Disclaimer: The Power Rangers are the property of Saban Entertainment and I lay no claim to them. Nash Bridges, Cassidy Bridges, and all characters involved are the property of Carlton Cuse Productions. The Doctor and Samantha Jones are the property of the BBC. Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, Mai Shiranui, Joe Higashi, Laocorn Gaudeamas, Panni, Billy Kane and Geese Howard are the property of SNK(hope I got that right. ). The Cylons are characters in the series 'Battlestar Galactica' owned by Universal Studios and is created by Glen A. Larson. Alison Bogard is based on the character of Alison Hammond, which I created and was adapted for use by David Knight. David Knight has also created the characters of Lyla, Ramon, Sylphina, Ivy Howard and Daniel Kane. Circuit Breaker is based on the U. S. and U. K. Transformer's comic book series.
Additional Notes: This story is part of the COE Final Reckoning series and follows on from the events of COE Final Reckoning Minion of Darkness, COE Final Reckoning After the Minion, COE Final Reckoning ID War, Crisis of Faith. The elements of Battlestar Galactica in this story are taken from the original series and have nothing to do with the mini series airing on the Sci-Fi Channel.
Embers of the Flame
By: The Q Team
It had only been a few days since the big Cylon attack where Count Iblis had made his presence known. An attack that was thwarted by the Power Rangers and several allies. The Lonely Wolves, the Triforians, Commander Kinwon of the Battlestar Pegasus , and strangely enough Lord Zedd and Astronema of the UAE, or more accurately Artemis.
After the battle Artemis kept her word and marooned her pilots on a barren planet. Upon her return to the Dark Fortress she used the scanners to survey the damage to the Earth.
There was so much destruction on the planet, it reminded her a little of KO-35 after it was attacked. But what astonished her more was the rebuilding that people were already doing. As quickly as the Cylons began their attack to destroy everything and everyone the people of Earth just as quickly began their rebuilding process.
~Such spirit. ~ she thought to herself. In some ways she almost had to admire the humans on Earth. They let nothing stop them. If something happened to them they would simply rebuild and move on with their lives. Artemis saw in part why Dark Specter wanted this world for more than the natural magic it possessed. The human spirit itself was a valuable treasure in its own right. And if he couldn't possess it, then he would crush it.
Artemis's gaze then turned to the city of San Francisco, which was where the Cylons first attacked. Rebuilding efforts continued there, and to Artemis it seemed like the citizens of the city were practiced hands at rebuilding. She had heard the city had been through many earthquakes, perhaps that was a factor in the rebuilding efforts.
She continued to look out at the city when her gaze fell on something she couldn't believe. A face. A face of someone she recognized. Of someone she fought alongside. A face of someone she loved.
"Zhane?" she asked. "Is that you?"
She had to find out. Quickly she magically changed her clothes to a typical sun dress and sandals, and her hair to her natural blonde look as she teleported down to the planet. She had to see if it truly was Zhane.
Zhane Ki'tain had to sit out on the battle since his powers were taxed to the limit due to his time in cryo healing from injuries, and being drained by Josie Belle to become Psycho Silver. He felt that Josie didn't have those powers anymore. He couldn't say exactly how he knew, he just knew.
Zhane spent his time as the battle went on healing from the injuries he received at Josie's hands. His own powers however felt different. As soon as he was released he went to the Megaship he got a heroes welcome. All the Astro Rangers threw a party for him and welcomed him back. They also filled him in on what happened during the battle. From the Rangers facing the Cylons, to 'Jessie's' betrayal, the appearance of the Triforians, of the Pegasus , of even Astronema and Zedd. "What? Astronema was there?" Zhane asked in shock.
"Uh huh." Carlos said. "They didn't do it out of the goodness of their hearts though. I think they just wanted Earth for themselves." Zhane nodded and agreed. "What else happened?" he asked. Immediately the Astros told him of the base ship destruction, Cassie's fight, and Tommy's freedom from the Dark One's control.
"What about the girl who was Silver Zeo? Cassidy?" Zhane asked.
Alison couldn't help but smirk at that. She had a good idea that she knew where Zhane's priorities lie. "She's fine. She beat Josie." Zhane smiled as he heard that. He was glad Cassidy was safe. Now he just had to deal with something else. "Dimetria I need to check out my powers. Something seems wrong."
"How so?" Dimetria asked. Zhane explained that the powers felt different somehow. Weaker. "We shall run a check on the simudeck."
When they arrived at the simudeck Zhane activated his morpher and battled the craterites that were part of the program. Zhane had done well as he used his Super Silverizer to cut through the simulated enemy. But then his powers cut out on him. "What?" Zhane asked as he suddenly demorphed.
"We need to run the test again." Dimetria said. Zhane tried to morph immediately but found he had to wait while his power recharged, and that took forever. When he could Dimetria asked Zhane to try to attack without using too much power. Sure enough he kept to hand to hand fighting, and didn't use the Super Silverizer at all. Nevertheless his powers still cut out, and at the same time they cut out the last time.
Finally, Zhane morphed only to stand still. He just stood there morphed for a few minutes, until his powers cut out again. It was at the same time his powers cut out the last time. Dimetria came in and gave her findings.
"Your powers seem to be able to only work for three minutes." Dimetria explained. "After that they just cut out." Zhane sighed and wondered "Is there anything you can do?"
"I shall begin research on the problem immediately." Dimetria explained. "But until then I'm afraid you cannot be used in battle. I will talk to Andros and ask if he agrees with my recommendations." Sure enough Andros did. "Your powers can cut out at a time where we might need them most. And if they do then you become a target."
"I understand." Zhane said as he took off the Silver Astro Morpher and gave it to Dimetria. "Hope the problem can be corrected soon." Zhane then left the ship and said he was going down to Earth. More accurately, the city of San Francisco.
Zhane walked around the city feeling bummed out. He barely noticed the rebuilding efforts going on around him due to the funk he was in. He needed someone to talk to, but he wasn't sure who to talk to. Andros and his Astro Rangers were okay, but Zhane felt he needed to talk to someone he felt a little more closer to. Someone he could relate to as only a Silver Ranger could.
To that end he went to Golden Gate Park after calling someone to meet him there. That someone turned out to be fellow Silver Ranger Cassidy Bridges. He called her on the communicator and asked her to meet him.
From her bed Cassidy had thought about all that had happened in the battle herself, at least from her perspective. She had been faced with a life or death choice involving her parents which also had to prove the human capacity for free will. She found out a witch had been manipulating human history to build up human power, and she found out that as a result of that manipulation that she could now tap into a Morphin Grid aspect called the Shadow Grid. ~ Can my life get any more freaky?~ she thought to herself.
As if on cue her communicator went off. "This is Cassidy I read you."
"Hey Cass. It's Zhane." Zhane had said on the other end of the line. Cassidy smiled a little bit at Zhane being on the other end of the comm line. "Hey Zhane what's up?"
"I just got out of the hospital and I needed someone to talk to. Mind meeting me in the park?" Cassidy blushed a little at how charming Zhane tried to sound, but asked. "Why not the others?"
"They're cool and all." Zhane said. "But I need someone of my own color to talk to. Would you mind?" Cassidy said she didn't mind and got her penny loafers on to leave the house in. Quickly she made tracks for Golden Gate Park.
Cassidy didn't have to wait too long for Zhane as he quickly showed up at the park just as she arrived. "Punctual aren't you?" she asked sarcastically.
"I try to be." Zhane said being a total smoothie. The two then began walking and talking.
"So how are you feeling?" Cassidy asked Zhane as they walked down a bike path.
"Well on the one hand glad to know that Andros and I aren't the only survivors of our world, knowing about Kinwon and Tykwa, " Zhane replied but also looked glum. "And on the other hand I got a three minute time limit on my powers."
Cassidy sighed. Josie had siphoned Zhane's powers to energize the Psycho Silver morpher so she could morph. "Sorry about that... any way to get out of the time limit problem?"
"I'm still trying to figure out one and Demitria's working on the problem herself." Zhane replied as he kicked a can. "This bites! I got out of cryo only a week ago and I'm pretty much put on the sidelines."
