Disclaimer:The Power Rangers are the property of Saban/Disney and I lay no claim to them. The Taelons are from the series Earth:Final Conflict created by Gene Rodenberry. Jack Bauer and Nina Myers are characters from the Fox series '24' created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran. The Rani is from the series Doctor Who and is property of the BBC. Lara Croft of the Tomb Raider games is created by Eidos Interactive. Sara Pezzini is from the Witchblade comics series created by Top Cow Productions. Xizor and Black Sun is based on Prince Xizor from the novel 'Shadows of the Empire'. The song 'River of Dreams' is by Billy Joel. The song 'Puddle of Grace' is by Amy Jo Johnson. The Duke Org Hades is the creation of David Knight. Duke Hazzard, Shiranna and Arcadia Academy are the creations of Shadow Ranger
By The Q-team
Two months had passed since Hades had crossed over from the dimension of his exile to the world of Earth. Two months since he joined the forces of Master Org, and learned all the secrets and alliances that existed in the forces of the Orgs.
The secrets Hades found the most interesting were the secrets regarding Master Org.
Hades was wide eyed when he heard the tale of his transformation from Jindrax and Toxica with the help of alien technology given to him by the Taelons. He was even more amazed when he heard of other happenings since Master Org made his alliance. Among them were the capture of Shiranna, and the alliances with Black Sun and Duke Hazzard.
"So Master Org is not an Org." Hades said. "But you follow him anyway?"
"For now." Toxica said. "For now we are amassing our forces. Determining who is ally, and who is enemy."
"And what have you determined?" Hades asked.
"Well the Taelons will side with us, and I believe Rani will be impartial as long as she keeps her....subjects." Toxica sneered. Hades nodded in understanding. When he heard what the Rani had done to the Wild Force Rangers he was impressed, as well as a little unsettled.
"What about the rest of the inner circle?" Hades asked. "Like Xizor and Hazzard?"
"We haven't approached them yet." Toxica said. "But Mandilok will be making ready to. She has been waiting for just the right moment to try to make her....proposal to them."
"It won't be easy." Hades said. "Master Org has the Wild Zords and the Elysian woman controlling them. They are the key to keeping the alliance together. Not to mention Nayzor will most likely stand with Master Org now that Onihime is here." Toxica's fists clenched when she heard Onihime's name. -She's not even a true Org and she's treated better than me. I'm a dutchess. She's just a brat!-
"Don't worry." Toxica said putting the thoughts of Onihime out of her head. "Mandilok is quite clever on her own. She will get the support we need."
"I hope so." Hades said. "I long to come out of hiding, and confront the Winged Falcon. While I have learned much during my stay here, I still want my revenge."
"Nothing would please me more Hades." a voice said in the distance. Master Org stood in the doorway scaring Jindrax and Toxica as they wondered how much he had heard. Master Org however paid them no mind as he went to Hades' side and patted his shoulder.
"I long to see the expression on the Winged Falcon's face myself when he sees you. You who shall destroy him and the rest of the Primal Force." Master Org said sneering. Hades looked at Master Org's hand and then looked in his eyes. He seemed so different, yet so much like an Org as well.
How much of him did the Rani change? Was it just his body or did she change more of him?
"You will not be disappointed." Hades said. Master Org smiled as he then said. "Prepare for battle. We shall strike at the Primal Force again soon." He then turned to leave the room when he noticed Jindrax and Toxica. "What are you two doing here?" Master Org asked.
"Uhhhhh. We were just getting to know Hades better." Toxica said. "After all we found him in the Amazon." Master Org just stared at his two Duke Orgs and then said "Prepare yourselves. We shall strike again in a few hours."
"Yes Master Org." Jindrax and Toxica both said as Master Org then left the room. Apparently he had been unaware of the coup Jindrax and Toxica were planning. "Whoa, that was close." Toxica said.
"Too close." Jindrax said. "If Master Org found out...."
"Master Org can wait." Hades said as he drew his sword. "Right now I have more important matters to attend to. Jindrax and Toxica both knew what Hades meant.
Winged Falcon and the Primal Force Power Rangers.
CTU Los Angeles.
In his office Jack Bauer sat behind his desk looking at his calendar. The sixty days offered to Steven Merrickson had almost passed, and Steven had not been in contact recently.
Not much was reported other than what had been previously mentioned. Victor Adler apparently had become some creature Master Org. Jack had the file drawn up on him. Celebrated teacher, dissapeared on a dig in the Amazon, now involved in extra terrestrial terrorist activities. Jack tried to convince Chappelle to try to give Merrickson more support, or at least more time, but Chappelle was adamant. Jack sat at his desk remembering the conversation.
