Chapter Five: Glimmer of Hope
"My Lord Minion," Bronzo said as he bowed to his master. "I have finished my research concerning and I think you should see this." He handed Minion a datacard on which he had placed the information from his computer.
Minion looked over the data and a lot of small pieces started to fall into place. "So the Green Dragon Ranger is that pathetic clone Rita and Zedd created of Tommy." He thought for a moment. There were many ways to destroy a clone, unfortunately most of them destroyed all the clones in a solar system. Minion knew his new body would survive such a spell, it was his mind he was worried about. He had not escaped the Dark Dimension just to be sent back there by his own spell.
"Have you located the clone yet?" he asked.
"No my lord," Bronzo replied. "Whatever spell the clone is using still limits our ability to find him."
Beneath his mask Minion frowned. The sensors in his Lunar Palace were more powerful than the ones Zordon used. Now they were set to search for a definite target, they should have found him without a problem. _Maybe this merits further examination,_ Minion thought.
"Leave me," he told Bronzo. "When Silvo and Brasso return tell them to await me outside. I do not wish to be disturbed."
Once Bronzo had gone Minion closed his eyes, entering a deep trance. He searched the Earth below, trying to touch the minds of the Rangers. He felt Tommy, Kat, Aisha, Rocky, Adam and Trey, but nobody else. Minion's eyes snapped open as he realised that six known Rangers were no longer within range of his mental touch. _Where have they gone?_ He wondered.
He knew it was too much of a coincidence and he did not believe Zordon could shield them in the Power Chamber. Reaching out a second time Minion search the Earth for those he knew were closest to the Rangers. His search revealed that David Trueheart was also missing and that Billy Cranston had appeared briefly in the Power Chamber just before they had all disappeared.
_Where did they go?_ Minion wondered. The obvious occurred to him, _Ninjor!_ He was surprised when he managed to force his mind into the Temple of Ninja Power, only to discover Ninjor was not there. _They've gone after new powers,_ he realised.
With a growing sense of urgency Minion decided to ensure that the Rangers had nothing to return to. He checked on his servants' progress and was pleased to discover they had succeeded in conquering Stone Henge and North Valley. Taking the Sword of Darkness with him, Minion teleported to Earth. He now had the means to ensure victory.
The planet of Onyx was allied with the United Alliance of Evil. No forces of good could survive on the planet, despite its appearance of mainly being towns based around western films from Earth. In truth the towns were the better areas of the planet. Beyond the so-called civilised areas, undetectable to any scanners was the largest and most ominous structure of the planet.
Built of an obsidian type rock a tall pyramid measuring four miles wide and over five miles high. The steep black walls exuded an air of power. Just a short distance from each corner a stone pillar had been erected. On the end of each pillar was a stone gargoyle, the final defenders of the pyramid.
Statues dedicated to the UAE's greatest warriors guarded the main entrance to the pyramid. Those passing through the door did so under the gaze of Ivan Ooze, Master Vile, Dark Spectre and Rita Repulsa. Despite her reputation following her release as a bubbling hag, Rita was honoured as the only member of the UAE ever to fight Zordon of Eltare to a standstill.
Twenty metres from the entrance was another statue. Made of the same black rock as the pyramid the statue was nothing more than a featureless humanoid body. No face was shown; no weapons were evident and no clue as to what powers such a being might hold. Below the statue was a pedestal on which the destiny of evil had been carved eons before.
"When thirteen shadows come within,
United to the chaotic fight,
The true servant of evil shall arise,
To take his place and crush the light."
From all over the Universe members of the UAE had gathered. All of them walking past the statue, few bothering to look at it and none noticing that a pair of glowing red eyes had appeared in the head.
Dark Spectre sat at the head of a long table, awaiting the final delegates to arrive. To his left sat Master Vile, Rita Repulsa, Lord Zedd, Divatox, and General Havoc. The seat immediately to Dark Spectre's right was empty, reserved for the third most powerful villain in the UAE, Maligore. Due to his imprisonment by Lerigot, Maligore was unable to attend. Instead his voting rights had been assigned to Divatox, a move which had pleased her family.
Next to the empty chair sat Count Dregon, Vexor, Grimlord and Nukus, all three of the latter recent inductees. All four had the knowledge of fighting enemies other than Power Rangers. Nukus had yet to prove himself against Vexor's enemies, but Dark Spectre could see he was a strategist.
At the far end of the table sat King Mondo and Prince Gasket. Both had applied to rejoin the UAE and had been accepted immediately. Mondo's position at the far end was more a sign of equality than a slap in the face. From there Mondo and Gasket would have had the ear of Dark Spectre's equal in terms of authority, Ivan Ooze. Like Maligore, Ivan was unable to attend the meeting due to being imprisoned. His voting rights had been retained and currently belonged to Dark Spectre.
Dark Spectre scowled at the spot on his table once reserved for the HydroHog. Squatt and Baboo, conquerors of Aquitar had now taken that placement. Since they were both considered equal the ruling body had been forced to water down each member's right, resulting in only himself, Vile, Maligore and Mondo the right to veto any decision. In a way he was glad, the very nature of the UAE meant they argued more often than they agreed. Less vetoes meant more decisions and less talk.
The final member of the ruling body appeared at his seat. Scorpius, an unknown factor from the distant Nebula Galaxy. He was an unknown quantity, feared by most and known to have crushed several teams of Rangers single-handedly.
"I call this meeting to order," Dark Spectre said.
