Disclaimer: Saban owns the Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Beetleborgs, VR Troopers and probably a large number of other things as well. I am using their characters without permission and for no profit whatsoever. Ellen Brand owns Chelsea and Teddy Oliver and I thank her again for letting me use them occasionally. The Doctor, Master, TARDIS, UNIT and Validium are all creations of Terry Nation and appeared in the BBC series Doctor Who. North Valley comes from the series Super Human Samurai Cyber Squad. Queen of the Crown was the villain from Galaxy Rangers and is owned by Saban. Mandarin is owned by Marvel and Golobulus belongs to whoever created Action Force the Movie.
Timeline: This story is immediately after cliffhanger at the end of Rangers Gone Psycho Part 3. Authors Note: Anything written like ~this~ is a thought, anything like -this- is a conversation Sam is eaves dropping on, [this] is a computer message and anything appearing like *this* is a mental telepathic message. This story is a part of my take on the IDWar storyline. It is an alternate version of the Conquest of Evil series, however events here are different.
For Disclaimer and Authors note see Prologue.
by Shadow Ranger
It had been a difficult week for the Morphin Rangers. Not only had the number of human villains with insane plans to conquer the world increased, they had been forced to constantly cover for the injured Zeo Rangers. Despite being mentally and physically exhausted the Rangers had managed to somehow maintain a constant watch on their friends.
Tonight it was Sam's turn to watch over the injured Rangers. As he sat in the Medical Bay talking to them in hope that they would respond he started to practice his magic. He had extended his power to the point of juggling various pieces of equipment when it happened.
Inconceivable at first the Zeo Rangers started to glow as the green energy was channelled into their bodies. Then without warning the Medical Bay went silent, the beds opened and the Zeo Rangers awoke.
Route 66, USA
They rode along together, brothers on the Highway to Hell. The six members of the biker gang known as the Dreadnoks were looking for trouble. State Troopers did not dare to approach them out of fear. Local police officers turned a blind eye to their activities, knowing it was not a good idea to mess with the bikers. And, worse still the Dreadnoks knew they instilled fear in the police and enjoyed it.
Leading the way as always was Buzzsaw. Despite the tied back blond hair, sunglasses and ripped shirt he would not have appeared threatening. Except that is, for the chainsaw he had mounted on the front of his bike and scar on the left side of his face. Buzzsaw was a former university graduate who had discovered it was more profitable to rip off convenience stores than it was to do an honest day's work.
Behind him were Ripper and Torch. Ripper had black hair slicked back and shaven on each side, creating a Mohawk look. He had a short black beard with moustache, red sunglasses and an earring in his left ear. On the back of his bike was his favourite toy, a version of the cutting tool used by fire fighters to free trapped motorists. Strapped to his back was his usual weapon, a modified M-16 machine gun with bayonet attachment. The blade could cut through most materials, even the toughest of metals.
Torch had long brown hair, covered at the top by a bandanna. He wore a black jacket and blue jeans with black boots. On his back was a canister of petroleum and a flamethrower. Torch was more experienced than either Buzzsaw or Ripper, but was too stupid to take charge.
Next on a motorized tricycle, came Thrasher. Thrasher considered himself to be a genius and worthy of the position as leader of the Dreadnoks. He was a typical example of a spoilt brat who decided to get back at his rich parents. He wore metal shoulder pads and chest protection complemented by the small revolver he kept in plain sight on his chest. As the youngest Dreadnok, he had yet to be taken seriously by any of his riding companions or their esteemed leader, Zartan.
Monkey Wrench was not far behind, annoyed that Thrasher seemed to enjoy blocking his way. The grenades he had strung carelessly over his red sleeveless jacket gave the impression of a fearless fighter. In truth he was a coward, happy to sit back and cheat rather than face an opponent. His brown hair and beard covered his face, his eyes hidden behind his silver sunglasses.
Finally came Road Pig, the most unpopular of the Dreadnoks. There was a joke in the biker community that Road Pig was so ugly his mother had been forced to tie pork chops around his neck to convince dogs to play with him. In truth the dogs just weren't that hungry. He had white hair tied around the top. He wore black biker trousers with large metal plated boots. On his right arm he had a barbed wire tattoo around his twenty four-inch biceps. He may not have been pretty, but Road Pig was built for power. On his back he carried a large sledgehammer.
"Pull over to the side of the road and stand beside your vehicles."
Buzzsaw could not help smiling. It had been a long time since they had been pulled over, especially by a lone police officer. This was going to be fun. Buzzsaw complied with the officer's instructions and waited for the policeman to step out of the car.
"Keep you hands where I can see them," the officer said. He had already drawn his own gun and was covering all six suspects.
"Plan F," Buzzsaw whispered to Ripper.
Overhearing what his leader said Thrasher played his part, pretending to keel over allowing Torch and Monkey Wrench to fake concern and kneel down to check on him. Realizing he needed assistance the officer tried to reach into his car to radio for help.
It was his first mistake. For a moment he took his eyes off the Dreadnoks and that was all the time Monkey Wrench needed to roll a grenade under the car. The officer ran for cover, dropping his gun as he dove to avoid a blast that never came. The grenade still had the pin inserted.
"Well Officer Magister," Buzzsaw said looking at the officer's name tag. "Looks like we gets ourselves some fun."
As he spoke, Ripper and Road Pig were already laying into the car. Road Pig drove his hammer into the bonnet repeatedly, destroying the engine as he did so. Ripper was more concerned with slicing up the bodywork. Both Dreadnoks moved aside as Torch used his flamethrower to set the car alight.
"Very good Gentlemen," Officer Magister said, showing no sign of fear. "I couldn't have hoped to find better candidates."
There was a very quick fight as Magister skilfully disarmed the Dreadnoks. He knocked Ripper, Thrasher and Monkey Wrench out with a single kick. A punch and elbow took care of Torch and a back breaker finished off Buzzsaw. Now it was the massive bulk of Road Pig versus the unimpressive form of Magister.
Magister slammed the palm of his hand into Road Pig's chest. He aimed a kick at the Dreadnok's knee, forcing his legs from under him. A few more blows and Road Pig was angry enough to use his hammer. Magister ducked the first strike, caught the second blow and then after wrenching the weapon away struck its owner across the head.
Evil laughter emerged from Magister's lips as he looked at his six victims. Moving over to the patrol car Oroku Saki removed his mask and stripped away the fake uniform.
There was an uneasy silence in the Power Chamber. Just moments before the Zeo Rangers had made a startling if understandable decision.
"We're leaving," Tommy said. He spoke not only for himself, but the whole of his team.
"Tommy, it wasn't your fault," Trini said, trying to be the voice of reason.
"She's right man," Jason agreed. "You shouldn't give up. I know what Minion did hurt you, but we need you."
Zordon had remained silent during the conversation. He had feared the Zeo Rangers would react like this. In all their time as Rangers his pupils had rarely lost and almost always fought back. But this was different. Minion had not only defeated them; he had done so several times in a few days. Then he had tortured all of them, some worse than others.
Zordon had no doubt Adam was in the worse state emotionally. He had not been forced to suffer the beatings and pain Minion had inflicted on the others. Instead he had been forced to watch his friends as Minion humiliated them. All the Rangers were noble and to see their friends in trouble and knowing they could not help always caused stress. But to be free to move and finding the body unable to move must have pushed Adam over the edge.
The naturally shy boy had withdrawn from everybody since they arrived in the Power Chamber. He had yet to look any of the Rangers in the eye, definitely a bad sign.
Zordon wanted the Zeo Rangers to remain, but knew it had to be their choice. In an attempt to ensure they at least considered their options he made a suggestion.
"Tommy, I know you and the others have been through a lot and agree that you need time away to consider your futures. I would request that before you go you test out your restored Zeo Powers."
As he spoke the Zeo Crystal lifted from its position and floated in the centre of the chamber. The crystal changed colour from red to yellow, green, blue, pink, white, gold, silver and finally black. In a flash the crystal split into ten parts. Four parts vanished from sight; the others positioned themselves other Tommy, Adam, Rocky, Aisha, Kat and Trey. Trey's part transformed into the Golden Power Staff, the others became Zeonisers again.
Tommy sighed and thought he had nothing to lose. "It's Morphin Time!"
"Zeo Ranger I - Pink!" Kat called.
"Zeo Ranger II - Yellow!" Aisha called. This was her first time with real Zeo powers.
"Zeo Ranger III - Blue!" Rocky cried.
"Zeo Ranger IV - Green!" Adam said rather quietly.
