Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to their respective copyright owners.
Endings, Beginnings and Renewal
Service, obedience and accountability. Those were the three pillars upon which Councillor Arum had mounted his electoral campaign. Those were the values he had held up as a shining example of what a politician should be. They were the beliefs that had won him his sixth term as a member of the Galactic Council, a nice job where the service of fine foods, wines and tradable commodities alongside the obedience of a thousand or so public servants and the accountability of a dozen budgetary funds were something he clung to with all the political tricks at his disposal. His influence was unquestioned since he had wormed his way onto every major committee and secured a veto for most of the important decisions.
In fact there were very few problems with his new job and he had a tendency to get his way on most matters, except for one. The threat posed by the planet Earth was something he had identified during his election campaign. He had tried countless times to pass measures granting the Council authority to involve itself in the planet's affairs, only to have his sensible emergency measures blocked by Zordon of Eltare.
Zordon of Eltare, how he hated that man. A being whose only reason for holding a seat on the Council was his role as a Morphin Master, a role he could only fulfil in spirit given his bodiless state. Perfect Zordon, so willing to risk his career and even his freedom for an insignificant world such as Earth, yet unwilling to see the importance of such an asset falling under the guidance of the Galactic Council. All-knowing Zordon and his ability to work around whatever laws the Galactic Council sought to impose. Zordon knew nothing about service, obedience and accountability it would seem.
In the end Zordon's ability to block legislation came down to the fact that he was the mentor of the Earth's Power Rangers, a team Arum had tried to have replaced over and over again, only to find the move blocked by Zordon, who maintained it was the Morphin Masters' role to select which Rangers defended which planet. And since Zordon was Morphin Master with responsibility for Earth and several nearby planets, he was the one who would make that choice.
And any attempt to replace Zordon with a more cooperative mentor was also doomed to failure. Since Earth was not a world directly under the Council's control, the Council was not allowed to create a new team of Rangers. At most they were allowed to replace existing Rangers with preferred candidates. However it required that the humans relinquished their powers. Something they refused to do without Zordon telling them to do so. And since Zordon's students were not compelled to follow the orders of any replacement the Council imposed, installing a new mentor would not help. Of course if Zordon ordered them to hand over their powers or told them to follow the orders of his successor, they would do so. Unfortunately Zordon refused to do so, believing it was his Rangers' choice, not his.
~There must be some way to convince him,~ Arum thought. ~So what if bribery doesn't work, there must be something he wants, needs... something he fears.~
Blackmail, such a dirty and common word, yet it was a method that promised him results. To find some sort of information on Zordon and use it as leverage to convince him to cooperate would guarantee the results he wanted and the Council needed. The problem, was that Zordon did not appear to have the sort of secrets that would ruin him if revealed. The White Morphin Master while having the weaknesses of any other mortal, did not have the dirty little vices that led to good blackmail material. And ten thousand years locked away in a dimensional rift didn't leave much opportunity to indulge the sins of the flesh.
"Zordon has his secrets, some of them darker than you can imagine," somebody said from behind him.
He spun around, knocking a pile of parchments to the floor and spilling ink across the table. His hand was reaching towards the personal attack alarm when his visitor held his hands up in a defensive manner.
"Easy there Arum, it's only I," Councillor Sutra, one of the few members of the Galactic Council to see the truth about Zordon. Sutra, a military advisor with a distinguished career, had been the one to point out the arrogant insubordination that Arum hated about the White Master.
Despite knowing on some level that Sutra was an extremely dangerous ally, the councillor did relax. The Council was filled with dangerous people, those who could use words and innuendo as effectively as a knife to damage somebody. That Sutra had managed to ascend the political hierarchy was a clear indication of how dangerous he could be. Still for the moment they were united by purpose, so he dismissed his instincts as a sign that he was being paranoid.
"You keep hinting that there is some great mystery, but all I can find are stories of what a hero he is," Arum snapped, gesturing to the piles of paperwork. "Not a single contradiction in the reports, not even a sign that they have been tampered with. How can Zordon have so many secrets when he isn't even attempting to cover them up?"
"Two men can keep a secret, Councillor Arum, so long as one of them is dead and the other knows how to hide the body. Zordon is very good at burying the secrets of his past. More so because nobody knows what secrets they should be looking for."
"You know something," Arum accused. "We agreed to help each other bring down Zordon and you're withholding information."
"The information is there for all to see Arum," Sutra replied. "I have hidden nothing."
"Then tell me," Arum insisted. He was growing desperate.
"How much would you pay to have some of your questions answered?" Sutra asked curiously. "What are you willing to do to gain your proof? For months now you have been seeking evidence through the official channels. Just how dirty are you prepared to get to uncover the truth?"
"I will do anything," Arum told him.
"If that is the case then perhaps I will tell you the real reason Zordon ended up trapped within a time warp."
The other councillor laughed. "I already know how he ended up there. He was double-crossed by Rita Repulsa."
"You are a fool Arum!" The friendly persona was gone, replaced by the vicious politician who had made his way into the upper chambers of the Galactic Council in an impossibly short space of time. He shoved a scroll into the other politician's hand. "These are Zordon's energy readings recorded from the battle of Ohm'rec Seven. And these, are the readings taken during his battle with Rita Repulsa."
The readings showed a definite drop in the space of a few months. It was possible that Zordon had been injured when he faced Rita, but the reports of that day mentioned that he appeared to be in good health. That left very few possibilities.
"Think Arum. What could cause a White Morphin Master to lose a great deal of his power in such a short time? Where have we seen this sort of symptom before?"
Sutra knew that Arum would consider two possibilities. However, with his intense distrust of Zordon, the councillor was bound to believe the least likely scenario.
"He did something that cost him his powers," Arum said at long last. "The great Zordon of Eltare committed some terrible act that stripped him of his powers."
"If that were the case," Sutra mused, "then it was only the loss of his freedom that saved him from exposure when his powers were fully lost."
"Yes, of course. It makes sense now. Zordon lost his status as a Morphin Master but hid the truth behind some final act of heroism. He used what remained of his powers against Rita and lost. Oh this is perfect."
"You will need to be careful though," Sutra warned. "You cannot accuse Zordon of committing some unknown crime. You need evidence."
"You know where it is," Arum realised. "You've known this whole time where the secrets are hidden. Show me!"
"Very well, Councillor Arum," Sutra said, flashing a smile. "If you seek the truth about Zordon of Eltare, I am more than willing to show you. Just remember, we go at your command."
A short time later the two men left Erlion for destinations unknown.
