Disclaimer: I do not, have never and have no hope to own the
Power Rangers. They are owned by Saban (Please don't sue me Mr Saban).
I also do not own Doctor Who, which belong to the BBC or any associated
characters. Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling and although not
used directly in this series is an excellent read and deserves a mention.
I do not own VR Troopers, Big Bad Beetleborgs, Masked Rider, Galaxy Rangers, Transformers or GI Joe. Some of the concepts and character in this story are based on these shows as do any characters that make an appearance. They are all used without permission of the copyright owners.
I also need to credit Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Blake's Seven and Star Fleet/ X-Bomber for some of the ideas in this book and for general inspiration. References are made later in the series to Sailormoon, Digimon, Pokemon, Robotech, Zoids, Gundam Wing, Captain Planet, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future and Dragonball-Z and any character or idea taken from those series is done without permission. If there is anything I've forgotten such as MASK, Terrahawks, Thunderbirds or Ghostbusters, they're not mine either.
I would like to thank Jeremy Ray Logsdon, Ellen Brand and Randel for writing their respective series. They were an inspiration to me two years ago when I started writing this series and remain so regardless of the numerous rewrites I have produced. The basis of the Morphin Grid in this series is modified from Randel's version of Ellen's definition of the Morphin Grid. The idea of the Infinity Crystals in later chapters was inspired by Jeremy Ray's Earth Crystals and Marvel Comic's Infinity Quest. Any characters used have been taken with the permission of the author.
The mention of a series, book or television program in this disclaimer in no way guarantees characters, places or situations from those sources will appear in this series. Most are excellent programs that deserve a mention or that have had a positive influence on the direction of this series. No part of this series is used for profit.
Author's Note: This is a rewrite of the first part of Conquest of Evil first released at the Command Center Archives in 1998/99. This has been rewritten to allow for later seasons of Power Rangers including Wild Force.
Time Line: The series does not adhere to the Saban timeline. The year is 1996 and the series begins after Billy left for Aquitar, but before Jason started to lose the powers of the Gold Ranger.
Millions of years ago...
The two creatures, one good and one evil, had battled since the dawn of time; they showed no sign of stopping. They were enemies, incapable of reaching a peaceful agreement in their private war. Many worlds had fallen victim to their combat and still they fought on. Along the way their battle touched many creatures. Some were drawn to the side of the evil creature, their lust for power enticing them into its service whilst some joined with the light. Their followers continued to grow into two large armies, but neither side had the power to make a difference... yet.
The Morphin Grid and Great Power had yet to be discovered and the techniques used to cut the Zeo Crystal had yet to be learnt. The vast networks of magic had already been established. At such an early time though the discipline to master and focus such forces were beyond the grasp of all but the most powerful creatures. The two battling entities soon changed that. Their war revealed the possibilities to the masses and soon the forces of Good and Evil discovered how to use magic.
Even in those times the road to evil was easier to travel than path of light. Those who followed the darkness were taught to channel magic through symbols and written words. Later they would discover the ability of trap power inside an inanimate object such as a wand or to use the conductive properties of some atoms as a means of directing energy. As the final and ultimately the most effective means, some of the older and most loyal followers allowed others to take copy their bodies. By using these sinister outer forms they could draw on the mystical powers directly. Some could already direct magic in their natural form and were rapidly incorporated into the Army of Darkness. These demons were few in number.
The forces of good on the other hand lacked the ability to naturally draw on the power without a conduit. Those who could do so were limited in their strength. They were forced to find safe ways to channel the energies. Some copied the use of books and wands to contain magic whilst others discovered that gems and precious metals could also be used. But it was a wise mage who discovered that a certain type of gold when forged into a coin could convert the magic of the Grid into a usable form. The first Power Ranger was born.
And the Great Power? At first it was thought to be nothing more than an offset of the Morphin Grid, but soon it was discovered to be independent. Although it copied the Grid in many ways, it was less limited. Whereas the Morphin Grid consisted of four aspects and nine colours, the Great Power had eight colours and no aspects. That would have been a drawback except the fact that the Morphin Grid was designed to link certain colours and aspects with certain spirit animals and only someone with the correct combination could wield the Power long term.
The Great Power on the other hand was linked directly to the soul of its avatar and linked to the spirit animal that best defined that person. Instead of just twenty-four possible guides there were millions. The colours were also not linked to the animals chosen and varied according to personality, so it was possible to have a red lion and white lion together.
Whereas the Morphin Grid could once a link had been established create a Ranger or Morphin Warrior without a Power Coin, the Great Power could not. In fact those it chose, as its avatars were not by any means Rangers. They were Ninjetti, without a set form until the power was called upon. Of course those who wished to use the Great Power to become Rangers received costumes that resembled their heroes in every way, but it was only in their mind.
Such unrestrained magic as the Great Power was unacceptable to the greater beings in the cosmos, so the Great Power was locked away, only to be unlocked by those thought worthy to hold it. Since everybody had a different spirit animal and personality the chances of passing the Great Power to another were non-existent. In time a few teams would discover the Great Power and use it. One such team concentrated their powers into a set of swords while another did the same using jeweled daggers. Both were lost in the fullness of time.
As the battle continued the two creatures came to a primitive world that was slowly developing life. In a system of nine planets and a yellow Sun, they landed on the third planet. It was there that the Dark One made his last stand, brutally slaying the essence of good before retreating to recuperate.
