Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers or Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog; they belong to their respective copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made from this fic.
Authors Note: This is an alternate universe from the television show with an alternate timeline.
The Lost Knight
It seemed odd to Trey, to have been on Earth for such a short time and yet he had been so at home that it had taken time for him to get used to travelling again. Fortunately this was only a test flight to ensure Pyramidas was capable of making the trip back to Triforia. Once around the solar system and back again. He had just passed Saturn and directed the large Zord to take a detour through one of the outer rings. There he had decided to check that the vessel's large sensor array was operating properly, resulting in an almost overwhelming stream of data. For deep space journeys, where normally harmless objects such as dust could prove deadly, such sensor logs were priceless. After spending months on Earth without the need to worry about such things, they suddenly seemed tedious.
Pyramidas was not limited to just optical assessment of the planet; its vast array of detectors allowed it to analyse its surroundings in detail, a useful tool when Trey needed to find fuel during long trips. It was one such detector that drew Trey's attention to an unusual energy reading. It was not a powerful emission, more likely a beacon that had been left on for some reason. Still Trey was curious to discover the source and concerned when the computer suggested it was a distress signal.
He changed course to intercept and once within range, teleported to the surface of what at first glance was just another large rock obscured from Earth by Saturn's rings. Seconds later he was on the surface and had discovered to his surprise that the rock had a breathable atmosphere and some semblance of gravity. Using a handheld scanner to pinpoint the faint signal he followed the transmission to its origin point, which appeared to be a dead end. He knelt down, placing a gleaming hand on the ground below.
~The rock is fake,~ he thought. ~There is some sort of containment unit buried within this ground!~ With that, he stepped back and tried to teleport, but unsurprisingly found he could not. Whatever had drawn him there wanted him to explore, not retreat. It wasn't that much of a stretch of the imagine to suspect that this was a plot by the Machine Empire.
"Whatever this is I need to find out if it poses a threat!" he said forcefully. "Gold Ranger Power!"
It was not the words or the actions that caused the ground began to quiver; it was the excessive power of his morph, which in turn created a disruptive aura around the area. Slowly the ground beneath him crumbled to dust, which floated harmlessly away, revealing the area for what it was. When the cloud cleared the area where there had been lush fields had vanished, revealing the dull metal surface.
Trey surveyed the newly revealed surface. "So it was not a rock, it is a vessel of some kind," he mused. "The atmosphere must have been part of a forcefield and the signal must originate from inside, but there doesn't seem to be an opening. Perhaps it's hidden as part of the defences" With that he started to search for a way in.
Ancient eyes watched the stranger as he explored, chuckling with gleeful anticipation at what would occur. The Triforian's appearance was unexpected, but the old Ranger appeared powerful enough and had so far been easy enough to manipulate. The signal that had been transmitted would never be found meaning the Ranger's claims would be proven false. Along with the spells cast on the vessel's occupant, it was a tragedy waiting to happen.
"Oh but to kill an innocent or force that innocent to destroy you, I wonder which will occur?" he pondered. "Either way I win."
However as he watched the Gold Ranger stumble around he grew impatient to witness what happened when the fool triggered the trap. The Gold Ranger was too cautious to just blunder upon the trigger. A little help was needed. Fortunately he could provide just the help needed.
Trey had spent time examining his surroundings, but before he could find a way in, he found himself under attack. A large beast had pounced upon him and only his quick reactions had prevented it from killing him. With a set of vicious claws and incredible speed, the beast had proven difficult for the Gold Ranger to overcome. Eventually though Trey gained the upper hand and a blast from the Golden Power Staff blew it to pieces. Unfortunately for Trey the exploding creature covered him in gore causing him to miss the crack that suddenly appeared in the metal.
With a snort of disgust he cleaned the gunk from his uniform and checked for signs of another attack. As he did so he spotted a small section of the metal plating that he assumed had been damaged during the fight. He decided to take advantage of the weakness to create his own entrance. He focused a tight beam of energy from his Golden Power Staff on the damaged section of the hull. The resulting hole was just large enough for him to slip inside through.
