Interlude: Re-enter… The Green 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.

Authors Note: This is an alternate universe from the television show with an alternate timeline.

Interlude: Re-enter… The Green Dragon

Earth, Variant Reality M000-1

“We did it Zeddy!” Rita cried.

“Silence!” Zedd was not in a good mood and spun sharply to confront Mistress Repugna. “What were you thinking by interfering, do you have any idea what could have happened?”

“What does it matter, you made your little bet, gave your little oath and thanks to my intervention, we won.”

“The point is that you could have destroyed us all,” Zedd snapped. “That oath contains powerful magic.”

“Relax Zedd. So I cheated, we didn’t get caught.”

“Those Rangers are going to try and retrieve their powers,” Zedd mused, ignoring the woman. “Perhaps we should make it easier for them. Goldar, take the Zeo Crystal back to the quarry and wait for those annoying teenagers to show up. When they do use the Putties or Tengas to capture them. Rito, go with him and make sure you don’t mess it up. Logran will be nearby, just in case.”

“Yes Lord Zedd,” Goldar growled.

“Sure thing Ed,” Rito added.

“And you,” Zedd snarled, his finger pointed at Monastra. “Stay out of the way or I’ll put you in a Dumpster.”

“Sure Zedd, whatever,” Monastra replied, temporarily appearing as a blond haired, blue eyed, bubblegum blowing teenager. When the villain was out of earshot, she added: “Try putting me in a Dumpster when I turn your magic off, grate face.”


“Hold still Tommy, I’m almost done,” Alpha announced as he dragged the pen-shaped device across one of the many cuts Tommy had gained during his battle.

The shoulder he had damaged had been found to be clear from infection and had sealed relatively quickly until Zordon’s guidance. The flesh would hurt for a few days to come, but the bones and muscles had regenerated nicely. Still, the power the dark Ranger had shown in creating that blast was frightening.

“I lost,” he repeated for the fifth time since he had been back at the Command Center, as if saying the words would somehow make it seem better.

“Yes Tommy,” Zordon answered. “I am afraid that although Logran’s tactics were underhanded, he remained within the rules you had agreed on with Zedd. There is nothing we can do about the decision.”

“Man, we need to get the Zeo Crystals and the Zords back,” Tommy said. When they arrived back at the Power Chamber, they had seen that the Zords had been teleported away.

“We need to find some different powers,” Rocky said.

“How about our old powers?” Adam asked.

“Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi! Adam, you must never use those morphers again,” Alpha warned. “The power could destroy you.”

“It’s okay Alpha, calm down,” Tanya said reassuringly. “Adam was only asking.”

“Hey I know, what about the Green Ranger powers?” Tommy asked. “They were never destroyed with the Thunderzords.”

“No,” Billy agreed, “but they were drained by Zedd. The Green Ranger is powerless.”

“His clone wasn’t,” Rocky muttered.

“Yes Rocky, you are correct,” Zordon boomed, gaining the attention of the Command Center’s occupants. “The clone of the Green Ranger never had his powers drained since he is a magical construct and to do so would have ended his existence. With a Power Coin in his possession, they would be intact.”

“Yeah, but the clone is in the past,” Kat remarked, remembering the stories Tommy had told her, and those not so nice versions that Rita and Zedd had shared.

“I believe we can still contact him for help,” Zordon stated. “Alpha, access your tertiary auxiliary memory and recall the wand from that location.”

“Zordon?” Billy asked, a suspicion starting to form.

“I am sorry to say I misled you Rangers,” Zordon boomed. “After the Green Ranger was left in the past, I considered destroying the Wizard of Deception’s wand. However, the wand proved difficult to destroy and I feared we would need a method of time travel in the future, so I had Alpha secrete the wand deep inside the Morphin Grid and ordered him to hide the location within his memory. Only Alpha has the knowledge and means to retrieve it.”

“You lied to us,” Rocky accused.

“I am afraid I did,” Zordon acknowledged. “However, I am certain that my actions were for the best. By keeping the existence of the wand secret, I avoided the temptation to use it. By not destroying it, we have the means to contact the clone.”

“Tom,” Tommy said. “His name is Tom.”

“I apologise Tommy,” Zordon said.

“So how do we open this portal to Colonial Angel Grove?” Tanya asked.

“The wand will only work for Tommy, due to his experience with the Wizard of Deception,” Zordon said. “You must take the wand to the Colonial Museum and use it to open a portal to the past. Hopefully Tom will agree to aid us.”

“I’ll go now,” Tommy said. He vanished in a column of white.

“Zordon, how can the clone have his powers?” Adam asked. “Tommy told us the Green Ranger powers were lost fighting Lord Zedd.”

Kat and Billy exchanged an awkward look. Luckily Tanya interrupted.

“Tommy said the clone used the powers before,” she pointed out.

“Yes, but I thought those powers came from the Wizard’s wand,” Adam answered.

“When Rita and Zedd created the clone, the Wizard used Tommy’s hair as a genetic blueprint and managed to duplicate his residual link to the Green Morphin energies. He then used a spell to create a coin with similar properties to Tommy’s and energised it using the magic of his wand; he later used the same means to empower the Dragon Zord. But I believe the conduits needed to tap the Green Ranger powers, which had been damaged in Tommy, were normalised within the clone.”

“So the clone, Tom, can still morph?” Adam asked.

“I’m not sure.” Billy admitted. “You see, the clone was magical in nature, not genetic. So when the Wizard created him he used Rita’s memory of the Evil Green Ranger as the design and Rita would not have remembered him having the weakness from the candle at that time. Unfortunately since the coin and the clone are magical constructs, I have no way to ascertain their ability to transform him into the Green Ranger again; from Tommy’s description when he transformed back, the coin the Wizard of Deception created just vanished. I don’t know if he could morph again.”

“If he had a power coin he could,” Alpha stated.

Tommy turned pale as his hand sank into his pants’ pocket and pulled out his old power coin. Unmistakably that of the Dragonzord.

“So if we gave Tom that coin,” Jason said trying to reconcile what he had learnt. The natural leader that he was, it was difficult for him not to just take charge.

“He should be able to morph,” Billy answered. “And since the coin is not only connected to the Morphin Grid, but also contains some of Tommy’s stolen energy, he should be powerful enough. If he agrees.”

“In the meantime we need a plan,” Adam said, keen to change the subject. “Maybe we could ask Tom to battle Logran. Now we know how he fights, Tom could win.”

“Perhaps,” Billy agreed, “but I think Zedd wants us to attack outright.”

“How do you know that?” Tanya asked.

“Because he’s placed everything we lost in plain view in the quarry, on Earth.”

“So if we could get them back, we can be Rangers again, right?” Kat asked.

“That is correct Katherine,” Zordon boomed. “Alpha, retrieve the storage trunk.”

Alpha moved to comply, dragging a large trunk with him. There he opened it revealing the contents.

“Wow,” Rocky remarked pulling out a set of weapons similar to those they used as Rangers.

“Our original Power Weapons,” Billy gasped, recalling the weapons they had handed over when Commander Crayfish and his mutants proved too powerful. Zordon had replaced their weapons with similar yet more powerful copies. “You kept them?”

“I was afraid that one day you would need them again,” Zordon admitted.

Billy pulled them from their box and as they touched his unpowered hands, the weapons changed, becoming simpler and lighter.

“On some planets, Rangers are allowed to carry their weapons while unmorphed,” Zordon explained. “These Power Weapons have been endowed with the ability to blend in with an unmorphed team.”

“Hey Billy, remember these?” Jason asked, pulling out the weapons they had retrieved for use against the Super Putties.

“Affirmative,” Billy grinned. “We never named them though. Trini said they should be called the Power Slingers, but I thought Thunder Slingers suited them better. Don’t you throw anything away Zordon?”

“What’s this?” Rocky asked, holding up a piece of rope.

“I remember that,” Jason said. “Goldar used it to tie Kat, Zack and me to a chair.”

“Correct,” Zordon said. “The rope generates a powerful electronic force field that prevents those trapped by it from morphing and teleporting.”

“We were lucky to get away,” Jason told them.

“Will it still work?” Kat asked.

“Alpha, hand me that scanner,” Billy instructed. Alpha did as he was told and Billy passed the device over the top of the rope. “Affirmative, the rope has retained all its properties,” he said.

“So we have a magic rope, the Thunder Slingers and unpowered weapons,” Adam said. “Anything else?”

“Yes,” Tommy said, sounding pleased. He pulled out a pink ribbon. “Kat used this against the Bloom of Doom.”

“Let me see that,” Alpha said, taking the ribbon from the Ranger. He turned away and then handed Kat a new device. “I modified it to create the Pterodactyl Thunder Whip.”

“And this,” Billy said, pulling a large rifle from the trunk before closing the lid, “is the Mega-Heater I developed against Turbanshell.”

“It’s not much,” Adam said.

“But it’s all we have,” Tanya added. “We’ll work with what we have, assuming Tommy can convince Tom.”


Angel Grove
Colonial Times

“I don’t have a choice, do I?” Tom asked.

When he had been left in the past, he had known that one-day the Rangers would seek him out again. That didn’t mean he had to like it. It wasn’t fair of them to expect him to abandon his new life, his family, to save a world where he didn’t belong. It had taken months for the colonists to accept Tom as one of them, and that had been on the grounds that he didn’t use magic. In such a superstitious place, the reappearance of a white clothed stranger and disappearance of a local man would cause a stir. If Tom agreed to this, then the chances were that the life he had known for the past few years would be gone forever.

“We need you,” Tommy said, giving the clone a sympathetic smile.

Had he had his way, Tommy would have ensured the wand was destroyed. Nobody deserved to have his or her lives disrupted in this way. He could see that Tom was torn between the life he loved and the friends he barely knew. At the end of the day though he was a Ranger and that meant he had to do what was right, not what he wanted.

“On one condition,” Tom said after some thought.

“Name it,” Tommy said.

“If I succeed, I keep the wand,” Tom told him. “No offence, but I have a life, although it looks like I won’t be able to return here again. Still, I can’t have you guys ruining it every time Zedd strips you of your power coins. I’m not a Ranger anymore!”

“I’m really sorry man, if we succeed, I promise I’ll make Zordon destroy it.”

“Not good enough,” Tom snarled his anger obvious. “I’m not a part of your lives anymore. You shouldn’t even be asking me this. If I succeed, I want the wand, so I can ensure it is never used again.”

“I don’t think Zordon would agree.”

Tom’s face was hard when he answered. “Zordon doesn’t have a choice. I can’t stay here anymore. The wand will allow me to find a new time where I won’t upset the balance. And you are the White Ranger, so you decide.”

Tommy nodded reluctantly. “Okay, we’ll do it,” he said finally. He didn’t have a choice.

The two Rangers clasped forearms in agreement, and then Tommy handed the wand to Tom and they both vanished.


“Master, the Rangers are not attacking,” Goldar reported.

“Oh my,” Finster said. “Perhaps they found some new powers.”

“No,” Zedd said firmly. “They will try and recover their powers first. Perhaps those teenagers lack the proper incentive. Logran, attack the city!”

“Attack the city? You forget who you are talking to, Lord Zedd,” Logran sneered. "I’m not just some monster you can order around. I am so much more." He paused, contemplating what he wanted. Hurting Tommy had been fun. It was something he wanted to do again. "On second thoughts… perhaps a little exercise will keep me in shape for Mistress Repugna."

He vanished, taking a collection of Monastra’s clay creatures with him.


Command Center

“So we’re ready then,” Tommy said at last.

There had been a great deal of argument between Tom and Zordon when the two youths had returned. Zordon had argued fiercely that if Tom kept the wand he would be tempted to use it. Tom had responded by pointing out that Zordon was no better and that since the Rangers needed his help, Zordon would need to agree to his terms.

“I’ll handle this Logran and see if I can draw Rito and Goldar into battle,” Tom said. The Rangers had updated him on the changes in the villains’ camp. “You guys will have to handle the Putties and Tengas though.”

“We’ll get our powers back and then come and help you,” Tommy said.

“Zordon, what happens if Tom needs the Zords?” Kat asked as Tom clipped the last of the original Power weapons to his body, aware that although lacking power, they would provide an additional arsenal.

Trini’s daggers were strapped to his ankles, Jason’s sword sheathed at his right hip and the less powerful Dragon Dagger was secured on his left hip; Kat’s bow and Billy’s spears were secured to his back. Zack’s axe was in his hand as he contemplated whether or not to take it. Unpowered, the weapons lacked their gestalt form and the axe couldn’t be transformed into the Cosmic Cannon. In the end he placed it with the bow and spears.

“Dragonzord should answer to your call,” Zordon boomed. “However, without the other Dino Zords, Dragonzord may be overwhelmed. You will have to hold out until the others can reach you.”

“I understand Zordon,” Tom said. “Are you sure I can access these weapons when morphed?”

“Affirmative,” Billy answered. “Although I doubt they will be of use to you.”

“Well, I guess it’s time.”

“Then go, and may the Power protect you.”

Tom shook his head in disbelief. “I never thought I would say this again.” He smiled as he pulled out his power coin and inserted it into his morpher. “It’s Morphin Time – Dragonzord!” He teleported away in a column of green.

The unpowered Rangers followed moments later on their own mission. Jason, Adam and Rocky each carried a pair of Thunder Slingers, a third was strapped to their ankles; Tanya wrapped the rope around her fist while Kat had the whip concealed somewhere on her person. Billy had the Mega-Heater clasped firmly in his hands leaving only Tommy without a weapon.

“What about you Tommy?” Kat asked.

“As if you have to ask,” Billy snorted, well aware of what their glory hog leader was up to. “Six Rangers bonded in mind and purpose. Right Tommy?”

“Billy is correct,” Zordon boomed. “The Sword of Power will prove useful.”

“Let’s do it,” Tommy smiled.

Moving clockwise from closest to Zordon, the teens stood in the circle: Tommy, Billy, Rocky, Tanya, Kat, Adam; they held their right hands in toward their shoulders.

“Sword… of Power!” they called as one.

They put their right hands together in the centre of the circle, causing Ranger-coloured energy to flow down their arms, up Tommy’s arm as red energy, and form the Sword of Power in Tommy’s left hand with a swirl of red energy.

“It’s still as beautiful as I remember it,” Tommy said, looking over the strange blade. “Just think, last time I held this I was under a spell and practically handed it to Zedd.”

“It wasn’t your fault,” Kat told him, placing a hand on his shoulder.

“You must hurry Rangers,” Zordon reminded them.

In five columns and a small sphere of light, they were gone.


Upon arriving in Angel Grove, Logran had shifted into his Ranger form, a rather twisted interpretation of the Dragon Ranger’s uniform and set off on his blazing path of destruction. The clay creatures he had taken were wrecking their own havoc while acting as his bodyguards. They were gargoyles, shaped by Mistress Repugna to resemble those found on some buildings. People ran as he marched down the streets towards the City Hall. Unlike most villains, Logran was going to make his point right at the heart of Angel Grove.

A flash of green knocked him aside, forcing him to roll aside. His gargoyles were already moving in to protect him as the green object shot passed three more times, causing them to spark. Logran’s eyes narrowed.

“Now what do we have here?” he demanded, throwing shurikens at anything that moved.

“A little blast from the past,” Tom replied, slowing to a stop so the light no longer hid him.

“Tommy,” Logran said. His amusement was evident. “Back in the green after all this time. It was always my favourite form. And so you’re here for round two are you? I won’t stop before I kill you this time.”

The Green Ranger cocked his head to one side, trying to make sense of what Logran had said, but failing. The Dragon Dagger was clasped firmly in his right hand, his left hand was behind his back. His head moved slowly, watching both the gargoyles and Logran for signs of movement.

In his mind Tom was sizing up his opposition. Logran had chosen three very different gargoyles. The first and probably the most dangerous towered over the Green Ranger by a foot, had a stone grey body with huge muscles, powerful demonic wings and sharp teeth. He was made for power, Tom could tell.

The second one was smaller and resembled a schoolboy rather than a killer. Still any illusions Tom held about this creature were put aside when he noticed the claws on the end of its fingers. It had a smooth green skin, a thin tail and small wings.

And the last one was a dog. There was no other way to put it. Grey skinned, it stood on four legs and had large snapping jaws. It had a long powerful looking tail that thrashed from side to side.

With little else to do, Tom attacked, hoping that Logran would prefer to see his pets take care of the problem before involving himself. He charged at the gargoyles, avoiding the dog as it charged at him. He was atop the small one before it could react, using Tommy’s dagger to pin its tail to the tarmac. He drew Jason’s sword for a swift kill when the larger gargoyle connected with a punch.

Tom flew backwards, threw the window of a delivery van and out the other side, coming to rest in the security shutter of a small shop. The small gargoyle was free and stalking towards him. He saw it leap and catch the wind on its wings before gliding towards him, talons extended to shred him to ribbons. He rolled, bringing Zack’s axe to a ready position. He waited until the gargoyle was in reach and then swung the axe.

The blade tore through the clay skin, unleashing a spray of toxic material that seeped into the Green Ranger’s uniform. The Dragon Shield glowed brightly as it worked to counter the assault. Tom threw both the axe and sword to the ground as the corrosive chemicals caused the weapons to melt. The dagger he had used earlier to pin the gargoyle’s tail in place had dissolved into nothing.

Surprisingly, the small gargoyle was still coming; it’s head threatening to rip all the way from its neck as it held on by a slender piece of stony flesh.

“Dragon Dagger!” he called, moving the weapon through a series of motions intended to activate its power. A beam of green light shot from the tip of the weapon, and he wielded it with deadly accuracy as the beam sliced through what was left of the creature’s neck.

WREEEEEAGHHHHHHHHHH!

The street exploded under the Green Ranger’s feet, glass shattering from the ear splitting wail. The dog had moved in on him while Tom had been distracted and had unleashed on of its many weapons, a paralysing scream every bit as destructive as the club like tail that now pummelled Tom.

Sparks flew as powerful jaws tried to breach the protective fabric of his suit, the pressure sufficient to cause Tom’s bones to pop. Tom reached down and drew Trini’s daggers, using them to lever the dog’s mouth open. Another scream was his reward, this time at close range and powerful enough to crack a part of Tom’s helmet. Tom kicked the dog away and scrambled back to his feet. He tried to make some space between him and the clay mutt, but the dog’s tail was long and smacked into his damaged leg.

Tom fell forward, rolling onto his back out of instinct; there was no way to protect himself if he couldn’t see his opponent coming. The dog was already charging him. It leapt, he raised his feet and managed to kick it away, but the dog landed on its feet and charged in for a second attempt. Tom placed Billy’s spears so that the points met over his chest. Kimberly’s bow was drawn ready; the Dragon Dagger was primed as an arrow.

The dog landed, its chest firmly embedded on the spears as Tom released the Dragon Dagger. The blade ripped down the gargoyle’s throat and out the other end, destroying the beast but also covering Tom with more of the corrosive chemicals. This time though the liquid found its way through his damaged uniform. Tom however didn’t have time to thank about that or about the weapons that had been destroyed by the spray or the Dragon Dagger now safely back in his grip. The largest gargoyle was back and mad.


They crept as near to the podium where their power coins had been placed as they dared to. Rita and Zedd had set Tengas and Putties in place, no doubt expecting the Rangers to charge in without a plan and become trapped by the overwhelming odds. They had spotted Rita and Zedd earlier, hiding in the background ready to strike them at the last moment. But something had happened, and angry exchange had taken place and the two villains had vanished along with Goldar and Rito. The Rangers took that as their signal and closed in.

Against the Putties the Rangers showed no mercy, blasting them with the Thunder Slingers and Billy’s Mega Heater. The clay foot soldiers were numerous, but relatively easy to break. Tanya and Adam used their fighting skills to hit the Z-Putties in the right place.

Kat was using her whip to trip Tengas as the attacked. Since they were living creatures, the Rangers tried to keep the bird creatures alive if a little banged up. Behind her Rocky had abandoned his Thunder Slinger in favour of his feet as he lured the Tengas in.

Tommy held the Sword of Power at the ready, using its powers to trap anything that moved in a bubble of orange energy. He kicked a Z-Putty in the chest and then used the hilt of his sword to knock a Tenga unconscious. He was grateful that although powerless they had managed to retrieve the sword.

Billy turned constantly, preventing anything from getting too near as he maintained fire. The number of Putties had been cut and the Rangers were making progress, but it was becoming clear that time was running out. Once Rita and Zedd realised what was going on, they would return.

“Kat, the crystal,” he shouted, noticing that the Pink Ranger was the closest to the podium.

The Pink Ranger nodded in reply and after breaking off her attack, ran for the podium. She came to an abrupt halt though when Rita’s latest monster, Mistress Repugna appeared, energy shooting from her fingertips.

“Such rude children you are,” she stated. “Trying to steal from Empress Rita and Lord Zedd isn’t polite. Prepare for a tongue lashing.”

Fire burst from her mouth, taking on the shape of a forked tongue that whipped back and forth across the Rangers chests. Kat was knocked back into the throng of foot soldiers.

“Perhaps the trap they laid was too simplistic for you. Putties!”

A red Putty appeared, its body covered with spikes and two powerful blades on its arms. It made a noise similar to a snarl and charged at the powerless humans while the monster turned her attention on Kat and Tanya.

Billy tried to use the Mega-Heater, but a slash from the Putty cleaved it in half. He rolled away before a second blow could hurt him while Adam and Rocky distracted it with kicks and Tommy traded sword blows. The Putty while not skilled in fighting, was resistant to their attacks. It could change shape to avoid any potentially dangerous shots and could retract or elongate its natural weapons.

Rocky and Adam drew their Thunder Slingers, pelting the Putty with several shots before realising they were having little effect. When it returned fire, using its spikes as darts, the two Rangers abandoned their action and retreated.

Mistress Repugna was ruthless in combat. The combination of her fire breath and energy shooting nails was bad enough, but combined with the sceptre, those powers were of little importance. Especially since she was currently shifting said sceptre between its usual form and a long slender sword.

Kat used her whip to catch the woman’s ankle while Tanya attacked with a series of sharp kicks, which were blocked easily. A downward slash from the sword and Kat’s whip was broken.

“Transform!” the monster cried.

The red Putty obeyed and turned into a spinning ball composed of sharp edges.

“Look out!” Tommy warned as the ball chased after the Rangers.

Kat tried to attack Mistress Repugna again, but found herself knocked into the podium but a sharp backhand. She shook her head to clear her thoughts as her palm closed around something familiar. The Zeo Crystal. As soon as she touched it, the crystal and the Zords were teleported away by Zordon, leaving the Zeonisers and Golden Power Staff.

“Zeo Ranger I – Pink!” she cried, tossing Tanya her transformation device.

Soon the Rangers had their Zeonisers back and the fight was on again. The ball like Putty was still proving dangerous though as it tore into them and they had to use all their abilities to avoid it.

The monster towered over Kat as she had once again knocked the Pink Ranger down. She drove the sword forward, but Kat was gone, teleporting to safety. She pulled her blade back only to be met by Tommy; Sword of Power gripped firmly in his hands.

The two battled back and forth, Painforte slipping in the occasional blast of energy that kept Tommy off balance. He in turn used the sword’s capabilities to throw her off balance. She still had the upper hand.

The ball spun back towards Rocky, who had transformed into his Ranger uniform in the hopes of finding better protection. The blades however cut into the fabric and while not deep enough to reach his skin, it caused him to spark violently.

“Guys, I have an idea,” Adam called. He told them the plan quickly, using their internal communications.

The others nodded quickly in agreement as first Adam and then Billy explained why the plan would succeed, after which the genius teleported back to the Power Chamber.

“Hey, over here,” Rocky shouted, drawing the ball in his direction before teleporting around to the far side of Kat.

Together the Rangers kept the ball chasing after them, slowly positioning themselves in the right place for their plan to work. Meanwhile Tanya had moved closer to where Tommy and the monster were fighting. She waited for the right moment and then attacked.

Mistress Repugna took a while to realise what had happened. The Yellow Ranger had come from behind and had slipped a piece of rope around her, distracting her just long enough for Tommy to trap her in a bubble. She didn’t worry though because she could order the ball to help her. Or at least that was what she thought until she noticed the ball was not responding the rope had blocked her ability to control it mentally.

There was an anguished scream as the Rangers continued to draw the ball into a series of wild attacks. Finally Tommy signalled and the others demorphed and vanished from sight, leaving Tommy as the only target.

“NO!” the monster cried, now aware of what the Rangers were up to.

It was too late. Tommy teleported, but the ball kept coming, ramming and tearing its way through the bubble… and its contents were torn to pieces.

But the Rangers did not celebrate. They still had to stop Logran.


The gargoyle flew ever higher as Tom’s struggles diminished. The chemical, whatever it was, had seeped into his skin and had left him feeling weak and nauseous. He couldn’t remember any monsters that naturally included such chemicals and assumed someone had put it there deliberately. Logran’s idea of a prank no doubt.

He gripped the Dragon Dagger hard as the beast started to dive towards the rooftops, dragging him over the roofs as it did so. With his Power enhanced uniform the buildings suffered more than he did, but any debris that found a way into the rips in his suit, burnt against his suddenly sensitive skin.

He waited, biding his time until the beast was close to the ground. Then he used the dagger to rip at its wing, careful not to inhale the noxious chemicals that sprayed out. He was having trouble focussing on what he was doing and flailed blindly in the hopes of connecting with a target.

The beast howled in pain, dropping its prey to the ground. Tom rolled away, scared that the gargoyle might land on him. He scrambled along the street; still unable to see exactly where he was going. It was getting difficult to breathe.

The gargoyle had recovered and despite its useless wing, it was stalking after the Green Ranger. It lifted Tom into the air and after wrapping its arms around him, squeezed, driving the air out of the boy’s lungs and preventing him from getting a fresh breath.

Tom kicked out, hoping to connect with something that would cause pain. Of course as a golem-based monster, the gargoyle lacked the most natural target for the Green Ranger’s knee. Because giving a golem-type warrior a useless but energy-depleting organ made no sense strategically. Every special body part or organ came with a price. It took extra energy to maintain. As such, that weakness was removed.

Eventually his kicking found a pressure point where he could at least throw the beast off balance. By doing so he prevented it from tightening its grip on his body. His eyesight was no longer blurred. Instead everything seemed too bright, too real.

The gargoyle growled after one particularly nasty kick and threw Tom aside. The Green Ranger bounced painfully of the bonnet of a station wagon and onto the sidewalk. The paving cracked on impact. In retaliation, Tom threw a hubcap at the oncoming beast, subconscious pouring a little of his energy into the object to accelerate its flight. It sliced through the creature’s arm, severing the limb.

Using the opportunity, Tom retreated once more, this time on the lookout for something that might aid him. He found it when he approached Nigel’s Discount Gas and Flower Store. Normally the Rangers would not condone the public damage Tom had in mind. But he was alone, hurt and possibly getting weaker by the second – he couldn’t tell anymore since he had lost sensation in his body below the neck.

Using a Blade Blaster to cut a hole in the street, he covered it with a large truck. He then soaked the area in gasoline, after warning the police and fire officers to evacuate the area. Only one officer had protested since the others saw the gargoyle as the bigger threat.

He saw it moving up the street towards him, stalking its prey and crushing anything in its path. Tom wished it would hurry. He didn’t know what was wrong with him, but he did recognise there was a good chance he would not survive the encounter should he pass out.

The gargoyle had seen him and charged forward. It leapt at him and he dodged, drawing his Blade Blaster ready. The gargoyle landed, its weight forcing the truck into the hole and the pool of gasoline. Tom fired a single shot and the fuel exploded, baking the creature in the intense heat. Tom fired continuously, chipping away at the now brittle monster until he hit the right place. The gargoyle crumbled.

Tom saw his work pay off as the gargoyle disintegrated, the toxic foam from its dying body extinguishing the flames that had taken its life. The street would need replacing and the surrounding buildings would be a mess, but nobody was hurt and the damage was minimal. He should have been pleased.

Pain caused him to keel over as the chemical he had absorbed into his body started to overcome his immune system. Even with the Power to enhance it he was fading fast. Remaining morphed was adding a further drain on his powers. He needed to enter standby mode to heal such extensive wounds.

“So, you survived my little pets did you Tommy?” Logran asked.

Tom turned towards the voice, only to be greeted by the evil Ranger’s fist. Logran seized the advantage and attacked his green opponent.

“What’s the matter Tommy, feeling a little ill?” he asked. “Those fumes you breathed, the chemical that burnt into your skin… it’s poison. Not fatal, but I promise you’ll be lucky if you survive the next hour. And when I’m done beating you to death, the others will still be powerless.”

“Just one little problem with… that,” Tom gasped as the grip tightend: “I’m…. not…. Tommy!”

“What?” Logran asked. That statement confused him. It had to be Tommy. Who else could wear the Green Ranger’s costume? “Who are you then?”

“Just … a…. clone,” Tom gasped. Breathing was becoming increasing difficult.

Logran let out a cry of anguish, realising he’d been distracted from his task. He should have been stopping the other Rangers from stealing their powers back. That meant they could have their powers again and that the whole battle against Tommy had been for nothing.

“No, I will destroy Angel Grove,” he hissed defiantly. “Goldar, Rito, attack!”

The giant sized aliens attacked, tearing through the buildings already damaged by Logran and his gargoyles.

“No…. can’t let you,” Tom managed. “Dragonzord, arise.”

A beam of green light shot into the air from Tom’s morpher, summoning forth the power of his Zord. Deep inside the Morphin Grid the Dragon heard his call and answered, once again infusing the cold metal shell with the spirit of the Dragon. Magic and machinery merged as the Dragonzord was activated one more time.

Tom’s flute sounded over Angel Grove as the musically coded commands were sent to his machine. And the Dragonzord emerged, the physical manifestation of the Green Dragon on Earth. Tom raised his hand in the direction of his Zord and teleported, knowing he would be unable to control the fight from outside. On this occasion he had to take manual control.

Dragonzord stomped towards Rito and Goldar; ready to punish them for the destruction they had caused.

“Tommy,” Goldar growled in greeting. “I never knew you had it in you.”

“I’m … not … Tommy,” Tom stated, his voice barely recognisable because he was breathing so hard.

The Zord turned, scraping its tail across Rito’s chest. Goldar caught the drill end as it started to spin, sparks flying from his armour. Tom moved the controls and the Zord fired its finger rockets, blasting Goldar to the ground. The Zord stumbled as it was hit from behind. Tom made it turn to reveal Scorpina in her mutant scorpion form, her tail wrapped around the Zord’s neck.

Goldar and Rito combined their fire; Dragonzord gave an electronic groan as it fell to the ground.


“Soon as we get there guys, call on the Megazords,” Tommy instructed.

They were in mid-teleport, so he never saw their nods, although he guessed correctly that they had heard him.

“Super Zeo Megazord power!”

Once complete the Megazord stood while Goldar, Rito and Scorpina tried to knock it down. Their attacks bounced away harmlessly. When it finally moved, its powerful fist almost crushed Rito with a single punch.

“This isn’t fair,” Goldar could be heard protesting.

“Then I’ll even the odds,” Logran told the golden monkey.

In a flash of black the he teleported aboard the Megazord, attacking the Rangers and throwing them from the cockpit. Rocky grabbed the invader before he could assume control of the battle machine and abandoned the Zords, knowing they would be sent back to its hiding place.

“So we’re back to where we were before,” Logran said casually. “Perhaps another contest with greater stakes. You win; I’ll give you Zedd’s prisoner. If you lose, I get possession of your powers and your lives.”

“How can we trust you?” Tommy asked, suspicion once again coming to the front of his emotions.

“You don’t have a choice,” Logran answered. “But I will offer you the same oath that Zedd gave you earlier.”

“Negative,” Billy interrupted as he teleported on the scene. “Swear an oath on the honour of Lord Zedd’s father that you will abide by these terms regardless of the outcome and that no harm will come to any Ranger during the battle unless they are fighting.”

“Very well,” Logran said and he repeated the oath Billy had chosen. “We will return to the quarry.”

“The battle starts now?” Billy asked.

“Yes,” Logran answered, unsure what Billy was up to.

“What about Tom?” Tommy asked.

“Oh yes, the Green Ranger,” Logran said. He turned and unleashed a ball of explosive energy. Dragonzord was bombarded with energy, pieces ripped from its shell covered the area until the Zord’s emergency system kicked in and the Zord vanished. “He served his purpose and distracted me so you could get your powers back, he won’t be missed.”

In columns of light the Rangers and Logran left for the quarry. This more than their powers were on the line.


Tom lay inside the remains of the Dragonzord, what was left of his life ebbing away as the Zord was transported back to its underwater resting spot. A short rest and the Zord would return, just as Tom’s Ranger powers were regenerating him. It had been a close call; he had known somehow that when he had followed Tommy into the present, he risked certain, but this experience was not what he had expected just how close to death he would come.

The poison had not affected him like it did most victims. He didn’t feel the pain or the gradual leeching of his life force. Instead the poison was attempting to break down the cloned cells in his body, reverting him to the magic from whence he came. Fortunately the Morphin Grid leant him additional resistance; he would live. There was no poison left in his body, it had been burnt off by his metabolism, and the damage though severe was reversible if he could reach medical help.

Slowly he lost consciousness, as the struggle left him exhausted. But before he did so he swore on his powers, his life and his soul that Logran would not be allowed to continue. As long as Logran lived, Tom would be there to stop him. “Please, let me survive this so I can keep my word.” Green light surrounded him as the Power moved to protect him from further harm. He had demorphed and held his Power Coin in one hand. In the other, he held the Wizard of Deception’s wand.


Tommy was losing again. Logran had not tired from recent events while the Rangers had just battled unmorphed to retrieve their powers. This time Tommy had hardly managed to land a blow and Logran was already on the point of victory. He grabbed the Rangers’ leader and turned to the onlookers.

“You will surrender your powers, now!”

“That wasn’t the deal,” Billy told him in response.

“Surrender your powers or Tommy here will die at my hand.”

At that point, two things happened: Logran cried out in pain. Smoke poured from the dark Ranger while Tommy stood straight, sword gripped firmly in his hand.

“Now it ends,” Tommy stated as Logran burst into flames, cursing at Billy and the Rangers.

“What happened to him?” Tanya asked.

“He didn’t take the oath seriously,” Billy answered.

Tommy leapt forward, his sword meeting Logran’s as he landed. The two warriors fought for a while as their blades met in a flash of energy. Logran was surprisingly skilled despite being on fire.

Then the Red Ranger saw an opening and in a repeat of a move he had made in their earlier battle, removed Logran’s sword arm and most of his shoulder. A spinning slash across the chest stopped abruptly when it hit something hard. Tommy drew back the blade and thrust forward, bringing the power of the Zeo Crystal to the battle.

There was an explosion of gold metal and Tommy was thrown backwards as the wicked Ranger’s uniform vanished, leaving Logran behind, his body covered with shards of gold. Flames were consuming his body, as he stood defiant. Then a pool of darkness opened around him, sucking the still screaming Logran inside.

Tommy stood victorious, raised his hand in triumph and promptly fainted.


“So when Logran threatened us without ending the match, he broke his oath… Logran was as good as gone,” Tommy said.

“Affirmative,” Billy answered. “Logran never understood the meaning of the oath he undertook. He thought he was swearing the oath on the father of Lord Zedd, a creature of chaos and wickedness without a strong sense of honour. But he forgot that Zedd as we know him has a mortal host and that host had a father.”

“That is correct Billy,” Zordon boomed. “Lord Zedd’s father was a noble king who created strong enchantments around his honour. Should anyone cause dishonour, he would in turn destroy him or her. When Logran failed to keep his oath, he broke that word of honour. The spell was quite specific: those who dishonour my name shall be bound in fire and removed from this world to one of eternal sorrow.”

“So what will you do now?” Tanya asked.

“I’ll use the wand to go back to Colonial Angel Grove,” Tom answered.

“Tommy will go with you and bring the Wizard’s wand back to this time,” Zordon offered.

Tom frowned and shook his head. “Sorry Zordon, but that wasn’t the deal. I go back to the past and then I’ll decide what to do with the wand.”

“I assure you…”

“You’ll what?” Tom demanded, “Lie to your own Rangers again? Hold the wand here in case you need me again? That’s not going to happen Zordon, I don’t belong here and I am not backup in case your team fails.”

“I cannot allow the wand to fall into the wrong hands,” Zordon pointed out.

“When I get home, the wand will be disposed of.”

Zordon sighed. He could not win this argument, no matter how hard he tried. And he knew that after all he had done to help, the Rangers would never attack Tom. In short, he had no choice but to agree.

“Very well Green Ranger,” he said. “May the Power protect you.”

Tom said very little as he teleported away.


Angel Grove Youth Center

It seemed strange to be in such a sombre mood in the middle of one of Ernie’s parties. But today the Rangers couldn’t bring themselves to smile. At least not yet. There was something they had to do first.

“To Tom Oliver,” Tommy said, raising his glass.

The others followed suit. Although they had gotten over the shock of his departure so soon after his return, they still felt guilty for putting him that position. This toast was their way of say goodbye, albeit they were drinking smoothies.

“Thanks Bro,” Tommy whispered.


The Moon

“How dare you return here?” Zedd boomed as the battered form of his mother-in-law teleported into his Chamber of Command.

“They beat him,” the woman wailed. “They defeated my wicked Logran. And before I had the chance to learn all of his secrets.”

And he had been carrying more than his fair share of secrets. Why just uncovering his true identity had been a shock. It had been that little titbit that had set her sights on Earth in the first place. And now Logran was gone. Dead.. or perhaps not. But certainly he was now beyond her reach.

Zedd wasn’t listening though. He had seen enough defeats to guess what had happened. But that didn’t matter to him. What did matter was that this woman had invaded his home, insulted him, dishonoured his father – not that he cared about that – and then had the audacity to come crawling back after such a humiliating defeat. Zedd was no fool. He knew she was feeling weak and vulnerable right now. She took full advantage of it.

“Get out of my palace!” he snarled, aiming his staff at the woman.

“You can’t,” she protested.

“I can and I am,” Zedd reasoned.

“Rita… please,” she begged, appealing to her daughter’s better nature. Rita didn’t have a better nature.

“Bye Mom,” Rita waved, cackling.

“Your father will hear of this,” she warned, but the only response was a double blast from Rita and Zedd’s magic as she was forcibly dumped on a planet on the far side of the galaxy.

“And now, where were we?” Zedd asked as the music started again. His wife giggled, replacing the rose in her mouth as they resumed their Tango.


Another place

He screamed in agony as the curse tore him apart one cell at a time. It was excruciating and had he been anybody else he would have succumbed in minutes. But he was Lord Logran and he would not allow a small curse to stop him.

Losing to the Rangers, especially a clone, had been embarrassing and he knew that whatever regard Monastra Repugna once held for him was gone. But it didn’t matter. He had gotten what he had wanted from the old witch and learned far more about magic than he could have learned from her daughter. And he would put that knowledge to use in the future as he continued to build his own empire.

For while he had been willing to play the role of consort, he knew that he was destined to rule. And that the next time he met Tommy Oliver and his damned clone, Logran would put an end to both of them. In the meantime he had his own affairs to attend to and a resistance to crush. Planets like Earth didn’t just conquer themselves.

End


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Crossroads of Evil Part 7

Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers, they belong to the current copyright owner.

Crossroads of Evil — King of Fighters Part 7

The survivors emerged from the stadium and were quickly directed to the area set aside for medical assessment. Heyman was fighting an EMT over having his blood pressure taken; his pressure seemed to be up if his yelling was any indication. Off to the side Miley Stewart and her family were getting checked out with Terry looking them over making sure they were okay. By his side was Nash standing by a plain clothes officer who taking a statement from Robbie Ray.

Once Cassidy walked out with her Ranger friends Nash ran up and held his daughter tight. Looking at the Rangers he could tell they kept their word. They looked after her as much as she looked after them. Terry also ran up to Alison as she came out with Cassie, Ashley and Kat.

“Great job you guys,” Terry said.

“Not sure we found out who won though,” Alison said.

“We’ll worry about that another time,” Terryr promised.

The last to emerge from their little group was Mackenzie. She was being helped by Lee Ann and Cam. Kincaid quickly rushed to her side as EMTs pushed through the crowd to help. After thanking the two kids, who went to look for their parents, she suddenly stopped and felt her belly.

“Jeff. It’s coming; the baby’s coming!”

The EMTs were quick to react, ushering her into the ambulance.

“I’m riding,” Kincaid said as he jumped into the back. The Rangers watched him go. Kanoi and Omano stood with their children as the ambulance pulled away. "You did good my son,” Kanoi had said.

“And you daughter,” Omano said. Both kids looked at each other and smiled. They agreed that they had done good.


Walking out of the Cow Palace, still phased a second out of sync with the rest of time, Minion, the Valeyard and Mrs Popplewick rounded a corner. After making sure they were clear of the building Valeyard deactivated the device.

“Well, your overall thoughts?” the Valeyard asked Minion.

Minion had seen much at this tournament. Some of the things he had seen had been impressive. Not extraordinary – for Minion had been in the presence of an evil so great it predated the modern incarnation of the Grid Masters. However he had been awed by the potential he had seen. He was still suspicious of Valeyard and the man’s motives. The other villain had revealed that Minion had the power to end the existence of this reality, but had not revealed how that would happen. Somehow Minion suspected the villain was already aware of the choice he would make.

“This world is not my own,” Minion admitted. “It is different. Everything about it feels strange. It is a reflection, a shadow perhaps. It is a distortion of the world I left behind. By rights I should destroy it, or see it destroyed. It would be so easy for me to do if what you say about the power of choice is true Valeyard.”

The Valeyard nodded at Minion’s assessment. “Of course there would be a few survivors who would know of such destruction.”

“Of which you would be one of them?” Minion asked. Valeyard only seemed to smirk at the question. The smirk Minion believed was the Valeyard’s yes.

“Of course the universe may not be destroyed right away,” Valeyard mused. “It could dwindle in the Axis for a while before it is conveniently erased. Or maybe it could be a quantum reality where the choice splits the universe. One where you say ‘yes’ and the universe continues. Or you say ‘no’ but you said yes in an alternate dimension and both universes are allowed to continue on their paths. Perhaps to those outside of this reality it’s existence is but the briefest of moments as events resolve themselves and it disappears.”

“You must be fun at science mixers,” Minion muttered.

Before Valeyard could respond, Mr Popplewick appeared.

“So, how is your princess?”

“Far too human for my tastes,” Mr Popplewick said. “She’s embracing evil, but not enough. She should be devoted to the dark powers by now. She has been taught too much about love.” Popplewick felt his stomach turn at the mention of the word. To him it was as much a weakness as honour.

“Careful Mr Popplewick,” Valeyard warned. “I met a few individuals who believed in a philosophy of ‘hate is strength’. It didn’t end well for them.”

Before Mr Popplewick could respond Kali appeared in a burst of purple flame. “Well, did you all enjoy the show?” she asked, proud of her actions.

“It was quiet the spectacle,” the Valeyard said.

Mrs Popplewick then added: “And quite informative,” as she held a data crystal. “I have everything we need here to make our eventual move.”

“Eventual move?” Minion asked.

The Popplewicks turned to Minion “We have our own plan against Zordon and his Rangers. A plan that could ensure that they never existed.”

“Along with humanity on Earth as a whole for that matter,” Mr Popplewick added.

Minion looked at the Valeyard and found his face hard to read. He wondered if he approved of what the Popplewicks were going to do or not.

“There are some things about humans I find useful,” the Valeyard said. “But Earth is not the only planet they originated from. and the natural magic of Earth could be put to… better uses if there wasn’t an active population.”

Minion found the Valeyard’s words interesting. Here he was thinking about wiping a species from history while Minion was thinking about wiping out a timeline from existence. What was the difference between what Minion wanted to do and what the Valeyard and the Popplewicks sought to do?

“The plan may succeed. But then again it may not,” the Valeyard said. “If it doesn’t, at least the Rangers will be kept reeling. Keep fighting until they can’t fight anymore. Then when their at their weakest comes the final strike.”

“A strike I shall bring,” Kali said. “With your help.”

Minion listened considering the words spoken before he spoke again.

“I do not like everything I have seen here,” Minion admitted. “And I feel that you have all been less than honest with me. You have tried to steer me toward the outcome you desire while pretending it is my choice. Know this: Minion cannot be manipulated by anybody and those that think he can will pay the price. My decision is made and you will neither change it or be told what it is. But, I do have to admit there are some possibilities here.” Looking at Kali he added, “and I see your zeal against the Rangers has… improved. I will give you that.”

Kali smirked at Minion’s words as if taking in a compliment.

“This world offend me; the End of the Rangers must happen.”

“It will,” the Valeyard promised. “It has to. Now, we must adjourn to another place.”

“Not yet. There is one more person I wish to see.” Minion then said.

As Valeyard saw the direction Minion was looking in he knew all to well what he sought: Jeff Kincaid. The Valeyard nodded all too well in understanding. Handing Minion another data crystal he said: “When you are finished we shall be at these co-ordinates. There are some final preparations I would like your help with.”

Minion nodded and then left the evil group following Kincaid and his friends. He would see if there were any weaknesses he could exploit in Jeff Kincaid. Minion was not certain he could stand against Kincaid’s power, at least not unless he understood exactly how it worked. So if he couldn’t defeat the power, he would find the weaknesses of the man who held it. If Kincaid crossed Minion’s path he wanted to be ready for him.


At San Francisco General, Kincaid sat with his friends waiting for news about his wife and child. They weren’t allowed into the ER as the baby was being delivered. "I should be in there,” Kincaid said for the umpteenth time. "I mean I am the baby’s father.” "Jeff, with all the missions we have been doing lately, some of them from that Shadow guy, you just didn’t get enough time to get cleared to be by Mickey’s side during the delivery,” Cassandra said. Kincaid nodded in agreement. He had been so busy being part of the force that gave evil nightmares that he never had time to prepare to be a father. "Don’t worry. You’ll be a good dad,” Cassandra said trying to be comforting. Kincaid nodded as if saying thank you. After a moment Cassandra then asked, "so, did we vanquish this threat Shadow was so concerned about?”

"I have no idea.” Kincaid said. "And I don’t think we’re going to find out today. Right now I’ve got my wife in the OR and she’s my main priority.” Everyone resumed their waiting until the nurse came out and called for Kincaid. "Mr Kincaid?” she asked.

Kincaid stood up. "That’s me.”

The nurse then smiled. "Your wife is in room 316.”

"And the baby?” he asked.

The nurse smiled and looked at the Night Ranger, now father. "Congratulations. It’s a girl.”

He couldn’t help but feel incredible joy at the words he had just heard right then. He charged straight towards Mackenzie’s hospital room and saw Mackenzie nursing her daughter, draped in a pink blanket. Kincaid’s friends were not far behind, and they too saw the little bundle of joy in Mackenzie’s arms. "It’s about time you showed up.” Mackenzie said as she passed the baby on to Kincaid, which he took gently. A smile crossing his face looking down at the new life that had come into the world. A new life he was happy to call his daughter.

Kincaid looked down at the little baby he held in his arms. She was the most beautiful thing to him right now, next to his wife of course, and Kincaid knew that there wasn’t anything that he wouldn’t do for that child. Looking over to his wife Mackenzie he asked her "So what do we name her?”

Mackenzie took the baby in her arms and smiled at her. She knew the name she wanted and Kincaid knew as well. He had two grandmothers who he idolized greatly, with one of them being a steady rock for him when his home life deteriorated as a child. He wanted to honour both of them and he knew the best way to do it.

"Elizabeth Marie.” Mackenzie said. "That was what you always wanted to name a daughter wasn’t it?”

Kincaid shook his head as tears flowed freely down his face. He accepted the name and hugged both his wife and child thankful for allowing them to live despite being brought into the world among a cesspool of death.

Right now nothing else mattered. If there was someone who was ready to attack he didn’t care. Right now Jeffrey Kincaid was a man with a family, and there was nothing he wouldn’t do for them. He would protect them no matter what. His wife and daughter, they were his world now. And as Kincaid and Mackenzie’s friends came into the hospital room they all looked down welcoming Elizabeth Marie Kincaid into the world.


In the hallway Kincaid sat. His chair was just outside Mackenzie’s room where she slept and across from where his newborn daughter lay in her incubator sleeping.

Kincaid stared at the fragile new life sleeping before him. A life he brought into a world that wasn’t even her own. The realization brought him to remember why he and his friends came to this universe to begin with. The threat Shadow warned him about.

~Which one?~ Kincaid asked himself.

He felt there were more than just the dragons and the ninjas that everyone found themselves facing. He remembered looking up at the Shadowboxes and thought he sensed something familiar. Familiar, yet evil. Looking out the corner of his eye Sarah walked down the corridor to sit across from Kincaid.

“How’s the new dad?” Sarah asked.

Kincaid smiled as he heard the Gold Night Ranger ask the question, which seemed to carry an element of humour in it as if knowing the answer.

“Dad’s had a hard day.” Kincaid said. “And there will be more to come.” Pausing he then asked “You ready to do what we discussed?”

“I’ll have to get David and Ken out of bed. They fell asleep on some empty hospital beds. So did Cassandra and Bruce.” Sarah answered.

Kincaid understood. “We’ve all been taxed to the limit today.”

“Speaking of taxing,” Sarah said. “Don’t you think doing this will tax our own powers? I mean yeah they adapt and change with every threat we face, but don’t you think they are being taxed too far too fast?”

Kincaid heard Sarah’s words and agreed with them. “The powers and the Rangers themselves.”

“Then why do it?” Sarah asked.

Kincaid had asked himself that question many times.

“Our powers are unique, and in many cases feared. Such fear can be an effective control for some of the worst evils out there. But not every reality has Night Powers. I think some might be unable to support them. This one… I’m not sure what happened here.”

“Perhaps there is a reason why,” Sarah said. “I’m sorry if that sounds selfish but we didn’t sign on to be the multiverse’s police force. Or to be the personal enforcers of some guy that has appointed himself our mentor. We’ve pretty much worked without a Grid Master for a long time. What gives them the right to make this guy authority over us, or mentor, to us? And why should we have to act as torch lighters in realities where there isn’t even a torch?”

Kincaid sighed understanding Sarah’s question.

“Nothing.” Kincaid answered. “But he doesn’t ask me as a Grid Master, or mentor. He asks me as a person who cares. He sees something wrong and wants to help.”

“But with us it’s like if we don’t do this a universe is doomed,” Sarah answered. “We can’t be everywhere. We shouldn’t be everywhere. We’re in danger of becoming those higher powers that interfere just because they can. And if we do, we lose what being a Night Ranger stands for.”

“In this case we may not have to,” Kincaid said. “If Aisha is any indication. As far as we know there are as many Carrier Rangers as there are Night Rangers, correct?” Sarah nodded. She didn’t understand the multiverse all that much, but she sought to know as much as she could. Kincaid then continued “From what I can gather the Carrier Ranger can access all aspects of the power and Carrier Zords.”

“But there’s no Night Powers here.” Sarah answered. “Or at least none we’ve been able to detect.”

“But the baseline materials to make them are here.” Kincaid said. “I can’t sense the powers, but I can feel the echo they left behind. We’re going to give them the potential to do so and trust that Aisha is strong enough to only do so if needed.”

He had chosen Aisha for a reason. She was less of a warrior and more of a protector despite her skills. She would be less likely to create the powers just for the sake of it. And as the holder of the Carrier Zords she was used to holding back until absolutely needed. For the use of her powers always marked an escalation of the battle.

“You want me, David and Ken to handle this don’t you?” Sarah then asked.

Kincaid nodded. “I can’t leave my family. Not now.”

“And I won’t ask you to,” Sarah said taking the three morphers from Kincaid. “Just give me and the boys an hour or so to sleep ourselves huh?”

Kincaid nodded understanding Sarah’s request. She too was beat and needed some rest. “An hour or so,” Kincaid said.

“Thanks,” Sarah said going to a room to lie down.

Kincaid laid back, watching the room where Elizabeth was sleeping. It seemed like everyone was tired tonight.

“Probably be more like ‘or so’,” Kincaid said as he figured it would be a while before David, Sarah and Ken left for their errand.


Four hours later, David McAllister-Keller, his sister Sarah and Ken Tanaka left the hospital. Sarah mentally kicked herself for taking so long. But they still had some time before daylight, so they went to work on their mission making sure their best foot was put forward.

Following the call of the night, the three Night Rangers found themselves standing across the street from the hotel some of the Rangers were staying at. The hotel was paid for by the Gaudeamas Corp. Realizing that the Rangers decided to spend a night out seeing the sights of San Francisco before returning, the three Night Rangers waited until they saw the person they were looking for arrive: Aisha Campbell.

Once the Rangers returned Sarah left a message for Aisha at the front desk saying that there was someone who wanted to meet her. They also asked her to come alone as it dealt with… what happened at the tournament. When Aisha read the message the others there thought they should follow, but the message insisted she come alone.

Sarah however did write a guarantee that if she was not back in ten minutes the other Rangers could call the police, or come after them themselves if they wanted. Aisha decided she would act in good faith and go alone. Stepping outside the hotel she rounded the corner where Sarah stood waiting, along with her brother and Ken.

“Hello Aisha.” Sarah said.

Aisha recognized the three before her. “You’re the three from that Team Night Ranger aren’t you?” Sarah nodded and the three showed her their morphers.

Aisha saw and knew why they had the name they did. “So you’re Rangers as well as ninjas?”

“They are,” Ken said pointing to David and Sarah. “I’m just an extreme fighter with anger issues. But we’re all Rangers.” Aisha felt a measure of calm facing the three Night Rangers, but also fear as she felt something dark about their powers. “Why are you here? What do you want with me?”

“We were asked… ” Sarah started to say as if trying to find the words that worked. “To help you. To help your world.”

Aisha asked “Help it do what?”

“Survive, maybe… Did you know that throughout the Multiverse there are many different types of Ranger? There are realities where the teams are made up of Rangers with multiple powers that they select as needed. There are realities where Kimberly holds every power ever associated with the Pink Ranger. There are worlds where Tommy has held the role of Red Ranger from the moment Zordon first recruited a team of Rangers until the day he retired. But while there are many variation, there are very few that can claim the title of Carrier Ranger.”

“Why?”

“Because the Carrier Zords are not normally linked to a single Ranger. Doing so changes their connection to the Power and weakens them. So they are rare. And a Ranger who is linked to all aspects of the Power and the Carrier Zords that are part of their team is even less common because the power they can bring to the battle makes their transformation an escalation. Your collection of powers is not the most numerous, nor is it the most powerful; but it could be one of the few that allows additional powers to be added. We would like to add the Night Ranger powers to that collection.”

“The Night Ranger powers?” Aisha asked.

Sarah launched into an explanation of what the Night Powers were and what they sought to do. “We need to give you a connection to that power. Without it… I can’t tell you that without it your world will suffer, but these powers no longer exist here and this is the only way for them to do so.”

“Why would I do that?” Aisha asked. “Aren’t they dangerous?”

“But they may be necessary,” David said. “It’s been said that you are going to come across some great evils in the future. You and your friends need to be ready. As far as we can tell the Night Rangers do not exist here. They cannot exist here, this reality just won’t support them.”

“It’s not a request we make lightly,” Ken said. “Just as you have your doubts about taking the power. But rest assured we wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t necessary, and if we didn’t think you couldn’t handle it.” Aisha listened to the words the Night Rangers had to say, but still wondered “What evils? What do we have to face?”

“That we can’t say,” Sarah said. “But you already saw a sample at the tournament. And more could be on the way. It won’t be long before we have to leave, and once we do so I don’t think we will be able to return.” Aisha remembered the Shadow Dragons and monsters that appeared at the tournament. She recalled how the Night Rangers had fought them.

“What do you want to do?”

“We can grant you access to the Night Powers. It might be enough for you to use them, it might not. And the choice to do so must be yours.”

Aisha considered the words heard. She was curious about what was to come, but she heard the sincerity in the voices of the three Night Rangers. They meant what they were saying. They wanted to help, and they wanted to grant her a portion of their power. A power Aisha could tell was great just by standing in the presence of the three Night Rangers.

“If the need is great as you can say, then yes,” Aisha said. “My friends and I have faced great evils in the past. And since Minion those evils have only gotten worse. My friends need help. And if what I saw at that tournament is what’s coming next I need to be ready.” David, Sarah and Ken smiled as they moved to circle Aisha.

“Don’t be afraid.” Sarah said. “This won’t take long.”

David, Sarah and Ken all surrounded Aisha as she felt a surge of power enter her. The Spirits of the Night from there reality established the connection, reaching out to make contact with the spirits of Aisha’s reality; there were not that many. Once the connection was established, Aisha could hear the voices in her mind as a dull whisper. They seemed to be part of her as the Powers of the Carrier Ranger were part of her now.

When she felt the power surge fade from her she found herself in a new set of civilian clothes. She was now dressed in a black leather jacket with black pants and boots. A brown t-shirt with gray lining completed the ensemble. The morpher on her wrist changed as well. A fourth button used to access a new set of powers.

“Well that’s new.” David said. “I mean we always got our clothes from stores. Here the wardrobe is provided.”

“The Carrier Ranger powers seem to be different.” Ken said. “But I do think she should wait before seeing what the Zeo and Astro Power settings do. Wouldn’t want her appearing naked now do we?” Aisha looked up at the three and asked: “What did you do to me?”

“You now have a new power setting,” Sarah said. “You now have access to the Night Powers of this universe, limited as they are.” Looking on her morpher she noticed the other three buttons accessing the Morphin, Zeo and Astro Powers were still on the morpher. Pressing the button for the Morphin Powers caused her clothes to change back to her normal clothes. Looking at the Zeo and Astro buttons Aisha thought about pressing them but decided to wait. First to get a new set of clothes for the Zeo setting if she needed them, and second an Astro Ranger uniform from Andros for the Astro Ranger setting.

“Do not use that power except in the most dire emergency,” Sarah warned.

They had not told Aisha the whole truth, but their concern was genuine. There was a reason why the Night Ranger powers of this reality were so weak. And if she drew attention to herself… well their research had revealed that things would not end well.

“When you need it, call the power and it will come to you,” Sarah said. “Take care.”

With that Sarah, Ken and David left Aisha alone, with her new powers. Powers she would not use until the time was absolutely necessary. when the situation was most dire. For she knew the power of Night Rangers was incredible and any Carrier Zord linked to those powers would be hard to control. It would require great will on her part.

Aisha would need that will in the times to come.


Far across the Universe they sensed the awakening. This could not be allowed, the abomination would not be allowed to take a hold ever again. They would wipe out the perversion and clean the stain from the Power.

“Call the Knights!”


The next morning Mackenzie was checked out of the hospital and Shadow stood waiting with a portal back to Kincaid’s home reality ready to go. But before they could leave Shadow had something to say. Looking at Kincaid’s face Shadow knew what had to be said.

“I’m sorry. You know that,” Shadow said. Kincaid didn’t react to Shadow’s words. Not a grunt. Not a nod. Not a word. “I know you should have been in that room for your daughter’s birth, and you weren’t. And I know… ” Shadow then broke off the sentence knowing no excuses could be made.

He wasn’t partially responsible for Kincaid not being in the room for his daughter’s birth. He was totally responsible. He kept sending him and the Night Rangers on missions. Keeping him away from his wife when she needed him most. True there were stories of soldiers being away from their wives when their kids were being born, but somehow those stories felt out of place when dealing with Kincaid.

“We did what you wanted,” Kincaid said as he remembered David, Sarah and Ken returning from the errand he sent them on. “The Carrier Ranger here now has a connection to the Night Powers in this world if she needs them.”

Shadow nodded but he knew Kincaid’s mind was on the matters of his family, and how he should have been in the room for the birth of his daughter.

“You should have been there. I kept you from being there,” was all Shadow said. “I thought using you and your Night Rangers for those missions was for a greater good. I still do.”

“I know,” Kincaid said. “You had your reasons for needing us.” Looking at Shadow he then said: “But bear this in mind. We are not your personal enforcers for the cause of good. There may be places in our universe that need us, and what do we do when the Night Rangers aren’t there because an inter-dimensional guardian of good needs us in another universe? Or something happens to our families, and again we are not there?”

Pausing Kincaid added “You can’t depend on us for every mission. Someone once said ‘If all one does is fight there’s never any time to heal’.” Looking at Mackenzie flanked by their friends Kincaid said “And we have a lot of healing to do. Our lives away from Rangering is part of that healing.”

Shadow nodded understanding Kincaid’s words and decided to look into other warriors from other realms. "So you all ready to return home?” Shadow said looking at Sarah, David, Ken, Cassandra, Bruce, Kincaid, Mackenzie, and their newborn child.

"Wait.”

Kincaid and his team turned around before entering the portal to go home to see Leo and Karone looking at them.

"Look. I’m sorry if we are butting in at a bad time for you all, but if you are leaving for somewhere and you aren’t coming back anytime soon, then I really want to get this resolved now.” Leo said to Kincaid. "Just who are you and why were you giving me and Karone those looks before?”

Pausing for a moment Kincaid struggled to give an answer. "Let’s just say…..you remind me of two people I know. Same walk of life. Same stumbling blocks. Everything." Pausing he then said "Look after her will you? She’s on a dangerous path.”

With that Kincaid and the Night Rangers left. Leaving Leo and Karone with more questions than they had before.


Not far away Minion watched the Night Rangers leave. He smiled as he observed the exchange between Kincaid and Shadow, and noticed the friction between the two.

“So ‘Billy’,” Minion said biting down on the name as if saying who Shadow ‘really’ was. “You are using Kincaid for your own crusades, and you are keeping Kincaid from what is important to him. His family.” Minion thought of the ways to get at Kincaid the man instead of Kincaid the Ranger, and a few ideas came to mind. Dangerous ideas, that could well be a danger to him. The old saying of ‘Play with fire and you get burned’ came to mind. He then remembered the offer of the Ravolox informatio and the knowledge of time, space and reality it possessed. Perhaps reality could be… locked away. Sealed off. It wasn’t a possibility he would rule out.

And if Shadow went for Kincaid again… well perhaps Kincaid wasn’t who he should be targeting. Perhaps Shadow should feel Minion’s wrath. But if the need to go after Kincaid came about he could find a way to target him. If the risks were worth it.


The first thing that came to her was a breath of air. Next thing she saw was an ornate temple. Then came a voice. "Welcome back to the land of the living… Mature.”

Mature, who had finished looking her self over to find that she was alive and whole turned to see the figure of the voice that just spoke to her. "Who are you?”

"My name is Karla,” the Grey Witch spoke to the resurrected Hakkeshu of Light. "And there is much for us to discuss.”


As the Rangers, Terry and the Outsiders continued to discuss all they had seen at the tournament, Kat’s communicator beeped, and she excused herself to take the call. As Kat left the discussion continued.

“You fought well,” Tommy said.

Terry then responded with: "Maybe we’ll see you next year.” Terry then went to Alison and gave her a hug “Take care kid.”

“You too,” Alison said returning the hug. Andy, Joe, Mai and Mary also gave Alison a hug goodbye as Terry went to Kat.

“Keep practicing. You have a lot of potential, and you might need it.”

Kat said she would. With that Terry, Mai, Mary and the Lonely Wolves walked to where their van was located. They had to return to Southtown. This time they were driving back.

After the Lonely Wolves and their significant others left the Rangers decided to go their separate ways. Alison told Ashley she would see her later.

“I’m going to stop by Cassidy’s for a while. I’ll catch up.”

Ashley said she would see her later and went to Andros’s side, who was standing by Sabrina’s side as she was watching Adam and Tanya talking.

“Girl, you got it bad!” Ashley said referring to Sabrina’s gaze at Adam. Any time Adam looked to be turning her way she then turned to talk to Andros hoping Adam would think they were talking Astro Ranger business.

Adam however doubted that they were talking about Ranger business. Tanya also had her own suspicions. “If I didn’t know better I’d say the former Scorpina is crushing on you.”

“Crushing? On me?” Adam asked surprised. He didn’t see himself as ‘crushworthy’. Tanya however knew better, and could see how Sabrina could have a crush on Adam.

“Thousands of years old, and she knows a good man when she sees one.”

“But it’s you I’m with,” Adam said. Tanya then took Adam’s hands and smiled.

“Just don’t forget that,” she replied as she kissed Adam’s cheek.

Off to the side Cassie and Trini were saying their good byes.

“You fought well,” Trini said to Cassie.

Cassie nodded. “So did you.” Pausing Cassie added: “We can’t keep walking on egg shells around each other. Our families have a past, but we shouldn’t be haunted by it.”

“You’re right,” Trini said. “Our present is with the Power Rangers. We have that in common. We should focus on that.”

Cassie agreed. “Especially now.”

“And in the future… with what’s coming.” Trini added.

Cassie knew what Trini meant and offered her hand, which Trini gladly took.

“We look after each other, and our friends. For their sake, and ours.”

Cassie nodded.

The Morphin Rangers also said their goodbyes to the Outsiders.

Tommy and Lillian had the hardest goodbye to say, but she just said “We’ll see each other again.””

Samantha and Theresa also said their goodbyes telling one another to be careful.

“I have to tell the Doctor I’m going,” Samantha said. “I’m sure he’s more scared for me than I am for him.”

“Probably,” Terry said as she hugged her cousin and left with the other Outsiders.

Jason and Tommy watched the Outsiders leave as Jamie turned and gave Jason a final look and blew him a kiss… for luck.

“We’re going to need it,” Jason said as he caught the imaginary kiss from his girlfriend. “All of us.”

Soon all the Rangers headed for the Airport. They had lives to get back to before they would start their next mission.

A mission to liberate a planet.


Alison walked home to her grandfather’s house when she passed Pier 39 again. Deciding to take another look she walked to where the Fun Factory shop was located.

As she rounded the corner she found the shop was gone. There was only an empty shop. No sign. No merchandise. No lights. Nothing to indicate the store was there. There was no sign of the Popplewicks, or the mysterious JJ Chambers. Not that Alison, Cassie and Kat ever saw the man.

Alison then felt a whole wave of weird come over her. ~Shops don’t just disappear like that. Do they? And if there was a shop here, where did it go?~

More to the point Alison then asked ~And what did they want with Cassie?~


Vienna, Austria

The Fun Factory didn’t just disappear; it moved to a new location, literally. It had travelled across the world to the city of Vienna where it took the form of a penthouse with balcony. After the events in San Francisco, the Valeyard invited Minion and Kali for a brunch at the Fun Factory to finalize their future plans. Minion would find there was more to the Fun Factory than met the eye.

Once they went inside, the doorway led into a console room with a six-sided control console in the middle. Valeyard then moved the controls and a wheezing and groaning was heard indicating movement. Once the groaning stopped Valeyard then opened the door and the four villains soon found themselves not in San Francisco anymore, but a new city entirely.

“Welcome to Vienna,” the Valeyard said showing them the city. Before them was a balcony with a table set for five. The table before them had plates of eggs, scones, croissants, sausages and many other delicacies from around the world. “Anyone care for brunch?” the Valeyard asked taking a seat at the head of the table. The other four villains sat down as well looking to indulge in the brunch Valeyard had apparently prepared.

All of them feasted in anticipation of what may come. “Interesting,” Mrs Popplewick commented. “Do all humans eat like this?”

“Only those in higher circles,” Valeyard said. “Those of supposed dignity and grace above the common classes.”

Kali then asked a question the others had been waiting for him to answer. “Why meet us here? Why transport us here?”

“Why Vienna?” Valeyard asked intrigued by the question. “This city is unlike any cit. It is where good and evil can meet without repercussions. It is a neutral zone. A crossroads if you will where cultures co-mingled.”

Mr Popplewick looked interested in the Valeyard’s words. “Co-mingled?”

Valeyard nodded. “In ancient times this is where the Holy Roman Empire intersected with the Ottoman Empire. And in more modern times it was where the Warsaw Pact nations of Russia and NATO interacted. Some of the most monstrous evil of human history even came here. Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party come to mind.”

“Evil and culture,” Kali said sipping a glass of wine. “Interesting concept.”

“I think there are some dark beings known to appreciate the finer things in life,” the Valeyard said.

Minion however was not in the spirit of the breakfast. While he did have some of it his mind was focused on what was to be done with the Power Rangers. Rangers that had now grown to four teams. Three official and one unofficial.

And there was also the matter of Jeff Kincaid and his Night Rangers. Power that could pose a serious threat to everyone’s operations. Minion then asked “Tell me again what this planned ‘reckoning’ is supposed to be.”

“It is a confrontation among higher powers and the younger races of the universe,” Valeyard said. “It is to let them know their time is over and their influence in the universe is no longer welcome. It is one of those events that must happen although the exact nature of events leading up to it and the potential fallout are unclear.”

Minion then asked: “Does this include the Triad as well as the ‘Q’ and these ‘Lords of Kobol’?”

“I believe it will be safe to say that these forces will be exiled beyond the boundary of this reality, and will not be allowed to return. There are greater forces at work here. They will leave or this reality will crumble, there is no other way.”

Minion smiled under the mask he had reacquired. His Earth clothes tucked away in the travel cabinet Minion brought from San Francisco.

“Perhaps the reckoning should happen,” Minion said. “If it keeps the Triad out of this universe… and Kincaid and his Night Rangers.” Valeyard nodded. “Another reason I chose this city is because of it’s crossroads appeal. For that is where we all stand now. A crossroads, with many directions before us. Our destinations may differ, but there are ways for us to get there.”

“And the cabinet that you sent me, that was one of those ‘directions’?” Minion asked. Valeyard nodded. “As I’m sure you’re aware you will be approaching a ‘fixed point’ in your time line. But there are ways around it if you’re careful.”

“I’m not one for being careful,” Minion answered. Looking at the cabinet he then said “But if the price is right I may make… an exception.” Valeyard smiled as he knew Minion was considering opportunities. He too looked at the cabinet as if looking back on a memory.

“This cabinet came from the 51st Century where people were known for… dancing,” the Valeyard explained. “It belonged to a criminal named Magnus Creel who used it to go back in time where he masqueraded as the Chinese God Weng-Chiang. The cabinet is also powered by Zeta Radiation which is a key element in… UAE monster manufacturing. Especially if the monsters are created from actual people. But for use of time and space travel… very dangerous.”

“Unless you’re already a monster,” Minion said with a touch of sarcasm. “Then the effects are minimal.” Valeyard smiled at Minion’s comment. The villain knew humour. He found that Minion also knew power when he saw it, and the Valeyard knew Minion saw power in the Fun Factory.

“This building, it is your ship isn’t it?”

“Something I picked up on my last trip to Gallifrey,” the Valeyard said. “And with a working Chameleon Circuit I can disguise it as anything.” Pausing he then added “Including a door in an office on Eltar.”

“Eltar?” Minion asked impressed that they would have a means to be inside the Capital world of the Galactic Council, especially with its vaunted security. Minion then looked at the Popplewicks and nodded in understanding as he asked “Just whose office are we talking about here?”

As if on cue the Popplewicks reached up to their foreheads and unzipped their human skins revealing their true forms. That of Councillor S’Hera and Darkonda. Minion studied the two councilmen and smirked

“You two don’t seem like typical councillors.”

“Who said we had to be,” Darkonda said with a sneer. “We just have… different approaches to doing our duties.”

Minion nodded. “I’m sure. I take it you also have a plan for dealing with the Rangers?”

“And their mentor Zordon,” S’Hera then said.

“With more to come,” the Valeyard added as he made his way back through the door of the console room and down towards a flight of stairs that seemed to go down into the Fun Factory. After motioning for S’Hera, Darkonda, Minion and Kali to follow the Valeyard then led his party down the stairs.

As they descended Kali asked: “Why all the plans to bring the Rangers down. Won’t one be enough?”

“Namely yours?” Valeyard then asked.

Kali went red with embarrassment, something Minion relished.

“The track record of the Rangers pretty much demonstrates that we cannot depend solely on one plan. The Rangers have the unfortunate tendency to recover from whatever is thrown at them. Minion however has had the best success thus far.”

“For all the good it did him.” Kali sneered.

Minion was about ready to strike her but the Valeyard waved his hand as if telling him to remain calm.

“But he succeeded like no other villain had. Now picture the Rangers if they are on the defensive from SEVERAL types of Minion-like attacks.”

“Attacks that would weaken resources and resolve,” S’Hera said as if understanding. “Attacks that could bring about the End of the Rangers.”

“No force can stay on a defensive like that forever,” Valeyard said. “Eventually the Rangers spirit will break and they will fold. But we must ensure these attacks continue.”

Minion also understood but then asked: “And this has what to do with me?”

“You have knowledge and resources now you didn’t have before,” Valeyard said. “And soon you will have means to strike at the Rangers from beyond your defeat. Like a spectre that continues to haunt them. All we have to do is make sure the haunting continues… until the end.” Finally the party came to a door that when opened revealed a room full of technology and wonders none of the villains in the room had seen before or could believe existed.

“Welcome to my workshop,” the Valeyard said motioning to the devices around him. Devices from different worlds and different times. Devices even Minion had not heard of. He would have loved to know just what every device did but Valeyard made his way to a tarp covering something that looked like a capsule. Valeyard then spoke shaking Minion out of his technological amazement. Now was the time to state the plan.

“There will come a time when Dark Specter will fall.” Valeyard said. “Like Zordon’s end, Dark Specter’s fall from power is a fixed point in time. How it happens is up for debate. He could be destroyed or he might just walk away a broken man, but it must happen”

“And that will leave a vacuum of power to be filled,” Darkonda said. “A vacuum I plan to fill. Whether on the throne or as a power behind it.”

“There are several… replacements that will seek to fill the void,” Valeyard said as if correcting Darkonda. “The Troobian Empire led by Emperor Grumm. The Sisterhood of Evil. Lothor…‚� perhaps not Lothor. But there will be contenders, and rivals for the position of Grand Monarch of evil.”

“Dark Specter made out a list of girls with potential to serve as his heir,” Darkonda advised. “He had me search for a contender. One… I failed to acquire, only for her to embrace her destiny eventually.”

“And now there are two heirs,” Valeyard said. “But how long will they serve? And were they the only two selected?” Minion and Kali wondered what Valeyard meant. He quickly explained. “Karone has been a Ranger for too long to serve as an heir to evil. And Cyane, well, did not equal the potential Karone would have had if her selection had happened. Hence the need to look at alternate means. And other prophesies to consider.”

“Other prophesies?” Kali asked.

Valeyard nodded. “One of which Darkonda has helped bring into being.” Valeyard then ripped off a nearby drop cloth revealing a capsule. Inside it was a girl with the same face as Karone and Cyane, except she was wearing a red wig and looked like she had armoured components all over her body.

“There were other girls on the list,” Darkonda said, sneering at the female. “I had my eye on one, who ironically enough was an Astro Defender.” Darkonda remembered the last battle of the Astro Defenders as he teleported the Pink Defender away from the battle as she was caught in the explosion that claimed her teammates. Her power took too much of a beating that she couldn’t fight back as Darkonda overwhelmed her defences and she was taken into darkness. A darkness that involved cybernetics and the cryotube that she currently lay in.

The girl in the cryotube was Ayla, former Pink Astro Defender. Now she lay in stasis with mechanical implants attached to her body. The name on her capsule read Andromeda.

“Part of a prophesy regarding Princess’s of Evi,.” the Valeyard said. “Where instead of two there were four, with a fifth supposedly causing unbalance. This is the one that is evil through technology.”

“Five Princesses?” Minion asked. <"There were five stated in the prophesy," Valeyard answered. "Evil by nature. Evil by nurture. Evil by technology. Evil by magic. And evil by choice. The current Astronema fills the Evil by nurture requirement while Artemis has become evil by choice.

“And I have ‘Evil by technology’.” Darkonda answered.

The Valeyard nodded then turned to Minion. “And now we ask you to provide the fourth Princess – Evil by nature.”

“Me?” Minion asked. “What do I have to do?”

The Valeyard motioned to a machine standing off to the corner. The same machine Cassie Chan placed her hand in before the tournament. “Just place your hand in the machine.”

“And it will read my fortune?” Minion asked sarcastically.

Valeyard answered “No, it will take a sample of your gene structure and resequence the sample into a new life form where you serve as parent.” Minion looked at the Valeyard stunned. Valeyard then said “This is to serve as a further continuance of your legacy. An heir if you will. All it will cost you is a gene sample.”

“What do you have to lose?” Kali sneered.

Minion gave Kali a glare as he removed a glove from his left hand and stuck it in the sequencer. He felt the cut immediately and after a few seconds he removed his hand.

