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Joy to be Claimed, Prologue

Author: wild_force71
Fic Title: Joy to be Claimed
Rating: 15
Fandoms: JF/Heroes/SG. Mention of first season MMPR Zordon.
Warning(s): Small amount of violence, no worse than you'd see on SG. Also, after the prologue, the Rangers don't show up again for about three chapters.
Word Count: This is my NaNo novel, and it topped out at 56K. That's 56 000 words, so this one will be posting for a while.
Author's notes: Thanks to scifislasher for the beta, and help with the plot, and brainstorming with me, and...basically everything. Original prompt, now slightly altered, from angel_negra; thanks to starandrea for the encourgement, and jadetate for making a lovely comm just in time for it. :) (And delaying her own post so I could be first. Round of applause, please...)

This was also published in beyond_ag, the aforementioned comm set up by the lovely jadetate. Go join!

The Ancients were a lot of things. Ask any ten inhabitants of the Pegasus galaxy, or any of the ten people in the Milky Way who knew anything about them, and you’d likely get ten different descriptions.

The Ancients were intelligent. The Ancients were compassionate. They were hung up on their rules, they were unforgiving, they were almost gods, they were people, they were helpful or useless or brilliant or dumb.

Almost everyone, though…certainly those in the Milky Way…would agree on one thing; the Ancients were not good at obeying their own rules. And the rule they seemed to break more often than any other was their most important; no post-Ascension Ancient was permitted to interfere with those still on the mortal plane.

Chaya, in the Pegasus galaxy, and Oma Desala in the Milky Way both broke this law for love of the people who had once been theirs. Mryddin and the woman known as Morgana broke it for revenge, and she was punished; he escaped only through death. And Daniel Jackson, the only person known to Ascend twice and chose to fall both times, broke it because he could not obey it and still be Daniel Jackson.

Too many others to count, of course, broke that law. In ways big and small, for reasons noble or personal, out of boredom or a sincere desire to help they broke it. Sometimes they were found by the other Ancients, sometimes they went unnoticed. Sometimes their efforts helped, sometimes they hindered.

There was an Ancient, young to his people during the last days of the War. When they left Atlantis, shining city of the Pegasus galaxy, to return to Earth he came with them. Earth, though beautiful in its’ own way, seemed small and pale after the wonders of the city he’d grown up in.

They lived on Earth for many years, some choosing to ascend, some choosing to live out their lives with the humans. When the time came for his choice he ascended, but the planet of his birth had faded in his memory and he decided to remain near the planet he’d grown old on.

He watched as the people who were almost his children grew and learned, as they suffered under the Goa’uld and as they rejoiced in their freedom. He saw, as he never really had when mortal, the joys that could be found in the smallest moment; in a lover’s touch, in a child’s smile, in a single flower or a perfect sunrise.

And he saw evils, too, some from within men and some from without. When the dregs of the universe came seeking conquest he arranged their defeat, careful to use only a fraction of his power. The others of his kind had long since left that planet behind, but he knew better than to think himself unobserved.

Five thousand years after their return from Atlantis (and he’d almost forgotten, now, how the sun reflected off the towers to dazzle the eye) Oma Desala came to him, walking by his side through a city like many others on the planet. The world still bore the scars of their recent fight for freedom, but they were recovering.

“Are you ready yet?” she asked.

“No. Not yet.”

Oma nodded, and left him there.

For the next five thousand years he watched as the people of his world grew, progressing faster and faster. Barely two hundred years after discovering steam power, men were walking on the moon, and for the first time he felt a thrill of fear. Men were wondrous, able to think faster than any other race, able to twist their minds through thoughts no other race could follow, and thoughts of what they could accomplish in peace made him weep for joy.

But he’d watched them grow, he knew what they were, and he feared what they could do in war.

When Oma came to him ten thousand years after their exile (and the sound of the waves on Atlantis’ piers was long gone from his mind, now) he was not walking among them.

“Come home,” she urged him.

“This is my home, Oma. These are my children.”

Oma studied the planet. “They will be their own downfall.”

“They will be the fifth great race.”

“Without interference?” she said sharply.

He didn’t answer, watching the planet turn, and she sighed. “The others will punish you.”