Once inside the ship, he made his way through the darkened corridors, using the scanner inside his helmet to direct him toward a single life sign. He entered the room, recognising it as a modified medical bay. The machines had been damaged at some point and powerful magic had been invoked to duplicate their functions. Many layers of spells had been placed, but so far as he could tell they were not there to heal the occupant of the coffin-like stasis pod, but rather to ensure that he remained in hibernation after his wounds had healed. Several more pods were scattered through the room. There appeared to have been some sort of battle and from the dust, he guessed it had happened a long time ago.
He also noticed that some force within the ship was capable of blocking energy from entering or leaving the area. Unfortunately that included Trey's Gold Ranger powers, which had started to flicker when he had entered the room.
"It would be best," he thought aloud, "if I find my answers and exit immediately. Of course, I do not know what I am looking for, but let's see what I find."
He continued to look around, seeking any evidence of the mysterious occupant's identity. It occurred to him as he did so that he was either a rescuer or an invader depending on whom the ship belonged to. Unwilling to risk freeing something without Zordon's advice, he returned the way he had entered, only to find that the hull had sealed in his absence.
He was trapped, and as his flickering costume revealed, the energy jamming force had extended its influence. When he caught sight of a red flashing light he realised that he had disturbed the enchantments and had awakened the ship's occupant. Not knowing if they were friend or foe, victim or dangerous criminal, he decided to try and reopen the hole he had created earlier, and return later with assistance.
The discharge that occurred when the containment spells collapsed was unexpected. The wave of disruptive energy swept outward and through the hull, shorting out the Gold Ranger's powers in the process. Since arriving on Earth, Trey's powers had been adapted to work with the other Rangers. A side effect of those changes was the addition of a forty-five second timeout to protect the powers in an event of a forced power down. That meant that for now, Trey could not transform again. And by the sound of it the ship's occupant had awoken and was not in a good mood.
"Fiend! Monster!" came a distant cry of outrage that Trey could only assume belonged to the now revived occupant of the stasis pod.
He held the Golden Power Staff at the ready, and began burning another hole in the shell. Slowly the alien metal gave way although he was careful to keep the hull from breaking away until he was certain he could morph again. He didn't want to risk the possibility that the atmosphere had been deactivated when the spells had faded.. When at last it was wide enough to squeeze through, he started to clamber out. He was halfway to completing the� hole when something struck him in the back, causing him to stumble. Something grabbed his neck and jerked him against the hull.
"Unhand me!" he yelled, instinctively using the Golden Power Staff to knock his attacker aside. "Gold Ranger Power!"
He aimed for the broken hull and unleashed a burst of golden energy. The hull was evaporated by the heat and without conscious thought, he pulled himself through the gap. Fingers clamped his ankle before he had cleared the exterior of the ship. He struggled but couldn't escape the steely grip. Reluctantly, the Gold Ranger turned and faced his antagonist.
The being looked human although Trey knew that appearances meant very little; the Lord of Triforia looked human, but had physiological differences that went beyond first impressions. He was of Asian descent and despite a few scars, he was probably no older than twenty-six in Earth years. Of course depending on his planet of origin that could mean he was anywhere from eighteen to seven thousand years old and that excluded whatever time he had spent in stasis. Most of his clothing was obscured by a dark robe with metal plates at the tops of the shoulders.
His stance marked him as a warrior, ready to attack. In his left hand he held a sheathed sword with the hilt resting on his right hand; it was a beautifully decorated scabbard. However Trey had difficulty recalling a fighting style that required such a starting stance that the first strike would be severely hampered by his footing.
Trey was about to speak when his attacker moved, shifting the sword to rest at his left side while he fished into the pocket of his robe with his right hand and drew out a device Trey recognised as an old scanner. Green light shot from the device, encircling Trey and then changing colour as it reacted to him. The man's demeanour immediately shifted from uncertain to determined.