"You think you have it bad? I get these powers and I'm already over my head in trouble." Cassidy said. "And my powers work."
"Well at least you're managing." Zhane said as if trying to be reassuring. "I was told that you had some experiences of a Lightship of somekind?"
"Lightship of Kobol." Cassidy said. "We had some things to find out, and tests to pass."
"Which you did." Zhane said. "You proved, from what I heard that we were capable of making our own choices."
"Yeah. All it took was a complete change in my future to get to that point." Cassidy said. "Now I've got powers, and no way to be certain what my future will be. Also I find out that my friendship with my best friend may have been engineered by a witch with a point to prove. Not only that, I've got an instinctual tap into something called 'The Shadow Grid. '"
This immediately got Zhane's attention. "THE SHADOW GRID?"
"Yeah." Cassidy said. "It seems like I have an enhanced instinct connection with it brought about when the witch that engineered Alison's and my friendship decided to make people superpowered she opened up a lot of people's connections to this grid. I'm one whose connection she opened up."
"Are there others out there?" Zhane asked. "Others with Shadow Grid connections?"
"Well Tommy is one." Cassidy explained. "And Josie said there are others too. But I don't know if I'll ever meet them."
"Well you're just going to have to find out like the rest of us I guess." Zhane said with a smile as he put his arm around Cassidy reassuringly. "As for your friendship with Alison, I'd say it doesn't matter who brought you two together. You're together now, and the best of friends. I'd say that's what matters. Not someone else's agenda."
Cassidy was grateful for the advice but she also noticed Zhane's arm around her. "Careful, you never know when my father is watching." Cassidy said with a sly smile. Zhane took his arm off her and they resumed talking. "All I have to do is figure out my power situation. I mean I can't really go into a battle if I'm only a three minute Ranger."
"Hey. If you were able to survive getting killed, I'm sure you're going to bounce right back from this in no time." Cassidy said.
Zhane smiled a little. "Thanks Cassidy." The two ended up in a hug. They then walked on down the park path looking somewhat close.
Unfortunately it was bad timing... because Karone was looking at them from a distance.
~How could he... how could he think me for dead!~ Karone just stepped back as she looked on at the two silver rangers. ~ Everyone thought Zhane was blown to hell even Andros... but not me. I didn't give up hope. ~ She then looked at Zhane her fists clenched. ~ But how am I rewarded? I find out he's alive and go to find him only when I do he's already moved on and with another girl!!!~
She could feel the tears coming down her face and knew she had just get away before anyone saw her. She was just running as fast as she could with as much dignity as she could muster. ~ As soon as I am out of anyone's sight I'll teleport back the Dark Fortress. What was I thinking anyway? Everything and everyone I know has changed. And besides, now there's nothing on this planet worth coming down like... ~
Before she finish that through she ended bumping into someone fell down on her butt. "Damn it!" she shouted.
"Are you okay?" a male voice asked her.
Karone was about to yell at the person who made her fall down not caring it was actually her fault for not looking when she just looked at the man. He was just about her own age. He was wearing a red shirt over a white tanktop and blue jeans. She couldn't help but stare at his face. He had short dark hair but it was the green blue eyes that she was just staring at.
The young man looked at Karone and saw her tears. "Did you hurt your self that bad when you fell?"
Karone blinked and then shook her head. "No. No I'm sorry. Sorry you even saw these tears... I got to go." She was about to leave but he held her. "Something wrong. Maybe I can help."
Karone scoffed. "Help? How you help. No one can help me."
"Why can't anyone help you? Did some one hurt you and you're afraid to talk about it?" he asked.
Karone was about to snap at him but considered his words. She was keeping her emotions bottled up. She and Cyane had an alright relationship however she didn't feel she could trust her just yet with her personal matters, she was after all Astronema. And as good as Ecliptor had been to her, it wasn't that she didn't trust him, it was that he was a robot and thus her secrets could be exposed by a simple switch. She needed someone to talk to. Someone that wasn't with the UAE or with the Rangers. More than that she was just plain tired of putting things under the table.
She needed to talk to someone and looking at the young man before her she was going to take a gamble.
"... I haven't been hurt physically... I've been more or less hurt emotionally." she said. "I've got a lot personal problems... and if you've got the time and are alright with it would like listen to me talk?"
The young man nodded. "No problem..." he paused and then asked, "I don't suppose one of them would have to be an overbearing brother who had to take care of you after your parents died?"
Karone blinked. "What? That happened to you?"
"Mike means well but he's always a little over protective." he said.
Karone smiled a little. "Reminds me of my own brother." she then decided to be polite as she put her hand out. "I'm Karone."
"Nice to met you Karone. My name's Leo. Leo Corbett."
Zhane and Cassidy continued to walk. Both took in the sights of San Francisco as it was being rebuilt. They stopped off at Pier 39 to do some of the amusements there, as well as shop in whatever stores were still open. They they made their way back to Cassidy's house where she and Zhane said goodbye.
"Well that was quite an unusual semi-date." Cassidy said with a smile. Neither she nor Zhane intended it to be a date by any means, but it almost seemed to go that way.
"Either way I hope you had a good time." Zhane said. "It allowed me to take my mind off a few things, and hopefully you too." Cassidy had to agree that it did.
"But it's back to the real world for soon enough." Cassidy said. "And it also means I may have another decision I have to make." Zhane nodded knowing what Cassidy meant. When he, Andros and Karone left for their Ranger training they too had to say goodbye to their parents as well. Cassidy was older than Andros, Karone and Zhane were, but the feeling still hurt all the same. Not only that she had other matters she had to think about. Namely what went on before.
"Well here's hoping we make it through reality." Zhane said as he gave Cassidy a small peck on the cheek. "Careful. My dad's coming home soon." Zhane smiled as he teleported out and Cassidy went back into her house.
On Onyx however, a serious discussion was taking place. A discussion that centered around Orbus and the time he spent on the Cylon baseship. While it was true that the Cylons made use of the growth technology in Orbus they wondered if the technology went both ways. Especially since the Rangers pulled out of the site of the crashed baseship, and the UAE was considering sending recovery crews to the site.
"Did you get any technology? Anything we can use?" Mondo asked eagerly. He was looking for any excuse he could find to rebuild his empire. Unfortunately for Orbus he had to disappoint his king.
"I'm sorry your highness." Orbus said. "I'm afraid the data transfer was one way only. The Cylons left me with no means of accessing their technological information." Mondo seemed ready to blow a gasket when he heard this news. He just couldn't get a break.
"Perhaps this is for the best." Astronema said appearing in the hallway. This statement brought about a reaction of shock throughout the crowd. No one could believe their ears, especially Divatox. "FOR THE BEST?!!! How can the inability to get our hands on Cylon technology be for the best?!"
Dark Specter was surprised with Astronema's presence, and her view on the situation. He had imagined being able to use the Cylon technology to make new forces, despite some reservations that plagued at him. ~ Perhaps Astronema could shed some light on those reservations. ~ the Grand Monarch of evil thought. "Astronema, perhaps it is best you explain yourself. Why do you think that trying to make use of the Cylon technology would not be a good move?"
Astronema then took center stage and stated her case. "Currently we have forces already in use. Pirannatrons by Divatox, the Putties from Rita and Zedd, the Tengas from Master Vile, Grimlord has even supplied his Skugs, as has Dregon his Maggots, and Kilokhan even has his swarmers should we have need of them. My sister and I even have our Quantrons. Do we seriously need new forces that come from a technology we barely understand and...have apprehension towards?"
"I understand your concerns Astronema. And it is true that we have forces existing. But as of now they are fighting little more than holding actions against the council. Many of them not part of the list you just referred to." Dark Specter said.
"But we have not used those forces to their fullest potential." Astronema shot back. "Sure they are fighting holding actions against the council, and their track record against the Rangers of Earth has been pitiful. But I think the problem is that we haven't used those forces properly."
"And how would you define using those forces properly?" Rita asked. Astronema was only too quick to answer. "In a unified assault against Earth."
Everyone in the council chamber was in shock. "A unified assault. That has never been done!" Zedd said.
