The Invisible Prison

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers or Doctor Who. They belong to their respective copyright owners.

The Invisible Prison

Is a man held within a cell he cannot see or hear, or sense in anyway still not a prisoner even though he believes himself free?

In a far off part of space surrounded by a minefield of asteroids and black holes there rested a space station in the form of a giant gothic castle. Around the castle were hundreds of the deadliest fighting craft ever devised, their weapons pointed directly at the structure they were supposed to guard. Outside the walls of the vast structure were pockets of sentries and guards all under strict instruction to fire upon anything that attempted to approach the castle and to fire upon anything attempting to leave that had not been authorised.

The walls of the floating castle were immense. Miles high and equally thick, they were composed of the densest material available a sealed within the heated gravity of a dwarf star. There were no cracks or windows, no doors that would allow an intruder to breach the defences or a prisoner to escape. Sensors, camera and nasty surprises for those trying to approach were the order of the day, the powerful tractor beams obscured within the metal panels made sure that unauthorised persons would not be able to avoid triggering those defences.

Inside the walls was a ring of barracks manned by fully armed and well supplied soldiers. They were under instructions that no unauthorised beings were to cross their territory and that should any attempt to do so they were to shoot first and only question how the intruder had gotten so far after. Their territory was the space between the outer wall and the slightly less fortified inner wall.

And within that inners wall, through a labyrinth of corridors and security checks, there lay a cell block with only a single cell. It was a very large cell, easily taking up the space of a football pitch. It was filled with machinery and technicians working tirelessly to keep their prisoner sedated. The machinery monitored all of the body’s needs and analysed all bodily functions to detect even the slightest hint that the occupant was about to awaken. The minimal thought processes were checked and when necessary adjustments were made to keep the dream proceeding as they needed. It was in the minds of its designers, the perfect prison.

And at that precise moment, the alarm had sounded bring all on board to a state of readiness, aware that should the cell’s occupant overcome the first obstacle between himself and freedom, there was a good chance that those behind his imprisonment would decide to destroy the entire prison along with the guards. Somehow despite the sedatives in his system and the neural blocks in place to prevent any rational thought, their prisoner had awoken.


He became aware of his surroundings. He was in pain, absolute agony from the needles that had been implanted into his body. A mask had been attached to his face, allowing him to breathe and there was something poking into the back of his head. He reached up, aware of the viscous fluid that made moving difficult and grabbed the object. It was a tube, a thick cable that had been slotted into the upper part of his spine.

And then there was a click, followed by a whirling noise as the tubes retracted itself, causing the needles and other cables to pull themselves free. The mask on his face was torn away, leaving him to drown before the surface beneath him vanished and the fluid drained away.

And the darkness was transformed into glaring light.


“Welcome back, Doctor. You had me worried for a time there.”

He raised his head and regretted doing so. His head was thumping, a side effect from the trauma it had suffered. A quick assessment revealed that the needles he had felt on his first awakening were gone, as was the thing that had been attached to the back of his neck.

“You were very lucky,” the voice continued. “You suffered a minor stroke as a result of bleeding inside your brain. As suicides go, that poison was not a painless method.”

“Where am I?” he asked. His mind was still affected by the recent trauma.

“An insignificant little research facility on a world that cannot possibly exist; trapped behind the event horizon of a black hole just as the star it recently swallowed turned into a super nova. I am told this world was once called Minitee; that’s a silent m, but be sure to pronounce it fully.”

“That’s impossible!” the Doctor snapped, realising as he did so that the contradiction had been exactly what was needed to give his higher reasoning a kick. With his awareness returning, he took the time to study his surroundings and was not surprised to find that he had been lied to. He could feel the gravity fluctuations of multiple black holes, but this was not a planet. He had been on too many worlds not to know artificial gravity when he encountered it.

With that confirmed he chose to study his captors. Most wore black and white tunics with a gold seal embroidered on the left shoulder. That identified them as low tier technicians. Most would overlook them, but he had come to realise that the lowliest of workers often held the greatest knowledge of their jobs. He recognised some of the insignias they wore, complex data disguised as a seemingly innocent image. It depicted the worlds they had been recruited from and spoke volumes about his people’s empire building; while Gallifrey no longer sought to colonise other worlds and had a strict policy of not trying to interfere with the development of younger worlds, once a race reached a level where they were of use, it was not unknown to approach them through a number of carefully selected ambassadors and secure their services… for a generous payment of course.

It also didn’t surprise him to learn that his own people were involved in his incarceration. There were very few who were capable of trapping and holding him for very long. He had been trained to escape from situations and had taken it upon himself to further his education beyond the more conventional means. Of course his escapes usually involved finding lapses in security that he could exploit. That was very difficult when his mind was suppressed by machinery. And keeping his mind active but focussed elsewhere was a good way to limit his chances of escape. But now that he knew something was wrong, his subconscious would be aware and the technique they had been using would be less effective.

So now he knew he was in familiar, but far from friendly hands and that in turn allowed him to start planning for his escape. First though he needed to understand why he was being held prisoner. Fortunately there was almost always somebody willing to share that piece of information. He turned his attention to the person that had addressed him earlier; there was a meeting of minds as they telepathically introduced themselves – for Time Lords preferred to identify each other using telepathy given how easily the other senses could be fooled. As usual upon making contact with a familiar mind, his memory recovered the memories of their previous meetings and replayed them at an accelerated rate, merging the person he had known with the stranger before him. As it did so his brain identified the emotions that person projected: hatred and overwhelming darkness. The pieces clicked into place. And he didn’t like it one bit.

This was not a person in the conventional sense. It was a demonstration of just how skilled and talented his people were with their manipulation of temporal mechanics and a testament to their history of genetic and biological manipulation. It was a being that had existed for a fraction of a second in all likelihood, a moment when the Doctor had been at his lowest point, a moment when the darkness he had buried deep inside had been allowed to rise up. In his younger days the Doctor had not always been a good man. He had aspired to be a person that would make things better, but inside he knew that there had been rage and anger, and darkness. Instead of dealing with those emotions he had buried them inside himself and concentrated on righting the wrongs of the Universe. Doing so had allowed the darkness to grow as he subconsciously pushed everything dark to one side. Just a tiny fraction of time that he had quickly suppressed. But to the Time Lords it was enough to bring forth an abomination.

The enemies he had created among his own people had found a way to extract that darkness without him realising it and had given it a temporal body normally reserved to allow a future incarnation to manifest before its time to assist its former self. They had used an Extraction Chamber to view the Doctor’s timeline and identify the moment when the darkness within him was at its greatest. And then they had used the same technology to pluck the Doctor from history, locked inside that tiny instance of time. And using Time Lord technology they had managed to stabilise that dark version of the Doctor, granting it a pseudo-life. They had promised that if it managed to defeat the Doctor it could claim the Time Lord’s body.

It was called the Valeyard and it was an enemy he had hoped never to see again. He remembered the previous times they had met, but then the Doctor had not known that in reality it was just a temporal possibility of a being that would arise from his own dark side. Fortunately he had defeated it with a little help from some unlikely allies, but it had escaped in the chaos that had ensued. And now it seemed it had found its way into the good graces of its former masters and gained itself a position of authority.

But why did it exist? The Doctor had spent centuries following his encounter with the Valeyard meditating. He had confronted the darkness within and purged the things that he believed would lead to the Valeyard’s creation while assimilating the rest back into his personality. It had made him act in ways he was not especially proud of, but he had controlled himself eventually. It seemed that his attempts had failed.

“Oh Doctor, you can’t erase me," Valeyard told him. "You created me, you sustain me… you are me just as much as I am you. No matter how hard you try there will always be a speck of darkness inside you and that is all I need to exist. I am a fixed point in your timeline. At some point before your final day, the light and the darkness within you will fight for supremacy and whichever part wins will take what remains of your life while the rest will become… something less. And the Time Lords will find what remained of that dark incarnation and will use it in their plans leading to our first recorded encounter. You cannot prevent it and if you did you would condemn billions of innocents. Accept it: I will emerge.”

“You’ve changed though,” the Doctor noted.

He hadn’t failed to notice that the Valeyard claimed to emerge during his final life, not as he had been told previously at a point between the Doctor’s Twelfth and final regeneration.

The Valeyard chuckled. “It would appear that there have been some changes to your life expectancy and that in turn has an effect on myself. When we first met I was the amalgamation of the anger and rage you kept suppressed throughout your very long life. All that murderous intent just waiting to boil over. So many feelings and thoughts and desires, too much darkness for you to hope to suppress it completely; at the time of your trial that darkness had already started to break through your mental barriers. But then you became aware of me and changed your behaviour. You embraced your darker side and controlled it which meant that I no longer represent all the darkness within. You made me… different.”

“So you’re claiming not to be my dark side anymore?”

The Valeyard laughed, shaking his head in wonderment of how naive he had been when he was younger. It was a cruel and mocking laugh.

“I am and always will always be what you consider to be your dark side, Doctor. No matter how you try to change it you will fail; any time you feel a slight pleasure in watching the downfall of an enemy, any cruel remark or desire to throttle an unhelpful official, your darker nature will emerge. You’ve let go of the murderous intent and the desire to lash out… all the things that helped mould my being. But you cannot eliminate all of it. Right now I am a representation of your dark side. As your personality grows darker or perhaps lighter, I will change to represent the darkness within. It’s very subjective but I am only a reflection of your nature and compared to your — our — earlier self, there is less darkness there to reflect.”

It made sense in a twisted sort of way. The Valeyard was a snapshot of the darkness at any given time and depending on when he encountered it would affect how it appeared to him. Had it appeared during his first incarnation it would have been completely ruthless, seeking out its idea of paradise and then destroying it just to prevent it from changing. It would have been the reflection of an old man that was prepared to kill a savage in order to get his own way. If he had met him during his seventh incarnation, it would have been manipulative, unrepentant and ruthless; a cold methodical madman fully at ease that his actions were for a greater good.

“So what are you now?” he asked. “Remove all the murder and the anger, and the bitterness. What is there left to give you form?”

“I’m the one thing you can’t stop yourself from hating,” Valeyard replied. “I am the personification of your self-loathing. I’m the part of you that bullied, manipulated and eventually engineered the death of your previous self just to fit your needs. I represent everything you hate about yourself and you are everything I hate. In the end locking you up here, and watching you exist in a state of non-being was intensely gratifying.”

Around them the technicians making adjustments to the machinery. Clearly this discussion was intended to distract from the need to escape. So far, it was working.

"Do you remember back when you were in the Acaedemy?" he asked. "You wrote that fascinating little paper on the nature of evil in the universe and how it should be the dominant force above all other. I recall you were rather scathing towards the High Council while presenting it, so much so they tried to block your graduation."

Oh there had been meetings and debates over his becoming a Time Lord, but the law had been on his side and they had been unable to prevent it despite his obvious nature as a troublemaker. He remembered the harsh arguments between himself and the pillars of Time Lord society as he had submitted plan after plan for their approval only to be blocked every time. It was what had led after a few centuries to him stealing a TARDIS and leaving his home behind as he embarked upon a renegade existence.

"I can see you do remember after all this time. Old age hasn’t dulled your memory then. But oh my, all that detailed data you collected with pictures and a graph too if I recall… all to show that despite the logical argument that evil should be the default behaviour of most species, good somehow seemed to hold the balance. And then your little quest to try and identify why that was the case and perhaps use whatever kept evil at bay to spread good throughout the universe and make it a nicer place." There was no doubt in the Doctor’s mind that he was being mocked. "Shall I tell you something I’ve learnt since your incarceration, Doctor? The level of cruelty and evil in the universe has increased almost year on year since you’ve been here. And that led me to the conclusion that evil truly does thrive where good men do nothing. I’ve taken great pleasure in making certain that you’ve had little chance to do anything besides gaining a few pressure sores.”

As he spoke the memories returned. The Doctor remembered the trap – so obvious now that he thought about it-, being captured and then spending months trapped within some sort of modified suspension capsule, alone. His mind had been manipulated so that in his dreams he had been sent to an alternate Earth alongside Samantha. The adventures he had had there seemed so real even though he knew they were the result of chemical and electrical manipulation of his brainwaves. He had been used as a bridge between the two realities causing the events that would lead to the creation of the alternate reality he visited.

“So why did you stop? You could have continued playing with my mind indefinitely. What’s changed?”

"Your awareness. You’re now aware of what is happening and I know the things you’ve done to protect yourself and the traps you’ve built to make sure you cannot be toyed with. You’ve been inside the world of the Matrix and the equipment available here is sadly lacking in comparison. Your mind started to doubt the illusion we created and when it did so, it triggered one of those defence mechanisms you picked up. Your mind started to close down, disrupting the process and causing a feedback loop. If we hadn’t removed you there was a chance you would have destroyed the entire facility. And once that happened keeping you secured inside that prison would have been impossible.”

"But why are you doing this in the first place? I don’t understand."

“There was a war spoken about in the old times. Do you remember the semester your class spent studying the old legends? The ancients knew what was coming, they just didn’t know when. Over time their predictions turned into legends, then they became myths and were finally just ignored. They didn’t realise that the war they had predicted had already started. They just couldn’t see the events unfolding around them, The Time Lords have fallen behind Doctor, far behind an enemy that is already positioned through time and space, but the first shots have yet to be fired.

"Both sides are building their military and trying to undermine the other side. There have been a few minor skirmishes on the very edges of existence, but the ferocity of the fighting has yet to reach the point of outright war. Our people have drawn up complex battle plans with the help of detailed knowledge from the future but as it stands, the plans they have been given are for a war that has been fought and lost. The War Chiefs struggle to change those plans without stopping to ask themselves what they did that caused them to lose the first time. They’re playing games with time against an enemy that is just as adept at playing that game and had a head start – not to mention a backdoor to their greatest secrets. Soon they will become desperate and when they do they will become just as dangerous as the enemy. And you Doctor will be spending most of your time making sure that they keep their war to themselves. And THAT is why you had to be kept locked away: your desire to protect the lesser beings makes it more difficult to predict events.”

“And where do you fit into all this?"

“The Laws of Time have already been suspended. The rules that define the Universe have been placed into flux to give the Time Lords an advantage. Doing so has caused some of the oldest laws laid down at the very Dawn of Time to be unwritten. Reality has changed and those changes have made it impossible for our people to control all the possible outcome of those changes. And so they recruited me as you must admit, I do have a unique view on existence among our people.” He paused, clearly weighing the danger of revealing any more. “And not just me. They needed the greatest minds our race has produced, which just happens to include most of the renegades, criminals and undesirables you could name. And they needed you out of the way so that they would have more time to prepare for the war without your… conscience interfering with things. They tasked me with making certain you remained ignorant of the situation and gave me everything I asked for in return without considering why I wanted it. My knowledge of how your mind works was invaluable to them, mainly because I knew that sooner or later you would realise the truth.”

The use of the Time Lord prison known as Shada had been the perfect place to keep the Doctor, but the Time Lords knew from past experience that the strongest of prisons was not enough to stop the Doctor from interfering. And that was why they had located the Valeyard in the non-space where he had been deposited, promising him a limited existence in return for his services. And he in turn had manipulated the Doctor’s memories — his memories, suppressing key events and the trap he had walked into. From there it had been easy to manipulate it so that events played out as needed and the Doctor was free to do as he wished without affecting the Time Lords’ plans.

But the Valeyard was aware of how dangerous the Time Lords had become and with his existence threatened he had decided that the time had come to unleash the one force capable of making them see sense: the Doctor. First though he needed to impress upon the Doctor how dire the situation had become.

“The problem Doctor is that this was not supposed to happen. You were supposed to visit Angel Grove, set down long enough to understand how bad things have become and then leave. I never expected you to bring the human with you. I’m not sure how you accomplished that anyway since she no longer exists in this reality. But then I suppose that would be a side effect of the compression.”

“Compression?” the Doctor queried, his mind racing to slot all the pieces into place. “Time is being squeezed and accelerated? Why?”

The Valeyard chose to look out over the suddenly spectacular view of Angel Grove. He had not noticed it at first, but then slowly events had seemed to accelerate, skipping ahead without warning. It was most obvious when watching the Doctor’s allies the Power Rangers and their enemies. Whole battles seemed to begin and then fast forward to the end. Evil Rangers had arisen and were next seen free of whatever means had been used to control them. He couldn’t even recall their names although he knew they had existed. The sudden return of Lord Zedd, the struggle between the Rangers and their enemies on multiple fronts… Zordon’s capture which had been set in stone… key events of history were being preserved but the story surrounding them had been washed away.

And he knew that the Time Lords were responsible, just as they were the ones that had kidnapped the majority of Earth’s heroes, erasing their existence from the rest of the world as they tried to build an army of super warriors. Of course their plan would not succeed any more than their attempts to use alien monsters as cannon fodder and in the end they had had to return the majority of those they had abducted. Their enemy was time active and no matter how powerful an army was, if the enemy could shift across time as well as space and they couldn’t, they were useless.

“The Time Lord’s have been using this world for their experiments,” he said. “They’ve been taking advantage of the Earth’s rather unique nature to help them create their super weapons.”

That was true. While the population was not considered very advanced by Gallifrey standards, the Earth was a very powerful planet. Over time it had been theorised the planet was a nexus point of probability where alternate realities intercepted. That was why Time Lords needed to be wary when travelling near the planet not to get drawn into a different time stream. It was why despite being easy to manipulate, history was extremely resilient where the little planet was concerned.

“Why Earth?”

Valeyard gave him a cruel smile.

“Because of you, Doctor. They have seen the forces that the people of this world have repelled with your help and they believe that they can harness such a force. They wanted the Earth’s heroes, so they took them, leaving only those that have likely come into contact with you. Is it any wonder they started messing with forces they didn’t completely grasp, ripping tears into the fabric of reality and forcing time to compress just so they could buy a little more time?”

The Doctor shook his head. The Time Lords were so desperate that they were willing to commit unspeakable acts in the hope that they would somehow stumble upon the key to a Time Lord victory. And then he realised that it was not those creations that the Time Lords sought, it was whatever arose to counter them. They were forcing the humans, the universe even to give them a blueprint for a new army.

“It’s strange really that the reason the Time Lords’ desire to win has required them to sacrifice everything they hold dear,” Valeyard continued. “They have even found a way to rationalise the existence of magic. They can access forces they previously dared not dream about and turn them into a scientifically explainable weapon.”

Time Lords had a natural fear and hatred of magic hard wired into their genetic codes. Only certain renegades seemed to be able to bypass the restrictions normally. If not for that oddity, there was no way the Master could have ever rationalised his contact with demons as aliens beyond the dimensional void. Oh there were limits, the Doctor doubted any of his former associates would be able study or manipulate the Morphin Grid. That would move beyond mere rationalisation and into the realms of insanity. But that raised the question of how the Morphin Grid could be there in the first place when magic was erased from existence by the Time Lords?

“They’ve had help of course,” Valeyard explained. “The compression of time is a side effect of the Time Lords twisting the personal timelines of their comrades, making it possible for them to exist in the present, and the near present where they have proven able assistants. And while the protectors of this world have been distracted by their recent adventures, the Time Lords have continued their work in the background, working on projects to aid the Time Lord war effort.”

And then it occurred to the Doctor that the Time Lords had gone too far. They had extended their influence not only into the affairs of Earth and the nature of magic, but were trying to manipulate the ongoing war between Good and Evil, concepts they could barely understand. And all so that when they war came they would have a slim hope of changing the outcome in their favour. Somehow the Doctor doubted that would occur.

“So why am I here?” he quickly added: “Awake I mean.”

“To stop them of course,” the Valeyard told him. “Think of it as a choice Doctor: your precious planet Earth or the chance of a Time Lord victory. Which would you chose? Which do you value most, your own planet or your adopted home? How far are you prepared to allow this war to spread before you take action. How far are you willing to let either side go before you meddle in their plans even if it costs them the war?”

And whichever choice he made the Doctor knew that it would only bring about pain and suffering. And to see he suffer and question his decision, to watch as he agonised over an impossible choice. That was what the Valeyard desired. And the Doctor had no choice. He knew that he would never bring himself to fight a war for either side, but he was prepared to fight both sides on behalf of those that could not.

“And now you have been made aware the question is whether you are prepared to put your rules aside for them?” the Valeyard told him.

What followed was a list of the atrocities the Time Lords had already committed to prepare for war. They had already broken the rules of time, breaking through the temporal buffers surrounding their planet’s past to retrieve genetic samples of long dead peers. The genetic looms used for breeding new Time Lords had been altered to recreate bodies using that DNA as a template. The repository of Time Lord Knowledge, known as the Matrix, had been pillaged to fill those bodies with the memories and intellects of the beings they resembled. All so that the Time Lord’s ranks were swelled with some of the most intelligent and sadistic leaders an army could need – all of them soulless travesties.

Then to make matters worse, they had released their prisoners, offering suspended sentences in return for military service. For the cause of victory those crimes they had committed in the past were considered tactics. Amoral scientists, deviants, corruptors of innocents… all were welcomed so long as their methods helped to build the military might that was needed. And those that had been involved with the Doctor directly, his enemies? They too had been offered the forgiveness of their people if they could prove themselves useful. Some had received bribes far beyond money and power.

“No, I can see that you’re not ready to do that… yet. Did you know it took seven attempts before you finally broke free?” the Valeyard asked. “The first time you became so immersed in the mental simulator we had to remove you before you transferred your mental capacity to the device. After that with each attempt your mind became more and more able to pick the world apart and notice the inconsistencies.”

“And now?” the Doctor asked. He noticed the Valeyard gesture to one of the technicians and felt the prick of a needle.

"Now that your body has healed you will return to sleep until we have need of you. By that time I’m certain you will be willing to do whatever needs to be done."

The chamber started to close as the Doctor struggled to overcome the sedative. His hand touched something in his pocket and he smiled as he realised that his situation was not hopeless after all. Where there was a screwdriver, there was a way.

End of Part.


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Up to the Challenge

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to the current copyright owners. This is a fan work and no profit has been made from it.

Up to the Challenge

Angel Grove

With Gold Behemoth finally defeated, life for the Turbo Rangers had quietened down. The team had found themselves more concerned with school work and teenage life than defending the planet. Which was probably a good thing since they only had two active Rangers following their friends’ injuries and were currently sharing a Megazord with the Rangers of Mariner Bay after Gold Behemoth had slaughtered three of their Zords and two that belonged to their allies.

It was a chance to relax and catch up on the work they had missed due to saving the world. It was a chance for Tasha, Franklin and Rosa to recover from their injuries although it was doubtful they would ever morph again. And it was an opportunity to wonder what had happened to Zordon and the senior Rangers? It had been months since they had left to assist the people of Aquitar and very little had been heard from them. Both the younger Rangers and their parents were starting to worry.

But there was something about spending the morning working on complex math problems that the Rangers appreciated after the recent upheaval. School was boring, tedious and in some cases difficult interspersed with the occasional funny moment, interesting teacher or opportunity to catch up with friends. As he sat trying to remember how to solve the problem in front of him, Fred was actually happy.


Bulk and Skull were extremely happy as they polished their badges. After completing their training as Turbo Riders, the two youths had taken up working for Lieutenant Stone. The private detective had been asked to review some old unsolved crimes and had asked for the duos’ unique perspective. Both had readily agreed.

And working with Detective Stone, an adult who knew about their secret identities, also meant they were able to leave work when needed. Angel Grove had been extremely quiet recently though and the boys were enjoying what for them at least could be considered a normal life.


Mariner Bay

The Lightspeed Rangers were not happy. There had not been an attack since Gold Behemoth had been defeated, but unlike the Turbo Rangers, they couldn’t just go back to their normal lives. Lightspeed was their life and that meant that when there were no attacks, they spent their time preparing for the next battle. Days spent training, lifting weights and enduring long lectures on procedure. Then there were the hours of helping repair the Zords damaged in their previous battle; it was still to early to decide if there were enough pieces of the damaged Rescue Zords to put them back together again.

But despite how difficult they found the work, they all agreed that it gave them a sense of belonging. As a team their bond was growing stronger and they had started including Nancy in their training sessions. One day she would become the sixth Ranger and training her had helped them improve their skills.

Garth had been training intensely to keep up with the others. He could never hold the powers of a Lightspeed Ranger; his questionable legal status disqualified him from the role and the modifications that had been made to his body were not compatible with those of a Lightspeed Ranger. Not that he minded since his role was to hunt and destroy demons, as opposed to the Rangers’ primary function of saving lives while fighting Queen Bansheera’s forces. Garth had a lot more freedom in his role even if it meant he would never completely fit in around the others.

In her workshop Miss Fairweather was supervising many of the projects that would increase Lightspeed’s arsenal. They included the attempted repair of the Rescue Zords and the restoration of the Express Zord given to them following the Turbo Rangers’ defeat of Divatox’s evil Rangers. Then there were the enhancement units and the modifications to the Rescue Machines and smaller Rescue Vehicles to oversee. It was a busy and demanding schedule, but she left work each day knowing that her work would make the world a safer place.

In his office Captain Mitchell was dealing with the downside of all the effort: paperwork. Every parts request, training update, medical check and security report made its way across his desk. And then there were the requests for information from Lightspeed’s shareholders and other interested parties. There were questions from accountants wanting to know the justification for some minor purchase and from the lawyers demanding an explanation of why Lightspeed did not own the rights to all the Zords inside the Aquabase. There were insurance claims for damaged buildings and more than a few compensation claims from those injured during monster attacks.

~It’s a good thing Lightspeed has such a large budget,~ he thought as he saw the cost of the road repairs from where a Zord had landed. The organisation’s budget had been established a long long time ago by their benefactor. It had grown through careful investment to the point where everything they had spent so far would be recovered within a few decades and had barely made a dent in their funds. ~It’s also lucky that only certain people can access the accounts.~ That had been included as a safeguard to ensure that his family would always be a part of an organisation and that the funds could not be misused or redirected.

He read over the latest demand for the return of the damaged Hydrothermal Generator that Gold Behemoth had eaten along with an outlandish claim for compensation to replace it. He wrote a small figure on the page that lacked many of the zeros they had requested and dictated a letter for his secretary explaining the payment was for the scrap material they had recovered from the scene. He allowed himself some satisfaction as he imagined the look on their faces when he noted the cost of the damage caused by the generator and Lightspeed’s fee for recovering it.

He put the letter to one side and moved on to the next report on unusual happenings in Mariner Bay. There was nothing of real interest aside from a break in at one of the scrap yards. The owner had sworn he had seen Batlings carrying off the remains of a crushed car. There had also been reports of more break ins and the disappearance of a prisoner serving time for causing death by reckless driving. On their own such events didn’t merit his interest, but he put the reports in a folder and assigned them to one of his junior officers to review at their convenience. He had a hunch the events were not completely random.

