Chapter Twelve: Power Rangers Gone Psycho
7 July 1999
Eight columns of light appeared in the Power Chamber as Jason, Sam, Billy, Trini, Kimberly, Zack, Tanya and David arrived. They had been expecting some sort of welcome home even if it was only from Zordon and Alpha Five. Instead they found the Power Chamber deserted, the power gone, Alpha deactivated and Zordon's tube empty.
Obviously some parts of the Power Chamber had been altered by the Zeo Rangers. That much was obvious by the large screen in place of the Viewing Globe and the different coloured control consoles. A map in the corner showed that the Power Chamber now stretched far underground into Power Mountain.
"What happened here?" Jason asked as he looked around.
"Looks like our friends may have experienced odds they were unable to compete against and as a result paid the inevitable price," Billy said.
"In other words, they lost a battle and Minion won," Trini translated.
"All right," Jason said, taking charge. "Billy, you take Trini, Zack and Tanya. See if you can get the power back on and then work on restoring Alpha."
"Kim, take David and try to find any of the Rangers' logs. Sam and I will get Zordon back online."
As the others headed off to attend to their various tasks, Jason and Sam moved to separate sides of the plasma tube. Luckily even after the Power Chamber had been created from the remains of the Command Centre certain safety devices the Rangers had designed were still included. One such feature was the recall system they had fitted to Zordon's tube in case an emergency occurred whilst he was away. Normally it would act as an alarm clock, waking Zordon from his meditation. However in the case of Zordon being lost or his tube being shattered the controls allowed two Rangers, either Red and White or Red and Green to activate a search and retrieve program. The advantage was that even an inactive Ranger could work the system.
Placing their palms on the control panels they activated the computer. The plasma tube changed colours several times before reverting to a clear liquid in which Zordon once again floated.
"Jasomnsn, Sakdjeem," Zordon said.
"The speech filter must be offline," Sam said.
With Zordon back, some of the computers were reactivated. Jason crossed the chamber to the one monitoring the Zeo Crystal and examined the readout. Sixty percent, not fully recharged, but enough to power some Rangers and Zords. Jason wondered how they had managed to defend the Earth and charge the Zeo Crystal at the same time.
Sam meanwhile had found his way over to the console, which apparently monitored the Zord Bays. He checked the contents and saw the Zeo Zords, Super Zeo Zords, Warrior Wheel and Red Battlezord were still in the damaged Zord Holding Bay in various states of disrepair.
Pushing a button he discovered a second Zord Bay on the far side of Power Mountain. Inside were the remains of three Megazords and an aircraft referred to by the computer as the Drop Zord.
"Whatever happened here the Rangers sure put up a fight," he said.
Jason standing on the other side of the chamber agreed with him. "Security system is back online. We won't need to worry about anyone teleporting in."
"Jason, it's going to take time to get the power back on," Billy's voice said over the communicator. "Short range teleport is still offline, but we have scanners back. You can start to search for the others when ready. We should all be able to stay in touch now."
"Understood," Jason replied. "We have Zordon back, but can't get his voice unit online."
"I'll send Trini back to start work up there," Billy said helpfully.
"Thanks Bro," Jason said.
Sam looked around for something to do and soon found another Zord Bay, opened, but still intact. "You wait here, I'm going to check something," he told Jason as he disappeared down the corridor.
While he was gone, Jason took the opportunity to try to find out what happened using the Viewing Screen. The unit showed the City of Angel Grove, now surrounded by an energy barrier. Extending the range he found similar barriers surrounding Crossworld City and Leewood. Combined with the markers the Gem Coin Rangers had put around Charterville, Stone Henge and North Valley, that accounted for six of the Earth's most powerful Ley Nexuses.
Jason knew that the Rangers would not have given up, so something must have happened to them. And since only a Ranger could enter the Power Chamber, one of them must have caused the damage. Jason promised his friends he would find them and make whoever was responsible for this pay.
"How much further Billy?" Trini asked as the four Rangers dropped into another service shaft.
So far they had discovered that Zordon had redesigned Power Mountain to utilise the teleportation system instead of relying on doors and long corridors. Unfortunately Zordon had failed to foresee a time when the teleportation system might be offline and had spread all the vital areas throughout the mountain range.
This meant in order to get to the power generators the Rangers first had to trek through two miles of service ducts, climb down a ladder and then trek another quarter of a mile to the lower control room. After that they still had to find their way down another six miles to the bottom of the mountain.
There was a rapid descent device designed for Alpha to use, but none of the Rangers like the idea of falling feet first down a tube for seven miles with only a cargo net at the bottom to stop them. Especially when they knew that the tube had been designed for Alpha and was therefore covered with oil on the inside. Billy could not imagine Alpha liking the idea of falling that far either, so assumed the little android had found an alternative.
Finally they found their way into the lower control room. Billy quickly checked the readings whilst Trini, Zack and Tanya checked for damage. After a few minutes it became obvious the damage had not been caused by a battle, as they had first feared. The power supply had been interrupted in a way that would cause the Rangers massive problems trying to restore it.
After a short time Tanya and Trini managed to restore some of the basic Power Chamber functions such as internal communications. Billy took the opportunity to advise Jason on their progress.
"Jason, it's going to take time to get the power back on," he said into the communicator. "Short range teleport is still offline, but we have scanners back. You can start to search for the others when ready. We should all be able to stay in touch now."
"Understood," Jason replied. "We have Zordon back, but can't get his voice unit online."
"I'll send Trini back to start work up there," Billy said helpfully.
Trini heard him and hurried back the way they had come to help get Zordon and Alpha working. On her way she used the console in the far corner of the room to retrieve a toolbox from subspace, knowing the Power Chamber's pockets were sealed when the power was so low.
"Thanks Bro," Jason said. There was a loud click as Jason turned off the communicator at his end.
"Hey Billy, take a look at this," Zack called.
Billy walked over to where his friend was standing. Zack had been looking at the power supply throughout the Power Chamber and had found an abnormality. Whereas all the scanners should have been restored, the personnel monitors were still dead, meaning they had no where to tell where anyone was inside Power Mountain.
"Somebody inserted a multi-functional software based lock out to prevent anyone from performing a complete scan of the entire mountain," Billy said. He noticed the look on Zack's face and decided to translate. "Somebody put a password on the system to prevent us using the scanners."
Billy fiddled with the controls for a moment, trying to discover who had locked the system. He was surprised when the response came back as Billy Cranston, BCT19. The code was one he had used back when he was using the Thunder Powers. With a quick palm scan he was able to override the security system and discover what somebody had been trying to hide.
Tanya had found her way into one of the side rooms, which appeared to be one of the science laboratories. Among the various sensors and computer equipment was a cross between a medical bed and workbench. It was what was on the bench that fascinated Tanya.
The last time she had faced one of Minion's Robo Troopers, it had been beating the crap out of her. That was before Zordon had sent them on their quest. She also noticed a small jar containing one of the Trooper's fingers. She wondered why the Rangers had gone to such great lengths to secure the finger when the Trooper itself was restrained with only small wrist and ankle straps.
Moving around she located a small tape recorder still recording. After rewinding and listening to the voice on the other end she ran to find the others as quickly as possible.
