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.
Special Note: This part borrows heavily from Ellen Brand's story: Fathers and Sons. This has been done with permission and I thank Ellen for agreeing.
"I'm telling you he's hiding something."
Adam sighed and tried to make himself comfortable. Sometimes he resented his father's detective skill, although it would not take a genius to notice how different things had been recently. Minion had remained quiet for a few days, but more and more of Rita's Putties had been showing up at the most inappropriate times. Often the Rangers had been forced to fight without morphing and were on the verge of physical exhaustion.
They had quickly discovered that their replacement powers were not up to task like their Zeo powers had been. Their bodies were not healing as quickly as they had before and they lacked the energy they felt previously after morphing. As a result the regular skirmishes were taking their toll on the Rangers as their friends, school and now parents had noticed.
Adam had been unfortunate earlier in the day and had spent a few minutes on the receiving end of a collection of Putties. They had attacked his back and legs mercilessly and left him with severe bruising. Suffice to say it had limited his movement and he had to constantly cover-up the pain he felt when shuffling about. He had told his parents he had been sparring too hard, but it was obvious from the look on his parents' faces they had not believed him.
He tried to turn over without groaning. His back was still painful and lying on it was all but impossible. At the same time that was the position he preferred to lie in. It was a no win situation.
"I don't know," he could here his father say. "It could be a gang or drugs or something."
That was his dad, suspect the worse and act accordingly. He wondered if he told them whether it would make things easier. His promise to Zordon had ruled that out, which was probably a good thing.
It didn't help that his relationship with his father was a long way from what could be deemed perfect. They rarely talked and when they did it usually developed into a one sided argument with Mr Park doing most of the talking. It wasn't that Trevor Park was a bad man, far from it. He was a dedicated police officer, kind and caring husband and a firm but fair father. The problem was that Adam had come to realise during his time in Angel Grove that Trevor Park would never approve of his son's membership of a certain team of superheroes.
Not that Detective Park hated the Power Rangers. He like everybody else appreciated their efforts to save the world from forces he knew Angel Grove's finest couldn't handle. But at the same time he constantly pointed out how new villains were drawn to where the Rangers happened to be. He thought of them a hot dogging college students who practically invited further attacks with their antics.
In a way Trevor was correct. New villains did seem to favour Angel Grove, but the reason had little to do with its guardians and a lot to do with the collection of Ley Lines that ran beneath the city. The swirling mass of energy drew invaders like a candle attracts moths. And the threat of such attacks had resulted in the Power Rangers. But of course explaining that would be impossible without revealing his secret; the secret that threatened to tear their family apart.
Minion turned away from his computer screen. His plan so far had been a success; the Rangers were too worn out to think about retrieving the Zeo Crystal and despite his limited success in finding the crystals he sought, he was making some progress. His search had narrowed down the area for each crystal and it was only a matter of time.
Obviously all the Rangers were suffering, although why Jason and Samoht had been withdrawn from active duty remained a mystery. Since Billy had not joined the team he imagined that Zordon had seen the risks involved in sending half powered teenagers to their deaths. He did take the opportunity to check on the other former Rangers, just in case. He found that Trini and Zack were still at the Peace Conference and Kimberly was leading an interesting life in Florida. _You just couldn't keep away from life as a heroine._ Aisha was still in the jungles of Kenya with her family. The only person he could find was David Trueheart, but David had vanished a few days before with a man named Red Hawk.
He turned his attention back to the Park house. Adam's condition had caused him to appreciate the efforts of Rita's putties. But it was the young ranger's relationship with his father that intrigued him. He recalled that the last villain to successfully use the Rangers' family to an advantage had been Mondo. But then the Machine King had used David as a hostage while Minion considered using Adam's family in the shape of Trevor Park as a weapon. Not the old cast a spell and make a servant routine; that was an outdated approach. Instead he pondered the emotional pain he could cause Adam when the detective realised his son was one of those he disliked so much.
The Zeo Crystal provided the means to accomplishing part of that plan. The other part would require a monster.
The following day was far from pleasant for Adam. He had spent the early part of his day on the receiving end of a lecture from his father. The fact Detective Park didn't know what his son was being lectured for made the situation awkward and strangely comical. Instead of picking a subject Detective Park had been trying to both interview and reprimand his son. By the time it was over neither was sure what had been accomplished except that Adam's resentment of Trevor reached an all time high.
It was after lunch that both father and son were forced to leave suddenly; Adam had received a call from Zordon while Detective Park had been called to a break in. Trevor made his excuses and left with Adam not far behind.
Mrs Park shook her head and turned back to her youngest son, hoping he at least would continue to be there for meals in the future.
"Trevor, you'd better take a look at this," Detective Park's partner said.
Trevor sighed as he turned his attention to where Rick Winslow was standing with more excitement than he normally showed during a monster attack. He moved to the window and glanced out. He was surprised by what he saw. The Power Rangers were engaged in a battle with what at first glance resembled a Putty made from dark rock. Surprisingly, they were losing.