Silence fell throughout the vast room. The inside of the pyramid had provided room for the various villains, their advisors, henchmen and foot soldiers. All of the various groups sat in different parts of the room. The foot soldiers furthest away due to their total lack of intelligence. Nearer were the various henchmen considered too dumb to help. Not too surprisingly the events of the last few days had brought even those idiot to within Dark Spectre's standards of competence.
The next table was for the lieutenants and strategists. This was perhaps the longest table, spreading around the main table as a three-sided square. This table consisted of those who were capable of setting out on their own, but lacking the resources to do so. Most of them would respond to a summons but were otherwise free to go their own way. Dark Spectre's most trusted warriors, Astronema and Ecliptor sat at the head of the table, along with Nefaria and Cycloptor. The junior members of the Royal House of Gadgetry, Machina, Archerina and Sprocket sat at the other end of the table. Archerina and the Queen had found they had a lot in common.
Finally on a little table behind him sat the think tank, those inventors and monster builders some of the villains felt compelled to use. Of all those members of the UAE they were perhaps the few who actually managed to get along. Porto, Finster, Klank, Orbus, the newly resurrected Professor Longnose and Colonel Icebot. Dark Spectre had long maintained that knowledge was power, so while in the pyramid they were under instructions to report any ideas directly to him.
"Our first order of business is the news from Earth." Dark Spectre looked thoughtfully at the report Minion had filed. It highlighted his future strategy for the planet's conquest. "Minion reports that despite his victory over the Rangers they have somehow managed to find new weapons and managed to beat of his recent assault on Angel Grove. Although they were victorious he states that their new weapons were destroyed, the mysterious Green Ranger failed to appear and Earth is now guarded by only a Gold Zeo Ranger."
Dark Spectre paused as he heard what sounded like the electronic equivalent of a groan emerge from Mondo's mouth. Not surprising given the metal monarch's continued claims that he would have beaten the Zeo Rangers if not for the Triforian's intervention. "Minion suggests that instead of getting even with Trey directly we take this opportunity to conquer Triforia. I will assign that mission later."
"On a good note," Dark Spectre continued. "Minion reports his attacks on Stone Henge and North Valley have been successful. He now controls two of the Earth's Ley Nexuses. He requests our permission to transfer the vortex to Stone Henge and to begin the next part of his plan. All in favour?" The members of the main table voted unanimously for the proposal, a small miracle in itself.
Just days before the various villains had arrived in the pyramid, answering the call for an extraordinary meeting from Lord Zedd. Upon entering the various villains and henchman started to feel strange. When the meeting began they realised it was too late. Lord Zedd released the power of the Dark Dimension into every living creature and entity in the room. Dark Spectre had felt his power increasing as any hint of love, compassion, guilt or mercy was stripped from his soul.
Suddenly the villains found themselves joined in purpose. No longer were they concerned with mere conquest of the Universe. Now all they were concerned with was the crushing of the light, the destruction of all Rangers and the death of Zordon of Eltare and his legacy.
"Our next order of business is the proposed plan for an all out assault on Edenoi," Dark Spectre said. He noted the surprised look on Count Dregon's face. Obviously the Edenite had never considered his request would be taken seriously enough for debate. "Count Dregon has made a valid case for the attack on Edenoi. The greatest factor in favour of this attack is the opportunity to gain possession of the fable Heart of Edenoi. With that source of power in our possession we will render the Masked Rider helpless."
"How do you suggest we make such an assault?" Zedd asked.
"We make use of our new allies," Dregon replied. "Instead of attacking the planet with insectivores, I propose we use some of Grimlord's VR Mutants whom the Edonites have never faced."
"All in favour?" Dark Spectre asked. Once again there was a unanimous show of hands. "I can see these meetings are going to be much more productive," he said as he double-checked the votes. "Very well, the motion is carried. Dregon, you and Grimlord make your plans and advise the council when ready to proceed."
Dark Spectre sat back and opened the floor to any further business. As expected the renewed members of the UAE all had something constructive to add to the debate. Rito had asked about Serpenterra and whether the former Rangers of Earth could somehow restore Lord Zedd's Zord to operation. After some discussion it had been agreed that the Rangers could not power a Zord that size even with Zordon's help.
Of all the various henchmen in the room it had been Rito and Elgar, Divatox's nephew, who had shown the most change since arriving on the planet. Rito had been beaten badly by Minion before being sent to Onyx with Finster. The powers of the Dark Dimension had replaced his broken bones with reinforced steel, creating an impenetrable exo-skeleton. At the same time the damage caused to Rito's mind after thousands of years had been repaired. Now Rito was back to normal as one of the fiercest warriors the M-51 Galaxy had ever produced.
Elgar on the other hand had simply had his intelligence increased to the level of a Putty. It was not much by most standards, but compared to what he had been like before it was a miracle.
Finally after what had been a very useful and creative discussion of various strategies, targets and possible allies Dark Spectre was convince they had discussed all they needed to. Once again he signalled for silence, almost smiling when every villain in the room was quiet. "I think that is all we will be able to discuss today. Divatox you are free to pursue your quest for Maligore and should you find him the UAE will provide any assistance required to help. In the meantime, this meeting is adjourned, we will meet back here in two days."
Slowly the meeting broke up, some of the villains rushing off to complete their assigned tasks. When the last few had left Dark Spectre turned his attention to Ecliptor and Astronema. "I have a task for you two."
"Just order great Dark Spectre and it shall be done," Astronema replied.
