The Dark Racers Part 4 – The Midnight Runner

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers.
Author’s Note: In the original version of this story I had intended to use minors characters from the show as the Dark Turbo Rangers. It made sense to use people who were involved in their lives but not major characters. When I worked on the extended version I decided to use Ashley as Purple Racer, Cassie as Silver Racer and Carlos as Black Racer instead. TJ makes an appearance too.

The Dark Racers Part 4 – The Midnight Runner

Porto knew he had been pushing his luck. Following the debut of the Purple Racer and then the less impressive but still triumphant appearance of the Silver Racer, Divatox’s engineer had decided to press ahead with building his next evil Turbo Ranger. He should have known that his luck would never hold long enough for him to be successful three times in a row. Especially since he had decided that his third attempt would produce two new evil Turbo Rangers instead of just one.

It had been a mistake and the two humans he had chosen had been nothing but trouble from the start.

====

“Bring it on fish face!” TJ yelled. He held his baseball club at the ready.

TJ Johnson lived with his uncle in Angel Grove. His parent had sent him there to get an education and a safer life. They had decided that despite the risks of monster attacks, it was a safer environment for their child. TJ had adjusted to his new home, had joined the Baseball Team and settled down at school. Apart from the regular disruptions that caused the citizens of Angel Grove to seek shelter, his life had been better.

Unfortunately that better life had taken a turn for the worse when he had drawn the attention of Divatox and her crew. TJ had been selected by Porto to serve as the new Gold Racer, the fourth in his series of evil Turbo Rangers. The boy had proven to be a natural match for Red Turbo and Porto had based the template of his suit on the Red Turbo Ranger’s uniform.

The problem was that the boy had been armed at the time the Piranhatrons had tried to snatch him and his baseball bat had helped prevent them from swarming him. Even when he had been transported to the ship, the boy had continued to fight. He had made a mess of Porto’s workshop before Rygog had intervened.

For some reason after he had been subdued and taken to a cell, Elgar had though it a good idea not to remove the baseball bat, which meant the moment the door had been opened, the Gold Racer had made a break for freedom.

“Do be careful,” Porto urged. “I don’t want him damaged.”

The Piranhatrons continued to rush forward, but the young man continued to lash out, hitting them as hard as possible. Eventually though the odds were too great and they managed to pin him down long enough for Porto to place a larva in the youth’s left ear.

“That’s better,” Porto decided as he saw the fight vanish from the Gold Racer’s eyes. It was clear that TJ was resisting, but the larva had evolved to control its host and the boy soon succumbed. “You’ll make fine addition to Divatox’s forces.”

He missed the scowl that appeared on the Gold Racer’s face, before TJ’s expression turned blank.

====

Carlos Vallerte was a boy with a secret even if he didn’t know. His family had lived in Angel Grove for years due to the Ley Lines that crisscrossed the city, which they used to shield them from the eyes of those that would hunt them. For Carlos was not completely human; generations earlier a female of his line had fallen in love with a vampire and even though she had not been turned, she had conceived his child. Those genes had carried down through the generations, remaining dormant. Sadly that unnoticeable difference between Carlos and his peers made him a perfect candidate for Porto.

Indeed when Porto had noticed the dormant genes and determined that they could unlock extra abilities, the Black Racer powers had been designed to take advantage of his heritage. His not-quite-human biology did nothing to stop the larva from taking control of his mind.

====

When Porto had created his first evil Turbo Ranger, he had discovered that in order to connect a human to the Power of Turbo – a power derived from the extra-universal energy known as the Speed Force – he needed to inject the human with a potential lethal cocktail of chemicals to alter their physiology and a modulator device to control the initial flow of power. Purple Racer had proven that the technique was sound and with a small change to the modulator Silver Racer had shown no signs of the priming solution after her first battle. 

As Carlos and TJ stood ready to accept their new powers with arms at their sides, Porto decided that he would take the opportunity to test the improvements he had made to the priming fluid and the modulator. He had gave Carlos his new improved variation of the priming solution, gambling that if anything went wrong the boy’s non-human heritage would mean that he could change back to the original recipe. He had attached a modified modulator to TJ’s chest that would absorb less of the initial energy surge and make the whole process quicker.

“You will be the Black Racer,” he told Carlos as he handed him his Turbo Key. “I think we shall call you Shadow Stalker.”

He then turned to TJ and placed a Turbo Key in his hand. “And you will be known by the name Magma Flare as the Gold Racer.”

Although they were a team and their powers were similar, each of Porto’s creations had their own unique strengths. By drawing on a secondary link to the Speed Force they could bolster their powers, but doing so placed additional strain on them; it was a potentially powerful tool he planned to use when their usefulness neared an end.

The Purple Racer’s powers were the most adaptable since Porto had used rewritable components when building her morpher. It meant that at any time he could upgrade her abilities and she could add new weapons to her arsenal as she had done when she touched Copy Otter’s duplicates of the Turbo Power Weapons. However her morpher was the least advance because it had been the first he completed and later models included those things he had been unable to add the first time.

Purple Racer’s morpher had a secondary link to the Speed Force that when used could generate an energy field to slow the momentum of objects or people. Porto theorised that by directing the energy through her armour she would be able to direct the ability to the point where she could freeze and object or paralyse a person. It made her the fastest of the group.

Silver Racer could not affect the speed of physical objects to the degree that Purple Racer could; there was some overlap in their abilities but each morpher had been fine tuned to focus on their own strengths. The secondary feed on her morpher meant that her armour could absorb certain types of energy and transform it into light which could either manifest as a blinding flare or an energy bolt. She had already used the ability once although her lack of caution had made the attack backfire when it had blinded Purple Racer. Porto expected that she could do the same thing using sound but didn’t want to think of the chaos such an attack would create if Silver Racer didn’t learn to use it properly.

Black Racer’s capabilities had yet to be tested, but Porto had designed them for stealth. As such Black Racer’s armour could absorb light, sound and heat, making him undetectable. When moving fast enough he could phase through solid objects. Such a state made him immune to physical attacks. The downside was that while in such a state he could not cause physical damage to the world around him, although he could disrupt electronics. Porto also needed to find a way to reduce the time needed to switch between states since Black Racer was vulnerable during the transition.

Finally there was Gold Racer whose powers were the culmination of Porto’s work. Porto had designed the Gold Racer’s armour to allow him to use any ability associated with the Speed Force. That meant any ability possessed by the other evil Turbo Rangers and a few extra tricks. Gold Racer could use the secondary feed from his morpher to gather increased body mass, making him super strong and almost invulnerable for short periods. Of course like the Black Racer, Gold Racers full abilities had not been assessed and were only a theory, but Porto expected him to be the most powerful of his creations.

He glanced at the clock and realised he was late.

“Oh dear, Queen Divatox will be waiting for us,” Porto told them. “Activate your powers.”

“Shift into Turbo!” Carlos and TJ cried.

Porto had based the Black Racer powers on Green Turbo and he was pleased with the result. The Black Racer’s armour seemed to absorb light causing him to appear translucent. It was clear the new formula for the priming fluid had been a success. Porto promised to use the new mix in the creation of future Rangers.

Then he had turned his attention to Gold Racer and had almost panicked. The new modulator had clearly not worked and the Turbo Morpher was starting to overload as it drew an increasingly lethal surge of energy into TJ’s body; it was only the activation of Gold Racer’s powers that stopped the excess energy from killing him.

He shuffled for the door, motioning for Black Racer to follow. Once through he sealed the workshop as the modulator failed and the Gold Racer powers exploded.

====

Divatox had been observing Silver Racer as she trained with Rygog and Elgar. The two underlings had not taken it easy on Cassie as they worked to improve her skills. It appeared that pain was indeed a good teacher as the girl’s reactions had increased and she had clearly started to use strategy to keep the two from attacking at the same time.

Just as she was about to end the training, the Sub Craft shook violently. A loud explosion was heard and the hull seemed to buckle. Outside a golden ball of energy shot off into space.

“Porto!”

====

Porto pulled himself to his feet, checked that Black Racer was unscathed and then nervously opened the door to his workshop. He was not surprised to find the room had been decimated by the uncontrolled energy. The Speed Force was highly destructive and his first impression was that nothing had survived the explosion.

“All those inventions lost,” he lamented. “She will be furious.”

“Porto!”

He fought the urge to run. There was nowhere to hide. At least he could offer the Black Racer as a partial success.

“Yes, my Queen?” he answered as an angry Divatox stormed into the room and stopped short, taken aback by the utter destruction before her.

“What was that?” she demanded.

“A slight miscalculation on my part,” Porto offered. “It won’t happen again.”

“See that it doesn’t,” she almost snarled. Then she spotted Black Racer for the first time. “And what is that?”

Porto breathed a sigh of relief. It seemed that spotting the Black Racer had been enough to distract Divatox from her rant. And since he could present the Black Racer as the end result of his failed experiment, there was no reason she would find out that his mistake had cost her a Turbo Ranger.

“Allow me to present Shadow Stalker, the Black Racer,” he said.

Divatox seemed pleased as she ran her hands over her newest Ranger. Given what he knew of her tastes, Porto considered it lucky that Carlos was still morphed.

“Very nice work Porto,” she commended. “We’ll send him to Earth immediately.”

“Of course, my Queen.”

“And clean this mess up,” she added with a dismissive wave. “Zedd and Rita would never Finster to make this sort of mess.”

“At once,” Porto agreed eager for her to leave.

Behind him there was a loud groan and some of the debris shifted. He fought back a wince. Nothing could have survived that sort of explosion, could it?

“What happened?” TJ groaned as he tried to clear what remained of a cabinet from his legs.

And at that moment Porto knew that his luck had run out and any chance to pretend that the explosion was a result of creating the Black Racer was also gone.

Instead of being angry though Divatox was staring at the bare-chested teen with a hungry expression.

“Why Porto, you never told me you had a spare,” she teased before walking over to the clearly confused TJ.

Porto saw the boy wince as the much older pirate ran her hands over his body. A part of him was tempted to intervene and save the boy from a fate no sane person should endure: a night with Divatox. Another part of him that was dedicated to his continued survival and good health quickly dismissed such a foolish notion.

She sniffed the air. “Ah, fresh meat. Have him cleaned up and sent to my chambers. I haven’t sampled a young human before.”

Porto nodded and breathed a sigh of relief once Divatox had gone. He had seen the look of disgust on TJ’s face and realised that the human was no longer under their control. It was only the boy’s confusion that prevented him from attacking. And if he sent him to Divatox’s bed chamber in such a condition she would likely kill the boy and punish him for good measure. No, he needed to think of a reason to get the human off the ship before she called for him.

====

The Power Chamber’s sensors had detected the explosion from the Sub Craft and had analysed the golden energy that had left the vessel. It had not taken long for Zordon and Alpha to deduce that Porto had tried to create another Turbo Ranger. They had been relieved that it appeared the attempt had failed; based on their understanding of the Power of Turbo that sort of explosion suggested a catastrophic failure of some sort.

They could only hope that nobody had been killed in the incident and that maybe it would mean there would be no further surprises from Divatox. The sounding of the alarm meant that whatever had happened hadn’t stopped the pirate from attacking.

====

While TJ had been safely locked away until Porto could find a way to dispose of him, Purple Racer and Silver Racer had been sent to Angel Grove to draw out the Rangers. As Zordon had suspected following the Turbo Rangers’ previous encounter with Purple Racer, Divatox was not above using her evil Rangers to draw the Turbo Rangers into battle.

It was clear that Purple Racer and Silver Racer had been ordered to create havoc but had not been instructed to injure anybody. They mostly targeted parked cars, street furniture and the odd fire hydrant. They were aware that they didn’t need to do anything more to get the Turbo Rangers’ attention.

As the five Turbo Rangers arrived the battle started with Pink and Green Turbo fighting Silver Racer while Purple Racer held her own against Red, yellow and Blue Turbo. A flurry of punches and kicks combined with the use of weapons heralded the beginning of an intense battle.

====

“Now,” Divatox ordered as she watched the battle. “Send in my Black Racer.”

====

Black Racer stealthily approached his target, using his powers to remain hidden until the last possible moment. There was a moment where Carlos knew he was completely vulnerable, solid enough to see and to be injured, but still unable to cause physical harm to his opponent. Fortunately the Turbo Rangers were so involved in the battle they never noticed the attack until it was too late.

Yellow Turbo had been the first target and when Black Racer appeared he had held little back. He had slammed into the Ranger with all the force he could muster and had then pummelled her until the others had noticed. The moment they had done so, he had darted for the shadows, disappearing only to reappear and clip Green Turbo from the side.

Stealth attacks, hidden weapons within his armour and every dirty trick in the book culminated in a vicious opponent. And when he coordinated his attack with Silver Racer, who activated her Flare Attack, the Rangers found themselves blinded.

“Divatox is ready to accept your surrender any time,” he told them as a blow from a stiletto spike on Silver Racer’s heel almost punctured Green Turbo’s lung.

“Rangers never give up,” Red Turbo told him.

“You’d know that if you were a real Ranger,” Yellow Turbo added.

Black Racer shrugged before pulling a very large weapon from somewhere.

“We’ll see how defiant you are after this: Shadow Hammer!”

A very long handled hammer similar to something seen in a fairground appeared in his hands. He raised it high and swung it into the ground. The vibration threw the Turbo Rangers off their feet as the street cracked. With a burst of speed he shot forward, using his momentum to increase the force behind his hammer as it smashed into the Rangers.

“Turbine Laser!” Purple Racer called while the Turbo Rangers were grounded.

Silver and Black Racer joined their comrade as a large weapon flew toward them. The Turbo Rangers had not seen this weapon before, but they were experienced enough to know that when an enemy pulled out a large gun with a name it was best not to be standing in its way. It soon became clear the Black Racer didn’t care if they stayed in place or ran away as he gave the order to fire.

“No!” Blue Turbo cried before darting back into the line of sight. “Metallic Armour, Power Up!”

Not sure what their rash team-mate was up to, but trusting that it was important, the others followed suit, with Red Turbo activating the Tyre Shield for added protection. It didn’t work as the Rangers were struck by the blast and knocked through a nearby building. They were lucky they emerged from the other side and that the building had been cleared because the blast had managed to level it. Had the Rangers not been in the way the damage would have been much worse.

“This is the last time you will be allowed to walk away Turbo Rangers,” Purple Racer announced. “We’re the Turbo Racers, and the next time we meet we’ll be aiming to take you down permanently.”

Before the Rangers could gather themselves to respond, the three Turbo Racers had gone.

====

“What were you thinking? You could have killed us!” Tasha yelled.

Justin glared back defiantly. He was in just as much pain as the other Rangers and was not in the mood to listen to one of Tasha’s lectures about his recklessness.

“I was thinking that Turbine Laser was powerful enough to take out half the city; what was I supposed to do?” he demanded. “You saw how much power that thing had. Think how much damage they could have caused if we hadn’t stopped it. There was a monster shelter nearby; do you think reinforced concrete would have stopped it? The Metallic Armour protected us; those people had nothing. I never told you had to jump back in there with me.”