The Putty thing that he later learnt referred to itself as Captain Golem, had already thrown Blue Zeo into the side of a van; the result he noticed was a large dent in the van and a Ranger who couldn't seem to find which way was up. Yellow Zeo had also been thrown aside although she at least was using the opportunity to clear the area of civilians. Trevor wondered how this monster came to be in such a populated of Angel Grove instead of the park.
"I think it's going to kill a Power Ranger," Rick commented as Trevor continued to watch.
"Shit!" Trevor exclaimed, pulling his gun and racing out the door. He hadn't notice until that point that Red Zeo and Pink Zeo were standing there watching. He had assumed nothing was wrong until he noticed them attempt to run forward only to be bounced back by some sort of barrier. Captain Golem by that time was standing on Green Zeo's chest and successfully suffocating him. He might dislike the Power Rangers, but he certainly didn't want to see one die; he would hate to deal with the paperwork associated with such an event. Trevor raised his gun, silently praying that if the monster lacked something that he could hit with his bullet, his shot wouldn't hit the Ranger he was trying to save.
BLAM! Green Zeo heard a shot, seemingly a hundred miles away, and all at once, he could breathe again. He looked up to see his father in a classic shooter's stance, gun trained on the mutated Putty.
"Freeze, ugly!" Trevor yelled. "Detective Park, AGPD! You're under arrest for attempted murder! You have the right to remain silent. If you refuse the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law!"
If his throat hadn't hurt so much, Adam would have laughed at his father's reading the Miranda warning to a monster. As it was, though, he worried about the monster's reaction. Looking around, he spied Rick Winslow, his father's partner, beating on an invisible barrier that seemed to keep him out of the way.
"Foolish human!" the monster cried, drawing Green Zeo's attention back to it. "I am above your petty human laws. And when my mistress, Rita Repulsa takes over your pathetic world, those laws will cease to exist!"
At that point Adam realised that he was not staring at something that resembled a Putty; it was a mutated Putty, no doubt altered by Minion. He also decided that if this monster had thrown the Rangers around so easily, it would make short work of a human.
"Not if I can help it, Bub!" Adam growled, hurling himself at the monster. The impact knocked the mutant off balance and stopped him in his tracks. With the sudden knowledge that this was indeed a Putty albeit modified by magic, Adam used what he remembered from his early days as a Ranger in battle. First he tried a kick to Captain Golem's chest in the hope that it had been a Z-Putty with the obvious weakness. When that failed he reverted to swift and frequent blows to encourage the cowardice Billy had mentioned that all Putties showed.
"Zeo Power Punch!" he called with a blow aimed at the head.
A familiar noise left Captain Golem as he reverted back to a Putty and then retreated.
"You okay?" Trevor asked as he approached the exhausted Ranger.
"Yes, sir," Green Zeo puffed, getting to his feet.
"Where's your friends?"
"With your partner, I would imagine," Green Ranger gestured. "Someone put up a field of solid air around this section of the park. Blocks entry by teleport or ground transport." He stopped and Trevor started to get that sinking feeling. "If the monster is gone, why are we still trapped?"
Trevor wondered what he meant when both felt a sudden pull as they were jerked into darkness.
Minion had considered it fun to wait before springing his surprise on Adam and Trevor. He had watched as the Green Zeo Ranger had launched an attack, and at just the right moment had removed the protection he had cast on the Putty. He already had a second Captain Golem ready as he put his plan into action.
He had summoned the Zeo Crystal and stared into its depths. After finding the Green Zeo Ranger's energy, he had used its link with Adam to send both Parks where he doubted even Zordon would find them.
Trevor Park woke up on something soft, for which he gave thanks. Taking stock of himself, he found all body parts more or less intact, and his.38 lying by his side. Beside him, the Green Ranger began to stir.
"Ohhh," the Ranger moaned. "Where's my stomach?"
Trevor chuckled, levering himself into a sitting position. "In about the same place as my lunch, I think. What happened to us?"
Sitting up, Green Zeo performed a quick status check on his body parts. Finding nothing broken, he looked at Trevor. "We've been teleported, sent through some sort of dimensional warp. We could be on another planet, or another dimension. It's not one of Zedd's, though," he added thoughtfully.
"How can you tell?" Trevor asked, looking around him.
"Too much life," Adam replied, also examining their surroundings. They had been dropped into a clearing in an incredibly lush jungle. Around them, they could hear small animals rustling in the underbrush.
"What can we expect to run into here?" Trevor asked, scanning the perimeter of the clearing. The Ranger shrugged.
"Almost anything. Remember, I don't know where we are, and some of these other planets have some very interesting wildlife. Other than that, it's your ordinary jungle. I don't think it's too different from one you'd find on Earth." He looked at his companion and sighed. "Look, I'm sorry I dragged you into this. With your opinion of the Power Rangers, this can't be much fun for you."
"How'd you know about my opinion of the Rangers?" Trevor asked, his eyes narrowing.
"Everybody knows your opinion of the Power Rangers."
Was that bitterness in he heard in the Ranger's voice? He was surprised to think that the thoughts of one man was that important.
