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Shattered Grid: How to steal a world
Angel Grove, Drakkon’s Reality (Reality: 206.005.005.328)
Lord Drakkon ruled the world. That was not a boast; it was a fact. Since his emergence during early part of the 1990’s, the nations of the world had gradually handed him control over the planet, until only a few countries had remained that opposed his position. And at that point standing against the man who ruled much of the planet meant those nations were not around for long. In less than a decade, Lord
Drakkon had managed to conquer the Earth and yet if asked many would declare him a saviour and certainly not a mass murderer.
Except if the natives were asked, they would never be able to state when his conquest began. Many could remember the sketchy details of forcible regime change in a few small countries – for many of the larger news organisations had been wiped out during the chaos of the war with Rita Repulsa-, but if pressed they would add that Lord
Drakkon had been the ruler of the planet by that time and such skirmishes were irrelevant. It seemed that everybody who was old enough could recall the day Rita Repulsa had launched an assault on the Earth but could not recall how Lord
Drakkon had ended up as its ruler.
In fact, the story did start with Rita Repulsa, or rather a person that claimed to be Rita Repulsa. She announced her presence to the world just hours before Lord
Drakkon had emerged as their saviour. Many could recall the terror they felt as her Putty Patrollers stormed through the streets in every city of the world as monstrous creatures claimed the planet on her behalf. The Earth was taken by surprise and its military had fought back but had found most of their weapons ineffective.
Then Lord Drakkon had appeared on the television and radio channels to assure the people that help was at hand. His team of Power Rangers led the fight against Rita’s monsters, starting in the town of Angel Grove. As the Rangers fought town by town, city by city to release Rita’s stranglehold, Lord
Drakkon was there to bring the world together as a united force. The Power Rangers made it look easy as they tore their way through multitudes of Putties, making it clear that Lord
Drakkon could do something most leaders were unable to do: protect those under his care. The people flocked to support him and politicians desperate to save their positions sought to ingratiate themselves. The United States in recognition of his contribution to freeing their country, allowed him to retain sovereign control of Angel Grove and some surrounding territory as a base of operations for the duration of the war.
As his Rangers fought, they gathered soldiers and civilians to their side. Many who fought at their side failed to return from battle, but the Rangers triumphed and those that died were remembered as heroes. Lord
Drakkon often remembered their bravery while explaining his actions in the years that followed. It took time to chase Rita’s forces from the planet, but eventually they were driven back, although Lord
Drakkon continuously updated his allies on new attacks mounted by Rita that were often so devastating that only the Rangers emerged unscathed.
Soon after Rita’s initial invasion had ended, some nations started to reconsider their alliance with
Drakkon. Questions were raised about where he had come from and the nature of his Power Rangers.
Drakkon calmly answered their questions although very little was revealed. He made it clear that those that wanted to go their own way and turn down his offer of protection were welcome to do so and expressed his horror when some of those countries were targeted by Rita. It proved to those watching that it was safer align themselves with Lord
Drakkon even if returning to his side robbed them of some ability to govern themselves.
Then Rita unleashed her Green Ranger and the world watched as Drakkon’s team of heroes were forced to fight one of their own. Eventually his team prevailed and
Drakkon was able to announce that the Green Ranger had been terminated. He expressed his regret that due to the Green Ranger’s hit-and-run style of fighting, several world leaders and valuable military staff had been slaughtered and offered his full support to those nations that had suffered as they tried to rebuild.
It was clearly out of regret that Lord Drakkon made his next announcement. It was during a packed summit to discuss the losses suffered during the Green Ranger’s rampage and how best to defend themselves against her forces that he offered to share his technology with them. He presented them with the concept of the Ranger Sentries, uniting soldiers from across the planet with technology like that used by the Power Rangers. All he required in return was an agreement that when on assignment, those that stepped up for the role would be under his command. A desperate world was only too happy to accept and as a special gesture
Drakkon allowed some of those newly assigned Ranger Sentries to stand guard over their leaders.
For the next few months Drakkon led the world’s Ranger Sentries against Rita Repulsa’s forces, although due to secrecy none of those involved could speak of their encounters with the enemy. In fact, part of the oath they needed to take before assuming their new role prevented them from giving away any details of their encounters, although Lord
Drakkon and a few selected spokesmen did recount some of their adventures. As the number of Ranger Sentries increased, Lord
Drakkon offered more and more of them to act as personal security for world leaders and important places. The public recognised the greatness of the mysterious lord who gave them so much without asking for any reward.