Now that he thought about it, Arum knew he should have realised sooner that any secret Zordon thought worth protecting would involve the wretched little planet he had flaunted so many rules to protect. It stood to reason that there was some selfish reason to protect a planet that should have been destroyed the moment Rita Repulsa had emerged.
Their trek had led them to a stone shrine in the middle of a forested area on the outskirts of a once great city. According to Sutra, the city had sunk just under ten thousand years ago, following some unknown disaster. The energy dome that had protected it from the harsh seas above the surface, now served to keep those same seas from crashing down and totally washing away what was left of the environment. The clearing was too perfect to have been caused by a natural event. Somebody had gone to great lengths to make it blend in to the surroundings, although up close it stood out like a sore thumb. And in at least one area it looked as if something had burnt the jungle away.
"Hard to believe that on a planet filled with life that it has taken more than ten thousand years for this jungle to recover from the terrible events that took occurred here," Sutra stated, indicating the small shrubs that had tried to grow only to whither and die. "Still most of it looks normal."
"What is this place?" Arum asked impatiently. He was a man of great importance, in his own mind. He had many great and wonderful promises to fulfil for the safety of the public and could not waste his time on some day trip to a planet he despised.
"The human legends call it Meropis, one of many lost civilisations. More importantly, it is the answer to your questions. You wanted information about the great Zordon of Eltare, to learn a few of his secrets. This one is not his greatest secret, but it is something he has left untold, even to his fellow Morphin Masters. He has never told another being about the battle that took place here or the price his soul paid for such a tainted victory."
Sutra was a true politician, a master of crafting his words in such a way that they conveyed the message those listening wanted to hear. In the councillor's case his words conveyed that Zordon had some terrible secret, some act he had a reason to hide from the public. He knew that the councillor, a person used to using such pieces of information would seek to expose what he now assumed to be a lie that would undermine Zordon's position as a great hero, granting the politician the upper hand in their continuous legal wrangling.
"When Rita Repulsa and her forces arrived on Earth, Zordon was already here, waiting. He had been here for a while despite having no idea where Rita would strike next and no genuine reason to believe she would choose this world."
"But you still haven't told me what he did here," Arum complained.
"He did something that would cripple and perhaps even break his connection to the Morphin Grid, an act that prevented him from drawing on his powers as a White Morphin Master when he needed them the most," Sutra answered. "Have you ever thought that Zordon was a little too accepting of his fate? Perhaps he viewed it as penance for whatever happened here."
He could see the wheels turning in the politician's head. He had offered an explanation of a weakened connection to the Morphin Grid and suggested Zordon had seen his imprisonment as a form of penance. It would not take a genius to assume that the damaged connection was the result of some terrible act that Zordon had since tried to cover up.
"This is wonderful," the councillor proclaimed. "Zordon of Eltare, a murderer... can you imagine the damage that would do to his reputation? Without the support of the people he would be forced to accept our rulings."
"Murder?" Sutra asked, his voice low. "Do you think Zordon could have committed such an act and retained any of his powers? Outright murder would have left him stripped of his connection to the Power and the backlash might even have killed him. And we both know that Zordon still has some access to the Morphin Grid. No Arum, Zordon didn't kill anybody, but there are other acts that could lead to the slow erosion of his connection to the Power. Acts that would have been noticed as his powers waned were it not for his entrapment."
He waited, allowing the pompous politician to reach the correct conclusion. When that failed, he decided to help him.
"Do not let it trouble you Arum, for I have already located the remnants of Zordon's activity. Behold!" He stepped aside, revealing the stone wall of an obviously artificial mound.
"A stone, is that it? Zordon's biggest secret is a stone?"
"And how many stones do you know that have a handle to open them?" he replied, watching as the feeble-minded bureaucrat tried to make sense of what he was being told. "Zordon built this bunker in preparation for Rita's arrival, but he never expected her to come here, so what was it really for?"
Sutra led the way inside, making a path through the dusty passages to a room that had no place in such a primitive environment. It was a cell. Admittedly a very advanced cell that used technology to keep its occupant in suspended animation, but a cell nonetheless. Already he could see Arum trying to piece together the mystery, well aware that the councillor's dislike for the White Morphin Master would only lead him to create a very negative and most unlikely scenario.
"How do we know it was Zordon who did this?" Arum asked, crafting his case by asking the question he knew many of Zordon's supporters within the Council would ask.
"We could start with the digital footage of Zordon entering the cell," Sutra told him. "But I think we can miss that and move onto the fact that it's his Power Coin that is powering the apparatus. I wonder what secret he feared so much that he was willing to sacrifice is power like that?"
Yes, he could see the moment that understanding dawned upon the poor fool. Zordon's power loss had come not as a result of a murderous act, but from the loss of his own Power Coin. As a Morphin Master he could have forged a new coin at any time, but its loss would have had to be reported. And without the coin to channel his powers, Zordon would have been left with only a partial connection to the Morphin Grid.
"When Zordon was imprisoned, the fate of his coin was never investigated," Sutra whispered. "Imagine the awkward questions that would arise should you return it to him now."
He watched as Arum reached forward and ran his hand over the surface of the coin. Such a small amount of pressure was all that it took to dislodge the coin from the delicate housing into which it had been set, destroying the seal that Zordon had created in a moment of inspired desperation. As the coin fell into Sutra's waiting hand, the chamber stated to shake.
The dry air stirred lightly, drawing tiny eddies in the red dust that had accumulated inside the cell over the centuries despite the vacuum shielding. The Power Coin had been removed, cutting the power to the stasis beam and releasing the state of unchanging stillness. A figure slowly rose into a sitting position, still under cover of darkness, since the lights had also been cut when the power had been interrupted. An aura of evil surrounded him, saturating the already scorched surface of the cell. A soft sound indicated, the drawing of a long held breath and then changing into a rasping laugh.
His eyelids slid up, exposing a pair of orbs that glinted in the darkness, lighting the chamber. Then the figure raised his hands, then clenched them experimentally, examining his body with great care. He twisted his forearms, turning his palms to face him, and flexed his fingers again, checking that he was intact. He moved his neck from side to side, indulging himself in the feeling of motion after so long.
Something had happened. Some great change had taken place outside of the cell. Some fool had disrupted the magical flows of his prison, changing the magic on a level that he could not yet understand. Such damage to the wards that surrounded him had shattered the bonds that kept him prisoner.
