Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, they belong to their respective copyright owners and are used here without permission. No money is being made from this fic.

Authors Note: This is an alternate universe with an alternate time line.

Under New Management

In the many years it had taken the First Ones to complete their transition of power, the races they had previously tested had started to evolve into something resembling those the First Ones had gathered to bring structure to the cosmos. Except that now that guidance was no longer needed as reality had retained most of the rules they had set in place.

Unfortunately, while they all felt they were destined for something great – for the First Ones had allowed them to keep a racial memory of the time their many worlds had been gathered-, the exact details had faded. That they had an important destiny in a cosmos they could see needed guidance brought them to the conclusion that they were destined to be the dominant race in the universe to which all others should defer.

The problem with that view was that the First Ones had collected specimens from hundreds of worlds and treated them as equals. The First Ones had not had favourites and had implanted the memories in such a way that they could not be ignored when triggered. This inevitably set those same races at odds with each other as they all believed their own race to be the rightful rulers of universe.

Tensions rose as some races started to take direct action to slow the development of their competitors, going so far as to alter their rival’s genetic data so that they lost the traits that had made them of interest to the First Ones in the first place. Accidents that completely wiped-out colonies were common, as was the strategic sowing of discontent to cause civil wars that distracted from innovation.

Despite not being a regular participant in the underhanded games that had come to dominate the cosmos, the Maltusians were the first race to emerge as a dominant force although they had been forced into the background by the actions of others. They even named themselves the Guardians of the Universe and moved themselves to Oa, a world near it centre to give the illusion of importance. Tall with blue skin and white hair, the Guardians promoted a message of order and lawfulness. But before they could turn their attention to matters such as crime, they first tried to restrict the use of extra-dimensional energy.

Extra-dimensional energy as the lower races called it was the same energy that had seeped into the universe since its formation. It was the same energy that had been unleashed to create the building blocks of the cosmos, which the Celestials had later refined. It was the raw energy that The One devoted his every waking moment to keeping under control. In the first days of existence the energy had been forced into a dimension that flowed throughout the universe, touching every part of creation. But along the way despite the best efforts of The One’s creations to maintain the barriers, some energy seeped through.

The Maltusians did not fully understand it and did not wish to understand it. While they found that in some forms it could be a useful tool, for the most part they considered it unpredictable and destructive. Because they chose not to try and understand the workings of the energy, they were unable to find the means to prevent it from entering their dimensional plane. Instead, after successfully removing it from their own world by trapping it inside a large crystal, their only option was to repeat the process wherever the energy was found to be seeping in and contain it in vast vessels. What they did with those containers was unclear, but the risk of such volatile energy being left unchecked would likely cause problems in the future.

It took generations to drain some masses of energy and by that time they had given up trying to get the people of the universe to acknowledge them as Guardians of the Universe. For the Guardians of Oa was the best they were ever going to achieve. They had also decided to try to learn more about the energy that was causing them so many problems to speed up the cleansing process.

The result was that many of Oa’s greatest scientists had come to believe that the energies the made up the spectrum of  energies was just a fraction of a previously unclassified force of nature. They labelled it as The Power and were able to describe the properties of the types of energy they encountered.. With further study aided by their constantly advancing science they learnt to separate and then sub-divide the various energies, bringing an understanding to a force that had previously defied explanation. And eventually they were able to divide the energies that made up The Power into three classifications they called: Spiritual energy, Psychic energy, and Magical energy.

Spiritual energy was the energy generated by the existence of the universe. It flowed through living beings but could be found in almost all matter in some form or other. It was also almost impossible to channel using inorganic technology. By its nature it required living bodies to act as a conduit through which it could flow. And while energy created by those in the lower planes could be easily utilised with the correct training, the energy from the higher levels had proven less useful. Spiritual energy could be polarised to either positive or negative and sub-divided according to its original and whether it was flowing or pooled. After some study, the Guardians classified it as posing only a small threat and moved on.

