"Looks like a perfect fit.", said Kincaid. "Hardrive link up to the safehouse computer. Tell it to commence landing procedures."
The others, except for Bruce, couldn't believe what they were hearing. "Landing procedures?", asked Cassandra.
"Even the safehouse has to run on fuel, and it was running low. It has geothermal generators that converts energy for it's fuel once it's connected to a planet.", said Kincaid. "Besides, I think we're all a little tired of running right?"
Everyone nodded as they looked up to see the safehouse coming in to land in the hole. It was then that Mackenzie spoke up. "Aren't you going to finish your story?"
Kincaid nodded and asked where he left off. "Your teamates were killed and your leader was evicted from Defiance."
While there was a part of him that said that there was nothing else that could have been done, there was another part that said that he should have been more careful. He wished Bruce was there with him now. He could have used some reasurrances.
Just then the attack warning came on. A fleet of ships was coming out of hyperspace on an attack vector. "Activate Defence grid.", Jeff ordered the computer.
The defence grid activated but it could have only held out so long as a fleet of fighter craft swooped down and picked off selected areas that weakened the shields. The cannon fire from the cruisers then blasted the shields away and they were down before long.
When the shields were blasted away the ships then made ready to attack the lighthouse. Explosions started to erupt around Jeff to where it was dangerous to stay. "Hardrive, emergency teleport.", and he was teleported out.
As the cruisers fired on the lighthouse Defiance snuck away. "They knew exactly where to hit.", said Jeff.
"Fredo.", said Hardrive who was making reference to the former red ranger Mark Kinega.
Jeff nodded in agreement. Then he looked at the nav computer as he tried to find a place to land. "Set course for Earth.", said Jeff. He looked back using the viewscreen's departure angle. The lighthouse went dark as the power generators were knocked out.
Jeff then turned his focus back to the present as Defiance made it's way into hyperspace.
Alpha 6 came over to Tommy and started looking over his shoulder. "Yo, yo, yo Tommy what's up with you. The other rangers are relaxin' here. Goin' to the beach an all. Why are you here instead f with them?"
Tommy sighed before he spoke. "I just got this feeling that something's going to happen. You know the old saying 'it's too quiet'?"
"Would this incoming transmission be enough noise for you?", asked Dimitria. Tommy went to the communications console and listened in.
"This is blue Night Ranger Jeffrey Kincaid calling the Power Chamber. Is anyone receiving. Repeat this is blue Night Ranger Jeffrey Kincaid calling the Power Chamber is anyone receiving?"
Alpha activated the receiver and Tommy answered. "This is the Power Chamber. Red Turbo ranger Tommy Oliver responding. What's your status?"
"My team has been destroyed. I've got a conqueror on my tail and I need a place to set down and refuel. Request permission to land."
"Permission granted.", said Tommy. "Teleport in as soon as you land."
"Affirmative.", said Jeff and he signed off. Tommy then looked up at Dimitria. "Dimitria what's a Night Ranger?"
"Do you not think that it was not possible for other ranger teams to exist?", asked Dimitria.
"No, the Aquitarian rangers are proof that there are other ranger teams out there. But I never heard of the Night Rangers. Who are they?"
Alpha 6 then spoke. "I have their info downloaded into my central processor. The Night Rangers were a special team. They fought against evil on evil's level. Handling missions and villians that went outside the traditional monster attack or like Lord Zedd or Rita. In fact Zedd and Rita were afraid of the Night Rangers. They held tremendous powers when nighttime came."
Who'd they fight against?", asked Tommy.
"There was this empire called the Luciferian that has been said to worship the darker levels of evil. The Night Rangers and the Luciferian empire had crossed swords in the past.", said Alpha.
"Why haven't I heard of them?", Tommy's curiosity was peaked.
Alpha continued, "They were a special team that operated in secret. No other ranger teams knew of their existance. And if a ranger did know, then he was honor bound not to reveal their existance to their fellow rangers."
"So I can't tell the others about this Jeff Kincaid or his team?", asked Tommy.