“Yeah as if I was going to let you get yourself killed,” Tasha retorted.

It was hard to remember sometimes but Justin and Tasha were especially close. They had bonded during their time in the orphanage and that bond had grown stronger when they had become Rangers. It was an odd mix of friendship, family and the possibly the start of something more. When she got on his case it was because she was worried about him, but that concern and annoyance normally gave way to light-hearted remarks as the situation calmed.

“Ai-yi-yi, Justin was right, the readings for that weapon were off the scale,” Alpha supplied.

“While I do not approve of risking your lives more than necessary I applaud your courage,” Zordon told them. “The Turbine Laser is an incredibly powerful weapon and you actions saved the lives of many innocents today.”

“These Turbo Rangers are powerful,” Rosa conceded.

“Turbo Racers,” Franklin corrected.

“Whatever they call themselves, we’ve had out butts handed to us almost every time we’ve fought them.”

Aside from their first encounter with the Silver Racer, the Rangers had lost several battles with Divatox’s creations. And it seemed that Black Racer was even more dangerous due to his ability to sneak up on them.

“We need to find out who he is,” Fred stated.

The others nodded. While knowing the identities of their opponents had not helped so far it robbed Divatox of the satisfaction of keeping them in the dark. Maybe learning his identity would give them a clue to breaking whatever control Divatox was using. The Turbo Rangers wanted to be optimistic, but it was clear they had their doubts.

====

Porto studied the remains of the Gold Racer’s Turbo Morpher. In the end he had to admit it was a lost cause and the re was no chance he could repair it. And with the destruction of his workshop he could not make anymore. He had been shocked to discover that two prototypes had survived, but they would take time to finish and he doubted Divatox would spare him the time to work on them or be patient enough to wait for results.

He had been pleased that there had been no adverse side effects from using the Turbine Laser. The large weapon had been designed to be used by a minimum of four Rangers due to the way it drew large amounts of energy through their morphers. He had been worried that using it without Gold Racer would have caused them to lose their powers as well. Other than exhaustion that would pass, there had been no lasting damage.

Which was just as well because following the success of Black Racer the Dianthe Queen was already demanding that they be sent back to finish the Rangers off. Having heard Purple Racer’s declaration that they would take the Rangers out next time they met, he knew Divatox would be more impatient than usual. He just hoped than when the time came the Turbo Racers would not disappoint.

====

Detective Park had identified two missing teenagers that Divatox might have used as her Black Racer. TJ Johnson and Carlos Vallerte had gone missing on the same day and their guardians had call the police as soon as they realised they were missing. The news that there were two missing teens caused additional concern after the explosion Zordon had detected. Was it possible Divatox had accidentally killed one of the missing boys or did it mean there was one more evil Ranger to come? He knew the Rangers would never ask for the former over the latter possibility, but he also knew that they desperately hoped there would be no further additions to the pirate’s forces.

The Turbo Rangers had been run off their feet by just three Turbo Racers; the pirate had grown tired of referring to them as evil Turbo Rangers. The addition of Black Racer had added a new dynamic to their battles since the Rangers’ Power enhanced senses were unable to provide any warning whenever he used his stealth abilities. He had also been able to improve Silver Racer’s usefulness by giving her clear instruction about when and how to attack.

And the Turbo Rangers had discovered that they were at an even great disadvantage during Zord battles. The Turbo Racers were unable to form their own Megazord, but the use of their powers allowed them the ability to grow to Megazord size at any point in a battle without assistance from Divatox. The three Turbo Racers had repeatedly used a strategy where one would grow to force the Turbo Rangers to summon their Zords allowing the two remaining Racers to attack with their own Zords.

It had proven a sound strategy. The Turbo Racers had obviously realised that the Rangers needed all five Zords to form the Megazord. Removing just one Zord permanently would prevent them from doing so. And Black Racer’s Zord, which had been based on a Hummer, had proven itself tough enough to smash into any of the Zords.

The problem seemed to be that whenever they thought they had seen everything, the Turbo Racers came up with a new surprise. If the Turbo Rangers wanted to triumph it seemed they need to spring a few surprises of their own.

“We need to figure out what they’ll do next and then find a way to stop them,” Franklin decided. His eyes shifted to a picture of his family and knew what had to be done.

====

With the success of the Turbo Racers it seemed Divatox had all but forgotten about TJ, much to the relief of her more intelligent crewmen. The pirate’s affairs always caused problem for her underlings who had to deal with the wrath of a woman scorned.

So after being deposited in a small room, TJ had been left alone. One of the Piranhatrons delivered food twice a day and despite the room being small, it had all the facilities he needed with the exception of a way to leave.

Despite the failure of the Turbo Morpher, TJ had emerged unscathed. The process had been successful enough to eliminate all traces of the priming chemicals from his blood and had protected him from the explosion. However the same could not be said for the larva Porto had placed in his ear. The shockwave had liquefied the small creature and as TJ had slept the remains had been ejected from his ear, leaving him free from outside control.

Now it was a matter of escaping, which TJ knew would be a present. The previous time he had been armed and had some value to his captors. Since he was back to being locked in a room and could recall a large explosion, he suspected that was no longer the case. That didn’t mean he would find his way out, just that he needed to be patient.

End of Part

**THIS IS THE END OF THE FILE**

The Dark Racers Part 3 – The Silver Comet

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers.
Author’s Note: In the original version of this story I had intended to use Emily from Power Rangers Zeo as the Purple Turbo Ranger. It made sense to use someone who was involved in their lives but not a major character. When I worked on the extended version I decided to use Ashley instead.

The Dark Racers Part 3 – The Silver Comet

When Cassie Chan failed to return home after school one day, her absence was noted by her parents. They noticed when she failed to show up the next morning and observed that her bed had not been slept in. Her mother was well aware that their daughter had not left a note nor had she taken any additional clothing. Her father had observed that the few chores she was expected to perform around the home had not been done. To most parents it would have been a worrying situation; it would be another week before they bothered to phone the police and reported her missing.

Both Mr and Mrs Chan considered themselves to be loving and devoted modern parents. They believed that their daughter did not need to be smothered by overbearing authority figures demanding that she follow their rules and that given freedom and trust she would develop into a balanced individual. In all likelihood any responsible parent who saw Cassie’s home life would consider reporting them for neglect and child endangerment.

The truth of the matter was that Cassie had been abducted from Angel Grove by Divatox’s forces after she had stepped off a bus. The poor girl had never stood a chance and had been carried off to one of the rooms in Porto’s work area where she had remained ever since. And finally after days of being left alone except for the few times somebody remembered to feed her, Cassie was finally informed why she had been taken.

“Are you mad?” she asked. Cassie had a bit of a bad attitude which could have been corrected had her parents paid attention enough to notice. “You want me to be a Ranger?”

“No not just any Ranger,” Porto answered, gesturing as if to emphasise the importance of his vision. “You will be the White Turbo Ranger; my second evil Ranger and a loyal servant of Queen Divatox.”

As he walked toward her with a pair of tweezers in his hand and picked up a small creature from a nearby tray, Cassie could only find that she agreed with her first opinion: he was insane.

====

It was Sunday, a day when the Turbo Rangers didn’t need to worry about school. Normally Sundays were a time to relax, but with the Purple Racer still on the loose the Turbo Rangers were on edge. Zordon had guessed how Earth’s youngest team of Rangers would be feeling and had called in some of their older friends to help.

“I know it’s tough to see the bright side right now,” Adam said, “but keep in mind that no matter how powerful she is and whatever Divatox makes her do, to be an evil Power Ranger she first needed to have all the traits and qualities that would make her a great Ranger; if she didn’t have those qualities then she would have fallen the first time she faced you because she wouldn’t have been able to use her powers fully. Divatox can use whatever mind control or spells she likes, but sooner or later they will fail and then that evil Power Ranger will just be a Ranger.”

Franklin sighed. He knew his brother was right but it didn’t make it any easier. Purple Racer had fought them twice and in all honesty had won both encounters. She wasn’t stronger than the other Turbo Rangers; she wasn’t faster and didn’t have any technological advantage. The problem was that while the Rangers were reluctant to fight her – even knowing that she was protected by the Power of Turbo and could take just about anything they could dish out – she had no reservations about hurting them. Purple Racer hadn’t pulled any punches and because of that the Turbo Rangers had suffered.

“We don’t even know how Divatox is controlling her,” Franklin admitted.

If it was a spell there was a chance they could break it. If she was using blackmail they could find a way to help. Not knowing made it not only difficult to help, but dangerous to try in case they caused more harm than good.

“Divatox is not much of a witch,” Adam pointed out. “Zordon once told us she knows some magic, but nowhere near Rita’s level. She’s more into using fear and technology.”

“Alpha scanned her when we were fighting,” Frank replied. “There was no technology detected.”

Adam chuckled as he imagined the Turbo Rangers trying to describe what a mind control device would look like. Then he sobered. They were young and still had some innocence; it reminded him of how much they had sacrificed – how much he had sacrificed – to save the world.

“Just remember what Tommy told you about his time as Green Ranger,” Adam advised. “Jason and the others had to bring him to his knees before they could break the spell Rita had cast. The five of you might need to defeat the Purple Racer before you can really help her.”

Franklin nodded and took a sip of his drink. It wasn’t what he wanted to hear, but perhaps it was what he needed to know.

====

Red Turbo ducked the overpowered punch from Red Morphin and then jumped over the kick from Red Zeo. The two older Rangers had taken Fred aside for a chat and after realising that it would be a difficult conversation, they had teleported him to the Power Chamber’s training room, ordered him to morph and then spent the next half an hour pummelling him mercilessly.

“Play to your strengths,” Red Zeo urged as Red Morphin grabbed the Turbo Ranger by the shoulder and threw him across the room.

Red Turbo landed and in a blur raced back to deliver a hard punch to the Morphin Ranger.

“Good,” Red Morphin told him, rubbing the side of his helmet.

Red Turbo was a whirlwind of red light, crackling with the Power of Turbo as he unleashed a volley of super fast punches and kicks.

“That’s it, hit and move Fred,” Red Zeo encouraged. “Turbo Rangers are not supposed to rely on brute force. You have the speed, use it!”

Red Zeo pulled out his Zeo Pistol and opened fire, causing Red Turbo to break off his attack on Red Morphin so that he could dodge.

“Your senses are enhanced by the Power of Turbo,” Red Morphin reminded him as Red Turbo ducked a blow from the Morphin Ranger’s Blade Blaster. “Use them!”

The Power of Turbo enhanced all of the Turbo Rangers’ senses, giving them a split second extra to react to threats that combined with their incredible speed it more than made up for their comparative lack of strength and their smaller size.

“Auto Blaster!” Red Turbo called. He drew his side arm and opened fire, causing the older Rangers to dodge. He had his Turbo Blade at the ready to strike.

As much as he hated to admit it, the impromptu training session was exactly what Fred needed to focus. The Purple Racer’s appearance had shaken his confidence. Not only had talking with Jason and Tommy helped him, fighting them had forced him to work to his strengths.

Of course when the two Red Rangers decided to work together, Fred started to wish that there would be a monster attack just so he could get away.

====

In another part of Power Mountain, Yellow Turbo was doing her own brand of training. A heavily reinforced punching bag – for it was known that Rocky enjoyed the opportunity to practice his kicks while morphed – had been suspended from the ceiling, allowing the Yellow Turbo Ranger to throw a combination of punches.

She was alone. Trini had offered to work with her but had withdrawn the offer after their first sparring session. It wasn’t that Tasha fought dirty; she just didn’t have the same sense of fair play that the other Yellow Rangers cherished. It was a trait the other Turbo Rangers shared.

“Turbo Star Chargers!” she called.

She renewed her assault on the punching bag using the energised knuckles. Her speeding body crackled with the Power of Turbo as she threw punch after punch and added the odd kick for good measure. The next time she met the Purple Racer she was going to break that Nova Cane with her fists.

====

Since training Tasha had proven to be a bad idea from Trini perspective, she had joined Billy and Justin in the Power Chamber as they tried to find a way to force the Purple Racer to power down. It was not easy as the powers had been designed to counter many of the methods they could use. Extreme pain had been ruled out; it was just not something the Turbo Rangers would be able to bring themselves to do.

Billy was currently explaining a theory that the Turbo Rangers could use their powers to disrupt a part of the Purple Racer’s armour. It could only work because Porto had designed his Ranger to use solid armour instead of the flexible material the Turbo Rangers preferred. It was a downside of extra protection such armour normally provided.

“This would only work in small areas,” Trini said as she studied the plan.

“Affirmative,” Billy agreed. “Maybe it could cause sufficient disruption to uncover her Turbo Morpher.”

“Or her face,” Justin mused.

Learning the identity of Purple Racer seemed an important step toward releasing her from Divatox’s control. Although exposing any part of the human inside the suit would be enough to stop her as long as the Turbo Rangers were careful.

Trini knew how easy it could be to make a mistake in such a situation. Despite what many believed Tommy was not Rita’s original Green Ranger. That role had fallen to another young man. However during a battle Trini had managed to break through his guard and had inflicted a wound that later killed him. It was an event that still haunted the Yellow Ranger even though she knew that if she hadn’t done so, two innocents would have died.

“This might be our best option,” Justin agreed. He just hoped that when the time came they would be lucky enough to pull it off.

There was so much about the Power of Turbo they had yet to understand. So many ways to use their abilities they still needed to master. Theoretically the Turbo Rangers could use their powers to accelerate and decelerate molecules, but they had not practiced such techniques. Justin promised himself that he would make the time to study his powers more closely.

====

While the other Turbo Rangers were worrying about Purple Racer, Rosa DeSantos had spent the morning at church with her family. It was a good way to put the events of the last few days out of her mind and to show a little gratitude that nobody had been seriously injured. Her older brother Rocky had turned up in time for the service and the two had agreed to talk later. For now she just enjoyed being surrounded by her loving family.

====

Purple Racer was finally complete as far as Porto was concerned. There had been difficulties and a lot of things he had failed to take into account when building her powers. The Nova Cane had been added as her personal weapon, but it had been an afterthought and would have been even more powerful had he included it on her template. The lack of a Zord had been addressed, but despite the praise Divatox had given him, Porto had not been satisfied with the solution. Had had since corrected his oversight and built her a second Zord that was much more worthy of an evil Ranger; having access to the Dianthe’s fleet of giant vehicles made building Turbo Zords so much easier.

The second evil Turbo Ranger had also been completed. The Silver Racer powers had incorporated everything he had learned while perfecting the Purple Racer powers. There had been an unexpected problem when he had tried to create the template for her armour. He had promised Divatox the second evil Ranger would be white, but for some reason he could not produce that colour. In the end he had settled for silver with lighting effects that would appear white when viewed from the correct angle.

The creation of the second set of powers had been faster, mostly because Porto had been able to automate most of the process. He had only needed to intervene when the time came to connect the morpher to its energy source. That had taken him a while due to the precise nature of the tuning. He had used the uniform of the Pink Turbo Ranger as a template, believing that since Ashley’s uniform was a purple version of Yellow Turbo’s suit, it was only fair that Cassie wore a silver version of the Pink Turbo Ranger’s armour.

