miss you..." Nayzor takes the small bag from the wolf beast's hand, opens it up, and wonders, "WHAT have we HERE...?" Inside, he finds the four stolen Wildzord Animal Crystals, representing: Giraffe, Elephant, Black Bear, and Polar Bear. Nayzor notes as such, "The RANGers' ANimal Crystals!" He begins to pace around the still-kneeling Zen-Aku, while commending and commenting, "You have done WELL, Zen-Aku. Master Org will be VERY pleased. Without these Crystals, the Rangers are WEAKer than ever. You might even say PowerLESS Rangers! Mmm-hmm-hmm!" The wolf beast stands up, and faces Nayzor as he "Now it's time for you to FINISH the job. DeSTROY the Rangers!" With enthusiasm, Zen-Aku explains, "Tonight there is a full moon. My powers will be at their STRONGEST! I will destroy the Rangers THEN." Toxica & Jindrax glare at their fellow Duke Org with intense distain and bitterness. When Zen-Aku spins around, growls, and begins marching off their way, the pair become startled. He passes right between Toxica & Jindrax, not paying either of them any mind as he stomps off into the forest. Jindrax, ever the yakker, bids, "Ohh... kay. SEE ya!", as he & Toxica watch the wolf beast depart. Nayzor grips the bag of animal orbs in his left hand, excitedly gestures with his right, and proclaims to himself, "My plan is working PERFectly. Zen-Aku is comPLETEly under MY control!"

On the Animarium, in the Temple Ruins, Princess Shayla is being grilled. No, not barbeque style, but rather questioned by four of the Wild Force Activists. With Taylor off sitting on the edge of the table in the foreground, staring into space as she's lost in somber thought over the loss of her two Bearzords, the other four stand around the Princess, who's in her stick-chair in the middle of the temple floor. Cole squats before her, recapping what happened at the end of the previous episode, "Princess Shayla... Animus showed up again! And spoke to Zen-Aku!" Max walks around her chair to face her, adding confusedly, "He told him... he had to, uhh... remember. Remember WHAT?!" Shayla admits gently, "Last night... I had a vision. Animus apPEARed to me." Alyssa & Max are visibly a bit anxious, hanging on her ever word. Danny & Taylor look at the Princess with brows furrowed, equally curious but concerned. Flashback time, to fire-illuminated, night-shrouded Temple Ruins during the previous night. Princess Shayla stands before the Viewing Pond, leaning over it and staring into the sacred waters. Amid the rippling wavy motion of the surface, a glowing image of the ancient Megazord known as Animus appears before her. Shayla narrates over this scene, "He told me what happened 3000 years ago, after Master Org was defeated." Literally a flashback within a flashback occurs, taking us three-thousand years back, to the wilderness that will one day be Turtle Cove. Zen-Aku stands beneath an already elder tree, and faces the five Ancient Warriors of Animaria. They're not fighting for a change, instead listening to what the Duke Org has to say. Speaking with his usual raspy & deep voice, but lacking the raging fury, Zen-Aku tells the five desperately, "I used the wolf mask to defeat Master Org, but now I can't remove it! It's making me EVIL. Soon, it will control me, and make me attack YOU!" He grasps at his black wolf masked-face, and doubles over in heavy groaning agony. On his knees and reaching out for mercy, Zen-Aku pleads, "You MUST destroy me! I BEG you! It is the ONLY way for you to remain safe!" He climbs to his feet, and stumbles forth, collapsing into the arms of the Ancient Warrior at the head of the grouping, the one with the black scarf. This Warrior, in an unfamiliar male voice, refuses his request, "No! We will NOT harm a friend!" Zen-Aku clutches against the black scarved man, lamenting, "You don't understand, I CAN'T control it much longer..." He starts to howl in excruciating pain, causing him to pull away from the Ancient Warriors and staggers back toward the elder tree. Zen-Aku grasps his head tightly, lost in a shrieking whirl of inner turmoil, struggling in vain to maintain his own will.

The five Warriors are helpless to do anything but watch in dire straits as their former ally becomes their enemy almost instantly before their eyes. Zen-Aku's vocal crying turns from agonized to wrathful, snarling viciously as he throws down his hands, turns around, and glares at the heroic team with wolven yellow eyes peering through the black mask. From out of nowhere, he pulls out his Crescent Blade, and begins to twirl it around with a hearty growl. The Ancient Warrior with the red-centered Crystal Saber reaches down, embracing his weapon with both hands, ready to unsheathe it at a moment's notice. Zen-Aku concludes his slow-motion twirling of his Blade by charging forth with the weapon held outward, howling ferociously. The Ancient Warriors restrain themselves from attacking first, but are prepared to defend themselves (scarf colors: Black, crimson red, dark purplish for the males. Blue and yellow are the females!) Zen-Aku barrels at them, slashing his Crescent Blade through the air. Warrior after Warrior ducks under his wild swiping, this purely maniacal assault lacking any plan or aim. Finally, the crimson-scarved Warrior unsheathes his Crystal Saber, and slices into Zen-Aku's chest, causing a painful burst of sparks. Another male Warrior strikes his Crystal Saber down the wolf beast's back, also causing an eruption of sparks. The blue-scarved female uppercuts her Saber into Zen-Aku's gut, causing him to groan and be hurtling back. As we've seen before, the five Ancient Warriors impale their Crystal Sabers into the ground in a circle, causing the familiar Wild Force Ranger-colored orbs within them to flare with respective colored energies. The male voice of what I assume is the black scarved guy narrates over this, saying mournfully, "ForGIVE us, friend. Your sacrifice has saved us ALL... But we have NO choice!" The ring of power is formed, Zen-Aku is trapped within an engulfing inferno, crying out. This time around, a new clip is added, showing the blazing Zen-Aku suddenly becoming encased in the grey coffin, which appears from nowhere (standing up-straight), sealing him inside, fire and all. Heavy chains then wrap around the lid, snapping together with the block-like buckle, leaving only the dying echoes of his screams outside of it. The Ancient Warrior bids, "Sleep peacefully forever... Merrick."