"But it is something I have considered." Dark Specter said. In the back of his mind he always imagined amasing the forces of the UAE to go against the forces of good in the universe. He had thought of taking Eltar, Triforia, Aquitar and Earth, as well as several other planets in such an assault which he thought of as a 'Countdown to Destruction'. However with Aquitar in UAE hands and Triforia reduced to being a fledging military power consideration for such a large scale battle had become less urgent, especially with Darkonda and his allies stirring things up on the Eltarian Council. "Earth has been a hard to get system. Many of us tried individually without success. Perhaps as a unit we can accomplish this."
"And what of the Cylon technology on the moon? Do we make no moves to acquire it?" Mondo asks.
"We do not. For several reasons." Dark Specter answered. "One the council is looking on at the ship knowing we are moves to acquire it. Two, the technology could fall into council hands even if the UAE has it. And three, and this is the most important, I don't want the UAE getting too big too fast."
"Too big too fast?" Momma D asked. "What nonsense is that?"
"A matter of history." Dark Specter said again. "Throughout the cosmos conquerors were undermined because they stretched themselves out too thin with new warriors and looking to acquire new resources at a rapid pace. If we move to get that technology, and find we are successful implementing it what does that mean to the resources we already have, especially in a power structure that is only able to hold a certain amount of forces."
"But we might need those new forces." Grimlord then said. "The loss of my UAE files, and the appearance of these 'ki' fighters..."
"Are not a concern at this time." Dark Specter said. "When they become one we will deal with it. For right now the Rangers are a concern, as are the two new recruits they have gathered in San Francisco. Especially the Silver Zeo one."
"Yes. She's the one who helped build the EMP bomb that all but destroyed my empire." Mondo said. "She worked with the Cylons. She wasn't on the ship though when we scanned it."
"It is safe to say that the girl is in hiding now." Dark Specter said. "But again that is not an immediate concern. So Astronema, you believe the Cylon technology should not be implemented by us?"
"Very much so." Astronema answered. "As tempting as it would be to use it I think we need to make the most use of what we already have in a move against Earth."
"Agreed." Dark Specter said. Then everyone turned to the viewscreen and saw the crashed Cylon basestar on the moon's surface. A squadron of Quadrifighters swooped down from the sky and fired at the ruined basestar. The impact of the weapons fire on the ship sent a massive explosion that vaporized all the remains. When the monitor went off Dark Specter turned to all those assembled and said "Well then, any new buisness?"
"The forces of good are becoming stronger. Too strong for my taste." Divatox said.
"Too strong for everyone's taste." Astronema said. "But I think we can do something about that." Everyone seemed interested as Astronema took center stage.
"Tell me. What's happening on Aquitar at this very moment?"
While the TARDIS was back at the Power Chamber, the Zeo Rangers made a return trip to San Francisco. While there they stayed at the Outsiders' penthouse. Needless to say the Zeo Rangers were jealous.
"Ain't it the way?" Samantha asked when they were introduced to the Outsiders' place. "We get stuck in some underground chamber, and you lot get the lap of luxury." Jinx smirked a little and said "We also have a TV that gets quite a lot of channels." Samantha and Jinx then went to the chair hoping to watch something good. The only problem was Samantha wanted to watch CNN, while Jinx wanted to see what was on Cartoon Network.
Tyler arranged for guest rooms to be made for the Zeo Rangers' stay. They would be leaving in a few days with Cassidy. When Kat woke up the next morning she got her running clothes on and decided to go out for an early morning jog. While she was out she saw all the rebuilding efforts taking place, and couldn't help but smile. San Franciscans had quite a spirit to them.
When she came to Pier 39 Kat saw that it was still a bustle of activity. People still went about their business there, as well as helped with the reconstruction efforts that were still ongoing. Only this time it wasn't just San Francisco being rebuilt, it was the entire planet.
Kat looked up and saw several ships being loaded. These ships were property of Howard Enterprises and were being used to transport building supplies, engineers, and workers to different areas of the world to help with rebuilding the planet on a global scale. As Kat walked down the rest of the Embarcadero she saw many piers being loaded. All of them by Howard Enterprises.
"Beautiful aren't they?" a voice said from behind. Kat turned around and saw Ivy standing behind her. A sly smile crossing her face. "Hope for the world being loaded and shipped out. And daddy is the one responsible for it all."
"Don't kid a kidder." Kat said looking at her 'sister'. "You don't have a noble bone in your body. Neither does your 'daddy. ' He's just looking to capitalize on the destruction to increase his own power base."
"And what can you do about it?" Ivy asked. "Ask Gaudeamas to go send his shipping fleets? In case it hasn't escaped you Gaudeamas was busy trying to save the world while father acted to rebuild it. Gaudeamas just didn't have time to act, while daddy had all the time in the world."
"Only because your 'daddy' decided to sit out on the battle while others fought and died." Kat said with force. "Oh by the way, I think I can do plenty." Kat then looked Ivy dead in the eye as she said her peace. "What's the one thing you want more than anything?" Ivy returned Kat's staredown as she answered Kat's question. "To fight you. To prove to you I'm not an inferior copy of you."
"You want to fight me? I'll give you your fight. And I'll do it at this tournament your dear old dad is so fond of. 'The King of Fighters'. But under one condition." Ivy was taken aback but she let Kat name her stipulation.
"If I, and my team wins, you turn over control of your father's reconstruction efforts to Laocorn Gaudeamas, who will turn them over to the people of the countries being rebuilt. Those are my terms. Take them or leave them." Ivy considered Kat's proposal and decided to accept it.
"So it's agreed then. We settle this at the King of Fighters Tournament." Ivy said looking Kat straight in the eyes. "Where I'm going to prove I am NOT you anymore and that I'm not under your damn shadow. After that, I really don't care what happens to you. You die I will really will not even care."
"You really want to fight me this much?" Kat said wondering how much loathing Ivy had in herself.
Ivy rolled her eyes. "Well duh. Just one bit of warning. Better get yourself two VERY good fighters for teammates and start training your ass for the next 28 days. Cause when they are over you will have to go up against the BEST in the world to get to me. See ya." Ivy then spun around and left Katherine in the dust.
At the Bogard firehouse Cassie looked at the skyline as it was being reconstructed. She had thought all about the revelations that had been revealed to her. Not only from Kali, but also from aboard the Lightship. "Could I have some of the Lords' power within me?" she asked herself.
"The Lords? Who are the Lords?" a voice said from behind her. Cassie turned around and saw who the voice belonged to and smiled.. The person had taken a flight in from Japan, with a stopover in San Francisco before going on to Angel Grove. When the Cylons launched their worldwide strike, the flight was delayed. However, when Kyo Kusanagi made his way to the Bogard firehouse, he found he did not need to finish the journey since the person he was looking for was still there.
"KYO!!!" Cassie said running to her cousin and hugging him the minute she saw him. Kyo returned the embrace then looked at his cousin. "We have some things to talk about." Kyo said.
"Mom called you?" Cassie asked. Kyo nodded, and soon Cassie led Kyo to the roof of the firehouse where she spoke of her ordeal with Kali.
"I should have known you would be able to flame teleport." Kyo said. "For some odd reason that power always seems to favor the females of the family." Cassie gave a seemingly innocent smile then she brought up her hands and snapped her fingers causing her to disappear in a burst of flame. She reappeared next to Kyo taking a laid back pose before she snapped her fingers and disappeared again.
She reappeared in another pose then teleported three more times around the roof before settling in front of Kyo. "What can I say, it's the power I had the most fun with."
"I can tell." A voice said from behind. Cassie and Kyo turned around and saw Megumi Chan standing behind them. "Mom, How?" Cassie said. Megumi answered her question by flame teleporting herself, behind her daughter. Cassie turned around and saw her mother, and her face took on an expression of shock.
"That was the one thing I enjoyed when I had the Kusanagi power." Megumi said with a tone of regret. "And it was the one thing I missed when I swore to give it up." She then turned her gaze to Kyo and said her peace to him. "What right did you have to train my daughter when I wanted her to have no part of the feud?"
"Cassie asked me to teach her." Kyo said. "And she didn't want to be part of the feud either. She just didn't want to be helpless anymore."
