Power Ranger Mania The Fanfic Shoppe The Yost  

 

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They are, in fact, the property of Saban... or has that changed to Disney by now? In either case, they're not mine. Further, there are various subtle references to things like 'Star Wars'. Finally, I have been told recently that Ellen Brand is the originator of the term 'Grid Wars', therefore, all credit to her for said term, especially as it is the title for this series.
Timeline: About a month after The Grid War: Part 1
Thanks: General thanks to the following websites: El Fužaroverse, Writer's Guide the PR Universe, PR Spoiler Warnings, and Power Rangers Central. (10.27.99)

The Grid War: Part 2
by Randel

The air was chill and thin, though Danier noticed neither, clad as he was in his Ranger armor. If he had wanted to, his power could have easily accessed the information, 2.45 degrees above freezing, and just barely enough oxygen to keep most sentient species alive. But Danier wasn't here to take environmental measurements; he was here to guard a strategic position. He and his team, the Rangers of Grier. Danier was their leader, Red guided by the Lion. Taking a deep breath, Danier didn't allow himself to realize how peaceful this high mountain pass really was. How in a few more minutes, it would become a battlefield. But if the pass wasn't held, the planet of Grier would fall to the armies of Dark Specter. His home would become just another hunk of rock in the evil monarch's collection.

"Danier, five minutes until they get here."It was Vilhiem, second in command, a White guided by the Tiger. "And Danier, Tolrich Renae leads them."

Tolrich Renae. Up until recently he was a respected member of the Grid Council. Now the man went by the name Master Vile and was one of Dark Specter's highest generals.

"This... won't be easy," Danier said at last.

"We know," replied Rienhart. She was a blue and a genius, guided by the Falcon.

"We're all behind you, Danier, we know how important holding this pass is," added Vilhiem.

Olhan and Fandaes merely nodded. A Black guided by the Crane and a Green guided by the Mantis respectively. His friends, his family... Danier simply nodded in return and for the next three minutes, the team of Rangers waited in silence for the enemy to come.

After only a few moments, they could see them, rank upon disorganized rank of putrid misshapen foot soldiers, the throwbacks of Tolrich Renae... no, of Master Vile's experiments. And mounted on equestrienne-like quadrupeds, Vile's commanders prodded and shouted at and herded the mindless creatures through the pass.

If nothing else, the Rangers had surprise on their side. After all, this was supposed to be a surprise attack and the Rangers were supposed to be at their base fighting off a decoy unit of the enemy. They were not, so far as the enemy was concerned, supposed to be here, meeting them in this mountain pass that eventually led directly to one of the biggest cities on the planet. A city that would have remained unguarded if not for the interception of an encrypted message.

When the first ranks of the army finally noticed the five Rangers standing defiantly in the center of the pass, they shuffled to a stop, causing those behind them to stop or run into them. The commanders, for all that they were more intelligent than those they pushed forward, didn't notice the Rangers until they began to wonder why the usual curses and kicks were failing to move their flock. Finally, after several minutes of uncertain muttering and nervous milling, Master Vile was called to the fore of this army.

Good, thought Danier, let them waste time, the longer they are about it, the more chance we have of getting out of this alive.

The grotesque three-headed figure of Master Vile hovered into view garbed in black and gold robes. Steam issued from his three mouths as his foul breath touched he cold air."Well, if it isn't the Rangers of Grier. I must say I honestly didn't expect to see you here. But... is this it? No reinforcements? They must be back at your base, protecting against the force I set upon it a few moments ago. Yes?"

"You may as well turn around and go home, Vile," challenged Rienhart, the girl was confident as always.

Vile snorted in contempt, "Five pathetic Rangers are going to stop me from conquering this planet? You're not even a full team. How do you expect to stand up against my might?"

"The lapdog of Dark Specter?" baited Olhan, "I almost feel sorry for you, Vile."

"Soon you will know the power of the dark side..." Master Vile's voice was low and dangerous.