Stepping away from the slab of stone that had been his resting place for thousands of years, he silently placed his feet on the ground and stretched upwards, feeling raw power of the Morphin Grid as it flooded back into his ancient limbs. Yes, something had definitely changed. The Grid had a different feel to it than he remembered. How long had he been trapped and what was the cause of his sudden freedom?
He gasped suddenly as his body finally remembered that despite his origins, he was a living creature and still had some needs, and reminded him of that fact through the unfortunate medium of painful muscle spasms.
Fighting off the cramp, he took a few strides towards the previously locked door, observing that only some of the runes carved deeply into its surface had survived. His eyes flickered over the tablet, reading the designs that had been once etched with care, carved with the magic of a White Morphin Master. The meaning did not escape him for long.
There had been a sacrifice of power to maintain his prison, a constant drain upon Zordon's life force. How the White Morphin Master had survived more than a few days without the drain destroying him was something he would be sure to investigate. Twelve or more clusters of wards had been marked, sustaining themselves by drawing on the power of he who had crafted them. Linked to the caster of the primary runes it was clear that they were intended to sustain so long as his evil remained unchecked.
His lips peeled back into a caricature of a smile, revealing a row of sharp white teeth.
"Oh Zordon, too pure for your own good. You should have destroyed me instead of trying to redeem me. But then I wonder could my evil ever be destroyed, or only contained?" he mused, tracing where the wards had first failed. "After all, I am a force of nature that should never have been granted awareness. Can such a force be destroyed or must it be contained or vanquished?"
He clenched a fist, and drove it hard into the centre of the door. Granite chips skipped off and landed metres away as he drew back his fist and examined the knuckles.
The pale, bloodless skin over the knuckles had been burned deeply by contact with the remnants of the magic seal, a problem caused by the fragments of ground rock soaked in a well of purest Morphin energy lodged within the surface, and split open by the force of the blow. But the necrotic flesh crawled and flowed, stitching itself back over the damaged fist. In less than three seconds, the damage done to his hand was healed without leaving a scar. As though it had never been injured.
The damage he had caused was more obvious. While the stone was only dented, the overlapping spells that made up his prison, the very walls of his cell, were now visible. A smile of victory crossed his face. Zordon would regret leaving the focus of his spell where others could reach it, even if it had been beyond his reach.
With a cry of anger, another fist flashed out, faster than the first. And this time the flesh on his fist did not burn. This time it pierced the surface of the makeshift door, causing the deep magic contained within to fade as the stone crumbled.
And then he cried out, his voice carrying across the lifeless rock where he had been imprisoned. It was the cry of victory, a shout of defiance and a promise of retribution. Zordon would fall. Or failing that - for he could already sense that his greatest enemy was somewhat beyond his reach - those who carried on the legacy would kneel before him in Zordon's place.
"Let all before me tremble," he whispered, his voice carrying as if he had bellowed the words. "For I am FREE!"
Both heard the word as it echoed across the planetoid, but Sutra appeared wholly unconcerned. Indeed if the smile on his face was an indication, then he could be said to be enjoying himself immensely. He felt the rush of evil as the stone that served as a door cracked and crumbled, exposing the makeshift prison within.
"What is this?" Arum asked.
"This is Zordon's secret, something he was willing to suffer to keep others from discovering. Shortly before his battle with Rita Repulsa, Zordon was drawn to this world on the orders of the Council. His task was to investigate the sudden lack of communication from an observation post. What he found was villain named Mortor seeking to build an alliance with the ancient evil known as Octomus and a threat that could easily spread beyond the Earth.
Zordon and Mortor fought and though Zordon gained the upper hand, by the time he had the advantage he was almost exhausted and badly injured. And due to his nature, Mortor was already recovering. In desperation Zordon used the observation post as a prison, reversing the flow of the energy shield so that instead of keeping evil out, it kept it contained. And then he used his Power Coin to power the cell door and erect an area of stasis, weakening himself in the process. Had it not been for this action, Mortor's entrapment would have lasted but a few days and Zordon would never have succumbed to Rita's spell."
"He... but you said he had a dark secret," the councillor protested.
"I told you only the truth," Sutra stated. "Zordon kept this place a dark little secret, hidden from even his most trusted allies. He feared the likes of Master Vile stumbling upon this prison and using the occupant as a weapon. Or worse, Mortor being released and in turn finding ways to unleash Octomus. So Zordon remained trapped, all on his own for ten thousand years, just to keep another evil from wreaking havoc on the universe. And now the truth is known, his efforts were for nothing, and you Arum are no longer necessary."
"I - I don't understand."
"Oh it's been fun, leading you on, helping you in your quest to discredit Zordon just because he sees fit to do his duty and protect the planet Earth. And all those votes you helped me win for the opportunity to humiliate the Morphin Master. But I have new orders now and they required that this secret be revealed."
"You won't get away with this, I'll tell Zordon, warn him."
Sutra stood back as the stone turned to dust and Arum was pulled into the darkness.
"Amusing as always Arum, but as I told you: two can keep a secret if one of them is dead."
His fist slammed into the door one final time, and fuelled by his ever present fury, tore his cell open. He sensed the little creature beyond and with a small tug of his mind, dragged it inside. It would be the first meal he had had since his battle with Zordon. He threw his head back and rejoiced as he felt the destruction of his victim, the first of many.
His energy renewed, his powers returned to something more potent than before. Waves of dark energy rippled from his body, destroying everything around him. As the rocks that had formed his prison dissolved into dust, he clicked his fingers, transforming into a ball of black flame. He could sense that Zordon was nearby, but hidden from him in some way. No matter, he would just have to draw him out.
Sutra studied the coin in his hand. He had been totally ignored by the cell's former occupant. Not surprising since he was decidedly evil and the creature that had just escaped preferred to feed upon those of a lighter disposition. There were so many things that he could do with the great Zordon's Power Coin, so many ways to alter its workings. He had heard tales of how Rita and Zedd had used a Power Coin to almost rob a Pink Ranger of her life. Doing the same to Zordon would be amusing, but he wanted more than just Zordon's destruction. And he was aware that his master would not appreciate having to alter his plans.
Sutra was an illusion, an act which at some point he would need to abandon. If he destroyed Zordon, he would have the glory of the kill to his name, but nothing more. What he wanted was power. Zordon's power to be precise. After ten thousand years he predicted that Zordon's energy would be unbelievable. If he could find a way to take it for himself before the shock of being released killed the Morphin Master, he would be unstoppable, a force to be reckoned with within the ranks of evil.
He flipped the coin carefully, not allowing any of his evil magic to corrupt it. Such a plan would not work, he realised. But that didn't mean that when the time was right he wouldn't be able to claim Zordon's power for himself.