A crystal ball appeared in Dark Spectre's hand. "This is KO-35," he told his underlings. "I want that world either conquered or destroyed. It has only one team of Rangers and limited defences. It should prove a nice warm up for you my dear Astronema."
Ecliptor and Astronema bowed and vanished to complete their tasks. Dark Spectre knew they made an excellent team. _Why shouldn't they,_ he thought. _After all Ecliptor is her protector and she was created to be my heir._ The last thought reminded him that he needed to visit the Prison Planet at some point and ensure his guest was still sleeping. If she ever woke up it might tilt the balance. Deciding he had had enough of the pyramid he left, not noticing the statue at the front of the structure now had a copy of the Sword of Darkness in its hand.
Power Chamber, Earth
2 July 1996,
"Alpha, are you ready to proceed?" Zordon asked.
"Yes Zordon," Alpha replied. "Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi, this is so exciting."
Zordon merely nodded and began the complicated task he knew would help the Rangers in the future. Slowly, system by system the Power Chamber shutdown, leaving only the monster alarm activated. Zordon considered switching that off as well, knowing what he proposed would require a vast amount of power. The fact Minion was still on the offensive made him decide to leave the system on just in case.
"Alpha teleport now," Zordon instructed. Alpha did so, pressing the 'ENGAGE' button on the console before he left. Zordon's tube dimmed and then disappeared, leaving only the computer to carry out its new function.
Stone Henge, England
Minion appeared just outside of the barrier Silvo and Brasso had placed around Stone Henge. He planned to use the monument's full power for his plans, but first he checked to ensure there were no Rangers around. Satisfied there was nobody around Minion walked through the barrier and into the monument.
"By the power of all that is evil, I command Stone Henge to be restored!"
The ground shook as the mystical stones shifted position to return to their original positions within the stone circle. Over the years many humans had attempted to discover the true power behind the stone circle. Some had claimed it was an ancient form of calendar, some said it was an ancient burial ground and some even claimed it was built by aliens. Only Minion knew the real truth, somebody within the Dark Dimension had told him the secrets of Earth and Stone Henge.
As the site reformed itself Minion reflected on how arrogant humans were to believe for even a second that they knew the secrets of a site created long before this circular structure which became a magnet for new age travellers. He could just see the face of the countries greatest leaders if he was to resurrect them and tell them the power that had been under their very noses for centuries.
In truth Stone Henge was a travel point in the Universe. When complete seven stone doorways were formed, each providing access to one of the other dimensions. The power had been created to work for the forces of evil and had as a result been destroyed by the Order of the Meledon.
The final stone moved into place, forming a control station from which the portals could be opened. Minion placed the Sword of Darkness in its correct place and pushed. One of the stone doorways became active, a swirling portal of evil energy. Nothing could exit without his permission, but the link between the Dark Dimension and the Universe was now permanent. Minion retrieved his sword from the slot. Once the portal was activated the sword's work was finished.
"Peckster, Eye Guy, King Sphinx, Bones, Pudgy Pig, I command you to exist!"
From the portal stepped a group of monsters first set against the Power Rangers when Rita Repulsa had attacked the world. Minion knew they had all fallen in battle, but also realised they would act as a way to keep the Rangers busy and reveal any new weapons they created.
"Go to Angel Grove and destroy the Power Rangers. Do so at your full height, there is no point in fighting a losing battle and then growing."
In a flash the monsters disappeared, leaving Minion to sort out the next phase of his plan. Raising his hand he used his link to the villains currently on Onyx to summon three more sword, one they were unaware they possessed. From Mondo he took the Machine Sword, a weapon resembling a sharp spanner. From Nukus and Vexor he took the 2D-Sword, from which they were able to pull monsters from the Comic Dimension. Finally from Grimlord he took the VR Sword, which allowed Grimlord to move between dimensions. Had any of the three villains known how to use the swords they would have had complete control over their field. It was through the Machine Sword Mondo could control machines, but in addition it could create any machine its wielder desired.
In fact each sword had been crafted eons before by a powerful wizard. Each sword had been placed in subspace, linking to a particular type of villain and giving them immense skill. There were seven swords in total and when complete they would give the wielder total power.
As he inserted the three new sword, three more portals appeared, giving him access to monsters and weapons previous villains could only have dreamed of. Silently he sent each sword back into subspace. With four of the seven portals open he had only to find the remaining three swords. One sword would give him access to every alternate dimension; one would give him access to time and space allowing him to go anywhere at anytime.
The final sword was an unknown factor. During its construction the forces of good had sabotaged it. As a result its place in the Morphin Grid had shifted. It now belonged in the Shadow Grid where neither good nor evil could reach it. Minion planned to beat the Rangers, conquer the Universe and then find the last sword and obtain ultimate power.
White light filled the inside on the mountain, not only the Power Chamber, but deep into its core. Above the chamber the light filled the remains of the Command Centre. Then everything vanished, removed by magic. In fact the entire mountain had just been moved into another dimension and replaced by an illusion. Inside the other dimension the mountain was redesigned, hollowed out by Zordon's power.
Seconds later it was returned to its previous location outside Angel Grove. Now completely hollow throughout the inside, Zordon and Alpha redesigned their base of operations. In place of the Viewing Globe they fitted a new viewscreen all the Rangers could watch. They added new rooms to include an arsenal, workshop, Zord Bay, Gymnasium and Simudeck. A medical bay had been added at Zordon's insistence in case the Rangers were injured in their future battles.
The Power Chamber itself had been restore to its previous location above the mountain, allowing the Rangers access from outside. Zordon had removed the old costumes once symbolising the old Rangers. In their place were a series of eleven coloured tubes. In front of them still charging on its pedestal sat the Zeo Crystal.
