Legal Disclaimer: Hello again! You guys know the drill by now, I assume, the Rangers aren't mine. This is the second of the "Preludes" series, which will alternate between the 'inactive' and the 'active' Rangers. Hope you like this!

Pink Kitten
by Tarma Brighthawk

"Meow," she said disconsolately, staring at a picture in her photo album. One perfectly polished nail touched it, then she sighed. I know Kim and Aisha didn't take these to hurt me, but looking at them isn't exactly the best way to get out of a depressive mood. Not that I'm in one.

Kat Hilliard, the Pink Turbo Ranger, closed the album and sighed, putting it away. She wondered how her two friends had ever explained the loss of 'P.C.' to the Campbells. Then again, I wonder if anyone even REMEMBERS Aisha and her family. No one seems to, and I can't find her picture in the past yearbooks at AGHS. No one even remembers that she and I did the school song. I'm listed as solo artist there.

It was all she could do not to fight back a tear as she wandered about the house. Her parents were gone for the weekend, and she was there by herself. The only people who might come over would be her fellow Rangers, or possibly Rocky. Then she shook her head, remembering. He left town for a while. Didn't even say where he was going. Same with Jason.

She wondered what they were doing, where they were going for only a moment. It wasn't that she didn't care about them, she did. Jason in particular was rather attractive. . .she chuckled to herself at that. Yes, he is cute, and Kim figured that out a long time before you did, girl. I wonder if SHE knows she's figured it out, though.

When Kim and Jason had been in town for the martial arts competition, and had gotten caught up in the events of Murianthus and Divatox, Kat had seen how close they were. She'd seen the pain in Tommy's eyes, too, but had yet to speak to him about it.

She was his first real love, I think, she thought. And I'm glad they finally talked their feelings out over the letter. I just wish I knew what they said!

Before Kim had left for Florida again, Tommy had quite literally kidnapped her and the two of them had vanished for almost a full day. When they'd come back, all either of them had said about where they'd been or what they'd done was that they were good friends, but that was all they were to each other.

Kat was startled out of her reverie by the ringing of the phone. A touch nervously, she picked it up. "Hilliard residence, can I help you?" she asked politely.

"Hi, Kat!" it was Tommy. "Hey, I was wondering, would you mind if I came over?"

As they had just about every time since she had first laid eyes on him, her cheeks reddened and her heart pounded at the thought of being near him. "Sure," she replied. "I mean, come on over, I don't mind."

"Cool!" there was a thread of joy in his voice that hadn't been there before he'd had the talk with Kim. "I'll be over in about thirty minutes, see you then!"

"See you," she murmured as he hung up on his end. Almost feeling in a trance, and not knowing why, she hung up as well. For a moment, she stared at the phone as if it were an alien creature, then a lightning bolt seemed to hit her head. Tommy is coming over, and I'm still in my nightgown!

She was in the shower less than five minutes later, lathering up for all she was worth. As she washed, her thoughts flitted back to the photo she'd been looking at earlier. Only remembering that Tommy was coming kept her from slipping into the same depressed mood she'd just barely avoided earlier.

As she ran shampoo through her hair, she remembered something else, something she'd tried hard not to think of over the past year and a half. A day in Australia, not long before she and her family had moved to Angel Grove. . .

A day that had changed her life forever. . .

* * *
a year and a half earlier

Blue skies and warm winds had wrapped around Sydney for the past several days. Katherine Hilliard was in purest heaven as she wandered through the park, practically skipping like a little girl.

"He asked me out, he asked me out," she giggled to herself. Damien Lewis, the richest, handsomest, utterly COOLEST boy in school had asked her to the winter dance to be held the next week. Every girl in school would commit mass suicide when they found this out! She chuckled almost nastily to herself at the thought. Oh, this was going to be the most WONDERFUL day!

"Hello, Kat," she looked up at the calling of her name to see Todd, her last boyfriend, the one she'd broken up with a few days earlier, looking at her from a few feet away. Well, I don't know if I could exactly call him a BOYFRIEND, she corrected herself mentally. We went out once, and he was such a creep, I never want to be near him again! I wonder what he wants!

She frowned as she stopped her happy walk to glare at him. "What is it, Todd?" she asked, tapping one foot impatiently. "I'm sort of busy!" I have to go tell Mom and Dad the good news! They were waiting to find out if Damien asked me out almost as eagerly as I was!

Todd walked over to her, and she could never tell why she didn't just leave him there. Something almost seemed to pin her in place as he came closer. He smiled gently, an almost friendly expression. "I was hoping you'd go with me to the winter dance next week," he said, leaning a bit closer to her. She took a step backwards, finding herself against the trunk of a tree unexpectedly.

"Sorry," she shook her head. "Damien already asked me to go with him, and I accepted."

Todd's eyes darkened. He was a relatively new arrival in town, having moved less than a month earlier. She was surprised he'd asked her out, most of the time the few new people were too busy trying to make friends with everyone to get to know people on an individual basis. "I think you want to go with me, Katherine," his voice had dropped almost three octaves, and acquired a harsh tone. "You won't like it if you don't."

"I don't think so," she shook her head. "I'm not going to be mean to Damien, and I wouldn't go with you even if he hadn't asked me! I don't like you, Todd, and I told you that the last time we talked!"

The next thing she saw nearly gave her heart failure. Todd turned into. . .a bird! A huge, feathery black bird as big as she was! Before she could get away, a flash of light transformed into a gray-haired woman in a golden and brown outfit. "Hello, there, little kitty!" she laughed. "Allow me to introduce myself! I am Rita Repulsa, Queen of Evil, and your new mistress!"

"Um, I don't think so!" she shook her head and was about to run away when the Todd-bird seized her by the wrists tightly.

"Time to go, kitty-cat!" Rita laughed, and then they were gone. . .

And the next time Katherine Hilliard was seen on Earth, though no one knew it, she was under the spell of Rita Repulsa. She had went to the dance with Damien; the Todd-bird had only asked her in order to get her to where Rita could kidnap her. And now Todd was gone.

And so was the goody good Kat who had existed until then, or so everyone who was aware of the spell thought. In her place was a cold-hearted and evil spy, with the magical gift of transforming into a white cat. She would go to America, to California, and she would be responsible for the destruction of the Power Rangers, or so Rita Repulsa had believed.

* * *
the present

Kat pulled her pink sweater into position and ran a brush through her thick blonde hair. That's the past now, she reminded herself. I broke the spell, and no one's heard from Rita and Zedd in months. Guess they decided Divatox was too much for them! She chuckled to herself, and took a look in the mirror.

For one second, she almost thought she saw P.C. in the mirror, with the faint outline of the Cat Monster she had become behind it. She took a deep breath, stopping herself from shaking. That is NOT me, she thought. That has not been me for a long time. And never will be again.

A knock on the door broke her out of the half-trance, and she shuddered. Tommy was there, and it was time to have some fun with her boyfriend. She smiled briefly. In a much cheerier tone than she had in months, she looked at herself. "Meow!"

The End