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 email@example.com. The character of Cassandra Jensen(the Emerald Ranger) belongs to Helen who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jeffery Kincaid, Lord Crucible, and all other characters relating to them are mine. Should anyone wish to use my characters contact me at email@example.com.
NOTE: The song Crush 'Em is by Megadeth and is found on the soundtrack Universal Soldier:The Return
NOTE: The song Crush 'Em is by Megadeth and is found on the soundtrack Universal Soldier:The Return
On the nightside of an infernal planetoid a figure in red and black crosses the rocky landscape under an infernal sky of orange and black. He feels the heat through his suit even though the suit is supposed to keep his temperature regulated.
The figure is searching for someone. Someone with whom he has unfinished business with. Someone who had given himself to the forces of darkness and evil, and someone whom the figure must destroy.
The figure's name is Jeffrey Kincaid. He is searching for Lord Crucible. And their final battle is approaching.
The Emerald Tigerzord was drifting through space. A victim of the EMP wave that Crucible used. Fortunately, the Emerald Tigerzord had a self-repair program much like the other zords had, and it was almost ready for action.
Cassandra sat in the cockpit of the Emerald Tiger monitioring the systems hoping the program would get finished faster so she could help out Kincaid. Upon completion of that thought her Emerald Crystal glowed brightly and she felt her mind slipping from reality. As soon as the flash faded Cassandra was nowhere to be seen in the cockpit of the Emerald Tiger.
When she got her senses back she found herself wearing her ninja gi standing in a forest with a running stream. "Where am I?", she asked "Is this the crystal?"
Upon asking this question a woman appeared. She hovered over Cassandra with her long hair fluttering in the breeze. "Serena?", Cassandra asked.
"Yes my child. It is I.", Serena said.
"Why am I here?", Cassandra asked. "Kincaid needs my help. I have to go down to help him. So do the other rangers."
"You will go down there soon enough.", Serena said."For it is time for the one to rise."
Kincaid marched across the infernal landscape searching for the downed remnants of the Red Battlezord of Lord Crucible. As he walked across the landscape a song echoed throughout his mind. The song was "Crush em" by Megadeth
After a trek of minutes that seemed like hours he found the crashed ruins over a ridge.
Kincaid did a mega leap to the area and landed close by searching for Crucible's body. He also opened his sences to the spirits that guided him as the watched his back.
They warned him of the evil insane figure approaching behind him, hands ready to fire. When Crucible fired his blast he threw up a force shield that sent the blast in two different directions.
The two former friends looked at each other. "So it has come to this.", Kincaid said.
"And this time, you will die.", Crucible said.
The battle had begun.
Zordon of Eltar had died. He was killed by Ivan Ooze when he destroyed the Command Center and ruptured his time warp. But instead of passing on to his final reward he found himself facing the spirits of the night. The spirits of fallen rangers, mages, and morphin masters that had fallen in battle but gave themselves to the night and it's supernatural air in order to continue to fight the good fight.
"Welcome Zordon of Eltar.", said a mage who had approached him. Zordon remembered the face well.
"Zoltar?", he asked remembering the face of one of the first morphin masters. Zoltar had nodded.
Zoltar then spoke again. "You have passed on to the realm of the spirit. Your fight is over."
"No it isn't.", Zordon said. "The final prophesy has not yet been fulfilled. I shouldn't be here. It's not my time."
"It is no longer your concern.", Zoltar said. "Another will arise to take your place." The other spirits nodded.
"You mean Dimitria?", Zordon said. "She is wise but even if she makes it to the critical point she will not have the power necessary to make the sacrifice. I have to go back."
Before Zoltar could protest a glow had appeared in the supernatural void and six figures had appeared. One in white, one in blue, one in pink, one in yellow, one in black and one in red. Zordon recognized their faces as Tommy, Billy, Kimberly, Aisha, Adam and Rocky.
"Why have you come rangers?", Zoltar asked.
"We've come for Zordon. We're here to take him back.", Tommy said.
"That is not possible.", Zoltar said. "Zordon is dead. Nothing can change that."
"But Zordon is needed back on earth. His job is not yet done.", Kimberly protested.
"What you are asking will upset the balance between life and death.", Zoltar said fighting Kimberly's point. "Are you prepared to grant Zordon immortality?"
"What do you mean?", Adam asked.
Zoltar continued to speak. "Well every time someone dies will you use the great power to ressurect them too. Tommy how would you like to see Bruce Lee come back? He could show you some new moves you haven't seen before. Kimberly, wouldn't you love to hear some new Jim Morrison music? Billy, how about exchanging notes with Einstein? Aisha, I'll bet Dr. Martin Luther King and you would love to exchange notes on peace and unity. Rocky, how would you like to see Gene Roddenberry return to Star Trek? Adam wouldn't you love to meet your great-grandparents?"
"I get your point." said Tommy. A ring of defeat in his voice. "Come on guys we are wasting our time."