"No Jack." Chappelle said. "The Freak Zone is outside our jurisdiction."
"But the person responsible is human." Jack replied. "He's a home grown threat."
"But he's not using home grown weapons." Chappelle said. "If that was the case I wouldn't hesitate. But this...Master Org is using stuff CTU is not equipped to combat. If it was nerve gas or a nuclear weapon then I'd send a team. But he's not."
"Damn it Ryan. What is it going to take?" Jack said. "What is it going to take to get you involved."
"More than what Merrickson is giving." Chappelle said. "Now he's got ten days left of the sixty allotted to him. If he doesn't come up with something by the time his final report is due then I'm pulling him back and he resumes his duties here."
"Ryan..." Jack said almost pleading.
"This is not negotiable Jack." Chappelle said. "Merrickson's got ten days left." Jack scowled hard as he then stormed out of Chappelle's office at division slamming the door on the way out. When he arrived at CTU he stormed up to his office ignoring everybody and sat stewing in his juices. Five minutes later Nina Meyers decided she was going to be the 'brave' one and walked into his office asking how Jack was faring.
"Ten days." Jack said in anger. "Merrickson's got ten days to either finish up or get something to warrant his continued presence there." Nina was silent not knowing what to say.
"There's still nothing on Kristen." Jack continued. "No sign of Taylor's body." He then looked at Nina and she had her own look of concern. "Anything from your brother?"
"No." Nina said. "Eric hasn't given anything new. I'd do anything to get him out of there right now."
Jack sighed wondering what else to do. Then he had an idea. "Chappellle wants a final assessment of Steven's activities. Lately Steven hasn't been able to report much."
Nina caught on to what Jack was thinking. "And perhaps an on site observer might offer something a report can't?" Jack nodded. "Think you can swing down to the Cove?"
"I'm already on my way." Nina said as she got out of the chair and made ready to head down to Turtle Cove. Jack hoped she could find something to keep Steven down there and make Master Org pay for Taylor's death, and Kristen's disappearance.
-Truly this is heaven- the Rani thought as she sat in her imagery chair. Rani was looking over, and savoring, the memories she viewed of her latest acquisition. The acquisition she had introduced to the Taelon blue tanks. The Tomb Raider Lara Croft. Once a beautiful and dangerous woman. Now she was nothing more than molecules and memories in the Rani's power.
Rani saw everything about Lara. Every thought, every memory, every hope, every dream. Her childhood as an aristocrat in the Croft family, her first dig with Vernor Von Croy and the apprenticeship she had with him, before his betrayal. The myriad of adventures she had. The loss of her parents and fiancée' that led to the changing of her life from spoiled rich girl to adventuress.
It was all before the Rani. Everything that was Lara was hers to inspect. And to change if she wished.
-The power to be one's personal god. To change one's thoughts and nature to your own wishes. Yes Croft. That is the power I have over you, and I can exercise it anytime I wish.-
Rani however decided that she wouldn't. Not yet. She wanted to savor having Lara in her power before doing anything else. No, her thoughts turned to the matters of the here and now.
Those matters were regarding the Lunar Wolf Ranger.
Rani stood up out of her chair and made her way to where Lunar Wolf was sleeping a troubled sleep. When she arrived she looked over the girl in the Ranger outfit connected to tubes and power cords trying to keep her rapidly deteriorating condition stable. Her degeneration was already affecting her sleep cycle and Rani had to admit a series of tranquilizers to keep her stable, and any nightmares at bay.
-The degeneration may be affecting her CVI. I will have to monitor that.-
Rani knew that Lunar Wolf was dying, and wondered perhaps that for the time being she should not join Lara Croft and the Wild Force Rangers to the fate they all shared. After all it was better than the deterioration she was undergoing, and she would be kept well preserved.
At any rate Rani wondered if a second tank shouldn't be prepared. In case anymore 'unpleasant business' came their way. Rani decided she would prepare a blue tank for Lunar Wolf. It was wise to keep a valuable resource on hand until a proper replacement came about. She left the lab leaving the Lunar Wolf in her chamber.
The shoreline of Turtle Cove had seen better days. In fact it had seen better decades, if not centuries.
Trash had been strewn all along the coastline. Papers, empty pop bottles, candy wrappers, the only thing missing was hazardous waste and some tourists wondered if that was not next on the list of pollutants to enter the cove.
