Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers or Doctor Who; they belong to their respective copyright owners. No profit is made from this fanfiction. Series wise this adventure takes place during the Eighth Doctor Series of books.
Rise of the Black Dragon Part 2 - Unredeemable
The shrine of Redemption, Dragoria
Kno' lit the final candle and kneeled before the altar as she had done every day since she had been appointed as High Priestess of her order. That had been over five thousand years ago, when the exploits of Zordon of Eltare were still enough to inspire the younger generation to serve the Power.
In recent times Kno' had had more than the daily rituals to concern herself about. As the High Priestess of the Dragon she had been charged with the duty of protecting some of galaxy's greatest weapons, including one of the swords that the criminal Drac'cuul had used in battle before his capture. Once it had been a powerful and beautiful blade. Soaked in the blood of the helpless though it was had become a tool of the darkness.
Kno' had always had a strong link to the Morphin Grid and her totem animal, the Green Dragon. Not only was that link due to her personality, but through her ancestry. Her race had evolved from reptiles instead of apes and retained some of their race's most notable features such as the thick-scaled skin. She had hoped that through daily meditation she could use magic to purge the evil from the blade and restore some of its beauty. Sadly it seemed that the dark magic placed on the blade and the blood that it had drawn had given the blade an aura that perverted it for all time.
"That sword belongs to me I think," a voice said.
Kno' turned and found Warlord Drac'cuul watching her. It didn't take her long to recognise him, she had seen his picture many times in the past. Plus she had been expecting his arrival since news of his escape had reached her.
"How dare you enter this sacred place?" she demanded. "Such sacrilege is punishable by death."
Drac'cuul flicked his tongue, an act that made his Dragorian features more obvious. In the presence of his sword he could feel the dark magic flowing through his veins, growing by the second. With an animalistic howl he charged the Green Master. She replied with a similar battle cry as plated armour formed around her body giving her a scaled appearance as she prepared for combat. From her hip holster she drew a small green dagger covered with the gold symbol of the dragon.
"Pathetic!" Drac'cuul sneered. "A true warrior doesn't need the Morphin Grid to hide behind."
Although weakened without his sword and armour, there was a definite change as he drew on his reserve of magical energy. He snatched a large wooden axe from one of the walls and wielded it clumsily as the two warriors met in combat, trading blows that would have shattered a normal person's body. Despite the extra strength that Drac'cuul exhibited, Kno' was more than able to hold her own.
"Hurry up, Drac'cuul!" a new voice shouted.
While Drac'cuul had kept the Green Master busy, the Master had grabbed the sword. He tossed it to Drac'cuul who felt an immediate surge in his power.
"Hear me, Green Master," Drac'cuul almost hissed as he tried to draw the power from his sword to enhance his will. "I am the Master of the Black Dragon, ruler of all those tied to the Dragon be it by magic or blood and you will heed me. Stop this attack, now!"
Kno' hesitated for a moment before recovering her wits, almost succeeding in taking Drac'cuul's head off with an energized blow. But Drac'cuul had no intention of fighting fair. Her distraction had allowed him to vanish from sight to rejoin the Master. The Time Lord produced a small cylinder, fired and Kno' screamed as her body experienced the pain of having the moisture removed. She knew there was little time left, but with her last strength sent her morpher to her successor. There was no way she would be responsible for the creation of an evil Ranger. Drac'cuul did not seem to care. He was on his way to regaining his former strength.
"Zordon of Eltare beware," he said menacingly as he waved his sword in the air with one hand while still holding the axe in the other. "The Master of the Black Dragon, has returned. Wait... this is just one of my swords, where are the others?" He looked down at his opponent expecting an answer and was horrified to discover that she was beyond caring. "Fool! I needed her alive, now how will I recover the rest of my weapons?"
"Are you saying that you are incapable of defeating the Rangers with one blade?" the Master asked, knowing that his words would have the desired effect. Drac'cuul was just too proud to accept such an insult and despite his protests to the contrary, he was not thinking clearly enough to see through the Master's manipulation. Besides, to the Master's mind Drac'cuul only had two hands and already wielded a sword and an axe, why would he need more blades?
"Of course not," Drac'cuul blustered. "I can defeat those children now if I wanted to."
"Indeed," the Master said as he stepped over the fallen Grid Master, "then why not put that boast to the test and see if you can still command some of your little toys?"
"It's over Scorponoid!" Red Zeo shouted from inside the Zeo Megazord.
The machine didn't respond. It wasn't programmed for witty banter. In fact the machine lacked the complexity of most of Mondo, Gasket and even Sprocket's creations. It was more of a tank than a robot, operated by a single gold painted Cog that had been hooked into the cockpit as a control system. Still, despite its crude nature, the machine was unquestionably deadly; twin pincers that could deliver a sharp punch, concealed acid sprays that had damaged the Megazord's shielding and of course its powerful tail that could pierce and electrify the Zord.
The Megazord landed a few punches and succeeded in grabbing the machine's tail, allowing the Super Zeo Megazord to slice it off. Together the two Zords crushed the machine, destroying the cockpit as crushing the Cog in the process.
"Okay, let's go home," Pink Zeo said.
She waited for her leader to give the signal. Tommy didn't react. It was then that Tommy and Rocky removed their helmets, a strange look on their faces.
"Guys?" Green Zeo asked.
"Sorry Adam," Red Zeo said, snapping to. "Let's go."
When they got back to the Power Chamber, the Rangers were surprised to find Alpha scanning both Sam and Jason. Both of them had the strange expression that the others had seen on Tommy and Rocky earlier.
"Zordon, what is going on?" Kat asked.
"Rangers, I have just received word that a vicious criminal known as Warlord Drac'cuul has escaped from his imprisonment and is responsible for the disappearance of the Green Master, Kno'. Kno' had been charge with protecting Drac'cuul's blade, a weapon that distorts and taints the Green and Red powers. Jason, Rocky, Sam and Tommy are feeling the presence of Drac'cuul through the Morphin Grid. He is a dangerous foe and I believe it will take all your strength to fight him."
"Where is he now Zordon?" Jason rasped.
"His current location is unknown, however I believe that he will make his way here to Earth."
"So what do we do?" Sam asked.
"For now all four of you must rest while Alpha and I decide our next course of action. Billy is in the Holding Bay repairing the Zords after their recent battles." Reluctantly the Rangers teleported away so Zordon could issue his next set of instructions. "Alpha, send a message to the Grid Masters. Advise them that Drac'cuul has gained control over his sword's special ability; warn them that Rangers with the Dragon totem are at risk."
The little android scurried to obey as Zordon silently prayed his Rangers would be strong enough to beat back their new opponent. ~They have faced so much, but Drac'cuul is a different sort of villain, his crimes more heinous because he sees himself above the need for law and morals.~ He pushed that thought as far away as he could. His Rangers would never accept defeat without first trying and Zordon was not willing to give up either.
A faint noise caught his attention. An image appeared on the Viewing Screen. "Enjoy peace while you can Zordon. Because tomorrow will be the first day in the Age of the Dragon!"
A tiny rip in the fabric of time and space was all it took. The strange object faded three times before stabilizing. The light on the top flashed in sync with the sound of grinding gears. After a loud explosion from inside and a cloud of green smoke the object finally settled behind Angel Grove Police Headquarters. Some would say the object would have looked at home there except the American police force had no use for a Victorian Police Box outside its headquarters.
There was the sound of more grinding gears as the object attempted to escape back into the vortex where it belonged. A male voice swore in a dialect so old it had been forgotten even on the distant world where it had originated. The swearing stopped; to be replaced by choking as yet another cloud of smoke billowed from the door.
"Of all the times for the TARDIS to break down, why did it have to be now?" a voice grumbled.
The door opened as a young girl with blonde hair struggled outside, choking on the strong fumes that wafted out of the open doorway; a brown haired man followed her Unlike his companion, he was not coughing although his nose wrinkled at the disgusting smell.
"I'm not sure," he told his companion, making sure to check that they were responsive and not showing signs of exposure. "The old girl has been acting -- strange recently. Too many journeys to alternate time lines and dimensional rifts for it to just be a coincidence. It's almost as if she's preparing herself for something. Or is she preparing me?"
