Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. All characters belonging to that show are the property of their respective copyright owners. No money is being made from this fanfic. The basic storyline and parts of this chapter were created by Matt.
Author's Note: This story is based in the Conquest of Evil Universe.
It was early in the morning and the Revilo household was quiet. There was no sign of life yet except for in one place - the kitchen. There, Sam Revilo, the house's only living occupant sat contemplating his future. The events of Halloween had changed his outlook on his existence. No longer did he believe himself doomed to live forever, but instead gifted with a second chance.
And for all their fears, the Zeo Rangers were recovering further every day after their encounter with Minion. Facing their fears in Nyghtmayr's deceptions had helped them considerably. They had even decided to remain Rangers until they graduated, giving both teams the opportunity to find and train replacements.
"One day at a time," Sam reminded himself as he conjured a cup of coffee. "Nobody knows what tomorrow might bring."
Sam was on watch duty when the alarm sounded; the Rangers had taken it in turns to remain in the Power Chamber with Alpha and Zordon. This allowed them to help decide which team or combination of Rangers should be used. He expected to hear Alpha shouting 'Ay-yi-yi', but the little robot was busy overhauling the Zeo Jet Cycles. He quickly switched the alarms off so nobody else would be alerted and checked up on the problem. As he watched the view screen, he saw a disgusting, green-clad knight.
He wasn't doing anything yet, nor did he need to. The scanners had been programmed to alert the Rangers as soon as anything happened.
"Zordon, call in the others," he said. "I'll go on ahead."
"Very well Sam," Zordon rumbled.
"It's Morphin Time!" he called. "Green Ranger Power!" As the energy transformed him, he hit the control on the console to make himself teleport away; Zordon had already set the coordinates of the monster into the teleporter.
Vartri stood waiting, he knew it wouldn't be long before the Rangers showed up. He was surprised when he just saw a flash of red energy approach. As Sam appeared, he laughed. "Just one Ranger. Are you trying to make this easy for me?"
"One Ranger's all it's gonna take to stop you!" Sam said, facing the monster.
"We'll see about that." Vartri grinned, showing off his rancid teeth.
"Aw man, you never heard of a toothbrush?" Sam asked, repulsed at the sight of them.
"Hey, no need to get personal!" Vartri said, unsheathing his sword, which was completely clean, unlike everything else on him. The blade of the sword was spotless and polished to a brilliant sheen.
"Oh, you wanna duel?" Sam asked as he summoned his own sword. "Dragon Blade!"
He charged forward and swung the blade towards the monster, which brought up his own sword up to block it. The two circled each other rapidly, attacking as soon as they noticed a gap in the other's defence, both managing to block most of the attacks, although every now and then, one of them managed to land a hit.
Vartri suddenly managed to pull away slightly and turned round, bringing his sword round fast. It struck into Sam's upper arm, cut straight through the protective suit and right into his flesh. He flinched slightly, but didn't let it bother him. Instead he just moved away, getting out of the knight's reach.
"I got it!" the monster called out. He held up the sword which now had Sam's blood trickling down one side of it. The sword teleported away, but Vartri stayed.
"Hey, you damaged my uniform! You're going to pay for that," Green Ranger warned. He held up the Dragon Sword and attacked, hoping to slice the monster to pieces. He was unfortunate though since Vartri somehow found the means to block the Ranger's attacks.
At that point the other Morphin Rangers made an appearance, battering the monster while David waited for his turn. At a shout from Jason, the White Ranger made a series of rapid slashes, generating a batch of energy arrows that hovered awaiting his command.
The arrows raced toward the trapped monster, just as Aisha, Trini and Kimberly delivered the perfectly timed kicks needed to throw him into the path of the White Ranger's attack. Vartri screamed as the arrows tore into his hide, but somehow managed to hold on.
Billy took the initiative to attack, using his Power Lance to ruthlessly harass the monster before allowing Zack to use his shoulders as a launch platform; the Black Ranger brought the sharp edge of his Power Axe down onto the waiting monster's head, only to cleave through the hand the Vartri raised in defence.
Jason was quick on the uptake, jumping in to land two diagonal strikes, a quick horizontal slash and a vertical slash. He turned away, allowing Sam the opportunity to finish the fight. Sam did so, pouring a little of his power into the Dragon Blade, he made a series of rapid movements, creating a ball of green light. Then he thrust the point of the blade through the mass of energy and released the burning energy toward Vartri. The blast struck the monster and Vartri was blown apart.
"You wanted to face the whole team and that's what you got," Sam laughed as he sheaved his weapon and the team teleported back to the Power Chamber. As he went, he thought back on the battle. "Wonder what was with that sword disappearing?"
"It worked exactly as planned," he announced to the darkness. "Vartri was destroyed and the Rangers still live, but I have this."
He laughed, holding up a small vial containing a small amount of red liquid.
"Samoht Revilo's blood," he said in answered to an unspoken question. "Such a powerful substance to keep the body running, keeping it warm and allowing him to survive. In my hands this is so much more, it is a weapon."
He was a strange warrior, slightly demented from over using his skills. He looked human, but he had several weapons over himself and looked more than capable of using them.