As the rangers turned to leave Zoltar spoke again. "Not so fast, I didn't say that I wouldn't allow Zordon to return with you. He mentioned that he did have a role in destiny to fulfil, and I and the other spirits are prepared to let him return to the living world."
"You are?", Aisha exclaimed. The other rangers shared the excitement but Rocky soon felt uneasy. "What's the catch?", he asked.
"I must ask that you surrender the great power.", said Zoltar.
"But that's the source of our ranger powers.", Billy said.
Zoltar smiled. "No, the source of your power is inside yourselves. The Great Power is nothing more than a tool for rangers to use. If you accept my terms and Zordon goes back with you, he will resupply you with the Thunder Powers again."
"And what about the Ninja zords?", Adam asked.
"They will be remanded to the care of another until a later time.", Zoltar said making reference to Ninjor.
"Why do you want the great power?", Kimberly asked.
"Because as long as the great power exists the chance, and temptation, to use it as you are using it now will be too great. It would upset the balance between life and death. By remanding the great power to me and the spirits of the night we keep the balance in place. Also there are two catches to my allowance for Zordon to return with you. One, should you by some means return to me in an effort to resurrect someone again I may ask for a much higher payment than the great power."
"What payment?", Tommy asked.
"That answer is for another time.", Zoltar said. He then turned his attention to Zordon. "As for you, this will be the last time your physicality will be restored to you. Should you return to us again under these circumstances you will become one with us forever."
"I accept the terms.", Zordon said. Zoltar then returned his gaze to the rangers.
"We accept as well.", Tommy said speaking for all of them. And with that the Great Power came from their being and filled the epherial realm Zoltar and his fellow spirits lived in.
"Now it's time for you to return.", Zoltar said and the rangers felt themselves being pulled back towards the light. Zordon quickly followed when Zoltar said "We shall see each other again...my son."
Zordon turned and smiled. "My charges are not as overbearing and self-absorbed as you though eh father?"
Zoltar blushed as his son headed back through the portal and the living world.
"Rangers", said the floating form of Zordon reformed back in the time warp.
The other rangers jumped for joy at the return of their mentor. "It is good to see you too."
Tommy, Kat, Kim and Jessica were working on trying to get the Night Ultrazord up and running again when all of a sudden they too felt the flash of light that took them out of reality leaving an empty cockpit on the Night Ultrazord as they too vanished.
The four Night Rangers found themselves in the same forest that Cassandra was in, and Cassandra stood waiting.
"Hey guys, she said. "Welcome to the junction."
Crucible stood ready to shoot out an energy bolt but stopped when Kincaid said. "Wouldn't that be too easy?"
"What do you mean too easy?", Crucible said.
"Well when you blasted Krolos, Anna and Ishalla you just did it. Didn't you take any satisfaction out of it?"
"I took satisfaction that I killed them.", Crucible said.
"But you never bested them in a fight did you?", Kincaid said hoping Crucible picked up on what he was trying to do.
"Are you challenging me to a shootfight?", Crucible said. Kincaid nodded.
"Very well. I'll best you before I defeat you.", and with that Crucible dropped into his fighting stance. Kincaid and Crucible circled each other for a long time before he threw the first punch which Kincaid blocked.
The fight had begun.
"Hey Zhane do you copy?", Andros said over the commlink.
Zhane's voice was barely readable. "I hear...Andros...barely...comm...half...functional."
Andros responded. "We're in the same boat too. The self repair program is running but it will take a while."
Just then Andros's team heard "What's that?"
"Andros look.", Carlos said pointing to the glow in the Explorer 2. When the glow faded Cassie said. "There are no life forms in the Explorer 2."
"WHAT?!!What happened to them?", Andros asked. Just then he and his team felt the same reality bending glow as they too dissapeared from their own megazord as they were teleported to the junction.
In a base in the ten nebulas belt the Phantom Ranger, Trey the Gold Ranger and the Alien Rangers of Aquitar lay in their beds as they healed from their injuries. Emily stood nearby casting vigil. he made her way to each one until she came to Trey as she took his hand as he lay unconscious. Alpha 6 was on the nightwatch as he sat by the console that monitored the vitals.
Giving in to hhis need for a battery charge Alpha went for the power socket near the wall and he plugged himself in. When he left the camera took notice of a strange glow that filled the camera view.
When he returned to her station she found the Phantom Ranger, Trey, Emily, and the Alien Rangers had all disapeared. "Ai, yi, yi, yi, yi where did they all go?"
Kincaid had Crucible in an armbar takedown and threw him to the floor. Crucible had reversed it by rolling over then contorting his body so that his free arm could deliver a chop to the throat.
The suit protected Kincaid from permanent damage but Crucible did manage to get the offensive. He delivered a series of kicks and punches thatthrew Kincaid back staggering until he regained his senses and threw a punch into Crucible's own throat. Crucible was sent back staggering until he was sent to the floor. Then Kincaid wrapped Crucible's leg around his own and put him into a Sharpshooter leglock.
"Do you give?", Kincaid asked.
