Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, Transformers, Harry Potter or Doctor Who. They belong to their respective copyright owners. This is a work of fanfiction and no profit is being made.
Earth was an interesting planet from a magical point of view. The blue planet contained an incredible amount of magical power, but due to events that occurred during its formation, the source of that power was scattered throughout its structure and suppressed by massive quantities of Cold Iron. It made the Earth one of the least magical worlds with perhaps the highest magical potential.
But there were places on Earth where magic found its way into the real world more easily than others. The humans called them ley lines and had throughout their history developed stories, legends and theories of how and why the intersection of those points corresponded with the strange, the unusual and the magical.
And then there was the child who had been playing with his train set one night as his parents and their new age guests had discussed the nature of the ley lines. His young mind had been distracted and unable to grasp the meaning of many of the words they used, but at night his dreams were filled with trains running along ley lines magic of magical energy. A dream that turned into a nightmare as the brightly coloured magical railway was slowly taken over by the creeping darkness and the beautiful stations that once stood as beacons of light were taken over by a new operator.
It was a simple dream by a lonely child who probably did not realise that his dream was a reflection of the corruption of the Earth's magic as a dark force prepared to consume the planet in shadow and enslave its people. They had been preparing for a long time and finally it was time to breach the barriers between their dimension and the place where mortal minds awaited them. But for now, they waited.
The United Alliance of Evil's advance against the universe was progressing as planned. Already a number of villains assigned to system's close to Onyx had started their invasions; some had already conquered their assigned worlds and were making preparations to complete the remainder of their tasks. Others had been assigned worlds far away from UAE Headquarters and were still travelling toward their destination.
Rita and Zedd had only just entered the system adjacent to their final destination. The Machine Empire was still a considerable distance from their target. And Divatox had allowed herself to become distracted en-route and was not even close to starting her mission.
However for the most part Dark Specter's plan was proceeding just as he had foreseen. But there were always a few that were unwilling to accept their place in the grand scheme of things, and it was those rogue elements that were about to cause problems for the Rangers of Earth.
Master Vile was not a minor villain. As a powerful demon bound to the willing body of a Sradin male, he had built a powerful empire centred around the M-51 Galaxy. He had never accepted an inferior position to anybody and was unwilling to submit to the will of Dark Specter; Master Vile considered himself above all others including the Grand Monarch of Evil. So, while he had given the impression that he was obediently following orders, he had spent most of his time uncovering the secrets of Dark Specter's past and clues regarding the Grand Monarch of Evil's true goals.
"Why are these planets so important?" he asked himself, not for the first time as he looked through list of assigned tasks.
The planets Dark Specter had targeted were of little strategic value and from the reports he had seen offered little resources that could not be obtained elsewhere. Which led eventually to the conclusion that the planets were chosen because they were unimportant.
"A test of loyalty, or perhaps a means of learning who can follow instructions?" he mused before dismissing the idea.
Had Dark Specter ordered the conquest of those worlds, their destruction or even both then that would have been a possibility. But the orders had required his followers to break their targets down without completely obliterating them meant he was looking for something hidden inside the remains.
"What are you after and how did you know that you would find it in those places?" he wondered.
That Dark Specter had so far gone out of his way to preserve secrecy suggested that he was after something powerful.
"Talking to yourself is a sign of madness," a voice said.
He turned, prepared to blast whoever had invaded his throne room, only to pause when he registered her identity.
"But then you haven't been sane for a long time, haven't you?"
Monastra Repugna was Master Vile's former queen and the mother of Rita Repulsa. Although they had separated they remained close - as close as two villains could be. She was experienced in the ways of evil, having married several powerful villains over the course of her extended life. And while she lacked her -ex-husband's power, she was intelligent enough to grasp that Dark Specter was hiding something from the United Alliance of Evil's members.
"You were right," she told him, holding up a small orb, "Dark Specter is after something... And I know what it is."
