Chapter Fifteen: Final Battle
I awaken to find myself trapped, stuck in an imperfect time, polluted by the forces of good and their sickening purity. Once before I was forced to cleanse the Universe of life in order to remove the pollution. The Universe responded by destroying me.
Now I am forced to share a mortal's body. But revenge shall be mine and it begins with he who would have drained my powers, the being known as Minion.
I look out over the pitiful planet known as Earth and I sense that things have changed. The pretender to the throne of evil is about to kill his prisoners most of whom are Rangers as a message to the Universe. But he is just a pretender. He thinks he is serving the will of the darkness, but is only serving his own desire for revenge.
The Universe has thrived since my time. The forces of good have spread and shared their power. Power Rangers are now protecting most planets ensuring the forces of evil; my forces of evil cannot gain a foothold. On Earth the idiotic members of the UAE have made the situation worse.
United Alliance of Evil that's a laugh. They are nothing more than puppets for the pretender to use as he sees fit. Thanks to the stupidity of the UAE, Earth has been recognised for its importance. Before the planet was nothing more than a barbaric backwater. Now it is the home of some of the dangerous Rangers ever.
Rita starts the ball rolling. Once one of the most evil witches in the Universe her time spent in the Dumpster with her moronic stooges has reduced her to the level of a screaming hag. Instead of trying to conquer the Earth she concentrates her on a petty vendetta against Zordon of Eltare. Zordon chooses a logical response to the threat; he creates a team of Power Rangers using those humans most likely to succeed.
Zordon selects five humans and gives them access to the Morphin Grid. With five fighting as one they hold Rita at bay until she uses her brain and fights fire with fire. She creates the Green Ranger and takes the logical precaution of creating the Green Candle in case he betrays her. Logic dictates he will be turned to good, a creature cannot deny its true nature for long even if there is a spell in place. Rita takes the only path available and drains the Green Rangers power. But even with their comrade gone the others do not surrender. And in their time of greatest need the Green Ranger returns once again.
Enter Lord Zedd, supposed Emperor of Evil. He banishes Rita for her failure and vows to wipe out her mistakes. But like Rita he is arrogant and stupid. He forgets about the Earth and focuses his aggression on the Green Ranger. When he has finally stripped the Green Ranger of his powers he turns back to conquering Earth.
The Rangers fight back; their effectiveness reduced to the point where Zedd is almost winning. Zordon creates the White Ranger as the new leader and the team is complete once again. Even when three of the senior members of the team leave Zedd is unable to take advantage. Rita has returned and Zedd's head is filled with love. The Rangers hold them off when logic dictates evil should have won.
Then comes Rito, a complete moron who is able to accomplish in one day what Rita and Zedd have been unable to do for months. He destroys the Rangers' Zords. From there it should have been easy for Zedd to kill the Rangers, but he allows them to escape and gain new powers. Master Vile shows up and after failing to gain the Zeo Crystal turns back time. For the second time in less than a year Rito destroys the Rangers' powers.
Enter the Alien Rangers. These pathetic fish believe they can defend the Earth when they cannot even find a suitable source of water? They succeed and allow the Rangers to reclaim the Zeo Crystal. Rita and Zedd's greatest moment in recent years is the botched destruction of the Command Centre.
The Rangers rebuild. Now armed with new powers they face the threat of the Machine Empire. Mondo and Machina programmed by one of my most evil servants to be the ultimate evil machines. Finally somebody who is capable of fighting with logic. Yet still the Rangers stand victorious and gain a new ally in the form of Trey of Triforia.
Enter my puppet, Minion. First he sends the idiots away to Onyx. Using the Dark Dimension he summons a monster from the past, destroys Aquitar and succeeds in not only destroying the Rangers' powers, but in taking their Zords and eventually their freedom.
Creating the Psycho Rangers was a new variation of Rita's old trick, but it works. Even with their temporary Gem Coin powers the Ranger cannot hope to defeat the Psycho Rangers. With a traitor in their mist the Rangers believe they can win, they are wrong. By the time a second team of Rangers appear with new powers the Zeo/Gem Coin Rangers are history.
But Minion has forgotten he is the puppet of evil and I am evil. Minion tortures the Zeo Rangers and fights their replacements. At the same time he attempt to keep me locked inside the sleeping body of a replica Ranger. He fails and I am freed.
Now I have a new servant, the Master. I grant him power and take a part of his life force to form a new body. Using Tommy Oliver to repair a rift in the Space/Time fabric of reality, I position the Master in the ideal spot to finish Minion.
Unaware of the Master's presence Minion attempts to break the Zeo Rangers by humiliating them. He takes a human and threatens to kill him unless the Zeo Rangers can shoot him first. Hardly fair odds, the Rangers have been tortured for what to them must have seemed like weeks. They are weak and emotionally drained.
But Minion has made a mistake. He lowered his defences and forgot to close the doorway to the Prison Dimension for anyone evil. So, I teleport the Master in behind him and after disposing of his protectors the Master unleashes his power, knowing Minion is vulnerable.
