Disclaimer: The Q-Team and its members do not own or lay claim to Power Rangers or any other show used in the creation of this fanwork.
By the Q-team
On board the Astro Megaship, Ashley sat on the bridge with Andros. Much as she had done several times before. For some reason the bridge had become a 'special place' for the two of them as they could look out amongst the stars and lose themselves in them. It almost sounded romantic if it didn't sound unusual at the same time.
"One of these days we've got to put in an observation deck." Ashley said. Andros wasn't sure about that idea. "I don't know. I wouldn't want to see a deck blown up over and over again because it's not fortified. Trust me I've seen it happen."
Ashley smiled as it seemed like Andros was developing a slight sense of humor. But she could also sense that he was being serious as well. Maybe he had seen a lot of observation decks blown up, and it left him reluctant to build one on the Megaship itself. So far they had been limited to the bridge, ship portholes, and looking up from the ground on Earth to do some stargazing. All three had been nice, but still...she would have preferred something....special.
Ashley then took her thoughts off 'special places' and turned them towards 'special someones'. Namely her newly discovered twin Alison.
Since Ashley and Alison had discovered each other they had been getting quite close. In many senses of the word. Almost as if Ashley had been feeling her sister's emotions and vice versa. Andros explained that she and Alison's empathic bond was reforming and that it shouldn't worry them. "Such a bond is considered a gift on KO-35." he said.
"But I'm not from KO-35." Ashley said. "And there are some on Earth that would think such a bond would be kind of....freaky."
"Isn't Alison already what Earth humans would consider 'freaky'?" Ashley had to admit she was hard pressed to agree with Andros there. Alison had been brought up to use ki manipulation in karate fighting techniques. Something that weirded Ashley out yet also peaked her curiosity. Peaked to the point where Ashley wondered if she could do the same thing.
"Yeah she probably would." Ashley said. "But I think people calling her a freak is not what's bothering her now." Ashley felt a sense of unease from Alison and she had a feeling she knew what it meant. There was some concern from Alison as to how the other Astro Rangers, especially Carlos, would react to her. But Ashley knew Alison's unease went deeper than that.
After all it isn't every day that one meets their birth parents for the first time.
"You want to go see how she's doing?" Andros asked.
"I thought I was the mind reader." Ashley said. "At least my sister's mind."
"Just first hand experience." Andros said. "You want to go and see how she's doing?"
"Yeah." Ashley said. "I also better get ready myself." With that she got up leaving Andros alone until he was relieved from bridge duty. Ashley made her way to Alison's quarters to see how she was coming.
In her quarters the newest member of the Astro Rangers stared at her self in the mirror. The reflection looking back at her was one of disbelief.
Alison Bogard looked at herself, decked out in the space uniform of the Astro Rangers: grey jacket with pants and black boots. A green shirt underneath the jacket and patches with one being a planet with a green line representing a planetary ring. On her arm was a morpher, similar to that of the other Astro Rangers.
Similar to that of her sister Ashley Hammond's. Except hers was yellow. -Had it been so short a time since those attacks on San Francisco by those walking cappuccino makers that my life would change forever?- Alison asked herself. Before she was just Alison 'the Lady Wolf' Bogard, cousin to Terry Bogard, one of the greatest fighters on the planet Earth, and a bit of an amateur fighter in her own right. She was still the amateur fighter but now she was also the Green Astro Ranger, fighting to save the world against a witch named Astronema and whatever other evil bloke that came down the pike.
She had heard some of the names of these 'blokes'. Rita Repulsa, Lord Zedd, Master Vile, Divatox (which caused a few eye rolls), Count Dregon, Grimlord, Nukus, Vexor, Kilokhan, and those were on the UAE council alone. She had also heard of a few....independents. Emperor Grumm, Lothor, Scorpius. There seemed to be quite a list. To Alison it was no problem. They seemed like new opponents to her. Alison looked forward to the challenge they provided.
Her thoughts then turned to the newly discovered twin in Ashley Hammond that she never knew she had, and a birth family that she was taken from by a doctor who ran into so much debt that he wasn't above ruining children's lives just to pay the debt off. A birth family Alison was going to meet soon before she, Cassie and Kat left to go on their one month training trip to prepare for the KOF tournament coming soon.
But first Alison wanted to see how she looked in the mirror with her Astro Ranger uniform on. A symbol of the changes in her life so far. She looked at the uniform unimpressed with it, but then Alison never really liked uniforms. -It's like I've gone from one uniform to another.- Alison thought as her mind turned to her school uniform from St. Marin's where she and the Silver Zeo Cassidy Bridges went to school at. -Oh well hope Andros is not like Phelps and McNulty with the dress code.-
Alison then reached for her backpack and pulled out her green ball cap and put it on her head then looked in the mirror again. The green ballcap mixed in with the green hair strands reflected Alison's personality well enough so that the uniform didn't overshadow her 'natural charms'. Here wasn't just another Astro Ranger-here was Alison Bogard:Green Astro Ranger. Alison smiled at that thought. -Here I am. A Power Ranger. Alongside my twin sister to boot.-
Alison then stared at her chest in the mirror and realized something about the shirt, namely how they made her breasts stick out. -Wow someone must have decided that they like to show some cleavage and get away with it.- Alison thought whimsically to herself. -I doubt Andros is such a perv. Could Carlos have had a hand in tailoring?-
She then looked at the time and saw that it was almost 5:45 Angel Grove time. -Oh man. We're meeting my parents at seven-thirty.- she thought as she got out her regular clothes from her backpack, namely her green t-shirt, jean jacket and blue jeans. While she wanted to make a good impression with her family, she was not going to let herself be dolled up in clothes that were not her style. -I'll pack the rest later.- she thought as she proceeded to change when she noticed something else fall out of her pack. A heavy leather bound book with a lock on it that looked kind of old and broken but Alison didn't care all that much about the lock. -My diary.- Alison thought as she opened the book and looked through page by page. Most of it was already filled with her writing with very few black pages left. Alison looked at every page there was and each one contained a memory for her. Even those that her adopted parents had left her with as she focused her gaze on the first page.
Alison also saw a picture of her adopted parents that she had left in the diary as a bookmark. The first picture they had taken as a family when she came home from the orphanage. Setting the picture aside Alison began reading losing herself in the memories.
