Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to their respective copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made from this fic.
Authors Note: This is an alternate universe from the television show with an alternate timeline.
Tradition of Treason
"I yearn to return to the battlefield, I crave the screams as I extinguish the lives of countless innocents. But I cannot, yet. The Earth is the key to my return. On that world or close by there is the apparatus I can use and its defenders are the greatest weapon the opposition possesses. The planet is a beacon of hope that has been shining for so long that few will miss it until it is extinguished. Go to Earth, secure me the machine I seek and prepare for my chosen's arrival. Then help him to destroy the ones known as the Power Rangers, and pave the way for my return to glory."
He remembered the conversation although the words had somehow changed. The conversation he preferred to remember had given him the task of destroying the Power Rangers, had contained a promise that he could personally destroy Tommy Oliver and the others that had caused him to agree to Dagsyxx's terms. Although he would admit that the unrelenting pain of having his body torn apart had been a convincing argument.
Now he was faced with a choice, did he obey the orders that echoed through his mind or should he follow the orders that he believed that Dagsyxx should have given him? He wanted the Rangers destroyed and had taken the first step to ensure their destruction; the Aquitar campaign had proven a huge success. Without the Alien Rangers and Gold Ranger as backup, the Rangers could not afford to lose a single battle. He didn't care about Dagsyxx and his desire for a body or anything else for that matter. He was going to destroy the Rangers and then conquer the planet.
And so he decided to commence stage two of his plan: the removal of the Gold Ranger. And so he went to Triforia, a world where technological and spirituality had been combined in an atmosphere of learning and development. The royal family were seen in the same ways as the Egyptians of Earth had once viewed their Pharaohs. They were gods to be worshipped and adored by the population, their word to be obeyed above all others. The Nebka dynasty had reigned over the world for hundreds of thousands of years with one king succeeding another to bring a continuing sense of security and wealth to their people.
And while their beliefs made them appear simplistic, their society was anything but backwards. Art and music were valued, science reaching greater levels of development as their space exploration continued. Their soldiers were as capable with swords and shields as they were with bio-suits and antitank rockets. They were a race that while facing forward had never forgotten the dark past they had left behind.
Time had passed and some parts of the old ways had disappeared, making way for the new. Triforia had evolved, but while some of their superstitions had been left behind, the belief in the Golden Goddess who had bestowed on the people the means to protect themselves and the position of the Royal Family as their greatest protectors.
It was therefore amusing to Minion that his plan involved turning a member of the Royal Family against his own people. He had selected Terr, the black sheep of the family to aid him. Terr would gain power and wealth and in return Triforia would decline to answer any calls for help from its former allies.
Long ago Triforia Prime had sent forth ships to colonise its apparently barren neighbours, founding a great commercial empire between worlds. The Triforian System as the final commonwealth of worlds became known was blessed with a wide variety of animal and plant life. And although the majority of those on Triforia itself were clearly humanoid, on the other worlds it was a very different story.
The system consisted of three central suns around which, five planets orbited. The three primary planets were the same size as Earth and had the same atmosphere and gravity. They were named Triforia, Drallax and Zecht. The two smaller planets of Tralus and Talus were habitable, but had an increased level of gravity.
Triforia itself was the second planet from the suns and home to system's humanoid population. Time had caused them to abandon the religions of old, mindless and constant dedication now watered down to occasional pilgrimage. Science had confirmed the existence of the three intermingled souls that made up each Triforian humanoid, but so far the only recorded case of a manifestation of all three souls was Lord Trey, the current heir to the throne.
Triforia was the system's government and their representative to the Galactic Council. Therefore the King or High Lord of Triforia as some now called him was the ruler of the entire system. The traditional protector of the planet, the King Ranger had been replaced with the being known throughout the quadrant as the Gold Ranger. Seven sacred artefacts used by the King and the heir to ensure peace had been melted down to forge the mighty Golden Power Staff. The pyramid tombs had been moved to a new place where they would remain undisturbed by the planet's development. The exception was the fabled Dark Pyramid, which nobody dared to disturb.
Drallax was a desert world, dry and warm. Apart from a few speculators who mined the planet for precious metals, the planet considered too primitive to visit. The native Dralls were larger that Triforian humans with large hands. They usually lived underground and their bodies were developed for digging. The few creatures that lived on the surface were either scavengers or bandits. It was also the place where Triforians buried their dead, a process that dated back to the times of the pyramids. The dead were placed in caskets and then entombed in pyramids, which in turn teleported, the caskets into the neighbouring planet's core.