"And you would share that knowledge with me, willingly?" Master Vile replied. He was not foolish enough to believe that their goodwill extended that far. They were still competitors and each knew they would stab the other in the back if the opportunity arose. "What's in it for you?"
"Now is not the time to worry about that," she answered. "If Dark Specter succeeds his hold on this organisation will be unbreakable. Do you really want to hand over control of the empirewe built to that upstart? Besides, knowledge is powerful only as long as you can use it. I have the answers to what Dark Specter is doing, but I need your brilliantly evil mind to find a way to use it. Trust me, it will be worth your time. Have I ever failed you?"
He snorted at the idea of trusting her. Monastra Repugna was every bit as ruthless and evil now as she had been when she had shared his throne on Gamma Vile. He had never allowed himself to lower his guard around her and that had been at a time when she was sworn not to harm him - for he had known at the time that she would have been delighted to rule in his place-, so there was no way that he would lower his guard around her when she could attack him without worrying about a magical backlash. But he was also aware that he needed information and that while Monastra was unquestionably vicious, he would be safe as long as she needed him.
"Very well," he said. "Show me."
She smiled wickedly as she pressed the orb to his forehead, certain that he would find the experience enlightening... and just a little uncomfortable.
At the dawn of time and the formation of the universe, there was an object. Shaped like an enormous egg it was made from solid crystal. While there were many arguments about the events that occurred and plenty of myths surrounded the being that emerged from the egg, few wondered what happened to the shell of the egg once it broke apart.
In fact once the shell cracked and the occupant emerged, the egg was left as a floating mass of crystal that was tossed into the cosmos by the explosion known as the Big Bang. While the crystal was not destroyed by the biggest and most powerful explosion ever seen, it shattered into pieces that were carried outward in all directions.
Over time the larger fragments became drawn in by and covered in debris. They became the centre mass of stars, planets and other celestial bodies. Over time the debris grew larger and the crystal fragments were lost within their new homes.
By this strange crystal had a number of unusual properties. For a start all the countless fragments of crystal pulsed with what some would term bio-electrical energy and despite being broken apart at a physical level, the energy link between the many pieces of crystal survived, criss-crossing existence. Secondly the energy field generated by the crystal led to the emergence of new life; the pulsing crystals deep within the hearts of the stars and planets encouraged the birth of the most primitive of organisms, which in turn evolved into more complex and wondrous creatures.
Finally the crystal fragments acted as a conduit for other types of energy. The smaller fragments of crystal, those that were not large enough to bring life to barren rocks in space, were still powerful and over time and with application of heat and pressure became valuable gems of great power; the majority of magical stones, crystals and gems found throughout the universe contained a piece of the original crystal. As the tiniest fragments slowed their journey, the specks worked their way into the cellular structure of the building blocks of the universe, forming a detectable energy grid.
"That is the knowledge that started Dark Specter on his quest of power," Monastra explained. "Powerful crystals trapped within the bodies of life-sustaining worlds. Imagine what would happen if he could find one of those chunks."
Master Vile could imagine the power such objects would bring. It also explained why Dark Specter had ordered the careful breakdown of planets. It didn't explain why had had started with worlds so far away.
"Do you understand what it means?" she asked.
"Of course I understand," Vile snapped.
And he did. If the information was correct then the broken down remains of the Cosmic Egg had spread throughout creation creating an energy field capable of sustaining life, a mean for the extra-dimensional energies known as the Power to seep through and was the foundation of the energy field that permeated all matter throughout the universe.
"There's more," she promised.
Over time the crystals started to break down within the planets that had formed around them and shifted around the surface of those world giving the occupants access to great powers. Most of the fragments also shifted out of phase with the physical universe, making them inaccessible. That was a good thing because removal of the crystal proved disastrous, as one world discovered when their leaders unknowingly exhausted their planet's crystal core to the point where the planet exploded.
However in some places the crystal remained a physically accessible object. On some worlds the existence of the crystal was even known to the occupants although its true nature was hidden by myth and legend.
"The Heart of Edenoi," Master Vile guessed.
