Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to their respective copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made from this fic. This is a partial rewrite of the episode Day of the Dumpster and has been altered with regards to Rita and Lokar, which will prove important later in the storyline.
Although Earth does have a moon named Cruithne, discovered in 1986 and orbiting the Earth in a horse shoe orbit that brings it close every 385 years or so, it is actually a great deal smaller than implied in this story.
Day of the Dumpster
Ten Thousand Years Ago
Rita Repulsa was deeply offended that they had allowed her to carry a wand at her trial. True her magic had been bound, but there was the principle that they believed that without magic she was helpless. With years of training under the watchful eyes of her cruel father, she was certainly not helpless when she had her wand, magic or not. And the additional training from Lord Zedd had made her even deadlier.
Behind her Goldar, Finster, Baboo and Squatt had been gathered. She did not know where Scorpina had disappeared to. The female warrior had fallen during the battle, but Rita was certain she had survived. Her remaining servants had either fled the battlefield the moment the tide had turned or had been cut down by Zordon’s forces.
She smiled, remembering what she had done to the meddling fool. That he had survived was unfortunate, but knowing he was trapped in some sort of time warp that preventing him from ageing, made her feel better. She promised that as soon as she was released she would seek him out and finish the job.
“Rita Repulsa, you have been found guilty on all counts. The penalty required by the law is termination of yourself and those that followed your orders. However, there has been an intervention on your behalf, a plea for leniency. We have taken this into account along with the horrors we know you suffered at the hands of your father. However, your crimes are too serious for the degree of mercy requested, you must pay for your crimes… regardless of your background, the choice to commit such heinous acts was yours alone.”
The was a long pause as the two large doors to the court room opened and a large metal container was wheeled in.
“It is the decision of this court that your lives will be spared. However, you will remain incarcerated until such time as you are no longer considered a danger to the rest of the universe. May the Power guide you on your journey of rehabilitation.”
Rita had not been concerned by the sentence until she realised that it was to be spent within the confines of a Zithium lined cell. She was well aware that Zithium would not only prevent her from being able to access her powers, but would also shield her from detection by those wishing to release her. And once inside the cell could be magical reduced in size and hidden away until somebody thought to check on her suitability for release. Once the sealing crystal was applied there would be no way to open the cell from the inside even if she found some sort of magical reserve she could use.
Rita was not the only one upset with her sentence. Her henchmen did not appreciate the idea of being stuck with Rita and unable to escape her rants. They argued that they should not all be locked in the same container and that as they had been tried with similar crimes they should be imprisoned separately.
Despite all efforts to convince the court otherwise, they were forced inside the cylinder and the lid was firmly attached. All that remained was to decide where the shrunken canister would be placed, how long they should wait before finding out if rehabilitation had been successful. Despite some arguing for leaving the cell on the lunar surface, the possibility that others might search that location made the decide on a more remote location.
And so Rita Repulsa and her henchment were placed upon the surface of a small planetoid known to have a prolonged orbit of the Earth. And there she would remain to be checked upon every few centuries when the planetoid drew close enough to the Earth for the conditio of its occupants to be checked before continuing on their journey.
“In other news, NASADA have confirmed that Project Excelsior has been granted permission to continue despite financial concerns surrounding the Storm Foundation. The project will launch on schedule and is expected to continue for the full duration. Sources within NASADA had revealed that financial guarantees placed by the Storm Foundation when they were awarded the project contract eighteen month ago are likely to used to cover any financial losses NASADA suffers from having to bear the brunt of the project’s costs.
The Storm Foundation has been rocked by financial scandals after the dismissal of its Chief Financial Officer. While the current Chief Executive Officer, Susan Storm has been cleared of any wrongdoing, questions remain over the activities of her father, the former CEO…”
The mission had been intended to save Storm Industries from total collapse/ A successful testing of their new Quantum Drive Engine would have secured new investment and guaranteed future contracts. Instead the stream of ill-timed lawsuits and foreclosures had allowed NASADA to exercise its contractual rights and take complete control of the joint venture at the Storm Foundation’s expense.
“NASADA have confirmed that Dr Reed Richards and test pilot Benjamin Grimm will still be included among the mission’s crew, however operations will be handed over to NASADA personnel upon arrival. The current status of Storm Industries CEO Susan Storm and her brother’s place on the mission remain unclear at this time.”
NASADA had exercised its control over the mission, replacing many of the staff Richards had appointed. While it was accepted that Richards and Grimm were the only pilots qualified to operate the shuttle, remaining crew members had been replaced. Susan Storm and her brother’s place on the shuttle was more complicated as their seats had been privately purchased and not assigned. With the legal arguments surrounding their status likely to delay the mission, NASADA had reluctantly agreed that the Storm siblings could remain on board although their hopes of a space walk were non-existent.
The mission’s goals had also been changed. Instead of a full test of the new Quantum Drive between Earth and a rogue planetoid followed by detailed study of the planetoid as Richards had suggested as final destination, the mission would now be a simply flight to the giant space rock and back with a few hours set aside for experiments and exploration by NASADA.
