Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to the legal copyright owner. This is a non-profit story made without the consent of the show's creators and is a part of the Conquest of Evil storyline. Some parts of this story, especially Zedd's appearance belong to Jeremy Ray Logsdon.
Cloak and Dagger
The middle of summer and aside from spoiling Divatox's wedding ceremony, aiding a new team of Rangers in Mariner Bay and travelling to an alternate world where the Earth had been devastated before they became Rangers, nothing much had happened. Months before the Earth had been under attack from Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd, King Mondo, Queen Machina and Prince Sprocket, not to mention Prince Gasket and his wife Archerina. And that was without mentioning their many underlings who contributed to the attacks.
With Mondo concentrating his efforts elsewhere, Gasket distracted and Zedd incapacitated, only Rita remained as a noticeable threat to the Earth. Divatox had been strangely quiet after the loss of her intended. Zordon suspected that she would resurface at some point, seeking revenge. Count Dregon had been revealed as a possible problem if his experiments were allowed to continue. But Rita was for the moment his only concern.
When he considered her behaviour, Zordon had to admit that Rita was not that great a threat. Although she had increased her attacks, relying on the idea that if she attacked often enough, the Rangers would eventually succumb to her might, an overwhelming number of Rangers meant her plan was doomed to fail as the Rangers fought off one recycled plan after another. If anything they were growing bored, not tired.
It was no doubt, an annoyance for the old witch that her range of monsters was mostly limited to those that Finster could reproduce from clay. Those she had once been able to summon from her book were no longer available since they required the abilities Lokar had given her. And with Zedd weakened, Zordon had told the Rangers that Rita's abilities had also been restricted.
She could still use her magic to mutate living organisms. That was an ability she had demonstrated after the loss of Lokar's services. Lord Zedd had demonstrated a similar skill for a short time before turning his attention to inanimate objects as well. Rita had picked up the skills during her marriage to Zedd and now she was accomplished at creating monsters from animals, plants and to a lesser extent nonferrous objects without the use of long-winded spells. At present, such petty transfiguration was the current scope of her abilities if Zordon was correct.
Her latest effort was currently attacking the Rangers. It was a monster named Cloak, created from a ragged piece of clothing that she had obtained somewhere.
~Rita's making up for lost time.~ Red Turbo thought as he faced the green garbed fiend and was thrown, once again, away from the monster.
Right now he wished that he had the power of Red Zeo at his disposal. The Turbo powers granted the Rangers extra speed, but lacked some of the protection the Zeo powers provided. Indeed after a discussion between himself, Kat, Tanya and Adam, it had become clear that the only person not having problems, despite their initial success with the newly developed powers, was Justin.
~It must be psychological,~ Tommy decided. ~Lita would have a field day with this.~
The powers were if Justin was an indication, more than capable of functioning just as well as Zeo. They weren't better or worse than the previous technology. They just had a different emphasis, placing speed and agility over raw strength and power. Still, it was accepted that the Zeo technology had been compromised and that it was time to move on.
~Perhaps,~ Tommy thought as he picked himself up, ~it's time to change more than just the powers.~
At first it had been difficult to tell exactly what this monster was capable of doing. He had attacked them with a variety of bladed weapons made from shards of light. His tall, lean body allowed him to move with sufficiently agility to avoid the Rangers' physical attacks; energy attacks had proven a failure since they vanished as soon as he touched the darkness beneath his cloak. He had no such problem with blasting them with energy bolts or striking them with stupendously strong punches and kicks.
Most annoying of all, it seemed Cloak was connected to his own personal dimension that functioned like weird space. He could pull himself inside at will. This meant that in a matter of seconds he could cover the distance from one end of the street to the other, forcing the Rangers to follow him on a desperate chase around Angel Grove busier areas. The trick had caught the team by surprise on several occasions, resulting in Red Turbo finding himself on the receiving end of Yellow Turbo's stun batons.
"If you think that was something, wait until you get a load of this!" he told them, opening his cloak to reveal the inner darkness.
Tendrils of darkness burst from the void he revealed, grabbing Kat and dragging her back into the folds of his cloak. She found herself in a dark space unable to see and frozen by the sudden drop in temperature that could be felt even through her uniform. Cloak waited long enough for the Rangers to discover they could not force him to release their friend, before opening his cloak again. Pink Turbo shot back into the crowd of Rangers, confusing them long enough for him to snatch their weapons.
"Zeo Pi -- Auto Blasters!" Red Turbo ordered, forgetting for a moment that they had switched weapons. They moved into position, ready to cover their fallen teammate. The superheroes were ready to fire before the monster could react. Their energy blasts were more accurate this time and actually caught the outside of his cloak, knocking him to the ground.
Cloak made a show of picking himself up and dusting himself off, stressing to the Rangers how little he thought of efforts.
"It's time for a Gold Rush!"
That had his attention. While he had been busy beating down the Turbo Rangers, he had overlooked the possibility that the Gold Ranger had accompanied them. As Gold Ranger activated his attack, Cloak seemed to stiffen, waiting until the energy attack had ceased before resuming his attack. He threw open the cloak again, revealing the energy the Gold Ranger had expended and sent it straight back to the Rangers.
