Hidden Past, Chapter One
POWER RANGERS :- Demon Wars
Dawn was packing her bag, not forgetting her Morpher, for her days lessons when there was a knock on the door. Glancing at Cassie's bed side Dawn laughed. "Forget your keys again?" she chuckled opening it.
It wasn't her roommate though, it was Dr Oliver. After a moment she stepped back, "Dr Oliver; something wrong?"
Hefting a large bag into the dorm he looked uncomfortable. "I need your help Dawn, I've been busy working on a few projects recently and I've not had the chance to do them all. I know you're busy but finals are winding down and you've got contacts in the mystical world I don't."
"Why do I need mystical contacts?" Dawn asked carefully as she pulled out what looked like an ancient scroll. It wasn't dry and dusty though, like the ones she'd read in the old Magic Box when she wasn't supposed to. Someone had taken good care of it and it was good quality parchment.
"Since I got access to Zordon's files I've learnt all sorts of things, including the reason Zedd and Rita attacked Earth in the first place. They were after some sort of ancient legendary Key to Dimensions."
It was all Dawn could do not to drop the scroll right there and then. Dr Oliver didn't notice and carried on. "From what I've understood of all this it's part of some story about the creation of the universe. It was hidden here aeons ago, but most of the rest is sketchy. Zedd sent me a lot on what he knows, but I haven't had a time to get through it all. Most of it is in poem and prose, the rest is so obscure it makes no sense to me. It's all fairy tales and bedtime stories from alien races older than humanity, God only knows how much is accurate."
"Wh… what do you want me to do?" Dawn asked, trying not to notice that her voice had gone up and octave or three.
"Like I said, you've got experience digging through obscure references to ancient and mystic objects. You're almost an expert…"
"In the Key?"
"In the arcane. Can you help?" he asked.
Dawn looked down at the books and scrolls. The Key, somewhere in all that was her origins. She'd looked before, so had Giles and Willow. No one had anything like this much information. No one had been able to find anything period. She'd almost given up on discovering just who and what the Key truly was before it was her. "I, I don't know." she admitted. "It would kinda like be hunting for a needle in a haystack, when you don't even know if there's a needle in the first place and you don't have a magnet."
"I know, but like I said I don't have the time."
Dawn looked at him. "Grading papers takes that much time?"
He shrugged back, with a grin. He wasn't going to tell her, she knew that much.
"Alright I'll do it, I don't know how long it will take me though." Dawn admitted
"That's fine, there isn't a deadline, just let me know how it goes." He smiled in relief and turned to go. "Oh, there is one deadline you did miss. Homework?:
"Oh crap." Dawn cursed and jumped to her desk, scattering papers everywhere she found what she was looking for and handed it over. "I would have done it on time, but there were those creatures..."
"I know, I know." He laughed. "Classes were cancelled anyway, I'm chasing down everyone to make sure it's alright. Thanks though." After he was gone she looked back at the small pile of research her archaeology professor had left.
To Giles it would be the holy hand grenade, or grail, whatever. Right now she was almost afraid of it. Like it was going to explode in her face. What if she found out she was supposed to be evil, created to destroy or something. Or worse that she was created for good, only to be misused for evil later.
Zedd, back when he was Evil and Lord, had tried to take over the whole planet to find her. What else had he done? What had others done? Nervously she stood there, for the first time not sure if she wanted to know what she really was or not.
Another knock on the door. "Dawn, are you in there. I forgot my key again!"
A'Zores paced his camp. Things were not working as they were supposed to. On the one hand he now had absolute command of his own forces. No Warlord standing over his shoulder. He could bring whatever resources and forces that came to mind against the Rangers.
At the same time he wasn't the only General and some of the others were circling like vultures over what was left of The Warlord's great empire. Luckily most were sheep, good for subduing worlds but no ambition. There were the few though, like Rank'van, the Warlords son. The former pirate baron Sormeghe and the so called Rogue. The human traitor. They were the most dangerous.
Once Tretrax would have been amongst that list. Now he was a nuance. An annoyance, nothing much more. Those creatures he had tried to tame were a menace, to think he thought they could help defeat a foe like the Rangers. It was laughable.
No Tretrax wasn't a threat, Rank'van was though. He had already sent word that he was coming and he had enough support from the sheep to be a real issue. A'Zores's Converted past acted against him, while he could count on some support from others like him pure bloods would always look down on him.
No matter how much he proved himself their superior those silly little demons with their narrow ignorance were just as racist and stupid as the most backwards human. He needed to deal with that, prove himself to the others.
