Chapter Four: Golden Light
"My lord Minion," Bronzo said as he bowed before his master. "There is a communication from someone demanding to speak with Lord Zedd."
"Indeed," Minion said his interest evident. Very few beings ever demanded to talk to Lord Zedd and most of those who would dare were on Onyx. "Show me."
A communication screen appeared from nowhere in front of Minion. On the screen appeared a middle aged Triforian male. From the look on the man's face Minion could tell he was pretty high up in the Triforian power structure.
"I distinctly told your colleague that I wish to speak to Lord Zedd and not his lackeys," the Triforian began.
"I am Minion, temporarily in charge of the UAE forces on Earth. Whatever you had to say to Zedd, you had BETTER say to me!"
The man looked shocked that Minion had spoken to him like that, but recovered his composure in time to respond to Minion's threat. His eyes blazed angrily as he stared at the villain before him.
"You obviously have no idea, to whom you are speaking," he began. "I am Zarnak, one of Prince Trey of Triforia's highest advisors and Lord Zedd's most valuable source on this world. If you do not start showing me the respect I deserve, I shall sell my information elsewhere and ensure Lord Zedd hears of your insolence."
There were several ways in which Minion could have responded. He could have ignored the comment and continued to press for details; he could have apologised and begged Zarnak to tell him; or he could have cut the communication and risked Zedd's wrath when he returned. Instead Minion did something unexpected; he reached into the magical communication screen and grabbed hold of Zarnak by the throat. With little effort he pulled the Triforian into the Lunar Palace.
"Now, you were saying?" Minion asked, summoning the Sword of Darkness from its hiding place.
"You cannot threaten me," Zarnak said indignantly. "Zedd will have your head for this."
"Really?" Minion asked, smashing the end of his sword over Zarnak's head. "Firstly, if I kill you he will never know what happened to you. But more importantly, I have just destroyed Aquitar and defeated the Rangers of Earth. Now, do you really think in light of those accomplishments Zedd is going to destroy me just for hurting a small minded informer."
Zarnak's shoulders slumped in defeat and he decided it was best to tell Minion the news. "Lord Trey has left Triforia and is heading for Earth, with something he hopes will aid the Earth Rangers.
"What?!" Minion demanded furious that Zarnak had wasted time protesting while the annoying Gold Ranger was near to ruining his plans. "Why did the council not stop him?"
"Well we, that is to say I tried our best," Zarnak said in a quiet voice. "But he was insistent on leaving and he had his mother's blessing."
"Very well," Minion said after a long silence. He glared at Zarnak, now cowering on the floor begging for mercy. "Go back to Triforia. When word reaches his mother about her son's death, ensure you are there to recommend she vacate the throne and hand control to a subject of the UAE."
"Yes, Lord Minion," Zarnak said as Minion kicked him back through the viewscreen.
Minion considered the problem. He doubted the Gold Ranger could restore the Zeo Crystal, or that he had a set of new powers. _But he must have something they can use,_ he thought. He quickly checked to ensure the bounty hunters he had hired were on a course to intercept the meddling Triforian.
_Maybe I should push ahead with the next phase,_ Minion thought, _Just in case._
Trey looked at his handiwork, a smile of pride spreading across his face. Many thought that just because he was the ruler of Triforia he was unskilled in the crafts of war. In truth his parents had sent him to train with some of the greatest warriors the Galactic Council had ever known. He had been trained in unarmed combat by Dulcea; had received physical training from Zyuella, keeper of the Temple of the Body; had received an education from the Monks of the Dairon Temple of Mind; and finally had visited the legendary Ninjor to learn the art of power artefacts.
Part of his training had been in the manufacture of Zords. Although Trey knew the Rangers could never hope to control Zords without their powers, he had decided that he might be able to use technology to give them some means of defending their world while Zordon searched for new powers.
An electronic alarm sounded, alerting Trey to the ships attempting to sneak up on him. Replacing his helmet Trey assumed his seat in command of Pyramidas. In the rear viewscreen he could see three one man cruisers on an intercept course.
Pyramidas shook violently as the pursuers opened fire, their blasts bouncing harmlessly off the shields. More blasts followed each shot weakening the Zord's defences. Trey activated his weapon systems and prepared to fight.
"Activating containment field," Tommy said.
The five former Zeo Rangers had gathered together above the Power Chamber, in the room that once housed the Command Centre. Although most of the Power Chamber was now below ground, Zordon and Billy had rebuilt the upper chamber soon after the Zeo Rangers had been created. Instead of a command area, Billy had adapted the room to serve as a combination of laboratory and repair bay.
Each Ranger was now seated at a console operating the controls as though they had been doing so their whole lives. On a raised pillar in the centre of the room was a platform holding the remains of the Zeo Crystal. Zordon had mentioned they might be able to reform the crystal using the power of the Super Zeo Gems and the Power Coins Zordon had been sent following the death of the Aquitian Rangers.
Currently the Power Coins had been arranged below the platform and the Super Zeo Gems were floating above the remains. As Tommy activated the containment field the coins were pushed closer to the platform, a different coloured beam of energy emerging from each of them. As the beams of light struck the platform above the remains of the Zeo Crystal started to move. Above the smashed Crystal the Super Zeo Gems had also started to glow. Waves of energy bathed the Zeo Crystal causing it to move more frantically.
"Structure complete," Adam reported from his place.
The Zeo Crystal was now back to its normal shape and form. But it was too early for the Rangers to celebrate, the Crystal remained dark with no evidence of power.
"Begin Phase Two," Tommy said.
Kat activated the four power inducers located over the Zeo Crystal. With small cameras positioned on the tip of each inducer to guide her Kat was able to convert the combined power of the Super Zeo Gems, Power Coins and the mighty generators buried deep underground that normally powered the Power Chamber into a form of laser suitable for repairing the still damaged crystal.
The cameras on the tip of the inducers allowed Kat to see where the flaws were located and to rectify them. As she did so the Zeo Crystal slowly began to absorb the energy from the Power Coins. The Super Zeo Gems dropped to the ground indicating their purpose had been served.
"Phase Two complete," Kat said after what seemed like ages. "Ready for final power up."
"Okay, Rocky you start, Tanya you follow," Tommy said.