The force of good or Paladin as he would become known later was dying. But despite the death of his physical and mental body he knew he would survive in the hearts of all the good people he had touched and their offspring. Before he died though he needed to find a way to die safely. His body contained a vast amount of energy that if expelled uncontrollably, would wipe out existence. So he set about transferring the energy into the planet that would one day be known as Earth.
He crisscrossed the planet with lines of natural energy; inadvertently creating focussed wells of power. When the landmass known as Pangea split the wells were scattered around the globe and yet held their power. Such focussed areas became known as Ley Nexuses and rapidly attracted life. Angel Grove, New York, Stone Henge, Tokyo, Glastonbury... The list was endless.
Luckily the population of this young world were for the most part insulated from magic. For Earth, although now a powerful planet also held a high concentration of Iron, the one element capable of insulating against magic. That meant that only a small number of the planet's population would have the potential to use magic and an even smaller percentage of that group would be able to use it. The secondary energy known as Psychic Energy was far more widespread and uniquely on Earth, was more attractive than magic.
The truth about the planet Earth was concealed from it own inhabitants and most of the more advanced races. That ened the day that a space dumpster was opened and Rita Repulsa escaped. As a witch raised by powerful parents Rita recognised the untapped potential of the Earth and made it her goal. Later others would join her, but that's another story.
It was billions of years later that the battle between the forces of good and evil reached a new peak. It was an age where magic played a greater and greater role in the war. The understanding of the Grid was still limited although a few theories had surfaced about its use. The Morphin Masters had promoted themselves as the ultimate defenders of all that was good, ignoring the views of those they were meant to protect. The true meanings of rituals and objects were lost as their importance was downplayed and some powerful relics were sold in gift shops as paper weights.
It was a time when Phaedos was the home of both the Galactic Council and the small band of Morphin Masters who defended it with their apprentices. The planet had been transformed into a vast metropolis for all followers of the Power; the native humanoids had been relocated to other planets leaving only a few who claimed to be guardians of the sacred grounds. The centre of attention was the great monolith built in one of the few-forested areas that remained. The monolith, that was supposed to contain a power that was the equal of the Morphin Grid, remained a deep mystery that refused to yield its secrets to the many pilgrims.
As the mystery about the monolith grew, so did the superstitions surrounding it. An obscure Morphin Master mentioned that the Great Power would only be revealed to those it found worthy; those with enough power of their own to spare. The Council was swift to add that only those who accepted the rulings of the governing bodies could ever be deemed worthy. Slowly the seperation of power between protectors and government was eroded as the Council grew more and more corrupt.
Then one night nine Power Coins appeared at the base of the monolith, one for each colour of the Grid and pilgrims were asked to donate some of their energy. Nobody knew where the coins came from, but every Ranger and Morphin Master made a pilgrimage at some stage to deposit a token amount of their own powers. To be asked to provide a sample of their own strengths for future generations was an honour few could resist, not to mention the chance that they could be the ones to unleash the Great Power.
Peace reigned throughout the Universe since very few dared to challenge the power of the forces of good. But as the Morphin Masters and their political rulers started to believe they were invincible, the Universe was about to take a turn for the worse. While the protectors turned a blind eye, an evil wizard by the name of the Javius had seized control of the struggling Federation of Darkness and proclaimed himself Emperor. He had provided the organisation and discipline the Federation had long been lacking and converted a group wannabes into an army capable of destroying the forces of light.
Over the course of the next few years, the Emperor pushed his forces forward, conquering worlds he considered valuable and destroying those that might pose a threat in the future. Millions of lives were lost on countless worlds as his fleet terminated whole species to further their cause. From his throne room on a huge space station known as Terminus by those who served him, the Emperor looked out on his kingdom and ordered future attacks.
It was to their eternal shame that the Morphin Masters did not intervene until after the Zodiac system consisting of twelve worlds was destroyed. Even then most considered the affairs of a lone villain to be beneath their interest. Some did fight and although small in number, they inspired the ordinary populations of worlds to take up arms. A new armada of space ships was sent to battle the Emperor's fleet. Hundreds of people from hundreds of worlds all unified to defeat the threat. The shift in opinion caused the Galactic Council turn their back on the Morphin Master and unite the people with a sole purpose.
Despite the concerns of some however, the Morphin Council refused to join the Galactic Council in their campaign. They refused to sanction any action against the Emperor and threatened those that took such action with dismissal. As a token of goodwill to the Galactic Council, the Morphin Masters sent eight of their pupils to lead the assault. Some of the masters felt the move cowardly and left Phaedos, taking with them their pupils and power. Those who left settled a new planet named Eltare. And later it became the home of the Morphin Council.
The students sent to battle the Emperor led their forces bravely. Their dedication and values meant they were highly respected and inspired others to improve themselves. Still students themselves, the Rangers were armed only with the limited powers they could draw through the Morphin Grid. Had they been masters they would have been able to draw fully on their powers and utilize their skills. As it was, each had mastered a technique for use in battle and hoped it was enough.
Eventually the fateful day came when the Morphin Masters paid for their reluctance to nip the Emperor's evil in the bud. As the forces of good drove the Emperor from the planets he had conquered and destroyed his army of troops, the villain decided to make a final and decisive strike at the very heart of the Galactic Council's former defenders.
