Disclaimer: The Power Rangers are the property of Saban Entertainment and I lay no claim to them. This series is part of COE Final Reckoning written by Shadow Ranger and follow on from ID War by the Q-Team.
Minion is the creation of Shadow Ranger as is the concept of the Dark One. Count Iblis is the name of the devil on the series 'Battlestar Galactica' created by Glen A. Larson and owned by Universal Studios. Lord Dagsyxx is my creation as is Alison Hammond. Alison Bogard is a modification of the Alison Hammond character brought about by David Knight. Shadow and Mirabilis are also creations of David Knight. Fatal Fury is property of SNK.
A taste of things to come
By the Q-team
He had returned after so long to a Universe that had long awaited his return. Others had attempted to take his place, but few understood the true nature of his role. That some could think that a being of his immense power could be watered down to a single life form was an act of heresy. For the Dark One had returned and the Universe could tremble once more.
It was said that the Dark One resided in the realm of evil; certainly the stories of Hell, Hades, and the underworld often contained descriptions of the would be rulers of evil. Such stories were nonsense created by the minds of primitives to frighten little children or as a small comfort against the true nature of the dark.
The Dark One was too big, too great an evil to ever consider the underworld his realm; it was little more than a playpen where he placed those who displeased him and sometimes a few he wished to torture. Nor was he restricted to such a place. Had he been a mere demon or god then maybe he could have been stopped, but he was not and that was why his capture had taken even him by surprise. ~ But now I am free. ~
The Devil, Lucifer, Satan, Lokor and Old Nick were just some of the names others had used in the past by those wishing to take his place. All had been utter failures in one form or another; Lucifer was an excellent lawyer on the planet Eldniws, but as a supreme ruler of evil he left much to be desired. There were other too who at some time or other had tried to take his name or role in the grand scheme of the Universe. But all they failed to understand something fundamental to the Dark One, something only a few on the opposition side could comprehend; something so terrifying that even monsters like Emperor Javius seemed preferable.
At the end of the day there were no replacements, other names, reincarnations but certainly no replacements. He did however have servants and plenty of them. The success or failures were insignificant to him since their only real purpose was to maintain the illusion that would lead to his triumph. One such servant, Minion he believed it had been called, had gone so far as to try to enslave the Dark One for his own purposes. But Minion had been dealt with and as he surveyed his forces he realized that he lacked a leader for his forces.
Hmmmm, perhaps it's time to choose a new one , he had thought.
Of course there were many candidates for the role, but he wanted this one to last for a while. He looked down the list taking in both males and females of all species, moving some aside for later projects and ruling some out altogether. Lord Hellion? No, that seems so ... cliche. It took time to wade through all the names, but eventually he had found the candidate.
It took moment to summon his new lieutenant and infuse him with the raw knowledge and power needed. As with all those who truly followed the Dark One's orders, the poor creature had no idea what had happened. In fact as the Dark One faded from sight his lieutenant assumed the name, appearance and role of the dark one and had no idea he was a mere pawn. At leas for a minute.
"Did you really think I'd be dominated that easily?" the 'new' Dark One called out. "My bretheren always were such opposers of domination."
This brought the original Dark One back to confront his 'lieutenant'. "Of course. I should have realized that you were once a member of the Lords of Kobol, and that you still follow some of their doctrines. Especially those regarding free will".
"If it's any consolation. You did gain control of me briefly. But unfortunately, when one tries to mold someone or something to their own liking without consent. That always comes back to haunt those that do the molding. I myself have learned this first hand, from my own bretheren."
"But you have given yourself to me. To my cause, how is it that you can defy me?" the Dark One asked.
"Because the doctrines of the Lords of Kobol are not under your jusisdiction. They are things you cannot control, largely since they fall under the jurisdiction of good." the Dark One seemed to nod in understanding. The old debate of how good and evil had become so interchangable and dependant upon one another. How he had tired of it.
