Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers; they belong to their respective copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made from this fic.
Authors Note: This is an alternate universe with an alternate time line.
The Final Quest
Dulcea, the Master Warrior of Phaedos, stood proudly watching their eight teens as they sparred together, building the skills and trust that every team needed. She had been impressed at how quickly the group had merged after spending most of their training divided into pairs under a single tutor. She could see the way that the more experienced Rangers acted to protect David, the newest and most vulnerable Ranger. She swelled with pride as once David's skills became evident, the others allowed him to share the burden.
Alas their training was not yet complete and time had run out. The night before she had sensed a dangerous shift in the balance of power. Something had happened on Earth and those left to defend the planetâ¦ she could sense that something tragic had occurred.
She stepped around the fire and at once the sparring stopped. The Rangers stood before her, dressed in the uniforms she had instructed them to wear for their trek into the jungle. They were simple garments made of cloth with hard soles around the boots. By wearing them the Rangers were reminded of their focus for the task ahead and more importantly, were limited only to the Power Disks they had formed on completion of their earlier quests. In the past she had known groups enter armed with all manner of weapons; the armaments had not helped and she had been forced to remove the remains afterward to avoid polluting the jungle.
"You have come far in such a short period of time," she said. "Zordon would be proud of you, rest assured that Ninjor, Saurian, Thalian and I couldn't be prouder. And now the time has come though you have much to learn, for you to enter the jungle and seek the ancient monolith, and the Great Power. Then you will return to Earth and Power willing, put an end to Minion's evil."
"The journey is harsh and not without danger," Thalian warned. "Though you may opt not to enter the jungle, once you do so you will need to survive if you wish to exit again."
"If you choose to give up, we can retrieve you from danger," Ninjor advised, "but you will forfeit all access to the Power and will never again be Rangers."
"At the monolith you will face a test of your worthiness," Saurian told them. "Pass and the Great Power will be yours, fail and death is all that awaits you."
"Knowing this, do you wish to go?" Dulcea asked.
The Rangers exchanged nods and as one turned to their mentors. It was Jason who spoke, once again assuming the role of commander, a role he had been born for. "You bet we do," he told her, "Tommy and the others need us."
Dulcea nodded, even more confident that they had made the correct choice.
They started on their journey. Jason led with Billy and Trini close behind, Zack and Kimberly followed, and then came David; Aisha and Sam stayed at the back, alert for any ambush. The trip seemed uneventful. Actually, it was boring.
Billy was nervous. He had studied all the information he could find on Phaedos and the quest for the Great Power. Unfortunately there had not been much information to hand. Very little was known about the quest because only a few had lived to tell the tale. He was certain though that Dulcea would not have told them the journey would be dangerous just to test their courage.
Trini seemed to sense his thoughts. "This is too easy."
Since they had trained together in Ninjor's temple the bond between the two had deepened and although Billy tried to rationalise his feelings, there was something more than friendship about the way he looked at her.
"Affirmative," he muttered back.
"When do you think the attack will come?" she asked.
The Rangers were not naive enough to take the peace for granted.
"From what I was able to read, there are many trials on the quest and they change each time. Dulcea told me there have never been eight people questing at the same time, at least not together."
"This place is alive," Sam commented. "I can feel the magic."
"How much further to the Monolith?" Kimberly asked.
Billy studied a map. "Two, maybe three hours at this pace." He paused as the map changed. "Although it appears that can change at any time."
In a few more minutes, the six Rangers came to a clearing, with a cave sunk into a rocky promontory, and a flat, treeless area in front of the opening. Suddenly Zack stopped. "Do you hear that?" he whispered.
Kimberly shook her head. "I don't hear anything."
"That's just the point," Billy realized, his eyes narrowed. "No birds, no insects, no nothing."
Sam nodded. "There's something here."
In unison, the teens turned towards the cave opening, as a low, breathy hiss became audible. Then, slowly, a huge snake slithered into the light. It had a head the size of any one of the Rangers, and a body thick as a tree-trunk. Sizing up the Rangers with cold red eyes, it seemingly licked its lips. Billy swallowed.
"Snakes," he muttered. "Why did it have to be snakes?" Suddenly the creature lunged at David, who barely escaped as it tried to encircle him in its coils.
The snake struck again, and this time David was not fast enough to escape. Once it had him in its grasp, the creature began to apply pressure.
"Hiyahh!" Jason wound up, launching a kick into the snake's side. The reptile ignored him, however, concentrating solely on its prey as Zack and Aisha joined in with their own kicks.
"We can't make a dent in this thing!" Kimberly cried as she bounced off its scaly skin.
"We have to keep on trying!" Trini responded, wishing that she had her Power Daggers to hand. Beating at the snake's head with a tree branch seemed to have little effect, even when Sam joined in.
Meanwhile, Billy was frantically scanning the area for anything he could use against the snake. Suddenly he saw something glimmering inside the cave. Entering the cavern, the teen genius examined the crystal stalagmite carefully. "Some sort of clear crystal," he mused. Touching the point, he let out a muffled cry. "Sharp, too," he added, sucking on his finger.