Psychic energy on the other hand seemed to be made up of a single flow of energy. There were few identifiable variations and although it could be used positively and negatively, there was no obvious difference in the energy used for either purpose. It was just a vast pool of energy that flowed its way through reality and if directed properly, it could be used. Thoughts and emotions were an important part of directing Psychic energy. Combined with the shear willpower and concentration needed to sustain it once set in motion. As if Spiritual energy it was classified as being of little concern if it was handled carefully.

Then there was Magical energy. Magic was the least controllable and most potent of the raw energies of the universe. It didn’t have a single source. It was the natural background energy that had been dispersed at the creation of the universe. It was part of the powers the Celestials had wielded. It was the life energy that sustained the gods of the higher dimensions and the creatures lurked in the more insidious dimensions. Magic ranged from being raw and near uncontrollable to being refined and easily commanded. It could be polarised between positive and negative or completely neutral. It could be contained, grown, reused, dispersed, and gathered. Unlike Psychic energy it could sustain its effects without the need of a conscious mind.

Magic was a force of change. It could alter the structure of its surroundings and change, create and even destroy matter. It could cause mutations in living cells and in high quantities act like a dose of radiation. When forced to obey the laws of science it could be stored, channelled, and insulated against. Once tapped correctly with the right method of control, magic could be used as an effective tool.

However, some magic could not be controlled safely. Some magic was too potent to be restrain, some was simply too destructive to attempt to control and some was almost sentient and fought back when attempts were made to call upon it. Some magic required extra precautions, some required offerings to be made through ritual ceremonies before it would conform. In later times the reasons for such varying behaviours would be better understood, but for now the Guardians tried to remove the more volatile magic from where it could cause harm.

Unlike Psychic energy and Spiritual energy, Magical energy did not simply have one point of origin. Some magic had existed before the universe, some had been unleashed at the moment of creation or shortly thereafter and some was residual power used by the First Ones during the building of the early cosmos. Some magic was the natural background energy and spiritual energy of the beings found within the high planes, seeping down through the barriers, and interacting with an alien environment. Some was the result of a build-up of energy when the barriers between planes of existence were sealed. Unable to move the energy had simply accumulated and then leaked through.

Perhaps some of the most dangerous forms of magical energy though were those that came from beings trapped inside their own dimensions following the First One’s acts to protect the lower dimensions. These were beings filled with vast amounts of energy unable to move beyond their own dimensions that desperately sought release. They were willing to share their power with those on the other side of the barrier if they were willing to offer enough Spiritual energy in return.

For that was one of the most useful qualities of Spiritual energy. Because it was found in all living beings it could be offered as an exchange for access to one of the other forms of energy. It was the key to unlocking one side of the seal the First Ones had placed between dimensions, requiring only somebody on the other side to provide a similar offering from their side, often in the form of Magical energy.

This was the nature that the Guardians of Oa had come to understand. The use of Magical, Spiritual and Psychic energy required an exchange. Energy for energy, thought for energy, emotion for energy, something for energy. Even the powers that they had evolved required that they offered up vast amounts of willpower in return for being able to transmute energy into matter.

It was only when their long period of study and their campaign to eradicate the most dangerous forms of magic and contain those that would dare unleash such dangers upon the universe, that the Guardians returned to their previous goal of bring order and lawfulness to what they considered a cosmos running out of control.

They attempted to resolve the problem by creating machines to carry their laws to the farthest reaches of the universe. And when that failed, they tried to replace machines with living beings to do the same. But for some reason their plans failed often in disastrous ways that undermined their reputation and caused splintering within the Maltusian race. Their people drifted apart with many leaving to pursue other goals. The time of the Guardians of Oa as the leaders of the universe had come to an end. Some jopined the Morphin Masters in their quest to make sense of the extra-dimensional energy, realising that perhaps working with others was the better way to achieve their goals. The rest retreated from public view and were seldom heard from as the Universe moved on.

And despite all that they had done, it seemed that nothing could stop the universe as it slowly descended into disorder as the dark age of magic came upon them.

End of Part

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