Author's Notes: This is my nineteenth story in the Power Rangers Beyond series. It comes after "Beating the Odds." And now on with the story!
"Let me begin by telling you a story," Alpha began. "Centuries ago, Zordon came across a mighty source of power, hidden within a mysterious golden orb, while visiting a tiny planet in the Vika Galaxy. Unfortunately, Lord Zedd's forces learned of Zordon's discovery, and sought to seize the Orb for their own evil purposes. Being the wise sage that he was, Zordon decided to seek out planet where he could hide the Orb, and so he journeyed across the universe with Zedd's forces in hot pursuit. After visiting countless worlds, Zordon came across a planet in an uncharted sector of the universe, called Libertia. On this world Zordon met another wise sage named Lyberius. Zordon told Lyberius of his plight, and Lyberius agreed to serve as guardian of the Orb. To further ensure that the Orb would not fall into evil hands, Lyberius split the Orb into six smaller Orbs and hid each part in various locations on Liberia. Only six warriors who possess pure hearts may find the orbs and claim their powers."
"And that's where we come in, right?" Tim asked.
"Rangers, this is no fairy tale. The legend of the six Liberty Orbs are very true. This may be your only chance at regaining your powers," Alpha advised.
"Well I don't know about you guys, but I say we at least try to retrieve these Orbs," Nick said looking at his friends.
"Count me in also," Michelle added. "After everything that's already happened today, what have we got to lose." Soon all six of the Rangers had agreed that they were up for this challenge.
"We are approaching Liberia," DECA informed.
"Hey, DECA, if this sector of the universe is supposed to be uncharted, how did you know where is was?" Nick asked.
"Zordon knew how to get here, and he helped program me," DECA replied.
"Rangers, the planet is protected by spell, so I'll have to teleport the six of you down to the surface. Since the Megaship possesses good energy I can teleport you back at any point, such you encounter danger," informed Alpha.
"Alpha, we've got to get our powers back," Chris then looked at his friends. "We're either coming back with our powers......or we're not coming back at all."
"Good luck, Rangers," Alpha said.
"Be careful down there," Ecliptor added. With that the six Rangers vanished from the bridge.
The Rangers looked around at their new surroundings. They were now standing in the middle a patch of dirt, and stretched out before them were six separate roads that lead off into the distance.
As they took in the free air, the teens were thankful that whatever Liberia's atmosphere was composed of, it was able to sustain human life.
"This place is absolutely beautiful!" Stephanie commented, she gazed at several rows of multi-colored flowers, which were growing nearby.
"Why thank you, young lady," stated a perky voice.
"Who said that?" Stephanie said, as she and the other Rangers began to look around.
"Don't be afraid, young ones. Lyberius won't hurt you," the voice said again. "Who are you , and why have you come to Liberia?"
"We're the Power Rangers," Chris nervously answered.
"The Power Rangers you say?" voice questioned.
"Yes, sir. Our zords were destroyed and our Power Morphers were stolen by the Brood," Michelle explained.
"And you've come for the Liberty Orbs, right?' the voice asked.
"Yes, sir," Tim replied.
"Hmmm, I must consider this for a moment. Okay I considered it," Lyberius stated playfully. "There are six of you and six roads. Each road will lead you to an Orb, however, to ensure that you truly are worthy of receiving the power of the Liberty Orb, each of you will have to pass a test in order to claim the Orb. Now move quickly, my young friends, for I fear that your enemies are about to unveil their latest scheme, as we speak."
"Will we ever see you?" Stephanie asked.
"If you prove yourselves worthy of the Orb, I will allow you to see me," Lyberius replied. The teens felt and heard a gust of wind pass by them, and realized that Lyberius had exited the area.
"Look each path is labeled with an arrow that corresponds with our Ranger colors," Michelle pointed out.
"I guess those are the paths that each of us should take in order to find the Orbs," Chris stated.
The teens bidded farewell to each other, and then embarked on their quests.
Aboard Dark Spectre's flag ship, the evil Monarch had summoned the Flamablizer and the Slimespewer to his throne room.
When the two villains arrived, Zara was standing before the evil Monarch.
"How may we serve you, Dark Spectre?" the Flamablizer said, as he and the slime monster bowed.