Billy grabbed the sides of the spire carefully.
"It's not part of the floor-- that's a weaker granite-type rock," he realised. "Got to-- shift it." He began to pull at the rock.
"Somebody-- get me out of here!" Zack yelled. "I think I-- heard my ribs creak!"
"Got it!" Billy cried, as the stalagmite cracked into his hands. Holding it by the base, he ran and leaped onto the back of the snake. "Lights-- out!" Billy puffed, bringing the spire down, piercing the snake's skin at the back of the neck. The diamond tip cut through the scales, and the snake fell dead, releasing Zack.
Taking a few deep breaths, the Black Ranger looked up at his best friend. "Thanks, man," he drawled. "Next time, why don't you see if you can't cut it a little closer?"
Billy laughed, and hauled his friend to his feet, careful not to jar his friend's bruised ribs. "Come on," he said to the group. "One down, one to go."
"We're almost there," Sam told them a while later. He could sense the magic.
"Through those trees." Billy agreed after checking the map.
The Rangers entered the clearing which held the entrance to the Monolith. They slowly spread out while walking towards it.
Standing in front of them were eight stone gargoyles, their bodies shaped to appear roughly humanoid. David eyed them cautiously, noting the obvious theme as he did so. One was a falcon, the next a crane, a third a bear and the fourth a panther; fifth a chameleon, sixth an ape, seventh a frog and finally a wolf.
The gargoyles moved in on the Rangers. The crane leapt into the air and flew over Kimberly, landed and then kicked her in the back. The ape rolled forward until it was right beneath Jason's feet, grabbed his ankles and then used its feet to grab Jason's neck and letting go of his ankles, threw Jason into the pool beneath the waterfall.
The falcon rushed David, who managed pull himself out of its attack and land a solid kick to its back. Sadly he was kicking stone and the attack proved less than successful. The gargoyle slid into his legs, knocking him down. Quickly gaining its feet, the falcon reared its leg back and kicked David in the torso. The frog, in a series of quick bounds, moved on Zack. Springing into a series of roundhouse kicks it caught Zack in the side of the head, but before it could follow up it was hit by the chameleon. Zack looked around to see Aisha watching as the two stone monsters smashed. Nodding in agreement, the two took off to help David.
The bear quickly closed on Trini. She sidestepped its rush and stuck her leg out, tripping the bear. The bear rolled forward and turned, then rushed her again. She stood her ground and waited for the bear to come to her. When it got close enough, she grabbed its lead arm and using its momentum swung the bear into the ground. Next to the waterfall she could see Jason fighting back against the ape, using brute force to knock his opponent about.
Billy and Sam switched opponents, each using their knowledge of their teammate to out think their new opponent. When Billy leapt over his opponent, he managed to grab the figure's hood and brought its face down into the dirt. He stayed down as the panther stood in time to be on the receiving end of Sam's flying kick. He rolled back to his feet in time to intercept the wolf.
Together the Rangers surrounded the surviving gargoyles and together the eight of them attacked as one, vanquishing their opponents and completing their quest.
The Rangers turned when they heard a grinding noise coming from the entrance of the Monolith. A bright light appeared and then eight beams of light streaked out and went towards the Rangers. The Rangers were then enveloped by the lights.
When the lightshow ended, the Rangers found themselves in their Ranger uniforms, finally united as a team. They could feel the new power coursing through them, so similar to their morphing powers yet separate.
"I feel amazing," Zack managed after a while. The experience was too much for him to sum up in just a few words. It was too much for any of them to describe.
"Congratulations Rangers," Dulcea said as she emerged with Ninjor, Saurian and Thalian.
The eight fully powered Rangers gathered at the ancient ruins. Before them were Saurian, Thalian and Ninjor, all dressed in their battle armour.
"Congratulations indeed," Ninjor said. "Now that you have all gained your powers the team has been unified. I feel this is going to be the beginning of something truly special."
"What about Zords?" Jason asked.
"I can answer that," Saurian told him. "When you first became Rangers your Zords were second hand. Now they have been specially built, for you. The Dino, Thunder Shogun and Ninja Zords have been distributed to you. In addition you will find that sometimes it is not necessary to call on the Zords."
Thalian nudged him, silencing the powerful warrior with a glare. "They're meant to figure that out for themselves, remember?"
Saurian sniffed and continued. "If you need to use more than one set of Zords, then Sam and Jason will control all the Dino Zords, Kimberly and Zack will control the Thunder Zords, Trini and Billy will control the Ninja Zords and David and Aisha will command the Shogun Zords or Battle Borgs."
"In addition, I will be on call should you need us," Ninjor told them. "Now Rangers it is time for you to return to your world and help out those who have been covering for you."
"One thing before we go guys," Jason said holding out his hand. One by one the other Rangers placed their hand on top, Sam in the center and David on top of the pile. Together they all started to chant, "Go, go, goâ¦"
The chant increased in speed as their arms moved up and down. Finally they all cried out, "Power Rangers!"
The quests were over, it was time for the new heroes of Earth to return home.
To be Continued