"Helpless?" Megumi said in shock. "What made you think my daughter was helpless in any way?"
"Some friends and I were attacked years ago." Cassie explained. "I was left alone but my friends, who stood up for me, were beaten down and there was nothing I could do but watch. Kyo offered to train me before when we had a family reunion, but I declined. I knew you didn't want me to learn our family craft, or the power we had within us. You always said that matter was for 'adults only'."
"After her friends attack Cassie called me and said she wanted to learn. I could only teach her so much, but I would teach her what little I knew. But from what I've seen and heard she has already begun to transcend whatever I taught her." Kyo then looked at Megumi dead in the eye. "Besides, whether she was trained or not she still had the power within her. None of us can escape that which is a part of ourselves."
Megumi listened to Kyo's words and then looked at Cassie. "We must talk. Alone." She then said "Focus on a place strong in your mind and heart. Do you have it?" Cassie nodded yes and told her mother what it was.
"Good. That is where we shall go." Soon Megumi and Cassie both teleported out in bursts of flame going to a place only they knew.
Outside of Angel Grove was a Japanese Garden filled with meditation hut. Megumi often took Cassie here so they could clear their minds and have some bonding time. Now they would talk about something a lot more serious.
Two bursts of crimson flame appeared and revealed the forms of Megumi and Cassie Chan. No one was present at the garden and that was a good thing. The mother and daughter could talk in private. Megumi started first.
"I want you to tell me everything." Megumi said. "What got you involved in this feud?"
Cassie started to tell her story. "Well you know about the attack with my friends, and that compelled me to seek out Kyo, since he was the only one who had shown a slight interest in teaching me the art. Even though he was only learning it himself he said he could teach me what little he knew."
"But Kyo had been learning the art since birth." Megumi said. "You could only know a fraction of what he knew."
"Right then I would have preferred that fraction over being helpless to do anything to help my friends" Cassie said defiantly. "And I didn't want to take part in the blood feud either. It was only when Kali showed up and kidnapped Ashley that I got involved."
"This Kali. Who is she? I thought there were no female Yagami left alive." Megumi then asked.
"We were wrong." Cassie said. "There are three left. One is Kali, who seems to be a clone of another. Her name is Trini, and her mother lives out in Angel Grove. Apparently she wanted no part of the feud either. But Kali wants to be totally part of it, and she also wants me dead."
Megumi listened to her daughter and Cassie touched her shoulder. "I don't want to be part of this feud, but I have no choice now. I have to get involved, and that might involve me doing things that even Kyo might no approve of." Megumi listened to everything Cassie said, and what she intended to do. Needless to say she didn't agree with everything Cassie intended either. "Do you know what Kyo will say when you tell him that?"
"I have a good idea. But if Kali is going to make a move it will be there. And I have to be there when she does." Cassie said. Megumi sighed knowing that her daughter's mind was made up. "So how long have you been a Power Ranger?"
Cassie smiled and she told her mother that story as well. How she met Ivan Ooze, Andros and Sabrina coming from space, the presenting of the morphers, and their first missions. Even the visiting of the graves of Jessie Belle and Katie Star came into the story. Megumi didn't hide her worry as she listened.
"I know you don't approve of what I'm doing on both counts mom. But I can't be a helpless little girl anymore. I have to fight back now." Cassie said. "I'm not a ming vase that will shatter whenever someone pushes it off the mantle. I'm a Kusanagi, and I'm a Power Ranger." Megumi nodded in understanding and then asked "Has Kyo completed your training?"
"No." Cassie said. "I know there are still aspects left for me to learn."
"Then I guess I'll have to see to it that you learn those, especially for what will happen next." Megumi said as she took her daughter's hand. "Now let's go back. Kyo must be worrying now." Cassie stood up and made ready to head back to the Bogard firehouse where Kyo was waiting.
"One good thing about this is that Kyo will freak too when he hears what you are going to do next." Cassie smiled too at her mother's remark. One good shock deserved another. Mother and daughter then both snapped their fingers and disappeared in bursts of crimson flame.
Kyo continued sitting on the roof waiting for Cassie and his aunt to return. In bursts of flame they appeared again. "Cassie, how'd it go?"
Megumi answered this question. "It seems I have no choice left but to allow Cassie to continue her training, but it will not only be you teaching her Kyo. I intend for as much of our family to be involved in the learning of her powers." Kyo nodded and said "Fair enough."
Megumi then smiled. "Don't be too sure, you don't know what she's going to do next." With that Megumi left in a burst of flame leaving Kyo and Cassie to talk. "What was that about?"
"I'll tell you later. For now let me tell you what happened." Cassie then told her story about what happened on the moon and her fight with Kali. As she told her story they decided to go for a walk and found themselves by a lake near Golden Gate park.
"So you used Orochinagi?" Kyo asked Cassie as they were standing over the lake.
"Its like... I felt you in the middle of that battle... and then I heard this voice telling me how to execute the move. I saw in my mind that one time you showed me Orochinagi... and suddenly... I was the one performing it." Cassie said to him.
"Well my spirit was with you." Kyo said. "I was hoping that you would be all right and I ran Orochinagi over and over in my head. Maybe I subconsciously passed the move onto you."
"Maybe." Cassie said. "The Silver Zeo Ranger seems to have a connection to something. Perhaps we do too."
"If anything it's a connection of blood and family. ' Kyo explained. "That's all we need." Cassie then smiled as she allowed Kyo to hold her close. Through it all Kyo thought about everything that had happened.
"Aliens, Cylons, Power Rangers... its incredible how Terry was able handle such stuff so easily before any one of us." Kyo commented. "Then again considering he's like a traveling monk trying to get past his inner demons, he's seen a lot more of the world than any of us."
"Yeah and there's whole universe just right out there." Cassie said looking up it the sky. "If only the people running the government there were even the least bit kind."
"Real backstabbers?" Kyo asked.
"Don't you know it." Cassie rolled her eyes as she mentioned the politicians, but she then took on a more serious tone as she changed the subject. "What all did mom say?"
"She was very upset." Kyo had said. "You know she didn't want you to discover your powers. Or to be part of the blood feud."
"I know. But I couldn't avoid it, and she understands that." Cassie explained. "That Yagami I mentioned, Kali, she's actually a clone of another Yagami." Kyo was wide eyed and asked "Who?"
"Her name is Trini Kwan. She lives in Angel Grove. She's also the Yellow Power Ranger." Cassie explained. Kyo nodded in understanding but then asked "Has she embraced her power?"
"No, and she has no wish to either." Cassie said. "She wants nothing to do with the Yagami legacy." Kyo nodded in relief but then looked at Cassie. "There's something else you want to tell me isn't there?"
Cassie nodded as she explained. "Kyo, Kali told me a story about the origin of our powers. I think Susano-Oh wasn't of this world." Kyo's eyes went wide with this revelation as he then asked "What was he?"
"He may have been part of a race known as the Lords of Kobol." Cassie explained. "He came down to Earth and made himself part of our legacy when he faced Orochi." She told the story as it was told to her and Kyo was stunned by what he heard. The power of the Kusanagi was part of a race from beyond the stars. "Incredible." He said.
But Cassie wasn't done dropping bombshells. She then decided to tell him her next bit of news that her mother kneew would make Kyo freak. "Kyo... I'm participating in this years KOF."
If Kyo was drinking anything he would have done spit take. "You're what!"
"You heard me. And don't say a word about trying to stop me." Cassie said.
"But...why?" Kyo asked. Cassie explained. "If I'm going to accept this destiny and all it means then I have to accept it all the way. Susano-Oh fought the power of the Yagami, and now I have a Yagami to face. I can't turn away from the path laid out before me."
"And what of this Trini?" Kyo asked. "Will you have to face her too someday?"
"I hope not." Cassie said. "She said that she didn't want the Yagami power, and I hope she doesn't claim it. But Kali is still there and I know she's going to try something at the tournament. I can feel it." Kyo nodded too believing that something dark would happen at the tournament as well. "Please Kyo, don't fight me on this."
Kyo shook his head. "Actually I hoping you wouldn't ask to join my team this year. I'd love to have you but Benimaru is still peeved that I chose Terry and King last year instead of him and Daimon."