"I have a job for the both of you," Dark Spectre roared. "It troubles me that the Rangers have not attempted to rescue their captured mentors, therefore, Slimespewer, I want you to take a squadron of Velocifighters to Earth. Attack Angel Grove, and conquer it, and if the Rangers show up.....destroy them. How we have their morphers, they should not pose much of a threat."
"As you wish," the Slimespewer replied. He bowed and then exited the room.
"And what would you have me do, master?" the Flamablizer inquired.
"I have learned that an old friend of mine is now roaming this part of the universe again," Dark Spectre stated. "His name is Scorpius, and he and his minions would make excellent additions to the New United Alliance of Evil. You will accompany Princess Zara to Scorpius' base, the Scorpion Stinger, and recruit him to our team."
"I don't mean to question your judgement, Dark Spectre, but what if Scorpius isn't interested in joining the New UAE?" Zara asked.
"He will not refuse, because he knows that there is strength in numbers, but we must move quickly. The Allied Planets must not learn of my plans, until it is too late. Now go my servants, and do not fail me."
Stephanie's path lead her to a waterfront. She looked around, wondering what direction to take now. She wondered why the path had stopped directly in front of the water.
She had been under the impression that she'd find her Liberty Orb at the end of the path, so was the Orb underwater, or was she suppose to somehow cross the body of blue water? She walked around looking for a boat or a fallen piece of wood. Anything that could float would do.
"Um, excuse me," came a quiet voice from behind Stephanie. Startled, the girl spun around to see a little girl, dressing in a yellow summer dress standing before her.
The child had sandy blonde hair, and innocent blue eyes. She was also very petite, and looked like she hadn't eaten in days.
"I'm sorry. I'm didn't mean to startle you," the child said in a whimpering voice. "My name is Clover, and I was hoping that you could help me find my way home."
One of Stephanie's best qualities was her big heart. She had always gotten pleasure from helping others. Maybe this was the reason why she wanted to major in Community Health Education when she entered college. Remembering that Alpha had previously said that Lyberius was the only being living on the planet, the Yellow Ranger reasoned that this was a her test, and she'd knew that she'd pass it with flying colors.
"Don't worry, Clover, I'll help you. By the way, my name is Stephanie," the teen stated.
"Oh thank you, thank you," the little girl cheered. Stephanie took the girl by the hand and they walked away.
Their journey took them into a nearby forest, and Stephanie thought she saw Nick traveling down his path, as she looked through some trees.
As they walked through the forest, Clover explained that she had been wandering around for the past three days. Her mother had taken ill, and had sent her out to find food. She had wandered too far from her house, and had gotten lost. Stephanie also learned that something or someone had been gobbling up all of the food, but made a mental not to ask Lyberius about this, should she see him.
"I remember some of these landmarks!" Clover exclaimed, happily. "I'm almost home!"
As two girls walked across a field of grass, they could see a small cottage in the distance.
"Is that your house?" Stephanie asked.
"Yes! Yes! Yes, it is!" Clover broke into a trot that soon turned into a full sprint towards her house.
As Stephanie followed close behind her little traveling companion, she could see a bigger version of Clover standing in the doorway.
"Clover! Clover! You're home," the woman said, as she scooped up her daughter in her arms.
It truly warmed Stephanie's to see the reunion between mother and daughter.
The woman put her down and then looked thoughtfully at Stephanie. "Thank you, young lady! Thank you for bringing my baby home."
"It was my pleasure," Stephanie replied with a smile. "Now I must go. I have a journey of my own to complete."
"Wait," the woman said. "You took a break from your journey to bring my daughter home. The least I can do is give you a gift."
"That won't be necessary. I brought Clover home, because it was the right thing to do, and just knowing that she is safe is the only reward that I need," the teenager replied.
"But I insist," Before Stephanie could protest again, the woman waved her hands in the air and to Stephanie's surprise, a Liberty Orb appeared in the palm of her right hand.
Stephanie looked down at the yellow light emitting sphere that now rested in her hand. "I don't know what to say."
"Say you'll use your Liberty Orb to defend the universe against evil," the woman stated.
"I promise," With that Stephanie dissolved into a beam of yellow light and flew away.
Nick's journey lead him into a cave, and there was some ominously familiar about this cave, and then it hit Nick like a ton of bricks. This was the cave from his nightmare, and soon he knew he'd come face to face with Goldar.