He'd already figured out how. Present the Rangers as a challenge to be defeated. Dangle the chance to be the new Warlord in front of the vultures then destroy them. Still he needed support, needed Rank'van and the others to agree. That meant proving to them that they were a worth while challenge.
Of course that didn't change the real problem. What could take out the Rangers? He had no doubt that Rank'van would find it all but impossible, but that wouldn't mean it would be any easier for him and if one of the others got lucky all his preparation and plans would be pointless
Fighting off wave after wave of Generals would drain them, even their giant titan wouldn't be able to survive the whole weight of the Warlords horde arrayed against it. Which was why an all out civil war would be a problem.
He had to deal with the problem and soon. Before the slimy little snotling spawn of a coward started throwing his weight around.
Connor ducked down the corridor and almost ran to his room. What the hell were they doing here, he asked himself. Angel and that other vampire he'd met briefly Spork or something were in the hotel where he was living.
How the hell had they found him? He hadn't told anyone where he was going and after LA he'd lost all contact with his biological father. Not deliberately, Angel had packed up and left town while Connor had left for Stanford. He'd dropped out a few months later and headed here. Then there was the whole Demon transformation, and he just hadn't got in touch.
He'd called his 'Adoptive' parents, told them he just needed to take some time. That he was taking a gap year, traveling. The usual lies. They'd been worried but that was about it.
Then it came to him. They'd called Angel, somehow he'd tracked the phone call. Damn it, he should have been more careful. Should have given them a better explanation, something to throw them off. Locking his door Connor bolted through the window.
It was only a matter of time before Angel or his friend caught his sent. They'd find him in no time, he needed a place to hide and some way of throwing them off. Climbing up the drain pipe he headed to the roof. Once there he ducked low and crept around the edge until he could see the only other way up and keep hidden.
Tapping the button on his watch he called Faith. "Faith, we've got a problem. Are you at work yet?"
"No." She answered, "I'm about to set off. What is it?"
"Don't leave your room, a couple of fang-faces checked in. I caught sight of them earlier."
"What would a pair of vampires want in this town? They've got to know it's dangerous."
"They're looking for me. It's Angel."
"What!" She half shouted. "Angel, I thought he was dead! Dawn heard something went down in L.A."
"It did, I was sort of there. Angel and a couple of others got out but we lost contact."
"You think he's looking for you?"
"I don't now, probably." Connor lied. "I'm beaming to the Command Centre."
"No, wait, you can't." Faith said. "I talked to my manager and got you a job at the Coffee Shop."
"You did? Why?"
"You couldn't live off your savings much longer and I've been where you are. Slaying and hunting might be fun but it doesn't always pay the bills." Faith said. "I'm beaming there myself, I'll see you in the alley outback."
Connor nodded, then remembered she couldn't actually see him. Pressing the other button he took of in a red column of light.
Tommy felt guilty foisting off the Key research on to Dawn, but he needed the time. He'd already penciled in the class for their grades and unless they dropped the ball with their finals it was a done deal.
No, he had something much more important. With Connor and the Red Ranger powers there was nothing left to fall back on, they'd even had to bring Titanus out of retirement to finish A'Zores latest plot, the Dark Rangers. Meanwhile he was sure they had only seen the thin edge of the wedge. These demons had conquered world after world, dimensions falling like dominos.
The Rangers had done a fantastic job, more than even he could have hoped for, but was it going to be enough. While Alpha was out, helping Sari build a subspace communicator that they didn't really need but he'd asked for anyway, Tommy hit the secret command on the console.
He'd moved the door to behind Zordon's old Energy tube, so even if someone did activate it by accident it would be harder to find. Sneaking around he stepped through and dropped down the grav-chute. The Lab he wanted was buried and hidden deep beneath the Command Centre, in a closed off area that only appeared on the plans as an empty store room. Near the hyper-motivators and other redundant power generators.
He'd not even told Alpha about this place, first of all he didn't want to get anyone's hopes up and then there was the sort of risks Dawn and the others took. If they knew about what he kept down here they'd probably use it. Even if it was incredibly unsafe.
Truth was there wasn't very much left anyway. Saba's hilt, the armoured vest and a few parts of the helmet were all that remained of the White Ranger. All but de-energised what was left was worthless. Among Zordon's notes there was some obscure references to the morphing grid and concern if a coin was ever disconnected from it.