The third planet, Zecht, was a world similar to Earth. Instead of the high concentration of Iron in the air, the planet was mostly copper and had resulted in some bizarre life forms. At least six different races lived on the planet each with a separate continent. The blue skinned Ciss were the dominant life form. Next came the green dwarf like Bevins with their four eyes, the orange skinned Ssi-runs, the green skinned Dorrsks and the Quarren. Animal life was abundant and technology had reached its peak. In fact the only reason Triforia was the capital of the System was because the people on Zecht held little interest in politics.
Talus was in a unique orbit that meant it only benefited from the light of all three suns for one month of the year. It was cooler than the other worlds that required weather control to maintain a breeze. Its inhabitants were a highly aggressive and competitive race, which had reached the pinnacle of fighting prowess and then destroyed their weapons. Because their world had three suns, they shared the Triforian Humans' ability to split their souls. Instead of Heart, Mind and Courage, they were able to divide into good and evil. They had mostly green skin with enlarged ears and sharp teeth. They served as both defenders and advisors although it was the advisory role that they preferred.
The final planet in the Triforian System was Tralus. Smaller than the other planets, it was a modern world where nature had taken a back seat to urbanisation. Metal cities towered into the sky where floating platforms provided even more residential areas. Real estate was expensive and only the elite could afford to visit let alone live there. The native Morlos had found a way to produce medicines from the planet's crust, something that brought in a vast amount of money.
It was on Tralus that the Golden Power Staff had been forged from the molten gold within the seven artefacts that symbolised the power of the old kings. The secret chamber hundreds of miles under the surface was filled with precious metal and contained the tools necessary for the production of powerful weapons. It was rumoured but never confirmed that a great Morphin Master had once used the forge's vast resources to create Ranger armour and that it was he who had found the way to recreate the King Ranger into the Gold Ranger of modern times, allowing the wielder to control the wild energy known as magic through the use of a powerful crystal.
The forge had been sealed since that time and it was said that only a member of the royal family could open the vault. And so it was that one of Trey's brother had entered the most restricted zone in the Triforian Star System and had set with the aid of Minion followed a path that would make him king.
Terr had long been the scourge of the Triforian system, following in the beliefs of previous traitors that the regime was too weak to protect itself and that only through enforced rule could loyalty be assured. That the royal line had endured for hundreds of thousands of years made little impression on such people.
Terr had been one of the more successful traitors because he had dabbled in the dark arts of his planet's past. Centuries before he had been sentenced to death and only the refusal of Lord Trey had saved him from that fate. To many that refusal would have been a blessing, to Terr it was a humiliation that he swore to avenge. After serving years in prison, Terr had left Triforia, but recently he had been returned to the planet when they had discovered that he was preying on the populations of other worlds.
Though they could not punish him for acts committed off-world, he was technically under arrest in system. He had endured the unofficial restrictions, claiming that they were a necessity if he was to gain the forgiveness of the people, the same people he planned to use to further his schemes.
The public was concerned about how much time the Gold Ranger was spending on the planet Earth, especially given recent rumours that Trey had become incapable of maintaining the unity of soul that all Triforians cherished. Such a thing was unheard of by many and had been suggested by others as an indication that Trey had been judged unworthy of being the Gold Ranger.
Terr planned to capitalize on the situation and the xenophobia that existed about Earthlings. Many that didn't know any better considered the planet a primitive backwater. Such feelings could be used and Terr was a master at manipulation.
As the fourth born child of a Triforian noble, he was considered by many to be a part of the Royal Family. If left to fate, he would never ascend to the throne or hold the smallest amount of political influence. Of course with the will of the people on his side and the accidental death of the Royal Family, anything could be possible. Providing of course he could devise a suitable accident. Minion had been sure to suggest plenty of unfortunate scenarios.
Earlier that day he had held a meeting with the outlawed Triforian Guardians, a group of warriors selected from the five planets who desired a return to Triforia's past when the religion of the Old Gods had encouraged expansion and aggression against supposed threats. Dressed in black spandex bodysuits covered by a white and gold body shield, white gloves and white boots tipped with gold, they relied not only on the modern weapons of the Triforian military, but the traditional arts of magic.
After a successful meeting where Minion's presence had proved a decisive factor, it was agreed that the Triforian Guardians would support Terr's quest for power in return for control of the Triforian Senate. The Guardians sought control of the minor planets, but that was something they would negotiate later. With the help of the Guardians, some of who were cousins of the Lord of Triforia, the sealed chamber had been opened and those who had witnessed the event had been sacrificed to the Gods.