“I think you will be called the Silver Comet Smasher Turbo Ranger,” he said as he slotted the back of the transformation device closed and strapped it to Cassie’s left arm. “Divatox will be most pleased with the improvements I’ve made.”

He hoped it would work as he had limited his options to modify the powers after their initial activation. Unlike Purple Racer’s powers that had been a work in progress, Silver Racer’s powers had been finalised. Her personal weapon the Comet Blade had been forged, the Comet Smasher Zord was complete and he had given her a silver version of Purple Racer’s quad as a vehicle. If everything went as planned she would be ready to start serving the Dianthe immediately.

====

The new week started with a series of monster attacks. First Mondo had sent a battalion of Cogs, and then Rita and Zedd had launched an attack. The Turbo Rangers had responded each time but Divatox had not sent her evil Ranger to confront them. After four attacks in the space of a morning, the School Board had cancelled classes for the day, leaving the Turbo Rangers free for the two attacks that came during the afternoon.

It was during the final attack of the day that the Purple Racer finally made an appearance. Rito and Goldar were causing problems and the Turbo Rangers had been sent to stop them. The abundance of foot-soldiers had made it a challenge, but the young team had held their own.

A blur of Purple had heralded the arrival of Purple Racer. She had forced her way through the flock of Tengas to strike at Goldar directly. The silver figure behind her had done the same to Rito. Confused as to why there was suddenly a Silver Ranger when they had only been warned about Purple Racer, Goldar and Rito chose to escape.

“Good work girls.” Divatox’s head appeared in the sky, projected by one of Porto’s inventions. She pointed to the Turbo Rangers. “Now, get them!”

The two evil Turbo Rangers launched into action, striking out at anything in their path. They made short work of the poor Tengas that Rito and Goldar had abandoned, and Rita’s Putty Patrollers had soon fallen to pieces.

The Turbo Rangers found themselves off balance as the speeding duo raced around them. That was when Red Turbo what he had learned during his impromptu training session: the Turbo Rangers’ powers were best suited to fight using speed.

“Come on guys, we can take them,” he urged. “Full speed ahead!”

The others followed his lead, using their full speed against the evil duo. It didn’t grant them an easy win, but for the first time the Turbo Rangers were fighting their opponents using their speed as a weapon and for the first time they found they were able to hold their own against Purple Racer. Their enhanced senses warned them where a blow would strike and they avoided it. Obviously Purple Racer’s enhanced abilities meant that she was just as quick to try again or dodge their blows.

Silver Racer was new and shiny, but she lacked even Purple Racer’s limited experience. On close inspection, which was eagerly provided when she attacked Green and Pink Turbo, it became evident that her sword was a large chunk of crystal edged steel. It had been stylised to resemble an icicle, but there was no question how sharp its blade could be or how cold the cuts were. As the two Rangers sparked following her first charge, she followed up by hitting them with throwing blades cut to resemble snowflakes. Before either Ranger managed to recover, her armour flared with white light, blinding them as she pressed her assault.

Unfortunately she had been so quick to use her ability that Silver Racer had failed to consider her comrade. Purple Racer had been partially blinded by the attack, as had Red Turbo. Blue Turbo however had been shielded from the effects because he had his back to Silver Racer at the time. Yellow Turbo had managed to tint her visor to counter the effects and had already gone to assist Green and Pink Turbo.

With diminished vision, Purple Racer was not able to fight effectively against Blue and Red Turbo. The two teens pummelled their opponent, well aware that their blows were having only limited effect. Seeing an opportunity, Blue Turbo grabbed the evil Ranger’s left forearm, using his suit’s ability to alter the speed of nearby molecules to break down the structure of her armour. She knocked him away quickly but a small hole had appeared in her defences, which Red Turbo used to his advantage; a low powered shot from his Auto Blaster caused her morpher strap to break. As the morpher fell from her arm she demorphed.

Meanwhile as Yellow Turbo assaulted Silver Racer, Green Turbo used his Turbo Navigator to overcome the temporary blindness – for it seemed the blinding effect had damaged his suit’s visor and not his eyes. It allowed him to work out where she would be and unleash a volley of fire that stopped her for a moment.

Unfortunately that moment was the time it took her to change direction and attack him directly, forgetting about the other Rangers and allowing Yellow Turbo to step in with a punch that stopped Silver Racer cold. There was a pause and then the evil Ranger seemed to explode in a column of silver sparks as she teleported away. Purple Racer followed an instant later, granting the Rangers their first victory.

====

Ashley was in agony. When she had powered down there had been a surge of energy that had damaged the larva inside her head. The larva had responded to what it perceived as a threat by releasing chemicals to subdue the host. The enzymes released caused the nerve endings to misfire. As Porto secured her Turbo Morpher to her arm and reactivated her powers, he was unaware that this was the moment he had come to fear when his control over the Purple Racer would be broken. Ashley’s body was now aware that something was wrong and even as the pain diminished, her powers were working to locate and fix whatever had caused the pain. But there was nothing he could do and he knew his best chance of avoiding the blame was to plead ignorance.

With the Purple Racer settled, Porto needed to stop Divatox from killing Silver Racer. Unfortunately the space pirate had forgotten why she was angry and had instead decided to inflict the continuous pain just for the sake of it.

“Please my Queen; we cannot use her to destroy the Power Rangers if you destroy her.”

On the ground Cassie Chan was grateful for the reprieve. The larva in her head should have made her accept her punishment without question, but something had changed. When she had returned from her first mission and powered down, she had been shocked by the state of the Purple Racer, a girl she recognised from school. Then Divatox had arrived and had made her anger clear when she had used a pain stick to teach Silver Racer a lesson.

A part of her wished that she was strong enough to challenge the pirate, but the larva was already working to quell her rebelliousness. She was not that strong. She would never be that strong. Which was why she should remain on her knees as Divatox berated her performance. Moments later all thoughts of fighting back were gone as Cassie apologised for her failure and awaited instructions.

====

A series of images continued to flash across the computer terminal as Justin and Fred studied the student files of Angel Grove High School. Justin’s helmet feed had captured the face of the Purple Racer. Now with the aid of the Power Chamber’s resources they hoped to discover her identity and perhaps get some answers.

“There!” Justin said. He pressed pause to stop the images. “Ashley Hammond.”

Then it had been a case of tracking down the Hammond family, learning that Ashley had been missing for days and nobody had been in a position to call authorities – Divatox had arranged for the girl’s family to be stranded out of town and her aunt had been placed in an enchanted sleep. They had made doubly sure of the location of Ashley’s sisters in case they had been turned into the new Silver Racer. Fortunately both girls were with the parents.

“Hey I have an idea,” Tasha said as she slid in beside Justin and started typing.

Tasha was an accomplished hacker. Justin was good; she was better as demonstrated as she found her way passed the fire wall and into the attendance records. She quickly searched the records for female students that had not been to school since the appearance of the Purple Racer. She handed the list to Franklin.

“Now we see if your dad can find out if they are missing or just ill.”

Detective Park was an officer on Angel Grove’s Homicide Division. Due to the low number of murders in the city, the department spent most of their time handling monster attacks. For a long time Detective Park had been outspoken in his views that the Power Rangers were trouble makers. Then he had discovered that his oldest son had been a Ranger since they had moved to Angel Grove High School. Franklin nodded and teleported away to see his father.

Now they needed to hope that Detective Park could help them.

====

Several hours later Detective Park had provided the Rangers with a name and was considering whether or not to file a report for child neglect. He knew that he had not always been an ideal father to his children. His relationship with Adam had at one point been so bad that if they hadn’t of fixed it, it was likely Adam would have left for college and never returned.

But at least he could comfort himself that he had cared. He had tried to give his children love and structure, and discipline even if he had been a little too harsh when trying to protect them. He had never physically harmed either son and he had never neglected their needs. He liked to think that if his sons had been missing he would have called in help to find them after only an hour or two. He certainly would not have waited days under some belief that they wanted independence.

Angel Grove was a dangerous city. Not everybody survived a monster attack. Sometimes people were found without identification and the police relied on relatives coming forward to help identify the bodies. That Cassie Chan could have been lying injured or worse somewhere and her parents hadn’t cared enough to call her friends… somehow he doubted they even knew if she had friends.

He put the pen down. If Cassie was involved in the latest monster attacks as his son suspected then she had other things to think about right now. When the Rangers had freed her from whatever Divatox had done – for he had no doubt whatsoever that they would free her – there would be time to talk about her home life and what she wanted to do about it.

====

After a great deal of whining Sprocket had finally received the opportunity to send another monster to Earth. King Mondo had not been impressed by the earlier attempts and had ordered Klank and Orbus to stop helping the young prince. However with Mondo and Machina concentrating on bigger plans they ordered their servants to build Sprocket a monster to get him out of the way.

Sprocket had come up with a monster he called the Slot Machine. Its main body resembled a fruit machine with three spinning reels and a short lever on the left side of its torso. Its right arm housed a matter transforming ray and its left arm was designed to fire projectiles.

“When all three reels land on the same image it can use its change ray to transform anything it hits,” Sprocket boasted.

He had given Klank a selection of random images to appear on the monster’s drums.

“A fine effort Sprocket,” King Mondo said. “Send it to Earth and we’ll see how it does against those Rangers.”

“Yes Daddy,” Sprocket replied. “Klank!”

====

Slot Machine appeared on the far side of Angel Grove, close to Barney’s Second Hand Showroom. He immediately pulled the lever on the left side of his chest, causing the shapes in the centre of his chest to spin. When they landed on three identical items, he lifted his right arm and fired his change ray.

Mary and Brian Cox had been arguing with the owner of the car lot about the vehicle they had bought the previous day. Despite his insistence it was a bargain, they were demanding a refund.

“Madam, I assure you every car we sell here is a bargain,” Barney told them. “We do not sell lemons.”

At that moment the beam from the change ray hit the cars behind him, transforming them into lemons.

Mary screamed as a second ray hit her husband, turning him into a handful of cherries.

====

Power Chamber

The Rangers had been summoned. It was Tasha who summed up their opinion of the newest threat.

“That has to be the most ridiculous looking monster I’ve seen.”

Indeed the ability to change anything it hit was a powerful weapon, but the design left a lot to be desired. There was also the question of why the monster didn’t just use a single image so that it always landed on a win.

“Do not take this monster lightly based on its appearance,” Zordon warned.

“Don’t worry, we can handle this,” Fred assured him. “Shift into Turbo!”

====

Divatox had not been pleased to see that Mondo had still not gotten the message that the Earth belonged to her. Purple Racer was still recovering from her last fight against the Rangers, so Silver Racer had been dispatched on her own to make send Mondo another message.

Unfortunately it seemed Silver Racer had failed to understand how dangerous her foe could be. As she mocked the machine by running circles around him, she didn’t notice that he had activated his powers again.

Clink – clink – clink.

This time he did not land on three of a kind, but it didn’t appear to matter as a spout of flame erupted from his arm cannon, catching the Turbo Ranger off guard. She fell to the ground, her suit sparking. He used a second spin, landing on three dogs, turning Silver Racer into a Labrador.

====

“Can’t she do anything right?” Divatox raged. “Porto, where did you find her anyway?”

Porto wisely remained silent and finished checking that Purple Racer was ready for action. The Red Turbo Ranger had exposed a weakness he had been unable to fix; Purple Racer would need to be wary in future.

“He turned her into a dog!” Divatox growled before she noticed Ashley. “Don’t just stand there, go and help her.”

Ashley bowed her head and teleported away.

====

Blue Turbo and Green Turbo opened fire, drawing Slot Machine’s attention. Pink Turbo used the opportunity to grab those who had been transformed by the machine’s weapon and move them to safety; Silver Racer had been turned into a dog, Mary and her husband had been transformed into fruit.

Yellow Turbo grabbed Slot Machine’s left arm to stop him from using his ability. Red Turbo took the opportunity strike at the right arm with his Turbo Lightning Sword. Slot machine responded by shooting golden coins at the attacking Ranger from his left arm. He then threw Yellow Turbo aside and aimed his change ray at Red Turbo.

“Star Chargers!”

Yellow Turbo hit the monster at full speed, her energised fist connecting with his chest. As the glass panel exploded, the effects of his transformation ray were reversed. Silver Racer was on the attack immediately, her Comet Blade slicing through his left arm as Red Turbo’s Lightning Sword removed the right arm.

====

A blur of purple tore through Green and Blue Turbo. Purple Racer was not holding back after her previous defeat. The Nova Cane struck them across their chests as she used the gun mode to open fire, downing both Rangers. Then she sped onwards to join Silver Racer in her attack, chastising the other Ranger for her incompetence.

“Ashley, Cassie, you don’t want to do this,” Red Turbo reasoned as Silver Racer sliced through Slot Machine’s legs, ending the battle and the two evil Rangers turned their attention to Red Turbo, Yellow Turbo and Pink Turbo. “You can fight this, we can help you.”

“We serve Queen Divatox,” Silver Racer answered. She was not the best servant but she was loyal.

Red Turbo lifted his Turbo Lightning Sword, but Yellow Turbo stopped him.

“Why don’t you guys deal with the machine and let us girls sort this out?” she asked.

Pink Turbo nodded her agreement; Silver Racer and Purple Racer did not seem to object. At some unspoken signal the four female Rangers took off down the street leaving Red Turbo, Blue Turbo and Green Turbo the job of deciding how to finish off a monster that was clearly no in any condition to fight back. The problem was resolved moment later when Slot Machine exploded.

====

“Daddy those Rangers destroyed my monster!” Sprocket complained.

“Not now son, Daddy and I are busy,” Queen Machina replied. “And no more pestering Klank, he has work to do.”

It looked like this was one battle that would not turn into a clash of the giants.

====

Pink Turbo and Yellow Turbo had split up, Pink Turbo leading Silver Racer on a chase through the city streets while Yellow Turbo and Purple Racer fought up close and personal. Surprisingly given the ferocity of the battle, there was very little damage to the streets of Angel Grove. The Turbo Rangers were moving at such speed that most citizens felt only a slight breeze as they passed.

Yellow Turbo and Purple Racer fought with Turbo Blades and Auto Blasters, using buildings for cover as they moved street to street. Sometimes their fighting would take them to the roof tops where they jumped from building to building, using the lifts intended for window cleaners to swing from.

Pink Turbo and Silver Racer had eventually slowed to a stop in the middle of Angel Grove Park. There the two of them clashed at a slower pace than their comrades, Silver Racer’s Comet Blade proving itself superior to Pink Turbo’s Turbo Blade. However up close Pink Turbo had the superior fighting skills and used her fists and feet to her advantage.

====

“Come on, hit her. Hit her!” Divatox cheered as she watched the battle progress. One-on-one her Rangers were holding their own. “Yeah take that you goodie goodie Ranger!”

Purple Racer had proven to be an excellent evil Ranger, ruthless and aggressive enough to match Yellow Turbo in an increasingly dirty fight. Silver Racer was not adept with a sword, but the sharp edge of the Comet Blade made up for her lack of skill. She would have the girl train with Rygog and Elgar when she returned; one way or another Silver Racer would improve.