It was a great disappointment to Richards that most of his experiments would no longer be possible. At twenty-one, Reed Richards was a certified genius whose interest in the planetoid was secondary to his desire to learn more about the strange energy field on the edge of the planetoid’s orbit. He believed that the strange energy he and his team of assistants had been researching for years could provide the answer to genetic disorders. Unfortunately his plans to set up long range monitoring had been shelved in favour of collecting soil samples. Even the successful firing of the Quantum Drive and their safe arrival could not cheer him up.
Despite observing the strange storms that made for a turbulent landing, the NASADA astronauts were not deterred from setting foot upon the planetoid and beginning their work. And so Reed, Grimm and the Storms busied themselves readying the shuttle for its return trip.
“Get those lights set up,” was the first instruction as the small team of astronauts moved to position lighting rigs. While the planetoid was partially lit by the sun, the landing area was in the shade. “Everybody check their camera feeds and audio equipment.”
“Atmosphere is breathable,” somebody announced as they conducted their initial experiments.
“That is impossible Captain Sharpe,” Reed said over the comm-link. “The size and environment of the planetoid, the lack of plant life and water make it impossible for the air to be breathable.”
“Yeah well someone forgot to tell that to the planetoid,” the captain answered as he double-checked his findings.
“Temperature is higher than expected,” came a second report. In the shade they expected the temperature to be well below freezing. Instead the thermometer showed it was a cool thirty degrees Celsius.
“I think your equipment might be malfunctioning,” Reed told them.
“And I think maybe you should let them do their job pencil neck,” came another voice.
The explorers allowed themselves a smile. Richard’s ‘assistant’, a man named Grimm, was a very honest if slightly conceited man. And despite the scientist’s best efforts to explain the scientific impossibility of the planetoid being able to sustain life, Grimm would simply point to the instrument panel that mimicked their readings and ask him to explain it. Of course when Reed Richards failed to have an answer, and tried to point out the many possibilities, Grimm lost interest and walked off muttering something about longwinded brainiacs. Nobody was fooled into believing that Grimm was there for any other reason than to act as Richard’s bodyguard.
As the two astronauts wandered over the surface, confirming as they did so that some of the soil samples they collected resembled ash, other crew members unpacked a travel vehicle. Two of the astronauts drove off to make a distance survey while the others turned to mapping the geophysical nature of the landing area. And while they did so the soldiers continued to unpack the equipment, set up monitoring equipment and provided security.
“Hey, look at that!” they heard the driver ask as he pointed something out to his partner.
“Let’s go!” was the reply.
“Be careful gentlemen,” Reed warned before turning back to his own little team. “We need all excess materials removed from the shuttle before they return. We don’t want to try and launch if we’re overloaded. It’s a long walk home..”
The Quantum Drives were extremely powerful but difficult to control once activated. Their arrival on the planetoid had been as much down to the exact calculation of how long to fire the Quantum Drive as it had been the technology. Limiting the weight of the shuttle was a vital part of making sure those calculations were accurate.
Meanwhile the two astronauts space-walked to what they realised were the remains of a small castle. And inside, through the ruined walls, they could make out a strangely carved container with a flashing red jewel on the top.
“What do you think it is?”
The first one shrugged. “It looks like a giant oil drum!” was the best he could come up with. “Or maybe an urn,” he suggested as they drew closer and he could seen the shape better. Had they stumbled upon a burial site? The jewel on the top of whatever it was, looked like it was worth more than anything the two of them could dream of making in a lifetime. Who knew what treasure might be contained within? And in their haste it never occurred to them to question why such an expensive jewel would be left outside the container where theives might take it and not safely inside with any other valuables?
“Stop!” the other ordered. He wanted to know what was inside but he also realised that everything needed to be done properly. “Go back to the rover and collect something to carry it in.” The jewel promised wealth and power, there was no way they were going to leave it behind. But they could not just smuggle it back to Earth. They would need to present it as a find and then claiming a reward from their employer for their contribution to the mission’s financial success.
His companion eagerly did so and when he returned, reached out to touch the ruby, which easily lifted off the top of the urn and was quickly placed in the waiting sack. Four beams of light exploded from within, flying a short distance away and transforming into four roughly humanoid beings, all of whom seemed to have no trouble existing without air.
“What’s going on?” the second astronaut moaned, terrified by what they’d unleashed already.
“Who cares?” his partner cried. “Let’s get out of here!”
Even though they didn’t realise it, the two men had been doomed they moment they had opened the container. In doing so they had inadvertently placed the entire expedition in danger. The space urn as one astronaut had so crudely described it, was in fact a prison cell designed to hold those inside in a state of eternal incarceration. The jewel on the top of the lid was intended to resist any attempt to open the cell from the inside. Only when the jewel was damaged or shifted out of alignment, could the occupants escape.
The planetoid held many more cells, all containing prisoners deemed too dangerous to hold in regular prisons and with known accomplices that would break them free from any high security prison. The planetoid had originally only held one cell, but after proving a successful place to stash prisoners they wanted to disappear for the duration of their sentences, more had been added. With the seal broken the security spells failed, restoring the canister to its full size. And due to their greed, the astronauts had unleashed the occupants on an ill-prepared cosmos.