"With this blood and my soldiers I can create warriors that can target him specifically. It takes some time for them to adapt to it, but once done the results are well worth the inconvenience."
Later that morning, the Power Chamber was busy. After the battle Sam had explained what had happened and Zordon had expressed concern when he had heard that the monster had drawn blood. From there he had set Alpha to work checking Sam for signs of illness while he consulted his archives on Vartri. By the time they were finished, Sam was desperate to rejoin his friends and grab something to eat.
Afternoon and evening passed, the night fell. Some of the Rangers had arranged to meet up for the evening, just talking or mucking about. Sam for his part returned to his home, deactivating the illusion spell for the evening. He couldn't wait to get to bed. He was falling asleep almost before he lay down.
He was just drifting off to sleep, when he heard someone say, "Come on Green Ranger, we're waiting for you!"
He sat up quickly and checked his communicator, it hadn't been activated and there was nobody else in the room. He was confused, especially since a quick look revealed that both the house and the street were empty.
"Alpha, this is Sam," he said into his communicator.
"Ay-yi-yi," the answer eventually came from Alpha, "What's wrong Sam? Why are you up this late?"
"Has anyone tried to contact me?" he asked.
"No, the communicator logs show no sign of activity since this morning." Alpha replied quickly. "Is there a problem?"
"No, I must have been dreaming. Sorry to bother you." he said, cutting the communicator signal. He took one more look round, then lay back down and closed his eyes. Mere seconds later he heard it again.
"Come to us!"
He shot up in his bed and looked round again.
"Who are you?" he asked, not knowing if whatever it was could hear him.
"You will find out soon enough, but you must come to us," the voice answered.
He thought for a moment, then stood up and said, "I'm on my way!" He morphed and teleported away. Teleporting without knowing the destination was risky, but the Green Ranger trusted that whomever it was speaking to him wanted him intact.
The Green Ranger landed on a dark plain. He couldn't see much of anything as it was so late and there was no moon. He looked round, hoping to see something, but there was nothing.
"Okay, show yourself, who are you?" he shouted.
"Who are we? We're your worst nightmare!" one voice called out.
"Are you sure you want us to show ourselves?" another voice asked.
"Of course!" Sam called back.
"Very well, so be it!" a third voice called, this one was the same voice he had heard before.
Suddenly, from some unknown source, the whole area was illuminated. Sam looked to where he had heard the voices and saw them. The first was a tall, human looking man in vague armour, carried an array of weapons. The second was a suit of armour, well part of it. It was the main body, waist, arms and head, but no legs. It just floated there holding a classic broad sword in his hand. The third looked like some kind of werewolf. It was covered in grey fur and held its clawed hands out in front of itself. Its snout was lined with glistening, razor-sharp white teeth.
"Who are you and what do you want?" Sam asked, as if he didn't already know.
"I am Brak, this is Ferrin," he said, pointing first to himself and the to the werewolf. Next he pointed to the third person, "and this is Phasm. We want only one thing. And that's you... dead!"
"And what makes you so sure you can succeed where so many others have failed?" Sam asked.
All three just laughed at him. "You'll see!" Brak said confidently.
"Stop talking and start fighting!" Sam snapped, eager to finish them and get back to his bed.
"Very well. Ferrin, attack." Brak ordered. In a split second, the wolf creature had pounced forward and landed next to the Green Ranger. He slashed his claws across Sam's chest, knocking him down to his knees despite the Green Ranger's shield preventing any real harm. He looked up at the monster that was about to strike again and acted on impulse. He swept his leg round and knocked Ferrin to the ground, then back flipped away.
"Man, I can't be bothered with this right now. Blade Blaster!" Sam called out, drawing the most basic weapon at his disposal. Immediately changing it to sword mode, he ran toward the monster, delivering a few blows before thrusting it through the werewolf's chest. The Green Ranger had always been a fierce and powerful fighter, he felt pleased that even with a simple weapon like the Blade Blaster he could hold his own. The creature howled in agony, then fell to the ground dead, slowly sliding off the end of the blade.
"One down, two to go!" Sam grinned as he looked over at the other two. "Who's next?"
"Phasm, go!" Brak said quite calmly, not even seeming bothered by the defeat of Ferrin. The armoured ghost flew towards, its sword held in a position to strike.
Sam saw it coming and decided that perhaps this opponent deserved something more forceful. "Dragon Blade!" he cried. The elongated version of his Dragon Dagger appeared at his command, just in time to block Phasm's strike. Instead of slicing into him, as it would have done before, it just sparked against his weapon, forcing him back and confirming that Phasm was capable of delivering a powerful downward strike. "That was a big mistake, buddy!" he growled as he quick-stepped another blow, causing Phasm to overreach.
He struck the Dragon Blade against the ghostly armour, but it had little effect. He tried again and still caused very little damage. Phasm lashed out at the Green Ranger, first a hard punch, followed through with a shoulder swipe from the sword. Sam fell but wasn't down. Normally in that situation, he would retaliate with a leg sweep to give him time to recover, but as Phasm had no legs, that was impossible. He rolled to the side, then backwards onto his feet and jumped away. He thrust his hands out in front of him, the palms pointing at the ghost warrior. Using his hands as a conduit for the Morphin energy, he fired a ball of fire that struck Phasm hard. The armour fell to the ground, disassembled and unmoving.
