Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." - Winston Churchill
7:31 a.m. PST
It was destroyed. It was utterly and complete demolished. The wreckage burning around Trini no longer even contained recognizable pieces of their many Zords, but she knew they were there. “Alpha, Dimitria, please come in,” Trini said into her wrist.
“We’re aware of the situation, Trini,” Alpha answered.
“We are not sure,” Dimitria calmly replied, “but we are looking into it.”
Trini placed a gloved hand on her forehead and sighed heavily. “Do we have any Zords left at all?”
Before she could receive an answer, however, the entire sky lit up with varied monstrous teleportation signals. Hundreds upon hundreds of monsters were falling from the sky, all angry and all ready to fight. The makes of the monsters was varied; some looked as though they were made by Finster, some from the Machine Empire, some looked like animals, and some were grotesque Frankenstein creations made from fallen monsters. What concerned Trini more than anything was the number of them. “Power Scan,” she whispered, almost afraid to see the result. A moment later, her helmet scan gave the answer back.
Trini took a deep breath and looked down at the melee of monsters. “All right,” she said to herself. “Let’s do it.” And with that said, she summoned her Power Daggers and ran into the throng of beasts.
“All Rangers must report to the Power Station immediately,” Dimitria reported. “Morph and report immediately. We are under attack.”
Rangers in various states of dress began arriving. “We don’t have time to explain everything,” Alpha said. “Just accept your assignments and go. We’ll explain later. All Rangers except Turbo, report to the Zord Holding Bays for a large scale foot battle.”
“Oh God,” someone said, catching sight of the lone Yellow Morphin Ranger fighting in the midst of hundreds of monsters. As soon as many varied morphin calls ran out, numerous streaks of light shot up into the sky as they left to assist their comrade. That left only the six-member Turbo team in the Power Station.
“Turbo Rangers, this is our Zord situation,” Alpha said. “We have four MegaZords left. The sentient Turbo vehicles, DragonZord, the Lightspeed Rail Rescue, and the DinoZords are all that remain. We have reason to believe that the UAE’s resources are severely drained, and they have sent everything they have at us. Unfortunately, that is more than just what you see. Astronema has sent two Zord-size monsters to downtown Angel Grove. We need them destroyed immediately. Your TurboZords are gone, but your sentient Turbo vehicles can form the Rescue MegaZord.”
“We can do it, guys,” Justin said. The six Turbo Rangers teleported away in rainbow-colored streaks of light.
Despite the fact that Hallie, Murray, Guy, and Martin were all brand new Rangers, they were doing just as well in the RescueMegaZord cockpit as Justin and Emily. Little was said in the cockpit as they battled the gigantic monster rampaging downtown. This battle felt so much different than virtually every other battle that they had been through; it didn’t seem like a time for conversation.
At the remains of the Zord Holding Bays, the Rangers were fighting valiantly. Every Ranger, except for the Turbo Rangers, currently protecting Earth were in the melee, both old and new alike. The new Lightspeed Rangers, barely battle-tested at all, including the sixth Titanium Lightspeed Ranger, Ryan, who had yet to fight in a single battle, were fighting alongside the Morphin Rangers, those who had faced hundreds of threats.
After a few minutes, Loyax and Magna Defender joined the fight. They arrived with no fanfare and were only barely noticed by a few of the Thunder Rangers. However, as it was quickly apparent they were helping with the fight, they were accepted as allies.
Even though monsters were falling, it appeared that this was going to be the battle that destroyed the Power Rangers.
In the depths of Mariner Bay, a trio of young teenagers were sitting at a round table with Angela Fairweather. “What can we do to help?” Sydney asked nervously, running her hands through her hair. “I feel so responsible!”
“Sydney, you were being used by evil,” Brooke Hillard said, comfortingly patting her on the hand. “There was nothing you could have done.”
“Is something going on?” a voice asked from the doorway. The quartet looked up as Shondra, Maya’s friend from Mirinoi, entered the room. “I keep hearing explosions, and…”
“The city is under major attack,” Ms. Fairweather said. She gestured to an empty seat, giving Shondra permission to join them.
“What can we do to help?” Hunter asked, repeating Sydney’s earlier question. “We were selected to be a part of this council to mirror society and assist with public relations, but there must be something…”
“Unless you have Ranger Powers or know how to build a Zord, there’s not much we can do,” Ms. Fairweather said.
As she said that, the greatly weakened Zordon, presumed dead by most, entered the room, wearing Delphine’s White Aquitian Ranger armor. “I have Ranger powers,” he said.
“And you’re barely alive,” Ms. Fairweather said, hurrying over to him and assisting him to a chair. “And when will we reveal your existence to Dimitria? I don’t like lying.”
“I haven’t asked you to lie,” Zordon said. “Have they asked if I am alive? Has Dimitria even inquired of anything transpiring here?”
“That’s not the point,” she returned.
“Besides, I have a plan, and my purpose will be known very, very shortly.”
“I think I have an idea, too,” Sydney said, getting up and leaving the room.
Aboard the UAE Lusitania, the villains were watching the fight with excitement. Astronema, Divatox, Goldar, Rito, Klank and the newly constructed Orbus, Lord Zedd, and Rita were standing on the first class promenade deck. An enchanted viewing screen floated in the air above the ship, allowing them a first class view of the destruction.
“Where are the others?” Vypra asked as she and Trakeena strolled up onto the deck.
“I thought they were with you,” Astronema murmured noncommittally as the two villainesses joined them.
Villamax walked up to them, saying, “Perhaps they’re out celebr-…” But his comment ended in mid-sentence. Astronema turned to look at him, her eyes widening in surprise when she saw his body was glowing with white light. He promptly turned into dust and faded away, revealing a black armored ranger standing there.
“An Aquitian,” Zedd growled.
“Not quite,” the Ranger said. This Ranger was female, but she was indeed wearing the Black Aquitian Ranger armor. In her hands, she held a pair of Power Daggers. She was currently wearing activated Power Armor, and white energy was dancing all over her body and down her weapons. Before anyone said anything else, she threw a dagger at both Vypra and Trakeena. Both villainesses screamed in alarm, but as soon as the weapons hit them, the glowing white energy in the daggers flowed into their body, and they, like Villamax before them, disintegrated into dust. “And just so you know – everyone else on this ship is already dead.”
Lord Zedd pointed his staff at the woman and fired a massive blast of energy. She effortlessly dodged the assault, although Rito and Goldar both summoned their swords and prepared to battle.
“The Aquitian Power Coins,” Zordon said, opening a small chest on the table before him. “The Aquitians never had an active pink ranger, although there was a pink Aquitian coin. We had planned to train you young people on this council to become a new Ranger team. It is clear that the fight on Earth is growing to its inevitable conclusion, and more and more Rangers are needed. However… it appears that today is the day of the final fight.”
“You have the white coin,” Ms. Fairweather said, “but there are only four.”
“Sydney just took the black coin,” Zordon answered. “She did it without permission, but… she has a need for vengeance, and I only hope she doesn’t destroy herself in the process.”
“Then we should help her,” Brooke said.
“Agreed,” Zordon answered. “We do not have six planned candidates, so Shondra and Ms. Fairweather, I would like you to join this fight.”
“Happily,” Shondra agreed. Ms. Fairweather swallowed hard but nodded.
“These power coins work differently than most of Ninjor’s coins,” Zordon said. “Color has no gender connotation with the Aquitians. Brooke, I ask you to accept the Blue Aquitar Ranger Power.”
She took the proffered coin, which gleamed with a faint blue light and was emblazoned with a square. As soon as it touched her skin, the coin melted into blue light and faded into her body. She smiled proudly.
“Hunter, you are to be the Red Aquitar Ranger,” Zordon said, giving him the red coin, holding a circle. Hunter smiled proudly as the power infused his body.
“Shondra, you shall be Yellow,” Zordon added, giving her the yellow coin with a triangle on its surface.
“I suppose I shall be pink?” Ms. Fairweather asked.
“No,” Zordon said, picking up the pink coin. “Ms. Fairweather, you will lead this team into battle, and you shall be the White Ranger.” And then, in a brilliant flash mingled with white and pink light, Zordon transferred his life force from the White Ranger Armor into the Pink Ranger Armor. With the white coin in his hand, he handed it to Ms. Fairweather.
“Are you planning to fight as the Pink Ranger?” Brooke asked.
“No,” he answered. “But I am going with you to battle, because someone else needs this coin.”
Sydney fell to the deck in a heap, her black Ranger armor disappearing in grayish glimmers of light as she landed. She had fought valiantly, destroying the majority of the UAE in the process, but Rito and Goldar’s fighting prowess, combined with a few powerful blasts from Zedd’s Z-Staff, and she was force demorphed.
“Sydney, Sydney, Sydney,” Astronema whispered as she knelt down beside her former ally. “I thought you were on our side.”
“I was never on your side,” Sydney growled. She attempted to stand up, but Rito placed his foot on her back. “That… thing in my body was on your side, but it’s gone now.”
Suddenly, blue streaks of energy shot through the air, striking Rito. Yelling in pain, he hopped back. “Let her go!” a young voice cried.
Astronema looked up as five Rangers ran up to them on the deck. “More Aquitian Rangers?” she asked skeptically, standing up.
“The Pink one looks like it’s about dead,” Rito chuckled.
“Rangers,” Zordon, clad in his temporary Pink Armor, said, “clear a path.”
Shondra, Ms. Fairweather, Brooke, and Hunter all produced varying weapons, and as Rito, Goldar, and Zedd attempted to stop them, the battle began.
“Black Aquitar Ranger Power!” Sydney cried, and she was again clad in her armor.
Astronema watched, confused, as the Pink Ranger suddenly began to run at her. She produced her Wrath Staff, but before she could level it at Zordon, he had gripped her firmly by the arms. The battle raged around them, but for Zordon and Astronema, it was as though time were moving in slow motion.
“This is your destiny,” Zordon whispered to the purple-haired villainess as they moved backwards, in one unit. They struck the railing together, and in one smooth motion, the Ranger and villain tumbled over the railing and fell, silently, into the cold ocean beneath the boat.
However, no one noticed, because they were too attuned to the fight raging around them. Rita Repulsa, still pregnant with Zedd’s child, leveled her wand at Hunter, currently fighting with Goldar. “Hunter!” Brooke cried, but before the young Red Ranger could even move, she produced a dagger from her weapons arsenal and hurled it at Rita. The weapon, glowing white with the energy from the metallic armor, struck Rita in the shoulder. For a moment, she didn’t move. Then, the white energy from the dagger flowed over her body. Her wand collapsed into sand, falling to the floor, and a light, bubbly laugh, mingled with the joyous cry of a newborn, could be heard as her body dissolved into nothing.
“NO!” Zedd bellowed. With a powerful backhand, he struck Sydney hard across the face, knocking her into the railing. He spun his Z-staff in his hands, and holding it before him, he ran charging at Brooke.
However, he stopped midstride as a powerful explosion rose up beside the ship. Water sprayed over all of them and a column of white light shot up into the night sky. A tortured scream came from the ocean below, and then, with a thump, Astronema landed on the deck in a kneeling position.
The fight paused; the column of light streaked off onto the horizon, and the cold ocean mist dissipated. There were only four members of the UAE left: Zedd, Rito, Goldar, and Divatox. The rest had been destroyed in what Sydney had assumed was a kamikaze mission.
“Astronema?” Divatox asked cautiously.
She was still kneeling on the deck, her long, purple hair matted with sea water and hiding her face from view.
Rangers and villains alike looked at her, silently kneeling and unmoving. And then, she slowly stood up. As she stood, her purple hair changed. It shortened to shoulder length and turned golden blonde. “Astronema?” Zedd asked.
Her face was emblazoned with a look of rage; in her hands, now visible, was a glowing ball of white energy. “My name,” she said, her voice almost growling, “is KARONE!” Thrusting her arms forward, she launched the ball of energy. It struck Zedd, and before his Z-staff had collapsed and turned to sand, his body had already disappeared.
“Where is Zordon?” Mrs. Fairweather asked.
“That was the last of him,” Karone admitted. “He… he purified me. That was his energy in the metallic armor that allowed you to destroy the Dynasty.”
“There’s nothing left,” Shondra observed, noting that the white energy dancing across their armor had dissipated.
“There are only three of us left?” Goldar asked, looking to Divatox.
Karone held out her hand, showing a shiny pink morpher with the Pink Aquitian Coin with the hexagon held in its center. “Pink Aquitar Ranger Power!” she cried, and she instantly morphed into the Pink Aquitar Ranger.
“Three of you for now,” she said, summoning a bow and arrow.
“Make that four,” a sultry voice said. All present turned to the promenade deck.
“Oh God,” Karone sighed. Divatox smiled happily and began clapping her hands.
“I’m back,” Jenga growled.
The battle was over. Tommy, Jason, Kimberly, Trini, Billy, and Zack sat in the small conference room where, just a few hours before, they had been trying to come up with a plan to save Tommy and Katherine. Now, the rest of the Rangers, Zeo (minus Tommy, of course), Turbo, Space, Galaxy, and Lightspeed, were outside in the main Power Station. The Thunder Rangers had returned to DECA, save for Aisha. All of them had been in the thick of battle; a handful of monsters had been destroyed, but there were so many remaining, when a streak of white light had flooded over the horizon and wiped out all of the monsters, including those which had been fighting the RescueMegaZord.
The six Rangers sat silently, still in standby mode with their helmets on the table before them. At last, Tommy broke the silence. “Does anyone have any idea?”
“It was Zordon,” Kimberly said. “I know it was. It…”
“It felt like him,” Trini interrupted. No one could dispute what she said.
“The UAE has never attacked us like this,” Billy began. “Our Zords are largely destroyed; we’ve never faced hundreds of putties or Tengas or Cogs, let alone hundreds of monsters.”
Before he could continue speaking, the intercom squawked. “Rangers, can you please join us,” Alpha requested. “Something… Just please join us.”
Jason led the way out of the room. The other teams of Rangers were divided up into their expected groups. Bulk, Skull, and Dulcea, who technically was not a Ranger but was still wearing her silver Ninjetti suit, were standing off by themselves. Aisha was with the Zeo Rangers, and the other teams were segregated by affiliation. However, most surprising was the group of six Aquitian Rangers.
“The Aquitians?” Kimberly asked. However, she then noticed that the genders were not correct. Only the Red Ranger was male; yellow, blue, white, pink, and black were all female.
“A Pink Aquitar Ranger?” Tommy asked.
“There was a pink coin, but… it was never used,” Billy remarked. “Who are you?”
“We aren’t the Aquitians,” Mrs. Fairweather said as she removed her white helmet. “Delphine gave us these coins. We’re here to help, but we have terrible news.” She looked at her teammates and then at the other Rangers. “Brace yourselves.”
The extraordinarily tall Red Ranger broke the seal on his helmet, and in a glimmer of red light, he shrank down, much as Justin did when demorphing. “I’m Hunter,” he said.
Deaf-mute Green Turbo Ranger Murray stepped away from his team and walked toward the new Ranger, his little brother. He quickly signed to him, “You are a Ranger, too?”
Silently, Hunter signed back, “Just for a few minutes, but yeah.”
The Blue Ranger likewise demorphed. As she took her helmet off, shiny auburn hair spilled out onto her blue armor. “Brooke?!” Katherine cried, even more surprised than Murray at seeing her younger sibling in Ranger armor.
“Surprise,” Brooke said with a shrug as she hurried to her sister and hugged her.
“I’m Shondra,” the Yellow Ranger said. “Most of you don’t know me, but I’m from Mirinoi.” Maya smiled warmly as Shondra joined her with the other Galaxy Rangers.
Zhane was the one who looked the most shocked as Sydney took off her black helmet, although Justin was a close second. “I’ll explain everything later,” she said to him.
“That leaves me,” the Pink Ranger sighed. She lifted her pink gloved hands to her helmet and broke the seal. Shaking her hair free, she lowered her helmet and held it in the crook of her arm.
“Oh God,” Zhane sighed, looking almost as surprised as he had when Sydney had revealed herself. Andros stiffened, but looks of confusion were around the room.
“You look familiar,” Jason remarked.
“Does this help?” she asked, as with a gesture of her hand, her hair turned long, curly, and purple.
“Astronema,” someone muttered.
“But now I’m Karone,” she promised, as her hair returned shorter and blonde.
“It’s true,” Ms. Fairweather said. “Zordon purified her and made her the Pink Ranger.”
“Zordon is dead,” Kimberly muttered, a look of sadness on her face.
“Delphine collected his life force in her armor,” Ms. Fairweather explained. “He sacrificed himself for good this time, and his energies allowed us to destroy the majority of the Dynasty and turned Astronema back into Karone.”
“The majority of the Dynasty?” Billy asked. “Who is left?”
“Divatox, Goldar, and Rito,” Ms. Fairweather answered. “But…”
Before Ms. Fairweather could continue speaking, the whoosh of the outer doors opening sounded. “Let me finish the story,” Jenga remarked as she sauntered into the room.
“How did you get in?” Jason asked, stepping out in front of the large group of Rangers.
Jenga smiled and held her hand out before her. In it was a golden dagger, glowing with white energies. The hilt was a twisted, demonic claw. “Been wondering where I’ve been?” she asked. “I had to give up my powers for a bit. There have been a lot of artifacts raining down from the Space Base debris field. They had to be claimed by a neutral person. Well… I got what I was looking for. This is a simple dagger with a temporal spell on it. Not my end game, by any means, but still necessary. And Billy, if I were you, I’d stop thinking about trying to teleport me out of here.”
The Blue Ranger paused, the hand behind his back trying to reach the appropriate controls. He lowered his hand to his side. “So what does it do? Boost your powers?” he asked.
“Oh no,” she said. “A different artifact let me enter your Power Station. Makes me impervious to technology. Mild effect. Let’s me walk in here unnoticed, if I should so choose. But of course, you know me – I never want to be unnoticed. And I have to say… you’ve added three full teams of Rangers in the past week? Don’t you really think you have enough by now?”
“We can never have too many Rangers if you’re around, Jenga,” Kimberly replied coldly.
Jenga chuckled, nodded, and agreed, saying, “Yeah, you’re probably right.”
“What’s your game, Jenga?” Tommy asked.
“Sydney, sweetheart,” Jenga remarked, ignoring Tommy and walking up to the young teen clad in the Black Aquitar Ranger armor. “I see you’ve changed sides. Have you told them yet?”
“Not everyone,” Sydney answered boldly. “Catalina knows. Dimitria and Alpha, too, I’d imagine. My team. Zhane. Karone.”
“Does Justin know?” Jenga asked, smiling as she began to pick at her nails with the sharp point of the dagger.
“Does Justin know what?” he asked, stepping away from the Turbo Rangers.
“Dimitria, can I do magic in here?” Jenga asked. She began to pick her nails more aggressively.
“Jenga, you have no right to be in this place,” Dimitria said as sternly as the serene woman was capable of speaking.
“I’m going to take that as a yes,” she said. She looked directly at Karone. Black blood was dripping down Jenga’s left hand and was gleaming darkly on the golden blade. “This blade is millennia upon millennia old. It was forged from the same gold that Ninjor uses to create power coins. That means it can pierce Ranger armor. And as we all know about Ranger technology… if you are in standby mode, that means you are flesh and blood underneath.”
For a moment, no one reacted, but then, Jenga hurled the dagger at Karone. Karone didn’t move fast enough, and the blade struck her in the shoulder. There was a pink flash, and the blade passed through her armor. Karone’s face displayed her shock, but before she could even move to pull the blade out, Jenga had summoned it back to her. Blood sprayed from the wound before her armor glimmered pink and it healed over.
In twin flashes of red, Jason and Tommy had both silently returned to active mode, their helmets on and both holding their respective Power Swords. Before either cleared the distance to Jenga, however, she had retrieved the dagger and slashed it across Sydney’s chest. A mingled burst of black light and blood shot from the wound on Sydney as she fell to her knees, clutching her chest.
Jason and Tommy reached Jenga at the same time, but she grabbed Jason by the wrist and kicked Tommy hard in the ribs. However, Tommy parried forward with his weapon, catching her cleanly in the chest. She wrenched the sword out of her chest and flipped away, just as Jason’s sword hit the floor where she had been.
With a quick flick of her wrist, she flung the golden dagger at Justin. He attempted to block it, but it still struck him in the upper chest. She smirked, her eyes sparkling. “Lots of surprises coming. See you on the battlefield,” she taunted as she glimmered away in blue sparkles of light.
