But they couldn't think constantly about who the other Ranger could be. And with thoughts of recreation in their minds, Tanya and Adam headed out to the park to practice some martial arts.
Trey shuddered as more of the ships began to fire at him. It was apparent that their strategy was simple: if you can't capture your target, destroy it.
"Right away, commander!" his subordinate declared. He knew what his master wanted. "If we can't have the Gold Ranger powers, no one will!"
As their ships attacked Pyramidus again and again, the commander did his level best to smile. Their employer would be so pleased once they finally managed to destroy the Gold Ranger. They had been trying to do that for months now, the longest that any of their targets had taken. The Varox honor would be restored and they would once again be the premiere bounty hunters of the universe.
Until the moment Pyramidus and a troop of Varox ships swooped out of a clear blue sky, with the ships firing on the huge Zord, which barely managed to keep itself in the air. Tanya's eyes went wide. "It's the Gold Ranger!" she breathed, wondering if they were finally going to learn who the mystery man really was. That didn't seem very likely as the ships all swept back out of sight, heading for who knew where through hyperspace.
Mondo was very pleased by this. He'd been trying to seize that Ranger ever since he had first appeared and started to drive them insane with defeating their schemes at every turn. The only thing that could possibly be any worse would be if that brainiac human Billy became a Ranger!! "What luck! We'll seize the Golden powers!"
"Unfortunately," Klank was sad to interrupt. "The Gold Ranger is too far from our grasp, and being pursued by Varox Bounty Hunters!"
The Machine King growled, whirling back to his family. "What!? Who are those bounty hunters working for? They're not on my payroll this month!"
"The Varox are no match for the Golden powers," Machina reminded him. Once the Gold Ranger disposed of those annoyances, it would be easy for the Machine Empire forces to slip in and take him for their own.
Mondo shrugged as much as his stiff body would permit. "Perhaps, but at the very least this chasing about with the Varox should greatly weaken the Gold Ranger. Then we can destroy him, and the other Rangers will be powerless against my new robotic technology!"
The Royal Family laughed and settled to watch the chasing of the Gold Ranger. You couldn't pay for entertainment like this!
"Computer, what's the nearest habitable planet to my current position?" he asked quickly. If he had to crash-land, it would at least be some place that he could live on!
After a moment, during which he was blasted several more times, the answer came back. "Aquitar."
Trey groaned. In the most technical sense of the word, Aquitar was a habitable world, but it was impossible for a Triforian to remain for very long upon it. But all of his other options were too far away for him to get to. This was his only choice.
In their own ships, The Varox were truly enjoying what they were doing. One of them checked Pyramidus' power levels. "The Gold Ranger's ship has been weakened, commander."
"Yes, he is unable to fight back!" The Commander laughed, this was going much better than they had expected. Indeed, they would finally wipe out the Gold Ranger! "One more hit should finish him!"
The troop of ships swept in, all lasers firing. Trey swore in Aquitian, Triforian, Edenite, Eltarian, English, Kerovan, and Liarian as he lost all control of the ship and started to spiral down towards Aquitar. "I'm hit!" he hissed. "I've lost control!" that was all he could say as blackness overwhelmed him and Pyramidus descended at a deadly pace towards Aquitar's Nebian Sea.
"He is deep in the oceans of Aquitar, Commander." one of the Varox reported. Everyone knew that only one of Aquitian breeding could possibly survive the depths of those waters. No other life form could remain long on the planet of water, they were simply too inhospitable.
The Commander laughed harshly. "Yes! That is the end of the Gold Ranger! Our mission has been completed successfully. We are finished here, let's go!"
Swiftly they departed. They had done their work. The Gold Ranger was done with.
"Billy, we have to help him!" Adam came closer to the young genius and declared. Billy glanced at the scanners.
"I've got his position in the Nebian Sea on Aquitar." Billy remembered his visit there with a shudder. The Aquitians were a water-borne species, and they kept every inch of their base as wet as could be. He might not fear fish anymore, but the very concept of spending more than a short amount of time there was horrifying to him. The lights on the scanner blinked, pinpointing the exact location of the downed Pyramidus. Billy felt an irrational desire to do some severe damage to the Varox for harming that magnificent Zord, as well as a deep itch to get inside it's workings.