Both Rocky and Tanya nodded. Activating their consoles they began to feed more power into the Zeo Crystal. The crystal glowed as they increased the power levels.
"Full power, now!" Tommy called.
Tanya and Rocky turned the controls up to maximum, channelling all available power into the reformed crystal. A bright flash filled the room as the Zeo Crystal reached full power.
"Shit!" Tommy swore as the crystal shattered, falling apart under the stress of the power. "Shut everything down, we'll need to start from scratch."
"That might be a problem," Rocky said. The others followed his gazed to where the Power Coins had fallen.
Tommy felt all his hopes fail when he saw the coins. Once engraved with the images of the Aquitian Rangers' Spirit Animals, the coins were now blank.
"Now what?" Tanya asked.
"Now we go and tell Zordon we've failed," Tommy told her.
He bent down and picked up the Power Coins and Super Zeo Gems from the ground. For a moment the two sources of power were touching each other. Electricity started to arc from the Gems to the Power Coins, causing Tommy to drop them. As he picked them up the second time he was more careful. Once all the coins were gathered and all the Gems had been placed in their container the Rangers teleported away.
Strips of black and gold armour were scattered across the floor of Pyramidas. Blood was spread across the floor, running into the room where Trey had earlier been trying to help the Zeo Rangers. Moments before Trey had been in a fight for his life, a fight that had led him to make a dangerous attempt to survive.
Not long after the three ships had attacked, Pyramidas had retaliated. A lightning bolt from the tip of the mighty pyramid had caught the first craft. A second craft had tried to ram the Zord from the side. Although the craft had been destroyed by the impact, the pilot had succeeded in penetrating the hull. This had allowed the third craft, the real enemy to dock and gain entry.
Trey had already checked on his opponent and discovered it was a bounty hunter, but fortunately not a member of the Barox, against whom Trey's powers were useless. After ducking to avoid the attacker's first shot, the Gold Ranger caught sight of his attacker.
A bit taller than the average human, the bounty hunter was dressed head to toe in armour. On his back was a rocket pad and in his hand was an upgraded version of a hunter's rifle Trey had seen sold on many worlds. The hunter raised his weapon and fired.
Trey ducked for cover, wondering how the bounty hunter had managed to almost hit him. The Gold Ranger prided himself on his ability to judge his opponent's ability, but in this case he had been wrong. Most assassins aimed their rifles before firing, but this bounty hunter had fired from the hip and that had been what had caught Trey off guard.
_He must have some sort of targeting system built into the helmet,_ Trey realised as he ducked yet another blast. He did not want to return fire whilst inside Pyramidas in case he damaged one of the more vital systems, or worse still, the damaged the hull where the bounty hunter's ship had attached itself. _Maybe I can confuse his sensors,_ he thought.
"Gold Ranger, power down!" Trey's suit disappeared from his body. Trey kept the Gold Power Staff in his hand, knowing it would make an effective weapon whether he was morphed or unpowered.
Gnavor adjusted his helmet's scanner, trying to detect the now unpowered Triforian. He had expected Trey to remain morphed and had based his attack on that possibility. His helmet scanners were programmed to track the Zeo Power, which was now weaker with Trey unmorphed. Soon the scanner locked in on Trey and Gnavor once again started to stalk his prey.
Trey carefully made his way to the chest where he kept his hand blasters. Since from time to time Pyramidas was used to transport more than just the Gold Ranger, providing extra weapons for his passengers was a good idea. Removing three of the medium sized weapons Trey crawled to a spot where he was shielded from the bounty hunter's sensors.
For a moment his body shimmered to be replaced by Trey's three component parts. Courage quickly handed a weapon to Heart and Wisdom. The three Treys then split up, using the shielding to prevent Gnavor from noticing the split. As Heart and Wisdom crouched on opposite sides of the ship, Courage purposefully stepped back into scanning range. He waited for a split second before making it obvious he had made an error and moving back under cover.
It took Gnavor five seconds to realise he had been tricked. In that time he had covered the distance between himself and the spot where he had detected Trey. With his rifle ready to fire aimed to draw the Triforian into running. He fired three times and then noticed Trey's life signs behind him. As he twisted around he understood why the Gold Ranger had powered down. Surrounding him in a triangle formation were Trey of Wisdom, Trey of Courage and Trey of Heart. He raised his hands to protest, secretly planning how to shoot the nearest Trey.
Before he could accomplish anything Trey of Wisdom fired, knocking the rifle from his hand. Trey of Heart fired his blaster at the rifle, destroying it. Finally Trey of courage fired twice, his shots cutting through the bounty hunter's helmet. With a loud clang the helmet crashed to the floor, exposing Gnavor's almost reptilian face for the first time.
Gnavor growled in anger, drawing a small cylinder from his side and twisting the end. A metallic blade emerged from the end of the cylinder. Gripping the cylinder in both hands he charged at Wisdom. Wisdom ducked the blade and moved over to where Courage and Heart were waiting. As the three parts joined hands they remerged into Trey. He quickly summoned his Golden Power Staff, using it to block Gnavor's next attack.
"Gold Ranger Power!" he called, instantly changing into the Gold Ranger.
The remainder of the fight was quick and brutal. Trey used his Power Staff like a club, knocking Gnavor off his feet and breaking the blade.
"Time for a Gold Rush!" Trey called, releasing the full power of his staff into the bounty hunter. He grabbed onto a wall; as Gnavor and his ship were blasted out of Pyramidas, leaving a hole that was quickly sealed by the Gold Power.
Exhausted, Trey looked at the spot where he had last seen Gnavor. The bounty hunter had struggled to survive in the vacuum of space, but his body had exploded from the lack of pressure, spreading his armour and blood over the floor of the Zord. With a mental command Trey ordered the Zord to clean the chamber and watched as the residue of his battle was swept away. Trey powered down and resumed his course for Earth, hoping the delay had not resulted in any loss of life.
Minion sensed the deaths of his bounty hunters. _I should have known better than to trust the job to second rate scum,_ he thought.
He had spent the time since his victory over the Zeo Rangers planning his next act. He had been tempted to send his Robo Troopers back to Earth to finish the job, but had dismissed that idea as premature. Despite defeating the Rangers and preventing support from Aquitar, Minion had yet to deal with the other defenders of Earth. He knew the Masked Rider, VR Troopers and Beetleborgs were all active in California. He also knew that New York had its own protector.