"So much for them two!" Sam called out, looking over at Brak.
"Now don't speak too soon!" Brak smiled cruelly.
"Wha...." Sam started, but he was struck from behind before he could even finish the word. He fell to the ground and instantly rolled over, looking up at his assailant. It was Phasm. He had been reassembled.
Brak watched impassively as the Ranger battled the empty suit. That was all it was, an old suit of armour that Brak had fitted with artificial intelligence.
"It takes more than that to defeat me!" Phasm said, his ghostly voice echoing about inside the armour.
"Really?" Sam asked. "Well I got plenty more to give. Let's see if you can take it! Dragon Blade, Energise!" At the Green Ranger's command his sword was transformed into a glowing column of energy. With a cry of rage he charged toward Phasm, slicing at him then turned and came back, attacking him again. Over and over he ran past, causing ever more damage to the ghostly warrior. Finally, he stopped. He turned to face Phasm, who was weakened, but not defeated.
"Siek-yah!" he cried, driving the point of the blade into the armour, causing the energised blade to explode with energy. As the dozens of energy flares struck him and exploded, they melted his armour away. Within seconds it became no more than a discoloured pile of slag on the ground.
"Okay, just you and me now!" Sam said, despite being worn out completely.
"Me, oh no Ranger, you haven't proven worthy of my notice. Besides, I have other things to do." Brak said, and disappeared.
"So much for those clowns!" Sam commented, before teleporting away himself.
Sam arrived back in his room, powered down. He got straight into bed and closed his eyes. He was almost asleep when he was disturbed again.
"GREEN RANGER!" he heard Brak shout.
Reluctantly, he opened his eyes and answered. "How are you talking to me?" he asked.
"That's not important. You will come to us now!" Brak ordered.
"Why, so you can challenge me and get so severely beaten that you have to run away in sheer terror?" Sam asked.
"Your overconfidence will be your undoing," Brak told him sagely. "But right now you have no choice. Either you come to us, or we'll come to you!" Brak said.
"I'd like to see you try." Sam laughed, reinforcing the protections he had placed around his home.
"Very well, I can see that a demonstration is in order," Brak said. He went silent and seconds later, Brak appeared in front of him. He pulled out a sword and swiped it towards Sam. He jumped out of the way and the weapon sliced into a pillow, releasing a cloud of feathers.
"Okay, I'm convinced!" Sam called out. Brak disappeared and Sam got to his feet. "Okay, I'm coming!" He morphed and teleported to wherever Brak had gone.
Sam appeared back in the mysteriously lit battleground. He looked around again and saw Brak standing with three more warriors. They all looked like humans dressed in tight fitting black Ninja suits and masks. The first had a red band tied round his forehead; it's ends flapping around his shoulders in the slight breeze. The second had a White band and the third had a Blue band.
"How did you do that?" Sam snapped at Brak. He was already tired from the last fight and didn't have the patience to be polite.
"That's my secret!" Brak smiled cruelly. "I'd like to introduce you to the Shadow Ninja's. They should present somewhat more of a challenge than Ferrin or Phasm did. NINJA'S ATTACK!"
The three black-clad warriors charged at the Green Ranger. The first flew at him with a punch, the second with a kick towards his head and the third followed through with a kick to the stomach. Sam blocked the punch, ducked the first kick and grabbed the last foot in his hands and spun the Ninja round. The White Ninja, whose foot Sam was holding, swung round in the air hitting Red and Blue to the ground. Next the Ranger let go of the White Shadow Ninja who landed between his two companions.
"Pathetic!" Sam commented, turning to their leader. "I've fought Tengas who could do better than that!"
Brak glared at him and grinned as he saw the three Ninjas getting to their feet behind him. Instantly, Sam brought out his Blade Blaster and fired two shots over one shoulder, then a third over his other. Each shot hit one of the Ninjas. "Come on. Attacking from behind. I thought they would have at least had honour!"
"Your confidence will be your undoing, Ranger!" Brak swore.
"Don't count on it." Sam said back. The Ninja's recovered from the shots sooner than expected, so Sam never even saw what hit him. He collapsed to the ground and felt a sharp pain in his back. He reached round and pulled something out. "AAAAARGH!" he shouted as he pulled it out. As he brought his hand round where he could see it, he saw a blood-covered shuriken.
He flipped up onto his feet and looked at the Shadow Ninja's who were back on their feet. "WHO THREW THAT?" Sam screamed at them. Surprisingly, Blue and White both pointed to Red. "Right, you'll pay for that!"
He threw the small spiked disc at the Red Shadow Ninja, but the Ninja had incredibly fast reflexes. Almost before the weapon had left Sam's hand, he had thrown two more of his own. The first struck Sam's out of the air, while the second cut into his chest. 'Man, how are these things getting through my suit?' he thought to himself, ignoring the pain as he removed the shuriken.
It was quickly becoming apparent that his Ranger uniform was not sufficient for the battle. But he remembered how Zordon and Alpha had developed the Metallic Armour to withstand greater impacts. When the Morphin Ranger powers had been recreated, Metallic Armour had been installed.