"So she did this on purpose," the girl guessed. "Great, the last thing we need is a time machine that only takes us where it wants to go."
"The TARDIS has always had a mind of its own," the second man admitted. "She's just asserting herself for some reason. Besides she didn't exactly land here of her own accord, I pulled the emergency lever. There again I couldn't have you two suffocating, could I?"
"So those fumes were poisonous then?"
"Lethal," he replied pleasantly, smoothing out his green frock coat. "It does make travelling unpleasant."
"Unpleasant? You tell us your own time machine tried to kill us and you only describe it as unpleasant?" the blonde asked incredulously. She couldn't believe that he could make such a statement and keep smiling.
"Well it could have been deliberate, an attempt to force us to go where she needs us to go, but more likely it's accidental. She is getting on a bit and should have had a service five hundred light years ago." He frowned. He had been as reluctant to return to his home planet of Gallifrey as he had been to land on Earth during the late Twentieth Century. The latter was out of concern for his companion, the former from fear of what chance had taken place since the last time he had been there. "One of the recycling units used to direct the flow of mercury for the fluid links failed. The smell is from the chemicals added to the tanks to warn of any leaks. Not exactly fatal compared to mercury vapour, but the enzymes in the tank have decayed, creating ammonia." He studied the instrument in his hand before continuing. "The vapour extractor failed, probably due to old age, creating a deadly atmosphere." He patted the box affectionately. "She's actually quite embarrassed about it, aren't you old girl? Still, until we can purge the gases, replace the fluid links and repair the machinery, we're stuck here."
"So all this is due to you failing to book it in for a service," the girl surmised.
The brown haired man known throughout the many galaxies as the Doctor frowned, remembering that the last time Sam had taken on this tone he had ended up at a Green Peace rally being shot at by angry protesters.
"You're right, it's my fault," he admitted, deciding that this was not the best time to get in an argument. "It should have been taken care of in the five thousand light year service package. Unfortunately the problem with using a stolen TARDIS and falling out of favour with the High Council is that booking a technician is too much hassle."
~Especially,~ he thought, ~when a trip to Gallifrey risks being drawn into whatever political shenanigans they're involved in.~
He pulled another device from his pocket, this time it was an electronic pad with a small pen connected to it via a wire. He turned and looked at the police box for a moment then stared into the sky, trying to sense something.
"Well we've done it again," he decided finally. "Either we're in an alternate reality or somebody has managed to rewrite Earth's geography. We're in America, or at least a part of it. The country is the wrong shape though, almost as if someone had slipped an extra piece in."
He wondered briefly if the TARDIS really had malfunctioned and directed them to the nearest compatible universe or whether it had had an ulterior motive in bringing them here. The shape of this Earth was very strange, lots of strange areas of land added to the map. The idea that somebody had sent him there to investigate was outrageous, especially with the restrictions President Flavia had put on Celestial Intervention Agency after the Borusa Interregnum. Still, the Doctor knew he was not popular on Gallifrey, especially with all the rumours of political posturing. He wouldn't put it past them to find a way to shift him out of the way.
"This place looks familiar," the Doctor said, not quite understanding how it could be familiar when he had just discovered that the place hadn't existed on the Earth he knew." He looked at the pad again. "Let's see... late Twentieth Century Earth I should think from our surroundings and the number plates. Odd, a large number of signs in Japanese yet we are in the United States. I'm surprised we're not in England, but the sky says it all."
Samantha laughed at the comment when he illustrated the lack of rain.
Why the Doctor chose to take a young girl with him on his journeys, was beyond his peers. Many of them did not understand the Doctor's reason for doing anything, even those who had spent extended periods in his company. They had been amazed when he had proceeded inside a year to eliminate the Daleks and Cybermen during his previous incarnation, but had failed to understand why he had not continued to wipe out the Sontarians and Reutons at the same time.
In truth the only person who knew the Doctor's motives was the Doctor himself and even he couldn't be sure on occasion; the trouble with meeting your past and future selves was that it was easy to manipulate yourself into acting in certain ways. He allowed people to accompany him for no better reason than he enjoyed having somebody around to ask him questions and stoke his ego. He also found that a pretty face was a good distraction during long journeys. It helped that his companions often found themselves out of their depth and needed rescuing. It made him feel important to know they relied on him to get them out of trouble.
"Does that thing tell you where we are?" She asked, pointing to a sign that had been painted over with graffiti and now read: WELCOME TO THE FREAK ZONE, right above KILROY WUZ ERE. "Even if you don't recognise the geography, the name of the town would be useful."
"Freak Zone," the Doctor repeated. He wondered where on Earth the Freak Zone could be and why he suddenly had a bad feeling about being there? He looked at the datapad again, fiddling with its settings until he hacked into the military's Global Positioning System settings. "Must be some local nickname, this is Angel Grove, California."
Angel Grove? The Doctor knew the name but couldn't remember where from. He couldn't be certain that he really remembered at all. A Time Lord's memory was supposed to recall every path they ever walked, but recent events had proven that the Doctor's memory was open to manipulation. He knew he had been here before in a previous life, but why?
"Zordon!" he cried suddenly as the appropriate memory surfaced. He had been here before to visit a friend of his, an Eltarian named Zordon. "Good old Zordon. I bet he has a way to help us." He trailed off. "Why would he be here though?"
His memory rapidly filled in the blanks, overwriting the sense of wrongness as it did so.
"Doctor..." Sam trailed off, noticing that he seemed lost in thought again. He'd been doing that a lot recently. "Doctor? Doctor!" she shouted urgently. "We've got company!"
The Doctor examined the new arrivals. He noticed that there was something odd about the group. When they transformed into strange creatures with gold heads and wearing black jumpsuits, his suspicions were confirmed.
"Sam, when I say run, RUN!"
Pushing his companion out of the way, the Doctor exploded into action. As the only humanoid with two arms to master Venusian Aikido the Doctor was a skilled fighter. Feet and fists moved swiftly as he expertly threw his opponents and dropped them to the ground. Whenever two attackers collided, they disappeared. He stood back as the survivors struggled to stand, noticing that Sam had managed to drop one with a low blow.
Somewhere along the line they had managed to multiply, six men becoming eighteen warriors. Those who survived their first attempt managed to stand again ready to attack once more. Sam by this time had given up and was running, leaving the Doctor to hold them off. He managed for a while before their numbers gave them the advantage.
The Power Chamber
The alarm had sounded in the Power Chamber. The occupants had been surprised to discover Skugs attacking a trio of unidentified humans; it was not unheard of for Grimlord to divert his attacks to Angel Grove, but it was a rare occurrence.
"Any idea what they're after?" Adam asked.
"Not yet Adam, we can only assume they are a part of Grimlord's plan to invade this dimension," Zordon answered. Following the battle with Minion the Rangers and their allies had met a few times, comparing notes on their various enemies.
A small beeping could be heard from one of the little used computer systems.
"What is that?"
"It's a temporal disruption inside the Morphin Grid," Alpha reported.
"Grimlord probably detected the disruption and sought to secure whatever was causing it for his own purposes," Zordon offered.
"Locating source now..." Alpha murmured as he manipulated the controls.
"There is no need Alpha, I believe that since Grimlord has chosen to attack those humans that they are the source of the disruption. Direct your search in their direction."
Alpha did as he was told. Both strangers were generating strange energy readings. Using the Power Chamber's computer link to various databases, he was able to discover that one was an anomaly, originally human with strands of unknown genetic material added at a later date. According to the computer she was Samantha Jones currently located in Angel Grove. At the same time, it suggested that she was in her parents home in London. Alpha and Zordon assumed that meant that she was a time traveller who for some reason was located in her recent past.
The other was even more of a mystery. His identification was almost impossible since according to the computer his energy signature did not exist within the Morphin Grid. There were very few races that did not appear in some form and only one race was known to travel outside of their own star system. A quick scan of his biology revealed that the man was indeed alien, his physiology matching that of a known race of time travellers that the people of Eltare had fought alongside in the past.
"Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi the computer search has triggered a state of alert around the world."
"That is to be expected Alpha," Zordon rumbled. "Use the Viewing Globe to search the surrounding area for anything unusual."
"There!" Adam said when the image changed to that of the police box. "Why would something like that be there?"
"I believe you are correct Adam. I am also certain that these people do not pose a threat although they could use some help."
"Shall I go and help him, Zordon?" Adam asked.
Zordon considered for a moment, then decided that he did not want any of the travellers or their strange box to fall into Grimlord's hands. "Yes Adam, help them in any way possible and then convince them to return here. I have a feeling they may prove valuable allies. May the Power protect you!"
"Zeo Ranger IV - Green!"
Something green landed between the Doctor and his opponent. A quick kick shoved of the attackers into one of the others. There was a surge of electrical energy and both were gone. The green figure then kicked two more constantly urging them to attack. The Doctor did likewise, impressed by the other fighter's skill, although personally he hated violence.
As the attackers dwindled, the green stranger drew a pistol from his side and squeezed off six shots, each a direct hit that served to put their opponents down. He ceased fire as the attackers fell, aimed slightly to the right, destroying something on the curbside. The remaining attackers flickered and promptly vanished from sight.
The sounds of fighting caused Trevor Park to abandon his reports and run outside, his gun drawn and ready. First thing he noticed was the blue box with the words Police Box written on the top. As far as he knew his precinct had yet to become a museum so that piece was out of context. Second thing he noticed was that the shouting had stopped. Looking around he noticed two figures, a man and a young girl who was out of breath having run around the block. The girl seemed to be studying something at the side of the curb, totally oblivious to the armed police officer.
"All right," Trevor said as he approached them, gun drawn just in case, you couldn't be too sure with all the wackos in Angel Grove. "Put your hands where I can see them without any sudden movements!"
"Of course Officer," the brown haired man said, "is there a problem?"
Taking a note of the Victorian frock coat that the man was wearing, the state of his clothes and the fact that he looked slightly out of breath, Detective Park had him marked as slightly mad.
"Just a few questions, Sir," Trevor replied, pleased that the duo appeared cooperative at the moment. He nodded to two officers that had followed him outside. "Bring them inside, we'll need to see what happened before deciding what to do with them. Have Edcott fetch the CCTV tape."
Trevor Park was nothing if not a good cop. He prided himself on his job and ensuring he got the whole truth. The men and the girl seemed to be his only source of answers at this time.
Sideways in time, on a displaced plane of existence, out of phase with the known universe, there was another Earth, an almost identical planet that waited in the darkness for the call of its master. This was where the Dragon Empire had been born. Evolution wise the Dragon People and their world had come first, but the apes on Earth had gone on to prosper, unaware of the plight of their more advanced neighbours. The other planet had been displaced around the same time that the asteroid that had marked the end of the dinosaurs had collided with Earth. It would one day be proven that the disaster had been caused by a larger chunk of the same asteroid.
It had been an accident that Drac'cuul had found the gateway to this lost planet, which had watched the rest of the universe evolve and had seen the corruption of its population whether they claimed to be good or evil. During the darkest times this planet's occupants had lived their lives, watching mankind, waiting for the day when they would be able to step into the normal universe and drag it back from the brink of moral decay. It had taken longer than their leader had thought, but in Drac'cuul they had had the means to stop the corruption, a sickening stain that they were protected from in their displaced condition. Unfortunately by allowing Drac'cuul to stay however briefly on their world, they too had been corrupted.
It was on this planet that Drac'cuul had been given his armour and had been charged with the duty of bringing new order to the cosmos and restoring the Dragon People to their rightful place. Over the years Drac'cuul had forgotten some of what he had learnt, twisting the teachings to match his hunger for power while retaining the belief that what he was doing was right. It was to this planet he now returned seeking followers to renew his mission.
In the barren wastes created by the continual shifts in gravity he found a sleeping island where at his command, an ancient force stirred. The occupants obeyed his will just as he had been told they would. His sword resonated through the Morphin Grid, singling out those who shared a particular totem and marking them as future followers: the Legions of the Black Dragon. The slumbering occupants of the island awakened at his command, their bodies heeding the call to arms while their minds were slower to awaken. Following their pledge of total and undying obedience to their chosen emissary, the four Sentinel Dragons returned to life.
Four plots of earth lifted from the ground to expose the decaying bones of Drac'cuul's servile creatures, so very like the Elemental Beasts the Rangers had fought just months before, but these were not the raw uncontrolled representations of nature's dark side, they were the destructive tools of a madman. From the pits left behind, fire ignited to consume the bones. As the fire ceased the rebirth began. Moving slowly at first but with ever-increasing speed the bones clicked back into place. Muscles formed in the joints followed by the scaled skin of the dragons. Smoke emerged from their nostrils, as they stood upright and looked to the sky. Raising their arms, their magic replenished the armour that had degenerated since their demise.
They transformed slowly, allowing the magic that made them appear as dragons faded away, shifting and shrinking their bodies back into their almost human appearances. Like many of Drac'cuul's followers they were capable of calling forth protection from the Morphin Grid, and unlike the Dragon Rangers of Earth, they didn't need Zords; when their bodies channelled all the power available to them, they became Zords.
Despite the similarities and in some cases it was impossible to tell the difference between humans evolved from apes and those whose ancestors were dragons save for a few small bonelike claw marks on the side of the face, in others the differences were glaringly obvious. The skin tone and colour amongst the Dragon People varied from race to race, some were seemingly less human and more monstrous while others appeared almost normal. Skin colour was not limited by a single pigment; oils secreted through the pores gave them a wide range of possibilities, even green and blue.
Of the four recent revivals, one was a deep red, similar to somebody left in the snow far too long while the second was a light blue with ice dripping from his nostrils where the smoke emerged, and the third was a dirty brown and much larger than the others; he was used to fighting without having to think. Finally their leader, the green-scaled dragon emerged. After checking themselves over the four dragons passed through the gateway that Drac'cuul and the Master had opened - for it seemed only the Master of the Black Dragon could lead these forces back into phase - for wherever their master wished them to be and where the fun would begin.
From deep space the Master and Drac'cuul watched the events unfolding on Earth. While Drac'cuul was preoccupied, the Master had searched the planet hoping to find an alternative to Drac'cuul's armour and a way to shorten their partnership.
Trevor Park was frustrated. Here he was wasting his time with an interview that should have ended by now, but for the refusal of the interviewee. He peered into the blue eyes of the man sitting opposite and wondered if there was anyway he could release him and pretend the whole affair had never happened. So far every answer the man had given only served to raise another question.
"Look," he tried again. "We know what happened, the CCTV footage was very clear. Skug attacks are rare in Angel Grove, but they happen from time to time. Just answer a few questions for the records and we can call it a day. Now, what is your name?"
"I am called the Doctor," the man replied.
"Your full name," Trevor insisted, gesturing to the sheet in front of him. "It's only for the records."
The Doctor thought for a moment. It had been a while since he had been asked to give his full name and had been unable to divert the question. "Doctor John Smith," he said finally, choosing the most common name he could think of.
"'Doctor John Smith' is it? If you're going to come up with a false name, at least decide on it before hand and choose something original."
"Well at college I was known as Theta Sigma," the Doctor confided.
"And where was that?" If he could find out the college, perhaps he could contact them and discover if anybody knew him.
"Gallifrey," the Doctor told him.
"Gallifrey, where on Earth is Gallifrey?" Trevor demanded.
"No where on Earth," the Doctor admitted. "Gallifrey is my home planet."
Trevor's mouth opened and closed again as he tried to think of a response. Part of him wanted to say that was an outright lie or that the Doctor was mad. However, this was Angel Grove, a place that attracted the strange and unusual. It stood to reason that an alien would turn up there. Although it would not be the first time that somebody had turned up claiming to be a dark lord or something just for the attention.
"So you're an alien. Why are you here, invasion?"
"A mechanical problem, my -- er, transport broke down and we had to land here," the Doctor replied pleasantly, not willing to get into a discussion about alien invasions. He had seen more than enough of those. Still, that was a thought, a way to solve the problem.