As he finished reviewing some of his outgoing mail, he opened the top drawer of his desk to retrieve an envelope and paused for a moment to study the photograph he kept there. His eyes closed as he remembered the pain of loss before retrieving the envelope and carrying on, losing himself in his work. There were some wounds time just couldn’t heal. He hastily wrote some instructions on a piece of paper and put it inside the envelope, which he then addressed to the Rangers. They had worked hard recently, so he had decided to give them a little time off before things got busy again.


Mariner Bay

31 March 1998

His name was Curszer and he was a demon. Alongside Jinxer, he was a servant to the Royal Court of Queen Bansheera. However his skills differed from his brother’s abilities and normally that left him to play the role of nursemaid while his brother summoned beasts to aid Diabolico. However Curszer also specialised in necromancy and that made him the perfect choice for Diabolico’s latest scheme. Before him a team of twenty Batlings were digging in the darkness. It had taken a while to find the correct grave, but after dispensing of a few human protections around the ground, they had started to extract the small casket within.

“Good,” Curszer hissed as his helpers opened the casket and he was able to examine the remains. “The body is decayed but mostly intact. We can use it.”

He briefly considered ordering the Batling to cover the grave again, hiding their tracks from those that might investigate. Instead he decided to leave it open and let the humans discover the desecration of their burial grounds. It would likely cause panic as they worried what the demons had in mind for the stolen carcass. It was doubtful anybody would realise what had been taken until it was too late anyway. But along with the other things he had stolen, he had all the ingredients he needed.


Chad had enjoyed his day off so far, playing with the fish in the bay and diving for treasure at the bottom of the sea. But duty called and it was time to return to the Aqua Base for breakfast. He removed scuba gear and travelled back to the Aqua Base along the access tunnel and made his way to the changing rooms where he could dry off properly. He checked his watch and found there was still time to get something to eat before the mess closed if he hurried.

“Kelsey!” he called as he knocked on her door. He was well aware that if he had not eaten there was a good chance the Yellow Ranger had also missed a meal. She had been up late the previous night and had probably not gotten to bed until a few hours ago. “Time to get up, we have a busy day ahead!”

He heard the sound of a half-asleep Kelsey groan in response and carried on his way, knowing that she would join him eventually. Half an hour or so later as Chad was finishing his breakfast, Kelsey finally made her appearance, clearly tired if the yawning was an indication. Fortunately Chad had already ordered her breakfast for her. After making fun of Chad’s early morning swims, the two settled down to enjoy the rest of their meal.


Skull Cavern

Diabolico stood before the hell-mouth and lamented how Mariner Bay would be rubble now if it weren’t for those Rangers. Mariner Bay was but the first step in the demons reclaiming the Earth, but until the wretched city was destroyed, the pocket of negative energy the demons fed upon was unusable. And with Queen Bansheera back in contact, he was aware that it was only a short time before she tired of his excuses.

“Do not worry Diabolico,” Vypra assured the other demon, “I have a monster that will this city to smithereens.” As she spoke she handed Jinxer a card and told him to get to work.

Jinxer took the card and studied it before chuckling. The three senior members of Queen Bansheera’s court could make monsters of their own, but they needed Jinxer to focus the limited negative energy to bring them to life. Once Mariner Bay was destroyed he expected them to handle that part of things themselves. He tossed the card away and cast his spell.

“Hocus pocus, bullfrog croakus. Bring this monster into focus!”

The demonic energies surrounding the palace swirled about into lightning, striking the hell-mouth head to summon forth a red fireball from within. The fireball took shape in the mist-filled room, as the monster on the card rolled-up into ball-mode. Then he stood up, and announced with a laugh: “Smogger is here!”

“Excellent!” Vypra called, “the Rangers will be no match for Smogger’s explosive firepower.”

“You got that right, sister,” Smogger replied as he set off toward Mariner Bay.


The day off continued as Kelsey and Chad took the time to practice with Nancy. As Lightspeed’s newest Ranger recruit, the team had taken it upon themselves to bring her up to speed as quickly as possible. That meant taking time from their schedules to show her the tricks that made them so effective. Today Chad had decided to show her some new fighting moves and Kelsey had accompanied them because… In truth Kelsey was the only Ranger that had noticed how much Nancy was struggling to keep up with the additional training. She worked hard in the official training sessions and then was worked even harder by her future teammates in her spare time. Kelsey was worried that they were pushing her too hard.

“I don’t know about this Chad,” Kelsey said as he set his two students to work. Nancy seemed to grasp most of the moves but Kelsey was having difficulty. “Skateboarding is more my speed.”

“Trust me on this, Tai Chi is the path to inner calm. Something you need more than anyone.”

“Are you saying I’m not calm?” Kelsey demanded as Nancy tried to hide a snicker.

“Kelsey, I think you’re awesome,” Chad replied. “Adventurous…”

“And fearless…” Nancy added, which caused the Yellow Ranger to blush.

“Bu-u-t,” and here Chad paused as he tried to find the right words. Giving up, he looked to Nancy for help.

“Sometimes she gets a little overexcited?” Nancy asked.

Chad nodded, very cautiously.

“Overexcited?” Kelsey demanded as she rushed over and attacked the Blue Ranger’s chest. “I’ll show you over excited.”

At which point the training session turned into a three way tickle fight until they were disturbed by the sound of a motorcycle.

“Well well, if it isn’t the Blue and Yellow Rangers. I thought you were supposed to be fighting monsters, not civilians.”

The Rangers and their trainee turned toward the voice to find two punks watching them. The one who had spoken glanced at Nancy dismissively before deciding she was not worth his time.

“I bet they’re nothing without their powers,” the girl on the back of the bike commented.

“Hi, I’m Chad and this is Kelsey,” Chad said, offering his hand, only to have his offer of friendship rejected.

“Yeah I bet you think you’re really tough,” the punk sneered. “Why don’t we have a little fight and find out?”

Chad shook his head and gestured for his companions to join him as he picked up his things ready to leave.

“What’s the matter, chicken?” the punk cooed. “Little Power Ranger chicken.”

“He’s not a chicken!” Kelsey snapped, only for Nancy and Chad to hold her back. “Come on Chad, you can take him.”

“Maybe,” Chad agreed, ignoring the punk’s snort of disbelief, “but I don’t need to.”

As the threesome gathered their things, the punk seemed to realise that his chicken impressions were not having an effect. He looked at his girlfriend and when she gestured he decided that if Chad wasn’t going to fight willingly, he would make him.

“Get him Brian,” she urged.

Not needing much of a prompt, Brian marched over and stepped on Chad’s blue towel, preventing him from picking it up.

“Excuse me,” Chad said, but Brian pretended not to hear. With a sigh, Chad excused himself a second time and then yanked the towel free, knocking him over.

As Kelsey laughed and Nancy grinned, Chad cracked a small smile while wiping his hands off with his boot-stained towel.

“Don’t let him get away with that!” Brian’s girlfriend screamed.

Not wanting to look weak in front of his girlfriend, Brian jumped up and stomped towards Chad and the others. He attacked with a volley of clumsy but powerful kicks, which Chad easily deflected. With a small wink at the girls, Chad wrapped his towel around his arms while keeping them behind his back, infuriating the punk further. Eventually though Chad had enough and put an end to the fight. It appeared that Brian realised there was no way he could defeat Chad regardless of his powers.

“Come on Brian, you can beat him!” his girlfriend urged, however Chad and Kelsey had other things to worry about when their communicators beeped.

“Sorry Rangers, but your day off will have to wait,” Captain Mitchell told them. “There’s been an attack down town.”

“We’d better get going,” Kelsey said. “Head back to the Aqua Base, Nancy.”

The three headed off, leaving Brian to protest that he could have won while his girlfriend mocked him for losing.


Smogger charged up his amphibian-like body, and mustered up two large white balls. He tossed them at a building, causing the whole place to be racked with a sudden explosion, and the remainder of it to sink into the ground a bit to the great concern of those under the building in the parking garage. Even as the Rescue Rover sped to the scene Carter and the others were working on a plan.

“Joel and Dana help the people outside the building. Chad, see what you can do about the fire.”

The three Rangers saluted and jumped out of the vehicle, with Blue Ranger using his extinguisher rifle while Dana and Joel directed traffic. Meanwhile Red Ranger had used his helmet to scan the building and located three life signs in the parking garage.

“We need to get those people out,” he said.

Yellow Ranger nodded, as Red Ranger spun the wheel and turned the Rescue Rover into the car park entrance. This was one of those times when they could have used some of the Rescue Vehicles that had been designed, but sadly while the machines were useful, they were slow to deploy until Miss Fairweather could find a new method.

“Closing up!” she said, flicking a switch on the central column. The windows and roof of the Rescue Humvee locked into place, shielding the occupants from the pungent smoke that filled remnants of a building. “Rockets away! That’s how you break down a wall!”

“Next time use the claw!” Red Ranger complained as the Rescue Rover was pelted with debris.

The Rescue Rover had been refitted several times to include tools that could prove useful for small scale rescues. A small lifting claw and a winch were just two of the refinements Miss Fairweather had somehow managed to cram into the Rescue Rover’s frame. Kelsey nodded and used the claw to shove some rubble out of the way as they reached the trapped civilians.


Rescue Riser. One of the Rescue Vehicles developed by Lightspeed to help protect Mariner Bay.

Rescue Riser

Outside the building, Blue Ranger had managed to spray a steady stream of water onto the fiery building using one of the Rescue Vehicles The Rescue Riser was a larger than average, though certainly not Zord-sized vehicle capable of directing large jets of water. Unlike the other Rescue Vehicles, the machine operated better at long range, meaning it did not have to travel so far into the city before it was useful.

“The fire’s under control,” he reported, just as the Rescue Rover emerged from the building as Pink and Green Ranger reported that the area was clear of civilians.

They had just handed the three previously trapped innocents over to trained personnel when Smogger decided to appear.

“Playtime is over!” he announced.

“What are you doing here?” Red Ranger demanded.

“I’m having a ball,” Smogger replied as a horde of Batlings appeared and swarmed the Rangers.

With that the monster turned into his ball-mode, curling up and rolling off down the street. The Rangers broke loose of the Batlings, but it was too late as Smogger moved away. Yellow and Blue Ranger chased after him leaving the others to deal with the Batlings.


In another part of the city, Brian had parked his motorcycle. The area was rundown, a sign that not all businesses took advantage of the generous tax incentives offered by Mariner Bay’s council. Many stayed away from such places, fearing stray monster attacks or worse: punks like Brian who enjoyed the empty and almost lawless streets. His enjoyment of the old architecture was ruined by a loud rumbling as Smogger’s ball-form raced down the road. He hid behind a pillar and watched as the Yellow and Blue Rangers chased the madball of a monster into the abandoned buildings. Smogger rolled down stairs and up them, through small narrow spaces and eventually in through a set of doors.

Blue and Yellow Ranger had managed to keep up and followed him through the door, not realising that Smogger was about to unleash his power. A blast of gas erupted from his fingertips, filling up the room with the noxious fumes. Yellow Ranger told her teammates to stand back as she prepared to blast him out with her Rescue Blaster. Blue Ranger cautioned her that such an act could be dangerous, but the Yellow Ranger had made up her mind and as Brian lurked around the side of tattered building, watching the Rangers in action, Yellow Ranger fired her Rescue Blaster at the door, blasting holes in it and hopefully the monster on the other side.

“I got him!” Yellow Ranger cried triumphantly as she rushed toward the door.

“Kelsey, wait!” Blue Ranger responded as he notice smog drifting through the holes.

She ignored him and burst through the doors, just in time to see the smog vacate the room through a stairwell in the back of the room. The sudden change in pressure sent a huge stream of fire back at them, which ripped through Yellow Ranger, and Blue Ranger, as it ignited and erupted through the building.

Brian watched from his safe hiding place as the two Rangers were thrown out into the open. He had to shield his face from the heat as they demorphed. He could see that the Blue Ranger was mostly unharmed, but the Yellow Ranger looked like she had taken the brunt of the fireball.

“Two Rangers down,” Smogger gloated before leaving. “Just wait until I tell Vypra.”


As Chad lifted an apologetic Kelsey into his arms and carried her to a safer location, Brian had reached a decision and followed Smogger to a nearby warehouse. There he witnessed Vypra commending her monster for a job well done.

“Now take your explosive gas and go and blow up the whole of Mariner Bay,” she ordered.

“No problem, I haven’t even used my strongest gas yet,” Smogger promised.

Brian tried to move to a better location, but accidentally bumped into a barrel, alerting Vypra to his presence. Several Batlings rushed over and captured him, presenting the eavesdropper to the demonic princess on his knees.

“Destroy him!” she ordered.

“Wait, I’m not a spy!” Brian protested. “I want to join you!”

“Join me?” Despite herself Vypra was intriqued that a human would ask something like that. Her amusement was enough to keep him alive a little longer.

“Teach me,” he urged, breaking free of the Batlings so that he could run toward her. “Teach me how to destroy the Blue Ranger.”

Vypra pondered the idea. If nothing else she thought it would be amusing to see the humans fight amongst themselves. And even as Smogger ordered the human to lower his head before his new mistress, she blew on his head with her demonic breath, turning him into a human-demon hybrid for a short time.

“Well, let’s get to work,” she said, causing Brian to lift his head. His eyes had turned orange and his face had paled as the demonic vapours affected his body.

“Yes, my mistress,” he replied in a voice that was no longer his own. A part of him protested but it was silenced by the part that pointed out that this was what he had wanted.


Mariner Bay Emergency Medical Center, Room 413

Kelsey had not been badly hurt, but the doctors had decided that rest and some fluid replenishment was needed before she could leave. At first she had protested, but those complaints were forgotten when she closed her eyes for a moment and fell asleep. Chad had been watching over her since her arrival, once the doctors had decided that he was fit and did not need any treatment following his exposure to Smogger’s gas. Finally he departed to let her sleep, wracked with guilt over her current state despite knowing that it was not his fault.

“I should have stopped her,” he told the others as he joined them in the waiting room.

“Yeah right,” Joel snorted. “Nobody can stop that girl from doing anything once her mind is made up.”

“The doctor says she’ll be fine with a little rest,” Dana pointed out.

Carter communicator chose that moment to beep.

“Rangers, we’ve managed to locate Smogger. He’s in the Main Street tunnel!”

“We’re on our way Sir,” Carter replied before nodding at the others.

The four Ranger teens raced out of the hospital with Chad bringing up the rear. A shrill whistle caused the Blue Ranger to pause and as he looked around he spotted a lone Batling gesturing for him to approach.

“Wait,” Carter ordered as Chad moved to do so. “We don’t have time for this; it could be a trap.”

“You guys go on and I’ll deal with him,” Chad replied. “We can’t leave it alone this close to the hospital. I’ll join you shortly.”

Chad followed the Batling behind an ambulance where the Batling handed him a scroll. As he opened it the words lifted from the parchment and burnt into the air. It read: “Blue Ranger, Under the guidance of my new master Vypra, I now have the skills to defeat you. I challenge you to fight me again and this time I will be the victor. -Brian”.


“Blowing up the city from underneath is the perfect plan,” Smogger proclaimed as he led a group of Batlings through a drainage tunnel close to Main Street.

His scheming was interrupted when three morphed Rangers descended into his path using their ropes. He sendt the Batlings to fight them while he concentrated on his task. The Rangers responded by drawing their Rescue Batons and charging the enemy. The fight was on.


Vypra watched as Brian trained for battle. She was pleased with his progress. More so that the distraction meant there were only three Rangers available to stop Smogger. She was impressed when his demon-powered limbs shattered the wooden boards the Batlings had positioned for his use. Yes, he was ready and not a moment too soon as the Batling she had sent to summon the Blue Ranger arrived with the fool in tow.

“Let him go Vypra!” Chad yelled.

“You’re just in time, Blue Ranger,” Vypra replied, ignoring the demands. “I think you know my new warrior.”

“Don’t worry Brian, I’ll get you out of this,” Chad promised.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Brian replied, “And neither are you!”

Chad held his hand s up as Brian circled him. “Come on Brian, you don’t have to do this.”

“Oh yes he does,” Vypra interrupted. “Come on Brian, get him!”

That was all Brian needed to hear as he charged toward the Blue Range and attacked with a series of nasty kicks and punches. Chad tried to defend himself, but a few of the blows landed successfully. But while Brian was fuelled by rage and demon energy, his skills were inferior to Chad, who after ducking a punch, grabbed his rival’s arm.

“Stop it Brian, I’m here to help you.”

“I don’t need your help,” Brian snarled in response before launching a fresh assault.


“Aren’t you supposed to be in bed?”

Kelsey winced, knowing that she had been caught. She had sneaked out of the hospital, found her way back to the Aquabase and recovered her uniform, but in her current state she had been careless and forgotten to make sure that the Weapons Lab was completely empty before entering. Fortunately it was Miss Fairweather that had caught her; whereas Captain Mitchell would have seen the necessity of her return to action, some of his subordinates would have had her forcibly returned to the hospital regardless of the danger her friends were in.

“Yeah, but the others need me!”

Miss Fairweather smiled. She knew there was a reason Kelsey ad been one of those chosen as a Lightspeed Ranger. Since she worked closely with the Rangers she also knew how stubborn the Yellow Ranger could be.

“I’m not going to try and talk you out of it,” she said. “But at least wait a minute so I can give you something to help.”

She pressed a button and one of the Lightspeed Cycles rose into the Transport Bay, along with a new gadget aside it.

“This is the Rescue Speeder,” Fairweather stated. “I thought you might be able to use it.”

Kelsey smiled and gave the scientist a hug.

“Lightspeed Rescue!”

She leapt onto the Lightspeed Cycle, and revved it up, speeding off with the Rescue Speeder attached.


Chad had had enough. He had tried to reason with Brian, to persuade him that they didn’t need to fight. He had tried appealing to the punk to shake off Vypra’s influence, but it was growing clear as Brian continued to punch and kick the Blue Ranger, that the demon’s influence only enhanced his actions. It seemed that Brian was a jerk and that no amount of reasoning could change that.

“Fine,” Chad announced, dodging a kick and removing his jacket. “We’ll do this the hard way.”

He tossed the jacket aside and adjusted his stance. The next time Brian tried to hit him, he found that his punch was easily blocked. After gauging Brian’s strength, Chad had realised that he could hit the punk harder without worrying about hurting him, thanks to Vypra’s enhancements. So he didn’t hold back and Brian soon discovered that Chad was far more skilled than he let on.


Elsewhere, the Rangers had defeated the Batlings and tracked Smogger down to an abandoned factory warehouse district. Smogger coughed up a set of green energy ropes from his mouth, which wrapped around the Green, Red and Pink Rangers. The ropes unleashed a surge of energy that made the Rangers cry out in pain. But Smogger was not done and pulled out two more large white smog balls to throw at them. The resulting blasts sent each of the three Rangers toppling over.

“Ouch,” Green Ranger complained. That seemed to sum up what the others were feeling too.

As Smogger prepared another larger smog ball, he was distracted by the roar of a motorcycle. He unleashed the ball and looked for the source of the sound, realising too late that it was the Yellow Ranger riding down the streets of Mariner Bay to the rescue.

“Rescue Speeder!” Yellow Ranger cried as the Rescue Speeder launched from the bike. It flew through the air and intercepted the smog ball before it could strike the fallen Rangers, and ricocheted it right back into Smogger. While Smogger was blasted back and fell over, the sidecar returned to the bike. Yellow Ranger parked the bike, much to the surprise and delight of her teammates.

“What did you expect?” she asked as she cut the others free. “I couldn’t let you have all the fun.”


Chad and Brian continued fighting and it was clear that Chad had been holding back more than his opponent had suspected. Hours spent swimming had helped improve the power of his kicks. Brian had tried to keep up for a while, but was clearly outclassed and was starting to tire despite his demon-enhanced body. When he was knocked to the dirt for the fourth time in a minute it seemed that the beating had taken its toll. He could hardly stand.

“Pathetic,” Vypra sneered as she watched her human fail. “I should have known!”

“This is over,” Chad told his fallen opponent as Vypra dismissed her spell. “We should go.”

For the first time Brian showed some common sense as he reached up to take the offered hand. However before Chad could help him, another set of Batlings popped up and grabbed the Blue Ranger, holding his arms and legs in place.

“Perhaps now you can finish the job,” Vypra challenged.

“This isn’t right,” Brian protested. “This was supposed to be my battle.”

“Insolent human!” Vypra snarled before punching Brian in the gut. “Either you destroy him or I’ll destroy you.”

Although she had released her possession of the punk, some of her influence remained as Brian obeyed, readying himself to inflict the killing blow. With a howl, he unleashed all his aggression, shifting the direction of his punch at the last moment to strike a Batling. What remained of the spell was broken, causing Brian’s face to return to normal. He smiled at Chad before kicking the Batling holding the Ranger’s leg. Chad replied with a smile of his own as he took out the Batling that had been preparing to strike Brian from behind.

Working together, they made short work of the Batlings as Vypra looked on in disbelief.

“Nobody is going to tell me what to do anymore,” Brian promised.

“You’ll pay for this!” Vypra swore before she decided to cut her losses.

After collecting his jacket and shaking hands with a thankful Brian, Chad left to find his friends.


Smogger flipped Red Ranger into the air and gloated as he landed next to the others. “One wounded Ranger, three left to take care of!”

His gloating was cut short be the Blue Ranger’s swinging entrance. A flying jump kick was rapidly followed by a set of rapid kicks to the monster’s chest. Smogger ended up in an alleyway and had just managed to pull himself back to his feet in time to witness the arrive of Red Ranger on the Lightspeed Cycle with Blue Ranger in the Rescue Speeder, wielding his Blaster. Red Ranger fired the Cycle’s laser guns, while Blue Ranger sat up in the Speeder and fired his blaster. Both hit their target, bombarding Smogger with a nonstop set of bursts. Red Ranger gave a cry of triumph as they drove through the monster. Smogger fell and exploded as the Rangers came to a halt.

As the other joined them and reported that the mission was complete, Green decided that if that was what a day off was like they would have been better off at work. The others didn’t really argue as Chad tried to convince Kelsey to go back to the hospital. It seemed though the Yellow Ranger had other idea as she dragged the Blue Ranger away, promising that she was going to have more fun by teaching him how to talk to girls.

End of Part


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Lightspeed Rescue: The Volcano

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to whoever owns the copyright. A great deal of this chapter came from an episode of Lightspeed Rescue and I thank Jesse at PRSW for providing such a detailed synopsis.

Author’s Note: Steph was the Purple Lightspeed Ranger introduce in Entering Lightspeed and killed off in The Emperor’s New Rage. Obviously her death affected Lightspeed and her fellow Rangers. The way they are treating Nancy is out of character to the show, but hopefully understandable (never justifiable). Oh and yes I realise Kelsey is channeling just a little more Sky Tate than I would like.

The Volcano

Mariner Bay
8 April 1998

“The balance of life and death now tips, victim to killer, the veil rips…”

As Curszer continued to chant, the rotten remains he had stolen from the cemetery glowed. In just a week he had managed to partially restore the corpse to a more human form. The daily rituals and soaking of the remains in freshly collected blood had reversed the decay. Another week and he would be ready to start the more difficult task of bringing it back to life.


Miss Fairweather and her team were growing frustrated. They had been tasked with repairing the damaged chest and lower body of the Rescue Megazord, but after days of trying they had no idea how they would accomplish such a feat. The body was mangled, burnt and missing key components. The interlocks that held the two section together could not be released and forcing the separation would likely destroy any chance they had of ever joining together again.

“And even if we could separate them we will not gain anything,” the technician said, continuing her report. “The internal mechanisms had been damaged beyond repair. We have no way to shift either of them into a standard or humanoid form. I would recommend starting with a new design.”

Fairweather nodded in agreement. Her assessment of the damage the Zords had suffered had suggested the same thing. Building new Zords though would take time, something that Lightspeed did not have. At least it was a better option than no Zords at all. She was under no illusions that the needs of Angel Grove would always come first where the hybrid Megazord was concerned.


Mount Jasmine silently overlooked the quiet countryside, a good many miles away from Mariner Bay. At one time the mountain had been deemed extinct, but the release of the demons that now threatened Mariner Bay had caused disruption to the volcano and plate activity throughout the region. Mount Jasmine was a greater risk because the volcano had been mined as part of a government project. There was a good chance that should the volcano erupt, the existing rock structure would be blown aside resulting in a larger eruption.

Stopping the volcano would be impossible. However it was hoped that given time they could find a way to divert any lava flows away from the city. The first step in such an undertaking was knowing when the volcano would erupt. A task Dana had been assigned to oversee. Her team had laboured hard to produce the monitoring equipment, but fitting it to the volcano was outside of their comfort zone and their pay grade. As a Ranger they had been keen to point out that she was the most suited person for the job.

That was why Dana was present as Miss Fairweather vented her frustration for the third time that morning about the futility of trying to repair the Zords. While the scientist was occupied, Dana was running the final configuration of her detector through the testing system.

“Impressive,” Miss Fairweather said as she walked over to where Dana was working. Dana hadn’t even realised that she had been noticed. “May I?”

Dana cheerfully handed over the box, pleased to get the opinion of Lightspeed’s best scientist.

“Very well made,” Fairweather agreed after studying the seals along the side of the box. “You should be able to leave this there for a year before removing it for servicing.”

“In which time it might not be needed,” Dana agreed. “I plan to head out to Mount Jasmine later and place it inside one of the service tunnels. That should be enough to keep the engineers safe while the disassemble their workings. Just as soon as Carter and the others get back.”


It had been a fun morning for Kelsey, Chad, Carter and Joel. It had not been so much fun for Nancy, Lightspeed’s Ranger-in-training. The three male Rangers had been drilling her hard while Kelsey had been shouting instructions. The four of them were determined that when Nancy was given her powers she would be more than a suitable replacement for Stephanie. They had lost one Ranger in the line of duty and refused to lose another. Unfortunately in their eagerness to ensure that Nancy was fully trained, they hadn’t realise how harsh her training sessions had become. Or how close Nancy had come to quitting.

“One more time round the park and then you can have a break,” Kelsey promised.

With a sigh Nancy set off to complete the task while the others had their lunch.

“Unless we finish eating first,” Joel added causing the Rangers to laugh.

Just then Carter’s Rescue Morpher commlink sounded.

“When are you guys going to be back at the Aquabase so I can take the Rover to the volcano?”

“That’ll be after I’ve finished my hotdog,” Joel answered. “I’ve starving. All this training is hard work.”

“Right Joel, whatever,” Dana replied, her amusement obvious. “I’ll find my own way. See you later.”


Garth Nelson had spent the morning alone. The Demon Hunter had managed to fit in with his Ranger allies, but still found it difficult to socialise. The modifications carried out to turn him into a cybernetic warrior had damaged some parts of his mind. Although a lack of proper social interaction during and before the many procedures he had endured were also to blame. The processor installed in his skull added to the problem since its insistence on offering advice on what to say made spontaneous replies almost impossible.