In addition there was the Earth's armed forces to deal with. Minion had absolute faith in his creations, but did not want a long battle that might convince civilians to take up arms to defend themselves. His plans for Earth required the planet and its people to be taken alive. He planned to use the people of Earth as hosts for the creatures in his Dark Dimension and to convert the planet into a mobile space station, using the planet's natural magic to power it.
_First things first,_ he thought. Although the Zeo Rangers were gone there was still the Green Ranger to deal with.
"Silvo," he called quietly.
"Yes master," his henchman said, "What do you wish of me?"
"Send a mixture of Tengas, Putties and Cogs back down to Angel Grove. They are to destroy the Green Ranger when he appears."
"Yes master," Silvo said, disappearing to carry out his task.
The Power Camber,
1 July 1996, 19.00hrs
In a column of clear light Jason Lee-Scott, former Red Morphin and Gold Zeo Ranger arrived in the Power Chamber. He immediately noticed that only Tanya was with him. He glanced at the Viewing Globe and saw it was shifting images, monitoring all the Rangers on Earth, both former and current.
"I'm here Zordon," Jason said, "What's up?"
"Thank you for coming Jason," Zordon said. "I have already told Tanya the reason I have summoned you and she has agreed to help us."
Jason moved over to where Tanya was sitting. A chair appeared for him to use; indicating this might be a long conversation. Alpha 5 was scurrying around on the other side of the Power Chamber, apparently trying to talk to someone.
"How much do you know about the Ranger Powers?" Zordon asked.
"Only that the powers take the form of either a set of Power Coins or the Zeo Crystal," Jason answered.
Zordon sighed; there was obviously a lot he would need to teach his Rangers in the future, especially if they succeeded in completing his plan.
"You are partially correct," Zordon said. "The Ranger Powers you are used to have been drawn by Power Coins and the Zeo Crystal. However, only those who have held the powers of the Morphin Grid would be accepted as Rangers on another world. As White Morphin Master I had the right to name the Zeo holders as Rangers, a role they have fulfilled with honour, courage and great skill."
"So what exactly is the Morphin Grid?" Jason asked. Of all the Rangers, only Billy had ever done any real research on their powers.
"The Morphin Grid is a source of energy that humans sometimes refer to as magic, formed shortly after the Universe was created. The power of the Morphin Grid is spread throughout the Universe. On some worlds all the people can touch the power, on others such as Earth, many members of the population are unable to touch the power naturally. Instead the Power manifests itself as miracles and unexplained phenomenon such as telekinesis and telepathy."
"Why are we unable to touch the Power?" Jason asked.
"In a way you can," Zordon explained. "Earth is a unique planet. The planet itself contains great power and magic. It also contains a high percentage of Iron, which counters the effects of magic. As a result magic is overlooked in the day to day lives of humans and is not taught in the ways as it is on other worlds."
"When I first picked my Rangers I had a number of requirements," he continued. "Firstly they had to be willing to accept the rules of the Power. There were others on Earth who would have been able to hold the Power, but might have abused the Power. Secondly, they needed to be able to form and act as a team. When I first ordered Alpha to find you the computer searched for a group of friends. Finally, I required teenagers who had the potential to touch the power."
Tanya took the opportunity to ask the question she had been wondering about since the day that she had first become a Ranger. "Zordon, why did you choose teenagers to be Rangers?"
Zordon smiled. He knew the other Rangers had often discussed the issue, but none of them had yet come to the right conclusion. "The first reason is because as I said I needed humans with the potential to touch the Power whose minds were not closed to the possibilities of doing so. In addition it was important that those I selected were old enough to understand the responsibility the role of Ranger entailed. By selecting teenagers I not only fulfilled both of those requirements, but also found a group whose lives would be able to help when needed and not get stuck in other activities."
"To go back to my original point," Zordon continued. "The Morphin Grid has three sides, sometimes referred to as the Light Side, the Dark Side and the Shadow Grid. The Light and Dark sides of the Grid are equal and opposite of each other. Most people who touch the Grid are either good or evil and they draw power from either the Light or Dark Grid. Should they subsequently change their loyalties they will lose access to such powers."
"So when Tommy was under Rita's spell he drew energy from the Dark Side?" Jason asked.
"No," Zordon replied. "Although Rita's spell made him evil, he was still using the Light Side powers through his Power Coin. If he had been truly evil the Ranger powers would have left him. The forces of evil can create their own Rangers, but the dark power would distort their outer forms into something else. As a rule Rangers drawing power from the Dark Side do not last very long. Most villains use the dark powers to create hideous outer forms. That is why Lord Zedd and Master Vile look like they do. If they were ever stripped of their powers they would resemble ordinary humans."
"What's the Shadow Grid?" Tanya asked, realising Zordon had not mentioned it.
"The Shadow Grid is the mysterious and under used side of the Grid," Zordon explained. "As far as I know there has only been one race where all its people were able to draw from the Shadow Grid. They used its power to move their world outside of Time and Space. As a rule they are neutral in the war against good and evil, although like any race they have their own mix of heroes and villains."
"Are they the only ones who can touch the Shadow Grid?" Jason asked.
"No," Zordon replied. "There are many others who can touch the Shadow Grid, but very few of them are ever well known. As a rule those with the ability to draw from the Shadow Grid are loners, often only bound by their own concepts of right and wrong. Should you meet one and gain his or her respect and loyalty, you would have a powerful ally."
Zordon noticed that the two Rangers were hooked on his every word, but also realised he needed to get to the point if his plan was to succeed before it was too late.
"You know from experience that the Ranger powers are divided into colours. You might not realise that there are actually nine colours; red, green, blue, yellow, pink, purple, white, black and the ninth colour which has never been held. Each colour is further divided into five levels or aspects. As Morphin Rangers Tommy, Rocky and Adam have held the Dino, Thunder and Ninja powers or the Body, Mind and Spirit Aspects as they are sometimes known."
"Jason and Rocky were suited to the Red colour. Although many assume that red is the colour of the leader, it is mainly the colour that represents a team player. The Red spirits are the Tyrannosaurus, Dragon and Ape. Jason is the Tyrannosaurus, a powerful leader who is able to work with his team. He also tends to tackle his opponents head on Rocky however is a Dragon. As such he was the centre around which the team is formed. Rocky preferred to think things out before attacking."