"Coward, do you lack the courage to fight me face to face? Did you think after murdering my comrades you could just return here and attempt to destroy me? You should have destroyed me while you had the chance, for now there is no escape. Your kind may have slaughtered the others, but I survived and even weakened by slumber I am more than a match for likes of you." With that, he deactivated the scanning field that circled the Gold Ranger and resumed his former stance, sword at the ready.
"We do not have to fight," Trey told him. "I am not your enemy."
"Do you really think me foolish enough to take the word of a Temran?" was the harsh response. "I am a Mystech Knight, sworn to eradicate your kind... Demon spawn!"
"I am not a demon, I am the Lord of Triforia," Trey reasoned.
"You cannot deceive me, my scanner revealed your nature," he was told.
"It is strange though, I have never met one that tried to avoid fighting once you revealed its nature," a voice interrupted.
For the first time Trey noticed the the carving on the end of his attacker's sword. As a Ranger he was aware that some weapons were enchanted to assist in combat. It looked familiar, something he had seen in one of his history books perhaps. Unfortunately he couldn't remember what it meant and that didn't make his position any less dangerous.
"We've never met one powerful enough to break into our vessel or bold enough to possess one of our comrades and attack us while we were sleeping. This one was clever enough to trap me so that a replacement could not be called to take my place," the warrior replied. "His actions have robbed our comrades of not only myself, but the armour I wear."
"I've never known a Temran beast hide his face," the voice countered.
"He's a coward," the Mystech Knight decided. "Since he insists on attempting to deceive me with that costume instead of revealing his true form, I'll have to use my own armour."
He raised his still sheathed sword to above his head, speaking in a foreign tongue as he did so. Although the Gold Ranger powers allowed Trey to understand parts of his speech, the majority was unrecognisable. It was enough for him to recognise the words as an oath similar to the one used by Rangers before they settled on simpler methods of calling their powers. "Spirits of Kells, guide this soul! God Horn, be my strength!"
It was a complicated method of transforming, far more complex than the simple invocation of the elements that the leaders used. But they were the true knights while he was just a soldier who had been promoted to knighthood. His armour had been forged long after the great war between Kells and Temra when the need for knights had forced the gods of Tir Na Nog to gift the Smiths of Kells with the knowledge of how to create new warriors.
The sword glowed and was answered by a pulse of energy from overhead. As Trey looked on, the knight transformed, although not into the recognisable uniform of a Power Ranger. Instead the thick armour formed around him, a strange combination of magic and technology. His sword was transformed from a long thin blade into a long thick blade that was the same dark colour as his armour. He looked up at Trey, pulled back slightly, sword gripped firmly in both hands; the odd stance made far more sense when the weapon was in its larger form. The tip began to glow as he charged forward.
"The time has come again for you to face my wrath!" he declared. "This is God Horn, the sword that cut down thousands of your brethren. Remember that and prepare to meet your end."
"Wait!" shouted Trey, as he hastily fell back. "I think you've mistaken me for someone else. I am not a demon and I am not Temran, I am the Gold Ranger and Lord of Triforia. Who are you?"
"As if you didn't know," came the reply as the powerful sword was deflected by the Golden Power Staff. "I am Duncan, Mystech Knight of Lava; sworn enemy of the Horde, slayer of Terrors, destroyer of Horrors and the last foe you will ever face."
It had taken a while, but the computer inside his helmet had finally translated the words the knights words and located the world of Kells. "Impossible!" Trey was outraged. "The war between Kells and Temra ended millennia ago when Kells destroyed the source of Temra's power. The Mystech Knights are a legend. How dare you make such an outrageous claim; do you take me for an fool? No mere Knight of Kells could live that long and you are certainly not one of the Chosen Five."
Again their weapons clashed and the Gold Ranger was forced to give ground to his opponent's anger-fuelled volley. It seemed that his attacker was not concerned about the damage he was causing to his own ship, although Trey was very much aware that a wrong move could break the ancient vessel.
"I know not what sort of demon you are for I have never met one who would dare belittle the Mystech Knights. You may call yourself a Ranger, but your blood does not lie: you are Temran! Now, enough talk! Whatever deception you are attempting, your nature is exposed and I will end your vile existence." He energised the blade and thrust it mercilessly toward the Gold Ranger.