Immediately, the Power Station erupted in chaos. “Are you okay?” Billy asked, retrieving a portable scanner from Alpha and hurrying to Justin.
“Everyone,” Karone murmured softly, although her voice was lost in the din.
Justin groaned as he yanked the dagger out of his armor. It glistened with his blood, but the blood promptly soaked into the blade and his armor, and the flesh beneath, healed with a blue sparkle. “It was just a flesh wound,” Justin assured his older brother, although Billy nonetheless was holding the scanner over his shoulder. “The power has already healed it.”
“Guys,” Karone repeated, a bit louder.
“We should probably analyze this,” Justin said, handing his older brother, Billy, the golden dagger.
“Alpha, please contact Catalina,” Dimitria requested.
“Sydney, does it still hurt?” Ms. Fairweather asked. “Billy, I need a scanner, too.”
“Please,” Karone said, “listen to me.”
“I feel fine,” Sydney insisted. “It was literally a scratch.”
“Guys!” Karone finally shouted. “Jenga is my big sister. I know her plan. Can I meet with the Senior team in private, please?”
“Of course,” Jason said after a pregnant pause. “We can go in the conference room. Alpha, synthesize an extra chair for Karone.”
“And Alpha?” Karone added. “Please tell Catalina to hurry.”
The six Senior Rangers, the original team plus Tommy, sat at their usual places. Karone sat in a chair between Kimberly and Billy, and Dimitria appeared in a small viewscreen on the back wall. Catalina, alone, stood.
“There is no easy way to say it,” Karone began. “Jenga and I are from your future. So is Andros, for that matter.”
“How far in the future?” Billy asked.
“About twenty years or so, I guess,” Karone said. “I’m afraid I don’t really remember, but I do know this. Justin and Sydney are our parents. Mine, Jenga, and Andros. It’s been so long since I was a mortal, I barely remember anything.” She looked down at the floor as she spoke. “Jenga and I grew up together. She was my big sister. Andros… I don’t know what happened, but…”
“Sydney was recently possessed by an evil being,” Catalina interjected. “While in her body, that evil being made a deal, that unfortunately, Sydney had to keep. Or will have to keep, rather. She had to give up her first born son. I cast a spell, last night, to ensure that, at the very least, her first born son, Andros, would serve in the light. Immediately upon conception, he was sent… he will be sent to be carried to full term by a mother on the planet of Daria. Clearly in the past.”
“Andros knows he is related to Karone,” Trini said. “It came out last night.”
“I sent what information I could send with him,” Catalina said. “Or… I will… send… I weaved the spell to include what information about him that I could. And neither Sydney nor Justin will ever know of Andros’s existence, as their child, and I think it is best that we keep it that way. At least for now.”
“Agreed,” Karone said.
“You said you knew Jenga’s plan,” Tommy stated. “What is it?”
“She and I put on a show for the other members of the Dynasty a few days ago,” Karone began. “We made this big elaborate production of how Jenga was giving up her powers and going to live as a mortal for a while because she was tired of the fight. Only part of that was true. Jenga was giving up her powers, but it wasn’t because she was tired of the fight. She learned of some artifacts onboard the Space Base that had fallen to Earth after its destruction. These artifacts could only be claimed by someone neutral. She was giving up her powers because she wanted to end the fight, with her the victor, and this one particular artifact would make it possible. That’s why she used that temporal dagger on me, Sydney, and Justin. She was cutting us out of the timeline. That way, she can still destroy the Earth and she and I will still be born. Our past – your future, at least concerning the four of us – is now unchanged, regardless of what she does with the newest artifact.”
“You make it sound like this thing is pretty powerful,” Zack interjected.
“It’s a game changer,” Karone said. “She found it… and she’s going to use it tonight. The fight this morning was my game plan. I wanted to…” Karone stopped and closed her eyes. “I wanted to destroy the Rangers… so that when she came home, she would be proud of me. …I’m sorry.”
“Be sorry later,” Jason told her. “You still haven’t really told us Jenga’s plan.”
Goldar, Rito, Divatox, and Jenga sat together on the first class promenade deck of the UAE Lusitania. Jenga was holding a small, black box. “Don’t grieve our turned comrades,” she said. “Once this is activated and I’ve won the fight… I can bring them back to us.”
“What do we do?” Divatox asked.
“The four of us are going to go into the final battle,” Jenga answered. She opened the small box, and a red light shone onto her face. “We fight. It’s not that we’ll be needed; I just want those of us still around to experience the end of the world.”
“It’s called the Light of Rancor,” Karone explained. “She thought it was a myth until she felt it. It’s just pure, unadulterated evil, but by itself… completely harmless. When an evil person is holding it, it lights up. That’s all it does. Usually.”
“Usually?” Jason asked.
“There is a ritual,” Karone said. “I don’t know what it is, exactly. I know the timeframe, but the rest… Only Jenga knows.”
“I know the ritual, too,” Catalina interjected. All of the eyes shifted from the new Pink Ranger to the blue-haired Eltaren. “It’s incredibly complex… it’s probably one of the most complex rituals a sorceress can complete, but Jenga is both powerful and evil enough to do it.”
“Can we stop the ritual?” Billy asked.
“She would have to defeat a blood relative in battle,” Catalina said. “I don’t mean a respectable ceasefire. Utter, sheer devastation. So… if we could potentially protect Lord Zedd-”
“Too late,” Karone said. “She defeated him before she left to go get the Light.”
Catalina chuckled and nodded. “Jenga is smart,” she acknowledged. “We can’t stop her. Not now.”
“So what does the ritual do?” Kimberly asked.
“Upon its completion, which will be tonight at sunset here in Angel Grove, every person in the world who is capable of evil will be turned into a demon,” Karone said. “If they have the capacity for bad in them, then they’ll become this twisted, dark evil… thing. And I’m not exaggerating. Claws, muscles, teeth… If you are standing next to one, you’ll be utterly destroyed. And it’s actually worse than that. They don’t just make one demon. Each person becomes multiple demons.”
The room was silent for a few moments before Jason said, “How many demons are we really talking? A few thousand, maybe?”
“The loss of life would be astronomical,” Billy said. “Even with as many Rangers as we have now, we couldn’t be everywhere to protect everyone.”
“I think you’re underestimating how many people have the capacity for evil,” Catalina said sadly. “I think we’re probably talking millions upon millions.”
“And that’s the way the world ends,” Karone finished with a frown.
Trini buried her face in her hands. Kimberly wiped a single tear away with the back of her gloved hand. “It can’t just end like this,” she said.
“Alpha, contact DECA and request the Thunder Rangers return to the Power Station,” Dimitria said. Dimitria spoke so seldom, that all of the Rangers in the room turned to look at her. “Catalina, are you-?”
“It’s the only option I can think of,” Catalina said in agreement to Dimitria’s unasked question.
Once the Senior Rangers and Karone had told the rest of the group about Jenga’s plan for global destruction, the already somber mood had dropped even more. Morphed but helmetless Rangers stood and sat around the room, some talking quietly and others just sitting morosely. The deep silence was interrupted by Alpha’s high-pitched announcement, “DECA has said the Thunder Rangers are coming. Helmetless. They will be revealing their identities to us.”
In the center of the Power Station, five silhouettes of light, each a Ranger color, appeared. DECA’s teleportation effect was markedly different than the Power Station, but the end result was the same. As the light faded, the five Thunder Rangers were standing before them, identities exposed.
“Maggie?! Molly?!” Ashley cried, utterly shocked at seeing her older twin sisters in the pink and yellow armor.
“Ashley?!” the two asked in unison.
“David!” Tommy smiled earnestly at seeing his brother in the blue Thunder armor.
“Marge, I always thought you would be good Ranger material,” Billy said warmly. Marge, one of the few females in Angel Grove to rival Billy in intelligence, smiled broadly.
“Thunder Rangers,” Dimitria began, “welcome to the Power Station.”
“Thank you for having us,” Marge said.
“I am afraid that we are not meeting under pleasant circumstances,” Catalina said as she stepped out into the middle of the gigantic group of Rangers. “Dimitria and I have both mentored Rangers for millennia, and I can truly say this is the worst calamity I have ever seen befall a planet.”
“If we do not take extreme action, today may be the Earth’s last day,” Dimitria solemnly stated.
“And that extreme action must be yours,” said Catalina. “It will be yours to make, and it may well be the greatest sacrifice you will ever make. And this decision must be made as an entire team. If one person dissents, then we cannot continue with this plan.”
“What are you going to ask us to do?” Kimberly asked nervously.
With a flicker of light, Catalina produced an old scroll, bound with red twine. “Eons ago, when the first Rangers were created, a spell was created under the hope it would never have to be used,” she said. “To be honest… this spell is so specific, I don’t even know if we can cast it, but it is truly our only hope.” She removed the twine from the scroll and carefully unwound it.
“Rangers, despite that we are your mentors, this is a decision that must remain with you,” Dimitria spoke. “We cannot force you to consider this option; it must be entered into willingly. A massive ground battle, the likes of which any planet has ever seen, will occur tonight at sunset. Morphed, you may survive the fight. However, the demonization is a permanent effect. You would have to stay morphed for the majority of the rest of your life to stay alive. Your families, friends… anyone who isn’t a Ranger would likely be killed.”
“Oh God,” Catalina sighed. With a look of absolutely horror on her face and tears in her eyes, she dropped the scroll to her side and looked at Dimitria. “Aside from the fact that this is Death Magic, we don’t have the necessary qualifications to cast this spell anyway.”
“What- what type of spell is it?” Marge asked meekly.
“It’s the only thing that would give the planet any chance at survival,” she answered. “There are two things keeping us from doing it. One we could do, but I will not, and the second is just not going to happen.”
“Catalina?” Dimitria asked. “Is there no way?”
“The first step is a sacrifice,” she said. “A Ranger has to have died within the past forty-eight hours.”
“Done,” David interrupted. “Trey of Triforia died here just last night.”
Catalina started to speak, but she then stopped and closed her mouth. After a few seconds, she said, “It could work. Trey wasn’t an Earthling, but he definitely was known for defending this planet… Dimitria, do you think it would still work?”
“Not only has Trey fought on this planet valiantly, he died defending this planet and one of her teams of Rangers,” Dimitria said, looking at the Thunder Rangers.
“What’s the second thing?” Karone asked.
“The spell requires three casters,” Catalina said. “A Ranger mentor… that can be me… and two Rangers.”
“There are forty-eight of us,” Kimberly said, gesturing to the colorful filled room around her.
“And only one of you, and that is Karone, has any experience casting spells,” Catalina said. “Magic isn’t easy. It isn’t just saying some words in Latin and waving a wand around.”
“Perhaps one of us could give up our powers temporarily to someone who could cast the spell,” Trini suggested.
Maggie, Molly, David, and Heather all looked excitedly at Marge, who stepped forward from the group. “Or maybe it’s our lucky day, and the Red Thunder Ranger is actually a pyromancer,” Marge said with a wide grin.
Catalina smiled and rolled the scroll back up. “I won’t kid you,” she said. “This is tough. This is the toughest spell I’ve ever seen. Marge and Karone, are you up for it?”
“I would do anything for the fight,” Karone said. “I have a lot to atone for.”
“I literally just became a Pyromancer, but I’ll do whatever I can,” Marge said.
“Rangers, the next step is the most crucial,” Dimitria said. “This is your sacrifice, and you must all enter it willingly. If one Ranger is hesitant, it will not work. Please be honest, both with the team and yourself.”
“This spell requires forty-eight power coins,” Catalina said. “For the spell to work, you must give up your powers. Fortunately, Ninjor has already converted all of you to coins.”
“We have to give up our powers?” Rocky asked. “Do we get them back?”
“The Power Coins will be destroyed,” Dimitria answered, to an absolutely stunned silent Power Station.
“What does this spell accomplish?” Billy asked.
“Our problem is that we will have more monsters than we have Rangers to fight them,” Catalina said. “When cast, this spell will make everyone on this planet who is willing to fight the good fight, who would lay their life down for goodness… a Power Ranger.”
“A planet full of Power Rangers?” Jason asked.
“Anyone willing to fight will become a Power Ranger,” Catalina said. “For one day. One complete revolution of the planet. Which also means we have to defeat Jenga today, because after this Day of Rangers… the coins are gone. Earth will never have Power Rangers again.”
“Also know,” Dimitria began, “if you choose to make this sacrifice, you cannot go into hiding for the spell to take effect. The planet will expect you to be on the front lines of the battle, ready to fight and lay down your own lives, if need be. Rangers, what is your choice?”
The sound of metal striking the ground interrupted the silence. The five original Morphin Rangers, plus Tommy, stood demorphed, with their coins lying on the ground in the center of the room.
“What good is defending a planet where our loved ones have been killed?” Kimberly asked.
Slowly, all of the Rangers demorphed and tossed their coins onto the golden, gleaming pile. “Okay then,” Catalina said with a wan smile. “Let’s set up our plan.”
The plan was set in place. The Rangers, except for Karone and Marge, had left. They were given a very specific set of directions by Catalina and Dimitria.
“The spell may not even work,” Catalina reminded them. “It has never been cast in all of time. It was created, hoping it would never have to be used.”
“Spend the day with your families, and encourage them to leave town,” Dimitria requested. “Have them go to abandoned locations. You will be better in the fight if you don’t have to worry about their safety.”
It took surprisingly little convincing for most of the Rangers to persuade their families. As it was, most of the Rangers’ families knew of their secrets, including the Hammond parents who knew about all three of their Ranger daughters.
Once families were independently and safely on their way out of the civilization, there was nothing more to do but wait and enjoy what was the last normal day on Earth.
“This place will be suitable,” Catalina said. She, Marge, and Karone had teleported to Angel’s Bluff, a tall cliff overlooking the ocean below. Many Ranger fights had been held there in the past four years.
Marge and Karone began to set the Power Coins up in a very specific arrangement on the ground. Catalina surrounded the coins with the five segments of the Zeo Crystal, the Super Zeo Gems, Trey’s golden Zeo shard, and Emily’s Phantom Ruby.
“We have fifteen minutes until sunset,” Marge said, checking her watch. Orange and purple rays of light were already shooting off of the horizon. “I think we should get started.”
“We can do this,” Karone told her. “We’re capable.”
Marge nodded in agreement. “We’re ready, Catalina.”
The coins were arranged in linked circles. Marge knelt in one, Catalina in another, and Karone in the third. The three women were facing each other in a triangle formation. In unison, the three women lifted their arms and pressed their palms together with the woman on each side of them.
“Let’s begin,” Catalina said.
The Power Station was painfully empty. Only Dimitria and Alpha remained. “Jenga is casting the spell, Dimitria,” Alpha said woefully after checking the scanners. “Oh, aye-yi-yi…”
“Be confident, Alpha,” Dimitria stated. “The Power Rangers have always been victorious.”
Jason, Trini, Zack, Kimberly, and Billy sat together near the duck pond. “The sun is setting really soon,” Zack remarked.
Billy had a portable scanner with him. “Currently reading no demonic activity,” he muttered, mostly to himself.
“Did you ever think it would end this way?” Jason asked. “We’ve gotten and lost our powers so many times…”
“There goes the sun,” Kimberly whispered as the last sliver of red dipped below the horizon.
“Anything happening, Billy?” Jason asked, looking at the small scanner screen.
“Nothing yet,” Billy said, but he had no more than said it when red lightning crackled loudly across the horizon. The entire landscape took on a reddish glow as the red lightning filled the sky, crackling and sparking, stretching from one horizon to the other. And then, with no more warning than it came, it disappeared, leaving the early purple twilight sky behind.
Billy’s scanner immediately began to beep erratically. “We’ve got something,” he said. The other Rangers watched as Billy’s face paled.
“Billy?” Kimberly asked. “How bad is it?”
“One,” he muttered.
“One million?” Zack asked in horror.
“One billion,” Billy corrected him. “One billion people have just turned into demons. Over ten thousand here in Angel Grove alone.”
With cracking voice, Kimberly said, “We’ve been defending the Earth for the past four years when a sixth of the population had enough darkness in them to become pure evil?”
“No,” Trini said, touching Kimberly on the shoulder. “We’ve been defending the planet for the other five billion people.”
“The number of demons is growing rapidly,” Billy said. “Each person made multiple demons… We now have more demons on the planet than humans.”
“So what do we do now?” Zack asked. “Just wait and hope that the spell works?”
Atop Angel’s Bluff, the three women were waiting. The majority of the spell was cast. Magical energies were crackling along the Power Coins. It only required activation now. Jenga’s spell of red lightning lit up the sky and ocean.
Three words. Now, it would only take three words to activate. The spell would work now or the human race was truly doomed. Marge and Karone looked at Catalina. With a stone face, Catalina nodded her head once.
In unison, the three women cried, “It’s morphin’ time!”
The Power Coins exploded in a burst of color. A whirlwind of light spun around them. It was a bizarre, rainbow colored effect, swirling with the colors of all of the Rangers. The lights then raced off, spiraling away from the women in all directions.
Marge, still kneeling, was once again clad in her Red Thunder armor. Karone was pink, but she was not Aquitian as before. She was clad in the Pink Galaxy armor, identical to Kendrix. Catalina, too, was a Power Ranger. Her armor was white, almost featureless, and her helmet featured just a pair of blue lips and a thin, metallic blue visor. “This isn’t what I expected,” Karone said, laughing as she said it.
“This spell makes you whatever type of Ranger you want to be,” Catalina explained. “When the Quasar Saber spoke to you, I guess your true destiny was made to be a Galaxy Ranger.”
“I’m just happy to be on the good side of the fight,” Karone stated.
“Alpha, please teleport us to where we could be of some use,” Catalina requested. In three streaks of light, one red, one pink, and one white tinged with blue, the three Rangers teleported away to go join the massive battle.
“Dimitria, did the spell work?” Jason asked, raising his communicator to his lips.
“Look!” Kimberly cried, pointing to the sky.
Rainbow sparkles of light weren’t just racing across the sky; they were racing across reality. When the light struck the Rangers, all five instantly morphed into their Morphin suits.
“Send us to battle, Alpha,” Billy requested, and they left in the same streaks of light that they had teleported away in since their first battle.
Maggie and Molly stood, hands up in the defensive, ready to use every bit of the training they had learned thus far which, given that they were currently only yellow belts, wasn’t much. Frankly, both girls expected to die in the next few seconds. Heather didn’t even attempt to mirror the twin girl’s stances. The only martial arts training she had was her women’s self-defense class, and regardless of what was coming, she was ready to stomp feet and knee crotches. David, the actual martial artist among the Thunder Ranger team, kept his stance loose.
“Don’t forget your one-steps,” Maggie said nervously.
“How many of those things are there?” Molly asked, her voice cracking a bit. A swarm of the black beasts was running at them from the far end of the football field. By her guess, she had maybe another ten seconds left before they reached them.
“A bunch,” Maggie answered. “A hundred, you think?”
“At least… You know, when Dimitria and DECA told us to split up and just go somewhere to get ready to fight… We maybe should have gone off with the others…,” Molly said. “Maybe someone who could actually fight... No offense, David, but we should have all gone with the Zeo Rangers.”
David actually laughed as he looked at the Yellow Ranger. “No offense, taken,” he said. “Four black belts are better than one, right?”
Maggie smiled. “Sis, I think this is one time where we’re all evenly matched,” she said. “Look at those teeth and claws.” Smiling a truly genuine smile, she followed up with, “No matter how good a fighter you are, those things will rip you to shreds.”
Molly sighed and said, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
The demons were closer. Thirty yards away.
“This has been a... this has been an unusual experience,” Heather remarked.
Ten yards. The teen girls squared up their stances a bit more securely. David dropped into a lower stance and held his hands up before him. Heather just stood, unsure of what to do.
“I’m glad we got to help in the fight,” David added.
“Me too,” Molly said.
And then, a dazzling wave of rainbow light swept across the earth. The four former Rangers felt the power flow back into them, energizing every cell of their body. Without saying a word, they all promptly morphed, turning into the Yellow, Pink, Blue, and Green Thunder Rangers.
The demons looked almost comical as they stopped and stared at the four Rangers before them. “Oh, yes,” Maggie said, lifting her limbs up and looked at the armor covering them. With a pink glimmer of light, her nunchakus appeared in her hands. “This is much better.”
David flipped his Dagger as Heather began to spin her Spinning Saw Blade above her head.
Red light glimmered near them as Marge teleported next to her team. She, too, was already morphed. “You weren’t going to start without me, were you?” she asked.