"But you do agree that good needs to be destroyed." the Dark One said. The 'new' one smiled as he looked up at his superior in terms of power, but the 'new' one had millenia of craftiness and deceit under his belt and knew how to put it to use. Besides, the 'new' one had his own reasons for wanting good destroyed. Reasons of revenge. Revenge against his bretheren, and revenge against those whom they have shepherded for so long-humanity.
"But wouldn't it be far more ideal if humanity gave itself to the darkness instead of having it imposed on them? Choosing to follow you as many of us have already done? That way the power humanity possesses can belong to you, and the repercussions that could follow can best be avoided."
"Of course. You do not think that someone somewhere will not try to oppose you if you try to conquer or destroy everything around you? Some of your own followers may even rise up to challenge you regretting the choice they made. You do remember your follower Chancellor Goth do you not?"
The Dark One nodded. Goth had given in to desires of ambition only to be sorry for it when the Master decided to overload the APC net to trap the Doctor in the Matrix as a last ditch effort to destroy his foe. Even though Goth's soul had belonged to evil the Dark One knew that a backlash amongst evil was not needed. He looked at his anointed one and knew that if he could find a way to avoid the backlash then having him lead his forces could be a major asset to the cause of evil.
"You are a smooth talker. But be warned, one day you may just say one word too many." The Dark One paused for a second then looked back down at the 'new' one. "Very well, if you can make use of the knowledge I have imparted within you, as well as your own knowledge then you can be...me."
"Do not worry." the 'new' Dark One said. "If anything, repercussions will not be a factor by the time I am finished. Even if they choose not to follow my.... our dominion.
"See that they don't. I'll be watching. the Dark One said leaving his 'new' one behind. He looked at the role provided for him and smiled. No one would know he was not the original Dark One, and no one would guess either. He liked the web of truths and deceptions interwoven before him. And no one would even guess what was happening. Then on a whim the lieutenant decided that the name 'dark one' was unsuitable and made sure his followers knew that it had been changed.
And in a flicker of light the lieutenant had returned to his original form, believing the one he had been given to be outdated. When the Dark One had imparted his knowledge into the 'new' one he had given him a list of tasks to oversee and the first one caused his lips to curl into a cruel grin.
First for some unfinished business. The call went out to a servant and he asked what his master had desired.
"Bring me the latest prisoner. It is past time that I had dealt with him." The demon servant bowed his head and went to obey his master.
"By your command.... Count Iblis", the demon said as he took his leave of Iblis's chamber.
When it returned, the demon was accompanied by the prisoner and two of the supreme guard. Exactly how they were able to prevent the escape of those entrusted to their care, to bend the wills of even the most defiant prisoner was a secret few knew and nobody could reveal. Many thought they knew the secret, but the ability to fool the simple-minded was just one of many powers the supreme guard held.
Iblis looked down at the prisoner, a shell of the creature it had once been. A creature forged by evil, powered by light and destroyed by the guardians of good. A creature who had surpassed the wildest dreams of his creators and grown so evil it had given the Power Rangers of Earth a run for their money; only to have victory swept away by the Dark One himself. The creature had been evil enough to destroy the entire Universe had it wanted to, which was the only reason why he had been allowed to live. It was the attempt to steal the powers and will of the dark one that had led to his incarceration.
"I hope the accommodation has been to your liking Minion," said Iblis as he crossed over to where Minion stood and looked at him.
Minion was thoroughly bound by shackles and braces to prevent movement although that was purely for show. The supreme guards were more than capable of restraining Minion if he made a false move and Iblis allowed him to live. Despite the restraints though he looked surprisingly well. Few were capable of surviving the physical and emotional drain that the prison placed on them, but then that was hardly surprising for those who knew how the prison worked. Minion was the lucky that his state of mind made him immune to effects.
"If he remains like this for a few more weeks I shall release him," Iblis said to the demon, loud enough for Minion to hear. He smiled to himself as the words had the desired effect and the Minion felt the effects of the supreme guards for the first time.
Minion glared as menacingly as possible at Iblis, which was difficult given the restraints that covered most of his body. Iblis stared back his glare showed nothing but menace.