Training on his own though was something he excelled at. He had discovered after working with Lightspeed’s technicians for a few weeks that even he didn’t know the full capabilities of the Techno Warrior System. He had been programmed to know how to use his Techno Blaster and Techno Sword, but there were a myriad of other weapons at his disposal that he was having to learn to operate. And given how destructive some of those weapons had proven, it had been agreed that it was better for Garth to practice on his own, preferably in one of the Aquabase’s testing vaults.

So while Dana was debating how she would journey to Mount Jasmine, Garth was unavailable to join her. Had he been Dana might have been able to justify the massive pile of paperwork it would take to borrow one of the Lightspeed Cycles. Instead she decided to have a little fun and enjoy the thrills of public transport.


Away from the Aquabase, somebody else had their eye on Mount Jasmine. Long ago when the demons had ruled the Earth, a dormant volcano had been a rare occurrence. The demons had fed on the lava and used it to shape the world to their needs. They had used it as a weapon again their enemies. In their absence though the Earth had grown tame, allowing the infestation of humans.

“Using the planet to destroy the humans would surely please Queen Bansheera,” Diabolico mused.

It was true that humans were not strong enough to handle the raw power that lurked beneath the surface of their world. Human structures could be easily blown away, unlike the magnificent demon creations that had been a part of the planet. He ignored the fact that Queen Bansheera’s own palace had for all its greatness, simply vanished.

“And since the volcano is already there we won’t need to waste power creating one,” Loki tried to point out helpfully.

Yes all they needed was a way to restore the dormant volcano to its former glory.

“And Impus has a plan that will allow us to use the first eruption to destroy Mariner Bay,” Jinxer added, interpreting the baby’s gurgles.

“About time the little pest made himself useful,” Diabolico responded before remembering that this was Queen Bansheera’s son he was talking about. “Proceed!”

“Yes Diabolico, I have just the monster for the job,” Jinxer bowed before throwing a card into the mouth of a nearby statue. “From all three heads to its pinkie toe, make me a monster with lava flow!”

A three headed dog creature appeared before them, something that pleased Diabolico. Such a creature would destroy the solidified lava, allowing the volcano to erupt once more.

“Good work Jinxer,” Queen Bansheera said as she revealed her presence. Since she had restored contact with her underlings, she had managed to keep at least a part of her consciousness there. “Trifire, awaken the volcano with your fiery breathe!”


Mount Jasmine was a good eighty miles from Mariner Bay, which meant that Dana had needed to change buses. Eventually it arrived and she stood cheerfully breathing in the fresh air around her as she stretched. She boarded the bus that was marked as stopping in a town close to Mount Jasmine where she would need to proceed on foot. Once all the passengers were on board, the bus pulled away.


With Batlings scouting outside on the snowy rocks, Trifire entered a cave within the side of Mount Jasmine and headed for the core of the volcano. The humans had tunnelled their way through the rock, making his journey to the core quick and without obstacle. He was soon at a place where he could start to get things shaking by turning up the heat. He unleashed a squall of fire from his mouth into the magma centre of the mountain. The cooled rock was obliterated by the flame.


Over in the Aquabase, Miss Fairweather informed Captain Mitchell that the instruments were picking up seismic activity in the entire area, and that for some reason the volcano was heating up. Several computer-graphics appeared on the monitors in the main Command room.

“How could this happen so fast?” Captain Mitchell asked.

“It couldn’t,” Fairweather replied. “Even with the recent increase in activity we should have been looking at a three to four year timeframe before any major eruptions. The only way it could happen like this is if something is helping it.”

“Diabolico,” Captain Mitchell said quietly. “The demons were bound to take advantage of the opportunity. We’re going to need a ran to shut that volcano down.”


Unfortunately for Dana, the bus she had been travelling on had been caught in the first tremors. Since the road forced the bus to travel close to the base of the volcano, the shaking had thrown the passengers around. Unfortunately the road was far too narrow to u-turn so the driver was forced to press on.

“Dana, return to the Aqua Base. We have reports of seismic activity have reports of seismic activity in your area,” Captain Mitchell called over the commlink.

Unfortunately Dana was in no position to answer as another tremor forced the bus into the side of the bridge they were crossing. One of the passengers had not been so lucky and had fallen outside the door. He was barely holding on as Dana grabbed his hand. He weighed about twice as much as she did. Even with help from the other passengers it was not easy, especially since the bus had started to slide over the edge.


Chad, Kelsey, Carter and Joel finally arrived back at the Aqua Base as Captain Mitchell tried to contact Dana. Nancy had accompanied them despite Kelsey’s insistence that she was not ready, and Garth had ended his training session when the alarms had sounded, ready to help out if needed. Unfortunately all attempts to contact Dana had failed.

“A Lightspeed Ranger is on the scene and likely in peril,” Mitchell announced, making certain that an aide was noting his words. “Under the circumstances I am declaring this a Lightspeed Rescue.”

As soon as his words were recorded, the mission was authorised. Technicians and other personnel moved to prepare their stations to help the Rangers.

“Rangers, you will find whatever is causing that volcano to erupt and stop it,” Mitchell ordered. “Nancy and Garth, I want you two to locate Dana and then remove any civilians.”

“But sir, Nancy is not ready for this!” Kelsey complained.

“Yeah we’ve been teaching her everything we know, but she’s just not up to standard yet,” Joel added.

“You four have your orders,” Mitchell told them, ignoring the complaints. “Move out!”

Sensibly the Rangers left without a word.

“Nancy, I know what the Rangers have been trying to do. And I know what they have likely been doing,” Captain Mitchell told her. “When this mission is over I will be speaking to them. For now I want you and Garth to concentrate on finding Dana and getting any civilians to safety. Do not engage the enemy unless you have to.”

“Yes Sir!” Nancy answered.

“Garth, you are authorised to use any means to keep Nancy, Dana and any civilians alive,” he added.

Garth nodded.

“How will we get there?” Nancy asked.

“Use one of the small Rescue Vehicles,” Mitchell answered.

As he spoke the technicians were already programming the vehicle in question. Using Lightspeed technology they were about to almost throw the car at high speed down the roads of Mariner Bay. The on board computer once given a route could execute the turn safety even at speed, allowing the car to reach its destination in a short time. With a squeal of tires they were off.


As the Rangers sped toward the volcano and Garth and Nancy raced to find the trapped bus, Dana had managed to haul the unfortunate passenger back toward the bus. But another quake ripped through the bridge, shaking up the bus and sending it slipping slowly over the side.

“Everybody get to the back or we’re gonna go over!” the driver yelled.

The passengers obeyed, shifting the weight toward the back of the vehicle, shifting their mass on the road side of the pivot point.

“Please don’t let go,” the stranded passenger begged.

“I won’t,” Dana promised although she realised that when the bus moved she had lost he footing and was in danger of being dragged out of the door too.

That was when she noticed that somebody had grabbed her. A female passenger had realised the danger and was trying to help. The woman’s husband had grabbed his wife and the bus driver had grabbed hold of him. Together they formed a chain that helped hold Dana in place. Although by staying near the front they were causing the bus to tip.


Inside Mount Jasmine, Trifire had succeeded in releasing the lava from the core of the once-dormant volcano and had sat back to watch the magma flow and destroy Mariner Bay. He was gleeful when he noticed how there was a bus about to plummet from the nearby bridge. It was a sign that this plan would succeed. At least in his mind it was.


The combined effort worked and the unfortunate passenger was saved. Dana allowed herself a sigh of relief, even though the tremors had not stopped and they were far from safe. A sudden tremor sent the driver tumbling as the bus slid further toward the edge. That was when Garth and Nancy arrived. While the former shuttle pilot readied the vehicle to pull, Garth latched a heavy cable to the bus’ axle. At his signal, Nancy gunned the engine and the bus was slow pulled to safety.

However it appeared that the demons were not content to let the humans go, as some of the Batlings that had been guarding the volcano, appeared on the bridge.

“You need to go and help the others,” Nancy told Dana as she took up position next to Garth. “We’ll handle things here.”

Dana appeared to want to argue, but another tremor reminded her that they were on a mission and now was not the time.

“Activate!” Garth had found that his armour responded to many different commands. Mostly that was because it was activated mentally and not through words. He just chose to verbalise his instructions. He looked over to where Nancy had assumed a fighting stand and smiled. Unlike the others he had not allowed any attachment to Steph to cloud his judgement where Nancy was concerned. The Purple Lightspeed Ranger had died in battle and further training could have helped prevent her death, but he recognised that Nancy was easily at the same level the other Rangers had reached at the time they had fought Lord Zedd. “Here,” he said, offering her a spare sword. He had no doubt with would do more for her safety than being forced to fight unarmed.

For Nancy this was the opportunity to prove herself. She knew that the Rangers meant well, but it had also become clear that what had started out as a desire to keep her safe had turned into a source of amusement for the others. Kelsey’s comments to Captain Mitchell had been especially hurtful, since their commanding officer had never suggested that she was a cadet or their trainee. So given the opportunity, she threw herself into combat, calling on all the skills she had learnt during her military career and the few things she had actually learnt from the Rangers.

Garth and Nancy made a good team. Garth’s computer enhanced senses made him a perfect shot, while Nancy was capable of hitting what she aimed for, but was not as precise. With a sword though she extremely capable of striking the Batlings before they could reach her. And together they soon had the minor demons retreating.

With the Batlings gone, it was time to get the bus on its way to safety. The only problem appeared to be the driver had broken his arm when he had fallen earlier.

“I’ll drive the bus, you clear the way,” Nancy told Garth. At his surprised look she just shrugged and mentioned that she was trained to be able to pilot almost anything. Even buses.

With little option, Garth nodded and climbed back into the Rescue Vehicle and set off, leading the bus to safety.


Pink Lightspeed joined the others at the cave entrance. She had remembered the device she had intended to plant there and after checking it, confirmed that the readings were not natural. Something was causing the the volcanic activity. The Rangers rushed into the cave, and found the creature behind the disturbance of the molten rock standing right before them. Instinctively, the five whipped out their Rescue Blasters and fired. Trifire just soaked up the laserfire and barrelled right into Red Ranger, knocking him back out of the cave. The team regrouped with him outside.

“Say goodbye to your precious city,” Trifire told them before blasting them with a flame attack.

The Rangers dived to avoid it and Yellow Ranger leapt for the monster only to get blown back by his fire attack.

“Are you okay?” Blue Lightspeed asked.

“I’m fine!” she answered. “Now I know how a burnt marshmallow feels.”

“Girl, you are crazier than I thought,” Green Lightspeed remarked.

“Crazy or not, there is no way we can get close to that thing unless we can put its flame out,” Blue Lightspeed warned.

Fortunately Red Lightspeed had the answer in the form of his Rescue Blaster and a piece of the Rescuebird. Although they had not used it very often, the Rescuebird contained the many small tools they needed to carry out their missions. Together, he and Pink Ranger rushed at Trifire, Dana firing her Blaster at the creature while Carter ran behind her. When Trifire coughed up some flames, Red Ranger aimed his Rescue Extinguisher at it and fired.


With Garth leading the way, Nancy drove the bus to safety, turning the vehicle in time to balls of lava that spewed from the top of the volcano.

“You’re pretty good at this,” the injured driver said as she swerved to avoid a rock.

“Thanks,” Nancy replied, braking as a large boulder rolled in front of them, before putting the gas pedal down to catch up with the other vehicle.

Garth had managed to clear the road ahead of obstructions and after a few narrow escapes. the bus and its passengers were safe. At least until the volcano erupted and covered them and the nearby city with lava.


Red Ranger clogged up Trifire’s throat with a constant spray of cold mist. Once that was done, he summoned the rest of the Rescuebird components from where they were stored in the Rescue Rover. Combined together to form the Unilaser. With his teammates acting as a brace, he fired the Unilaser at Trifire, creating a big explosion. Before the Rangers could celebrate though, a card struck the multi-chunks of barbecued meat.

“Volcano smoke and lava flow, make the Trifire monster grow!” Jinxer’s voice echoed around them as Trifire’s remains turned into bats that flocked together and recreated the monster in giant form.

“Good thing Captain Mitchell dispatched the Megazord the same time we left,” Green Lightspeed commented.

The might machine had almost reached them as the giant monster had appeared. The sight of the Megazord caught its attention, causing it to attack and saving the Rangers from having to wait for it to arrive. Instead they teleported aboard. Under the shine of the sun, the Megazord and Trifire duked it out. The monster bites down on the Megazord’s arm using its centre head, but got punched away by the fist of the opposite arm.

Trifire’s turned his flame breath on the Megazord. The Megazord responded by unleashing a water blast from its should cannons. With the monster doused, the Rangers decided to finish him, unloading with the Megazord’s artillery power. The Megazord opened fire and then turned away victoriously as the monster found he was unable to take the heat, and spontaneously combusted into a cloud of smoke.

“Mission accomplished!” Red Lightspeed proclaimed as the Megazord stood victorious.


Inside Skull Cavern, Queen Bansheera’s looked down on her servants, as she boasted that this world would be hers.

“Of course Queen Bansheera,” Diabolico agreed, “What they should do?”

“Nothing,” the demon queen answered. “It has already been done.”


Aqua Base,

Later

“I want to know what the four of you think you’re doing,” Captain Mitchell said as he looked at his Rangers. “I want to know why you felt that you could order Nancy around, or what made you think you had any authority to deal with her training.”

Captain Mitchell had not been pleased when he had found out the extent of his team’s actions. As far as he was concerned when Nancy had been offered the position she had been ready for the role. Any training she had needed had been a matter of teaching her how to use their equipment and powers. He had certainly not expected them to treat her like a raw recruit. In many ways Nancy had more training than the Rangers.

“We just wanted her to be ready, Sir,” Carter answered. “We lost Steph and didn’t want to lose somebody else.”

“If we have to have another teammate, we want her to up to the job,” Kelsey added.

“And I think that is the problem,” Captain Mitchell told them. “I don’t think any of you want her to join the team and that you have gone out of your way to make her life miserable, hoping she would quit.”

The Rangers wanted to deny it, but there was a part of them that acknowledged that they were comfortable with just five Rangers. The idea of a sixth member of the team made them uncomfortable. Even Garth was kept at a distance, something that was made easier by his lack of social skills.

“We don’t need a sixth Ranger,” Joel said, speaking on behalf of his teammates.

“Nancy’s nice, but she’s not a part of this,” Kelsey added.

Captain Mitchell sighed. “That is not and never has been your decision to make. I decide how many Rangers there are, not you. I’ve never been so disappointed in you five. Dismissed.”

He knew he would have to think about their words. Mariner Bay needed the Lightspeed Rangers and he could not replace them. So ultimately he would have to back down on this matter. But that did not mean that he liked it. And from the look he had seen on Nancy’s face as she had overheard the conversation, neither did she.


Deep within Mount Jasmine a pair of crimson eyes glowed. They belonged to a monster that had rested their since Queen Bansheera had ruled the planet. Triskull had awakened it. And now Magmavore would emerge.

End of Part


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The Dark Victory

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to whoever owns the copyright. This is a fan work and no profit is being made.

The Dark Victory

In some ways the Galactic Council had been lucky. The galaxy was a very big place, the universe was even bigger. The forces of darkness had set out on their campaign of renewed conquest and instead of heading inwards towards Erlion and Eltare, they had pushed out into the wider cosmos. In doing so they had given the Galactic Council a reprieve, but had also raised the paranoia, fear and arguing among its members. For it was not a matter of if the enemy turned their attention to Council worlds, it was only a matter of when.

And with that realisation had come an understanding that the Galactic Council and its members were not prepared for war. They had grown used to the watered down tactics of the Machine Empire and the lacklustre campaigns of Rita and Zedd. Dark Specter had renewed his forces and had sent them forth with determination and a degree of evil competence not seen for a long time.

There was no question that the forces of darkness held the advantage. Dark Specter had somehow united them, organised them and motivated them. The same could not be said for the Council’s forces, which under the squabbling, selfish and fractured leadership, would not present a united front. The Morphin Council had mobilised, assembling an army of
Grid Masters, Power Rangers and Power Soldiers. The Masked Rider Corps were actively recruiting and the Green Lanterns had activated their entire membership in response to the threat.

In comparison the IGPF had been slowed by bureaucracy and bickering between members of the Galactic Council concerning their role and the Council’s military forces were still scattered awaiting orders. There had been no increase in recruitment or training. Technology and budgets were still limited and those responsible for leading the military forces had been held back by a lack of guidance.

One thing they could agree upon though was that dark days were coming and that they needed to work quickly if they were to weather the storm. Sadly it appeared that there was a vast difference between recognising the need for action and following through on their obligations. It would not take long for them to realise that it was already too late.

Dark Specter had won.


Dark Specter had won. He hadn’t conquered the universe, the galaxy or even the planet known as Earth. But in the battle for dominance between the many villainous factions, he had emerged victorious. The members of the United Alliance of Evil had followed his edict and accepted his empty promises. In return for completing the tasks he had set them, they would be allowed an opportunity to strike at the planet Earth.

What Dark Specter had failed to explain to the suddenly eager followers was that he would be the one to assign the tasks and that those that were most likely to conquer the Earth were those given the most difficult, time consuming tasks far away from the ultimate prize. He had sent Rita, Zedd and others to conquer galaxies, knowing that doing so would take them centuries. He had changed the definition of success to slow their progress and to remove the competition.

There was still some competition, but they were limited and easily dealt with. He had given them simpler tasks to complete, knowing that their attempts to target the Earth would quell any complaints that he had cheated. He had even set his own forces tasks that would delay his own strike at the planet until others had tried and failed.

In the end though Dark Specter knew that he would emerge victorious because he alone understood the importance of the planet Earth. Members of the UAE had seen some of the reports regarding the planet’s power. He understood why it was so powerful and why those that attacked it were bound to grow incompetent. And he planned to extract the source of that power and to use it to bind the universe together with himself as its ruler.

And it didn’t matter if they Council managed to get their act together. The only way they could stop him would be to destroy the prize before he could claim it, at which point the greatest weapon they possessed would be lost. One way or another, Dark Specter had already triumphed.


Dimitiria closed the Book of the Unknown once more and tried to make sense of all that she had seen. As an Inquirian she was the perfect guardian for the ancient tome, possessing a thirst for knowledge and a natural grasp of asking the right questions. Still it seemed that there were too many forces in play to draw any real conclusions.

It seemed that nature could not tolerate a vacuum and with so many threats out there steps had been taken to ensure the Earth remained protected. Why the planet was so important was still not clear. The reasons were growing daily, but she still felt there was something they had yet to learn. A great secret that would shake their society to its core.

She feared for her old friend Zordon when the time came. She strongly suspected that the price of securing the peace he so desired would be too high. Still for now Zordon was safely back on Earth, guiding his Rangers and Trey of Triforia had also arrived safely.

There was no question that the darkness was expanding. Dark Specter and his forces had set forth on their campaign, extending the reach of their dark powers beyond their previous territories. Sooner or later that expansion would turn inward and the light was at risk of being swept aside by the dark tide.

And then there were the other dangers beyond Dark Specter’s control. The Xenotome spoke of enemies hiding in the darkness and waiting for the opportunity the Grand Monarch’s actions granted them. Sadly it seemed that no matter how brightly Zordon and his Rangers shone their beacon of hope, there could be only one conclusion:

~The worst is yet to come.~

End


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Veiled Acts and Misdirection

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers or Doctor Who. They belong to the copyright owners. This is a piece of fan work and no profit is being made from this.

Veiled Acts and Misdirection

Zordon was frustrated. After ten thousand years trapped in a time warp he had believed that very little could aggravate him and that he had learned patience. He had been wrong. It seemed that regardless of experience, the incompetence and selfishness of politicians could never be underestimated. Even in a time of war they refused to work together unless it furthered their personal agendas. The problem it seemed was that while a threat had been identified, the urgency had not been understood.

How many times had the Earth been raised as an issue in the days since the Galactic Council had acknowledged the existence of the UAE and the threat they posed? How many sessions had been wasted while they argued about the allocation of seating and votes? How many votes had they tried to pass to limit the powers of the
Grid Masters who now held a small but significant number of seats to represent their contribution to the war effort while expecting them to freely offer there forces on all Council worlds?

Petty squabbles had slowed the preparations for war even as reports of how the UAE was positioning itself in readiness to strike were updated. Instead of debating why the Grand Monarch of Evil had decided to target minor planets of little strategic value and actively protecting them, they had spent two days negotiating mineral rights for when they reclaimed those worlds.

He was not alone in his frustration; Trey had arrived as Triforia’s representative only to have his status debated by the rest of the Council. It had only been when the Lord of Triforia had threatened to withdraw his planet’s support that the Council had acknowledged his right to be there. Zordon could tell by the look on the Gold Ranger’s face that he wished that he hadn’t bothered. And then there was the inelligence on their new enemy that had been provided by the Red Guardian of KO-35 The Council had spent more time debating whether the loss of KO-35 had stripped the Astro Guardian of his status than it had reviewing the evidence he had sent them.

~All that time sensitive data now useless,~ Zordon thought bitterly. ~Perhaps I’m going about this in the wrong way.~

Deciding that he should follow his instincts, Zordon stood and took his turn to speak. What he was about to say would not be popular, but it was needed.

“Fellow Councillors, I returned here to help fight the coming war against the Grand Monarch and his United Alliance of Evil. To date all we have fought is each other. While we delay, the enemy grows stronger. I do not know why he has positioned his forces to strike the world they have chosen, but I believe there is a reason and that we must discover it. However, I do not believe that this body will uncover that truth or take any positive steps to protect its members as long as these pointless debates continue.”

He paused, allowing the angry shouts to die down before he continued. Many of them questioned his right to speak to them in that way. It had after all been ten thousand years since he had set foot in the chamber; it was a low blow and all that heard it knew that the speaker had gone too far.

“You are correct of course,” Zordon said, his agreement causing more concern than if he had reacted angrily. “It has been a long time since I ‘set foot’ in this chamber, despite my regular attendance at meetings during my imprisonment. Since you believe I do not belong here, I will return to my post on Earth and prepare for the fight to come.”

This caused another wave of anger as the Council realised that he was willing to leave them to fight on their own. For without the support of Zordon it was unlikely the
Grid Masters would remain as patient as they had been. It looked as if the Council’s efforts would fail before they started. Zordon however was not in the mood to negotiate as he left the chamber despite the calls for his return. He was not surprised when Trey joined them after handing his duties to an aide.

“I will return to Triforia and report back on the lack of progress,” Trey decided. “Then I will join you on Earth.”

Zordon nodded.

“Then we will leave as soon as your vessel is ready. I will have Alpha transfer our belongings there.” There was somebody he needed to see first.


Graceful, swift and deadly. All were words that described Gosei and his fighting style. He was a late trainee of Zordon who had been unable to complete his education under the White
Master. He had instead dedicated himself to Zordon’s sacrifice and taken advice from the best tutors he could find in dedication to his former master. It gave him a varied fighting style.

“Master Zordon,” he greeted as the older man entered the room. He knew his master well enough to sense the shift in the Morphin Grid’s currents when the man was close by.

“Your growth in the ways of the Power are astounding,” Zordon commented as he took a seat that had been offered to him. “I thank you for allowing me to resume your training after so long, but as I told you before, you are no longer a student.”

“There is still so much to learn,” Gosei protested.

“Yes, but the place to learn those things is not in a classroom, but outside. I have a favour to ask.”

Gosei stood up straight, allowing Zordon to gain a good look at him. He was slender with a shaven head and brown eyes. He wore an off-white robe with a wide sash tied at the waist holding various pouches. He reminded Zordon of himself in his younger days and the
Grid Master felt guilty that his disappearance had likely caused his former student to choose his appearance as a tribute. Such tributes were unnecessary, but alas Gosei was not the only one that had felt otherwise.

“Anything.”

Zordon nodded. “I am to return to Earth to help prepare the planet for the war to come. In my absence I need somebody to carry my vote in the Council. I have chosen you to act as my proxy.”

“Master Zordon, I have only studied politics from books. I’ve never been in the Council’s chambers or held a debate.”

“You will do fine,” Zordon assured his student. “Consider this a part of your training. It is one thing to know how to act, it is another to do so.”

He could see the hesitation, the doubt and perhaps disappointment that he was to be left behind again. But Zordon knew that Gosei needed to learn these skills and quickly. If the visions he had had were an indication, time was running out.


Despite being a machine, Alpha Five was capable of an incredible range of human behaviour. He felt concern, sadness and on a rare occasion righteous anger; he could be curious and was prone to panic despite being extremely brave. If an observer had been asked to describe his current mood, the word smug would have been closely followed by satisfaction. Alpha had spent the time while Zordon and Trey had been locked in conversation with the Council, reacquainting himself with the Council’s Central Database. He had only been allowed one previous visit to the site before he had entered Zordon’s service, but it was there that King Lexian had provided him with his core programming.

And now that same computer system had granted him an understanding of the United Alliance of Evil’s strategy. He didn’t comprehend everything he had discovered, it took a little more imagination than Alpha could manage to achieve that, but he had learnt enough to prove that their random actions were anything but. Every planet they had raided while insignificant by Council standards were the sole producers of items a growing army could need during wartime. The UAE was seeking to cripple the Council before the first battle.

Lord Zedd and Rita had been spotted harassing undeveloped worlds that only provided a small selection of food for the Council and materials for its artists. The reports had failed to identify the foods as being the preference of breeding Tengas or that the clay extracted from the raided mines could be used to craft monsters and Putty Patrollers. The other planets they had seemingly hit at random had given the treacherous duo the raw potion and alchemy ingredients needed for any potions they would need. And the forest moon they had ravaged had provided Rita with enough raw materials to craft a never ending supply of wands.

With the thought that the various villains were actually undertaking their otherwise pointless missions to cover their plundering of supplies, Alpha had turned his attention to the Machine Empire. Since the Empire was split into Houses and the number of divisions within those groupings, their acts had been more difficult to monitor. However the breaking up of the Machine Home World had been too big an event to miss. It had been a surprise to see the massive planet divide itself into a number of large war vessels until Alpha realised that the Royal House of Gadgetry had taken control of the once organic world long before Zordon’s clash with Rita. The chances that there had been anything left of the original planet were remote given the machines’ desire to asset strip everything they encountered.

The machine ships had set off on their own missions, once again positioning themselves close to minor planets. However while waiting further instructions the machines were harvesting asteroids and using the materials they extracted to produce more Cogs.

Meanwhile Gasket and Archerina had been spotted rounding up slave labour to service their machines. Exactly why they needed organic servants instead of Cogs was unclear, but suggested they were using them for something that was hazardous to machines. And their antics were copied by his restored brother Sprocket as the younger prince set out to prove his worth to King Mondo, and some of the rival factions that sought to replace the Royal House of Gadgetry as the rulers of the Machine Empire.