The Turbo Rangers were on their guard. Earlier in the day Zordon had detected an unexplainable surge in the Morphin Grid. Unexplainable because the surge had strengthened both the light and the darkness. And while he was unable to find the source of the disruption, he had noticed that he felt strangely complete for the first time in... he couldn't remember the last time he had felt like this. It was a welcome feeling, but disturbing too.
It was the end of October, a time when the Rangers were especially watchful given the day's significance on Earth. Not that Rita, Zedd or Mondo for that matter had ever made more of an effort to attack on that night then the rest of the year. But the teenaged defenders were well aware that the threats they faced were not limited to those they had faced in the past. Divatox had proven herself to be just as much of a nuisance as her predecessors and between them they managed to keep the Turbo Rangers occupied.
There were other dangers though. While it was unusual, there had been attacks by other villains attempting to snatch Earth out of the grasp of the major villains. Not to mention those villains that lived on the planet and viewed Halloween as a time when their chances of success were heightened by the shift in the planet's natural magic.
It was for that reason that the Turbo Rangers had arranged their evening activities so that if needed they could get away. Naturally where the Power Rangers were concerned there was no such thing as simply sitting around doing nothing when it was Halloween. And even if a movie and a pizza had been the favoured plan for the evening, once they had been asked to help organise Ernie's Halloween party, they had readily agreed.
Justin and Tasha were setting up the pumpkin lights, while Rosa and Franklin helped prepare a few of the party games. Fred meanwhile was helping Bulk as the larger guy set up the stage ready for the band to play. And Ernie, well Ernie was doing what he did best: serving his customers, watching the Power Rangers as they worked, and hoping that they would have a quiet night, while working on one of his latest concoctions.
Away from the Youth Center and Ernie's latest experiment with chocolate and pumpkin flavoured drinks, the younger children of Angel Grove were out, moving from house to house and demanding candy in return for not pulling some form of trickery. Each group was led by an older teenager who had volunteered in return for credits in their Social Studies course.
It was as one of those students was guiding a group of seven youngsters from house to house that she heard the soft sobbing from behind one of the nearby trees. While the younger children waited, she made her way over to investigate.
"Hey," she said softly as she approached the crying child who could not have been more than ten. "Are you okay, are you lost?"
The child sobbed and shook his head, mumbling something that she couldn't hear. When she asked him to repeat himself, he did so, but the little crying child vanished the instant that he raised his head and she caught a glimpse of his real appearance.
"I said no, but you are!"
Black smoke poured from the ground as the temperature soared. She could hear the children choking on the noxious fumes as she screamed and tried to back away. The smell of Sulphur permeated the air.
And then it was gone. The street lights seemed to pierce the darkness, but the sight it revealed was not at all pleasant. Around them the effects of the smoke were clear for all to see. The grass and flowers were dead. The tree where the boy had been waiting was limp and unhealthy. But it was the animals that made them feel sick. Insects, worms, small rodents that made their homes in and around the plant life. All lay dead on the charred ground.
The child laughed, red eyes glowing brighter as the younger children screamed. His body shifted as he fed upon their fear, growing taller and broader. And as he grew larger, so the children's fear increased, feeding him more energy with which to grow.
"Help!" she cried, taking a step back as she noticed the red veins that crisscrossed his too-pale-white face pulsed in time with his victims' screams.
Suddenly the wind picked up, not just a gentle gust, but forceful storm that shoved them from all directions, blowing the dead animals at them from all sides. After a great struggle, she managed to straighten up, only to realise that while she had been fighting the wind, she had been separated from her charges, who now had the man's full attention.
The man pushed his hand in the direction of the terrified children and they were lifted into the air. With a gesture he twirled them around, throwing them into each before growing tired of his little game and allowing them to drop onto the ruined ground. Seeing the children mistreated gave her the courage to take a stand.
"What are you?" she demanded.
"Something you could never understand," he replied, stepping closer.
As he did so, she saw his silver hair flicker like tiny flames atop his head. Whatever innocence his appearance might have held was gone. Even his clothes, which at first glance had appeared white, had a sickly sheen. He raised his hand and gave a small flicking movement, resulting in a pulse of telekinetic energy that smashed into the teen, lifting her into the air before promptly driving her into the ground a few feet away.
Even as she struggled to her feet, he was moving. Despite his size he was in front of her in an instant. He extended his arms, hands flat with the palms pointing toward the ground. Then as he moved his fingers, his crimson eyes glowed and she felt her body stiffen.
With a gesture he caused her to raise her hand and slap herself around the face. He repeated the movement, laughing with twisted delight as his puppet abused itself for his pleasure. He was about to turn his puppet against the younger children, when a whooshing sound and five columns of sparks heralded the arrival of the Turbo Rangers.
"Oh goody, new toys," he said mockingly, casually discarding the girl and turned his attention towards the morphed Rangers.
Since this was clearly not a human, and he was more than capable of defending himself, the Turbo Rangers did not hold back. They raced forward, leaping to attack from different directions, using their speed to their advantage.
Unfortunately their opponent was expecting their reaction and was also capable of countering them. Invisible hands trapped the Turbo Rangers before they could reach him. With a forceful gesture he caused Red Turbo to collide with Yellow Turbo, their Turbo Power Weapons inflicting all the damage they had intended to cause their opponent on each other. At the same time Blue Turbo and Pink Turbo crash head on as Green Turbo was slammed back to the ground with a loud thud.
For the next few minutes he played with them, humiliating them in front of those they were sworn to protect. He turned the Turbo Rangers against each other, forcing them to harm their friends. It was only after Blue Turbo had shot the others with his Turbo Hand Blasters that he was satisfied and allowed them to drop to the ground, but not before he had had Justin turn his weapons upon himself.
"Enough games!" he snapped, his eyes burning gleefully. He raised his right arm above his head, the fingers reaching up and to the right. With a cruel grin he lowered his arm, bringing it down and to the left until his fingers were pointing toward his left foot. The resulting energy wave exploded against their armour, sending them flying in all directions. Green Turbo crashed into the dying tree, reducing it to matchsticks. "Where is Zordon?"
"Where is Zordon?"
He knew that voice. He remembered the battle he had fought just before his final confrontation with Rita Repulsa. He remembered the power of Lord Mortor and his Zomboid army and how their battle had almost killed him. In the end it had only been through the use of an observation post he had been sent to investigate and the use of his own Power Coin that had allowed him to emerge victorious.
