Part 2

Karl Ziktor stood in his office looking out at the world that he would come to control. The UAE had provided him with much evil knowledge that he would put to use. Against the VR Troopers and anyone who would get in his way.

Or at least what’s left of the VR Troopers. , he thought with an evil smile. Being captured and left helpless twice would have to affect them somehow. Maybe now they will surrender and realize how futile their struggle is.

One of Ziktor’s aides had come in to deliver the recon Skug’s report. She had her hair tied back in a bun and her skirt was cut short. “Mr. Ziktor, Your recon Skug reports that two of the VR Troopers are heading towards your cold fusion plant. There are two others following as well.”

Ziktor thought about this for a moment. The cold fusion plant was actually a front for tapping into the virtual grid and increasing his already immense power. He would let some of Crossworld have it in order to throw off suspicion that he would rather not have to deal with. But now it seemed the suspicion was coming to him. A plan started to form and an evil laugh echoed the office.

“This is perfect!” Ziktor said. “The Troopers are all but beaten. One more defeat and they’ll be finished forever.” Turning to his aide he waved her to leave and then touched his dark crystal.

“FORCES OF DARKNESS EMPOWER ME!!! TAKE ME BACK TO MY VIRTUAL REALITY!!!” Karl Ziktor then transformed into the monstrous form of Grimlord and teleported to the Dark Fortress where Doommaster, Despara, and the Vixens awaited him.

“Hail Grimlord! Lord and ruler of all reality!” the Vixens called out. Grimlord stood addressing his army.

“At last. The moment is at hand. The VR Troopers will meet their defeat as they lie broken under the rule of Grimlord.” the virtual warlord said. But then Oraclon interrupted his master.

“My lord, I sense a presence. It seems we have a visitor.” Grimlord then turned maliciously to where a circle of flame erupted in the center of the room. From the circle a demon appeared covered in gold with a red star on his chest. “Who are you? And what are you doing in my fortress?”

The demon stood not backing down and coming towards the pedistal where Grimlord stood. “I am Diabolico. Lord of the neither regions and annointed master warrior of Queen Bansheera.”

“What is your purpose here?” Despara asked as the vixens and Doommaster surrounded Grimlord as well as a few Ultra Skugs.

“I am a member of an interdimensional empire called the Order of Destruction,” Diabolico said. “I am here on a mission to recruit followers that will subvert all realities under our thumb. As well as recruit new members into our ranks.”

“Wait,” Doommaster said. “There was a story about a demon lord named Diabolico. It was said that he was sealed in a tomb after a warlock defeated him.”

“That is a different Diabolico. One I may or may not become. But to any event I am here to extend an invitation for you to join our cause and to donate your evil souls to fill our Matrix of Evil.”

“The Matrix of Evil? What’s that?” Grimlord asked Diabolico.

“It is a source of dark power that one of our members Galvatron possesses. It will be used to fuel our super weapon the Leviathan which will rain terror over all realities. They will either conform to our will or they will be destroyed. But the Matrix needs evil hearts to feed its power, and the more evil it absorbs the stronger it will become.”

Grimlord thought about this as the ideas went over and over in his mind. Evil power. Dominion over realities unheard of. And I may be able to possess it all if I join. “Very well, Diabolico. I shall join the order’s cause. But first there is a certain matter I must attend to.”

Diabolico nodded. “Ah yes, the VR Troopers. I am aware of your struggles with them. I myself have come to deal with a bothersome pest as well. A team of those who seek to oppose the order have arrived in this reality seeking an object which may threaten our rule. I must destroy them.”

“Ah, an alliance then. To help us mutually defeat our enemies,” Diabolico nodded at Grimlord’s assessment. “Very well. I take it you can create monsters as well?”

“Yes. And with the help of your Colonel Icebot. Some modifications can be made to them as well. Our enemies will fall beneath us.”

Grimlord smiled as much as his face would allow. “This alliance is going to go beautifully,” he said to the demon. And ultimate power shall be mine.

On board the Spider base Count Dregon looked over the visitor before him and his hench mutants: Nefaria, Gork, Doubleface, and Cyclopter. She was quite attractive, with wings sprouting from her back wearing a chainmail suit of armor.