Both the flashback within a flashback and the flashback itself end, showing Princess Shayla gazing into space with a melancholy expression on her face. Max realizes enlightenedly, "So Zen-Aku really IS Merrick." Danny, sitting on the edge of the Viewing Pond, wonders, "How can we make him Merrick again?" Shayla looks at him, shakes her head softly, and somberly responds, "I don't know." Max turns to Alyssa, and states, "IF we can figure out what power controls the wolf mask, maybe we can BREAK the curse!" She nods, and thoughtfully suggests, "Let's think back, to when we FIRST saw him..." Cole, sitting pond-side by Danny, is first to recall a detail, uttering, "It was in the forest!" He & Danny look at one another, prompting Cole to add, "At night!" Danny nods, as if confirming. A clip is quickly replayed from Zen-Aku's debut, showing him leaping up in front of the full moon and swooping down with his arms out. Alyssa remembers this, exclaiming, "YEAH! And it was a FULL moon!" Max nods, as if confirming. Cole ponders aloud, "Wait... We're PRETTY sure the guy I saw, in the lake that one night, was REALLY Zen-Aku, right?" Danny nods, as if confirming. Cole thinks back, staring at the floor, as he recollects, "But I COULDN'T see his face... because it was SO dark!" Flashing back to the night at Turtle Lake once again, with the mysterious bare-chested man playing with the mutt pup. As the wolf-dog swims off, the man runs his wet hands through his hair, illuminated by very little light, but enough to tell he has nearly shoulder-length dark hair with at least one small patch of blonde highlighting in the upper front. Cole notes to Danny something he clearly stated last episode (remember? Cole said it was during the New Moon), "There was NO moon in the sky." Alyssa eurekas, "That's IT!" Taylor, having kept quiet most of this conversation, chimes in from across the room, realizing, "The MOON gives Zen-Aku his power." As if on cue, the sacred waters of the Viewing Pond begin to violently fountain up, the raging bubbling causing Cole to sharply jerk his head to the right to stare wide-eyed at it. All six of the room's occupants gather around the small body of water, gazing into the unseen water-based image. Princess Shayla confirms, "It's HIM." Without a second thought, the five Wild Force Activists sprint off toward the exit. Shayla clasps her hands together, remains by the pond, and wishes worriedly, "Be CAREful!"

Standing atop the crested & sloping peaks of a mountain ridge, directly in front of the huge yellowish white full moon, Zen-Aku waits patiently under the cover of night. Somewhere out of sight, but within an earshot, a fellow wolf howls at the beckoning lunar body. Far below the mountain ridge, the five Wild Force Activists rush up and pause when they witness his silhouetted outline in the distance. Cole shouts loudly, "Zen-Aku! We KNOW who you are!" Max adds, "You're HUMAN!" Danny, his and the others breath visible thanks to this being a cold night, stresses loudly, "You used to be GOOD! NOT evil!" Taylor nods slightly. Turning to the left to face the five far below, Zen-Aku rests his Crescent Blade against his right shoulder, and defiantly claims, "_I_ am Zen-Aku, EVIL Duke Org & Warrior. I will SHOW you my power!" Winding back his Blade, and charging it with a yellow glow as bright as the full moon behind him, the wolf beast snarlingly slashes a Crescent Wave into the icy dark air. The bolt of intense energy slams against the ground around the WF Activists, causing bright burstings to erupt around them, making the five shield their eyes and cry out in dismay. The shimmering emblem in the top section of a Growl Phone briefly blinks before us, signifying a group morph offscreen. Zen-Aku leaps down off the mountain, and lands near the five Wild Force Rangers as they fall from the blast, all morphed before they hit the ground. White Tiger Ranger is the first to her feet, crawling up and staggering toward the wolf beast, and pleading, "You USED to be one of US! On the SAME team! We CAN'T fight you!" Zen-Aku corrects her savagely, "YOU can't, but _I_ WILL!" He charges up another yellow energy blast from his Crescent Blade, crashing it into the five Rangers in the form of lightning bolts. They're engulfed in a sparking squall of smoke, with Alyssa & Cole crying out the loudest.

Meanwhile, in the Nexus, Master Org opens the dark blue satchel, finding the four stolen Animal Crystals inside, much to his delight. He reaches in and plucks the turquoise Elephant Crystal up into his right hand, admiring it with a wicked grin, as he commends the bringer of these orbs, "YESssss... Mmmm... VERY nice, General Nayzor. I am... VERY pleased... with your work." Nayzor is kneeling & bowing before his boss, respectfully replying, "THANK you, Master Org." Over in the corner of the cavern, behind a row of stalagmites, Jindrax & Toxica are spying on the occasion, as they have before. Toxica whispers a lament into Jindrax's ear, "Why didn't WE think of putting that STUPID bug into Zen-Aku's head?!" Nayzor holds up the gold-backed small round mirror (that he used to aid in unsealing Zen-Aku back in "Curse Of The Wolf"), and hands it to the Master, offering sinisterly, "And NOW, obSERVE your FINAL victory!" Master Org takes the mirror with a sly smirk, gazing into his own reflection at first. The golden rim of the mirror gleams, before creating a whirlpool of images, switching the sight upon the surface of the mirror to that of a panning shot of the five Wild Force Rangers, lying defenselessly on the ground while surrounding by small pockets of fire. That panning shot continues in a different source, that of the raging sacred waters of the Viewing Pond. Princess Shayla has her hands clenched together, anguishedly watching the transmission from the battlefield. Her concerned monitoring of the fight is interrupted, when the pond suddenly shines with a bright yellow light. She lowers her hands and gasps in awe, as the flaring energy fades into the image of the upper body of the ancient Megazord known as Animus. The Princess states his name questioningly, "Animus?!"