Molly lifted her hands, and summoning her Thunder Claws, hit them together, producing a shower of yellow sparks. Without saying a word, she merely yelled an animalistic cry and leapt at the demons with her teammates close behind.
Bulk, Skull, and Dulcea stood near the police station in downtown Angel Grove. Of all of the Ranger teams stationed at various locations in and near Angel Grove to wait the final battle, they had probably selected the most populated location.
“Ever think we’d become Rangers, Bulkie?” Skull asked with his trademark laugh.
“Not in a billion years,” he answered.
“Think we’re gonna die today?”
“Not if I can help it, boys,” Dulcea said.
Just as she spoke, the sky lit up with red lightning. From across the street, a teen suddenly began to transform. His body was almost literally ripped apart as muscles burst through his clothing. His skin blackened, long claws erupted from his hands and feet, and when he opened his mouth to roar, sharp, saliva-dripping fangs completely filled his maw. For a moment, he stood alone, and then, in black light, he seemed to suddenly turn inside out, and standing there were twelve identical demons.
“Perhaps we might die a little,” Dulcea admitted.
Screams erupted from behind them, and the front doors of the police station blew off as several demons came running out. Dulcea pulled her batons from her holster, but before she had to use them, rainbow light flooded the area.
Skull was in his Green Morphin armor, Bulk in his Gold Zeo, and Dulcea, who had always fought as the Silver Ninjetti, was now clad in silver, glittery armor that followed the same template as the Morphin Rangers. Her helmet, most akin to Kimberly’s in design, held the image of an owl.
Bulk and Skull examined themselves thoughtfully for a few moments, but by the time they realized what had happened, Dulcea had already thrown herself into battle, savagely attacking a demon with her Twin Batons. Bulk and Skull summoned weapons and joined her.
Aisha had joined Katherine, Tanya, Adam, Rocky, and Tommy, positioned near Angel Grove High School. The red lightning had just torn the sky open. Screams, both human and demonic, could be heard from the distance.
“I’m ready to morph,” Aisha muttered. “Ready to morph...”
“Anytime now,” Katherine added.
“Look!” Tanya cried, but before anyone could say anything else, the sparkling Ranger light roared through them.
Katherine and Tanya were promptly clad in their Zeo armor. The other team members, however, reflected different armor than the coin they had given up.
Rocky was instantly in blue Morphin armor, but his helmet held the image of the Tyrannosaurus and the coin on his chest held his totem of the Ape. His armor represented the image of Ranger to him – his first armor was the most important to him, but he clearly felt more at ease in blue than as red and de facto second-in-command.
Adam experienced a similar change. He was in green Zeo armor with a green Mastodon helmet.
Aisha bore the Yellow Saber-Tooth Tiger armor with the White Tiger chest shield. On her right hip was a Dragon Dagger, and on her left, Saba.
Tommy’s armor wasn’t made up. It was the White Ranger armor that he had received when he first received stable powers. For him, it was representative of being a Power Ranger – powers that weren’t from Rita or prone to catastrophic failure. “Let’s save the world,” Tommy said as he summoned his own Saba saber.
Whether it was because of a lack of unity or the simple fact that Justin and Sydney ended up migrating to the same location, most of the Turbo and Aquitian teams were together, right outside of the ruins of Ernie’s Juice Bar and the barely-but-still-standing Outdoor Café. Emily stood near Hallie, Murray, and Hunter. The two African American brothers were talking to each other with sign language rapidly. Hallie, who had learned some ASL from dating Murray, had long given up on trying to join the conversation and was only able to follow what Hunter was speaking aloud.
“I didn’t get to be a Ranger very long,” Hallie said, “but I hope I at least helped in the fight some.”
“You did,” Emily promised. “And I was evil almost as long as I was good. I don’t think it’s about time served; I think it’s just about the fight.”
Guy and Ms. Fairweather, the two oldest members of their respective teams, had started off talking about academia. Granted, Guy was humanities and Ms. Fairweather was hard science, but the two nonetheless seemed to be hitting it off.
“If we survive this,” Guy said, “we are definitely going to have some significant legends arise. From a folklore standpoint, it’s certainly exciting.”
“If we survive this,” Ms. Fairweather said, echoing Guy’s opening remark, “there is probably some very interesting scientific data that could be collected as well. I’m curious to know if there are any biochemical markers that appear as a result of morphing.”
“If we survive this,” Guy said, “would you like to get some coffee and maybe discuss authoring a paper together?”
“I would love that,” Ms. Fairweather said, smiling.
Justin, the best martial artist in the group, was showing Brooke, Sydney, and Martin a few defensive moves. “I don’t think it will matter,” Sydney said, as she nonetheless blocked one of Justin’s easy attacks. “We either become Rangers and know how to fight instantly, or we get torn to shreds and it won’t even matter.”
“I’m not going down without a fight,” Brooke remarked as she blocked a punch from Martin. “Even if I am going to be demon chow in a few-” She was interrupted as red lightning crossed from one horizon to the other. “-minutes,” she finished weakly.
The sound of breaking glass and screams came from the small structure near the Outdoor Café. “Justin, what do you think we should do?” Emily asked as all other conversation among the Rangers halted.
“We wait,” Justin said, just as the first ebony-skinned demon burst out of the building.
It turned to look at the Rangers as more beasts followed them out. Suddenly, a few gunshots sounded as well. “Nancy,” Emily remarked. Although Ernie’s rogue bartender and new girlfriend was a bit rough around the edges, she was still grateful the woman was armed and able to defend whichever humans still remained inside.
The demons began to leap for the Rangers, but they stopped without moving as rainbow light streaked through the group of Rangers. All instantly morphed, clad in the very armor they had sacrificed their coins for.
However, before any of the Rangers could run up to the demons that had just left the Café, two Rangers, one male and one female, burst out of the building. The male was short and portly, an odd combination that nonetheless was encased in Ranger armor. The armor itself was vaguely Morphin in design, although rather than be a solid color, it was bright orange with green and yellow flowers all over it, as though a Hawaiian shirt had been turned into a Power Ranger. His orange helmet was Zeo inspired, holding a square for a visor.
The woman was tall and lean, clad entirely in pitch black armor. Her helmet was completely featureless, the visor blending seamlessly with the black helmet. Her boots were high heels, and she wore a black, flowing cape. The closest demons turned to attack the two Rangers. The Hawaiian Shirt Ranger produced two katana blades in shimmering orange light, while the Black Caped Ranger summoned a double-barreled shotgun.
The demons leapt at them, but in seconds, the two Rangers had dispatched the creatures, who collapsed into black dust which glimmered faintly before fading away.
“Glad to know it’s not just us,” Martin muttered.
“Ernie?” Justin asked.
“None other,” he said.
“I didn’t really care for the info head dump,” the Black Ranger, obviously Nancy, said, “but I’m definitely up for a good fight. Where to next?”
“Info head dump?” Hallie asked.
“Right as we morphed, we just… knew everything,” Ernie explained. “We knew about the demons, we knew we had twenty-four hours to be a Ranger, and we knew we were going to fight.”
“And as for where to next,” Sydney said, pointing across the street and at a cluster of snarling demons, running at the Rangers.
“Duty calls,” Justin remarked.
While the rest of the Space team waited nervously outside the Galleria, Andros and Cassie were talking quietly together. “Was what you said last night true?” Cassie asked. “About being Astronema’s brother?”
“It’s true,” Andros answered. “I’ve known my whole life. My family – my adoptive family, I guess – didn’t keep any secrets from me. But now I’m here on Earth, which is actually my home planet but completely foreign to me, and my family is dead, and I have a sister, two actually, I don’t even know…”
“You have us,” Cassie told him. “We’re your family. And you have Karone now. Have you thought about looking for your parents? If you were born on Earth, maybe they are still alive.”
Andros smiled. “The situation with my parents is a little more complicated,” he told her. “But I’m glad to know I still have you all as my family here.”
Their conversation was interrupted as the entire landscape was lit up by red light. From inside the galleria came a sudden cacophony of human screams and demonic roars.
“We have to go inside!” TJ cried, hurrying into the mall. His teammates were close behind.
The demons, who seconds before had been humans merely capable of evil, were still transforming, ropey black muscle and claws erupting from what had previously been a fragile, human form. Upon reaching “maturity,” each demon burst apart, producing even more demons. Some only produce three; others produced what seemed to be dozens. So far, no one had been attacked. However, that was about to change. A young girl who looked to be no more than eight and her mother were backing away from one of the beasts.
The demon looked at the Rangers and then at the girl. Growling low, it turned toward the girl.
“Leave them alone!” Ashley cried, running to a nearby trash can and picking up its round lid. She hurled it as the demon and struck it on its muscular back.
The demon grunted and promptly spun on its heel, its sharp claws scratching the tile floor. “Get out of here!” Cassie shouted to the mother and child, although given the other demons now crawling around the mall, safety was literally nowhere to be found.
Shrieking, the demon leapt at Ashley. She put her hands out before her, catching the demon by the shoulders, and both fell to the ground. TJ and Carlos both ran at Ashley, but before they could even get to her, the morphin light passed through them all.
“Surprised?” Ashley asked the demon, as it found itself perched atop the Yellow Space Ranger instead of a defenseless human. It nonetheless attempted to attack her, but she quickly shoved it aside and summoned her Star Chargers as she jumped to her feet.
“You still need to-,” Cassie shouted toward the mother and child, but standing in their place were two Rangers, one a female Turquoise Morphin Ranger with a helmet that looked like it might have been a dolphin and the other a Lilac Zeo Ranger with a series of three bars for her visor, “-help us fight, I guess,” Cassie finished.
“Nobody even thinks about hurting my daughter,” the Turquoise Ranger growled, and with a yellow glimmer of light, she produced a Power Dagger and ran at the demon that Ashley never even had the chance to finish off.
“I always wanted to be a Power Ranger!” the Lilac Ranger said with a giggle. She produced a sparkling purple whip and with a little girl’s joyous banshee scream, ran into the mall to engage in battle.
The Space team had all turned into Space Rangers, except for one. TJ, clad in Red Turbo armor, was examining himself thoughtfully. “No offense, Andros,” TJ said, “but I always thought I looked better in red than blue.”
Rangers of all colors and types were storming the mall. They were outnumbered by demons, but the handful of humans who hadn’t morphed or been transformed into demons were clearly safe. Each Ranger summoned a weapon, and they gleefully jumped into the melee.
The Galaxy and Lightspeed Rangers, plus Shondra, were waiting outside of one of the entrances to the Lightspeed AquaBase, clustered in small groups. “What if I’m not Ranger material?” Ryan asked nervously. “I was in one fight.”
“None of us have fought for as long as some of the others,” Leo told him.
“I don’t think it matters,” Mike added. “If you’re willing to be a Ranger, it sounds like you’ll become a Ranger.”
“It seems like all of this happened at once,” Chad said as he slung his arm and sent a small pebble skipping across the bay. “Three days ago, I never imagined I would be a Power Ranger.”
“I imagine it was a greater sacrifice for some of the older Rangers than us,” Carter said. “I’m still surprised there were kids in there…”
“Even the original team is pretty young,” Kai said. “I think the oldest of them is 19?”
A short distance away, the other Rangers were talking quietly.
“I suppose we’ll go home when this is over?” Shondra asked.
“I would imagine we will,” Maya answered. “Assuming we survive.”
“I think it’s pretty amazing that you’re both sticking around to fight with us,” Kendrix said.
Damon added, “It really is. Thanks for helping defend our planet.”
“You helped save ours,” Maya told him. “This is the least we could do.”
As Jenga’s spell was activated, the sky lit up with red lightning, which was reflected in the water of the bay near them. “I think this is it guys,” Carter said, standing straighter.
“Do you think any of the people in Mariner Bay were turned?” Mike asked, as much to himself as to the others.
“Anyone capable of true evil,” Chad muttered. “I’d hope not, but…”
From the entrance tunnel, red lights began flashing and sirens wailed. Mike pulled a small military walkie talkie out of his jacket pocket. “Commander Stanton?” Mike asked.
“Captain Mitchell?” Carter asked into his own radio.
“Rangers, we need assistance!” Captain Mitchell’s voice squawked. Before the radio transmission ended, screams, blaring sirens, gunshots, and Commander Stanton yelling for backup sounded in the background.
“I’m going back in!” Dana shouted.
“You can’t!” Kelsey cried, grabbing her by the arm.
“That’s my dad in there!” Dana insisted. Kelsey let her go, and Dana ran down the tunnel entrance. Kelsey waited only a moment before following her friend into chaos.
However, the two girls stopped as soon as sparkling, rainbow light passed through them, morphing them into the Pink and Yellow Lightspeed Rangers. Their teammates all morphed as well, yet before they could descend into the tunnel, the radio in Mike’s hand chirped and Commander Stanton said, “Cancel that report, Rangers. We’ve got this situation under control down here.”
Jenga watched with a smile as the last of the red lightning faded away from the dwindling supernatural fire. The four remaining members of the UAE had just cast their spell to turn the entire planet evil on the 1st class promenade deck of the UAE Lusitania, currently sailing around the evening Atlantic ocean.
“Are there really going to be that many evil people?” Divatox asked.
“More than you would think,” Jenga said. “My time amongst the mortals taught me that. There are plenty of jerks out there, but I’m not even talking about them. A lot of people aren’t evil simply because they are afraid of consequences. Humans are disgusting creatures. I’ll be happy when the whole lot of them are dead.”
“So, we go fight now?” Rito asked.
“We do,” Jenga said. “And we have to stay on the planet, too.” Before one of the others could ask why, she finished, “The spell requires us to stay here and fight.”
“I wouldn’t be anywhere else,” Goldar growled.
Jenga started to say something, but then, she stopped. The first tinges of rainbow light appeared on the curved ocean horizon. She furrowed her brow, and in the space between one heartbeat and the next, the light had reached them and saturated the Lusitania and its occupants. “Oh Catalina, you sneaky little minx,” Jenga realized.
She turned to Divatox, and as soon as she did, her heart sank. Divatox was glowing white. Processing the information faster than a mortal was capable, Jenga turned to see Goldar and Rito similarly glowing. As the last of the light left them, the three beings all morphed into Power Rangers.
Goldar was wearing Gold Morphin armor, his helmet bearing the image of an ape. Rito was clad in camouflage-colored Aquitian armor, his helmet holding a simple rectangular visor. Divatox was the Red Turbo Ranger, the only difference being the purple streaks across her scarlet helmet.
“I didn’t know she knew how to even cast that spell,” Jenga said, “and if even if she had, I certainly wouldn’t have counted on my teammates succumbing to it.”
Divatox broke the seal on her helmet and carefully removed it. Her hair was now long, dark, and wavy. Her grotesque makeup and eye mask were gone, revealing her to be a stunning brunette. “Jenga… I’m sorry you didn’t get to morph with us,” Divatox said carefully.
Jenga smiled. “I was once in charge of a universal empire of evil. Trust me – her little Day of the Rangers spell is not nearly strong enough to stop me.”
“You are the only one left,” Goldar told her. “We’ve all been purified. Your husband, your child, your servants.”
“Give it up,” Divatox requested. “Please. You are the only one left. End your spell, and let us help you.”
“I’m sorry I’m alone, but I’ll find others,” she said. “I’ll bring Astronema back, and I’ll even bring you all back if I can. But I don’t need your help.”
“You know we have to stop you, right?” Rito asked.
Jenga chuckled. “It’ll be cute to watch you try.”
Rito pulled the sword from the scabbard on his back and swung it at Jenga. She leaned back, easily dodging the blow. Divatox’s helmet reappeared on her head in a shimmer of red light, and she promptly summoned her own sword that she parried at Jenga. Jenga drove her elbow into Divatox’s solar plexus, and as Goldar leapt into the action with his own sword, identical to the one he had carried for millennia, Jenga literally threw the former space pirate at him. The blow aimed for Jenga instead struck Divatox, sending a spray of red sparks across the deck.
Jenga leapt into the air, and as she landed on the lower deck, she struck her fist against the wooden deck. With a thunderous crack, the deck split in half, groans echoing from deep in the ship. “How long are we going to do this, Jenga?” Divatox asked.
Saying nothing, Jenga waved her arm, blue lightning bursting from mid-air due to her gesture. Each lightning strike on the broken deck produced a different black demon, teleported to her from different places around the planet.
“As long as we need to,” Jenga said, and with an unspoken command, the multitude of demons rushed at the Rangers.
“We have to stop her!” Rito cried, blocking a demonic claw swipe with his sword.
“On it!” Divatox shouted, kicking aside the closest demon and leaping from the first class promenade deck to the second, where Jenga still stood with a group of demons around her.
Divatox pulled her Turbo Blaster from its holster and fired at Jenga as she landed. The red laser struck Jenga in the shoulder, searing her shirt and causing her to stumble a few steps back. The demons around her turned to Divatox, but she raised her hand and said, “Stop. Get the others. I’ll take her myself.”
“You planning on actually fighting?” Divatox asked, holding her fists up defensively.
“No need, Sweet Pea,” Jenga said. She snapped her fingers, a tiny blue flash jumping off of her hand, and the entire ship suddenly rocked violently, side to side. “I have bigger things to deal with than you. You used to like detonators, right? Well, there is one on the ship. Find it or don’t. Au revoir!” With her customary blue sparkles of energy, she faded away.
Divatox instinctively and quickly activated a helmet scan. A quick glance beneath her revealed that Jenga was telling the truth. Amidst the destruction she had just magically wrought on the multi-decked ship, a small but powerful detonator was hiding in the ruins, set to go off in seconds.
“We have to get off the ship!” Divatox screamed, jumping to a different deck, followed closely by several of the demons. With a powerful punch, she dispatched the demon closest to her and ran up to Rito and Goldar. “She’s blowing the ship up!”
Rito paused in his fight and said, “But she loves this ship,” giving two demons the chance to knock him down.
“You don’t need headquarters if you’ve taken over the entire planet,” Divatox reminded him.
“What should we do?” Goldar asked.
“We leave,” Divatox said, seconds before she teleported them away. The ship was empty, save for the remaining demons, for just a few moments, before it exploded in a gigantic red and orange fireball.
Across the planet, new Rangers appeared. People who would have gladly taken on the duty of the Powers found themselves temporarily infused with Ranger powers. Angel Grove had a slightly higher ratio of Rangers than most cities, although worldwide, Rangers leapt into battle.
On Chestnut Street, Ms. Appleby turned into the Pink Morphin Ranger, just seconds before she was due to be slaughtered by a quartet of the ebony demons. She made quick work of them.
In the Angel Grove Police Station, just a few feet from Bulk, Skull, and Dulcea, one police officer and one person waiting booking turn into a mini-army of twenty demons. Fortunately, several of the police officers turned into Rangers of all colors and types and were lead into battle by Lt. Stone, morphed into a black and gold Zeo Ranger with a visor shaped like a police badge.
As requested by their families, the DeSantos and Park families had, in fact, left town. Trevor Park had stayed with the police force and ended up morphing into a Green Zeo Ranger. Eileen Park and Maria DeSantos loaded their broods up into the DeSantos SUV and headed into the mountains.
When the red lightning passed, no one near them turned into demons. However, when the morphin energy passed a few seconds later, the entire DeSantos and Franklin families morphed, Rosa DeSantos and Franklin Park in particular becoming the Pink and Green Turbo Rangers. Why those two unconsciously selected that Ranger armor was unknown to any but the two of them, especially Rosa who was known to hate pink. Regardless, as soon as they were clad in armor, they immediately set off on foot, running at roughly eighty miles an hour, back into Angel Grove. They immediately met up with Gold Morphin Ranger Fred Kelman, and they joined in with a group of fellow Rangers from the Junior High in battling a group of demons near Angel Grove Park.
David and Rebecca Cranston both turned into the Blue Morphin Ranger.
Trini’s little sister, Ashley Kwan, morphed into a near-duplicate of her big sister. She wore the Saber-Tooth Tiger armor, but hers was pink.
Tommy’s siblings, Chelsea and Teddy, morphed as well, Chelsea becoming a purple Zeo Ranger with a diamond-shaped visor and Teddy the Green Morphin Ranger.
Cassie’s butler Cadbury became a black Turbo Ranger.
Carlos’s older sister Julia ended up defending an entire floor of Angel Grove Memorial Hospital as a pale blue Space Ranger.
Adelle and Andre Ferguson immediately ran to join the fight, Adelle the Pink Space Ranger and Andre the Green Thunder Ranger.
