From the Shadows

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to whoever holds that copyright. I also do not own Doctor Who, which belongs to the BBC.

From the Shadows


“Oh what a beautiful morning,” Vypra sang as she trekked across the rooftops of Mariner Bay. “Oh what a beautiful day. I’ve got a wonderful feeling…” A ball of purple flame erupted in her palm as she growled the last line of her song: “The humans are going to pay!”

She took a moment to enjoy the sights, relishing how much there was to destroy.

“This city is so beautiful. I can’t wait to see it burn. This is the last morning those humans will ever see!”

She threw the fireball at one of the larger skyscrapers, well aware that it would be enough to draw the attention of Lightspeed. A few more fireballs for good measure and she lowered herself to the city streets and led her Batlings on a stroll of destruction, ensuring that the humans would know where she was at all times.


“Am I the only one that finds this odd?” Joel asked again as Carter directed the Rescue Rover through the streets of Mariner Bay. “A demon lights a few fires and then sticks around so that we can just find her?”

“We know Joel,” Carter assured him. “She’s up to something.”

Lightspeed had been fighting the demons for some time and they had been able to use those encounter to build up profiles of how those demons behaved. Vypra did not normally act in such a way unless she was trying to draw them towards a trap; they all remembered the taco incident.

“The only way we’ll know what she’s up to is to spring the trap and be ready for anything,” Kelsey agreed.

“She heading for some of the warehouses,” Dana pointed out. Before considering the matter. “Miss Fairweather, can you get a list of what’s being stored there?”

“Doing it now… Just a few sporting goods and some soap.”

“That’s it!” Carter realised. “Send out a message for all citizens to get inside and to keep their windows closed.”

“Fumes?” Dana asked.

“Fumes,” Carter confirmed as he turned the vehicle into the entrance of the warehouse and the Rangers clambered out of their vehicle.

“Lightspeed Rescue!”


Combusting potentially lethal chemicals in an attempt to unleash poisonous gases on the population of Mariner Bay had not been Vypra’s intention, but as she continued to set fire to anything in her path, she really didn’t object if she accidentally killed a few humans in the process.

As she made her way from one warehouse to the next, she was concerned only with leaving a trail the Lightspeed Rangers could follow.

“It’s only a matter of time before Mariner Bays falls to the power of Queen Bansheera,” she told the Batlings, only to suppress a smile as they exploded around her. It seemed the Rangers had caught up.

“Oh! I know when that’ll be…” Green Lightspeed quipped: “Never!”

“You! You’ll pay for that,” she promised. “Destroy them!”

The Batlings attacked and the Rangers fought them off with ease. After months of training, fighting and more training, they had reached the point where they could handle large numbers of Batlings without breaking a sweat.

“You’re outmatched here, Vypra!” Red Lightspeed warned. “Time for you to get out of Mariner Bay.”

“And stay out!” Yellow Lightspeed added.

“Yeah!” Green Lightspeed offered. “And leave the rest of the planet alone too!”

That brought Carter and Kelsey up short as they remember the demon threat was not just against their city. Demon attacks had been reported around the world and had it not been for the teams of Demon Hunters that Lightspeed had engaged, the Rangers would have been overrun.

“Oh I assure you, nothing could make me leave right now,” Vypra told them. “This is where you meet your match, Rangers.”

She started chanting in an ancient tongue, twisting reality to her will, conjuring smoke and cloud along with thunder and lightning that made it difficult for the Rangers to see. A shape started to form in the cloud as white and silver sparks ran up and down the walls. There was a loud thunderclap that caused the Rangers to cover their ears and a flash that blinded the visual feeds from their helmets. Something hit them, hard and the Rangers hit the floor.

There was a second flash and their visual feeds cleared, allowing them to see the cloud had dispersed and been replaced by the Titanium Ranger.

“The Titanium Morpher, that’s impossible!” Green Lightspeed protested. “Nobody was able to use it, right?”

The others nodded. They remembered the failed tests and the pain those test subjects suffered during attempts to make the Titanium Morpher work.

“That morpher is Lightspeed property!” Pink Lightspeed stated.

“Not any more,” Titanium Ranger answered.

“Just who do you think you are stealing our property?” she pressed.

Dana could be a little pushy sometimes and it seemed that her attempt to ‘reason’ with, which most of the Rangers thought of as nagging, had failed.

“I’m your worst nightmare,” Titanium Ranger told them.

“Look you’re a Ranger, we’re Rangers too,” Blue Lightspeed tried. “We don’t want any trouble.”

“Trouble, oh you have plenty of that,” Titanium Ranger told them.

He moved so fast that the Rangers had difficulty realising he had even started to move. He drew a large laser and after bracing it against his forearm, raised it in the Rangers’ direction.

“Titanium Laser!”

He opened fire, striking both the Rangers and the wall behind them. He increased the intensity of his shots until the wall gave way and the Rangers were thrown through the hole. Titanium Ranger was in hot pursuit. He kicked Green Lightspeed into a pile of wooden pallets before turning his attention on Pink Lightspeed.

Pink Lightspeed fought back, but Titanium Ranger was stronger. He blocked her punch, swept her legs out from under her and then delivered repeated stomps to her abdomen. He laughed as he heard her groan in pain, but was too busy pummelling the downed Ranger that he failed to notice Red Lightspeed approach.

“That’s enough!” Red Lightspeed yelled as he tried to spear the evil Ranger.

Titanium Ranger hardly moved from the impact. He then leapt over Red Ranger and delivered a sharp chop to the back of his head. As Carter recovered and turned to engage, Titanium Ranger let loose with a flurry of punches and kicks that sooner had the Red Ranger on the ground.

“Follow if you dare,” Titanium Ranger hissed as he grabbed a hold of Yellow Lightspeed as she tried to assist her team-mates and leapt onto the roof of a nearby building.


Lightspeed Aquabase

“Sir, we’ve lost visual feeds from all Rangers,” Miss Fairweather said.

“Bring up the command codes for the Titanium Morpher and send the remote shutdown! Captain Mitchell ordered. “Tell Carter that as soon as it deactivates he is to detain whoever has that morpher and bring them back here.”

When a Lightspeed Morpher activated, it was connected to the Aquabase’s computer systems. This allowed the computer to send guidance to the Rangers during battle. It also allowed the Aquabase to shutdown the morphers and in the right circumstances, permanently deactivate them. Since the Titanium Morpher had been stolen the technicians had been searching for a way to render it safe by remote control. This was their opportunity.

“Sir, something is interfering with the command,” the technician replied. “It’s the Titanium Morpher, its infected our systems!”

“Disconnect!”

“We can’t! It’s locking us out!”

Miss Fairweather moved to one of the consoles and start typing furiously as she tried to remove the foreign program.

“It’s accessing the Tactical System,” she reported. “I’ve locked it out of the Arsenal and Zord Systems.”

There was no way they wanted a rogue Ranger having access to their weapons and machinery.

“Sir, video feed has been restored.”


“Kelsey!” Pink Lightspeed cried as she made her way over to the Yellow Lightspeed Ranger.

Titanium Ranger had discarded his hostage as soon as he reached the rooftop, knowing full well the other Rangers would be right behind him. A metal bar took Green Lightspeed out of the punch while he traded blows with Blue Lightspeed. Chad managed to hold his own for a short time, but the Titanium Ranger seemed to call on another burst of power to deliver a strong kick that knocked Blue Lightspeed away.

“Unilaser!” Red Lightspeed called, realising that their current fight had them at a serious disadvantage. As the others regrouped behind him, the Rescue Bird arrived and converted into its firing formation. “This has gone far enough. Stop where you are!”

Titanium Ranger did so long enough to change the position of his Titanium Laser. Then he continued to stalk towards them, shifting its side arm to resemble an axe as he did so.

“You were warned,” Red Lightspeed told him. “Fire!”

