Shadows of Evil: Chapter Nine

Rise of the Dynasty

 

A Drill Mole monster popped out of the ground near a tall fountain memorial at the Angel Grove Government Center. Citizens screamed and ran in panic. The five teens arrived on the scene and squared off with the monster.

 

“Rangers…I was hoping you’d come out to play,” Drill Mole said.

 

“You got your wish, now you’ll regret it,” Tommy said as he and the others readied their Aura Morphers.

 

“Chakra ignite…Aura Power!” Energy shimmered around them as they connected their braces and morphed into their standard Ranger forms.

 

The monster summoned an army of wolfmen. The soldiers appeared in bursts of dark energy and pounced forward to attack the Ranger team.

 

Kirin Ranger slammed a hook kick across a soldier’s head, knocking the wolf aside. The Yellow Ranger sprang forward through the air and leapt towards the Drill Mole. Kirin Ranger unsheathed his Thunder Sword and chopped the blade towards the monster.

 

The creature caught Kirin Ranger’s blade and tossed the Yellow Ranger over its shoulder. Kirin Ranger crashed to the ground and rolled backward before rolling into a crouched stance. The other Rangers regrouped around him.

 

“You okay?” Dragon Ranger asked.

 

“I’m fine,” Kirin Ranger said as he rose to his feet.

 

“You won’t be for long!” the monster shouted as it fired energy drills that slammed against the Rangers’ armor.

 

“Let’s take it up a notch,” Dragon Ranger said. “To arms!”

 

“To arms!” they shouted together. Strands of energy lashed out from their Thunder Gems and wrapped around them as their enhanced armor materialized.

 

Halo energized his sword with pale-green light. “Lightning bolt, strike!”

 

The Green Ranger swung his sword horizontally, producing a streaming comet of light that streaked towards the monster. Drill Mole ducked under the blast, and the energy slammed through a nearby building.

 

“Damn,” Halo said.

 

Drill Mole fired a salvo of drill missiles that exploded against the Rangers’ armor with bursts of spark.

 

Hardrock rolled aside while arming his staff. The Blue Ranger rose to his feet and started spinning the staff like a propeller. The weapon pulsed with cyan-tinted energy. “Iron Rock Crusher!”

 

Hardrock slammed his staff against the ground. The weapon produced a rolling shockwave that tore through the streets towards Drill Mole, but the monster leapt over the shockwave and out of harm’s way.

 

Strata armed her bow and arrow and aimed at the monster while it was in midair. “Arrow Shockwave!”

 

The Pink Ranger snapped the energized arrow through the air. The arrow exploded against the monster with a massive shockwave that decimated a nearby fountain. The villain crashed to the ground, smoke still rising from its wounds. The creature slowly crawled onto its knees.

 

“Had enough?” Wildfire asked.

 

The monster fell backward and exploded.

 

“Guess so,” Hardrock said.

 

***

 

The skies above Angel Grove distorted like ripples through a lake. Clouds turned gray and stretched across the skies while forming a thick fog. Shadows cast over the city streets below.

 

Electrical equipment went haywire. Cars slammed against each other at intersections. ATMs started shooting out endless streams of money. Dark lightning suddenly shot down from the skies, shattering windows and exploded through buildings. Civilians ran in panic as debris crashed down around them.

 

The skies of Angel Grove were replaced by an upside-down image that resembled an ancient Japanese fortress and city. The image stretched as far as anyone could see.

 

Massive, gray-armored, samurai-style warriors dropped from the fortress and onto the streets and rooftops.

 

***

 

The teens were back at the Command Chamber for barely a minute when alarms started blaring again. The Viewing Globe showed images of the fortress hanging above the city and gray-armored warriors tearing through the street.

 

Rocky shook his head at the site of the upside-down fortress. “Am I imaging things or…”

 

“Zordon, what is that?” Tommy asked.

 

“Rangers,” Zordon said. “I fear using your armor has created a side effect I was unaware of.”