Then came the reckoning. Doomsday: the day when Rita Repulse sent what remained of her devastated forces against the planet. Ranger Sentries fought against overwhelming odds as the Power Rangers struggled against a massive metal monster named Cyclopsis. Although the people of Earth triumphed that day, many Ranger Sentries fell in battle, devastating the world’s military, nations were devastated with entire cities obliterated, and world leaders who had bravely decided to stand their ground instead of accepting Lord
Drakkon’s offer of a place in his bunker, were slain; it was a personal loss for Lord
Drakkon too as it seemed that Rita had discovered his bunker and had made a personal appearance to destroy it and all those within. It was at that location that Rita and Lord
Drakkon had fought. Rita had lost and was destroyed, ending the threat.
In the aftermath the protection and guidance of Lord Drakkon had never been more important. Rita’s final offensive had wrecked so much of the planet’s infrastructure that the world risked plunging into chaos. Lord
Drakkon offered his guidance and leadership until the nations of the world had recovered enough to resume control of their own destinies. The wounded nations of the world agreed, granting him a position of supreme power with his Ranger Sentries, now loyal to the point that they would die for him, to enforce order. The war with Rita had lasted less than two years, but recovery seemed to take forever.
Even with Rita gone some of her monsters continued to surface, attacking seemingly random locations and killing thousands before disappearing again. It seemed that just when a country was on the brink of recovery, their luck would run out and disaster would strike. After a personal investigation, Lord
Drakkon discovered evidence that somebody was aiding the monsters by using magic to summon them. His only option given the possibility that people were willingly or unwittingly aiding the enemy, was to clamp down on groups he deemed likely to do so. With the Ranger Sentries acting as enforcers he outlawed several organisations, announcing his fears that they were involved as justification. A desperate world accepted what he said without question.
It was toward the end of the century, after Lord Drakkon’s purge of those that had aided Rita’s forces, that the world approached something akin to its former state. Some nations even talked of reclaiming their independence despite Lord
Drakkon’s appeals for caution. When evidence emerged that suggested those nations had been infiltrated by Rita’s agents, Lord
Drakkon was forced to deny their request to leave his world union and sought to replace their governments. That led to a series of unfortunate confrontations where Lord
Drakkon was face with no alternative and sent his Ranger Sentries to dismantle Rita’s puppet regimes. The fighting was often brutal as Lord
Drakkon later revealed that those acting on Rita’s behalf fought to their deaths.
Angel Grove, Drakkon’s Reality,
One year later and the world was a much better place. Lord Drakkon had as promised handed back day-to-day control of the world’s nations to their own governments. Admittedly those governments were for a time led by his appointees, but the world was not yet ready for the chaos caused by elections and free choice. The Ranger Sentries had helped to bring order to the streets and to direct the labour forces needed to rebuild. Their presence along with the harsh penalties made necessary by such desperate times had reduced crime and the compulsory purchase of all land and possessions by the state had led to a massive redistribution of wealth. While some complained about the lack of freedom in the new world, most were just happy that they had lived through the purges of the previous year.
The five original Power Rangers were constantly seen around the world, although they no longer took part in active assignments and rarely spoke. They were joined on occasion by what
Drakkon claimed was a new Green Ranger using the powers that Rita had once corrupted. Many remembered the magnificent sight of the six Rangers united with Lord
Drakkon, who had been wearing his own unique Ranger armour, as he explained that to create the Ranger Sentries, his Power Rangers had had to give up most of their power. It was for the greater good that they had made such a sacrifice, so how could the population not make the same level of sacrifice when asked?
The people loved Drakkon as the hero that had saved them from Rita Repulsa, yet they loathed him for the regime that had stolen their freedom and the purges that took away their friends and families. Yet love him or loathe him, they were in awe of his power and had seen what happened to those that dared to speak out against him. And so, they obeyed out of fear and a lack of choice.
Angel Grove, Drakkon’s Reality,
Away from the view of most humans, Tom sat upon a throne and reviewed his plans. The Earth belonged to him and the army he had been seeking grew stronger by the day. The purges had stripped away the weak, leaving behind those that were useful to him. It had been a long game and from his point of view he had played exceptionally well.