Parents became Rangers to defend their children from harm. Children and teens became Power Rangers to secure entire neighborhoods. In one prison, one man on death row became a Power Ranger to protect the prison guards from the other men on death row who became demons.
Magna Defender and Loyax eagerly rejoined the battle. The Blue and Purple Senturions likewise engaged in the defense.
Rangers of every color and style imaginable covered the planet. A group of cosplayers from Lexington, Kentucky all morphed into their chosen Ranger, including some that were wearing spandex instead of armor. Japan had its own contingent of unusual Rangers, including one army of female Rangers who were all wearing spandex, tan-colored fabric on the legs, and a helmet that actually sported a rather odd-looking blonde wig. There were Ranger teams based on playing cards, mystical animals, angels, and every other conceivable permutation. Some wore armor and some wore spandex; some had scarves, some had capes, and a few even had popped collars.
Regardless of appearance, every Power Ranger on the planet was fully committed to the global battle.
Another console exploded in a shower of sparks, leaving Alpha to frantically “Aye-yi-yi” as he darted from one computer system to another in the darkened Power Station. DECA hovered about, attempting to help as much as she could, but her own internal computer system was vastly different from the Power Station and she was not yet as adept as Alpha was. Just as Alpha was about to send out a request for assistance, blue sparks of light appeared, coalescing into Billy.
“Alpha, it occurred to me that the computer systems might be overloaded,” Billy said, quickly removing his helmet and setting it aside. Looking around the Power Station, seeing several burnt-out consoles, he added, “I wish that had occurred to me sooner.”
“Billy, can you help us bring the computers back online?” Dimitria asked.
“The problem is we’re simply overwhelmed,” Billy stated. “There are more Rangers than… well, ever, and the computers are trying to keep up with them. Let me re-route some of the energy conduits…” He worked in silence for a few moments, and finally, the Power Station lights brightened and the computers began to efficiently hum.
Billy tapped a few commands on a console, and the main viewing screen quickly changed to show a number.
“There are over four hundred million Rangers right now?” he asked.
However, when he glanced back, he saw the number change.
“Why is it dropping?” he asked, looking at Dimitria.
“Just because we have never lost a Ranger in battle does not mean that Rangers are incapable of falling,” Dimitria said.
Billy quickly called up a video of a fight where a Ranger had just fallen. A group of five Rangers were trying to fight off a large group of demons. There were at least thirty of them, and as Billy watched, one Ranger ran into the melee, without weapons, and started to fight the demons. He took a few hits, sparks flying from his armor, and although he was punching and kicking, he was quickly overpowered. In a flash of red, he demorphed, and the demons literally tore him apart.
“They think they’re invincible!” Billy cried.
Pulling up video feeds of the Angel Grove Rangers, he noticed Rocky and Adam running to find a fight. Tapping into the radio system, he said, “Guys, I have a group of new Rangers in Russia who are literally being killed by the demons. They could use some expert help; can I teleport you there?”
“Do it,” Rocky said, and in a streak of blue and green light, the two experienced Rangers darted across the planet. Billy watched, hopeful, as the two arrived, each summoning a weapon, and began to cautiously but effectively battle the mass of demons. The new Rangers took notice and joined in, fighting with vigor but not quite as carelessly as before.
“I have to get a message to all of the Rangers,” Billy said, looking to Alpha. “It needs to be in everyone’s native language, and I have to do it soon. I need to explain to them that they can be force demorphed and to fight cautiously.”
“Billy, to accomplish that, we’ll need to significantly boost the Power Station’s energy output and computer systems,” Alpha said fretfully.
DECA added, “We would also benefit from a computer expert to monitor the system for the duration of the fight!”
Billy said nothing but began to type a few commands into a computer console. “I need a better computer expert than me,” he said, “and hopefully, he’s a Ranger, too.” After just a few moments, the video screen was replaced with an image of a Zeo Ranger fighting some demons, alone, in the computer lab at Angel Grove High.
“This is the Blue Morphin Ranger,” Billy said through the radio. “Be advised – I am about to teleport you to Ranger headquarters.”
In a maroon and gold shower of light, the Zeo Ranger teleported to the Power Station. “Whoa,” he said. He was in Zeo armor, colored dark maroon and wearing a maroon cape for some reason; his visor was a golden Star of David.
“A Star of David?” Billy asked, surprisingly.
He broke the seal on his helmet, shaking his long, frizzy hair loose. “Billy!” Raymond cried. “Yeah, the Jew Helmet… It was always a joke, between me and some friends… I guess the image of a Star of David helmet got stuck in my head. So, uhmm… what’s up?”
“Raymond, we could really use your help,” Billy said. “I need to get back out into the fight, but I need a computer expert to help us here. This system is designed for a few Rangers, not the four hundred million plus we currently have fighting. Can you help us?”
“I’ll help however I can,” he answered enthusiastically. “So were you one of the originals?”
“Since ’93,” Billy said. “Okay, this is what we need to accomplish.”
As Billy and Raymond began to work on the computers, light flashed in one corner of the Power Station as Divatox, Goldar, Rito, Karone, and Sydney teleported in. Catalina arrived a few seconds later.
Cautiously, Divatox, Goldar, and removed their helmets. Although he was no longer wearing his golden helmet, Goldar’s appearance was unchanged. Rito was no longer skeletal but human, an attractive young man with jet black hair and olive skin. “I wasn’t sure what you would actually look like,” Karone remarked.
“I look like this because I’m an alien, not because I’m evil,” Goldar remarked, his voice just as gruff and deep as ever.
“We need your assistance,” Dimitria said to the group. “Jenga must be stopped today, and we hope the five of you may have an idea.”
“We should bring in Dulcea and Justin, too,” Catalina answered. Karone shot her a sideways glance, but unfazed, Catalina continued, “Dulcea is the greatest warrior in the cosmos, and Justin and Jenga have an undeniable bond. He may have an insight that could be useful.”
A few moments later, the seven Rangers all sat in the conference room, their colorful and unusual helmets on the table before them. “Divatox, you-,” Catalina began.
“Please call me Teri,” Divatox said quickly. “Divatox was my evil name.”
Catalina smiled and said, “Certainly, Teri. Teri, you were with her at the end. Do you have any idea where she will go?”
“She’ll be fighting,” Teri answered. “She loves the fight. I’ll be honest… I don’t think she can be defeated.”
“Everyone can be defeated,” Goldar interjected.
“When she created the Phantom Ranger, the purity of the Great Power destroyed her body, but it didn’t even slow her down,” Teri told the group. “She even came back and said, ‘Turns out I can’t be killed.’”
“Or purified,” Dulcea said thoughtfully. “Neither by the Great Power nor the Morphin spell.”
Karone interrupted, “Jenga wasn’t like most of us. She would kill murderers and rapists because she didn’t like what they did to their victims, but she has no qualms about wiping out an entire civilization.”
“She was willing to both rule from a throne or fight in the trenches,” Teri said.
Catalina, who had been looking thoughtful since Dulcea’s comment, suddenly spoke up. “Everyone can be purified,” she said. As the group slowly looked at her, she said, “Jenga is just a vessel. Granted, she is the vessel for supreme evil, but at her core, she is still just a human.”
“So how do we get at the human in her?” Karone asked.
“Only one person has ever even gotten close,” Catalina said. Looking at Justin, she added, “And he’s sitting right here with us.”
Worldwide, almost simultaneously, Raymond managed to dispatch the same signal to every single Power Ranger.
“Hello; this radio transmission you are hearing is coming from the original team of Morphin Power Rangers. We know today has been very unusual, and we are glad you are joining us in the fight. However, please be warned. Power Rangers are not immortal. Please fight with caution. Extreme pain can cause you to force de-morph. Should you de-morph and survive, intense concentration on your Ranger powers will bring them back. Be careful to not be outnumbered by the demons. There is no shame in running from a fight until you have added reinforcements. Please contact us if you need assistance. We have a global teleportation system that we can use to move Rangers around the planet as needed to help in the fight. However, be advised – we have a very small team here in charge of our teleportation and communication, so please do not contact us unless it is dire.”
Billy and Raymond watched as the message was translated into the appropriate languages and sent worldwide. “Raymond, can you keep working the system for us? Alpha will definitely need some help, and I need to get back out there.”
“Of course,” he said. “Is it okay if I bring in some help? I know a girl who is as computer savvy as I am, and I can’t imagine she wouldn’t have morphed, too.”
Billy looked to Dimitria, who replied, “Any Power Ranger who can offer assistance is welcome here.”
He clapped Raymond on the shoulder and said, “I know it isn’t the literal fight, but you are definitely going to help save a lot of lives today.”
Raymond smiled and gestured to the computers around him. “I’m a computer geek,” he said. “I’m in heaven here. Trust me.”
Kimberly, the closest Ranger when Raymond sent out an urgent request, ran into the surprisingly nice home on a quiet street near downtown Angel Grove. Or rather, it had once been a surprisingly nice home. The door had been torn off its hinges, and every piece of furniture in the living room had been knocked over.
“Power Scan,” she whispered, not wanting to alert her presence. With a soft whoosh, the visor on her helmet turned silver with a pink light bisecting it horizontally. She looked quickly around the house and quickly saw what she was looking for. Two children, one demon.
Simultaneously turning off the Power Scan and summoning her Power Bow, she leapt up the stairs. “Hey!” she cried as she reached the top floor.
A demon was clawing desperately at a door. It stopped growling, and in that brief silence that followed, Kimberly heard two panicked cries, one clearly an infant and the other a young child, on the other side of the door. “Come after me,” she said, tapping herself on the chest with the tip of her bow.
Much to her surprise, the demon immediately did as requested, leaping across the hallway and colliding with her. The two tangled together, demonic claws and teeth scraping against her armor as they spilled down the stairs. With as much strength as she could muster, she shoved the demon off of her, sending it flying through the banister.
She and the demon got to their feet at the same time, but Kimberly unholstered her Power Blaster and fired a volley of shots. As each pink beam struck the demon, the smell of singed flesh filled the air as the demon howled. It leapt for her, and she ran at the beast, firing as many arrows as swiftly as she could.
The battle was intense but brief, and it ended when Kimberly pressed the edge of her bow against the demon’s neck, tightly against the wall. With a dying gasp, the demon dissolved into black dust. Quickly activating her Power Scan again, she looked around her, making sure there were no other demons to ambush her. Once she knew it was clear, she ran upstairs.
She easily pushed the door open, and when she did, she saw the two children, a little girl about four holding a screaming infant who couldn’t have been more than two months old. Kimberly moved toward the little girl, who screamed and tried to back away. “No no no,” she said quickly, removing her helmet. As soon as she saw the kind human face, the little girl immediately calmed down. “Are you okay, sweetheart?”
“I don’t know where our babysitter is,” the little girl said, her face streaked with tears.
“Where are your parents?” Kimberly asked, kneeling down and taking the infant gently from the little girl. She shushed at the baby, gently rocking him.
From downstairs, she heard the door get further knocked off of its hinges. Kimberly spun, facing the door, but before she could decide what to do next, she heard a panicked voice cry, “Ariel!”
“Mommy!” Ariel shouted.
“We’re up here!” Kimberly yelled.
Seconds later, a teal Turbo Ranger with a trapezoidal-shaped visor rushed into the room. She yanked her helmet off and dropped to her knees, taking her daughter into her arms. “I was so worried,” the woman sighed. “I tried to get here as soon as I could but I kept getting attacked.”
“I think your babysitter may have been turned,” Kimberly said delicately.
“Thank you so much for being here,” the woman said, already crying, as she took her infant son from her and hugged her with one arm.
“I’m a Power Ranger,” she said, biting back tears of her own. “That’s what we do.”
As soon as Raymond confirmed that his computer partner had morphed and was willing to help, Billy returned to the battlefield. Purple Zeo Ranger Latisha, her visor holding a perfect circle, had expressed a bit of shock upon arrived at the Power Station, but she quickly jumped into her work. In a matter of minutes, she had already written an algorithm that was scanning all helmet communication looking for Rangers experiencing distress. It was while she was scanning helmet communications that she noticed something before it came up on any of the sensors.
“Uhm… Alpha?” Latisha asked, looking over her shoulder. She was typing on the controls, going a bit slowly as it was still a new system to her. “It is Alpha, right?”
“Affirmative,” the robot said as he ambled over to her.
“I’ve got reports of Rangers in Los Angeles talking about a Zord-sized demon,” she said.
“Here, let me pull it up on screen,” Raymond said, punching the required commands into the computer consoles with already practiced ease. The image showed a gigantic demon stomping toward downtown L.A.
“How do you call out the Zords?” Latisha asked.
“We don’t have many!” Alpha cried. “Aye-yi-yi!” His mechanical fingers tapped on the controls, and Alpha said, “Skull, we need you to take the DragonZord to Los Angeles. We’ll send the coordinates to the cockpit.”
There was silence for a few moments, and then Skull replied, “Actually, I’m going to let someone more experienced than me take her into battle, but she’ll be there.”
“Affirmative,” Alpha acknowledged.
Tommy held the Dragon Dagger in his hands carefully as he ran toward the docks. It had been years since he had worn the green armor; that honor now fell to his friend, Eugene Skullovitch, and it had for the past year. He shook his head a bit at the thought; he never would have imagined that Bulk and Skull would be Power Rangers, but the last year had produced a lot of changes.
As he reached the docks, he stopped running and brought the Dragon Dagger to his lips. “All right, girl. Let’s do this for the last time. I need DragonZord power!” And with practiced ease, he played the six-toned song that summoned her from the ocean.
With a mighty roar, she rose from the ocean, dripping water. Shaking the water from her and stretching as though awakening from a long, deep sleep, she stomped steadily toward shore. Jumping into the air, Tommy teleported into her cockpit.
“It’s been a while,” Tommy said as he looked the old, familiar controls. “Let’s go save the world.”
“Ninjor to the Power Station,” the incoming transmission squawked. “Please come in immediately.”
“Alpha, do you know a Ninjor?” Raymond asked, calling up the video feed.
One of the monitors was extremely fuzzy, but it showed an image of Ninjor, wearing his full-body blue armor. “Ninjor!” Alpha cried, bustling over to his monitor. “Uhm… Dimitria, I’ll let you take this one.”
“Dimitria, why can’t I teleport in?” Ninjor asked angrily. “I literally felt the morphin grid surge. I know what you are doing. Let me come help.”
“Ninjor, we cannot do that, and you know it,” Dimitria said. “This is the largest battle Earth has ever seen.”
“This is the largest battle any planet has ever seen!” Ninjor cried. “I know Dulcea is there fighting.”
“Dulcea is a resident of this planet,” Dimitria calmly explained. “She is prepared to die defending it.”
“And I’m not?” he asked.
“No, I certainly understand that you would,” she said. “However, the universe cannot risk that occurring. If Jenga wins today, if the Earth falls, all of us on this planet will fall with it, and she will certainly continue her quest across the universe. We will need you to hold the line elsewhere.”
Ninjor sighed and lowered his head. “Dimitria, if I am there to help-”
“You will be one fighter, admittedly highly skilled, among four hundred million. Here, your talents would be redundant. And yet, if the Earth dies today…”
“You’ll need me to take over the fight,” he muttered. Dimitria said nothing but nodded. “I am not happy about this,” Ninjor remarked.
“I know,” Dimitria replied. “You are a good man, Ninjor.”
“May the Power protect you and the Earth, Dimitria,” he replied before closing his transmission.
“We have had other allies contact us in regards to the blocked teleportation, as they also wish to come assist,” Alpha said. “Should I send the same message to the Aquitians, the Triforians, the Xybrians, the Bookalans, the Horath, the Sirians, the Mercurians, the-?”
“Yes,” Dimitria answered. “I will craft a proper message at once.”
From one corner of the Power Station, an alarm began to sound. “Uhm, you guys? There is a huge pack of the demons accumulating in the desert outside of Vegas!” Latisha shouted from a side console in the Power Station. “Unnaturally huge!”
Raymond hurried to her side, typing in a few commands. “Dimitria, what do you think they are doing?” Raymond asked, not looking up as he continued to type. “I’m reading…. Wow – there are over fifteen hundred demons gathering in an area that previously was completely deserted.”
“I would surmise that Jenga is instructing pockets of demons to avoid Power Rangers, so that they may survive for longer than the duration of our Ranger spell,” Dimitria theorized.
Suddenly, over the communication systems, a signal interrupted. “Power Station, this is Jason. I’m here with the whole Morphin team, except Skull; we’ve cleared out the park and surrounding neighborhoods. Where should we go next?”
“Rangers, there is a significant gathering of demons in the desert,” Dimitria said. “Please call upon your DinoZords and eliminate this threat.”
The Saber-Tooth TigerZord and PterodactylZord were the fastest of the DinoZords. Kimberly had already circled the group and laid down a swath of laser fire, and Trini was rampaging through the demons, slashing with her claws and biting with her sharp teeth, before the other three Zords reached the coordinates.
“My God,” Jason remarked as TyrannosaurusZord reached the location. From his vantage point in the cockpit, he could see a writhing, rippling black mass of demons. As he watched, Kimberly flew over the group. He saw small miniscule explosions of black dust as demons were obliterated, but there were so many present, it did not seem that her strafing had done any good at all.
“Let me see if this does any good!” Zack cried as MastodonZord stomped toward the army. With a thunderous roar, the black and silver Zord trumpeted and sprayed an icy blast, freezing a large group. “Take ‘em, Billy!” Billy’s TriceratopsZord rolled toward the group, and with lasers firing, he quickly obliterated the frozen demons.
“We can do this,” Jason murmured to himself as he armed TyrannosaurusZord and ran into battle.
The former villains, all of whom were itching to get back into the battle, had already left. The conversation was going in circles. Jenga was a vehicle for the greatest evil in the universe. Even if she could be purified, the evil would come back to her. Her body could not be destroyed, because even if they could find the means to do so, she could literally recreate it in death. She had done it before. All agreed to continue thinking of a solution, even though it seemed no solution existed.
As Justin and Catalina left the conference room, Alpha promptly scurried up to them. “Justin, we have a gigantic demon attacking in upstate California,” Alpha said. “I’ve already alerted the other Turbo Rangers and have dispatched Storm Blaster. They’re waiting for you in the RescueMegaZord cockpit.”
“On it,” Justin promised as he teleported away.
The blue shower of sparkles faded away as Justin appeared in his seat in the lower right of the cockpit. “Glad you could join us, little man,” Emily remarked.
“What’s the situation?” Justin asked, quickly checking the readouts in his sector.
Just as he said it, the RescueMegaZord rocked violently. Looking up, he saw one of the demons, made MegaZord-sized by Jenga but otherwise identical to the billions attacking the planet, wielding a hand full of sharp claws as a weapon.
“I’m getting some odd readings from this thing,” Hallie remarked, spinning in her cockpit seat to look at the group.
“Send ‘em to me, Hallie,” Justin requested. The other Rangers were pushing the RescueMegaZord through her paces, easily and effectively battling the gigantic demon.
“I don’t think swords are going to be the best way to fight this beast,” Yellow Ranger Guy remarked.
“Agreed,” Martin said, quickly yanking the left control lever and avoiding a clawed punch.
“Loading artillery mode,” Emily acknowledged as gigantic black cannons appeared on the colorful Zord’s shoulders.
“It isn’t going to matter,” Justin realized, just as the others (save for the mute Murray, of course) yelled, “Fire!”
In a brilliant explosion of black dust, the demon disappeared. However, no one celebrated as Justin’s proclamation sank in.
“What do you mean, it won’t matter?” Emily asked.
“That’s what I mean,” Justin answered, pointing out the cockpit window.
A shimmering black orb of energy was all that remained of the gigantic demon. However, it promptly darted away, falling to the ground far below them and merging with the first demon it touched. It immediately grew to MegaZord height.
“It isn’t a spell she put on the demon,” Justin told them. “It’s an isolated spell that will go from demon to demon.”
“Then I guess we’ll just fight ‘til there aren’t any demons left,” Guy said.
Everyone’s helmet translated for them as Murray quickly signed, ‘We can at least keep this giant demon from doing more damage.’
“All right, boys and girls,” Martin said, taking the central controls. “Let’s get this guy in sights again and blow it up.”
Hours had passed. The global fight, the likes of which no planet had ever seen, continued to rage. Ranger fatalities, which already exceeded one million, slowed significantly after Raymond’s planetary message. The current tally of Rangers stood at 415,998,413. The current tally of demons attacking said Rangers stood at over twenty-one billion. The number had dropped significantly; almost twenty-eight billion demons had been created.