"Billy!" Tanya called. "You've got to hear this!"
Billy and Zack ran into the room and Tanya played back the tape of an attempted autopsy.
"Research log of Biilly Cranston, Blue Triceratops Ranger of Earth. Upon returning to Power Mountain we have restrained both the Robo Trooper and its finger in the secondary laboratory. Using the analysis equipment I have been able to determine the Robo Troopers are manufactured from Validium. It is for this purpose I have ensured the finger is away from the main body at all times. I believe the Validium requires a certain mass before it becomes active, despite any instructions it might receive."
"As yet I have been unable to find any way to pierce the Robo Trooper's skin. It took a lucky shot with the Power Cannon and Power Blaster to capture this one Trooper. The skin is impervious to heat and radiation and can withstand an impact with from a Megazord's Power Sword."
"I am also unable to ascertain how Minion has programmed the Validium, but I doubt there are any electronic parts we can affect with our weapons. My only conclusion is that to destroy these Troopers we will need to design a projectile from a mixture of Validium and Iron. I hope this compound will counteract any of Minion's magic."
"On a personal note I can feel the effects of Zordon's energy blast wearing off. I will need to ask him to repeat the procedure or I might end up like the other replicas. If Billy gets back soon maybe he can find a solution. Otherwise it may come down to Rangers versus their own replicas."
"Replicas?" Zack asked.
"It was an idea I had during my time serving as advisor," Billy explained. "I thought I could create some new Rangers using science and the teleport system. Something must have caused Zordon to activate them."
"I don't like this," Tanya said. "I think we need to talk to the others about this, now."
"I agree," Billy said as there was a loud bang outside and the room went dark.
Two days earlier,
Biilly his report to the other Rangers and sat down. Minion had remained quiet for a few hours and although tired the Rangers had used the opportunity to discuss Biilly's findings at Stone Henge. Despite the best efforts of UNIT, NASADA and Biilly the barrier surrounding the stone circle was still intact.
"I even tried to establish a similar tactile contact to the one I used in North Valley," Biilly told the others. "However I believe Minion may have rectified the structural integrity of the barrier by realigning the field modulation to that of my morphing signature."
Biilly looked around taking in the looks his fellow Rangers were giving him. Even Trey and Zordon looked blank. "Don't you people ever listen to what I'm telling you?" Biilly shouted. "I meant that Minion has adjusted the phased harmonics of the barriers topmost level to ensure an incompatibility with the Blue Ranger powers." Once again Biilly could tell he was not getting the response he needed. "They changed the shield so I can't get through. What's wrong with you people?" he shouted angrily before teleporting away.
The other Rangers exchanged worried looks, but it was Alpha who finally spoke up. "I think the energy blast is failing Zordon."
"I have already boosted the blast I gave him the other day," Zordon replied. "If I cannot regulate his personality soon we might have to place him back in storage."
"Zordon, what's going on?" Tommy asked.
"When Biilly and the other replicas were created they were given the memories and personalities of the original Rangers. However someone has sabotaged the system so his or her personalities would become twisted. They are all unstable and potentially dangerous. I have already give Biilly a blast of pure Morphin energy, but his true personality is starting to break through."
"Does that mean those replicas that were capture have..." Aisha's question was interrupted by Zordon.
"I am not sure Aisha. "All but one of their energy signatures have disappeared, suggesting they have been destroyed."
"What about the other two replicas?" Rocky asked, referring to the units Zordon had not activated.
"They have been disconnected from the teleportation system and their minds have been blanked. If we need them we will use them, but only in a severe emergency."
Adam had yet to join in the conversation. At present he was studying the last few battles they had had with Minion's forces. It made no sense why he would continue to waste his forces against them, unless he had something in mind. _He's wearing us down,_ he thought. _Draining the Zords and our powers while he prepares for his next assault._
"Zordon, how is the Zeo Crystal doing?" he asked after a moment of thought.
"The Zeo Crystal is now at fifty percent, but will charge faster not Trey has agreed to use the Gem Coin instead of his sub crystal," Alpha told them.
"I have also increased the capabilities of your Zords' individual attacks," Zordon said. "The Defender Zords are now equipment with compression and photon based weapons. Defender Zord V has now bee adapted for high stance mode."
The picture of the white fire engine that represented Defender Zord V appeared the image of the Falcon on the doors. As the Rangers watch the vehicle grew to Zord size and the morphed into a fire fighter.
"The rifle in his hand is capable of either a blast of water, ice or fire and must be used carefully," Alpha advised. "We will be adapting the other Zords as soon as possible."
Adam returned to what he was doing. After the attack by Grey Gargoyle he had kept a log of every monster they had face and the time between each assault. At first Minion or his henchmen were sending down a new creation almost as soon as the previous attack was over. In the first few assaults the Rangers had been constantly summoning their Zords, having to rest each Megazord during the next assault. But, after a while the times between attacks increased and the time taken to destroy the monsters got shorter and shorter.
"Minion's either losing power or he's running out of monsters," he said a little louder than he intended.
His comment drew the attention of the others including Biilly who had just returned something Adam had been trying to avoid. He liked the real Billy and could find no reason to dislike Biilly, but something about the replica made him feel uneasy. It had not helped having Biilly run out on them. Billy had always been emotional, but the replica seemed almost unstable.
"He's right," the replica said. "From the energy readings of his last warrior I would surmise the last monster was the equivalent of that Skug you faced."
Tommy read down the list of monsters they had faced: Grey Gargoyle, Whip Lash, Dread Knight, Pythona, Hypnotia, Blizzard, Whirlwind, Nemesis Enforcer, Serpentman, Golobulus, the Mandarin and finally a creature known as Blob. It was then Tommy realised that the reason Blob had fallen quickly was because they had been able to use all three Megazords against him, and the reason they had been able to use all three Megazords was because the monster before that had been easy to beat. Of course Tommy could not recall its name due to his poor memory.
Of course there had been moments when Tommy had thought they would lose one of their Megazords. Blizzard had frozen the Defender Megazord while it was forming and Mandarin had managed to cripple the Sky and Techno Megazords using his energy rings. Somehow Minion had managed to back the Mandarin up with some of the lesser monsters.
It was the ability to bring the monsters back to life that made Tommy worry the most. So far they had managed to get away with only partial powers, but if Minion decided to unleash an army against them, the Rangers would be defeated. The Rangers had been lucky so far. They had four Megazords plus the Drop Zord if things got desperate, but luck was not something Tommy liked to rely on.
"Has there been any word from Crossworld City, Charterville or Leewood?" Trey asked. Although he did not say it the Rangers knew he was worried about Dex. The Lord of Triforia and Prince of Edenoi seemed to have been friends for millennia before either of them had come to Earth. When Trey had discovered Dex was on Earth he had made a point of visiting his old friend.
"Still nothing," Alpha reported. The little droid sounded almost as concerned as Trey. Alpha had been created by Lexian and given to Zordon as an assistant. Originally the Alpha series had been designed to function on board planetary cruisers, but Lexian's plan had failed to materialise when Dregon had attacked the planet.
"Rangers, it seems unlikely Minion will strike for a short time. Why don't you return to your..."