"Billy was drawn to the Blue colour. Blue represents a creative and powerful mind, not just in terms of knowledge, but also in terms of mental powers. Blue spirits also have a desire to belong although sometimes have difficulty relating to others. The Triceratops, Unicorn and Wolf represent the Blue Powers. Billy is the Wolf aspect of the Blue Power. He prefers to study his enemies and determine their weaknesses before charging in."
"Trini was suited to the Yellow power. She could have managed either the Sabre-toothed Tiger, Griffin or Bear. As the Yellow Ranger she was the peacemaker, looking out for the weaker members of the team. However like Billy, she prefers to study her problems first and would have been at her best if linked to the Bear."
"What about me and Aisha?" Tanya asked.
"I will get to you and Aisha in a moment," Zordon promised, before continuing with his lecture. "Zack and Adam are both natural users of the Black powers. Both possess a joyful spirit and seek to lighten their team's mood in battle. For Zack this is due to his own personality, but Adam does so because of his shy nature. The Mastodon, Pegasus and Frog represent the Black Power. Zack is the Pegasus, a slightly wild spirit, whilst Adam is the more reserved Frog."
"Both Kimberly and Kat were Pink Spirits, the colour of a nursing spirit that is protective of all those around and pure of mind and body. The Pterodactyl, Firebird and Crane all represent the Pink Power. Whilst Kimberly is more likely to think and then act, Kat will study her opponents in the same was as Billy and Trini. That is why Kim excelled as the Firebird and Kat was able to slip into her role as the Crane."
"The White Ranger represents the healer," Zordon explained. "Although Tommy has held the White power he did so only to access the powers of a Ranger. The White Rangers normally possess a pure spirit and are immune to spells. In addition they can heal their fellow Rangers and possess certain extra mental abilities. The White powers are represented by the Velociraptor, Tiger and Falcon."
"Sam and Tommy are both Green Spirits. The Green Power is at the opposite end of the Light Side," Zordon explained "Those with a Green Spirit constantly feel the pull of both sides of the Morphin Grid. That is why both Tommy and Sam were able to be place under Rita's spell. The Dragon, Lion and Panther represent the Green Power. Sam is quick to react and is therefore a Dragon, whereas Tommy prefers to study the situation. He spirit is the Panther."
"Finally, there is the Purple Spirit. Purple is the colour of trickster. Those with the Purple powers follow their own path and are able to combine the attributes of the other colours. They most especially love deflating the pompous and watching the bad guys fall into their own traps. Fiercely loyal to those they deem worthy, the best protection one can have from their schemes is to earn their respect. The Stegosaurus, Spider and Hawk represent purple."
Zordon looked at his two young students. He knew his lecture had raised many questions in their minds and he intended to answer them.
"I know you have some questions, so allow me to explain. Firstly the ninth colour is unknown. It is hidden deep within the Morphin Grid and will only be revealed when eight Rangers reach their full potential and need the power."
"Secondly, although the Lion was the Black Thunderzord, at the time you were not drawing the Thunder Powers. Since the Lion was needed to create the Megazord, I adapted it to work for Zack instead of Tommy. Had Tommy been able to power the Lion, Zack would have been given the Pegasus and the Rangers may never have need the White Ranger."
"Thirdly, I know you will wonder why if there were nine colours there were only ever six Rangers at a time. As I have already mentioned, one of the colours is unknown, but the others are simply related to not having the coins. The Purple Coin is lost, the White Coin was mine to create and I did so only to allow Tommy to become a Ranger again. With the Green Coin in the hands of Rita and then sabotaged I never got to create a Green Ranger."
_Now for the difficult bit,_ Zordon thought. "Tanya you asked me about your colour. The truth is I am unsure. You have never held the Morphin Powers, but I suspect you may have been a Purple Spirit. Aisha is more complicated. Although she was suited to the Yellow powers I believe she would also have managed as any other colour."
Jason had listened to everything Zordon had said. He had asked question when he felt they were necessary and now understood the inside workings of the Ranger Powers. Now he needed to know what Zordon really wanted. "Zordon, why did you bring us here?"
"Jason and Tanya, of all the other Rangers you are the only two suitable for the task I have in mind. Although you have held the Zeo Powers Jason was always meant to be the Red Morphin Ranger and I believe Tanya should also have been a Morphin Ranger. I have told you that the Morphin Grid had five Aspects as well as the nine colours. That is true. The Fourth Aspect is called the Ranger Aspect and is formed by a combination of the first three Aspects. Those who can hold the three Aspects of Body, Mind and Spirit reach a new level of understanding known as the Ranger or Soul Level. Those who hold all four Aspects are known as total Aspect Rangers."
"Very few have ever held all three aspects of the Power. Most have been given their correct spirit early on and have never changed. The Rangers of Earth however have held all three levels and can combine those aspects together to gain the true Ranger powers."
"What about the Fifth Aspect?" Tanya asked.
"The Fifth Aspect is also known as Ninjetti and exists separately from the other levels. While the other levels are given a certain animal for each level and colour, Ninjetti cuts across all eight of the basic colours. The Ninjetti searches out the spirit animal of the individual and providing he or she is worthy of the Power, grants him or her the ability to become a Ranger."
"Do Ninjetti Rangers look like the others?" Tanya asked.
"Yes Tanya, the Ninjetti powers gives Rangers a uniform similar to those of both Ninja Ranger and an armoured costume. They look like any other Ranger except for their power source."
"How do we get them?" Jason asked.
"Firstly, you must be a team," Zordon said. He directed his attention to the far side of the room where Alpha had been earlier. "You may come out now."
From a secret room stepped seven figures. "Aisha!" Tanya cried, recognising her friend. She ran across the room to join the girl who had handed her powers.
"Jason?" Kimberly Hart asked stepping into the room. Behind her Trini and Zack stepped forward. "Guys!" Jason joined the others, glad to be back with his team. He looked up as the next person entered the Power Chamber. Slightly sobered Jason walked over and greeted the still grieving Billy Cranston.
"And don't forget us," a voice said. Sam and David Trueheart stepped forward into the Power Chamber, completing the selection.