"Alpha, summon the Rangers and teleport them to the briefing room."
Alpha did as Zordon commanded, working his way around the new consoles. There were eleven workstations in all. Each was coloured to allow different Rangers access. To make things easier for Alpha, Zordon had given the little android a new method of programming the computers. He could now interface direct from his own unit.
"They're on their way Zordon," Alpha said as he teleported to the new briefing room with Zordon.
In six beams of light five former Zeo Rangers and the current Gold Ranger appeared in the Briefing Room. They found themselves sat behind a big table equipped with computers, monitors and hologram display units. At the end of the table was Zordon's tube. He smiled as his face appeared.
"Welcome Rangers to Power Mountain," Zordon said. "Alpha and I decided it was time to update the Power Chamber and at the same time provide an area where we can discuss the recent events. As you know, Minion has been successful where Rita, Zedd, Vile, Mondo, Gasket and Louie Kaboom all failed. He has left the Rangers powerless and destroyed the Zords."
"What I don't get is why he hasn't finished us," Tommy said. "He has access to foot soldiers that were able to beat us and a henchman who was able to stand up to even Trey's attack and yet he sends Tengas and Putties after us."
"Then to make it worse he moves away from Angel Grove and takes control of two Ley Nexuses," Adam added.
"I do not suppose anybody knows where Minion came from, do they?" Trey asked.
"I am not sure," Zordon replied. "His energy readings are familiar, but I have yet to be able to find his point of origin. I do detect that he is drawing a power equivalent to the Ranger Powers from the Darkside of the Morphin Grid."
"How?" Aisha asked. "I thought only us Rangers could draw power in that form."
"That is true Aisha, However many thousands of years after the first Rangers were created a Darkside wizard discovered the evil spirit animals, one of which is the Jackal. Unlike the Ranger Powers there are no aspects."
"The question is how he got the powers," Alpha added. "The only known way to create an evil Ranger is to turn a Ranger evil and then kill him or her before the Morphin Masters can strip the power away."
"That means not only do they have to find a Ranger they can turn to evil, they then have to find a way to bring that Ranger back to life," Adam said.
"So in short, we don't know anything useful about Minion," Rocky said. "So what can we do about powers?"
"I have been working on something that might allow you to morph for a short time," Trey said, revealing the Gem Coins he had been working on. "Of course they won't be as strong as your previous powers and I can't provide any Zords."
"What about Red Battlezord or Serpenterra?" Kat asked.
"I am afraid not Rangers," Zordon replied. "Although Tommy would be able to pilot the Red Battlezord he would only have a partial interface due to his weakened powers. Serpenterra is just too big for you to take into battle."
"So what if we use Serpenterra to build some new Zords?" Trey asked. "The Zord is big enough to build all our previous Zords and then some."
"I believe that might be the answer," Zordon replied. "Alpha and I have already prepared the Zeo and Super Zeo Zords for repairs when the Zeo Crystal is completely recharged. In the meantime we shall work to create some Zords you can use with partial powers."
"Okay, so we've covered Minion, powers and Zords, the next question is why?" Tommy said. "Why choose North Valley and Stone Henge. There are other Nexuses more powerful with less protection."
The Rangers considered the problem for a while. Finally Kat had an idea. "Alpha, can you bring up a profile of the Stone Henge Nexus and the North Valley Nexus?"
Alpha complied with the request and the Rangers found themselves staring at the answer. Whereas the North Valley Nexus was small, the life it attracted were strong and athletic. The Nexus had very little influence over their lives. Stone Henge meanwhile was powerful, the Nexus had been used for ancient rituals for centuries.
"There," Kat said pointing to a line that ran between North Valley and Stone Henge. "The Nexuses are linked. North Valley has very little power while Stone Henge is almost off the scale."
"They're opposites," Tommy realised. "He can draw energy from one to feed the other."
"So if we were to retake one area, the other would weaken," Trey said. "Maybe we should work on a plan to infiltrate and free North Valley."
The Rangers agreed and soon the team had split into smaller groups to work on the problems. Alpha and Zordon meanwhile returned to studying the Stone Henge Nexus. _It cannot be that simple,_ Zordon thought. _Minion is up to something else._
The sound of the alarm caused the Rangers to drop what they were doing and report to the main control room. On the screen they could see five monsters making their way through Angel Grove.
"Zordon, are our Zords ready yet?" Aisha asked.
"No," Zordon replied. "Alpha and I will keep working on them. In the meantime Trey will have to handle the monsters with Pyramidas."
"Maybe not," Trey replied. "Zeo Ranger X - Gold!"
In an instant he was transported into his Gold Ranger uniform. Holding the Golden Power Staff out he called, "Gold Ranger Triple Team, now!" A beam of gold light shot from his Power Staff, creating two identical copies. "You two take Pyramidas," Trey told the copies. They nodded and teleported away. "Now it's my turn, Super Zeo Zord X!"
On the view screen a new Zord with a ten sided body appeared. It was covered in gold plate, giving it a powerful body. Trey vanished from the Power Chamber and was soon inside his new Zord.
Super Zeo Zord X landed in the path of the five monsters and was soon joined by Pyramidas, now converted to warrior mode. Between them the three Gold Rangers started to play a game of tag with their opponents. Super Zeo Zord X punched Pudgy Pig and the Peckster before drawing them into range for Pyramidas to finish.
