Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers; they belong to their respective copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made from this fic.
Authors Note: This is an alternate universe from the television show with an alternate timeline.
Re-enter: The Green Dragon
"We did it Zeddy!" Rita cried.
"Silence!" Zedd was not in a good mood and spun sharply to confront Mistress Repugna. "What were you thinking by interfering, do you have any idea what could have happened?"
"What does it matter, you made your little bet, gave your little oath and thanks to my intervention, we won."
"The point is that you could have destroyed us all," Zedd snapped. "That oath contains powerful magic."
"Relax Zedd. So I cheated, we didn't get caught."
"Those Rangers are going to try and retrieve their powers," Zedd mused, ignoring the woman. "Perhaps we should make it easier for them. Goldar, take the Zeo Crystal back to the quarry and wait for those annoying teenagers to show up. When they do use the Putties or Tengas to capture them. Rito, go with him and make sure you don't mess it up. Minion will be nearby, just in case."
"Yes Lord Zedd," Goldar growled.
"Sure thing Ed," Rito added.
"And you," Zedd snarled, his finger pointed at Monastra. "Stay out of the way or I'll put you in a Dumpster."
"Sure Zedd, whatever," Monastra replied, temporarily appearing as a blond haired, blue eyed, bubblegum blowing teenager. When the villain was out of earshot, she added: "Try putting me in a Dumpster when I turn your magic off grate face."
"Hold still Tommy, I'm almost done," Alpha announced as he dragged the pen-shaped device across one of the many cuts Tommy had gained during his battle.
The shoulder he had damaged had been found to be clear from infection and had sealed relatively quickly until Zordon's guidance. The flesh would hurt for a few days to come, but the bones and muscles had regenerated nicely. Still, the power the Dark Ranger had shown in creating that blast was frightening.
"I lost," he repeated for the fifth time since he had been back at the Command Center, as if saying the words would somehow make it seem better.
"Yes Tommy," Zordon answered. "I am afraid that although Minion's tactics were underhanded, he remained within the rules you had agreed on with Zedd. There is nothing we can do about the decision."
"Man, we need to get the Zeo Crystals and the Zords back," Tommy said. When they arrived back at the Power Chamber, they had seen that the Zords had been teleported away.
"We need to find some different powers," Rocky said.
"How about out old powers?" Adam asked.
"Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi! Adam, you must never use those morphers again," Alpha warned. "The power could destroy you."
"It's okay Alpha, calm down," Tanya said reassuringly. "Adam was only asking."
"Hey I know, what about the Green Ranger powers?" Tommy asked. "They were never destroyed with the Thunderzords."
"No," Billy agreed, "but they were drained by Zedd. The Green Ranger is powerless."
"His clone wasn't," Rocky muttered.
"Yes Rocky, you are correct," Zordon boomed, gaining the attention of the Command Center's occupants. "The clone of the Green Ranger never had his powers drained since he is a magical construct and to do so would have ended his existence. With a Power Coin in his possession, they would be intact."
"Yeah, but the clone is in the past," Kat remarked, remembering the stories Tommy had told her, and those not so nice versions that Rita and Zedd had shared.
"I believe we can still contact him for help," Zordon stated. "Alpha, access your tertiary auxiliary memory and recall the wand from that location."
"Zordon?" Billy asked, a suspicion starting to form.
"I am sorry to say I misled you Rangers," Zordon boomed. "After the Green Ranger was left in the past, I considered destroying the Wizard of Deception's wand. However, the wand proved difficult to destroy and I feared we would need a method of time travel in the future, so I had Alpha secrete the wand deep inside the Morphin Grid and ordered him to hide the location within his memory. Only Alpha has the knowledge and means to retrieve it."
"You lied to us," Rocky accused.
"I am afraid I did," Zordon acknowledged. "However, I am certain that my actions were for the best. By keeping the existence of the wand secret I avoided the temptation to use it. By not destroying we have the means to contact the clone."
"Tom," Tommy said. "His name is Tom."
"I apologise Tommy," Zordon said.
"So how do we open this portal to Colonial Angel Grove?" Tanya asked.
"The wand will only work for Tommy, due to his experience with the Wizard of Deception," Zordon said. "You must take the wand to the Colonial Museum and use it to open a portal to the past. Hopefully Tom will agree to aid us."
"I'll go now," Tommy said. He vanished in a column of white.
"Zordon, how can the clone have his powers?" Adam asked. "Tommy told us the Green Ranger powers were lost fighting Lord Zedd."
Kat and Billy exchanged an awkward look. Luckily Tanya interrupted.
"Tommy said the clone used the powers before," she pointed out.
"Yes, but I thought those powers came from the Wizard's wand," Adam answered.
