Disclaimer: See Blast from the Past for the main disclaimer. In addition I would point out that this part of COE is based on the storyline of Ellen Brand’s fics: Things Left Undone, Crystal Dark/ Crystal Light and Two of Hearts and is used with permission.
Author’s Note: This part does not take place in the normal COE Universe. The events in this part will have no effect on the existing story or the development of any character other than Q.
Interlude III: End Game
By Shadow Ranger
By Shadow Ranger
No Real Time,
No Real Place
“My move I belief,” Light said with a smug grin.
“Just remember our deal,” Darke scowled. “No little surprises.”
“Don’t start that again,” Young Q warned. “Just play your move and we can get on.”
Darke sensed the eagerness of the younger Q and wondered if he could use it to his advantage. Q’s father was well known for his love of challenges. If that had rubbed off on the younger Q then Darke could really have some fun.
“Why don’t we raise the stakes?” Darke asked. He was met with a suspicious glare from Light and a questioning smile from Young Q. Happy that at least one of his opponents would say yes, he explained his plan. “We’ll use a randomizer to decide who plays next. That way we’ll never know whose turn it is.”
“And I suppose you want to do this before I make my move,” Light sulked.
“Now is a good time to start,” Darke pointed out. “You are winning after all.”
“Set the randomizer,” Light said after careful thought. He hated the fact that Darke was up to something and he didn’t know what.”
“And the next hand shall be… Our friend Q,” Darke proclaimed.
Young Q nodded and turned over a card. The picture was exactly what Darke had foreseen, Death.
In a deserted warehouse outside the city two figures watched as a third walked into the open.
“Bulky, I’m bored,” Skull complained from their hiding place behind some storage cans. “We’ve been watching this Ryan guy for hours. When are we going to go home?”
“Quiet Skull,” Bulk hissed. “You know the boss said this guy is dangerous. Do you want to end up dead.”
Bulk and Skull had been in Spy Training ever since coming to France. To start with their training had been mostly physical training with a lot of paperwork. Both had benefited from the training. Skull had developed a sporting physique with good definition, built for speed and strength. Bulk on the other hand had lost most of his weight and replaced it was muscle. He now resembled a football player Angel Grove High would have killed for.
In addition both had been taught to defend themselves and Skull’s Swordsmanship training had improved on the previous lessons his uncle had given him.
Both men had matured since being away from Angel Grove. They’d met new friends and colleagues and stopped fooling around. Both now bore a greater responsibility since they were able to carry guns.
Unfortunately patience was one of the things neither boy had learnt yet. Both were still eager to please Inspector Klauseau, so when he had given them their first assignment they had jumped at the chance. A number of disappearances had taken place over the last few months and two names had been constant in each report: Richard Ryan and William Kincaid.
“Hey look!” Skull said.
Looking over towards the man they had been sent to trail they noticed a tall black man standing in front of him. From their position Bulk and Skull could see the two men were trash talking and it looked as though Ryan was winning the war of words.
“Whoa!” Bulk exclaimed as he saw the larger man produce a cutlass and swipe at the youth known as Richard Ryan. “That’s Kincaid.”
“The other guy’s got one too!” Skull added noting that Ryan had drawn a military sabre.
A brief battle ensued, neither opponent afraid to use under handed tactics to win. After what seemed like hours Ryan drove his sword into his opponent’s stomach.
“He killed him,” Bulk whispered.
Skull didn’t reply. For some reason he felt compelled to watch what was happening. Ryan was standing over his opponent sword raised over his head.
“THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!” Ryan cried as he brought the sword down slicing through skin, muscle, blood vessels, bone, arteries, muscles and skin.
Bulk and Skull were speechless having just witnessed their first murder. Sure they had seen monsters in Angel Grove and had live with a winged monkey and living skeleton for a few months, but nothing prepared them for what they had just seen.
A strange mist seemed to float from the decapitated body and enter Ryan’s body. The head and body disappeared into the smoke.
“We need to go Bulky,” Skull said urgently. Something told him what was about to occur. “Run!”
Lightning struck the building as the left, shattering the windows and exploding light bulbs contained inside. A stray bolt hit the canisters Bulk and Skull had been using for cover igniting the chemicals inside. As the canisters exploded Bulk threw his body in the way to protect his friend.
“Bulk?” Skull asked when the lightning had subsided and Ryan had left.
There was no answer from his larger friend. Pulling himself out from under Bulk’s mass Skull checked his friend for injury. He didn’t need to look very far; a piece of shrapnel was lodged in the back of Bulk’s spine. A quick check and Skull knew there was no need to hurry with an ambulance. Farkus Bulkmier, known to the world as Bulk was dead.
No Real Time
No Real Place
“Oh that was a really well thought out move,” Darke said sarcastically. “Those two aren’t even the major players.”
“For once I agree with you,” Light said. “I propose we allow our friend here to rethink his move.”
_He’s up to something, _ Darke thought.
_Darke wouldn’t make a fuss about something unless he thought he could use it, _ Light realised.
“The move stays,” Young Q proclaimed. “Both of you wanted those two for your own purposes. You,” he pointed at Light, “probably wanted to make them Rangers and you,” he pointed at Darke, “Probably thought you could make them into a pair of bumbling henchmen for Lord Zedd.”
“Very well,” Darke said. “Let’s play the next hand.”
This time the Randomizer highlighted Light as the next player.
Angel Grove Park, Earth
Jason Lee-Scott was enjoying the small amount of quiet time being a Ranger and teenager allowed. Much as he enjoyed the other Rangers’ company sometimes he like to get away and just think. Things had changed so much in so short a time. One year ago he had returned to the Rangers to hold the Gold Powers. Since then he had lost his powers, become leader of the Morphin Rangers, defeated a homicidal and vengeful villain who just happened to be Billy’s clone and recently endured the stress of seeing a friend sentenced to death.
Fortunately the deal Tommy had made with the Dark One had provided a get out clause and provided Tommy with a second chance. Even so the fear of almost losing his friend had caused Jason to question his future as a Ranger.
“Hey!” Darke complained. “How can they have save Tommy?”
“It’s my go, remember? I can make the rules as I see fit and if that means some unknown event that take place merely in the minds of our pieces, so be it!”
_You will pay for this, _ Dark promised as he sat back to keep watching.
It was not a strange occurrence and having spent many nights convincing the Zeo Rangers of their worth after their encounter with Minion Jason found it easy to understand his real feelings and convince himself he was needed.
Some things had changed in the Rangers’ lives. Firstly the arrival of the Doctor and Samantha Jones had provided some new leadership and a new Yellow Zeo Ranger. Aisha had settled into her role as the Brown Ranger with the skill and grace only Aisha could manage. Adam Park’s father had not only changed his opinion of the Rangers, but following a conversation with Adam had covered for them during their last few battles.
_Perhaps, _ Jason thought, _My greatest fear is that if recent events are anything to go by, the forces of darkness are growing stronger. _
“You have that right my young friend,” Darke whispered.
“No direct intervention, remember?” Light said as he smacked the other player round the back of the head.
“Oh forgive me Mr I can cheat because I’m good but you can’t because you’re evil. It’ll never happen again.”
“Is this seat taken?” an unfamiliar voice asked.
“Zeddy, Jason is in the park alone,” Rita cried happily.
“Since when did Rita and Zedd return?” Light asked.
“It’s one of those events that only take place in the minds of our pieces,” Darke mocked.
“Do you want to sent Goldar down with some Putties?” Zedd asked, not really interested.
“YES!” Rita screeched.
Zedd nodded his consent, wondering why he was having to force himself to be evil. _I thought the Dark Dimension had purged my spirit. Maybe it is time to take extreme measures. _ “Rita…”
Jason opened his eyes to see a girl he had never met before standing in front of him, standing.
“Pull up a root, and sit down,” he replied, gesturing off to his left. “I don’t remember seeing you around here before.”
“No, I just moved here Friday. I start school here next Monday.”
Jason couldn’t help looking at her. She was striking, but not conventionally pretty. Her features, certainly pleasant, but were far too strong. Her hair was a brilliant red, the colour of autumn leaves, and her eyes were a smoky hazel. Her height stunned him most of all, for when she sat down next to him, he saw that she was almost an inch shorter than Kimberly, standing only about 5’1″. “I’m Jason. Jason Scott. What’s your name?”