The Titanium Ranger took two more steps forward, then stopped as he raised the axe to meet the oncoming blast.


“Sir the Titanium Ranger just accessed our files on the Unilaser,” Miss Fairweather reported. “He’s looking for something… he’s found the energy emission frequency. Rangers, take cover!”


As the Rangers received the message, the axe started to glow as it absorbed the energy from their blast. Titanium Ranger made a show of twirling his weapon in the air as he lined it up to swing back in their direction. As he did so the energy they had fired upon him was released along with some of his own power, catching them dead centre and blowing them off the top of the building.

“Rangers, break off the attack and withdraw,” Captain Mitchell ordered.

Reluctantly – for despite the beating they had taken their anger drove them to want more – the Rangers did as instructed and left, allowing the Titanium Ranger his moment of victory.

“This isn’t over, Rangers,” Titanium Ranger promised as he placed his axe over his shoulder. “This won’t be over until you are destroyed.”


Lightspeed Aquabase

“Who was that guy?” Joel demanded. “I thought nobody could use the Titanium Ranger.”

“Diabolico must have found somebody,” Kelsey replied.

“There is no way that guy was human,” Joel pressed. “Even with Ranger powers he shouldn’t have had that much power.”

“It’s not possible for demons to use our technology,” Miss Fairweather countered with a slightly insulted look on her face. “We’ taken steps to make sure that those that use it are human.”

She typed in a few commands, causing the display screen to come to life.

“Then how…”

“The Titanium Morpher is a transition between existing Lightspeed powers and the next generation of Power Ranger. They’re designed for extreme rescue situations, being immune to higher levels of heat and energy dispersal. In short the reason why he was stronger was because his powers are designed to be stronger.”

“And that thing he did with the Rescue Bird?” Carter demanded.

“When he morphed he was able to gain access to the Aquabase computer systems. We locked him out of most of the systems, but he was able to gain details about your powers, including the Unilaser. Normally he should have been able to shield against such attacks, but with the correct frequency he was able to channel and use it against you.”

That was bad news. With his increased strength and durability, the Titanium Rangers was already a problem. Having gained access to their systems and being able to use their weapons against them, made him more of a threat.

“Can’t we just change the frequency?” Kelsey asked.

“We can, but he’ll know the moment we do so,” Miss Fairweather replied. “Right now everything that we can see or hear on our systems can be seen by him. That’s how he knew where to catch Joel when he jumped onto the roof.”

They needed something new that the Titanium Ranger could not access. Something that was not on the system… She pressed a button on her earpiece. “Kendrix Morgan, Damon Henderson and Kai Chen to Rescue Ops, now!” she instructed before rushing out, leaving Captain Mitchell to take over the briefing.

“Regardless of how he managed to use the Titanium Morpher, the most important thing now is to find him and get it back before he can cause more damage.” He pressed a few buttons as he gave the Rangers a stern look, making it clear that what he was about to do was something they would not like, but now was not the time to argue. “I’m calling in every resource Lightspeed has to track him down. That includes Garth and Nancy.”

He could see the almost mutinous look on Kelsey’s face when he said that. It was well known that the Rangers had acted to stop Nancy being made a Lightspeed Ranger. When they had tried to stop Captain Mitchell from making her a part of the Demon Hunter teams, they had been told clearly that he would accept their resignations over the matter. That had stopped the formal objections, but Kelsey and Dana had proven reluctant to involve Nancy in any of their missions since.

As far as Mitchell could tell Nancy really didn’t care about their objections when it came to doing her job. And as far as Garth was concerned he was doing what he had been designed to do… hunt and kill.


He stared into the depths of the Titanium Morpher. His morpher, HIS power! He had spent years as a nothing, fighting to survive in the demon’s dimension, faced with constant beatings as the demons trained him to become their weapon. The Titanium Morpher had changed him, given him the power to fight back. In the weeks since he had stolen it he had trained himself to use its power, safely hidden inside the demon’s domain. He had established himself in the pecking order, ensuring that the beatings had quickly stopped as he focussed his ire on the Lightspeed Rangers.

“You have done well,” Diabolico commended. “Your mastery of the Titanium Morpher has proven your worth. You are truly the Titanium Ranger. And now we shall use your power to destroy those Rangers and restore Queen Bansheera’s kingdom.”

He continued to stare at the morpher, but he was not thinking about how to defeat the Rangers and restore Queen Bansheera. The Rangers were just the start. With them gone he would destroy Lightspeed piece by piece until he stood over the helpless form of William Mitchell and showed him what it was like to burn to death.


Carter wasn’t sure why they were walking around Mariner Bay searching for the Titanium Ranger. He figured that when the Rogue Ranger reappeared he would not be trying to blend in while sipping coffee in the mall. And since they had no idea what he looked like when not in his uniform, and no means of tracking the Titanium Morpher, their only option lay in waiting for him to show up.

“Guys, this is Joel, everything’s quiet here at Bay Plaza.”

“Too quiet,” Dana responded as she met up with Carter by a fountain in the park.

Various other reports and comments followed as the many agents Captain Mitchell had deployed reported in.

“Hey Kels, did you see that?” he heard Chad say after a few minutes. He remembered Kelsey and Chad had been sent to the down-town area.

“Yeah,” Kelsey responded. “What is that thing? Guys, I think we’ve found it. Big yellow ball of something heading for down-town Marina Bay.”

“Okay guys, rendezvous with Chad and Kelsey. All non-Rangers clear the area, now!” Carter ordered.

Surprisingly, Captain Mitchell did not counter the order.

Dana was already in the Rescue Rover as Carter clambered in and started the engine. “Let’s go!”


Kendrix Morgan was in her element, surrounded by state-of-the-art computers as she furiously created new loading protocols. Behind her the vast Weapons Bay was at work creating new tools for the Lightspeed Rescue’s Rangers. Overseen by Kai Chen, one of Lightspeed’s many keepers of lost knowledge, Damon Henderson and his team of modern day blacksmiths produced up-to-date interpretations of the weapons found in some of Kai’s texts.

And as they worked, with Miss Fairweather overseeing the project as she had done many times before, they knew that this time they had to come up with a working model in a matter of hours.

“Triple feed configuration is done,” Kendrix stated.

“Okay somebody get me the oscillating frequency tuners and a large mallet,” Damon said. He was the guy that had solve a problem with one of the Zords by hitting it with a hammer.

“We’re not going to be able to test this so make sure you get it right,” Miss Fairweather warned.

The clock was ticking.


The ball of light slammed into the side-walk, drawing the attention of the citizens. The landing caused a small quake that damaged nearby property and caused a huge cloud of smoke to rise from the street followed by an explosion. From the debris stepped the Titanium Ranger, his Titanium Laser resting on his shoulder. The crowd hesitated, realising on some level that he had caused the explosion, but not considering a Ranger to be a threat. That changed as he growled and levelled his weapon at them, ready to pick off the nearest target.

An engine roared and he twisted as the Rescue Rover slammed into him at full speed. Titanium Ranger was thrown up and over the bonnet of the machine as Carter turned the wheel, placing the Rover between the Titanium Ranger and his prey.

“You realise that is coming out of your salary,” Joel commented as he arrived alongside Chad and Kelsey.

“It’ll buff out,” Kelsey said as she helped a few more civilians on their way.

“This isn’t a good place for a fight,” Chad noted.

“I don’t think we have a choice in the matter,” Carter answered, his eyes fixed on the Titanium Ranger.

The Titanium Laser flickered up as he unleashed a volley of random shots, striking buildings, vehicles and punching large holes in the ground. It quickly became clear as he turned in the Ranger’s direction that his intention had been to stop them from using the same trick again, as he raised his laser a second time and did the same thing to the street behind their vehicle.

“Who are you?” Carter demanded.