Bronzo falls first; a simple chop to the side of his head and he is unconscious. Silvo attempts to fight back. The Master and the henchman exchange a few blows, just to help his ego before I knock Silvo out with a piece of his own body. Minion still does not hear my servant move up behind him and his audience cannot see me. But Minion can see me.
He turns to face me, his face full of recognition and a just hint of fear. He knows what he has done by attempting to steal my power and he is more than aware of consequences for his crime. He tries to blast me with energy from the Sword of Darkness, but the handle is too hot for him to handle. If he had thought about it he would have realised I am one with the sword and it cannot harm me.
I summon all the power I can muster and blast him. His defences are down and those he manages to raise are cut to ribbons by my power. My puppet falls to the ground, his strings cut. His body is disintegrated as I throw him into his own vortex. In a final attempt to snatch victory Minion triggers the blasters the Rangers are holding. They have no effect. Minion may have been truthful about lowering his defences, but even he is not stupid enough to give the Zeo Rangers fully powered guns.
In the meantime the Master has served his purpose and provided a distraction. In gratitude I grant him control of Earth.
I stand over the terrified humans. Three of them might die and the others will be scarred for life by the events that have taken place. They will have to live with the truth that the once mighty Zeo Rangers sat helpless while their new enemy destroyed the villain who had humiliated them. And so I dispatch the Rangers to Angel Grove. Their injuries will catch up with them and they will never be the same again. As a professional courtesy I provide them with an illusion. When they reappear nobody will be able to see their true identities. Better to let them fade into obscurity than become the centre of attention.
I doubt the other Rangers will be any harder to defeat. They will surrender when faced with the power of a dark god. After all, anything else would be illogical. I will take command of the UAE, I will destroy every Ranger and mentor in the Universe, and when the smoke clears the Universe shall belong to the Dark God.
It is funny to think that this ending should have occurred hours ago. Only through a change in time has this come to be. Otherwise the ending may have been very different. My mind drifts to the events that should have occurred and I know that creation owes me everything.
10 July 1996
Some things in life are a must watch. Just moments earlier the many people in the Universe had been unable to stop watching. Every eye had been on the scenes unfolding. The innocent Justin Stewart, the ruthless Minion waiting to execute him and the six Zeo Rangers lying on the floor. Would the Rangers find the strength to save the human or would they simply fail and let the boy die.
The Rangers of Earth were legendary throughout the Universe for fighting three of the worst villains ever known. Even though Earth was considered the most barbaric back water in existence and strictly speaking the Rangers defending the planet should not have been from Earth, they had done such a good job defending their world they held the respect of the Galactic Council and the fear of the UAE.
On Eltare the entire High Command of the Morphin Rangers, including the powerful Morphin Masters, had gathered for an emergency session. On Triforia Trey's subjects watched their ruler, hoping he would survive his ordeal. On Onyx the UAE watched in anticipation of the Rangers' demise. Dark Spectre wondered if maybe he had underestimated Minion.
On Earth the sight of his or her heroes undergoing such vile torture transfixed everybody. In London the Speaker suspended Parliament so she could watch. Throughout the world leaders stopped working to watch the most important issue of the day. Armed forces led by NATO and UNIT were placed on full alert in case Minion succeeded in committing his latest atrocity.
Earth had many issues to face, famine; war; natural disasters and crime among them. But at that moment in time the idea that an alien would have the nerve to execute someone just to defeat his enemies took priority. The immediate outrage quickly faded to be replaced by concern. If Minion succeeded in destroying the Zeo Rangers what chance did they have against his power?
In the Power Chamber Zordon and his eight Rangers looked on as their teammates faced certain death and they were helpless to act.
And in the Prison Sub-dimension six Rangers looked on as Minion started his count. Behind him Silvo and Bronzo were waiting for the master's orders.
"One..." Adam stared stupidly at the weapon in front of him.
"Two..." Trey reached out to the blaster. He wondered why everything was suddenly moving in slow motion.
"Three..." Kat's fingers touched her blaster and stayed there, unmoving. She wondered suddenly why she'd put them there.
"Four..." Rocky tried to reason it. He had the blaster in his hand; all he had to do was shoot. So why couldn't he?"
"Five..." Aisha realised she was terrified, afraid of failing, afraid of dying. Sobbing, she let the gun fall.
Minion had not lied to the Rangers. A single shot would be enough to kill him. All the Rangers had to do was fire. _I hope I have not underestimated them,_ he thought as he reached six. The Rangers only had second left. A simple movement and it would all be over.
For those watching outside of Stone Henge time seemed to move slowly. They heard Minion reach six and then everything went black. They saw a flash of light and heard the blaster shots, but nobody, not even Zordon and the Rangers watching from the Power Chamber knew what had happened.
Prison Sub-dimension, Stone Henge
Minion had never intended to spare Justin's life. His time spent travelling through the numerous dimensions in search of Zords had revealed the threat Justin posed. In one Universe Justin had become a Blue Ranger of some description and had become the equivalent of Billy Cranston. Such an occurrence could not be allowed to happen in his dimension. Minion remembered how good it had felt to kill Justin the first time he had met him. He was certain that the second time would feel just as satisfying.