Even as they watched, however, the signal on the monitors faded suddenly. Billy's eyes widened. "It's gone! The signal disappeared!"
"And the Varox warships are retreating as well!" Alpha told them. Tanya frowned, not certain what was going on.
"I thought we took care of them a long time ago?" she remembered clearly the pounding they had all taken at the hands of the Varox that had previously followed the Gold Ranger to Earth.
Zordon shook his head. "The Varox are a race of bounty hunters programmed to destroy a single target. They cease only when they have reached their goal." Many notable warriors, of good and evil, for the Varox's only loyalty was to money, had fallen under their laser fire. Tanya shivered.
"Which means they wouldn't have retreated if they hadn't. .." the Yellow Ranger let her words trail off, and Adam shivered as well.
"No way." Her boyfriend declared. No matter what the Varox thought, Adam couldn't and wouldn't believe that they had defeated the mighty warrior. It just couldn't be done. "He can't be gone."
Billy closed his eyes for a moment, feeling a strange and mysterious sensation inside of him. He didn't know what it was, but he knew without a shadow of a doubt that the Gold Ranger was still alive. Hurt. . .but alive. He started looking again. He had to find that Ranger.
The White Ranger rose quickly to her feet, her eyes filled with worry. "Where is Trey?"
"He is teleporting here now." The Blue Ranger didn't wait for his leader to say anything more; he quickly rushed to aid the fallen Ranger. Delphine followed moments later, arriving in the outer corridors just in time to see her teammate escorting a semi-conscious Trey into the off-world audience chamber.
Slowly Trey began to stand on his own, stepping a few feet away from him, and Cestro went to stand by Delphine as the Triforian lord glowed with an almost painful golden light. For a second, they thought they could see his three selves at the same time, then that faded as he collapsed to the floor, holding himself up only by the Golden Power Staff.
"What is happening?" Delphine asked, rushing to help him as best she could. She and Trey had met before, during meetings to discuss the spread of evil in the cosmos, and they had formed a tight bond that came from leadership and positions of power.
Trey was having trouble speaking as he looked up at her. "Power. ..I'm losing control. .." he clutched briefly at her tunic. "Zordon. ..I need his help."
"We must make contact with Zordon. Hurry!" Delphine's hair almost hit Trey in the face as she turned to look at Cestro. He noted the concern in her voice, more so than might be warranted even under these situations, and nodded quickly.
"I will arrange the transmission at once, Delphine." He promised, and headed away, leaving the two of them alone. Delphine looked down at the handsome prince, feeling emotions she had always done her best to keep under a tight lid of control, for a thousand good and honorable reasons.
Trey looked back at Delphine, a weak smile tugging at the corners of his lips. He knew he could not stay for long on Aquitar, it wasn't a good place for him unmorphed. Most of their meetings had taken place on Eltar, which was one of the few places in the universe in which all species could harmoniously co-exist. They had never been physically involved with one another, but it wasn't from lack of desire: it was from lack of the proper body parts for both of them. But that is another story altogether.
"We will help you, Trey," the White Ranger promised. Her eyes widened in shock as he suddenly slid down to the floor, the elements of Aquitar finally overwhelming him. But will we be in time?
"We got here as soon as we could. What's up, Adam?" the Red Ranger asked. Adam looked over, worried.
"It's the Gold Ranger." he told them. Before he could say anything else, the Viewing Globe began to crackle, and Alpha waved his hands, attracting their attention and their presence by him.
"We are receiving a visual transmission from Aquitar!" the droid reported. Billy and the others glanced over, wondering if this would be the answer to their dreams: or their nightmares.
The images of Delphine and Cestro appeared on the crystal. As they made the traditional greeting gesture, Delphine spoke. "Greetings, Power Rangers. We have an emergency which we must relate to you."
"Does it have something to do with the Gold Ranger?" Adam anticipated, and Tanya did as well.
"Is he all right?"
Cestro answered them. "We are not certain. We have a great concern as to his well-being." Delphine dipped her head for a moment, something odd in her eyes, and the other Rangers glanced at one another, suspecting something was going on they knew nothing of. "His genetic make-up is incompatible with that of Aquitar and is causing a disturbing metabolic reaction."