"When Rita and Zedd created the clone, the Wizard used Tommy's hair as a genetic blueprint and managed to duplicate his residual link to the Green Morphin energies. He then used a spell to create a coin with similar properties to Tommy's and energised it using the magic of his wand; he later used the same means to empower the Dragon Zord. But I believe the conduits needed to tap the Green Ranger powers, which had been damaged in Tommy, were normalised within the clone."
"So the clone, Tom, can still morph?" Adam asked.
"I'm not sure." Billy admitted. "You see, the clone was magical in nature, not genetic. So when the Wizard created him he used Rita's memory of the Evil Green Ranger as the design and Rita would not have remembered him having the weakness from the candle at that time. Unfortunately since the coin and the clone are magical constructs, I have no way to ascertain their ability to transform him into the Green Ranger again; from Tommy's description when he transformed back, the coin the Wizard of Deception created just vanished. I don't know if he could morph again."
"If he had a power coin he could," Alpha stated.
Tommy turned pale as his hand sank into his pants' pocket and pulled out his old power coin. Unmistakably that of the Dragonzord.
"So if we gave Tom that coin," Jason said trying to reconcile what he had learnt. The natural leader that he was, it was difficult for him not to just take charge.
"He should be able to morph," Billy answered. "And since the coin is not only connected to the Morphin Grid, but also contains some of Tommy's stolen energy, he should be powerful enough. If he agrees."
"In the meantime we need a plan," Adam said, keen to change the subject. "Maybe we could ask Tom to battle Minion. Now we know how he fights, Tom could win."
"Perhaps," Billy agreed, "but I think Zedd wants us to attack outright."
"How do you know that?" Tanya asked.
"Because he's placed everything we lost in plain view in the quarry, on Earth."
"So if we could get them back, we can be Rangers again, right?" Kat asked.
"That is correct Katherine," Zordon boomed. "Alpha, retrieve the storage trunk."
Alpha moved to comply, dragging a large trunk with him. There he opened it revealing the contents.
"Wow," Rocky remarked pulling out a set of weapons similar to those they used as Rangers.
"Our original Power Weapons," Billy gasped, recalling the weapons they had handed over when Commander Crayfish and his mutants proved too powerful. Zordon had replaced their weapons with similar yet more powerful copies. "You kept them?"
"I was afraid that one day you would need them again," Zordon admitted.
Billy pulled them from their box and as they touched his unpowered hands, the weapons changed, becoming simpler and lighter.
"On some planets, Rangers are allowed to carry their weapons while unmorphed," Zordon explained. "These Power Weapons have been endowed with the ability to blend in with an unmorphed team."
"Hey Billy, remember these?" Jason asked, pulling out the weapons they had retrieved for use against the Super Putties.
"Affirmative," Billy grinned. "We never named them though. Trini said they should be called the Power Slingers, but I thought Thunder Slingers suited them better. Don't you throw anything away Zordon?"
"What's this?" Rocky asked, holding up a piece of rope.
"I remember that," Jason said. "Goldar used it to tie Kat, Zack and me to a chair."
"Correct," Zordon said. "The rope generates a powerful electronic force field that prevents those trapped by it from morphing and teleporting."
"We were lucky to get away," Jason told them.
"Will it still work?" Kat asked.
"Alpha, hand me that scanner," Billy instructed. Alpha did as he was told and Billy passed the device over the top of the rope. "Affirmative, the rope has retained all its properties," he said.
"So we have a magic rope, the Thunder Slingers and unpowered weapons," Adam said. "Anything else?"
"Yes," Tommy said, sounding pleased. He pulled out a pink ribbon. "Kat used this against the Bloom of Doom."
"Let me see that," Alpha said, taking the ribbon from the Ranger. He turned away and then handed Kat a new device. "I modified it to create the Pterodactyl Thunder Whip."
"And this," Billy said, pulling a large rifle from the trunk before closing the lid, "is the Mega-Heater I developed against Turbanshell."
"It's not much," Adam said.
"But it's all we have," Tanya added. "We'll work with what we have, assuming Tommy can convince Tom."
"I don't have a choice, do I?" Tom asked.
When he had been left in the past, he had known that one-day the Rangers would seek him out again. That didn't mean he had to like it. It wasn't fair of them to expect him to abandon his new life, his family, to save a world where he didn't belong. It had taken months for the colonists to accept Tom as one of them, and that had been on the grounds that he didn't use magic. In such a superstitious place, the reappearance of a white clothed stranger and disappearance of a local man would cause a stir. If Tom agreed to this, then the chances were that the life he had known for the past few years would be gone forever.
"We need you," Tommy said, giving the clone a sympathetic smile.
Had he had his way, Tommy would have ensured the wand was destroyed. Nobody deserved to have his or her lives disrupted in this way. He could see that Tom was torn between the life he loved and the friends he barely knew. At the end of the day though he was a Ranger and that meant he had to do what was right, not what he wanted.