Summoning his servants together, Javius chose three of the most evil and sent them away to create their own empires; each would be an extension of his own. Next he chose four of the most powerful servants and made them his lieutenants. The remainder of his forces was slaughtered and their powers absorbed into his body. They would provide the strength he needed for his final assault.
The fleet of ships under the Emperor's command were melted down and transformed in vast generators, engines and weapons systems that were then fitted to Terminus. Unaided by his forces, the Emperor took his vast weapon system into orbit around Phaedos. He spent a short time watching as the Morphin Masters were finally forced to make preparations for his arrival. It was almost laughable that they hadn't expected him to destroy their world. He couldn't believe they were foolish enough to expect him to leave them alone if they failed to lift a hand against him. Then when he saw that they were starting to become organised, he fired his weapon and watched in delight as the once proud world was destroyed.
First came the laser bombardment. A destructive barrage of lights rained down on the cities and buildings, reducing them to dust that soon covered the ground. Only organic life was saved from the onslaught. The Emperor had a more sinister plan in mind for the Morphin Masters. He was surprised to discover the monolith was intact, albeit reduced to a mere shadow of its former glory.
Next came the biological weapon the Emperor's scientists had been working on for the better part of a year. Six egg-shaped canisters were fired at the planet. The heat of entering the atmosphere disintegrated the shell, but left the spores contained inside intact. For the biological agents formerly housed in the shell, Phaedos was the meal of a lifetime. The tiny spores that continued to multiply every second consumed plants and animal alike. The cries of thousands of Morphin Masters could be heard even in the vacuum of space.
The heavy consumption by the almost bacterial agents led to an increase in the planet's natural levels of Carbon Dioxide and Methane. It took only the spark of a dying Ranger's weapon to ignite the volatile gas and turn the planet into a fireball. Nothing living survived as even the Emperor's spores were burnt to a crisp.
With the planet gone the Emperor sat back and waited for the fire to die down so he could steal the energies trapped within the monolith. Using magic to speed up the natural cleansing of the atmosphere, he descended to the surface of Phaedos. This was an unexpected bonus, but one he could not resist.
He had heard stories of Phaedos and its many treasures and sought the items described in the ancient texts. All he found was a set of star charts showing two locations some distance from Phaedos. The first, Elysia Seven, was in the M-51 Galaxy and as such fell under the control of the Federation. It had been rumoured that the technologically advanced race were working on a new combination of magic and technology, and had requested the assistance of the Master Warrior to provide protectors during such a delicate process. The second planet was named Miranoi, a world on the very outskirts of galactic society and overlooked by many. But its people were brave and true, a quality that had drawn the Master Warrior's admiration and as a result, a set of powers.
Both sets of powers were designed to suit a set of distinct warriors and would not work for anyone else. Of course as leader of the Federation, the Emperor had access to many wizards who could find a way to utilize the dormant energy. First though, he would need to obtain the powers.
"Draken, Frost, come!" His words were soft but few were stupid enough to ignore his commands.
Draken and Frost were two of the more powerful leaders of the Federation. They had different methods and outlooks, but one thing united them despite their differences; they were scared of the Emperor.
Draken was what could be described as a cyclops with a purple horn on his head that accounted for a third of his height. His body was red and white with a green eye on the center of his head. In his right hand he carried a large battle-axe that he used in his role as an enforcer. His orange and purple cloak help disguise his true size making him a deceptive opponent. He was of the opinion that a few henchmen, some disposable foot soldiers and a horde of monsters were all that he needed to succeed. He was boastful of his abilities, but never in the presence of the Emperor.
Frost was also a powerful and deceptive warrior. He was clever and able to manipulate the emotions of his enemies. Unlike Draken, he preferred to bring help in from outside his command, relying on a few trusted servants to keep the hired help in line. In some cases those hired would come from one of the planets Frost had recently conquered. The belief that might meant right and in those cases where it failed, diversity of servants, played a major role in his strategies. It was said that before Frost attacked a world he would study it and determine its people's weaknesses. If he couldn't find a weakness he didn't bother to conquer it. He destroyed those he couldn't rule.
Frost was an Adept; a creature capable of tapping the Morphin Grid but instead of using an outer form, used his magic to alter his body to become a better conductor. As a result he was stronger and faster than most of his warrior would believe, but due to the stress using such power placed on his body, he used only a small portion. But even that small portion was awe inspiring to many.
He was tall, possibly eight foot out of his armour, with broad shoulders and large well-defined limbs. His skin was a deep shade of purple, set off nicely by his white protection. He wore, at least it was assumed that he wore, white armour around his forearms, lower legs and groin. Some suggested that such armour was really part of his body that had been improved by magic. What was not magic was the yellow and blue suit he wore around his upper body with large shoulder pads. As a final touch he had a white helmet that bonded to his face with large horns sticking out of the top.
Perhaps the most useful part of his body was his tail. Whether it was natural or magic induced was another unknown fact, but it allowed him to maintain near perfect balance and agility despite his large frame. It was also a weapon he could control fully.
"You called?" Frost asked with some boredom showing.
The Emperor smiled; not a pretty sight all things considered. Frost was obviously uncomfortable about receiving a summons after being allowed to do as he pleased for so long. He had probably forgotten his place in the grand order of things as all the Emperor's lieutenants tended to do sooner or later. It didn't matter, the rulers of the Federation had found many ways to 'convince' his followers to remain loyal and obey without question. That would come later though, other matters demanded his immediate attention.
