Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. Simple enough right?
I mean come on, do I even resemble Saban? Didn't think so. Anything associated
with the Power Rangers is quite likely owned by Saban as well. However,
anything you do not recognize from the show is mine, all mine. Unless
otherwise noted of course. Please don't steal, borrow, etc any of the
original ideas or characters within, without asking first, it's just not
Timeline: After Initiation, about a week or so I believe.
Warning: Mild swearing, violence, etc...
Notes & Otherwise: First off thanks beacoup de much to SilvorMoon, the Wonderful, for allowing me use of the Dark Falcon.
Well now, here we are, number... nine I think. Remember if you like, or even if you don't, never hesitate to e-mail me with comments at Randelm@hotmail.com.
"You are sure about this Aisha?"
"Yes mom, I haven't seen Rocky and Adam since our last visit... almost a year. Besides you don't need me for the report part, now that the cure has been found you and dad and the rest can handle the paper work... it's time for me to go home." replied the girl.
Lara, Aisha's mother, smiled, "Alright, if you're sure, your father will be ready to take you in few minutes. Oh Aisha I'll miss you."
"Ah mom," the girl wrapped her mother in a tight hug. "You and Dad will be back in a couple of months too. 'Til then Kat said I could stay with her, she's already accommodating Tanya."
"I don't know how you've got so many friends in Angel Grove, we only visit about once a year... less even."
"We write a lot," replied the girl evasively. Quickly she finished her packing and set the bags by the door.
"Aisha! Time to go!" called her father from outside.
"Be careful Aisha."
"I will mom."
"And don't forget to write."
"Of course not." Aisha gave her mother another quick hug, then grabbed the bags, ran outside, jumped into the jeep with her father, and they drove off to the airport.
Two figures entered the Youth Center. Casually they each took a seat and ordered a couple of drinks and some sandwiches.
"There they are," said the slightly shorter one, "Amazing to think they are all that's keeping this planet free."
"You've seen the clips, you know they know what they're doing."
"Yeah, but it's hard believe watching them in this kind of atmosphere. They should be training, and yet here they are lounging away."
"Not entirely," replied the other pointing to some of the group who were out practicing on the mats. "Come on man, don't be so rough on them... besides we're going to have to complete the team soon, and you know they'll be coming from this planet."
"You're right of course," sighed the other. "It's just so... ahh... I don't even know how to explain it."
"I understand man, the home we knew is gone, and the person responsible is coming after this planet. But think of it, these guys are becoming heroes across Galaxy... the Universe even, and we'll be a part of it."
The longhaired one chuckled a bit. "Fight not for Glory but for Justice, Silver Ranger." The other grinned back and snapped off a smart salute.
The blonde Silver Ranger's flippant air had the more somber Red Ranger performing one of his rare smiles. Soon their meals were brought, and the two continued to observe over their food.
"Hmm, a bit flashy," commented Silver as a dark skinned man out on the mats sparred with another.
"Zackary Taylor, Dar'ket Amalgam," replied Red as he flipped through his small notebook. "A bit showy, his fighting style is a combination of dance, and Hop-kido. He is something of an entertainer... very charismatic."
"And his sparing partner?"
"Rocky DeSantos, Blue Zeo, very energetic guy, he's even got some untrained dreamwalker talent."
"What about those three?" Zhane pointed to a small group hunching over several scribbled notes and drawings.
"William Cranston, Trini Kwan, and Justin Stewart. Cranston and Stewart are certified geniuses... even by UAB standards, both have also become quite proficient in karate style fighting. Trini isn't quite as intelligent as the other two but she comes close... however she tends to be able to look at a problem from an angle. She fights in the Praying Mantis Kung fu style. All three tend towards the quiet type, though Justin is still young and not always as reserved."
The two continued to watch the Power Rangers, and although they didn't know it, were being watched in turn.
"What do you think they're doin' Bulk?"
"Right now it appears as though they're just watching. It makes me kinda' nervous though... we can't tell if they're good guys or bad guys."
"Maybe we should ask Ernie."
"Ask me what?" queried the owner of the Juice Bar.
"Hey Ernie," said Skull by way of greeting. He wasn't particularly surprised that Ernie had caught the last of the conversation; he seemed to have a knack for being where he was needed.
Bulk pointed to the two newcomers. "They seem to be taking notes on our Rangers... do you know anything about them?"
Ernie looked at the two for a moment as though he was reading something, then turned to Bulk and Skull. Pointing at the one with long hair he said "Red Lighstar," pointing at the other he said, "Silver Lightstar."
"Two new Rangers?" asked Bulk.
"A new team of Rangers," elaborated Ernie.
"And likely a villain to follow," added Skull a bit sourly.
"Don't worry about it Eugene, everything will turn out all right," replied Ernie as he went to take the orders of some arriving costumers.