Delphine introduced them. "Behold Trey, Lord of Triforia, otherwise known as the Gold Ranger." She and Cestro moved back, letting a clear tube be shown to them. In it was a tall humanoid male, with dark hair, closed eyes, a strange gold and black tunic-like outfit, and the Golden Power Staff in his hands. The Rangers stared, and Billy felt a jump in his insides, as if he had been expecting that face all along. He was almost certain he knew. . .almost certain he had seen this person somewhere before, if he could only remember where.
The other Rangers just stared, seeing at last the person beneath the armor. Each of them felt a strange sense of relief at the finally solved mystery, and Rocky even felt a little ashamed for accusing Billy of being the Gold Ranger a few days earlier. Now, they all knew the truth.
"The Gold Ranger's alive and well on Aquitar!?" Mondo raged, shaking his staff in Klank's face. How could this be? How dare this be! "But I saw his ship crash!" Organics simply weren't that resilient, it just couldn't happen!
Klank shook his head. "It is true that he is alive, Your Majesty, however he is not well. He will certainly attempt to return to Earth to seek Zordon's help."
"Well, then, we must make sure he never gets there." Mondo decided. He knew you could never depend on a mercenary to get the job down! It would be up to his Cogs and himself to wipe the Gold Ranger off the map of the universe once and for all.
His majordomo nodded quickly. "Yes, Yer Highness! I will begin the preparations at once!" he wandered off, his processors deciding just what to do. There were days when Klank loved being evil, and this was turning out to be one of them.
"We will prepare to receive him right away." Zordon promised as the images faded from the globe. Tommy nodded quietly.
"Hope he makes it."
Quickly the six of them scattered throughout the Power Chamber, and Billy began to tell them what they would need to do in order to lock onto Trey's signal and bring him to them.
She sighed. They would soon be teleporting him to Earth, and the odds were good she would not see him again until the next great galactic council meeting. She placed one hand on the chamber, and a single tear fell down her cheek. "Someday, perhaps, beloved. Someday."
The White Ranger stepped back from the tube as golden light began to rain down all over the Triforian lord. She stood by Cestro and watched as he left her world again. "Good luck, Trey of Triforia, and may the power protect you."
Once he was out of sight, she stifled a sigh, and then returned to her endless duties.
"Ready, Your Majesty!"
"Use it on the Power Chamber immediately!" Mondo ordered. He should've thought of this some time ago! Attack the Power Chamber, and he would have the Rangers themselves out of the way!!
Suddenly the alarms began to ring, and Tommy looked at his old friend. "Billy, what is it?" Billy always had the answers, and that was one of the things they loved about him. He was always there for them.
"I don't know. Something's not right." Billy shook his head and went to check another console, as outside a light blue field formed around the chamber. He turned back to the others quickly as he realized what was going on. "Guys, it's Mondo! He's encased the Command Center in a uni-directional nuclear reflective shield. Nothing can get inside here!"
Rocky threw a hand up in confusion. "So what does that mean?"
"If Trey isn't redirected, he'll smash into the shield and be destroyed." the ex-Ranger said flatly as he hurried around trying to figure out what he could do to stop that. Every molecule of his body screamed that to save Trey was to save himself somehow.
"Can't you destroy the shield?" Tommy wanted to know. Billy had usually been able to do that sort of thing before.
"I'm trying, but nothing's working." Billy stared down at the controls giving him the readings that the shield was still up, practically mocking him. I wish I knew something about Machine technology, maybe I could figure a way around this thing.
Tommy sighed; they'd been through so much, and now would they be defeated by a simple forcefield? It couldn't be! It just couldn't be!
"It's finally the end of that meddlesome Gold Ranger! And the beginning of my foolproof plan! The Rangers are done for!" Mondo declared. There was no way and nothing the Rangers could do to defeat him this time!"
Billy almost threw his hands up in despair. "I can't disarm the shield!" he declared. He didn't like being stymied in the slightest.
"What about rerouting the teleportation?" Tommy asked, a sudden idea coming to him. Adam joined him by Billy.
"Yeah, we just need a safe place to land him!" after that, they could worry about getting the shield out and Trey to the Power Chamber after that.
Billy thought for a moment, then a memory of him, Trini, a hot summer's day, and a farewell he'd never forget flashed into his mind. "Angel Cove! It's surrounded on three sides by cliffs."
Tommy grinned in joy. "We'll meet him there. Um, can we teleport out of here?" The plan wouldn't work if they couldn't!