The battle continues, already in progress. Blue & Red Rangers are the last of the five Wild Force Rangers sent frantically rolling into a cave tunnel in the mountains. Red Ranger cautiously warns the source of their falling back, "You HAVE to STOP this!" With the full moon hanging perfectly in view from the cavern entrance, Zen-Aku marches inward, aiming his Crescent Blade at them, and boasting wickedly, "All I HAVE to do is destroy YOU." Yellow Ranger holds her Crystal Saber up, and proclaims valiantly, "Then you leave us NO choice! We HAVE to fight! Hyah!" Black Ranger readies his Saber, and gives an equal grunt. Zen-Aku slowly strolls into the cave, smacking Taylor & Danny to the side as they rush at him. White Ranger also dashes toward him, but her Crystal Saber swipe is blocked by his Crescent Blade, allowing him to brace the Blade against her chest & shoulder. He pushes her back with a deadly growl, before letting go by pulling his Blade off her sparking body and shoving Alyssa to the ground. The other Rangers are nervously swarming around him, but both Black & Blue Rangers end up getting really black & blue when Zen-Aku sparkily slashes into their chests. Red Lion Ranger is next, trying pointlessly to swat his Crystal Saber at the wolf beast, only to get it deflected back, leaving him open for a sparking slice in the stomach. Cole spins to the side, giving Yellow Ranger a chance to rush at Zen-Aku again and get sparkily struck to the floor on her way by. Red Ranger chops his Saber at the wolf beast once more, with the same Blade-blocked results. Zen-Aku smacks his hand to the side and tries to jab his weapon into Cole's gut, but the Ranger manages to avoid getting stabbed, and grabs the Crescent Blade, holding it firmly in his grip. Struggling to get his weapon free. Zen-Aku finally heaves the Blade upwards, sending the clinging Cole flying overhead in the process! Red Ranger cries out as he's flung to a dead end of the cave, hitting the dirt just as his four teammates regroup around him defensively. He quickly gets on his feet, as Taylor asks, "Cole! Are you okay?!" Cole clutches his Saber, and responds breathlessly, "Yeah... I THINK so." Zen-Aku, Crescent Blade on his shoulder, gloats, "But NOT for LONG. You'll ALL be destroyed. Lion Ranger?" Red Ranger lowers his guard, and bitterly replies, "Yeah? I'm listening!" The wolf beast points his weapon at Cole, and states coldly, "YOU will be the FIRST." The Crescent Blade shifts its upper and lower sections outward, enabling Zen-Aku to fire multiple smaller Crescent Waves at the five humans. With nowhere to run and bolts of yellow curved light exploding against each of their chests, the Wild Force Rangers are sent hurtling in the burning air, demorphing reluctantly in unison. Cole twirls and crashes against a jagged boulder; Max slams into the cave wall before hitting the ground; Alyssa falls against her chest on a smoother boulder; Danny rolls long the ground; and Taylor simply plops onto her back. Lying in agonized heaps, the Wild Force Activists are lying on the floor, rather close together, save for Cole, who's closer to the approaching wolf beast. Zen-Aku slowly marches toward them, exclaiming triumphantly, "I have waited MANY moons to avenge what was done to me. Tonight... IS that night!" Cole, grunting and clutching his bruised stomach, hyperventilates as he stares up at the tip of the Crescent Blade, held less than an inch away from his sweaty & beaten face, by the snarling Zen-Aku.

Looking up at the black sharpened tip of the Crescent Blade looming over his face, Cole shakes his head quickly, threatenly pleas through clenched teeth, "DON'T do it." Taylor & Max (on their backs) and Alyssa & Danny (on their stomachs) are a captive audience, held hostage by their lack of energy to even raise a hand to defend their leader. Zen-Aku, eyes shining yellow amid the murky cave, declares excitedly, "My WAIT is finally over!" He rears his Crescent Blade over his shoulder, raising it with a bloodthirsty growl or two. In dramatic slow-motion, Zen-Aku begins to forcibly descend his Blade on a collision course with the frail human's body. Cole widens his eyes, throws his head back, and gasps dreadfully. Shots of each of his teammates' expressions are cut between the shot of the wolf beast slashing his Blade downward, with Alyssa & Danny simply frozen in horror, Max shutting his eyes and turning away in terror, and Taylor appearing ready to burst into tears. Zen-Aku's Crescent Blade falls directly toward Cole's face, which tenses up the closer the weapon gets. Giving one last ferocious grunt, the wolf beast finishes his long chop into the man in the red vest, causing Cole to flinch in trembling fear as the Blade's edge reaches his face... only to instantly freeze in place less than an inch or two above his nose! Cole slowly opens his eyes, but seeing the Blade still hovering overhead, he can't help but continue to shiver. Zen-Aku can't explain his actions, wondering softly, "What...?!" The Crescent Blade falls from his hands, crashing loudly against the cavern floor. Zen-Aku grasps his wolf masked head with both his hands, similar to when he had been fighting its control three millennia hence. He lets out a prolonged cry of agony, and staggers to the side, racing toward the cave wall and clawing at them, as if lost in the blinding fury of mental torture. Seeing this via the golden mirror, Master Org screams in frustration, asking Nayzor, "YEEE-EHH! WHY is he STOPping?!" Up in the Temple Ruins, the bright full moon's reflection appears upon the sacred waters of the Viewing Pond. Slowly, before our eyes, the black shadow of the planet Earth starts to swallow the moon in an unnatural, faster than normal, lunar eclipse! Witnessing the shade starting to cover the moon from the left side, Princess Shayla, with arms held outward and a smile growing on her face, realizes gratefully as she gazes into the sky, "Animus! YOU'RE doing this!"

Still lurking within view outside the cave's entrance, the full moon becomes devoured by the blotting blackness. It becomes a crescent moon within moments, and with each moment more of the moonlight being shrouded, Zen-Aku howls louder in anguish. His cries echo throughout the cave tunnels, expelling outwards. In contrast, the darkness of the eclipsing moon begins to creep inward, blanketing the lunar illumination within the tunnels until only whatever unseen source that's giving the place some dim lighting is all that remains making the scene visible. Zen-Aku's head-clutching hollering never lets up, even as he staggers over, drops to his knees, and then collapses onto his stomach. By the time he falls over, though, his frantic movements begin to quell, and his mouth silences somewhat. Cole, still lying on his back, watches cautiously, breathing labouredly. Expression shots of each of the Wild Force Activists (except Alyssa) are shown, as they witness in shock his continued struggle between Zen-Aku and the force that's causing him such pain. At last, the full moon becomes fully eclipsed, only a faint corona of light around the black circle in the sky is left, as the shadow of the planet comes to a stop. Zen-Aku releases his grasp on his head, and howls in total defiance of what is inevitable now. His dark black armored body suddenly begins to shimmer with a light-blue light, radiating outward as his form sparkles with energy. Zen-Aku's voice turns from the deep, bestial tone, to that of a normal sounding young adult male. The light fades almost instantly, revealing Zen-Aku has reverted to the white clothed & silver scarf-wearing Sixth Ancient Warrior! He's lying on his stomach in the exact same position Zen-Aku was just in, crying out at first with as much equal agony as the wolf beast had been before him. But with the ceasing of his morph back to his original state, the Warrior's cries turn to alleviated groans.