"I'm worried," Skull told Bulk.
"Has Ernie been wrong yet?" asked the larger man. Skull sighed at the question, his friend was right, Ernie had never been wrong, but he was still worried.
"Zordon of Eltare, I am Andros formerly of the planet KO-35 and the Red Lightstar Ranger. This is my companion, Zhane, the Silver Lightstar Ranger. We come bearing grave news."
"Greetings Andros. I thank you for coming to assist against the Queen Astronema."
"There is more Zordon," interjected Zhane, "She has obtained the key to the Hyperlock Egg."
"Oh bloody hell," muttered the interdimensional being. Andros and Zhane were somewhat taken aback.
"Um Zordon? Shouldn't you call your Rangers..."
"Yes of course, do not worry. Alpha, please summon the Rangers."
"A-all of them Zordon?"
Alpha did as he was asked, and in a matter of moments the Power Chamber was filled with lights.
"Alright Zordon what's the... whoa..." Tommy's voice trailed off as he realized that all three teams had been summoned. "What's going on?"
"Rangers, allow me to introduce Andros and Zhane, the Red and Silver Lightstar Rangers of the planet KO-35." A quick round of hellos was exchanged and Zordon continued. "They come bearing grave news. As you already know Astronema is heading towards Earth and will be here in a matter of days. What they have just informed us is that she carries the key to the Hyporlock Egg... a chamber which contains one of the evilest beings ever known."
"Oh," said Rocky, "As if we didn't have enough problems." Just then the sirens began to blare. "Spoke to soon."
"Grid Warriors, there is a troop of Tengas and Putties causing destruction in the harbor district." Alpha 5 told them
"Dear God!" exclaimed Zack, "Don't these villains ever sleep? It's one in the friggin' morning."
"Villainy works at all hours," responded Andros
"Yeah, I guess you're right," muttered Zack "Alright let's go guys." The Rangers were gone in flashes of light.
"I would ask that the rest of you remain," said Zordon. "I fear that the battle may escalate."
And escalate it did. The Grid Warriors were doing fine until Divatox decided to get in on the action, and several ranks of Piranatrons rushed the field. Of course King Mondo couldn't be left out of such an occasion and he promptly added his own soldiers to the fray. Instantly the Zeo and Turbo Rangers entered the scene and the fight became a grand melee, something that had been happening all to often lately.
Back in the Power Chamber Zhane and Andros watched the battle on the viewing globe.
"Andros," said Zordon suddenly, "Have you got the other five Astromorphers?"
"Of course Zordon, they're on the Megaship. Is it time?" The wise sage merely nodded.
TJ Andrews lay in his bed staring at the ceiling, he had the feeling that something was going to happen tonight, but he wasn't sure what exactly. Without warning an odd feeling overcame him and before he knew it he was standing in a futuristic room complete with flashing computers and consoles.
"What the-" shakily he rubbed his eyes trying to figure out what had just happened. As he did so there was another flash of light.
"What's going on here?" asked a familiar voice.
"TJ! Where are we?" Before the young man could answer two more flashes of light deposited Carlos Vargas and Cassie Chan.
"Whoa... what the... oh my God..."
"Cassie? TJ, Ashley... what's going on here?" The four looked around in confusion each dressed in what they had gone to bed in. Suddenly the room became considerably brighter as the transparent tube at the far end filled with a white energy and a disembodied head appeared in it.
"Greetings, and welcome to the Power Chamber, headquarters for the Power Rangers."
"Oh man, I knew I shouldn't have had that extra helping of meatloaf..." muttered Carlos.
"What's going on here, who are you?" asked TJ.
"I am Zordon of Eltare, mentor to the Power Rangers. You have been called here because an assault from the evil Princess Astronema is anticipated within the next few days..."
"Oh great, another villain? As if the Rangers didn't have enough trouble."
"That's where we come in," came a voice from behind them. The four turned to see two young men in what appeared to be some sort of uniform, including gray pants and a gray jacket. The one with long hair that had light streaks in it, also the one who had spoken, wore a red shirt under the jacket while the blonde wore a lighter gray.
"And who are you?" asked Ashley.
"My name is Andros, this is my friend Zhane, we are formerly of the planet KO-35."
"Formerly?" asked Cassie.
"It was attacked and occupied by the forces of Astronema..."
"But why are we here?" asked Ashley.
"TJ Andrews, Carlos Vargas, Cassie Chan, Ashley Hammond, the skill and bravery you showed in assisting the Power Rangers in their time of need at the Youth Center proves beyond any doubt that you each have the spirit of a Power Ranger."
"We ask you now to join us, to join the Power Rangers and assist in the defense of your planet," intoned Andros.
"You want us to be Power Rangers?" asked Cassie in awe. Andros nodded in response. "I'll do it... if I'm needed, I'll do what I can to help."
"Me too," said Ashley, "count me in."
TJ nodded slowly. "If the number of villains increases, then the number of heroes should as well. I'm in."
Carlos chuckled a bit and ran a hand through his hair. "If this is a dream... heh, yeah, I'll do it... my life was getting boring anyway." Zordon smiled and nodded for Andros to continue.
"TJ Andrews. You are calm and insightful, you will be the Blue Lightstar." Andros handed the other young man a small blue-banded device that he fastened around his wrist where it promptly disappeared in a muted flash of blue.
"Carlos Vargas," Zhane said to the young Spanish man, "you are the Black Lightstar, creative and instinctive.
"Ashley Hammond, High spirited and peace loving, you are the Yellow Lightstar."
"Cassie Chan, you are the Pink Lightstar, caring and helpful." As the last member was given her powers all looked to Zordon.
"Welcome Lightstar Rangers, it is a pleasure to have you."
"Yo Rangers, I hate to cut the formalities short, but there's still a major battle going on," a three foot automaton shuffled into view.
"Alpha 6 is correct, you must teleport to the Harbor District immediately."
"Right," said Andros and in a commanding voice shouted, "Let's Rocket!"
At the sound of the Morphin' call the newly formed team of Lightstar Rangers summoned their morphers and punched in the access code turning them into heroic warriors. In columns of flashing light, they were gone.
Aaron Madigan sat bolt upright in his bed. Looking to his nightstand he saw the clock read 1:00 am.
"Damn." He muttered running a hand through his sweat slicked hair. "What the hell is wrong with me?" He'd been waking up with nightmares since about a week before school had started. There had been periods of blackouts... lost memory.
Sighing the young man lay back down and tired to go to sleep, however the instant his head touched the pillow he felt himself flying through some sort of space. When the movement stopped he was standing on a gray metal floor that stretched for miles until it disappeared into shadow. "Where am I?" he wondered aloud.
"This," replied a familiar voice, "is your subconscious."
Aaron spun around to see an all to familiar armored figure, the Phantom Ranger. Instantly Aaron began backing away.
"H-how did you get here? What do you want?"
"I want you Aaron... I am you."
"What? I don't think so, just leave me alone."
"You've been having lost time haven't you?"
"Periods you don't remember, hours at a time."
"How do you know this?"
"This is your subconscious, I am merely a vessel for it to communicate. Allow me to explain, all will become clear, and then you will have to make a choice."
"Choice? What choice?"
The Phantom ignored the question and continued to speak. "Approximately one month ago Divatox, an evil Pirate Queen came to this planet. She had originally planned to capture the Turbo Powers and present them to Maligore as a wedding gift. When those powers were claimed by others she quickly revised her plan. In her possession was a ruby with connection to the Morphin Grid. With it she choose some poor sap from Angel Grove and turned him into the Phantom Ranger."
"Let me guess... I was that poor sap."
"Correct. The times when you are the Phantom Ranger are the times Aaron Madigan doesn't remember. However, Divatox choose purely at random, she did not expect you to be able to shake the effect of her mind control drugs. Now there is a war here in your subconscious. A war between the cold warrior that has been causing the Power Rangers so much trouble, and that part of your soul that is still Arron Madigan, and who would much rather fight for the other side."
"Isn't that a bit clichô?"
The armored figure gave an amused chuckle. "Yes, but such is life, now is the time for the choice. The choice will not necessarily be the end all, the good side of you will still have to struggle for dominance should that be your choice, however should you choose the evil side the grip of darkness will be permanent." With that the figure of the Phantom Ranger split into two distinct forms one evil and one good.
"So now all I do is choose..." Aaron reached out to one of the figures, there was a flash of light. Suddenly the Phantom Ranger stood in Aaron's bedroom. There was a battle taking place... a battle he must join. As Aaron teleported out, lightning flashed and a fierce storm broke over Angel Grove.
In a darkened and empty construction site a lone shadow drifted from one point to another, a specific destination in mind. That destination was an ancient artifact recently uncovered by the construction crew working on the grounds. It was a Hyperlock chamber in the shape of an egg clutched in a clawed hand. Swiftly, silently the figure produced a small shiny object that she touched to the egg's surface. Almost immediately the hand released the egg that opened up to reveal the purple goo inside.
Suddenly electricity crackled across the surface of the goo, which then began to take form into a violet robed, plum skinned man.
"Greetings Ivan Ooze, I am Astronema, Princess of evil." Came a sultry voice.
The purple creature cracked his neck and studied the one who had freed him. "Princess of evil huh? And I suppose you expect me to serve you now?"
"No," was the reply. "I merely freed you on Dark Specter's orders."
"Dark Specter... so the situation is becoming serious if the big man himself is putting a hand into things." Ooze sounded genuinely impressed.
