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Morphin Masters: The Fallen Master

"The Morphin Masters started out as a collection of individuals united by their interest in the nature of the Power. Over time and through the things they experience they grew to consider each other family. They became an order dedicated to the ways of the Morphin Grid in service of the Power. When they left this dimension to seek out their answers it was believed that they were the chosen ones, the best that this dimension could offer. And when they returned, bringing with them the new knowledge they had acquired, we thought they could do no wrong… We were mistaken.
We believed that just because they were dedicated they were free from the weaknesses that came from being human. We thought they were above greed and jealously, that they were beyond the pettiness that drives others to commit terrible acts. They were not.
When one of their brothers gave in to temptation, the others were too blind to see what he had become and the Animaria Cluster paid the price. And from that tragedy we all learned the lesson that even Morphin Masters can succumb to the darkness if given the opportunity. Now the Animaria Cluster is gone, the traitor is vanquished and the Morphin Masters are left to try and rebuild their shattered order. We can only wish them luck."
– Sire Lentinvous

Promethean Galaxy
Long Ago

The Promethean Galaxy was found on the furthest point of the cosmos, far from where every had begun. It was the marker between the universe that the early alliance of races had forced to obey the rules of physics and the places where those rules only sometimes applied. It was suggested that it was here that the barriers between the physical plane and the higher dimensions was at its weakest and where the power of the Morphin Grid was at its most potent. For even if the boundaries between dimensions were as strong as they were elsewhere, in this place they were clearly visible. It was from here that the near mortal realms could be accessed by conventional methods.

Animaria was one of the larger star systems within the Promethean Galaxy. It had been one of the first systems to be filled with planets where mortal beings could survive. And while its many thousands of worlds had been slow to evolve, the variety of life that had emerged had been a considered a complete success. It was a system that the legendary beings known as the Morphin Masters had sworn to watch over, the the self-proclaimed Guardians of the Universe had placed under their protection and even the Time Lords of Gallifrey had declared to be of special interest.

For the Animaria Cluster contained many stars and countless worlds and creatures of all kinds. There were worlds filled with lizard beings, others ruled by apes, and some where ducks were the dominant life form. There were worlds where the creatures were closer to animals and others where they had a more humanoid appearance. On some worlds they were beings filled with magic and power. It was a place of life and magnificence.

It was therefore with great sorrow that the people of the wider cosmos witnessed the destruction of the Animaria Cluster at the hands of one of those they had come to look upon as protectors. And the Morphin Master had learned the terrible truth that despite their common goal to unlock the secrets of the Morphion Grid, there were some among them that had their own agenda. There were some that did not value life and freedom as the majority did. There were some that wished to claim the Power as their own regardless of the consequences.

Argrom had at first been a firm believer in the Morphin Master’s cause. He had not been a part of the first group to assemble, but he had joined their order a few years later when word of their discoveries had spread. And he had proven an asset to the group with a logical mind and an instinctive knowledge of how things worked.

But then Argrom had been among a number of Morphin Masters that had been convinced to peer into the depths into the depths of an enchanted mirror. They had been told that the mirror could show their future and the path that they should follow. They did not realise that those that had created it were servants of a great evil that could pervert the images it showed to twist their minds and make them its servants. Argrom had emerged from his vision with a new sense of purpose, but lacking the inhibitions that might have once prevented him from acting against his vows to never use the knowledge he gained about the power for selfish or evil reasons. Where once he had sought the knowledge of the Power to enrich the lives of those around him, now he desired only power and understood that there were quicker ways to obtain it.

It had long been known that when the First Ones had shaped a planet, they had placed crystallised chunks of Morphin Energy beneath the surface, using the power of the Morphin Grid to bring life and in some cases magic to the newly formed world. In the past Argrom had appreciated the way that the Power was so closely linked to life within the cosmos. In his new state, Argrom believed that the First Ones had stolen the power of the Morphin Grid from its rightful owner to infest the universe with life. He also knew that upon using that stolen energy to free his new master, he would be rewarded with power beyond his wildest dreams.

Maerok had vowed to put things right, taking back the power and using it to restore his new benefactor – the one that had promised him his greatest wishes fulfilled. The Animaria Cluster had been his first target. Argrom had found a way to extract the fragments, killing whole planets in the process. A side effect was that he absorbed the energy, growing more powerful each time he did so. The power he absorbed was addictive, driving him to commit more and more atrocities to accomplish his goal of a lifeless universe and to feed his habit.

It had taken time for the Morphin Masters to realise what he had been doing. When they did realise their first attempts to stop him had met with brutal resistance on his part and the deaths of those that confronted him. Argrom was not about to be stopped by anyone, even his brothers and sisters within the order.