And now it seemed Mortor was back and that he wanted a rematch. The problem was that Zordon was not in a state where he could fight them. His body was long gone and unless they desired a battle on the Astral Plane, it would be a very one-sided affair.
Still, he could not leave the Turbo Rangers in danger. Mortor had the ability to phase himself so that most weapons were ineffective against him. And as the Turbo Rangers were discovering, he was more than capable of harming them.
"Ai-yi-yi, what do we do Zordon?" Alpha asked as the Turbo Rangers were struck repeatedly by dark energy.
"Teleport the Turbo Rangers back to the Power Chamber and then summon the other Rangers," he said.
There was an option, one he had considered ever since the Morphin Rangers had released the Great Power. Until now he had resisted the temptation, forcing himself to endure his difficult existence rather than risk the consequences of such a dangerous act. Now it appeared there was no choice, but he would still not make that decision until all options had been exhausted.
"Rangers! No!" Alpha cried, causing Zordon to look back at the Viewing Screen.
It appeared that Mortor had grown tired of playing and had instead unleashed a wave of destructive energy against the younger children and their guardian. As he would have expected, the Rangers' reaction had been to throw themselves in front of the innocent. But this time he suspected that even their powers would not protect them.
Mortor had grown tired of his game. Very tired. His long period of captivity had left him weakened. He needed Morphin energy to sustain himself, even the distorted energy that the five Rangers before him seemed to possess. First though his cruel nature demanded that he eliminate the young children and the other girl, leaving him free to torture the Rangers.
He unleashed a burst of black energy, the same energy that had killed all the plants and animals around him, towards his victims. It amused him when the Power Rangers leapt in front of the energy wave, attempting to save the lives of his victims. Not even Rangers could survive his dark magic.
The blast connected and that should have been it. But for some reason as the darkness evaporated, the Rangers were still standing and the children behind them appeared completely unharmed. Then the Red Ranger started to spark violently. They other Rangers' reactions were less violent, but it was clear that they had been hurt. The children were scared, but surprisingly still not showing any signs that his attack had succeeded.
And then they all disappeared in a burst of light.
"Ai-yi-yi, they're alive!" Alpha cried.
After the dark energy had connected, the little android had finally managed to get a teleport lock. The civilians had been teleported to the hospital while the Turbo Rangers had returned to the Power Chamber.
"Quickly Alpha, secure Fred and the others in the Medical Bay," Zordon ordered.
While they had survived, they were not unharmed. In fact how they had managed to escape with such relatively minor injuries was a mystery. One that was resolved moments later as Zordon watched the footage taken from Fred's helmet.
Their opponent had clearly grown tired of playing with them. His demands that they take him to Zordon had been refused over and over again. So he had decided to teach them the price of defeating Lord Mortor, by destroying those they sought to protect.
"Dark magic blast!"
He unleashed a burst of black energy, the same energy that had killed all the plants and animals around him, towards his victims. The Rangers had reacted on instinct, naturally seeking to place themselves between the deadly attack and Mortor's intended victims.
"Tire Shield, Activate!" Red Turbo cried.
The Tire Shield was a part of the Red Turbo Ranger's arsenal, a protective device capable of reducing damage by half. Of course in this case the attack had been so potent that even with the shield they would have died were it not for the extra protection of their uniforms. By the time the strike had ripped through them though, it had lost its effectiveness and the children were left intact.
"Tire Shield, Power Down!" Red Turbo had called, sensing that something was not right.
His visor display showed that despite the Tire Shield, his uniform had suffered severe damage and that at least a part of the energy blast had broken through his protection. It was not until the reactive properties of his uniform activated to keep the damage from inuring him too severely that Fred realised just how badly he had been hurt.
Zordon was proud of Fred, Justin, Tasha, Rosa and Franklin. Even though their encounter with Mortor had been brief, they had not backed down. And when they had had the difficult choice between allowing civilians to be injured or risking their own lives, they had bravely chosen the latter. Truly they were worthy of being Power Rangers. He made a mental note to look into giving their uniforms Metallic Armour, realising that the extra protection would have kept them safe from injury.
In the meantime he realised that the shock of the Rangers' actions had prevented Alpha from calling in the other Rangers. Realising his assistant would be busy for a while longer, he made the call himself.
After the Rangers had disappeared, Mortor had teleported away from the streets of Angel Grove and had travelled to the small town of Briarwood, once the domain of the Supreme Master, Octomus. Long ago when Mortor had come to Earth, Octomus was one of many demonic leaders squabbling for control of the planet. At the time he had fought Zordon, Mortor had been seeking an alliance with the Supreme Master, offering his services in return for Octomus's support against the Morphin Masters.
When he had been there the last time the area known as Briarwood had been wild and magical. Something had obviously happened that had robbed it of its natural beauty, but the residual magic had made it attractive to humans when they finally reached that part of the world. In fact he could still sense that the magical world had survived. It was smaller than it had been, but it had survived in what remained of the woods.
Perhaps there were other areas that had survived too. Areas of the world where magic was superior to human science, folded away beyond the eyes of mankind. He shrugged. Whether Octomus had survived or not, was not his concern. He was only interested in gaining revenge on the one who had defeated him.
Still, Briarwood could still serve a purpose. There was magic in this place, strong magic. Magic that he was already using to replenish his diminished strength. His encounter with the Power Rangers had shown that he was not as strong as he had once been. Before his imprisonment, his dark magic had been unblockable. Only Zordon had managed to withstand his assault and that had been due to the Morphin Master's incredible strength and pure heart.
Even so, he wanted Zordon to face him, not the Power Rangers. And while the Rangers were there, they were bound to try to stop him from getting to their master, something that while amusing for a short time, would grow annoying very quickly. Fortunately he was Lord Mortor and he like most of the evil lords of his time, had foot soldiers that would keep the Rangers busy.
Magic users had their strengths and their weaknesses. Mortor had always found that his strength lay in using magic to control death. Usually that meant he used it to kill, but when needed to he could use it to animate the dead, resurrecting them to form a new Zomboid army.
And in Briarwood it seemed his powers were more potent than usual, perhaps due to the Ley Lines that ran through the area, but just as likely due to the blood that had been spilled during the reign of Octomus. His command was amplified by the natural magic of the planet, reanimating the remains of whatever dead creatures were within its range.
The army appeared before him, hideous and deformed mutations of the living creatures they had once been. His magic sustained them, granting them some level of thought. And then he sent them to Angel Grove, which had a larger population than Briarwood, knowing that dealing with the Zomboids would likely keep the Rangers occupied and would force Zordon into the open.