The four creatures glanced at each other as the astronauts scurried a few feet away. One was tall, burly, covered in golden armour, and with a sword. The second was smaller, with white fur and spectacles, as well as a burn-spotted apron. The third resembled a giant blueberry, being small and round and blue, while the fourth was somewhat taller, with tattered wings and blunt claws. All bore the same glint of evil in their eyes.
“All right, we’re out!” the small and blue one declared with joy. He ran back to the cell and peered back inside. “Rita, wake up, wake up, we’re free!”
Grey hair wrapped up into a conical style emerged, followed by a woman dressed in a brown and gold gown decorated with even more cones. She threw her arms out wide and yawned deeply as Squatt, the one who had called her forth, fumbled in his pouch for something. “Uh-oh, morning breath!” he declared. “Let me get you a mint!”
The others were gathering around Rita as she got her bearings back. Finster, the one with the apron and glasses, stated firmly, “Oh, it’s good to be free after ten thousand years!”
Baboo of the tattered wings came over to help her out of the prison. “Here, your Evilness, let me help you! Walk with me, talk with me,” he sang off-key. She growled harshly and glared at him and he promptly shut up.
“Oh Mighty Lokar, I am free once more,” she cried, ignoring her underling. “For ten thousand years they have kept me here in this magicless prison; they will pay for denying me for so long.”
Zithium containers were extremely expensive to manufacture, but boasted a reputation for being escape proof without outside help. Zithium was not an insulator as many believed, but instead a very conductive material that absorbed all but the strongest forms of magical energy. In fact Zithium had once been considered for use in the manufacture of magical wands, except that having absorbed energy it was extremely reluctant to release it again.
Still it was easy to forge, and could retain enchantments placed upon for as long as those spell remained powered. Over centuries methods had been learned to cast expansion charms so that a small Zithium canister could function like a full prison. Rita’s cell had been enchanted to not only provide adequate room for herself and her underlings, but also to enforce the rehabilitation programs her captors had designed for her. And everything had been powered by a single quartz ruby that radiated magical energy at a controlled rate.
The problem with Zithium was that there was always a short gap between the loss of the energy needed to sustain some of its enchantments and the failure of some of the other spells. In the case of Rita’s prison, the spells intended to enhance its strength failed before those forcing its inner dimensions to expanded. The result was the cracking of the Zithium and the release of Rita and her underlings.
Rita glanced around, and saw the two astronauts backing away as fast as they could. She laughed wickedly. “Don’t leave!” she told them, a bolt of energy leaving her wand, encasing their retreating forms in crystal. “You’ll miss our coming out party! That’s where we destroy the nearest planet!”
The five of them looked toward the Earth, recognising the planet as the place of their most recent defeat, and evil laughter sounded that had not been heard in ten-thousand years. It was time for some conquest.
It was Saturday in Angel Grove, California, warm, sunny, and delicious as so many days in that peaceful town were. In one of the most popular business establishments in town, the Angel Grove Gym and Juice Bar, kids had gathered as they did every day to work out, play, and just have fun together. The Youth Youth Center, as it was also known, was known for its safety, it’s popularity, and the fabulous fruit shakes provided by the portly owner, Ernie.
One thing the town was known for, other than near-complete peace, was an abundance of people into the martial arts. Two of them were working out on the practice mats that morning, one a tall, well-muscled fifteen-year-old in a red tank top and black workout pants, his short hair held back by a red headband, his partner a young black man of the same age, in black jeans and shirt. The two of them sparred back and forth easily; it was obvious they’d done this before.
As they pulled apart, the one in red grinned to his friend. “Nice recovery, Zack!”
“Hey, thanks for teaching me, Jason!” Zack Taylor responding, clasping his hand warmly. Zack preferred his own Hip-Hop Kedo for martial arts, but he didn’t mind a few karate lessons, not from Jason, the acknowledged best martial artist in Angel Grove.
Not too far away, a young Chinese girl in bright yellow workout clothes was practicing a kung fu routine, her eyes flashing occasionally to a perky girl in pink on the balance beam a few feet from her. As she leaped off the bar, the girl in yellow came over and patted her on the back. “That was awesome, Kimberly!” ly!”
“Thanks, Trini!” the gymnast grinned.
They looked up as the final member of their small clique entered the main room of the Youth Center dressed in a white gi and white belt the young man also wore glasses. He headed over to Zack and Jason, who examined his outfit with critical eyes.
“Hey, fellas!” the blue head-banded guy smiled as he got closer.
“Yo, Billy!” Zack waved. “What’s up?” he asked.
“Well, I think I’m mentally and physically prepared for my first karate class,” Billy Cranston stated enthusiastically as he smiled at each of his friends. nds.
As the small group continued to chat, Kim and Trini glanced up at the sound of footsteps, and groaned in unison. Two figures had entered the Youth Center, two very familiar, and unwanted, figures, clad in black leather and chains, one huge, the other skinny. “Oh, no,” Trini whispered to her friend. “Look who’s here!”
“Bulk and Skull,” Kim sighed. These two had been doing their level best to ‘date’ the two of them for as far back as they could remember, and were also Angel Grove High’s resident bullies, idiots, and ever present pains in the posterior. Bulk, the larger and supposedly the ‘brains’ of the two, grinned at them. hem.
“Hi, girls!” he tried what he apparently thought was a charming look at them. “How about that double date we talked about?”
