Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers; they belong to their respective copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made from this fic.
Authors Note: This fic represents the final appearance of is an alternate universe from the television show with an alternate time line. This fic takes place after Rangers of Two Worlds.
The warm sun beat down on the mountain range outside of Angel Grove, warming the four figures who stood nervously next to a piece of bizarre machinery. From a distant three of them were dressed in the same type of uniform, the fourth choosing a black tee shirt and blue jeans. Closer observation would note that three of them looked the same and would have assumed they were triplets. Those in the know were well aware that the bond between these three men was closer than even the bond between brothers. They were Trey of Triforia formerly united as the being known as the Gold Ranger and currently on Earth.
"Ready?" Jason Lee-Scott, current Gold Ranger and one time Red Morphin Ranger of Earth asked.
A bead of sweat ran down his face, a sign of not only the strenuous workout the four men had undertaken, but also his nervousness about what was to come. After a brief discussion they had all agreed that a brief exercise session would allow them to focus on the job in hand and reduce the risk of shock if successful.
He removed his communicator and T-shirt so he was wearing only a small medallion around his neck. That was a gift from Alpha, intended to act as a good luck charm. On the front of the medal was a carving of a dinosaur emerging from a pyramid, a reference to the powers that Jason had held.
"Ready," Trey of Courage added. "We appreciate this Jason. Not many would be willing to help us like this."
Trey of Courage, apparently the spokesman for the Treys on this occasion nodded his consent before removing his black and gold top. He wore a similar medallion with a different inscription. Jason could not quite make out the animal represented; it was hidden from his view or very badly carved.
"That's what friends are for," Jason answered. "The Universe needs the Gold Ranger."
"We are lucky to have a friend like you then," Trey of Heart smiled. "I am ready. Wisdom?"
"If we bounce the golden energy around Aquitar to Triforia and back to Earth, we might be able to remerge permanently," Trey of Wisdom said softly. He had been disappointed that their previous attempts to achieve unity had been short-lived and in retrospect extremely unpleasant. "I am ready."
"Gold Power Staff!" Jason called.
When the current Gold Ranger nodded his consent, the three Treys wrapped their hands around the staff and together the four of them called: "Gold Ranger Power!"
A beam of energy shot from the tip of the Power Staff into the night's sky. A column of gold formed into a spectacular spiral of sparks as it reached the edge of the atmosphere. Then it was gone, pulled by an unseen force as it bounced first off Aquitar and then onto the surface of Triforia. As it travelled the wavelength of the energy changed just as Zordon had predicted to a new frequency, one that would allow Trey to wield the energy without the risk of fracturing his soul again. If Zordon had calculated correctly, then the change of wavelength would go further and reinforce Trey's mental and spiritual effort to remerge. Not only would that allow Trey to resume the role of Gold Ranger, it would end the physical discomfort he had been feeling ever since the division had taken place; he hid it well, but Zordon could sense the Gold Ranger's pain.
Triforians were not supposed to divide their souls in the way Trey had done; the unification of three portions into a single entity was a throwback to evolution, not a weapon or party trick. In fact it was supposedly impossible for the three portions of a Triforian's soul to take physical form; Zordon and Billy speculated this was down to the powers of the Gold Ranger and the effects they had on the Triforian physiology in the same way that they had proven damaging to the human body.
But even with Trey's physiology, there were complications. By dividing Trey was expending three times the life force to sustain his bodies, three times the mental faculties to remain sane and three times the courage to face each day as it came. Such strength of will and power mind was impossible to maintain for long periods without the risk to physical deterioration; Trey had already managed to survive longer than most in his position, partially because his interaction with the Rangers had allowed him to grow comfortable in his separate bodies.
Time was running out though and once the physical decline started, it would be next to impossible to stop. And given his enfeebled state, this was an all-or-nothing, one time only attempt to restore the Gold Ranger powers. It they failed, it was unlikely Trey would survive the shock to make a second attempt. Even if he did, it would take weeks for the planetary alignment to achieve a satisfactory position.