Divatox had been seen raiding ships across the Council’s territory. It was only when Alpha had computed where her seemingly erratic course could lead that that he noticed her brother had been carrying out a similar pattern of raids elsewhere. Indeed several of the Dianthe’s leading members had been seen to be conducting random acts of piracy, leading the Council to dismiss them… until they reached their destinations. At that point the Dianthe had been in striking range of every maximum security prison operated by the IGPF.

And that was why the feeling of smug satisfaction that Alpha had felt when he had made the connection between the random activity had rapidly disappeared. The war that the Council had been arguing over and had failed to take action to stop had not even started and they were already close to losing. The Grand Monarch had somehow deceived the Council’s spies by making the UAE appear to be little more than an evil version of the Galactic Council where little was accomplished due to petty squabbles and long debates – although Alpha allowed for the possibility that the Grand Monarch had simply frightened the participants into obeying him. Then when his forces had made their move the randomness had made them seem undisciplined and divided. Even now as Alpha knew that the Council had allowed the enemy forces to prepare their armies for war, Alpha wondered what other patterns he had failed to spot.

“Alpha, we are leaving,” Zordon announced over the communications channel they shared. “I trust your research has been rewarding?”

Zordon had not pressed when Alpha had asked to visit the Central Database, but it had been clear that the small robot’s actions had made him curious.

“Ai-yi-yi, yes Zordon,” Alpha replied. “You won’t like what I’ve discovered.”

“Very well Alpha, transmit a copy of everything you have found to Pyramidas and my datapad,” Zordon instructed. “Then prepare to depart. I fear we have accomplished everything we can here.”

“Yes Zordon,” Alpha agreed, already changing his route to pass by Zordon’s chambers to retrieve any personal belongings.


Zordon watched as the shuttle departed. He had made certain that he had been seen boarding the vessel and had no doubt that there would be some that would try to prevent him from reaching Earth. But they would be disappointed when they discovered his ruse: Zordon had arranged other transportation.

Trey had left some time ago. The Lord of Triforia would rendezvous with Andros in a few days and then head directly for Earth with Alpha. They would be there by the time Zordon arrived. Meanwhile Zordon planned to seek out a few of his old allies before returning to Earth; the dimensional prison that had once preserved his life had following his freedom turned into a shortcut that allowed the White Master to cross the galaxy faster than most vessels. That would give him enough time. At least he hoped that it would.

End of part


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The Boy from Space

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers or Doctor Who. They belong to the copyright owners. This is a piece of fan work and no profit is being made from this.

The Boy from Space

"Out there in space, will we find friends?

Is there a place, where the universe ends?

And will we find it, when space goes on forever?"

– The Boy from Space

Lightspeed Aquabase, Earth

Captain Mitchell finished reading the police reports and considered his response. Normally Mariner Bay had a low crime rate. There were a few robberies and the occasional case of looting during a demon attack, but for the most part violent crime was not common despite the dark powers that lurked close by. Therefore when there had been a sudden rise in the number of unexplained deaths, the police had asked Lightspeed if there was any demon involvement.

At first glance Captain Mitchell had been inclined to return the matter to the police, asking them to investigate a possible serial murderer. It had been his assistant that had pointed out that despite the state of the bodies – each had been missing at least the heart – there was no evidence of a violent death. That something was harvesting the organs shortly after they died had caused Captain Mitchell to consider his response. His mind drifted to the reports of a cemetery where one of the graves had been opened and the body removed. He could not shake the feeling that it was somehow linked. He just didn’t know how.


Mariner Bay

Twenty hearts, twenty brains, right assorted limbs and many other body parts had gone into making what Curszer considered his greatest work of all time. Boiled in a vat of blood drained from over one hundred victims, the raw materials had been rendered down and then combined with the remains he had personally stolen from the cemetery. The result was a hideous patchwork of body parts that had somehow taken on the shape of a human being. It lay inert, waiting to be given a semblance of life.

"A part for a part, a hear for each year, we’ll have you alive yet, don’t you fear," Curszer toned as he continued to cast the many preservation spells that would stop his creation turned into a soggy mess.

For now the body was as ready as it could be. The powers he had used had bonded the spare parts with the bones he had taken from the grave and had made them a single being. Biologists studying the process would have witness the many strands of DNA alter to become identical to the original. But without the spark of life the body would only survive a short time and was at best a zombie. Fortunately Curszer had a solution to that.

"Past the shadowed veil of death, I call you back to the land of breath."

Soul magic was not easy to work, especially when the soul being summoned was not a demon and had been dead for more than a year. But Curszer had been repeating his incantation several times a day, gradually drawing the spirit into his grasp. He enjoyed watching its desperate attempts to flee back beyond the veil, it’s good nature abhorred by what he had in mind.

"The blood of those lost shall restore, just as you were before."

He laughed as he watched his victim struggle. It was a rare opportunity to torture such an innocent soul. Barely able to comprehend all that was happening, shocked by its sudden appearance in a world where it no longer belonged. Every day it was forced to endure a year in the life of some stranger. It had fought at first, then grown curious, then jealous. Now with each passing day the soul lost a little more of its innocence, becoming the soldier Curszer desired.

"From the passing time confound, and to this vessel once more be bound!"

There was a shriek as the captive soul was drawn into the monstrous body. The moment it touched the body started to shift and reshape itself. With a living soul in place it looked human and as the second part of the spell took hold, the eyes opened.


Twenty years earlier.

The man drove his car along the twisting road, his two children secure in the backseat. It was raining and the driver lost control. The car spun off the road and over the cliff, crashing down on the rocks below. Shockingly the man and his children survived, but the car’s fuel tank had ruptured and the battery had started to short circuit, causing sparks. With only a limited time the man knew he had time to save only one of his children. He could only release and carry either his son or his daughter to safety.

"Oh dearie my, which one will die?"

The man turned as he heard the voice, shocked and angered to see a demon standing before him. The flames and everything else around him seemed to have stopped.

"What do you want?" the man demanded, his hand moving to a gun he kept in his jacket.

"If I wanted to kill you I wouldn’t have slowed down the fire," the demon responded. "I’ve come to make you an offer."

Seeing that the man was not going to ask, the demon pressed on.

"You can only rescue one child, the other will die. Give him to me to raise as my own and know that he shall live. But which shall you choose?"

The demon enjoyed playing with the emotions of others. It enjoyed the torment it saw upon the man’s face as he tried to decide which child he would give up. The demon enjoyed the knowledge that it had won.

"Neither!" the man decided, shocking the demon as he rushed to the car.

The demon laughed as it watched the man struggle, knowing full well that he could not carry one child away and return for the other before the car exploded. He heard the man say something to his son before grabbing his daughter and running. The boy somehow managed to free himself from the car and screamed for his father to help him. And that was when the car exploded.

In the flash of the fireball, Curszer shed his guise of just another demon and made his way to the burning wreckage. He pulled the son from the flame and took him away into the night, leaving the father to grieve.


Somewhere close to Mariner Bay

Curszer gasped as he found himself back where he had started. He could sense the changes his little spell had caused. The boy’s memory of events had been altered so that he believed his father had abandoned him and that he had been raised by Queen Bansheera’s Court. His mind held the memories of the training he had received, of the torture and ridicule heaped upon him by the demons as they had forced him to fight for his continued existence. His anger at being abandoned combined with his hatred of the father that had chosen to abandon his son in favour of his daughter. All those thoughts and memories surged through the mind of the newly awakened children.

Except now he was not a child. He was a fully grown and very angry young man.

"Ah," Curszer cried triumphantly as the dark magic he had used to build the body was released and washed through the chamber. "He’s ready!"


The corruption of the lines of magic surrounding the Earth had been short lived and had only affected a small area. The event did however have side effects such as disrupting the magical waves that flowed from the planet. Normally such a short and localised disruption would pass unnoticed by others. There were however some exceptions.

Ask a mage capable of perceiving magic as a physical object to describe the Earth and they will tell you that it shines like a ball of magical energy in the night’s sky, the many line of magical energy crisscrossing the light to give a dazzling effect. "It shines," they would tell you. Ask them what the Earth looked like during the time when Bansheera and her clan considered it their world and they will tell you that the Earth still shone like a beacon in the night along with the many other worlds that eventually fell to the darkness.

The legends stated that Queen Bansheera had been banished from Earth and imprisoned by a powerful wizard. Those claims were wrong. Bansheera had never been defeated, had never fought a wizard, nor an army of young warriors. She had left her kingdom on Earth at the time when her empire was at its strongest to oversee the rest of her empire that resided within one of the many Hell dimensions. It had been after the humans had closed the doorway between Earth and her domain that she had been trapped, unable to find her way back to her palace on Earth.

Now the servants of her court had been released that doorway had been partially opened and the way back had become clearer. However Bansheera lacked the strength to break through the barriers between her dimension and the Earth from her side. She had been in communication with her servants as a spectral being, but she wished to physically reclaim her territory, which meant travelling there personally.

When Curszer had started his spell his intention had been the creation of a dark warrior to help the demons destroy the Power Rangers. His goal had not changed. But his scheme had relied on sorcery so dark that it had corrupted the magic of the planet for a short time. Unwittingly Curszer had given Bansheera an opening and the Hell Queen had wasted little time.


Springwood, Ohio,

The entire arsenal of the Ultrazord struck Beast Master, causing the villain to scream before his body was thrown into the air where he remained suspended by the energy that was tearing him to pieces. Then the attack ended and he plummeted back to the ground. His body cracked, the evil spirit contained within desperate to get away. He coughed violently, spewing up a small orb that was lost under his falling body.

"Hit him again!" Tommy ordered. "Fire!"

This time Beast Master was destroyed…

…Or so they thought. The Rangers had been busy at the time; too concerned about the Elemental Beasts and Minion to worry about whether the Beast Master’s destruction had been total. They had lacked the opportunity to investigate the orb he had ejected and by the time they were able to do so, they found no trace. So it was forgivable given their distraction, that they had missed a few people that the Beast Master had still controlled at the moment of his destruction as they carried out his final command and removed the orb from Angel Grove to a place where it could receive the energy needed to begin its development into a new Beast Master. Those slaves had been listed among the missing of Angel Grove although their deaths had occurred many miles away in Springwood, Ohio. There under the concentrated fire of Serpenterra, they had met their end and the orb they carried had been supercharged by its destructive ray and buried deep beneath the rubble.

Serpenterra’s blast had changed the landscape forever, raising the water table and crumbling the bedrock. Even as the ash and sediment from the former town settled, beneath the surface the wound festered. And within the murky, molten, steaming sludge, the orb had rested, nurtured by the agonised spirits of those that had lost their lives. Still unformed it displayed abilities similar to those of its parent, ensnaring the spiritual energy of those that had been killed during its awakening.

The Beast Master had been depicted in the legends as a demon that merely controlled the Elemental Beasts. In truth he was just another beast that had evolved without their great power. Instead of power he held an intellect that allowed him to direct his brethren. And like the Beast Masters before him, he had been capable of giving birth to a new generation of beasts. Fed by the ghostly despair of those that had lost their lives in Serpenterra’s assault on Springwood, it had fed upon the poisoned ground, using the negative emotions to grow powerful.

For a long time following the defeat of Minion, the town of Springwood had been cordoned off as uninhabitable. The land was too unstable for teams to even consider trying to reclaim the lost land or the many bodies that lay among its ruins. And then over time the area was deemed lost and designated as a monument to those lost. Untended the souls of those that had died there had been unable to move on, transformed by the dark energy within the land into vengeful lost spirits. Their hurt and anger caused the tiny seeds that fell from the Beast Master’s egg to grow and rot, feeding the soil with the chemicals needed to and soon turned the area rotting pool filled with the nutrients and magic needed to bring forth a new generation of Elemental Beasts. And as those embryos grew, they were carried upon the magical winds to distant parts of the planet, awaiting the Beast Master’s call.

Yes, this was the perfect place of death and rebirth, hate, fear and evil. It was the sickly combination of darkness that polluted the land that drew Curszer to the site, just as a short time before it had attracted the attention of two Duke Orgs. While their goal had been to find new Orgs to give themselves a purpose, Curszer sought to use the land as the final stage in his project’s development. The creature that accompanied was technically human. It was composed of the rotted remains of a body Curszer had stolen from a grave combined with a soul he had snatched from its resting place. He had combined the two, poured in memories and knowledge and fed it on an emotional diet of pain and hatred. And now the time had come for his little project to be granted a new life in servitude to Queen Bansheera. And its first task when complete would be the destruction of the Lightspeed Rangers.

"Take the steps and three shall bind; body, spirit and the mind," Curszer whispered. "A trade most bold: new life for old."

The land bulged and swallowed the walking flesh as a roar was heard that echoed around the world, distorting the planet’s energy as it did so. Unnoticed by most it heralded a new beginning and the arrival of darker times. And as Curszer watched, something vaguely human started to take shape.


Space

"Yeehaw! Cowabunga dude!"

Dappu was a spoiled brat. He had everything money could but and the full benefits of his parents’ hard work. He also knew that he was going to be in deep trouble when he got home. A teenager by the standards of his people, he had been grounded after failing his classes for the third time. His parents had taken away all his privileges and hired tutors to help him improve, but Dappu had been more interested in surfing the space waves than earning a passing grade. His parents were bound to punish him for sneaking out to go planet skimming, especially after curfew and without asking permission to borrow the space pod; for most space travel was reserved for traders and commercial flights with very few families able to claim to own their own shuttle.

Still he wasn’t worried. His parents were rarely at home – for despite their attempts to cover up the fact he was well aware that they had separated and his mother was living a very successful, happy and independent life away from her husband – and despite how tough their staff tried to be when maintaining discipline, the fact remained they were just staff. Besides, it was only supposed to be a short trip around a few of the nearby star systems, using the tidal effect of the stars as a means of changing course at the last possible moment. What could go wrong?

Unfortunately Dappu was so spoilt and so shielded by his parents that he had been left unaware of the dangers facing him. He had not known about the bounty that had been offered for the capture of his father, a widely acknowledged expert in the fields of magical engineering. He had not been told that those seeking to claim the bounty were waiting just beyond the shields that prevented them from simply raiding the planet and taking whatever they wanted. Had he known he would have sneaked out in the other direction.

Dappu’s home planet, Savoth, was protected by a genetic shield that only allowed approved vessels to pass if they carried a resident of the planet. Otherwise they had to seek permission and were monitored closely from the moment they entered the shield. Even with permission non-residents were limited to the spaceports and had to wait for approval to go elsewhere. However those precautions could be circumvented with the capture of any member of their race. At that point a bounty hunter would have the means to pass through their shields and help himself to useful members of society. And nobody had stated what condition that resident had to be in, which was why Dappu was making every effort to escape after being chased by the bounty hunter across several systems. In his mind this was far too high a price for sneaking out.

He had managed to keep ahead of his pursuer, but his luck had run out when he had entered Earth’s solar system with the intention of using one of the tidal currents to slingshot his way onto a new course. His entrance coincided with a magical distortion, the result of a ceremony taking place near Mariner Bay, and his swerve carried him wide. Out of control his vessel had plunged into the atmosphere, forcing him to make an emergency landing. Unable to fully control his descent he landed at his earliest opportunity, the hunter close behind.

"Bummer!"


Angel Grove

The end of the school year was approaching and for the five friends it was accompanied by an odd feeling of deja vu. The classes all seemed familiar, the events planned by the school’s faculty almost the same as the previous year. The only difference seemed to be in the alien forces that attack the planet. The previous year the monsters had been directed by Divatox. This year nobody seemed to control the random mix that tried their luck at conquering the planet.

The five youths of course knew all about the monsters attacking their world, since two of them were the planet’s first line of defence and the other three had just months earlier been an essential part of that team. Justin Stewart and Fred Kellman were secretly Power Rangers. Drawing strength from the Power of Turbo, Justin was the Blue Turbo Ranger and Fred served as the duo’s leader, the Red Turbo Ranger. They were accompanied by Tasha Young, Rosa De Santos and Franklin Park, the former Yellow Turbo Ranger, Pink Turbo Ranger and Green Turbo Ranger. Although they had lost their ability to safely transformed when their Turbo Keys had been damaged – for an expert friend had already determined that it was the transformation devices and not the teenagers at fault – they remained as support for the two active Rangers.

When the senior Rangers returned from their mission to liberate the watery world of Aquitar – a planet that would take decades to recover from the decimation reaped upon it by Minion and others – the Turbo Rangers had the guidance and experience needed to overcome the many varied threats they faced without the need for reinforcements. They had even found a way to temporarily switch powers, allowing Tasha, Rosa or Franklin to replace either Justin or Fred in battle. It had highlighted just how little they understood about the nature of the Speed Force from which they drew their power.

"So, Ernie’s?" Rosa asked, causing the others to grin. It was a familiar conversation when school finished. Normally Tasha and Justin needed to check in at the children’s home, but recently they had been allowed to stay out a little later.

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!

"Looks like that sandwich will have to wait," Fred answered as the five youths made their way to a secluded spot so they could answer the communicator. "This is Fred."

"Fred it’s Zack," a familiar voice replied.

With Zordon and Alpha still away, the older Rangers had been taking it in turns to monitor the Power Chamber. Working in shifts they watched for signs of trouble and alerted the active Rangers only if there was an emergency. Of course they also spent their time training as Zordon had encouraged them to do, expanding on their knowledge of their powers and the abilities those powers granted.

""What’s up?" Fred asked.

"The computer detected two ships entering the atmosphere and heading toward Angel Grove," Zack answered. "One is identified as a bounty hunter, the other is unknown."

"Either way we need to check it out," Rosa guessed.

The others nodded. Even if it wasn’t part of an invader, allowing aliens to settle some problem on the planet could spell trouble for civilians.

"I’m sending the coordinates to your Turbo Navigators," Zack advised. "Be careful guys, just because the siren isn’t sounding doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous."

"Understood," Fred answered, summoning one of the Turbo Navigators and studying the readings. "We’re on our way."


Dappu forced himself not to panic as his ship made a very bumpy landing in a wooded area close to Angel Grove Park. His vehicle had not taken the unexpected landing well and the imperfect angle of re-entry had damaged its exterior. And thoughts of sneaky the shuttle back and pretending nothing had happened were gone. If he was lucky his parents would stop at skinning him alive. And that was assuming that whatever had been chasing him had a change of heart.

He flicked a button on the console, activating the ship’s external viewer. That allowed him to observe the local inhabitants and change his clothing to fit in. The result was far from perfect; the bright red tee-shirt and blue shorts only highlighted that he was not human. Anybody that caught sight of his large ridged head could tell he did not fit in. How he wished that he had brought some sort of disguise technology with him. At least he didn’t need a translator.

"Yo dudes, how ya doin?" he shouted as he approached the nearest group of locals, a group of kids playing soccer.

Unsurprisingly when approached by an alien with a big mouth, the kids did as they had been taught by their teachers and ran for the nearest place of safety, shouting a warning to other park users.

"Hey, where ya goin?" Dappu protested. "Aw man, I’m never going to find any help at this rate!"

"I wouldn’t worry if I were you," a voice said from behind. "You’re beyond help anyway."

Dappu groaned as he turned around to find a weapon pointed in his direction. It seemed his pursuer had not only tracked him and survived landing, but had already discovered his whereabouts and was not worried about whether or not he survived.

Red. That was the first thing that Dappu realised about his tormentor. He was red, very very red. indeed apart from a few areas that were black, the majority of the armour that he wore was unquestionable red. The sword he held in his right hand was also red and if he had to guess, Dappu would be unsurprised to find out that the other sword he wore on his back was also red. Admittedly there were two types of red, the dull matt red that covered the majority of his form and the brighter, glossier red that accounted for the armour plates attached to his shoulders and legs. His helmet was red and black.

"We can do this the easy way or the hard way," the bounty hunter promised before he stopped to consider the matter. "Actually it really doesn’t matter if your run, fight or stay where you are. I promise it will be quick. Just like this…"

He swung the sword, firing a bolt of crimson energy at the alien youth. Dappu ducked to the side, but realised he had nowhere else to go.

"Hey what’s your beef man?" he demanded. "Did I diss you or something?"

"My employer wants the services of your father," came the reply. "Your father was very stubborn and refused his request. I had been looking for an inhabitant of your world to open the shield. But you? Well, you’re much better. With you I can convince your old man to come to me. And if he doesn’t, the shield doesn’t care whether you are alive, dead or finely diced."

"Knew there was a problem with that thing," Dappu muttered. To be honest he had never really cared about the shield that protected his world. He had never given a second thought to how it did its job or what it needed to function. His parents had given him the same lecture that most children received for their safety and he had cheerfully ignored them. That was something he was coming to regret. "Can’t we discuss this?" he tried. "Just because you want my dad to do something doesn’t mean you have ta kill me."

"But it doesn’t mean I can’t," the bounty hunter replied, unleashing another sword swipe. "Your father won’t realise until it’s too late. Hey, hold still!"

Another sword blow and this time Dappu had nowhere to run. His life flashed before his big blue eyes before a loud clang caused him to peek through his fingers. Red and Blue Turbo stood between the bounty hunter and his prey, their Turbo Swords preventing him from delivering a final blow.

"Maybe you should stop playing with sharp things before you get hurt," Red Turbo suggested.

"I am Kiaido, professional bounty hunter, renowned through the stars for my skill with a sword," he answered harshly. "And I do not need two pipsqueaks to give me a lecture on safety."

As he bellowed the last sentence, a wave of fire erupted from the end of his blade, blasting both Rangers. As Blue Turbo grabbed Dappu and ran for safety, Red Turbo stood his ground, allowing the Tyre Shield to work its magic by absorbing a large chunk of the blast.

"Auto Blaster!" Red Turbo called, opening fire as soon as he dropped the Tyre Shield. His shots were on target, but Kiaido was more than capable of blocking them with his swords. "Turbo Lightning Sword!" He leapt up, aiming to bring the sword down in a solid blow, but found his attempt blocked by the bounty hunter. Instead of letting his frustration show he repeated the move, this time shifting at the last moment so he could roll away and allowing Blue Turbo to catch the bounty hunter with a shot from his Turbo Hand Blasters.

Again Kiaido proved his skills with his swords, throwing the first back at Blue Turbo while he deflected the second at where Red Turbo had been standing. Only then did he realise that Red Turbo had used the distraction to take another swipe at him. Although he blocked it he was forced to concede that the Turbo Rangers did possess some skill. With his prey gone he decided to withdraw for the moment.


"What about my ship?" Dappu demanded much to the frustration of the three teens that had agreed to look after him. He was used to getting his own way and as soon as he realised that he was safe, he had started to complain. "If it’s damaged, you guys are goin ta pay for it!"

While Justin and Fred had been dealing with the bounty hunter, Franklin, Rosa and Tasha had teleported Dappu to the safety of the Power Chamber. There his identity had been confirmed and so had his story. Although when he had started messing with the computers, the former Rangers had agreed to take him elsewhere as soon as the fighting was over. That had been two hours ago and with the help of a device to keep civilians from noticing that Dappu was not human, they had taken him to the Youth Center while they worked out what to do next.

"We’ll look for it after that guy’s been dealt with," Franklin promised.

Dappu was not happy with that answer.

"Do you know how much that ship is worth? If it’s damaged I’ll make sure the Council makes you pay for it."

If he had expected the teens to show some sort of concern he was in for a surprise when they started laughing at him.

"The Council? This is Earth. The Council won’t even talk to us let alone order us around," Tasha told him. "After the response Tommy gave them last time they wouldn’t dare try."

"Earth? I’m on Earth?" Dappu was really upset now. "How am I expected to find help on a miserable backwater like Earth? I might as well surrender now."

"Hey!" Tasha snarled, grabbing the larger teen by the collar. "You already got help or did you forget how our friends just saved your life?"

"Look toots, I could buy and sell each and every one of you," Dappu replied. "So why don’t you be a good little girl and shut up? Trapped on Earth, man life is a real bummer sometimes."

It was Rosa who broke down laughing first, but the others soon followed. They had heard from Tommy and the others how stuck up some aliens could be. Over time the older Rangers had come up with ways to give them a little reality check.

"You’re rich are you?" she asked sweetly. "Good, you can buy the drinks. Hey Ernie, can we have four colas?"

The portly owner of the Juice Bar hurried over, hardly raising an eyebrow at the alien that had been forced to sit watching the television; the Rangers had given up trying to fool Ernie, especially when he was inside the Youth Center.

"Pay him," Rosa urged. "Let’s see that money of yours."

Grumbling slightly Dappu put his hand in his pocket and pulled out some coins, which he handed to Ernie. Only for Ernie to hand them back with a shake of his head and an apologetic smile.

"Pay him with real money," Rosa instructed, "not space credits."

"That is money," Dappu protested.

"Not on this planet," Rosa answered harshly. "Your money is worthless here which means you are no richer than anybody else."

While she was making her point, Tasha paid for the drinks.

"Miserable backwater," Dappu complained as he shoved his money back in his pocket, causing a strange medallion to tumble out.

Instinctively Tasha grabbed it before it hit the floor and when she did so it flared with yellow light. Unsure what had happened she handed it back to Dappu, who had stopped complaining and was looking at the three former Rangers speculatively.

"Here, drink this," Tasha told his as she passed him a Coke.

"Thank you," he managed.

Dappu had been surprised when his amulet had flared. It was something his mother had given him years before. She had tried at the time to instruct him in the use of the near-magical energy it channelled. He had given up after discovering that he could not use the powers himself, he could only channel them into objects or other people. He had found that he could use it to enhance some of his father’s creations, but his efforts had never been appreciated. He couldn’t believe that when his amulet had reacted the female had hardly reacted. He knew many others would have demanded an explanation and then that he supplied them with the powers his amulet could provide. What was wrong with these humans?


It didn’t take long for Kiaido to resurface and when he did it was clear he had a plan. The bounty hunter had retrieved Dappu’s ship and threatened to destroy it. Naturally that drew the two Turbo Rangers into battle. This time though the bounty hunter was prepared for a battle and didn’t hold back. His sword strikes quickly incapacitated Blue Turbo, whom he then used as a twisted human shield against the Red Turbo Ranger. In a very short time he had defeated both Rangers and held them at his mercy.

"A trade, Rangers: give me the brat and I’ll let your friends live."

Actually when they surrendered his prize to him he planned to claim the bounty on the two Rangers as well.


"So what do we do?" Tasha asked.

"We’re not handing him over," Rosa stated forcefully, sparing Dappu a glance. "Bad guys never keep their word and even if they did, it’s not going to happen."

The others nodded in agreement, surprising Dappu. He had expected them to hand him over in exchange for their friends. He would have done so in their position. Assuming of course he had any friends.

"We’ve got two problems," Frank announced. Of the group Franklin had proven himself the tactician and a sound analyst even without his powers. "First problem is getting Justin and Fred free. The second is once they are free and take that guy out, we’re going to have a giant battle on out hands…"

"And no Megazord," Tasha stated.