The hordes of foot soldiers began rushing forward, and the Power Rangers of Grier fought valiantly. Danier held his single edged sword in one hand, his small round buckler strapped to the other. Vile's foot soldiers were weak, unable to stand more than one or two hits from the Rangers before disintegrating into nothing, but there were hundreds of them, and no matter how hard the Rangers fought, they could not stand up against such a force forever.

Rienhart, the Blue, was first to fall. The other four surrounded her scorched and battered body immediately, but she did not get up. Then Olhan was separated from the group and disappeared underneath a pile of monsters. When Fandaes' body was pierced by the bladed arm of one of Vile's more persistent goons, Danier knew that he didn't have long to live. He and Vilhiem stood back to back, fighting desperately.

Danier heard Vilhiem scream and turned to find his second in command down, bright red blood staining the pristine white armor. He was alone now. Somewhere in the distance a new sound added itself to the battle, but Danier didn't care. He fought, empowered by this rage and sorrow, fought until he could fight no more, until he collapsed of exhaustion, and his vision went dark.

The darkness was comforting.

A knock sounded at his door, and Danier came awake quickly. He was covered in sweat, his hands shook. His bedchamber was dark, faint light from under the door illuminating everything in shades of grey. The knock came again.

"Y-yes?" Danier's voice was shaky, despite his efforts to control it.

"It is nearly midday, sir," cam the voice of Robin, his page, through the door to his bedchamber. "The council meeting is due to start in an hour."

As Robin spoke, Danier got out of bed and wrapped a dark red robe about himself, then opened the door. "Thank you Robin. If you'll bring a meal to my quarters?"

"Yes sir," and the boy trotted off to do his master's bidding.

Danier went back into the sleeping chamber and touched the switch that would bring up the lights. The room was carpeted in a rich wine red, the bed sheets in a similar color. The walls and ceiling were painted off white and the rest of the furnishings were in similar colors. The Red master clad himself in his dress clothes for the meeting. He tried to keep his mind on the political situation at hand, but that in turn led him back to his dream. For today, Rashid would most certainly bring up his proposal again. That of coming to regard half of the Grid Spectrum superior to the other half. In the month since the young Gold had made his proposal, the students of the Academy had dubbed it the Superiority Ideal.

Many considered the idea to be preposterous. There had always been a bit of rivalry between the colors, but never and real prejudice. Prejudice was something found in lower cultures, not on Eltare in the heart of learning of the galaxy. Only the Academies of Acirem Prime of the M-51 galaxy rivaled Eltare in that area.

Despite this, Rashid's idea had done something to these hallowed halls. The Gold was gaining some support, and Danier knew that today, when the proposal was brought up again, Rashid would not be alone. And Danier wasn't sure he wouldn't be among them. After all, if Vilhiem hand been the leader of the Rangers of Grier, perhaps the rest of the team would still be alive.

Robin arrived with Danier's meal, and the former Red Ranger ate in silence until it was time for the meeting, lost in thought.

~*~

Master Borin Voltaire looked about the Council Chamber. All three hundred councilors were present. Everyone was dressed in their finest, creating an interesting combination of colors in the well lit room. Master Natin, Speaker of the Council, brought the room to order. The lights were dimmed on the council and intensified on the center stage.

"The order of business today," said Natin somewhat reluctantly, "is the Superiority Ideal."

The council began murmuring at that. Natin had referred to the subject by name, meaning that it now had an official label. The only person who could officially label the subject was Rashid himself. Of course, all had heard the name, spoke of in derisive tones throughout the halls of the Academy. Many considered the name to have been in insult to the idea. So why would Rashid have taken the name officially?

Rashid took his time in walking to the stage. He knew all eyes were upon him. Rashid did not relish this job. He was at this best in military strategy, war games. And yet, this was a game of a sort, of strategy and maneuvering. Rashid simply wished that he wasn't the one who had to speak to all these people. But he was not in charge, not the one moving the pieces.

"Distinguished Councilors," began Rashid, "I come before you today to once again propose an idea. One month ago, I proposed to this council that five colors of the Grid Spectrum are superior to the remaining five.