“Jamie Zedden. I’ve heard of you, nice to meet you. I hear you teach martial arts. What style are you?”
“I’ve got a fourth degree black belt in American style Karate,” Jason told her. He hadn’t pictured his morning discussing martial arts with a beautiful redhead, but he wasn’t complaining.
“American Style, huh? That’s pretty interesting. I just earned my fourth in Shotokan.”
Now Jason was impressed. “Shotokan? That’s a tough style.”
“Yeah, but I love it. Besides, where I come from, you have to be tough.”
“So, where are you from?”
“Just moved up here from one of Los Angeles’ ‘finer neighborhoods,” she frowned.
Jason and Jamie spent a long time discussing everything they could think of. Jason was completely enthralled. Jamie was the most interesting person he had met in al long time, and he really enjoyed being with her. He hadn’t felt his way since his first date…well in a long time. After that quick reflection, he steeled himself to ask the question that had been tumbling around in his mind. “Jamie, I was wondering if you’d like to go see that new action movie at the Angel Grove multiplex tomorrow night?”
She smiled at him. “Are you asking me on a date? Seriously, though, is that the one with those teenagers with superpowers who save the world? What’s it called, ‘Lightspeed Heroes’ or something?”
“No way!” Jason gasped. “Those things are so cheesy! I meant the new Segal movie.”
“Sure, I’d love to IF you promise to take me to the Lightspeed thing sometime. I like cheesy. Besides, I’m a sucker for a man in Spandex.”
Jason thought to himself, -Oh Jamie, if you’d seen what I sometimes wear, – but he let it go. “Great. Meet you there at eight?”
“Sure.” They talked about other things for a while, but all too soon, reality intruded.
“Goldar, your timing really sucks,” Jason muttered in no mood for a fight.
“Surrender now human and we’ll leave the girl unharmed,” Goldar said.
“Since when have you hidden behind threats?” Jason asked, constantly aware of his position between the golden monkey and his new found friend. He waited until Goldar made a mistake and blocked the Putties behind his golden armour. “Run Jamie, I’ll hold them off!”
“I’m staying with you,” Jamie told him with a voice that forbade further argument.
“You are making a mistake girl,” Goldar growled.
Another flash just behind Goldar and Rito appeared with a flock of Tenga Warriors. Instinctively Jason knew he had no choice but to reveal his identity and teleport himself and Jamie to safety.
“Don’t even think about it Jason,” Goldar warned. “Rita put a barrier around the park.”
Jason sighed in defeat and turned to Jamie. “Sorry, I guess I’ll have to trust you.”
In that moment a vow was broken to protect an innocent and a new bond was created.
“It’s Morphin Time!”
The Zeo Crystal came alive on its own sensing the time was right for a new avatar. It had been biding its time for the first of the remaining Zeo Rangers to appear. Now it was time. A beam of purple light left the Zeo Crystal to unite with its new avatar. On the way the Power took a physical form just in case the host rejected it.
“Not quite yet,” Young Q soothed without Light or Darke noticing. His hand flashed purple as he made a minor change that neither of his opponents could predict.
“Red Ranger Power!”
Jamie looked on as Jason exploded into action taking out Tengas and Putties before moving on to Rito. Falling into a defensive stance behind her new friend, she managed to fight off the few Putties that took an interest in her. Goldar however was another matter. While she had been fighting the Putties he had been creeping up behind her. Turning around when she sensed his movement Jamie narrowly dodged the sword directed towards her skull.
The battle stopped when the participants heard the screech of teleportation. A purple tinted sword appeared in Jamie’s hands an occurrence that surprised her as much as Goldar. Closing her eyes and straining to listen, Jamie could hear the sword telling her what to do.
“You and me Monkey Boy!” she said slicing a Tenga through the midsection.
Goldar growled, “Yes!” and the battle was on. Goldar started with a ringing down slice, but Jamie blocked him with ease. It was soon obvious that both were masters of the sword. Cuts, parries, thrusts, and slices formed a glittering web of razored steel. Normally, Goldar would be far stronger than Jamie, but years of fighting Rangers left him unprepared for combat against a normal human who knew how to fight without needing armour to absorb a hit. As a result his strength worked against him. Jamie also had grace and speed on her side. Goldar’s cunning made up for his lost strength, so they were evenly matched.
Goldar then lost his patience after tripping and fired a large, golden energy beam at her, but to everyone’s amazement, she absorbed the blast, as a purple aura formed around her. Smiling at the winged ape, she fired a large purple bolt of energy at him, directly in his chest, knocking him back at least two yards.
“You next Bone Head?” Jamie asked looking directly at Rito.
The ever-present grin on Rito’s face seemed to grow larger, an amazing feat considering he had no skin. He drew his own sword and charged, leaving Red Ranger to deal with the Tengas that were starting to gain the upper hand.
“Ugh!” Rito exclaimed as he struck the ground.
Jamie looked down at the fallen skeleton and then at her savior. He was a middle-aged man with brown hair and eyes that spoke of age and wisdom. In his hand were the weapons he had used to trip, disarm and disable Rita’s brother. In his left hand was an umbrella and in his right hand was a cricket bat.
Rito groaned again as he picked the cricket ball from between his ribs where the Doctor had thrown it. Changing his target from Jamie to the Doctor he charged.
The Doctor for his part relaxed in a martial arts form learnt hundreds of years before in the future. Using momentum and pressure points he succeeded in downing Rito for the second time in as many minutes. Looking around he saw that Jamie had finished the Putties after finally learning to hit them in the ‘Z’. Red Ranger had likewise dealt with the Tengas and prevented Goldar from interfering.
For a second Rito reverted to his previous form before he had been ‘improved’ by the Dark Dimension. “Hey, time to make like Napoleon and Bone Apart!”
Goldar quickly followed leaving a victorious Time Lord and a slightly confused Ranger to stare at a human that glowed a faint purple.
“Well that was interesting,” Jamie said dryly as Jason powered down. “What happened?”
Jason enfolded Jamie in his arms. “I think that sword gave you special powers, but you must have a death wish or something, he could have killed you!”
She shrugged. “I somehow knew I could take him. Weird as it sounds, the sword told me I could do it.”
Jason thought quickly of what to do next. He had broken his promise, but Zordon would forgive that. He had also seen a human who not only managed to survive one of Goldar’s energy shots, but also turned it back against him.
“So, are you going to introduce us?” the Doctor asked.
“Jamie Zedden this is the Doctor. Doctor, meet Jamie Zedden.”
“Zedden,” the Doctor repeated raising an eyebrow.
“Jamie, there’s someone I think we all should talk to about this,” Jason told Jamie picking up on the Doctor’s tone.
“Where are we going? Who?”
Jason told her, “You have to see it to believe it.”
“That’s it?” Darke asked. “You’re going to make a Purple Ranger out of a character you’ve just placed on the board. And what’s with the tree stump thing? Every time we try a new game you insist on using the old Jamie meets Jason whilst he’s sitting on a tree stump.”
“I suppose I like old fashioned romance,” Light smiled.
“Well,” Darke said looking at the randomizer. “It’s my turn.”
“I haven’t finished my go yet!” Light protested.
Q sighed realizing another argument was about to break out unless he did something.
“Why don’t you finish your turn while Darke takes his?” he suggested.
The other players grudgingly agreed.
In minutes, all three of them were in the Power Chamber. “Jason, Doctor is something the matter?” Zordon asked as they materialized.
“Alpha, ask Samantha report here please,” the Doctor requested.
“Big time,” Jason replied. While he went over these recent events, Jamie was staring around the Command Centre with amazement. After hearing all this, Zordon had Alpha 5 run a scan on the sword.
“I want that back in one piece! So, where are we, and who are they?” Jamie asked.
“Jamie Zedden, meet Zordon of Eltare, inter-dimensional being and mentor to the Power Rangers,” Jason told her.
“Power Rangers? You’re a…” She stopped for a minute and thought about what she had just seen. “Oh right, you’re the Red one. Then when you were so deep in thought that was about Ranger Business? Oh. Look, I won’t push you, but if you need to talk about it, I’m willing to listen.”
“Thanks, Jamie,” he smiled. “Maybe later.”