A close range shot in the back was the answer to that question as Crucible fired an energy bolt into Kincaid. The ranger suit provided some protection but he still felt the pain.
"Enough hand to hand fighting. It's time to get busy.", Crucible said with his fists glowing with power.
Storm clouds started to form behind him as Crucible upped the ante.
"I've got partial sensors on line.", Billy said.
"Can you scan the other rangers?", Jason asked. "How are they holding up?"
Billy turned away from the scanner in shock. "I've scanned the Emerald Tiger & Explorer Megazords. There is no one in them."
"What where did they go?", Zack asked.
The communications board came on. "Guys are you there?". The voice belonged to Adam.
"Yeah Adam were here.", Jason called.
"I've done some scans of the Dragon Megazord 2 and Janus the Duo Warrior. Their cockpits read empty."
"The Explorer Megazords and Emerald Tiger read the same.", Trini said.
"WHAT?!!!", Adam said in shock.
"Guys, add Roadbuster to the list of Inert Zords. Justin's gone too.", Billy said.
"You hear that Adam?", Jason called. No answer came.
"Adam?", still no answer.
It wasn't long before the reality bending glow appeared and took Jason and his crew as well.
Karone found herself floating towards a light. She didn't know where she was going. Her last memory was fighting her brother Andros, or rather Astronema fighting Andros while Karone was forced to watch from the back of her mind unable to influence the outcome. Then came her death and the wave of good from Zordon and she found herself floating towards a light.
As she floated she could make out faces. Hideous faces that were of the evil warriors and warlords of history. Some she knew of and must have been recent additions. King Mondo and the Gadgetry family, Goldar, Darkonda, Ivan Ooze, Master Vile and the worst of the lot Dark Specter.
"Welcome Astronema.", Dark Specter had said. "Welcome to Hell."
Karone shook her head "No, I don't want this. I didn't choose to be evil."
"It doesn't matter if you choose it or not.", Darkonda said. "Your actions were evil. And now that you have perished in battle you are one of the dark ones now. And your choice now is to join us or suffer."
"NOOO!", Karone screamed as she floated towards the evil ones.
"She said no.", said a voice from behind her and she felt her fall stop. Soon she and the villians turned to look at the spirits of the night. Zoltar taking the lead with their newest addition Zordon standing next to him. The other warriors and mages of good who had fallen stood with them.
"She had not given herself freely to the dark forces.", Zoltar had said. "You had taken her choices away and forced her down the path of darkness. When she was able to choose again she chose the forces of good. Your claim is invalidated."
"She commited evil deeds.", Specter had said. "She is ours as is our right to claim her."
"Do you wish to back the claim with a challenge?", Zoltar had said. "Because we will not allow you to take her."
One of the ancient Luciferian battlelords came forward. "Such an action would cause chaos amoung the universe if not all out destroy all good and evil. You're bluffing."
Zoltar moved forward with a gaze as hard as stone. "I never bluff."
"Wait.", said Zordon. All the spirits and Karone turned to face him. "There is another way."
"What is it", Specter asked turning to face Zordon.
"She will be sent back to Earth to live out the remainder of her life. When she returns to us again her fate will be judged. And if she returns with a balance leaned towards good or evil then that will be the side that claims her."
At the end of Zordon's decree, the dead villians huddled together and Specter had said, "She will be allowed to return."
Karone smiled. She was being given a second chance but her fears raised when she heard the villians whispering. "Do not worry. We still have contact with the Luciferian Empire. They are our pawns. They will deliver her back to us."
Zordon knew what the villians were thinking and said, "Do not fear Karone. The rangers will protect you."
And with that Karone was sent back to the land of the living where her brother Andros, and her friends the Astro Rangers were waiting.
Jason and the Dragon Rangers were the last to arrive at the place Cassandra called 'the junction'. Upon seeing Jason, Emily ran up to him and hugged him. "Jason what is this place? Why are we here?"
"I don't know Emily. But I think it's time we found out." Jason looked around and saw all the rangers that were in the battle. Andros, Ashley, Karone, Carlos, T.J. Cassie, Zhane, Justin, Bruce, Tanya, Mackenzie, Justin, Cassandra, Tommy, Katherine, Kimberly, and Jessica, as well as Rocky, Aisha, Adam, Billy, Trini and Zack who came with him.
Also at the junction were the Alien Rangers from Aquitar. Delphine, Corcus, Cestro, Tideus, Aurico, and Cestria who wasn't a ranger. Also there were Trey and Phantom Ranger. 'Even here he has the mask on.', Jason thought.
As they all looked around they noticed one who was missing--Kincaid. Where was he? And why were they here.
I will answer that question said a woman who floated down. As will one other
A light formed in the junction to reveal...
"ZORDON!!!", everyone exclaimed.
"Yes rangers. It is I Zordon. Welcome to the junction."
"The junction? What's that?", Billy asked.
"The junction is a place where all things intercect. Life, death, reality, the past, the present, it is considered to be one of the cornerstones of the universe.", Zordon said. "There are many junctions throughout the cosmos, this is but one of them."