"Yeah.", said Alpha.
Tommy sighed. He didn't like keeping his team in the dark but he would keep the mention of the Night Rangers quiet. A dark stream of blue appeared in the Power Chamber as Dimitria asked, "If the Night Rangers are so powerful what force could have destroyed Jeff's team?"
"One of their own.", came the answer. Tommy and Alpha turned to see a ranger in blue and black. His helmet removed to reveal his pale face and short cut brown hair.
Tommy went to introduce himself then he asked, "What do you mean one of your own?".
"Our red ranger Mark Kinega turned traitor. He lured the other rangers into a trap and killed them."
"WHAT?!", came the voice of Tommy, Alpha and Dimitria in unison. They couldn't believe a ranger would willingly turn traitor.
"He just destroyed our headquarters. He's probably on my tail now as we speak so I need a place to set down as I plan out my next move." The others nodded.
'If there is one.', Jeff mentally added.
"It was a rule from the council. Even though the Night Rangers were formed to combat the darker evils, not all of them were happy with the idea of fighting evil on evil's ground. They thought traditional ranger teams would be more productive and give a more wholesome message.", said Kincaid.
"But Zordon saw the wisdom in having such a team and he pushed for them, but with the condition that their existence be kept secret. The Night Rangers existance could not be revealed unless in dire emergency or with council consent."
"Well that explains why Tommy never told us about you.", said Adam.
Cassandra then asked "Are you sure Mark wasn't under some evil spell?"
"I'm positive.", said Kincaid. "The spirits said that there were no mind control spells around his ranger aura. But there was one other thing."
"What was that?", Cassandra asked.
"They said he didn't hear their presence anymore. Like something was cutting them off from reaching him."
"What could do that?", asked Ashley.
"If it's not a spell, then it was probably a mental implant of some kind.", said Justin.
"Well that's possible, but implant or not the choice to betray the others was a willing one. Even though the spirits knew he could no longer hear them they knew that the darker impulses within him were Mark's own.", said Kincaid.
"They also told me he took in the powers of the fallen Night Rangers into himself. They could never be used for good again."
"Couldn't you make more?", asked Ashley.
Bruce then spoke. "No, in order to make more power morphers each of the Night Rangers had to give some of their power to the new morpher. one needed three or four morphers for that. And since there was only two left..."
"No more Night Rangers.", said Justin.
"So what happened next?", asked Mackenzie.
"Well as I was licking my wounds, Mark showed up. Except he wasn't Mark anymore."
He then looked out at the stars. His annointment went well as Savrod presented Mark Kinega before them. Mark boasted about how he killed his teamates, he then lifted the three inert morphers from the dead rangers as proof.
The high councilors were surprised. To kill one night Ranger, let alone three, was a remarkable feat that few could accomplish. But one was not convinced as he said for all to hear "What about the blue ranger?".
"He will hunt him down as easilly as he killed the others.", said Savrod. "Already the dark ones speak to him."
Kinega listened to the evil voices that guided him now. The voices of good that guided him for so long were blocked out thanks to the device Savrod implanted in him. He welcomed the evil within him and he welcomed the guidance of the evil without.
"He is on Earth.", said Kinega.
The high councillor who spoke out said. "When you bring the morpher of the blue Night Ranger we shall consider you for our leadership position."
"I shall bring the morpher and lead this empire.", said Kinega.
"We stand at a crucible my friends.", and the whole council chamber erupted in a resounding "Yes!!!"
And it was then that Mark decided his new name--Lord Crucible.
And now Lord Crucible flew through space on a rendezvous with destiny. "Soon Jeff it will be time for you to join the others.", he said.
Lord Crucible stood on the bridge of his flagship looking out at the stars again. 'To think that it has only been a few short years since I looked out here as I journeyed for a 'final showdown' with Jeff. Now it will be a final showdown.'
General Savrod then appeared. "We will arrive at the co-ordinates within two hours."
"Good.", said Crucible. "Have my Samurizord prepared I intend to lead this operation personally."