"Golden Flash!" Gold Ranger bellowed, using the blinding light as a distraction to slip aside.
He wanted to attack, every instinct he had told him to strike while his opponent was disabled, but his honour wouldn't let him just attack and despite all the evidence to the contrary he couldn't see this so-called Mystech Knight as an enemy. At least not yet.
The knight - for his armour was certain heavier than that of any Ranger that Trey had met before - was not prepared to give up though. He had just awakened from a forced sleep, the deaths of his comrades still fresh in his mind. And since in his mind Trey was responsible for their demise, his determination to destroy the Gold Ranger knew no bounds. Unwilling to harm him, Trey was at a severe disadvantage, and was soon forced to adopt a defensive strategy.
Trey hissed as the large sword tore into his uniform. ~Liar or not, this Duncan has powers that rival those of a Ranger, but who is he and why does he believe that I am his enemy?~ He didn't understand. The Mystech Knights of Kells had disbanded their order after the war with Temra had ended. Only five suits of armour were still worn. The rest had been locked away until needed.
Trey had heard of the war between Kells and Temra. It had been a simple war between neighbouring worlds until the Gods of Tir Na Nog had involved themselves. The dark aliens had gifted the leaders of Temra magical powers that had bolstered their armies. The leaders of Kells had been desperate when the good gods had offered them armour to defeat their foes. It had led to a war of magic and technology against dark magic and sorcery. In the end the Knights of Kells had triumphed and peace had returned to their solar system.
~But Kells never built ships to journey further than their neighbouring worlds,~ Trey recalled. ~So how did this ship end up so far away?~
He was starting to suspect there was something more sinister at work than he originally thought.
~Why would he think I am a demon?~ Trey wondered. ~And why does he think that Temran's are demons? Other forces must be at play here!~
This didn't make sense. The Mystech Knights were supposed to be able to know whether they were facing a magical creature or just another soldier. And the scanner the knight had used earlier had been to confirm that suspicion. For some reason it had decided that he was a pure demon, something that was impossible. One thing was clear: in order to survive he had to make his opponent see sense, and in order to do that he would have to make sure he was made to listen.
"It's Time for a Gold Rush!"
Power flowing he thrust forward, striking the other as hard as possible, counting on his foe's armour to turn a fatal charge into something less dangerous. When the Knight of Lava staggered, Trey took advantage and swung his Golden Power Staff like a club. A few more strikes and his opponent was down.
"I do not wish to fight you," he said again as he stood over the injured warrior, "but I will defend myself."
"I am at your mercy," Duncan replied. "Finish me if you must but end this charade."
"Power Down!" It was a risky move, but necessary if he wanted to survive. Besides, he had a feeling that he had made the right choice. "I won't fight you anymore. You are being deceived; check your scanner again."
"It would not hurt to make certain," God Horn said. "Check again."
"So be it," Duncan agreed. "But if you are lying to me, I will never stop fighting you."
He pulled out the scanner that he had used before and reactivated the identity field. This time the results were very different.
"I - I do not understand."
Trey however now realised the truth, that the gore that had covered him earlier had made him appear to be a demon. The entire fight had been little more than a deception to take advantage of Duncan's desire for revenge.
"Listen to me; you have been tricked! The creature I fought earlier sprayed me with a chemical to make me appear as a demon so you would think that I am your enemy when I am actually a Ranger, an ally in the fight against evil!"
"This cannot be, it must be a deception." He flew towards the Gold Ranger, sword once again ready to strike.
"Enough!" cried Trey, and spread his arms wide. The Knight of Lava was suddenly encased in a glowing ball of golden energy, his inability to understand his enemy preventing him from breaking the sphere. "The Gold Ranger powers will defend me in many ways. Right now, they protect you too. Neither of us will harm the other until we have spoken to Zordon."
"Very well, perhaps you do speak the truth. Take me to this Zordon and if I find him to be worthy, I will listen."