“A device I picked up from Messaline one time,” Valeyard said. “It allowed entire generations of armies to be created.” Soon the machine stopped and the door to a nearby chamber opened. Minion looked at the chamber and saw a girl come out.

She was quite the beauty. Her hair was adorned by a purple wig. In her hand was a staff with an arrowhead on the tip. The face was like that of Astronema and Artemis. But Minion could tell the evil within. Evil based on himself.

“May I present Astronoma. Evil by nature. And the daughter of Minion.”

On that Astronoma walked over to Minion and smirked “Hello father,” she said as her eyes glowed a sinister shade of red. Much like Minion’s had done.

“And this is the continuation of my legacy?” Minion asked. “This… girl?”

“She’ll do better than those Psycho Rangers,” Valeyard said. “Not that they won’t have their uses. But you are right. She will need to prove herself.” Soon Astronoma found herself surrounded in a corridor of light bathed in ultrasound. The sound caused her intense pain bringing her to unconsciousness. When she was down the corridor shut off.

“She will need some more training. Nothing reality immersion can’t cure,” Valeyard said as he picked up Astronoma and placed her in another stasis chamber. “That leaves only one left. Taken from… another sample earlier.” With that the Valeyard made his way to another chamber ready to unveil the contents within.

“And now: ‘Evil by magic’,” the Valeyard said as he opened up the last chamber. Inside was a girl dressed in white. White head piece. White mini skirt with white boots. She reflected Asian nationality, but her face seemed reminiscent of Cassie. Not like Karone’s as the other two Princess’s had been.

“This princess called for something a little different,” the Valeyard said. “This is Maria Chan. Cassie Chan’s… daughter.”

The introduction brought Kali to a fit of rage. Much to Minion’s amusement.

“You would bring another Kusanagi into existence?” Kali shouted with fury.

Valeyard said in a calming voice: “You miss the joke.”

“What joke?” Kali asked.

The Valeyard explained. “The Kusanagi flame was said to be a flame of light and good while the Yagami flame is that of darkness. But Maria was created from Kusanagi DNA, and is programmed to be evil. So… “

“The Kusanagi is done in by her own blood and power,” Kali said as she reared back her head and laughed. And soon everyone else was laughing too.

Except Minion… who had his own thoughts.


Night Ranger reality.

In their home in Port Clinton Jeffrey and Mackenzie Kincaid looked in at their daughter, sleeping soundly in her crib. "She’s so beautiful,” Mackenzie said. "Like her mother,” Kincaid added. "Shall we get ready for bed?”

Mackenzie flashed a look that said "Now?”

"I have a feeling that she’ll be awake soon enough. Best to get as much sleep as we can now before we don’t get any later.”

Mackenzie nodded and headed off to the bedroom before turning back to Kincaid. "Aren’t you coming?” she asked. "In a minute. There’s something I want to check out.” Mackenzie nodded and headed off to the bedroom while Kincaid activated his teleporter and transported to Iocaste where the Book of Zordon lay. As he opened it he looked at the pages before him and saw the prophesy he was looking for.

Kincaid stood before the book of Zordon, mesmerized by the prediction that he had just read. So taken in by what he read he didn’t even notice Shadow appear in the room. "Kincaid?” he asked.

The Night Ranger gave no answer. He simply stared at the page in front of him.

Shadow then walked forward and called Kincaid’s name again. He turned and looked the Shadow Grid Ninja straight in the face and asked one question deadpan. "Were you and your friends playing your games again?”

Shadow seemed taken aback by Kincaid’s question. "Kincaid what do you mean?”

"It’s a simple question. During this whole Orochi clan business were you just playing games with me, my friends, and my wife? Where they could have been killed?” Kincaid seemed to be very agitated right now and Shadow had no idea why.

"Kincaid you remember that Mackenzie wanted to come with you, and you accepted the invitation left for you and your Night Rangers,” Shadow explained.

"That was before I read the book. Would you like to see what I read?” Kincaid then showed Shadow the page of the book he was reading. It was a vague prophesy like all the prophesies were and Shadow had no way of knowing what it meant.

The storm draws closer

A new enemy shall arise as a familiar darkness spreads and a forgotten threat returns, more fearsome than before.

An innocent lost by neglect, the blank slate left untouched shall bear evil’s mark once more.

The darkness will claim the night as the servant takes his place as the new master.

Only the sacrifice of childish innocence will set the night free.

Else the End shall come in all consuming fire.

Shadow looked up from the page confused. This was the first time he looked at the Book of Zordon, and he had no idea what the prophesy meant. But the look on Kincaid’s face reflected anger and concern. Not for himself though, but for his wife and newborn daughter who was born in that realm.

Shadow then nodded in understanding as awareness came to him. "Ah yes the Emperor.”

"Adam’s team has more than enough to deal with, and so do we.” Kincaid stated. "They don’t need another monster raining terror on them like the Emperor is now. Somehow I think the less said the better right now. Besides, all we have to go on is a vague reading in the book. Not much to work with.”

Shadow nodded then asked Kincaid the next question. "I saw you fight against the Dark Assassins and Dragons. I had never seen you fight like that before. It was like you were a madman. What happened?” Kincaid paused a moment then spoke.

"I don’t know.” Kincaid said. "But what I do know is that I’m not putting my family at risk again like that. Don’t call for me to go to that universe again unless it’s absolutely necessary.” "Kincaid?” Shadow asked wondering what he meant.

“I have other things to deal with. Like I said before you can’t call me for every problem you have.” Shadow nodded indicating that he would then teleported away. Kincaid went to his bedroom where his wife and daughter were waiting for him.

He wanted to spend some time with them before he made a journey whe would rather not take. There was some bad news he had to deliver.


A wheezing and groaning was heard in a nearby corridor. A second later S’Hera and Darkonda appeared around the corner, only to come face to face with Sygnus. “Councillors S’Hera and Darkonda. Fancy meeting you here.”

“Something we can do for you Sygnus?” S’Hera asked not hiding her distain for the Triforian representative. He had put forth too much resistance on the council to their plans, and the resistance was approaching a level to where Sygnus was becoming a threat. A threat that needed to be dealt with soon.

“Oh no,” Sygnus said. “I just haven’t seen you in the council building for a while. I was just… concerned that something may have happened to you.”

“Something happens to all of us Triforian,” Darkonda said. “Doesn’t mean it’s an emergency.”

“Yes, shame if there was an emergency,” Sygnus said. “Especially as we are supposed to be on duty for those we are supposed to serve on a constant basis. I would hate to think what would happen if any of us were unable to be present at council meetings the moments our people need us.”

Darkonda then got into Sygnus’s face and asked: “Is there something you would like to say?”

“Ye,.” Sygnus said. “You and S’Hera had not been seen around the council building for a whole day. I was starting to get… concerned.”

“What Councillor Darkonda and I do is not concern of yours,” S’Hera pointed out.

“Unless it threatens Triforian interests,” Sygnus added. “And Earth is where King Trey is trying to recover from his sustained injuries.”

“If you can call cryo-stasis recovering,” Darkonda retorted. “Rest assured, if Triforia is threatened you will know about it soon enough.” Sygnus took notice of Darkonda’s veiled threat and walked on down the corridor past a door in the corridor. A door that was in fact a TARDIS.

And looking out that doorway was the Valeyard believing Sygnus was going to be a problem. A problem to be dealt with soon.


Minion’s Island, Prime Reality

One Year Ago

When Minion arrived home only an hour had passed. Silvo, Brasso, and Bronzo had not even noticed that he had been gone. “Leave me,” he said as he went to a view screen to see how the torture of the Zeo Rangers was progressing.

Not much had changed. The tortures were the same, and they seemed close to breaking. But his mind then turned to all that he had seen. And all that was apparently to come. Moments relating to him, moments in the present, and moments beyond.

As Minion looked at the tortured Rangers he thought back to his final conversation with Kali, before he departed from the future he had been to.

~Minion had stepped out of the Valeyard’s ship, which seemed to be disguised as a regular door, and made his way to the travel cabinet that was waiting for him to take him to his own realm. Kali followed along looking to get in one final parting shot.

“So how does it feel Minion?” Kali asked gloating. “To be merely a footnote in the Rangers’ history. To be defeated by the Power Rangers like all the other villains before them? Like so many others will? Only for me and my god Orochi to be the one to destroy them?” Minion felt his anger boil at Kali’s taunting and finally he could hold it in no longer.

He turned on her and delivered a blow filled with the raw power and magic that had made him such a threat to the Rangers. It was a power he had not used since his arrival, and as soon as he touched the Power once more, the grip on his sanity started to slip as anger threatened to take control once more. He hit Kali with all the rage and anger he could muster, demonstrating why he was the master and she was still his to control if he desired. It was only because he pulled the power at the last moment that she escaped unhurt. She would certainly remember her place.

“Valeyard might have stopped me before Kali,” he told her, “but YOU ARE MINE! And should you forget that again, you will not be around to regret it. I admit you have gone beyond just being another replica of Trini; how far beyond and exactly what you have become remains the question.” Pausing he then added, “But bear this in mind. The coming of your god Orochi. Your acceptance of this dark heritage that has so miraculously come into being. Your very life. None of it would have happened without me. I brought you into existence. Remember that and god or no god, I can send you back to oblivion.”

For the first time Kali was shaken. She realised that her pride had been at fault and that in attacking her, Minion had corrected a problem before it grew too bad.

“Yes, I am your legacy Minion,” Kali said. “That which you have left behind. That which shall destroy these troublesome Rangers. None of this would have been possible without you, and I’m sure Orochi will thank you for that. And I promise… I will succeed where you have failed.”

“I may yet succeed,” Minion then said. “For if there is one thing I have learned from the Valeyard is that there is more than one way to strike at one’s enemies. Even if you are not able to do the striking yourself.” Minion then turned to the cabinet to walk in. Turning back he gave Kali one last look and said “Rest assured I will be looking into this Orochi prophesy myself. And I hope you are sure about what you read.”

Minion entered the travel cabinet and the cabinet then took him home. Kali turned and saw the Valeyard’s ship also gone. Alone Kali went back to her temple to await the birth of her child. The child that would lead to the birth of the dark god Orochi.

Minion then left the torture chamber to work in his private study area. He needed knowledge and he needed it quickly. He called up information on the King of Fighters tournament, as well as the names Bogard, Howard, Kusanagi and Yagami. He would then look into what he could gather about the god Orochi and the prophesy leading to his birth. In retrospect, he figured the Bogards and their allies were the Shadow Triad’s version of the Justice League.

Minion then called up the image of the other tortured heroes he had in his Prison Dimension. The Flash, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, the Teen Titans, Wonder Woman and others. In the back of his mind Minion wondered why these heroes saw fit to intervene in his affairs. After all his grievances were against the Power Rangers. Not these heroes, at least not right away. Initially he dismissed the intervention of the Justice League as flattery that they would interfere.

But with the appearance of Terry Bogard and his friends Minion felt no such flattery. He wondered what force would bring them to interfere with his business. He got his answer with the Triad, but he also figured Terry and his friends would be a problem in the future, despite his own foes adding their own ‘opposition’ to him for reasons of their own.

Minion had to admit there was potential in the Yagami power. Or rather in how Kali proposed it be used. To lead to the resurrection of a dark God, but also to corrupt one of the greatest Rangers the Rangers ever had. Trini as a creature of evil was an entertaining thought. Not a replica, but the genuine Trini being turned to evil.

~You had your chance Tommy. Now it’s time for another to be turned.~ Minion thought with a smile. He then realized he would need more power and knowledge and remembered the data crystal the Valeyard had given him. Inserting it into the reader on his computer Minion found the co-ordinates on where the underground Ravolox Chamber was located.

Minion decided would leave for where the Chamber was located as soon as he was finished finding out about Orochi and the Yagami power. The power of the Time Lords was another opportunity for knowledge and power that was too great to pass up. He took the huge data recorder the Valeyard had provided for him to copy the Ravolox data and considered the device. He also considered what all he saw and the choices before him.

The Valeyard had said that Minion could use the information in the chamber, but he could not advertise that he had been there, as the chamber still had a role to play in future events. Essentially Minion had to be as quiet as a cat burglar in obtaining the information due to risk damaging events that had to happen. Events that may not happen if Minion went the wrong way with the wrong decision.

But even with the Ravolox Chamber knowledge Minion had much to think about. He saw the Rangers tortured before him and his mind turned to disgust at the thought that this moment could be taken away from him. By a force that he did not know about, could not detect, and wasn’t sure existed. Another Ranger team, manipulation by God like beings, time itself, regardless what was to happen his defeat was inevitable. His mind then turned to Cassidy Bridges, the Silver Zeo.

Was she connected to the force that was to defeat him? Was she at one point. And if that force was another Ranger team, does that team still exist? Minion then looked off in a corner and saw an energy bubble standing on a podium. The bubble containing a pocket reality that held six individuals that reminded him of Power Rangers. A bubble Minion could pop at any time. ~Later,~ he thought.

The bubble reminded Minion of the God like beings called the Q, the Lords of Kobol and the Shadow Triad. Three groups that fought on a new battleground outside the conventional war zone. Where the very fabric of reality was being twisted and turned for amusement with others looking to stop it or twist it another way. Minion did not care for the actions of the three God forces, but they did open his mind on the different possible fields of battle, and figured the Chamber data would be a great way to make use of those ‘alternate’ battlegrounds.

~I will not limit myself to two dimensional thinking.~ Minion thought as he remembered the reference in some movie Even villains spent time at the movies. They helped conquerors learn more about the people they sought to subjugate.

Minion then thought of his Psycho Rangers. Looking back on them he realized they had turned into disappointments. ~In more ways than one.~ Some were embracing new identities and power, and still failing at destroying the Rangers, while those that did not take on new identities looked to be pale shadows of the force they once were. If what the Valeyard said was true there were barely enough Psycho Rangers to amount to a standard Ranger team. A team with no true leader, as Biilly seemed to be a disappointment to him from what he heard from Kali.

“Kali.” Minion said as he thought of the replica that was once Triini, and the disrespect she had shown him. She had proven that his creations could be competent and ambitious. A dangerous combination he sort to avoid. He would make changes to the Psycho Rangers, ensuring that without his guidance they would never reach their potential.

He thought of her and again of Terry and his friends again as he asked. “What role did they serve other than being a poor man’s Justice League?” Minion knew they had no place in his plans, nor the Triad that placed them there. He resented the presence the fighters, and the Triad, in the universe. The Bogards were only there because the Triad decided to tie them to the Ranger destiny in certain ways. Minion then thought he should wipe them out of existence if he could. Make the choice and act on it so that Terry Bogard and his friends never interfered in his plans. ~Better yet, never existed.~ he mentally added.

Pausing he then realized, “But then I’d lose the plan she’d have to defeat the Rangers.” A plan Minion had to admit… sounded tempting. And all he had to do was make a choice to ensure if it happened, or didn’t.

“Turn left, or turn right.” Minion said aloud considering the choice he had, and the power he had through that choice. He also considered the other power weapons in his arsenal. The travel cabinet in the corner, and the Ravolox data he would soon acquire. Not to mention the words the Valeyard had said.

“Sometimes the greatest threat to our enemies is the legacy we leave behind.” Minion knew what the Valeyard meant, and how the gifts and knowledge he had acquired were how Minion could accomplish just what the Valeyard’s words meant.

He had already ensured his influence would be felt in that world’s future through the creation of Astronoma, but he thought of Kali and wondered if he couldn’t do more. He would look at the Orochi myth and see how he could influence events to his advantage. ~And perhaps get a little revenge against her from beyond the grave.~ he thought to himself as he remembered Kali’s strike against him, as well as her taunts. ~Don’t think you will not pay for those… Triini.~ .

Minion also watched the tortured Rangers on the screen and seethed as he knew the legacy of the Rangers would not stop with the Zeo and Morphin Rangers. There would be other teams to come. Some of those members he saw at the tournament. He had to ensure a legacy that would effect them as well. He remembered the boy, Leo Corbett, with the girl Karone. Minion knew being a Ranger was in his future. And those four other warriors. They too were Shadows of the Future brought to a crossroads.

Shadows to be eclipsed. In one way or another. Kali was one way, the creation of Astronoma was another. But could there be other ways?

~Perhaps that was why the Valeyard wanted me to have the Ravolox knowledge.~ he thought. ~And why he wants the acquisition kept quiet… as no one would see it coming when the… time came.~ Minion smiled at the joke made, but knew the point that was made as well.

~Very well… Kali. Fulfil your plan. But don’t think I won’t have an influence.~ Minion thought as he looked at the tortured Rangers again. New possibilities in his mind.

Turning off the video monitor Minion told his sentries that he would be gone for a while, but he would return. “I have some preparations to make,” he said as he went to a chest off to the side. Inside were a series of pistols Minion thought of toying the Rangers with.

The plan was to take the beaten Rangers and have them bear weapons against him. They would try to muster one shot against him. A shot that he planned to break their spirit with as it would have not impacted and Minion would have finished off the Rangers himself. Reaching for the pistols he then remembered what the Valeyard said about ‘fixed points’, and how they had to happen.

Minion’s defeat was one such fixed point. He wondered: ~Do the blasters lead to that defeat? Does the shot go wrong?~ For a moment Minion hesitated. Somehow he knew in the back of his mind something was going to happen with the blasters. Something that would happen soon. Something that could not be predicted, nor what could happen next.

~The End of the Rangers may not happen,~ Minion thought. ~Not by my hand. Not by anyone’s.~ The End of the Rangers was something Minion HAD to make sure happened. And if taunting the Rangers with a free shot ensured that it happened by either his hand or another’s, then he would offer it.

After all, he was one of the few who knew the grand design that was in place. The Rangers didn’t, and Minion felt secure in that knowledge.

~I’ll offer them their ‘free shot’. But not yet,~ Minion thought as he went towards his travel cabinet thinking beyond his immediate future… and the events planned in it. Events he could have a presence in.

Minion smiled as he thought that sometimes the greatest legacy one could leave is what is left behind for the future.

And Minion would leave something behind for the future of the Rangers.

For if there was one or two things that he and the Valeyard agreed upon was that the end of the Rangers, and the death of Zordon, had to happen.

Unfortunately he failed to notice the black figure that leapt from the shadows. Suddenly such thoughts were gone.


“The walls between the world are growing sturdier,” the Valeyard observed. “Minion will not be able to return here. Even the cabinet will not allow his return.”

“So he will never see if Kali’s plan succeeded,” the black figure guessed. “Why did you bring him here then?”

Valeyard laughed. “Oh that was not for his benefit. His path is set. I did it for you my friend. Minion’s actions will lead to the creation of this reality whether he desires it or not. The only way he could have prevented that was to stop his plans, something he could never do. But I needed you to see and to understand what I offered him without the rage and the madness. So that you could make a choice: remain here or follow Minion and pick up where he left off.”

A pair of red eyes glowed as he considered the Valeyard. He was Minion. Not the Minion that had left minutes earlier. No this was a version of Minion that had been created after Minion’s destruction. He was an attempt to correct an impossible shatter point in existence. His story had already concluded yet he like the reality he was born from still remained.

“Kali is the future of this reality,” Valeyard told him. “But you have the potential to become the future of the place where it all started. You might be a wraith, but creating a new body is not beyond you, given all the hints I provided.”

“And Minion?”

“Minion’s fate is lost to his own insanity,” Valeyard explained. “There is nothing to be done for him except to make it swift.”

“And this reality?”

“Will continue. It’s destruction was never really an issue. In time it will become just another reality where the war between good and evil, existence and void continue to play out. Once the walls are raised and the so called higher powers leave.”

Minion fixed him with a piercing stare. It was clear that he suspected something. Valeyard decided to reveal a minor secret.

“This reality continues because of one man, a man who needs to be kept locked away due to the danger he represents. This reality for its great size is a very comfortable cage that he doesn’t know exists. And so long as he remains here, it’s existence is guaranteed.”

“And if he leaves?” Minion pressed.

“Fear not,” Valeyard assured him. “Steps have been taken to make sure a part of him will never leave. Now, it is time for you to make your choice. The cabinet is still active and in our state you could slip across. When you do so, simply touch Minion and all the adjustments made to his mind will be removed, sending him back to his previous state.”

Minion nodded. A chance for a new existence was too great an opportunity after years as a spirit. He would take it.

He drifted through the wall between realities and spotted his prey. Though little more than a shadow he lunged at the real Minion.

Minion was a united soul, one hundred percent complete. He was unique in the multiverse. The shadowy Minion that attacked him was a piece of that soul, shattered by an event that had yet to occur. The circumstances were impossible, the fallout disastrous as the shadow Minion delivered a strike to himself.

The damage was unnoticeable on the physical level. But on a subconscious level Minion knew he had been attacked and lunged out at himself, breaking the unity. And with that, the task was done. The Shatter Point had been reached and the story could continue.

THE END


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Crossroads of Evil Part 6

The anticipation was building with each step and the distance to the ring had never seemed so great. With such an extreme battle looming time just seemed to slow. And while this match was not the main event, Terry Bogard and the Lonely Wolves could not help but recall the events that had led them to that point. So many battles they had endured, all those opponents they had fought. From Geese Howard, to Wolfgang Krauser, to Laocorn Gaudeamas and the Armor of Mars, to the Cylon Invasion. It had been the most spectacular journey. Horrific some would say, but spectacular nonetheless. Each event had been burnt into their memories, moving them along the path to the next battle. In the end it all came down to the next fight.

And then, the music roared, and the applause from the crowd filled the arena as the Lonely Wolves entered. And suddenly the memories were gone as their minds fixed firmly in the present. Now they had to focus on the moment for another opponent would soon emerge through the entrance. And even though they were not be evil like Geese Howard or Wolfgang Krauser had been, nor misguided like Laocorn, they were still the opposition. Driven certainly, by spirit and a cause they considered noble. And perhaps more than a little darkness.

‘Fly Away My Hero’ soon faded from the loudspeakers leaving the Lonely Wolves were in the ring waiting as Team Nightfighter took its long walk as ‘Rollin’ filled the auditorium.

This time however there was no bike, no separate entrances. They stood together as a team and walked to the ring, completely focussed on the battle at hand. Terry and Kincaid locked eyes, silently wishing the other well. Then everyone took their respective corners waiting for the life bars to reach full. Once the referee gave the signal to begin, the battle did so.

Cassandra and Joe started out. Joe had some reservations about hitting a girl he didn’t know… until Cassandra launched herself forward to deliver the first punch and followed it up with three more in quick secession. Joe found himself on the defensive quick and went into a ‘ki’ attack to try to regain the offensive.

“SLASH KICK!” shouted Joe as he delivered his move. Cassandra dodged the kick and ducked down to deliver a leg sweep. She then jumped up high in the air and delivered her own move to end the fight. A move she had only just observed, but figured out quickly.

“RISING TACKLE!” shouted Cassandra as she brought forth both her knees and landed hard into Joe’s chest. Joe was out of it after that. The bar was down fast. Joe tried to regain the upper hand with a series of attacks, but Cassandra evaded most of them. Some did connect, but not enough to do any significant damage.

Cassandra then wrapped her legs around Joe’s neck and put Joe into the Triangle choke. Any awareness he had left faded quickly, as Joe succumbed to darkness. His life bar went down to bare minimum then to nothing. Joe was out. Cassandra had won. But Cassandra had no time to celebrate as Andy entered the fray.

There were some who would claim it was wrong to hit a woman under any circumstance. Andy was not such a person. At least not during a competition. He knew that the women he faced trained hard to get to the point where they had a chance of reaching the tournament, just like the men. So to not give each opponent his best regardless of their gender, was an insult. In the end his opponent wanted to win and he wanted to win and the only way to do so was by defeating their opponent. With that in mind Andy charged at Cassandra thinking of attacks that would stop his adversary.

And he was pleased to find that it had been the correct move because Cassandra proved herself more than capable as she blocked each attempt. Even when Andy attempted a Rising Tackle, Cassandra rolled out of the way. Andy was able to barely do a handspring to block the impact the missing tackle would have caused. He flipped himself over and stood on his feet. Looking at Cassandra he thought of what attack to do next, then realized something from a previous battle.

Cassandra seemed to be able to anticipate a person’s moves. It was as if she was reading their mind. And that gave Andy a new strategy. He closed his eyes and thought of nothing. He let his mind focus on the moment and let his body’s rhythm guide him during the fight. This deprived Cassandra of the advantage of picking up Andy’s thoughts before he made the move as her opponent relied on instinct. He let his body be the guide. And Cassandra had her mettle tested. To the point where Andy’s bar was slightly higher than Cassandra’s. But one move could finish the fight.

“PSI BOLT!” Cassandra shouted as she let loose a burst of mental energy towards Andy. Andy took the bolt but still charged forward. He brought forth his foot, enclosed in a blue glow, and delivered the final move.

“CRACK SHOT!” The move connected. Andy won. Cassandra was knocked down.

Bruce was next, and he went full tilt. Andy didn’t have a lot of strength left and Bruce knew that. It was a challenge to hold on to his remaining life bar until he got a break. A break Bruce wasn’t about to give.

As Bruce rolled in with Rolling Thunder, Andy delivered an uppercut to the small of Bruce’s back. He flew up for a few seconds and landed hard on his back… jarring it temporarily. But long enough to cost him precious seconds.

The clock kept ticking as Andy seemed to get back a measure of strength. To where he and Bruce were neck and neck. Both then went at it with a series of moves that seemed like a dance. Both seemed to move with each other. Punches and kicks, wearing the other out as time went on. Then they decided to go for the final strike. Andy and Bruce took themselves down with a double clothesline. Both lay on the ground as the seconds ticked past. They then stirred trying to get to their feet before the time expired. Bruce then stood up for a brief second before falling back down. His bar exhausted. But that one second was enough for him to win his round.

But Bruce’s fight was done and as Terry entered, Buruce had no chance of fighting. Terry won by default, leaving a fresh Terry to face a fresh Kincaid, man to man in a match many had anticipated.

Starting out both Terry and Kincaid kept thing simple. Punches and kicks were exchanged until Kincaid sidestepped Terry’s latest attack, then wrapped his right leg around Terry’s left and then delivered a side Russian leg sweep, sending Terry back down to the ground. As Kincaid got back up, Terry retaliated with a leg sweep of his own and it was Kincaid knocked down for a spell.

Both were soon back on their feet as they exchanged another volley of blows and karate with the clock ticking by fast. Faster than the life bars were. Finally Terry decided to do some ‘ki’ moves to weaken his adversary.

“BURN KNUCKLE!”

Kincaid took the blow and was sent back. His bar took a hit, but then Kincaid was back on his feet as he then delivered a flaming punch right to Terry’s jaw. Terry felt the flames and the heat that came from them. Not to mention the force of the punch. Terry could feel the power behind the punch; it was so great that Terry took a similar drop in his life bar.

~Time for another attack.~ Terry thought as he delivered his next move. “POWER WAVE!”

Kincaid took this blow as well. However he did not send in any sort of counter. Terry thought it might be a good time to finish his adversary off as his bar was low.

“RISING TACKLE!

Kincaid had hoped Terry would try this move. He rolled out of the way of the incoming knees and wrapped his legs around Terry’s neck in a variation of the Triangle Choke. It was called the Gogoplata which caused Terry to taste blood in his mouth. Not to mention make it hard for Terry to breath. Kincaid broke the hold after eight seconds leaving Terry gasping for breath, and to wipe away blood coming from his mouth.

Once Terry was able to breath again he felt a hard punch come at him from Kincaid. It hit him in the Solar Plexus and sent him flying outside the ring. As he pulled himself back into the ring, Terry noticed that their bars were once again neck and neck. It was surprising how accurately they reflected how he was feeling. ~Time for a new move.~~

“POWER GEYSER!”

Kincaid ducked this and sent his own move. Flames rose from the ground in a similar fashion. Terry ducked out of the way.

Terry then considered using a Buster Wolf, but figured that move would be no good if Kincaid had a counter. And Terry could tell Kincaid had done his homework. Kincaid wasn’t looking to use anymore of his power than he had to. It all came down to plain old fashioned fists. Back to basics.

Both fighters were fine with that.

Terry and Kincaid were throwing haymakers at one another giving their all and leaving it all on the floor. Both were battered and bruised, but neither one was looking to quit. Then the bell rang. Time had expired. The referee looked at the life bar for both combatants. They were dead even. The fight was declared a draw.

Everyone was stunned. Even Paul Heyman.

“I don’t believe this! What do you think you are doing you stupid officials!” Heyman shouted. “You can’t declare it a draw! That means they are BOTH eliminated!”

The match with the Nightfighters and the Lonely Wolves had been a dead heat in the end, especially with Terry Bogard and Jeff Kincaid. They kept it even the whole time.

“Tell me there’s a rule here that will not allow this to happen. We have to have a finals here JR! Team Gorgeous should not be allowed to win the title by default!” Heyman said. “They should earn it!”

“Paul it looks like tonight wonders will never cease because I agree with you.” JR said. “Right now it looks like we’re going to have our answer.” As an official made their way to the announce table.

JR was passed an envelope and then read it. A smile came to his lips as he went over to where Michael Buffer was and gave him the envelope. Buffer read it and was surprised. JR then went back to his own seat and Heyman was jumpy. “What was in that envelope!”

“Just wait and hear it like everyone else.” JR smirked while Heyman fumed.

“Ladies and gentlemen, due to the nature of the last match, the sponsor of the tournament has decided to put a new rule into effect. The Lonely Wolves and the Nightfighters will BOTH face Team Gorgeous in the Finals under a new match style. The first ever King of Fighters Triple Threat! In exactly thirty minutes, we shall begin the Finals of the King of Fighters!”

—-

The battle had surprised those watching from the Shadowboxes and as the audience waited for the final match, the occupants considered what they had seen. For her part Kali was intrigued at the idea of a Triple Threat match, but uncertain if she really desired to see it. A part of her wanted something more.

“You know what? I don’t think I want to see a Triple Threat match. I think I want to kill some fighters now!” Kali declared.

“Well don’t let me stop you.” Minion replied. He really wasn’t interested in what she had to say. For the most part he considered her a nuisance. Still her suggestion did stir his curiousity. “Maybe we get to see what type of power these ‘fighters’ and ‘Night Fighters’ truly possess.”

“Trust me they are tremendously powerful and you will get to see a demonstration of that power,” the Valeyard answered. “With or without Kali’s intervention.”

“Do you doubt my power?” Kali asked. “The power of the Yagami? Of the dark God Orochi itself?”

“Only as much as I question your sanity?” Minion retorted. “Just remember I haven’t decided on your future yet. If the fate of this reality is really mine to decide, at this point I could easily let it slip into oblivion. And even if I were to let it continue, your life expectancy grows shorter with every word you utter.”

“I have a feeling your decision will be made in the next few minutes,” Valeyard told him, causing Minion to ponder what he meant. As his gaze returned to Kali, he had a feeling that she was about to influence his decision in a drastic way.

However as he continued to analyse the situation, Minion missed Kali’s glance towards the shadows and the figures that waited there for their mistress’s command.

—-

In the stands Geese also considered the recent turn of events. There Had never been a Triple Threat match at the King of Fighters before. The idea had been raised a few times and dismissed as too difficult to control. Still, he figured it would be an interesting development, that would lead to possible opportunities at the next tournament that could expand his own power base.

—-

“A Triple Threat?” Andy asked. “What does that mean, we have to fight two teams at once?”

“Looks that way Andy.” Terry said. Ten he smiled. “At least it will be something new.”

Joe smiled and laughed at Terry’s joke while Terry and Andy kept serious. They were entering a fight with opponents they knew next to nothing about in a match format they had never tried. Terry was right. It was definitely something new.

—-

Kyo walked into the room overlooking the entire stadium. He felt the power he associated with the presence that he had felt through out the tournament. It felt familiar to him but he couldn’t place it; it was not the power of the Yagami.

“I’m glad you were able to come.”

Kyo turned forward and saw a woman in a white outfit. She had black hair. Kyo then saw her turn around and saw her face. She was Japanese, had black hair and looked like she was in her late 20’s. “When I heard that you had been eliminated from the tournament early, I was surprised… until I found out that you were distracted. Not to mention the damage you sustained from your battle with Iori Yagami after the fight had ended.” She then walked forward to him. “I was hoping to see all of the power that defeated Rugal Bernstein.” She looked down and saw the final match of the tournament prepare to begin. “However that won’t happen unless I test your skills myself.”

Kyo blinked at her. “Just who are you? How do you know Rugal?”

“Rugal is not the issue here,” she remarked. “Though you should know that you and your friends were able to win because he was destroyed by a power not meant for humans.” she said. “The question is: was it really your own strength or just luck?”

Kyo stood ready. “I’ll ask again. Who are you?”

“My name is Chizuru Kagura. I am the Guardian of Seal.” she said.

“Guardian of the Seal?” Kyo asked.

“I want to see your true power. If you are not up to it, then just walk out that door.” Chizuru said. “What do you say?”

Kyo got into his stance, raised his right hand, and brought it down as he said, “Ikuze!”

The fight was on.

—-

As Minion watched the fight from above his mind turned to what remained of his forces in this reality and how they could be used. He figured Silvo, Brasso and Bronzo were destroyed since their existence was closely link to his power and will. But his Psycho Rangers had obviously survived. Kaat, Daavid, Triini, and Toommy had broken away and built their new identities and lives, but where were the rest? It was a question he repeated aloud. “What happened to the rest of my Psycho Rangers?”

“Biilly is still around looking to lead the Psycho Rangers,” the Valeyard answered. “But there are only six Psycho duplicates remaining: Jaason, Zaack, Taanya, Roocky, Kiim, and Buulk. Red, Black, Yellow, Blue, Pink and Gold respectively. There’s even a Silver Morpher out there as well I believe.”

“Enough for a main Ranger team.” Minion said. “Not exactly formidable against these teams of ten I’m seeing. Or teams of almost ten.”

“But useable, if properly applied.” the Valeyard answered. “And I have some ideas on how to apply them.”

Minion looked at the Valeyard. “I’m sure you do.”

“There is an additional player in this matter,” Valeyard explained. “Geese Howard possesses two morphers; pink and white I believe”

He cast a glance at the Shadowbox Geese was sitting in and Kali asked “What does he plan to do?”

“Create his own Ranger team.” the Valeyard answered. “To control them with dark power disguised as good, yet leaving them addicted and controlled. Warriors of good twisted into servants of evil. Slowly but surely until they are addicted to the power, yet they demand more.”

Minion actually looked interested in that revelation.

“A weapon of good that became a weapon of evil, made into a weapon of good again yet still serving the cause of evil. Evil that goes round and round like a merry go round.” Minion said amused by the irony. It was at moments like this that the fragile grip he held on his sanity could be clearly seen.

“Sometimes the greatest threat can be what you leave behind.” the Valeyard said. “And I don’t mean just the Psycho Rangers.”

“Now I must prepare for the real show.” Kali said as she got up to leave oblivious to the looks Minion and the Valeyard were giving her. “A show of my newfound power.”

With that she left the Shadowbox as the Valeyard looked at Minion and smiled.

“Now the show shall truly begin. And I don’t mean the Triple Threat match.”

—-

It didn’t take long for the Triple Threat match to begin. Team Gorgeous made their way to the ring as Michael Buffer explained the rules.

“Ladies and gentlemen. The rules of this match are simple. Two combatants will start the fight out. When one is defeated then the member of the third team sends in their fighter. Insertion of fighters is determined on which team member is eliminated. If a member of the Lonely Wolves is eliminated by a member of Team Nightfighter then a member of Team Gorgeous fills in. If a member of Team Nightfighter is eliminated by a member of Team Gorgeous, Team Lonely Wolves comes in and so on. The winner is determined by the last team having the most members at the end, or the last member standing at the end with all other teams eliminated.”

All members nodded as the match made ready to begin. Bruce and Joe began, exchanging blows as both gave as much as they could, with all the heart they had. However Bruce still hadn’t recovered from the last battle soon fell to the ground. That was the signal for King to enter. Joe took a breath knowing that Team Gorgeous had the distinct advantage. They were more rested than the Lonely Wolves or even Team Nightfighter. King proved him right as she unleashed a flurry of Muay Thai fighting moves that wore down Joe and brought him down.

Soon King was standing up top. Joe however wasn’t going to stand for it as he brought King down for a leg scissors. King had to fight to get back on her feet as she made ready for a Tornado Kick. The kick didn’t connect as Joe ducked out of the way and delivered a side kick/uppercut combo.

Joe had won again, but now it was Cassandra’s turn, and she took no prisoners. Mind you, then neither did Blue Mary, however Cassandra knew what Joe had in mind and beat him quickly. Blue Mary was next as onlookers tried to comprehend the speed at which the fight was progressing.

However in the stands, Kali was losing patience; she wanted the fight to end and quickly. She would get her wish.

—-

In the basement of the Cow Palace, Kyo had won his battle with Chizuru, and wanted answers. “Now tell me who you really are and how you know Rugal.”

“As the Guardian…” she started to explain as she got up. “… I am the protector of the Power of Darkness… the sealed off Power of Orochi. That is the power you saw Rugal use one year ago.”

Kyo blinked at that. He remembered what his father had told him about the Orochi. None of it was good. “Did Rugal release the power?”

“No he did not. He had only siphoned a sliver of the power when the seal was broken by another. Rugal never knew that the power of Orochi would eventually destroy him. Such power is not meant for normal human beings.”

“Why did I have to fight you anyway? And why did you hold this tournament?” Kyo asked.

“To see the strongest fighters in the world and to see your true power.” Chizuru replied. <"But why?" Kyo asked.

“Dark times are upon us Kyo Kusanagi, and we have little time left to prepare to stop the evil that is coming.” Chizuru said.

“What are you saying?” Kyo asked but saw her stiffen up.

“My god… he’s here…” Chiruzu breathed.

“Who? Whose…” Kyo asked but then froze as he felt a presence too.

“I think you both know…” a new voice spoke. One that was familiar to both Chizuru and Kyo. “The wheels are already in motion. You cannot stop my master, the destroyer of your pathetic world.”

That was all they were able to say before the room there were in came apart; utterly and completely.

* * * *

What was happening below was of no concern at the moment to the combatants above, especially as Cassandra was about to claim her victory.

Blue Mary may have had the mind of two women, but Cassandra had strong mental power, and stood victorious. It now was Andy’s turn to enter the fray. Both gave their all, but Andy was the fresher man. Not even Cassandra’s skills could have helped her. Andy won, but barely. Now he had to face Mai. They may have been married, but in the ring they were just combatants. Andy and Mai ended in a draw; both were eliminated. That left Terry Bogard and Jeff Kincaid to face each other once more.

And that meant it was Kali’s time to strike.

Suddenly chaos was unleashed. A tornado appeared in the middle of the stadium, explosions rocked the building as multiple areas seemed to collapse as the walls gave way and the stands disappeared into a storm of smoke and flame. People were thrown from their seats, landing painfully on the ground as the Cow Palace was torn apart.

Very few of those that fell were lucky enough to survive. The tornado twisting everywhere, sweeping up the fallen, snapping limbs as the tremendous force of the whirlwind threw them aside. Those that were still alive no longer considered themselves lucky. Fortunately most did not have long left to live before their suffering ended.

For the Rangers it all happened too fast. All they had been able to do was watch as people scrambled for safety. Only a few made it; JR and Heyman were among them.

In the stands the Stewarts also made their way out; the guards had decided to leave already, claiming that Geese didn’t pay to have them sucked into a whirlwind inside the arena. They made their way to find safety as the Rangers in the stands looked on.

“Oh my god…” Ashley cried as she looked at the nightmare before her. So much death and destruction was shocking; while not everybody survived a monster attack the Astro Rangers had never been in a position where they had to witness such devastation. Fortunately there were some who had managed to come to terms or at least block out the emotion long enough to function. Alison rushed to her side, with Cassie and Kat following.

“Snap out of it sis; we have a job to do.”

“Agreed.” Andros said as he noticed the Morphin and Zeo Rangers had regained their wits and were doing what they could to help people out. He also noticed a few other volunteers seeing to the safety of survivors. They were members of the Order of the Claw and the Wind Ninja Academy. The Astros also moved to assist when the tornado dissipated and a sound of laughter echoed throughout the remains of the arena.

Cassie growled as he heard that laugh and saw Kali Yagami standing a top the broadcast tower.

“Oh Cassandra… I’m waiting…” Kali smirked.

~You want a fight… YOU GOT IT!~ Cassie fumed as she broke away from Alison and Katherine and went after Kali.

The Rangers from all the teams were horrified by what was happening but nobody hesitated as they went for their morphers, and Tommy called out: “It’s Morphin Time!”

“WHITE RANGER POWER!”

“BLACK RANGER POWER!”

“PINK RANGER POWER!”

“BLUE RANGER POWER!”

“YELLOW RANGER POWER!”

“RED RANGER POWER!”

“GREEN RANGER POWER!”

“PURPLE RANGER POWER!”

“CARRIER RANGER POWER!”

“ZEO RANGER I-PINK!”

“ZEO RANGER II-YELLOW!”

“ZEO RANGER III-BLUE!”

“ZEO RANGER IV-GREEN!”

“ZEO RANGER V-RED!”

“ZEO RANGER VI-PURPLE!”

“ZEO RANGER VII-SILVER!”

“ZEO RANGER VIII-BLACK!”

“ZEO RANGER IX-WHITE!”

“ZEO RANGER X-GOLD!”

“ZEO BLADE POWER!”

“ZEO SHADOW POWER!”

“ZEO PHOENIX POWER!”

“ZEO PSI POWER!”

“ZEO PUNK POWER!”

“ZEO KNIGHT POWER!”

“ZEO RANGER POWER!”

“SALAMANDER NINJETTI!”

“LET’S ROCKET!”

“All right people let’s do it!” Red Morphin said. “Stick together as best you can, but help get the people out quick. Their safety is paramount!” Everyone agreed and rushed into battle trying to save any civilians that they could. A job that became harder as it seemed monsters had spewed out of the tornados that were running everywhere. All this meant was that the job was going to be harder, but they were determined; the Power Rangers were going to save the day or die trying.

—-

Unseen within the protection of the Shadowbox, Minion watched the Rangers morph. It was one thing seeing the Rangers alive, but to see them morph. Their presence taunted him, pushing his hate and anger to new highs.

“It really hits home doesn’t it?” the Valeyard asked, his calm question breaking through the clouds of madness. “You took them to their limits and yet they still persevere.”

The words did little to draw Minion back to the realms of sanity. It was clear that he was on the brink of losing all control, but in that instant he at least restrained himself enough not to simply destroy the reality and return to his own world. He wanted the Rangers crushed, their spirits broken. But he wanted it don by his own hand, not a snap judgement. That granted them a small stay of execution.

“You mentioned a deal. Something involving a chamber of secrets. What do I have to do?”

Valeyard smiled; Minion had regained control. At least for now. “First thing, we need to watch the Rangers in action. The knowledge you gain here could be of use when you try for the Ravolox Chamber.” Taking out a pen from his pocket Valeyard then twisted the top, sending out an activation signal. “This will work long enough for us to observe further.” Retaking his seat, the Valeyard continued “We are now a second out of sync with the rest of the universe. Perfect little hiding place from the rest of the world as we watch everyone fight.” Minion remained in his seat as the Valeyard sat comfortably, along with the Popplewicks.

“Study everything.” Valeyard adivsed. “Past, present and future. What you learn here can be beneficial to your future plans. Plans that can extend beyond the end that is prepared for you. Plans that can help you create….a lasting legacy.”

Minion considered the Valeyard’s words. ~A legacy?~ he asked himself. ~Something for the future? Yes. That is intriguing.~ Minion smiled at the thought that even in death the Rangers would not be safe from him. No matter what generation they would be. But the Zeos and Morphins would surely fall. And if possible, he’d include these Astro Rangers in his plan.

In his own seat, Mr Popplewick spied Leo and Karone trying to escape the crowd as Kali’s monsters struck. “Where are you going Princess?” Mr Popplewick asked the departing Karone. Getting up from his own seat Mr Popplewick asked to be excused.

“Curious about your former first choice?” Valeyard asked.

“I wish to see for myself how much she has grown,” Mr Popplewick said.

Valeyard deactivated his device and Mr Popplewick left the Shadowbox. As soon as he was gone, Valeyard reactivated the device and the observation of the battle continued.

—-

“Where’d these guys come from?” David asked.

He along with Sarah, Ken and Kincaid were taking out the ninjas that had simply appeared.

“Probably the insane woman laughing at the top of the tower.” Sarah answered. She pointed to where Kali was laughing as she savoured the pain and suffering below. The laughter caused something to burn in Kincaid’s soul.

Even though Kincaid was fighting however his mind was a million miles away; he was his concerned for his wife, pregnant with his child, and how these monsters just kept appearing, ready to kill everyone around them for pleasure. Then he remembered the laughter. The laughter of Kali as she looked down at the suffering. The people dying was some sort of fun for her. Clearly she took pleasure in seeing another’s pain.

And that was the wrong attitude when Kincaid was around. He had a strong dislike for those that took pleasure from the suffering of others. It made him angry. Very angry. Angry to the point where he lost all sense of rationale. There was only one thing on his mind: vengeance. Pure and simple.

And as the feelings of vengeance overwhelmed him, he cut loose again. Giving a howl of rage that left an assassin’s blood cold, as he fought like a man possessed.

“Everyone morph!” Kincaid ordered. Soon he, Ken, David and Sarah pulled out their Night Ranger morphers and gave their calls. Cassandra joined in as well.

“POWER OF NIGHT! SHOW YOUR LIGHT!”

“EMERALD RANGER POWER!”

Where once stood Kincaid, Ken, David and Sarah now stood the Red, Black, Silver and Gold Night Rangers along with the Emerald Ranger. “See to Mickey!” Red Night told Bruce. Bruce nodded and went to his friend’s fiancƒ'‚©e. Then they resumed the battle.

Black Night seemed to feel the rush of battle. He enjoyed cutting loose at times, but still endeavoured to keep his emotions in check. Still there was no shortage of enemies to fight.

Silver and Gold Night fought together in tandem. Their bond as brother and sister made them unbeatable, but there seemed to be more enemies to fight. In the back of her mind Sarah wondered when Kane was going to appear. The battle seemed like a perfect opportunity for their rival ninja to strike.

Emerald Ranger also fought hard, demonstrating her skill, but her attention often turned to her leader and friend Red Night who seemed to fight with an untapped ferocity.

“I’ve seen him fight before.” Emerald Ranger said. “But never with this anger. This…cold fury.”

No one had time to think, for they were still fighting. And Red Night was fighting the hardest of all, knocking out all that stood in his way.

—-

In the stands Kanoi and Omano of the Wind and Thunder Academies met up with the Masters from the Order of the Claw, and Andrew Hartford. RJ was taking the lead. “This is really blowing my sense of serenity,” The Wolf Master said. Everyone glared at RJ’s poor choice of words, especially with all the devastation and death around them.

“An appropriate choice of words if you ask me,” a voice said standing atop the rafters. All four looked up and saw a man in green cammo fatigues wearing a cammo mask that was reminiscent of the ninja as well. A sword adorned his back as well as a shoulder blade with several grenades dropping down from it. The two ninjas and RJ knew who the person in cammo was.

“Faceless Master!” Kanoi said with hatred. “I wished I would not see your presence again.”

“Many have hoped I would not be seen again.” Faceless Master said. “Most of those hopes have been met, before I sent them off to the great beyond.” The Faceless Master seemed to take pride in his last statement. A pride that was sick, but not unexpected.

Faceless Master was unlike other ninja. For one could not accurately explain his origins. He was said to have trained under the Koga ninja clan, and there was enough story to back that claim up. But no one could accurately determine any sort of identity for him, or where he picked up additional training that seemed to be military; he knew about explosives and weapons outside ninja academies.

“Wait a minute.” Hartford said. “The Faceless Master? Firefly?”

“You know this dude?” RJ asked.

Hartford nodded. “He’s appeared on a few anit-terrorism watchlists. He did some high profile work for a terrorist group years back that was well funded and well connected. Didn’t think he knew ninjas either.”

“Oh trust me Mr Hartford. I know ninjas. Just ask the Arashikage.” Faceless paused as he then said “And I have my own ninja clan as well.” From the stands another group of ninjas appeared surrounding the Ninja Masters, Hartford and the Masters of the Order.

“What are these?” Kanoi asked.

“Koga ninjas.” Faceless answered. “A little something Ms Yagami asked for. She also asked for some recruits for her own Ninja Academy. Recruits I was happy to provide them.”

“Which means we’ll have a second wave of ninjas coming in.” Kanoi said.

“Let us deal with the first wave first,” Omano recommended. as the fighters took their defensive positions. That was when someone appeared from out of nowhere and landed with his blades drawn. Ready for combat.”

“Silent Master.” Sensei Omano acknowledged.

The Silent Master gave a gesture that everyone follow his lead. Faceless looked at the new arrival with amusement. “Welcome Silent Master. Hope you find this battle memorable.”

The Wind and Thunder ninjas, as well as those of the Order of the Claw rallied behind the figure that would lead them. The black garbed form of the Silent Master. His sword drawn ready for combat.

And soon battle started between Kali’s ninjas allied with the Koga Ninjas of the Faceless Master, and those of the Order of the Claw and the Wind and Thunder Ninja Academies.

RJ, Kanoi and Mr Hartford stood together before the Koga Ninjas. Each one noticing something on their arm. They were morphers. Each one took notice and made a small comment.

“Something I’m trying out,” RJ said.

“Something I’m testing,” Andrew explained.

“Preparing for a prophesy,” Kanoi remarked.

“As am I,” Sensei Omano added.

RJ then asked “I hope this is not it?”

“No. Hopefully it won’t be for years to come,” Kanoi replied. But there were still the ninjas and dragons before them. And the Rangers needed all the help they could get.

“Test run?” Hartford asked.

All three answered yes.

“NINJA STORM! RANGER FORM! HA!”

“THUNDER STORM! RANGER FORM! HA!”

“OVERDRIVE ACCELERATE!”

“JUNGLE BEAST SPIRIT UNLEASHED!”

Where once stood Kanoi, Omano, Andrew and RJ now stood the Wind Ranger, the Thunder Ranger, the Overdrive Ranger and the Wolf Ranger. The first two being prototypes for their own future projects. Wolf Ranger however was in perfect balance with his own animal spirit.”

A mad melee soon followed.

—-

The Stewart family ran as far as they could, as fast as they could. All the while trying to dodge the debris coming down all around them.

“Daddy I’m scared!” Miley said holding her father tight.

“I’m scared too darlin. Don’t worry. It’ll be all right.” Robbie Ray said.

No sooner did it seem that the kids got back from their break, found the downed King of Fighter teams and got back to their seats for the final round, then they found they had to run inside an arena that looked to be destroying itself from the inside out due to monsters and ninjas. Jackson held onto his mother as she followed Robbie Ray out of the Shadowboxes and down a corridor hoping it was the way out. They found a door that indicated an exit was not far away, only to find a group of Koga Ninjas blocking the way.

What the Koga Ninjas didn’t expect was Terry Bogard coming up from behind the Stewarts ready to deliver a move to get the Koga Ninjas out of the way.

“BURN KNUCKLE!”

Terry then motioned for the Stewarts to follow him as he sought to get them out of the Cow Palace. Robbie Ray and Susan followed Terry holding onto Miley and Jackson. Protecting them for their dear life. Soon they got out. Rescue workers and police were already starting to show. Inspector Nash Bridges was one of the first to arrive. Terry made his way to the Inspector looking to leave the Stewarts in his care.

“Look after them Inspector. I’m going inside.” Terry said.

“Wait. Terry. What’s going on? Where’s my daughter?” Nash asked.

Terry sighed and answered “In there fighting monsters and ninjas, as well as my brother, my cousin, and her friends. ALL of her friends.” Terry then went to go back inside the Cow Palace before turning back around and saying “Inspector Bridges. Please don’t come in. We’ve got people to get out and safe. Please stay here and help those we get clear. Please.”

“Terry, you’re asking a lot. Especially with my daughter being involved.”

Terry nodded but still held to his belief that Nash should stay outside. “I know Inspector. But please. I’d rather not have to add more names to the list of people we have to save.” Terry then turned to go back into the Cow Palace as Nash stood outside to supervise the Police Rescue Efforts. He then turned to the Stewarts and asked “You okay?”

“You Inspector Nash Bridges?” Robbie Ray then asked.

Nash nodded and answered “Yeah?”

“There’s something I need to talk to you about. About that Geese Howard guy?”

Nash then listened to Robbie Ray, Susan and his family taking down all the information they had.

—-

Inside the stadium the Rangers were faced with no end of opponents. The teams had spread out, leading to some unusual combinations as they tried to watch each other’s back.

“Where’s Terry?” Pink Zeo asked Green Astro.

“Seeing to the safety of a family Geese insisted stay for the fight. You know that guy who sang the National Anthem?”

“He sure likes throwing his weight around doesn’t he?” Red Zeo said as more dragons circled above and sent waves of fire in their direction.

The ninjas were also appearing from out of nowhere, but were being taken out by something just as mysterious. None of the Rangers were complaining though. They could use the help.

“Maybe it’s time I tried something.” Pink Zeo said.

Green Astro nodded. “Go ahead and try it.”

Pink Zeo called forth her ‘ki’ power and released it. “KOH KEN!” From her hands shot out a massive pink fireball laced with Zeo energy. The ball struck a dragon causing it to shriek and fall to the ground hurt. Green Astro also had an idea and called forth her Galaxy Glider.

“Alison what are you doing?” Red Astro asked as Green Astro took to the sky.

“Hoping to even the odds a bit.”

Once she was high enough up Green Astro jumped off her glider and her right foot took on a powerful glow which Green Astro hoped her powers would augment.

“CRACK SHOT!”

The energy struck the dragon and sent it down to the ground.

“One down eight to go.” White Zeo said not taking long to celebrate which was just as well as a portal opened and three more Shadow Dragons appeared.

“I didn’t say a thing guys. Honest,” Black Astro protested.

“Don’t worry. I’ll hit Skull after this,” Gold Zeo promised.

White rolled his eyes. “Thanks Bulk. Nice to know you care.”

“Let’s hope Cassie’s having better luck,” Yellow Astro, taking a moment to look up to where her friend was battling Kali.

* * * *

As soon as Cassie morphed she immediately started fighting alongside the Space Rangers. Off to the side she found Trini already morphed, and not using her Yagami power. Cassie felt reassured as she didn’t want to use her Kusanagi power at the moment while morphed. She didn’t want a show of power tempting Trini to use her own dark power. Cassie feared that if Trini started using her power she’d never be able to stop as there would always be more temptations to use it. So as long as Trini didn’t use her Yagami power while morphed Cassie would not use her own.

However despite helping out, Cassie was focussed on Kali. She called for her Galaxy Glider and flew up to where Kali stood. Facing her rival Cassie asked “What is this? What are you doing?” Cassie would have asked if Kali was insane, but she already knew the answer to that question.

“It was my masters will.” Kali said as if it was the easiest answer to give, smiling the whole time as if mocking Cassie. “And now to make sure that the fighters are still occupied…” Kali closed her eyes, and then from the sky eight large black dragons came. And on the ground came ninjas in black and dark purple.

“Just a little something I came up with to enhance our forces.” Kali said. “The newer Ninjas of Orochi anyway. The black dragons I got from another world.”

“And just what exactly is your plan here? World domination?” Cassie asked.

Kali laughed as she told Cassie her answer. “Of course not! We want to obliterate this world and then remake it!”

—-

On the other side of the arena a blonde girl was stirring, seeking to free herself.

“Leo… Leo?” Karone shouted as she was getting up out of some rubble that had fallen on top of her. She then saw Leo unconscious with his head bleeding a bit from the head. “Oh my… Leo!” She rushed over to where he was and started using her magic to help move the rubble off of him. She then looked at him. “Not too severe damage… going to need to use magic. Good thing I’ve been taking the time to read up on white magic books.” she then put her hand out and onto Leo’s forehead and started to concentrate. Her hand gave off a pinkish glow. As she had learned when she used battle magic, the type of color her attacks came as was purple. However for healing magic, it was pink.

Once she saw Leo was getting better, she smiled.

“Karone.”

Karone turned around and saw Ecliptor right behind her. “Ecliptor? What are you…?”

“My Princess you insult me. You think after keeping track of Astronema for so many years that I can’t keep my eyes now on both of you at the same time.” Ecliptor replied as he held out a case for her. “I’ve already shielded us so that no one will be able to see us… and I have a feeling you don’t want to leave just yet so I made sure I brought this with me when I came down to find you.”

Karone smirked as she saw her Artemis clothing, her anger wig, her weapons and also the battle armor type she and Astronema wore for battles in which their normal leather outfits wouldn’t be enough. “Ecliptor… you know how to please a woman… now please turn around so I can strip without you seeing me.”

Ecliptor merely chuckled as he turned away. Moments later he felt a tap on his back. He turned around and saw Artemis decked out in battle armor with dark blue straight hair that went shoulder length with locks over the front of their faces and a ponytail at the top on the back of her head, her Sati-rang on her belt and Wrath Staff in hand. She then looked at Leo. “Watch over him… discreetly please if you can.”

“You are my concern Artemis,” Ecliptor said but then Artemis had her Wrath Staff at Ecliptor’s throat.

“If anything happens to Leo while I’m gone Ecliptor… I’ll take your head.” with that Artemis waved her hand and disappeared in purple sparkles.

Ecliptor chuckled. “Karone becomes more and more of a handful with each day… and I wouldn’t want it any other way.” With that he just faded away.

However Leo wasn’t exactly unconscious… in fact he saw everything. That didn’t change his mind though in wanting to help all the other people in the building still… or go find Karone.

—-=

Hidden in a corner Mr Popplewick smiled as he saw Karone become Artemis. He had heard the first choice embraced her expected destiny, but to see it for himself…. His mind turned to the possible advantages this situation might have for him. Keeping his distance, he decided to follow Artemis.

—-==

In the basement of the Cow Palace Kyo was still having his battle. A battle that he was trying to not just win…but survive.

“RAH!” Kyo yelled after his entire world had stopped spinning. He was now back in the middle of the stadium now. He looked to his left and saw Chizuru was hurt. “Chizuru!” He then looked around felt like he was in a nightmare. There were dead bodies everywhere, either in pieces or mangled in the debris.

“Kyo… the blood of the Kusanagi… flows through you… you must defeat him… ah…” she said before passing out.

“Hello Kusanagi.” Kyo turned around to face Goentiz, the man that had nearly killed him three months ago. “Tell me… are you ready to die?”

Kyo immediately looked at Goenitz and got up. “I’m not the same as I was the last time you monster… you are going down.”

“Ha! Your ancestors defiled my god, but it seems you are no different they were so long ago. Weaklings against our power with out a chance in heaven of winning.” Goentiz said.

“Guess again Goentiz. You may be the one without any hope of winning.” Kyo said.

“I wonder,” Goenitz mused, “if you’ve improved even a LITTLE bit since the last time I beat the hell out of you.”

“How about I let my fists answer your question!” shouted Kyo as he rushed at Goenitz.

—-

Off in a corner overlooking the battle Artiemis looked down, wondering how to involve herself in the meleee.

“I may need some help here. Perhaps a Spider Monster.” Artemis thought. “But who?”

Suddenly looking at the battle she saw her choice. Silver Zeo. Artemis saw Silver Zeo fighting the Orochi Ninjas and aimed her staff.

“One spider monster coming up.”

At her will she fired a bolt at Silver Zeo… which Silver Zeo ducked hitting the Orochi ninja coming in to hit the ninja that was looking to attack from behind. The ninja, who was female started to transform. As she took off her mask she noticed her skin becoming pasty white, fangs coming out of her mouth, and her eyes blood red. Silver Zeo looked on at the transformed ninja astonished. An astonishment the ninja shared, until she noticed the craving in her. A hunger.

The ninja spider brought her arms forward looking to shoot webs from her wrists. Silver Zeo jumped back and brought forth her star shooter firing several shuriken at the Spider Ninja. The shuriken wounded her and the ninja considered retreat. Which she did.

The ninja then got on her hands and started to change. Her body took on a reddish glow as she shrunk down to size. Smaller and smaller she became until she was the size of a spider. Which she then became. The spider then walked away on all eight legs looking to use the chaos to cover its escape, and to give it time to figure out what happened to it.

The spider would not have that time as it met the tip of Artemis’s boot, and was crushed underneath it. “Felgercarb. I missed.” Artemis said with a slight smile. While she would have enjoyed the thought of seeing Silver Zeo as a spider demon, she knew there would be other ways to get at her.

For now there were other targets that demanded her attention. The Astro Rangers to name a few.

Kali Yagami for another.

Looking up Artemis concentrated her mental powers to fly up to the balcony where Kali and Cassie were fighting. Standing on the edge Artemis made her move firing purple lightning….at Kali.

“AHHHHHH!” Kali cried as she nailed in the chest by purple lightning. Cassie turned around… and just let her jaw drop at her savior. “… Astronema?”

Kali was irate. “Astronema?! What the hell is the Princess of Darkness doing blasting me! Last I checked we were on the same side!”

“I’m evil. You’re evil.” Artemis agreed as she then slashed Kali down with her Wrath Staff. “But the same side… not a chance!” She then kicked Kali’s body once and Kali got up. “Ranger I am not on your side either, but this thing has annoyed me off more than you. So for now, let’s just say we have a common enemy.”

Kali just stared in disbelief. “Oh for crying out…” was all she got to say before Cassie kicked her in the chest and then Artemis followed up using purple lightning magic on Kali.

“Stop complaining and start fighting for real!” Artemis said.

—-

From her own battle Trini looked up to see Artemis and Cassie fight Kali. Trini considered joining the battle but the Orochi Ninjas were keeping up with their battle. Silently she wished Cassie luck as she continued to fight.

The Lady Wolves, consisting of Alison and Kat, also were fighting together against the Orochi Ninjas. By their side was Yellow Astro. Kat also fought using some of her budding Ki abilities as best she could. Red Astro, Red Zeo and Red Morphin spared a few glances in the girls’ direction, and were glad they were holding their own. Especially as they had their own monsters to fight.

Everywhere there seemed to be a battle. Not just in the arena, but beneath it as well.

—-

“ARA-KAMI!” Kyo’s fist started with crimson flame as he began his attack. His punch arrived in Goenitz’s face but like the wind, Goenitz disappeared and reappeared behind Kyo.

Kyo spun around and swung a backhand at Goenitz but Goenitz again disappeared. Kyo stopped for a second for regain his footing but Goenitz suddenly reappeared in front of him and grabbed Kyo by the neck.

“Is this what the King of Fighters can do?” asked Goenitz as he engulfed Kyo in a small, controlled tornado.

Kyo cringed slightly as the wind cut into his flesh. Blood spurted out of his injuries. Then, after the attack ended, Goenitz tossed Kyo aside.

Kyo crashed onto the ground and rolled away from Goenitz. Panting, Kyo knew he was out of his league.

—-

Just outside the ring, Mature and Vice cradled the injured Iori back to where Kyo and Goenitz were fighting.

“You can’t fight. The injuries you sustained are critical,” Mature said in concern.

Iori just smiled and said, “Kyo must die by my hands. If I don’t defeat Goenitz, Kyo will die and I cannot allow that.”

Vice and Mature just shock their heads as Iori stood straight. “Thank you,” he muttered before running towards the battle.

Vice and Mature looked at each other before saying, “What have we been doing?”

Mature then added. “What I have wanted… to see who is truly the better one.”

—-

With a wave of his hand, Goenitz called upon a thin line of wind and sent Kyo flying to one side.

Just as Kyo started to get up, a shout from behind alerted him and Goenitz to a new presence.

“Kyo is mine!” shouted Iori as he charged at Goenitz. Clawing down, Iori expected to see blood.

“Fool,” muttered Goenitz before disappearing. Iori looked shocked, as he hit nothing but air. Goenitz’s sudden reappearance shocked him even further. Goenitz grabbed Iori’s neck and engulfed him in a tornado.

“Yagami!” shouted Kyo and he dashed towards Goenitz. His first punch was blocked by Goenitz, but his second punch hit flesh as Goenitz could not concentrate on Iori and deal with Kyo’s attacks at the same time.

Yagami made use of the distraction to kick Goenitz in the chest. Goenitz released Iori and both Iori and Kyo jumped into the air with their hands outstretched and engulfed in flame.

Goenitz was caught in the middle of this attack and was sent flying. “Go!” shouted Iori as he launched a burst of purple flame at Goenitz.

Kyo followed the flame as it streaked towards the Heavenly Wind King. Meanwhile, Goenitz leaned against a wall, unable to believe that two insects had actually hit and hurt him.

~This could actually become interesting.~ Goentiz thought.

—-

The Morphin Rangers were doing all they could to stay together. But some did get separated from one another. Quickly they sought to rejoin their teams, which was a task easier said than done.

Pink Morphin was cut off from her teammates by six ninjas and a dragon from above. Either the ninjas would kill her or the dragon would. She could have faced one or the other, but not both. She knew that. And with the rest of the Rangers caught up in their own battles, and cut off from each other, she was on her own. All she could do was hold her own until the end came.

She didn’t expect the end to come in the form of a thirteen year old girl with what looked like a two speared weapon. “HIYAHHH!!” she cried as she seemed to face the ninjas striking quick and fast. “Go for the Dragon!” the girl cried. “I’ve got these guys.”

For a few seconds Pink Morphin was stunned to see a little girl fighting ninjas, but then she saw the Dragon above tearing into everything, and anyone left. She knew she had to take the Dragon out and knew how to do it.

Bringing up her Power Bow Pink Morphin fired several shots to the Dragon’s throat. The Dragon howled in pain and then seemed to break apart in a puff of smoke. Soon more ninjas appeared and faced the remaining ninjas in Kali’s employ. Soon they were down and one ninja moved to talk to the little girl.

“Lee Ann you must leave! Your father will be very disappointed if you stay.”

“My father is busy with the Faceless Master!” the girl named Lee Ann said. “And how would I feel if I left people to die while knowing I could do something? I have trained rigorously in the Thunder Ninja Academy! I will put my skills to use as best I can, not unlike my father is doing now!”

Pink Morphin then spoke up. “Look it’s not that I don’t appreciate the help, and I admire your spunk kid, but maybe you should listen to the ninja here. No sense in you dying too.”

“My name is Lee Ann. Lee Ann Omano.”

Pink Morphin nodded and said “I get that, but still you’re not a Ranger, and this isn’t a place for kids to fight and die. Get somewhere safe.”

Reluctantly, after some silent urging from the surrounding ninjas, Lee Ann accepted. “Has an exit been secured?”

“This way Miss Lee Ann.” One of the ninjas said as Lee Ann made her way towards it with the ninjas following. Pink Morphin looked at the girl leave and thought she saw something emanate from her for a brief second; a Pink aura.

She had no time to wonder as she saw Red Morphin being overwhelmed by ninjas and his own dragon. Despite more help appearing the battle was still far from being in their favor. Quickly all the forces that could regroup did so and faced the enemies surrounding them.

Even with the help of the Silent Master, the Order of the Claw and the Wind and Thunder Ninjas. Not to mention the new Rangers that seemed to appear out of nowhere, the odds were not that good. If a miracle did not happen soon the Rangers would be over run.

Especially since It seemed the Dragons were coming out of nowhere.

—-

Lee Ann wasn’t the only child from a Ninja academy looking to escape; Cam Watanabe’s parents were busy holding off a heard of Koga Ninjas from the Faceless Master while he had been sent away from the danger.

“Go Cam.” his mother ordered. Cam had no problem obeying his mother’s wishes.

Running down a corridor he met a girl with two staffs and asked “You looking for a way out?”

She nodded “Yeah, you?”

Cam nodded as the girl introduced herself.

“Lee Ann Omano. Thunder Ninja trainee.”

“Cam Watanabe. Son of Wind Ninja Master.”

“You are not a student of your father’s academy?” Lee Ann asked.

Cam shook his head. “My mom is reluctant for me to train. And my father agrees with her.”

“Probably not the best decision right now.” Lee Ann said as both kids heard howling from down the corridor. They didn’t want to know what was coming so they made tracks for the nearest exit as fast as they could. On the way they found a sky box they thought they could hide in. A skybox where they two kids met a young woman in white.

“Who are you two?” Mackenzie then asked.

—-

In another area Andy and Joe were fighting their own Shadow Ninjas. But both noticed Terry’s absence from the battle.

“Hey Joe. Do you know where Terry is?” Andy asked.

A Ninja crashing into the seats next to him answered Andy’s question. Especially as Terry jumped from the rafters.

“Never mind,” Andy said as he stood by Terry’s side.

“Seen Alison and Cassie around?” Terry asked.

Andy pointed to where the Astro Rangers were fighting against one of Kali’s Shadow Dragons and seemingly winning. Terry looked up and saw his cousin fight as the Green Astro Ranger and Cassie as the Pink Astro Ranger. He had to admit both girls were growing up, and with good friends by their sides.

—-

Up in the stands Leo could see just how much damage had been caused… and how the fighters from the tournament along with the Power Rangers were fighting the dark dragons.

However the ones that were the most intriguing to him were the those dressed in black with Ranger colours. The costumes resembled the Psycho Rangers he had once seen, but they were anything but the Psycho Rangers. Despite how fearsome and powerful these new Rangers were, he just knew they were on the side of good.

He focussed on the red one, surrounded in a ring of fire and pain, both of his own making. Screams of agony could be heard as he grabbed the dark assassins ready to deliver the same kind of vengeful punishment as he made his way toward the dragons. The one in red and black was a machine that went non-stop, dishing out fury and fire wherever he could. Fighting until he couldn’t stop fighting anymore. And that would not be for a good long time.

Leo then watched the red one’s fighting style and recognised it. Even though he was more brutal than he was in the ring, there was no mistaking who it was. It was the same man who gave him and Karone the stare on his way to the ring. The man who would give any evil creature nightmares – for that was his mission, and he would let nothing stop him. Never would he allow evil to have the last laugh; he would die first.

“Kincaid?” Leo asked.

—-

Up above Mackenzie saw Kincaid and his friends fight, but knew that even with his power, he would be hard pressed to win the battle.

“I’m going to have to end this.” Mackenzie said standing up. She looked at the two kids, Cam and Lee Ann, before her. “I need your help to get where I need to be. Can I trust you?”

Cam and Lee Ann looked at each other and then nodded. Mackenzie walked towards the doorway leaning on both kids for support. Mackenzie was heavy since she was carrying her unborn child, but she would do what had to be done.

—-

“Take this!” With a raise of his hand, Goenitz destroyed the burst of flame with a small tornado.

From the smoke, Kyo followed fast. “Die! ONI-YAKI!” shouted Kyo as his flame-engulfed fist hit Goenitz in the chest. Kyo followed with an elbow skyward. Goenitz was also hit. Kyo was about to elbow Goenitz in the head when Goenitz recovered and disappeared once more.

“Damn!” shouted both Iori and Kyo at the same time.

“You traitor.” Iori turned to see Goenitz behind him. Instinctively, Iori swung a claw attack at Goenitz but Goenitz blocked it and pushed Iori back before raising both his hands into the air.

Kyo looked in shock at the pose. “That’s Iori’s final move.”

Iori never got a chance to see the pose for Goenitz was already upon him, raining claw after claw onto the young Japanese. “How does it feel, being attacked by your own attack?” mocked Goenitz.

Finally, Goenitz grabbed Iori in the head. “Die.” With that, Goenitz forced wind into Iori, cutting through him and allowing blood to flow free out of him.

“No!” shouted Kyo as he rushed forward. “OROCHINAGI!”

Goenitz turned to face the attack that had defeated Rugal a year ago. The flame never touched him as a wind barrier surrounded him and dispersed the flame.

Kyo’s attack had caused him to leap too far ahead and he landed in front of Goenitz. He swore.

Goenitz was about to finish Kyo when Iori suddenly appeared behind him. “Kyo is mine!” with that, he shoved Goenitz aside.

“What are you doing?” asked a bloodied Iori. “Don’t tell me you’re going to lose to me?” he continued mocking.

“Don’t dream of it.” Kyo replied with a smile.

“Then, let’s do it.” Iori said as he and Kyo rushed out at Goenitz.

—-

Cam and Lee Ann helped Mackenzie make it to an empty sky box where they saw the fight taking place below. Dark warriors and monsters swirled around Rangers and warriors that were being bastions of light against a raging darkness. A darkness that could well consume everything in the arena, then consume all else in the world.

“You kids may want to leave now.” Mackenzie said.

Cam and Lee Ann looked at each other then at Mackenzie. “We’ll stay with you.” Cam said.

“If you need help.” Lee Ann added.

Mackenzie smiled at the two kids and then turned her mind within her being. Focusing on her power. On the light within herself. As she focused she felt another presence. A presence rising within herself. A presence eager to come into the world. Mackenzie couldn’t believe it. Was it….? Before Mackenzie could answer the sky box erupted.

—-

“And now taste my power.”

Goenitz raised his hands to destroy the two in a burst of wind.

However, Iori moved faster, “YAMI-BARAI!” a burst of purple flame was sent at Goenitz.

Goenitz noticed that there was something different about this flame Iori emitted. It moved very slowly, too slowly to hit the Heavenly Wind King. This incurred Goenitz’s interest and he stopped to see what kind of threat this could be to him. Upon contact, the purple flame exploded into a pillar and engulfed Goenitz. However, besides a little pain, Goenitz felt no heat, like the flame was ice instead of flame.

~What is this?~ thought Goenitz. What he did not notice, was that Kyo had suddenly appeared in front of him.

“What?” exclaimed Goenitz.

“GOENITZ!” shouted Kyo as the flame engulfing his left hand increased in intensity.

Goenitz felt like he was moving in slow motion as Kyo struck the floor with his flame. The crimson flame burst into a pillar of fire that overshadowed Iori’s own and engulfed Goenitz.

“Arrgghh!” shouted Goenitz as the crimson flame burnt his skin with great intensity.

Then, the greatest shock of Goenitz’s life came, in the form of multiple punches. Too fast for even him to block, or avoid.

“How can this be?” muttered Goenitz as punch after punch slammed against his body. “I am the wind incarnate. No mere human can be faster than me.”

Finally, Kyo’s final punch struck him squarely in the chest. There was an explosion and Goenitz flew backwards, into a wall.

Goentiz didn’t move.

—-

The explosion was heard to where Cassie and Kali were fighting. It seemed as if Kali had gotten the upper hand when the explosion happened. Kali turned and saw Kyo standing, and Goenitz down for the count.

She also saw a ball of light coming from a skybox

“No… he’s… NO! VICE! MATURE!” Kali shouted and Cassie took advantage of her distraction hitting Kali with Oni-Yaki. “Help me now!”

—-

Mature decided to cover Vice hung so she could answer Kali’s call.

~She’s been a good partner… but this time I’ll be the smart one.~ Vice thought as she then disappeared behind Mature’s back as she continued to watch the end of the match unfold.

—-

Kyo joined Cassie as she was about to get the final strike when Vice made her move.

“RAVEN FEST!” Vice attacked out of the blue mercilessly at Kali’s opponents and then latched onto Kali. “Time to get you to safety Vessel.”

Kali looked at Vice. “NOT until I see Lord Goentiz!”

Vice nodded and with Kali sharing Vice’s power, they disappeared.

“Where did they go?” Cassie wondered.

—-

The answer to Cassie’s question came in a flash of light spreading throughout the arena. A flash that blinded many dark ninjas sending them into hiding, and dissipated the dark dragons into ash. Finally the light had faded and the warriors of light stood tall.

The fighters all stood as only dust remained of the ninjas and dragons that they had only now been facing. Terry wondered just what it could have been that could have taken out all those dark warriors. Kincaid however knew and smiled at what his girlfriend had accomplished. Cassandra, Bruce, Ken, David and Sarah did the same.

“Looks like Mackenzie came through.” Bruce said.

Kincaid nodded but then realized that there was also something of a cry of pain to the release of power. He knew that it could only mean one thing, his child was ready to be born.

“Quick we’ve got to get to Mickey.” He said as the Night Rangers and Nightfighters looked to see where Kincaid’s girlfriend was.

—-

EMT’s made their way into the arena as quickly as they could, due to the prompt response of the police and rescue due to someone dialing 911.

Chizuru stood in front of the badly injured Goenitz. “You have lost. The Orochi will continue to be sealed.”

Goenitz looked at her with a smile. “You are wrong. Our lord and master will rise once more. He can never be sealed forever. It will be time soon and when he is reborn, he will wipe out the darkness that fills this planet.”

