"Well, that's the general idea," Joseph Oliver said, nodding. Tommy frowned at his father, and leaned back into his chair.
"I don't get it. If this Zedd character's been under the US for some twenty years, why hasn't he begun his attack?"
"Most likely he's playing it safe," Dimitria answered, "He may have much in warriors and weapons, but he doesn't know what Dulcea and Zordon have prepared for him on Earth. He may be waiting, trying to get a foothold on the homeworld before trying to conquer Earth. He must be the ruler of Eltar before he can expand Eltar's empire."
"I just... can't believe all this," Tommy muttered, "Its... mind-boggling..."
"I know how you feel," Joseph said, "Trust me, it took awhile for me to accept it all."
"Well, from what you told me, you believed Mom and Dimitria immediately," Tommy pointed out. Joseph grinned.
"Your mother has an incredible skill at logic. What she told me made perfect sense. I really wish she was here right now... she'd know exactly how to convince you."
"Where... where is she now?" Tommy asked quietly, "You already said she's not dead, like I always believed."
Joseph nodded. "Yeah, I'm getting to that part. Okay, where was I?"
"You just met Dimitria and Mom, and you offered to help them out."
"Right. Well, Dimitria and Dulcea took up shack in my basement, and set up their communications devices to contact King Zordon, and warn him of Zedd's plan. The only problem was, the communicator was from a fighter ship, and therefore wasn't made to send really long-distance communique. The girls tried to recalibrate it, but without Eltarian technology, they couldn't do much. They finally did manage to send a message to Eltar, but it would take months, if not years, to reach its destination."
"Wow," Tommy muttered, "Eltar is that far?"
"Eltar is about a third of the distance across the galaxy," Dimitria said, "It would take centuries to reach it from here, even at light speed. That is why Eltarians depend on hyperspeed technology, which is exceedingly faster than the speed of light, to carry us, as well as our messages, across the galaxy."
"Anyway," continued Joseph, "Dulcea and Dimitria were basically marooned on Earth, with no way of getting home. So they stayed with me."
"And if memory serves, you and Dulcea became very close very quickly," Dimitria said with a playful grin.
"Uh..." Joseph responded, blushing slightly, "hey, who's telling the story here?"
Dimitria laughed a bit, and gestured Joseph to go on.
"Thank you," he said. He then turned his attention to Tommy, who was wearing an amused grin. "Anyway, like I said, Dulcea and Dimitria were stuck on Earth for awhile. It turned out to be over two years before we finally received an answer. Zordon sent a ship to come to Earth to bring Dulcea and Dimitria home. That ship didn't actually arrive for a couple months more, so they were here on Earth for nearly three years. During all that time, Dulcea and I fell in love, got married, and had you. Still, the ship came to bring them home..."
Fifteen Years Earlier...
It was three in the morning, and the quiet town of Angel Grove was sound asleep. However, one household was wide awake. Joseph, Dulcea, and Tommy Oliver, as well as Dulcea's lifelong friend Dimitria, waited on the porch of their home, standing in the rain. They didn't need to wait long, as a small ship, about the size of a minivan, lowered from the cloudy sky. Surprisingly, the ship made very little noise, and thereby managed to avoid waking the rest of the town. The ship hovered just a few feet above the grass of the Oliver's back yard, and a ramp stretched from the open door to the ground. Dulcea's grip unconsciously tightened on her son's hand, as the group watched a figure descend from the ship. He had jet black hair, combed back neatly, and piercing green eyes. He wore a white uniform, identical to the uniforms both Dulcea and Dimitria wore when they first arrived on Earth, three years earlier.
"Dulcea, Dimitria," the man said, "Zordon sent me to retrieve you as soon as he received your message. He was worried that you had died."
"We almost did, Dante," Dulcea said, releasing her son's hand and slowly descending the porch steps, "How is my father?"
Dante's face hardened. "He is aging rather rapidly now," he responded, "That is one reason why he wanted you to return to Eltar. He fears he won't live long enough to lead the battle against Zedd."