"Welcome Rangers," Zordon said. "Now that the team is complete I would ask that Aisha remain on Earth to help the Zeo Rangers whilst Tanya travels to claim the Morphin Powers."
Seeing that nobody was about to protest. "I would never force any of you to do that which you are unwilling to do. If you are prepared to accept the powers please step into the portal."
One by one the Rangers nodded their consent and stepped foot into the portal. "Good luck my Rangers," Zordon said. "If you are successful I believe you may be able to save your world."
"What about me?" Aisha asked.
"Aisha, although I cannot offer you the Yellow Zeo power at this time, I ask that you help us to defend Earth until the others can return."
Aisha nodded and after concocting a story to tell her parents, went to find the other Zeo Rangers to fill them in on what was happening.
"So the others are all gone?" Tommy asked as Kat brought the drinks over to the Rangers' table. Late the previous evening the Rangers had been contacted and told of the mission Jason and the others had undertaken. Although Tommy was happy that Aisha had rejoined the team he was still annoyed with Zordon for not discussing it with him.
To make matters worse, Minion had decided to make a strike against the Rangers. Once again they had been beaten, apparently the foot soldiers ceased the attack when the Dragon Ranger failed to show.
"Yeah," Aisha replied. They were all quiet for a moment, Ernie had switched on the television. Anthea Turner was on the screen apparently conducting a news report about the previous night's attack.
"And while the brave people of Angel Grove were last night faced with an unprovoked monster attack the question on everybody's lips is 'Where are the Power Rangers?' It is the believe of this reporter that they have abandoned the city in our time of greatest need. This is Anthea Trener, Channel 3 News, Angel Grove."
Ernie switched the screen off in disgust and looked towards the table where the Rangers were sitting. Somehow Aisha had appeared overnight and was now trying to cheer up Tommy. Ernie knew that if the Rangers were bringing in their old companions they must have been having problems. Deciding it was time somebody told them how the ordinary people of Angel Grove felt, Ernie walked over to their table.
"Um guys, can I have a word with you out back?" Ernie asked.
The Rangers all filed into the back area, away from the customers. Ernie drew in a deep breath, worried in case the Rangers had methods of dealing with those who knew their secrets.
"Firstly, I just wanted to tell you to ignore what Anthea Trener just said. She's probably bitter that you didn't grant her an interview in the past. Secondly, I wanted to tell you that I think you guys have done a great job of defending this planet and I know you did your best last night."
"Ernie, I'm not sure what you're talking about," Tommy said, hoping that Ernie had not guessed their identities.
"Guys, I know you are the Power Rangers, just as Jason, Zack, Kimberly, Trini and Billy were before you." Ernie looked at the shocked expressions on their faces and couldn't help laughing. "Come on Tommy, you all wear a weird watch and colour coded wardrobes; I've lost count of the number of times you guys have left without finishing your food and every time a Ranger changes, so does your group. Oh and Tommy, unless you know somebody else who says 'siek-yah' whilst working out, I would say you are the first Green Ranger, White Ranger and Red Zeo Ranger."
Realising they were beaten Tommy nodded. "You cannot tell anyone our secret," Tommy said.
"I won't," Ernie said. "I just thought you guys ought to know how much the Rangers mean to this city. And I wanted to check you guys were okay. That masked guy seemed to be enjoying himself with you Sam the other day."
Tommy considered telling Ernie how young Sam was, but decided against it. "We'll be okay, we just need to hold out until the others can find some new powers."
Further discussion was interrupted when Tommy's communicator beeped. "Go ahead Zordon," Tommy said.
"Rangers," Alpha's voice came over the communicator. "Silvo is in the park with a group of foot soldiers. He is demanding the Green Ranger fights him or else he will destroy the city."
"We've got to go," Tommy said. In five white columns the Rangers teleported to Angel Grove Park. Tommy doubted they stood a chance without their powers, but he knew they needed to try. Ernie shook his head and wished the Rangers luck. He then headed back into the bar and switched on the television again.
Tommy and the others arrived in the Power Chamber. Although they were no longer powered Tommy had thought it best if they could find some sort of disguise to keep their identities secret. Soon al five Rangers were wearing some old spandex-based costumes Alpha had managed to make with the replicaters in the Power Chamber. Alpha had also managed to scrounge some old helmets for the Rangers to wear.
"Now all we need are some weapons," Rocky said.
"I have something to help you there as well Rangers," Alpha said. Pressing a button on the console he teleported the Rangers to a secret vault hidden deep beneath the Power Chamber.
"Oh man," Tommy said as he looked around. "I didn't realise we had such a large collection."
Around the room were all the weapons Billy had ever built but had never connected to the Ranger Powers. Tommy made his way over to the far corner where he discovered the first set of motorcycles Billy had attempted to build for the Dino Rangers and Thunder Rangers. Checking the power supply he found all five vehicles were in working order and capable of morphing into powerful weapons. They had obviously been one of Billy's projects during his time in the Power Chamber.
Rock and Adam Meanwhile had managed to find some of energy rifles. Each gun measured about ten inches and was grey in colour. Adam tested one of the guns and found it was self-aiming.
"Look at this," Rocky said, pointing to the small cartridges Billy had carefully labelled. "Fire, Freeze, Stun bolt, Exploding Shells, Laser and Gel. He didn't just make one gun, he made every type of rifle we'd ever need."
"Check this out," Adam said, pointing to the set of five devices Billy had placed next to them. "It says here these will act as a dampening field against Cogs. That might slow them down for a bit."
"Guys!" Aisha shouted from the other side of the room. "I think I've found the heavy artillery."
The other Rangers found Aisha standing in a smaller vault marked 'DANGER'. On her right arm she had attached a gattling gun. A metal casing surrounded her shoulder continuing as a metal sleeve down her arm. The cannon was mounted on the end and activated by a small trigger. The armour changed colour to blend in with her uniform.
Now armed with the weapons and bikes they had managed to find and the personal weapons Tommy had located the Rangers left to take on the Cogs, Putties and Tengas they knew would be waiting for them.
From inside Pyramidas Trey detected the foot soldiers Minion had sent to Earth. He knew time was running out and he would soon need to help the Rangers, but first he had his own mission to accomplish. Using his sensors to locate the items he wanted. Trey used his teleporters to beam himself the items he wanted.