Slowly, Kyo and Iori walked into earshot. What surprised both Iori and Kyo was that Chizuru was crying.

Goenitz looked up at and smiled. “You miss her don’t you? The sister I killed ten years ago.”

Chizuru raised her right hand, eager to kill the murderer of her older sister, but she stopped herself.

Goenitz stood up and smiled. “I knew you could never kill me. That is why, you will fail against my master.”

Kyo and Iori immediately went into their battle poses. “If the woman will not do it then I will kill you.” Iori stated.

“YAMI-BARAI!”

Kyo and Iori ducked out of the way and then saw Kali and Vice appear.

“You will not kill him Kusanagi… and definitely not you Traitor to our family.” Kali growled.

Iori snarled as he looked at Kali. “And just who the hell are you?”

“My name is Kali Yagami…cousin.” Kali responded.

“So you’re the infamous Kali that Cassie was telling me about.” Kyo said.

“Kyo Kusanagi…a displeasure as always to see any Kusanagi still breathing.” Kali replied. “You and the traitor will die soon enough.”

“Why do you keep calling me traitor?” Iori growled.

“You will understand… when the master is reborn and then he will kill you…” Goentiz smiled as he then looked to Kyo. “You too will fall when my master is reborn. Even the attack you have managed to achieve today cannot stop him… unless you perfect it.” Goentiz then looked at Chizuru. “And the time of my masters rebirth… shall come with my death… and passing of power!” Goentiz then placed his hands on Kali’s chest and face as he started to chant. “All that I am, all that I ever was, all that I would have been, I give to you and now you serve our master not only as the Vessel but as the NEW Heavenly Queen of the Wind!”

Chizuru eyes went wide. “The Vessel?! It exists!”

Kali screamed as the power went into her and the force of power kept everyone way from them. Once it was done and the dust had settled one thing was very clear. Kali had just gone to from three to nine months pregnant and the look on Chiruzu’s face was naked shock.

“And now you see… even in the end … you have lost…” Goentiz then fell to the ground and then smiled. “… what a wonderful wind… the wind of my God taking me to heaven… farewell..”

Suddenly, a powerful tornado engulfed Goenitz and he disappeared. As quickly as he had appeared.

“What did he mean?” muttered Kyo when he noticed that Iori’s breathing had become louder.

Turning around, he saw that Iori’s head was bending down. Steam emitting from his mouth as his breathing become erratic and louder.

“He has been engulfed with the raging blood!” shouted Chizuru. “The Riot of Blood!”

Mature was shocked. “Vice help me stop him now! Its not time for this to happen!”

However it was Kali who answered.. “Oh it is… because I desired it” She smirked at Mature’s disbelief. “You made sure Iori was still alive and in the right place so that he could kill my master… and perhaps gain more of suited leader of our cause.”

Mature looked at Vice. “You betrayed me!”

Vice smirked. “What can I say? I just want to serve and live… and watch the gore fest that is about to happen.”

Iori spun to Mature and he suddenly attacked. “Vice you…” was all Mature got to say as Iori clawed into her. Digging into her flesh and into her internal organs.

“Yagami! Stop!” shouted Kyo as he ran to stop him. However, he was too late as Mature landed on the floor… dead.

Kyo stood there, opposite the out-of-control Iori. Suddenly, an ember lit Kyo’s left arm. “Yagami!” shouted Kyo as he rushed head on into Iori. “OROCHINAGI!”

The attack hit Iori head on and he collapsed unconscious.

“I believe it time to go…” Kali said to Vice and the two vanished. Kyo was left facing an enraged Iori when Chizuru interceded.

“That’s enough!” Chizuru shouted. “Can’t you see that the Kusanagi-Yagami feud is pointless? Give it up Iori and destroy Orochi with Kyo! We need you!”

“ENOUGH!” Iori shouted. “I will not be told what to do by anyone! I decide my own fate! I live according to my own will!”

“And you Kyo?” Chizuru asked.

“This isn’t about our families… its about me and him.” Kyo said. “If Orochi appears before either of us, we’ll destroy it… but as for working together… we’ll have to wait and see.”

“Rah!” Iori growled before he walked off far away.

Chizuru went to Kyo. “Don’t you know this battle is senseless?”

Kyo gripped Chizuru. “OF COURSE I DO! Do you THINK I want it? DO YOU?!” Kyo let go of her and then apologized for his harshness. “Chizuru, I for one am tired of the war between my family and Iori’s, but this war can only end if IORI wants it to. Until he decides to break the hatred that was ingrained him, there is nothing that I can do to end this war.”

Chizuru sighed. “Then for the sake of all… I pray Iori Yagami realizes this war is meaningless and will help us when the time comes… I can only hope.”

—-

After finishing with Cassie and Kali, Artemis teleported back to where Leo was, only to find he had escaped from the rubble.

“Looking for someone….Karone?” a voice said from behind.

Turning around she saw it was Leo. Karone couldn’t help but feel embarrassed.

“This is a kinda embarrassing situation…” Artemis blushed as Leo had told her flat out he knew she was Karone.

“So does this mean we’re officially no longer friends?”

Leo just blinked. “Whatever made you think that Karone?” She just stared at him until he continued. “Look Karone, I know you’re pretty much playing the part of Astronema’s twin… but I know you and you are a good person. You’ve got your reasons for this am I right?”

Artemis just blinked. “You really are taking this much better than I ever dreamed possible.”

“Yeah well I’ve gotten to know you very well over the last five weeks.” Leo replied.

Artemis soon found herself blushing and found herself leaning in to kiss Leo. Leo found himself getting closer to Artemis but something caught the corner of his eye and he turned to see what it was.

“Oh man.” Leo said shaking Artemis out of her reverie.

“Leo what’s wrong?” she asked. Leo pointed off to the exit of the Cow Palace and said “Look.”

It was then that Leo and Artemis saw Kincaid and his people leaving the complex. Leo was looking at them. “Leo?” Artemis asked.

“I got to find out about that guy Karone… its just… something about him… the way he stared at us… its driving me nuts and I have to find out why.” Leo replied.

“Not without me… wait a moment…” Artemis then waved her hand over herself and her appearance changed to that of Karone. “I really don’t feel like taking the time to change. A glamour will do for now.”

“You’re just full of surprises aren’t you.” Leo smirked. “Come on let’s go follow that guy.”

—-

Off to the side Mr Popplewick watched Karone and Leo run after Kincaid. He had to admit he found it interesting to watch Artemis in battle. But he believed she could have been better if he had handled her training. ~I would never taught her about honour.~ he thought as his mind cringed at the word. His mind also cringed at the words ~Or love.~ as he noticed the way Leo and Karone looked at one another.

But he also figured that perhaps Leo could have been used against Karone if he needed the Princess of Evil for a favour in the future. It was definitely something he would not rule out. Checking his watch Mr Popplewick decided it was time to rejoin the others. In a shimmer of red energy with an after image of a serpent marking his departure Mr Popplewick teleported away from the San Francisco Cow Palace to rejoin his wife, Minion, Kali, and the Valeyard.

End of Part


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Crossroads of Evil Part 5

Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers, they belong to the current copyright owner.

Crossroads of Evil — King of Fighters Part 5


Minion walked along the hallway that linked the Shadowboxes together until he came to the one specified in the instructions. Opening the door he walked in. Inside he saw three individuals sitting watching the tournament before them. The man in the centre turned and looked at Minion saying “I might have been expecting you, but didn’t you ever learn to knock?”

Minion stared at the man, wondering why he would ask such an obvious question. He was Minion, he didn’t need to knock. He could sense an aura of power about the man. His appearance was tailored to make him look important and, if Minion had been asked to guess, to demonstrate some sort of superiority over his guests. His suit was certainly a more elegant version of the suit Minion had been given. His face suggested intelligence built on knowledge and experience. There was also a great darkness about him that Minion admired and fear. Not the evil aura that Lord Zedd, Rita Repulsa or even Dark Specter possessed. No, this darkness was more…. cerebral, if such a thing was possible.

With a shrug, Minion dismissed the thought and decided to move on. “JJ Chambers, Doctor of law I presume?”

The dark haired man nodded as if acknowledging Minion’s assessment, a small twitch showing his amusement. He motioned Minion to a seat next to his two associates. A middle aged portly man with silver hair, and a woman with a thin build, but also appeared middle aged. Minion took the offered seat and looked at the tournament below him.

“Did I miss much?” he asked.

“You just missed a battle with Ninjas.” Mr Chambers said. He tossed a data crystal to Minion as he said “It’s been recorded if you want to watch it later.”

Minion looked at the crystal and pocketed it. He would definitely watch it later. In the meantime Minion wanted answers. Answers as to why he was here, and why this Mr Chambers summoned him to this place and time.

“I know you have questions. Understandable.” Mr. Chambers said. “But everyone we need to see is not here.”

“Everyone we need to see?” Minion asked. ~Who else is he expecting?~

“We are waiting for one other to come.” Mr. Chambers said.

Just then another figure appeared in the doorway. It was Kali.

Minion stood, taking the opportunity to study Kali up close.. It was not long ago that she had been the Psycho replica known as Triini, created to be a darker parody, if not insult, to the original Trini Kwan. And now here was that replica, but not a replica anymore. She was… Minion did not have an answer for what Kali was. It was one thing to hear and see what he could from a distance. But now that he was up close and personal with her. ~This is not what she was supposed to be.~ he thought.

“Triini?” Minion said looking at the former Psycho Ranger before him.

Kali looked at the stunned reaction of Minion and laughed loud. When she stopped she said “Ah the high and mighty, all powerful Minion, stunned to mindless stuttering at the sight of his own creation. Maybe my coming here was worthwhile.”

“What are you?” Minion asked, not bothering to hide the hatred in his voice. This was not his creation. It was an insult.

“I’m someone who has outgrown you Minion.” Kali said seductively as she walked closer to him. “I have grown beyond being that ditzy replica I was made to be. Just as you have grown beyond being a duplicate yourself. Can you not afford the same… courtesy that was afforded to yourself?”

As Kali walked forward, moving in to kiss Minion, Minion found himself unable to work. He could not believe his own replica would act this way. She was not meant to be as she was before him.

It was then that Kali had struck as her hand became engulfed in purple flame and she struck Minion down hard knocking him to the ground. Quickly he reoriented himself as he got up and looked to face Kali.

“You’ll pay for that Triini.” he growled, backhanding her with a pulse of dark energy.

Kali smirked at Minion as she shook off the impact. While it had obviously shocked him to find that she could and would hurt him, she had never doubted that he could harm her. Her hand still burning a purple flame, as if letting him know in no uncertain terms that she was more than willing to fight him. She was her own villain now, with her own power.

Minion seemed ready to attack when Mr Chambers stepped in. “Stand down, both of you.”

Minion glared at Mr Chambers. How dare this person tell him to stand down? How dare Triini strike him the way she had? How could she recover so swiftly from his power? And what was with those purple flames?

Purple flames? The same power Iori Yagami had. And he did not seem to be of rational mind. Trini Kwan never had this power. Had she? And for it to show up in his replica of her? A replica that seemed even less rational than Iori.

“Surprised?” Mr. Chambers said. “Understandable. You have a lot of questions. Not to mention a lot of anger. Anger that is… justified I suppose.”

“Anger does not begin to describe my feelings.” Minion said. “I have seen abomination after abomination since I arrived here. And for Triini to strike me as she did. Well she must learn….”

“Learn what Minion?” Kali asked defiantly. “To be afraid of you? To tremble in your name? Look at that audience below. Who’s down there?” Minion looked at where Kali was pointed. Kali pointed at where the Power Rangers were seated. Kali then asked “Now who isn’t there?”

Minion felt his anger rise as he knew the answer to Kali’s question. Minion was not here. At least not the version this time line was supposed to have. And again Minion felt his anger rise as Kali continued to bait him.

“You wouldn’t strike a pregnant woman would you?” Mr Chambers asked. “Especially one that could help bring about…. the End of the Rangers?”

“I think he’s already demonstrated that yes, he would,” Kali sneered.

He comment was ignored as Minion concentrated on what Mr Chambers had said. “The End of the Rangers?”

Mr Chambers nodded. “With your help I can almost guarantee it. And if you can hold back your anger and refrain from striking Kali again – for that is her name now, not Triini – I will explain.”

“Kali?” Minion asked, “Just as Kaat is now Ivy and Daavid is now Daniel?” Minion asked.

Mr Chambers nodded. “They have had to grow beyond what they were.”

“And what of Toommy?” Minion asked as disgust filled his voice. “What is he calling himself now?”

“Tyler,” Kali answered. “His name is now Tyler.”

Minion rolled the name in his mind. ~Tyler.~ He wondered how much like Tommy his replica truly was. ~Probably too much like him.~ he thought with disgust.

“In case you are wondering there are some Psycho Rangers that haven’t evolved.” Mr Chambers said. “But they are barely able to come together, especially with the power here.”

Minion sighed as he asked “How did this power come to be? How can it come through this universe?”

“Refrain from further violence and I will tell you,” Mr Chambers said.

“Fine,” Minion agreed. He saw the sneer that appeared on Kali’s face and knew she was gloating at him. “For now.”

Minion decided he would let Kali have her show of independence. ~For the time being.~ But he would remember Kali’s disrespect, and make her pay for it somehow. He then turned his attention to Chambers and his associates.

“What do we have to talk about Mr Chambers?” Minion asked. Looking in Chambers’ direction he added “If that is your real name.”

Given recent discoveries he would not have been surprised to find that JJ Chambers was not what his letter suggested.

“Good to know your intellect has not been dulled by the journey here. You are as perceptive as I expected you to be. Yes, perhaps an alternate title would be… better suited.”

“What shall we call you?” Kali asked.

Mr Chambers paused as if considering the answer. “You may call me Valeyard,” he said after a moment. Neither Minion nor Kali believed him. “And now I shall tell you a story. A story of Gods and Men and how their actions now shape the universe. Past, Present and Future.”


“Whoa!” JR said. “That battle was high octane. Pity it ended in a draw.”

“Oh well I guess it isn’t a total loss.” Heyman said. “As we find out next Team Gorgeous will have its hand full with Team Korea. And the winner of this match will get an automatic by to the semi final matches and face whoever wins the quarter final match. Whether it be Team Mexico against Team China or Team Ikari against Team Thailand.”

“Well I guess we have Team Gorgeous versus Team Korea to look forward to.” JR said. “And from what I gather Team Gorgeous has a bit of a legendary status of their own in terms of the King Of Fighters.”

“Oh JR they have more than just legendary status,” Heyman replied. “Team Gorgeous would be a team Jerry Lawler would want to have with him.”


In the locker room Team Gorgeous had a problem. Their music was out. The tape destroyed.

“Oh man. What do we do for an entrance?” Mai asked.

Just then Yuki entered the room. A tape in her hand.

“What music is this?” King asked.

“Something the tournament sponsor dropped off,” Yuki said. “Said he would like for us to use it going to the ring.”

Mai put the headphones to her ears and listened. The song did have its appeal and seemed to reflect the personality of Team Gorgeous quite well. With a smile she said “Well then if the sponsor would like us to use it who are we to say no?”

Soon Team Gorgeous walked to the ring after they dropped off the tape to the sound stage.


Back at the arena Team Korea was entering the ring. They had a traditional Korean theme music used for the 1988 Olympic Games that still seemed to play well to audiences. Or so Team Korea thought. In truth the crowd didn’t seem to get into the music as they thought it was boring. As all three members stood in the ring, the audience reaction was lukewarm.

In the stands Carlos decided now was a good time to make a fast exit to… take care of matters. “I’m going to use the bathroom. I’ll be right back.”

“But Carlos…” T.J. said. Carlos however was gone as he couldn’t wait any longer. Nature called, and it wouldn’t wait any longer. T.J. thought is was a shame…. as Team Gorgeous was about to fight next.

Everyone’s eyes were glued to the entranceway as Team Gorgeous’s music filled the auditorium. It was by a singer named Rachel Stevens called ‘Some girls’. And behind a silhouette wall was a female figure waving her arms. Two more sets of arms followed.

The arena erupted with roaring applause which Team Gorgeous took in.

And then the fight began.


After a few minutes Carlos returned to his seat. “What did I miss?” Carlos asked. “I didn’t miss Team Gorgeous did I?”

“Too late.” Andros said. “They’ve been and gone.” Carlos was ready for his jaw to drop on the floor.

“You should have seen it.” Dan said. Mary did this crazy wrestling move followed by King giving her own move.

“And Mai with the fans wasn’t bad either.” Sabrina said with a slight smirk.

“Also you missed two other battles.” TJ said. “Team China flattened Team Mexico.”

“And Team Ikari beat Team Thiland.”

Dan added. Carlos looked on wide eyed and cursed silently. “Damn! That’s the last time I have three Cokes in a row.”

“Carlos that wasn’t nice to say.” Ashley said as Andros placed his arm around Ashley’s shoulder. A move Ashley approved of as the smile from her was a good indication. Andros had been slowly catching onto Earth human dating rituals, much to Ashley’s delight.

“Besides the next fight is a good one. It has Alison’s cousin in it.” Sabrina added. Carlos then took his seat looking forward to the fight starting.

All the Rangers from around the ring were looking forward to this one. As well as others. The Watanabes, the Order of the Claw, Andrew Hartford, even those in the Shadowboxes.

It was time for the Lonely Wolves to shine.


In their seats Leo and Karone were trying to contemplate all they had seen. The battles, the show of power, the fighters. Leo was amazed by what he saw, seeing shows of power and Martial Arts he had heard about through rumour, but Karone was left with much to consider.

She had heard many opinions from experts within the UAE regarding Earth. Most had taken the stance that it was a primitive backwater inhabited by a evolutionarily backward species sitting on the greatest source of natural magic in the universe. A species whose only useful purpose once conquered would be as a slave pool for the UAE’s labour camps. Of course there were also those that considered all Earthlings as not being worth the effort of breaking and that sterilising the planet was a better option.

Surprisingly apart from how to treat the natives, the Council held the same view. They also seemed to believe that Earth should not have had a Ranger team, and it was only through Zordon that Earth had qualified. Let alone having the number of Rangers Earth had now. S’Hera seemed to be the biggest councillor to spearhead this line of thinking, although exactly what the council could do about a world outside of its jurisdiction without brining the planet into the Council and therefore granting them more rights than any councillor believed that they deserved, was unclear.

One thing was for certain, Karone would not underestimate the humans of Earth. She was not as blinkered as the experts and could see that many Earthlings could prove useful to the future of the UAE. That of course was dependent on whether she decided to remain a member of the UAE. If she left she would probably end up protecting the planet not only from the UAE, but also from the Council.

She glanced up at the Shadowboxes and suppressed a shiver. There were some powerful auras hidden within that section of the arena. Most of them were dark and oppressive, but a few were downright evil. One of those there would have given Dark Specter a run for his credits.

Some of the fighters she had seen so far, and a few of the individuals in the Shadowboxes that she had not seen had made her realise that the experts were wrong. And as she regarded the champions whose courage rivalled that of Power Rangers, she wondered if such an oversight was possible or whether the experts had lied.

Such champions, like the Lonely Wolves, who were about to head to the ring.


Minion listened to the Valeyard’s explanation and what he had heard was was difficult to believe. The complexity of what the Valeyard described was beyond Minion’s comprehension and Minion prided himself on his intelligence.

“But do you find it hard to imagine?” the Valeyard asked, interpreting Minion’s problem.

Minion shook his head no. Regardless of the complexity, what was being said was possible, just highly improbable.

“So you are saying that there are these God like beings playing games with the universe. There is another group trying to stop them, as well as a third group that helps the second group but has their own agenda?” Minion then asked. “Just this universe or my own as well?”

“Ah very perceptive question, but on that point I can set your mind at ease. While I have no doubt that some of those forces might have tried to interfere with your universe and that some certainly exist there, your universe is currently free from that level of intervention. I would not be surprised to find there are a few that that have tried, but they are mostly held in check.” Valeyard looked for a moment as if he was going to add something, but given Minion’s growing agitation, he decided against it. “Know this Minion: if there were a creator god for this universe, he would have your face. Your actions caused this universe to exist. The decisions you have made and will make caused an impossible sequence of events that led to the creation of this universe and in turn led me here. If you decided to do so I have no doubt that you could erase this entire reality.” He waited for Minion to ask him how to accomplish such a feat and was relieved when the question went unasked. Clearly the knowledge that such events could be averted were enough for now. “It was the nature of this universe that made it vulnerable to the actions of outside forces such as those I described to you. Already their actions have caused ripples in reality.” the Valeyard said. “Their presence shifted events slightly, causing Aisha and Tanya to change places. Instead of Tanya, the Minion of this universe had Aisha in his torture chamber. Tanya became the Purple Morphin Ranger giving the Yellow Zeo Crystal back to Aisha, until Aisha became the Carrier Ranger.”

“Carrier Ranger?” Minion asked as he wondered just what type of Ranger a Carrier Ranger was.

“The controller of Zords like Titanus, or Tor the Shuttlezord. It is theorized she can even control Pyramidas as well as the Delta Megaship of the Astro Rangers.”

“The Astro Rangers,” Minion said letting the words come out of his mouth as if sampling them. He then looked in the direction of Alison Bogard’s twin and her friends. He had no doubt these were the Astro Rangers the Valeyard had mentioned.

“The Carrier Ranger is also known as the Brown Ranger. Although she had been referred to as the Grey Ranger in some previously altered reality. Hard to tell as the actions of the Q have sent ripples throughout reality causing chaotic changes. Changes that could be very… problematic for fighting a war.” The Valeyard let the last words drift off before speaking, as if allowing himself to relive a series of memories he would have rather forgotten. ~A war for all of creation.~ he mentally added. “Time in this universe has been compressed. Events are taking place now that should not come to pass for years. It is a problem that will grow worse as events progress.”

Valeyard was walking a very fine line between revealing to Minion the information he needed to impart and not revealing his own role in recent events. As long as Minion believed that the Valeyard was a native of this universe, he would believe the story he was told. At least that was what the expert Valeyard had found especially to anticipate Minion’s reactions had revealed.

Minion continued the questions. “So this Terry Bogard. Is he one of these ripples?”

Kali made a face as Terry’s name was mentioned.

Valeyard answered. “Hardly. He’s part of the agenda.”

Minion looked wide eyed as he asked “The agenda?”

“The agenda of one of the factions of gods that has chosen to interfere.” Valeyard then set a holo display on the table in front of him. Once he activated an image of a young brown haired girl in gray robes and a circlet on her forehead. A sash also adorned around her neck and looped down her front. Minion looked at the image and thought “Pretty.” Kali just looked at the image in disgust.

“This is one of her guises.” Valeyard said. He then switched the image to the same girl only she was now dressed in a black leather jacket, plaid mini skirt with black knee length boots and a red top. “Her name was once Jennifer Summers.” Valeyard explained. “Until she was possessed by a witch from an accursed island called Lodoss.”

“A witch?” Minion asked.

“A witch with bad fashion sense,” Kali added.

Minion and the Valeyard paid Kali’s comments no mind.

“Her name is Karla, a Gray Witch who somehow acquired a series of Ranger powers.” Valeyard changed the image again to a woman in a black and red Ranger suit with a jagged red arrow on the center. “A Gray Witch with the powers of the Quantum Ranger.”

“The Quantum Ranger?” Minion found the questions to be more and more annoying. Any more unknown terms and he would be demanding a glossary.

“A sixth Ranger in a force of Time Rangers.” Valeyard said showing another image of a Ranger team. “A team in which the girl Jen was a Pink Ranger before her… possession and ascension. An ascension brought about by Rassillon… of the Time Lords.” Or that was what Jen believed… although belief accounted for a great deal.

Valeyard then launched into the story of how Jen became Karla, and was then empowered by the energies of a black hole granting her immortality so she could serve as Rassillon’s apprentice. Karla also appointed two other guardians to represent good and evil respectively. When Valeyard described who the identity of the Guardian of evil was, Mr Popplewick was left seething.

“Ecliptor?” Mr Popplewick asked as if recognizing the name.

Valeyard nodded absently. “Mirabilis now.” The image showed the black robed image of the former guardian of Astronema. “As for the Guardian of Good I believe you are intimately familiar with him Minion. As are you Kali.”

Kali nodded as she saw the image before her. “If you expected some sort of reaction from me you will be sadly disappointed. I sent the replica based on him into a world of hurt. I can do the same thing to the real thing.”

Minion was not so dismissive as he stared at the face of Billy Cranston. While Kali could bury her feelings, Minion hated Billy with a passion. It was a hatred that was only surpassed by his feelings towards a few others. “He’s not from this reality?”

“No, but he’s very similar to the Blue Ranger you know,” Valeyard told him. The image changed again. “His interest in this reality is difficult to guess, but he has shown an interest in Jeffrey Kincaid and his Night Ranger team; he’s appointed himself as their mentor.”

“Appointed himself?” Minion asked interested as if detecting a weakness like a shark smelled blood in the water. “He isn’t keeper or creator of the powers?”

Valeyard shook his head. “No if anything he is an opportunist. He saw the power Kincaid possessed and the potential he has shown in the past, and sought to use him as a tool for his own agenda. Just as he is doing now.”

“So what does this Triad have to do with Terry Bogard?” Minion asked. He would get back to Kincaid later. Something about that name worried him.

“Ah yes. Perhaps I was getting ahead of myself mentioning the Triad first,” Valeyard explained. “This is a story that begins with a race known as the Q. Some see them as demigods, others as the personification of chaos. Amusing really that for a race that brings discord wherever they appear, the majority lead very ordered lives. Still I digress. To alleviate the tedium of their existence, some members of the Q developed a game using whole realities as the playing board and those that lived there as pawns.” The Valeyard then told Minion the story of how the Q’s interference had shaped the events surrounding the Power Rangers and their allies with no regard for the life and death situations they were faced with. “This lack of responsibility and compassion angered another race of demigods that value the sanctity of life and its worth.”

“And what were these demigods the Q angered called?” Kali asked.

“They have been known by many names,” Valeyard explained. “The Seraphs, Seraphim, the Guardians, but I believe the name that applies to them more is the Lords of Kobol, as they were the first of their kind to evolve. They also believed they had the responsibility to protect the sanctity and evolution of the species they had come from. Especially as the world they had come from was dying. The surviving tribes of Kobol set out amongst the stars to seed new worlds. One tribe, the 13th, settled many worlds during their journey. And in turn settled others growing throughout the cosmos, which is one reason why there are so many human civilizations in the universe. This 13th tribe however reached its final destination. The very planet we’re standing on. All the while the Lords of Kobol watched the human race develop, until the Q interfered with their game. In a way the Lords of Kobol are just as bad as the Q. They might be able to rationalise their intervention by hiding behind rules, but they are still interfering.”

“Let me guess,” Minion said. “The Q’s toying with life offended the Lords of Kobol so much they sought to put a stop to it.”

“Correct,” Valeyard replied. “But they were bound by laws they couldn’t break. Not without serious repercussions. One however had his own plan for humanity and broke away seeking them to follow his lead. This Lord was called Count Iblis.”

“Count Iblis?” Minion asked as if knowing the name from somewhere.

“He was a lord banished from the Kobollian order along with his followers and led to the development of the Cylon Empire from a race of lizards to a terrifying force of cybernetic machines. Machines that sought the destruction of the human race,” Valeyard said.

Mrs Popplewick muttered under her breath. “He wasn’t the only one.”

“What does this have to do with the Q and this Triad?” Minion asked impatiently.

Valeyard nodded understanding Minion’s wish to get to the point of the story. “Iblis arranged the destruction of the game board, allowing humanity to choose its own destiny once again albeit under his more subtle guidance,” Valeyard explained. “Since Iblis was no longer a member of the House of Kobol they were no longer responsible for him and his followers, although he is still bound by many of the House’s laws. It was due to those laws and the possibility that his actions to have repercussions for their entire race that the House of Kobol sought allies to operate.”

“Which is where the Triad comes in,” Kali guessed.

Valeyard nodded. “Since they had their power from a different source they could operate in areas where the Lords could not. But the Lords would quickly find the Triad had an agenda of their own. An agenda that had them playing with life on Earth much like the Q had done, but with a more benign intent. They didn’t use a game board to do it either; the moment they tried to use a board, it was destroyed.”

“Sounds like game boards don’t last long,” Kali said, laughing at her joke.

Minion just looked annoyed.

Valeyard however continued. “The Triad has interfered with the lives of many on Earth, leading to the events you are seeing now. And the Lords aren’t happy about it either as they see the Triad manipulating life much like the Q were. Even if they are pursuing a seemingly benign intent. They used one of the Lords to create the power that flows through Kali, Trini, and Cassie Chan. Cassie’s ancestors were a part of the favoured family while and Trini’s were considered lacking, leading them to give into jealousy and insanity, which eventually manifested itself in Kali.” Valeyard paused, scrutinising Minion while trying to decide how to continue. “There was another reason the universe allowed Karla to come into being. She has her own tragic story to follow.”

“Oh?” Minion asked.

“Things are not always as they seem Minion. This universe is here for a reason, as are most alternate realities. They allow decisions to be played out, true enough, but they are also the dumping grounds for unknown elements that could threaten existence. This universe exists because of something you did. Where better to place a dangerous unknown like the Triad?”

There was much more to it than that. This universe was as real as it was temporary. For it had a definite end point balanced between two possibilities, neither of which would occur if events proceeded as Valeyard expected. The truth was that Karla represented a role that could not be filled by the Time Lords, for the Time Lords of this universe were a pale reflection of those Valeyard knew. Luckily they would never be in a situation where they would discover that.

“She has been trained by the Greatest Time Lord in their known history, not only to act as his representative in matters of good, evil and shadow, but she was also trained to face a former comrade, who came across his own power and mentor. In a world of Anti-Matter this other mentor seeks to use his apprentice to bring about the end of all in a crusade for wild revenge.”

“And Karla is to stop it?” Minion asked.

Valeyard nodded. “There is a prophecy that when that happens there will be a reckoning. All the higher powers will face judgement for the manipulations brought about in the universe. A reckoning the Rangers will bring about. This universe was created for a reason and that reason has been subverted. Sooner or later that will be corrected.”

Minion took a heavy breath as if trying to control a growing anger. An anger that came from a realization that the Rangers survived his tortures and attacks. He had suspicions as to what became of himself in this time line and he did not like the answers. Even more frustrating was that the ranks of the Rangers seemed to grow since he knew them. New faces. New teams.

Valeyard picked up on Minion’s unease and added, “and that’s not all. There are other potential Rangers here. Not just that Corbett boy and the Princess of Evil you saw. More are here.”

“A potential Ranger?” Mr. Popplewick asked. “I thought she was already a Ranger?”

“Yes.” Valeyard said. “But she can become one again.”

He took out several pairs of theatre binoculars and scanned the crowd pressing a switch on the handle several times when it seemed like he saw someone of interest. When the Valeyard was done he handed the binoculars to Minion.

“Take a look and you will see individuals that have potential to be part of Ranger teams. Right here in this arena.”

Minion used the binoculars to see the people around the audience. The Rangers definitely had their auras, but he noticed others with auras of power about them.

“See a few already?”

Minion nodded.

“Most of them are the mentors of Ranger teams yet to come.” the Valeyard explained. “That man there in the red aura? That is millionaire Andrew Hartford who is looking to create his own exploration team of Power Rangers in order to seek out an object of unbelievable power.” Valeyard then pointed to another group of individuals. “They are members of the Order of the Claw. Guardians of a spirit called Dai Shi. They too will have a team of Rangers come to their defence. And them…” Valeyard pointed to another group of people. A family with their son. “They will be part of a Ranger team of Ninjas.”

“And of course there’s the Rangers’ allies,” Kali added. “With more in attendance.”

She pointed to a man in black in the stands. “He’s a soldier, and a ninja. He works for a General in Washington named Abernathy who is trying to keep a corrupt group of Generals from undermining another Ranger team that will be based in Mariner Bay. A team Billy’s cousin Dana will be part of.”

“Enough!” Minion shouted. “I get the picture. The Rangers will live on no matter what is done. There is no plan that will destroy them utterly.”

“Oh I have a plan.” Kali told him smugly. “A plan to defeat, and destroy the Rangers… and their allies.”

Minion looked at Kali curiously. How could an insane replica have a plan to defeat the Rangers when others had clearly failed?

“Rest assured she does,” Valeyard said, anticipating the question yet again. “And it involves the power you have seen and experienced here.” Pausing he added, “and the corruption of one other.”

Minion liked what he heard. But he also heard Kali who seemed to go from flighty to completely insane. For a moment he actually dreaded for the child Kali was carrying. “Trii…. or rather Kali…. does not fill me with a lot of confidence.”

“But you see potential in what she has to offer?” Valeyard asked.

Minion was silent as he considered the question.

“You should known Minion that your presence here today was for the sole purpose of showing you the things to come and to tell you of the choice that you will make. For despite what the Triads, and Q and Lords of Kobol might think, you are the only being capable of destroying this reality. Your actions when you return will determine whether this universe shall even come to pass. And now you know what is at stake and the potential that would go to waste should you make the wrong decision.”

“Potential?” Minion asked. “While I have seen a pretty spectacular show of power I have yet to see much potential.”

“But you are intrigued aren’t you?” Valeyard asked. “And you also see a chance to defeat the Rangers, something you will never accomplish.”

There it was done. With that one sentence Valeyard was certain that he had succeeded in manipulating Minion into making the correct choice.

“It’s a simple enough choice Minion: will this universe come to be or will you take all the steps needed to prevent it. Even now I know you can see the options laid out before you, but which will you choose?”

“You make it sound so simple,” Minion snapped.

“Oh but it is simple. As simple as a fork in the road. Turn left, or turn right. The simplest of choices, yet it is where spectacular events can happen, or become part of the what if of possibilities. Choices have more power to them than any wave of a magic hand can do. Think about it. You can let Kali’s plan flourish with the possibility of the End of the Power Rangers becoming real, or you can make a choice denies this universe existence universe.”

He didn’t mention what the decision entailed. Far better to allow Minion to make the choice himself.

Minion heard the Valeyard’s words. He was definitely thinking about what Valeyard said. And the choices he would make. But the Valeyard had more to offer. And he was about to sweeten the pot.

“If you wish for more power I can give it to you,” Valeyard said. “I realize that you can’t just spare this reality without some sort of fair trade. Perhaps I can give that trade to you.”

The Popplewicks and Kali were looking at the Valeyard curiously. What else did he have to offer? The answer came in another form of data crystal that he held out to Minion.

“On this crystal is information to a special kind of chamber. A chamber that holds sleepers that hijacked secrets of the Time Lord Matrix. Long ago they fled to this world and the Time Lords of this universe pursued them. They pulverised the planet in an attempt to find the sleepers and left believing that they had succeeded. The reason this world seems so primitive is because it was reduced to that state to protect a few secrets.

And within that Matrix, the Font of Knowledge, lies the knowledge of the Time Lords of Gallifrey. All their knowledge waiting to be deciphered, and their secrets revealed. At least before the Time Lords discover it survived.” The Valeyard could tell the Minion was not in the correct state of mind for a long tale. “Do not worry what the Time Lords had done was already undone, and made to have never happened. But the Chamber still exists though. Ready for the secrets to be taken. How it will be done is up to you.”

“How?” Minion asked.

The Valeyard then smiled as he believed a universal truth came to his mind.

“Such a simple thing – choice. Do we turn left, or turn right? What will our futures be like if we go one way and not the other? Will anything be different? Such monumental responsibility revolving around a simple thing.”

“Meaning?” Minion asked again becoming annoyed with the Valeyard, almost as annoyed as he had been with Kali.

“Meaning the Chamber still has a role to play in the future.” Minion listened to the Valeyard and thought he detected something in his voice. Something in regards to the Chamber he mentioned. Immediately Minion knew that Valeyard had more than a passing interest in the Chamber he mentioned. It was personal.

“Of course it is not just the events I know of,” Valeyard said. “The Chamber will become a battleground between that witch Karla and another powerful being with ties to the girl she once was. A being that holds great power himself, learned from a vengeful and misguided master. A power YOU could have, so long as long as no one was any the wiser.”

Minion listened to the words and could not detect any deception. It seemed that despite holding things back, the Valeyard was telling the truth. Very interesting.

“The secrets of the Time Lords,” Minion thought rolling the idea in his mind. He had never heard any mention of them before except for a few passing references. The Time Lords just seemed to be a race consigned to myth. Yet they were also credited with the creation of the Super Nova that created the Crab Nebula. It was also said they obtained their power through that explosion and then retreated into a life of observation and seclusion. And here was this individual offering a chance to obtain that knowledge with the only catch being that no one could know he had it?

~As the humans say, what’s his angle?~

“So I can either destroy this universe or I can allow it to survive and use the knowledge you have offered me to become one of the most powerful beings in existence?”

“Oh so much more than that,” Valeyard explained. “The Matrix might be the sum of the Time Lords’ knowledge, but that knowledge is built from a database of knowledge acquired from races and worlds throughout time and space. It is not simply a repository for knowledge, it is the repository. Did you know that there is a race out there, or rather a collection of races led by a being called the Trickster, that believe reality can be altered through choices made. And when those choices are altered, especially choices at events that hold great power yet seem inconsequential, chaos energy can be released – energy this race feeds on?” Before the question could be asked who this race was the Valeyard answered the question. “They are called the Trickster’s Brigade.”

“I take it the choice I am looked upon to make is not one to benefit them?” Minion asked.

The Valeyard smiled as if agreeing with Minion’s assessment. The Valeyard knew Minion possessed a well developed mind, even though his mental state was questionable. It was also clear that he was capable of understanding the answers he was given and drawing conclusions of his own from that information.

“Before you make your choice Minion, I should tell you that if you allow this reality to continue, I guarantee the Power Rangers will be defeated.”

“And what would happen if I said I choose to destroy this world?” Minion asked. “What if I deny this reality its purpose by taking the knowledge you offer and then using it to destroy this place?”

“This universe was created to fulfil a purpose. It has already done so and should have collapsed. Instead the interference of outside forces had given it new purpose. But while it was originally protected by its purpose, I cannot say if it would survive such a turn of events. But know that the plan Kali has to bring the end of the Rangers would succeed. Think of it Minion, a choice that would allow you to not only conquer the Rangers where you are from, but to have a hand in the destruction in the Rangers of this universe as well. And all you have to do is make the decision to allow this world to exist.”

“And either way you would survive,” Minion guessed. “If this world dies and this universe ceases, you would simply move on, wouldn’t you?”

“Very perceptive,” Valeyard agreed. “I am not of this universe. Nor am I truly a part of yours. As I once said a long time ago, I walk in eternity. For me that is more true than it ever was. One timeline ends, another beckons for me.” Pausing the Valeyard said his final piece. “This is the power you have Minion. The power of life and death… of worlds and possibilities. And this power is not through a magic wand, but through the choice made right here and now.”

Minion considered the words of the Valeyard and found the possibilities before him intriguing. He also found the power he had in his hands intriguing as well. Power that was given not through magic or weapons, but through a simple choice. Perhaps the Trickster’s Brigade knew what they were talking about after all. Minion however knew he would not let the Trickster’s Brigade benefit from whatever decision he had made. The moment would be Minion’s, and Minion’s alone.


The theme Fly Away My Hero filled the arena. The theme of the Lonely Wolves: Terry Bogard, his brother Andy, and Joe Higashi. Their opponents were in the ring ready to fight.

Andy and Goro stood within the confines of the ring and bowed to each other. With that, the referee shouted, “Start!”

Andy dashed at Goro and elbowed the larger fighter in the gut. Goro reeled a little but it was barely enough for Andy to avoid Goro’s grab. Andy gave Goro a backhand in the gut before finishing with a reverse kick.

However, these attacks did not seem to even stun Goro who retaliated with a powerful punch that sent Andy flying backwards.

Andy slowly got up, blue ki crackling around his right hand. Suddenly, he launched a blast of blue ki at Goro. Goro immediately blocked the blast but Andy anticipated that and was already flying through the air with both his feet aiming at Goro.

As the attack connected, Goro spat blood and reeled back. Andy immediately decided to press his advantage but Goro quickly recovered and grabbed the shirt of the younger Bogard. He gave Andy a classic judo throw, which sent Andy smashing into the ground.

Andy rolled in pain as he felt like his ribs had been crushed. Goro then grabbed Andy by his back collar and threw him towards the ground again. Then, Goro raised his massive hands into the air and slammed them to the ground, creating tremors that sent Andy flying off the stage.

As Terry took Andy to one side, Joe got onto the stage, really to battle with Goro. Goro eyed the Muay Thai boxer cautiously before jumping into the air.

Joe did not expect the leap and barely avoided being crushed by Goro’s massive body.

“Let’s do it!” shouted Joe as he began his attack with a solid punch to Goro’s head. This was followed by a knee to Goro’s chin. Then, Joe did a short leap and landed with an overhead kick to the back of Goro’s head.

Goro was dizzied by these powerful and devastating attacks.

“SLASH KICK!” shouted Joe as he leaped forward towards Goro and kicked Goro in the face. The judo giant finally crashed onto the ground, unconscious.

“Benimaru! Benimaru!” the female fans chanted to their idol. Benimaru just soaked in all the cheers.

“Hey! That’s too noisy! Shut up!” shouted Joe.

“These girls have good taste.” said Benimaru with a smile as he straightened his hair with a jolt of electricity.

“Are you saying I’m uglier than you?” demanded Joe.

“Well, if you say so,” said Benimaru with a smile.

That was the last straw and Joe charged at Benimaru in a fury unmatched by anything in human science.

“You’re beautiful.” said Benimaru, flashing his megawatt smile. He then sidestepped Joe’s attack and punched him in the head. Placing his hand on the ground, Benimaru spun around, knocking Joe onto the ground.

“That the best you can do?” asked Joe as he slowly got up.

“Of course not. With the next move, you lose,” Benimaru replied.

“What?!” exclaimed Joe in disbelief. Then, he closed his fist in anger. “We’ll see about that!”

Joe launched forward at Benimaru. Once more, Benimaru sidestepped the attack. However, this time Joe expected that and spun with a backhand.

“Too slow.” Benimaru mocked as he ducked under that and punched Joe in the gut and then, suddenly shouted, “REIKOUKEN!”

An electrical burst ignited and electrified Joe. He bit his lip as the jolt caused him immense pain. Finally, Benimaru jumped back but was shocked that Joe was still standing there.

“One more move eh?” muttered Joe, obviously in pain. “Well, take my move… SCREW UPPER!”

With that, Joe swung around and did an uppercut at Benimaru. Benimaru jumped back to avoid the attack but was unprepared for the orange-coloured hurricane that followed the attack. Benimaru was immediately engulfed. Unfortunately Benimaru had been able to survive the finisher while Joe was out.

“Well I guess that ends that losers run.” Benimaru smirked.

“BURN KNUCKLE!”

Benimaru didn’t even have time to blink before he found himself on the receiving end of Terry’s Burn Knuckle. He went out like a light.

Kyo sighed. ~Baka. You run your mouth off too much sometimes.~ He put the realization out of his mind as he stood to face Terry next.

Terry and Kyo stood opposite each other. Terry adjusted his cap and smiled at Kyo. He was ready for the fight as was Kyo.

Kyo just brushed his hair and smiled. “Ikuze!” Then, he suddenly swung his left arm, “YAMI-BARAI!” His trademark flame attack went right at Terry.

Terry just jumped over the flame and in the air somersaulted and stuck his right leg out. “CRACK SHOT!”

Kyo immediately retaliated by jumping into the air with his flame engulfed left arm aiming at Terry’s leg.

Terry’s experience told him that he was in for a world of hurt if he did not counter this move. So, Terry thrust out his left leg at Kyo’s arm. Using the impact, Terry somersaulted away from Kyo before Kyo’s attack could hit him. However, the minute he landed, Terry stamped his foot to put out the fire that engulfed the sole of his shoe.

But Kyo was not about to give Terry time to regain his footing. He dashed at Terry and swung out his elbow. Terry managed to block the elbow but did not expect Kyo to grab him. With a smile, Kyo released another Yami-Barai at Terry.

Terry flew back and rolled on the ground to put out the flame. Kyo jumped into the air, intent on pressing his advantage. Terry noted this and, using his hands, launched himself into the air, leg upwards and fist clenched in a sort of cross formation. “RISING TACKLE!”

Kyo flew back as Terry’s leg connected. As he landed, Terry was already charging at him. A fist to the face, a knee to the ribs and a round kick to the chest. Kyo felt all these as he landed onto the ground.

Rolling away from Terry was all Kyo could do but it was enough to allow Kyo to get up and get into his guard position. Terry pulled back his right arm and slammed it into the ground. “POWER WAVE!” Immediately, Terry’s trademark golden ki wave streaked towards Kyo.

Kyo blocked the energy burst but was unable to defend himself against what came next. “BURN KNCKLE!” Terry’s ki-filled fist slammed into his face. Kyo immediately spun and connected with kick to the back of Terry’s head before hitting the floor. Terry hopped forward from the hit but managed to recover quickly.

The two spun to face each other. Both charging their ki in a final assault that would end this match.

Kyo pulled his left hand back and flame engulfed it. “Sorry Terry… but I have to defeat you!” Then, with a swing, he swung out a curtain of flame. “OROCHINAGI!”

Terry just sighed as he knew he had to end this. ~Sorry Kyo…~ Terry’s eyes then snapped open and glowed a bright blue.

Kyo, while still moving toward Terry saw the change and was confused. ~WHAT THE HELL?~

From the sidelines Mary and Mai went wide eyed which caused King to ask what was Terry about to do. “He’s about to use the newest and most powerful technique in his arsenal.” Mary replied.

“BUSTER… WOLF!” Terry cried as he used his third and most powerful Desperation Attack against Kyo.

The two fighters striking fists connected and then a war of energy began. The Crimson Flames of the Kusanagi clashed against the pure blue white ki that was being generated by Terry’s fist. It was Orochinagi versus Buster Wolf. The power that was being generated by the two finishers were causing the ground shatter and crumble under them but still Terry and Kyo kept the pressure on each other, neither one surrendering. Something had to give.

And it did.

“AH!” someone screamed as a massive explosion occurred causing everything to go bright. Everyone covered their eyes to shield themselves from the light of the explosion which faded…. after a few moments.

Once the dust settled all saw what had happened to the ring. There was now a crater of near ten foot radius now. Terry stood in it and Kyo was lying unconscious.

The referee had no trouble declaring the winner.

“Winner… Terry Bogard and Team Lonely Wolves!” Buffer shouted.

The referee went to raise Terry’s hand but he refused. This was not a victory he wasn’t exactly proud of. It wasn’t until the end right before Kyo attacked that Terry saw the look in his eyes and knew there was a reason other than just winning the tournament for Kyo’s being there. And now he wondered if his victory had cost his friend something he wanted.


Kyo’s mind was not on the defeat he had suffered. It was on something else. Or rather it was someplace else. A dreamscape of sorts.

~You will not need to fight any more in the tournament to gain your answers Kyo.~

Kyo spun around in this dream world. “Who is that?”

~I am here. Find me and you will gain your answers.~

A light shone in the distance, Kyo went towards it.


Kyo then found himself back in the real world looking up at the ceiling lights. He saw Terry then standing over him. A smile on his face offering congratulations for a hard fought battle.

Terry gave his hand and then helped Kyo up. The two fighters, as well as friends, stood at each with more respect than ever before.

“Thanks for the match Terry,” Kyo said before he turned around.

“Kyo where are you going?” Terry called out.

Kyo simply turned his head to look back at him. “To find out who was calling to me.” With that he left the ring but not before telling his partners not to follow him. He had to do this on his own.

~Alright… the time for games is over. In way I should be glad I lost to Terry.~ Kyo smirked to himself. ~Now I don’t have to fight through this tournament and get ambushed like the last two years.~ his face then became serious. ~It also means I can find out who this force is without having to play by any rules save my own.~

With that decision made the Heir of the Kusanagi Clan began his search for the force that he had felt.


“Is it over yet dad?” Miley asked as she watched the last couple of battles.

“Almost darlin’,” Robbie Ray said hoping he was right. He knew the final matches were getting closer and that then he could take his family home and forget about the night. ~I won’t forget about firing my agent though.~ he thought. ~He booked me at this…. fight club where my kids had to watch too.~

“Dad. I need to go to the bathroom.” Jackson then said. “Can I go?”

Miley then thought and asked “Me too dad?”

“You’ll have to ask the guards.” Robbie Ray then said. Miley and Jackson then got up to leave when Geese’s bruiser guards stood in the way. Miley and Jackson looked at the bruisers and Miley said “We’re just using the bathroom. We’re not escaping.” The bruisers looked at each other and nodded.

“You can go, but one of us will escort you back,” one guard said.

Miley and Jackson both nodded as they left for the bathroom. One guard following trying to keep up with the two little kids. When the guard rounded the corner he saw Miley and Jackson standing over six fighters. Six tournament fighters. The guard then informed Geese as he knew who the attacked people Miley and Jackson found were. Team Ikari and Team China had been attacked.


Back at the announce table JR and Paul Heyman had received the news. Team Ikari and Team China were unable to compete in further matches. In his Shadowbox Geese smiled as he heard the news. It meant he would not have to wait too long for the main event. Truth be told he was tired of more battles anyway.

“Well Paul it looks like Team Gorgeous has another by up to the final bracketing.” JR said.

“Who’s running this tournament anyway?” Paul asked. “I mean it’s nice to see pretty girls like Team Gorgeous win. But to have them skate through to the final match?”

“Well regardless Team Gorgeous will be facing whoever wins the semi final match. Team Lonely Wolves against Team Nightfighter.”

“Oh now this is going to be sweet!” Heyman said. “Two super teams. The battle will be EXTREME!”


In the Valeyard’s Shadowbox the Valeyard, Minion and Kali continued their discussion. The Popplewicks continued to watch the tournament battle curious as to what they were seeing, and wondering how it could be used to their own advantage. The Valeyard however had a grander imagination which he shared with Minion and Kali.

“How familiar are you with the concept of time?” the Valeyard asked.

Minion looked at the Valeyard and asked “What does that have to do with anything?”

“Modesty?” the Valeyard smiled. “I can respect that. Or perhaps you don’t want to tell all that you know. I can understand that too as my own people can be so…. secretive. But I digress, my people believe that time is a pattern that can be twisted, turned and misshapen in so many ways so that new worlds can be created. New possibilities explored, new wonders created. New origins for old races, but through it all there are some certainties. Moments that must never be altered.”

“And this has to do with the Power Rangers how?” Minion asked.

“Every story has an ending somewhere,” the Valeyard answered. “Even the Power Rangers must succumb to the universe constant that is change. The old guard makes way for the new teams take their place. You’ve seen some in the audience, and some that will be part of those teams in the future. The Morphin and Zeo teams cannot be around forever. Nor can the Space team.”

“The team that Kusanagi bitch is on. And that Bogard girl.” Kali said.

Minion shook his head at Kali’s statement. It was clear that she was obsessed and confirmed that his earlier decision was correct. As soon as he got home he would be taking steps to ensure his creations would never evolve. He failed to notice the smirk that crossed Valeyard’s face at that moment.

“So the defeat of the Rangers has to happen? It is inevitable?”

“Of course not. Although sooner or later even the greatest army can suffer a defeat. But I assure you the Power Rangers will end,” Valeyard answered. “If that end happens in defeat…. well, at least the end happened.”

Minion picked up something else in the Valeyard’s words. There was something else he knew. “You said the end of the Rangers was a certainty. Are their others?”

“There are prophecies that have proven very exact throughout the ages,” Valeyard allowed. “Those prophecies tell of battles to come. And while they are not completely reliable, most talk of the fall of Zordon.”

This brought a look from both Minion and Kali. “The death of Zordon?” they asked, united for the first time.

“Yes,” Valeyard said, pleased that they had missed his earlier point. “Many predictions state that Zordon will die before his students and that from his example the forces of light will be bolstered and with one exception, the dark forces will never again know the success that the UAE had.”

“One exception?” Minion asked.

“On prediction spoke of the world falling to the power of machines. Not alien machines, but those built on Earth. The prediction lists many causes including computer viruses and mankind’s own arrogance. Regardless, if it comes to pass it will decimate the world, but that’s another story.”

Minion quickly was becoming annoyed with the Valeyard and asked: “How do you know all this?”

“There is much I know about time and the patterns history will follow,” the Valeyard said. “Just as I know the UAE will invade Earth soon. Just as I know the Rangers have to end their fight so others can take up the causes they fight as well as their own enemies.” Pausing he added: “Just as I know Zordon will fall. But how these events can happen can be open to interpretation.”

“Interpretation?” Kali asked.

Minion however seemed to get what the Valeyard was saying. “Of course. What if the fall of Zordon didn’t mean his death, but the destruction of his Citadel? And the end of the Rangers did not come through an end of the crusade… but a breaking of the spirit.”

After a pause the Valeyard replied: “And Kali already has a means of breaking that spirit in mind.”

It was then that Kali had gotten the message. “Trini, and the embracing of her Yagami power.”

“Trini becoming evil could yield some interesting possibilities,” Valeyard agreed.

Minion did have to admit Trini, not a duplicate of Trini, becoming consumed by an evil power did have its appeals. “And we always focused on Tommy being an end to those Rangers. But Trini…”

“No one would see it coming,” the Valeyard answered. “Even if the writing is on the wall.”

Minion was starting to see the potential of Kali’s plan. Trini becoming truly evil, bringing about the end of the Rangers. Bringing about the death of Zordon? The potential, and the promise were all there. But the choice, as Valeyard pointed out, was Minion’s to make. Should the end of the Rangers come this way, or another? It was a fixed point. Wasn’t it? The end of the Rangers and Zordon was guaranteed, right? “It’s not guaranteed is it?” Minion asked. “The end of the Rangers and Zordon?”

“No,” the Valeyard admitted. “Predictions and prophecies can be averted. There are very few events that are completely set in stone. Then again too many changes is not good for the universe.” The Valeyard then chuckled as he made his little joke.

“Perhaps I should change those fixed points.” Minion said.

“There is only one fixed point you need to concern yourself about,” Valeyard answered. “The point at which your actions will either create this universe or deny it existence and the opportunity to put an end to those that will defeat you.”

Again the Valeyard saw the small twitch that indicated that Minion had gotten the hint. This venture was turning out to be more amusing than he had hoped.

“I can make it happen.” Kali promised.

Minion looked at Kali curiously. Even though she clearly was no longer the Psycho Ranger he had created, a dark duplicate, he now saw she was a being of evil in her own right. Somehow he knew she had a plan to bring the end of the Power Rangers about. A terrible and hideous plan. A plan he was seriously considering more and more as the reality hit him that the Rangers still lived… and Minion was no longer present. What didn’t occur to him was that this was not his Triini at all. This was a different Triini created under different circumstances. That oversight was something the Valeyard was relying upon.

~Fools,~ Minion thought. ~They think I haven’t realised that my defeat is what leads to this reality. Minion will not be defeated, no matter how many plans they make.~

The Valeyard hid a smile cross as he looked in Minion’s direction. He could almost see the thoughts flowing through the villain’s mind. Just as he had been warned. But it didn’t matter, he was certain that Minion would grasp the bigger picture before his time ran out.



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Crossroads of Evil Part 4

Disclaimer: The Power Rangers have changed hands several times since this series began. They are currently owned by Saban Brands. Charmed is the property of the WB. Mr. Merlin was a TV show that appeared in the early 1980’s. CHIPS was a show created by Rick Rostner that aired from the late 70’s to the early 80’s. The WWF letters are in reference to the World Wrestling Federation owned by Titan Sports; it should be noted that WWF is a trademark of the World Wildlife Fund. Hannah Montana and related characters are property of Disney. Reference to the ‘Silent Master’ is in reference to the character of Snake-Eyes from G.I.Joe (Action Force) which is property of Hasbro. Sei Tin is from the Devil’s Due Comics version of G.I.Joe. The name Okasa was from the T.V. Series ‘The Master’ as is the name McAllister-Keller, which aired on NBC during the 1980’s for one year. Nash Bridges and related characters are created by Carleton Cuse and property of CBS and Carleton Cuse Productions. Fatal Fury/King of Fighters are owned by SNK/Capcom. ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) was a rival wrestling promotion created by Paul Heyman, the name now belongs to Titan Sports.
Minion is the property of Shadow Ranger, however it is a derived work from a character that appeared in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The song ‘Some Girls’ is sung by Rachel Stevens. The song ‘Rollin’ is sung by Limp Bizkit. ‘You don’t Know me at all’ is sung by Lillian Garcia. And ‘Never gonna stop’ is sung by Rob Zombie.
Author Notes: The reference to the San Francisco Earthquake comes from the records that clearly state there was no earthquake. Although this is now regarded as a city wide insurance fraud (mot claimants stated their buildings were damaged by fire from a neighbouring building. In some cases neighbouring shops set fire to each other at the same time).
Additional Note: The beginning of this chapter is from the story ‘Close Encounters of the NEGAtive Kind’. As the story progresses there will be some differences from this beginning and the rest of the story. Hopefully these differences will be explained to the reader’s satisfaction. This story is considered AU within the Conquest of Evil Multiverse and should be considered to tie directly into the Alternaverse.

Prelude to Minion’s Legacy Part 3 – Crossroads of Evil

COE: King of Fighters ’96

Special Guest Writer: John Chubb with contributions from Adam Safaran and Adam Pearlman (The Q Team)


Torture Cell A, Minion’s Island. The Past

It has been said that history can be a subjective thing. But there have been other times where history can be altered, subverted, and twisted in ways that are hard to comprehend, or imagine.

And yet, there are moments in history that while seemingly different play out like they were intended to…despite any alterations to time or reality.

Three days had passed and Minion decided it was time to see how his guests were coping. He ignored the VR Troopers and the Beetleborgs, the strange warrior known as Servo and a group of teenage hackers who had been dragged into things for some reason; the various super heroes that constituted what remained of the JLA, the Avengers and of course Spider-Man. He overlooked the injured Jesse, knowing that even if he could transform, the Masked Rider’s powers had been damaged. Dex on the other hand would still provide some entertainment. First though he had his old adversaries, the Gem Coin Rangers, to pay his respects to.

This was Minion’s favourite part of the Prison Dimension. He had altered the flow of time in the dimension so a few hours would seem like weeks to the Rangers trapped inside. All six of the Rangers he was holding in his prison were undergoing various forms of torture.

First off was Tanya. Minion had trapped her at the bottom of a long tube. Then he had sealed the sides, top and bottom of the tube so she only had a limited air supply. Then he had started to pump in a drop of water every thirty seconds. It was a slow torture. Tanya knew she could not escape and that eventually she would drown, but not before the dripping water drove her insane.

Next in line was Trey. Minion had decided to place the Lord of Triforia on a version of the rack and was gradually stretching the Gold Ranger until he was torn in half by the rack. Minion had but found the idea too unimaginative. Therefore, he had added his own subtle changes.

The rack had been modified so Trey was now seated with his hands tied to a series of pulleys. His legs and ankles were strapped to a set of bicycle pedals. The idea was that a small motor operated ropes attached to his arms would tighten the ropes and stretch the Lord of Triforia unless he pedalled fast enough to counter the effect. Minion had made an additional change. The system was now racheted so that if Trey stopped pedalling, he would be stretched, but even if he then started to pedal as fast as he could the ropes would not loosen.

It was the ultimate no-win situation. Sooner or later the Triforian would tire and when he did he would be stretched.

Adam had been strapped into a chair. On his forehead a metal device had been fastened. As Minion pressed a button, the device sent a signal to the muscles in Adam’s leg, causing it to twitch. The sensation was not painful, but after a few hours of constant twitching Adam would be driven insane. Minion had seen the evidence of what constant exposure to the device would accomplish. Even the most iron willed prisoner would crack under the strain.

The device had been created years ago for use by bounty hunters wishing to interrogate captives to find their prey. Minion had been lucky to find a working model in Zedd’s castle. Obviously Zedd had had dealings with either the Varox or the Bounty Hunters’ Guild. He was not sure which but knowing Zedd, he was willing to bet the Bounty Hunter had not been paid for his work, or lived to tell about it.

Minion had modified the next cell especially for Kat using the technology he had gained from elsewhere. The room was set to play out random dangers at random intervals, stimulating her pain receptors without the physical injury. Minion had no intention of damaging Kat’s body. He wanted Kat to be his personal slave and if she survived, he would enjoy breaking her further.

Minion planned to leave her a few more hours and then offer her a chance to end her pain. He doubted she would take him up on the offer first try, but faced with a life of pain or a life as his slave he suspected she could be persuaded to choose the latter.

Tommy’s torture was simple but effective. He had been tied with his hands above his head and had a WD-Unit punching him at regular intervals. Each blow cracked his ribs causing him to scream in agony. But Minion had programmed the machine to allow enough time between blows for the youth’s healing to take effect. For the robot it meant a few seconds of action followed by long periods of waiting. For Tommy it meant constant and nearly unbearable pain.

Travis’ torture was perhaps the cruellest. He had been secured so he had a view of all his friends being tortured. Minion had injected him with a drug to paralyse his body and bound his limbs just in case. Travis could see and hear everything, but could not move any part of his body to help or even turn away or shut his eyes. Tears ran down his face from having to watch his friends being tortured, knowing he was free to intervene but unable to help them. He continued to sob, broken at the sight of his friends suffering knowing he had failed them.

“What’s the matter Travis, can’t you stand to see your friends suffer?” Minion asked softly. “You know, you could save them. Just swear total and undying allegiance to the forces of darkness and I’ll let them go.”

“Go to hell!” Travis spat. Struggling to speak due to the effects of the drugs.

Minion did not reply. He simply turned and nodded to the WD-Unit in front of Tommy. The machine understood the unspoken command and punched Tommy in the face, cracking his skull.

“You had better not say things like that Travis,” Minion hissed. “Or I’ll instruct the WD-Unit to crush his skull. I’ll leave you to consider our offer,” Minion told the distraught Ranger. “See you soon.”

Minion walked over to where Tommy was hanging. Using some of the many fighting techniques at his disposal, he kicked Zeo Falcon several times in the chest and stomach, smiling in satisfaction as he heard the Ranger’s ribs crack. When he finished, he cut the bonds holding Tommy’s arms, then continued to kick and punch the fallen Ranger. He lifted Tommy to his feet and delivered a sharp kick to the Ranger’s neck.

“Wait six hours and then resume,” he said to the WD Unit as he teleported away.

Six hours was nowhere near enough time for Tommy to heal, but that was the idea. Minion promised himself he would return to beat Tommy a bit more when the other boy was awoke.

Minion enjoyed having so many prisoners because it gave him the opportunity to try as many forms of torture as possible before they died. They were his playthings and when they ceased to amuse him, he would toss them aside and move on to the next victim. This time he had not been creative, just brutal in his plans. He had placed the surviving members of the JLA and the Teen Titans together in the arena, surrounded by WD Units. If they defeated their opponents, he would let them go. He had no intention of allowing them to win.

He had deliberately made the stadium larger this time and provided the heroes with some cover. He mentally ran through those present and was satisfied they would be lucky to survive let alone triumph. The Flash had already proven how far Minion was willing to go; the human Masked Rider had proven that he could be merciful. What he had done to the Martian Man Hunter had shown them his vicious side, while slicing off John Stewart’s fingers had shown his intelligence.

So who was left? Batman, Wonder Woman, Hawk Girl of the JLA – for there was no way the Green Lantern could defend himself at that moment – and Robin, Starfire, Changling, Raven and Cyborg for the Teen Titans. Some of them he had allowed to remain conscious, others he had deliberately incapacitated to prevent them from using their powers. In the end he decided that Wonder Woman, Hawk Girl and Cyborg would suffice. If this worked well, he would be sure to try it again with the Avengers.

Wonder Woman looked on as the WD Units surrounded them. She already knew that they could not trust Minion to keep his word. If he wanted them dead, they would die, and if he chose to spare them it would only be exchanging death for more torment. And the villain had already taken so much.

Themyscira was gone, the civilised world of the Amazons lost forever all due to Minion’s. She remembered how his robotic army had fought their way through the island’s inhabitants. And now Diana, last surviving daughter of her race found herself pitted in one of the villain’s twisted games. She promised herself that she would not be another victim of his evil; she would not go easily, and like Wally she vowed to fight him.

Hawk Girl was angry and more than a little confused. She had once believed that she had known what evil was, her people having abandoned a dark entity long ago. But it seemed that Minion had shown her a new kind of evil, the type that from Batman and Robin’s reactions, was uncommon but not unheard of on Earth. She held her mace at the ready, vowing that the first machine to cross her path would be scrap metal. Next to her she sensed Cyborg tense. The battle was about to begin.

When the robots attacked, the three heroes went on the offensive. Hawk Girl’s energised mace smashed into the chest panel of one WD Unit as Wonder Woman used her lasso to throw one of the WD Units into its neighbouring machines. Cyborg unleashed blast after blast from his sonic cannon, using his vice like grip to wrench arms from torsos.

Minion had to admit they were an impressive combination. Wonder Woman’s strength combined with Hawk Girl’s anger and Cyborg’s strong will, which Minion had to admit was exceptional for him to have survived all the hardships he had endured, allowed them to take down a good portion of his forces before the overwhelming numbers started to catch up with them. He was amazed when he saw Cyborg rip the bladed weapon from one unit and use it to slice the head off another. He had been hoping that what he had done to the Flash would have weakened their resolve, but if anything they fought harder.

“Open fire!” he commanded.

Validium bullets sprayed from the units’ hands, causing Hawk Girl to cease her current tactic of lifting opponents from the ground and dropping them from higher up, and duck for cover. Cyborg and Wonder Woman worked together, she deflecting the bullets with her bracelets while he returned fire. When a WD Unit went down, it stayed down; Minion wanted to see how close they would come to victory before springing his surprise.

Batman watched the battle from his cell. There was little in his utility belt that could help them although the first aid kit had allowed them to wrap the cauterised stubs that were John’s arms. The Green Lantern was still in a bad state, Flash was comatose.

In the next cell Robin had given up trying to break free from the cell and had instead turned his attention to other opportunities to escape. Starfire was in a state of shock, whatever Minion had done to her when he had insisted on separating the aliens from the rest of the JLA and Teen Titans, she had been almost catatonic when she had returned. Exactly what they had done to the J’Onn was unclear, but while he was alive, he was definitely not conscious; Raven had not been seen since she had been taken.

“Look,” Changeling called, transforming back to his normal appearance for the first time since they had seen what had happened to the Flash. The brutality and callous nature of the attack had hit all of them, but Changling had lost somebody whom he viewed as a big brother.

“Look out, they’re changing,” Batman said as he watched the broken WD Units pool together into a new larger warrior.

“Oh no,” Robin said, eyes widening as he saw the thin tubes appear from the Centaurian’s body.

The WD Units fell back behind the larger robot and the three heroes were getting more and more nervous.

“Fire!” Minion ordered.

The many tubes unleashed a volley on miniature projectiles at its opponents, shredding anything in their path. Diana tried to block them but even her swift reactions could not avoid every projectile. As soon as the first bullet pierced her skin, the small point allowing it to easily break her skin, she started to slow. More projectiles were fired, most missing but some actually managed to strike their target. Eventually the blood loss was too much and she fell.

Cyborg had not been so lucky. His metallic parts were shredded by the tougher metal and it was only through chance that his human organs were not damaged. He continued to fire bravely, daring the machine to attack again and again.

Hawk Girl Had been hit, her wings damaged and her flight terminated. She had managed to land a single blow, which was more than her companions had accomplished. Still, like Wonder Woman and Cyborg she was beaten and as the massive metal fist made contact with her skull, it seemed the fight was no longer her problem.

“Cease!” Minion called. He didn’t want the Centaurian to kill them, the pain didn’t fade as much when he just killed them. He needed to break them first, all of them.

He walked into the arena area and made a point of examining the bodies. Hawk Girl would survive although like the Green Lantern and Masked Rider, recovery would prove difficult. Cyborg on the other hand would be lucky if he ever recovered from his injuries. Minion considered using Validium to repair the damage, knowing that in doing so he would have control over Cyborg. Oh the damage he could cause. Finally he came to Wonder Woman. The pile of bullets surrounding her spoke of how hard she had fought to survive. A quick scan of her aura revealed that she was alive. The pool of blood surrounding her raised questions about how long she would take to recover.

Then there was something, a flash of sensation of the very edge of his consciousness, a warning that one of the security spells he had placed had been disturbed. It took a moment for him to zero in on the distrurbance, a task made more difficult because the surrounding spells had not triggered. It was a curious impossibility that he resolved to investigate personally.

“We’ll this continue later.” Minion promised before heading toward his private chambers.


It was a disturbing thought that he was being played with, but Minion was certain that was the case. Whatever had disturbed his warding spells had waited until an instant before the door was fully opened and then vanished. The only clue had been a wheezing and grinding noise that almost sounded like an engine. He was surprised to find his chambers intact, the guards he had left there had not even been aware of the intruder. And it seemed that his visitor had left something behind.

His gaze fell on the package that now occupied a section of his desk. He moved forward to investigate, noting as he did so that somebody had been reading through his papers. ~No,~ he corrected himself as his eyes fell on the untidy scrawl, ~somebody has been marking them.~

Before he could touch it, the box opened, revealing its contents. The first thing he noticed was the strange medallion. It appeared to be of oriental origin, but his keen senses told him that the metal was not common to Earth. With that in mind he started to discount many of those he suspected were behind the intrusion. He was starting to suspect that instead of someone trying to save the prisoners, this was a fellow villain’s poor attempt at a joke, perhaps to draw his attention. His eye fell upon the second item, a note in the same style as the attempted grading of his calculations. He wondered why somebody had gone to such lengths just to deliver a letter.

Attention Minion.
You are cordially invited to attend a special tournament at my behest. A tournament unlike any other.
Which would involve a journey unlike any other.
Your presence is requested at the San Francisco Cow Palace to attend the King of Fighters tournament in the year 1996.
You will be treated to sights beyond understanding.
Heroes unlike any other,
and the rivals they face in the name of personal glory.

Minion just smirked at the letter before him, amused by what he was reading. What interest could this tournament have for one such as him? Out of that amusement he continued reading, and was interested by what he had read.

There will be old familiar faces as well. Warriors of the power. Ranging their skills in battle.

His mind picked up on the not-so-subtle references hidden within what the writer believed to be clever word play. ‘Warriors of the power? Ranging their skills in battle?’ It was clear the writer wished him to make the connection to the Power Rangers. The question though was whether the intention was for him to dismiss the possibility and attend to find out why they had made such a poor attempt to deceive him or conclude that the note was truthful and attend to find out how it was possible? It was with great reluctance that he realised either way the note had achieved its underlying objective and captured his attention. He continued to read.

A means of transportation is available for you to attend this tournament.
Co-ordinates of its location are written below. As is a key for entry.
It is my hope you attend this tournament as it could change your perspective.
Sincerely,
J.J.Chambers, Doctor of Law.
Proprietor, The Fun Factory. City of San Francisco.

He had to admit that the writer was clever. He had been drawn in by what had at first been amusement, but had rapidly turned to curiosity. And now it seemed that despite all the mental discipline he tried to maintain and the logic he employed, he would be forced to take the bait and find out what this was all about.

He studied the box more carefully. Until now he had been distracted by the contents and had overlooked the container. The construction was clearly alien; he knew the wood came from a planet that Rita Repulsa used when crafting her wands. That in turn implied that despite the very boring and human sounding name of ‘J.J. Chambers’, the send was either an alien or had access to alien materials. And that led him to consider the location of the tournament. What was so special about San Francisco and why would this ‘J.J. Chambers be based there?

He looked at the contents once more and studied the medallion in detail. ~Chinese if my guess is correct,~ he thought as he studied what he now believed to be the ‘key’ the letter had mentioned. A quick glance at the letter confirmed the co-ordinates where his transport was waiting. It was only then that he wondered why he would need transportation when he was capable of teleporting and he realised that the letter was suggesting that this journey would require a little bit of time travel.

Using the computers at his disposal, Minion rapidly zeroed in on the location. From the outside it appeared perfectly normal, but a closer check revealed that all was not as it first appeared. In fact beneath the deceptively normal looking building, he had found evidence that it was government owned. The evidence had been carefully hidden, but there were always a few small clues, especially since this was not a part of the United Kingdom’s forces. The funding came from an offshore account and relied on several transfers but by tracing the money he found that the originally purchaser had been a front company. And by shifting his way through the elaborate attempts to deceive him about which government the front company belonged to, he eventually found the name UNIT.

From that point it had been a matter of hacking his way into the primitive network and locating the information he needed. His goal was to find out what was so special about that building, so he completely ignored the long and very interesting history that the site revealed.

~The Black Archives,~ he thought as his eyes scanned the filed. ~A repository of extraterrestrial artefacts that were either recovered, salvaged or confiscated from areas outside of the British Empire.~

His eyes widened as he read that last part, but he dismissed it. He didn’t have time to consider the political intrigue at that moment.

~Why would my transport be left in the hands of the enemy?~ he wondered.

Several scenarios presented themselves including the possibility the his mysterious contact wished him to retrieve the property on his behalf, but decided it was just as likely that he thought that any guards would not pose a problem for one such as Minion.

Then he checked the co-ordinates again and noticed that the numbers were changing very slightly and a time had been included, which seemed to alter with each passing second.

~Ah,~ he realised as he checked the co-ordinates on the map. ~He doesn’t want me to enter the valuts, just the grounds surrounding them where this transport is being moved.~

A noise caught his attention and Minion twisted in time to see that a set of photographs had appeared.

~Somebody is playing games with me,~ he concluded. ~When I find him he had better have a good reason or else he will pay.~

At first glance the ‘transport’ reminded Minion of a Chinese Funeral Box with an obvious section that had been removed right in the centre. ~Perhaps that is where the key should go,~ he pondered.

Another glance at the co-ordinates showed that the box was moving at speed. It was now about fifty miles from its original location. He also noticed that the time had changed and by his estimates was a few minutes into the future..

~An ambush then,~ he concluded.

He was being given the time and place where he could obtain his transport, but it required him to believe that the writer knew where the transport would be at any time. That required Minion to believe that J.J.Chambers had some means of time travel or future sight. Not an impossible idea, but it made him all the more cautious. Still there was little risk when he had others to carry out the task on his behalf.

“Silvo!” Minion called.

The powerful warrior appeared and Minion gave him his instructions.

“Take some of the spare WD Units to these co-ordinates. Intercept the convoy and retrieve its cargo. Then return here.” As he spoke, Minion handed Silvo the pictures of his objective.

Silvo nodded in affirmative to his master’s commands and withdrew to gather the forces he needed. In a very short time the small force teleported to a road in England, where Minion’s ride to the King of Fighters Tournament of 1996 was waiting.


Time and reality are funny things. For the most part time travels in a single direction. A second passes into minutes, then hours, days and eventually centuries pass by. But where as time marches onwards, the events that take place are far more fluid. Every action leads to a reaction, every effect requires a cause. That need for the universe to make sense meant that while the order of events usually followed a set sequence, that order wasn’t always chronologically correct. For the most part reality shifts and changes, adapting to the new events and circumstances as they happen. It was that sort of relationship that would allow a person glimpsing the future or the Zeo Rangers to see and elderly Tommy and Katherine together one moment and Tommy as an Archaeologist the next. But sometimes an event took place that was so devastating that reality could not cope.

Such an event had happened, would happen, was taking place at that moment. The splashing currents of time shifted and fractured. Existence sought and answer and could not find one. For a moment every reality became the Prime Reality as they met with oblivion. And then the moment passed, but the fallout of such events echoed backwards through time, reshaping events and causing the impossible to happen..

People, places, dates, means and reasons shifted and clashed. Reality could not cope with such contradictory changes and so it found a way to resolve the problem. The subconscious will of reality reached out and influenced an individual. He in turn influenced two more impressionable young minds. Curiosity was raised and emotions manipulated. Competition led to disobedience and intervention where things should have been left alone. Suddenly reality was part of something greater, something that had not been there before, but had been manipulated into existence to resolve an otherwise impossible problem.

One had become many. The universe had become a multiverse. Over time many of the fractures would ties themselves together as the differences played out and reached a point of integration. Others though were just too different and would either continue for eternity or reach a dead end and simply cease.