Zhane currently had his AstroMegaShip, being autopiloted by his onboard computer Michele, circling the planet, firing at random demons on the ground. Three different MegaZord-sized demons were always attacking at any given point. DragonZord, Lightspeed’s SupertrainMegaZord, and the RescueMegaZord were all fighting. As each gigantic demon was destroyed, another arose to take its place. Rangers in the DinoZords were still patrolling the planet, destroying each and every hiding congregation of demons. The Rangers piloting said Zords was continually changing.
Alpha realized that, even with the Power assisting them, fatigue was setting in at controlling the machinery. Rangers were only allowed to be a Zord pilot for an hour maximum. Tommy and Skull had both been hesitant to let anyone other than the two of them pilot DragonZord, (although they had relented to Aisha taking an hour-long shift as she had worn the Green Armor for a very short period during the initial Earth Crystals fiasco), but when Tommy almost let the demon get past him and Angel Grove Memorial Hospital came dangerously close to being toppled, they had relented to let others pilot the Zord that both the former and current Green Morphin Ranger considered sentient. At present, Blue Thunder Ranger David was piloting her and doing a very admirable job of destroying demons.
The next two in line to pilot the DragonZord were Tommy’s siblings, Teddy and Chelsea, both of whom had cornered him after he caught up with them in a battle near Los Angeles. After very briefly celebrating that they were all still alive, they promptly found out that the DragonZord needed new pilots, and Tommy ultimately decided it was simply easier to acquiesce than try and talk the two of them out of it.
The fatigue that a Ranger felt after leaving the Zord cockpit quickly left as soon as they entered the rush of the foot battle, which continued to occur planet-wide. Some of the less populated cities had been cleared out, but given that demons were still roaming the planet, the fight flamed on.
“SupertrainMegaZord, it’s time for you to swap out,” temporary Purple Ranger and Alpha Assistant Latisha said over the communications system.
The SupertrainMegaZord was currently being piloted by Leo, Karone, Cassie, TJ, and Dana. Replacements Ryan, Zhane, Ms. Fairweather, Carlos, and Tanya were waiting to take over.
“Let us destroy this beast and she’s yours,” Leo paged in.
“Ms. Fairweather and Ryan, you’ve never been in a Zord before, right?” Tanya asked.
“Well, no, other than helping to build the Rail Rescue,” Ms. Fairweather acknowledged.
“I won’t be a liability, will I?” Ryan asked.
“Just let the power tell you what to do,” Carlos advised. “And listen to Tanya. She’s been Rangering longer than any of us.”
“Okay guys, are you ready?” Latisha asked. Tanya gave a thumbs up, and in a rain of silver, yellow, black, and white light, the five Rangers teleported out and were replaced by an equally bright red and pink deluge. After a brief set of directions, the five returning Zord pilots were sent back out into the global foot fight.
“DinoZords are almost ready to change again,” Latisha said. At present, they were being piloted by Rocky, Adam, Tanya, Bulk, and Fred Kelman, who had been vetted by Zack. She quickly looked through the list of Rangers that had been endorsed, in some form or fashion, to pilot a Zord, and realized, very quickly, that not only was she was one short, but she would be largely going off of the list of established Rangers.
She began to prepare her assignments; Jason would resume piloting the Tyrannosaurus, and he would be the only pre-existing Ranger going into this battle. Billy’s mother, Rebecca, would be piloting the Triceratops. Lt. Stone would pilot Mastodon. Ernie would be driving Saber-Tooth Tiger. Latisha ran through the list again. Every Ranger on the list was either engaged in a foot fight that could not be interrupted, was piloting a Zord, or had recently piloted a Zord.
“I’m going off list, Dimitria,” Latisha said. “Is that okay?”
“We must do what is required,” Dimitria replied. “If they are a Ranger, they are clearly trustworthy of piloting one of our Zords.”
Latisha nodded, and as she had the computers contact the next four replacement Rangers, she began to run through the battle near Angel Grove, looking for Rangers that were available. She found one surprisingly quickly, and she chuckled as she realized this Ranger was already wearing the Pink Morphin armor.
Opening a communications channel with the Ranger, Latisha said, “Ms. Appleby? This is the Power Station. Can we possibly call upon you to pilot the PterodactylZord for us for an hour?”
Ms. Appleby replied by laughing and said, “I’ve always wanted to fly a Zord. Sign me up!”
“Jenga sighting!” Raymond cried as one of his customized alarms went off.
“Pull it up on the main display,” Dimitria requested. The largest display immediately showed Jenga calmly strolling down what looked like an otherwise abandoned street in a seemingly random city.
“What can you tell us about the Rangers who sighted her?” Dimitria asked.
Raymond quickly answered, “This is in Stone Canyon. Spotted by a trio of Rangers who had just defeated the last of the demons near the docks. Jenga didn’t show up until after the fight, and the Rangers spotted her just as they were about to go find another fight to join.”
Jenga lifted her hands to the sky, and blue streaks of lightning jumped from her fingertips, summoning five of the demons from elsewhere around the globe. Jenga then pointed her finger at the ground, and an old chest appeared before her. As she knelt beside it, the demons slowly moved toward her. She opened the chest, and a rainbow glow of red, blue, green, yellow, and pink light shone out. Reaching in, she quickly pulled out five weapons, a green razor-sharp boomerang, a set of pink throwing stars, a yellow bo, a set of blue bow and arrows, and a red spear, handing one to each demon.
“Oh gracious,” Dimitria whispered, pressing her hand to her face.
“Dimitria?” Alpha asked cautiously. “Are those-?”
“Goranger weapons,” Dimitria said. “Alpha, contact Tommy and Jason at once.”
Jason, Tommy, and Catalina stood around Dimitria’s tube as the image of Jenga distributing the weapons to the demons played on an endless loop. “Jenga has destroyed many teams of Rangers,” Dimitria said.
“Earth is simply the first time she’s ever had any significant amount of trouble doing so,” Catalina continued, “no doubt in part to Zordon’s efforts to literally overwhelm her with the numbers of his Ranger army.”
“So… are these weapons Ranger weapons?” Jason asked, pointing at the video loop.
“From a team called the Gorangers,” Dimitria answered. “Their home world was saved thanks to a team of Rangers from a nearby planet, but it was believed that she had destroyed their powers. Instead, it seems that she simply stole their powers.”
“This doesn’t add up,” Tommy interjected. “Jenga can make evil Rangers; she did it with the Thunder Rangers and Phantom Ranger. If she had more powers lying around…”
“She would have already used them,” Catalina agreed. “Regardless… Dimitria is right. Those are Ranger weapons.”
“So what does this mean for the fight?” Jason asked.
“Those five demons are much, much more powerful now,” Dimitria said. “Jason, Tommy, quickly recruit a team of your best. These demons must be stopped and those weapons must be reclaimed.”
Jason, Tommy, Billy, Trini, and Kimberly teleported to Silver Falls, each holding their Power Weapons out protectively. “Don’t forget your assignments,” Tommy whispered as they cautiously scouted the area.
Before anyone could say anything else, fire exploded across the five Rangers’ backs, all falling to the ground.
“Haven’t been hit like that in a while,” Kimberly groaned as she slowly got up. As she did, she had only a moment to glimpse the demon holding the pink throwing stars unleash a new barrage at the Rangers. With her bow, she deflected as many as she could, but one still caught her shoulder, causing pink sparks to jump from her armor. Trini’s target was the demon with the throwing stars, and she immediately threw one Power Dagger at the demon. The other Rangers followed suit, promptly leaping into the melee against their own demon.
The demon look startled, but before it could react, Trini slashed the demon’s throat with her other dagger. As it faded away in black dust, she retrieved her Dagger as it fell free. However, before Trini could pick up the throwing stars the demon had dropped, blue light flashed near her, and another demon appeared to grab them and continue the fight.
“Has anybody else discovered this problem?” Trini asked.
She spared a glance, seeing Tommy block the boomerang with Saba and then stab through the demon’s chest. In much the same manner, a teleported demon appeared to retrieve the boomerang.
Billy, with his Power Lance, had just speared his demon through the stomach, causing it to disintegrate and another demon to immediately appear and take on the yellow bo. Raising his wrist to his mouth, he quickly said, “Dimitria, have Latisha monitor us here for fatigue, too. We’ll likely need replacements soon enough.”
The fight continued. Periodically, Catalina and one of the former villains would regroup, sharing any ideas to stop Jenga once and for all. No plan had yet been determined that would work, and after a few minutes of deliberating, they would return to the battlefield.
The number of demons was steadily dropping. Fourteen hours into the fight, the number was roughly twelve billion. A legitimate end to the demon battle was in sight, but unless a way to stop Jenga was found in the next ten hours, it was all for nothing.
Experienced Rangers were now cycling through those using weapons and those piloting Zords. Those fighting such intense battles with the demons armed with the Goranger weapons were being replaced roughly every thirty minutes. The fatigue of a constant, essentially never-ending battle against an assailant with such powerful weapons came on quickly.
And yet… demons continued to use the Goranger weapons, and massive demons continued to fight the three MegaZords. The DinoZords remained circling the planet, seeking and destroying as many demons as possible.
Sunrise was just a few minutes away in the desert outside the bustling Power Station, but the time of day was irrelevant to those working within. The only time that mattered was the clock slowly counting down to the moment that would mean the end of Ranger powers, and if Jenga was not destroyed by that time, the world. The chaos in the Power Station was only interrupted by a loud screeching alarm, signifying a significant use of Jenga’s magic somewhere in the world.
Alpha and Raymond worked together, quickly pinpointing the source of the magic. “Dimitria, Jenga is erecting a gigantic force field,” Raymond said. “It’s just stopped growing, but… my God, it’s huge!”
“Situated over central Montana… currently four miles square,” Alpha reported.
“Can our scanners penetrate the barrier?” Dimitria asked.
“Not a full range, for sure,” Raymond answered, “and I don’t think we can teleport through it…”
“There is a signal in it that the computers are registering as Dulcea!” Alpha cried. He turned to look at Dimitria and continued, “But Dulcea is fighting near Sacramento right now. She’s nowhere near Montana.”
“Have Dulcea return at once,” Dimitria said. Alpha quickly relayed the order, and a few moments later, she teleported into the Power Station in a shower of silver.
“What is it?” she asked, hurrying over to Alpha as she removed her helmet.
“Pure energy,” Alpha said, “although it is also giving off a temporal signal.”
“Can you pull up a visual?” Dulcea asked.
“It’s a gigantic dead spot, save for that signal,” Raymond explained.
“Alpha, teleport me and a Zeo Jet Cycle as close to the disturbance as you can,” Dulcea requested.
“Dulcea, I think it would be advisable to utilize back up,” Dimitria calmly stated.
“There are five more Jet Cycles,” Latisha said. She had spent the entire evening keeping the external hardware operational and was already fully aware of their capabilities. “Why not take five more Rangers?”
“I would recommend you take Karone,” Dimitria suggested, “as she would be most familiar with Jenga’s style of traps.”
“Katherine and Tanya are also available to go,” Raymond said, manning one of the communication consoles.
“Contact Bulk and Skull as well,” Dulcea said. Retrieving her silver owl helmet, she held it in the crook of her armor and shouted, “Back to action!”
Katherine on Zeo Cycle I, Tanya on Zeo Cycle II, Dulcea on III, Skull on IV, Karone on V, and Bulk on the Gold Zeo Jet Cycle landed on the quiet highway in a sparkling wash of colors near the disturbance.
“Your Zeo Jet Cycles are programmed to take you to the center of the blocked area. And Rangers, be advised that we will likely not have radio contact with you,” Alpha said. “Please be extremely careful!”
“Understood, Alpha,” Dulcea acknowledged. With a glance at her fellow Rangers, they all revved their Zeo Jet Cycles up and drove off together.
“No demons around,” Bulk said as they roared down the highway. “Everything looks normal. What are we looking for?”
“I fear the Crystal of Time is somewhere in this area,” Dulcea answered frankly.
“Is there more than one?” Katherine asked.
“Dulcea, I thought you had the Crystal of Time from when Trini took it from Jenga?” Tanya remarked.
“And more to the point, didn’t Zordon’s wave destroy it and your need to carry it?” Bulk asked, knowing fully well that it had.
“Yes on all points,” Dulcea agreed. “However…”
“If it can let someone travel through time, who knows when its origin actually was,” Skull realized.
“Exactly,” Dulcea said. “And we cannot let Jenga obtain it, if in fact that is what is producing that signal.”
“So the Crystal of Time, one of the most powerful artifacts Jenga ever carried, was actually on the Space Base all along?” Karone asked.
Before Dulcea could answer, the asphalt before them literally exploded. Dulcea, leading the pack, was catapulted high into the air. The other Rangers tried to avoid the explosion, but it was futile. All of them fell to the ground painfully, the engines of the Zeo Jet Cycles whining impotently as the bikes scattered around them.
“Surprise!” Jenga taunted, standing on the unbroken edge of road before them, the morning sun silhouetting her. She had changed clothing from when they last saw her; now, she was wearing tattered khakis and a blue leather jacket.
Dulcea, closest to Jenga, climbed to her feet. “Is everyone okay?” Dulcea asked, keeping a close eye on the red-haired villainess.
“We’re okay,” Bulk said, walking to her. In a golden glimmer of light, he summoned his Golden Power Staff.
“I think we’re here for the same thing, Dulcea,” Jenga said.
“Have you found it yet?” Dulcea asked calmly.
Smiling, Jenga held her hand out, and with a pink flash of light, the rectangular crystal appeared there.
“I’m guessing you haven’t figured out the proper arrangement yet,” Dulcea said.
“Given that I am still standing here talking to you, you would be correct,” Jenga answered. “But I have it… for when I do need it.”
“How does she not know the arrangement to activate it?” Skull muttered to Dulcea.
“Every moment of the universe requires a different arrangement to unleash its full potential,” Jenga answered for her. “But when you’re immortal, well… let’s just say, it’s only a matter of time.”
“We’re not going to let you keep it,” Karone said defiantly.
Jenga smiled, putting the crystal away with the same pink flash of light. “I’ve got a few other tricks up my sleeve, too, Little Sis,” Jenga said. She held her hand out before her, and a blue rectangular device with a large X atop it appeared in her grip.
“Does anyone know what that is?” Tanya muttered.
In her right hand, Jenga suddenly produced a small object with a blue glimmer. With a click, it snapped open, revealing a silver key. With an odd smile, Jenga placed the key in the X atop the device and gave it a quick twist. Then, she thrust it out before her and shouted, “Gokai change!”
Blue light welled up around her, and when it faded away, she was wearing Ranger armor. Her pants were black; her boots, top, and helmet were a rich, vibrant blue. The top of her Ranger outfit was stylized, as though it were a jacket with gold sashing on the shoulders and down the sides and a flared collar around her neck, opened to reveal a black chest, and her helmet looked vaguely as though it was a pirate helmet. A white design, looking like crossed swords and a key, was on her chest and the forehead of her helmet.
“You, Mom, and Dad aren’t the only Rangers in the family,” Jenga taunted as she summoned her weapons, a pistol and a curved scimitar.
“Jenga’s a Power Ranger?” Katherine asked in horror.
“Dulcea, is this like… regular evil Ranger bad or much worse?” Tanya asked cautiously.
“Much worse,” Dulcea and Jenga answered in unison.
“Rangers, go get backup,” Dulcea said, as she silently pulled a set of silver twin batons from her weapons arsenal.
“We’re not leaving you alone,” Katherine said, as bravely as she could manage.
“This is not up for negotiation,” Dulcea repeated as she and Jenga began to circle each other.
“I’ll stay to help,” Karone whispered to the others. “Someone go get help.”
In a sudden blue and silver flurry, Dulcea and Jenga launched at each other. Sparks flew from Jenga’s scimitar as Dulcea blocked it with her batons. The two warriors battled relentlessly, a vicious fight only enhanced by their Ranger strength.
“We have to let Catalina and Dimitria know,” Tanya said as the other five quickly regrouped.
“I’m not leaving her,” Bulk said quickly. The visor of his helmet was already silver, his Power Scan activated, looking for any possible weakness in the fight. He was finding none, on either side.
“You two go,” Skull suggested, pointing at Katherine and Tanya.
“And hurry,” Karone agreed.
Dulcea and Jenga were each fighting as fast as they could. Blue flashes of light appeared with the sound of a pistol being fired, and Dulcea stumbled away from the flurry of action. However, she took no more than a split second to recover and leapt back at the demoness, hitting Jenga simultaneously on each side of the head with a baton.
“We don’t both need to go,” Katherine said. “One of us can stay and help.”
“Not if she has a trap set up,” Skull added.
Katherine and Tanya shared one quick glance before Katherine said, “We’ll be back as quickly as we can.” Then, up righting their Jet Cycles, they immediately drove off into the distance.
Karone watched, briefly, as the two girls drove off, before summoning her Transdagger and quickly transforming it into a Bow. Waiting for the perfect opportunity, she leapt at Jenga as soon as she saw it, slashing her twice with the bladed edge of the bow and then firing a volley of energy blasts at Jenga’s stomach.
“Et tu, Karone?” Jenga grunted, obviously in pain. She replied by firing at Karone with her pistol.
“It’s time for a Gold Rush!” Bulk shouted, holding his Golden Power Staff out before him. The top flipped open, and beads of golden energy streamed forth, striking Jenga all over her body.
Skull immediately leapt in, kicking the disoriented Jenga twice in the chest. He pulled his Dragon Dagger from its holster and slashed her chest, but Jenga grabbed him by the wrist and flipped him over her head, holding onto him and slamming him into the ground with such force the pavement cracked.
Jenga spun her scimitar and rested it on her shoulder, the hand holding her pistol hanging loosely at her hip. “Who’s next?” she asked cockily, just before Bulk and Dulcea both ran at her.
As soon as Katherine and Tanya cleared the disturbance, they hopped off of their Jet Cycles and immediately teleported to the Power Station. “What is the situation?” Dimitria asked the very moment they appeared.
“Jenga morphed,” Katherine said, removing her helmet. “With a morpher of some sort.”
“Morphed into what?” Dimitria asked, her voice eerily calm.
“She morphed into a Power Ranger,” clarified Tanya. “It’s a suit I’ve never seen before… Blue Ranger…”
Katherine added, “She looked kind of like a pirate.”
“I’ve already contacted Catalina,” Alpha said. Second later, a white and blue teleportation signal lit up beside them.
“Tell me everything,” Catalina ordered.
On the other side of the Power Station, even as Katherine and Tanya began to relay their tale, Raymond and Latisha suddenly whooped. “It worked!” Latisha cried.
“Zhane’s MegaShip is straddling the edge of the disturbance,” Raymond explained, as his fingers danced across the console. “His computer system, Michele, is producing as direct a scan as we can get and relaying it to us. Let me clear up the interference as much as I can.”
Seconds later, the largest viewscreen changed from static to a video feed of the six Rangers battling. “I’m still trying to get audio,” Raymond said apologetically.
“Gokaiger,” Catalina whispered, dropping her helmet to the floor in shock.
“What’s Gokaiger?” Katherine asked.
Dimitria quickly explained, “The Gokaiger Rangers were a team of Rangers on the planet Famille. They were never defeated; they eliminated their threat and went into retirement millennia ago. I do not know how Jenga obtained the Blue Gokaiger powers.”
“Bring in all of the original Rangers,” Catalina said. “I didn’t want to risk trying this so soon, but our hand has been forced.”
The plan was relayed as quickly as possible. Billy and Justin, upon hearing the plan, simultaneously made the same suggestion, proving that the adoptive brothers truly did think alike. Catalina hesitantly agreed, mostly because the plan had merit and covered the one angle she was unsure of.
In a huge, brilliant mass teleportation, all of the original Rangers, plus Catalina, landed as close to the disturbance as Alpha could get them. “Head in!” Tommy ordered with a shout as they ran in. Some were brand-new, Rangers for less than a day, while others had Rangered for over four years. Regardless, all headed on foot toward what was undeniably the most dangerous battle any of them had faced.
With their enhanced Ranger speed, it took only a few moments of running before they came upon the fight. Bulk, Skull, and Karone hung back, all looking exhausted, as Dulcea and Jenga battled with a frightening ferocity.
“In formation!” Tommy cried as they approached.
“Second line, be prepared to step in!” Jason shouted.
“Trini, Kim,” Tommy began, but the girls had already beaten them to the punch, quickly running in to grab Bulk and Skull and pull them away from the battle.
Jenga, with a powerful kick, knocked Dulcea away, and she paused, looking at the original thirteen Rangers as they formed a large circle around her.
