Author's Note: This story takes place after Astronima is recaptured by Darkonda and reprogrammed. CD2D does not happen in this time line. If you like this story, please drop us a line. Thanx.
But, the Rangers knew that it was not only Astronema who fought harder to destroy them, but Dark Specter as well.
His ordered attacks, by Astronema, had increased in number as well as strength.
The Rangers, knowing that with their powers, they alone would not be able to stop her if she was ordered to a full force attack on Earth.
They needed help.
Plain and simple.
But, it was easier said than done. Where would they find such help?
There were always the original Rangers, but without their powers, they would be of little or no help.
The Rangers of Earth had questioned Alpha 6 about there being an alternate source of power. And Andros had spoken to DECA.
Between DECA and Alpha, they were searching everywhere they could for help. Then, a few days later, Alpha had come into the dinning area, a little more ecstatic than usual.
"What is it Alpha?" Andros asked as he moved to stand beside the excited droid.
"Rangers. I've found a power signature!"
"Yes!" Cassie smiled. She looked to Ashley and could see the same smile on her face.
"Where is it Alpha?" TJ asked as he joined Andros at Alpha's side. Alpha shook excitedly. The computer papers waving in his hand.
"Well?" Carlos asked. He couldn't stand it any longer. Quickly he grabbed the flailing sheets of computer paper from Alpha. As he tried desperately to decipher the information, Alpha suddenly found his speech circuits again.
"It's on Earth, and you won't believe where." He had all of the Rangers' attention then. As they all looked at him, he tossed his hands in the air, and the flickering lights that dotted his metallic body, began to glow brighter. "It's in the remains of the Power Chamber !"
All of the Rangers looked at each other in astonishment. Except Andros, who seemed confused.
"Power Chamber?" He looked at the beaming faces of his friends.
"Before, when we were the Turbo Rangers, we had a building in the desert, here on Earth. A command post. Then Divatox attacked one day, and destroyed everything. The Power Chamber was nothing but a pile of rubble when we went into space to look for Zordon." Ashley explained to Andros.
"Then, if the Power Chamber is gone, how could there be a power source there?" Andros looked to everyone for an explanation, but there wasn't one forthcoming.
Within moments, five individuals began the daunting task of climbing a rocky hill in the desert on Earth, to reach the cliff surface where the Power Chamber once stood proudly over the dry, arid land.
Once at the top, the Rangers stood in shock. They had seen what was left of the Power Chamber before they had taken off into space. Indeed, they had actually been trapped in the rubble. But, being in space and fighting Astronema had taken the memory of it and stored it in the backs of their minds.
Now, it came unbidden to the surface. And it seemed as if it had happened at just that very moment, instead of months ago.
After some time, TJ broke the silence by saying, in an annoyed voice, "Can someone please tell me why we are walking when we could of simply teleported to the power signatures location?"
"Alpha and DECA decided that we needed exercise, at least that's what they said." replied Cassie, glancing at TJ.
"You'd think they would say we had too much exercise with all the monsters we've had to fight lately." Ashley voiced her opinion.
"I think they are hiding something from us." Andros replied. He was walking fast even though he was already at the front of the group. Little did he know how close to the truth he was.
"If you ask me, they're just trying to torture us." Carlos said with amusement in his voice and a look of mischief on his face.
"Come on Carlos, what did we ever do to them, that they would start to torture us now?" Cassie asked, amused that her friend would think of such thing.
"I agree with Andros, Alpha sounded like he was lying when he told us he and DECA thought we needed the exercise and that he would only teleport us to the center of the desert." Ashley said, paying close attention to her surroundings, while keeping up with the conversation at hand.
"Why would Alpha lie to us?" TJ replied, trying to keep the memories of being trapped the rubble from taking control of his mind.
"I don't know." Ashley replied back, going over the possibilities in her head.
"Why don't we discuss this later. We'll be at the spot in less than a minute." Andros said looking at the scanner he held in his hand.
As he had said, they were there within a minute, just like when he said it was hidden by some rubble. There was so much rubble they couldn't even see it. This was not going to be an easy mission.