And she hoped her birth parents were just as loving as the parents who had raised her.
Hi, my name is Alison. I'm going to be writing in you for quite a long time. So I figured it would be kind of cool if you got to know me a little better. Well, here's the first little tidbit you should know.
Quite a lot to tell a five year old isn't it?
I never knew who my real parents were. Mom and dad never were able to find out. Apparently they liberated me from someone looking to 'sell me' to anyone who could pay for me. Scary huh? Not to mention disgusting. I don't know but isn't that slavery? I mean the buying and selling of living beings as property? At least that's what my history teacher tells me.
Mom and dad told me the story of how I came to be with them. Sometimes I can see it in my mind.
The crowd was restless. Many voices speaking for one thing.
The screaming infant on the auction block.
"Do I hear thirty five? Do I hear forty?"
"Forty going once! Forty going twice! SOLD!!!"
The barker pointed to the one that made the highest bid for the little boy that rested near the barker on the block before him. Two bodyguards then carried the infant to the child's new owners who then made their way to the money booth to pay for their newly acquired 'son.' The owners looked like an unsavory pair who did not appear to be looking to provide the child with a good home. Much to the child's misfortune. Soon the baby and his new owners left the auction house as the barker made ready to sell their newest acquisition.
At the row of cradles a respected physician stood beside a newborn baby girl he had brought into the world. A baby girl screaming as if saying in her own words 'I don't want to be sold. I want my mother.' But even if her words could be understood they would have fallen on deaf ears. For the girl had only one purpose there...to fill the physician's pockets.
"I'm going to make a lot of money with this sale right?" Dr. Edward Jacobs said to the broad shouldered brute before him. The brute nodded and added "Minus our ten percent."
"Only ten?" Jacobs said as if hearing that he had made the deal of a lifetime.
"We understand your debts. Besides you always did provide us with excellent...'product'." The bruiser said the next line with a sinister sneer as he looked down at the little girl. Scared beyond belief. The bruiser then picked her up and took her up to the auction block where the barker was ready to begin the bidding war.
"And now my friends. Here is a special treat. A newborn girl. Ready to be molded into whatever young woman you would wish her to be. Bidding starts at thirty thousand!"
The bidding was intense. It had started at $35,000 and made it's way up to $100,000 in no time flat. And the price was still climbing. Girls always ran more than boys did at the auctions. Mostly because many of the male participants looked for someone to groom them for their own 'personal' uses. Uses left to confidentiality. And sure enough the bidding started at seventy thousand and continued to grow.
"One hundred twenty-five!"
The bids continued to grow as the baby, whom the barker then said was named Alison, continued to scream in defiance of being sold. The barker always thought that when mentioning the name at the right time, the bids seemed to go further through the roof. And for Alison they did.
"One hundred fifty!"
"One seventy five!"
"One ninty five!"
The bids grew to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The bid made by a pimp named Downtown Vinnie who was looking for new potential that he could groom for his 'escort service'. And he saw Alison as someone who would have lots of potential. "One hundred fifty going once...going twice..."
The word 'sold' never left the barker's lips. For that was when all hell broke loose.
Doors were broken in and squads of uniforms barged in. The one in the lead had shouted "FEDERAL MARSHALLS!!! DROP YOUR WEAPONS AND SURRENDER!!!"
Of course, not everyone dropped their weapons. Some of the auction's 'security' drew out their guns and started firing. The Marshalls returned fire taking out several of the guards. Many others were taken into custody while some were able to scurry out the back door, or any other escape hole they could find.
Jacobs however tried to escape with the baby in hand. Due to all the noise and not so gentle treatment of her little Alison cried like there was no tomorrow. Alison screamed loudly hoping someone, anyone would come to help her. Jacobs tried to silence her but Alison would have none of it. She screamed....and screamed....and continued to scream as she cried in her own way for help.
"Shush you brat shush!" he said. For all the good it did. As Jacobs sought to crawl out an escape hole a figure stood in his way. She was feminine, well toned with long dark hair, and looked ready to beat anyone to a pulp if someone asked her to. Jacobs caught a nametag on the person's uniform. The tag read 'L. BOGARD'.
"Give me the baby. Now." Federal Marshall Lia Bogard had told her quarry. Jacobs tried to draw a gun he had found but then Lia had delivered a flying kick hitting the nerve causing him to jar the gun loose. He still held the screaming Alison, but he was now unarmed.
"Now give me the baby." Lia said as she held her hands out ready to take little Alison. Jacobs quickly complied realizing that his escape had been thwarted, and immediately Alison seemed to quiet down. "Hey Ira. I got one for you." She then called out motioning the thug in front. Soon Lia's partner appeared right behind Jacobs. He caught this one's name tag as well 'I. BOGARD.'
"Bogard?" Jacobs asked. "What are you two married or something?"
"How did you know?" Lia asked as Ira took the perp into custody. In her arms little Alison cooed and relaxed as Lia soothed her asleep.
Outside the warehouse where the auction was taking place suspects were being rounded up. Jacobs included. FBI Agent Adam Willand debriefed his two Agent Bogards. Lia still had baby Alison in her arms as other agents also had a baby with them. "All right. Would you mind explaining to me why you two ordered a team to this location when your assignment was supposed to be at the Gold Reserve?"
Lia watched as most of the participants of the baby auction were taken into custody by local authorities. "We got a call saying that our presence was urgently requested at this location. A unit was sent to relieve us at the Gold Reserve and we immediately went to this location."
"Who sent the call?" Agent Willand asked. Both Bogards gave their answer hoping it would be good enough.
"Anonymous tip. They said a baby auction was taking place in this area. My wife and I decided to investigate." Ira said. "Sure enough there was."
"Anonymous tip?" Agent Willand asked. "From who?"
"She left no identification." Lia said. "She sounded like a young woman. Maybe early 20's. She had a real urgency in her voice as if she needed us here now." Looking at the riff raff being arrested Lia added "And based on what I've seen here I can see why."
Agent Willand agreed as everyone looked in disgust at people being loaded into a paddy wagon. People that were either looking to buy a baby for unsavory uses, or who were part of the auction looking to sell the infants they had acquired.
"Can we find out who the parents of these babies are?" Agent Willand asked.