"I knew it," Terr breathed as he looked into the hidden depths of the chamber. "The legends were true, this forge is the means to create a weapon that will ensure my reign." Ignoring the fighting that followed, he slipped into the chamber and started the next part of his scheme.
Terr worked quickly because he doubted even the Triforian Guardians would understand his next act. Despite its intention to use murder to gain power the Guardians' leadership had some very strange ideas about justice.
The flames licked around the near molten metal, spitting hot ash and burning anything it came into contact with. The heavy hammer connected with the metal flattening the rectangular blob to a six-inch length so he could bend it back on itself to create a crisp fold. Striking it again the forger continued to build the perfect blade, ensuring a small hole was left near the tip of the blade for the special surprise its victim would soon come to appreciate.
Ash flew from the flames striking his hand as he continued to work. It did not matter because soon all the pain would be worthwhile. He continued hammering until the metal had been folded over a thousand times. Then he set about forging a blade worthy of a king.
Hours passed as he worked diligently, constantly checking to ensure the blade maintained its shape. Soon he was holding a four-foot piece of molten metal in his hand and testing the weight and balance of the blade. The burns on his hand would be meaningless if he succeeded. He had seen the future and it was filled with jewels from the Royal Treasury.
His fingers dug into the scar on his face; picking out the pieces of metal still embedded there from the last time he had confronted the King and Queen. The wound was caused when their favourite son had taken his role as heir and protector a bit too seriously.
Still, it was those fragments that would give the sword that special armour piercing quality. Placing the golden metal into the blade he smiled as it merged with the metal and his blood ensuring a poison fit for a royal family.
A thin layer of clay along the edge of the blade and a thicker layer along the back ensured a mixture of hard and soft metal as he plunged it deep into ice cold water. Taking a handle and cross bar he fitted the sword together, careful to ensure the little surprise embedded in the hilt was fully movable.
Like a dancer he moved around testing the blade to ensure it was fully balance. All the time he was careful not to cut himself knowing that the metal would be poisonous to his race especially when mixed with his blood.
With the blade complete he considered his targets. He wanted to kill them, but to do so would raise too many questions. Better to have them placed under house arrest for their own protection and then brutally murdered by terrorists.
A knock on his workshop door forced him to stop examining his sword and assume the role life had chosen for him.
"Terr, I was told you wished to see me," Volar said. "I must admit I am perplexed as to why you are here. It is hardly the place for such a prominent member of our society, especially during this uprising."
"There's an uprising?" Terr asked in mock surprise. Volar obviously did not recall how he had gotten to this chamber. As a new advisor on Triforia, Volar had no idea of how Terr liked to operate.
"Yes Terr," Volar stated in a condescending tone. "There is indeed. I am surprised you didn't hear the commotion."
"Did you bring the body guards I requested?" Terr asked, changing the subject.
"Yes," came the reply. "Although I think it would be wiser for you to return to Triforia."
"Come inside Volar," Terr said. "And bring the guards with you."
Volar did as he was asked, his eyes widening when he realised exactly where he was. The guards stood at attention, their stun batons ready for action.
"You see Volar, I don't need to worry about being attacked by the Triforian Guardsmen," he watched as Volar's mouth opened at the mention of the group. "They are afterall fanatically loyal to the leader. A role I have come to appreciate."
Without warning Terr accessed the subspace pocket he had been given when he was a child. Bringing forth the sword he sliced into Volar's skin watching the pained look appear on the retainer's face. Volar howled in pain, holding his shoulder to stop the flow of blood.
"Does it hurt?" Terr asked venomously.
Volar's companions had drawn their sticks ready for a fight. Terr laughed, they were more servants than they were guards, and their weapons were simply for decoration. He parried their blows for a few minutes before increasing the force of his own blows to snap their batons. He stabbed all four of them and watched with pleasure as they collapsed as the poison took affect.
Moving with speed so they would not die until he was ready Terr labelled each of them. Volar was labelled as the king the others as Trey, his mother and two sisters. With a surgical strike he cut across four of the heads laughing as the blood ran over the floor. He then turned to the heir to the throne.
"I always knew it would be down to you and me Trey," he whispered before chopping off the other's head. "I can't wait to do this for real."
Taking a space-signalling device from subspace, he sent a message to his allies on board the defence stations positioned throughout the Triforia system. They in turn activated their weapons systems, guaranteeing an unpleasant time for any unwelcome visitors who chose to make an appearance, at least until the Guardsmen had assembled their vast fleet of stolen and salvaged warships.
Still swinging the sword he walked away leaving the dead bodies of his servants behind. Outside of the chamber he activated the forge's cleaning control. In a matter of minutes any organic material left in the chamber would be reduced to ashes.