"I suppose I should be proud of you," Iblis had said. "You had really humbled the Power Rangers with that show of weapons." Iblis made reference to holding Justin Stewart hostage and daring the rangers to shoot him.
"I expect you would have gone and annihilated everything had I not stopped you. A worthy goal and had you not tried to take my powers, one I might have permitted!" Iblis's face contorted into a mask of rage. "How can I establish my dominion in the universe if I allow a mere insect like you to steal my power?"
Minion trembled as Iblis spoke to him, and Iblis relished the feeling. Minion truly believed Iblis was the Dark One, despite the fact that the Dark One's mission was one of absolute destruction. ~ But then that has been my mission as well. Why else would have I created the Cylons to be the creatures of terror they were if not to destroy and conquer everythnig in sight, especially the humans my bretheren covet. ~ Iblis pushed those thoughts aside however and looked directly at Minion as he asked "How could I establish my dominion if there is no universe to establish my dominion in?"
Minion simply stared right into Iblis's face, his red eyes glowing defiantly behind his blackened mask. This was no longer a uniform for Minion, it was his body. All he was could be summed up as a body of black with two red eyes. He smiled although given the lack of a visible mouth there was no way Iblis could tell that. His eyes burnt into those of the serpent as he spoke for the first time.
"That's your problem. Not mine."
"You presume much young one." , Iblis said keeping his cool. "Don't let your ego get ahead of you."
"At least I'm not the one who lost Tommy," Minion sneered, believing that Iblis was the Dark One. He was of course referring to how Tommy got out of the deal he had made to defeat Minion. It was not something Iblis looked at fondly.
A silver gleam caught his attention as he stared at the object in Iblis' hand. "You recognize this of course," the count stated. "One of the four Swords of Darkness that control the Darkside of the Morphin Grid. Of course Rita destroyed two of them without realizing their true potential and the third was encased in a statue. This one is useless of course. Because of you its power has been drained. Still, it does have a nice edge."
He threw the sword aside, it was useless. It was true that there had once been four Swords of Darkness just as there had been more than one copy of the Sword of Light and Sword of Power. Fortunately only one of each sword now remained. How the other Swords of Power and Swords of Light had been destroyed was a mystery, but they were gone. If the Swords of Darkness, Rita had truly been responsible for the destruction of two. The first had been held by the Green Ranger and destroyed by Jason. The second had been destroyed along with the Mutant Rangers and Commander Crayfish. Of the third sword little was known except that it had been trapped in stone with its owner. And now the fourth sword had been robbed of its powers. It would recover though given time.
"Finish him!" Iblis ordered in a tone of anger. "He shall do nothing to interfere in my plans again."
The supreme guards gave a slight growl and threw off their cloaks. Minion screamed in terror as the reptile like creatures touched his head.
"THIS ISN'T OVER IBLIS!" Minion shouted defiantly between screams. The pain was unbearable. "YOU CAN'T BURY ME FOREVER! I WILL ESCAPE!"
"Goodbye Minion," Iblis said as the screams ended. "Take him away."
The shackles and restraints dropped to the floor; they were no longer needed. Minion was dragged away his burning red eyes barely showing. He walked without aid, but need the almost gentle prods from the two guards to keep moving. Without such motivation he would simply have remained motionless. Escape was no longer a problem; Minion was no longer a problem.
Q-continuum No place. No time.
"You're not the real Harry Kim, well you are I suppose, but you're not meant to be here, you're meant to be on a different Voyager." That was how he had greeted the poor human the last time he had seen him. Following a chance encounter with another Voyager and an unexpected attack from an alien race... Well suffice to say that two members of the Voyager crew were not meant to be there. Q of course had been having a joke at the poor human who had grown so used to his surroundings he had failed to know he did not belong.
And that is the problem
It had taken Q a while to realize it, but he and every other member of the continuum had been placed in the same position as Harry. They were trapped in a reality that was not their own by a force they couldn't fathom. History had been mutilated, the future removed and the present carefully constructed. Instead of being all seeing, all knowing eternal life forms, the Q were being manipulated as easily as those they considered to be toys.