With Mondo yet to return Gasket in command of the Machine Empire, Rita and Zedd were once again threatening to invade, the threat to Earth was growing by the day. And with Billy on Aquitar, the team was seriously lacking in its expertise of things of that nature. Sure, Zordon and Alpha were there, but they tended to give the information from a mentor's viewpoint rather than from a Ranger's, perspective. In short, they couldn't afford to lose Trey.
Inside the building that Zordon had constructed not far from the old Command Center, the Zeo Rangers watched anxiously. The building had been intended to act as the Zord Bay, but they had never found the need for it. So now, apart from a mysterious laboratory that Billy had placed out of bounds, the only use it represented was that of an observation lounge.
"It just reached Triforia," Adam said.
All they could do was wait as the energy beam from the Power Staff bounced off the planet and continued to increase in energy. Adam's eyes darted back and forth from the screen to the data pad in his hand. He hoped the energy would be high enough when it reached Earth or all was lost.
"Incoming!" Rocky cried as he saw the beam approaching like a shooting star.
"There's something up there," Tanya stated.
"What is it?" Tommy asked.
"Rangers, report to the Power Chamber immediately," Zordon boomed, but his voice was lost in the chaos that followed.
There was a commotion outside. Without hesitation they rushed to the friends' aid.
On the ground the Rangers had gathered around their four friends, not noticing what was happening about, or the sudden disappearance that followed once the mysterious figure had finished feeding. Jason was lying in the center of the circle, his body transformed into the Gold Ranger once more. Next to him the three Treys were attempting to understand what had happened.
"The energy bonded with Jason again," Trey of Wisdom said. "He will be able to keep the powers longer than planned."
Trey of Heart was holding his head. He looked up as the consequences of their failure dawned on him. "We cannot repeat this process. Our bodies cannot be merged."
"Heart, you are bleeding," Trey of Courage said.
"It is nothing," Trey of Heart replied.
"But, I confess, while you bleed, I do not," Courage argued pointedly.
Heart looked at Courage and realized what he meant. When separated into three parts a Triforian was still considered a single entity. Knowledge and pain, strength and death were shared; injury to one was inflicted on all. Trey of Courage should have had the same injury as Heart or at least have felt it. But he couldn't because Heart and Wisdom were no longer voices in his head. In fact they were barely whispers. He could feel their concern but little else.
"The energy did not heal us as we had hoped," Heart said.
"I fear not, instead of drawing us together," Wisdom added.
"It has severed the ties between us. We have been permanently divided," they both concluded.
"Then it is true, we are truly alive!" Trey of Courage said as the pieces slotted into place. They were separate living beings, not parts of one being. Trey of Triforia had ceased to exist as he once had, but in his place three new lives had just begun.
The other Rangers gathered round in shock, but their surprise increased when they looked at Jason. He was still in the uniform of the Gold Ranger and glowed brightly as the sun reflected off his armour.
"Guys, I think I'm back."
It was a few weeks later that Jason Lee-Scott walked through the forest to the south of Angel Grove. He had been working out during the day and was now on his way home. The last time he had been in the forest it had been with Tommy, en-route to the Power Chamber to become the Gold Ranger. Now his powers were failing him. He had been warned that holding the Gold Ranger Power was dangerous for any human, but had accepted the risk to help his friends.
Zordon had warned him that Alpha had detected small fluctuations in his life signs when morphed and that it might be necessary to give up the powers. He had not mentioned the pain he felt when morphing. Now the situation was even more urgent. An attempt to remerge Trey of Heart, Trey and Courage and Trey of Wisdom had failed due to some unknown force stealing the energy wave they had used. The residual energy that struck the Golden Power Staff had done little good and had even made matters worse.
Now Trey of Triforia was gone forever, his three component souls damned to be separate. The process could only be used once, and instead of helping the Trey's to become one it had destroyed their unity, perhaps forever. Although they retained a mild ability to sense each other, they no longer thought with one mind; they fought for their own reasons even though those reasons were similar. Most importantly they were starting to develop unique personalities to the extent of picking new names.
Trey of Courage had decided to keep the name Trey. He had always been the dominant personality in their combined form and continued to exert some influence. He had grown headstrong recently and was eager for action.