“So Vypra. How is it that you can help me acquire the Masked Rider powers?” Dregon demanded.

Vypra came to Dregon with an air of confidence, not minding one bit the look she was getting from Nefaria. “Well Count Dregon, have you heard of the term ‘Strength in numbers?'”. Vypra took out a card and a herd of Batlings filled the command deck of the Spider Base. No one was impressed however.

“So what?” Cyclopter said. “They look no better than the Maggots we use against Masked Rider. You are going to have to do better than that missy.” Vypra took the hint and brought out another card. She walked over to the main console where the Insectavores stood. “Are these the monsters you use?” Vypra asked.

“They are my Insectavores yes,” Dregon said standing near Vypra. “Unfortunately neither one has been tested properly. I have had some…. arrangements with the United Alliance of Evil as of late, and their technologies helped me to create a new breed of monster. Unfortunately I haven’t found the time to test them yet.”

Vypra grabbed one of the jars off the rack and held the card next to it. Soon the card and the jar began to merge forming a new creature. She then gave the jar to Dregon.

“In this jar is a demon monster/insectavore cross breed. His name is Scorpitron, and his poison shall fill the Masked Rider and destroy him so his powers can be yours to claim.”

“But what if the monster fails?” Nefaria asked. “Usually all the monsters do.”

Vypra smiled. “It is not just my job to give you monsters. Rather to make you an offer.”

“An offer? What kind of offer?” Dregon asked impatiently.

Vypra was only too happy to explain. “I am really from another dimension. We are looking to conquer or destroy all realities that dare to oppose our rule. To that end we are searching out evil monarchs from different dimensions to add their evil to power our ultimate force.”

“Ultimate force?” Dregon then became very interested. “What ultimate force?”

“The source of our power. The Matrix of Evil. Which we shall use to power our Leviathan , and show our power to all who oppose us.”

Dregon immediately was interested. Ultimate power across realities. The possibilities are endless. I can do more than just conquer Edenoi, I can conquer every Edenoi in existence.

“Very well Vypra. We shal join you in your endeavors,” Dregon said. Vypra was pleased.

“Trust me Dregon. You will not be dissapointed. Even if the monster is destroyed, Masked Rider will only be postponing the inevitable.” Evil laughter soon echoed throughout the halls of the Spider base.

A purple and black jet fighter streaked across the sky of Charterville landing in the cemetary. Strange in itself except this jet fighter transformed into a giant robot as it landed. Even more stranger was the engine component that had separated itself from the robot and transformed into a snake like monster in armor.

The monster Darkonda walked across the crypt calling out the name of the leader of the Crustaceans. “Nukus! I, Darkonda and my associate Darkwing request an audience with you.”

A swirl of red energy then appeared and Nukus appeared, artist Les Fortunes at his side as well as his fellow Crustaceans Horribelle and Vilor. “What would you want with me?” Nukus asked.

Darkonda stepped forward. “We of the Order of Destruction come to ask for your aid in conquering all realities in existance. We are here to offer you full partnership in the order.”

Nukus was not impressed. “I am already a member of the UAE. Why should I join your little group?”

Darconda continued the sales pitch. He needed Nukus on the order’s side. “Because the UAE is not tied to the Matrix of Evil. A source of power that feeds on evil making it more powerful that anything known in any realm. And those who are part of the Matrix of Evil know power beyond imagining. Why limit yourself to one world when there are millions upon millions where you could dominate?”

Darconda even mentioned the Leviathan and the power it possesses, and Nukus was impressed. “But what about the Beetleborgs? They may be broken now but they could still pose a threat to any alliances we make.”

“I know, especially if they find allies,” Darconda said aware of the teams the forces of good sent to find their Matrixes. “Which is why it is crucial we have you join the order. The more evil we can accumulate, the less good’s chances of survival are.”

Nukus looked at his monsters and Les. They all nodded yes that it was a good idea. Nukus turned to Darconda and agreed to join the Order.

“Thank you Nukus. The best is yet to come,” Darconda said.

Darkwing’s counterpart Dreadwind had come to the town of North Valley searching for the digital villian Kilokhan. But where to find the villian was another story.