 

“What?” Billy asked.

 

“The energy of your armor has opened the gates to the Netherworld…home of the Dynasty,” Zordon explained.

 

“How did that happen?” Tommy asked. His eyes were fixed to the Viewing Globe.

 

“I am uncertain,” Zordon said.

 

Through the Viewing Globe, the teens saw gray spirits swoop down from the fortress and spread across the rooftops. The spirits appeared to be dressed in kimonos. Their eyes were pale white.

 

“What are those things?” Kimberly asked.

 

“They are the Netherspirits, lead by Lord Banimon,” Zordon explained. “They are gathering the negative energy of the populace to empower Taulpa, ruler of the Dynasty.”

 

“Negative energy…” Billy said. “You mean negative emotions?”

 

“Yes,” Zordon said. “The Dynasty feeds off of hostility and hatred.”

 

“We better act fast,” Tommy said.

 

“I will contact the Ninja and Galaxy Rangers,” Zordon said.

 

“All of them?” Adam asked.

 

“The Dynasty is a powerful entity, Adam. It will take the combined strength of all of you to eliminate this threat,” Zordon said. “This will not be a long, drawn-out war as you are accustomed to, Rangers. If you do not stop Taulpa now, his evil will encompass the Earth, and then the galaxy, in a matter of days,” Zordon said.

 

“Then bring in the other Rangers,” Tommy said. “Let’s show this Taulpa the price of Earth isn’t cheap.”

 

***

 

He was the last member of the Spider Clan. He used grappling rope to soar across the rooftops as chaos spread around him. His slender body was covered in a skin-tight suit that resembled a ninja outfit, with a spider symbol embroidered on the chest. He wore thick tape over his forearms, wrists, and hands to protect himself from his own grappling blades.

 

“Just when I thought I could have a day off, all hell breaks loose,” the Spider said as he swung a young couple safely away from a building that quickly collapsed. “You think maniacal villains bent on world domination would respect a guy’s right to a little R-and-R.”

 

***

 

The combined group of 15 teens ran through the streets. They stopped and looked up to where Lord Banimon silently commanded his Netherspirits.

 

Ryouma and his team were speechless. They had spent their entire lives in the seclusion of the Ginga Forest. The site above them was like nothing they ever imagined.

 

“There he is,” Tommy said. He looked to the other rangers. “You guys ready?” They nodded and armed their morphers. “Then let’s take care of business…it’s morphin time!”

 

“Galaxy transform!” Ryouma twisted the dial on his morpher, which clicked into position over a red line. “Ha!” The teens slapped their braces’ activation panels. The energy of their elements circled like pillars around them as they morphed into their armor.

 

“Chakra ignite! Aura Power!” Tommy and his team connected their braces. Energy shimmered around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms.

 

“Shogun transform! Ninja Power!” Jason and his team flipped their morphers’ activation switches. Energy whirled around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms.

 

A group of heavily-armored Dynasty soldiers dropped from the skies and surrounded the Rangers. The soldiers were armed with bladed staffs and katana. The Rangers snapped into fighting stances.

 

The skies above started to blur as a ghostly image of Taulpa’s face appeared. The villain appeared as a dark-crimson face that looked like a demonic samurai mask.

 

“Dairanger…” Taulpa said in a voice that echoed throughout the streets. “For 6,000 years I have waited for this day…for 6,000 years my hatred for your planet has grown.”

 

“Tell it to someone who cares!” Tenma Ranger shouted after forcing down the lump of fear in his throat.

 

Taulpa’s insane laughter shook the city streets. The Dynasty soldiers pounced forward and attacked the Rangers.

 

“Seijuukin!” Galaxy Red shouted. The Galaxy Rangers unsheathed their swords and dashed forward towards the Dynasty soldiers. The Rangers and villains slammed against each other and clashed swords.