On the shoreline young boy looked out at all the trash that lay before him, sickened and sad by all the destruction of the environment before him. A sign on the waterfront gave a posting for a $200 fine for littering, but the boy wondered if that fine was truly enforced. And what was even more damning was the knowledge that this was only the smallest percentage of the pollution that was occurring all across the planet.
"Just look at all this trash." the boy said looking in sorrow at everything before him. In his mind he saw the world as it should have been. Green, lush with grass trees and plants. Water blue with families swimming. But none of that was here now.
Looking at the trash he saw more wrappers, broken bottles, needles, tin cans. It almost looked as if the ocean had become a trash dump. And any that wasn't dropped on land was washed up on the shore.
"Where are the protectors of the Earth?" the boy asked out loud. "Where are the Guardians?" There was no answer. Not that he expected one, but he definitely could have used one.
He continued to walk the beach in sorrow of the sights before him. Parks where trash was strewn all around. Litter in other places. A homeless man slept with a newspaper on him with an article sticking out saying how a corporation was facing charges for illegal chemical dumping. But the boy wondered if the charges would ever go to court.
"So much potential. And it's all wasted." The boy looked at humanity as a doomed species. Any potential it had to work with nature seemed to have evaporated. And he felt something had to be done.
Not far away however someone was watching the boy. Someone who knew who the boy was, and what his purpose was.
That someone was Shiranna. She was tracking unusual life readings similar to those of the Wild Zords.
Her search was successful.
In another section of the Academy Hazzard received a message from Shirrana. "What is it?" he asked his manipulated slave.
"He's here." Shiranna said as she indicated the image she picked up of the boy. Hazzard looked at the boy and stared in disbelief. He then smiled as he knew who the boy was and the potential he possessed. Already plans were being made in his mind as to determine how best to capture the boy and bring him to Arcadia to suffer the Rani's 'tender mercies'.
"Maintain observation." Hazzard said. "I will let you know when it is time to subdue." Hazzard then cut off the signal and then contacted Rani. "Yes Hazzard?" Rani asked.
"I need everyone assembled." Hazzard said. "I have a mission for Lunar Wolf."
New York City
In her apartment Sara Pezzini sat looking out at the New York City skyline wondering what had happened to her friend Lara Croft. It had been two months since she had heard anything and cases kept her from following up immediately. Still Sara would have expected the Tomb Raider to have checked in days, if not weeks, ago.
When Lara found out Ranitime was involved in a case she was called out for Lara made a call to Sara letting her know what was happening. Like Lara, Sara couldn't believe the Rani was still alive. She was left to die in the ruins of Arcadia Arizona. But then the Doctor did say that the Rani had a way of staying alive, and Sara guessed that Rani had found a way.
The only question now was 'Is Lara Croft dead?' Sara didn't know, but she decided that she would find out.
After seeing an ad with William Shatner on the TV Sara called Priceline.com to get the best rate for discount airfare she reserved a ticket to fly out to Turtle Cove, and see if she could find Lara. -This better be good Shatner.- she thought. -If not.....well your reputation will go down further than any of your former Star Trek castmates can take it.-
She then packed an overnight bag for two to three nights and then called for a cab to take her to where her flight was reserved. Once the cab arrived, she headed to LaGuardia Airport to catch her flight. She got a good deal on a seat in economy class, but Sara didn't mind. She needed to get to Turtle Cove to find where Lara went.
Besides it's not like I could afford first class even if it was cheap.- Sara thought. -Especially on a cops' salary.- On the ride up Sara thought -Hang on Lara I'm coming.-
It had been a long two months for Hades as he reacquainted himself with the world known as Earth.
So much had happened in three thousand years. So lush was the green planet, so pure. Now it had become something else. Something almost.....Org.
-I never would have thought humans were capable of this.- Hades thought. -They could be even bigger monsters than the Orgs someday.-
And now was the day he would meet the main hierarchy of the Org Alliance in the main meeting hall of Arcadia. At the top was Master Org -If he was the real Master Org- Hades mentally added remembering the story Jindrax and Toxica had told him. Then he saw General Nayzor along with his makeshift daughter Onihime. Hades knew Nayzor would be a problem, especially since Master Org provided him with his greatest desire, his daughter returned to him.
-Or at least a programmable copy- Hades thought. He had heard the story of how Onihime was recreated from Toxica. She still bellyached about how her DNA was used to as she quoted 'recreate the brat'. But that gave Hades a few ideas. He wondered if the Rani was still using the treatments on Onihime and wondered if at some point he could make some....modifications to the treatments.
