Disclaimer: Saban owns the Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Beetleborgs, VR Troopers and probably a large number of other things as well. I am using their characters without permission and for no profit whatsoever. Ellen Brand owns Chelsea and Teddy Oliver and I thank her again for letting me use them occasionally. The Doctor, Master, TARDIS, UNIT and Validium are all creations of Terry Nation and appeared in the BBC series Doctor Who. North Valley comes from the series Super Human Samurai Cyber Squad. Queen of the Crown was the villain from Galaxy Rangers and is owned by Saban. Mandarin is owned by Marvel and Golobulus belongs to whoever created Action Force the Movie.
Timeline: This story is immediately after cliffhanger at the end of Rangers Gone Psycho Part 3.
Authors Note: Anything written like ~this~ is a thought, anything like -this- is a conversation Sam is eaves dropping on, [this] is a computer message and anything appearing like *this* is a mental telepathic message.
This story is an alternate version of the Conquest of Evil series. In this place events start after the end of Zeo and before the Turbo movie.
10 July 1996
Some things in life are a must watch. Just moments earlier the many people in the Universe had been unable to stop watching. Every eye had been on the scenes unfolding, the innocent boy, the ruthless Minion waiting to execute him and the six Zeo Rangers lying on the floor, and wondered if the Rangers could find the strength to save the human or simply let the boy die.
The Rangers of Earth were legendary throughout the Universe for fighting three of the worst villains ever known. Even though Earth was considered the most barbaric back water in existence and strictly speaking the Rangers defending the planet should not have been from Earth, they had done such a good job defending their world they held the respect of the Galactic Council and the fear of the UAE.
On Eltare the entire High Command of the Morphin Rangers, including the powerful Morphin Masters, had gathered for an emergency session. On Triforia Trey’s subjects watched their ruler, hoping he would survive his ordeal. On Onyx the UAE watched in anticipation of the Rangers’ demise. Dark Spectre wondered if maybe he had underestimated Minion.
On Earth the sight of his or her heroes undergoing such vile torture transfixed everybody. In London the Speaker suspended Parliament so she could watch. Throughout the world leaders stopped working to watch the most important issue of the day. Armed forces led by NATO and UNIT were placed on full alert in case Minion succeeded in committing his latest atrocity.
Earth had many issues to face, famine; war; natural disasters and crime among them. But at that moment in time, the idea that an alien would have the nerve to execute someone just to defeat his enemies, took priority. The immediate outrage quickly faded to be replaced by concern. If Minion succeeded in destroying the Zeo Rangers what chance did they have against his power?
In the Power Chamber Zordon and his eight Rangers looked on as their teammates faced certain death and they were helpless to act.
And in the Prison Sub-dimension six Rangers looked on as Minion started his count. Behind him Silvo and Bronzo were waiting for the master’s orders.
“One…” Adam stared stupidly at the weapon in front of him.
“Two…” Trey reached out to the blaster. He wondered why everything was suddenly moving in slow motion.
“Three…” Kat’s fingers touched her blaster and stayed there, unmoving. She wondered suddenly why she’d put them there.
“Four…” Rocky tried to reason with himself. He had the blaster in his hand; all he had to do was shoot. So why couldn’t he?”
“Five…” Aisha realised she was terrified, afraid of failing, afraid of dying. Sobbing, she let the gun fall.
Minion had not lied to the Rangers. A single shot would be enough to kill him. All the Rangers had to do was fire. ~I hope I have not underestimated them,~ he thought as he reached six. The Rangers only had second left. A simple movement and it would all be over.
For those watching outside of Stone Henge, time seemed to move slowly. They heard Minion reach six and then everything went black. They saw a flash of light and heard the blaster shots, but nobody, not even Zordon and the Rangers watching from the Power Chamber knew what had happened.
It had been a long journey through Time, Space and virtually every reality. Now the object was directed to a new home, a mirror image of its home reality where it felt the call of this reality’s incarnation of its first master. Once a symbol of the light, then used for evil and then severed from its power before its twin was created, it had endured. Its twin had travelled to the past, but had been reunited with the original and helped a clone find the right course. Then it had been collected and given a new purpose, to seek out the Shadow Mages and lead their journey of discovery.
Many lives had been touched during its journey, eight of them had felt the pull that had drawn it to this reality. They fought for neither good nor evil, only to maintain the balance of whichever reality they happened to find themselves inhabiting. Each had been granted limited control – for as they had learnt from their mentors, limitations helped to prevent them from growing overconfident – of one of the fundamental forces of existence. They were anomalies, gathered from a timeline they had helped to ensure never existed, now serving as a safeguard to ensure that just as the darkness would never swallow existence, so the light would never blaze so brightly that it would oppress those around it.
Their Shadow Mage powers gave them the tools they needed, the coin that had guided them from one reality to the next, had granted them additional protection by shaping their powers into those of Rangers. They wore suits of orange with only a few hints of colour on their shoulders to set them apart.
Yes, it had been an interesting journey, but this journey was different. Where before they had travelled randomly from reality to reality, on this occasion they had been directed by a being very similar to the one who had gathered them. He had explained to them that unlike the many other realities they had travelled to, this one was in terrible danger. He had asked them to save it and while they did not for a moment believe that he cared for the many innocents that would die if they failed to act, they had agreed.