The five Wild Force Activists, each clutching their stomachs or arms, pull themselves up to their feet, keeping a cautious watch on the Ancient Warrior that was only moments before their mortal enemy Zen-Aku. The Warrior rolls onto his side, and with a pained grunt, reaches up, and pulls off his silver, open-faced helmet (strangely, he has the helmet, but the silver chest armor all the AWs wear is missing). It falls to the ground and rolls to the side, revealing the face of Merrick, Princess Shayla's Silver Protector and the sixth Ancient Warrior, to everyone at last. Merrick has bushy dark brown hair, with blonde highlight streaks at a few places at the top. He also has a small goatee upon his chin, blue eyes, and longish sideburns. His early adulthood face betrays his true age, with a voice as equally young & innocent compared to that of Zen-Aku's. Slowly regaining his composure, Merrick looks over at the five humans in colorful vests, slows his heavy breathing down to normal, and identifies them in a single breath, "Wild Force Rangers?!" Taylor exchanges a surprised glance with Max, while Cole gets confirmation on something he suspected earlier, gently noting, "Merrick... I KNEW you were the guy I saw at the lake." Another flashback to that night, showing a bare-chested Merrick, letting the mutt pup swim away, as he runs his watery fingers through his own hair. This time, though, we see Merrick turn around and look behind him (this is one bright new moon!), face visible now thanks to the unclouding of murky memories. The flashback ends (hopefully forever), with our heroes staring at the Ancient Warrior in amazement. Alyssa steps forth, slowly pacing toward him in almost a daze. She kneels before him, watching Merrick as he sits up, grasping at his limp left leg in a bent position, causing him to groan painfully thanks to an injury within it. Alyssa looks at him directly, and states, "You're one of US." Merrick confirms gently, "ONCE. A long time ago that was true. But I fell under the curse of Zen-Aku. And now I'm controlled by evil spirits." Still standing with the rest of the group in the background, Danny wonders, "How did it happen?!" Looking away from the five WF Activists, Merrick begins to recall what occurred during the last days of the kingdom of Animaria.

A new flashback starts up, after Merrick narrates, "3000 years ago... Animus fought Master Org in the final battle." Towering over the forest, the ancient Megazord called Animus faces a giant form of Master Org, looking nothing like we've ever seen him before. Master Org's giant monster mode has a tall, thick, single spiked horn at the top of his roundish body, two arms & legs, a huge saber in hand, numerous curved spikes & tentacles protruding from his back, four narrow red eyes in the center of his chest, with a glowing upside-down triangle above them. Thanks to the entire sky being colored blood red, and various fires blazing about the forest at their feet, detailed features of Master Org are shrouded by darkness. Animus & Master Org get into battle ready stances, causing bluish lightning to rain down betwixt them, creating flaring sparks to highlight tension. Merrick narrates, "The war with the Orgs was going VERY badly for us." Animus points his maroon Sawshark right arm at the enemy, prompting the monstrous Master Org to point his saber-blade back at him in return. Master Org fires a surge of flaring white energy from his chest triangle, hitting Animus directly. He doesn't take this blast lightly, bursting with blinding sparks and crackling with electricity, before toppling over. Lying writhing on the ground, the ancient Megazord known as Animus begins to pop with jolts of fatal sparks, which increase in intensity until a phosphorous fireball engulfs the entire screen. If this onscreen destruction wasn't proof enough for you, Merrick narrates, "All hope appeared lost when Animus was destroyed." Under a starry night sky, Merrick, in his full silver-scarved Ancient Warrior uniform, steps before the base of a sprawling stone city. His present day narration explains, "I had heard tales of a CURSED wolf mask and its inCREDible powers! Legends told that it was in the Ancient City. I KNEW it had evil powers, but... It was the ONLY chance I had to STOP Master Org." Said city looks more like a huge temple of some kind, with tiny fires lit in the numerous window holes and entry paths, and green overgrowth upon its colorless carved architecture. Merrick is dwarfed by its numerous spire peaks, the highest one as tall the mountain ridges right behind it. Anyway, he heads inside. Have I mentioned this entire flashback, unlike others, has Vaseline around the edges of the screen and the picture is kinda washed out or staticy? Well, it is, and makes described details tougher.

Soon, deep beneath the Ancient City, Merrick has arrived in... well, let his narration tell you, "Deep inside the city, I found the den of the Org General Nayzor." It's a dusty, cobweb covered room with various torches and other items (like what looks to be a collection of giant Q-tips and a stone recliner) all over the place. There are odd writings on the walls, and proving this belongs to the nose goblin himself, there's a giant stone nose against the back wall. At the center of den, is a large stone casket. Merrick pushes against the lid (which has a large wolf-face carving on it, just as seen in the back of the Predazord cockpit), shoving with all his might, grimacing and groaning with tight strain. Eventually, the dust & dirt powdered lid starts to budge, and after some more forceful pushing, the top of taken completely off of the casket. Mist pours out of the inside, and amid it all, is a cement slab with several jagged blades & daggers of various sizes and handle-designs embedded within. But at the center, is a black & silver face mask, with features like that of a wolf (including gold fanged mouth and a blue-gemmed forehead). Merrick narrates, "It was THERE that I discovered the cursed wolf mask of Zen-Aku. The legends were TRUE! Just the SIGHT of it drew me to its power, uncontrollably." Indeed, the Ancient Warrior gazes upon the unsealed mask, and like a moth to a bug-zapper, reaches down and carefully picks it up with his black leather gloved hands. As Merrick admires the mask with trance-like awe, a stone wall slides back, allowing the owner of the den, Nayzor, to step out of the shadows and coldly declare, "YOU'VE made a GRAVE mistake, Warrior." Merrick turns and sees the Org General, prompting him to alertly rush away from the casket. Realizing he's got the wolf mask still in hand, the Ancient Warrior narrowly avoids a ball of fire hurled at him by Nayzor. Several more bursting bolts are flung at Merrick, as he flees the scene, out the way he came. Sprinting away from the Ancient City, through a veil of smoky darkness, Merrick pitches aside his silver helmet (thus creating the plothole of 'how was he wearing the helmet when he demorphed from Zen-Aku if he wasn't wearing it when he became him?', as well as 'why is he lacking his silver chest armor when he demorphed from Zen-Aku since he WAS wearing it when he became him?') Placing the timeline of these scenes firmly after the flashback in "Click, Click, Zoom", Merrick narrates, "With Princess Shayla and the five Wildzords safe in the sky on the Animarium, I did what needed to be done... I put ON the mask." The area of the woods he departs from has a reddish glow to it, I should note. Merrick raises the black & silver wolf mask to his face, securing it in place, covering all but his eyes & mouth, which are visible through the slots.

