Disclaimer: This story contains many characters and settings from different shows and/or games. All of such settings are the property of their respective owners.
Author's Note: These stories are also several years old, so I'll be the first to admit that my writing isn't the best. This is the first in a series of fics featuring the same group of characters. Check my profile for a road map to help you understand what's going on.
"Jenny...it's been a great war. This is as close as I'll get to actually killing you. But don't worry; I'll rest assured that you and your friends will rise again. In fact, I look forward to that day. But until then, sweet dreams...my love."
Those were Black Shadow's final words to Jenny as he left her and the rest of the Rebels frozen in cryogenic chambers. He knew very well that they would come out eventually. How much evil could he spread before that happened?
The evil warlord walked down the stone hallway of Devil's Palace deep in thought. He held the Lightstar Crystal in his hand, the artifact he had stolen to lure the Rebels into his trap. But what use was this artifact? It appeared to have a mind of its own, and would only release its powers when it chose to. There was no way the Lightstar Crystal would allow Black Shadow to access its power. Black Shadow walked to the end of the hall and into an open doorway. Through that doorway was a dusty stone room with a single pillar standing at waist height. Black Shadow approached the pillar and set the Lightstar Crystal on top of it.
"Black Shadow?" a voice called from behind.
Black Shadow turned around. His technical advisor, Dr. Clash, stood in the doorway.
"You look gloomy, Black Shadow," Dr. Clash said. "What's wrong?"
"I'm just confused right now," Black Shadow replied. "I've defeated the Rebels and put them in the cryogenic tubes. This means that we won't be battling with them for a while. I really enjoy battling with them, and there's no telling when they'll come out, or even if they'll ever come out."
"Look, that's not important right now. You should spread your wrath across the universe while you still can. You keep saying that there's a perfect time for everything. Well, now's the perfect time for universal conquest...and perhaps your wedding with Astronema."
"Hmm...you're right." Black Shadow straightened himself. "Well, we'd better get moving before I do something stupid."
With that, he and Dr. Clash left the room, ready to plan their reign of terror.
A bounty hunter flew through space on what looked like a galaxy glider with handlebars. The man wore a tight blue uniform complemented with a red helmet. The helmet had a gold falcon on the front. The man wore gold falcon boots that went up to his knees. This was the mysterious bounty hunter known as Captain Falcon.
He flew towards Devil's Palace with only one purpose in mind. He recently learned that Pico was part of a superhero group committed to fighting Black Shadow. Surely the Rebels have gone to Devil's Palace to take out the dark lord once and for all. But Captain Falcon didn't care about that. All he cared about was catching Pico. And he would catch the alien turtle at all costs.
Captain Falcon stopped at the entrance of Devil's Palace and stepped inside. He walked into an empty stone hallway. He proceeded slowly, keeping an eye out for any assailants.
Without warning, some demons appeared in the hallway. Apparently, Black Shadow had detected Captain Falcon as an intruder and sent the demons to stop him. Captain Falcon paused and eyed each of them. The demons all charged at once. Falcon darted back to avoid their attack. He snap kicked one in the chest, then tossed it into the wall. Two demons grabbed his arms and held them outward, then punched him in the stomach while he was vulnerable. Falcon simply thrust his arms downward, flipping the demons over, sending them crashing into the floor. As another demon rushed at him head on, he stopped it with a thrust kick. Then he instantly shot his leg backwards, kicking another demon. Yet another demon came in with a high kick; Falcon simply ducked, delivering a fierce foot sweep.
At that point, Falcon grew tired of fighting. He had a goal to accomplish, and he didn't want to waste any more time fighting these demons. He pulled out his gun and aimed it at them.
"You are obstructing
my mission of justice," he told them. "Either leave now, or I
will be forced to take action."
The demons backed off, then turned tails and ran.
Captain Falcon nodded. "That's more like it." He put his gun away and continued his search down the Devil's Palace hallway.
Eventually, he found the sacred room. The cryogenic chambers were all lined up against the walls, each chamber containing a Rebels member frozen inside. Captain Falcon looked at each of them carefully, then walked right up to a certain one lined up at the back wall. He rubbed the frost off the top to reveal a certain alien turtle inside. He gave an exasperated sigh.
"Pico...you've eluded me yet again," he said. "But let me assure you, this isn't over. I will catch you, no matter what it takes."