"Dark Specter? At this hour?" Astronema asked. "He sure knows how to get on my good side." She added sarcastically.
"I think you should get going, the big lava man said that if you don't get down there in five minutes, he would get Auntie D to take over your job destroying the rangers." Elgar said proving he was as stupid as he looked.
Astronema growled, got out of bed, and headed to the bridge. She almost growled again when she saw Dark Specter on the screen.
"Yes, My Liege, Elgar tells me you have a message?" Astronema said to the vile creature, in a tone that told Dark Specter that she was loyal, though she was the farthest thing from it.
"Yes, Astronema. I want you to increase your attacks on the rangers. If they are too worn out to fight when we attack full force, Earth will be left vulnerable." The evil creature stated not knowing what was going on in the mind of the young woman in front of him.
"A perfect plan, Dark Specter. Once I feel that it's the perfect time, I'll send Ecliptor and Computeron to Earth to attack the rangers."
"Good, you're the most loyal servant I have, Astronema." Dark Specter said then cut the transition.
"I was so close to destroying Dark Specter and ruling the universe. If only the Rangers hadn't destroyed my Psycho Rangers, Dark Specter would be destroyed by now. Loyal huh? Well, I will be loyal until I have the perfect plan to finally destroy Dark Specter and the Rangers. Then nothing will stop me from being Queen, not even that witch Divatox." Astronema mused walking back to her room.
Meanwhile the Rangers were getting closer to the power signature.
"A little climbing, a little walking, and a little digging, just enough for me to faint if I wasn't a Ranger." Ashley complained as she tossed something over her shoulder.
"Come on, we just have to get this panel out of the way and we've reached the power signature." Cassie stated as she pointed to the panel she was talking about.
"Thank goodness." Ashley said, then she collapsed. "Just give me a few seconds to get up." She added as she started to get up.
They lifted the panel and what they saw surprised them all. Something all of them knew, but had never actually seen before.
"The Morphin' Grid." Ashley whispered, stating what was on all their minds. It was more than they could have hoped for.
Shielding their eyes from the brightness of the Grid, they all gazed down at it, where it sat in a hole in the ground, in awe.
"I thought it had been destroyed?" TJ stated.
"I remember Tommy saying, one time, that the coins had been destroyed by a creature known as Goldar." Ashley replied.
"I doesn't matter. It's here, and we need the power it will supply us with." Andros said as he reached down into the hole to retrieve it.
Suddenly, a blast of electrical energy threw Andros back, and away from the others.
"Andros!" Ashley screeched, as she ran to his side. Already, Andros was getting to his feet and dusting himself off.
"What happened? Are you all right?" Cassie asked, from where she stood with Carlos and TJ.
"I think we'd better contact Alpha and DECA. They'll have to teleport it up to the Mega Ship, because I am not going to touch it." Everyone agreed with Carlos.
"TJ, what's wrong?" Alpha asked, sensing the concern in TJ's voice.
"We found it, the power. It's the Morphin Grid..." Alpha gasped a little mechanical gasp. The Morphin Grid would give them enough power to supply the help they needed, and recharge the Mega Ship.
"Can you get to it? If you can reach it, I can teleport it and everyone else all at the same time."
"Andros tried to get a hold of it, then it blasted him about ten feet away. We thought you could get a fix on it, and teleport it in." TJ said into his communicator.
"Be patient Rangers. Alpha will need to set up a containment field for it, then we will teleport you all aboard."
"All right DECA. We'll wait." TJ acknowledged.
Alpha glanced up at DECA's electronic eye. "You know what this means?"
"Yes, we can recharge the Mega Ship before the Rangers find out that we are loosing power." DECA said.
"...and lied to them." Alpha whispered.
What was taking DECA and Alpha so long? They should have been done by now. Cassie thought as she paced back and forth before the other Rangers.
"Cassie, stop pacing, would you? You're making me nervous." Ashley stated.
"I can't. What's taking so long?"