"Metallic Armour, Power Up!"
The center of his chest glowed, projecting light in front of him. As he watched, the light surrounded him to form a highly reflective armoured layer.
~Hopefully this should protect me from any more!~ he thought.
Using his Power enhanced muscles to throw himself forward, he flew forwards as the three Ninja's surrounded him. He let loose a round of punches and kicks onto each of them. They stepped backwards slightly from the impact, but the blows had little effect. All three of them simultaneously held their hands out at their sides and a long thin sword appeared in each one. They swung them forward, each using both their swords to attack the Ranger's mid-section. They were rewarded with a loud clang, but little else.
The Ninjas tried again, this time searching for weaknesses before landing their blows. Sam cried out as one managed to penetrate his armour. It seemed the armour increased the sensitivity of the nerves when damaged; he felt like he was going to be cut in half. Knowing that pausing to worry about the injury would just lead to further assault, he responded with a quick roundhouse kick, knocking them to the ground. They didn't take long to start getting up, but it gave Sam just enough time to bring out his Blade Blaster, now coated with the Metallic Armour.
He swung the bladed weapon at Blue Ninja and then shifted it to blaster mode and fired a shot at Red. Shadow Blue's swords broke as the armoured weapon sliced through them. Now he was just left holding two handles with about two inches of blade left on them. Red was once again temporarily knocked to the ground as Sam's blast struck him.
"Okay, now I finish this!" Sam called out. He jumped away and the three Ninjas regrouped. After holstering his Blade Blaster, Sam used his armour's reflective capability to blind the Ninjas.
Taking advantage of their blindness, he unleashed a ball of green fire, but only struck White and Blue as Red jumped out of the way. White and Blue were obliterated in the resulting energy blast, but Red was only knocked onto his back.
"Metallic Armour, deactivate!"
He liked the extra protection provided by the armour, found it useful in battle, but the truth was that using it was draining. So he was relieved when he transformed back into his standard uniform and the Dragon Blade appeared, ready for use. Without hesitation, Sam jumped to where Red was just getting back to his feet. Whilst in midair, the Dragon Blade began to glow. Green Ranger swiped his main weapon at the last remaining Shadow Ninja as he landed. He instantly fell to the ground, defeated.
Exhausted, Sam turned to face Brak, but he was already gone. "I'll get you Brak, I swear it!" Sam called out. "Okay, time to get back." He hit the teleporter's controls and teleported away in a beam of green energy.
Adam, Aisha, Rocky, Katarina and Tanya had met up for breakfast, deciding that they would grab a snack at the Youth Center before heading to school. When Sam walked in he was so tired that he failed to notice the concerned looks his friends gave him. He walked sleepily over to the counter, ordered something and then joined the others at their table.
"Geez, you look awful, man!" Rocky commented. "In fact you look like you've been stepped on by a Zord!"
"Yeah, I'm just not sleeping too well right now!" Sam answered.
They all carried on talking as they ate their breakfast and before long, they were all finished and ready to leave. Adam, Aisha, Rocky and Tanya headed to school while Katarina left for the academy where she would meet Christina. Sam, having nowhere to go, decided to head to Angel Grove Park, unaware that he was being watched.
"He is weakening. It will not be long before he is crushed!" Brak said confidently as he observed the Green Ranger. Using blood for scrying was a difficult art. "In this I have already surpassed the likes of Rita and Zedd. In all the direct assaults the Rangers have faced, all the knockdown drag-out fights, rarely have they been defeated unless it was against a being of almost godlike power. I don't have that power, but my tactics will prove correct. They may not be fast, but they are effective!"
A few hours later Sam walked into the Power Chamber and went over to Alpha. "Hey Alpha. Where's everybody else?" he asked, unable to find any of the other Rangers.
"Sam, they were all looking for you before. They've finished school for the day and decided to go and relax for a while. They told me to tell you to meet them as soon as you got back." Alpha said to him.
"Thanks Alpha. I'll see you later." Sam said, rushing off outside to see the others. He teleported to a secluded spot just outside the park and then headed straight for the area they all usually went to.
"Hey!" he said as he approached them.
"Hey, where have you been? We spent ages looking for you!" Tanya commented.
"Oh nowhere I just had to do something. Nothing important!" Sam answered. None of them asked any more. They knew that when Sam gave an answer like that, no amount of questioning would get any more answers out of him. "So what are we talking about then?" Sam asked, not wanting to stop the conversation.
"Oh, nothing important!" Kimberly smirked back. Everyone else started laughing.
"Oh you're real funny," Sam grinned.
"Hey enough of this. Who's up for doing something fun?" Rocky asked.
They all agreed except for Sam. "No it's okay," he said. "You guys just go on!"
"Hey come on Sam, don't be a sour puss," Skull urged.
Sam half-smiled, the former bully turned detective had a way of making him laugh. "Why not!" he said, not wanting them to think there was something wrong. They teleported back to the Power Chamber and made their way to the simulator, while Skull watched from outside.
"Okay guys," Adam said, taking charge of what was a mixed team morph. "It's Morphin Time!"