Now with both his hands free, the Ancient Warrior reaches a clearing, pauses, looks upward, sees the monstrous Monster Org still snarling and waving his saber menacingly against an inferno backdrop. Holding three Animal Crystals (for the Wolf, Hammerhead Shark, and Alligator Wildzords) in his left hand, and bracing them against the golden amalgamated Power Animal emblem on his silver armored chest, Merrick yells aloud into the night, "EVIL spirit of the WOLF! FILL me with absolute POWER!" He sharply raises his right hand into the air, causing a green beam of energy to fire skyward. This segues into the trio of crystal orbs shooting about, and forming into the crescent moon symbol, as we've seen before at the start of the Predazord formation sequence. Next, we see Merrick, with the wolf mask on, teleporting into the cockpit of the Predazord (he same exact way we've seen Zen-Aku do it, via convincing American footage). Narration, "The wolf mask gave me GREAT power, and it was the evil POWER of that mask that allowed me to deFEAT Master Org." The Predazord stands before the grotesque monster form of Master Org, which turns toward the newly arrived Megazord, growling unintelligibly. Merrick holds his hands together like clutching claws, gestures them about, and commands, "Predator Wave!" The Predazord unleashes the silver bolt of wolf-charged fury from its Alligatorzord chest-mouth, striking perfectly into the giant Master Org's body. Similar to how he destroyed Animus, this monsterized Master Org bursts, sparks, crackles with electricity, snarls in agony, and eventually topples forth. Exploding massively, Master Org goes literally up in smoke, leaving naught but blazing flames behind. The Predazord (with horn on its forehead even then) lowers its arms in victory, and the blood-red sky returns to a healthy shade of blue (though the forest fires around it still remain). But in backlash to this, bluish electricity starts to flood against the Predazord, making it twitch about in disruption. Merrick narrates one last time, "By using that power... I was CURSED. I COULDN'T remove the mask. I BECAME... Zen-Aku." Ignore the fact his Ancient Warrior uniform is totally different in the cockpit shot of Merrick clutching his wolf-masked face and wailing in pain as electricity fills the room (it's a footage discrepancy). Finally, unable to fight back any longer, Merrick simply stares through the holes in the cursed wolf mask with an icy glare. The mask shimmers with a dark purple light, and before our eyes, his eyeline morphs from the blue-eyed human to the yellow-eyed grey-furred wolf beast. The blue gem on the former mask's forehead is now the yellow gem between Zen-Aku's glowing eyes.

The flashback to 3000 years ago ends, returning us to the scene in the cave. Merrick appears angry at first, but calms his spite about his own mistake somewhat as he slowly turns his head, looks at the five Wild Force Activists, and regretfully declares, "I'm... SORRY, for all the evil things I've done as Zen-Aku." Cole asks flat out, "HOW can we break the curse?" Merrick is sitting up on one knee, refusing help with a somber argument of, "I'm not WORTHY of your help! I'm CURSED to walk alone..." Stepping away from the guys, Taylor comes over and joins Alyssa in crouching before Merrick, telling him optimistically, "But if we BREAK the curse... you can be a RANGER again and help us, AND Princess Shayla, battle the Orgs!" Stunned by this remark, Merrick eagerly asks, "Princess SHAYLA?! She's AWAKE?!" Alyssa nods, confirming, "She's the one who recruited us!" Cole urges gently, "Will you LET us help you?" Merrick slowly raises his gaze, and looks over toward Danny & Max, seeing the big guy nodding in a gesture of friendly enticement. Curling his lips, the Ancient Warrior looks toward Taylor & Alyssa, who nod encouragingly with equally pleasant expressions. Thinking about it for a moment, the once brave Silver Protector hesitantly offers, "If it WILL help the Princess... I'll tell you what I know." In the Nexus, the man currently known as Master Org turns away from the smoking totem mouth against the back wall, and commands, "NAYZOR! Get that WOLF under control... NOW!" With Jindrax & Toxica still eavesdropping in the corner, Nayzor bows, nods, and blinks, obeyingly proclaiming, "At ONCE, Master Org." The black circle that is the Lunar Eclipse finally gives way, with the shadow of the Earth passing as quickly away from the moon as it did to begin with. The returning illumination from the slowly-unveiling full moon fills the cave once again, and almost instantly, Merrick finds himself clutching his skull, yelping tormentedly. Alyssa & Taylor exchange concerned glances, as the Ancient Warrior staggers to his feet, and suffers before everyone. This includes Princess Shayla, who helplessly witnesses Merrick gripping his head and roaring in agony, via the gleaming Viewing Pond. Shayla clamps her hands together, as if praying, as she gazes skyward with desperate eyes, pleading aloud to the unseen spirit of Animus, "No, PLEASE! They need more TIME!" The unnatural lunar eclipse cannot be held back by Animus' spirit any longer, as the full moon becomes even more unveiled by the quick passing of the planet's shadow.

In the cave, Cole & Danny get a grip on Merrick from both sides, trying to hold his seizuring body in place. The Ancient Warrior continues to grasp at his noggin and release bloodcurdling screams, struggling & fidgeting against the might of the two heroes. Cole shouts Merrick's name in an attempt to get through to him through the mental-marauding, but his pained screams drown out his words. Max calls his name as well, though staying safely back from the violently jerking body of the Ancient Warrior. Flustered and sweating, Merrick manages to fight off the anguish enough to beg furiously into Cole's face, "PLEASE... deSTROY me! PLEASE! Before the full moon returns and I become Zen-Aku again! HURRY!! AGH! Before I destroy YOU ALL!!" Cole stubbornly refuses, shaking his head, and yelling nobly right back, "NO! We CAN'T do it!" The raging torment within Merrick's body consumes him to the point he has superhuman strength (or at least sub-human), and with a screaming heave, hurls both Cole & Danny off of him, sending them tumbling away. Danny & Max turn concern to Cole, who crashes onto the floor, allowing Merrick to escape the confines of the cavern. The full moon is nearly uncovered completely, though at the rate we keep seeing its un-eclipsing, we must assume that between scenes Animus slows the rate of progression down just a tad. Stumbling out through the cave's entrance, Merrick walks doubled-over, shrieking loudly, and grabbing both sides of his face like he's got a bad reaction to aftershave. Pausing only to curl upward for a moment, never releasing his hold on his agonized head, the Ancient Warrior staggers off, fleeing into the night. Up in the Temple Ruins, Princess Shayla cries out his name in sobbing & tear-eyed dismay, "MER-RICK!"