“Yeah!” Skull issued a hyena-like laugh as he leaned on Bulk’s shoulder. “What about it?”
Trini shook her head. “Sorry, guys!” Skull shrugged and was about to walk off, when Bulk dragged him back, shaking his head. It was hard for him to take ‘no’ for an answer as he looked back at the girls.
“What’s the matter?” he asked. “We’re not good enough for you?” he was almost taunting in what he said. aid.
“Leave us alone, Bulk!” Trini insisted.
Bulk grinned, leaning a bit closer to them. “Oh, yeah? Make me!” me!”
“Yeah!” Skull nodded. “Make me!” he wilted a bit as Zack and Jason came up behind the two girls. “Him!” Skull pointed to Bulk quickly. “Make him!”
“Hey, you heard what she said!” Zack grinned a little.
Jason nodded. “Didn’t you hear the ladies? They said no!”
Bulk rolled his shoulders aggressively and glared. “Oh, what do you know? The dancer wants to be a fighter! How sweet!”
Kim smiled at them both. “It’s okay, guys,” she said. “We can handle these two.”
As Zack and Jason stepped aside, Bulk looked incredulously at Skull.
“Oh, really?” he laughed. “Let’s show them some karate moves, Skull!” with wild parodies of karate yells, the two of them charged the girls. Kim and Trini moved in identical blurring motions, seizing Bulk and Skull by the arms and twisting, letting their own momentum drag them to the floor. The two bullies lay on the mats, trying to figure out what had happened to them, as Kim giggled a little.
“You guys should definitely join Jason’s karate class!” she declared. Bulk and Skull just looked at each other. How had it gone wrong?
The humans had put up a fight and provided Rita with some fun following her release. The two that had opened the prison had been dealt with; they had attempted to steal from her and that had sealed their fate. The shuttle had been attempting to take off when Goldar had found them. The first blow from his sword had sliced off one of its rockets, leaving the vessel incapable of changing direction. It was facing away from Earth.
It would have been easy for Reed Richards to panic. The Excelsior had been damaged, the NASADA astronauts were missing, presumed dead and it seemed that their attacker was far from finished. His mind ran through the possible scenarios as he tried to determine which course of action they would be most likely to survive.
In the end he decided that it was better to take off into the unknown than wait to be sliced apart by a flying alien.
“Ben, launch!” he ordered.
Grimm grunted and pulled the power lever, activating the Quantum Drive from a stationary position. There was a moment’s delay and then the shuttle lurched forward, avoiding the incoming blade but not the shot from whatever gun the small blue alien had been holding.
The Quantum Drive reached full power as Grimm desperately tried to push the vessel back toward the Earth. The impact from the pistol shot helped as the shuttle stated to spin around and the Quantum Drive reached full power. Unfortunately the engines were damaged by the impact and exploded as the ship took off at high speed and vanished from sight.
Having dealt with the annoying bugs, Rita had decided to follow through on her threat to the planet Earth. She left the planetoid with her henchmen and chose the Earth’s first moon as her new home. There she found an abandoned temple she had briefly used as a staging ground during her previous war, which she rapidly reshaped into her new Lunar Palace. It would make be a pleasantly depressing home to live in until they’d conquered the Earth; based on the humans that had released her it would not take long.
Rita stared at the Earth through her Repulsa-scope “Ah, I like it!” Rita smiled, examining what seemed to be a large concentration of magical energy in a small California city.
The servants, Finster, Squatt, Baboo, and Goldar, nodded quickly and thankfully. It was good to know they wouldn’t be travelling; this place was perfect just as it was. Rita looked to Finster, the monster-maker, and snapped out, “Finster! Start making Putty Patrollers!”
“I’ll take them down and make the Earth yours, Empress!” Goldar declared, raising his sword.
Rita laughed softly. “You sound anxious for battle Goldar, could it be your imprisonment has made you even more aggressive?” Goldar grunted in response. Rita nodded. “So be it, I can’t fault you for that. Take the Putties and conquer this planet for my greatness!”
Goldar growled, the bloodlust taking control of him for the first time in over ten thousand years. He had a need to kill, to shed the blood of the powerless and his mistress had just given him leave to do so.
Back in the Youth Center, Jason’s karate class had begun already. It was a beginner’s class, for which Billy was extremely grateful as he struggled to learn the basics of the martial art. As Jason guided the class through the movements, it was plain Billy was having problems beyond the norm. The teacher finally halted them and came over to the young man.
“Try this,” Jason said, demonstrating the move in much slower motion. Billy imitated it to the best of his ability, then Jason went on to the next, going through each slowly and carefully. Billy did what he could, but it was obvious he just wasn’t getting it. He sighed.
“I’m just not good at this,” he sighed. Zack laid a hand on his shoulder comfortingly.
“It takes time, Billy,” Trini reassured him from the sidelines. “Nothing worth doing is easy.” She understood Billy better than any of the others and could guess what he was feeling. He had mastered everything else in life that required science and technique so easily he’d almost thought he’d do this as well.
Jason nodded. “Billy, don’t worry,” he told his friend. “Even I was a beginner once!” it was rather hard to believe, seeing how good Jason was now. But Billy knew inside it was true. Jason moved to the front of the class, and looked at them all. “All right, class, what is it martial arts helps us to develop?”