“Who I am doesn’t matter any more,” came the reply. He sounded angry.

“Look, we don’t want to hurt you,” Joel tried. “Just lower the gun and let’s talk about this.”

“Hurt me? Your pathetic powers are no match for mine!”

“We’ll see about that,” Carter said. “Lightspeed Rescue!”

The five Rangers charged and Titanium Ranger quickly kicked them aside, taking extra time to nail Red Lightspeed with some powerful kicks before struggling a little with Blue Lightspeed. After dispatching Blue Lightspeed and flipping Green Lightspeed to the ground, he zeroed in on Pink Lightspeed. He grabbed her by the throat and leapt upward to land on the Rescue Rover where he slammed her repeatedly into the bonnet before tossing her to the ground

Green Lightspeed jumped up onto the vehicle to fight him as Yellow Lightspeed used her zip line to gain some height before diving back toward him. Green Lightspeed had managed to hold Titanium Ranger’s right arm in such a way that he could not fire his weapon. Of course that meant that Green Lightspeed had left himself open for a series of sharp kicks.

Titanium Ranger dropped back as Yellow Lightspeed landed, her Rescue Baton striking heavily against his right arm. With a growl he raised the Titanium Laser and fired, pulverising the Rescue Rover and throwing Green Lightspeed and Yellow Lightspeed into the air as Blue Lightspeed hauled Pink Lightspeed clear.

Bang bang bang bang bang!

His advance on Red Lightspeed was cut short as a series of projectiles connected with his body, pushing him back. He looked up to find Nancy and Garth in their Demon Hunter armour ready for action.

“You shouldn’t have interfered,” he growled.

The two Demon Hunters did not answer, raising their side-arms while waiting for the computers in their helmets to tell them where to shoot. The computers failed to find a successful shot so instead they fired and moved, keeping the Titanium Ranger off balance as the Lightspeed Rangers regrouped. Armour enhanced strength allowed Nancy to withstand a few kicks from the Titanium Ranger while Garth’s altered biology made him versatile enough to take a few punches.


“Miss Fairweather, we’re out of time,” Captain Mitchell stated as he watched the battle unfold.

Ordering Garth and Nancy into battle had been a risk, but it had bought the Rangers a little time to recover. But that short rest would be worthless if they could not find a way to breach the Titanium Ranger’s defences.


Nancy had chosen to use her sword while Garth relied on his shotgun. The combination of close combatant and long range fighter made it difficult for Titanium Ranger to use his weapon. Any time he raised the Titanium Laser to fire at Garth, Nancy used her sword to spoil his aim. And when he tried to use his axe, Garth opened fire to remind him he was still there.

The only problem was that unlike the Rangers, Garth and Nancy had a limitation on how long they could remain in combat before their armour needed to recharge. And while their fight with Titanium Ranger had been short, it had been brutal. Nancy was starting to tire.


“Their finished,” Miss Fairweather reported, “but they’re completely untested.”

“We’ll just have to hope for the best,” Mitchell replied. “I’m ordering Garth and Nancy to pull out. Get ready to send.”

With a sigh she gave Kendrix a signal to start compiling the teleportation codes. After that the new equipment would be integrated into the Lightspeed Rangers’ arsenal and ready for use.

“Kai, we have to finish up,” she warned.

The Lightspeed Librarian was adding the final inscriptions to the weapons, embedding spells known to weaken Queen Bansheera’s forces into the modern technology. He gave a quick nod and removed himself from the safety area as Damon made a final check of one weapon’s edge before he nodded his approval and gave a thumbs up. They were as close to ready as the could be without hours of testing every component.

“Carter, I’m sending you an update. Activate V-Lancers!”


“Tekno Shield!” Garth bellowed.

It was a clear sign of how much the battle was taking out of him that he was having to shout the commands. In less stressful situations he could achieve the same result without any verbalisation. The heavy shield exploded out of his left hand, blocking the Titanium Axe, allowing him to level his modified shotgun and fire two of his special demon buster rounds into the Titanium Rangers’ midsection.

As the Titanium Ranger was not a demon the rounds had very little effect although the impact was enough to back him up. He responded by delivering a powerful kick to Garth’s chest, knocking the Demon Hunter aside before he turned to block Nancy’s sword strike. Nancy’s pistol shots were ineffective against his suit although when she used her gun as a club it caused his head to rock to one side from the concussion.

Titanium Ranger’s response was to fire his Titanium Laser indiscriminately, no longer caring if he managed to hit an opponent or not. His actions made it difficult to block and both Demon Hunters were forced to back away from the rage-fuelled onslaught.

“Garth, Nancy, pull back!”

“Understood,” Nancy replied.

There was no question in her voice, no protest. Unlike the Lightspeed Rangers, the Demon Hunters understood that their role sometimes required them to step back and allow others to act.


The Lightspeed Rangers had regrouped while Garth and Nancy had taken their turn with the Titanium Ranger. As they watched the two Demon Hunters fight, they realised just how skilled Nancy had become. When they had blocked her from becoming a Lightspeed Ranger, they had worried about losing another team member. And even when Captain Mitchell had found an alternative role for her, they had fought him every step of the way.

Now it was clear their fears were unfounded and that the Demon Hunters were extremely capable and more than a little vicious.

“Carter, I’m sending you an update. Activate V-Lancers!”

 “Understood,” Red Lightspeed replied. “V-Lancer!”

A large metal red V appeared from his hand. A quick glance confirmed that the other Rangers were holding similar objects in their own colours. Instinctively he raised it in the Titanium Ranger’s direction and then threw it. The other Rangers followed his lead.

Titanium Ranger was not sure what to make of this turn of events. V-Lancers were not a part of the Rangers’ arsenal that he had seen. However, the moment Red Lightspeed had called for it, Titanium Ranger found his display flooded with data. So much so he failed to react when the fiver Rangers threw them at him. The metal shapes energised as the spun through the air, striking him at full power before bouncing off and returning to the hands of their Rangers.

As he sifted through the data he had received he realised that somebody had used his access to their systems against him, dumping a massive load of computerised garbage into the data feed to cause distraction. With a growl he terminated the feed and turned his attention to the Rangers. It looked like he would be facing them without knowledge of their new weapons’ capabilities.

“Defence!” the Rangers called.

At their command, the main part of the V-Lancer was teleported to its corresponding Ranger. As they attached the metal Vs, which functioned as the power core of the completed weapons as well as boomerangs for distant attacks, the weapons extended to their full length, deploying a sharpened blade at the end.

Titanium Ranger raced forward, but this time the Rangers were on the attack. The knowledge of how to use their new weapons had been uploaded through their helmets, giving them an almost instinctive skill when using them. And even though Titanium Ranger was still more powerful, the use of teamwork and their new weapons prevented him from landing more than a few glancing blows.

Working together they were able to slow their opponent down and position him so that Red Lightspeed could knock the Titanium Laser from his grasp. With the five spears pointing in his direction they had expected him to back down. Instead he fought even harder, dodging around their lances as he did so. But they had the numbers advantage and managed to land more than enough glancing blows to slow him down.

As Pink Lightspeed and Yellow Lightspeed ran passed him, dragging their blades across his side, Red Lightspeed stepped forward and swiped his V-Lancer across the Titanium Ranger’s chest, knocking him backwards.

Still as the Rangers once again regrouped, it was clear the Titanium Ranger had not given up as he laid eyes on his side-arm.

“Don’t do it!” Red Lightspeed warned, but his words went unheeded as the Titanium Ranger lifted himself up and started to sprint to where his weapon rested.

“Rangers, switch to Blaster,” Miss Fairweather instructed.

“Got it,” Right Lightspeed confirmed. “V-Lancer, Blaster Mode!”

The base of the V-Lancer was pushed forward, causing the weapon to retract its blade as it shrunk. Even as Titanium Ranger retrieved his gun, the Rangers attached their Blaster Grips to the V-Lancers, transforming them into blasters.