"Personally my lord?", said Savrod.
"Yes.", it's time for old business to be settled."
'Indeed it is my lord', thought Savrod. 'Indeed it is.'
"Tommy when are you coming to the beach?", she asked. She then took notice of Jeff and asked "Who are you?"
After giving the reader's digest version about who Jeff was and what he was doing there Kat asked "Is there anything I can do?"
"Well we're trying to figure out how we're going to stop Kinega. So far we've come up short.", said Tommy.
"Well I do have one idea.", said Jeff. "But I'll need the two of you to help pull it off."
"What can we do?", asked Kat.
"The most you can do is keep him occupied. Long enough for me to take him out."
"You're not going to kill him are you?", asked Tommy.
"Not if I can help it.", said Jeff. "Even though I'd really like to."
"Hey yo yo yo. We got a ship coming in out of hyperspace here. It looks like your backstabbing teamate has arrived.", said Alpha.
The three rangers looked at the viewing screen and saw a sinister shade of red come from the ship and stand out in the desert. "Jeff. I know you can hear me. Come out, and I'll make it easy on you."
"All right let's do it.", said Tommy. "SHIFT INTO TURBO!!!"
"WIND CHASER TURBO POWER!!!", said Kat.
"RED LIGHTNING TURBO POWER!!!", said Tommy.
"BLUE NIGHT RANGER ACTIVATE!!!" said Jeff.
And the three rangers teleported into battle.
"She walked in. We didn't want to bring in anyone else.", said Kincaid. "Besides, it was almost nighttime."
"Where evil was at it's strongest.", said Cassandra.
"Don't be. We can take care of you.", said Tommy as he leaped into action. He gave a flying kick into Kinega's chest and also got in a few blows as well.
"Tommy duck!", shouted Kat as she fired her turbo blaster. Her hits were dead on.
Kinega then gave a mental push and threw the two turbo rangers back across the ground. As they struggled to get up, Kinega raised his hands and they started flying into the air.
Tommy and Kat felt like they were being gripped by invisible hands. They couldn't move while they were being held down. Kinega looked up at thw two turbo rangers. "Well since Jeff is not here I'll just have to break the two of you."
Just then Tommy and Kat felt the hands release themselves and they fell and landed on the ground. Kinega looked around as if expecting to find someone.
A force push sent Kinega flying across the ground. He looked up and saw Jeff standing before him.
"I was wondering when you would show up.", said Kinega.
"Give up Mark.", said Jeff.
Kinega paused for a moment and then said, "At the risk of sounding cliche...NO!!!" He then gave Jeff a power push that sent him flying against a mountain wall. The invisible hands were holding him in place.
Mark then walked over to where Jeff was pinned when a force punch from Jeff sent Mark doubling over.
"A gift from the spirits you turned your back on.", said Jeff.
"Your spirits are strong Jeff. But mine are stronger.". Mark raised his hands and the ground started shaking. Lava also started to erupt as the battleground turned into an inferno.
Jeff looked through the elemental chaos over to where Tommy and Kat were. "Tommy, Kat get out of here!!!", he shouted.
"But what about you?!", shouted Kat.
"JUST GO!!!" Jeff shouted. And the two turbo rangers teleported out.
Jeff then looked up at the mountain top. A good explosion up there would cause an avalanche that would stop Mark. As Jeff scrambled to avoid erupting pits he took off his blue morpher and set it on overload. As the power built up he prayed that his aim would be true as he threw it at the mountain peak past where Mark stood hovering.
The explosion jarred Mark's concentration and he was caught in the landslide. Jeff also tried to run but the onrushing dirt and rocks was starting to bury him as well.
"Anything Kat?", Tommy asked.
"Nothing.", said Kat.
After a few moments of searching Kat came across a gloved hand sticking out of the ground. "Tommy, over here!!!"
Tommy rushed over to where Kat was and helped to pull Jeff up. He tried to feel for a pulse but couldn't find one.
"Is he dead?", asked Kat.