And that was why the object, the Green Power Coin, had led them to this strange Earth, where it had sensed that the echo its original living owner needed its help. In a flash of grey, the coin disappeared, heading for the Prison Sub-dimension.
Prison Sub-dimension, Stone Henge
Minion had never intended to spare the boy’s life. His time spent travelling through the numerous dimensions in search of Zords had revealed the threat the youth posed. In one Universe, he had become a Ranger of some description and had become the equivalent of Billy Cranston. Such an occurrence could not be allowed to happen in his dimension. Minion remembered how good it had felt to kill the boy the first time he had met him. He was certain that the second time would feel just as satisfying.
Minion pushed his fist hard into the base of the young man’s neck and gave the boy’s head a sharp twist. With a sickening crack, the neck was broken. His empty eyes rolled back in the boy’s head as Minion discarded the body as though it was nothing.
That was enough for the Zeo Rangers. Their anger boiled over as they leapt at the still defenceless Minion. He tried to raise his defences in time, but the Rangers were already upon him. Their blasters fired, striking his body with their deadly energy. When all the blasting had stopped Minion still stood ready for a fight.
“Fools,” he spat. “I said I would drop my defences and that one shot from these blasters would kill me. But, I never said the blasters were fully charged.”
“It seems I still need to teach you some respect,” Minion said.
Drawing his Sword of Darkness, Minion attacked the powerless Rangers. A savage rage filled Minion as he discarded those who dared to stand in his way. First Kat, then Aisha and finally Adam were thrown to the floor. Trey put up some resistance, but the constant stretching had weakened the muscles in his body making it difficult for him to move. With a few well-aimed kicks Minion dropped Trey to his knees.
Rocky was next on Minion’s hate list. Rocky was in his opinion an insult to the name Blue Ranger. The Blue Ranger was supposed to be the wisdom and knowledge within the team, but Rocky was a goof. First he had stolen Jason’s place on the team and then Billy’s spot on the Zeo team. Forgotten was the fact Billy had given up his powers willingly as had Jason.
Rocky had been trained to fight as a ninja, a fact that had helped him when taking over from Jason. He might not have had the size and power that Jason possessed, but he had the skills to take out a larger opponent. Minion on the other hand had the cumulative fighting skills of all those who had touched the pyramid on Onyx. That plus the power of the Lin Kuei Crystal and the Sword of Darkness made him deadly.
Instead of fighting him move for move Minion intensified the power of his blows. As a result the best Rocky could manage was the occasional block. Deciding he wanted to finish Tommy, who up until that time had been laid out following a thrust kick, Minion knew it was time to finish off Rocky.
First he lifted the Rocky into a bear hug, determined to crack the ex-Blue Zeo Ranger’s spine. Then he drove Rocky into the ground so the base of his spine took the brunt of the punishment. Finishing with a kick to the stomach Minion turned his attention to his real target. There was no way he was going to let Tommy leave the Prison Dimension alive.
Of all the Zeo Rangers Minion knew Tommy would be taking the death the hardest. The Red Zeo Ranger had a guilt complex that would never allow him to forgive himself for failing to save the boy. It would eat away at Tommy for the rest of his life, which thanks to Minion was going to last only a few short minutes.
Despite having no powers and broken ribs Tommy actually managed to put up a fight against Minion. He could not out-power the villain, but he could outsmart him. He noticed that Minion was attempting to punch whilst holding the Sword of Darkness in his hand. The result was the punches were clumsy and lacking power. Tommy found he could predict Minion’s movements and used it to his advantage.
Grabbing Minion’s hand in mid punch Tommy threw Minion to the ground. As the villain stood up again Tommy used a few flying spin kicks to keep Minion away from him until so he could recover some strength. Every movement hurt his ribs, every time he hit Minion he injured himself further.
“Thanks for the workout, Bro,” Minion said, using the name Tommy and Jason used when addressing each other. “But I have a world to conquer and you’re in the way.”
No more words were needed. Minion started a deadly dance, rotating his sword in the air until he was ready and then striking with a clean and deadly blow. The Sword cut into Tommy’s chest, damaging his heart and other organs. But Minion was not done. He continued to strike Tommy repeatedly with the tip of his sword, driving it deeper until he was sure Tommy would die. Then he discarded the body as easily as he had the child’s just minutes before.
Walking over to each of the Rangers’ bodies he drove his sword into their hearts. Six humans and one Triforian ruler were slaughtered with the minimum of effort.
Pain, that was what Tommy was feeling. He remembered the sensation first and then the reason. His body was supposed to have been skewered by the Sword of Darkness. He should have been dead, but he was not. He was alive and in great pain. The question was why? Ranger healing was fast and effective, but Tommy doubted it could deal with death. That meant something else was keeping him alive, but what?
A faint burning sensation caught his attention. It wasn’t from his chest wound. The burning was from his right hand. He suddenly noticed he was holding something. Opening his hand he discovered it was a Power Coin. His Green Power Coin, and it was waiting for him to use it.
“Drag-” The words were so tempting to say, but so wrong at the same time.
This was not the same coin he had once used to power the mighty Dragonzord. This coin was about balance. Tommy had used it before to draw from light and darkness. Now he needed to draw from the shadows. The knowledge came from the coin. It could not link him to the Grid, but could give him Ranger powers one last time. Then the coin and Thomas Oliver would die together.