Sure enough, Nick began to hear heavy breathing and then he after rounding a turn, he saw Goldar standing in the center of a room, with his sword drawn.
"Welcome, Gold Ranger." the evil creature greeted, as he held his sword firmly. "It looks like you're all alone."
"W-W-Where did you come from? I mean, you're suppose to be space dust now," the Gold Ranger slowly began to back away.
"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Power Rangers are suppose to be brave and courageous, yet I hear nothing but fear and uncertainty in your voice. I even think I smell bodily fluids leaving your body. Tell me, Gold Ranger, are you wetting your pants? ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!" Goldar taunted.
Nick realized that this was his test. He'd either have the overcome his fear of Goldar or be destroyed. "No, I'm not wetting my pants! And I'm certainly not afraid of you!"
The Gold Ranger and Goldar then began to battle. Nick gained the early advantage by kicking Goldar's sword out his hand. The Ranger then followed up his attack with some stiff punches. Goldar was groggy from this assault, but refused to give up. He stunned the young Ranger, with a swift kick to the midsection. The evil creature continued his attack by smacking the teenager on the arm, which opened a bloody gash.
As Nick fell to the ground, he used his other arm to cover his injured one.
"You're not so tough when you're not morphed," Goldar snarled. He delivered a mighty kick to Nick's ribs, causing the African American teen to writhe in pain.
"Give up, Gold Ranger, and admit that I am the superior warrior," Goldar ordered.
"I'll never say that. I'd rather die than bow to you!" Nick cried as he struggled to his feet.
"So be it," Goldar extended out his hand towards Nick's heart, but Nick had one trick up his sleeve. Blocking out the pain from his arm, Nick flipped backwards and handed on his feet. "You're not real! But even if you were I'd still find a way to beat you!"
"Then why don't you give your best shot!" Goldar snarled as he charged at Nick.
Nick's only instinct was to dive at Goldar, a move which sent the evil warrior crashing onto his back with Nick on top of him. The teenager pounded on Goldar's head for a few moments, and then leaped to his feet with Goldar's sword in his hand.
"Go ahead, Gold Ranger, kill me," Goldar snarled, as he laid on the ground.
"I've proven my point. I don't need to kill. Get out of here," Nick stated. Instantly, Goldar, the sword, and the entire cave vanished before Nick's very eyes.
"What happened?" Nick said, as he looked around. A strange sensation ran through Nick's arm, and when a he looked at it he discovered that the gash was gone as he no longer felt any discomfort. In the palm of his hand, he now found a glowing Orb.
"Yes, I did it! I overcame my fear of Goldar, and earned my Liberty Orb!" With that Nick dissolved into the beam of golden light and flew away.
Joseph's journey brought him to a point where the road divided into two different paths.
Joseph glanced over at a nearby tree, to see a panther-like being sitting under it.
"Um, hello," Joseph said curiously.
"So you're looking for a Liberty Orb, eh," the creature asked.
"Well I just so happen to have one. I'll give it to you under one condition," the panther-man said.
"Yes, really. All you have to do is beat me in a foot race. I'll take one path and you can take the other, but be warned if you lose not only will you not get the Orb, but you will become cat-man just like me, Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee!" creature stated.
"Joseph thought for a moment. He loved to compete against others, but how could he possibly defeat a creature with the speed of the panther. Ultimately, Joseph deduced that this was his test, and that he'd have to accept the challenge in order to get the Orb.
"So what's it going to be? Do you accept my challenge or not?"
The two racers stepped up to the beginning of each separate path.
"Okay, stranger. On your mark.......Get set........Go!" Off the two runners ran.
The panther-man took a big lead, and Joseph enter a forest up ahead.
"How am I ever going to beat him now," the Hispanic teenager thought as he ran.
After entering the forest and running for a few moments, Joseph discovered that there was yet another division in the road.
"Hoo-hoo, the road on the right is a shortcut. If you take it you're sure to defeat the feline and claim your Liberty Orb," advised an owl, who was sitting in a treetop. "The road on the left is just an extenuation of the road you've been traveling. Take this road and you're sure to lose the race, the Orb, and your humanity, hoo-hoo."
