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Veiled Acts and Misdirection
Zordon was frustrated. After ten thousand years trapped in a time warp he had believed that very little could aggravate him and that he had learned patience. He had been wrong. It seemed that regardless of experience, the incompetence and selfishness of politicians could never be underestimated. Even in a time of war they refused to work together unless it furthered their personal agendas. The problem it seemed was that while a threat had been identified, the urgency had not been understood.
How many times had the Earth been raised as an issue in the days since the Galactic Council had acknowledged the existence of the UAE and the threat they posed? How many sessions had been wasted while they argued about the allocation of seating and votes? How many votes had they tried to pass to limit the powers of the
Grid Masters who now held a small but significant number of seats to represent their contribution to the war effort while expecting them to freely offer there forces on all Council worlds?
Petty squabbles had slowed the preparations for war even as reports of how the UAE was positioning itself in readiness to strike were updated. Instead of debating why the Grand Monarch of Evil had decided to target minor planets of little strategic value and actively protecting them, they had spent two days negotiating mineral rights for when they reclaimed those worlds.
He was not alone in his frustration; Trey had arrived as Triforia’s representative only to have his status debated by the rest of the Council. It had only been when the Lord of Triforia had threatened to withdraw his planet’s support that the Council had acknowledged his right to be there. Zordon could tell by the look on the Gold Ranger’s face that he wished that he hadn’t bothered. And then there was the inelligence on their new enemy that had been provided by the Red Guardian of KO-35 The Council had spent more time debating whether the loss of KO-35 had stripped the Astro Guardian of his status than it had reviewing the evidence he had sent them.
~All that time sensitive data now useless,~ Zordon thought bitterly. ~Perhaps I’m going about this in the wrong way.~
Deciding that he should follow his instincts, Zordon stood and took his turn to speak. What he was about to say would not be popular, but it was needed.
“Fellow Councillors, I returned here to help fight the coming war against the Grand Monarch and his United Alliance of Evil. To date all we have fought is each other. While we delay, the enemy grows stronger. I do not know why he has positioned his forces to strike the world they have chosen, but I believe there is a reason and that we must discover it. However, I do not believe that this body will uncover that truth or take any positive steps to protect its members as long as these pointless debates continue.”
He paused, allowing the angry shouts to die down before he continued. Many of them questioned his right to speak to them in that way. It had after all been ten thousand years since he had set foot in the chamber; it was a low blow and all that heard it knew that the speaker had gone too far.
“You are correct of course,” Zordon said, his agreement causing more concern than if he had reacted angrily. “It has been a long time since I ‘set foot’ in this chamber, despite my regular attendance at meetings during my imprisonment. Since you believe I do not belong here, I will return to my post on Earth and prepare for the fight to come.”
This caused another wave of anger as the Council realised that he was willing to leave them to fight on their own. For without the support of Zordon it was unlikely the
Grid Masters would remain as patient as they had been. It looked as if the Council’s efforts would fail before they started. Zordon however was not in the mood to negotiate as he left the chamber despite the calls for his return. He was not surprised when Trey joined them after handing his duties to an aide.
“I will return to Triforia and report back on the lack of progress,” Trey decided. “Then I will join you on Earth.”
“Then we will leave as soon as your vessel is ready. I will have Alpha transfer our belongings there.” There was somebody he needed to see first.
Graceful, swift and deadly. All were words that described Gosei and his fighting style. He was a late trainee of Zordon who had been unable to complete his education under the White
Master. He had instead dedicated himself to Zordon’s sacrifice and taken advice from the best tutors he could find in dedication to his former master. It gave him a varied fighting style.
“Master Zordon,” he greeted as the older man entered the room. He knew his master well enough to sense the shift in the Morphin Grid’s currents when the man was close by.
“Your growth in the ways of the Power are astounding,” Zordon commented as he took a seat that had been offered to him. “I thank you for allowing me to resume your training after so long, but as I told you before, you are no longer a student.”
“There is still so much to learn,” Gosei protested.
“Yes, but the place to learn those things is not in a classroom, but outside. I have a favour to ask.”
Gosei stood up straight, allowing Zordon to gain a good look at him. He was slender with a shaven head and brown eyes. He wore an off-white robe with a wide sash tied at the waist holding various pouches. He reminded Zordon of himself in his younger days and the
Grid Master felt guilty that his disappearance had likely caused his former student to choose his appearance as a tribute. Such tributes were unnecessary, but alas Gosei was not the only one that had felt otherwise.
Zordon nodded. “I am to return to Earth to help prepare the planet for the war to come. In my absence I need somebody to carry my vote in the Council. I have chosen you to act as my proxy.”
“Master Zordon, I have only studied politics from books. I’ve never been in the Council’s chambers or held a debate.”
“You will do fine,” Zordon assured his student. “Consider this a part of your training. It is one thing to know how to act, it is another to do so.”
He could see the hesitation, the doubt and perhaps disappointment that he was to be left behind again. But Zordon knew that Gosei needed to learn these skills and quickly. If the visions he had had were an indication, time was running out.
