Disclaimer: The Power Rangers at the time of writing are the property of Saban Brands and will soon be the property of Hasbro. This is a fan work and no profit is being sought or made.
Author's Note: This chapter revisits the beginning of the ID War Crisis of Faith. Feel free to pop back and take a look at that storyline, it will be relevant.
Aftershock: Round Trip by The Q-Team
"The walls between the world are growing sturdier," the Valeyard observed. "Minion will not be able to return here. Soon even the cabinet will not allow his return."
"So he will never see if Kali's plan succeeded," the black figure guessed. "Why did you bring him here then?"
Valeyard laughed. "Oh that was not for his benefit. His path is set. I did it for you my friend. Minion's actions will lead to the creation of this reality whether he desires it or not. The only way he could have prevented that was to stop his plans, something he could never do. But I needed you to see and to understand what I offered him without the rage and the madness. So that you could make a choice: remain here or follow Minion and pick up where he left off."
A pair of red eyes glowed as he considered the Valeyard. He was Minion but not the Minion that had left minutes earlier. No this was a version of Minion that had been created after the original Minion's destruction. He was an attempt to correct an impossible shatterpoint in existence. His story had already played out and at its conclusion most of his essence had been drawn back to his true self. But a small part had remained, sustained by the continued existence of his creations and an unwitting enemy.
"Kali is destined to be the future of this reality," Valeyard told him. "I will see to that. But you have the potential to become the future of the place where it all started. You might be a wraith right now, but creating a new body is not beyond you, given all the hints I provided."
Anger filled him as his mind decoded the Valeyard's lies. This was his and some upstart had seen fit to try and turn it away from him. He was angrier with himself in that he even as he concluded what the other villain was up to, his mouth was already agreeing with him. His mind screamed to take a moment and think about what was happening, but his brain refused to listen, allowing the Valeyard to use misdirection and flattery to distract him from what was happening. Like a man being hypnotised on a stage, he could see himself being pushed towards choice and yet at the time he had been convinced that it was his decision.
"Minion's fate is set in stone and unavoidable. He is lost to his own insanity," Valeyard explained. "There is nothing to be done for him except to make it swift."
"And this reality?"
"Will continue. It's destruction was never really an issue. In time it will become just another reality where the war between good and evil, existence and void continue to play out. Once the walls are raised and the so called higher powers leave."
Higher powers, what a joke. As if there was any doubt that the Valeyard had been one of those higher powers, playing games to gain leverage and advantage. For the next few minutes the Valeyard outlined the force that kept this reality alive for the time being, noting that even that force would be unnecessary before long.
"Now, it is time for you to make your choice. The cabinet is still active and in your state you could slip across. When you do so, simply touch Minion and all the adjustments made to his mind will be removed, sending him back to his previous state."
Minion nodded. A chance for a new existence was too great an opportunity after years as a spirit.
It was a golden opportunity, too good to miss. And as he had drifted into the walls that kept the worlds apart, his brain had finally caught up with his instincts and started to suspect that that was what Valeyard had intended. Suddenly instead of opportunity he started to consider what Valeyard had to gain: a universe without a being like Minion to challenge Valeyard's pet project. Valeyard was seeking to propel some upstart puppet into the place Minion had rightfully held and Minion had foolishly gone along with it.
Unfortunately for the Valeyard, he was Minion and there was no way he was going to be replaced by an inferior creature he had brought to life. But that didn't mean that he would not take the time to let Kali follow her plan. He could wait and snatch the power she held from her -- for she had clearly forgotten about the kill switch --- or she would fail and he would return to take his revenge.
First though there was Minion to deal with.
He drifted through the wall between realities and spotted his other self. Though little more than a shadow, he lunged.
Minion was a united soul, one hundred percent complete. He was unique in the multiverse. The shadowy Minion that attacked him was a piece of that soul, shattered by an event that had yet to occur. The circumstances were impossible, the fallout disastrous as the shadow Minion delivered a strike to himself.
The damage was unnoticeable on the physical level. But on a subconscious level Minion knew he had been attacked and lunged out at himself, breaking the unity. And with that, the task was done. The Shatter Point had been reached and the story could continue.
The shadow that had once been a part of Minion had not merged with his other self as he had feared. But the collision had left him diminished. He was even less than he had been when he had passed through the walls between worlds. He turned and grinned at the realisation that in his current state he could make it a round trip.