The Turbo Rangers Zords had been heavily damaged while aiding the Lightspeed Rangers of Mariner Bay. The result had been to combine two fleets of Zords together into a single Megazord. Sadly there had been no way to separate them and the Lightspeed Rangers had needed them more.

"I really don’t want to ask the others…" Franklin trailed off.

Pride was at stake. The Turbo Rangers had successfully defended the planet despite problems with their powers and Zords. Asking the semi-retired Power Rangers for help seemed like they were admitting defeat.

"How about we change the rules?" he asked.

"Come again?" Rosa asked. It was clear Franklin had some idea.

"He wants us to go to him, so we have to do what he says or even if we get the drop on him we’d still have to fight on his terms," Franklin said. "Instead, let’s make him come to us in a place where we can fight him."

"Mariner Bay," Tasha guessed.

"Right and then not only do we have a Megazord, we have a second team of Rangers and the whole of Lightspeed to help protect Dappu if needed."

"Zack?" Rosa asked.

"Already spoken to them, Captain Mitchell was happy to help," Zack answered. "But he wanted you to know that unless that bounty hunter attacks Mariner Bay this will just be refuge, not a Lightspeed Rescue."

"Understood," Franklin answered. "let’s go guys. Zack, make this as obvious as possible."

The plan was simple enough: draw Kiaido away from Angel Grove to Mariner Bay where there were five active Rangers capable of assisting and a Megazord should the battle escalate. And given that the bounty hunter had probably expected either their agreement to his terms or an attack, this would surely throw his plan into disarray.


Kiaido could not miss the sudden teleportation. It was easy to tell that Dappu and his companions had left Angel Grove. Tracking them to Mariner Bay took but a moment. Hauling the two defeated Turbo Rangers to their feet, he quickly followed. When he arrived he didn’t try to hide his presence, destroying a row of parked cars just to be sure he had the Rangers’ attention. He was unsurprised by the loud sirens that heralded the arrival of Mariner Bay’s defenders although a part of him suspected he had been set up.

"Release your hostages and surrender," Red Lightspeed instructed.

The Lightspeed Rangers had already drawn their side arms. With damage to the city their involvement was fully authorised.

Kiaido laughed and drew his swords. He had no problem adding five more Rangers to his collection. In his excitement he had forgotten the Power Rangers were quick to recover and that once they had the opportunity, Justin and Fred were bound to to make a comeback of their own. Against two Rangers he had struggled a little, but against seven he had very little chance. Blue and Green Lightspeed used their Rescue Batons to pin his swords away from the centre of his body, allowed Yellow and Pink Lightspeed to hit his with energy blasts. Red Lightspeed then delivered his own blow before the five Rangers of Mariner Bay backed up to allow Red and Blue Turbo a chance.

It was a move the duo had been practicing since the Turbo Rangers had been reduced in number; Red Turbo sped forward as Blue Turbo fired his Turbo Hand Blasters repeatedly, one blast down each side of the Red Turbo Ranger’s path. Then when Red Turbo had built his speed to maximum, he jumped into the air and summoned the Turbo Lightning Sword, as Blue Turbo adjusted the angle of his shots so the two blasts converged on a single target. As the blast struck Kiaido in the chest, Red Turbo delivered a fully charged blow from his Turbo Lightning Sword. The combined attack was too much and Kiaido was down.


Dappu was confused. When the three humans had spoken about running to Mariner Bay he had expected to be waiting a long time while Kiaido was defeated. Instead he was taken to a repair bay where his ship was waiting for him.

"We figured teleporting a ship from Angel Grove to Mariner Bay would take more energy than Kiaido was willing to spend," Franklin told him.

"So as soon as we had his attention and the Power Chamber confirmed he was on his way to Mariner Bay," Tasha continued. "We had Zack teleport your ship here so you can start on the repairs."

As he looked around Dappu realised that the Rangers were going above and beyond the call of duty to help him. The machinery available and the parts at his disposal were more than enough to repair his stricken craft. As he looked around though he was struck by how much machinery there was awaiting repair. It was clear that despite going out of their way to help him, the Rangers of Earth were out of their depth.

"What happened to your powers?" he asked as he picked up a wrench. He could fix things much quicker if he wanted to but did not trust the outsiders with his secrets. Still he was a skilled mechanic and his hands could work wonders, as he planned to show the girls at his school if they would let him.

"Our Turbo Keys were damaged during a battle," Rosa explained, pulling out her Turbo Key.

"And since we were injured in battle, we can’t handle the powers anymore," Franklin answered. He didn’t believe the Turbo Keys were solely to blame. Even using Justin’s Turbo Key he had only managed a limited transformation.

Dappu nodded, a part of him wanting to ignore their plight. He could see the energy signature of the Turbo Keys. It was almost identical to the power his mother had taught him to use. A little different and he suspected that the powers were Liarian in nature. He could also sense that energy within the three teens. It was clear that their bodies had not fully adapted to the powers and that when the keys had been damaged, so had their undeveloped channels.

As Lightspeed’s personnel turned their attention to doing everything possible to help him, a small part of him actually felt he owed them something. He shook his head to clear it. As if a bunch of humans were worth his help.

~But they did help you,~ an annoying voice whispered in the back of his head. ~You could easily fix this.~

He sighed again. If he dared to help them the Council would punish him. But if they didn’t find out…


Kiaido was a freelancer. He didn’t work for a witch who could use her magic wand or a pirate that was willing to blow him up to full size. Luckily in his travels he had learnt the advantages of being able to change his height and had acquired the potions needed to do so. And an added benefit of the one he used was that it restored his armour to full strength.

"Uh oh!" Red Turbo commented as the bounty hunter grew before them.

The seven Rangers rolled for safety as a monstrous foot stomped down on them. Then they attacked, using whatever means they had at their disposal. As Red and Blue Turbo wove between the villain’s feet, using their Auto Blasters to shoot at his heels and ankles, the Lightspeed Rangers used their rescue lines to climb his massive body, shooting their Rescue Lasers as they ascended towards his head. Of course such a strategy was only going to have a limited effect and when he stated swatting them, the Rangers decided to end the game and leapt for safety.

"Turbo Rescue Megazord!" the Rangers called, summoning the hybrid machine that was a combination of both teams surviving Zords.

Nothing happened and the Rangers realised they were in trouble.


Lightspeed Aquabase

The alarms sounded, technicians rushed to find a solution to the problem and panic was starting to set in. The repair bay where they had left Dappu to work had sealed itself shut, locking the technicians out and the Turbo Rescue Megazord in. The cameras refused to reveal what was going on but it was clear that the machines inside were working at a frantic pace. Various consoles lit up in the Lightspeed control room as Zords momentarily activated and then abruptly shut down. The loud banging told them that Dappu was doing more than just fixing his shuttle. In all likelihood they had let an enemy inside the Aquabase and were about to lose everything.

And then everything went blank for a second before the computers rest themselves and the consoles came to life. Despite knowing that the majority of their arsenal had been unusable at the start of their shift, the technicians could only watch in amazement as their systems came online, fully functional.

"Miss Fairweather?" somebody asked.

Lightspeed’s head technician shook her head. They had work to do. They could figure out what had happened later. She glanced at Captain Mitchell and receiving a nod, decided.

"Send the Zords!" she instructed, reminding herself that in future she might have to state which ones.


For the first time the Lightspeed Rescue Zords raced into battle. Based on designs that had previously proven unsuccessful, they were now fully operational. Pyro Rescue was based on a large fire engine, Aero Rescue some sort of jump jet hybrid; Med Rescue was clearly intended to serve as an ambulance while Haz Rescue was equipped to handle dangerous objects. Finally there was Hydro Rescue, a giant water truck with a long range extinguisher jet. It was clear that these Zords were larger versions of the Rescue Vehicles Miss Fairweather had designed, but the designs actually worked.

Without prompting, Hydro Rescue locked together with Haz Rescue and Med Rescue, the three Rescue Zords using hydraulic pistons to bend upwards to form a pair of legs. Meanwhile Aero Rescue had picked up Pyro Rescue using a set of magnetic cables and had hauled it into position atop the Megazord. The machine lowered its hand to the sidewalk as if waiting. The Rangers quickly realised what it wanted.

"Come on guys!" Red Lightspeed cried, leading his team onto the waiting palm.

From there they found themselves transported to a waiting cockpit. The moment they took their placed the machine stopped operating on its own, ready for their commands.

"Lightspeed Megazord, online!" Red Lightspeed announced.

However if the two Turbo Rangers thought they were going to be left out they were in for a surprise as the roar of engines heralded the arrival of the fully repaired Turbo Zords, which quickly combined into the Turbo Megazord. Faced with two Megazords, the bounty hunter was soon on the defensive. Once the Lightspeed Megazord used its extendable arms to knock him back and then grip him at a safe distance, the Turbo Megazord attacked. However it fell to the Lightspeed Megazord to deliver the final blow with a flaming sword that cut through the bounty hunter’s armour, forcing him to teleport away.


While the Rangers celebrated their victory, the technicians were trying to get over their shock when they discovered that the Lightspeed Zords were not the only machines that had been fixed, finished and improved. It seemed that somehow the repair bay had been completely overhauled and with the advanced machinery available, it had restored and completed all the machines that the technicians had been working on. While the majority of them were intended for Lightspeed, it seemed some were intended for the Turbo Rangers and others were for something else altogether.

It was going to take time to test and learn the systems for the new Zords. Miss Fairweather intended to make sure that Carter and his team worked relentlessly to master their new machines. Just as her technicians would have to work hard to maintain them.

It was also clear that Dappu had not only fixed his ship, he had used the parts to upgrade the engines. And once it was confirmed that Kiaido was gone, Dappu wasted little time in preparing his vessel to depart.

"The jerk didn’t even say thank you," Tasha groused as the Turbo Rangers watched him walk to his shuttle.

He stopped briefly and turned back to where the Green, Pink and Yellow Turbo Rangers were watching. He pulled out his amulet and muttered something, connecting himself with the energy field the Turbo Rangers referred to as the Speed Force; coincidentally it was the same power that Lightspeed had unwittingly tapped into to empower its Rangers. With a short chant a beam of light hit the three teens, engulfing them in multi-coloured energy. At first the light was broken up by areas of grey, but as he chanted, the Turbo Rangers glowed slightly. Then with a shrug he walked off making them question what he had done?

Without another word, the teenage alien boarded his craft. It seemed the tales his mother had told him were true. Perhaps with time he could learn to use the powers properly. It would mean studying hard and catching up on the things he had missed. But Dappu was certain he would manage it. And if he failed he could always bribe the examiner.

End of Part

Dappu

Kiaido the Bounty Hunter

Lightspeed Rescue Megazord


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The Green-Eyed Monster

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to the current copyright owner. I also do not own Franklin, Tasha or Rosa. They belong to Ellen Brand and are used with permission granted long ago. Equally the original version of this story is the property of Ellen Brand who granted me permission to use and alter it way back when she was writing Personality Conflicts. I thank her once again. This fanfic is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for violence and adult content.

The Green-Eyed Monster
based on the story of the same name by Ellen Brand

“Beware of jealousy, my lord, the green-eyed monster/ which doth mock the meat on which it feeds.”- “Othello,” William Shakespeare.


Prologue

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, life evolved in the Universe. Real life as opposed to the high beings that had emerged much earlier. Experts could not agree which planet was the first to show signs of intelligence for there were a number of contenders. Some evolved too fast and ascended to the higher planes while others lacked the understanding of the forces they inevitably played with and wiped themselves out. One race discovered the secrets to rewriting the structure of reality to the point where they removed themselves from the inferior beings, treating them as objects of fun. And then there were those that possessed the wisdom to stop before they overstepped the mark; in some cases they were simply lucky to survive the disaster they created.

The Wizards of Maltus were one such race. Among the oldest civilisations in the universe, the Maltusians were considered strange by those that encountered them. For despite being a race of powerful wizards capable of directing extra-dimensional energy and bending it to their wills, they abhorred magic. Magic was too wild for them to control and what they could not control, they feared. In a doomed attempt to limit the influence of magic on the universe, the Maltusians gathered all the energy they could find and locked it within a containment unit, which the then threw into the depths of space. It would be eons later that they discovered that containing all magic was impossible since it was constantly flowing into the universe from beyond.

In other circumstances the Maltusians could have become a major player in universal affairs. Perhaps they would have conducted an experiment that was unsafe and in doing so realised a new goal to bring order to the universe. Perhaps they would have become a divided race separated by their beliefs in how that goal could be achieved. Maybe given time they would have learnt to give others the means to exercise the powers they employed using willpower to bend energy to their wills.

But that never happened. The Maltusians’ failure to contain the spread of magic caused them to look inward to maintaining order over their own world. Experimentation stopped and a great race for the most part was content to stagnate. Had they realised that their race had been rewritten by the meddling of another race to make them less of threat, they would have fought. But they never knew and the great forces they were supposed to bring to the universe emerged without their guidance.

Not all the Maltusians felt that way though and from time to time a member of their race would decide to experiment with forces he did not understand. Krona was one such Maltusian. Unlike others who did so for their own amusement, Krona believed that only through understanding could his people achieve their goals. To that end he carried out forbidden experiments using magic and in the process accidentally transformed a demon into a powerful embodiment of twisted emotions: Nyghtmayr.

The Maltusians managed to force Nyghtmayr into another dimension known as the Morphyus Realm. Krona was severely punished for his crimes, but the damage he had caused would not be easily reversed; Krona had unwittingly spread the twisted emotions Nyghtmayr represented throughout existence and in doing so had offset the natural advantage of Good over Evil. Servants of Nyghtmayr remained to do his bidding, finding ways to feed on the emotions they influenced to free their master. The Shadow Empire had many forms.

Guilt ridden about the damage Krona had caused, the Maltusians discovered a way to fight the forces of the Shadow Empire. Unfortunately the method they devised required more than just willpower. It needed a powerful and creative imagination to direct the power. It was a weapon the Maltusians would never be able to use themselves and with their strong feelings of isolationism, one they were unwilling to share. Instead despite their regret, they resigned themselves to failure and returned to bringing order solely to themselves.

And as the Maltusians faded from the powerful force they might have become, a grand schemer was satisfied that he had removed yet another of those that would challenge his race for supremacy. It was a slow battle that he fought, mostly in secret. His people would never approve of the steps he had taken to ensure their position as the guiding influence over the lesser beings. The creation of the threat Nyghtmayr posed and the corruption of the Morphyus Realm had been regrettable, but he comforted himself that as bad as the demon could be, his conscience was much worse.


The journey back from Aquitar had taken the Power Rangers longer than expected. Escorting Zordon to Eltare had been an educational experience. However when Trey had decided that he needed to look in on Triforia, the delays had increased. Still they arrived home to a great party, unaware of the war that Zordon and Trey had been careful to keep from them; Trey had actually arranged for another vessel to return them to Earth, stating that he would follow on later. Friends and loved ones were reunited as couples cuddled. Food, drink, music and conversation flowed as the stories of those that had returned were exchanged with those that had remained.

For those family members that had only found out about their loved ones because of the mission to Aquitar, it was a great relief to have their sons of daughters home again. By morning many of those parents and siblings would not recall that secret as a spell was cast to protect the identities of the Rangers; Zordon while understanding the need to tell their families why they were leaving had been concerned that so many people knowing would cause them problems. In the end it had been agreed that those who were not ready to live with the knowledge that their loved ones fought to protect the planet would have the knowledge shielded. Only when they needed to know would they recall the secret.

At the same time the spell altered the knowledge of those outside of Angel Grove, hiding knowledge of the Rangers’ real identities. In Mariner Bay it was fine for the Rangers to have their identities known since the local laws regarding press intrusion kept them safe. In Angel Grove the less people who were aware of their identities, the better.

It was astounding for the senior Rangers to realise just how far the Turbo Rangers had come. Even reduced to just two members they had protected their world. Although rendered unable to morph, Tasha, Franklin and Rosa had continued to aid their friends. It was a good sign that the planet was in safe hands. Especially since Zordon had made an offer very few of those returning could refuse: the opportunity to receive the training that their peers on other worlds could only dream of, with instruction from some of the greatest Masters ever known. Both the Zeo and Morphin Rangers had accepted the chance to develop their knowledge and skills. The logistics would take longer since most of them wished to at least have the opportunity to return home on a regular basis. But with so much power at their disposal, the possibilities offered by teleportations were limitless.

But as Tommy stared into the night’s sky, he knew that this was not the end. Evil was still out there and the forces that had tried to claim the planet so many times before would return. He had a feeling that the battles to come would prove more difficult than those they had already faced. So far the Rangers had suffered very few losses in their battle against Rita and others. Somehow he knew that was going to change and in future they would all pay the price.

There was likely trouble ahead, but for tonight at least there was moonlight and music, and love, and romance. And together they would weather the storm and protect their world. Because they were the Power Rangers and defending their planet was part of the job.


Angel Grove is beautiful at night. The monster damage is invisible, and the lights of the city shine like a thousand stars in the darkness. Even the harbour district looks good, from a distance. There are a number of good places to look over the city. Hunter’s Point and Miller’s Ridge are two of the best-known. At Miller’s Ridge, teens are generally too busy making out with each other to notice the view. Hunter’s Point, on the other hand, is far less frequented especially with the dense mist that had descended upon it.

It wasn’t really mist, an expert would proclaim upon inspection. It was the vaporous manifestation of beings not native to the dimension they currently occupied. Psychically enriched emotionally charged beings that while often mistaken for demons, lacked the magic and physicality of such beings. Lacking true bodies they rarely set foot in the ephemeral world where lives lasted but a short time but felt so much more real because of it, preferring to draw those they relied upon to feed them into their domain of imagination, desire and delusion. When they did venture forth they took the closest form they could to the natives, which meant they became either shadow, smoke or sometimes mist.

These two beings were not like other that visited the mortal plain. They had ambitions beyond feeding on the emotional experiences of those they encountered. For they were more evolved than some of their counterparts. They were a part of demon Nyghtmayr.

Nyghtmayr had not always been a demon in the true sense. Once he too had been an incorporeal being that fed like a parasite on the emotions of others. But he had been observed, misunderstood and then for some strange reason… worshipped. Belief that he was a demon had altered Nyghtmayr causing him to become more than just another parasite but stopping short of being a true demon. As a result his ability to influence and feed on the emotions of others had been enhanced while his vulnerability to items know to harm demons was significantly lower.

However it was when a sorcerer made the mistake of trying to summon Nyghtmayr that his transformation had been completed. Nyghtmayr had become a very unusual demon and although he was driven back, he had never been destroyed. On a previous Halloween night, the Power Rangers of Earth had encountered Nyghtmayr and some of the lesser demons that he had created. Nyghtmayr had once again been driven back to where he rested, but the Rangers had not destroyed him. And so he waited for the next time he received the needed emotional energy to come forth and feed.

Tonight it was not Nyghtmayr that had stepped into the mortal realm. Instead it was two of his creations, lesser demons better attuned to singular emotions. And as the mist shifted to take the form of the two draconic shadows watching the gem-studded vista below with acquisitive eyes the world around them seemed to grow darker. Then they shifted further, assuming forms the natives were more likely to recognise – for one benefit of Nyghtmayr’s previous visits to the mortal real had been an understanding of what made a mortal.

“Think of it, Jealysy!” one hissed. “The entire world, ours for the taking!”

Jealysy swatted her companion upside the head. Seeing that his form would likely be considered a child by Earth standards and that her form was that of a fully grown female, it likely hurt. “Fool! Don’t be so eager, Malyce! Our master will not accept failure just because we failed to properly study the situation. We shall not be driven back like the others.~

Malyce rubbed his head sullenly. “What will we do, then?”

Jealysy smiled, an evil expression that curled across her face and looked impossibly dragon-like on her otherwise normal features. “We shall use the oldest technique known to warriors, Malyce. One known and used by the Rangers of this world. Divide and conquer. The Rangers shall fall, and we shall have avenged our master and our brothers, and secured a world for Nyghtmayr to plunder, all in one swoop.” Hideous silent laughter echoed through the hills, disturbing more than one dream in the city below.


“Hey, Ernie, where do you want these?” Tanya Sloan asked, setting the last box of papayas down on the juice bar counter.

“Right there is fine, Tanya,” the slightly paunchy bartender replied. “I’ll get to them later. So how’s Pitt?”

“It’s great, although I miss all my friends. We keep in touch of course, by letter and communicator, but still, it’s sad not seeing them every day. One thing I really miss is the sunshine all year round! I certainly wouldn’t be dressing like this in a Pittsburgh February.” She spun, showing off her yellow short-sleeved shirt. Ernie chuckled.

Summer had arrived in Angel Grove and the natives were taking full advantage of the weather.

“No, I don’t suppose you would. So how long are you home for?”

“Four days. I’ve got a long weekend, thanks to some of my professors cancelling all the classes, and my parents know I’m a Ranger, so I just teleported home for the weekend. Maybe later I’ll head up to Northwestern, pay Adam a visit.” She grinned.

“So after you help me load all my food supplies into my pantry, what are your plans for the day?”

She sighed. “Well, I have to help my mom move some stuff up to the attic. After that, I’m joining the Turbo Rangers for a picnic in the park. That’ll be interesting.”

Ernie snorted. “That’s one word for it.” The Turbo Rangers- Fred Kelman, Justin Stewart, Franklin Park, Rosa De Santos and Tasha Young- were the most unpredictable, eclectic group of friends that Ernie had ever had in his juice bar. The fact that they were also Earth’s major line of defence against evil aliens from outer space only made hanging around with them more- interesting. More so given that Tasha, Franklin and Rosa had suffered injuries during their time as Rangers that made their future roles uncertain.

Tanya laughed. “I haven’t talked to Tasha that much recently. I used to mentor her, and I think it’s time we got the communication channels re-opened. I’ll see you, Ernie. I’ve got some heavy lifting to do.” She was really worried about how her friend was coping with the recent uncertainty.

“Bye, Tanya,” he waved as she sped out the door.


“So who brought the food?” Those were Fred Kelman’s first words upon joining his friends for their picnic in the park. Three thumbs jerked in the direction of Rosa De Santos, who smiled.

“And we have quite a selection. Ham sandwiches, roast beef, turkey, tuna salad, peanut butter and mayonnaise…” As Rosa enumerated the food choices on her fingers, the other four all groaned good-naturedly.

Franklin Park chuckled, looking up from his book. “She is DEFINITELY a De Santos,” he grinned. Rosa stuck her tongue out at him.

“I’m a growing girl!” she defended herself.

Justin Stewart raised an eyebrow. “You keep eating like that, and the only direction you’ll be growing in is out.”

“HEY!” Rosa immediately pounced on her blue friend, tickling him unmercifully around the ribs. Laughing, Justin flailed around helplessly, trying to knock her away. The other three just sat and watched.

“Should we help him?” Tasha Young asked, sounding slightly bored. The other two looked at each other.

“Nahhh,” Fred and Franklin replied in unison. “Justin can take care of himself,” Fred added.

Suddenly a flash of black lightning and a sudden breeze alerted the party to the presence of something evil. Rosa left off tickling Justin, and all five Rangers rose slowly to their feet, turning towards the source of the wind. Standing behind them was a dragon made entirely of shadow.

“Anybody got any ideas who or what THIS is?” Fred asked his friends. The other four shook their heads.

“I am Jealysy, servant of Nyghtmayr, humans. Surrender now, and I may yet spare your miserable lives!”

Tasha snorted. “Everyone who’s heard this speech before, raise your hands.” Five hands shot up.

Jealysy had assumed her shadow form for the confrontation, believing that it would inspire apprehension on the part of the humans. For the most part it had elicited only curiousity.

“Look,” Justin began, “we’ve kicked every villain butt from here to Topeka. Why don’t you just give up and go away?”

“Why do we even bother asking each other these questions?” Rosa added. “We always know what the answers are going to be. It’s formula.”

“Let’s skip to the point where we morph and beat her,” Franklin suggested. “I want to get back to our picnic.” Despite their confident joking, the Turbo Rangers were nervous. They had heard about the team’s two previous run-ins with the Demons of Nyghtmayr, and knew they were up against a formidable adversary. With only two active Rangers they were at a distinct disadvantage.

“I think Franklin’s got a plan,” Fred agreed. “Shift into Turbo!” In a flash of light, Justin and Fred were transformed into the Power Rangers Turbo. Jealysy merely laughed, regarding them contemptuously.

“Young fools. Do you believe that those outfits will protect you against my power?” A bright light flashed, accompanied by a sound like thunder. When their vision cleared, the Turbos were alone in the park.

“I guess she’s gone,” Red Turbo said slowly. “Let’s head back to the Power Chamber and talk to the others about this.” He reached out a hand to Rosa, who had fallen to her knees from the shock of the attack. Suddenly his hand was knocked away as an angry looking Franklin stepped between them.

“Keep your hands off her,” Franklin growled. “She’s with ME, hot-shot, and don’t you forget it.”

“Yeah?” Red Turbo replied, not backing off. “You want everything, don’t you? I bet you want to be leader, too. Well too bad, you can’t even morph!”

“Fred, Franklin, what are you doing?” Tasha cried, trying to pull her two friends away from each other before blows could be exchanged. Suddenly a hand fell on her shoulder, pulling her away from the two of them. Tasha turned to see Rosa standing behind her.

“Keep away from my man, Tasha,” Rosa warned.

“Rosa, have you gone nuts? I’m not interested in Franklin.”

“That’s good to hear.” She whirled at the voice behind her. It was Blue Turbo’s, but the tone was so threatening that she had barely recognized it. “You’re with me, Tasha, and don’t you forget it.”

Tasha pulled out of Blue Turbo’s punishingly tight grip on her wrists, controlling her desire to hit him with some effort. He was morphed and she was powerless. Striking him would likely just hurt her hand. “You don’t own me, Justin. What is wrong with all of you?”

Suddenly a flash of yellow light caught everybody’s attention, and all five Turbos turned to see Yellow Zeo teleport in. “You guys! You’re under Jealysy’s spell!” she cried, running towards them. “You have to fight it!”

Suddenly the world flashed white, and the ground fell out from under them. Tasha barely had time to curse before the white turned to black, and she knew no more.


“Ohh, never again,” Tasha mumbled. “I will NEVER let Justin talk me into that roller coaster again!” Levering herself up, she examined her surroundings. They appeared to have landed in a forest. Gray mist swirled around them, making it impossible to see more than a few yards in any direction. The trees around them were black and bare, and seemed to be dead. In any direction, the woods were preternaturally silent. Tasha made a face. “Yuck. What is this place?”

“You got me,” Tanya replied, sitting up next to her. “But we’re all by ourselves, and we’re both unmorphed.”

It was true. Despite being morphed when she arrived, Tanya was clearly out of uniform, and none of the other Turbo Rangers were anywhere in sight. Tasha stood cautiously, helping Tanya up as well. She shivered, looking around her. “Maybe you should morph again. This place seems like it could be dangerous.”