"To remind you all, it is painfully evident that the colors Black, Green, Silver, Purple and Red are vastly inferior to the colors of White, Pink, Gold, Blue and Yellow. This ideal, this Superiority Ideal is meant, not to subvert or insult the inferior colors, but to recognize their limitations. The inferior colors are too unstable to be allowed into such positions of authority as this Council. They are intrinsically a danger not only to others, but to themselves."

Rashid stopped speaking and looked to the shadowed listeners. Many were whispering among themselves and several were looking tight lipped and angry. He sought out one face in particular, that of Master Borin. Borin's face betrayed no expression. Rashid was certain that Borin disapproved of this ideal though. In fact, Borin would likely be his most fierce enemy in all of this.

"My proposal, is to remove all those of the inferior colors from the Council and any leadership positions. It is simple as that."

Rashid moved to the center of the stage and lowered his head.

Unlike the last time Rashid had proposed this idea, the room did not burst into shrieks of outrage. Master Natin had warned them last time that such an out burst would not be tolerated. Instead, everyone who wished to comment on the subject pressed the button on the consol in front of them

Master Borin did not press this button. Instead, he slipped on a set of headphones and mic and dialed in a number. The screen before him informed him that the system was waiting for a response. It took so long that Borin thought the person on the other end wouldn't talk to him. But then the message switched to 'connection established'. Then there was a face on the monitor before him.

Peripherally, Borin could hear the debate in the Council Room around him, but for now, he was concentrating on the man on the screen.

"Hello Borin," the man greeted him.

"Hello Marthal."Borin returned the greeting stiffly. "You've done rather well. I haven't found anyone who has connected this with you, but me."

Marthal's face remained impassive, "If everybody knew, old friend, it wouldn't work."

"But what are you after? This makes no sense, you will rip apart the Academy."Borin shook his head sadly.

"You think so?" and the man sounded genuinely curious. "Now that would be something wouldn't it?"

"I will fight you. You know that."Borin allowed a hint of steel to enter his otherwise emotionless voice.

Marthal nodded slightly. "I know. Don't keep this all to yourself either, I want a challenge. Bring in your best. This will be an interesting game."

The screen went blank as the connection was terminated.

Borin returned his attention back to the debates. A man stood up on the side of the chamber opposite of Borin. The man was dressed in reds and pale creams. His name was quickly displayed upon the screen.

Danier Yavin. Former Red Ranger of Grier. Red Master.

"Good morning. For those of you who do not know who I am, I will tell you a bit of my background." The man took a deep breath and Borin suddenly recognized the man. "Nearly ten years ago, I was defending my planet against Dark Specter. It was my decision that put my team in the path of an army; no team could have hoped to survive. Leading this army was none other than Master Vile."

Danier paused doing his best to keep his emotions under control.

"I am the only survivor of that battle. I stayed alive long enough for the reinforcements who were holding our base to come and rescue me. I have recounted this event over and over in my mind trying to figure out what I might have done differently, how I might have saved my team. I have had nightmares for the last ten years.

"And now I realize, there was nothing I could have done. I didn't figure it out until Councilor Rashid made it plain to me in his proposal. There was a man on my team named Vilhiem Corella. He was a White, he was guided by the Tiger. And it is obvious to me now, that if Vilhiem Corella had been in command of the Rangers of Grier. We would be alive today."

Danier sat down.

The council chamber was stunned into silence.

Master Natin cleared his throat and took the floor, dismissing Rashid back to his seat. "We will take a short recess. This council will reconvene on the subject of the Superiority Ideal in ten minutes."

The councilors filed out of the chamber in silence.

~*~

It was only an hour before midnight. Jacq's team sat around the low table in his room while Jacq himself prepared tea. The room was decorated as one would typically expect from a Red Ranger. The draperies and such were in shades of red. It was interesting to note, however, that the bed sheets were all a warm orange-brown color.

The team was dressed differently now, than they would have been a month ago. Since their successful trial, the Sol Rangers, as they were now called, had been an object of curiosity. Even more so than they first had been. Aside from the fact that there were two White Rangers and one of Amber, a color not normally of the Grid Spectrum, the team's 'morphers' were an oddity. Upon demorphing the Rangers had found that certain articles remained in their possession and no sort of traditional morpher appeared.