He smiled, then, eyes dancing as he looked up at her. “They’ll have to catch me first.”

Before Ascension he had thought of children, thought that one day he would like to raise others to believe as he did, to follow in his footsteps. Now he knew the people of Earth were the only children he would ever have. And, oddly, it didn’t seem to matter as much as he’d thought it would. Certainly not when some of the humans carried Ancient blood, coded in a gene that would later be called the ATA.

Some of those with the ATA also carried another genetic anomaly, one called the Meta mutation. The Meta mutation granted unpredictable powers to the humans who carried it, but those with the ATA as well never manifested; it seemed to suppress the Meta abilities so thoroughly they were never detected.

Some few hundred years after Oma’s last visit, and somewhat less since the first known manifestation of the Meta mutation, the galaxy began to take note of the Earth again. She had now been free of the Goa’uld for so long that her centuries under their yoke had been forgotten; no one remembered that, armed only with stones and sticks and determination, Earth had fought her way to freedom. They thought of Earth, if they thought of it at all, as a weak planet ready for conquest.

He knew the show of force he’d used previously would not work again, and that if the Ancients caught him interfering they would remove him. So he would not be able to fight.

Taking inspiration from various movies his intended audience would be familiar with, he created a fortress, hidden in the hills outside a city called Angel Grove. Anywhere would have done, but this city had a higher than average population with the ATA, which would aid him greatly—the ATA was essential for his plans. He added a sidekick and carefully made himself look alien.

When everything was ready—and just in time, too, as the first of many would-be conquerors appeared—he transported the five humans he’d chosen to the fortress. They were understandably surprised and confused at first, and he waited patiently for them to notice him.

“Greetings, humans. I am Zordon, an interdimensional being caught in a time warp.”

He was rather proud of that almost-fiction; it neatly explained both his powers and his inability to fight himself.

Though dubious, the children accepted the responsibility, using the Ancient tech he offered to protect the planet. The tech granted them strength and protection, great weapons and battle machines, and he taught them to use these powers wisely.

If all of humanity were Zordon’s children, then his Rangers were more like pieces of himself; stubborn Jason, graceful Trini, determined Rocky and all the others. The roster changed over the years, growing and shrinking, but always the Rangers were chosen in part for their ATA gene. As time passed and the Meta mutation became more common, Zordon added controls to the morphers that would allow the Meta abilities to manifest despite the suppression of the ATA. As the number and strength of Earth’s would-be conquerors grew, so did the need for more power on the Rangers’ side.

Five years after his first Ranger picked up a morpher, Zordon was forced into action. His enemies, correctly assuming that his Rangers could not protect several worlds at once, launched simultaneous attacks on many worlds. Knowing the Ancients would remove him for this, he prompted one of his Rangers to destroy the tube they believed anchored him to this realm, and in that moment, before his people saw him, he revealed himself to his enemies and destroyed their armies with a thought.

His people took him, as he’d expected, accusing him of breaking their first law. Zordon didn’t deny it, only waited for their judgement.

In the end he was striped of all but his most basic powers and exiled back to Earth. The Ancients expected the planet to fall without his help, believing that watching them die would be punishment enough, but they hadn’t counted on the humans’ tenacity.

True, without his guidance, the teams drifted. Their bases moved, first over the state, then over the country. Each team rose to meet a specific threat and disbanded when it was dealt with.

But they continued to use Zordon’s morphers and to follow the rules as he’d laid them out, and they were still chosen in part for the ATA. For ten years that was enough.

And then Melia came to tell him the Wraith had awakened, and sought a way to Earth.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2009 11:44 am (UTC)
*beams* You are very welcome. It was a pleasure to beta this for you, as always. :) And you already know I love it. :)
Jan. 16th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
I do know you love it, but you have to review anyway! At least every other chapter. Preferably every chapter. :D

Demanding? Me?
Jan. 17th, 2009 10:00 am (UTC)
I would never suggest such a thing. ;)
Apr. 6th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
Wow, wonderful intro. Gotta love Zordon as an Ancient, it makes so much sense.
Apr. 6th, 2009 07:25 am (UTC)
Thank you! It did seem to make sense, when I thought about it...advanced tech and all that... :D
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )