Tommy had endured a great deal of violent treatment and disturbing experiences in his time as a Ranger- his time under Rita's original spell was still something he tried not to think about unless he unquestionably had to, and then there was that time he spent stuck in amber and then stuck in his costume afterwards-, but this 'Portkey' thing that Alan had used to get them to safety, while not the most uncomfortable thing he'd experienced, was definitely up on the list. As the swirling, disorientating feeling ended with them arriving in what looked like the desert outside the command centre, now back in their civilian attire, Tommy cursed his body's greater vulnerability as he keeled over and vomited, barely aware of Trent's queries about his status from beside him as he knelt on the ground, trembling from what he'd just endured…
"Portkey-travel sickness," Elizabeth's voice said. "It's a common reaction for those who haven't travelled via Portkey before. Are you all right, Doctor Oliver?"
"Y-yeah… I'll be fine… just a little queasy…" Tommy said, wishing that his legs felt steadier as he got back to his feet; he'd been through all kinds of crap, he was not
going to ask for someone to help him stand when he was just travel-sick
"Take this," Elizabeth said, placing a vial containing a blue liquid in his hands. "It's a Stomach-Calming potion; three small swallows, and then just give it two minutes and the potion should have done its work."
Nodding in understanding, Tommy opened the vial and took the recommended three swallows, standing still for a few moments as he felt his guts finally cease the riot they'd been apparently waging for the last few minutes, until his legs finally began to feel more stable and the rest of his body returned to normal.
"Thanks," he said, handing the vial back to Elizabeth as she returned it to a bag she'd apparently pulled out of her pocket. "That stuff really did the trick."
"Where'd you get the potions, anyway?" Alan asked.
"Started making them the day after we became Rangers," Elizabeth replied with a smile. "I thought they'd come in handy."
"Good thinking," Tommy said, nodding at the Yellow Ranger before he looked over at Alan. "So… where are we?"
"I'm… not sure," Alan said, sighing in frustration. "My calculations when creating the Portkey must have been off; I meant for us to land in the middle of the Command Center. I could have sworn
that I did everything right
"Hey, maybe you did and the Command Centre just deflected the energy because it didn't recognise it, or maybe something about teleporting from the Moon threw everything off," Tommy said, trying to sound reassuring as he looked at the other Ranger. "There's no point beating yourself up about it, Alan; we got out with the Zeo Crystal, so let's just get back to the Command Centre and take it from there."
"Doctor Oliver's right, Alan; what you just did was unprecedentedly complicated, so there's no point beating yourself up about it," Elizabeth said, looking slightly anxiously at her boyfriend. "Seriously, you've been pushing yourself too hard ever since Doctor Oliver and the others arrived here; are you angry at them for some reason, or are you… trying to prove yourself or something?"
"Let's just call Zordon and get out of here…" Alan said, raising his communicator in an obvious attempt to cut off the conversation, only to be halted when Elizabeth placed her hand over the device and stared at him.
"Alan," she said, concern evident in her voice. "Talk to me… what's wrong?"
After looking back at her for a moment, Alan sighed in frustration.
"I don't know what's wrong with me, Elizabeth..." he said, sighing sadly as Elizabeth took his hands in hers. "It's just that I've been feeling strange lately... as though something's supposed to happen but hasn't…"
As the local Red and Yellow Rangers stared into each other's eyes, Tommy and Trent were left with the uncomfortable feeling of intruding on something that they shouldn't be looking at, but their initial thought to look away was cut off when they noticed a strange white aura appeared around their interlocked fingers, along with a gentler breeze surrounding them despite how still it had been earlier as Alan and Elizabeth moved closer together…
The sound of Alan's communicator going off shattered the moment, the strange glow vanishing and the breeze ending as the two Rangers stepped away from each other.
?!" Alan snapped into the communicator, his tone a far more hostile one than anything Tommy had heard him express in a non-combat situation.
," Zordon's voice replied, "MY SENSORS DETECTED YOUR RETURN TO THE EARTH'S SURFACE. WERE YOU ABLE TO RECOVER THE ZEO CRYSTAL
"Yeah," Alan answered, suddenly calmer than he had been earlier. "But my Portkey didn't make it to the Command Centre…"
," Zordon said. "PREPARE TO BE TELEPORTED TO THE COMMAND CENTER, THERE IS ANOTHER PROBLEM THAT MUST BE DEALT WITH
Closing his eyes, Alan muttered a few swear words that Tommy had to admit weren't exactly typical Ranger language, but he simply crouched down, picked up the box containing the Zeo Crystal, and stood up as the other three gathered around him, Zordon soon teleporting them away.