"Green Ranger Power!" Sam cried immediately.
"Pink Ranger Power!" Kimberly called.
"Purple Ranger Power!" Aisha added.
"Zeo Ranger II - Yellow!" Tanya called.
"Zeo Ranger III - Blue!" Rocky toned, glad that Katarina was still at the academy.
"Zeo Ranger IV - Green!" Adam finished.
They changed into their uniforms and started fighting against the preprogramed foot-soldiers, but within seconds of changing, Sam had doubled over in pain and let out an agonized moan.
"What's wrong?" Rocky asked quickly as they gathered around.
The pain started to go away, so Sam stood back up and thought quickly. "It's nothing, I just haven't been feeling too well. It's nothing really," he commented. "You guys carry on, I need to step outside for a minute." They all watched as the Green Ranger walked away, demorphing.
"Sam..." Aisha called out, starting to follow him.
"Let him go." Adam said, stopping her.
"But there's more to that than he's saying!" Aisha insisted.
"Yeah, but from what we know of Sam, do you think he'll open up if we push him?" Aisha shook her head. "Right, for now he's just best left alone."
"Then let's just get fighting I'm in the mood to beat some serious butt!" Rocky said enthusiastically. Morphing was the ultimate high for the Blue Zeo Ranger, especially when he was not required to save the world.
"I'm on Rocky's team!" the others called together. They knew facing Rocky when he was in the mood for fighting was slightly dangerous.
"Hey Sam. You all right?" Tommy asked as he and David sat beside the clone.
"I've been better!" Sam mumbled.
"Sorry, what was that?" Tommy asked, not quite hearing right.
"Nothing. I'm fine."
David just looked at him. His role as the White Ranger was strongly linked to healing and he had inherited a small amount of empathy. As such he could sense that something was wrong. "You sure you're okay?"
"Yeah, don't worry about me," Sam grinned, forcing himself to put on a show. He wasn't sure why, but it seemed important to keep his friends from finding out about Brak.
"You don't look like you've been sleeping well," David said finally, but chose not to push further.
Sam sat there while the two brothers conversed, but eventually excused himself to go and find the others. He hadn't seen any of them yet since the incident earlier, and he thought they'd be worried about him by now.
It didn't take him long to find them. After their practice, they had headed for the Youth Center. They were walking in the door just as he was about to walk out.
"You all right now?" Rocky asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I told you, it was nothing!" Sam insisted.
"Glad to hear it." Rocky grinned as the youths made their way toward a table and ordered some food.
Rocky didn't know why he had followed Sam, but something had caused the Blue Zeo Ranger to worry; a few years of Rangering had taught him to trust his instincts. He caught up with Sam just outside his house. "Hey Sam, wait," he called out as he ran up to him.
"What?" Sam asked.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
"Why does everyone keep asking that?" Sam complained.
"Maybe because we're concerned for you." Rocky said bluntly. "You're a part of the team, and we stick together. You might be two hundred years older, but you're still a friend."
"Okay, so what makes you think there's something wrong?" Sam asked.
"You've been acting really worn out, and for the past few days you've looked worse than I've ever seen you look!" Rocky said.
Sam just stared at the Blue Ranger. "You're pretty observant! I guess you're right; there is something wrong, but I don't want to talk about it right now. I should be sorting it out pretty soon anyway, so don't worry about it!"
"Are you sure?" Rocky asked, not quite believing that he would sort it out himself.
"Yeah I'm sure, now thanks for the concern, but I've got things to do." Sam said as he turned and walked up the path.
Rocky was left standing there alone in the street, so he just decided to go home.
That night, it wasn't too late before Sam decided to go to bed. He knew what he expected to happen, but he felt it was best to get it out of the way sooner rather than later. No sooner had he started to drift off to sleep when it happened again.
"Wake up Green Ranger!" Brak said loudly.
He opened his eyes and said tiredly, "Usual place?"
"Of course!" Brak said, "And hurry up."
"Green Ranger Power!" he called out as he got up. Instead of teleporting straight away as he usually did, he waited for a moment. Once again, as soon as he was morphed, he felt an incredible pain rush through his entire body and he started to feel sick. A few moments later, he started to feel better, so he teleported away.
Reappearing in the usual area, he looked round to see what monsters Brak had brought with him this time. He had a large bird-like humanoid monster at one side of him and a mechanoid that looked a lot like the Terminator to the other.
"Let's get it over with!" Sam said. "Who's first?"
"That would be me!" the bird-like creature said. It jumped into the air and swung an arm in the Green Ranger's direction. A barrage of feathers shot from his arm, several striking directly, the rest exploding the area around him. It followed through with another dozen or so of them. As the second flurry of feathers approached, the Green Ranger pulled out the Dragon Blade and struck them from the air.
"Nice try, bird brain!" Sam called out. "But you'll have to do better than that!"
"Better? Oh I can do better!" the bird called back. From its position, hovering in the air, it swept down and attacked Sam, then flew back into the air. It was back down again, attacking and back into the air before Sam had even stopped reeling from the first. Sam tried to strike the creature with his weapon as it came for a third pass, but it was much too fast for him.
~Can't match him for speed, maybe what I need is power!~ Sam thought to himself.