Zordon was interrupted by the monster alarm. The Viewing Screen came to life and showed the latest threat to Angel Grove.
"Minion must be getting desperate," Rocky said when he saw what Minion's latest offering was.
On the Viewing Screen the Rangers could see a larger version of a Robo Trooper. Tommy, Rocky, Adam and Kat froze as they remembered the beating they had taken at the hands of the Robo Troopers the day when Minion had destroyed the Zeo Crystal.
"We'd better go," Tommy said.
"Before you do," Biilly said. "Trey, hold out you Gem Coin."
The Gold Zeo Ranger did as he was asked. Billy touched the coin and the image of a Wolf appeared. "Although I have never held the Ninja Powers, my spirit animal is the Wolf and I now allow you to access this power when morphing."
"Thank you," was all Trey could manage.
"It's Morphin Time!" Tommy called.
"Zeo Ranger I - Crane!"
"Zeo Ranger II - Bear!"
"Zeo Ranger III - Ape!"
"Zeo Ranger IV - Frog!"
"Zeo Ranger V - Falcon!"
"Zeo Ranger X - Wolf!"
Although Trey retained his normal costume and colour his sleeves were blue and he had a coin with the picture of a Wolf on his chest. Once again Trey decided he was not going to ask Biilly how he managed to do that. Something told him it would be a long story.
"Tommy and Aisha take Gem Coin Megazord III, Adam and Rocky take Gem Coin Megazord II, Trey and Kat take Megazord I, and I'll control the Drop Zord and have the Ninja MegaFalconzord ready if you need it."
Before the others could react, Biilly had already gone. Even Zordon had been shocked by the replica's actions. He had never known Billy to take command with quite as much force. True the Blue Ranger had taken charge when Master Vile had turned back time and had acted as the behind the scenes leader during the Rangers first few months as Zeo Rangers, but even then Zordon had sensed little desire to lead.
As Zordon watched the Viewing Screen he notice the Robo Trooper had returned to normal size and was causing further damage to the city.
"Alpha, redirect the Rangers to take on the Robo Trooper and have the Zords placed on standby in case it grows again."
Zordon did not like the idea of the Rangers facing the Robo Trooper without their full powers did not appeal to Zordon, but asking them to attack using the Zords was a breach of the rules. If as a result of doing so the monster grew then the Rangers would have been guilty of escalating the battle without provocation.
Alpha did as he was told despite not liking the idea any more than Zordon did. After pressing a few buttons and advising the Rangers what was happening, Alpha turned his attention to the Viewing Screen hoping to notice something that might help the Rangers.
The Robo Trooper had been created by Minion to be the most efficient, deadly and capable foot soldier I the arsenal of the forces of darkness. So far they were undefeated in combat having seen action once. The Validium based body combined with state of the art micro technology and the power of the Dark Dimension blended to form the perfect Ranger killing machine.
Normally Minion would have sent Robo Troopers fight the Rangers in-groups, but Minion had not ordered this attack directly. Instead Brasso, acting on Minion's wishes had sent a single Trooper into battle. The mission was simple; destroy the Power Rangers and then return. It was also a mission the Robo Trooper was capable of completing without help.
Validium is unique in the Universe. Firstly, the metal is virtually indestructible. Heat, cold, moisture, shock, electricity and magnetism all have the same effect of the silvery metal, none. Secondly the metal is alive, able to learn how to move without motors or muscles. With the aid of some magic and a few electronic chips to give it a purpose the Robo Trooper is able to adapt to fulfil its mission. Thirdly, Validium can increase and decrease in mass. Therefore Robo Troopers never require the presence of a more powerful villain if they wish to grow.
The single Robo Trooper utilised these capabilities fully within its attack. Knowing the Rangers could not harm it the Robo Trooper settled for an all out assault on the Warehouse District of Angel Grove. It knew that when the Rangers discovered the attack they would race to the rescue of their fellow humans. When the Rangers did not appear immediately the Robo Trooper took positive action to ensure it had their attention.
The metal forming the Robo Trooper's right hand disappeared to be replaced by a mace. The Robo Trooper then began a long journey through the Rangers' beloved city, striking out at anything that moved.
Five beams of light struck the Robo Trooper's back and it turned as the Gem Coin Rangers followed up their first strike with another round of fire from their Blade Blasters. The Robo Trooper calculated the odds of one of the five Rangers actually being able to cause it serious harm and then decided it was not worth considering.
Only then did the Trooper realise that only five Rangers had attacked. Already too late it turned to locate the other Rangers. Gold Zeo attacked from above, leaving Triceratops Ranger to strike from below. Golden Power Staff and Power Lance connected with the Trooper's body.
A Putty would have either disintegrated or run in terror, a Tenga would have found its heart sticking through the far side of its body and a Cog would have ended up lying on the ground as scrap metal. But the Robot Trooper was impervious to the Rangers' weapons. For the first time in memory the Power Lance snapped on impact and the Golden Power Staff disappeared from sight.
Zeo Crane unleashed some of her arrows, hoping to pierce a weak spot. The arrows fell to the ground twisted and splintered.
Zeo Bear tried next, her Power Daggers bouncing off the metal skin. Apart from Biilly and Trey, Aisha was the only Ranger present who had not faced the Robo Troopers during their first battle with the Rangers. As a result she failed to grasp how tough their opponent was. She soon learned when the Robo Trooper unleashed a set of miniature darts from its hands, piercing her uniform and drawing blood.
Zeo Ape struck before the Robo Trooper could take advantage of his fallen teammate. Normally Rocky would have seen the battle as a high, but this was different. One of his friends had been hurt and Rocky was never more serious. With a single swipe he struck the Trooper on the elbow with his Power Sword. The blow did little damage, but Rocky had not expected it to. It did catch his opponent's attention long enough for Zordon to teleport the fallen Yellow Ranger to safety.
Zeo Frog was next, driving the Power Axe into the elbow, trying to increase any damage Zeo Ape may have accomplished. Sparks flew as the blade of the axe made contact with the Robot Trooper. Zeo Frog rolled away and examined his weapon. The Blade was dull and starting to break and the Robo Trooper was still to all intents and purposes intact. From a distance he converted his axe to Cosmic Cannon and fired.
As the burst of heat struck the Validium based foot soldier, Zeo Falcon was already in flight. He landed, driving Saba into the elbow, quickly retrieving the sword and using the sword's eyebeams to strike the same spot before returning to his friends.
In a flash of yellow Zeo Bear appeared again. Although weaker she had received an energy boost from Zordon and had returned with a new strategy. "Try the Power Blaster," she suggested, knowing Zordon had just boosted their weapons' power.
"Weapons up," Zeo Falcon instruction.
The Rangers summoned their weapons, surprised in some cases to find them intact. Trey summoned the Golden Power Staff before splitting into his three parts.
"Power Axe!" Zeo Frog called, switching the axe to cannon mode and throwing it into the air.
"Power Bow!" Zeo Crane continued, turning her weapon sideways so it lay across the cannon.