"Long live the King!" he chuckled as he set course for his home world.
Despite official protests to the contrary, normally by one of the King's advisors, Triforia was not solely reliant on the Gold Ranger for its defence. The Gold Ranger was the most recognisable Ranger in the system, but there were others. At the time that the Golden Power Staff had been forged, four lesser powers had been crafted. The intention had been that the Gold Ranger would hold the power while the other powered beings would act as his ambassadors within the system.
Officially only the Gold Ranger was recognised as a true Power Ranger. The Silver, White, Black and Purple Rangers had been deputised to assist. Unlike the Gold Ranger powers, these avatars were not tied to the Royal Family. Lord Trey had agreed to aid Zordon of Eltare in time of need, but the four remaining Rangers were expected to remain in system at all times.
Despite his duty to the Earth, Trey had always been there when needed by Triforia. This time was the exception for even though he was on his way; Trey had no idea of what was to come. In his place the Rangers had assembled at the palace to protect their king. They had reluctantly left him when ordered to aid the ordinary people of the planet. So far they had managed without morphing. That was about to change.
"It's Morphin Time!" Zima, the acting leader called. "Black Ranger Power!"
"Purple Ranger Power!" Knell called
"White Ranger Power!" Fulani cried.
"Silver Ranger Power!" Alexia called.
Unlike the Rangers of Earth, the power team of Triforia did not share an appearance. Each wore armour instead of spandex that had been designed at its creation and had never changed. Nor were their uniforms based around colour. That was the reason for the near monochrome appearance of their bodysuits.
The attackers paused in their attack, awed by the sudden transformation. Despite having heard of Triforia's other Rangers few had ever seen them. Since the Triforian Guardians were mostly from outside the system, it was even less likely they had laid eyes on the new fighters.
When the Rangers charged, the effect was immediate. The Guardians turned tail in fear of what might happen. Those few who were too brave or too stupid to leave soon found that although their powers were not fully developed like those of the Gold Ranger, the Rangers could pack a mean punch. Soon, as the king's troops joined them, they were able to push the invaders back.
A sudden calm filled the scene and although they had no idea why, everyone stopped fighting for a moment. A stranger had appeared, his face hidden from their view. Raising his hands above his head, the stranger lifted his arms above his head and summoned his own armour. Shingle like armour covered his body, building a layer of slats each reinforcing the level below. Zima recognised the armour from somewhere, but couldn't place the familiar feeling.
"Now you peasants will meet your end," the creature breathed.
Zima got his first look at the creature's sword as it was driven into his side. Sparks flew as his suit compensated for the increased force of the blow. The suit's absorption system drained the force of the blow releasing it as heat and light. What Zima had believed to be the legendary Sword of Darkness was nothing of the sort. As the stranger's armour formed, so the sword changed shape into a blade covered in similar slats.
"Bring it on Rangers," the figure hissed.
Knell was first to attack, driving his powerful body into the stranger. His opponent did not move, simply faded so Knell's own strength carried him forward. When the Ranger was behind him, the stranger swung his sword. The gash although small in comparison to some blows was sufficient to send a powerful message to the other Rangers. Never had a weapon penetrated the armoured parts of their costumes. The remains of Knell's knee guard clattered on the ground.
Fulani and Alexia, normally the most reserved Rangers let out a battle cry and charged. With perfect timing they collided with the figure whilst he was off balance and succeeded in knocking him to the ground. Both stood with weapons drawn warning their opponent not to move. He did and they struck.
"Your weapons cannot hurt me," the black clad stranger told Zima as he hit him in the gut. "And your armour cannot protect you from me."
As the words escaped his lip the stranger exploded into action, slicing Fulani across the chest and watching in satisfaction as she dropped her weapons and demorphed. Blood poured from a small wound. The stranger's eyes glowed brighter as he drove the pummel of hilt of his sword into her head.
"Gleechark!" Alexia shrieked as she vaulted into her enemy determined to avenge Fulani. Her foot connected with the stranger's powerful body doing little damage. "Three phase!"
Alexia's body split into three separate forms, tripling her potential to hurt her enemy. To those who were caught unaware the assumption was that she had somehow mastered the ability to split and merge her soul at will. That was far from true. Two of the bodies were simply illusions intended to distract and confuse. The stranger was obviously one of those who knew the secret since he simply laughed as he ignored the duplicates and concentrated only on fighting the real opponent. He blocked her blows and then showed her how sharp his sword was when wielded by an expert.
