Return Of The Great Power
Book1 - The Return
Chapter 4: Dulcea's Gift
By: Pink_Green_White_4ever
Last Revised: May 6, 2004
Email: pink_green_white_4ever@yahoo.com
Website: A Blast From The Past

~*~

Monday
June 17, 2002
9:00 A.M.
Angel Grove Time
The Ninjetti Temple Ruins

As the group of twelve crested the rise into the temple, gasps were heard from some of them. The ruins before them were heartbreakingly beautiful. More vegetation had grown around the ancient temple since Dulcea had first brought the Power Rangers to the plateau, a fact that did not escape those ex-Rangers. "It's gorgeous," Zack started, evoking nods from some of the others.

"It's so sad," Trini murmured. Dulcea bestowed a sad smile on Trini.

"Yes Trini, it is very sad. Ninjor and I are the last in the line of the ancient Ninjetti, or were until Zordon sent Tommy, Rocky, Adam, Kimberly, Aisha and Billy to me all those years ago," Dulcea softly informed them. "The ruins have decayed greatly over the many years since the Ninjetti last thrived here. It is here where I will guide you, as best I can, to find the power that you seek."

Adam stepped toward Dulcea, a pensive look on his face. "Dulcea, how are we to get the Great Power without Power Coins?"

Dulcea smiled. "All in good time, Adam, all in good time. For now, you need to rest. I must go gather some supplies and then we shall start you on your quest." With that, Dulcea, to the amazement of those around her, transformed herself into an owl and flew off.

"Great, so we're stuck here until she comes back?" Justin asked as Tommy nodded.

"Yeah," Tommy replied before he turned toward the cliff edge, to stare out over the Neola Jungle toward the Monolith that loomed in the distance.

~*~

6:00 P.M.
Angel Grove Time

The sun was starting to disappear behind the horizon when Dulcea returned to the ruins. Tommy and Jason sat together, staring out at the jungle and monolith, silently communicating. Katherine, Kimberly, Trini, Aisha and Tanya sat together in a circle around the fire talking about the last few years of their lives. Justin was sound asleep, his head pillowed on Kat's lap. Adam, Billy, Zack and Rocky were doing some light sparing off in the corner.

"Dulcea's back," Aisha called softly to the others while Kat gently shook Justin awake when the white owl reappeared and then transformed back into Dulcea. Moving silently, she approached the rock altar. She leaned her staff against it and produced two leather pouches, setting them on top of the rock. Turning, she faced the group of twelve before her.

"Tommy, Rocky, Adam, Aisha, Kimberly, and Billy, please step to the side," Dulcea asked as the six nodded and moved. Justin, Tanya, Zack, Trini, Jason and Kat stood in a semi-circle, with the fire between them and where Dulcea stood. "Many years ago, I told the six that came to me that in each of us is an animal spirit waiting to be released and that all they had to do was look deep inside. The same holds true for you. Every spirit has the potential to harness the Ninjetti power, not just the six you associate with it. Close your eyes, look deep into your soul, and reach for your animal spirit."

At Dulcea's words, six pairs of eyes shut as she took one of the leather pouches and dumped the contents into her hand before stepping forward toward the fire. When she was satisfied that the group was concentrating, she cupped her hands together and blew the magical dust toward her young friends.

The power of the Ninjetti swirled through the fire and around the six former Rangers, before transforming them into their ninja uniforms. Suddenly, Justin opened his eyes and laughed. "WOW!" he whispered.

Smiling, Dulcea moved to stand in front of the youngest Ninjetti. "As the youngest, Justin, you have much to learn from your teammates. Like your animal spirit, you are elusive, but adaptive. You have become the Puma," Dulcea informed Justin as he looked down at the beige uniform and gold insignia on his chest. At Justin's smile, Dulcea moved over to stand in front of Tanya.

"Tanya, stealth and proud, you are the sleek Panther," Dulcea informed the purple clad woman. Tanya nodded, her eyes catching Adam's over Dulcea's shoulder as the older woman stepped over again.

"At least I'm not the Pink Panther," Tanya quipped, causing the others to chuckle.

Zack gulped when Dulcea stopped in front of him. "Free-spirited, Zachary, it is your loyalty to your cause and your friends that keeps you grounded. You have become the Eagle," Dulcea informed the gold dressed Ninja. Again, the Master Warrior moved, this time coming to a stop in front of Trini. The frown on the turquoise clad woman's face reminded Dulcea of the first time Adam had learned of his animal spirit.

"Trini, what's wrong?"

"I'm a deer," the Asian girl muttered as Dulcea laughed.

"No, you are the Gazelle, calm and graceful," Dulcea murmured as Trini nodded.

When Dulcea reached Jason, she was shocked to see the panic in his eyes. Zordon had told her of his first Red Ranger, and the absolute command Jason had when under pressure. "Jason, what is it?"