“Porto, send the Zords,” she ordered. It was time to see what the Comet Smasher could do.

====

Despite appearances to the contrary, Yellow Turbo and Pink Turbo had the advantage. Both knew they could take their opponent at any time, but had held back, trying to break through whatever control Divatox had used on them. But when Sonic Nova appeared it was clear that the battle was about to escalate.

“We need Turbo Zord power, now!” Red Turbo called.

“Comet Smasher Turbo Zord, deploy!” Silver Racer cried.

“Nova Crusher Turbo Zord, deploy!” Purple Racer called.

When Porto had created Sonic Nova he had not expected it to survive its first battle. But it had had survived and so he had made it a permanent part of the Purple Racer’s arsenal. But there was no way Divatox would be satisfied with such a simple machine for long, so he had built her a second machine known as Nova Crusher. Her Zord was smaller than Sonic Nova, which had been oversized to allow a Megazord to ride it. Shaped after a SUV, the Zord had a toughened front section that made it perfect for ramming other Zords.

In this case Purple had chosen Dune Star as a target, figuring that without a left leg the Megazord would be at a disadvantage. With perfect timing she smashed into the side of the vehicle just as it was at its most vulnerable. Then on a whim, Purple Racer pulled a lever in her own cockpit and forced her Zord to take the place of Dune Star in the Megazord formation.

====

“Oh my, I never expected her to do that,” Porto commented as he watched Nova Crusher lock up with Desert Thunder. “I didn’t know it could do that.”

====

Comet Smasher was based upon a high end super car. Sleek, fast and nice to look at, it borrowed a number of hidden weapons from some of the Dianthe’s racing vehicles. As Purple Racer managed to take out Dune Star, Silver Racer set her sights on Wind Chaser, plotting to leave the Megazord armless.

However she mistimed the collision as the Pink Turbo Ranger’s Zord split in half and ended up taking out only the left arm. It was enough though to put the Turbo Rangers at a disadvantage and with Nova Crusher forming what was effectively a dead leg, the Megazord was a sitting duck.

====

Purple Racer had ejected from Nova Crusher as soon as the Megazord was complete. Since her Zord would only respond to her commands there was no way the Turbo Rangers would be able to move the Megazord’s left leg. She was joined by Silver Racer and together they grew to Megazord size and started to attack the giant machine with their weapons.

“Sonic Cannons!” Purple Racer called.

Sonic Nova responded by bombarding the Megazord as Silver Racer and Purple Racer used their enlarged Turbo Blades. With only one arm, one working leg and under attack from multiple foes, it was a miracle the Megazord stood firm.

“Emergency separation!” Red Turbo called, deactivating the Megazord.

The large robot split into its component parts, ejecting Nova Crunch as it did so. The two halves of Wind Chaser joined together, reactivating the damaged Zord. Mountain Blaster drove into Dune Star, tipping the large machine back on its wheels again.

“All right let’s try this again,” Red Turbo said. “Red Lightning!”

The red sports car sped forward, heading toward Comet Smasher. Bolts of red energy shot from its front lights.

“Mountain Blaster!” Blue Turbo called, shifting gear and using his Zords weapons to keep Nova Crusher from speeding to Comet Smasher’s rescue.

“Time for a rematch,” Yellow Turbo agreed. “Let’s see who wins when you don’t sneak around. Dune Star!”

With Mountain Blaster preventing Comet Smasher from changing course, Dune Star rammed it head on.

“Desert Thunder!” Green Turbo cried. He activated the Thunder Cannons on top of his Zord, clipping Nova Crusher’s rear tyre.

Silver Racer saw her comrade’s predicament and turned her Zord ready to help. But before she could speed up, something crashed into the left side of her Zord and latched onto the machine. Seconds later something did the same on the other side.

“Wind Chaser!” Pink Turbo cried triumphantly as she applied the brakes and brought both halves of her Zord to a complete stop, trapping Comet Smasher in the process. “Now Fred!”

Red Lightning accelerated and used a bump in the road to propel his Zord into the air. Using the Power of Turbo to direct his vehicle in ways that would have been impossible on a normal car, Red Turbo flipped his Zord so that it leapt over Comet Smasher. As it did so the front of the Zord pointed down so that its front mounted weapons could strafe the silver Zord’s bodywork.

“Turbo Megazord, now!”

====

“They must retreat,” Porto urged.

The Turbo Megazord was more than capable of destroying Comet Smasher and Nova Crusher. And if they were smart enough to attack the large Zord first, there was a chance they could either damage or worse steal Sonic Nova.

Divatox reluctantly agreed. There was too much running away for her liking, but her evil Turbo Rangers had proven themselves a match for Zordon’s students. Next time she would accept only victory.

====

The Turbo Rangers had won a small battle, but it was enough to bolster their confidence. Despite everything else they now knew that Silver Racer and Purple Racer were human and capable of making mistakes. It was just a matter of exploiting those mistakes and breaking Divatox’s control. Hopefully they would be able to do so before the pirate could come up with any new surprises.

====

Sometimes it wasn’t the big things that mattered, such as who had the bigger gun. Sometimes it was the little things that affected the outcome.

Deep inside the mind of Ashley Hammond something had changed. The Power had healed her recent injuries, restoring her body to as close to full health as it could manage. But it had done more than just healed a few wounds; it had altered her body so she could maximise her use of the Power of Turbo. And when it had come across a parasite clouding her mind and keeping her from peak performance, the Power had attacked it.

The larva that Porto had placed in her ear had been prevented from growing larger and embedding itself into her brain. And as the creature struggled to survive in a now hostile environment, its control over her actions started to slip.

And for Cassie Chan who had not been under the influence of the larva as long as Ashley, and had been punished harshly by Divatox for her failure, the little creature’s control was almost gone.

Soon they would be free and Divatox would pay.

End of Part

**THIS IS THE END OF THE FILE**

The Dark Racers Part 2 – The Purple Nova

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers.
Author’s Note: In the original version of this story I had intended to use Emily from Power Rangers Zeo as the Purple Turbo Ranger. It made sense to use someone who was involved in their lives but not a major character. When I worked on the extended version I decided to use Ashley instead.

The Dark Racers Part 2 – The Purple Nova

Ashley Hammond had lived in Angel Grove for five years. She knew about monster attacks and the need to stay safe just like everybody else. She also knew first hand the damage monsters could cause because her father ran an insurance company that managed the government backed policies that kept Angel Grove a place people were willing to stay.

So when the alarm had sounded she had been content to remain in the Youth Center, helping Ernie and his staff looking after the younger children. When Ernie had finally given the all clear and opened the door to the Youth Center, allowing the teenagers that had taken shelter to leave, Ashley had stayed to help with the clear up before heading home. Her parents and sisters were out of town for the night and she was staying with her elderly aunt.

It was not late when she finally left and she had decided to find her own way home instead of accepting a lift from her Emily. As she walked through the streets of Angel Grove, she was attacked. Divatox’s underlings had appeared and surrounded her. She had struggled to keep them away in the hope that help would arrive.

Having lived in Angel Grove where most people had unfortunately been attacked by something at some point, she had taken self-defence classes. Unfortunately Piranhatrons did not attack in the same way as most foot-soldiers; they swarmed their prey, making it difficult to move let alone land a punch. And once they had taken her off her feet, Ashley felt something touch her neck. After which she knew only darkness.

With her parents delayed on their trip and her aunt unaware that she had not arrived home – for her aunt’s home was large enough that Ashley was able to stay in a guest wing without bothering her elderly relative – it would be a few days before her disappearance was noticed.

====

The next morning Porto was finally ready to test his first Dark Turbo Ranger. Earlier he had tasked Rygog with ensuring that Ashley’s family were delayed. Ashley Hammond had proven a suitable wielder of the powers and had unknowingly received training from several of the older Power Rangers when she had joined up to their classes. The only thing he needed to do was secure her complete obedience.

“The larva of the Tarantulas Mesothulas,” Porto stated as he carefully grasped a small creature with a pair of tweezers and carried it toward the confused teenager. The larva had been modified so that its abilities served Divatox’s needs instead of its own. “Don’t worry, I was told this will be very painless after the initially agony has subsided.”

Later he would reread the notes and discover that he had meant to say extremely painful.

Ashley tried to pull away, a difficult feat considering that the Piranhatrons had secured her in place and tightened the restraints to prevent any opportunity to escape. He placed the larva inside her left ear and watched as it glowed and disappeared, binding with new host. With a contented sigh he returned the tweezers to his workstation and went back to tuning the first of his completed Turbo Keys. By the time the larva was done he hoped to have the device ready.

He pushed a series of buttons and a single note started to play. He adjusted the settings until he was satisfied that it was the correct pitch, before adding a second note. He repeated the process until he had five perfectly tuned sounds. Then he adjusted the timing of the individual sounds so that they merged into a single note. He manipulated the pitch and the volume until it reached the level he desired. While not pleasant to listen to, he knew it was right.

“I never thought that music would be the key to unlocking the secrets of Lerigot’s work,” Porto admitted.

The Power of Turbo was a hybrid of magical energy and technology drawn from the other dimensional source known as the Speed Force. Like most forms of energy it used to generate light and sound. Doing so allowed Porto to adjust the Turbo Morphers; once the internal receivers were correctly aligned the note generated would maintain a constant tone. All that he needed to do was align the parts correctly, and once he had the correct note he could be confident the device would then be able to channel the volatile energy.

Each Turbo Key was normally tuned to a unique frequency and wavelength to prevent interference between their powers – for despite the expertise Lerigot had in such matters, it was Zordon, Alpha, Billy, Adam and Trini who were responsible for keeping them working. Porto had designed the Dark Turbo Keys to function using multiple frequencies, which he hoped would make it more versatile and unlock additional benefits later.

“I based the uniform on the Yellow Turbo Ranger’s suit,” he stated as he slotted a small component into place. “And this should allow some interesting possibilities later on.”

He strapped the Turbo Morpher to Ashley’s left wrist, noting that as he did so that her eyes had glazed over and she was no longer resisting. That was to be expected as the modified larva secreted an enzyme that subdued its new host’s mind. Normally the host would then spend its time feeding, nurturing the growing larva until it was fully grown and the host died. This larva had been altered so that it would obey instructions from Divatox and her crew. As long as it remained in place the Dark Turbo Ranger would remain under their control. Of course eventually the creature would mature and they would need to extract it or they would lose their Ranger. If she completed her task by that time there would be no need to worry about such things and nature could take its course.

He shrugged as he injected her with the priming formula and placed the modulator on her chest. If everything worked as planned the mix of injected chemicals and advanced technology would ensure she survived her first transformation.

“Stand up,” he instructed after releasing her bonds. He was pleased that she obeyed instantly without any sign that she wanted to attack him. “Hold out your right hand and take the Turbo Key.”

She did as she was told and a purple glow surrounded her body as the Turbo Key and Morpher were linked. He assumed that the glow confirmed that she was fully connected to her new powers; he didn’t want a repeat of the previous attempt. Satisfied that everything was ready, Porto contacted the bridge and made his report.

“We’re finished Queen Divatox.”

“It’s about time Porto!” Divatox snarled in reply – the pirate really lacked patience. “Stop wasting time and get up here; I want to see my Turbo Ranger.”

“At once my Queen,” Porto sighed as he ended the call. “There’s no pleasing some people.”

There was no need to tell the human how to use her new powers; the Turbo Morpher was programmed to upload the needed information to her brain the moment she morphed for the first time. It wasn’t quite the same method Zordon’s Rangers used, but it was close.

“Divatox will not be interested in you real identity, so you should morph now.”

She responded as he had hoped, looping her arms in a more aggressive version of the Turbo Rangers’ pose, allowing the Power of Turbo to flow through her Turbo Key into her body where the priming fluid had altered her body chemistry enough that with a small boost from the modulator, she started to transform.

“Shift into Turbo!”

Unlike the other Turbo Rangers she didn’t call the name of a Zord as she completed her transformation. The Purple powers still required some work and a Zord would be added later. In all honesty Porto just hadn’t found a name he had been happy with. He expected Divatox to put that right when she found out.

The result was as he had hoped, the Dark Purple Turbo Ranger – after some convincing Divatox had agreed to call it Purple Racer – stood before him ready for action. He suit resembled the Yellow Turbo Ranger’s uniform, right down to the shape of the helmet; he had tried to find an original shape, but had failed. He was pleased to find that the colour had changed accordingly to a deep purple.

He ran a few tests and confirmed the process had stabilised and the toxic effect of the priming fluid had been negated by her powers. It was time to let Divatox have her say.

“Well Porto?” Divatox asked as he led the completed Ranger onto the bridge.

“As instructed I present to you the first of your evil Turbo Rangers: Purple Racer,” he stated, hoping that she would accept the name.

“I’ll have to think of something to call her,” Divatox mused as she walked around the silent warrior. “Sonic Nova…”

As she spoke the Turbo Powers were updating the suit’s template, adding the name Sonic Nova to its identity.

“Is complete?”

“Yes my Queen, I just finished making the adjustments,” Porto replied. He grew uncomfortable under her stare and amended his answer. “There is a little fine tuning and I will need to add a Zord. But I will need to do that after testing.”

Fortunately Divatox waved off the reply, no doubt eager to see her new Ranger in action.

“That metal moron Gasket has sent one of his monsters to Angel Grove,” she told him. “Send my new Ranger to make sure he understands this planet is MINE.”

“Yes my Queen. And if the Turbo Rangers show up?”

“Destroy them,” she almost hissed.

“Yes my Queen,” he mumbled before shuffling away.

The Purple Racer followed behind without saying a word.

====

The Turbo Rangers were in action again, this time against a machine monster. Built to resemble a humanoid rhinoceros, it was incredibly fast and with a toughened metallic skin capable of crushing anything in its path. It long horn was incredible sharp and capable of launching as a projectile. By shifting its body it could move from two legs to four legs increasing its speed. On two legs it had sharp claws on its hands and powerful feet that broke the street’s surface whenever it stomped with its powerful feet.

When it had first appeared the machine had entertained itself by charging up and down the wrong side of the highway, knocking cars and trucks off the road. By the time the Turbo Rangers arrived, the machine had just emerged victorious following a collision with an eighteen wheeler. The Cogs that accompanied it had tried to herd the terrified humans into its path.

Then the Turbo Rangers had arrived and the Cogs were quickly dispatched to the scrapheap. The monster had retaliated by charging toward them, but despite its speed there were five Rangers and between them they managed to keep it on the move while taking shots from a safe distance. The only problem was that with its thick hide, their attacks did very little to slow it down.

“Hey ugly, this way!” Yellow Turbo taunted as she cut across its path, causing it to change direction.

“No this way!” Blue Turbo countered, using his Auto Blaster to get its attention.

“Over here!” Pink Turbo called as she fired at the ground near to its left foot.

“Olay!” Green Turbo cried as he slapped the machine on the rear end.

The machine grew more and more agitated as the Turbo Rangers raced around, turning it in one direction and then another. Until finally just when it thought it had them cornered, the moved aside to reveal the business end of the Turbo RAM.