“Don’t you believe in letting a gal sleep?” Samantha Jones asked as she slipped out of the TARDIS. “Dimensionally transcending,” She said to Jamie as way of explanation.
“Oh,” Jamie replied still not sure how somebody could sleep in something the size of a telephone box.
“Jamie Zedden?” Zordon interrupted them, frowning. “Aged 17, daughter of Lawrence Zedden?”
“Yeah,” she responded, puzzled. “My dad’s dead, though. Do you know me?”
Zordon sighed and exchanged a look with the Doctor. “I would be more appropriate to say that we know of you.”
“We now have our suspicions as to what occurred in the park,” the Doctor continued, “although we will have to wait until Alpha finishes his analysis of the sword to be sure.”
Jamie looked at Jason, who shrugged. He had no idea what either the Doctor or Zordon was talking about.
“Ai-yi-yi! Analysis complete, Zordon! The sword is of Zarakin manufacture; one of the six Elemental Blades manufactured by the Wizard Ralthor over three hundred millennia ago! It is the long-lost Sword of Lightning.”
“Then it is true,” Zordon replied heavily.
“What is true? Zarakin? Sword of Lightning? What’s going on here?” Jamie asked.
“It is a long story. The Zarakin are a people who live many light-years from here, on a planet known as Danata. Long ago, they settled there to escape the constant invasions their people were subject to.”
“Oh, kind of like Belgium,” Jason interjected.
“Somewhat. The Zarakin were determined not to be driven off their planet again, so a great wizard named Ralthor created six magical swords, to be given to worthy wielders. These six swords were known as the Elemental Blades. They were the Sword of Fire, the Sword of Water, the Sword of Wind, the Sword of Earth, the Sword of Heart, and the Sword of Lightning. The Zarakin House of Swords, an organization of bodyguards to the king, grew up around these blades. Aside from being able to control the element for which they were named, each of the swords had another, hidden power, known only to the wielder. The Sword of Lightning, however, had a power that could not be kept hidden. It transformed its wielder into a formidable warrior- the Purple Zeo Ranger.
“Purple!” Jason exclaimed. “We’ve found the Purple Ranger?”
“How did I get the sword?” Jamie asked. “I’ve never seen that sword before.”
“To answer both questions. Yes. We have found the Purple Zeo Ranger. Only one who is worthy of the sword can hold the power. In answer to Jamie’s question, just as the Purple piece, also known as the Shard, is part of the Sword of Lightning so the Sword of Lightning is part of the Zeo Shard. When the Zeo Crystal was recreated after Minion shattered it the Shard was absorbed into the Crystal.”
“When the Zeo Crystal sensed a potential Purple Zeo Ranger close to Jason it sent the Shard to Jamie. Since Jamie might have ignored the power the Crystal sent the Sword of Lightning. When the sword reacted the Zeo Shard bonded with your body.”
“Do you want it back?” Jamie asked shyly.
“Jamie, the sword has bonded to you. The power is yours, no matter what. We would like you to be a full-fledged Power Ranger, tied into the grid. That way, we could come to your aid if necessary, but you are under no obligation.”
“I’ll do it. What do I have to do?”
“Simply agree to follow the three rules all Ranger must abide By
Never escalate a battle unless forced to do so.
Never use the Power for personal gain.
And never reveal your identity without the permission of a Morphin Master.”
“Okay I’m in,” Jamie said.
“Welcome to the team, Purple Ranger,” Zordon said quietly. “The sword is still connected to the crystal, and will serve as your morpher, in a way. To morph using the sword, simply hold it aloft and shout “Zeo Shard Power! Otherwise you will be known as Zeo Ranger VI – Purple!”
Jason finally asked the question that had been bothering him for a while. “Zordon, if the Purple powers were used by aliens, what’s to prevent what happened to me with the Gold Powers from happening to Jamie?”
“Number one, Jason, Zarakin are very close to humans, physiologically speaking. They do not have the chemical differences that Triforians have, so the powers will be far more compatible with Jamie than the Gold powers were with you. Number two; Jamie is not completely human. She is part Zarakin.”
“WHAT!” the two teens asked in unison.
“Just what I said. Jamie, your mother is completely human. Your father, on the other hand, was a full-blooded Zarakin prince. This is why you have the ability to absorb energy. You inherited it from the good part of your father.”
“Not just an alien, but an alien prince.” Jamie shook her head, trying to absorb this. “What was he doing on Earth?”
Zordon sighed. “It is a long and somewhat ugly story. The Zarakin, like most races in the universe, are neither all evil nor all good. Like humans, they have the potential to produce great heroes and foul villains. One such hero was Lord Zedd.”
“Zedd!” Jason cried. He was not sure what sounded worse Zedd being Jamie’s father or the thought of him once being good.
“Yes Jason,” Zordon continued. “The man known as Lord Zedd was born many millennia ago as the only son of the King and Queen of Danata. At the same time a second Lord Zedd was born, a demonic creature raised as the offspring of the most evil woman in the Universe. She chose the name because in her tongue Zedd meant great leader. An ancient wizard known as Arigor placed a spell on Lord Zedd binding the prince to the demon who was acting as his apprentice.”
“Lord Zedd’s reign of terror spread across the Universe until he was captured and helped to return to his good self. But fearing that the demon would take over again Zedd agreed to be banished from Danata forever. Zedd came to Earth and eventually married and had a daughter. This all happened twenty years ago.”
“Oh, no,” Jamie said softly, closing her eyes. She had a feeling that she knew what Zordon was leading up to.
“On Earth, he took the name Lawrence Zedden, created a past for himself, and fell in love with Leslie Corren. The two married and had one child, a daughter whom they named Jamie.”
Jamie smiled sickly. “Actually, they named her Jamaica Theresa, which she has been trying to live down ever since.”
“Jamaica?” Jason raised an eyebrow.
“Hey, Mom was under pain medication! Give her a break.”
“So you’re Lord Zedd’s daughter,” Jason marveled, picking up where Zordon’s story left off
“That is correct Jason,” Zordon said. “Shortly after Jamie’s birth Zedd’s demonic form was resurrected and with the aid of the Dark Side of the Morphin Grid purged himself of Larry Zedden for all eternity. Part of that process involved killing all links with Zedden’s past on Earth. It was Lord Zedd who sent a group of mercenaries to Earth to killed Jamie and her mother.”
“And if he knows we’re alive…” Jamie shivered at the thought of the Tengas attacking her mother. “I’m going to have to tell her all about this, Zordon. She has to know.”
“I agree. I think the two of you should teleport back to Jamie’s house and explain things to her,” the Doctor said. “Take Samantha with you as well. Three of you will offer more protection just in case.”
“What am I going to do with this?” Jamie asked, raising her sword. “If it’s my morpher, I’m going to need it with me, but how can I carry it all the time?”
“The Elemental Blades can be stored in a pocket in hyperspace. Simply concentrate on putting it into a pocket.” Jamie did so, and was surprised to see the sword disappear. “To retrieve it, simply imagine it in your hand.” She concentrated again, and the blade appeared once more. “Under normal circumstances you can morph by simply using the words ‘It’s Morphin Time’ to summon your Zeonisers.”
“Cool. And this pocket will go wherever I do?”
“Neat.” She put the sword away again. “Any other interesting abilities I have?”
“Lord Zedd could tell you more about them.”
In a flash of Red and Purple the two Rangers left. In a flash of Yellow Samantha followed. Zordon smiled as he looked at the Zeo Crystal. Aisha’s transformation had started the ball rolling and with the Purple Ranger in place things could only get better.
Young Q carefully changed the course of events so that the Zeo Crystal remained dormant. He did not want the crystal selecting new Rangers just yet. Substituting the Zeo Crystal of this dimension with another had ensured that Jamie’s new powers would not become etched in stone. Darke was up to something and Q was careful to cover all his bases.
Jamie teleported into the hall of her house. Both Samantha and Jason had agreed to wait in the Youth Centre until she was done, sensing that this was something mother and daughter had to discuss alone. “Mom?” she called.
“In the kitchen, honey. Did you have a nice day? Buy anything deadly?”
“You could say that,” Jamie grinned, entering the kitchen and leaning on a counter. Leslie Zedden looked up at her daughter and smiled.
“You look like you have something on your mind. Care to talk about it?”