He pulled out a small device that looked like a calculator with a wire protruding from the top. He plugged the loose end of the wire into Pico's cryogenic chamber. The technical information appeared in the screen on Falcon's device.
"There, that should do it," he said, pulling the plug out of the cryogenic chamber. "Until next time, Pico."
He turned and left the room, failing to free Pico or any of the other Rebel members.
Somewhere near Earth...
The evil princess Astronema stood in the control room of her space fortress planning her next attack against the Power Rangers. However, as she was pondering her next attack, she saw something on her video screen. A city was in chaos, and Earthlings were running in every conceivable direction in total panic. In the center of the chaos, a strange figure stood. A figure wearing a long, flowing maroon cape. A figure with red eyes, with a scar running across his right eye. A figure with a light orange ponytail.
Astronema stared curiously at this figure as her second-in-command Ecliptor entered the room.
"Astronema...what is happening?" he asked.
"I'm not sure," Astronema said. "It looks like someone is trying to conquer the Earth before we can. He's destroying every human in sight. We should go down there and see what's going on."
"We must take caution," Ecliptor said. "We could be destroyed right along with the Earthlings."
"Get my battle gear, and follow me!"
Meanwhile, the Space and Galaxy Power Ranger teams were called to the command center. Zordon had a grave mission for all of them.
"Rangers," he said. "The thing I have feared most has happened. Black Shadow has begun his conquest of the entire universe."
"Conquest?" Zhane asked. "I thought the Rebels were supposed to prevent that."
"Yes," Zordon confirmed. "But with Black Shadow's power level, I knew it was only a matter of time before they would be defeated."
"What!?" Cassie asked. "The Rebels were defeated?"
"Unfortunately yes," Zordon said. "Black Shadow has them cryogenically frozen in his space fortress."
"Come on, we have to go save them!" Leo cried.
"Not so fast, Leo. We have an even more urgent matter at hand. A new menace has risen on Earth, and he needs to be stopped immediately, or life as we know it will cease to exist."
"What kind of menace?" Damon asked.
"This guy's power is unmatched by anything we've ever seen before," Alpha 6 said.
"That doesn't matter; we still have to stop him," Andros said. "Zordon, where is this menace?"
"He has risen in the center of New York," Zordon replied. "Good luck, Rangers, and let the power protect you."
The Rangers straightened themselves and teleported away.
Captain Mitchell called the Lightspeed Rangers into his headquarters. They were in just as much danger as the Space and Galaxy Rangers. As much danger as the entire planet was in. As much danger as the whole universe was in.
"Rangers, we have a dire situation on our hands," Mitchell said. "The Rebels have been defeated."
"What?!" Joel exclaimed. "I told them not to lose!"
"So what now?" Kelsey asked.
"Black Shadow has begun his conquest of the universe," Mitchell explained. "However, there's a mission to complete on Earth first. Something terrible is going to happen, and you must stop it."
Dana shot a nervous glance at the other Lightspeed Rangers, then turned back to the Captain, who also happened to be her father. "What's happening, Father?"
"An entity of destruction has appeared in the city of New York. He must be stopped before he destroys everyone."
"Today, New York; tomorrow, the world, huh?" Joel asked.
"Exactly," Mitchell said. "Now go. Time is of the essence."
"Let's see..." Black Shadow took a moment to analyze the current situation. "The Rebels are frozen in my forbidden chamber, the Rangers are preoccupied by the strange occurrence on Earth...there's only one more person who could potentially stand in my way."
"Who's that?" Skitter asked.
Black Shadow shot him an odd look. "You know, my dear friend and rival Canis Lupus, that's who!"
"Yes. Well, I think I'll pay Canis a little visit. I'll be back shortly, and then we'll begin."
The planet Aninias was a strange planet. It was also home to the wolf wizard Canis Lupus. The sky had a violet hue, and the large boulders were pink. The ground was covered with some sort of smooth white fog.
Black Shadow appeared standing in the fog. He looked ahead to see a large boulder structure ahead, which was similar to the Stonehenge on Earth. The dark lord grinned as he advanced on the structure. There was no doubt; this was Canis' little sanctuary.
Finally, Black Shadow entered the sanctuary. There wasn't much in sight; just a fireplace in the center, and a stone couch nearby. In the couch was none other than Canis Lupus himself, sound asleep.
"Well, well." Black Shadow walked straight up to the couch and rested a hand on Canis' shoulder. "Hello, tough guy. Feeling better yet?"
