Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to their respective copyright owners. No profit is being made from this piece of fan work.
After awakening from his enforced coma, and following the assistance he had given to the Rangers against Drakkon, it had been decided that Nate Oliver, an unwitting time traveller from a dark future, would remain at the Power Chamber long enough for Zordon and the other Ranger to determine the fate of his powers. At the time of his arrival the energies that had controlled his morphing ability had been uncontrollable, forcing the Rangers to take drastic steps to force him back into his human state. To help him understand the nature of the powers that had survived his experience, Zordon had devised a number of tests.
It was a controversial move that had drawn the attention of the Galactic Council's most senior members. As potentially the single most powerful Ranger in existence, assuming of course that he could still use his powers, Nate's future had been a matter of some debate. Some councillors had gone so far as to demand that the youth's unorthodox transformation device be broken down into its component parts and that while some remained on Earth, others should be handed over to their control.
The Rangers were not taking any chances during the early stages of testing and had made a point of transporting Nate a safe distance from the Power Chamber while positioning those observing the tests inside a reinforced bunker.
"Zordon, I can stress the concern this body feels about this experiment," somebody was saying.
"Councillor Rheina, I have assured the Council countless times that Nate is unwilling to accept your offer, has no allegiance to the Council and as a resident of the planet Earth is outside your jurisdiction."
"Still if you ordered him, he would agree," the councillor pointed out.
"Nor Councillor is he under my command. We do not know how he acquired his powers, but there were no Grid Masters at that time to act as his mentors."
"You've been warned Zordon," Ommtette stated, realising there was little he could say to alter the White Master's stance; on Earth the Council had no authority. "If anything goes wrong, you will be held responsible."
As the two politicians continued their discussions, the Zeo Rangers were busy positioning the last pieces of a complex metal wall in position. Built from gold, silver and other materials known to absorb the energies that Rangers wielded when morphed, it functioned as an adapted Faraday cage in case anything went wrong.
"Now that you've found your centre, try to draw the energy along your arm and into your hands, then allow it to return to your chest," Zordon instructed. In the initial stages he was using meditation and focus building exercises to direct his student.
As the Grid Master continued to offer advice, Nate strained to complete the exercise. He had never been taught how to use his powers; there hadn't been time to find ways to develop the channels needed to direct the flow of power. And since there was no way for him to summon the Power Pack without triggering at least a partial transformation, it was still unclear exactly how his powers would manifest. They couldn't even guarantee that some of the components still functioned.
If they could force the Power Box back into reality, Nate seriously doubted that it would remain intact for long. Its nature made it too unstable as a breakdown in any one component had the potential to destabilise the complex energy matrix of the remaining pieces.
Drawing from his body's natural energy was surprisingly simple, almost instinctive. The success was noticeable as Nate's skin started to glow, a clear indication that his powers were on the point of igniting once more. With an effort he managed to suppress the process, keeping it from spiralling out of control, well aware that to do so would risk the overload he had suffered the last time.
"Good. Now this time, try to force the energy into a beam of light through your fingertips and merging the light into a ball."
Nate frowned as he concentrated harder. His powers wanted to help him, to do the work for him, but he refused to let the potent energy escape his control. With a grunt he managed to force the energy through his fingertips, but his attempt was a little too forceful as the explosive beams of light punched holes in the nearby mountainside.
The burst of energy could be seen for miles around as Nate struggled to maintain control.
"Concentrate Nate," Tommy urged. "If you can't contain it, shape it to do what you want, what you need."
Nate didn't reply, his mind focussed on stopping the escalating power surge. He tried to force the Power to take a form, focussing on the Rangers he had seen in action since coming to this world. He fought to keep his thoughts in the present, desperate to quench the memories that wanted to break free at this most inappropriate of times. That didn't stop the images from drifting through his head, diverting his attention as his demons tried to assert themselves.
"That's it," Tanya encouraged. "You're almost there."
The beacon of uncontrolled energy lit up the land, causing a few random sandstorms on the other side of the world. With a new sense of urgency Nate fought the process, bending it to his mind, his thoughts racing between the form he wanted to take and those things he remembered.