"Super Zeo Zord Power Weapons!" Gold Ranger called. A larger version of the Golden Power Staff appeared in the Zord's hand. Using the staff the Super Zeo Zord was able to blast Eye Guy in its main eye, destroying the monster. Bones attempted to blast him from behind, but found himself on the receiving end of a super powered Gold Rush.
King Sphinx had chosen a different strategy. Instead of attacking directly he blasted both Zords with his wings. Even the mighty Pyramidas could not remain standing and landed on its back, converting back to pyramid mode. Inside the two copies started to flash as the temporary power split ended and they rejoined with Trey.
"Pyramidas, carrier mode!" Gold Ranger called.
As the giant Zord transformed into carrier form Super Zeo Zord X climbed on top, taking up position near the front. Using the combined energy of the two Zords he blasted King Sphinx out of existence.
Minion felt the surge of energy indicating his first wave of monsters had been destroyed. It didn't matter. Holding out his hand he recreated the five former monsters and added the Giant and Minotaur to his force. Using his powers he sent them back into action to the Financial District of Angel Grove.
"Pyramidas, Power Down!"
Trey watched as the giant Zord flew away before preparing to return to the Power Chamber. The Super Zeo Zord lurched as it was struck violently from behind and carried forward by some unknown force. Looking down he could see a horn sticking through the Zord's body.
Minotaur finally stopped moving, throwing the Super Zeo Zord to the ground where the other monsters closed in. Minotaur blast the Zord with energy from his horns; Giant and Bones moved in with their swords, hacking the Zord's arms; King Sphinx fired energy bolts from his sceptre and Pudgy Pig started to feed on the Super Zeo Power Weapon.
"We have to help him," Kat said as she watched the Zord take yet another blow.
"She's right Zordon," Tommy added. "We need some Zords now."
Zordon nodded silently. He did not like the idea of the Rangers using the reserve Zords, but he had no choice. "Rangers, observe the Viewing Screen."
The Rangers did as they were told. On the screen appeared what looked like a streamlined version of the Ninja MegaFalconzord. In its right hand it held a thin metal sword.
"This is the prototype of the Ninja MegaFalconzord designed for the Rangers of Aquitar. The Zords are not as powerful as the real Zords, but will work with your limited powers. Unfortunately since there are only five of you the Wolf will have to be operated by remote control."
"Will we be able to use the Ninja Ultrazord?" Adam asked.
"Yes," Alpha replied. "I have reconfigured Titanus to act as the Carrier Zord for you."
"Rangers step up to the table," Zordon instructed. As he spoke a six-sided table appeared. It was split into six segments; red, yellow, blue, pink, black and white. In each of the red, yellow, black, pink and white segments was one of the Gem Coins Trey had been working on. "These are Gem Coin Morphers. They will allow you to tap into the Morphin Grid and to use your remaining Zeo Powers. These powers will only last for a short time and are not strong enough to power new Zords, but they should be able to control the prototype." Tommy looked at the blue segment and saw the old remote unit Billy had built for the Falconzord.
"How?" Adam asked. "I thought the Zeo Crystal was under repair and the Power Coins are not linked to the Grid."
"You are correct Adam," Zordon replied. "However, even when not linked to the Morphin Grid the Power Coins are capable of transforming magical energy into a physical form. The Super Zeo Gems although part of the Zeo Crystal each contain a small amount of power. By combining the two sources Alpha and I were able to create a new power source for you."
"Will we look like the Zeo Rangers of the Aquitian Rangers?" Rocky asked.
"I am afraid I cannot be sure," Zordon said. "Although normally the Power would create your costumes based on your subconscious, the power source you are using does not draw directly from either the Grid or Zeo Crystal. If allowed to flow naturally the combined magic would produce little more than a bright glow."
"Therefore we had to include a miniature computer to control the energy flow," Alpha said.
"But the program we are using is very old and I am unsure about the results," Zordon told them.
"In other words the only way to find out is to morph," Tommy said.
"Aisha, I welcome you back to the team and request that you assume the duties of Zeo Ranger II - Yellow Bear." As Zordon spoke Aisha felt the power growing inside her. The familiar spirit of the Bear awoke, happy to be reunited with its surrogate cub. Even though Aisha knew she was not meant to hold the Yellow Ninja powers, she was happy to be back.
"Kat, you will once again become one with the Crane and become Zeo Ranger I - Pink Crane." Kat felt the power returning to her, weaker than before, but still there.
"Tommy, Adam and Rocky your Ranger colours will change to reflect the Morphin powers. Rocky, you shall be Zeo Ranger III - Red Ape; Adam, you shall be Zeo Ranger IV - Black Frog; and finally Tommy, you shall become Zeo Ranger V - White Falcon. I am afraid your Zeo Power Weapons are not available, but the Power Axe, Power Bow, Power Daggers, Power Sword and Saba shall be available for the time being."
"Thank you Zordon," Tommy said.
The six Rangers strapped their Gem Coin Morphers onto their wrists. The powers were voice activated so all they had to do was speak. Tommy looked at the others and asked, "Ready?" When he saw them all nodded he called out: "It's Morphin Time!" At once the computer program switched on and awaited them to call forth their powers.
"Zeo Ranger I - Crane!" Kat cried.
"Zeo Ranger II - Bear!" Aisha shouted.
"Zeo Ranger III - Ape!" Rocky called.
"Zeo Ranger IV - Frog!" Adam cried.
"Zeo Ranger V - Falcon!" Tommy called.