Dulcea frowned. "That's probably what my uncle wants-- to wait until the King is dead before making his next move. Then we must leave immediately."
"We have a galaxy-class cruiser orbitting Earth," Dante reported, "We made sure to keep special cloaks up, to insure Lord Zedd's underground station doesn't detect our arrival. Still, we must make haste, Princess."
Dulcea nodded. "Give me one moment."
Dante nodded, and boarded the ship. Dulcea turned to Joseph, who was still standing on the porch, holding Tommy's hand tightly. Both Dulcea's and Joseph's eyes were glassy.
"So," Joseph said quietly, "you really are leaving me."
Dulcea looked hurt. "I have no choice, my love. Eltar needs me, to rule as a princess should."
"But... we need you too."
"I... I know," Dulcea whispered, tears streaking down her cheeks, joining the rainwater, "but the fate of two worlds, both yours and mine, is at stake. I must take my place on Eltar, but at the same time, Earth must be protected from evil. That is why I cannot take you and Tommy with me. I'm sorry."
Joseph nodded, and wrapped his wife in a farewell hug, along with a tearful kiss. When they parted, Dulcea wiped her eyes again, and reached beneath her shirt collar. She pulled out a gold chain, with her ermine Power Coin hanging from it like a pendant. She placed it in Joseph's palm, and closed his fingers around it.
"Give this to Tommy," she said, "when he turns seventeen. Once he becomes a man, he will be Earth's first line of defense against my uncle's forces. I can only pray he doesn't make his first wave of attacks before then."
"Will he know how to use it?" Joseph asked. Dulcea nodded.
"The Power will always protect him, as it had protected me. His spirit animal will guide him, as mine has always guided me. Also, once he becomes the White Ranger, he will be magically bonded to all the White Rangers before him. That includes me. I will know when my son has gained the Power, and I will instruct him myself. Please, care for him. And remember me."
"How could I ever forget you?" Joseph asked, wiping his eyes. Dulcea wrapped her arms around her husband again, and then knelt on the floor, and looked into her son's eyes.
"My sweet boy," she whispered, brushing his bangs out of his face, "My heart. The fate of this planet, as well as the rest of the galaxy, will be in your hands. You will succeed. I have faith in you, and the Power that will be with you. Remember me, my son. Remember."
That said, she kissed the child's forehead, and rose to her feet. She then turned to Dimitria, and took her friend's hands.
"Dimitria, my closest friend through trials and tribulations. I will miss you dearly."
Dimitria blinked. "I thought I was going with you!"
Dulcea shook her head. "You can't. You must stay here, with Joseph and Tommy. You must promise me that you will take care of them, and help raise Tommy as I would have, had I been able to stay. Be a mother for him. Please."
Dimitria nodded. "I will not fail you, my Princess."
Dulcea smiled, and tightly hugged her friend. She then walked up the ramp part way, and looked into the ship. "Dante, did you bring it?"
"Yes," Dante answered, holding out a wooden chest, "Your father made sure I didn't leave Eltar without it."
Dulcea smiled, and took the chest. She then returned to the ground, and handed it to Dimitria.
"What is this?" she asked.
"Tommy is Earth's only hope to survive," Dulcea said, "but he cannot do it alone. He will be against an army, so he must create one of his own. Even with this gift, he will still be terribly outnumbered. I will make sure to send him more help, once the appointed time comes. Give this to Tommy, when he has become the White Ranger."
"I will," Dimitria said, glancing down at the box. She then joined Joseph and Tommy on the porch, and they all waved as Dulcea entered the ship. The ship then rose from the ground, and streaked through the night sky, vanishing in the clouds.
"Incredible," Tommy whispered, his dark eyes watering, "She... she just left?"