One thing Tommy had learnt was even though he'd kept records Zordon was a little cagey when it came to his weapons and secrets. Either he was worried that someone would crack his password or thought that his own knowledge was too dangerous for anyone else to have. Caution was usually a good thing, but not now.
From what he could piece together The White Ranger power had been a lucky fluke. Without Ninjor building a Power Coin was a hit and miss prospect at best. You needed someone worthy to start with and even then there was a risk of killing them by accident.
The Coin itself was gone along with whatever power the suit had. At first Tommy had hoped that he could use the residual power from inside of him to jump start what was left. That hadn't worked. Whatever was left in him wasn't enough. He needed more power.
That left one option, tying the powers into another Coin. From Zordon's notes, what little he had made on the subject, it shouldn't be much more difficult than when he gave the Green Ranger Coin to Jason, or how Faith was using both the Black and the Pink Coins. Of course neither the Green Coin then or the Pink one now have half the potential power of the White Ranger. He wasn't talking a few extra weapons with Saba and the Vest, There was still the potential to be one of the greatest, that with the White Tiger Zord he needed someone with Faith's strength.
That ruled Sari and Cassie out, the two of them were great Rangers but just didn't have what was needed. He still didn't know where Dawn's powers came from and the way she was using them meant he wasn't even sure how long she would have them.
That only left one Ranger. Connor. The most recent addition to the team.
He was going to have to bond the powers with that of the Red Ranger and if he was right it was going to be needed sooner rather than later.
Night had fallen an hour earlier and the two vampires hit the streets of Amethyst City. Angel had gotten used to L.A. The lights, the sounds and life that came out at night. All the monsters and demons, some trying to pass themselves off as human, others use preying on them. Amethyst was different, it was one of the first completely human cities he'd been in. It really was empty of demons, he and Spike were the only vampires for miles.
Either this place was dead for the undead, demons and the like or whatever was happening here had driven them all away. Angel had a feeling it was the latter. Even the humans felt it, they had to from the way they behaved. It was like a city under siege and that had somehow gotten used to it. There was no fear, or terror, just a weariness from everyone they met. The sense that everyone had a story to tell and a shared comradeship. They'd all survived one thing or another and that bonded the whole city together, the same way the Beast and the eclipse had in LA two or three short years ago. He didn't share any of his observations with Spike. He didn't need to and the blond moron would just find something sarcastic to say about it.
Angel sniffed around for the dozenth time that night and frowned, "There's so many scents I can't pick any one out and they're all very strong. Too strong."
"Same here. It's like trying to hear a guy whispering in the middle of a rock concert." Spike agreed looking at a cigarette before shoving it back into the pack. "I'm picking up traces of him but there's something odd about that too. Like I'm only getting half a scent. It's mingled with something else I can't tell what."
"I'm getting that too." Angel nodded, not liking what he was getting. You couldn't just change your scent. It needed something drastic, demon possession was number one on the list but it didn't smell like it. Then again with all the power in this town he could walk right over a hellmouth and not notice it.
Shaking his head Spike growled. "This place sets my teeth on edge. Where are all the Slayers? the demon hunters? This place is practically the front lines for a demon invasion, where's the army."
"What about these rangers?" Angel asked. It was a question he'd been asking himself for the last day or so.
"Costumed posers!" Spike snorted. "They've got some funky magic weapons and suddenly they think they can do the job."
"Kids playing games." Angel agreed. "But somehow they've kept Buffy and the gang out. I'd like to know how."
"I'd like to know why." Spike disagreed and looked around. "Look we can wander about for hours or we could do some proper defective detective work." He pointed at a Cafe, creatively named The Coffee Shop.
Angel tried to think of a reason not to, but failed. Spike was, probably for the first time in his un-life, right. Angel did have a few private investigators skills that he'd picked up here and there. "Alright."
There were a only about six people in the Coffee Shop. Four customers huddled around one table, a waitress with black brown hair behind the counter and someone that just headed around the back. Angel made his way to the waitress before stopping dead not three steps from her. "Oh hell."
"Angel, Spike." Faith greeted them, looking up. "What can I get you?"
"Oh sodding hell, you." Spike whispered. "What are you doing here?"
Faith shrugged, pulling a couple of mugs from under the counter. "Buffy wanted to check up what was going on in this town."
Spike shared a look with Angel, "So Buffy has looked into what's going on. Why haven't you told her."
"Because I asked her not to." Said someone else. The two Vampires turned around only for Spike to take a right cross to the bridge of his nose.
End Chapter One