Billy raised his hand quickly. “Courage, kindness, fitness, integrity, loyalty, and discipline,” he replied at Jason’s nod. The teacher smiled at him, and then frowned briefly as he saw Bulk and Skull making their way through the class.
“Hey! Geek!” Bulk grunted. “Teach us how to beat people up!”
Jason shook his head, and groaned almost audibly. He’d repeated many times of how a true martial artist only used their skills to defend themselves or someone who needed it. “Martial arts were not developed to hurt others!” he reminded them all.
“We did not sign up for a geeky karate class!” Bulk declared. Jason smiled a little.
“Okay, Bulk!” he decided. “Maybe you’re ready for some more advanced training techniques!” Bulk nodded his eager agreement, and Jason did a smooth sidekick. “There. Side kick.”
“Anything you can do, I can do better, baby!” Bulk challenged the martial arts teacher. Jason gestured for him to demonstrate, and Bulk puffed out onto the practice mat. With a sound that was more like a whine than a karate yell, he did a semi-passable sidekick. Skull applauded loudly, while Jason only smiled, and did another move.
“Tornado kick,” he told them. Bulk grinned foolishly, and attempted this more difficult move. This time, however, he collapsed full on his face on the mat. Jason managed to keep himself from laughing, and looked at the students, who were cracking up over the bully’s foolishness.
“Class dismissed!” he declared, sending them to the showers. He didn’t make fools of people who bothered him, he let their own stupidity make fools of themselves.
Once Billy was showered and back in regular clothing, they gathered at the usual table the five of them sat at.
“Billy, I’m telling you,” Jason reminded their friend, “For your first lesson, you did really well.”
Billy blushed a little bit. “I did?” he couldn’t believe just what Jason was saying. This was the master of karate, telling him he was doing well?
Kim grinned. “Yeah, we were watching!” she told him.
“You’re going to be a great martial artist one day,” Jason told his friend. “Just give yourself some time to work at it, and don’t lose hope. Some things don’t happen overnight.”
“I don’t know if I’ve got what it takes,” Billy said pessimistically, shrugging. Trini reached out to pat his hand gently.
“It’s all a state of mind, Billy,” she reminded him. “You don’t need to be strong for martial arts!”
Zack nodded and touched his head. “Yeah, man, it’s all up here!” as the others nodded, Ernie, the owner and runner of the Youth Center, came over with a plate of drinks.
“Hey, guys!” he grinned, waving to them all. “Who ordered the spinach juice?”
As Billy raised his hand, the entire Youth Center began to shake uncontrollably. “Oh, no, it’s an earthquake!” Ernie cried out. As he tried to regain his balance, the plate of drinks he held suddenly splashed all over Bulk. “Sorry!” he apologized as they began to make their way out of the Youth Center.
“Oh, man, what’s going on?” Zack cried out as the five of them slowly got to their feet, trying to find a way out and keep upright at the same time. Billy looked around, a strange sense of fate coming to him.
“Something tells me this is no earthquake!” he said, holding on to the table for support it wasn’t providing. Something was going on, something that went beyond weird in the same way the sun goes beyond a candle flame.
Something was going to happen.
Outside of Angel Grove, in the middle of the desert, there was a small range of rocky hills leading up to the mountains. Near the top of one hill there stood a stone structure, centuries old and shielded from detection by humans. It was a strategic command post, one of many scattered throughout the galaxy and the main observation point within the Sol system.
It had been built, as part of the ongoing war between good and evil, allowing the forces of light a base of operations should war break out. The Command Center on Earth was there purely as a precautionary measure. Nobody ever expected an attack to come.
Inside the Command Center, there was some activity. The sudden earthquake had activated Alpha Five, the Command Center’s maintenance droid. Unlike the other Alpha units found in other command areas, this one was prone to panic.
“Danger! Danger! It’s the big one, I know it, and we’ll all be destroyed!”
“Alpha Five, calm down at once,” a booming voice ordered. Now Alpha had reason to be scared.
This was Zordon, an Eltarian Wizard and hero of the last Grid War. He was also the final victim of the last battle, having been assaulted while his back was turned and forced into a dimensional void to save his life. The teleportation unit they had rigged had broken down after a few hundred years and a more permanent solution had been sought. Placing his residual energy inside a specially constructed dimension where time has slowed considerably, had proven the solution. Normally he preferred to communicate through a plasma tube while Alpha Five served as his hands.
“Ai-yi-yi, I’m sorry Zordon, but the earthquake could destroy us.”
“Nonsense Alpha, this is not an earthquake, the planet is reacting to a sudden surge in evil energy.” He paused. “Stand by Alpha, I am coming through.”
It took a great deal of concentration for Zordon to transfer his ethereal body into the Command Center and in truth it was only the high levels of magic that ran through the building that allowed him to do so. While he couldn’t actually touch anything, his mental discipline allowed him to wield a weak form of tactile telekinesis.
Apart from a slight shimmer as he moved, it was difficult to tell that he was little more than a ghost. His form came from his memory of what he had looked like before he had fallen. Residual self-image some called it; he sometimes wished he could remember having hair. He appeared to be wearing white robes and carried a carved wooden staff.