"On one condition," Tom said after some thought.
"Name it," Tommy said.
"If I succeed, I will get to keep the wand," Tom told him. "No offence, but I have a life, although it looks like I won't be able to return here again. Still, I can't have you guys ruining it every time Zedd strips you of your power coins. I'm not a Ranger anymore!"
"I'm really sorry man, if we succeed, I promise I'll make Zordon destroy it."
"Not good enough," Tom snarled his anger obvious. "I'm not a part of your lives anymore. You shouldn't even be asking me this. If I succeed, I want the wand, so I can ensure it is never used again."
"I don't think Zordon would agree."
Tom's face was hard when he answered. "Zordon doesn't have a choice. I can't stay here anymore. The wand will allow me to find a new time where I won't upset the balance. And you are the White Ranger, so you decide."
Tommy nodded reluctantly. "Okay, we'll do it," he said finally. He didn't have a choice.
The two Rangers clasped forearms in agreement, and then Tommy handed the wand to Tom and they both vanished.
"Master, the Rangers are not attacking," Goldar reported.
"Oh my," Finster said. "Perhaps they found some new powers."
"No," Zedd said firmly. "They will try and recover their powers first. Perhaps those teenagers lack the proper incentive. Minion, attack the city!"
"Yes, Lord Zedd," Minion replied before disappearing, taking a collection of Monastra's clay creatures with him.
"So we're ready then," Tommy said at last.
There had been a great deal of argument between Tom and Zordon when the two youths had returned. Zordon had argued fiercely that if Tom kept the wand he would be tempted to use it. Tom had responded by pointing out that Zordon was no better and that since the Rangers needed his help, Zordon would need to agree to his terms.
"I'll handle Minion and see if I can draw Rito and Goldar into battle," Tom said. The Rangers had updated him on the changes in the villains' camp. "You guys will have to handle the Putties and Tengas though."
"We'll get our powers back and then come and help you," Tommy said.
"Zordon, what happens if Tom needs the Zords?" Kat asked as Tom clipped the last of the original Power weapons to his body, aware that although unpowered, they would provide an additional arsenal.
Trini's daggers were strapped to his ankles, Jason's sword sheathed at his right hip and the less powerful Dragon Dagger was secured on his left hip; Kat's bow and Billy's spears were secured to his back. Zack's axe was in his hand as he contemplated whether or not to take it. Unpowered, the weapons lacked their gestalt form and the axe couldn't be transformed into the Cosmic Cannon. In the end he placed it with the bow and spears.
"Dragonzord should answer to your call," Zordon boomed. "However, without the other Dino Zords, Dragonzord may be overwhelmed. You will have to hold out until the others can reach you."
"I understand Zordon," Tom said. "Are you sure I can access these weapons when morphed?"
"Affirmative," Billy answered. "Although I doubt they will be of use to you."
"Well, I guess it's time."
"Then go, and may the Power protect you."
Tom shook his head in disbelief. "I never thought I would say this again." He smiled as he pulled out his power coin and inserted it into his morpher. "It's Morphin Time - Dragonzord!" He teleported away in a column of green.
The unpowered rangers followed moments later on their own mission. Jason, Adam and Rocky each carried a pair of Thunder Slingers, a third was strapped to their ankles; Tanya wrapped the rope around her fist while Kat had the whip concealed somewhere on her person. Billy had the Mega-Heater clasped firmly in his hands leaving only Tommy without a weapon.
"What about you Tommy?" Kat asked.
"As if you have to ask," Billy snorted, well aware of what their glory hog leader was up to. "Six Rangers bonded in mind and purpose. Right Tommy?"
"Billy is correct," Zordon boomed. "The Sword of Power will prove useful."
"Let's do it," Tommy smiled.
Moving clockwise from closest to Zordon, the teens stood in the circle: Tommy, Billy, Rocky, Tanya, Kat, Adam; they held their right hands in toward their shoulders.
"Sword... of Power!" they called as one.
They put their right hands together in the center of the circle, causing Ranger-coloured energy to flow down their arms, up Tommy's arm as red energy, and form the Sword of Power in Tommy's left hand with a swirl of red energy.
"It's still as beautiful as I remember it," Tommy said, looking over the strange blade. "Just think, last I held this I was under a spell and practically handed it to Zedd."
"It wasn't your fault," Kat told him, placing a hand on his shoulder.
"You must hurry Rangers," Zordon reminded them.
In five columns and a small sphere of light, they were gone.
Upon arriving in Angel Grove, Minion had transformed into the Dark Ranger and set off on his blazing path of destruction. The clay creatures he had taken were wrecking their own havoc while acting as his bodyguards. They were gargoyles, shaped by Mistress Repugna to resemble those found on some buildings. People ran as he marched down the streets towards the City Hall. Unlike most villains, Minion was going to make his point right at the heart of Angel Grove.