In addition to their standard Ranger uniforms black pants and jacket (bearing rank and identification) with a high necked shirt of their Ranger color, each ranger wore their morpher.

Dimitria had forgone the traditional uniform jacket, over the objections of many, and instead wore her long snow white cloak. Zordon too had decided not to wear the traditional jacket and instead wore his full-length trench coat.

Nikolas wore strapped across his back, under the black jacket, the katana he had picked up in the sword room. Dulcea wore her light and gauzy green robe over the traditional uniform. This obscured the identification and rank on her jacket which again caused the traditionalists to frown.

Ria, who had had to have several amber colored shirts made especially for her, had draped over her shoulders, the shimmery shawl. Jacq was still the most conventional of them all. About the leader's wrists were thick, wide bracelets covered with all sorts of cleverly hidden buttons. These bracelets most resembled traditional morphers.

"How long are they allowed to hold council?" Nikolas asked.

"Until midnight," Zordon replied promptly, "If nothing has been resolved, They will begin again in the morning."

The group sat there silently while Jacq brought a tray laden with cups, tea and sugar, and a pot with boiling water. Each made their tea, lost in thought. Then, there was a knocking at the door.

The new Rangers stood quickly, the tea forgotten. Jacq opened the door to reveal a young girl dressed in a silver page's uniform. "Yes?" Jacq greeted her.

"Master Borin would like to see you, Red Ranger," the girl replied with a curtsy.

Jacq bowed in response. Such a show of respect from one of Ranger status caused the young girl to blush furiously. "Please lead the way." The Rangers did, of course, know the way to their mentor's chambers, but it was a formality to allow the page to lead them there.

As they followed the silver clad page, Nik leaned over to Jacq with a smirk and whispered, "Cradle robber."

"Just because I've got manners unlike some," Jacq retorted. "I was, after all, raised in civilization as opposed to a barbaric jungle world."

"You wouldn't last five minutes on Phadoes," Dulcea returned, defending her home planet. "Besides, you'd best be careful who you're smooth talking in front of Ria."

Jacq grinned at the amber clad Ranger. Ria was looking sternly at Jacq but could maintain the expression for only a few moments before her face broke into a grin.

Zordon and Dimitria looked at each other, rolling their eyes in exasperation. After a while, they reached the door to Master Borin's chambers. The page knocked and Borin admitted the Rangers and the page left to carry out other duties.

Borin returned to his low table and the meal that was spread there. There had been little time to eat for the councilors today. The Sol Rangers sat around the table and waited politely for the Master to speak. Borin munched thoughtfully on a piece of bread, took a sip of tea, then took a deep breath.

"The Superiority Ideal has not been thrown out. Rashid is gaining support in the council, and I do not believe that we will be able to come to any sort of agreement for several months at least. A man named Danier Yavin, a former Red Ranger who lost his team in battle, today supported the Ideal."

Borin paused in his speaking to butter more bread and eat it.

"The... 'old acquaintance' you mention before," said Jacq, "Are you certain this person is behind this mess?"

Borin nodded. "Master Marthal Jeneth of the White was a contemporary of mine at this Academy. It is he who is behind the Superiority Ideal, but I cannot prove it."

Zordon was taken aback. Marthal Jeneth was someone all white personalities looked up to, and many others as well. He was respectable, noble, logical, a long time member of the Grid Council and a legend among Power Rangers.

"Master," Dimitria sounded just thunderstruck as Zordon felt, "Are... I don't mean to question you, but..."

"I understand how you feel, Dimitria," Borin replied, "How you must all feel, but I assure you that I am telling you the truth. I wish I was wrong, but I know I am not."Borin sighed and suddenly he looked older, thin and frail and under pressure of a great weight. Then he straightened and fixed them with his yellow eyed gaze.

"I ask you, Sol Rangers, to help me in this matter. Such intolerance and bigotry is the cause of the greatest tragedies of sentient peoples. I cannot do this on my own. My abilities in the Council will only take this so far, I will need your support."