Trey of Heart had gone in much the opposite direction. After changing his name to Travis, he had sought out his spiritual side. He hoped that by calming his inner conflicts he would understand his dilemma and find a way to reunite with Courage and Wisdom.
Not to be left out, Trey of Wisdom was also seeking a way to reunite. He recognized just how dangerous it was for Jason to keep the Gold Ranger powers much longer. He also knew that if Trey of Courage were to attempt to morph the powers would consume him easily. Wisdom had changed his name to Trent and had locked himself in a private part of the Power Chamber in the hope that he would find a solution.
For a while Jason had been able to continue as Gold Ranger, the small change in frequency had made the Gold Ranger powers slightly less dangerous. Originally intended to restore Trey, it had somehow halted his deterioration. But things could not stay like that for long. The Gold Ranger could feel himself growing weaker with each battle and the need to transfer them was urgent. If Trey could not take the powers soon, the option was to either recruit another Triforian or another human to act as temporary host. Jason didn't like the sound of either option.
Fortunately the Rangers had some good news. Gasket and his faction of the Machine Empire were crippled from the Electro Magnetic Pulse the Rangers had unleashed weeks before; Mondo was still undergoing repair from his defeat by the Super Zeo Megazord. Obviously the Machine Empire was not as resilient as they had thought. Rita and Zedd had tried to take over, but other than demonstrating the fact they were still there, they had accomplished very little.
With the help of Jo and Jennifer Belle, both computer and electronic geniuses, Alpha and Zordon had been able to enhance the Rangers' arsenal, adding the Zords that Gasket had built. During their time helping the Rangers, Jennifer and Rocky had started to develop a relationship, much to Josie's amusement. For her part Jo had struck up a strong friendship with Alpha Five.
"Gold Ranger." The cold mechanical voice belonged to the leader of a group of Cogs. "Surrender and you will remain unharmed. Resist and you will be destroyed."
Jason studied the machines carefully. The basic design was Mondo's, but they looked sleeker than Jason remembered. That meant they were Gasket's. He sighed, knowing that meant that the effects of the Pulse Disruptor had most likely ended although he could not judge whether all of the machines on the Sky Base had been revived. This was probably Gasket's work though; the younger machine preferred lightweight materials. This was a good thing since it took less effort to destroy Gasket's Cogs. Of course he had no intention of fighting them on his own and was already trying to teleport away. When nothing happened, he realized he was being jammed.
As the machines moved towards him, Jason was looking for a way out. During his time as Red Ranger he probably would have tried to stand and fight, but those days were behind him. His headstrong nature had been tempered and he was willing to think before acting. Of course during his time away from the action his skills had also deteriorated not because he hadn't trained, but because without constant monster attacks his regular training regime was less effective. There was just no comparison for physical boost morphing provided.
That was something Jason had noticed upon his return and had discovered the older Rangers felt the same. The Zeo power failed to give the extreme high they had come to expect. The Gold Ranger powers could have even been worse since they were not truly part of the Zeo Crystal. The Gold Ranger drew energy from the Golden Power Staff, and while that energy was very similar to that produced by the Zeo Crystal, it was not the same. Despite the differences though it was close enough to work with the Zeo powers.
By the time the clumsy Cogs had reached him Jason had formulated an escape plan. He waited to make sure they weren't going to surround him and then turned to run. The Cogs spread out in an attempt to intercept, but Jason hadn't moved. At just the right time he sprang into action, striking at the one place they had left vulnerable, the path of their original approach. He had already found a suitable branch to use as a weapon and as he moved he picked it up.
The Cog saw him coming and prepared to block the blow to its head. Fortunately Jason had other plans. When he was close to the Cog, he skidded, using the loose dirt under his feet as lubricant. As he slid past the machine, he jammed the end of the branch into the back of its knee. He ignored the electronic squeal as he scrambled back to his feet and ran.
The other Cogs were in hot pursuit, but Jason was determined to get away. While he ran, his hand was frantically pressing the button on his communicator in the hope that he might find a weakness in the jamming field. He had a head start and hoped to reach open ground where Zordon might notice his predicament.
"Get him you blundering dolts," Gasket called. He had been watching events unfold and had moved to the planet's surface to take command. "I fail to see how they'd get along without us my dear," he told his wife. Both Gasket and Machina had fully recovered from the pulse.