"I know how you feel. I don't like being out here in the open, especially with the Morphin Grid, where we are easy targets for Astronema." TJ said as he stood and joined Cassie in pacing.
Carlos, meanwhile, was trying to back further into the shade provided by an overhanging rock, when he felt someone tap him on the shoulder. "What?" He said with, some irritation. Turning, he looked for the individual who wanted his attention. But, what was wanting his attention, was not human. "Quantrons!"
The other Rangers spun in Carlos' direction, to see a group of Quantrons surrounding them.
"Great!" Andros yelled as he took his fighting stance.
"I knew it wouldn't last." Cassie remarked.
"Alpha! The Rangers are in trouble." DECA stated the obvious.
"Do we have enough power to teleport them, and the Morphin Grid aboard?" Alpha began checking monitors as he spoke.
"We don't have a choice." DECA declared.
"I hope this works!" Alpha said, crossing his fingers and pushing a few buttons.
The Quantrons didn't move, and the Rangers remained where they were, in their fighting stances, nervous as to why the Quantrons weren't advancing.
Then suddenly, the group of Quantrons rushed them. The Rangers dug themselves in and prepared for the battle...
But, it didn't come.
They suddenly felt the tingling of teleportation, and the Quantrons were gone.
"NO!" Astronema screamed. The fools! The Rangers were hers, as well as the power source they had found. " I should know better than to let a group of fools do my dirty work! If I want something done right, I'll have to do it myself." She turned to the group of Quantrons as they teleported back aboard the Dark Fortress.
As she advanced on them, her temper flaring, Elgar entered the bridge. "Uh...Astronema?"
"What is it?" She turned her anger on Elgar. And while her attention was diverted, the Quantrons seized the opportunity to sneak away
Elgar raised his hands up to ward off her anger. "Whoa! I just thought you'd like to know, the prisoner has finally woke up."
"Good. At least something is going right." She pushed past Elgar. As he turned to watch her go, he wiped the sweat from his egg-shaped brow.
Astronema entered the darkened room and pulled the gag from the bound prisoners mouth. "I'm glad you're awake. Things will work so much better..." A sudden pain gripped her. She placed her hands to her temples. She could feel the cold metal, of the reprogramming device, beneath her fingers. A reminder of her last encounter with the Rangers, and her subsequent encounter with Darkonda.
Images flashed in her minds eye.
The Red Ranger, the Silver Ranger, laughter, and flowers.
With a scream she pushed the images away and faced her captive. A new anger burning in her eyes.
"You will be my greatest weapon against the Rangers. You...are mine!" She turned to leave, but the captive's voice stopped her.
"I will never serve you or Dark Specter. Let me go Karone. We can help you, and together we can stop Dark Specter, and save Zordon." She stood, facing the door.
Part of her wanted to go to the prisoner and free him. To do what he had promised, but a stronger part wanted to defeat the Rangers...and Dark Specter. "Forget it Silver boy. Karone is dead! The way she should have stayed. I am Astronema, and I will destroy the Rangers. And when I'm done with them, I will destroy Dark Specter and rule this pathetic galaxy." With those words, she left the room.
Zhane watched the doors close behind her. He'd been so close! He saw her indecision. "I've got to think! I've got plenty of time. It doesn't look like I'm going anywhere for a while." Zhane stated as he pulled at the bindings on his wrists.
Just when they thought they would never reach their destiny, they finally felt solid ground beneath their feet.
"What's going on?" Andros questioned.
The interior of the Mega Ship was dark, lit only by the emergency lights. Suddenly there was a bright light that lit up the bridge.
As they looked past their raised arms and hands, they caught a glimpse of the Morphin' Grid, just as the containment field was activated around it. Then the darkness was back.
"DECA! What's wrong? Are we being attacked?" Andros questioned, again.
"Rangers. I am sorry that we were not honest with you earlier. Because of the repeated attacks by Astronema, we were unable to recharge the Mega Ship, and we were loosing power. Now that we have the Morphin' Grid, we should have power...."
Just then, the lights came back on, and they could hear the engines recharging. "...now!" Alpha completed.