"And now, I'll take your powers."
Dark tendrils reached out, snatched the Rangers and somehow distorted the energy flow of their powers. Before they could morph again, their Turbo Keys were pulled away. Cloak laughed at the suddenly powerless Rangers before turning his attention to Gold Ranger. "It's over Rangers," he announced as the Lord of Triforia was suddenly disarmed and a flock of Tengas teleported to the battleground.
"Not yet it isn't," Tommy replied, stepping to the front with Adam, Tanya and Kat close behind. Trey and Justin stood back a little, the Triforian Ranger acting as a shield for the youngest member of their team.
"Thinking of running?" Cloak asked. "I think not!" More tendrils grabbed the communicators off their wrists. "You've nowhere to go, Rangers, except the depths of oblivion."
He moved forward, hoping to bypass the older Rangers and get at their newest teammate. Fortunately while they couldn't see him clearly when he moved so fast, they could at least follow the general direction of his movements and while they couldn't outpace him, they could surround their friend long enough to block his attempts.
"If I can't have him, I'll take her," Cloak announced, grabbing Kat, who was the closest to him. He dragged her into his dimension once more. This time Kat did not have her full costume to protect her. The cold air burnt her lungs. "My mistress will reward me for bringing her a Ranger," he told them.
His boast was cut short by the arrival of the Green Ranger, Dragon Blade in hand. He turned aside only to find White Ranger waiting for him. And Tommy's brother for once allowed his temper to show. Cloak however was not stupid enough to stand still when confronted by two fully powered Rangers. He fought back, concentrating on the two Rangers, not noticing what Tommy was doing until it was too late, as the youth threw himself into the cloak and disappeared into its depths.
"My reward is guaranteed," he boasted. "Now not only have I captured one Ranger, I caught two. And my dimension will drain them of more than their powers."
"Oh no," Tanya protested.
"Oh yes," Cloak replied. "The pink one was doomed from the moment I caught her. Your precious leader was so upset he practically gave himself to me willingly. Not too bright is he?"
"He's braver than you'll ever be," Tanya told him. "Smarter too. You don't think he got to be leader without learning a few things did you?"
Any reply that Cloak intended to make was cut off as a fountain of red sparks erupted from beneath the cloak. His hands wrapped around his mid-section and for a moment he looked as if he was going to be ill.
Throwing himself into Cloak's pocket dimension had not been the wisest choice that Tommy could make. It was certainly a brave decision. When he had attacked, Tommy had been banking on everything thrown into the pocket ending up in the same space. Unlike Kat who had already endured a period inside the pocket and had been unprepared for the monster to snatch her again, Tommy had had a short time to prepare himself. Even so the extreme cold threatened to send him into shock as he drifted through the darkness.
As he struggled to stay conscious, he caught sight of his Turbo Key. Reaching out, his hand grasped the morpher and he was rapidly transformed, the energy release somehow managing to nullify the extreme cold as it did so. Once morphed, it was relatively simple to retrieve the other morphers and rescue Kat. That just left the relatively simple task of breaking out. And with the aid of his Auto Blaster, that was simplicity itself.
Cloak howled and cursed, holding himself in a vain attempt to keep the contents of his dimension beneath his cloak. There was a second burst and nothing could stop the cloak from opening, spitting out Tommy, a near unconscious Kat, the Rangers' weapons and their morphers. Tommy didn't stop firing his Auto Blaster until he was safely among the other Rangers.
Cloak was groaning in pain after the blast and staggered around weakly. When Rita had created him using an old cloak as the raw material, she had made it so he could draw strength from the dimension beneath his cloak. That power source was now gone, somehow ruptured by the Red Turbo Ranger.
"It is time to finish this," Trey announced, taking over from a wobbly Tommy. "It's Morphin Time - Gold Ranger Power!"
"Shift into Turbo!" Tanya, Adam and Justin added.
The four Rangers lined up, with Justin taking up a position to Trey's left. "I've had enough of this guy."
"Turbo Dash Attack!"
"It's time for a Gold Rush!"
Accelerated by the power of the Gold Ranger, the three Turbo Rangers sped forward, their Turbo Blades extended. When their weapons made contact with Cloak, the sharp edged blades sliced through him. Cloak could not escape this time, nor was he concentrating enough to avoid their attempts.
Moments later the Gold Ranger propelled by the power of the Gold Rush tore passed, using his Gold Power Staff to bludgeon Cloak, knocking him away.
"Laser Arrows!" White Ranger called.
"Dragon Fire!" Green Ranger cried.
Together their combined assault collided with the monster. Cloak panicked and tried to escape; his actions were in vain and moments later, he was gone leaving behind a slightly torn cloak.
"Let's get outta here," Green Turbo said as the monster vanished. The Tengas had taken flight long gone. There was nothing else to be done except collect their communicators, which had been scattered around and teleport away.
End of Part