The following morning, the dawning sun glints upon the mountain range. Racing along the dirt road in the valley, the five Wild Force Activists are searching hard for the Ancient Warrior. Cole, Alyssa, Max, and Taylor each, in respective order, call out Merrick's name. Danny saves his breath, until they bring their brisk paces to an idle, where he remarks, "We've looked EVerywhere for him!" The gang inspects the surrounding mountains visually, looking at almost every direction intently. Cole intuitively assures his teammate, "He's here SOMEwhere... I can FEEL it." Lucky he's got that sixth sense for detecting animal sentience, as he sharply turns around, and warns, "LOOK OUT!" Shooting down from the mountains, the familiar bruise-purple streak of energy rips through them like a zooming blur, sparkily blasting each of our heroes off their feet. It comes to a stop on the peak of the mountains opposite of where it started out from, reverting to the physical form of Zen-Aku, landing perfectly with his Crescent Blade twirling menacingly. He growls lowly, and turns around to facet the five he streaked through, seeing each of the Wild Force Activists lying on the ground, moaning, coughing from the smoke their spark-blows left, and grasping their bruises. Cole is, like always, the first to rise back to his feet, glaring with seething anger at the wolf beast. The other four of his teammates join him in standing & seething. Zen-Aku proclaims from the mountaintop, "THIS is where it ENDS!"

Up on the Animarium's Temple Ruins, Princess Shayla paces back and forth, racking her brain. She soon pauses her hand-fiddling stroll, and utters aloud, "MERRICK didn't become cursed by Zen-Aku when he put on the MASK..." She flashes back to the flashback from earlier, reshowing us Merrick, with the wolf mask on his face, doing the summoning of power, and firing off the green beam. Realizing that if he was cursed by the mask solely, then he'd have become Zen-Aku the first moment he used the mask, Shayla enlightenedly announces, "He became CURSED when his WILDzords turned into DARK Zords!" Footage of the three Dark Wildzords racing into battle plays, followed by a fancy montage of freeze-frames of the Predazord's flamey awakening. Footage of Zen-Aku playing the full summoning song on his dagger-flute, followed by individual approaching shots of each of his Zords, plays out, as the Princess narrates, "He uses his Flute Plate to call the Dark Wildzords: the Wolf... the Hammerhead... and the Alligator." The footage montages ends, showing Princess Shayla, face lit-up in wide-eyed astonishment, concluding, "And then they form the PREDAzord." Gasping deeply as her face brightens even more, Shayla realizes the final piece to the puzzle, "The DARK Zords hold the power of the curse!" Urgently, she grips and holds up her golden necklace slightly, while "COLE! Destroy the Predazord. It will RELEASE the evil from Merrick's Zords and break the CURSE!" In the valley, all five of the WF Activists are holding their golden Growl Phones to their ears, listening to her communication via the cellphone morphers' cellphone mode. Cole nods, bravely confirming, "GOT it, Princess Shayla!" Our five heroes turn to face their enemy, each whipping down their already-opened Growl Phones, doing the usual gesturing, and commanding in unison, "Wild Access!" The five-screen full morph plays, with Red in the diamond-center. The Wild Force Power Rangers then unsheathe their Crystal Sabers, aim them to the sky, and order, "Wildzords, descend!" The summoning chime rings out, catching the ears of their Power Animals. Red Lionzord roars, White Tigerzord growls, Blue Sharkzord leaps & bellows, Yellow Eaglezord screeches, and Black Bison is nowhere to be seen.

Meanwhile, Zen-Aku has apparently already called in his Dark Wildzords, having them currently transformed. In the cockpit, he sets his dagger-flute (or Flute Plate as it was just called) into the console slot, motions his arms, and demands, "Predazord, aWAKEN!" Popping up its horn, the Predazord completes transformation explosively. The Wild Force Rangers await the arrival of their own Zords, while watching their enemy get into position. Black Ranger worriedly notes, "The Predazord is really POWerful!" Red Ranger concurs, "Yeah! We HAVE to find the STRONGest combination of Zords." As if on cue, the black Bison Crystal within Danny's Crystal Sabers audibly shimmers with a purple gleam. He hears it, prompting him to pull out his Saber, stare into the orbed center, and ask his animal companion, "What IS it, Bisonzord?!" The Crystal flashes twice, quickly showing us the Black Bison Wildzord, roaring fiercely. Black Ranger, displaying powers similar to the one only Cole was thought to have, replies confusedly to the Bison, "You're WHAT?" With the gang distracted, a small silver & light-purple ball rolls across the grassy field, towards them. Danny explains to his teammates, "The Bisonzord just told me that his FRIEND is coming! I wonder what he means?!" They finally turn and spot the mysterious metal wheel rolling their way. It comes to a rest at Black Ranger's boots, inspiring Danny to pick it up (about the side of a soccer-ball with two flattened sides), and comment as his teammates gather around to get a closer look, "What?! THIS little thing is your friend?" The ball uncurls a bit, revealing a tiny snouted head and a gold-rimmed black block for eyes. Within it, two red lights flash with loud warbling. Black Ranger opens his right white-gloved hand, and discovers two small colored orbs materializing in a flash. A purple-colored one with a tiny golden metallic Armadillo idol within, and a blue-colored one with a tiny golden metallic Rhinoceros idol within. Danny gratefully exclaims, "TWO Animal Crystals?! You're giving them to ME?!" The small purple-headed creature, obviously an Armadillo if you hadn't figured it out by now, coos a chirping sound, and nods his little head. His round, curled-up body begins to glow with a pinkish-purple light, causing him to suddenly float out of Black Ranger's hands, and head skyward. The Rangers watch in silent awe, though Danny gasps, "Whoa!"