“Initiate a scan of the solar system and find the cause of the alarm,” he instructed.
Alpha did as he was told while Zordon reached out with his mental powers to find the cause of the disruption.
“It is as I feared, Alpha,” Zordon told him finally, checking that the computer was detecting the same energy he himself had found. “It’s Rita. She’s escaped and is attacking the planet.”
“Ay-yi-yi!” Alpha was even more nervous now. “What do we do?” he vividly remembered how Zordon had tricked the evil sorceress, and her servants into the urn and cast it into space with an orbit that would take it through the solar system. The last report conducted before the Command Center had closed down a decade before had mentioned the canister had crashed onto a distant moon. At the time he hadn’t realised the moon in question had other containment units and would come closer to the Earth.
“We have no choice Alpha,” he said finally. “Rita’s magic is still weak at this point and she will no doubt use the destruction of Earth to fuel her powers and summon Lokar to this dimension. To do so would require a great deal of negative energy, which will take Rita time to obtain.” He paused. “At least we have a chance of stopping her if we act immediately. Teleport the Power Coins to the Command Center.” There was another pause as he wished that his chosen warriors had been there to stop Goldar. Still, the Earth was in need and he had no choice. “Find and teleport here, five of this planet’s natives who are best suited to face Rita.”
“Right away Zordon,” Alpha said as he started entering commands into the super computer, revising a search pattern that had previously been successful. “Searching now.”
There was a sudden tremor; dust fell from the ceiling as Alpha stumbled around. Zordon stood perfectly still, his astral body immune to the shaking.
“Oh no, Zordon, the computer lost its lock in the tremor!” Alpha stated. “It’s locked onto the wrong group.”
“Teleport them here at once,” Zordon instructed. “We are out of time.”
Alpha would have shivered if he had been human. “But Zordon, they’re teenagers!” He shook his head, wanting it to be a mistake.
“That is correct, Alpha. I am afraid that repeating the search will only yield the same results since the computer has been damaged. And calling in outside help now will waste precious time.”
Alpha shuddered regardless of not being alive. “I was afraid of that!” Could teenagers really do what they were going to be asked to do? Even as he denied it, he was starting the teleport system and bringing the five candidates from Angel Grove. He just hoped that despite their young age, they possessed the mental and emotional requirements.
He found them.
In the Youth Center, the teens were still trying to find a way out, and still couldn’t get to the door because the shaking was too great. As the last of the other patrons ran out, Kim shrieked, “Oh my gosh, what’s happening?” they could all feel something taking a hold of them, wrapping around them in a way nothing ever had before.
“I don’t know, but I think I like it!” Zack felt a thrill running throughout his entire body, something he couldn’t explain, something he doubted even Billy could explain. It was just right!
“This is too weird!” Trini shuddered.
Jason took a deep breath; something was tugging at them all. “Hold on!” he ordered instinctively. Suddenly, they dissolved into balls of coloured light: red, yellow, pink, blue and black and flew from the Youth Center.
As they landed on the floor, they transformed back to humans, and found themselves staring at most unfamiliar surroundings. It looked like the most high-tech place in the entire planet, if not the universe, and it was obvious Billy was in love. Kim, however, wasn’t taking it quite that well. “This isn’t exactly the mall, is it?” Kim whispered, staring around.
“This place is magnificent!” Billy exclaimed, in purest heaven at the technology that could be seen everywhere.
Jason frowned. “I don’t get it,” he said finally. “How’d we end up here?”
“I just want to know where here is!” Trini insisted.
“This is just… unimaginable!” was all Zack could find to say.
Billy reached out to a control console, starting to flip things. “Maybe the answers in these controls!” he said hopefully. Suddenly a voice came from behind them all.
“No, no, don’t touch that!” they all turned at a noise to see a small robot falling as he tried to interrupt Billy’s fascinated examination of things. Billy slowly helped him to his feet, staring.
“Whoa!” he whispered. “A fully sentient multi functional automaton! I’ve never seen anything like this!”
The kids stared at Alpha in shock and surprised and wonder all merged. Suddenly, a deeper, richer voice spoke from above and behind, pulling their attention. “Welcome, humans.”
Jason’s eyes widened as they saw a face appearing in a tube set in the wall. “So who are you?” he asked.
“Like, what are you? ” Kim wanted to know, staring wide-eyed.
He chuckled a little. “I am Zordon, an inter-dimensional being caught in a time warp.”
The robot stepped forward. “And I am Alpha Five!” he declared.
“Would like, someone come back to Earth and pick me up?” Kim requested. “Cause I am totally confused!”
Zordon smiled a little. “It’s quite simple, my dear,” he told her. “This planet is under attack and I have brought you here to save it.”
“Oh, yeah, right!” Zack laughed, shaking his head and laughing. This was too… too silly!
“Ah, a non-belieiver!” Zordon wasn’t surprised; there was one in every group. It was almost necessary, someone who could give some practicality to the team. “Look behind you at the viewing globe. Your doubts will be answered in the images you see there.”
The five of them turned around to see the large crystal ball on the floor, then peered into it. The image of Rita appeared in it for a moment. “This is Rita Repulsa, an intergalactic sorceress bent on controlling the universe. With her henchmen and Putty Patrollers, she plans to conquer Earth.”