Jamie studied her mother intently. It was very obvious where Jamie got her looks. Leslie Zedden had the same red hair and short, slim build as her daughter, with a similar face and strong features. Only their eyes were different, Jamie’s a smoky hazel; Leslie’s a cool emerald green. Jamie had also inherited her toughness of spirit from her mother. Jamie had never run across something too unpleasant for her mother to handle, but she still hesitated to drop this particular bomb.
“Mom, the day Dad disappeared. You never really talked about it. What happened that day? Why were we living at Grandma’s after that?”
Leslie sighed. She didn’t really want to remember the events of that afternoon, but Jamie was certainly old enough to deserve the truth, and she wouldn’t ask if it weren’t important.
“I was doing something or other in the kitchen and you were watching “Sesame Street” in the living room. There was a knock at the door, and I opened it to see two men outside. They looked strange, uncomfortable, like they didn’t belong there and they knew it. They said they were friends of your father and wanted to talk to me inside. I didn’t like the looks of them, so I said no. They insisted, so I shut the door in their faces and headed back towards the kitchen. That was when the door blew in.”
Jamie jumped. The door blew in? None of this was part of her memories of that time, but she couldn’t remember much from before she was five. Still, she had never imagined that her mother’s story was so violent.
“Luckily my father was ex-military and he’d trained me to survive. I picked you up, headed for the car, and peeled out of there. The next thing I knew, they were chasing us. I was never so glad for those driving courses he made me take. I threw everything I had into the chase, and I lost them.
“I couldn’t go home, of course, so I took you to Grandma’s. Later, I learned that our house had been set on fire. Very little had survived. For a while, the police even thought that we had died in the fire. Once they realised that we were alive, they called Grandma’s to tell me about Larry. It turns out they had captured one of the gunmen and he told them Larry had ordered the hit. Why are you bringing this up now?”
Jamie sighed and took her mother’s hands in her own. “Mom, I have something I need to tell you.”
In a winnebego roaming the Moon’s surface, Lord Zedd was listening to Goldar’s sniveling explanation with mounting impatience. He was about ready to blow a hole in the ceiling when something Goldar said caught his attention. “A girl, you say,” Zedd asked, leaning forward. “Red hair, about 17?”
“Yes, my lord.”
“And she was able to call on the sword’s powers?”
“Yes, Lord Zedd.”
“Hmm,” Zedd mused. Common sense told him it was impossible, but nevertheless, his heart began to pound. “She must have been a half-breed Zarakin. Let me see this girl!” Zedd’s eyebeams shot down towards Earth, magically allowing him to see what he wanted. As he did so, a duplicate of the image formed in front of his henchmen. “Goldar, is this the girl?”
“Yes, my lord.” The image was of Jamie talking with her mother in the kitchen. Zedd’s breath caught in what passed for his throat. He couldn’t recognize the girl; too many years had passed. The woman, however, was as familiar as his own name. He dreamed about her every night.
“Leslie,” he whispered.
“Leslie?” Rita asked.
Zedd whirled on her. “That’s Larry’s wife!” Rita paled. “She’s alive!”
“What- What does that mean for us?” Rita managed.
“Nothing, Lord Zedd is married to Rita Repulsa, but Larry Zedden… I don’t know. I’ll have to think about this.” Confused, Zedd left the Winnebego for a walk.
“Goldar,” Rita said far too sweetly, “come here.” The big gold monkey did so hesitantly, knowing what was coming. “You gold-plated buffoon!” Rita screamed, swatting at him with her wand. “You told us those Dendrian mercenaries Zedd hired would get the job done! You swore to me that Leslie Zedden and her brat would be dead by sundown and Zedden would be gone forever! Instead, Zedd is in danger of losing control again, Zedden’s wife is still there to tempt him and it’s all- your- fault!” Rita punctuated each screamed word with another swat with her wand.
Finster, hidden in a corner, listened with interest. Rita and Zedd were a formidable force together, but apart, they would be much less of a threat. The Rangers should easily be able to handle attacks if Rita and Zedd were to separate. This was exactly what Finster had been hoping for since the first day that Rita discovered that Earth was not an easy target. He had made his monsters weak on purpose, and found various other ways to subvert the various evil schemes of the two villains. After all, that was why he had joined Zedd’s service in the first place.
Of course that is what would have been going through Finster’s mind in a previous life. Now with his evil reinforced by the Dark Dimension Finster thought only of how to eliminate Larry Zedden for good.
“Now, you have one last chance to get this right, monkey-breath! Take a squad of Tengas and get that woman, I don’t care how. Kill her and her brat, Samantha Jones and Jason Scott if they get in the way, and get rid of the bodies. Without them, Zedden will remain imprisoned in the back of Zedd’s mind where he belongs. Now go!”
With a deep bow, Goldar disappeared, and Rita left, muttering to herself. When Finster was sure that the coast was clear, he slipped out of his hiding place and went to go find Zedd. He rather thought he had some news the Lord of Evil would like to hear. As he walked away, he shook his head. Rita had underestimated the human race again. He didn’t think Leslie Zedden would be a very easy mark. At least, he hoped not. If his plan worked they would never need to worry about Larry Zedden again.
“You’re playing Finster as the next piece?” Light asked in amazement.
Dark merely imitated Light’s smug grin from earlier and allowed the game to continue.
It had taken a fair amount of arguing, one exploded toaster, and a morph, but Jamie had finally convinced her mother of the truth of her story. Now Leslie was trying to deal with the realization that her daughter was a super hero, her husband, whom she had presumed dead, was a space alien, and he along with his current wife was probably hiring an avian hit squad to attack them even now. She was taking it rather well.
Samantha and Jason had joined them and Jason had filled Leslie in on his experience with the Rangers. After which, Samantha had filled them in on her experiences with the Doctor.
“So, what are the vulnerable areas on a Tenga?” Leslie asked calmly. Jamie blinked for a second, then grinned. Very little fazed her mother for long.
“Eyes, throat, beak, the usual,” Jamie replied, miming a knee to a sensitive area. Jason winced.
“So these are male birds?” Jamie just shrugged. Suddenly, the room was filled with a hail of feathers.
“Looks like you’ll get a chance to find out!” Jamie called; dropping into a fighting position as Goldar and the Tengas materialized. Jason fell in beside her and Samantha the weakest fighter of the three fell in behind covering Leslie. Both sides prepared for a fight.
“NOT IN THE HOUSE!” Leslie bellowed, startling all the combatants into silence. “We can just take this outside,” she informed them all. “You have no idea how long it took me to clean the floor this morning.”
Goldar and the Tengas looked at each other sheepishly then walked out the back door. The three Rangers and Leslie looked at each other for a moment and then Jamie teleported them both to the Power Chamber. They materialized in the middle of the room, holding on to each other.
“Well, I suppose I’m going to have to get used to that,” Leslie sighed, taking in her surroundings. “So this is that Power Chamber you were telling me about?”
“It is indeed,” Zordon boomed. “Welcome, Mrs. Zedden. I am Zordon, mentor to the Power Rangers. May I congratulate you on a rather ingenious way of escaping the Tengas?”
“However did you think of that?” the Doctor asked.
Leslie shrugged. “Even things like those had to have mothers. Some behaviors are just universal.”
“Where are Goldar and the Tengas now, Zordon?” Jamie asked.
“They have apparently returned to the Moon and are relating their failure to Rita and Lord Zedd as we speak. I doubt that they will show up for a while, but in case they do, Mrs. Zedden, I would like you to have this communicator. Jamie, I will have one made for you, as well.” Leslie received a purple and white wristband. “Should you be attacked, simply touch the large button. It will teleport you here instantly.”
“Thank you,” Leslie replied, buckling the band onto her wrist. “I had better go home. I had a cake in the oven that will probably need my attention soon.” With that, she teleported out.
“I’m going to head to the youth centre with Jason. I think it’s time the other Rangers knew about me. I’ll see you later.” She also teleported out, in a purple rush Jason following behind in a red rush.
Samantha and the Doctor returned to the TARDIS, the latter determined to get the recently repaired machine in tiptop condition.