There was a moment of stillness and then the Titanium Ranger lifted his weapon and pulled the trigger. The Rangers responded to the threat, firing the V-Lancers and striking their opponent in multiple spots. For the first time their weapons actually brought him to a dead stop before he was thrown backwards. It was still not enough to keep him down though.

“V-Lancers, Spectra Blast!”

The Rangers aimed at a spot above Titanium Ranger’s head and fired. The combined energy from their weapons merged into a mass of energy and with a slight twitch of their weapons, they brought it crashing down upon their opponent where it exploded.


Captain Mitchell watched the video feed from each of the Rangers. From his terminal inside his office he could retrieve the data that the various sensors on their suits constantly relayed back to the Aquabase where its computers performed countless tests and filings so that command decisions could be made. As he watched the Titanium Ranger struggle to his feet, clearly weakened by the blast, he saw that the helmet visor had lowered – no doubt to counter the effects of the blinding light on his visor-, allowing the sensors to lock onto the facial features beneath.

It would have been a long shot to have identified someone just from the small area of face that had been revealed, but Captain Mitchell had been running another program in the background just days earlier and had not closed it down when the Titanium Ranger had first appeared. The two programs shared data, resulting in an unexpected match.

“Stand down before this escalates,” he heard Red Lightspeed say. “Don’t force us to destroy you.”

The Titanium Ranger was either unable or unwilling to stand down though as he continued to stagger forward, his weapon drawn and ready to raise again. As the visor closed and he levelled his blaster, the Rangers prepared to respond.

“Energy Level Ten!” Miss Fairweather instructed.

It would have been unsafe to fire the V-Lancers at full power without testing. Now that they had proven safe, the Rangers were free to use maximum power.

He noticed the box indicating that a match had been found and clicked the accept button, loading the profile.

“No,” he breathed, not believing what the computer was telling him. That was replaced by panic as he saw the Titanium Ranger about to attack again and the Rangers lifting their V-Lancers ready to unleash a second potentially deadly shot.

“Full Power!” he heard Red Lightspeed command. A separate display indicated the Rangers had turned up the power of their weapons to their maximum settings. “Lock on!” The visual feed showed them levelling the V-Lancers into position. “Target Locked!”

He hesitated, uncertain what to do. The Titanium Ranger was a deadly foe, a dangerous threat. Yet if the computer was correct… If there was even a slim chance that the computer was correct then he had no option.

“Don’t fire!”


“Don’t fire!”

Red Lightspeed had been about to pull the trigger when Captain Mitchell had spoken.

“What? Please repeat sir,” he said.

“Hold your fire,” came the repeated command.

“What is he talking about?” Blue Lightspeed asked.

“But sir, this is our chance to finish him,” Yellow Lightspeed protested.

“Don’t shoot.” The voice sounded uncertain.

Even though the instruction had been given, in the field the decision lay with Carter. For a moment he considered disobeying and taking the shot, but he trusted Captain Mitchell to have a reason and that was enough to stay his hand.

“All right, V-Lancers, stand down,” he instructed as they watched Titanium Ranger falter. For the second time in recent battles, they left the scene with the mission incomplete. “Let’s go!”

“We’re not finished!” Titanium Ranger protested as he managed to stand once more. “Come back!”

But the Rangers walked away; they had no choice since the Rescue Rover had been reduced to scrap by the Titanium Ranger’s offensive. A frustrated Titanium Ranger punched the ground with his fist as exhaustion overcame him and he was teleported away.


It was a long walk back to the Aquabase after a battle. When the Rangers arrived they were hurt and tired, and not in the mood to be palmed off by Captain Mitchell’s staff.

“Retreat?” Carter demanded as he burst into the Briefing Room. “Sir, we had him!”

“He would have shot at us without thinking twice!” Joel added.

“Now he knows about the V-Lancers,” Chad reasoned. “He can learn to counter them just like he did the Unilaser.”

“That was our chance,” Kelsey snapped, “maybe our only chance. We want an explanation.”

“Well sometimes you don’t get what you want, Kelsey,” Mitchell replied, his back to them. “I am in charge of Operation Lightspeed and I make the call on what orders I give. If I choose to share my reasons with you I will, but you do not get to demand anything. Am I clear Miss Winslow?”

It was very rare for Captain Mitchell to allow his agitation to show. Even when the Rangers had tried to force him to cancel the Demon Hunter project he had remained calm in his response. At that moment he was unable to keep the irritation out of his tone and a part of him enjoyed seeing Kelsey flinch.

“Until further notice you are not to engage the Titanium Ranger. You’re dismissed. Carter, please stay.”

Chad, Kelsey and Joel left, but Dana lingered.

“I meant you too, Dana,” Captain Mitchell told his daughter.

“I think I should stay, Sir,” she replied as she closed the door. “I did a little research before we got here. I checked what you had been doing before you decided to order us to stand down.”

“You didn’t tell me that,” Carter protested.

“You had no right,” Mitchell argued at the same time.

“I have every right, Father,” Dana replied. “You forget that I am more than just a Ranger. I am also one of the stakeholders in Operation Lightspeed. This is my heritage as well as yours and I have a right to know if something has compromised you.” She paused before explaining. “I only looked at what you were doing, not what you saw that made you change your mind. I respect your privacy enough to wait for you to tell us.”

“Please sir,” Carter begged. “Help us understand.”

Mitchell sighed, but saw little choice in the matter.

“A few weeks back I ran a computer program to find out what my son would have looked like if he was alive today,” he explained. “It was just a way of dealing with the memories.”

“I’m sorry sir, I didn’t know,” Carter said, but Mitchell waved the comment aside.

“When the Titanium Ranger appeared I thought I’d closed the program, but it had been left in the background. When his helmet was up I saw an opportunity to find a facial match.”

“You thought he was a criminal,” Dana realised.

“Or a policeman, fireman, paramedic… just about any circumstances where a photograph is stored on government networks there was a chance of a match. It was a long shot, but if we could have found out his identity, there was a chance to find out how he managed to use those powers.”

“So what happened?”

“The two programs interacted and the computer made a match,” Captain Mitchell said. “I don’t know how it is possible, but there is a very high probability that the Titanium Ranger is my dead son, Dana’s brother.”

Dana was unable to respond, not sure how she should be feeling to learn that her brother was alive, and had just tried to kill her. So it was left to Carter to ask the question…

“So what now?”

End of Part


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Showdown

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to whoever holds that copyright. I also do not own Doctor Who, which belongs to the BBC.

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Truth

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to whoever holds that copyright. I also do not own Doctor Who, which belongs to the BBC.

Truth



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Titanium Victory

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to whoever holds that copyright. I also do not own Doctor Who, which belongs to the BBC.

Titanium Victory

Mariner Bay,

“Let’s take it up a notch,” Red Lightspeed said. “Super Train Megazord, Initiate!”

The Super Train Megazord was rapidly formed, its powerful weapon systems brought online and ready to face off with their demonic foe.

“Gattling Blasters!”

A high pitched whine filled the air as the Zord discharged the weapon on its right arm. Diabolico however was unaffected even as the left arm of the Megazord unloaded with its full battery of rockets. Indeed as the Megazord continued to fire upon him, Diabolico merely laughed and marched toward them.

A single shot from the demon’s staff was all it took to fell the Megazord. Sparks erupted around it as the metal giant toppled to the ground. Diabolico seized the opportunity to finish the metal warrior with the sharpened blade that formed one end of his staff.

“No!” Red Lightspeed gasped as he gripped the controls.

The Megazord responded, its giant right hand catching the weapon before it could reach them.

“Don’t you know when to give up?” Diabolico growled as the Megazord forced its way back to its feet.

“Yeah, never!” Red Lightspeed replied.