The Heart of Edenoi was the source of the Masked Rider's power. It had been suspected that Dregon had been searching for something when his forces had conquered the embattled planet.
"I believe so," Monastra agreed. "It is likely Dregon was acting under Dark Specter's orders to locate the crystal, but the activation of the Masked Rider somehow prevented him from doing so."
Given Edenoi's current state it was extremely possible that Dregon had either succeeded in his mission or had somehow damaged the crystal core. Or perhaps the activation of the Masked Rider had drained the crystal's energy so that the world could not heal.
"It explains why Dark Specter is targeting those worlds," Monastra continued. "He's testing to see if he can safely extract the crystal, but I believe he does not expect to be successful."
She believed that the worlds Dark Specter had targeted would fail to yield the crystals he sought. This was just practice for when his forces turned inward and struck at their real targets.
"There's more, isn't there?" he pressed.
She smiled knowingly.
"Think about it," she challenged, "a powerful piece of crystal capable of channelling great power found buried within a world. Does that sound familiar?"
"Impossible!" he retorted. "The Zeo Crystal was not a part of the Moon, it was just hidden there."
"Was it? Really?" she pressed. "Think about it, carefully. We know that the Zeo Crystal was crafted by those pesky Technomancers, but where did they find it?" She smiled. "Would you like to find out?"
Of all the chunks of crystal, one of the largest travelled far beyond its origin before it was trapped within the formation of a small world that would one day become known as Earth. Due to its size it was expected by the high powers that the planet would become a powerful world filled with life and magic. However, before the planet could solidify, it was struck by another planet; Theia was a life bearing world about the size of Mars that had been knocked toward the Earth by unknown forces.
The collision between the two planets fractured the Earth's crystal, forming several smaller crystals that were scattered through the planet's mass. Theia's life-sustaining crystal also broke up with the majority remaining at the core of the Earth while a smaller chunk was ejected along with a mass of molten rock into space. There the rock cooled and eventually formed the Moon, which while capable of sustaining life eventually became a mostly lifeless rock.
In the aftermath of the collision and the shattering of its crystal, the Earth retained the ability to sustain life and remained inhabited long after the other planets within its solar system died. However as time passed the ability of those born on Earth to use magic was limited and the potential of those that could wield the Power was for the most part, greatly reduced. Another unexpected effect of the impact was that the Earth's crystals remained physical objects.
The crystal that had been ejected from the collision drifted in space until it was found by a group of travelling monks, who sensing its great potential shaped it into a tool to channel and control the Power and perhaps even tap into the fully power of the greater crystal. When the forces of darkness sought the newly crafted Zeo Crystal for their own ends, it was taken back to where the monks had found it and hidden in the caves beneath the lunar surface.
"Now you have you answers," Monastra told him. "The Zeo Crystal you have obsessed over for so long is a part of the planet it protects. Obtain it and you will have the means to draw upon the one of greatest powers imaginable."
She didn't mention that there were other means to tap into the power of the original crystal. The Zeo Crystal had been crafted by the monks of the M-51 Galaxy, but there were other parts of the original crystal still to be found. Many of the jewels and magical gems had some tie or other to the Xeo Crystal - as she preferred to think of it -, but the Zeo Crystal promised the greatest chance of success. Provided of course that they could secure it.
Master Vile did not answer. He was lost in thought. His quest of secure the legendary Zeo Crystal had started when he had conquered the M-51 Galaxy. He had pursued the monks for thousands of years before learning that the elusive Zeo Crystal had been hidden on the Earth's moon. It had made him furious to learn that his daughter had discovered its location in the Caves of Deception during her war with Zordon, but her ignorance about its power and being locked away for ten-thousand years had meant she had never told him.
That Zedd had also known of its existence and had dismissed it - for despite Rita's joke about Zedd's face, Master Vile was aware that the other villain had never tried to retrieve the Zeo Crystal himself - only confirmed his low opinion of the Emperor of the Dark Zones.