"Hmm. Well, I wish I was home eating dinner right now, but I could have been stuck with worse. So could you, for that matter. I'm not completely inexperienced with jungle fighting."
"Vietnam?" Green Zeo asked casually, curious. His father had never mentioned a military career before.
Trevor shook his head. "Too young. Not by much, but too young. No, when I got out of college, I spent a couple years in Delta Force. Anti-terrorist unit. They trained us for almost every kind of fighting. I spent a couple years there, got out and went into the Police Academy."
"Well, if you've got that kind of training, I'm glad to have you along, sir."
Trevor's eyes narrowed again. Something about the Ranger's voice was bothering him. And why keep calling him "sir?" Suddenly it clicked. "You can't be more than eighteen!" Trevor cried.
"Close. I'm seventeen."
Trevor's jaw dropped. This kid was Adam's age, and he was fighting monsters? "That's pretty young," Trevor managed. "Are all the Rangers teenagers?"
"Yes. I'm not the oldest, but I'm close. It's not so young, really. We can die for our country at eighteen. Why not for our planet?"
"Eighteen's pretty young to be facing monsters."
The Ranger laughed humourlessly. "Tell that to the kids who go to war. At least for us, the monsters look like monsters. Out there, they can wear anybody's uniform and anybody's face. Even your own."
Trevor was speechless. From the news reports, he'd formed an impression of the Rangers as show-off college-age kids, hot-dogging for the cameras. He had not expected a boy Adam's age, with more wisdom than he ought to have. Sighing, he changed the subject. "Come on. We'd better get moving if we want to find out where we are. I say we follow that stream over there."
Green Ranger nodded. "No objections here." Rising, the two slipped silently into the underbrush and were quickly swallowed up.
After hiking through the dense jungle for a few hours, the Green Zeo Ranger suddenly noticed a column of smoke rising above the trees. "Look!" he pointed. "That means people!"
Trevor nodded, his eyes narrowing. "But are they friendly?"
Green Zeo chuckled. "The odds are pretty good. Rangers are respected throughout the galaxy. Unless we've landed on a world totally under some tyrant's thumb, this Spandex suit should get us through without a problem."
He chose not to mention that he was using temporary powers and was unsure what anyone would think if they noticed him. He decided to keep that to himself.
Shrugging, Trevor gestured for him to lead the way. After a few more minutes, the two crested a rise and saw a village below. The houses, which seemed to be some sort of woven grass, were burning, causing the smoke that Green Zeo had sighted. Men on horseback were riding around, torching the homes, terrorising the people, and laughing uproariously.
On the ground was a woman who had been tied and forced to watch as the horrific actions continued. Suddenly, the Green Zeo Ranger stood up.
"I can't just stand up here and watch this."
"You're not going to barge in there, are you?" Trevor asked. "We have no idea what's going on."
"I have a responsibility to protect the helpless, and these people seem to fit. You don't have to come, but I could use your help."
"Oh, hell," Trevor sighed, getting to his feet as well. "If you're going to get yourself barbecued, I might as well come along for the ride. What's the plan?"
"Well, you're the stealth expert, so I'll distract them, and you take them out. There's only eight of them."
"Only," Trevor grumbled, but hid himself to wait for Green Zeo's diversion.
Trevor had expected a brush fire, an animal stampede, almost anything. He had not expected the Ranger to walk directly into the middle of the camp and announce his presence. That was exactly what the kid did, however. Making his way down the main drag of the village, he yelled, "Hey!" The riders' heads swung around, their attention fixing on Green Zeo.
Trevor could not understand what the men were saying, but one word that they kept repeating obviously meant "Ranger." The leader silenced them with a wave of his hand. Turning back to Green Zeo, he said something that obviously translated to "What do you want?"
"As a holder of the Black Morphin Power and Green Zeo Power, and as a Ranger/Apprentice to Zordon of Eltare, I hereby order you to leave this place and these people in peace."
The leader's only response was a growl. It was unintelligible to Trevor, but the Ranger seemed to understand it well enough.
"If that's the way you want things, fine. I will make you leave this village, if necessary. I hereby challenge you to combat. One on one, your men don't interfere." The leader seemed to consider this. "Unless you're afraid," the Ranger needled.
The leader's face hardened. He barked at his men, obviously commanding them to stay back. Then he turned back to the Ranger and dismounted, a twisted leer on his face. The two began to circle each other, looking for openings.
Trevor wasn't worried about the kid; he knew the Green Ranger could take care of himself. It was the seven goons on horseback that held his attention. If the Green Ranger dropped the leader, the seven would attack. If not, the men would return to sacking the village. Either way, he had to take out the leader's back-up while they were preoccupied with the fight. Luckily, they had dismounted to watch more easily. He estimated that he could take out three before they spotted him. That left four that he might well have to fight hand-to-hand. He could only hope some of the villagers would join in.
Making his move, Trevor sneaked up on the closest goon, quietly pulling him back into the underbrush. A few quick blows, and the man was unconscious before he could make a sound. A couple of handy lengths of vine trussed him up nicely.