Catalina stepped forward and shouted, “Demorph!” Instantly, she and the original thirteen all demorphed, standing before Jenga, powerless. Then, white light welled up around Catalina, and with a theatrical flourish of her arms, one of the Earth Crystals appeared in each Ranger’s hands.
Jenga slowly removed her helmet and looked at them, perplexed. “Catalina, what is this?” she asked. “Bringing me the Earth Crystals to save me the effort of killing you for them?”
“Kilad adap neok rigale,” Catalina began to mutter. Each of the Crystals began to glow.
“A Purification spell?” Jenga asked. “Really? I thought you would know better than to try something so simple.”
“Invocabo condimentum vires, mala ista vis est de corpore cogit,” Catalina continued. Each Earth Crystal began to glow the original color of the Ranger holding it, quickly intensifying to the point that the Rangers themselves were cocooned in a glowing aura. Jason and Tommy were bathed in red, Billy and Rocky in blue, Trini and Tanya in yellow, Kimberly and Katherine in pink, Adam and Skull in green, Zack in dark gray, Aisha in white, and Bulk in rich gold.
Jenga’s expression, with a slightly furrowed brow, suddenly changed into abject shock as her body jerked forward. Black blood spurted from her mouth, and as she looked down in horror, she saw the tip of a golden dagger, her golden dagger, sticking out of her chest.
“Sorry, Jenga,” Justin muttered. Jenga looked over her shoulder, staring directly into the face of the helmeted Blue Turbo Ranger. He had a firm grip on her golden dagger; he was kneeling at the foot of the Silver Galaxy Glider, being piloted by Zhane. They had flown in, using their momentum to literally spear her.
“Malum reliquit!” Catalina cried, and the glowing color burst from each Earth Crystal and Ranger and rushed at Jenga.
The explosion of light that burst from her was massive; a shockwave traveled out, knocking the unmorphed Rangers off their feet.
“Jenga?” Justin asked cautiously, stepping off of the Galaxy Glider.
She clutched at his hands and fell to her knees. The blood around her mouth turned red, as did the blood dripping from the golden dagger still impaled through her body. The evil that coursed through Jenga was, at least momentarily, gone, for the first time in countless millennia.
“Justin, pull the dagger out!” Karone cried, running to them. “Her Ranger powers will heal her.”
“No,” Jenga said, but it was too late, and she groaned as he yanked it from her back. With a blue sparkle, the armor and wound on her chest immediately healed.
As the Rangers, morphed and otherwise, began to slowly move toward her, Jenga looked pleadingly at Catalina and sobbed, “It won’t last!” Tears streamed down her face.
Catalina knelt before her, taking Jenga’s hand in her own. “I know,” Catalina said softly.
“You’ve bought me minutes, maybe seconds,” Jenga said, crying. “The evil will come back! You have to kill me! Completely destroy my body!”
“The Crystal of Time!” Billy suddenly realized.
“Billy, that’s genius!” Justin cried.
Karone knelt beside her sister, removed her helmet, and took Jenga’s hand in hers. “Karone, I’m so sorry I did this to you,” Jenga said, gently touching her sister on the face.
“You can use the Crystal of Time,” Billy repeated.
“Oh my God,” Catalina said. “It’s a closed loop.”
“Exactly,” Billy said. “You’ll-”
“But she said she didn’t know the alignment to activate it,” Karone said.
“To activate its full power and throw the timeline off track, sure,” Catalina said, her mind clearly working as fast as possible. “But just to hop around in time a little…”
Jenga, a look of realization coming to her face as well, nodded and said, “I’m a closed loop.”
“Can you do this?” Catalina asked.
Jenga demorphed in an explosive blue flash of light, a messenger bag falling at her feet as she demorphed. She held her hand up, and concentrated red light appeared there in a swirling sphere. The sphere literally looked evil. “Is that-?” Karone asked, gesturing at the sphere.
“That’s what made me evil,” Jenga said. “I’m not sure how long I can contain it, especially once I get away from the Earth Crystals.”
Catalina asked, “This is going to take a lot of magic. Will you need help? I can come with you.”
“Would you, please?” Jenga asked, sounding more like a scared child than the ruler of a universal empire of evil.
“What are you planning to do?” Karone asked.
“I’m going into my future, to set everything right,” Jenga told her.
“I’m coming, too,” Karone said, standing up and demorphing in a pink flash. Jenga smiled and hugged her.
“We can both get our lives back,” Jenga agreed.
“I want to come, too,” Zhane said, abandoning his Galaxy Glider and demorphing as well.
Catalina gave him a confused look, but a knowing smile appeared on her face as he and Karone hugged.
“Zhane?” the still-morphed Andros asked, stepping forward. “What are you doing?”
“We don’t really have time to explain,” Catalina said, looking at the ball of evil held by magic in Jenga’s grip. It was starting to writhe and contort with more energy.
“Zhane, I’ll fill everyone in,” Sydney volunteered. She stepped forward from the group of Rangers, her helmet in her hand. “Oh, and you should know… What happened with you was my fault. I put a spell on you, just to lower your inhibitions. I didn’t mess with your emotions, just your common sense.”
He smiled warmly and gave the younger teen a hug. “I appreciate knowing that,” he said. “See you in the future, Grey-Haired Chick. Andros, the AstroMegaShip is yours. Take care of her.”
“I will,” Andros promised, hurrying up to Zhane and hugging him quickly. “I still don’t understand, but take care of yourself.”
“You’ll see each other again,” Catalina said, “but if you don’t get your butt over here now…”
Jenga gestured her hand skyward and said, “This disturbance is ended. I’ve removed the spell for the demons with the weapons and the MegaZord-sized demons. I would get rid of all of the demons, but I won’t have the magical energy to do both.”
“That will still be a huge help,” Jason said.
“Catalina, will you be coming back?” Billy asked.
She shook her head. “It will take a lot of our combined magics to use the Crystal of Time this way,” she said. “This is likely a one-way trip.”
“What do we tell Dimitria?” Kimberly asked as Jenga, Catalina, Karone, and Zhane stood facing each other.
“Do you know when we’re going?” Catalina asked of Jenga.
“I remember now,” Jenga answered. “December 20, 2030.”
“Tell her she is fully in charge for the next 33 years,” Catalina answered. “Rangers, get the Earth Crystals back to the Power Station and finish this fight. Jenga, let’s go.”
Jenga quickly picked up her messenger bag and handed it to Karone, and holding the writhing ball of evil in one hand and the Crystal of Time in the other, Jenga raised her hand high. The Crystal of Time glowed pink, the glow intensifying until the four were completely hidden in the pink glow. Then, with a loud crack of thunder and a strong rush of wind, the light disappeared, the quartet gone with it.
“Is it over?” Kimberly asked, looking at her fellow Rangers.
“No, but it will be soon,” Tommy said. “Let’s get back to the Power Station, and maybe someone who understands what happened can catch the rest of us up.”
The forty-six remaining Rangers, plus the morphed purified villains, were crowded in the Power Station, listening to those who either understood the situation or were there for part of it to tag team the exposition. “Catalina knew that the Earth Crystals could purify evil,” Sydney explained. “She did it with the evil being that lived in me. The only problem was that the evil in Jenga was huge. It was Satan, essentially. The greatest evil in the entire universe. She could knock it out of her, but there was no way to keep it out of her.”
“That’s why Jenga was begging us to kill her after she was purified,” Zack said thoughtfully.
“It was the only way she could think of to keep the evil from coming back into her,” Trini said.
Teri added, “The Space Base was a literal repository of magical artifacts, and when Zordon’s wave destroyed it, those artifacts rained down all over the planet.”
Dulcea said, “That’s how she got the Crystal of Time again. Or rather, for the first time. The Crystal of Time she possessed in the past is actually the Crystal of Time that just went into the future.”
“So how did it end up in the past?” Bulk asked.
“First things first,” Billy interjected. “Justin knew that, even morphed, the golden dagger Jenga used to stab Karone, Sydney, and himself would penetrate her Ranger armor.”
“And if she were wounded, it might lower her strength momentarily and make Catalina’s plan to purify her work better,” Justin continued.
“And it worked,” said Billy. “Since she was in possession of the Crystal of Time, she and Catalina went into the future, where I assume Jenga is going to send her evil powers and the Crystal of Time back into the past, along with her… future… past… self.”
“Can’t it be avoided?” Bulk asked. “Why…?”
Dimitria interrupted and said, “What has been cannot be undone. Jenga has always served as supreme evil of a universal empire. However, by sending her powers into the past, she has guaranteed that such a supreme evil is trapped in a closed loop. By sending the innocent, young Jenga of the future into the past, along with the Crystal of Time and her evil powers, she has protected our future.”
“I hate time travel,” Kimberly muttered.
“So why did Zhane go with them?” Ashley asked.
“I can answer that,” Sydney said, already a bit red-faced. “I put a spell on Zhane in the past week, and to put it simply, he and Karone fell in… well, lust, if not love, when she was Astronema. But he cares for her, greatly, and I’m pretty sure she feels the same way. I just think he couldn’t bear to lose her.”
“I hope they’re happy together,” Cassie remarked, putting her arm around Andros’ shoulder. The Red Space Ranger still seemed a bit shocked at Zhane’s sudden departure.
“I guess we’ll know in thirty-three years,” TJ remarked.
“One question,” Tanya interrupted. “How did Jenga become a Power Ranger?”
Heather said, “She found our powers on the Space Base. I guess they weren’t the only ones.”
“I’m just glad to know there aren’t more villain Rangers out there,” Kimberly said. Looking at Goldar, Rito, and Teri, she added, “No offense.” Rito smiled and gave her a thumbs up.
“But this means then, that if we can defeat the demons today,” Adam began, “then the fight is over.”
“We win,” Rocky said softly, almost in disbelief.
“We win,” Dimitria repeated.
“Then Rangers, let’s get back out there,” Tommy said. It took a brief moment, but in bright flashes of light, the original thirteen unmorphed Rangers morphed again.
“Back to action!” Jason cried.
December 20, 2030
With a light fizzle of pink energy, the four time travelers shimmered into being. It had taken the combined magical energies of Jenga, Catalina, and Karone to guide them through time and space. They materialized in a quiet suburb of Angel Grove, seen by no one and, aside from Catalina’s flowing gown, looking like ordinary group of people.
“Is this where you meant for us to be?” Catalina asked, keeping a close eye on the ball of evil magic in Jenga’s hand.
“Once the evil left… I remembered a lot more,” Jenga said. “I was walking home from school with Karone, I had just said goodbye to my friends… and the evil just took me, and I was blasted 800,000 years into the past with virtually no memory. Until now.”
“How did you end up in the past?” Catalina asked Karone.
Karone started to speak, but Jenga immediately spoke up. “She appeared around forty thousand years ago, as Karone,” Jenga said. “I found her, I recognized her, and I turned her evil. Clearly, I was the one who sent her into the past to be evil.”
“Then you send Karone back first, and then you,” Catalina said.
Zhane pointed and said, “There they… you… them… there they are.” Indeed, two young women, one with Jenga’s unmistakable curly mane of red hair and the other a petite blonde, were walking down the sidewalk. They were Jenga and Karone, as teenagers, as they existed before claimed by the side of evil.
Catalina touched Jenga’s shoulder, her eyes and hands both glowing with her magical energies. With her free hand and utilizing her own magic, Catalina’s borrowed energy, and the Crystal of Time, Jenga produced a glimmering ball of pink energy. Jenga pulled her arm back and threw it; the energy struck Karone, who with nary a sound, disappeared in a pink burst of light. The young Jenga looked around, confused but not yet alarmed at her sister’s disappearance.
“This is the big one,” Jenga said, cupping the still writhing ball of evil with both hands. With Catalina’s guiding assistance, Jenga summoned almost all of her magical energies, turning the ball of energy evil larger and more volatile. Then, she pointed her hands at the younger version of herself. With a literal evil scream, the ball of energy streaked toward her. The young Jenga barely had time to look confused before it struck her, and in an explosion of pink light and red fire, she vanished.
“That’s it,” Jenga muttered, looking extremely sad. “I just forced that young girl to an extremely long life of serving evil.”
“A life that will ultimately lead to you standing, right here, good again,” Catalina told her, smiling warmly. “Jenga…”
“Please, call me Jennifer,” she interrupted. “That was what I used to go by.”
Catalina continued, “Jennifer, your actions have actually done this universe a favor. The supreme evil here is trapped in an endless temporal loop. It can’t escape that loop, and your actions and your willingness to be evil’s captive for that temporal loop will make our future safer.”
Jennifer nodded, a slight smile on her lips. “Whatever it was that ultimately caused this closed loop, if it was a force of good that did it, it must have chosen me because it knew I was strong enough to survive it.”
“And not many people would be, physical or mentally,” Catalina assured her.
“So… do you two just resume their lives?” Zhane asked.
“Our ages aren’t quite right,” Karone said. “It might be a little tough.”
“I’m pretty much out of magic,” Jennifer remarked. “I should have changed us back first.”
Catalina, however, said nothing aloud but, murmuring a few words under her breath, waved her hands, and with a blue twinkle of light, Jennifer and Karone aged down slightly, Jennifer turning eighteen and Karone sixteen.
“So what do we do now?” Karone asked.
At that very moment, a car horn honked, and the four turned to see a middle aged-man in Storm Blaster, the blue sentient Turbo vehicle, pull up beside them. He looked familiar to all of them, a boyish face somewhat hidden in dark hair that was just starting to go gray and a short, neatly trimmed goatee.
“Justin,” Catalina said in shock, realizing that the adult in his mid-forties before them was the thirteen year old boy they had just seen in the past.
“Alpha just contacted me and told me there was a temporal disturbance here,” Justin said, getting out of the jeep. He patted Zhane on the shoulder and stood before his two daughters. “Girls… I just saw you this morning…”
Jennifer and Karone both stood, completely unmoving and neither face showing any emotion. Zhane and Catalina both looked at each other, unsure of how to respond, before Jennifer suddenly sobbed, “Daddy!” and rushed into his arms. With a sob of her own, Karone threw her arms around them both. Justin, his own eyes wet with tears, hugged his daughters, one in each arm, as closely as he could.
“I think we’re going to have a lot to catch up on,” Catalina said to Zhane.
“Let’s go home,” Justin said, escorting a still crying Jennifer and Karone into Storm Blaster. “Zhane, why don’t you come with us?” Zhane nodded, still shocked.
“Where can I find Dimitria?” Catalina asked of Justin, smiling warmly. “I feel as though we have much to celebrate.”
“We do indeed,” Justin said. “You can find her on Aquitar, and I know she is expecting you.”
“We will speak later,” Catalina promised, right before she disappeared in a white and blue shimmer of light.
Justin pulled up in front of a large house in a nice suburb, one that Zhane was pretty sure had not existed in 1997. Jennifer and Karone had been almost entirely silent on the short ride home. Justin, likewise, had been quiet, and Zhane could tell that Jennifer and Karone were truly just relishing being in their father’s presence. He was having a surprisingly hard time, reconciling the boyish Ranger he had just met with the father figure before them, but that was what happened when you jumped 33 years into the future.
As Zhane got out of the jeep, he saw a middle-aged couple approaching him, both smiling warmly. It didn’t take Zhane more than a moment to realize who it was. “Andros!” he cried. “Ashley!”
Andros, now wearing shorter hair but still possessing his famous skunk stripes, gave Zhane a tight hug. Ashley just stood near them, smiling warmly. “We let Delphine take the AstroMegaShip a few years ago,” Andros said, almost apologetically.
“We hoped you wouldn’t mind,” Ashley added delicately. “Although it was really more than thirty years ago.”
“Are you two married?!” Zhane cried, finally breaking his hug with Andros.
“With a daughter, Monika,” Andros said.
“I don’t care about the AstroMegaShip,” Zhane said. “I’m just glad to know you two survived the war.”
“We have a room prepared for you,” Ashley told him. “We’ve known for years you were coming, and since the Aquitians are using the ship…”
“You can stay with us,” Andros finished. “If that’s okay with you.”
“Are the rest of the Space team okay, too?” Zhane asked.
“Zhane, we’ll talk to you later,” Justin said, as Andros and Ashley began to walk Zhane to their home.
“Justin... I mean Dad,” Jennifer began, blushing a tiny bit at her mistake, “my memory is slowly returning to me, but there is a lot that is fuzzy still. Is…”
“Is Mom okay?” Karone asked. “I mean… we know she had to survive the war, but…”
As Karone spoke, the front door opened, and a woman with shoulder-length brown hair who looked strikingly like a middle-aged Neve Campbell opened the door. “Did it work?” Sydney asked hopefully. “Is the evil gone?”
Jennifer and Karone said nothing but rushed their mother in a tight hug which Justin wasted no time in joining himself.
“This feels a little like a former life,” Jennifer said as the reunited Cranston family sat together around their kitchen table.
“Our life was perfectly normal just this morning when you went to school,” Sydney said, “and as far as your father and I are concerned, everything is still great.”
“Marge explained to us that it may take about twelve or so hours before your memory fully returns,” Justin told his daughters. “But she said she can cast a spell on you both to help make the transition a little easier.”
“So what happened with the rest of the war?” Jennifer asked, unfolding and refolding her hands nervously. “Did… I know there were Ranger fatalities, but did any of the original Rangers die?”
Sydney looked at Justin who calmly reached out and took Jennifer’s hands. “All of the original Rangers survived and are still with us,” Justin assured her. “Well, Leo and Maya, and Shondra and Damon, are technically bi-planetary, splitting their time between Earth and Mirinoi, but everyone is alive and well.”
“So what happened with the war?” Karone asked. “How did it end?”
December 1, 1997
A mere ten minutes after the battle ended, the Power Station was again full of Rangers, this time powerless. The war was over. The last of the demons had been defeated just minutes before the spell wore off. The atmosphere was decidedly odd; there was clear jubilation that the war was over and the side of good had won, and yet there was a definite sadness that their powers were definitively gone.
While the other teams congregated within the Power Station, the original five Rangers quietly made their way to the roof of the Power Station. Far out in the desert and away from the light pollution of the city, the entire universe of stars sparkled above them.
“We won, guys,” Trini said thoughtfully, leaning against Billy and looking up at the universe. “All of that… we helped make all of that safer.”
“Can we interrupt?” a gruff voice asked. The five Rangers turned to see Teri, a beautiful brunette still wearing Divatox’s leather outfit, a handsome man with the voice of Rito Revolto, and Goldar, who looked exactly the same as he had before the purification.
“Goldar,” Jason said, standing straighter and instinctually tightening his muscles.
“I came to apologize,” he said, walking toward Jason with his hand extended.
Jason stared at the proffered hand for a moment before smiling and shaking his hand. “You were a worthy adversary, Goldar,” Jason said. “I’m glad you are on our side now.”
“We’re leaving,” Teri said, “but we wanted to say goodbye first.”
“Where are you going?” Billy asked.
“I imagine that my father rescued Rita and Zedd after their purification,” Rito said. “I know they are here on Earth somewhere, so I plan to find them.”
“I’ll be going to my home planet of Inquiris,” Teri said.
“I am going back home as well, to Kerrigan,” Goldar said. “But if Earth is ever in danger, please contact us, and we will return to help in the fight.”
“Take care, guys,” Kimberly said as Teri teleported the trio away.
“Goldar, on our side,” Billy remarked with a grin. “In the past, I would have been terrified to be near Goldar without my powers. And now… he’s a good guy.”
“No more powers, but we shouldn’t need our powers anymore either,” Kimberly said.
“There’s going to be a lot of clean up,” Zack remarked.
“He’s right,” Trini agreed. “Millions dead, the destruction…”
“The good news about the destruction is that all of the demon-initiated destruction will be reset,” Billy said. “The same spell that has always been in effect during our battles should apply to this one. But the loss of life… we’ve never faced anything like this before.”
“If this were any other battle, the Rangers would make a public statement,” said Kimberly.
“I don’t feel powerless,” Jason said, his face deep in thought. Then, he twisted his wrist, and with a red flash of light, his morpher, complete with coin, appeared there. “It’s not my totem; it’s the Tyrannosaurus.”
At once, the other five Rangers jumped to attention. “Billy?” Kimberly asked, a confused look on her own face as she summoned her morpher.
“I thought the Power Coins had to be sacrificed for the spell to work,” Trini said, intensely examining her morpher.
“Regardless, these aren’t the Coins we gave up,” Kimberly said.
“Guys,” Jason said, looking at his teammates. “It’s morphin time.”