~This is not an offer of power,~ Tommy realised. ~This is one last chance to defeat Minion before I die.~
“Shadow Dragon Power!”
Minion stood over the fallen Rangers, savouring his victory and ready to finish the task he had started not long before, the complete conquest of the Universe.
“Not so fast Minion!” a vaguely familiar voice called.
Turning, Minion was confronted by eight warriors. Had it not been for their orange uniforms he might have thought them to be Power Rangers, but since there were no orange Power Rangers he assumed they were Shadow Mages. From the way the Ranger spoke to him Minion wondered if they had met in the past.
“Do I know you?” he asked helpfully, trying to read what was beneath the masks.
“We’ve met,” the silver armoured Ranger said. “And last time you destroyed our friend’s world.”
“Obviously a different Minion, but still it sounds like something I’d do,” Minion admitted. “I’d love to get acquainted, but this world is waiting to be conquered and I’m running late. So, if you would all just line up, I’ll kill you quickly and move on.”
Minion drew the Sword of Darkness and attacked. The eight Shadow Mages responded by surrounding him and fighting back. At first they appeared to all used swords, but slowly five of them revealed their true weapons.
“Water Blast!” the blue armoured Water Mage called as he attacked.
The three-pronged trident he carried glowed as the Water Mage attacked. The trident channelled all the water it could find and directed it at Minion. The high-pressure water struck Minion in the chest, forcing him back.
“Freeze!” Water Mage commanded.
The water-cooled, leaving Minion encased in a block of ice. Minion’s eyes glowed as he gathered his strength and shattered the ice.
“This ought to warm things up,” the red armoured Fire Mage said. “Fireball!”
His extra large broadsword spat balls of flaming liquid at the now fully thawed Minion. Minion raised his sword in response and batted the fireballs away as if they were nothing.
The fireballs were absorbed into the Fire Mage’s armour as he prepared for his next attempt. “Towering Inferno!”
A tower of flames reached up towards the sky before falling back towards Minion, engulfing him in flames. Raising the Sword of Darkness over his head Minion created a vacuum to extinguish the fire.
“Tornado Punch!” the Air Mage called.
The green armoured Ranger seemed to vanish from sight as his molecules were accelerated. Spinning his chain mace over his head, Air Mage allowed the weapon to build up momentum before using it to strike Minion several times a second. Minion responded by teleporting away into the spot Terra Mage had prepared for him.
Swinging his club to strike the ground Terra Mage caused Minion to fall back.
“Daniel now!” Omega Mage called.
Alpha Mage prepared for his own personal attack perfected through training until it was perfect. “Teleport now!”
The Shadow Mages, Zeo Rangers, the young boy and Minion were teleported out of the Dark Dimension and into Angel Grove. Silvo and Bronzo exchanged confused looks as they looked to the cells where the VR Troopers and Beetleborgs were still being held.
The Rangers crowded around Billy as he struggled to reestablish the link between the Viewing Screen and Minion. Suddenly the alarm sounded, warning the Rangers of a new arrival in Angel Grove.
“It’s Minion,” Billy said. “And it looks like he has some company.”
On the screen the Rangers could make out the forms of the Zeo Rangers all lying on the ground and another lying dead not far away.
“Let’s get out there,” Jason said. “It’s Morphin Time!”
“White Ranger Power!”
“Black Ranger Power!”
“Pink Ranger Power!”
“Blue Ranger Power!”
“Yellow Ranger Power!”
“Red Ranger Power!”
“Purple Ranger Power!”
“Green Ranger Power!”
“Teleporting now,” Alpha told them.
In eight columns of light the Rangers teleported away, heading away to avenge their friends’ deaths. Before they reached their destination, the Rangers had already summoned their Power Weapons for combat.
“Power Axe!” Black Ranger called, appearing next to Minion and swiping at him with his axe in single-handed mode. “Cosmic Cannon!” he added converting his weapon and throwing it into the air.
“Power Bow!” Pink Ranger shouted. She fired two arrows and then struck Minion with her bow before throwing it into the air to join the Power Axe.
“Power Lance!” Blue Ranger said as he struck Minion in the chest. He delivered two more blows and then split the lance in half, jabbed Minion with both parts before throwing it into the air to join the Power Axe and Power Bow.
“Power Daggers!” Yellow Ranger said. As she threw her daggers, Purple Ranger appeared behind the villain with her weapon. “Power Nunchuks!”
“Saba!” “Power Sword!” “Dragon Blade!” White, Red and Green Rangers called.
The three Rangers attacked at the same time, forcing Minion to reach down deep and draw the power from his Dark Dimension. After blocking each blow Minion turned to face his adversaries. For the first time he had been tested and forced to expend a large amount of power on the sixteen Rangers.
“The time has come to finish this,” He said. “It’s time you felt the full power of the Dark Dimension.”
Raising his hand Minion summoned his vortex. Alpha and Omega Mage exchanged glances. The vortex was different to the one they had seen before. It was larger and surrounded by a black void.
“Finish the Power Blaster!” Red Ranger called, sliding the Power Sword into position.
Green Ranger stuck his sword onto the base of the Power Blaster’s barrel. Purple Ranger draped the chain of her Nunchuks over the barrel. The two ends joined together underneath to provide an addition handle. As Saba sank into the ground, his mouth opened wide and then closed around the handle of the Nunchuks.