And while some were aware of the multiverse, most remained ignorant. And of those that were aware, there were some that seemed to shift between them without even realising it. Some had even fractured with reality and existed as representations of themselves as opposed to simple alternate incarnations. And a few, a very few of those that fell into the last category, were aware of their nature and used their peers’ lack of perception wholly to their advantage.

In one such reality, there existed a being that was fully aware of the changes that had taken place, completely aware of his own nature and in the unique position of understanding the chain of events that had caused it all to happen. In that place time was more open to manipulation than in others, for this reality was one of several that could eventually surpass its point of origin and emerge as THE Prime Reality. And time had changed, multiple times, through either necessity or the whims of supposed ‘gods’. It was a reflection of a reflection of itself. Skewed and a little strange to those that could sense the changes, yet regardless of the Who, Where, When Why and How, most things remained the same.

One of those constants of the universe was the planet Eltare, headquarters of the Galactic Council: a galctic body where the ‘good’ planets of the universe rallied together to promote freedom. peace and justice for all who sought it, as well as safety and security. The latter parts however were proving difficult to attain due to constant attacks from the United Alliance of Evil. Planets had fallen, people had been taken as slaves and valuable resources that could have gone towards the benefit of many worlds went to the select few under the rule of Dark Specter. Many had taken up the fight against the UAE, be it as Rangers, a part of the Council Military or even as politicians.

One such politician was the Triforian named Sygnus. Sygnus was the appointed Council Representative of Triforia granted power by the planet’s Prime Minister Tirol after the tyrant Terr had been overthrown. Sygnus made it a personal mission of his that no further tyrants like Terr came into being again. Whether from Triforia or from a council world. The actions Sygnus had taken on the Council floor led to Triforia being seen with a newfound authority on par with that of Lord Trey, who was sadly still recovering in a cryotube on Earth. Nevertheless councillors felt Triforia was in good hands until Trey returned, whenever that would be.

In the meantime Sygnus had caught note of two councillors that he felt were ‘not on the up and up’ if he remembered the Earth expression correctly. Sygnus made it a point to know s much about Earth as he could as he figured S’Hera and Darkonda’s plan centered around the planet Zordon of Eltar set up as his base. ~But what was that plan?~ Sygnus asked himself.

He had no answer. Only S’Hera and Darkonda had those answers. As he sat at his desk he wondered about S’Hera and Darkonda’s whereabouts. Typing a series of schedules he wondered where the two ‘councillors’ were at this current moment. He was surprised when the answer came ‘Off Planet’.

Sygnus realized S’Hera and Darkonda were no longer on Eltare.

~Where have they gone?~ Sygnus was left wondering. Wherever it was he knew it couldn’t be good for Earth…. ~Or Trey~ he mentally added.


San Francisco

While it was considered an ‘All American City’, a great deal of magic and mystery contributed to San Francisco’s history. How else could they explain the massive damage the city had sustained at one point that experts had clearly stated was not an earthquake? But in recent times things had gotten stranger; the appearance of the Power Rangers a few years back had acted as a catalyst for the previously contained supernatural behaviour. As the Ley Lines had reacted to the magic being used around them, the energies had resonated outwards, creating the area known by locals as ‘the Freak Zone’.

However despite being within the geographical boundaries of the Freak Zone, San Francisco’s inclusion had been disputed by those that acknowledged such things – mainly nerds – until the Power Rangers had appeared in the city to deal with a Cylon invasion. Their battles with Kali Yagami, a former replica of Trini Kwan who had embraced her newfound identity and accepted the dark power that seemed to reside within the Kwan family line had caused the Rangers to make front page news. After that the other mostly ignored stories of magical happenings within the city had started to emerge, events surrounding three magical sisters who preferred to keep their activities secret to the point where they were considered urban legends.

There were many stories that the Rangers heard. Most were urban legends that they knew better than to simply dismiss out of hand. Others, such as tales of the wizard Merlin living as a motor mechanic somewhere within the city were dismissed outright. It wasn’t just the idea of a powerful wizard giving it all up for a life working with machines that caused their scepticism though. There were also the reports that Merlin had found tenure at one of the country’s leading universities and gained funding to further his studies of the aura.

In the end the discussion was unimportant. The Rangers were not heading to San Francisco to seek out Merlin or trios. Three of their own would be competing in the King of Fighters Tournament. Since their numbers had swelled so much, the Rangers had split up and made arrangements to travel as groups. The Morphin and Zeo teams were travelling together although Kat had stated she would travel by her own means. She hadn’t explained further and the Rangers hadn’t asked.

As the plane set down at San Francisco International Airport, Inspector Nash Bridges waited with his ex-wife Lisa in the terminal to greet the Rangers, one of whom was their daughter Cassidy – the Silver Zeo Ranger.

“You know, this is probably the only time we’ve sat somewhere quietly and not argued for a long time?” Nash asked.

“I know.” Lisa said eagerly waiting for the plane to arrive, and for their daughter to disembark. “I want to hear everything about what she’s doing. Her being away is like…”

“…something being torn out from you?” Lisa looked at her ex-husband and nodded at his choice of words. “I know. I’d love to be with her in Angel Grove. But Cassidy said she has to do this without us.”

“At least she has friends.” Lisa said. “A lot of them.”

Nash chuckled a little at Lisa’s remark as he remembered meeting all the Rangers. He had to admit, Cassidy had a lot of friends. Friends that were fellow Power Rangers and were going to be on the plane with her. He watched as the plane pulled up and docked at the gate. There was a short delay, but a few minutes later the door opened up and the passengers started to disembark. He waited patiently, watching the families on vacation, the hurried travellers eager to reach their business meetings and a large group of teenagers. He smiled as he identified some of the faces in the last group. It appeared that they had made it intact.

“San Francisco we have arrived.” Zack proclaimed excitedly as he stepped off the plane followed by the other teens in their party. They exchanged amused grins at their friend’s antics, but one of them reached forward and told him firmly to tone it down. The last thing they wanted was to be held up by security.

“Sorry Jase,” Zack responded. “But this is San Francisco! This is the city that takes everything it has to give, and still keep coming back. It’s kind of like us in a way.”

Jason considered Zack’s words and felt his friend was on to something. San Francisco did have something of a Ranger quality to it. A city that kept coming back from whatever anyone, or anything, had to throw at it.

“Yeah Zack, you’re probably right.” Jason agreed.

Many who visited the city claimed that there was a feeling of magic in the air. For the most part Jason agreed. He was not the most sensitive of the Rangers, but even he could sense the energy that seemed to flow through the city. He wondered if it was really magic or just the spirit of the people that lived there amplified through the minor Ley Line that branched throughout the area. Of course he was aware that beyond the background magic in the area, there were tales of real magicks at work within the city. Jason was certain that if those stories were true the area was as much a target for the forces of darkness as anywhere else.

~Good thing they have the Outsiders to protect them,~ he thought.

Thinking about the Outsiders caused him to think about one Jamie Zedden, member of the Outsiders and his current girlfriend.

While Jason was lost in his thoughts, Tanya was trying to deal with the odd feeling that she had come home. It was almost as if she was destined to live in San Francisco. For a moment she dismissed such thoughts, knowing that just because her cousin happened to live there along with her family didn’t make it her home. But somewhere deep inside she felt a connection to the city and knew in her heart that one day she would come back and stay.

Trini meanwhile was feeling very uneasy. Something hold her that something would happen at the King of Fighters Tournament. She didn’t know what was going to happen, but she knew it was not going to be a good thing.

“Trini?” Kim asked for the third time. “You okay?”

“Uhh, yeah Kim.” Trini said.

Billy looked in Trini’s direction and shared Kim’s concern. Since discovering her Yagami heritage and the power it offered, Billy found he worried more and more about Trini. She was after all his closest friend, and he didn’t want her to fall to darkness, especially when that darkness was already a part of her. So concerned was he about Trini that he didn’t have much of an interest in sightseeing.

Samoht wasn’t doing much sightseeing either, but for a very different reason. He knew the stories about San Francisco better than anyone. He had been there in 1903 when the alleged earthquake had happened. He had fought a monster there in a battle so fierce the whole city had shaken. He had used his magic afterward to help repair most of the damage, but he had been tired and the results had been less than perfect.

Nash and Lisa greeted the Rangers, shaking hands with those they had already met and introducing themselves to those they hadn’t.

“Did Cassidy come with you?” Nash asked. He heard they planned to drive out, but since the airlines were restored after the Cylon attack he assumed the Rangers had decided to fly instead.

“Yeah Mr. Bridges. She should be coming out shortly,” Jason assured him. “It was hard to get enough tickets to all sit together so we split up into smaller groups.”

After a short wait they were eventually joined by both Zeo teams. Another round of greetings took place before Nash drew Tommy and Skull to one side. As team leaders they were best place to answer the questions he needed answered.

“Has my daughter been taken care of?”

Skull snorted. “Sir, I’ve learned first hand that your daughter is capable of taking care of herself.” He added something about bruises, but Nash had turned his attention to Tommy.

“But that doesn’t change the fact that we will always be there to watch her back,” Tommy said. “Just as she has watched ours.”

Nash nodded. It was the sort of answer he had been hoping for.

“She is her father’s daughter,” Tommy added.

“Careful bubba. That’s not always a good thing,” Nash warned with a slight smirk just as Cassidy finally disembarked and spotted her parents.

“Hey daddy!” Cassidy cried, rushing over to her parents and wrapping them in a fond hug.

“Welcome back sweetheart,” Nash said as he hugged his daughter.

“I’m glad you’re okay sweetie,” Lisa said. “How’s Angel Grove?”

“Great,” Cassidy answered. “We still have a few monster attacks, but we’ve managed to fight them all off. One was kind of interesting…” She glanced around to make sure they were not being overheard before recounting her recent adventures with Astronema. She was very careful when she explained how the Princess of Darkness seemed intent on targeting her for some reason. Last thing she needed was for her father to go into the overprotective parent role.

She thought she had gotten away with it, shielding the danger behind her obvious enthusiasm, but it seemed Nash had simply been waiting for the story to end.

“So this villain decided to go after you personally?” Nash asked. “Did you do anything to her?”

“No, why?” Cassidy asked. Her father’s reaction seemed more curious than overly protective.

“I’ve been keeping tabs on Ranger activities since you moved there,” Nash quickly explained, realising that he really should have chosen a less public place. “According to reports, Astronema normally only attacks the Space Ranger team; Alison’s team. So why did she suddenly change tactics and go after you?”

Cassidy shrugged her shoulders, but had to admit, it was a good question. “I don’t know. To get at Alison maybe as she’s an Astro Ranger and Astronema is supposed to attack that team. I really don’t know why she’d be after me. It’s not like I stole her boyfriend, if she has one.” Cassidy was shaken out of her Astronema reverie when the other Rangers announced they had their luggage and were ready to leave the airport. Their ride was waiting.

“Cassidy, Laocorn has sent us a limo to take us to the hotel we’ll be staying at.” Kim said. “I take it you’ll be going home with your folks?”

“With my mom actually.” Cassidy said. “She still is leery of my father’s death trap.”

“Hey I resent my home being called a death trap!” Nash said.

“Well isn’t it earthquake condemned?” Lisa asked. “Isn’t it ready to fall after the next big quake?”

“They’re doing a seismic shore-up in the coming weeks.” Nash admitted. “It’s all in the waiver I signed.”

“Still I think our daughter would like to stay someplace that won’t fall in the ground tomorrow.” Lisa added.

Cassidy rolled her eyes. “Ahhh home sweet home,” she said sarcastically.

“Take care Cassidy. We’ll see you at the arena,” Samantha said.

The other Rangers smiled and left, leaving Cassidy to ride with her parents in the Cuda waiting outside.

“So where’s Alison?” Lisa asked as they travelled down the terminal. “Or is she travelling separately?”

Cassidy gave a half smile. “She’s travelling separately. VERY separately.”


A few miles outside of San Francisco six young people walked in the California heat. All were competitors in the King of Fighters tournament. Three of them were members of the Bogard family, the others were Power Rangers.

“Are we there yet?” Katherine Hillard asked as she walked in the heat sweating. She took swigs of water to keep herself cool, but she had to use it sparingly. Everyone did.

Terry told everyone this was a pilgrimage to the tournament. A journey full of hardship and sacrifice. Meant to purify the body, mind and soul for battle. Terry seemed to take the journey in stride. His brother Andy and friend Joe Higashi were having a….little bit of trouble.

“You’re enjoying this Terry aren’t you?” Andy asked.

Terry just looked at his brother and hid a smirk. “The pilgrimage to the tournament is part of the training Andy. You know that.”

“But do we have to walk?” Joe asked.

“The ancient fighters walked to their places of combat,” Cassie Chan replied.

“But we’re not ancient.” Alison said as she opened a bottled water and took a swig. “Terry, I love you to death, but I’m starting to wonder if death may not be coming a little closer to you right now… thanks to one of us.”

“Hopefully not from you Alison. You still love me right?”

Alison sighed as she realized Terry got her there.

“Hey guys, look.” Cassie Chan said pointing to a street sign. It said ‘San Francisco-20 miles’. The collective grown made it clear that the only person not upset at having so far to walk was Terry.

“Please someone. We need a cab.” Joe shouted to anyone that would hear. No one did. Not even a CHP officer. Joe even asked “Where’s Ponch and Jon when you need em?”

“Only twenty miles guys we can make it.” Terry said with a little more enthusiasm than necessary.

The walk continued, each competitor driven on by their own reasons for entering the tournament.

For Kat it it was a chance to confront her Psycho counterpart. Formerly known as Kaat, now she was known as Ivy Howard and the adopted daughter of a psycho billionaire that Terry, Andy and Joe had a history with.

For Cassie there was also a former Psycho Ranger awaiting her: a female Yagami named Kali, formerly named Triini. And ever since Triini had become Kali she had embraced her newfound identity, as well as the power and insanity that came with it. If Kali had not accepted the blood feud, if she had rejected that part of her legacy, Cassie would have been allowed to let it pass. But Kali had accepted that role and since Cassie was a part of the Kusanagi, Cassie felt it was up to her to her to deal with the threat.

But even if Kali wasn’t competing Cassie knew Kali would be there in some way shape or fashion. She also wanted to embrace her family legacy by taking part in the tournament.

Alison was a Bogard and she had a legacy to uphold. Even though she was also a Hammond now she considered the Bogard name just as important, as it was the name she grew up with. And as such she endured the training along with Cassie and Kat.

They walked a few more feet when a blue van pulled up. The door opened and the three members of Team Gorgeous came out. Blue Mary, King and Mai Shiranui Bogard stepped out. “Hey girls.” Mai called out. “Anyone need a ride?”

“YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!” Alison, Cassie and Kat said in unison as they wasted no time getting into the van. Mai, King and Mary also rushed in leaving the guys dumbfounded.

Joe however asked “Hey girls. Can we come too?”

“Sorry guys, enjoy the walk,” Alison said as she, Cassie and Kat closed the door on Blue Mary’s van and pulled away leaving Joe, Terry and Andy behind… for at least a hundred yards.

The van stopped and Mai opened the rear door. “You guys coming or not?” Andy and Joe wasted no time getting in.

“See you Terry.” Andy said. “Pilgrimages across the desert are overrated anyway.” After saying that Andy rushed into the van.

Terry sighed, realizing that he was outvoted. Following the lead of his friends and family he decided to take the ride as well. A decision Mary was glad Terry made as they rode the remaining twenty miles to San Francisco together.


Coming down yet another way, the Reid family limousine was barrelling down the I-5. Inside it were seven passengers, the Astro Power Rangers.

“Oh man I could get used to this.” T.J. said feeling the plush leather seat underneath him.

In another seat Carlos also sat back enjoying the rich comforts.

“You do get used to them.” Dan Reid, the White Astro Ranger.

Next to him sat Andros, Ashley and Sabrina, while across from them Zhane sat next to Carlos and T.J. but his mind was elsewhere. A lot of Rangers had their minds preoccupied.

Ashley was thinking of her sister Alison and their friend Cassie that were taking part in the KOF tournament. Alison had just come back into the Hammond family fold, and while their parents welcomed her back they were having concerns about Alison’s fighting lifestyle. Concerns that if Alison left she might not come back again one day. They had gotten their daughter back. They didn’t want to lose her again.

Ashley promised she’d stick with her sister like glue, and that Alison would not be alone. Her friends, or Terry, would be with her.

She had also been getting closer to Andros and hoped they could go on a date at the Embarcadero where Pier 39 was located. There were other sights in San Francisco as well she wanted to see, and hoped she and Andros could make a night out of it. Andros had slowly been coming out of his shell and Ashley wanted to encourage that.

Andros found himself becoming more and more attracted to Ashley. There was something about the Earth girl in front of him that just made him… happy. He wanted to be there for her, but he wondered if he did open up to her would there be something to take her away? Like Dark Specter took away his parents? Or how he lost Karone?

Sabrina looked out the window of the limousine and saw the sun over the Golden Gate bridge as they came to it. Its glow almost illuminating it. She never tired of seeing the sight of the bridge as the sun cast its rays on it. It truly looked like a Golden Gate. Looking off to the side she saw the spirit presence of Anne, and she nodded in agreement. Something about the Golden Gate just seemed magical.

Breaking the monotony Sabrina turned to Dan and asked “So Dan, you seem at ease with the trappings of wealth.”

“Not too at ease.” Dan said. “Dad and granddad always encouraged me not to become too dependent on the trappings of wealth. That sometimes… money doesn’t save you.”

“That’s true.” Sabrina said. “I’ve known many rich rulers and warlords. And when their kingdoms fell their wealth didn’t save them. Their fortunes were still taken and the rulers still were executed.” Dan looked wide eyed at Sabrina as he heard her say the words. As if they were from first hand experience. Like someone who had been there.

“Regardless, our family’s ‘extracurricular activities’ kept our instincts sharp. And ensured that we remained… resourceful.” Dan said the last line with a smirk.

Sabrina caught the smirk and seemed to nod. She knew Dan Reid was no pushover.

Changing the subject Dan then asked “So what does the UAE think of the KOF tournament? Do they have any thoughts on the matter?”

Sabrina sighed as she tried to think of an answer.

“The UAE always knew Earth had power, but they never really figured that humans of Earth could tap into it. At least not in a major way. So the tournament was disregarded for the most part. If any rulers caught a tournament they kept such findings to themselves. So I can’t be certain what the attitudes of UAE members could be.”

“Well Divatox’s should be easy to predict.” Andros said.

Sabrina chuckled a little as she heard Andros make a bit of a joke. She knew Divatox would only see the tournament as a beefcake show. ~Sometimes predicting Divatox is like trying to predict the weather when it’s raining.~ she thought.

“You guys talk a lot about Divatox, but I never really met her,” Ashley said

“Trust me you don’t want to.” Andros said. “But Sabrina’s right. Any major discoveries the UAE made about this tournament the members seemed to keep to themselves. Same it seems with the Council.”

“Man who do you trust?” T.J. asked as he wondered who was worse, the UAE or the Council.

Andros had an answer for that “Ourselves mostly. We’ll all need to stick together. Both here and on our way to Aquitar.”

Everyone nodded except Zhane, who was staring out the window. His mind a million miles away. Andros called to his friend as if shaking him out of his reverie.

“Sorry Andros. I was just thinking.” Zhane said.

Andros asked “About Cassidy?”

“No. Although it will be great to see her again.” Zhane thought about the hug he and Cassidy shared in Golden Gate Park and wondered if there wasn’t something there. But his mind was on someone else.

“I was just thinking about Karone.” Zhane said.

Andros nodded in understanding. “I miss her too.”

“I never even said goodbye.” Zhane wiped a tear from his eye and then rode the rest of the way in silence.


=

Back in Angel Grove the girl Andros and Zhane had missed was very much alive. However she was not the girl they once knew. At least not completely.

Karone Lanrydan sat at the juice bar watching the boy she had met, Leo Corbett, practice at the Angel Grove Youth Center. He was teaching a group of young students as a favour to the club manager Ernie. Ernie knew Leo and his brother Mike in passing, and had known the Corbett brothers had skills in Martial Arts. Ernie also knew of the youngest Corbett brother in the young genius program that Billy Cranston had been part of and had seen him take part in a few classes.

One day Ernie saw Leo come in and had mentioned that the regular Youth h Center Martial Arts instructor had to go out of town, and wondered if Leo or his brother Mike could fill in. Leo said he could, and invited Karone to come as well. Karone accep> pted the invitation knowing that many Rangers used the Angel Grove Youth Center as a hangout, and figured visiting the place might give her an insight into the Rangers’ mindset.

As she sat and watched Leo train some students, she sipped a smoothie Ernie had given her. Ernie looked at Karone for a few seconds before going back to business. Karone however caught Ernie’s looks and wondered what was on his mind. “Something I can help you with?” she asked.

“Sorry if I’m making you uncomfortable.” Ernie said. “It’s just that I have an eye for exceptional youths. Having known a few of them.” For a moment Karone wondered if Ernie didn’t mean the Power Rangers but she asked “And you think I could be one of them?”

“You remind me of them.” Ernie said. “But there is something different about you. Something….a little darker. And yet…”

Karone let out a small smile and said “It’s probably best you just see me as a regular smoothie customer. A customer here with a friend.” She looked in Leo’s direction and Ernie got the idea.

“You Leo’s friend?”

“Yeah. We met in San Francisco. My boyfriend left me and he… helped me deal.” Karone said as she thought of how they met.

Ernie studied the girl closely. There was just something that bothered him about her but he couldn’t tell what it was. “If someone dumped you he must have been an idiot.”

Ernie’s line got a chuckle for Karone as she took the flattery from Ernie.

“No, he’s not an idiot,” she said finally. “He just… doesn’t know any better.”

“So that’s when Leo came into the picture?” Ernie asked.

Karone nodded. “He’s been great. Just as great as he teaches this class.”

Karone watched as Leo looked at several of the students surrounding him. Some of them he knew. Nico Ramonos and Kayla Gordon were from an advanced class at the Angel Grove Youth Center. Also there was young Justin Stewart, who had recently been checked out of Angel Grove Memorial Hospital after being in an unexplained coma. Starting out Leo decided he would give a few tune up moves for the students to follow along. The students did so with ease, especially Justin.

Off to the side Karone looked on at the young kids working out dressed in a training gi with a purple belt on. Her mind turned to her training at the Ranger Academy at KO-35. The instructors there seemed to be rigid and hard lined as they put her and Andros through their paces. The logic being that the universe wasn’t all that kind, why should they be? Leo was a contradiction to those instructors. He kind and considerate, helping the students perfect their skills without coming down on them.

~Yes there are some drill instructors that would just hate Leo.~ Karone thought. Just then the new generation of Angel Grove bullies Biff Bulkmeier and Loman Skullovitch walked in carrying on like they were big shots, just like their predecessors had done.

“Well, looks like we made it to the little dweebs club.” Biff said throwing his imaginary weight around. “Where do we sign up to kick people’s heads in?”

Loman followed up with “Yeah. Where do we sign up?”

Off to the side Ernie told Karone how Biff and Loman reminded him of two kids he used to know. Of course it wasn’t hard for him to tell that Biff and Loman lacked the brains to be original and were simply emulating Bulk and Skull before the two bullies had cleaned up their acts.

Leo also knew the type of people Biff and Loman were. He and Mike had had to teach Willy how to deal with them. He looked at Biff and Loman and decided.

“All right I’ll give you a few pointers. Will one of you come to the centre please?”

“Cool. Loman, you first.” Biff said as he threw Loman in so hard that his friend hit the mat on the ground. As he quickly got u,p Loman found himself facing Leo, who launched three fakes towards Loman causing him to run from the ring and hide under a table, much to Biff’s disappointment.

All the kids were laughing, except for Biff who hissed “sissy” to his friend.

“Do you think you can do better?” Karone asked standing up from the bar and walking to the centre of the classroom. Turning to Leo she then asked “Do you mind if I interrupt?”

“Not at all Karone. I’m sure the kids would love to see you teach them what you know,” Leo answered.

“Karone?” Biff asked. “What sort of name is that?”

Karone stood her ground, looked him and the eye and enjoyed the uncertainty in his eyes as she answered: “Mine. Now are you going to come into the ring, or you going to send your friend in again?”

Biff stepped back wide eyed as he took Karone’s statement as a challenge. As he regained his composure Biff walked into the ring and looked Karone in the eye believing himself a big shot.

“You’re a girl. This shouldn’t be so tough.” Biff said arrogantly.

Karone smiled as she anticipated teaching Biff a lesson. Looking around she spotted a pair of bow staffs and picked them up. She handed one to Biff and wasted no time getting into a defence position.

“Attack!” she said at the very next second before lunging forward.

Biff started swinging his staff while Karone blocked all of Biff’s wild blows. After a while Karone knocked the end of her staff under Biff’s legs and threw him down to the mat. Biff got back up and picked up his staff again. No way was he going to get beat by a girl. ~Even if she’s hot.~ Biff added to himself.

Karone decided to throw the staff away while Biff still had his. Immediately the young bully lunged towards Karone who sidestepped the charge, grabbed the staff to make sure Biff kept going, using his momentum against him, and Biff was sent into the Pachinko machine that was closed for repairs. The youths chuckled as they saw Biff all sprawled out.

“Think you had enough training?” Karone asked.

Biff and Loman decided to run out of the Youth Center as fast as they could.

Ernie chuckled. “If they decide to take up cockroach kung fu I’m going to Bosnia.”

Leo walked over Karone’s side. “Those were good moves there. Where did you learn them?”

“I had a few good teachers.” Karone said. She then added with a little coyness “Maybe I could teach you a thing or two.”

Leo smiled. “Maybe.” As Leo and Karone got closer some of the class snickered, drawing the duo’s attention. “Short break,” Leo decided.

Before Leo went off with Karone however he noticed Justin off to the side and wanted to touch base with him. “Hey Justin, Jason and Rocky wanted me to ask how you were doing.”

“I’m getting by,” Justin said. “I do miss my dad though.”

Justin Stewart had awoken from a mysterious coma months ago. He had been abducted from his home where his stepmother had been murdered, and soon after-his father. All Justin could remember was a feeling that he had been trapped in a living nightmare that he couldn’t wake up from. And a figure looking on. An evil figure.

Then the nightmare ended, and a woman with a white porcelain mask said that Justin need not fear anything anymore. That ‘they’ would protect him. And so far no monsters came for him. For that Justin was glad, even if he didn’t know who ‘they’ were. He was released from the hospital a week or so later where he was remanded to the custody of Little Angel’s Haven children’s home. A place where he met his friends Nico and Kayla. Little by little it seemed like Justin was getting his life back, even though his dad and the rest of his family, were gone.

“I know how you feel Justin.” Leo said. “I lost my dad too.”

“I lost both my parents, and my brother.” Karone added. “I know what it’s like to lose family. But I also know what it’s like to gain one.”

The last part Karone said with a smile leaving Justin confused. Karone happily explained.

“You’re starting a new family with Nico and Kayla. As well as the other kids from Little Angel’s Haven. The friends you make become part of your new family. Bound not by blood, but by friendship.” Justin listened to Karone’s words and thought she was right. Justin was making new friends, and they were becoming part of his new family. He hoped no one would take them away like they took him away and left his family to die.

“Take care Justin.” Leo said being reassuring. “Any problems let someone know. Or me, and I’ll come running” Leo smiled giving Justin a few moments to smile at Leo’s reassurance.

Somehow he felt Leo meant what he said. He went to the changing to get dressed for the ride back. He then noticed Karone looking at a poster on the wall. A poster for a tournament in San Francisco, A tournament called ‘King of Fighters’.

“Leo do you know anything about this?” Karone asked.

Leo looked at the poster. “Only that Jason, Tommy and Rocky went to San Fran to attend. Apparently they have some friends taking part in it. That’s why I’m teaching this class, and Mike will be around to teach others.” Taking another look at the poster Leo then asked “Are you interested?”

~Dark Specter mentioned something about this,~ Karone thought. ~But none of the other council members say anything about it. It’s like… one of those topics grown ups only talk about.~

“Yes I’m interested Leo. Can we go?” Karone asked. “I’m very curious to see what this is all about.”

Leo looked at Karone and then back to the advert. He made a note of the number and walked over to the pay phone and dialled. After some time in the queue he was able to get two ringside seats for the tournament.

“Looks like we’re going back to San Fran again.” Leo said. Karone however wasn’t enthused when she heard the city of San Francisco again. The city that was home to the ‘other woman’.

“Whoopee.” Karone said with a touch of sarcasm. She didn’t have anything against San Francisco itself, but it was where she saw Zhane with that man stealing Silver Zeo Ranger. She hoped to make her pay with the Talisman of Size, but that idea had backfired and it took a lot of magic for her and Astronema to undo the after effects.

She prayed neither Zhane or Cassidy Bridges crossed her path. Regardless she and Leo got on the next available bus to San Francisco. They would see the tournament and have some fun too.


10 miles from the U.N.I.T. Black Archives.

“Skywatch to Trap 1, do you read?” the pilot asked as he completed another fly over of the transport route. It was his task to look out for possible threats to the convoy that rolled down the road beneath.

“Trap 1 to Skywatch we are receiving. Go ahead.” came the voice of the radio operator in the convoy below.

“Have completed final pass. All clear.”

“Understood Skywatch. We’ll be entering the no-flight boundary soon. You are free to return to base.”

Normally the helicopter would remain on watch until the convoy had reached its destination. However the Black Archives operated within a strict no fly area. Even UNIT’s own choppers were prevented from entering, not so much for the threat they posed to the installation, but rather the effect some of the equipment stored there could have on them.

“Roger that Trap 1. Over and out.”

With the helicopter gone, the convoy consisting of three jeeps and an armoured truck travelled the rest of the way alone. Since it was only ten miles to the archives it was believed the convoy would be safe as they could call the Archives and they could have a force deployed within minutes if there was any difficulty. Of course just because they believed they were safe didn’t mean that they were relaxed. These were difficult times and with all the recent problems UNIT wanted its artefacts secured. Therefore the guards were on full alert, ready for anything.

Unfortunately all the preparation and training they had received could not prepare them for what happened next. The lead jeep crossed a section of road and exploded as if the vehicle had rolled over a landmine. At the rear of the convoy a second explosion took out another jeep in a similar fashion.

The lead truck and the last jeep all stopped as UNIT troops disembarked. They took up positions wondering where the next attack was going to come. The answer came in the form of Minion’s WD Units led by Silvo as they approached the soldiers. The Sergeant ordered the soldiers to fire. The bullets having no effect. The WD units continued to advance.

It was clear that they would win, but Silvo decided to have a little fun with the remaining soldiers. As the last round of bullets flew towards the WD-Units, he fired an equal number of projectiles back at the soldiers. He watched in amusement as his shots ripped through the oncoming bullets before continuing on a deadly path toward the soldiers. As he turned his back he knew that the bullets had connected and that every shot had resulted in a lethal head wound. With the soldiers dead, Silvo ordered the WD Units to secure the cargo.

In the main truck was the object sought. A black cabinet with a section missing. Silvo ordered the WD Units to bring the cabinet out of the truck and then called for Minion. “Master. The object has been secured.”

“Excellent. Teleporting out now. Return at once.” Minion ordered as in a streak of black the Black Cabinet teleported away from the ruined convoy. It’s destination, Minion’s Prison Dimension. Silvo and the WD Units followed.


Minion’s Prison Dimension

~It seems so simple.~ Minion thought as he looked at the cabinet before him. ~Such a simple design, yet it’s capable of so much.~ Minion hoped the cabinet would live up to the hype J.J. Chambers’ letter said it was capable of. There were curiosities and concerns he wanted to address. This cabinet was the means to do just that.

“You may go Silvo. No one is to disturb me,” Minion said in a tone that left no doubt in Silvo’s mind that Minion wanted to be alone with his prize. A curious prize to say the least.

Silvo obeyed his master’s command and left Minion with the black cabinet J.J. Chambers wanted him to obtain.

On the outside it seemed like it was nothing special. Just an ordinary cabinet from the Far East. Minion however figured that that which looked least likely could be considered the most dangerous. Or perhaps the most powerful. ~If anything this could be more insightful.~ he thought as he looked at the key in his hand. A key that could open not just doors but possibilities as well. And Minion wanted to know what those possibilities were, and what they had to offer.

Taking the ‘key’ Minion placed it in the missing section of the black cabinet. The door opened and Minion stepped inside. Once the door closed the cabinet then the cabinet hummed with power and swirled as it seemed to disappear into a vortex that seemed to stretch into time, space and reality. Inside Minion felt reality twist, turn and reshape. As if travelling was causing massive upheaval to him. Minion didn’t mind however. He had found that pain was strength and the cabinet hummed with power. Dark power that could twist its occupants body, mind and soul. Minion however wasn’t worried about being twisted into a monster. He already was one.

He also felt a familiarity in the power. A sense that he encountered this power before. ~In the Dark Dimension perhaps?~ Minion wondered. ~Could the creators of this cabinet have harnessed the power of the Dark Dimension so they could travel in time and space?~ The possibilities did seem staggering to Minion. The Dark Dimension could well be a realm that has no limits.

Soon the cabinet settled and Minion stepped outside. He had found himself in an abandoned store in Chinatown. The sign that said ‘Going out of Business’ seemed evident that no one was present. That and the locked front door. The conclusion that he arrived in Chinatown was drawn due to the Chinese lettering also on the sign saying the same thing as it’s English counterpart, as well as the invitation saying that the tournament was in San Francisco where the most famous of Chinatowns were located.

Minion looked at the address on the invitation. The answers about who sent him and why were there, and he wanted them. Opening the door to the abandoned store and fusing the lock so no one would come after his travel cabinet he then started walking down the streets of San Francisco. As he walked Minion’s curiosity became laced with purpose. Who sent for him, and how could he benefit?

Minion would get answers to those questions as he continued walking down the street.


Outside one of the most expensive hotels in San Francisco two horse drawn carriages had pulled up and seven people had disembarked. Six of them were fighters in the upcoming tournament. The seventh was one of the fighter’s pregnant wife. On board were seven people. Six were fighters, one was a fighter’s pregnant wife. They were also Power Rangers from another reality.

Jeffrey Kincaid was the leader of a Ranger known as the Night Rangers. He had been invited to participate in the tournament along with three of his current teammates and a couple of Rangers from the loosely affiliated group known as the Nightfighters by Shadow, a being that claimed to be a guardian of the Shadow Grid, a claim Kincaid was not certain he believed. It was not that he thought Shadow was deceiving him, but rather the nature of the Shadow Grid that cause him to be sceptical. He hadn’t shared his views with either the McAllister-Kellers or Ken Tanaka. He was just grateful they had chosen to accompany him.

Shadow, the Shadow Guardian of good, had taken an interest in Kincaid it seemed. That was all well and good, but the Shadow Grid was by its definition a grey area and when approached by a being claiming to represent the good element of the Shadow Grid, Kincaid knew that the question should be: whose good? That Shadow saw Kincaid as a tool, a warrior that could deal with many important threats at least assured the Night Ranger that Shadow was honest.

But at heart Kincaid was just a man that wanted to live his life and not have to fight anymore. He had seen too much darkness and wanted a little light in his life. That was what his wife Mackenzie and their unborn child meant to him, the chance to live in the light for a while. But Shadow insisted Kincaid take part, for the exact reasons Kincaid wanted to hang up his morpher: his family.

And so Kincaid had reluctantly agreed to travel to another reality. In return Shadow had allowed his wife to accompany him, figuring that the least he could do was make Kincaid’s stay as pleasurable as possible and had put him up in the most expensive hotel in San Francisco. Kincaid had to admit he would never have expected such generous treatment from those the claimed to be purely good.

It seemed that his companions were equally blown away at the sight.

“Oh my god!” Sarah McAllister-Keller said looking at the sight of the Waldorf hotel. “How much did reservations cost?”

“Probably more than I make in twenty years.” Bruce Greene said as he took his bag off the carriage.

Cassandra Jensen seemed to agree with him “Treasure this stay guys. I think you won’t stay in a place like this again.”

“Unless you commit armed robbery and not get caught.” Ken Tanaka said. Everyone flashed Ken a look, not entirely convinced he was joking.

“Go ahead and sack out guys. I’ll catch up later,” Kincaid told them.

While his five teammates walked in to get their reservations, Kincaid went to check on his wife who still sat in the carriage taking her time to leave.

“I’d ask how you were doing, but that’s a stupid question right now isn’t it?” Kincaid asked as he sat across from Mackenzie.

Mackenzie flashed a look and said “Ya think?”

“Regardless…” Shadow said as he appeared in the seat across from Mackenzie, “I am grateful for you coming here. If I had another choice I would take it.”

Kincaid sighed when he saw Shadow appear out of nowhere without warning. Not even he could pick up the Shadow Grid guardian, even with the help of the Night Spirits; Shadow just seemed to turn up.

“This threat better be as serious as you say it is.” Kincaid said.

Shadow nodded. “I wouldn’t have asked you to come if it weren’t. Despite the ease you might feel passing between realities, keeping the path open is extremely… draining.” He looked thoughtful. “The walls between realities that opened during your battles with Dagsyxx are starting to close again. In time the shards of the Nexus Crystal that you use will not be available to you; it will once again be the gift of gods… and perhaps speedsters. Still, I asked and you came, and for that I am grateful. I realize this is inconvenient for you, so I have tried to make your stay as pleasurable as possible.”

“Hence the expensive suite?” Mackenzie asked.

Shadow again nodded. “As well as the carriages you have so you can have a romantic night before the hellish day.”

“You’re leaving us the horse drawn carriages?” Kincaid asked surprised at the gesture.

Shadow nodded seeming to show a romantic side he had not used in a long time.

“No reason you and Mackenzie can’t enjoy yourselves while you are here.” Shadow answered. He noticed his answer had not convinced them and sighed. “I’ll be at the tournament tomorrow. The carriages are paid for until tomorrow morning, so you can have a bit of a night together.”

“Because tomorrow will be tough right?” Kincaid asked.

Shadow nodded. “Very.”

Then he disappeared.

Mackenzie looked at the carriage and then at Kincaid and asked “Well?”

“I think I will need to rack out to be ready for tomorrow.” Kincaid said. He then turned and gave Mackenzie a slight smile as he touched her hand. “But I think we can spare a little time.”

Mackenzie also smiled, pleased that she had some together time with her husband. Something she hadn’t had for a long time.

With that Mackenzie and Kincaid decided to take a ride and explore San Francisco. Two hours later they joined their teammates who were already asleep.

They didn’t regret the evening they had. But Kincaid did wonder what else was going to happen at the tournament.




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Crossroads of Evil Part 3

Miley Stewart observed the reaction to Laocorn and was confused. "Daddy, why are they booing him? Did he do something wrong?"

Robbie Ray had heard the stories of Laocorn Gaudemas, as much as the general public was allowed to know at any rate. He knew the man had some questionable dealings, and that his sister died as a result. And because of her death he became devoted to making the world a better place for all. "Yeah darlin," he drawled. "He did do something wrong. But he's trying to make up for it."

"What did he do?" Jackson asked.

"Something that cost him his sister's life."

Jackson looked at Miley and wondered what would have happened if he lost his sister. Sure they fought at times, but he couldn't imagine a world where Miley wasn't there. Despite everything Jackson would have his sister's back, just as he knew Miley would have his.

Miley looked down at the ring and found she admired Laocorn Gaudeamas. This was a person who had fallen from a great height and yet had found the strength to pick himself up and make the world a better place in memory of his sister. Someone who did good for the world, and persevered. The sort of person Miley hoped to become.

From her spot within the first class balcony section Kali looked down at Bruce and Cassandra walking to the ring. Their music was playing in the background and even though she did not know where it had come from and who sang it, she felt it was very appropriate for what was to come.

~Let the bodies hit the floor indeed.~ she thought and then laughed as she thought of the scene that would unfold soon.

At ringside Karone and Leo watched as Bruce and Cassandra made their way to the ring. They stopped short as they looked at the doorway waiting for their third man to arrive.

Then a gong was heard and a drum beat. The lights went out and two words were heard.

“Deadman walking.”

JR was stunned. He knew that music as he had heard it plenty of times before. It was the music played whenever the Undertaker made his way to the ring. But the Undertaker was not there, Mark Calloway had not entered the tournament. But the energy, the reaction of the crowd. It was almost the same.

Then the arena erupted in a plethora of sound and light as the music filled the arena. “Keep rollin, rollin, rollin, rollin. Rollin, rollin, rollin, rollin. Rollin, rollin, rollin, rollin. Rollin, rollin, rollin, rollin.”

In the Shadow Vortex, Shadow smiled as Kincaid rose out on his motorcycle to Limp Bizcuit’s tune.

“If you are going to use someone’s entrance music in another dimension, then go with the Undertaker’s” he said quietly, nodding in approvial.

In his Shadowbox Minion sensed the power of Jeff Kincaid. He sensed that this was a Ranger, but there was something different about him. His aura was wild, vengeful and reminded Minion of an untamed beast that bound in place only by the sheer power of Jeff Kincaid's will. He could sense a connection to the Morphin Grid, but instead of sensing a totem animal, he felt some sort of supernatural force. And for the first time since his emergence, Minion felt reluctant to encounter this Ranger in person. It wasn't fear - for Minion had faced an angry demon and been made fully aware of his own mortality. This was a deep rooted feeling that there was more to lose by encountering Jeff Kincaid then he could hope to gain.

~He's a threat,~ Minion admitted after some soul searching. And in that moment he realised that his reluctance stemmed not from any fear of losing, but the lack of absolute certainty that he would triumph. He sat back and watched events unfold. Now was the time to see how much of a threat he was.

Team Destiny looked at Kincaid as he stood on the ramp gunning his engine. He rolled his bike down the ramp way towards the ring. He circled the ring with Team Destiny inside, like a man marking his territory. They were thrown by the dark entrance and were rocked by the explosive music that followed. Not to mention the ride to the ring.

“He’s trying to intimidate us lord.” Panni said. “He shall not succeed.”

“On that we agree Panni,” Laocorn said. “But he shall not be an easy person to beat. He is a man caught in a cycle of pain that drives him onwards.”

After Kincaid’s ride around he noticed two figures sitting at ringside. Two he was not expecting, nor expecting together. He stared at the two for a good minute and then roared his motorcycle engine looking to give the crowd a show before he turned away from Leo and Karone. It was time for business. His team had a fight to win.

The two Kincaid was staring at however, Karone and Leo, immediately felt nervous as if looking into a deep dark pit of darkness and fire.

“Is it just me... or is he staring at us?” Leo asked nervously. He glanced at Karone and noticed that she seemed to have shrank back and was huddling right beside him.

~By the Power and by Darkness... what is he? What is it that he is putting out! I’ve never felt anything like that!~ Karone gasped as she then admitted to herself. ~He scares me. HE scares ME? How is that possible just from a look?~

On the screen in the back room Alison, Cassie and Kat gathered to watch Kincaid fight.

“Kat, what do you know about this guy?” Alison asked.

“I saw him fight during the ID War.” Kat said. “He’s very hard edged; if he sees his opponent as doing something wrong he will...”

"...will what?” Cassie asked.

“Not hold back. When Harper killed Jessica and Katie, Kincaid threw him into a pit of fire below. Granted the monster brought it on himself, but Kincaid played for keeps.” Kat explained.

“Will he cut loose on Gaudeamas?” Cassie asked. Kat had no answer for that.

Kat, Alison and Cassie stared at the screen mesmerized by what was to come. It would not be for the weak of heart.

“Hey, you guys okay?” Cassidy asked. The Morhpin and Zeo Rangers had turned pale when Kincaid had emerged. “What’s wrong?”

Rocky shook his head. “Nothing, really. It's just... we never expected Jeff Kincaid to be here. Never thought we'd see him again.”

"So you know him then," Cassidy surmised.

“Yeah,” Adam said. “We’ve met him before.” It was difficult to decide whether Adam was pleased to see him or not. There were a range of emotions running across his face and it was clear that even though he wasn't angry to see Kincaid, he wasn't jumping for joy.

"He was there, the day Jessica was killed,” Tanya added.

Images flashed through Cassidy's mind, recalling the information she had received from Jessica in a dream. She had always known that Jessica had been killed to teach somebody a lesson, but until now she had never been able to witness the whole memory. But this time there was more detail, secrets unlocked by a name. And as she saw Jessica's death play out one more time she recognised the man that needed to be taught to know his place s Jeff Kincaid.

“It was Kincaid wasn’t it?” Cassidy said. “He was the one Jessie’s killer tried to humble.” The other Zeo and Morphin Rangers nodded solemnly. They didn't blame Kincaid for her death. They couldn't. To do so would mean they would need to hold themselves responsible for every death that occurred during a monster attack. Not that some, namely Tommy and Rocky were not already experts at blaming themselves. Cassidy however couldn’t help but stare at the young man on his motorbike. He was a mystery, an enigma. Had the Rangers even scratched the surface of the mysteries he held? She doubted it. And that made her determined to find out who he really was.

If Cassidy Bridges was curious, Minion was intrigued by Jeff Kincaid. He sensed that he was a Ranger of some kind. But not like any Ranger he knew. Certainly not Morphin, or Zeo, or any of the new Power signatures he was picking up in the arena. Some of them not realized yet. No, that wasn't true. It wasn't that Kincaid's aura didn't matched the established powers. It did. He was clearly drawing from the Morphin Grid. It was the nature of that power that seemed wrong.

Minion had a keen mind and was able to piece together information from only the smallest clues. But Kincaid's power defied everything he knew about the Morphin Grid. The closest thing he could recall was the Evil Green Ranger. But even then the aura had not been so dark, so wild, so... dangerous. It a way it reminded him of how his aura had been when he had morphed using the Blue Power Coin. But though the power had felt equally wrong, it had not been as wild.

~Could Kincaid be using an evil power source?~ he wondered.

No, that didn't didn't make sense. Even if the device was evil, the power it was drawing from would be the same and Kincaid would still not possess that aura. It was almost as if he was deliberately drawing the power from the darkness. But as he watched, Minion could not believe that was the case. Such an act would drive the user to the brink of insanity, not to mention turning them dark. But he could tell that Kincaid was a Power Ranger, not just pretending to be a Power Ranger and that whatever he had done had driven him neither insane nor evil. He was just dark. Impossibly so. From what he knew of the searches Grid Masters used to recruit Rangers, Jeff Kincaid would never have been considered under any circumstances. The Power should have rejected him, and yet it was clear that he was in control. It was almost amusing to picture some of the more zealous Masters and their reactions, but it was also a little frightening to realise he had no idea how to deal with such a foe. How could Kincaid be allied with the forces of good? How could the forces of good be allied with someone like Kincaid?

But as Minion thought about it he realized that there would be some that would want the forces of good to have someone like Kincaid in their ranks. Someone to do the 'dirty work' the 'good guys' could not do for one reason or another. Someone to spread spread confusion through the ranks of the dark armies.

~Someone that cannot be defined easily, leading to fear and speculation. And that fear would be passed down as stories told to children.~ Minion thought amusingly. ~Behave or the Night Man will come for you.~

And at that moment, Minion knew that was what Kincaid was. He was the basis of the monster one told their kids bedtime stories about. He had the look and the feel about him. But there was more. Deep inside Minion wondered if perhaps Jeff Kincaid didn't just look and feel like the boogie man. Perhaps he was the boogie man.

~Yes, he is a threat, a REAL threat.~ he thought, realising that he although he knew next to nothing about him, Jeff Kincaid had somehow managed to scare him. ~I doubt he noticed me, so the effect is not deliberate. It's something he can't control... or can control but chooses not to.~

How could he deal with an enemy that he knew next to nothing about yet seemed to fear? He could explain the fear away as an effect of Kincaid's aura, a bonus that helped to spread the fear that he somehow knew Jeff and his kind wielded so effectively. Power would not do it, nor arcane magic, nor even high science. It would take a very carefully laid out plan to defeat him. Fortunately planning was something that Minion was good at.

~Perhaps coming here was worth it,~ Minion thought, ~just in case there is a Jeff Kincaid I have not met yet. Finding a chink in the armour I can exploit would allow me to prepare.~ With a supreme effort he managed to drag his thoughts and eyes away from Kincaid, searching through the stands to the spot where Kincaid had been looking. There his attention was drawn to a blonde girl he found familiar and a boy that sat by her side. The girl's face looked familiar and since it seemed Kincaid knew her he assumed she had some involvement with the Power Rangers.

"She is a special one," a voice whispered. "One of Dark Specter's chosen, a Princess of Evil.

Minion did not know who Dark Specter was but that didn't bother him for too long as the voice continued, filling him in on the facts. Stories of a powerful villain that had compiled a list of girls from which to select his special heir. Girls with great potential. Girls of power. Of those candidates one had been chosen, and Minion knew that the girl in the seats was Dark Specter's first choice to be his heir. But he also knew there were others who Dark Specter had chosen, or were rumoured to be chosen. He shook his head. It was all very well to know such things, but raised the question about how he knew? He had never heard of Dark Specter. As far as he knew there was no such being. And he was certain that if such a being existed then Mistress Repugna would have been seeking his services.

"And yet you can't deny what you are hearing," he thought... No, he hadn't thought that. It was the voice, somehow interacting with his consciousness. "And there is so much more. Rumours of other chosen to act as replacements if needed. Girls that attained their evil standing through other means."

He saw them. Somehow he could picture them in his mind. One through technology. One through magic. One through nurturing, and one through nature. Minion silently was amused at the idea that Dark Specter would find a Princess naturally born evil. Oh there were villains born all the time, but to be truly evil, truly powerful and to have the beauty that Dark Specter seemed to desire? It was possible, for the possibilities were endless, but highly improbable. As he studied her, Minion decided that in the end Dark Specter had decided to reject nature in favour of something else.

~Wait, there were five princesses," Minion realised. ~The one that was chosen and the four that were to act as replacements. So if she is not evil by nature, nurture, magic or technology... what is she?"

"Can you not see? Are you that blind to the things around you?"

The voice was starting to annoy him. But as he thought about its words he realised there was another option: evil by choice.

~Of course!~ It made sense in a strange way - any of the other four could have been in her place, if they were offered a choice in the matter. But then why was she here, and not with her master? The answer came to him very quickly: ~She's here to learn, just as I am.~ Yes, now he thought about it he realised that aside from those that had come to see the tournament just for the fighting, there were many that had turned up to learn the capabilities of those they would either fight or perhaps aid in combat.

Minion turned away from the Princess and decided to study her companion. Was he a servant, an ally of the Princess. Was he even Dark Specter himself disguised as a human in order to watch the tournament. No, he was just a human. A human with potential for certain, if the undeveloped link to the Power was an indication, but still human.

It made Minion think of the old time travel dilemma of the traveller thrown back in time and came across an infant that would grow up to kill millions. Would that traveller save those millions if that infant was killed before it became a threat? For a moment he wondered if he wasn't being offered the same dilemma of whether to destroy those he sensed could become a threat in the future. Only this time it wasn't a soon to be monster that Minion thought of killing, it was a potential Ranger. The longer he thought about it the more convinced he became that sooner or later the boy would wield unbelievable power, capable of cutting down some of evil's greatest assets.

~But the trouble with such actions is that the act of aggression might be the trigger that turned them into the thing you wish to avoid,~ he realised. Besides there was also the question of why he was in the presence of an evil princess. Did he know what she was? Did she know what he had the potential to become? How could she not. His link was weak, but just his aura should have clued her in. ~Is he trying to corrupt him?~

The was a long pause as his thoughts seemed to blank. And then somehow he knew it was not her intentions he should be questioning. It was the boy who was corrupting the princess.

~How can this be?~ Minion wondered. ~How can he be turning her from evil and not even realise it? He's not even a Ranger, yet he's affecting her.

And then he happened to catch a glance at the princess' aura. She too bore a connection to the Power. She also possessed the ability to become a Ranger, perhaps the same sort of Ranger as the boy she was with.

~Teammates?~ he wondered. As he looked closer he could sense what made her special and gave her the ability to truly choose. She had two auras! One was twisted and dark, and fading. The other seemed to be growing stronger, nurtured by the proximity to the boy.

More questions than answers. Minion was starting to hate the questions coming to his mind. He wondered if this reality wasn't better off being done away with and to just be finished with it. For that matter maybe all realities should be done away with to spare himself the questions that overwhelmed him. And for a moment he found himself agreeing. But then the feeling was gone, leaving him to worry over the state of his mental health. He was aware enough to realise that events had damaged him. His mind was not as stable as it should have been. Could the thoughts of wiping out everything around him represent a deep seated desire to end his own existence? He wasn't sure. But if whether it was some expression of self-loathing or not, he couldn't help but consider it.

Mr Popplewick studied Karone with some degree of interest. It had been a long time since he had last seen her and he had to admit he was curious about the way she turned out. He looked up as he sensed Mr Chambers scrutinising him. It was an uncomfortable feeling since it seemed there was very little Mr Chambers could not discern with his gaze.

"There's a story there," Mr Chambers told him before pointing over to Karone and Leo, "With those two."

"What kind of story?"

Mr. Chambers didn't answer right away as he seemed to consider his answer. It was clear he knew exactly what he meant but perhaps was considering how much to disclose. "Let's just say the girl who was chosen first is realizing her destiny... finally, and leave it at that for the time being."

~So the girl was the first choice, just as I hoped. And now she is the Princess,.~ he thought. Then he frowned. ~What aren't you telling me?~

If Mr Chambers sensed his companion's unease however he showed no signs of helping. His mind was focussed on other matter as he carefully allowed thousands of alternatives to play out in his mind. Events were following the path he had foreseen, but things could change so quickly. There were enemies present and the arena was abuzz with emotion. All it would take was a chance meeting or a wrong word and events could spiral out of control. Shaping the destinies of so many without revealing his intentions was growing more and more difficult. He mentally prepared himself that before the tournament was over he might be forced to reveal a few of his less important secrets.

After revving the motorcycle's engine a few more times, Kincaid parked the bike on its kickstand and made his way to the ring. He had experience of entertaining a crowd and knew how to work the emotions in the air. He raised hi right arm in a biker salute and was pleased that the crowd reacted favourably. The more they riled the crowd up before the match, the better. And it helped send the message he wanted. He had shaken them with his initial appearance and proven that he could play nice. Now it was a matter of demonstrating why they should prefer the playful Kincaid to the scary fighter that lurked before the facade.

"Who were you staring at?" Cassandra asked.

"Leo Corbett and Karone," Kincaid answered. "It looks like they're here together."

Bruce seemed taken aback by that. “Isn’t he supposed to be on Terra Venture? And isn’t she supposed to be the Princess of Evil? Or the Pink Galaxy Ranger?”

Kincaid shook his head. "Different reality, different point in time, and different people. That's the problem with crossing over: you can never be sure the people you know are still the people you know.

"We are a little early in the timeline," Cassandra agreed. "Terra Venture probably hasn't been made public knowledge yet and Karone... I don't know. I'm getting mixed feelings from her. I think things will run a little differently here." She paused. "They already are actually."

“Mixed. Like she’s somewhere between good and evil?” Kincaid asked.

Cassandra nodded.

Kincaid thought a moment about the Karone of his own world. She had been chosen to be Astronema unwillingly, but had been saved. She had later become Pink Galaxy when Kendrix Morgan was killed by Psycho Pink. However his Karone had never shaken the effects of the darkness despite her best efforts. Fighting the darkness of her past had proved to be a constant struggle and Kincaid brought her into the Night Rangers, hoping that darkness would be put to good use. Karone had accepted and had been a welcome addition to the Night Rangers ever since. But the Karone he had just seen was different. This one didn't appear to be a good person struggling not to be evil or an evil person struggling to subdue the good hidden deep within. This Karone was unaffected by spells or powers or any outside influence. No this conflict was one of ideas and the deciding factor would be choice.

“Let’s think about this later. We’ve got a fight to win.” Kincaid said as he turned to face Team Destiny. In truth there was very little he could do and probably even less that he should do. Involving himself could be the catalyst that pushed her one way or the other, disrupting her choice. He knew that if Dana Mitchell had been with him she would have tried to influence the outcome. ~That said one of the Dana Mitchell's we met would have just executed her to prevent the possibility of her becoming Astronema.~ But that was not his way. He was a guest in this reality and realised that he really didn't have the right to make decisions for those that lived there.

Laocorn Gaudeamas, Panni Citrine and Lyla Topaz stood ready for battle. Lyla stepped forward indicating that she would fight first. Bruce stepped forward, indicating that he was ready to start for their team. And so with Lyla and Bruce assuming their positions, the battle started.

Bruce and Lyla moved around the ring, staring each other down. Both waited for the other to make the first move. Lyla felt her anticipation building while Bruce remained cool. He was a seasoned veteran when it came to fighting and knew that as they watched the clock tick, the tension would grow.

“FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!” the fans yelled, adding pressure on the two.

Lyla could feel her blood rise with the chant. Bruce was feeling the same thing although he was able to hide it better. Finally the adrenaline overcame her and Lyla threw the first punch, which Bruce dodged and responded with three punches to the solar plexus. He followed up with a wheel kick, knocking Lyla down on the ground.

Lyla looked up at Bruce and smirked. He looked calm, but she could see that he was just as eager to fight as she was.

“That’s how it’s gonna be huh?” Lyla asked. She smirked. “Cool by me.”

Then she attacked again with a series of Kung-Fu moves that Bruce dodged efficiently. Lyla felt her strength wearing out as she continued to throw punch after punch at her opponent. It didn't take a genius to tell her that she was wasting her energy with all the moves that missed their target, or that by allowing her frustration to drive her onward she was wasting even more energy. It was also abundantly clear that Bruce knew that she would tire from the ferocious nature of her attack.

And then it was as if somebody had flicked a switch and Bruce changed from defence to attack. He launched a side kick followed by a series of rapid punches that moved so fast Lyla wasn’t sure she saw any of them. They were so fast that Lyla made the mistake of thinking the punches were some sort of ki attack. In reality they were just fast punches, but Lyla didn’t know that, which caused her to cut loose slightly with a small ki move of her own.

“FIRE KNUCKLE!” Lyla cried unleashing a minor energy attack on Bruce. Bruce was able to dodge the incoming ball of fire and come back into the game with an upper cut knocking her back.

~Okay, she’s got funky kind of power, let’s change the rules a little.~

Bruce ran forward, ducking under a clothesline Lyla sought to throw. He turned around and ducked as he rolled forward before leaping into the air and crashing his entire body hard across Lyla’s chest in a perfect example of a Lou Thesz Press, all made more appealing by the gymnastic somersault he had thrown in for good measure. The impact was devastating as Bruce’s Rolling Thunder seemingly paid off.

The audience had started to get into the fight somewhat, and the chants for Bruce were causing Lyla’s adrenaline to rise. So lost in the rush of emotion and her body's responses that when Bruce decided to do a finishing rush, Lyla cut loose with three successive flame bursts that would have pulverized a normal man.

“HELLFIRE!” Lyla shouted as three bolts shot forward.

The shots connected and a normal person would have gone down. But even the weakest entrant in the tournament could not be described a a normal person and Bruce was far from the weakest. So despite the fact he was hurt, it was not too surprising to see that he was still standing... barely.

Sensing the opportunity, Lyla decided to finish him off.

“FIRE BLAST!” She bellowed, firing a bolt to finish Bruce off. The burst of flame hit Bruce knocking him back out of the tournament ring and onto the ground below. He landed hard. So hard he did not get back up when the time expired.

It was a hard fought battle but Bruce was eliminated, although to his credit he did not go down easy and it was clear the victory had taken a lot out of Lyla as well, as her bar indicated that she did not have much left either. If the last attack had not taken him down, there was no guarantee she would have won.

And despite the win, her moment of triumph seemed hollow when Laocorn told her something he observed from Bruce... Her opponent had no ki ability. He was a good fighter, but he didn’t use any energy attacks. It was possible, ~No it was very likely~ Lyla thought, that her opponent had no ki ability whatsoever.

~And I had to resort to a ki attack to beat him~ she thought. ~Hardly a victory.~

But a win was a win and the fight had to continue. So Lyla just stood and waited for her next opponent. Seemingly the girl in green.

Cassandra was about to step into the the ring, but Kincaid grabbed her shoulder and shook his head no. Cassandra looked confused as to why Kincaid was holding her back until he said “I don’t want to tip our hand completely.”

Cassandra nodded as Kincaid’s words made sense. So she stepped back and allowed Kincaid to enter instead.

Bruce looked on from the corner as Kincaid and Lyla stared each other down. Both refused to be intimidated. It appeared that Kincaid was showing a little caution despite having the endurance advantage. Finally Lyla decided to break the stare down and held up her hand, challenging Kincaid to a test of strength. Kincaid looked at the outstretched hand and accepted the challenge. From his face it appeared he was slightly impressed.

After locking their hands together they started to mount some pressure. Considering that she had already battle Bruce and was smaller than him, Kincaid was surprised that she managed to hold her own so well. And then it seemed she gained the advantage as she started to push heat through her hands, using the extras pressure to bolster her strength. Kincaid's eyes narrowed as he caught on to her plan. The heat would help to wear him down, making his body work harder. But two could play at that game and with a small smirk he tapped into his own primal force and brought the fire within him to the surface. The heat started to build and build, and soon Lyla felt herself being driven back.

~Oh man talk about power!~ Lyla thought as she tried to focus her heat energy into driving Kincaid down but Kincaid only seemed to get hotter. As the heat intensified Lyla was driven down to one knee as Kincaid continued to mount the pressure. Realizing that she could hold no more Lyla broke the grip and then twisted around to kick Kincaid in the head to give herself some room.

The kick connected but all it succeeded in doing was disorienting Kincaid for a few seconds. Fortunately Lyla only needed a few seconds to deliver a devastating side kick to Kincaid’s jaw knocking him back down. She stood waiting for his next move, wondering what trick Kincaid was going to pull next. Although so far she had been the one to dip into her bag of tricks and he had just reacted.

Kincaid however decided to go on the offence by wrapping his legs around Lyla’s chest, throwing her off balance and down to the floor hard. Kincaid was on top in a position ready to hit her with but he soon got back up and offered his hand to Lyla.

“What is this?” Heyman asked.

JR commented “Well it looks like we know one thing about Jeff Kincaid. He’s a gentleman if nothing else.”

Lyla took the offered hand and she was back on her feet. Both then took the fighting stances ready to fight again. Lyla waited for Kincaid to make the first move, he didn’t. So she decided she would. She launched a side kick towards Kincaid, which he dodged. He ducked down and delivered a wheel kick to the back of Lyla’s foot. Lyla hit the ground on her shoulders using her arms to cushion the fall. Kincaid nodded at Lyla’s skill. She seemed to know how to fall gracefully. Looking up he also noticed how it took some life out of her bar. If the indicators were accurate then she was practically running on empty.

Lyla then decided to try linking a series of punches with a few frontal and side kicks thrown in for good measure. Kincaid allowed several to connect, but blocked the last punch. He changed his posture to a more aggressive stance and launched a volley of his own. He landed a series of lefts and rights, knocking Lyla back, and followed up with an axe kick to the side of her head. Lyla fell, but got back up quickly.

~All right, let’s do the heavy artillery.~ “FIRE BLAST!!!” Lyla shouted as a burst of flame shot out from her hand.

Kincaid however balled his own hand into a fist and let loose a fireball of his own, which upon impact decimated Lyla’s flame. The shockwave sending her back to the outside of the ring... hard.

When Lyla got back up she was staggering. She crawled back into the ring and met with a flaming clothesline the moment she stood. The move struck Lyla dead in the face. The fire was hot to the touch.

“As Joey Styles would say OH MY GOD!” Paul Heyman cried of Kincaid’s move. “He didn’t even call that out!”

Kincaid then decided to end the match picking Lyla up for a tiger bomb. Picking up her body she brought it down hard to the ground landing on the back of her shoulders. The wind sufficiently taken out of her sails. Lyla didn’t get back up. The referee counted and Lyla was done.

When Panni saw Lyla hit the ground, she didn't even need to look at the damage bar in order to tell that she was out of it. She glanced at Laocorn who nodded his agreement and stepped in to face Kincaid. As she did so she took a moment to try to read Kincaid's face. Cold and impassive, it told her nothing. She could tell he was strong although she had already guessed that from his first fight, but there was also a strength she had never known before. She doubted she could take him in a fist fight so she cut loose with her own attack.

“TSUNAMI DRAGON!”

As Panni called forth her power, she sent a monstrous water construct down on Kincaid with devastating force. She knew that this was a desperation move, but she had little choice is she wanted to take down Kincaid. However if she had expected it to work, she was in for a disappointment as Kincaid seemed to take the full force of the blow. Steam erupted from the area Kincaid was standing in.

“Oh man. It’s really getting hot.” Bruce said wiping the sweat that was forming on his head.

“And it’s only going to get hotter.” Cassandra added as Kincaid increased the heat further.

All too soon the water dragon had dissipated, leaving only Kincaid glowing slightly from the residual heat of his aura. And then aura seemed to erupt again, taking on the appearance of unnatural flame. Panni felt herself swallowing down a lump in her throat as Kincaid took several steps towards her. The icy stare in his eyes gave Panni cold shivers.

She had to try the Tsunami Dragon again. She waved her hands into the air as she prepared to call forth her monstrous construct. She only got as far as “TSUNAMIâ?‚¦” when Kincaid charged her with a running clothesline. The heat upon impact was scathing as Panni felt a burn on her upper chest. Quick to recover, Panni tried to regain the advantage in the fight but a kick to the stomach and a neck breaker took the wind out of Panni’s sails. She was staggering as Kincaid made ready to deliver a finishing blow.

He balled up his fist he and allowed the heat to form a red flame around it. He brought his fist up in a fast motion and clocked Panni with tremendous force, which sent her flying out of the ring and down onto the ringside floor near to Laocorn and Lyla. Panni had been eliminated from competition.

“Panni!” Laocorn exclaimed as he rushed to his love’s side.

Lyla also moved to her teammate’s side to see how she was. Both were oblivious to the referee checking on Panni and then the indicators before declaring her eliminated from the match. It appeared that Kincaid's blow had been so unusual that the sensors were unable to calculate the damage it had caused.

“Panni! PANNI!” Laocorn shouted as if trying to will her to live. Kincaid stood by the ring watching as Lyla and Laocorn tended to their teammate.

Panni then opened her eyes and looked up at her love. “I am all right my lord. This was just par for the course in a King of Fighters tournament. Now go into battle Laocorn, our honour is at stake.”

Laocorn nodded and looked up at the ring. As he stepped in, Kincaid was dead in his sights, and Laocorn was allowing this battle to be very personal indeed. If Kincaid noticed he didn't show it, if he was afraid he covered it well, for as Laocorn climbed in, the other man just waited patiently. The crowd was growing anxious, the clock was ticking away, someone had to win it.

Laocorn wondered what should try. There were several techniques that he had mastered over the years, which could be used, but he figured that nothing would be as satisfying as going full tilt against him. So he attacked with a series of rights and lefts, causing Kincaid to fight back. They held nothing back, each willing to beat the other into submission.

It seemed like it would be easier said than done as Kincaid seemed to withstand a lot of punishment, but Laocorn thought he saw a weakness in Kincaid’s defence as his solar plexus was left exposed. Laocorn called for one of his ki attacks, using his anger to feed the attack and grateful that it was an attack the relied on power, not control.

"HEAVEN’S FIST!” Laocorn bellowed.

The energy shot out, forcing Kincaid to draw back a punch. As he threw the punch with all his might, it connected with the energy, which seemed to dissipate in the wake of Kincaid’s fiery power. Laocorn looked wide eyed as he saw this.

“Impossible.”

Kincaid didn't respond. He just stood and waited for the next strike. A glance at the clock told him they had a minute and a half left to finish things. That caused him to change his plans by delivering a fast side kick that came out of nowhere. Laocorn blocked the kick and countered with a leg sweep. When Kincaid got back up, Laocorn went on the attack with a series of rights and lefts, which Kincaid blocked. He responded up with some more rights, lefts and finally an uppercut that Laocorn barely dodged. The seconds ticked away. Laocorn and Kincaid were giving their all. Both turned to look at the screen. Their damage bars were neck and neck, they had used every trick they could think of to get as far as they had and there were only twenty seconds left on the clock.

“Time to end this,” Laocorn said. Energy built up in Laocorn and Kincaid knew this wasn’t a good thing. “RAGE OF THE INFERNO!” Kincaid motioned to Bruce what was to come next. Bruce knew what Knicaid had in mind as he cupped his hands together forming a foot launch. Kincaid stepped onto the waiting hands and used it to jump high into the air, avoiding Laocorn’s attack.

The crowd fell silent as Kincaid seemed to fly over the blast. Even Laocorn was surprised until Kincaid manoeuvred his body so his legs were facing Laocorn. It was at the moment he realised what Kincaid had in mind that he also realised it was too late, as the full brunt of Kincaid’s drop kick connected.

And then the bell rang and the crowd seemed to come alive once more. Kincaid and Laocorn turned to look at the damage boards, knowing that the sensors would calculate the winner based on the damage they had recorded. It was a little like fencing in that regard, contact set off a sensor that recorded a hit that determined a winner. Kincaid was slightly ahead of Laocorn by a nudge, but it was enough for his team to win the match. "Here are your winners: Team Nightfighter!"

Bruce and Cassandra entered the ring and their hands were raised in victory alongside Kincaid. The song “Rollin’ hit the arena as the crowd looked on in awe and suspense. Some of them even applauding. Kincaid looked over at Laocorn, Panni and Lyla, and then walked over to them with his hand extended. Laocorn wondered what Kincaid meant by this gesture, then he remembered how he was a gentleman with Lyla.

“I’m sorry about your girlfriend.” Kincaid said. “It was in the heat of competition. No pun intended.” He then extended his hand out offering a symbol of trust and good sportsmanship.

Laocorn looked at Kincaid sceptically then after a moment took out his own hand as the two combatants shook hands as if they were complementing each other on a good match. Kincaid then raised Laocorn’s hand in victory as Cassandra raised Panni’s and Bruce raised Lyla’s. The audience roared in approval at the show of sportsmanship and respect of Gaudeamas and Team Destiny, who were considered KOF fixtures. Even the Rangers in the stands applauded at the show as the music played on.

There were a few however that didn’t applaud. Some on other fight teams that hoped they wouldn't have to face Team Nightfighte and a few in the Shadowboxes themselves.

End of Part


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Crossroads of Evil Part 2

Disclaimer: The Power Rangers have changed hands several times since this series began. They are currently owned by Saban Brands. Charmed is the property of the WB. Mr. Merlin was a TV show that appeared in the early 1980’s. CHIPS was a show created by Rick Rostner that aired from the late 70’s to the early 80’s. The WWF letters are in reference to the World Wrestling Federation owned by Titan Sports; it should be noted that WWF is a trademark of the World Wildlife Fund. Hannah Montana and related characters are property of Disney. Reference to the ‘Silent Master’ is in reference to the character of Snake-Eyes from G.I.Joe (Action Force) which is property of Hasbro. Sei Tin is from the Devil’s Due Comics version of G.I.Joe. The name Okasa was from the T.V. Series ‘The Master’ as is the name McAllister-Keller, which aired on NBC during the 1980’s for one year. Nash Bridges and related characters are created by Carleton Cuse and property of CBS and Carleton Cuse Productions. Fatal Fury/King of Fighters are owned by SNK/Capcom. ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) was a rival wrestling promotion created by Paul Heyman, the name now belongs to Titan Sports.

Minion is the property of Shadow Ranger, however it is a derived work from a character that appeared in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The song ‘Some Girls’ is sung by Rachel Stevens. The song ‘Rollin’ is sung by Limp Bizkit. ‘You don’t Know me at all’ is sung by Lillian Garcia. And ‘Never gonna stop’ is sung by Rob Zombie.Author Notes: The reference to the San Francisco Earthquake comes from the records that clearly state there was no earthquake. Although this is now regarded as a city wide insurance fraud (mot claimants stated their buildings were damaged by fire from a neighbouring building. In some cases neighbouring shops set fire to each other at the same time).Additional Notes: The Minion shown in this story is the story from Conquest of Evil and not the Minion from COE: Reckoning. There are a number of differences between the two series when it comes to Minion and his Psycho Rangers. However where the Psycho Rangers are concerned it is best explained that in Conquest of Evil, Minion created the Psycho Rangers himself uses many different means and programmed them so that the required him to exist (something that has caused them to do very little ever since). In COE: Reckoning, the Psycho Rangers were originally flesh avatars created by Zordon to cover for the Rangers while they were occupied. Minion corrupted them and turned them into his Psycho Rangers. Since Minion is not only a visitor to this reality, but is also outside of his normal timeline, he is experiencing a little psychic feedback which allows him to interpret both set of events. Confused? So is Minion.

Prelude to Minion’s Legacy Part 3 – Crossroads of Evil
COE: King of Fighters ’96
By The Q Team

After some time, Blue Mary’s van arrived in the city. There she dropped off Alison, Cassie and Kat. Terry, Andy and Joe decided to ride the rest of the way with Mary, King and Mai.

“We’ll meet you at Grandpa’s.” Alison said. “We’ll crash there and then head to the tournament.”

“Okay Alison. But be careful,” Terry said.

Alison just smiled. “Terry, this is my home town. What could go wrong?”

“The same things that could go wrong in Southtown,” Terry answered. “And that’s MY hometown.”

Alison picked up on the warning and the genuine concern. She nodded and hugged her cousin goodbye before giving a similar hug to the others.

“See you guys there,” she promised before the van drove off.

“Why’d you ask to get off here?” Cassie asked.

“Pier 39 isn’t far from here, and I want to take in a little hometown fun before heading into the tournament,” Alison explained.

“I never took you for a shopper Alison,” Kat commented wryly. “Pier 39 has been known to have quite a few shops.”

“That’s not why I go there,” Alison replied. “There’s other things there too. Games, attractions. It’s fun for me.” Pausing she added: “And if I need to go shopping, which I’m not saying that I do a lot, I go there.”

“Sure,” Cassie teased as the three girls headed down to Pier 39 to have a day of fun before training, and the tournament. Once they arrived they noticed a new shop.

“The Fun Factory?” Alison queried. “That’s odd. I know this shop is new here, but who would open up around here so soon after the Cylons attacked?”

“Alison the planet has been recovering quickly,” Kat said. “Many cities have been offering Business Support Packages to help encourage new start ups.”

Before Alison had time to reply, two elderly people came out of the shop, greeting the three young girls. “Ahhh welcome,” the gentlemen said. “Welcome to the ‘Fun Factory’.”

“Thanks Mr….uhhh.”

“Popplewick.” the man said, answering Alison’s question. “Just Mr Popplewick. This is my wife Mrs Popplewick.”

Mrs Popplewick just gave a smile and a polite nod in greeting to the three girls.

“Pleased to meet you.” Kat said.

Alison however was still having problems with the sudden appearance of the new business. Something about it didn’t seem right. She knew the way her town worked and while the scheme Kat mentioned would have been welcomed, red tape meant it would have taken much longer to start such a project. “So when did this place open, I didn’t think a business opened this quickly?”

“Normally no,” Mr Popplewick agreed. “But this project has been on the backburner for a long time and it was felt that now would be a good time to open for business.”

“And what sort of business is that?” Cassie asked. “I mean I know the sign says ‘Fun Factory’ but what ‘fun’ are we talking?”

“Why fun from all corners of the globe,” Mr Popplewick answered. “Our employer, Mr Chambers makes it his interest to teach those that come into the Fun Factory all sorts of games from all around the world. It’s really sad that despite the world coming together in many ways there are still barriers that remain closed.”

He shook his head sadly, his mouth pouting in an almost comical way.

“Mr Chambers seeks to open those barriers,” Mrs Popplewick explained. “And what better way than through fun and amusement?”

Kat, Alison and Cassie looked at each other not sure what to make of the strange couple or why they were asking so many questions. It seemed rude to just walk up to someone and demand answers, as if they were intruding on their privacy. Yet something made them feel that it was important.

“Where is Mr Chambers?” Alison asked.

The look Mr Popplewick exchanged with his wife was so quick that they almost missed it. It was the look of somebody who had to think up an answer quickly and made the Rangers teens even more suspicious.

“He has a prior engagement he’s preparing for,” Mr Popplewick explained. “I’m afraid he’ll be indisposed for the rest of the day.”

That seemed odd that the business owner was away at a time when his input would probably bee needed constantly. It was then that something occurred to Cassie.

“Are you open for business?”

Mrs Popplewick shook her head. “No, we are still a few weeks away. We just thought we’d come and test the new lighting and maybe draw a bit of interest.”