"A funny thing about that spell, eliminate the real Alexia and it fades." To prove his point he drove the flat of his sword into the real Alexia's throat, knowing full well that his revelation was based on nothing but common sense. He watched as she dropped to her knees and the illusions followed suit. All three dropped to their knees and then two of them vanished.
Still laughing, the figure turned to face the remaining Rangers and attacked, aiming for the already injured Knell. The powerful Ranger fought valiantly
"Combine powers!" Zima shouted to Knell. It was said too late as the stranger's next blow struck the other Ranger's head.
The two faced off, warrior to warrior. They exploded into combat both stretching themselves to the limit, but ultimately Zima was hit across the leg. A second blow landed into his ribs. Zima gasped and dropped his sword. He attempted to fight unarmed but was clearly outmatched. A second blow to the ribs punctured his lung.
As unconsciousness threatened to overtake him, Zima knew he had no chance. He looked up at the masked face and noted the eyes glowing brighter than ever. No, they weren't eyes, they were part of the visor intended to look like eyes.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"I am your king and I am the one that is going to see you executed for treason!"
Zima searched desperately for a way to escape. Making the flattest fist he could imagine he jabbed directly for the creature's throat. He felt what should have been the windpipe give way under the pressure he applied. With a feral growl the stranger tore his mask away revealing his face. Zima's eyes went wide as he recognised his attacker.
"It cannot be you," he protested. "They forgave you; Trey spared your life!"
"Yes he did," Terr answered. "And soon I'll make him regret that choice."
"Trey will throw you through the dimensional doorway when he finds out."
The figure grinned, "Your precious Lord Trey is on Earth and has no idea what is happening. By the time he does I will have solidified my hold on the star system."
"You're part of the Triforian Guardians aren't you?" Zima asked trying to find his sword. He had finally recognised the armour.
The figure laughed, a cold laugh without any positive emotion. "I like the name Terr better," he said. "And soon I will be king." He walked behind the last Ranger and ignoring Zima's power, kicked him in the back of the head.
"Hurry Your Majesty, we must get to the shelter," Terr said his voice filled with concern a few minutes later.
Overhead he could see the battle between the Triforian Guardians and the Royal Guard. The Guardians were winning.
"Father, we must help our people," Trianna protested.
As the oldest sister she had chosen to pursue magic as her future art form. Already she was an accomplished psychic, able to link different parts of the kingdom together with her insight.
"There is no time," Terr replied. He was desperate to get this family to the safety of the Royal Bunker.
Triforia's defence forces had scrambled and were picking off the attackers who attempted to land on the planet. The battle overhead sounded like the attackers were winning.
"Look!" Queen Trania shouted. In the distance they could see the spot where the Rangers had been slaughtered. The remains had been placed on pikes to inspire fear. "We must aid them."
"No Ma'am," Terr said quickly. "Tradition demands that the King and Queen are guarded from harm and not allowed to fight in Triforia's troubles."
"A stupid rule," the King muttered but he knew Terr was correct. He was bound by traditions set down in the history of their world. "I must remember to set some new traditions."
"Even so," Terr smiled. "For the time being you have no choice but to obey your defender. Or shall I call back our forces to make you obey. You could almost say that until I deem the emergency over, I am king."
The King knew Terr had won this round. He had taken a rule created to prevent the loss of a sovereign and used it to gain control of Triforia.
"Cheer up," Terr smiled. "It'll be all over very soon."
Something about Terr's tone concerned the King, but he let it go. Soon they were in the shelter designed to act as war room in times of trouble. As the door slammed shut Trania noticed the sword in Terr's hand.
"Terr, you know you are not allowed to carry a sword," she said. The ruling had followed a drunken brawl in which Terr had killed a man. As punishment her son Trey had proclaimed that Terr could never again carry a sword.
"Oh but I am," Terr replied. "The King is allowed to do anything and I am the King!"
As the words escaped his lips, Terr drove his sword into the King's heart. Trinus's eyes opened wide but no sound escaped his equally wide lips. The King dropped to the floor as Terr advanced on the now hysterical Queen.
"If you three ladies would care to stand still I can make this very painless for you. The King has been brutally attacked and you three are the witnesses. As such you are under arrest and will be secured as prisoners until such time as the traitor is caught and you can testify against him."
Trianna blasted him with her magical powers, tapping the mystical energies around her and directing them at her father's killer.
"Please!" Terr droned with a voice that sounded both bored and annoyed. "Don't do that."
Trianna hit him again, but he simply laughed and slapped her across the face, levelling the sword to her neck.
"Try that again and there will be more than one death today," he warned.
Moments later the door burst open and she was relieved that help had arrived.