"I've got to choose between cheating or running this race fair and square," Joseph pondered. "There is no decision to be made. I do want to win, but there is no honor in cheating. If I going to claim that Orb, I'm going to have to do fair and square."
The owl watched with pride as Joseph took the left path. "Well done, Blue Ranger."
Joseph soon arrived at the end of the path, but to his surprise the panther-man was no where to be found.
"Hmmm, that's strange. He was way ahead me," Joseph thought. He looked around wondering if the panther-man had hid from him.
"I don't believe it!" exclaimed the panther-man as he came jogging out of the forest. "I've been beaten by a teenager!"
"What happened to you? I mean, you were way ahead of me," Joseph asked.
"I started off too fast, and soon I began to run out of energy. I figured I could still win, because I thought you'd take the shortcut. If you had taken the shortcut I could have disqualified you. I commend you on deciding to run a fair race. Here's your Liberty Orb."
"Thank you," Joseph carefully received the glowing sphere.
"Use the power of the Orb to defeat Dark Spectre and his forces," That being said, the feline-man watched as Joseph dissolved into a beam of blue light and flew away.
Tim now found himself in a graveyard.
"Well the path ends here, so this must be the place," Tim said, as he looked at his eery surroundings.
"Well, White Ranger. How fitting that your final battle will be waged in a graveyard," came the familiar voice of the Shadow Ranger.
"Simon! Show your self!" Tim yelled, as he looked around.
"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! I'll destroy you just as I destroyed your mommy and daddy," the evil Ranger vowed.
"Simon, when I find you you're going to be in big trouble!" Tim yelled.
"Oooohhhh, I'm really scared," scoffed the villainous Ranger.
Tim wandered through the graveyard for a few moments more before coming face to face with his parents.
"Mom and Dad! H-H-How is this possible?" Tim said with a confused expression on his face.
"Son, your and mother and I wanted to tell you how proud we are of you," Matthew Bennett stated.
"You and your friends have saved so many lives as the Power Rangers," Gloria Bennett added. "We will always be with you."
Tim watched as the image of his parents faded away. "No, please don't go!" Tim fell to the ground in anguish.
"If you had there they wouldn't have died," the voice of the Shadow Ranger began again.
"No! Shadow Ranger, I've gotten over it! My parents loved me, and they'll always with me in my heart! One day the other Rangers and I will put you and Mason Hodges behind bars for all of the evil the two of you have done!"
The graveyard vanished, and Tim looked down to see an Orb in his hand.
"For you, mom and dad," Tim vowed, as he held the glowing sphere close to his heart.
Tim then dissolved into a beam of white light and flew away.
Michelle's journey led her to into a dark portion of the forest. Michelle wasn't for certain, but she thought she sensed an evil presence nearby. Michelle shivered at the horrific screeching of some sort of bird. Yes something just wasn't right.
Finally Michelle reached a clearing, and in the center of a field of dirt stood an exact replica of herself, dressed in her old Black Scorpions uniform!
"What took you so long, little Miss Goody-two-shoes," taunted the clone, as she gave Michelle an evil glare.
"Who are you?" Michelle asked nervously.
"I represent the part of your life that you seem so eager to forget. I'm the person you once were, and will be again. Michelle, I'm your dark side."
"No, you stay away from me! I gave up that part of my life when I moved to Angel Grove!" Michelle exclaimed.
"Oh come on, Michelle, you can't really be happy running around in that stupid Pink outfit," the clone scoffed. "Think all of the fun you used to have taking what you wanted and doing as you pleased. Michelle, it can be like that again, all you have to do is give in to your dark side."
"I hurt a lot of people that I loved. I'm a Power Ranger now and I'm not going to let the people I love down again!" Michelle yelled. "Now get out of my way! I've got an Orb to find!"
"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! You mean this Orb," the clone snarled, as she held out her hand for Michelle to see the glowing Orb.
"How did you get it?! Lyberius said that only someone who is worthy can possess the Liberty Orb."
"Well you always did have a knack for taking things that you weren't suppose to have, and I am you," the clone laughed.
"Everyone has good and evil in them. I can accept that, but the Liberty Orb will be controlled by the good in Michelle Chan, and that's me!" Michelle kicked the Orb out of her evil clone's hands. Both girls scrambled to retrieve the glowing Orb from off the ground, with the good Michelle being successful.