"Why were we brought here Zordon?", Andros asked.
This time it was Serena who spoke. Because it is almost time for the one to come forth.
"The one who would rise to stand against Crucible.", Mackenzie said. "But wait a minute, isn't that Kincaid?"
The answer Serena gave confused the rangers. No...and Yes.
The weather had erupted in insanity. Kincaid and Crucible had pulled out all the stopps. Intense cold, Lightning, Earthquakes, Tornadoes, even taking the air from the other's personal space. For each action that one had taken, the other countered.
'We have become evenly matched.', Crucible thought. 'I need to break the deadlock.' And with that Crucible turned his thoughts inward and expanded his mind outward till he touched the minds of those in the Luciferian empire. As he touched the minds he drew in their power, knowledge, memories, and their very life force and drew it all into himself. As he felt his own personal power grow those in the Luciferian side of the fleet felt their lives slip away.
Soon all those who had served with the fleet of the Luciferian empire had died. Boltax, Domia, Stylor, Vorath, Korus, Eros, and all the others right down to the systems techs died. Only Crucible remained.
Crucible then floated over Kincaid eminating power unlike any that he's ever faced. The armor looked more sinister red than usual and more lethal as well. Kincaid felt the fear rising in him but he tried to put it aside to get the job done. He called forth lightning that struck Crucible straight in the chest. When the smoke cleared Kincaid saw a smiling Crucible and no damage to his new armor.
"My turn.", Crucible said as he went on the attack. First he used force blows that were a million times more powerful than normal. Kincaid was sent staggering back until a final blow knocked him on the ground.
Crucible then hovered in the air with the limp form of Jeffrey Kincaid floating up with him. He looked at the beaten Red Ranger as he hovered close by.
"I knew of the prophesy too.", Crucible said. "I couldn't believe that it referred to you." He sneered at the last sentence. "Perhaps the prophesy should have said 'when all have fallen...they will remain fallen.'" And after that Crucible decided to try his augmented powers in a new fashion.
Crucible turned his awareness inward and looked at Kincaid in a new light. He saw a body held together by bones and cells. With an act of will Crucible turned his focus towards Kincaid's left forearm and with an act of will snapped it like a twig. The howl of agony from Kincaid was deafening.
Crucible then turned his awareness toards Kincaid's right leg and snapped it too. He then went down the list of bones to break and snapped them until he came to the skull. For that Crucible raised back his fist and slammed it into the bone cracking it.
After the punch Kincaid's body fell limp like a puppet with it's strings cut. Jeffrey Michael Kincaid was dead.
Crucible then set the body down on the ground and brought forth rocks that were used to pile over the body as he buiried his foe.
"I win.", Crucible said as he turned away from Kincaid's grave and flew away.
He did not notice the light coming from beneath the rocks or the rocks falling in.
A flash of light appeared in the junction. The rangers hoped to see Kincaid appear. He did, but not in the way he was.
A lot of the rangers were shocked at the sight. Delphine then went to feel his pulse. "He's dead.", she said sadly.
Mackenzie loked down at the broken body of the red Night Ranger and held it in her arms. Tears started to form in her eyes and she cried. Ashley and Cassandra tried to offer her comfort. Mackenzie wasn't even aware they were close by.
"This isn't right.", Zhane said.
"I know Zhane. But it's the way things are.", Zordon had said.
"If only we still had the great power.", Kimberly whispered. Tommy heard this and remembered what Zoltar said in the ephirial realm.
"Zordon,", Tommy said. "Zoltar once said that if we needed to we could resurrect someone again, but that there would be a price to pay." Mackenzie heard this and looked up at Zordon.
"Yes Tommy, Zoltar did say that.", Zordon said.
"Whatever the price is I will gladly pay it.", Mackenzie had said.
"Not so fast Mackenzie. The price is not as simple as you might think. If you wish to resurrect Kincaid you must ask how badly do you want him back."
"What do you mean Zordon?", Cassandra asked.
"I mean that Mackenzie would have to offer her own life in order to have his back.", Zordon said. The rangers were shocked.
"A life for a life?", Andros had said.
"Such is the way of the universe." Zordon said.
Cassie walked up to Mackenzie and Kincaid's body and said, "Mackenzie you don't have to offer yourself to have Kincaid back."
"What?", Mackenzie asked. "Why?"
"Because I'm going to offer myself.",,Cassie then looked up at Zordon. "Zordon, I'll offer my life in exchange for his."
Upon hearing this Phantom came forward. "Cassie, no."
"Phantom I must.", Cassie said. "Mackenzie deserves a chance at happiness and we need Kincaid's knowledge and power. If sacrificing myself for them is the only way to do it then I will."
"Then I will offer my life as well.", Phantom had said. "I cannot live without you. I love you Cassie Chan. Our souls are one. If one of us goes, then we all go."
Cassie was surprised at what Phantom had said and she hugged him. They were ready to face Zordon when Andros and Ashley said "Stop." Cassie and Phantom turned to face them.