A flash of green knocked him aside, forcing him to roll aside. His gargoyles were already moving in to protect him as the green object shot passed three more times, causing them to spark. Minion's eyes narrowed.
"Who are you?" he demanded, throwing shurikens at anything that moved.
"Another little blast from the past," Tom replied, slowing to a stop so the light no longer hid him.
"Tommy," Minion said. His amusement was evident. "Back for round two are you? I won't stop before I kill you this time."
The Green Ranger cocked his head to one side; Dragon Dagger was clasped firmly in his right hand, his left hand was behind his back. His head moved slowly, watching both the gargoyles and Minion for signs of movement.
In his mind Tom was sizing up his opposition. Minion had chosen three very different gargoyles. The first and probably the most dangerous towered over the Green Ranger by a foot, had a stone grey body with huge muscles, powerful demonic wings and sharp teeth. He was made for power, Tom could tell.
The second one was smaller and resembled a schoolboy rather than a killer. Still any illusions Tom held about this creature were put aside when he noticed the claws on the end of its fingers. It had a smooth green skin, a thin tail and small wings.
And the last one was a dog. There was no other way to put it. Grey skinned, it stood on four legs and had large snapping jaws. It had a long powerful looking tail that thrashed from side to side.
With little else to do, Tom attacked, hoping that Minion would prefer to see his pets take care of the problem before involving himself. He charged at the gargoyles, avoiding the dog as it charged at him. He was atop the small one before it could react, using Tommy's dagger to pin its tail to the tarmac. He drew Jason's sword for a swift kill when the larger gargoyle connected with a punch.
Tom flew backwards, threw the window of a delivery van and out the other side, coming to rest in the security shutter of a small shop. The small gargoyle was free and stalking towards him. He saw it leap and catch the wind on its wings before gliding towards him, talons extended to shred him to ribbons. He rolled, bringing Zack's axe to a ready position. He waited until the gargoyle was in reach and then swung the axe.
The blade tore through the clay skin, unleashing a spray of toxic material that seeped into the Green Ranger's uniform. The Dragon Shield glowed brightly as it worked to counter the assault. Tom threw both the axe and sword to the ground as the corrosive chemicals caused the weapons to melt. The dagger he had used earlier to pin the gargoyle's tail in place had dissolved into nothing.
Surprisingly, the small gargoyle was still coming; it's head threatening to rip all the way from its neck as it held on by a slender piece of stony flesh.
"Dragon Dagger!" he called, moving the weapon through a series of motions intended to activate its power. A beam of green light shot from the tip of the weapon, and he wielded it with deadly accuracy as the beam sliced through what was left of the creature's neck.
The street exploded under the Green Ranger's feet, glass shattering from the ear splitting wail. The dog had moved in on him while Tom had been distracted and had unleashed on of its many weapons, a paralysing scream every bit as destructive as the club like tail that now pummelled Tom.
Sparks flew as powerful jaws tried to breach the protective fabric of his suit, the pressure sufficient to cause Tom's bones to pop. Tom reached down and drew Trini's daggers, using them to lever the dog's mouth open. Another scream was his reward, this time at close range and powerful enough to crack a part of Tom's helmet. Tom kicked the dog away and scrambled back to his feet. He tried to make some space between him and the clay mutt, but the dog's tail was long and smacked into his damaged leg.
Tom fell forward, rolling onto his back out of instinct; there was no way to protect himself if he couldn't see his opponent coming. The dog was already charging him. It leapt, he raised his feet and managed to kick it away, but the dog landed on its feet and charged in for a second attempt. Tom placed Billy's spears so that the points met over his chest. Kimberly's bow was drawn ready; the Dragon Dagger was primed as an arrow.
The dog landed, its chest firmly embedded on the spears as Tom released the Dragon Dagger. The blade ripped down the gargoyle's throat and out the other end, destroying the beast but also covering Tom with more of the corrosive chemicals. This time though the liquid found its way through his damaged uniform. Tom however didn't have time to thank about that or about the weapons that had been destroyed by the spray or the Dragon Dagger now safely back in his grip. The largest gargoyle was back and mad.
They crept as near to the podium where their power coins had been placed as they dared to. Rita and Zedd had set Tengas and Putties in place, no doubt expecting the Rangers to charge in without a plan and become trapped by the overwhelming odds. They had spotted Rita and Zedd earlier, hiding in the background ready to strike them at the last moment. But something had happened, and angry exchange had taken place and the two villains had vanished along with Goldar and Rito. The Rangers took that as their signal and closed in.