Three more fell to similar tactics. Trevor was beginning to get disgusted with his enemies' lack of alertness when one of the last three spotted him and cried an alarm. The three rushed him at once, actually doing him a favor. They were so clumsy and unable to work together that they got in each other's way, making his job easier. He knocked out two, but found the third a much more proficient fighter. Behind him, he could hear villagers cheering, probably for Green Ranger. Finally, in a last desperate strategy, he fell to the ground in a move Adam had taught him, placing a foot into the solar plexus of his charging opponent and flipping him over. The man hit the ground and did not move.
Rising, Trevor saw that Green Zeo had also finished off his opponent, and was now tying the unconscious man up. Several villagers were binding Trevor's sparring partners, and still more were dragging the other four out of the brush. Looking at the eight men's dirt-spattered uniforms, Green Zeo cocked his head.
"Red, white, green, black, blue, purple, yellow, and pink. Oh man." Kneeling, Green Ranger pulled a medallion from around the leader's neck. Faintly, under a few years of dirt and grime, was an engraving of an ape. "They were Rangers," he breathed. "Rogue Rangers. I think I'm going to be sick."
Trevor stooped to untie the prisoner and the knelt near him. "How do you know they were rogue? I mean, the Green Ranger- the other one- wasn't he put under a spell or something? I'm pretty sure I remember that from the news."
"No," the female prisoner said, causing Trevor and his son to look at her. "If they were enspelled, they'd still have their powers. The powers that be only strip Rangers of their powers when they've done something awful, broken the rules of their own free will. Gone rogue."
"I don't remember a Purple Ranger," Trevor commented.
"We didn't have one. Purple was the one color coin we didn't have. I'll explain later. Here comes the headman of the village." Green Zeo stood, brushing grime off his hands. Trevor could no more understand this man than the last one, but it was fairly obvious that he was thanking Green Ranger for coming to their aid. Apparently the woman also understood although she seemed to be having problems from the way she placed her hand against her right ear.
"It was my honour, sir," Green Ranger responded. "I was glad to help."
The man spoke further, and in reply, Green Ranger shook his head. "No thank you, sir. We can't stay, I'm afraid. We're lost, far from the world we live on."
"And just what world would that be?" the woman asked.
Now he had a good chance Adam looked her over. She was dressed in an white bodysuit, which appeared to have some extra padding Those area note white, such as the shoulder pads were dark blue. On her chest was pinned a gold badge similar to the ones he'd seen worn by sheriffs in the old westerns. She had retrieved a black belt complete with weapon and had strapped it to her waist.
"Earth," Adam replied.
"Great!" she muttered and followed that with some words Adam assumed were harsh curses. "Trapped on planet with no supplies, a group of restrained Rogue Rangers, a pirate fleet, no ship or supplies and only a Ranger from a back water planet for company; and a civilian."
"Look," Green Zeo broke in, beginning to get annoyed. "I may not be seven thousand years old, like some Rangers, and I may not be from the center of galactic society. But I have joined the Zeo Rangers in countless battles against the Machine Empire, a threat which is certainly not child's play!" His declaration, intense but not loud, finally drew her attention. Making sure he kept it, he stepped forward, using his height to emphasise his words. "Now, I don't know anything about the pirates, or anything except that we have to get back to our planet. I assume you're some sort of police officer, other than that..."
She nodded, a slight smile on her face. She waved him over to a chair at a nearby table and the two sat down.
"Inter Galactic Police Force, but you can call me Lt. D'saio. I like you..." Green Zeo jerked his head to indicate his father and a look of understanding crossed her face. "Ah, the big secrecy thing. Green Zeo? then. You have backbone. I'm sorry that I was so rude, but you're much younger than any of the Rangers I've dealt with in the past. Rangering isn't exactly for children, or even teenagers, really."
Adam nodded. "Zordon told us once that he chose teenagers because we were old enough to be good fighters and responsible about the use of our powers, and young enough to accept new things easily. Plus, since we weren't adults, our lives would not be as totally disrupted by the need for secrecy. That's the one thing I've never understood, though. The villains all knew who we were, so why did we need to keep our identities secret? None of the other Ranger teams we've met or heard of had to."
"The need for secrecy is unique to your type of world, it's true. You see, Earth is much younger than most of the worlds in the galaxy. As a result, its culture has not developed as far as, say, Eltare's. Exposing the people of Earth to galactic culture all at once might result in disaster. Zordon had himself posted on your world to protect it in case an evil ever threatened that your people could not defeat on their own. The posting of a Ranger team is the only interference from our culture allowed."
Adam nodded again. "That makes sense, thanks. I don't really know that much about the IGPF, either. What do you do, exactly? What separates you from Rangers?"
"Rangers are basically military in function. They defend worlds against invasion and annihilation. The IGPF is the police force. We don't have jurisdictions around here. The Force can chase a criminal anywhere, although they have to go undercover if they want to chase him to a planet like Earth. We arrest those accused of crimes, while Rangers fight off attacks and represent the Power. If you should actually manage to capture one of your enemies, rather than destroy him, you would turn him over to us to be taken to stand trial."