~How could that fool allow to ignore such a power for so long?~
He knew the answer of course; the Earth had a natural magic that seemed to turn even the most evil of villains into incompetent fools. Of course if there was a crystal similar to the Zeo Crystal at work then it made sense that the purifying effects of the crystal would spread around the planet. It made the Earth a valuable but very dangerous target.
~Still if I can retrieve the Zeo Crystal and unlock its power, I can show Dark Specter what it means to be a true master of evil.~
Master Vile knew that while his power was close to rivalling Dark Specter's, the Grand Monarch of Evil would hold the advantage in a direct confrontation. Just as when it came to magical knowledge and strategy Master Vile held the edge. The two were equals if he was honest, they just excelled in different areas. If either of them got their hands on the Zeo Crystal it was likely that they could tip the balance in their favour.
The question of course was how to go about capturing the Zeo Crystal when there were Rangers using it? And that was before he took into consideration the other Rangers that had appeared since the last time he had visited Earth.
~Of course! I'll snatch some of those new Rangers, and then brainwash them into helping me secure the Zeo Rangers and the Morphin Rangers! Perhaps I can secure Zordon and his allies at the same time.~
The possibility of gaining the power of the Zeo Crystal, Morphin Rangers and multiple Morphin Masters - some of whom were beings of legendary power - made the venture worth the risk of Dark Specter's wrath.
~Soon it will all be mine, just as it should be.~
Master Vile's Space Skull pulled into Earth orbit and a quick well-practiced spell promptly cloaked it from detection. It had taken more effort to hide his magical presence from Zordon's monitoring devices as his ship had slipped passed Mars. The Space Skull quickly settled into a geosynchronous orbit above Angel Grove allowing Master Vile to gaze down upon his newest conquest and appraise the situation.
The truth was that when he had departed for Earth he had no idea how he was going to achieve his aims. The plan he had formulated was at best an outline, but now he needed more than just an inkling of an idea.
First there were the eight Morphin Warriors to be considered, with six Zeo Rangers on top of that. Then there were the Turbo Rangers, the much vaunted Dino Thunder Ranger and four additional Zeo Rangers. He dismissed the Lightspeed Rangers as a weak attempt to emulate real Rangers, not realising that the attempt had been very successful. He knew that the best weapon to use against Rangers was another Ranger, at least until that Ranger broke free at which point it became a liability.
~Of course! I will recreate Blue Globbor and allow him to drain the Rangers I capture. Then I can use Globbor to draw out the others and defeat them before breaking into the Power Chamber... I'm certain Zordon would have used a connection to this world's energy network when building that wretched citadel. Globbor will be able to drain Zordon and tap into that energy. Then while Globbor collects the energy for me, I'll destroy Dark Specter and return to claim Earth's power for my own. And I can use those Rangers I capture as a means to capture more. The question is where to start?~
The Turbo Rangers were the obvious choice. They were young, inexperienced and more likely in his opinion to succumb to his spells. But they were also the active team and therefore constantly monitored. On the other hand the Zeo Rangers and Morphin Rangers would be more difficult to grab because they had learnt to deal with such situations. The newer Zeo Rangers and Dino Thunder Rangers were prime candidates for kidnapping and if he was looking to kidnap them just to drain their energy they would have been his first choice, however he knew very little about their powers.
There was also the problem of how to accomplish such a feat without tipping off either Zordon or Dark Specter. His gaze drifted away from Earth to the surface of the Moon, where he spotted something unexpected. In the time Rita and Zedd had been away it appeared that others had taken an interest in their former home. And while dealing with such beings was inherently dangerous, Master Vile was never one to ignore a potential ally.
It was not Angel Grove, but Katarina Petronov knew that the streets of London could be just as dangerous. She was not certain what had drawn her out into the night, but she had learnt to trust her instincts. Her wandering had taken her away from her student house and toward the shopping precinct. Aside from the odd car the streets seemed deserted, unusual for a Saturday night.