“Fire!” all eight Rangers called.
Eight beams of coloured light burst from the Power Blaster, but before they could touch Minion the beams were sucked into the Dark Dimension.
“Power Cannon!” the Rangers called as the Power Blaster disassembled and the weapons were place back in subspace. The blast had a similar effect, as the Dark Dimension grew even larger.
“Back to base?” Green Ranger asked.
Red Ranger nodded in reply, signalling for the Shadow Mages to join them.
While the eight Rangers placed their dead companions in the medical bay, Zordon had the opportunity to speak with the Omega and Alpha Mages.
“And you believe that when the Dark Dimension is sealed recent events will change?”
“Very slightly,” Daniel told him. “They will live, but everything else will remain the same. The outcome of their confrontation with Minion will change as well, although I’m not sure how.”
“Our — mentor could have explained it better,” Oscar added. “But we don’t understand the process enough to explain it.”
“And how do you propose to defeat Minion?” Billy asked, entering the chamber.
“First you need to remember Minion is only a creation of Zedd and Rita,” Water Mage told him. “He was originally a clone monster of one of the Ranger, but they destroyed him. But Minion was not prepared to die. Because he was morphed when Tommy and the others destroyed him he was able to gain control of the Dark Dimension and reopen it over Stone Henge. The Jackal, the twisted animal guide for the Blue Ranger, powers him. But it is the Lin Kuei Crystal that allows him to draw energy and the Sword of Darkness that allows him to focus the energy. Destroy either the sword or the crystal and Minion will cease.”
“Is there any other way?” Trini asked.
“Well, we could force him into the vortex and then try to seal it,” Oscar said.
“The problem is that we would require a massive surge of power to even begin closing the vortex,” Water Mage explained.
“Alpha Five and I will work on a way to close the vortex,” Zordon told the Rangers. “For now I suggest you all take the time to demorph and recharge your powers. Since you are visitors to this reality, you will no doubt be experiencing the strain of using your powers. It might be worth resting your bodies as well.”
The still morphed Shadow Mages nodded and slowly demorphed.
“Power of the Alpha, Cease!” Oscar called as he returned to his civilian clothes. “I’m Oscar Barrett,” he said.
“Power of Water, Cease!” The blue armoured orange ranger uniform was replaced by an Asian youth with black hair. “I’m Bruce Chen, Water Mage,” he explained.
“Power of Fire, Cease!” In place of the red armoured Fire Mage stood a black hair boy with deep brown eyes. “Scott Baker.”
“Power of Air, Cease!” The green armour and orange body fell away to reveal a shaven headed African American. “Clyde Sinclair,” he said shaking Jason by the hand.
“Power of the Earth, Cease! Lee Jones,” he said as his black and orange armour faded.
“Power of Nature, Cease!” Billy’s mouth dropped open as he looked at the Ranger standing before him. With her blonde hair tied back and metal framed glasses he felt himself being drawn towards her. “Cassandra Long,” she said. Her words were short and to the point.
“Power of Lightning, Cease!” Yellow and orange armour transformed back into civilian clothes as to reveal the long brown hair of Christina Croft.
“Power of the Omega, Cease!” Daniel was glad to finally be out of his uniform. “They call me Dan.”
After the Rangers had introduced themselves, the sixteen Rangers sat down to discuss how to finish Minion. The biggest problem was that Minion seemed able to draw infinite power from the Dark Dimension, causing it to grow larger every time he used its power.
“Wait a minute,” Jason said. “If the Dark Dimension gets larger every time he draws on it, what happens to the void?”
“It would grow proportionally larger at an accelerated rate and eventually seal off the vortex,” Lee said.
“So if we force Minion to use his powers until the vortex is sealed, we could push him into the void,” Trini said.
“We need something to lure him into using his powers,” Oscar said.
The Rangers split up to find solutions to their problem. Whilst they did so Billy took Lee aside and asked a question that had been bothering him. “You said Minion was a clone holding the Blue Ranger powers. Is he my clone?”
Lee nodded sadly. “He was created sometime during your time as the Blue Thunder Ranger. He used the powers to free himself and then found a way to manipulate the UAE to his advantage. He is every bit as clever and cunning as you are, but lacks all your positive emotions.”
Billy nodded in understanding and prepared to check on the Zords. He was interrupted when Minion appeared on the Viewing Screen.
“Rangers or mages, Morphin and Shadow, I give you a choice: face me now, or I will destroy your miserable planet.”
“Let’s make this the last time,” Oscar said.
Once morphed the Rangers teleported away, leaving the Power Chamber empty. And, totally unaware of the fact Tommy had just risen from the dead and opened his eyes.
As soon as they arrived, the Omega and Alpha Mages used the double team attack, which had brought them victory on so many occasions in the past.
A cyclone of water grew from the tip of the Water Mage’s trident. It stayed suspended in the air as the other Shadow Mages called forth their powers.
A column of fire rose around the waterspout evaporating it into steam. Before the steam could dissipate, Air Mage added his own power to the mix.
The power of wind surrounded the steam and directed it over to where Minion was standing. Superheated steam surrounded Minion, burning him and causing him to catch fire.
With her weapon still in sword form the Lightning Mage fired bolt after bolt of lightning into the steam. Electricity and water mixed, seeping through the holes in Minion’s armour the fire had created. Minion screamed in agony as his skin began to boil.