After he had been left in Colonial Angel Grove by Tommy Oliver, he had tried to blend into the background. The limited nature of his powers had hindered him at first, but with some cunning and his knowledge of how things had been at the time of his creations, he had managed to remove some future obstacles, namely those Rita Repulsa had considered to be her rivals. He had not attempted to destroy them, although striking at Lord Zedd during his rejuvenation period had been an inspired move, because he knew that failure would attract their attention at a time when he could not stand up to their might. However, the rebellions he had triggered in the M-51 Galaxy and on the planet Horath had kept Master Vile and Prince Gasket occupied while the sabotage of the Machine Empire’s foundry had set back repairs to King Mondo following a recent battle. Gifting Divatox and her new husband a long honeymoon meant the pirate would be preoccupied for centuries.
Tom had located and entered the Command Center soon after those events. It seemed that Zordon had always allowed Rangers in so long as they possessed a power coin. He had been honest with Zordon and had explained that he was from the future where Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd had given him the powers of the Green Ranger. He had explained that the White Ranger of his time had freed him from their control and he ended up in the past because of their schemes. He had left out the part about being a clone and didn’t mention that the spell the White Ranger had broken had only freed him from their control; he was evil by nature. He had used Tommy’s memories of events as part of his explanation and as expected, along with the evidence of recent time travel Zordon believed him long enough to lower his guard.
From his memories of previous visits to the Command Center and Tommy’s memories of his time as a Ranger, Tom had known the location of certain controls. He had used the time he spent explaining his arrival to move around the Command Center to reach the relevant consoles and had then entered the commands that trapped Alpha Five inside a force field. A few more buttons were all he had needed to lock Zordon out of the Command Center’s systems. And a careful manipulation of Zordon’s time warp had allowed him to prevent the old man from summoning outside help.
It had taken time to find ways to coerce Zordon and Alpha to cooperate. In Alpha’s case it the only way to do so had been to remove chunks of his programming, which had greatly reduced the machine’s abilities; alas there had been no way he could trust Alpha not to attempt to free Zordon at some point.
For Zordon it had been a matter of dragging the ancient sage out of his time warp and into the Command Center. Once he had a physical presence, Tom had found new ways to gain the cooperation he needed… after he had visited an old friend.
Rita Repulsa had of course been suspicious when he had released her from her prison. He had used the excuse of self-defence to explain away Goldar’s violent end and the accidental slaying of Squatt and Baboo. He had eventually appeased her by explaining that in the future she had given him the power of the Green Ranger. He omitted to mention that he was the clone of her chosen Green Ranger and that her control over him had been broken. Instead he had distracted her with the promise that he had captured Zordon and his plans to turn the old sage’s knowledge to their advantage.
Rita had assigned Finster to begin work on rebuilding her army ready to conquer the nearest planet. At Tom’s advice, she had instructed her monster maker to create as many of his monsters as possible. And then she had accompanied Tom to the Command Center where together they had used magic to and brute force to make Zordon help them.
For almost two centuries Rita and Tom had worked together, using the knowledge they had extracted from Zordon to build the machinery necessary to turn five Power Rangers – six once Rita had handed over her own version of the Green Power Coin – into an unlimited number of Ranger Sentries. With Finster’s assistance it had been easy to alter the Command Center’s systems to serve their purposes. And as the decades had passed, Tom had managed to convince Rita to teach him how to augment his skills with magic; by that time, it was easy to convince the witch that doing so would allow him to become a better servant. Perhaps she had seen his growing friendship with Finster as a sign that her two evil underlings were working together in her service.
Unfortunately, their alliance had come to an end. While Tom had grown to appreciate Rita’s knowledge in the ways of evil, a part of him had always known that for his plans to proceed she would need to step aside, something he had feared she would not willingly do. He had been unwilling to risk a feud that would have exposed his plans and it was therefore with a heavy heart that he had driven his Dragon Dagger into her wicked heart.
Of course, his plans had always required the appearance of Rita Repulsa as without the wicked witch there was no need for the heroic Lord
Drakkon. With the real Rita unavoidably deceased, Tom had recruited two Earthlings to portray her. He had used the same magic he had learned from Rita to alter their minds, turning them into passable imitations of Rita. He had kept them secured inside Rita’s old palace until they were needed; he had at least made certain that they had everything they needed inside their guided cages.
