Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, Transformers, Harry Potter or Doctor Who. They belong to their respective copyright owners. This is a work of fanfiction and no profit is being made.
Earth was an interesting planet from a magical point of view. The blue planet contained an incredible amount of magical power, but due to events that occurred during its formation, the source of that power was scattered throughout its structure and suppressed by massive quantities of Cold Iron. It made the Earth one of the least magical worlds with perhaps the highest magical potential.
But there were places on Earth where magic found its way into the real world more easily than others. The humans called them ley lines and had throughout their history developed stories, legends and theories of how and why the intersection of those points corresponded with the strange, the unusual and the magical.
And then there was the child who had been playing with his train set one night as his parents and their new age guests had discussed the nature of the ley lines. His young mind had been distracted and unable to grasp the meaning of many of the words they used, but at night his dreams were filled with trains running along ley lines magic of magical energy. A dream that turned into a nightmare as the brightly coloured magical railway was slowly taken over by the creeping darkness and the beautiful stations that once stood as beacons of light were taken over by a new operator.
It was a simple dream by a lonely child who probably did not realise that his dream was a reflection of the corruption of the Earth's magic as a dark force prepared to consume the planet in shadow and enslave its people. They had been preparing for a long time and finally it was time to breach the barriers between their dimension and the place where mortal minds awaited them. But for now, they waited.
The United Alliance of Evil's advance against the universe was progressing as planned. Already a number of villains assigned to system's close to Onyx had started their invasions; some had already conquered their assigned worlds and were making preparations to complete the remainder of their tasks. Others had been assigned worlds far away from UAE Headquarters and were still travelling toward their destination.
Rita and Zedd had only just entered the system adjacent to their final destination. The Machine Empire was still a considerable distance from their target. And Divatox had allowed herself to become distracted en-route and was not even close to starting her mission.
However for the most part Dark Specter's plan was proceeding just as he had foreseen. But there were always a few that were unwilling to accept their place in the grand scheme of things, and it was those rogue elements that were about to cause problems for the Rangers of Earth.
Master Vile was not a minor villain. As a powerful demon bound to the willing body of a Sradin male, he had built a powerful empire centred around the M-51 Galaxy. He had never accepted an inferior position to anybody and was unwilling to submit to the will of Dark Specter; Master Vile considered himself above all others including the Grand Monarch of Evil. So, while he had given the impression that he was obediently following orders, he had spent most of his time uncovering the secrets of Dark Specter's past and clues regarding the Grand Monarch of Evil's true goals.
"Why are these planets so important?" he asked himself, not for the first time as he looked through list of assigned tasks.
The planets Dark Specter had targeted were of little strategic value and from the reports he had seen offered little resources that could not be obtained elsewhere. Which led eventually to the conclusion that the planets were chosen because they were unimportant.
"A test of loyalty, or perhaps a means of learning who can follow instructions?" he mused before dismissing the idea.
Had Dark Specter ordered the conquest of those worlds, their destruction or even both then that would have been a possibility. But the orders had required his followers to break their targets down without completely obliterating them meant he was looking for something hidden inside the remains.
"What are you after and how did you know that you would find it in those places?" he wondered.
That Dark Specter had so far gone out of his way to preserve secrecy suggested that he was after something powerful.
"Talking to yourself is a sign of madness," a voice said.
He turned, prepared to blast whoever had invaded his throne room, only to pause when he registered her identity.
"But then you haven't been sane for a long time, haven't you?"
Monastra Repugna was Master Vile's former queen and the mother of Rita Repulsa. Although they had separated they remained close - as close as two villains could be. She was experienced in the ways of evil, having married several powerful villains over the course of her extended life. And while she lacked her -ex-husband's power, she was intelligent enough to grasp that Dark Specter was hiding something from the United Alliance of Evil's members.
"You were right," she told him, holding up a small orb, "Dark Specter is after something... And I know what it is."
"And you would share that knowledge with me, willingly?" Master Vile replied. He was not foolish enough to believe that their goodwill extended that far. They were still competitors and each knew they would stab the other in the back if the opportunity arose. "What's in it for you?"
"Now is not the time to worry about that," she answered. "If Dark Specter succeeds his hold on this organisation will be unbreakable. Do you really want to hand over control of the empirewe built to that upstart? Besides, knowledge is powerful only as long as you can use it. I have the answers to what Dark Specter is doing, but I need your brilliantly evil mind to find a way to use it. Trust me, it will be worth your time. Have I ever failed you?"
