Author's notes: welcome to the sixth story of the "Junior Rangers" saga. As usual, if you're not familiar with the setting or characters, a quick glance through the first few stories should bring you up to speed. Everybody mentioned the upcoming school camp in the last three stories, and here it finally arrives :). Any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated.
Also, just for the record: I'm an Australian, and I spell the shade "grey" with an "e", and not "gray". Just wanted to clear that up, right from the git-go. Enjoy :).
Under the starry night sky and the watchful gaze of the full moon, the desert transformed. No longer was the bleak landscape a harsh, unforgiving world of sand, rocks and heat. Bathed in a silver glow from millions of points of light, the desert became gentle slopes, serene tablelands and majestic mountains reaching for the heavens. On one such peak rested a large, unimposing beige-coloured structure. Circular in design, infinite in importance, the stillness of the desert was contrasted by the activity within the building's walls. Lights flashed, alarms sounded, and one very excited little robot hurried through the tunnels that honey-combed their way under the mountain carrying a small, silver box.
"Zordon!" cried Alpha, as he entered the Central Chamber of the Command Centre's top level. "You were right!"
"I was?" asked the disembodied head, floating in the blue plasma tube.
Alpha placed the silver box on one of the control panels and flipped open the lid. The room was instantly lit with a blinding glare, and Alpha's light-sensitive sensors blacked-out for a brief second.
"Yes," the robot nodded. "I ran some tests back down in the power vault, and your suspicions were correct. I can't say exactly what's happening, but my best guess is that, well, it's fading. The power within is actually fading back into the Morphin' Grid."
Zordon shut his eyes and said nothing for several minutes. "This is indeed troubling," he said, "but at least we know what tripped the alarm. How much time do we have?"
Alpha's reply was immediate. "Five days. Then it will lose all power and cease to exist."
Zordon frowned. "And simply for the sake of the one who held it last, we cannot let that happen." The centuries-old sage paused, deep in thought. Surely there was something they could do...
"Alpha," he began, "what if we moved our schedule ahead by a few weeks, and found somebody?"
Alpha took a few seconds to think, and then nodded. "Yes Zordon, that may work. In theory, the power is only fading because nobody is using it. I couldn't guarantee it, but having the power in use again may be enough to draw it back out of the Grid, and re-establish a solid link back into the world. But ayeyiyi, where are we going to find someone at such short notice?"
"This was our long-term goal at any rate," said Zordon. "We'll just have to make it a short-term one. Alpha, call the Rangers and have them meet here as soon as possible. We have a recruitment drive to organise."