“Well then,” Diabolico chuckled as the Megazord forced him to step back, “Let me show you real power.”

The head that made up the demon’s midsection glowed with power. The star in the forehead pulsed with red light while the eyes glowed green with power. A blast of energy fired from the mouth area, knocking the Super Train Megazord backward. For an instant the Megazord stood still while its legs tried to redirect the control signals that had been lost, along with a vast section of the Megazord’s torso. Then reality seemed to catch up with the massive machine as it tumbled backwards.


Around Mariner Bay, Lightspeed personnel had been busy while the Megazord had been losing its fight with the stronger demon. Technicians backed by armed soldiers ran miles of cable through the city streets and positioned equipment in predetermined positions. Even as the Megazord collapsed from the tremendous damage it had endured, Lightspeed’s electricians busied themselves testing circuits.

Inside the Aquabase, Miss Fairweather received the final confirmation that everything was in order.

“They’re ready, Sir,” she reported softly.

Next to her, Captain Mitchell nodded his approval.

“Tell all personnel to clear the area and send in the Lightspeed Rescue Zords,” he instructed. “It’s time to put an end to this.”


“What, the Rescue Zords?” Green Lightspeed asked, unsure what was happening.

“Does that mean he have to abandon the Super Train?” Blue Lightspeed added.

“There’s not much we can do from here anyway,” Pink Lightspeed stated as Yellow Lightspeed worked to control the fires that had broken out in the cockpit.

Red Lightspeed considered their situation for a moment. The Super Train Megazord was much more powerful than the Lightspeed Rescue Megazord, but it was too badly damaged to be of further assistance… unless they could restore its firepower and move Diabolico into the path of its weapons.

“We’ve got no choice,” he said finally. “Move it.”

Transferring between Zords was a quick but dangerous matter. For just a few seconds they were left exposed to their massive enemy. Fortunately he had chosen to ignore them. With a few well practiced movements, the Rangers were inside the relative safety of their Zords and the Lightspeed Megazord had been formed.

“Megazord go, Lightspeed!”

With a few whistles and clicks, the Megazord had been formed. The steam from the powerful pistons that locked the head section to the main bulk of the body ceased as the mechanisms locked into place.

“Lightspeed Megazord Saber, Ignite!”

Even it full power it appeared their weapon was ineffective against the demon. A fact he quite happily confirmed.

“Your puny saber is useless against me,” he told them after shaking off its effect. “All of your pathetic weapons put together are no match for me; for I, Diabolico, am invincible.”

His chest pulsed with energy to emphasize the point before blasting them with more of his energy.


“That blast just took the Zords beyond their safety limits,” Fairweather warned.

“Activate the system and then instruct the Rangers to pull back,” Mitchell replied. “The effects should give them time.”

“But Sir, this could be our only chance,” Fairweather protested.

Captain Mitchell hesitated. The weapon they had erected would only work once against Diabolico and would alert the demons that their human foes had uncovered knew knowledge. But the lives of the Rangers were on the line and that was too high a price for defeating a single demon.

“Sir, we have incoming,” one of the technicians reported. “It’s the Max Solarzord.”

“Ryan?” Ms Fairweather queried as she exchanged a worried look with Captain Mitchell.

On the screen they could see the Max Solarzord’s firepower knock Diabolico aside.

“Max Solarzord, back in action and at your service,” they heard Titanium Ranger announce.

“Ryan, you can’t be up there,” Captain Mitchell called over the communication channel. “The cobra…”

“It’s okay Dad,” Titanium Ranger assured him. “The cobra is history and so is the curse.”

They could hear the cry of jubilation from Pink Lightspeed at that news.

“Get the Solarzord Control Centre online,” Mitchell ordered. “I want full systems support ready for when he needs it.”

Meanwhile Ms Fairweather had settled in front of her console and was rapidly inputting commands.

“Now we’re going to show Diabolico some real fireworks,” she muttered. “All teams, we’re going for integration.”

“Activate sound system,” Mitchell ordered.


“The Titanium Ranger?” Diabolico asked in disbelief as he shook off the effect of the energy blasts and watched the Lightspeed Megazord grab onto the Max Solarzord and lift into the sky.

Before he could react however the city came to life with an eruption of sound. Lightspeed’s operatives had trailed miles of speaker wire throughout the city, linking it to powerful amplifiers and massive speakers on top of vehicles that could have passed for miniature Zords.

“Zie-Fee-ZAH!”

The word boomed through the city, followed by equally loud chants that seemed to carry and emphasize the word.

“What? Impossible! How did you learn that?” Diabolico demanded as the volume increased.

The words hurt his ears, forcing him to hold his head as his powers seemed to abandon him.


“Rangers, he’s vulnerable. Activate Battle Booster!” Miss Fairweather instructed.

Inside the Megazord, Red Lightspeed obeyed. “Initiating Lightspeed Solarzord sequence. Three-five-six activate!”

The Lightspeed Megazord released its grip on the Max Solarzord, freefalling back toward the ground as the shuttle rotated and seeming broke apart.

“Magna-locks are online!” Yellow Lightspeed reported as parts of the Max Solarzord were repositioned around the Megazord, forming armour that slid over the metal robot.

“Connection made,” Titanium Ranger confirmed, “Systems are running in synch.”

As he finished speaking, the combined system of the newly formed Zord came online, activating the thrusters in the machine’s feet and saving them from a nasty impact. As Green Lightspeed took control of their flight, Yellow Lightspeed and Blue Lightspeed used their control over the arms to fire at the demon.

“This can’t be happening,” Diabolico groaned, his rage allowing him to tune out the effects of the sound system. “I told you, I am invincible.”

“Invincible enough, you’re still a demon,” Pink Lightspeed snarled. “And even the most powerful demon can be conquered if you know his name.”

And there was the truth, laid out for the demon to understand. The humans had discovered his true name, the source of his demon power. If used in a single battle it would allow a single combatant to negate his power, but Lightspeed had been clever and had used their knowledge of demon lore and the wisdom Zordon had provided. Instead of simply using his name as a one-time weapon, they had embedded it into a faux ceremony similar to that used by those trying to summon demons from other dimensions. The words, the chanting, bound a part of his power allowing them to plead their case.

But it was not a true ritual and Diabolico was not trapped in another dimension. And that meant that with sufficient rage and more than a little concentration, he was able to break through the spell and unleash his full power at the Lightspeed Solarzord.

What Diabolico had not expected, but should have been prepared for, given his knowledge of the Titanium Ranger, was that the Lightspeed Solarzord mimicked the energy absorbing attributes of the Titanium Ranger’s weapon.

“Ryan, channel the energy into the weapon systems,” Fairweather instructed.

Titanium Ranger did as he was told, causing a pair of large cannons to appear on the Lightspeed Solarzord’s hips. These were the machine’s main weapons, capable of emptying all the power contained within its energy cells as a single discharge. And the chant Diabolico had been listening to had enraged the demon so much, he had fired everything he had in their direction.

“Diverting all remaining power to secondary weapons,” Blue Lightspeed confirmed.

“This can’t be happening,” Diabolico repeated as the Zord glowed with power.

“Sure it can…”

Whatever Red Lightspeed said was lost as he pulled the trigger and unleashed the Rangers fury at the creature that had dared to attack their city.

“Fire!”

And the Lightspeed Solarzord opened fire, emptying the stored power in a barrage that ripped into the demon. It was over in a matter of seconds, but the damage had been done. Diabolico’s weakened body crackled and sparked as he tried to withstand the devastating blast. His staff dropped to the ground as he raised his fists in defiance, but it was a fruitless effort.

“You have done the impossible,” he conceded as he felt his body reach breaking point. “You have defeated the mighty Diabolico. But be assured that Queen Bansheera’s forces with avenge me a thousand fold. And don’t think for a moment this little trick of yours will work again.”

