Disclaimer:The Power Rangers are the property of Saban Entertainment and I lay no claim to them. The character of Mackenzie Dekalb is property of Karilee who can be contacted at kajwr@twcny.rr.com. The character of Cassandra Jensen(the Emerald Ranger) belongs to Helen who can be contacted at helen0724@yahoo.com. Jeffery Kincaid, Lord Crucible, and all other characters relating to them are mine. Should anyone wish to use my characters contact me at foi72@yahoo.com.

The universe has fallen under the control of a new evil. The rangers have been defeated. It is up to a new ragtag group of rangers to fight the evil of Lord Crucible and to bring light to the darkness.

The Gathering of Forces
By John Chubb

Jeffery Kincaid was running.

Running to his death, some might say, as he flew his red CarrierZord called Defiance through the cold starry night of space looking to destroy Lord Crucible's reign of terror before it even begins.

Kincaid heard all the doubts in his mind as he flew Defiance through space:This is crazy! You can't do this alone! You need help!

Then another set of thoughts rode through his head: It's better off this way! You don't need anyone holding you back! No one has to die because of you.

It was somewhere between this jumble of thought that Kincaid realized that he needed a plan.

"Hardrive", he said to the computer of the Defiance CarrierZord. "Activate Cloking device."

Nothing happened.

Kincaid tried again, "Hardrive activate Cloaking Device!"

Again nothing happened.

Then Kincaid realized just what computer he was talking to and gave the command to activate the cloaking device--In Klingon.

After that the Cloaking device activated. Kincaid couldn't help but smile a little, even though the computer acted like it saw too much TV upset him just as much.

Kincaid later went to the bathroom realizing that it's been a long time since he shaved.

* * *

Alpha was running.

Running to where the book of Zordon was kept in a chamber below Kincaid's cabin.

Before Kincaid settled on the planet, Zordon built a safehouse here that could serve as a fallback position should there be a major battle that had to be won. Zordon chose the forest planet not only for it's beauty, but also because it was so out of the way on the spacelanes that no one came there. None of the evil lords had an interest in the place since they saw the planet as a jewel that shouldn't be touched. They might have fought over it at times, but they never fought on it.

A perfect place to set up a back up position thought Zordon as he built his fallback position into the mountain near Kincaid's cabin. Kincaid knew that the safehouse was there but he did not venture into it. He saw no need.

Alpha however saw need, for in one of the chambers in the safehouse was the book of Zordon. Alpha searched from chamber to chamber almost giving up until he came to the final door.

When he opened it he walked into a ornate blue room that almost reminded Alpha of a crystal ball room. And sitting on a pedestal at the end of it was the object Alpha sought...

The Book of Zordon.

Alpha immediately opened the book and directed his computerized brain to think of the rangers who had not been captured. Only a few life forms could read the book, and those in the Alpha line were given the ability due to their role of service to Zordon and the Mentors of the universe. Now Alpha put that gift to use in hopes of finding those who could help Kincaid.

The book told him about four.

Alpha immediately closed the book and began his work. Kincaid is going to get some help whether he wants in or not, the little robot thought.

* * *

Mackenzie Dekalb was running.

Headlong into a group of thirty guardsmen that were following her into the Stone Canyon Canyon. She flew on her galaxy glider picking her targets carefully and lethally with her white Astro blaster and got off several shots taking down twenty-two guardsmen. Whatever remained she decided she would take on up close and personal.

Mackenzie then drew out her Astro blade and cut through the remaining guardsmen as if her life depended on it, because it did. Mackenzie heard about the other Astros being taken and the way she was fighting made it clear to the guardsmen that she didn't want to be on the list. Mackenzie was pushing her powers to the limit and beyond as she took out so many guardsmen she stoped counting at 97, even if it seemed like she had taken out a LOT MORE than that.

When the last guardsman was cut down Mackenzie stood above the bodies and said one word "Next?"

She should not have said it.

Because the next second she found herself surrounded by ninety guardsmen. "Clusterfriggin Hell." she cursed to herself. Well, thought Mackenzie, the White Astro Powers are supposed to be the most powerful in the universe. I guess it's time to prove it.

Mackenzie brought her hands together and put them before her White Astro helmet as if she was praying. The guardsmen watched in confusion as if wondering what she was doing. Even when they saw the energy field generate around Mackenzie they were still confused as to what she was doing.

Little did they realize that Mackenzie was concentrating on generating enough of her White Astro power into one of the most dangerous weapons in her arsenal. A weapon that she was not sure she should be using but had no choice to use. When she had enough power, she was ready to cut loose.