Against the Putties the Rangers showed no mercy, blasting them with the Thunder Slingers and Billy's Mega Heater. The clay foot soldiers were numerous, but relatively easy to break. Tanya and Adam used their fighting skills to hit the Z-Putties in the right place.
Kat was using her whip to trip Tengas as the attacked. Since they were living creatures, the Rangers tried to keep the bird creatures alive if a little banged up. Behind her Rocky had abandoned his Thunder Slinger in favour of his feet as he lured the Tengas in.
Tommy held the Sword of Power at the ready, using its powers to trap anything that moved in a bubble of orange energy. He kicked a Z-Putty in the chest and then used the hilt of his sword to knock a Tenga unconscious. He was grateful that although powerless they had managed to retrieve the sword.
Billy turned constantly, preventing anything from getting too near as he maintained fire. The number of Putties had been cut and the Rangers were making progress, but it was becoming clear that time was running out. Once Rita and Zedd realised what was going on, they would return.
"Kat, the crystal," he shouted, noticing that the Pink Ranger was the closest to the podium.
The Pink Ranger nodded in reply and after breaking off her attack, ran for the podium. She came to an abrupt halt though when Rita's latest monster, Mistress Repugna appeared, energy shooting from her fingertips.
"Such rude children you are," she stated. "Trying to steal from Empress Rita and Lord Zedd isn't polite. Prepare for a tongue lashing."
Fire burst from her mouth, taking on the shape of a forked tongue that whipped back and forth across the Rangers chests. Kat was knocked back into the throng of foot soldiers.
"Perhaps the trap they laid was too simplistic for you. Putties!"
A red Putty appeared, its body covered with spikes and two powerful blades on its arms. It made a noise similar to a snarl and charged at the powerless humans while the monster turned her attention on Kat and Tanya.
Billy tried to use the Mega-Heater, but a slash from the Putty cleaved it in half. He rolled away before a second blow could hurt him while Adam and Rocky distracted it with kicks and Tommy traded sword blows. The Putty while not skilled in fighting, was resistant to their attacks. It could change shape to avoid any potentially dangerous shots and could retract or elongate its natural weapons.
Rocky and Adam drew their Thunder Slingers, pelting the Putty with several shots before realising they were having little effect. When it returned fire, using its spikes as darts, the two Rangers abandoned their action and retreated.
Mistress Repugna was ruthless in combat. The combination of her fire breath and energy shooting nails was bad enough, but combined with the sceptre, those powers were of little importance. Especially since she was currently shifting said sceptre between its usual form and a long slender sword.
Kat used her whip to catch the woman's ankle while Tanya attacked with a series of sharp kicks, which were blocked easily. A downward slash from the sword and Kat's whip was broken.
"Transform!" the monster cried.
The red Putty obeyed and turned into a spinning ball composed of sharp edges.
"Look out!" Tommy warned as the ball chased after the Rangers.
Kat tried to attack Mistress Repugna again, but found herself knocked into the podium but a sharp backhand. She shook her head to clear her thoughts as her palm closed around something familiar. The Zeo Crystal. As soon as she touched it, the crystal and the Zords were teleported away by Zordon, leaving the Zeonisers and Golden Power Staff.
"Zeo Ranger I - Pink!" she cried, tossing Tanya her transformation device.
Soon the Rangers had their Zeonisers back and the fight was on again. The ball like Putty was still proving dangerous though as it tore into them and they had to use all their abilities to avoid it.
The monster towered over Kat as she had once again knocked the Pink Ranger down. She drove the sword forward, but Kat was gone, teleporting to safety. She pulled her blade back only to be met by Tommy; Sword of Power gripped firmly in his hands.
The two battled back and forth, Painforte slipping in the occasional blast of energy that kept Tommy off balance. He in turn used the sword's capabilities to throw her off balance. She still had the upper hand.
The ball spun back towards Rocky, who had transformed into his Ranger uniform in the hopes of finding better protection. The blades however cut into the fabric and while not deep enough to reach his skin, it caused him to spark violently.
"Guys, I have an idea," Adam called. He told them the plan quickly, using their internal communications.
The others nodded quickly in agreement as first Adam and then Billy explained why the plan would succeed, after which the genius teleported back to the Power Chamber.
"Hey, over here," Rocky shouted, drawing the ball in his direction before teleporting around to the far side of Kat.
Together the Rangers kept the ball chasing after them, slowly positioning themselves in the right place for their plan to work. Meanwhile Tanya had moved closer to where Tommy and the monster were fighting. She waited for the right moment and then attacked.
Mistress Repugna took a while to realise what had happened. The Yellow Ranger had come from behind and had slipped a piece of rope around her, distracting her just long enough for Tommy to trap her in a bubble. She didn't worry though because she could order the ball to help her. Or at least that was what she thought until she noticed the ball was not responding the rope had blocked her ability to control it mentally.