"And the next thing I remember is waking up in the Medical Bay," Fred told the others as he rubbed his arm.
The Turbo Rangers had healed from most of their injuries, but they would still have the bruises to show for their recent encounter.
"Who was that guy anyway?" Tasha grumbled. Her clothing had been torn due to the damage to her uniform, something that had upset her greatly. The children's shelter expected its residents to look after their belongings. While a monster attack was a good excuse, it would not get the clothing replaced.
"His name is Lord Mortor," Zordon told them. "He is an independent warlord who once chose Earth as his staging ground. Shortly before my battle with Rita, I encountered Mortor while he was negotiating with another villain. We fought. It was a long battle that I almost lost. It was mostly an act of desperation, but I managed to force him into an observation post, which I then sealed, using a stasis field from a healing chamber to force him to hibernate."
"But you beat him," Zack pointed out.
Zordon shook his head. He could not accept the events of that day as a victory. He had been late arriving and by the time he got there, Mortor had already destroyed the observation team. Eighteen lives had been lost and the Council had decided that their fate would never be revealed.
"By the time I faced he had already executed a team consisting of Rangers, Riders and other trained personnel had already fallen to his power," Zordon told him. "Many of them had not stood a chance once he unleashed his dark magic attack. It was only because of the nature of the White power, that I was able to withstand his assault."
"And you?" Aisha asked.
"I too was injured during the fighting. Were it not for luck, I would have lost my life within minutes of arriving. There was little I could do against his power. His evil was so great that it weakened me just to be in his presence." Zordon paused. "I later had time to reflect on the battle and realised that his power came from the destruction of life. Since the Morphin Grid is a living force of magic, he was capable of draining its power too. Given time he could have become unimaginably powerful."
It had not been easy to face him the first time, and almost impossible to do so the second time. Only by pushing himself to draw more and more power had he managed to overwhelm the dark creature and then imprison him.
"I should have ensured that Mortor remained sealed forever," Zordon admitted. "The seal that I used was too delicate to last. However before I could do so Rita arrived and following that battle I was no longer in a position to attempt to alter the seal. It was almost a decade before the first efforts to breach my dimensional prison found a way for me to communicate with them and longer still before King Lexian supplied Alpha to act as my hands. By that time there were other matters to contend with."
"And by the time you got around to it, you decided it was safer to leave it alone instead of risking releasing him by accident," Tommy guessed.
Indeed there had been times, countless times when Zordon had been tempted to find a permanent solution to the evil he had faced that day. And since such a solution would have returned his Power Coin, doing so could have led to his freedom. But each time he had clamped down on his selfish desires and endured in remembrance of his fallen comrades.
"Zordon, what about the Turbo Rangers?" Kimberly asked.
By now Alpha had completed his search for the villain and found nothing.
"Lord Mortor is a powerful being, although his aptitude in magic is limited to causing death and manipulating the dead," Zordon told her. "In order to use his abilities to the fullest, he requires a great deal of magical energy, which he steals from his defeated opponents. I believe that having been in stasis for ten thousand years, his energy levels were lower than they should have been and he was planning on using the Turbo Rangers to recharge."
If that was true then it was possible that the only thing that prevented Fred and the others from falling victim to his power, was the one-step-removed nature of the Turbo powers. Had the Rangers been reliant purely on Morphin energy, there was a chance they could have been destroyed.
"He wanted you," Franklin pointed out.
Zordon nodded. Lord Mortor had been defeated before his final showdown with Rita. There was no way for the villain to know what had happened during that battle. The question was how could he battle Mortor again when he wasn't in the same dimension?
The sounding of the alarm was a welcome distraction from the problem.
The Power Chamber shook as the lights flickered. The computer beeped as it recorded a dozen or more spikes of unknown nature rippling through the Ley Lines on which the Citadel had been built.
"Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi!" Alpha shouted. "What's going on, Zordon?"
The Rangers were shaken by a second and then a third tremor, and steadied themselves against consoles to keep from falling.
" That was Lord Mortor," Zordon explained. "Alpha used the Viewing Screen to search for signs of an alien attack."
Alpha did as he was told and quickly found the Zomboids harassing the citizens of Angel Grove.
"Mortor has unleashed his Zomboid army upon the Earth," Zordon stated, noting that some of the blips were heading towards Mariner Bay. "If left unchecked they will absorb the life energy of those they encounter and use it to strengthen Mortor."
"We need to get out there guys," Tommy decided.
"Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi, the computer has picked up a message from Mortor."
On the Viewing Screen the hideous villain appeared, his body glowing red with barely suppressed rage. "Zordon, come and fight me, or I'll turn this planet into a grave yard! You have one hour Zordon, show up or this entire world will suffer the consequences. You have been warned."
"Don't worry Zordon," Zack said, "We'll handle him."
"No Zack," Zordon rumbled. He was the Morphin Master, the leader of the Power Rangers. He was the one who would have to face Mortor. He knew that the dark creature would not settle for substitutes. And that left only one option, something he had never seriously considered before. "Fred, Justin, Tasha, Rosa and Franklin are the Earth's first line of defence. They are the ones who must face Mortor if I am unable to do so."
He heard the loud protests and the Turbo Rangers responding just as loudly that they were not just a bunch of kids.
"They will remain at the Power Chamber until Mortor makes an appearance."
It was possible that his comment led the others to believe that he was trying to keep the Turbo Rangers safe from harm. In truth he needed them ready to face off against Mortor should the need arise.
"Jason, Kimberly, Zack, Trini, Samoht, Billy, David and Aisha will also remain here. I have a special task that requires the eight of you. Tommy will lead the rest of the Rangers into battle against Mortor's forces."
"Everyone remember your zombie movies?" Tommy asked.
The others grumbled before teleporting away, leaving Zack to ask the question.
"So what do you need?"
Everything was in place. Mortor had defeated the Turbo Rangers, just as Sutra had predicted and had then moved on to create his Zomboid army and threaten Zordon. Even though the Zeo Rangers and some of their allies were fighting back, the number of Zomboids continued to grow.
Sutra found himself impressed with the way the Rangers were fighting. Instead of engaging the Zomboids in hand-to-hand combat, they used fire and swords to strike the undead warriors. Jamie Zedden was proving particularly adept at blasting Zomboids with lightning from her sword before decapitating them.
Even so the battle would not be won until Mortor was defeated. And that was something that could not happen without Zordon's presence. So he decided to help things along a little.