"Yeah, I think so." Billy told them as the others drew together.
Kat glanced at the timer. "Hurry, ten seconds!" she wanted the Gold Ranger saved as fast as possible! The thought of someone dying didn't bear thinking.
"There. That should do it. Go." Billy instructed. Tommy nodded, and the five of them teleported out in their shimmering columns of light. Moments later, they had arrived on the beach at Angel Cove, and started looking around for their new friend.
It wasn't easy to miss him, either, as he practically fell through the sky and landed in the water on the far side of the cliffs. As they raced over, Kat asked nervously, "Where is he?"
"I don't see him!" Adam shook his head. They had to find him!
Tommy stared at the water for a moment. "Oh, man. Let's go." As he had led the charge so many times into battle, now he led them into the ocean, trying to find the alien prince. Luckily all of them could swim, and Tommy ordered quickly, "Dive for him!" everyone was underwater in seconds.
"We have to find him!" Adam cried out several fruitless seconds later. "Where is he?"
Tanya shook her head. "I don't know! I can't see Tommy either!" she knew what sort of pain that was going to bring to Kat, who was calling out a command to keep looking for them. Cries for their leader rang through the air, then suddenly from a few feet away, the Golden Power Staff lifted out of the water, and with it came Trey. ..and with him came Tommy!
Slowly the two of them started towards the shore, with the others coming to help. Trey did his best to catch his breath, then looked at them. "Thank you, Rangers of Earth. I am in your debt."
They watched in shock as he stepped a few feet away, then both he and the Golden Power Staff began to glow with a brilliant light. Then, three distorted images of Trey began to play around him, separating into three distinct beings, with the center one holding the Power Staff, and all three identical down to the last hair. The three Treys walked over to the Rangers, who were staring in unabashed wonder.
"Who are you?" Adam asked, though the question that was really going through his mind was what are they!
The one in the center spoke first. "I am Trey of Courage."
"I am Trey of Wisdom." The one to the left spoke, and the final one named himself as Trey of Heart.
Rocky blinked a little. "But. ..there's three of you!" this was something he'd never seen in his years of being a Power Ranger!
"We are Triforian, a race of trifold beings, each with distinct three personalities normally joined as one. We are a race of great peacekeepers, who often travel to other planets when there is a need to do away with evil."
Kat smiled, another mystery coming clear. "So that's why you helped us all those times."
"Yes." Trey of Wisdom said. "But unfortunately my latest battle with the Varox have splintered my unity of being. Until I am one, I am unable to utilize the Gold Ranger powers. I must find a worthy beneficiary or the powers will be lost forever."
Tommy grinned widely, looking at the others. This was what they'd been waiting for! "Hey! We have just the man for the job, don't we, guys?"
Everyone was grinning wildly, then the sound of Quadrafighters broke into the conversation. As the ships fired on them, the eight young people scattered. "Head for the rocks!" Tommy shouted, hoping that they would provide some cover.
As soon as they were in the small cave there, Tommy touched his communicator. "Billy, are you there?"
"Tommy, I read you!" their friend replied quickly. He had been listening, and he knew what was about to happen. He welcomed it with all his heart and soul, too.
The Red Ranger told him, "You've got to get Trey out of here. We're under attack!"
"I'm still trying to initiate the destruction of Mondo's shield. I'll teleport Trey as soon as possible." Billy told him.
Tommy flinched back from some of the falling rocks. "All right. We'll keep the Quadrafighters busy." He looked at the others. "We need a diversion, guys. Trey, stay here until Billy teleports you." He whirled back around. "It's morphin' time!"
"Zeo Ranger I, Pink!"
"Zeo Ranger II, Yellow!"
"Zeo Ranger III, Blue!"
"Zeo Ranger IV, Green!"
"Zeo Ranger V, Red!"
Together the five of them ran out into the open, and moments later were being fired on by the Quadrafighters, not bright enough to realize they were outnumbered and outclassed by the Rangers. "Here they come again!" Tommy called out. "We gotta keep them away from Trey!"
That wasn't going to be easy, however, as a batch of Cogs teleported in right behind them. The Rangers whirled around, and Tommy snapped, "What do you want, tingrins?"
"Surrender the Gold Ranger to us!" one of the Cogs croaked. Tommy almost laughed.