The five Rangers found themselves in the uniforms they had used as Morphin Rangers. In place of the diamonds on their chests, Red, Black, Pink and Yellow Rangers bore the symbol of their Zeo power. White Ranger found himself back in his old uniform, but instead of the black armour over his chest and shoulders, he had a golden shield similar to the one worn by the Green Ranger. His helmet had his Zeo symbol on the front. On checking each Ranger found they had a small blaster on the right hip and a small sword on their left hip.
"Let's go guys," Zeo Falcon said.
In five beams of light the Rangers left to help their friend.
"We need Ninja Zord power, Now!" the five Rangers called as they appeared near the spot where Trey was still taking a beating.
As they teleported into their Zord cockpits Tommy reflected on how good it felt to be finally back in the sky. His cockpit was a lot simpler than the Falcon Zord he remembered. Taking the controls in his hands he headed for where the monsters were still beating on the weakened Super Zeo Zord.
"Wing Rockets, launch!"
The wings of the Falcon Zord folded together revealing eight rocket launchers. On his original Falcon Zord Tommy had been able to pick the size of the rocket and the force to put behind it. Since this version was experimental, there was only one size built in. Nevertheless they did the job, driving six of the monsters away from the fallen Zord and destroying Pudgy Pig.
The other Rangers meanwhile had activated their Gestalt systems and were trying to merge their Zords together. "It's no good," Zeo Frog said. "Tommy, we need the Falcon Zord to make this work."
"On my way," Zeo Falcon responded. He flew the Zord back into range of the others. "Okay, insert Gem Coins, now!"
[Ninja MegaFalconzord sequence initiated. Wolf remote control online.]
Zeo Falcon read the message displayed and smiled. It had been a while since the had done this and he hoped the prototype was an easy Megazord to pilot. With his Gem Coin in place Zeo Falcon pressed the commit button and let the Gestalt System take control.
The arms and legs of the Ape detached from the body, the legs of the Bear split away from the body and legs and head of the Wolf retracted into the Zord's body. The bodies of the Ape, Bear and Wolf joined together to form the upper torso and arms of the Megazord. The legs of the Ape joined together and connected to the base of the upper torso to complete the main body.
Meanwhile the Frog had transformed into a pair of legs, joining with the Bear's legs; which had transformed to make two feet, to form the lower body. The arms of the Ape had converted into fists, which connected to the arms.
Finally the body and arms merged with the legs, allowing the Falcon Zord to clip onto the back and the Crane to slide into place as the head. As with the previous Megazords the Rangers were all grouped together in a single control room. Unlike the Ninja MegaFalconzord they were used to there was a definite lack of padding on their seats and the controls were simplified, limiting their options.
"Prepare to use the Double Power Punch," Zeo Falcon instructed.
"Um Tommy," Rocky whispered quietly. "There's no such function on this version of the Megazord."
"Okay, change tactic, we'll just punch him out."
Moving in between the fallen Super Zeo Zord and the six monsters the Rangers started to fight back. Catching the Minotaur they used him as a shield against the Peckster. The Peckster's beak reduced the Minotaur to dust, allowing the Megazord to punch it in the face.
"Power Sword!" the Rangers called.
"Pyramidas!" Gold Zeo called, abandoning the Super Zeo Zord for the time being.
With the Ninja MegaFalconzord using the Power Zord and Pyramidas striking the monsters with lightning bolts the Rangers were soon victorious.
"Ninja Ultrazord, Now!" Zeo Falcon called.
"Tommy we're finished," Zeo Crane told him.
"Not yet," Zeo Falcon replied, "Watch."
When his monsters returned the second time Minion did not bother to ask what had gone wrong. He was using the monsters Rita had relied on during her disastrous attempts to conquer Earth. The fact the Rangers were now weaker than ever did not seem to have made them any less able to beat the monsters.
"Go again," Minion ordered. He knew they would not win, but every moment the Rangers spent fighting drained their powers and allowed him to move forward with his plans. Already Silvo and Brasso had reported his first batch of new troopers were ready, allowing him recycle the Robo Troopers into his next project.
Now was the time Minion had planned for. At long last he was able to access the whole of the Dark Dimension and by doing so, had found himself some deputies to deal with pests other than the Power Rangers.
"By the power of the Sword of Darkness, I command the Queen of the Crown to come forth and destroy the Beetleborgs!"
In flash of black a dark mist rose from the portal. When it subsided, a woman dressed in a long white robe stood looking at her new master. He face was a dark pink with black lips and blue rings around the eyes. On her chest was a dark red crystal from which Minion could hear the screams of lost souls.
"Any prisoners you take you may deal with in your own way," Minion told her. The Queen bowed gratefully and then vanished. Minion turned his attention back to the portal.
"By the power of the Sword of Darkness, I summon Golobulus and his legions to conquer the VR Troopers and take their rightful place in my army."
Unlike the Queen of the Crown, Golobulos did not form in front of his master. Instead he teleported to start on his mission. Minion nodded in approval. He hated grovelling and knew his servants were all capable of doing their jobs without harassment. They all knew what happened if they failed him, so they all did their best.
"Finally, by the power of the Sword of Darkness, I summon the Mandarin to step forth and destroy the Masked Rider."
Minion knew Mandarin had never died in battle, but the Sword of Darkness gave him control over all minor villains, especially Earth based villains. After a short debate Minion increased the powers of the Mandarin's rings and sent him on his way.