"Green Nova Bolt!" he called out, going straight for one of his strongest attacks. He fired at the flying creature. It had flown round him and attacked him in the back before the shot could even reach him. Sam tried again as he turned to face the creature.
Once again, it was behind the Ranger as he fired. Sam started to concoct a plan. He looked round at Brak and the robot warrior, then at the bird creature. He turned his back to the robot warrior. "Dragon Flame!" he shouted, then turned to face the mechanoid. As expected, the bird flew down to attack him, but accidentally flew right into Sam's trap. As the Green Ranger fired, the powerful shots obliterated the bird and carried straight on to hit the robot. Both monsters were instantly destroyed.
"Hey," Sam grinned. "Two birds with one stone!"
"Very clever, Green Ranger." Brak said. He watched the Ranger, who now just stood there, waiting. "What are you waiting for?"
"I'm waiting for your next monsters." Sam said. "Not much point in me going home, just to be called back here two minutes later, is there!"
"Nice try, Ranger!" Brak grinned at the Green Ranger's ingenuity. He teleported away.
"Guess I win." Sam said. "I hope that's it!" He hit the teleporter control and disappeared in a flash of white energy.
As he got back to his quarters, he waited ten minutes before trying to sleep again. If Brak were going to continue, he'd do it straight away. When no further invitations to fight came, he lay down on his bed and closed his eyes.
When Sam awoke the next morning he knew it was going to be a bad day. He felt awful, the pain he had experienced just after morphing was now present even when he was in civilian form. He rolled over and tried to go back to sleep only to be disturbed by the doorbell. He sighed when he realised he had been about to morph and teleport away when he realized it wasn't Brak that had awoken him, it was the door. It seemed recent events were getting to him more than he had thought. He walked to the door and opened it, by which time his Mom had already shown his guest upstairs; he had obviously been exhausted if he had forgotten to cancel the illusion charms. He had expected Rocky, so he was a little surprised to discover it was Zack.
"Tommy and the others had to go fight a giant egg whisk," the Black Ranger told him as if that explained everything. Surprisingly, it did.
"So, what can I do for you?" Sam asked, putting as much energy into the greeting as he could manage, but between the battles, lack of sleep and events of the past few days, that was very little.
"Somebody asked me to check up on you," Zack told him. "Actually, seven people asked me to check up on you."
"Really. It's okay. I...." Sam started, but halfway through he was cut off by Brak.
"COME OUT GREEN RANGER!"
"Sam, are you all right?" Zack asked.
"Yeah. Sorry, I was just saying..."
"I'M WAITING RANGER!" Brak shouted, starting to get impatient.
"I need to go out for a bit Zack," Sam said quickly.
"Hey, slow down man, what's wrong?" Zack asked.
"OKAY, LOOKS LIKE I'M COMING IN!" Brak said. A second later, Brak appeared in front of the Green and Black Rangers.
"Who are you?" Zack demanded. He took in Sam's apprehension and asked, "not a friend of yours, huh?"
"He's Brak. Get out of here. I'll deal with him." Sam shouted.
"No way. We're a team that means we fight as a team!" Zack told him. "It's Morphin Time! Black Ranger Power!"
"Green Ranger Power!"
The two of the transformed, and again, Sam felt the pain. It was much worse this time. He collapsed to the floor, holding his stomach and head where the pain seemed worst.
"Sam, what's wrong?" Zack asked, kneeling down by him.
"Oh this is too easy!" Brak grinned. He stepped forward and sliced at Zack's back with his sword.
The Black Ranger screamed, but turned round, bringing out his Power Axe. He swiped it at Brak, but it just passed straight through him. Brak stepped forward again, striking at both the Rangers. Sam, who was still down from the pain of transforming, just took even more damage. Zack collapsed beside him as he took the strong hit.
"Next time, Green Ranger, you will come when I call, otherwise your little friend here won't be around much longer." Brak said. He walked over and picked up the now demorphed Black Ranger and teleported away.
"Zack!" Sam shouted.
Seconds later five bursts of light heralded the arrival of Jason, Kimberly, Trini, Aisha and Billy; David had been needed to help Alpha.
"Sam, what's going on?" Jason asked.
Sam stood up and demorphed. His house was a mess, but the illusion charms had held, making it appear that nothing was wrong.
"Brak took Zack." Sam said quickly.
"What? Who's Brak?" Kimberly asked.
"No time to explain. We have to get to the Power Chamber." Sam said before teleporting. They followed him and appeared in time to hear him shouting. "Alpha, Zordon, we need you!"
"I am already here Sam," Zordon replied calmly. "What is the problem?"
"Zack's been taken by Brak!" Sam said.
"When did this happen?" Zordon asked, alarmed by the news.
"About a minute ago. He appeared and attacked us, but I couldn't help him. He beat us and he took him!" Sam reported.
"From the way you're talking, it sounds like you already knew Brak!" Jason commented, his voice hardening. "What's going on Sam?"
"And Sam," Tommy continued as he entered from another chamber, "tell us everything!"
Sam stood and explained everything that had gone on, from Vartri's first attack, right through to the events that had just taken place, although he still didn't mention the pain from when he morphed.