"Terr!" Tristan growled.
Tristan was Trey's oldest cousin and was next in line to the throne if should anything happen to his cousins. Behind him stood six of the king's finest guards.
"You disappoint me Cousin," Terr hissed. "I thought you would have killed them by now."
"Always the picky one aren't you Terr?" Tristan asked. While Tristan could count Trey on one side of his family, he was related to Terr through his mother.
He spun on his heel and blasted the guards. They collapsed to the ground as the queen and her daughters realised that he had joined the conspiracy.
"You can't kill them," Tristan said.
"And why not?" Terr asked.
"Because we need them to renounce power once Trey is convicted!" Tristan answered, laughing at the look on the queen's face. She looked devastated.
"Tell our forces to secure the other planets," Terr ordered. "Triforia is mine." He looked down at the fallen king. "And call a doctor. It would be better if he died i someone else's care."
Despite the state of almost martial law and the ban on interplanetary communications and travel, things remained calm of Triforia. Terr had followed Tristan's advice and retained the king's advisors as a symbol of the continuity of state. Of course they had no power and were forced to work at gunpoint, but they were still there. It was now a week since Terr had swept to power and life was returning to normal. The royal guard had been disbanded and replaced by the Triforian Guardians.
Prince Terr's coronation was an event long to be remembered in Triforian history. The nobles had looked for any loophole to remove him from power, but found none. Ferin had even supported the application stating that tradition came first. In truth they realised that any attempt to remove him from power would result in blood shed. They could always proclaim the coronation illegal at a later date.
A long possession had taken place from the palace to the Temple of the Golden Goddess to ask for her blessing. The High Priest had conducted the ceremony flawlessly to the point that several people were waiting for. For Terr it would act to ensure his future commands would not be rejected. For the High Council it was their last chance of salvation.
"Does any person here know of a reason why Prince Terr should not be declared our King and keeper of the Golden Power Staff?"
There was no reply. The positioning of Triforian Guardsmen throughout the crowd had ensured the process was not disrupted.
"Then by the power of the Golden Lady, I pronounce thee King of Triforia," the priest said. "All hail Terr."
"Hold!" one of the courtiers, cried. "Terr cannot be king."
"Explain," Terr said in a menacing tone.
"Terr is a former criminal guilty of treason. Only if he is forgiven by a former monarch or the Lord of Triforia can he be allowed to hold an office of power." The courtier deliberately addressed his comments to the crowd and not Terr. "Since the other members of the Royal Family are under arrest, only Lord Trey himself can appoint Terr as King of Triforia."
At Terr's gesture the man was dragged away for what he told the crowd was further research. Inside though he knew he needed Trey on Triforia. He had heard the heir was on the way, but had no idea where he was.
"Terr! Terr!" was the shout from the crowd.
"Thank you, my people," Terr said. "This matter will be resolved. If Trey is alive, we will find him and bring him here to rule. If he declines, we will convince him to name me as the king. We will grow stronger though, this I promise you."
With that he turned and walked away with Tristan at his side. "Contact Huntrax for me Tristan," he said firmly when he was certain nobody would hear. He would be king, even if he had to destroy the planet to do so.
Terr knew the situation on Triforia would destabilise quickly if Trey was arrested, but he needed to do so to secure his position as king. The Triforian Guardians' elite squadron had crushed the pockets of resistance that had refused to accept Terr's coronation, quickly, but the uncertainty recent event had caused threatened to ignite overt resistance. The entire system had been brought to its knees in honour of Terr and his new heir Tristan only to witness their new master's embarrassment when a loudmouthed courtier had dared to interfere.
In the past, the Triforia Star System had been annexed to a great empire, which later fell when its ruler vanished. Released from tyranny, the Triforian Guardians had tried to seize the reigns of the old power and had steadily conquered world after world. They had even succeeded in taking new worlds that were outside the old empire. In the end though a powerful Galactic Council overthrew them.
Millions of years later, the reputation remained. The creation of the Golden Power Staff and subsequently the Power Rangers had eased the fears of many, but not all. And the descendants of the Triforian Guardians remained as strong as ever behind the scenes.
Even on Triforia itself there were still scars from the past; not all the symbols of the Triforian Guardians were gone. The forge would enable him to make those symbols important again. And the key was the Golden Power Staff and control of Pyramidas. Together with the technology the forge could produce he envisioned a weapon capable of concentrating the power of Triforia's three suns and using them to crush armies. The plan relied upon Pyramidas. When used correctly it commanded a weapon capable of ensuring the Triforian Guardians' continued reign.