"NNNNNoooooo!" screamed the evil clone, as she vanished.
"I'm find you, Aunt Cassie," Michelle vowed, as she gazed at the glowing sphere.
Michelle dissolved into the beam of pink light and flew away.
Chris was now locked in battle with Nightpaw. His search for the final Liberty Orb had brought to an arena. Here Nightpaw had mysteriously shown up, and he'd somehow managed to capture the other Rangers.
"C'mon, Chris, you can do beat him!" Tim yelled.
"Ha, he couldn't even beat a drum!" snarled Nightpaw.
"Nightpaw, why don't you just let my friends go!" Chris pleaded, as he struggled to his feet after being knocked down.
"Let them go! You've got to be kidding!" the villain laughed as he threw another punch at Chris. "Dark Spectre will reward me well for capturing all six of the Power Rangers."
Chris slide through the bear-like monster's legs. "Hang on, you guys, I'm going to send this guy packing." As Nightpaw swung his sword at the Ranger leader, Chris tripped the bear-like monster, sending him crashing to the ground.
With no time to lose, Chris rushed over and untied his captured friends.
As Nightpaw got to his feet, Chris hurled a giant stone at him, striking the villain in the nose.
"Some other time, Red Ranger," Nightpaw snarled, before vanishing.
As Chris looked around, his friend and the entire arena vanished just as Nightpaw had.
Chris looked down at his hand, and noticed the glowing sphere.
"I'll never let my friends down," the Ranger leader vowed.
Chris dissolved into a beam of red light and flew away.
The six Rangers now found themselves standing before a short, elderly man with Oriental features.
"Well done, Power Rangers, you have proven yourselves worthy of carrying the Liberty Orbs," Lyberius stated.
"So how do we morph?" Tim asked.
"The Orbs can be used as temporary morphers, until you retrieve your original ones. When you do retrieve your Power Morphers, the Orbs will give your power an extra boost. Now the six of you must return to your world, for I fear the UAE is attacking."
"Thank you, Lyberius," the Rangers said in unison.
"Farewell, Power Rangers, and let the Power protect you," the elderly man said, before watching the six teens teleport away.
"Rangers, you did it!" cheered Alpha, as the Rangers walked onto the bridge. "And not a moment too soon."
"What's wrong?" Stephanie asked.
"We just received two separate messages. The Slimespewer is attacking Angel Grove, and also, we just received a message from the Senturions. It seems that a Brood shuttle was detected heading into the farthest reaches of space," Ecliptor explained.
"Sounds like Dark Spectre isn't wasting anytime," Nick commented.
"We'll split up into three teams," Chris stated. "Tim and Stephanie, the two of you will go back to Earth and battle Slimespewer. Joseph and Michelle, the two of you will take the Mega Winger and track down the UAE, and get our morphers back. Nick and I will pursuit that Brood shuttle."
"We'll head back to Earth and drop off Tim and Stephanie and then pick up the Mega Winger, then we'll head after that Brood shuttle," Alpha said.
In downtown Angel Grove the Slimespewer was menacing everyone in sight.
"Run, you cowardly humans!" taunted the slimy beast, as he hurled slimeballs all over the place.
In the skies above a squadron of Velocifighters blasts the city.
"We're doomed!" exclaimed the citizens, as they ran for dear life.
From out of nowhere, the Astro Megaship descended from space, firing lasers, and destroying every Velocifighter within range.
"Its the Power Rangers!" the crowd of people cheered.
Two beams of light exited the Megaship, and materialized as the White and Yellow Rangers on the street.
"Welcome back Rangers," the Slimespewer greeted as he began to hurl slimeballs at the two Rangers.
"Ready?!" Tim asked.
"Let's do it!" Stephanie yelled.
The two Rangers sent a combined blast from both of their Power Weapons, causing the Slimespewer to explode.
"So much for the Slimespewer," the Yellow Ranger commented.
"Yeah, but I hope our friends will okay," the White Ranger replied.
"Your hinus, we have detected the present location of the Scorpion Stinger," Blane informed, as he looked at the radar.
"Excellent soon we'll have a new ally in Scorpius." Zara smiled an evil grin.
Way off in the distance, the peaceful space colony Terra Venture cruised through space, with its inhabitants unaware of the evil that was about to threaten them.