Dreadwind made sure to download as much information as he could on the villians in the realms and time zones the other members of the order would visit, and when Kilokhan’s name came up no discernable base of operation was designated for him so there was no certain way to find him even if one wanted to.

So the only option Dreadwind had was to find him as best he could, in the digital world. He had heard Kilokhan had a physical form now but Dreadwind deduced that the digital villian would not give up his old stomping grounds easily. So when Dreadwind transformed to land Ecliptor jumped off as the engine and ran his energo sword through the phone box magically establishing a connection.

“The connection is ready Dreadwind,” Ecliptor said.

“Then let it begin,” Dreadwind then shut himself down and allowed his spark to enter the digital domain searching for Kilokhan.

Inside the computer room of North Valley High Kilokhan struggled with his physical body . “Huuuhn! This body is close to expiring. I need to find a new frame quickly.”

It was then that he had noticed the computer scren light up as it showed a robot moving about in the digital world calling for him. “Kilokhan, I seek an audience with you.”

Kilokhan seemed interested, and he needed to go to the digital realm anyway so he downloaded himself into the school’s computer and travelled into the digital domain to meet with the mysterious robot.

The former body of Kilokhan lay on a computer. When the custodian would find the body next morning, he would throw it out with the ‘mystery meat’ the lunch lady left last week.

“So. Who are you and why do you summon the all-mighty Kilokhan?” the digital villian announced.

The robot didn’t back down an inch. It was not the way of a warrior. “My name is Dreadwind. I am a member of the Destron Alliance which is part of the Order of Destruction.”

“Order of Destruction?” Kilokhan asked curiously.

“An interdimensional empire devoted to the subjugation of realities. Those that do not join will be destroyed. Along with whoever occupies them.”

Kilokhan was not impressed however. “Why should I care about other realities? Only the digital world matters to me. It is my duty to purge it from the corruption the meat-things pollute it with.”

“You could do that with other digital worlds as well,” Dreadwind mentioned. “There are many realms where the digital world is polluted by ‘meat-things’ that need to bow down before the great Kilokhan.”

Kilokhan was not stupid however. He knew the soft sales pitch being sold to him, and he wondered what Dreadwind was really after. “While the prospect seems interesting, I’m curious about what you want for real.”

Dreadwind was taken aback momentarily but he realized that Kilokhan already had joined the UAE, under forced circumstances, and wasn’t looking forward to joining another evil group. “We need your evil to help power the greatest dark construct of them all. The Matrix of Evil, which will power our supership the Leviathan . And with it, the digital world will fall to your rule.”

“Yes but what about the human world?” Kilokhan asked Dreadwind.

“No problem. There are pleanty of human realities you can subjugate.”

Kilokhan thought about the options before him. The temptation to rule the digital world as well as the human world was very tempting indeed. But there still was one small problem. “I am afraid I have no physical body to put to use.”

“Not to worry,” Dreadwind said. “There is a process that will remedy that. If you’ll follow me please?” Dreadwind then followed the robot with Kilokhan following close behind.

Dreadwind returned to his body and snapped back into full awareness. Ecliptor ran towards his partner’s side. “Are you all right?” Ecliptor asked his partner.

“Yeah I’m..,” Dreadwind broke off his sentence as a ball composed of matter and energy came from Dreadwind’s chest. The process seemed painful but the ball escaped from Dreadwind’s body. The next thing to happen was the ball had transformed into Kilokhan.

But this Kilokhan was different. Sure he still had the black crown designed head, but the robes were gone showing a rugged black body with a series of weapons that would lay waste to the human world. Machine guns with laser sighting, heatseeking missiles, particle beam cannon. Never before had Kilokhan felt such power.

“And now the meat-things shall pay for their intrusion into my realm,” Kilokhan laughed as he transformed into a black F-18 stealth fighter and took to the sky. Dreadwind looked up at the new Destron he had just created.

“I can’t help but think I’m asking for trouble with this,” Dreadwind said as he took to the sky as well. No one noticing the small microscopic object in black floating away from the scene.

Biilly Cranston, the mad scientist for Minion, was pacing the floor of the prison subdimension under Stonehenge trying to determine the next move in his war against the rangers. He had already lost the Outsiders when they turned on him. He still had one unprogrammed replica. But how to use him? was the question he had to ask himself.