"If you're going to offer yourself for Kincaid and Mackenzie. We'll do the same.", Ashley said. Andros nodded. Then Karone and Zhane came forward. "Without you two it wouldn't be the same.", Zhane said. "We'll offer ourselves as well."
"I've been seeking redemption for past evil for a long time. My soul may not be much but if it will help I'll offer it.", Karone said.
"If one of us goes we all go.", Carlos said with T.J. standing next to him. All the Astros except for Mackenzie spoken for.
Bruce spoke next. "Jeff is the closest thing to a brother I've got. I'd gladly trade my life for his."
Cassandra, Adam, and Justin then came forward. "All for one and one for all.", Cassandra said.
"We'll offer ourselves too.", Adam said.
Jessica was shocked by her little brother's actions and went to him. "Are you crazy Justin? What are you thinking going off to the afterlife alone?" She then had a smile to her face and said, "So I guess I'll have to go with you."
The Alien Rangers, and Trey came next. "Even though we have not fought with Kincaid, he has fought with valor and honor. He sould continue to do so.", Delphine said.
"If we must offer ourselves, then so be it.", Trey said.
Jason and his Dragon Rangers conferred then they too faced Zordon. "We too offer ourselves for Kincaid and Mackenzie."
"NO!!!", shouted Emily who came running up to Jason and hugged him. She then looked up and said, "If you're going then so am I." Jason looked in Emily's face and smiled.
"Bro, you and the guys aren't going anywhere without us.", Tommy had said. Katherine and Kimberly nodded in agreement.
Zordon then looked at Macenzie. "The others are willing to offer their own lives for Kincaid. But the question still stands Mackenzie. Are you willing to offer your life to save his?"
Mackenzie looked down with her tear streaked face at Kincaid's limp form. She loved him with all her heart and would do anything for him, like she knew he would do for her. Looking up at Zordon she gave her answer.
"Yes, I will."
Zordon then smiled at the rangers. "Excellent Rangers you have made me proud. Now stand back."
Mackenzie backed away from Kincaid's body as a glow surrounded it. Inside the glow bones were healed, as well as any other injuries Kincaid had sustained. His ranger uniform was mended and soon after the glow faded Jeffery Kincaid opened his eyes.
"Kincaid?", Mackenzie asked. Kincaid then went up to Mackenzie and kissed her. "IT IS YOU!!", she exclaimed as she held him tight.
"Thank you Zordon.", Kincaid looked up at the floating head of the morphin mentor. Zordon said "You would have done the same for her.", to Kincaid.
"And for any other ranger as well. If in the same position, I'd trade my life too.", Kincaid said.
"Wait I don't understand.", Rocky said. "We offered our own lives for Kincaid but we're still here. I don't feel any different." The other rangers disagreed.
Nor should you Rocky, Serena said. You did not have to literally give your lives to have Kincaid back. But the fact that you were willing to do it was enough.
"Serena is correct", Zordon said. "You were all willing to sacrifice yourselves selflessly for another. You have all demonstrated unity of spirit. You are all the one."
"What?", all the rangers said.
"You are all of one mind. One spirit. One cause. You are all the one who will rise to defeat Crucible.", Zordon said. The other Rangers looked on to each other stunned.
"All that remains is for all of you to truly become one.", Zordon said.
Crucible stod on top of the mountain. At least his body did, his mind was elsewhere entirely.
In the spirit realm of the dark ones Crucible faced a council of mages, departed warlords, and evil creatures of all sorts. Creatures that were none too happy with him.
"What have you done?", said King Mondo. You have practically killed everyone in the Luciferian empire. There aren't enough followers to run a pirate ship in the universe."
"I merely took their power for my own.", Crucible said. "It's not like they truly knew how to use it."
A mage stepped forward and said, "How did you accomplish this feat?"
Crucible smiled. "One of the things that I looked at during my stay with the empire are the black scrolls of Zanzibar. When I was imprisoned on Hades, I found myself thinking about the knowledge and how to make it work."
All the dark ones were scared at the mention of the name. Zanzibar was considered the first dark mage whose evil outmatched all those in the realm put together. Crucible moved towards the dark ones. A sadistic gleam in his eyes.
"I found out how Zanzibar acquired his power.", Crucible said. "He reached in to the center of one's core. The core of the soul, the core of their power, the core of their personality. And once he was inside he would grab their core." Crucible described the action in every detail as he did the action himself to all the mages and dark ones.
And once he had their cores", Crucible continued. "He would take it out of their bodies", he said apparently ripping their spectral essence out of their astral forms and holding them in his hand. The ghostly manifestations that represented the spirit forms of the dark ones scattered across the ephirial realm. "And once he had their cores, Zanzibar would take their power into himself and add it to his own." Crucible did so and felt his power increase exponentially.
The look in his eyes also said he was a lot more insane but it wasn't like he was using his sanity anymore anyway.
Serena felt the shift in the supernatural forces and it filled her with dread. I do not sense the dark ones anymore.
