section['1']['section_image'] Empires Rising | Conquest of Evil | Fanfiction by Shadow Ranger

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to their respective copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made from this fic. In addition some of the history in this universe is adapted and mangled from the Star Wars universe and belongs to the respective copyright owners.

Empires Rising

It took time for the Gods of Heaven and Hell to come to terms with the changes in their existence. Before they had been free to roam through all the planes, realms and dimensions, fighting their battles at the time and place of their choosing. But with Light and Darke removed from the war, the battleground had shifted, barriers had been raised and instead of being fought by the highest and most powerful races, the war was being fought by some of its most fragile.

The gods that had emerged from Shadow’s breaking had proven a disappointment. Driven in part by the belief of those that worshipped them, they were extremely weak in a universe where nobody believed in them. Instead they looked for a way to inspire the belief they needed while meddling in the lives of the few that allowed them to.

For the denizens of Heaven and Hell the changes had happened in an instant, but for those outside their realms, billions of years had passed and the true nature of the gods had faded from memory. Indeed the history of the great struggles that had come before had faded leaving very few who even understood the origins of their universe.

New races had arisen in that time, each born with an unexplained desire to be the guiding influence for the shaping of reality. The beings that would one day be known collectively as the Ancient Morphin Masters, were the first to rise up and attempt to lead. They sought to pursue knowledge of the energy that bound the universe together and the use that as the basis of future civilisations.

The Maltusians shared similar goals, but while the Morphin Masters were willing to accept the disorderly way in which those energies behaved, the Maltusians were appalled such chaos. They pursued a path of science to tame the energies and force them to behave in a predictable fashion. They changed themselves to reflect the mindset needed to accomplish their goal, casting away emotion in favour of logic. In their minds only some of the energy could be used and the rest should remain untouched.

And in the far future, the Time Lords of Gallifrey had established the recorded history of the universe, bringing a sense of the passage of time that had been lacking before. They linked the past to the future, placing themselves at the beginning of the universe where they could guide its development to their preferences. They held nothing but disdain for the chaotic energies that the Morphin Masters chose to study and even the Maltusians were frowned upon for their experiments to tame such abhorrent forces. It was whispered that the Time Lords sabotaged the efforts of both their competitors, causing catastrophes such as the accidental release of Entropy from its imprisonment and the creation of an evil that the Maltusians would dedicate their lives to fighting.

Along the way the Time Lords interfered with the development of many races. In some cases they even wiped them from existence. They saw the threat of the Cybertronians, a race of shape-shifting beings that emerged on the metal planet of Cybertron. The Time Lords attempted to alter their evolution so that they would become an organic race… for a time their scheme worked before the Cybertronians reverted to their true nature.

Life moved on and adapted as the Time Lords did everything in their power to dictate a path of science and to deny knowledge of what some would call magic. The lack of knowledge the mortals possessed regarding the energy of the universe pushed them to find new ways to overcome their problems. Science and technology had reached a peak by the time the denizens of Heaven and Hell turned their attention to what was going on outside; the gods created by Shadow had been ineffectual in their interaction with mortals and as technology had taken a more dominant stance, their powers had diminished.

It was a time where the traditional reliance on the natural energies of the cosmos were replaced by new theories of science and technology. Instead of using the power of the Power to bring fire, the undeveloped mortals had discovered that they could do so with flints. And as the many races evolved the development of technology led many away from their reliance upon the Power. For a long time the mysterious energy took a back seat to the more understandable ideas of science.

Far from where the universe had begun, a planet had formed. Over many billions of years that had passed since its creation, it had become a populated world. Filled by those that knew and opposed the forces of evil, their champions sought to expose and vanquish the darkness wherever it appeared.

However, while the attempt to hide the knowledge of the mystical energy was initially successful, there were always those that were intrigued by its strange properties. A period of ignorance was soon followed by a time of rediscovery and the unknown energy was once again studied by many races as they tried to unlock the secrets of its many forms. The Time Lords had realised that sabotaging attempts to rationalise and harness such forces were doomed to failure and instead used propaganda to and misinformation to try and redirect such studies.

The lack of natural understanding led to the use of religious rituals and the crafting of special conduits that allowed them to control what had started out as spontaneous outbursts. Over time that knowledge had turned the channelling of energy into an art form based as much on science as it was on magic. But by that time some races had fully embraced science and were unwilling or unable to accept the relatively chaotic nature of the Power. Some planets sought to completely erase the existence of magic from their records and heavily policed the teachings and knowledge of their citizens to ensure that science was the dominant belief.

The citizens of some planets chose to leave their homes to find new worlds and freedom to believe as they wished. The planet Krypton saw many such expeditions, although in the future many would return with new techniques, creating a unique society where telepathy and other psychic forces took prevalence over magic. Unfortunately eons of mining the crystalline structure of their planet caused it to destabilise and later triggered its ultimate destruction.