"I was also ordered to inform you that Zordon of Eltare still lives and has amassed a large team of Rangers."
"Zordon of Eltare..." Ivan sneered. "I'm gonna' smear the meddlesome Grid Master into so much slime..."
"Do not underestimate the Rangers of Earth, Ooze. They are currently holding off the Sorcerers Rita and Zedd, Divatox the Pirate Queen, and the Machine Empire."
"I thank you Princess of Evil, both for my freedom and the information." Ivan swept a courtly bow. "But if you'll excuse me," and with that he was gone in a distortion of air. Astronema followed suite in her own teleportation signal.
Scraw snapped to alertness as he felt the tingle that meant his Masters were again sending him into battle. A white light filled his vision, and as it cleared a picture of chaos met him. His comrades and those clay golems were causing destruction to the buildings and landscape around them. The Rangers would undoubtedly be showing up soon to dispatch of them, but something wasn't right. He'd been fighting for the Masters since he'd been hatched... but... something had been nagging at him lately. Calmly he closed his eyes and concentrated on a memory that had been struggling to resurface for some time now.
There were memories of red-white flame, and comforting warmth. He saw his clan, but they weren't servants... they were free and they fought, but not for the side he now served. They were an avian race of fire... they were proud warriors. Then an evil man came. He captured Scraw's tribe... he warped them, twisted them to something dark.
The Tenga's eyes snapped open at the realization. The fact that his tribe had been forced into serving evil for the past several centuries hurt him to the core of his being. It wasn't right... it wasn't supposed to have happened like this... Lightning flashed, thunder rolled, and in the middle of the raging battle one Tenga sank to his knees and began to cry.
Skull walked silently through the park with his best friend Bulk. The two had a close friendship and could, at times, perceive when the other was having a hard time. Bulk had been sound asleep when for no apparent reason he had woken up, quite alert and answered the phone just as it began to ring. It was, as he'd known it would be, his friend Eugene Skullovich.
"I can't sleep," Skull had said, "Do you mind if we go take a walk?" Of course Bulk had agreed and that was how the two ended up walking aimlessly through Angel Grove at ten past one in the morning. Nothing was said... but whatever had Skull so riled up was beginning to make Bulk nervous. Ernie had never been wrong in his premonitions about the Rangers... but then again the two of them were trouble magnets and Skull's infrequent premonitions were disturbingly accurate as well.
A sudden flash of lightning followed closely by deafening thunder shook the two boys out of their thoughts. The strike had come out of nowhere... there was no way it had been natural. The two looked at each other, then began running, right into the thick of a battle.
A rising block and a quick jab made short work of the Cog and Trini Kwan spun searching for any more enemies. A flash of thunder made her jump and she along with all the other combatants on the field turned to see a purple figure standing in the middle of the fray. The figure snorted as through at some offending smell, then spoke.
"I am Ivan Ooze... Welcome to my Nightmare!" at Ivan's declaration lightning flashed again and more purple figures began to ooze up out of the ground forming into more and more evil soldiers, then the rain began to pour.
"Oh shit," muttered Andros, "That means Astronema is already here..."
As the evil ranks were bolstered by the Oozemen the Blade Rangers joined the fray. Tanya backed off the fight for a moment to summon her friend and guardian Auric the Conqueror, then jumped back to work, nunchuku whirling.
Cassie Chan was battling enemies left and right and she was beginning to tire. Planting a kick to the chest of one of the Oozemen she sent it flying into a wall where it splattered into a gooey mess and began to slide across the ground. Not noticing the ooze that was sliding under her feet she began to run to Yellow Lightstar's aid when she slipped in the muck and fell to the ground. As she regained her breath she looked up to see a Piranatron preparing to deliver a devastating strike when a distortion in the air intervened and blocked the blow. The distortion dispersed to reveal the armored form of the Phantom Ranger. Phantom made quick work of the fishy villain then helped Cassie to her feet.
"Thanks" said Cassie, he nodded, then disappeared into the battle. "How odd," she mused, "I thought he was a bad guy..."
Blue and Green Zeo fought side by side in perfect tandem when suddenly something caught Green's eye. "Hey Rocky... is that Bulk and Skull?"
"Dear God, how do they get themselves mixed into these things?"
"Just lucky? Man those two are really fighting well."
"Bulk's really been working out, I've even spotted for him a few times. And he and Skull have been sparing on the mats."
"Working out or not they haven't any powers, we probably ought to assist them." Blue Zeo nodded and the two headed in that direction. Most of the other Rangers on the field had noticed the unpowered humans battling the baddies and had come to the same conclusion as Blue and Green Zeo.
"You two should get out of here," said Red Lightstar "It's getting dangerous."
"Not a chance Red," was Skull's reply.