After so long an so much concentration the realization had come to him and with it the outcome of what was to be a time of great upheaval. And in that second the knowledge was gone, cruelly removed from his mind.
This was not the first time Q had discovered and solved the problem, but as always the information remained just beyond his reach as he moved on with his otherwise normal life.
At his home three Q seated at a game table playing a game. A game that had reached a crossroads with no one really gaining the upper hand.
"Hey that's no fair!" the Q known as Darke had shouted. "You can't create all those rangers!"
The Q called Light just stood arms crossed and smirked. "You're just angry because you're losing. You can't stand it can you?"
Both Q stood there arguing while the third Q-known as Young Q-called for his father. Q then came back in after he got finished kicking the dog and whacking the horses in the family stable. He really didn't know why his wife wanted all those animals.
Maybe to torture me! Q thought. She never takes care of them! Who does? I do! Going up to Light and Darke Q immediately went into his parental 'voice of doom' and asked. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
Light and Darke both became quickly quiet for thirty seconds then Darke pointed at Light and said, "He cheated?"
"I did not! I always play by the rules!" Light countered. Light and Darke continued to argue until Q erupted with one big shout "QUIET!"
When Light and Darke stopped bickering Q took center stage. "It has become painfully obvious that a neutral third party needs to step in here. And for that I choose Young Q here." Young Q beamed at his father happy that dear old dad was giving him his turn at the game.
Light and Darke both nodded accepting Q's decision. Then turned to Young Q who was making his decision. "So what are you going to do Young Q?" Light asked.
How about I make the next move for him? a voice echoed throughout the whole living room. Then suddenly the game board exploded in front of the four Q causing the pieces to scatter all over the room and beyond. Q looked on with fear realizing that the destruction of the board meant that he, and the other Q had lost control of the game.
"Who did this dad?" Young Q asked his father. "Who wrecked the game as I was making my move?"
The center of the table seemed to swirl as an image formed from the ruins of the board. An image Q knew well.
"Iblis," Q said looking on at the being he like so many others perceived as the Dark One, the true Prince of Darkness with menace and disgust. He knew the games Iblis had played, and he knew they weren't always pleasant. He just didn't realize that he like Iblis were merely part of someone else's game.
Light looked on at the image of Iblis and felt a wave of fear rush through him for the first time in his young eternity. Darke however looked on as if Iblis was someone kind of cool. Young Q looked on at Iblis as just someone who interrupted the game just as he was about to make his move. Iblis took notice of the reactions the Q had, and relished in their expressions.
"Don't you just love it when games take on a life of their own?" Iblis said tauntingly. Q stood up to the image of Iblis and looked it dead in the eye. "What are you doing here?"
"This game is taking a whole new direction." the image of Iblis had said. "I have decided to allow the game pieces to fulfil their own destiny and not be toys for your amusement."
Light, Darke, and Young Q were both outraged. "How dare you ruin our game this way?" Light had said. "When we get finished with you!"
Iblis had a mock startled look to him. "Oh why by no means did I mean that your game stop. Rather I have merely changed the rules a little. But you are all more than welcome to continue to play if you wish."
"What are you talking about?" Darke asked suddenly very interested in what Iblis had to say.
Iblis merely smiled as he said, "Come on in and I'll show you." Iblis's image faded after that leaving four stunned Q and a charred game board that no one could control.
"Well", Q had said with a mix of curiosity and fear. "I think the game just got a lot more interesting."
Shadow Grid: Shadow Palace
Karla had returned to her palace. The ID War now finally over she felt she could now concentrate on trying to find a way to take away the Q's control over this world.
"But you won't have to think about that anymore my Lady."
Karla turned around and saw Mirabilis appear behind her. "I see you survived the hellwave from the Leviathan and Unicron."
Mirabilis chuckled. "To explain what I just meant, Count Iblis has destroyed the Q's game board."