"You must understand, Tommy, she had no choice," Dimitria said, reaching over the table and clasping both of the teenager's hands, "Lord Zedd has forces on Earth, but he also is establishing a home base in the Eltarian system. He is planning to conquer that planet as well, most likely before he makes a full fledged attack against Earth. Zordon is aging rapidly, and can no longer rule the planet effectively without help. We can't trust anyone anymore. Many have sided with Zedd, chosing to forge Eltar into a powerful empire, rather than the peaceful planet of studies and magic that it has been for millenia."
"Believe me, Tommy, she wanted to stay more than anything," Joseph contributed, "Dulcea longed for Eltar when she first arrived, but she made a life for herself on Earth. A life she adored. And you were the light in her eyes. Leaving you behind hurt her tremendously. I just wish you could remember her!"
"She left you on Earth for a reason, Tommy," Dimitria said, rising to her feet, "You are of the royal bloodline, and therefore only you can use the White Power. It has always been the right of the royal family to possess it. The ruler of Eltar always commanded the White Ranger power."
"Then why did she leave it with me?" Tommy asked, gazing back at the small coin in his hand.
"It is the most potent weapon to use against Zedd. It is a power he cannot take from you, try though he may."
"So," said Tommy, standing up, "what happens now?"
"Bond with the coin," Dimitria said, "It has accepted you, as shown by its depiction of your spirit animal. Now, you must accept the Great Power, and become the White Ranger."
"Grasp the coin, and visualize the animal it shows," Dimitria instructed. Tommy nodded, and closed his eyes, tightening his hand into a fist. His hand began to spark with white energy, and the faint sparks cascaded around his entire body. Then, as quickly as it appeared, the faint light faded, and Tommy swayed slightly due to the disorientation. His father quickly grabbed a hold of his arm, to ensure Tommy didn't fall. Tommy's eyes opened, and Joseph was startled to see that Tommy's eyes were entirely white.
"Do not worry," Dimitria said, sensing Joseph's discomfort, "The discoloration is only temporary. It means that the broadcast is out, that a new White Ranger has been born. All the previous White Rangers will sense it, including Dulcea."
"She can sense this, all the way from Eltar?" Tommy muttered, the color of his eyes slowly returning.
"Yes. The Great Power links individuals from across galaxies, if they are meant to be connected."
"Wait," said Joseph, letting go of Tommy's arm, "What about Zedd? He was never a White Ranger, but he tried to bond with the White Power."
Dimitria's face hardened. "No one knows what effects the attempt to bond with the White Power had on Lord Zedd. I haven't seen him since that fateful day, all those years ago. It is possible that the White Power did key Zedd into the White Ranger's existence."
"If that's the case, then we'd better get moving," Joseph said, "If Zedd can detect where we are, then he'll surely come after us. One thing's for sure-- he wants to kill the entire Eltarian royal line. That includes you, Tommy."
"Where... where are we going?" Tommy asked, staring at his father in surprise, "We're just leaving?"
"We must," Dimitria said, "This place is no longer safe, Tommy. So long as you hold the White Ranger power, you are connected to all the previous White Rangers. We don't know if that includes Zedd himself, but we are almost certain that he will detect the massive amount of Eltarian magic that accompanies the creation of a White Ranger. We must leave, immedately."
"Where are we going?" Tommy repeated.
"We must wait until Dulcea contacts us," Joseph said, "but until then, we have to get somewhere safe."
Eltar is a world that appears much like Earth. Like Earth, it has rolling hills of green, sparkling oceans, snow-topped mountains, and lush forests. Unfortunately, also like Earth, it has the scars of war. However, while Earth's scars are relatively few in number, the scars of Eltar are large and deep. The emotional and physical scars of war are evident by the dozens of cities laid to waste and never rebuilt, the mountains that had magically been transformed into volcanoes to reap destruction, and the constant fires of desolation that poison the once clean air. It was the first time in over a thousand years that the planet of Eltar had seen a war, fought on the home planet itself.
Once, there was a mighty palace of sterling silver, that stood atop the highest plateau on the planet, as a proud statement that the monarchy watched over all. However, once the civil war had begun, the palace was abandoned, and the royals relocated to the ancient "war palace", which was constructed out of the nearly indestructible metal Kinzite, and which stood hidden amongst the mountains to protect the royals from aerial attack.