The Mystech Knight's vessel was indeed a planet hopper, intended to journey only a short distance between worlds. Its limited range, obvious damage and questionable age meant it was safer to travel in Pyramidas. Moments later the golden pyramid took off towards Earth.
Duncan spent nearly a day reviewing the Power Chamber's historical texts before meeting with Zordon. After meeting and recognising the building as being a Command Center - for the stories of the Grid Masters and their adventures had reached Kells during his time. He had learned of what had happened during his absence, the Power Rangers of Earth and their struggles. He also shared a few stories of the Mystech Knights and their crusade to preserve the harmony of their little star system against the interfering space gods that threatened their peace of their planetary union.
There had been some surprise to discover that the Kells had never participated in the Grid Wars. The planet was deemed unimportant by the forces of darkness and too isolated by the Galactic Council.
Finally he had turned to face the Gold Ranger. "It appears that I allowed myself to be deceived, Lord Trey." He fumbled for words. He rose from his chair and bent down on one knee. "Forgive me, my friend."
"Of course," smiled the Gold Ranger as he led his companion to where Zordon waited, "even the best of us make mistakes."
"Master Zordon, I thank you for the use of your library," Duncan said as he bowed low in greeting. Although the Grid Masters had very little contact with Kells, there had been a few that had chosen to visit over the centuries. Zordon had never made the trip himself, but he had read the reports of the society that had mostly found peace.
"I am pleased that I was able to assist you," Zordon said in return. "While Kells has never been an active member of the Galactic Council, their leaders are considered to be strong allies and a shining example of how a society can return to unity after war. I am sorry to learn of the deaths of your fellow knights, but King Rohan was delighted to hear of your survival; not knowing what became of your vessel has been a terrible burden for your people."
"King Rohan still lives?" Duncan asked eagerly.
"He and the rest of the Chosen Five continue their wise rule," Zordon told him. "Whatever plot necessitated your entrapment failed to materialise. The Mystech Knights are no longer active, but their legacy remains."
Duncan's vessel had been declared missing when one of his crew had been possessed and had turned on his comrades. The ship had been in transit between worlds at the time with all but a few members of the crew in stasis. And with only a few members of the command crew awake at the time, they had been slaughtered before they could awaken the slumbering knight or their comrades. Then the suspension capsules had been destroyed, killing those inside. Duncan had been awakened, but a powerful spell had prevented him from opening his capsule and fighting back. He had been forced to watch helplessly as the ship's crew had been destroyed before his unit had been reactivated, throwing him back into stasis.
"This plan was beyond the normal schemes of Temra," Duncan concluded.
"You are correct," Zordon agreed. "Shortly after your disappearance, Queen Maeve ordered a fresh strike against Kells. It could be she planned to use you as her own knight."
"I will speak to King Rohan when I return, but if Maeve is truly gone, perhaps we need not worry."
"Very well," Zordon said after a short pause. "Trey will return you to your ship and transport you to the rendezvous point. I have arranged for another vessel to transport you home."
"Thank you, Master Zordon."
"My pleasure, Duncan, Knight of Lava."
"It was an honour to meet you, Trey. I can see that Earth is safe in the care of the Power Rangers. I believe the universe needs all the heroes it can get."
"The honour was mine," Trey replied. "So I guess we have some arrangements to make if you want to get back to your vessel."
Duncan smiled as Zordon and Alpha started to organise the equipment that would be needed for the Mystech Knight's journey.
His plan had failed, but it didn't matter. Playing with the lost knight had just been a distraction. The sudden reintroduction of Duncan to Kells would cause the upheaval needed to elevate the tensions that still existed between Kells at the remnants of Maeve's forces on Temra. Perhaps with a nudge those loyal to her cause would even visit the tiny world where Maeve had lived since her defeat and return her to the throne of Temra.
And then he would guide the army of Temra to victory using his power, before allowing Maeve to assist him in overthrowing the so-called gods of Tir Na Nog. And then all would remember the power of Mider the Dark God.