Disclaimer: The Power Rangers are the property of Saban Entertainment and I lay no claim to them. The character of Mackenzie Dekalb is property of Karilee who can be contacted at kajwr@twcny.rr.com. The character of Cassandra Jensen(the Emerald Ranger) belongs to Helen who can be contacted at helen0724@yahoo.com. Jeffery Kincaid, Lord Crucible, and all other characters relating to them are mine. Should anyone wish to use my characters contact me at foi72@yahoo.com.

NOTE: For those of you who are not familiar with the character of Chad Morgan. I suggest that you read the story A Greater Love by Karilee. He was an old boyfriend of Ashley's who had beaten her before he was arrested.

The Ranger Guard
by John Chubb

Part 1

Ashley had taken Andros on a tour of the safehouse. "This is an impressive setup.", he said.

"Zordon set up this base as a fall back point in case of dire circumstances. We've had to move around a bit to stay away from Crucible.", Ashley said.

"I've heard about some of your adventures among the prisoners. You guys have really upset a lot of Crucible's people.", Andros smiled when he said that. "I also caught you singing. I was so happy when I saw you free."

Ashley said nothing as she slid into Andros's warm embrace. He then kissed her softly and both of them felt the other melt into their very being. Andros then broke the kiss and said "I told you I would find you."

Kincaid's voice then came over the intercom. "Andros, would you and Ashley meet me down in storage vault three?" Ashley said, "Be right there."

"Good there's something I need to talk to him about.", Andros said. Ashley was a little curious as to what Andros meant then Andros explained what he had hoped to do.

"I'm going to talk to Kincaid and hope he can help us get the Astro morphers back.", Ashley was surprised.

"Are you sure about this?", Kincaid asked surprised as well. Andros nodded a positive. Kincaid let out a sigh.

"Is there a problem?", Andros asked.

"Yeah. I don't want to lead anyone on a suicide mission. You said that they were kept in Crucible's secret vault right?". Andros nodded.

"Well that vault is on the homeworld of the Luciferian empire. To go in there is like Jonah in the belly of the whale."

Andros was confused. "Jonah?…Whale?"

"I'll tell you later. But right now I want to make sure that This is something we can pull off."

"Are we going to get the morphers though?", Ashley asked.

"Well we'd have to get the morphers at some point in time. For these if anything." Kincaid opened the door and what they saw they couldn't believe. In the room stood seven full size zords that reflected the color of the Astro rangers:Red, blue, black, yellow, pink, silver and purple.

"Say hi to the Explorer Zords.", Kincaid said. "These were supposed to be the next model zord after the Voyager Zords. Unfortunately Zordon never got to finish them."

"Because he got captured by Dark Specter.", Andros said.

"Correct.", Kincaid said. "There were some final installments to make in terms of circuitry and weapons, as well as connections to the Morphin grid which we'd need the Astro morphers for. Since the big Z never got to do that, these Zords just sit here."

Andros and Ashley were amazed at the new zords. They were a lot sleeker than the Voyager Zords, and looked as if they could pack more firepower. All they needed to be was completed.

"I need to ask this. Is Mackenzie's Zord an Explorer Zord?", Ashley inquired.

"Yeah it is.", Kincaid said. "It was fortunate her morpher was on hand since the zords were programmed to lock on to their respected morphin signatures when in close proximity. Also her Zord was more complete than the others were."

"So when the other morphers are back, they'll link up with the explorer zords?", Andros asked. Kincaid said "Yep."

"I can handle final completion of these with Andros's help", Ashley said. "Justin is at the stage of the project where he can hold his own with the final design for now."

"Okay, but don't take too long. Can Zhane and Karone help you with this?", Kincaid asked.

"Yeah.", Andros said. "Does this mean we're getting the Astro morphers back?"

Kincaid sighed. "Let me check the book of Zordon and I'll get back to you."

On Lucifer 6 a momentous event was taking place. The assention of former Luciferian General, soon to be Lord, Savrod.

'To think it had only been a few years since I planned for this moment.', Savrod thought. 'And now it's here. I rule the Luciferian empire. No more kissing the butts of my inferiors. No more serving fools like Crucible. It's my time now.' Savrod then went to the communications console nearby. The face of the security chief was on the viewer.