Minion pushed his fist hard into the base of Justin's neck and gave the boy's head a sharp twist. With a sickening crack Justin's neck was broken. His empty eyes rolled back in the boy's head as Minion discarded the body as though it was nothing.
That was enough for the Zeo Rangers. Their anger boiled over as they leapt at the still defenceless Minion. He tried to raise his defences in time, but the Rangers were already upon him. Their blasters fired, striking his body with their deadly energy. When all the blasting had stopped Minion still stood ready for a fight.
"Fools," he spat. "I said I would drop my defences and that one shot from these blasters would kill me. But, I never said the blasters were fully charged."
"It seems I still need to teach you some respect," Minion said.
Drawing his Sword of Darkness, Minion attacked the powerless Rangers. A savage rage filled Minion as he discarded those who dared to stand in his way. First Kat, then Aisha and finally Adam were thrown to the floor. Trey put up some resistance, but the constant stretching had weakened the muscles in his body making it difficult for him to move. With a few well-aimed kicks Minion dropped Trey to his knees.
Rocky was next on Minion's hate list. Rocky was in his opinion an insult to the name Blue Ranger. The Blue Ranger was supposed to be the wisdom and knowledge within the team, but Rocky was a goof. First he had stolen Jason's place on the team and then Billy's spot on the Zeo team. Forgotten was the fact Billy had given up his powers willingly as had Jason.
Rocky had been trained to fight as a ninja, a fact that had helped him when taking over from Jason. He might not have had the size and power that Jason possessed, but he had the skills to take out a larger opponent. Minion on the other hand had the cumulative fighting skills of all those who had touched the pyramid on Onyx. That plus the power of the Lin Kuei Crystal and the Sword of Darkness made him deadly.
Instead of fighting him move for move Minion intensified the power of his blows. As a result the best Rocky could manage was the occasional block. Deciding he wanted to finish Tommy, who up until that time had been laid out following a thrust kick, Minion knew it was time to finish off Rocky.
First he lifted the Rocky into a bear hug, determined to crack the ex-Blue Zeo Ranger's spine. Then he drove Rocky into the ground so the base of his spine took the brunt of the punishment. Finishing with a kick to the stomach Minion turned his attention to his real target. There was no way he was going to let Tommy leave the Prison Dimension alive.
Of all the Zeo Rangers Minion knew Tommy would be taking Justin's death the hardest. The Red Zeo Ranger had a guilt complex that would never allow him to forgive himself for failing to save the boy. It would eat away at Tommy for the rest of his life, which thanks to Minion was going to last only a few short minutes.
Despite having no powers and broken ribs Tommy actually managed to put up a fight against Minion. He could not out power the villain, but he could outsmart him. He noticed that Minion was attempting to punch whilst holding the Sword of Darkness in his hand. The result was the punches were clumsy and lacking power. Tommy found he could predict Minion's movements and used it to his advantage.
Grabbing Minion's hand in mid punch Tommy threw Minion to the ground. As the villain stood up again Tommy used a few flying spin kicks to keep Minion away from him until so he could recover some strength. Every movement hurt his ribs, every time he hit Minion he injured himself further.
"Thanks for the workout, Bro," Minion said, using the name Tommy and Jason used when addressing each other. "But I have a world to conquer and you're in the way."
No more words were needed. Minion started a deadly dance, rotating his sword in the air until he was ready and then striking with a clean and deadly blow. The Sword cut into Tommy's chest, damage his heart and other organs. But Minion was not done. He continued to strike Tommy repeatedly with the tip of his sword, driving it deeper until he was sure Tommy would die. Then he discarded the body as easily as he had Justin's just minutes before.
Walking over to each of the Rangers' bodies he drove his sword into their hearts. Six humans and one Triforian ruler were slaughtered with the minimum of effort.
Pain that was what Tommy was feeling. He remembered the sensation first and then the reason. His body was supposed to have been skewered by the Sword of Darkness. He should have been dead, but he was not. He was alive and in great pain. The question was why? Ranger healing was fast and effective, but Tommy doubted it could deal with death. That meant something else was keeping him alive, but what?
A faint burning caught his attention. It wasn't from his chest wound. The burning was from his right hand. He suddenly noticed he was holding something. Opening his hand he discovered it was a Power Coin, his Green Power Coin and it was waiting for him to use it.
"Drag-" the words were so tempting to say, but so wrong at the same time.
This was not the same coin he had once used to power the mighty Dragonzord. This coin was now part of the Shadow Grid and as such needed to be used as part of the Shadow Grid. The knowledge came from the coin. It could not link him to the Grid, but could give him Ranger powers one last time. Then the coin and Thomas Oliver would die together.
_This is not an offer of power,_ Tommy realised. _This is one last chance to defeat Minion before I die._
"Shadow Ranger Power!"
Minion stood over the fallen Rangers, savouring his victory and ready to finish the task he had started not long before, the complete conquest of the Universe.
"Not so fast Minion!" a vaguely familiar voice called.
