Clouds often spelt trouble if they were dark enough, often bringing the elements thunder, lightning, and heavy rain with it to descend on the city and its surrounding areas. This night, however, was different.
A long pod fell from the black sky and as it sped towards the ground, a bolt of lightning struck it and immediately split it into two identical pieces. A sudden gust of wind sent the pieces in separate directions; one towards the Command Center and the other into a far off canyon near a river.
As a piece of the broken pod hit the earth, the impact of it caused the ground to quake and its power was so great that Zordon sensed it immediately; he could feel the energy of a badly injured life form.
And so it was that Zordon decided to take action, lest the pod and life form fall into the wrong hands...
"Ay-yi-yi-yi!" Alpha shouted, his metallic body shaking as he moved through the Command Center to a computer, deeply unnerved by the sudden power surge. "Sensors detect that the pod is near here."
Within the safety of his transparent capsule, Zordon appeared, "Lock on to the pod and beam it and its life form to the Command Center before anyone knows of it," he replied in a grave tone. "On second thought, Alpha; beam the pod here and send the life form somewhere where it will be found and cared for by the Rangers. I sense that although the life form is powerful, it serves no threat to anyone."
Alpha nodded and began to input commands into the computer, "Why would such a life form come to Earth if it has no intention of causing harm?" he asked in an anxious voice. "Surely that is suspect."
"My instincts tell me that the life form was sent here," Zordon replied. "Have you locked on to the pod?"
Alpha pressed a button and the pod, which was no more than a badly damaged hunk of metal that had been broken and twisted in-flight. There was a space barely big enough for a person and drops of blood decorated the metal, as if the person had suffered injury before, during, or after the pod had crashed.
"Take that blood and have the computer analyze it," Zordon ordered. "You must contact Tommy to come to the Command Center and help you find out the identity of the life form. Even with his Green Ranger Power depleted, he can use the power of his heart to help us find out what we wish to know."
Although Alpha knew Billy would have been a more practical choice because of his computer skills, Alpha also knew that Zordon knew better. "I will contact Tommy and summon him here," Alpha replied in a nervous tone as he moved to the communication orb. "I hope the Rangers find the life form."
"They will, Alpha," Zordon replied confidently. "As long as we can protect it from evil, all will be well."
"Jason, hold on, I think I need a rest," Billy gasped, leaning over to touch his knees as he stopped on the road for a rest; he didn't like jogging in the rain, but Jason had wanted a buddy to go running with.
Jason, who was several yards ahead, stopped and turned around to face Billy, "If we keep this up, we're gonna end up sick," Billy gasped as he straightened up. "I know you want to help me get in better shape, Jason, but jogging in the rain on the side of the road isn't really practical or safe to be doing."
"I had no idea you felt that strongly about it," Jason replied in an amused voice as he grinned at Billy. "I'll make you a deal; we'll go another quarter of a mile and then we'll stop at Ernie's Juice Bar, okay?"
Billy nodded, but before he could comment, he spotted something just on the other side of the drenched bushes that decorated the left side of the road. Deeply concerned that another stray animal had become roadkill, he wandered over to the bushes and he realized that it was an unconscious form.
His eyes widening, Billy rushed over to the form and saw that it was an unconscious young man that looked to be about his age, had dark hair cropped just above his ears, and was wearing what looked like a martial arts outfit that was torn and stained with blood and mud.
The young man's face was pale, badly bruised, and covered in blood and mud. His feet were bare, covered in mud, and bleeding.
Large pieces of scorched metal were nearby, as if there had been a terrible car accident in the area, but Billy had no time or desire to investigate them. His priority was helping the injured out of this wet place.
"JASON!" Billy shouted as he knelt down to check to see if the young man was breathing. "JASON!"
Concerned by Billy's shouting, Jason hurried over to Billy and his eyes widened as he saw the stranger's poor physical condition, "Billy, stay here while I run into town and get some help," Jason ordered in an anxious voice, as he would be faster in getting help than Billy. "If he wakes up, keep him calm, okay?"
