Power Rangers: Tides of Destiny
Chapter II: Games Gods Play
by: A.J. Mashburn, "The Dark One"

[See Prologue for the Disclaimer.]

The Eternal stood in the darkness a few moments longer, observing the events that took place before him, watching each image with the cold, lifeless stare of a fanatic scientist with the need to prove himself. Clutching his foldless, obsidian robes to his side, he walked to the side of the eerie pitch black room, his grey mask standing out in the light from the two crystals at the opposing side of the room, a mask that seemed alive as the mixture of a sick, dark purple, and dark metallic silver. Once more his eyes glowed red as the anger swelled up within him, and filled his body with every emotion the Holy Bible damns, crimson heat flowed through vein that carried ice water-like blood to all parts of him, and the room around him glowed an even deeper shade that matched his eyes and soul. "It is taking too long," he thought as he paced groves into the floor of his quarters, the red light deepening his cloak into total darkness, "even at this speed the HellTide should have arrived a hour ago."

Grabbing the obsenely long staff and axe from the blood-shaded wall, he carefully ran his hands over the sharp rune encrusted surfaces, seeking out individuals, and groups as he worked the evil spell he was crafting, as he touched each rune, a song could be heard over the hellish maelstrom that was at all times evident in the room. The tones flew from the staff at rates that cause any man of perfect hearing to go deaf, as their shrill serenade continued. Then, as the dark music faded form the room, a brilliant white light shot forth from the runes that once sang above the normal octives that humans sing in, each light tore the crimson darkness that surrounded it from it's foot hold on the room, and continued to shoot away from the clear and tan surfaces of the weapons that spawned them. Finally, the light begins to move up the center of the staff, causing it to brighten uncontrollably, and force it's way to the nine-pointed crystal at the top that mirrored the shade of the light that slowly inched to it. Suddenly, as the incandesance reaches the crystal, it streaks forth, evaporating the remaining red-hued light in it's path, and striking the crystals, which refleted the nausiating pure brilliance towad the globe, causing the images to shift once more. Finally the beam is exhausted, and the images come into view, one, a beautiful lake in the center of a large grove, with a Terran farm receding into the distance, the other, a ray of purest gold, flying from a back water world on the edge of the galaxy, it's three moons reflecing the metallic hued light, faster than anything in the universe.

The boy in the first image was well built, and most likly, rock-hard from years of weight-lifting, his shoulder-length dark brown hair tied to into a ponytail. His face, with the look of very little fat, and alot of muscle, appeared weighed down by an unseen burden, as he ran towards a large lake he jumped form an old pier that seemed to nearly cave in with each heavy step, until he leapt, almost flying, into the cool clear water below. The light played off his bathing suit of dark green and gold mixed as the image assimilated the entire globe and the Eternal watched intently as the boy, each time he jumped, did an incredible kick and punch combo in the air. The Eternal knew that now at this, a time of prophesy, this boy would be integral to "the plan" he had followed to the letter.

Twirling on one booted foot, the Eternal spun around to face the only object that stood out among the dark chaos, other than the globe and crystals, the door he'd come through before. Walking to the eggplant colored door, his hands flew over the auburn rune encrusted surface of the control pad by the silver eight-pointed star placed high on the violet portal.

Stepping out, once more, into the cavernous hallway beyond the hell of his private quarters, and began to navigate the chaotic five-dimensional layout of the the HellTide. Along turns at angles that would baffle the universe's greatest mathmitican, he walked for what seemed to be miles as they could be measured in three dimensional terms, passing the demon-kind as though they were nothing, which in fact, to him was what they amounted to. The "Grond-Cren", or "Scavengers of Hell" as they are called around the universe, were atply named. The Grond would find worlds seeped in a deadly war, wait in hiding until the factions nearly destroyed each other, and then take over when they were at their weakest, hardly effective, but adequate to their plans. In fact the Eternal would not have given them a second thought, if not for their unique ability to percieve reality in five-dimensions. They were the only troopers that could navigate the HellTide, and operate it's complex systems, but what impessed him the most was how their leaders usually controlled them, through the one greatest motivator in existance...fear. This was how Jha'tok controlled them all this time, being the largest and strongest of his kind, he was feared more than any other being, next to the Eternal that is.

In fact, it was obvious that Jha'tok was different from his brothers in one way, he followed the Eternal for a single reason that fear could not grasp in it's stifling tentacles, that emotion was the darkest any could feel, and still be considered civilized, that emotion: Ambition! Jha'tok had only fear when the Eternal would threaten his life or family, but the rest of the time, he only wanted power, power he knew only the Eternal could give him.

As the Eternal made an impossible turn in a hall as he finally came to his destination, a large golden door, much like the one that led to his private chambers, only this held a large symbol, much like a large "S", except it looked crystalline, and had edges instead of curves, and a hue of the darkest, most, blood colored-crimson this side of a blood bank. Once more manipulating the control pad, he made sure his axe was still strapped comfortably across his back, he implanted the final command, which opened the door onto a room that looked much like an assembly line. Yet there were no cars being assembled on it's tracks, instead, on the incredibly long conveyors, lay two different sets of bodies. The first, a humanoid in a pair of green swimming trunks, standing outside a primitive terran farm. The other a golden streak of light, rocketing away from a world orbited by three moons of varying size.

Seeing this, he was pleased. He knew each of the phoenomina would be instrumental in the prophesy that would soon come to pass. His masked face began to contort in the foulest, most maniacle grin ever to disgrace to face of a corporeal being. His entire plan rided on the being in these visions of the past and future in ways no ordianry being could comprehend, as his mind raced in the darkness that shrouded it, he knew the time ot move was now.

"My old friend Mondo will be attacking his enemies again soon. His creations will help me to test those....transitional phase humans, the time has come to see just how they wield the TitansBane. Jha'tok!!!!!."

