ZOE: Book II: Chapter One
A shimmer of light greeted Alpha 5 as he toiled endlessly among the Command Center's controls. The fussy automaton flinched not one bit as his photoreceptors blurred out in a shining haze momentarily. He was so used to this sight that it barely phased him. Once the light had faded, Alpha could see the familiar form of Zordon standing before him, white robes still smoldering slightly from The Wizard of Deception's magical strikes.
"Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi!" he exclaimed. "Well done Zordon! I'm sure we've seen the last of the Wizard of Deception." Zordon offered his friend a weary smile, leaning on the Staff of El for support. He was exhausted. That battle had lasted hours, and while Zordon's personal powers were tremendous, they were not without limits.
"If only that were true, Alpha," Zordon replied with a long sigh as he staggered into the center of the circle of computer monitors. "I am sure the wizard will rise once more. But I do believe it will be quite some time before he is able to free himself. We have earned ourselves a brief respite, my friend." Zordon staggered through the Command Center toward its northern most point, where sat a large clear cylinder stretching vertically up the entirety of the antechamber. Alpha, knowing full well what Zordon would be doing for the next few hours, fumbled with a switch on the console in front of him.
A large snap echoed throughout the starry interior of the chamber and the cylinder opened, extending upwards toward the ceiling. Zordon wearily climbed atop the now empty circle at its base and waited. Alpha flipped one other switch and the massive tube began a slow downward decent. Once the translucent structure had fully reached its base, Zordon's body faded from view as the entire tube began to glow. When the glare subsided, Zordon was gone, but Alpha did not panic. He knew it was only momentary. Soon the computer would lock onto Zordon's location and he would be visible once more.
A zap sounded around Alpha as the figure of Zordon's white-haired head appeared in the glass, towering over the room. The head closed its eyes for a moment before it spoke.
"Thank you, Alpha," said the voice which resounded through the room's speakers. It was a thick deep bass voice, a far cry from Zordon's calm, quiet, gentle dulcet tones. While the technology that allowed him to enter the time warp was miraculous, it was not a perfect system, and his words were translated through a subsystem in the morphing grid, which created the synthetic voice booming throughout the Command Center.
Inside the time warp, Zordon of Eltar floated peacefully, letting the energy of the vortex invigorate his aching and fatigued body. This was his special place of meditation and healing, where he could exist outside the world, in a timeless void where he could simply float and be free. He always found the experience invigorating. Alpha had also patched the morphing grid and all of the Command Center's sensors and systems into the time matrix, allowing Zordon to access the vast network with only his thoughts. While plugged into the time warp, in essence, Zordon actually WAS the Command Center itself.
And what a miracle of technology this Command Center was. It had taken nearly two hundred years to construct. It stood upon the exact spot where he had once trained the Power Rangers of old. Where he had first landed his ship, where he had told his dear friends of the battle plan which would inevitably lead to their deaths. He breathed deeply, immersed in the vortex. It would not do him good to focus on the Rangers, and the gruesome ends they had endured for him. Though he tried not to obsess over their ends, he vowed to himself long ago that he would forever honor their memory.
The technology of the Command Center was based around the mystical force of the Power Coins. Unless specifically brought there via the teleportation network, no living soul could find the Command Center unless in possession of one of the coins. And since all six coins resided in a locked chest atop a small podium off to the side of the room, no one on Earth could enter this fortress unless he or Alpha wished it.
Indeed, the impenetrable structure was truly the perfect base of operations. It had everything. The most advanced computer network in the known galaxy, a viewing globe which allowed them to keep an eye trained upon the planet, an alarm system which sought out dark powers, and even a second Command Center sitting just below them, in case anything happened to the first one. (Always good to be prepared, Zordon had told Alpha long ago)
Fatigue continued to wash over him as Zordon gave into it and relaxed. "I will be entering a meditative trance for a few hours Alpha, please alert me if anything requires my attention."
"Will do, Zordon!" Alpha replied cheerfully. Zordon then allowed his mind to drift as his face vanished from the tube. His mind, as it often did at rest, drifted to thoughts of the Power Rangers. He could still hear the screaming at times, the echoing madness and brutality, which had torn his friends from this mortal coil. Try as he might, the nightmares would come this evening. He knew that if thoughts of the Rangers were already entering into his head, he was in for a restless sleep. However he tried to relax himself and allow the time warp's energy to heal him. Had he known how long it would be before he would be allotted time to rest again, he might have enjoyed it more.