“So you’re Zedd’s daughter?” Kimberly asked in astonishment. Jamie nodded. Jason had contacted all the Rangers and asked them to meet in the park. Once everybody arrived, he and Jamie had taken turns telling the story of her origin, powers, and battle with the Tengas earlier. Now everyone was watching Tommy nervously, wondering how he would react to this particular bit of news.
“Hey, that’s cool with me,” he replied seriously. “I try to judge people by their actions, not their parentage. Besides, in a way, I’m glad Zedd’s your dad.”
“Why?” Jamie asked.
Tommy grinned. “Because that means he’s not mine.” Everyone laughed, and the conversation turned to other things. While everyone was talking and horsing around, Jamie and Tommy slipped off to one side.
“How do you feel about being Zedd’s daughter?” he asked her, no more humor in his tone.
“I don’t really know. I mean, I’m sort of glad that my dad’s alive, because I still love him and I always will. On the other hand, who wants to find out that their dad’s a slimeball? Still, I don’t really feel it the way one of you might. I never really knew him as a villain. It’s going to take me awhile to get the idea absorbed. Then we’ll talk about it.”
He sighed. “You know, I meant what I just said out there. I’ve always known I was adopted, and after I found out that there seem to be some- oddities about me and David, like the fact that we’re danger-prone, and some minor discrepancies on scans, I’ve been worried that maybe my parents were, if not Zedd and someone else, at least someone evil. Knowing I’m not Zedd’s kid is a bit of a load off my mind.”
“How do you know you’re not?” she grinned up at him. His eyes were fascinating, dark and extremely perceptive. If only they weren’t so sad.
“Oh, just a hunch,” he grinned back. “Maybe it’s the fact that I’m not a short redhead.”
Laughing, she dragged him back towards the group. Jamie had a feeling that she and Tommy were going to be good friends.
“You know,” Billy mused as they were sitting quietly, “Just because Larry Zedden was your father doesn’t mean you’re related to this Lord Zedd. There’s also a good chance your reappearance might cause Zedd to revert back to the forces of good.”
The Rangers sat back and thought about Billy’s latest revelation unaware that on the Moon Lord Zedd was thinking the same thing.
Young Q knew his actions were against the rules of the game and the Continuum, but he hoped his father would be lenient. He had sneaked away while Darke and Light were arguing over technicalities and had slipped into the game dimension. Once there he had sought out the one being who would be able to both help and understand him without his head exploding at the notion that existence was a game played by three very bored aliens.
He clicked his fingers as his father had taught him and concentrated on what he wanted to happen. In a few moments his new toy appeared.
“Welcome Doctor,” he smiled. “We have a lot to discuss.”
After a few hours of searching, Finster finally caught up with Zedd. “My lord, I have some news.”
“What is it, Finster?” Zedd growled. “I would prefer to be alone right now.”
“I made an interesting discovery. The reason Larry Zedden has remained trapped inside your mind is because he believes you killed your wife and daughter. The only reason he still exists is because he did not witness their deaths.”
Zedd’s head swiveled slowly towards the little crafter. “What? Why?”
“In his distraught state Zedden only thought he saw his family die.”
Finster chose his next words carefully, delivering them in a soft, quiet voice. “I also know how you can purge yourself of Zedden for good.”
Zedd suddenly began to glow a baleful, angry red. “How?” he growled, soundings rather like a Rottweiler at the end of its tether.
“YOU must finish the job you began all those years ago. You must use the body of Lord Zedd of Danata and Lord Zedd, Emperor of the Dark Zones to kill Leslie and Jamie Zedden.”
Without a word, Zedd turned and strode back towards where the trailer was parked. Finster followed in his wake, smiling to himself.
Another few weeks and it was the night of the school dance. The Rangers had paired up. Billy and Aisha had agreed to go together since neither had a date and Billy was technically married. Kat and David, Tanya and Adam, and Jason and Jamie had also come as pairs, the latter having become closer on a daily basis.
Surprisingly Sam had paired up with Kimberly. They had grown closer over time and were now in a relationship similar to that which Tommy and Kimberly had enjoyed once before although this was more of a friendship than the false love that had gone before. With two centuries of experience Sam had mellowed and was nowhere near as dark as Tommy. He had also realised long ago that he had no feelings for Kimberly besides friendship.
Zack had finally allowed Angela to see his true nature and she had agreed to let him take her. Emily St John had actually asked Rocky to accompany her, a request that did not fail to boost Rocky’s self-confidence. He had been feeling he would lose out to Jason every time until she had asked him. Chelsea Oliver, Tommy’s sister and Sam’s descendent had asked trey.
Samantha and Tommy were standing near the drinks table, neither having found a date. As the evening went on another boy drifted up beside them.
One guy was Asian. He had short, straight, black hair that was split in the middle, a well-defined body, and a face that Samantha thought resembled that of a puppy dog.
“Can I have this dance?” he asked her.
Samantha nodded and introduced herself.
“I’m Dolan Kwan,” the boy replied as they danced away leaving Tommy on his own.
“Looks like it’s just you and me,” he told the soda-and-fruit-juice concoction, pouring himself another cup.
“Can I have one?” a voice behind him asked. Tommy turned to see a girl in a knee-length black dress holding a paper cup out to him.
“Yeah, sure,” he responded, filling the cup. As he handed it back to her, he took a better look. Her hair was sandy brown, and her eyes were an odd tawny gold colour. She was rather tall, as well, easily reaching the height of his chin.
“I don’t think I’ve seen you around here before,” he told her, extending his hand. “I’m Tommy Oliver. Are you new to the school?”
“Lillian O’Neil,” she replied, transferring her cup into her left hand and shaking his. “No, I’m not new here. I’ve attended Angel Grove High for four years. You’ve just probably never noticed me. We’re not in any of the same classes, and I don’t get into the spotlight that much. I’ve seen you all the time, though.”
“Oh. So, why aren’t you dancing? Your date stand you up?”
She shook her head, amused. “No, I didn’t have a date. I came with some of my friends.”
“Where are they?”
“Out dancing, same place yours are, I’d expect.”
He looked over at her. “You want to dance?”
“Hmm,” she mused, regarding him for a moment. “Sure. I’d love to.”
They walked out to the floor just as a slow song came on. Tommy swallowed hard. He hadn’t been thinking of a slow dance when he’d asked her. Seeming to sense his discomfort, Lillian looked over at him, challenge and amusement visible in her odd eyes. Tommy smiled his unease evaporating. It was just a dance, after all, even if it was a slow one. It wasn’t like he’d asked her to marry him or anything.
Lillian slipped her arms around Tommy’s neck, and he put his around her back. As the two swayed in time to the music, Tommy thought about how good it felt to have someone in his arms. He had missed Kim and Kat, but Lillian didn’t feel like simply a substitute for either of them. For the first time since his break-ups, Tommy felt interest in someone again. He already knew that Lillian was far different from either Kat or Kimberly. She seemed darker, older. Something about her drew him in a way neither of his two previous girlfriends had done. Suddenly she looked up at him and smiled mysteriously.
“I hear you’re a bit of a Romeo, Tommy. You change girlfriends like most people change socks. Should I be worried?” she asked in her slightly husky voice.
“I don’t think so,” he replied. “When something interests me, I stick with it for a good long time.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Until you get bored with it?”
“Sure. But I don’t get bored very easily. I like mysteries and puzzles, and there’s almost always something new for me to figure out.” At the sight of her one-sided smile, a realization hit Tommy square between the eyes. They were flirting! He hadn’t flirted with a woman since the first days of his relationship with Kimberly.
“Well, then, I’ll attempt to keep things mysterious. Do you like to hike?”
“I love it. You do a lot of hiking?”
“Yes. I really love photography especially nature shots. I’m very handy with a camera. Must run in the family.”
Tommy’s brow furrowed. “O’Neil? Are you related to Parker O’Neil from the Angel Grove Gazette?”
“Yeah. You have something against reporters?”
“No, actually I really admire your brother’s work,” he told her, his thoughts whirling. Parker O’Neil was one of the best photographers in Angel Grove, known especially for the wonderful shots of the Power Rangers he had taken. Tommy knew the man on a slightly more personal note. O’Neil was the only reporter who didn’t pester the Rangers for “a few words” every time he saw them. In fact, he had earned their somewhat grudging respect by saving the lives of a couple of civilians caught in a monster attack, and then staying out of the way while the Rangers defeated it. Afterwards, he had simply snapped a few follow-up shots of the Rangers, and even helped them slip away from the crowd of reporters who inevitably showed up. Tommy had to admit that he liked the man, even if he was a reporter. Parker’s shots of the Power Rangers shaped the views that Angel Grove had of the Rangers, and he always portrayed them in a favorable light.