Looking around at the Power Chamber, Rocky almost couldn't believe how easily they'd fallen back into old habits. Save for the absence of Tommy and Alpha- Dimitria was an obvious difference, but if you didn't look at the tube too much it could easily still hold Zordon-, it could have almost been the Power Chamber from the days of their conflicts with the Machine Empire before Jason showed up, the Rangers brainstorming solutions to their latest threat after the first clash hadn't worked out in their favour…
It wasn't that he regretted moving on, of course- being a Ranger had been a great experience, but it wasn't something you could do forever-, but when Kat and Tanya had returned and been briefed by Billy on the current situation, it had been good to be working with the old team again; they tried to arrange the occasional reunion, but sometimes it was just hard to coordinate all their schedules, given how far apart they were now…
"We're ready, Billy," Tanya called over from the worktable where she and Adam had been working on the two metal spheres that Billy had requested they assemble; he'd been coordinating their work and pulling up the plans on a computer screen while Kat and Rocky worked on another set of devices.
"Good job, you two," Billy said after he'd examined the spheres, before his expression became grimmer once again. "We can only hope that this Pulse Emitter will serve its purpose…"
"What exactly is this thing supposed to do again?" Kat asked, looking at the alternate version of their friend inquiringly.
"Once it's been deployed into the dimensional void, it'll send out a transmission similar to the Trans-Dimensional Relay," Billy explained. "With any luck, it'll flush out whatever it was that destroyed the original device. Once I've completed the new Relay, we'll be able to see who or what was responsible should it make a go for the Pulse Emitter. Unfortunately, since the Power Chamber doesn't have what I need to complete the new Trans-Dimensional Relay, I'll have to cross back over for the equipment I need. Rocky, how are the Molecular Decoders coming along?"
"I've finished setting them up," Rocky said, making a few last adjustments to the devices before he shrugged awkwardly. "Hopefully I've done everything right."
Walking over to the objects in question, Billy analysed the two large blue devices for a moment before nodding in approval.
"Perfect," he said, smiling as he clapped Rocky on the shoulder. "With these Decoders along with the ones I have set up at my Command Center, we have an inter-dimensional bridge that we can use to transport whatever equipment and supplies we need to complete the project at this end if we can't find them here!"
"Any chance those supplies will include some food?" Rocky asked. "I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting hungry."
"I'll see what I can do about the food situation while I'm picking up the cloaking device and visual monitors that I'm going to install in the new relay system," Billy said, chuckling slightly at his words even as he picked up the checklist he'd printed off defining the relevant equipment. "Anyway, I'd better get going…"
"Not without me, you're not," Rocky said, looking politely but firmly at Billy. "You've said yourself that we need to get this done fast; an extra pair of hands would definitely help that."
"I don't know, Rocky…" Billy said after a short hesitation, uncertainty practically written all over his face. "My world might be similar to yours, but it's also very different; you've already seen one example of that…"
"Would that be the fact that you're still in the mid-90s, or the fact that Zordon's still alive over there?" Rocky asked.
"The latter," Billy answered honestly. "I know that you saw a glimpse of my world's Zordon on the Viewing Globe-"
"Billy," Rocky said, placing an understanding hand on the original Blue Ranger's shoulder, addressing his friend in a quiet tone, "I'd be lying if I said that I don't miss the Zordon that served as my mentor for so long, but the fact is, we're all Power Rangers and we do what we can to help each other, even if it means traveling to other planets or alternate timelines and seeing old friends to do it."
He shrugged casually as he smiled at Billy. "Besides, I want to yell at Jason for not telling me everything about his new team."
"All right, Rocky," Billy said, smiling at the last statement after a few moments of consideration. "Just follow my lead once we're over there, and I'll do what I can to help you out if you get confused about something."
"I'll come too," Kat said, indicating the other two Rangers with a smile as they worked on the Pulse Emitter. "It'll give those two some time alone to catch up."
"OK," Billy said, nodding thoughtfully. "I suppose transporting what we need will be easier between the three of us… However, I think that you had both better bring your Zeonizers just in case Ivan tries something while we're over there."