Karla just let herself stare at Mirabilis. "Satan himself destroyed the board..." she said unaware that Iblis was one of the Dark One's chosen allowed to assume the role. The Dark One made sure his tracks were covered, and Iblis made sure those tracks stayed covered.
"Even if he did it wasn't out of the goodness of his heart." Shadow said as he came in to the hall. "He's plotting something. But what?"
Karla then thought before realizing it. "To bring humanity under his dominion."
"What?" Shadow asked.
"Please Shadow." Mirabilis scoffed. "It's not exactly a secret that Iblis wants humanity under his rule."
Shadow stared back "Oh yes you would know so much about that since you and Iblis are on such good terms."
"Enough! Both of you!" Karla commanded. "Shadow I know you hate Iblis with a passion but you know he's an integral part of the balance whether you like it or not so keep your prejudices as the door. And Mirabilis, don't be so insulting. We are all on the same side here."
The Guardians of Light and Darkness nodded to their mistress. "So what do we do now?" Shadow asked.
"Iblis has done what we have planned for a long time, to free this reality from the Q's control. I have been able to manipulate from behind the scenes a few times while they couldn't see me." Karla said. "However Ibils's freeing of the reality has caused the Balance to be come chaotic. We need to repair that balance now before the Rangers return to this reality."
"That gives us only 48 hours." Shadow said.
"If we only worked in the present." Mirabilis replied with a smirk. "I assume that Iblis freeing the reality from the Q's game has had an effect on the past."
Karla nodded. "I can handle the present. You two must journey into the past, three thousand years to be precise. Take your respective time crafts and do what you must."
Shadow stared. "Karla..." Mirabilis also looked at her.
Karla stared at them both. "Think of this as working more in tune with each other. In the ID War you worked individually playing a side. Now you must work in cooperation, each one of you deciding a path for the other."
"Perhaps but all there have been is just Rangers and the villains that have made names for themselves." Mirabilis replied.
"But should it always be just Rangers as heroes?" Shadow mused. "Zordon said that the power of the Earth would go to all people. Yet why is it he was only to find just a few."
Karla smiled. "You see. You two are learning."
Mirabilis also mused. "The Q have surprised us and had taken those that had the power to become great and cast them aside." Mirabilis closed his eyes and in that moment saw all the power and individuals that there were. Mirabilis clenched his fists in anger, especially when he saw the fate they had placed for one young woman. "How DARE they plan this for my Princess!!!"
Shadow clenched his own fists. "Oh believe me I'm just as pissed off as you are at the plans they made for the Rangers."
Karla smiled seeing how things were going now. "So now do you understand what we have to do?"
Mirabilis nodded. "Indeed. Besides I was preparing for this moment. I have been looking into plans that I wanted to execute in the past to fix what the Q had done."
"And there people that deserve to exist now. I have my own designs." Shadow replied. "But what do you plan to do Karla?"
"Stabilize the present." Karla answered. "Now let us hurry."
The two pupils nodded as they then left. Karla was in thought. She thought of things that were happening now. She also knew of people who should have their chance to shine. ~ And so they shall. ~ she thought to herself. She thought of something else that she didn't like and the Q thought would be amusing.
In an altered time line, the three Q children had a mockery by running the life of Alison Hammond all on a whim. Karla wouldn't have it. She couldn't give the girl a life with her birth family but she would have a life that would be better than she had seen for many of her doubles. When she visited Earth one time she had made sure two kind and caring people would save Alison from life in the brothels. They took the infant girl as their own. She would grow up with loss but her joy and love she would receive would be greater than the loss.
She would grow up as Alison Bogard, be free to make her own choices, and play a part in the grand scheme of things.
As would her cousins. For the era in which the battle of good and evil was dealt between Rangers and Aliens was over.
It was now the era in which it was meant to be. An era where good and evil is fought between all beings. But the Rangers would not fade into that good night, rather they still had a destiny to fulfill. And to accomplish that destiny they had to help humanity reach their point of evolution. A point that the Q had tried to keep at bay.