In the Power Chamber Alpha 5 was in danger of burning out his circuitry due to stress. "Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi, they're gone!"
"What are gone?" Zordon asked, taking his attention off the Viewing Globe for a moment.
"Alpha," Zordon said. He received no response and decided to take desperate action. "Alpha 5, if you do not calm down I will arrange for Billy to give you a service."
"I'm sorry Zordon," Alpha said when he had finally calmed down. "The Super Zeo Gems, the remains of the Zeo Crystal and the Aquitian Coins are gone."
Zordon felt a sudden sense of dread building inside him. For the Zeo Crystal to be destroyed was bad, but to lose it all together was disastrous.
"Okay Rangers, divide and conquer," Tommy ordered.
After teleporting to a spot just outside of Angel Grove Park the Rangers had summoned their bikes. Thanks to Billy's design the bikes had adapted for their new users. The vehicles, which the teens had simply named Attack cycles were now, colour coded for each Ranger. The Green, Blue, Pink and Yellow Attack Cycles were all based on a motorbike and sidecar design. The Red Attack Cycle resembled a cross between the Shark Cycles and Zeo Cycles.
"Power them up," Tommy instructed. Flicking the power controls on his bike he crossed his fingers and hoped the portable power cells they had found would last for a while.
"Tommy, they're spreading out," Aisha warned.
Tommy checked his scanners and saw that whilst the Tengas had remained in the park, the Putties were heading towards the Youth Centre and the Cogs were spreading out through the rest of the city.
"I'll take care of the birds," Kat said. Before anyone could argue she had already started to drive off.
"Okay, Rocky and Aisha take the Cogs, Adam and I will deal with the Putties and then catch you up."
"Right," the other Rangers called as the set off on their mission to protect Angel Grove. Tommy activated his weapon systems before taking off after Adam.
Kat angled her Attack Cycle and rammed into the flock of Tengas. As expected most of them flew clear of the bike, but a few tried to slow her down and were torn to shreds by the powerful wheels. Turning the bike to make a second pass, Kat realised that she would not be able to make contact with the Tengas since they had remained in the air.
Drawing her hand blaster Kat loaded a Fire Pack, took aim and fired. With the nearest Tenga acting as the target, the blaster adjusted its power level to ensure that as the beam hit the bird it exploded into flames. The odour of burnt feathers filled the air as the Tenga struggle to remain airborne, setting fire to its neighbours as well.
"Get her!" the leader called.
As the Tengas swooped towards her Kat changed the blaster's power pack to Ice. Instead of aiming directly for the birds, she fired at the ground in front of her. As the Tengas landed they found themselves frozen in place. Kat fired another shot to freeze the birds solid and then threw a stone at the ice statues. The statues cracked and crumbled into tiny pieces of ice.
"Oh great," Kat said to herself as more Tengas appeared.
Using their increased speed Tommy and Adam made it to the Youth Centre before the army of Putties. As they waited Tommy called for Ernie to evacuate everybody from the front of the Youth Centre. Ernie did not need to be told twice and soon there were no civilians in the area.
As the Putties drew nearer Adam activated his bike's special features. The connecting bars between the bike and sidecar extended outwards, pushing the sidecar away from the bike. Adam shifted position to sit upright as the sidecar was raised off the ground, the bottom opening and remoulding to extend the sides. Eventually the sidecar was positioned over the bike and rider.
Luckily for Adam the whole conversion process was balanced to ensure the bike did not tip over. When he was certain the sidecar was in the correct position he pressed the button on his handlebars. The shell of the sidecar dropped onto the bike, locking itself into position. The wheel that had been used to support the sidecar dropped next to the bike's own wheel. With a series of clicks the wheels were joined by an axle and moved outwards to provide extra support for the increased weight.
Finally a set of laser cannons emerged from the machines sides. At the front a triple barrelled rocket launcher appeared. A protective screen covered the newly formed cockpit.
"Let's see them deal with this," Adam said.
"Not bad," Tommy said, taking a moment to admire Billy's handiwork. "Watch this," he told Adam as he activated his own weapons.
Channelling the power of the Morphin Grid, Tommy's bike started its own transformation. The wheels duplicated themselves and extended away from the bike. The headlight transformed into a single cannon. Tommy felt his legs being drawn back behind him as steel panels formed around them. The front windscreen extended to protect Tommy from any forward attack. The started to spin at speeds impossible to an ordinary bike.
With the front wheels spinning forward and the rear wheel spinning in reverse the bike started to lift off the ground. When it was floating six inches off the ground Tommy flicked a switch and the wheels dropped from vertical to horizontal positions. Miniature thrusters mounted under each of the wheels activated to keep the bike hovering. Finally a set of heavy weapons attached themselves to the bike and a pair of thrusters appeared on the back of the bike.
"Here they come," Adam called.
"Let's get them," Tommy responded.
Together the two Rangers charged the Putties. While Adam drove into the Putties, Tommy used his thrusters to knock the Putties over. Within a few minutes they had managed to get all the Putties into a state where they could no longer stand upright.
"Particle Stream, fire!" Tommy called.
A thick beam of light erupted from the nose cannon. Flicking several buttons Tommy fired his side cannons as well. The Putties in front of him were soon reduced dust.
"Triple Shock!" Adam cried.
The three-barrelled rocket launcher fired, dispersing its shells over a wide area. The Putties decided they had had enough and ran away. Adam turned to see Tommy beating the remaining Putties on foot. He was using a hollow red staff Adam assumed he had found in Billy's vault.
"Siek-yah!" Tommy shouted as he decapitated the last Putty and remounted his bike. "We'd better find the others."
"They're spreading out," Aisha said as she studied the Cogs on her radar. "Rocky, we need to keep them inside their current grid or we won't be able to take them."
"Why don't you take the perimeter and I'll pick them off from inside?" Rocky suggested knowing Aisha had the faster bike.
"Okay, but be careful," Aisha warned. "We don't have our powers to protect us anymore."
"Hey, it's me," Rocky replied with a grin.
"Exactly," Aisha muttered. Out loud she called, "Weapons, now!"