"Let's get him back to the Power Chamber quick.", said Tommy as they teleported out of the battleground.
None of them noticed a gauntleted hand in a sinister shade of red holding the remains of a morpher come out of the ground as well,
"Was a body recovered?", asked the officer on duty.
The red Turbo ranger paused for a moment and said, "No, no body was recovered."
The officer and reporter thanked the Red Turbo ranger for his time and then teleported back to the Power Chamber.
When he arrived Dimitria and Alpha 6 were waiting, along with a young teenager in a tattered blue uniform. On a communications terminal was a 3-D version of Zordon. "Is it done?", asked Dimitria.
The red ranger then removed his helmet to reveal the face of Tommy Oliver. "Yeah, Dimitria I told them. But I will say that I didn't like lying to the press and the police."
"In a way you weren't.", said the boy in blue who was once the blue Night Ranger Jeff Kincaid. "I was clinically dead for about a few minutes and also in a way I am dead. In my heart."
"And it was a real pain trying to bring you back.", said Kat.
"You can thank the spirits for that. They kept me from going too far into death to the point where I couldn't be revived.", said Jeff. "Now I think I'd better get going."
"Why not go home?", asked Alpha.
"I don't really have a home to go back to. Besides, I don't really want anyone looking for me. I just want to dissapear for a while."
Dimitria then spoke. "Even though I will respect your decision Jeffrey do you not think this action is questionable?"
"Kincaid.", said Jeff.
"What?", asked Tommy.
"My name is just Kincaid now. Jeffrey's dead. And no I don't think that my decision's questionable. I just need to get away for now."
"All right. But before you leave may I ask you this one thing.", said Dimitria.
"What is that?", asked Kincaid.
"Would you keep the red Night Ranger morpher so that it will not fall intothe wrong hands?"
"I'm not going to use it.", said Kincaid.
"Did I ask you to use it? Would it not be prudent for you to keep it in the event that you do need it and that it will be there for you?"
Kincaid thought about it. "All right, I'll keep it Hardrive has it on Defiance right now." Then he made ready to activate his teleporter when Tommy asked him "Where will you go?"
"I'll know when I get there.", said Kincaid as he teleported out of the Power Chamber.
"Kat, I have the strangest feeling we're going to see him again.", Tommy said.
"You will." said Zordon. "He still has an important destiny to fulfil."
"A destiny? Is that why you called us? Can you tell us what this destiny is?", asked Kat.
"Unfortunately no. The time isn't right yet, but when it is Jeff will be ready for it.", then Zordon signed off.
Mentally he added 'I hope'.
After delivering the remaining bits of the inert blue Night Ranger morpher the unanimous decision was made to elect ex-red Night Ranger Mark Kinega as the new high lord.
"LONG LIVE LORD CRUCIBLE!!!", they all shouted in unison. And Crucible seemed to rake it all in.
General Savrod watched the events that just occured. He would wait and bide his time until the moment was right. Then he would make his move.
When he arrived on the bridge he went to the helm controls to see where he would go when he noticed the red Night Ranger morpher sitting in the corner where Kincaid threw it last. He went over to pick it up and ran his fingers over it.
"Incoming transmission from the big giant head.", said Hardrive doing Harry from 3rd Rock from the sun again. "Put it on.", said Kincaid.
"What are you thinking of Jeffrey?", came Zordon over the communicator.
"This is the last remnant of what Mark was.", he said. "It's also the last remnant of the Night Rangers, not counting Defiance."
"Are you certain of that?", asked Zordon.
"I'm certain.", said Kincaid. "The other four morphers are destroyed. And the white, green and purple morphers have been lost for eons. Without the power of the spirits and at least three active morphers no new Night Ranger morphers can be made."
"Then as the last surviving Night Ranger may I ask you to put on the red morpher?"
Kincaid put the morpher on his wrist replacing the blue one he had destroyed. It seemed to light up with power and the next thing that happened Kincaid was in the uniform of the red Night Ranger.
The power seemed to be overwhelming to Kincaid. It filled his every being and his connection to the spirits of the night seemed stronger since he could feel their presence more.
"It's a pity I won't be using this power.", he said. "Downtime!", he said and Kincaid went back to his normal clothes.
"Well since you won't use the morpher Je...I mean Kincaid, may I recommend a place for you to go?"
"Where?", asked Kincaid.
"I have a safehouse on the planet Oron. It's a pristine forest world that I use as a fall backpoint. It is far from the spacelanes so no one goes there. Even the evil empires leave it alone."
"Sounds perfect.", said Kincaid. And he set course for Oron.
And there he remained.
"When we came along. And Crucible came back.", said Adam.
The rangers then turned to look at where the mobile safehouse was setting down where the lighthouse tower used to be.
"She's setting down nicely.", said Bruce. "It won't be long for the geothermal linkups."
Then Hardrive spoke up. "One-Adam-12 One-Adam-12. Enemy Zord entering Hades block. Enemy Zord entering Hades block. Units responding Identify."
"He'd have to come now.", Kincaid cursed. "One-Adam-12 roger."
"Let's get to the zords", Ashley said as the Nightfighters teleported to their respective Zords. On board the mobile safehouse the DragonZord and Emerald Tiger were being fitted with booster packs used for spaceflight. "All right team, Let's go!" said Cassandra.
"The flying Tiger and DragonZord joined up with Defiance, the Astro Viper, the BlackHawk, and Roadbuster converted into warrior mode. Not long after they were joined by another Zord--A silver firebird.
"Bruce is that you", asked Kincaid.
"Yeah, it's me. You didn't think I'd let you guys have all the fun do ya?", said Bruce.
"Nope, I didn't. And just in time too cause here they come." said Kincaid making reference to a fleet of guardships led by a Zord in a sinister shade of red. Ashley knew the Zord well.
"Crucible's leading the attack.", said Ashley.
"I noticed.", said Kincaid. "All right when I give the word break formation and pick a target. I'll take care of Crucible."
After Crucible's fleet got closer Kincaid said "BREAK!!!", and the Zords broke formation except for Defiance which headed straight for the SamuriZord.
"Yes general.", said the aide Arcos as he handed Savrod the detonator.
"Good.", then he watched the battle get underway waiting for the right time to make his move.
"All guardships break and attack. Leave me the lead zord.", he ordered. He then watched as Defiance transformed into warrior mode.
"All right Jeff. Let's dance."
Mackenzie flew so many rings around the guardships that the guardsmen were spinning servos trying to get a bead on her. Whatever shots they fired wound up missing her every time the guardsmen thought they got a lock. Some misses were near ones while others weren't even close to hitting her. Many of the shots from the guardships wound up taking out each other leaving an area of chaos whereever she flew.
Mackenzie then decided to fly out of the area as the guardships were flying around like buzzing flies. When she was safely away she turned back around and flew back picking off the guardships one by one.
When only a few ships were left they regrouped and tried to go on the offensive. Mackenzie then transformed the Astro Viper into warrior mode as the guardships were approaching her. She later went to targeting computer and picked off the last ships as if they were ducks in a shooting gallery.
"Numbers don't beat skill.", said Mackenzie as she then went to check on Kincaid.
After the numbers were cut down a good half Cassandra then fired her missiles and blasters at others. When all but five were left she went up close and personal as she swiped four of the ships with the Zords claws and disabled the last one with her Zord's jaws.
When Cassandra was done all that was left was a debris field that looked like a junkyard. "I hear there's great money in salvage.", she said. She later followed Mackenzie's example and went to see how Kincaid fared.
Adam fired as many of his missiles as he could, and many of them took out a lot of guardships. But Adam realized he needed to fight smarter in order to beat them.
Adam then kicked in the SRB boosters and sent the DragonZord out as fast as it could go. The boosters were powerful and they gave the DragonZord a lot of speed. Adam then turned the Zord around and faced the guardships as he activated a special weapon.