"You may have freed humanity from the Q, Count Iblis... but you will never have dominion over them." Karla vowed.
Outside the Shadow Palace Iblis stood as if looking on at the three guardians of the Shadow Grid. Smirking he said "Whether I have dominion over them or not remains to be seen Karla." he said with a smirk. "But I think I like my chances.
He smiled as he thought of the changes that were to come. The shift in direction of Alison Hammond's destiny that Karla had provided was one such event that he saw potential in. Others had appeared as well. The appearance of Geese Howard, the involvement of the Kings of Fighters, the Gorgons, the conspiracy against Zordon, as well as the roles the three guardians would soon play.
"Yes." Iblis said. "So much potential. as he continued to ponder what was to come. His thoughts then turned to the Dark One and the arrangement that was made between the two.
Iblis and the Dark One had different ideas on what evil was. The Dark One saw evil as a force of destruction and malevolence which he represented. Iblis saw it as more of an ideal that was shared by a multitude of beings across all universes. But like all evil beings, each one wanted to be the one on top of the mountain. The big dog in the yard. This list went on and on: Empress Bansheera, Dark Specter, Destructor of the Order of Destruction, Master Vile, even Rita and Zedd wanted to be the supreme evil in the cosmos.
The Dark One was the one that held this title right now, and Iblis knew it was in his best interest that it stay that way even though when it came to the practice of evil Iblis and the Dark One had two different styles. The Dark One preferred to subjugate and conquer all he could see and destroy what he couldn't. Iblis however learned that when someone took that approach there was always unwanted attention that followed. He himself knew this well. As he also knew that if the Dark One was to run roughshod now someone would seek to intervene, which was why the playing field needed to be leveled, and the Higher Powers around the universe needed to be taken out of the equation.
That was one of the reasons he had destroyed the Q's boards, as well as the reason of allowing the rangers to obtain free will and not have the Q take it away at a moment's notice. He knew Karla had a plan to force a confrontation between the Q and those they sought to control for amusement. A plan that would drive the Higher Powers out and let the younger races free to choose their own fate.
"And when they do, they shall choose the path I provide." Iblis thought as he continued his musings. He continued to think about the possibilities before him when he suddenly felt something. A presence of some sort, looking in from time to time watching events unfold with curiosity. Iblis paused for a minute wondering what it was, a feeling of great evil and power. But before Iblis could think about it further, the presence was gone again.
Iblis then turned his gaze to the universe as he thought of what he felt before, and wondered how he could use it to his advantage. And like always, he had a plan.
Minion sat bound and shackled to a brimstone wall. It was a simple restraint of cheap leather intended to teach the other prisoners rather than restrain Minion. Who else but Count Iblis could hold such a powerful creature with a single strap? Minion didn't talk, move or even think. His eyes remained fixed on the floor with no desire to move them from the floor.
His roommate looked Minion over. He had on sinister red armor which radiated of monstrous evil with a helmet nearby that was equally red. His face was monstrous and reflected a sinister grin that sent out fear and respect.
The roommate of Minion was none other than Lord Dagsyxx.
"I'd say 'welcome' friend," Dagsyxx had said. "But not here. Not like this."
Minion remained motionless, not hearing the words that he couldn't understand.
"I can see the supreme guards have already determined your final fate," Dagsyxx sighed. "A shame. Perhaps it is for the best. Who would want to be a prisoner of Iblis in this prison?"
The howls of other inmates filled the air. Music to Dagsyxx's ears, but Minion wasn't able to appreciate it.
"You know, Iblis is not unbeatable. He will be defeated again. It's a shame that you won't be able to appreciate it"
Minion's eyes remained glued to the floor his mind lost in a void of nothingness. His lived and he could think. It was just a shame that he no longer had a desire to do either.
Dagsyxx however didn't say anything. All he did was turn to Minion and smile his most evil smile.
"Do not fear my friend," Dagsyxx said to Minion. "Soon we shall have all we desire." An evil smile crossed Dagsyxx's face and a small laugh erupted from him as he thought of the storm to come.