He snorted at the idea of trusting her. Monastra Repugna was every bit as ruthless and evil now as she had been when she had shared his throne on Gamma Vile. He had never allowed himself to lower his guard around her and that had been at a time when she was sworn not to harm him - for he had known at the time that she would have been delighted to rule in his place-, so there was no way that he would lower his guard around her when she could attack him without worrying about a magical backlash. But he was also aware that he needed information and that while Monastra was unquestionably vicious, he would be safe as long as she needed him.
"Very well," he said. "Show me."
She smiled wickedly as she pressed the orb to his forehead, certain that he would find the experience enlightening... and just a little uncomfortable.
At the dawn of time and the formation of the universe, there was an object. Shaped like an enormous egg it was made from solid crystal. While there were many arguments about the events that occurred and plenty of myths surrounded the being that emerged from the egg, few wondered what happened to the shell of the egg once it broke apart.
In fact once the shell cracked and the occupant emerged, the egg was left as a floating mass of crystal that was tossed into the cosmos by the explosion known as the Big Bang. While the crystal was not destroyed by the biggest and most powerful explosion ever seen, it shattered into pieces that were carried outward in all directions.
Over time the larger fragments became drawn in by and covered in debris. They became the centre mass of stars, planets and other celestial bodies. Over time the debris grew larger and the crystal fragments were lost within their new homes.
By this strange crystal had a number of unusual properties. For a start all the countless fragments of crystal pulsed with what some would term bio-electrical energy and despite being broken apart at a physical level, the energy link between the many pieces of crystal survived, criss-crossing existence. Secondly the energy field generated by the crystal led to the emergence of new life; the pulsing crystals deep within the hearts of the stars and planets encouraged the birth of the most primitive of organisms, which in turn evolved into more complex and wondrous creatures.
Finally the crystal fragments acted as a conduit for other types of energy. The smaller fragments of crystal, those that were not large enough to bring life to barren rocks in space, were still powerful and over time and with application of heat and pressure became valuable gems of great power; the majority of magical stones, crystals and gems found throughout the universe contained a piece of the original crystal. As the tiniest fragments slowed their journey, the specks worked their way into the cellular structure of the building blocks of the universe, forming a detectable energy grid.
"That is the knowledge that started Dark Specter on his quest of power," Monastra explained. "Powerful crystals trapped within the bodies of life-sustaining worlds. Imagine what would happen if he could find one of those chunks."
Master Vile could imagine the power such objects would bring. It also explained why Dark Specter had ordered the careful breakdown of planets. It didn't explain why had had started with worlds so far away.
"Do you understand what it means?" she asked.
"Of course I understand," Vile snapped.
And he did. If the information was correct then the broken down remains of the Cosmic Egg had spread throughout creation creating an energy field capable of sustaining life, a mean for the extra-dimensional energies known as the Power to seep through and was the foundation of the energy field that permeated all matter throughout the universe.
"There's more," she promised.
Over time the crystals started to break down within the planets that had formed around them and shifted around the surface of those world giving the occupants access to great powers. Most of the fragments also shifted out of phase with the physical universe, making them inaccessible. That was a good thing because removal of the crystal proved disastrous, as one world discovered when their leaders unknowingly exhausted their planet's crystal core to the point where the planet exploded.
However in some places the crystal remained a physically accessible object. On some worlds the existence of the crystal was even known to the occupants although its true nature was hidden by myth and legend.
"The Heart of Edenoi," Master Vile guessed.
The Heart of Edenoi was the source of the Masked Rider's power. It had been suspected that Dregon had been searching for something when his forces had conquered the embattled planet.
"I believe so," Monastra agreed. "It is likely Dregon was acting under Dark Specter's orders to locate the crystal, but the activation of the Masked Rider somehow prevented him from doing so."
Given Edenoi's current state it was extremely possible that Dregon had either succeeded in his mission or had somehow damaged the crystal core. Or perhaps the activation of the Masked Rider had drained the crystal's energy so that the world could not heal.
"It explains why Dark Specter is targeting those worlds," Monastra continued. "He's testing to see if he can safely extract the crystal, but I believe he does not expect to be successful."
She believed that the worlds Dark Specter had targeted would fail to yield the crystals he sought. This was just practice for when his forces turned inward and struck at their real targets.
"There's more, isn't there?" he pressed.
She smiled knowingly.