"The showboat would be pissed no matter what. He thinks you are taking up his spotlight half the time." Cassie smirked. "But don't worry. I'm alright signed up with two other girls."
"You're not joining Mai and King for Team Gorgeous are you?" Kyo asked since Mai and King still needed a third member for this years tournament.
"Oh no. Mary's already taking up slot three on that team." Cassie had a lopsided smile on her face.
"Then what team do you belong too?" Kyo asked.
Inside the firehouse Terry looked over at Alison as she gave the name of her team. "'The Lady Wolves'"
"Name of the team I'm leading for this years KOF." Alison replied.
"Two all female teams. Is the tournament going to be able to handle that?" Joe quipped.
"Joe. Put a sock in it." Mai said.
"Anyway before Joe interrupted, Cassie and Katherine are my teammates for this tournament." Alison said.
Andy then looked over at Alison, "No offence Alison but I'm not exactly sure on Katherine. She may be a power ranger but every one of us in this room could take her. Not to mention she doesn't have any ki control or special talent like EVERYONE in the tournament is going to have."
"And it's not as if she can actually morph to even the odds. Other than being disqualified, hello secret identity exposure." Joe added.
"We still have a month meaning Kat, Cassie, and I are going to train our butts off." Alison said.
"In that case I think we should all train together for the tournament." Terry spoke up. They all looked at him. "Ever since the whole battle with Iblis and meeting the Lord of Kobol..." He looked at Mary. "And getting you back.... it made me think about home. About Southtown." They looked at him as he then said, "I think its time for me to start moving back there."
Andy just looked at his brother. "You want to go back into proverbial lion's den and to live there?"
Terry looked at his brother. "Geese may own a lot of Southtown but he doesn't own all of it. If he did he would have gotten rid of our own friends that have been living there for years."
"You're right. For as much as Geese controls Southtown, there's still more than enough people with considerable back up and friends which would cause problems for him if he were ever to strike out at them." Mary said.
"There's also something else... Geese destroyed the school where we, our father, even Geese himself trained at almost fifteen years ago..." Terry said calmly. "I think its time to think about rebuilding what Geese tried to destroy."
"You want to open up a dojo in Southtown?" Joe said.
"Hey aren't you the one that said 'Do I really want be called Terry the Lonely Wolf Bogard' for the rest of life?" Terry smirked and then shrugged. "Anyway its a plan I have mind. I want to see how things are doing first, talk to some people, and get the tournament out of the way before starting any plans for a dojo."
"You've got a lot think about." Alison said.
"Yeah. Anyway I think I know someone that can help Katherine out... that is if she's willing to through one hell of a torture season for the next four weeks."
Andy then blinked. "Terry... ?"
"Well let's see here. You want a well balanced team right Alison?" Terry smiled. "What styles do your teammates know?"
"Well like you and Andy I practice Hakkyoku Saiken, Cassie's got her Kusanagi Style and Katherine..." Alison paused. "... well Katherine really doesn't got a particular style that special."
Mai's eyes went up. "Oh I see where this is going. You want me to call Yuri and ask?" Terry nodded as Mai then went to go get a phone. Alison blinked but then when she remembered Mai saying Yuri it hit her. "You want me to ask Kat if she would allow her self to get trained at the Sakazaki family's dojo in Southtown in the Kyokugenryo Karate style?"
"Kyokugenryo is a blend of a lot of styles and from how Mai and I have seen Yuri fight, a good part of her move set is similar to how Kat fights. Its about the only style I can think of given her base experience in the martial arts that she could pick up in a month." Terry said as he then looked at Alison. "Do you honestly expect Ivy to show any mercy in the fight to Kat?"
Alison shook her head. All of their moves were considered legal by the KOF fighting board.
If Kat didn't train hard enough and learned how to control her own ki within four weeks, Alison had no illusions of them having more likely than not needing to put her into a hospital after Ivy used the Violent Wave Technique on her.
Outside of reality a meeting was taking place.
A meeting between two forces of darkness.
And one of them was not happy with what had transpired.
It had taken a while for the Dark One to find Count Iblis, but once he did he wasted no time voicing his displeasure. "You have failed to live up to your end of the agreement!" the Dark One said to Iblis. "You had allowed Tommy to break free of my control."
"I did not anticipate the sacrifice that the Red Morphin Ranger would make!" Iblis said trying to explain himself. "Nor was I expecting the intervention of my brethren once that sacrifice led to a violation of the doctrines that I am still bound by."
"Interesting these 'doctrines' of yours. the Dark One had said. "You had broken away from them when the Lords of Kobol had cast you out. Yet there are some rules that you are still bound by. Why is that? "
"There are just some laws we cannot break." Iblis had said. "Not without repercussions."
"Indeed." the Dark One had said. "And it's those laws I wish to discuss with you. Or perhaps those laws that pertains to our agreement." Iblis looked up wide eyed knowing full well what would happen next, and dreading it.
"You are aware that when I turned my claim of Tommy over to you that if he was lost in any way, or if you failed to live up to your end of the arrangement, I was entitled to exact a penance of my own choosing! Well I am exacting that penance NOW!!!" Iblis felt the Dark One's presence move forward and he felt very afraid.
"NO!!! YOU CAN'T DO THIS!!!"
"YES I CAN!!! YOUR OWN LAWS GIVE ME THE RIGHT TO DO SO!!!"
And so the Dark One exacted his penance from Count Iblis.
What that penance entailed is another story for another time.
Once again Cassidy thought about everything that happened as she lay on her bed, from the battles in the past, to her semi-date with Zhane to the choice she would have to make for the future. And the more she thought about it, the more she realized that such a choice may not be avoidable.
"Daddy will probably freak." She said to herself, but Cassidy knew there was no other option right now. She had to leave. Next thing she knew was she felt herself being taken out of her room and sent somewhere else. "What's happening?" she asked as she was between places. Where she came from, and where she was going to.
When Cassidy arrived at her destination she looked around the place she was teleported to. It looked like a castle of sorts with a lot of elegance to it. She then saw a young woman in black and gray robes with a circlet on her forehead and a sash over her robes. She knew who this had to be. "Karla I take it?"
Karla nodded. "Yes. I'm here to tell you how sorry I am for your losses. In a way I am kind of responsible for them. Your friends' deaths and your parents' injuries were things I had not intended.." Cassidy however didn't seem moved by Karla's words. Right away she asked "Was Josie telling the truth? Were you interfering in the world hoping to make us more powerful?"
"Yes." Karla said without hesitation. "My interventions did have a purpose."
"And what purpose was that? What gave you the right to tinker with our lives the way that you did?" Cassidy asked. Karla answered by repeating the story that Josie had told her, about how the Q had been playing with the universe like a toy, and how she needed to elevate humanity's power to show it's potential. Cassidy however didn't seem all that moved. "And what of Alison?"
"I knew of your role in the universe." Karla said as she found out Cassidy was a hard person to convice. ~ She's definitely strong willed. ~ Karla thought to herself before continuing. "I also wanted to save Alison from her dire fate. In some ways she was my insurance policy for my evolutionary plan. And her friendship with you seemed to establish that policy."
Cassidy looked at Karla and then asked "Are you also aware that I have to leave now in order to protect my family?" Karla nodded and said "Yes. And I am sorry for that. Your family were not meant to be targets."
Cassidy heard every word that Karla said. "So let me get this straight. The Q were playing with our lives like toys, so you decide to change our evolutionary path so we could have powers? And that a friendship was arranged so those powers could appear? Lady, who died and elected you God?"
Karla was about to respond but Cassidy wasn't finished. "I don't like what the Q had done, but did that give you the right to do what you did? Change us around so we would all have powers? What about those that don't have powers? Will they be cast aside? Tossed out like a nerd in a gym locker? And what about twisting our lives around, aren't we supposed to determine our fates? What gave you the right to play with our lives."
"I did what I had to do." Karla said. "I needed to show the Q that humanity was more than what they thought.