King Frost as the henchman preferred to be known regarded the Emperor cautiously. Despite his attempts to stay calm he knew that the old man was anything but feeble. The grey cloak hid most of the old man's features, but his bony hands and wrinkled face had been deformed by more than just old age. Frost suspected that the magic the old man wielded was so great that it had eaten away at his body. The henchman vowed never to make the same mistake again.
"I didn't call King Frost," the Emperor stated. "I demanded your presence here immediately."
"Forgive me mighty Emperor," Frost with mock reverence. "I live only to serve you."
"Tell me KING Frost, how is the Planet Trade, profitable?" the Emperor asked, ignoring the underling's comment. He waited for Frost to nod before continuing: "I would imagine it would be very profitable, especially when you have the Federation to back you up. I wonder how you'd fair if such support was withdrawn?"
"Please forgive me," Frost begged.
"Wraith," the Emperor called softly. "I know you're there. Please show yourself."
He noticed the bead of sweat appear on Frost's face as he tried to appear innocent. Of course the creature would not appear, to do so would confirm what Frost believed the Emperor only suspected.
"I could have forgiven your insolence as mere foolishness," the Emperor said to Frost. "But trying to deceive me is just plain stupid."
The Emperor snapped his fingers and King Frost could sense the fear that came from his companion. Wraith was supposed to be undetectable, yet for a second Frost thought he could make out the dark shape. Then a flash of blue lightning filled the room and with a screech, the hidden creature was revealed.
It appeared as a solid shadow, totally black apart from its white eyes. It opened and closed its clawed fingers as it stared at the Emperor.
"A spawn of Nyghtmayr," the Emperor stated. "I'm impressed that you managed to convince a member of the Shadow Empire to join you."
The Shadow Empire was the unfortunate creation of one of the Emperor's competitors, who had tried to free the demon Nyghtmayr from his dimensional prison. The sorcerer, whose name the Emperor forgot, was killed for his trouble. But not before he had created the Shadow Empire, living shadows bound together as a criminal organisation.
The one named Wraith was obviously one of those spawned by Nyghtmayr and the Emperor was genuinely intrigued to discover how Frost had convinced the shadow to serve him. He resisted the temptation to drag the answer out of Frost and turned his attention to Wraith instead. He curled his fingers, calling on the Dark Side of the Morphin Grid and the Wraith collapsed to the ground clutching his throat.
Like King Frost, the Emperor was also an adept. The difference was that the older man had never accepted his limits. He had practically become one with the dark power he wielded and had grown far more powerful as a result. This demonstration was proof of that and clearly showed how powerful the Emperor's mind could be.
"Did you think that you would be able to assassinate me Wraith?" the Emperor asked.
His attention was not on the unfortunate creature on the floor, but on King Frost. He doubted the shadow was even capable of thought after enduring such pain. Frost on the other hand was an open book and the look on his face revealed that assassination had been his intention.
"Well?" the Emperor demanded.
He opened his hand and the shadow was released. It looked at him, barely able to move. The Emperor stood, summoning his wooden cane to help him balance, and motioned for the shadow to carry out its attack.
Wraith did just that. He attacked with all the speed he could muster, savagely swiping at the air around the Emperor and even tearing the old man's cloak. But the surprising think was that despite its speed, its attack had very little effect on the dark master. The Emperor moved nimbly out of range, not bothering to land any of his own. Then when the time was right he jabbed forward with the sharp end of his cane. It pierced the shadow, which then turned to nothingness.
"Next?" the old man asked as he turned to face Frost.
The other creature said nothing as the defeat of his prize warrior sank in.
"Good," the Emperor said after a pause. "Perhaps now we can get down to business."
He turned back to his throne where Draken was knelt. The Cyclops only lowered his head to the Emperor, but had not moved since entering. He was every bit as loyal as King Frost was treacherous.
"You may rise Draken," the Emperor said. "I apologize for keeping you."
Draken rose. No words, none were needed in order to comply with the invitation.
"Why are we here?" King Frost asked.
"I know that you are bored King Frost," the Emperor said. "But if you do not show some respect, I will relieve your boredom permanently. The Planet Trade is independent of the Federation only because I wish it to be. Never forget that."
He turned his attention back to Draken. It was time to get down to business.
"I have a job for you both," he said. "Since King Frost is so eager to leave I will deal with him first."
An image appeared in the air of a small solar system and a central planet.
"This is Yavin. I want it!"
That was all he had to say. Frost would sort out the fine details when he captured the system. Frost nodded and left. He had betrayed his Emperor and needed to make amends.
"Now Draken," the Emperor smiled as he sat back down.
It was amazing how the old man could be so aggressive one minute and passive the next. When he was relaxed in his throne it was difficult not to think of him as an old man, but Draken knew that the Emperor was far more alert than most of his lieutenants. Seeing him relaxed just placed the Cyclops on guard.
"How may I serve you?" Draken asked.
His voice was calm and full of respect. He feared the Emperor, but only slightly. He knew if the old man wanted him dead, he would die. There was little point in worrying about it. So instead of creeping, he concentrated on those tasks he was given.
"The Master Warrior sent out two sets of enchanted blades," the Emperor said. "I want them."