There was an anguished scream as the Rangers continued to draw the ball into a series of wild attacks. Finally Tommy signalled and the others demorphed and vanished from sight, leaving Tommy as the only target.
"NO!" the monster cried, now aware of what the Rangers were up to.
It was too late. Tommy teleported, but the ball kept coming, ramming and tearing its way through the bubble... and its contents were torn to pieces.
But the Rangers did not celebrate. They still had to stop Minion.
The gargoyle flew ever higher as Tom's struggles diminished. The chemical, whatever it was, had seeped into his skin and had left him feeling weak and nauseous. He couldn't remember any monsters that naturally included such chemicals and assumed someone had put it there deliberately. Minion's idea of a prank no doubt.
He gripped the Dragon Dagger hard as the beast started to dive towards the rooftops, dragging him over the roofs as it did so. With his Power enhanced uniform the buildings suffered more than he did, but any debris that found a way into the rips in his suit, burnt against his suddenly sensitive skin.
He waited, biding his time until the beast was close to the ground. Then he used the dagger to rip at its wing, careful not to inhale the noxious chemicals that sprayed out. He was having trouble focussing on what he was doing and flailed blindly in the hopes of connecting with a target.
The beast howled in pain, dropping its prey to the ground. Tom rolled away, scared that the gargoyle might land on him. He scrambled along the street; still unable to see exactly where he was going. It was getting difficult to breathe.
The gargoyle had recovered and despite its useless wing, it was stalking after the Green Ranger. It lifted Tom into the air and after wrapping its arms around him, squeezed, driving the air out of the boy's lungs and preventing him from getting a fresh breath.
Tom kicked out, hoping to connect with something that would cause pain. Of course as a golem-based monster, the gargoyle lacked the most natural target for the Green Ranger's knee. Because giving a golem-type warrior a useless but energy-depleting organ made no sense strategically. Every special body part or organ came with a price. It took extra energy to maintain. As such, that weakness was removed.
Eventually his kicking found a pressure point where he could at least throw the beast off balance. By doing so he prevented it from tightening its grip on his body. His eyesight was no longer blurred. Instead everything seemed too bright, too real.
The gargoyle growled after one particularly nasty kick and threw Tom aside. The Green Ranger bounced painfully of the bonnet of a station wagon and onto the sidewalk. The paving cracked on impact. In retaliation, Tom threw a hubcap at the oncoming beast, subconscious pouring a little of his energy into the object to accelerate its flight. It sliced through the creature's arm, severing the limb.
Using the opportunity, Tom retreated once more, this time on the lookout for something that might aid him. He found it when he approached Nigel's Discount Gas and Flower Store. Normally the Rangers would not condone the public damage Tom had in mind. But he was alone, hurt and possibly getting weaker by the second - he couldn't tell anymore since he had lost sensation in his body below the neck.
Using a Blade Blaster to cut a hole in the street, he covered it with a large truck. He then soaked the area in gasoline, after warning the police and fire officers to evacuate the area. Only one officer had protested since the others saw the gargoyle as the bigger threat.
He saw it moving up the street towards him, stalking its prey and crushing anything in its path. Tom wished it would hurry. He didn't know what was wrong with him, but he did recognise there was a good chance he would not survive the encounter should he pass out.
The gargoyle had seen him and charged forward. It leapt at him and he dodged, drawing his Blade Blaster ready. The gargoyle landed, its weight forcing the truck into the hole and the pool of gasoline. Tom fired a single shot and the fuel exploded, baking the creature in the intense heat. Tom fired continuously, chipping away at the now brittle monster until he hit the right place. The gargoyle crumbled.
Tom saw his work pay off as the gargoyle disintegrated, the toxic foam from its dying body extinguishing the flames that had taken its life. The street would need replacing and the surrounding buildings would be a mess, but nobody was hurt and the damage was minimal. He should have been pleased.
Pain caused him to keel over as the chemical he had absorbed into his body started to overcome his immune system. Even with the Power to enhance it he was fading fast. Remaining morphed was adding a further drain on his powers. He needed to enter standby mode to heal such extensive wounds.
"So, you survived my little pets did you Tommy?" Minion asked.
Tom turned towards the other clone's voice, only to be greeted by the Dark Ranger's fist. Minion seized the advantage and attacked his green opponent.
"What's the matter Tommy, feeling a little ill?" he asked. "Those fumes you breathed, the chemical that burnt into your skin... it's poison. Not fatal, but I promise you'll be lucky if you survive the next hour. And when I'm done beating you to death, the others will still be powerless."
"Just one little problem with... that," Tom gasped as the Dark Ranger's grip intensified. "I'm.... not.... Tommy!"
"What?" Minion asked. That statement confused him. It had to be Tommy. Who else could wear the Green Ranger's costume? "Who are you then?"