After a few minutes of waiting, Tommy's hunch paid off. The seven monsters appeared yet again. This time they did not take the Rangers by surprise. As they finished teleporting the Rangers had already formed the Ninja Ultrazord. The Rangers measured their opponents and fired their weapons, the full power of the Ninja Ultrazord ripping the monsters to pieces.
Finally victorious the Rangers teleported back to the Power Chamber. For the first time in the last few days the Rangers were victorious and had managed to keep their Zords intact to fight again.
When they entered the Chamber they found Zordon and Alpha waiting for them. Before he could congratulate them Tommy spoke. "Thank you for the Zords, they were just what we needed."
"Indeed," Zordon boomed, his voice filled with pride. "Although not as powerful as the Zords you have used, hopefully they will aid you until either the other Rangers return, the Zeo Crystal is recharged or I can create some more powerful Zords."
"What about Super Zeo Zord X?" Rocky asked.
"Not a problem," Alpha told him. "The damage is within the Zord's repair capabilities."
"So for once we win?" Rocky asked.
"Yes," Zordon boomed. "Minion's monsters have been beaten back. However there is more work to do. We must help to free those he has captured and I detect some new disturbance over Stone Henge. We must still be cautious. But for now you should go and relax while you can."
In a flash, the Rangers were gone. With them gone Zordon turned his attention back to the Zords he had been designing with Alpha. On the View Screen three Megazords were shown. One was made of aeroplanes; one was a mixture of futuristic vehicles; and the third was made of emergency vehicles. All three were designed so the limbs could be interchanged to provide maximum utility. Zordon had though of making Zords using racing cars or rescue vehicles capable of transforming into small robots. He dismissed the idea as silly.
Each of the three sets of Zords he had designed were capable of working with the weakened power, whilst at the same time providing strength and speed to the Rangers.
"Alpha begin construction of the new Zords immediately," Zordon commanded.
"Okay, it's done," Rocky said, setting Billy's home made voice duplicator on the table. "Billy is staying with Zack and Jason at Jason's house, Kim and Tanya have arranged to visit Kim's mother in Paris and Aisha is just staying out for a few nights with Trini in Kenya as part of a Peace Conference project."
It was the first time since Minion had first attacked any of the Rangers had considered explaining to their parents where they had been. Trini, Jason and Zack had all had an excuse for their parents, but not for the Peace Conference staff. Billy provided an alibi since he was supposed to live on his own and not on another planet. Using the voice duplicator Rocky had phoned each group of parents and told them where their children were. Aisha had been to tell her aunt she was helping the Rangers and together they had come up with a believable story.
"What about Trey?" Kat asked.
"He said something about going back to Pyramidas," Adam said. "I don't think he wants company right now."
"Maybe," Kat replied. "Or maybe he's just shy. I think we should go and get him."
"There's no need," Tommy to her. "I had a word with him earlier. He has some things he needs to take care of and somebody he wishes to see." He raised and eyebrow as he looked at Aisha, Rocky and Adam, "I hope he doesn't get beaten up like we did."
Comprehension flickered in Rocky's eyes. "Dex?" Aisha and Adam burst out laughing as they remembered the time they had travelled to Edenoi only to get their butts kicked by Dex and his friends.
Ernie watched the Rangers at their table. _Enjoy it kids, you've earned the break._ He watched them a while longer before turning back to his duties.
2 July 1996,
"Kim look out!" Billy called as he ducked another monster.
The eight teens had no sooner arrived at their destination than they were attacked. Eight lizard like creatures had taken them by surprise, each armed with a spear.
Kimberly leapt out of the way, narrowly avoiding the lizard's tail. Landing on one foot she pushed herself into the air, performing a spin kick that would have made Tommy jealous. For some reason, despite being unable to morph the Rangers were able to execute moves they had only ever managed successfully when the power was flowing through them.
"Come on you overgrown handbag," she heard Tanya call.
Looking over to where the former Zeo Ranger was fighting she could see the lizard was having problems. Tanya kicked it from behind and quickly rolled away as it turned around. Once again behind her opponent, she kicked it a second time.
Jason meanwhile had not bothered with fancy kicks. Instead he was trading fists and solid kicks with a powerful looking lizard. He pulled away as he saw the tail swinging towards him, waiting for the correct opportunity and then stomping on the tip of the tail. "Hi-yah!" He threw the lizard to the ground, driving his fist into its skull just above the eyes.
Zack had gone back to the techniques that had given him the best results as a Ranger. Distracting his opponent with his footwork, he waited until the lizard had lost interest in fighting him before kicking it in the head. A few extra kicks to the creature's midsection and it keeled over.
In a pocket dimension composed of neither light nor darkness a small group watched the former Rangers in battle. One of them had worked with the Rangers before. Two had been watching over the Rangers at various times in their careers. The final member of the group was a powerful ally of Rangers throughout the Universe who might one day have become their mentor, had not Minion's existence changed events so she would never join forces with them.
"They are good," the first watcher said.
"I told you they were," a second piped up. "I only served with two of them, but I believe Zordon has chosen correctly."
"As do I," a female voice said. "But I feel we must test them. They are the first to ever try for this power. If they are unworthy nobody will be able to stand up to them."
"Then it is decided," a fourth, deep voice said. "We will wait until they have completed this challenge before introducing ourselves."
The pocket dimension returned to silence as four of the most powerful beings for good watched the Rangers finish off their first trial.
Working back to back David and Sam had formed a good team. While David drew the lizards towards him Sam would catch them by surprise.
"Ready?" David asked.
He got his answer when he felt Sam step into his hands, onto his shoulders and then launch himself into a bicycle kick. The first lizard didn't even realise what was happening until Sam landed, using a reverse chop to bring the creature down.