"Power Lance!" Triceratops Ranger called, splitting the lance in half and throwing it into the air. Somewhere in the back of his mind he felt the urge to leave his friends and let the Robo Trooper win. He managed gain control of his mind again without the others noticing the conflict.
"Power Daggers!" Zeo Bear called. She threw both daggers into the air where they joined the almost fully formed weapon.
In his mind Zeo Wolf could hear the powers telling him what to do. Wolf I looked over at Wolf II and Wolf III. When they nodded their agreement he called out, "Power Tripod!"
The three versions of the Golden Power Staff joined at the tips and formed a tripod on which the Power Blaster could rest. Zeo Falcon was surprised when Saba flew from his hand and inserted himself into the tripod, his head tilting back so the Power Blaster could fit into place.
"Power Sword!" Zeo Ape called as he finished the sequence by placing the Power Sword on top of the Power Blaster.
The combined power of nine Rangers, six Super Zeo Gems and seven Power Coins stood in front of a single Robo Trooper. The power of the Golden Power Staff was transferred through Saba into the Power Blaster.
"Fire!" the Rangers commanded together.
Seven beams of light shot from the end of the gestalt weapon, striking the Robo Trooper in the arm. For a moment the blast ripped into the body, ripping it in half. Then, the living metal reformed, showing no sign of damage. It continued to change shape, growing to giant size as the Rangers watched.
"Call on the Zords," Triceratops Ranger said before leaving. The voices in his head were starting to make sense and that worried him. As he left to control the battle from the Power Chamber he was struggling desperately to control his thoughts and prevent anyone including Zordon from noticing his inner turmoil.
Biilly hit the floor of the Power Chamber running. He had already powered down to allow him to perform some of the more intricate tasks that required a keen sense of touch.
He quickly made his way to the area where the new Zords were store. Located the main computer he started to program in the necessary commands to improve the Rangers' chances of survival. It had taken nearly all the useful material from Serpenterra to create the three sets of Zords and the Drop Zord. Unlike the Zeo Zords that were powered by science based energy from the Zeo Crystal, the new Zords were powered partially by magic
That alone had meant Biilly had had to redesign the power interface to accept both magic and science. Then there had been massive amount of power required to build a full set of Zords. Luckily by cannibalising Lord Zedd's personal Zord Biilly had managed to scrounge the power converters he needed.
Currently only a few of the Zords had been tested in high stance mode. Biilly hoped that by giving them all that ability the Rangers would be able to fight on if the Megazords were damaged.
Biilly quickly finished his task and then ran to the Drop Zord. There was no way he was going to spend all his time in the Power Chamber whilst the other were helping Tommy deal with his most recent crisis. It was due to Tommy that Billy had become distant from his team and eventually left for Aquitar. The Red Zeo always needed to be in control of the situation regardless of what anybody else felt.
Even when Kimberly had kidnapped or injured it had always been Tommy the others seemed to feel sorry for. It was always as if the Red Zeo Ranger loved the attention he could get for himself by being on the receiving end of Rita and Zedd's attacks.
Whether that was true or whether it was a result of Zordon's energy beam starting to wear off was something Biilly was unsure of. His mind had been so confused lately he briefly entertained the notion that maybe he was reading too much into the way Tommy acted sometimes. But there were other things as well. When Billy had given up his powers it had been Tommy who had gradually distanced Billy from the others. Biilly remembered the pain Billy had felt when nobody tried to talk him out of staying on Aquitar.
_If Tommy had not distanced himself and the others from Billy, he would never have stayed on Aquitar, married Cestria and be forced to live with the fact she is dead,_ he thought. In his heart Biilly knew such a statement was unjustified, but in his mind he knew he was right.
_No time to think about this now!_ He thought angrily. "It's Morphin Time!"
Unlike the other Zords, the Drop Zord had been designed to work using only magic. The result was that the capabilities of the Zord could be easily adjusted. For example to increase speed Biilly only had to tap more energy, unlike the mixed energy Zords, which would require a refit to change any major function.
Biilly knew the Rangers were waiting for their Zords to arrive. _Let them wait,_ he thought. Since morphing he was starting to feel different about his priorities. Right now defending a planet full of ordinary humans among whom he could never be accepted without pretending to be somebody else did not appeal to him. Something had hanged and now all he was interested in was revenge against anyone responsible for his wife's death.
Directing the Drop Zord towards the battle Biilly decided to get revenge on Minion first and then on Tommy. Pressing a button on his console Biilly released the other Zords from the holding bay. With luck he could destroy the Robo Trooper first, then finish off Minion and finally get even with Tommy.
- You could get even with him now,* a voice whispered. *Don't send them the Zords and Tommy will be dead.*
Biilly shook off the voice and continued on his course. He would deal with Tommy in time. In the meantime he had a planet to protect.
The Rangers waited for their new Zords to turn up, but it soon became obvious there had been a delay. Knowing they could not wait they decided to use their Ninja Zords instead.
"We need Ninja Zord power, now!"
As the prototype Zords appeared the Rangers teleported into the cockpits, Trey taking control of the Wolf Zord. Instead of forming the Ninja MegaFalconzord the Rangers used their individual Zord attacks.
Zeo Frog guided his Zord forward and directed it to open its mouth. The Frog's tongue wrapped around the Robo Trooper allowing Zeo Frog to direct a burst of electrical energy into the Trooper's body. Activating the recall system he used the tongue to pull the giant foot soldier towards the Zord.
The Wolf Zord moved so fast that the Robo Trooper didn't see it coming until it was to late. The powerful hind legs drove the Zord into the air where it made contact with the Robo Trooper's arm. The Zord's jaws clamped shut around the Robo Trooper; Zeo Wolf holding on as the foot soldier tried to shake the Zord loose.
"Hold on Trey, help is coming," Zeo Ape called over the communicator.
The mighty Zord leapt onto the monster's back, wrapping its arms around the Validium neck. With its arms locked in position and its legs pushing against the monster's lower back the Zord attempted to wrench the head away from the body.
Shifting its body weight the Robo Trooper threw the Ape to the ground. The arm the Wolf had attached itself to transformed into a sword, which the Robo Trooper used to sever the Frog Zord's tongue. Throwing its arms wide the Trooper sent the Wolf flying backwards.
Bolts of pink energy struck the foot soldier in the chest causing it to fall over. The Crane Zord flew around to move in for a second assault. Once again Zeo Crane armed her lasers and prepared to fire.
The sword disappeared from the monster's grip, the living metal moulding it into a large fist. Reaching up the monster grabbed the Crane Zord and held it in place, all the time increasing the pressure and trying to crack the Zord's metallic skin. Slowly the Robo Trooper got back to its feet, drawing the Crane closer.
"Increasing thrusters," Zeo Crane said as she pulled back on the control levers.
As the Crane managed to break free Zeo Bear set her Zord on its hind legs then slammed the front legs onto the ground. The Robo Trooper was once again thrown off its feet. The Bear moved away to make room for the Falconzord to make its attack run.
As the Falcon Zord dived its talons extended outwards. Mini missiles fired from the wings, striking the Trooper in the chest and shoulders. While the missiles did no real damage they distracted the Robo Trooper long enough for the Falcon Zord to sink its talons into the metal warrior and lift it into the air. The Zord lifted it clear of the city before dropping the Trooper back to the ground. Zeo Falcon then turned his Zord in the air and folded its wings exposing its wing tip torpedoes.