Terra Mage struck the ground with his club, creating a crack in the ground and bringing Minion to his knees. Deciding the time had arrived to bury their opponent she pointed her club first at the ground and then at Minion.
A large pillar of rock and dirt ploughed into Minion’s face. Crumbling on contact it buried Minion under a pile of rubble.
“Bind him!” Nature Mage ordered.
From inside the rubble vines and weeds started to grow, surrounding Minion’s arms and legs and strapping them into the ground. More vines started to surround the fallen villain, creating a cocoon.
Directing the power of the wind, Air Mage lifted into the air and was pushed towards the void. Then, the victory was over and Minion broke free.
“Pathetic humans,” he hissed. “Do you really believe you can defeat me when I have the entire Dark Dimension to draw on?”
Black crystals formed around the vines, which then exploded outwards and away from the villain. Lightning burst from Minion’s chest, striking each of the Shadow Mages who had attacked him.
In his haste to destroy the Shadow Mages Minion had overlooked Jason and the others waiting patiently for their shot. The Power Sword was thrust towards the coin on Minion’s chest, but deflected by the Sword of Darkness. The battle resembled the fight between Red Ranger and the original Green Ranger a few years before. Jason remembered how he had defeated Tommy on that occasion and tried the same trick with Minion. The plan worked in disarming Minion, but Jason found the Sword of Darkness impossible to destroy.
“Red Ranger Armour!”
A medieval knight’s armour dropped to the ground in front of Red Ranger. The back of the armour opened, allowing Red Ranger to step into his armour. Once inside the armour closed around him and modified itself to become even more effective against Minion. The armour bulked up in size to provide extra power, sacrificing more of the Red Ranger’s speed.
Pulling back his fist and jumping slightly, the Red Ranger drove Minion into the using all his power. A second blow and for the first time ever Minion looked like he was close to destruction. Wrapping his hand around Minion’s wrist, the Red Ranger squeezed. Minion dropped the Sword of Darkness to the ground, giving the Red Ranger a chance to kick it away.
“Green Ranger Armour!”
Armoured plating started to connect to the various body parts of the Green Ranger. Mechanical boosters attached themselves to the armour giving the Green Ranger the extra power he needed. He fired four right-hand punches, followed by a left uppercut and right hook. Minion staggered backwards, but the Green Ranger was not finished. He drop kicked Minion using the power boosters on his legs to drive his feet into Minion’s skull.
“So you like armour do you?” Minion asked as he recovered from the shots he had received. “Let’s see how you like my new armour. Robo Troopers!”
All of Minion’s Robo Troopers appeared briefly before melting and joining with Minion’s body. Combined with another boost from the Dark Dimension the new armour made Minion stronger than he was before. He knocked Red and Green Ranger away with a single blow.
From a distance Purple Ranger attacked, using her Power Nunchuks to strike Minion in the small of his back. White Ranger was already airborne, using his momentum to bicycle kick Minion. As he landed, he used Saba to cause more damage.
Yellow Ranger handed her Power Daggers to Pink Ranger and Black Ranger handed his Power Axe to Blue Ranger. As Pink Ranger fired the Power Daggers, Blue Ranger fired the Cosmic Cannon. Black Ranger had taken Blue Ranger’s Power Lance and used it to fight Minion at close range.
“Thunder Clap!” Black Ranger called.
“Rolling Thunder!” Yellow Ranger called.
Once again Minion was engulfed in lightning, this time with the added noise of thunder. Minion dropped to the ground from the assault. As he regained his footing, he failed to notice Green Ranger moving into position under his knees. Red Ranger delivered yet another punch and sent Minion over the Green Ranger.
“Surround him!” Red Ranger called. “Blade Blasters up!”
Surrounding Minion on all sides, the Rangers fired. Their blasts ripped into the villain. After their first attempt to destroy him failed, Red Ranger realised they needed a new plan.
“Oscar, you with us?” From the sound of the Shadow Mages’ groaning Jason assumed they were almost recovered. “The void is growing larger. We have to get him in there soon.”
Inside the Power Chamber Zordon detected the void seconds before it swept into his own dimension. His face vanished from the plasma tube as the void entered the Power Chamber, destroying everything except the almost conscious Thomas Oliver.
“Now it ends,” Minion said, standing up. “I have given you all a chance to take your best shots, but now I am tired of defeating you. It’s time to grow up!”
Minion suddenly grew to full size and drew the Sword of Darkness once again. Driving the large blade into the ground and reaching into the Dark Dimension Minion sent all his power into the ground. Beneath the Earth’s surface the planet started to crack. Cities sank into the ground as millions lost their lives.
The oceans boiled as more and more of Minion’s power flowed into the ground. Soon the Earth was reduced to a small asteroid floating in the dead sky.
In the background the void had absorbed all of the Earth and the Dark Dimension, leaving only the Rangers, Shadow Mages, Tommy and one other. Minion sensed all eighteen possible opponents and was suddenly certain that victory was his.
Nekron looked into the sky and saw that the end was coming. He had allowed Minion a chance to prove himself and had been let down. Minion was not going to destroy all life in the name of evil; he was going to destroy everything in the name of revenge. Such an action could not be tolerated and the demon chose to act.