Canis didn't move at all; he was still deep in his sleep.
"Hmm. You really wore yourself out back there, didn't you?" Black Shadow asked. "Guess what? I've defeated the Rebels and placed them in cryogenic tubes. And you know what else? The Power Rangers are responding to a tremendous threat on Earth. I wonder what's happening down there?"
Canis began tossing on the couch, groaning. He turned on his side and pulled his blanket further up his body. Then he relaxed again. Black Shadow lifted Canis' wrist, then dropped it. It was no use; the wolf wizard was out cold.
"Do you know what I'm going to do next?" Black Shadow continued. "I'm going to marry Astronema, and we'll conquer the universe together. And then it'll be perfect!"
Canis tensed up again, letting out another groan.
"I can't wait to see the looks on the Rebels' faces when they wake up," Black Shadow said. "But they'll need someone to free them. So I'll just leave you here while you finish your hibernation. Until then, unpleasant dreams."
With an evil laugh, he back off and disappeared in a purple lightning bolt.
Canis jerked again, abruptly turning on his back and gripping his blanket tightly...
Much time has passed since Black Shadow began his universal conquest. The task was quite simple for him, as all of the universe's greatest heroes were out of his way. However, even for the dark lord, many mysteries have risen. Mainly, the Power Rangers were never heard from again. The thing that really bothered Black Shadow was that he hadn't heard from Astronema since she investigated the strange events on Earth. What had happened down there? Thanks to some long research, his minions finally learned Astronema's fate.
Black Shadow sat in his throne staring up at the ceiling, eagerly awaiting the news. Skitter and Dr. Clash entered the room.
"Black Shadow," Dr. Clash said. "We've found the answer...but you won't be happy about it."
"I don't care," Black Shadow said. "I need to know what happened to Astronema. She and I were supposed to be married, you know. So where is she??"
Dr. Clash lowered his head. "She's dead, my lord."
Black Shadow's eyes widened. "What?"
"When she went down to investigate the events on Earth, she was murdered."
"You won't believe what's happened on Earth!" Skitter yelled excitedly. "All the humans are extinct now! There's nothing but robots!"
"Never mind that!" Black Shadow said. "Whoever killed Astronema will pay dearly. And I know just how to do it..."
Skitter looked behind him, at the throne room entrance. "Master, what about the Rebels? Why do you keep them frozen? Why don't you just kill them?"
"Because I like a worthy adversary! They will be freed, and they'll find themselves right in hell. But for now, I'm going to Earth. Who wants to join me?"
Skitter and Dr. Clash stared at him blankly.
"Fine. I'll see you later." Black Shadow stood up and vanished.
A man in black crept cautiously through the stone halls of Devil's Palace. He had a certain goal in mind; he was heading straight for the forbidden chamber, where the Rebels were frozen. As he walked down, two demons came towards him casually. However, the demons attacked once they saw the man. He kicked one demon in the stomach, and punched the other in the face, knocking them both out instantly.
"Hmm..." he thought. "The demons haven't changed much at all. I expected more from them."
The man continued on, until he finally reached the forbidden chamber and went inside. The room was fairly dark; all the cryogenic chambers were lined neatly along the walls. The blue light from the chambers dimly illuminated the room. The man approached the first chamber on the left side and wiped the frost off the top. He looked down to see the young Rebel leader, Jenny, frozen inside. The man pressed a few buttons on the small terminal on the side of the chamber. Steam began hissing from the hatch. As the steam stopped, the man slowly lifted the lid. Soon after, Jenny slowly woke up. Her eyes fluttered open slowly. As her vision became clearer, she noticed the man standing over her. She sat up, breathing heavily, seemingly afraid of him.
"It's all right," the man said. "I'm your friend."
"Ooh, what's going on?" Jenny grumbled. "Where am I? And who are you?"
"I'll explain momentarily," the man told her. "But I'm going to free your friends first; I'm sure they'll be asking the same questions."
Jenny sat on the edge of her chamber rubbing her eyes while the man worked on freeing the other Rebels. Like Jenny, they all felt groggy and confused as they sat up.
"Phew, we're awake," Yamcha said. "I thought we'd never wake up. What happened?"
Fulgore looked around at the cryogenic tubes. "Cryogenic tubes...we must have been frozen."
"But for how long?" Ruth asked.