“It’s morphin time! Zeo Ranger II, Yellow!”

Yellow light flared, but nothing happened. The two girls regarded each other in worry.

“That won’t work here,” a mental voice said. The two girls whirled to find an image of Jealysy and another demon watching them. “You’re in the realm of Morphyus, the home of the Demons of Nyghtmayr. Here, you play by our rules. Oh, by the way, this is Malyce. We are part of the dynasty of Nyghtmayr, and we shall be your destroyers.~

“Where are our friends?” Tasha asked furiously, taking a step towards the demons. Her temper, never the best, was frayed to its limit by the events of the day.

Jealysy sniggered. “Oh, they’re around. Good luck hunting for them, Yellow Rangers, because they’ll also be hunting for you.” With that, the image disappeared, leaving the two girls alone.

“What did she mean by that?” Tanya asked. Tasha shrugged.

They didn’t have to wait long for an answer. A blur of red suddenly left the bushes and attacked them. As it approached, the two of them could see that the blur was actually Fred Kelman. “Fred, don’t!” Tasha cried, blocking a particularly nasty kick. “We’re your friends, remember?” He spin-kicked her away, sending her into a nearby tree. “Oof. Guess not.”

Tanya set her stance as Fred advanced on her, and nearly gasped as she saw his eyes. They were black, not just in pupil or iris, but a complete solid black, with no features whatsoever. “He’s under some kind of spell!” Tanya cried, dodging a powerful punch. “Must be Malyce. Nyght Demons can evoke the emotion that they’re named for.”

Nyght Demons, a term Billy had coined after researching Nyghtmayr. The Rangers had wanted to know what they would face if they came across him again. The problem had been that many of the texts contradicted each other. Some claimed he was a demon, other claimed he was significantly less. Some claimed that he was all the twisted and dark emotions given form, while others warned of his parasitic nature. Of the Nyght Demons there was even less to go on except that even when they were destroyed, Nyghtmayr could recreate or just replace them.

“So how do we break it?” Tasha yelled, rising to her feet.

“With friendship,” replied Tanya. “I don’t know him well enough, so you’re going to have to talk him down.”

Tasha swallowed. One slip, and Fred would pound her into hamburger meat. Tasha had no illusions about her fighting ability or Fred’s. Gathering her courage, she tackled her friend, pinning him to the ground. “Listen to me, Fred,” she said quickly, her tone of voice urgent. “It’s me, Tasha. Remember me? Remember all those hours we spent in the Youth Center, you teaching me to fight? Remember that time I helped you with your math homework, and we spent three hours on it, until you finally understood the concept? Or that junior high dance, the one that Divatox and her Piranhatrons crashed? Do you remember how we double-teamed that one that stole your baseball cap?” Fred’s struggles were growing less, but his eyes were still that featureless obsidian. Tasha racked her brains for something else to say.

“Come on, Fred. You’re too strong to let Malyce control you. What happened to the guy who can out-stubborn Tommy Oliver AND Jason Scott? To the leader who never lets us lose confidence in ourselves? We all look up to you, Fred. You’ve pulled our buns out of the fire so many times. Don’t you DARE leave me now.”

That did it. The last of the black left Fred’s eyes. Warily, Tasha got off him, watching him to see what he would do. He startled her by throwing his arms around her neck in a tight hug. “Thanks, Tash,” he whispered. “I needed that.”

“Get your skinny red butt away from me,” she joked, uncomfortable with such an open display of affection. He pulled back, smiling at her. Suddenly his body was surrounded by red light, and he disappeared. Faintly in the background, Tasha could hear Jealysy’s mocking laughter. With a growl, she rose to her feet.

“This isn’t over yet,” she told the woods at large. “Count on it.”

Tanya placed a hand on the younger girl’s shoulder. “You beat their spells, Tasha, both of them. It’ll take longer for them to recast them, because this time, Fred will be fighting. We’ll rescue him before that happens.”

“I hope you’re right,” Tasha sighed. Then she and Tanya began to walk, knowing that sooner or later, they would encounter another Turbo Ranger.



“One thing I don’t understand,” Tanya said suddenly, breaking the silence between them. They had been walking along the bleak and misty path for a few minutes, alert at all times for an attack by one of the Rangers. “Why didn’t Jealysy’s spell affect you?”

Tasha pondered that for a moment, a thoughtful expression on her face. “Well,” she said slowly, “jealousy, the emotion, is fear of losing something that you have. It’s about power, control. I’ve been a shelter kid most of my life. I’ve never really had any friends, family, or possessions to worry about losing, and I realized a long time ago that the only thing in my world I can control is me. Maybe Jealysy’s spell couldn’t find any place to grab on.”

That wasn’t true. When she had first seen Fred and Justin transform, she had felt a pang of envy that they had retained the ability while she was helpless. But that had quickly faded as the two boys had helped their injured friends with their exercises and had never excluded them because of their weakness.

Tanya looked at the younger girl speculatively. “You say you don’t have anything to be afraid to lose,” she teased “What about Justin?”

Tasha blushed bright red, an unusual occurrence for her. “THAT is none of your business.” Tanya laughed aloud. Although she and Tasha looked very similar, they rarely acted alike. The Yellow Turbo Ranger’s current reaction, however, was so much like Tanya’s reaction to questions about her relationship with Adam had once been. It was just too funny.

“Glad you think this is so amusing,” Tasha shot back acerbically, but a smile was beginning to touch her lips as well. Suddenly a pair of blurs dropped from the trees above them. Tasha and Tanya quickly took back to back stances as Franklin and Rosa began to advance on them. A quick look told the two Rangers that their friends were in the same state that Fred had been. “I’ll take Rosa,” Tasha called over her shoulder. “You probably know Franklin better.”

“Oh, sure,” Tanya grumbled as Tasha threw herself into the fight. “Stick me with the black belt.” She and Franklin began to circle, as she racked her brains for something to say that would break through Malyce’s spell on him.

“Rosa, you have to remember,” Tasha pleaded. “You and me, going shopping for your mother’s birthday present? We must have canvassed every store in the mall, and checked out every guy there too. Or remember the fight at the water park, when you and that Piranhatron fought all the way down the waterslide, and at the bottom, I hit him with an inner tube? Come on, Rosa, you have to come back to me. You’re the only other girl on the team. Who else can I talk to about girl things? You’re the only one I know who really understands me. Fred, Franklin, and Justin are great, but they’re guys! You know how that is. Please, Rosa, come back.”

Listening to her friend’s words, Rosa began to shudder as the black faded from her eyes. This time, Tasha held the other girl tightly and did not pull away when Rosa wrapped her arms around her in return. As Rosa’s shivering grew less, Tasha looked over to where Tanya was dealing with Franklin. “Come on, we’d better go help Tanya. Looks like Frank’s giving her some trouble.” Rosa nodded, and the two of them headed towards the other fight, Tasha still supporting her teammate.

Tanya ducked a round-house kick, mentally wondering if martial arts proficiency was genetic to the Park family, or if it was just a product of living in that house. “Franklin, don’t you remember me? It’s Tanya, your brother’s girlfriend. The one you dropped water balloons on? Adam and I were kissing after our date, and you and Fred soaked us to the skin. Franklin, you’ve got to remember. For Adam’s sake, for your own sake, please remember!”

“Franklin.” Rosa’s quiet voice immediately caught the Green Turbo Ranger’s attention. Cocking his head, he took a step towards her, lowering his hands from their attack position. “Remember me? Dancing at the Christmas party, working out in the youth center? Do you remember our first date? We spent the whole night watching each other instead of the movie. And at the end of the night, you finally got up the nerve to kiss me- even if it was just on the cheek.” Seeing Tanya and Tasha’s interested expressions, she gave them an evil glare. “Breathe a word of this to anyone and you die,” she growled.

Tasha chuckled, taking up the thread. “Franklin, you have got to be one of the most stubborn people I know. We both know you inherited your dad’s backbone. What happened to the guy who spent six hours teaching me a kata? Where’s the guy I can talk to about almost anything that bothers me? Come on, Franklin, come back to us. We’re your friends.”

The black left Franklin’s eyes, and he lunged for Rosa and Tasha, throwing his arms around them with a sob. Before they could break apart or do anything else, however, Franklin and Rosa disappeared from the three-way hug in a greenish-pink flash of light.

“Damn!” Tasha cried viciously. “I’m gonna kick those Demons into next week when I get my hands on them.”

Tanya sighed. This WAS getting frustrating. “Come on, let’s get moving. We’ve got one more Ranger to find.” The two of them began to walk again, waiting and watching for Justin Stewart.


As the two of them walked, Tanya studied the younger girl. Of all the Turbo Rangers, Tasha was really the only one Tanya knew very well. Tanya had enrolled in the Little Angel’s Haven Mentor program, and had been assigned to work with Tasha. At first, the younger girl had been suspicious of the attention, but Tanya had persevered, seeing in the lonely young girl a reflection of herself as a child. Although Tanya had found her parents, she still vividly remembered the years she had believed herself to be an orphan. Because of those shared experiences, Tasha and Tanya had forged an extremely close friendship.

Tasha generally kept her feelings locked deep inside, where nobody could see them, but over time, Tanya had learned to read the other girl through body movements. Right now, Tasha was worried sick about her friends. The younger girl might act tough and independent, but she had formed extremely strong bonds with the rest of the Turbo team. Tanya sighed. She thought of Tasha as a little sister, and would hate to see her hurt.

Tanya’s thoughts were interrupted as a blue-clad form shot out of nowhere, tackling Tasha and knocking her to the ground. The two rolled over and over, finally coming to a stop with Justin on top, his hands moving towards Tasha’s throat. In a move that Tanya doubted came from any of the boys, Tasha swung a leg up, hooked it around Justin’s neck, and pushed him off her, rolling and coming upright as she did so. The two of them circled each other warily.

“Justin, it’s me, Tasha. Do you remember me? You taught me to fight, remember? And I taught you how to hot-wire a car. Remember how we spend hours studying for that big science test? We stayed up until almost midnight, and drank more Coke than I’d ever consumed before in my life.” Justin cocked his head, obviously listening to her, but there was no flicker in his obsidian eyes.

“Justin, you’re the smartest guy I know. A lot of kids call you a nerd, but you’re not. You’re smart, and funny, and I really like being with you. You’re always the one I rely on to watch my back in a fight, and you’re the only one who understands what it’s like to be a shelter kid.” Tasha swallowed. “You’re- my best friend, Justin.”

Even as the black left his eyes, Justin was swallowed up in a flash of blue, leading Tasha to slam a fist into her hand. “Damn it! I feel like I’m in a bad episode of Sailor Moon!”

“Very good, Yellow Rangers. I must say I’m impressed.” The two girls turned once more to see Jealysy smirking at them. “You managed to defeat all of my Rangers. I didn’t know you had it in you.”

“They’re not yours, dragon-breath,” Tasha growled. Tanya placed a restraining hand on her shoulder.

“What now, Jealysy?” The older girl’s voice was hard and sharp as a flint. The Nyght Demon shrugged.

“We raise the stakes. If you want your friends, simply follow this road. It will lead you to our castle- if you’re brave enough to enter. We’ll be waiting for you.” With that, Jealysy’s image dissolved into so much black mist, revealing a pathway through the fog. Tanya and Tasha looked at each other quizzically.

“Do we follow?” Tasha asked.

Tanya sighed. “Do we have a choice?” That answered, the two of them set off along the path, wary of any attack that might come.


Tasha whistled. “Now that is a big castle,” the Yellow Turbo Ranger remarked, looking up at the huge black structure rising out of the mist.

“Yeah, I think Count Dracula would feel quite at home here,” Tanya agreed. “Shall we enter by the front door or look for a service entrance?”

Shrugging, Tasha began to head towards the main gate. “They already know we’re here. Might as well take the direct approach.” As the two of them crossed the drawbridge, neither of them noticed the flickers of light running through the ebony wood. Not until the flickers coalesced beneath Tanya, forming a vortex that pulled her down almost immediately.

“Help!” Tanya cried, now up to her waist in the swirling white light. With a desperate lunge, Tasha grabbed her friend’s hands, tugging with all her might.

“It’s- no- use!” Tasha grunted. Pull though she would, she could not budge Tanya, who was being drawn deeper and deeper into the vortex with each passing second. Tasha was now straining, almost crouching on the ground as she tried to pull Tanya from the hole’s grip.

“Let go, Tasha!” the Yellow Zeo Ranger cried. “No sense us both being captured.”

“Forget it,” Tasha snapped, looking the other girl straight in the eye. “I don’t abandon my friends.”

Tanya bit her lip as Tasha continued to tug, the two of them still being pulled steadily into the light. “I’m sorry, Tasha, but somebody has to rescue the others. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be all right.” With that, Tanya let go of her friend’s hands, pushing the younger girl away as she did so. Tasha fell onto her rear end and watched in horror as Tanya disappeared into the light.

“NOOOOO!” For a long moment, Tasha just stared at the featureless drawbridge where Tanya had disappeared. They had all gone now, and she was truly alone. Suddenly she shook her head violently. No, she was not alone. Morphed or not, she was a Turbo Ranger, which meant that the other Rangers were always with her. Face set with determination, she rose to her feet. “You think I’ll give up, Jealysy?” she yelled, not really caring if the Demon could hear her or not. “Well, I won’t! I’ll get them back, and I’ll boot your butt from here to Hoboken!” With a confident stride, she made her way across the drawbridge and into the castle proper.



In the throne room of the castle, Jealysy and Malyce watched this turn of events with interest. “Well,” Jealysy remarked snidely, “she’s turning out to be a great deal more troublesome than I thought. I’ll arm the castle defenses, make her run the gamut of the emotions of Nyghtmayr. We’ll see if that doesn’t take some of the fight out of her.”

Malyce shifted impatiently. “I don’t understand, Jealysy. Why can’t I just go down there and take care of her? She can’t even morph! It would be like taking candy from a baby.”

Sighing, Jealysy turned to her companion. “Let me explain something to you, rockhead. Right now, our little Turbo Ranger is burning with a righteous, selfless fury. All she is thinking about is rescuing her friends.”

“So?”

“So, you moron, that means that right now, she is good. You, on the other hand, are pure evil. She lands one shot on you, and you are a little pile of black goo on the tiles, comprende?” Malyce subsided, but not happily.



Tasha made her way slowly through the dark halls of the Castle of Nyghtmayr, alert for any sort of attack. But despite her wariness, she wasn’t quick enough to avoid the wall of dark energy that shot up out of the ground, encircling her. A cold wind blew through the hall, unobstructed by the energy barrier, and Tasha shivered. “Okay, what now?” she growled, squashing her fear down.

A soft sob answered her. Turning, she found herself standing in her old room at the shelter. Lying on the bed in front of her was a much younger version of herself. Without thinking, Tasha took a step towards the crying girl. She remembered this scene only too well. She had been six years old when her mother had dropped her at the shelter and never looked back.

“Why?” the younger Tasha sobbed aloud. “Was I bad? Didn’t she love me enough? My fault?”

Present-day Tasha shook her head. “No, no, it wasn’t,” she said raggedly, around the lump in her throat. But her younger self could not hear her.

“All alone. Mommy, come get me! I want to go home!” the child wailed, and Tasha had to shut her own eyes against the wave of despair that suddenly washed through her.

~ Despair.~ Tasha’s eyes shot open. Tanya had told her about the Rangers’ previous meeting with the Demons of Nyghtmayr, and how they had attempted to break the Rangers’ spirits with the emotions they controlled. Well, it wasn’t going to work. She wouldn’t let it. Deliberately, she closed her eyes to the little girl sobbing on the bed and forced herself to remember what had come later.

She had cried herself to sleep, and had awakened much later, sometime in the middle of the night. Sitting up, she had found a little boy standing in her doorway, watching her with sympathy.

“What do you want?” she had asked, trying to sound tough and failing miserably.

“I heard you crying in your sleep,” he responded, making his way into the room. “You want to talk?”

She snorted. “What’s to talk about? My dad’s dead and my mom dropped me off here without a second thought.”

“Sounds a little like me,” he responded. “My mom died a while ago, and my dad just couldn’t handle it, so he dropped me here in the shelter. My name’s Justin Stewart.” He extended his hand to her, and after a second, she took it.

“Tasha Young,” she said reluctantly. “Where you from?”

“Foggy Creek, originally. Then my Dad dropped me here, and he’s been all over since. I get letters from him occasionally, but what I really want is for him to come home for good. Where are you from?”

“Blaise Street, over in the harbor district,” she replied. “My dad got caught in a hold-up one night, and ever since then, my mom’s kind of been losing it. She’s going crazy, and apparently doesn’t want me along for the ride.”

“That shows she still loves you,” Justin told her. “She dropped you here because she wanted something better for you than what you’d get from her.”

Tasha sighed. “Maybe. Or maybe she just doesn’t care.”

“You’ve got to keep hoping, Tasha. In this place, it’s almost all we’ve got.”

She raised an eyebrow at him. “Almost?”

“Well, we’ve always got friends.” He grinned at her, and after a long moment, she smiled back. In that moment, she knew that she had found someone who would stand by her for a long time.

Coming out of her memory, Tasha found that the walls and illusion had dissipated around her. Warily, she moved off, keeping an eye out for further traps and tricks.



Farther down the passage, she was not surprised when another enclosure rose out of the ground. Setting her stance, she waited. “All right, what emotion is this?” she asked the air.

“Aw, look at Tasha, in a fighter’s stance,” a voice sneered behind her. She turned to see the other four Turbo Rangers looking at her with expressions of disgust on her faces. It had been Fred who had spoken, but Tasha had been almost unable to recognize his voice through all the distaste in it.

“What, you think you’re a fighter now, Tasha?” Franklin asked in disbelief.

Rosa sniffed. “As if. You’re probably the weakest of us, you know that?”

“Yeah,” Justin chimed in. “Franklin and I are black belts, Fred’s a brown belt, and Rosa just earned her red. You don’t even take a martial art.”

Franklin spoke again, taking up the litany. “Every time there’s a Piranhatron fight, we have to bail your butt out. You’re weak, and helpless. Even when we’re morphed, we’re all so much better than you. You don’t bring anything to this team! Fred can lead, Justin’s the brain, I know all the spy stuff Dad is teaching me, and Rosa’s learned all the healing Rocky can teach her. What can you do? Nothing.”

In the face of her friends’ disdain, Tasha hung her head. “What CAN I do?” she asked softly. “I can hack into computers, but Justin can do that. He can hot-wire cars, too, and Power Rangers don’t need to pick locks or pockets. What good am I?”

“You’re our fighting spirit,” Fred’s voice said in her memory. Tasha’s head snapped up as she recalled a similar conversation she’d had with him not too long after the events on the Island of Muranthias. She had been expressing her doubts about being a member of the team, not really understanding what she brought to it. Now what he had said to her came rushing back.

“You’re our fighting spirit,” he had told her. “Everybody has a breaking point, a point beyond which they can’t go on. Yours is so much higher than anybody else’s, though. Even when the rest of us want to quit, you go on, and you take us with you. You’re as tough as iron, and even when you’re not, you won’t let the rest of us down. You have something I don’t, and Franklin doesn’t, and Rosa doesn’t, and Justin doesn’t. You don’t break. You just keep going, and we need that, more than I could ever say.”

As the memory of Fred’s voice faded, Tasha glared at the illusions before her. “I know you now,” she growled. “You’re Doubt, making me unsure of myself. Well, I’ve got news for you. Maybe I’m not a martial artist, but I can fight. I made my way through three Turbo Rangers to get here, and I’m still alive. Maybe the others have to protect my butt in a fight, but that’s normal. We’re RANGERS. We do that sort of thing for each other all the time. There’s no shame in that. Maybe I’m not a genius like Justin, a leader like Fred, a spy like Frank, or a healer like Rosa, but I don’t have to be. I’m me. That was good enough for Tanya when she passed me the key, good enough for my friends, and it’s good enough for me.”

Around her, the images puffed into nothing again. “Two down, Jealysy!” Tasha shouted to the air. “Let’s see who breaks first.”



An unknown time later, a chittering sound caught Tasha’s attention. She stopped, looking around herself. She hadn’t seen an enclosure appear, but considering the darkness in the passage, that didn’t really mean all that much. The chittering repeated, and Tasha finally caught sight of her newest challenge. Stuffing her fist into her mouth, she backed away, trying desperately not to panic. A spider twice as tall as she was stalked towards her.

~ OHGODOHGODOHGODNONONONOOOOO!~ Tasha’s thoughts ran into each other, and only her diamond-hard stubbornness allowed her to keep her grip on sanity. She hated spiders, hated them with a passion only reserved for Elgar and Rygog. ~Fear,~ she thought hazily, with one of the few remaining rational corners of her mind. ~It’s the illusion of Fear.~ But it looked so REAL. How could she possibly stop being afraid of it?

~You know, there’s no such thing as giant spiders,~ a voice said in her head. It sounded vaguely like Justin’s, from one of the thousands of conversations the two of them had had over the years. Tasha clung to it, hoping the logic of Justin’s argument would keep the fear at bay. Looking at the spider in front of her, she took a deep breath and began listing all the reasons that the creature before her could not exist.

“Number one, spiders quite simply do not get that big. No creature that hatches out of a gelatinous egg can,” she informed it, repeating what Justin had told her so long ago. “A permeable membrane of that size would dry out long before the spiders could hatch.” The spider, hearing this, promptly shrank. Now it was merely the size of a horse. Emboldened by this, Tasha continued to quote.

“Two, when something increases, its mass, and therefore its weight, increases on a cubic curve, while the cross-section of the legs only increase on a square curve. Quite quickly, the legs would be too small to support the creature.” The spider shrank again. Now it was only tall enough so that Tasha could look it in the eye, if she had had any desire to do so- or enough eyes, for that matter.

“And finally, there’s the problem of breathing. Insects and arachnids breathe through tracheal tubes that run from their ‘skin’ to their bloodstream. Those tubes can’t be longer than an inch or so, otherwise no air gets down them, and the spider suffocates.” This spider shrank again, this time to the size of a tarantula. Tasha grinned. “Yeah, much better.” Then she stepped on it. It made a rather satisfying “crunch” under her sneaker, then puffed into nothing, not even leaving a smear on the flagstones. Whistling, Tasha moved on.



Tasha had apparently made better time than Jealysy had expected, because after the spider, she came almost immediately to the throne room. The first thing she noticed were the crystals on the walls, in which Fred, Franklin, Rosa, and Tanya were suspended, in hideous mockery of the uniforms in the Power Chamber. Their eyes were open, but they were not moving, resembling nothing so much as a series of flies trapped in amber.

The second thing Tasha noticed was the attractive fourteen year-old girl lolling on the throne in the middle of the room. Her skin was a pale white, and her hair and eyes were jet black. But it was the cold, cruel, slightly amused expression on her face that tipped Tasha off to her identity. “Jealysy,” she hissed.

The other acknowledged the identification with a nod. “Very good, Yellow Ranger. In this world, we Nyghtmayr Demons can assume any form we choose. I’ve tried being an adult, but I rather like this one better. But you haven’t said hello to my other friend here. Where are your manners?” Tasha turned, following Jealysy’s gesture, and stopped dead.

Because the third thing she saw was Justin Stewart, standing next to the throne, eyes as dead and blank as they had been in the forest. Cold rage sluiced through Tasha as she took a step towards them. “What did you do to him?” she asked, her voice deadly quiet.

Jealysy shrugged. “Not much. A little magic, and he’ll do anything I say.”

Tasha snorted. “Magic? More like testosterone.”

Laughing, Jealysy agreed. “You’re probably right. Still, whatever the reason, he is under my complete control. That doesn’t mean all that much now, but given a few years, he could be very- useful.” Jealysy licked her lips, leaving little doubt in Tasha’s mind what the Demon meant.

“Over my dead body,” Tasha snapped.

“If you insist.” Jealysy gestured to her. “Justin, kill her.”

Justin stepped down from the throne, slowly advancing towards Tasha. The two of them began to circle, watching each other warily, each waiting for the other to make the first move.

Suddenly Justin attacked with a blinding flurry of punches and kicks, forcing Tasha to back away from him. She ducked under a vicious spinning kick, aiming a desperate footsweep at his legs. However, he simply leaped over it and pressed his attack. Backing away, Tasha quickly ran through the things that her friends had taught her. The problem was, Justin knew most of them as well, and was a much better fighter than she. It was unlikely that she was going to be able to talk him down right now. She shook her head. “Sorry, Justin,” she panted. “Nothing personal.” As he moved in closer to her, she jerked her knee up. Unfortunately, he sensed what she was about to do and dodged at the last second, taking her strike on the meaty part of his thigh. Then he slammed her to the ground, knocking the breath out of her. As he reared back for the killing strike, an idea occurred to her.

“If this doesn’t work,” she muttered, “I’m gonna feel REALLY stupid.” Quickly, she reached up, snagged him around the neck, and pulled his head down to hers, planting a quick kiss on his lips. Immediately, the black was gone from his eyes, and Justin collapsed, rolling off Tasha with a very silly grin on his face. Tasha shook her head, getting to her feet. “Men. Sheesh.”

Jealousy rose slowly, losing her human form as she did so. “This ends here, you little brat. I’ll destroy you myself. Malyce! Deal with our little Blue Ranger, will you?”

“Right away, Jealysy,” the other Demon growled. Launching itself from the shadows, it landed in front of Justin, who had just regained his feet. The Blue Turbo Ranger set himself for a fight, the silly grin long gone. The two of them circled each other cautiously, each looking for openings in the other’s guard. Suddenly Malyce’s barbed tail lashed out, aiming for Justin’s head. The boy dropped into a split, causing the tail to whiz harmlessly over his head. Then, leaping to his feet, he launched a roundhouse kick into Malyce’s face, momentarily disorienting the Demon.

Meanwhile, Tasha and Jealysy were going at it hammer and tongs. Both were completely consumed with thoughts of destroying the other. Tasha dodged a swipe of Jealysy’s claws, retaliating with a powerful spinning backfist to the Demon’s nose. She quickly had to dodge, however, as Jealysy swiped at her with her powerful tail.

Justin was beginning to worry. Malyce was far stronger than he, and it was obvious that he couldn’t count on Tasha coming to his aid any time soon. Justin controlled his breathing with an effort, but could tell that he was beginning to tire. Apparently Malyce could tell as well, because he lashed out with his tail once more, knocking Justin’s feet out from under him. The boy hit the flagstones with an audible expulsion of breath. Winded, Justin could only watch as Malyce raised a claw-tipped hand for the finishing blow.

“NO!” Tasha cried. In an instant, everything was forgotten except her worry and concern for Justin, and how much she cared about him. She threw herself into a perfect flying kick, streaking across the room towards Malyce.