"Shall I intervene, my love?" Archerina asked.
Gasket nodded his consent and Archerina leapt in action. She drew her bow and unleashed a volley of arrows, one of which struck the unmorphed Ranger's leg, tore through the material and snagged him in place.
"You had better surrender human," Gasket said. "You can't fight all of us like that and don't even have a weapon."
Jason eyed the advancing machines, calculated the odds and then relented.
"It's Morphin Time!" Jason cried as the Golden Power Staff appeared in his hand. "Gold Ranger Power!"
The now familiar black and gold spandex formed around him. Jason winced as a flash of pain struck him in his side. He shook the pain off and fell into a defensive stance. He waited for the Cogs to move in close, gripping the Power Staff all the time. As soon as they were all in range Jason started to swing the Power Staff in a circle, striking each Cog as they tried to grab it.
Once they had all fallen, Jason launched himself into the air and drop-kicked the first Cog to try to stand up. A spinning savate kick caught another Cog and he used the tip of the Power Staff to smash another Cog in the chest. Holding the Golden Power Staff in front of him Jason decided it was time to finish the undue workout and get home.
"Time for a Gold Rush!"
A tip of his staff glowed with power as the Gold Ranger charged forward. Suddenly, the built up energy was released inside as he reached the Cogs, destroying all of them. His legs felt strange as the energy faded and he had to battle to stay upright. His hand grabbed a tree trunk and groaned as his Power enhanced strength crushed it.
"Look dear, he can hardly stand, let alone fight," Gasket said smugly as the two machines advanced.
Jason was too weak to fight them. He needed a way out and quickly.
"Golden Flash!" he cried.
The tip of the Golden Power Staff opened for a second and allowed a small ball of light to form. As Gasket and his wife watched it grew larger, sucking in oxygen from the surrounding area. Then it exploded as all the stored energy was converted to light. Jason had used that opportunity to back away as his visor darkened.
The ball of light that overloaded his optic circuits caught Gasket unaware. For a brief moment he was blind; Archerina faired no better. Her hand went to her mechanical eyes as if that would help.
As soon as the ball exploded Jason ran, knowing that with the Gold Ranger powers enhancing his body he could run faster than before. Of course the flash did more than blind his attackers, he hoped. With luck the energy discharge would set off the alarms in the Power Chamber, assuming that his morphing had not already done so. But there in was another problem with the Gold Ranger powers. They were not tied to the Zeo Crystal and therefore could not be monitored by Zordon and Alpha.
An explosion caused Jason to stop and look. Gasket had apparently shaken off his loss of sight and was now blasting the area. Although his aim was less than perfect, the blast did knock Jason off his feet.
"Good try human," Gasket said as he towered over the fallen Ranger. "But not good enough."
His sword struck between the boy's shoulder blades, shorting out his powers and causing the Gold Ranger to howl in pain even as he tried to stand. The sword rose to deliver a second blow to the neck.
"The Golden Power Staff," Gasket said. "Now!"
"Never!" Jason shouted in reply.
The Golden Power Staff faded back into Jason's personal sub-space pocket where only he could access it. If Gasket killed him, it would stop anyone replacing Jason, but at least it would keep the powers from Gasket's clutches.
"I think the Brain Drain might be in order dear," Archerina said.
"I believe you might be correct," Gasket replied.
Jason trembled at the thought of ending up like Tommy, a puppet to be used by these evil monsters. He hoped Zordon knew what was happening. Then he thought no more as a heavy blow to his neck almost caused him to pass out.
"You cannot morph," Gasket told him gleefully. "If you try to do so, I will break your neck."
Jason was stunned for a moment while the Power dulled the fire in his pain receptors. He wished he had not demorphed, since his powers would have offered some sort of protection against Gasket's rage. The machine prince had decided to beat the Power Staff out of Jason even if it killed the boy in the process. A sharp kick caused Jason to hiss as he felt one, possibly two of his ribs break. Accelerated healing would deal with, but only if he survived.