And then there was a flash of purple light and the Turbo Rangers were no longer standing in front of there; the Turbo RAM was in pieces and the five Rangers were sparking on the ground. There was another flash of purple and the machine found itself facing something it had not been warned about: a Purple Turbo Ranger.

“Queen Divatox commanded me to deliver a message to your master,” the Ranger said, ignoring the other Turbo Rangers as she focussed her attention on the monster. “Earth belongs to her, so back off!”

Those words snapped the monster back to reality. It had assumed that because the Purple Ranger had attacked the others it was a comrade. Instead it turned out to be a competitor. Well it was a creation of Prince Gasket, the future ruler of the Machine Empire and was not about to back down from a human, even if it was evil.

“Earth is the property of the Royal House of Gadgetry,” it responded before unleashing a stream of electrical energy from its right hand.

“Tyre Shield!” Purple Turbo called.

Porto had used the Yellow Turbo Ranger’s uniform as the template for his first evil Ranger, but he had copied some of the weapons and abilities of the other Turbo Rangers to give her an advantage. The Tyre Shield was one of those powers he had tried to incorporate into her design. Since he didn’t have the plans to make a true copy he had designed his own version in the form of a circular shield that extended from her left forearm. The energy blast was deflected with ease as the shield rotated.

“Auto Blaster!” she cried.

The shield retracted into her armour – for unlike the other Turbo Rangers who could choose whether their suits were made from thick solid plates or more flexible fabric, Porto had set her uniform for maximum density at all times. As it did so she raised her right hand and extended two fingers to make the shape of a gun. Her uniform adapted so that in place of a hand she now had Porto’s interpretation of the Turbo Rangers’ side arms. Against the monster’s armoured hide her shots had little more affect than those the other Rangers had taken before. But she had plenty more tricks to show off; Porto wanted her to prove her worth to Divatox.

“Turbo Blade!”

With the flick of the wrist the Auto Blaster vanished and arm blade extended from the forearm. With a sudden burst of speed she attacked, catching the monster off guard and forcing it to retreat. The monster responded with its claws, deflecting the blows but was unable to strike at the Purple Ranger as she dodged around, her armour crackling with energy.

“Now we turn things up a gear,” Purple Turbo promised as she twisted something on the back side of the blade. “Turbo Strike!”

Her blade glowed with Purple energy as she slashed the machine at close range and successfully breached its armour. The machine retaliated with a fierce punch that knocked her away. As she somersaulted to bring herself to a controlled stop, the monster launched its horn rocket in her direction. She dodged easily and was soon on the attack again.

“Turbo Drill Attack!”

She dove forward, arms extended with her hands touching. As she flew toward her damaged opponent, the blade extended forward and she started to spin. Her entire body glowed with purple energy as she skewered her way through the monster. She adopted a victorious pose as it exploded behind her.

“One down, five to go,” Purple Turbo announced as she turned her attention to the Turbo Rangers. “This will hurt you a lot more than it will hurt me… Nova Cane!”

In a flash of purple light a short rod appeared in the Ranger’s hand. She ran forward and leapt into the centre of the five Rangers before extending the cane to deliver an energised swipe across their chests. The Five Rangers tumbled back, surprised by her attack. She used the cane to strike each of the Rangers individually, targeting her attacks to where she knew they would hurt the most.

“Sword Mode!”

She pulled the end of the cane to reveal a long thin blade that expanded once released. She used the blade to swipe at the Rangers, causing them to spark. When she was satisfied she replaced the sword in its sheaf and twisted the top of the cane to form a handle.

“Cannon Mode, Fire!”

The end of the can glowed as it started to fire bolts of purple energy in the direction of the Turbo Rangers. Caught up close there was little they could do to block her blasts as the Purple Racer continued to show off her new powers. As the last shot was fired the cane reverted to its original form.

“Staff Mode, Nova Strike!”

The cane started to spin at an incredible rate, charging with energy as it did so until the ends were glowing purple. As it spun the cane seemed to treble in length forming a glowing staff. Then with a grunt of effort, the Ranger thrust the weapon forward, directing it toward Yellow Turbo.

“Tash!” Fred warned as the Yellow Turbo Ranger took the brunt of the blow to her left side as was flung aside.

“And then there were four,” Purple Turbo announced.

“Who are you?” Pink Turbo demanded.

“I’m the Purple Turbo Ranger,” Purple Racer laughed, “But you can call me Purple Racer. This planet is the property of Queen Divatox; anybody who has a problem with that will answer to me!”

“I don’t know who you are, but you really don’t want to do this,” Red Turbo told her, the Turbo Power Sword raised and ready to strike.

She laughed. She was certain that despite his readiness he did not want to attack her. It was too bad really that she had no reservations about striking him or his friends. Once she might have objected, but that was before Divatox had made her see otherwise.

“Oh I do, Red Turbo Ranger,” she replied. “Trust me on that.”

“Remember guys this is a Ranger,” Green Turbo warned. “She might be under some sort of control, but those are Ranger powers she is using.”

“So short of a finisher, no pulling punches,” Pink Turbo agreed.

There was always reluctance when Power Rangers faced Rangers that had been placed under evil control. Most forgot in the midst of their concern for a friend or innocent that the powers they wielded would protect them from all but the strongest attacks. And while the Turbo Rangers were just as keen as any other team to try to break through with words and gestures of friendship, they were also happy to punch a little common sense into their bewitched enemy.

“Oh trust me, I won’t be pulling anything,” Purple Racer promised. “Nova Strike!”

And then the fight was on, four Turbo Rangers against a single evil Ranger. It was no surprise for the Rangers to discover that the Purple Racer was just as fast and strong as they were. With no inhibitions about fighting dirty, she enjoyed a small advantage over her foes – for the Turbo Rangers themselves were not renowned for holding themselves to the same strict code of honour as the older teams. As the tip of the Nova Staff connected, Pink Turbo was propelled through the air, her suit sparking from the concussive force of the discharge. A strike to Green Turbo’s knee slowed him down enough that the next blow would have taken his head off if not for the timely intervention of Blue Turbo.

As Blue Turbo helped his friend, Purple Racer turned her attention to Yellow Turbo, who was back on her feet albeit a little shaky. This time though Tasha was armed. Sparks flew as the Nova Staff clashed with Yellow Turbo’s Star Chargers, which Yellow Turbo had elected to use in their more compact knuckle-duster mode. Energised purple connected with energised yellow as both warriors moved at incredible speed. They were evenly matched until Purple Racer drove the tip of her staff into the sidewalk, releasing a shockwave that blew Yellow Turbo off her feet and slowed the incoming Red Turbo enough for her to deliver a clean shot to his midsection.

As the street started to crumble from the energy she had unleashed, Purple Racer took the opportunity to observe the carnage. The lapse was enough for Blue Turbo to use his Turbo Hand Blasters to knock the staff from her hand, causing it to revert to its smaller cane form and vanish. Purple Racer cocked her head to one side. It was hard to tell but she almost seemed amused.

“Nice trick,” she commended. “Now it’s my turn…” She paused, raising her left hand to the side of her helmet. “On second thoughts, we’ll finish this next time. So long Turbo Rangers.”

She vanished in a shower of Purple sparks.

“Hey!” Red Turbo cried. “Come back here!”

“Um Fred, we have bigger problems,” Green Turbo pointed out.

Red Turbo followed his team mate’s line of sight and saw that somehow Gasket had managed to make his monster grow without the help of Klank and Orbus. Purple Racer would have to wait. They had more pressing concerns.

====

“Porto, what is the point of having an evil Turbo Ranger if you order her to retreat when she has those Power Punks at her mercy?” Divatox demanded.

In truth she was pleased with Porto’s first attempt at creating an evil Ranger. The Purple Turbo powers had proven more than a match for one of Gasket’s creations and had held her own against five Turbo Rangers. It was also clear that while her powers needed some fine tuning, the Nova Cane was an effective weapon. Porto would just need to find a way to make certain that next time the Purple Ranger would not be disarmed so easily

“Forgive me my Queen,” Porto answered. “I failed to see a reason for her to remain once Gasket grew that metal beast of his. I haven’t finished her Zord and if she stayed she would have been forced to choose sides between the Rangers or a competitor.”

Divatox had to accept his reasoning. Sonic Nova was still new and untested in battle. There was no guarantee that their indoctrination techniques would hold up if she was forced to work with the other Rangers. On the other hand cooperating with Gasket’s forces after order him to leave the planet was also out of the question. The Purple Racer was aggressive and not afraid to strike the enemy where it hurt. Any protests Porto had raised about the possibility of betrayal had been proven wrong for now at least. She still couldn’t fault him for giving Sonic Nova as little reason to turn on them as possible.

“Next time ask before ordering my Ranger to withdrawal,” she told him.

“Yes my Queen.”

She turned her attention to the periscope and watched the battle between the Turbo Rangers and Gasket’s machine. As the Turbo Megazord finished the machine monster with a Spinout, she remembered that she would need to get Porto to step up production of Sonic Nova’s Turbo Zord. That along with the other improvements she wanted him to make would mean that the next time her warrior faced off against Zordon’s brats, they would be eliminated.

“Making some of her weapons a part of her armour gave a clear advantage,” Porto noted, more to himself, but aware that Divatox could hear him. “Next time we’ll be able to use some of the other toys I installed.”

“Just be sure she is ready when I need her,” Divatox instructed.

“Of course, my Queen,” Porto replied. “Come along Purple Ranger, we have work to do. You should place your power into Standby Mode for now.”

Purple Racer nodded and removed her helmet, revealing the empty face of Ashley Hammond. She didn’t know what had been done to her after that although she knew that something had changed. It wasn’t a spell, for she had been in Angel Grove long enough to recognise the sensations of being placed under a spell even if she couldn’t fight it. This was different, a physical presence sifting through her mind, dredging up all of her negative emotions and burying anything positive. She remembered a face, no faces, each a mask expressing some emotion that twisted her thoughts and leaving her in a state where while she was aware of her actions, she was incapable of stopping herself. And whenever she thought she had found the strength to break free, she felt something clamp down on her mind, clouding her judgement and making her trust the pirate to know what was right.

She had hurt the Turbo Rangers and she was appalled at herself for doing so. But those emotions were quashed by the delight she had taken in harming them and an overriding desire to do so again. She knew it was wrong, but she just couldn’t fight it.

The larva Porto had placed in her ear was now secreted deep within her skull where it released chemicals that altered her thought processes. As long as it remained, she would never break free.

====

Power Chamber

“It’s no good Zordon, I checked the readings and it was definitely a Turbo Ranger,” Alpha reported.

The Turbo Rangers had not been in a good state when they had returned. The battle with the Purple Ranger had taken its toll and while their powers had healed most of their wounds, they still needed the help of Power Mountain’s Medical Bay to fully heal.

In the meantime there had been some debate about the exact nature of their opponent.

“Divatox does not have access to our systems and lacks Lerigot’s abilities to link others to the Power of Turbo,” Zordon replied.

The Power Chamber’s computers had analysed the information recorded by the Turbo Ranger’s helmets during the battle. By merging the five sets of data and their own observations, Zordon had been hopeful to learn the identity of their new foe. So far they had only managed to determine that Divatox had stolen her Ranger’s appearance from Tasha.

“I don’t care how they did it, she kicked our butts,” Tasha griped.

For the five teenagers it didn’t matter whether or not they had been facing a Ranger or something pretending to be a Ranger. It had been five-on-one and they had only just managed to hold their own. Admittedly she had had the element of surprise, but it had been the speed of her attack that had surprised them.

“We’re used to being the fast ones,” Franklin reasoned. “We’ve always had the advantage of using speed and numbers.”

It was true that the Power of Turbo was better suited for speed than it was for strength. Using their minds, their teamwork and their speed to their advantage, the Turbo Rangers had managed to overcome foes that were bigger and stronger.

“Maybe Porto is smarter than we thought,” Rosa offered. “He’s built all sorts of things for Divatox in the past.”

“Porto is capable of building a device similar to a Turbo Morpher,” Zordon admitted. “However I do not believe he has the ability to allow a human to use that power without killing them.”

The Speed Force was raw energy and not compatible with the anatomies of most races. It normal required complex rituals to refine it into a safer form like the Power of Turbo. There had been a few humans on Earth who Zordon suspected were capable of using the Speed Force in its unconverted form, but a look into their history revealed that their bodies had been altered either by accident or magic to handle withstand the incredibly corrosive power.

Porto was known as an inventor and a mechanic, but not for his knowledge of Ranger powers. The amount of technology and magic involved made it very unlikely he had managed to duplicate the process on his own. Zordon started to wonder if he had help and if so, from whom?

“Alpha and I will continue to look for a solution,” he promised. “In the meantime it is important that you return to your normal lives.”

“Oh no, we’re going to be late for class,” Justin realised.

The others rolled their eyes but after a few comments about nerds, the five teenagers vanished in a shower of sparks, leaving Zordon to his thoughts.

====

The next day passed without a monster attack, surprising everybody. They knew it was unlike Divatox to resist the urge to press an advantage. They didn’t know that Porto had used the possibility of having her new Ranger’s Zord completed as a way of convincing her to hold back. He had also appealed to her need to prove herself superior to the other villains by suggesting waiting until one of her competitors made a move before sending in her Ranger to humiliate them.

It was the day after that Lord Zedd decided that using the Rangers’ powers against them was a good idea. He created a monster called Copy Otter from an old photocopier that had for some reason been tipped into a river and a nearby otter. There had been a few pepper seeds inside one of the photocopier’s drawers and they had been incorporated into the design.

With a full squad of Z-Putties at his disposal, Copy Otter had appeared in the Business District of Angel Grove and started his attack. Fortunately it was a Saturday and most of the commercial businesses were closed. Those unfortunate enough to be in the area found themselves suffering the effects of the fumes from the pepper spray he spayed in their direction while the exploding shellfish he threw made running away hazardous.

Of course the Z-Putties were doing what they did best, harassing those unable to fight back and generally causing problems. That soon stopped when two blurs, one green and the other pink knocked the foot-soldiers off their feet.

“That’s enough!” Pink Turbo told them as the blurs slowed to reveal the Pink and Green Turbo Rangers.

“We’ll handle these goons,” Green Turbo called to the others.

“All right!” Red Turbo answered before turning his attention Copy Otter. “We’re taking you down!”

“Oh yeah, says who?” Copy Otter asked. “Here’s a pepper for you!”

He threw a red pepper in the direction of the three Rangers. Yellow Ranger moved swiftly and knocked it back with the flat of her Turbo Blade.

“We don’t eat on the job,” she told him.

“Really, how about some sea food?” Copy Otter asked.

“Huh,” the three Rangers asked, confused before he produced a handful of shellfish. “Oh.”

“This is what I call shellshock!” he boasted, flinging the shellfish and then a handful of starfish in their direction.

Green Turbo shifted and shot the incoming projectiles out of the air with his Auto Blaster.

“You’ll pay for that,” Copy Otter promised.

“Oh yeah?” Blue Turbo asked. “Turbo Hand Blasters!”

Copy Otter chuckled. “That is exactly what I was waiting for. Now behold my special power… Copy!”