"Well I guess we should disable these pirates so you can round them up later and then get you somewhere where you can reach your forces," Green Zeo suggested. He turned to the tirbal chief and asked: "Is there a wizard or Morphin Master around here who might be able to help us?"
The man spoke at great length, at one point bringing a scroll from his hut and showing the Ranger something. When the Ranger nodded, the headman gave a sharp command, and two of the younger men brought out what appeared to be backpacks, stuffed with equipment.
"He says that there is a place of great power, the Maze of Shilratha, to the south of here. It's marked on the map," Lt. D'saio translated. "Although their shaman senses no evil about it, no one who has entered has ever returned. This could mean that inside is a gateway to somewhere else. Maybe we can use it to get home."
"And the packs?" Trevor asked.
"Repayment for our services," Green Zeo told him. "They contain the food and equipment necessary to reach it. Apparently the maze is several days' walk from here."
"Great," Trevor groaned. "And Eileen- that's my wife- was going to make meatloaf!"
"She makes good meatloaf?"
"The best. You should see my sons put it away. It's the only food that Adam can eat six servings of."
Green Ranger chuckled and turned back to the headman to make their goodbyes. He noticed Lt. D'saio look from him to his father and guessed she had worked out why he had been so secretive. He shrugged it off. Then, loaded with the packs, Angel Grove policeman, IGPF officer and Green Zeo Ranger began to hike towards the Maze.
After they had hiked in silence for a while, Trevor finally decided to ask the questions that had been bothering him since they left the village. "What was all that about, the Black Morphin Power? And who or what is a Morphin Master?"
Green Ranger sighed. "The Morphin Grid is an ancient source of power that runs throughout the universe on a metaphysical plane. Its power can be good or evil, depending on which "side" of the grid you draw from. The Rangers drew from the light side of the grid through our coins to morph into our old forms. There never was a Purple Morphin Ranger because we never found the coin. Lord Zedd and Rita, who use evil magic, draw from the dark side of the grid."
"And the Machine Empire?"
"They don't draw from the grid at all. As machines, they have no connection with the metaphysical energies of this universe. They are apart from it, and draw their strengths from other things. For this reason, we need the Zeo Power, which does not draw on the Morphin Grid. You know the old Earth legends which state that magical power can be turned aside by cold iron? Well, that has its base in the fact that iron alone, of all things on Earth, possesses insulating properties that allow it to deflect Morphin energy. The Zeo Crystal is not magic, strictly speaking. It's a science of energy fields and circuits. That's why we don't need words to morph anymore. We still talk most of the time, simply because it's easier for us to morph if we have words to focus our energy. The words themselves no longer trigger the transformation, though.
"The Morphin Masters are those who have mastered the arts and techniques used in the service of their color. The different colours symbolise the different disciplines. Blue are scientists, Red are warriors, Yellow are healers, and so on. The Purple Rangers are sort of larcenous, but honourable. My color, Black, are artists and musicians. I would have been equally at home in Black or Yellow, but certain constraints made me the Black Ranger."
Trevor nodded. "That's what you meant about Black Morphin Power. But if you're a Zeo Ranger now, how do you still hold the Black Power?"
"The powers are not mutually exclusive. It's like studying both kung fu and karate. It's hard and time-consuming, but it can be done. Our Power Coins were destroyed in battle, destroying our ability to morph. The Power is still part of us however, and can not be taken away by evil. I am still Black Ranger inside, even though I cannot take on the outer form."
"So why do you have two different Ranger colours?"
"The Zeo Powers use a different color symbolism than the Morphin Powers. I'm Green under Zeo philosophy and Black under Morphin."
"The way those people looked at you, it was as if you were- oh, what's the word? My younger son, Franklin, loves sword and sorcery novels. There's a special type of warrior- a paladin! They looked at you as if you were a holy knight, a paladin."
Lt. D'saio chuckled. "In a way, I suppose that's what he is. These people recognise the Power in their lives. To them, it's almost a religion, although that's not quite right. It's a principle, a philosophy, like Tao. It doesn't really have religious connotations. Its defenders are well respected. In return, they defend the weak and helpless, no matter where or who they may be."
Green Zeo nodded and Trevor was somewhat taken aback. He had not realised what a great responsibility being a Ranger was, or how conscious of it they were. He was beginning to suspect that he had sorely misjudged these teenagers.
"Perhaps while we're on our way there," Lt. D'saio said, "you could tell me why you don't look like the Zeo Rangers I've learnt about and how you came to be stuck here with a civilian?"
Adam sighed and started to tell the tale about how Minion had shown up and stolen the Zeo Crystal. From the look of horror on Lt. D'saio's face he assumed she understood only too well the implications of such an act. He went on to tell how they had tried to replace the powers and ended up with what they termed Gem Coins. Trevor listened with interest and was surprised at how much work they had had to put into restoring their powers. He had always assumed the costume changes were done just to be fashionable.
"Things will get better," Lt. D'saio said as they neared a clearing. They always do."
Green Zeo nodded, but then held up a hand and signalled for his companions to get down. Just through the break in the trees were the priates they had been talking about earlier.