He liked Parker, but was unprepared for finding out that the man had a sister in high school, much less one that Tommy suddenly found himself interested in. He’d just have to be careful, that’s all. He’d kept his secrets from even more perceptive people than Parker O’Neil and his sister. It wouldn’t be easy, but it could be done.
“I’m glad you like my brother’s stuff,” Lillian told him, bringing him back to the present. “If you two ever run into each other, he can be insufferable if you don’t like what he does.”
Just then, the DJ announced the final song of the night, to Tommy’s shock. How long had they been dancing, anyway? After the last dance was finished, Tommy and Lillian said their good-byes and headed back to their respective groups of friends. Both were greeted by knowing grins and an army of questions.
“Guys, it was just a couple dances,” Tommy told his friends. “That’s all. Come on, let’s go. I’ll tell you all about her on the way home.”
At the same time Daniel Pellerin was experiencing a similar ribbing over his date with Cassandra Long. The tall cheerleader was everything a guy could ask for at a dance. Unlike some cheerleaders though she was not so wrapped up in her only feelings that she alienated people. She had had her eye on Lee for a while, but he had agreed to take Christina whilst Oscar was with Marge Lubbock. The two had had a good time although Marge’s eye had traveled to Billy on the odd occasion.
Scott Tracker, Bruce Chen and Clyde Sinclair, the remaining members of the Clique had not had a good night. Clyde and Bruce had been dumped by their dates whilst Scott had been discovered two timing with a pair of twins. The joke had been on Scott when the twins found out and dumped the punch bowl over his head.
“I thought those kids were at Arcadia Academy,” Darke said.
“It’s their night off,” Light laughed. He to was uncertain why these pieces had moved. He wasn’t about to give Darke the satisfaction of seeing him confused though.
“Lil, that was Tommy Oliver, the handsomest boy in our entire school! He’s cute, he’s nice, he’s smart, he’s currently available, and he spent the entire night dancing with you!” Randi gushed, tossing her short red hair. Lillian shook her head, amused at her friend’s bubbliness.
“Randi, we’re seniors in high school. Next year, we’ll all be going our separate ways, off to different colleges. I’m not in the market for a great romance, and I doubt he is either.” Still, Lillian had to admit that Tommy had a definite effect on her. He is cute, she thought to herself. When they’d been dancing, she’d been acutely aware of what martial arts had done to and for his body. Hard biceps, flat stomach, nice chest, defined back, and a very tight butt. Mentally she smacked herself in the head. Stop thinking about it! You’ll never get to sleep tonight if you keep this up!
“He’s so dreamy,” Randi went on, unaware of the direction of her friend’s thoughts. The two were currently walking down the street that led from the school to their homes. Streetlights gave the whole area a comforting glow, and like most Angel Grove girls, they knew a great deal of self-defence. Lillian also had her black belt in Tiger Kung Fu, so they felt fairly safe walking home by themselves.
“Randi, come on. He just broke up with Kimberly Hart. He’s probably not interested in a relationship right now, and if he is, he’s on the rebound. Who wants that?”
“You know what, Lillian? You are too serious and cynical for your own good. If Prince Charming rode up on a white charger to save you from the dragon, you’d ask to see some ID.”
Lillian chuckled. “Of course I would. I’d have already killed the dragon.”
“Oh, you!” Randi shoved her friend playfully. Suddenly, two streaks of light crossed the dark sky and seconds later a shockwave knocked the two girls to the ground. “What the hell was that!” Randi cried.
“I don’t know,” Lillian replied, getting slowly to her feet. “Goodness knows where it hit, but I’m willing to bet it left one major crater. We’ll probably hear about it on the news tomorrow morning. Come on, Randi, let’s go home.”
“What if it’s the Machine Empire?” Randi asked fearfully, rising as well.
“Then we’ll definitely hear about it on the news tomorrow. Come on, Randi.” The two girls headed home, Randi looking over her shoulder for Cogs the whole time unaware of the six tone beep that was sounding in houses across Angel Grove.
At that same moment Chelsea and Emily were leaving together. Rocky and Trey had been called away by Tommy and their other friends had stayed behind to help Zeus, the school’s counselor to clear up. One thing the students at Angel Grove quickly learnt is to never argue with the huge Texan who served as counselor and security guard for the school. Like Ernie he was ex-forces trying to settle down in civilian life.
Unlike Ernie who had found himself to have a mind for business Zeus had maintained his physical condition and trained in psychology. An unfortunate run in with the Ranitime Corporation had opened his eyes to the suffering of some teenagers. Since then he had moved to Angel Grove and made himself available for the kids to talk to.
As they walked a loud bang could be heard overhead. _Sounds like an impact, _ Chelsea thought to herself. Both girls decided to investigate.
As they drew nearer they caught sight of a large double crater. In the debris they could make out a white and silver crystal. Moving closer Chelsea found herself drawn to the silver crystal, while Emily felt a strange desire to touch the white crystal. There was a blinding flash of light, and both girls were sent hurtling into unconsciousness.
“Oh, what hit me?” Emily asked, sitting up.
“A Mack truck?” replied Chelsea, doing the same. “That was interesting.” She stared down at the crystal in her hands. It pulsed with a warm, non-threatening silver light.
“What was that? A ‘Do not touch’ sign?” grumbled Emily, looking down at the white crystal she held in her hands.
“Not this time,” Darke said.
“Excuse me, ladies,” a metallic voice said behind them, “but I believe those crystals belong to King Mondo.” Emily and Chelsea whirled to see Klank standing behind them, backed up by an army of Cogs.
“You must be Klank,” Chelsea sneered. “I’ve heard about you. If you think we’re going to give these crystals to you, you are out of your metallic mind.” She settled into a fighting stance. Gingerly, Emily did the same. She had no formal martial arts training, but dating first Jason and then Rocky she was more than able to defend herself.
Chelsea on the other hand came from a family where both her brothers were martial artists and she was more than capable of defending herself against them.
“If you insist,” Klank sighed. “Cogs, attack!” The Cogs rushed the girls, but before the fight could begin, the crystals flared with a silver-white light, blinding all the participants. When the light faded, Emily and Chelsea were clad in white and silver Zeo Ranger uniforms, respectively. White Ranger’s helmet bore the symbol of the circle resulting in an almost seamless fit between helmet and faceplate, while the shape on Silver Ranger’s helmet had seven sides.
“Well, this evens things up a bit, doesn’t it?” Silver Ranger chuckled. “Shall we dance?”
The Cogs looked at each other in confusion. Any debate was solved by the other seven Zeo Rangers teleporting in. Klank, realizing that he had lost the crystals and had no chance against nine Zeo Rangers, disappeared as quickly as he had come. Red Ranger turned to the two new members of the team.
“Are you two all right?” he asked worriedly.
“We’re all right Tommy, but you’re not going to believe this,” Silver Zeo told him. p;
“Chelsea?” Red Zeo asked.
Even with the night vision their helmets allowed the Rangers realised they should not be standing around in the dark. “Let’s go and talk to Zordon,” Silver Zeo suggested. In nine flashes of light the almost complete team of Zeo Rangers teleported away.
Once back in the Power Chamber the new Rangers removed their helmets barely noticing the gasp that escaped Blue Zeo’s lips.
“What’s the matter Rocky?” Emily asked looking directly at the still masked Blue Zeo Ranger. “I hope you don’t mind your girlfriend being a Ranger. Same goes for you Jason,” she added looking at Red Ranger.
“You know who we are?” Jason asked after removing his helmet. /FONT>
“When you called me by name at the Beach Club I knew you were the Gold Ranger,” she told him. “When Red Ranger returned I realised you’d taken on that role instead.”
“Um Emily, you might want to turn around,” Chelsea said. “There’s somebody here we’d like you to meet.”
“Welcome Emily St John. I am Zordon, mentor to the Power Rangers of Earth. Both you and Chelsea have been selected to join us. Chelsea, you will become Zeo Ranger VII – Silver and Emily you will be Zeo Ranger IX – White.”