The bike and sidecar separated, the sidecar splitting into parts. The bike's stand lowered to stabilise Aisha as the bike morphed. The rear wheel of the bike detached while at the same time joining with parts of the sidecar to form a rotor blade. The sidecar wheel transformed into a smaller rotor and attached itself to the rear of the bike by means of an extended axle. The larger rotor attached itself to the front of the sidecar. The front, back and sides of sidecar then formed over the bike while the base of the sidecar split in half and formed two skies. When the transformation was finished Aisha was sitting in a miniature helicopter.
Next a cannon attached itself to each ski and a smaller rifle appeared on the end of each handlebar. The gattling cannon Aisha had found earlier attached itself to her shoulder ready for action. Activating the rotors she raced off to prevent the Cogs from spreading out.
Rocky didn't bother to activate his weapons. Instead he headed towards the point from which the Cogs were spreading out. As he went he stopped every so often to place a small device. If his plan worked and Billy had been right he hoped to be able to shut down the Cogs without too much fighting. The idea of being without his powers was scary, but Rocky had vowed to defend his planet and that was an oath he took seriously.
Trey examined his creations. In front of him were a set of devices representing the closest link ever between the Zeo and Morphin Powers. The five Super Zeo Gems had been placed in the centre of the five Power Coins. Trey was not certain if his idea would work, but since the coins operated as transformers and the Super Zeo Gems were sources of power that he hoped the combination would give his other creations some energy.
Next he turned his attention to the Zeo Crystal's remains. The Rangers had made a valiant attempt to restore the crystal, but had lacked Trey's knowledge about the Zeo powers. Placing the Gem Coins around the remains of the crystal Trey called on his own powers. The Golden Power Staff opened at his command to reveal his part of the Zeo Crystal. Trey places the fragment into the centre of the remains.
Energy started to flow, restoring the Zeo Crystal to its original condition. Trey's Zeo Crystal acted as the main power source with additional power being drawn from the Gem Coins.
As soon as the Zeo Crystal was reassembled Trey powered down. His experiment had had three effects. Firstly the Zeo Crystal had been recreated. Although it lacked power Trey knew it would charge up in its own time. Secondly the residual energy had bonded the Power Coins and Super Zeo Gems together. Although the Rangers would have nowhere near the power they had while drawing directly from the Zeo Crystal, at least they would have a chance.
The third change had occurred within the Gold Powers. With his part of the Zeo Crystal finally reunited with the other parts, Trey's power had been boosted. Holding out his hand Trey summoned his own Super Zeo Gem. To Trey's knowledge only one of his predecessors had ever held the Gold Gem. It had been lost millennia ago shortly after the Golden Power Staff had been presented to the Lord of Triforia.
As Pyramidas drew closer to the Earth Trey returned the Zeo Crystal to its place in the Power Chamber along with a message explaining to Zordon what had occurred. Once he landed Trey planned to help the Rangers, if they needed his help.
"Weapons mode, Now!" Rocky called as he finally caught up with the Cogs.
At his command the bike and sidecar separated. Time seemed to move slowly as Rocky was thrown into the air, his arms and legs spread. The bike and sidecar broke into smaller parts, the three wheels forming a base and locking onto his feet. The armour from the vehicle attached itself to Rocky's body encasing him in a solid shell. A double-barrelled cannon formed on his chest, a pair of rocket launchers attached to each shoulder and a pulse rifle formed on each arm.
Rocky tried his new mode out and discovered it was surprisingly versatile. Apart from his feet he was able to move without restriction from his armour.
With a thought Rocky activated the devices he had placed. The Cogs froze as the devices transmitted a shutdown command. With the Cogs disable Rocky chose his targets and fired. Soon a pile of scrap metal surrounded him.
A small flashing light indicated more Cogs moving in from behind. Turning to face the new threat Rocky released a barrage of blasts from his pulse rifles.
"Fire One!" he ordered.
The rocket launcher on his right shoulder locked onto the centre of the Cogs. The rocket struck its target, throwing the inoperative Cogs to the ground.
"Time to help Aisha," Rocky said to himself as his wheels carried him towards his fellow Ranger.
"Don't you guys know when to quit?" Kat asked as she blasted another Tenga.
Kat was fighting a losing battle and she knew it. Every time she beat off one Tenga several more appeared. She pulled the trigger again and sighed as she realised the power pack was empty once again.
"Shit!" she swore, smashing the now useless weapon into the nearest Tenga. Without her powers she knew she could not fight unarmed for too long. "Weapons mode, now!"
Kat felt herself teleported into her sidecar. A glass screen closed over her forming a cockpit. As the screens inside came to life Kat saw the twin cannons emerge from under her sidecar and at the same time small wings spread on either side.
"Launch!" she ordered.
"The rocket like craft was launched into the air, allowing Kat to match speed with the Tengas. One by one she targeted the Tengas and one by one the Tengas were reduced to a pile of feathers.
"No!" Minion shouted. "This cannot happen. They are unpowered but still winning."
He looked down at the battlefield below. Somehow the Rangers had found some new toys. He had no doubt they were Billy's handiworks. For a brief moment he considered sending some Robo Troopers down to fight, but decided his henchmen could use a workout instead.
"Silvo, Brasso, come here!"
"Yes master?" both servants asked as they bowed before their creator.
"The Rangers have managed to destroy our troops. Go down there, destroy their toys and then finish them!"
"Yes master," the two henchmen said as they headed for Angel Grove.
"We did it!" Rocky said excitedly as the Rangers regrouped in the park.
"Yeah," Tommy said. "Good job guys."
After mopping up the remaining foot soldiers the Rangers had ensured the city was safe before heading back to the source of the disturbance.
"You know if this was Rita and Zedd or Mondo, he would be sending a monster about now," Rocky said.
No sooner had he spoken then Silvo and Brasso appeared in front of them. "You had to say it didn't you," Tommy muttered.
This is going to be fun. Brasso said as he turned his attention to the nearest Ranger. He charged at Aisha, grabbing her helicopter by the skies, preventing her from getting away. While he held the vehicle, Silvo struck it with his fist. Between them they tore the vehicle apart.
"Get away from her!" Rocky shouted. He unleashed the whole power of his weapons, causing Silvo to release Aisha.
Silvo responded by charging at rocky, lifting him above his head and power slamming him to the ground. From nowhere a silver sword appeared in his hands and he started to try to slice and dice the former Zeo Ranger. He was stopped when Kat slammed her vehicle into his legs.