"Sadly no." Ira answered. "No paperwork can be traced as to who the parents of these babies might be. And no real names were used in transactions. Most everything was done by alias."
"Can we question Jacobs?" Willand asked. Ira answered "Perhaps, but even with his co-operation we may not get every child identified."
"Which means we can find out who some of the parents are. But others would have to be sent into social services and put up at local orphanages." Agent Willand said knowing full well the procedure, but still he wished more could have been done for most of the babies the Marshalls had recovered.
"What of this little girl?" Lia asked.
Agent Willand looked at Lia, who was holding baby Alison close to her. -Already she's become attached to the little girl.- he thought. "She will be remanded to the local orphanage until such time as her parents can be located." Agent Willand then added with a touch of sadness "If ever."
Ira turned to his wife and said "Give him the baby Lia." Lia looked up at her husband and saw the reluctance in his eyes too. "Don't worry, we'll see to it that she gets a good home."
Lia gave Agent Willand the baby, and he put it with the others who were rescued. Each one having a tag that said only their first names since they didn't have any last names to go along with them. All the while Ira and Lia never took their eyes off baby Alison.
Alison was remanded to the custody of Stone Canyon orphans home, as Ira and Lia watched the place over making sure the babies remanded there would be safe. There was belief that some participants from the auction would have come to collect on 'merchandise'. Sure enough they did.
Jacobs however was released on bail. He disappeared soon after, and a body turned up at the Stone Canyon docks. The body being of a black market plastic surgeon who had specialized in giving people new identities. No evidence remained to where agents could pick up a trail. Jacobs had gone off the grid.
Ira and Lia watched as pimps, junkies and any other low life who was at that auction tried to pass themselves off as legitimate parents trying to con social services in hopes of getting a baby, or just plain going out to steal one from its crib. Many times someone tried to take Alison from her crib, and Ira and Lia always sent them packing. Mrs. Hilton, manager of the orphans' home, was grateful for the Bogard's presence.
"Thanks for being here." Mrs. Hilton said. "These kids have had many a safe night since you arrived."
"I wish we could stay. But we have other duties we'll have to attend to before long." Lia answered but her attention wasn't on Mrs. Hilton, but was on one of the cribs in the infant's wing. As was Ira's.
The crib in question was Alison's, and Mrs. Hilton knew it. "You're quite taken with her aren't you?" she asked.
"We can't get that sweet child out of our minds." Lia had said turning to Mrs. Hilton. Ira shared his wife's sentiment.
"We want to adopt her." Ira then said with a firm conviction in his voice. A conviction Lia shared.
Mrs. Hilton heard the conviction in their voices smiled. She knew the Bogards would give Alison a good home. She had an eye for good parents and saw two before her. "I think that can be arranged." Mrs. Hilton said. "We haven't had any luck trying to find out who these babies belong to, and we might never. I think I owe it to them to make sure they have good homes."
Ira and Lia smiled as Mrs. Hilton began the paperwork and procedure with an adoption agent to give custody of baby Alison to the Bogards. The procedure lasted weeks but the Bogards were vigilant. The vigilance paid off as the adoption agent took back the adoption papers to give his final approval then looked at the Bogards and smiled. "Congratulations. You are both the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl."
Mrs. Hilton then brought Alison out to be with her new family. Both Ira and Lia smiled as Alison looked up at her new parents with eyes full of wonder. "Welcome to the family Alison Bogard." Ira said.
The first thing the new family had done was go out clothes shopping and then they took a family picture.
In her own quarters Ashley was trying to choose what outfit she was going to wear. She had a black top with matching black pants that she could put a yellow shirt over. She also had some white shorts she thought she could try out. Ashley sighed as she had a hard time deciding. -I bet Alison doesn't have this problem.- Ashley thought as she usually saw her sister in her jeans, t-shirt and ball cap. A pretty simple wardrobe, for a pretty complex person.
Ashley had an idea as to how complex Alison could be. She seemed to pick up some feelings from her sister. Feelings of rememberance, feelings of joy, and feelings of family.
Ashley hoped the Hammonds could provide Alison with many of those same feelings that the Bogards had when she was growing up.
Alison looked through the diary and found her adoption papers along with the baby picture of her and the Bogards inserted in the page. She smiled as she saw her name alongside that of her parents. The birth family spaces were left blank since no one knew who her birth family was, and no one would know for many years. She smiled at the picture of her adopted parents in remembrance never wanting to forget them for all they had done for her.
She then looked through the pages some more, and saw another picture of her whole adopted family. Her parents Ira and Lia. Her Uncle Jeff and his two adopted sons, and Master Tung Fu Ru who was both the elder Bogard brothers' instructor, as well as friend of the family.
The picture said 'Alison's first Christmas.'
The tree was all assembled as Ira put the final trimmings on it. Lia held Alison as her husband did the work.
"Almost have it sweetheart." Ira said as he reached around to put the last bit of tinsel on. Lia smiled a bit, and saw Alison smiling as well. She thought daddy looked funny. "Be careful honey." Lia said as Ira stood on the ladder decorating the tree.
"Don't worry sweetheart." Ira said as he got the last bit on just in time for the doorbell to ring. "I'd better get that." Ira said as he got down from the step stool he was standing on and went to answer the door. Immediately he was greeted by his brother Jeff and his two sons Terry and Andy.
"Jeff it's so good to see you. And Terry and Andy. You've gotten so big." Ira ruffled Andy's hair as Terry kept his guarded by holding the brim of his cap in place. "Hi Uncle Ira." Jeff said in enthusiasm. Terry just said "Hey." being more reserved than his adopted brother.
"I hope you don't mind but I brought along another guest." Jeff said. "He's anxious to see the new baby as we all are." Ira looked confused as he wondered what Jeff meant. He then saw Master Tung Fu Ru walk up to the doorway and Ira couldn't help but bow in respect. "Master Tung."
"I bid you greetings my student. As well as good fortune for the new addition to your family." Ira smiled at Master Tung's show of thanks, and invited his guests in.
"Where is the new baby?" Terry asked. "I have something for her."
"Come over here Terry, Andy. Say hello to your new cousin." Lia called out to the two Bogard boys as Jeff Bogard walked behind them as they went to greet their new cousin who rested in their adopted aunt's arms. Both boys thought she looked so small and fragile but Terry and Andy couldn't resist smiling at the new infant that looked at them both with awe. "What's her name?" Terry asked.