"It seems that the young lady who was with you..."
"You mean Sam?" the Doctor asked enthusiastically, always happy to help the authorities with any small problems and generally transforming them into big problems. "A lovely girl, English you know."
"Well this Sam claims you're a time traveller and that you invited her to join you. Now which is it?"
"She told you all that?" the Doctor asked. "That's terrible! It hasn't happened yet. Not for another -- six months."
"So which is it, are you a time traveller or an alien?" Detective Morris intervened. "Or are you a Power Ranger?"
"Why can't I be both?" he wondered out loud. "Wait, did you say Power Ranger?"
The Doctor was surprised. He had sensed something unusual on this Earth - for he was still not certain whether he was in his own universe or had somehow strayed sideways in time - but realised something must have gone wrong; things must have been very bad for the powers-that-be to sanction a Ranger team on Earth. Indeed Aquitar was the nearest Council planet and the Doctor could not see a team of Aquitians lasting very long on Earth. ~Maybe Triforia or Eltare,~ he thought. It was time to bring this interview to an end.
"Hey!" Morris shouted as the Doctor placed his hand into his pocket. It had taken the best part of an hour to empty those pockets and there was still stuff inside. The investigation had not warranted depriving the trio of oddballs of their clothing; there was actually no law against being attacked by extra-dimensional mutants.
"Just getting some identification for you Detective," the Doctor said. Now he knew the situation was serious he was determined to make a quick exit and speak to Zordon. Fishing out an identity card he handed it to the detective.
"Oh," Detective Morris said, his entire demeanour changing as he glanced at the psychic paper. The face on the pass bore no real resemblance to the man sitting opposite him, but the low level telepathic field meant he saw what the Doctor wanted him to see. "That explains everything."
Trevor took a look at the paper and after blinking a few times to clear his vision had to admit that everything seemed to be in order. "Sorry about that, Sir."
"Oh quite all right," the Doctor said. "Now go and call -- General Norquist for me. There's a good chap."
Morris stared at the Doctor's face for a moment, but before he could carry out his instructions, there was a knock and Trevor opened the door to the interview room to see a younger officer waiting for him. He also noted his son, Adam standing to one side.
"Excuse me sir," Officer Hanker said. "Your son insisted on talking to you."
Nodding Trevor escorted Adam to a private room leaving the Doctor with Officer Hanker. "Okay Adam, what's this about?"
"Dad, you have to trust me on this. You need to let him go."
"Already taken care of," Detective Park answered. He saw the look of disbelief on his son's face and took pity on him. "Believe it or not, he hasn't committed any crime. We had to check his identity before we could release him, but since that's all in order... Hanker; release Doctor Smith and Miss Jones. My son has agreed to show them the way to the air base."
"Thanks Dad," Adam whispered.
Trevor regarded his son for a moment, searching for the right words. He couldn't find any words to describe how he felt, so he chose to say nothing. He changed his mind though as Adam guided the strange man to the door and called out: "Adam, be careful. You owe me an explanation later."
As Adam returned with the Doctor, the alarms sounded. The other Rangers quickly appeared, gaining a raised eyebrow from the Doctor when he noted their age and the fact they were all from Earth.
"Rangers, it appears that Warlord Drac'cuul has regained some of his former powers and has sent his Sentinel Dragons to destroy Angel Grove," Zordon told them.
"We're on it Zordon!" Tommy said. He and Jason exchanged glances and almost laughed before growing serious. "It's Morphin Time!"
"Zeo Ranger I - Pink!"
"Zeo Ranger II - Yellow!"
"Zeo Ranger III - Blue!"
"Zeo Ranger IV - Green!"
"Zeo Ranger V - Red!"
"Gold Ranger Power!"
"White Ranger Power!"
"Black Ranger Power!"
"Pink Ranger Power!"
"Blue Ranger Power!"
"Yellow Ranger Power!"
"Red Ranger Power!"
"Purple Ranger Power!"
"Green Ranger Power!"
"Zordon, so good to see you again. I thought you'd retired, become a monk or something," the Doctor said adjusting some of the sensitive scanning equipment.
"Grid Master," Zordon corrected.
"Well old friend it seems you've been busy since my last visit," the Doctor conceded.
"And you have changed many times as well, Doctor," Zordon replied with a smile. "It is good to see you again. The people of Eltare still speak your name. A shame they never had the opportunity to see you after the battle."
"At least I am still intact," the Doctor said defensively. He stopped joking, sensing the pain that comment brought. "Unable to leave that time warp then?"
"If I were to leave there is only one place I could go," Zordon answered truthfully. "I am not prepared to make that journey yet; my Rangers need me and I cannot abandon them."
"No, no of course not," the Doctor replied. Good old Zordon, always thinking about the greater good. "Oh, this is Samantha Jones, a good friend of mine."
During his time in the Command Center and later the Power Chamber Zordon had always noted the faces of those who noticed him for the first time. All the Rangers had been shocked, sometimes even in awe of a vast head floating in a plasma tube. Sam's reactions were much the same although she was quick to cover her surprise.
*Still picking up the pretty ones I see,* Zordon commented to the Doctor via the telepathic link they had created during their previous meeting.
*Alas I don't think I can ever let her go,* the Doctor admitted, showing Zordon the memory of his recent encounters.
"I am honoured to meet you both," Zordon said out loud. "I remember meeting the Doctor's previous companion and I am grateful to know he still has the benefit of friends to keep him out of trouble."
"Eltare?" Sam asked looking at Zordon but directing the question to anybody who would answer.
As normal Sam's inquisitive nature was emerging just as it did first time she forced the Doctor to take her on a trip. She had matured a lot since then. Having faced death on many occasions, she had hardened into a better person. Sam was also in the unique position of being six months outside of her time zone; to her this was the past.
"It's a planet on the far side of the galaxy," the Doctor explained. "One of the seats of government and home of the Grid Masters."
"And the Grid Masters are?"
"Magic users," he clarified.
"Oh," Sam said. "I thought you didn't believe in magic."
The Doctor didn't answer although for once he wished Sam wasn't quite so observant. As a Time Lord he wasn't supposed to believe in magic. To the contrary he was supposed to be opposed to magic in any shape and form due to a genetic imprint that was a part of being a Time Lord. Something had changed, much the same way as he had lost his shadow, and he couldn't help but feel that it was not a good thing.
In the past he had always justified his interactions with Zordon and the Grid Masters, choosing to believe that since their so-called magic could be linked to an extra-dimensional source it was scientific rather than mystical. Or had he? Had he really known Zordon, the Grid Masters and their enemies, or was this just another memory that had been implanted for his benefit? He had experienced such a phenomenon recently, a memory added that he knew had appeared suddenly.
He sighed. Things had been so simple before he had energy
"I take it there is a reason you chose Earthlings to become Rangers?" the Doctor asked.
"You know as well as I what the human spirit is capable of," Zordon replied. "That is why you protect this planet. I have watched for ten thousand years and have seen them grow into the society they have today. Besides, Aquitians would not last very long on this world. We tried, but they had to return home. Rita Repulsa, Lord Zedd and the Machine Empire have been trying to take over this planet for a while now."
"And I thought Daleks and Vampires were the worst that could happen," Sam stated.
Zordon remained silent for a moment, reaching out his senses to touch Sam's mind and was surprised by what he found. The Doctor's memories were correct, Samantha was indeed the perfect travelling companion. She was brave, intelligent, good company and possessed an absolute belief in the Doctor.
The red Sentinel Dragon opened its mouth and let loose a burst of flame to incinerate the nearby cars and buildings. It had been years since the last time he and his brothers had been free to serve Drac'cuul. The time added to his homicidal nature causing him to enjoy the destruction even more.
Looking around he could see his fellow dragons were enjoying the activity even more than he was. Moving toward the harbour district, he stopped. There at the bottom of the harbour he could sense another dragon, older and more powerful than the four Sentinel Dragons put together.
The four Sentinel Dragons started to feel fear for the first time since their release. Here was perhaps the one thing that could stop them unless they acted immediately.
"Sentice, freeze the waters and let our adversary remain in his grave," the lead Sentinel instructed.