And suddenly one of the things that had been nagging them about the situation made sense. That was why there were no customers around or sounds of laughter. The Fun Factory was not open.

“Say, since you’re here, why don’t you have a look around?” Mr Popplewick offered. “Not everything is working yet, but it would be nice to get some customer feedback.”

Alison, Cassie and Kat looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders. What harm could there be in just looking? As they entered the Fun Factory store, Mr and Mrs Popplewick shared a look although the girls missed the delight gleaming in their eyes.

Once the girls stepped inside the Fun Factory they saw the Mr Popplewick had been telling the truth. The room was filled with games from different countries, and some were very old.

“Is that an old Mr Do game?” Alison asked looking at a vintage arcade game off to the side.

“One of Mr Chambers’s collection,” Mr Popplewick said. “We have others besides these, but will probably be rotating them between here and storage for some time.”

Looking down the isle Alison saw that there were a number of classics on offer. Crazy Climber Crazy Climber, TRON, and its predecessor: Space Paranoids, stood out. She noticed there were a few fighting games like Mortal Kombat, Double Dragon, Street Fighter.

Kat however was distracted by a Pachinko machine off in the corner. “A Pachinko game? Where did you get this?”

“Mr Chambers is well travelled.” Mrs Popplewick said. “He obtained this from one of his Far East excursions.”

Kat studied the machine, noting a few places where it had been bumped. “Reminds me of a story a friend told me. He played Pachinko so much it got to the point where having fun was the only thing that mattered to him. Got his friends into trouble too, until they got out of it.”

“Yes these things can be very addictive,” Mrs Popplewick agreed. “Hm, perhaps something else would interest you. Ah, maybe this.”

The Popplewicks led the way to a corner, motioning the girls to follow.

“What’s this way?” Alison asked.

“A new game Mr Chambers has acquired and is testing,” Mr Popplewick explained. “It is called ‘Future Roulette’.”

“Future roulette?” Cassie asked.

Mr Popplewick elaborated. “An electronic roulette wheel where one spin can tell you your future.”

“Kind of like an electronic Magic 8 ball?” Alison asked.

“A little more accurate than that,” Mr Popplewick answered. “The roulette wheel predicts to near pinpoint accuracy. Or at least it has so far.”

“Would you like to see how your futures turn out?” Mrs Popplewick asked kindly as she motioned to a machine off to the side. It had a carnival like decoration around it, draped with curtains. But the centre of the device had a compartment that looked as if it had been shaped to fit the human hand.

Alison, Cassie and Kat looked at each other and shrugged.

“What could it hurt?” Alison asked.

“Brave words young one.” Mr Popplewick said. “It’s real simple. Stick your hand inside and the electronic wheel will reveal your future to you.”

Alison, Cassie and Kat shared another look and Alison then asked the question they were all thinking: “All right, who’s first?”

“I’ll go first.” Kat said as she put her hand on the slot.

There was a whirling noise as the section retracted into the machine, taking her hand with it.

Mrs Popplewick looked at the screen as the electronic wheel spun before her until it settled on what looked to be Kat’s future.

“You will embrace your true self.” Kat said quoting the message before her wondering what it meant.

“Think of it as a sort of fortune cookie,” Mrs Popplewick offered. “The meaning is open to interpretation until it happens. Next please?”

Next was Alison as she put in her hand. Mrs Popplewick again looked at the screen as the electronic wheel spun. When it settled the screen said, “You have seen battle. You will see more, but you will not see them alone.” Alison just shrugged as she removed her hand.

“Doesn’t sound like anything new.”

Finally it was Cassie who put her hand in the device. Mrs Popplewick looked at the screen as the wheel spun. As the wheel continued to spin Cassie then felt a sharp cut into her hand. “Owwww!” she said as she pulled her hand out. As she looked at it there seemed to be a deep gash across the top of it.

“Cassie you okay?” Alison asked.

“I think so.” Cassie said. Holding her hand.

Mrs Popplewick looked surprised that Cassie’s hand was cut. “Oh I’m so sorry my dear. Here, let me get you a first aid kit.” Cassie nodded as Mrs Popplewick left to get the first aid kit then returned as quickly as she had disappeared. “Honestly had no idea how that could have happened.” Mrs Popplewick said as she poured some antiseptic on a cloth to put on Cassie’s hand. “We’ll have to send the machine for repair. Can’t have it cutting up customers.”

Cassie nodded in thanks as she then looked at the screen to see her fortune. What she saw confused and scared her.

The message said: “One’s gift can be another’s curse.”

Cassie felt a feeling of doom overtake her as she put the thought out of her mind and looked at her hand again. Her eyes looked on in amazement as the deep cut that was on her hand before was gone. Kat and Alison looked surprised too.

“Oh, well I guess it wasn’t such a large wound after all,” Mrs Popplewick said. “Blood has a nasty habit of looking worse than it really is sometimes. I guess we won’t be needing this kit. Probably just as well. My apologies young miss. Mr Chambers will happily compensate you for any troubles.”

“Don’t mention it. I’m not interested in suing Mr Chambers,” Cassie said as she then looked at her watch. “Look, I think we’d better be going. We have a tournament to get to.”

“Well don’t let us stop you.” Mr Popplewick said. “Take care.” Soon all three girls headed for the door saying good bye, all the while Mr Popplewick saying “Perhaps you can recommend this place to your friends?”

“We’ll keep that in mind.” Kat said as the girls left the Fun Factory. The Popplewicks smiled as the three girls walked away.

When they were gone, Mr Popplewick activated the intercom. “Do you have what you need Mr Chambers?”

The voice of JJ Chambers spoke through the intercom “Yes Mr Popplewick. I have obtained all I need from Miss Chan. Now we must leave. We too have a tournament to attend.”


Minion’s first act had been to find a new set of clothes. There was nothing wrong with his appearance as far as he was concerned, but this was not his reality and there was no guarantee that people would recognise the danger he posed. All it would take was one overly brave police officer to confront him and his presence would draw further attention that he could do without.

~I didn’t come here to fight,~ he reminded himself. ~This time.~

As he entered a Goodwill store he looked for a new set of clothes to blend in with the environment as best as possible. Not that he fooled himself for a minute that changing clothes would be enough to blend in. But with the right attitude and a little magic there was a chance it would help others to ignore him. In the end he settled for a black suit with turtleneck, a black overcoat and a western ten gallon hat. All which gave him what he hoped was a ‘man in black’ look similar to what he had seen in an old Halloween movie. The huge hat and coat lapels, along with the turtleneck, obscured his face. He also selected a cheap pair of sunglasses to cover his eyes.

Before he left the store, he spared a thought for the shopkeeper he had battered into submission. He glanced down and used his magical senses to assess the damage he had caused.

“I get to take these clothes and you get to live,” he said as he repaired a few of the broken bones. “A fair trade if you ask me. Don’t get up. I’ll show myself out. I hope you appreciate the… even exchange.”

And with that small demonstration of mercy, Minion walked calmly onto the streets of San Francisco.

He had always known there was something about San Francisco that was magical. Not in the Angel Grove sense of the word, but something deeper. It was an energy that very few cities seemed to possess. It wasn’t the strength that defined it, it was the intensity. San Francisco, Tokyo, London, Geneva and Vienna shared that same feeling. New York did too, but it was smothered by the overwhelming strength of the Ley Lines. And then there were places like Cardiff where the feeling seemed to fluctuate wildly.

Minion also knew San Francisco had other qualities about it that could have been considered unusual. He knew the city had suffered a devastating earthquake at the start of the Twentieth Century and another crippling tremor less than a century earlier. Yet the city had somehow emerged seemingly unscathed and the damage could only be seen by looking in areas humans would not normally look. Vienna was a crossroads city between rival powers, a city where cultures co-mingled and where powers considered good and evil could interact briefly before rejoining their own worlds. Tokyo had its own power that made it a wonder of the world and a victim of monster attacks, which Minion suspected were more a side effect of mass exposure to magical energy and mass hysteria. London was a city of power and tradition that went back centuries. And Geneva, was known for being a world unto itself not answering to either force. There were other cities that could be described as special, but Minion foresaw days where many of those cities would fall by the wayside and the fate of the others was not clear, while the seven he had noted would live on forever.

Still despite all that, Minion wondered why had been chosen as host for the tournament. Was there going to be a major concentration of power in this location involving not just the Power Rangers?

~The answers will be at this tournament,~ Minion thought as he walked through the streets and made his way to the location of the King of Fighters tournament. Unfortunately despite his desire to remain unseen, he managed to draw the attention of a local street gang.

“Hey man it’s the Shadow!” one of the members shouted. “Yo Shad, let me hold ten dollars.”

Minion kept walking, not giving the gang members the time of day. If he had been hoping that his lack of reaction would dissuade them he was bound to be disappointed. The brush off succeeded only in angering the youths and unwilling to let somebody get away with brushing them off, the gang moved so they were blocking Minion’s path. For his part Minion remained cool although he showed no sign of backing down, in fact his body language made it clear that he considered himself superior. He was not surprised therefore when the leader pulled out a switchblade knife.

“Yo Shadowman, I told you I wanted to hold ten dollars. You gonna give me ten dollars, or am I gonna take something more?”

The gang leader looked tough, especially when backed up by his friends. Minion however had seen worse. To Minion they were nothing more than a joke, parasites that used fear, juvenile attitudes and weapons to elevate their standing in a minor area of a city. They had no drive to go anywhere else. No ambition besides ruling over an insignificant corner. It was so pitiful that he couldn’t help laughing.

“How pathetic,” Minion mused. “You rule an insignificant corner, in an insignificant city, on an insignificant planet and consider yourselves important enough to get in my way. Do you even rule this patch or are you just claiming to own it?”

“Yo, Shadow we do rule here!” the gang leader said. “The Rollers Rule!”

Minion’s smirk was hidden by the turtleneck and overcoat he wore, but he was amused, which for the moment meant he would probably let the fools live. He stepped forward and he could sense the fear around him. It was there niggling at the back of the gang members’ minds. Whether they were capable of realising it or not, on some level they had accepted that Minion was trouble.

“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” Minion asked remembering the old radio tag line. “You don’t want to know.”

That had done the trick and as Minion stepped forwards, the gang tried to back away. Up close they could see the maniacal gleam in his eye, but when they were found an hour later, they were unable to say what had happened in the missing time. Paralysed by fear and in danger of dying from shock and exposure, the gang was rush to hospital for emergency treatment.

No one saw the man in black walk away from the sight. Although the words he spoke as he departed seemed to linger. “Never let it be said that Minion does not have a sense of humour.” For years to come people would swear that they could hear an eerie laugh on that corner. The gang never returned.


The venue for the King of Fighters Tournament had been been carefully selected months before the event had been advertised. The sponsors for the year had brought forth enough money for the tournament to be held at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. And while some fighters had made reservations for lodgings, others had arrived at the arena early and sat in the locker rooms to prepare for the battles to come. The organisers had gone all out to cater to their fighters’ needs. A gym had been put together for fighters to train if they did not wish to make use of the many private gymnasiums that had opened in the months leading up to the tournament.

Inside the Cow Palace Gymnasium, the team of ninjas Mirabilis had assembled for training. They had practiced, meditated, and kept their focus on their one objective: elimination of their adversaries. Focus was everything and dedication to their goal guaranteed success.

For Kane Okasa it would always be personal. The blood feud he had with the McAllister Kellers would never end until one or the other family was dead. His two partners were a means to that end.

Sei Tin merely sought to expand his influence in the ninja community. He had risen to power in the Red Ninjas, but he sought more. It grated that despite his accomplishments, he would always be eclipsed by the reputations of clans such as the Arashikage and the Koga. Nor could he rise above the academic excellence of the Hayate and Ikazuchi paths. Sei Tin heard that representatives of all four groups would be present and he longed to show what a power he was. He hoped in doing so he would receive an invitation to change his clan and become the well regarded ninja he was supposed to be.

Eiji Kisaragi also desired to make a name for himself. He had been desperate to compete in the tournament, but no one would train with him. When Mirabilis recruited him to take part as a member of her unique, team he saw it as an opportunity to have his name placed with greats like the Bogards, Joe Higashi, and even Geese Howard. For him the winning was important, being recognised as a competitor would do.

The three ceased their activities when Mirabilis entered the room.

“I trust you are ready?” she asked.

Kane nodded. “Hai.”

He made no effort to hide his eagerness for the battle to come. He would destroy the McAllister-Kellers in this tournament once and for all. If his two teammates had agendas they could fulfil them for all Kane cared. As long as the McAllister Kellers, and whoever they got to fight along side them, fell. Sei Tin bowed indicating that he too was ready to fight and expand his influence. He had promised he would help when necessary, but had promised himself that he would only risk himself if it would enhance his standing. Eiji just nodded. He had made it to the tournament and would do what was asked of him in return.

“See that your adversaries, whoever they are, do not win. Do whatever it takes. And remember: I’ll be watching.” With that Mirabilis left, leaving Kane and his team to ponder how they would beat their adversaries.


There was a lot of money to be made at the King of Fighters Tournament and the organisers had over the years learnt the best ways to ensure that as much of that money as possible went to their pockets. While there were people willing to pay a high price for first class tickets, there were some that were willing to pay far more for their own areas. Private boxes that offered every luxury possible, security and complete privacy were expensive to provide, but far more expensive for those that wanted them.

The organisers and their clients referred to them as Shadowboxes and for the right fee the organisers could provide whatever their clients needed whether it was food, drink or other less legal items. Even extra companionship could be rented for the right price. Reputations, morals and criminal records were overlooked in exchange for hard cash. In short if they could pay they could stay.

A regular attendant to the Shadowboxes was Geese Howard. Unlike some of those that booked months in advance, he had booked his space for the next decade. It showed just how rich he was and made him one of the tournament’s most influential guests. He hadn’t purchased additional companionship for the evening, preferring the two whores he had picked up on his way to the event. But before he could allow the questionable ladies to satisfy his appetites, there was business to attend to. Ivy Howard and Daniel Kane were waiting for his blessing.

“My blessings come when you win.” Geese said. “So do not fail me.”

Ivy and Daniel both nodded leaving Geese to his recreations. He smiled as he surrendered to his companions’ skills. Tonight was going to be quite a show.


Also in the Shadowboxes was another special guest to the tournament, Kali Yagami. Unlike Geese however she had to pay for her seat at the last minute. Fortunately though she had been able to arrange a last minute cancellation.

Kali took her seat and felt her belly. “Watch my child. Watch as you will see spectacles unimagined.” She smiled as she said that last line as she knew those words to be true. Her only regret was that she would not be able to take part in the tournament herself, and face her hated rival Cassie Chan.

“Oh well. Cassandra will meet her end soon enough.” Kali said as she laughed slightly to herself. A laugh that got only louder as she imagined the spectacle to come. Kali longed to see Cassie fight. She longed even more to see Cassie die.


After much walking Minion arrived at the Cow Palace. He checked his invitation and found the directions called for him to enter through the special seating entrance. Making his way through the crowds Minion arrived and was surprised when he was simply waved through, unlike the masses that still had to wait their turn. Identifying a young brunette woman, dressed in a skimpy outfit reminiscent of a Las Vegas magic act, as one of the event’s escort, he walked over and offered his ticket.

“Ah yes,” the escort said looking at Minion’s invitation. “Your box is prepared Sir, please follow me.”

If Minion had noticed the way he eyes seemed to blank when she had read his name, he didn’t comment. Instead he followed the scantily clad hostess to his seat in the private area and was shown into a room with tinted windows and drapes. He didn’t query the decoration. He figured some people just valued their privacy.

“Bullet proof,” he noticed as his magical senses scanned the room.

“Some of our guests prefer a sense of anonymity.” the hostess said. “As well as a measure of protection. The glass is tinted and bullet proof to keep attackers at bay. Some clients have made some enemies if you understand me.”

Minion understood well enough. While they were not exactly the same, he could sense the magical signatures of some of those he identified as his enemies. He also figured there were other individuals here that would make potential enemies, and something inside his being told him he didn’t want to make any new enemies for the time being. ~At least not until I return home and finish what I started.~

“If you have any requests, refreshments, company, please don’t hesitate to call.”

Minion noted the hostess was flirting with him but dismissed it as unimportant. Chances were that that was how they earned their tips. He dismissed her with a wave and took a seat on the couch to watch the tournament unfold before him. He would see for himself how much this tournament would affect his plans.


JJ Chambers had arranged it so that his Shadowbox overlooked Minion’s location. He had paid extra to have cameras placed at certain points. Not that they would catch any incriminating activity, but he would be able to observe Minion’s reactions and adapt his plans accordingly.

~Expect to see a great deal tonight my friend,~ Chambers thought. ~I’m sure you’ll find something to love and a great deal to dislike. I hope you will agree that most of it will be useful.~

He settled his gaze on the arena floor, not bothering to look up when the Popplewicks entered the Shadowbox.

“Our other guest has arrived.” he told them.

Mr Popplewick nodded his understanding. “Aren’t you going to invite him here?”

“Not right away.” Mr Chambers answered. “I want him to wet his appetite first. Let him see what is to be expected. You should do the same my friends,” JJ Chambers advised, sparing the Popplewicks a glance. “If you are going to continue to take interest in this world, you should be aware of the powers, threats and wonders you might encounter.”

Mr and Mrs Popplewick looked at each other and then turned their gazes to the tournament floor. They wondered what surprises and opportunities would present themselves.


Outside the Cow Palace, spectators lined up to gain entry. The queue extended almost a mile. Some of the spectators were fans looking for a fight unlike any other. Others however had seen a the tournaments before, or knew of them, and knew it would be a good idea to visit to see if any threats would arise that could not be dealt with.

In the line close to the doors Kanoi Watanabe and his wife Mirai waited with their son Cam.

“Are you sure of this?” Mirai asked, holding her son close as if trying to protect him from the tournament they were about to watch. “To expose Cam to this barbarism?”

“It is barbarism with power.” Kanoi said, understanding his wife’s concern. “When the Hayate Way decided to open the Wind Ninja Academy it was agreed that our students should be ready for whatever threats are to come. And to meet those threats we must be open to new techniques.” Pausing he then added. “Besides, while Cameron may never hold a weapon in combat, he still has a role that he will play. By teaching him about the world we are giving him the tools he will need to fulfil his role.”

It had been agreed very early in their son’s life that he would not be trained as a warrior. Kanoi had agreed and had instead suggested that their son should become a teacher and developer of new techniques that would enhance the Hayate Way.

“Would it not be best to ask how they are done?” Mirai asked.

Kanoi shook his head. “Most would not be willing to share their secrets. Some may even take not sharing to dangerous levels. As such we are limited by what we can see, and understand with our minds. These fighters may have secrets, but we can observe and interpret those secrets with our minds and intellects.”

Mrs Watanabe nodded hoping her husband was right.

Silently, Kanoi hoped he was right as well.

Off in the distance Kanoi saw Sensei Omano of the Thunder Ninja Academy. With his was his daughter Lee Ann and one other student. An Oriental boy. Kanoi assumed Omano was there for the same reason he was. Omano turned and gave a slight nod acknowledging Kanoi’s presence. Kanoi gave a similar nod. Relations between the Hayate and Ikazuchi Clans were uneasy at best, however both had agreed to open new academies that would provide friendly competition instead of violent feuds. And despite the frosty relationship, the two clans would always have the backs of one another if things went bad.

There were other individuals in attendance who sought to learn about the King of Fighters and the powers its fighters seemed to have. Andrew Hartford of the Hartford Foundation, along with his butler Spenser, were looking to take an interest in the tournament. Hartford had hoped to view some of the fighters in action so he could see the powers they used. He had a project in the works that involved Power Ranger abilities, and he wanted first hand observation of abilities that he could incorporate.

Also in attendance was the Silent Master of the Arashikage Ninja Clan with his own apprentice Kamakura. The Silent Master was dressed in black and wore a hood over his face. His vocal cords were damaged in a helicopter accident that destroyed his face as well leaving him unable to talk. Medicine at the time had repaired his face, but had been unable to help his speech. Despite his silence he showed phenomenal skill that allowed him to elevate to the rank of Master. It was that skill that made him the leader of the Arashikage Clan during the absence of its true leader.

The Silent Master had visited several past tournaments and had formed friendships with some of the competitors. He had brought his student along to demonstrate that there were techniques that their clan did not teach. He hoped it would force his student to look for ways to overcome them and better himself in the process.

All three parties stood in line patiently, waiting for the doors to open. It didn’t take long as as soon as they did so the crowd surged forward while those who had purchased their tickets the day before, calmly made their way into the arena. The excitement was contagious and soon the tournament was ready to begin.


The Zeo Rangers made their way to their seats to watch the ring below. The auditorium continued to fill up and Tanya wondered where the Astro Rangers would be sitting. They didn’t have long to wait as Andros and his team came to sit behind them in the stands.

“Hey Cassidy,” Ashley greeted.

“Looking forward to Alison, Cassie and Kat’s fight?” Cassidy asked.

“About as much as you I take it,” Ashley said.

Cassidy snuck a peak in Zhane’s direction and the Silver Space Ranger winked at her. Cassidy rolled her eyes and sat back down in her chair. “The game of cat and mouse continues,” she muttered.

“Yeah but there is one question.” Emily said. “Who’s the cat and who’s the mouse?”

“That’s two.” Sabrina said.

Emily raised her hand as if saying sorry.

“I guess we’ll just wait and see.” Cassidy said as she turned back towards the ring. They were ready to begin the opening festivities.

“Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the King of Fighters Tournament!” a small man with blond hair announced. The crowd cheered. “Please enjoy the show. And now, your announcer for the evening, Michael Buffer!”

“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the King of Fighters Tournament,” Buffer announced to a loud cheer. “As always the preliminaries have all been taken care of. We have sixteen teams here ready to do battle but only one of them will be this year’s King of Fighters! So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… for the thousands in attendance… for the millions watching at home…” Buffer paused for a few seconds to build up the tension. “LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!”

The applause after Buffer spoke was deafening and even the Rangers found themselves caught up in the energy of the event. After a good few moments of the crowd adulation the applause died down, and Buffer started to speak again.

“And now introducing the broadcast team. First your colour commentator – Paul Heyman!” A string of boos could be heard as a fat man with a King of Fighters hat and cheap suit walked down to the ring to sit at the announcer’s table as a techno march was being played throughout the arena. Buffer then proceeded to introduce the play by play man. The Oklahoma Fight Song was heard throughout the arena. “And now, your play by play analyst, Good ol JR, Jim Ross!”

Applause was heard throughout the arena as JR made his way to the ring where the announce table was set up. Both of them ready to call the action for the people watching at home on Pay-per-View. The first King of Fighters tournament ever to be on Pay-per-view.

“Welcome everyone to the King of Fighters Tournament and its great to be here.” JR said.

“It’s great to be here… it’s great to be here?” Heyman shot. “JR do you have any idea where you are right now? Do you even KNOW what King of Fighters is all about?”

JR shot his look at Heyman. “Well personally other than the fact that its just martial art fighting, I don’t see this being any different from what I do in the World Wrestling Federation.”

“Oh the great and powerful World Wrestling Federation.” Heyman said sarcastically. “Where the BIG BOYS play.” He then looked hard at JR. “Well let me tell you something JR. The competitors in the WWF wouldn’t even last a MINUTE in fight with anyone of these fighters you are going to see here today. Even the stars of ECW would get beaten by the fighters here today.”

JR looked surprised. “I never once in my life would think you would say that in public.”

“And there is a very good reason for this. It’s because I was here last year when I, like you are right now JR and like a lot of people watching at home, had no idea what King of Fighters was all about. Like all of you, I thought it was very much like wrestling, more like my own organisation in any event, but I digress. The point I am trying to make here, and I mean this, everything that you are about see live is real. There is no play acting, there is no cheap tricks, and there are no special effects. Everything that will happen here at King of Fighters is totally real.” Paul Heyman said. “It’s not fake, fixed or scripted in any way. In fact if somebody tried to give them a script, they’d probably shove it somewhere really uncomfortable.”

And that made JR somewhat nervous. He had known Paul for years. He had been his mentor in the world of commentary. And while as characters they didn’t agree, behind the scenes they were good friends. And he could tell from the way he was talking that Heyman believed every word he said.


Minion watched as the announcers took their positions. His eyes scanned the audience, searching for familiar faces. He had zeroed in on a few in the stands already and picked out the Morphin and Zeo Rangers. He knew Katherine Hillard would be appearing at the tournament as she was listed as a competitor on the tournament program.

~Katherine competing in a tournament?~ Minion thought for a moment. ~Interesting. I would have thought Jason, Tommy or Rocky would have been more ideal choices.~

He looked at the other names on her team. Alison Bogard and Cassie Chan. He didn’t know those two, but figured they must be important. He was curious about Kat’s opponents. Team USA… he felt he should know them.

Already Minion had many questions he wanted answers to. Looking back at the stands where the Morphin and Zeo Rangers sat he saw there were other faces there he didn’t know, yet were dressed in the same mono-colour outfits that identified them as Rangers.

~New recruits?~ he wondered. ~Or new teams?~

Minion tabled the line of thought as he focused on the tournament. Or rather the opening ceremonies. Minion however was impatient. He wanted the tournament to start now, as did most of the audience present. Minion had to smile at himself for a moment. Never did he think he would have something in common with humanity, let alone something as pointless and trivial as fan anticipation. He longed to see what the King of Fighters had to offer him. For him, and his conquests.


Before the actual battles began there were always the opening ceremonies to take place. These ceremonies often involved a performer to come out and sing the National Anthem of the country that was hosting the tournament. This year was no different as Michael Buffer took to the mike to introduce the performer that was to sing.

“And now, performing America the Beautiful. Platinum album recording artist Robbie Ray!”

Coming up to the stage was a tall man with a mullet haircut. A guitar in his hand. A stool sat in the centre which Robbie Ray used to sit on. He kept the guitar on his lap getting ready to play, after he scanned the audience to find the people he most wanted to play for.

He saw them. His wife Susan, seven year old son Jackson and five year old daughter Miley. Robbie Ray smiled a small smile and started playing the guitar chord.

Oh beautiful, for spacious skies

For amber waves of grain

For purple mountains majesty

Above the fruited plains

America, America

God shed his grace on thee.

And crown thy good. With brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.

Robbie Ray left the stage as a second set of music filled the arena. A tune that signified the beginning of the King of Fighters tournament, and the march of the tournament participants. As Robbie Ray was leaving he saw several of the fighters walk past him. Some of them with a great sense of menace. He thought now was a good time to get out of dodge. Gathering his family he made ready to leave quickly.

Little Miley asked where they were going. “Aren’t we going to see the fights?” she asked.

“Maybe another time Miles.” Robbie Ray said.

He escorted his wife and family to the main exit where Geese was waiting. “Going somewhere Mr Stewart?”

“Uh yeah Mr Howard.” Robbie Ray said trying to be as much of a gentleman as he could. “As glad as I was to sing America the Beautiful here, I don’t think I want to expose my kids to what might happen. I think it’s best I leave.”

Robbie Ray moved his family to leave but Geese blocked the door flanked by two security guards that could have been best described as walking walls of meat.

“I must insist you stay.”

“And I must insist I leave.” Robbie Ray said determined to get his kids out of harm’s way. Geese snapped his fingers and more intimidating guards stood behind Susan, Miley and Jackson. They didn’t even try to look menacing, everything abut them suggested they were tough and had no problems hurting children. Miley and Jackson knew this as they hugged their mother for support.

“Terms of your contract say that you stay for the duration.” Geese said. “You and those you invite, such as your family.”

Robbie Ray was furious hearing Geese’s words. “I didn’t authorize that!”

“No your agent did.” Geese said with a sneer. “He must have overlooked that little detail. Regardless, you and your family remain until the tournament’s end. Besides, my daughter would love a victory celebration after she wins her tournament battles.”

“And if I refuse?” Robbie Ray asked.

“Then you will be in breach of contract.” Geese said as he looked at Jackson and Miley. Both children immediately held their parents tighter for protection as Geese seemed to sneer at them in intimidation. “And in so much debt your children will be paying it off.”

Robbie Ray just shrugged off Geese’s threat. “If it’s about money I have more than enough.”

“Oh it’s not money I will seek Mr Stewart. It’s your life, and the lives of your children.”

“What are you saying?” he asked,y not liking what he was hearing.

Geese smiled coldly as he laid it on the line.

“Simple. One night, or the rest of your family’s lives.” Geese kept his eyes on Miley and Jackson. His mind focused on plans for their future. His plans for the Stewart children’s future. Not theirs.

“I guess we stay then.” Robbie Ray said with a growl vowing that the conversation was not over, whether it was with Geese or with Robbie’s own agent.

Geese nodded. A wise choice, but if you are thinking of severing ties with your agent you should contact the rest of your family to see how they are. Your Aunt Dolly, your mother Ruthie, your brother Bobby Ray and his family Your darling daughter Miley and son Jackson. You never know when a tragedy will strike.” Robbie Ray’s blood ran cold. But Geese didn’t let up on the threats. “Go ahead, sever ties with your agent. If you think it’s worth it.”

Robbie Ray stared hard at Geese not hiding his anger. “This isn’t over.”

Geese just smiled, not not the least bit intimidated by the entertainer’s threat. “I assure you it’s only beginning Mr Stewart. Now please allow these gentlemen to escort you to your seats.”

Reluctantly the Stewarts followed and were guided to their seats in the Shadowboxes. Both Susan and Robbie Ray held onto their children for dear life. Especially as they watched the fighters in the ring circling it. Waiting.

Miley watched the fighters circle the Shadowboxes. One she saw terrified her. “Daddy there’s a scary man over there.”

Her brother Jackson added, “Just one?”


“You know I still don’t know why seem to be so smug about this.” JR stated.

“Well the look on your face when the opening match starts will be more than enough to make my day.” Heyman replied.

Just then Buffer came back out again. “Ladies and gentlemen. It is now time to begin the Lottery.”

“The Lottery ladies and gentlemen is real simple. Inside that sphere, sixteen identifiers, each one marked specifically with one of our sixteen teams competing in the tournament.” JR stated for the audience watching at their homes. “Michael Buffer will pull them out of the cylinder one at a time. For every two he pulls out, those two teams will fight against each other in the quarter preliminaries.”

“And I eagerly await to see how the luck of the draw will affect the tournament this year.” Heyman added.

Circling the ring were the teams taking part. Some were seasoned vets. Some were newcomers. Each team took the opportunity to measure up the opposing teams to their own. Buffer then reached in and pulled out the first two identifiers.

“Our first two teams who will also fight in the opening match of the tournament, the Lonely Wolves vs Team France.” Buffer said.

Terry looked across the ring to see who his competitors were. Team France locked eyes with the Lonely Wolves. The Lonely Wolves showed no intimidation. Team France tried not to show intimidation. But the looks the teammates gave one another showed they were VERY concerned about facing the Lonely Wolves.

“Our second match shall be Team Japan vs Team Yagami.”

Kyo and Iori locked eyes. Another round in their blood feud. Each one wishing it to be the last for reasons of their own. Cassie also hoped it would be the last as she looked down from the stands. In her Shadowbox, Kali was having similar thought.

~After rivers run with Ranger and Kusanagi blood.~

“Our third match shall be Team Nightfighter against Team Destiny.”

Laocorn looked over at Kincaid, hoping to size up him and his teammates, but found that they were carrying their emotions close to the chest, Kincaid especially. Laocorn could not read him.

And Kincaid liked it that way.

“Our fourth match shall be Team Lady Wolves vs Team USA.”

The main rivalry of this team was not between its captains, but between two of its members. Kat and Ivy looked across from each other while Ivy and Cassie kept tabs on the Kane boys.

“Our fifth match shall be Team Night Ranger and Team Okasa.”

All three members of Team Night Ranger, David, Sarah and Ken locked eyes with Kane. Sei Tin and Eiji figured that he was the threat the other team knew, which meant everything depended on them being unknowns.

“Our sixth match shall be Team Gorgeous against Team Korea.”

Team Gorgeous did not look at Team Korea, but instead waved to the crowd soaking in all the applause. Team Korea vowed that Team Gorgeous would pay for treating them as if they were unworthy of their intention. And they vowed to do it with a victory, and several more to follow.

“Our seventh match shall be Team Mexico to face Team China.”

Team China and Team Mexico just stared at each other. There was no great rivalry here. But that didn’t mean that there wouldn’t be one after the first round match was over.

“Our eighth and last quarter preliminary match shall be Team Ikari vs Team Thailand.”

Like before there didn’t seem to be much blood between the teams. But the night was still young. And both teams clearly were hungry for the win.


Minion studied Kat as she stood on the tournament floor. It didn’t seem so long ago that she was being tortured in his own prison dimension. Already he was reconsidering his plans for her… and for Kimberly. Still he was curious as to why Kat was taking part. He never knew her to be the karate tournament type of person. She was more for dance. Minion wondered just what circumstances would call for her to participate in a tournament such as this?

~And what would this participation entail?~ he mentally asked himself. He was still waiting for the answer to that question, eager for an answer.

He then studied her companions. A girl with brown hair with a lock of it green adorned with a green ball cap. By her side was a young Asian girl with a pink shirt dressed in some sort of fighting uniform. He did not know these girls, but wondered if there was not some sort of Ranger connection. Immediately Minion decided he would uncover the identities of these two girls and figure out what threats they could be to him. As Rangers or something else. He then viewed their names on the program he had with him. Alison Bogard and Cassie Chan. He would remember these names, and their faces. If they existed in his reality he would take steps to make sure they couldn’t pose a threat.

As Minion sat back his eyes were drawn to the audience and locked onto a girl who looked to be a dead ringer for Alison.

~Curious,~ Minion thought. ~A twin perhaps?~

He also noticed that by the girl’s side were her friends. And they were sat close to the Zeo and Morphin Rangers. He could sense that some of those seated near her were not quite human. He rapidly concluded that there was at least one team of Rangers there that he had not met and judging by the auras he could sense, Cassie Chan was likely a part of their little group.

He committed their faces to memory, determined he would find out their names and perhaps send either his Psycho Rangers or his lieutenants to pay them a visit. Minion wanted every one of his forces to know what threats there would be to him. So far even though the show had not started, Minion was forced to admit the experience had been educational. It was clear now that given time Earth would find additional Rangers and his task would grow more difficult. He resolved to put an end to his games with the captured Rangers as soon as he returned.

He then looked at the other competitors and their names provided for him on the complimentary program. He wanted to see what other names would leap out at him. Two caught his attention: Team Nightfighter and Team Night Ranger. The word Ranger was obvious but for some reason his mind linked the fact they included the word night.

As far as Minion knew there was no mention of the Night Rangers anywhere in the Council files, nor did anyone in the Alliance of Evil mention them. If such a team existed, why hadn’t he heard about them before?


“Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen the eight quarter prelim matches.” JR said.

“And what better way to kick off King of Fighters than to have such a team as the Lonely Wolves start it up for us? The only question I have to wonder is, will they be facing Team Japan or Team Yagami in the Quarter Finals?” Heyman said.

“Excuse me Paul but they still have to make it through this opening bout first.”

Paul was incredulous. “Are you out of your mind JR? All of the fighters in this team are beyond incredible, especially Terry Bogard. A three time King of Fighters Champion mind you. This man is called the Lone Wolf for a reason and very shortly you’ll see why he has earned that name.”

“Ladies and Gentlemen, at this time I can reveal that the winning team of this year’s tournament will receive one hundred million dollars and the title of ‘The King of Fighters’.”

The crowd cheered loudly. It wasn’t the idea of their favourite stars winning a lot of money, it was the knowledge that with such a huge prize on the line the competitors were bound to fight harder than ever.”

“Did you hear that JR?” Heyman asked. “Still think this is anything like pro-wrestling?”

“There’s a lot of money to be made,” JR agreed. “Let me run down the rules for the fans at home… Firstly each competitor has been given a badge featuring the emblem of the tournament. No matter what happens they must wear that emblem throughout their match. If they don’t they will be disqualified.”

“Excuse me JR,” Heyman interrupted. “That isn’t just a pretty badge. There are sensors inside that detect the heartbeat rate and blood flow of the participant while fighting.”

“And of course for our home viewers, our computer experts will be converting those readings and using the data to calculate each competitor’s battle ability, which will show on the big screen or your television sets as the Life Bar.”

“If you see the Power Bar creep up you can bet your about to see something special,” Heyman promised. “those badges also measure adrenaline if you get my drift.”

“Rule Two: If the winning team has an injured member, they can select a substitute, but only from a team that has already been defeated.”

“Rule Three: Each competitor has signed a waiver confirming that the Management takes no responsibility for any injuries or deaths that the participants may receive during this tournament,” Heyman chipped in. “And believe me folks it’s a good thing they have that clause.”

“Now I should remind people that this arena has been specially reinforced to withstand all attacks and that the pillars around the area are used to absorb and stray energy… are you kidding me?”

“You’re starting to sound like Monsoon,” Heyman quipped.

In the arena, Buffer had finished his speech and the show was ready to begin. “Ladies and gentlemen! LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!”

The applause filled the room as JR and Heyman made ready to introduce the first match. JR spoke first. “Well we have our first opening match according to the lottery. It is the team of the Lonely Wolves vs three newcomers in Team France.”

Heyman seemed to laugh at the mention of Team France. “Oh JR I can’t help thinking Team France is going to start wishing they were somewhere else very soon. I mean, Team France? What do these kids think they are going to get?”

“Glory for their country?” JR asked. “Recognition?”

“Oh they will be recognized all right JR” Heyman said. “But let me tell you. Team France is no different than a lot of other young bucks that came this way. They think winning a King of Fighters tournament, let alone taking part in one is a big thing. What they don’t realize is that it’s not winning the tournament that’s important; it’s surviving it!”

JR felt a chill as he believed Heyman knew what he was talking about. Regardless he went back to commentary starting with Team France.

“Well looking at Team France’s roster. It consists of three members. Matthew Oulette, Colin Bauvair and their captain Francis Robain. All mixed martial arts specialist with Robain even doing a tour in the UFC.”

“Oh JR by the time Francis gets through with this fight he will wish he was back in the UFC. And he will think the UFC is a cakewalk.” Heyman said as an orchestra sound echoed throughout the arena. Three young Frenchmen stood in the doorway dressed in their national colours holding a French flag. The arena booed immediately.

“What is this the World Wrestling Federation?” Heyman asked. “Who let this circus act in here?”

JR didn’t answer as the three fighters entered the ring raking in the boos as if they were in something that came from the bowels of sports-entertainment. They then demonstrated a few martial arts moves as if showing if they had some prowess, before they waited for their opponents to come.

After a few seconds of silence the song “Fly away my hero,” filled the arena followed by a loud roar of the crowd. As the crowd went wild with applause the Lonely Wolves made their way to the ring. JR was amazed as to how much of a reaction the Lonely Wolves got. “It’s like Hulk Hogan entered this arena.” JR commented.

“Terry Bogard is light years away from Hogan.” Heyman said. “And Terry has more hair than Hogan.”

JJR nodded in agreement to that. All three Lonely Wolves were in the ring as Joe Higashi was demonstrating to the crowd, giving the audience a bit of a show. He then looked at the three Frenchmen who looked unimpressed.

~They will be very impressed after this.~ Joe thought as he went to stand with his team. “So who wants to go first?” Joe asked.

Terry looked over to his brother. “How about you start it off this time Andy.”

Andy nodded. “Good idea. Especially considering who we’ll most likely be fighting after this match.”

Joe then grimaced as he realized it really didn’t matter who won the fight between Team Japan and Team Yagami. It was going to be a fight to the finish against either of them and they needed to have Terry ready to go head to head against either Kyo or Iori.

~Put it out of your mind Bogard,~ Andy thought as he took the ring centre. ~Focus on the here and now.~

The three members of Team France talked and they decided that Francis would lead first. Francis thought he would lead by example as he destroyed Andy Bogard. Francis took the position across from Andy as the referee made ready to start the match.

“FIGHT!”!”

Francis crossed up to Andy and launched a series of front and side kicks followed by a reverse punch. Andy blocked most of the blows, but his life bar did take a drop. Andy did not retaliate yet as he stepped back, allowing Francis to get more space.

“What’s going on?” Joe asked. “Why is Andy taking this guy’s shots?”

Terry just smiled. He had an idea what to expect from his brother. “Wait for it.”

Francis meanwhile was still giving his strikes with Andy still blocking. His bar still took some slight nudges, but nothing major. Finally Francis broke away milking the crowd as if saying “Look at me. Look at my superiority.” That was when Andy made his move.

Andy came at Francis with a series of punches that knocked Francis off his game. So hard were the punches that the life bar registered Francis as taking severe drops in energy. Andy then followed up with a side kick and a roundhouse kick before giving his final strike.

“ZAN EN KEN!” Andy struck down Francis right in his jaw and he didn’t even get up. Andy looked down in contempt at his opponent. ~Arrogant fool. Never let your guard down.~

“A NEW King of Fighters record for the fastest KO! Just over two seconds!” Heyman shouted from the announcer’s desk.

Francis was escorted from the ring as Matthew came in. Since Team France lost their leader Matthew decided he would bring glory to France. The glory was short lived as Matthew gave his own punch kick combos that were blocked by Andy. Andy then rushed Matthew delivering his own combos weakening Matthew significantly, before delivering another finishing move.

“SHO RYU DAN!” Andy took Matthew down with his flying punch. Matthew also never got up.

“What the hell?” JR shouted.

Heyman just said “And there’s still one left.”

It was Colin’s cue to enter the fight. He started by attacking with his own ki based attack.

“DRUID BEAM!” Colin shouted as it knocked Andy back. Andy took a severe blow knocking him back and allowing Colin to get in his own combos. Colin struck hard and fast knocking Andy down, but not out. Colin decided he would give Andy the Druid beam as his own KO. Then he would defeat Terry Bogard and Joe Higashi.

“DRUID BEAM!” Colin shouted as a beam came from his hand. Andy however gathered enough of his awareness to retaliate from Colin’s strike.

“HI SHO KEN!” Andy then used his own ki move to counter Colin’s Druid Beam which was negated and Colin was stunned. He tried to see just in time for Andy to handspring himself into a jumping kick to knock him back and then landed a Zan Ei Ken to finish the job.

Then, as quick as it started the match was over. Colin was KOed, and Andy stood as the victor. Terry and Joe never had to enter the ring.

“Winners… The Lonely Wolves!” Buffer said still in shock.

Heyman, feeling smug and full of himself, looked on at JR. “So NOW what do you have to say JR?”

JR was tongue-tied to say the least. “And that was only one guy. I shudder to think what the other two will do.”

“Oh you’ll find out soon enough JR. Everyone will,” Heyman said. He was smiling. And JR knew Heyman was telling the truth about that.


On the viewing monitor Kincaid, Cassandra and Bruce were watching the first round match. Bruce and Cassandra seemed awestruck by what they saw. Kincaid however kept his poker face on.

“What the bloody hell was that?” Bruce asked.

“It was a power of some sort.” Cassandra said. “I seemed to sense a powerful aura around the competitors as I was in the locker room.”

“How powerful?” Kincaid asked.

“Well for some it wasn’t that powerful, but with others it was plenty powerful. I’m not sure how we can win this thing with auras like that.” Cassandra stated.

“We’ll just have to be creative that’s all.” Kincaid said. Bruce and Cassandra both shot Kincaid a look of ‘What?’ and Kincaid quickly explained. “It’s obvious we can’t morph here. But Cassandra, you do have some civilian powers that can be used, namely your telepathy and telekinesis. You may have to be creative with them.”

Cassandra asked how ‘creative’ she had to be and Kincaid quickly explained.

“Are you sure? I’ve never used my powers in that fashion.”

“It’ll work.” Kincaid then turned to Bruce and said his peace. “You remember those special moves you were experimenting with?” Bruce went wide eyed as he understood what Kincaid was implying.

“I’ve only been experimenting with them Jeff. I haven’t had a chance to try them in actual battle, or as it would seem to be here, ‘competition.”

Kincaid understood but said, “This will be the test.”

“What about you Jeff?” Cassandra asked. “You do realize that you may have to deal with some of these ki users.”

Kincaid let out a smirk and said, “Don’t worry about me. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve yet.” With that all three Nightfighters left the viewing room and made ready to go to their first match.


There was a strange mix of surprise and awe throughout the audience. Those that had seen a tournament before were a little taken back at the speed of the battle, while those who had not witnessed such an event were shocked at the demonstration of power. While some thought it was all an illusion, other recognised the skill involved in such a fight and were suitably impressed. The Rangers were no exception; Tommy and Jason were taken aback by how what they had thought to be a simply fight tournament was turning into a real eye opener. Though clearly different there were some similarities between the techniques they had seen and the methods used by the Morphin Rangers.

“Bro, I don’t know what to make of that,” Jason said wrapping the aftermath of the battle in his mind.d.

Tommy had to think about what he had seen. But his thoughts were turned in a different direction. Was it possible that some of the Rangers could do what Terry and the Lonely Wolves had done. He remembered something similar when they had fought the Dragon Master. Could they isolate those techniques and draw on them in civilian life? Something told him it was possible.

“Don’t ask me why Jase, but I think there’s a lot more to that ‘Children of the Dragon’ prophesy than we already know. I think we need to know everything there is to know about it.”

Jason nodded in agreement. “You think the prophesy will have something to do with this tournament?”

“And us being part of it.” Tommy answered. “We need to talk to Zordon about this as soon as we can.”

Jason nodded remembering what he heard about the prophesy. How a few Rangers united by blood and friendship would band together in a show of power that would never be forgotten in a battle unlike all others. Now he felt that perhaps the tournament was where that battle would take place.


While Tommy and Jason were considering what the tournament might mean to them, the Astro Rangers were thinking about the glimpse they had been given into the world one of their teammates was now a part of. And for Ashley it was a reason to be even more concerned since not only was her friend involved, but her sister too.

“Man.” Ashley said. “I didn’t think people could do stuff like that.”

“There’s a lot of stuff humans can do,” Andros said. “But even I have not seen anything like that. Especially in regards to Earth humans.”

“Is that why villains are so hot to conquer Earth?” Carlos asked. “Because of stuff like that?”

“No, not completely,” Sabrina replied. “It’s not so much what they can do, but how much potential they have if they were to develop those powers further. And it’s not just the UAE. This sort of thing has drawn the attention of other parties.”

“Like those Q and Iblis?” TJ guessed.

“And others,” Sabrina told him. “Despite how insignificant they claim this world to be, this planet has been making a lot of noise in recent years. It might even have drawn the attention of some that we haven’t met yet.”

That gave the Astros something to think about as they waited to see what would happen next.t.


Master Mao had watched the event with interest. The powers had been raw and unrefined, but it had shown what had had long suspected, that humans could tap the Power directly. He could see from the look on his friend’s face that Master Phant had understood the importance of the last battle. His other companion, RJ, was too young to understand what he had seen, but like all present he understood that it had been spectacular.

“Whoa Master.” RJ said after a while of replaying the battle in his mind. “What skill was that?”?”

“They drew power from the life force of the planet and channelled it through their bodies,” Master Mao explained.

“Or at least one did,” Master Phant corrected. “The other was using his own life force to accomplish the same thing.”

“A powerful yet dangerous alternative.” Master Mao agreed. “If their spirit is not strong enough to endure, exhaustion would kill them.”

“Will I be able to do that?” RJ asked.

“One day, perhaps,” Master Phant said. “But our way is more refined. We do not snatch the power around us or drain ourselves, we ask nature to provide us with a spirit guide, a link that we can draw on. In time you will discover you animal guide and learn how to use it safely.”


Cam Watanabe did not think of the battle he had seen as a matter of spirits and flashing lights. He could see the energy flows as they travelled through the body and how they connected with the world around them. He was amazed by the patterns and the intensity. But it was an amazement not shared by his parents. They looked at the battle with a deep sense of concern. They had hoped that they would learn the techniques, but now they queried whether there was a set technique to what they had seen or whether the participants were making it up as they went along.

“Such power.” Mirai said. “So wonderful and terrible at the same time.”

Kanoi said nothing as he silently agreed with his wife. He did notice however Mirai holding onto Cameron for dear life.

Cameron for his part welcomed the embrace but wondered what the problem was. The Lonely Wolves won the first match. What could the problem be? Cameron would find out the problem soon enough.


“Is this really a good idea sir?” Spenser asked. He had watched the first fight and had been impressed, but couldn’t understand why his employer found it so fascinating. “I mean: how does this help us?”

Mr Hartford looked up from his laptop. “That was just an example of what people are capable of Spenser. Imagine if we could find somebody with those skills to accompany us on the quest for the Corona Aurora.”

“I can see the logic in that Sir, but I can’t help but ask: are you sure that the Corona Aurora needs to be found? It seems to be doing just fine where is is/”

Mr Hartford shook his head. It was something he had asked himself repeatedly. “I hope not, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared, does it? Besides, I’ve been paying for one of these boxes for the last three years. It seems right that we actually use it.”

Spenser nodded and sat back. Despite his reservations, it was an enjoyable show so far.


“They don’t show stuff like this in Sunday School. Yee haw!” Jackson shouted.

In their own seats the Stewarts were stunned by what they saw. And it seemed that while Robbie Ray and Susan could see why this sort of thing wasn’t shown in Sunday School, Miley and Jackson considered it to be one of the coolest things ever. Robbie Ray and Susan were wide-eyed with horror. Never had they seen a sight like they had before. The show of power. The brutality. There would have been some that would have called the King of Fighters, and what it’s fighters could do unnatural.

~Unnatural or not I don’t want to get on anyone’s bad side if I can help it.~ Robbie Ray thought as he sat back down holding Miley. She seemed to be enjoying the show herself, which scared Robbie Ray. As he saw her cheer for what was happening he felt like he saw part of the little girl she was die inside her. As if the light of her soul was being replaced by a dark bloodlust, or was starting to.

Robbie Ray looked at his wife Susan and saw the same look of fear in her eyes. Fear for her children, especially Miley. They always believed it was her destiny to bring hope to the world. What hope could she bring if she embraced the darkness of the world to the point that it consumed her?

~Is this what Geese wanted?~ Robbie Ray wondered. ~To turn my kids into monsters that enjoy brutality?~

He would have left right then and there, but he caught sight of the two bruiser guards at the exit. And the sight of those guards caused him to remain in his seat. For now. Robbie Ray Stewart then decided he couldn’t wait for the tournament to end. So he could get out fast, get home, and fire his agent for setting up the King of Fighters gig.


In her Shadowbox, Kali observed the reactions of the others. Terry Bogard had won his first round battle, but then what else was new?

Kali considered what she had seen and what if any new information she had learnt.

“And just think, the tournament is only beginning,” she chuckled. “I can’t wait to see what happens next.”


It was a thoughtful Minion that stared out at the arena and tried to maintain his composure. He had seen many things during his campaign. He understood the power of the Rangers, the JLA and the other assorted heroes… but he recognised that this was something he had yet to fully comprehend. It was new, it was different and it was a humbling realisation that he not seen everything. It was also slightly unsettling to realise he didn’t know how to interpret this turn of events.

However he recognised that that it represented both a threat and maybe an opportunity. If he could learn to master the energy he had seen the gains would be sizeable, but until then there was a chance those power could be used against him. So it came down to a choice of either learning how to use the powers or finding a way to neutralise them.

His mind turned to Terry Bogard and his teammates. ~Your little demonstration has been insightful Mr Bogard. I guess in order to start a show one has to get the audience’s attention. And you DEFINITELY have Minion’s attention.~

There was much more to watch and to learn. Minion had no doubt that before he departed there would be more to learn.


Back at the announcers desk, JR was trying to find the words to explain what was just seen and what would come next. Heyman however had no shortage of words.

“Now JR if you thought the first match was off the chain, you ain’t seen nothing yet,” Heyman said. “Especially with the next match to come.”

“I’m not sure I could handle another surprise.” JR said.

Heyman managed to prevent himself from laughing “You’ll have to JR because the next two teams have members that have been in a feud for a very long time. Team Yagami, and their leader Iori Yagami, have had it in for Team Japan’s Kyo Kusanagi for years. This tournament has been the latest stop on their tour. But Iori will look to make sure it’s Kusanagi’s last stop if he gets his way.”


In the corridor leading to the arena, Team Japan made their way to the ring. Off to one side team captain Kyo Kusanagi, along with his teammates Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon, noticed the approach of Cassie and her teammates.

“Kyo!” Cassie said as she rushed to embrace her cousin. Kyo hugged Cassie back, wishing her luck.

Benimaru looked at Alison and nodded. “Good luck out there. This will be your first time you know.”

“First time competing. Not the first time I’ve seen a King of Fighters fight.” Alison said.

“Still be careful.” Goro said. “All of you.”

His gaze lingered on Katherine in her King of Fighters fighting gear. She looked like a fighter, but there still seemed to be a part of her that was out of place in the King of Fighters environment. He hoped it was first time jitters from Kat.

“I know.” Kat said, sensing what Goro was thinking. “I may not know this type of fighting too well, but neither does Ivy. She may have been taught by Geese, and have Billy and Daniel to back her up. But I’ve had my own teachers, and I have some good back up of my own.” She looked at Alison and Cassie.

Kyo nodded. He could sense that Kat at least believed what she was saying.

“Watch your backs, and each other’s,” he said.

All three Lady Wolves nodded indicating they would. Kyo then went to Cassie and took her hands into his own looking to say one last thing.

“Cassie whatever happens to me out there focus on only one thing: your match against Ivy. Promise me that.”

“I promise.” Cassie said hoping she could keep her word. She loved Kyo and didn’t want to see anything bad happen to him. Kyo nodded and the rest of Team Japan went to the ring ready to begin their fight. Alison put her hand on Cassie’s shoulder understanding her conflict. She had seen how battles between Kusanagi and Yagami could be, and knew Cassie had too.

“All we can do is hope,” Alison said.

“Hope will not save your cousin.”. Alison, Cassie and Kat turned and saw Iori Yagami, with his two lady teammates Mature and Vice by his side. Neither woman’s demeanour suggested they were there to make friends. Cassie had heard the stories of Mature and Vice from Kyo, so she knew they were the very definition of cruel and ruthless. That they were women just made them more eager to prove how vicious they could be. Close up, Cassie agreed with Kyo’s description.

Iori walked over to Kat and offered his hand. “I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure. My name is Iori Yagami.”

“I’ve heard of you.” Kat said placing her hand in Iori’s as Iori then kissed it like a gentleman.

“That’s probably the last civilized thing you will see Iori do,” Cassie warned.

“I am besieged by Kusanagi.” Iori said in contempt as he noticed Cassie.

“Newsflash Iori, you’re no prize either.” Alison said.

Iori glared at Alison who didn’t back down. In the end he smirked. “Bogard has taught you well. You show no intimidation.” He then looked at Cassie. “It is a shame you are of Kusanagi blood. It means when I kill Kyo I must kill you next.”

Like Alison, Cassie showed no intimidation. But her next words shocked Iori. “You’re welcome to try, if your cousin Kali doesn’t try to kill me first.”

That got Iori’s attention. He spun back around and looked at Cassie curiously. “What are you talking about? Who is this Kali and why do you call her my cousin?”

“She is a Yagami that has your power, and your insanity,” Cassie explained.

Mature and Vice shot each other a look for a second, but Iori was in disbelief. “No. Impossible. There are no female Yagami.”

“There are too Iori.” Alison said as the Lady Wolves turned and walked away leaving Iori and his teammates with much to think about.

~A female Yagami? Alive?~

“Where?”

“She’s around somewhere.” Alison said. “I won’t say who it is though. None of us will.”

“Why not?” Iori asked with a touch of anger in his voice. His hands enveloped in purple fire.

“You really want me to answer that?” Alison asked. “Would you tell Cassie if the situation was reversed?”

Iori snorted and then brushed off the Lady Wolves as he, Mature and Vice walked to the ring. They had to prepare for the battle.

Alison did give one last call out to Mature. “Nice knockers.”

Mature didn’t respond.


The music played as Team Japan entered the ring. Heyman introduced Kyo, Benimaru and Goro as they came to the ring. Applause filled the air as Team Japan stood in the entranceway.

All three members took in the applause as if they were gifts from their fans. Kyo smiled, taking in the love and affection. As did Benimaru and Goro as they came to the ring and turned back to the entrance. They wanted to get as much applause as they could until their opponents came out, which they knew would be soon.

Suddenly the arena then became deathly silent as Iori’s music filled the arena. Team Yagami was making its approach. Iori Yagami took the lead flanked by Mature and Vice. The expressions of Mature and Vice were all business. While Iori’s was contorted into a mask of rage and anger directed towards his adversary, Kyo Kusanagi.

His attention was diverted for a brief moment as he sensed a presence. He looked up at the audience sensing someone. Someone familiar. Someone of Yagami power. He thought he sensed someone in the shadowboxes, but couldn’t tell who. Iori continued to look around until his eyes locked with someone else in the stands.

It was Trini Kwan.

Trini and Iori locked eyes as if seeing into one another’s souls. Neither one truly understanding the bond between them. But Iori knew enough. Trini was of Yagami blood, even though she did not truly embrace her power yet. Iori then walked to the ring breaking the gaze. He laughed the rest of the way.

Back in the stands Kimberly looked at Trini concerned for her friend. “Trini, you okay?”

Trini turned to look at Kim and just looked like a deer caught in the headlights. “I don’t know Kim. I don’t know what I felt.”

Trini had a hard time putting her feelings towards the gaze into focus. It was like she was staring into the eyes of rage and madness. And the fire, Trini felt the fire burning not only in Iori, but herself as well.

And the horrifying thing about it was that Trini liked it. It was a part of her. A part calling to her.

~No. You promised your mom. That path leads only to darkness.~ Trini thought. She then turned her gaze back to the fight. Wondering what would happen next.

But for a brief moment she looked down at her own hand. For a second it glowed with purple fire. Tempting her, until she turned back to the match.

Iori and his team made it to the other side of the ring facing Kyo and Team Japan. Iori then stepped forward looking to start things out. JR mentioned that perhaps Iori had some chivalry in him as he didn’t want the women Mature and Vice to get too horribly beaten by three men.

“Chivalry JR?” Heyman all but laughed at that. “There’s nothing chivalrous about Iori. He just went first because he wants Kyo Kusanagi. And if he has to go through the rest of Team Japan to do it, he will.”

Iori stood in the fight circle. Benimaru and Goro were talking with Kyo indicating that they would start first in order to protect Kyo. Kyo shook his head no. “You don’t need to sacrifice yourself for me.”

“Won’t be much of a sacrifice if we soften him up for you.” Benimaru said as he went to the fight circle. He faced Iori looking to start things out.

“FIGH-!!!”

“NO!!!” Iori called out as he looked at Benimaru. “I will not fight you.” Benimaru looked confused until Iori pointed at the person he wanted to fight. Kyo. “Leave the ring.” Iori said. “Get Kyo in here. Or I will not be merciful to you.”

Benimaru was about to tell Iori what to do with his orders until Kyo grabbed his shoulder.

“It’s all right Ben. I’ll do it.”

Benimaru then went back to the side as Kyo took his place facing Iori. The referee then signalled for the match to restart.

“FIGHT!”

“SHIKI ONIYAKI!” Iori shouted as he leapt into the air in a spinning motion leaving a wide trail of flame following his hand. All of it directed at Kyo who ducked out of the way of the lethal flaming strike and followed it up with a simple uppercut. Iori was left flying back across the ring and landed hard on the ground at the feet of Mature and Vice.

To say that Iori felt humiliated was an understatement. Such humiliation filled his rage even more than his hatred for Kyo did alone. Iori went back to his feet only for Kyo to land in a few rapid strikes. Crosses, uppercuts, even punches no one could even think of naming. Kyo then followed it up with another ki move.

“SHIKI DOKU KAMI!” Kyo shouted as he launched straightforward flaming fists. Kyo’s fists hit Iori hard. Iori was disoriented.

Up above in the Shadowbox Kali glared at Iori. “Finish him Iori! Don’t let a Kusanagi get the better of you.”

Iori seemed to hear the words as he launched his own strike “AOI HANA” at Kyo. Soon Kyo was knocked back with two uppercuts and an axe handle blow.

Kyo and Iori then went at it neck and neck. They fought with flame powers and regular fighting skill. Each one not getting the better of the other. Each one keeping it dead even. Kyo then looked at the clock and found time was running out. Kyo decided to end the fight quickly.

“ONI-YAKI!” Kyo then struck at Iori with only a few seconds left.

Unfortunately it had been a ploy set up by Iori. He jumped back and attacked, “YAMI-BARAI!”

Kyo couldn’t defend until he landed and when he did the projectile struck him.

Iori could smell blood. “This is the end Kusanagi…” he promised as he charged up all of his power and prepared himself. “SHIKI YAOTOME!!!” He was using his Desperation Move, the Maiden Smasher. He started to savagely attack Kyo with his hands there like claws as he just kept cutting into Kyo’s body and causing injury to him until finally the attack had an explosive ending and Kyo was sent to the ground hard.

Iori just smiled down at the fallen Kusanagi. In fact, he was about ready to start his infamous laugh until Buffer announced, “Winners… Team Japan!”

Iori’s head snapped forward as he rushed Michael Buffer and grabbed him by the throat. “WHAT? WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?”

“I… I don’t make the rulings… the referee did…” Buffer pointed to the one that told him the decision. Iori threw Buffer down and approached the referee.

“Time expired before your last move hit and you attacked him even after it was over. None of the damage your move caused counts. And since his bar was greater than yours, Kyo Kusanagi and his team are the winners. Now deal with it boy.”

It was then that Paul Heyman took off his hat and said a prayer for the referee. JR asked what he was doing. “Just watch for another ten seconds you’ll see why I just said a prayer.” Heyman responded.

Iori’s own anger was just over flowing at this. “How dare you… how dare you, you pathetic excuse for a man… ONI-YAKI!” Iori attacked the ref with his move and on impact he shattered four of his ribs. When the ref landed on the ground he was not moving. Iori then went over to Kyo’s body and started to kick it. “Get up! Get up and face me damn you!”

Kyo wasn’t moving.

“Our war isn’t some stupid contest Kusanagi! It has no pathetic rules like this one! How you obtained your victory so cheaply! I beat you Kyo Kusanagi! And when we fight again outside of this tournament I’ll finish the job by killing you!” Iori shouted. Vice and Mature finally came over and started to pull him away but then Iori knocked them aside and grunted before walking off.

Some people were stupid enough to try to jump him. Such as gun happy security men or crazy as hell fans. They should be thankful he only beat them with one move instead of killing them.

“YAMI BARAI!”

The area around Iori was left with bodies of security men and fans that woke up to reality. Painful reality. Iori then turned away and walked through the entrance. Watching him walk was Trini.

“You all right Trini?” Kimberly asked again.

Trini looked on at what happened in horror and disbelief. She wasn’t even sure she would ever be all right again. She saw what Iori had done. And what Iori had done was something Trini herself could do. If she allowed herself to.

~I understand Mom. I really do. I will never embrace the Yagami power in me.~

She hoped that she would be able to keep that promise.

Up in her Shadowbox however Kali looked at what Iori had done, and smiled. Yet she had also been disappointed in Iori.

“Oh Iori. Your fire could burn so much brighter. Just as bright as mine.” She then looked at her own hand as it was engulfed in purple flame. She then cast a look down in the stands to where Trini was sitting.

“Just as bright as yours will cousin.” Kali promised as she sat back in her chair and laughed. She stopped briefly as she felt another presence as she looked around the Shadowboxes. Her gaze falling on one in particular.

For a brief moment she felt a wave of fear. The next moment she resumed her hysterical laughing.


Minion saw Iori Yagami’s show. Intense was one word he would have used. Insane was another. But he noticed that Iori took notice of a voice shouting out to him. A voice Minion himself knew. ~But that cannot be. Trini is in the stands with her Ranger friends. Not in the Shadowboxes.~ Minion had his suspicions about who the voice belonged to, but he didn’t see how it could be possible. What would one of his Psycho Ranger replicas be doing here? ~Curious.~ he thought. He seemed to be thinking that a lot.

Looking around the Shadowboxes, Minion took a look at the clientele that were watching from the special balcony section. Many boxes were sealed with tainted glass, but there were a few faces he could detect. None of them seemed familiar to him though, until he saw one box in particular.

Or rather the occupant of it. He recognised the magic surrounding her even though it had clearly faded over time; it was his own.

“Triini?”

Minion noticed the former Ranger duplicate sitting with an entourage beside her. She looked so different from the being Minion had corrupted. When he sabotaged Zordon’s flesh avatar replicas of the Power Rangers and created Triini she was created to be a dead ringer for the Yellow Morphin Ranger, but her personality had been a makeshift distortion of the original Trini Kwan. There had been no finesse, he had just ripped away the parts of her personality that resembled Trini and emphasised the negative aspects.

~No, that isn’t how it happened,~ he reminded himself. His eyes widened. It was clear he was remembering events from not only his reality, but those that had occurred here too. The Triini he had created had been a complex creation, so complex he couldn’t say which of the many methods he used had finally dominated her genetic makeup. In this reality though Triini had been a creation of Zordon corrupted by Minion based on the spell that had created him.

Trini Kwan was a smart individual who assisted Billy with experiments, translated his tech-speak for him and even loved him, albeit from afar. In his reality he had taken that love and had twisted it into lust.

Taking a look at Triini, Minion noted that she was different from either set of memories. Her hair was cut short and purple. Her eyes looked blood red and had an insane tint about them. It was clear that she had become more than he had originally intended. And as he assimilated the foreign memories into his own he realised that one of the reasons was his own failure. In his reality he had built the Psycho Rangers with himself as their primary focus, destroying the Power Rangers as a secondary purpose and survival as a close third. It seemed that his other reality counterpart had focussed on the need to destroy the Rangers as their sole priority. That meant that when they were left without his guidance, they had continued with their task and adapted to complete it.

This clearly was no longer just a flesh replica. Triini was now a whole new person. And as Minion looked on he saw the logo on her jacket, the same logo that Iori Yagami had worn, another piece of the puzzle slotted into place.

~What is the meaning of this?~ Minion asked. ~What has happened to Triini?~

As if sensing Minion’s presence and questions the replica Triini, or as she was known now, Kali, turned in Minion’s direction and smiled as she waved a glass of champagne in salute. He could see the slight mocking in the gesture. It was clear she did not consider him her master. She then brought forth her hand and ignited the purple flames that were part of her power and a part of her being.

Despite the aggravation of seeing the changes Triini had been through, Minion was intrigued by the flames that came from her hand. They were the same flames that came from Iori . It was clear that she was sending him a warning that she believed she could harm him. And as he searched his memory and found that this version of Triini did not have the spells placed on her to punish disobedience, Minion had to believe that her threat had some merit.

Still, Minion wondered if she had not inherited the madness from the fighter below, Iori Yagami. Minion then decided she must have if she broke away from the program Minion laid out. Or not. As he thought about it he realised that his creations had been programmed to act in a certain way and to serve him. But if he had somehow died? That would explain the changes. Triini hadn’t changed. She had evolved.

And with that settled for the time being, Minion started to see the possibilities.

He thought of the idea of Trini having such a dark power within her. The possibility was intriguing and unexpected. Minion always felt that if the Rangers fell from the inside it would have been Tommy that caused it. Never did anyone consider Trini as capable of such evil. He thought of his Triini and tried to compare her with the insane monster sitting not far away from him.

In the end it came down to one question: ~How did Trini come to possess such dark power?~ he asked himself.

Minion did not need to ask why if she knew about the power, Trini had never used it? He felt the answer there was obvious. But Triini would likely see it as a means to an end and happily use it to her advantage. Minion’s eyes travelled to Iori Yagami as he considered Trini and Kali. He didn’t have ALL the answers to this strange puzzle of power, but his mind was already turning as to ways of how the power could be put to use.


If Miley and Jackson thought the first match was exhilarating they were horrified after seeing the second. Especially as they saw how brutally Iori attacked Kyo. Miley then hugged her father and pleaded “Daddy take me home. I don’t want to see anymore.”

Robbie Ray held his daughter tight. He didn’t want to see anymore either, but he and his family had to stay until the end. “Patience darlin’. It’ll be over soon.” he said as if promising her.

He only hoped he could keep that promise.


Back in the ring Benimaru and Daimon were by Kyo’s side. They tried to see if he was awake and coherent. Slowly but surely he was coming to consciousness.

“Did I win?” Kyo asked with a smile.

“You don’t look like a winner, but yeah you won.” Goro said. Benimaru however was concerned about Kyo’s health. “You sure you’re okay?”

“Just let me rest for a bit.” Kyo said. “I’ll be healed enough for the next match.”

“Good luck.” Benimaru said. “That will be against Terry’s team.”

Kyo smiled. “Good, at least we get worthy opponents.”

Benimaru and Goro laughed at Kyo’s remark and knew he hadn’t lost his sense of humour. They knew he would be okay by the quarter-finals.

As Kyo was helped up by Benimaru and Daimon, he could only wonder what was to happen next. Not just in the tournament, but in his own life.


“Oh man.” Cassidy said as she looked down from the rafters.

“You’re not kidding.” Zhane said.

“Shouldn’t you be with the rest of your team or something?” Skull asked, noting Zhane’s arrival.

Zhane tried to look innocent and said, “I’m just looking for the right place to get snacks. I’m told they are good on this side.”

“That’s not the only thing on this side right?” Bulk asked sarcastically as he looked at Cassidy, and then at Zhane, who appeared to be trying to do an impression of a puppy dog. Cassidy noticed and rolled her eyes.

“Zhane now would not be a good time to flirt with me.” Cassidy said. Zhane backed away as Cassidy gave a small smile out the corner of her mouth. ~Didn’t mean I didn’t like it.~

In the seats at ringside Karone spied Cassidy and Zhane. Zhane was being his usual charming self as Karone put it and Cassidy seemed to be indifferent, but she knew Cassidy was enjoying it. ~A woman knows these things.~ Karone thought.

Especially in regards to Cassidy Bridges. Karone had unfinished business with her… or at least Artemis did.

“You okay?” Leo asked shaking Karone out of her mental state.

“Yeah Leo. Just thought I saw someone.” Karone turned her attention back to the tournament as she thought about her next plan for Cassidy. ~Turning her into a spider might not be a bad idea. Or better yet, a spider monster.~

Karone decided she would table that line of thinking for now. She was with Leo and wanted to enjoy that. The fights however were satisfying her curiosity as well.

Especially since one of the fights would feature two of her Astro Ranger adversaries.


Outside the dressing room of Team Japan, Alison and Kat stood waiting for their third team mate to exit. Few seconds later Cassie had come out of the dressing room.

How’s Kyo?” Alison asked.

“He’ll be okay.” Cassie said. “Iori worked him over good, but he’ll be up to facing Terry.”

Alison nodded hoping Kyo would be okay. Terry may have been her cousin, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t concerned about Kyo as well.

“We’d better get ready for our match.” Kat said.

Cassie and Alison agreed as they walked down a nearby hallway that led to a loading area.

As Cassie, Alison and Kat were making their way to the ladies locker room they came across Kincaid’s red motorcycle parked nearby. It closely resembled a Harley Davidson, but there was something about it that caught the attention. Cassie and Alison seemed taken in by the bike and Kat followed them.

“Wow look at this ride,” Alison said, looking over every part of the bike. “I wonder whose it is?”

Kat however seemed to recognise. For some reason it seemed familiar to her, as if she had seen it before but couldn’t place where.

“You’re right Alison, this bike is cool. I wonder who the owner is,” Cassie remarked.

A voice then came from behind. “That would be me.” Cassie and Alison both looked up while Kat turned around, her mouth dropping open when she saw who it was.

“You!” she said. “I saw your name on the roster, but I didn’t think it would actually be you.”

“I was invited,” Kincaid told her with a shrug. “The person who sent me the invitation said something was about to happen and that I needed to see what it was. These are my two teammates, Cassandra Jensen and Bruce Greene.”

Cassandra and Bruce introduced themselves and Alison and Cassie returned the greeting. Kincaid stared at Alison and Alison wondered why he was looking at her like that. “I hope you’re not thinking of doing something you’re not supposed to be doing.”

“No,” Kincaid said. “It’s just that you remind me of someone I know. Can you tell me a little about yourself? I want to compare you to the you I know.”

Alison had a puzzled look on her face as she tried to make sense of his words. But she couldn’t see any harm in answering and soon told him her life story. When she was finished Kincaid nodded.

“I guess she did turn out better here than where we came from,” Cassandra stated.

“No,” Kincaid corrected, “just different. In either case she made the best of what she had with what she was given.”

Alison looked like she was going to ask what he meant by that, but Bruce warned her not to. “Better you don’t know. Let’s just say the story Kincaid would share is not as pleasant.”

Then he and Cassandra made their way to the ramp that headed for the ring as Kincaid got on his Harley and started it.

“It was good to see you Kat,” Kincaid said. “Break a leg.”

Then he rode off towards the ramp ready to make his entrance leaving Cassie, Alison and Kat staring wide eyed.

“That is one scary guy,” Cassie said.

“You said it.” Kat added. “And believe it or not that was him when he is trying not to be scary. You should see him fight.” Kat then began to explain how she had met Kincaid and the events that had led to Jessie Belle’s death at the hands of Robert Harper, a man that had killed her for no other reason than hurting him.

“That Harper sounds like a sicko.” Alison said. “I hope the Harper isn’t related to him.”

“Your Harper is probably more well balanced than the one I saw.” Kat said. “Now let’s find the locker room. This is one fight I want to see,” Cassie and Alison all agreed and proceeded to find the girls’ locker room post-haste.


Minion sat waiting for the next match to start. As he sat he read the program looking through the names of the teams, and the names of the participants on those teams. Two of those team names captured his attention, especially as he saw the name of someone he knew who was on Team Destiny: Katherine Hillard.

His mind was still turning as to why Kat would be in one of these tournaments, let alone on a team. Could this be another show of power? This strange power seen from the Lonely Wolves and Iori Yagami? Could Kat have a similar power? As Minion continued to think about Kat and her teammates his mind turned to the team she would be facing.

“Team Lady Wolves vs. Team Destiny,” Minion said looking at the program again. He may have had questions about the teammates Kat had been allied with, but he did not know anything about the opponents. This Team USA. He saw the names on it: Ivy Howard, Daniel Kane, and Billy Kane.

He didn’t know anything about the three names on this Team USA, but he saw they may provide Kat and her suspected Ranger allies a challenge that would allow him to gauge their skill. ~And answer the question about what Kat is doing in a tournament like this,~ Minion added.

When the time came Minion would watch Kat fight very carefully. But there were other things to look at first. Other fighters who were mysteries. Mysteries Minion needed to have solved. Team Nightfighter and Team Destiny were next. It was again time to learn more.


At ringside JR and Heyman were giving their promo for the next match to come. Team Destiny vs. Team Nightfighter.

“You know Paul.” JR said. “I’ve been trying to find information on Team Nightfighter, but I can’t find any information on them. All we’ve got are names, but no records. No fight history. No nothing.”

“I know JR” Heyman said sharing JR’s confusion. “Team Nightfighter is a mystery. No one knows who these fighters are. All we do know is that they have been personally invited by the tournament sponsor for this year. We do have names though, and I was able to see the team leader Jeff Kincaid undergo his training regimen. Let me tell you, I know several ECW competitors who would run scared from this guy. And that’s saying something. He looks at you and you get chilled. Not to mention what he had done during his training session.”

“And what about the other two?” JR asked. “Cassandra Jensen and Bruce Greene?”

“Greene and Jensen are both unknowns, as is Kincaid. Which will serve to their advantage. For even though Team Destiny, led by Laocorn Gaudeamas, has amassed a record in itself, even they don’t know what Team Nightfighter is capable of. They could be going against a dangerous force, or a couple of pushovers.”

“Well we’ll know in a minute as we are greeted by Team Destiny as they make their way to the ring.”

At the conclusion of JR’s sentence the theme music for Team Destiny filled the room and Laocorn, Panni and Lyla made their way to the ring. A symphonic melody that reminded Laocorn of his sister Sulia. A song done in her memory.

Laocorn, Panni and Lyla walked to the ring with an air of confidence and integrity. They stood as symbols of strength and discipline. Even if the crowd had given them a mixed reaction. For while half the crowd cheered Team Destiny the other half booed them unmercifully.

“Some of them know.” Laocorn said.

“Not the specifics Lord.” Panni said. “But they do know that you had made some bad choices in life. Some are not that forgiving.”

“Just focus on the battle at hand Laocorn.” Lyla said. “Maybe that will win some of them over. Besides we know nothing about these guys.”