 

Ninjared jumpkicked a soldier, crushing its chest armor. Besides him, Ninjawhite used her saber to hack across a soldier’s armor.

 

The Power Rangers armed their Thunder Staffs and started pounding away at the Dynasty soldiers.

 

Dragon Ranger was nearby Galaxy Red and Ninjared. Dragon Ranger slammed his staff against a soldier’s collar bone and snapped a sidekick against a second soldier’s faceplate.

 

Ninjared had his back towards Dragon Ranger. Ninjared slashed his blade upward through a soldier's chest and spinning heel kicked that solider to the ground.

 

Galaxy Red crouched down like a lion as he dashed past a soldier while swiping the grunt across the chest, blade sparking on impact.

 

Tenma Ranger charged towards a group of soldiers with Galaxy Blue and Ninjablue at his sides. Tenma Ranger launched a flying spin kick that smashed a soldier across the head. Tenma Ranger landed and continued his spin while cracking his staff against a soldier’s legs, knocking the warrior to the ground.

 

Far above in the city skyline, the Spider spotted the battle and swung in on a grappling line. “I usually make it a point to keep as far away from you helmet heads as possible, but I’ll make an exception at this point.”

 

The Spider threw his roped grappling blades around a soldier. The Spider swung the soldier off its feet and slammed that soldier against a group of four Dynasty warriors.

 

“Who the hell are you?” Galaxy Yellow asked as he blasted a group of soldiers back with a powerful lightning burst.

 

“We’ll make introductions later,” Dragon Ranger said. “Rocky, Adam, Kimberly, Billy… let’s armor up and take on Banimon. Ninja Rangers, keep those netherspirits away from those people. You help them out, web-head. Galaxy Rangers, can you handle these soldiers alone?”

 

“Doesn’t look like we have much of a choice,” Galaxy Red said.

 

“You’ll do fine,” Dragon Ranger said. “Guys…to arms!”

 

“To arms!” they shouted together. Strands of energy lashed out from their Thunder Gems and wrapped around them as their enhanced armor materialized. The Power Rangers energized and leapt onto the rooftop of a tall skyscraper.

 

Banimon hovered above the Power Ranger team. “Dairanger…so good to see you again. You look different, but still as weak.”

 

“We’re the Power Rangers, Banimon,” Wildfire said. “Get it right.”

 

“Power Ranger, Dairanger, you will fall just as easily,” Banimon said. The spirit extended his hand and fired a jagged burst of crimson energy. The Rangers jumped clear of the blast, causing the attack to explode through the skyscraper and collapse the entire building.

 

The Rangers erected sphere-shaped energy barriers around themselves that allowed them to hover in midair.

 

Wildfire unsheathed his twin swords and shot through the air towards Banimon. The Red Ranger swung several strikes at Banimon, but the spirit managed to dodge each blow.

 

“You’ll have to do better than that, mortal,” Banimon taunted.

 

“If you say so…” Wildfire said as his swords pulsed with fiery energy. “Armor of Wildfire! Flare up now!”

 

Wildfire swung his blades, emitting a massive energy blade that cut across Banimon, flame splashing across the spirit and forcing him back.

 

“Hit ‘im together guys!” Wildfire shouted.

 

“Arrow Shockwave!” Strata shouted as she shot a powered-up arrow towards the spirit.

 

“Super Wave Smasher!” Chronos shouted as he launched a distortion wave with his triton weapon.

 

“Lightning Bolt Strike!” Halo shouted as he used his blade to fire a cyan-colored energy pulse of light.

 

“Iron Rock Crusher!” Hardrock shouted as he used his staff to emit a seismic energy blast.

 

The blasts combined with a massive shockwave that rippled through the skies, vaporizing Banimon with a burst of light and flame. With their leader destroyed, the other netherspirits withered away into nothing.

 

The Rangers hovered back down towards the rooftops of the city. Wildfire narrowed his brow with suspicion beneath his helmet. “That was too easy…”

 

A pair of giant, armored hands suddenly crashed out of a nearby building and shot towards the Power Rangers with palms opened.