"No problem," Rocky said, grinning as he and Kat flicked their wrists, activating a pair of bracelet-like devices with control pads on one and a crystal on the other. "I think we're ready for anything that might come up."
It might have been a while since they'd used these, but if the situation came up, they'd be ready to use it against whatever they ran into.
?" Alan said, the local Red Ranger looking at Harry and Amanda in shock as they explained what they had just been dealing with while Alpha took the recovered Zeo Crystal to the Command Centre's archives for safe keeping. "What were Dementors doing in Angel Grove?"
"Attacking innocent people for no obvious reason, really," Harry said grimly. "However, that's not even half
as disturbing as what Zordon's found out about them…"
"And what was that?" Alan asked, looking anxiously at his mentor.
"WHILE THE REMAINING RANGERS WERE BATTLING THE DEMENTORS," Zordon said grimly, "I WAS ABLE TO GET A FULL SENSOR READING ON THE CREATURES AND EVEN I AM DISTURBED BY THE RESULTS OF THOSE SCANS. THE DEMENTORS YOUR TEAMMATES FACED WERE NOT REAL
DEMENTORS, BUT RATHER MODIFIED CLONES."
"Clones?" Tommy repeated in confusion. "Someone created
those things on purpose?"
"But who'd want to clone Dementors of all things?" Hermione asked, evidently horrified at even the concept of what Zordon had just revealed.
"ALL THAT I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT WHOEVER IS RESPONSIBLE, THEY ARE HIGHLY SKILLED IN BIOLOGICAL MANIPULATION AND NANOTECHNOLOGY," Zordon said grimly.
"Suddenly, things are starting to make a little more sense…" Tommy muttered grimly.
"What do you mean by that?" Alan asked, looking curiously at the palaeontologist.
"Do you remember what Ivan said just as we started fighting with him?" Tommy said, turning to look at the local leader. "He said something about a Master destroying a place called Diagon Alley…"
?" the four magical Hogwarts Guardians said in shock.
"What's Diagon Alley?" Sylvia asked, looking at her teammates in confusion.
"It's essentially a shopping centre for wizards back in Britain," Alan answered. "It's where wizards in Britain buy their wands and other magical equipment…"
A thoughtful expression on his face, he looked over at Alpha. "Alpha, can you bring the area of Diagon Alley up on the Viewing Globe?"
"Already ahead of you, Alan," Alpha reported from the central console, flicking switches and turning dials. "I'm bringing the area of Diagon Alley up on the Viewing Globe now."
With the adjustments completed, the Viewing Globe activated, displaying the old-fashioned street appearance of Diagon Alley, Ginny, Hermione and Elizabeth unable to restrain horrified gasps at the sight of the alley virtually obliterated, every building having been blasted out of existence and the street littered with debris, to say nothing of robed bodies in skeletons mixed in with the rubble.
there?" Harry said, staring in shock at the screen; the rubble he could understand, but what could have killed wizards to leave them as skeletons so shortly after they were attacked…?
"Rangers," Alpha called out, breaking Harry's train of thought, "the scanners are detecting a large amount of activity in the centre of Diagon Alley!"
"Bring it up!" Harry, Conner, Tommy and Alan said automatically, all of them grateful for the opportunity to stop looking at the bodies. After a few moments of adjustment, the Viewgin Globe shifted to display the battered but still standing Gringotts Bank, surrounded by a small army of men in black-and-red armoured bodysuits and face-concealing helmets with red visors, along with other armoured men patrolling the streets on foot as well as in small armoured vehicles. As the Rangers watched, another group of soldiers were moving a large amount of gold, rubies and other treasures from the bank to three transport helicopters, being guarded by both troops and a squadron of attack helicopters.
"They're raiding Gringotts!" Hermione said in shock. "But… but how
can they get into the vaults?"
"I CAN ANSWER THAT QUESTION, HERMIONE," Zordon said, an undertone of anger to his voice that those Rangers familiar with him didn't recall him expressing before. "ALPHA, RUN A SCAN ON THE WEAPONS AND BODY ARMOR BEING USED BY THOSE SOLDIERS!"
"Understood, Zordon," Alpha said, working at the console for a few moments before stepping back in shock as the results came up. "AYE-YI-YI! This can't be right! The scanners must be malfunctioning!"
"WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF THE SCAN?" Zordon asked, in a tone that reminded Harry of Dumbledore when he was trying to encourage Harry to realise what he already knew.
"The weapons and the body armour are all of Elysian
material and design!" Alpha answered, disbelief obvious in his voice.
"Hold; Elysian?" Ethan said in confusion as he looked over at Alan and Amanda. "Wasn't that… you're related to them, right?"
"Distant relationship, but yeah," Amanda said with a grim nod.
"Dig around in family history later; did you just say that those troops are using Elysian
weapons?" Alan said, his attention still focused on Zordon in his evident shock at this news. "Are the soldiers Elysian as well?"
"No," Alpha confirmed. "The soldiers are Terrans; only the weapons and equipment that are Elysian… which cannot be possible since the ancient Elysians destroyed all of their energy weapons before settling on Earth!"
"Well, maybe someone found the plans somewhere-" Jason began.
"THAT IS ALSO IMPOSSIBLE, JASON," Zordon said grimly. "DURING OUR MEETING, THE ELYSIAN LEADERS ENTRUSTED ME WITH THE ONLY COPIES OF THE BLUEPRINTS FOR ALL OF THEIR WEAPONS AND OTHER EQUIPMENT, WHICH ARE KEPT WITHIN MY PERSONAL FILES. ONLY I HAVE THE PASSCODE."
"Couldn't someone have… hacked the system or something?" Sylvia asked.
"I DO NOT SEE HOW," Zordon replied.
"Hold on…" Alan said, nodding thoughtfully for a moment before looking back at their mentor. "I think I know what happened."
"You do?" Trent said in surprise. "How?"
"Simple," Alan said grimly. "Since we've been Rangers, only two people have gained access to the Command Centre who had the opportunity, the knowledge, and the time to at least potentially access your files and get their hands on the blueprints. We can pretty much discount Billy as a suspect, so that just leaves one person."
"Who?" Ron asked.
"Albus Dumbledore," Alan replied.
Harry's automatic reaction was to reject that suggestion, but then he reminded himself what Alan had told them about this world's Dumbledore, along with his own experiences with the man in question, and stopped himself in time; it might be disturbing to consider Dumbledore the villain, but it wasn't exactly impossible.
would Dumbledore do this
?" Ginny asked, looking at the Patronus Force Red Ranger in confusion. "I mean, I know he's not the same as he was back home, but you said that he was just… more willing to take the easy way out or something like that; what could be worth all this death
"Besides," Harry put in, "he gave me until the end of this month to complete that 'mission' he gave me; I know I haven't exactly done anything about it, but how can he know that?"
"Maybe he thinks of this as just something else to do while he's waiting for you; it's not like you'd know what these guys were if you weren't here," Alan said, still looking thoughtfully around the Command Centre. "Look, we know that the Dementors you guys faced in the park were clones… maybe the Dumbledore that entered the Zord hanger was a clone too?"
"But Alan," Alpha protested, "Dumbledore was inside the Zord hangar until Tommy and Adam brought him up here to the main chamber; he never had the chance
to access the computers!"
"THAT IS INCORRECT, ALPHA," Zordon said grimly. "THERE IS
A COMPUTER SYSTEM INSIDE THE ZORD HANGAR THAT IS CONNECTED TO THE COMMAND CENTER'S CENTRAL DATABASE!"
"There is?" Jason said in surprise. "You never told us about that."
"IT WAS NEVER REQUIRED, SO I SAW NO POINT," Zordon said, before his expression became more thoughtful. "BILLY AND ALPHA RECENTLY INSTALLED A SECURITY SYSTEM THAT CONSISTS OF A NETWORK OF VISUAL MONITORING SYSTEMS. ALPHA, SEARCH THE SECURITY FILES FOR THE ZORD HANGAR TAKEN DURING THE TIME THAT THE RANGERS WERE BATTLING GRIMSKULL!"
"It may take a while to locate the file, Zordon," Alpha said as he set to work. "However, I will do what I can to locate it as swiftly as possible!"
"Can we-?" Hermione began.
"No, Hermione," Alpha said, shaking his head as he looked at her. "The offer is appreciated, but these files are highly secret and therefore heavily encrypted; even with your skills, you would simply be unable to think fast enough to crack the codes, and I feel that even I will have trouble doing so."