“So, you two on the team?” Tommy asked
“Yes,” Emily smiled.
“You have to ask?” returned Chelsea.
One by one the other Rangers stepped forward to welcome their new teammates. When that was done they decided to go home.
For some people a gentle hint like a strange sword appearing out of nowhere or a meteorite crossing your path is enough to make someone take notice. In some cases a more direct approach is required.
Maguire’s Leap was the last outpost of vegetation along the old Angel Grove highway. Beyond the bluff, the yellow grass and sagebrush gave way to the true desert that California is really composed of. Even in February, it was warm out here, temperatures in the mid-sixties. Sitting under a stunted and rather lonely tree, Lillian O’Neil looked out over the desert, wondering if that band of grey on the horizon was a cloud or a band of Los Angeles smog. A cloud, she decided. They were really too far north to get smog from LA. Shifting position, she sighed. California appealed to her, just like it appealed to the rest of the family. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to travel, it was just that she didn’t want to live anywhere else. That’s why she was heading to Crossworld University for college. The town was close enough to home that she could visit, but far enough away that she’d be getting a real “going away experience.” Besides, Crossworld U had a great chemistry program, the city had lots of martial arts studios, and for excitement, there were always the VR Troopers.
She grinned to herself. Her friends thought she was crazy, trading in one set of monster-fighting superheroes for another, but she liked danger. She didn’t go looking for trouble, but when trouble came, she rather enjoyed handling it. Living in Crossworld promised just the kind of excitement she was looking for.
Suddenly, a bright flash of light caught her eye. Lying in the grass next to her was a strange pendant. A spire of black crystal hung on a black cotton cord, it was not very flashy, and seemed rather inexpensive. Unsure exactly why she was doing so, Lillian picked up the necklace and knotted it around her own neck. It felt right there, as if it had been made for her. That was ridiculous, of course. Sighing, she turned back to her new favourite pastime, daydreaming about Tommy Oliver.
Although she had not wanted to admit it to Randi, he had made an impression on her. He was tall, handsome, and very nice. She’d liked him since the moment she met him, four years. Still, it was silly to fantasize about the two of them. There were only four months left in the school year, plus three months for the summer, and then it was off to college for all of them.
Lillian sighed again. Seven months wasn’t so short a time, she decided. People made do with less. Maybe she and Tommy could develop a friendship in that time. A girl could never have enough friends.
Without warning, a flash of pain and nausea ripped through her. _They need me, _ she thought, unsure where the thought was coming from. Staggering to her feet, she managed to straighten up enough to yell, “Zeo Shadow Power!” Ribbons of darkness whirled out of nowhere, flocking to her and encasing her in almost a cocoon of shadow. The cocoon blew apart, and standing where Lillian had been was a Black Zeo Ranger, her helmet a black hexagon.
“The Youth Centre. I have to get down there.” She thought about teleporting, but decided against it. Teleporting blind into that situation might be disastrous. She ran for where she had left her motorcycle. No sooner had she climbed onto it than it changed, developing some sort of black armour around the handlebars. “Very cool,” she chuckled to herself. No doubt it had weapons on it, too. “Let’s roll.” Kick-starting the bike, she roared off towards the Youth Centre.
Just moments earlier inside the Zeo Crystal a black glow had emerged, alerting anybody watching that the tenth and final Zeo Ranger had taken her place within their ranks. Like the Purple Ranger Lillian could morph without a pendant or sword, but the Power had ensured she would touch the Power in future.
But nobody was watching the Zeo Crystal because at that moment in time they were busy watching Lord Zedd rampage through Angel Grove in an attempt to draw his daughter into the open. Despite having Goldar, Rito, Scorpina and the Putties with him it was Zedd causing most of the damage.
“He has to be stopped,” Jason said.
“Yes Rangers, I fear Jason is correct. You must stop him.”
“It’s Morphin Time!”
“No Jason,” Zordon said. “Zedd has created a barrier blocking the Morphin powers. Let the Zeo Rangers handle Zedd and his forces.”
Jason nodded; conceding that Tommy’s team was better suited to the task in hand.
“Good luck Bro,” he said clasping hands with Red Zeo.
“Thanks Man,” Tommy replied. “It’s Morphin Time!”
“Zeo Ranger I – Pink!”
Zeo Ranger II – Yellow!”
“Zeo Ranger III – Blue!”
“Zeo Ranger IV – Green!”
“Zeo Ranger V – Red!”
“Zeo Ranger VI – Purple!”
“Zeo Ranger VII – Silver!”
“Zeo Ranger IX – White!”
“Zeo Ranger X – Gold!”
Once on the ground the Rangers discovered their problems had increased. Once he had sensed their arrival Zedd had summoned even more Tengas and Putties to assist.
“Split into twos,” Red Zeo ordered. “Aisha, help Rocky and Adam with Scorpina.”
As the three Rangers took off to battle the space monkey Purple and Yellow Zeo launched after Rito, Silver and Gold Zeo took on the Tengas and Putties, and White and Pink Zeo teamed up on Goldar. That left Red Zeo to fight Zedd in a match that was long overdue.
A short time later Rito, Scorpina, Goldar and the Putties were down and unable to help their master. Lord Zedd however had recovered and was now successfully holding off the entire team.
“We need to destroy the staff,” Gold Zeo said. “That’s the source of his power.”
“You Power Pests may have outmatched my idiot henchmen, but I am more than you can handle.” Zedd bellowed sensing their intentions. “This time, I will destroy you myself!”
“This is not good,” Red Zeo remarked as the team regrouped behind him.
“Really, Sherlock?” Silver Zeo asked innocently. “What was your first clue?”
“Power Rangers, try to destroy the staff!” called Red Zeo. “Let’s go!”
The Rangers charged, and the battle was on. Zedd quickly proved that he was a formidable fighter, throwing the Rangers back as quickly as they came at him.
The noise of a motorcycle arriving signaled a lull in the fighting. Rangers and villain stood in silence as Black Zeo Jumped from her bike and landed a blow across Zedd’s face.
“Zeo Power Staff!”
A long bow staff appeared in her hand, which she used to pummel the Emperor of the Dark Zones. A flick of her wrist and the staff collapsed into a three-sectioned staff. A small chain linked the three sections of the staff together with a spiked ball on each end.
Black Zeo attempted to surround him with her Shadow Ribbons, but he simply batted them back at her with his staff. Realizing that they were outmatched, the Rangers called on their Power Weapons. Still, however, Zedd was too strong for them. One by one, he sent them flying back to land in little heaps on the ground.
Yellow Ranger held her own for a time, relying on the skills she had learnt in London and during her travels with the Doctor. Modasian Kick boxing was not a skill Lord Zedd was trained to handle.
Moving in close, Purple Zeo tried to hook the staff from his hands with her sword. He swept her off her feet, aiming the staff at her, as she lay stunned on the ground. A lethal charge of white energy built up at its tip. Looking up at him, Purple Ranger extended her hand. “Dad,” she whispered, “don’t.”
A sudden change came over Lord Zedd. What the Rangers’ weapons had been unable to accomplish the heart of a Zarakin Prince imprisoned for over fifteen years succeeded. Zedd’s hand began to tremble, and at the last second, he pulled the staff away, sending the charge harmlessly up into the atmosphere. Inside his head Lord Zedd ruler of Danata and the demon that had controlled his body were fighting for dominance.
Red Ranger saw his chance and moved in. The two fought for long minutes, until Red Ranger brought his sword down in a strong slice. Zedd, as Red Ranger had expected, blocked by raising his staff over his head. However, nothing could stop the Power Sword, created from the power of the Zeo Crystal. It sheared through Zedd’s staff like a knife through putty. There was a brilliant flash of light, and the staff was suddenly a snake lying on the ground.
The Rangers had been ready for this, and now Red Zeo slammed his sword onto the almost completed Power Blaster. “Fire!” the five main Zeo Rangers called, training their beam on the snake.
“Zeo Cannon, Fire!” Gold, Black, Purple, Silver and White Zeo called.
“Gold Ranger Power!” A beam of light left the Golden Power staff, focusing on the snake.
“Silver Ranger Power!” Silver Ranger called. A blast of silver energy left her hand and struck the snake.