It had taken the combined might of all the Morphin Masters to put an end to his rampage. They had used their numbers and power to subdue him, but not before he had mercilessly slaughtered as many of his former allies as he could. The Morphin Masters had been decimated, but had emerged victorious. Argrom had exhausted the power he had stolen and found himself bound, awaiting judgement by his peers.

It truth the Morphin Masters had not stopped him. They had captured him and prevented him from attacking more worlds, but his actions had already set in motion a wave of destruction that spread outward infecting more and more worlds as it did so. In order to remove the crystal from a world Argrom needed to poison the planet’s core, causing a breakdown in the planet’s structure and forcing the crystal shard into the physical world. Unfortunately once the process had started it could not be stopped and the planet’s he poisoned would tear themselves apart. Worse still, the poison was not always destroyed by the destruction of the planet and was projected through space to other planets, spreading the devastation.

In the immediate aftermath the emphasis was not on halting the disaster that had been unleashed, but saving as much as they could of whatever was left. Whole populations were relocated to new planets… in one case a fragment of a once powerful world was salvaged and taken to a new home. Many creatures were placed on board giant ships known as Arks and sent through space to a newly formed world where it was hoped that given time they would emerge and make the planet their own.

It had been months of hard work to save as much as possible and still they knew it had not been enough. Some races had been reduced to mere dozens in numbers; some had been lost and existed only as memories given form inside the Morphin Grid. The Animaria Cluster was a ruined mess of broken worlds, its population dead, dying or evacuated. And as its condition declined by the day, many believed it would not be long before the environment became too harsh for anything to last inside its borders.

Once the breakdown had started there was no way that it could be stopped, even though they had prevented it from being completed. The dark energies the act had unleashed had flowed through the solar system like a cancer consuming all in their path. It would not be long before the few worlds that had so far escaped the fate of their neighbours succumbed to the poison that had been injected into the star system. Before long the stars themselves would start to die as a result. And if left unchecked then the destruction would soon reach beyond the limits of the Animaria Cluster, out into the wider cosmos. The Forbidden Ritual could not be halted, but there was a way to slow its progress.

The Morphin Masters hoped that one day they would forgive themselves for turning to such a scheme. If left unchecked the devastation would spread across whole systems within a few years. But if the Morphin Masters took action to slow and contain the growing void, there was a chance to slow its progress to a near halt. Doing so required them to remove the planets and worlds upon which the ritual would feed upon in order to maintain itself. The Morphin Masters would destroy everything that the dark energies had not yet corrupted, forming a barrier between the edge of the void and the neighbouring solar systems. Like a fire break it would weaken the ritual enough that their shielding spells would hold it back permanently. Sadly their actions had left the once beautiful solar system a gaping void.

And now there was the matter of punishing the one that had caused so much loss all for his selfish gains. And although he had once been a Morphin Master and they had called him brother, his actions were unforgivable. That his crimes included the killing his peers when they had tried to make him see sense had sealed his fate.

"You have no right to do this!" the criminal declared. "You have no right to judge me."

"Perhaps we do not," one of the three Morphin Masters selected to act as his judges replied. "But we shall do so anyway. Your lies have been exposed, the truth is known. The evidence of your crimes is plain for all to see. Your lack of remorse for what you have done could not be any clearer. You have brought about the death of countless races, destroyed untold worlds and corrupted the essence of the Morphin Grid through your acts. You have killed your brothers and sister within this order, enacted forbidden rituals and disgraced your position."

"You were our brother and you betrayed us," the Red Morphin Master announced. "You killed those that tried to help you break free of whatever madness drove you to commit such heinous acts. But there was never really any madness there for you to overcome. We can see now that you have always known exactly what you were doing."

"You have broken your oath never to use our knowledge and power for personal gain," Yellow Master added. "You were aware of what would happen when you drained these planets and still you continued."

"Your actions have polluted the Animaria Cluster darkness that can never be purged, only contained," Blue Master added. "Your actions have cost the lives of countless innocents. What do you say for yourself?"

"I do not need to answer to the likes of you," Argrom snarled. Unlike the others he did not wear the traditional robes and helmet of a Morphin Master. Nor did he carry the tradition staff having discarded his in favour of the sword he had used to channel his new power. "You might be content to be pawns of the Power, carrying out its whims and using the power we were granted only to help others. But I will never allow myself to be a slave of the Morphin Grid. I was born to order, not obey and I chose to bend the Power to my will. You serve the Power, I command it. I am more now than I have ever been and more than you could ever hope to be."