"Let me check..." Fulgore checked his internal clock, but he couldn't find anything. "Damn...my systems are still on standby. I need to do some repair work once we get back to the ship."
"Ugh..." Spinal groaned as he held his head. "I feel like I've been out for 2000 years."
"No way," Carlos said. "There's no way we could have been frozen for that long."
"Okay, Rebels, are you done recovering from your grogginess?" the man asked. "I need to explain the situation."
The Rebels paused and looked up at the stranger. He looked human with an average build. He wore all black, from his jeans to his leather vest, to his wolf head helmet. He wore long gloves that reached his elbows, and they had a wolf paw shape. A visor from the helmet concealed his eyes. Since it was pretty dark in the room, the Rebels couldn't really see him.
"So, who are you?" Spinal asked.
The man gave him a surprised look. "Don't you recognize me, Spinal? It's me, Canis Lupus!"
The Rebels gasped, and their eyes widened.
"Wow, Canis!" Fulgore said. "What's with the new look?"
"The universe has been through some...changes...to say the least," Canis told him. "I needed a new look in order to fit in a little."
"But what happened to us?" Jenny asked. "The last thing I remember was that we were fighting Black Shadow in this dark cave. So, what happened?"
"We weren't really frozen for 2000 years...were we?" Yamcha asked.
"Of course not," Canis said.
"Whew..." The Rebels sighed with relief.
"I would've had a heart attack," Hallie said.
Jenny showed no relief, for she felt that something was seriously wrong. "So...how long were we out?"
Canis smiled, anticipating their reaction. "You were frozen for 3000 years."
"WHAT?!?!?" the Rebels exclaimed in unison.
Canis burst out laughing, amused by their reaction.
"That's not funny!" Jenny told him. "There's no telling what Black Shadow could have accomplished in that time period."
Canis collected himself slowly, trying to kill his laugh. "Okay...I'll tell you what Black Shadow has accomplished. He's conquered the entire universe. The universe is now filled with evil and unspeakable horrors. But even Black Shadow can't be in two places at once, so he's appointed a general to every planet to rule on his behalf. And I won't even tell you about Earth."
"We were out for 3000 years..." Yamcha gathered. "It took you that long to free us??"
"When I last talked with Spinal, I told him that I was going into hibernation," Canis explained. "However, I hadn't anticipated on being asleep for this long. I really wore myself out trying to get the Lightstar Crystal back for you guys. And then shortly after, Black Shadow stole it."
"Again?" Jenny asked.
Canis sighed. "No, Black Shadow wasn't the one who stole it the first time. Garlic Jr. stole it the first time, and I went to retrieve it from him. I ran into Black Shadow in the process, but that's beside the point. My powers were exhausted by the time Garlic Jr. was defeated, so I was forced to go into hibernation. While I was asleep, I had horrid dreams of Black Shadow's conquest. Those dreams disturbed me even after I woke up."
Jenny clenched her fists. "Dammit...many times we've thwarted Black Shadow's plans...and he just kept coming back. On the other hand, we lost to him only once...and then we lost everything! Everyone we ever knew is long gone now."
"You haven't lost everything," Canis told her. "You still have each other. That counts for something, right?"
"So what are we supposed to do now that the universe has turned evil?" Hallie asked.
"Is there anything we can do?" Yamcha added.
Jenny thought about it for another moment. "Well...we've lost. It's all over. All we can look forward to now...is death."
"Wait..." Pico, the alien turtle jumped in. "You expect us to just go out and die?"
"No! We're going to go out, and start going to all these planets and fight all of the generals until we die."
"Ohhh..." the Rebels nodded.
"That'll work," Fulgore said. "We're bound to get killed by one of those generals sooner or later."
"Exactly," Jenny told him. "Now, where to begin...our ship. What happened to our ship?"
"You won't have to worry about that," Canis said. "Black Shadow has taken very good care of your ship."
"Why would he do that?" Hallie asked.
"Because he's been counting on your return since the day he froze you. He doesn't want to kill you; he just wants to dominate you."
"Well, he's not going to dominate us," Jenny said. "Come on, you guys. We haven't moved a muscle in 3000 years, so let's get some exercise!"
"Yeah!" the other Rebels yelled.
"Wait!" a small voice called.
The Rebels turned to see a little girl standing by the very last cryogenic chamber. She wore a brick red outfit with a green sweater. She had curly brown hair with a barrette on either side.
"Rebecca?" Hallie asked.
