See "Balance of Power" for Disclaimer
Author's Note: Some of the plot ideas came from Joe Rovang.
It has been about one week since Rich first received the Grey Ranger
Powers and he hasn't come out of hiding yet. The Rangers are worried, not
only because they don't know where he is but because Zordon revealed to
them that the Grey Powers could revive the old Zords, which could turn
the tide of battle. Rich in reality has become pulled into, yet again,
another dimension and has been trying to get out. X, after about a week,
succeeds in getting Rich out of the other dimension.
"Thanks X, that was a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. I mean a world populated by Elvis impersonators is just too much for anybody. By the way, how are the other Rangers?"
"Zordon has informed them of your ability to call upon the old Zords, for some reason they seemed glad."
"I would bet they would be glad to get more backup."
"That's not the only thing going on, I have been scanning their powers and they seem to be waxing and waning."
"You mean that their powers keep getting weaker and stronger, like the phases of the moon?"
"Yes, that is correct. According to my readings Mondo has used a device called the power drainer on them and that is causing the phases of weak and strong power."
"Could it be that there powers are being constantly drained to power Mondo's monsters then left alone to recharge?"
"That is logical, but how did he do it, even when they aren't morphed there powers are going through the phases?"
"X, I want you to scan the Power Chamber for any anomalous readings, screen the Rangers and Zeo Crystal with particular care."
"Done, but my scans have revealed nothing out of the ordinary."
"Did you try a temporal analysis."
"No, but what would be the point?"
"Mondo might have been able to drain the powers from the Zeo Crystal before they got it establishing a link between himself and the crystal in the past so he can drain the crystal whenever he feels like it."
"That would be just like Mondo to alter time like that in even the most insignificant of ways."
"I know, the thing that worries me is how he traveled back? Did the scans reveal anything?"
"Yes, and as you suggested there is a slight temporal disturbance centered around the Zeo Crystal."
"That's just great, well at least going back in time is better than traveling through dimensions, will you try not to readjust the teleporters until I can check up on it, you may be a computer, but you're only human."
"Shouldn't we contact Zordon about this before we do anything?"
"Yes we should, unfortunately the communications array is under repairs so I'll have to teleport to the Power Chamber. Keep me posted of anything else wrong X." With that Rich teleports away.
"Zordon, I have some grave news. It concerns the shifting power phases of the Rangers."
"What would you know about their power phases and where have you been the past week."
"Well for the past week I was in another dimension, because of a misadjustment in my teleportation system. As for the powers I had my computer run diagnostics on the Rangers and their powers and found them shifting. My computer didn't do a temporal analysis which I corrected when I returned. I found that Mondo drained the power from the Zeo Crystal before the Rangers could capture it forming a bond between him and it allowing him to drain the crystal to power his monsters anytime he wanted. Then he would let it recharge so he could drain it again."
"I see, so how are the Rangers going to handle it until we can break this bond."
"The only way to break the bond is to stop Mondo while he is in the past, I am the only one who could but I will need your help so I need something to tell the past representation of you that what I am saying is the truth. When I return only you, me, and Alpha will remember any of this happening. Until I am ready to temporal teleport I'll let you speak to the Rangers on this matter. Farewell Zordon, until we meet in the past."
"Before you go, Alpha, give him the letter."
"Right away Zordon," Alpha says while giving Rich a letter.
"This should prove that you are telling the truth to my past self, farewell Grey Ranger." With that Rich teleports back to his base, hidden underneath the desert outside Angel Grove.
"X, let's see what I'll need on this journey. Temporary base, Veritech with body armor, cyclone battle armor, and the old Ranger weapons."
"Why the old Ranger weapons Rich shouldn't your weapons suffice?"
"They should X, but for some strange reason I have a feeling I'll need them. Other than that are we ready?"
"We're ready Rich, beginning preparations for temporal teleport."
"Right X, it's TIME," shouts Rich as his morpher appears in reversed order with the other side of his power coin showing, "Time Master Power!" With that Rich's clothes are changed to a greyish form of themselves and an infinity symbol appears on Rich's shoulder.
Back at the Power Chamber Zordon has explained to the Rangers just what has been happening with their powers.
"Do you think Rich will be able to handle it back there?" asks Tommy.
"I'm sure the Time Master will have everything under control," says Zordon.
"Did he say just exactly what point in time he is traveling back to?" asks Kat.
"He didn't say but I would guess that he would travel back to the moment Rita escaped from her dumpster, considering that Mondo would not be able to reach the Zeo Crystal until such time."
With that a temporal shift occurs that utterly destroys the Zeo Rangers, and the Power Chamber becomes no more, all that remains is the ruins of the Command Center.
Place: A cave under Angel Grove
Rich starts to rematerialize after the temporal teleport and as soon as he does starts to set up his temporary base. "Let's see how we're doing," he says to the artificial intelligence of the base. "Power base, optimal. Power reserves, 4 months until drained. Teleporters, fully functional. Veritech, online and ready to go. Cyclone armor, full system failure, estimated time to repairs 3 months. Man I knew something like this would happen discontinue repairs, got to conserve power. Old Ranger weapons, primed and ready. Well I knew I would need those old weapons, guess X was wrong. Better check my time map to see if I landed in the right time." With that Rich pulls out a scanner and scans the surrounding area for it's time signature. "1993, that's when the first Rangers got their powers. I never quite knew how X could fit underground like that, but now I know he will be put into this cave."
Knowing that Rich teleports to the Command Center and frightens Alpha out of his wits.
"Ay,yi,yi,yi,yi, Zordon intruder alert, intruder alert." Alpha shouts loudly flaring his arms about.