-Something for later- Hades thought as he then noticed Xizor standing off to the side, head of the Black Sun criminal organization and ally to Master Org. Hades knew he had to watch out for this one, as he didn't know what to expect from Xizor. He was a wild card, and Hades didn't care much for wild cards.
But out of all the allies Master Org had amassed, Hades never expected to see HIM. He had heard stories of this being and his campaigns against the Wild Zords, but never did he expect to see this being in the flesh.
"Duke Hazzard." Hades said in introduction. "I've heard of you." Hazzard just seemed to give Hades a casual nod as if acknowledging the Duke Org's presence, but he went no further than that. Hades kept his eye on Hazzard for a few moments longer until he saw the woman that had stayed by Hazzards' side. The woman Jindrax and Toxica had told him about, and never expected to see.
She came and stood off to Hazzard's side, brainwashed into doing his bidding. She had returned per Hazzard's order as the plans were being made to secure the boy's capture. Shiranna reported no significant change in the boy's status. Everyone nodded happily. The boy would not see what was coming.
Hades knew the reason why he kept the Elysian so close as she was the key to controlling the Wild Zords that were captive. -Something to note for the future.- he thought. Then he saw the Lunar Wolf Ranger. A girl that looked like she was barely able to stand. Hades knew what was happening to her based on what he heard from Jindrax and Toxica. He put his thoughts of the Luanr Wolf out of his mind as he turned to the key of the alliance. The glue that was holding everything together.
She was a mystery to Hades. She had kept her origins close to the vest, but he had his suspicions.
He had heard of a race called Time Lords, who observed the affairs of the universe. Rarely interfering if ever at all. They seemed to be a stodgy and dull race. Not as interesting as the Orgs, or even the humans.
Yet for all their dullness Time Lord society did produce a few 'renegades'. Individuals who left their home planet in search for greener pastures. Hades had heard tales of a Time Lord called 'The Master' before his exile, and found the tales involving him to be quite enjoyable.
And now there was a Time Lord before him. He knew her to be a Time Lord. Only they would have had such knowledge to rally so many different factions together in a united purpose. The end of the Guardians of the Earth. Through that goal they were united into a hierarchy.
And now, two months later. Hades had ingrained himself into the hierarchy. He had even set up a 'surprise' or two he hoped would be....beneficial. But those surprises would be revealed later. For now he sat as Rani unveiled her latest plan involving Lunar Wolf.
"Do you really mean to deploy this wench into battle one last time?" Hades asked looking at Lunar Wolf standing at attention, or at least trying to. Hades thought she looked a bit unsteady. "She's barely able to stand."
"She's good for one battle, and that's all we'll need." the Rani said. "One battle that will be the key battle, that will bring about the end of the Rangers. Only then will she be used."
Hades nodded as he noticed Hazzard leave to attend business elsewhere. "So. What all do the Rangers know?"
"They know most of us here." Rani said. "But Hazzard has remained a secret for the time being. However I wouldn't be surprised if he made his presence known to the Rangers at some point. Just as I am sure you would like to make your presence known to the Winged Falcon."
"Yes." Hades said as he thought of the Winged Falcon and the defeat suffered at his hands. He longed to be the one to bring him down. Master Org then stepped forward and said "Patience my friend. Soon we shall ALL have our revenge."
Hades nodded and then bowed. He left with Jindrax and Toxica as Master Org looked on. A smile across his face.
As if he had known something he wasn't supposed to know about his 'loyal Duke Orgs'.
Something he would be ready for when the time came. But that was neither here nor there. Rani looked in Hazzard's direction and immediately asked "All right Hazzard what is the purpose for this meeting?"
"I need Lunar Wolf for a mission." Hazzard said.
"The Lunar Wolf is on her last legs." Rani said. "She's good for one last battle then she will disintegrate."
"Is there nothing that can be done?" Xizor asked.
"Nothing." Rani said. "I have stretched her ability to resist the disintegration, but that process is already taxed to the limits. One more battle, and that's it."
"Well then I say she should go down fighting." Master Org said. "At least she will still be useable, and we can always get another to take the powers." Rani nodded and thought that she already had a perfect candidate in mind once Kendall finished disintegrating. Rani nodded in agreement at Master Org's assessment. She then turned to Hazzard and asked "All right Hazzard, what's the mission?"
Hazzard then brought up on the view screen the image of the boy his agent was pursuing. Toxica looked on stunned at what she saw. "It can't be."
"But it is." Hades said also recognizing the boy. "He must be captured."