With crackles of electricity, they simultaneously raised their morphers up and called out their original morphing cries.
Instantly, the five Rangers morphed, wearing their original armor. Their Power Coins held their dinosaur spirits, not their totems. However, even more alarming than their unexpected morph was their visitor.
“Zordon!” Kimberly cried, quickly removing her helmet. The other Rangers did likewise, staring in shock at the very human-sized, body-possessing Zordon standing before them.
“Rangers,” he said softly.
Trini haltingly asked, “Are you…” However, she wasn’t sure how to continue.
“I am here only for a moment,” he answered. “I am so, so proud of you for finishing this fight against Jenga, but the fact remains… the war is not over.”
“Zordon?” Jason asked.
“Evil has been set back, severely, but it has not yet been defeated. The Earth Crystals will act as a beacon, drawing whatever evil exists in the universe here. As such, the Morphin Grid, the Earth, the Powers that Be, whatever you wish to call it, has returned your original powers to you,” Zordon explained.
“Do all of us have powers, or just us?” Zack asked.
“The powers of the forty-eight coins have been returned to all,” Zordon answered. “I do not know if you will need them soon or years from now, but this world will not let her defenders be defeated so easily. Use your powers well.”
“Zordon, why can’t you stay?” Kimberly asked.
“Kimberly, my fight has ended. I am, at last, to be reunited with my family.”
“Thank you, Zordon,” Billy said. “For everything.”
“We should go get the others,” Kimberly said hurriedly. “I know they’ll want to see you.”
“My dear Kimberly,” Zordon said, “I was only allowed to return for my very first team. Just please share this message with the others. I love you all, and please, continue to keep this world safe.”
Zordon smiled serenely, and with no fanfare or display, he simply faded away.
The other Rangers were surprised at discovering their powers, in their very original form, had returned. Justin was showing the Turbo Rangers how their new Turbo morphers worked, as they had only possessed Power Morphers. The Aquitian Rangers still had coins, but there was no standard morpher to hold them in. Bulk, much to both his and Jason’s surprise, had a Zeonizer, appropriately colored gold. Aisha did not have a morpher, either, possessing a White Thunder Orb like the other Thunder Rangers.
Two morphers were found, lying nestled amongst the Earth Crystals, which no longer had an owner - Karone’s Pink Aquitian Coin and Zhane’s Silver Space morpher. “What will we do with their morphers, Dimitria?” Andros asked.
“Karone and Zhane will return to us, but it will be a very long time,” Dimitria said. “Given that Earth still has Power Rangers, I suspect evil will come find us again, at some point. We will need to find new Rangers for these coins, in the event of a future crisis, and I have two candidates in mind. Raymond? Latisha?”
Alpha chuckled happily. The Sword of Light was pulled out of storage and used to transfer the power to the two computer experts who had provided invaluable assistance during the fight. And while Latisha had admitted to admiring the Silver Ranger powers, she acquiesced and still happily accepted pink, as the Pink Aquitar Powers would not have turned to orange for Raymond.
Following the power transfer, Dimitria gave assignments, and the various groups of Rangers went out into the world, passing messages on to government leaders, military groups, and other agencies. There was still a tremendous amount of clean-up to be done.
Fortunately, the vast majority of the damage done had been completed by the demons, which, upon their defeat, was magically erased. Most of the world’s physical infrastructure remained intact.
It took a few weeks before it was officially acknowledged, but crime rates significantly dropped world-wide. Communism was virtually eliminated. Gangs were completely obliterated. The murder rate plummeted to zero. Theft became much rarer. When every human capable of true evil was turned into demon and subsequently defeated, the crimes of evil went with them.
Dimitria knew that evil was coming. The Earth would be attacked again; she just wasn’t sure when. She left the Power Station to DECA’s command and went to Aquitar to work with Delphine. DECA actually stayed in Heather’s apartment, while Alpha went to live with the Cranstons, and both automatons monitored the Power Station and her computer and alarm systems remotely.
Green Thunder Ranger Heather became the unofficial spokesperson for the Power Rangers, as she already served as a news anchor and was publicly known to be a Power Ranger. Fortunately, since a lot of the planet had also been Power Rangers, albeit just for a day, it wasn’t quite as scandalous for her to remain in the public eye. After talking it over at length with Andre, Heather agreed to stay in her news anchor position. Granted, after just one week talking about the post-war world, she and her co-anchor, Matthew DiCicco, were offered the national news broadcast. It was a significant pay raise for both of them and Andre. She discussed the situation with Alpha and DECA before she gave an answer. She did not want to profit from being a Power Ranger.
Alpha and DECA, along with the other Rangers, all gave their blessing.
She took the job, contingent upon continuing filming in Angel Grove. The network agreed. And perhaps even more surprising than her new job was the guy she began dating, quickly exclusively, Adam Park. The two eventually married and had a son, Xander.
Maggie’s social standing at high school tanked somewhat when she began dating Martin, but she didn’t care. After being a Power Ranger, she found she cared even less what others thought of her.
Molly, surprisingly, found her own social standing somewhat elevated when she began dating Rocky, a college freshman. Since Maggie and Molly were pretty much inseparable, both physically and in the minds of the other students, their status evened out and things remained much as they had been for the two girls. Martin and Rocky, meanwhile, ended up becoming great friends themselves, as they were frequently on double dates with the twin girls.
Maggie and Martin, alongside Molly and Rocky, wed in a dual ceremony some years later, and roughly a year after their marriage, the twin girls had children less than a month apart, Maggie and Martin having a daughter, Faith, and Molly and Rocky a son, Christian.
Marge and David had a slow but strong relationship. Marge’s parents were initially a bit reluctant for their eighteen-year-old daughter to be dating a twenty-one-year-old man, but after meeting David and discovering what a gentleman he was, he received full parental approval. Marge also continued her pyromancy training, with David’s assistance. As Rangers seem to be wont to do, they, too, married and moved out near the reservation together. They had three children, two boys, Thomas and Sam, and a daughter, Elena.
Tommy and Katherine admitted to everyone they had almost gotten married, but they decided to wait a while longer. Tommy found that he just wasn’t as interested in racing as he thought he was, so he took his race winnings and with Adam, Rocky, and Jason, opened the karate school he had always wanted. Tommy and Katherine had a teleportation-relationship for a while, after Katherine was offered a fellowship at a prestigious ballet academy in London. When Katherine’s fellowship was over, she received a dance instructor job at AGU, and the two finally married, nine months later having their honeymoon baby, Hillari.
Adam, while dating Heather, earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in business. Still, the combination made him an ideal business manager of the martial arts school he co-owned.
Tanya, who had finally resumed a normal friendship with Adam, immersed herself in her pre-med studies. She even transferred from the University of Kentucky to Angel Grove University. She tried to begin her singing career again, but it never quite took off. However, she continued DJing at the local radio station to help pay for her college education.
Bulk and Dulcea remained on the police force, as did the Purple and Blue Senturions who also survived the fight. Less than a year after the war, they were the first of the Power Rangers to get married. When Lt. Stone, who had by then married Ms. Appleby, left the police force to teach Police Science at AGU, Dulcea took his job and Bulk became head of the Junior Police Division. Dulcea was overjoyed to finally have a baby, a son they named Henry. For Dulcea, actually being able to become pregnant was proof that she was finally living the normal, mortal life she had always yearned for on Phaedos.
For the rest of their senior year, Hallie and Murray became the It Couple at Angel Grove High. Murray even joined the cheerleading team, primarily to replace Zhane who, the official story went, had passed away in battle. Although they broke up briefly when they went to separate colleges, neither found a permanent partner. When they reconnected at a Ranger Reunion a few years later, they resumed their romance, eventually marrying and have two daughters, Jasmine and Renee.
Dr. Guy Tanaka and Ms. Angela Fairweather began doing their research together, writing a research proposal to collect data from various Rangers. Before the Human Subject Review even approved their proposal, the two were exclusively dating. Their research was extremely well-received, and by the time that Ms. Fairweather had finished her doc work in Biophysics, the two were married. A few years later, they had a son, Goushi.
Emily enjoyed a bit of fame as a result of her sister being such a prestigious news anchor, but she truly did not care. Likely due to her time training with Dulcea on Phaedos, Emily found herself interested in the martial arts, and she quickly reached black belt rank and, with Heather’s financial assistance, bought her way in as co-owner of Tommy’s school.
By the time they had graduated high school, Ashley had almost completely shed her dorky image, although she was still a mechanic and science nerd at heart, and Andros acted as Earthling as anyone else on the team. Andros actually proposed to Ashley at high school graduation. Ashley accepted, pending both of their college graduations, and they spent the summer after high school exploring the galaxy in the AstroMegaShip. Both returned to Earth by the end of August and began their post-secondary education at Angel Grove University. Eventually marrying, the two had a daughter, Monika, who inherited an inverse of her father’s skunk stripes, blonde hair with two black stripes.
Carlos and Cassie actually dated for a short while, although they ultimately decided that they were better as friends than a romantic couple. Each ended up finding a partner in college who had actually served as Rangers during the Day of Power Rangers, as it came to be known. Carlos married a woman named Violet, Cassie later married a man named Ron, and both of their partners were fully welcomed into the inner Ranger circle. Cassie later had a daughter named Rhea. Carlos and Violet, despite trying for years, were unable to have a child of their own and ultimately ended up adopting a ten-month-old boy from Guatemala they named Frederick.
TJ went to college on a baseball scholarship, and he enjoyed a brief career in the minor leagues before a shoulder injury ruined his chances at the major leagues. Fortunately, by that time, he had already earned his undergraduate degree in education and became a history teacher and coach at Angel Grove High. Perhaps most surprising to anyone, at a Ranger reunion about five years after the Day of Power Rangers, he struck up a conversation with Tanya Sloan. They dated throughout her entire obstetrics and gynecology residency, and shortly after she opened her own practice in Angel Grove, the two Rangers married. Tanya also ended up becoming the standard obstetrician for most of the originals Rangers who became pregnant, although she, of course, had to go elsewhere when she and TJ had a daughter, Kenya Jo, who by the time she was a teenager had renamed herself KJ.
Raymond served as the Silver Ranger in all of the Power Ranger-related press. Part of him hoped for the coming evil to hurry up and attack, as he was anxious about truly taking his new powers into battle. Latisha, as the Pink Aquitian Ranger, felt likewise, although they were both happy just to be members of the team in any capacity. After they each graduated, Latisha with a degree in Computer Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon and Raymond with a degree in Robotics from MIT, they moved back to Angel Grove, joined the computer science department at AGU, and quietly and discretely married each other in a joint Jewish/Baptist wedding ceremony. They later had a daughter and son, Shamika and Reuben.
Maya and Shondra both agreed to stay on Earth for a while, especially since the Power Station could easily teleport them to Mirinoi whenever they wished. Maya and Leo ended up as a couple, and after a traditional Mirinoan marriage ceremony, eventually had three boys, Mike, Don, and Yieran, the latter a traditional Mirinoi name. They equally split their time between their families on Earth and Mirinoi.
Shondra and Damon also hit it off, although with Damon having virtually no family on Earth, they primarily lived on Mirinoi, although both promised to return should they be needed in the fight for Earth. They likewise had a Mirinoan marriage and had a single daughter, named after Shondra’s mother, Kaami.
Mike, who eventually became head of GSA, and Kendrix, who ran GSA’s Biological Sciences division, were the second set of Rangers to marry after Bulk and Dulcea. They were also the first Rangers to have children, Kendrix giving birth to a daughter they named Gillian.
Kai, who due to his age obviously had a head start on Billy, became the first Ranger (other than Guy Tanaka) to earn a doctorate. With his degree in mechanical engineering and the full backing of Mike at GSA, he began the lengthy process of designing (and eventually building) a fully sustainable space colony he named Terra Venture. He married Luanne, a civil engineer that Mike had hired to help him with the city planning of Terra Venture. Their son, Mark, came along a few years into their marriage.
Lightspeed Rescue, all of whom were already adults and in their chosen careers, continued working for their agency. In fact, they were the Rangers who served most actively after the Day of Power Rangers, admittedly in a normal emergency fashion and not fighting evil aliens.
Dana and Carter discovered a mutual attraction for each other, which ultimately led to marriage and five children, two boys, Quinn and Colin, and three girls, Wade, Alice, and Nancy.
Ryan left Lightspeed Rescue a few years after the war, although he remained a Lightspeed Ranger. He met a young woman named Amy while backpacking across Europe, and they opened an outdoor sports store in Silver Falls. The two remained childless, frequently picking up at a moment’s notice to go on one adventure or another, although Ryan made sure to always return to Angel Grove for the yearly Ranger reunions.
Joel married a fellow officer from the Air Force, a young woman named Claudette. They had no children together, although Joel was a thrilled stepfather to Claudette’s sons, Max and Aaron. Joel’s career also led to him being on the first manned mission to Mars.
Chad remained employed at Sea World Angel Grove, and although it took him a while to overcome his shyness, he eventually asked Kelsey out for a date. She happily accepted. They dated for over ten years before finally succumbing to marriage, eventually having a single son, Keith.
Despite being an official Ranger who essentially only served on the Day of Power Rangers, Hunter Wilson found the fight for good addictive. He joined the Junior Police Force under Bulk’s tutelage and eventually joined the police force as a Sargeant. He met his wife, Raquel, while they were both completing a Master’s Degree in Police Administration. Although childless, they certainly enjoy spoiling their nieces.
Brooke Hillard, the Earth’s only official female Blue Ranger, followed in her older sister Kat’s footsteps and became a dancer, although her interests deviated a bit from ballet and moved toward martial arts-inspired contemporary. Also much like Kat, she, too, enjoyed a romance with an Oliver. She and Teddy were married in their mid-twenties, shortly after Brooke joined Cirque du Soleil. Teddy found surprising success as an actor, and while he didn’t become blockbuster big, he was famous enough he had to wear disguises to safely go out in public. Long past when their friends of the same age had already started their families, they had a son, Jackson.
The original Rangers, of course, stayed quite close. Aisha became a veterinarian, and Zack a politician, starting off as mayor of Angel Grove and eventually becoming a Senator for the state of California. Zack still has his eye on the White House, and if his success at becoming Senator and overall popularity is any indication, he will likely eventually be the US’s second president named Zachary Taylor. Aisha also gave birth to their daughter, Jacquelynn.
Trini and Billy completed school before marrying. Trini became the Kindergarten teacher she had aspired to be, and Billy completed his doctorate, the second Ranger to do so, in Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering. They had two children, a boy they named Andrew, and several years later, a boy named Dan.
Kimberly returned to the Pan Global Games, this time under a different coach, and won a gold medal for the US. Her newfound fame as a gymnast let her open a gymnastics academy in Angel Grove. Skull surprised everyone by earning Doctor of Fine Arts degree in classical musical performance. Although they married young, as soon as Kimberly was finished competing, they did not have a child for almost fifteen years. In 2013, they finally had a son, officially christened Felix Ryan Skullovitch but called Spike by everyone, including his parents.
Jason and Emily also wed, as everyone expected. Emily eventually went to school for a business degree, primarily to help in the daily operation of their martial arts academy. Around eight months after being married, they had a son, Montana, who inherited his father’s looks, physique, and love of martial arts.
December 20, 2030
Jennifer and Karone sat, absorbed, as their parents slowly told the lives of the Rangers after the war. “Apparently, being a Power Ranger means you don’t get divorced,” Karone said with a chuckle.
“Well, fighting against evil can make you realize how important trust, commitment, and love actually are,” Sydney told her. “All those things are vital in a healthy, strong marriage.”
“Do we hang out with Spike?” Jennifer asked. “He sounds very familiar.”
“You do,” Justin told them. “Your clique consists of the two of you, Spike, KJ, and Dan.”
“Do we hang out at the Juice Bar?” Karone asked. “That seems familiar.”
“You did. Do,” Sydney answered.
“Does Ernie still run it?” asked Jennifer.
“Ernie, Nancy, and Adelle,” Justin answered.
“Did evil ever return?” Jennifer asked.
“It did,” Sydney answered, “about six years ago. An evil empire arose called the Echoes. Ninjor returned to Earth with a set of eight Ninja-based powers. Xander, Jacquelynn, Monika, Andrew, Montana, Hillari, Faith, and Christian were selected to be the new Ranger team.”
“We all served on occasion as back-up Rangers,” Justin added, “but they were our active Rangers until they defeated the Echoes about two years later. Alpha still lives with Will, well, Billy, and Trini, although he and DECA still monitor it remotely.”
“Monika just graduated high school last spring, so she’s only a college freshman, but the rest have graduated college and gone on to a variety of adventures,” Sydney said slowly, “but they’re trying to be active again. A new threat, the Zangyack Empire, is allegedly on its way to attack the Earth.”
“But the Earth has fifty-six Rangers,” Justin interjected. “This is probably the safest planet in the cosmos.”
“Can you contact Dimitria and Catalina?” Jennifer asked. “I’m sorry; I hate to keep asking so many questions, but it’s really important.”
“I’ll call Will and have him send a request,” Justin said. “It might take a few hours.”
Karone said, “One more question, first. And it’s more of a request. You didn’t tell us your story. You told us about forty-six other Rangers, but…”
“We should probably remember, but it’s not clear yet,” Jennifer agreed.
Sydney smiled and slipped her arm through Justin’s. Jennifer and Karone smiled. When their memories were properly sorted out and they were like any other set of teenage daughters, seeing intimacy between their parents would be disgusting, but at the moment, it warmed them both. “Justin, as I’m sure you remember, pursued me, pretty aggressively. I tried to remind him that, weird age issues aside, even if we were in the same grade, he was still two years younger than me. But during our Senior year, I agreed to be his date for homecoming, and by the time we graduated high school, we were in love.”
“We dated all through college,” Justin said. “Our relationship was a bit long distance, with me going to Oxford and your mother to John Hopkins.”
“We teleported a lot, emailed, called, and the sentient Turbo vehicles even helped a bit,” Sydney added. “It was tough, but we made it work. After your father graduated from Oxford, he went to MIT for graduate work.”
Justin said, “My work keeps me pretty evenly split between GSA and Lightspeed Rescue now. Your mother graduated at the top of her class and was easily accepted into med school at John Hopkins.”
“You became a doctor!” Jennifer suddenly remembered, tears welling up in her eyes as the old, ancient memory came to the surface. “You wanted to be a doctor in your home dimension, but your grades weren’t good enough, but…”
“But here, it was a fresh start, and I took advantage of it,” Sydney said. “After I graduated, I entered a surgical residency program, and five years after that, I was a surgeon.”
“That’s when we finally got married,” Justin said. “And not long after, we had you two.”
Sydney continued, “I’m Chief of Surgery at Angel Grove Memorial.”
“Can we see Marge soon?” Karone asked. “My memories are getting more jumbled, and it would be nice to get them sorted out.”
Before Sydney or Justin had a chance to say anything, red light flared up in the kitchen, producing Marge, now a woman with brown and grey hair in her early fifties. She still looked quite vibrant and fit, however, no doubt a result of both her Pyromancy and occasional back-up Rangering. “I could tell I was being summoned,” Marge said, placing a backpack on the table.
“Her powers have grown a bit since you were here last,” Sydney said.
“Jennifer, Karone, I’m going to mix you a drink,” Marge explained as she began pulling jars filled with colorful liquid from her backpack. “You’ll sleep for about eighteen hours, and when you wake up, your memories will be in their proper place.”
“Will we remember everything?” Jennifer asked. “Mostly being evil?”
“I can either remove those memories entirely, or I can suppress them. If suppressed, they’ll exist in your memories in the same way a movie you watched as a very young child might. Present, but very dim.”
“I think I like that idea,” Karone said. Jennifer nodded in agreement.
Marge smiled as she began combining the liquids in a jar. She worked silently for a few minutes, muttering under her breath, shooting fire from her fingertips into the jar twice, and finally, saying, “Anun mithaleq.” As she spoke the final word of her spell, the liquid in the jar began glowing brightly.
Sydney handed Marge two glasses, and she poured the liquid into them, one barely a quarter full and the other to the very top. “It won’t taste very good,” Marge said. “Sorry, Jennifer. You have more memories to sort, so…”
“No complaints,” Jennifer said, taking the glass. “We just drink?”
“Focus on what you want the spell to accomplish,” Marge said. “Think about your lives as teenage girls, and envision your lives as demons falling away. Do that now.” She gave the girls a few moments, and then Marge said, “Now drink, as quickly as you can.”