"Just ... another.... clone," Tom gasped. Breathing was becoming increasing difficult.
Minion let out a cry of anguish, realising he'd been distracted from his duty. He should have been stopping the other Rangers from stealing their powers back. That meant they could have their powers again and that the whole battle against Tommy had been for nothing.
"No, I will destroy Angel Grove," he hissed defiantly. "Goldar, Rito, attack!"
The giant sized aliens attacked, tearing through the buildings already damaged by Minion and his gargoyles.
"No.... can't let you," Tom managed. "Dragonzord, arise."
A beam of green light shot into the air from Tom's morpher, summoning forth the power of his Zord. Deep inside the Morphin Grid the Dragon heard his call and answered, once again infusing the cold metal shell with the spirit of the Dragon. Magic and machinery merged as the Dragonzord was activated one more time.
Tom's flute sounded over Angel Grove as the musically coded commands were sent to his machine. And the Dragonzord emerged, the physical manifestation of the Green Dragon on Earth. Tom raised his hand in the direction of his Zord and teleported, knowing he would be unable to control the fight from outside. On this occasion he had to take manual control.
Dragonzord stomped towards Rito and Goldar; ready to punish them for the destruction they had caused.
"Tommy," Goldar growled in greeting. "I never knew you had it in you."
"I'm ... not ... Tommy," Tom stated, his voice barely recognisable because he was breathing so hard.
The Zord turned, scraping its tail across Rito's chest. Goldar caught the drill end as it started to spin, sparks flying from his armour. Tom moved the controls and the Zord fired its finger rockets, blasting Goldar to the ground. The Zord stumbled as it was hit from behind. Tom made it turn to reveal Scorpina in her mutant scorpion form, her tail wrapped around the Zord's neck.
Goldar and Rito combined their fire; Dragonzord gave an electronic groan as it fell to the ground.
"Soon as we get there guys, call on the Megazords," Tommy instructed.
They were in mid-teleport, so he never saw their nods, although he guessed correctly that they had heard him.
"Super Zeo Megazord power!"
Once complete the Megazord stood while Goldar, Rito and Scorpina tried to knock it down. Their attacks bounced away harmlessly. When it finally moved, its powerful fist almost crushed Rito with a single punch.
"This isn't fair," Goldar could be heard protesting.
"Then I'll even the odds," Minion told the golden monkey.
In a flash of black the Dark Ranger teleported aboard the Megazord, attacking the Rangers and throwing them from the cockpit. Rocky grabbed the invader before he could assume control of the battle machine and abandoned the Zords, knowing they would be sent back to its hiding place.
"So we're back to where we were before," Minion said casually. "Perhaps another contest with greater stakes. You win; I'll give you Zedd's prisoner. If you lose, I get possession of your powers and your lives."
"How can we trust you?" Tommy asked, suspicion once again coming to the front of his emotions.
"You don't have a choice," Minion answered. "But I will give you the same Oath that Zedd gave you earlier."
"Negative," Billy interrupted as he teleported on the scene. "Swear an oath on the honour of Lord Zedd's father that you will abide by these terms regardless of the outcome and that no harm will come to any Ranger during the battle unless they are fighting."
"Very well," Minion said and he repeated the oath Billy had chosen. "We will return to the quarry."
"The battle starts now?" Billy asked.
"Yes," Minion answered, unsure what Billy was up to.
"What about Tom?" Tommy asked.
"Oh yes, the Green Ranger," Minion said. He turned and unleashed a ball of explosive energy. Dragonzord was bombarded with energy, pieces ripped from its shell covered the area until the Zord's emergency system kicked in and the Zord vanished. "He served his purpose and distracted me so you could get your powers back, he won't be missed."
In columns of light the Rangers and Minion left for the quarry. This more than their powers were on the line.
Tom lay inside the remains of the Dragonzord, what was left of his life ebbing away as the Zord was transported back to its underwater resting spot. A short rest and the Zord would return, just as Tom's Ranger powers were regenerating him. It had been a close call; he had known somehow that when he had followed Tommy into the present, he risked certain, but this experience was not what he had expected just how close to death he would come.
The poison had not affected him like it did most victims. He didn't feel the pain or the gradual leeching of his life force. Instead the poison was attempting to break down the cloned cells in his body, reverting him to the magic from whence he came. Fortunately the Morphin Grid leant him additional resistance; he would live. There was no poison left in his body, it had been burnt off by his metabolism, and the damage though severe was reversible if he could reach medical help.
Slowly he lost consciousness, as the struggle left him exhausted. But before he did so he swore on his powers, his life and his soul that Minion would not be allowed to continue. As long as Minion lived, Tom would be there to stop him. "Please, let me survive this so I can keep my word." Green light surrounded him as the Power moved to protect him from further harm. He had demorphed and held his Power Coin in one hand. In the other, he held the Wizard of Deception's wand.