"A Dragon? A green Dragon?" Jason's eyes darted over Dulcea's shoulder and locked on Tommy's placid face.

"Have you not controlled two dragons in your past?" Dulcea asked calmly. Jason blinked at her. "You had control of the Red Thunder Dragon and when the Green Ranger powers failed Tommy, he trusted you with the Green Dragon, did he not?"

Dulcea's comments made the Rangers gasp. Obviously, she had talked to Zordon before his death otherwise she'd have never known about their pasts. "She has a point, Bro," Tommy smiled at Jason, whose nod was slow.

"As the Dragon, Jason, you are both mysterious and protective." At Dulcea's words, Kimberly, Katherine and Trini started laughing, only stopping as the Master Warrior glared at them. Moving one last time, Dulcea stopped in front of Katherine.

"Lithe Katherine, you once were given command of the Crane, but that was not your true animal spirit. Passionate and mystical, you are the Tiger," Dulcea smiled at the orange dressed blonde. Katherine smiled up at her and nodded.

With a small hand gesture from Dulcea the two groups of six switched places. Walking back to the altar, Dulcea emptied the contents of the second pouch into her hand. "A little over six years ago, you where sent to me to retrieve the Great Power. I aided you by bestowing the heritage of the Ninjetti on you," Dulcea spoke as she stepped toward them. "Now you return to claim what was taken from you; to once again put the lives of many before your own."

Dulcea stepped up so that all that stood between her and them was the fire. Of their own accord, the six closed their eyes and waited for Dulcea's magic to work over them. As the sand spread, the fire roared to life, instantly clothing the six before the Master Warrior in yellow, red, blue, black, white and pink ninja uniforms. Turning, Dulcea reached out and grabbed her staff before moving to stand in front of the newly uniformed ninjas, starting with the yellow dressed Aisha. "From bear cub to mother bear. Aisha, you were fierce and unstoppable in your youth, now you stand before me mindful of your surroundings and serene. Once again, you are the Bear."

Aisha smiled and nodded, stepping aside as Dulcea moved on to the next in line - a red draped Rocky. "The mighty Ape returns," Dulcea spoke as Rocky grinned at her. "You came here powerful and smart, this time you come here selfless and trusting. Rocky, you are again, the Ape."

Dulcea next stopped in front of Billy, who once again wore blue. "Cunning and swift in your youth," she spoke slowly. "You've become wise and compassionate. Billy, again, you are the Wolf." Billy nodded and grinned moving to stand with Aisha and Rocky when Dulcea stepped over in front of the black clad figure.

"I take it you're not upset with your animal spirit this time?" Dulcea asked the grinning Adam.

Adam chuckled and nodded. "I'd like to think I've become that handsome prince you told me about all those years ago."

"Indeed you have. You have also become daring and skilled since our last meeting. Adam, you have become the Frog once more."

As the others watched on, Dulcea stood straighter when she stepped in front of the white clad Tommy. Tommy gulped when he saw the serious expression steel across her face. "The winged lord of the skies has returned," Dulcea spoke clear enough for the entire group to hear her. "You come to me now, knowing how quickly your domain can crumble and how fast your supporting wind can disappear. You were just beginning to understand your position when we last met; this time you come to me a true leader. Tommy, you are once again the mighty Falcon."

Tommy gulped again. He knew exactly what Dulcea was talking about. Silently, he and the others watched Dulcea approach the pink wearing Kimberly. "Little Crane," Dulcea whispered, her eyes sad when Kimberly's hesitant gaze met her own. "Your agility could not prevent your wings from being clipped, but like the Firebird of your past, you have risen from the ashes. You have returned to this place independent and strong. A fully mature woman stands before me where a half grown girl once did. You are once again the Crane, Kimberly, who has learned to fly on renewed wings."

Turning, Dulcea moved back to the altar as the twelve ninjas grouped together in front of her. "You twelve were chosen by Zordon, whether directly or indirectly," Dulcea spoke softly to them, a wistful smile playing across her features. "I trust Zordon's judgment. He never failed in choosing those who would carry the power without fault or regret."

The Rangers felt tears well in their eyes at the mention of their mentor, of the being who had brought them all together. "Dulcea, what are we to do now?" Aisha questioned as she moved from next to Rocky to stand next to Kim, who grabbed her hand and forced back the raging emotions.

"I want to train you in the use of your Ninjetti power," Dulcea told them. They looked surprised by that. "I was unable to do so the last time, but you're going to need the training more now then you would have then. I also have another gift for each of you."

Tommy looked perplexed. "A gift?"

Dulcea smiled at him. "Yes. I did not give them last time because they were not needed; Zordon provided you with everything you were in need of for battle." Turning, Dulcea crouched before the altar and grabbed a handful of pebbles from its base. Slowly, she stood and faced the Rangers once more, throwing the rocks into the fire, which caused them to exploded. When the fire died down to a normal flame, in front of each Ranger floated a weapon, or in certain Rangers' cases, multiple weapons.