Despite being a machine, Alpha Five was capable of an incredible range of human behaviour. He felt concern, sadness and on a rare occasion righteous anger; he could be curious and was prone to panic despite being extremely brave. If an observer had been asked to describe his current mood, the word smug would have been closely followed by satisfaction. Alpha had spent the time while Zordon and Trey had been locked in conversation with the Council, reacquainting himself with the Council’s Central Database. He had only been allowed one previous visit to the site before he had entered Zordon’s service, but it was there that King Lexian had provided him with his core programming.
And now that same computer system had granted him an understanding of the United Alliance of Evil’s strategy. He didn’t comprehend everything he had discovered, it took a little more imagination than Alpha could manage to achieve that, but he had learnt enough to prove that their random actions were anything but. Every planet they had raided while insignificant by Council standards were the sole producers of items a growing army could need during wartime. The UAE was seeking to cripple the Council before the first battle.
Lord Zedd and Rita had been spotted harassing undeveloped worlds that only provided a small selection of food for the Council and materials for its artists. The reports had failed to identify the foods as being the preference of breeding Tengas or that the clay extracted from the raided mines could be used to craft monsters and Putty Patrollers. The other planets they had seemingly hit at random had given the treacherous duo the raw potion and alchemy ingredients needed for any potions they would need. And the forest moon they had ravaged had provided Rita with enough raw materials to craft a never ending supply of wands.
With the thought that the various villains were actually undertaking their otherwise pointless missions to cover their plundering of supplies, Alpha had turned his attention to the Machine Empire. Since the Empire was split into Houses and the number of divisions within those groupings, their acts had been more difficult to monitor. However the breaking up of the Machine Home World had been too big an event to miss. It had been a surprise to see the massive planet divide itself into a number of large war vessels until Alpha realised that the Royal House of Gadgetry had taken control of the once organic world long before Zordon’s clash with Rita. The chances that there had been anything left of the original planet were remote given the machines’ desire to asset strip everything they encountered.
The machine ships had set off on their own missions, once again positioning themselves close to minor planets. However while waiting further instructions the machines were harvesting asteroids and using the materials they extracted to produce more Cogs.
Meanwhile Gasket and Archerina had been spotted rounding up slave labour to service their machines. Exactly why they needed organic servants instead of Cogs was unclear, but suggested they were using them for something that was hazardous to machines. And their antics were copied by his restored brother Sprocket as the younger prince set out to prove his worth to King Mondo, and some of the rival factions that sought to replace the Royal House of Gadgetry as the rulers of the Machine Empire.
Divatox had been seen raiding ships across the Council’s territory. It was only when Alpha had computed where her seemingly erratic course could lead that that he noticed her brother had been carrying out a similar pattern of raids elsewhere. Indeed several of the Dianthe’s leading members had been seen to be conducting random acts of piracy, leading the Council to dismiss them… until they reached their destinations. At that point the Dianthe had been in striking range of every maximum security prison operated by the IGPF.
And that was why the feeling of smug satisfaction that Alpha had felt when he had made the connection between the random activity had rapidly disappeared. The war that the Council had been arguing over and had failed to take action to stop had not even started and they were already close to losing. The Grand Monarch had somehow deceived the Council’s spies by making the UAE appear to be little more than an evil version of the Galactic Council where little was accomplished due to petty squabbles and long debates – although Alpha allowed for the possibility that the Grand Monarch had simply frightened the participants into obeying him. Then when his forces had made their move the randomness had made them seem undisciplined and divided. Even now as Alpha knew that the Council had allowed the enemy forces to prepare their armies for war, Alpha wondered what other patterns he had failed to spot.
“Alpha, we are leaving,” Zordon announced over the communications channel they shared. “I trust your research has been rewarding?”
Zordon had not pressed when Alpha had asked to visit the Central Database, but it had been clear that the small robot’s actions had made him curious.
“Ai-yi-yi, yes Zordon,” Alpha replied. “You won’t like what I’ve discovered.”
“Very well Alpha, transmit a copy of everything you have found to Pyramidas and my datapad,” Zordon instructed. “Then prepare to depart. I fear we have accomplished everything we can here.”
“Yes Zordon,” Alpha agreed, already changing his route to pass by Zordon’s chambers to retrieve any personal belongings.
Zordon watched as the shuttle departed. He had made certain that he had been seen boarding the vessel and had no doubt that there would be some that would try to prevent him from reaching Earth. But they would be disappointed when they discovered his ruse: Zordon had arranged other transportation.
Trey had left some time ago. The Lord of Triforia would rendezvous with Andros in a few days and then head directly for Earth with Alpha. They would be there by the time Zordon arrived. Meanwhile Zordon planned to seek out a few of his old allies before returning to Earth; the dimensional prison that had once preserved his life had following his freedom turned into a shortcut that allowed the White Master to cross the galaxy faster than most vessels. That would give him enough time. At least he hoped that it would.
End of part
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