"But is power the way to go? Shouldn't we choose what direction to take?" Cassidy asked. "Aren't there other ways to prove our worth than to tamper with our evolution? Because when push comes to shove powers could be seen as nothing more than a fancy weapon to point and shoot at. And some of us don't have such a gun, no matter what evolutionary bells you might decide to ring. Power is nothing without the responsibility and wisdom to back it up, and can you say that we really have that?"
Karla nodded seeming to understand Cassidy's point, and had to admit that there were some areas that she did agree with. "The Silver Crystal seems to have made a good choice in choosing you." Cassidy just nodded. "I'm not looking for your praise." Karla understood. Part of the direction in Cassidy's life had been done by her intervention. "Is there anything else?"
"What about this connection to the Shadow Grid I seem to have?" Cassidy then asked. "Is it going to make me even more freaky?" Karla noticed the figure of speech, and sarcasm behind it. But depite that there was enormous potential in the silver garbed teenaged girl.
"Right now it's just building on what is your strongest asset. Your instinct. But that doesn't mean there isn't more that you might be able to do. There are others out there with similar connections. Tommy is one, but as Josie mentioned, there are others." Cassidy then asked "Who are they?"
Karla paused momentarily then looked at Cassidy "If and when the time comes they will find you." With that Karla waved her hand and Cassidy was sent back to her room. Off to the side Shadow appeared as if eavesdropping on the conversation. All he said was one sentence before he too left for a place he had to be.
"She may be right mistress."
Karla listened to Shadow's words as she watched the spot where Cassidy stood thinking about all that she had said. She then felt a presence behind her and turned around. Inside a chair sitting down was the form of Jessie Belle dressed in her white robes.
"We need to talk." Was all she said.
Three days later in Angel Grove Leo Corbett sat on his bed in his house with a smile on his face. He was having a pretty good day dream until he heard knocking. "Yeah come in."
The person who came into the room was a man in his mid 20's with dark hair and blue eyes wearing a black shirt and pants. "So when did you get back from your visit in San Francisco?" Michael Corbett asked his little brother
Leo looked at his watch. "About 30 minutes ago."
Mike looked at him quiziqually. "And what's with the grin on your face?"
Leo replied, "Let's just say I'm glad I went to San Francisco today."
Mike shrugged and figured it just a phase for him. "Fine Leo." He then picked up the basketball on the floor and tossed it to Leo who managed to catch it. "Game of 21. Loser cooks and cleans tonight."
Leo smirked. "I guess that would mean you're going to be cooking and cleaning tonight." He then ran out of the room with Mike on his heels to out to the back to play.
On the Dark Fortress, Astronema was walking back into hers and Artemis's room. Her hair style was currently long and curly light blonde hair with some green lines thrown into the mix along with some silver stars and strings tied into the hair. She had just found out that the Silver Astro Defender... ~ Silver Astro Ranger~ she corrected herself, was still alive and now she had to make sure that her 'twin' didn't show him any mercy. She already relented a bit when she pretended to be her and stayed away from fighting Andros, after all how can you actually fight fully against your own brother. She made up for it by attacking full on the other Astros but she couldn't have another one she wasn't willing to fight against.
Astronema opened the door to their room, half expecting to see Karone thinking about Zhane.
Instead she found Artemis sitting down at the table adjusting her hair which was now long, puffed up, curly, and brown. She then turned around to face her Astronema. "Something wrong?"
Astronema blinked back before speaking, "Your Silver friend is back."
Artemis waved her hand. "I already know... I went down to see him."
Astronema blinked. "You did ..."
"... and the bastard has moved on to another woman." Artemis interrupted her. "If you came her to talk about making sure I fight full tilt against Zhane don't worry..." Artemis then clenched her fist. "I'll be fighting beyond full tilt when I see him again." She then looked back at Astronema. "Now if you excuse me. I'd like to be alone for a while."
Astronema just nodded as she left the room and leaned against the wall. Love's a bitch isn't it... She then breathed. Glad I'm not going to fall in love. I don't want to have to that be a liability to me.
Meanwhile back in the room Artemis thought about Leo. He had been so kind and nice as he listened what she had to say. She couldn't exactly tell him the whole truth. ~ Really can't say 'I'm Karone Lanrydan from the Planet KO-35, which is now a dead world, but I'm also now Artemis the Princess of Darkness. Oh and guess what I have to fight my brother for a living now. '~ Still she had told Leo what she could in terms that were more or less along a way that would more or less be something that happens on earth with normal people. Once they finished talking, she felt better than she had been in a long while.
Doesn't hurt that he's good looking too. Artemis smirked as she then pulled out from her drawer a sheet of paper. On it was Leo's phone number and home address.
He lived in Angel Grove.
Artemis smiled. ~ Guess I was wrong about the Earth... it does have a reason for me to go down as just Karone. ~
As for the 'other woman' Cassidy Bridges looked from the ferry seeing the scenery of San Francisco. Perhaps for the last time.
So much was going through her mind. The death of her stepmother, and meeting her on the Lightship. The acceptance of her destiny as a Power Ranger. How Josie Belle had gone after her family to get to her, as well as her own admissions that Cassidy's friendship with Alison was part of a plan to attach her family to Cassidy's destiny, which was arranged by a 'grey witch' named 'Karla' in hopes of preserving her plan for human evolution, whom she just now confronted. Her apparent connection to the Shadow Grid. Despite the confusion Cassidy clearly knew that she could never allow her family to be hurt again. Not her father. Not her mother. Not her grandfather. No one. And in that regard Cassidy knew there was only one choice to make.
So lost in her thoughts she didn't even see her Alison coming up behind her. "Hey Cass. Penny for your thoughts?"
Cassidy looked up at Alison with a slight smile. "Sorry, I was just thinking about Josie, and everything she said."
"Oh about how our friendship was arranged by a witch so I could have a better life? And tag along with you so Terry can say 'Look at me! Look at me!' to a bunch of cosmic gods?" Alison said with sarcasm. Cassidy couldn't help but smile slightly at her friend's dry wit. Alison continued to speak.
"I'm probably not the best person to give an answer here, because if my adopted parents didn't come for me who knows where I'd be right now? I'd probably be turning tricks for a pimp, and never see Ashley until I'm well into adulthood. Whether I agree with what this witch did or not she did save my life. So in one regard I'm grateful to her." Cassidy nodded but sensed Alison holding something back.
"And in the other regard?" Cassidy asked. Alison spoke again. "Even though they did save my life, I wonder if they had the right to. Who asked them to play god with our lives? I didn't."
"You know I said the same thing to Karla." Cassidy said as she told her story of confronting the gray witch." I said that even though she and her friends were more benign in their motives than the Q weredid they have the right to interfere in lives than the Q did?" Cassidy asked.
"From what I hear of the Q they see the universe as a toy, and all of us as their playthings. The Lords of Kobol intervened to try to put a stop to it. All the same...I don't think I can trust any of these 'Higher Powers' to let us live our own lives."
"None of the higher powers can be trusted." Cassidy said. "That's what the Lords said isn't it?"
"Basically yeah." Alison said as she placed an arm around her friend. "But despite all this I wouldn't trade a minute of the friendship we've had." Cassidy looked in Alison's eyes and put her own shoulder around Alison. Alison then noticed a notepad in Cassidy's hands. "What's that?"
"My apparent future." Cassidy said. "Or at least what I've been able to get from Josie's ramblings." Cassidy read off what she had picked up: Falling in love with Evan Cortez, waiting a year for college, dropping out in the second year to become a cop, losing another friend in a car accident, losing Evan to a shooter after he starts to climb out of a gutter. It seemed like her whole live was mapped out for her on a sheet of paper. "Reads like a tragedy doesn't it?"
"Looks it." Alison answered. "So what are you going to do?"
Cassidy looked at Alison and said her peace. "You know, it always seems like my life was mapped out for me. If not by my father, then by mom. Now it seems like fate is mapping out my life for me, even though much of that life is gone with Evan's death." Looking at the paper Cassidy ripped it out of the notebook and crumpled the paper up.
"I'm not going to let a sheet of paper dictate my life for me. I'm not going to let some higher power dictate my life, or my parents dictate my life. From now on..." Cassidy threw the crumpled ball into San Francisco bay and faced Alison saying "...I choose my own path."