"We're not buggin' out on a monster attack ever again," added Bulk. All the Rangers and Auric began to gather in one spot near the area where Bulk and Skull were holding their own. The Blade Rangers were causing as much havoc as they could but they were beginning to be outnumbered, the Phantom Ranger was nowhere to be seen... though that didn't mean much, and the twenty four heroes, two of them unpowered, were seeing the first traces of victory.
"Argh! Those blasted Rangers!" shrieked Rita.
"Rita, dear, this can't be good for the baby... please calm down..." Zedd kept his own anger in check and tried to calm his wife.
"I've had it, I'll take them myself." And she was gone in a flash of brownish light.
"Rita no-" quickly Zedd followed.
Very few evil soldiers remained... the rain was beginning to slacken... things were looking up. Then there was a flash of Amber colored light and Rita Repulsa appeared, Zedd was close behind her in his own Red light. As soon as the sorceress was able, she began firing blasts of energy at the Rangers. Instinctively they began to dodge, but none were able to fire back.
Skull stood transfixed at the sight of two of the evilest beings in the Universe. When the flying energy came at him, he was unable to move. Feebly he raised his arms up to shield himself. The Heroes all shouted and attempted to rescue the young man but none were close enough, none except Bulk.
The heavyset man threw himself into his smaller friend sending him flying and taking the blast full in the chest.
Angela Renae Dezz Hopkins stood absolutely still, shocked beyond belief. These two men had risked their lives to help them... the Power Rangers, who were supposed to be protecting those without power, and one had just been killed. Nobody on the battlefield moved, even Rita and Zedd seemed shocked.
"NOOO!" The scream ripped from Angela's throat as she summoned Windfire and began firing at the evil pair. Everyone jumped into action at this, including the Phantom Ranger who, along with others, was running to check on Bulk. But for Rita and Zedd everything slowed down... it seemed as though time itself was slowing and finally stopped.
"What's happening?" asked Zedd quietly in the sudden utter silence.
"A time pause... something is not right."
"Who are we?" the question was quiet and frightened.
"We are Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa, feared Sorcerers of the United Alliance of Evil... aren't we?"
"I don't think so... this is not who we are..."
"You're right... this is something we were forced into."
"By my father."
"And by Master Marthal. I remember now..." The gravly voice of Lord Zedd faded away to the soft baritone of Jacq Dezz, former Red Sol Ranger.
"When we were captured and presumed executed..." Rita's usual screech became the light voice of Ria Renae, former Amber Sol Ranger. "But what caused the Time Pause, why are we remembering now?"
"Because of her," Jacq's voice almost broke as he pointed to the Pink Turbo Ranger. Smoothly he approached her, gently he touched her shoulder and she demorphed.
"She's beautiful," breathed Ria, "Like an angel."
"An avenging angel," Jacq chuckled, taking in her stance as she fired at the evil figures of Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa.
"We can't destroy them can we?" asked Ria in reference to the two evil figures that still stood about ten feet away.
"No, Rita and Zedd are independent from us. But I don't know what to do now."
"I do," Ria produced a small crystal from beneath her amber robes.
"A time crystal," Jacq seemed mildly surprised. "How far back can it take us?"
"I'm not sure," replied Ria as she looked at Angela, "but I'd guess a little over fourteen years, I'm almost due you know."
Jacq smiled and enveloped his wife in a gentle embrace. Slowly the two were encased in a warm red-brown light and disappeared.
Time lurched back to normal just as Rita, Zedd, the Blade Rangers and the assorted baddies teleported out. Robbed of her targets Angela, now remorphed, turned to witness a somber scene.
Bulk lay flat on his back, a blackened steaming hole in his chest. Skull wept silently over his fallen friend. The Heroes all stood in a silent ragged circle around the pair.
"Isn't there anything we can do?" pleaded Blue Zeo.
"I don't know man," Red Zeo's voice was on the verge of tears. A gentle light bathed the area for a moment and four figures appeared. Zordon, Dimitria, Ninjor, and the Blue Centurion stepped forward.
"Zordon..." Cri'ould's voice was desperate.
"There is much evil coursing through his body, I don't think..." started the ancient sage.
"I can cleanse the evil," the professional declaration of the Blue Centurion brought a spark of hope to all present. Slowly the robot walked forward. Kneeling next to Skull he pushed a hidden button and a small panel opened on his chest.
"Rangers... all of you join hands," commanded the Centurion. Everyone, including Auric, Ninjor, Dimitria and Zordon joined hands around the three in the middle. Fred and Cassie were both surprised to find themselves each holding a hand of the mysterious Phantom Ranger.
"Now," continued the Centurion to Skull. "Take the power from my chest and place it in the wound."
"What about you?" asked Skull quietly.