His options were limited. A second Gold Rush was out of the question because if it failed he would be even more helpless and he needed to be morphed in order to accomplish such a feat. He was also in a vulnerable position. On the floor, his strength did him little good. He tried again to teleport, but that didn't work either despite the distance he had travelled. He was stuck.
"All I require is the Golden Power Staff," Gasket said as he hauled the Ranger back to his feet. "Give it to me!"
Gasket's metallic hand connected with Jason's chest and threw him back into the trees. The cracking of timbers as the plant live was pushed away by his flying body. Jason felt each impact and prayed he wouldn't strike his head or back in the wrong place. That would be the end of him.
"You're not helping yourself Jason," Gasket warned as his stomped on the Gold Ranger's hand. His sword appeared in his hand once more as Archerina placed her foot on Jason's knee. "Perhaps when we start removing body parts you'll cooperate."
Something black grunted as it crashed into Gasket. Jason caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of his eye. It spun and kicked at Gasket without fear, at one point successfully blocking a deadly slice from the villain's sword. The figure's black cloak shrouded Gasket's face while he blocked an arrow from Archerina with his gauntlets. A swift backhand knocked the weight off Jason's back as Archerina stumbled.
"Can you stand?" Trey asked.
Jason was in too much pain to talk properly, but his mind recognized the need to move. He stood warily and steadied himself on Trey's shoulder.
"What are you doing here?" he managed.
"The Gold Ranger powers must be protected," Trey stated. In a light tone he added, "So must their avatar,"
If he hadn't been in pain, Jason might have smiled. But he knew they weren't out of danger yet.
"How did you get here?" he asked.
"The anti-teleport field ends at the edge of the forest," Trey answered. "Come on."
With Trey leading the way they ran toward safety, aware of Gasket and Archerina now back in pursuit. A few Cogs had managed to stand by this time and tried to block their path. Luckily Trey had thought to bring a weapon with him and knocked the obstacles from their path. With surprise on his side he had managed to knock Gasket and Archerina about, but Trey was not a fool and despite his longing for action, he had learnt to be cautious.
When Trey dropped like a stone it took those present a while to figure out exactly what had happened. At first Jason thought a Cog had managed to use its eyebeams, but a second shot that just missed his feet and a shout of anger from Gasket told him that was not the case.
"How dare you interfere?" Gasket demanded.
Things had finally been going his way, but now Rita and Zedd had decided to involve themselves. He cursed that he hadn't made the teleportation field block their approach as well. He watched as a second discharge struck the vulnerable Gold Ranger.
"Leave at once!" Gasket commanded, synthesizing the most compelling voice he could manage, which happened to be that of his father.
"Leave?" Rita screeched. "We're just about to claim the Gold Ranger powers for out own. You leave."
To back up his wife's words Zedd unleashed a blast of magic from his staff, which dissipated as soon as it struck Gasket.
"We're immune to magic Zedd, remember?" Archerina mocked.
Zedd did remember. The Machine Empire and Archerina, after some enhancements by Gasket, were made of Iron. Of all the elements Iron was almost unique in its ability to repel magic and with it the power of the Morphin Grid. Of course Zedd was not so stupid that he wouldn't have a backup plan ready.
"Rito, Goldar, what are you waiting for?" the Emperor of Evil asked.
"Uh nothing Ed," Rito replied and the two charged while Zedd fumed silently,
"Come on Zeddy, we need to get that Ranger," Rita said.
Rito and Goldar were incompetent at the best of times, but they made a good distraction. Even if Gasket were a genius by comparison, they were too strong for him to handle on his own. With the two machines facing off the idiot henchmen, Tengas were dispatched to pick off the few remaining Cogs.
Trey by this time, was starting to stir while Jason was back to his feet albeit unsteadily. A second shot from Zedd's staff put him down again as Rita used her staff to bind their hands to their sides.
"Now," Zedd boomed threateningly, "Give me the Golden Power Staff."
The sharp edge of his Zedd staff touched Trey's body, drawing a trace of blood. Jason knew things had taken a turn for the worse.
When the Zeo Rangers arrived it had been easier than they expected to slip through the jamming field using a technique Billy had devised long ago. They soon discovered the reason for their easy entrance was that Rita and Zedd had allowed it. As they entered the wooded area Z-Putties and monsters they thought long defeated, swarmed them.