"Ello luv, fancy a drink?"
She turned to face the young student, her eyes roving over the punk clothing and spiky hair. Instinctively she knew that he was not what he appeared. His clothes were old and dated, his hairstyle no longer in fashion. Her left arm moved behind her back, checking to make sure that the pouch she had secured there before leaving the house - for she had promised her grandmother that she would never leave home without - was still there.
"The pubs are closed," she replied, looking both ways before crossing the road. She walked a little faster, encouraged by the sound of foot steps behind her.
"Ah come on luv, jus' a lil' drink," he urged. "You look like a good Samaritan. My mate 'ere has a bad case of the blues. How about you drink a little bit and see it you can make him feel better?"
She forced herself not to react to his words or the equally suggestive gesture his friend made, but she did pick up the pace. During her time as a Power Rangers, she had developed a sense of when something wasn't right and while she could not say exactly what had set off her unease, she knew that it was more than just a few lewd remarks. In fact his conduct had made her lower her guard, almost writing him off as nothing more than a drunken thug. Given her promise to never escalate a situation unless provoked, she decided that removing herself from the area was her best option.
~Maybe if I can get a few streets away I can contact Zordon.~
While it would be an abuse of the teleport system, she was certain that her pursuers would think twice if Zordon sent Rocky and Adam, or Tommy and Jason -- or Jamie -- to speak with them.
She rounded a corner and groaned when she found herself in an alley way. What she had assumed was another road had turned out to be one of the service roads for a shopping centre. The high brick wall was topped with razor wire to discourage vandals and the heavy metal door was locked. Which meant that the only way out was the way she had entered and she didn't need to turn around to know that her was blocked by the pervert and his mates.
"I know we might seem a bit scary, but once you get to know us... you'll be part of the family," he explained and has he spoke he moved his hand, drawing her attention to his slightly webbed fingers. "We like to keep things in the family," he added as an afterthought.
She backed as far along the alley as possible, her eyes searching for a way out. Unfortunately it seemed her only options were to go up onto the rooftops, down into the sewers, or through the thugs. And why had it suddenly gotten light?
"Come on luv, no need making this harder than it has to be. Me mates and I 'aven't ad a drink and a bit of female company in a while. You'll love us, once you get to know us. No? Oh well, I tried. Guess we do this the hard way." His body crackled with energy and in place of the skin-headed student, there was a man in a neatly tailored suit complete with bowler hat and umbrella.
His distorted and then seemed to melt away leaving white plastic in place of flesh. It's new face was adorned with a huge grin. "Bring her!"
His companions' faces had also changed although their clothing had remained the same as before. Some of them carried umbrellas, some bore wooden clubs and at least one had a rolled up newspaper.
Katarina's right palm tapped on the pocket of her jeans before she assumed a defensive stance. Intensive training with Rocky and Jason meant she was confident in her abilities even when outnumbered. As one got a little too close and tried to grab her, she lashed out with her feet, catching him in the chest and propelling him into two of his companions; now that they had all transformed, she didn't feel the word friends applied.
"Now there's really no need for this to get violent," their leaded admonished. "All we want is for you to join us... and I'm sure if you just calm down we can do this the easy way."
Her hand reached behind her back and emerged gripping a silver coloured whip.
"Where were you hiding that?" one of her attackers asked.
She shrugged, still trying to get over the novelty of foot-soldiers - for she was certain that these were little more than Cogs - that could talk.
"Deep pockets," she offered as they took the opportunity to charge.
During her time as the Silver Zeo Ranger, Katarina had grown adept at using the Silver Zeo Power Whip in battle. And just as Jamie Zedden had access to her blade even when she wasn't morphed, so the Silver Zeo Ranger had found a way to access her Zeo Power Weapon when in civilian form. Her training and practice had helped her become an expert in wielding the weapon to its full potential.