"Serena What has happened?", Cassandra asked.
Serena's eyes opened with shock.Crucible has collected them.
"What?", Kincaid said in disbelief.
He has taken their minds, their souls, and their power into himself. He has become completely evil, and completely insane.
"Then we cannot wait any longer.", Zordon said. He then turned to face the rangers. "Are all of you ready for the process?"
"Process? What Process?", Tanya asked.
"The process for the rising of the one. For the one to rise all of you must merge yourselves:mind, body and soul to form one being." The rangers were shocked to hear Zordon say that.
"We merge together?", Andros said.
"What will happen to us?", Cestria asked.
"When and if you become the one all your individual barriers will come down.", Zordon said. "No secrets will be kept from the other. What one knows all of you will know.
"Also your powers will join together to empower the one. And the spirits of the night will complete the merger. All the skills. All the power. All the knowledge of the others will be yours to know."
"I'm not sure about this.", Ashley said. "I think I speak for all of us when I say I like being my own person."
"I understand your feelings Ashley.", Zordon said. "And I can assure you that the effects are not permanent. When Crucible is defeated all of you will return back to your individual states."
"What of our memories?", Billy asked. "Will we remember what the others remember?"
"No Billy. The mind will block off those memories until the individual mind believes it ready to deal with them. Until then, they will be stored in the subconscious.
"Now time is short. The merger must take place. Do all of you accept or yield?"
The rangers knew what their answer would be and they all, plus Emily, formed a circle. The rangers focused their being on the center of the circle and felt their thoughts and minds intermingle with that of the other rangers. Kincaid felt the depths of Mackenzie's love for him and she felt his for her. They also knew Ashley and Andros's love as did everyone in the circle. All felt Kimberly's love for Tommy and Kat's as well. And Tommy knew Kim would always love her even though Kat was the one he was destined for. The brotherly bond between Jason and Tommy was shared by all. They were all one family...one family of rangers. United in one cause and one mind.
The rangers felt other minds as well join the circle. Minds of those who had passed on. Mages, sorcerors, former rangers of long ago. And all their secrets, knowledge and lives were for the rangers to know.
Kincaid felt the minds of three of his dearest friends join the mix as well. Anna, Krolos and Ishalla joined themselves into the merger of minds. Zordon added his essence as well which pleased the other rangers.
When all was said and done the rangers were nowhere to be seen. And in their place stood a figure in white with gold trim. The uniform gave no sign of gender. Gender did not exist in this being. It had illuminated a rainbow light of red, yellow, black, blue, pink, green, white, purple, silver and gold as it eminated power signatures of many rangers.
Where once stood many rangers and the spirits of the night now stood...THE ONE.
Crucible stood atop a mountain allowing his senses to take in everything. The smells, the taste of the air. Then he spread his senses beyond his scope and he saw the universe in it's entirety. The minds, the lives, the worlds all fallen into chaos. All filled with people who hurt others who step on the little guy to get ahead.
'Being a ranger wasn't enough for me.', Crucible thought. 'I had to go beyond the rules and so-called morality in order to achieve peace. To destroy evil, I had to become evil. And now I have the power to bring peace to the cosmos. No one will hurt anyone else again...like I was hurt.
Crucible narrowed his senses to focus on one planet, and one person in particular. The planet's name was Earth, and the person's name was Leslie Carolyn Sanders. Once he loved her with all his heart until she sent him down into a spiral of despair that he never recovered from. He reached inside her mind and soul to the core of her being and started to squeeze it with an act of pure will.
And on Earth Leslie, or Carolyn depending on whether she wanted to use her first or middle name that day, felt herself slipping away until she suddenly was snapped back to reality wondering what caused her moment of weakness never knowing who was responsible for it in the first place.
Meanwhile on the planetoid Crucible felt a blast jar him out of his trance and ten miles across the rocky landscape. When he regained his senses he looked up and saw a being in white and gold eminating rainbow light.
He saw the one approaching him.
Crucible looked up at the one and tried to put his game face on. "So you're the one huh? I'm not impressed."
The one did not make any acknowledging gestures.
"What you don't talk?", Crucible asked.
The one came forward and in the voice of many voices said We talk.
Then Crucible felt a mind burst enter his mind and try to strike his very being. He tried to repel but the one was too powerful. Crucible turned inside his anger and released in full force into one mind burst that drove both combatants across the landscape. When the connection was broken Crucible managed to pick up on the mental impression of who the one was. What he saw was unbelievable. Many minds forged into one being a few among his friends.
Crucible tried to sort out and identify the minds until he recognized three he couldn't believe. "I killed you. I KILLED YOU!!!!"
With that Crucible moved towards the one in a fit of rage. When he was close enough the one raised it's leg and delivered a powerful cresent kick that sent Crucible sprawling back to the ground.
The one was not about to let the moment pass up so it renewed the attack using attack styles from several different rangers keeping Crucible so disorganized that he couldn't organize an effective counter attack.