Within seconds an area of the crimson hell he inhabited brightened and began to take on clarity, until it coallesed into the face of the demon.

"What is your wish, my lord?"

"You are to prepare the seeds for delivery into the Mondo's Cogs at once. And ensure they can manifest their weapons at a moments notice. No failures devil, or I shall ensure your family is the first to shoved into the Realm. Am I understood?"

"Y...yes, my lord, perfectly." The demon said shakily.

"Good, and ready the Temporter, I want the Hier of the Dragon here soon. And contact our allies, tell them we are ready to procede."

"Aye, my lord! Diselnar Groma, in the name of Ni..."

"SHUT UP! Mention that name in my presence and i'll drain your lifeforce for assimiliation into the seeds!" With that, the staff reacted, sending a burning pulse of energy into the image of Jha'tok, destroying it and allowing the darkness to reclaim the space it had lost.

His anger reaching to the depth of his being, he quickly exited his private chamber, two guards carrying his weaponry, and made his way through the corridors of the HellTide. Navigating the penta-dimensional halls with the ease of a hummingbird flying through the air, he passed many of the Grond'Kren he had hired for the mission to earth.

The Grond'Kren were literally the dregs of the galaxy, very few acknowlegded their existance, and even fewer would, even fly near their ports. They were the worst possible scavengers, nothing they had, was not created by another race, not even their "vast" scientific knowledge. The only reason the Eternal had brought them on in the first place, was their inate ability to navigate in a five-dimensional continuum like the ship. At first, the Grond had resisted him, in fact, when he came to the demons homeworld, they promptly ignored him. After studying them for a time, the Eternal soon learned how to control them, it was so simple, that for all his vaunted knowledge, he should have thought of it sooner. The only way to control the Grond, was through the "universal language" as he called it, the emotion of fear.

So, with incredible displays of power, the Eternal soon rose to the head of their Hirearchy, and quickly overthrew their king, a Grond who knew how to fear, and how to inspire it...the demon Jha'tok. All it took was the imprisonment of his family, the destruction of his lands, and his parents death. After that, the demon would follow him anywhere.

After sometime of walking, the Eternal came to a door with a scarlet "S" surrounded by burnished gold. Typing in a small sequence of commands, the door slid open. The smell eminating from the door was that of rotting flesh and motor oil, it assaulted his sences as he entered, causing a solitary tear to leave it's salty trail on his grey mask.

All around the series of conveyor belts were the mounds of flesh and bone of a thousand different alien species, and the dried blood on the floor made a crunching as it met his boots with each step. A few Grond were gathered around a small control panel that stood in the center of the genocidic maddness, the series of knobs and levers had various portions of decaying organs clinging to it them, but the demons kept to their work, never minding the entrails that rubbed off on their hands.

Walking over to a near table, the Eternal picked up a golden chalice that would make a king's ransom seem like bus fare. Taking it over to the panel he lowered it to the table gently, and removed the small top that covered the cup.

"Are the corpses ready to have the seeds implanted?" he asked one of the engineers.

"Y-y-yes, milord. They are," she replied, the fear in her voice approaching near deafening tones.

"Will the reinforcement work to increase their power levels?"

This time the answer came as a mouse's squeak to the ears of a giraffe, "Y-y-yes."

"How long will the process take?"

No answer.

"How long?" he asked once more, his anger becoming apparent.

Still, no answer.

"HOW LONG YOU STUPID, INEPT, DEMONIC, TRI-DIMENTIONAL, STAR TRASH!" he yelled into her face with the force of a gale wind.

This time the engineer's mate had had enough. He lunged at the Eternal with a spear meant to impale him. Unfortunatly, he never made it farther that a few precious inches from his face, when the Eternal, powered by sheer force of will, punched him square in the chest.

The impact crushed each rib in his body,which in turn punctured his lungs, and heart. Before flying backward into the wall, as his neck gave way under the friction of his punch, the demon flew back against the wall, crushing him into a nothing more than a few pounds of organic chemicals.

As the others went to gather the remains, the Eternal raised his had , commanding them to stop. Grabbing the female by the neck, he pulled her close and made her stare at the mess that her mate had become on the floor.

"See that, Demon? I said, do you that?" he said as he shoved her to the floor. "The next time you disobey me, that will happen to you!"

"Let this be a lesson to all of you! I will not tolerate defiance! If you wish you're people to live past The Coming, then you will commit your very souls to me from here on out. NOW, Begin the process!!"

With that, the strange machinery jumped to life, picking up the lifeless bodies of strange bird-like creatures that had an air of a humanoid shape to them. Various tools began to circle over the corpses, enforcing bones, restructuring organs, and replacing the purple blood with a viscous black liquid that burned the veins, and cauterized the wounds they had suffered.

Finally, a small drill would begin to bore directly into the heads, the sound of it grinding the skull and burning it's flesh invigorated the Eternal, sending waves of pleasure that begged to be intensified. As the drill pierced the remainder of it's brain, the drill withdrew, and made way for a small probe to enter the newly formed cranial oriffice, taking with it, a small foggy white marble.

As the openings were repaired, the bodies were dumped from the conveyor, onto the cold, hard floor. The Eternal held his staff and axe over his head and began to mumble. The area where the weapons were crossed began to glow in an eerie violet light, which was sent careening down an invisible thread to the corpses that lied on the floor. The beam entered the cavity where that the probe had dug into the bird-mens heads.

"Let the evil energies fill these dark creations, with hate and malice, with the darkest urges and the most sadistic moods. Let them destroy my enemies, and ensure me the power I deserve! For now is the time of the coming!" the Eternal cried out, his maniacle laughter filling the compartment.

TBC . . . .