Alex and the warrior crash heavily into the grass. Though dizzy, Alex nimbly rolls to her feet as Adam had taught her. She pulls her hands up in a fighting stance.
"Lady Alexandra, do not fight us," the warrior says.
Being called by name stuns Alex and she lets her defenses down. The other two warriors appear behind her. One places a steel-like crown upon her head. Alex whips around to fight the other two. The crown's blunt spikes press into her forehead. Alex tries to yank it off, but it won't move. The three warriors move even closer to her.
"Take this!" Alex yells defiantly.
A searing pain in her head causes Alex to stop. The crown contains her psychic blast, the trapped energy over-loading her own mental circuits.
"Now!" the leader says.
Alex falls to one knee, arms wrapped protectively around her head. All the rerouting exercises that Zordon had taught her aren't working. Alex groans as the psychic energy continues to ricochet inside her skull. Alex doesn't put up a fight as the warriors drag her to their hover ship a few hundred yards away.
"Your highness," a warrior says into his console, "We expect to return to the castle within the hour."
"Well, stop doddling!" a sharp voice answers.
Alex curls up into the fetal position on the floor of the hover craft. Thankfully, she is left alone. It gives Alex a chance to talk herself down. After several minutes of internal adjustments, all that is left is a dull ache in her head.
"She must have 'the vapors,'" one warrior comments, noticing that Alex hasn't stirred in the last ten minutes.
"Is she dead?" the younger warrior asks nervously.
"I'm not touching a potentially dead person."
"Go check. That's an order!"
The young man reluctantly walks over to the almost comatose form of Alex. He reaches his hand towards her neck to check her vital signs.
The warrior lets out a yelp as the supposedly dead person suddenly grabs his arm. Alex jerks the warrior to the floor as she jumps to her feet.
"It's Morphin Time!" Alex begins the incantation, as she holds out her morpher. "Power Ranger 6, Purple!"
The fallen young man knocks Alex's feet out from underneath her before the transformation is complete. As she hits the floor, the morpher slips out of her hands. Everyone scrambles to retrieve it. Alex and the young warrior grab it at the same time, fumbling between themselves. The morpher slips through their fingers and falls over the side. Alex gasps as she sees the morpher descend into the lush forest below. It is lost for good and Alex is back to square one.
* * * * *
The rest of the Rangers teleport into the Power Chamber to see Adam pacing nervously.
"Dammit," Adam raves. "This is all my fault. I just stood there and let them take Alex. I didn't do a damn thing to stop them."
"You were ambushed, Adam. Nobody would have done anything different," Billy tries to console his friend.
"What's up?" Rocky asks.
"Rangers," Zordon says. "We have received a disturbing message."
"From who?" Tanya asks.
"It has been coded," Alpha answers. "We have been unable to trace its point of origin."
"Alpha, replay the message," Zordon instructs.
Everyone stares into the viewing globe. A form begins to materialize. It is of a young man, probably in his twenties. He has ghostly white skin and shoulder length jet black hair. His piercing eyes are a steel gray color. Kat notices that he is actually quite attractive.
"Zordon of Eltar," the man begins. "I am Malachite. Regent of Jaffa. I believe that I have something that belongs to you."
The image of Malachite dissolves into one of Alex curled up on the floor of the hover craft. Adam gasps.
The image returns to Malachite. "It seems that today is my lucky day. Not only have I found the lost Princess of Jaffa, but I've found the people to mine for the obsidian crystal. Zordon, my informants have told me that your planet is protected by special beings--so called 'Power Rangers.' [A scene of the Rangers fighting one of King Mondo's monsters appears.] I am in need of such beings to mine for a special stone. I need beings that are virtuous, of high honor, trustworthy...and if that doesn't work, I could just kill her. [The scene returns to Alex collapsed on the floor of the hover craft] Zordon of Eltar, send me your five Power Rangers!"
The room remains silent for several minutes.
"Zordon, how can we send the Rangers if we don't know where to send them to?" Trini asks softly.
"Malachite provided us with coordinates at the end of his message, Trini," Zordon answers.
"That's right in the middle of the desert!" Billy says, yanking the paper print out right out of Alpha's digits.
"What are we going to do?" Kat asks.
"I don't know," Tommy answers gravely. "But for now, we'll have to play by Malachite's rules."
"That's not good enough!" Adam explodes. "I'm not going to stand around while Malachite holds Alex prisoner. I say we go, kick some tail, grab Alex, and come home."
"I know you do." Trini places a hand on Adam's shoulder trying to bring him down a couple of notches. "But if we go storming in there, we may put Alex at greater risk. We aren't dealing with Mondo. We don't know what Malachite is capable of."
Adam doesn't answer. He kicks a control panel to vent his frustration. The pain in his toe helps distract him from the pain in his heart.
"Billy, do you think you can lock onto the coordinates after Malachite opens the portal?" Tanya asks optimistically. "Then reopen it when we find Alex, so we can come back?"
"Maybe," Billy answers honestly. "Only if it leaves enough of an ion trail. Trini and I will come to the proposed site too. After you leave, we will collect a reading, bring it back to the Power Chamber, and begin the analysis."
"Trini, could you run the analysis by yourself?" Adam asks, with a glimmer of hope in his eye.
"Of course," Trini answers, slightly indignant.
"We're going to do the old Bait-and-Switch," Adam says with a mischevious grin. "If Malachite wants five Rangers, five Rangers he shall get."
Adam looks over at Billy. Billy gulps.
"You aren't thinking what I think you're thinking, are you?" Billy asks.
Adam is already removing his zeonizer.
* * * * *
At exactly 1700 hours, the five morphed Rangers stand at the exact coordinates. Trini and Adam hide behind a large tree.
"Adam, are you sure this is such a good idea?" Trini whispers.
"No," Adam answers honestly, retying the black Ninja-like gi around himself. "But what other choice do we have?" A twinkling begins in front of the Rangers. It intensifies and becomes larger. Slowly, as instructed by Trini, each Ranger walks through the portal. Soon the Rangers are gone.
After a minute longer, the portal begins to shrink.
"Now," Trini whispers to Adam. "Good luck."
Adam makes a mad dash for the rapidly closing portal. He hurls himself through, praying that whatever is on the other side is soft.