Sadly over time and without a suitable leader, the Guardians had lost their knowledge of war. There mighty implements of fear and destruction had been lost, their symbols of oppression transformed into symbols of hope and righteousness.
But Triforia's rulers had failed to completely neutralise the threat of the Triforian Guardians. They assumed that the removal of the Golden Power Staff would be enough. All had forgotten their influence on Triforia, at least outwardly. But Terr had learnt the legends and had felt the pull just as others had before him. He studied everything about the mysterious leader, but couldn't even find his name. However, he had learnt of the enchantments placed on the Golden Power Staff and the monstrous machine named Pyramidas. He had known at that time that he was destined to follow his ancestors' path.
Taking the Golden Power Staff had always been the obstacle, killing the king had been easy in comparison. To start with he had simply dispatched the Varox to kill Trey. But Trey was too stubborn to die and the new friends he made on Earth had protected him and his power. With that failure Terr had tried a different approach. Instead of attacking Trey directly, he had set about reforming the Triforian Guardians. With them serving as a private army, Terr had been able to conquer the entire system, but Trey still eluded him. Now after Minion had told him Trey was en route, he knew the day of reckoning had arrived.
Trey sat in the control deck of Pyramidas feeling alone despite his passengers. He knew it was partially guilt at leaving the Rangers of Earth own their own after so recently regaining his powers; Zordon had suggested it was due to Trey's need to be the Gold Ranger once more. Either way it meant that with his powers restored Trey was required to return to Triforia in the hope that the priests of the old religions could aid him in attaining unity. Besides, he needed his father's approval before continuing on his mission.
Behind him he could sense Travis and Trent deep in conversation as they exchanged view on different matters. One spoke emphatically, pouring his emotion into the debate while the other maintained a steady composure, never allowing himself to be baited by his ally's outbursts. Despite the fact they had once been a single entity, it was growing more evident that they had lost more than physical unity in recent weeks. The differences between Travis, Trent and Trey had become more apparent as they had been forced to spend time together.
If he was truly honest with himself, Trey knew that he was happy to be going home. It had been a long time since he had left to carry out his mission as the Gold Ranger. Travel between Triforia and Earth was slow and in Pyramidas, a machine built more for power than its hyper space capabilities, it took that much longer. He was returning home to take his place as leader of his people. His mother had done an excellent job of running Triforia in his absence and his father was perfect as a symbolic king, but Trey knew he should get back to where he belonged.
He had kept in touch with Ferin and Zared his two most trusted advisors and thus been able to make important decisions away from the High Council. He sighed as he realised that those few times had been the rare occasions where he could make a decision without his advisors using the planet's traditions to overall his authority. If galactic decisions were difficult then Triforian leadership was almost impossible.
It felt strange being in space again after spending so long on Earth. Earth was a planet considered a backwater by the Galactic Council, but the diversity and ability to grow of its people had amazed Trey. True some of their attitudes could be considered barbaric, but compared to some worlds where extreme sexual and skin colour prejudice was the norm, Earth was an example to be followed rather than ignored.
The computer next to Trey's chair beeped alerting him he had a message. Pushing the answer button he was surprised to find the message was in hologram format. Before him appeared Ferin, a rather short man with a long white beard that he thought looked distinguished.
I am sorry to disturb you during your travels, but I am the bearer of grim news. Zared was found murdered in his chambers this morning and we as yet unable to find the culprit. The reason I call is to advise that follow a vote the Council has used its powers as is our tradition..."
There was that word again: tradition. In truth Trey knew the Council invented traditional powers as they went along and hoped Trey would not notice. It was getting so the role of Lord was no longer important to the decision making process. Trey knew if the Council had its way he would simply appear once a year to make a speech on holocam for the people to behave and pay their taxes.
"... to elect a new and worthy member to the High Council. Volar is anxious to work with you to ensure the continued success of our world."
Ferin's face grew more serious as his rehearsed speech ended and he was able to speak his true mind.
"I know this doesn't please you Trey, but the High Council was going to do this whether or not they had your agreement. Volar is a good man and a close ally. I think you will be amazed at the support he will be able to raise for your ideas.
On a side note I must tell you that Terr has returned to the Capital. So far he is obeying the rules of his pardon and we are keeping your family under guard.
Have a good trip Trey, I look forward to your return."
Trey looked at the spot where the hologram had been. Terr was back in the Capital, something he had hoped would never happen. It seemed an eternity ago that Terr had been sentenced and forced to leave the Triforian system only to be dragged back again when his behaviour had proven embarrassing. He had fought Trey's father and almost succeeded in killing him. As a result the King was never the same mentally and Trey had been forced to take over his activities.