“Yes.” Laocorn said. “This Team Nightfighter is a mystery. We shall see an answer soon enough.” Laocorn however noticed a few signs in support of Team Nightfighter, even if none of the fans knew who they were either. Laocorn however believed that they were not supporting Team Nightfighter, but supporting Team Destiny’s decimation. The fans just didn’t care who decimated them.

After the music ended as well as the fanfare the three members of Team Destiny turned to see their opponents come to the ring. The music of two of the members filled the air.

“Let the bodies hit the floor. Let the bodies hit the floor. Let the bodies hit the… FLOOR!”

Bruce and Cassandra came to the ring to the music of Drowning Pool. Nothing they did gave away their secrets and they like it that way. So it appeared did Heyman as he mentioned how the team was playing up the mystery.

“Psychological warfare JR,” he guessed.

“I’m not sure it’s working yet,” JR replied. “Although it does raise the question about where the third member of their team has gotten to? Where is Jeff Kincaid?”

To be continued


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Crossroads of Evil Part 1

Disclaimer: The Power Rangers have changed hands several times since this series began. They are currently owned by Saban Brands. Charmed is the property of the WB. Mr. Merlin was a TV show that appeared in the early 1980’s. CHIPS was a show created by Rick Rostner that aired from the late 70’s to the early 80’s. The WWF letters are in reference to the World Wrestling Federation owned by Titan Sports; it should be noted that WWF is a trademark of the World Wildlife Fund. Hannah Montana and related characters are property of Disney. Reference to the ‘Silent Master’ is in reference to the character of Snake-Eyes from G.I.Joe (Action Force) which is property of Hasbro. Sei Tin is from the Devil’s Due Comics version of G.I.Joe. The name Okasa was from the T.V. Series ‘The Master’ as is the name McAllister-Keller, which aired on NBC during the 1980’s for one year. Nash Bridges and related characters are created by Carleton Cuse and property of CBS and Carleton Cuse Productions. Fatal Fury/King of Fighters are owned by SNK/Capcom. ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) was a rival wrestling promotion created by Paul Heyman, the name now belongs to Titan Sports.

Minion is the property of Shadow Ranger, however it is a derived work from a character that appeared in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The song ‘Some Girls’ is sung by Rachel Stevens. The song ‘Rollin’ is sung by Limp Bizkit. ‘You don’t Know me at all’ is sung by Lillian Garcia. And ‘Never gonna stop’ is sung by Rob Zombie.Author Notes: The reference to the San Francisco Earthquake comes from the records that clearly state there was no earthquake. Although this is now regarded as a city wide insurance fraud (mot claimants stated their buildings were damaged by fire from a neighbouring building. In some cases neighbouring shops set fire to each other at the same time).Additional Note: The beginning of this chapter is from the story ‘Close Encounters of the NEGAtive Kind’. As the story progresses there will be some differences from this beginning and the rest of the story. Hopefully these differences will be explained to the reader’s satisfaction. This story is considered AU within the Conquest of Evil Multiverse and should be considered to tie directly into the Alternaverse.

Prelude to Minion’s Legacy Part 3 – Crossroads of Evil

COE: King of Fighters ’96

Special Guest Writer: John Chubb with contributions from Adam Safaran and Adam Pearlman (The Q Team)

Torture Cell A, Minion’s Island. The Past

It has been said that history can be a subjective thing. But there have been other times where history can be altered, subverted, and twisted in ways that are hard to comprehend, or imagine.

And yet, there are moments in history that while seemingly different play out like they were intended to…despite any alterations to time or reality.

Three days had passed and Minion decided it was time to see how his guests were coping. He ignored the VR Troopers and the Beetleborgs, the strange warrior known as Servo and a group of teenage hackers who had been dragged into things for some reason; the various super heroes that constituted what remained of the JLA, the Avengers and of course Spider-Man. He overlooked the injured Jesse, knowing that even if he could transform, the Masked Rider’s powers had been damaged. Dex on the other hand would still provide some entertainment. First though he had his old adversaries, the Gem Coin Rangers, to pay his respects to.

This was Minion’s favourite part of the Prison Dimension. He had altered the flow of time in the dimension so a few hours would seem like weeks to the Rangers trapped inside. All six of the Rangers he was holding in his prison were undergoing various forms of torture.

First off was Tanya. Minion had trapped her at the bottom of a long tube. Then he had sealed the sides, top and bottom of the tube so she only had a limited air supply. Then he had started to pump in a drop of water every thirty seconds. It was a slow torture. Tanya knew she could not escape and that eventually she would drown, but not before the dripping water drove her insane.

Next in line was Trey. Minion had decided to place the Lord of Triforia on a version of the rack and was gradually stretching the Gold Ranger until he was torn in half by the rack. Minion had but found the idea too unimaginative. Therefore, he had added his own subtle changes.

The rack had been modified so Trey was now seated with his hands tied to a series of pulleys. His legs and ankles were strapped to a set of bicycle pedals. The idea was that a small motor operated ropes attached to his arms would tighten the ropes and stretch the Lord of Triforia unless he pedalled fast enough to counter the effect. Minion had made an additional change. The system was now racheted so that if Trey stopped pedalling, he would be stretched, but even if he then started to pedal as fast as he could the ropes would not loosen.

It was the ultimate no-win situation. Sooner or later the Triforian would tire and when he did he would be stretched.

Adam had been strapped into a chair. On his forehead a metal device had been fastened. As Minion pressed a button, the device sent a signal to the muscles in Adam’s leg, causing it to twitch. The sensation was not painful, but after a few hours of constant twitching Adam would be driven insane. Minion had seen the evidence of what constant exposure to the device would accomplish. Even the most iron willed prisoner would crack under the strain.

The device had been created years ago for use by bounty hunters wishing to interrogate captives to find their prey. Minion had been lucky to find a working model in Zedd’s castle. Obviously Zedd had had dealings with either the Varox or the Bounty Hunters’ Guild. He was not sure which but knowing Zedd, he was willing to bet the Bounty Hunter had not been paid for his work, or lived to tell about it.

Minion had modified the next cell especially for Kat using the technology he had gained from elsewhere. The room was set to play out random dangers at random intervals, stimulating her pain receptors without the physical injury. Minion had no intention of damaging Kat’s body. He wanted Kat to be his personal slave and if she survived, he would enjoy breaking her further.

Minion planned to leave her a few more hours and then offer her a chance to end her pain. He doubted she would take him up on the offer first try, but faced with a life of pain or a life as his slave he suspected she could be persuaded to choose the latter.

Tommy’s torture was simple but effective. He had been tied with his hands above his head and had a WD-Unit punching him at regular intervals. Each blow cracked his ribs causing him to scream in agony. But Minion had programmed the machine to allow enough time between blows for the youth’s healing to take effect. For the robot it meant a few seconds of action followed by long periods of waiting. For Tommy it meant constant and nearly unbearable pain.

Travis’ torture was perhaps the cruellest. He had been secured so he had a view of all his friends being tortured. Minion had injected him with a drug to paralyse his body and bound his limbs just in case. Travis could see and hear everything, but could not move any part of his body to help or even turn away or shut his eyes. Tears ran down his face from having to watch his friends being tortured, knowing he was free to intervene but unable to help them. He continued to sob, broken at the sight of his friends suffering knowing he had failed them.

“What’s the matter Travis, can’t you stand to see your friends suffer?” Minion asked softly. “You know, you could save them. Just swear total and undying allegiance to the forces of darkness and I’ll let them go.”

“Go to hell!” Travis spat. Struggling to speak due to the effects of the drugs.

Minion did not reply. He simply turned and nodded to the WD-Unit in front of Tommy. The machine understood the unspoken command and punched Tommy in the face, cracking his skull.

“You had better not say things like that Travis,” Minion hissed. “Or I’ll instruct the WD-Unit to crush his skull. I’ll leave you to consider our offer,” Minion told the distraught Ranger. “See you soon.”

Minion walked over to where Tommy was hanging. Using some of the many fighting techniques at his disposal, he kicked Zeo Falcon several times in the chest and stomach, smiling in satisfaction as he heard the Ranger’s ribs crack. When he finished, he cut the bonds holding Tommy’s arms, then continued to kick and punch the fallen Ranger. He lifted Tommy to his feet and delivered a sharp kick to the Ranger’s neck.

“Wait six hours and then resume,” he said to the WD Unit as he teleported away.

Six hours was nowhere near enough time for Tommy to heal, but that was the idea. Minion promised himself he would return to beat Tommy a bit more when the other boy was awoke.

Minion enjoyed having so many prisoners because it gave him the opportunity to try as many forms of torture as possible before they died. They were his playthings and when they ceased to amuse him, he would toss them aside and move on to the next victim. This time he had not been creative, just brutal in his plans. He had placed the surviving members of the JLA and the Teen Titans together in the arena, surrounded by WD Units. If they defeated their opponents, he would let them go. He had no intention of allowing them to win.

He had deliberately made the stadium larger this time and provided the heroes with some cover. He mentally ran through those present and was satisfied they would be lucky to survive let alone triumph. The Flash had already proven how far Minion was willing to go; the human Masked Rider had proven that he could be merciful. What he had done to the Martian Man Hunter had shown them his vicious side, while slicing off John Stewart’s fingers had shown his intelligence.

So who was left? Batman, Wonder Woman, Hawk Girl of the JLA – for there was no way the Green Lantern could defend himself at that moment – and Robin, Starfire, Changling, Raven and Cyborg for the Teen Titans. Some of them he had allowed to remain conscious, others he had deliberately incapacitated to prevent them from using their powers. In the end he decided that Wonder Woman, Hawk Girl and Cyborg would suffice. If this worked well, he would be sure to try it again with the Avengers.

Wonder Woman looked on as the WD Units surrounded them. She already knew that they could not trust Minion to keep his word. If he wanted them dead, they would die, and if he chose to spare them it would only be exchanging death for more torment. And the villain had already taken so much.

Themyscira was gone, the civilised world of the Amazons lost forever all due to Minion’s. She remembered how his robotic army had fought their way through the island’s inhabitants. And now Diana, last surviving daughter of her race found herself pitted in one of the villain’s twisted games. She promised herself that she would not be another victim of his evil; she would not go easily, and like Wally she vowed to fight him.

Hawk Girl was angry and more than a little confused. She had once believed that she had known what evil was, her people having abandoned a dark entity long ago. But it seemed that Minion had shown her a new kind of evil, the type that from Batman and Robin’s reactions, was uncommon but not unheard of on Earth. She held her mace at the ready, vowing that the first machine to cross her path would be scrap metal. Next to her she sensed Cyborg tense. The battle was about to begin.

When the robots attacked, the three heroes went on the offensive. Hawk Girl’s energised mace smashed into the chest panel of one WD Unit as Wonder Woman used her lasso to throw one of the WD Units into its neighbouring machines. Cyborg unleashed blast after blast from his sonic cannon, using his vice like grip to wrench arms from torsos.

Minion had to admit they were an impressive combination. Wonder Woman’s strength combined with Hawk Girl’s anger and Cyborg’s strong will, which Minion had to admit was exceptional for him to have survived all the hardships he had endured, allowed them to take down a good portion of his forces before the overwhelming numbers started to catch up with them. He was amazed when he saw Cyborg rip the bladed weapon from one unit and use it to slice the head off another. He had been hoping that what he had done to the Flash would have weakened their resolve, but if anything they fought harder.

“Open fire!” he commanded.

Viventallum bullets sprayed from the units’ hands, causing Hawk Girl to cease her current tactic of lifting opponents from the ground and dropping them from higher up, and duck for cover. Cyborg and Wonder Woman worked together, she deflecting the bullets with her bracelets while he returned fire. When a WD Unit went down, it stayed down; Minion wanted to see how close they would come to victory before springing his surprise.

Batman watched the battle from his cell. There was little in his utility belt that could help them although the first aid kit had allowed them to wrap the cauterised stubs that were John’s arms. The Green Lantern was still in a bad state, Flash was comatose.

In the next cell Robin had given up trying to break free from the cell and had instead turned his attention to other opportunities to escape. Starfire was in a state of shock, whatever Minion had done to her when he had insisted on separating the aliens from the rest of the JLA and Teen Titans, she had been almost catatonic when she had returned. Exactly what they had done to the J’Onn was unclear, but while he was alive, he was definitely not conscious; Raven had not been seen since she had been taken.

“Look,” Changeling called, transforming back to his normal appearance for the first time since they had seen what had happened to the Flash. The brutality and callous nature of the attack had hit all of them, but Changling had lost somebody whom he viewed as a big brother.

“Look out, they’re changing,” Batman said as he watched the broken WD Units pool together into a new larger warrior.

“Oh no,” Robin said, eyes widening as he saw the thin tubes appear from the Centaurian’s body.

The WD Units fell back behind the larger robot and the three heroes were getting more and more nervous.

“Fire!” Minion ordered.

The many tubes unleashed a volley on miniature projectiles at its opponents, shredding anything in their path. Diana tried to block them but even her swift reactions could not avoid every projectile. As soon as the first bullet pierced her skin, the small point allowing it to easily break her skin, she started to slow. More projectiles were fired, most missing but some actually managed to strike their target. Eventually the blood loss was too much and she fell.

Cyborg had not been so lucky. His metallic parts were shredded by the tougher metal and it was only through chance that his human organs were not damaged. He continued to fire bravely, daring the machine to attack again and again.

Hawk Girl Had been hit, her wings damaged and her flight terminated. She had managed to land a single blow, which was more than her companions had accomplished. Still, like Wonder Woman and Cyborg she was beaten and as the massive metal fist made contact with her skull, it seemed the fight was no longer her problem.

“Cease!” Minion called. He didn’t want the Centaurian to kill them, the pain didn’t fade as much when he just killed them. He needed to break them first, all of them.

He walked into the arena area and made a point of examining the bodies. Hawk Girl would survive although like the Green Lantern and Masked Rider, recovery would prove difficult. Cyborg on the other hand would be lucky if he ever recovered from his injuries. Minion considered using Viventallum to repair the damage, knowing that in doing so he would have control over Cyborg. Oh the damage he could cause. Finally he came to Wonder Woman. The pile of bullets surrounding her spoke of how hard she had fought to survive. A quick scan of her aura revealed that she was alive. The pool of blood surrounding her raised questions about how long she would take to recover.

Then there was something, a flash of sensation of the very edge of his consciousness, a warning that one of the security spells he had placed had been disturbed. It took a moment for him to zero in on the distrurbance, a task made more difficult because the surrounding spells had not triggered. It was a curious impossibility that he resolved to investigate personally.

“We’ll this continue later.” Minion promised before heading toward his private chambers.


It was a disturbing thought that he was being played with, but Minion was certain that was the case. Whatever had disturbed his warding spells had waited until an instant before the door was fully opened and then vanished. The only clue had been a wheezing and grinding noise that almost sounded like an engine. He was surprised to find his chambers intact, the guards he had left there had not even been aware of the intruder. And it seemed that his visitor had left something behind.

His gaze fell on the package that now occupied a section of his desk. He moved forward to investigate, noting as he did so that somebody had been reading through his papers. ~No,~ he corrected himself as his eyes fell on the untidy scrawl, ~somebody has been marking them.~

Before he could touch it, the box opened, revealing its contents. The first thing he noticed was the strange medallion. It appeared to be of oriental origin, but his keen senses told him that the metal was not common to Earth. With that in mind he started to discount many of those he suspected were behind the intrusion. He was starting to suspect that instead of someone trying to save the prisoners, this was a fellow villain’s poor attempt at a joke, perhaps to draw his attention. His eye fell upon the second item, a note in the same style as the attempted grading of his calculations. He wondered why somebody had gone to such lengths just to deliver a letter.

Attention Minion. You are cordially invited to attend a special tournament at my behest. A tournament unlike any other. Which would involve a journey unlike any other. Your presence is requested at the San Francisco Cow Palace to attend the King of Fighters tournament in the year 1996. You will be treated to sights beyond understanding. Heroes unlike any other, and the rivals they face in the name of personal glory. Minion just smirked at the letter before him, amused by what he was reading. What interest could this tournament have for one such as him? Out of that amusement he continued reading, and was interested by what he had read.

There will be old familiar faces as well. Warriors of the power. Ranging their skills in battle.

His mind picked up on the not-so-subtle references hidden within what the writer believed to be clever word play. ‘Warriors of the power? Ranging their skills in battle?’ It was clear the writer wished him to make the connection to the Power Rangers. The question though was whether the intention was for him to dismiss the possibility and attend to find out why they had made such a poor attempt to deceive him or conclude that the note was truthful and attend to find out how it was possible? It was with great reluctance that he realised either way the note had achieved its underlying objective and captured his attention. He continued to read.

A means of transportation is available for you to attend this tournament.

Co-ordinates of its location are written below. As is a key for entry.

It is my hope you attend this tournament as it could change your perspective.

Sincerely,

J.J.Chambers, Doctor of Law.

Proprietor, The Fun Factory. City of San Francisco.

He had to admit that the writer was clever. He had been drawn in by what had at first been amusement, but had rapidly turned to curiosity. And now it seemed that despite all the mental discipline he tried to maintain and the logic he employed, he would be forced to take the bait and find out what this was all about.

He studied the box more carefully. Until now he had been distracted by the contents and had overlooked the container. The construction was clearly alien; he knew the wood came from a planet that Rita Repulsa used when crafting her wands. That in turn implied that despite the very boring and human sounding name of ‘J.J. Chambers’, the send was either an alien or had access to alien materials. And that led him to consider the location of the tournament. What was so special about San Francisco and why would this ‘J.J. Chambers be based there?

He looked at the contents once more and studied the medallion in detail. ~Chinese if my guess is correct,~ he thought as he studied what he now believed to be the ‘key’ the letter had mentioned. A quick glance at the letter confirmed the co-ordinates where his transport was waiting. It was only then that he wondered why he would need transportation when he was capable of teleporting and he realised that the letter was suggesting that this journey would require a little bit of time travel.

Using the computers at his disposal, Minion rapidly zeroed in on the location. From the outside it appeared perfectly normal, but a closer check revealed that all was not as it first appeared. In fact beneath the deceptively normal looking building, he had found evidence that it was government owned. The evidence had been carefully hidden, but there were always a few small clues, especially since this was not a part of the United Kingdom’s forces. The funding came from an offshore account and relied on several transfers but by tracing the money he found that the originally purchaser had been a front company. And by shifting his way through the elaborate attempts to deceive him about which government the front company belonged to, he eventually found the name UNIT.

From that point it had been a matter of hacking his way into the primitive network and locating the information he needed. His goal was to find out what was so special about that building, so he completely ignored the long and very interesting history that the site revealed.

~The Black Archives,~ he thought as his eyes scanned the filed. ~A repository of extraterrestrial artefacts that were either recovered, salvaged or confiscated from areas outside of the British Empire.~

His eyes widened as he read that last part, but he dismissed it. He didn’t have time to consider the political intrigue at that moment.

~Why would my transport be left in the hands of the enemy?~ he wondered.

Several scenarios presented themselves including the possibility the his mysterious contact wished him to retrieve the property on his behalf, but decided it was just as likely that he thought that any guards would not pose a problem for one such as Minion.

Then he checked the co-ordinates again and noticed that the numbers were changing very slightly and a time had been included, which seemed to alter with each passing second.

~Ah,~ he realised as he checked the co-ordinates on the map. ~He doesn’t want me to enter the valuts, just the grounds surrounding them where this transport is being moved.~

A noise caught his attention and Minion twisted in time to see that a set of photographs had appeared.

~Somebody is playing games with me,~ he concluded. ~When I find him he had better have a good reason or else he will pay.~

At first glance the ‘transport’ reminded Minion of a Chinese Funeral Box with an obvious section that had been removed right in the centre. ~Perhaps that is where the key should go,~ he pondered.

Another glance at the co-ordinates showed that the box was moving at speed. It was now about fifty miles from its original location. He also noticed that the time had changed and by his estimates was a few minutes into the future..

~An ambush then,~ he concluded.

He was being given the time and place where he could obtain his transport, but it required him to believe that the writer knew where the transport would be at any time. That required Minion to believe that J.J.Chambers had some means of time travel or future sight. Not an impossible idea, but it made him all the more cautious. Still there was little risk when he had others to carry out the task on his behalf.

“Silvo!” Minion called.

The powerful warrior appeared and Minion gave him his instructions.

“Take some of the spare WD Units to these co-ordinates. Intercept the convoy and retrieve its cargo. Then return here.” As he spoke, Minion handed Silvo the pictures of his objective.

Silvo nodded in affirmative to his master’s commands and withdrew to gather the forces he needed. In a very short time the small force teleported to a road in England, where Minion’s ride to the King of Fighters Tournament of 1996 was waiting.


Time and reality are funny things. For the most part time travels in a single direction. A second passes into minutes, then hours, days and eventually centuries pass by. But where as time marches onwards, the events that take place are far more fluid. Every action leads to a reaction, every effect requires a cause. That need for the universe to make sense meant that while the order of events usually followed a set sequence, that order wasn’t always chronologically correct. For the most part reality shifts and changes, adapting to the new events and circumstances as they happen. It was that sort of relationship that would allow a person glimpsing the future or the Zeo Rangers to see and elderly Tommy and Katherine together one moment and Tommy as an Archaeologist the next. But sometimes an event took place that was so devastating that reality could not cope.

Such an event had happened, would happen, was taking place at that moment. The splashing currents of time shifted and fractured. Existence sought and answer and could not find one. For a moment every reality became the Prime Reality as they met with oblivion. And then the moment passed, but the fallout of such events echoed backwards through time, reshaping events and causing the impossible to happen…

People, places, dates, means and reasons shifted and clashed. Reality could not cope with such contradictory changes and so it found a way to resolve the problem. The subconscious will of reality reached out and influenced an individual. He in turn influenced two more impressionable young minds. Curiosity was raised and emotions manipulated. Competition led to disobedience and intervention where things should have been left alone. Suddenly reality was part of something greater, something that had not been there before, but had been manipulated into existence to resolve an otherwise impossible problem.

One had become many. The universe had become a multiverse. Over time many of the fractures would ties themselves together as the differences played out and reached a point of integration. Others though were just too different and would either continue for eternity or reach a dead end and simply cease.

And while some were aware of the multiverse, most remained ignorant. And of those that were aware, there were some that seemed to shift between them without even realising it. Some had even fractured with reality and existed as representations of themselves as opposed to simple alternate incarnations. And a few, a very few of those that fell into the last category, were aware of their nature and used their peers’ lack of perception wholly to their advantage.

In one such reality, there existed a being that was fully aware of the changes that had taken place, completely aware of his own nature and in the unique position of understanding the chain of events that had caused it all to happen. In that place time was more open to manipulation than in others, for this reality was one of several that could eventually surpass its point of origin and emerge as THE Prime Reality. And time had changed, multiple times, through either necessity or the whims of supposed ‘gods’. It was a reflection of a reflection of itself. Skewed and a little strange to those that could sense the changes, yet regardless of the Who, Where, When Why and How, most things remained the same.

One of those constants of the universe was the planet Eltare, headquarters of the Galactic Council: a galctic body where the ‘good’ planets of the universe rallied together to promote freedom. peace and justice for all who sought it, as well as safety and security. The latter parts however were proving difficult to attain due to constant attacks from the United Alliance of Evil. Planets had fallen, people had been taken as slaves and valuable resources that could have gone towards the benefit of many worlds went to the select few under the rule of Dark Specter. Many had taken up the fight against the UAE, be it as Rangers, a part of the Council Military or even as politicians.

One such politician was the Triforian named Sygnus. Sygnus was the appointed Council Representative of Triforia granted power by the planet’s Prime Minister Tirol after the tyrant Terr had been overthrown. Sygnus made it a personal mission of his that no further tyrants like Terr came into being again. Whether from Triforia or from a council world. The actions Sygnus had taken on the Council floor led to Triforia being seen with a newfound authority on par with that of Lord Trey, who was sadly still recovering in a cryotube on Earth. Nevertheless councillors felt Triforia was in good hands until Trey returned, whenever that would be.

In the meantime Sygnus had caught note of two councillors that he felt were ‘not on the up and up’ if he remembered the Earth expression correctly. Sygnus made it a point to know s much about Earth as he could as he figured S’Hera and Darkonda’s plan centered around the planet Zordon of Eltar set up as his base. ~But what was that plan?~ Sygnus asked himself.

He had no answer. Only S’Hera and Darkonda had those answers. As he sat at his desk he wondered about S’Hera and Darkonda’s whereabouts. Typing a series of schedules he wondered where the two ‘councillors’ were at this current moment. He was surprised when the answer came ‘Off Planet’.

Sygnus realized S’Hera and Darkonda were no longer on Eltare.

~Where have they gone?~ Sygnus was left wondering. Wherever it was he knew it couldn’t be good for Earth…. ~Or Trey~ he mentally added.


San Francisco

While it was considered an ‘All American City’, a great deal of magic and mystery contributed to San Francisco’s history. How else could they explain the massive damage the city had sustained at one point that experts had clearly stated was not an earthquake? But in recent times things had gotten stranger; the appearance of the Power Rangers a few years back had acted as a catalyst for the previously contained supernatural behaviour. As the Ley Lines had reacted to the magic being used around them, the energies had resonated outwards, creating the area known by locals as ‘the Freak Zone’.

However despite being within the geographical boundaries of the Freak Zone, San Francisco’s inclusion had been disputed by those that acknowledged such things – mainly nerds – until the Power Rangers had appeared in the city to deal with a Cylon invasion. Their battles with Kali Yagami, a former replica of Trini Kwan who had embraced her newfound identity and accepted the dark power that seemed to reside within the Kwan family line had caused the Rangers to make front page news. After that the other mostly ignored stories of magical happenings within the city had started to emerge, events surrounding three magical sisters who preferred to keep their activities secret to the point where they were considered urban legends.

There were many stories that the Rangers heard. Most were urban legends that they knew better than to simply dismiss out of hand. Others, such as tales of the wizard Merlin living as a motor mechanic somewhere within the city were dismissed outright. It wasn’t just the idea of a powerful wizard giving it all up for a life working with machines that caused their scepticism though. There were also the reports that Merlin had found tenure at one of the country’s leading universities and gained funding to further his studies of the aura.

In the end the discussion was unimportant. The Rangers were not heading to San Francisco to seek out Merlin or trios. Three of their own would be competing in the King of Fighters Tournament. Since their numbers had swelled so much, the Rangers had split up and made arrangements to travel as groups. The Morphin and Zeo teams were travelling together although Kat had stated she would travel by her own means. She hadn’t explained further and the Rangers hadn’t asked.

As the plane set down at San Francisco International Airport, Inspector Nash Bridges waited with his ex-wife Lisa in the terminal to greet the Rangers, one of whom was their daughter Cassidy – the Silver Zeo Ranger.

“You know, this is probably the only time we’ve sat somewhere quietly and not argued for a long time?” Nash asked.

“I know.” Lisa said eagerly waiting for the plane to arrive, and for their daughter to disembark. “I want to hear everything about what she’s doing. Her being away is like…”

“…something being torn out from you?” Lisa looked at her ex-husband and nodded at his choice of words. “I know. I’d love to be with her in Angel Grove. But Cassidy said she has to do this without us.”

“At least she has friends.” Lisa said. “A lot of them.”

Nash chuckled a little at Lisa’s remark as he remembered meeting all the Rangers. He had to admit, Cassidy had a lot of friends. Friends that were fellow Power Rangers and were going to be on the plane with her. He watched as the plane pulled up and docked at the gate. There was a short delay, but a few minutes later the door opened up and the passengers started to disembark. He waited patiently, watching the families on vacation, the hurried travellers eager to reach their business meetings and a large group of teenagers. He smiled as he identified some of the faces in the last group. It appeared that they had made it intact.

“San Francisco we have arrived.” Zack proclaimed excitedly as he stepped off the plane followed by the other teens in their party. They exchanged amused grins at their friend’s antics, but one of them reached forward and told him firmly to tone it down. The last thing they wanted was to be held up by security.

“Sorry Jase,” Zack responded. “But this is San Francisco! This is the city that takes everything it has to give, and still keep coming back. It’s kind of like us in a way.”

Jason considered Zack’s words and felt his friend was on to something. San Francisco did have something of a Ranger quality to it. A city that kept coming back from whatever anyone, or anything, had to throw at it.

“Yeah Zack, you’re probably right.” Jason agreed.

Many who visited the city claimed that there was a feeling of magic in the air. For the most part Jason agreed. He was not the most sensitive of the Rangers, but even he could sense the energy that seemed to flow through the city. He wondered if it was really magic or just the spirit of the people that lived there amplified through the minor Ley Line that branched throughout the area. Of course he was aware that beyond the background magic in the area, there were tales of real magicks at work within the city. Jason was certain that if those stories were true the area was as much a target for the forces of darkness as anywhere else.

~Good thing they have the Outsiders to protect them,~ he thought.

Thinking about the Outsiders caused him to think about one Jamie Zedden, member of the Outsiders and his current girlfriend.

While Jason was lost in his thoughts, Tanya was trying to deal with the odd feeling that she had come home. It was almost as if she was destined to live in San Francisco. For a moment she dismissed such thoughts, knowing that just because her cousin happened to live there along with her family didn’t make it her home. But somewhere deep inside she felt a connection to the city and knew in her heart that one day she would come back and stay.

Trini meanwhile was feeling very uneasy. Something hold her that something would happen at the King of Fighters Tournament. She didn’t know what was going to happen, but she knew it was not going to be a good thing.

“Trini?” Kim asked for the third time. “You okay?”

“Uhh, yeah Kim.” Trini said.

Billy looked in Trini’s direction and shared Kim’s concern. Since discovering her Yagami heritage and the power it offered, Billy found he worried more and more about Trini. She was after all his closest friend, and he didn’t want her to fall to darkness, especially when that darkness was already a part of her. So concerned was he about Trini that he didn’t have much of an interest in sightseeing.

Samoht wasn’t doing much sightseeing either, but for a very different reason. He knew the stories about San Francisco better than anyone. He had been there in 1903 when the alleged earthquake had happened. He had fought a monster there in a battle so fierce the whole city had shaken. He had used his magic afterward to help repair most of the damage, but he had been tired and the results had been less than perfect.

Nash and Lisa greeted the Rangers, shaking hands with those they had already met and introducing themselves to those they hadn’t.

“Did Cassidy come with you?” Nash asked. He heard they planned to drive out, but since the airlines were restored after the Cylon attack he assumed the Rangers had decided to fly instead.

“Yeah Mr. Bridges. She should be coming out shortly,” Jason assured him. “It was hard to get enough tickets to all sit together so we split up into smaller groups.”

After a short wait they were eventually joined by both Zeo teams. Another round of greetings took place before Nash drew Tommy and Skull to one side. As team leaders they were best place to answer the questions he needed answered.

“Has my daughter been taken care of?”

Skull snorted. “Sir, I’ve learned first hand that your daughter is capable of taking care of herself.” He added something about bruises, but Nash had turned his attention to Tommy.

“But that doesn’t change the fact that we will always be there to watch her back,” Tommy said. “Just as she has watched ours.”

Nash nodded. It was the sort of answer he had been hoping for.

“She is her father’s daughter,” Tommy added.

“Careful bubba. That’s not always a good thing,” Nash warned with a slight smirk just as Cassidy finally disembarked and spotted her parents.

“Hey daddy!” Cassidy cried, rushing over to her parents and wrapping them in a fond hug.

“Welcome back sweetheart,” Nash said as he hugged his daughter.

“I’m glad you’re okay sweetie,” Lisa said. “How’s Angel Grove?”

“Great,” Cassidy answered. “We still have a few monster attacks, but we’ve managed to fight them all off. One was kind of interesting…” She glanced around to make sure they were not being overheard before recounting her recent adventures with Astronema. She was very careful when she explained how the Princess of Darkness seemed intent on targeting her for some reason. Last thing she needed was for her father to go into the overprotective parent role.

She thought she had gotten away with it, shielding the danger behind her obvious enthusiasm, but it seemed Nash had simply been waiting for the story to end.

“So this villain decided to go after you personally?” Nash asked. “Did you do anything to her?”

“No, why?” Cassidy asked. Her father’s reaction seemed more curious than overly protective.

“I’ve been keeping tabs on Ranger activities since you moved there,” Nash quickly explained, realising that he really should have chosen a less public place. “According to reports, Astronema normally only attacks the Space Ranger team; Alison’s team. So why did she suddenly change tactics and go after you?”

Cassidy shrugged her shoulders, but had to admit, it was a good question. “I don’t know. To get at Alison maybe as she’s an Astro Ranger and Astronema is supposed to attack that team. I really don’t know why she’d be after me. It’s not like I stole her boyfriend, if she has one.” Cassidy was shaken out of her Astronema reverie when the other Rangers announced they had their luggage and were ready to leave the airport. Their ride was waiting.

“Cassidy, Laocorn has sent us a limo to take us to the hotel we’ll be staying at.” Kim said. “I take it you’ll be going home with your folks?”

“With my mom actually.” Cassidy said. “She still is leery of my father’s death trap.”

“Hey I resent my home being called a death trap!” Nash said.

“Well isn’t it earthquake condemned?” Lisa asked. “Isn’t it ready to fall after the next big quake?”

“They’re doing a seismic shore-up in the coming weeks.” Nash admitted. “It’s all in the waiver I signed.”

“Still I think our daughter would like to stay someplace that won’t fall in the ground tomorrow.” Lisa added.

Cassidy rolled her eyes. “Ahhh home sweet home,” she said sarcastically.

“Take care Cassidy. We’ll see you at the arena,” Samantha said.

The other Rangers smiled and left, leaving Cassidy to ride with her parents in the Cuda waiting outside.

“So where’s Alison?” Lisa asked as they travelled down the terminal. “Or is she travelling separately?”

Cassidy gave a half smile. “She’s travelling separately. VERY separately.”


A few miles outside of San Francisco six young people walked in the California heat. All were competitors in the King of Fighters tournament. Three of them were members of the Bogard family, the others were Power Rangers.

“Are we there yet?” Katherine Hillard asked as she walked in the heat sweating. She took swigs of water to keep herself cool, but she had to use it sparingly. Everyone did.

Terry told everyone this was a pilgrimage to the tournament. A journey full of hardship and sacrifice. Meant to purify the body, mind and soul for battle. Terry seemed to take the journey in stride. His brother Andy and friend Joe Higashi were having a….little bit of trouble.

“You’re enjoying this Terry aren’t you?” Andy asked.

Terry just looked at his brother and hid a smirk. “The pilgrimage to the tournament is part of the training Andy. You know that.”

“But do we have to walk?” Joe asked.

“The ancient fighters walked to their places of combat,” Cassie Chan replied.

“But we’re not ancient.” Alison said as she opened a bottled water and took a swig. “Terry, I love you to death, but I’m starting to wonder if death may not be coming a little closer to you right now… thanks to one of us.”

“Hopefully not from you Alison. You still love me right?”

Alison sighed as she realized Terry got her there.

“Hey guys, look.” Cassie Chan said pointing to a street sign. It said ‘San Francisco-20 miles’. The collective grown made it clear that the only person not upset at having so far to walk was Terry.

“Please someone. We need a cab.” Joe shouted to anyone that would hear. No one did. Not even a CHP officer. Joe even asked “Where’s Ponch and Jon when you need em?”

“Only twenty miles guys we can make it.” Terry said with a little more enthusiasm than necessary.

The walk continued, each competitor driven on by their own reasons for entering the tournament.

For Kat it it was a chance to confront her Psycho counterpart. Formerly known as Kaat, now she was known as Ivy Howard and the adopted daughter of a psycho billionaire that Terry, Andy and Joe had a history with.

For Cassie there was also a former Psycho Ranger awaiting her: a female Yagami named Kali, formerly named Triini. And ever since Triini had become Kali she had embraced her newfound identity, as well as the power and insanity that came with it. If Kali had not accepted the blood feud, if she had rejected that part of her legacy, Cassie would have been allowed to let it pass. But Kali had accepted that role and since Cassie was a part of the Kusanagi, Cassie felt it was up to her to her to deal with the threat.

But even if Kali wasn’t competing Cassie knew Kali would be there in some way shape or fashion. She also wanted to embrace her family legacy by taking part in the tournament.

Alison was a Bogard and she had a legacy to uphold. Even though she was also a Hammond now she considered the Bogard name just as important, as it was the name she grew up with. And as such she endured the training along with Cassie and Kat.

They walked a few more feet when a blue van pulled up. The door opened and the three members of Team Gorgeous came out. Blue Mary, King and Mai Shiranui Bogard stepped out. “Hey girls.” Mai called out. “Anyone need a ride?”

“YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!” Alison, Cassie and Kat said in unison as they wasted no time getting into the van. Mai, King and Mary also rushed in leaving the guys dumbfounded.

Joe however asked “Hey girls. Can we come too?”

“Sorry guys, enjoy the walk,” Alison said as she, Cassie and Kat closed the door on Blue Mary’s van and pulled away leaving Joe, Terry and Andy behind… for at least a hundred yards.

The van stopped and Mai opened the rear door. “You guys coming or not?” Andy and Joe wasted no time getting in.

“See you Terry.” Andy said. “Pilgrimages across the desert are overrated anyway.” After saying that Andy rushed into the van.

Terry sighed, realizing that he was outvoted. Following the lead of his friends and family he decided to take the ride as well. A decision Mary was glad Terry made as they rode the remaining twenty miles to San Francisco together.


Coming down yet another way, the Reid family limousine was barrelling down the I-5. Inside it were seven passengers, the Astro Power Rangers.

“Oh man I could get used to this.” T.J. said feeling the plush leather seat underneath him.

In another seat Carlos also sat back enjoying the rich comforts.

“You do get used to them.” Dan Reid, the White Astro Ranger.

Next to him sat Andros, Ashley and Sabrina, while across from them Zhane sat next to Carlos and T.J. but his mind was elsewhere. A lot of Rangers had their minds preoccupied.

Ashley was thinking of her sister Alison and their friend Cassie that were taking part in the KOF tournament. Alison had just come back into the Hammond family fold, and while their parents welcomed her back they were having concerns about Alison’s fighting lifestyle. Concerns that if Alison left she might not come back again one day. They had gotten their daughter back. They didn’t want to lose her again.

Ashley promised she’d stick with her sister like glue, and that Alison would not be alone. Her friends, or Terry, would be with her.

She had also been getting closer to Andros and hoped they could go on a date at the Embarcadero where Pier 39 was located. There were other sights in San Francisco as well she wanted to see, and hoped she and Andros could make a night out of it. Andros had slowly been coming out of his shell and Ashley wanted to encourage that.

Andros found himself becoming more and more attracted to Ashley. There was something about the Earth girl in front of him that just made him… happy. He wanted to be there for her, but he wondered if he did open up to her would there be something to take her away? Like Dark Specter took away his parents? Or how he lost Karone?

Sabrina looked out the window of the limousine and saw the sun over the Golden Gate bridge as they came to it. Its glow almost illuminating it. She never tired of seeing the sight of the bridge as the sun cast its rays on it. It truly looked like a Golden Gate. Looking off to the side she saw the spirit presence of Anne, and she nodded in agreement. Something about the Golden Gate just seemed magical.

Breaking the monotony Sabrina turned to Dan and asked “So Dan, you seem at ease with the trappings of wealth.”

“Not too at ease.” Dan said. “Dad and granddad always encouraged me not to become too dependent on the trappings of wealth. That sometimes… money doesn’t save you.”

“That’s true.” Sabrina said. “I’ve known many rich rulers and warlords. And when their kingdoms fell their wealth didn’t save them. Their fortunes were still taken and the rulers still were executed.” Dan looked wide eyed at Sabrina as he heard her say the words. As if they were from first hand experience. Like someone who had been there.

“Regardless, our family’s ‘extracurricular activities’ kept our instincts sharp. And ensured that we remained… resourceful.” Dan said the last line with a smirk.

Sabrina caught the smirk and seemed to nod. She knew Dan Reid was no pushover.

Changing the subject Dan then asked “So what does the UAE think of the KOF tournament? Do they have any thoughts on the matter?”

Sabrina sighed as she tried to think of an answer.

“The UAE always knew Earth had power, but they never really figured that humans of Earth could tap into it. At least not in a major way. So the tournament was disregarded for the most part. If any rulers caught a tournament they kept such findings to themselves. So I can’t be certain what the attitudes of UAE members could be.”

“Well Divatox’s should be easy to predict.” Andros said.

Sabrina chuckled a little as she heard Andros make a bit of a joke. She knew Divatox would only see the tournament as a beefcake show. ~Sometimes predicting Divatox is like trying to predict the weather when it’s raining.~ she thought.

“You guys talk a lot about Divatox, but I never really met her,” Ashley said

“Trust me you don’t want to.” Andros said. “But Sabrina’s right. Any major discoveries the UAE made about this tournament the members seemed to keep to themselves. Same it seems with the Council.”

“Man who do you trust?” T.J. asked as he wondered who was worse, the UAE or the Council.

Andros had an answer for that “Ourselves mostly. We’ll all need to stick together. Both here and on our way to Aquitar.”

Everyone nodded except Zhane, who was staring out the window. His mind a million miles away. Andros called to his friend as if shaking him out of his reverie.

“Sorry Andros. I was just thinking.” Zhane said.

Andros asked “About Cassidy?”

“No. Although it will be great to see her again.” Zhane thought about the hug he and Cassidy shared in Golden Gate Park and wondered if there wasn’t something there. But his mind was on someone else.

“I was just thinking about Karone.” Zhane said.

Andros nodded in understanding. “I miss her too.”

“I never even said goodbye.” Zhane wiped a tear from his eye and then rode the rest of the way in silence.


Back in Angel Grove the girl Andros and Zhane had missed was very much alive. However she was not the girl they once knew. At least not completely.

Karone Lanrydan sat at the juice bar watching the boy she had met, Leo Corbett, practice at the Angel Grove Youth Center. He was teaching a group of young students as a favour to the club manager Ernie. Ernie knew Leo and his brother Mike in passing, and had known the Corbett brothers had skills in Martial Arts. Ernie also knew of the youngest Corbett brother in the young genius program that Billy Cranston had been part of and had seen him take part in a few classes.

One day Ernie saw Leo come in and had mentioned that the regular Youth h Center Martial Arts instructor had to go out of town, and wondered if Leo or his brother Mike could fill in. Leo said he could, and invited Karone to come as well. Karone accep> pted the invitation knowing that many Rangers used the Angel Grove Youth Center as a hangout, and figured visiting the place might give her an insight into the Rangers’ mindset.

As she sat and watched Leo train some students, she sipped a smoothie Ernie had given her. Ernie looked at Karone for a few seconds before going back to business. Karone however caught Ernie’s looks and wondered what was on his mind. “Something I can help you with?” she asked.

“Sorry if I’m making you uncomfortable.” Ernie said. “It’s just that I have an eye for exceptional youths. Having known a few of them.” For a moment Karone wondered if Ernie didn’t mean the Power Rangers but she asked “And you think I could be one of them?”

“You remind me of them.” Ernie said. “But there is something different about you. Something….a little darker. And yet…”

Karone let out a small smile and said “It’s probably best you just see me as a regular smoothie customer. A customer here with a friend.” She looked in Leo’s direction and Ernie got the idea.

“You Leo’s friend?”

“Yeah. We met in San Francisco. My boyfriend left me and he… helped me deal.” Karone said as she thought of how they met.

Ernie studied the girl closely. There was just something that bothered him about her but he couldn’t tell what it was. “If someone dumped you he must have been an idiot.”

Ernie’s line got a chuckle for Karone as she took the flattery from Ernie.

“No, he’s not an idiot,” she said finally. “He just… doesn’t know any better.”

“So that’s when Leo came into the picture?” Ernie asked.

Karone nodded. “He’s been great. Just as great as he teaches this class.”

Karone watched as Leo looked at several of the students surrounding him. Some of them he knew. Nico Ramonos and Kayla Gordon were from an advanced class at the Angel Grove Youth Center. Also there was young Justin Stewart, who had recently been checked out of Angel Grove Memorial Hospital after being in an unexplained coma. Starting out Leo decided he would give a few tune up moves for the students to follow along. The students did so with ease, especially Justin.

Off to the side Karone looked on at the young kids working out dressed in a training gi with a purple belt on. Her mind turned to her training at the Ranger Academy at KO-35. The instructors there seemed to be rigid and hard lined as they put her and Andros through their paces. The logic being that the universe wasn’t all that kind, why should they be? Leo was a contradiction to those instructors. He kind and considerate, helping the students perfect their skills without coming down on them.

~Yes there are some drill instructors that would just hate Leo.~ Karone thought. Just then the new generation of Angel Grove bullies Biff Bulkmeier and Loman Skullovitch walked in carrying on like they were big shots, just like their predecessors had done.

“Well, looks like we made it to the little dweebs club.” Biff said throwing his imaginary weight around. “Where do we sign up to kick people’s heads in?”

Loman followed up with “Yeah. Where do we sign up?”

Off to the side Ernie told Karone how Biff and Loman reminded him of two kids he used to know. Of course it wasn’t hard for him to tell that Biff and Loman lacked the brains to be original and were simply emulating Bulk and Skull before the two bullies had cleaned up their acts.

Leo also knew the type of people Biff and Loman were. He and Mike had had to teach Willy how to deal with them. He looked at Biff and Loman and decided.

“All right I’ll give you a few pointers. Will one of you come to the centre please?”

“Cool. Loman, you first.” Biff said as he threw Loman in so hard that his friend hit the mat on the ground. As he quickly got u,p Loman found himself facing Leo, who launched three fakes towards Loman causing him to run from the ring and hide under a table, much to Biff’s disappointment.

All the kids were laughing, except for Biff who hissed “sissy” to his friend.

“Do you think you can do better?” Karone asked standing up from the bar and walking to the centre of the classroom. Turning to Leo she then asked “Do you mind if I interrupt?”

“Not at all Karone. I’m sure the kids would love to see you teach them what you know,” Leo answered.

“Karone?” Biff asked. “What sort of name is that?”

Karone stood her ground, looked him and the eye and enjoyed the uncertainty in his eyes as she answered: “Mine. Now are you going to come into the ring, or you going to send your friend in again?”

Biff stepped back wide eyed as he took Karone’s statement as a challenge. As he regained his composure Biff walked into the ring and looked Karone in the eye believing himself a big shot.

“You’re a girl. This shouldn’t be so tough.” Biff said arrogantly.

Karone smiled as she anticipated teaching Biff a lesson. Looking around she spotted a pair of bow staffs and picked them up. She handed one to Biff and wasted no time getting into a defence position.

“Attack!” she said at the very next second before lunging forward.

Biff started swinging his staff while Karone blocked all of Biff’s wild blows. After a while Karone knocked the end of her staff under Biff’s legs and threw him down to the mat. Biff got back up and picked up his staff again. No way was he going to get beat by a girl. ~Even if she’s hot.~ Biff added to himself.

Karone decided to throw the staff away while Biff still had his. Immediately the young bully lunged towards Karone who sidestepped the charge, grabbed the staff to make sure Biff kept going, using his momentum against him, and Biff was sent into the Pachinko machine that was closed for repairs. The youths chuckled as they saw Biff all sprawled out.

“Think you had enough training?” Karone asked.

Biff and Loman decided to run out of the Youth Center as fast as they could.

Ernie chuckled. “If they decide to take up cockroach kung fu I’m going to Bosnia.”

Leo walked over Karone’s side. “Those were good moves there. Where did you learn them?”

“I had a few good teachers.” Karone said. She then added with a little coyness “Maybe I could teach you a thing or two.”

Leo smiled. “Maybe.” As Leo and Karone got closer some of the class snickered, drawing the duo’s attention. “Short break,” Leo decided.

Before Leo went off with Karone however he noticed Justin off to the side and wanted to touch base with him. “Hey Justin, Jason and Rocky wanted me to ask how you were doing.”

“I’m getting by,” Justin said. “I do miss my dad though.”

Justin Stewart had awoken from a mysterious coma months ago. He had been abducted from his home where his stepmother had been murdered, and soon after-his father. All Justin could remember was a feeling that he had been trapped in a living nightmare that he couldn’t wake up from. And a figure looking on. An evil figure.

Then the nightmare ended, and a woman with a white porcelain mask said that Justin need not fear anything anymore. That ‘they’ would protect him. And so far no monsters came for him. For that Justin was glad, even if he didn’t know who ‘they’ were. He was released from the hospital a week or so later where he was remanded to the custody of Little Angel’s Haven children’s home. A place where he met his friends Nico and Kayla. Little by little it seemed like Justin was getting his life back, even though his dad and the rest of his family, were gone.

“I know how you feel Justin.” Leo said. “I lost my dad too.”

“I lost both my parents, and my brother.” Karone added. “I know what it’s like to lose family. But I also know what it’s like to gain one.”

The last part Karone said with a smile leaving Justin confused. Karone happily explained.

“You’re starting a new family with Nico and Kayla. As well as the other kids from Little Angel’s Haven. The friends you make become part of your new family. Bound not by blood, but by friendship.” Justin listened to Karone’s words and thought she was right. Justin was making new friends, and they were becoming part of his new family. He hoped no one would take them away like they took him away and left his family to die.

“Take care Justin.” Leo said being reassuring. “Any problems let someone know. Or me, and I’ll come running” Leo smiled giving Justin a few moments to smile at Leo’s reassurance.

Somehow he felt Leo meant what he said. He went to the changing to get dressed for the ride back. He then noticed Karone looking at a poster on the wall. A poster for a tournament in San Francisco, A tournament called ‘King of Fighters’.

“Leo do you know anything about this?” Karone asked.

Leo looked at the poster. “Only that Jason, Tommy and Rocky went to San Fran to attend. Apparently they have some friends taking part in it. That’s why I’m teaching this class, and Mike will be around to teach others.” Taking another look at the poster Leo then asked “Are you interested?”

~Dark Specter mentioned something about this,~ Karone thought. ~But none of the other council members say anything about it. It’s like… one of those topics grown ups only talk about.~

“Yes I’m interested Leo. Can we go?” Karone asked. “I’m very curious to see what this is all about.”

Leo looked at Karone and then back to the advert. He made a note of the number and walked over to the pay phone and dialled. After some time in the queue he was able to get two ringside seats for the tournament.

“Looks like we’re going back to San Fran again.” Leo said. Karone however wasn’t enthused when she heard the city of San Francisco again. The city that was home to the ‘other woman’.

“Whoopee.” Karone said with a touch of sarcasm. She didn’t have anything against San Francisco itself, but it was where she saw Zhane with that man stealing Silver Zeo Ranger. She hoped to make her pay with the Talisman of Size, but that idea had backfired and it took a lot of magic for her and Astronema to undo the after effects.

She prayed neither Zhane or Cassidy Bridges crossed her path. Regardless she and Leo got on the next available bus to San Francisco. They would see the tournament and have some fun too.


10 miles from the U.N.I.T. Black Archives.

“Skywatch to Trap 1, do you read?” the pilot asked as he completed another fly over of the transport route. It was his task to look out for possible threats to the convoy that rolled down the road beneath.

“Trap 1 to Skywatch we are receiving. Go ahead.” came the voice of the radio operator in the convoy below.

“Have completed final pass. All clear.”

“Understood Skywatch. We’ll be entering the no-flight boundary soon. You are free to return to base.”

Normally the helicopter would remain on watch until the convoy had reached its destination. However the Black Archives operated within a strict no fly area. Even UNIT’s own choppers were prevented from entering, not so much for the threat they posed to the installation, but rather the effect some of the equipment stored there could have on them.

“Roger that Trap 1. Over and out.”

With the helicopter gone, the convoy consisting of three jeeps and an armoured truck travelled the rest of the way alone. Since it was only ten miles to the archives it was believed the convoy would be safe as they could call the Archives and they could have a force deployed within minutes if there was any difficulty. Of course just because they believed they were safe didn’t mean that they were relaxed. These were difficult times and with all the recent problems UNIT wanted its artefacts secured. Therefore the guards were on full alert, ready for anything.

Unfortunately all the preparation and training they had received could not prepare them for what happened next. The lead jeep crossed a section of road and exploded as if the vehicle had rolled over a landmine. At the rear of the convoy a second explosion took out another jeep in a similar fashion.

The lead truck and the last jeep all stopped as UNIT troops disembarked. They took up positions wondering where the next attack was going to come. The answer came in the form of Minion’s WD Units led by Silvo as they approached the soldiers. The Sergeant ordered the soldiers to fire. The bullets having no effect. The WD units continued to advance.

It was clear that they would win, but Silvo decided to have a little fun with the remaining soldiers. As the last round of bullets flew towards the WD-Units, he fired an equal number of projectiles back at the soldiers. He watched in amusement as his shots ripped through the oncoming bullets before continuing on a deadly path toward the soldiers. As he turned his back he knew that the bullets had connected and that every shot had resulted in a lethal head wound. With the soldiers dead, Silvo ordered the WD Units to secure the cargo.

In the main truck was the object sought. A black cabinet with a section missing. Silvo ordered the WD Units to bring the cabinet out of the truck and then called for Minion. “Master. The object has been secured.”

“Excellent. Teleporting out now. Return at once.” Minion ordered as in a streak of black the Black Cabinet teleported away from the ruined convoy. It’s destination, Minion’s Prison Dimension. Silvo and the WD Units followed.


Minion’s Prison Dimension

~It seems so simple.~ Minion thought as he looked at the cabinet before him. ~Such a simple design, yet it’s capable of so much.~ Minion hoped the cabinet would live up to the hype J.J. Chambers’ letter said it was capable of. There were curiosities and concerns he wanted to address. This cabinet was the means to do just that.

“You may go Silvo. No one is to disturb me,” Minion said in a tone that left no doubt in Silvo’s mind that Minion wanted to be alone with his prize. A curious prize to say the least.

Silvo obeyed his master’s command and left Minion with the black cabinet J.J. Chambers wanted him to obtain.

On the outside it seemed like it was nothing special. Just an ordinary cabinet from the Far East. Minion however figured that that which looked least likely could be considered the most dangerous. Or perhaps the most powerful. ~If anything this could be more insightful.~ he thought as he looked at the key in his hand. A key that could open not just doors but possibilities as well. And Minion wanted to know what those possibilities were, and what they had to offer.

Taking the ‘key’ Minion placed it in the missing section of the black cabinet. The door opened and Minion stepped inside. Once the door closed the cabinet then the cabinet hummed with power and swirled as it seemed to disappear into a vortex that seemed to stretch into time, space and reality. Inside Minion felt reality twist, turn and reshape. As if travelling was causing massive upheaval to him. Minion didn’t mind however. He had found that pain was strength and the cabinet hummed with power. Dark power that could twist its occupants body, mind and soul. Minion however wasn’t worried about being twisted into a monster. He already was one.

He also felt a familiarity in the power. A sense that he encountered this power before. ~In the Dark Dimension perhaps?~ Minion wondered. ~Could the creators of this cabinet have harnessed the power of the Dark Dimension so they could travel in time and space?~ The possibilities did seem staggering to Minion. The Dark Dimension could well be a realm that has no limits.

Soon the cabinet settled and Minion stepped outside. He had found himself in an abandoned store in Chinatown. The sign that said ‘Going out of Business’ seemed evident that no one was present. That and the locked front door. The conclusion that he arrived in Chinatown was drawn due to the Chinese lettering also on the sign saying the same thing as it’s English counterpart, as well as the invitation saying that the tournament was in San Francisco where the most famous of Chinatowns were located.

Minion looked at the address on the invitation. The answers about who sent him and why were there, and he wanted them. Opening the door to the abandoned store and fusing the lock so no one would come after his travel cabinet he then started walking down the streets of San Francisco. As he walked Minion’s curiosity became laced with purpose. Who sent for him, and how could he benefit?

Minion would get answers to those questions as he continued walking down the street.


Outside one of the most expensive hotels in San Francisco two horse drawn carriages had pulled up and seven people had disembarked. Six of them were fighters in the upcoming tournament. The seventh was one of the fighter’s pregnant wife. On board were seven people. Six were fighters, one was a fighter’s pregnant wife. They were also Power Rangers from another reality.

Jeffrey Kincaid was the leader of a Ranger known as the Night Rangers. He had been invited to participate in the tournament along with three of his current teammates and a couple of Rangers from the loosely affiliated group known as the Nightfighters by Shadow, a being that claimed to be a guardian of the Shadow Grid, a claim Kincaid was not certain he believed. It was not that he thought Shadow was deceiving him, but rather the nature of the Shadow Grid that cause him to be sceptical. He hadn’t shared his views with either the McAllister-Kellers or Ken Tanaka. He was just grateful they had chosen to accompany him.

Shadow, the Shadow Guardian of good, had taken an interest in Kincaid it seemed. That was all well and good, but the Shadow Grid was by its definition a grey area and when approached by a being claiming to represent the good element of the Shadow Grid, Kincaid knew that the question should be: whose good? That Shadow saw Kincaid as a tool, a warrior that could deal with many important threats at least assured the Night Ranger that Shadow was honest.

But at heart Kincaid was just a man that wanted to live his life and not have to fight anymore. He had seen too much darkness and wanted a little light in his life. That was what his wife Mackenzie and their unborn child meant to him, the chance to live in the light for a while. But Shadow insisted Kincaid take part, for the exact reasons Kincaid wanted to hang up his morpher: his family.

And so Kincaid had reluctantly agreed to travel to another reality. In return Shadow had allowed his wife to accompany him, figuring that the least he could do was make Kincaid’s stay as pleasurable as possible and had put him up in the most expensive hotel in San Francisco. Kincaid had to admit he would never have expected such generous treatment from those the claimed to be purely good.

It seemed that his companions were equally blown away at the sight.

“Oh my god!” Sarah McAllister-Keller said looking at the sight of the Waldorf hotel. “How much did reservations cost?”

“Probably more than I make in twenty years.” Bruce Greene said as he took his bag off the carriage.

Cassandra Jensen seemed to agree with him “Treasure this stay guys. I think you won’t stay in a place like this again.”

“Unless you commit armed robbery and not get caught.” Ken Tanaka said. Everyone flashed Ken a look, not entirely convinced he was joking.

“Go ahead and sack out guys. I’ll catch up later,” Kincaid told them.

While his five teammates walked in to get their reservations, Kincaid went to check on his wife who still sat in the carriage taking her time to leave.

“I’d ask how you were doing, but that’s a stupid question right now isn’t it?” Kincaid asked as he sat across from Mackenzie.

Mackenzie flashed a look and said “Ya think?”

“Regardless…” Shadow said as he appeared in the seat across from Mackenzie, “I am grateful for you coming here. If I had another choice I would take it.”

Kincaid sighed when he saw Shadow appear out of nowhere without warning. Not even he could pick up the Shadow Grid guardian, even with the help of the Night Spirits; Shadow just seemed to turn up.

“This threat better be as serious as you say it is.” Kincaid said.

Shadow nodded. “I wouldn’t have asked you to come if it weren’t. Despite the ease you might feel passing between realities, keeping the path open is extremely… draining.” He looked thoughtful. “The walls between realities that opened during your battles with Dagsyxx are starting to close again. In time the shards of the Nexus Crystal that you use will not be available to you; it will once again be the gift of gods… and perhaps speedsters. Still, I asked and you came, and for that I am grateful. I realize this is inconvenient for you, so I have tried to make your stay as pleasurable as possible.”

“Hence the expensive suite?” Mackenzie asked.

Shadow again nodded. “As well as the carriages you have so you can have a romantic night before the hellish day.”

“You’re leaving us the horse drawn carriages?” Kincaid asked surprised at the gesture.

Shadow nodded seeming to show a romantic side he had not used in a long time.

“No reason you and Mackenzie can’t enjoy yourselves while you are here.” Shadow answered. He noticed his answer had not convinced them and sighed. “I’ll be at the tournament tomorrow. The carriages are paid for until tomorrow morning, so you can have a bit of a night together.”

“Because tomorrow will be tough right?” Kincaid asked.

Shadow nodded. “Very.”

Then he disappeared.

Mackenzie looked at the carriage and then at Kincaid and asked “Well?”

“I think I will need to rack out to be ready for tomorrow.” Kincaid said. He then turned and gave Mackenzie a slight smile as he touched her hand. “But I think we can spare a little time.”

Mackenzie also smiled, pleased that she had some together time with her husband. Something she hadn’t had for a long time.

With that Mackenzie and Kincaid decided to take a ride and explore San Francisco. Two hours later they joined their teammates who were already asleep.

They didn’t regret the evening they had. But Kincaid did wonder what else was going to happen at the tournament.


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The Final Battle

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. Parts of the action and dialogue from Jeremy Ray’s Earth Crystal story were used in this chapter.

Authors Note: This is an alternate universe from the television show with an alternate timeline.

The Final Battle

Minion was on the brink of a mental breakdown. The Rangers had taken everything from him; his sanity, his life, his freedom and now it seemed that they had robbed him of his prisoners. He had vanished after the Morphin Rangers had shown up to save their friends and had returned to his island. He was relieved to find that the assembled heroes had not torn his base apart. To make sure, he had raised a magical barrier to prevent any more intrusions.

He was in constant agony. The pain, which he realised was a result of a microchip inserted next to his pain receptors was unending. So long as he was fighting the Rangers and winning the pain was subdued. However the moment it appeared that he was losing the battle and as a result the pain chip started stimulating his pain receptors.

“Silvo, Brasso, Bronzo!” he called. There was no response. The Rangers and their pesky friends had destroyed his servants. It seemed his WD Units were gone too, leaving him without even the most basic foot soldiers.

He was reaching the point where most villains accepted that they could not defeat the Rangers and committed themselves to sending down second-rate monsters in the hope of one day being successful. He had tried the direct approach; he had tried to use the Elemental Beasts and had even pressed his attack at the first sign of a weakness. In the end though he had failed to emerge victorious.

But Minion was different. He believed himself superior to all who opposed him and even if he could not express those thoughts of superiority in the way that he wanted to, he was incapable of settling for the mediocre existence of a failed villain. So how would he prove himself different? Simple, he would do to the Morphin Rangers what he had done to the Zeo Rangers. He would break them in the same way and then continue with the plan. And that meant the first step was to draw them out.

“The Rangers and their friends will not stop me,” he mused out loud.

The Heroes of Earth had an annoying habit of disrupting his plans despite having better things to do, such as rebuilding their bases of operation. He almost wished he could revive some of the old Earth-based villains to help him, but that was not a possibility. ~Nor,~ he thought, ~would it be a wise idea to give others an opportunity to interfere.~

“Hello Minion,” the Master said as he emerged from somewhere, disrupting the villain’s plans.

“You!” Minion snarled angrily. “You told me the Sword of Ragnarok would provide me with victory.”

“And so it shall my dear fellow, you just need to know how to use it,” the Master said softly, placating the volatile villain. He pulled out a small device, a dimensional disruptor he called it; when activated the device emitted energy on a wavelength known to disrupt the fabric between this universe and what lies beyond, collapsing local space in the process. “Just fuse this with the sword and you will find that it truly lives up to its name.”

The device was unstable, artificial entropy in a crystalline structure. When used on a small scale it could drop a city into the sea. When amplified through an universal energy field such as the Morphin Grid, its reach was unlimited. The Sword of Ragnarok with its ability to pierce the dimensional fabric and physically connect to the Morphin Grid was the perfect tool for such a purpose. For Minion it would represent victory, but for the Master who had the means to counter the effects, it was a way of disposing of Minion.

When he left, the device had been fitted to the Sword of Ragnarok and the Master had a confident smile upon his face.


JLA Watchtower, Coast City USA

Long ago when the JLA had been founded, it had been suggested that they position their headquarters in space. International tensions and a flat refusal on the part of Wonder Woman, despite Bruce Wayne’s funding, had put an end to that suggestion. Instead the Watchtower had been erected in the home city of the original Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. Shaped like a lighthouse to bring hope to the world, the tower had withstood countless disasters, even the destruction of the city it overlooked.

Today it was a mess, a reminder of how badly they had fared against Minion and his forces. The light, once a beacon of hope and an answer to the prayers of the innocent had been extinguished. And even John’s half-hearted attempt to imitate the beacon with his ring had failed.

“Home sweet home,” Wally joked again, trying to lighten the mood. It was a poor attempt and probably attributable to the pain medication he had been forced to take for phantom pains in his legs. It seemed that while some injuries were repairable, others were not.

John watched his teammate and felt a pang of sympathy. True he and Wally didn’t always see eye to eye, but they were united in their loss. His hands had reappeared, just like Wally’s legs and he felt the pain from where Minion had cut them off, just as he knew Wally suffered. But it seemed that the cursed ring that he had been forced to carry refused to let him go just because he was hurting.

What would they do now, what could they do when the moment they had been released from the VR Troopers’ ship, the JLA had split up? John could understand it to some extent, they all needed time and a chance to ensure their loved ones were safe before returning to deal with a situation that grew more and more dangerous by the moment.

J’Onn and Hawk Girl looked out over the battered city. They could see the damage, could sense the hurt that Minion had caused. They knew that despite their hopes to the contrary, Minion was still out there and needed to be dealt with. It could be denied that despite all he had done to them and the fact they had barely escaped with their lives, they would have to face the villain again. The only problem was that some of them were in no condition to fight.


“Wow,” Zack whistled.

It was amazing how quickly Alpha had been able to work seeing how he lacked a suitable body and was forced to act by the electronic possession of low technology service droids. Still with the little machine in charge the repair process was well and truly underway.

Normally the Rangers would have expressed their amazement at just how much Alpha had accomplished, but at that moment there was an uneasy silence in the Power Chamber where the Zeo Rangers had made a startling if understandable decision.

“We’re leaving,” Tommy said. He spoke not only for himself, but the whole of his team. ~Or what’s left of them.~

“Tommy, it wasn’t your fault,” Kimberly said, trying to be the voice of reason.

“She’s right man,” Jason agreed. “You shouldn’t give up. I know what Minion did hurt you, but we need you. He’s still out there and the Earth is still in danger. We need your help to stop him.”

Billy and Trini remained silent. They had feared that at least one of the Zeo Rangers would react this way when they learnt of the abuse Minion had forced their friends to endure. In all their time as Rangers his pupils had rarely lost and almost always fought back. But this was different. Minion had not only defeated them; he had done so several times in a matter of weeks. Then he had tortured all of them, some worse than others.

Billy had no doubt though that it was Travis’s death that hurt the most. The acting Blue Zeo Ranger had not been subjected to physical pain, but had been broken by watching his fellow Rangers endure everything that Minion had done to them. And then Minion had reversed the stakes and forces the Zeo Rangers to watch as he ended Travis’s existence.

Adam was in the worse state emotionally. He had been the one who had come closest to saving Travis, but his movement had been too late and his aim had been affected by his injuries. His miss had cost them all the life of a comrade and as a result the naturally shy boy had withdrawn from everybody since they had arrived in the Power Chamber following their escape. He had yet to look any of the Rangers in the eye, definitely a bad sign and today, after being allowed to return to his home, he had been slow to respond to his communicator.

Billy wanted the Zeo Rangers to remain, they were his friends after all, but knew it had to be their choice. In an attempt to ensure that they at least considered their options he made a suggestion.

“Tommy, I know you and the others have been through a lot and agree that you need time away to consider your future involvement with the Power Rangers. I would suggest that before you go, you wait for Alpha to bring Zordon back or at least talk to Lita. Maybe they can help you put things in perspective.”

It had been a good try, but the Rangers knew Tommy and the others were still too upset to be useful as Rangers. Tommy and the others knew it as well and had already decided their future.

“There is no need to surrender your powers,” Billy told them as they were about to hand back the Zeo Transformers he had restored for them. “I suggest you take time to consider your future before giving up your powers. Should you wish to return or need us, the Power Chamber is always open to you.”

“Thanks Billy,” Tommy said as the Zeo Rangers left for their separate destinations, all of them determined to do some serious thinking.

“Well guys, I guess we have work to do,” Jason said when the others had departed. “Minion’s still out there and we need a plan.”


Oliver Residence, Angel Grove

Tommy walked through the blood stained streets as he had every night since his time as Green Ranger. The dreams did not disturb him anymore because he understood they were formed partially by his guilt over what he had done under Rita’s influence and partially by the spell Rita had used after he broke free. It was a spell he only felt while asleep, a spell that ensured he would never be able to forget what he had been.

Tonight the dream was different. At first Tommy had failed to notice the lack of bodies that usually covered the ground, but then he saw he was not dressed in the Green Ranger uniform he normally wore either. He was dressed as the Red Zeo Ranger and drenched in blood, his own blood!

“Ah, there you are Tommy,” the unmistakable voice of Minion said. “I thought you might be missing some things so I brought them with me.”

Holding his hand out Minion turned slowly, revealing the dead population of Angel Grove. At the top of the pile, impaled on thick wooden stakes were the other Power Rangers.

“You did this?” It was more of a comment than a question, Tommy already knew Minion was responsible.

“Affirmative,” Minion said, starting to sound like Billy. “But I couldn’t have succeeded without the help of the Zeo Rangers. If you had fought better and shot me when you had the chance, these people would still be alive. So you see Zeo Falcon, it is your fault that these people are dead, not mine. I didn’t do this, YOU did because YOU failed.”

Tommy’s powers started to fade as Minion’s words hit home. Confidence was one of the things a Ranger needed and right now Tommy’s confidence was shattered.

“You let everyone down Tommy,” the dead body of Trini said.

“We had faith in you Bro,” Jason’s scarred and bloodied corpse said. “Look where that got us.”

“You could have saved me but you didn’t have the courage,” a younger voice said. Tommy recognised the voice, but hoped it was not true. From out of the thinning mist stepped a boy Tommy recognised as Fred Kellman. His neck was broken, causing his head to hang at an awkward angle. Minion smiled at the younger boy and placed an arm over his shoulder. “I don’t want to be a Ranger anymore, I have a new hero now.”

“Nooooooo!” Tommy cried as he saw Fred transform to become a smaller version of Minion.

“You did it Tommy,” the corpse of the Ranger known as Kimberly said. “Rita made you the Green Ranger to destroy us and as the Red Ranger you succeeded.”

The scene changed and Tommy found himself inside the original Command Center. The normally comforting Alpha Five scurried away as Tommy arrived, leaving him face to face with Zordon.

“Thomas Oliver, you have failed the people of your world, failed to protect your team of Rangers and failed to earn the trust I had in you. You have injured many with your antics as Green Ranger, you put the team constantly at risk with your failing powers and you have proven that you cannot defend the Earth. I have tried to help you, but even though you have had more sets of powers than any other Ranger, you have still failed time after time.”

Zordon stepped from his plasma tube, but Tommy could still not see his body. In his hand was the Sword of Light, which he pointed at Tommy’s chest.

“Thomas Tyler Oliver, I hereby strip you of any and all powers that you hold be they past, future or present. Never again will you be allowed to squander and abuse either the Morphin Grid or the Zeo Crystal. It is to ensure the safety of everybody that I now take you life.”

The Sword of Light pierced Tommy’s heart. He did not even have the chance to scream as he collapsed to the floor. He looked up, using the last of strength to see his killer.

“The world is better off without you, Tommy,” Zordon said. “Never forget that.”


“NO!” Tommy cried a second time, sitting bolt upright in bed. He looked down at his chest and was surprised to find it covered in blood. A small puncture wound had reopened, probably from where Minion had beaten him. Knowing he would not be able to get back to sleep Tommy walked downstairs to the family room and sat on the sofa.

It was then that he noticed he was still shaking. Whatever that dream had been it, had been too real. He heard the sounds of somebody coming downstairs. Two people in fact.

“Tommy?” his mother asked, concerned. “Are you okay?”

Tommy was still shaking too much to answer the question. His mother stopped, wondering what could have happened to cause her son to act like a scared rabbit.

“It — it’s okay, Mom. Just a nightmare,” he managed at last. He tried to force a smile, but none was forthcoming.

“Are you sure?” his father asked. He had never seen Tommy like this before. Sure in the time since moving to Angel Grove Tommy had nightmares. But nothing had ever shaken him like this.

Tommy nodded, unable to speak further. Everything the Zordon in his dream had said was true.

~They’re better off without me,~ he thought. ~I’m a liability.~

He had committed terrible crimes during his time as Green Ranger. He had worked for Rita and caused destruction throughout the city. He had been lucky not to kill somebody during his first use of the Dragonzord. He hadn’t cared about the buildings Dragonzord had damaged. All that mattered was the will of his empress. Then he had captured Jason and almost killed him. It had taken all his will power to keep from murdering the Red Ranger.

~But I did resist,~ he thought. The words offered little comfort. Had he captured Jason a day later he would have killed him without a second thought.

Then Jason had released him from Rita’s spell and given him the chance to make amends. He had become the Green Ranger under Jason’s command as a way to make up for what he had done. But he couldn’t even do that right. He had allowed Rita to light the Green Candle and steal his powers.

Instead of crawling away and hiding under a rock, Tommy had stayed on in Angel Grove and agreed to help the Rangers, thus regaining his powers. But now they were temporary and he put the team at risk every time he went into battle. Too stubborn to give up and let Jason take the powers he had squandered the remaining power and then run away.

Zordon had trusted him to become White Ranger and leader of the Power Rangers. ~But did he do it because I was a worthy candidate or because he was desperate and couldn’t find a decent White Ranger?~

Tommy’s stubbornness had led to the loss of the Thunderzords. The powers that could not be taken by evil were destroyed just because he refused to listen to reason. If it had not been for Ninjor, Earth would have been finished. Even with Ninja powers Tommy had failed to stop Rito from destroying the Power Coins. ~Another set of powers lost because I failed to protect the coins.~

As Red Zeo Ranger he had allowed Gasket to take control of his mind. He had led the Ranger into battle against Minion and caused the Zeo Crystal to be destroyed. If not for his failed leadership and blind faith in his friends, the fake Billy would not have been able to betray them. ~Jason would not have been deceived.~

And recently, with millions of people watching, he had failed to help Travis. The Triforian had perished and Tommy had done nothing. Once again his failure had cost somebody their life.

Tommy had lost count of the number of people who had died during a monster attack either because of the damage caused when the monster grew, or the innocent who was crushed when something fell on top of them. He had been to Angels Rest and had counted the number of people killed after he became a Ranger. He knew only a few of them by name – Fred Kellman had been a kid in his classes – and a few on sight, but the rest were faceless strangers he had let down.

~Maybe they would be better off without me,~ Tommy thought.

His Zeo Transformer appeared and he considered whether to simply send it back to the Power Chamber and let them select a new Red Ranger. He had no doubt the Rangers would need the Zeo powers again in the future, unless the Zeo Crystal could be repaired. Tempting as it was to walk away, part of him just couldn’t let go. With a sigh he sent the device back to where he had summoned it from, unaware that he was being watched.


Sam teleported away unseen, he knew Tommy would work things out, but he was determined to be there when Tommy felt like talking. Using his magic he cast a spell to force Tommy back to sleep and then teleported away.


Rocky lay back on his bed, trying to work through his feelings of the recent events. He felt as guilty about Travis as the others, but for a different reason. Had he fought harder or better there was a chance he would have been there instead of Travis; the Triforian had been picking up his slack. And then as a real kick in the teeth, while Travis had been killed, he had been healed. Perhaps if he had been left with a broken back he would have felt better about himself.

He should have been able to fight Minion in some way instead of lying in a bed like an idiot while his family had gathered around and brought him presents. Oh his recovery had amazed his mother, just as his sudden depression had raised a number of eyebrows. The Earth needed the Blue Zeo Ranger even if he were using the makeshift Zeo powers, of that he had no doubt. The question in his mind was, did the Zeo Rangers need Rocky DeSantos?

He needed somewhere he could go, a place where he could shout if he wanted to without attracting the attention of his siblings or his mother. One place seemed to be perfect, the family cabin. The place had been abandoned since his father’s death and was only visited by Rocky and his older brother Pedro. In a flash of blue light he teleported from his room to a storage area under the cabin.

The room was large enough to hold a small gymnasium. In the corner was a set of weights and a mat on which to practice. In the center of the room was a punching bag, perfect for what he had in mind.

Starting slowly with a few gentle kicks, Rocky allowed his anger to be released under control. He kicked the bag repeatedly until it finally split open and fell to the ground. Now he was starting to feel better Rocky was determined to work through his feelings.

He walked over to a set of old chairs the family had been meaning to burn. He laid into the furniture, reducing it to a pile of splinters. Then he moved on through tables, chairs and even the walls in places. It didn’t matter. Everything in the storage room was surplus to requirements. He tried as hard as he could to find a reason to remain a Zeo Ranger, but he couldn’t think of anything that he had left to bring to the team.