"Where?" Draken asked.
"Miranoi," the old man said. "And Elysia Seven."
The first planet didn't mean anything to him, but the second cause Draken to smile. He was already attacking the planet as part of the conquest of the M-51 Galaxy. His second-in-command, Duke Hazzard was already engaged in combat against the planet's defenders.
"It will be done Emperor," he said. That was all he needed to say.
The Master Warrior was dead and nothing could change that. But that did not mean there was no hope. The energy residing within the monolith was almost sentient. It could sense the pain of the planet around it as slowly the voices of many living things turned into silence. The Power reacted instinctively, pressed into action by the desires of the dying. It reached out and found one survivor, a young woman who had arrived days earlier to beg for the help of the Morphin Masters. Her pleas had fallen on deaf ears, but now she would have her chance to make a difference as she was chosen to become the first Master Warrior of Phaedos.
With the Master Warrior selected new powers could be created. Some of the survivors of the initial assault were saved from death and transported inside the monolith where they could be granted their new power. They were all students who drew their powers through the use of coloured crystal. The Master Warrior took the crystals and crafted them into the handles of specially constructed daggers.
Being inexperienced in the way of the Grid and having only a rudimentary connection to their spirit animals, they hardly noticed when the link was broken as the Great Power used the pathways established to form its own links. None of those it had selected would have held their Morphin powers for long. The colour and animal they had been given were wrong for them. However, the Great Power took what it found and after a short ritual, the first team of Ninjetti Rangers was born.
They were Rangers only in name. Their powers did not come from the Grid and despite their appearance, acted in slightly different ways. The need to use the crystals in order to transform was gone since the Great Power did not need a conduit; it was able to flow through the body of an individual without outside help. Each would have a form that they were familiar with to help them in battle, the only thing they were familiar with at the time was being Rangers. The Great Power gave them that form.
"You are now Ninjetti," the Master Warrior spoke.
Nobody knew how much or how little time had passed. When in contact with the Great Power, time itself could be manipulated. There was no sense of urgency as the ritual continued.
"Where the Morphin Masters have failed you will succeed because you are pure of body, mind and soul. The people of the Universe seek justice, not arrogance. Never forget that the only way for evil to succeed is if good men do nothing."
She turned to study her team. How had they come so far so quickly? For that matter, how did she know what to say? The answer to both questions was clear; the Great Power was teaching her what to say just as it was teaching the Ninjetti what to do.
The sound of banging alerted her to a new danger. The monolith was resistant, but she doubted it would survive the Emperor's onslaught for much longer.
"This structure must be protected," she announced. "If the Great Power should be touched by evil, it will be lost for all eternity."
"How do we morph?" Kiana asked.
"You don't," the Master Warrior replied. "You need only to call on the Great Power and it will transform you."
"I invoke the Great Power!" the eight students said as one.
"Red Dragon!" Lacutus, the human leader of his team called.
"Green Lion!" Kyp, a younger black haired human called.
"Purple Spider!" The reptilian Kiana cried.
"Black Pegasus!" Dorsk, the birdlike Ninjetti of the Tengarian Empire called.
"Yellow Griffin!" Tionne, the blonde haired human called.
"Blue Unicorn!" Grantoris, easily the most powerful man within the group cried.
"Pink Firebird!" Clighal, the amphibian most at home on the planet Aquitar, called.
"White Tiger!" Streen, the white haired hermit turned defender called.
Their clothes did not change during the morph with the exception of a small power coin appearing on a belt around their waists. On one side of the belt were the Blade Blasters they used in combat. On the other side was a small silver cylinder, which when activated became a Light Sword bearing the owner's colour. Each had an additional weapon they could call on through the Power, but the concentration required summoning such weapons meant they were used only when absolutely necessary.
"The Emperor has discovered the powers I created," the Master Warrior spoke. "He has sent his servants to retrieve them. But he has not yet finished with this world."
"How do we fight him?" Red Dragon asked.
"The Great power will guide you," she answered. "And should you need them, these crystals will allow you to summon your old Zords."
Grantoris grinned. "Let's get out there."
The Emperor set foot on the planet again, this time temporarily assuming an outer form to make movement easier. It was a technique that had proven useful over the years. When he took the outer form he lacked the limitations of his ailing body while retaining a large amount of power. If needed, he could transform back at any time.
He reappeared outside the Monolith and at once sensed that something had changed. The troops he had left on guard were gone, as were the huge land walkers they used to travel across the planet. He was at once alert.
A scream caught his attention and he spun around to be confronted by the corpses of one of his troops, although he would never know who it was because the armour was scorched beyond recognition.
Instinct dictated his next move as he tried to teleport back to the safety of Terminus. The planet was obviously not void of life, yet. Nothing happened no matter how hard he tried and eventually he gave up. Something was going on and he had to be alert.
Some thing pink streak across the sky and into orbit. The air above him flashed brightly, as all communication with his precious space station was suddenly lost. Seconds later there was a loud explosion as the burning mass of Terminus made contact with the atmosphere. The huge ship broke up as it plummeted towards the ocean.
"NO!" he boomed. "WHO DARES?"
The pink shape moved back across the landscape, this time at a pace where he could make out the shape. It was a Zord. A Firebird Zord to be exact. Partially solid, but mostly magical energy. On the top he could see a lone figure riding the mighty beast out of combat.