The realm of Morphyus, home of the Nyghtmayr Demons, was a part of the void that existed between dimensions. Previous visitors had misunderstood its nature and likened it to Hell, when in fact it was better described as the realm of the subconscious, of dreams made real. The Night Demons themselves are simply solidifications of emotions, the obviously dark emotions and the emotions that would normally be considered light, twisted by dark thoughts and ill-intentions. In Morphyus, all emotions are made real, made solid, and emotions such as friendship and love are made stronger than any. This, by the way, is all to explain what happened next.

In flight, Tasha began to glow with a brilliant white light. Her kick struck home in Malyce’s chest, touching off an explosion of white and knocking the Demon back approximately twenty-five yards. As Justin, Tasha, and Jealysy watched in astonishment, Malyce was consumed by the light, melting slowly into a little puddle of black goo, which quickly dissolved into nothingness. Jealysy was the first to regain her equilibrium.

“You little bitch!” the Demon hissed. “I’ll tear you apart!” The Demon sprang at Tasha, who barely dodged in time. The two of them were then immediately embroiled in a fight that made their previous battle pale in comparison.

Justin slowly levered himself to his feet, completely ignored by the two combatants. “This has been a really lousy day,” he muttered to himself, looking around. Tasha was clearly at a disadvantage, even though she was currently holding her own. If he couldn’t get her reinforcements fast, they would both likely be Demon chow- or worse. He couldn’t hold back a shudder, remembering what it had felt like to be under those spells. Turning to the crystals holding his friends, he forced himself to think. They were crystal, but what type? Quickly, he drew his pocketknife and chipped at the crystal holding Fred. The blade left a line, but not a deep one. All right, the crystal, whatever it was, was not quite as hard as steel. So- Looking around, Justin found a sword made of some black material. Testing it, he found that it was harder than steel. Taking a deep breath, he hauled back and struck the crystal containing Fred with all his might. The container shattered quite satisfactorily, dropping the imprisoned Ranger to the ground. As Fred knelt on the stones, gasping at the resumption of his bodily functions, Justin went on to free the other three. Once everyone was coherent again, he quickly filled them in on what had transpired. “And I think I know how we can beat Jealysy,” he finished urgently.

“How?” Rosa asked, leaning heavily on Franklin. “We’re none of us strong enough to lift so much as a feather, and some of us couldn’t morph even if we had the strength.”

“We can’t morph, but that doesn’t mean that the Keys don’t work,” Justin replied. “This place makes emotions real, somehow. If we can transmit our love and friendship to Tasha, she can annihilate the evil that Jealysy is composed of.”

“And that’s where the Keys come in,” Franklin realized. Tanya looked at the four in confusion.

“What are you talking about?”

“The Turbo Keys give us sort of a- psychic connection,” Justin explained, as the four Rangers pulled their Keys out of their pockets. “Another little bonus of the Turbo Powers, apparently. For some reason it only activated when the powers were passed on. I think being completely new Rangers had something to do with it. Tasha, Franklin and Rosa can’t transform, but they’re still connected to the Keys and through them to each other.”

Actually the connection was the result of months spent training and fighting together along with their shared power source. Fred, Justin, Tasha, Franklin and Rosa were a closer team than their predecessors. It was that natural bond that the Power had enhanced, granting them the ability to take their teamwork to the next level. Zordon had spent a great deal of time working with them to further unlock the secrets of the Turbo Keys and had promised that there were likely more discoveries to make as the team evolved.

“Why didn’t you ever say anything about this?”

Fred looked up at her seriously. “It’s something private. It’s kind of hard to explain how it feels, and it’s not something you casually mention.” Then the four Turbo Rangers focused on each other. “By the Power of Turbo, make us one!”

“Mountain Blaster Turbo Power!”

“Desert Thunder Turbo Power!”

“Wind Chaser Turbo Power!”

“Red Lightning Turbo Power!”

Tasha, still fighting with Jealysy, felt the power of the link slamming into her, and instantly understood what her friends were doing. “Dune Star Turbo Power!” she called, surrendering herself to the energy. Her body began to glow, first yellow, then white, as a series of images, drawn from the most powerful friendships she had ever known, ran through her mind.

~Red Turbo and Yellow Turbo, slowly sliding towards the edge of a cliff. “Let go! Tasha, we’re both gonna go over!” “Dream on, Fred Kelman. If you think I’m gonna let you be Piranhatron bait, you’ve got another think coming.”~

~ Justin and Tasha sitting at a table in the youth center, books all around them. “I just can’t get this! I’m just too stupid.” “You’re not stupid, Tasha, you’re just stubborn. Now put it to good use. Once again, definition of osmosis.”~

~ Rosa and Tasha, guy-watching at the mall. “What do you think of that one? Cuter than Franklin?” “Come on, Tasha, nobody’s that cute.”~

~ Green Turbo and Yellow Turbo, trying fix one of Blue Turbo’s devices “We’re never gonna get it working in time!” Yellow Turbo kicks it. “You were saying?”~

Eyes glowing with white fire, Tasha glared at Jealysy. “For my world, for my friends, you are history!” Suddenly, she spun into a perfect spin kick, catching Jealysy along the side of the head. The world flared with white light, as the Demon dissolved into nothing.



“Oh, man,” Rosa groaned, sitting up. Looking around, she saw that the six of them were sprawled on the grass of the park, around the remains of their picnic. “We made it! We’re back!”

“All right!” Franklin yelled, hugging her. As the rest of the team began to sit up, more than a few ashamed looks were exchanged.

“Look, guys,” Fred began, “I’m sorry about what I said and did today.”

“Me too,” Justin agreed.

“Me three,” Rosa seconded.

Franklin nodded. “Yeah, same here. But we just have to remember that it was Jealysy’s spell, not really us. I don’t think it’ll happen again.”

“Definitely not,” Tasha pronounced. “We’re too close for that. Friends?” She extended a hand.

“Friends,” the other four responded, placing their hands on top of hers. Then the four of them broke apart. Tanya grinned.

“Well, I think I’m gonna go back to the Power Chamber and fill the others in on what happened,” she told them. “Anyone else want to come?” The others looked at her for a second, and she nodded imperceptible at Tasha and Justin, who were studiously avoiding each other’s eyes. Comprehension lit the faces of the other three.

“Oh, yeah. I probably should go, too,” Fred agreed. “Franklin? Rosa?”

“No, we’re going to go to the juice bar, work out,” Franklin replied, his arm still around Rosa’s shoulders. “We’ve got some stuff to talk about, too.”

Fred nodded, and the four of them cleared out, leaving Tasha and Justin alone in the park.

“So,” Tasha began nervously.

“So,” Justin responded. They looked at the ground for a few more minutes.

Tasha finally exploded. “Oh, this is ridiculous. Look, I don’t hold anything that happened there against you, all right?”

He nodded. “All right, but- do you regret any of it?”

“What would I- oh.” She stared at him in sudden comprehension. “That kiss. Well- um- to tell you the truth-” She chuckled. “Actually, you’re not a bad kisser- for an egghead.”

He grinned. “Well, you’re not so bad yourself- for a tomboy.”

“Tomboy? Why I oughta-” She left the threat unfinished, however, and simply smiled at him. “Come on, let’s get back to the shelter. They’ll probably be wondering where we are.”

“You got it.” The two of them walked off, hand in hand.


Epilogue

The Demons of Nyghmayr had failed again, but the Shadow Empire survived. The barriers between the many realms had grown thin and the Rangers’ presence in Nyghtmayr’s domain had made it easy for some of the occupants to spread beyond their natural territory. And whereas Nyghtmayr’s Minor Demons had been creatures of purely negative emotion, those that emerged were predators that also used imagination and dreams to their advantage. A new strategy was devised to start with a single planet, the Earth, and from there spread throughout creation.

It was well known on the millions of worlds that considered Earth a dreary little undeveloped backwater of a planet, and even by some of the planet’s population, that the large concentration of Iron limited the population’s interaction with magic. Instead a series of Ley Lines crisscrossed the planet, creating hotspots where magic could seep through. Controlling such a network of magical energy promised unlimited power to those that were willing to make the effort – for doing so was a great deal more tiresome than simply conquering the world. Most villains would never bother with such a time consuming feat. But the Shadow Empire had been around since shortly after the first intelligent life emerged on Maltus and they had learnt to be patient.

Moving from hotspot to hotspot, they planned to draw strength from the suffering they inflicted. The screams of the children, the torment of the adults and the despair of the planet as its natural energy became enslaved by the Shadow Empire would be used to free Nyghtmayr once and for all. And this time nothing would stop them.

End of Part



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Shift into Lightspeed, Turbo to the Rescue

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. At this time they are the property of Saban Brands and all rights belong to them. I also do not own Masked Rider or Kamen Rider, which belong to their copyright owners.

Author’s Note: In this storyline Lightspeed does not have its proper Zords yet. The Rescue Zords used in this chapter are the ones from Power Rangers Turbo. The Village People comment comes from Ellen Brand.

Shift into Lightspeed, Turbo to the Rescue

“Almost done,” Kelsey reported as with a final twist the screw she had been working on popped free. “One to go.”

It was not the easiest task the Lightspeed Rangers had undertaken. They were working in cramped conditions where the chance of failure were extremely high. The tools they were using were poorly built using cheap materials and ill suited for the size of the hands holding them. And the Rangers’ view was limited to the information that was fed to their helmets from the remote cameras.

“Why did we even put hands on these things?” she wondered as her Zord dropped the screwdriver for the third time.

Months earlier General McKnight had made the unfortunate decision to create a replacement for Lightspeed. His team had been working on the Titanium Project when the computer running the operation had malfunctioned. While most of the staff and guests had escaped with only limited memories of what had happened, the Hydrothermal Generator that had been prepared to charge and activate the Titanium Morpher had been left online. Damaged by whatever had happened – for witness accounts were unclear – the generator had become unstable and started showing signs of overload. The potential loss of life and embarrassment such a disaster could cause had led McKnight’s superiors to order the Lightspeed Rangers to enter the sealed off caverns where it had been stored and to remove the generator so that it could be rendered safe.

The problem with those orders was that the generator was huge, far larger than the smaller priming engine used to start it. It was larger than any of the vehicles available to the government and too heavy for the large cranes to lift once fully assembled. The only option had been for the Rangers to use their new Rescue Zords. Miss Fairweather had used schematics provided by the Rangers of Angel Grove to modify some of the Rescue Machines she had previously constructed – mostly those that had served as prototypes or had been replaced following damage. The Zords duplicated the Rescue Racer’s ability to shift between a pure vehicle and a humanoid mode; Miss Fairweather had already corrected Joel when he had made a quip that they looked more like the Village People than Zords.

“These machines represent everything that we have learnt from the development of the Rescue Racer and our rebuilding of the Rescue Train,” she had snapped. “They are the most advanced machines we have created so far and it has taken us months to get them working!”

Miss Fairweather did not appreciate jokes about her work although she had made a similar comment when she had first seen the plans.

The Rescue Zords had two modes: the humanoid High Stance mode that allowed the Rangers to use them as extensions to their own bodies, and a second vehicle-based mode. In either mode they were equipped to deal with a range of rescue scenarios, but it was clear that there was room for improvements.

“That’s the last one,” Kelsey stated as she removed the screw and replaced it with a metal pin to support the weight of the generator.

“Okay, Chad how are the readings?” Carter asked.

The Blue Ranger’s Zord was the closest to the Rescue Racer design and had been built from the few remaining pieces of the machine. It included a wider array of monitoring equipment and he had been charged with the task of monitoring the generator for fluctuations.

“Temperature is a little high,” Chad replied. “Power level has dropped a bit.”

“Miss F?” Joel asked, knowing both she and Captain Mitchell had heard.

“The power loss is where you disconnected the priming unit,” came the reply. “Just be gentle with it.”

“Sir?” Carter asked. This was the most dangerous part of their mission and he did not want to start without permission.

“Proceed,” came the reply.

“Okay, Joel get into position,” Carter instructed. “The rest of you get ready to lift.”

As Joel shuffled his Zord around to face the door, he flicked the switch to change it back to if large vehicle form. Joel had wanted a large plane of a helicopter, but had ended up with a dump truck. Still even he had to admit that flying such a large and dangerous piece of equipment out of the cavern was unlikely to end well. The dump truck however had been reinforced to handle the load.

As Joel positioned himself, the other Zords each took a corner of the apparatus and lifted it from the ground, just high enough to allow Joel to reverse under it.

“Careful guys!” Chad warned.

The Rangers paused until the readings stabilised before completing the lift as Chad nervously watched the warning lights on his console. Joel’s Zord groaned under the load. Luckily the machine had been well designed and soon adjusted to handle the stress, lowering the front of the Zord to shift the strain.

“I have point!” Kelsey proclaimed as she moved her Zord, constructed from a Rescue Machine designed to function as a bulldozer toward the cavern entrance and switched the Zord to its alternate form, deploying the large shovel ready to clear any obstructions from their path.

Carter moved his fire engine Zord in behind her ready to provide an added shove if needed although his Zord’s hoses were pointed to where they could help to cool the generator if the need arose. At the same time Dana and Chad took up flanking positions on each side of Joel’s Zord, acting as protection as the large convoy made its way along the access tunnel.

“Yeehah!” Joel cried as they rode along although his enthusiasm didn’t last long.

“Cut it out Joel!” Captain Mitchell warned. “This is serious!”

“Yes Sir,” Joel replied.

“The mission isn’t over until the generator has been deactivated,” Mitchell reminded them.

Even removed from the power supply, the generator was still drawing in energy from the atmosphere. Unfortunately the only way to shut it down had been to take it to where Lightspeed’s technicians could work on it, but that mean that it was even more of a danger than it had been inside the cavern. As difficult as their task had been, it wasn’t about to get easier.


Mariner Bay

To the untrained observer it would appear that the demons of Mariner Bay had accomplished very little since their release. The occasional monster attack, which had been repelled by the Lightspeed Power Rangers was hardly the news grabbing story of their Angel Grove counterparts. But there was a reason for their lack of progress and as time moved onward they came closer to resolving their problem: power.

When Queen Bansheera and her demons had ruled their part of the Earth – for no matter how they chose to remember those times the truth was that they had shared power with dark spirits and other demon groups, each with their own rulers and the belief that they alone ruled the planet – dark energy from the many Hell dimensions had made Earth the perfect home for the demons. That power had been lost when the doorway between the realms had been closed and the built up negative energy that had made the demons so powerful had been absorbed into the natural magic of the planet.

The demons needed negative energy to summon their queen. Without it their plans were doomed to fail. And while their presence in Mariner Bay and the partial breaking of the barriers that had sealed their kind had raised the levels of negative energy, they were a long way from reaching the high levels they once possessed. And so they had been using weaker monsters, inciting fear and destruction to gather the energy they needed without wasting too much of their reserves. That had allowed them build the reserves to cast a single spell that would breach the dimensional barriers just enough to allow them to speak to their queen.

As Jinxer spoke the final word of the incantation, the assembled demons sensed the arrival of the Hell Goddess known as Bansheera. Her spiritual form´┐Ż was just as frightening as if she had been in the room with them.

“Diabolico, why are you free while I remain imprisoned? Where is my kingdom?”

“It’s all gone Queen Bansheera,” Loki tried to explain. “The humans have ruined everything.”

“Then the humans should pay!” she snarled.

“Forgive me, my queen,” Diabolico said. “The power we enjoyed before our imprisonment has been diminished by the planet’s magic. It has taken time to summon the power needed to contact you and ask for your guidance. How should we proceed?”

“Destroy the humans and our power will be restored. Conquer this world and our kingdom will return once more. When the humans are miserable, our power will increase.”

“I understand Queen Bansheera.”

It was time for the demons to intensify their efforts to destroy Mariner Bay, and what lay beyond. They had been holding back to avoid wasting energy when they should have been sending monster of their kind to invoke the emotions that allowed their power to grow. With their queen’s guidance the time had come to strike with real monsters capable of destroying their enemies.

“You have disappointed me with your lack of action Diabolico. Do not do so again,” she warned. “Or I will give your power to my son and allow him the glory of bringing about my return.”

“I will not fail you,” Diabolico promised as communication spell ended. “Nor will I ever allow that brat to replace me. Jinxer, prepare an attack.”

“If you want to destroy the humans then we should use their own creations against them,” Vypra said. While the others had been preparing for their queen, Vypra had been watching the Lightspeed Rangers struggle not to make the Hydrothermal Generator explode. “That machine would cause enough destruction to empower any of Jinxer’s creations.”

The other demons turned their attention to the scene Vypra had been observing. It was true that the Zords were moving through the countryside with extreme caution. The Green Zord was making little progress as the other Zords and the nearby ground crew tried to ensure the road ahead was clear of even the smallest obstacle.

“One little bump and it’s all over,” she suggested.

The other demons nodded in approval.

“Or perhaps we can take advantage of a situation they can’t control,” Jinxer suggested, handing Diabolico a card. One of the rare cards that instead of creating a beast, allowed Jinxer’s magic to alter another creature to suit his schemes.


“One degree left Joel,” Kelsey instructed. “And drop it slightly on the right.”

Once outside of the cavern, her role had changed from clearing a path to guiding the Green Ranger’s Zord along the roads that Lightspeed’s operatives had cleared. Unfortunately the only place where it would be safe to completely disarm the equipment was the Lightspeed Aquabase, which meant carrying the unstable machinery through the streets of Mariner Bay.

“If I’d had a helicopter I could have flown this back to base,” Joel protested.

“Do you have any idea how big it would need to be?” Miss Fairweather interrupted before the others could remind him they had already had this discussion. “You’d end up blowing away half the city.”

“Two more degrees Joel and watch your speed,” Kelsey added.

Joel sighed, this day just seemed to grow longer by the minute. He had really wanted a flying Zord of his own, but the idea just kept getting put on the back burner. So far the Rescue Flyer had been the only attempt to do so and with the exception of one mission it had never proven useful.


Angel Grove

Blue Turbo groaned as he struggled to get back to his feet. Behemoth had made an unwelcome return and this time it seemed nothing the Turbo Rangers did could stop him. Since Tasha, Franklin and Rosa were still out of action following their recent injuries – the Power Chamber’s computers had suggested it would never be safe for them to become Turbo Rangers again due to the stresses on their bodies – they had used the Robot Rangers as stand ins. The element of surprise had worked when Behemoth had ripped the Red Turbo Ranger in half only to discover it was a robot before the real Red Turbo had managed to strike him with his sword. Despite that momentary advantage though Behemoth was stronger and faster than the last time they had battled him and he had grown immune to their attacks.

The Robot Rangers had been decimated while Red Turbo and Blue Turbo had been recovering from the beating he had given them. The Robot Rangers did not have the advantage of accelerated healing and Behemoth’s energy blasts were unbelievably powerful. The street around them was a testament to how much damage the creature had caused.

“Rider Kick!”

Blue Turbo had to fight the urge to cover his eyes as Behemoth caught the Masked Rider energised leg and casually tossed him aside. The Masked Rider crashed into the side of a delivery van before emerging on the other side and continuing to hurtle down the street.

The two Turbo Riders were swift in their attempt to avenge their mentor. Bulk was powerful enough when transformed to match strength with Behemoth and Skull was fast enough to make his lack of size a mute point. In a previous battle their skills might have allowed them to triumph, but Behemoth had gotten stronger since the last time he had fought on Earth, so in the end Bulk and Skull were just in his way.

“Turbo Hand Blasters!”

The first time Blue Turbo had fired at Behemoth, the monster had shrugged off the assault. This time though he aimed at the ground under the monster instead of trying to hit it directly. As he excpeted the ground gave way, causing Behemoth to scramble to avoid falling into the hole beneath him and allowing Bulk and Skull to escape.

“Whoa!”

Blue Turbo barely managed to move as Behemoth returned fire. The ball of energy that shot from his mouth turned the vehicle Blue Turbo had been resting on into a puddle of molten metal. There was a blur of red light as Red Turbo took the opportunity to strike at the monster. The Turbo Power Sword impacted on Behemoth’s back, but did little damage.

“Super Blue!”

Behemoth had not encountered two of the Masked Rider’s alternate forms before and that proved to be an advantage as Dex skilfully attacked the monster in a semi-fluid state. While the Masked Rider was capable of inflicting damage on his opponent, Behemoth was unable to land a blow on Dex.

“Super Gold!”

Masked Rider switched form a second time and used his side arm to blast Behemoth at close range. It appeared they had found a chink in his armour for Behemoth stumbled backwards.

“Super Green!”

In his final form the Masked Rider grew to giant size and stomped down on the monster, squashing him with its mighty foot. Behemoth had fought Super Green before, but that had been as a giant, not while he was normal size. When Super Green lifted his food, Behemoth appeared to be road kill. Super Green lifted its foot to make certain when a small object caught it on the side of the head. Super Green collapsed to the ground, taking sever street lights and benches with him before turning back into the Masked Rider’s base form.

The object in question, a small card, connected with Behemoth’s remains and glowed with power. A soft chant could be heard but it was only the final word they could hear clearly: “… Mega Behemoth!”

“I think we’re in trouble,” Skull said as he watched the restored Behemoth, now named Mega Behemoth, grow.

If he had just been repaired the Rangers would have assumed this was just another case of him surviving their attacks, but Mega Behemoth’s body altered as it was rebuilt, changing shape to adapt to their attacks. And as it did so the Rangers realised that they were in big trouble.


Mariner Bay

“You guys have lousy timing!” Green Lightspeed complained as he tore into a throng of Batlings.

The Zord convoy had been progressing slowly – very slowly – through the city when the demons had decided to make an appearance. It soon became clear that their intention was to either steal or damage the device so that it would explode, something the Rangers refused to let happen. Realising that they could not fight their attackers from inside the Zords they had been forced to exit the large vehicles in favour of a ground battle.

Green Lightspeed ducked low as Pink Lightspeed vaulted over him and landed a series of vicious kicks on a waiting group of Batlings.

“Ladies and gentleman, you’ve upset Dana,” Green Lightspeed joked before returning to battle.

Meanwhile Yellow Lightspeed used a zip line to fly passed her opponents, striking them with her Rescue Baton as she did so; Red Lightspeed was picking off Batlings using his sidearm while Blue Lightspeed preferred a more direct approach. At some point Garth and Nancy joined the fight. Garth still had his special abilities and the armour they provided, but chose to fight in a modified combat suit similar to the one Nancy wore; Nancy had yet to receive clearance to use her Lightspeed Ranger powers. Both carried large calibre weapons loaded with specially selected bullets that would destroy Batlings.

A crack of thunder echoed across the city as the last Batling fell and the Rangers prepared to resume their mission. There was a flash and they found their path blocked by a new monster, already grown to full size.

“Where the hell did that come from?” Joel demanded.

“I think I’m going to need a bigger gun,” Nancy commented lamely in response.


Angel Grove

“Where the hell did he go?” Red Turbo demanded.

After reforming and then growing to monstrous size, Mega Behemoth had been about to start a new rampage when he had vanished in a flash of light.

“I’m trying to track him,” Blue Turbo replied.

“Since when do monsters pick and chose their fights?” Red wanted to know before turning his attention to their allies. “You guys okay?”

Bulk and Skull were no longer in their Turbo Rider forms. They were helping a dazed Dex back to his feet. Whatever that card had been it had managed to completely stun the Masked Rider.

“Somebody moved him to a new location,” Dex answered once he regained some of his senses.

“Let’s get back to the Power Chamber and see if their are any giant monster sightings,” Justin suggested.

The others nodded and they all teleported away, leaving behind a ruined street and the remains of the Robot Rangers.


Mariner Bay

It was amazing how quickly things could go from bad to very bad. It had been bad when Mega Behemoth had appeared, looming over the Lightspeed convoy. That had turned so much worse when the monster had reached down and grabbed the Hydrothermal Generator from the top of Green Lightspeed’s Rescue Zord. However it had not been an absolute disaster until the monster in question had swallowed the fragile apparatus, absorbing the energy it contained and turning himself into a giant walking bomb.

“So if we hit him, will it go off?” Blue Lightspeed wanted to know.

“We’re not sure yet,” Captain Mitchell replied. “Rangers, you need to draw him away from the city. Let him chase you, but try not to fight him.”

“If he just swallowed all that power would we be able to hurt him anyway?” Green Lightspeed wanted to know.

“That’s a question I’d rather not answer.”

“All right guys, let’s move!” Red Lightspeed ordered, racing his Zord toward the monster. At the last moment he u-turned and sped off in the opposite direction, causing Mega Behemoth to follow him.

The other Zords were soon racing alongside their leader, drawing Mega Behemoth away from the city while waiting to be told whether or not it was safe to fight him.

~Of course,~ a tiny voice in Pink Lightspeed’s head told her, ~if we can’t fight him he’ll probably end up destroying us anyway.~

“Rangers, the energy readings are stable,” Miss Fairweather told them. “The generator has been disarmed.”

That meant that instead of fighting an exploding monster that was determined to fight them, the Lightspeed Rangers were instead fighting a very large, extremely powerful monster that was determined to pulverize them.

“Okay guys, let’s take him out!” Red Lightspeed ordered, although he lacked any idea how to do so.

Green Lightspeed was the first to respond, deploying a collection of giant bal bearing that were intended foul moving large pieces of rubble. The oversized marbles rolled under Mega Behemoth’s feet, causing him to stumble and then fall backwards. Yellow Lightspeed moved in rapidly, using her Zord’s shovel to lift and then throw Mega Behemoth into Red Lightspeed’s path. Red Lightspeed used his Zord’s super cooled water jets to hose down their opponent as Pink Lightspeed closed in with her Zord from behind and stabbed him with a giant needle.

As Mega Behemoth recovered, Blue Lightspeed switched his Zord to its humanoid form and pressed the attack. When his Zord was violently knocked away, he switched back to its vehicle form before regaining control and driving back toward the monster at speed. At the right moment he switched mode again and landed a vicious punch to his opponent’s face.

Mega Behemoth responded angrily, unleashing a blast of energy that knocked the Zords aside. He closed in on Blue Lightspeed’s Zord and as the other struggled to pull him away, it became clear their Zords lacked the power to harm him.

“Rangers, switch to Rescue Megazord!” Miss Fairweather instructed.

A blue button lit up on their control panels, which the Rangers pressed, activating their Zords’ gestalt features. Red Lightspeed’s Zord folded around to form the upper body as Blue Lightspeed’s machine transformed into the lower body. Pink Lightspeed’s Ambulance Zord split along its length to form the arms as Yellow Lightspeed and Green Lightspeed converted their Zords ready to form the legs. As the Zords new head moved into position the Rangers were united in the cockpit, ready for action.


Power Chamber

“Found him!” Justin cried. The Blue Turbo Ranger had been scanning the television channels in the hope that between local newscasts and Zordon’s satellites, they would be able to find Mega Behemoth. “Oh man, he’s changed. He didn’t look like that before!”

Indeed at some point between his resurrection and his appearance in Mariner Bay, Mega Behemoth’s body had changed. It was likely a part of his demon heritage, the same magic that meant he could only grow stronger after each defeat he suffered. In this form he seemed much more powerful.