"Think about it," she challenged, "a powerful piece of crystal capable of channelling great power found buried within a world. Does that sound familiar?"
"Impossible!" he retorted. "The Zeo Crystal was not a part of the Moon, it was just hidden there."
"Was it? Really?" she pressed. "Think about it, carefully. We know that the Zeo Crystal was crafted by those pesky Technomancers, but where did they find it?" She smiled. "Would you like to find out?"
Of all the chunks of crystal, one of the largest travelled far beyond its origin before it was trapped within the formation of a small world that would one day become known as Earth. Due to its size it was expected by the high powers that the planet would become a powerful world filled with life and magic. However, before the planet could solidify, it was struck by another planet; Theia was a life bearing world about the size of Mars that had been knocked toward the Earth by unknown forces.
The collision between the two planets fractured the Earth's crystal, forming several smaller crystals that were scattered through the planet's mass. Theia's life-sustaining crystal also broke up with the majority remaining at the core of the Earth while a smaller chunk was ejected along with a mass of molten rock into space. There the rock cooled and eventually formed the Moon, which while capable of sustaining life eventually became a mostly lifeless rock.
In the aftermath of the collision and the shattering of its crystal, the Earth retained the ability to sustain life and remained inhabited long after the other planets within its solar system died. However as time passed the ability of those born on Earth to use magic was limited and the potential of those that could wield the Power was for the most part, greatly reduced. Another unexpected effect of the impact was that the Earth's crystals remained physical objects.
The crystal that had been ejected from the collision drifted in space until it was found by a group of travelling monks, who sensing its great potential shaped it into a tool to channel and control the Power and perhaps even tap into the fully power of the greater crystal. When the forces of darkness sought the newly crafted Zeo Crystal for their own ends, it was taken back to where the monks had found it and hidden in the caves beneath the lunar surface.
"Now you have you answers," Monastra told him. "The Zeo Crystal you have obsessed over for so long is a part of the planet it protects. Obtain it and you will have the means to draw upon the one of greatest powers imaginable."
She didn't mention that there were other means to tap into the power of the original crystal. The Zeo Crystal had been crafted by the monks of the M-51 Galaxy, but there were other parts of the original crystal still to be found. Many of the jewels and magical gems had some tie or other to the Xeno Crystal - as she preferred to think of it -, but the Zeo Crystal promised the greatest chance of success. Provided of course that they could secure it.
Master Vile did not answer. He was lost in thought. His quest of secure the legendary Zeo Crystal had started when he had conquered the M-51 Galaxy. He had pursued the monks for thousands of years before learning that the elusive Zeo Crystal had been hidden on the Earth's moon. It had made him furious to learn that his daughter had discovered its location in the Caves of Deception during her war with Zordon, but her ignorance about its power and being locked away for ten-thousand years had meant she had never told him.
That Zedd had also known of its existence and had dismissed it - for despite Rita's joke about Zedd's face, Master Vile was aware that the other villain had never tried to retrieve the Zeo Crystal himself - only confirmed his low opinion of the Emperor of the Dark Zones.
~How could that fool allow to ignore such a power for so long?~
He knew the answer of course; the Earth had a natural magic that seemed to turn even the most evil of villains into incompetent fools. Of course if there was a crystal similar to the Zeo Crystal at work then it made sense that the purifying effects of the crystal would spread around the planet. It made the Earth a valuable but very dangerous target.
~Still if I can retrieve the Zeo Crystal and unlock its power, I can show Dark Specter what it means to be a true master of evil.~
Master Vile knew that while his power was close to rivalling Dark Specter's, the Grand Monarch of Evil would hold the advantage in a direct confrontation. Just as when it came to magical knowledge and strategy Master Vile held the edge. The two were equals if he was honest, they just excelled in different areas. If either of them got their hands on the Zeo Crystal it was likely that they could tip the balance in their favour.
The question of course was how to go about capturing the Zeo Crystal when there were Rangers using it? And that was before he took into consideration the other Rangers that had appeared since the last time he had visited Earth.
~Of course! I'll snatch some of those new Rangers, and then brainwash them into helping me secure the Zeo Rangers and the Morphin Rangers! Perhaps I can secure Zordon and his allies at the same time.~
The possibility of gaining the power of the Zeo Crystal, Morphin Rangers and multiple Morphin Masters - some of whom were beings of legendary power - made the venture worth the risk of Dark Specter's wrath.
~Soon it will all be mine, just as it should be.~
End of Part