Crucible then flew away and sought to try his most difficult trick as he reached in to the one's soul and crush it. When he got to the realm that represented center of the one's being he saw not thirty or so rangers waiting to be killed but the faces of all the spirits as well. The spirits he once served.
Crucible tried to expand his power out in an effort to annihilate all he saw. Unaware that the collective consciousness of the one made a connection into Crucible's soul. The one felt the presence of the dark ones come upon Crucible and with a force of collective will sent the dark ones away not to the dark spirit realm but to await their final reward in the afterlife. The dark ones were no more.
All that remained was Crucible.
Kincaid then came forward and looked down at the man who was once his friend and leader. "Mark Kinega. you have betrayed the ranger code of honor. You have used power for personal gain and effected the subjugation and murder of not only your fellow rangers but of millions of civilizations as well. All of us here have decided to deliver final judgement.
Cassandra then stepped forward. "You will undergo death by personality. All you are, All you were, and all you would be will be extinguished."
Mackenzie then came forward. "Your mind will become a blank slate, and will be rebuilt from the ground up. Hopefully into a less fearful monster and a more benign human being.
Bruce then stepped forward. "Your power will be scattered across the cosmos from whence it came. Never to menace anyone collectively again."
"Such is the will of the one. Such is the will that will be carried out.", Ashley said.
"Let it begin.", Justin said. And all the rangers and spirits of the night raised their hands and joined their power directed at Crucible.
"No...NOOOO!!!", screamed the being once known as Mark Kinega now Lord Crucible as his soul, spirit at personality dissapeared forever.
On the planetiod, a tremendous explosion lit up the sky and spread across the stars as Crucible's power dispersed into the starry expances of space.
On the planetoid a set of eyes opened on the dirt floor. Jeffrey Kincaid looked up and saw his own hands again. He looked aroun and saw the other rangers coming to as well. Kincaid looked around and saw...
"MACKENZIE!!!", he said as they rushed into each other's arms. "I can't believe it!", she exclaimed. "We won Kincaid!!WE WON!!!"
Kincaid then looked into her eyes and said softly, "Call me Jeff." Mackenzie then smiled and they kissed with all the love they could muster and then some.
Soon all the rangers ran to greet each other. Andros found Ashley. Cassie found Phantom. Jason hugged Emily. Tanya went to Bruce. Tommy and Kat found each other. Kimberly and Carlos shared an embrace. Billy went over to Cestria soon everyone was celebrating.
Kincaid looked over to see the limp form of he who was once Mark Kinega--Lord Crucible--Red Night Ranger laying down on the ground. His eyes reflected a vacancy of mind.
"There are no thoughts inside.", Cassandra said as she came up to Kincaid. "He is gone." The other rangers came forward and looked down at the fallen form. Kincaid picked up the limp body and held it in his arms. As he was about to speak a figure emerged from the sky above. A figure that formed an image of a head.
"Zordon.", everyone said.
"Congratulations Power Rangers.", Zordon said. "You have saved the universe from the darkest evil known. At long last the Luciferian empire has fallen. And now it is time for me to say goodbye to all of you."
"Goodbye Zordon?", Zack asked. "What do you mean?"
"Since the Luciferian empire had fallen the circle of evil has been broken.", Zordon said. "There is no more need for the spirits of the night to continue the fight. It is time for me and all the others to see what lies beyond."
Andros came forward. "Zordon you can't go. You are still needed here." The other rangers shared his empathy.
Zordon empathized with Andros and the other rangers. "I fear I must Andros. For me to stay would be to defy a natural order of the universe. All things must come to an end sometime in their lives. This time is mine.
"Do not despair, my book will continue to serve as guide for future generations of rangers. Now step forward please Jeffrey Kincaid."
Kincaid came forward and looked up at Zordon. "You have fought well with honor and distinction. You have embarked on a journey where you faced your personal demons and found the light on the other side of your darkness. You have also faced evil and never surrendered. I am proud of you."
All Kincaid could say was "Thank you Zordon."
"Your Night Ranger morphers will remain functional.", Zordon said. "Even though there will be no spirits to call upon the spirit realm has much power that can still be used. But since the Luciferian empire is gone, it might be a good idea to retire the powers until such time as they will be needed again. And now there are a few friends who would like to say goodbye to you."
And with that three lights formed with three figures walking through. Kincaid recognized them as Ishalla, Anna and Krolos. He went over and hugged his three departed friends. Ishalla then took Kincaid's hand and said. "One day we will be reunited. But until then, live your life to the fullest."
Kincaid nodded, "I will."
"You better or I'll come back and kick your butt.", Anna said. Kincaid then went to shake Krolos's hand. "We will wait for you.", was all he said. And soon all three of them joined Zordon as they headed straight into the sky and dissapeared from sight.
Kincaid then turned to face the other rangers and said. "Let's go home."
And home we went.