"We need to stop them from taking off," Lt. D'saio said. "They got the drop on me last time."
Green Zeo looked at her thoughtfully, then his eyes fell on her weapon.
"How many are there?" he asked.
"Six," she answered. "They set down here to refuel and sold me to those rogues."
Adam nodded and worked out a strategy. "I'll take out the ship," he said, "Detective Park can handle any guards... He can look after himself Lt. D'saio... and you stun them as they come out."
The others nodded in agreement of his plan while Adam worked on putting it into action. He charged across the ground, using his speed to avoid the shots aimed at him. When he reached the ship he flicked out his Zeo Sword and sliced off the landing skids. A few pot-shots grounded the ship without rendering it beyond repair. In the meantime Trevor had subdued some of the resistance and Lt. D'saio had stunned the captain. When they were tied and a radio had been located they three parted company.
Lt. D'saio could wait the few weeks it would take to get a ship, but had told them it would take too long for them to get home from where she was going. Instead Adam and Trevor decided to press on for the maze. As they did Trevor wondered just how much he had to learn about these Rangers.
"Come on," Green Ranger called, breaking into his thoughts. "A few more miles and we'll make camp for the night."
Blue Ranger sighed to himself. He really hated this assignment, but with Tommy in a sudden attack and Adam missing, he was next in line for command of the Rangers. Command of the Rangers indeed, he snorted to himself. Everybody knows that Jason's in charge now; or would be if he showed up. But you're still stuck with the explanations. Sighing again, he rang the Park's doorbell.
"Yes?" Eileen Park asked, opening the door. At the sight of a Power Ranger standing on her doorstep, she gasped.
"Mrs. Park?" Blue Ranger asked. Wordlessly, Eileen nodded. "May I come in, ma'am?" She nodded again and stepped aside to let him pass. Inside, they went into the living room and sat down.
"First of all," Blue Ranger told her, "no one is dead. That's not what I'm here to say." He watched as relief swept over her in a visible wave. "But, I do have some bad news. Your husband and older son are missing. They were caught in a monster attack and sent somewhere else. We're doing everything in our power to find them, and I'm sure they'll be okay. The Green Ranger went with them, and if anyone can protect your family, he can."
She smiled wryly at him. "Thank you for coming. As bad as the news is, it's infinitely better than not knowing anything. Besides, Trevor's no slouch at protecting himself, either. I'm sure they'll be just fine."
Blue Ranger nodded, rising to his feet. "Thanks for understanding, ma'am. I promise you, we will find them." With that he left the house and teleported back to the Power Chamber, wondering as he did so how he would inform this woman if Adam and his dad didn't make it.
Staring up at the unfamiliar stars above them, Trevor Park sighed. "My wife is going to be having a cow over my whereabouts."
Green Ranger shook his head. "Time passes differently when you travel the dimensions. I think that time in this one is longer than time in ours. On our world, we probably won't be missing more than a day, if that. Besides, the Rangers will tell her what happened to you, and will reassure her that they'll bring you back. She'll be fine."
Trevor sighed. "I hope so. I hope I get to see her again. I've really got a great family- but you don't want to listen to an old man ramble on," he cut himself off.
Green Ranger chuckled. "Old? You're what, forty-five? That's hardly old. Besides, I'd like to hear about your family. You obviously love them very much."
Smiling slightly, Trevor nodded. "Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you. My wife is beautiful, smart, and tough- very tough. She had to be. Her father was a sulsa, which is the Korean equivalent of a ninja. He taught all of his children martial arts, and some of the things he had picked up from U.S. Marines who were in the area. She's accustomed to taking care of herself, and is deadly with almost any kind of weapon.
"My older boy, Adam, is the quiet, sensitive type. He doesn't let anyone push him around, though. He became interested in martial arts as a young boy, when he was picked on by the other kids. Now he's even teaching me a few things. Adam's smart, but he's so shy. Sometimes too shy for his own good. He'd known his current girlfriend for months before he asked her out. I don't understand him at all, but I'm very proud of him
"My younger son is Franklin. His nose is always in a fantasy novel of some sort, unless he's taking kung fu from Adam. Franklin- nobody calls him Frank except Adam- he's the most knowledgeable authority on role-playing games in Angel Grove. He's a good kid, but sometimes his head gets stuck in the clouds.
"Anyway, that's my family. So what about you? Is there someone back home who'll miss you? Not to pry or anything."
Green Ranger laughed. "Oh yes. I have a family back home, and of course the Rangers will miss me. Still, we all knew this could happen, and we've all made arrangements to take care of things. If anything happens, my family will know what happened to me."
"Y'know," Trevor smiled, "I'm a very stubborn man. It's hard for me to admit when I'm wrong. I'll admit it now, though. I was wrong about you Rangers. If you were my son, I'd be very proud of you.
"Thank you, sir," Green Ranger replied gravely. "Your respect means a lot to me."
Trevor chuckled, but did not respond. Still, he wasn't very surprised. The kid reminded him a little of Adam, and Adam had always wanted and needed the respect of adults. The Green Ranger didn't seem to be much different. Thinking about this, Trevor lay back on his bedroll and stared up at the brilliant, alien night sky.