On the day Rita Repulsa had made her appearance, sending forth the massive army that Finster had spent hundreds of years creating, Tom had used the Command Center to locate the five humans he knew Zordon had once chosen to serve as his Power Rangers. He had given them the same speech that Jason had once described to Tommy and had allowed events to play out as they had originally. And when they had left the Command Center, he had allowed the Putty Patrollers to attack them, forcing them to use their powers for the first time.
Tom had failed to mention that the Power Coins had been altered to place the teenagers under a spell Rita that had forced them to obey Tom. From that moment they were his slaves, forced to fight at his direction for the sake of their planet. It was a trick he had used repeatedly on those that later volunteered to become Ranger Sentries; as soon as they drew upon their powers they had been placed under his spell.
And from there he had allowed the war with Rita to unfold. It had been a more violent war than the one Tommy’s memories recalled. There had been a series of carefully directed battles where he had removed those most likely to oppose or expose his plans. He had undermined the leadership and military capabilities of the world’s nations and in doing so he had forced them to sign up to his plan for the Ranger Sentries. As the agreed to his terms, they had handed over control of their military. He had gifted them security forces to make it easier to seize control when the time came.
The use of the Green Ranger had been a master-stroke. He had located a young Tommy Oliver and had placed him under Rita’s spell before turning the Green Ranger loose. Most believed that the Green Ranger had been an uncontrolled creation of Rita Repulsa who had struck at random. Instead he had been a carefully guided weapon that Tom had used against those that had questioned Lord
Drakkon’s motives or believed they should go it alone. He had used the fear of the Green Ranger to secure his grasp on the planet and had used the announcement that the Green Ranger had been destroyed to cement his image as a hero; in fact, he had simply recalled Tommy and kept him hidden from public view.
And with all those events in such a short time, he had been ready for Rita Repulsa’s final assault. It had been a targeted cull of his new subjects, eliminating those he had had deemed to be of little value. He had removed those Ranger Sentries whose loyalties he had found questionable and had allowed Cyclopsis to devastate several cities to ensure that Earth would always remember the evil of Rita Repulsa. The destruction of Rita Repulsa that day was offset by the devastation she had caused and that had allowed him to step forward to offer his guidance and protection in the chaos that had followed victory.
Although Rita had been defeated and would never again be seen, Tom had allowed some of her old monsters to reappear from time to time when he had needed to eliminate a vocal opponent. The memory of Doomsday and the loses they had suffered had made it easier for the humans to accept his clampdown on those that he had claimed had willingly or unwittingly aided Rita’s return. Through careful direction the attacks had always happened in places he knew were on the verge of claiming their independence. The use of spin and propaganda had allowed him to turn those seeking to take back control of their lives as traitors, puppet governments controlled by Rita’s twisted magic.
And all those events had led to a world where Tom in the guise of Lord Drakkon held authority over the entire planet with an army of obedient Ranger Sentries ready to march on his command. He had his Power Rangers for times when he needed a more powerful weapon. He had not lied when he had explained that their powers had been used to create the Ranger Sentries. While they retained some power, they were unable to achieve full power while the Ranger Sentries were activated; Finster estimated they had been stripped of fifty percent of their powers, which meant that instead of hardened armour of fully powered Rangers, they wore uniforms made from a highly flexible fabric. Still they well served as figureheads and he had put Billy and Trini’s intelligence to good use and ensured that Jason, Zack and Kimberly would find ways to use their skills. He didn’t trust Tommy enough to let the Green Ranger roam around free. It was only the knowledge that this Tommy was the result of a timeline he had altered that stopped him from killing the boy outright. He promised himself that this Tommy would never become the White Ranger.
Finster was a loyal servant with whom he had developed a close friendship. He trusted Finster to remain loyal so long as he allowed the monster maker to continue creating his monsters. He had set Billy and Trini the task of restoring some of Alpha’s functionality while limiting his independence. And Zordon remained at his disposal as a vast encyclopaedia of knowledge.
Yet Tom was not finished. Yes, he had conquered the Earth, but it was not his Earth. And as satisfying as it had been to play his game over the last two centuries, he knew that he would not, could not, rest until he returned to his original timeline with his army behind him and claimed it as his own. Only then as he stood triumphant with Tommy Oliver crushed beneath mighty heel, would he be satisfied. For that would be the day that he proved to Tommy Oliver that he was more powerful than the White Ranger, regardless of whether he used the name Tom, Lord
Drakkon, or just called himself the Green Ranger.
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