Lia smiled as she looked up at Terry then back at the squirming infant. "Alison. Her name is Alison."
"May I hold her?" Terry asked.
"Be careful." Lia said as she passed Alison on to Terry. Terry took hold of Alison in his arms and looked at her with wonder. Alison looked back at Terry with equal awe and Terry smiled. Clearly a bond was forming between the two.
"I have something for you." Terry said as he passed Alison on over to Andy. As Andy looked at Alison Terry brought out his present for her, a green ball cap much like Terry's which he placed on Alison's head. It looked a little big for her, but Terry had no doubt Alison would grow into it.
"Nice Terry." Andy said as he looked down at Alison. She looked up at Andy with the same awe she had with Terry. "Smart kid." Andy said as held Alison for a brief second. After smiling at each other Andy then passed the child on to Master Tung.
"She is strong of spirit." Tung said as he studied the little girl. "She will be a great fighter."
"Let's not get ahead of ourselves." Lia said. "We still haven't discussed preschool yet."
"True." Master Tung said. "She has many years of life to live before she could even think about taking the journey of the student of Hakkyokosaiken. Or her destiny could lie elsewhere. Either way Alison's spirit is a strong one, and shall overcome the obstacles placed before her."
"To destiny." Jeff said raising a glass of punch. "May it lead us to grand places and adventures."
"Hear hear!" Ira and Lia said. Terry and Andy also raised glasses and Alison took her bottle of milk and drank that as her toast.
The rest of the night was a merry night of fun and festivities. A moment of family
Alison looked at the photo of her first Christmas, and smiled. Those were good times. And as she got older she even started to learn how to fight. Dear Diary, Master Tung showed up today. He even brought Terry and Andy with him. Uncle Jeff wasn't there and I wondered what had happened. All I could make out was that something happened with Uncle Jeff and the name Geese Howard was thrown around a bit.
I wish I knew what they were talking about. Being with Terry is cool and all, but I do wish I was a grown up already.
Ira and Master Tung looked out at Alison as she practiced moves in the back yard. Ira had shown her some basic Song Moo Kwan Tae Kwan Do, and she took to it like a natural. She had a firm stance and a grace to her movements. Master Tung saw the potential in Alison.
"Her ki is strong." Master Tung Fu Ru said of Alison who at the age of five had shown strong spirit. "She can make a fine disciple in the Hakkyokousaiken school to Jeff when the time is right." Ira agreed, but his thoughts were elsewhere. Thoughts turned to the brother that he had recently lost.
"It's too bad Geese killed Jeff." Ira said to Master Tung with a bitterness and anger that Tung picked up on, and agreed with. Master Tung decided to award the title of head of the Hakkyokusaiken school over Geese Howard, and Ira asked that he not be placed in contention for leadership of the school preferring to focus on raising his family. Jeff accepted the post but Ira saw the look in Geese's eyes. A look of jealousy and envy. Almost as if geese thought Jeff took what Geese thought was his.
And now Jeff was dead. "I knew there was something about that guy I just didn't like."
"I know." Master Tung said as both he and Ira looked out at Alison practicing her moves out in the field. "Both Terry and Andy now have to take a journey that will take them ten years to complete. When they return I will teach one of them the final secrets of Hakkyoukousaiken."
Master Tung and Ira then watched as Terry then decided to join in on Alison's fun as he watched her karate form. It was one of the basics of the style that only consisted of two moves used more than once and taking the form of an 'I'. Terry watched impressed and Alison smiled briefly, yet kept her mind on doing the form.
"Nice form. What is it?" Terry asked.
"Tae Geuk Il Dan." Alison answered. "It's Korean for 'the Great Beginning'." Terry knew of the form. he too had to learn it when he was Alison's age.
"May I join you?" Terry asked. Alison shrugged as she decided she loved the company Terry provided. Both got into the ready position and started to do the form.
The two cousins did the form together. Starting with a low block then a middle punch. Then they turned around and did another low block and middle punch. They then moved to the left and did a low block and three middle punches in succession. They repeated the procedure until they completed the form which followed the pattern of an 'I'.
When they finished both assumed the ready position and relaxed. Both presented flawless technique. Terry knew Alison had a lot to offer as a fighter. Yet he hoped that Alison would choose something more worthwhile in her life. But if destiny decided that Alison would learn to fight Terry would look after her while she learned.
"Wow that was pretty cool." Terry said of the completed form..
"Nothing special." Alison said as she looked at Terry sadly. "I hear you and Andy will be leaving soon."
"Yeah." Terry said as he hung his head down. "Master Tung said I have to practice my skills so I can be ready to avenge my father who Geese killed. Andy too."
"Can I help?" Alison asked. Terry smiled at the girl and said "Sorry squirt you're too little."
"Awww man! I want to help!" Alison said almost as if pouting. Terry finally gave in and said "Maybe when you get bigger. I know I won't be looking to fight Geese right away. Master Tung says I need to practice my skills more. Maybe you should too."
Alison looked hopeful. "I'll practice day and night Terry. One day you'll be proud of me." Terry nodded knowing that Alison would keep that promise. She and Terry then continued to practice until the sun went down. This visit would be the first of many Terry would pay to his little cousin.
Present day. -I sure did keep that promise didn't I?- Alison thought to herself. Sure enough Alison sought to learn all that she could about fighting, and she even got detention demerits to prove it.
Many times Alison would be sent to the principal's office for fighting. Even though she only picked fights against bullies who beat down younger students she found she was punished along with the bully. The bullies Alison fought couldn't believe a girl would want to fight them, and many times Alison sent those bullies flat on their back holding their noses as she broke them. Her parents often had to come and get her from school. While they didn't like Alison fighting they did like her for choosing her battles and standing up against those who couldn't fight back.
Alison thought of her parents very warmly until she came to the next entry in the diary, then reality sunk in. Dear Diary, Mom and dad are dead.
Alison walked home from school taking the path through the woods. She always loved the nature walk and preferred it to taking the bus. It was a lot more scenic, and there weren't all that many stops to get to before Alison was dropped off. She also liked the exercise, and often took to taking a jog so she could get home faster.