“I have but one question,” Trini said quietly, “What does all of this have to do with us?” she gestured to include their group.
Zordon had been expecting that. “You’ve been chosen to form an elite team to battle Rita. Each of you will be given access to extraordinary powers drawn from the ancient creatures you call dinosaurs.”
Kim laughed in disbelief. “Dinosaurs?”
Five flashes of light suddenly appeared at their waists, and they looked down to see each of them now wore a strange belt, with a device on it that bore a coin. “Behold! The keys to your power!”
“Whoa!” Zack pulled his off and stared at the symbol of the Mastodon on it. “What are these?”
“Those are your Power Morphers. When in danger, raise them to the sky calling the name of your dinosaur, and you will morph into a powerful fighting force known to one and all as the Power Rangers.”
As Zordon spoke, each of them felt a jump in their soul, thought they knew not why. “Morph?” Kim frowned in confusion, almost wishing she’d spent more time studying her English.
“Metamorphosis,” Billy tried to explain.
Trini translated, “That means to change!” Kim grinned a little, now understanding.
“As Power Rangers, you will have access to a universe of power, and will command a fleet of fighting machines called Zords,” Zordon went on to explain.
“I don’t get it,” Trini said. This was very confusing for her even though she was one of the most intelligent members of their little group. In fact with her physical activities and capacity to understand things when explained to her, she was buffer between Jason’s full on physical approach to life and Billy’s more reserved desire to analyse and understand everything.
Zordon looked to Jason. “Jason, bold and powerful, you shall command the Tyrannosaurus Dinozord, and be the Red Ranger, the field leader of the team.
Zack, you are clever and brave. You shall command the Mastodon Dinozord, and be the Black Ranger.
Kimberly, graceful and smart, the Pterodactyl Dinozord shall be yours as the Pink Ranger.
Billy, patient and wise, you shall command the powerful Triceratops Dinozord, and be the Blue Ranger.
Trini, fearless and agile, the Sabre-Tooth Tiger Dinozord shall be under your command as the Yellow Ranger.”
The five of them looked at each other for a moment, then Zordon continued. “Observe the Viewing Globe.” As they did, he showed them how five of the Zords could come together. “As the five of you work together, so do your Zords. When you need help, you need only to turn to the power of the Dinozords, which will come together to form the mighty Megazord.”
The teens looked at each other, then Zack shook his head. “Power Morphers? Megazord? This is just too weird for me!”
Kimberly nodded briefly. “It’s been real, but we’ve got to go! I have a date.” she declared. It drew her, she admitted it, but this just couldn’t be happening, and even if it was, she was only a kid! What did she know about trying to save the world? What did any of them know?
Jason stood for a few moments, staring at Zordon, until Zack called out his name.
“Yo, Jason, you coming?”
The tall youth in red closed his eyes briefly, and wondered why he felt like he was turning his back on destiny as he followed his friends and girlfriend out. “Very well then, let the Power protect you!” Zordon declared as they left. Alpha shook his head.
“Well, that didn’t go very well, did it? Ay-yi-yi!” they heard Kim’s voice from outside complaining bitterly, “Great! They could have sent us back into town!”
~If I had, Kimberly, then you would have regretted it,~ Zordon thought. ~I can only hope it all works out.~
On the moon, Baboo was using Rita’s scope to spy on Goldar’s progress when the spell Rita had cast kicked in and the Repulsa-scope turned to focus in on a group of beings of high magical energy.
“Hey Rita!” he shouted, drawing the witch’s attention.
Rita shoved the henchman out of her way and grabbed her Repulsa-scope. “Zordon, I’m surprised!” she laughed. “Teenagers? You’d think he’d recruit some real warriors, not children!” she shook her head. “Hm, they’re carrying Zordon’s coins, so they must have accepted his plea for help. So, they think they can stop me, huh? Finster! Hurry up with those Putty Patrollers!”
Finster nodded as he shoved rolls of clay into the Monster-Matic shaping trays. “Yes, your Evil Badness, I’m moulding the last ones now!” as they went into the machine that would give them life, Squatt laughed.
“Those putties’ll make space dust out of those kids!” he declared.
Finster shrugged. “And the beauty is if they don’t, we can always make more!” he said pragmatically. He preferred to look on the darker side of things. He wasn’t disappointed like that as much. “Now, into the Monster-Matic they go! Ten seconds should do it!”
As the putties came out, full sized and ready to fight, Rita laughed. “Now, my putties, prepare to get those teenagers!” she ordered. Goldar rolled his eyes, Rita was a glory hog and he was starting to suspect that when all was said and done, she was as much a servant as he was. One day the Emperor would return, then she would learn her place the hard way.
“Guys, we shouldn’t have left!” Jason insisted as they made their way home through the desert. “I mean, he chose us to save the world! I say we do it!”
“Do you really think we can?” she wondered.
“Guys!” Zack interrupted. “You don’t even know what you’re talking about, we were talking to a giant floating head!”
Suddenly, an explosion came from just ahead of them.
“Whoa, what was that?” Trini stared in shock as suddenly grey warriors, Putties such as they had seen in the Viewing Globe, were flipping all around them, surrounding them. Kim shrieked as one reached for her arm, pulling her away from the others along with one of its companions.