“The computer says that he is much more powerful, but he isn’t indestructible anymore more,” Justin read.

“So if we stop him now, it’s over,” Fred added, hopefully.

“Only problem is we have to defeat him first.”

They watched as the Rescue Megazord managed to land a few punches and then winced as it was knocked back. GldBehemoth followed up with an energy attack that left the Megazord sparking. Justin imagined the Rangers and their support team would be scrambling to recover from that.

“Turbo Megazord is assembled and ready to go,” he told his leader.

Fred nodded and picked up his helmet while Justin set the controls to teleport them to Mariner Bay.

“Back to Action!”


Mariner Bay

Mega Behemoth’s energy blast had delivered a mighty blow against the Megazord, knocking its systems offline for a short time. Fortunately its reserves had kicked in before it the monster had had the opportunity to follow up. The Rangers tried to fight back, using distance attacks as well as landing a few decent punches; the Rescue Megazord had an awesome right hook. However despite their efforts, Mega Behemoth remained standing. And once it became clear that they had given him their best blows, he responded.

The blast rocked the Rescue Megazord, ripping through the lower torso. Blue Lightspeed’s Zord was in all likelihood a write off, which left the Megazord tottering back and forth as it tried to support its weight on its broken body.

“Systems are down, legs barely responding,” Yellow Lightspeed reported.

“Lower torso is completely offline,” Blue Lightspeed added, “Fire controls are responding, but it could fail at any moment.”

“Upper body took some of that blast as well,” Green Lightspeed warned. “If he had aimed any high we would have been fried.”

“Can’t we go one mission without losing a Megazord?!” Pink Lightspeed complained. Her dad was going to be annoyed. Then remembering that she had a job to do she checked her own console. “Arms are a little battered, but still operational.”

As if hearing them, Mega Behemoth unleashed yet another energy blast, this time targeting the head and shoulders of the Megazord, causing chunks to metal to collapse in on the Rangers’ heads.

“We need to get moving again,” Yellow Lightspeed insisted before checking her console. “The power couplings between the body and legs are gone. Maybe I can bypass them and get us back online.”

Blue Lightspeed moved to help her, realising they would need to cut away large sections of his damaged Zord to access the interlocks. Red Lightspeed however stopped them. He could already tell that the Megazord was not going to last much longer. Mega Behemoth had decimated the body and even if they could make the legs work, they were a single punch away from collapsing.

“That’s not going to be enough he told them. Captain Mitchell, request permission to destruct the Megazord?”

There was a long pause. It was not an easy decision to make. The Lightspeed Rangers had a disastrous history when it came to Zords, mostly because their machines were little more than prototypes built from Earth materials by human engineers with no time for testing before they were deployed. The first design had not even survived its first test before setting itself on fire. Later attempts had been more successful, but they were considerably weaker than the enemy they were fighting. So far though they had not been in a position where they had needed to sacrifice a Megazord; normally it was more sporting to let the monster destroy them itself.

“Do it!” he replied at last.

They could build a new Megazord given time, but they had to stop Mega Behemoth before he caused any real damage. The Hydrothermal Generator he had swallowed had granted him far more power than they could hope to overcome. At the same time it had at least stopped the threat of the device exploding.

“Initiate self-destruct sequence!” Red Lightspeed ordered.

Before the computer could respond to the command though Mega Behemoth fired a final devastating blast, engulfing the chest and torso of the damages Megazord and causing the whole machine to flop to the ground. Electricity arced from Mega Behemoths clawed fingers toward the downed machine, destroying what remained of its damaged controls as the Rangers struggled to find a way to escape the wreckage. In the end the settled for blasting the chest panel open and repelling to safety as the remains of the Megazord started to collapse. And as they tried to recover from the shock of their near death experience, Mega Behemoth loomed above them ready to unleash another deadly torrent, this time directly at them.

“Turbo Megazord incoming!”

Red Turbo positioned the Megazord into the path of Mega Behemoth’s attack, deflecting the attack with the Zord’s shield. With Red and Blue Turbo at the controls the Megazord was a little less agile, but they worked well together and were soon on the attack. With a combination of shied assisted blocks and sword blows, the forced Mega Behemoth away from the wreckage of the Rescue Megazord, allowing the Lightspeed Rangers time to regroup.

“Turbo Spear Attack!”

The Turbo Megazord charged forward, its sword at the ready. Just as Mega Behemoth attempted to blast it, the Zord leapt into the air before spinning towards it like a missile, its sword extended over its head. The tip connected the Megazord tore through the villain, but Mega Behemoth did not go down.

“No way!” Red Turbo exclaimed.

“Rangers, this has been so entertaining,” Mega Behemoth chuckled. “I’m sorry to see it end. Now I’ll gather up all my energy and release it like so!”

Only Red Turbo’s quick thinking allowed him to shift the Zord’s shield up to protect them as Mega Behemoth blasted them with everything he had. Even then the shield only lasted a few second before it along with most of the Megazord’s arms was vaporised. More shockwaves hit as the machine’s legs were pulverised by the monster’s energy. The Zord collapsed back, only the body remaining operational.

“Systems are down, we can’t move!” Red Turbo cried.

“Chest Lasers!” Blue Turbo ordered, firing the cannons mounted on the Zord’s body. “I can’t believe this is happening.”

The blasts caused Mega Behemoth to stagger backwards. When he had said he was going to blast them with all his power, he had mean it.

“Rangers, this is the Lightspeed Aquabase, can you hear me?”

“We hear you,” Red Turbo answered.

“Our Zords are damaged, but we have working arms and legs,” Miss Fairweather told them.

“And we have a working body,” Blue Turbo replied.

“Our computers show the Zords are compatible,” she explained

“You mean we can take the body of the Turbo Megazord and add the arms and legs to the Rescue Megazord?” Yellow Lightspeed asked.

“Yes,” came the reply.

The two Turbo Rangers exchanged a brief nod. They had very little choice. One the ground the Lightspeed Rangers had decided likewise. As the Turbo Rangers worked to upload the new code into their Zord’s systems, the Lightspeed Rangers tried to release the Rescue Zords manually. When the computer confirmed that the upload was complete though it was too late to worry about whether or not it would work.

“Turbo Rescue Megazord!”

The undamaged limbs of the Rescue Megazord detached and one the Lightspeed Rangers were on board, travelled to where the Turbo Megazord was waiting. The smelted arms and legs had been ejected, leaving the body and torso ready for formation. The Pink Lightspeed Zord formed the arms while the Green and Yellow Lightspeed Zords formed the legs, leaving a new machine ready for action. Inside the cockpit, Green, Yellow and Pink Lightspeed had assumed their controls alongside Red and Blue Turbo. Red and Blue Lightspeed stood at the back of the cockpit.

And so a weakened Mega Behemoth found himself facing the combined power of two Megazords. And the Megazord was able to use it bulkier limbs to pummel the monster before it could generate another blast. The problem however was that the Turbo Megazord’s sword had been lost in the previous attack and the Rescue Megazord had lacked serious firepower of its own. And while they could keep Mega Behemoth off balance, once he managed to grab hold of them, it was not possible to shake him loose.

“Turbo Rescue Megazord Spinout!” Red Turbo called before pressing a control to activate the manoeuvre.

“That’s it!” Blue Turbo cheered, “the Turbo Megaozord’s moves still work!”

The Megazord started to spin, building up speed until the monster’s grip was broken.

“Turbo Rescue Megazord Bullet!”

The Megazord launched its arms at the monster, using the speed from the spinout to propel that at high speed. Sadly despite the force of the attack, Mega Behemoth remained standing.

“Turbo Artillatron!”

Artillatron was the name the Rangers had given to one of the massive Zords they had received when they had broken the spell over three of Divatox’s evil Turbo Rangers. They had spent time rewiring its systems so that it could be used in battle. Its programming only allowed it to enter Combat Mode when all five Turbo Rangers were present, however even if he had wanted access to that function, Fred knew his team had not spent enough time learning how to pilot it safely. There was no way he and Justin could do so alone. Instead he decided to access one of the features the Rangers had finished working on.

“Artillery Power!”

Artillatron housed a powerful flamethrower and gatling blaster, which the Rangers had reconfigured to act as additional weapons for the Turbo Megazord. So when requested they found the weapons worked just as well when transported to the shoulders of the Turbo Rescue Megazord. Green, Yellow and Pink Lightspeed caught on to what the Turbo Rangers had in mind and helped shift the position of the Megazord into firing formation.

“Fire!”

The combined firepower tore into Mega Behemoth, ripping the monster apart. With the energy he had absorbed from the Hydrothermal Generator exhausted – for it seemed that Mega Behemoth had drained it completely instead of allowing it to continuously empower himself – he was just another monster. He exploded, leaving the Megazord victorious.


Diabolico was torn as he watched the Rangers defeat Mega Behemoth. On the one hand he was disappointed that the villain had lost after coming so close, but he was also pleased with the outcome. Mega Behemoth had caused the death and destruction that the demons desired. The negative energy that fed their powers was higher than it had ever been, high enough to ignite the magical beacon that would in turn guide Queen Bansheera back to Earth. They would just need to make sure that when she arrived her orders had been carried out and their kingdom had been restored.

That the damage inflicted by Mega Behemoth in Mariner Bay and Angel Grove had been reverse when he had been destroyed was of no concern. There would be other opportunities to reclaim their kingdom from the human vermin. And when they did so they would not be sharing their rightful lands with other pantheons. This time they would rule the planet.

“Pierre, I have a job for you.”


Mariner Bay

Victory had come at a high cost. The Robot Rangers were beyond repair and it would likely take the Power Chamber days to finish collecting all the remains. The damage to the Turbo Megazord and the Rescue Megazord had also been extensive. Repairs were already underway on the damaged sections and all were hopeful that they would be complete before the next attack. The idea of having to share a Megazord for future battles did not appeal to either team. Lightspeed’s overseers had tried to claim that the Turbo Rescue Megazord was property of Lightspeed. The Turbo Rangers had not been shy about putting them in their place.

The loss of the Hydrothermal Generator had been as much a good thing as it had been a disaster. General McKnight’s staff had been angered that such a valuable piece of technology had been allowed to fall into enemy hands and had been destroyed without permission. However when faced with the public exposure of the bomb they had created, they were willing to agree that putting it beyond use had been the correct action to take.

The exact details of events that had led to the generator being in such a dangerous position to begin with were still unclear. The authorities had deemed disclosure to not be in the national interest so no more questions were asked. However General McKnight had seemed concerned by their description of the cavern where the generator had been housed and the lack of any other equipment. It caused the Rangers and their captain to wonder what they had been up to and how much trouble it would cause when they found out.


The Moon

Spank’Em was gone. His students were gone. All that remained was Behemoth and he had a headache. The Masked Rider’s kick had been painful and while he survived, a part of him wished he hadn’t. Still as he suffered his demonic heritage forced his body to adapt. The next time they met, the Masked Rider would not be able to hurt him in the same way.

The air rippled as two blurs, one crimson and the other dark blue, announced the arrival of what was left of the Dark Turbo Rangers. Instead of being absorbed into the Speed Force as they had expected, the energy field had healed them and then thrown them out. Although as a side effect they were substantially less human than before, existing as energy confined within their suits.

They looked up as Behemoth charged at them and realised that Spank’Em had been wrong. Behemoth was capable of learning how to defeat them after all. It was simply a matter of striking first. And without Spank’Em there to hold him back, the monster had the upper hand. The Dark Turbo Rangers had barely survived their recent defeat, they were far too weak to summon the speed they needed to avoid Behemoth’s devastating force.

Behemoth ignored Dark Red Turbo long enough to smash Dark Blue Turbo in the face so hard that he crashed through the solid walls of the old palace. Then he turned his attention to the more powerful Dark Turbo Ranger, striking him repeatedly until he could not stand. Behemoth’s grip tightened around the other villain’s neck and he was rewarded by the sudden fear that meant his prey understood what was about to happen. Even as the Dark Blue Turbo Ranger crawled back into the room, he reached out with his other hand and tightened it over the Dark Red Turbo’s head. There was a pause as the three villains considered their options. Behemoth clearly intended to rip Dark Red Turbo’s head off, Dark Red Turbo was helpless to do more than fight the urge to cry out and Dark Blue Turbo knew that if he did not act his comrade would die.

The Dark Blue Turbo Ranger lived up to his name, charging forward to strike the monster he had beaten so many times before. This time though Behemoth had nothing holding him back and proved he was just as fast as the Dark Turbo Rider, releasing his grip on Dark Red Turbo for a time while he did so. He had grown faster and his fists connected five times for every punch Dark Blue Turbo managed to land. In the end there was no contest as Behemoth stopped throwing his opponent around and instead unleashed a ball of energy that almost ripped him to pieces. And then as he was casually tossed aside and landed beside the fallen Dark Red Turbo, Behemoth loomed over them. And everything turned dark.

Those events were in the past. Behemoth had gone on to fight the Rangers one more time before they finally defeated him. Already weakened by their defeat at the hands of the Turbo Rangers, the Dark Blue and Dark Red Turbo Riders had had the misfortune of stumbling upon an enraged Behemoth. With nobody to hold him back, the enraged monster had pulverised them. He had been moving in for the kill when something had happened: the room had gone dark. When the light had returned, Behemoth had been on the far side of the room, muttering to himself.

They were not sure what had caused him to stop hunting them, but they had taken the opportunity to slink away and lick their wounds. They had been doing so ever since. Dark Red Turbo had tried to bolt across the lunar surface in search of shelter while Dark Blue Turbo had sought out the hidden workshop Porto had used during their creation where he hoped to find answers. Neither had been successful and had somehow been drawn together once more and teleported to Earth.

Something had changed when they had been ejected from the Speed Force. The swirling energy vortex had not healed them; it had converted the cells of their bodies into energy and restored them based on their memories of how they had been before. The healing was just a side effect of the process since the mental image had been of their bodies before they had been injured. The confrontation with Behemoth had drained the surplus energy they had retained from the Speed Force and the small vehicle-shaped devices Porto had used to channel the Speed Force through their armour were gone.

The pair had searched for the computerised vehicles Porto had connected their power to, hoping that doing so would reveal a means of recharging. However all they found were the empty shells of the intelligent machines. Though they were working vehicles and Porto had modified them to operate on Earth roads, their computer cores were empty.

And months later that left the Dark Turbo Riders out of fuel and unable to replenish their energy. They were certain that death was close. But before they expired, Dark Blue Turbo was determined to try to find a way to complete their mission and maybe gain a measure of revenge. He recalled the list that Porto maintained in his workshop, the one that monitored the activity of other inventors, scientists and creators. Porto had kept a close eye not only on his fellow villains, but on the activities of various governments and research companies. It was within one of those facilities that he hoped to find what he needed.

Since Dark Red Turbo lacked any better alternatives, he had agreed to accompany his ally. Lacking the energy to teleport they had started the engines of their vehicles and driven off to the first location. With the engines running and the Dark Turbo Riders in their seats, the vehicles seemed to come alive once more. And as they tore down the highways, the two Dark Turbo Riders wondered just what their lives had been like before Porto had turned them into servants of Divatox.


Mariner Bay

His name was Pierre and he was a demon. Alongside Jinxer, he was a servant to the Royal Court of Queen Bansheera. However his skills differed from his brother’s abilities and normally that left him to play the role of nursemaid while his brother summoned beasts to aid Diabolico. However Pierre also specialised in necromancy and that made him the perfect choice for Diabolico’s latest scheme. Before him a team of twenty Batlings were digging. It had taken a while to find the correct grave, but after dispensing of a few human protections around the ground, they had started to extract the small casket within.

“Good,” Pierre hissed as his helpers opened the casket and he was able to examine the remains. “The body is decayed but mostly intact. We can use it.”

He briefly considered ordering the Batling to cover the grave again, hiding their tracks from those that might investigate. Instead he decided to leave it open and let the humans discover the desecration of their burial grounds. It would likely cause panic as they worried what the demons had in mind for the stolen carcass. It was doubtful anybody would realise what had been taken until it was too late anyway.

End of Part.


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The Next Destination

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to whoever holds the copyright at this time.

The Next Destination


Aquitar

The planet was safe at last. In the weeks following the liberation of the planet, the Rangers of Earth had worked tirelessly alongside their Aquitian allies to rebuild the protections it had lost during the earlier invasion. Many of the cities had been rebuilt and services were back to near normal. The planet’s food supplies were low but manageable and with the reopening of the space port, they were able to receive aid from their neighbours. And thanks to Zordon acting as their voice within the Galactic Council, Aquitar had regained its rightful status and entitlement to further assistance.

It was a time of celebration and also of sadness. The work was finished, the planet was safe and the people could return to their peaceful lives. It was sad because with nothing further to keep them on the planet, it was time for the visiting Rangers to leave and that meant it was time for some difficult decisions most importantly, where to go?

Zordon had decided to spend time on Erlion to press the Galactic Council for more action against the growing threat of the United Alliance of Evil. The White
Master and Alpha Five would for the foreseeable future divide their time between Erlion and Eltare where Zordon was reacquainting himself with his home world. It was a sign of how far the Rangers of Earth had come that Zordon no longer felt that he needed to supervise them. In truth they had proven many times that they could be trusted to do what was right. He had gone from teacher and stern guide in the ways of the Power, to a trusted adviser.

And now he felt that he could rely on the senior Rangers to help guide the Turbo Rangers until a new mentor could be found; Zordon had somebody in mind. Not that there had been a real threat to Earth since they had left. There had been a number of upstarts that had tried to fill the vacuum left by Rita and the others, but the Turbo Rangers had reportedly dealt with each new threat as it had arisen.

However it was not just a question of where he would end up, but also his Rangers. He had been aware for some time that his teams had reached far beyond the limits of their original powers, but despite all they had accomplished, there was far more for them to achieve. The Morphin Rangers had been found worthy of a level of power that had never before been bestowed on a single team, yet with their time on active duty they had not been trained how to fully utilise those gifts. It was unfair on the Rangers and a terrible waste for the rest of the Universe.

Then there were the Zeo Rangers. Their powers had been created out of a combination of desperation and ingenuity, using a power source that had been available. That they had then taken those powers, developed them, grown so comfortable in their use that many believed that their powers had been around for thousands of years; actually teams using powers similar to those of the Zeo Rangers had been recorded throughout history, but Zordon was certain they were not the same powers. Like the Morphin Rangers they had grown beyond the limitations of their original powers and were on the verge of unlocking even greater abilities if given the opportunity. Zordon wanted to give them that opportunity.

And after that there were others like Jamie Zedden, whose skills with her Elemental Sword of Lightning could be polished by a stay on the world where her father had been born. Or perhaps Christina Collins whose mental abilities would thrive with further training at a specialist school. Lillian and Katarina also had abilities just waiting to be unlocked if given a chance. The question was whether Zordon was willing to risk everything to give them that opportunity; the political fallout of what he proposed could easily ruin him.

Of course the answer was that he was more than willing to trust his pupils to make the decision. Return to Earth or travel to places where they could receive the training and help need to take themselves to the next level. He remembered how over the years he had encouraged his pupils to move on when the time was right and return stronger for having done so. His hope was that they would do so again.

For while it did not seem that the United Alliance of Evil would prove an immediate threat anytime soon – the assembled villains were still in complex talks about their plans, seemingly locked in a never ending deluge of dialogue, proposals, explanations and arguments, almost as if a spell had been cast on the entire membership to render them little more than a shadow of their supposed glory-, he suspected that when they did act the Universe would fall beneath their onslaught.

And so as the last Ranger teleported from the surface to the waiting Pyramidas, and Trey laid in the course for home, Zordon took the time to tell his Rangers what he had in mind.


Onyx

The Inaugural Meeting of the United Alliance of Evil had finished and as far as Dark Specter was concerned, it was a complete success. After demonstrating his power several times, he had finally convinced the other members that his plan was the most likely to succeed. And he had given them all a real incentive to complete the tasks he had assigned them.

Now the members had left the planet. Each member had been given a mission to complete. For now it was a matter of positioning their fleets so that they were in position for future attacks. And once they had completed their assigned task, he had offered them a new chance to claim the ultimate prize: Earth. It as an incentive scheme that would encourage swift success. As the Rangers of Earth had been seen leaving Aquitar, Dark Specter had sent them on their way.

The first targets would important worlds like Erlion and Eltare. Those planets were well defended and would force the Galactic Council or
Grid Masters to mobilise their armies. Instead he had chosen distant worlds that lacked protection and were considered unimportant during peace time, but would rob the Council and their allies of vital resources once war was declared. It was a plan that would counter the effects of prolonged exposure to Earth, allowing those that had lost their edge to return to their former glory; Rita and Zedd had been more animated than many could recall, Master Vile was even more insidious than ever and the Machine Empire now on a war footing was a terrifying force that could tear through its intended targets with little resistance.

Along with the many new villains he had conscripted into the UAE’s service, the organisation was larger than ever and for the first time since the end of Rita’s battle with Zordon, they posed a real threat. And that was just the start. Dark Specter anticipated that once their forces were correctly positioned, they would be unstoppable; he anticipated the fall of hundreds of worlds in a matter of hours. And while the Council continued to monitor the situation, his forces would turn inward and strike at it heart.

Yes clearly using the Earth as an incentive had worked well especially since he had only offered the opportunity to conquer the planet. Like a true ruler he had promised nothing. And now he had a personal matter to deal with.

“The time has come, my beautiful Karone, to assume your rightful place at my side,” Dark Specter declared.

Dark Specter knew that with a growing empire to control he needed loyal and competent servants to act as his voice. Ecliptor was one such champion of his cause. Loyal to the ideas that Dark Specter had shared, the silicon-based warrior was a noble, obedient and capable lieutenant. Darkonda he had chosen to trust in spite of Ecliptor’s warnings, or maybe because Ecliptor was so strongly opposed to Darkonda’s presence. If Ecliptor considered the other villain a threat then he would need watching, but if directed at Dark Specter’s enemies he could prove adequate.

But what Dark Specter really wanted was his Queen of Evil. He had selected Karone as a child to fulfil that role. He had watched her grow, nudging her carefully to become an Astro Guardian alongside her brother, knowing that the combat skills she learnt would make her a warrior queen. And then he had snatched her from certain doom and had waited for her to grow into the role he had selected for her. Except she had not given in to the darkness as he had expected and had fought him all the way.

At first her resistance had been amusing, but Dark Specter needed a queen and was no longer willing to wait for her to surrender herself to him. With Andromeda, Astronema, Artemis and Astronoma gathered, he started to chant in the ancient language of evil to purge the light from her soul. Dark knowledge, dark experiences and power beyond anything she had felt before pushed into her body, pushing aside her personality and replacing it with something he deemed acceptable. Given time the new personality would completely erase her former self while retaining all the skills that Dark Specter prized. At that moment Dark Specter planned to marry her, but in the meantime she would serve as the Princess of Evil alongside her four sisters. With Ecliptor’s guidance there would come a time when nobody would be able to tell them apart.

All this had been observed by a spy, who had been forced to flee for his life as the assembled villains suddenly became aware of his presence. Even though those that chased him were not connected with the major villains they were skilled warriors and not easy to lose, even in the slums of Onyx. He threw himself around the side of a dumpster and looked for an escape route. He needed to get away from Onyx and reach Eltare as soon as possible. Zordon and the Council needed to be warned.

End of Part



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Task Force: The New Initiative

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to whoever hold the copyright. No profit whatsoever is being made from this fanwork.

Author’s Note: This is a short chapter. It will have implications later.

Task Force: The New Initiative


“…Latest reports suggest the Interstate will remain closed until the end of the week to allow for resurfacing and a complete structural check. Bomb disposal experts have confirmed earlier reports that the Power Rangers had acted after innocent civilians were threatened by one of the monsters. While the condition of the Yellow, Pink and Green Turbo Rangers remains unclear following their brutal encounters, the three children saved by the other Rangers have made a miraculous recovery.

Meanwhile in international news, the government of Japan has confirmed that its Ultratech force has been decimated by the most recent monster attack to threaten the country’s coast. While there were no civilian casualties reported, significant property damage has been confirmed as a state of emergency was called in affected areas. The Japanese government has already sent a plea to other nations to supply ‘appropriate aid’ against future attacks. Those nations named by the Prime Minister have so far denied having the kind of resources such a request might suggest they possess…”

He sighed as he changed the channel and returned to the report in front of him. The situation in Japan likely marked the end of the Task Force operation: the super soldier project adopted by multiple nations decades earlier. Japan, America, the Soviet Union, China and parts of Europe all had their own teams created under the Task Force Treaty, which allowed for the building and development of such teams on an equal footing. The decimation of those forces in Japan along with the under funding of the Russian project since the fall of the Iron Curtain, not to mention the destruction of the unbelievably small French team months earlier, meant that the delicate balance between nations no longer existed.

Not that it would be a big loss to the United States. Their efforts had stalled the year before the Power Rangers had first emerged. All attempts to make an armour that lasted more than a year had failed. There had been no further significant development except the disastrous Titanium Project – they still didn’t know what had happened there – and funding had been repeatedly cut ever since. In fact the apart from the Lightspeed Operation, which was not under government control, the Task Force operation could be best described as a waste of resources.

There were so many ways they could have used the volunteers once their active service ended. The Russians used their former operatives as manual labour, taking advantage of their enhanced strength. They were by no means slaves and well rewarded for their efforts. They enjoyed a healthy and fulfilling life providing they didn’t try and leave the country or communicate with the operatives from other countries. The Japanese on the other hand used the retired volunteers to train the next group, believing that having had first hand experience they were best suited to demonstrate the necessary skills. He had heard that in Europe operatives were allowed to go free after their service expired. He snorted; in Europe there had never been a collective approach leading to smaller teams stretching the scarce resources. He doubted there was a single team in Europe that was not patched together in some way.

“The development of new operatives is no longer feasible due to an inability to improve the process and a lack of suitable volunteers,” he said, after turning on the voice recorder. According to the reports he had read many of the retired operatives in Japan that could have been used for breeding had been pressed into service, robbing the country of its much needed gene pool. “Since all known first generation material is now beyond use and given the failure of subsequent generations to inherit the desired traits, it is my recommendation that the attempts to create new operatives for the Task Force operation cease with immediate effect.”

The ending of the operation did have the advantage that it would allow research to move in a new direction, one that would hopefully prove more productive.

“I recommend we should concentrate on the acquisition of alien technology and those that know how to use it, and adapt it to homeland protection. Further exploration of extra-dimensional energy sources should also be explored; the capture of alien beings for the purposes of research should become a high priority even if this means breaking existing treaties.”

It had been a long time coming, but somehow he knew the decision was the right one. Unfortunately that also meant that some of those involved with the project would need to be silenced, but as he signed the order to conduct the autopsies he decided that if nothing else they would serve their country one more time.

End of Part


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