"I am programmed to serve and protect. Now do it Skullovich." The voice reminded Skull of his only other fiend Lt. Stone. Slowly the young man did as he'd been told. The small stone flashed when it touched Bulk's wound, then a gray-blue light began to flash over the large man.
"The evil is being cleansed," said Dimitria, "But the life still ebbs."
"Everybody concentrate upon the young man," ordered Ninjor sharply. "There is still a chance." Energy began to flow around the circle and then was directed to the center by Ninjor, Dimitria and Zordon.
"It's not enough," whispered Yellow Lightstar. "We're losing him."
"No, hang in there man," pleaded Phantom Ranger. The others began voicing their support, and then a totally unfamiliar sound emerged.
A slight humming was coming from above. Descending slowly was what appeared to be a Tenga, though its beak was smaller, its face was kinder, its feathers were white at the tip fading to red at the root.
"A Fire Aerial..." breathed Auric, "I thought they were extinct."
The winged creature landed lightly next to Skull and kneeled on the side opposite from the still form of the Blue Centurion. "I can give you the power to save your friend, but I will do so only if you promise to carry on the legacy of my people," the creature spoke directly into Skull's mind.
"I'll do it, whatever you want, just help Bulk," Skull's voice was raw and he barely managed a whisper. The creature nodded once then laid a hand on Skull's shoulder and began infusing the young man with his life energy. The energy filling Skull in turn amplified the energy coming from the assembled heroes, and Bulk's gray-blue light became blinding. There was a surge of power and when it subsided the Rangers stood unmorphed, and Zordon was gone, unable to stay outside his ion tube any longer, while Auric had returned to his tiki form.
Bulk's chest rose and fell in a normal breathing pattern, his body was relaxed, his face serene. A hand fell on Skull's shoulder and he looked up to see Tommy standing behind him.
"He's going to be alright," said the longhaired youth.
"Thank you Tommy, all of you, thanks."
"I think we ought to head back to the Power Chamber," said Billy. "All of us," this last was said with a meaningful glance at Bulk, Skull, and the young man who was still holding hands with Cassie. At two in the morning the Harbor district lit was with a powerful multi-colored light.
"I had this sort of dream. In it the Phantom Ranger told me I was in my own subconscious and that about a month ago Divatox had chosen me to be her evil Ranger. He told me I would have to make a choice... but just because I choose good over evil didn't mean that it was over... that the light side would still have to struggle to take over..." Aaron Madigan relayed his tale to the assembled heroes and mentors. Ninjor and Dimitria floated in ethereal form one on each side of Zordon's ion tube.
"I thought Divatox wasn't a magic-user... how did she control you?" asked Casey.
"Through some sort of drug," Aaron shrugged, I really don't know the specifics.
"You're on our side now... that's all that matters," said Cassie.
"I'm not so sure," replied Aaron, "Remember I was told the light still had to fight to take over... I don't know what's going to happen next."
"Do not worry Aaron Madigan, we will monitor you in case your dark side should take control." Aaron sighed and nodded his thanks as the conversation turned to other matters.
"What about this Ivan Ooze guy?" asked Jason.
"As the Lightstar arrived to combat the Princess of evil, so will the Ninjetti appear to battle the Ooze," said Dimitria a bit mysteriously.
"Ninjetti?" asked Tommy as he looked at the three floating forms. "What's that?"
"The Ninjetti," replied Ninjor "is a Ranger power much like the Ninja, the differences are very subtle. It can only be accessed on the planet Phados."
"So who will travel to Phados to get this Power?"
"We will," came a familiar voice. The assembled turned to see five figures emerging from one of the side halls. Though some were better known than others, all were recognized. One was a former Ranger... the other four had assisted in the Ranger's time of need at the Youth Center.
"Aisha!" Zack's voice was surprised and overjoyed.
"David... good to see you man."
"Emily, I'm sorry I couldn't tell you..." Before the conversations could get too far Zordon interrupted.
"Aisha Campbell, David Trueheart, Emily Conery, Audri Lorhammer, Silvia Stormshroud. The five of you have shown courage and compassion, a will to fight evil. You are now being asked to travel to Phados and acquire the Ninjetti Power. Do you accept?" The five nodded solemnly. "Then go now, and may the Power protect you." In five streams of light they were gone.
Slowly, Skull drifted towards awareness. He wasn't in his bed at home, of that much he was certain. Wherever he was the light was dim... there was the faint sound of electronic machines in the distance... and nearby was the sound of breathing. Not moving, keeping his eyes closed, Skull attempted to remember what happened.
"I'd had a dream... an awful dream where Bulk had been killed..." in a flash it all came back, panicked Skull stood up and looked around. He was in a hospital like room, on the bed next to his was his friend Bulk... in what appeared to be a peaceful sleep. Heavily Skull sat back down on his bed in relief. At that moment the door hissed open and Billy, Trini, Tanya and Adam stepped into the room.