~Perhaps it is time to hand over to someone else.~

He continued his frantic workout, growing ever more emotional by the second. In his mind he knew that surrendering now would prove he was a coward.

In his mind he could imagine what his father would say if he could see him now. “You make one little mistake and then run away. No wonder you couldn’t save Travis. You’re a coward, a weak-minded fool and everybody knows it. Adam has no faith in you. He couldn’t even look you in the eye. You can’t quit and you can’t stay. You’re hopeless.”

As he finished his workout, Rocky sank to his knees, his eyes filled with tears. He had let them all down. Everybody that had had any faith in him had been let down by his actions. He tried to dry his eyes, but the tears kept coming. The last few days had finally caught up with him and no amount of exercise could prevent the inevitable breakdown.

It was then that he felt a firm hand on his shoulder. He looked around to see Jason looking down at him. He knew he could not hide the tears from the Red Ranger, but the look on Jason’s face told him he didn’t need to.

“We need to talk,” Jason said.

Gently but firmly the Red Ranger helped his friend back to his feet. He had known that the Zeo Rangers would separate and try to sort things on their own. He had also known that they would find the events of the last few days difficult to deal with. So he had instructed his team of Rangers to make themselves available should the others need them.

David and Sam would be there for Tommy if he needed them. Kimberly and Trini were there for Kat, Billy had gone to see Adam, Aisha was with Tanya and her aunt in Kenya and Zack had gone to Pyramidas to check on Trey. Somehow Jason did not see the Black Ranger being able to get through to the Gold Zeo Ranger, but Zack had taken the recovering Dex with him and Jason hoped that would be enough.

They had found their new powers and had completed the quest for the Great Power, an accomplishment that only a few could boast, but Minion was still out there and until he was finally destroyed, their quest was worthless. While he was still capable of causing damage there was no point in trying to fix the damage. And as strong as their new powers seemed to be, Jason felt confident that in the end it would take all they had to achieve victory. ~Damn, I’m starting to think like Billy.~

He had tracked Rocky down to the house and had intended to refrain from interfering, but having seen the state that Rocky was in, he decided otherwise.


Ko’s Garden, Near Angel Grove Park.

Adam sat alone in the garden, happy for the seclusion. He knew none of the other Rangers would think to look for him there, except maybe Billy. Not that he expected any of the Rangers to want to talk to him, especially the other Zeo Rangers. He had watched them as Minion had tortured them. He had seen every blow the WD Unit had inflicted on Tommy, he had heard Trey scream in agony when he had grown too exhausted to pedal. And what had they done to him? They had tickled him.

Oh sure there had been more to the Twitcher than just a feather on the end of a stick. The electrical current could be targeted on any muscle and would cause it to twitch uncontrollably. It was a continuous and unstoppable twitching that slowly went from being annoying to painful and then, maddening.

He couldn’t even bring himself to look Rocky in the eye. The other teen had been hospitalised by Minion, only to be dragged back into danger because Adam had not been brave enough to sacrifice his life. The Blue Ranger had almost been killed and despite the knowledge that he had done something that time, Adam still felt he should have done more.

His dad had always said the Power Rangers caused more problems than they solved. Adam was starting to agree with him.

“Power Coin for you thoughts,” a voice said.

Adam turned around, recognising the voice as Billy. He wondered how the Blue Ranger had known where to find him, but soon suppressed the thought. Knowing Billy as well as he did, he suspected the Blue Ranger had simply visited anywhere the Green Zeo Ranger would go for solitude.

“I don’t think they’re worth it,” Adam replied.

Billy didn’t say anything, knowing that if he pushed his shy friend too hard he would simply withdraw further into himself. In addition Billy was not sure if he wanted to talk about Minion. The idea that the enemy who had almost killed his friends was his clone was not something Billy found easy to deal with. Seriously, how many times did they have to defeat him before the villain finally stayed dead? He was starting to think there was something else keeping the villain in the Mortal Realm.

It was even more difficult for Billy to accept that Minion was really his clone because of Cestria. Minion had been responsible for her death and the death of the Aquitian Rangers. Minion had cost him his home and his friends.

They continued sitting and waiting, long into the night.


In a lone column of yellow light Aisha arrived in her own village. She made her way to where she knew her aunt would be and walked in.

“Ashala?” she asked nervously, not sure if her aunt would remember her after ten years.

“Aisha!” the older woman cried happily as she greeted her niece. “Why are you here? Have you returned to us? Is the danger over… no, something else then, what is it child?”

“It’s about Tanya,” Aisha told her.

She quickly explained the events of the last few days and the events in the Power Chamber. Ashala nodded, her expression turned grave as Aisha explained the humiliation Minion had inflicted. Finally she agreed to let Aisha talk to Tanya and pointed to the outcrop not far away where she knew Tanya would be sitting.

Aisha found Tanya sitting where Ashala had said, her head in her hands looking out over the land below. She hardly acknowledged Aisha’s presence as the other girl sat next to her and placed a hand on her shoulders.

Tanya was feeling a mixture of emotions. She felt guilty that she had been unable to help Travis, she knew that was down to fear as much as her own injuries. The reason did little to eliminate the guilt she was feeling, but she knew there was little point in letting the guilt eat away at her. She had failed, but it would never happen again. The strongest feeling she had at the moment was a feeling of isolation. She was no longer a part of a team she loved, Minion’s most heinous act had been to shatter their bonds and he had been doing so since the day he had first appeared. That hurt more than anything did.

She missed Adam and Rocky, but knew if they had Aisha back they no longer needed her. The three of them had been friends for years before Tanya had arrived and the teen knew that they would welcome their old friend back with open arms. Where then did that leave her, Aisha’s replacement?

Like the others she had been tempted to give up her Zeonisers, but she knew that was all that was tying her to the Rangers. If she gave them up, what was left?


Kat had decided there was no point in leaving the Power Chamber. Sooner or later the other Rangers would track her down and then she would have to talk to them. She was especially worried in case she ran into Kim again. Although Kimberly had broken up with Tommy and the couple had since made their peace, Kat had always felt a little guilty about attempting to date him.

It had taken a while, but eventually Kat had started to feel the attraction fade. She soon understood that what she felt for Tommy had been love, but not the type on which they could build a lasting relationship. At the time she had first met him she was under Rita’s spell. She had been attracted to the darker side of Tommy.

After she had broken the spell, the side effects had taken a while to fade. Then Tommy had received the letter and had looked so hurt she had felt drawn to him again. Only recently had she seriously started to think twice about Tommy. The appearance of David had prompted her to question whether her feelings were real. Seeing someone so like Tommy and yet so different had opened her eyes.

She had intended to sort her feelings for him later, but the fight with Minion had gotten in the way. Now everything had changed again.

She reached over to the light and turned it on. She flinched as she felt the change in heat created by the bulb. Despite her wounds being healed her nerves had been left extremely sensitive to outside stimuli. That had been why she had been unable to help Travis. Even though she had tried to help, every move was so painful she had been unable to pull the trigger.

She had been helpless, nothing more than a victim of evil as she was when Rita had controlled her. ~But when I was with Rita, I broke the spell,~ she thought. ~Why couldn’t I have found the strength to pull the trigger?~

The answer was simple and she knew it. When Rita had controlled her, she had simply had to fight against the spell. But with Minion she had not been under a spell, she had been convinced that movement was too painful. Her mind was stronger than any spell and when used against her it was a powerful weapon.

“Kat?”

Kat looked up as somebody entered the room. In front of her, wearing a pair of white jeans and white T-shirt was David Trueheart, Tommy’s brother and the newest member of the Power Rangers.

“Are you okay?” he asked sitting down next to her.

Kat smiled weakly. She had liked David for a long time. He was a good friend and she had always been able to open up to him. He looked so much like Tommy, but was totally different emotionally. Whereas Tommy had a dark side to his nature, David had a lighter character.

Kimberly and Trini had watched over Kat for a while and then decided she needed to talk to someone else. And from the looks of things the female Rangers had the right idea as slowly she started to open up, telling him everything she was feeling. In return David did not judge or comment; he simply listened as the Pink Zeo Ranger poured her heart out.


The Power Chamber

Two Days Later

“Ai-yi-yi, this is so exciting,” Alpha exclaimed as his head was finally lowered onto his new body, the interlocks on the nick clicking into place and the wiring made contact.

“Borrowing some of Doctor Pym’s technology to speed up the repairs was a good idea,” Trini commented.

Billy and Jason nodded. The Avengers had already used their technology to restore their headquarters at Mount Rushmore and had loaned some of their more useful devices to the other heroes. In a time of war repairs were essential. Billy had even suggested unleashing the small robots on the Zeo Crystal to correct the flaws in its damaged structure. That idea had been put on hold while the computer double-checked his calculations.

“And now the Power Chamber is back, maybe we can bring Zordon back online,” Zack said.

“I can’t wait,” Kimberly said.

The others nodded. They needed their mentor back, maybe he could make the Zeo Rangers see sense.

“Alpha, start the probe,” Jason instructed.

“Co-ordinates locked in Rangers, contact has been made, awaiting response.”

“All we can do now is wait,” Billy told them.


Somewhere.

“The time has come, the end of the Power Rangers is nigh!” Minion exclaimed, enjoying the opportunity to sound dramatic.

He had finally decided on how he was going to draw them out. It was a simple and well-tested method of sending a few monsters to distract them before making his appearance. Then he planned to crush the meddling teenagers and prove that the Earth was without hope.

~I wonder how they will die,~ he mused. ~Will they go slowly or will I be lucky and slaughter them in a few minutes?~ He shrugged. ~Oh well, either is fine.~

There were a few steps he would need to take before he could begin, first he needed a means of bringing monsters out of the Dark Dimension. Fortunately the bodies from his early attacks had yet to be cleared away as local governments took time to clean up. He used one of those corpses to bring his loyal servant Arcana back to life; as a dark wizard who was familiar with death magic, he was able to possess an animated corpse.

“Arcana, mighty wizard and servant of darkness, I command you, appeared.”

He watched as the selected corpse mutated to fit its new owner’s requirements.

“I want you to bring forth three monsters,” he said. “Use your own conduit, but make it fast.”

“Yes Minion,” Arcana slurred.

Producing a knife he sliced his arm, allowing the thick oozing blood to fall on the ground. When Minion examined it closely he was surprised to discover that it was the same slime Arcana had used to produce his duplicate of Billy.

“Arise my duplicates and take form. Eye Guy, Syren, King Sphinx, come forth and avenge your defeats.”


Power Chamber

A small buzzer sounded, warning of an incoming message. Alpha excitedly moved to the correct console and activated the restored Plasma Tube.

“Ai-yi-yi, welcome back Zordon.”

The tube bubbled and then Zordon’s head appeared, looking around the restored Power Chamber in amazement.

“Thank you, Alpha, it is good to see that you are intact. Now tell me, what has occurred in my absence?”

Alpha explained all that had happened, from the Rangers’ successful return from Phaedos, something that pleased Zordon immensely, to the Zeo Rangers’ defeat and subsequent treatment by Minion. He explained how the Rangers had returned from Phaedos and plugged him into the computer, allowing him to supervise the repairs.

Zordon was surprised by what he had heard. The Zeo Rangers had faced so much and yet they had not given up entirely. That they had made allies in the process was another surprise. While the Rangers had had a working relationship with the JLA and the Avengers in the past, they had had little contact with the VR Troopers and Beetleborgs. ~Perhaps some good will come of this,~ he mused. ~Earth has never had more protection than it does now.~

A new alarm sounded, warning that an attack was underway and reminding those present that Minion was still out there and there was still work to be done.

“Contact Jason and his team,” Zordon instructed.

“What about Tommy?” Alpha asked.

“The Zeo Rangers need time to come to terms with all that has happened. We will not call them unless necessary.”

Alpha nodded reluctantly and set about pushing the relevant buttons.


The eight Morphin Rangers had agreed to meet at the Youth Center. It was a chance to relax and discuss their concerns for their friends. They were in the middle of consuming their orders when their alarms sounded simultaneously. Ernie smiled a knowing smile to himself as he watched the teens run out of the door. ~So Jason and the others are back in the game,~ he thought. ~Good for them.~


Eight coloured streams of light streaked through the air high above Angel Grove. Just a very few seconds after leaving the Juice Bar, the teleportation beams entered the Power Chamber.

“Zordon!” Zack greeted.

“It’s good to have you back Zordon,” Jason smiled.

“Yeah, we missed you,” Kimberly added.

“Thank you, Rangers and congratulations on the successful completion of your quest,” Zordon rumbled. “I am afraid I did not call you here just to tell you that I have returned. Minion has unleashed three old monsters on Angel Grove.”

“Are you sure it’s Minion?” Trini asked. They had so many enemies now it was worth checking.

“I am afraid so,” Zordon answered. “Behold the Viewing Screen.”

“Talk about recycling,” Kimberly said.

“These guys are old,” Zack said. “But, we’ve beat them before.”

“Yes, however I sense that they are made from a different material this time, which might alter their abilities.”

“Divide and conquer,” Jason decided. “Are the other Zords ready yet?”

“All the Zords are now complete,” Alpha reported.

“Dragonzord, Titanus and Tor have been rebuilt to match your new Zords’ technology,” Zordon told them.

“I suggest we utilise our strengths and divide our attacks appropriately,” Billy said.

“Exactly Billy,” Zordon agreed. “You along with Jason, Kimberly, Zack and Trini shall pilot the Dino Megazord against Eye Guy. When you have defeated him, you will be able to help the others. Aisha and David can combine their Zords to form the Dino Stegazord. I suggest the two of you go after Syren. Sam will need to battle King Sphinx alone until you are ready to join him.

“It’s Morphin Time!” Jason called.

“White Ranger Power!”

“Green Ranger Power!”

“Purple Ranger Power!”

“Black Rangers Power!”

“Pink Ranger Power!”

“Yellow Ranger Power!”

“Blue Ranger Power!”

“Red Ranger Power!”

With an overwhelmingly loud crackle of electricity, the Rangers teleported out of the Power Chamber.

“Aye-yi-yi!” Alpha cried. “Good luck Rangers.”


“There it is,” Billy said.

“We have to be really careful,” Kimberly said. “No matter where we’re at, he can see us.”

“Just remember his weakness,” Trini said.

“His main eye,” Billy agreed.

Eye Guy suddenly turned around so that his main eye was facing the five Rangers crouched down behind the hill.

“He’s seen us!”

Who gave the warning was unclear as the ground around them started to explode.

“Attack!” Kimberly cried. With a resounding hi-ayah, the Rangers leapt into battle.


“Siek-yiah!” Sam cried. He suddenly appeared out of thin air and executed a perfect Power Kick at King Sphinx. Next he kicked him in the chin with his left foot before using a right-footed kick to the monster’s chest to give him the momentum to back flip away. As the monster shook off the attack, Sam moved around so he was behind the monster. He leapt onto the shoulders of King Sphinx, dropped back and side kicked the monster in the back. King Sphinx was forced forward and tripped over. Sam ran up to the monster, grabbed it by the shoulders, and high-kicked it.

“You’ve made a fatal mistake,” King Sphinx growled as two powerful wings unfolded from his back.


“She’s pretty,” David observed.

The pretty human looking monster with long pink hair and black dress, fishnet knee socks and carrying a small fan smiled shyly and waved at the young Ranger before blowing him a kiss.

“Men,” Aisha muttered as she pushed her teammate out of the path of the exploding kiss. “First rule of dealing with pretty monsters, keep your brain in your head and not your pants. Get down!”

David looked at her, unsure why she was panicking, but did as she said as Syren was transformed, her beautiful body replaced by that of a scaly bird that breathed fire at the Rangers.

“That’s her true form?” David asked.

“Remember your mythology,” Aisha replied, “mermaids, sirens and veela, all beautiful until they fail. Then things get ugly.”

“Anything else I should know?”

“Yeah she can…”

Aisha’s words were drowned out by the high-pitched scream that echoed down the street, shattering windows as it did so.

“… shatter things with her voice,” she finished lamely. “Follow my lead.”

Aisha flipped over the monster and side-kicked her in the chest. Before it could react, the Purple Ranger dropped down to the ground and swept her left leg beneath the monster. With an inhuman shriek, Syren hit the ground, giving Aisha time to roll away.

“Hi-yah!” David cried, leaping into the air. He landed on top of the bird-headed monster just as she climbed to her feet. David grabbed hold of her shoulders and pulled her to the ground with him. Aisha cartwheeled over to Syren and kicked her off of David.

“Thanks,” David said as she helped him to his feet.

“Not a problem,” Aisha said.

She ran up to the monster, pushed off with her left leg, and high kicked it in the chest. She landed on both feet as Syren stumbled backwards. The pretty monster tried a new tactic, shifting appearance and winking at David seductively. To Aisha she whispered, “Prepare to die!”


“Power Bow!” Kimberly cried. She jumped into the air and fired two pink arrows at Eye Guy. The two arrows pierced an eye on each of Eye Guy’s shoulders. He bellowed in pain and immediately clamped a heavy, eyelid over his main eye.

“Power Lance!” Billy shouted. Kimberly flipped out of the way as Billy ran past her. The Power Lance was held out before him like a ram. Just as the Power Lance was about to pierce the main eye, Eye Guy grabbed the weapon and flipped Billy over his head. “Whoa!” Billy cried. He let go of the Power Lance in midair and landed several feet away, in a painful pile.

“Billy!” Kimberly cried. She immediately ran to help her fallen comrade.

“Power Daggers!” Trini called, spinning the weapons in her hands. She rushed at Eye Guy, flipping into the air to position herself as s he slashed at the monster as s he passed overhead. Screaming in pain, Eye Guy tried to hit the Yellow Ranger, but Trini had learnt that speed was important in battle and made sure she was not there.

“Cosmic Cannon!” Zack shouted. He converted the Power Axe to its alternate mode. “You’re goin’ down, Eye Guy!” he taunted. He rolled to the left and then the right, allowing the monster to easily track his movements and wonder what he was up to. Then he stopped, bringing the weapon into position as he fired.

“NO!” Eye Guy screamed, both of his hands coming up to protect his center eye.

“You got his main eye!” Kimberly cried.

“I got his main eyelid,” Zack corrected.

“More than I did,” Billy said slowly, groggy from being slammed into the ground.

“Can you hit his main eye with an arrow, Kim?” Jason asked.

“One way to find out,” Kimberly said, raising the Power Bow.


Sam tumbled backwards. King Sphinx’s wings were flapping rapidly, and the Ranger was unable to roll away from his windstorm in time. “Dragon Sword!” he cried, reaching behind his back, unsheathing the Dragon Dagger and watching as it was magical altered into the larger blade. The sword grew in his grip with a flash of green light. Stabbing the blade into the street, he was able to lift himself to his feet.

“Try this for size!” he yelled, throwing the sword toward his opponent. However, the wind was pushing against it so hard, the sword barely moved.

“Okay, change of plan,” the Green Ranger decided, snatching his sword back. “Dragon Fire!” From his hunched position against the wind, he dragged himself to the upright position, moving the sword in a slashing motion as he did so. The sword glowed green as he completed the move and a ball of fire shot out of the blade. It moved through the wind with the greatest of ease and struck King Sphinx in the chest. He stopped flapping his wings and hit the ground as Sam repeated the move. However, when the monster ducked, he leapt into the air and brought his blade down in a powered slice.

King Sphinx pulled a sword out of the air and blocked the blow. He kicked Sam and slashed at the Ranger with his sword. Sam let out a yelp as the sword caused his uniform to spark. With an angry bellow, King Sphinx punched Sam, sending him rolling.

“One more time then,” Sam commented, drawing more power from the Grid and combining it with his own magic. “Siek-yah!” He unleashed the flaming ball, and watched as it made contact.


Aisha and David charged at Syren. While Aisha leapt into the air and attacked her with a knife-edge chop, David settled for a more ground-orientated assault. His Drago Sword was accurate and kept him at a safer distance than his teammate.

“Power Whip!” Aisha cried, selecting the more robust bullwhip for her attack. The whip coiled around the monster, holding her in place. “Electrify!” Aisha called and a large burst of electrical energy flowed along the length of the whip.

“Laser Arrows!” David called as he moved the Drago Sword in the appropriate motion. Six energy arrows formed, pointed just to the left of the bound monster. “Fire!”

At that moment Aisha jerked the whip, releasing the monster, but sending her spinning into David’s attack. Syren screeched, folding her wings over her head to protect herself from the attack.

“Eeeeeeyaaaaaa!” Syren screamed. With a sudden burst of energy, she ran at the Purple Ranger, grabbed her, and threw her over her head.

Aisha screamed as she flew over the monster and into her partner, knocking him to the ground.


“Yes Arcana, this is perfect,” Minion cried as he watched his monsters lose. They were doing exactly what he needed them to do and the whole area was resonated with magic. Soon he would find the desired point and then it would be the end of the Power Rangers. “Try this on for size Rangers,” he snarled. He nodded at Arcana who threw three balls of dark energy into the air.


Kimberly let the arrow fly. Eye Guy attempted to cover his main eye up. Suddenly a ball of darkness sank into his body. With a triumphant bellow, Eye Guy shot straight up into the air, hundreds of feet tall. Kimberly’s arrow hit his foot and bounced off.

“Oh no,” Kimberly said.

“We’re gonna have to go for the Megazord,” Billy said.

“Let’s do it,” Jason said.

“Mastodon Dinozord Power!”

“Pterodactyl Dinozord Power!”

“Triceratops Dinozord Power!”

“Saber-toothed Dinozord Power!”

“Tyrannosaurus Dinozord Power!”


A brilliant flash of blue light exploded in the air above them. King Sphinx landed back on the ground, but he was no longer his normal six feet.

“Oh man,” Sam muttered. “Time for Dragonzord!”

He lifted the magical blade, allowing the notes of the powerful flute to carry through the air.


“Guess we need the Zords,” Aisha commented.

David gestured for her to go first and she gratefully accepted.

“Stegazord!” For some reason it sounded better than calling out Stegosaurus

“Raptor Zord!” Again the name had changed, but it seemed to fit.


From their assembled hiding places the Zords came. Had Power Mountain been as safe as they had once believed then they would have been held in the Zord Bays. Instead the Dinozords had been hidden somewhere close to where Titanus was known to reside. Hearing the call, the machines swiftly raced to meet their operators.


“Dinozords!” the eight Rangers shouted in perfect unison, despite the fact that the three battles were occurring miles apart. “Power up!” The Rangers jumped into the air and teleported into the cockpits of their Zords.


“Those are the Dinozords?” Kimberly asked. Part of her was impressed with the more robust and dynamic appearance of the Zords, another part was a little apprehensive of the remodelled machines.

“Affirmative,” Billy told her as he watched the Triceratops charge towards him. “These Zords have been designed to fight individually as well as in Megazord mode.”

That was true, the redesign had focussed on making the Pterodactyl and Triceratops more useful. The Pterodactyl was more delicate with adjustable wings to improve mobility. The Triceratops had legs instead of just tank treads. The body frame was hinged at different points, making it as versatile as the beast it had been modelled on. The Tyrannosaurus had also undergone an overhaul. While it had always been highly mobile and capable of battling individually, the upgraded version looked more fearsome, its huge mouth ready to tear through anything that got in its way.

“This is awesome,” Zack commented. While the Mastodon was still slow and plodding, the body had undergone some minor modifications to make it easier to control, and an accelerator to aid its charge attack.

The Saber-toothed Tiger leapt forward. Like the Mastodon it had not changed that much. Like all the Zords its body was made up of multiple sections of material as opposed to single sheets of metal, allowing the machine to move more like the animal it had been based upon.

“Rangers, log on!” Jason laughed as he appeared in the cockpit of his machine. It was just how he remembered it.

“Zack here. All systems go.”

“Billy here. Let’s finish him!”

“Trini here. Ready for action.”

“Let’s get this bugeyed freak.” That was from Kimberly.

“All right Rangers, let’s show him the power of these new Zords,” Jason said before directing his machine towards Eye Guy.

The Rangers decided to try out their individual attacks. Billy led the way, charging the monster with the Zord’s horn, and then bucking the machine’s head back to pitch Eye Guy into the air. He pulled a lever on the control panel to launch the two smaller horns at the monster. The horns were attached to chains and wrapped around Eye Guy, holding him as Billy tried to charge its main eye with the large horn. Before the machine made contact, Eye Guy launched the eyes surrounding his body, breaking the chains and throwing the Triceratops off course.

The Mastodon was the next Zord to attack, using its formidable tusks to bully the monster before whacking it across the head with its trunk. Using its freezing mist, it managed to trap Eye Guy in a block of ice. Zack moved his machine away and allowed Trini to have her shot.

The Saber-toothed Tiger was more agile than Trini remembered and she used its newfound versatility to bash the frozen monster. Trini extended the Zord’s claws and swiped at Eye Guy, the ice shattered and the monster staggered back as Trini urged her Zord to sink its teeth into one of its eyes.

“Jason, he’s yours!” Trini called as she moved out of the Tyrannosaurus’s path.

The large red vicious Zord attacked, claws and teeth lashing out at its prey. When Eye Guy tried to fire an energy pulse from his main eye, Jason used his Zord’s tail to smash the monster in the face. The Tyrannosaurus Zord’s tail started to spin, drilling its opponent. Inside the Zord, Jason smiled and reached for the control. It was time to finish this.

That was when the duplicate decided to drop the illusion.


The winged monster was not doing well. Dragonzord was a powerful machine and too heavy for the monster to blow away with his wings. In desperation King Sphinx took to the air, challenging Dragonzord to follow, forgetting that the powerful machine could not fly.

Dragonzord let out an electronic roar, the lights on its chest panel alternating. It fired several rockets from its fingers, narrowly missing its target. King Sphinx dived, his sceptre in hand, but as it approached, the Zord turned, presenting the monster with the spinning end of its powerful tail.

King Sphinx gave a cry of anguish and then reverted to its slime state.


Giant Syren was all beast, with no outward sign of beauty. When she attacked, her talons were fully extended. Luckily David and Aisha were already inside their Zords and on the attack. The Stegazord charged its solar energy cells. It came to a halt in front of a mangle car, twitched its tail and sent the vehicle smashing into the monster.

The White Ranger followed up with his Zord, grabbing the monster by her shoulders and lifted it into the air, dropping it in an uninhabited area.

“Ready to finish this?” Aisha asked.

David grunted an affirmative as he moved his machine into position.

The Raptor Zord swooped from the sky, grabbed the Stegazord as it shuffled along the ground, lifted it into the air and after gaining a little momentum, released it. The Stegazord used the momentum and launched into a forward spin, its sharpened spikes ploughed into the monster, cutting the creature’s body as it did so.

Syren responded angrily by unleashing a fireball at the two Zords.

“Time for Plan B,” Aisha sighed.

“Dino Stegazord formation!” they called together.

Once again the Raptor Zord lifted the Stegazord into the air, but this time David and Aisha activated a new protocol allowing the Raptor Zord to reform around the rapidly reshaped Stegazord to form the arms and legs of a new gestalt machine with the Stegazord providing the head and the body; the head, torso and tail of the Raptor Zord formed the Stinger, one of its main weapons.

“Tail Attack!” White Ranger ordered.

The machine performed a forward flip, bringing the end of its tail around to deliver a sharp blow to Syren.

“Dino Stegalaser!” Purple Ranger commanded.

The Zord bowed its head and fired an energy beam at the ground. As it returned it head to its normal position, the laser travelled along the ground, approaching Syren and gaining in intensity. When it finally connected, Syren exploded and the Dino Stegazord set off to find the rest of the Rangers.


Red lights flashed in the Power Chamber; shrieking alarms filled the air. “Aye-yi-yi!” Alpha cried. “Zordon! Something is wrong, the computer is picking up abnormal readings from Angel Grove Park!”

“I believe Minion has used this attack as a diversion,” Zordon answered. “However, until the Rangers are finished with his monsters they will be unable to stop him.”


Things were not going well for the other Rangers. The two blobs had joined and then at Arcana’s command, taken on the shape of a giant centaur with a large helmet and carrying a powerful mace. Already it had proven its speed by racing past the Triceratops, Mastodon and Saber-toothed Tiger, knocking each Zord over as it did so. An uppercut had knocked the Dragonzord flying and its mace had almost taken a chunk out of the Tyrannosaurus’s hide.

The Pterodactyl had saved the day, the Zord’s high speed and precision allowed it to distract the monster while keeping a safe distance. It brought the other Zords enough time to recover, at which point the Rangers had decided that they needed to pool their resources.

“All right, guys, let’s bring ’em together!” Red Ranger called.

“Right!” the others responded.

A flash of lightning arced across the sky, transforming the Zords into the forms that the Rangers were familiar with. As they changed, they started to merge to form the Megazord’s Tank Mode.

The Triceratops and Saber-toothed Tiger transformed, merging with the Tyrannosaurus while the Mastodon split into head shield and cannon components before joining with Tyrannosaurus from in front and behind. Then the Pterodactyl slotted into place behind the Tyrannosaurus’s head, completing the procedure.

The Dino Tank rumbled forward, its energy cannons firing as it did so. The monster appeared to be unharmed as it batted the blasts away.

“Let’s show him some Megazord power!” Jason cried, pressing the activation buttons.

“Megazord Sequence has been initiated,” they heard the computer reply as the Pterodactyl and Mastodon head were ejected from its position. The machine pivoted, the Saber-toothed Tiger and Triceratops forming the legs and feet while the Mastodon cannons were transformed into arms. The Tyrannosaurus head folded down, allowing the Megazord’s head to replace it as the Pterodactyl formed the chest shield.

“Megazord activated!” the computer announced as the Megazord’s eyes lit up.

The Dino Megazord summoned the Power Sword and then rushed at the centaur. The Megazord slashed at the monster, but it spun aside and retaliated by firing balls of fire at the Megazord. The massive machine lurched.

“That was a serious hit!” Trini complained as a red light on the control panel before her lit up.

“Another hit like that and some of our systems will start going off-line!” Billy warned

“We have to take him out now!” Zack encouraged.

Megazord turned around and slashed at the monster again, narrowly avoiding the mace when it swung towards them.

“Mammoth Shield!” Kimberly cried, reacting to the monster’s next move before the other. The shield appeared in time to block the fireball attack.

Sam moved Dragonzord into position, taking a swing at the centaur’s head. He felt certain that the helmet protected the beast from the Megazord’s attack. The creature deflected Dragonzord’s tail attack and reared up on its hind legs to kick the Zord over again.

Dragonzord stood back up, activating its weaponry and launching a barrage of finger rockets at the monster. Then as the centaur shifted around, Sam directed his Zord to follow up with a tail drill attack along the monster’s flank.

The other Rangers activated the Power Sword, bringing it around for a devastating blow to the monster’s helmet. The headpiece exploded, splintering into pieces across the ground. They tried for a second shot, but the centaur brought its mace around to strike the Megazord’s hand, causing it to drop the Power Sword; its next shot was deflected harmlessly by the Mammoth Shield, but the opportunity had been lost for now.

Working together the two Zords battered their opponent, driving him backward as they wore down his defences. Of course their ultimate goal was to destroy his weapon before he could use it again. A blur of white and purple alerted them to the Dino Stegazord’s arrival. David and Aisha directed their Zord to grab the centaur’s tail, distracting the beast while their friends put their own plan into action.

“Mega Dragonzord mode!” they called.

The Dragonzord transformed and landed on the Megazord’s shoulders. Then as the Dino Stegazord withdrew, they fired their energy blast, ending the monster as it raised its mace for one last attack. At the last moment it shifted back to Eye Guy.

“We got it!” Zack shouted.

“No we didn’t,” Kimberly said, looking to where the slime had reshaped itself. “Main eye, remember?”

When the smoke cleared, only the center eye remained, floating above the ground. The Mega Dragonzord fired again and this time there was nothing it could do. The battle was over.

“All right!” the Rangers shouted, sharing their customary high fives.


The time was right, the Rangers had proven themselves in battle and were feeling confident in their abilities. Now was the moment when he could crush their confidence just as he had done with the Zeo Rangers. Certainly their Zords were impressive and their new uniforms were shiny, but how hard could it be to defeat another set of teenagers? He decided to use his second favourite method of drawing out the Rangers, and attacked the city himself.


Power Chamber,

The Rangers had arrived back at the Power Chamber and were celebrating their victory when the alarm sounded. They exchanged knowing looks; a stream of constant attacks was one of the tactics Minion had used against the Zeo Rangers.

“It’s Minion,” Billy said after checking the Viewing Screen.

“Let’s get out there,” Jason said. “It’s Morphin Time!”

“White Ranger Power!”

“Black Ranger Power!”

“Pink Ranger Power!”

“Blue Ranger Power!”

“Yellow Ranger Power!”

“Red Ranger Power!”

“Purple Ranger Power!”

“Green Ranger Power!”

“Teleporting now,” Alpha told them.

In eight columns of light the Rangers teleported away, heading away to avenge their friends. Before they reached their destination, the Rangers had already summoned their Power Weapons for combat.

“Power Axe!” Black Ranger called, appearing next to Minion and swiping at him with his axe in single-handed mode. “Cosmic Cannon!” he added converting his weapon and throwing it into the air.

“Power Bow!” Pink Ranger shouted. She fired two arrows and then struck Minion with her bow before throwing it into the air to join the Power Axe.

“Power Lance!” Blue Ranger said as he struck Minion in the chest. He used two more blows and then split the lance in half, jabbed Minion with both parts before throwing it into the air to join the Power Axe and Power Bow.

“Power Daggers!” Yellow Ranger said. As she threw her daggers, Purple Ranger appeared behind the villain with her weapon. “Power Whip!”

“Drago Sword!” “Power Sword!” “Dragon Blade!” White, Red and Green Rangers called.

The three Rangers attacked at the same time, forcing Minion to reach down deep and draw the power from his Dark Dimension. After blocking each blow Minion turned to face his adversaries. He could sense their strength and was impressed by their potential. For the first time he was being truly tested, so much so that he was forced to expend a large amount of power to protect himself.

“That was a nice try,” he told them, “but if you believe you can defeat me you are mistaken and I will be happy to correct your oversight. It’s time you felt the full power of Minion.”

“Finish the Power Blaster!” Red Ranger called, sliding the Power Sword into position.

Green Ranger stuck his sword onto the base of the Power Blaster’s barrel. Purple Ranger slotted the handle of her whip into place under the sword and David placed the Drago Sword at the front like a bayonet.

“Fire!” all eight Rangers called.

Eight beams of coloured light burst from the Power Blaster, but before they could touch Minion the villain moved.

“Power Cannon!” the Rangers called as the Power Blaster disassembled and the weapons were placed back in subspace. The blast had a similar effect, as the construct proved he had the sense not to challenge their power directly.

“Pathetic humans,” Minion hissed. “Do you really believe you can defeat me?”

“Power Sword!”

The Power Sword was thrust towards Minion’s chest, but deflected by the Sword of Ragnarok. The battle resembled the fight between Red Ranger and the original Green Ranger a few years before. Jason remembered how he had defeated Tommy on that occasion and tried the same trick with Minion. The plan worked in disarming Minion, but Jason found the Sword of Ragnarok impossible to destroy.

“Fool, the sword is an instrument of destruction, it cannot be destroyed!” Minion crowed.

From a distance Purple Ranger attacked, using her Power Whip to strike Minion in the small of his back. White Ranger was already airborne, using his momentum to bicycle kick Minion. As he landed, he used the Drago Sword to cause more damage.

Yellow Ranger handed her Power Daggers to Pink Ranger and Black Ranger handed his Power Axe to Blue Ranger. As Pink Ranger fired the Power Daggers, Blue Ranger fired the Cosmic Cannon. Black Ranger had taken Blue Ranger’s Power Lance and used it to fight Minion at close range.

“Thunder Clap!” Black Ranger called.

“Rolling Thunder!” Yellow Ranger called.

Once again Minion was engulfed in lightning, this time with the added noise of thunder. Minion dropped to the ground from the assault. As he regained his footing, he failed to notice Green Ranger moving into position under his knees. Red Ranger delivered yet another punch and sent Minion over the Green Ranger.

“Surround him!” Red Ranger called. “Blade Blasters up!”

Surrounding Minion on all sides, the Rangers fired. Their blasts ripped into the villain. After their first try to destroy him failed, Red Ranger realised they needed a new plan.

“Time for…”

“No!” Minion interrupted. He had underestimated the Rangers, he could see that now. They were dangerous, far too risky to play with. He needed to destroy them quickly. Perhaps it was time to reconsider his goal of conquering the Earth. After all, there was the rest of the Universe at his disposal. “I have given you all a chance to take your best shots, but now I am tired of playing with you. It’s time to grow up!”

Minion suddenly grew to full size and drew the Sword of Ragnarok once again. He made a slicing motion and moved the sword in a small circle. He drove the large blade into the ground until only the handle of the blade could be seen. The device he had been given shattered as the ripped through the physical world and then the dimensional barriers. Minion’s magic poured into the sword helping it to cleanly cleave its way through the barriers. But it was his rage and hatred that gave the sword its purpose to destroy everything.

As Minion fed his power into the sword, it bled into the Ley Lines that crisscrossed the planet and into the Morphin Grid. The sword was now connected to two vast energy conduits, one of which extended through all reality. As the device shattered the destructive power it contained was sent throughout reality, overloading the conduits and exploding out through tears in the very fabric of time and space.

Meanwhile the cuts Minion had made before plunging the sword into the planet had opened.

“What have you done?” Billy queried.

“I have put an end to this battle one way or the other,” Minion told them, his voice echoing over the city. “Allow me to introduce you to the source of my power, the Dark Dimension, right here on Earth.”

“But the Dark Dimension is too large to exist here,” Billy protested.

Minion laughed as he imagined the look on Billy’s face as he realised what that meant. The Dark Dimension had a greater density and therefore a greater gravity than the Earth. And for every moment it was open the Dark Dimension drew more of the Rangers’ world into itself. And in the process, the pull of the gravity would rip the planet to pieces.

“There is no way for you to win,” Minion continued. “Should you fall in battle I win; should by some miracle you manage to defeat me, the Earth will be ripped to pieces as it is sucked into the Dark Dimension where I rule supreme. Either way, I win.”

“Or we can stop you and close that rift,” Jason yelled back.

Raising his sword Minion prepared to crush the Rangers. He was prevented from doing so as a charging Dinozord lifted him off his feet. The Triceratops shook its head, jamming its horn further into Minion’s side.

“When did we summon the Zords?” Red Ranger asked as the other Dinozords arrived, Dragonzord bringing up the rear due to its bulk.

“Zordon must have sent them,” Trini guessed.

“Alright Zordon,” Jason cheered. “Rangers, let’s go!”

Even in his weakened state Minion still managed to hold his own against the Zords. He summoned the Sword of Darkness from the Dark Dimension and used it in place of the Sword of Ragnarok.

Billy had quickly decided that the horn on Minion’s wolf mask was an energy conductor and as such, a possible weakness. The Rangers tried to zero in on that target.

Minion managed to free himself from the Triceratops’s horn, only to find himself on the wrong end of the Pterodactyl’s talons. The Saber-toothed and Mastodon were close behind as the Stegazord moved into position to trip the villain as the yellow Zord pounced. Minion blasted the three Zords away as the Raptor Zord swooped in and pulled him into the sky.

David allowed the Power to guide him as he directed his Zord to circle while gaining altitude. When he reached the desired height he made the Zord swoop toward the ground, picked up speed before releasing Minion and then pulled out of the dive. While he was skilled enough to roll away from the villain’s blast, he failed to dodge a building, grounding his machine in the process.

The Dragonzord lurched forward, combining the experience of the Green Ranger and the machine he had been created to pilot. The fight with Minion moved back and forth as it had on previous occasions. Sam activated one of his machine’s rarely used attacks, firing a boomerang shaped bolt of energy from the Dragonzord’s forehead. Shortly after that he remembered why he didn’t like that weapon as Minion batted it back at him.

~Why did I bother?~ Sam wondered. He wasn’t sure that attack had ever worked.

While Dragonzord tried to recover from its own attack, the Tyrannosaurus closed the distance, mauling Minion with its claws and teeth.

“Take this!” Minion growled, throwing a ball of dark energy. Dragonzord, returning the favour from earlier, intercepted the shot and sent it hurtling back at the villain.

“Time to turn this up a notch,” Jason observed.

A flash of lightning transformed the Zords, making them ready to merge.

“Not this time,” Minion warned.

He drove a glowing fist into the side of the Mastodon and struck the Stegazord across the back with his elbow. While the machines’ self-repair programs would deal with any damage, not that the new Dinozords were that easy to damage, but the shock rendered both machines immobile.

“So was there a point to that?” Kimberly asked.

“Of course there was a point, foolish girl,” Minion answered. He could sense the small tear he had created between the Rangers’ plane and the Dark Dimension growing. Soon they would see the reason he was guaranteed to triumph and the Earth would be lucky to survive. “The Mastodon Zord is essential for either the Dino Megazord or Dragonzord Battle Mode. Without the Stegazord there is no Dino Stegazord formation. With two blows I have robbed you of your ability to merge your powers.

“Switch back!” Jason ordered.

Following his orders the Saber-toothed Tiger, Triceratops and Pterodactyl reverted to their new forms, making them more effective in individual combat. Meanwhile the Tyrannosaurus had engaged Minion in battle again, using its tail to stand on while it kicked the villain in the chest. Minion staggered back as the Zord followed up with a head butt, never noticing as Dragonzord moved in from behind with a powerful tail smash.

Minion tried to fight back, bringing all the power and techniques he had mastered into play. The Rangers controlled their Zords expertly, compensating for their lack of a Megazord by coordinating their individual attacks. And as they did so they allowed the damaged Zords a chance to rejoin the battle.

The Raptor Zord swooped, plucking the Saber-toothed Tiger from the ground. With Trini operating her Zord’s teeth and claws, and David using the Raptor Zord to keep the yellow Zord in the air as it attacked. David pulled the lever, allowing the Saber-toothed Tiger to drop onto the villain, mauling him as they fell to the ground.

“Mastodon, back online!” Zack reported.

“Ground Breath Attack!” Jason called, shifting a slider on his control panel to the right.

The Tyrannosaurus shot a burst of yellow energy from its mouth into the ground, causing a line of smoke to explode upward from the ground toward Minion. A purple energy screen appeared in front of the villain, protecting him from an attack that had in the past seen the end of Shell shock and Rita’s Giant.

“While he’s distracted, let’s bring them together, Battle Mode!”

The Rangers formed the Megazord, this time foregoing the Dino Tank stage. Instead the Mastodon formed the arms immediately, the Saber-toothed Tiger and Triceratops moved into position as legs, and the Pterodactyl slotted into place as the chest; the Megazord’s head was already in position as the machine came to a stop and stood upright.

“Power Punch Missiles!” the Rangers called.

The Megazord lurched forward, launching a fist from the end of its arm, which flew toward Minion and exploded against his chest. The fist then regenerated on the Megazord’s arm, ready to continue the battle.

“Power Sword!” the Rangers called, preparing to finish the battle.

The Megazord swung its sword, slicing through Minion’s horn, just as they had hoped. His armour started to spark, having lost its ability to regulate the Morphin Energy that Minion had used to create it. With an angry growl, Minion turned and vanished with a swirl of his cloak.

“Rangers, return to the Power Chamber at once,” Zordon ordered before they could celebrate. The Rangers exchange worried glances and teleported away.


It had started on Aquitar; a few small tremors marked the beginning of the destruction, but just minutes later there was panic as the planet started to shake itself apart. The seas boiled as great chunks of the planet were swallowed by a black void that had appeared in the sky.

On Triforia the Royal Advisors tried to organise a mass evacuation of the Triforian System. The system’s suns had disappeared, throwing the planets into chaos. Trent tried to send a message to Trey on Earth before it was too late. The planet was destroyed before the message could be sent.

On Onyx the Executive Council of the UAE had decided to meet to put an end to Minion and the impostor who had boasted of his success. Some of the assembled villains seemed to sense what was to come; Lord Zedd even tried to escape before it happened, but in the end they too were swallowed by the void.

The devastation continued, ripping its way through worlds, whole star systems and even galaxies without slowing. Only Earth seemed unaffected by the devastation that had been unleashed by Minion. Far away from Earth, the Master was busy, still seeking the answer to the puzzle box that for some reason evaded him.

A beeping noise alerted him that something was wrong. He checked the readings, frowned and then started flipping controls. The destruction that Minion had unleashed was running away from him; it should never have become self-sustaining. It seemed that he had miscalculated, but no matter, with the energy he had already collected he was capable of shifting outside of time and space; regardless of what happened, he would be safe. His smile of victory vanished when his ship started to disintegrate.


After the Rangers teleported into the Power Chamber, they simultaneously pulled their helmets off.

“Rangers,” Alpha said. “You are safe.”

“Zordon, what’s going on?” Jason asked. The message had sounded urgent.

“During you battle Alpha and I were checking Minion’s boast,” Zordon explained. “What we found was deeply disturbing. Alpha, enlarge the image for the Rangers.”

“What is that?” Kimberly asked when the computer focussed in on the white reflective globe mounted on the handle.

“The computer has failed to identify it,” Alpha told them. “However it is agitating the sword and accelerating the damage.”

“Somebody has assembled this device and given it to Minion,” Zordon continued in a concerned tone. “It is beyond the technical knowledge of his known allies.” ~I hope.~

“Couldn’t Minion have built it?” Trini asked.

“Minion has not had the time to do so, nor does he have the knowledge to tune such a device.”

“So either Minion found somebody to do it for him,” Zack suggested.

“Or somebody decided to help him,” Aisha finished. “Who?”

“Not Rita or Zedd, that’s for sure,” Zack noted.

“Quite true Zachary. I believe that whoever has been aiding Minion has done so to further their own scheme. I do not believe those motives involve conquering the planet. I also believe that Minion’s benefactor expected Earth to be the first casualty.”

There was silence.

“Zordon, what has happened?”

“Behold the Viewing Screen,” Zordon told them. “What you are seeing is a map of this galaxy.”

The Rangers stared as the lights representing planets and stars started to disappear.

“No way,” Zack breathed.

“The device was used on Earth with the Sword of Ragnarok; Minion clearly expected the rift he opened between this universe and the Dark Dimension to cause the destruction of the Earth. Minion did not know that the Earth’s natural magic would resist his attempts, reflecting the energy waves into Morphin Grid, and in the process amplifying it. The result is that similar rifts have opened on worlds throughout the galaxy and possibly beyond.”

“Ai-yi-yi, the process is growing faster,” Alpha complained.

“For every world and star consumed, the Dark Dimension can feed more power through the sword and into the device.”

“So how do we stop it?” Sam wanted to know.

“I am afraid it is too late to stop,” Zordon said. “It would seem that Minion has won.”


“Zordon, you can’t mean that,” Aisha said.

“I am afraid that it is true Aisha, the destruction has become self-sustaining.”

“Couldn’t we use the Great Power?” Trini asked.

“The Great Power can only repair the damage that has been caused, it cannot stop the destruction from occurring,” Zordon explained.

“What if we destroyed the sword?”

“The sword cannot be destroyed,” Alpha wailed. “It is made of an unknown material that is immune to our weapons.”

“The destruction is moving beyond our galaxy,” Billy observed. It wouldn’t be long in his estimation before the effects turned inwards and the Earth fell victim.

“What’s going to happen, Zordon?” Tanya asked fearfully.

“Minion’s intention was to drive the Earth into the Dark Dimension,” Zordon explained. “As it does so the magic of the planet will turn the Earth against itself. The worst disturbances will probably begin close to the sword. However, because Minion’s aims were not the same as the one who aided him, they have provided us with a solution. Should the Sword of Ragnarok be sucked into Dark Dimension, it will lose its ability to draw from the Earth’s power and its connection to the Morphin Grid. It would then be possible to attempt to seal the rift and repair the damage it has caused.

“But the sword cannot be moved,” Zack guessed.

“Affirmative,” Billy agreed, looking over a printout. “The device is bound to the sword, the sword is buried in the Earth and protected by a barrier Minion put in place.”

“So we need to destroy Minion,” Kimberly said.

“Just one problem,” Zack observed, looking at the world map. “We can’t find him.”

“We have to do something,” David protested.

“First we need to make sure everyone stays safe?” Jason said. “Alpha, contact Tommy and the others; we need them here.”

“Yes Jason, right away.” Alpha activated the signal to the Gem Coin Rangers.


In his home, Tommy heard the beep of his communicator and ignored it. His mind was already made up that the Rangers were better off without him.

In Ko’s Garden Adam had the same thought. He was determined he would never let a Ranger down again and the way to do that was to surrender his powers.

In Pyramidas Trey heard the call to action and struggled with his conscience about the best course of action. He knew he couldn’t give up, but part of him just wanted to go home.

Rocky was still on the bed where Jason had left him. The Red Ranger had understood when Rocky did not want to answer the call, Rocky was sure he would understand if he stayed away.

Kat and Tanya also chose not to answer their communicators. Both were certain they did not belong to the Rangers and both were scared of what morphing again would mean.

“No response Zordon,” Alpha said.

“Alpha, teleport them here. The Earth needs them and I am afraid we have no choice.”

In six flashes of light the former Zeo Rangers and Trey appeared. None of them looked pleased to be back.

“I realise you have been through a great deal,” their mentor rumbled. “Were it within my power I would ensure you never experience such torment again and Travis would be here with us. But that is not within my capabilities. The Earth needs you now and I ask you to look within and find the courage to fulfil your duties. You must first travel to Dimension Z, a place closely connected to this world and retrieve the Orb of Hope.”

The six Rangers nodded and teleported away on their quest.

“Orb of Hope?” Aisha asked when they had gone.

“Trust me Aisha,” Zordon replied. “It is for the best. Alpha, tell the Orb Keeper to expect the Rangers and to unleash Harmonia upon their arrival.”

“Ai-yi-yi,” Alpha muttered as he did what he was told.

“Oh no, look!” Kimberly cried.

The Viewing Screen was starting to show disasters breaking out all over the world, early signs that the planet was being drawn into the Dark Dimension.

“There must be something more we can do,” Trini said.

“We can warn people,” Jason said. “Encourage people to get in their basements or something.”

It would make very little difference to the outcome, but at least they were doing something. Anything, no matter how small a gesture it seemed was better then nothing.

“That is an excellent suggestion,” Zordon said. “First you must morph and go warn various television studios. If you go and extend the warning in person, it will carry more weight than if I were to warn them through our radio systems. Then you should go help in Angel Grove as much as you can while I try to find a solution.”

“Let’s go guys,” Jason said. Eight bursts of light floated out of the Power Chamber. “It’s Morphin Time!”

“White Ranger Power!”

“Green Ranger Power!”

“Purple Ranger Power!”

“Black Ranger Power!”

“Pink Ranger Power!”

“Blue Ranger Power!”

“Yellow Ranger Power!”

“Red Ranger Power!”

The Rangers teleported to Alpha’s coordinates, leaving the robot to worry. “Ai-yi-yi, Zordon,” Alpha said. “What should I do?”

“Begin a scan for Minion. Finding and destroying him is the only way this destruction can be stopped.”


Dimension Z

The six Rangers appeared in a dimension filled with lush green forest. Tommy found this surprising since he had assumed Dimension Z belonged to Lord Zedd. Slowly they made their way through the jungle, avoiding the obvious traps until they reached a tall temple.

“Shall we?” Rocky asked.

The others nodded and together they started to climb the steps. At first the climb was easy, but as they got higher it became more difficult to climb. They could have morphed, but the Rangers did not feel they deserved the Power anymore.

“That’s far enough, strangers!” Looking up the Rangers could see a woman in a long white gown looking at them. “I am Harmonia, protector of the Orb of Hope. Identify yourselves or face my wrath.”

“Zordon sent us,” Tommy said simply.

“So, you are Rangers?”

Although they all shook their heads, Harmonia could see they were silently thinking they were. “Why are you here?”

“Zordon sent us to collect the Orb of Hope,” Trey told her.

“To collect the Orb you must each prove yourselves worthy,” she told him. “First morph and then enter the temple one at a time.”

“It’s Morphin Time,” Tommy said without enthusiasm.

“Zeo Ranger I – Crane.”

“Zeo Ranger II – Bear.”

“Zeo Ranger III – Ape.”

“Zeo Ranger V – Falcon.”

“Gold Ranger Power.”

In five columns the Rangers were teleported into the temple leaving Adam outside, still struggling over whether to morph or nor. Harmonia sighed. “At least five of them are willing to morph.” Adam was going to be a problem, but she had ways to get him into the temple.


“Billy and I will go to the Juice Bar,” Kimberly said after the Rangers had finished their news broadcast. It would be relayed out to multiple organisations and shown as soon as possible.

“I’ll go to Angel Grove Hospital,” Zack said.

“I’ll go with you,” Trini offered. The two teens took off running.

“The wind is really starting to pick up,” Aisha observed. The sky was a sickeningly shade of grey, and heavy, ominous thunderclouds sat just above the city. “We have to hurry.”

“David, there are some nursing homes near here,” Jason said. “Let’s go warn them.”

“Right,” he agreed.

“I’ll go see if I can help at the high school,” Aisha said.

“We’ll meet up with you later,” Kimberly said. She and Billy promptly took off for Ernie’s.


Dimension Z

Tommy found himself teleported into a room similar to the place where Minion had held Travis. As he looked around, he realised he was on the floor with a blaster in front of him.

“Five!” Tommy recognised Minion’s voice. Sure enough, as he looked up he could see Minion holding Travis in the hold he had before. He reached for the blaster and then remembered that the blaster was only set to half power.

~This is an illusion, ~ he thought. ~There is no way to change what happened, so give up now and let him die. ~

That was an easy option for Tommy. For a moment he even considered doing just that and allowing his friend to die.

“No,” he said as much to himself as anybody else. “I won’t let somebody else die because I failed.”

“You failed last time,” Minion said.

“Last time I was hurt, I had not powers and I was scared,” Tommy admitted. “But I will never let anybody do what you did to me ever again. I am Zeo Ranger V – Red and you’re history!”

Red Zeo leapt at Minion, careful to avoid striking Travis in the process. The Zeo V Power Sword made contact and Minion vanished into red smoke. The captive changed and Tommy realised it was not Travis. For a moment he had been willing to let another innocent die, but he had conquered his fear and now he knew what he had to do. Touching his belt, he teleported away.


Kimberly and Billy had just stepped into Ernie’s when a powerful boom of thunder shook the entire building. There was no rain, but plenty of thunder and lightning. They had demorphed to avoid a panic.

“Ernie!” Kimberly shouted, running up to the bar. “You have to get everybody in the basement.”

“What?” he asked, still wiping the counter down.

“There’s a major storm headed this way,” Billy said. “They expect it to level everything in Angel Grove.”

“They who?” Ernie asked. “They haven’t said anything about it on the news.”

“The Power Rangers, that’s who,” Kimberly said. “And they haven’t aired it yet because the Power Rangers haven’t got to the television studios yet.”

Ernie’s face suddenly went pale. “You got it,” he said. “Hey! Everybody! We have to go in the basement! Come on!”

“What do we do Billy?” Kimberly asked. “Where do we go?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “I guess we should go and warn people in the streets.”

Ernie ran back up to the bar. “You guys,” Ernie said, “be careful.” He smiled a knowing smile and followed the crowd of teens to the basement.

In a flash of pink and blue light, their Ranger armour moulded itself around the body of the two teens, increasing their muscularity, reflexes, strength, and fighting ability. “Let’s go,” Kimberly said. They ran out into the rapidly increasing storm.

“The wind’s really picking up!” Billy shouted.

“Billy! Look!” Kimberly screamed, pointing to the left.

They both watched in terrified awe as a heavy, black funnel cloud lowered itself to the Earth.


Aisha ran down the halls of Angel Grove High. Class was still in session, as sixth period had yet to end. She wondered briefly if she should handle the problem in her civilian guise. “Aisha,” she thought to herself, “you are supposed to be in Africa. They are going to have questions as to why you’re here. Save yourself the trouble and remain morphed.”

The Purple Ranger hurried into the main office, startling the secretary. “Can I help you?” she asked.

“Yes,” Aisha said. “A major storm is about to hit Angel Grove. You need to warn the students.” Suddenly, the entire building began to shake. “Or an earthquake,” Aisha added.


“The Rangers are on the move, master,” Arcana reported.

“They should have given up by now,” Minion snarled.

He reached out to the Moon and the Machine Sky Base, grabbing as many of his competitors’ forces as possible. He would stop the Rangers, one way or the other.


Kimberly and Billy watched as the tornado slowly melted away. Its damage, however, had already been done. Several blocks of suburbia were destroyed, along with countless innocent lives. “Oh my God, Billy,” Kimberly sighed.

Just as suddenly as it came, the rain stopped. The lightning remained, but the torrential downpour ceased.

“Destroy — the — Power Rangers,” a robotic voice said.

Billy and Kimberly turned around to see an army marching toward them. Cogs on the front line, Tengas behind, Putties and Super Putties close behind.

“This day just keeps going from bad to worse,” Kimberly said.

“This is Billy. Kimberly and I need help. We’ve got an entire army about to attack on the north side of Angel Grove,” he said into his wrist. “Can anybody hear us?” Billy asked frantically. “Hello?”

“It’s not working!” Kimberly cried. “Zordon! Alpha!”

“Looks like we’re on our own,” Billy said.

“Well, if anybody can do it,” Kimberly began.

“We can,” Billy finished.


“Ai-yi-yi Zordon!” Alpha cried. “I don’t think those are ordinary earthquakes! And people are dying by the thousands! Ai-yi-yi Zordon! What are we going to do! Population has already dropped to 3.6 billion! Ai-yi-yi yi-yi-yi-yi!”

“Calm yourself, Alpha Five,” Zordon said. “We are doing all that we can do. Check the temperature of the Earth below Angel Grove.”

“Right Zordon,” Alpha said, hustling over to a nearby console. The scan took only a few moments. “Ai-yi-yi! Temperature has already risen forty-seven point three degrees! Molten rock is being forced up to the surface! We’re doomed!”

“Is the molten rock coming up from beneath Power Mountain?” Zordon asked, his voice very calm.

“No, Zordon,” Alpha said. “Fortunately, the spell you cast ten thousand years ago is still holding. This mountain is rock solid.”

“Then there is still hope.”

“I certainly hope so,” Alpha said woefully.


“Dear God,” Zack said.

He and Trini stood at the mouth of the Hospital Parking Lot. They were both soaked to the skin, but that really didn’t seem to matter at the moment. The two teens just stared at the smoking pile of rubble that had once been Angel Grove Memorial.

“Those poor people,” Trini muttered in a very small voice. She fought back the tears that tried to break free.

Suddenly, a terrible crack of thunder deafened them both. A multi-forked lightning bolt struck the rubble. Trini dropped to her knees with both hands over her ears. A raging inferno sprang to life almost immediately.

“There’s probably severed gas mains around here,” Zack said.

“Let’s get out of here,” Trini said, jumping to her feet. A giant red fireball exploded behind them.


Aisha screamed as the office split down the middle. She watched in stunned horror as the receptionist and her desk full into the gaping chasm that formed right down the middle of the office. The Purple Ranger lunged at the falling woman, but it was too late.

“No!” Aisha screeched. She crawled away from the gaping schism in the Earth as molten fire began to bubble out of it.


Jason and David stopped two blocks away from the nursing home. “We’re too late,” David said as the tornado continued its path of destruction. Jason turned away from the horrific site, dropped to his knees, and vomited up everything he had eaten that day.

He suddenly felt so useless. He had become a Ranger to save the planet, and then left for the Peace Conference to continue helping, just in a different way. And all for what? Just to have everyone in Angel Grove die. His mother, father. Emily. “No,” Jason said. “No. It can’t end like this.”

“Jason,” David said. “We’re too late. Now pull yourself together and maybe we can help somebody else.” David spoke with a tone of voice he never would have dreamed he would use on anyone, certainly not Jason. But he was the White Ranger, he who led the charge against the darkness and despite David’s quiet nature and his preference for letting the Red Ranger command, circumstances forced him to step up to the plate.

“You’re right,” Jason breathed. He wiped his forearm across his mouth and stood up. “You’re right. Sorry for losin’ it.”

“It’s okay,” David muttered. “There’s no use following the tornado’s path. I doubt we’ll find any signs of life that way.”

“You’re right,” Jason said yet again. “We’ll head the other way.”

The positions reversed, the normal roles were resumed, Jason as the field commander and David as the quiet follower.

Jason turned around just in time to see the well-defined boundary of rain. The rain seemed to form a solid wall, and it was slowly creeping its way into Angel Grove. “Hurricane,” he whispered.


“I can’t take the time to fight any one of these guys,” Billy thought to himself. “Just launch a full assault on as many as you can.”

“Power Lance!” he shouted. He held the Lance in both hands before him and ran into the army of warriors.

Billy reached the middle of the group and stopped. He began to spin his Lance all around him, producing sparks from the Cogs, and screams from the Tengas.

Kimberly stood slightly back, picking off the Z-Putties and Tengas alike with her arrows. Her aim was precise, every shot hitting the Z on the Putties chests or a tender spot on the Tengas.


Dimension Z

The other four Zeo Rangers had been through a similar test, concentrating on their different responses to what had happened in Minion’s Sub-dimension. Tanya had been in the room on her own until she realised that her friends would never leave her. Trey had finally conquered his conflicting emotions surrounding Travis sufficiently to stabilise and draw on his full power. Rocky had made peace with his conscience and felt better and Kat had determined to resolve her problems with Tommy as soon as she got home.

Now all that was left was for Adam to join them. Then they could get the Orb and leave. They waited for a while until it became obvious Adam was not coming.

Kat was the first to hear the sound of something falling, but it did little to help as a cage formed around them. Their powers seemed to fade making it impossible to break out and poisoned gas started to pump into the chamber.

“I think we’re in trouble,” Rocky said as the ceiling started to fall towards them.


“You okay girl?” Zack asked, running out of the flaming inferno.

“I’ve been better,” Trini said, “but yeah. I’m okay. Where do we go now? What do we do, Zack?”

“I don’t know,” he stammered. The ground began to crack beneath their feet.

“What now?” Trini cried. The two Rangers jumped out of the way as the pavement began to disintegrate. Suddenly, red lava began to spew out of the numerous spiderweb cracks.

Before Trini and Zack could even comprehend the volcano that was forming beneath Angel Grove, the hurricane was upon them.


David wrapped his arms around a lamppost. “This isn’t good!” Jason shouted over the roar of the wind. David nodded in agreement. He pulled his right hand closer to his face. Concentrating, he tried to redirect the wind around them. He let go of the lamppost and found that the wind scarcely had an effect on him at all.

“Zordon,” Jason said into his wrist. “Alpha. Jason to Power Chamber. Jason to Power Chamber.”

“Why isn’t it working?” David asked.

“I don’t know,” Jason said, noticing that their suits seemed to change in brightness “The rift is affecting the Morphin Grid. Hold on. I’m going to try to teleport.” He put his hands on his Morpher Buckle and squeezed the sides, signalling a teleport. However, nothing happened. “Lord help us all,” Jason thought to himself.


“I don’t know what to do!” Aisha screamed over the roar of the wind and crackle of fire. The school was about to be overwhelmed with molten lava, yet she couldn’t lead the students outside because of the hurricane. As it turned out, it didn’t matter. Just a few seconds later, the school collapsed in on itself.


“There’s no one left to help, Zack!” Trini cried. “I’m going back to the Power Chamber.”

“I know,” Zack said. The two Rangers stopped and attempted to teleport.

“Wha?” Trini asked. She attempted to teleport again.

“Man, now the Power Chamber,” Zack said. “This day just keeps going from bad to worse!”


Billy landed on his back beside Kimberly. He quickly shuffled away from the approaching army. “Billy,” Kimberly said, “we can’t handle all these guys. People are dying by the thousands all around us. What more harm can they do? I say we get out of here!”

“You’re right,” he said. They started to run, when the ground began to rumble beneath them.

“Earthquakes and hurricanes?” Kimberly asked sarcastically.

Suddenly, she realized that it was no Earthquake. A large section of the street fell straight down. Billy flipped away from the trouble, but Kimberly was too late.

Part of the street fell with them, while another part got wedged against some various pipes. It did not fall completely, but it was slanted nearly sixty degrees. Screaming, Kimberly slid down this slanted section of broken asphalt. At the last second, she grabbed a water pipe. The chunk of asphalt finally broke free, plunging into the lava stream far below.

“Billy!” Kimberly screamed. The pipe began to bend, lowering her inch by inch to her doom.

“Hold on Kimberly!” he cried. However, he had no idea how to save his comrade. She couldn’t teleport, and in a matter of seconds, she would fall into the lava far below. She could certainly survive the fall in her uniform. She could even survive the scorching river of fire. However, it was moving fast, and he had no idea where it would carry her.


“Thank you very much,” Sam said to the producer at WKTP in New York City. He pushed his belt buckle and waited for the teleport. Nothing. He tried once more. Nothing. “Teleportation is off-line?” Sam asked himself in horror.


“Help me Billy!” Kimberly screamed as the pipe dropped an extra five feet.

“I’m hurrying!” Billy called down to her in an equally frantic voice.

He glanced all about him, looking for anything he could use to help Kimberly. He saw a fallen power line and got an idea. Billy pulled his Blade Blaster from its holster and fired at the thick wire. The blue laser sliced clean through it. He promptly shot the wire again at a distance about fifty feet from the first nick. “I’ve got an idea!” he shouted down to Kimberly. “Just hold on!”

“This pipe isn’t going to hold much longer!” she cried.

Billy ran up to her and, holding tight to one end, tossed the power line down to Kimberly. As soon as it swung past her, she latched hold of the wire and held on for dear life. In just a few moments, he had her pulled to safety. She hugged Billy tightly, not wanting to let go. Despite the hurricane raging around them, he just held her in return.


Aisha ran into David. “David!” she cried. “Jason! The school is gone! It collapsed while I was inside it! There’s nothing left!”

“That’s what all of Angel Grove is like,” David answered sadly. “Nursing homes, suburbs. Business district.”

“It’s all levelled,” Jason said. “And if that isn’t bad enough, teleportation and communications are offline.”

“Let’s find the others,” Aisha said. “Maybe Billy knows some way to get back to the Power Chamber.”

“Sounds like a good idea,” Jason agreed.


Dimension Z

Adam sat alone on the steps of the temple. He had wanted to go with the others, but he was scared of being helpless to save his fellow Rangers again.

“Adam!”

~That sounds like Rocky, ~ he thought.

“Help!”

Every part of Adam wanted to morph and help his friends, but his mind kept returning to the sight of seeing Travis being killed by Minion and knowing there was no way for him to help.

“I have my powers,” he said to himself, trying to find a reason to help.

~I couldn’t help last time. Why would this time be any different? ~

But Adam already knew the answer. This time would be different because this time he would not fail.

“Zeo Ranger IV – Green!”

In a flash of green he teleported into the temple, ready to help. He arrived just in time to free his companions and for them to get out of the trap.

“So,” Harmonia hissed. “You have passed the test of the temple. Now you have only to defeat me.”

As she spoke a katana like sword appeared in her hand. Her white gown became black as her hair turned into a mass of green snakelike creatures.

“Zeo Power Weapons,” Red Zeo said to his companions. “Let’s show her why you don’t mess with the Zeo Rangers.”

Now with the power of the Zeo Crystal flowing through their bodies the Zeo Rangers attacked and discovered they had some new abilities.

“Zeo Power Shield!” Pink Zeo called.

After blocking a blow from Harmonia, Pink Zeo jumped away and threw her disklike shield. The disk flew through the air, missing Harmonia on the first pass, but rebounding to strike her from behind.

“Now, Zeo I Power Disk!”

Grabbing hold of the shield, Kat was propelled into Harmonia. The monster fell to the ground, as Kat was teleported back to her friends. With the Zeo power, the Rangers had gained greater control over their teleportation abilities. Kat had seen the greatest increase since she was able to change course in mid teleport.

“Zeo III Hammer Punch!”

Blue Zeo started to spin as he had in the when using his Power Punch. This time as he reached top speed he lifted off the ground, aimed for Harmonia’s head and delivered a double axe handle type blow to the head.

“You’ll pay for that,” Harmonia screeched, reminding the Rangers of Rita Repulsa.

Harmonia’s hair reached out and wrapped around Blue Zeo, pulling him towards her.

“Zeo V Power Blast!”

After raising his sword so the star-shaped hilt was level with his helmet, Red Zeo fed the power from his Zeo Shard into a single blast. Harmonia’s hair was ripped apart as Red Zeo followed up.

“Zeo V Power Kick!”

“Zeo V Power Sword!”

A quick kick knocked Harmonia off balance as the Power Sword sliced her in half. The monster exploded, leaving the Rangers victorious.

“You have past the test Rangers,” the Keeper said as he walked in. “Here is the object you seek.”

Pulling back a white shroud the Keeper revealed a large crystal. All the Rangers recognised it at once.

“That’s the Zeo Crystal,” Rocky said.

“Correct,” the Keeper said. “You all past the test and proven yourselves worthy of the Zeo Crystal. While you have been here, the Crystal has been regenerating. Soon it will be ready for you to use again. Harmonia never wanted to stop you, but she was under instructions to make you realise you were Rangers.”

“Then this isn’t Zedd’s Dimension?” Tommy asked.

“Zedd? Is that what he led you to believe? That sly old dog. This dimension is the personal domain of Zordon. It has no other master. Remember Titanus young Panther.”

Tommy groaned as he remembered the first time he had met Titanus. The mighty dinosaur had tried to prevent Tommy and Jason from getting some new weapons until they learnt to work as a team. In the end it had turned out to be a test by Zordon to ensure the two Rangers could work together.

“Now, I believe you have a world that needs saving,” the Keeper continued. “The others are trying to warn people of the danger, perhaps you can help them.”

As he spoke the Rangers’ uniforms vanished and they realised they needed to morph properly.

“Zeo Ranger I – Crane!”

“Zeo Ranger II – Bear!”

“Zeo Ranger III – Ape!”

“Zeo Ranger IV – Frog!”

“Zeo Ranger V – Falcon!”

“Gold Ranger Power!”

As the Rangers vanished, so did the temple along with the Keeper.


New York

The young mother covered her head and screamed as the building fell towards her. Car brakes squealed as drivers desperately tried to regain control of their vehicles. The earthquake or whatever it was that was causing the shaking was causing chaos across America. The boats on the river were trying to navigate through a full force hurricane as a massive tidal wave swept through Manhattan.

Just as the woman was about to be squashed, a thick glob of webbing grabbed her from its path. Spider-Man lifted her away from the danger; glad he could save a life, saddened at the ten or so workers who had perished in the building’s collapse.

“What is going on?” he wondered after setting the damsel down. He had seen storms before, earthquakes, and even his fair share of towering infernos. He had never seen them all occur simultaneously with a few blocks of a volcano.

The building he had been resting against gave way, plunging him into the street; he fired a web line and swung to safety only for the line to break. He found himself plummeting into a pool of lava.


Zack and Trini found Billy and Kimberly. “It’s all gone,” Trini said woodenly. “All of Angel Grove.”

“The Power Chamber might be gone,” Billy said. “We have no way of knowing.”

“How will we get back?” Zack asked.

“We can try calling on a Zord,” Billy said. “At least that way we can travel out to the Power Chamber.”

“HEY!” a strong voice shouted. “You guys!”

“It’s Jason,” Zack said. “With Aisha and David.”

The seven Rangers joined up a few seconds later. Billy quickly explained his plan for getting back to the Power Chamber.

“David, do the honours.”

“Right,” he said. “Raptor Zord, power up!”


From its hiding place the Raptor Zord emerged and flew into the wind.


“I see it!” Trini shouted. The white Zord flew toward them, despite the lightning, wind, and torrential downpour of rain. “David, just get us back to Power Mountain, we should be able to teleport from there. Everybody else, we have to line-of-sight teleport into the empty area in the Zord’s belly.”

“Will that work?” Zack asked. “With the teleportation system off-line?”

“It should,” Billy said. “Line-of-sight is activated by the Zords, not from the normal teleport unit in the Power Chamber.

“We’re about to see if you’re right,” David said. The seven Rangers jumped into the air and teleported into the Zord.


“Rangers!” Alpha cried when they finally arrived in the Power Chamber. “I am so glad you are safe!”

“Why is the teleportation unit off-line?” Billy asked, setting his helmet on a computer console. He immediately began to search for the problem.

“We weren’t aware that it was,” Zordon said.

“Well, I’ve found the problem,” Billy said. “It was accidentally forced off-line when all hell broke lose up there. The computers are trying to keep track of human lives, and the numerous hurricanes, tornadoes, et cetera.”

“Oh no,” Trini said, moving over to Zordon’s tube. There was a large, rectangular screen just to the left of it. There was a flat map of the entire globe. Red hurricanes, tiny blips representing hurricanes, and numerous other horrific anomalies covered the entire map. But what terrified her was the population display.

“Two point seven billion,” Trini said quietly. “Nearly half of the planet has died.”

“I will set to work getting the teleportation and communication systems on line immediately,” Alpha said. “Ai-yi-yi, Tommy and the others are still out there!”

“How long will it take?” Jason asked.

“The better part of an hour I’m afraid,” the robot said.

“That’s too long,” Billy said.

“Adam is in Argentina, Tommy in Paris, Kat in Australia, and Tanya in Tokyo,” Kimberly said. “Rocky is in Britain and Trey is in Moscow.”

“We’ll just have to hope they can hold on,” Jason said. “There is no way we can get to them.”

“Zordon, what about the Zords?” Trini asked. The Rangers did not know exactly where their machines were held between battles, but with the entire planet under threat, they didn’t want to take the risk.

“I have already activated the emergency protocols,” Zordon answered. “Your Zords had retreated into the Morphin Grid and will emerge only in answer to your call or when the danger has passed.”

That was a good thing. The Rangers continued to watch, helpless as the world came closer and closer to the point of no return


An hour or so later

A few tendrils of green light wafted into the Power Chamber. “This is a slow teleport,” Aisha observed.

After about fifteen seconds, a column of green light had collected. It immediately turned into the Green Zeo Ranger. “That was weird,” Adam said.

“Here comes Katherine and Rocky,” Aisha said. She slammed her hand on the button. A temporary flash of pink light appeared, and Katherine was suddenly dropped from the Power Chamber’s ceiling. Fortunately, her pink armour protected her from harm. Rocky teleported into the Power Chamber at a forty-five degrees and slammed into Katherine.

“Are you sure the teleporter is working right?” Kimberly asked.

Alpha glanced up at Zordon as if asking permission to reply. Seeing no objection he did so.

“We are losing power, Rangers,” Alpha explained.

“How do you mean?”

“The Power is an energy field that is revitalised by living beings. As the number of lifeforms diminishes, so does the Power, and I’m afraid, so does the Morphin Grid. ”

“You mean that the longer this goes on the less power we’ll have to counter it?”

“Yes. However your individual powers will last longer because they are linked to your life energies. Teleportation however will gradually weaken.”

With a powerful flash of red, Tommy was literally thrown into the Power Chamber. He slammed into the glass case that housed the White Ranger’s costume. “That was a weird teleport,” he said slowly.

Yellow light suddenly filled the Power Chamber, temporarily blinding those present. A huge mound of rocks lay in the Power Chamber. “Tanya?” Adam asked.

“I’m in here someplace,” she said.

“Uhm, Alpha,” Aisha said warily. “Zordon.”

“What is it Aisha?” Zordon asked.

“I can’t find Sam or Trey. Their last know locations are under water.”


Trey had been lucky enough to call on Pyramidas when he noticed the monsoon heading in his direction. The large Zord had proven itself capable of standing up to a mere storm. Realising that something was wrong with the Power Chamber’s teleportation system, he had taken it upon himself to try to locate as many stragglers as possible.

After collecting Sam from New York, along with a very soggy Spider-man, he moved across the country, picking up as many of their newfound allies as possible. For some reason he believed they would need the help.

“Coming up on Mount Rushmore,” he told Sam, remembering that this was the headquarters of the Avengers.

“Oh man, what happened to it?” Sam asked.

The mountainside was gone, crumbled into a pile of molten sand and red-hot geysers. Locking on to whatever life signs he could detect, Trey teleported the survivors aboard and headed for Coast City, home of the JLA.


“Zordon, how long do we have?” Trini asked.