"Alpha. When Andros tried to touch the Morphin' Grid, to take it with us, he was shocked. Why?" TJ asked.
"When you told me about it earlier, I had DECA run a check on it."
"And I have that information now Rangers. It seems that the Morphin' Grid can not be handled by those who already posses the Morphin' power. The reason Andros was shocked, was because he had an ‘overload' of power." DECA announced.
"So, you're saying, that we have to find some other individuals to take this power? That's the only way we can use it's power to help us against Astronema?" TJ said.
"Yes Rangers, but there is a catch. The only people who, because of the instability of the Grid in it's current condition, that can access the powers, are those who have had it's power once before." Alpha announced.
The Rangers looked at each other. They all realized what it all meant.
A few hours later, full power had been restored to the Mega Ship. That's when the first blasts hit.
"DECA. Get us out of here!" TJ yelled.
Cassie, Ashley and Carlos entered the bridge just as another blast shook the ship.
"Wait. DECA, has Zhane returned from KO-35, yet?"
"I do not detect his power signature anywhere in the vacinity." DECA relayed.
"We'll have to try to contact him on KO-35 when we get a chance. Right now, we have Astronema to deal with." Andros commanded as he took the controls, and the other Rangers took their places behind monitors and weapon controls.
Cassie watched as the Dark Fortress fired its weapons once again. "Shots coming in behind us!" Andros maneuvered out of the way, and watched as the shots passed them and disappeared into space.
TJ fired off several shots, just to watch them explode against the Dark Fortress' shields.
"We need hyperdrive Alpha!" Andros called over his shoulder, to the droid working frantically behind him.
"I don't know if we have enough power..."
"Incoming!" Carlos yelled over the commotion.
"We'll have to chance it. Everyone, hold on!" Andros pressed a few buttons, then closing his eyes, he pulled back on the controls. The Mega Ship shot forward, and disappeared from the Dark Fortress' sight.
Astronema jumped from her seat as the Mega Ship vanished. "Follow them!" She roared.
"Uh...it will take a while to locate where they came out of hyperdrive." Elgar leerily announced, relieved that the controls stood between him and her wrath.
"Then do it!" Immediately, she left the bridge.
Elgar sighed in relief once he was alone. "I'm beginning to think that working for Auntie D was a lot easier."
"Andros, where are we going?" Ashley asked.
"KO-35." He answered. "We'll pick up Zhane and then figure out how to use that thing." He added, pointing at the Morphin' Grid.
"We should go to someone who has experience using it." TJ suggested.
"Well, who would that be?" Carlos asked.
"Billy Cranston." Cassie said simply, knowing that was who TJ was talking about.
"Isn't that who Justin always used to talk about?" Ashley questioned.
"Yep." TJ replied. "According to Justin, he was the first Blue Ranger and a genius. When the Rangers got the Zeo crystals, he gave up his powers because there weren't enough crystals, and he thought everyone else deserved one more than he did. He stayed with the Rangers and worked in the Power Chamber making devices, and creating Zords and doing repairs on the computers and Zords. I don't know what happened to him after that."
"Where did Justin get that information?" Carlos asked. "Maybe we can find out what happened to Billy."
"I think he got his information from Tommy and the other Rangers." Cassie answered.
"Who are they?" Andros asked.
"Tommy, Kat, Tanya, and Adam were the Turbo Rangers before us, and Rocky was the Blue Ranger between Billy and Justin." Ashley replied.
"It would be a good idea to go to Earth after picking up Zhane, to talk to them. At least one of them has to know where Billy is." TJ said.
"Yah, we'll do that." Andros replied. "DECA, how long until we reach KO-35?" He added after a few seconds.
"Exactly, thirty-three minutes and fifty-one seconds." DECA's feelingless tone replied.
"Elgar, get your sorry butt in here if you want to live!" Astronema half yelled, half growled, for the pathetic creature, from her room. One day she would kill him, but for now he was good enough for her to blast when she got angry.
"Yeah, right here, uh.. what you want," he said not thinking about what was coming out of his mouth.