Rani also recognized the boy and said "Very well. But I will keep Lunar Wolf in reserve. Toxica and Onihime will lead the capture mission."
"WHAT?!" both female Orgs shouted. Toxica shouted "Me work with that brat?"
Onihime responded by shouted "Me work with that old shrew?! I'd rather...."
"ENOUGH!!!" Master Org shouted. "You will both subdue that boy. That is above any petty squabbles you might have with each other!"
"She started it!" both Onihime and Toxica said in unison. Master Org just shot a bolt of energy between the two as if saying "I don't care." Toxica and Onihime looked at their respective...compatriots. In Onihime's case it was Nayzor. In Toxica's case it was Hades and Jindrax. All three nodded as if saying 'forget your squabbles right now. This is more important.' Onihime and Toxica both nodded and gave one final glare to one another. Hazzard however wasn't sure assigning them to get the boy was a good idea.
"Are you sure these two can do the job?" Hazzard asked. "The power that boy has." Both Onihime and Toxica shot a look towards Hazzard which Hazzard paid no mind to.
"I don't intend to waste Lunar Wolf's life by sending her in first." Rani said. "Toxica and Onihime should be sufficient. If they aren't THEN I'll send Lunar Wolf."
Onihime smiled as if anxious for the mission. Toxica looked annoyed at having to team up with Onihime, especially when Onihime said "Come on granny. We have a boy to catch." Toxica glared at Onihime and said "Watch it with the granny bit. The last one to call me that is now a bunch of molecules and memories."
"Yeah? So?" Onihime asked in challenge.
"You don't want that to be you now do you?" Toxica said glaring in Onihime's eyes. Nayzor then got between the two and asked straight out "Is that a challenge?"
Toxica held her gaze between Nayzor and Onihime for a good few seconds then backed away not wanting to get into it with Nayzor. Not yet anyway. But the time would come. The time would come when she would make sure that 'princess' got her 'just desserts'.
In the meantime they had a boy to capture.
The Primal Force Rangers were busy themselves the last two months as well. There had been no attacks from the Orgs which led the Rangers time to devote to other pursuits. One of those pursuits was trying to find any sign of Lara Croft. Much to their dismay they were having no luck.
They searched all the ruins of the Kingdom of Animaria. Even the miles and miles of jungle were searched. There were no traces. No evidence that Lara was anywhere in the area.
"Anything?" Jeremy asked as Shayla looked in the Sacred Waters trying to find some trace of Lara..
"Nothing." Shayla said. "I've traced every inch of the temple where she was last seen, but there's no sign of her. The sacred waters can't seem to locate her."
"Could the Orgs have killed her?" Curtis asked. "Like they did...." Curtis broke off the sentence. He knew what was to have been said next, and he knew the loss of the Wild Force Rangers was still a blow to her.
"Right now I'd have to say that's a possibility." Eric said. "But right now we don't know a lot of things. We're no closer to finding answers than when the Wild Force disappeared."
"Except that we know Master Org is not working alone." Sylvia said. "Who all does he have now? The Rani? Xizor?""
"And who knows who else?" Willy asked. Everyone sighed as they wondered when the next shoe would drop. Kelly broke the monotony when she asked "Anyone seen Steven?"
"He needed some time to himself. Went to the bluff." Jeremy said. Kelly volunteered to go looking for him. "I'll be back." she said. The rest of the Rangers nodded.
Kelly walked down the path hoping to find Steven. There was a lot of brush and grass making the path a little difficult to traverse, but somehow Kelly had a feeling Steven liked it that way. He seemed like the type of person that needed to get away for a few moments to be himself. And Kelly was curious as to what that self was.
He had been trying to deal with which parts of himself were actually himself, and which were of the long lost warrior Merrick. Steven had found some of the answers he had been seeking, and had looked within himself to find the rest. As he continued to be of help to the Primal Force Rangers he often contemplated in private to find the answers he sought.
-Right now I could use some answers as to when this path ends.- Kelly thought as she navigated the brush before her. However as Kelly walked down the path her mind turned towards a different matter.
Kimberly hadn't called for weeks.
Kelly knew Kim was in London visiting Kat. She didn't go into details saying that it was a private matter, and that she would know more later. She also told Kelly it would be a while before she called, and true enough it was.
Still Kelly wished Kim had called. She had been out of touch before, but not for so long a period. She wished she could go and look, but figured that the rest of the former Rangers could find her if there was a problem. -They had been tight. Even after Minion's Legacy. If she's in trouble they'll find her.-
But that didn't stop Kelly from missing her.