“White Ranger Power!” Her whip turned into and energy weapon and fired.
“Lightning Sword Strike!” Purple Ranger called. Bolts of lightning left her sword and struck the snake. The influx of power was too much for the snake to withstand; it started to glow brightly on the brink of destruction.
“Zeo V Power Sword!” Red Zeo called chopping off the snake’s head.
Zedd had been forced to his knees by the loss of his power, and now, as the Rangers watched, he flickered, assuming the human form of Lawrence Zedden, just as a cloud of black mist rose up from him and was blown away by the wind.
“Oh, my God,” Zedden choked. “What happened? What have I done?”
“What you did you did under a spell,” Red Zeo told him “What happens now is up to you. The demon will never take your soul again.”
“Red Ranger, can you forgive me for what I have done?” Zedden asked.
“I can,” Tommy said honestly. “The others might have more difficulty, but I can.”
“Jamie?” Larry asked, realizing this was the first time in years he had seen his daughter through his own eyes. “Can you forgive me? I- know that I haven’t been a very good father to you. I missed so much of your childhood, and I am sorrier than you will ever know. I realise that we cannot go back to what has been, but could we- maybe- start again? Could we try to be a family again, a family of some sort?”
Jamie stared at her father for a long moment, then threw her arms around him, bursting into tears as she did so. “I’d like that. Just so long as you leave my boyfriend alone.”
Zedd chuckled. “I won’t be any more protective than any other father, all right?”
“Deal,” she sniffed, wiping her tears away.
“Would your mother- still be interested- in seeing me?” he asked hesitantly.
“She still wears your wedding ring,” Jamie smiled. “Other than that, you’ll have to ask her yourself.”
Still keeping one arm around his daughter, Zedd turned to the rest of the Rangers. “Thank you for helping me.”
“Don’t mention it,” Kat smiled. “It’s our job to help people.”
“I say we all go back to the Power Chamber,” Adam suggested. “We can talk about this better there.”
“Right,” Tommy nodded. In a rainbow of coloured light, Zedd and the Rangers teleported out.
“So are you going to take off your helmet?” Rocky asked when they arrived in the Power Chamber. In all the excitement nobody had thought about who Black Zeo really was. “We’ve trusted you with our identities, you can trust us with yours.”
Sighing, Black Zeo removed her helmet, setting it down on a nearby console. “Lillian?” Tommy frowned
She nodded. “I was sitting up by Maguire’s Leap this morning when I found a black crystal pendant on the ground. I put it on, and suddenly I knew you needed me. I morphed into the Black Zeo and came to help you.”
“Well, I’m glad you did,” Tommy said coming over and taking her to one side. From where they were standing the Rangers thought they could hear Tommy say something about a movie. The smile on his face as he came back led them to believe she said yes.
“Rangers, I am very proud of all of you. You came through this fight with flying colours, especially you, Tommy. Zedd, it is good to have you on the side of the Light once again.”
Zedd smiled sadly. “It’s good to be back. Listen, all of you. I’m not really Zedd anymore. I’ve really changed too much to go back to that. I’m just plain old Lawrence Zedden now.”
“Mr. Zedden, you know of course, that by giving up your powers, you will now age at an accelerated rate to make up for the time you kept the aging at bay.”
Larry nodded. “I know, Zordon. Of course, accelerated for you and me is completely normal for Earth humans. I won’t live too much longer than Leslie and that’s the way I like it. Now, my powers are gone, but I’m still a Zarakin, and I still have the Sword of Fire. If you ever need it or me, I’m more than willing to help you.”
“Lillian O’Neil, I wish to welcome you to the Rangers and the role of Zeo Ranger VIII – Black. You are the Shadow Zeo. Will you accept the Power?” Zordon asked.
“Of course,” Lillian replied.
“In that case,” Alpha said, bringing a set of boxes out from behind a console. “One white, one silver, one black and one purple and white communicator coming up,” he informed them and pulled out four communicators. The white one went to Emily, the silver one to Chelsea who no longer had to use her brother’s, the black one to Lillian, and the purple and white one went to Larry.
“Who is up for a party at the youth centre?” Jason asked.
“Yeah!” all the Rangers replied.
“You kids go on,” Larry smiled. “I’ve got some catching up to do.” He teleported out and no one had any doubts as to where he was heading. The Rangers exchanged amused looks and headed for the youth centre.
Skull placed his hand luggage in the overhead locker and took his seat. It was six weeks since Bulk’s death and this was the second time Skull had been to America in that time. But the first time had been to Boston where Bulk’s family had moved after Bulk and Skull left for France.
Bulk’s body had been laid to rest in the family’s plot in Sunnyvale. At least that is what the family believed. In truth Bulk’s body was still being examined in France. The funeral was a trip both the family and Skull had been eager to forget. After the funeral Skull had returned to France shortly after. He had not bothered to go to Angel Grove. There had been no point. The only person from his old home who found the time to say goodbye was Lieutenant Stone.
Of course it had been talking to Jerome that made Skull realise he could never be happy in Paris. He missed his home and he missed the people he had known other the years. Bulk had made Paris bearable. Without him Skull simply wanted to go home.
As he sat there flirting half-heartedly with the stewardess he could not help but smiled when she started flirting back. He had to admit he had come a long way from the obnoxious punk the stewardess would have slapped rather than responded to his advances. He really had grown up.
Part of it, of course, was his appearance. In his khakis, yellow-button down shirt, and suspenders, he didn’t look like the punk he had been for so many years. He was also far more relaxed than he had ever been in his police uniform or the suit he mentally referred to as ‘Spy wear’. Life as a detective completely agreed with him.
Sighing, he closed his eyes, and tried to get some sleep. He wasn’t sure of what was going to happen when he got home, but he wanted to be ready for anything.
“I object!” Darke and Light cried.
“You cannot make all those Rangers in one go with no history and expect them to fit in with the others. And those relationships happened much too fast to be realistic. Think of the characters.” Darke tried to put a spin on things.
“Well you cannot just resurrect Lord Zedd,” Light countered. “And to remove the balance to his character is like interfering directly. I won’t allow it. We don’t need a super villain in the game.”
“What do you think?” they asked Q.
“I think you’ve both been had,” Young Q smiled. “It’s still my go remember?”
“What!” Darke and Light yelled. “I won’t play with him!” They pointed at each other.
“Dad!” Q called.
“What now?” came the slightly irritated voice of Q’s father. “I can’t leave you three alone for more than twelve weeks, can I?”
“Darke and Light won’t play,” Young Q said.
His father beamed as he recognised the excitement in the all too innocent voice.
“You won’t play?” he asked Light.
The player of goodness replied, “No!”
“And you won’t play either?” he asked Darke.
The Dark Q revealed he would not play either.
“Then we have a stalemate,” Q announced. “My son wins.”
“No way!” Darke boomed
“You jest,” Light accused.
“No, according to the rules you set, Good wins when darkness is vanquished and Evil wins when the light is defeated. Shadow can only win in the event of a draw or stalemate. You refused to play so shadow wins.”
“So the game goes to Young Q here,” Darke said.
“I agree,” Light commented.
Q snapped his fingers undoing the recent events in the dimension where the game was based. Both Light and Darke had made changes to the fabric of time in that dimension. He set events back so that all the events concerning the new Zeo Rangers and Lord Zedd never took place. The changes his son had made were more difficult to alter and thanks to him; Jamie Zedden and Lillian O’Neil would remain in that Universe. Light had stolen them from another world, but Young Q had transferred a copy of the Zeo Crystal and it was that which had allowed them to stabilize.
Chelsea Oliver had always been there, so there was no real damage to correct other than erasing her time as a Zeo Ranger. He sensed great things about Chelsea as well as Lillian, Jamie and two others who had been swept up from their own world. In time they would receive training and unite. But for now he was glad they existed on different planets.
The events affecting Bulk and Skull would remain unchanged since they were events that were meant to occur. The two former bullies had a destiny to fulfill that would cause them to join the Power Rangers.
The wall appeared in the corner of the room and they marked a victory for Shadow. Light folded game board up and walked off. Q and his son went off to stir up mischief somewhere, leaving Darke with the board. A smile crossed the evil Q’s face as he realised he was alone in the game room. Now he could have some real fun for once.
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