"Fire!" Zeo Falcon ordered pressing the button on his control stick.
As the smoke cleared from where the torpedoes had struck the Robo Trooper the Rangers were not surprised to find it still standing. So far the Robo Troopers had managed to withstand anything the Rangers had thrown at them.
"Ninja MegaFalconzord!" the Rangers called.
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. The fully charged Power Sword appeared in the Megazord's hand. In a single movement the Power Sword moved across the Robo Trooper's body carving a diagonal slash in its body.
Just as the Power Weapons had been damaged on impact so the Power Sword had snapped. The Robo Trooper had summoned its own sword again and struck back. Validium versus Zord metal was a no contest. The Robo Trooper's sword sliced through the Megazord like a knife through butter.
"Lock on and fire!" Biilly commanded from his seat in the Drop Zord.
His flight controls were currently linked to all fifteen Gem Coin Zords. He had programmed them all to move in with their additional weaponry fully armed and ready to strike.
It had taken him longer than he thought to find the Rangers, mainly due to Tommy moving the monster away from the city. Eventually he had located the others and seen their predicament. The Robo Trooper was about to demolish the Ninja Mega Falconzord. Pressing the fire button Biilly unleashed the full power of all the Zords.
The White Sky Zord moved in first unleashing a volley of cluster bombs. That was quickly followed by the Pink Sky Zord's ice attack and the Black Sky Zord's fireball. The Yellow Sky Zord moved in quickly trapping the Robo Trooper care of its null beam. The Gold and Red Sky Zords struck simultaneously. The Gold Zord rammed the Robo Trooper with its nosecone whilst the Red Zord generated a sonic boom.
Biilly watched the results of his first attempt. The Sky Zords were relatively intact, but so was the Robo Trooper. The Ninja MegaFalconzord was laid out on the ground, its already weakened body severely crippled by the sonic boom.
"Biilly what are you trying to do, kill us?" he heard a voice shout over the communicator.
"Trying to save your lives," Biilly shouted back. He couldn't tell who the voice belonged to due to the static, though he suspected it might have been Rocky. "Defender Zords move in!"
The five Defender Zords moved into position. The White Defender Zord struck first. The powerful fire engine had a pair of water cannons mounted on its cab. As it moved close the cannons fired pressurised jets of water knocking the Robo Trooper of its feet.
The Pink Defender Zord was next. The helicopter used its powerful rotors to create a localised tornado. Only a quick shift in position allowed the monster to escape being drawn into the blades.
Biilly did not bother instructing the Red police car Defender Zord to use its double barrelled particle cannons. Instead he took advantage of the distraction the Pink Zord created and drove straight into the monster.
The Yellow bike Defender Zord launched its twin missiles striking the foot soldier in the arm the Rangers had damaged before the Trooper had grown. At the same time the Black ambulance shaped Defender Zord fired a burst of compressed air from its double roof mounted compression cannons.
For the first time one of the Zords' weapons had an effect. The air succeeded in freezing a part of the monster's upper body, leaving it vulnerable to the Techno Zords' attacks.
The Gem Coin Rangers meanwhile had scramble away from their fallen Megazord and were waiting for Biilly to give them control of their Zords. For some reason Tommy felt that the replica would sacrifice a Ranger if it meant destroying Minion's creation.
The Techno Zords moved in on their targets. Since they had been designed mainly as backup they were all identical shades of black and red. The two plane like Zords moved in, dragging the cannon behind them. Biilly hit the command button and the unleashed a mixture of energy and projectile based weapons. Both planes flew off, releasing the cannon before they did so.
The covered motorcycle was next; striking the Robo Trooper with its single roof mounted laser. It skidded to a halt, turning ninety degrees as it did so and firing again this time from a stationary position. It stayed in position whilst the car moved in from one side and the dune buggy from the other side both firing their high powered energy rifles. The two vehicles stopped to form a perfect triangle formation. All three vehicles fired and Biilly saw his plan had worked.
The Robo Trooper's built in computer determined the only threat to come from the three vehicles and concentrated on defending against their combined attack. When the cannon fired from behind the monster had no defence and fell to the ground.
"Bring your Zords together and finish this thing!" Biilly shouted.
He had done all the difficult work by giving the others a chance to rest. Now he doubted they could fail to finish the monster off. _But then again, they allowed themselves to lose the Zeo Crystal, why should they not end up ruining you creations as well?_ Biilly was not sure if he had thought the last question or if somebody had actually been talking to him. At the moment the voices were starting to sound more and more like his own thoughts. Biilly could feel his control starting to slip. If something was not done soon he might end up endangering either himself or his teammates.
The other Rangers did as he said. They called on their Zords and activated the Megazord sequences.
"Megazord I, power up!" Zeo Crane and Zeo Wolf called.>
The five planes reverted to their normal size and flew towards her. Then at the right time they switch upright and headed towards the sky. The White plane's nose cone retracted into the cockpit to be replaced by a head, the wings folded toward the bottom of the plane and the fuselage shrunk to half its normal size. The Pink and Yellow planes transformed into the arms, and the Red and Black planes formed then legs. As the Zord touched down it grew in size until it resemble a normal Megazord.
"Drop Zord, now!" Zeo Crane ordered. The plane flew past; dropping the fists, feet and chest plate of the Megazord as it did so.
"Gem Coin Megazord I, online!" Zeo Crane ordered.
"Megazord activated," the computerised voice said.
Adam and Rocky both called out, "Gem Coin Megazord II, power up!"
The fire engine's cab rolled up and over the top to reveal the Megazord's head, the rest of it shifting shape to form the body. The helicopter' rotor blade flew of as the tail detached itself allowing the helicopter to form the right arm. The ambulance attached itself to the left side of the body and the motorcycle and police car formed the legs.
Once again the Drop Zord appeared, releasing the hands, feet and chest shield for the Defender Megazord. When the Megazord was complete the rotor blades and tail transformed into a Power Sword.
"Megazord II, activated," the computer reported.
"Gem Coin Megazord III, form up!" Zeo Bear and Zeo Falcon called together.
The two planes flew over to where the cannon was placed and picked it up. The planes flew away, dragging the cannon with them, but soon returned with the gun emplacement in tow. The high speed of the two jets caused the chains dragging the emplacement lift off the ground. As it drew near the chains were released. The gun detached itself from the emplacement, allowing it to form the lower body onto which the larger of the two planes formed to create the upper torso, shoulders and head. The dune buggy and motorbike transformed into the arms and the other plane and car formed the legs.
A panel opened on the lower back of the Megazord from which the hands and feet for the Megazord were released along with the chest panel. The gun had in the meantime split in half and appeared in each hand.
Following Tommy's comments Biilly had removed the computer's speech synthesiser. Now instead of vocal warning a small alarm told them when the Megazord was fully formed.
"Now let's finish this," Biilly said activating the Drop Zord's high stance mode. A power four-barrelled rifle appeared in the Drop Zord's hands. Biilly pulled back on the controls, not yet sure whether to blast the monster or the Zord containing Tommy.
