Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers or Doctor Who. They belong to their respective copyright owners.
Author’s note: These events occur as the same time as the events in the previous chapter.
The Book of the Unknown held many secrets and Dimitria considered herself cursed that while she knew much of what the books foretold, she could never use that knowledge to warn others unless the Book allowed it. The events that were to come could not be avoided. They were alas set in stone. The only question lay in which side would ultimately benefit. For the Xenotome told only of the journey and not the destination. And sadly she noted that a time when he was needed more than ever, Jeff Kincaid would not be there to play a role.
But the Xenotome also spoke of another player. Reluctant and unwilling to choose a side, he would curb the excesses of both factions, protecting life above all else. But it seemed the book was slightly confused because the time when he would make his appearance seemed to change every time she looked.
When the first ships had been reported above an unimportant planet only a few light years from Eltare, the Morphin Masters had known that it was not a simple raid. As more ships continued to arrive it became clear that this new force was seeking to surround the planet, cutting them off from the neighbouring allies. When they received word that similar vessels had appeared at other seemingly random planets, they had known that the danger they sensed was real. For weeks the Morphin Masters had been receiving visions of a new evil that threatened to sweep them aside. A hidden danger, a Dark Specter that could wipe them all out, one that would steadily circle its target until it was ready, and then it would strike a swift and fatal blow. And somehow in their dreams they knew that there was only one hope for their survival – for they were convinced that the final battle would be fought on the planet Earth.
They had been so concerned that they had sent a message to the Council, explaining their findings. The Council had responded that they were mistaken, refusing to change its stance on Earth. In doing so they ignored a powerful ally that could have saved many from an undeserved fate and practically handed victory to the dark forces that waited to strike.
Serpenterra continued on its path of destruction, unhindered by the machine’s high fuel consumption, which had been corrected thanks to the Zeo Crystal’s near infinite supply of energy. Even with its plasma cannon repeatedly firing the fuel cells didn’t show signs of diminishing. Of course the shots were not the high yield planet crushing blasts that it had used before. For some reason Minion found it more pleasurable to take lives in small doses rather than kill all life at once.
Below was a small town. It managed a few select stores, a public bar, elementary school and its own small television station. The major employer in the area was the nuclear power plant, the most notorious plant in the country since its millionaire owner was a miser who was more than happy to ignore as many safety rules as possible. The mayor was a corrupt womaniser who spent much of his fortune paying the town’s papers not to cover his indiscretions and the police department to deal with those that weren’t sensible enough to accept bribery.
The town was not known for its citizens’ calmed reasoned thinking at the best of times; today there was absolute panic. The people had realised that the monster above them could not be stopped and there even the old fallout shelters built in case of nuclear war, would not shield them. And so they huddled together under the statue of their town’s founder, hoping that something would save them.
Serpenterra hovered over the town, waiting as the sense of panic reached a peak. Then the energy flowed into its weapon systems. A glow formed in the mouth and with sudden ferocity, a plasma blast ripped into the ground. The roads boiled as the houses were vaporised. The people tried to cry out in pain, but their voices were already lost as the sound of the explosion echoed into the neighbouring town.
And on board the ship, Minion laughed as he adjusted his course to take him to Washington DC via a few other small towns as the remains of Springwood settled into a scorched pit, the anguish of those that had died there trapped within the tainted ground.
Springwood had never recovered from the decimation Minion had inflicted upon it. Like the other towns he had callously destroyed, it had not been restored when the Rangers had restored their reality. Perhaps because its destruction had been so complete that no amount of magic could reverse it. The ground had smoked for months following the incident leading authorities to check that there wasn’t something beneath the ground that was burning. Eventually though the smoke had cleared and the area had been fenced off while those in power discussed what should be done.
High fences topped by razor wire had not stopped some from entering the area it seemed. Two figures walked across the scarred ground, delighting in the pain and suffering they could feel around them. They were Orgs, demonic spirits formed from the despair greed and suffering of humans. To them this tainted wound in the surface of the planet was everything they desired. For it seemed that while the humans had been correct that the area beneath the earth had not been set alight, they had failed to understand what a festering sore this former town had become. Unknowingly Minion’s actions had created a nexus point where Orgs and other things could feed and grow stronger. If a being capable of seeing such things had looked they would have seen that Springwood was the epicentre of destruction with jagged tendrils of magically tainted ground spreading like a patchwork of cracks in all directions. It was a tainted Ley Line.
“Do you feel it?” the female asked, her horn glowing from the magical energy.
“Yes,” Jindrax agreed. His companion was far more capable at sensing spiritual beings even when they were not strictly Orgs, but with such a high concentration of spiritual energy even he could sense it. “But why haven’t they emerged?”
Org spirits were just that: spirits. In order to affect the world around them they had to first emerge and take on a physical form using whatever materials were to hand. That it seemed would be a problem in a place that lacked the raw materials for them to inhabit.
“They’re not Orgs,” she answered. “They’re just evil spirits created from this place.” Then she smiled as she reached into her gown and pulled out a handful of seeds. “no matter, that can be corrected.”