In the Power Chamber, Tanya and Kat were trying their best to locate their missing comrade. Tommy was still healing and was in discussion with Alpha.
"I'm sorry Adam," Alpha said as the healing device caused the Red Ranger to hiss in pain. "The Zeo Crystal normally handles everything, even healing."
"How about teleporting?" Tommy asked.
"Yes," the robot replied.
"That's what happened!" Tommy stated. "Minion used the Zeo Crystal to teleport Adam and Detective Park got pulled along for the ride."
"If that is the case," Zordon boomed, "We will be able to trace the energy signature and establish communications."
Green Ranger and Trevor were standing outside the entrance to the Maze of Shilratha when Green Ranger's communicator toned.
"Hello!" the wristband squawked. "Hello! Green Ranger, do you read me?" Green Ranger couldn't believe it. He had thought he'd never hear Rocky's voice again. Quickly he pressed the "transmit" button.
"Green Ranger here. Man, I'm glad to hear from you."
"Is Detective Park all right? Do you know where you are?" That was Tommy.
"I wish," Green Ranger sighed. "Detective Park is fine. He's even revised his opinion of the Power Rangers. We're the good guys now."
"Will wonders never cease?" Tommy chuckled. "Blue Ranger told Mrs. Park what happened to her husband and son, so she won't be too worried when they come home."
"What about my son?" Trevor asked, grasping Green Ranger's shoulder.
"Adam Park got swept up in the anomaly too," Rocky told them, just the right hint of concern in his voice. "He didn't get drawn all the way in, and we're taking care of him. He's not really hurt, just a little shaken up."
Green Ranger grinned beneath his helmet as he understood what his friend was trying to do. "Got it," he sent. "I think that makes us all feel better. Listen, Zordon, do you know anything about the Maze of Shilratha?"
Zordon's familiar voice boomed from the communicator. "Indeed I do. It was a training ground for the wielders of the Morphin power. At its center is the Eye of Shilratha, a gem of great power that will enable you to get home. First, however, you must reach it. This will not be easy, as teleporting in is impossible and the traps were made lethal when the maze was closed."
"Why was it closed, Zordon?" Green Ranger asked.
"Because Shilratha's Rangers were turned to Darkness and stripped of their powers. The Morphin Masters wished to make sure that no evil person could ever access the Eye again."
Green Ranger turned to Trevor. "Are you up to this?" he asked
"Sure thing. This is the most fun I've had in years," Trevor replied sourly. "Let's go." Slowly, the two made their way into the maze, unsure of what they might find.
Tired, Trevor leaned against a wall to catch his breath. "I feel like I'm stuck in 'The Goonies,'" he grumbled. "Collapsing floors, falling rocks, even the occasional, extremely cliche closing-in wall trick! What next?"
"Don't ask," Green Ranger chuckled. "You probably don't want to know." Silently, Green Ranger thanked whatever Powers existing that of all the people to get swept up in this adventure with him, his companion had been his father. Between the two of them, they had had the necessary skills to bypass each trap. Trevor had shot the switch that stopped the walls from closing in, Green Ranger had been able to vault off the collapsing floors before they fell, and they had both spied the trigger stones for the falling rocks. Now, the corridor before them looked clear, but neither of them was foolish enough to trust appearances.
Cautiously, Green Ranger picked up a rock and rolled it down the hallway. Nothing happened. He gingerly took a step forward, then another. Still, nothing appeared. Suddenly Trevor's hand shot out and grabbed the Ranger's shoulder in a vise-like grip.
"Wait. I hear something." Picking up a somewhat larger rock, he dropped it straight down. The weight and pressure caused spikes to shoot up from under the stones. "I heard them setting themselves," Trevor explained. "Come on. I'll set them off and you can shoot them with that pistol thing you carry."
In this manner, Green Ranger and Trevor managed to reach the center of the maze. There, they found the Eye of Shilratha floating in an energy field. "With that, I can power up my communicator enough to teleport us home," Green Ranger whispered. Trevor simply nodded, awestruck by the sight of the gem. The Eye was a hunk of topaz approximately the size of a man's head, glowing with a soft, golden light. As Green Ranger reached for it, there was a crackling noise, and the two men whirled to see Minion standing behind them.
"I thought no one could teleport in here!" Trevor cried.
"He's a hologram," responded Green Ranger. "What do you want, Minion?"
"I want the Eye, of course," replied the villain, grinning evilly. "What else would I want?"
"You're not going to get it," Trevor growled. "There's no way either of us would let a creep like you at so much power."
"Ah, but Detective Park, I believe I have something that you'll want to make a trade for."
"What?" Trevor asked, in his deadly "interrogation" voice.
"This." The hologram changed to show a scene of Adam, struggling with the Tengas. He fought bravely, but was soon overwhelmed. The Tengas teleported him to a cave in which he was imprisoned. "The choice is yours, Detective," Minion's voice continued. "Give me the Eye, or your son will become a meal for my Tengas. Simply take the stone and throw it through the holographic gate."