Despite being outnumbered the Robo Trooper managed to inflict some damage to each of the Megazords. Zord armour was no match for the Validium based swords. With a single swipe it managed to slice through the Defender Megazord's leg.
The three Megazords struck back. The Defender Megazord used its Fireball Cannon to superheat the Trooper. The Techno Megazord fired both its Acid Rifles. The explosive shells started to burn through the outer layer of metal. Finally the Drop Zord fired its rifle at full power knocking Robo Trooper off its feet.
"Take it to full power," Zeo Falcon instructed.
"SFC online!" Zeo Crane and Zeo Wolf ordered.
The large scale Stress Fracture Cannon appeared on the Sky Megazord's right arm. Independent sensors immediately started pinpointing the structural weak spots on the Robo Trooper's body.
"Flaming Defender Power Sword now!" Zeo Frog and Zeo Ape commanded.
The Power Sword once again appeared in the Defender Megazord's hand. At the same time the fireball cannon appeared in the other hand. By using both weapons together the Megazord formed a blade of pure fire able to cut through most materials.
"Scattershot Rifle, power up!" Zeo Falcon and Zeo Bear called.
The Zords brought its hands together and the two guns merged together. A series of lights lit up on the control panel to show the rifle was fully powered.
"Scattershot load," Zeo Falcon said.
A shell loaded with high impact metal shrapnel inserted itself into the end of the rifle. A sight appeared on the end of the rifle.
"Now!" Zeo Falcon ordered.
The Defender Megazord used its Power Sword, swinging rapidly in different directions to find some weakness in the Robo Trooper's body. Although the sword did no damage to the monster it was able to withstand the impact and unlike the Ninja MegaFalconzord's Power Sword it stayed in one piece.
Zeo Wolf activated the Stress Fracture Cannon. The specialised beam traced the Robo Trooper's body in an attempt find any damage exposed by the Power Sword. It finally locked onto a small flaw in the Validium and worked to pull the body to pieces.
Finally the Techno Megazord launched its own shell. On impact the shell split open shredding the Robo Troopers body. Combined with the power of the SFC the rifle succeeded in cutting off the Trooper's thumb. Somehow the small amount of damage was enough to cause the Trooper to revert to normal size and shut down.
"What happened?" Zeo Ape asked.
Instead of answering the question Biilly's scientific interest caused him to teleport the Robo Trooper to a laboratory in the Power Chamber.
"You lot can either stay here or go somewhere else," Biilly said. "When I need you I'll call."
With that said he pushed the return button on the Zords and teleported them all back to the Power Chamber leaving the Rangers standing in the middle of the desert.
"Let's get back," Zeo Falcon said as he powered down. He wanted to talk to Zordon urgently concerning Biilly.
"Yes master," Brasso said appearing before Minion.
"Your latest attempt failed did it not?" It was more of a comment than a question and Brasso knew it. "As of now you are to cease all further attacks. It is time for the Rangers to meet my Psycho Rangers."
"As you wish Minion," Brasso said.
"Exactly," Minion replied. "As I wish."
As Brasso left Minion turned his attention to the Psycho Rangers. Using his power he had given them a Ninja Ranger mode, full Ranger mode and the power to disguise themselves as Rangers. Currently they were attempting to imitate the Gem Coin Rangers' uniforms.
"Psycho Rangers, attack!"
Ernie's Bar, Angel Grove
Later that day
Tommy sat at the counter; not his usual seat but he wanted to be alone for a while. The Rangers had been given a short chance to enjoy themselves and they were making most of the opportunity. Kat and Aisha were sat at the Rangers' normal table talking about Aisha's time in Kenya; Rocky and Adam were sparring on the mats, improving their teamwork and techniques; and Trey had mentioned something about checking on Pyramidas. With Biilly working on the deactivated Robo Trooper and repairing the Zords, Tommy was alone with his thoughts.
At the moment he was worried about Biilly. He had noticed the hesitation when the replica was fighting and the strange body language. _Maybe we've put too much pressure on him,_ he thought to himself, going over in his mind the things he could have done to make life easier for the replica. _If I had ensured we were prepared to take on Brasso maybe he would not have damaged the Zords so badly and maybe Biilly would not be under so much stress._
Zordon had told him not to worry and that he would keep an eye on the replica. But Tommy could not help but think that maybe something bad was about to happen.
He looked up at the television when he heard the news come on. The camera showed the centre of a small nearby town in ruins. Firemen were trying desperately to get the fires under control and police had secured a vast area behind the reporter.
"We are now live in Warehouse District of Angel Grove where today an unknown force caused widespread damage. Ten people are known to be injured and at least three are missing, presumed dead. "
The reporter turned as one of her cameramen pointed to a spot not far away where a new group of super heroes had just arrived.
"Ladies and gentlemen, in an unexpected turn of events the Power Rangers from Angel Grove have appeared inside Charterville. Hopefully they may be able to shed some light on who or what is responsible for this atrocity."
The reporter continued to smile for the camera as the Red, White, Black, Gold, Pink and Yellow Gem Coin Rangers walked towards her. She turned to face them as they drew nearer, remembering that the White Ranger seemed to be in charge.
_How can the Power Rangers be there?_ Tommy wondered. He signalled for the others to join him and together they watched the scenes unfold. An unpleasant thought had entered all their minds. Although they knew there were other possibilities, a set of six evil Rangers appearing not long after their replicas had been kidnapped made them fear the worst.
"Excuse me, sir, can you tell us what happened here?" the reporter asked.
The White Ranger's hand moved to his hip and began to remove the Blade Blaster attached there. As he pulled it level the reporter took the hint and ran, her news crew in hot pursuit, barely able to keep ahead of the blaster fire.
As the television screen went blank the Rangers had already left to find out what was happening. Outside the Youth Centre they contacted Trey and arranged for him to rendezvous with them at Charterville.
Ernie had been watching the screen the whole time and wondered what the kids were going to face next.
Biilly finished his examination of the Robo Trooper and sighed. As long as he could remember he had been able to understand almost anything he encountered, but the Robo Trooper had him stumped. Apart from the fact it stopped working when the Rangers used the SFC and blew off its thumb Biilly had no idea why it was currently lying inactive on the table instead of finishing off the Rangers like it ought to.
"Is it knowledge you seek?" a voice asked.
Biilly turned to face the direction from which he had heard the voice. It front of him stood Minion in all his glory. Biilly's first instinct was to attack the being responsible for the destruction of Aquitar. It took all his will power not to morph and destroy the villain on the spot.
"What's the matter Biilly?" Minion asked, his voice filled with mock sympathy. "Are you a bit upset I killed your wife?"
Minion ducked Biilly's fist. Normally the Blue Ranger would not have fallen for such a weak taunt, but the damage Minion had caused to his mind had weakened his will power and self-control.
"Of course, I did it so I could become one with the real Billy," Minion said. "I know you are just a replica, but together we can lay waste to this pitiful planet."
Drowning out Minion's words Biilly reviewed the situation logically. He needed a way to change the subject until he could remain in control. "How can you be here?" he asked.
Instead of telling him, Minion simply removed his mask. Beneath the face was disfigured and badly scarred, but definitely recognisable.