Turning, Minion was confronted by eight warriors. Had it not been for their orange uniforms he might have thought them to be Power Rangers, but since there were no orange Power Rangers he assumed they were Shadow Rangers. From the way the Ranger spoke to him Minion wondered if they had met in the past.
"Do I know you?" he asked helpfully, trying to read what was beneath the masks.
"We've met," the Silver armoured Ranger said. "And last time you destroyed our friend's world.
"Obviously a different Minion, but still it sounds like something I'd do," Minion admitted. "I'd love to get aquainted, but this world is waiting to be conquered and I'm running late. So, if you would all just line up I'll kill you quickly and move on."
Minion drew the Sword of Darkness and attacked. The eight Shadow Rangers responded by surrounding him and fighting back. At first they appeared to all used swords, but slowly five of them revealed their true weapons.
"Water Blast!" the blue armoured Aqua Ranger called as he attacked.
The three-pronged trident he carried glowed as the Aqua Ranger attacked. The trident channelled all the water it could find and directed it at Minion. The high-pressure water struck Minion in the chest, forcing him back.
"Freeze!" Aqua Ranger commanded.
The water-cooled leaving Minion encased in a block of ice. Minion's eyes glowed as he gathered his strength and shattered the ice.
"This ought to warm things up," the red armoured Pyro Ranger said. "Fireball!"
His extra large broadsword spat balls of flaming liquid at the now fully thawed Minion. Minion raised his sword in response and batted the fireballs away as if they were nothing.
The fireballs were absorbed into the Pyro Ranger's armour as he prepared for his next attempt. "Towering Inferno!"
A tower of flames reached up towards the sky before falling back towards Minion, engulfing him in flames. Raising the Sword of Darkness over his head Minion created a vacuum to extinguish the fire.
"Tornado Punch!" the Air Ranger called.
The green armoured Ranger seemed to vanish from sight as his molecules were accelerated. Spinning his chain mace over his head Air Ranger struck, punching Minion several times a second. Minion responded by teleporting away into the spot Terra Ranger had prepared for him.
Swinging his club to strike the ground Terra Ranger caused Minion to fall back.
"Daniel now!" Omega Ranger called.
Alpha Ranger prepared for his own personal attack perfected through training until it was perfect. "Teleport now!"
The Shadow Rangers, Zeo Rangers, Justin and Minion were teleported out of the Dark Dimension and into Angel Grove. Silvo and Bronzo exchanged confused looks as they looked to the cells where the VR Troopers and Beetleborgs were still being held.
The Rangers crowded around Billy as he struggled to re-establish the link between the Viewing Screen and Minion. Suddenly the alarm sounded, warning the Rangers of a new arrival in Angel Grove.
"It's Minion," Billy said. "And it looks like he has some company."
On the screen the Rangers could make out the forms of the Zeo Rangers all lying on the ground and Justin lying dead not far away.
"Let's get out there," Jason said. "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!"
"Teleporting now," Alpha told them.
In eight columns of light the Rangers teleported away, heading away to avenge their friends deaths. Before they reached their destination the Rangers had already summoned their Power Weapons for combat.
"Power Axe!" Black Ranger called, appearing next to Minion and swiping 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 Minion with her bow before throwing it into the air to join the Power Axe.
"Power Lance!" Blue Ranger said as he struck Minion in the chest. He used two more blows and then split lance in half, jabbed Minion with both parts before throwing it into the air to join the Power Axe and Power Bow.
"Power Daggers!" Yellow Ranger said. As she threw her daggers Purple Ranger appeared behind the villain with her weapon. "Power Nunchuks!"
"Saba!" "Power Sword!" "Dragon Blade!" White, Red and Green Rangers called.
The three Rangers attacked at the same time, forcing Minion to reach down deep and draw the power from his Dark Dimension. After blocking each blow Minion turned to face his adversaries. For the first time he had been tested and forced to expend a large amount of power on the sixteen Rangers.
"The time has come to finish this," He said. "It's time you felt the full power of the Dark Dimension."
Raising his hand Minion summoned his vortex. Alpha and Omega Ranger exchanged glances. The vortex was different to the one they had seen before. It was larger and surrounded by a black void.
"Finish the Power Blaster!" Red Ranger called, sliding the Power Sword into position.
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, but before they could touch Minion the beams were sucked into the Dark Dimension.
"Power Cannon!" the Rangers called as the Power Blaster disassemble and the weapons were place back in subspace. The blast had a similar affect, as the Dark Dimension grew even larger.
"Back to base?" Green Ranger asked.
Red Ranger nodded in reply, signalling for the Shadow Rangers to join them.
While the eight Rangers placed their dead companions in the medical bay Zordon had the opportunity to speak with the Omega and Alpha Rangers.
"And you believe that when the Dark Dimension is sealed recent events will change?"
"Very slightly," Daniel told him. "Justin and the Rangers will live, but everything else will remain the same. The outcome of their confrontation with Minion will change as well, although I'm not sure how."
"Dimitria could have explained it better," Oscar added. "But we don't understand the process enough to explain it."
"And how do you propose to defeat Minion?" Billy asked, entering the chamber.