 

“What the hell?” Hardrock said as he and the others scattered. The hands moved like sharks and tried to grab the Rangers.

 

“It’s Taulpa,” Wildfire said.

 

***

 

Below, Ninjared looked up to see the giant hands chase after the Rangers. “We have to help them…”

 

But the Ninja Rangers and Galaxy Rangers were surrounded.

 

Ninjayellow and Galaxy Yellow dashed into a group of soldiers. They both energized their swords with yellow-tinted energy. Galaxy Yellow chopped his blade down diagonally with a streak of power that slashed open a Dynasty soldier. Ninjayellow slashed his blade horizontal with a streak of power that split a soldier in half.

 

Dozens more Dynasty soldiers dropped to the streets and charged forward, splitting the two Ranger teams up and attacking relentlessly.

 

***

 

Back on the rooftops, Chronos armed his triton and moved in towards the hand. The giant hand swatted the Yellow Ranger away. The hand made a strange sign as if casting a spell, and Chronos vanished with a burst of yellow energy.

 

“Billy!” the others shouted.

 

Zordon spoke to the Rangers through their communicators. “Taulpa is trying to absorb your armors’ energies so that his body can take shape.”

 

“We won’t let that happen!” Wildfire shouted.

 

Hardrock landed on a rooftop as one of the hands swatted down towards him. The Blue Ranger swung his staff downwards towards the roof’s surface. “Iron Rock Crusher!”

 

The staff slammed against the roof and created a force of gravity energy that kept the hand at bay. Hardrock poured on the power, the energy field crackling with energy as the hand tried to break through.

 

The hand suddenly slammed through the field and smashed the Blue Ranger through the roof, causing the force blast to backfire, and creating a massive energy shockwave that destroyed the entire top half of the skyscraper. Hardrock had vanished when the hand lifted.

 

***

 

The Galaxy Rangers were used to fighting Yattato, orange-skinned grunts that were nothing more than fodder. The Rangers of the Ginga Tribe were not experienced enough to defend themselves against the seasoned Dynasty warriors.

 

The five Galaxy Rangers were slashed backward and whipped with chains that wrapped around their bodies, binding their hands together and their arms against their sides.

 

Slender ghost ships flew down from the skies above. Dynasty soldiers dragged the Galaxy Rangers onto the boats by force.

 

“Oh man, no!” Ninjared shouted. Ninjared tried to run forward and help the Galaxy Rangers, but a group of Dynasty soldiers held the Red Ranger back.

 

***

 

Strata snapped a volley of arrows that ricocheted harmlessly against the hand as it thrust towards her. The gauntlet grabbed the Pink Ranger in its hand. She vanished in a burst of pink light.

 

“Kimberly!” Wildfire shouted.

 

Halo armed his sword. “It’s down to you and me, Tommy.”

 

“Let’s hit him hard,” Wildfire said as he energized his two blades. “Armor of Wildfire…”

 

“Armor of Halo…” Halo’s sword energized with pale-green light.

 

“Flare up now!”

 

“Lightning bolt strike!”

 

A massive flare of fiery energy and a stream of powerful light slammed against the approaching hand. The two Rangers poured on the power of their attacks to force the hand backward.

 

The hand fought through the blast and slapped Halo aside. The gauntlet made a spell symbol, and the Green Ranger vanished with a burst of light.

 

The gauntlets crackled with crimson energy. Various pieces of armor tore free from the ground as Taulpa assumed his giant form. The villain stretched his massive arms as power flowed across his body. “Wildfire, the armor of your friends has given me strength…strength I will use to rule the mortal world!”

 

“I don’t think so, bucket head!” Wildfire shouted as he energized and shot through the air towards Taulpa’s head. Taulpa’s giant sword swatted the Red Ranger from the air.