Alison made it home in time to see two figures get inside a black car and drive off. She hid behind a bush and watched them leave. -What were those guys doing home?- she asked herself. -I've never seen them before.-
The next second she would get her answer. An answer that came in the form of an explosion as the house erupted in a white hot ball of flame. The force of the explosion threw Alison back several feet. When she got back on her feet her home was burning.
"MOM!!! DAD!!!" Alison shouted as the flames ate away at her family's home. Alison ran as far as she could but felt a pair of hands grab her keeping her away. Alison struggled but couldn't break free.
"Let me go!" Alison screamed. "My mom and dad are in there."
"No!" the old man said. "You go in there you'll die too." Alison tried to fight out of the old man's grip, but he was very strong. When she finally was able to get out she then fell to her knees.
Tears streaming down her face as she realized a terrible truth.
Her parents were dead.
Ashley felt Alison's emotions as she sensed loss. Ashley had an idea that it was the loss of the people Alison called her parents.
Ashley wiped away the tears that weren't even hers and immediately went to pick out her wardrobe. She needed to find something to wear if for no other reason than to stand by her sister's side and comfort her during what she was going through.
Alison looked at the posted news article in her diary. It told of the Bogards dying in the explosion of their house. No suspects were listed as to who had done the crime. -They were Federal Agents who had a lot of enemies. It could have been anybody.- she thought as she read the article. Still the tears came down her face once again as she realized how much she missed her mother and father. -Scratch that. Foster mother and father.- she thought. -I have to meet my birth mother and father today.- But Alison knew that even though Ira and Lia Bogard didn't give her their genes it didn't mean they loved her any less.
And neither did the person they sent her with to live with afterward.
Alison looked around as paramedics, firemen and police officers were examining the remains of the Bogard home trying to find what caused the explosion, and any clues as to who. She barely understood what all they were saying as she was lost in her own grief. -Mommy. Daddy.- she thought as she fought through the tears and tried to keep her memories of them alive. Off to the side the officers in charge were discussing the fire. Alison could barely make them out.
"Definitely arson." one officer said. "But it might have been possible that the couple were killed before the fire was lit."
"Murdered?" the other officer asked. The answer came in a nod. "We'll have forensics do an autopsy to check for any other wounds."
The officers then turned to little Alison. "What about the girl? Any family?" the first one asked.
"Two cousins that travel, a grandfather in San Francisco. Not much." the second answered. Alison barely heard them mention her grandfather.
"Contact social services. Tell them to send someone to pick her up."
Alison remembered when the social worker came to get her. She tried to act so sweet and caring, but Alison wasn't having any of it. The second the social worker introduced herself with her sweet smile Alison slammed her foot down on the social worker's shoe. The woman was hobbling on one foot for a good couple of seconds.
"Spirited isn't she?" Alison remembered one officer asking. The social worker glared at the polite, yet sarcastic, police officer.
Afterward Alison rode in the back of a squad car on her way to social services. Mostly due to her stepping on an officer's foot and taking his nightstick. It was okay though. She always wanted to ride in the back of a police car.
Alison smiled a bit as she remembered being escorted to social services. -I sure didn't make it easy for them did I?- she thought. -Not as hard as I made it for grandpa.- She then smiled wider as she thought of her first meeting with her grandfather. -But then grandpa didn't make it any easier for me either.-
The car went down the streets of San Francisco. Alison looked out taking in all the sights half heartedly. She was still trying to get past her parent's death.
Finally the car came to an old fire house that was converted into a home. The social worker got out of the car and opened the door for Alison. The social worker then led Alison to the door and knocked. Soon the door opened and an old man stood in the doorway. Alison couldn't believe her eyes.
Here was the old man that kept her from going into the fire. Here was the old man who let her watch her parents die.
"Hello Alison. I'm your grandfather." Alison responded by kicking Derik in the shin. Derik felt the pain and the social worker looked on amused. Derik grimaced a bit, but he tried his best not to show any pain.
"I'll leave you two alone. To get reacquainted." the social worker said as she got into her car and made tracks leaving Derik with a very spirited seven year old girl.
"So." Derik said. "You want to see your room?"
Alison just glared at the old man as she stormed into the firehouse. Derik sighed as he said "Definitely going to be a long day." as he went inside.
Alison looked at the photo of the firehouse that was in her diary. It was taken the first month she had arrived there. She remembered being a holy terror to her grandfather.
She missed Terry and Andy, and wished they were with her when she first got settled in, but they were still training. Alison didn't know if they were at the funeral since she wasn't allowed to go for her being too young. For a long time Alison was angry, and she took out a lot of that anger on Derik.
She then went back to the diary and looked at the next entry. Dear diary I ask myself why did he keep me from going to mommy and daddy? Why couldn't he let me save them? And why is he teaching me to fight?
Alison was dressed in a training gi as her grandfather Derik stood across from her. They were ready to free spar.
Derik didn't expect Alison to take to fighting so quickly. But Derik had shown her a few moves, and Alison delivered those moves with efficiency...causing Derik some pain as some of the moves made contact...and hurt him.
It was then that Derik decided not to hold anything back. He then allowed Alison to spar with him, and he held his own as the young girl fought hard. Derik let Alison cut loose as she let go of all the pain in her fighting.
"They were my mommy and daddy." Alison said as she delivered a side kick.
"And they were my son and daughter in law." Derik answered as he blocked the kick then went for his own attack. "I wanted to save them as much as you."
"Why didn't you?" Alison asked as she blocked Derik's attack. "Why didn't you let me save them?"
"Because you would have died too." Derik answered. "And that wouldn't have been fair to them as they wanted you to live."
This caused Alison to pause. "But...but I miss them."
"Just as I do." Derik said. "I also miss my other son Jeff."
Derik looked at Alison. "They adopted you because they wanted you to have a life. Every day you are alive is a blessing to them, even if they are no longer with you. They want you to live. So live."
The tears fell down Alison's face as she hugged her grandfather. Her grandfather returned the embrace.
Ashley felt the emotions Alison was giving off and decided she couldn't wait any longer. She had to be by her sister's side.
Deciding on her black outfit and yellow shirt Ashley quickly got dressed and went to her sister's quarters. Fashion could wait another time.
Alison read the entries where she began to warm up to her grandfather. It was then that Terry also started showing up from time to time giving her more 'specialized' instruction. While he wasn't a master yet Terry took on the role of unofficial sensei to his younger cousin teaching her what he had learned in his travels. But just as Terry made sure Alison excelled in one form of education Derik had to make sure she excelled in another.