That much was true, despite its effectiveness the naming of the demon had revealed the knowledge they possessed and the means they used to wield it. In the city below the lesser demons were making certain that the massive sound system Lightspeed had utilised would not be used again.

Then it seemed Diabolico accepted his fate as he toppled forward and exploded, leaving the Rangers triumphant.


The Lightspeed Rangers had emerged victorious, but their mission was far from over. With the Titanium Ranger on their side they had gained a valuable weapon in the fight against Queen Bansheera. But the demons were more than just Diabolico and their devotion to the queen had never been stronger. With the fall of one, a new leader would step forward to destroy the human civilisation and restore the world to the demon paradise it had once been.

But for now the Rangers had earned their celebration and for the Mitchell family it was a chance to rebuild the bonds that the demons had tried to break.


Jinxer stood upon the site where Diabolico had fallen, chanting in an ancient tongue. For Queen Bansheera demanded the total devotion of her subjects and not even death would spare Diabolico from her service. Fortunately for the former leader of the demons, Jinxer had not been instructed to revive the fallen villain, only to claim what remained of his power. How Queen Bansheera planned to use that power remained to be seen, but JInxer had more than a few idea and gleefully chuckled as he imagined the look on the face of the human traitor when he realised that his betrayal had only made the demons stronger.

End of Part


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Consequences

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to whoever holds that copyright. I also do not own Doctor Who, which belongs to the BBC.

Consequences



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Choices

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to whoever holds that copyright. I also do not own Doctor Who, which belongs to the BBC.

Choices



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The Titanium Heist

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to whoever holds that copyright. I also do not own Doctor Who, which belongs to the BBC.

Lightspeed: The Titanium Heist

Washington DC

26 September 1998

“Captain Mitchell, thank you for returning. We would like to resume from where we left off.”

“Certainly Senator.”

“There have been a number of concerns raised about the continued existence of the Lightspeed project. The cost has yet to be fully justified and we have seen very little progress made in recent month. Could I ask how you justify the continued use of resources on a threat that has to date not been fully defined? I’m sure the taxpayers would love to know why their dollars are being spent on such a low priority operation.”

Captain Mitchell sighed. He hated these hearings. Every few months it seemed that some ambitious senator would try to push for the ending of Lightspeed and the reallocation of its resources for military operations. And as usual he would be making the exact same argument he had made the previous time.

“Firstly, Senator Stern, the only taxpayer dollars spent in relation to Lightspeed is for limited oversight of General McKnight’s office, the processing of incidence reports and the money spent on these hearings. Lightspeed is privately funded and has been since its inception. We are independent of government agencies and intend to remain so. We also source our materials privately, providing jobs and investment in over two hundred businesses and their suppliers.”

He took a sip of water, allowing the senator time to adjust his questioning given that his arguments about value for money were effectively dismissed.

“As to your point about our continued operation, I admit that I am as disappointed as you on that matter. Unfortunately it seems that the demons are just not willing to show themselves.”

“I beg your pardon?”

Captain Mitchell sighed. “As you will know from previous hearings, Lightspeed was set up in response to predictions made regarding the return of Queen Bansheera and her court. Unfortunately those predictions were not as accurate as we first believed. The demons have been released earlier than predicted and those we have encountered so far have been the weaker members of her court. To date no members of the royal family have been located, ad we believe they are currently still trapped. AT this point we are attempting to contain the threat of the minor members of her court and locate the prisons of the more powerful demons. If we can locate them we hope to seal them away before they can be unleashed, preventing a need for our continued operation.”

“I’m sure we can all agree that the outcome you describe would be desirable,” Stern said, “which raises the concern about the sale of Lightspeed assets to foreign governments. Lightspeed is not a licensed weapons supplier and you Captain Mitchell have no authority to negotiate with foreign powers.”

“Once again Senator, I draw your attention to what the reports actually say,” Mitchell answered. “Lightspeed does not, never has and due to its treaties created long before my time, never will supply equipment to any military force or government body. That includes all power foreign and domestic. I’m sure that the outcome of the few cases where governments have attempted to seize equipment we supplied to private organisations have been released to the committee. In all cases the seizure of Lightspeed equipment caused the activation of a safety protocol rendering all equipment inaccessible; the purchasers were also reimbursed and compensated as a result.

“So far Lightspeed has provided small, medium and large scale rescue equipment to twenty-three organisations around the globe. Those organisations run under a similar charter to Lightspeed prioritising the rescue and preservation of innocent lives over all other considerations. All products sold have been heavily redesign to remove any combat potential. While I’m sure you’ll agree that a fire axe can be used as a weapon just as easily as it could be used as a tool, I ask you to accept that we are merely providing the means to deal with emergency situations.”

He had expected the protests over Lightspeed’s decision to effectively franchise its operations around the world. The Japanese organisation had been especially busy in recent weeks and there was no question that the advanced fire-fighting equipment had been helpful in saving lives. He knew at the very least the protective suits had saved workers from harm.

“And rumours of off-the-record activities being undertaken by Lightspeed employees?”

“Are just rumours,” he assured them.

“Really?” Senator Stern asked. “I have here a record of several persons later linked to Lightspeed engaging combatants in cities around the United States… Perhaps if you are unaware of what is going on inside your organisation Captain Mitchell we should provide additional oversight.”

“As I said Senator, those are just rumours. The reports you refer to were provided by Lightspeed as part of our reporting procedures. All encounters were conducted by authorised Lightspeed personnel. At no point have outside agents or agencies been used. Lightspeed is not limited to using Rangers to carry out its task; we have worked side-by-side with NASADA, UNIT and the GSA for decades.”

The use of Power Rangers was a new approach to the problem. It did not hurt to remind those present that Lightspeed had been demon hunting long before Rita Repulsa had made an appearance. He also didn’t add that Lightspeed had willingly placed itself under the authority of those organisations when required.

“Surely you can understand the concerns of this committee that allowing unenlightened persons to control powerful weapons that could be put to better use defending our national interests is both wasteful and a security threat.”

“And I remind you again that Lightspeed is an independent organisation and that it is located in this country purely out of convenience. If it is your wish that we should cease operations, we will of course move to an alternative facility in South America.”

There was a prolonged silence as both parties wait for the other to give way. Eventually it was the senator that realised that his time was running out while Captain Mitchell had little to lose by waiting. He decided to move onto another subject.

“Captain, Lightspeed was recently asked to examine the equipment used in the Titanium Project to determine why it failed. Have your staff been able to reach a conclusion on the matter?”

“They have.” There was a pause as Captain Mitchell retrieved his copy of the report, well aware the committee had copies. “While there was evidence of inferior components being used in the manufacturing process and that there were some design flaws, there were no design failures that would have led to the deaths of those attempting to use it.”

“Thank you Captain.”

“My research team did however identify one of the safety features in the design had been disabled during testing and that had they been engaged the outcome would have been very painful for the operator, but not fatal. At this time it is not clear who deactivated the safety device or what they would have gained from doing so. My staff has suggested tat though deliberate it was most likely an oversight.”

While the answer had not placed the blame at the feet of those working on the project, it had not completely cleared them of incompetence. And from the look on Stern’s face, it was clear that this was not the response he had been hoping for, no doubt because of the outraged look on the face of Justin Hammer.

“I see. And during their testing of the morpher, were your personnel able to resolve the problems?”

That had been one of the reasons the device had been turned over to Lightspeed, besides General McKnight’s insistence that the project was totally removed from Hammer’s control. They hadn’t asked Lightspeed to repair it, but they had hoped that in finding the fault they would also correct it, saving the government the need for further spending on development.

“They did not,” Captain Mitchell replied. “Despite numerous attempts they were unable to sustain a controlled transformation without causing it to torture the operator. They did however conclude that the problem is not related to the hardware; the problem is that the human body is incapable of handling the strain. As I’m sure you can understand we have no way to solve that problem without altering the device.”