 

“Iron Rock Crusher!” Taulpa shouted as he copied Hardrock’s move. The villain slammed his massive blade against the streets below, creating a massive shockwave that tore across the city. The blast slammed full force against Wildfire.

 

“Lightning Bolt Strike!” Taulpa copied Halo’s move and fired a comet of pale-green light that exploded across the city block while blasting Wildfire.

 

“Arrow Shockwave!” Taulpa copied Strata’s move. The villain fired an arrow of energy that exploded with a whirling column of energy.

 

“Super Wave Smasher!” Taulpa copied Chronos’ move. The villain launched a distortion wave that ripped the damaged streets apart with a storm of rubble and debris that slammed against Wildfire and knocked the Red Ranger backward.

 

Wildfire was thrown to the war-torn ground and could barely move. Taulpa stomped towards the fallen Ranger.

 

“Tommy!” Ninjared shouted as he and the others still struggled with the soldiers.

 

Zordon spoke with the Ninja Rangers via their communicators. “Jason…You and your team must rescue the Galaxy Rangers from the Netherworld.”

 

“What about Tommy?” Ninjared asked.

 

“He is the only one capable of defeating Taulpa,” Zordon explained. “You must see that no harm comes to the Galaxy Rangers. I fear what may happen if their power is added to the Dynasty as well.”

 

Ninjared sighed. “Alright Zordon.”

 

“I’m coming with,” ihe Spider said to Ninjared.

 

“No,” Ninjared said. “It’s too dangerous.”

 

“And this was what? A cakewalk?” the last survivor of the Spider Clan asked.

 

Ninjared shook his head. “Fine.”

 

“So how are we supposed to get up there?” Ninjayellow asked.

 

“We’ll use our powers to create a teleportation vortex,” Ninjawhite said.

 

“A what?” Ninjablack asked.

 

Ninjawhite looked up towards the Netherworld. “Just follow my lead, boys…”

 

***

 

A single demonic statue with five faces stood in the center of a temple within the Netherworld. The statue’s mouths were open wide. A Galaxy Ranger was chained inside each one of the mouths.

 

Galaxy Red struggled to break free, but could not. He mentally kicked himself for getting the entire team captured. Hyuuga never would have let such a thing happen.

 

A heavily-armored general stepped into the chamber. He carried a curved blade with jagged razors along its edges. “I am Lord Nellitor.” He held his blade forward. “Your energy will craft me a powerful weapon.”

 

“You better let us go,” Galaxy Red said.

 

He laughed. “I don’t think so.”

 

The mouths slammed shut, sealing the Galaxy Rangers inside. The statue started to pulse with power as it absorbed the Rangers' Aasu: Fire, Wind, Water, Flower, and Lightning. A column of power erupted from the statue. The column split into five separate energy streams and streaked down towards the sword.

 

The energy streams splashed across the sword. The jagged blade flashed red, then blue, green, yellow, and finally pink.

 

***

 

Taulpa extended his hand. Wildfire’s armor started to pulse weakly with energy. The Ranger floated upward towards the giant Dynasty ruler.

 

Can’t move…can barely breath…is this how it’s going to end? Tommy thought to himself. No…I can’t let this happen. I won’t! But…oh man…

 

He wanted to fight back, but his body wasn’t willing.

 

***

 

The Ninja Rangers and the Spider approached the Dynasty temple. A horde of villains burst forth from the temple walls and charged forward to attack the heroes.

 

“This is not good,” Ninjablack said.

 

“There’s too many of them,” Ninjablue said.

 

“That’s an understatement,” the Spider said.

 

“Let’s see if we can reduce their numbers…” Ninjawhite said. “Hit them with all the power you can muster!”

 

Ninpo Fire assault!” Ninjared shouted as he launched comets of flame that exploded against the enemy lines.

 

Ninpo Earth assault!” Ninjablack shouted as he fired a seismic blast that tore the ground out from beneath a group of soldiers.