"How do you feel?" asked Tanya quietly.
"Not to bad considering," replied Skull, "Is Bulk going to be alright?"
"He'll be fine," assured Adam. "How much do you remember?"
"All of it... but I understand very little. I could have sworn Bulk was dead."
"It takes more than a couple of evil sorcerers to take me out," came a groggy voice from the other bed.
"Hey Bulk," greeted Billy, "How you feeling?"
"Surprisingly good. Now... how 'bout an explanation."
Tanya easily complied, "After you were blasted the Blue Centurion gave Skull his power source saying it would cleanse any evil from your body. Even after you absorbed that energy, your life was still ebbing away. A Fire Aerial, ancient predecessors of the Tengas, infused Skull with its power, there by amplifying our power and bringing you back."
"Ah... I see,"
"So now what?" wondered Skull.
"Well that's the undecided part," said Adam. "See, magic comes from what most of the Universe refers to simply as 'The Power'. There are quite literally an infinite number of variants on how one may use, or control this magic. Wizardry, technology-"
"Technology?" said Bulk, "I thought this was magic."
"Technology is a very specialized and natural use of The Power," replied Billy, "Physics, Chemistry, etc. What we characterize as magic is a more supernatural approach. All the same laws apply, they are simply manipulated in different ways."
"Power Rangers," Trini picked up the explanation, "are warriors embodying The Power through use of the Morphin Grid. They can be magical, technical or anywhere in between. As mentioned earlier the two of you have been infused with power. Fairly unconventional power."
"And so," continued Tanya, "What happens next is up to you. Obviously you can keep a secret, you've known about us for a while now." Bulk and Skull looked at each other a bit surprised that she knew they knew. "You were not granted your power by any known Grid Master, Wizard or whatever... we can not force you to join us, but we'd like you to."
"Join you?" Skull barely allowed himself to hope.
"As Rangers," clarified Trini. "You're powers are unconventional, but they can be focused like a Ranger's to transform you into powerful warriors."
"Wow... who'd have thought... Farcus Bulkmire a Power Ranger. Yes I'll do it."
"Me too, I..." Skull trailed off, "I would be more than honored to join you."
The four smiled then Billy took charge. "Since the two of you were not given conventional or accepted powers, there is going to have to be a sort of acceptance ceremony. You will need four presenters, two for each of you. Trini and I will present Skull because our powers are more magical as are his, and Tanya and Adam will present Bulk for the same reasons, but technology wise. It will seem more formal than it really is, just show respect for Zordon, Dimitria and Ninjor, and everything will be fine. Now, let's go."
"Wait a minute," said Skull "What time is it? What about our parents?"
"It's been taken care of," said Tanya, "Officially the two of you are studying with us at the Youth Center."
"You can do that?"
The others just grinned. "We study a lot," Adam winked, and the four headed for the main chamber.
Casey waited with her fellow Rangers in the Power Chamber. There were nineteen in all at the moment, talking amongst themselves quietly. Things had been happening so fast lately. To her it'd been a confusing whirl. Their first battle, the explosion, waking up in the Power Chamber good as new... In the battles after that she had flung herself against the monsters practically daring them to fight back, and she became very adept at disarming detonators.
After the battle last night... or had that been early this morning? Five were off to claim the Ninjetti Power and two more had been given an unknown power, and now this ceremony would be taking place to accept them into the Power Rangers. Several parents had received scribbled notes on refrigerators, or phone calls informing them that their son or daughter had had to leave early to meet their friends at the Youth Center or the park, or wherever.
Things had been changing very fast for Casey. First she and her friends became the Turbo Rangers, and suddenly the ranks had begun to swell. Casey was jerked from her thoughts as six figures entered the chamber. Suddenly everything was quiet as Bulk and Skull, followed by Tanya, Adam, Billy and Trini, slowly approached Ninjor, Dimitria and Zordon.
"Farcus Bulkmire, Eugene Skullovich, you have shown bravery, and a will to fight evil," "I can't believe I'm giving this speech for the second time today... The Gathering... the Council never dreamed the prophecy would come to pass on this 'backwater mudball'. I can't wait to shove it in their faces..." "It is undoubted that you have the wills of Rangers. We now ask you to join us, in the defense of the innocent."
"I accept," the two spoke in unison.
"Ninjor," said Billy suddenly. "Blue Grid Master and Coin Smith..."
"Do you accept Farcus Bulkmire and Eugene Skullovich as legitimate Power Rangers?" Trini finished the sentence.
The Blue armored figure looked the two up and down, not saying anything for a few moments. Then in his unique voice said, "I do."
"Dimitria, White Grid Master..." came Adam's voice.
"Do you accept Farcus Bulkmire and Eugene Skullovich as legitimate Power Rangers?" Tanya finished for Adam as Trini had done for Billy.