It was a question they had all wanted to ask and one they feared the answer to. They needed to defeat Minion to save the Universe, but if the Earth was destroyed, then all hope was lost.

“The Earth will survive for a few days after the collapse of the localised Morphin Grid,” Zordon told them. “Alpha and I are redirecting energy from the Power Chamber to reinforce the planet’s magic, but this is creating a massive drain on our resources.”

“Zordon, can we use the Zeo Crystal?” Tommy asked.

“That is a good idea,” Zordon said. “The energy from the Zeo Crystal cannot be used to power a team of Rangers, but it can stabilise and when needed purify the planet’s magic.”

“Any luck in finding Minion?”

“None,” Zordon answered solemnly. “I will keep searching, but you require rest. “Alpha, please show the Rangers to their quarters.”

“Our quarters?” Rocky asked.

“Look at the map. Angel Grove is gone,” Kimberly said. “So is most of America.”

“Our families,” Rocky said woodenly.

“Trey and Sam?” Kat asked.

“Do not be alarmed, Rangers,” Zordon said. “If being Rangers has taught you nothing else, it has taught you to never give up hope.”

The Rangers nodded, not fully understanding what he meant, but too tired and depressed to press him for more details. “Do not worry, Rangers,” Zordon thought to himself. “We will find a way, we must.”


The rooms had been designed before Minion had decided to destroy the universe and were intended to serve the Rangers during a prolonged attack. Zordon had apparently thought to allow the Rangers to either mix together or divide according to gender or team.

The teens arrived in what Alpha dubbed the common room. It was a large chamber with the entertainment and refreshments they would no doubt need. Four staircases rose from the room, one to the girls’ area, one to the boys’ lounge, one to the Morphin Rangers’ common area and one to the Zeo Rangers’ chamber. Descending were another set of staircases that led to the Rangers’ private rooms.

Elsewhere in the area they discovered the shower facilities Zordon had installed and the machines they could use to create clean clothing.

“This is really cool, Alpha,” Adam observed as he checked out his room, decorated entirely in shades of green.

“I can’t believe my parents are dead,” Rocky said sadly.

“I don’t even know why we bother anymore,” Jason moaned. “The planet is dying. We don’t have anything left to protect.”

“Ai-yi-yi!” Alpha said excitedly. He wished he could tell the Rangers everything would be all right, but he couldn’t be certain and he didn’t want to mislead them in any way.


“Good morning beautiful,” Zack said, giving Aisha a quick peck on the lips.

“Mmmmm,” Aisha purred. “Are we an official item yet?” She curled up on the couch beside him.

“I’d like to think so,” Zack said.

“Good,” Aisha said, snuggling up against his body.


“Good morning Billy,” Katherine greeted, stretching her sleep-sore muscles.

“Good morning Katherine,” he answered. “Sleep well?”

“I guess so,” she answered. “That was a strange bed.”

Billy nodded in agreement.


“No, they were not supposed to stay in their headquarters!” Minion fumed. “How can I destroy them if they won’t come out?” He ignored the obvious possibility of making a personal appearance to draw them out. “I need a monster, a special token of my esteem. Hm, I wonder if Finster or Klank had anything worth taking?”

He teleported to the almost abandoned Machine Sky Base. With Onyx wiped out he no longer had to worry about Mondo and his rust bucket family.

“What’s this?” he wondered as he found a set of plans. “RoboPunch? Those machines have no imagination when it comes to naming things.”


A series of alarms suddenly went off, drawing the Rangers back to the command room. “Ai-yi-yi!” Alpha cried. He hurried over to the console and began to analyse the information. “It’s from the Machine Empire! The beast is known as RoboPunch. It is about to attack New York City.”

“Is there anything left of New York?” Zack asked.

“Some parts of the city are intact, and there are pockets of survivors,” Alpha said. “But you will have to hurry. A hurricane is rapidly approaching from the Atlantic.”

“Then why don’t we just let the hurricane destroy the monster?” Rocky asked. The others glared at him. “Okay, fine.”

“It’s Morphin Time!”


“Man,” Rocky griped. “Out here saving a dead world in my underwear.”

“Just hope you don’t demorph,” Tanya said.

RoboPunch was nowhere to be found. The Rangers had broken up into two groups to find it.

“This place is trashed,” Zack said. He ran out onto a hardened slick of lava.

“He’s sure to be around here someplace guys,” Tommy said. “Let’s hurry and find this beast.”


“Zordon, we can’t see anything,” Jason reported.

“Alpha, reconfigure the Gem Coin helmets to enable scanning,” Zordon instructed.

“Done Zordon,” Alpha reported.

“Tommy, your teams’ helmets have been enhanced with a new range of functions. Tanya and Kat now possess the ability to generate light beams from their helmets while Adam and Rocky can use their new scanning abilities. Your helmet will allow you enhanced vision.”

“Right Zordon,” Tommy confirmed. “Let’s do it guys.”

“Power Scan!” Rocky and Adam shouted in unison.

“Power Beams!” Tanya and Kat followed. It was around ten o’clock, but the clouds that covered the sky prevented any light from getting through.

“Tommy,” Rocky said. “I’m getting readings from the east.”

“Power Vision!” Tommy turned his gaze to the east. Immediately, data began to scroll across his field of vision.

The Rangers began to walk toward the supposed monster.


“There it is!” Adam shouted.

“Guys, we found him!” Tommy shouted into his wrist. The Rangers had split up to cover more ground. “He’s in what’s left of Central Park!”

“We’re on our way!” Rocky answered. He and Kat had gone with one group while Tommy, Adam and Tanya had gone with the others.

RoboPunch was as wide as he was tall. He had two powerful arms, whose hands were covered with numerous spikes and claws. His eyes were wide and red, gathering information and determining its attackers’ weak points.

The Rangers quickly gathered into a circle around the machine.

“What’s this?” it thought. “I was designed to fight five, maybe six, Rangers. Not twelve. Ah well, it’ll just be more of a challenge.”


Adam high-kicked RoboPunch, deftly avoiding his dangerous hands. He immediately jumped backwards, landed on his hands, and quickly kicked the machine with his feet.

Kimberly pulled back on her Power Bow. A shimmering pink arrow floated in the bow. She was waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike one of RoboPunch’s computerized eyes.

Aisha slowly circled RoboPunch with her Power Whip, in horse crop mode, held out before her. Zack circled in the opposite direction with his Power Axe. RoboPunch fighting style was very different from any previous monster. When a group attacked him, he just freaked out and started swinging his hands everywhere, injuring everyone. The Rangers were attacking one at a time, rapid fire.

Adam jumped away, and Billy darted in.

That was when RoboPunch managed to grow.

“RoboPunch is bringing out the big guns!” Rocky cried. He pointed at the now-gigantic machine.

“Then so will we,” Jason answered. “We need Ninjazord Power…”

“Now!” the other Morphin Rangers affirmed.

Just a few seconds later, the eight Zords were flying toward New York.

“Let’s get out of their way,” Tommy said to the Gem Coin Rangers.

“Bring them together,” Red Ranger said. “Ninja MegaFalconzord!”

“Ninja Battlezord!” Purple Ranger called. The Panther was operating under remote control.

The Crane started to fold to form the head while at the same time the Frog transformed to become the legs and the Bear converted to become the Ninja MegaFalconzord’s upper body. The already modified Ape and Wolf joined onto the Bear to form the arms as the Crane linked on to become the head. Then the whole upper body joined onto the Frog as the Falcon Zord linked onto the back. Hands formed over the Ape and Wolf’s heads.

The Panther Zord transformed to stand upright on its hind legs. The head rotated downwards to become the chest and the front paws became the arms. The Hawk Zord’s wings and head folded into the body as the Hawk Zord joined onto the shoulders of the Panther to become the head of the Ninja Battlezord. The Panther’s tail converted into a Power Sword as Purple Ranger slid into the cockpit ready for action.

“Battle Strike!” Purple Ranger called.

The Ninja Battlezord gave a short spin and drove its Power Sword into the machine’s chest. As it stopped spinning the Zord ducked out of the way as the Ninja MegaFalconzord descended using its double power punch. RoboPunch exploded as the Zords celebrated their victory.


The Rangers ripped their helmets off and started their ritual congratulations celebration.

“That was awesome,” Aisha said eagerly. “RoboPunch never stood a chance.”

“Well, now that the monster is destroyed, I’m going to shave, shower, and get dressed,” Rocky said.


Trini leaned against Billy’s chest. He had his arms wrapped around her. “We still have a chance,” Trini sighed. “At everything.”

“At a life together,” Billy said happily, willing to let go of his fears for a moment. Trini was only the second person he had ever felt a true emotional attachment with. She was only the third person he had ever kissed. But he knew that Trini was the one person meant for him. The fact that she was an Earthling was icing on the cake.

“Would you like that?” Trini asked. “A life together?”

“Do you?” Billy asked nervously.

“I sure do,” Trini answered.

“Good,” Billy said, smiling all over himself.


RoboPunch had failed, but then it was one of Mondo’s creations and naturally inferior to anything he could have designed. Still it left him with a problem that he needed a new means to attack the Rangers. He needed to draw them out before they found a way to use the Great Power to ruin his plans. Oh he knew they had the ability to foil his scheme, they had done it to so many villains before it was just in their nature to mess things up.

He looked around critically and his eyes rested on Arcana and then upon his Nega Rangers. Yes, that was it, the perfect idea and he already had all the ingredients he needed; he had the Nega Rangers as raw material, the Dark Dimension to provide the souls and Arcana to bring the two together.

“It’s time for a change.”


Later

Arcana was chanting. The Sword of Darkness was gripped firmly in his hands as he searched the Dark Dimension for the spirits that Minion desired.

“Found them,” he said at last. “Now Minion, bring them through and I will merge them.”

Minion jumped to his feet, thought a few choice words, and pointed both hands at the sword and his Nega Rangers. Blue light flew from his fingertips.

“Will it work?” Arcana asked, intrigued by the display.

“Just wait,” Minion said. A ball of darkness formed and from the ball shot beams of multicoloured light, each striking a Nega Ranger. Minion could sense the struggle as his creations and the souls he had summoned fought for dominance. In the end the newcomers emerged victorious, admiring their new bodies.

“Welcome my young friends,” Minion greeted, “welcome to a second chance.”

“Who are you?” Nega Pink demanded, her voice similar to Kimberly’s. Her bow was raised and Minion was impressed to see that she had already loaded a Nega Arrow.

“I am called Minion, and in this dimension, I am the one who calls the shots,” he told her. “I brought you here from the Dark Dimension. You remember that place don’t you?”

They nodded hesitantly. These creatures had once been Rangers and all had at some stage turned their back on their beliefs and embraced the darkness. Though they were from different universes, their shared experiences had made them kindred spirits. In the end it had required their former allies and in some cases the
Grid Masters to destroy them.

“Why did you bring us here?” Kimberly asked.

“To serve me.” It was the truth and as far as Minion was concerned and he stated his belief in a way that left no doubt about who was in control.

“I don’t follow anyone,” Nega Blue growled.

Minion clicked his fingers, turning on the pain enhancers he had included in the Nega Rangers’ bodies.

“The bodies you occupy were sculpted from my genetic material. You are echoes, I am the source.” he replied. “You would do well to remember that your lives are dependent upon me. Welcome to your new home, if all goes to plan, it will not be here much longer. Now, enough talk, go and introduce yourselves.”


Sixteen beams of light descended through the atmosphere and landed in the remains of Angel Grove. There were no buildings or vegetation anywhere. The entire city had been covered with lava. Smooth silvery rock stretched for almost as far as the eye could see.

“So this is Angel Grove?” one asked.

“Not much to do, is there?” Aisha asked bitterly.

“We just wait?” Adam asked.

“This is so weird,” Tommy said. “I can’t believe Tommy Oliver could be good in any universe.”

“I can’t believe there are universes where we didn’t turn evil,” Trini said. “Are we that ignorant here?”


The Rangers looked at the sixteen evil Rangers through the Viewing Screen. “This is unreal,” Tanya whispered.

“Sixteen, how did they get that many?” Rocky asked.

“They are serious,” Trini said.

“I’m afraid it is a very likely scenario,” Zordon told them. “On more than one occasion spells and other factors have turned you evil for a short time. These are Rangers who never managed to break free from that influence. I believe Minion has drawn them from the Dark Dimension, however, they probably originate from a whole collection of alternate universes.”

“This is making so little sense,” Tommy said.

“All you need to remember is that they are your enemies,” Zordon said.


“Here they come,” Kat said. Twelve streams descended to the Earth and materialized, producing twelve teenagers. The two teams stared at each other for a moment.

“So you all are our good counterparts?” Tommy asked.

“I suppose so,” Tommy answered.

“No good can come from this,” the two Tanyas said in unison.

“If you all are our opposites,” Adam mused, “then you defend.”

“We attack,” Trini growled.

Suddenly, the evil doppelgangers attacked. Evil-Aisha clawed at Zack before punching Aisha in the face. Aisha retaliated with a sidekick.

Evil-Tommy ran up to Kimberly. “Did you dump me on this world too?” he asked. He immediately shot both arms forward and clenched his hands around her throat. With a strangled croak, he picked her up off of the ground by her neck.

Evil-Kimberly and Evil-Katherine ran up to Tommy. “Hello Thomas,” they both purred. Both females suddenly high-kicked Tommy.

Katherine and Billy backed away from Evil-Trini and Evil-Adam. “Two geeks who probably couldn’t defend themselves if their lives depended on it,” Evil-Adam said.

“Actually, your lives do depend on it,” Evil-Trini growled. She suddenly lashed out and kicked Billy in the chest before either of them could react.

Katherine high-kicked Evil-Trini before she could react. She ducked Evil-Trini’s punch, but she kicked Kat in the ribs before she had gotten back to her feet.

Jason hit the ground in a painful heap. He wasn’t used to fighting someone as big as him that could actually fight. Tommy was matched in skill, but even he didn’t have the bulk strength that Jason suddenly realized he apparently had.

Tanya was thrown head over heels by Evil-Tanya. “Looks like someone has been giving her lessons too,” Tanya thought painfully.

Rocky successfully blocked Evil-Zack’s punch. With a sudden swipe of his leg, he brought Evil-Zack to the ground. He didn’t have time to relish in his accomplishments, though, as Evil-Rocky threw Zack at him.

Evil-Billy grabbed Trini in a bear hug before she could react. “Billy,” Trini muttered. “Don’t do this.”

“You fight for good,” Evil-Billy growled. “You are an enemy.” He hurled her at the ground in disgust.

Kimberly barked a hoarse cough as she fell from Evil-Tommy’s stranglehold and hit the ground.

“We can’t fight ourselves!” Jason cried.

“That’s because you’re too big a wimp to fight dirty,” Evil-Jason taunted. He jumped at Jason with both feet, but Jason rolled away.

“Guys,” Evil-Tommy said, “let’s have some real fun.”

“Right,” the doppelgangers agreed.

“Dark Ranger Power!” the evil counterparts of Tommy, Kat, Rocky, Adam, and Rocky called.

“Nega Ranger Power!” dark versions of Jason, Billy, Aisha, Kimberly, Trini, Zack and David called.

The Rangers noticed that some of the evil teens were happy just to stand back, allowing their allies to do all the work. “Let’s do this,” Jason growled. With a cacophony of morphing cries, the Rangers morphed.

In civilian form they were similar, but when morphed the difference in their natures was obvious. The Dark Rangers wore all-black costumes with only a little colour on their helmets. They each wore a coin, but it was covered from view. The Nega Rangers wore the more familiar almost demonic armour that the Rangers remembered.

For a brief moment, neither side moved. A second later, the battle began.


Minion watched the battle as it progressed and was pleased to see that his Rangers were holding their own in combat. In fact they seemed to have the upper hand against the Gem Coin Rangers while the Morphin Rangers proved more difficult to defeat.

He winced as they pulled out the heavier weapons only to find themselves perfectly matched. It seemed the Evil Ranger powers he had created were too close to the original template. That was something he would have to rectify in future, assuming there was ever a need.

“The time has come my servants, your powers give you abilities unknown to any other group of Rangers. The time has come to take this to a new lever, transform and unite!”


“What are we going to do now?” Kimberly asked, staring up at the giant before them.

Minion had been correct, the Rangers had never seen this particular power before. At his command the evil Rangers’ bodies started to twist in impossible ways as heavy metal armour attached to their suits. They were stretched in all directions as they continued to change, taking on forms that were eerily familiar.

“Zords for armour, no way!” Zack remarked as he noticed the other evil Rangers who until now had remained out of the battle started to join their allies.

“Does Gasket know someone’s stolen his idea?” Tanya remarked as she looked up at the fleet of Zord-Armoured Rangers.

Before them stood the machines that the Rangers had come to rely on in battle: the Dino Megazord, Thunder Megazord, Ninja Megazord, Shogun Megazord; Sky Megazord, Defender Megazord, Techno Megazord, Zeo Megazord and Super Zeo Megazord; White Tiger Zord, Dragon Zord, White Falcon Zord, Red Battle Zord; and the Warrior Wheel, Titanus and finally Tor.

“We need Di… wait, what are they doing?” Jason was confused.

“Surprised Rangers?” Nega Red asked. “We are full of surprises, and this is just the beginning. Zord-Armour Rangers, unite!”

The Shogun Megazord folded itself into the upper half of ZAR’s chest, while the Dino Megazord composed the bottom half. The Ninja Megazord produced another part of the lower torso. The Warrior Wheel twisted and contorted itself until it was only a third of its original size. It floated to the top of the assembling ZAR and formed the head. The Super Zeo Megazord formed the upper right arm, and the Zeo Megazord formed the right forearm. The Red Battlezord and Sky Megazord produced the left arm. Dragonzord folded in on itself and finished the last of the torso, clamping on just below the Ninja Megazord. Tigerzord and the Techno Megazord quickly produced the left leg, and the Thunder Megazord along with the Defender Megazord formed the right. As the last part locked into place the entire machine was briefly transformed into energy, restructuring the bulk so that while it was less cumbersome, it was just as powerful.

The Rangers were shocked. They had not expected a group of evil Rangers to turn into Megazords and then unite into something even bigger. While the result wasn’t much taller than a regular Megazord, they could sense its power.

~Thank goodness their Zords were based on our old machines and new the new ones,~ Trini thought.

“Time to show them what real Zords can do,” Tommy suggested.

“Without Sam?”

“Did somebody call?” the Green Ranger asked.

They turned to find Gold Ranger and Green Ranger walking towards them.

Jason shrugged. “We need Dinozord power, now!”


The Rangers quickly assembled the Dino Megazord and the Dino Stegazord. They looked out over the barren wasteland that had once been Angel Grove. Suddenly, the ground shook and the ZAR landed.

The Dino Megazord stepped back a few steps.

“What’s a matter, Rangers?” the monster asked, its voice a mixture of the evil Rangers. “Scared?”

“Of you?” Trini replied. “Never.”

ZAR kicked the Megazord in the chest. The Megazord grabbed ZAR’s foot and flipped the evil creature.

ZAR quickly gained control and brought its arm blades down across the Megazord in two broad swipes. The Zord stumbled backwards and hit the ground. ZAR took several long strides and stood beside the fallen machine. “Gee,” it said sarcastically. “I would have thought even you would last longer than that.”

ZAR rubbed its two arm blades together, raining sparks down on the Zord. It gave a wicked growl and stabbed at the fallen machine, only to find its way blocked by the Dino Stegazord. ZAR’s eyes widened as the Dragonzord’s tail smashed into its chest.

Trini rolled the Megazord out of the way. ZAR’s arm blades struck the ground. The Zord, still lying on its back, kicked out with a leg, knocking the evil creature to the ground as well.

The Megazord rolled back on its shoulders and flipped to a standing position, a move no Megazord should be able to do.

“Looks like it’s Rangers one, monster zero,” Zack cried.

Dragonzord stepped before ZAR.

ZAR lowered its head and rammed Dragonzord. Red lights lit up in Sam’s cockpit. “Hull damaged, five percent,” Sam said as he frantically pushed buttons that signified he acknowledged the damage. The alarms went off and reset themselves for any further damage.

With a mighty whir, the Tail Drill started. Sam turned his Zord around and plunged the tail at ZAR. The monster screamed in rage as he was damaged. ZAR grabbed the Dragonzord’s tail. ZAR spun in a circle, lifting Dragonzord off of the ground. ZAR let go off the tail, and Dragonzord flew sideways.

ZAR suddenly spread its arms wide. The curved horn atop its head began to fire red lasers. They struck the ground at ZAR’s feet and began to move toward Dino Stegazord. The machine responded by jumping over the attack and whipping its tail around as a counter.

ZAR slashed at the Zord with its arm blades. The Dino Stegazord cartwheeled away. Upon landing on its feet, the Zord distracted ZAR until the Megazord could land its next punch.

ZAR jumped onto the Dino Stegazord’s back, effectively immobilizing it. ZAR lifted its leg up and slammed it into the Zord’s back. The Zord tucked its head and rolled with the attack. The Rangers quickly brought the Zord to its feet and gave ZAR a quick roundhouse kick, pivoting on its anchored leg.

Kimberly brought all of the Zord’s weight on the back leg. Once she was firmly planted, she made the Megazord kick ZAR several times in rapid succession.

“I’ve had it with this!” Zack shouted. “Let’s show this thing what teamwork is all about.”

“Right!” Jason agreed. “Super Dragonzord formation!”

The Dino Stegazord broke into its component parts as the Dragonzord merged with the Megazord. Then as the Stegazord opened to form a circular platform with sharp points around the edge, The Raptor Zord attached itself to the Mega Dragonzord’s back.

“Titanus, front and center!” the eight Rangers called from their combined cockpit.


“Whoa!” Rocky cried. The Gem Coin Rangers had returned to the Power Chamber. “When did Titanus get so big?”

“Alpha and I took the opportunity to upgrade Titanus to handle eight Zords instead of six,” Zordon told him.

The Brachiosaur-based mecha that marched across the wasteland was much bigger than they remembered. Several compartments had been added to his back. In addition it seemed he had been given a new paint job so that instead of just grey, he was now a dull shade of silver mixed with gold highlights.

“Look, they’re going for the big one,” Tommy speculated.

Zordon smiled, knowing that Tommy was in for a shock when he discovered that this was but a hint of the Morphin Rangers’ arsenal.


“Super Dragonzord, slide attack!” the Morphin Rangers cried.

Titanus had opened in the usual way, but once the Super Dragonzord was in place it had closed again. Then as Titanus’s neck had craned to the correct angle, the Super Dragonzord had been raised to the top of its back.

“Go!” the Rangers called, launching their machine down the length of the Carrier Zord’s neck. The Stegazord component started to spin as the chest and shoulders glowed with power. Then, as the Zord leaned forward, it tore through the air, colliding with ZAR and destroying the monster on contact.

“Now what,” Kimberly pondered.

“Now you die,” a loud voice bellowed. A flash of red suddenly streaked before them.

Minion landed in front of the Zord, and before it could react, blasted it with dark energy. The Dino Superzord fell back, smoke billowing from its chest.

“Oh this isn’t over yet,” Aisha promised.

“Shogun Zords, power up!”

Minion was surprised. He knew the Rangers had the Ninja Zords and the Dino Zords, but Shogun Zords? How many machines did he have to destroy?

As the new fleet of Zords came into view, he wondered if perhaps he had miscalculated. The Shogun Zords were equal to him in height and were armed with large versions of their Power Weapons. It didn’t take him more than a few blows to realise that the Rangers were serious.

“We have to finish this,” Jason said. “With Minion gone we can destroy the device and restore the planet.”

And so the battle was on.

Billy’s Zord slashed at his foe with his Power Lance, but Minion hit the ground in a full split. He rolled into a somersault and jumped to his feet. He jumped into the air and slammed both of his feet into Yellow Shogun Zord, slamming it into Purple Shogun Zord. Minion leapt into the air and executed a perfect spin kick, downing Green Shogun Zord in the process. He planted himself firmly on his left leg and kicked White Shogun Zord in the chest with his right, knocking the Zord over. He then stepped on the fallen Zord’s back, and using it as a springboard, launched himself at Red Shogun Zord. He punched Jason’s Zord once, and then grabbed it by the arms and flung it into Black Shogun Zord, taking Pink down in the process.

Minion took a deep breath and stood in the midst of his carnage. “Man, that was fun,” he breathed. “And this time, stay down.” He spread his hands wide. Blue tendrils of light jumped from each blood-red fingernail. The tendrils of light pinned the Zords to the ground, though only temporarily.

“I am here to make you a proposition,” Minion said. “Surrender, now; if you do, I will spare your lives when I reshape this wretched little reality. And I will also bring your families back.”

“Why would we make deals with you?” Rocky yelled.

“Why should we believe you?” Trini asked.

“There is a planet on the far outskirts of the Universe,” Minion said. “Very similar to Earth in climate, but no intelligent life. I will let you and your families live there. I will control the rest of the Universe, so I can spare a single world.”

Rocky quickly crossed himself and began to pray, frantically.

“What’s it gonna be, Rangers?” he asked.

“We’re Rangers,” Jason said, before the villain could continue. “Do you even need to ask? Trey, do it!”

The Zords vanished as the Gem Coin Rangers joined the Morphin Rangers.

“I brought a few friends along,” Trey commented, gesturing to the allies he had rescued. “Hope you do not mind.”

“By the power of Triforia, make us grow!” the Lord of Triforia cried.

This time there was no holding back on either side as the Rangers and their allies joined forces against Minion’s evil. The villain fought back, the Sword of Darkness earning its names as it cut down Zeo Ape. Still, when all was said and done, neither side had enough strength to vanquish the other and luck as always reared its ugly head.

The planet beneath them cracked, revealing a pool of lava that none of them could withstand. Minion leapt from one side of the crack to the other and blasted the ground on which the heroes were standing, sending them into the molten gulf. Overhead they could feel the rift to the Dark Dimension consuming their world. The planet was breaking up as the two sides continued to fight.

“Laser Lance Command!”

“Lightning Fist Command!”

The two surviving VR Troopers combined their attacks, taking the villain by surprise. Robin landed a solid kick to the villain’s chest as Hawkeye fired a cable arrow, entangling the construct’s feet.

“Now!” Rocky cried, leading the charge as he and the majority of the assembled heroes fell upon the villain, plunging him and themselves into the fiery cauldron.

“Rider Kick!” Jesse cried, driving his feet into the villain’s head as he tried to drag himself free and sacrificing himself in the process. There were few left now, but they were the planet’s last hope; as Tommy summoned the Zeo Crystal, Power Mountain was consumed by the darkness.

The Earth trembled, the last of its Ley Lines drained, its magic exhausted. The pressure was building deep inside the planet’s core, and when it finally blew, it would tear the planet apart.

“Teleport!” Tommy cried. He made it to Pyramidas just in time, most of the others did not as the ground they were standing on was washed away.

A volcano had appeared beneath them, spewing molten lava in their direction. It was stopped by a wall of energy as Green Lantern threw his protection Pyramidas.

The remaining heroes of Earth, the last representatives of their world, now stood on the elongated platform that served the Zord while in Carrier mode. There wasn’t any solid ground left on the planet as it approached the final stage of its destruction and before long the Zord would have to land upon the molten surface to allow the Ranger to work. At that point the Zord would be unprotected.

The poisonous fumes had already taken their toll on those who did not have the comfort of a helmet or built in breathing apparatus. Minion was gone, but the danger would continue until the damage was reverse. The problem was that they only had one shot at healing the wounds Minion had inflicted.

“Are you sure about this?” Tommy asked again.

They nodded. They were without doubt heroes. They had quickly discovered a flaw with their plan in that the barrier protecting the sword was feeding off the Earth’s energy and not Minion’s. As it turned out only a native of Earth without the benefit of the Power could reach through the barrier and snatch the blade. Since they limited in their choices and needed all the Rangers, it had fallen to Vision and Servo, as the last active members of the Avengers and VR Troopers to perform the task.

“This is it guys,” Jason told them. “When they pull the sword, we’ll use the Zeo Crystal to destroy it and cleanse the Ley Lines. Then we’ll use the Great Power to restore things to how they should be.”

“The disruptor and the Sword of Ragnarok need to be disposed of before the process can become permanent,” Billy warned. He looked at John. “You know what that means.”

The Green Lantern nodded although he did not look happy about it. Still, he was dedicated to his duty as a Green Lantern.

“Good luck guys, see you on the other side,” Tommy offered. “And may the Power protect us.”

With that Vision and Servo descended to the small volcanic hill where the hilt of the Sword of Ragnarok could still be seen.

Vision strained to remove the sword. Next to him he was aware that Servo was also suffering from the intense heat.

There was an explosion of molten rock as he continued pulling. Vision shifted position, shielding him from the flaming rock. Servo did not fare so well and was washed under the surface by the attack. He pooled his remaining strength and with a final tug, managed to drag the blade free. At that point the flames that licked their way up his body overcame him. With his final act, he threw the Sword of Ragnarok and the device into the rift, sealing it just as Zordon had predicted.

The last Zeo Ranger moved into position over the hole where the sword had been embedded. There he could see the dark energy crackling inside, the poisoned remnants of the Earth’s own magic.

Pyramidas settled on the lava, its shielded hull peeling under the intense heat; Green Lantern had built a bubble to keep Jason and his fellow Morphin Rangers from harm. They would be needed for the next stage.

“Zeo Crystal!” Tommy cried. “Deliver this world from evil!”

Billy’s analysis had revealed that while the crystal was damaged and incapable of supporting a Ranger team, its purifying properties were still intact. The Rangers were going to use it not to redeem a villain, but to purge the Ley Nexus and give the Great Power an opportunity to work.

Light burst from the crystal as the Ranger held it in position. Red, yellow, pink, green, blue, gold, silver, purple, white and black energy streamed into the hole. In places where the coloured energy mixed he could make out shades of cyan, magenta, crimson, navy and orange. The Earth seemed to tremble as the corrupted magic within was forcibly ejected by the Zeo energy. Pyramidas rocked, as its hull grew thin. Before long it would disappear and if the Rangers were unsuccessful, so would they.

“Keep going,” Tommy encouraged. “Need to give this — everything I’ve got.”

He poured his soul into the crystal and was amazed when the energy increased. But despite his best efforts, the corruptive energy of the Sword of Ragnarok remained, kept in check by the Zeo Crystal’s power, but capable of destroying the planet as soon as they relented.

“It’s Time for a Gold Rush!” he heard Trey call, before a burst of golden light joined the power from the Zeo Crystal and chased the darkness from the Earth’s depths.


“Jason, they’re weakening,” Trini said.

Jason nodded. He had hoped they would be able to wait until the Earth was totally cleansed before using the Great Power to reignite the planet’s failing energy. Now though they didn’t have a choice, the planet was too close to death to delay further. With luck they would finish before the Earth exploded. Otherwise, their actions would prove futile.

“Now is the time,” David said. As White Ranger he knew when it was his time to take control. “Let our powers be one.”

They clasped hands, allowing the Great Power to flow through them. They didn’t need to direct it, the magic was sentient and knew what it had to do. As their hands glowed their respective colours, lines of energy emerged, linking them together, forming a golden ball of light at the very center of their circle.

“Go,” Jason whispered and the ball shot into the Earth.

For a moment there was no change, then slowly the lava seemed to calm and the quaking planet quietened. The Great Power and the Zeo Crystal worked in unison, restoring the shattered and corrupted lines of magic with new life bringing energy.

“It’s not enough!” Aisha realised after the changes ceased.

All the power they could imagine and it was not enough to fix the damage. Every time it crossed with the power placed there by the Sword of Ragnarok, it was corrupted by the destructive energy. The Zeo Crystal was proving incapable of purging all the darkness so long as the sword remained intact.

“Jase, the Zord!” Zack warned.

The Red Ranger looked down in time to see a hole open from beneath the once mighty Pyramidas and he knew it would not be long before all hope was lost. They could not morph; to do so would negate their efforts. Instead he accepted that since the Great Power was working, their part was done. The others needed help to complete their parts and sadly that meant that John had to be free to assist them.

“Do it,” he ordered the ring bearing hero.

John nodded solemnly and placed the Rangers on the surface of the Carrier Zord, releasing them from his protection. Then he aimed his power at the crystal, adding the last of his strength to the mix.

“This is it guys,” Jason said as the Rangers and their allies gathered around the Zeo Crystal. Pyramidas was sinking; they had perhaps a minute to live. “One last time. We call on all our powers combined:”

The others had all powered down, the energy from Green Lantern’s ring now heading directly into the Zeo Crystal, his hands disappearing in the process.

“Red Ranger!”

“White Ranger!”

“Green Ranger!”

“Yellow Ranger!”

“Purple Ranger!”

“Blue Ranger!”

“Black Ranger!”

“Pink Ranger!”

“Zeo Ranger V – Red!”

“Gold Ranger Power!”

“Green Lantern Light!” As John spoke the words he felt the full power that he had always feared would corrupt him rushing to the fore. Years of forced denial were over as the power burst from the ring, adding to the powers already flowing into the Earth. The powers merged with those of the Zeo Crystal, removing all impurities from the Ley Lines as the Zord finally succumbed to the environment and they were plunged into a molten tomb as energy they had fed into the Earth erupted, inside the Dark Dimension.

The End?


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Light in the Distance

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to the respective copyright owner. No money is being made from this piece of writing.

Light in the Distance


Earth

She couldn’t take much more. Just like Travis she had been forced to watch others being tortured. But whereas Travis had only been forced to see his teammates suffer, she had been forced to watch as Minion had first beaten her teammates. There had been no turning away from the things he had done to some of the female heroes he had captured. And after he had sliced off Flash’s legs, he had thrown them into the invisible bubble where she resided, watching all the action.

She was on the verge of a mental breakdown; the only thing keeping her from losing control was the threat her powers posed should that happen.

“Release them,” Minion said, gesturing to the various devices the Rangers had been strapped to.

Bronzo did as he was told, throwing the Rangers to the ground at his master’s feet. Minion waited for the Rangers to recover enough to hear his words.

“For the last few days I have tortured you all and enjoyed every moment of it. But now, I think to myself ‘am I being fair?’ I’ve had many opportunities to harm you and I have not allowed any of you to take a single shot at me.”

Reaching into subspace, he pulled out a collection of fully charged blasters. He threw them to the ground in front of the Rangers.

“For a count of six I will drop my defences and allow you to take as many shots at me as you wish. I should warn you one would be enough to kill me. Should you succeed you will be teleported back to Angel Grove and from there you can go wherever you wish.”

“I can see you all need a little encouragement. Travis here will do. Here’s the deal, when I reach six either you will have shot me or this poor Triforian.”

She regarded the Rangers on the ground. They were teenagers, barely out of high school if she guessed correctly. And here Minion expected them to attack him after all they had been through? No, she quickly realised that was not what he had in mind at all. Minion knew they would not attack, was counting on their experience proving sufficient to stop them from lifting a finger to aid Travis. He wanted them to see their friend’s death and know that there had been a chance to save him.

“No,” Tommy begged. “Don’t do it.”

Silently she echoed the Red Gem Coin Ranger’s plea.

“One…” Adam stared stupidly at the weapon in front of him.

“Two…” Trey reached out to the blaster. He wondered why everything was suddenly moving in slow motion.

“Three…” Kat’s fingers touched his blaster and stayed there, unmoving. He wondered suddenly why he’d put them there.

“Four…” Tommy tried to reason it out. He had the blaster in his hand; all he had to do was shoot. So why couldn’t he?

“Five…” Tanya realised she was terrified, afraid of failing, afraid of dying. Sobbing, she let the gun fall.

She sensed that Minion had not lied to the Rangers. A single shot would be enough to kill him. All the Rangers had to do was fire. But there was the problem, after all they had endured and at such a young age, they lacked the enormous act of will to keep fighting.

Just as the blade made contact with Travis’s skin, Adam managed to pull himself together enough to start to raise his blaster and fire. The other Rangers spurred on by his lead aimed their weapons as well, but it was too late. As he reached six, Minion extended his hand toward the Rangers, allowing the black tendrils that stretched from his fingers to surround them, preventing them from firing. Then with utmost glee he drew the dagger across Travis’s throat, laughing as Travis collapsed to the ground.

Blood pooled across the ground, the Rangers watched in horror as their friend was brutalised while they were incapable of helping him. They struggled against their magical restraints, trying desperately to keep Minion from causing further harm, assuming it was not too late. Minion reached down and picked up his dagger, taking a moment to sample the blood. Standing back up, he drove the Sword of Ragnarok through the fallen Triforian’s abdomen, more innocent blood coating the deadly blade.

She was speechless. She had seen many criminals in the past, but this was just cruelty. Magic was one thing, but to kill so coldly and with his own hand on the weapon, spoke of the horrors Minion would inflict on the Earth once he was finished with the Rangers.

“Bastard,” she hissed, struggling to maintain a grasp on her emotions, knowing that only Minion would hear her.

“Now, now,” Minion warned, focussing his words directly to her. He mentally tightened the magical grip around her; “if you don’t have anything nice to say,” and here he sent a surge of dark energy through the tendril that held her in place, “DON’T SAY ANYTHING!”

He moved to strike her and stopped, realising that if he killed her then his plans would fail. He needed her out of control and as powerful as she could be. When he was done here, he planned to give her to some of Rita’s underlings and once Goldar had enjoyed her for a few days and assuming she survived, she would be ready for the grand finale.

“One down, five to go,” he said, watching the Rangers’ faces. Yes, he could see their pain. It seemed that whatever tortures he inflicted upon them physically, it was nothing compared to how he could hurt them mentally. “Tomorrow we will try again with a special guest,” he promised. “Silvo, take them to the cells. And you witch, have a date with a monkey.”


Reefside Next Day

Eight columns of light heralded the arrival of Jason, Sam, Billy, Trini, Kimberly, Zack, Aisha and David, all freshly returned from their successful quests for new powers. They had been expecting some sort of welcome home, but instead found the fall back Operations Center deserted.

“What happened here?” Jason asked as he studied a monitor that showed Minion’s forces were roaming through most of the world’s largest cities.

“Looks as if 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. “We need information. Billy, you take Trini, Zack and Aisha. Go to the Power Chamber and see if you can get Alpha and Zordon on line.” During their time in the various temples, the Rangers had learnt that Zordon was alive. “The rest of us will head to Angel Grove and see what we can learn.”


“How much further Billy?” Trini asked as the four Rangers dropped into another service shaft.

So far they had discovered that when Zordon had redesigned Power Mountain to use the teleportation system instead of relying on doors and long corridors he had failed to foresee a time when the teleportation system might be offline. Given that the various rooms were now inaccessible except by squeezing through a number of small passages, the decision was proving inconvenient.

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 liked 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 that Alpha enjoyed the idea of falling that far either. Therefore he assumed the little android had found an alternative method.

Finally they found their way into the lower control room. Billy, surprised to find the room intact and operational, quickly checked the computer to see if there were any other areas that could be used.

After a short time Aisha and Trini had managed to isolate one of the hefty power cables, no doubt planning for when they tried to restore the Power Chamber. With the use of the seemingly independent power supply, they managed to restore some of the basic Power Chamber functions such as internal communications. Billy took the opportunity to advise Jason on their progress.

“Short range teleport is still offline, but we have scanners back. We can start a search now and transmit the results. We should all be able to stay in touch now.”

“Understood,” Jason replied.


“At last,” Minion stated, looking at the broken teens before him. “Your friends have returned,” he told Tommy, prodding the boy with his foot, enjoying the whimper as his toes touched against a broken rib.

The Red Gem Coin Ranger looked up at him, his expression a beautiful mix of relief and suspicion. Minion smiled to himself, he was the one responsible for the Rangers doubting themselves. Surely they had felt the massive surge of magical energy that had heralded Jason’s arrival.

“Since your friends are back ahead of schedule we’ll have to move ahead with the timetable,” he announced. “You have two hours to decide who will be the next to die, or I will choose.”

With that he walked out.


“Okay Billy, give it a try,” Trini called as she finished working on Alpha’s damaged circuitry.

“Powering up now,” Billy replied from the console that he had jury-rigged to repair the small droid.

Alpha had been so badly damaged during the destruction of the Power Chamber that the Rangers had been unable to attempt repair. Now with a desperate need to access the computer systems, they had patched his databanks into the Power Chamber’s computer system.

“1010101010 1001 001001” the computer said as it slowly powered up and interfaced with Alpha.

Billy adjusted the controls and tried again. This time the results were more favourable.

“Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi, Rangers!” Alpha cried. “You’re safe!”

“Alpha, are you okay?” Kimberly asked.

“I don’t…” Alpha went quiet as if trying to recall what had been going on. “Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi, my body is malfunctioning.”

“Um Alpha, your body was kind of destroyed,” Kimberly explained.

“Alpha, we need to know what’s been happening on Earth,” Jason said, interrupting the discussion. They would worry about Alpha’s body later. “Can you access any of Zordon’s satellites?”

It took a while because Minion’s forces had damaged most of the White Master’s observation satellites. In the end the android was forced to tap into local news computers and pull out any stories concerning the Power Rangers. “Oh no, Travis!” he called as he attempted to feed the footage into the small monitor.

“How could they just lie there?” Zack asked, noticing that the other Rangers had barely lifted a finger to help.

“After all they’ve been through I would suspect Minion surmised a lack of aggression on their part,” Billy explained. “This was just another phase of the process. They watched him kill a comrade, imagine how they feel.”

The others didn’t need to imagine. For Jason and Billy knew Trey quite well. The Red Ranger had spent time with Travis after the Tri-union had failed, and while there were differences, Travis had proven himself every bit as noble as Trent and Trey.

~What happened to him when he died? ~ Jason wondered. ~Did he go to an afterlife or did his essence simply return to Trey? ~

“We don’t know that he died,” Aisha pointed out. That was true, the transmission had ended before the scene had played out. Did Travis survive? Somehow the other doubted it.

“Alpha, was there anything else?” Jason asked.

“I’m just checking the police computers,” Alpha replied. “Oh, ai-yi-yi-yi-yi, somebody broke into the Angel Grove Hospital and kidnapped a patient.”

“Rocky,” Kimberly realised.

David had yet to say anything, he was staring at the image of his brother, clearly hurting, urging him to move.


Minion sensed that the time was right. The Rangers had returned from their quests and now he had his opportunity to crush them just as he had the Gem Coin Rangers. He knew that fully powered Rangers combined with their Gem Coin wielding friends had a slight chance of defeating him. It was not something he wanted to happen. Minion knew the answer was to make an immediate strike and that would mean he had to reserve as much power as possible.

“Silvo, Brasso, come here!”

His two servants appeared before him as always. He looked them over; both were strong and capable warriors and he had no doubt each would give the Rangers a fight to remember. But Minion also knew the Rangers would defeat them.

“Lower all the barriers apart from Stone Henge. It’s time to send the Rangers a little welcome home present. Shi’nom, Elder of Darkness, I summon you.”

“Yes, my lord,” Brasso and Silvo replied, both vanishing to complete their next mission.


“Who is that?” David asked.

The alarm had sounded, warning the Rangers that Minion was aware of their presence. On the screen a humanoid giant with a brown cloak and blue markings around his eyes, was storming his way through a Canadian city.

“Rangers, this is Shi’nom, an Elder of Darkness trained by Master Vile,” Alpha explained.

On the screen giant Shi’nom was walking through buildings, happily trashing anything in his way. Lightning bolts from his staff levelled tall buildings while the people ran for cover.

“We need to take care of Shi’nom before he trashes the city,” Jason said. “It’s Morphin Time!”

“White Ranger Power!”

“Black Ranger Power!”

“Pink Ranger Power!”

“Blue Ranger Power!”

“Yellow Ranger Power!”

“Red Ranger Power!”

“Purple Ranger Power!”

“Green Ranger Power!”

This was the first time that they had morphed as a team, the first time they would discover their new uniforms. They were pleasantly surprised. Their costumes retained the dinosaur theme of the original Rangers of Earth, but their boots and gloves remained in their Ranger colours. Their helmets were identical in shape despite their varying colours, each shaped to resembled that of the original Red Ranger’s helmet. The diamonds on their chests were white, or black in the White Ranger’s case, and held a gold circle in the center where their chosen animal appeared. A series of smaller diamonds ran up the outside of their arms and legs. The tops of their boots, edge of their gauntleted gloves and belts were gold and they each wore a Blade Blaster on the right-hand side of their belts.

Green Ranger kept his traditional shield and protective bands, White Ranger had a similar shield and the diamonds on his arms and legs were slightly sharper. Both Rangers had a sheath on their backs, Green to hold his Dragon Dagger and White to contain his weapon, which he had called the Drago Sword.

It was then Pink Ranger asked the question the others had not considered. “Guys, we have like four sets of Zords and one monster. Which set do we use?”

“Well technically the only Zords we have are the Ninja Zords,” Blue Ranger replied. “The Thunder and Dino Zords will take time to be recreated and Shogun Zords and Battle Borgs need to be redesigned.”

“Okay,” Red Ranger said. “We need Ninja Zord power, now!”

A beam of light shone from each Ranger’s chest into the sky, combining at a distant point and calling forth the Ninja Zords from the Temple of Ninja Powers. In the sky above eight Zords appeared, not the prototype Ninja Zords the Gem Coin Rangers had been forced to use, these were the fully functional Ninja Zords that the original Ninja Rangers of Earth had used. The Rangers felt themselves being teleported into their Zords.

“All right Rangers log on,” Red Ranger said.

“This Zack, back in black and ready to attack,” Black Ranger said from inside the Frog.

“Billy here, all systems nominal,” Blue Ranger reported, glad to be back in the Wolf again.

“Bear Zord powered up and ready,” Yellow Ranger called in.

“Hey, who put this Michael Bolton tape in this Zords stereo?” Pink Ranger said from inside the Crane, realising she shouted “Kat, why?!”

“Hawk Zord ready for action,” Purple Ranger called.

“Panther Zord online.” The Green Ranger’s comment was more to himself than to the Red Ranger.

“Whoa!” The shout came from David who was the only Ranger who had never operated a Zord before. As a result he was finding it difficult to keep control of the Falcon.

“David relax and let the Power guide you,” Yellow Ranger advised.

White Ranger did as he was told and found he was able to regain control. “White Ranger back in control, Falcon Zord ready for action.”

“Bring them together,” Red Ranger said. “Ninja MegaFalconzord!”

“Ninja Battlezord!” Green Ranger called.

The Crane started to fold to form the head while at the same time the Frog transformed to become the legs and the Bear converted to become the Ninja MegaFalconzord’s upper body. The already modified Ape and Wolf joined onto the Bear to form the arms as the Crane linked on to become the head. Then the whole upper body joined onto the Frog as the Falcon Zord linked onto the back. Hands formed over the Ape and Wolf’s heads.

The Panther Zord transformed to stand upright on its hind legs. The head rotated downwards to become the chest and the front paws became the arms. The Hawk Zord’s wings and head folded into the body as the Hawk Zord joined onto the shoulders of the Panther to become the head of the Ninja Battlezord. The Panther’s tail converted into a Power Sword as Purple and Green Rangers slid into the cockpit ready for action.

What followed was a fast paced high impact battle. The Ninja MegaFalconzord held Shi’nom’s staff to one side allowing the Battlezord to use its sword. With a cry of pain Shi’nom struck back with an assault of lightning bolts. It took a while for the Rangers to shake off the effects of Shi’nom’s attack as he charged them.

“Battle Strike!” Green and Purple Rangers called.

The Ninja Battlezord gave a short spin and drove its Power Sword into Shi’nom’s chest. As it stopped spinning the Zord ducked out of the way as the Ninja MegaFalconzord descended using its double power punch. Shi’nom exploded as the Zords celebrated their victory.


Devils End, England.

The Master stood over the altar hidden in the caverns under the old church. Once before he had tried to use the power within the caverns to gain control over a being of near infinite power. He had failed. This time, the Master had taken no chances. He had found an object that would allow him to access the demons of a distant realm and turn them to his bidding. Now if he could just solve the box’s puzzle.


Power Chamber

The alarm sounded as it detected yet another disturbance in Angel Grove. Alpha adjusted the monitor view, using the subroutine he had developed during the last few hours. Although the android wanted his body back, the direct link to the computer made things much easier. On the monitor Billy and Kimberly stared at the familiar figure running from a pack of metallic hounds.

“Its Dex!” Alpha cried, recognising his creator’s grandson.

“Alpha, can we teleport him here?” Trini asked.

“What’s going on?” Jason asked. He had been arranging the rebuilding work with Billy.

“Who is that?” Zack asked.

“Dex,” Kimberly and Billy said together.

“Dex is the rightful Prince of Edenoi and holder of the Masked Rider powers,” Billy explained. “We met him a few years ago and helped him to fight off an attack from his uncle.”

“And now he needs your help again,” Alpha said. “Please Rangers, I owe Lexian so much.”

“Of course,” Jason agreed. “It’s Morphin Time!”

“White Ranger Power!”

“Black Ranger Power!”

“Pink Ranger Power!”

“Blue Ranger Power!”

“Yellow Ranger Power!”

“Red Ranger Power!”

“Purple Ranger Power!”

“Green Ranger Power!”

In eight columns of coloured light the Rangers teleported to save the alien who would prove to be a valuable ally in the future. As they directed themselves to surround the Masked Rider, they appeared and burst into action.

Pink and Blue Ranger stayed with the weakened Prince whilst Red and Green Rangers battled the now humanoid hound and Yellow, Purple, White and Black Rangers battled the WD Units that had appeared.

“Billy, how do we beat these guys?” Yellow Ranger shouted.

“Try the weapon I have been working on,” Blue Ranger suggested.

Yellow Ranger did as her friend suggested and a silver pistol appeared in her hand. Not sure what to do, she pulled the trigger and was thrown backwards by the force of the shot. Orange powder covered the WD Units, leaving a trail of red dots on the Viventallum skin.

“Strike three dots and they’re down,” Blue Ranger called.

At first Black Ranger was going to ask whether it was that simple, but when he looked at the Troopers in front of him he realised the dots were in different places on each Trooper.

“Let’s improve the odds Rangers,” Red Ranger called, noting they were outnumbered, especially with two Rangers covering Dex. “Billy, Kim, get him out of here.”

In columns of pink, blue and clear the two Rangers teleported their friend to the safety of the Power Chamber.

“Power Sword!” Red Ranger called.

The more powerful version of his original weapon appeared at his command. Although Jason had lost some of his impulsiveness during his time at the Peace Conference and as Gold Ranger, the Red Ranger had lost none of his skill with a sword. As he attacked the hound, Green Ranger waited for an opportunity before calling on his own sword.

“Dragon Fire!” he called as he pointed the sword towards the henchman. A ball of green fire emerged from the tip of the sword engulfing Brasso.

“Black Ranger Thunder Clap!” Black Ranger called.

As he kept three WD Units away using his unique fighting style black clouds started to form over the Troopers’ heads. Lightning bolts shot from the cloud, striking multiple points on each Trooper’s body. As three dots were hit a chunk of metal fell away from the Trooper, leaving it deactivated.

“Power Daggers!” Yellow Ranger called. The sharp and deadly daggers appeared in her hands.

Aiming carefully she threw them at two of the WD Units advancing on her. The daggers bounced off the metallic skin and returned to her hand. She threw them again with similar results. The third time she threw them her plan became evident. With three spots hit the WD Units shut down.

“Rolling Thunder!” she called.

Yellow clouds surrounded the WD Units and as she brought her hands together the clouds released their full power. The WD Units crumbled from the head to toe.

Purple Ranger meanwhile was making use of her distance attacks. Striking out with her Power Whip she ensured none of the WD Units could get close enough to use their superior strength. She still had to duck when one of the Troopers decided to use a javelin against her. Drawing her Blade Blaster she targeted the dots on each Trooper and fired. One by one the Troopers shut down.

White Ranger had quickly discovered the hidden abilities of his sword. After making a series of movements, it generated a collection of magically charged arrows, which shot toward the waiting targets.

Brasso had appeared sometime after the fighting had started. He prided himself on his skills with his personal weapon. So far he had used it to block, trip and stab the Green Ranger. Despite their improved battle skills they were no-match for him. In a flash of silver Silvo appeared beside his fellow soldier.

“I didn’t think I’d be seeing you again Green Ranger,” Silvo said.

Sam winced as he remembered the last time they had face each other. But this time he was a full Ranger and he had the advantage. The Green Ranger was in full control and soon Silvo realised that he was defeated.

Stronger and now impervious to Brasso’s spear, Red Ranger still maintained his speed advantage over the Viventallum henchman. As Brasso lunged forward with his spear Red Ranger moved to the side, lifted his opponent into the air and let him drop to the ground. The Power naturally enhanced each punch or kick he landed. As he lashed out with a thrust kick, Brasso was sent flying into the back of Silvo.


“No!” Minion shouted. “They shall not win. Silvo, Brasso, use the hound as raw material and grow!”


Black light surrounded Brasso and Silvo as they started to grow larger. The fallen WD Units vanished as the two henchmen tried to flatten the Rangers with their feet.

“Billy, Kimberly, we’re going to need you,” Red Ranger called. “We need Ninja Zord power, now!”

As Blue and Pink Rangers reappeared next to their fellow Rangers a beam of light shot from their chests. In the sky above the eight Ninja Zords appeared, answering the calls of their respective Rangers.

“Okay Rangers, bring them together,” Red Ranger instructed. “Ninja MegaFalconzord!”

“Ninja Battlezord!” Green Ranger called.

The Crane started to fold to form the head while at the same time the Frog transformed to become the legs and the Bear converted to become the Ninja MegaFalconzord’s upper body. The already modified Ape and Wolf joined onto the Bear to form the arms as the Crane linked on to become the head. Then the whole upper body joined onto the Frog as the Falcon Zord linked onto the back. Hands formed over the Ape and Wolf’s heads.

The Panther Zord transformed to stand upright on its hind legs. The head rotated downwards to become the chest and the front paws became the arms. The Hawk Zord’s wings and head folded into the body as the Hawk Zord joined onto the shoulders of the Panther to become the head of the Ninja Battlezord. The Panther’s tail converted into a Power Sword as Purple and Green Rangers slid into the cockpit ready for action.

Green and Purple Ranger insisted they be allowed to take on Silvo. Both had been on the receiving end of his strikes in the past and enjoyed the opportunity to get even. That left the Ninja MegaFalconzord to deal with Brasso.

Brasso charged the large Zord with his spear, hoping the run it through with a single blow. The MegaFalconzord responded by lifting off the ground, extending its left leg out fully and performing a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree spin. The spin caught Brasso in the side of the head, throwing the henchman to the ground.

The Battlezord and Silvo were equally matched in size. As Silvo tried to slip his sword beneath the Battlezord’s defences the Zord responded with a punch to Silvo’s chest.

“Battle Strike!” Green and Purple Rangers called.

Silvo had seen the effects of the Battlezord’s attack and wanted no part of it. In a flash of silver he left the area, leaving Brasso alone against two powerful Zords.

Brasso knew he was outnumbered and decided a change of tactic was required. The metal skin appeared to melt as it transformed. Spikes appeared around the shoulders and knees. The spear in his hand transformed into a trident, which he threw at the rapidly approaching Zords.

The trident struck the Ninja MegaFalconzord in the chest producing a shower of sparks. Blue Ranger checked and reported they had suffered slight damage, but not enough to slow them. Brasso followed up by firing the spikes on his shoulders at the Battlezord.

“Take us airborne,” Red Ranger said.

Pink Ranger took control of the Ninja MegaFalconzord and launched the Zord into the air and acted to divert Brasso’s attention, allowing the Battlezord to attack.

“Battle Strike!” the Green and Purple Rangers called a second time.

As Brasso looked back towards the Battlezord the other Rangers took the opportunity to move in from behind and grab hold of his arms. Now locked in position Brasso fell victim to the Battlezord’s sword. As he staggered away the MegaFalconzord launched into the air to finish its opponent, driving both fists into the henchman’s body to destroy the Brasso.


Power Chamber, A few hours later

After securing Dex in the medical bay at Reefside, the Rangers had contacted the Stewart family in Leewood to tell them he was safe. Dex rarely stayed there, but it gave him an address to use while on Earth. Billy had gone to find a way to coat any future WD Units they encountered with the chemical to highlight their weaknesses. Jason, Sam and Zack had gone to try the Simulation Deck elsewhere in the Reefside building, leaving David, Aisha, Kim and Trini together. Trini excused herself saying something about tracking Billy down. David and the others hung around the Power Chamber for a while before leaving for their homes.

With the Rangers gone the rebuilding of the Power Chamber continued. Alpha used the opportunity to transmit a signal to guide the other Zords to Earth. He just hoped they would not be needed.


Minion’s Island Two Days Later

He was behind schedule and Minion was getting impatient. He had refrained from attacking the Rangers for a couple of days, giving them a chance to come to terms with their victory over his WD Units. At the same time he had slowed the torture of the Gem Coin Rangers in case he needed them. The loss of Brasso had been a severe blow and highlighted a need to deal with the new Rangers quickly.

~Or at least their Zords,~ he thought. ~Yes, Zords make the Rangers. Take the Zords and the Rangers will fall.~

“Silvo, come here!”

“Yes master?” Silvo asked.

“Go to London; I want the city levelled. Take eight Nega Rangers with you, and if the Rangers dare to show up, let them experience what the Nega Rangers can do.”

“As you wish,” Silvo said as he vanished.

Minion’s mind returned to more pleasant tasks, such as breaking the former Zeo Rangers. Killing them was still not enough. Minion wanted them to suffer more and to go on suffering long after he had finished with them. Perhaps it was time to test them again.

“Bronzo!”

“Yes Minion?” Bronzo asked as he appeared.

“Recover the remains of Brasso.”

“As you command,” Bronzo said disappearing.


Silvo led the Nega Rangers on a firelight tour of London. Making their way toward the Houses of Parliament, they took the opportunity to destroy some local landmarks. Their activities did not go undetected by Alpha who sent the Rangers into action.

“Hold it right there!” Red Ranger ordered.

“What do you want?” Nega Red asked. “We already beat your friends.”

“You beat a team of half-powered Rangers,” Blue Ranger shot back.

“And now you get to face the real thing,” Black Ranger added.

“Because you have no idea who we are,” Yellow Ranger stated.

“We’re the Power Rangers,” Pink Ranger told them.

“And you are history,” White Ranger finished.

Green Ranger didn’t need to say anything. He drew his blade Blaster and waited for the uncertain Nega Rangers to attack. After a moment’s hesitation the Nega Rangers moved.

At first the battle was similar to the first fight between the Gem Coin Rangers and the Nega Rangers. Then the Rangers started to fight back, shifting the battle in their favour.

“Power Sword!” Red Ranger called.

After a brief battle with Nega Red he took his opponent of his feet and drove the Power Sword into Nega Red’s armour. Nega Red collapsed to the ground; the Power Sword still embedded in his chest. Before Red Ranger could celebrate Nega Red pulled the sword clear and threw it to the ground before striking his enemy with a backhand.

Yellow Ranger and Nega Yellow circled each other cautiously, trying to figure out the other’s skill and range of attack. Whilst Yellow Ranger relied on Kung Fu, Nega Yellow swift strikes to throw the Yellow Ranger around. As Nega Yellow grabbed her though, Trini teleported away. Seconds later she kicked Nega Yellow in the back of the head.

White Ranger was the most inexperienced on the battlefield and was having trouble fighting against Nega White. When the battle changed from strength to mental powers, David realised just how much he needed to learn.

“Concentrate White Ranger.” David had been struck so hard by Nega White’s barrage he had forgotten what Dulcea had taught him. “Just let the Power guide you. See your enemy’s power and deflect it with your mind.”

White Ranger did as he was told, imagining a circle of white light protecting him from Nega White’s attack. With a slight nudge he sent the power flowing the other way.

White Ranger looked around as he heard the shouts of Green Ranger fighting his Nega Ranger counterpart. Nega Green had drawn a weapon resembling the Dragon Dagger and was swiping wildly at Green Ranger. The Green Ranger responded by using his magic powers to strike the Nega Ranger with electricity. Both of them performed a flying drop kick, striking each other in mid air. Both fell to the ground, neither one moving.


Somehow Black Ranger had been driven back towards the Thames. He knew that was not a good idea, especially if there were more Nega Rangers lurking around.

“Power Axe!”

Using his dance moves to keep the Nega Ranger guessing Black Ranger finally attacked, striking Nega Black in the hip. Converting to Cosmic Cannon mode he opened fire.

Nega Black laughed as he pulled out his own axe and swung at Black Ranger. Zack ducked, grateful that his armour was stronger than the original Ranger uniforms. A second blow from Nega Black almost decapitated him. As the Nega Ranger prepared for a third attempt Black Ranger used his powers to summon a new attack of his own.

“Black Ranger Thunder Clap!”

Black Ranger used the disruption caused by his attack to open fire with his Cosmic Cannon a second time. This time Nega Black fell down.


“We have to keep them away from the Parliament,” Blue Ranger shouted as Purple and Pink Rangers moved to his side.

For Blue and Pink Ranger it was a team they had perfected during their early days as Rangers. Purple Ranger complemented the team by following Blue Ranger’s lead. Together they provided cover against Nega Blue, Purple and Pink’s assaults, allowing Pink Ranger to aim and fire her arrows.

Nega Blue and Purple copied their counterparts whilst Nega Pink returned fire. It became obvious the Nega Rangers were not as seasoned as the Power Rangers were. Although they were able to work together, they had not mastered being able to read each other’s moves. The result was Nega Pink being struck when Nega Purple failed to cover her.

“Enough playing,” Nega Blue said, his voice sounding like Rocky. “Nega Guns!”

Together the Nega Rangers charged; their blaster shots burning into the Rangers’ armour. Launching into the air, the Nega Rangers pounced on their Ranger counterparts.

Pink Ranger discovered that at close range Nega Pink was the better fight. Nothing she did seemed to penetrate the Nega Ranger’s defences. Nega Pink casually dismissed Pink Ranger with a flick of her wrist.

Purple Ranger and Nega Purple were involved in a match of whip versus Nunchuks, both of them aware of the other’s intentions. Purple Ranger remembered that Nunchuks were used as a bludgeon for close attacks. If Nega Purple got close enough and decided to use the weapon in that way, Purple Ranger would not be able to defend herself.

Nega Purple was equally aware of the threat from Purple Ranger’s whip. Twisting the handle of her weapon, she revealed a set of spikes set into the handle. With the blades fully revealed they resembled a small chain mace.

Purple Ranger saw what was coming, but it was already too late to react. The chain mace cut into her armour allowing Nega Purple to disarm her opponent.

“Heeyah!”

Blue Ranger drove his shoulder into Nega Purple, driving her away from Purple Ranger and giving his teammate time to recover. Noticing that Nega Blue was in pursuit Billy decided that a change of uniform was in order.

“Ninja Ranger Power!”

Once in his ninja outfit Billy called on his ninja powers to help him. After Earth Swimming to a position under Nega Blue he emerged, Power Lance in hand. Spinning the lance as he emerged caused Nega Blue to collapse to the ground.

Nega Blue punched Billy in the stomach as he got to his feet. “We’re not done yet Blue Ranger,” he promised. “We’re going to have a lot of fun together you and I. Right before I finish you.”

“Not today you won’t,” a voice said.

Nega Blue turned to see the other Rangers with their Blade Blaster drawn and ready to fire.

“Nega Blue, withdraw,” Silvo ordered as he vanished along with the other Nega Rangers.

“I’ll be back Billy,” Nega Blue said as he vanished. “You can bet on it.”


This was not how Minion had planned things, the Rangers were not supposed to win their first battle, let alone a fight against his Nega Rangers. He had made the mistake of allowing the prisoners to watch the battles and could see a glimmer of hope in their expressions. Even when he had strung the body of Travis in front of them, he had been met with looks that promised payback instead of the despair he had hoped for. It was becoming obvious that they still believed that he could be stopped even if they died in the process. Perhaps it was time to remind them of how brutal he could be.

“I hope you’re watching all this,” he said to his captive. He could feel her lack of control, made obvious as the hairs on his neck stood on end. This would push her over the edge and then the Rangers would pay. Then his pain would end.

“And now we return to our earlier discussion,” he told the captive Rangers. “Have you made your decision? Any of you willing to give up their life so the rest can live for an extra day or two?”

They didn’t answer, he could see the determination in their eyes as they stared up at him. Tanya was scowling at him in disgust; Trey looked murderous.

“Why can’t you just give up Rangers?” he asked. “Why do you force me to take such actions? Does it make you feel better to know that I have to torture another innocent just to make the might Tommy Oliver admit defeat?” He turned to Silvo. “Bring them!”

With the Rangers in tow Minion teleported to Stone Henge. It was night there, the moon was high, offering the only illumination. For Minion the atmosphere created by the darkness would only add to their despair as he used magic to light selected areas of the ancient monument most notable a large stone altar he had erected.

“You refused to choose, so I chose for you,” he told them, gesturing to the large stone where Rocky had been place, his arms and legs bound to the rock. He tossed a blaster in front of each of the Gem Coin Rangers. “I trust you remember the routine here. I count to six and then I kill your little friend, unless of course you shoot me first. I suggest you don’t make me waste my efforts in repairing his previous injuries.”

It had not taken much effort to repair the damage to Rocky’s back, a tiny burst of magic had been sufficient to jump-start his Ranger healing. He hoped that seeing their friend in good health would make it even harder for them when he died.

He summoned the Sword of Ragnarok and pulled his smaller dagger from its hiding place. As he started to count it occurred to him that this time the Rangers didn’t appear scared. If anything they appeared determined. Still, it was too late to reconsider.

“One…” He watched as the Rangers showed little sign of moving.

“Two…” Adam twitched, a slight movement that seem insignificant.

“Three…” Adam’s movement was shown as he shifted his weight and fired. The other Rangers joined in, their shots targeted directly for his head and chest.

“No more deaths,” Trey said coldly as he levelled his blaster and fired again.

Had Minion been an honourable creature he would have been dead. Fortunately for him his word meant nothing and while freely given, he had shown time and again that he would break his promise at a moment’s notice. Just before the energy bolts reached him, a dome of Viventallum appeared, absorbing the shots before disappearing back into the ground.

“I had hoped for more,” he said dismissively. The dome disappeared, replaced by WD Units that gripped the Rangers’ arms and held them in place as Minion moved to the stone.

“Not this time!” Tommy growled. “Zeo Ranger V – Falcon!”

His Gem Coin Transformer had been lost, destroyed by Minion within hours of their captivity. Yet somehow Tommy managed to draw on the Power once more, shaping it with his will to form his uniform and Gem Coin Blaster, which he rapidly aimed and fired.

The others followed suit, calling on their powers, much to Minion’s dismay. Trey concentrated on the Golden Power Staff and was relieved when it appeared in his waiting hand.

“Zeo Ranger I – Crane!”

“Zeo Ranger II – Bear!” As soon as she had transformed, she blasted the bonds holding Rocky, Allowing him to join the action. If they were going to die, they would go down fighting

“Zeo Ranger III – Ape!” He didn’t know what his friends had been through. He wasn’t even aware of what had happened to Travis. He was just fighting to stop Minion.

“Zeo Ranger IV – Frog!”

“Gold Ranger Power!” Trey called. He was doing this for Travis. The death had had a deep effect on him, but now was not the time to break down. He was probably the one who realised that they would all need a lot of help was it was all over.

Minion couldn’t believe they were fighting back. They were not supposed to be able to fight back. They had been weakened, humiliated and tortured beyond compare. So why did they keep coming back?

Once again the Rangers were acting as a team and overcoming the odds in order to fight him. Despite their exhaustion their anger drove them onward. They seemed immune to his powers as they attacked with both their Gem Coin Blasters and their swords. Realising he was losing and suffering from the pain in his head, Minion was growing desperate.

“Silvo, Bronzo, WD Units, destroy them.”

The henchmen attacked as Minion tried to gain control over the pain. The Rangers were free, their friends had returned and if he didn’t do something the Earth would soon be saved from his invading forces. He cried out as that last thought sent a wave of agony through his body. His sanity, questionable to begin with, seemed to take a holiday as he was transformed into the unicorn-horned wolf-headed armour that he had worn when claiming the Sword of Ragnarok.

Yes, the sword, it was time to reveal that weapon’s greatest and final power. When he was done, the Rangers would never challenge him again. A flash of light signalled the arrival of Jason and the others, but his concentration was elsewhere as he teleported once again, this time to Angel Grove Park.


When Alpha had detected the sudden surge of energy, the Rangers had been astounded to see their allies fighting back against Minion. They had teleported immediately, ready to help them as necessary. As they arrived, Minion had retreated, robbing them of the chance to destroy him. But with Silvo, Bronzo and the WD Units on the scene the battle was far from over.

“Billy, do it!” Red Ranger instructed as he summoned the Power Sword and charged into battle.

Blue Ranger produced a small ball of glass and threw it at the Viventallum-based warriors. The glass exploded, covering those involved in the battle with red dust that ate away the protective oxide layer and left behind the exposed and potentially brittle Viventallum. Drawing his Blade Blaster he fired three shots and put his first WD Unit down. That was the signal for the others to become involved.

“Hit three dots and they’re deactivated,” Zack told the Gem Coin Rangers.

With that the battle was joined.

Jason and Tommy found themselves facing Silvo, the more powerful machine having designated the Red Rangers as the most important targets. The red gas had affected Silvo just as it had the WD Units, meaning that once they hit three of the exposed weak points, he too would shut down.

Tommy selected a flame pellet, which exploded on impact and no matter how Silvo tried, it could not be extinguished. Meanwhile Jason’s Power Sword kept the Viventallum warrior from fighting back. He tossed Tommy his Blade Blaster and ducked as the Red Gem Coin Ranger fired.


Bronzo was a coward, there was no denying that fact since it was an essential part of his personality program. So when it appeared that the Rangers had the upper hand, he had wisely chosen to duck out of the conflict. But before he did so he had ensured that he had a reason to retreat and collected a sample of the dust. Then he would develop a counter measure and the Rangers’ new attack would prove useless.

He teleported back to Minion’s island and was surprised to find that his master had gone to Angel Grove instead. However there was someone on the island, an unwelcome guest in the cellblock.

Figuring he could handle one intruder, Bronzo summoned the island’s remaining WD Units to assist him and set off to seize the trespasser.


The Master was frustrated. The puzzle was a complex mathematical structure, but at times it seemed as if it made itself more difficult for him to solve. The first face had been simple, but the fourth was causing him serious problems. There was another way to reach the other side of the doorway that the box represented, and that was to force Minion to continue with his suicidal scheme. And the way to do that was to tip the odds in the Rangers’ favour.

“I have a proposition for you,” he stated, not bothering to introduce himself. “I can restore you, all of you – well most of you,” even he couldn’t help the dead or the seriously injured, “if you agree to fight Minion and his forces.”

They nodded, some eagerly while others had to force themselves to acknowledge his offer. Upon their agreement they were bathed in pink light as their bodies were healed. At first he had wanted to reverse the damage, but healing it proved a less stressful approach.

He was finished just in time as Bronzo entered to find a collection of angry super heroes all itching for a fight.

“Let’s do this,” Batman growled. The revitalised JLA charged forward, Flash leading the way with his freshly regenerated legs.

The Master laughed as he watched them go. Soon they would discover that there was no quick fix for the injuries they had suffered. The Flash’s legs, like Green Lantern’s hands were gone, the replacements the Master had provided were temporary at best, but would last long enough to put pressure on Minion.

“Titans go!” Robin cried. This was the first time they had a crack at Minion’s forces.

“Beetle Bonders, Beetle Blast!” Jo, Roland and Drew called.

“Ectophase Activate!” Jesse yelled.

“Trooper Transform!” JB, Ryan and Kaitlyn called. Servo was on his feet, his circuit damage repaired.

“Avengers Assemble!” Captain America bellowed, leading his team ready for the attack.

The other prisoners stayed back, their willingness to fight diminished by their ordeal. Minion it seemed had managed to break some of Earth’s heroes.

Hawk Girl’s mace crackled with energy as she slammed it into the nearest WD Unit. While she chose to take them down one or two at a time, the Flash raced around the machines, creating a vortex that threw them into the air. Green Lantern generated a scythe that he used to slice his way through the opposition. Woman Woman’s lasso turned one of the WD Units into a spinning weapon.

Starfire had learnt early on that her powers could not harm the Viventallum-based warriors directly. However that did not stop her from aiming at the surrounding area and using the environment to damage the machines. Changling changed rapidly between oversized rhinoceros and a large bird capable of lifting the machines into the air. Cyborg with his repaired body used his sonic blasts to scatter the WD Units out, making them easier targets. With his staff at the ready, Robin pitched the WD Units into Changling’s path.

Batman found himself in a bad position as two WD Units had transformed their hands into axes and were attempting to cleave him in two. An electrified Batarang took care of one unit and he managed to use one of its axes against the second. The third however had aimed for his back.

“Not so fast, chrome dome,” Spider-Man drawled as he threw a ball of impact webbing at the machine. “Try a little web in the eye.”

The web slinging hero tied the machine’s feet together and with a little help from Batman, it toppled over.

Dr Henry Pym pressed a button on his wrist, injecting himself with a growth chemical. When Lord Zedd had first attacked the Earth, one of his bombs had failed to explode. Henry had taken the container, analysed its contents and then found a way to alter the effects to allow the subject to either increase or decrease in size. Although it worked as a gas, he preferred to use it as a potion injected into his arm. The result was that Pym could grow through the use of a potion, transforming himself into the ten-foot tall Goliath. Although he could grow taller, he needed all his strength for the fighting.

Janet Pym refrained from using her variant of her Pym’s original formula. She did however activate her bio-electric generator, creating a field of energy that allowed her to produce wings and emit a powerful sting effect. Although ineffective against WD Units and less potent when she was human size, she managed to get the robots’ attention.

Then they attacked together. She switched between sizes and acted as a distraction while his greater strength and size allowed him to smash his way through the robots.

Iron Man drove a fist into one WD Unit’s head, breaking both the robot’s skull and his hand in the process. The energy emitters in his gauntlets cut through the machines’ outer shells. Tony was feeling vengeful, knowing that for all those prisoners who had broken free, there were others who were in dire straits on other parts of the island.

“Watch your back, big shot,” Hawkeye warned as one of his acid-filled arrows pierced the chest of a WD Unit that had been sneaking up on the Avengers’ paymaster.

As the two hardheaded heroes bantered back and forth, they layed waste to any robots that dared to cross their path. Vision and the Martian Manhunter had formed a different sort of partnership, phasing through the WD Units, shorting their circuitry as they went. Then as Vision altered his density to that of hard diamond, J’Onn used his impressive strength to leave a hole in one of the Viventallum unit’s chest.

Captain America, first generation super soldier and, if the government could actually prove his origin, wanted fugitive, threw his mighty shield. The Adamantium disk didn’t cut into the Viventallum, but the weight of the spinning shield helped to clear a path in much the same way that Robin had done.

“Lightning Fist Command!” Servo called, energising the plasma cells in his hand. His punches left holes in any WD Units he touched. And this time there was no surprise villain to attack him from behind.

Blue Trooper summoned his sword and attacked Bronzo. Blue Beetleborg was hot on his heels. Together the two warriors pressed in on the leader of Minion’s forces.

“Laser Ray!” White Trooper snapped. She fired off as many shots as possible, covering JB as he shifted into position.

Green and Red Beetleborg were helping by forcing the WD Units into range, using their weapons to cause as much damage as possible.

“VR Techno Bazooka!” JB called.

He fired off a shot, which ripped through the WD Units. He and White Trooper joined Red and Green Beetleborg and their Masked Rider comrade to destroy the rest of the machines.

“Stinger Drill!” Blue Beetleborg bellowed as he and Blue Trooper finished Bronzo, ending the battle.

“Skybase Command!” JB called. It was time to get out of there.

The assorted heroes were transferred to the ship and relative safety.

“Professor?”

“I’m online Ryan, it is good to see the four of you are safe.”

“We need a trace on Minion,” Servo stated. The professor complied. Then they set course for Angel Grove and a final showdown with Minion.


Minion could sense the odds were against him. Somehow Silvo and Bronzo had fallen and from what he could tell, most of his Viventallum Troops had either been deactivated by the Rangers or buried when the VR Troopers had destroyed his beloved island.

“It doesn’t matter,” he tried to convince himself. “Nothing matters, this is the end of the Power Rangers, the end of all this silly resistance. I hope you survived Tommy-boy because everything you value is about to come to an end.”

To be continued



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