"I HAVE EVERY CONFIDENCE IN YOU, ALPHA," Zordon said, before turning back to the Rangers. "ONCE ALPHA HAS LOCATED THE SECURITY FILES, I WILL HAVE ALPHA MAKE A COPY FOR YOU TO STUDY. ALAN, HAVE YOU RECEIVED WORD FROM YOUR GRANDFATHER REGARDING THE SPEAR OF ELYSIA?"
"Not yet," Alan said, shaking his head apologetically. "Still, if my grandpa follows his usual business schedule, I should
have an answer by tonight."
"THEN I SUGGEST THAT YOU RETURN HOME," Zordon said. "I SHALL HAVE ALPHA SEND YOU A DISC OF THE SECURITY RECORDINGS ONCE THAT FILE HAS BEEN LOCATED."
"But what about those soldiers?" Jason protested. "Shouldn't we do something about them?"
"I AM AFRAID NOT, JASON," Zordon said, his expression more sombre than it had been previously. "UNTIL WE HAVE IRREFUTABLE PROOF THAT WE ARE DEALING WITH A RANGER-LEVEL THREAT, WE CANNOT GET INVOLVED."
?" Ron said incredulously.
"They're using alien armour downloaded from your
files-!" Hermione began.
"BUT THEIR ACTIONS ARE CURRENTLY ONLY A DANGER ON THE SMALL SCALE, AND ELYSIAN ARMOUR, WHILE POWERFUL, DOES NOT MAKE THEM INVINCIBLE IN A FIGHT AGAINST NON-RANGERS," Zordon said solemnly.
"They're still KILLING people with my ancestors' weapons
-!" Alan protested.
"BUT THE TROOPS OPERATING IN DIAGON ALLEY ARE FUNDAMENTALLY NOTHING MORE THAN TERRANS WITH NO SPECIAL ABILITIES OF THEIR OWN," Zordon interjected sadly. "WHATEVER ACTIONS THEY TAKE REMAIN CLASSIFIED AS A DOMESTIC DISPUTE BETWEEN THE NATIVES OF EARTH AND UNDER THE LAWS OF THE MELEDON- LAWS TO WHICH EVEN I AM NOT IMMUNE- WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO INTERFERE."
"OK, so we can't get involved as Rangers; can we-?" Conner asked.
"GETTING INVOLVED WITHOUT USING YOUR POWERS WOULD MERELY BE AN ATTEMPTED LOOPHOLE THAT WOULD NOT HOLD UP TO SCRUTINY," Zordon said apologetically. "YOUR INTENTIONS ARE GOOD, BUT WE MUST LEAVE THESE INTRUDERS TO THEIR PLANS FOR THE PRESENT; THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT THEM NOW."
"Particularly not with the Psychos to sort out, huh?" Ron said, trying weakly to lighten the mood by focusing on something they could stop.
"PRECISELY," Zordon said, nodding at the Yellow Guardian Ranger. "BUT FOR NOW, THE HOUR IS GROWING LATE AND I RECOMMEND THAT YOU RETURN TO ANGEL GROVE AND REST YOURSELVES WHILE YOU CAN. MEGAN, I WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO REMAIN BEHIND FOR A MOMENT LONGER AS THERE IS SOMETHING THAT I NEED TO DISCUSS WITH YOU ALONE."
With nothing else to do, the other Rangers teleported away back to Alan's house, leaving Megan to talk with Zordon about whatever he wanted to discuss.
, Voldemort reflected to himself, as he contemplated the latest mental 'transmission' he had received from the Dimension Walker.
The knowledge that the Hogwarts Guardians were attempting to return home was a frustrating inconvenience, but it was hardly unanticipated; they wouldn't have challenged his power if they were willing to quickly concede to defeat.
Besides… in the end, that actually made what he was about to do all the easier; with signals being sent between the dimensions, it wasn't that hard for his creation to identify the location where the signals were being transmitted from at this side of the dimensional barrier, as well as the earlier searches across the barrier for what could only be the Guardian Rangers. All he had needed to do was have some patience, and the Dimension Walker had provided him with the exact coordinates of what was most likely their base of operations at this side.
With that location found, he just needed some time to select the appropriate forces for his upcoming attack, and then he would be ready to mount a new assault that would leave the already-displaced Guardians without anywhere
to retreat to…