They both lifted the glass to their mouths and tipped the glowing concoction back. She was right; the taste was vile, an odd mixture reminiscent of old coins and moldy fruit with a texture of slimy yogurt. Still, neither girl hesitated, swallowing the mix as quickly as possible.
Karone, obviously, finished first, although Jennifer was close behind. The two girls set the glasses down, looked at each other, and promptly passed out. “Whoa there, sweetie,” Sydney said, quickly stepping up to Karone to catch her.
Justin did likewise with Jennifer, easily picking his daughter up in his arms.
“They went out a lot faster than I expected,” Marge said. “But that’s a good sign.”
“Let’s get them to bed,” Justin said, carrying his grown daughter like he had when she was just a little girl. Marge and Sydney followed behind with Karone, and the two girls were quickly tucked into their respective beds. Marge gave a few last minute directions and promised to return in the morning to make sure the spell had properly taken effect.
After she had left, Justin and Sydney returned to the doors of their daughters’ bedrooms, looking at each of them sleeping in turn.
“I hate that they have to go through this,” Sydney said, leaning against Justin’s chest.
“Me too,” he agreed, “but let’s just be grateful that Marge is capable of putting them back together for us.”
December 21, 2030
The spell lasted as long as Marge had predicted, and the two didn’t wake up until late the next morning. Given that a spell was in play and not that it would have mattered what day it had been, but since it was the first Saturday of Christmas break, Sydney and Justin obviously let them sleep as long as they wished.
Jennifer was the first to wake up, and it took her only a moment to realize the spell had worked. If she struggled, she could remember, but her life as Jenga seemed so far away, it was as if it had happened to someone else. Smiling, she got out of bed and began to look for fresh clothing to put on, and she realized that she remembered her mortal teen life with true clarity.
She remembered that she and Karone had left KJ, Spike, and Dan at the Youth Center to hurry home for a Christmas tradition, opening their stockings on the last day of school before Christmas break. She remembered all of her teachers. She remembered the colleges she had applied for and those she had already heard back from. She even remembered her locker combination.
“I’m home,” Jennifer whispered to herself happily.
Justin, Sydney, Jennifer, and Karone were together in their family room, sitting before their massive Christmas tree and laughing together when they heard the front door open and Trini call out, “Anyone home?”
“Come on in!” Sydney called back. “We’re in the family room!”
A few moments later, Trini and Will (as Billy had started calling himself once he went to college) entered. As Jennifer looked at them, she had a fleeting image of how they had appeared as teenagers and when she was Jenga, but the image of them as middle-aged parents, her aunt and uncle, was a stronger reality for her. Will, who had a fairly significant receding hairline, still had a fit, gymnast’s physique, and Trini was as elegant and willowy in middle age as she been as a teen. Her hair was a bit shorter, but it was just as raven black as before.
Dan, Trini and Will’s sixteen year old son, followed them in the room, and he looked just as Jennifer and Karone both remembered from the last time they had seen him, simultaneously yesterday and eons ago. He had Billy’s eye color but Trini’s eye shape and dark black hair, and his features truly reflected the best of both of his parents in him. “Andrew will be in tomorrow,” Will said. “He could teleport in today, but he’s flying out of London Heathrow with a girl he’s got a crush on.”
“Will,” Trini chided, as Justin laughed heartily.
“We Cranston men know how to romance a girl,” Justin said, chuckling.
Just as Will sat down beside Justin on the couch, a very familiar six-tone ring sounded. However, before anyone could say anything, Will had pressed the transmit button on his communicator and Catalina’s voice came out. “Is it safe for me to teleport in?” she asked.
“Please,” Will said, and in her shimmer of white and blue light, Catalina appeared in their living room.
“It’s so good to see you,” Trini said, getting up to hug their mentor. Will did likewise.
“The years have been kind to you both,” Catalina said.
“How is Dimitria?” Jennifer asked.
Catalina nodded and said, “She’s quite well, although the news she has to send is not as good.”
“How close are the Zangyack?” Justin asked.
“They will be here within twenty-four hours,” Catalina answered. “Maybe sooner.”
Will said, “Alpha and DECA have been preparing for their invasion fleet. We obviously have no new powers, but we have two options. Those of us who are in retirement can step up to Active Duty. Or two, and the option that looks to be the smartest, we can use the Sword of Light to transfer powers from an old team onto a new set of teens.”
The group was silent for a few moments before Sydney said, “Is it selfish to say that I don’t want to give up my powers?”
“I think we all feel that way,” Trini added. “I’ve had these powers for longer than not. It was fine seeing Aisha wear this armor way back when, but I’ve been the Yellow Morphin Ranger, full-time, since 1997. I’ll give them up in a heartbeat to protect the planet, of course, but it won’t be easy.”
“May I interrupt?” Jennifer asked, raising her hand. “If there was a new team of Rangers, then none of the old Rangers would have to give up their powers, right? They could even stay on as backup?”
“That would be ideal,” Catalina acknowledged. “But Ranger powers aren’t always that easy to come across.”
“Dad, where’s my bag?” Jennifer asked, getting up and hurrying into their dining room.
“Right where you left it, sweetie,” Justin answered.
“Could Ninjor create more power coins?” Sydney asked.
“Only three sets of currently existing Rangers have actually come from Ninjor’s gold vein, and that’s the Morphin, Aquitian, and Ninja Ranger powers,” Will explained, the latter referring to the most recent group of eight Rangers to defend the Earth a few years prior. “He can use his gold to make a replacement for a Ranger that already exists, like he did back in 1997, but it’s extremely difficult to use that gold to make a brand new set of powers, especially since he already has. The gold vein will need to be replenished, both magically and physically. It’s tapped out.”
Jennifer hurried back into the family room with her messenger back in her hands. “I… I don’t know what the rules are for this,” Jennifer said, hesitantly as she slowly opened the bag, “but… well, here.” With that, she turned the bag upside down and dumped the contents out on the coffee table.
A rush of various devices spilled out, sparking in a variety of colors as they collided. “These were all on the Space Base when it exploded, and I collected them on Earth after I left the Dynasty briefly,” Jennifer said, picking up the Blue Gokai morpher.
“Are these morphers?” Catalina asked, kneeling beside the table and looking at the collection in shock.
“Yeah,” Jennifer admitted. “Same as with the Thunder Ranger powers. They had been collected over the millennia, stored away, forgotten, and all of these ended up on the Space Base.”
“Most of these are inactive,” Catalina said as she began to inspect the devices, “but the power here is undeniable.”
“I know some of their names, but not all,” Jennifer said. “Uhm… I don’t know the translations, but I know some are Goranger, Magiranger, Gekiranger, Gobuster, Goseiger, Hurricanger, Kyoryuger… Obviously, we would want to rename some to fit the current Ranger naming convention, but still…”
“Jennifer, how many morphers are there?” Trini asked in awe.
“Uhm… Around 160, I guess?” she said. She picked up a blue square device with a shark on it. “Oh, this one was really weird to me. This team was called Sun Vulcan, I think, but there were only three Rangers on this team and their armor had scarves. Back when I planned to create my own gigantic army of evil Rangers, I was definitely going to do some design modifications. Scarves on a Power Ranger is just stupid.” At that point, Jennifer looked up to see the adults in the room staring at her with shocked, awed looks on their faces. “What?”
“May… may we use these?” Catalina asked.
“Of course. Only the Gokaiger morphers are active,” Jennifer said to the slightly stunned room. “Oh, and even though I used the blue one, it was attached to Jenga, not me, and it perceives her as being dead, so it can get a new owner anytime.”
“Kids, why don’t you all meet up with your friends at the Youth Center,” Trini suggested after a very pregnant pause.
“I’d like to see KJ and Spike again,” Karone agreed.
Zhane joined up with Jennifer, Karone, and Dan as they walked toward the Youth Center. Quick introductions were made, and the quartet continued on. “Raymond and Latisha stopped by last night,” Zhane said, “and he offered to give me my powers back.”
“Did you take them?” Karone asked.
“No, I told him to keep them,” Zhane answered. “He’s been the Silver Space Ranger for a lot longer than I ever was. Latisha said she’d catch up with you later.”
Zhane had received an additional visitor last night, too. Sydney had stopped by, and at that moment, he suddenly realized that she very literally knew that he had a sexual relationship with her daughter and that he had travelled 33 years into the future to continue seeing her. Sydney, much to Zhane’s surprise, told him she and Justin were fine with him dating Karone, but she also reminded him that Karone and Astronema were very different people and that while Karone probably still held a lot of affection for him, her memories of their time together would be quite distant and fuzzy. Zhane assured Sydney his intentions were good, and that he would let Karone set the pace in whatever relationship they developed. Before leaving, Sydney also told Zhane that she had little doubt Karone would fall for him as quickly as she had as Astronema.
“I’ll tell Latisha to keep her powers, too,” Karone said. “I was literally a Ranger for a day.”
“Do KJ and Spike know about us?” Jennifer asked Dan suddenly, changing the topic.
“I only found out this morning,” Dan admitted. “I mean… we all know about Jenga and Astronema, but we had no idea it was you two.”
“Are you going to tell them?” Zhane asked.
Karone and Jennifer shared a quick glance before Jennifer said, “Yeah, I think so. I don’t think they’ll hold it against us.”
“Definitely not,” Dan said. “So, Zhane, where will you be staying?”
“How weird is this?” Zhane started. “Ashley and Andros had Alpha work up some adoption paperwork. I’m their kid now!”
“What?!” Jennifer cried with a laugh. “You were adopted?”
“I think they still feel guilty for giving away the AstroMegaShip,” Zhane said. Gesturing at the silver bowling shirt he was wearing over a black t-shirt, he continued, “They have bought me an entire closet full of clothes, fixed me a room, and they have legally adopted me. My name is now Zhane Hammond.”
“Hammond?” Karone asked. “Andros took Ashley’s name when they got married?”
“Andros and I are both from Daria,” Zhane said. “We don’t have last names there like you do here, so it just made sense for them to keep Ashley’s name, since it’s real. Oh, and now, I have a big sister.”
As they walked toward the Youth Center, Zhane got to know Dan, who he found to be remarkably identical to his father. After saying as much, Dan interjected, “I don’t technobabble as much, though.”
The moment they entered the Youth Center, which was now a massive, multi-roomed complex with a juice bar, restaurant, exercise rooms, weight rooms, and more, Zhane said, “Ernie did good for himself.”
“We were wondering when you slugs were gonna show up!” an attractive, black teen cried. Zhane didn’t have to do more than glance at her to know she was KJ, TJ and Tanya’s daughter. The Tanya Zhane had left behind in the past and KJ were almost identical, although KJ was a fair bit taller.
A laugh that could only come from a Skullovitch sounded from behind her, and Spike stepped out. He was unmistakably Skull’s son. “Took ya long enough!” he cried.
“We had something big come up,” Jennifer said, “and we had to pick up our friend, Zhane.”
Spike and KJ each shook his hand as Karone added, “We also have something big to tell you. Big and important. Are you guys up for a long story?”
“What’s wrong, girl?” KJ asked.
“Let’s go to our table,” Jennifer said, “and we’ll tell you everything.”
Mid-way through their story, Ernie, now a thinner but older man with a headful of gray hair but retaining a youthful smile, came to the table with a tray full of smoothies. Dan offered to pay, but Ernie insisted they were on the house. Zhane was pretty sure Ernie gave him a very knowing look, but he wasn’t positive.
By the time the six teens had finished their smoothies, Jennifer and Karone had completed their tale. “Is it weird now?” Karone asked, almost wincing in anticipation of their answer.
“Oh, it’s definitely weird,” Spike said, “but… heck, so am I.”
“Not tried to take over the universe weird,” Jennifer said, to which Spike shrugged.
“It’s weird,” KJ agreed, “but it’s no problem by me.”
“Ditto,” Spike said.
“I couldn’t care less,” Dan added, even though he had already made his feelings on the matter known.
“You guys are the best friends anyone could hope to have,” Jennifer said.
“I have one question, though,” Dan said. “You had a kid, right? Lord Zedd. What… what does that mean now?”
“I guess I still do, technically, have a kid,” Jennifer acknowledged. “But... Zedd and I were never really mother and son, and now… he just feels so far away, and so distant and fuzzy…”
“Our parents said the purified villains never came back,” Spike said.
“Yeah, they guessed that there was just too much baggage to deal with,” KJ said.
“That’s for the best,” Jennifer said. “I certainly don’t feel like a mother, so…”
“Jenga was a mother, not Jennifer,” Karone interrupted. “You aren’t a mother. Yet.”
Before Jennifer could reply, however, the entire building began to shake.
“It’s an earthquake!” Ernie cried. “Everyone, take cover!”
“Does anyone else feel weird?” KJ asked, standing up. The other five at the table did likewise.
Karone cried, “What’s happening?!”
And then, with the crackle of electricity, the six teens disappeared in six sparkling trails of white light.
As the light cleared away, the six teens found themselves standing before Alpha, who said, “Welcome to the Power Station.”
“Awesome!” Dan cried. “I’ve always wanted to come here!”
“This is Ranger headquarters?” Spike asked, looking about his surroundings with awe.
The back wall, where Dimitria’s tube had once rested, slid open, and as fog poured out of the opening, each of the teens’ parents, along with Catalina, walked out.
“This is where we saved the world,” Kimberly said to Spike.
“What’s going on?” Dan asked.
“You have been selected to be the Earth’s newest active force of Power Rangers,” Catalina answered.
“All six of us?” Jennifer asked.
Catalina walked up to Jennifer, looking her directly in the eyes, and said, “All six of you.”
Will said nothing but gestured to a large screen that showed a large silver ship against the backdrop of space. “The Zangyack Empire has just entered a geosynchronous orbit with Angel Grove. That was the earthquake you just felt.”
“If you accept this responsibility, we will give you the power and immediately send you to the fight,” Catalina said. The image changed to show silver and black robotic creatures methodically marching through Angel Grove Park.
KJ looked at her friends, and answering for all of them, said, “We’re in.”
Catalina handed a blue Gokai morpher to Jennifer, who promptly morphed, albeit helmetless, into the Blue Gokai Ranger. “Jennifer, you have been used by the side of evil in a way that no one else in this universe will ever truly be able to comprehend,” Catalina said. “I am happy that you now have the chance to serve on the side of good.”
Jennifer smiled as Catalina moved to Karone, who upon receiving her pink morpher, transformed into the Pink Gokai Ranger. “Karone, your last powers were very short lived,” Catalina said. “As the Pink Ranger, you will also have the opportunity to avenge your past.”
Stepping to Zhane, Catalina handed him the Silver Gokai Morpher. “Zhane, what can I say?” Catalina asked. “You look good in silver.” Zhane smiled his boyish grin as she moved to Dan.
“Dan, like your mother before you, you will defend the Earth as the Yellow Ranger,” Catalina said as she gave him the yellow Gokai morpher. As he morphed into his yellow armor, he smiled proudly.
“Spike, you shall serve the Earth as the Green Gokai Ranger,” Catalina said, bestowing on him the green morpher.
“Like father, like son,” Spike said with the trademark Skullovitch laugh, which Skull promptly echoed.
KJ, who had looked a bit surprised as soon as Dan became the Yellow Ranger, asked, “Am… am I the Red Ranger?”
“And the leader of the team,” Catalina said, as KJ morphed into the Red Ranger. At the back of the Power Station, TJ and Tanya both smiled proudly at their daughter. “Much like your father, who literally led a team, and your mother, who was one of the strongest Rangers I have ever had the pleasure of working with, your strength, intuition, and wit will help you keep you and your team safe.”
KJ looked at her friends, all of whom were morphed. They had all known of their siblings, friends, and parents who had been Rangers before them, and all had hoped such a day would come for them. “All right, guys,” KJ said, glancing at the foot soldiers in the viewing screen. All six Rangers fell in perfect line, each with their helmet in the crook of their arm. “Back to action!”
In six colorful streams of light, they prompted teleported away and into their first battle as a team.
“Do you think they’ll need backup?” Ashley asked Catalina.
“No, they’ll be great,” Catalina answered. “The Zangyack are serious, but nothing that this team of Rangers can’t handle.”
Justin and Sydney both looked happily at the viewing globe, especially as the Blue and Pink Rangers fought with great vigor. “They’ll be great,” Justin agreed.
The parents of the Gokai Rangers sat on a hill overlooking Angel Grove Park, watching as they fought the Earth’s newest threat. All other citizens had been escorted to the Monster Shelter, but with their own powers, if need be, they obviously felt safe so close to the fight.
“I’m glad Dan finally got to be a Ranger,” Will said.
Trini nodded and rested her head on Will’s shoulder. “This is going to be a strong team,” she acknowledged.
“Are you two okay?” Kimberly asked, looking at Justin and Sydney. They had known for a few years that their daughters were destined to become Jenga and Astronema, and they had learned eventually that Andros was technically their son. Although they had been upset for a while at discovering that secret, they eventually came to terms with it and even developed a strong relationship with the adult Andros.
“Our daughters are back, and they seem to be fine,” Sydney said. “Mostly thanks to Marge.”
“We’ll keep a close on them, as will Marge and Catalina,” Justin added. “But we’re great. For years now, I’ve been afraid something would go wrong when they came back to us, but… they’re fine.”
“It was nice having a world that didn’t need Rangers for so many years,” Kimberly remarked.
“I’m just glad we have Rangers to defend the world,” Will said.
A gigantic explosion in the distance startled them, and they turned to see the six Rangers jubilantly celebrating as they had just destroyed the monster. The fight would continue, as it always had. The evil beast known as Jenga was trapped in an inescapable loop, and Jennifer had been spared, as had Karone. The Earth would live to see another day, and another threat, and another Ranger team. The cycle would continue for many years to come. Just as it should.
“Things are great,” Justin said, smiling warmly at his wife.
I started writing this when I just was 18 years old. Today, I'm 35, married with a one-year-old son, and I still love the classic PR just as much as I did then.
And wow. First of all, can I just say that when I first started writing the Earth Crystals in January 1997, I never imagined I would finish it here in August 2013.
I have met so many great people and made so many great friendships. I still have many of the kind emails so many of you have sent me over the years, and I truly cherish them.
Super huge thanks to Kittie J. Verdena for the FanFic Shoppe, the place where I started writing and I was first “published.” Thanks to Willow for all of her help and friendship. Same to Ellen Brand, who let me traipse through her universe, borrow her original characters for my own use, and just generally be a pest. Thanks to Cynthia, Kahva, Liz, Julia H., and so many other authors, many of whom I have lost touch with over the years. I’d love to hear from you; please drop me an email or find me on facebook.
I certainly made some significant errors and writing mistakes while working on this series, and I certainly hope that I’ve grown as a writer. Regardless, this definitely counts toward my 10,000 hours toward becoming a writer.
In September 2001, I stopped actively writing on this saga. I actually had several story arcs planned out, but as time passed, it became obvious that I wouldn’t be returning to this story.
And yet… I hated having it end up a cliffhanger. My fics almost always ended on cliffhangers, but to have the villains destroy the Zord Holding Bay and it end with a solo Trini, standing in the midst of the destruction, the authorial hand to never return and offer a conclusion… Not cool.
A few years later, I started idly writing a new story to end the saga. I would write a scene here or there. I very distinctly remember writing the scene of the Thunder Rangers morphing after the spell in 2007. But I wouldn’t stick with it, and it would linger on my hard drive until I would one day again pick it up, write a few paragraphs, and put it aside once more.
In 2012, I began to get a few emails, asking if I ever planned to finish it. I would always reply some version of “Someday, I hope.”
But this summer, I committed to it. I tried to tie up as many loose ends as I could. If there were any I forgot that you were counting on, please email me and I’ll tell you how I would have resolved it if I remembered.
On August 24, 2013, at around 11:20 p.m., I wrote the last scene of this story. And I found myself wanting to keep going, to keep living in this world.
But the story has to end. Jenga’s story here is finished. I love Jenga; she was a great character and I adored everything about her. If I am ever lucky enough to be a published author, I plan to write under a pseudonym. But if you someday find an urban fantasy novel that contains an evil villainess with curly red and blue hair named Jenga, well… know that it’s probably my book.
I created a lot of original characters. In fanfics, that’s probably not a cool move. I put myself in this series for a few stories. That’s DEFINITELY not a cool move. I have more people who told me they enjoyed these stories than I ever deserved, and if you were one of them, I thank you. You mean so much more to me than you can ever know.
The Earth Crystals saga is finished. Thanks for sharing this adventure with me.
Seta del mirtillo,
Jeremy Ray Logsdon