Of course those monsters they had dealt with during the age of the Thunderzords were easily dispatched since the Zeo powers were stronger than those they had at that time were. The monsters from their time as Ninja Rangers were somewhat more difficult, especially in numbers. This was because as Tommy, Adam and Rocky had discussed one night; the Ninja powers were equal if not stronger than those of the Zeo Crystal were. However, against the Machine Empire's Iron bodies, the Ninja powers were ineffective.
Gasket and Archerina had finally subdued Goldar and Rito after unleashing two of their creations to handle the task. They were now in a direct standoff against Rita and Zedd. For although magic had no effect on the machines, objects affected by magic, such as falling trees could. Likewise it would take little for the machines to shred the other villains' flesh.
"Leave before I really get angry and make it rain," Zedd half-joked and half-threatened. Whether Gasket was rust proof was something he considered finding out, but there were more important matters to deal with first.
Rita and Zedd both knew that the Machine Empire was immune to magic, except that which was forced to conform to the rules of science. Such powers as those found in the Zeo Crystal or Golden Power Staff would give them a means to destroy Mondo and his family once and for all. Then they could wipe out the Rangers, conquer the Earth and take their prize.
"Leave now you arrogant organics," Gasket boomed in his best Mondo voice. "We were here first." He paused for a moment. "Besides, you have the other Zeo Rangers," he pointed out.
Zedd looked around to see the Zeo Rangers caught in an oversized cocoon, which had been enchanted to prevent the use of their weapons. As the trap closed inwards, the Rangers were forced off their feet. When the excess air was all gone, they would be forced to demorph in return for Oxygen.
Jason howled in agony causing all present to look in his direction. His costume flickered for a moment and then disappeared, leaving him vulnerable and holding the Golden Power Staff, which had mysteriously appeared. Next to him Trey was still trying to shake off the effects of the spell, but without the Power he lacked the accelerated healing the others enjoyed.
"Perhaps a compromise is in order," Zedd said.
He kicked Jason hard in the gut and rolled him over with his toe. Another kick rolled him towards his fellow Zeo Rangers.
"Release them," he told Rita.
Rita was about to ask if he had gone mad, when she sensed something she had not felt from him since his arrival on the Moon, something that had been building ever since he had bested the White Ranger in combat. He was confident of victory. A wave of her wand released the Rangers who seemed to be confused and concerned for their two friends.
"Rangers," Zedd said as he hooked his staff through the back of Trey's clothing. "Power down and drop your Zeonisers or I will kill your ally."
"How do we know you'll let him go if we power down?" Tommy asked.
"Let him go?" Zedd asked. "Who said I was going to let him go? Your actions will simply decide whether he lives or becomes Tenga food."
"More than enough power to share," Gasket said to Zedd quietly.
"Or to keep for myself," they both muttered.
"One minute Rangers," Gasket warned.
"Let us go and talk to Zordon," Adam said.
It was a good ploy. If Zedd allowed them even a moment of communication, Zordon could teleport them all including Trey to safety. But Zedd would have none of it.
"Fifty seconds," he reminded them. He raised Trey higher to make his point. "I suggest you don't keep your friend hanging about."
The figure arrived at the edge of the jamming field and had to admit it felt good to be morphed again. The desire to charge headlong into battle and save the day was almost too great to resist, but an inner voice told him not to give in to such instincts. Instead he looked for an alternative.
Against Rita and what he assumed was Zedd he would have a slim chance - a very slim chance - but against the two machines, their names unknown to him, he had no chance. The Zeo Rangers on the other hand were intended to fight the Machine Empire and could probably handle Rita and Zedd as well. If he could free them, they could take things from there.
He used the scanner inside his helmet to take a closer look at what was happening. The man in the cloak had been hoisted into the air and hung from Zedd's staff, tendrils of dark energy running over the course of his body. Obviously this person was more to the Rangers than he had first thought. Their indecision was not the same as when a family member was held captive, or an innocent member of the public. From their concern and Red Zeo's actions it appeared as if he were a close friend.
"Aura Scan!" he ordered, curious.