"Why didn't you tell us?" Rocky asked. The Zeo Rangers had joined the others.
"I don't know. I wanted to, but something stopped me."
"Alpha, perform a scan of Sam's brainwaves," Zordon instructed.
Trini and Billy moved over to help. It was the Blue Ranger who succeeded. "I am detecting an external stimuli," he told the other.
"Vartri's sword no doubt contained a poison that would compel Sam to act alone," Zordon guessed. "I applaud you for having the strength to even explain events under these circumstances. But remember, asking for help isn't a sign of weakness!"
"Yeah, I know." Sam replied. A black aura appeared for a moment and then disappeared, signalling the end of the compulsion.
"So, how are we going to rescue Zack? Do we even know where he is?" Aisha asked.
"I think I know where he is, but I can't go there until Brak calls me. I just concentrate on him and I can teleport there." Sam said.
"So we just have to wait for him to contact you?" Trini asked.
"Yeah. Once I teleport, I need you to keep a lock on me and you can all follow. It shouldn't be long now, he doesn't usually give much time to rest between attacks." Sam commented. "I think we should morph now."
"Tommy and the Zeo Rangers should remain here in case you need backup," Alpha told them.
"Okay, It's Morphin Time!" Jason called out.
Sam hesitated for a moment, then held out his morpher and called, "Green Ranger Power!" He braced himself for what he knew was coming. He tried to hide it, but the intense pain was too much for him. "Aaaargh!" he called out as he fell to his knees. The others rushed to his side and steadied him. This time the pain didn't subside. It just stayed, eating away at him.
"Rangers, quickly, get Sam onto the bio-bed." Zordon ordered. They lifted him up and laid him down on the medical bed. Zordon immediately initiated several scans. "Hmmm!" he mumbled.
"What is it, Zordon?" Trini asked.
"He is suffering from power poisoning!" Zordon commented.
"What's that?" Tanya asked.
"It happens when the powers are used continually without allowing the body to rest. I suspect it was Brak's plan all along. He needs to rest before he exerts himself any more." Zordon reported.
"I'M WAITING FOR YOU, GREEN RANGER!" Brak called, interrupting.
Sam sat up and said, "We have to go. Brak is waiting for me!"
"By going, you put your own life at risk!" Zordon commented.
"But I don't have a choice," Sam said back. "I'm the only one who can fight him. Zack tried, but couldn't touch him."
"It appears Brak is using the blood he stole to target his attacks. Only the person who has the correct blood can hurt him or his monsters."
"I can think of one course of action that would eliminate that advantage," Billy said.
When the others looked at him, he explained. Seconds later the Green Ranger was teleported into battle. As soon as the location was set, the others all followed.
Green appeared in the dark area once again and looked round for Bark and Zack. He was there, stood facing him. To his side, de morphed and tied up, was the Black Ranger.
"Let her go. This is between you and me!" Green Ranger called out.
"Oh I wouldn't say that!" Bark grinned as several monsters appeared. "Looks like it's six on one!"
"Oh I wouldn't say that!" Green Ranger said back, mocking Brak's words as the Pink, Yellow, Blue, White, Red and Purple Rangers appeared. "Six on six. Seems fair to me!"
Brak sniggered. "We'll see!"
The Rangers didn't hesitate for even a second. They rushed forwards, bringing out their weapons. Each one attacked one of the monsters, Green Ranger taking on Brak himself. It didn't take long for the Rangers to realize why Brak had been so confident. Their weapons passed straight through the monsters, having no effect at all.
Now came the monsters' turn. They struck at the Rangers and had no trouble at all in attacking them. The powerful monsters threw around the Rangers. Again they tried to attack, but had no success.
Green Ranger had apparently failed to notice what was happening to the others. He was too busy fighting with Brak. He was actually able to hit him, but he wasn't doing too well. Evidently the pain from the power poisoning was slowing him greatly.
Green Ranger was knocked aside as the Red Ranger was thrown into him. They both struggled back to their feet and went over to join the others who had regrouped.
"Okay everyone. Blade Blasters!" Green Ranger ordered. They all brought out the weapons and aimed at Brak. "Fire!"
They all shot, but it was only Green Ranger that managed to make contact. The shots from the other weapons just passed straight through him.
"What's going on?" Jason asked. "Sam, why are you the only one who can hit them?"
"I don't know. You guys get out of here. It's up to me!" Green Ranger said.
"No way. We're in this together." Trini insisted.
"Yeah, but if you can't even hit them, what good can you do?" Green Ranger asked.
"We can still rescue Zack." Billy commented.
"Okay. I'll try and keep them busy. You guys get to Zack and get him out of here." It was a noble plan, just the thing a Ranger would have come up with. And before anyone could argue, he had charged at the group of monsters, Blade Blaster held high. He swiped through the first two monsters, which fell at his feet, defeated. The next ones weren't quite so easy. They all struck at him at once and stopped him dead in his tracks. A punch from one and two simultaneous kicks from the others was more than enough to knock him down. A leg sweep had them all knocked down beside him before he even hit the ground.
Meanwhile, the other five were slowly working their way around to where Zack lay. For the moment, they were unchallenged, but as soon as Brak saw them, he left the other three to sort out the green clad warrior and went to deal with them personally.