Twirling quicker and quicker, the tiny Armadillo hovers high in the air, before flaring its purple energy into a bright white flash. The Armadillo grows bigger, up to Zord-sized, although much smaller than any other Wildzord. The Armadillozord has a silver half-shell, with light-purple circuitry designs on the sides, four stout light-purple legs with three gold-toenails on each foot, the two-eared & single snout-faced head I told you about earlier, and a light-purple tail with a golden tip. He uncurls in midair, and dives to the ground. Instead of landing on the soil, the Armadillo touches down on a black & gold platform, currently moving across the battlefield. Armadillozord lights up his eyes, wiggles his ears, and sniffs the landing pad with his snout. The camera pans back to reveal the platform is attached upon the back of a hulking, metallic blue Rhinozord! The Rhino is several times larger than the dwarf Armadillo, with blue features, two golden horns on the top of his nose, two tiny ears, small red slanted eyes, black & yellow features on the sides, and four legs with golden toenails. The Rhinoceros Wildzord barrels through the valley, shaking his horned head from side to side sharply. Below, Cole points out, "The Bisonzord called for NEW Wildzords to HELP us!" Danny noddingly confirms, "Yeah! LOOKS like it!" Rhinozord, with the small Armadillozord on his back, races into action, getting some dust clouds up his nose, which causes him to snort annoyedly. The Predazord, gripping its two-sized staff, steps back in shock of the sight of two new Power Animals. In the darkened cockpit, Zen-Aku exclaims in confusion, "What...?! NEW Wildzords?! Where'd THEY come from!?" Below, Blue Ranger notes in awe, "L-look at THAT!" White Ranger happily embraces Black Ranger's arm, and comments, "The New Zords are HEADING towards the Predazord!" Sniffing once again, the Armadillozord hops off of Rhinozord's back, and scurries alongside the much larger Wildzord, making up in speed for what he lacks in size as he scampers on ahead. Danny wonders delightedly, "Whoa! WHAT'S that little guy DOING?!" Armadillozord curls up into a ball, and starts to spin rapidly. Guiding himself directly in front of the Rhino, he lines up at a proper speed. Rhinozord juts forth, and giving a snorting grunt, horn-butts the wheeling Armadillo with a sharp smash of sparks. The Predazord is frozen in shock, as the Armadillozord is punted into its chest, causing a bursting of bright sparks upon impact by the twirling & hurling metal ball, which rolls safely away after a single successful hit.

In the valley below, the Wild Force Rangers clamor for their new sentient weapons. Max cheers, "All RIGHT!" & Taylor yelps, "Yeah!" Red Ranger unsheathes his Crystal Saber, and remarks hopefully to Danny, "I'll BET your Zords can help form a NEW Megazord!" Black Ranger holds up his own Saber, with the Bison Crystal absent from the center, and suggests, "Let's find out!" He sticks the blue orb of the Rhinozord into his Crystal Saber, and joins the others in aiming their blades into a central point, as Cole commands, "Wildzords, combine!" Yellow Eagle lands atop the already folded Red Lion, as the Blue Shark & White Tiger snap on to the sides, prompting the crowned head to pop up, creating the upperbody of the Wild Force Megazord. In a light-green & white tunnel of energy, the blue Rhino Wildzord marches on all fours forth, snortingly bellowing loud grunts. Eventually, the center part of his back, which includes the platform and hind legs, snaps upwards and back, revealing a connected section of silver metal beams. They fold back until a gold & black hip & crotch region is revealed as the connector of the beams. The hind-legs section, now in the air, shifts around and settles to the right of the Rhinozord's head area. At the instant it lands, it becomes a right foot, stepping against the energy-tunnel floor and racing along. The head-end section, one the second silver beam, steps alongside it, having become the left foot. This lower body pair of legs run down the tunnel, bending at the knees. It doesn't lack a torso for long, as the upperbody of the Wild Force Megazord hovers in (arms jerking from side to side, as if 'running') and attaches onto the new Rhino legs in a flash of blue light! The Megazord with a new pair of legs keeps on running through the tunnel. In the valley, Red Ranger calls, "Soul Bird!" He and his teammates leap onto the silver craft known as the Soul Bird, before Cole activates, "Soul Drive... Merge!" The Soul Bird flies into the back of the WF Megazord, warping inside.

The Armadillozord, curled up in a ball, spins into the air. The Wild Force Megazord, now sporting its new Rhinozord legs-section, is not given a mode name change onscreen this episode, but it's called "Striker Mode" next time ('Striker' is a soccer term). Under the blue cloudy sky, a huge silver soccer arena appears in the near background of the Megazord. Filling the stands are thousands of small Ranger-colored balls, which bounce up and down, roaring loudly with a flood of cheers, as if spectators during a Futbol.. err, soccer game. The Megazord raises up its right thigh, bouncing Armadillo off it like a soccer ball twice. The balled Armadillozord goes with the flow, ricocheting up and dropping back down each time, but on the third descent, is knocked airborne again by the inner heel of the Megazord's left foot. The final body part for him to bounce off of is the head area, which sends his rolling ascending high, before dropping down and landing in the large open slot of the Megazord's right foot (the one made up of the Rhino's hind legs). With the Armadillozord secured in place within the right foot (his little head peeking out as the toe section, in respect to the Rhinozord's being the left toes), the Wild Force Megazord in Striker Mode completes transformation, holding its right leg raised and bent. The Megazord freezes in the pose and gleams with shining colors, as the arena background darkens, and Ranger-colored confetti rains down all around it. First the Shark-humping Giraffe, now this wanna-be Pele Zord... this season never fails to have the silliest Zord transformation scenes. The Predazord doesn't quite know what to make of this new mode, thus failing to react properly when the Megazord leaps up into the air, tilts sidewards, and begins to rapidly kick both of its new Rhinozord legs into the evil trio's chest! Pistoning foot by foot, the Megazord's legs batter into the Predazord, while knocking it several feet back, chest sparking all the way. Having kickingly hovered in the air long enough, the Wild Force Megazord Striker wobbily flips over, and lands fiercely facing the enraged Predazord. In the dark cockpit, Zen-Aku motions his arms, activating, "Gator Staff!" The Predazord readies its Alligatorzord-tail & Hammerhead-fin staff, holding the jagged tail-side up with its Hammerhead Shark right hand. The WF Megazord pulls out its own Fin Blade, holding it with its Blue Shark right hand. The two Megazords clash their respective swords into one another, each smashing against the other's left shoulder sparkily. The pair remain locked together, far too equally matched now. Slowly, they switch their positions, and when the Megazord kicks up its right Armadillo-ed foot, the Predazord punches at it with its silver Wolf left arm. The foot & fist collide explosively, knocking the blade-locked duo away from each other, stumbling back, just to get into weapon-bracing stances across the forest from one another.