The rod on his arm glowed and his shoulders flashed. There was a bright burst of light and then two balls of light left his shoulders and flew into his waiting hands. The light faded and he was holding a pair of Turbo Hand Blasters which he immediately fired at Blue Turbo, knocking him down.

“Justin!” Yellow Turbo cried.

“You okay?” Red Turbo asked.

“Ugh,” Blue Turbo complained. “Those things pack a punch.”

“You’ve done it now,” Yellow Turbo. “Nobody hurts my friends, except me. Turbo Star Chargers!”

“Turbo Lightning Sword!” Red Turbo called.

“Copy!” And Copy Otter was soon holding a Star Charger in one hand and a Turbo Lightning Sword in the other.

“No fair he copied our weapons!” Yellow Turbo complained. “Isn’t there a law against that?”

“That’s cheating!” Red Turbo added, for a moment considering the possibility that a police officer would turn up just to insist on fair play. He dismissed the idea when he realised most of the time it would be the Turbo Rangers forced to play fair.

“You think that’s cheating, wait until you see this,” Copy Otter promised. He looked over at where Pink and Green Turbo were making short work of the Z-Putties thanks to their super speed and raised his arm again. “Copy!”

Then he charged, striking Yellow and Red Turbo with copies of their own weapons as a speed that the Rangers normally used to completely out pace their foes. After he had forced the two to separate he ran circles around the Red Turbo Ranger before swinging his Turbo Lightning Sword to hit him hard in the chest. He threw down the sword so that he could grip a Star Charger in each hand; like Yellow Turbo he had selected the knuckle duster form. Then he tore into Yellow Turbo, pummelling with an assortment of jabs and punches. His last blow to the midsection put her down next to Red Turbo.

“Guys!” Blue Turbo called as he made his way over to his friends.

“He’s got our weapons and our speed,” Yellow Turbo groaned. “Now what?”

Copy Otter’s arm scanner glowed again.

“Copy! He’s got our weapons and our speed,” he repeated in a perfect imitation of Pink Turbo. “Now what?”

“That’s enough!” Green Turbo warned as he and Pink Turbo joined their friends.

“You’re right,” Copy Otter told him dismissively, “I have more important things to copy. So let’s end this. Pepper bombs!”

He unleashed a volley of exploding peppers followed by a round of exploding sea food. The three Rangers were caught in the open and blasted through the air.

“Guys!” Green Turbo cried.

“Uh oh!”

Copy Otter tried to run off at high speed, but Pink Turbo was just as fast and blocked his path. He turned to run in the other direction and Green Turbo was already there with a closed fist ready to strike. Copy Otter was knocked off his feet at the two Rangers summoned their weapons.

“Turbo Wind Bow!” Zordon and Alpha had given up trying to get Rosa to call the Turbo Wind Fire by its real name. She had repeatedly told them it was a bow and it didn’t have anything to do with fire.

“Turbo Engine Cannon!” Originally Zordon and Alpha had wanted to call this weapon the Thunder Cannon, but after some confusion with the special Thunder Cannon that was secured to Green Turbo’s Zord, the teenagers had started to refer to it as the Engine Cannon.

“Fire!” they called together, unleashing a volley of shots that knocked the monster over.

“Oh that’s good,” Copy Otter commented as he picked himself up. “I’ll have one of each. Copy!”

He duplicated their weapons and opened fire, catching all five Rangers in the blast. The five teens groaned as they tried to pick themselves up and groaned again when they discovered that the copies of their weapons were good enough to combine together to form the Turbo RAM. This didn’t look good.

====

“Porto, that idiot monster is about to finish off the Power Rangers,” Divatox growled. “Tell your Purple Ranger to get down there and stop it. And then destroy the Power Rangers.”

“Yes my Queen,” Porto replied. “I have just completed a new weapon for Sonic Nova to use in battle. This will be a good time to test it.”

====

“Fi-huh!”

The loud rev of an engine stopped the monster before he could fire.

The Rangers turned in time to see Purple Racer racing in their direction on a quad bike. They narrowly managed to get out of the way and it was clear from the way that she didn’t attempt to slow down or change course that she had no problem crashing into them. Copy Otter didn’t move and was promptly knocked over. Nobody noticed that as she had passed Copy Otter’s Turbo Power Weapons, Purple Racer had tapped them gently, causing them to vanish as they were absorbed by her powers.

“This planet belongs to Queen Divatox,” she told the flattened monster. “Leave now!”

“Leave? I’m just starting!” Copy Otter replied as he held up his arm. “Copy!”

His ability to create duplicates was tested by the size of the object, but after waiting for a short time he was able to climb aboard his own quad bike. He revved the engine and tore down the street, then turned the bike around ready to charge back toward the Purple Ranger. The pepper bombs he had thrown around earlier had eliminated any parked cars, leaving the whole street to play in.

Purple Racer revved her quad in response, confident that she would win. Copy Otter had made a duplicate without knowing all of the original’s abilities. She was certain that he could not have copied her vehicle’s special features. When Porto had built the Sonic Nova he had looked to some of the Dianthe’s other vehicles for inspiration. As a result the simple quad cycle now boasted a number of optional extras. And after successfully managing to connect it to the Purple Racer’s powers, all he needed was the right opportunity to fully activate it.

They turned the throttle and sped forward.

“Flight mode!”

The wheels folded down and turned into thrusters, allowing the quad to gain height. Purple Racer flew over the monster before landing again. After the two combatants turned their vehicles around they charged again with Copy Otter prepared for her trickery, only for Purple Racer to do something different.

“Back Cutter!”

A long serrated blade slid from the rear of the vehicle and as she passed her opponent, Purple Racer forced her quad to spin to the right, bringing the sharpened blade into contact with the duplicate’s left tyres.

With two flat tyres Copy Otter was left vulnerable as Purple Racer charged in his direction once more. This time a circular saw extended from the front of the machine and she first raised and then lowered it in a way that sliced through Copy Otter’s crippled quad.


Sonic Nova in Quad and Attack Mode

“Sonic Nova, Attack Mode!” she cried.

The front panel of the quad flipped down, extending the reach of her saw. Two powerful sonic cannons rotated upward rest under the handle bars. The rear section to the quad was pulled forward, extending the rear blade, at the same time shifting the position of the back panels so they now surrounded her as a type of armour. Although she was forced to stand due to their not being enough room to sit, Purple Racer was riding a mobile fortress and Copy Otter was in trouble.

“Hey can’t we talk about this? Words are much better than violence,” Copy Otter tried. “You know my favourite word? Copy!”

Purple Racer opened fire before he could scan her armour. While he dodged the cannon blasts he failed to avoid the saw blade, which decimated his scanning attachment. He looked up in pained surprise as the saw blade descended and the cannons opened fire a second time.

With Copy Otter gone, Purple Racer turned her attention to the Rangers.

====

On the Moon, Rita and Zedd were furious that an evil Turbo Ranger had messed up their plans. Losing to Rangers was bad enough but losing to another monster was unforgivable. And so they decided to do something about it.

“Powers of evil, make my monster grow!” Zedd intoned, aware that he couldn’t use one of his growth bombs since the monster was in no fit state to use it.

====

Dark lightning struck the remains of Copy Otter, restoring the monster in giant form. The Rangers responded in typical fashion by calling in their Zords, leaving Purple Racer to watch as the Megazord formed.

====

“Oh dear oh dear,” Porto mumbled as he watched the battle. “She is going to be so angry if this doesn’t work.”

It wasn’t a brilliant plan in fact it wasn’t even a good plan. There was so much that could go wrong every instinct told him to abandon the idea. But as he watched the battle and heard Divatox start to rant, he decided it was better to go ahead so at least he could claim he tried.

“Rygog, fire a torpedo,” he instructed.

“What’s the target?” Rygog asked.

Porto sighed. This was where he realised just how bad an idea it was. “Sonic Nova.”

There was silence, which Porto assumed was Rygog deciding whether or not to obey and if he would have to accept part of the blame when it backfired.

“Fine,” came the eventual response as the ship shifted in response to a torpedo launch.

Porto steadied himself and started to push buttons, remotely adjusting both the Purple Racer and her machine.

“Now I just need to make those adjustments.”

====

The Megazord had formed and the battle had started. Copy Otter had not regained his scanning device and therefore was unable to fight back at full strength. However his exploding peppers made it increasingly difficult for the Rangers to get close. A barrage of exploding shellfish struck the Megazord in the left leg.

“Chest Blaster!” Red Turbo ordered.

The Megazord unleashed the full power of the energy emitters fitted to its chest plate, destroying the remaining peppers before Copy Otter could throw them. The Rangers took the opportunity to close the distance and land a solid kick to the monster’s side.

“Guys we have incoming!” Pink Turbo warned as the torpedo struck the ground where Purple Racer had been stood watching.

“Did she just destroy her own Ranger?” Yellow Turbo asked. She was shocked at the ruthlessness Divatox showed. Even by the pirate’s standards, that was cold hearted.

“No, look!” Green Turbo replied.

Purple Racer had jumped off of her quad at the time the torpedo landed, but both she and the vehicle were within range. And both were subjected to the effects of the weapon as they grew to giant size. Purple Racer now matched the Megazord in size and her vehicle had expanded to the point where it was large enough for a Megazord to ride it comfortably.

Purple Racer climbed onto her new Zord and revved the engine.

“Guys, this isn’t good!” Green Turbo warned.

And he was right. The front of the Sonic Nova opened, revealing its twin cannons, which swivelled up and down at the fired, striking Copy Otter up and down the length of his body, lifting him off his feet and propelling him backwards. She adjusted the Zord so that it was facing the Megazord and fired again. For some reason the Rangers hadn’t moved out of the way.

“Oh yeah?” Copy Otter asked as he dragged himself out of the building he had been thrown into. “Try this!”

He fired another barrage of peppers, which were cut to pieces by the Zord’s spinning blade; it appeared that since growing larger the saw was able to move from side to side and change the angle of the blade. For good measure it also tried to slice the Megazord’s arm, but the Rangers shifted their machine enough for it to miss.

The cannons swivelled as the saw blade rose to its maximum height. The wheels rotated and the thrusters activated, allowing the large Zord to hover. Then the Zord moved forward rapidly, the cannons blazing as the saw blade swung from side to side on its way down the length of the monster.

“Sonic Nova, Spin Out!” Purple Racer called, causing the Zord to spin in a circle as it passed through the monster, its energised rear blade delivering the final blow as Copy Otter exploded.

Purple Racer turned her attention to the Megazord. With a grunt she leapt from the saddle of her Zord and landed in front of the Megazord. Without pause she smashed her fists into its torso, causing the Megazord to stumble back. The Megazord responded with a punch of its own that hardly fazed her; the Rangers had been right that the Power of Turbo would prevent all but the strongest attacks from causing lasting damage.

She grabbed the Megazord and threw it over her shoulder. The Megazord used its left hand to redirect itself into a flip and rounded on her with a right hook. She rolled with the blow and attempted to sweep the legs, but the Megazord jumped. On the next blow their fists connected, throwing both the Megazord and Purple Racer to the ground.

“Fred we need to withdraw,” Green Turbo urged.

The others looked uncertain, but trusting their friend knew what he was doing, they agreed, ending the battle with Purple Racer standing victorious.

====

Power Chamber

“What was that about Frank?” Tasha demanded after they had powered down. “We could have taken her.”

Justin and Fred both nodded in agreement. While Purple Racer had proven a powerful opponent, it was just an oversized Ranger suit against a Megazord’s armour. In they end they had been confident of a win.

“We didn’t need to fight,” Franklin argued back. “Look she showed up to stop Copy Otter and destroy the five of us, right? She wasn’t there to conquer the planet. So if we’re not there she has no reason to fight.”

“Alpha?”

As much as they wanted to defeat the evil Turbo Ranger, the Rangers knew they had a sworn duty to reduce the damage caused by monster attacks and to protect the lives of innocents.

“Ai-yi-yi, Franklin’s right,” Alpha confirmed. “Purple Racer has left the scene and has taken her Zord with her. Local rescue crews have moved in to restore order.”

“A simple and effective way to end the battle Franklin,” Zordon commended. “You were wise not to escalate the battle. There is a chance that Divatox might realise what happened and in future order her Ranger to continue an attack to stop force you to remain.”

He looked down at the young Rangers, proud of the way that they had handled their recent encounters. He would ask Rocky, Adam and perhaps Tommy to speak with them about their experience dealing with evil Rangers.

“Alpha and I conducted a full scan of Purple Racer during the battle. We were able to confirm that she is indeed using the Power of Turbo and likely possesses a Turbo Key and Turbo Morpher similar to your own.”

That was an important discovery since it allowed Alpha and Zordon to find a way to identify her despite the distortion her powers would cause.”

“We hope that we will be able to learn her true identity by matching her unique signature within the Morphing Grid.”

“Zordon how did they manage to build a Zord so quickly?” Justin asked.

It was not easy to build a Zord. It was not just a case of building an armoured body and a few parts. There were delicate connections that needed to be made for it to work properly.

“Divatox has a fleet of large vehicles at her disposal,” Zordon answered. “I believe that Porto used one of those vehicles as raw materials for the Purple Turbo Zord. Since the Dianthe’s vehicles are capable of changing size in a similar way to how your Turbo Zords can alter their size Porto only needed to connect the vehicle to her Ranger’s powers. Using the torpedo this time would allow her powers to remember how it should look when full size.”

After conducting their scans Zordon had come to the conclusion that Porto had spent as much time stabilising the powers as he had creating them.

“So now we have an evil Ranger running around with her own Zord,” Tasha stated.

“While the cars the Dianthe possess are powerful, they are just machines and incapable acting on their own,” Zordon told her. “They lack much of the technology found in your Turbo Zords.”

“He’s right,” Fred said. “The moment she jumped off her Zord it stopped moving. It is just a very powerful giant vehicle.”

The problem was that now it had been connected to Purple Racer’s powers there was a chance Porto would be able to improve it. They had been lucky during their last encounter. They needed stop Purple Racer before somebody got hurt. And while he hoped that they could get through to her, they needed a backup plan.

“Zordon, Can you use the scan to find a weakness in her armour?” Tasha asked. “Just in case we can’t undo… whatever Divatox did to her.”

“Alpha and I have been working on a way block the Power of Turbo,” Zordon replied. He didn’t need to add that it would be a last resort. Nobody doubted that Purple Racer was a victim of Divatox’s schemes.

With nothing else left to do the Rangers returned to their normal lives while Zordon and Alpha continued to work on the problem.

====

Porto was pleased. Purple Racer had been praised by Divatox, which meant that as she was his creation, he had been praised by Divatox. It seemed that Divatox had chosen to interpret the Rangers’ departure as an act of running away rather than an attempt to stop the fighting. Porto was just relieved that she hadn’t blamed him.

The Zord idea had worked and had provided a method to provide Zords for his other Rangers. Of course he would need to complete work on the Purple Turbo Zord first, but once that was done. And then there were the duplicated weapons that Purple Racer had managed to palm during the battle. He chuckled to himself as he held the remains of Copy Otter’s scanning device, which had been severed during the battle. With a little work he had an idea of how to put the remains of Zedd’s monster to use.