Hence the admission to St. Marin's Private School. The thought of the first day made Alison cringe, especially when she had to wear the school uniform. And sometimes the other days had their shares of ups and downs.
But there was one day that wasn't a total loss. It was the day she made her first friend at a birthday party after school. Dear Diary, I met a new friend today. Her name is Cassidy, and she's very cool.
It was the birthday party of Sharon Schomer. One of the most, if not THE most, popular girl in school. She was in the drama club, cheer club, the only club she was not part of was the honor roll. But then, Sharon thought that was for losers anyway.
Sharon was surrounded by so many presents and admirers that there seemed to be no stop to the praise she was getting. One by one she opened presents, and one by one she raked in affection. Even by kids not considered popular. But then again Sharon considered that a formality.
Sharon often thought that it was good to give the unpopular kids a pat on the back from time to time. Even if they were nerds and geeks they still had some uses. A kind word here and there went a long way, as well as a party invitation. Then after that she'd treat them with distain as she went about their business. Sharon Schomer was a snob, but she was a smart snob.
Alison stood off to the side alone while the cool kids all rallied around Sharon. She felt so out of place at the party, and wondered why she took the dare to go. Turning around to leave Alison ran into a young woman with dark shoulder length hair, a friendly smile, and gray eyes of wisdom.
"Hello." the girl said. Alison said "Hi."
"Party not for you?" the girl asked. Alison said "No. I guess it's just all the hypocrisy here. Sharon Schomer doesn't care about anyone here. She'll just use them and toss them aside."
"So why did you come?" the girl asked. Alison didn't say anything, but there was something that she hoped she would find at the party. Something she needed more than anything.
Alison didn't have many friends at St. Marin's Private School where she went to. Popular girls turned her away, and the unpopular ones were afraid of her fearing that she would beat them up or something. Alison felt alone at St. Marin's, and the kids in detention weren't much company. The girl then scanned the room and picked out one person in the crowd. One person the girl was looking for for her own reasons.
"See that girl there?" the girl told Alison pointing to another dark haired young girl. "She'll be your friend. All you have to do is meet her." Alison rolled her eyes and said "Oh yeah. How do you propose I do that? Say 'Hello my name is Alison. Would you like to be my friend?'"
"Not a bad way to start." the girl said as she got up to leave. "Where are you going?" Alison asked.
"You've got things under control. Go talk to her." the girl said as she went out into the hall. When Alison went to look for her she was gone. No sign of her leaving was seen.
"Weird." Alison said as she went back into the party room and looked at the girl who the other girl was pointing to. She had dark brown hair, light skin and looked quite pretty. She also had a sense of style with the clothes she wore as she wore a maroon sweatshirt with a silver stripe over a dark brown leather jacket. She had a dark brown skirt with stockings adorned by black ankle length boots. She looked cool without having to look slutty.
Alison had heard of the girl she was looking at. Her name was Cassidy Bridges. Like Sharon she was a drama club member, and part of the popular cliques. She was a rival of Sharon Schomer's, but not quite as snobby as she was. She was also into dance, and had taken a few self defense classes as well. A necessity if the rumors about her father's profession were true.
Alison had heard Cassidy's father was a policeman, and that a lot of the time he was away on a case. Alison saw a look in Cassidy's eyes. A longing that Alison could identify with. She could tell that Cassidy wished her father was there as much as she wanted. But that wasn't to be. Alison wished her parents were there for her, but she knew that would not happen.
Alison stared at Cassidy wondering what to say. She wondered if Cassidy would have laughed in her face or called her weird like Sharon Schomer and her friends had done quite a few times. Despite putting up a tough girl act Alison still felt scared going through school without friends. She needed a friend, even if it was only one friend. Yet she still felt fear holding her back. Fear of being laughed in the face, fear of giving into the despair of loneliness. -Come on Alison. You're a Bogard. What could scare you?- Alison tried to remember that as she stood up. She had seen the worst in Geese Howard -What could be worse than him?- she asked herself. Alison took some steps to meet Cassidy, but before she could introduce herself the doors burst open forcefully.
"NOBODY MOVE!!!" said the leader of a group of biker hoodlums who seemed to take in all the riches in the house. Some made their way to take jewlery, some antiques, some seemed to take notice of more.
"Get out of here. This is my party!" Sharon Schomer screamed only to get a slap in the face by the gang leader. "Shut your mouth bitch and do as you're told." the leader said. Sharon felt blood coming from her mouth and fearfully nodded as if obeying. Cassidy glared at the thugs as if wanting to do something about them. Alison noticed the glare and shared the emotion behind it.
In their looting the thugs noticed all the girls in the room, as if they were wondering which one they would lose the virginity they would never admit to having. The splendor of the party ended and was replaced with an even bigger feeling of fear among the guests. One girl raced for the door to try to scream for help but another thug slapped her down before she could reach it. She hit the ground hard crashing into a coffee table. The table held but tears were streaking down the girl's face.
And through it all the anger of Cassidy and Alison grew.
"Man look at all the honeys." one punk said. "I guess we can have us one big party tonight."
"Ohhhh yeah. And Stickler gets all the fun." the punk named Stickler said as he looked over the young teens ready to see who he wanted to party with. His eyes came to the girl named Cassidy as he looked in her eyes with lust. "What do you say honey? Wanna rock the world?"
Cassidy responded with a slap across Stickler's face giving into her anger. There were a couple of "Ooooohhhhs" among the punks and Stickler was looking very angry as he rubbed his face. "Who do you think you are bitch?" Stickler asked Cassidy. Cassidy answered "The daughter of a cop."
"You, you mean you're old man's a pig?" another punk asked shocked upon hearing this. The other thugs were startled too. They never expected a cop's kid at the party. They had this house staked out for months. Cassidy answered the thug's crack with "My dad's not a pig. However you swine come pretty close."
"Why you." Stickler said as he made to slap Cassidy. Cassidy blocked the slap and stepped on Stickler's foot causing him to yelp in pain. She then maneuvered around and kicked him in the butt sending him right into the table where the punch bowl sat. "That was for Sharon." Cassidy said as she reached for a half filled cup and dunked it on Stickler's head. "And that was for Miriam." Cassidy said avenging the girl sent into the coffee table.