"This was only used when the DragonZord was joined with the Dino MegaZord so it may not have the power it usually would." Adam said. Just then energy came from the DragonZord's missile hands as well as the Z's on its legs to form one giant energy Z circle. Adam then fired the Z circle to where it detonated taking out most of his guardships.
All the otherships that were left Adam swatted like they were biplanes that King Kong swatted on the top of the Empire State Building. Then he too went to check on Kincaid.
Those distractions almost cost her as guardships were getting a lock on her many times. Bruce took in the firebird and picked off the ships that were locking on to her.
"Bruce.", she said. "We gotta end this now. I can't help but feel Kincaid is going to need us."
"I agree.", said Bruce. "Let's transform into Duo Warrior mode."
The firebird then transformed into a warrior with a face coming out of it's beak and the head turning down. Arms also sprouted from the under carriage as the Silver Firebird transformed into an upper torso.
Ashley's Zord head also folded down as it formed the locking mechanism as the BlackHawk joined to form the lower torso. The legs extended and the wings folded in. Soon Janus the duo warrior stood ready for battle.
The guardships fired but the blasts were deflected by the wings on the arms that served as Janus's shields. Later a red blast fired from Janus's eyes as guardships were taken out. Ashley then brought up Janus's left leg as fire spewed out of his left toe incinerating more ships.
"Talon missiles!", ordered Bruce as missiles fired from Janus's hands. more ships vaporized.
Before long even Ashley and Bruce had triumphed over the guardships. Now let's see how Kincaid is doing.", said Bruce.
Ashley was glad to hear that.
Justin was knocking out guardships right and left but he felt like he was being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers. He needed to change the rules.
"Storm Blaster I need you!!", he shouted. The blue jeep then made tracks as it flew to where Justin was fighting.
Justin jumped into Storm Blaster and went into the dogfight picking off guardships much like Mackenzie was. When only a few guardships were left Justin turned Storm Blaster towards the inert Roadbuster. "Roadbuster remote linkup activate.", he said as Roadbuster came alive.
"CHEST BEAM FIRE!!!", yelled Justin as he flew Storm Blaster over Roadbuster and a beam of red energy too out the last of the guardships.
"Awesome guys!", he said as he drove Storm Blaster with Roadbuster following to check on Kincaid.
Kincaid was locked in a Zord swordfight with Crucible. Whatever move Kincaid made Crucible countered. And whatever offensive move Crucible made Kincaid countered.
The other Nightfighters approached ready to help out but Adam and Bruce held them back. "Leave them. It's one on one.", Bruce said.
Savrod also watched as the two Zords fought when he decided that it was time to tip the odds in his favor. He pulled up the detonator and pressed the activator.
In the cockpit of the SamuriZord Crucible felt a presence he hadn't felt in a long time as smoke started to appear through the right side of his helmet. Then he screamed as he heard the vengeful cries of the good spirits of the night for the first time in years.
Since Crucible was telepathically linked to his Zord the Zord grabbed it's head as well in agony. Kincaid saw an opportunity and ran Defiance's sword through the power plant of the SamuriZord.
The zord exploded after that. Kincaid had won.
"General Savrod. Our Lord Crucible has been destroyed. And while this move is unorthodox he has named you as his sucessor. Do you accept?"
"I do. And I shall lead the empire to victory."
"Excellent. We shall prepare for your annointment...Lord Savrod.", after that the councillors signed off.
And General Savrod laughed. All the time of planning had finally paid off.
"All right. We did it!!We beat Crucible!!!", shouted Mackenzie. And all the others echoed her sentiments.
Kincaid said nothing as he stood in a corner. There was still more to do. He knew that it wouldn't be long for the power vaccum to be filled, 'probably by Savrod' he thought. And there was still the liberation of the rest of the galaxy as well as Earth. Plus the other rangers hadn't been found yet.
'Those concerns are for another time', thought Kincaid. 'For now we won a great victory.' as he went to join the party.
Inside lay the occupant in red armor. His body being kept alive while a battle was being fought in occupant's mind.
A battle between good and evil. Who the victor would be would be decided another time.