"No," replied the Yellow Morphin Master, shaking her head sadly. "You have simply fallen so far that you can’t even see what you have lost. You believe you have overcome the will of the Power when all you have done is sever yourself from it. And even now you lie to yourself that this twisted energy you have gathered is somehow greater than what you had before. You’ve lost the abilities you were given the day you became one of us and haven’t even realised it. You have done something much worse than simply destroying planets… worse than destroying the Animaria Cluster and corrupting the Morphin Grid…. You have defiled yourself and you can’t even see how much you have lost."

"You rejected the will of the Power and so the Morphin Grid has rejected you. No longer will the Power answer your call. You have sacrificed the boundless, ever changing power of the Morphin Grid for the limited energy you stole from those worlds you destroyed. And you cannot even hold that power…" As he spoke the Blue Master held up a wicked looking sword. Even though he felt sick just holding the weapon, he could sense the power it held: the spiritual, psychic and magical energy of dozens of worlds. It didn’t start to compare to the power within the Morphin Grid.

In his arrogance their brother sacrificed a direct connection to the Power and been forced to rely on a sword to act as a tool capable of storing and channelling the powers he had stolen.

"You chose to forsake the power of the Morphin Grid in favour of power you are incapable of handling. This power is beyond your comprehension and now, it is gone/" The sword vanished with a pop. "And you have nothing."

"And that shall be your punishment," Red Morphin Master commanded. "You will be left with nothing. Since you decided to reject the Morphin Grid, so the Grid will forever deny you access. Never again will you touch it power of the Morphin Grid. Never again will it answer your call. To the Morphin Grid… you do not exist. So mote it be!"

"You will never leave this place, never return to the cosmos. You wanted to rule this system, now you shall have whatever survives for as long as it remains," Yellow Master declared. "We banish you from the Morphin Grid, we exile you from this dimension. So mote it be!"

"You shall remain here, trapped within this void outside the rest of the cosmos until the end comes. And then, you may disappear," Blue Master concluded. "Your name will be stricken from our records, your prior deeds forgotten. You name will be remembered only for the crimes you committed and the price you paid as a lesson to others of what awaits them if they follow your path. So mote it be!"

"So mote it be!" the others replied and the renegade Morphin Masters felt the power of their words take hold of him. The power of the Morphin Grid washed through him and then it was gone, leaving him empty. But somewhere deep inside he could feel the darkness he had created and knew that all was not lost.

"And now we will leave you to your fate," Red Master announced as the witnesses gathered and readied themselves to leave. "Enjoy the fruits of your labour, brother. For when this hellish void you created ends, so shall you… Goodbye, brother."

And with that they vanished, leaving the renegade alone and powerless in the darkness he had created.

Just beyond the perimeter of the Animaria Cluster, the three Morphin Masters reappeared alongside their brothers. There witnesses from nearby solar systems saw a sight few others would ever see as before them thousands of portals into the Mrophin Grid formed as more and more Morphin Masters set foot into the Promethean Galaxy. And there they united with the brothers and sisters of their order to prevent the spread of the darkness the renegade had unleashed. Together they called forth the most potent and primitive powers of the Morphin Grid: the powers of creation. And using those energies, they forced the growing void that was Animaria outside reality.

"Through no fault of its own and no wrongdoing by its people, the Animaria Cluster has been corrupted by an evil we cannot purge. To protect the rest of existence we must cast it into the Negative Zone that lines between universes. May it remain within that place until the end of everything. Then may it return to find peace."

It took a massive amount of power to cause the changes the Morphin Masters desired. For without intending to they had unknowing infected another dimension with the corruption they had sought to contain. Still the deed was done and although the crumbling remains of what would in future be called the Animaria Void were still visible, the area was impossible to enter. Ships attempting to enter its borders found it impossible to stay on course and were soon turned around.

And that was the way that the Animaria Void would remain for billions of years as generation after generation would visit to see the expanding void and the crumbling worlds. It was a sad yet strangely beautiful sight that would entrance generations.

As for those survivors of the disaster… the relocated peoples of the Animaria Cluster had been spread out across the cosmos. There they adapted to their new homes creating new societies. Those that resembled humanoids became part of the greater society while those that were closer to beasts found themselves at home in their new lands. And as a final gift, act of penance for their brother’s actions, the Morphin Masters used their understanding of the Morphin Grid to make those new homes capable of supporting new life until the end of days.

Argrom had failed him, but it had not bee a complete loss. The Animaria Cluster had granted him some energy. Not enough for him to break free from his imprisonment, but enough to awaken his influence throughout the cosmos. In time others would hear his call and some of them would answer him. And when the time was right they would give him the means to breach the barriers and allow him to reclaim first the Morphin Grid and then the rest of existence from those that had usurped his reign. It was just a matter of waiting… something he had mastered long ago.

End of Part

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