For the citizens of Angel Grove the Halloween costumes were just a little too realistic. The monster sirens had sounded, but this was one of the few attacks where the monsters were actually hunting humans, instead of just preying on those they ran into. The Rangers were out in force, but were having trouble dealing with so many opponents.
While Tommy, Adam, Rocky, Tanya and Kat had headed in one direction, Trey had led Jamie, Lillian, Katarina and Christina in the other. Leaving Bulk and Skull to head off on their own and Nate Oliver to seek out the Zomboids harassing innocents near the Youth Center.
It was only after the Rangers had taken out the fourth wave of Zomboids that Mortor deigned to make an appearance. Intent on drawing Zordon out of hiding, he decided to target one of his students. In this case he had chosen Kat, believing that the Pink Ranger was perhaps the weakest.
"Kat!" Justin cried.
During his time as a Power Ranger, he had grown to look at Kat and Tanya as older sisters. They had been his friends, his mentors and his family. So when he saw Mortor grab her, he wanted nothing than to teleport to Angel Grove and help her.
"Wait a minute," Fred told him, watching the Viewing Screen as the other Rangers came to their comrade's aid. "We need to get down there Zordon."
"May the Power protect you," Zordon said as the five Turbo Rangers teleported into battle.
"Zordon, why are we still here?" Kimberly asked.
"Many years ago when I fought Mortor, I was forced to make a sacrifice to contain his evil," Zordon told them. "I needed a means to power the containment cell and the only source available at that time, was my Power Coin."
"Wait, if you didn't have a Power Coin, how did you morph to defeat Rita?"
"I didn't," Zordon confessed. "When I faced Rita I was forced to resort to trickery. I fooled Rita into a contest, one that if she lost would force her to renounce her evil ways. I won the contest, but Rita attempted to double-cross me. That is how she ended up in the Dumpster. However, without my full powers I was unable to stop her spell and was thrown into another dimension."
It had been easy to accept his fate at the time. Rita and Mortor had been defeated and he had lived. Over thousands of years Zordon had come to accept his fate. But now his imprisonment was putting the Earth in danger. It was time to make the selfish choice.
Mortor was proving a difficult foe. Even against the combined might of ten Zeo Rangers, five Turbo Rangers and their allies, he was undaunted. The draining effect of his magic was making it increasingly difficult for the Rangers to continue fighting.
"Turbo Ram!" Red Turbo called.
"Zeo Power Blaster!" Red Zeo responded.
The Turbo Rangers fired first, forcing Mortor to jump to the right where the shot from the Zeo Power Blaster caught him. Unfortunately the villain was able to know the shot away and summoned more of his Zomboids to prevent the Rangers from ganging up on him.
"How can you fight me, Rangers?" Mortor asked as he knocked the Brachio Staff from the Brachio Ranger's grip.
"This isn't working," Silver Zeo admitted. Her Zeo Power Whip had been on target, but Mortor's ability to turn his body semi solid meant that the whip slipped through him.
"Tell me Rangers," Mortor said as he threw Blue Zeo into a parked car. "How do you expect to fight somebody who draws on the darkest depths of the Morphin Grid?"
The villain looked up to where the Morphin Rangers were standing on a nearby building. In doing so he left himself open as Red Zeo, Purple Zeo and Red Turbo drove their swords through his guard.
"How do we fight a creature that draws from the darkest parts of the Morphin Grid?" White Ranger asked.
"We utilise a warrior who shines as a beacon of the light," Blue Ranger answered.
The eight Rangers had formed a circle, their hands clasped together in the centre.
"We call on the power of all ours combined," Red Ranger said. "Red Ranger Power!"
"Yellow Ranger Power!"
"Green Ranger Power!"
"Pink Ranger Power!"
"Blue Ranger Power!"
"Black Ranger Power!"
"Purple Ranger Power!"
"White Ranger Power!"
An orb of multicoloured energy had formed where their hands linked. As they withdrew their hands, the orb remained, shifting under the combined will of the only eight Rangers to ever truly master the Great Power of Phaedos. Once before they had used the Great Power to accomplish a miracle. This time it was not the fate of the universe at stake, just the life of one man.
"Zordon of Eltare," Red Ranger called, "your enemy awaits!"
The fabric between dimensions had been weakened when Minion had used the Sword of Ragnarok. With the Great Power at their disposal and a united purpose, the Rangers were able to rip open the weakened barrier between Zordon's time warp and the rest of the universe. Since he lacked a physical form, Zordon only needed a small hole for his spirit to slip through, which he soon did, he was finally free.
"Is this a joke?" Mortor asked. And for good reason.
While Zordon had been freed, he was lacking a physical form. Luckily the Great Power had done more than just allow the Morphin Master to break free. Guided by the Rangers and then Zordon himself, the magic had been used to conjure the White Morphin Master a new body, based upon his previous form and a sample of his DNA held within the Power Chamber's records. As the spell ended, Zordon felt a little guilty to know that the Great Power had once again been diminished by the Rangers calling on it. And since his body was now composed in part from the Great Power, there was a chance that it would not recharge as quickly.
"This is not a joke Mortor," Zordon said, hearing his real voice for the first time in ten thousand years.
It took a little effort for the Rangers to realise that Zordon was already morphed, his clothing transformed into that of a Morphin Warrior. His white robes were those Zack, Trini and Jason recalled seeing when Zordon had showed them a previous battle against Rita's forces. A medallion of the White Falcon rested under the fold fabric across his chest. In his hand he held a wooden staff that had a faint white glow.
"So you did find a way to return, after all," Mortor mused.
"He knew," Zack realised.
Discussion of how the villain had discovered Zordon's fate was cut short when the Zomboids renewed their attack, forcing the Rangers to divert their attention as Zordon and Mortor clashed. Ten thousand years had passed since their previous encounter and it was clear that while Mortor had an advantage, Zordon was able to hold his own.
Mortor carried an ebony mace, which he wielded with brutal force as Zordon blocked his blows. The dark depths of the Morphin Grid gave Mortor an incredible amount of raw power, while the power of the White Falcon allowed Zordon to dodge block and strike when the opportunity arose. Still it was clear that the half-powered Morphin Master was at a disadvantage.
It was clear that Mortor was winning. He was fighting at night on one of the days when the Earth's natural magic favoured evil against a Morphin Master who lacked a Power Coin. Zordon's odds were not looking good, even as his Rangers fought valiantly against the Zomboid horde; at some stage Mortor had used dead animals as the base material for his Zomboids, granting his warriors attributes of the animals upon which they were based.