"I do," came the soft reply.
"And you, Power Rangers of Earth, Will you accept these two into your ranks?" asked Zordon. None spoke. Skull began to fidget slightly under the gazes of the Rangers.
Finally Jason stepped forward. "No Zordon, we cannot."
The look on the sage's face was shocked until Rocky stepped forward as well. "Because they were accepted the first time they stood up for us." There were a few relieved sighs, then Zordon spoke again.
"Then Welcome Farcus, Eugene, and may the Power Protect you." At an unseen command Bulk and Skull dropped into the Morphin stance...
In a riot of color the two transformed into powerful armored warriors. Bulk was in the mostly blue armor of the now powerless Blue Centurion unit. The armor had black and grey highlights and was equipped with a blaster at his hip. Skull was in jet black armor, the upper torso covered in a red feather like pattern. The pattern was repeated on the cuffs of his dark purple boots and gloves. A hard mask of the same color covered the upper part of his face and his black hair was longer and was shot through with purple and red. On his back was some sort of pack, though he wasn't yet certain what that was for.
After a moment the two returned to their human forms. A pendant in the shape of a firebird rested around Skull's neck, while a silver ring adorned Bulk's left ring finger.
The silence of the Chamber was broken by the monster sirens and everyone immediately looked up to the three Mentors.
"Quantrons in the Park," said Dimitria.
"We're on it," said Andros Quickly "Astronema's goons are our province." At Zordon's nod the Lightstar Rangers teleported to the park.
"I would suggest the rest of you relax... I have the feeling it's going to be a long day," added Ninjor. Taking his advice the room filled with light and the heroes disappeared to their weekend activities.
As soon as the Rangers were gone the Alpha units excused themselves to go work on the project that was supposed to have been finished before the school year began. As they left Auric appeared from the back room where he'd been resting during the ceremony... normally he did not appear unless summoned by Tanya, but Zordon had said he needed to speak with him.
"Ah, there you are Auric. The four of us need to talk, but not in the Power Chamber..." With that Zordon, Ninjor, Dimitria, and Auric disappeared from the Chamber leaving it dark, and reappeared in a glen surrounded on all sides by trees.
"Auric," said Dimitria, "Are you familiar with the prophecy of the Gathering?"
"Certainly," replied the warrior. "In a time of need, the Power will gather and produce warriors to combat the Dark. Do you believe that is what is happening?"
"An extinguished flame brought back to life. The unknown power tapped. The sacrifice of a Centurion..." Ninjor trailed off.
"Who would have thought," said Auric, "That the most powerful prophesized fighting force in the known universe would accumulate on Earth."
"But even prophesy needs help," said Zordon. "When the Ninjetti return we will have twenty-nine Rangers on our hands."
"Twenty-nine?" interjected Ninjor, "I thought there were supposed to be thirty."
"A star turned dark will light again..." quoted Dimitria.
"At this point," continued Zordon, "The prophecy gets a bit hazy, we don't really know what to expect next. But there is another question on my mind."
"The Time Pause?" asked Ninjor.
"Exactly... any ideas?"
"Maybe," replied Auric "Right before the slight lurch of the Time Pause... I felt an immense power around the Pink Turbo Ranger."
"Angela?" Dimitria mused, she was silent a moment then her face drained of all color... "Isn't that impossible? How could such a thing have happened?" she muttered to herself.
"Dimitria?" said Zordon softly... "What is it?"
"Do you know Angela's full name?" was the reply.
"Love, your speaking in questions again..."
"Angela Renae Dezz Hopkins..." Ninjor answered the question slowly. "Renae... Dezz..."
Zordon stood up suddenly. "I think we need to pay a little visit to Mr. And Mrs. Hopkins."
"Are you sure you have the strength?" asked Dimitria worriedly.
"Rita's old enchantments are fading," responded the White Grid Master. "So much that I expect to see Dulcea when the Ninjetti return."
Ninjor managed to look hopeful even with his helmet on as they all stood and teleported to the Hopkins's residence.
Finster puttered around his laboratory, glad he was out from under the gaze of the evil creatures in the throne room. So much had been happening lately and he needed some time to think. One of the most amazing events was that Baboo and Squatt had actually managed to defeat Ninjor and steal undefined coins. Then of course their actions had been forgotten, and they were again thought of as buffoons. The coins of course had not remained undefined for long; they had been bonded to super putties and given magical blades.
Aside from that was that he was fairly sure the Gathering was going into effect on Earth. Several teams of Rangers were battling the evil monarchs now... And then the most astonishing and inspirational event occurred. Ria and Jacq had somehow escaped their evil counterparts... he was certain of it. Now if only a certain former Triforian lord could do the same thing...
"Ah well, take what you can..." muttered the scientist. "And hopefully Good will prevail."