He had separated himself from the Taanya, leaving the Psycho Ranger to die. But now the time had come for him to finish Minion. The demon knew that if Minion was destroyed time would change, there was a good chance that the Age of Darkness he desired would never come to pass, but with other willing servants close by, he would be able to take control of things elsewhere whilst they conquered the Earth.
All that was needed was a vessel. He looked over the battlefield and saw the Rangers fighting. Any of them would have made good vessels, but there was one who had yet to act and he would make an excellent vessel. Nekron sat back and awaited his opportunity.
Raising his sword one last time Minion prepared to finish the Rangers. His blow was stopped as a new opponent drove its lance into his stomach.
“When did you summon the Dragon Mega Shuttlezord?” Red Ranger asked his green teammate.
“I didn’t!” Green Ranger replied.
He tried to teleport into the Zord’s cockpit, but found the beam blocked. Somebody else had taken control of the Zord. Minion responded quickly to the high-powered Zord, eventually driving his sword into the head and slicing the Zord in half.
“I call on Auric the Conqueror!” Red Ranger called, holding the small golden key Tanya had once given to him.
The magical Tiki of Auric the Conqueror rose from the ground and started to transform into warrior mode.
“I am Auric the Conqueror, defender of all that is good and true! Who requires my assistance?”
After Red Ranger had explained, Auric flew off to battle Minion, his sword in hand. It was a brief and brutal battle and although Auric was slain the Rangers had little time to grieve. Minion was starting to weaken and they needed to keep up the pressure while they still had a chance.
“We need Ninja Zords, now!”
“Okay Rangers, bring them together,” Red Ranger instructed. “Ninja MegaFalconzord!”
“Ninja Battlezord!” Green Ranger called.
The Crane started to fold to form the head while at the same time the Frog transformed to become the legs and the Bear converted to become the Ninja MegaFalconzord’s upper body. The already modified Ape and Wolf joined onto the Bear to form the arms as the Crane linked on to become the head. Then the whole upper body joined onto the Frog as the Falcon Zord linked onto the back. Hands formed over the Ape and Wolf’s heads.
The Panther Zord transformed to stand upright on its hind legs. The head rotated downwards to become the chest and the front paws became the arms. The Hawk Zord’s wings and head folded into the body as the Hawk Zord joined onto the shoulders of the Panther to become the head of the Ninja Battlezord. The Panther’s tail converted into a Power Sword as Purple and Green Rangers slid into the cockpit ready for action.
The eight recovering Shadow Mages summoned their own humanoid shaped Zords. As the Rangers stepped inside, the Zords closed around them.
First up was the Alpha Sentinel, a silver humanoid armed with a blaster barrel on its right arm. Following behind was the Air Sentinel, a green shield humanoid equipped with a pair of wings allowing flight. The Aqua Sentinel was ready for action. The high-pressure hoses attached to its shoulders highlighted the blue shelled body. A three-pronged harpoon attached to its left hand and was ready to fire. Finally came the Pyro Sentinel. Four pipes guided a flamethrower over its red body.
The second set of Shadow Zords grouped on the far side of Minion. The Omega Guardian stood tall, its golden armour reflecting in the light. The claw on its arm was ready for action. The Terra Guardian was prepped for action. The all black humanoid was equipped with a pile driver on each arm. The Lightning Guardian and Nature Guardian were both armed with swords. The yellow Lightning Guardian held a sword resembling a lightning bolt and the Pink Nature Guardian held a simple sword.
“Jason, we’ll keep him busy whilst you finish him,” Omega Mage said as the eight Shadow Zords attacked.
Even in his weakened state Minion still managed to hold his own against the Shadow Zords. Eventually they managed to hold him, allowing the Battlezord to attack and the Ninja MegaFalconzord to use its diving fist attack. Before the MegaFalconzord struck though Minion moved, throwing both the Alpha Sentinel and Nature Guardian into the Megazord’s path.
Using the Sword of Darkness he damaged the remaining Sentinels and Guardians, causing them to cease functioning. Omega Mage looked up and knew it was time to try to form the elemental protector.
“Let’s Unify!” the Shadow Mages called.
The Terra, Lightning and Nature Guardians joined together to form the legs, the Pyro Sentinel formed the lower torso, the Omega Guardian and Alpha Sentinel merged to form the upper body and finally the Aqua and Air Sentinels formed the arms. For the first time the Shadow Mages discovered what it felt like to be in a real Zord. They were together in the cockpit looking out at their opponent.
“Jason, I’ve summoned the Gem Coin Ultrazord,” Blue Ranger said.
In the distance Red Ranger could see the recently reconstructed Defender, Techno and Sky Megazords along with the Gem Coin Sentinel. At the push of a button the Gem Coin Ultrazord sequence was initiated. The formation started by separating the five Defender Zords. The police car, motorcycle, ambulance and helicopter joined with the Drop Zord to form the top body. The fire engine transformed to become the lower body. The Sky Megazord split in half to form the legs and the Techno Megazord formed the arms. Finally the Sentinel transformed to provide the head, arm guards and chest plate. The various weapons from the Zords attached to the arms and legs, forming the equivalent of a mobile fortress.
It had occurred to all the Rangers that the only way to weaken Minion enough to throw him into the void might be to destroy the Zords and force him to use his remaining power. As the Ultrazord arrived Minion was already trying to summon power from the Dark Dimension.