Billy nodded and Jason began to run back towards Angel Grove, "I don't know who you are or where you came from, but I hope you're okay," he whispered to the stranger. "Maybe I could use my power…"
Gritting his teeth, Billy took his morpher out of his pocket and placed it on the stranger's chest for a moment, wishing with all his heart that it would help the stranger survive.
Unfortunately for Billy, nothing happened and with a sigh, he removed his morpher from the stranger's chest and pocketed it.
"Hurry up, Jason," Billy whispered as he removed his jacket and gently placed it under the stranger's head. There was so little he could do for the stranger here, except make sure he stayed alive.
"Show offs," Trini muttered in an amused voice as she watched Zack and Tommy practice their karate moves on each other in the Youth Center's recreation area. "Kimberly, did our shakes come yet?"
Kimberly, who was over at the counter with Ernie, telling him about Jason and Billy jogging in the rain in an attempt to get into better shape, turned to Trini, "They're not quite ready," she replied, smiling at her best friend. "Ernie says that they're working on the machine and it should be working in an hour."
"Okay," Trini replied as she turned back to continue watching Zack and Tommy.
Kimberly sighed and was about to ask Ernie if there was anything else they could get when several police cars and an ambulance went speeding past the Youth Center with their lights flashing and sirens wailing.
"What's that all about?" Kimberly asked, gazing at Ernie. "Do you think that there was an accident?"
Ernie shrugged, "The rescue services don't often tour Angel Grove otherwise," he replied gently.
The doors suddenly burst open and Bulk and Skull came running into the Youth Center, quickly slipping and crashing into a pair of trash/recycle bins near the counter. Ernie sighed and fought to maintain his smile as Bulk and Skull quickly jumped to their feet; they also put the bins back upright.
"I heard that there was some sort of accident during that freak storm," Bulk said in a gruff voice as Ernie scurried back behind the counter to get them whatever they ordered. "I think it was out on Death Trail."
Kimberly frowned, "Jason and Billy were going jogging out there this morning," she replied in a concerned voice as she sat down on a stool to compose herself. "I hope nothing happened to them."
"I'm sure they're fine," Ernie stated in a confident tone. "Jason and Billy are smart and resourceful."
Although she knew that to be true, Kimberly couldn't help but worry. Instead of dwelling on what could have happened, however, she turned and joined Trini in watching Zack and Tommy fight in the ring.
"You're SURE the energy source is in this area?" Lord Zedd snapped as he appeared and saw that he was standing on a rocky hill overlooking a desolate looking canyon. Anger boiled inside of him.
There was a loud crack and Goldar appeared beside him, "Yes, our machines told us that something with a lot of energy in it crashed here last night," he replied in a nervous voice. "I know it HAS to be here."
Silently cursing out himself for coming on such a wild goose chase, Lord Zedd carefully made his way down the canyon. He could have jumped, but with such a situation, he knew caution was warranted.
For a few minutes, Lord Zedd could find nothing but shrubs and dirt, "You MORON!" he shouted, glaring up at the now-trembling Goldar. "You dragged me from the Dark Dimension to see a bunch of dirt?"
Goldar trembled, but said nothing. Lord Zedd growled and gripped his staff, ready to dole out punishment to his failure of a minion before returning to the Dark Dimension to create a new plot.
Suddenly, as he turned, Lord Zedd spotted what appeared to be a life-sized pod in a small patch of mud encrusted leaves several steps away. The pod was sparking and seemed as if it was going to explode.
Growling, Lord Zedd pointed his staff at the pod and used its magic to open it. He then approached the pod and gazed at the frail contents within. A small, amused chuckle suddenly escaped his metal mouth.
"We'll take this back to the Dark Dimension," Lord Zedd guffawed, glaring at Goldar. "This discovery will redeem the fact that you enabled Rita to come back from her dumpster prison. It will amuse her much."
Goldar couldn't help but grin, "It's pretty funny that pressing a simple button transported Rita from that dumpster in space to your Dark Dimension," he replied in an amused voice as Zedd zapped the pod out of sight. "What else could you do but let her pull you into a ceremony that would make you bound to her forever? That way, she could give you an heir to the evil throne."
Lord Zedd said nothing as he and Goldar teleported away; there would be time to address that later on.