Every morning, the princess Dulcea awoke to the sight of the mountains, and the cold surroundings of the "war palace", and every morning she was reminded of the situation. Eltar was in civil war, and no matter what the royal forces did, they never seemed to gain the upper hand against Lord Zedd. However, Lord Zedd never seemed to gain victory either, and this standstill had remained for over a decade. What Dulcea feared was that Zedd's forces weren't fighting fully yet, as if they were teasing the monarchy. One day, she knew Zedd would begin to attack in earnest, and since so much of the Eltarian army had sided with Zedd at the beginning, the monarchy would almost surely fall. Every morning, when she awoke to the sight of war, she felt ill, knowing how much desolation would befall the planet before the war finally ended.
However, this morning, Dulcea awoke with a radiant smile of hope upon her face. She knew this day would come, because every day since her return to Eltar she thought of the family she left on Earth. And as she expected, she saw the vision of white that could only mean one thing-- a White Ranger was born.
"Thank the Great Power!" she declared, "Tommy has accepted the White Coin, and the coin has accepted him! I feared at first that, because he is only half-Eltarian, he would have been killed by the power release. But the White Coin has accepted him, and now, the Falcon shall forever protect him. Earth will have protection against the invasion that awaits."
Dulcea rose from her bed, and slid a soft white robe over her white nightgown. She turned to the stand beside her bed, and looked at the small photograph that was placed there, encased in an unbreakable crystal frame. That was the single time she had allowed herself to be photographed, in case Zedd were to learn she still lived. That photograph was taken only days before her departure from Earth, and showed Dulcea, Tommy, and Joseph sitting on the swing just outside their home, on a sunny afternoon. She smiled wistfully at the photograph, and then looked out her window, and gazed at Eltar's twin suns.
"Soon, I shall see you both again," she said, her eyes growing misty.
Suddenly, a loud rap at her bedroom door startled the princess. She turned around to see who would enter.
"Come," she called. The door opened slightly, and a warrior entered the chamber. He wore the emerald and gold uniform of the only active Power Ranger on Eltar, the Green Dragon Ranger.
"Well," he said, walking into the room and closing the door behind him, "did you see it? Were you right?"
Dulcea nodded. "Tommy has become the White Ranger, just a I expected."
The young man smiled beneath his dark green helmet. "I'm impressed. You always told me that time passes differently on Eltar than on Earth, because of the galactic positions of our solar systems. You managed to keep track of Earth time flawlessly for twenty of our years!"
"It wasn't difficult," Dulcea said, taking the warrior's gloved hand, "There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about Tommy and Joseph, and long for the day that we would be reunited as a family."
"They don't know I exist yet, do they?" Green Ranger asked. Dulcea shook her head.
"There was simply no way to send a transmission to Earth after I arrived at Eltar. Lord Zedd began his preliminary attacks almost immediately. But they will meet you soon enough. I am sending you to Earth."
The Green Ranger took a step back, causing Dulcea to release her grip. "What?! But you need me here!"
Dulcea smiled. "True, but Tommy will need you more. He is all alone on Earth, and now that he has the White Ranger power, Zedd will learn of his existence. Before now, Zedd never had a reason to strike Earth. But the existence of a Power Ranger on Earth just may be enough to lead him to start the full-fledged invasion. Tommy will need your support, and battle expertise. Remember, unlike you, Tommy wasn't raised as a Eltarian warrior. There is much about being a Power Ranger that he can learn from you."
"But, who will protect the palace?" Green Ranger protested, "I'm the only Power Ranger on Eltar!"
"Not for long," Dulcea said, taking the young man's hand hand. She led him to her large closet, and opened the door. Leaning against the back wall was a tray with five small black boxes, lain in velvet. The Green Ranger looked at the boxes quizzically.
"What are these?" he asked, glancing at his Dulcea.