 

Ninpo shard attack!” Ninjawhite shouted as a hailstorm of diamond-like energy shards cut through the ranks of villains.

 

Ninpo water assault!” Ninjablue shouted, summoning a giant torrent of water that slammed the villains backward.

 

Ninpo lightning blast!” Ninjayellow shouted as he fired a jagged lightning bolt that exploded across the soldiers.

 

Ninpo…oh yeah,” the Spider said. “I’ll have to do this the old fashioned way.”

 

The Spider snapped a volley of his lined grappling blades forward towards the Dynasty soldiers.

 

***

 

Wildfire was encompassed in a pocket dimension inside Taulpa. The pocket dimension was dark and covered with mist. Wildfire’s limp body slowly floated downward towards the ground of the pocket dimension.

 

He saw his four friends suspended below. Rocky! Adam! Billy! Kimberly! I…I failed them...this…this is the end.

 

Wildfire ended up lying next to them. His eyes closed beneath his faceplate.

 

***

 

Dynasty soldiers suddenly scattered as their leader walked forward from among their ranks. Lord Nellitor stalked forward with the jagged blade slung over his shoulder. “Rangers, I’m glad to see you here…it’s been 6,000 years since I had a good fight.”

 

The villain’s sword flashed colors.

 

“That sword…” Ninjared said.

 

“It was crafted by the energy of the Galaxy Rangers…feel its power!” The sword energized as he cut into the five Rangers one-by-one. Each time, the sword flashed a different color.

 

The Spider hopped backward away from the blade, but Nellitor grabbed the hero’s leg and slammed him to the ground.

 

Shinobi Spear!” The Ninja Rangers shouted as they combined the power of their swords and fired a lance of golden energy towards the villain. Lord Nellitor slapped the lance away with his sword.

 

“Let me show you what true power is!” The sword channeled the fire power of Galaxy Red, the wind power of Galaxy Green, and the lightning power of Galaxy Yellow into a cyclone of fiery energy that crackled with electricity as it slammed into the five Ninja Rangers, exploding against their armor and knocking them backward.

 

Nellitor laughed. “It appears my blade is too much for you!”

 

The villain walked towards the fallen Rangers. The Spider suddenly leapt out and grabbed the blade from Nellitor’s hand. “Do you have a license to carry that sword?”

 

The Spider shattered the sword’s blade over his knee.

 

“No!” the villain shouted.

 

The Spider snapped a volley of his grappling blades, each blade slamming against the villain’s armor, distracting him while the Rangers regrouped.

 

Ninjared and Ninjawhite dashed side-by-side towards their opponent. .

 

“Hidden Style Full moon cut!” Ninjared shouted as he energized his blade and chopped downward.

 

“Hidden Style Ku cut!” Ninjawhite shouted as she swung her energized blade.

 

The attacks slashed across the villain, ripping apart his armor and causing him to explode with a massive burst of energy, triggering a series of explosions that destroyed the rest of the Dynasty warriors.

 

“Let’s go get the Galaxy Rangers,” Ninjared said.

 

***

 

“Tommy…Tommy…”

 

Is that you Zordon? Zordon I failed…I failed.

 

“No, Tommy…there is still a chance. Draw on the strength of the other Rangers…your friends. They will guide your spirit and give you the strength you need to defeat Taulpa.”

 

But how, Zordon? I can’t even open my eyes…so tired…

 

“You are a Power Ranger, Tommy,” Zordon said. “Rangers don’t die this easily.”

 

Tommy would have smiled if he could have.

 

“I’ll try Zordon,” Tommy said. “Rocky…Adam…Kimberly…Billy…are you with me?” He slowly rose to his feet. “Give me your strength…I can’t let Taulpa win….I am the Dragon Ranger, of the Heaven Fire Star!”

 

His armor appeared around him with a flash of fire. The other Rangers’ armor started to glow.