When all the rangers got back to earth there were parties going on everywhere. Most of us started out in Angel Grove but when we didn't see Kincaid or Bruce there we looked around and found a note that said 'There's a party going on right here' making reference to their home town of Port Clinton. So we all packed up our things and headed out there.
Talk about dancing in the streets. There was an electricity all over the planet and Port Clinton was no different. Kimberly, Ashley, Kat, and Cassie all got the shopping bug and checked out the seaside shops that re-opened on the island of Put-in-Bay. Everyone also took the island tours and also headed up to Canada.
Fireworks lit up the sky constantly until there weren't anymore left. Music, dancing and romancing were everywhere. The whole party lasted for up to two weeks. Then we resumed our lives.
The only productive thing the slave labor on the planets provided was there wasn't much rebuilding to do. So the people of earth were able to finish rather quickly. There were also some surplus equipment left over from the Luciferian siege, and after reconditioning was used to help become the technical arm of the GSA, or Galactic Security Force, which was the peacekeeping and security arm of the alliance between Aquitar, KO-35, Triforia and Earth.
One of the projects that was sponsered by the GSA was the Terra Venture project. With the help of the Kerovans, Triforians and Aquitarians the colony ship was finished in record time. It was launched into space and found a new world to settle, and a new civilization to live in peace with. The people of Terra Venture sought peace. They were tired of war.
I heard there was some evil witch named Trakeena and her old man(and I use the term loosly-since he was a giant bug) Scorpius were harrassing the colonists because a new team of rangers were chosen for the Quasar sabers and the Lights of Orion. And when he couldn't get their power he started attacking the colony. I think his rationale was from that old Steven King movie where the nutjob says "Give me what I want and I'll go away." No thank you said the rangers.
Scorpius was killed by the red ranger at the time and Trakeena took over. Terra Venture barely made it to a planet called Mirinoi where the people were turned to stone by one of Scorpius's goons. When the rangers made it there they freed the people and they have put together quite the civilization.
When I think of Mirinoi I think of something Gene Rodenberry(Yeah the guy who created Star Trek) once said "The true course of the evolution of a species lies not in our ability to start wars but rather to prevent them." I think the people of Mirinoi and Terra Venture are living proof of Rodenberry's quote.
But I'm getting away from things aren't I? What happened to the rest of the team? Well...
Andros and Ashley . They now have two children which they named after two of Kincaid's night ranger team. A son named Krolos, and a daughter named Anna. Apparently Andros and Krolos were friends once. And Ashley chose the name of another Yellow Ranger for her daughter. I think Anna and Krolos may oneday go into the family business.
Cassandra and Adam got married. And Jeff trusted them with the Dragon Ranger Powers. He said that since he had no use for them that they could double as a wedding present. They thanked Kincaid and left to have their own life together.
Bruce and Tanya went back to Iocaste and ran the shootfighting rink together. But things didn't stop there. Tanya started a crusade to 'clean up Iocaste' and tit surprisingly suceeded. It's not the pleasure planet of the universe but it's not the sewer it used to be either.
Justin and Jessica went back to live with their father. Before Jessica left however Jeff, Tommy, Kimberly, Katherine and Jessica created the lost pink, black, and yellow morphers before the powers were retired...for a while. As the appearance of Scorpius proved there are always more gators in the bayou.
Kimberly and Carlos surprisingly got close, while Tommy and Katherine got married. Jason and Emily were also married together. It was the first time I ever saw a three way wedding.
Mark Kinega came back to the land of the living. His mind was a blank slate for the longest time. Eventually he started a life of his own in Washington State. He runs a boat charter service and has a son of his own. And he has no memory of ever being Crucible. That is a true blessing.
And me, well Jeff and I are living happily in Port Clinton. I remember seeing him with our daughter Elizabeth Marie and son Daniel Benjamin in his lap watching the sun come up over Lake Erie. They're both of age to go looking into the 'family business as well. Danny looks suited to become the red Night Ranger while Lizzie is ready to take on my role as the White Astro. I hope she loves flying the Astro Viper as much as I did when I was her age.
Yes the Explorer Zords are still around. After the battle they were remanded to the Astro Rangers full time so they had a Zord force again. Even though the Astro powers were retired, they were called back into use from time to time as were the night powers as well.
Every now and then Cassandra, Adam, Justin, Ashley, Bruce, Jeff and I would come together and do 'one last mission for old times sake.' It seemed like we did plenty of those before we finally settled down.
Jeff is keeper of the Night Powers and even though there are no spirit guardians now, they still draw power from the supernatural forces of the night. I still have my White Astro Morpher as do the other Astro rangers. Adam guards the Dragon Powers until he finds someone worthy of them, and until the next monster baddie shows up. Cassandra still has the Emerald Crystal and is ready to pass it on to her child when the time is right. Kermit and I still keep in touch.
Jeff is great with the kids. He loves them with all his heart. I look at him now, and I compare him to the brooding teenager I saw all those years ago and there is one thing I know for sure.
Jeffrey Kincaid is alive and he's come home.
Mackenzie Rose Dekalb-Kincaid July 23, 2023