"Zeo Ranger V - Red!" Tommy called.
"Zeo Ranger X - Gold!" Trey shouted.
The Zeo Crystal repaired the remaining physical damage Minion had caused in Aisha, Kat, Trey, Rocky and Adam and gave all the Rangers a boost. Very little had changed about the Zeo Powers except for some new commands, the Power informed each Ranger about.
"As the Zeo Crystal is now fully charged, your powers have been complemented and enhanced," Billy explained. "Your Super Zeo Zords are reactivated and the normal Zeo Zords, Pyramidas and Warrior Wheel are waiting for the call to action. I took the liberty of tying the Attack Bikes into your powers, so you can now call on them and the Zeo Sentinel."
"Trey will also pilot a new Zord," Alpha Five said, taking up the lead. "Zeo Zord X is the form of the King and will be more versatile than Pyramidas."
"So, what's it going to be?" Jason asked.
It had been a good try, but the Rangers knew Tommy and the others were still too upset to be useful as Rangers. Tommy and the others knew it as well and had already decided their future. They powered down and prepared to return their Zeo Sub-crystals to Zordon.
"There is no need to surrender your powers," Zordon said. "I suggest you take time to consider your future before giving up your powers. Should you wish to return or need us, the Power Chamber is always open to you."
"Thanks Zordon," Tommy said as the Zeo Rangers left for their separate destinations, all determined to do some serious thinking.
"Rangers," Zordon said, addressing the eight remaining Rangers. "With Minion gone I believe you are all entitled to some rest. Alpha and I will call you should the need arise."
Zordon watched as his Ranger teleported away. They were the closest thing Zordon had to family. He hoped the Zeo Rangers returned soon. The Power Chamber would be empty without them.
Tommy's House, 14 July 1996, 2.00AM
Tommy walked through the blood stained streets as he had every night since his time as Green Ranger. The dreams did not disturb him anymore because he understood they were formed partially by his guilt over what he had done under Rita's influence and partially by the spell Rita had used after he broke free. It was a spell he only felt while asleep, a spell that ensured he would never be able to forget what he had been.
Tonight the dream was different. At first Tommy had failed to notice the lack of bodies that usually covered the ground, but then he saw he was not dressed in the Green Ranger uniform he normally wore either. He was dressed as the Red Zeo Ranger and drenched in blood, his own blood!
"Ah, there you are Tommy," the unmistakable voice of Minion said. "I thought you might be missing some things so I brought them with me."
Holding his hand out Minion turned slowly, revealing the dead population of Angel Grove. At the top of the pile, impaled on thick wooden stakes were the other Power Rangers.
"You did this?" It was more of a comment than a question, Tommy already knew Minion was responsible.
"Affirmative," Minion said, starting to sound like Billy. "But I couldn't have succeeded without the help of the Zeo Rangers. If you had fought better and shot me when you had the chance, these people would still be alive. So you see Red Ranger, it is your fault these people are dead not mine. I didn't do this, YOU did because YOU failed."
Tommy's Zeo powers started to fade as Minion's words hit home. Confidence was one of the things a Ranger needed, and right now Tommy's confidence was shattered.
"You let everyone down Tommy," the dead body of Trini said.
"We had faith in you Bro," Jason's scarred and bloodied corpse said. "Look where that got us."
"You could have saved me but you didn't have the courage," a younger voice said. Tommy recognised the voice, but hoped it was not true. From out of the thinning mist stepped Justin Stewart. His neck was broken, causing his head to hang at an awkward angle. Minion smiled at the younger boy and placed an arm over his shoulder. "Looks like I have a new big brother."
"Nooooooo!" Tommy cried as he saw Justin transform to become a smaller version of Minion.
"You did it Tommy," the corpse of the Ranger known as Kimberly said. "Rita made you the Green Ranger to destroy us and as the Red Zeo Ranger you succeeded."
The scene changed and Tommy found himself inside the original Command Centre. The normally comforting Alpha Five scurried away as Tommy arrived, leaving him face to face with Zordon.
"Thomas Oliver, you have failed the people of your world, failed to protect your team of Rangers and failed to earn the trust I had in you. You have injured many with your antics as Green Ranger, you put the team constantly at risk with your failing powers and you have proven that you cannot defend the Earth. I have tried to help you, but even though you have had more sets of powers than any other Ranger, you have still failed time after time."
Zordon stepped from his plasma tube, but Tommy could still not see his body. In his hand was the Sword of Light, which he pointed at Tommy's chest.
"Thomas Tyler Oliver, I hereby strip you of any and all powers you hold be they past, future or present. Never again will you be allowed to squander and abuse either the Morphin Grid or the Zeo Crystal. It is to ensure the safety of everybody that I now take you life."
The Sword of Light pierced Tommy's heart. He did not even have the chance to scream as he collapsed to the floor. He looked up, using the last of strength to see his killer.
"The world is better off without you Tommy," Zordon said. "Never forget that."
"NOOOO!" Tommy cried a second time, sitting bolt upright in bed. He looked down at his chest and was surprised to find it covered in blood. A small puncture wound had reopened, probably from where Minion had beaten him. Knowing he would not be able to get back to sleep Tommy walked downstairs to the family room and sat on the sofa.
It was then that he noticed he was still shaking. Whatever that dream had been it, had been too real. He heard the sounds of somebody coming downstairs. Two people in fact."
"Tommy?" his mother asked, concerned. "Are you okay?"
Tommy was still shaking too much to answer the question. His mother stopped, wondering what could have happened to cause her son to act like a scared rabbit.
"It- it's okay, Mom. Just a nightmare," he managed at last. He tried to force a smile, but none was forthcoming.
"Are you sure?" his father asked. He had never seen Tommy like this before. Sure in the time since moving to Angel Grove, Tommy had had nightmares. But nothing had ever shaken him like this.
Tommy nodded, unable to speak further. Everything the Zordon in his dream had said was true.
~They're better off without me,~ he thought. ~I'm a liability.~
He had committed terrible crimes during his stint as Green Ranger. He had worked for Rita and caused destruction throughout the city. He had been lucky not to kill somebody during his first use of the Dragonzord. He hadn't cared about the buildings Dragonzord had damaged. All that mattered was the will of his empress. Then he had captured Jason and almost killed him. It had taken all his will power to keep from murdering the Red Ranger.
~But I did resist,~ he thought. The words offered little comfort. Had he captured Jason a day later he would have killed him without a second thought.
Then Jason had released him from Rita's spell and given him the chance to make amends. He had become the Green Ranger under Jason's command as a way to make up for what he had done. But he couldn't even do that right. He had allowed Rita to light the Green Candle and steal his powers.
Instead of crawling away and hiding under a rock, Tommy had stayed on in Angel Grove and agreed to help the Rangers, thus regaining his powers. But now they were temporary and he put the team at risk every time he went into battle. Too stubborn to give up and let Jason take the powers, he had squandered the remaining power and then run away.
Zordon had trusted him to become White Ranger and leader of the Power Rangers. ~But did he do it because I was a worthy candidate or because he was desperate and couldn't find a decent White Ranger?~
Tommy's stubbornness had led to the loss of the Thunderzords. The powers that could not be taken by evil were destroyed just because he refused to listen to reason. If it had not been for Ninjor, Earth would have been finished. Even with Ninja powers Tommy had failed to stop Rito from destroying the Power Coins. ~Another set of powers lost because I failed to protect the coins.~
As Red Zeo he had allowed Gasket to take control of his mind. He had led the Ranger into battle against Minion and caused the Zeo Crystal to be destroyed. If not for his failed leadership and blind faith in his friends, Biilly would not have been able to betray them. ~Jason would not have been deceived.~
And recently, with millions of people watching, he had failed to help Justin. The boy could have died and Tommy had done nothing. Once again his failure had almost cost somebody his or her life.
Tommy had lost count of the number of people who had died during a monster attack either because of the damage caused when the monster grew, or the innocent who was crushed when something fell on top of them. He had been to Angels Rest and had counted the number of people killed after he became a Ranger. He knew only a few of them by name and a few on sight, but the rest were faceless strangers he had let down.
~Maybe they would be better off without me,~ Tommy thought.
His Zeonisers appeared and he considered whether to simply send them back to the Power Chamber and let Zordon select a new Red Zeo Ranger. He had no doubt the Rangers would need the Zeo powers again in the future, but tempting as it was to walk away, part of him just couldn't let go. With a sigh he sent the Zeoniser back to where he had summoned it from, unaware that he was being watched.