"Easy Alpha, I'm not going to do anything to the Command Center." says Rich.
"Alpha, do you not recognize a Power Ranger when you see one." says Zordon to the frightened robot. "It is an honor to meet you Power Ranger, I did not expect a visit from anybody."
"Sorry about the intrusion Zordon, but I need your help. Within the next few days Rita Repulsa will be released from her dumpster and will set up a base on the moon. Shortly afterward King Mondo, of the Machine Empire, will infiltrate the tunnels underneath the palace finding the Zeo Crystal. Even though the crystal is protected by a force field that utterly destroys evil Mondo will be able to drain it's power establishing a bond between him and it, which extends to where and when I come from totally disrupting the powers of the Zeo Rangers in my time. I have come back to stop him."
"So setting up this Command Center will not be in waste and the Power Rangers will be needed. How do I know what you are telling me is true?"
"Your future self gave me this letter to give to you to prove what I am saying is true." With that Rich gives Alpha the letter who immediately shows it to Zordon. After carefully studying the letter Zordon begins to understand.
"Very well Grey Ranger we will help you in your quest to stop Mondo and help the Rangers of the future."
"I'm flattered but your help is not required, you'll need to stop Rita when she shows up I just didn't want to alarm you with my presence. I'm going to leave now Zordon if you need my help just call out on your normal communication frequency I'll here you."
Rich teleports away leaving Zordon and Alpha alone. "Was he telling the truth Zordon?" Alpha asks.
"According to his letter he was and it was in my home world's language no inhabitant of this world knows of it, neither does the evil forces he described."
"So do you think THE Mondo will be here?"
"If the Grey Ranger says he will be he will be."
The next day Rita is released and Zordon teleports the five teenagers who are to become the Power Rangers to the Command Center where he explains about Rita and the Power Rangers. They leave but eventually become the Power Rangers. Rich is now under Rita's palace guarding the Zeo Crystal, establishing an extra force field that should keep Mondo from using the power drainer on it. Mondo then appears with a look of total disbelief.
"So a power brat is here waiting for me, are you from the future? Even if you are destroying the Command Center and the Rangers here with a monster will stop you from existing."
"It may but it may not you'll never know until you try."
"Very well, what better way to destroy the past than with a monster based off the past, Klank send down Raptoratron to destroy the Rangers of this time."
"Right away ye highness."
Seconds later the alarms go off in the Command Center and Zordon summons the Power Rangers to combat this new threat.
"Rangers look toward the viewing globe, this is Raptoratron a monster from the future sent to utterly destroy you and the Command Center."
"If it's from the future how are we going to combat it, wouldn't it be too powerful for us to handle?" asks Billy intrigued by the robotic creation.
"Certain parties have already taken care of that. Let me introduce you to the Grey Ranger." With that Rich teleports into the Command Center, already morphed in uniform.
"Greetings Zordon I see the enemy has come that I warned you about. You now need my help to destroy it before it can destroy you isn't that correct?"
"Yes Grey Ranger that is correct do you have any idea on how to defeat this monster?"
"As a matter of fact I do because, it's TIME!" shouts Rich as his morpher appears reversed with the opposite side of his coin showing, "Temporal Ranger Power!" Rich then teleports to the battle site where Raptoratron has caused some major damage.
"You're going down Raptoratron you'll never win!" shouts Rich.
"Just the Ranger I was expecting prepare to die!" shouts Raptoratron running at blinding speeds towards Rich. Before Raptoratron could connect however Rich sets up a temporal flux bubble around himself slowing Raptoratron down enough to allow Rich to dodge its attack.
"Temporal Fire!" shouts Rich forming a greyish-blue fireball between his hands and letting it go. It connects with Raptoratron destroying him utterly leaving no trace for Klank or Orbis to enlarge. Rich then teleports back to the Command Center.
"You have defeated the monster and saved the Command Center along with the Rangers how can we ever thank you." says Zordon to Rich.
"No need for thanks, I mean we Rangers stick together no matter where, or when, we come from. Until I am needed again see you guys later." Rich then teleports back to his guard post on the moon.
"So you've defeated my monster all by yourself that shows me that you could be used against the other Rangers from the future, I'll take you back as my captive and use you to finally destroy them."
"Not in this lifetime Mondo, by the Power of Time itself I send you back your own time." Suddenly a vortex appears which pulls Mondo from the past back into the future. Afterwards Rich deactivates his force field and places a message within the Zeo Crystal itself: Rangers you may not know me, I am the Time Master known throughout the universe by both good and evil, if you have retrieved the Zeo Crystal be known that it will protect those with it's power, but remember that the power of teamwork will overcome all obstacles. My message ends.'
Rich then teleports to his temporary base to check up on some things. "Computer give me a readout of the Time Master Powers." A screen is lit by a bar graph showing how much power is left for the temporal teleport process. "This is not good according to these figures I have to wait two months before I can teleport everything back to X. Well if I am going to be stuck here might as well check out the place. Computer, is the cyclone motorcycle still active, if not the armor?"
"Yes it is Rich," says the artificial intelligence.
"That's good at least I have transportation other than the teleporters. Well better go scope out the area I'm going to live around. Computer, prepare cyclone motorcycle and teleporters. Did you bring all my CDS from back home?"
"Yes, look at the selection and pick one."
"Number 5 looks appropriate put it in." While the computer does this Rich gets his helmet on and prepares for teleportation. "By the way computer inform Zordon of our little delay in getting back and promise him I will not interfere in the Power Rangers business."