“There is no Dark Dimension!” Red Ranger shouted at him. “You destroyed it and now you have to be leave.”
“Never!” Minion cried defiantly. “If I cannot conquer this world and my only choice is destruction, I shall take this miserable world with me.”
“Oscar, get the Shadow Zords close and then bail out,” Billy advised. He set the detonator to zero and triggered the self-destruct.
The Zords exploded, the Rangers unconcerned by their loss. If Minion was destroyed as a result then time would restore the Zords. None of the Rangers reappeared, the only area of Earth surviving the void was the spot where the Zords and Minion exploded.
But Minion survived. He rose from the crater, certain there was no more opposition. He was wrong.
He should have been dead, but the Power Coin had preserved him in case its agents failed. He was the last stand of the Universe. If he was beaten then the Universe would be destroyed. It was for that reason he had summoned the Dragon Mega Shuttlezord, but the plan had failed and now he was needed.
Tommy’s armour formed. It was not the colour of any Morphin or Zeo power and was not the design of the Shadow Mages’ uniforms. It was grey and featureless with a sword strapped to the back. Drawing the sword, he realised it was one he had held before, the Sword of Power.
Normally, only six Rangers acting together in body could summon the Sword of Power, spirit and purpose. But he was the Shadow Dragon Ranger and as such rightful owner of the sword.
~The Rangers have failed,~ he thought. ~It is up to me now.~
Teleporting away he knew this battle would cost him more than his powers. It would eventually cost him his life.
He faced off against Minion in the remains of Angel Grove, surrounded by the wreckage of the Zords and fuelled by a desire for revenge. He could now see the scarred face of Bill Cranston’s clone, the one the Rangers had thought destroyed during their time using the Thunder Zords. Looking at the scarred and burnt face Tommy understood how Minion had managed to turn Biilly and why the villain had to die.
Angry at himself for not realising before, Tommy drove his sword forward, aiming for Minion’s cold heart. Without the Dark Dimension to back him up, Minion’s skill in battle was reduced. Tommy changed his aim and attempted to slice off the villain’s hands.
“Who are you?” Minion asked as they fought.
Instead of answering Tommy, tore off his helmet and revealed the face Minion hated with a passion. An evil grin spread across his face as he understood Tommy was alive and that he would have the opportunity to kill him again.
“You don’t get it Tommy do you?” he asked. “You might be good, but I am the supreme evil being in creation. And if I decide to destroy everything, then nobody will stop me.”
As Minion drove the Sword of Darkness into Tommy’s heart, Tommy drove the Sword of Power into Minion’s throat. Minion released the Sword of Darkness as Tommy collapsed, his second chance finished. Minion dove at Tommy, determined to strangle his nemesis. Tommy monkey flipped Minion and pushed him into the void, already aware it was too late. The void had opened too far and Tommy knew he could never seal the rift.
His powers faded as they had in the past and Tommy thought it was a fitting end to gain a new power and then lose it along with his life. He looked up into the darkness one last time and died.
When it came to the afterlife, Tommy had never really believed the image of the pearly gates complete with angels waiting to welcome him home. The man before him was robed in white with a golden aura that seemed comforting and at the same time, wrong.
“Welcome Thomas James Oliver," the man said. "You’re dead, your final act a failure. Yet you died a heroic death and have proven yourself worthy of the peace you lacked in life."
"Gone Thomas, all destroyed by your failure."
"There was nothing I could do," Tommy protested.
"There is always something you can do Thomas!" the man snarled, the gentle appearance was starting to fade as the surrounding grew darker. Tommy was starting to realise that this was not Heaven at all; if anything, this was Hell. "You could have defeated Minion and saved your world, but you refused. You cling to the Light like a baby grasps its blanket, too afraid to embrace the Power as you were destined to do."
"I am not evil!" Tommy snapped defiantly.
"Nor are you of the Light!" the creature – for all pretence of humanity had been dropped, revealing a hideously deformed creature shackled to the darkness my heavy chains – told him, leaning forward so that Tommy could smell its rotten breathe. "You are a good man, Tommy Oliver. Nobody good ever deny that, but your spirit does not belong to the Light, nor sadly can the Darkness claim it. You have served both as pawn and willing avatar because you have been too scared to truly reject one knowing it would mean rejecting the other."
"Then what am I?"
"Why Tommy, you are a means to an end. While there are some who can draw from different parts of the Grid, you alone can draw the light, the dark and the shadow. You alone possess the power to save your friends and I will show you all that you need to access that power, for a price."
“Who are you?” Tommy asked, aware of the fact his body was not responding to his commands.
“I am older than all the beings you have ever met or will ever meet. I am the darkness even the villains fear. I am served on worlds from here to eternity, known by many names, but worshipped as one being. I am the enemy all Rangers fear they will one day face. I am the darkness the lurks in the blackest depths of the Morphin Grid. You may call me Nekron but know that I am Evil. I can see you believe me even if my identity, my very nature, disgusts you. I am all that is left, your last hope and I assure you it pleases me greatly to know that the only way that existence may continue is due to my actions. To have all life in my debt, that would be a worthy prize don’t you think?”
“Name your price and I will pay it," Tommy snarled, realising that if Nekron had his way, the survival of the universe would be a temporary thing at best. "You said before you and I are all that survive, you can’t make the universe acknowledge a debt if it’s dead."