"You have my support," Jacq stated immediately.

Ria was not far behind her beloved. "What Rashid, and Marthal, are doing, cannot be allowed to continue. I am with you Master."

Nikolas and Dulcea spoke as one, "We will support you Master Borin,"

Dimitria and Zordon looked at each other. Ever since realizing their Ranger Color, Master Marthal had been the standard against which they had set themselves. The perfect White Ranger. Tonight, Borin had ripped out from underneath them, one of the foundations of their lives.

Dimitria took a deep breath. "The Superiority Ideal must be stopped now. You... you have my support, Master Borin."

After Dimitria had spoken, all looked to Zordon. "I don't..." the White Ranger shook his head. "I agree that the Superiority Ideal must be fought. If it is not, there will be war. But I cannot believe that Marthal Jeneth is the one responsible for all of this."

"Zordon!" Jacq burst out, "You dare to call our mentor a liar?"Jacq looked angry and betrayed.

Zordon fixed his eyes on the table, not wanting to meet the gaze of any of his team. "I will support you, Master Borin, in fighting this. But I reserve judgment on the matter of Master Marthal."

Jacq looked ready to object, but Borin cut him off. "That is all I ask Zordon. The main goal here is to stop this madness before it spreads too far."

~*~

Tashir Rho sat on a three legged stool in her work room. There was a desk behind her that bore several neatly stacked and organized folders. The folders contained sheet after sheet of notes and calculations and information. Various tools, from soldering torches to scanners to hammers sat in their cases about the edge of the room. But none of that was visible to Tashir Rho.

The room was lit by only one light and that light was focused upon the center of the room. In said light stood an empty suit of armor. The armor was black but for a polished grey belt and baldric. In the center of its breastplate there was a depressed spot where a small gem could fit. Was meant to fit. Tashir held that gem in her hand now. An amethyst. The small purple gem glowed with an inner light. A light that Tashir had put there.

Tashir was a young mage, but quite creative, she had solutions to problems that no one had thought of before. This warrior she was constructing... A Power Ranger in all but name. She didn't care what the Council said, Tashir would think of her work as a Ranger. It was nearly finished. She had done all she could here in her lab, she would have to test it, to see if anything else needed to be changed.

The young Grid Mage was startled from her thoughts by a knocking at her door. Tahir stood quickly, nearly knocking over the stool, and touched the switch that would raise all the lights. Then she answered the door.

"Master Marthal," Tashir looked at the white garbed man in shock.

Marthal smiled, "Good evening Mage Tashir. May I come in?"

Tashir blinked, then nearly stumbled over her own feet moving to allow the master to enter. "Of course... to what do I owe the honor?" she asked.

Marthal gestured towards the suit of armor in the middle of the room. "I am interested in how your project is proceeding."The White Master walked around the armor, examining it closely. "It looks like you're fairly far along."

"Yes sir," Tashir responded quickly. "I need to do some field tests to make certain all the bugs are worked out, but other than that, it's finished."

"Really?"Marthal turned to look at the girl. "Tell me Mage Tashir, did you have any plans for tonight?"

Tashir looked at her watch and blinked, it was one in the morning. "Uh... not really."

"If you would like, we could run a few of those tests."

"We could?"

"Certainly, I have the clearance to get us into a simudeck. I'm anxious to see what you can do with your new Ranger. Unless you're too tired?"

"No sir!" adrenalin had flooded Tashir's system and she was ready to go. Master Marthal Jeneth had just called her warrior a Ranger and had offered to sanction the first trials of said Ranger. There was no better support than that. Tashir smiled for the first time in months.

~*~

The council chamber was once again full. This time, standing on the center stage was Borin Voltaire. Master Voltaire had requested first rebuttal of the Superiority Ideal.

"It is true that the colors of the Gird Spectrum do arrange themselves, in general, along the lines of personality. I repeat, this I true in general. Our knowledge of the Morphin' Grid, whether you want to admit it or not, is quite limited. The reasons that one person might be more suited to Blue over Green, or Black over Gold, for example, are not fully understood. The patterning of the Grid, if there even is such a pattern is so vast that we cannot know for sure."