"We dare," a calm voice announced.
The Emperor spun around to see seven figures in fighting stance, each with their Light Swords drawn and ready. Light Swords that marked them as Ninjetti. In a beam of pink fire an eighth member joined them.
"You destroyed my ship," he accused.
"And you are guilty for the destruction of untold worlds," Streen answered. "The Morphin Masters were willing to not get involved if you had left them alone. But instead you showed us an evil heart and evil must be challenged and conquered."
"Fools, I am more powerful than you could imagine. I need only to transform back to my true form and."
"Then we'll have to make sure you cannot transform," said a new voice.
The Master Warrior stood ready for action, her long staff poised to strike.
"Full power now!" Lacutus called.
At once the Ninjetti were transformed into their Ranger mode. Their suits changed into the more familiar tight fitting fabric used for Ranger uniforms. Red, green, black, yellow, pink, blue, and purple wore similar outfits. The upper body was white with a gold trim, as were the bands surrounding the tops of their gloves and boots. On the left breast they wore a gold image of their spirit animal. The material on their arms and legs were predominantly their individual colour. The belts were gold, with an intricate pattern around the buckles and a holster on each side. Their helmets were shaped to resemble the heads of their spirit animals as well. In their hands the Light Swords were replaced by a set of staffs in their colour.
Streen was the exception. His costume was all white with gold and black gauntlets around the tops of the boots, gloves and on the belt. A black and gold shield covered his chest with shoulder pads bearing the image of his spirit animal on the center of the front. His helmet resembled the face of a tiger. In his hand was a long golden sword.
"Surround him!" the Master Warrior ordered. "For those who are Ninjetti, all things are possible."
The fighters surrounded the Emperor and after forming a circle, joined hands. They raised their arms into the air and joined hands.
"We call on the Great Power," the Master Warrior intoned. "Separate this villain from his power, protect Phaedos from his harm!"
The energy from each Ninjetti shot into the sky, opening two rifts in space at it did so. There was a loud cry from the Emperor as a ghostly image of his soul was thrown into one hole, followed by the wreckage of Terminus and his servants. The students and the Emperor's body were thrown into the second rift. As both rifts closed the Master Warrior stood in silent prayer that the Great Power would return them to her.
When they arrived at their destination, both the Ninjetti and the Emperor took the opportunity to scan the planet they had chosen. It was desolate, providing no organic life. There were no useful minerals in the soil from which to construct weapons. Even worse was the fact that the planet was drifting away from its sun and starting to freeze. The Emperor knew they had chosen the world carefully to prevent him from using all his powers.
"This is the end of the line the Emperor," Red Dragon told him. "Your evil ends here today."
Realising he could not escape, the Emperor shifted his form so he could improve his chances. His skin became metallic and his muscle tone increased to provide extra strength. This was not his chosen form, he would have preferred to fight in his natural state, but the added protection his metallic body provided made sense. A deadly black blade appeared in his hands. It had no highlights and seemed to swallow daylight into its depths.
The eight Ninjetti fired their weapons, attempting to circle around the Emperor as they did so in hopes of catching him off guard.
"Is this what you call playing fair Rangers?" the Emperor asked as he batted away several of their blasts. "Trying to sneak behind an enemy you already out number doesn't sound very fair to me."
"Since when have villains fought fair?" Yellow Griffin asked in response. "You can't expect us to follow rules that you wouldn't even consider."
"Besides," Grantoris said, "We're not Rangers."
A lucky blast from Streen knocked the Emperor off his feet, allowing the Ninjetti to concentrate their fire. Although the Emperor refused to entertain the notion that anything the warriors did could cause him serious injury, their blasts were keeping him pinned and more vulnerable than he liked.
"Enough!" he cried suddenly as he released his sword.
The blade spun end over end towards the eight Ninjetties until it was it connected with Green Ninjetties Light Sword. Sparks flew as the dark sword absorbed the energy within the Ninjetti's weapon. The green clad warrior hurriedly powered down his weapon and watched as the Emperor's sword fell to the ground.
In the instant the others took their eyes off their opponent to watch Green Lion, the Emperor was about to scramble away from his predicament. Raising his hand he summoned his sword and attacked.
"Clighal, look out!" Red Dragon warned as the Emperor directed his assault towards the Aquitian Ninjetti.
For her part Clighal was a highly skilled warrior with the aggressiveness and determination that set her people apart from other races. Before the Emperor had started his reign of terror, Aquitar had been a planet of land dwelling life forms. It had been during his early assault that the villain had cursed the entire race so they could not retain moisture. He had then flooded their world, leaving the people with no choice but to adapt to their changing environment.
As the Emperor approached she pulled both her Light Sword and Blade Blaster. She caught his sword with her Light Sword and used a blaster to damage the weapon. When that failed she dispensed with the weapons and opened up with a violent onslaught of punches and kicks. The villain stumbled back wondering where these Rangers had found such strength. Could it be that this Ninjetti was more than a name change? He turned and ran straight into Purple Spider.
Kiana did not bother with weapons. She used her powerful limbs to strike at the Emperor's armour. Her first few blows kept him off balance so that she could land kicks to his jaw and shoulder. Her left fist connected with his chin as her right hand, now bearing her staff positioned itself next to his chest.