He looked to the far side of the workshop where the template for his second evil Turbo Ranger was nearing completion. Finding a suitable Ranger had been difficult and he was still not convinced that she would not fail during her first mission. But if she did he would just move on to the next and hope that Divatox would leave him alone. That was the best he could do.

End of Part.

**THIS IS THE END OF THE FILE**

The Dark Racers Part 1 – False Start

Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. This is a fan work and no profit is being made from it.
Author’s Note: Okay folks, this story was originally posted as Speeding Darkness and was intended as closure of a plot point started in Mother Knows Best. I’ve always intended to go back and fill out that story line and this is the end result.

The Dark Racers Part 1 – False Start

Villains did not work together. At least that was the accepted rule. While there were a few occasions when the dark armies united to defeat a common foe on the understanding that afterwards they would fight it out amongst themselves for the spoils, the likelihood of betrayal meant such alliances rarely worked and were commonly avoided.

Henchmen however were not bound by such rules. A lack of appreciation by their masters and a constant stream of verbal and sometimes physical abuse meant they were more likely seeking the companionship of those in similar situations. Scorpina and Nefaria were known to double date in some of the seedier bars when the opportunity presented itself. Elgar and Rito were also very friendly although their respective masters had forbidden them from interacting due to the general drain on the intelligence of those around them. Goldar was known to compete against his fellow warriors in friendly competition while Rygog had become drinking buddies with some of the followers of so-called lesser villains.

For the most part the Machine Empire’s generals rarely took part in such unofficial activities. That was mostly due to their programming causing them to look down on their peers. And why would a mighty general of the Machine Empire spend time with a lowly warrior of some organic upstart?

Fortunately while the warrior classes shared some of the prejudices of their masters, the pursuit of new methods and materials meant that Finster, Porto and Klank had no reservations about meeting to share ideas. It had been during one such meeting that the three had created the working prototype of Finster’s Monster Matic. And their combined input had resulted in some of the Machine Empire’s more organic looking monsters.

Today it was Porto who had called the meeting of what the three would claim were the brightest minds on the side of evil. Porto had been presented a task by Divatox, an important mission that despite his best efforts he had been unable to complete. Oh he had managed to delay the inevitable backlash when the pirate discovered that he had failed, mostly by changing the subject, blaming Elgar or hiding in the lower levels of their ship aware from her wrath. But such clever attempts at evasion could only last so long and if he did not complete the project soon he dared not imagine what she would do to him.

And that was why he had asked his fellow creators to meet, hoping that together they could pool their knowledge and find a solution. As an incentive he had gifted Finster with a box of his favourite snacks and Klank with the complete works of some obscure engineer. It was bribery, but he was desperate. Fortunately when they heard his plight, both were sympathetic.

“Why must it always be evil Rangers?” Finster lamented, shaking his head sadly. “It never ends well.”

“Aye, Kin’ Mondo at leest hud th’ sense tae prohibit them efter th’ lest one. Prince Gasket thocht disnae seem tae kin hoo radge they can be.” As he remembered King Mondo’s one and so-far only attempt to create an evil Power Ranger, he could not stop the involuntary vibration by a few of his motor circuits. Noticing the odd look Finster and Porto gave him, he flipped open a panel on the left side of his head and flicked a switch. “Sorry about that,” he said in a distinctly less-Scottish accent. “I forgot I wasn’t home.”

“Divatox will never learn,” Porto admitted. It was unusual for the three to compare their superiors mostly because as intellectuals they preferred not to succumb to the inevitable violence such discussion would bring. This time was different as it was a subject on which the three agreed: evil Rangers were a disaster. “Can you help me?”

There was a pleading tone to his voice. So pathetic and yet something the other two easily recognised. They had both been in their friend’s situation before and knew that no matter how hard he tried, Porto didn’t stand a chance of pleasing her without their help.

“I think I have some concept models I created when the Turbo Rangers first appeared,” Finster admitted. He would never show such pieces to Rita and Zedd out of fear that they would use them to create monsters, but Finster was an artist, capability of constructing some beautiful if a little twisted sculptures.

“And I still have the data scans that were transmitted from the virus we placed in the Rangers’ computer before they found it,” Klank added. The Machine Empire had made great use of the information when planning their assaults on the Earth, but the majority of the useful data was now obsolete and what remained was of no value to King Mondo, so Klank was willing to share.

Working together the three intellectuals managed to unravel the mysteries of the Turbo Rangers’ powers, allowing them to design and with the use of the facilities Porto had somehow obtained on Earth, build a working set of Turbo Keys complete with their interpretation of how their uniforms. It wasn’t a perfect copy, they didn’t have time to accomplish such a feat, but it would resemble a Turbo Ranger and aside from the usual weakness of such a plan, they were almost unstoppable.

“You’re lucky King Mondo isn’t interested in making Rangers anymore,” Klank told them. “Otherwise I’d be taking some of these with me.”

“Yes, Rita and Zedd will be most displeased if they find out I helped you with this and didn’t steal them,” Finster agreed before nodding to himself. “So I won’t tell them.”

And with that the three turned their attention to other discussions, enjoying the rare opportunity to share an intelligent conversation.

====

“Porto!”

Busted. The engineer had hoped that he would be able to sneak back on board the ship without arousing suspicion. With Elgar on watch it had seemed a simple matter. But then whenever the idiot was involved nothing was straight forward. He hid the grimace that came as much from the slight hangover as it did from getting caught and turned to face an irate Divatox.

“What time do you call this?” the pirate demanded. “You have work to do and you’re sneaking off all over the place.” She paused, her nostrils twitching slightly. “Have you been drinking?”

“Well you see… I mean…” Porto trailed off, noticing the scowl on his captain’s face. Normally this would be a time when he would need to find some underlings to clear up the mess. Divatox was not just annoyed, she was furious.

“Where are my Dark Turbo Rangers?” she bellowed. “You’ve had weeks to finish them. Now where are they?”

“Well I…”

“You haven’t finished them have you?” she continued. “You have been hiding away trying to avoid me because you failed!”

“No I have…”

“I should have known better than to trust one of you imbeciles to do something,” she growled. “And then you decide to sneak out for a drink when you should be working. Elgar, get the torpedo tubes ready!”

Porto actually took a step back. As her only inventor he had been protected from the punishment normally reserved for Divatox’s nephew and on a rare occasion Rygog. It seemed that her patience was exhausted and that her faith in his abilities had evaporated. HE found that more than a little annoying and for once decided that he would stand up for himself, just a little.

“Well if you don’t want them,” he said, revealing a set of five recently completed devices, “I guess I’ll have to take them apart again.”

“You did it?” Divatox asked, forgetting for a moment that he had dared answer her back.

“Yes Captain,” he replied smugly. “After weeks of struggle I have completed the task you set me. Now they’re not perfect, I only just finished building them in my workshop on Earth, aware from… distractions.”

He didn’t mention that the distraction in question was her shouting demands that he finish up. He preferred to allow her to think that he meant Elgar. It was better for all concerned that way… except perhaps her nephew.

“You did it?” she repeated, still not sure she had heard him correctly the first time.

Instead of answering he pulled out three of the devices he had completed. There was no way he was going to give her all five after such a lack of faith. Besides if there were only three Dark Turbo Rangers there were only three new allies for the Rangers when they inevitably turned on Divatox. And that meant less ranting when the plan eventually failed.

The threesome had not been able to completely duplicate the powers of the Turbo Rangers despite the information that had available regarding the Turbo Keys. In fact duplicating the Turbo Keys had proven to be the easy part. The problem was that the Power of Turbo was neither magical nor scientific in origin. The transformation made use of a phenomenon known as the Speed Force, and extra-dimensional energy source similar to magic. However the energy worked in accordance with some of the accepted laws of physics and so could also be considered science based in nature.

The Turbo Keys solved a part of the problem by drawing on the energy from the Speed Force and directing it using technology. Unfortunately while that allowed suitable humans to use the Power of Turbo, very few humans were suitable. Lerigot had used magic to get around that obstacle by altering the bodies of the Turbo Rangers. He had modified their cells to accommodate the energies drawn from the Speed Force, allowing them to survive prolonged exposure.

Finding a way to duplicate Lerigot’s magic had proven impossible. There were plenty of spells to alter the way the body worked, but none that made them receptive to volatile pseudo-magic unless they were already capable of channelling such power. Finster had suggested that the Rangers’ abilities to morph had meant that once they had been connected to one source of power, they were capable of using almost any other source. And that had offered a solution.

The first step had been to create a device that could detect suitable humans. Klank had taken a few minutes to build a suitable if oversized scanner. The next had been to create a means to enhance that potential long enough for the potential Ranger to morph for the first time – for it had been agreed by the three that once the transformation had been completed the Speed Force would permanently alter the bodies of those that utilised its energies.

In the end they had settled on a two part method requiring the use of chemicals to change the atoms that made up the body and a powerful energy discharge to trigger the chemical reaction. Surprising the chemicals they settled on were readily available in science laboratories around the globe. With a small amount of work Porto had soon manufactured a means of dispensing the chemicals and directing the energy discharge.

“The Dark Turbo Keys pick out the unique energy of the Speed Force and use it to accelerate the atoms in the Ranger’s body,” he explained as Divatox admired her new toys as if she had been the one to complete them. “Once the Ranger has been primed, the Dark Turbo Key directs a small charge of that energy to create a suit to prevent dispersal of their molecules while they are transformed. A programmed template within the Turbo Key allows the Ranger to produce weapons and other equipment as needed.”

He nodded, pleased with the explanation. He was a little put out that Divatox had missed the majority of what he had said

“Oh it’s good to be me!” Divatox crowed. “We’ll soon show those Turbo Punks who’s in charge around here. What next?”

“Well first we need to find some humans that have the potential to use the Power of Turbo. Then after attaching a small control module we inject them with a mixture of chemicals and expose them to a powerful energy blast using this.” He held up the weapon he had created. “The control module will allow the process to work after which they simply have to use they Turbo Keys to transform.”

“So all we need are my new Rangers,” Divatox cheered.

“Yes, I’ll begin a search immediately,” Porto offered.

“No need, I already have the perfect specimens,” Divatox told him. “Rygog, bring me my Rangers and be careful not to damage them!”

And suddenly Porto realised there was a good possibility that things could go wrong a lot sooner than he had ever imagined. He had assumed that Divatox would be content to allow him to select three suitable humans and transform them into her warriors. Alas it seemed that Divatox had already chosen her Dark Rangers using whatever criteria she deemed important. A part of him was sickened when he realised she had probably chosen them as playmates for her perversions first and Rangers second.

“Aren’t they perfect Porto?” she asked as Rygog and a group of foot-soldiers dragged three bikers into view.

Dressed in leather with skin that had been recently oiled and a glazed look in eyes, it was not hard to imagine that they had spent the previous night serving Divatox in her bed chamber. Porto sighed as the scanner confirmed what he already suspected. No, they were not perfect; they were not even mildly suitable. Their bodies lacked the potential to survive the modifications needed.

Now Porto wasn’t entirely sure what the effects of using the priming mixture on an unsuitable candidate would be, but given that some of its key ingredients caused necrosis of the organs and mutation of the cells, he didn’t think it would be a pretty sight. A part of him worried that it could prove explosive, poisonous or both.

“I’m sorry Divatox, but it won’t work,” he told her, willing to face her anger if it meant avoiding a more painful death. After all she needed him for the time being so he knew he would survive whatever she did to him; he tried to ignore the fact that there were many nasty things she could do to him that he could live through.

“Just do it Porto!” the pirate snapped as eh placed the control module upon the chest of one of her chosen. What was his name again?

Porto tried to think of an excuse, anything that would allow him time to suggest an alternative. It was clear however that Divatox was not in the mood to listen.

“I’ll do it!” Elgar offered, picking up the injection cannon Porto had cobbled together.

“No,” Porto protested, cursing the ill timed arrival of the ship’s native idiot.

It was too late. Elgar pulled the trigger and a small needle shot toward one of the bikers. On contact the needle pierced the skin, injecting the volatile fluid as a second later a blast of purple lightning struck the biker in the chest. Reacting on instinct, Porto did the only thing he could think of under the circumstances and ducked for cover.

Divatox did not shout at her nephew when it became clear that something had gone wrong. She was mesmerised by the sudden transformation of her most recent lover. As the chemicals entered his body, forcing it to mutate, the burst of high energy activated the volatile solution, initiating a violent reaction that seemed to spread to his fellow bikers.

“What is that thing?” Divatox bellowed when she finally found her voice.

The three humans had been thrown across the deck and had somehow merged together, their bodies deforming and twisting into a hideous new form. If asked Porto would have been hard pressed to state what they had become at first. Gradually it became clear that the humans had been mutated into a large eight legged snake with bat-like wings.

The creature, which was still growing, snapped up one of Divatox’s foot-soldiers in its mouth. The other tried to run, only to be caught in a mass of webbing. The creature screeched and flew awkwardly toward Divatox; it lacked the space to make full use of its wings. And then just as it was about to strike, it vanished from the ship leaving an angry Divatox to turn on a confused Elgar as a terrified Porto looked on.

“What happened?” Elgar asked.

“What happened?” Divatox snapped. “You nearly killed us you imbecile!” She took a breath and then turned to her more competent underlings. “What did happen?”

“I sent them to Earth,” Rygog answered calmly as he surveyed the damage. Whatever they were it seemed their venom was corrosive.

“Hm, let’s see those little Power Geeks handle that,” she agreed. “Good thinking Rygog. I like it when my crew show a little initiative. And you…” she grabbed Elgar by the ear… “Do not do anything unless I tell you to. Nitwit!”

“But you said you liked initiative Auntie D,” Elgar protested.

Divatox stared at her nephew. At first he hardly noticed, but with each passing second he grew increasingly nervous. She waited until he visibly gulped before releasing him.

“You don’t even know the meaning of the word,” she snarled cruelly.

~Or many others,~ Porto silently added.

“As for you Porto, stop wasting time and find me my Rangers!”

Porto knew better than to argue and scurried away to begin his search.

“And Porto…”

“Yes Queen Divatox?”

“Start looking in Angel Grove.”

Porto sighed. He knew what was about to happen: he would find a suitable human that would turn out to be a friend of the Power Rangers and therefore a more difficult subject to control. The power of friendship would overcome whatever control they managed to put in place and sooner or later it would all backfire and he would be blamed. He so wanted to refuse the order, to point out the reasons why it was such a bad idea. Instead he swallowed his pride once more and obediently agreed to her demands.

“Yes, Queen Divatox.”

In the meantime Divatox decided to watch the inevitable carnage unfold on Earth before she started her search for some new bed warmers. It was good to be the queen.

====

Franklin Park sighed as he reviewed the list of assignments he had for classes that day. It seemed the teachers were piling on the pressure to make up for time lost due to monster attacks. Mr Kaplan was constantly adjusting the curriculum to give his students the best education possible in difficult circumstances. Unfortunately sometimes that meant that teachers were forced to cover a vast part of their subjects very quickly and assign more and more out of class assignments to make sure the students could keep up.