“It sounds like you are saying the Titanium Morpher is a failure?” Stern pushed.

“If a morpher cannot be used to morph, then I would say it was a failure,” Captain Mitchell agreed. “In this case it was a very expensive failure.”

There was a lot of noise from those seated behind the captain as they recorded their quotes for the evening news. Suddenly Senator Stern was very eager to end the discussion before anything else could be said.

“I think that would be a good place to adjourn for today. This hearing is adjourned.”


Mariner Bay

The Lightspeed Aquabase had been designed to include quarters for the majority of its personnel. However there were some that preferred to spend their free time on dry land. For those needing transport to and from the Aquabase, it was necessary to either use the transport tunnels that ran beneath the surface of the sea bed or when the tide permitted, hitch a ride on one of the submarines that journeyed back and forth on a regular basis.

However just because transport between the land and the Aquabase was possible, did not mean it was easy. Security was tight due to the sensitive nature of the Aquabase’s function. Those wishing to enter required a special token that would unlock the security door. Personnel watching from a nearby room were on hand to make sure that nobody tried to sneak through. Given that demons preferred not to touch the waters of Mariner Bay, the likelihood that they would try to sneak on board the submarine or gain access to the service tunnels were high.

On the other hand security around the submarine was surprisingly lapse. Two men were supposed to stand guard on the dock, but given how quiet their day was normally, they had retired to a small room to drink coffee. They hadn’t even noticed the slight fizzing of their drinks as they sipped them. A few minutes later both guards were asleep, unable to stop the masked figure from walking in and removing breathing apparatus from the store room.

When the submarine departed, nobody noticed the stowaway attached to the side of the submarine. He remained unnoticed as the submarine docked with the Aquabase and he detached himself. The Aquabase’s cameras were obscured as he swam under the submarine in search of the airlock that led to a service entrance. Only when he emerged from the airlock did he encounter security; a knee to the mid-section followed by a blow to the head soon solved that problem.

He carefully made his way through the Aquabase, avoiding the various personnel until he reached the office of Captain Mitchell. He managed to force the lock and sneaked into the empty room. A brief search followed before he located the drawer where the dangerous Titanium Morpher was stored. He looked up at the sound of running as the door opened and security guards entered.

It was obvious there had been an alarm either on the door or the drawer and his actions had triggered it. He weighed the possibilities of trying to bluff his way out, but dismissed the thought entirely when he noticed one of the Rangers in the crowd. There was no way she would be fooled.

With that in mind he reached a decision, vaulted the desk and barrelled into the first two guards. He didn’t stop to fight, just punched anybody that tried to grab him before making his way to the exit. By that time the alarms had sounded and the various exits were locked down. Fortunately he had planned for such an event and moved towards the hangar where the Lightspeed Rangers’ hummer was maintained. A few buttons raised the connection tube into position and he took off at a run, confident that the guards would not risk gun fire inside the pressurised tube.

He was not surprised when he heard the engine of the Hummer as the Rangers gave chase. He stopped running and refitted his breathing mask. The torture of the last twenty years had revealed a small magical gift that since his awakening he had found himself capable of using. And after experimenting under the tutelage of Diabolico and the other demons, he had discovered a way to use that gift to unleash bolts of focussed magical energy. He didn’t aim for either the Rangers or their vehicle. Instead he targeted the walls, breaking the pressure seal. As he was sucked out of the transport tube, water poured in, forcing Lightspeed technicians to activate emergency bulkheads. However, that in turn prevented the Rangers from giving chase. The thief was gone and the Titanium Morpher was missing.

“At least we know he can’t use it,” Joel commented in an attempt to lighten the moment.

Despite his words he was just as worried by this turn of events as the others. After all if the Titanium Morpher was useless, why steal it? He couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was about to happen.


10 September 1998

To the casual observer it was just another monster, although even by demon standards this one was extremely hideous. Vaguely human it was a combination of putrid flesh and stolen organs, soaked in the blood of the innocent humans Curszer had sacrificed.

There were warnings surrounding the raising of the dead, although for those deluded enough to actually attempt such acts they were more of a guideline to success: for every soul returned to the world of the living another soul was needed to take its place was the normal rule intended to provide balance. But that rule only applied in the case of a willing exchange where a person offered their own life so another could live. In the case where there were no willing sacrifices, the ceremony required more souls to fulfil the contract. Curszer had been very generous in his offering and there were many unexplained disappearances that could have been pinned on him.

He renewed his dark chant, using incantations that were normally forbidden in Queen Bansheera’s court; even the Hell Goddess had her limits. As he spoke the mass shifted on the stone slab, the many parts merging together to form a single and exceptionally healthy humanoid body. Curszer had been careful to choose the right parts, knowing that his plan required a specimen of exceptional strength. Bright light burst from the living corpse as nature tried to return it to its previous state.

“Soul of the fallen, renewed by my hand, take your form, by my command!”

The soul had been carefully selected for the task and had been pulled painfully from its resting place; it had been subjected to twenty years of suffering in the space of a few months. Curszer with the help of his fellow demons had broken the innocent mind while teaching it what it needed to know to function as an adult. They had also poisoned his thoughts and memories, placing the blame for his suffering on a man he had been taught to hate. And with that hatred he was willing to do anything for revenge, even serve Queen Bansheera.

“Impressive Curszer,” Diabolico commented as he inspected the finished work. He had taken a personal hand in breaking the child, offering a few kind words while directing others to inflict pain. “Is it done?”

“Not yet,” Curszer spoke. “The enchantments need to be sealed, or else they will break down in a matter of hours. Once the final offering is made, the process cannot be reversed and he will be alive.”

“Then proceed,” Diabolico instructed. “I will make certain Queen Bansheera knows of your sacrifice.”

Curszer bowed and then gestured to the Batlings to unlock the heavy chains that had held their new warrior in place. As soon as he was released, his body sprang into action, striking at the Batlings, dispatching them with ease before turning on Curszer. The demon did not offer any resistance as his creation’s hand slid around his neck. The spell required the shattering of the human’s soul to anchor him to his new body. While having him kill a human would have been preferable, it would have lacked the blind rage. Curszer’s death tethered the tortured soul and prevented it from moving on willingly.

With a growl the construct tossed Curszer’s body aside and froze as it realised what it had done. The wizard’s corpse exploded into a swarm of flies, his magical energy seeking out his brother Jinxer while the rest attacked his murderer. In the background a high pitched grinding noise could be heard, but Diabolico assumed it was part of the ceremony.

“Enough!” Diabolico commanded, causing the flies to land on his back where they turned into a sickly black mark. Diabolico ignored that as he addressed the court’s newest servant. “You have proven yourself worthy of serving Queen Bansheera. Now, this is what you will do…”

But the human failed to respond, his mind broken by his experience and unable to accept the mindless murder it had committed. The taking of a demon life was not enough to lock the distressed soul in place and after so long without comfort, it chose to retreat into the afterlife.

“That’s the problem with soul magic,” a voice said from behind. “Equivalent exchange is always greater than you realise.”

Diabolico turned to confront the unfortunate soul that that wandered into his domain. The figure wore the hooded robes of a monk from one of the many religious groups that had sprung up around the planet during the time the demons had been absent. He was about to summon some Batlings to feed on the stray when he took the opportunity to study the human a little closer. There was something different about this one, he could sense the taint of magic and a more familiar power. With a growl he realised that this human had at some point been in magical contact with a member of the royal family.

“The Sorcerer!” Diabolico accused. There were few instances when a human would have had the opportunity to encounter one of Queen Bansheera’s children. Very few humans had been around at the time when her empire was at its peak and those that were had looked very different to modern humans. But there had been some that had dared to rise up against the demons’ rule and of those humans only one had demonstrated the power to stand against a member of the royal family: the Sorceror of the Sands. “You will pay for what you have done to out empire!”