"Get the prisoner in here this instant, I want to have a little chat with him. Have you figured out where the rangers are going?"
"Well, find out where they're going!" she yelled blasting Elgar a dozen times before letting him go.
When he was alone he grumbled, "Auntie D, you might be hearing from me real soon." Unfortunately for him, Ecliptor had heard what he said.
"My Princess, I have some news about Elgar." Ecliptor said as he came onto the bridge where Astronema was waiting.
"If he messed up one more thing, I assure you that he will be space debris before he realizes he did something wrong." Astronema grumbled.
"He didn't do anything wrong...yet, but I believe he plans on going back to Divatox." Ecliptor answered.
"Perfect." She mused. "If he goes back to Divatox, we won't have him messing things up all the time. I just have to give him couple blasts before I throw him back to her,"
"Glad I could help, my Princess." Ecliptor stated.
"Uh, Astronema I found out where the Rangers are heading." Elgar's ridiculous voice spoke up as he entered the room with Zhane in tow. "And here's Silver Boy. So, bye."
Before he made it out of the room he was blasted and stopped in his tracks. "Ow!"
"Well, if you know where they are headed, than tell me!" Astronema said in a very harsh voice.
"Know who is headed where?" Elgar asked.
"The Rangers, nitwit!"
"What about the Rangers?"
"Where are they going?!"
"Where are the Rangers heading!" Astronema yelled in a very loud voice. She was so mad, she felt like she would kill Elgar, if he didn't tell her where the Rangers were heading, in ten seconds.
"Oh! KO-35." He replied simply.
By this time, Zhane was laughing so hard, the Quantrons could hear him from the docking bay." Elgar's finally lost it!" He said between laughs. Before he could say anything else, he was hit in the ribs by Ecliptor. Zhane sank to his knees, holding his ribs, and glaring up at Ecliptor.
Astronema growled and blasted Elgar another dozen times before going over to a console and pushing a few buttons." I hope I never have to see you on this ship again, unless you're here for me to kill!"
"Huh?" Was the last noise Elgar made before he was teleported out.
"Finally, I get him out of here. Let Divatox deal with him now." Astronema said before turning her attention to Zhane, who was on his knees., "Well, well, well, what have we here, the Legendary Silver Ranger, helpless and kneeling at my feet. Never thought I'd see the day. Now what should I do with you, ransom or...evil?"
"Karone, don't do this, you're not evil." Zhane begged.
"Karone is dead! I am Astronema, Princess of Darkness, and there's nothing you can do to change that." She replied before she saw flashes in her mind. The Rangers laughing, the Red and Silver Rangers, blasts! "Grr! I don't know what you're doing to me but if you don't stop, well let's just say your mind won't be your own!"
"I didn't do anything." Zhane said, confused, then it dawned on him. "She's fighting you, isn't she?" Making it more of a statement than a question.
"Karone is dead! She cannot fight me. Take him back to the dungeon, and set a course back to KO-35!" She ordered, turning to Ecliptor.
"Yes, my Princess." Ecliptor replied.
"Coming out of hyperdrive now." DECA's voice echoed on the bridge.
"Thanks, DECA." Andros replied glancing up from the conversation the Rangers were having about the synthetron, among other things. They all came from across the room, to stand in front of the controls.
"Set a course for the main docking area." Andros commanded.
"Course set." Ashley acknowledged.
"Let's go." Andros said.
As soon as they landed, Kinwon and Tykva came out of one of the tents to greet them.
"Rangers, what a wonderful suprise, how may we help you?" Kinwon asked.
"We came to get Zhane. We are probably going to need his help battling Astronema, soon." Andros replied.
"Zhane? He left for Earth a week ago." Tykva said in a surprised voice.
"If he's not on KO-35 or Earth, then where is he?" Andros asked in a very concerned tone.
"Auntie D! I'm back!"
Suddenly, everything was silent. Divatox spun around.
"No! Not again! Astronema!" Divatox turned and held onto Rygog, as she began to cry uncontrollably.
"What? What did I say?" Elgar asked as he scratched his egg, shaped head.