Tommy was losing again. Minion had not tired from recent events while the Rangers had just battled unmorphed to retrieve their powers. This time Tommy had hardly managed to land a blow and Minion was already on the point of victory. He grabbed the Rangers' leader and turned to the onlookers.
"You will surrender your powers, now!"
"That wasn't the deal," Billy told him in response.
"Surrender your powers or Tommy here will die at my hand."
At that point, two things happened: Minion cried out in pain. Smoke poured from the Dark Ranger while Tommy stood straight, sword gripped firmly in his hand.
"Now it ends," Tommy stated as Minion burst into flames, cursing at Billy and the Rangers.
"What happened to him?" Tanya asked.
"He didn't take the oath seriously," Billy answered.
Tommy leapt forward, his sword meeting Minion's as he landed. The two warriors fought for a while as their blades met in a flash of energy. Minion was surprisingly skilled despite being on fire.
Then the Red Ranger saw an opening and in a repeat of a move he had made in their earlier battle, removed Minion's sword arm and most of his shoulder. A spinning slash across the chest stopped abruptly when it hit something hard. Tommy drew back the blade and thrust forward, bringing the power of the Zeo Crystal to the battle.
There was an explosion of gold metal and Tommy was thrown backwards as the Dark Ranger's uniform vanished, leaving Minion behind, his body covered with shards of gold. Flames were consuming his body, as he stood defiant. Then a pool of darkness opened around him, sucking the still screaming Minion inside.
Tommy stood victorious, raised his hand in triumph and promptly fainted.
"So when Minion threatened us without ending the match, he broke his oath... Minion was as good as gone," Tommy said.
"Affirmative," Billy answered. "Minion never understood the meaning of the oath he undertook. He thought he was swearing the oath on the father of Lord Zedd, a creature of chaos and wickedness without a strong sense of honour. But he forgot that Zedd as we know him has a mortal host and that host had a father."
"That is correct Billy," Zordon boomed. "Lord Zedd's father was a noble king who created strong enchantments around his honour. Should anyone cause dishonour, he would in turn destroy him or her. When Minion failed to keep his oath, he broke that word of honour. The spell was quite specific: those who dishonour my name shall be bound in fire and removed from this world to one of eternal sorrow."
"So what will you do now?" Tanya asked.
"I'll use the wand to go back to Colonial Angel Grove," Tom answered.
"Tommy will go with you and bring the Wizard's wand back to this time," Zordon offered.
Tom frowned and shook his head. "Sorry Zordon, but that wasn't the deal. I go back to the past and then I'll decide what to do with the wand."
"I assure you..."
"You'll what?" Tom demanded, "Lie to your own Rangers again? Hold the wand here in case you need me again? That's not going to happen Zordon, I don't belong here and I am not backup in case your team fails."
"I cannot allow the wand to fall into the wrong hands," Zordon pointed out.
"When I get home, the wand will be disposed of."
Zordon sighed. He could not win this argument, no matter how hard he tried. And he knew that after all he had done to help, the Rangers would never attack Tom. In short, he had no choice but to agree.
"Very well Green Ranger," he said. "May the Power protect you."
Tom said very little as he teleported away.
Angel Grove Youth Center
It seemed strange to be in such a sombre mood in the middle of one of Ernie's parties. But today the Rangers couldn't bring themselves to smile. At least not yet. There was something they had to do first.
"To Tom Oliver," Tommy said, raising his glass.
The others followed suit. Although they had gotten over the shock of his departure so soon after his return, they still felt guilty for putting him that position. This toast was their way of say goodbye, albeit they were drinking smoothies.
"Thanks Bro," Tommy whispered.
"How dare you return here?" Zedd boomed as the battered form of his mother-in-law teleported into his Chamber of Command.
"They beat him," the woman wailed. "They defeated my Minion."
Zedd wasn't listening though. He had seen enough defeats to guess what had happened. But that didn't matter to him. What did matter was that this woman had invaded his home, insulted him, dishonoured his father - not that he cared about that - and then had the audacity to come crawling back after such a humiliating defeat. Zedd was no fool. He knew she was feeling weak and vulnerable right now. She took full advantage of it.
"Get out of my palace!" he snarled, aiming his staff at the woman.
"You can't," she protested.
"I can and I am," Zedd reasoned.
"Rita... please," she begged, appealing to her daughter's better nature. Rita didn't have a better nature.
"Bye Mom," Rita waved, cackling.
"Your father will hear of this," she warned, but the only response was a double blast from Rita and Zedd's magic as she was forcibly dumped on a planet on the far side of the galaxy.
"And now, where were we?" Zedd asked as the music started again. His wife giggled, replacing the rose in her mouth as they resumed their Tango.