Rich then teleports out of the cave landing in the desert not far from the highway. He starts driving while listening to his CD. "Man, I know a CD player on a motorcycle is weird, but this rocks." He switches from helmet speakers to external accidentally while going down main street Angel Grove. He gets confused looks from those he passes and from other motorists while at stop lights. Rich then notices the mistake he made and quickly fixes it. He is heading for the Youth Center when a police officer pulls him over.
"I saw that little show you put on back there mind explaining." says the officer to Rich.
"Just a little mistake on my part, you see this switch it toggles which speakers the music comes out of, I must have accidentally switched to external and internal unknowingly, sorry for any inconvenience."
"Well if it was a mistake I'll let you off with a warning this one time but don't do it again."
"You can bet on that. May I go now I want to get to the Youth Center."
"Yes, you can go but you've received your first and only warning next time it will be a ticket."
"By the way what's you name and rank?"
"Officer Stone at your service."
"Well I'll give a good recommendation if you're ever up for a promotion."
Rich then goes the rest of the way to the Youth Center. When he gets there he sees the Rangers coming out and decides to put on a little show for them. He then proceeds to do a prolonged wheelie right in front of the entrance playing the song that got him in trouble with the police. That song is Go Go Power Rangers from the movie soundtrack.
"Listen to that music, does it sound familiar?" asks Jason as the Rangers come out of the Youth Center.
"Yeah listen to the lyrics, it's a song about the Power Rangers," says Zack in reply.
"Who would possibly have a song about the Power Rangers, they haven't been around long enough for that to happen," says Kimberly.
"Unless our friend on the motorcycle there is in reality the Grey Ranger from the future," says Billy.
"Maybe we should go and see for ourselves?" says Trini as the five walk into the parking lot. Rich then pulls up on the cyclone and stops the CD player, gets off and starts the powering down process before going into the Youth Center. While he is doing that the Rangers come up to try to ask some questions.
"That was interesting music you were playing, were did you get it?" asks Jason.
"I just picked it up nowhere in particular," says Rich.
"Yeah, but where would anybody get a song about the Power Rangers considering that they haven't been around for more than a few weeks," says Billy.
"I have to go now excuse me," Rich says while getting on the cyclone and heading off back to his base/home.
"I think that was just the response we were looking for. That guy is definitely the Grey Ranger from the future," says Billy.
"Wonder what he is still doing here, maybe Zordon can give us an answer," says Zack. Soon afterward in the Command Center.
"Zordon, why is the Grey Ranger still here in his past?" asks Jason.
"He informed me that due to certain circumstances he will not be able to transport himself and his equipment back to the future for about another two months."
"Then why would he be riding a motorcycle in front of the Youth Center playing a song about us, that hasn't even been written?" asks Billy.
"I do not know, he promised not to interfere with Ranger business, but you weren't in any kind of danger so he was probably having some fun. Did you find out who he is?"
"No and you mean that you don't know who the Grey Ranger is?" they all ask in unison.
"That is correct for he did not want to jeopardize his mission or the integrity of the future by giving his identity. Besides I don't think you'll ever hear that music again."
2 months later:
Rich is getting ready for his temporal teleport back to the future when he receives an urgent message from X. "Go ahead X, what's up?"
"Rich you better shift yourself outside of time and hurry before it hits."
"Before what hits, X?
"Before the temporal displacement hits of course. You only have a few more seconds, hurry!"
"Alright, Time Master Power!" shouts Rich becoming the time master. "Temporal shift, me and my equipment." As Rich says this a slight shifting occurs around him and his equipment. Rich's Time Master form also reverses and he is back in his regular clothing.
"So, X, what was that all about?" He hears only static over the communicator. "X, X come on buddy you have to be there, X!!!!!!" Rich shouts, but to no avail X has been temporally displaced, not even existing to answer.
"Computer what just happened?"
"Temporal analysis shows that Rita was destroyed, Rangers were disbanded, Goldar found new power source and destroyed Command Center along with Alpha and Zordon. Rangers resurrected but dinosaur powers too weak, given Ninja powers by Ninjor and Dulcea with Dulcea becoming new mentor. Rangers have been fighting Goldar ever since."
"Does that mean we are back in 1996?"
"Yes, though without being placed outside time by you we would have shared X's fate."
"Right, that means no powers for me right now considering that they don't exist like X. Oh well. What's it like outside anyway?"
"Air breathable, but you should use the Cyclone armor, it has been fully repaired by the temporal shift. Climate, precipitation normal, although during the winter it will snow. Other than that good luck Rich."
"Right, teleport me just outside the remains of the Command Center." Rich is teleported to right outside what remains of the Command Center. While looking around he notices that most of the computers have been salvaged and he wonders where they went.
Meanwhile in the Power Chamber. "Look someone's out in the ruins of the Command Center," says Billy looking toward the viewing globe.
"Wonder who that is?" asks Aisha.
"I do not know Rangers, morph and see if he is friend or foe." says Dulcea.
"Right it's Morphin Time!" shouts Tommy.
"White Ranger Power"
"Black Ranger Power"
"Pink Ranger Power"
"Blue Ranger Power"
"Yellow Ranger Power"
"Red Ranger Power"
With that they become the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Landing in front of Rich they strike a battle pose all yelling "Power Rangers!" at the same time.
Rich sees them and is glad that they still exist. "Hey guys what's up?" he asks as he slowly approaches the Rangers. The Rangers look confused that Rich would know them. "Guys, you seem a little confused do any of you remember me?" They all shake their heads no' in unison. "Well maybe this will remind you." With that the song Go Go Power Rangers starts blasting out through all external speakers. The Blue and Pink Rangers, after some consideration, recognize the song.