"In case you haven't noticed, we don't respond to threats!" the leader of the Rangers told them. With a cry for battle, the five charged to deal with the silvery menaces.
Battle raged all over the beach, with the three Treys watching nervously, waiting to be teleported. Suddenly, a cog-shaped portal opened up, and Mondo, along with Machina, Sprocket, Klank, and Orbus appeared near him. "Cogs, surround them!" he ordered. In moments, the foot troops had circled around the three. "Well, it is an honor to finally meet you. Now, turn over the Golden Power Staff to me!"
"I'm afraid that would be unwise." Trey of Wisdom said calmly, just as ready to fight as his other selves were. The three of them were under attack in moments, Cogs crawling all over them trying to get the staff, which Courage still held tightly.
Sprocket was enjoying the battle immensely, it's ferocity appealing to his child-mind. "Get 'em! Squash all of them like bugs!"
"I do love a good physical contest." Machina declared. She would have to get her husband to reopen the gladiatorial games they had had a few centuries earlier. Those were so much fun!
"I know!" Tommy knocked a Cog away and shouted, "Hang on man!" To his communicator, he yelled, "Billy, you've got to get Trey out of here!"
"Got it!" Billy's voice came back, and the shield around the Power Chamber vanished. On the beach, the Treys shimmered for a moment, then they also were no longer there.
Mondo wasn't pleased, either. "Where did they go!?"
"Away from you, King Mondo!" Tommy laughed. "Billy got Trey!"
Kat felt like screaming out in joy. "All right! Let's finish this!"
"Time to get serious." Tommy declared as they leaped into the Cogs. The next time they battled. . .it would be Billy in the Golden armor!
"I am." His voice was quiet and calm as he replied. "I'm truly honored."
"Gift of power, take flight!" they said. "Billy, the Golden Power Staff is now yours."
Trey of Courage held it out to him, and Billy slowly reached up to touch it. As his fingers embraced it, he felt a supreme power charging into his soul. This was all he had ever dreamed of. .and more so.
"Zeo Five, Power Sword, now!" Tommy commanded, his weapon appearing and slicing into the last of the Cogs. As the machine warriors fell into shards, the Red Ranger faced the king. "All right, good job! That's the last of your Cogs, King Mondo!"
Mondo maintained what royal dignity he could. "As much as I would like to remain here and do battle with you Rangers personally, I have far more pressing kingly duties to attend to!"
"Later, Rangers!" Sprocket declared as they all teleported away. Tommy felt a surge of triumph.
"Let's get back to the Power Chamber." He decided. "Billy might be the new Gold Ranger by now."
"Please, darling, your oil pressure!" Machina reminded him. "You still have your new robotic technology, remember?"
Mondo laughed. "Yes! I may not have the Gold powers, but my new robots will be unstoppable!"
"I'm back, guys!" he grinned wildly, something Tanya had never seen, and that the others had not seen in too long: since the dawning of the Zeo era. Tommy came over to clap his hand on his friend's shoulder.
"Welcome back, Billy." he said. It filled an empty part of his soul to have his long-time teammate back in the power.
The Treys came over. "We must return to Triforia to work on reuniting ourselves." Trey of Courage said. "But before we go, we have a final gift. This has been with us for millennia, and now we return it to it's rightful owners."
Wisdom held out a small box, and Tommy opened it up to reveal five crystal-like gems. Zordon's eyes seemed to widen. "The Super Zeo Gems. I had thought they were lost forever."
"Billy, use the energy from your Golden Staff to activate them," Trey of Wisdom asked. "And now, we must go. Take care of the Golden power. It is our hope that we will one day return to reclaim it." The three of them vanished, and the six Rangers looked at one another.
Tommy smiled briefly. "You know what to do, Billy." he said quietly. Billy nodded, then held the staff out over the gems. Light poured from the tip, and the five of them transmuted into light themselves, flying out of the box and going outside.
"The Super Zeo Zords are forming outside!" Alpha told them. The Rangers raced outside, and stared up in shock at the magnificent humanoid Zords out there.
"This is amazing!" Billy couldn't believe his eyes. "I feel. ..I feel like this is my destiny!"
Zordon's voice came to them all. "This is your destiny, Rangers. You are one again. Welcome back, Billy. Gold Ranger."