"You're dead," Biilly whispered, unable to believe what his eyes were telling him.
"I was dead," Minion replied in a voice Biilly knew all to well. "But Rita and Zedd brought me back. As to how I am here, how are you able to get in here?"
Biilly thought for a moment and then realised that if Minion was who he appeared to be he might still have some good Ranger Powers, enough to maybe gain entry to the Power Chamber. _He would have no problem creating a communicator._
"What do you want?" Biilly demanded. As he spoke he tried to find the alarm button. Somehow Minion was restraining him. Biilly was unable to take his eyes away from the face he knew better than any other, now scarred and twisted thanks to actions of some of the former and current Rangers.
"You don't understand do you Biilly?" Minion asked. "I am your creator. I am responsible for the conflict that is raging within your soul. I am the reason you are unable to control your darker impulses. I want you!"
Minion could sense Biilly's emotions as clearly as if they were his own which in a way they were. Currently the replica was in shock. That mixed with his obvious hatred for Minion and his own memories were an explosive combination. All he had to do was break Biilly's mind and cause him to break the rules of the Power. Then, he could give him the choice to join the forces of darkness or be destroyed by the forces of light.
"Come young Ranger, you know you can kill me. Do it and then you can rest."
Biilly struggled to keep his emotions under control. He noticed for the first time that Minion had been turning him to face the viewscreen. Biilly's eyes widened as he saw the battle between the Power Rangers and some unidentified opponents dressed in Ranger uniforms.
Minion knew what he was doing. He had planted the flaws in Biilly's personality and now they were starting to surface. He might not have gotten to use the replica to build his Psycho Rangers, but the replica might still be useful in the future against the Rangers.
"Come on Biilly, who do you really blame for Cestria's death?" Minion said in a voice no louder than a whisper. "Do you really blame me or is it Tommy you should be blaming? I know you Biilly, you would never have stayed on a world filled with fish if you had felt wanted on Earth with your so called friends."
Slowly the sabotage caused to Biilly's mind years before combined with the magic Minion had used and Biilly's own paranoia drove the already fragile replica to the edge of his sanity. Minion could see this was his chance. In the next few minutes Biilly would either succeed in killing the Rangers' greatest enemy or join with him. All that was needed now was something to push the replica over the edge. An idea struck him and he quickly pressed a button on the console.
The six Gem Coin Rangers appeared behind a parked car their Blade Blasters drawn ready for action. As they moved round the side of the car they caught their first sight of their impersonators.
"There they are," Zeo Falcon said.
By this time the other Rangers had stopped firing and seemed to be waiting for something. As the Gem Coin Rangers ran towards their counterparts they stopped, catching sight of the symbols on their chests. Each of the impostors resembled the Gem Coin Rangers except they had different Animal Guides on the coins. The Gold Ranger's double was also different, lacking the blue sleeves on his uniform.
The Rangers found themselves lined up against their counterparts. The Pink, Yellow, Black, Gold, Red and White lookalikes opposite Zeo Crane, Zeo Bear, Zeo Frog, Zeo Wolf, Zeo Ape and Zeo Falcon.
"Well well well, what do we have here?" the White Ranger lookalike asked. Its voice sounded distorted, almost computerised.
"I can't believe it," Zeo Bear said taking a step backwards.
"They look just like..." Zeo Frog started, trying to make sense of what was happening.
"But they can't be," Zeo Falcon said.
"Ah, but we are Rangers," the Blue Ranger lookalike said.
"And we're here for one reason and one reason only," the Yellow Ranger lookalike continued.
"To destroy you!" the Red Ranger lookalike said pointing to the Gem Coin Rangers.
"Attack!" the White Ranger lookalike commanded.
The Lookalikes charged the Gem Coin Rangers. Soon they were able to spread the Rangers out so they could not help each other. Each lookalike was facing off against their Ranger Counterparts.
Pink lookalike traded blows with Zeo Crane. It was obvious that the lookalike had the edge in both experience and skill. She punched Zeo Crane in the chest several times, following up with kicks to the lower abdomen and a punch to the face.
Zeo Crane fought back aiming her Power Bow and firing. Pink lookalike laughed as she faded out of sight.
"Where'd she go?" Zeo Crane asked out loud.
"Here," the Pink lookalike said appearing behind her opponent and unleashing an energy arrow. Zeo was thrown to the ground as the arrow made contact.
Zeo Bear face off against her opponent, each exchanging and blocking the other's blows. Although they were evenly matched in skill the lookalike had the advantage in terms of strength. Suddenly the Yellow lookalike jumped onto Zeo Bear's shoulder, using it a springboard to leap inside a warehouse and onto a pile of oil drums.
"Blade Blaster," Zeo Bear called drawing her side arm.
She managed to squeeze off six shots before noticing they were having no effect. The lookalike responded by drawing her own Blade Blaster and firing. The shots struck the ground surrounding Zeo Bear throwing her to the floor.
Zeo Wolf and his counterpart had already started using their weapons. Golden Power Staff versus the lookalikes Power Staff. The lookalike ducked Trey's blow, back handing him with his own staff. Zeo Wolf rolled back to a distance where he could use his weapon effectively.
"Time for a Gold Rush!" he called.
Bursts of gold energy struck the lookalike causing it to pull away slightly. Zeo Wolf kept firing until he was sure nothing could have survived.
"Not bad Gold Ranger," the Gold lookalike said from behind. He lifted his own Power Staff and fired a bolt of golden energy from the tip, leaping through the air and striking Zeo Wolf in the chest.
Zeo Ape found himself in a punching match with the much larger Red lookalike. Being a hard hitter had always seemed to Rocky to be a key requirement of the Red Dino, Thunder and Ninja Ranger. It had been one of the things that made filling Jason's shoes that much easier for him. He knew he was not much of a leader, but as long as he could punch and fight Rocky had been certain he could make a good replacement for the former Red Ranger.
Now however Zeo Ape found himself facing a martial artist who could match him in skill and out power him. The Red lookalike seemed intent on aiming for his opponent's neck, attempting to take the Gem Coin Ranger's head.
Deciding enough was enough the Red lookalike called on his Power Sword and charged. Zeo Ape drew his own sword and fought back. The two fought back and forth until the red lookalike managed to get past the Gem Coin Ranger's defences and strike a blow to his chest.
"Try this," the Red lookalike said.
A second Power Sword appeared in the duplicate's hand. Holding both arms out to the sides the duplicate started to spin in a way similar to the Zeo III Power Spin. He spun around the confused Zeo Ape his sword striking the Ranger multiple times.
As he stopped the duplicate looked back on its handiwork. Zeo Ape had not stopped sparking; the blows inflicted taking a lot out of the Ranger's uniform. As the sparks finally stopped Zeo Ape collapsed to the ground.
Zeo Frog found himself facing off against the Black lookalike, both masters of their art. Zeo Frog ducked a kick and attempted a low leg sweep. The duplicate was taken off his feet, but managed to perform a move similar to break dancing to spin back to his feet again.