Master Voltaire paused, looking over the assembled. His theories on the Grid were not highly accepted. Further those theories were not central to Broin's rebuttal. However, those who would not be swayed by his next argument might be swayed by the theoretical debate. It was saddening that it had come to this.

"As for the abilities or failings of one of Rashid's so called 'inferior colors'... He has used my own theories and opinions to back up his arguments. However he has horribly skewed this knowledge.

"Junior Councilor Rashid has said that the Purple's roughish tendencies make them unworthy allies. But then who, I ask, will you have infiltrate an enemy base when information needs to be gathered? Rashid tells us that the Reds are volatile and a threat to their own team mates. I have never once heard of a case where a Red Ranger went on a berserk killing spree.

"One might as well say that a Pink should not be trusted for his naŽvet™ might spill secrets to the enemy. Or that the Yellow is so focused upon discussions that he won't or can't fight when the time comes. Or that a White is so concerned with order and chivalry that he might implement fascist rule over those he defends in the name of law."

There was much grumbling and whispering among the assembled, but Borin didn't stop.

"I hope you see how ludicrous this is. How horribly narrow-minded and bigoted this is. Discrimination based upon color? I never thought I'd see the day when this council would stoop to such a barbaric level as to seriously consider implementing such a bigoted idea into law.

"We are all fighting for the same thing here. Freedom from tyranny and evil. To keep the people of our universe safe from the horrors of Dark Specter. And yet here in the heart of enlightenment, an evil has managed to worm its way into our midst. I am ashamed of those who support the Superiority Ideal. I expected better from the highest minds of the Grid Academy."

Some of the councilors looked like cowed school children, others were nodding with approval. And then there were a few who were looking at Borin with fear or hatred in their eyes. The Yellow Master took note of those faces.

~*~

"It was a good speech Borin," Nikolas commented. Borin had specifically had his rebuttal made public and now it was being broadcast all across Eltare and out into the galaxy.

"Thank you Nik," Borin smiled at the Blue Ranger. The Sol Rangers were gathered in Borin's chamber, watching the evening news. After Borin's speech, the Council had decided to recess for the rest of the day and so Borin had some free time on his hands. The Yellow Master was using this time to confer with his Ranger team.

"Unfortunately, I don't think it will be enough," Borin continued. "Our enemy has many Councilors and who knows how many others in his pocket." Borin had deliberately not said Marthal's name for Dimitria and Zordon's benefit. The two would have to face the fact eventually, but not right now. They had the leisure of time to adjust.

"So you aren't going to be able to convince the Council to vote the Ideal out completely. But you can keep it tied up so that it doesn't get pushed into any kind of legislation right?" asked Dulcea.

Borin nodded. "I can. But that's not good enough."

"Why not?" asked Ria.

"Because," Zordon answered for his mentor, "The longer it stays in the Council, the longer it stays in the minds of the councilors and everyone else. The longer it stays in the minds of people, the more chances... our enemy has to exploit it."

"Exactly," agreed Borin.

Ria nodded. "I see. And there's only one way to have this proposal out of the council for good."

Borin nodded, but didn't extrapolate.

"What's that?" asked Nikolas.

"They won't like it Borin," Zordon observed.

"Won't like what?" asked Dulcea.

"There's little choice," Dimitria said to Zordon.

"Excuse me!" Nikolas practically shouted. "What is it you're talking about that the council won't like?"

"I plan to propose that the Grand Masters make a ruling on the subject. I have confidence that the Grand Masters believe as we do and will close the matter for good."

Jacq had been leaning against the wall, a little apart from the rest of the group. "But you'll have a hard time of convincing the Council to agree to such a course of action."Jacq joined the rest of them. "So until then, we play politics. We try to convince everyone why we're right."

Ria sighed. "But we are right. It isn't difficult to see which side is right... is it?"

"Not normally," responded Zordon, "But... they're making it more difficult to see. They're confusing everyone."