"You're the Grey Ranger aren't you?" Billy and Kimberly ask.
"Yes, but it will take a lot of explaining to make you understand why I'm still here when the time line has been altered. Lets get back to your base."
"What do you mean the time line has been altered?" asks Tommy once they're back in the Power Chamber.
"Just what I said the time line has been contaminated, the things that have happened in the past three years should not have happened. Right now the Power Rangers Zeo should be in this Power Chamber battling the forces of King Mondo with Zordon and Alpha helping them. By the way, how did you defeat Rita in the first place?"
"The Zeo Power Rangers appeared and said that Mondo had traveled back to destroy us by joining up with Rita, they made themselves grow and we defeated them with the MegaZords. Afterwards Zordon disbanded us saying that the trouble was over, but he forgot about Goldar who found some sort of crystal that gave him immense power. Goldar returned and destroyed the Command Center and we established the Power Chamber out of parts we salvaged, unfortunately the teleporters could not be salvaged. So how did you get here?" asks Billy.
"Well right before I was to return to this time my computer, X, gave me a message to shift myself outside of time for some reason. Afterwards I found myself in X's cave but without X so I had the artificial intelligence on my temporary base run some temporal calculations and it responded saying I was back in 1996 and that the time line had been altered. Since it is my duty to uphold the balance of time I must right what went horribly wrong, namely stopping Mondo by finding out how he traveled back in the first place and stopping him. What type of crystal did Goldar have?"
"His crystal is a purple sphere with immense powers," says Tommy.
"Hold on a second," says Rich while turning his communicator on, "computer run an analysis on the Orb of Doom." A few seconds later the computer responds.
"There are two, I repeat two Orbs of Doom in this alternate time line."
"Ha, I knew it, I've got to remember to tell those guys to stop forgetting things when they get new powers."
"What's the Orb of Doom?" the Rangers ask in unison.
"The Orb of Doom is a powerful crystal that can do many things, one of which is reverse time on whatever planet it is put in the right place on. After which only evil characters may retrieve it giving them the power to travel backwards or forwards in time on that particular planet. I must stop Mondo from coming back that second time so Rita won't be destroyed."
"But how are you able to do this without your powers?" asks Billy.
"Very simple, I will have to recover the Zeo Crystal beneath Goldar's palace. Once that is done it will temporarily grant me all my powers and I will be able to handle the situation. After which you'll become the Zeo Rangers and defend the world."
"If you restore the time line we won't exist to defend THIS world." says Adam.
"That's not true, even though this time line isn't right, after I leave nothing will change except the fact that I showed up. After all everything that can happen does happen separating all time into different realities."
"So you're really in another dimension?" asks Billy.
"No, after I leave this will become a quantum reality, an alteration on what's supposed to happen but still in existence. But the only reason you'll know this is because I've told you."
"Ohhhhhh," they all say in unison.
"Well, I gotta go now so until I have a plan you won't be seeing much of me good luck Rangers." Rich teleports out and leaves the Rangers stunned.
"Is what he said really true, Billy?" asks Tommy.
"As far as the computers could tell, he is shifted outside time and there was no indication he was lying. There was also traces of the morphin energy in him as if he's lost either his power coin, connection to it, or both."
Meanwhile in Rich's temporary base. "Okay, so the best thing to do is to preoccupy Goldar somehow then sneak into the Caves of Deception and retrieve the Zeo Crystal," says Rich.
"Yes that is the course of action that is most likely to succeed."
"Okay, so how do we get the Zeo Crystal since only good beings may pass through the force field around it?"
"I have run a scan on the force field and discovered something interesting, take a look at the monitor. As you can see somehow the force field you set up in the past is operating again, and it appears to have harmonized with the one around the Zeo Crystal."
"You mean all I have to do is give the shutdown command and both force fields will turn off?"
"Yes, but as soon as you touch the Zeo Crystal Goldar will know someone has infiltrated the Caves."
"I'll just be careful about teleporting back, now how do we create a diversion?"
"Why not use the Zords to attack Goldar's Palace."
"That'll never work considering the Rangers would lose their powers as soon as the first laser is thrown. That doesn't mean we can't use our weapons for a preliminary strike."
"What do you mean by that?"
"What I mean is that since the Veritech and Cyclone don't run off of the power coin I can use them offensively if needed, without losing my powers since I'm not using them."
"I see, attack Goldar's Palace with the Veritech and sneak into the Caves of Deception while wearing the Cyclone Armor."
"Don't you think you should consult with the other Power Rangers to be sure they don't attack and lose their powers."
"Yeah, your right. Teleport me to the Power Chamber and be quick about it."
Rich teleports to the Power Chamber startling the Rangers since it has been three years since they have seen anybody teleport.
"What's going on Rich?" asks Billy.
"I have devised a plan that will allow me to obtain the Zeo Crystal, but I will need no interference from you so you don't loose your powers."
"That would mean an offensive strike against Goldar, wouldn't it?" asks Tommy.
"Yes, but since my weapons don't run off my power coin I can use them offensively if needed and believe me there is need. So all I need you to do is sit back and defend the earth while I prepare to give Goldar one spectacular light show that should rattle him up. Then I'll sneak into the Caves of Deception underneath his palace and retrieve the Zeo Crystal, complete my mission and send this particular crystal back to you guys. Everyone understand?" They all nod yes in unison. "I'll call and tell you exactly when I'm going to start the attack, bye again," Rich says while reaching for his communicator. He vanishes in a flash of grey light.