"WHITE ASTRO SHOCKWAVE!!!", said the White Astro Ranger Mackenzie Dekalb as she released the pent up energy taking out all the guardsmen surrounding her.

When there was nothing left but a pile of scrap surrounding her Mackenzie felt the weariness of being chased catch up with her as she powered down. Then she felt the drain of the power down and collapsed on the ground as the demorphing side effect of weakness set in.

You'd think I'd get used to that, thought Mackenzie as she struggled to get back up. Morphed or not she had to keep moving. But then she felt a certain tingle as a strange, but familiar sensation ran through her small body.

It was the sensation of being teleported. Where, she did not know.

When she arrived at where she was being teleported to she saw a ornate blue room with Alpha coming to greet her.

"Oh Mackenzie, I'm so glad I found you.", said Alpha. Mackenzie didn't return the greeting, but looked at her surroundings and said "Oh great, I've died and gone to the ball room on the Muppet Show."

* * *

Kincaid came out of the rest room with a newly clean shaven face, and his hair tied back into a ponytail. There wasn't a cut on his face due to the use of a laser-shaver instead of an old style disposable razor. He was looking more like the teenager he was even though the pony tail allowed him to keep something of a "rebel" look.

"Approaching Klingon Neutral Zone Captain", said Hardrive meaning they had crossed into the space that had been occupied by Crucible. Space that contaied Earth, Aquitar, and many hospitable planets that had fallen under Crucible's control.

"Stay out of the range of sensors.", ordered Kincaid. "I don't want Crucible knowing that We're coming."

"Your wish is my command Master.", said Hardrive in an "I dream of Jeannie" voice.

Kincaid sighed as he left the bridge. Hardrive continued on course evading whatever signs of pursuit there were. Defiance may be invisible, but Kincaid was leaving nothing to chance.

* * *

Adam Park and Cassandra Jensen were running.

Running for their lives.

Blaster fire exploded at their feet as a guardsmen battalion was pursuing them into the already blaster scarred area of Angel Grove park.

Adam could not safely morph into his Black Ranger costume because of the instability of the morphs due to the lack of a power coin. Cassandra however could morph into her Emerald Ranger costume, but chose not to unless it was to fight off approaching guardsmen. When she and Adam were running from the Guardsmen she powered down due to the simple reason being that with the power of the Emerald Crystal she could get better distance than Adam as she was running from the guardsmen.

But to get better distance meant leaving Adam behind, and that she would not do. So they stuck together and fought together.

"Great", said Adam. "How many of these things chasing us does this make now?"

"I've lost count.", said Cassandra. "But I've got an idea about this group."

Adam and Cassandra were using every Martial Arts move they could think of against the guardsmen, but sometimes push came to shove. And Cassandra Jensen could shove hard if she had to. Now was the time to use one.

"Let's stop here for a second.", said Cassandra.

"WHAT?", said a shocked Adam. "But those things..."

Are in for a big surprise., said Cassandra telepathically. She relayed her plan to Adam the same way. "You are a real sneak.", he said.

"Don't let it get out it might ruin my rep.", said Cassandra in a whimsical tone.

"Surrender!", said the lead guardsman as he and his unit came to bear on Adam and Cassandra.

"I don't think so.", said Cassandra. As the approaching guardsmen came closer Cassandra brought her telekinetic powers to bear, on several pistols the guardsmen were holding. The guardsmen were shocked as they could be as the pistols flew out of their hands and started to fire on the guardsmen row by row.

It was not easy for Cassandra to focus her attention on so many objects at one time with her telekinesis which is how five guardsmen came around to the right ready to blindside her.

Adam was not about to let that happen as he launched into the guardsmen with a volley of Karate moves taking them down. Adam picked up a blaster one of them dropped and blasted the guardsmen in the chest.

Other guardsmen tried to take Cassandra from the left, but Adam blasted them before they got too close to her.

"Nice shooting.", said Cassandra as she brought down the flying blasters.

"I knew all those times playing Hogan's Alley would pay off.", said Adam.

The next thing Adam and Cassandra knew was the feeling of a teleportation wave sweep them away. The next second, they saw Alpha rushing up to them.

"Adam! Cassandra! Thank goodness you're safe!", said the little robot as he rushed to greet his friends with a hug. Adam and Cassandra returned the hug with a sense of relief and joy.

It wasn't until the next second that they noticed the girl in a black leather jacket with white T-shirt and jeans standing in the corner chewing her bubble gum. Adam went over to extend a greeting to her. "Hi I'm Adam, and you are...?"

"A distant cousin of Fonzie.", said Mackenzie Dekalb. "Welcome to the Muppet ballroom. I see you've already brought Kermit." she said making reference to Cassandra.