Luckily Franklin and his friends were able to keep up with the demands of school. Between Justin’s intelligence, Franklin’s planning and Rosa’s encouragement along with Tasha to make sure they had some fun, they were in a better position than some of their classmates. And for once they were grateful that Divatox was otherwise distracted.

Franklin swallowed the small amount of sick that came into his throat as he remembered Zordon explaining that Divatox had been busy trying to find males to fulfil her other needs. The thought of any of the villains they fought having those sort of relations made him queasy – though at his age the idea of any adult doing that sort of thing made him slightly ill – he didn’t even want to think about what Zedd and Rita got up to once the lights were extinguished.

Tasha noticed the paling of Franklin’s face and hid a smirk. She could guess what he was thinking about and found the result amusing. It wasn’t that she didn’t find the thought of what Divatox did with her tongue disturbing, she did and had promised that Fred and Justin would pay for ever accessing that file in the Power Chamber’s records. ~Why did Zordon have that file anyway?~ She just didn’t allow it to affect her to the degree Franklin did.

“All right, we have an hour before Justin and I need to get back to the Shelter,” she said. “No more studying. We can finish this up later. Right?”

The others nodded and put their books away. The evenings were drawing in and curfews in Angel Grove grew more restrictive as the year moved on. So the opportunity to have a little fund before heading home was not to be missed.

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!

It seemed that their luck had run out. After locating a quiet corner of the Juice Bar, Fred answered the call.

“We’re here Alpha, what’s wrong.”

“Divatox has sent down a– something,” Alpha replied. “Teleport to the Power Chamber.”

The five teens looked around and then activated their communicators, disappearing in a shower of coloured sparks.

====

Vinnie had not been a nice man. He had been in trouble with the law more times than he cared to remember, had served prison time for some nasty offences and was prone to violent outbursts that led many to wisely keep their distance. He wasn’t overly tall or especially muscular; he wasn’t known for his intelligence or wit. He was at heart a thug and a bit of a coward as likely to stab someone in the back as he was to confront them face-to-face.

But then he had attracted the eye of Divatox during one of her quests to find a new lover. He had a bad attitude and despite his lack of stature, she found him repulsive enough to gain an audition. That she had abducted and used a small spell to place him in a near trance was easy to overlook. She had enjoyed his services and he had had the pleasure of serving the Queen of the Pirates for one night.

The next morning Divatox had been bored of her new conquest and had replaced him with another biker named Modo. Modo was older, larger with a lot of greying facial hair and a patch over his right eye. He called himself a bear and for a short time Divatox had agreed with him. After a while though she had grown tired of him and started wondering aloud whether she needed a new rug.

That was when Throttle had received his opportunity; by this time Divatox had decided not to ask about their strange names, just dismissing it as a biker thing. She had been attracted to his tan and his muscles, which was fortunate because his personality was almost non-existent.

Despite the effects of the spell she had cast on each of them the three bikers had never been happier when she had taken all three of them to her bed for a night of passion. It had been at that time that she had decided that they would perfect for her team of Dark Turbo Rangers.

But that happiness was gone, replaced by the agony of the priming solution as it broke down the structure of their bodies and the blast of energy that had left them feeling as if they had been struck by lightning. The chemical reaction combined with the high voltage and their unsuitability to the process had resulted in an unpredictable mutation. The modulator that Vinnie had been given had followed its programming and interfered with the process. The results were not pretty.

Vinnie, Modo and Throttle had been broken down into a biological mass and then reformed into something else. It’s lower body and legs were those of a spider. It had the long tail of a snake that trailed out behind it. The upper body looked almost human with a broad chest, powerful shoulders and thick arms, but the large serpentine scales made it clear that this thing was certainly not a man. On its back it had a pair of large bat wings that folded over its shoulders like a cape. Its head resembled that of a cobra complete with the sharp fangs that dripped corrosive venom onto the street below; on top it had a small pair of bat ears.

Its wings flapped and it rose above the ground, shooting a toxic mix of venom and webbing down the street, covering the fleeing citizens as they ran for safety. The three humans had ceased to exist and in there place was a beast that intended to destroy anything that got in its way. As it let out a terrifying screech that shattered the glass windows in the nearby vehicles, it chased after its prey.

====

“That’s a big… what is that thing?” was Tasha’s first comment when Alpha showed them the scenes from Angel Grove.

Since they had teleported to the Power Chamber the Turbo Rangers had been quick to study the giant beast. It appeared that wherever it had come from it was mutating at an alarming rate. It was also growing larger. When it had first appeared it had been a little over three meters in length. Now it was closer to five meters.

“Is it a machine?” Franklin asked as he studied the beast’s shiny skin. It looked like metal in places.

“Whatever it is, it’s intelligent,” Rosa observed as it chased a crowd of civilians through the streets, herding them towards a waiting web. “And we need to help those people before it sinks its fangs into them.”

“Right,” Fred agreed. “Let’s Shift into Turbo!”

“Desert Thunder Turbo Power!” Frank cried.

“Wind Chaser Turbo Power!” Rosa followed.

“Mountain Blaster Turbo Power!” Justin called.

“Dune Star Turbo Power!” Tasha yelled.

“Red Lightning Turbo Power!” Fred finished.

In a shower of sparks they teleported to the city.

“Alpha, reconfigure the Ranger’s armour to maximum density,” Zordon rumbled.

“Yes Zordon,” the little machine acknowledged before setting to work.

====

High on a rooftop in another part of Angel Grove three interested spectators watched the creature as it chased its prey through the streets. They were not from Angel Grove or Earth for that matter, but unlike many of those that took an interest in the small world, they held no interest in conquering it, destroying it or looting its many resources. In fact under normal circumstance they would have ignored the otherwise mundane planet.

But then they had seen the creature stalking through the streets and suddenly they had felt compelled to give the planet a second look. After all if there were more creatures like that to be found on the planet, perhaps they would need to extend their hunting ground.

====

Very few of the Earth Rangers had ever conducted a full study of their uniforms, mostly because doing so was difficult when wearing them. Billy had browsed the Power Chamber’s data files a few times while aiding Zordon with the Zeo Rangers’ powers, but even his understanding of the material that made up the uniforms and how to build suits that were solid armour instead of the Spandex type material most wore was limited.

In truth there was no difference between the material used for one type of suit and that used for another. Solid or flexible, hard or soft, brightly coloured or see through, every part of a Ranger’s uniform was made from the same base material. Gloves, boots, holsters, helmets and even visors were fashioned from a single substance. It was only the application of various spells and manufacturing techniques that altered the way it looked, felt and moved.

So while the Turbo Rangers had grown used to fighting in the more flexible suits that their predecessors had worn, just like the Morphin and Zeo teams they were able to change them as needed. So when they arrived they were only a little surprised to find that they were wearing lightweight body armour instead of the usual fabric.

“Tasha, Justin, get those people out of that web. Franklin, Rosa and I will distract it.”

“And just how are we going to distract it?” Pink Turbo wanted to know.

Red Turbo looked at Green Turbo who just shrugged unhelpfully. It seemed giant hybrid monsters that were too small to justify using the Zords were difficult to plan for.

“We attack!” Red Turbo cried before charging forward.

“Pink and Green Turbo glanced at each other before following Red Turbo. He was the leader after all and they didn’t have anything better in mind.

It seemed at first that luck was on their side. The monster was larger but in a city street lined with shops and a street filled with abandoned cars, it didn’t have the room to use its superior size. However it was fast and as the three Turbo Rangers soon found out, capable of more than just firing webs.

“Look out!” Pink Turbo warned as the creature unleashed another loud screech, the force of the sonic blast throwing the three Rangers off their feet.

The few seconds they were downed was enough for the creature to turn and lash out with its tail, raising it like a club before hammering it down onto the street. The three Rangers managed to dodge out of the way, the red van that had been behind them was not so fortunate.

“We need to get under it!” Green Turbo urged as the snake thrashed its tail from side to side, launching anything it touched into the air.

As the Rangers ran forward they realised that the tail was clearing the street and make it easier for the creature to move. It lashed out with both its tail and its arms, flinging debris at the Turbo Rangers while spewing more of its toxic webbing.

“Franklin!” Pink Turbo cried as the corrosive venom made contact with the street just in front of Green Turbo. A chasm opened beneath him and the Green Ranger vanished from sight.

“Justin, Tasha, we need you guys here as soon as you can!” Red Turbo cried as Pink Turbo opened fire on the monster that had apparently killed her friend. “Rosa, watch out!”

Having had the opportunity to search the battlefield, the beast had located two of the street lamps and was wielding them like swords or at least knives. Pink Ranger was forced to roll and tumble as it tried to stab her with its makeshift weapons, the hole in the ground limiting her movements.

“Auto Blaster!” Red Turbo called, drawing his sidearm. He fired a number of shots at the beast’s legs, causing it to panic. He avoided a tail strike as Pink Turbo fired a few shots of her own.

Then the beast let out a scream of agony and seemed to twitch uncontrollably. Yellow Turbo had used the distraction to leap onto its back and had punched it with her Turbo Power Weapon. A moment later the lower part of one of its legs was incinerated as Blue Turbo unleashed a volley from his Turbo Hand Blasters.

“Ai-yi-yi, Rangers, turn your external audio off,” Alpha instructed.

Although they didn’t know why they had received such an instruction, the four Turbo Rangers had known Alpha long enough to trust him. As soon as they did so a wave of green energy struck the monster, throwing it back down the street. They turned to find Green Turbo with his Thunder Cannon at the ready.

“You’re not the only one that can make a noise,” he commented as he regarded the fallen beast clutch at its head. It seemed it did have some weaknesses after all.

====

Minutes earlier

The ground had given way and there was nothing Green Turbo could do to prevent himself from falling into the chasm. Even the sharp spikes on the bottom of his boots failed to provide the extra friction he needed. Unable to stop himself from falling, the Green Turbo Ranger threw himself forward, hoping to control his descent and that the hole was not too deep. He was aware that some parts of Angel Grove’s sewer system were unpredictable due the damage the streets had sustained over the years.

He breathed as sigh of relief when he found that the corrosive venom had only ripped through the roadway. He landed in the sewer, followed by a large amount of debris as more of the road collapsed on him. Fortunately the changes Zordon and Alpha had made to his armour meant the rubble barely hurt him.

“Fred, Rosa, I’m okay,” he said, but realised something was preventing his signal from reaching them.

He took the opportunity as he dug himself lose to think of a strategy. Their foe was strong and fast, but limited slightly by its size. It clearly had the ability of a snake to spit its venom and could project its screech as a weapon. It had the webbing of a spider and the speed provided by eight legs. But did that mean that it only inherited the positive side of its new form?

“That’s it!” he realised as he remembered the beast’s ears. If it had the enhanced senses of a bat made he could use that sensitivity against it. “Alpha, Zordon?”

“Franklin, you’re alive!” Alpha cried. “The other will be so glad.”

“Alpha I have an idea but I can’t contact the others,” Franklin said. “I need you to tell the others to turn off their eternal audio.”

“At once Franklin and good luck,” Alpha replied.

Green Turbo nodded to himself and summoned the Thunder Cannon, a special gift he had received with his powers that allowed him to fire sonic waves. Normally the weapon needed a secure anchor point like the roof of his Zord, but with limited space he chose to hold the cannon on his should and hope the kickback wouldn’t cause too much damage. He used his visor to plot a simple leap out of the sewers and once above ground, he aimed and fired the weapon. He was relieved to see the beast thrown off its feet.

“You’re not the only one that can make a noise,” he commented as he regarded the fallen beast clutch at its head. It seemed it did have some weaknesses after all.

====

Divatox scowled as she watched the Ranger turn the tide of the battle. Once reunited the five young warriors had resumed the attack, destroying its legs and then working as a team to devastate its tail. It had retaliated with a spray of webbing, but using a combination of their weapons they had broken free. And it had not been long before they were setting up to finish her beast with their Turbo RAM.

“Rygog, fires the torpedoes!” she bellowed.

The beast might not have been something she intended to create, but she hated to lose.

====

As soon as the monster had grown to the size of a normal giant monster, the Rangers had arranged for Zordon to teleport it away from the city. They had then summoned their Zords and engaged in a more even rematch. The beast still had a few tricks up its scaly sleeves, surprising the Rangers when it shed its lower body, choosing to fight as a giant winged metal snake instead.

Its tail smashed into the Megazord, knocking the mighty machine off its feet. Before it could right itself the snake launched itself forward, sinking its fangs into the Megazord’s left leg. The corrosive venom quickly spread, disabling the Zord’s systems.

“I can’t move the left leg,” Green Turbo complained.

“Systems are offline, we need time to reboot,” Blue Turbo replied as he scrambled through the access hatch at the back of the cockpit. Yellow Turbo was close behind.

“Fred, I have an idea,” Pink Turbo declared. “But I’ll need some help.”

“I’m on it!” Green Turbo volunteered as he noticed what she was doing. He slid into Yellow Turbo’s place, taking direct control over the Megazord’s active leg.

The arms of the Megazord rose as the snake reared up. With a push of a button the arms detached, allowing them to combine together to form Wind Chaser. With a swinging kick that took an incredible effort from a prone position, the Pink Ranger’s Zord was propelled at the attacking snake. Just before the impact, the Zord split in half again, allowing it to safely pass around the snake monster.

The desperate move had bought time for Blue and Yellow Turbo to restart the damaged Zord’s systems and despite a slightly dead leg, the Megazord was back on its feet. With the monster distracted Red Turbo used the Megazord’s chest blaster to bombard it with energy. As the snake recovered from the attack, the Megazord’s arms reattached and the Rangers summoned the Power Sword.

“Spinout!”

The battle was over swiftly as the Power Sword cut through the giant beast’s neck, destroying the monster once and for all.

====

“Good news my Queen, I have located one of your evil Rangers!” Porto stated as he shuffled onto the bridge, unaware that it was a bad time. “I just have a few more kinks to work out.”

“Kinks?” Divatox snarled, angered by the loss of her creation. “I don’t want one of them almost ready Porto, I want all of them, now!”

“Yes my Queen,” Porto agreed.

“Now get back to work!”

Porto sighed and returned to his workshop, grateful that at least she still needed him for now. He didn’t want to think what she would do to him otherwise.

====

After they had returned to the Power Chamber the Rangers had enough time to teleport back to the Youth Center and collect their belongings before heading home. Fortunately in the event of an attack the Youth Center was designated a monster shelter and Ernie had the final say on when those taking shelter there were free to leave. It allowed the Rangers a valid excuse for being back after curfew.

In the Power Chamber the events of the battle along with an analysis of the beast were being replayed by Zordon and Alpha. Despite the Rangers’ victory it was still not clear where the monster had come from. And while it had been Divatox that had made it grow, there was no guarantee that she was the one behind the threat and not simply taking advantage of somebody else’s work. Given that it had seemed to be a random attack Zordon wondered if it had been a desperate attempt to defeat the Rangers or just the beginning of something worse?

After failing to find the answers in the replay, Zordon turned his attention elsewhere. The answers would come eventually. They always did.

End of Part

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