Kelly tried to put the thoughts out of her mind as she continued down the path knocking away brush and grass. It wasn't long before she reached the end of the path where Steven sat looking over a clearing at the Animarium, a guitar in hand. He plucked a few strings listening for a tune when he received an unusual visitor. The Deerzord came forward looking at Steven.
"Well hello there." Steven said. "Shouldn't you be with Kelly right now?" Deerzord replied with a nod towards Steven, or at least Steven's guitar.
"Oh this?" Steven said motioning to the instrument. "It's just something I play. I have an electric one at home, but when I want to play other music I use this one." Deerzord then let out a sound as if asking Steven if he could play a song.
"You want me to play something?" Steven asked. The Deerzord nodded.
"Well there is this song I like. I think it might fit your tastes." Steven then played a few chords and then started playing the song. The Deerzord listened to the melody and lyrics finding them to its liking.
I go walking in my sleep From the mountains of faith To a river so deep I must be searching for something Something sacred I lost But the river is wide And it's too hard to cross
And even though I know the river is wide I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore And try to cross to the opposite side So I can finally find out what I've been looking for
In the middle of the night I go walking in my sleep Through the valley of fear To a river so deep And I've been searching for something Taken out of my soul Something I would never lose Something somebody stole
I don't know why I go walking at night But now I'm tired and I don't want to walk anymore I hope it doesn't take the rest of my life Until I find what it is I've been looking for
In the middle of the night I go walking in my sleep Through the jungle of doubt To a river so deep I know I'm searching for something Something so undefined That it can only be seen By the eyes of the blindIn the middle of the night.
Kelly listened to the music as she walked up. She saw the Deerzord listening and enjoying the tune, and Kelly found herself being swept into the music.
God knows I've never been a spiritual man Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river That runs to the promised land
In the middle of the night I go walking in my sleep Through the desert of truth To the river so deep We all end in the ocean We all start in the streams We're all carried along By the river of dreamsIn the middle of the night.
Once Steven wrapped up the song Kelly started clapping in applause. "Nice. One of yours?"
"No." Steven said. "The River of Dreams by Billy Joel. Got into music as a kid, although my mother wanted me to learn the flute. I thought a guitar sounded better."
"An ironic choice." Kelly said. Steven wondered what Kelly meant and she quickly explained. "My cousin Kimberly plays the guitar. She even taught me a bit herself."
Steven looked intrigued. "Know any songs?"
"One or two." Kelly said. Steven then handed the guitar to her as if saying, "Let's see what you've got." Kelly said, "I'm a bit rusty" as she played a few chords.
"Don't disappoint your audience." Steven said nodding to the Deerzord. The Deerzord in turn nodded as if encouraging Kelly to play. Kelly smiled and shook her head knowing that she was outvoted. Taking the guitar she placed the strap over her neck and played a song of her own..
Could you recognize your face? Tell me tell me what to say Mine's lost without a trace Momma can you help me please? My hero just stabbed me With a knife that I did lend 'Oh momma who's my friend Tell me, tell me why do you go when all the diamonds have run dry Tell me, tell me how do you feel after bittersweet goodbye's I had almost found my face I was almost me But my pride couldn't swallow what it ateBoy I hope you're happy
Steven listened to the lyrics and detected a sadness in the way Kelly sang the song. Almost as if she was....tired of the darkness. Tired of the sadness that had taken over her life in the past few months. He looked in the Deerzord's direction and noticed it nodding to the melody. And although the melody was beautiful it was also sad sounding to the Deerzord as well.
Tell me, tell me how do you feel after bittersweet goodbye's How do you feel when all the diamonds have run dry? How do you feel after bittersweet goodbye's? Today I found my face Floating in a puddle of grace A porcelain doll with cracks to mend Oh momma I found a friend Oh momma I found a friendOh momma I found a friend
Steven let a moment go past before acknowledging Kelly's song. Almost as if giving her a chance to catch her bearings. "Nice one." Steven said. "One of yours?"
"No." Kelly said. "Puddle of Grace by Amy Jo Johnson. Although it's kind of uncanny that she looks a lot like Kim."
"You and Kim in touch?" Steven asked. Kelly just sighed remembering how much she missed her cousin.
"I haven't heard from her in a while." Kelly said after a pause. "After she and Skull broke up, she left for London. I haven't heard from her since."
"Skull?" Steven asked.
"Eugene Skullovitch." Kelly explained. "A former bully until we found there was more underneath the surface. Such as a love of classical music. He's actually a good piano player himself."
"Why did they break up?" Steven asked.