Alpha noticed the icy stare Cassandra gave Mackenzie. This is going to be a long day, the little robot thought.

* * *

After ducking and weaving while under cloak Kincaid finally made it to the spot where Lord Crucible's fleet was hovering over Earth.

Kincaid made out several crisers in a formation around a bigger ship. The flagship, thought Kincaid. He noticed the formation of the other vessels surrounding the main ship leaving it at the center of the fleet. "He sure does carry on like he's the center of the universe doesn't he?", he said to Hardrive.

"You are correct sir!", said Hardrive while doing his impression of Ed McMahon of the old Johnny Carson show.

As Kincaid surveyed the fleet formation he came to realize that the ships probably could get better scanning resolution due to their being so close together. If he went in Crucible would see him coming. And even if he managed to fly his way in to the command ship getting out would be a problem.

"This is not going to be easy.", said Kincaid.

"You are correct sir!", said Hardrive.

Kincaid sighed.

* * *

Justin Stewart was running.

Running after his father who would not allow his son to be taken by the guardsmen.

When the ships attacked, Mr Stewart took his family and hid in the basement which many times doubled as a monster shelter. But then, there were a lot of basements that doubled as monster shelters in Angel Grove thanks to private companies that made profits out of selling monster shelters for the home. Mr. Stewart hugged Justin and his newfound older sister Jessica in the basement praying for the time when the explosions would stop and the Power Rangers would save the day again.

After several hours the explosions stopped, but as the Stewarts emerged from the house they found that the Power Rangers did not save the day again.

The appearance of the guardsmen proved that. Mr. Stewart, Justin and Jessica saw the red garbed armored robots search the houses up and down the street. Many families were taken from their homes and put into waiting transports, and the Stewarts waited for their turn to come. It came not long after.

The guardsmen were ready to approach the house when one of them said, "This is the residence of Justin Stewart. He is to be apprehended by order of Lord Crucible."

Mr. Stewart heard this and knew he couldn't allow his son to be taken by whatever those things were, or any menber of his family. He went to grab a piece of wood and stood ready to charge the guardsmen. "Jessica, Justin get ready to make tracks. I'll distract them, you run."

"No dad.", said Justin. Tears were already starting to form in his eyes. He just found his father, he didn't want to lose him now.

"Don't argue with me son.", said Mr. Stewart. "Jessica, make sure you and Justin get away. I love you both." Then Mr Stewart went out to charge the guardsmen.

Justin immediately ran after him calling for his dad, but Jessica grabbed the little boy before he got to far. Jessica then turned around and ran with Justin staring at the sight that his young eyes beheld.

The guardsmen shot Mr. Stewart in the leg sending him sprawling to the ground. The rest of the guardsmen then beat him as he was laying on the ground.

"DAD NO!!!, shouted the little boy as she saw his father get shot and beaten. Jessica ran as fast as she could pulling Justin with her. The guardsmen shot Jessica in the back before she got too far with Justin. Then they advanced ready to take Justin.

"Go.", said Jessica weakily as she collapsed into unconsciousness. Despite the tears in his face, Justin knew his father and sister were right. And so he went from running for his father, to running for his life.

Until Justin felt himself being teleported. The next thing he saw was Adam and Alpha in what Mackenzie called the Muppet Ballroom. Justin felt a wave of joy as he saw his friends and he rushed to hug them.

"Hey there little buddy.", said Adam and he knew that Justin was crying. "What's with the tears?"

"Some metal things attacked my house. They shot my dad and sister.", said the little blue ranger.

"Those were the guardsmen of Lord Crucible.", said Alpha. They're hunting down anyone who is or has been a ranger."

"They've already taken most of us. We're the few that got away.", said a girl with green eyes, and a green T-shirt. Adam introduced her as Cassandra.

Justin turned his focus to the girl standing in the corner in the leather jacket and t-shirt and wondered who she was.

"She didn't get away the guardsmen threw her back.", said Cassandra.

"Oh, can you say that in English? I don't understand the language of the swamp.", said Mackenzie.

Cassandra then made her way towards Mackenzie with a look in her eyes that could cut like ginsu knives. "I'd better go stop it before it gets worse.", said Alpha.

Justin looked over at Alpha as he was making his way to Cassandra and Mackenzie. "Do those two know each other?", Justin asked Adam.

"They just met.", said Adam.

Justin was really confused after that.

* * *

Kincaid sat on the bridge thinking about what to do until he had come up with an idea--a hit and run at where Crucible's chamber was.

"Hardrive, take the engines up to full power. Get ready for a super burst of speed.", said Kincaid.