"So we've got to keep reminding everyone why Rashid is wrong," Dulcea looked around at the grim faces of her friends. "This isn't going to be easy is it?"

"No," said Borin, "I'm afraid it isn't."

~*~

It was later, much later. Jacq lay awake, staring at the dark ceiling. How could it have come to this? Damn Marthal Jeneth. It was his fault that the Academy was tense as a bow string. What the hell did he have to gain from this, from destroying the center of civilization in the galaxy? He was splitting the Council, he was even splitting up teams.

Zordon. Jacq had barely spoken to his friend since Zordon had refused to believe that Marthal was behind the Superiority Ideal. That Zordon could believe their mentor to be lying before he'd believe that Master Jeneth was an evil manipulator...But to cease being friends with Zordon would be allowing Marthal to succeed. Zordon was his friend, and Jacq would not allow Marthal to destroy that friendship.

Beside him, Ria shifted in her sleep.

At least I've still got Ria. With her, I can weather anything.

Jacq shifted his gaze to his lover. Her smooth skin, beautifully proportioned body, gorgeous raven hair, she was perfect to him in every way. There was none he loved more. With her, Jacq felt he could accomplish anything.

There is hope for the Academy yet, Jacq told himself. I will not fail.

~*~

Borin proposed his suggestion of having the Grand Masters rule on the subject to heavy dissention from all sides. The Sol Rangers openly supported their mentor. They held public meetings to discuss the subject of the Superiority Ideal, everyone was allowed a voice at these meetings. And on the surface of things, the general populace seemed to agree with Master Voltaire and his students. But those in power, the politicians, had personal agendas and were not so quick to back what many believed to be right. There was advantage to be gained. The Council debated for weeks on end.

There were some places and some people who seemed untouched by the moral debate flying about them. Tashir Rho continued her study of the Grid and the magic she could utilize through it. She tested and perfected her warrior. 'Phantom' as she and Master Jeneth called it. She ignored the political maneuverings that occurred on the floors above her lab.

The White Master was due to make an appearance this evening. He had given her unrestricted access to a small simudeck on the lower floors. The 'deck could only run specific simulations designed to test battle equipment, but that's all Tashir wanted it for anyway.

There was a knock at the door and Tashir opened it quickly. Marthal smiled as he entered.

"Good evening Tashir."

"Good evening sir," she responded.

"I've been going over the results of your last run through the simudeck... very impressive. Phantom is in top form, yes?"

Tashir couldn't suppress a pleased smile. "Yes sir. I thought maybe I should do a few more double checks though, just to..."

But Marthal cut her off. "I was wondering, Tashir...This idea for Phantom, was it the only Ranger-esque idea you've had, or are there others?"

Tashir felt a rush of excitement. "Well... yes sir. That is, there are others." The violet robed mage hurried over to her filing cabinet and opened the top drawer. Reaching in, she heaved out an over stuffed folder and set it on her desk. Flipping it open she began speaking.

"This idea comes down to the idea of simplicity and the nature of things. In nature, the simplest shape is the circle and the simplest element is fire. I am, of course, referring to the Elements of Occidental Eltare. The nature of elements and... But that's getting a little off track.

"The ratio of a circle's diameter to its circumference is known as pi or ¨. This ratio is singularly particular in that it continues ad infintium and as far as we know, which is to about the 200billionth digit, there is no pattern. Even if there was a pattern, it would be so huge as to be inconsequential. If that makes any sense. Kinda like the Grid. Master Borin says that the Morphin Grid's pattern, if there even is one, is so huge as to make it not worth the trouble to find it. Anyway, the fact that the simplest shape cannot be described algebraically with more than a generalized accuracy is simply... amazing.

"My surname is Rho. Interestingly enough in the ancient alphabet from which the symbol ¨ comes from, the letter rho or _ follows directly after. This becomes important because, as I said earlier, fire is the simplest element putting it analogous to the circle. Saying ¨_ together gives you the word 'Pyro'..."