David slammed his fist into the side of his opponent's head. Turning his back on the lizard he pulled its chin over his right shoulder, holding it in place by positioning his arms around its neck and dropped to his knees. With an effort he dragged the semiconscious form back to its feet before repeating the move. This time though he turned his body as he descended, causing the lizard to rise into the air slightly.
Unexpectedly, the lizard Sam was fighting managed to knock him off his feet. Sam fought back as best he could until the lizard man collapsed. Behind it was Trini, offering her new friend a hand up.
"What happened to yours?" Sam asked.
Instead of answering, Trini pointed to where Billy was beating two lizards simultaneously. "Do you think we should help?" David asked as he help Sam up. He noticed the looks on his friends' faces and added, "I meant the lizards."
"Billy's pissed!" Jason said as he walked over with Kim and Tanya.
"You can't blame him," Zack said as he also joined his friends.
"Heeyah!" Billy cried. "And don't you ever try that again," he told the last lizard as it collapsed to the ground. The workout had done him almost as much good as his time in Ninjor's Temple.
"Congratulations Rangers," Ninjor said as he moved to greet them. He waved a hand around the lizards and they vanished. "For those of you I have not met, I am Ninjor, Blue Morphin Master, protector of the Temple of Ninja Powers and keeper of the Spirit Aspect of the Power."
"Congratulations indeed," a deep voice boomed. "Know that I am Saurian, keeper of the Body Aspect of Power."
"I am Thalian, keeper of the Mind Aspect of Power," A white faced humanoid said.
"And I am Dulcea," the bikini clad female said. She smiled as Sam, David, Jason, Zack and Billy struggled to pick their jaws off the ground. Rangers they might be, but she was glad to see they were still young at heart. "I am the keeper of the Ranger Aspect as well as the power of the Ninjetti, an offshoot of the Ranger powers. I am here to oversee the tests you must face to see that you are worthy."
"Come," Saurian said. "We will talk more when we reach my temple. Your training for the Ranger Aspect shall begin at dawn tomorrow."
Stone Henge, England 2 July 1996,
"Yes Minister, I understand. Goodbye Minister." Finally able to put the phone down Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart returned to his assignment.
The previous day a strange energy barrier had appeared around Stone Henge. Although he had retired from UNIT many years before, the ageing Brigadier had been asked to return to action to resolve the unknown problem.
"Sir?" The Brigadier turned around to be confronted by his old second-in-command, Mike Yates.
"Captain Yates, good to see you again old chap."
"Thank you sir," Mike replied.
"Well, what do you make of this?" the Brigadier asked indicating the reason UNIT ad been called in.
"It's similar to the energy field the Daemon used back in Devil's End," Mike said. "All we need is the Doctor to show up with some ingenious way to get through it and we can find out what's on the other side."
"Somehow I knew you were going to say that," the Brigadier muttered. "Sergeant Groves!"
"Sir!" The young Sergeant snapped to attention as he saluted his superior.
Younger than most of the Sergeants who had served under him in the past, Groves looked cool, calm and efficient. His short dyed hair was hidden under his Green Beret. The Brigadier noticed the Sergeant was carrying a small revolver at his hip.
"At ease Sergeant," the Brigadier said. "Right, I want a five mile exclusion zone around the monument. Anybody you find in the area I want detained and taken to a safe area for debriefing. Then post some men around the monument itself. Nothing is to go in or out of that barrier."
"Yes sir," Groves said as he hurried away.
"Now," the Brigadier continued. "Let's go take a look at this barrier, shall we?"
Temple of the Body, Zyuella 3 July 1996, 0500 hrs
Eight hopeful humans stood awaiting their first test. Saurian had warned them that their day would be long and tedious, but during that day they would learn whether they would be able to hold the Ranger Aspect.
"I am sorry to tell you that you must be separated into smaller groups. Some of you are connected to one aspect of the Morphin Grid already and your tests must take place within those aspects."
Thalian stepped forward to look at the hopeful Rangers in front of him. "Zachary Taylor, Kimberly Hart, you two will accompany me to Dairon." He held out his hand to both of the former Rangers. Kimberly and Zack took his hand and vanished.
"Trini Kwan and William Cranston, you are both to accompany me to the Desert of Despair," Ninjor said. Billy and Trini stepped forward and vanished.
"Samoht Revilo and Jason Lee-Scott, you will remain here with me," Saurian said. Above him a door opened in the temple and the two boys followed him in.
"And that just leaves us," Dulcea said to David and Tanya. "Come on, let's go."
"Where are we going?" David asked.
"Phaedos," Dulcea replied. "Neither of you have ever held a Morphin Power, so I need to ensure you are suitable candidates. It will also allow you to find your spirit animals." In a flash they all disappeared, heading for Dulcea's home.
Sometimes it is the little things that turn the tide of a battle. Something overlooked by the forces of good and evil can become fatal to both sides. Sometime an opportunist needs only a few seconds to seize a victory from under the nose of even the most powerful force.
Although Zordon had been correct about the existence of the Shadow Grid and the fact its users preferred to remain neutral did not mean as a people they were above good and evil. Over time a few renegades had arisen. Some travelled through space trying to ensure things were right, not perfect, just right. Others travelled in search of power. One such creature had been watching the events on Earth with interest. Over ten years before he had tried to conquer the planet, now he saw the opportunity.
_It will take timing to ensure both sides are at their weakest, but when that time comes I will be victorious!_</body></html>