Confused by the stranger's presence, the five teens looked to Zordon for answers.  "This is Lord Rayden. He is the God of Thunder, protector of the Earth realm, and an old friend," Zordon explained.  "Earth realm?" inquired Ashley.  Rayden stepped forward, “Your world is but one of many realms.  One of them is a forsaken land called Outworld, ruled by an immortal called Shao Kahn.  He seeks a new world to conquer and enslave.  Fortunately, there are laws in place that prevent him from just marching his armies in and taking over.  To enter the realm of Earth, Shao Kahn’s warriors must win ten straight victories in a tournament called Mortal Kombat.  They had won nine, but my fighters were successful in defeating Kahn during the tenth and final tournament.”  Adam looked toward Rayden, “Let him come...we’ll stop him just like we’ve stopped Zedd.”  Rayden raised an eyebrow at Adam, “Oh...just as you’ve stopped him this time?  Tell me...just how many pieces are your Zords in right now?”  For the first time, Adam had nothing to say.  Rayden continued, “Shao Kahn has somehow opened a small portal allowing Sheeva, one of his warriors to enter this realm.”  Zordon explained, “Alpha and I have discovered that the magnetic disturbance on the moon was a direct result of that portal opening.”  Zhane had anguish in his eyes as he turned to Zordon, “We’ll deal with Shao Kahn’s warrior later, we need to repair the Zords before Ragnar levels Angel Grove.”  Rayden looked directly at Zhane, “This is beyond Lord Zedd, it is beyond Angel Grove, and it is beyond you.  The Eltarian DinoZords will be no match for Lord Zedd’s creature...and will be completely useless if Shao Khan succeeds in opening a larger portal that he can send his entire army through."  "What are we supposed to do then?" Adam asked.  "I have come to you with a solution to both problems," Rayden replied.  "I am still bound by the rules of Mortal Kombat, so I cannot travel to Outworld myself.  Likewise, I am unable to send any of my fighters into the realm before the next tournament...so it falls to you.  I will teleport five of you to Outworld.  Once there, you must discover how Kahn was able to open the portal and prevent him from doing so again.  The journey will be dangerous, but the rewards will be great." Getting annoyed, Adam walked toward Rayden, "Cut to the chase."  Zhane grabbed Adam by the arm, "Cool it bro, now's not the time for this...we're all on the same side."  Rayden nodded at Zhane, "I am prepared to infuse your DinoZords with the power of thunder.  With these new Zords you will easily defeat whatever Lord Zedd has to throw at you."  "For Rayden to power up the DinoZords, they will need to be fully operational," Zordon explained.  "Billy must remain behind with Alpha and myself to repair the Zords."  Kat looked at Billy, then up at Zordon, "I thought all five of us were going?"  Rayden smiled, "I never said all five of you...I simply said five," he then turned and nodded at Zordon.

Near the outside of town, David, Tommy, and their father sifted through rubble.  They returned from the safety of the mutant shelter to find that their home had been destroyed by one of the tornadoes.  David had just picked up a dusty photo album when the alarm on his communicator went off.  David stood up with a start.  Tommy looked at his brother with a grin, "You late for something?"  Without a word David dropped the album and walked behind what was left of a wall.  Making sure he was out of ear shot he raised the communicator to his face, "Zordon, what's going on?"  Zordon's voice spilled out of the communicator's tiny speaker, "David, we need you to teleport to the Power Chamber at once!"  "I'm on my way," David replied.  David ran over to where his brother was standing, "Tommy, I've got to go.  I need you to cover for me with dad."  Confused, Tommy asked, "What's going on man?"  David had a look of seriousness that Tommy had not ever seen in his brother.  "I can't go into it, everything's cool...just cover for me," David replied.  Tommy simply nodded yes as David ran off behind some nearby bushes.  Not satisfied with his brother's explanation, Tommy ran after his brother to find out what was going on.  As Tommy reached the bushes, he watched in shock as his brother vanished in a blast of light.

In an instant, David was standing in the Power Chamber with the five Rangers behind him and Zordon and Rayden in front.  David turned toward Zhane, "What's going on...and
who's this guy?" "I'll fill you in later bro, we've gotta move.” Zhane replied.  Rayden looked toward David, “The path before you is a perilous one.  David, the lives of your four companions are in your hands, as your life will be in their hands.  Shao Kahn’s warriors will fight you to the death, so you will have no other choice but to kill anyone who challenges you.  You must stand together or together you will fall.”  Ashley looked at Rayden with panic in her eyes, “Some of us may die!?”  Zhane put his hand on David’s shoulder, “Not if we have anything to say about it.” David agreed with a nod.  Rayden continued, “The essence of
Chapter 18 - The Mission
Mortal Kombat is not about death, but life.”  A grin formed on Rayden’s face, “I have looked into your souls.  One of you five will decide the fate of this world and the billions that inhabit it."  Billy stepped away from the group and moved near Alpha.  He turned toward his five friends, “We’ll have the Zords online before you get back.”  The Rangers looked at one another, each one nodding to the next.  Zhane stepped up, “We’re ready.”  David smiled at Billy, “Be right back!”  With that Rayden raised his hands into the air.  Electricity began to spark from his eyes as bolts of energy shot from his fingertips.  The five teens were engulfed in a shower of lightening, and with a crack of thunder, they were gone.  As if signaled by their exit, an alarm began to go off.  Billy turned toward a nearby monitor. Ragnar was back and heading toward a park filled with children.  A bright flash accompanied by the sound of thunder announced Rayden’s exit.  Billy watched in awe as Rayden reappeared between the mutated knight and the park.  With a yell, the God of Thunder flew at Ragnar.  The impact sent the evil warrior flying into the air.  Before Ragnar landed, he was struck by a blast of lightning that came from Rayden’s closed fists.  Ragnar, lay on the ground unconscious.  A third row of horns began to grow out of the creature's back, indicating that he was hurt but not yet dead.  Before Rayden could attack again, Lord Zedd teleported Ragnar back to his palace.  As quickly as he had exited, Rayden was once again standing in the Power Chamber.  Lord Rayden looked up at Zordon, “Old friend, I must take my leave of you.  I cannot assist the Rangers, but I must watch over them while they’re moving through Outworld.”  “Very well Rayden, may the power protect you,” Zordon smiled.  “As with you.” Rayden replied, and with that he was gone.  “Alpha...” Zordon boomed, “...we are going to need assistance from the Aquatian Rangers.  Contact Aurico on Aquatar at once.”

To Be Continued...