"First you need to remember Minion is only a creation of Zedd and Rita," Aqua Ranger told him. "He was originally a clone monster of one of the Ranger, but they destroyed him. But Minion was not prepared to die. Because he was morphed when Tommy and the others destroyed him he was able to gain control of the Dark Dimension and reopen it over Stone Henge. The Jackal, the twisted animal guide for the Blue Ranger, powers him. But it is the Lin Kuei Crystal that allows him to draw energy and the Sword of Darkness that allows him to focus the energy. Destroy either the sword or the crystal and Minion will cease."
"Is there any other way?" Trini asked.
"Well, we could force him into the vortex and then try to seal it," Oscar said.
"The problem is that we would require a massive surge of power to even begin closing the vortex," Aqua Ranger explained.
"Alpha Five and I will work on a way to close the vortex," Zordon told the Rangers. "For now I suggest you all take the time to demorph and recharge your powers. With the Shadow Grid weakened it might be worth resting your bodes as well."
The still morphed Shadow Rangers nodded and slowly demorphed.
"Alpha Ranger, Power Down!" Oscar called as he returned to his civilian clothes. "I'm Oscar Barrett," he said.
"Aqua Ranger, Power Down!" The blue armoured orange ranger uniform was replaced by an Asian youth with black hair. "I'm Bruce Chen, Aqua Ranger," he explained.
"Pyro Ranger, Power Down!" In place of the red armoured Pyro Ranger stood a black hair boy with deep brown eyes. "Scott Tracker."
"Air Ranger, Power Down!" The green armour and orange body fell away to reveal a shaven headed African American. "Clyde Sinclair," he said shaking Jason by the hand.
"Terra Ranger, Power Down! Lee Jones," he said as his black and orange armour faded.
"Nature Ranger, Power Down!" Billy's mouth dropped open as he looked at the Ranger standing before him. With her blonde hair tied back and metal framed glasses he felt himself being drawn towards her. "Cassandra Long," short and to the point.
"Lightning Ranger, Power Down!" Yellow and orange armour transformed back into civilian clothes as to reveal the long brown hair of Christina Croft.
"Omega Ranger, Power Down!" Daniel was glad to finally be out of his uniform. "Daniel Nelson."
After the Rangers had introduced themselves the sixteen Rangers sat down to discuss how to finish Minion. The biggest problem was that Minion seemed able to draw infinite power from the Dark Dimension, causing it to grow larger every time he used its power.
"Wait a minute," Jason said. "If the Dark Dimension gets larger everytime he draws on it, what happens to the void?"
"It would grow proportionally larger at an accelerated rate and eventually seal off the vortex," Lee said.
"So if we force Minion to use his powers until the vortex is sealed, we could push him into the void," Trini said.
"We need something to lure him into using his powers," Oscar said.
The Rangers split up to find solutions to their problem. Whilst they did so Billy took Lee aside and asked a question that had been bothering him. "You said Minion was a clone holding the Blue Ranger powers. Is he my clone?"
Lee nodded sadly. "He was created sometime during your time as the Blue Thunder Ranger. He used the powers to free himself and then found a way to manipulate the UAE to his advantage. He is every bit as clever and cunning as you are, but lacks all your positive emotions."
Billy nodded in understanding and prepared to check on the Zords. He was interrupted when Minion appeared on the Viewing Screen.
"Rangers, both Morphin and Shadow, I give you a choice. Face me now, or I will destroy your miserable planet."
"Let's make this the last time," Oscar said.
Once morphed the Rangers teleported away, leaving the Power Chamber empty. And, totally unaware of the fact Tommy had just risen from the dead and opened his eyes.
As soon as they arrived, the Omega and Alpha Rangers used the double team attack, which had brought them victory on so many occasions in the past.
A cyclone of water grew from the tip of the Aqua Ranger's trident. It stayed suspended in the air as the other Shadow Ranger called forth their powers.
A column of fire rose around the waterspout evaporating it into steam. Before the steam could dissipate, Air Ranger added his own power to the mix.
The power of wind surrounded the steam and directed it over to where Minion was standing. Super heated steam surrounded Minion, burning him and causing him to catch fire.
With her weapon still in sword form the Lightning Ranger fired bolt after bolt of lightning into the steam. Electricity and water mixed, seeping through the holes in Minion's armour the fire had created. Minion screamed in agony as his skin began to boil.
Terra Ranger struck the ground with his club, creating a crack in the ground and bringing Minion to his knees. Deciding the time had arrived to bury their opponent she pointed her club first at the ground and then at Minion.
A large pillar of rock and dirt ploughed into Minion's face. Crumbling on contact it buried Minion under a pile of rubble.
"Bind him!" Nature Ranger ordered.
From inside the rubble vines and weeds started to grow, surrounding Minion's arms and legs and strapping them into the ground. More vines started to surround the fallen villain, creating a cocoon.
Directing the power of the wind, Air Ranger lifted into the air and was pushed towards the void. Then, the victory was over and Minion broke free.
"Pathetic humans," he hissed. "Do you really believe you can defeat me when I have the entire Dark Dimension to draw on."