The ships that departed spread through the universe, taking generations to reach new worlds. Their supplies exhausted on arrival the colonists were forced to abandon their technology and live simpler lives. Over time some even forgot that technology had once existed as their society reverted to an earlier more open state. But not all suffered such a fate.

One Kryptonian expedition reached the primitive planet Daos where the natives aided them in acclimatising to the the harsh conditions. Successful interbreeding between the natives and the colonists, who had discovered that on Daos the population had mastered the basic arts of energy manipulation, led to a new society. Over time the a peaceful structured society was formed, divided between the ruling scientists and government, the military forces and the civilians they protected. Their population soon spread outwards, colonising other worlds as part of a new civilisation.

Meanwhile far from Daos, the world of Tython became the centre of those that sought to understand and wield the energy they had dubbed the Power. Unlike those that resided in the higher planes, not all mortals had the ability to wield the Power freely, and those that could do so found that they could not all use it in the same way. Such discoveries led to new theories and methods of using the power. Some teachers only took in students capable of learning selected techniques. The most common use of the Power to enhance the body of the individual was considered less important than the ability to enhance mental abilities or project energy. On Tython the strengths and weakness of the many ways to use the Power were categorised and a balance achieved.

For centuries the planet endured peacefully, its population embracing both the light and the darkness of their world and forged it into a society at peace with themselves. It was unfortunate that while they were capable of accepting the Power as a whole, those who visited them insisted on categorising their activities, labelling them as either good or evil. By this time the forces of Heaven and Hell had turned their attention to the Realm of Mortals and their whisperings in the minds of those open to such suggestions had polarised the previously innocent people.

As always those who did not understand how things worked did not comprehend the damage their intervention caused. The Power, which had always been a single unified force, was suddenly divided into categories of light and darkness. By doing so they created forbidden knowledge that if taught freely would have been moderated by the lighter teachings. However, as forbidden knowledge it was sought by those without the skills to avoid the temptation to use it for evil, especially those teachings that dealt with the mind and spirit. The Tython race, recognised for their unity despite the varying moral stances, was suddenly divided into factions. The planet was thrown into civil war and over the next few decades the Tython race was almost completely wiped out.

The teachings of the Power however were passed on. Whether it had been a demon that had suggested the formal division, or an angel, or a combination of both forces, the result was that Ge’Ki techniques though fierce were considered to be morally correct while those of the Rin’Ki philosophy were frowned upon and stained the soul. Tython students had always been taught to understand the importance of both teachings while following a strict code of behaviour that favoured the Ge’Ki school of thought. When the teachings were taken off-world, they lacked the skills to impart the knowledge. Students were abusing the Power and even those who were strictly committed to Ge’Ki, ended up committing terrible acts.

A wise man named Suna who saw the folly of trying to teach only one aspect of the all-encompassing force that the energy represented. He unified the teachings as a means to understanding. He was the first in generations to refer to the Power as a single force. Through his teachings the Paladins, as he called his disciples, were introduced to the teachings of both Ge’Ki and Rin’Ki, but were taught to follow the moral codes of Ge’Ki. After years spent training disciples in the ways of the Paladins, Suna opened an academy, which grew large under the aging master and his students.

When Suna died, the strict moral code of the Paladins started to slip. No longer did they stand up for the rights of the weak, instead dedicating their efforts to supporting the order provided by government. While they still fought the darkness, they did not challenge injustice so long as they were insulated from its effects. Shortly before Suna’s death, a young student by the name of Maku had renounced the light and thrown himself into the dark teachings. Unchallenged he created his own philosophy of studying both teachings but embracing the moral codes of the darkness.

It started with simple rebellion by younger students. A Paladin possessed the ability to charge a bladed weapon with energy through the use of a small crystal. The students refused to stick to the nine natural gems used to produce such weapons. Later it took on more sinister actions such as denouncing the government and killing for vengeance. The rebels encouraged discord and conflict wherever possible. Seeing the problem that the rebels represented and fearing the possibility that more would arise if left unchecked, the studying of the darker practices was forbidden. All references to the ceremonies and rituals employed by Rin’Ki followers were erased.

Desperate to hide the path to the darkness, the leaders of Ge’Ki decided to adapt the history of the Tython. Ge’Ki and Rin’Ki teachings were rewritten, taking everything the elders considered positive and removing anything with the potential for abuse. The leaders renamed the Paladins, calling themselves Order of Bendu, they claimed the ranks of knights, wielders and servants of the Power. To talk of any other interpretation was frowned upon as scholars removed any knowledge they believed could lead to the darkness. Unfortunately by doing so they created an imbalance that they would later come to regret as a new breed of rebels appeared.

