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.
7 June 1996
The calm breeze blew the few leaves that had fallen in his path, but he didn't notice. His attention was as it had always been in this place, focussed on his destination and not on anything that might cause a distraction. He looked uncomfortable in the tailored blue suit that seemed too tight or too warm for the normally free spirit trapped within. In his hand he held a bunch of roses he hoped the recipient would appreciate, not that he would know if she liked them or not.
He took a deep breath as he approached, fighting as he always did the urge to flee and deny the truth mark so clearly on the stone cold face. Around him others bore the flowers of their loved ones making the place seem brighter than it would otherwise. Previous time when he had come to visit her he had given in to his urges and fled, leaving her there alone. But not this time. After almost six months it was time to face her.
Hold me in your arms forever
Jennifer Sarah Belle
Taken from us February 1996
Missed by Mother, Father and Sister
Rest In Peace
The words on the black grave stone didn't say enough in Rocky's opinion. How would people feel if they knew that she had died because Mondo had been seeking revenge, that she had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and a Cog ended her fragile life. In his mind Rocky could still see the pained expression as she fell to the floor. There had been no blood or burning, no outwardly physical sign of the pain she had felt. But her eye.... The memory was still too strong for him to dwell on them, so he didn't. His fellow Rangers had helped him, but the pain was still a part of him. It didn't get much easier with time.
At first there had been anger. Rocky had in a single rampage taken the fight to the Machine Empire. He had fought them regardless of the monsters Mondo had placed in his way. In hindsight he had done Rita and Zedd a favour when he had almost obliterated the Machine King and his family. But Rocky had not been a killer and revenge was not a reason to kill. Even before his fellow Rangers had arrived to convince him to stop he had walked away. Mondo and Machine had left shortly afterwards to lick their wounds and reorganise the remnants of their empire.
Gasket had attempted to use Rocky's feelings as a weapon and had learnt a harsh lesson. When the robot had attempted to use simulagent technology to create a Jennifer look alike in the hopes of trapping the Blue Zeo Ranger. Rocky had been taken in by the machine and his own hopes that Jennifer could be alive somehow, but had realised it was impossible and had saved his friends from her wrath. For the second time Rocky had watched Jennifer die andthis time he had been the one responsible for her death. He had sat hopelessly by as Adam and Tommy had levelled Gasket's base and sent him, his wife and whatever they could salvage away. The Zeo MegaZord had been used to ensure that the other machines Gasket had been working on were never released.
And then just like that the crutch he had been using to control his emotions had crumbled. Jennifer had been buried and her family had returned overseas. Rocky would never forget the look Josie had given him as she had walked away with her parents. It was a look of someone who had been betrayed and for Rocky confirmation that it was all his fault.
It had been a downhill slide from there, a mixture of self loathing and a need to escape. He had shut his friends out, even Adam. After a few weeks he had stopped even responding to Zordon when Rita or Zedd attacked. The Rangers had managed as a group of four, despite Rita and Zedd's best attempts to take advantage of their loss. Jason had helped out when they needed a Zord, but without a permanent power source he was unsuitable to small scale battles. Nobody had even suggested Jason take over as Blue Zeo. It was Rocky's post and one they had decided to relieve him of only if he asked or he proved dangerous.
Rocky had turned to drink. It had been unnoticeable at first, but the Rangers had soon realised that something other than grief was causing his strange behaviour. Then his mother had found him drunk and he had received a real wakeup call. Mrs DeSantos had made him promise never to turn to the bottle again and he had given his word. Because he had only been drunk a few times the habit had been easier to break with the help of thse around him. He had been sent to see a psychologist to help him with his feelings and for a time had concentrated purely on getting back on his feet. Surprisingly the hurt did not seem so unbearable.
The day Rocky returned to active duty had been the day the Rangers had finally defeated Rita and Zedd. Tommy's Zeo V Power Sword had sliced through the villains' staffs and had continued to pummel waveafter wave of foot soldiers. Finally defeated Rita and Zedd had retreated to Gamma Vile to await whatever Zedd had planned. And with the pressure of being a Ranger removed Rocky, had finally started to come to terms with his grief. Even though the memory hurt, it no longer consumed him. Now he had one more hurdle to face.
"Hi Jenny," Rocky said as he pulled the few weeds of the otherwise empty grave stone. "Sorry I haven't been here for a while, things... I'm sorry Jen, I couldn't face this place knowing what happened."
He placed the flowers in the vase and removed the dead ones that had dried up in the sun. Jennifer's parents had placed them there before they had left and they had not been back since.
"I know you can hear me Jennifer," Rocky said. "Somehow I know you're watching over us from a better place. I'm sorry you got caught up in the fight, that I didn't defend you properly and that I couldn't bring myself to avenge you."
Overhead the clouds parted just enough for the sun to reflect off the gravestone and into Rocky's eyes. A feeling of great calm filled him and for the first time since entering the cemetry he felt at ease. He couldn't hear the words but he was certain he could feel their meaning. Rocky had always been sensitive in the ways of the spirit. He was realistic enough to understand he was probably reading too much into a natural event, but he was certain it was Jennifer's way of saying: "I love you."
A tear rolled down his cheek as the sun continued to shine and the breeze dropped. The cemetry was filled with silence as Rocky allowed his emotions to flow. He took his time, telling Jen the things that had happened in his life since he had last seen her, about his friends and his life. Throughout his very one way conversation, the sun continued to shine on the gravestone. When he was done he stood and took a final look at the grave.
"I'll come back soon Jennifer, I promise."
As he walked away he knew that he would be back soon. He owed it to Jennifer to go on with his life. He wouldn't let her down again.