Tashir trailed off chucking weakly "It's uh... it's sorta a uh, a joke... sir."The young mage looked over her shoulder where Marthal was looking at her notes with interest. He was smiling, though whether at the joke or her notes was uncertain. "So you see sir this possible warrior is a pyrokinetic of sorts, such infinite power in simple shape and element. Superb mathematical control over fire though the means of circular motions."

Tashir finished and looked at Marthal a bit uncertainly.

"Impressive. Very impressive. How many have you got Tashir?"Marthal had stopped looking at the notes and was nodding, a look of concentration on his face.

"Thirteen sir."

"Tashir," Marthal appeared very business like all of a sudden, "Dark Specter's forces gain power with every passing day. The war is on the frontiers of the United Alliance of Benevolence but make no mistake that it is a war. A war that is happening now and if we want to stop it, to win the war, we are going to need all power we can get. I want you to begin work on your ¨_ Warrior."

Tashir furrowed her brow, seeing a problem. "But sir, I've not the funding, the materials...The council agreed to allow me to work on the Phantom but..."

"Not to worry Mage Tashir. I shall become your patron, your mentor. If you will have me?"

It was more than Tashir could ever have hoped for. The most respected White Master on the Council asking her, asking her, if she would have him as her mentor and patron. "Y-yes Sir," she accepted shakily.

Marthal smiled. "Excellent."

~*~

In order to call upon a ruling of the Grand Masters, there has to be a four fifths agreement in the Council. For a full month, Borin Voltaire spoke of the injustices of the Superiority Ideal, of how such an evil had found its way into the hallowed halls of the Grid Academy. Then he began to suggest that whatever force planted the Ideal was behind the fact that the evil could not be banished from the discussions of the Council.

Finally, six weeks after Borin's initial speech, a vote was held on whether or not to call the Grand Masters to make a ruling. Two hundred forty one councilors voted in favor of calling upon the Grand Masters. Just more than enough.

One week later, Councilor Rashid Kintarus and Master Borin Voltaire presented their cases before the Grand Masters.

It was a large room, the floor was patterned in squares the colors of the Grid, the ceiling was thirty feet above their heads. Windows along either side of the hall let in the cold grey light from outside. At one end of the long room was a long table, each Grand Master sitting behind it in a high backed chair clad in their finest robes.

Borin sat against one wall, next to a window as Rashid paced back and forth before the Grand Masters. It was the same as before. Rashid explained why the inferior colors were in fact inferior. How his proposals for putting the Superiority Ideal into law were to protect everyone, especially the inferior colors.

The Yellow Master looked at the Grand Masters, trying to discern their reaction to all of this. It was doubtful that they had missed the public broadcasts on the Superiority Ideal, so they had to already know both sides of the argument, they betrayed no hint of what they were thinking however.

When Rashid was finished speaking, Borin stood and took his place before the Grand Masters.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I will keep this short and to the point. First, we do not know everything about the Morphin Grid and the reasons as to why one color is preferred by a particular person over another. Therefore, to say that color determines personality is ridiculous. Second, to imply that half of the colors are mentally unfit for any sort of duty within or sanctioned by the Academy is bigotry. Pure and simple. It is basing discriminatory actions and beliefs based solely upon color. A reprehensible act.

"I cannot make it any more plain than that."

Borin resumed his seat.

~*~

A crowd of people stood in the plaza outside of the Grid Academy's main doors. Media representatives from all over the galaxy were present to record and transmit the decision that would be publicly announced within minutes. All over the city, people were watching the holo news, waiting for the announcement. Such was the case in Borin's private chambers. The Yellow Master and his students, the Sol Rangers, watched the holo, a reporter droned on giving the background on the Superiority Ideal. As if everyone didn't already know.

Jacq passed behind the couch where Borin sat, Zordon next to him and Dimitria next to him. Dulcea and Nikolas stood to one side, arms crossed firmly, eyes fixed on the image. Ria sat on the arm of the couch, alternately watching Jacq and the holo.

Finally, the tension mounted as Master Natin stepped out of the front doors and up to a podium bristling with microphones.

The blue robed old man took a deep breath. In his strong voice he said clearly, "The Council has voted six to four in opposition of the Superiority Ideal."

End