"Adam," Trevor whispered in a pained voice.
Green Ranger looked at his horrified father. Minion had hatched a truly fiendish plot this time. Trevor had no way of knowing that his son was standing beside him, and according to Zordon's rules, he couldn't be told. Minion was betting that Trevor's dislike of the Rangers and love for his son would win out over his honour. The frightening thing was that Green Ranger couldn't be sure that the villain was wrong.
"You can't give him that stone," Green Ranger said quietly.
Furious, Trevor whirled on the younger man. "That's my son! I can't just leave him to become bird bait!"
"Would he want you to give up that stone?"
"Yes! No- I don't know. I only know that if I don't, my son will die."
Green Ranger shook his head. "No he won't. Minion isn't holding Adam prisoner. It was an illusion."
"And just how do you know that?"
"The Rangers were guarding him. Do you really think that they'd let Tengas run off with your son?"
Trevor scoffed. "Oh, and I suppose you've never lost anyone you were guarding." Green Ranger did not reply, and Trevor sighed. "That was low, and I'm sorry. The point is, we can't know that he doesn't have Adam, and I can't take the chance. I have to give him the Eye."
Green Ranger sighed as well. It looked as though the choice had been made. "No, you don't. I'm telling you, I know that he doesn't have your son."
"How?" Trevor cried, frustrated. "How do you know that?"
"Because I'm right here, Dad." Slowly, Green Ranger removed his helmet. Trevor Park gaped as his older son's familiar face stared back at him.
"ADAM? You're a Power Ranger?" Adam nodded. "How long has this been going on?"
Adam laughed. "About a year and a half now, Dad. Right after we moved to Angel Grove."
"Was a Power Ranger," Minion corrected. "This was a no win situation. Either I gained the Eye or you found out your precious son was one of the people you hate. And now he's broken Zordon's little rule he's bound to be stripped of the Power."
Trevor shook his head. "I don't hate the Power Rangers. Yesterday that plan might have worked. But I know this Ranger and I know Adam; and I could never hate my son." He turned to Adam and grinned. "Fathers are always the last to know. I wish you hadn't lied to me, but I understand. I'm glad you're all right. Let's go home."
"And you're wrong about me Minion," Adam stated. "Zordon put those rules in place because he was afraid the original Rangers would abuse their powers. He wouldn't strip them from me for breaking a promise, especially when it was for a selfless purpose."
Adam nodded again, and the two men laid their hands on the Eye. Forming their wish, they instantly disappeared and were on their way to Earth, and the Power Chamber.
Trevor and Adam reappeared in the Chamber, much to the consternation of the Rangers, who were not wearing their helmets. Before a word could be spoken, Adam raised his hands for silence and said, "It's okay, guys. My dad knows about me. I had to tell him to keep Minion from getting his hands on the Eye."
"It is good to have you back, Adam," Zordon rumbled. "Now, however, I think that you and the other Rangers should teleport to the park. Captain Golem is causing a great deal of trouble."
Tommy nodded. "We're on it, Zordon. Adam, good to have you back, buddy. Back to action!" The Rangers disappeared, leaving Trevor with Zordon, and Alpha.
Zordon smiled. "I know this is a shock for you, Detective Park, so why don't I tell you the whole story? I'll start at the beginning. Ten thousand years ago...."
Trevor listened to Zordon's recounting of the history of the Power Rangers, enthralled, and a little appalled at how blind he had been to the changes in Adam's behaviour. The mentor's story was so interesting that only when the Rangers returned from the battle did Trevor realise how neatly he had been manipulated. He had been so drawn in by the tale that he had completely forgotten to worry about Adam. Now, however, his concern returned in full force.
"Adam, are you all right?" he asked.
Adam nodded. "Sure, Dad. I'm fine. Listen, I'm sorry I never told you about this, but-"
Trevor cut him off. "Adam, I understand. I don't like the idea of you lying to me, but I understand why you did it. Now that I know, however, I don't ever want you lying to me again, understand?"
"Yes sir," Adam grinned. Then he demorphed. "We should head home. Mom is probably tearing her hair out over what happened to us. What on earth are we going to tell her?"
Trevor grinned. "You let me handle your mother, Adam. C'mon, let's go home." With that, the two men teleported out.
A day later, at the station, Trevor had explained his unexpected absence to Rick and his captain, and related his story to all the fascinated policemen. The story he told was the truth, but with everything that could point to Adam's identity edited out. After ribbing Trevor good-naturedly about his reversal of opinion on the Power Rangers, most of the officers returned to their jobs. Sitting down to some paperwork, Trevor smiled at the communicator he now wore on his wrist, just in case. After all, what kind of father didn't support his son?
Minion stood on the cliffs overlooking Angel Grove; on his figure was perched a small bird. His plan had failed and resulted in the Rangers gaining a new ally in Detective park. Still, it had been fun and while the Rangers were distracted he had learnt the location of the first crystal. Now all he had to do was fetch it and the Earth would tremble. He glanced at the bird and teleported away. A pile of burnt feathers drifted to the ground.
The battle was far from over.