"Dulcea, can he do that with his weapons, I mean he is a Power Ranger after all?" asks Kimberly.
"Consider the evidence he's given us, first his weapons don't run off his power coin's energy so they're not connected to the Great Power. Second he no longer is drawing energy from that coin, our scans showed that. I believe that when he returns to his rightful time line he will have full use of his coin without any penalties since he is not going to use it in this battle. But it would be wise to prepare yourselves for any counter attack Goldar might throw are way in retaliation to his attack."
Meanwhile back at ground zero(Rich's base). "Computer we're going to have to time this perfectly. I'll need about thirty seconds to lower the force fields. I'll signal you when I'm ready to teleport. Synchronize counters. We begin the attack in three hours prep the Veritech and Cyclone armor. Make sure you can get the Veritech its armor if and when it needs it. Is all that clear?"
"Yes Rich, Veritech and Cyclone ready, willing, and able, Veritech armor primed and ready for deployment. I just wish we didn't have to leave the Rangers in this time line in such a bad situation."
"Yeah me two, wait a minute, do we have the schematics for the Shogun Zords?"
"Yes, but good will that do us?"
"Do we also have the original location of the Shogun Zords?"
"Yes, but I'm still not seeing your point."
"My point is to place those plans and that location into the Power Chamber's computer tell the Rangers to alter the power source to that of the Zeo Crystal and use that for the Zeo Zords since they won't have time to build them like Billy did in our present."
"I see what you're getting at they can use the Shogun Zords until they get the Zeo Zords up and running. That is pure brilliance."
"I know, I know, just do it now we only have an hour till the attack. Code name the file Missing Zeo'."
"Will do, file uploaded and without anybody noticing. What are you going to do now?"
"Well I better contact the Rangers, patch me through to the Power Chamber."
"This is Billy who is this?"
"Billy, hi, it's me Rich. I'm going to start my diversionary attack on Goldar's palace in about fifteen minutes. If I should succeed, which I intend to, I want you to activate the file named Missing Zeo' in the Power Chamber's memory banks. That file should help you guys tremendously in the future. Goodbye and may the power protect you all." With that Rich cuts off the transmission and starts to put on the Cyclone armor.
"Computer give me a countdown till operation Zeo Snatch'."
"T-minus 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, commencing teleportation and diversionary attack."
With that the Veritech soars towards Goldar's palace launching half of its missiles and strafing it with laser fire. "What someone dares to attack me!?!?!?" says Goldar rhetorically. "Well let me see how they do against my power." Goldar then sends a volley of purple energy toward the Veritech, which dodges it by the narrowest of margins. "They dare to dodge my attack, well let's see how they do against a monster. I summon Meteo, master of space." A purple beam hits a meteor and it becomes a monster at least twice as big as the Veritech in fighter mode. The Veritech proceeds into Battleoid mode and starts attacking Meteo, getting the upper hand with its remaining missiles and incredible speed and agility. While Goldar is watching this little aerial show Rich carefully teleports to the cavern with the Zeo Crystal in it.
"Shield deactivation, code Burnam-Alpha-Gamma-Five-Niner," says Rich. Both force fields immediately shut off and allow Rich to retrieve the Zeo Crystal. "Computer prepare for emergency teleportation, me and the Veritech, as soon as I make contact with the crystal." Rich then jumps at the crystal and as soon as he touches it he teleports, as well as the Veritech back to ground zero.
"What happened to that fool who was attacking my palace it was as if......." Goldar suddenly realizes that the attack was diversionary and that something didn't feel right in the palace. "Someone has retrieved the Zeo Crystal, this could be a problem."
Meanwhile Rich has teleported to the Power Chamber where he is showing the Zeo Crystal to the Rangers and Dulcea. "The one downside to this thing is that only five people may use its power at any given time, one of you will have to pilot the NinjaZords alone."
"Rich the file you gave me is in a computer language not translatable by our computers," says Billy.
"Computer," says Rich into his communicator, "did you check to make sure that these computers could read that file?"
"No, I did not, should I reconfigure the file and send it back?"
"That would be the idea."
"Doing now, I will be completed in about fifteen minutes."
"Well better get this temporary transfer started," Rich says while lifting the Zeo Crystal above his head. "I, the Time Master, summon the full power of the Zeo Crystal to restore what I have lost and to help me restore the balance of time." A greyish energy collects in the Zeo Crystal and infuses itself with Rich, who then changes into his Time Master guise. "When I have completed my task you will see that greyish energy return to the crystal and diffuse into Red, Green, Blue, Yellow and Pink. Only then will you know that the Zeo Crystal is fully powered and ready to be used. Computer how is that file coming?"
"Finished now Rich, sending to Power Chamber computers, upload complete ready for temporal shift."
"Right, temporal shift, temporary base, Veritech with body armor. Cyclone armor activate. Goodbye me friends, just remember that good is always destined to win over evil, most of the time. Temporal gate activate." The Rangers look in awe as a vortex appears with swirling blue lines in it. Rich then steps into the gate.
Rich is checking that the integrity of the gate is holding so he'll be able to return the Zeo powers he has borrowed when he spots King Mondo with Klank, Orbis, and the Orb of Doom. "Alright Mondo hand over the Orb and return to your own time," shouts Rich.
"Ahh, I was wondering when you would show up considering you can time travel and the others can't. Anyway why should I give you the crystal."
"If you don't you will be destroyed, along with Rita, and Goldar will be numero uno in the world conquering business."
"You're lying, you're just trying to get the Orb. You can't have it."
"You're really crazy if you think I am lying. So which do you prefer destruction or the loss of a little power."