Black crystals formed around the vines, which then exploded outwards and away from the villain. Lightning burst from Minion's chest, striking each of the Shadow Rangers who had attacked him.
In his haste to destroy the Shadow Rangers Minion had over looked Jason and the others waiting patiently for their shot. The Power Sword was thrust towards the coin on Minion's chest, but deflected by the Sword of Darkness. The battle resembled the fight between Red Ranger and the original Green Ranger a few years before. Jason remembered how he had defeated Tommy on that occasion and tried the same trick with Minion. The plan worked in disarming Minion, but Jason found the Sword of Darkness impossible to destroy.
"Red Ranger Armour!"
A medieval knight's armour dropped to the ground in front of Red Ranger. The back of the armour opened, allowing Red Ranger to step into his armour. Once inside the armour closed around him and modified itself to become even more effective against Minion. The armour bulked up in size to provide extra power, sacrificing more of the Red Ranger's speed.
Pulling back his fist and jumping slightly the Red Ranger drove Minion into the using all his power. A second blow and for the first time ever Minion looked like he was close to destruction. Wrapping his hand around Minion's wrist the Red Ranger squeezed. Minion dropped the Sword of Darkness to the ground, giving the Red Ranger a chance to kick it away.
"Green Ranger Armour!"
Armoured plating started to connect to the various body parts of the Green Ranger. Mechanical boosters attached themselves to the armour giving the Green Ranger the extra power he needed. He fired four right hand punches, followed by a left uppercut and right hook. Minion staggered backwards, but the Green Ranger was not finished. He dropkicked Minion using the power boosters on his legs to drive his feet into Minion's skull.
"So you like armour do you?" Minion asked as he recovered from the shots he had received. "Let's see how you like my new armour. Robo Troopers!"
All of Minion's Robo Trooper's appeared briefly before melting and joining with Minion's body. Combined with another boost from the Dark Dimension the new armour made Minion even stronger than he was before. He knocked Red and Green Ranger away with a single blow.
From a distance Purple Ranger attacked, using her Power Nunchuks to strike Minion in the small of his back. White Ranger was already airborne, using his momentum to bicycle kick Minion. As he landed he used Saba to cause more damage.
Yellow Ranger handed her Power Daggers to Pink Ranger and Black Ranger handed his Power Axe to Blue Ranger. As Pink Ranger fired the Power Daggers, Blue Ranger fired the Cosmic Cannon. Black Ranger had taken Blue Ranger's Power Lance and used it to fight Minion at close range.
"Thunder Clap!" Black Ranger called.
"Rolling Thunder!" Yellow Ranger called.
Once again Minion was engulfed in lightning, this time with the added noise of thunder. Minion dropped to the ground from the assault. As he regained his footing he failed to notice Green Ranger moving into position under his knees. Red Ranger delivered yet another punch and sent Minion over the Green Ranger.
"Surround him!" Red Ranger called. "Blade Blasters up!"
Surrounding Minion on all sides, the Rangers fired. Their blasts ripped into the villain. After their first try to destroy him failed Red Ranger realised they needed a new plan.
"Oscar, you with us?" From the sound of the Shadow Rangers groaning Jason assumed they were almost recovered. "The void is growing larger. We have to get him in there soon."
Inside the Power Chamber Zordon detected the void seconds before it swept into his own dimension. His face vanished from the plasma tube as the void entered the Power Chamber, destroying everything except the almost conscious Thomas Oliver.
"Now it ends," Minion said, standing up. "I have given you all a chance to take your best shots, but now I am tired of defeating you. It's time to grow up!"
Minion suddenly grew to full size and drew the Sword of Darkness once again. Driving the large blade into the ground and reaching into the Dark Dimension Minion sent all his power into the ground. Beneath the Earth's surface the planet started to crack. Cities sank into the ground as millions lost their lives.
The oceans boiled as more and more of Minion's power flowed into the ground. Soon the Earth was reduced to a small asteroid floating in the dead sky.
In the background the void had absorbed all of the Earth and the Dark Dimension, leaving only the Rangers, Shadow Rangers, Tommy and one other. Minion sensed all eighteen possible opponents and was suddenly certain that victory was his.
The Dark God looked into the sky and saw that the end was coming. He had allowed Minion a chance to prove himself and had been let down. Minion was not going to destroy all life in the name of evil; he was going to destroy everything in the name of revenge. Such an action could not be tolerated and the Dark God chose to act.
He had separated himself from the Master, leaving the former Shadow Grid Master with enough power to reward him for the freedom of evil. But now the time had come for him to finish Minion. The Dark God knew that if Minion was destroyed time would change, but with the Master as his willing servant he would be able to take control of things elsewhere whilst the Master conquered the Earth.
All that was needed was a vessel. He looked over the battlefield and saw the Rangers fighting. Any of them would have made good vessels, but there was one who had yet to act and he would make an excellent vessel. The Dark God sat back and awaited his opportunity.
Raising his sword one last time Minion prepared to finish the Rangers. His blow was stopped as a new opponent drove its lance into his stomach.