The seeds seeped into the ground the more they touched, providing the spirits that lived there a slight grip on the world around them. The two Duke Orgs watched as the seeds started to grow, forming monstrous vines that carried dripping fruit composed of wicked energy. The fruit ripened swiftly and sickly black flowers appeared shooting spore like pollens into the air that were carried by the suddenly fierce winds. And then the fruits withered, rotting into the ground and polluting it further as new vines emerged. And as they did so the spirits that inhabited the ruined ground started to seek out the small pieces that remained of the former town; any fragment no matter the size would do for the mutant spirits – for despite their hopes it was clear to the sinister duo that these were not true Orgs. Perhaps though they were an indication that the real Orgs would one day return.====
Larry Zedden was in trouble. He had been for a while, but had chosen to ignore the discomfort, hoping that his resolve would be enough. The fact of the matter was that his plan to seal off the villain known as Lord Zedd and keep him imprisoned deep within his mind had failed. Zedd’s evil was too great to be contained in such a way and as much as he didn’t want to think about it, Larry knew that there were periods of time that he had not been able to account for in recent months. He was also aware that something had happened to prevent him from asking for help. He had been fighting a losing battle.
Then he had been injured fighting one of Rita’s monsters. At the time the wound had seemed insignificant, but now he realised just how underhanded the wife of Lord Zedd had been – for the wound had been caused by an edge dipped in the rejuvenation fluid of Lord Zedd. The concentrated evil had started coursing through his veins and while it had taken its time, the evil magic was having an effect. No doubt Rita expected that in time it would break down his body and subject him to a long painful death. Instead the magic of Zedd had reached out and accepted the evil energies, keeping Zedden safe, but at the cost of the barriers he had placed around Lord Zedd when he had trapped him within the depths of his mind.
Either the barriers had been weaker than expected, or Zedd had been stronger than he had dared to believe. He had been fighting more and more to restrain the evil presence, constantly reinforcing the barriers while Zedd seemed to grow stronger. The rejuvenation fluid had meant that it was now a losing battle. The evil magic had poisoned him while strengthening Zedd. He no longer had the ability to reinforce the mental shielding himself.
Deep within his mind he could hear Lord Zedd laughing as he grew stronger and he knew that it would not be long until his will was overpowered. But before that happened there were things he need to do. First he summoned the Sword of Fire and gave it a magical command. If Lord Zedd was going to rise again, he would at least give the forces of good a weapon to use against him. The next spell he cast upon himself, creating an overwhelming desire to protect his wife. If Zedd tried to harm her, Larry knew it might be enough to give him some leverage. If not it would ensure that Leslie was left alone. And finally he said a prayer to whatever deity would listen that even if Zedd took control, he would not be allowed to slaughter innocents.
And as the clock struck midnight, heralding the dawn of a new day, Larry Zedden screamed; the battle was lost.
“Larry?” Leslie asked, opening the door to the bathroom where her husband had seconds earlier fallen to the floor.
“No Leslie, not Larry,” Lord Zedd hissed as he towered over her.
She turned, hoping to escape the monster that had taken her husband and find help, but Zedd was too quick. The end of his staff connected with the back of her neck, freezing her in place as Zedd felt a wave of pain flood through his body.
“I have not harmed her!” he declared. “And as long as you do not oppose me, she will remain safe.”
This time Zedd did not plan to rely on sorcery to keep control of the body he shared with Larry Zedden; he planned to use the Zeddens to create the body he needed. And when he was done he planned to leave them ignorant of his action. For Lord Zedd was a demon through and through, a creature that was more than capable of taking the love of two people and perverting it for his own purposes. And to show the absolute depths of his cruelty, he made sure that Larry and his wife were aware of the sickening acts he instigated.
It didn’t take long. He could have dragged it out, but Zedd was impatient to have a physical form once more. The child of Larry and Leslie Zedden, conceived when neither was willing or able to consent to such an act, would serve as the new vessel for Zedd’s soul. He could have waited for the child to be born, before ripping it away from its own parent, but he was unwilling to wait, so spared Leslie Zedden the pain of carrying full term by removing the barely formed offspring with a spell, not even checking that he had removed all the cells, before using a new spell to accelerate its growth. And when it reached adulthood, he tore aside the ruined soul within and took the body for his own. Lord Zedd was back!
Evil laughter rocked the house as Zedd raised his staff, and teleported away to the side of his wicked wife Rita Repulsa. But not before he made certain to alter the memories of his former host and his wife. It wouldn’t do to expose himself just yet.
The Xenotome told many things and what she read filled Dimitria with sadness. On Earth she knew this time of year was considered a time of peace. In truth this year had anything but and the future would only grow darker. But all was not lost year. The Book of the Unknown did not state how the year would end, she hoped that meant there was a chance that it would be a happy ending. Deep down inside, she doubted it.
And the year to come promised to be a year of loss and of sorrow. There would be betrayal and difficult decisions to make. The Darkness would sweep through the universe and although the light would shine brighter than ever, it would not last long once the light had been extinguished.
End of Part **THIS IS THE END OF THE FILE**