In the duplicate's hand a double-sided axe appeared. Zeo Frog summoned his own Power Axe and the two enemies recommenced their battle. Zeo Frog found it increasingly difficult to counter his opponent's blows. The lookalike was able to use both blades on his axe effectively, drawing Zeo Frog's Power Axe aside with one stroke and then slashing the open chest with the back swing.
The duplicate made a quick movement converting his axe to a version of the Cosmic Cannon and fired. Zeo Frog was thrown through the air to land in the warehouse next to the fallen Zeo Bear.
Of all the Rangers Zeo Falcon was the only one who was managing to hold his own. He had fought his duplicate using both unarmed combat techniques and Saba. Tommy realised that maybe the time he had had to fight against Sam was had given him the experience to know how to exploit his lookalike's weaknesses. Of course Zeo Falcon knew that would only last as long as the duplicate chose to fight fair. The White lookalike was fresh to the fight and seemed stronger. Tommy knew he would weaken before the duplicate, but that thought gave him all the more desire to beat his opponent quickly.
The White lookalike drew its own version of Saba. The sword looked almost similar to Zeo Falcon's except heavily armoured and black. The duplicate used the dark sword's eyebeams to blast Zeo Falcon. Saba fought back with his own eyebeams, but the duplicate Ranger had already foreseen the action. While Zeo Falcon struggled to defend himself from one blast the duplicate drew its Blade Blaster and fired.
"Regroup," Zeo Falcon called as he moved away from the advancing duplicate.
The other Gem Coin Rangers joined him, each in various states of injury. Zeo Ape and Zeo Bear were struggling to stand and Zeo Crane was holding her arm, which had been injured by her duplicate.
"You're right," the White lookalike said as his fellow duplicates joined him. "We're not Rangers."
"Then who are you?" Zeo Falcon demanded.
"Oh you'll find out soon enough," the Red lookalike told him.
To emphasise the point the six lookalikes raised their hands to the sky. Blue lightning struck each lookalike transforming them into their true forms. The uniforms turned black and converted into alien-looking suits. Metal plating formed over the body in their Ranger colours. Each Ranger had white gloves and boots with black hands and feet. On their belts were golden N insignias. On the top of their helmets were black spaces each showing a different coloured crystal. Each helmet had flared sides giving them an almost demonic appearance. On their chests were golden coins showing their Spirit Animals.
"We're the Psycho Rangers," Psycho White told them.
"We're faster than you," Psycho Black said.
"Smarter than you..." Psycho Gold said.
"Stronger than you..." Psycho Yellow told them.
"But we're evil!" Psycho Pink finished.
"Now we'll show you what a Psycho Ranger can do!" Psycho White called.
The Psycho Rangers drew their weapons and attacked again. This time there was no messing about. The Psycho Rangers brutalised the Gem Coin Rangers, knocking them about, trying to destroy them. Zeo Falcon picked himself up off the ground in time to be hit by yet another blow from Psycho White.
Once all the Gem Coin Rangers were grounded the Psychos placed their hands on the Rangers' heads. Slowly at first but quickly speeding up they began to drain the Rangers' power.
"Now we know all your moves," Psycho White told the fallen Rangers. "Time to finish this."
"What's going on in here?" Alpha asked walking into the laboratory.
Minion did not speak. Instead he aimed his sword at the little android. "Your choice Biilly. Alpha knows you're a traitor. Will you stop me from killing him or will you join me."
Biilly considered what Minion offered. While the other Rangers had been fighting the Psycho Rangers Minion and Biilly had talked. A lot of what Minion told him made sense. Knowing who Minion was made it an even stronger argument. Why should he help the person he now held responsible for Cestria's death? Why should he help the so-called friends who had abandoned him when he left active service?
_Because I'm a Ranger and that's what I'm sworn to do,_ Biilly thought.
While he was busy deciding Minion had already blasted Alpha in the chest. Biilly shrugged. He would deal with the Alpha later. Right now he was needed.
"Sorry Minion, I'm a Ranger and you're out of here," he said.
Minion left, knowing he had lost this round. But it had been close. In time Biilly would be turned to the dark side and then the Rangers' fate would be sealed.
"It's Morphin Time!" Biilly called. "Triceratops!"
Biilly appeared in time to see the White Psycho remove his hand from Zeo Falcon's head. " I have all your knowledge," Psycho White whispered to Zeo Falcon. "Now we'll finish the job."
Biilly was tempted to wait until Tommy was dead, but knew the others would not have that long. So instead, he attacked. He quickly fought his way through the Psycho Rangers who had been ordered not to attack the Triceratops Ranger. In a flash of black they disappeared from view, returning to Minion's base of operations leaving only Biilly, the fallen Rangers and the now emerging citizens of Angel Grove.
In seven columns of light the Rangers left for the Power Chamber.
"Lord Minion, we have failed you," Psycho White said when Psycho Rangers appeared at Stone Henge.
"Nonsense," Minion replied. "You did everything I ordered you to do. It was not your fault the Triceratops Ranger chose to interfere. But next time, that won't happen. Next time you will finish the job."
"Brasso!" Minion called.
"Yes master?" Brasso said appearing before his leader.
"You may start work on this," Minion said handing Brasso a set of plans. "Bronzo can help you with the body, but the weaponry is your department."
"Yes my lord," Brasso said. He bowed and then vanished into thin air.
Zordon was deep in thought. The Rangers had all been taken care of and most of their wounds would heal in time. Biilly had fixed Alpha, but had somehow managed to wipe the android's memory of the time shortly before he was involved in a lab explosion.
Most prominent in Zordon's mind was the threat posed by the Psycho Rangers. They were stronger than anything the Rangers had faced before, combining the power of the Morphin Grid with some other energy source Zordon had yet to identify. They had taken some of the Rangers' best shots and still defeated them.
Although the Rangers' physical injuries were healed thanks to a mixture of Ranger healing and the Power Chamber's medical bay, the psychological damage might take some time to fade. Any loss for the Rangers was always devastating, but this defeat had been at the hands of other Rangers, even if they were evil.
Zordon did not delude himself into thinking the Psycho Rangers were enspelled. If they had been they would have been unworthy to touch the Dark Morphin Powers.
_Be strong my Rangers,_ Zordon thought. _I fear we have not seen the last of the Psycho Rangers._
The Power Chamber
6 July 1996
David and Kimberly finished their search of the Ranger's quarters. So far they had found no real clue what had happened apart from evidence that there had been some serious injuries recently.
Kimberly found herself looking around Tommy's rest quarters. She ignored his clothes and made her way over to his computer log. Tommy never locked his logs. Mainly because he trusted the other Rangers, but also due to the fact the logs were seal using password protection and Tommy had such a bad memory sometimes he would end up forgetting the password and locking himself out.
Kim felt guilty reading Tommy's log. It was meant to be his thoughts on Ranger business and as such ranked next to his diary in terms of personal items. Normally she would not even think about invading his privacy. But this was important. Somebody had wiped the computer records and the Rangers needed to know what happened. She promised she would explain to Tommy later and apologise.
Logging on she read his last few entries about the Psycho Rangers' attacks. As she finished she made a copy and ran towards the main room. The others had to hear this quickly. Their friends' lives were now hanging in the balance. She just hoped they were not too late.