"FINSTER!" the grating cackling voice rang out, "where are those putty patrollers!?" In his workshop, the timid inventor winced slightly at the severity in that voice. Had only she known the care and delicate intricacies carved into each of his creations, perhaps she would not be so impatient. Every monster, every putty patroller was a work of pure art, crafted from his masterful touch. He was creating the beings that would take a world, beings that would conquer, beings that would destroy. And he was their father, each and every…..
"FINSTER!" the voice rang out again, snapping the inventor from his thoughts as the rage filled visage of Rita Repulsa confidently strode into his workshop.
"Yes, Your Horridness," he replied, trying to keep his voice from shaking and failing," I am finishing up the last one now!" He quickly made the final stylish marking on his last patroller before placing it on the large tray with the others.
"This should have been done ages ago!" she bellowed, her voice attracting the other residents of the palace.
"Finsters in trouble!" rang the mocking sing-song voice of Squatt, the round little spiky blueberry made Finster's nose wrinkle in disgust. As did the bat-like monacled creature who called after him.
"Shut up Squatt, you never help!" Babboo said, smacking his smaller compatriot on the head with a tiny wooden mallet. The two continued bickering while Rita rounded on him.
"Move it, Finster!" she screeched. "I want these putties done NOW!"
Finster did not reply, he was far too terrified. The grand architect of the most fearsome beasts in the universe placed the tray of orange sculpted putties on his vast machine, trying not to drop them as his hands shook in the wake of his empress's righteous anger. He turned a wheel, then another, opening the machine and pushing the clay warriors inside. One flip of a switch later filled the workshop with various tones and whistles, until with a puff of smoke, 25 grey golems poured down through the grey and brass shoot at the end of it. They stood there, muttering and babbling in their incoherent speech patterns. Some had blades for hands, others large round wrecking balls, they were glorious. Finster took a deep breath, awaiting praise from his queen that would surely follow such a creation. He beamed with pride as she smiled wickedly at what he created and he closed his eyes in anticipation.
"Make more," was her only reply, fully deflating Finster's pride at his accomplishment. "GOLDAR!" she screamed, summoning her top lieutenant. He moved slowly, lumbering through his great size, but with the inherent grace of a warrior. There was no sheath for his massive broad sword. He carried it everywhere, always alert, just a fraction of a second from battle at all times. His great black feathered wings unfurled behind him, billowing out like a massive cape of death. His footsteps seemed to vibrate the ground as he walked, the aura he gave off seemed to make him appear slower than he actually was. He stood at attention, the point of his sword pointed downward in submission to his empress. He closed his red eyes and bowed his head.
"It's time," was all Rita Repulsa said in response.
The alarm klaxons stirred Alpha from his thoughts instantly, his auditory sensors translating the sound in his hardware to mean danger. He hurried forward to call upon Zordon, still in a meditative trance within the time warp. But Zordon was the Command Center, and he had been alerted to this new threat even before Alpha. His massive translucent head appeared above the shining little robot, the situation already fully accessed. The viewing globe snapped on, and both Zordon and Alpha could see this new threat, grey golems terrorizing the Angel's Grove, soiling their homeland as they attacked the human city. They caused destruction wherever they went and attacked several civilian bystanders unlucky enough or too slow to get out of their way. Then a terrifying creature came into view. It spoke not a word as it fought forward through scores of innocent civilians. Its black simian flesh was encased in a full body coat of golden armor, only it's fearsome face was visible. This winged death seemed to be commanding the grey creatures in their destruction. Zordon knew the base monstrosities would be nothing should their leader be defeated.
The now familiar snap of the tube rising tore Alpha's gaze from the viewing globe. Zordon came into view, looking refreshed and focused, his eyes trained on the golden warrior. He twirled the Staff of El above his head in a complex flourish, Alpha knew that the time spent in the vortex had refreshed Zordon fully. He was ready.
Without a word Zordon was off into the air, a brilliant rush of white streaking across the sky. The land seemed to flow beneath him like rushing water as he sped toward his foe. Within seconds the golden monstrosity was before him and Zordon struck him full on, with all of his speed and momentum. The monster flew back, rolling to a stop before spinning back to its feet. Zordon glared at the creature, blue eyes meeting red over a battlefield. The grey golems had ceased their endless violent toils and turned their attention on this new arrival, forming a tight circle around the two combatants.
"I am Zordon, of Eltar." The creature before him answered only with a low growl. Zordon was not even sure if it was capable of speech. "I am the guardian of this world. Take your soldiers and leave immediately, or be destroyed. The choice is yours." The golden creature merely grunted in response.
"Long live Rita Repulsa!" it screamed, and the two warriors ran forward into battle.