With a flick of the wrist, the whip extended and coiled around the neck of one of her attackers. Its hands naturally reached for its neck, dropping the rolled up newspaper it had been carrying. She gave a tug to pull him off balance and then pressed a button on the handle that sent a surge of electricity along the length of the coiled leather. The attacker was lifted into the air by the jolt of energy and collapsed to the ground as the surge ended and the whip released him. Katarina cracked the whip and looked up ready for her next opponent.
With what she could only describe as a snarl, the remaining attackers charged. While she had never met this type of warrior before, Katarina had fought enough foot-soldiers to know how to deal with being at a disadvantage. The narrow alley worked to her advantage; there were only so many of them that could fit at any one time. Her whip allowed her to drag some of them forward and discourage others from advancing.
That was when they started using their own weapons. She had never expected to use a whip against an umbrella. Some used them as swords with blades attached to the tip while others wielded them as clubs. One even threw his bowler hat; given the way it sliced into the wall, Katarina was relieved that it missed her. The change in tactics proved enough to turn the tide as two of them got close enough to use their weapons to push her back as two more used the hooked end of their umbrellas to grab her ankles, dragging her feet from under her. As she found herself pinned down and disarmed - for her whip vanished the moment it left her hand - the leader stood over her with the tip of his umbrella pointed at her face.
"You're coming with us," he said as everything grew darker and she felt herself being dragged into the ground.
"Brachio Staff, Firestorm!" Nathan Oliver called.
While he had managed to control his powers, it was only through constant practice that Nathan Oliver continued to unlock the secrets of the hybrid powers. It took concentration and willpower to tap into the abilities of the Dino Thunder Ranger, and even greater determination to control those powers once uncovered.
Today he had opted to practice outside of the Power Chamber, believing that the more vulnerable environment would force him to keep tight control over the energy he unleashed.
The Firestorm was not a powerful attack. In fact it was such an underwhelming weapon that it required him to concentrate to turn it into something mildly useful. Any loss of concentration, the slightest lack of focus and the flames would turn against him. And since he was not morphed, they would likely consume him.
"Such a waste of potential."
Nathan turned around. He had thought that he was alone. Obviously he had been wrong. Before him stood a knight accompanied by a flock of Tengas and some unknown warriors. While the knight carried a weapon that looked like a cross between a sword and an axe, his underlings carried and assortment of weapons.
One thing Nathan Oliver did not lack was fighting skills. He had been raised to fight and since arriving in his new home had had trained with his fellow Rangers. He had gotten his butt kicked too many times to mention, but those defeats had pushed him to improve. Armed with the Brachio Staff, he was able to quickly subdue most of his attackers.
That left him facing their leader. The knight raised his sword and blocked a blow from the Brachio Staff with his shield. A low powered blow from his sword sent Nathan tumbling backwards. Dark mist erupted from the knight's sword, trapping Nathan as his body was dragged into the ground.
Lillian O'Neil was in trouble. As her motorcycle tore through the streets she was well aware that she was being followed and that her pursuers were catching up. As she slid her bike around a corner she was looking for somewhere safe to stop and teleport away. She had the vague impression that she was being herded into a trap, which was confirmed when she drove over a bump in the street and found herself in an unfamiliar location.
The sky was the obvious difference and for a moment she thought that she had crossed through the Reality Barrier and into Grim Lord's realm. But she remembered what JB and the others had told her about the Virtual World and this place did not match their description.
At ground level it appeared to be a very clean and decidedly empty city. There no cars, no people and everywhere appeared to be closed. The sky however told her something was wrong; it was dark green with scrolling symbols in a lighter shade of green running vertically. It reminded her of a computer screen.
The sound of engines drew her attention back to her pursuers. Their numbers had increased while she had been distracted. And it seemed that wherever they were they were no longer worried about drawing attention to themselves. They now wore black motorcycle leathers without helmets to conceal their white faces. She could see that they carried an assortment of weapons ranging from axes to machine guns. She decided that it was time to call for help.
There was no response and before she could try again, she realised that the reason they had taken so long to arrive was because they had been moving into the surrounding streets, preventing her from escaping.