The girls were all shouting "Yeah Cassidy!" happy that someone was standing up to the robbers. The cheering stopped when the punks all drew out switchblades and brought them to bear against the again scared girls. Stickler was back on his feet glaring at Cassidy with a look of someone who wanted to kill. Cassidy however stood her ground
"You gonna pay for that bitch!" Stickler said in anger. He then spoke to all the girls in the party hall. "No one buts in or they get stuck." The girls were all quiet afraid they would get stuck with the knifes Stickler's gang all held. All but one who glared at what was happening with anger. She saw Cassidy, who was standing up for her classmates, and none of them were doing the same for her.
"Look around little girl. You're all alone now." Stickler said to Cassidy with a sinister smile. He cast a look at Cassidy's friends all standing scared. "Them pieces of ass ain't going to help you. We're all going to have fun tonight."
"Spare me." Cassidy said.
"I don't think so." Stickler said. "No one's going to help you. After all I've got friends here." Stickler glared at Cassidy as the thugs also smiled at the thought of what Stickler was going to do. Only Cassidy stood her ground against the thugs. The rest of the kids sat aside scared.
That was when Alison then spoke up.
"That's all right. So does she."
Stickler looked to see a flying side kick delivered across his face. He fell down to the ground cradling his jaw as he realized it was broken. He looked up to see a brown haired girl in a green t-shirt and jeans with ball cap standing over him, and then took a few steps back to stand alongside Cassidy.
Stickler continued to cradle his jaw as he said as much as he could "Get 'em." signaling the rest of the punks to rally in on the two girls who were standing side by side together ready for what was to come.
"Alison Bogard." Alison said offering her hand and throwing a right cross with the other. Cassidy took the offered hand and introduced herself. "Cassidy Bridges." After her introduction Cassidy threw a right cross of her own.
The two then fought the punks off together. Cassidy only knew basic self defence, but she also had a can of mace where she needed it, and need it she did as she sprayed a few thugs in the eyes and gave several kicks in the unmentionables. Alison then fought of the rest with her own skills, and while she didn't do too many kicks in the unmentionables made sure her kicks didn't hurt any less. After the brutal beating Stickler and his friends were running away wanting no more of the two.
Soon the girls of the party were rallying behind Cassidy and Alison. Sharon seemed jealous that her rival and a delinquent (in her mind) were getting such praise. Cassidy and Alison didn't mind as they were getting thanked for saving the lives of everyone at the party. After police came and took a statement Alison and Cassidy continued to talk.
"Well that was fun." Alison said giving a lopsided smile to Cassidy. "So, any plans for lunch?"
"Not really." Cassidy said. "Dad's working late and mom's got a catering gig."
"Well my grandpa's a great cook. I'd love to have you over." Cassidy accepted the invitation then said "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Alison just smirked at what she heard. Just then a yellow 1971 Plymouth Barricuda roared up. Inside it was Cassidy's father Nash Bridges.
"Cassidy. You okay?" Nash asked rushing to his daughter's side taking her in his arms.
"I'm fine dad." Cassidy said. She then introduced Alison to her father and added "Alison invited me over to her house to eat. Wanna go?"
"Where does this girl live?" Nash asked being the overprotective dad that he was. Cassidy smiled as Alison gave directions, and to keep things safe Nash even drove Cassidy and Alison to Alison's home, where he met Derik. "Don't worry Inspector. Your daughter is safe." Nash decided that Derik was a man of his word. Nash went to his daughter and said "I'll pick you up at 10:30."
"Thanks dad." Cassidy said as Nash drove off back to the station. Cassidy and Alison went into the Bogard home where they ate and had fun until Nash came to pick Cassidy up.
Meanwhile Stickler and what boys didn't escape were running as fast as he could away from the party house when he ran into another girl. "Stop." she said. The thugs did so as they noticed the woman who paid them to crash the party, but were surprised at the purple and gray robes she was wearing.
Stickler was not in a rush to stick around. "Look lady. You can keep your money. I don't want to deal with those crazy bitches again."
"Don't worry you won't have to." the brown haired girl in gray and purple robes said. "In fact, you'll never have to deal with anyone ever again." And with a wave of her hand Stickler and his boys felt themselves transformed and shrinking down in size.
The thugs were turned into cockroaches which the girl crushed with ease using the tip of her boot. After she was done Karla the Gray Witch turned back and disappearing through a portal taking her back to her palace.
Back at the Shadow Palace the girl who was at the party before had returned. She had done what she needed to do, introduce Alison Bogard to Cassidy Bridges and tie the destiny arranged for Alison to Cassidy's. She also dealt with the vermin who fulfilled the role of initiating the crisis that brought Cassidy and Alison together. Now it was time for the person she replaced to resume her life.
Karla the Grey Witch looked at the still form of the babysitter that was supposed to chaperone the party. She was a typical teen, pretty, long hair to her shoulders, dreamt about boys. But while under Karla's spell she was a statue. A still figure stuck in time. Karla waved her hand as if giving a command and getting ready to free the girl from her being frozen in time.
"When you return to Earth, you will remember nothing of this." Karla said. "You will only know that the kids behaved themselves and you made good money babysitting." Then with a wave of her hand Karla made the babysitter disappear, sending her back to the real world.
Now all Karla had to do was ensure that her plan would work. She would be sure to watch the friendship of Cassidy Bridges and Alison Bogard carefully if her plan was to be successful.
Present day -And that brings us to today.- Alison thought as she closed up the book. Her mind dwelling on her past and now turned to thoughts on the future. Thoughts she was shaken out of by a knock on her door. "Come." she called out. The door opened revealing her twin Ashley dressed in her black shirt and pants with yellow shirt. "You ready?" she asked.
"In a bit." Alison said as she showed off her current attire. Her fighter's gear on her bed. Ashley then asked "You going to wear that?"
"If my parents are going to accept me, let them accept me as I am." Alison said. "If there's one thing they will say about their daughter it's that she's not a phony." Ashley nodded but then asked "You okay?"
"Yeah. Why wouldn't I be?" Alison asked. "I'm just getting ready to meet my parents for the first time. And..." Giving a sigh Alison then said "....I've been reliving some old memories." as she laid her diary on the bed.