Even when her opponent went down Kiana did not relent. Her planet had not been as lucky as Clighal's. The Emperor had considered her world a threat and exterminated it outright. It was vengeance that had fueled Kiana's determination over the last few months and years. It was rage that created the adrenaline that allowed her to continue punching long after she had cracked the bones in her hand.
"Power Staffs!" Red Dragon ordered.
The long staffs started to glow. In an attack pattern they had perfected during their brief training encounters, the Ninjetti lunged forward. White Tiger and Green Lion drove the points of their staffs into the villain's shoulders; driving him to the ground and preventing further movement. Blue and Purple Spider were next, securing his ankles to the ground. Taking the opportunity to disarm him, Red Dragon slammed his staff into the Emperor's wrist. The Yellow Griffin hooked the sword away allowing Black Pegasus and Pink Firebird to destroy it with their weapons.
Sensing he would not triumph against such determined opponents, the Emperor allowed himself to grow. As his body expanded he reached out and seized Purple and Black Pegasus. As his body increased in size he applied greater pressure to his captives, laughing silently as he felt their bodies explode.
The others looked up at the giant who had just destroyed two of their friends. They didn't feel anger, which would have blinded them to their task and what they had to do. Instead they raised their hands to the sky and called: "We need Megazord power, now!"
The six Zords created for the Ninjetti when they had been Rangers, using the Morphin Grid, appeared in the sky and transformed into the Mega Tigerzord. Quickly the Firebird missile was dispatched to keep the Emperor busy whilst the Ninjetties checked their instruments.
"Two minutes," Yellow Griffin said as the villain deflected the weapon back at them.
"Give it everything we have," Red Dragon, said. "We have to keep him here."
The Mega Tigerzord marched into battle against the Emperor. The two behemoths exchanged blows with the Rangers taking the worst of it. In desperation the Mega Tigerzord wrapped its arms around the villain and held on while he continued to pound the Rangers to dust.
"Zero!" White Tiger cried as the planet exploded.
Too late did the Emperor realize that he had been tricked. The students had never intended to win. Instead they had wanted to trap in the explosion that turned the barren world on which they fought into an icicle. Neither heroes nor villain moved, as their bodies were frozen by the extreme cold. Thanks to the eight warriors who had sacrificed their lives, the Emperor was no longer a threat.
A lone figure stepped from the darkness that surrounded the world that night. In his hand was a small laser that he used to carefully thaw out the nine bodies. He ignored the Ninjetti at first and used a strange device to reduce the Emperor's outer form to energy he readily absorbed. Then, he moved to each of the victors and removed their crystals. He also took the coins they had been given at the start of their training. _Every little helps. _
As he strode back to his throne ship, Alex left a trail of charges around the surface. As he vanished, all evidence of what had happened vanished too. The world was reduced to a small planetoid that oozed with evil energy. It had lost most of its mass and soon came to rest in an orbit around the moon of the third planet in a system of nine.
The sacrifice and honour of the battle were lost on Alex, who had felt compelled to travel back to that moment. All he wanted though were the powers, and once he had them he left.
Elysia Seven, M-51 Galaxy
Months after the Emperor's death
"Wild Megazord Formation!" the Red Ninjetti called. His voice carried across the landscape of the once forested world, more like a growl than spoken language.
Elysia had once been a paradise for its people, the Elysians. They had lived a simple, poor, and uncomplicated life without the complications of some technology dependent worlds. Not that they were uncivilized. Quite the contrary, the Elysians had developed their own technology to the point where they were in danger of destroying their world. But at that point the need to preserve their planet had become a priority and they had moved the technology away from the planet and returned to a more traditional lifestyle. By day they worked the land, but at night they lived in luxury.
That was until Duke Hazzard showed up, determined to take both the natural and technological colonies. His raiding parties destroyed the technology first, allowing only a few survivors to escape to the planet so that he could hunt them. Duke Hazzard was known as a hunter known for his cruel stalking of his prey. Sometimes he used guns, other times he let his victims get torn apart by rabid hounds.
The planet had been in danger of falling to the overwhelming forces when the answer presented itself. While running, five young people had managed to find a set of mystical daggers. They had been teleported to the world of Phaedos where the Master Warrior had trained them in the ways of Ninjetti before returning them home. On that day they had become the defenders of their world; they had become Ninjetti.
Ninjetti, or the Great Power as it was known to many was magic. Once connected it flowed from the soul of a person and allowed them to take on the attributes of their personal spirit animal. In some ways it was like the Morphin Grid, but lacked the limits of the Morphin Powers. Those who carried the Great Power could become Ninjetti. They resembled Rangers in some ways, but rarely worked in teams. Of course if the Ninjetti had been a Ranger in the past or had a strong image of a Ranger in their subconscious, then the Great Power would make them resemble Power Rangers.
Unlike the Ranger power, which linked a spirit animal to one of three levels and nine colours, the Great Power linked the spirit animal best suited to the avatar. The colour was used more to denote rank than personality and a wide ranger of spirit animals were available. They were a team and therefore that image determined their costume as well as their weapons.
On this occasion they did resemble Rangers, but lacked a definite Power Coin, Ninjetti didn't require such items to function properly. Their daggers were the focus and combined with a special crystal each had found in their wanderings, they could call forth their spirit animals.
"Lion!" Luke, the Red Ninjetti called.
