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Countdown to Destruction


Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to whoever holds that copyright. I also do not own Doctor Who, which belongs to the BBC.

The Lost Chance

Earth: the greatest prize in the universe. A world of magic and great power; hidden treasure and untold riches. It had been a dumping ground, a prison, a secret storage facility and even the home of a mighty empire that had stretched out across the galaxy and far beyond. It was the birth place of gods, the natural dominion of demons. It was dismissed and belittled by those that should protect it just as it was craved and bickered over by those that sought to claim it. And the native population for the most part had remained ignorant that anything significant beyond their little planet even existed.

There had been invasions in the past, but the people of Earth were usually too involved in the battle to survive or whatever war their leaders had decided upon to remember them. Then in the last sixty years the constant fighting had slowed and technology for the first time had reached a level of sophistication where events could be records, catalogued and retained. It was no longer easy to forget about the alien invaders.

Rita Repulsa had been the first threat to appear following the failed space mission that had put an end to corporate exploration. Rita had limited her attacks to the city of Angel Grove, but had made her intensions clear to the whole planet. Had it not been for the Power Rangers, the world's leaders agreed there was little they could have done to stop her; even the various superhero groups around the world and the Task Force Operation failed to provide an answer to the magical alien's power.

Rita had eventually been sent packing in a climatic battle that had almost seen the Rangers defeated. Though she returned her retreat allowed other, smaller factions to make their own attempts to take over the planet only to be fought off.

Then Rita had returned and the Power Rangers had proven themselves once more. They defeated her so many times that she became an embarrassment to her sponsor Lord Zedd. Determined to correct her failure and seize the Earth for himself, Zedd had banished Rita to the stars and sent his forces to conquer the planet. Like Rita before him, he failed.

From there Zedd was eventually rejoined by Rita forming a formidable duo and then Master Vile. The forces of darkness grew stronger, leading to other dimensional villains taking an interest in Earth. In each case heroes rose to fight off the invaders sometimes stopping them outright and on other occasions turning simple conquest into long drawn out wars of attrition. When Master Vile used a spell to turn back time, he unknowingly managed to seal most of the invading armies away from Earth. Although unintentional, he had done himself and the people of Earth a great service.

Then had come the Machine Empire and the Earthlings had been educated in just how primitive the science they held in such high regard really was. The Machine Empire in its many factions were centuries ahead of any technology the humans could find, yet unable to understand or conquer the human spirit. As the machines and aliens battled between themselves for the right to conquer the planet, their forces were defeated over and over again by the Power Rangers. Even when the villain Minion enjoyed a short success, the heroes of the planet united and eventually triumphed.

And then came Divatox. The pirate queen valued the planet for its riches rather than its magic or resources. Divatox had sought to eliminate the Power Rangers to remove any obstacles to plundering their world. At a time when demon queens and evil spirits had started to awaken, she proved just as inept as though that preceded her.

Finally Dark Specter had called a truce, establishing himself as the leader of a new organisation. Under his leadership he turned the collective attention of the UAE's forces away from Earth and toward the conquest of the universe as a whole. It was a temporary thing and part of securing their loyalty had been an assurance that as soon as their individual tasks were complete they would be free to return to Earth and enjoy a period of being the sole invader before being called away for their next task.

Of course Dark Specter had planned to double-cross his underlings. While they were sent out to accomplish small but distant tasks, he had schemed to attack the Earth himself and stake his claim. He had known that under the rules of the United Alliance of Evil's charter, once he had done so the planet was his to conquer until he lost a significant battle. It was a scheme that would have worked had he not underestimated the greed of his underling and the effects of being away from the cursed planet allowed them to regain a small amount of the previous competence.

Already Rita, Zedd, various factions of the Machine Empire and Master Vile had enjoyed the benefits of Dark Specter’s offer. And now with her mission complete, it was finally Divatox’s turn.

Which was part of the reason why Divatox was not happy; it had not been a great start to her new campaign. She had not expected Elgar and Rygog to succeed, and judging by their sudden appearance they had failed spectacularly. But she was also aware that the clock had started ticking the moment she had arrived and that first impressions were important. Such a quick loss spoke volumes about the inadequacies of her underlings and meant that issuing an ultimatum demanding the planet’s surrender was a waste of time.

Since Dark Specter had taken control of the Alliance of Evil and reorganised it into the United Alliance of Evil, with himself as its leader, her plans for the Earth had been sharply curtailed. Dark Specter had decided that the existing arrangement of countless villains attacking the Earth simultaneously while undermining the efforts of their rivals was counterproductive. And so he had changed the rules.

Not only did Dark Specter’s new rules allow the smaller factions an opportunity to claim the planet, it was a great incentive for them to complete their missions as quickly as possible. The problem was that the right to attack Earth only lasted until Dark Specter decided to assign a new mission, which meant that they only had a short time to stake their claim, defeat the planet’s defenders and subjugate the planet. And given that the Grand Monarch changed the time he allowed on a whim, it made conquest almost impossible.

And to make it worse her mother had been in contact, a lot, to make raise her concerns about the way Divatox was handling the matter. Of course voicing her concerns had rapidly turned into outright complaints and derisive remarks about her daughter’s failure along with a promise to replace her daughter if she didn’t hurry up and conquer the Earth.

While her mother’s complaints were unwelcome, her insistence and reminder that Divatox had still not found a suitable husband made an unpleasant conversation completely embarrassing. Divatox was well aware that with Maligore gone the Dianthe expected her to find a new suitor. The problem was that good demons were hard to find.

But now it seemed that events had truly turned against her as she started to make plans to conquer the planet, reading her way through a list of mercenaries she had turned down in the past in the hope that one of them would hold the answer. She had done her research, spying on the Power Rangers to determine any weakness she could use against them; she was aware that had she been Rita she would have identified every possible character the flaw each Ranger possessed and concocted a plan to take full advantage of those weaknesses until the Rangers broke from the strange. Sadly Divatox was not Rita Repulsa.

She had just resigned herself to the possibility of having to call in help from her family, knowing that such a request would show weakness in her command, when her attention had been drawn back to the planet in question or more to the point the large vessels that had appeared around the planet.

She recognised them of course. The Dark Fortress was an unmistakable symbol of Dark Specter’s power and for it to be in orbit mean only one thing: that the Supreme Monarch had grown tired of his games and had decided to claim the prize for himself. That he had assigned multiple vessels the size of the Dark Fortress to the task suggested he intended the conquest to be a very swift and one-sided affair.

"NO!" she bellowed angrily although it might have been a scream of absolute horror.

The Earth, the prize she had craved and worked for all those months was now beyond her reach. There was no way that Dark Specter would permit her to interfere with his schemes. And she was not about to try fooling herself that the Dianthe Pirates could offer the slightest resistance to Dark Specter’s forces/

"It’s not fair. It was my turn!" she whined. "The Earth belongs to me."

"The Earth belongs to Dark Specter," game a rumbling response ansd she turned to find herself confronted by the Messenger of Fire, Dark Specter’s chosen herald. "Dark Specter has decreed that you have had your opportunity and failed. Now an agent of his choosing shall have their turn. Interfere and you will not like the consequences."

"Wait, you said he had given the task to his agent," Divatox protested. "Who?"

The flames shifted, revealing the image of a female warrior. Divatox growled as she recognised the upstart that had stolen her glory. Astronema, the Princess of Evil. Oh Divatox would make her pay for this outrage. After all once Astronema failed Dark Specter would realise his mistake and then Divatox would move in to make her own claim to the planet. And then she would teach Astronema or Karone, or whatever she was called, that nobody crossed Divatox.

End of Part.


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