The blue scaled dragon known, as Sentice stood straight and pointed at the water below. Unlike most of his fellow dragons he could breathe more than just fire. Opening his mouth, he breathed towards the docks, freezing the water, the machinery, the buildings and the workers. Breathing in for a second blast Sentice felt something strike his back. Looking around he saw Red Zeo picked himself up off the ground where he had bounced after striking the dragon.
"LOOKS LIKE SOME LITTLE MONKEYS HAVE DECIDED TO PLAY WITH FIRE," Sentire, the red skinned dragon bellowed as he took in the Rangers assembled with weapons drawn ready for combat. "I THINK THEY NEED TO COOL OFF A BIT."
Sentice was only too happy to oblige, shooting another blast of ice at the Rangers, this time the droplets forming into projectiles.
"Golden Shield Wave!" Gold Ranger called, swinging the Golden Power Staff around over his head and generating a burst of energy similar to the Gold Rush.
"Sentaire, take them!" Sentire shouted.
Like Goldar, Sentaire had wings when he wanted them. Unlike Goldar, he was still in the habit of using them in combat. Flying forward he passed over the energy shield and sank his claws into the Gold Ranger's armour. Flying off, the dragon lifted him into the air.
"Blade Blasters!" Red Ranger called. "Fire!"
Eight blasts illuminated the sky as the Rangers tried to bring the Dragon down without hurting their teammate.
"Zordon, is the hop scotch teleport working?" Blue Zeo asked.
"Yes Rocky," Alpha replied.
Without a word the Blue Zeo Ranger teleported onto the back of the dragon. Drawing his Zeo Sword he stabbed the dragon in the back. Not hard enough to kill, the blow made the dragon howl in pain and drop its prisoner. As Gold Ranger teleported away Blue Zeo was thrown to the ground, landing with a sick crack. In a flash of light the Blue Zeo Ranger was gone.
"Trini, teleport back to the Power Chamber and make sure Rocky's okay," Red Ranger ordered. "David, go as well in case they need you."
"Hellfire!" Green Ranger called, pointing his sword at Sentice. Green fire shot from the blade engulfing the dragon in its power.
The fourth Sentinel Dragon had not wasted time fighting the Rangers face to face. Instead it had moved behind them. With a loud battle cry it ran into its prey, knocking Rangers left and right as it made its way through their ranks. It had grown a razor sharp tail and used it to knock the Rangers to the ground.
"Time to bring in the heavy artillery," Green Ranger decided. "Battle Armour - Activate!"
"Battle Armour - Activate!" Red Ranger shouted in agreement.
When the Morphin Rangers had retrieved their new powers, Ninjor had taken the opportunity to throw in as many experimental features as possible. The Battle Armour was just one of those new features and had been added to the Green and Red Ranger powers.
At their command heavily armoured suits dropped from the sky, opening at the back to allow them to step inside.
"Power Weapons ready," Pink Ranger commanded, drawing her bow.
"Zeo Power Weapons!" Red Zeo called in agreement.
The Rangers charged, their weaponry bouncing off the dragon's armoured hide.
"Zeo I Fire Cloud!" Pink Zeo called.
"Cosmic Cannon!" Black Ranger yelled after missing Sentire on two occasions with his Power Axe. Switching the axe to Cosmic Cannon mode, he fired a single shot to knock Sentire away to the spot where Green Zeo and Purple Ranger were waiting.
"You hurt my friends, I hurt you!" Green Zeo shouted angrily. "Zeo Power Hatchets!"
"Zeo Power Nunchuks!" Yellow Zeo added.
Slipping the chain from the Nunchuks around the dragon's neck she held him there until Green Zeo landed a double blow between the eyes.
Red Zeo and Red Ranger targeted Sentaire next. Between Jason's Battle Armour and Tommy's rage the dragon was quickly forced onto the defensive.
"Time for a Gold Rush!"
The cry was as much of a shock to the Rangers as the dragons. They turned top where the Gold Ranger was standing, Golden Power Staff outstretched in his hand. In response the dragon struck Gold Ranger across the chest with its tail.
The Master's TARDIS
"This is going better than expected," Drac'cuul commented.
"Of course it is," the Master replied. "Two Rangers injured, the White and Yellow Rangers are busy with their blue friend and Adam..." He took a moment to look at the way the Green Zeo Ranger was fighting. There was a lack of concentration and skill caused by his anger. "Adam seems to be having problems as well. Tell the Sentinels to take out the Purple Ranger or Yellow Zeo Ranger next."
This was better than the Master had hoped. The Zeo team was lacking in numbers and the Master intended to take Adam out without hurting him. ~Losing Rocky was bad enough, but losing Tanya or Aisha as well?~
"Maybe we should step this battle up a bit," Drac'cuul suggested, closing his eyes to channel his magic through his sword. "Now my Sentinels, show them your true magnificence!"
Flames circled the four Sentinel Dragons as they started to grow.
Trini, David and Rocky appeared in the Power Chamber at the same time, the latter barely conscious and too distracted by pain to know where he was. The Doctor was quickly next to them, using his basic medical skills to help stabilize the boy.
"Zordon, will he be all right?" Trini asked.
"The back injury he received from Minion's forces was aggravated during the fall," Zordon said. "Although the Power will prevent permanent injury and his Ranger healing will speed up recovery, he will need to rest."
"Why don't you two return to the battle?" the Doctor suggested. "We'll look after your friend."
"Back to action!" Yellow and White Ranger called together.
"The truth now?" the Doctor asked looking at Zordon.
"Rocky is risking permanent damage to his back by remaining a Ranger. However, it is his choice to take that risk and I will respect his decision. For now his injuries will heal although they would heal faster if his powers were in standby mode. I fear at this point that the disruption to his system might kill him if we were to do it for him."
There was a fondness in Zordon's voice as he spoke about the young human. It was obvious that Zordon cared for those in his care. The Doctor could hear the underlying concern and decided to try to help.
Digging through his extremely long pockets, he finally found the small whistle he was looking for. Putting it to his lips, he sent a small subspace signal to his oldest companion. The signal had been received inside the TARDIS. A telepathic link established to alter the controls for a short trek through space. Over his lives the Doctor had finally managed to control the short leaps necessary to move the TARDIS to the Power Chamber. With its gears still groaning the TARDIS appeared in the Power Chamber.
"Still a police box?" Zordon asked when the TARDIS arrived.
"I haven't had time to fix it," the Doctor lied.
In truth he had given up attempting to repair the Chameleon Circuit on his TARDIS after his last attempt had failed. He had thought about taking it back to Gallifrey for repair. After all, as ex-president of Gallifrey and the Time Lord who was responsible for the destruction of the Daleks, the Doctor had a few favours he could call on. Sadly if the Time Lords were to get their hands on his TARDIS there was no guarantee that they would return it.
"Wait here," he instructed. "The atmosphere is too poisonous for humans, but I should be able to find what I need." He returned with what at first glance resembled a gramophone. "A sonic projector," he explained. "If I can find the right frequency, perhaps we can switch his powers into standby without the shock."
"Are you sure it's safe bringing the TARDIS here, I thought you wanted to fix it first?" Sam asked.
"Have a little faith," the Doctor told her. "There, a little variation and we have a sonic stasis field. He'll remain barely morphed long enough for his body to repair itself, but without the stress of being fully morphed and without the need to risk injuring his neck by removing the helmet."
Only Zordon noticed him cross his fingers.
"Relax Rocky," the Doctor whispered.
As the Blue Zeo Ranger relaxed his pain faded. Slowly his body relaxed and the Blue Zeo Ranger's helmet appeared to vanish.
The four dragons grew their individuality showing as they did so. Sentaire's green skinned grew thicker. His powerful wings grew larger as his mouth became more pointed. The legs and torso thickened with sharp talons forming on his feet and hands.
Sentice also grew wings. Not the big powerful wings of the air dragon, but the short and stumpy wings that allowed him to swim through water. Fins developed on the feet and front paws. A large blue horn emerged from the tip of its nose.