"But you can and you will," came the reply. "I will show you how to repair the damage and you in turn will make the choice: you will either give me the lives of one stranger from every planet that supports life to burn, or you yourself will join me in the darkness."
“What must I do?” Tommy asked.
“You are the last good man in the universe. That alone makes you the Ranger of Light and wielder of the Sword of Light. The Sword of Darkness that ended your mortal existence is your by right of conquest and marks you as the Agent of the Darkness. Your very nature, your power and — heritage, marks you as the Embodiment of Shadow, rightful guardian of the Sword of Power. Behold, the Omni Blade, the unification of the swords, granting the complete power of the Morphin Grid to the one being capable of using it. You are beyond light and dark, and shadow. You are bound to the one being capable of drawing and crossing the lines between good and evil. You are the Dragon. Grasp the sword, embrace your true nature, and use the Power to close the void.”
Knowing he had no choice, Tommy did as he was told. He could feel it. Where before he had occasionally felt the glow of the Morphin Grid like a child sticking his toe into a stream, now it was like standing in a raging torrent. The Power ripped through him, using his coin as a conduit. After a struggle, he directed the massive energies into the Omni Sword, which in turn directed it to the void.
Slowly the void started to close.
As the void closed, Minion was pulled out of the Dark Dimension, the Zords reformed and the Rangers were returned to the Power Chamber. The Shadow Mages were stripped of their powers; their mission was complete although their adventures would likely continue; the Shadow Zords were reduced to a computer file in Billy’s workshop.
Time reversed further, restoring Minion’s victims to life. The process ended where it began with Minion counting to six before executing an innocent. But this time Minion did not hold the Sword of Darkness and he did not reach the end of his count. It seemed that many had missed the moment when Tommy had shifted from a broken Ranger sprawled on the floor with his broken teammates to the powerful warrior that stood defiantly before the counting Minion.
Minion never got a chance to complete his question. He was cut off as the Dragon raced forward, tearing the boy from the villain’s grasp. The Omni Sword sang with power, glowing as it moved through the air. Tommy’s body glowed just as brightly, the burning energies making it appear as if he were on fire.
"This ends," Tommy growled, breaking through the villain’s hopeless attempts to stop him. This was a Ranger with all the power of the Morphin Grid at his command. He was a good man, loyal to the Light, marked forever by the Dark and doomed to forever walk in the shadows. He was a man who had known in his heart what would happen to him the moment he had lifted the Omni Sword and embraced the Power. But as he looked at Minion and recalled the suffering the creature had called, it was a price he was willing to pay. "Omni Sword, Final Cut!"
He drove the sword forward, slashing the villain with its glowing blade. Minion howled a he was consumed by purging fire of the Morphin Grid. His magical body was destroyed, crumbling as the sword robbed him of his magic. His crystal shattered, shattering his essence and driving him into the Dark Dimension where his sort belonged.
Watching from the sidelines, Nekron smiled. Tommy had performed well, so well the demon found that he was tempted to stop what was about to happen. Tempted, but not convinced. He saw Tommy looking at him and gave him a small nod. Whether or not he intervened, Tommy had wielded the power of the Morphin Grid to its fullest, reaching a level beyond any sorcerer, mage or Ranger to grasp the absolute balance that was the Morphin Grid. And that had earned him Nekron’s respect.
He heard the boy, no man, whisper the words to power down and dropped his head in respect. "You were a worthy opponent Tommy Oliver," he said, before heading back to his prison, "a shame that we will never have the chance to meet again." Before leaving he whispered one last thing, “You can drop the sword now.”
The words were whispered, but they were heard around the world and by those watching from beyond. The Dragon’s body erupted in a beautiful show of coloured light as the personification of the Morphin Grid was bathed with its energy. The Rangers were awed, their enemies terrified. Then the sword slipped from his grasp, soon to be joined by a battered coin. There was a whooshing noise as the Power withdrew, leaving Tommy to return to where it belonged.
And then they saw it, and the celebrations ended abruptly. In place of the powerful warrior, stood Tommy Oliver: a brave and noble man, and a good friend, but above all else, he was human. And humans were never intended to hold the power of the Morphin Grid as Tommy had done. The Power had burnt him from the inside out, destroying his body even before he had finished off Minion. The Power had been the only thing sustaining him during the confrontation with Minion and once he had released it, his life had ended.
It was funny, Tommy thought as he watched his friends mourn his loss, that in death he felt none of the worry he had known in life. No longer did he fear being turned into a weapon of darkness. He was free. In a strange way he supposed it made sense: the forces of Darkness had lost Minion, their strongest ally and the the universe had restored the balance by ending Tommy’s life.
The doorway to the living world was closing slowly, tempting him to try to return to life. He refused, somehow knowing that his return was simply not meant to be. But it didn’t matter. The Zeo Rangers would take time to heal, but Jason and the others would cover for them, at least for a while. With Zedd and Rita on Onyx and supposedly losing whatever gifts Minion had granted them, the Rangers would have an easier time. Silvo and Bronzo might strike back and the Psycho Rangers could return, but Tommy was confident good would triumph in the end.
Looking up as he walked toward the light, Tommy smiled. He didn’t notice as the Omni Sword vanished, only to appear a moment late on his back. Nor did he notice as the discarded Power Coin flew into his back pocket. It seemed that when it came to Tommy Oliver, the story was far from over.
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