Alison nodded glad to hear her friend say that. "I choose my own path too." She said proudly. After that she then asked "So, you need help packing?"
Cassidy nodded as she and Alison enjoyed the remainder of the ferry ride in San Francisco Bay. Then they made their way to the Bridges home, for what would be the last time for Cassidy.
It was a good few days before Nash was released from the hospital, but when he was the first thing he wanted to do was see how his daughter was doing. "Cassidy you okay?" Nash asked coming into her room. She didn't acknowledge his presence. She only looked up at the ceiling as if deep in thought.
"Cassidy?" Nash asked not sure what to make of her silence. Usually Cassidy spoke her mind about things, but right now she didn't say anything. "What is it sweetheart?"
Cassidy looked up at her father as she lay on her bed. She knew there was no easy way to say it so she just did. "Daddy. I have to leave. I'm moving to Angel Grove with my friends."
Nash was shocked. "Leaving?"
"I can't put you, grandpa, Harvey, or anyone else here at risk. I love you guys, and this city too much to do that."
"Leaving?" Nash said again trying to comprehend the idea.
"I talked to the principal at Angel Grove High. He said my credits can transfer there no problem. Also Kat has mentioned that her family owns a boarding house, so I have a place to stay out there."
"But...but...why do you have to go?" Nash asked.
"Because I took on a responsibility, and I can't let you guys suffer because of my decision. Also San Francisco isn't prepared to handle monster attacks. Angel Grove is, and I don't want to give some intergalactic bonehead an excuse to attack this city. The Cylons were bad enough."
"But you're still underage." Nash said. "And I don't know Kat's family."
"And you also don't want me to go." Cassidy said with a smile then she reached out and touched her father's shoulder. "I don't want to leave you guys either. But this is something I just have to do."
Nash sighed knowing that there was no way his daughter would change her mind. ~ She's too much like me to do that. ~ he thought. "I don't like this Cassidy. I don't like you being away from your mother and me."
"I know Daddy." Cassidy said. "But Angel Grove isn't too far away. You can always drive down in the 'Cuda. Or Zordon may teleport you there."
"I'll pass on that." Nash said. "I'm not sure I want to have my molecules scrambled all over the Earth or whatever 'Bones' McCoy says what happens when he goes into a transporter." He paused before giving his next statement. "So what do we say about getting you packed?"
"Sure thing Daddy." Cassidy said as she and Nash went to her closet to begin the packing process. It took several hours to complete.
Cassidy wasn't the only one leaving San Francisco. Another was leaving too.
The ship she crash landed in was beyond salvage. The last remnant of her old alliance was now nothing more than a pile of junk. Even though she was completely healed from her physical injuries, her soul was still a far cry from salvation.
She had no means to continue her quest against the Rangers, and against Cassidy Bridges. She needed to find a new place to go. Gather her strength, then one day she would return.
After burying the body of her 'sister' Josie Belle quickly gathered some of her old clothes from her home and put them on once again. Her parents weren't home, and she felt like she didn't want to confront them right now. She then left the Belle house dressed like a typical young woman in blue jeans, jean jacket and button top shirt. Styled tan boots completed the ensemble and she placed her jean legs over her boots giving her a casual look. Her strawberry blonde hair was shoulder length and let loose, which made her look quite attractive to young boys that happened to see her. Right now however she wasn't interested in a date.
Josie then hitched a ride with a trucker who seemed to be an okay guy. She heard rumors about truckers, she was glad that this rumor wasn't true. "Where you going?"
"Where new opportunities present themselves." Josie said as she looked out in her rear view mirror at San Francisco behind her. One day she would return. One day she would face Cassidy Bridges again, but this was not that day. This day was to search for new pastures, and new challenges. As she drove she noticed a road sign which said "North Valley-135 miles."
"North Valley, isn't that where those computer malfunctions always take place. And where those recent robot sightings have been happening?" Josie asked herself adding a little malice to the last sentence. The trucker nodded 'yes. ' "Wish I didn't have to go there. But one goes where the money is."
A smile then crossed her face as she said "Looks like I found my new pasture."
"Hope you can make the most of it." The trucker said as he and Josie made their way towards North Valley, where she would almost certainly run into the Super Human Cybertron Cyber Squad, and Sam Collins a. k. a. Servo Prime.
She would relish the challenges they would produce.
The reason that Josie's parents weren't home was because her father was dead, and her mother was at her doctor's office getting examined.
Jamie Belle had felt sick and took a home pregnancy test. When it was positive she immediately made an appointment with her doctor. After an examination he confirmed her pregnancy.
In one regard she was happy that she would have another child, but in another regard she would most likely raise the baby alone. Her husband was gone. He disappeared the next morning after their night together. She wondered what she would do when she felt a claming effect from within her. Almost as if her baby was saying that everything was going to be all right. When she thought about Josie she felt that one day she would see her again and that everything would be safe. If she needed anyone to help her they would come.
All Jamie Belle needed right now was the baby within her. Everything else would be all right.
At the Howard Tower Ivy was doing laps in the pool and sunbathing as her father watched concerned about the actions she was taking. "Is this wise Ivy? Is fighting this girl worth losing my potential off shore holdings?"
"I believe it is." Ivy said. "I'm sorry if it means undermining your authority."
"No problem." Geese said. "I've taught you well. The girl Katherine has only a limited skill at best. What she learns will be nothing compared to what I have taught you." Ivy nodded thinking that her father was right, but still she wondered if Kat would sign up for the tournament, even if it meant keeping several countries out of Geese's debt.
"Did you really even have the guts to sing up Katherine... ?" Ivy thought as she floated in the indoor pool in the penthouse section of the Tower.
"I believe she did."
Ivy turned around and saw Geese sitting the lounge chair in his suit looking at her. In his hands was a piece of paper. She then got out of the pool and then dried herself off. "What did you say father?"
Geese then handed to her the paper. "This is the current team line up for this years King of Fighters Tournament. The last team on the list should interest you."
-Team Japan: Kyo Kusanagi-Benimaru Nikaido-Goro Daimon
-The Lonely Wolves: Terry Bogard-Andy Bogard-Joe Higashi
-Psycho Soldier Team: Athena Asamiya-Sie Kensou-Chin Gentsai
-Team Korea: Kim Kaphwan-Chang Koehan-Choi Bounge
-The Fighters of Kyokugenryo: Ryo Sakazaki-Robert Garcia-Yuri Sakazaki
-Team Gorgeous: Mai Shiranui-King-Blue Mary
-Team Yagami: Iori Yagami-Mature-Vice
-The Ikari Warriors: Leona-Ralf-Clark
-Team USA: Ivy Howard-Billy Kane-Daniel Kane
-Fighters of Destiny: Laocorn Gaudeamus-Panni Citrine-Lyla Topaz-The Lady Wolves: Alison Bogard-Cassie Chan-Katherine Hillard
Ivy smiled. "Well well... I am very surprised... and very happy."
"Just remember Ivy, Don't lose!" Geese said those last two words with a chill to them, and Ivy knew there would be serious repercussions if she did fail to win against Kat and the Lady Wolves. This was not a time for arrogance. Ivy knew Kat would be training hard.
Ivy would have to train just as hard.
Cassidy had loaded up her stuff into her Techno Zord which was reduced to the size of a typical car. However Samantha and Ashley couldn't take their eyes on Nash's 'Cuda. "Wow! This car is so cool!" Samantha said as she looked over the car.
"Only fourteen of its kind were made." Alison said as she looked off from the side. Ashley also looked at the car and seemed like she was in heaven. "You like cars?" Alison asked her sister.
"Love 'em." Ashley answered. "And a car like this. Oh wow. Dad would freak! I wish we were taking this car back home"
"Sorry it's Cassidy's fathers'. He thought about turning it over to her, but decided against it. We're taking the Techno Zord in vehicle mode." Alison explained. "Which means we may need your father to come for us if we break down." Ashley gave Alison a slight look and immediately corrected her sister's statement. "Our father."