Sam teleported away unseen. He knew Tommy would work things out, but he was determined to be there when Tommy felt like talking. Using his magic, he cast a spell to force Tommy back to sleep Sam teleported away.
Rocky lay back on his bed, trying to work through his feelings of the recent events. He still felt guilty about Justin and the fact the other Rangers had been so nice about it did little to help. He had not been tortured like Tommy, Trey or even Aisha. He had been humiliated, driven insane by a tiny twitch in his leg.
He should have been able to fight Minion in some way instead of lying on the floor like an idiot. The Earth needed Zeo Ranger III of that he had no doubt. The question in his mind was: did the Zeo Rangers need Rocky De Santos?
He needed somewhere he could go, a place where he could shout if he wanted to without attracting the attention of his siblings or his mother. One place seemed to be perfect, the family cabin. The place had been abandoned since his father's death and was only visited by Rocky and his older brother Pedro. In a flash of blue light he teleported from his room to a storage area under the cabin.
The room was large enough to hold a small gymnasium. In the corner was a set of weights and a mat on which to practice. In the centre of the room was a punching bag, perfect for what he had in mind.
Starting slowly with a few gentle kicks, Rocky allowed his anger to be released under control. He kicked the bag repeatedly until it finally split open and fell to the ground. Now he was starting to feel better Rocky was determined to work through his feelings.
He walked over to a set of old chairs the family had been meaning to burn. He laid into the furniture, reducing it to a pile of splinters. Then he moved on through tables, chairs, and even the walls in places. It didn't matter. Everything in the storage room was surplus to requirements. He tried as hard as he could to find a reason to remain a Zeo Ranger, but he couldn't think of anything that he had left to bring to the team.
~Perhaps it is time to hand over to someone else.~
He continued his frantic workout, growing more and more emotional by the second. In his mind he knew that surrendering now would prove he was a coward.
In his mind he could imagine what his father would say if he could see him now. "You make one little mistake and then run away. No wonder you couldn't save Justin. You're a coward. A weak-minded fool and everybody knows it. Adam has no faith in you. He couldn't even look you in the eye. You can't quit and you can't stay. You're hopeless."
As he finished his workout, Rocky sank to his knees, his eyes filled with tears. He had let them all down. Everyone who had had any faith in him had been let down by his actions.
He tried to dry his eyes, but the tears kept coming. The last few days had finally caught up with him and no amount of exercise could prevent the inevitable breakdown.
It was then that he felt a firm hand on his shoulder. He looked around to see Jason looking down at him. He knew he could not hide the tears from the Red Ranger, but the look on Jason's face told him he didn't need to.
"We need to talk," Jason said.
Gently but firmly the Red Ranger helped his friend back to his feet. He had known the Zeo Rangers would separate and try to sort things on their own. He had also known that they would find the events of the last few days difficult to deal with. So he had instructed his team of Rangers to make themselves available should the others need them.
David and Sam would be there for Tommy if he needed them. Kimberly and Trini were there for Kat, Billy had gone to see Adam, Tanya was with Aisha and her aunt in Kenya and Zack had gone to Pyramidas to check on Trey. Somehow Jason did not see the Black Ranger being able to get through to the Gold Zeo Ranger, but Zack had taken the recovering Dex with him and Jason hoped that would be enough.
Zordon had told them there was no immediate threat, but Jason did not believe things would stay like that forever. He had tracked Rocky down to the house and had intended to refrain from interfering, but having seen the state Rocky was in, he decided otherwise.
Ko's Garden, Near Angel Grove Park.
Adam sat alone in the garden, happy for the seclusion. He knew none of the other Rangers would think to look for him there, except maybe Billy. Not that he expected any of the Rangers to want to talk to him, especially the other Zeo Rangers. He had watched them as Minion had tortured them. He had seen every blow the Robo Trooper had inflicted on Tommy, he had heard Trey scream in agony when he had grown too exhausted to pedal and he had done nothing to help them.
He knew Minion had injected him with a drug to prevent him from moving, but that was no excuse. He had started to regain some feeling towards the end, but his desire to help had been over shadowed by his fear of what Minion might do to him.
He couldn't even bring himself to look Rocky in the eye. He had seen his friend driven insane by Minion's device. He had failed to help Aisha who had been stuck in a tube slowly filling with water. But he had done nothing and that more than anything made him want to leave.
His dad had always said the Power Rangers caused more problems than they solved. Adam was starting to agree with him.
"Power Coin for you thoughts," a voice said.
Adam turned around, recognizing the voice as Billy. He wondered how the Blue Ranger had known where to find him, but soon suppressed the thought. Knowing Billy as well as he did, he suspected the Blue Ranger had simply visited anywhere the Green Zeo Ranger would go for solitude.
"I don't think they're worth it," Adam replied.
Billy didn't say anything, knowing that if he pushed his shy friend too hard he would simply withdraw further into himself. In addition Billy was not sure if he wanted to talk about Minion. The idea that the enemy who had almost killed his friends was a clone of him was not something Billy found easy to deal with. In a way he felt responsible for everything Adam and the others had been through.
It was even more difficult for Billy to accept that Minion was really his clone because of Cestria. Minion had been responsible for her death and the death of the Aquitian Rangers. Minion had cost him his wife, his home and his friends.
"I'm sorry," Adam said at last, causing Billy to look up. "About Cestria," he continued.
Billy nodded and they continued sitting and waiting.
In a lone column of yellow light Tanya arrived in her own village. She made her way to where she knew her aunt would be and walked in.
"Ashala?" she asked nervously, not sure if her aunt would remember her after ten years.
"Tanya!" the older woman cried happily as she greeted her niece. "Why are you here? Have you returned to us?"
"It's about Aisha," Tanya told her.
She quickly explained the events of the last few days and the events in the Power Chamber. Ashala nodded her face-growing grave as Tanya explained the humiliation Minion had inflicted. Finally she agreed to let Tanya talk to Aisha and pointed to the outcrop not far away where she knew Aisha would be sitting.
Tanya found Aisha sitting where Ashala had said, her head in her hands looking out over the land below. She hardly acknowledged Tanya's presence as the other girl sat next to her and placed a hand on her shoulders.
Aisha was feeling a mixture of emotions. She felt happy that she had been with her friends again after so long and had had the chance to hold the Power again. She felt guilty that she had been unable to help Justin, but knew that was down to fear and her own injuries. The reason did little to eliminate the guilt she was feeling, but she knew there was little point in letting the guilt eat away at her. She had failed, but it would never happen again. The strongest feeling she had at the moment was a feeling of isolation. She was no longer a part of a team she loved and that hurt more than anything did.
She had missed Adam and Rocky during her time in Kenya. The three of them had been friends for years and leaving them had been difficult. She had thought at the time she was doing the right thing by staying to help the animals, but the progress was slow and sometimes she longed to be back with her friends again.
Like the others she had been tempted to give up her Zeonisers, but she knew that was all that was tying her to the Rangers.
Kat had decided there was no point in leaving the Power Chamber. Sooner or later the other Rangers would track her down and then she would have to talk to them. She was especially worried in case she ran into Kim again. Although Kimberly had broken up with Tommy, Kat had always felt a little guilty about attempting to date him.
It had taken a while, but eventually Kat had started to feel the attraction fade. She soon understood that what she felt for Tommy had been love, but not the type on which they could build a lasting relationship. At the time she had first met him she was under Rita's spell. She had been attracted to the darker side of Tommy.
After she had broken the spell, the side effects had taken a while to fade. Then Tommy had received the letter and had looked so hurt she had felt drawn to him again. Only recently had she seriously started to think twice about Tommy. The appearance of Sam had prompted her to question whether her feelings were real. Seeing someone so like Tommy and yet so different had opened her eyes.
She had intended to sort her feelings out sooner, but the fight with Minion had gotten in the way. Now everything had changed again. They didn't even have the Rangers as a common bond anymore. She knew she would always love Tommy, but she was in love with someone else.
She reached over to the light and turned it on. She flinched as she felt the change in heat created by the bulb. Despite her wounds being healed her nerves had been left extremely sensitive to outside stimuli. That had been why she had been unable to help Justin. Even though she had tried to help, every move was so painful she had been unable to pull the trigger.
She had been helpless, nothing more than a victim of evil as she was when Rita had controlled her. ~But when I was with Rita I broke the spell,~ she thought. ~Why couldn't I have found the strength to pull the trigger?~
The answer was simple and she knew it. When Rita had controlled her, she had simply had to fight against the spell. But with Minion she had not been under a spell, she had been convinced that movement was too painful. Her mind was stronger than any spell and when used against her, it was a powerful weapon.
Kat looked up as somebody entered the room. In front of her, wearing a pair of white jeans and a white T-shirt, was David Trueheart, Tommy's brother and the newest member of the Power Rangers.
"Are you okay?" he asked sitting down next to her.
Kat smiled weakly. She had liked David for a long time. He was a good friend and she had always been able to open up to him. He looked so much like Tommy, but was totally different emotionally. Whereas Tommy had a dark side to his nature, David had a lighter character.
Slowly she started to open up, telling him everything she was feeling. In return David did not judge or comment; he simply listened as the Pink Zeo Ranger poured her heart out.
Oroku Saki looked at his work and prepared for the final sequence. He had taken the Dreadnoks, some of the lowest humans on the planet, combined their abilities and physical forms and combined them with a chemical created by the Foot Clan's most advanced scientists. Known as Mutagen, the process of bonding the humans together was relatively straightforward.
The body features were Road Pig's. The muscles, strength and invulnerability were forged from his body. Unfortunately, Oroku Saki had been unable to do anything about the face. Thrasher and Buzzsaw's knowledge had been crammed into Road Pig's empty mind, making him the most intelligent Dreadnok ever. Not that that was a major accomplishment considering how stupid the Dreadnok's were in general. Monkey Wrench, Ripper and Torch provided the weaponry and bike skills Oroku Saki needed. In addition Monkey Wrench's love of destruction and violence gave Oroku Saki's work of art a wonderful sadistic quality Oroku Saki had been unable to resist.
The result was a large, powerful, almost intelligent creature with the sense of mayhem, death and violence only a human could create. A little more than six feet tall with white hair and a body that would make most body builders look feeble Oroku Saki's creation stood up and awaited Oroku Saki's command. Obedience had been one of the factors Oroku Saki had ensured he had implanted in his creation's mind.
"I think I shall call you Dreadnok," Oroku Saki said.
Dreadnok did not speak; he was not designed to do so. Instead the head simply nodded to acknowledge his master's wishes. Oroku Saki had taken the opportunity to clothe Dreadnok using the bikers' original clothing. The result was that he wore a pair of black biker trousers with a heavy belt. On the buckle of the belt were a set of studs, arranged with one in the centre and six more forming a hexagon around the outside. Oroku Saki had equipped the buckle with surprises for anyone stupid enough to get close. On his feet was a pair of heavy boots. Brown leather was surrounded by heavy metal plating covering the legs up to the knee.
A red and black leather jacket covered Dreadnok's upper body. Sets of three spikes were mounted on each shoulder pad. On his left hand he wore a heavy-duty black leather glove covered with studs. On the end of each finger of the glove was a sharp knife blade.
Oroku Saki had taken the trike and upgraded it to become faster and almost indestructible. The frame had been forged using a special formula Oroku Saki had stolen to create a Molecular Bonded Shell. Oroku Saki had been determined not to allow the Rangers to defeat his monster by destroying the bike. Various weapons had been attached for use against Rangers and Zords, along with some weapons for Dreadnok's personal use.
Having reviewed the tapes of his brother's failed assault on Angel Grove, Oroku had determined the Rangers were nowhere near as capable of fighting humans as they were space aliens.
Dreadnok appeared outside the Angel Grove Youth Centre. He aimed his bike towards the doors and revved the engine. Releasing the clutch he propelled the vehicle into the Youth Centre, scattering the teens that frequented the establishment. Ernie and his assistant Richie barely managed to scramble out from behind the counter as Dreadnok smashed through.
Dreadnok jumped off his bike, pulling his chainsaw from the bike. He aimed at the nearest object and sliced the table in half. Then he went after Ernie, attempting to cleave the ex-marine in half.
For such a large man Ernie managed to move faster than anyone would think possible. He backed away from the saw and made his way over to Richie, signalling everybody to get out of the building.
Dreadnok was not done. Even as the last human cleared the Juice Bar Dreadnok used his flamethrower to burn the building to the ground. As his business burnt to the ground Ernie was thankful that everybody had managed to escape with his or her lives. He also hoped that whatever that thing had been that it was now a smoking pile of bones in the rubble.
With a roar the monster burst from the wrecked Juice Bar and headed away towards Angel Grove High School. Anybody unfortunate enough to get in Dreadnok's way was forced to dive for cover as the monster continued his path of destruction delighting in the wrecked cars and property marking a trial behind him.
"Alpha, summon the Rangers," Zordon commanded.
"Which team, Zordon?" Alpha asked.
Zordon considered his options carefully. There was something about the monster that made him suspicious. He detected the faint imprint of a spell preventing morphing. If that was true then the Zeo Rangers were best suited because of the non magical nature of their powers. But, Zordon also knew the Zeo Rangers were suffering. He did not expect any of his Rangers to fight under such circumstances.
"Summon all the Rangers," he finally replied, hoping the Zeo Rangers would change their minds and come back.
"Signal sent Zordon," Alpha reported.
Zordon waited until the last Ranger had reported in and sighed. As expected the Zeo Rangers had not had the confidence to turn up. Zordon knew his Rangers were not cowards. They were just scared and he could not fault them after what they had experienced. He also knew that eventually the Rangers would show their true natures and face their fears.
Surprisingly Dex had accompanied Zack to the Power Chamber and was ready to help. Zordon was happy to see his old friend's grandson had recovered and from looking at the way Alpha fussed over the young prince, he knew the little android felt the same.
"Rangers, it appears we have a new enemy," Zordon said.
On the Viewing Screen the Rangers could see Dreadnok burning a path of destruction through Angel Grove. Despite the appearance David could sense something vaguely human about the monster. Somehow he could see the monster as a type of vampire, a human possessed by a demon.
"Any idea who is responsible for this?" Sam asked.
The other Rangers looked at Zordon expectantly, knowing that the Dark One had left Earth when Minion was destroyed. But they also knew that with Minion gone any of their former enemies could return.
"I am not sure who is behind this attack," Zordon told them. "I am certain that neither Zedd and Rita nor King Mondo are responsible."
"Whoa, we have to stop that thing quickly," Kimberly said as she watched Dreadnok cause even more damage to Angel Grove.
"It's Morphin Time!"
"White Ranger Power!"
"Black Ranger Power!"
"Pink Ranger Power!"
"Blue Ranger Power!"
"Yellow Ranger Power!"
"Red Ranger Power!"
"Purple Ranger Power!"
"Green Ranger Power!"
"Ecto-phase Activate!" Dex called.
After they were all morphed, the Rangers and Masked Rider prepared to teleport into battle. Before doing so Dex took the time to study Dreadnok and his bike.
"Rangers, if you can move into position here," he pointed at the map, "I'll ensure he can't ride away."
With that said the nine heroes teleported away in nine columns of light. Zordon watched as his Ranger left to save their world once again.
"Chopper, rev up!" Masked Rider ordered as he stood in Dreadnok's path.
Inside a cave just outside of Leewood two energy like bugs appeared. Once transformed to become the advanced battle car known as Magno. The other transformed into the motorcycle known as Combat Chopper.
"Oh my way Boss," Chopper said as he raced towards Dex.
"I'm here too Dex," Magno reminded him as she followed after Chopper.
"Thanks," Masked Rider said as he jumped onto Combat Chopper. "I'm going to need all the help I can get."
With that said the Masked Rider streaked towards Dreadnok at high speed. Meanwhile Magno moved in from the side, catching him by surprise. Sparks flew as Magno collided with the Molecular Bonded Shell and lost. The red car was thrown aside, her damaged front axle preventing further attempts. She had succeeded in distracting Dreadnok, an advantage Masked Rider was quick to use.
"Masked Rider Super Gold!"
The tapped morphing energy was redirect into a second system. The power was siphoned into a golden crystal before being multiplied and released to complete the transformation into Super Gold.
Holding his right hand close to his upper leg Dex summoned his blaster. Aiming at Dreadnok's head, he fired a continuous burst of energy into the monster's skull. Dreadnok was thrown off his vehicle leaving it to speed off on its own.
Now the Masked Rider faced off against Dreadnok. As Dex suspected, his opponent relied on brutal force allowing Masked Rider to use his speed to out manoeuvre him. But although Masked Rider inflicted more punishment, Dreadnok seemed totally unaffected by any of Dex's powers.
Dreadnok raised his hands over his head, exposing his belt buckle. A quick mental command activated the studs embedded in the buckle. Seven thin cables launched and secured themselves to Dreadnok's body. Slowly the bonds started transferring the Masked Rider powers from Dex into the demon.
From his position high above Angel Grove, Oroku Saki watched his creation in action. His brother had been so certain of victory he had overlooked the Rangers' determination and their ability to learn. As a result Oroku found himself double-checking every decision he made in case he made an error.
Now, Dreadnok was starting to show signs on independent thought. Oroku Saki had ordered Dreadnok to destroy the Masked Rider, not drain his power. Any extra power would reduce Dreadnok's reliance on Oroku Saki. Luckily Oroku Saki had made arrangements in case Dreadnok tried to break free. Moving to a small control board he adjusted the chemical levels in the Mutagen device that he had fitted to Dreadnok's hip. The sudden change triggered the pain receptors in Dreadnok's body and caused him to scream in agony.
"Dreadnok, I know what you are doing! Stop it at once or I will place in such agony you will wish I would kill you."
"Y-yes," he heard Dreadnok reply. The voice was filled with pain and panic, surprising since Dreadnok was not supposed to be able to speak.
"Yes what?" Oroku Saki demanded.
He watched as Red Ranger severed the connection through which Dreadnok was draining the Edonite. Yellow and Pink Ranger were moving in and it would not belong before the other Rangers attacked. He turned the pain control up further, increasing the pain until he heard the reply he wanted.
"Yes master," Dreadnok said.
"Good," Oroku Saki replied. He turned the pain control to near maximum and watched as Dreadnok screamed. "Just remember what you just felt. That was nothing compared to the maximum pain setting. Now destroy those Rangers!"
Oroku Saki turned the pain control back to zero and watched as Dreadnok's pain was transformed into pure rage. He knocked the Red Rangers aside and once again directed his assault at the Masked Rider.
The bonds tightened around Dex's limbs as his precious powers were drained away. The events took place so quickly he found he barely had the ability to think. His body continued to glow green, blue and gold as Dreadnok fed on his link to the Morphin Grid.
Suddenly the drain stopped. Dreadnok fell to the ground, his hands on the sides of his head. A loud groan emerged from his throat as he struggled against the pain Oroku Saki inflicted on him.
"Dreadnok, I know what you are doing!" Despite his pain Dreadnok could still hear Oroku Saki's words. "Stop it at once or I will place in such agony you will wish I would kill you."
"Y-yes," Dreadnok managed. He knew when he was defeated. If he could drain the Rangers' powers, he would be free of Oroku Saki. But there was no way he could take that much pain.
"Yes what?" Oroku Saki's voice boomed.
For the Power Rangers the distraction Oroku Saki had created was too good to miss. They knew they would have few chances to gain an advantage against the monster and decided to rescue their friend.
"Power Sword!" Red Ranger called.
Even as the Red Ranger landed between the Masked Rider and Dreadnok the other Rangers were standing by ready to attack. A single blow from the Power Sword severed the seven cables connecting Dreadnok to Masked Rider. Dreadnok screamed in agony although Jason was not sure if that was due to link being broken so suddenly or some outside influence he could not see.
"Yes master!" Dreadnok screamed, answering Jason's question for him. Then the monster went silent.
Red Ranger stepped forward to try to move Dex away. The Masked Rider had already recovered, but Jason wanted the Edonite out of the way when the battle started again.
"Good," they heard Oroku Saki say. Dreadnok screamed again, louder than ever. "Just remember what you just felt. That was nothing compared to the maximum pain setting. Now destroy those Rangers!"
Red Ranger braced himself but it was too late. Dreadnok drove his shoulder spikes into Red Ranger, throwing him aside before returning to finish the Masked Rider.
Dex was already moving. While Dreadnok concentrated on the Red Ranger, Masked Rider got back to his feet and kicked Dreadnok in the back of the shin.
"Electro Saber activate!"
The two-move combination caused Dreadnok to howl. The flames surrounding his skull-like face grew bigger as he summoned his flamethrower and fired. Masked Rider had already moved aside, determined not to become a fried bug.
"Dex, keep him busy while we form the Power Blaster," Red Ranger called.
With Dex encouraging the monster to chase him the Rangers summoned their weapons and prepared to form their Power Blaster.
"Power Axe!" Black Ranger called. Using his hopscotch teleport, he appeared next to Dreadnok and swiped at him with his axe in single-handed mode. "Cosmic Cannon!" he added converting his weapon and throwing it into the air.
"Power Bow!" Pink Ranger shouted. She fired two arrows and then struck Dreadnok with her bow across his throat before throwing it into the air to join the Power Axe.
"Power Lance!" Blue Ranger said as he struck Dreadnok in the chest. He used two more blows and then split the lance in half, jabbed the monster with both parts before throwing it into the air to join the Power Axe and Power Bow.
"Power Daggers!" Yellow Ranger said. Leaping inside Dreadnok's range she stabbed him, setting up a target for her next attack. Jumping to a safe distance, she threw both daggers at the same time. The daggers honed in on the spot where she had struck the monster originally and pierced his skin.
Thick black blood seeped onto the ground beneath him. As she threw her daggers a second time, Purple Ranger appeared behind him with her weapon.
"Saba!" "Power Sword!" "Dragon Blade!" White, Red and Green Rangers called.
Green Ranger stuck his sword onto the base of the Power Blaster's barrel. Purple Ranger draped the chain of her Nunchuks over the barrel. The two ends joined together underneath to provide an addition handle. As Saba sank into the ground his mouth opened wide and then closed around the handle of the Nunchuks.
"Fire!" all eight Rangers called.
Eight beams of coloured light burst from the Power Blaster, ripping through Dreadnok. His body glowed eight different colours as his skin boiled.
"It didn't work!" Green Ranger complained.
"No duh, Sherlock," Pink Ranger said sarcastically.
"Maybe the Power Cannon will provide the desired outcome," Blue Ranger suggested.
"Right," Red Ranger agreed.
Since there were now eight members of the team, Alpha had taken the time to redesign the Power Cannon. As the basic cannon hovered in the air, a smaller cannon appeared in each Ranger's hand. The Rangers removed their Power Balls and inserted them into their own cannons before fitting the separate cannons onto the main weapon.
The Ranger lined up in two rows of four. Red and White Ranger stood at the front with Yellow and Pink Ranger standing behind. Then came Blue and Black Ranger with Green and Purple Ranger standing at the back.
"Lock and load!" White Ranger called.
The basic cannon had been modified so the barrel could rotate. As it started to spin along with the other barrels, they began to glow, each in the colour of a different Ranger. Eight separate beams of power joined in a point and continued to build in power.
"Fire!" the Rangers called together.
At their command the barrel stopped spinning and fired. A burst of orange energy erupted, combining with the other eight beams, forming a single blast, which destroyed Dreadnok. The Rangers' Power Balls returned to their owners as the Power Cannon was returned to subspace.
"It's not that easy," Oroku Saki said.
He pressed the largest button on his control board and dumped the remainder of the Mutagen into Dreadnok's blood.
"Oh man," Zack said as he saw Dreadnok, resurrected and now monster-sized, combine with his bike. "Jase, we need the Zords."
"Ninja MegaFalconzord, now!"
"Ninja Battlezord, now!"
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.
Dreadnok watched the Megazords forming. In his mind Oroku Saki was telling him to remain still and not act. He had no idea what Oroku Saki had in mind, only that he had been sent a grenade to throw.
The Panther Zord transformed to stand upright 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.
"Now!" he heard Oroku Saki shout.
Pulling the pin on his grenade he tossed it at the Zords and waited. The grenade did not explode. Instead as it hit the grounds a thick grey smoke poured from the pinhole. It took Blue Ranger a bit too long to understand what was happening as first Dreadnok and then the Zords started to shutdown.
"Jason, send the Zords back!" Blue Ranger called. "Everybody else, power down!"
It was already too late. Without their commands the Ranger uniforms vanished along with the shielding and magical weapons of their Zords. Dreadnok was also affected. The magical powers the Wraith had given him disappeared leaving a giant human standing on a large trike.
"What happened?" Tanya asked. Her Green teammate was currently demorphed and unconscious. His face had turned a deadly shade of white.
"Somebody used a ferrous-based gas cloud to neutralize the magical properties of our Zords and powers," Blue Ranger explained. "We won't be able to morph while the gas is still present."
"Ferrous, you mean Iron?" Trini asked, grasping what her friend was getting at. "Can we still fight?"
"Affirmative," Billy said. "But all we have is the Zord. We cannot use any weapons and we cannot call for new Zords."
Zack had been watching Dreadnok during Billy and Trini's conversation. "Looks like he got gassed as well."
"It's just shock," Billy told him. "He'll recover before we do."
The two Zords piloted by the powered down Rangers faced off against the recovering Dreadnok. Fortunately the Ranger's link to the Morphin Grid existed enough that they still had the knowledge to pilot their Zords. Without magic flowing into the Zords they were slower and easily damaged. Despite the Mutagen to enhance his body Dreadnok was slower and reliant solely on his weapons.
However, as the Mutagen continued to burn into his mind he lost his ability to use weapons. With Oroku's prodding he managed to start his chainsaw. The weapon clashed with the Zords and although the Zord sparked as the blade made contact the stronger Zord metal managed to withstand the assault.
Dex had teleported back to the Power Chamber when it became obvious he could not help in a Zord battle. Along with Alpha he had been monitoring the fight until the screen went blank.
"Alpha, search for the Rangers," Zordon ordered. "I cannot feel them in the Morphin Grid."
As the android scanned it became obvious part of Angel Grove was no longer receptive to magic. As Alpha ran a more detailed scan, it became obvious why.
"Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi, the Rangers are helpless!"
"Alpha, explain," Zordon ordered.
"There is an anti magic gas in that area of Angel Grove," Alpha replied. "We can't teleport or communicate with the Rangers in that area and they can't morph."
"Is there any way to disperse the gas?" Dex asked.
"Gas is already fading, but the Rangers are vulnerable to this monster," Alpha replied.
"Alpha, summon the Zeo Rangers. They will be immune to the effects of the anti magic bomb."
Alpha activated the signal to the Zeo Rangers, hoping that this time they would respond. In his home Tommy heard the beep of his communicator and ignored it. His mind was already made up that the Rangers were better off without him. In Ko's Garden Adam had the same thought. He was determined he would never let a Ranger down again and the way to do that was to surrender his powers. In Pyramidas Trey heard the call to action and struggled to reunite his components into one. He knew he couldn't give up, but part of him just wanted to go home. Rocky was still on the bed where Jason had left him. The Red Ranger had understood when Rocky did not want to answer the call, Rocky was sure he would understand if he stayed away. Kat and Aisha also chose not to answer their communicators. Both were certain they did not belong to the Rangers and both were scared of what morphing again would mean.
"No response Zordon," Alpha said.
"Alpha, teleport the Zeo Rangers here. The others need help and I am afraid we have no choice."
In six flashes of light the former Zeo Rangers appeared. None of them looked pleased to be back, but Zordon quickly explained what had happened and they agreed to help one last time.
"Rangers, before you can fight the new monster you must first travel to the Z-Dimension and retrieve the Orb of Light. Only with the Orb can you defeat the anti magic field."
The six Rangers nodded and teleported away on a quest Zordon knew would help them fight the latest monster.
"Orb of Light?" Dex asked when they had gone.
"Trust me Dex," Zordon replied. "It is for the best. Alpha, tell the Orb Keeper to expect the Zeo Rangers and to unleash Harmonia upon their arrival."
"Ai-yi-yi," Alpha muttered as he did what he was told.
The six Rangers appeared in a dimension filled with lush green forest. Tommy found this surprising since he had assumed the Z-Dimension referred to Lord Zedd. Slowly they made their way through the jungle, avoiding the obvious traps until they reached a tall temple.
"Shall we?" Rocky asked.
The others nodded and together they started to climb the steps. At first the climb was easy, but as they got higher it became more difficult to climb. They could have morphed, but the Rangers did not feel they deserved the Power anymore.
"That's far enough strangers!" Looking up the Rangers could see a woman in a long white gown looking at them. "I am Harmonia, protector of the Orb of Light. Identify yourselves or face my wrath."
"Zordon sent us," Tommy said simply.
"So, you are Rangers?"
Although they all shook their heads, Harmonia could see they were silently thinking they were. "Why are you here?"
"Zordon sent us to collect the Orb of Light," Trey told her.
"To collect the Orb you must each prove yourselves worthy," she told him. "First morph and then enter the temple one at a time."
"It's Morphin Time," Tommy said without enthusiasm.
"Zeo Ranger I - Pink."
"Zeo Ranger II - Yellow."
"Zeo Ranger III - Blue."
"Zeo Ranger V - Red."
"Zeo Ranger X - Gold."
In five columns the Rangers were teleported into the temple leaving Adam outside, still struggling over whether to morph or not. Harmonia sighed. "At least five of them are willing to try." Adam was going to be a problem, but she had ways to get him into the temple.
Tommy found himself teleported into a room similar to the place where Minion had held Justin. As he looked around, he realised he was on the floor with a blaster in front of him.
"Five!" Tommy recognised Minion's voice. Sure enough, as he looked up he could see Minion holding Justin in the hold he had before. He reached for the blaster and then remembered that the blaster was only set to half power.
~This is an illusion,~ he thought. ~There is no way to change what happened, so give up now and let him die.~
That was an easy option for Tommy. For a moment he even considered doing just that and allowing his young friend to die.
"No," he said as much to himself as anybody else. "I won't let somebody else die because I failed."
"You failed last time," Minion said.
"Last time I was hurt, I had not powers and I was scared," Tommy admitted. "But I will never let anybody do what you did to me ever again. I am Zeo Ranger V - Red and you're history!"
Red Zeo leapt at Minion, careful to avoid striking Justin in the process. The Zeo V Power Sword made contact and Minion vanished into red smoke. The boy change and Tommy realised it was not Justin. For a moment he had been willing to let another innocent die, but he had conquered his fear and now he knew what he had to do. Touching his belt, he teleported away.
The other four Zeo Rangers had been through a similar test, concentrating on their different responses to what had happened in Minion's Sub-dimension. Aisha had been in the room on her own until she realised that her friends would never leave her. Trey had finally conquered his conflicting emotions to stabilize and draw on his full power. Rocky had made peace with his conscience and felt better and Kat had determined to resolve her problems with Tommy as soon as she got home.
Now all that was left was for Adam to join them. Then they could get the Orb and leave. They waited for a while until it became obvious Adam was not coming.
Kat was the first to hear the sound of something falling, but it did little to help as a cage formed around them. Their powers seemed to fade making it impossible to break out and poisoned gas started to pump into the chamber.
"I think we're in trouble," Rocky said as the ceiling started to fall towards them.
Adam sat alone on the steps of the temple. He had wanted to go with the others, but he was scared of being helpless to save his fellow Rangers again.
~That sounds like Rocky,~ he thought.
Every part of Adam wanted to morph and help his friends, but his mind kept returning to the sight of seeing Tommy being hit repeatedly by a Robo Trooper and knowing there was no way for him to help.
"I have my powers," he said to himself, trying to find a reason to help.
~I couldn't help last time. Why would this time be any different?~
But Adam already knew the answer. This time would be different because this time he would not fail.
"Zeo Ranger IV - Green!"
In a flash of green he teleported into the temple ready to help. He arrived just in time to free his companions and for them to get out of the trap.
"So," Harmonia hissed. "You have passed the test of the temple. Now you have only to defeat me."
As she spoke, a katanalike sword appeared in her hand. Her white gown became black as her hair turned into a mass of green snakelike creatures.
"Zeo Power Weapons," Red Zeo said to his companions. "Let's show her why you don't mess with the Zeo Rangers."
Now with the power of the fully restored Zeo Crystal flowing through their bodies the Zeo Rangers attacked and discovered they had some new abilities.
"Zeo Power Shield!" Pink Zeo called.
After blocking a blow from Harmonia, Pink Zeo jumped away and threw her disklike shield. The disk flew through the air, missing Harmonia on the first pass, but rebounding to strike her from behind.
"Now, Zeo I Power Disk!"
Grabbing hold of the shield, Kat was propelled into Harmonia. The monster fell to the ground, as Kat was teleported back to her friends. With the Zeo Crystal rebuilt all the Zeo Rangers had gained greater control over their teleportation abilities. Kat had seen the greatest increase since she was able to change course in mid-teleport.
"Zeo III Hammer Punch!"
Blue Zeo started to spin as he had in the when using his Power Punch. This time as he reached top speed he lifted off the ground, aimed for Harmonia's head and delivered a double axe handle type blow to the head.
"You'll pay for that," Harmonia screeched, reminding the Rangers of Rita Repulsa.
Harmonia's hair reached out and wrapped around Blue Zeo, pulling him towards her.
"Zeo V Power Blast!"
After raising his sword so the star-shaped hilt was level with his helmet, Red Zeo fed the power from his Zeo Shard into a single blast. Harmonia's hair was ripped apart as Red Zeo followed up.
"Zeo V Power Kick!"
"Zeo V Power Sword!"
A quick kick knocked Harmonia off balance as the Power Sword sliced her in half. The monster exploded, leaving the Rangers victorious.
"You have past the test Rangers," the Keeper said as he walked in. "Here is the object you seek."
Pulling back a white shroud the Keeper revealed a large crystal. All the Rangers recognised it at once.
"That's the Zeo Crystal," Rocky said.
"Correct," the Keeper said. "You have all passed the test and proven yourselves worthy of the Zeo Crystal. Harmonia never wanted to stop you, but she was under instructions to make you realise you were Rangers."
"Then this isn't Zedd's Dimension?" Tommy asked.
"No, but the owner does have a Z in his name. I believe you call him Zordon. Remember Titanus young Panther."
Tommy groaned as he remembered the first time he had met Titanus. The mighty dinosaur had tried to prevent Tommy and Jason from getting some new weapons until they learnt to work as a team. In the end it had turned out to be a test by Zordon to ensure the two Rangers could work together.
"Now, I believe you have some friends who need some help," the Keeper continued. "Perhaps you should go to them now. It's Morphin Time!"
As he spoke the Rangers' uniforms vanished and they realised they needed to morph properly. The Power was now filling their bodies as they all benefited from a Zeo Crystal that was correctly fitted together and powered by the ten sub-crystals.
"Zeo Ranger I - Pink!"
"Zeo Ranger II - Yellow!"
"Zeo Ranger III - Blue!"
"Zeo Ranger IV - Green!"
"Zeo Ranger V - Red!"
"Zeo Ranger X - Gold!"
As the Rangers vanished, so did the temple along with the Keeper.
Dreadnok was on the attack again. With a roar he lunged at the Zords. The MegaFalconzord was launched into the air, throwing the still demorphed Rangers around the cockpit. Transferring the power away from the shields, Billy was able to place a protective bubble around the Rangers to prevent further injury.
The Ninja Battlezord had managed to stay in one place, but to do so had drained all its power. Now useless the Zord collapsed to the ground just as Sam started to recover.
"Is everybody okay?" Jason asked.
"We're okay," Tanya replied. "But the Battlezord is helpless."
"So is the MegaFalconzord," Billy added. "We have almost full power but zero mobility. Falcon Zord is operating fine, so we could separate."
"What about our powers and Zordon?" Kimberly asked.
"The effects of the anti magic grenade are fading," Billy replied. "We should be able to morph again. But communications and teleportation are still out."
As he spoke, the Rangers' uniforms reappeared as their powers returned once more. Looking across at Dreadnok the Rangers could see he was back to normal and showed no sign of damage.
"I think we need help," Black Ranger commented as Dreadnok closed in for the kill.
Oroku Saki watched as his creation prepared to finish the Rangers once and for all. His anti magic gas had worked perfectly, albeit accidentally. He had no knowledge of the magical arts other than his limited Ninja Magic. The idea had originally been to use a grenade filled with iron filings to jam the Zords' servo units. However, the results had been better than hoped for, so he had no real concerns about his plans going awry.
"Dreadnok, finish them!"
He watched in satisfaction as Dreadnok moved in for the kill. He remembered how the villain Minion, a creature of magic, had had six Rangers at his mercy. Oroku Saki on the other hand was a mere human and was about to kill eight Rangers.
"Not bad for the first try," Oroku Saki mused as he watched the slaughter unfold.
Dreadnok brought his chainsaw down across the fallen MegaFalconzord's leg ending any chance they had of getting mobile again. With a quick switch he produced a flamethrower and a chain. After securing the chain around the Zord's body he started to swing, at the same time scorching the damaged Zord's metal skin.
"David, you'd better detach while you still can," Blue Ranger said.
The door at the back of the MegaFalconzord's cockpit opened as White Rangers chair was pulled backwards into the Falcon Zord. With a loud screech the Falcon detached and headed for the sky.
"Tanya, I'm sending you details of a new formation. Just let them upload," Blue Ranger said. To himself he added: "I just hope Alpha made the adjustments to the Falcon."
Further communication was cut short as Dreadnok jerked the chain taunt causing the Ninja Megazord to crash to the ground. Preparing a final shot with its flamethrower Dreadnok hoped to finish the battle quickly.
A red object streaked past the fallen Ninja Battlezord, striking Dreadnok in the stomach and driving him away from his bike. Rapid punches followed, culminating in a barrage of fire from the Red Battlezord's Gatling Cannons.
"Jason, you okay Bro?" Red Zeo asked as he continued to pummel the monster.
"In the flesh," Red Zeo grinned under his helmet.
As Dreadnok tried to stand up, a second object slammed into his side. Jason recognised the Zord as the Warrior Wheel, a powerful if small Zord. For the Masked Rider it was his first time behind the controls of a Zord during combat. He had wanted to help earlier, but Zordon had insisted he wait.
"Red Battlezord return!" Red Zeo ordered. He teleported away from the Zord and joined the other Zeo Rangers who were waiting on the ground below.
"We need Super Zeo Zord power, Now!"
From the rebuilt Zeo Launcher in Power Mountain came the six Super Zeo Zords, the first time they had all been together in action. After teleporting to the Zords the Rangers brought them together to form the Super Zeo Megazord.
"Take your positions, everybody!" Red Zeo ordered.
Super Zeo Zords I, II, III, IV and V lined up, ready for the next instruction. Together they launched into the air.
"Initiating Super Zeo Megazord sequence!" Red Zeo called when they were all in the air.
The five Zords started to transform in midair before land in Megazord form. First Super Zeo Zord I, then IV, III, V and finally II. The crown piece on the Megazord's head slid upwards, revealing the visor through which the Rangers could see. As the Rangers gathered together in the cockpit Super Zeo Megazord I was online.
"Super Zeo Zord Weapon!" Gold Zeo ordered.
The larger version of the Golden Power Staff appeared in Super Zeo Zord X's hand. The Super Zeo Megazord battle Dreadnok while Super Zeo Zord X headed for the monster's bike.
Oroku Saki cursed when he saw the Zeo Rangers arrive. Reinforcements had not been something he wanted to see. Instead of panicking, he turned the control to maximum and watched as the tank of Mutagen he had installed in Dreadnok's bike exploded.
"Arise Zod, Lord of the Roads!"
Flesh and metal combined to form a cybernetic dragon on wheels. The dragon had two heads capable of breathing fire and a chainsaw mounted on its left arm. Its tail was a long steel chain with a spiked ball on the end. In its right hand was a single silver blade. Any intelligence was gone as the angry demon took over and Zod attacked.
Zod started by shooting flames at the Super Zeo Megazord. The large Zord lifted off the ground, separating into its components part to avoid the flames before reforming. Super Zeo Zord X swung its Power Staff in a wide arc to knock Zod on the side of the face. As Zod rebounded, Warrior Wheel delivered some fist shots of its own.
Spinning around Zod managed to catch Warrior Wheel with its chain. Flames shot from its mouth keeping the other two Zords from helping.
"Grab a head!" Red Zeo shouted to Gold Zeo.
The Super Zeo Megazord caught the left head and Super Zeo Zord X grabbed the right head in a bulldog type move. With all its concentration directed at its head the demon forgot about the Warrior Wheel attached to its tail. Dex moved the Warrior Wheel to draw the chain taunt.
"Pull!" Red Zeo ordered.
The three Zords pulled in different directions causing the demon to swing wildly in pain and anger. His blade sliced the Megazord allowing him to use the chainsaw against Super Zeo Zord X. As the two Zords moved away Zod turned its heads towards Warrior Wheel and shot another blast of fire. The Warrior Wheel caught fire and wandered away trailing flames. Dex struggled to regain control over the Zord. ----
Inside the fallen Ninja Megazord Billy was desperately trying to reprogram the Hawk and Panther Zords. Finally a green, white and purple symbol appeared on his control board.
"Okay, David, Tanya, go for it."
Taking command David pushed the activate button on his Zord's control panel. At the same time Sam and Tanya did likewise.
"Ninja Falcon Battlezord!"
Using the power of the Falcon to revive the other Zords White Ranger triggered the transformation. The Hawk Zord detached from the Battlezord and was replaced by the Falcon Zord. The arms of the Battlezord detached, allowing the Falcon's wings to fold around before reattaching. Then the Hawk fastened itself to the right arm, its wings and beak forming a three-point weapon.
"Ninja Falcon Battlezord Online!"
Knowing it was out numbered the Zod attempted to use another gas attack. But although the Zeo Crystal was magic it was unaffected by Cold Iron due to the science base of the power. The Super Zeo Megazord blocked and dispersed the gas so the Falcon Battlezord was unaffected.
"Let's finish this," Green Ranger suggested.
The Ninja Falcon Battlezord delivered a single swipe of its hawk blade before moving out of the way.
"Super Zeo X Blast!"
As the Battlezord and Super Zeo Zord finished their attack Super Zeo Megazord held Warrior Wheel ready for launch. Swinging quickly back, it then released the wheel for a final attack. As the Warrior Wheel reached Zod, it transformed to its humanoid form for the final blow.
The Rangers watched as Zod exploded, the demon being thrown back to its original location in Time and Space. When the smoke cleared, the Rangers returned to the Power Chamber for debriefing.
"This isn't over Rangers," Oroku said. "I will find a new subject for my Mutagen and try again."
"That cannot be allowed," a voice said.
"You!" Oroku exclaimed as he turned towards the voice. "You're that Ranger that helped them before."
"You cannot be allowed to pervert nature in this way," the Ranger continued.
"How did you get in here?" Oroku demanded. "I had guards on the door. I would have known if you attacked them."
"You claim to be a ninja," the Ranger said. "What is a ninja's greatest strength?"
"The ability to vanish," Oroku said. Faster than most would see he grabbed a knife and threw it at the Ranger. "What!" he said as the knife struck the far wall. "Where'd he go?"
"Right here," the Ranger replied. He slammed a fist into Oroku's face, knocking him aside. "Normally a crime lord like yourself would be protected against Ranger action. But you have moved beyond crime and are therefore a threat to be dealt with appropriately."
"Ninja attack!" Oroku ordered.
The robotic ninjas he had built for his brother attacked the mysterious Ranger.
"Phantom reveal!" the Ranger called.
The multicolored uniform the Ranger had worn the first time Oroku had seen him vanished. In its place stood an almost machinelike Ranger dressed in white armour with a green grid flowing over the surface. In the centre of his chest was a purple ruby surrounded by ten crystals. Each crystal glowed a different colour. At the top was white, at three o'clock was silver, at the bottom was black and at nine o'clock gold. Between them were the colours red, blue, yellow, green, purple and pink. The whole area was quickly covered with a white panel to prevent any harm coming to the power source. On his right leg was a Blade blasterlike weapon. In his hand he held a longer sword with a small crystal embedded in the hilt.
As he moved the armour distorted the light so the Ranger appeared to vanish. As the Foot soldiers attacked, the Ranger sliced through them with his sword. A few managed to land blows, but his armour more than compensated.
"My robot may need to see you to triumph," Oroku said, "But I do not."
That said he attacked the spot where he thought the Ranger would be. His charge was stopped as the Ranger reappeared and gestured with his hand. Oroku was thrown away like a piece of rubbish.
"What are you?" Oroku demanded.
"In my dimension I am known as the Zeo Phantom," the Ranger said. "You will know me as the one who ended your reign of terror."
With a powerful jerk the Ranger kicked Oroku in the stomach and watched as the ninja fell to his knees. He watched the look of fear as it appeared on Oroku's face and knew he had won a valuable victory. His sword glowed brightly as he charged it for the final swing. He noted Oroku was pleading by now and he smiled under his mask.
"Please," Oroku begged. "Grant me mercy."
Zeo Phantom swung the blade and watched as a wave of multicolored fire destroyed the remaining supply of Mutagen and the equipment Saki had been storing.
Oroku Saki trembled as he looked up at the Ranger who had beaten him. For the first time he could not think of anyway out of his situation.
"You wanted mercy Oroku Saki?" Zeo Phantom asked. "It is granted. You will leave Angel Grove and never return. Next time you will lose more than a lab."
"Thank you," Oroku Saki managed, but Zeo Phantom was already leaving. As he lay on the floor, Oroku felt his courage returning. He grabbed a sword from one of his robots and attacked.
Had Zeo Phantom needed to make an effort to stop Oroku it didn't show. With a sudden and precise movement he had turned and thrown his own sword at the charging ninja. The sword pierced Oroku's chest and the treacherous warrior fell to the ground. Zeo Phantom retrieved his sword, shook his head at the loss of life and left.
Power Chamber, Minutes later
After the thrill of victory had faded, the Rangers listened to Zordon as he gave his debriefing. For once the rather serious mentor seemed happy.
"Rangers, you have today proven yourselves to be a force to be reckoned with. With fourteen Rangers to defend the planet I am certain Earth shall remain safe. Jason, you have proven yourself a worthy Field Commander and I am proud to place you in charge of the Morphin Rangers. Tommy, you and your team have conquered a foe greater than any monster the forces of evil can create. You have conquered your own fears and proven yourself a worthy leader. For this reason I give you command of the Zeo Rangers."
"In future I shall be able to use the team I feel best suits the situation. Therefore I ask you once again if you wish to remain Rangers?"
"We'll always be there when you need us Zordon," Zack said on the behalf of the Morphin Rangers.
"Yeah and so will we," Tommy agreed.
"Thank you, Rangers. In order to ensure you are able to come to the Power Chamber in times of need, I am allowing you all to use the teleport system and your communicators as and when you need to. Alpha will be provided an extra channel so you can speak to each other privately."
"Prince Dex, I thank you for your help in the past and I hope you will assist us in future should we need you."
"I would be honoured to fight alongside your Rangers should you need me again," Dex said.
Billy and Alpha quickly prepared a communicator for Dex coloured green, gold and blue. Then, the prince teleported home and the Rangers soon followed. Before they left, their mentor had one further comment for them.
"Rangers, I have some good news for you," Zordon said. "Justin is awake and does not remember the events of the last few days. I have sent him home and he will not have to suffer with the knowledge of what has happened."
Angel Grove 19.00 Hrs that evening
Tommy lay back looking at the stars overhead. A lot of things had happened in a very short time and he was happy to be able to finally sit back and think. He wasn't over what had happened with Justin and part of him knew he never would be. But he had learnt that the Universe would not stop while he sorted his feelings and decided to come to terms with things in his own time. His fear and guilt no longer controlled him.
Now he had his friends around him, and he hardly noticed the fact he had lost Kat. Earlier that evening Kat had told him that she no longer loved him. It was no surprise to him. In truth they had never truly been in love. She had felt a small attraction to him under a spell and he had been rebounding from Kimberly. They both loved each other, but knew there was no point in pretending it was anything more than the love of two friends. She was with David now and Tommy knew it was where she belonged. True he felt sad, but he was also happy that she had found somebody.
"Do you mind if I join you?"
Tommy looked up to see Kimberly standing over him. This had been the confrontation he had been dreading but he nodded for her to sit.
"What are you looking at?" She asked.
"The Moon," Tommy replied. "It looks so peaceful up there. It's hard to imagine there's somebody using it as a base to take over the Earth."
"Tommy," Kimberly said after a long and uneasy silence. "I'm sorry about what happened... with us."
"You mean the letter, don't you?" Tommy replied.
Kim took a deep breath and prepared herself for what she needed to say. She knew she was going to be working with Tommy in future and that they needed to clear the air.
"Tommy," she started. "The guy in the letter... he, well he wasn't real."
Tommy looked at her for a moment, not sure what to say. "Then why did you tell me about him?"
"Tommy, when I was away from you I realised we were living a lie. You were in Angel Grove with Kat and I was in Florida on my own. I didn't want to hold you back so I wrote the letter. I thought I should give you and Kat a chance."
"Kat and I broke up," Tommy said.
"I know Tommy and I'm sorry, but I don't think we ever really had a future. We were just too different. You could be so cold sometimes I just couldn't handle it."
Tommy was silent as he thought about what Kimberly had said. He had done some thinking after the letter and realised they had mistaken attraction for love, but to hear his thoughts reflected by Kim was another matter.
"Can we still be friends?" Tommy asked.
"Yes," Kimberly cried happily. "I never meant to hurt you Tommy and I do still love you, but not in the way I thought. I never want to lose your friendship, ever."
Tommy smiled. Although he had been dumped and rejected in the same day he was finally at peace. He understood why they had broken up and he knew she would be happy. ~Maybe there is somebody out there for me,~ he thought hopefully.
Soon Kat, David and Sam joined Tommy and Kimberly. The five Rangers sat together laughing into the night, temporarily forgetting about monsters and aliens in favour of fun. Let the monsters and villains have the day, this night belonged to the Power Rangers.
End of Part