Senterra formed into a quadruped, its scaled back giving it strength. His tail elongated with a sharp point on the end, the claws on the tip of his four stubby legs grew longer and the head became hinged, to attack from any angle. The Rangers knew if he dragged them down there would be no way back up.
Sentire underwent a major change. When he had transformed, he was a large red dragon with a yellow underbelly. A second head had grown into place as well as two very powerful wings. Claws grew from his feet and a lethal triangle formed at the tip of his tail. Through enlarged nostrils he blew jets of smoke, his two horns glowing with energy.
"We need Ninja Zord power now!" the Morphin Rangers called.
"Let's show him them the power of the Ninja MegaFalconzord!" Red Ranger instructed.
"Ninja MegaFalconzord Power Up!"
"Ninja Battlezord Power Up!" Green and Purple Ranger added.
The Crane started to fold to form the head while at the same time the Frog transformed to become the legs and the Bear converted to become the Ninja MegaFalconzord's upper body. The already modified Ape and Wolf joined onto the Bear to form the arms as the Crane linked on to become the head. Then the whole upper body joined onto the Frog as the Falcon Zord linked onto the back. Hands formed over the Ape and Wolf's heads.
The Panther Zord stood on its hind legs. The head rotated downwards to become the chest and the front paws became the arms. The Hawk Zord's wings and head folded into the body as the Hawk Zord joined onto the shoulders of the Panther to become the head of the Ninja Battlezord. The Panther's tail converted into a Power Sword as Purple and Green Rangers slid into the cockpit ready for action.
The four dragons responded instantly. Senterra swiped the Megazord with his tail whilst Sentire and Sentice delivered a barrage of fire and ice. Super heated joints rapidly cooled and frozen armour instantly melted, transforming the Zords into crippled war machines. Sentaire swooped from the sky lifting the Ninja MegaFalconzord into the air and dropping it to the floor.
"Zeo Zord V!" Red Zeo called.
Once seated inside the phoenix Tommy targeted Sentaire's wings.
"Jason, we need to split them up," he said moments before an ice blast froze the controls and the Phoenix crashed to the ground.
"We've got to get it together guys or Zordon's going to be looking for some new Rangers," Jason noted.
"Zeo Rangers, return to the Power Chamber immediately."
"Zeo Rangers, return to the Power Chamber immediately."
Rocky's eyes snapped open. All pain was gone. Somehow the Ranger healing had been working overtime and his back had healed to the extent where what had been a serious break was now little more than a bruise that would be subdued when morphed. He had heard Zordon's words and knew it was time to get back to work.
The Doctor and Sam had not been idle during their time in the Power Chamber. Whilst Zordon had been telling Samantha stories about Rangers of Earth, the Doctor had been searching for some equipment to rig an extractor fan for his TARDIS.
"Who built those vehicle Zords?" he asked as he re-entered the chamber.
"Billy," Zordon replied.
"Billy, as in William Cranston?" the Doctor asked.
"You have heard of him?" Zordon asked. He knew the skills of the Blue Ranger were well respected, but to have reached all the way to Gallifrey was amazing.
"The whole Earth will, one day," the Doctor promised, giving in to the urge to drop little hints about other people's futures. It was a nice party piece, but also very dangerous at times.
Further discussion was cut short as Trey, Tanya, Tommy, Kat and Adam reappeared in the Power Chamber. A quick reunion took place between the Rangers and the now recovered Rocky.
"Rangers, I am sorry to call you away in the middle of battle, but it was necessary to do so. I have had time to analyse the data from the Viewing Screen and your Zords, and combined with news I have received in the last few days I have been able to learn the nature of this enemy. Observe."
The image appeared of Drac'cuul as he had once been appeared on the screen, back when he had been the dark slayer of thousands of innocents, protected by armour that granted him protection and aided his ability to control the people of Dragoria.
"I believe that Drac'cuul has arrived on Earth," Zordon explained. "If he has already retrieved his sword, a mystical blade that allows him to control those connected through a blood link to the Dragorian Empire or through magic to the Dragon, and will no doubt seek out the other portions of his armour. Now though he appears to be more concerned about revenge against this planet for my testimony at his trial."
"So we stop his dragons and then find Drac'cuul," Tanya said.
"No Tanya, as long as Drac'cuul is capable of controlling the dragons, they cannot be defeated. Destroying or gaining possession of his sword is the only way to stop them."
"There's only one problem," Adam noted. "We don't know where Drac'cuul is."
"We do not know his location, but he has been on the planet at least once in the recent past. Despite leaving, his ability to control the Sentinel Dragons even with his sword is extremely limited; his maximum distance from Earth cannot be further than the Moon and since he cannot breathe in space, he must be in a ship."
"May I see?" the Doctor asked. He started messing with the controls, searching for energy readings that matched those that Zordon had offered earlier. "There's something out there," he commented. He frowned. "Odd, not many vessels come with temporal shielding."
The Rangers looked at the image of a meteor on the screen wondering what the Doctor was talking about. Sam was the first to notice, her mind was still open to the possibilities that existed when travelling with the Doctor. Despite the series of minor mishaps that had plagued their adventures, she still maintained absolute faith in the Doctor.
"It's a fake," she said. "Like putting a large box around a smaller box and forgetting to close the lid fully."
"Alpha, where are the sub-dimensional scanner controls?" the Doctor asked.
"Here," the little android replied.
Moving to the control panel the Doctor began some rapid rewiring while Alpha manipulated the controls with a skill that could only be accomplished by being a part of the machinery that made it operate.
"And a quick alteration to the stability signal unit," the Doctor muttered. "And we should begin to see what we shall see."
Turning the power up the Doctor repeated a trick he had learnt in the art of decrypting temporal signatures. For a short time a grey box replaced the image.
"And there's the answer," he announced.
"What is it?"
"A TARDIS," the Doctor said darkly, exchanging glances with Zordon.
"I thought the Time Lords stayed on Gallifrey?" Sam asked.
"Not all of them," Doctor corrected. "There are some who choose to travel the Universe and see the sights. And a few more who have been banished or are wanted criminals. And since most of those who do so have a less-than-legitimate reason for staying hidden, I think it's safe to say that whoever is in there is not on our side."
Meanwhile the battle had taken a turn for the worse and the Morphin Rangers were struggling.
"Shogun Megazord!" White Ranger called from inside the battered Ninja MegaFalconzord.
In the distance the eight Shogun Zords started their run across Angel Grove, transforming as they did so into the oversized Megazord. The Black and Purple Shogun Zords transformed into the legs, the Blue Zord creating the lower torso, the Green and Pink Zords merging into the upper torso, Yellow and Red Zords forming the arms leaving the White Shogun Zord to fold into the head.
Teleporting to their new Zord, the Rangers targeted Sentice. Ice blasts reflected off the hardened body of the Zord.
The powerful Zord started to spin like a top building potential energy for future release. The natural movement allowed by the spin push the Zord towards the monster. Both its hands grabbed the monster as its increased momentum pushed it into the sky. With Sentice now stretched over its head the Megazord stopped, turned upside down and dove into the ground. All the stored energy was released in all its explosive force. The Megazord stood to see the remains of the monster struggle back to its feet.
"Shogun Megazord Sabre!"
The flaming sword made a swift movement from left to right. As the sword arced its way back to its starting position, Senterra interfered, driving his tail into the path of the sword. The flames extinguished as they hit the heavily armoured hide. The distraction was enough for the ice dragon to drive his horn into the Megazord's chest.
The four dragons teamed up for a moment battering the Zord before throwing it to the ground near its Ninja counterparts.
It had taken a few minutes and resembled a piece of modern art, but the Doctor assured the Rangers the parts they had fitted together were more than adequate to force the other TARDIS to land on Earth.
"I still don't see why you need a tea bag," Sam said. "Or the hot water and sugar."
"For a cup of tea," the Doctor replied, shoving a kettle in her direction. "Helps me think."
Sam had seen the Doctor create some pretty impressive equipment before, but this was a bit beyond even her unlimited faith. She knew the Doctor was a genius even if he was not the inventor he had been a few decades ago.