"Status?", Savrod ordered.

"All security measures are in place General. Your ascension is assured."

Savrod was still not reassured. "Maintain security measures. I believe we will have some party crashers soon."

Savrod broke off the connection then he had an idea. He reactivated the viewer to speack to the chief. "Report to Lord Crucible's private vault. have a surprise in mind for our party crashers."

Kincaid stood before the book immersed in it for hours. Mackenzie then came in to see if Kincaid was all right. She touched his shoulder and brought him out of his immersion trance with a shock.

"Sorry.", Mackenzie said backing away.

"Don't worry.", said Kincaid as he closed the book. "I'm still no closer to making a decision now than I was hours ago."

"Didn't the book offer you any insights?", Mackenzie asked.

"Yeah it did.", then Kincaid spoke about what he saw in the book. Mackenzie couldn't believe what she heard.

"We have no choice then. We have to get the morphers now before it's too late.", she said.

"And what do we do about security?", Kincaid asked. "That place is guarded more than a million bases we've hit. It will be close to impossible just to get in let alone get out."

"Well let's bring the group together. Bring our heads together and come up with a plan. To the briefing room.", Mackenzie said leading Kincaid by the arm.

"Mackenzie I love you.", Kincaid said with a smile. Mackenzie returned it with a smile of her own.

When everyone was gathered in the briefing room Kincaid relayed the situation. "It seems like waiting to retrieve the Astro morphers is no longer an option. Savrod is already making plans to put them to use." Kincaid brought everyone's attention to the viewer.

"I got this image from the book of Zordon as well as a prophesy, 'A power of light will fall to dark unless those who fight the night can reignite the spark.". The viewer showed an image that was a cross between an Astro Ranger and a psycho ranger. Six other images appearewd as well.

"Savrod apparently plans to sick these on us when they're ready.", Kincaid said. "He's going to alter the morphers to accomedate his own ranger force to take us out. We need to retrieve the morphers as soon as possible. The only problem is how and when do we get them back?"

Mackenzie then spoke up. "Right now they're on Lucifer 6 which is the heart of the Luciferian empire. Getting in and getting out will be a problem."

"Why can't we wait until they leave Lucifer 6 to retrieve them?", Adam asked.

Kincaid explained the dilema. "According to the book, the conversion process for the morphers involves using a special magic compound that allows the power in the morphers to change frequency from light to dark. Almost like a computer virus that sweeps the system. And if it's been in the system too long it will take over permanently unless the counteragent can be administered.

All the rangers in the room understood the risks and were ready to volunteer. "Good, now all we need is a plan.", said Kincaid. "Any ideas?"

Savrod stood at the vault door before the seven people he had chosen to be his newly annointed 'ranger guard'. "You have been given a great honor. From this moment forward you will be my elite force that will brave the trails of the empire and defeat the enemies of it. Do you accept this honor?"

The seven figures nodded their affirmatives. "Good.", Savrod said. "Now I offer you the faintest glimpse of your power."

The guardsmen opened the vault door and there stood the seven Astro morphers. "My scientists need to fine tune them before they can be distributed to you, but once they are ready you will achieve powers beyond comprehension. Now resume your training my guard rangers."

The seven volunteers left but one dressed in yellow remained behind. "My Lord, I appreciate the honor but I must ask, is it true about the identity of the BlackGold Ranger?"

"Yes, that was one of the reasons I chose you. Some of you have unfinished business with the rangers. You with the BlackGold, and the red one has some business with Kincaid."

The boy in yellow nodded. He was anxious to renew his aquaintence with Ashley Hammond again.

Defiance flew through space headed towards Lucifer 6. All the rangers wanted to go but Kincaid decided to only take Mackenzie, Bruce, Cassandra and Adam along. Andros, Karone and Zhane remained behind with Justin and Ashley as they worked on the Explorer Zords and Kincaid's project. It didn't do all that much good if everyone went and everyone was captured.

"Okay, we're heading into the greatest enemy territory we know. How do we get in?", Cassandra asked.

Hardrive had the first idea and he said it in his own way. "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back."