It was one of many phrases that came to mind. It didn't fit the transformation, but at that time he was too busy to worry about that. The process was still not entirely under control. He could feel himself being pulled in different directions as the different energy types fought for dominance.
He hadn't been certain if this would work until he tried it. The magical powers of the Morphin Grid obeyed his command, ceasing to flow almost immediately and leaving behind a golden bracelet containing eight coloured stones. The other energy sources were scientific in nature and could not be directed by willpower alone. Instead of deactivating, they tried to break away from his control, manifesting a few meters away.
"Nate, the Power Box is growing unstable," Billy warned.
The Power Box had been designed to operate as a collective unit and could not process the multiple data streams that overwhelmed its controls. Realising that an exploding multi-morpher would likely prove more destructive than many of the world's nuclear weapons, he used his freshly gained powers to suppress the cascading reaction and shut the powers down manually.
The smoke took a while to clear, but when it did the Rangers could see that the experiment had been a success. Nate stood unharmed, a gold coin clutched firmly in his hand remained.
"I believe that will be enough for one day," Zordon decided.
Off to one side another observer, a Time Lord known as the Doctor watched in amusement. He found the experiments interesting. Training Nate was proving to be a challenge, which was great since he found it distracted him from his own problems, such as how he came to be in Angel Grove. This was not the Earth that he had known. History had been rewritten, causing a war that humans should have remained blissfully unaware of, to feature Earth as one of the higher value prizes. At first he had believed that this was an alternate reality or parallel universe as he preffered to think of it, which perhaps his time machine's strange and only recently developed habit of locking onto strange upheavals had transferred them to somewhere that they shouldn't be. However his checks had revealed that this was his universe and that the war that his people had been speaking of for hundreds of years was not far away.
Sam was all right of course and had taken their recent vacation from travelling as a chance to see America. He had however given her strict instructions not to contact her parents or travel to see them.
For now though his objective was simply to help Nate and the other Rangers to avoid a potential disaster. It didn't matter that they were using a power source that his race would frown upon. All that mattered was that the young man had access to energy, a lot of it, potent enough to wipe out half the planet if let loose in an uncontrolled fashion; he didn't want to think how much damage a total lack of control could cause.
It was made more difficult because not only did the boy have to channel and control more energy than the human body was intended to hold, but part of that energy was magical in nature; with powers such as Zeo, one and one would usually equal two, but with magic one and one simply equalled more than you started with. Not for the first time he wondered how Nate had been able to control such a mismatched collection of energy currents in the first place.
Nate nodded, feeling the power inside of him. He had made great progress in channelling the energy that coursed through him, a feat made easier when it had been suggested that journeying through time had altered his powers. Currently he was concentrating on the Morphin energies, which required the most care and some sort of outlet to avoid an overload.
After the previous attempt, Nate had discovered an instinctive knowledge of his powers that all Rangers possessed on some level. That knowledge had allowed Zordon and Alpha to turn the bracelet and coin into an effective morpher, which channelled the power spike and using a template stored within, created the armour of Earth's newest Power Ranger. The suit of tight fitting material was mostly dark grey; the boots were grey, the gloves were grey, and even the helmet was grey. To offset the dark appearance, the top of his boots, the end of his gauntlet gloves, belt and shoulder pads were black, as was the trim surrounding his helmet's visor. Golden thread had been used to create a series of diamond shapes, which ran down the outside of his arms and legs. The same thread had been used to create a dinosaur foot inside a circle on his chest. A small crest rose from the front of his helmet and extended around to the back.
"Congratulations Nate, your morph is completely stable," Zordon confirmed after Alpha had conducted a few tests.
It had taken a while to discover why the previous attempts had failed. Once it had been suggested that the problem was due to Nate lacking any real knowledge of the Morphin Grid when constructing his powers. The coins he had used to channel the Morphin energy had been those damaged by Rito Revolto, which had been originally based upon the power of Dinosaurs, but later modified to use the power of Thunder. The resulting use of such coins had caused Nate to drawn from both sources simultaneously.
"You were right Zordon, the powers combine the Body and Mind aspects of the power," Alpha reported.
"In battle you will yield the Brachio Staff, a weapon you have proven to possess great potency and adaptability," Zordon continued. "The staff will afford you greater protection in battle and offset the lack of a personal Zord."