Luke was in his thirties and the oldest of the group, although he was considered young by a race that lived to an average age of one hundred and fifty. His costume was, like those of the other Ninjetti, made of skintight material in mainly his colour. It had white gauntlets with gold bands where they ended, gold around the tops of the boots, gold on his belt - complete with a representation of the group's combined spirit animals, and a thin band of gold looped around his neck and link from the front to back under the right arm in a double band. Also on his belt was a small holster designed to hold his dagger. All this was set off by the face of the lion on his left breast in gold and in the shape of his red helmet.
The other Ninjetti wore similar outfits except with their spirit animal represented and in their colour of blue, black, yellow and white. In addition, the White Ninjetti wore a short skirt outlined in pink.
"Eagle!" Shanie called.
Shanie was the tomboy of the group and the youngest Ninjetti. She was deeply spiritual and dedicated to her world, a proven asset at times, but also a liability when destruction was used to draw them out. As the Eagle she had feathers built in on hr sleeves that allowed her to glide through the air. Of course once airborne she was vulnerable, but her speed often compensated.
"Bison!" Budo called.
Headstrong, powerful and second-in-command, that was how some would see the hardened warrior. He was large, prematurely bald and slightly overweight. In many ways he resembled his spirit animal when attacking. He enjoyed charging headfirst into situations where common sense would normally tell him to stop. And despite his size, he was extremely fast.
Peace was something the people of Elysia had come to respect, but they still needed protectors. Especially since they were in the M-51 Galaxy and therefore targets of the Federation. Add to that the fact that the scientist of the M-51 Galaxy had spread the rumour that they were using the planet to construct a crystal of immense power, and they had plenty of reason to worry.
"Tiger!" Sara cried.
Although she was classed as the White Ninjetti, Sara would have been equally at home with pink. The colour made no difference to the youthful maiden who had taken up the power to protect those she cared for. She was the healer of the team and recently her powers had been called on constantly.
"Shark!" Joshua called.
Joshua was a teacher of farming who had given up the hard days on the farm to save his world from a threat greater than poverty. His hands showed the signs of hard work and his tan showed he had been working in the sun. That of course was in the past.
"Combine!" they cried in unison
The energy forms of their spirit animals combined together and then took on the form of metal. The White Tiger folded to become the left arm, the Shark was reshaped to connect as the right arm as the Bison formed the legs. The Lion changed shape to create the main body as the Eagle flew down to lock into place as the head.
Not far away Duke Hazzard watched with interest. He was a great strategist who knew when the time was right to attack. Individually the beasts could have evaded him for days, but combined he knew exactly where they were.
"Send in Bolass," he said.
His servants obeyed and a monster was sent to attack. He was soon defeated, but Hazzard was far from finished.
"Send in more monsters. Overwhelm them!"
Monster after monster attacked the Megazord, battering it until finally it broke apart. Only the White Tiger managed to disconnect before the Megazord fell.
"Quickly, fire the cables," Hazzard snapped.
Four of his gargoyle foot soldiers fired heavy cables around the Tiger Zord's feet. The Tiger struggled valiantly until Hazzard gave his next order.
Four teams of foot soldiers pulled in four different directions, straining the White Tiger to its limits. As its legs finally gave out it collapsed to the ground, ejecting the White Ninjetti in the process.
The five warriors fought against Hazzard's forces for as long as they could. But eventually they succumbed to the overwhelming odds. As they were powered down they were placed in caged. They were left to die with their powers gone as the world was slowly transferred to the care of the Federation.
Shiarina watched sadly as her world was destroyed. The hundred Wild Zords were endangered and with them all good in the Universe was threatened. On her small island she was safe, but she could not draw the beasts to her anymore. Her mission to guard over the young Ninjetti was sadly a failure.
Yet in death she could ensure that the Zords could never realise their true potential. By removing her island and with it the Great Power she could ensure that all Duke Hazzard gained for his efforts were machines. She looked into the sacred waters where her daughter Shayla lay sleeping; by the time their journey was complete she suspected Shayla would be a grown woman and she would have long since left the current existence and achieved a higher state.
She kneeled before the sacred waters and used her limited powers to search the planet. There she found the Ninjetti, thrown aside to rot. She reach out with her thoughts and touched the remnants of their powers. She pushed them from the bodies and bound them to the form of an animal, the small four legged creature ran to her, carrying the Ninjetti blades as they did.
One name she promised to find a group worthy to hold those weapons again, but for now she was satisfied.
Duke Hazzard could only stare helplessly into the sky as the floating island vanished into space. He cursed inwardly but vowed to continue his search no matter how long it took.
Two teams of Ninjetti had come and gone in the space of a year and the Federation was still picking up speed, despite the loss of the Emperor. Those facts were not lost on the strange man who had watched events unfold. But he was not there to involve himself in such trivial affairs; he was there to collect the crystals the Ninjetti had used in their battle to summon their Zords. History showed these powers would not play a part in future events, so he didn't need to fear the effects of his actions, yet. He plucked them and returned to his quest for power.
Of course it was only a small change, but it was an even that had repercussions only obvious to someone who spent their time studying every aspect of history. The change forced other changes that led to even more alterations. Even though the end result was very small, it was enough to make the timeline compensate. The timeline split at the point the crystals were taken and doing so made a new universe. A universe where good and evil would continue to clash through the ages. A universe where beings of light came together for a Conquest of Evil.