"These are the Astro Morphers, they keys to the Astro Power. They are vastly different from the Power Coins, in that they do not bond with the ranger's spirit. However, they do tap into the Great Power, but on more of a surface level."
"If they do not bond as deeply with the ranger, these Lightstar Rangers will not be as powerful."
"Agreed, but they will be vastly more powerful than simple soldiers. I pray they will be enough to protect the palace, and fight with the Eltarian army against Zedd. But I simply cannot keep you here. You must go to Earth."
"So, you want me to fight beside Tommy," he said, nodding, "I have always wanted to do that."
"Excellent. You must leave immediately, and establish a Command Center on Earth. Then, once you've arrived safely on Earth and have found Tommy, contact me, and I shall inform you of our situation here. We must work together if we shall win."
"I'll leave immediately," Green Ranger said, gently squeezing the Princess' hands, "I just hope Tommy can hold out until I get there. It'll taken nearly an Earth month!"
"I shall contact Tommy telepathically, since the White Power has united us. I will tell him you are coming."
Eltar is a world that appears much like Earth. It is about the same size, with the same shades of green, blue, and white that are visible from outer space. Also, like Earth, a large satellite floats in orbit. However, unlike the Moon, a natural satellite, the satellite orbitting Eltar is a creation of magic as well as science. This satellite is nearly as large as Earth's moon, but is cubical in shape, and as black as pitch on the outside. On the inside is a thriving population of millions of beings, mostly Eltarians, who have chosen to temporarily forsake their homes to live in the community of the infamous Lord Zedd. The satellite is known as Eledor, named after a famous legendary Eltarian warlord of millenia ago, who forged for the planet a universe-wide reputation for having the most skilled magicians and warriors in the quadrant. The inhabitants of Eledor believed that Zedd could lead them back to the days of glory, when Eltar was feared by her neighbors, and respected by other dictatorships. The days of the Eltarian Empire.
In the very heart of Eledor, where there is the least chance of damage due to attacking forces, is the spacious living quarters of the military despot. Typically, someone of his stature would live in the most luxurious of surroundings, but Zedd no longer cared for material wealth. His quarters were simply designed, without lavish accents to show off his possessions. The walls were bare, the air was cold, and the room was dark. He learned to thrive only in the dark, where no one could see him. In fact, very few have seen Lord Zedd face to face in nearly twenty years, when he began his coup in earnest. Before, when he was merely the brother-in-law of King Zordon, Zedd was often seen at social gatherings, and was often praised for his charisma, manner, and appearance. But the Lord Zedd of old had been replaced, by a being so consumed with hatred to even attempt the facade of charm he had mastered in his youth.
In his chamber, the man rested in silence. Although only several years ago he was a handsome Eltarian lord, now his visage would most likely frighten anyone who would see it. When he attempted to usurp the White Ranger powers, the purest and greatest shade of the Great Power rejected him. He had heard the belief that only those of the royal lineage could safely wield the White Power, but he dismissed it as superstition. He knew he was a strong man, physically as well as emotionally. He was certain he could take whatever strain the power placed on him, and eventually conquer it. If he were to become the White Ranger, the people of Eltar would far more easily accept him as their new ruler, because it would have been taken as a sign that he truly was destined to rule. But the consequences of his underestimation of the Great Power were terrible indeed.
The White Power didn't kill him, although the amount of energy it sent through his entire form certainly could have. Instead, he was left in perfect physical and mental health, with no medical complications to slow his quest for power. But although the Power didn't do him any fatal harm, it did leave its mark, to forever remind Lord Zedd that he could never attain the full stature of an Eltarian King. The power had transformed itself into intense heat, burning off Zedd's flesh, but doing no harm to the underlying muscle and tissue. Also, much of the bone near the surface, most predominately the skull, melted away with the magical light. All that was left was Zedd's muscles, inner skeleton, and organs, stripped bare by the cruel magic. His handsome appearance, which he had taken such pride in, was forever peeled away. He couldn't bear to reveal his true form to the vast majority of his subjects, because of his fear of rejection. Instead, he communicated to most of his generals, as well as the general populace of Eledor, through holographic transmissions. Only his most trusted generals knew of his true appearance.
The magic left a great emotional scar as well. Originally, Lord Zedd wanted to lead Eltar because he truly believed in the maxim "conquer or be conquered". His mistrust of other races led him to believe that Eltar must establish itself as the grand power in the galaxy, and his pride led him to believe that he was the supreme Eltarian, and the Eltarians were the supreme race in the galaxy, destined to rule over all others. But the years changed him. At first, he only wanted to eliminate Zordon because he was the King, and therefore must be killed if Zedd were to ascend to the throne. However, his bitterness toward his unfortunate encounter with the White Coin had led him to despise Zordon, Dulcea, and any other member of the Great Dynasty, the family of royalty who were protected by the White Power. He wanted revenge against Dulcea, since she was the one who let him attempt to steal the White Power. But he could never decide on the most fitting revenge. Her death would be too swift, and even to torture her would be naught, because it would only make her a heroine amongst her people. He wanted to break her, the same way he was broken. He wanted her to know bitter hatred, to never know the warm embrace of love. He wanted her heart to break, and for years he planned on how he could achieve this.
At first, he planned on letting her watch her father, King Zordon, die slowly of old age. It would be more painful to watch her father wither away than to die swiftly. Ever since the King began to weaken, Zedd's forces congregated on Eledor, and continuously attacked Eltar in small battles. Zedd wanted to wait until Zordon was dead before he fully released his forces, destroying the army lead by the new monarch, and finally ending the Great Dynasty. It was this plan that lead him to put his plans to invade Earth on hold. After all, he cannot establish an empire for a planet he did not yet rule, and Earth was too far away from Eltar to serve as a good base of operations. Eledor was far more efficient, and Earth was a stalled plan, which still served as a storehouse, with hundreds of backup ships and weapons in case his main army would fall to the Eltarian forces. But Lord Zedd's plans for his Earth base were about to change.
"Great Eledor!" Zedd proclaimed, quickly awakening from a dream-filled sleep, "What is it I have just seen?"
Zedd rose from his bed, and wrapped the bare muscle of his body in his ebony robe. He paced along the cold stones of the floor, his hands clasped tightly behind his back. He then tightened his eyes closed, and forced himself to recall the images that appeared to him in his sleep. He saw once again the bright white light, that terrified him as it led him to recall his experience with the White Power. But this time, the light faded, and another being stood in place, wearing the unform of the White Ranger. What surprised Lord Zedd was that this White Ranger was a man, whereas the last White Ranger to exist was Dulcea herself. He stared deeply into the visor of the White Ranger, and the helmet became transparent, allowing Zedd to catch a glimpse of the man. Zedd was shocked to see that the man had dull eyes, compared to the vibrant eyes of power that all Eltarians had.
"So, there is a new White Ranger," Zedd muttered, "and he isn't entirely Eltarian. Could Dulcea have left a son on Earth? NO!!"
Zedd slammed his hand into a stone table beside his bed, instantly crushing the table with his might.
"Wait. Perhaps this isn't such a bad situation. This could be my chance, to exact my revenge against Dulcea! This, her son, is all alone on Earth. There aren't any Eltarian forces to protect him! He must be there to defend Earth, against my eventual invasion. Well, my forces will capture him, and then I will have a bargaining chip. I will tear out Dulcea's heart, bit by bit, until she can feel nothing but anger toward me, as I feel toward her and her entire despicable family. Then, I will move in full force, and destroy all of Eltar!"
For the first time in years, Zedd laughed a powerful, truly elated, laugh of victory. For once, he had a real advantage. He knew that somehow, Dulcea managed to return to Eltar. But he never knew about what she left behind on Earth, and now that he knew just how valuable Earth is to the princess and her family, it suddenly jumped into importance in Zedd's eyes.
"My invasion of Earth will be restarted immediately, and the White Ranger will be mine."