The helmets of the original Power Rangers of Earth had contained the secret to many capabilities Zordon had revealed when the time was right. By doing so he had ensured that the Rangers kept to their oath never to escalate a battle, even though they showed great restraint in that area. Jetting, Power Scans and night vision were among the standard features Zordon and Alpha had developed during their first few years on Earth. When Tommy had rejoined the team for good, they had updated his suit to include those functions. When Rita and Zedd had ordered the Wizard of Deception to create Tom, the Wizard had used the White Ranger as a template for the Green Clone Ranger powers, giving him those same functions; functions the figure now also possessed, along with many that had been added since. The figure wasn't quite sure how he knew all of that, but he had more important things to do than complain. Though he was curious to know what 'Metallic Armour' was...
The Aura Scan made use of the Power Scan feature to analyse a subject's magical potential and identify those who were capable of using or actively using the Morphin Grid. The figure's scan yielded quick results. The Machine Empire failed to even show up on his scan, appearing as a void; the Putties were just grey anomalies, suggesting a total lack of their own life; Tengas were black and white, the black marking them as evil and the white indicating their lack of power. Rito and Rita both showed up as black and green, something Sam imagined was due to them being related; Goldar was red and black with a hint of grey, and Zedd himself was just plain black. What the colours meant wasn't clear, but they weren't important anyway; it was the Rangers he was interested in.
First he checked the five Zeo Rangers. Red Zeo was red with a white/green outline; Blue Zeo was blue with a red outline. Pink Zeo was pink all over and Yellow Zeo was pure yellow; both girls' aura's matching their signature colours exactly, he noticed. Green Zeo was a surprising mix, green with a half-yellow and half-black outline. Then he checked on the Black Zeo Ranger - no, wait, Gold Ranger he was called, though he looked more like a Black Ranger in the figure's opinion - who flickered between gold with red flares and clear, his costume flickering in time with his aura. All the time the former maintaining an even red edge.
Now for the hostage.
The scan quickly revealed the hostage was a Ranger of some type. He showed up as clear, but had gold streaks running throughout. Unlike the others he lacked an outer colour, leading the figure to believe that Trey was probably Jason's predecessor.
Jason? The figure frowned as a memory belatedly clicked into place. Huh. Small world ...
Now he knew who everyone was he could see why the Rangers were undecided. On the one hand they couldn't just give up their powers, but to risk a civilian or worse a teammate was something they weren't prepared to do. It was a no win situation and they needed a third alternative. The figure decided to provide it.
The countdown continued without delay and the Rangers were growing more and more desperate. While Trey was a hostage, they couldn't move against Zedd. Any attempt to do so would end in disaster. As the count got lower Tommy steeled himself for what had to be done. The Rangers had given up their powers before and survived, he hoped they could do so again. After all, back then they had a Green Ranger waiting in the wings.
The noise drew attention from all parties as the Dragon Ranger leapt through the air and landed next to Zedd. With a swift kick he threw Zedd off balance. Zedd moved to intercept this new foe as another cloaked figure leapt through the air and landed next to Trey. A swipe of a small dagger cut through Trey's costume and a sharp quick shove pushed him away, freeing the other Rangers to attack.
Tommy had by now recovered enough to summon the Zeo V Power Sword and take over the battle with Zedd. This caused Zedd to focus on him rather than the third cloaked figure that shoulder blocked his knees.
Looking around, Dragon Ranger ignored Gasket and Machina because his powers would be at best ineffective and at worst could cost him dearly. Instead he sprang back to cut off Goldar as the simian charged at Jason. Dragon Blade in hand, the Green Ranger punched it out with his foe, both fighters attacking with equal ferocity and glee. Their swords clashed as Goldar tried every trick in the book, most of which the Dragon Ranger hadn't realized existed. With a grunt the Green Dragon Ranger was slammed on his back.
"Later Green Ranger," Goldar gloated as his sword descended on its latest target.
"Zeo I Power Disk!" Pink Zeo called.