"Power is everything if I give it up I will be nothing. I'll never give you the Orb."
"Very well, Robotech negative energy magnet, activate," Rich says while an invisible hand pulls the Orb from Mondo's hand into Rich's. As soon as Rich makes contact with the Orb his Zeo powers transfer back to the Zeo Crystal and the gate closes. A purple energy shoots through the time hole into forever, never to be seen again. Mondo is returned to the exact moment he left. Rich, on the other hand, is thrown for a loop, unconscious, through time. "X, X, are you there?" Rich says into his communicator when he finally wakes up.
"Right here Rich, it has been a long time where have your been?"
"You mean when I have been I was sent on a trip by the Orb of Doom. Just how long have I been gone?"
"You've been gone for 6 months, the Rangers think you are dead, they could......" X is interrupted by the alarms sounding.
"Well duty calls, are all systems ready?"
"Yes Rich but there's something you should kn........."
"It's Morphin Time" Rich declares "Robotech Ranger power!"
Rich then proceeds to the battle sight and is surprised that the Rangers are fighting a simple monster with the ZeoZords. "Cyclone armor activate!" yells Rich while charging toward the machine. All the Rangers see is a Grey streak of light that connects with the monster tearing off both of its arms. The streak slows down and takes the form of a Ranger.
"Tommy whose the guy in Grey that just took down that monster by himself?" asks Jason, as the Blue Zeo Ranger.
"I can't believe my eyes, we all took him for dead on his first mission, and yet he has saved us twice. Oh, sorry everyone that is the Robotech Ranger, Grey Ranger for short."
"You mean that's the guy who appeared a few days after we got the original power coins?" asks Zack, as the Green Zeo Ranger.
"I have no idea what you're talking about but I think we're talking about the same guy."
While they are talking Rich manages to destroy the monster and stop Klank and Orbis from enlarging it. "Guys the monster is all wrapped up, let's get back to the Power Chamber. I have a few questions to ask, mainly what happened to Rocky, Tanya, Adam, and Kat. See ya there." Rich streaks away in a flash of greyish light.
Once the others return to the Power Chamber Rich greets the new/old Rangers. "If memory serves me correctly you are Jason Scott, Zack Taylor, Kimberly Hart and Trini Kwan," Rich says while pointing each individually, "Greetings, I am the Grey Ranger, but you can call me Rich."
"Rich, bro, am I glad to see you alive and not looking the worse for wear," says Tommy gratefully.
"I'm glad to see you too Tommy, but what happened to the others?"
"Well, um, Rich, you see it's like this. The others are either dead or in critical condition."
"A few weeks after your departure, by the way what was all that about?"
"I'll tell you later, go on."
"As I was saying a few weeks after you departure, Mondo ambushed Rocky, Adam, Kat, and Tanya in the park with cogs. Which is not unusual except that these cogs couldn't be damaged and they took out Rocky, Tanya and Adam, and they left Kat for dead. We retrieved the Zeo Powers from the others and left Kat hers until she could heal without them. We then recalled Jason, Zack, Trini, and Kimberly back to active duty until we could find replacements for the others. From then on we had to use the Zords to destroy cogs and regular monsters and the SuperZeoZords' Power Sabers twice to take care of enlarged ones."
Rich takes this news and suddenly his face goes all pale at the realization of his mistake, a mistake that cost the lives of the others. He then activates his morpher and places the pieces on a console. The others there are confused.
"Rich, what are you doing?" asks Kimberly.
"Yeah, there death wasn't your fault, don't take it so hard," says Jason.
"You guys don't understand there death WAS my fault. On my first mission I went back in time and I set up another force field around the Zeo Crystal. I forgot to retrieve it before I returned and I guess Mondo found it and set up a projector for it. He was probably waiting for me to show up so that I would leave it there again, and again, and again. Then he ambushed the others and killed them. So you see it was my fault. I can no longer be the Grey Ranger. Goodbye." Rich then teleports away in a white flash of light.
"But Zordon, we have no way of knowing that the force fields around the cogs and monsters are powered by Robotechnology," says Tommy looking for evidence to get Rich back.
"I'm afraid we do Tommy. Everyone look toward the viewing globe." Two energy signatures appear on a split screen. "The energy signature on the right is from the force field being used by Mondo. The one on the left is from Rich's Cyclone armor. Look what happens when we overlap the two."
"There the same, that means we've lost Rich forever, he'll never get home and we're stuck looking for five Rangers instead of four," says Tommy.
"I don't believe so Tommy, you forgot to tell Rich of Katherine's condition. If you do I believe he'll come here to help her recover."
"What makes you say that Zordon."
"Let's just say his computer and I have had some interesting conversations about you in Rich's universe and you here, we've also talked a great deal about other matters."
"Other matters, like what?"
"I'd rather not say at this moment for it does not concern you," yet' thought Zordon. "Try contacting him on his communicator."
The Rangers do this and all they hear is static until a voice comes through. "Sorry, Rich can't talk right now can I take a message."
"But you are Rich," Tommy says at the sound of the familiar voice.
"No, I only sound like Rich, I'm X, Rich's highly advanced artificially intelligent computer. I'm also the brains of the SDF-1."
"SDF-1, what's that?"
"Super Dimensional Fortress. I'm Rich's main base of operations, and if I do say so myself the finest space battle fortress in this part of the galaxy."
"There are more of you out there?"
"No, but there are similar designs, none as sophisticated or as powerful as mine, but I'm not in tip-top form right now. What did you want Rich to know."