"When did you summon the Turtle Battle Dragonzord?" Red Ranger asked his green teammate.
"I didn't!" Green Ranger replied.
He tried to teleport into the Zord's cockpit, but found the beam blocked. Somebody else had taken control of the Zord. Minion responded quickly to the high powered Zord, eventually driving his sword into the head and slicing the Zord in half.
"I call on Auric the Conqueror!" Red Ranger called, holding the small golden key Tanya had once given to him.
The magical tiki of Auric arose from the ground and started to transform into warrior mode. Auric's tiki exterior split open vertically and folded back, revealing his warrior body; his head then rose up, and his legs extended; finally, his tiki exterior behind him transformed into his cape.
"I am Auric the Conqueror, defender of all that is good and true! Who requires my assistance?"
After Red Ranger had explained, Auric flew off to battle Minion, his sword in hand. It was a brief and brutal battle and although Auric was slain the Rangers had little time to grieve. Minion was starting to weaken and they needed to keep up the pressure while they still had a chance.
"We need Ninja Zords, now!"
"Okay Rangers, bring them together," Red Ranger instructed. "Ninja MegaFalconzord!"
"Ninja Battlezord!" Green Ranger called.
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.
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.
The eight recovering Shadow Rangers summoned their own humanoid shaped Zords. As the Rangers stepped inside the Zords closed around them.
First up was the Alpha Sentinel, a silver humanoid armed with a blaster barrel on its right arm. Following behind was the Air Sentinel, a green shield humanoid equipped with a pair of wings allowing flight. The Aqua Sentinel was ready for action. The high-pressure hoses attached to its shoulders highlighted the blue shelled body. A three-pronged harpoon attached to its left hand and was ready to fire. Finally came the Pyro Sentinel. Four pipes guided a flamethrower over its red body.
The second set of Shadow Zords grouped on the far side of Minion. The Omega Guardian standing tall, it golden armour reflecting in the light. The claw on its arm was ready for action. The Terra Guardian was prepped for action. The all black humanoid was equipped with a pile driver on each arm. The Lightning Guardian and Nature Guardian were both armed with swords. The yellow Lightning Guardian held a sword resembling a lightning bolt and the Pink Nature Guardian held a simple sword.
"Jason, we'll keep him busy whilst you finish him," Omega Ranger said as the eight Shadow Zords attacked.
Even in his weakened state Minion still managed to hold his own against the Shadow Zords. Eventually they managed to hold him allowing the Battlezord to attack and the Ninja MegaFalconzord to use its diving fist attack. Before the MegaFalconzord struck though Minion moved, throwing both the Alpha Sentinel and Nature Guardian into the Megazord's path.
Using the Sword of Darkness he damaged the remaining Sentinels and Guardians, causing them to cease functioning. Omega Ranger looked up and knew it was time to try to form the elemental protector.
"Let's Unify!" the Shadow Rangers called.
The Terra, Lightning and Nature Guardians joined together to form the legs, the Pyro Sentinel formed the lower torso, the Omega Guardian and Alpha Sentinel merged to form the upper body and finally the Aqua and Air Sentinels formed the arms. For the first time the Shadow Rangers discovered what it felt like to be in a real Zord. They were together in the cockpit looking out at their opponent.
"Jason, I've summoned the Gem Coin Ultrazord," Blue Ranger said.
In the distance Red Ranger could see the recently reconstructed Defender, Techno and Sky Megazords along with the Gem Coin Sentinel. At the push of a button the Gem Coin Ultrazord sequence was initiated. The formation started by separating the five Defender Zords. The police car, motorcycle, ambulance and helicopter joined with the Drop Zord to form the top body. The fire engine transformed to become the lower body. The Sky Megazord split in half to form the legs and the Techno Megazord formed the arms. Finally the Sentinel transformed to provide the head, arm guards and chest plate. The various weapons from the Zords attached to the arms and legs, forming the equivalent of a mobile fortress.
It had occurred to all the Rangers that the only way to weaken Minion enough to throw him into the void might be to destroy the Zords and force him to use his remaining power. As the Ultrazord arrived Minion was already trying to summon power from the Dark Dimension.
"There is no Dark Dimension!" Red Ranger shouted at him. "You destroyed it and now you have to be leave."
"Never!" Minion cried defiantly. "If I cannot conquer this world and my only choice is destruction, I shall take this miserable world with me."
"Oscar, get the Shadow Zords close and then bail out," Billy advised. He set the detonator to zero and triggered the self-destruct.
The Zords exploded, the Rangers unconcerned by their loss. If Minion was destroyed as a result then time would restore the Zords. None of the Rangers reappeared, the only area of Earth surviving the void was the spot where the Zords and Minion exploded.
But Minion survived; he rose from the crater certain there was no more opposition. He was wrong.
"Shadow Ranger Power!" Tommy Oliver called.
He should have been death, but the Power Coin had preserved him in case its agents failed. He was the last stand of the Universe. If he was beaten then the Universe would be destroyed. Not only his universe, but also all universes, realities and dimensions. It was for that reason he had summoned the Turtle Battle Dragonzord, but the plan had failed and now he was needed.