"Where do you think you're going?" he asked them.
"Get out of our way!" Kimberly snapped.
"Make me!" Brak said back. "Oh, I forgot. You can't, can you!" He laughed and fired a shot at them. They dodged and White Ranger returned fire, injuring the villain.
"Can't we?" he asked innocently.
"We know all about your little blood key," Purple Ranger told him.
"And we took appropriate steps to make sure we could get around them," Billy added.
White Ranger had his sword drawn and ready. "I think my blood is close enough to Sam's to counter the effects."
While he was distracted, the Zeo Rangers had snatched Zack and teleported away. By the time Brak had decided the Rangers were bluffing, the Black Ranger was safely back in the Power Chamber.
"Enough!" Brak growled. "Nice bluff Rangers, but you cannot harm me. Well, maybe White Ranger, but I have no intention of allowing that. And since I can harm you... Cyclone Cannon!"
With a quick roundhouse kick, Green Ranger sent the three monsters flying. He looked round to where he'd heard the shout and saw comrades fall before the power of the large weapon. "No!" he cried out as he ran in their direction.
Brak smiled as he saw the Green Ranger coming at him. By the time the Ranger realized what Brak was smiling at it was too late. The three monsters had fired at him. He felt a sharp pain in his back and another in his legs. He fell and passed out for a moment, when he woke, only about a minute later, he was lying on his back. He opened his eyes and saw the three monsters and Brak standing over him.
"Are you in pain Green Ranger? I bet the power poison has reached its peak by now. Can you feel it burning?"
"Yeah," Green Ranger admitted. "But this isn't over, yet."
"How can you say that? You're beaten Sam, admit it!"
Then the Green Ranger laughed. "You're a fool Brak," he said. He watched the outrage cross the villain's face before continuing. "You forgot there are two Rangers who share Sam's blood. David's blood is close enough that he can hurt you," Tommy said as he removed his helmet, revealing the Red Zeo uniform hidden by a glamour, "but mine is almost identical."
"You're still beaten," Brak told him.
"I could be," Tommy agreed, looking at a spot behind the villain's back. "But if I'm here, where's Sam?"
Realisation crossed the villain's face. He twisted, preparing himself for the attack from behind, cursing his stupidity for allowing the Rangers to get around his defence. He should have known that Zordon would have that information to hand.
"What?" he wondered when he found that his opponent was not there.
He turned back to face the Red Ranger and was struck by the full force of the Green Ranger's magic. The Green Ranger didn't speak as he twirled his sword ready for the next strike, nor did Tommy as he stood next to him. Together the attacked, breaking the villain's blood warding as their energised swords delivered a final and ultimately fatal slash.
"Zeo V Star Blast!"
"Green Power Slash!"
Brak stumbled back, smoke billowing from his body, the occasional eruption of dark energy showed that their blows had been successful and Brak would not survive much longer. In desperation, to buy himself time he drank a purple potion and grew.
"I will squash you like bugs!" he told the Rangers.
Sam paused and looked at Tommy. "Why do I never get tired of hearing that line?"
Tommy chuckled as David joined them. "I need Zeo Zord power, now!"
"We need Dino Zord power, now!" David and Sam called at the same time.
"POWER UP!" they cried together.
The Raptor Zord grabbed Brak and threw him to where the Dragonzord was waiting. The Green Ranger's machine made short work of the villain with its tail, leaving it to the Red Battlezord to finish the job by unleashing its gattling cannons.
"It's all over," Tommy announced, causing Brak to laugh.
"It's never over Rangers," he told them. "This was just the beginning."
"Who are you?" David wondered.
Brak stopped laughing as the three Zords attacked. Just before his demise he stared them in the face, his expression was serious as he told them: "I am just a pawn."
With that, Brak was destroyed and the Rangers returned to the Power Chamber.
"So Brak's plan focussed on his ability to isolate Sam from the rest of us," Trini said later as the Rangers and Zordon discussed the events of the last few days.
"Indeed," Zordon agreed. "Brax's race possess the ability to shift out of phase with this dimension, however while phased they can only touch members of their own race. It makes them effective bounty hunters."
"Brax discovered a way to use the blood of his victims, creating a blood bond. Using that bond he was able to drag Sam out of phase sufficiently to cause him harm," Alpha continued.
"But he forgot that Sam was a clone and that Tommy would possess identical DNA," Billy said. "And since David is Tommy's twin, his blood was close enough to count."
"So what happened when he tried to harm us?" Zack asked. "Because I didn't feel like I was shifting out of phase."
"Simple," Zordon told him, "whenever Brak decided to attack he simply phased back into this dimension. That way he could attack without fear of injury."
"Well I'm just glad it's over," Sam said. "Now if you'll excuse me, I need to catch up on some sleep."
His departure was the signal for the rest of the Rangers to leave and return to their normal activities, something they were happy to do. Zordon however remained. Something was wrong, they had learned that Brak was acting to collect a bounty, but who had placed it and why? Until he knew the answer to those questions Zordon couldn't help but think that perhaps they had made an error and that this was just the start of a bigger plot.