Brasso meanwhile had managed to cripple Adam by breaking off his front wheel. Tommy tried to use his thrusters to force Brasso to move, but only succeeded in making the henchman mad. Twisting around Brasso threw Tommy to the ground. His bike lost power as Brasso drove his foot into the side.
"Regroup," Tommy called.
The Rangers abandoned their weapon systems and gathered together a short distance away. Aisha handed her blaster to Kat as the gattling cannon once again appeared on her arm.
"Fire!" Tommy ordered.
The weapons were powerful, but had been designed to work with powered Rangers; not humans dressed to look like Rangers. As a result the only effect the blasters had on Silvo and Brasso was to make them laugh.
"You want fire?" Silvo asked. "Try this."
Lasers shot from Brasso's eyes, hitting the ground where the Rangers were standing. He watched with satisfaction as the Rangers were thrown into the air.
Tommy landed hard, rolling to minimise the impact. His first instinct was to get back to his feet, but instead he took a moment to find out where he was in relation to the others. Rocky and Adam were lying next to each other barely moving. Kat and Aisha were some distance away, neither attracting the henchmen's' attention.
"Now we finish this," Tommy heard Silvo say. He looked up in time to see the edge of Silvo's sword pointed at his neck.
"It's Morphin Time!" Trey called.
Instead of the Golden Power Staff appearing in his hand, a Zeoniser formed on his wrists. Trey ignored the difference, knowing it was due to his crystal now being joined with the others.
The Power told him what do next. "Zeo Ranger X - Gold!"
He took a moment to examine his powers, found no real differences and teleported to find his friends. He crossed his fingers as he left hoping he was in time.
"Time to die little powerless Ranger," Silvo sneered.
Without further conversation both henchmen raised their swords and prepared to carry out an old fashioned execution. Tommy looked up as he saw the henchmen about to sacrifice him.
Silvo and Brasso stumble forward as something struck the backs of their necks. For a moment they forgot about Tommy and turned to face the Ranger who had dared to strike them. In a flash of gold the Gold Power Staff connected with them a second time. Gold Zeo wielded his weapon with skills developed over years of training.
Going low he hit Brasso in the face before swivelling to kick Silvo in the chest. "It's time for a Gold Rush!" he called.
Lightning left the tip of the Golden Power Staff, striking both henchmen at close range. Silvo and Brasso decided they had had enough and retreated back to the Moon, leaving Trey to deal with the injured Rangers.
A few minutes later the Rangers were back in the Power Chamber. Zordon and Alpha had retrieved the remains of their weapon systems and vehicles, but the majority was beyond repair.
"At least we beat them off for now," Rocky said.
"Until the next time," Tommy pointed out. He turned to look at his rescuer. "Thanks Trey," he said.
"Rangers, once again you have proven why I was correct in selecting you. You have fought without your powers and defeated Minion's forces. In addition, I have some good news for you."
The lights in the Power Chamber dimmed. Soon the only lights were from Zordon's tube and the Zeo Crystal now restored to its rightful place.
"The Zeo Crystal!" Tommy exclaimed. "Are our powers back?"
"I am afraid not," Zordon said. "The Zeo Crystal will require time to re-energise, but in the meantime Trey will be able to use his powers to become the Gold Ranger."
Trey considered telling the Rangers about his other work, but decided they had been through enough for one day. "Why don't you head back to the Youth Centre?" he suggested.
Tommy and the others agreed and left the Power Chamber, allowing Zordon and Trey a short time to talk.
"Thank you for helping the other Trey," Zordon said. "I am certain the Rangers would have emerged victorious, but you saved Tommy's life."
"It was an honour," Trey replied.
"I have also detected changes in your powers caused by your sub crystal being reunited with the other parts. You will now find you are able to divide into three Rangers when necessary. Of course the other two will feel any injury to one. I am certain other changes to your powers will occur in time."
"Thank you Zordon," Trey said. Ever since the occasion when he had lost control of his powers Trey had fear losing unity while morphed. With his new powers that was no longer a problem.
"Finally, I wish to discuss your proposals for temporary powers. I have studied your plan and agree that it seems to be the best option available." Mentally Zordon thought _I hope we never need to test them._
Shortly after Trey returned to Pyramidas and Zordon returned to keeping a watchful eye on the Earth.
"Forgive us master," Silvo said as he and Brasso kneeled before Minion. "We have failed you."
"Indeed, you have performed at less than optimal capacity. However the intervention of the Gold Rangers was an inconvenient and unforeseen occurrence. Under the circumstances you are forgiven."
_What am I saying?_ Minion thought. _I am not him. I am Minion, soon to be ruler of the Universe. I AM IN CONTROL._
Finally certain he was back to normal Minion returned to henchmen. "I have another task for you two on Earth." He pointed to two targets and simply added, "Go!"
With his henchmen out of the way Minion took the time to reassess his position. The Rangers were defeated, he was sure of that. And despite their best efforts they had only succeeded in defeating a mixture of second rate foot soldiers and causing his henchmen to retreat. With Silvo and Brasso in the process of securing him a power base on Earth, Minion knew it was a question of time.
_Next time I'll send down some monsters and trash that city._ His eyes glowed brightly as he considered all the things he intended to do to those Rangers before he killed them.
For once the entire Youth Centre was silent. Throughout the world people had tuned into their local news. Tommy and the Rangers watched as Anthea Trener delivered her report.
"And this is the scene from North Valley just minutes ago. An unknown energy barrier has surrounded the town and authorities are unable to explain this phenomenon. Is this the fault of the Power Rangers? In this reporter's opinion, it is. This is Anthe..."
The news report was overcut by another broadcast. The film showed the scene above Stone Henge in England. The two pictures merged with each other to be replaced by a black masked figure. "You have been warned. This world belongs to Minion now. Surrender or you will die."
The Rangers stood watching the picture, not knowing what to do. Minion had done something neither Rita and Zedd nor the Machine Empire had ever dreamed of. Minion had moved his attack from Angel Grove and as a result had managed to seize two sources of natural magic.
_This guy is bad,_ Tommy thought. _I just hope we're up to the task._
_So do I Tommy,_ Zordon thought, picking up on Tommy's thoughts. _So do I._