Kelly paused wondering what to say. "I guess it had to do with what happened after Sylvia's cousin Trini died. They were Rangers together. In fact, they were part of the original team. But then Trini got...possessed or something and threatened to destroy everything. Everything started to fall apart afterwards."
"You want to talk about it?" Steven asked.
Kelly sighed. "I don't know. I guess it all seems like one big slippery slope. Anytime one comes close to happiness it gets taken away. And it takes forever to get it back, if ever at all."
"And Xizor?" Steven asked. Kelly shook her head.
"I won't lie and say that I still get chills when I hear his name, but I don't want him to dominate my life. I want to move on. I don't want his darkness to shadow me."
Suddenly Kelly and Steven were both speechless as they realized they were close to each other. Close enough to kiss. To Kelly's credit, and surprise, she didn't feel like trembling. In fact she seemed comfortable in Steven's presence.
"Are you okay?" Steven asked. "I don't want you to feel uncomfortable. I mean I know..."
"Shut up and kiss me." Kelly said straight forward. She then let out a small smile at the directness of the quote and soon both parted their lips and shared a soft kiss that became deeper and tender. When they broke Steven looked in Kelly's eyes, and for the first time in a long time she felt happy.
"Not bad." she said. "Can you do it again just as good?"
"I can try." Steven said as the two kissed again. The Deerzord turned away leaving the two in privacy. Privacy that didn't last too long.
"There you are." Sylvia said as she startled Kelly and Steven. "You leave to go find a guy, and here you are playing tonsil hockey."
"Oh man." Kelly said fixing herself. Steven quickly did the same as Kelly explained. "I'm sorry. I found Steven, he was playing the guitar, soon I was playing. One thing led to another..."
"Save it." Sylvia said. "Right now we have to meet at the sacred waters. Once the Orgs are beaten you can both check a room." Steven and Kelly both blushed and followed the path down to the sacred waters. Sylvia stopped Kelly before they arrived and asked "You okay? He didn't."
"He didn't Sylvia. And I'm fine." Kelly said with a smile. The light in her eyes indicated that she was in fact just that. Sylvia then let out a smile of her own and followed her friends to the sacred waters, which were erupting. "Princess Shayla what's wrong?" Steven asked.
"There's an attack!" Shayla said as she pointed to the image in the sacred waters. An image of a young boy being attacked by Putrids. Putrids that were being led by Onihime, Jindrax and Toxica.
"Why are all three of them there?" Kelly asked. I would have thought they only needed one Duke Org to lead Putrids."
"Well Jindrax never goes anywhere without Toxica." Jeremy said. "But why's Onihime there as well?"
"Let's worry about that later." Eric said. "We've got to save that kid." Jeremy nodded and Eric and the Primal Force stood ready to morph.
All six Rangers headed to the attack site. Steven stayed behind to observe wishing he could have been alongside the Rangers.
It seemed like only a minute ago that the young boy was watching a pair of beach bums throwing their water bottles into the ocean like it was a trash can. "Whoops!" they kept saying as if dropping the bottles was an accident, when it clearly wasn't.
"Clumsy me!" the other bum laughed as he dropped another bottle. They had done the same to a beach in Mariner Bay. But new regulations were put in place by Lightspeed which helped local law enforcement now that the demon threat was gone. They figured Turtle Cove was a good place to 'hang out', and to them 'hanging out' meant hanging over the pier having....accidents.
The young boy looked at the two beach bums feeling nauseated. -Is this what humans have become?- he asked himself. If the two bums were the symbol of today's humanity then humanity must have been a doomed people indeed.
As the boy was walking towards the bums the Orgs appeared sending all the people scaling for safety. The bums seeing the Orgs appeared jumped into the water they helped pollute thinking wading in their own garbage was better than whatever the Orgs wanted to do with them. Had the boy seen this he would have been amused. However the Orgs had gotten his full attention.
"Hello little boy you're coming with us." Toxica said as the Putrids circled the boy like sharks ready to pounce. That was when help arrived in the form of the Primal Force and the Quantum Ranger..
"What are you doing Toxica?" Winged Falcon said. "You resorting to kidnapping now?"
"If you only knew Rangers." Toxica laughed. That was when Onihime stepped forward and said "Who do you think you are grandma? I'm the Princess. I call the shots."
Toxica clenched her fists as she heard the word 'grandma' as it reminded her of the Noble Tiger Ranger Alyssa. "This is my operation. I didn't even want you along." Toxica shot back trying to control some of her anger at Onihime for calling her 'grandma'. Jindrax interrupted and said "Ladies. Ladies please we've got other things to worry about here."