Her small shield like disk energized and grew until it was a few feet in diameter. Flames licked the edge without affecting Kat, who after drawing it back like a Frisbee, threw it at the gold-plated monkey. Dragon Ranger watched as Kat pummelled Goldar with a wide variety of kicks; Tanya was having a similar confrontation with Rito. Tommy was still locked in combat with Zedd; Rocky switched between Rita and Archerina leaving Gasket for Adam.
But Jason, the hostage and the two-cloaked figures now either side of the latter were still vulnerable to the Tengas, Putties and worse still, Cogs against which Dragon Ranger was helpless.
But Jason wasn't...
Without waiting for the attackers to respond Dragon Ranger moved over to the fallen Gold Ranger, produced his Blade Blaster and fired as quickly as possible. The Putties disintegrated on contact while the Tengas ran off leaving a trail of burnt feathers. As expect he could do little against the Cogs and burnt out his weapon just to convince them to back off. When he reached Jason, Dragon Ranger touched the unstable Ranger. Trey and the two cloaked figures - who Trey had by now realised were Trent and Travis - watched as their mysterious ally muttered something they didn't hear, sending a wave of fresh power into the Gold Ranger's body. Not much, but enough to accomplish what needed to be done.
"It's time for a Gold Rush!" Jason called.
With his powers in a newfound state of hyper-activity, the Gold Ranger tore through anything he didn't recognize as a friend. Goldar moved to tackle him and was rewarded when his sword shattered. Dragon Ranger meanwhile charged across the field and tackled Rita, knocking the surprised witch to the ground and letting Rocky concentrate on Archerina, who quickly found herself having to deal with Kat as well...
With the enemy occupied, Heart and Wisdom kneeled over Trey. There was little they could do for the former Gold Ranger except protect him from further harm. A quick check revealed there was nothing else wrong. At least nothing that Alpha and Zordon couldn't handle. Now they just needed to escape.
Luckily by that time Tommy had repeated his previous success with Zedd and found the source of the jamming field. A quick swipe of the Zeo V Power Sword and the jamming field was gone, just as the villains decided to call it a day.
"Tom?" Tommy asked
The Green Ranger raised his head at the unfamiliar name. He looked at the Red Zeo and shook his head, apparently saying 'no'. He appeared to be trying to say something else, but the Rangers could not hear his voice.
Then, suddenly, the Green Dragon Ranger started to fade away, the Zeo Rangers watching in surprise as he disappeared completely.
"Somehow, I don't think he meant to do that." Rocky remarked.
"... And then the next thing I remember is charging at Goldar," Jason concluded.
"What about the Green Ranger?" Kat asked.
"I didn't notice Adam," Jason replied honestly.
After returning from their rescue mission the Rangers had taken the time to shower and change into their spare clothes before meeting in the Command Area. Alpha had taken the opportunity to secure Trey of Courage on a healing bed where his body could repair. Fortunately the former Gold Ranger was relatively unharmed.
Jason had also been forced to submit to a scan. But apart from a broken rib and severe bruising he was unharmed. His powers had now returned to normal and his rejection had ceased for a while at least. Now came the debriefing where he had to explain what had happened, a job made more difficult because he had no recollection of events.
"Not Adam," Kat stated firmly. "I meant the Green Ranger."
Jason glanced at Tommy who shook his head. "It wasn't me man, we couldn't do anything until Zedd let go of Trey."
"So who was he?" Jason asked. "And what does he want?"
"He helped us rescue you," Tanya pointed out.
"I am afraid Rangers that unless the Green Ranger wishes to make himself known to us we have no way of knowing," Zordon said.
"Man I hope he stays," Tommy said. "At least until we know who he is." His unspoken comment was obvious. Tommy missed his clone and Tom was never too far from his thoughts.
"I guess I owe you guys my life," Jason said, addressing the three Trey's. "Thanks for your help."
"You are welcome." Travis replied, speaking for all of them.
"Indeed, I am pleased to see that the bravery of the Lord of Triforia extends beyond the power of the Gold Ranger," Zordon said. "However, the three of you were lucky not to be seriously hurt. In future I hope you will remember you are unprotected in battle."
"Zordon, we have a duty to protect the Gold Ranger powers," Trey of Courage stated. "That is the oath we took when we discovered Jason had retained the powers. We will uphold that oath until that changes."
The conversations continued into the early evening.