“Let go of me!” she cried out, trying to get away from it.
“Zack, Trini!” Jason cried out, gesturing for them to spread out a bit. The two of them nodded, drawing away some of the Putties.
Zack grinned a little. “These two are mine!” he declared, getting two of them away from the others. He started in on his hip hop Kedo, working to take the creatures down as fast as he could.
Jason and Trini worked back to back, fighting, while Billy, as the weakest, was having the hardest time dealing with the Putties. Kim managed to squirm away from the grey things, and was doing her best to fight, kicking and punching and flipping with all her strength, as they all were.
It was a lost cause, though, as one by one, from Billy, Kim, Zack, Trini, to Jason, they were defeated and thrown into a pile under an overhanging ledge. The putties gathered around them, burbling and gloating it seemed in their senseless manner.
“This day is too weird!” Kim moaned.
“What do we do now?” Trini wondered.
Jason pulled the Power Morpher from his belt and looked at it. “Zordon said these Power Morphers would give us power,” he said finally. “Let’s do it!”
The five of them got to their feet, reaching for the Morphers. The putties looked at each other, too stupid to realize what was going on.
And then it happened. The words of power flowed into their heads where their minds rationalised what they were hearing into something they understood.
In multicoloured flashes of light, where five teens had stood, now were a group of mighty warriors. In unison, they cried out, “Power Rangers!” Black Ranger, Pink Ranger, Yellow Ranger, Blue Ranger, Yellow Ranger, and Red Ranger all stood there, covered in armour of some strange material, with laser pistols by their sides, and a confidence flowing through them like nothing they had ever imagined before.
Back in the Command Center, Alpha suddenly went into an overload of joy. “Zordon, they’ve done it, they’ve made the metamorphosis!”
“Good. Teleport them to Angel Grove City, Rita just sent down Goldar.”
“Right away, Zordon!” Alpha punched a couple of buttons, sending the newly made Rangers to where they were needed.
“We’re teleporting again!” Billy shouted as they flew through the air. They’d discovered quickly they could speak while this was happening.
Kim was still a little afraid. “Where are we going?”
Jason had an answer for her though. “We’re going to save the world!”
As they arrived on a rooftop in Angel Grove, Jason threw out an arm commandingly. “All right, let’s do it!”
Goldar appeared, a full army of putties at his command. “Get them!” he ordered the clay warriors. The Putties rushed towards them, and this time, the Power Rangers got the best of the fight, as filled with their new strength and powers, they fought back.
The battle raged all over the tops of the buildings, as Rangers and putties flipped everywhere. The forces of good had just gained five powerful new allies, and the forces of evil were hard-pressed to stop them. In frustration Goldar gave a growl and withdrew, promising revenge for his humiliation.
“I can’t believe this!” Rita roared as they appeared on the palace. “You failed! How dare you fail! Goldar, you’re supposed to be a great warrior. Pride of the Pack, and you screwed it up! How could you?” Rita growled and almost kicked at her underling. “This better not happen again!” She didn’t exactly hear the words of her terrified underlings as she grasped her head and groaned “I’ve got a headache!”
She stumbled off to her chambers, unaware of the concerned looks her underlings exchanged.
Glad, cheerful, and surprised voices filled the Command Center as the newly made Rangers talked among themselves. Zordon’s voice cut through it all. “Congratulations on a job well done,” he told them. “Now that you have become Power Rangers, you must follow three basic rules, or lose the protection of the Power. First, never use your power for personal gain. Second, never escalate a battle unless Rita forces you. Finally, keep your identities secret. No one may know you are a Power Ranger.”
Zack stepped forward. “Wait a second,” he said, a bit nervously.
“Yes, Zack? What is it?”
He took a deep breath. “I’m not sure we’re all up to this,” he said. “I mean, we got pretty lucky this time!”
Zordon shook his head, though. “Luck had nothing to do with it. The five of you have come together to form as fine a group of super heroes as there has ever been.”
“No way,” Kim said. “Really?”
“You have been through an extraordinary experience together, “Zordon reminded them. “You need each other now, and the world needs YOU!”
Jason nodded sharply. “Yeah! All right, I’m in!”
“Me too!” Zack declared.
“Affirmative!” Billy decided.
“You can count on me!” Trini told them.
Kim shrugged. “I dunno, you guys,” she pulled out a strand of brownish hair. “My hair gets all tangled up under the helmet. . .I don’t think I can do it.”
Everyone stared at her in shock. “Kimberly!” came from five different voices, as even Alpha tried to persuade her not to do this. She grinned at them all suddenly, and laughed.
“Not!” she’d only been joking! Alpha spun around a bit, smoke coming from his helmet as he tried to deal with what was going on.
“Illogical, illogical!” he cried out, “Circuit overload, circuit overload!” he whined until Kim explained what a joke was to him. “Humour,” he shook his head. “What a concept!”
Jason laughed. “Let’s do it!” he declared, holding out his hand. The others all piled their hands on top, and for a moment, they stood looking at each other. Jason, Kim, Zack, Trini and Billy. The Power Rangers. A team. A family.
In one mighty voice, they shouted out, “Power Rangers!”
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