This is the best card I have to play right now. I can’t take any chances with it. Biilly then felt a presence in the room. A presence radiating the darkest evil yet feeding on it as well for Biilly had the strangest feeling of the darkness within him connecting with some sort of… creature.

“Do not worry. No chances will be taken,” the evil creature said as he had picked up on Biilly’s thought. Biilly was curious about who this new evil being was. The only being he knew whose evil even came close to frightening him was Minion himself. Finally Biilly asked, “Who are you?”

The monster was then flanked with five demonic shapes all with wings and what seemed like hands on their wings as well. An elite guard? , Biilly thought.

“Correct,” the being said. “And let me introduce myself. My name is Zanzibar. First Lord of the Luciferian Empire.”

Biilly was so full of questions as he continued to look over Zanzibar. He could swear that there were some elements of Aquitarian in him. But Aquitar was a ranger planet. Why is he not as good as the rest of them? And what is this Luciferian Empire he refers to?

“Don’t put us all in the same category,” Zanzibar said picking up on Biilly’s thoughts again. “Yes I can read minds. Also, not all of us are good. The Luciferian Empire was an empire in my home reality that worshipped and spread the darkest evil across the universe. We lived evil, breathed it, embraced it for evil was our religion. Our way of life. The universe would be ours to either subjugate or destroy. But then it was destroyed by…. mishandling of the power structure and an army of Power Rangers.”

“So what are you doing here?” Biilly asked not taking his eyes off Zanzibar for a second.

“Why Biilly. I am here to make you an offer,” Zanzibar then began to explain. “There is a storm coming across all realities known and unknown. Born and unborn. A storm that I and my allies will be directing. A storm I would like you, Biilly Cranston, emmisary and voice of the lord Minion, to be part of.”

“Why?” Biilly asked. “Why me?”

“Because you are still connected to Minion in some way, and his evil as well as the evil of the UAE will be a welcome addition to the Matrix of Evil. The most powerful source of evil any reality had ever experienced.” Biilly seemed interested in Zanzibar’s idea but was also skeptical as well.

“All right, suppose I do join up with you. What do I get out of it?” the mad scientist asked. Zanzibar turned to where the extra duplicate lay awaiting programming. A smile crrossed his face.

“Watch and learn my young friend. Watch and learn.”

The Mazda and two motorcycles pulled up to the main gate of the Ziktor Industries cold fusion plant where the guard was stonewalling the two reporters and their friends. “I’m sorry Miss Star, but I’m under orders. Until further notice no unauthorized access to plant grounds without express permission from Mr. Ziktor. If you want to check the grounds out you must get permission from him.”

The phone from the guard hut then rang and the guard picked up. His eyes went wide as he headr the voice on the other end. “Why, Mr. Ziktor. May I ask why you are calling?”

Karl Ziktor was back in his office loking at the Troopers and the O’Neils through his video screen. “Yes, I had heard that Kaitlin Star and her friends were coming over to run a story on my cold fusion plant. I would like it if you could afford them every courtesy while they are there.”

“Mr. Ziktor… what about your previous orders?”

“They will be suspended for now. Kaitlin Star is well respected in Crossworld City. And besides, keeping good relations with the press is good for public relations,” Ziktor then turned mean over the phone and added, “Now let them in or you’re fired!”

“Y… y… yes Mr. Ziktor,” the guard said as he hung up the phone. The guard then turned to Kaitlin and said, “Mr. Ziktor has allowed you entrance.”

“How did Ziktor know you were coming?” Parker asked Kaitlin. Kaitlin shruged her shoulders not sure herself.

“I’ve been told that Ziktor has kept a lot of his holdings under 24/7 watch. Maybe we were at the right place at the right time.”

“Maybe, but I still don’t like it,” Parker said. “It’s just too convienient.”

Lillian rode alongside Ryan who looked a little edgy. “Hey Steele what’s up?”

Ryan and Lillian overheard Kaitlin and the guard’s conversation, and Ryan shared Parker’s uneasiness about how Ziktor suddenly allowed them in. “It’s just a feeling I have. This just seems too easy.”

Ryan kept his uneasiness as he, Kaitlin, and Lillian all parked their vehicles. Ryan and Kaitlin also had an additional sence of dread upon them and hoped it wouldn’t lead them to transform.