 

***

 

The giant Taulpa laughed as he stomped through the streets. “I have waited 6,000 years for this…what…argh…”

 

Taulpa stopped in his tracks as pain shot through his chest. He clutched his chest armor as the pain continued to burn through his body. The symbols of virtue, justice, wisdom, trust, and life were burning through his armor. A burst of white energy erupted from Taulpa and shot to a nearby building.

 

When the blast dissipated, Wildfire was standing on the skyscraper rooftop, only his armor was now white with gold-trimming, and more edged.

 

“What?” Taulpa said. “The Armor of Inferno? I see you have managed to find your armor’s hidden power…no matter!”

 

Taulpa swung his giant sword down towards Inferno. Inferno held his blades up in an ‘x’ formation and blocked the blow. The Ranger started to radiate with white-hot energy. “Taulpa…I’ve had about enough of you!”

 

Inferno pushed the blade away, knocking Taulpa back a step. Inferno tightened his grip on his sabers as the blades pulsed with white energy. “This is it…”

 

Fiery energy flashed around his armor. “Rage…”

 

The flames intensified as his blades started to glow with blinding intensity.

 

“…of…”

 

Taulpa could feel the heat already scorching his armor.

 

“…Inferno!” Inferno swung the blades downward and fired a rolling torrent of white-hot energy that streamed towards Taulpa and splashed across the villain’s body, consuming the giant with a massive wave of flame. The villain’s armor started to buckle and crack. Taulpa screamed as his body exploded and disintegrated into ash.

 

***

 

The Dynasty started to shake as the Ninja Rangers were freeing the Galaxy Rangers from their statue prison.

 

“We better get out of here,” Ninjablue said as he draped Galaxy Blue‘s arm over his shoulder.

 

The Rangers and the Spider ran and jumped down an energy vortex to the streets of Angel Grove just as the Dynasty crumbled and turned to dust above them. They looked and saw Tommy and the other lying on the ground nearby. They were not moving.

 

“Let’s get them back to the Command Chamber,” Ninjared said.

 

Ninjawhite looked to the Spider. “You coming or staying?”

 

“Staying,” The Spider said. “My aunummm…I have a date…yeah.”

 

The Spider swung off on his grappling lines as the Rangers teleported back to the Command Chamber.

 

***

 

Tommy awoke in the Command Chamber alone. “Where is everyone?” Tommy asked.

 

“They are in the park,” Zordon said.

 

“It was a little crowded in here…Ayi yi yi,” Alpha said.

 

Tommy grinned. “Zordon…that Inferno armor…” he shook his head. “Where did it come from?”

 

“The armor of Wildfire has the ability to combine with the energy from the other armors to form the Inferno,” Zordon explained. “It can be overwhelming.”

 

“Tell me about it. I’ve never felt such raw power before. I felt so…” he shook his head. “I’d rather not do that again.” Not because he was scared of the physical side effects. Because he was afraid the power would corrupt him.

 

“I would advise against it,” Zordon said. “The power of the Inferno can drive a person to madness. It can also become wearing on your friends and yourself.”

 

“So that Taulpa clown’s gone for good?” Tommy asked.

 

“Along with the Nether Realm,” Zordon said. “You have done well.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

Alpha waddled closer to Tommy. “Your friends are waiting for you in the park, Tommy. We told them we’d send you there when you woke up.”

 

“Thanks, Alpha.”

 

***

 

Zedd stared at the Earth from his balcony. “This is quite a predicament. With the armor of Inferno, Tommy will be more powerful than I care to admit. I need time…time to develop a strategy.”

 

“My Lord,” Draklith said. “Let me-”

 

Zedd turned and blasted Draklith in the chest. “Oh shut up. He would incinerate you in a heartbeat, fool…” Zedd turned to face Draklith. “On second thought…”

 

“I changed my mind, my Lord,” Draklith said as he cowered back.

 

Zedd laughed mockingly. “Incompetent.”

 

To be continued…Chapter 10