"You're right. I need to get used to having a dad again." Alison said. Kat looked at the door of the Bridges house where Cassidy and her father were saying their goodbyes. She couldn't help but feel a little sad. When she left Austrailia there were family she had to say goodbye to as well. And for Kat it wasn't easy. She figured that it must be harder for Cassidy since it's her father she was saying goodbye to. Kat's was still very much part of her life.
On the porch Cassidy saw the girls waiting in the Techno Zord. "Looks like your friends are waiting." Nash said. "Got everything you need?"
"Just enough for a road trip." Cassidy answered. "The guys teleported the rest to the Hillard's house. She then reached up and hugged her father hard as she said "Goodbye daddy." with tears in her eyes.
"No goodbyes sweetheart. I hate goodbyes." Nash said. Tears forming in his eyes as well. Soon they broke the embrace and father and daughter looked at each other, and knew it would be a while before they saw each other again. "I wish you didn't have to go."
"The Doctor told me something." Cassidy said as she wiped the tears away. "Something he said to his granddaughter when she left." Cassidy tried to remember the words the Doctor said to her. "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs. And prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine." Cassidy said the last one with a smile.
"Well the last one I may have a problem with. But the rest I like." Nash said. "Especially where you said that one day you would come back." Cassidy then reaffirmed to her father "I am coming back daddy."
"I just hope it's soon. Take care sweetheart." Nash and Cassidy then hugged for the last time in a while then she got in the Techno Zord and drove away from her childhood home with her friends.
Nash Bridges watched as his daughter drove away from his wife's house for her new life in Angel Grove. "Be safe Cassidy." Nash said as he then went back into the house.
As the Techno Zord pulled away from San Francisco Cassidy couldn't help but look out at the city that was her home for what could probably be the last time. "Miss it already?" Alison asked.
"Yeah." Cassidy answered as she kept her eyes on the scenery, and on the road as she got on the freeway. "Spent my whole life here."
"Well you'll love Angel Grove." Ashley said. "It's just a great place to be. It's got a beach. Nice park. Boys."
"Now there's a priority." Samantha said in jest and everyone giggled. All the while taking in the scenery on her own. Travelling in the TARDIS broadened her horizons. But driving was something in itself. Especially since she wanted to take in all the landscape of America had to offer. Having a good old fashioned American Road trip. Looking back she saw Kat was the same way. "Enjoying yourself?" Samantha asked.
"Very much." Kat answered. "Usually when I see the sights I don't see them until I get to where I'm going. Now I get to see them as I'm going." Looking out the girls saw San Francisco Bay as they drove on the Bay Bridge leaving the San francisco area.
"Well then girls. Next stop Angel Grove." Cassidy then opened up the Techno Zord's engine and the girls enjoyed a fast ride all the way to Angel Grove.
In his temple, the Heavenly King of the Wind Goentiz looked up at a statue of an eight headed demon dragon.
"The Yata has been killed and the Seal has been broken. The last two years had been in preparation for this." Goentiz said in homage. "In one month the stars will be in alignment. The worlds greatest fighters will play into our hands my God... and when it is done you shall be reborn."
Meanwhile back at the Power Chamber a lot of the Ranger guys were down right tired. Mostly because of carrying their new team member's belongings up to her new room at the place she would be living in. "Wow man. I can't believe that girl has that much stuff." Zack said out of breath.
"I know what you mean." Rocky said. "I'm already having nightmares at the mall with Cassidy, Aisha, Kimberly AND Kat!"
"Don't go there." Tommy said. "You'll give me shopping nightmares now." Soon everyone was laughing when Tommy saw Jason standing nearby. Tommy walked over and spoke to his friend. "Hey bro. Thanks. Thanks for sticking up for me. Getting me free from Iblis and all."
"No problem. I'd do it again if I had to. And I know you'd do the same for me if you could." Tommy nodded as he then hugged Jason in a brotherly embrace. "In a heartbeat bro. In a heartbeat."
Suddenly the communications console activated. Alpha quickly went to decode the message. "Ai, yi, yi. Billy. We just received a communiqué. From Aquitar."
Billy quickly rushed to the console and activated the message. The viewing globe appeared to have nothing but static on it, but then the image resolved and on it appeared a face that Billy knew. A face Billy knew very well.
It was the face of Cestria.
And she appeared to be clearly distressed.
"Billy are you there?" Cestria asked. "Billy please answer me!"
Billy quickly tuned in the communications equipment to get a better reception, also to transmit back. Unfortunately the message was only 'one way'. He could listen to Cestria, but he couldn't answer back.
"If you're listening then I'll tell you. Aquitar is now in the hands of the UAE. The Aquatians are being used for slave labor. Need help. Need..." The signal went out after that.
But all Billy could think about was Cestria, and that Aquitar was still intact, albeit controlled by the United Alliance of Evil.
Light years away a massive warship led a convoy of 185 ships across the vast wilderness of space.
Once it was a fleet of 220, but some of those ships were lost. Some due to attack, others due to their being unable to continue the journey.
One ship stood out, the biggest and bravest of them all. A majestic and strong ship that led her charges across space.
This ship was a Battlestar, and it was called the Galactica
For twenty yahrns she sailed along with her fleet of refugees, led by the wise Adama the fleet of Colonials braved many disasters in their path.
Adama however had since passed on. The reins of power had been turned over to his son Apollo.
Apollo had to prove himself worthy of command time and time again. Even though President Tigh of the Council of Twelve supported Apollo, there were still some councilors who tried to remove him from command. Their efforts had met with failure, but that didn't stop them from trying.
Apollo sat in a special sanctuary located near his father's quarters. It was a meditation chamber as well as a chamber for special information left behind by Adama if Apollo needed it. Right now Apollo had come across some information that he couldn't believe.
Information that told of a visitor that had come to him warning him of the trap the Cylons posed. Told him that the Cylons had their base on Cimtar. Apollo wondered why he could not have told the council this information if he had proof of the Cylons' deception.
"Because, as I said to your father, I would have been asked to bring my findings to the council. And they would have been disproven as lies by Baltar." Apollo had turned around to see Shadow standing behind him. "You. You're the one who had appeared to my father yahrns ago."
"Yes. And now I appear to you. To tell you something else." Apollo stood wondering what Shadow was going to say. He didn't have long to wait.
"Events have transpired on Earth to ensure the planet's survival. And to possibly bring the planet to a level of technology that can help you and your people fight back against the Cylons. Your people will have a home."
"How do you know this?" Apollo asked. "Were you there?"
"I was." Shadow replied. "In some ways Earth is my home too. I'm kind of attached to it. And some forces are looking to ensure it stays protected. You still have many years, or yahrns, to go on your journey but you will make it."
"There will still be some threats to face." Apollo said. "The Cylons for one."
"The Cylons can be dealt with." Shadow said. "In a way they already have been."
Apollo looked at Shadow wondering what he was talking about. "I will just say that the people of Earth are aware of the Cylons' existence. And they will be prepared for them if they ever appear again."
"And what of their master? Count Iblis?" Apollo asked.
Shadow paused briefly. He sensed an absence of sorts from Count Iblis. An absence that didn't deal with him hiding, but of something else. Something that said that Count Iblis wouldn't be a problem anymore. "Count Iblis is no longer a threat."
"How can you be sure?" Apollo asked.
"I am sure." Shadow said. "But I sense another question on your mind. Do you wish to ask it?"
Apollo did wish to ask it, and ask it he did. "Did you know about Zac? And the fate that would have befallen him?"
Shadow knew the answer would not have been easy for Apollo, but Apollo deserved to know. "I knew. But nothing could have swayed him from his decision. He wanted to go on that patrol. We both know that."
Apollo nodded. "I know. I just thought...there could have been...some way to save him."
"He was saved." Shadow said. "We both know he's with the Lords now. And the Lords have been quite helpful in things. And they have helped the people of Earth. You will have a home."
Apollo nodded as Shadow started to fade from sight. "Safe journey Apollo. Safe journey."
And with that Apollo was left alone with his thoughts. His people had a future. They would have a home. And they would have allies that would help them fight back against the Cylons.
He longed for the day that would come.
But for now their journey resumed.
The last Battlestar Galactica leads a rag tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest. A shining planet known as Earth.<B> <CENTER> END </B>