Up in the Temple Ruins, Princess Shayla peers into the Viewing Pond, watching the battle. She leans back, touches her golden necklace, and urges into the air, "Cole! Aim for the Alligator mouth!" In the Soul Birded cockpit, Red Ranger hears her suggestion, replying eagerly, "You GOT it!" He points his fist forth, and tells his teammates, "Aim for his CHEST!" In the dark cockpit, Zen-Aku argues scoffingly, "I don't THINK so." The Predazord holds its arms out to the side, heaving its Gator-mouth chest forth. Zen-Aku snarls, as he gestures his arms threateningly, and commands, "Predator WAVE!" The Predazord inhales some purple energy into its Alligatorzord chest-mouth, before spewing forth the blinding beam of power that once destroyed the Master Org. Finally attempting to avoid this predictable shot, Cole screams, "MOVE it!" The Rangers grip their Soul Bird station-controls, and are able to get the Wild Force Megazord Striker quickly stepping to the side. The icy-white bolt of enhanced energy slams into the ground, causing a massive fireball in its wake. Having barely avoided sustaining a hit that would have surely finished them (thanks to the new, swifter feet), the WF Megazord holds up its Fin Blade, prepared for whatever lies next. In the Soul Birded cockpit, Black Bison Ranger proclaims, "It's SHOWtime!", as he replaces the Rhino Crystal in his Crystal Saber with the purple Armadillo orb. The Predazord holds its Hammerhead fist ahead, seeming afraid for once in its current consciousness. Scampering slowly out of the Megazord's right Rhino foot, the Armadillozord gets a few feet out, before jumping up and turning back into a spinning, hovering ball. The Megazord dashes forth, running off behind it. The Predazord jerks in astoundment once again, with Zen-Aku grunting, "WHAT?!"

Racing on an endless & desolate plain beneath a purple-tinted cloudy sky, the Wild Force Megazord Striker kicks the spinning Armadillo with its left Rhino-faced foot at least three times, keeping it, like a soccer-ball, rolling fast and onward. This attack is called "Final Strike", according to next time. Anyway, with each of the at least three kicks, the Armadillozord finds itself gaining power, as evident by its increasing twirling and glowing. One final forceful kick is struck into the Armadillo, leaving the Megazord stuck in its kicked-upward left leg position, as the spinning ball zooms forward across the battlefield at an unbelievable speed, tearing asunder the air around it into a cacophony of black & white light. Needless to say, that purple & silver whirling wheel of supercharged fury slams into the Predazord's chest, hitting the spot on the down-folded Alligator chest that houses the Crescent Boomerang. Immediately, a bursting of orange fire, followed by another. The darkened cockpit is shaken violently, causing Zen-Aku to nearly lose his footing as he growls disturbedly. The Predazord is engulfed in two large orange fireballs, with pitch black smoke pluming out of the center. The Armadillozord spinningly flies out of the center of this inferno, and returns to the WF Megazord Striker, via the 'cheering arena' footage again, from the 'inner left foot bounce' to the confetti rain conclusion. Covered in crackles of bluish electricity & steaming with smoke, the Predazord topples weakly onto its back. The Wild Force Megazord appears concerned for the fellow Wildzords, with Red Ranger inside screaming out, "MERRICK!" Predazord's body writhes, while inside the darkened cockpit, which is surging with electric bolts, Zen-Aku has fallen to his knees behind the control console. He grasps at his head, grunting in defeated agony. The Predazord's form grows lifeless in motion, just before it begins to glow with an audible light-blue radiance. Three small spheres of light, one for each of the Dark Wildzords, ascend into the sky, and go their separate ways, as the Megazord looks on in confusion. Nothing remains now of the Predazord, save for a fading light and smoke. In the darkness of Merrick's mind, the small green bug buzzes its wings, hindering his memory and controlling him for Nayzor. The bug rotates before us, and finally ignites aflame, turning into a blazing inferno that envelops the screen. The wolf mask, as it appeared before it merged with Merrick to form Zen-Aku, appears against the fiery backdrop. Zen-Aku's screams of defiance fill the air, "NOOOOOOO!!!!", as cracks & fissures of light form all over the mask. Instantly, the black & silver cursed wolf mask shatters into several pieces, shooting away from the scorching heat.

Frantically sprinting as quickly as her white gowned legs can take her, Princess Shayla searches about the forest for any sign of her Silver Protector. She rounds the trees, racing over the grassy hills, looking from side to side. Alternating her hands so that one is always pulling up her skirt enough to keep her from stepping on it, and the other is hanging in the air. Shayla's face is happy the whole time, not concerned whatsoever for whatever the outcome of the destruction of Zen-Aku. She's excitedly, especially when she pauses atop a hill, and spots the unconscious body of Merrick, lying on his back in the bushes far ahead. The Princess cries his name aloud in ecstasy, rushing at an even brisker pace with her white dress shoes through the tall lawn. She fails to notice that, concealed by this heavy grass, are the several shattered fragments of the cursed wolf mask of Zen-Aku. It's harmless now, discarded, and all but forgotten by everyone. Princess Shayla kneels beside the lifeless body of the Ancient Warrior, sobbing joyously as she places her hands upon his de-cursed form. Lifting his head up and resting it against her lap as she holds him tightly, Shayla continues to sob and smile. Merrick is totally oblivious, currently getting some unwilling shut-eye. She runs her hand along his unconscious face, as if admiring how truly real he is. The Princess is overwhelmed by emotion at the sight of seeing her once lover alive and well, after 3000 years. She speaks in only excited inhaling & exhaling gasps, including a relieved chuckle, as tears roll down the side of her nose. The only thing that can take her attention off of the Ancient Warrior's body, is the sound of the Rangers, calling out, "MERRICK!", like a chorus. Shayla sharply looks upwards, and gets nervous. Gently, she lays Merrick's head back down on the grass. Cole, then Taylor, calls out Merrick's name, implying they're getting closer to his location. Apparently still not wanting to let her modern-day friends know about her love affair from the past, Princess Shayla abandons her Silver Protector, and scrambles anxiously into the woods the way she came. The five Wild Force Activists arrive, just after she vanishes into the thick bushes opposite of them. They call our Merrick's name several more times, walking along as a group, seeking his body. Cole's the one who points out the big white lump amid the greenery, "THERE he is!" Urgently, our heroes race through the plantlife to his side. Cole leaps around the Ancient Warrior's head, skidding in the grass, as he frantically hoists his back up against his lap, whispering his name. Max crouches at the unconscious man's side, as the other three bend down together nearby, watching with concern. Cole repeats Merrick's name several times, as he pats his smudged face with the back of his left hand, trying to wake him up. Slowly, but surely, Merrick's facial features begin to become animated, along with a faint groan, meaning there's still some life left in the ancient and oft-cursed young man just yet...

[Scenes from "The Lone Wolf"; End Credits]

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