While Nate had the power to operate a Zord, his unorthodox morpher had not been configured to work with a specific machine. Since there were already plenty of Zords on Earth and more than enough Rangers to operate them, Zordon didn't intend to alter that situation.
"Hey, whaz goin' on?"
Nate looked for the source of the voice, eventually tracking it to the morpher on his wrist. His morpher was speaking to him. In some instances this would have been weird, but after all the things he had been through, a talking wristwatch was not that strange. A memory started to push its way to the surface, bringing with it a name.
"Tweeki?" he asked.
"How's it goin' boss?" the one-time Alpha unit asked. "I can't believe we made it. No way you should ha' survived that."
Tweeki's words brought back some of the memories that had been hidden from him. He remembered his world, the loss of everything he held dear and all because of a single villain. He remembered a battle, a desperate act that had led to him landing a devastating blow to a unbelievably powerful villain; he also recalled his horror moments later when he realised that his powers were out of control.
"Hey hey hey boss, wadja do to ya pow'rs? You had Power Coins, the Zeo Crystal and a Golden Power Staff in 'ere. Where'd they go?"
As Nate with a little help from Zordon and Alpha explained what had happened, Tweeki ran a check of his Ranger's powers. The results would take weeks to compile and would prove a cause for concern.
"And furthermore, it is the decision of this panel that the Ranger known as Nate Oliver not be permitted to morph until his powers have been examined by a Grid Master that the Council has approved. Zordon, you are to demand that he hand over his morpher immediately; should he refuse he is to be dealt with as an enemy. The powers that Oliver displays are too great for a single person to hold. Should he turn rogue there is no guarantee that your current teams could stop him."
"I will do my best Councillor Rheina," Zordon agreed. He didn't have much choice in the matter. The Council could not command the Rangers under his supervision to do anything, but they were technically his superiors.
"You had better Zordon. The Council has been very indulgent when it comes to your activities. The teams you have created are independent, but you are not. We can always request the Grid Masters to replace you with a more cooperative representative."
The communication ended and not for the first time Zordon realised that he truly despised politics. There had been no plans to include Nate in protecting the planet anyway. Training him to use his powers had been important to prevent any unfortunate accidents. Still this was the latest in a number of decrees made by the Council and aimed at interfering in the way Zordon and his Rangers operated. Since the Drakkon incident the Council had become more aware of what the Rangers of Earth could do and given the belief that Earth was a planet filled with primitives, those revelations had been alarming.
They were making love in the back of his stretched limousine and she was reaching her peak, dragging her fingers down the length of his bed, leaving a thin trail of marks in their wake. She was wonderful, the best hooker that he had ever found while curb crawling through the streets of Chicago. Long blond hair and legs that seemed to go on for miles, her soft Australian accent had been the thing that had encouraged her to pay her the extra; he usually got his jollies for less than ten dollars.
"Oh baby, you're the best," he panted.
She remained silent, her face fixed in an expression that showed that while she seemed to be enjoying herself, it was hardly the best experience of her life.
"Tell me you want it," he encouraged, his ego demanding some sort of response.
"Oh I want it," she told him, running her hand over his face. "I want everything you have big boy."
When had the glove appeared on her hand, he was certain it had not been there before. He could feel the cold metal studs as she drew them over his shoulder.
"I'll take it all," she told him as his body reach the height of ecstasy.
He grunted in satisfaction. She was the best prostitute he had ever had in his car. She was worth every cent he had paid for her services. She was -- refusing to let go as she pulled his head into her chest.
"Relax honey," she whispered, "this won't take any longer than you did."
She purred as he started to scream. She enjoyed the sex, but it was the moment she got to take everything she wanted, that she lived for. As she drained his body's energy she started to fell more alive, it was a rush that would last for a few days before she would need to find a new victim. It was an annoyance, but the price of her continued survival.
"Say my name, Boy!" She told him, pulling back on his hair so she could look into his terrified eyes.
"Cathy!" he croaked with his dying breath.
"And don't you forget it," she told him as she tossed his limp body away, propelling it through the car door and into the street before picking herself up off the seat, reclaiming her clothes and shimmering away in a haze of pink.
End of Part