"You'll see Sam," the Doctor reassured her, sensing her doubt. To the Rangers he added, "Shouldn't you be getting ready?"
"Okay, starting the pulsar array now," the Doctor told them. "Just have to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow... and there we go."
"Coordinates set," Alpha reported. "Teleporting now!"
"Back to Action!"
Far from the Power Chamber the computer on board the Master's TARDIS received the first burst of a subspace signal, a low rate greeting requesting the machine to open a communication port. It replied according to its software, requesting processor identification while triggering a small alert light on the console for its operator's attention. The request sent, it opened its receiver ready for a reply. That was when the Doctor's device sent its message, a complex signal that required more of the TARDIS's runtime than it could afford.
The system dedicated its resources to handshaking the communication, allowing a second simpler command to slip through on the frequency needed to draw the TARDIS away from its orbit and direct it to a new location that the Doctor had chosen. And the first thing the Master knew that something was wrong was when the center column of his console started moving and all attempts to change course were blocked by a software crash.
A TARDIS grown in the pocket dimensions on Gallifrey would have been immune to such a ploy, but the Master was using a machine he had built himself using segments of his original machine and replacing the sentient core with an almost intelligent computer. The Doctor hadn't known this, but was relying on the idea that the owner of the TARDIS would investigate the source of the signal.
"Arrrrgh, damn it!" Red Ranger swore as Sentire released the tail of the Tyrannosaurus and sending him crashing into the Raptor.
Having failed with the speed of the Ninja Zords and the size of the Shogun Zord the Rangers had chosen to try endurance. With Dragonzord trapped under a sheet of ice Green Ranger had joined Purple Ranger in the cockpit of the Stegosaurus.
"Spike Attack!" Purple Ranger shouted.
The spikes of the back of the Stegosaurus glowed as the tail fired at the lead dragon. Meanwhile the Triceratops was charging at Senterra, Mastodon was using its freeze cannon of Sentaire with Pterodactyl diverting the winged dragon's attacks and Sabre-toothed Tiger pouncing on Senterra allowing the Raptor Zord time to attack.
"Let's show him some Megazord power!" Red Ranger called as the dragons slowly regained the advantage. "Bring them together!"
Immediately the Pterodactyl, Mastodon and Triceratops reverted from their current forms into the tank like Zords they had been during the original Rangers' time. Gone were the powerful moving legs or wings to be replaced by fixed wings and tank treads. The Sabre-toothed Tiger lowered itself to the ground, its tail end transforming to create a socket for the body. The back end of the Triceratops also folded over and the two Zords moved together.
Next the Mastodon transformed and split to form the cannons and front shield, joining the front and rear of the Tyrannosaurus. At the same time the Tyrannosaurus joined with the Triceratops and Sabre-toothed Tiger as the Pterodactyl slotted into place behind the Tyrannosaurus's head.
"Fire!" the Rangers called together.
The Dinotank stopped dead and fired. Sentaire soared skyward, his tail on fire, Sentire folded his wings to protect himself, Sentice was knocked to the ground under the intense fire and Senterra just stood taking the worst of the assault and showing little reaction.
"Switch to Battle Mode!" Red Ranger ordered.
The Pterodactyl detached from the Dinotank. The tank manoeuvred so it was standing up on the Triceratops and Sabre-toothed Tiger, which now formed the legs. The Tyrannosaurus's head folded down to reveal the face of the Dino Megazord. The arms formed by the Mastodon hung by its side as the Pterodactyl slid into place to form the chest plate.
"We need the Power Sword!" The other Rangers called in agreement.
"We need to divide our efforts to better utilise our capabilities," Billy said.
"Right," Jason said, guessing what his friend meant. "David and Aisha go back to the Shogun Zords, Zack and Kim can take the Thunderzords, Billy and Trini try to get the Ninja Zords back in the fight; Sam and I will handle the Dino Zords."
"Right!" the others agreed.
"Thunder Zords - Chariot Formation!" Pink and Black Rangers called.
The recently created Thunder Zords surged into life. As the Lion, Griffin, Firebird and Unicorn came together to form the Assault Team, The Minotaur and White Tiger Zords moved in front, strong chains linking them to the trailing Spider Zord on which the Assault Team landed.
Meanwhile the Red Dragon converted to humanoid mode and slotted into the waiting chariot, staff pointed forward like a long lance as the two lead Zords dragged them into battle. Once again the Rangers attacked and once again their Zords were crushed by the teamwork among the four Dragons.
"Red Dragon Thunderzord Power!" Red Ranger called, noting it was the only Zord still able to move. "Now it's time to make this battle dragon versus dragon."
"I'm with you Jason!" Green Ranger called. "Dragonzord!"
Holding his sword aloft Sam heard the familiar tune of the Dragon Dagger floating over the harbour. Quietly he hoped this was going to work.
The Zeo Rangers arrived in the desert outside of Angel Grove. As they readied themselves there was a loud groaning as the unknown TARDIS was forcibly relocated.
The door opened and a disfigured being led Drac'cuul outside.
"Ah, the Zeo Rangers," Warlord Drac'cuul sneered. "Six of Zordon's little children."
The now partially powered warlord drew his sword and axe, and concentrated his will in order to summon more warriors to serve him. A small clutch of eggs appeared in front of him, hatching and expanding into red armoured Dragorian Soldiers. He pointed his sword at the enemy and his servants attacked.
As the Rangers threw themselves into battle, quickly learning not to stay still long enough to be made a target of the warriors' fire breath, Drac'cuul led his own attack, striking Pink and Yellow Zeo from behind before pitting his skills against Green Zeo. As he fought, experience and skill making up for his lack of raw power, it was clear that the younger combatant had an advantage. When Adam switched off with Trey, the Gold Ranger put up an even stronger defence, Golden Power Staff blocking the axe while Green and Blue Zeo dealt with the remaining Dragorians.
Red Zeo found himself pitted a larger warrior as he tried to approach Drac'cuul's companion. Armed with a large spear it was clearly the leader of the small army. The two combatants faced off, each a capable fighter and neither willing to give the other the upper hand.
"Zeo V Power Sword!"
While the Dragorian's spear gave it a greater reach, Tommy was able to land a few blows from the tip of his blade. When the Dragorian made the mistake of using the wooden shaft of his weapon to block a blow, Tommy energised the blade, cutting the spear in half. He took advantage of his opponent's surprise to land a kick to the Dragorian's chest, knocking the warrior down. A punch to the face kept him there.
Pink and Yellow Zeo were back on their feet, assisting Green and Blue Zeo to keep the weaker yet more numerous Dragorians at bay. As they finished their opponents, they joined Gold Ranger who was growing frustrated with Drac'cuul after the villain had displayed that he was just as capable an opponent up close as he was at a distance.
Fighting together the Rangers' slowly gained the advantage. The Zeo V Power Sword proved no match for the warlord's enchanted blade, though with the assistance of Blue Zeo's Arm Blades, he managed to slice through the wooden shaft of the axe. A kick to the throat did prove effective, stunning Drac'cuul long enough for Red and Blue Zeo to deliver a low punch to the stomach.
"Zeo III Power Spin!" Blue Zeo called from close range.
His attack allowed Green and Pink Zeo to grab Drac'cuul's arms so Yellow Zeo could unleash her powered blow.
"Zeo II Power Punch!"
Another Power Punch from Green Zeo followed along with a succession of Kung Fu kicks as the aggression built up over the day was released. Anger driving him forward, the Green Zeo Ranger found new strength and the warlord found himself on the defensive. Lacking his own suit of special armour and having refused to wear the standard armour to protect himself, he decided that escape was the better option. But as the Rangers closed in it appeared that capture was inevitable. As a combined blast from the Rangers' Zeo Pistols deflected from his blade he was pushed further back. Soon he would be disarmed and taken back into custody.
That was when the Master chose to act, directing his TARDIS to unleash a stream of electrical energy that stunned the Rangers long enough for Drac'cuul to gather his wits and join his comrade. The two villains moved inside the TARDIS and sealed the doors.
The Power Chamber
"The Master," the Doctor whispered.