"When we get close to the target shut down the cloaking device and transfer it's power to weapons. Then fire as much as you can at Crucible's command chamber."

"Warp eight ready at your command sir.", said Hardrive.

"Engage!", said Kincaid doing his best impression of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. And the carrierzord Defiance took off like a bat out of hell towards Lord Crucible's chamber.

* * *

Crucible stood in his chamber looking out at the stars as he was contemplating what would come next. More rangers were being rounded up, but there were a few reports that troubled him--four in fact--of rangers escaping. "Could one of them be the one?", Crucible thought.

His thoughts were interrupted at the sight of a large red and black ship appearing out of nowhere and started firing at where he stood. The following explosion blasted him across the room. Crucible then gathered himself to see the red and black ship speed away. Ship's cannons were trying to destroy it.

Crucible recognized the ship, and cursed it's name. "Defiance!"

* * *

Kincaid then turned Defiance around to where it was facing Crucible's fleet. "Get me the main ship Hardrive.", said Kincaid.

"Hailing Frequencies open sir.", said Hardrive doing an impression of Lt. Uhura. When the flagship answered Kincaid first saw the image of General Savrod. "Hello Savrod.", I'm surprised your fleet didn't blow me out of the sky as I was coming in."

"Intruder, Identify yourself.", said Savrod.

"Your lord knows me, Isn't that right Crucible?". Kincaid made reference to Crucible as he was coming onto the bridge. Crucible saw the helmeted image on the bridge and recognized it for what it was. "The uniform of the red Night Ranger. I thought I killed you all."

"And I thought I killed you too.", said Kincaid not hiding the obvious hatred in his voice.

"Well, Jeff it's been a long time.", said Crucible. "Did you send anymore friedns to their graves lately?"

"I'm ready to send you to your grave.", said Kincaid. "And I don't have to worry about friendship because we're not friends anymore."

"As much as I'd like to finish you off personally Jeff your hit and run has not put me in the best mood right now. But I suppose my fighter squadrons could use some target practice." Crucible then watched as fighter squadrons were converging on Defiance.

Kincaid was in deep doo-doo.

* * *

Alpha was standing before the mantle where the book of Zordon was placed. He was seeing the battle Kincaid was in. "Ai, yi, yi, yi, yi! Kincaid is going to get himself killed."

Adam rushed over to Alpha. "What's going on Alpha? Who's Kincaid?"

"That's a long story that will be told later", said Alpha. "but right now we've got to get to the Command Center on Earth."

"Are you nuts?", said Mackenzie. "Earth has just turned into enemy territory. Why do we have to go back?"

Alpha laid out the facts. "One, there are some secrets in the Command Center that we can't allow Crucible to have. Two, we need to get Kincaid out of there."

"What's he doing that's so terrible?", asked Cassandra.

"He's taking on Crucible alone. And he can't win.", said Alpha.

* * *

Kincaid knew that he couldn't win against the fleet of fighters in an all out struggle so he did the only thing he could do--run.

"Fighters pursue.", ordered Crucible. "Stay on him until he is destroyed."

Kincaid heard Crucible's order and came up with an idea. He continued to run until he came across Jupiter. The fighters continued to gain on him blasting at Defiance. "Shields down to 25%", said Hardrive.

Kincaid knew that the guardsmen would stay on their prey until it was destroyed so he changed course and took Defiance into the atmosphere. The gravity pressure was starting to build around Defiance but Kincaid kept the course steady.

He then turned Defiance around and flew out as fast as the engines could take it. The fighters breezed past as Kincaid took his ship out of Jupiters atmosphere.

"Drop charges", ordered Kincaid. Explosives jettisoned from a hatch that went into the fighters path. They detonated and blinded some fighters and took out others. Those that were blinded felt the pull of Jupiter crushing their ships and them selves with it.

Unfortunately it wasn't long before Defiance was feeling the pull of Jupiter as well. "Danger Will Robinson, Danger!" said Hardrive.

"Full Power Hardrive.", ordered Kincaid.

"The engines they cannae take the strain.", said Hardrive. Kincaid knew that the gamble had not paid off and that he would share the fate of the guardsmen.

Then an alarm rung out and a light on the main console lit up. "The recall circuit." said Kincaid. "It's been activated."

And the next thing he knew Defiance went into High Warp, away from Jupiter and towards Earth. Kincaid wondered who was calling Defiance back. Has Crucible decided to finish me off after all? asked Kincaid to himself.

The signal for the activation of the cloaking device as well as passing the fleet indicated to Kincaid that it wasn't Crucible who saved Kincaid. But he realized whoever did was on Earth since that was where Defiance was going.