The response was the raising of a pale hand and a placating motion. On closer inspection there was a small piece of parchment held within the palm with some sort of symbol marked upon it. Diabolico found himself unable to take his eyes off the symbol as he tried to decipher its meaning. And the longer he was forced to stare the more difficult it became to concentrate on attacking. The pressure on his mind was incredible and despite being a demon, it was clear this man had the power to almost enthral a servant of Queen Bansheera.

“Enough!” Almost was not enough in Diabolico’s case and with a sudden snap, he returned to his senses. The moment his mind had recognised the purpose behind the magic, he had been able to break the spell. “Parlour tricks will not save you.”

A power gust of wind knocked the hooded figure off his feet, causing his hood to fall away and exposing his head. It was the sight of the scarred third eye on the human’s forehead that made Diabolico to rethink his decision to destroy him. Clearly this was not a normal human.

“Parlour tricks? That technique was one of my most powerful abilities. It is a testament to your power that you were able to break free, despite the power of the seal,” he replied. “I am not an enemy of yours, mighty Diabolico. I am one of many that willingly await the return of Queen Bansheera and the restoration of her great empire. I am here to assist you in your endeavours.”

Humans were not the only intelligent life in the universe, Earth was not the only place where humans existed, and those that currently called the world theirs were not the first humans to do so. There had been several great human empires since the Earth had first formed. Most had disappeared completely with no evidence they had existed. He was one of the few that had survived from an older time. He was old, injured and had lost much of his power, but he was a survivor that had witnessed the power of Queen Bansheera and had sworn loyalty to her forces. While he had never been promised a reward, he hoped that aiding her return would restore him to his former state.

“My civilisation was dying when you demons first set foot in this dimension. We welcomed you here and worshipped the children of your queen. We could not prevent their imprisonment, but we have worked for their release.”

Diabolico remembered there had been a few humans that had worshipped Queen Bansheera and her family. Most had willingly given their service to her children and were considered as pets while others had worked throughout the ages to undermine the work of the Sorceror of the Sands and his followers.

“And what could you offer me in return for your life?” Diabolico asked, gripping him by the collar of his robes to make certain he could not escape.

“I have knowledge that will assist you; tomes stolen from those that opposed you long ago. I know that no matter how many times you attempt this ceremony it will fail. There is another way to accomplish it without the need to sacrifice Queen Bansheera’s loyal retainers.”

“And in return?” Diabolico was not foolish enough to believe that such an offer would be made for free.

“Let me take the remains,” he answered, pointing to where the construct was starting to strain against the spells. Without Curszer to renew the magic he had placed there, they were starting to weaken. The construct’s body started to glow around the edges, a clear indication that the soul within was struggling to break free. The priest waved his hand idly in its direction; the light faded. “The choice is yours of course. I wouldn’t dare to tell someone as powerful as you what to do, but time is running out. Do you really want to waste this opportunity?”

If nothing else it appeared that he had convinced Diabolico that he could be useful.

“Perhaps your services will be accepted,” Diabolico agreed.

“Thank you. Now I will show you the powers my people possessed…” He closed his eyes and reached out to the dark powers his race had once mastered. Time and injury had made it more difficult for him to feel the flow of the power. But his anger and hatred for the humans that now claimed the world as their own enhanced his senses, allowing him to pull on the weak connection he maintained. And once he found the energy, he instinctively recalled how to use it, his words shape the energy to his will. “Dark Fist, Flowing Reversal!”


Twenty years earlier.

The man drove his car along the twisting road with 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 heat of the moment the man failed to notice the odd sound or the way that for a moment the flames seemed to freeze in place. He would always remember the mocking laughter as he wept for his lost child.


10 September 1998

The monk groaned as the strain forced him to end the technique. It was not the time travel that was the problem, but the separation of his mind and spirit from his body. The further he travelled and the longer he was away, the greater the pull became and the less strength he had to pull himself back. Just a few minutes was almost too long for him to endure.

As a young man he would have brashly tried to force his way back to the day of the accident, something that would have likely killed him for twenty years was well beyond his natural ability. But as he had grown older he had learnt to use other techniques to create stepping stones from which to jump. That made one long journey a series of shorter leaps.

Even so time was very difficult to manipulate. If there was one thing he had learnt it was that the way events were recorded was more important than the record being made. In this case the death of Ryan Mitchell could be subdivided into a sequence of events, some witnessed and others deduced from the evidence. William Mitchell had seen the car explode with his son still trapped within. The incident report had shown that the body of a child had been retrieved from the wreckage but was so badly charred that identification was impossible. Those were the events history recorded and that allowed him room to make changes. That he had been there that night in the original timeline and had encountered his future self meant that he knew the way to play events to his liking; originally he had been there to kill William Mitchell as a show of his value to the demons, but Mitchell had survived.

History recorded that the body of a young boy had been removed from the wreckage. And so he had started with a visit to a morgue in a little town that by his calculations no longer existed. There he had removed the body of a boy that was the same age as the crash victim. He had placed the body at the scene and waited until the moment Captain Mitchell had turned his head aware in despair. Had he waited long enough? Did Mitchell suspect that his son was alive? There was no way to tell but Mitchell had never questioned the declaration that Ryan Mitchell had been killed in the incident. The switch had occurred before Curszer had grabbed the child’s soul, leaving Ryan Mitchell alive and well.

“Shadow Play, Dream of Torment!”

Shadow Play was a technique that trapped the victim within a dream state. There they would endure whatever torture the caster desired until they were released. And while their bodies would show the signs of injuries they sustained while dreaming, they would not need food or water while they slumbered. In the past he had used such dreams to break his enemies, but for Ryan Mitchell he had something more ambitious in mind.

His manipulations allowed Ryan to slumber for twenty years, his body shielded from harm. He reshaped Ryan’s memory of the accident, making him believe Diabolico had saved him from death when his father had let him fall. The boy would dream of a life spent living among the demons, of pain and suffering while knowing that his sister was safe and cared for. And as the demons taught him to fight and to hate, he would start to believe that they were his family after his father had abandoned him.

And as his mind and spirit returned to the present, the boy was left in the care of his past self as events played out right up until the moment he had called on the powers at his command and travelled into the past. With a flourish, he revealed the slumbering child, now a grown man. As he released the technique, he allowed Ryan Mitchell to emerge at Diabolico’s side. Except now he was trained as a warrior to hate humans, despise Lightspeed and desire nothing more than the obliteration of his father and all the man held dear.


28th September 1998

“I have completed my side of the bargain, oh great Diabolico,” the warlock said as he regarded the Titanium Morpher in Diabolico’s hand.

Ryan had performed the task he had been given flawlessly and the powerful device was now in their possession. It was impossible for a human to use the power contained within the Titanium Morpher, no matter their strength or training. The device had been designed to surpass the Lightspeed Morphers and therefore required a candidate who was physically superior to the other Rangers; twenty years of pain and suffering spent in a hell dimension, something o human should have endured… That Ryan had survived the ordeal was a sign of his suitability to his new rol as the Titanium Ranger.

“And I will keep mine,” Diabolico stated, pointing to the body the demons had previously constructed. “Take it and go before I change my mind.”

The warlock nodded and left, taking his prize with him. Diabolico had not asked what he intended to do with the rottings construct, but he was sure the demon would be pleased when he saw the results. And when the demons conquered the Earth he was certain that he would be welcomed as one of their trusted servants.

Diabolico watched the warlock leave and then turned his attention to his new warrior. It was time that their servant introduced himself to the Rangers. Soon their obstruction would be gone, Queen Bansheera would be free to return and their kingdom would be restored at last. And best of all, with her children missing, Diabolico was certain that Queen Bansheera would recognise his efforts and grant him his own territory, just as he deserved.

End of part


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