Kincaid had to think about that for a minute as he tried to remember the movie. "The landing claw. We ride on the back of a cruiser and detatch when we arrive."

"Give the man a cigar.", Hardrive said.

"We're approaching the outer marker for Lucifer six.", Mackenzie said.

"All right. Full stop and activate cloak." Defiance then stopped and was cloaked among the reaches of space.

"Now we wait until the right ship comes along.", Kincaid said. After two hours a flagship class vessel came into view.

"Manuvering thrusters only. We don't want to attract attention.", said Cassandra. They finally made it to the hull of the ship and detatched Defiance to it.

"All right gang. Let's sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.", Kincaid said.

When the cruiser was close enough to the planet Defiance detatched and headed down to the planet maintaining the cloak. Lucifer 6 looked like it was just one big city surrounding the whole planet. Not a trace of vegitation anywhere.

"Got any ideas where to set down?", Adam said.

Cassandra was at the science station and spotted a clearing. Kincaid brought Defiance on down and landed the carrierzord. After a few minutes for wardrobe changes all five of them came out dressed like young Luciferian royalty. Kincaid, Adam and Bruce had red, green and silver cloaks over black tunics and pants with boots. Mackenzie were dressed in emerald green and white(respectively) dresses and tiaras over their carefully done hair. The girls looked like princesses at the ball with the boys looking like handsome princes.

"Everybody remember where we parked.", Kincaid said.

When they arrived at where the ascension was to take place it looked like a high society gathering of the who's who of evil. And all of them looked dressed in their finest attire. "Well it looks like we've got to go into the hornets nest.", Kincaid said.

"Shall we?". Kincaid offered Mackenzie her arm and took it into hers as Kincaid escorted her inside. Adam offered Cassandra his arm and escorted her as well.

"Man some guys get all the luck.", Bruce said walking in solo.

The Nightfighters walked around the gala picking up on the littlest small talk they could gathering the most information they could. Sometimes they had to dance with a lot of the lords and ladies there, but even though they did not care for the company a lot of information was being picked up. But not what they needed…the location of Crucible's private vault.

Savrod stood above watching with great interest. He noticed the five Nightfighters below. He wished all seven were there but he thought that would come another time.

"Chief, have one of your undercover security drop some information in the party.", Savrod said over the intercom.

Kincaid and the others mingled in with the rest of the partiers when Mackenzie picked up the tidbit of information from on of the youth corps generals that Savrod planned to unveil something called the ranger guard tonight when he was annointed. Mackenzie then went to tell Kincaid who heard about the location of Crucible's secret vault from one of the prison wardens.

Before long everyone gathered together and Kincaid asked Hardrive to teleport them to the vault co-ordinates. Hardrive complied.

When they arrived Kincaid asked Mackenzie to morph and use her computer link-up feature to pick the computer coded lock. "Let's Rocket!", she said and morphed into the White Astro. She then pressed the 1-1-0 code and the computer link up function was activated.

As Mackenzie continued working Bruce looked at his watch. "Jeff, it's almost sunrise. If we run into trouble you won't be able to call on the spirits for help."

"I'm well aware of that Bruce.", Kincaid said. I'll just have to risk it." After a few minutes Mackenzie managed to open the door and the Nightfighters rushed inside.

Waiting for them were seven warriors in the colors of red, blue, black, yellow, pink, silver and purple whit highlights of black covering the other areas. The Nightfighters were too late. Savrod stood behind the newly created evil rangers.

"As you can see. I've been expecting you.", Savrod said.

Kincaid and his team wasted no time morphing and jumping into the battle. It was a 7-5 battle with Kincaid having to fight the red and blue guards. Mackenzie had her hands full with the purple guard. Cassandra had a fight with the pink guard. Adam had a two on one with the silver and black guard. Which left Bruce to face the yellow guard. They fought to a standstill when Savrod decided he had enough.

"Intruder control field on line.", he ordered and a static field overwhelmed the five Nightfighters. They fell unconscious and demorphed.

The ranger guard stripped the Nightfighters of their morphers and ordered them to be bound and brought to the ascension.

Ashley, Andros and Zhane worked at putting the final touches on the Explorer Zords while Karone worked with Justin on Kincaid's other project. "I wish I knew what was going on.", Ashley said. "We haven't heard from Kincaid and the others for weeks."