While the first rebels, who now referred to themselves as the Datenshi, had been students of Rin’Ki teachings, those that followed were products of the imbalance that had been created. They were more likely to adopt Rin’Ki application of the Power and integrated it into their discipline. This generation called themselves the Xylon Lords. To distinguish themselves, the Xylon Lords carried medallions that channelled a small amount of their power. The Xylon Lord known as Scarz was the first to carry such an article. Over time the Xylon endured and in the decades that followed this led to a new war between good and evil, and countless deaths on both sides. But the followers of the Xylon were naturally rebellious and over time new subsets appeared that threatened to further muddle the line between good and evil. The denizens of Heaven despaired while those in Hell rejoiced.

While the dark side of the Power created many great warriors, the light side could claim its own successes too. With the Power on their side they were capable of pushing their limits, but as ever more restrictions were heaped upon students to prevent them slipping to the darkness, many were prevented from reaching their full potential. Emotion was frowned upon, for the dark emotions were said to be a part of the dark side while the positive emotions were thought to risk exposure to negative emotions. In the words of one of the elders, love was a powerful and pure emotion, but it could lead to the fear of losing someone and was therefore to be avoided. Instead of acting as shining beacons of the light, they were rapidly stepping into the shadows.

Eventually came the fall of the Xylon. Although powerful they were outnumbered by the Bendu. In a final battle during which three times as many Bendu warriors fell before the Xylon might, all but two servants of the dark side were wiped out. However the two that remained, a Xylon and a Dark Wielder, were willing to put aside their differences and work against a common foe. The result was a new Xylon order. From that time on there could only be two Xylon Lords at any time: one to hold power and the other to chase it. While they were free to recruit others, those they trained would never know their full potential.

The war continued through the millennia as space travel developed and the teachings of Tython spread to other worlds. The galaxy thrived, but was constantly on a point of collapse as the Xylon continued to rise against it. The rediscovery of ancient Rin’Ki texts heralded a revival of the Xylon as they learned how to channel their powers through the use of crystals, gems and enchanted metals.

Unnoticed by the Bendu, one Xylon succeeded another, each generation selecting the one they thought best suited to carry their cause forward. One Xylon replaced another sometimes through a natural death or in combat, just as often through the treachery of an ambitious apprentice. Eventually the Xylon Lord Kata arose with the ambition, the knowledge and the positioning to bring his vision of order to the galaxy.

Over a period of time, Kata trained an apprentice, a skilled student, having slain three Bendu Knights just to prove himself worthy of his master. After a few more years, the student revealed his existence and that of the Xylons to the Bendu. It was a time when the Order of Bendu boasted some of their most powerful members and their order had become stagnant. The strict insistence on avoiding all emotion clouded their sense of right and wrong, allowing them to overlook the injustice of slavery while concentrating on maintaining their ideology and the structure it gave their lives.

When the student was killed during a mission, Kata furthered his plans by taking on a string of apprentices. After killing a young Bendu Knight with a fireball, he sent an impostor to arrange the building of a new army, all-the-while supporting the growing armies of the opposition. Kata played both sides of the growing conflict, positioning himself to sweep to power legitimately.

Eventually Kata shaped events to where he wanted them. He engineered a faux-war, ensuring that he would remain in power despite having dismissed democracy in the process. In a rapid series of moves he allowed those suspicious of his actions to become more vocal, knowing that they would reach the ears of the Order of Bendu and force them to act in ways that could be considered treasonous.

Then came the turning point, the moment that public support for Kata was at its height. He allowed the Bendu to confront and attack him, slaying three of their number in the process. The fourth was killed through the aid of a traitor who became his new apprentice. The newly rechristened Rio was sent along with the army he had created to hunt down and destroy the Order of Bendu. Although grievously injured during a battle with his old master, Rio was rescued from death and placed in a cyber-genetic suit.

Kata declared himself Emperor. He legitimised his rule with the aid of the highest court in the Galaxy, the Supreme Tribunal, located on the planet Granicus. Through Rio and others, Kata established the Galactic Empire and ordered the extermination of the Knights of Bendu and their allies. Thousands upon thousands of Bendu Knights were massacred. The Order of Bendu virtually disappeared. Their great legacy was soon soon just a memory.

The only ones to survive were those lucky enough to remain in hiding on remote worlds. Most Power-sensitive individuals were tracked down by the Inquisitors. They were given the choice: either submit their abilities to Emperor Kata’s rule, or perish at the hands of the Emperor’s forces, the battle between the Bendu and Xylon ended. It was an oppressive time for the galaxy, the forces of good and evil had fought and for the time being the light had been extinguished. The Emperor created an army consisting of military might to maintain his authority. Through the use of localised leaders, military enforcement and the support of criminal activity, the Emperor slowly worked to solidify his reign.

There were dissidents of course; many rejected the Emperor and organized a rebellion against his rule. None of them lived long but served as martyrs to the cause. Over time the rebellion gained support and after a major victory against the Emperor’s force, the end of the Empire was close at hand. In the end it was Kata’s own apprentice who destroyed him, ending the evil of the Xylons.

Peace reigned once more.

End of part.

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