Dende approached the girl. "Rebecca, what are you doing here?"
"I was so scared after what happened to you," Rebecca replied. "I begged Black Shadow to freeze me, too. And he did..."
"Well, you're in deep trouble," Jenny said. "Your parents must have died being worried sick about you."
"I know...I had no idea we'd be frozen this long. And now after everything Canis was saying...I'm scared."
Fulgore turned to Jenny. "I guess she has no choice then. She'll have to stay with us."
"Yeah..." Jenny agreed. "Rebecca...if you stay with us, you're going to find yourself in some tight spots. Where we're going...we're all going to get pretty scared. I just wanted to warn you about that."
"All right, let's go, everyone!"
Dende extended his hand towards Rebecca. "Here, take my hand. I'll teleport you to the ship."
"Okay," Rebecca said, taking his hand.
The Rebels pressed on their rings and teleported out of the room.
Canis looked up. "Well, Black Shadow, the Rebels are finally freed. I hope you're satisfied!"
Then the wolf wizard vanished in a puff of smoke.
After 3000 years, the Spice Rack had been well-preserved. Dr. Clash, Skitter, and some demons were currently operating it as it floated freely in space. Beta, the onboard computer, was also still fully functional.
"Dr. Clash," she said, "the Rebels have arrived to reclaim their ship."
Dr. Clash sat up. "So it's finally happened. It took a while longer than I thought, but it's happened. I can't wait to see how the Rebels will react to the horrors of the universe."
As if on cue, the double doors slid open from behind. The Rebels entered the bridge all at once.
"Okay, we're back!" Jenny announced. "So hit the road!"
Dr. Clash pressed some buttons on the main control terminal. The video monitor suddenly came to life, displaying Black Shadow on the screen.
"Black Shadow, the Rebels are here," the mad scientist said.
"Excellent," Black Shadow replied. "Leave their ship to them. They'll need it if they're going to explore my reign of terror."
"All right!" Yamcha exclaimed. "Now all of you skunks clear out of here!"
"Very well then," Dr. Clash said. "Enjoy your universal tour."
He disappeared in a beam of yellow light. Then, one by one, the demons vanished. Only Skitter stayed behind.
"Wow, weren't there a lot of skunks in here?"
"Oooh...OUT!!" Jenny lunged at Skitter with a punch, but the goofy little monster vanished before her attack could connect.
After realizing that Skitter was gone, Jenny gave an exasperated sigh.
"Hello, Jenny," Black Shadow said.
Jenny gasped and looked up, startled.
"I can't tell you how good it is to see you all again," Black Shadow continued.
Jenny was puzzled. The Rebels had always been sworn adversaries to the dark lord. Why would he be happy to see them?
"Black Shadow...you act as if you were waiting for us to come out."
"Indeed I was, my dear," Black Shadow replied. "I went through all this trouble to conquer the universe just for you. I knew that when you awakened from your cryogenic slumber, the only thing you could do was go out and start challenging my generals. I'd like to see how many you can defeat before you perish."
"You don't care about these generals very much, do you?"
"Not really. I have more than enough generals, so I can afford to lose some. I wish you luck, for whatever it's worth. I hope you enjoy the horror I've spread throughout the universe. I'm sure you'll find it...a scream."
With a full-out laugh, the dark lord disappeared from the video screen.
Jenny sighed again as she went over to the chair and collapsed into it. She could still feel the chill from the cryogenic chambers. She folded her arms and pulled her knees up to warm herself up. Fulgore went to the main computer terminal and began working on it. The video screen came to life again, displaying outer space.
"So, where to first?" he asked.
"I don't know..." Jenny said. "Just go anywhere."
"You know, I'd like to go back to Earth and see what it looks like now."
"No! Don't go to Earth!"
Fulgore was puzzled. "Why not?"
"From what Canis was saying, what happened on Earth is far worse than what happened in the rest of the universe. There's something...terrible on Earth. I can just sense it. Maybe later, we'll go to Earth and see exactly what's happened, but not now."
"So this is it, huh?" Yamcha asked. "The remainder of our lives is set in stone, is it? There goes my dream of being a samurai..."
Jenny stood up. "We've lost everything. Our friends, our hope, our normal lives. All we have left...is each other."
The Rebels stared into the video screen as the ship accelerated. The misfit heroes prepared themselves to face sheer terror in the universe that now belonged to Black Shadow...a universe filled with pure evil.