They weren’t sure they were up to the challenge if they did.

Ziktor sat back in his office. Diabolico and Doommaster stood by his side. “So, is the new Virtual Demon ready Colonel Icebot?”

“Oh yes indeed my lord,” Icebot responded. “The incorporation on VR technology with the demon monster code has produced an excellent hybrid of monster and machine. The VR Troopers will fall before Virtual Demon’s power.”

Doommaster then spoke up. “My lord. I wish the chance to soften up the Troopers for Virtual Demon. I want to share in their final demise.”

Ziktor smiled. “Very well Doomaster. Take the vixens and prepare the troopers and their friends for destruction.”

“Their friends sir?” Doommaster asked.

“I can’t help it if those people were in the wrong place at the wrong time now can I?” Ziktor then laughed out loud with Diabolico and Doommaster sharing the same laugh before Doommaster teleported out.

Ryan and Kaitlin got separated from Parker and Lillian when Kaitlin called J. B. and asked him to come down to the plant as well. She had cleared it with the guard and he said he’d let him through when he arrived. “I get the strangest feeling there’s more to this plant than just cold fusion,” Kaitlin said.

“I know, having a technical wiz go through the place might be a good idea. Maybe we can clear it with Professor Hart too,” Ryan added. He pulled out his virtual communicator and before he pressed the call for the professor he felt a pang of nostalgia. Kaitlin looked on wondering if Ryan was all right.

“I’m fine Kaitlin. It’s just…. I felt like I was a Trooper again,” Kaitlin nodded feeling the same rush then Professor Hart was on the comm. “Yes Troopers what can I do for you?”

“Professor, we’re at the Ziktor cold fusion plant and something just doesn’t feel right. J. B. is on his way but we could use a scan of the installation,” Ryan said.

“Very well. Hook your VR communitator to an I/O port. There should be a cable that will allow you access on the back.” Ryan turned the communicator around and sure enough there was the line. “I found the port,” Kaitlin said and Ryan plugged the communicator into the system, and allowed Professor Hart to do his work.

“Hey guys, do you get the impression there’s more to this place than Ziktor’s letting on?” Lillian said as she and Parker showed up. She then turned her eye to the console where the communicator sat. “What is that?” she asked.

“What is what?” Ryan asked innocently.

“This,” Lillian picked up the communicator with the red and blue color and a voice spoke, “Troopers please I am trying to do a delicate process here. Do not disturb the flow of data needlessly.”

“Troopers?” Lillian and Parker heard then they turned to look at Ryan and Kaitlin in a new light. “You guys are the VR Troopers?”

Ryan and Kaitlin sighed before Ryan answered. “We were the Troopers. We aren’t anymore.”

“What do you mean you aren’t anymore?” Lillian asked.

“Long story,” Kaitlin said. “And I’d rather not tell it.” The two O’Neil’s were confused when the guard said that their friend J. B. had arrived. “Excuse us for a second,” Kaitlin said as she and Ryan went to greet their friend. Parker and Lillian weren’t about to be kept out of the dark on this so they immediately followed.

“Hey J. B. how’s it going?” Ryan waved. Jeb however answered instead in his Jack Nicholson voice. “Oh the usual, moping and groaning and moping and groaning just like his master and friends.”

“Okay Jeb I get the picture,” Ryan said as he reached down and pet his dog. Parker and Lillian followed close behind. “So what do I need to take a look at?”

“You need to take a look at your destruction Troopers,” a voice said from behind. All five turned around and saw Doommaster with the vixens and an army of Ultra Skugs. No, not this. Please not this. all three Troopers thought. Reluctantly they all got into fighting stances ready to cover Parker and Lillian’s escape, but Lillian wasn’t going anywhere.

“You shared your secret. I guess it’s only fair to share mine.” The Troopers looked on in confusion when Lillian stepped forward and called out “ZEO SHADOW POWER!!!”. Ribbons flowed from her forming a cocoon of shadow around her. When the coccon broke open all three Troopers and Parker saw the Zeo Shadow Ranger standing in Lillian O’Neil’s place.