As he watched Red Zeo decapitate a Zomboid dog before it could attack Pink Ranger, Sutra pulled out the Power Coin he had been holding since Mortor's release. It would have been easy to watch Zordon and his Rangers fall, but not nearly as satisfying as what his employer had planned, and no where near as rewarding as what he planned to do the moment his employer's plan was complete.
"Return to your owner!" he commanded, using a little magic to make the coin speed off in Zordon's direction.
That was all he could do. Anything further would have led to questions about why he was on Earth, a subject he did not wish the Rangers to discuss. If Zordon was as capable as he believed him to be, then he would know how to use the coin. If not, there was little he could do.
On the ground the Rangers were gaining the upper hand. The Zomboids had the advantage that there was more of them, but the Rangers had experience of fighting whole armies of foot-soldiers. In the circumstances they were not about to back down.
Zordon on the other hand was finding the battle increasingly difficult. Mortor was channelling his powers through his mace, turning every blow he delivered, regardless of whether Zordon managed to block it, a drain on the Morphin Master's strength. And it seemed that with each blow whatever strength Zordon lost, Mortor gained.
"This time you will not be so lucky," the villain assured as his mace landed on the wooden staff, splintering the weapon as it did so. The next blow caused Zordon to drop the remains of his weapon, leaving him open and vulnerable.
"Evil will never triumph, Mortor," Zordon replied, using the powers of his mind to pull a trash can into the path of Mortor's next blow. Just as Mortor had used his abilities to manipulate the Turbo Rangers earlier, so Zordon used his abilities to throw objects into the villain's path, slowing and frustrating the vile creature.
A whizzing noise caused both combatants to turn in time to see a small object streaking towards them. Mortor dismissed it as unimportant. Zordon however sensed that it was important, something that cost him as Mortor's mace struck a glancing blow against his right arm, cutting the Morphin Master down to the floor.
"And this is how it ends!" Mortor gloated as he raised his mace for a final blow. "Goodbye Zordon, give my regards to oblivion!"
The mace descended as Zordon's hand closed around the golden object. Power flowed from the coin into the wounded Morphin Master as his connection to the Grid was completely restored.
At Zordon's words, Mortor froze, his body incapable of moving due to the raw power that enclosed him. Zordon had always been a powerful mage. His connection to the Morphin Grid had made his magic stronger since performing magic required the same amount of focus. After ten thousand years, Zordon's magic had increased and for the most part had remained untouched. As a Morphin Warrior he had been relying upon his mage abilities to fight. With his Grid connection fully restored though he was able to combine his White Master powers with his magic, giving him the edge.
Zordon's robes flared with white energy as he used his restored power to their fullest. A new staff appeared in his hand, ready to finish his opponent.
"No, this won't end like it did before!" Mortor promised, charging forward.
Zordon twirled his staff, blocking the mace each time that Mortor attempted to breach his defences. As they fought, the staff glowed brighter and brighter as Zordon channelled his power into the weapon. Then with a decisive strike, he drove the end of the staff into Mortor's chest, jerking the staff upwards as he did so to wrench the mace from Mortor's hand.
"It's over Mortor," Zordon told him.
"No, I might be disarmed but I am far from defeated. Zomboids!"
"If you're about to order them to attack, I wouldn't bother," Purple Zeo said, causing Mortor to look around and take in the entire battlefield.
His Zomboids had been defeated and the Rangers were unharmed. He found himself facing the combined might of a full team of Morphin Rangers, Zeo Rangers, Turbo Rangers and their allies. Faced with such odds he did the only thing he could and resorted to trickery.
"Perhaps I have been a little hasty, Zordon," he said, vanishing the battle armour he had worn during their combat. "I will surrender to you custody if you will guarantee that I will be treated fairly." When Zordon nodded, he held his hand out for the Morphin Master to shake. Zordon did so and Mortor seized the opportunity, along with Zordon's staff. "Now we shall see who will win."
Zordon just looked disappointed as he easily blocked the weapon he had spent years mastering. Grabbing the end of the staff, he delivered a sharp kick to Mortor's chest, throwing the villain over to where the Zeo Rangers were waiting.
"You should have kept your word," Red Zeo told him as the others circled him. "Power of the Zeo Crystal, purify this poor soul. Deliver him from evil!"
Just as it had done several times before, the Zeo Crystal glowed brightly, eradicating the evil around it. Mortor cried out in agony, screaming as the darkness within was erased. Mortor was by his own admission a creature of darkness and knew that if the Zeo Crystal succeeded in purging the evil within his soul, he would cease to exist. He decided that retreat was his best option and teleported away, leaving only the dead ground upon which he had stood.
The Rangers stood a moment longer before teleporting away. There was a great deal to discuss.
After Mortor's defeat, the rest of Halloween had passed peacefully. There had been a celebration at the Power Chamber in recognition of Zordon's release. Messages of congratulations had been received from far and wide. It had actually been a surprise the next day when Jason and Tommy had arrived at the Power Chamber to find Zordon back in his tube.
A quick explanation had followed that while it appeared that nothing had changed, Zordon was now capable of leaving the tube whenever he desired to do so. Instead of being his prison, it made it easier for the White Morphin Master to monitor the Earth and his Rangers.
"I wish to thank you, Rangers," Zordon had said. "Without your brave actions I would not have been able to break free from Rita's trap."
That evening Zordon had stepped outside of the Power Chamber and walked through the streets of Angel Grove, visiting some of the sights he had come to admire and mingling with the people he had sworn long ago to protect. This Halloween, he decided as he tucked into a strawberry sundae, was worth the havoc.
"I did as you commanded," Sutra told the shadowy figure. "Zordon is free of his time warp and has no reason to suspect your involvement."
"And Mortor has been humiliated, eliminating any competition he might have offered you," the voice replied. "You realise that evil such as Mortor can never really be destroyed. It might take him a while, but he will return to his original strength."
"Of course, but by that time, you will be all powerful," Sutra answered, suddenly dropping to his knees. "Tell me what you wish and it shall be carried out, I have not failed you yet, oh great one. I did what you asked with Mortor, just as I obtained..."
"Speak no more!" the voice bellowed angrily. "You will never speak of our past business. Not to me, and not to anyone else."
"Yes, oh great one," Sutra grovelled. "I will not make that mistake again."
The presence faded, leaving Sutra with his thoughts. He was playing a dangerous game. But when he made his move and reaped the rewards, it would all be worth it. And then he would find a way to destroy the indestructible being that he served and rule in his place. So much had been set in place with Zordon and Mortor. It was now just a matter of time. He couldn't wait to see the results.