She dismounted as the one charged at her, allowing her bike to drop to the ground. As he raced forward she dodged out of the way while. She tried to teleport, but it appeared wherever she was, somebody had disabled all forms of teleportation. Her next thought as she avoided another biker was to morph, but that hope came to an abrupt end when the bike's passenger jumped on her.
She kicked him aside as the other bikers dismounted and surrounded her. She knew that it would be a good time to get back on her bike and ride off, but a sharp pain in her neck made her vision blur as she reached up and pulled something off of her. There was a loud chittering noise as the world around her grew darker. She turned to where she thought the enemy was standing but saw it was just a shadow. She turned away, still searching for an aggressor. That was her mistake as the shadow solidified and delivered a heavy blow to the side of her head.
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in London anymore," Christina Collins remarked as she took in her surroundings. From the overly clean streets to the green sky, she felt she was fully justified in assuming that she had been transported somewhere.
She cast her mind back to a few minutes earlier when she had entered the lift in the block of flats where she was staying. Nothing had seemed wrong. The lift had descended for the normal length of time at the usual speed. The doors had opened as expected and she had walked down the steps and out through the front door of the converted hotel... and found herself in a strange place.
"Zordon?" she called into her communicator. She received no response. She tried to teleport, but nothing happened.
She looked up at the sound of someone approaching. Except instead of one person, it was a group of white faced goons carrying umbrellas. If she had thought she was in trouble before, the recent turn of events confirmed her fears. She took up a defensive stance and the fight was on.
Christina was not the best fighter amongst the Rangers. In fact her combat skills when not morphed were among the lowest. Katarina and Kat had worked with her to improve her knowledge of self-defence, but she was still lacking. Still the integration of her dance routines allowed her to dodge some of the early blows and when she did manage to land a kick, her kicks were accurate enough to put an opponent down. She was not foolish enough however to believe that she could win without morphing or calling for help. Her hope was to hold out long enough to get that opportunity.
Unfortunately her luck did not last long. A few of the goons managed to move behind her and from there she was simply overwhelmed. She felt a sharp pain on her shoulder and her legs gave out. She looked up to see a shadow looming over her. It pounced and she knew no more.
Angel Grove University
One thing that could be said for Jamie Zedden: she didn't fight fair. Surrounded by a group of unknown assailants, she had not hesitated to hit them where it hurt. A thumb to the eyes seemed to work just fine regardless of whether or not the eyes were actually there; a knee to the groin could bring anybody to their knees if they possessed the correct anatomy or could imagine that they did.
And unlike her fellow Rangers, Jamie had the advantage that she had not been transported to a strange location. She was still in Angel Grove and that meant her plight was bound to catch Zordon's attention.
Sure enough as she summoned her sword and started to increase the ferocity of her attacks against her opponents, the Turbo Rangers arrived to help her.
"New guys?" Yellow Turbo asked as she punched one of the white faced goons.
Jamie shrugged as she bashed another on the head. Now was a good time to either leave or morph. There were no civilians around and she knew it would look odd if she was seen fighting alongside the Power Rangers.
Then one of the goons started to glow and exploded, forcing the Rangers to shield their eyes. When they could see again, the remaining goons were gone and had taken Jamie with them.
The attack on Jamie had alerted Zordon to the problem, but when the villains had vanished taking the Purple Zeo Ranger with them, there had been a distinct lack of clues. At that time he had called the other inactive Rangers to make sure it was an isolated incident - for he would not put it past Rita and Zedd to try and gain possession of Jamie. When some of them had failed to respond he had sent the Turbo Rangers to investigate and was disturbed to learn that more than one Ranger had disappeared.
That somebody could capture five Rangers without him realising it was deeply disturbing. Even though they were not a part of the active team and their powers were not tied as closely to the Power Chamber's systems as some of the others, he knew that there should have been some warning. Christina, Katarina, Jamie and Lillian were all Zeo Rangers, with Jamie having additional powers due to her heritage and Lillian having access to an aspect of the Zeo powers the others could not touch. And Nathan... Nobody was sure of the extent of Nathan's powers because they had yet to unlock his full potential. However he was certain that at present Nathan Oliver was the only thing limiting Nathan Oliver's progress.