Then as if on cue Armored Armadillo and Raging Rhino leapt forward delivering a pair of side kicks to Jindrax. "Ha! You missed!" Tozica gloated.
"No they didn't." a voice said from off to the side. Both Onihime and Toxica turned to see Gentle Giraffe and Spirited Deer do a pair of leg sweeps knocking Onihime and Toxica both down. They then dropped elbows knocking the wind out of them for a few minutes. Onihime and Toxica tried to recover but the two girl Rangers were quick to the attack, as were the guy Rangers as they brought down Jindrax for a moment. The Duke Orgs were down.
That only left the Putrids to deal with. "Twenty of them, six of us." Quantum Ranger said.
"That means someone gets one or more than their allotted butt kicking quota." Winged Falcon said. "All right Rangers. Let's do it!"
The Primal Force and Quantum Ranger rushed into battle facing off against the Putrids. None of them saw where the kid went.
Meanwhile the object of the Orgs' attack was safe and sound. Hiding among the bushes and watching the battle before him, but so curious as to the sight he was seeing.
-These don't look like the guardians I know.- the kid thought. -They have been touched by Animaria, but they are not the Guardians.- The boy shook his head in wonder as to what he was seeing.
-This is all wrong. Where are the Guardians?-
The Primal Force and Quantum Ranger fought off the Putrids as the Orgs tried to get in some free shots. Jindrax tried to land some shots against his 'new rival' the Gentle Giraffe, and she was holding her own.
"You have a thing against Yellow Rangers?" Gentle Giraffe asked.
"Shut up and fight the Master of Blades." Jindrax said. Gentle Giraffe jumped up and allowed Winged Falcon to deliver a sword strike disarming him, and then both Winged Falcon and Gentle Giraffe delivered simultaneous super kicks knocking back the Duke Org.
Spirited Deer, Armored Armadillo and Raging Rhino were fighting the Putrids as Toxica tried to aim her staff to shoot a beam of energy knocking them down. Onihime then stepped forward hoping to get a cleaner shot disrupting Toxica's but the Putrids were already taken down. The Rangers' attention was turned to the two Orgs.
And the two Orgs' attention was turned to each other as they both had enough and were ready to come to blows.
"You little brat stop getting in my way!" Toxica shouted.
"Your way! You are always interfering with me!" Onihime growled.
"I am a Duke Org and I demand respect!" Toxica shouted as she got in Onihime's face. Onihime waved her hand as if smelling bad breath off of Toxica. "Ooooh! Never thought you were a garlic fan. Or is that your natural scent?"
"I am a natural beauty!" Toxica responded. "You however are so fake you give plastic a bad name." The taunts seemed to go on as even the Rangers stopped to watch.
"God they really do get oblivious to us when they are fighting each other." Spirited Deer said. The spat seemed to grow until both their tempers seemed to boil at the same time.
"That's it! I've had it with you!" both Toxica and Onihime shouted as they lashed out lightning at each other to hit one another.
Unfortunately it had an unexpected reaction as they were being pulled together... literally.
"What's going on? What's happening to them?" Armored Armadillo asked.
"I don't know but I don't think we'll want to find out." Winged Falcon said as they all braced themselves.
The two female Orgs tried to grab something with their free hands, but there was nothing to grab. They found themselves pulled together into the makeshift vortex, and when there was nothing left to see the vortex exploded causing the Rangers to cover their eyes.
The dust finally settled and then they could only look on at the figure now before them. She had Toxica's staff but it was now green colored. She had Onihime's cloak except it was blue. Her face was now gold and her horn was even longer but in the middle of the horn was a blue oval gem. She kept Onihime's dangle earrings but the headdress was gone and she had strange looking spikes on either side of her head. She had two eyes still but they were crimson red and five gemstones were above her eyes only now it was amethyst, ruby, sapphire, emerald and topaz in that order. She wore a stronger version of Onihime's armor over the purple sorceress robe that Toxica wore. The armor she wore was blue green at the shoulders, silver red for her chest and rounded silver blue bracers.
And then when she opened her mouth to flash a wicked set of teeth she had a hideous laugh.
"What happened to Toxica and Onihime?" Gentle Giraffe muttered.
"The Duchess Org Toxica and the Princess Org Onihime are no more. They have become as one and I am that one. I am the High Princess Org Onixica!" She then raised her staff. "Now be good to me and die like the vermin you are! YAHHH!!!"
A massive amount of energy was shot from Toxica's body.