"Oh yeah, well he knows about the deaths of Rocky, Adam, and Tanya correct?"
"Yeah, that's the main reason he can't answer your call, he's kicking major butt in the simulator trying to forget what he did."
"Okay, I'll give him that, but did he know that Katherine is still alive and still in critical condition and needs all the help she can get?"
"Hold on I'll check," a few seconds later, "no he didn't he wants to know what he can do."
"Aye,yi,yi,yi,yi,yi, Zordon, Katherine is gone from the hospital, I can't find her anywhere!"
"It's okay Alpha," says X, "Rich teleported her here to get better medical treatment."
"Rich doesn't seem the type to be a doctor," says Zack.
"No he isn't, what we are as a team is the greatest computer hackers on the planet, and we've got a lot of experimental medical devices in the medlab."
"EXPERIMENTAL! Don't you have anything that is trustworthy?" asks Kimberly.
"Excuuuuse Me, for us experimental means trustworthy, we copied the files when they were about to be erased, most from the government. Then we perfected the devices that we didn't already have in the medlab. Katherine will be perfectly safe."
"That's fine but I would feel better if I talked to Rich directly," says Tommy.
"Okay I'll put you through to the simulator, hold on."
A few seconds later music starts blasting through the speakers all over the Power Chamber. After the music dies away Rich speaks. "Yeah Tommy I'm here."
"Rich did you teleport Katherine to your secret base?"
"Yes, I did and I assure you that she will be completely recovered in about 6 weeks."
"How are you going to do that considering that she has multiple fractures and breaks on most of her bones and is in a coma from a serious concussion.?"
"Well that's a little hard to explain, take that you scumball."
"What was that?"
"Sorry just talking out loud to the simulator, I've cut of sound so I can talk to you."
"How are you doing?"
"Well, out of 20 to 1 odds I'm down to 3 enemies left."
"Wow 20 to 1 odds that's great."
"Thanks, well I've beaten them all coming in." Rich then appears in the Power Chamber in a flash of white light.
"Rich I would like you to reaccept the Grey Ranger powers," says Zordon.
"I wish I could in fact the Grey Ranger powers are the only ones you have."
"What can we do to make you stay, we need an experienced Ranger, especially one with knowledge like yours," says Trini.
"Well I'll stay but only to help you guys and Katherine. Bye the way, didn't anybody notice how I was able to destroy the monster without a Zord?"
"No, how did you?" they all ask in unison.
"Well I forgot about this, but I have security systems embedded in the programming of the field generator and I guess that Mondo doesn't know about them. These systems will shut down the field if the field comes within five feet of my genetic code or any of my equipment. The field will stay shut down for twenty-four hours, at which time it can be activated again. Well what do you think?"
"That's all the more reason for you to keep the Grey Ranger powers," says Tommy.
"Wrong, that's all the more reason for me to help, X, how is that little project I had you start coming?" Rich asks into his communicator.
"Well Rich one, two and three are ready, but four and five are still being built."
"Good, teleport one two and three here." Three flashes of light come into the Power Chamber the Rangers turn and see three motorcycles, one pink, one yellow, and one green. "Well Rangers let me present Cyclone Force, cyclone battle systems created just for the Power Rangers. These will enable you to fight the monsters."
"That's great and all, but what about Katherine. How are you going to help her?" asks Tommy.
"Well have any of you heard of nanotechnology?"
"Yeah, but only theories. It involves microscopic robots that work on individual cells. The main problem seen was coordination between the robots," says Trini. "Did you perfect it?"
"You could say that infact I've solved many of the problems with it. That's how Katherine will heal in 6 weeks instead of 18 months. The nanites will start healing her immediately after injection. There's only one flaw that I haven't worked out yet."
"What would that be," asks Tommy.
"Well the nanites I use on Katherine will only work for Katherine from now on. Afterwards I'll extract the nanites and store them for future use." Just then Rich's communicator beeps. "Go ahead X."
"Rich cyclones four and five have been completed teleporting now." Red and green flashes of light signal the teleportation and when the Rangers look what they see amazes them. The green cyclone looks just like the others, but the red cyclone is more bulkier.
"Why is my cyclone bigger than the others?" asks Tommy.
"Well, Tommy, I thought about giving the cyclones a combined for, like the MegaZord. I decided against it and developed what you see before you. The red cyclone is bigger because it contains specialized focusing equipment that will allow all the others to fire as one."
"Which means?" asks Zack.
"The only way to use the equipment is with each cyclone's lasers. The other four concentrated firepower on red, red channels the energy while adding its own, then red releases one serious barrage against the monster."
"Sorta like the Zeo Blaster?" asks Jason.
"Yeah, just like the Zeo Blaster. Until Mondo shows up see you guys later. I'll stay in the Power Chamber working on finding the projector."
"If your technology is so powerful why don't you look for it from your base?" asks Tommy.
"Well to tell the truth, X is kinda busy right now. We're working on two projects, one I set up before I left, and the other is getting Kat back on her feet. So at the moment my resources have been strained and the Power Chamber has the better scanners of the two."
"Oh," says Tommy a little frustrated. Soon after the Rangers teleport back to Angel Grove.
"Rich, X and I had some interesting talks while you were away. Care to explain anything?" says Zordon.
"Like what Zordon?"
"Like how you time traveled and dimensional traveled when you showed up."
"Well that's easy, I was watching a recorded episode of Power Rangers Zeo when I was pulled in."
"That explains some. What was that music you played for the original Rangers in the past?"
"Well, in my dimension the Power Rangers television series was a big hit and they decided to make a movie about it. The song the original Rangers heard was from the movie soundtrack, which I still have."