A battle had raged between Trey and Terr ending when Trey had used his Golden Power Staff. Even as he stood over his younger opponent Trey knew he could not kill him. He had offered Terr a chance to save himself and his opponent had agreed.
As a result Terr was bound to the Triforia system, a prisoner in his own system and bound to follow the decisions of the High Council in all matters. Trey, knowing the council, had assumed that in itself was sufficient punishment.
"Volar!" Travis snorted. "How anyone could refer to him as a valued ally is beyond me."
"He is a good man even if he is a little set in his ways," Trent answered.
Trey and Travis turned to look at their companion who was doing his level best not to burst out laughing.
Sitting back Trey decided to enjoy his peace while it was still there. When he reached Triforia, he expected to be mobbed by advisors. Had he known that his return would set in motion a chain of events leading to the loss of many of the things he held dear, maybe he would have changed his mind.
"We cannot outrun them," Travis called from the gun well where he was proving himself an ace shot against their pursuers. "We must stand and fight."
When they had emerged just outside of the Triforian system, their ship had been attack by unknown forces. Trey had tried to move them to safety, but Pyramidas's size also counted against it where speed was a requirement. Fortunately Pyramidas came prepared for such contingencies.
"He is correct," Trent confirmed from his position at the top of Pyramidas. "We can use the Vipers."
Vipers were the name given to a form of outdated one-man fighter craft with three wings at the rear. By bouncing a beam of energy off the tip of each wing, they formed an equilateral triangle, which connected to the nose cone gave each fighter a powerful weapon. Normally they would remain in their hangar deep inside Pyramidas, but today they were needed.
"Viper One and Two are online," Trey called over his shoulder. "Do not forget your armour."
Triforian Battle Armour came complete with a magnetic containment field capable of sustaining a pilot for a short time in the vacuum of space.
Trent and Travis nodded and disappeared to launch their ships.
The shields buckled and failed as the continuous blast took its toll. Trey banked his ship hard to the left in the hopes that it would place another side of the mighty pyramid in his enemies' way. But the damage was done. Pyramidas lurched to the side as its hull buckled. Caught in the gravity of a planet the ship entered the atmosphere and appeared to explode.
"Trey!" Travis and Trent called.
They swung their ships in perfect unison and tore into their opponents. They succeeded in tearing first Huntrax's fleet and then her craft to pieces before splitting up. Trent would go on to Triforia and explain the situation. For those who were expecting him he would play the role of Trey of Triforia, while Travis searched the planet below in the vain hope that Pyramidas and its occupant survived.
Trent gently guided his Viper onto the landing pad, surprised that his father had allowed such a large contingent of guards to welcome him. He reversed thrust to slow his descent, took his time opening the cockpit and finally clambered out. He was shocked when the guards did not snap to attention until he saw Terr approach. The look on his face turned Trent's stomach. ~Oh Terr, what have you done?~
"Trey," Terr acknowledged. "I hope the second part of your journey was uneventful."
"It was," Trent replied. "Where is my father?"
"Dead," Terr told him. "The Queen and your sisters have been placed in secure custody."
"Who did this?" Trent asked.
Terr leant close and embraced him in a firm bear hug. As he did so Trey could hear the guards move and when Terr released him he found all guns were trained on him.
"I am sorry," Terr said. "I would have had you killed as well, but you have something I need. When you hand over the Golden Power Staff, I will be more than happy to correct that oversight."
"Why?" Trent asked.
"Because I could," Terr whispered as he walked away. "Lord Trey is under arrest. If he attempts to morph, kill him and exterminate three cities. If he complies, destroy two of the smaller settlements on his orders. Your people will learn to hate you Trey, but their fate is still in your hands."
With that Terr turned to make his report and Trey was led away.
Compared to Aquitar, the events on Triforia had gone as planned. Terr's greed had made him a valuable ally for a short time. The usurper would hold Trey indefinitely and Trey's refusal to hand over the Golden Power Staff would prevent Terr from doing more than intimidating a few natives.
He briefly considered advising Terr that he had the wrong Lord, but decided it would be more fun to watch the fireworks when the real Trey arrived. In the meantime he had other matters to attend to. With two major allies removed, it was time to introduce himself to the Rangers.
And far away in a galaxy separated from the Machine Empire by a dimensional membrane, a young boy allowed an angry cry to escape his lips, shaking the hidden galaxy and destroying the service droids that had been nearby. Minion was proving to be unreliable. It was fortunate that his plans did not depend solely upon the disloyal construct.