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 Princess of Evil

There were some that would speculate that the planet Earth had been created as a trap by the Powers that Be. An irresistible draw for the forces of darkness due to the power it promised. One by one the greatest villains had been drawn in by the ancient trap and then over a matter of months had seen the planet's magic erode their evil prowess as they were forced to endure a war of attrition.

Rita Repulsa, Lord Zedd, King Mondo, Prince Gasket and finally Divatox. All had been feared villains before they had found themselves ensnared by the power of the Earth. After that they had become parodies of their former selves as the magic worked its way into their hearts. Although it could not purify them, the Earth had the power to alter their behaviours and force them to sabotage their own attempts to conquer the world.

They were not the first to have fallen victim to the cruel weapon and they would not have been the last had the planet remained unconquered. For the moment that the world no longer stood free from the forces of evil, its enchantment was broken and those that had suffered its effects were slowly restored to their previous levels of evil.

Of course whether there really had been a trap set or if it was just a natural effect of the power that lay within the planet was of little importance to Dark Specter. The important thing had been to find a way to save himself from the influence of that power and the method he had devised to do so was to send agents to conquer the world on his behalf while he remained at a safe distance.

Dark Specter’s plan had commenced long before he had decided it was time to conquer the planet. It had started when he had arranged the capture of the Kerovian female named Karone and had declared her his future Queen of Evil. He had even gone so far as to create duplicates of the newly proclaimed Princess of Evil, each an experiment in the various means of turning a good person into a tool of darkness. But despite the success of his experiments, his desired approach that Karone would simply choose to become evil had never come to fruition.

And finally after his experiments had run their course and his patience had been exhausted, Dark Specter had decided that he had been too generous in offering his future queen a choice. He had taken the choice away from her, using the resources at his disposal to strip away the persona of Karone and replace it with Astronema.

Astronema barely remembered being Karone. She remembered only being raised in Dark Specter’s service. She had been trained to be his weapon, conquering worlds on his behalf. And Earth would be her first opportunity to prove herself ready to take her place at his side. But regardless of whether or not she succeeded, Dark Specter knew that he had created a loyal and deadly servant. And that was all that really mattered.

"It is time," Dark Specter announced, his vast avatar towering over his assembled servants.

This was Dark Specter in his true form, not the mere avatar he had using during his time on Onyx or conquering worlds. Deep within a crater that reached all the way to the core of the Cimmerian Planet, the being known as Dark Specter resided.

Dark Specter was a Dark God, one of the most powerful beings within the forces of evil. He was on a par with Lokar and Queen Bansheera, but since he had never abandoned the physical universe for his own dimension, he was considerably more powerful than either.

Long ago a war had been fought between himself and the Morphin Masters. Neither side had won. They had bound most of his being to the inside of the planet, but he had destroyed them before they could finish the seals to prevent his escape. The result was that he was both a prisoner and not a prisoner, his power both restricted and completely unlocked.

Physically his body was bound deep within the core of the planet, but without the final seals he had learned long ago how to create avatars forged from his surroundings and magical energy, and transfer his awareness to those avatars. It allowed him to change his form and disguise himself as he wove his plans for conquest. He had even discovered that he could withdraw from his new bodies, leaving them to complete their tasks independently.

No, the actions of the Morphin Masters had done very little to slow him down. However, there was a part of him that protested being restrained in any manner. And there was another worry deep within his consciousness that realised that while the Morphin Masters of old had failed to complete their mission, they had left him vulnerable to those that could finish the job. It was only the lack of knowledge about his true nature that prevented some upstart demon like Master Vile from attempting to take advantage.

Fortunately in the process of conquering the universe and ascending to his rightful place as Grand Monarch of everything, he also had the opportunity to break his shackles. And the servants he had gathered were an important part of that scheme.

To the left of his crater, looking up at him with the same hard to read expression as always was Ecliptor. Ecliptor was his key lieutenant, the director of his forces and leader of his previous invasions. The crystalline being was a fearsome being whose loyalty had been secured by Dark Specter long ago and had never faltered.

Behind Ecliptor stood those warriors from Ecliptor's home world that the green-bodied warrior had turned to Dark Specter's cause. They followed Ecliptor's command, but Dark Specter did not mind for Ecliptor obeyed Dark Specter's word.

To his right stood Astronema, staring in wonder at her master's true magnificence. With the pure part of her nature stripped away she was the new leader of his armies and with Ecliptor to guide her, she would be responsible for his latest target: Earth.

Next to Astronema stood Dark Specter's other experiments: Andromeda, Astronoma and Aartemis. They had failed to show the promise that Astronema had shown, but they were loyal and would aid his new deputy in her mission.

"Go to Earth," he instructed. "Conquer that miserable little world and bring me my prizes. Do not return until you the planet and its people are mine."

His demand was met with verbal acknowledgements and then his new army departed, taking with them the massive fleet he had assembled for such a mission. He was throwing all of his resources into his plans for the Earth, and for good reason: the planet held a power grater than any of his rivals imagined and nothing on that would would go to waste. Even its people would serve as sustenance as he worked to break free from the confines of his planetary prison.

"Do you see now that my triumph is inevitable?" he asked.

There had been one other being on the Cimmerian Planet when he had given his orders. And she had been hidden form the senses of his servants. For as much as he prized the work he had done to create Astronema, it was not the same as having Karone willingly bow to his glory.

And so had replicated Karone before he had altered her mind. And it was that replica that now stood before him, just as defiant as the original. But now she was aware that her defiance could only last as long as he permitted it to do so. At any time he could snatch control of her being and force her to his will or discard her entirely.

She did not deign to respond, causing the ancient Dark God to chuckle. It was a laugh that shook the entire planet. She would learn her at his side, one way or another.

End of Part.

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