Towards the old Command Center he thought. I wonder what's there.

* * *

Defiance landed near the old ruins of the Command center and Kincaid got out to check the place out. Kincaid knew that the place was destroyed years ago by Divatox and there was nothing left but warehouse space and old technology. Still he knew someone had to be here and operating something for the recall circuit to be activated, but he kept his power blaster handy just in case.

Kincaid made his way down the old tunnels. As he was taking notice of the surroundings he noticed an old Tic-Tac-Toe game on the wall. He then remembered Rito and Goldar got lost in the tunnels once when they blew up the command center. Kincaid could see Rito and Goldar doing something like this, and Goldar angry at Rito for turning it into a tic-tac-toe game. Despite everything Kincaid kind of liked Rito. Rito made him laugh--a few times.

As Kincaid continued down the halls, he heard a hum of power echoing down the hall. He came across a door with a lightning bolt on it and it opened as he approached it. "Kincaid, please step into the vortex.", said a voice on the other side.

Kincaid did so and came into a room that reminded him of the old Power chamber. He saw Alpha standing near a console with three other teens and a young boy who was ready to hit his teens.

"Welcome to the Power Chamber Kincaid.", said Alpha.

"Wasn't this place destroyed?", said Kincaid.

"The second one was. This is the original one that the Zeo Rangers used. Afterwards a new chamber was designed while the old one was retired.", said a the boy in black. "Hi, my name is Adam."

Kincaid waited a while before he shook Adam's hand and introduced himself. "Kincaid."

"Any first name?" asked Adam.

"He used to be called Jeffery but he doesn't answer to that name anymore.", said Alpha.

"Ohh, tough guy?", siad the girl in the leather jacket.

"That's Mackenzie", said Alpha. "And this is Cassandra and Justin." Alpha adressed the girl in green and the boy in blue. Kincaid waved to them in greeting.

"Alpha what am I doing here?", Kincaid asked Alpha.

"Well aside from saving your butt with the recall circuit, I figured that you needed help. So I gathered what rangers that were not captured yet and brought them together. We need a force to stop Crucible, and we need you to be a part of it."

"No Alpha.", said Kincaid. "I'm not a team player. You know that."

"Hell of a way to express your gratitude.", said Cassandra. "In case you forgot, this team just saved your life."

"I haven't forgotten.", said Kincaid. "And don't think I'm not grateful. But I don't need to be looking out for anyone."

"Oooohh, a real tough guy.", said Mackenzie. "What do we call you? The Lone Ranger? Speaking of which where are your four kemosabe's? Aren't there usually five?"

Kincaid stared at Mackenzie. "You really don't want to go there.", he said with a hard look. A look Mackenzie recognized. A look she herself had many times.

A look of one who was haunted. Mackenzie backed off more out of curiosity than anything.

Cassandra was more persistent with her curiosity however. "Why doesn't she want to go there. What happened to your other four rangers?"

"You don't want to know.", said Kincaid.

"Kincaid is really sensitive about this subject.", said Alpha. "And I don't want it discussed further!!!.", yelled Kincaid.

He then turned to face the other four rangers who were in the chamber with Alpha. "I'll only say this once, GO HOME!!!" Then he turned and walked out of the power chamber.

The voice of a little boy who said "We can't go home. We have no homes to go back to." stopped Kincaid in his tracks. He turned and say Justin facing him.

It was now Justin's turn to speak. "Whoever this Crucible is, he destroyed our homes and took our families from us. If you leave we have no place else to go."

"What about here?", asked Kincaid.

"This place is not safe.", said Justin. "Alpha came here to get a few things that he said Crucible could not have. But Crucible will come here and we'll be his prisoners."

"Alpha said you have a safe place for us. Somewhere we could go to organize and fight Crucible.", said Cassandra.

"And even if you don't want to fight with us, Alpha said that you know this Crucible guy very well. We could use what you know.", said Adam.

"That and stripping this place dry so the dingledork doesn't get it.", said Mackenzie.

After hearing what the others said Kincaid knew he had no choice but to help even though every fiber told him not to, just run away. Cassandra picked up an impression of Kincaid's inner struggle between himself and his conscience with her telepathy and was curious. She wondered who this Kincaid guy was.

"All right, I'll help. But once we get to the cabin, you're on your own."

Adam and Cassandra smiled and they clasped their hands together. Justin put his hand on top, and even Mackenzie put her hand in the mix.

Kincaid then looked and said "I don't do secret handshakes, let's get to work."

The atmosphere in the old Zeo Chamber seemed to deflate like a balloon. "Ai, yi, yi we have a long way to go.", said Alpha.