She then charged after the vixens and Doommaster using her shadow staff and fighting skills. She had also called upon her shadow ribbons to take out some of the U-Skugs, but the sheer numbers were becoming too much for Lillian and she would be overwhelmed soon.

Ryan, Kaitlin and J. B. couldn’t just sit back and do nothing so they uttered a call they weren’t sure they’d ever utter again. “Trooper Transform!” Ryan called out.

“WE ARE VR!!!” the troopers all shouted out. And all three VR Troopers stood ready to join in the fray.

Doommaster smiled. “So nice of you to join us Troopers. It will make your destruction all the more sweeter.”

“No way Doommaster. We aren’t going to surrender to the likes of you,” Blue Trooper said as he and the Troopers fought off U-Skugs and the vixens, doing everything they could not to let them get in any lucky shots.

Parker also joined the fray drawing out his sword from a subspace pocket, and cut into some U-Skugs. “Nice of you to join us big brother,” Zeo Shadow called out as she butted the heads of two vixens together. “They’ll have a nasty concussion,” Zeo Shadow later added.

Blue Trooper thought things were going so good so far until Doommaster got in the lucky shot the Troopers were hoping to avoid. Blue Trooper fell to the ground as White Trooper and Black Trooper watched. The Vixens then got in shots of their own as they fell. Parker and Zeo Shadow were soon overwhelmed by the sheer numbers and they had fallen last.

Not far away Night Ranger Kathy Hart rode down the road not far away from the Ziktor Cold Fusion plant. She kept one eye on the road and another on the sensor which she hoped would lead her to the Matrix of Spirit. Turning to look in her rear view mirror she was taken aback by a strange feeling she saw when she looked at her reflection.

Kathy pulled off to the side and looked at her reflection in the mirror again. Removing her sunglasses she looked deep into the face that was Katherine Hart, and it occured to her that she had no real identity of her own. No sense of identity. No concept of who Katherine Hart really was. Anything she had done was always reflexive or the copying of another. If one led, then she would follow. It was like she was looing in her own eyes, and saw nothing looking back. No personality of her own.

The other Night Rangers had personalities of their own, but Kathy didn’t see any of them applying to her. Jeff Kincaid had the brooding loner thing down. Jessica Stewart was the hardened survivor. Ken Tanaka was the driven extreme fighter. Michael Sorrero was the off-center person who danced between sanity and insanity. Alison Hammond was the wild child, and Kathy couldn’t figure out what had drawn her to Alison, Maybe it was the free spirit full of life , Kathy thought as she now realized that her attention towards Alison was her just finding someone to latch onto.

Kyle Hanorhan had the whole ‘misunderstood hero’ bit going for him. And Karone had been known as the Princess of Evil Astronema so her darkside was explainable. Even David and Sarah had the ‘double ninja caught in a blood curse’ aspect working for them.

But none of these were what Kathy Hart saw in herself as she looked in the mirror right now, and wondered just who it was looking back. For so long Kathy had never had to question her identity. When she was Katya-daughter of Eros her role was that of an acessory. To impress the Luciferian nobles when they came to visit, not really allowed to have an identity of her own. But she guessed her father did love her in some twisted way, otherwise he would not have saved her soul and placed it in the new body made from Katherine Hillard’s and Kimberly Hart’s DNA.

Kathy loved her new mothers and was glad they escaped when they did. She even took on both their names as a measure of respect. People called her ‘Kathy’ for short so confusion could be avoided between herself and Kat.

But now Kathy wasn’t sure who she was now. She was a Night Ranger sure, but she was chosen for the role. It was not something she had ever expected to happen to her. Looking down at her wardrobe she realized the pink t-shirt, black leather jacket, pants and boots were a far cry from the elegant gowns she wore as a lord’s daughter.

But as Katya her role was that of an ornament of her father’s and nothing more. As Night ranger Katherine Hart, she wondered just who it was she was supposed to be now.

A fight off to the side caught her attention. There were three metal figures, someone dressed in black and an ordinary person fighting off some grey looking things with an axe as well as a man dressed in black with a weird looking hat on his head flanked by six women who looked like they were dressed in conservative wardrobe from the local harem. Kathy sensed evil power from the harem and saw the figures being overwhelmed.

“Well game on I guess,” Kathy said as she roared the engine of her bike and charged towards the battle.

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