"Interesting, care to tell me more of this movie?"
"I'll just say it mirrors what has happened here, but not exactly. If you would like I can show the Rangers the movie after I've completed what I need to do."
"That might get there minds off what has happened within the past 6 months. Rich, do reconsider reaccepting the Grey Ranger powers, the team needs someone like you. A loner that works well with a team is hard to find and one reason, I believe, that you were chosen for the Powers you acquired."
"That might be true. If I were to reaccept the powers it would be for the wrong reasons. Revenge is not something the powers were created for. Until I pay Mondo back for hurting my friends and stealing my technology I won't be able to accept any Ranger powers."
"I see. By the way, you mentioned a second project, besides healing Katherine, that is draining X's resources, what is this project."
"Well if you've talked to X then you know about the Turbo powers and Zords."
"Yes, but I doubt that will occur for some time."
"I agree, but I had already put contingencies into motion to help with that. The only one I had finished was a fighting force of Veritech alphas and betas I call Alpha Force. Like Cyclone Force, Alpha Force is Robotechnology for the Rangers. I originally configured them to work with the Turbo Zords. The project X is working on is a reconfiguration of them to work for the Zeo Rangers. With them the Rangers will be able to deal with Mondo's enlarged monsters."
"When where you plaining to tell us about your project?"
"When I finished the reconfiguration, or when someone asked like you did."
"What exactly is an alpha and beta Veritech."
"Well a Veritech alpha is not as large as my Veritech, which gives it increased speed and agility. While the Veritech alpha does not have the brute strength that the Veritech does it makes up for this with increases in weaponry, such as missiles. Then there is the Veritech beta counterpart for the alpha. It basically is a booster engine giving the alpha even greater speed. When the alpha is in Battleoid mode the beta can be configured as enhancing body armor, much like my Veritech's mega armor."
"That will be a big asset in this fight against evil. Where have you been for the past 6 months. If you time traveled you should have not aged since we last met, but you have."
Rich look into the black form of the viewing screen and realizes that Zordon is correct. "I have no idea where I've beeeeeeeeennnnnn......" Rich collapses from exhaustion.
"Ay,yi,yi,yi,yi, Zordon, what happened to Rich," says Alpha worried.
"I do not know Alpha, but maybe we'll find out. Contact X."
Alpha goes to the communications console and type in a sequence. Seconds later, "This is X, go ahead Zordon."
"X, Rich has collapsed do you know what happened him during his 6 month absence?"
"Well yeah, but I'm not authorized to tell you anything about it because Rich put a security lock on that information."
"X, did Rich get a slight bit of amnesia that is blocking what happened to him from his memory?"
"Afraid to say, yes. It happened when he returned to base. Is Rich in any serious danger?"
"Not at the moment, but if we don't unlock those memories from Rich's head I'm afraid he may be in a coma, possibly forever."
There is a bit of silence before X finally answers. "Security overrides engaged. Rich has been traveling the Multiverse for the past 6 months. His last dimensional teleportation blocked out his memory of the journey. Teleport him here immediately for nanotechnology treatment."
"Right, Alpha teleport Rich by opening a teleportational beam, X will pick Rich up."
"Okay Zordon teleporting now." Rich sails off in a white light and appears on a medbed in the SDF-1's medlab. Katherine is on another bed being monitored.
This is so weird, like astral planar travel' Rich thinks as the astral manifestation of himself floats around the medlab's monitoring tables. Wonder if Katherine realizes what has happened.' Rich looks at Katherine's beaten body and watches as the nanites do there work. Boy those nanites really know there stuff.' Rich then proceeds closer to Katherine's body and just stands over her. Well she's here if only I could.......woah,' says Rich as his astral body is drawn into Katherine's and he enters the dream world.
Rich walks down a fog filled room filled with doors. The room is only lit by a few flickering candles but Rich doesn't need them. I wonder where I am,' Rich thinks to himself. Almost as soon as he thinks the question the answer comes to him. You are in the dream world, warrior, the life of the one you entered is in great danger we need your help.'
"Who are you," Rich says out loud accidentally.
I am Katherine's subconscious mind. Normally I rule her section of the dream world, but evil energies have taken her conscious mind prisoner and keep me from ruling.'
That's terrible' Rich thinks especially since the energies you're talking about are probably from my shield that Mondo used to ambush her and the others. It's my fault that she is in this state. I don't know how much of a help I'm going to be, but I'll give it my all to save Katherine.'
I expected no less from a Time Master.'
How do you kno......'
Every being in the dream world knows of the mystical Time Master and the prophecy.'
That is not important right now, Katherine needs your help.'
Right, well if this is the dream world then I should be able to control reality here, right?'
Yes, that is the privilege of a conscious mind in the dream world, what are you going to do?'
Well I was thinking about this, Cyclone Armor, Power Up!' Rich is suddenly clad in his Cyclone Armor and starts scans. By the way, what should I call you?'
Kat, just like you would any other time. But be warned, you will face great challenges to free Katherine's conscious from the energies that have her trapped. First you will fact your greatest weakness, second your will face your greatest fear, and third you will fight against all odds. Only if you succeed in these tasks will you be able to free Katherine from her mental prison.'
Right, I guess if the energies couldn't turn this world to there frequency then this world turned them. Let's roll.' Rich quickly hits a hidden button in his right palm and the armor turns into the Cyclone motorcycle.
You must pick a door. Each one represents one of Katherine's dreams I will be there in a physical form to help you in you quest. Good luck, Time Master.' With that Rich steps though the first door in the first step to save his friend.