Andros shared her concern. Kincaid's team had done a lot of good against Crucible's Luciferian empire. He wanted them to continue. Just then a communications signal came into the hangar deck.

"Justin programmed the comm board to relay any important signals here in case something happened.", Ashley said. "Viewer on line."

What they saw shocked them. Kincaid, Mackenzie, Cassandra, Adam, and Bruce were kneeling onto the annointment platform with Savrod sitting behind them on the Imperial throne. Voices rung throughout the citadel. "LONG LIVE LORD SAVROD!!!LONG LIVE LORD SAVROD!!!"

Savrod took in the applause and praise like a drug. Then he adressed the crowd. "I thank you my subjects. With the capture of these Nightfighters we now have assured victory for our cause. Soon the whole universe will accept the purity of evil."

Thunderous applause roared throughout the hall. "And now I present to you the Ranger Guard." At his command seven rangers in dark Astro suits entered to stand before the Nightfighters and Savrod. He then began to introduce them.

The red ranger unmasked his face to reveal a sandy haired teen with an evil looking smirk. "Red guard–Robert Harper from Columbus, Ohio."

The silver guard was next revealing the face of a dark haired thug who looked like he hadn't shaved in days. "Silver guard–Thandros from KO-35."

Blue guard was next. He unmasked himself to relveal the face of a dark skinned hood who looked like he was ready to kill on command. "Blue guard–Alec Shadrack from New York city on Earth."

Black guard was unmasked to reveal the face of a hispanic boy who was ready to sell a used car. "Black guard–Armando Estrada."

Purple guard revealed the face of an asian girl with a permanent cold hard stare. "Purple guard–Mishi Fujikawa."

Pink guard revealed the face of a blonde biker chick with a scar running down her face who looked ready to kill on sight. "Pink guard–Michelle Caris"

And finally came the yellow guard who when unmasked caused Ashley to become hysterical. "No…No…not him. NOT HIM!!!" Andros and Zhane tried to calm her down as Savrod said the name.

"Yellow guard–Chad Morgan."

At one of the resistance camps Tommy Oliver watched the broadcast of Savrod's ascention and saw the Nightfighters captured except for Ashley and Justin. He felt sick to his stomach and couldn't watch anymore so he shut it down and tried to figure out what to do next.

Kat and Kim walked in and had the same look of sorrow and disgust Tommy had. "I take it you saw?", Kim asked. Tommy nodded.

"Any ideas on what to do about it?", Kat asked.

"I'm sure Ashley and Justin will try to put some sort of rescue together. We could offer our experience but without ranger powers there's little we can do.", said Tommy.

"Well if experience is all we can offer then that's fine with me.", Kim said.

"I agree it's better than offering nothing.", Kat said.

Just then one of Tommy's soldiers came in and said. "We found some stuff we need you to take a look at." Tommy looked at Kat and Kim and said "This will only take a minute."

Kat and Kim decided to follow Tommy to where the rebles found their salvage. They managed to acquire many weapons tools and supplies but there were three objects that caught his eye.

Among the salvage sat three morphers that looked like Kincaid's morpher. One was black with white trim. One was black with green trim and one was black with purple trim. 'Could these be the lost Night Ranger morphers?', Tommy thought.

He picked up the purple and green morphers and offered them to Kat and Kim. Kim took the purple and black morpher while Kat took the green and black. Tommy took the white and black for himself and soom all three had the morphers on their wrists.

"Stay back. We don't know what will happen.", Tommy said to his troops. They backed away as Tommy, Kat and Kim brought up theri morphers and said in unison "NIGHT RANGER POWERS ACTIVATE!!!"

The morphers activated and the three former rangers morphed into uniforms of their respective colors. Tommy in white and black. Kim in purple and black and Kat in green and black. They felt the Night Ranger powers but they did not feel any connection to Kincaid's spirits that guide the Night Rangers.

'It must not be night yet.' Tommy thought. 'I'll check that out when we arrive on Hades.' Tommy then left his second in charge and the three apparently new Night Rangers left for Hades in an effort to return the favor to those who freed them.