"I thought so." Ashley said. "You were broadcasting your emotions pretty clear." Alison asked "Is it that obvious?"
"Only to me." Ashley said as she then came to her sister's side. "Alison. No matter what happens we'll always be sisters. Twins. And I'll love you no matter what."
Alison smiled as she hugged her sister in thanks. When they broke the hug Ashley looked down at Alison's clothes and then said "I'll leave you alone."
"Not for too long." Alison said. "I'll want you there when I say 'hi' to my parents." Ashley said "I will be." as she hugged Alison and then left for Alison to get dressed.
Alison got out of her Ranger uniform and into her fighter's gear.
She had parents to meet.
As soon as Alison made it to the launch tubes Ashley was waiting for her,along with the other Astro Rangers and five others. "Terry, Andy, Joe, Mary, Mai?"
"Hey kiddo." Joe said as he high fived Alison. "We just figured we'd be there for you when you met your folks." Mai smirked as she also added "And Joe wants to see if you might have an older sister in the family."
"We don't." Ashley said. Alison then said "Sorry Joe." She then went to Andy and Mei as Andy said "Just remember you always have a family with us."
"Thanks Andy." Alison said. Andros then came forward and said "And with us too. Remember when you became a Ranger you gained us as a family as well." Alison smiled at Andros's statement in thanks and then went to face Terry who had Mary by his side. Alison and Terry looked at each other and then the two just hugged. Not just of family, but one of thanks."
"You've been everything for me." Alison said as tears started to fall. "I don't know where I'd be without you."
"We'll always be there for you Alison. No matter what." Terry said as he hugged his cousin. After afew moments they broke away and Alison wiped the tears from her eyes. Terry then asked "You ready?"
"I want to stop somewhere first. Can we do that?" Andros asked where, and when Alison gave the answer Andros did not refuse.
Alison nodded and said "let's go." Soon everyone made their way to the launch tubes and went down to Earth. Carlos then said "You'd think she was heading for battle and not meeting her folks." as he went down. Cassie however heard the statement, and pulled back on Carlos's underwear as he went down the tube.
Carlos teleported to Earth with a wedgie.
In Southtown there is a cemetery. A cemetery where Terry and Andy's father Jeff was buried. It was also the grave of where Alison's parents were buried.
Kneeling before the grave Alison paid her respects while the other Astro Rangers and the fighters watched. Alison touched the tombstone and said her peace.
"I want to thank you both for what you did for me." Alison said. "I don't think I could have lived through life without you two. But now a new chapter of my life is beginning." Alison paused as she took Ashley's hand.
"I have a sister. She's very cool." Ashley smiled at Alison's comment as Alison continued. "I'm going to meet my birth parents for the first time. That was something you always wanted me to do. Something you always tried to make happen. And now it is.
"Just remember no matter what happens. Nothing can take the place in my heart that you both hold. Nor the place I have for Terry, Andy, Joe, Grandpa, and all my new friends." Alison said as she wiped tears away. "I love you both." Alison then placed her hand on the tombstone as if trying to channel the love she had for the two that were her adopted parents through the cold stone to whatever reward awaited them in the afterlife. Ashley placed a hand on Alison's shoulder offering support.
After a while Alison got up and said "I guess I have some parents to meet."
The Lonely Wolves and the Astro Rangers teleported to the place where Ashley and Alison's birth parents lived.
They arrived to find themselves outside the Hammond family home. Everyone walked to the front door with Alison getting nervous with each step. "Terry?" Alison asked.
"Yeah?" Terry asked. Alison then said "I've fought so many hoodlums in the past, why s it meeting my parents for the first time is giving me so many willies?"
"Because this is important to you." Terry said. "Besides I'll bet they're more scared of meeting you than you are of them." Alison then said "Can't imagine why. They're the grown ups."
"Even grown ups get scared kid. Trust me." Mai said. Soon enough they reached the front door and Ashley rang the doorbell. Normally she'd just go in, but this was a different occasion. Soon enough the door opened and Mrs. Hammond appeared. On first glance Alison knew this woman was her mother.
"Ashley why did you ring the bell? Are these your friends?" Mrs. Hammond asked.
"Yeah mom, but they're not the only reason I rang the doorbell. There's someone you need to meet." Ashley then brought forth Alison and Mrs. Hammond went wide eyed. Her mind trying to piece together how this could be. Her other daughter died in childbirth, so how could she be alive now? It wasn't until Alison said "Hi mom." that reality sunk in for her.
""Alison? Is that you?" Mrs. Hammond asked.
"Yeah mom. It's Alison." Ashley confirmed. Emotion overtook Mrs. Hammond as she couldn't control what happened next.
"Oh my god. Alison!" Mrs. Hammond said with tears in her eyes. "Alison!" she then shouted as she hugged her daughter that was lost for years. Alison returned the hug and let the tears fall. "Yes mommy. It's me." Soon enough Mr. Hammond came forth and saw his wife hugging a girl that looked exactly like Ashley.
"Alyssa what are you...?" Gerald Hammond then looked at both Ashley and Alison and was in shock. "Ashley is this?"
"Yeah dad. This is your other daughter. My sister." After hearing Ashley's words even Mr. Hammond knew his daughter had come home.
Soon everyone was brought into the house to catch up on lost times. And the Hammonds would welcome the Bogards in as members of their family for looking after their daughter. Alison didn't need to say goodbye to anyone.
Alison Bogard had come home.
At the end of the day Alison wrote a new entry in her diary. Dear Diary.
Words can't describe how it feels to be with my birth parents. Mom and dad (God I can't believe how I have taken to calling them that so quickly) thanked Terry and Andy for looking out for her and made plans to visit the graves of my other parents to pay their respects and condolences. Apparently they are people of faith, and Ashley shares that faith it seems.
I don't know if I'll go to services right away, but I will admit to being a little curious about them. I guess we'll see from there. They think it's okay for me to continue my KOF teaching as they want me to defend myself. I wonder if Ashley could have the same training.
Tomorrow we're going to formally add the Hammond name to my birth certificate. I don't stop being a Bogard, but this means I'm also a Hammond now. I guess I may have to hyphenate the name.
But at any rate I'm one girl that can safely say 'I have the most wonderful family in the world'.
P.S. Last name looks kind of cool huh?