Tommy's armour formed. It was not the colour of any Morphin or Zeo power and was not the design of the Shadow Ranger uniforms. If was grey and featureless with a sword strapped to the back. Drawing the sword he realised it was one he had held before, the Sword of Power.
Normally, only six Rangers acting together in body could summon the Sword of Power, spirit and purpose. But he was the Shadow Ranger and as such rightful owner of the sword.
_The Rangers have failed,_ he thought. _It is up to me now._
Teleporting away he knew this battle would cost him more than his powers. It would eventually cost him his life.
He faced off against Minion in the remains of Angel Grove, surrounded by the wreckage of the Zords and fuelled by a desire for revenge. He could now see the scarred face of Bill Cranston's clone that the Rangers had thought destroyed during their time using the Thunder Zords. Looking at the scarred and burnt face Tommy understood how Minion had managed to turn Biilly and why he must die.
Angry at himself for not realising before Tommy drove his sword forward, aiming for Minion's cold heart. Without the Dark Dimension to back him up Minion's skill in battle was reduced. Tommy changed his aim and attempted to slice off the villain's hands.
"Who are you?" Minion asked as they fought.
Instead of answering Tommy tore off his helmet and revealed the face Minion hated with a passion. An evil grin spread across his face as he understood Tommy was alive and that he would have the opportunity to kill him again.
"You don't get it Tommy do you?" he asked. "You might be good, but I am the supreme evil being in creation. And if I decide to destroy everything, then nobody will stop me."
As Minion drove the Sword of Darkness into Tommy's heart Tommy drove the Sword of Power into Minion's throat. Minion released the Sword of Darkness as Tommy collapsed, his second chance finished. Minion dove at Tommy determined to strangle his nemesis. Tommy monkey flipped Minion and pushed him into the void; already aware it was too late. The void had opened too far and Tommy knew he could never seal the rift.
His powers faded as they had in the past and Tommy thought it was a fitting end to gain a new power and then lose it along with his life. He looked up into the darkness one last time and died.
"Thomas Tyler Oliver, you have been good; you have been evil; and now you have been shadow. Allow me to take your body and I will show you how to close the void. For a small fee."
"Who are you?" Tommy asked, aware of the fact his body was not responding to his commands.
"I am older than all the beings you have ever met or will ever meet. I am the darkness even the villains fear. I am served on worlds from hear to eternity, known by many names, but worshipped as one being. I am the Dark God; I am the Devil; I am Evil."
"What is the cost?" Tommy asked. He would give almost anything to save the ones he loved, except allow somebody to make him evil.
"You need not fear. The cost is that you may only remove the Green Power Coin from your body after the void has been totally sealed."
"What must I do?" Tommy asked.
"Lift the Sword of Power, place it on the Sword of Darkness and strike both blades with the Sword of Light. I will focus my power through you and destroy close the void."
Knowing he had no choice, Tommy did as he was told. The Dark God blasted Tommy with his power and the three swords focussed the power into the void.
Slowly the void started to close.
As the void closed, Minion was pulled out of the Dark Dimension, the Zords reformed and the Rangers went back to the Power Chamber. The Shadow Rangers were stripped of their powers; their mission complete and the Shadow Zords were reduced to a computer file in Billy's workshop.
Time reversed further, restoring the Zeo Rangers and Justin to life. The process ended where it began with Minion counting to six before executing an innocent.
But this time the Master was in place to act. He moved in behind Minion and destroyed him. Time moved forward slightly to a point where the Zeo Ranger and Justin appeared in the Park, alive but injured.
Watching from the sidelines the Dark God bid Tommy farewell, reminding him of the terrible cost Tommy would have to pay. Before leaving he whispered one last thing, "You can drop the Power Coin now."
With that the Dark God was gone, leaving Tommy to wonder exactly why the embodiment of evil had helped them. His train of thought was lost as he saw that thing had been restored to near normal. Justin and the Zeo Rangers were alive and Minion was destroyed. Now all he needed was the VR Troopers to be found and everything could return to the way it was supposed to be.
The Zeo Rangers had failed to destroy Minion and they had failed to save Justin. Tommy knew the Zeo Rangers would take time to heal, himself included. But Jason and the others would cover for them, at least for a while. At least with Zedd and Rita on Onyx the Rangers would have an easier time. Silvo and Bronzo might strike back; and the Psycho Ranger could return, but Tommy was confident good would triumph in the end.
Staring up at the warm afternoon's sun Tommy smiled and dropped the Power Coin to the ground. His physical form disappeared as his sprit returned to its rightful place and the Power Coin vanished once again this time on a rescue mission.
Throughout the Universe an evil laugh echoed as the Dark God looked into the future. The forces of good would soon crumble and the Universe would be his.
In his mind he hear the old saying repeating itself. He smiled again because somehow it was perfect for the occasion.
"THIS IS NOT THE END,
THIS IS NOT THE BEGINNING,
NOR THE BEGINNING OF THE END,
BUT IT IS THE END OF THE BEGINNING."