To capture one Ranger was not unheard of, but five suggested a powerful villain was behind it and given the level of dark energy he had sensed hours earlier, he had a feeling he knew who that villain's identity.
Master Vile was satisfied with the performance of his allies. Approaching the remnants of the Shadow Empire had been a risky affair; the Shadow Empire was not aligned with the forces of darkness and was just as likely to attack and consume a villain as it would a hero. Still he had offered them the means to stabilise the connection between their dimension and the lunar surface in return for some of their soldiers. While he had been given guardsmen rather than warriors, they had used the element of surprise to snatch five Rangers.
And now those Rangers were feeding Blue Globbor the energy he needed for Master Vile to carry out the next phase of his plan. He had already realised the brainwashing them would be a waste of time. Christina powers as the White Zeo Ranger protected her from mind control and likely extended protection to her friends. In addition Jamie's alien heritage and stubbornness would require the use of magic that Zordon would detect. Lillian had already rejected one attempt to influence her mind and something about the way the Silver Zeo Ranger's mind worked meant that Katarina would take a long time to control.
As for Nathan... the boy's mind was perfect manipulation. Master Vile could sense so many flaws and means of bending the Dino Thunder Ranger to his will. There was just one problem: Nathan Oliver was already under the effects of long term mind control. It had taken a few failed attempts and a close examination to realise the boy had been mentally conditioned from a young age. And while many of those instructions no longer applied and he could live a normal life, they effectively stopped his mind from accepting the level of control Master Vile sought. Simple spells were possible, but the Dino Thunder Ranger would throw them off quickly because his mind already belonged to his creators.
There were ways around the problem of course. Even the challenge of Christina's purifying powers could be overcome and used to his advantage. But such an approach would take time he didn't want to waste.
~Maybe I'll turn them over to one of Monastra's friends,~ he thought.
His former partner was friendly with a number of witches that excelled in ensnaring the minds of others. When he was successful and assuming they survived that long, he would turn them over to Monastra and have them turned into loyal servants of the House of Vile.
~For now though...~
He stared down at the Earth, zeroing on the events in Mariner Bay. As he watched the Lightspeed Rescue Rangers in action he reconsidered his previous thoughts about the Earth's newest Ranger team.
~Perhaps there is something there that I can use after all.~
For the first time since the senior Rangers had returned from Aquitar and Zordon had returned from the Galactic Council, the Power Chamber was full. Adam, Billy and Trini had commandeered some of the computer terminals and were trying to find clues about their missing friends. Unfortunately Zordon's decision to monitor only the active Rangers while allowing the others privacy as they went about their lives meant that there had been no record of what had happened to them.
"What about Nathan?" Zack asked.
"He was practicing at the time he would have vanished," Aisha answered. Then her eyes lit up as she realised what her team-mate meant. "If he was morphed there's a chance the computer recorded images from his helmet."
Alpha quickly accessed the last few minutes of Nathan's training session. He hadn't been morphed at the time, but he had been using the Brachio Staff, which to prevent abuse of the Power was monitored.
"Who are those guys?" Tommy asked.
"I do not know," Zordon replied.
He had never seen the knight or his underlings before. The Tengas that accompanied them were another matter and confirmed his earlier fears.
"Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi!" Alpha exclaimed.
"Oh no," Kimberly said.
"Not him," Aisha added.
"Indeed," Zordon rumbled. "Very few villains use Tengas and of those that do only Rita, Lord Zedd and Master Vile use them to attack their enemies. Rita and Zedd have been reported attacking worlds on the far side of the galaxy. Therefore the being most likely responsible for this is..."
It was Tommy spoke and that confirmed the fears of his team-mates: "Master Vile!"
End of Part