"Some of the weapons before you are the traditional ones used by the Ninjas of Earth, others were used by Ninjetti many years ago. While your powers are best suited to your personalities, these weapons are best suited to your abilities," Dulcea spoke. She strode forward, stopping in front of Billy.

"Billy, your weapon is the Blue Wolf Staff, a variation of the three-section staff," she informed him as he reached out and took the wooden and metal weapon. "As you see, it is well named. It is three small staves held together by two chains. It is multi-dimensional in its use."

Billy nodded and watched as she moved on. "Adam, you will bear the Black Frog Tomahawks," Dulcea spoke as Adam reached out and grasped both of the medium sized weapons. "Your skill and coordination will serve you well in their use."

"Tanya, you weapon is the Purple Panther Rapier," Dulcea informed the purple ninja. "It may be slim, but its flexible and deadly, just like its owner."

Tanya smiled and watched Dulcea approach Kat. "Katherine, you will possess the Orange Tiger Longbow," Dulcea informed her as Kat reached out for the bow and quiver filled with arrows that floated before her. "Like you, it is a weapon of grace and beauty."

"Zachary, you will wield the Gold Eagle Battle Axe in battle," Dulcea spoke, causing several of the original Rangers to snicker. "What's so funny?"

Zack grinned at her. "My weapon as the Black Ranger, and subsequently Adam's when he took over for me, was the Power Axe," Zack informed her.

Dulcea rolled her eyes and moved on. "Justin, your weapon is the Beige Puma Lance," Dulcea informed him as he reached out for the long, two-headed lance. "Treat it well."

"Trini, your weapon is the Turquoise Gazelle Glaive," Dulcea smiled as Trini reached out and grasped the handle of the long, blade tipped lance that glowed turquoise in her hand.

Dulcea then approached Rocky. "The double Red Ape Butterfly Swords are yours, Rocky," Dulcea informed him as the red dressed man reached out for the two moderately size swords that floated before him. Moving on, Dulcea faced Jason. "Your weapon is the traditional sword of the ancient Samurai, Jason, and is known as the Green Dragon Katana."

Stepping over one last time, Dulcea found herself standing before Aisha, Kimberly and Tommy. "Aisha, you will carry the Yellow Bear Sais," Dulcea spoke as Aisha reached out and grasped the yellow glowing weapons that looked like they'd come straight out of the movie 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'.

"Kimberly," Dulcea spoke with a smile as the others watched the two objects float before Kimberly. "You are the only one who will carry two very different weapons. Before you are the Pink Crane Tessen, or the steel fan, and the Pink Crane Crossbow. They will serve you well."

Kim nodded and then stepped back with Aisha and the others to watch Tommy receive his weapon. "Tommy, your weapon, of all, is the most legendary, for you will not carry a normal ninja weapon, or a normal weapon period."

Tommy stared at the sword floating in front of him. "The sword before you has been in many stories over the centuries since it was first forged. Most notably, it is known as the sword pulled from a stone by a would-be King, or better yet, given to him by the Lady Of The Lake."

Tommy, Kimberly, Jason, and Kat all gasped. They knew exactly what Dulcea was saying. "HUH?" Justin quipped as Billy shook his head in disbelief.

"Tommy, before you is the mighty sword known to all throughout this universe as Excalibur," Dulcea murmured as Tommy stared wide-eyed at the floating silver, black and white sword. The others all gasped in shock at the name Dulcea placed on the sword. "Excalibur, which from here on out will be known as the White Falcon Sword, can only be wielded by those pure of heart, just in cause, and free of spirit. It is the true status of a great leader."

Tommy gulped, then reached forward and wrapped his hand around the black, leather-banded hilt. As soon as his fingertips touched the sword, a white light erupted, blinding all those present. "Tommy," Kim murmured as she opened her eyes and watched him hold Excalibur above his head.

"I don't understand, wasn't Excalibur returned to the Lady Of The Lake after King Arthur was mortally wounded?" Jason asked of the legend of King Arthur.

Dulcea nodded. "You forget, Zordon spent many centuries on Earth. Some among the most mystical and magical beings of your planet," Dulcea started as Tommy lowered the sword and stared at it. "The one who was the Lady Of The Lake entrusted him with Excalibur when it was returned to her. I give it now, because it was Zordon's decision for Tommy to have it, should you be needed once more."

"It's dark now, what are we going to do?" Trini quietly asked as the others gave Tommy some space. Kim stood near him, knowing all too well the emotions filtering across his face as he digested the responsibility that Zordon and Dulcea had just placed on him. Without a word, Kimberly reached a hand forward and grasped Tommy's free hand, squeezing it tightly as he looked over at her.

"You will rest. Tomorrow, I will train you and then you will return to Earth."

~*~

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