There was something in his voice that Sam rarely heard from the Doctor: hate. Whatever his relation to the Doctor, this creature had done something to earn himself the Doctor's absolute loathing. There was also a hint of disbelief.
"Do you know him?" she asked.
"It can't be him," the Doctor reasoned. "He fell into the Eye of Harmony, there's no way he could have released himself unless... last time I saw him I had crossed into my own past... we must still be out of phase."
Somehow that didn't make sense; the Master was his nemesis, they had to stand on an equal footing and the Master he had faced during his fourth incarnation was not a match for his current self. On the other hand the last time he had seen the Master, had been when the evil genius had attempted to capture his granddaughter; Susan had escaped and in the process the Master had received a mortal wound that he naturally blamed on the Doctor instead of the near child who had inflicted it. That Master had been an incarnation that the Doctor had later encountered years before.
He shook his head. Sometimes keeping up with regenerative cycles was extremely difficult. That was why Time Lords normally greeted each other with a telepathic burst.
"Doctor, who is it?" Sam asked more forcefully than she intended, her words having the desired effect of snapping the Doctor out of his deliberations. She knew exactly what she needed to say to keep him focussed. That was why she was his ideal assistant. It saddened him to think that he had created her to be that way and the because of him she no longer had a life of her own.
"His name is the Master," he told her, "a mathematical genius of the first order, a homicidal egomaniac who wants nothing more than to rework this universe to meet his vision at the cost of freewill. If he is helping this warlord of yours then he has something to gain from the deal."
"Is he a Time Lord then?" she asked.
"He was a Time Lord, I'm not sure what he is now. I can't be sure about his TARDIS either. The Master has made so many changes to himself over the years, it wouldn't be surprising to know he'd altered his TARDIS too."
There was a trace of admiration in his voice as he spoke, remembering the friend he had known during the old days before events had made them enemies. But there was no going back, the Master had gone too far in his quest for power and the Doctor could no longer rationalise such acts as being purely self serving. The Master had joined the forces of darkness, something that as a Time Lord he was forbidden to consider; by taking a side in the battle between good and evil the Master had forced his fellow Time Lords to take a stance on an issue they refused to acknowledge.
The Doctor thought about what he could do, but there was only one option. The Master had stepped outside the Laws of the Old Houses, it was the Doctor's duty to eliminate him.
"We'll deal with him later," the Doctor decided as he watched the Master's TARDIS depart. "For now let's concentrate on those dragons."
"Alpha, teleport the Zeo Rangers to join the others," Zordon rumbled.
"Right away Zordon," Alpha replied. "They can use Pyramidas to recharge the Zords."
The four dragons felt the difference as their power faded. The Red and Green Rangers now in their own dragons were winning. Dragon Zord had thrown Senterra away and was dealing with Sentice. Red Dragon had grounded Sentaire and was drawing Sentire away. If the rangers could get their Zords back online, they stood a chance of victory.
"Pyramidas, Power Up!"
The Rangers looked up, recognizing the voice as Trey and the Zeo Rangers returned to the battle. The four Sentinel Dragons looked up as the large Zord flew overhead as if sensing that their end had come.
"Energising Zord, now!" Gold Ranger called.
A bolt of energy left the Carrier Zord's apex, focussing onto the Megazords' solar energy collectors. The energy that struck the fallen Zords revitalised their reserves.
"Mega Dragonzord, full power!"
"Ninja MegaFalconzord, power up!"
"Thunder Megazord, full power!"
"Tiger Zord, Warrior Mode!" Saba called taking control of the Zord while David was occupied elsewhere.
"Shogun Megazord, full power!"
The Dino Megazord and Dragonzord teleported to where Sentice was lying. The Dragonzord opened up to fit around the Megazord. Green and Red Ranger took aim and prepared for what was to follow.
The Thunder Megazord and Tiger Zord teleported to where Senterra was waiting. Thunder Saber drawn, the Pink and Black Ranger waited to make their move.
Waiting inside the Ninja MegaFalconzord, Yellow and Blue Ranger checked their systems. Ensuring the remote control for the Ninja Battlezord was, they were ready to take out Sentaire.
White and Purple Rangers crossed their fingers, hoping that this time their attempt to finish the dragon would succeed. The Shogun Megazord was more intimidating than ever.
"Here they come," White Ranger remarked.
Silence reigned across the battlefield. Everybody knew what was about to happen. Nobody wanted it to happen, but the dragons charged and the fight began.
The Ninja MegaFalconzord took off after Sentaire. A brief air-to-air battle took place before the Zord caught the dragon and threw him to the ground. The Ninja Battlezord was quick to follow up, using its sword to keep the dragon in position. When the time was right, Billy and Trini initiated the power dive, using their Zord's two-fist finisher to destroy the air dragon.
Black and Pink Ranger were not far behind, after nearly demolishing the dragon with a punch, the Thunder Megazord powered up the Thunder Sabre and the Tiger Zord added its own energy blast. Senterra barely had time to blink.
"Dino Ultrazord!" Green and Red Ranger called.
The Mega Dragonzord stepped into Titanus and the giant Zord fired. Sentice tried to counter with ice seconds before exploding.
With only Sentire left the other Rangers teleported to the Shogun Megazord. The dragon of fire put up a good fight at one point incinerating the ground from under the colossal machine. It was then that the Rangers' initiated their spin attack, sucking the dragon's flames into a vortex where the energy quickly dissipated.
The Dragon drew back as if waiting for the final blow. In the end destruction came not from the massive Zord the dragon had been fighting, but from the Zeo Ultrazord that had formed while it was distracted.
The battle was over and the Rangers had emerged victorious.
"Congratulations Rangers," Zordon said once Aisha had been recovered. "You have prevented Drac'cuul's dragons from succeeding. You have also caused Drac'cuul to retreat, a sign that he is not as strong as he once claimed. I believe this will prove useful in the future; the Dragorian Empire has moved on since the time that Drac'cuul served as their overlord. Even now he only commands those that fell in his name before his incarceration. The others will not follow a weak leader, even if he can force the remains of their ancestors' to obey him."
"In times to come the Dragorians will expand their empire, colonising empty worlds as they go. They will prove an important power in the next century," the Doctor explained, his tone respectful. He was a dignitary of the Dragorian Empire and had reason to admire the race they would become once they finally escaped the madness of Drac'cuul.
"It's not over yet," Tommy told them. "This wasn't a one off attack, Drac'cuul held back."
"That's right," Aisha agreed, "he didn't come to Earth until we forced him to."
"Meaning he's planning something," the Zack finished.
"And since the Master wouldn't have saved him unless he had needed him, there must be something they want," the Doctor said softly.
"In other words," Kimberly said, sparing a glance at the Viewing Screen, "this isn't over."
"I have failed you," Drac'cuul admitted, looking out where the audience would be had he been standing on a podium addressing them instead of transmitting his image to not only them, but to those who would hear his voice across the universe. "I underestimated the enemy, I allowed the Sentinel Dragons to underestimate the enemy. I believed that as children they would be weak, I was wrong. They breed their children strong on Earth."
He looked down then threw his head up with what he hoped was new determination appearing on his features as he allowed a small amount of passion to enter his words.
"No more! We will not fail again because we will never again underestimate the enemy. Loyal subjects of this great empire are already in position, even in my absence they have taken positions in the political, financial and military powers of the universe. Even now they await the signal to commence operations. Then we will bring down the existing system, throwing aside the forces of good and evil that are responsible for the corruption. The past is behind us and the future will be ours by right of conquest."
The sound of clapping filled the TARDIS as the Master deactivated the transmitter. He looked up to find a very amused Time Lord. "Touching speech Drac'cuul, but regardless of the pretty words, your plan failed. So now, we do things my way."
The Master laughed as he walked away from his ally. True he needed the warlord for his plan to succeed, but sooner or later Drac'cuul's usefulness would be at an end. He sobered as the pain returned with a vengeance. There would be time for insane laughter later. For now they had work to do.
"I managed to find the rest of your armour, but I would advise you to retrieve some of you more powerful warriors first since you appear incapable of defeating the Rangers without it," he said, quietly adding: "and I cannot be rid of you until it is in my possession."
End of Part